Tag Archives: Books

When I Look Back

Hurray, I’m alive! Tonight (it’s the 31st of December, here in India) will mark the end of 2013. I have lived through the year, and you, my dear friend, who are reading this, are also alive. Isn’t this a matter to be happy about?  Looking back I see that I have not been able to do a few things as I planned. Many a things do not work out as per our plans. Everyone I have known or I came across to – friends, foes, chance acquaintances and all – have played a big part in my life. I could have never known how intricate life is hadn’t I had the privilege to know those I have known. It is true that not all of them were nice to me. But good and bad are part of our experiences. I say, it is good to experience everything, and learn (or teach) from the experiences.

I have realized this year that there is no point trying to fit in among your peers. You will try, you will be shoved, trampled, and you might feel like a fish out of water. If you are meant to stand out, why fit in, sir?

From my experiences, and from my understating of human behavior, I would like to give some advice to my readers (yes, I dare to):

  • Don’t rely on others, do something yourself.
  • Beware of the promises people make; not everyone keeps their promises. If you are a man of your words avoid those who are not.
  • Be smart. Not rich, not famous, but smart. Being smart pays off.
  • Fall in love, but do take care of your heart because it will be broken innumerable times.
  • Have confidence in yourself. Don’t let others say what you should do and what you should not.
  • Avoid those who bitch about you. They may be good to you in your presence, but just the moment you turn back, they become a different personality altogether. You have to be careful, my friend.
  • Always help others and do good. I’m not saying that by doing so you will go to heaven, I know not where heaven is, but you will surely feel good about yourself.

Among my many resolutions at the beginning of this year one was reading a certain number of books. I have read a lot of them but not as many as I intended to. If you ask me why, I may offer you more than one thousand reasons. Save your energy by not asking; I’ll save mine by not answering.

Here are the five books I loved this year, and I will read them one more time, if time allows, many more time. These books were not published this year, but I read them this year. Here goes:

  1. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie: This is one gem of a book, a self-help book. The author has done his job, and he has done a brilliant job. Now it’s upon the reader how they intend to get helped by reading this.
  2. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy: I don’t like any other writer’s work as much as I like Mr Hardy’s work. He was an outstanding literary master. I love his writings.
  3. Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh: I found this quite an interesting novel. It took some time to finish reading it, but it was absolutely worth the read.
  4. Animal Farm by George Orwell: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” This is the last sentence from the novella Animal Farm. Here is another: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”  Do these sentences sound satirical? Actually the novella is a satirical work.
  5. The Call of the Wild by Jack London: I didn’t realize that this novel was about the life of a dog called Buck – dogs are my favorite animal – otherwise I would have plunged into it long back. Anyway, I have done it now.

I watched quite a good number of movies this year, – but not particularly of this year – about 150 of them I would say. They were all very good. Here are four movies which I consider the best.

  1. Cast Away: My god, Tom Hanks’ expression of happiness, when he finally makes fire after a lot of trail in an abandoned place, is priceless.  “I did it,” he says to himself, and then he laughs and exclaims: “Fire! There you go! Light it up! Come on!” then he sings, kindling the fire a little more: “The time to hesitate is through… no time to wallow in the mire…” and the best of all is when he blissfully shouts: “Yes! Look what I have created!” then beating his chest triumphantly he continues, “I have made fire! I… have made fire!”
  2. The Bicycle Thief: This is an Italian movie. I had to rely on the subtitles (in English) to understand it. And as I understood it, I liked it very much.
  3. Blood Diamond: After watching this movie you will not have as favorable an opinion about wearing diamonds as you may have now.
  4. The Gods Must Be Crazy: I can assure you this: you will have a good time, and you may laugh out loud, watching this movie.

That’s all. This year ends, but life goes on. There is much to learn and much to do. A new beginning awaits us. Hope it will be to our taste.

Happy New Year to all.

Copyright © 2013 RAMU DAS


Love can happen twice but . . .

Bookstore (IBC)

I saw a girl about 18 years or so (I guess) accompanying a boy about the same age. They were apparently in love and came in to the newly launched bookstore at our locality where I was lazing away my time  –I know it is foolish to laze away one’s time, but that’s all I could do at that time– I wasn’t really reading anything there, but pretended to be reading.  I was just checking out the people as they come and go. It wasn’t my job to check them out, CCTV cameras were installed for that purpose but I liked watching them.

She glanced at the books on the neat and clean bookshelf – one after the other – and suddenly came across a book which was titled, ‘Can Love Happen Twice?’. The title of the book attracted her attention and interested her so much that she decided to buy it, and asked her boyfriend who accompanied her what he thought about the title of the book.

“Well,” he said with a lot of seriousness, “Love can happen, not just twice, but as many times as guys find some beautiful girls ready to pull their skirts up and show some skin . . . you know how smart we guys are.”

“Tell you what,” she responded after being pissed at getting such an indigestible answer.

“What?” the boy asked.

“Get yourself a new girlfriend. You’re my part-time boyfriend anyway, and I think my full-time boyfriend needs me now.”

“I was just saying it, I didn’t mean it. Love may happen twice but not with the same intensity as it happened the first time,” the boy replied.

“No, no, that’s ok. Let me try my hand at someone else by pulling my skirt up and by . . . what was that you said? . . . yeah, showing some skin . . . what you say, guys are smart, right?”

“What? are you crazy?! I was just kidding!!” said the boy in total surprise, “How will I live without you.”

“Ditto.” said the girl, and winked and smiled to relief the boy from the sudden tension and anxiousness that was visible on his face, and hand in hand they walked out of the library after purchasing the book.

Copyright © 2012 RAMU DAS