Showing posts from June, 2017

To Stories that touch the heart, and Monsoon, My Old Love

Some stories are clever. They strike with their ingenuity and execution and they hold your attention. Some stories are well-plotted- all the pieces fitting together neatly in the end like a jigsaw puzzle. Some stories however hold your heart with their authenticity and the ones in Julie Orringer’s collection titled How To Breathe Under Water belong to this category. Orringer's writing is beautiful- raw, lyrical and honest. They break your heart and choke you and you, immersed in these other lives, don't even notice you're holding your breath. And you realize why it is so- it's because Orringer draws you out from your own time and space and immerses you in with her characters who are all submerged, in the process of drowning, and you drown with them. Perhaps if we reach the end of the book, we shall become adept by then to breathe underwater. I sincerely hope that the people in the books did- the pilgrim children, the sixth-grader dancer, the drug-addict aunt... I hope …

Of Winged Creatures and Exit Paths

Where do lost flies go? I mean, they obviously go somewhere, which is how they get lost in the first place, but how do they get back to starting point? The male Musca domestica has an average lifespan of 28 days. It’s top flight speed is 4/5 mph.
I wonder if it remembers where it started once it’s reached the end. Why am I talking about flies after talking about gods? Well you see it's a natural progression:

As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;[i]which makes me wonder- do flies go through existential crisis? Do they believe in fate? Last Saturday I booked an Ola Share from my college. The first cab never turned up, and when we called him, he said he was waiting at Quest Mall, which, according to the information on his app, was the pick-up location that we had selected. I checked my app- it clearly said ‘Work’, which was a saved location- with the address of my college. Incidentally the place is at least 20 minutes’ walk from Quest Mall. So naturally, we had to book another cab…

What if the Universe Was Godless

This is going to be short.
One of my favourite Discworld quotes, out of many many favourite Discworld quotes, is this one:

It isn't something new, but recently there has been an escalation in religion-fueled hatred and aggression, and I have been thinking if the world would be a better place  if there was no concept of religion, no concept of divinity, what would the world be like?
As a Bengalee girl growing up in Kolkata, no saree for Saraswati Puja, no meeting friends  and no special album releases and magazine releases for Durga Puja, no cakes for Christmas...
What if humanity had never thought of God? Or gods? Man saw the Unknown and called It God, and because of his nature, sought to know it. And therefore came religion, and afterwards, science. If we had never longed to find God, would we ever find science? Where would we be today? Would a …