Monday, May 25, 2009

Of cynicism, Howard Roark and more cynicism ...

I read the Fountainhead recently. My conclusions -

  • It is a very heavy book and it hurt both my wrists.

  • It is a very heavy book and gave me a headache after reading it.

  • It is a very powerful novel, whether you agree to it or not, it gives you a lot as food for thought.

  • It hurts one's self esteem a lot; I found I have a lot in common with Peter Keating and none with Howard Roark.

  • I feel unworthy of even doing a review of this book; it seems similar to analyzing the 'The Gallant Gallstones', a futile book written by Lois Cook. Ayn Rand subtly or not-so-subtly mocks fun at such frivolous people who try to analyze books and incorporate them in their own lives.

  • I felt as though every thought or question I had for the book, was answered then and there itself.

  • Normally, I am indifferent to philosophical books unless I am in a disturbed state of mind. The fact that this book affected me is a testimony to its power.

Also I read this blog post recently. Enjoyed it a lot; for its tinge of cynicism. All in all, I feel quite cynical right now towards a lot of things.

I attended a meeting recently where I was the youngest. Without going into details, it was about trying to do something. Is it the case, that as you grow older you tend to ramble a lot? That was the conclusion I came to. The people in that meeting were all wonderful, they had vast experiences and were genuine. However, they talked on and on about what they had done, rather than what needed to be done. Some of them told us what they didn't like, what was actually the problem with the system!! ; and bored me to death, apart from irritating me as well. I listened and listened and listened. Also, somewhere it made me feel cynically like one of those people who sit under fans, ACs comfortably and casually discuss what should be done. That is a pity...

This does away with my cynicism. I am not proud of this post.

PS : If I try to be too cynical, after re-reading the post, I found that I did exactly what I mentioned. Narrated my own experiences, rambled on.. and told what I didn't like ... Either cynicism is making me too clever, or I am falling prey to my own criticisms.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ghonchu speaks Kannada

Ghonchu was standing in the queue for tea-board. He was feeling sleepy and wanted to drink a cup of tea. While he was waiting, a couple of girls joined the queue behind him. After overhearing their conversation, Ghonchu figured out that they were talking in Kannada. He decided to try and impress them with his Kannada knowledge.

Ghonchu quickly revised all the Kannada that he knew. He knew the word 'madi' from a sign-board he had seen once - 'scratch madi jeeto gaadi'. He also knew the sentence 'Kannada gothila'. However, he suddenly remembered proudly that he had learnt counting in Kannada from one to nine - ondhu, yeradu, mooru, naalaku, aidhu, aaru, yelu, yentu, umbatu. He decided to show off his Kannada knowledge by asking for yentu (eight) tea-coupons.

When his turn came at the counter, he asked for yentu tea-coupons. The shop-keeper was counting the money given by the previous customer absent-mindedly said 'yeshtu'. Ghonchu stood perplexed. He thought his kannada was flawed and maybe eight was called 'yeshtu' and not 'yentu'. He replied 'yeshtu'. The shop-keeper looked up and again said - 'yeshtu ?'

, Ghonchu nodded promptly now convinced that he had come to the correct conclusion and mentally praised himself for doing so.

'Yeshtu ?', asked the shop-keeper again , now exasperated.

'Yeshtu', replied Ghonchu, also getting impatient and exasperated.

The shop-keeper now held his head in his hands. 'Yeshtu ?', he asked again now looking like a drowning man who clutched at a straw and found that it was broken.

Behind Ghonchu, one of the girls interrupted and asked Ghonchu, 'how many?'

Ghonchu turned and seeking sympathy, he said, ' eight, but this fellow doesn't understand !! '

The girl moved over to the counter and smoothly said, ' Yentu tea-coupons. ' Then she told Ghonchu, "Yeshtu means how many .'

Ghonchu was left clutching his yentu tea coupons open-mouthed with a similar expression to a person who had put more sugar in his coffee thinking there wasn't any, and later on found that all the sugar was at the bottom.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ghonchu and Sweetu

Ghonchu, Peechu, Cuteu, Kemchu and eight others went to the hill station Munnar, for the weekend. For those who are unaware, Munnar is in Kerala and is considered one of the best tourist spots in India.

However, Ghonchu was indifferent about the ten other people on the trip. His attentions were taken up by Sweetu. The problem was that Sweetu and Ghonchu barely knew each other and therefore she paid no attention to Ghonchu. Ghonchu decided he would have to impress her by doing something drastic.

His opportunity came when they arrived at a place where there was a large rock overhanging a lake. Reaching that rock was risky but Ghonchu decided that he would go to the rock and dive into the lake. The group members had split into smaller groups and Sweetu was shopping nearby with two of her friends. Ghonchu was disappointed that Sweetu would not see him diving but his razor-sharp brain – one capable of doing research in IISc, hit upon a solution. He decided he would have his picture taken while he would dive into the water.

He handed the camera to an elderly lady standing nearby and requested her to take his photo while he was in air diving into the water. After teaching the lady how to take a picture, he made his way to the overhanging rock. After numerous scrapes and minor cuts, Ghonchu neared the rock. His last barrier was a four feet jump to the rock. The minor problem was that if he missed the jump he would be injured badly. The thought of Sweetu’s glowing face on seeing his diving photo made him decide to risk the jump. He jumped and successfully reached the rock. His mission was all but accomplished. He waited to catch his breath and imagined Sweetu’s affectionate look after he would show her the photograph. He gave the signal to the lady in the distance to get ready to take the photograph.

Ghonchu dived into the water, swallowed a lot of it and came up gasping for breath. Since the water wasn’t deep, he came out only half-drowned. The elderly lady came over to him and happily handed the camera back to him commenting that the picture had come out nicely.

In the distance, Ghonchu saw Sweetu and her friends and rushed towards them dripping wet all over. Sweetu’s first reaction on seeing Ghonchu was “eeeeeeeeeee”. She failed to recognize him for a second. Ghonchu’s enthusiasm undampened, he told her proudly about he had dived into the water from the rock. Sweetu stared at him as though he was insane and thought why someone would want to do such a thing. However being polite, she took the camera which Ghonchu was pleadingly offering. She pressed the button which showed the last picture taken. Her expression changed. From thinking Ghonchu was insane, her face now showed a totally straight and non-committal expression. Ghonchu thought she was impressed but did not want to show it. With the same straight face she handed the camera back to Ghonchu. Ghonchu looked at the last picture taken.

It showed the rock, the lake and a splash of water at the place where Ghonchu had gone underneath.