All those moments in life that leave an impression, leave you in deep thought,and contemplation.
Find book reviews for reading that feeds the soul. Personal experiences, travel stories- for spirituality is a daily pursuit. Movie and art, as what works better therapy than these.
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'Kafka On The Shore': A Spellbindingly Surreal Novel By Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami uses seemingly irrelevant series of events and occurrences to weave a gripping plot in ‘Kafka on the Shore’. These events sometimes are the normal natural day to day happenings and sometimes they border on the metaphysical world of dreams, hypnosis, animal spirits and other pseudo-realities. What starts as a boring detailed interview, report or letter ends up being a mind-bending thrill. Then there comes showers of fish and leeches, encounters with a ghost or a living spirit and other weird happenings. It may sound like themes borrowed from urban legends but it’s perfectly natural in this universe.
Two parallel stories are narrated in alternate chapters – one is that of Kafka Tamura and other is that of Nakata.
Kafka Tamura is a runaway from home, seeking freedom and independence, and perhaps searching for his long-lost mother and sister or vaguely put wanting to meet them at least once. He steals as many things from home as he can and travels to Takamatsu on his fifteenth birthday. He meets Sakura on the bus journey, a curious sort of girl who couldn’t be ignored. He lives in a low budget hotel under the pretense of an undergraduate researching for his paper at Komura Library. He does stretching exercises in his room, circuit training at the gym, buys box lunch at the station, takes the train to Komura Library, arrives at 11:30 am, chats a bit with Oshima at the counter about the ancient world or Franz Kafka’s short stories, reads The Arabian Nights or the complete works of Natsume Soseki, goes back to his room and jots down the day’s events in his diary while listening to his Walkman before retiring into his sleeping bag- pretty much the same routine every day. Everything changes when suddenly one night he finds himself lying on the damp ground in thick undergrowth, in unknown surroundings, his T-shirt soaked in someone’s blood.
Nakata was a victim of an assumed mass hypnosis during his childhood which had put him unconscious for days. The deep sleep took away his memories, his ability to grasp things, and all his social and mental faculties. In the present time, he was a middle-aged man with an unusual ability to speak with the cats. He lived in Nakano ward on government’s subsidy, known famously as the tracker of lost cats. His quiet uneventful life takes a violent turn when he meets Johnie Walker on one of the normal cat searching evenings.
Johnnie Walker- a dangerous sinister man- who speaks with Nakata through his giant dog- he catches varieties of cats, cuts off their heads and adds to his collection of cat-heads. He explains it is to create some kind of a special flute with the souls of cats- a flute that cannot be heard by normal human beings but can help him catch bigger souls- to repeat the process again until he’s the universe in his control.
Meanwhile, Kafka Tamura bonds well with Oshima, lives for a few days in his cabin on a mountain top nearby a dense forest, completely detached from society and civilization. He spends his time reading and exploring the forest paths. He shifts to a small room in the Komura library after he gets to work there, thanks to Oshima’s recommendation to Miss Saeki, the sole manager of the Library.
Oshima is a knowledgeable individual, helpful and kind. He saves Kafka from the police many times, tucking him away in the mountains in his solitary cabin amidst the greeneries for a few days. He helps him in many a dilemma where rights and wrongs are seemingly blurred.
Miss Saeki is in her early fifties, lives a life of solitude in memory of her one true love who passed away ages ago in her teenage years. She is the singer of ‘Kafka on the shore’ - the vinyl that Kafka keeps on playing in repeat mode, savoring the melancholy and the sweet pain in the tunes. She is one of the pivotal characters in the novel.
Murakami has a knack for putting in interesting facts from books and around the world serving as analogies for his situations and circumstances. For example,” According to Aristophanes in Plato’s The Banquet, in the ancient world of legend, there were three types of people. People weren’t simply male or female, but one of the three types: male/male, male/female, female/female. In other words, each person was made out of the components of two people. Everyone was happy with this arrangement and never really gave it much thought. But then God took a knife and cut everything in half, right down the middle. So after that, the world was divided just into male and female, the upshot being that people spend their time running around trying to locate their missing other half.” The Banquet. Much later in a certain twist of events, we are informed that Oshima is the realization of the text.
There are so many turns of events that bring together the mortal and the spirit world. So many twists that make the reader think- where is this exactly leading us to? The entrance stone, the axis of time, these mentions make us wonder – does this story involves different realms? It’s all a blur towards the end- an illusion that can’t be separated from reality. The plot is mingled, the storyline is a maze. We know that eventually Nakata and Kafka would cross paths but how, and what would the conclusion be like is the question. The murder in between- Kafka’s father, the famous sculptor was killed in the middle of the night- makes things more complicated. And so many open threads and questions regarding the other characters persist too. Johnie Walker, the boy named crow, Miss Saeki, Kafka – all meet in some pseudo world through an unpredictable dreamlike sequence of free flowing events that have little or no meaningful connection. Some of the symbolism and metaphors were lost on me. Everything was hazy, like being in a trance or hypnosis. Would it all be brought to a well-deserved closure?
I have always been the one to leave first. Be it luck or circumstance, it has always been this way. Some of the times it has been my decision to venture out of my comfort zone first before all my peers decide to do the same and I am left behind, alone in the old world. The decisions are out of fear of being left alone, most of the times. Or is it self-preservation instead?
I am a person who takes time to adapt, make new friends, get accustomed to new surroundings- an unlikely one to leave first- yet I do. You might think me selfish, but I am just afraid, and I decide to take care of myself first. Some might see this as a major risk-taking attitude, but I mostly see it as fleeing before the 'desertion' hits me instead. Now that's a strong word indeed. I am always in search of safe ground, always so insecure and calculating my moves lest I end up being alone on the island.
Paranoiac. Several things bother me at once. What if my peers get on with their lives leaving me behi…
Empress Ki is the most elaborate, gripping, and thrilling series I have watched this year. And at 51 episodes, it is the longest Korean drama series I have ever watched. Even though the number seems daunting and too much, it’s worth it all. If you like period dramas, you won’t want to give this one a miss.
It was in 2016 that I first read about Empress Ki, the historical drama that had garnered much praise and accolades from the audience and critics alike. Most Korean dramas are just 16 or 20 episodes long. So 51 seemed never-ending to me then. It wasn’t until 2017 that I decided to at least try the first episode. And I was hooked. But owing to the various circumstances I didn’t continue watching it. It was just last month that I remembered this epic story and watched it to completion within just a few days. Believe it or not, midway through it, I was almost literally pulling my hair out, in anticipation of what would happen next.
I would have given this magnum opus 10/10 had it stopp…
"When the ego dies, the soul awakes." - Mahatma Gandhi
Why do you have such a huge ego? You cannot wear your family's name on your sleeve as an identity forever. The world wouldn't see you through the eyes of your parents who have pampered you so much for the better part of your life. Here in the real world, you will get what you give. Respect begets respect. Selfishness begets selfishness. Hate begets hate. And your 'i don't care', 'i don't give a damn', 'i am paying money for that', 'i will do as I please' attitude will give you the same.
Respect is earned. Agreed. But you should give it first to earn it back. The other person should and must be respected by default despite his class, caste, job and family background, until and unless he proves unworthy of it with time. I stand strongly by this belief.
There can be no excuse for disregard. The way you speak to me about people tells me the way you might be speaking about me t…
One Friday evening, as I was feeling a bit lonely and homesick with nothing much to do, not even strolling on the terrace viewing the ever so beautiful mountains since it was raining hard- thus it also contributing to my gloomy mood, I decided to watch Before Sunrise. Yes, once again. A first for me. I rarely re-watch a movie. Yearning for a light-hearted yet meaningful conversation this was the best choice I had. My hostel mates were out in the city and all the people I called up were busy. Luck by chance. Thanks to the superb uninterrupted internet connection I had a great 1 hour 40 minutes that evening.
"Experiencing the otherworldly. When morning comes, we would all turn into pumpkins."
Even though it sounds like a cliche today, unplanned trips, adventures in life, serendipity and providence are romantic. Before Sunrise has all of these, when strangers indulge in light conversations, grow intrigued about each other's lives, and spend time in each other's company …
It is human nature to dwell in the past, worry about the future
and forget all about the present. I still miss the days spent in Hyderabad. I
miss the study schedules, eating out, street shopping, and the city tours. I
miss the roads, the townships and the metros. But I clearly remember that I
just wanted the days to pass quickly so that I could return home, while I was
there. And today I miss the view from the terrace of the ladies hostel we
stayed in, the floral decorations with chalk, colors and flowers, the flower
market, the abundance of curd during lunch hours, the constant ‘amma’ recitals
by our wardens and so much more.
One of the highlights of the hostel life in Hyderabad at Sri
Kamali was queuing up for tea, puri and dosa during breakfast time, and then
hurrying to secure a chair the very next moment. And conversations and
complaints flowed unhindered during these hours in many languages at once- the
most prominent ones being Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and English.…
July has been a special month for me. Not just because it is my birthday month, but because many new beginnings, many fresh starts, and many turning points of my life have happened in July. It's mid of the year when I have looked back at what the year was like for the first six months and have anticipated and dreamt about the coming six months. Goals and resolutions are reviewed in July.
These initial days of college are all about fun, making interactions, creating friendships and increasing your network. It's less on course works and assignments. So we are trying to take full advantage of it. I have made a few friends at the hostel too, most of them are my juniors, with a huge age gap. But the good news is none of us can feel this gap. We visited the Forest Research Institute this weekend. It was a good trip. I stopped at almost every tree to take a snap and posed at every corner of the museum clicking selfies. Too much beauty in a single place. Beauty overloaded. The view of t…
..... Years of separation weighed down upon me. I had missed him, so much, and had almost convinced myself that I had forgotten him. I could only stare, teary-eyed. Seeing him in front of me within a tangible distance felt surreal. He had grown, and so had I. We had transformed to mature adults from carefree teenagers. Time had passed unhindered, and providence finally had us meet. But we had no words to speak. He was as surprised and emotionally moved as I was.
‘How have you been?’ Adiel asked breaking the loaded silence. That did it. All the welled up tears found their way down my cheeks. I couldn’t contain them, even though afraid to create a scene at the party. His face construed with concern and pain. He put his glass of wine on the nearby table and moved closed. I was too overwhelmed to start the long overdue conversation. ‘Silah...,’ he brought his hand near my face. I turned and ran towards the door, into the darkness, away from the intimidating lights. ‘Silah, wait, please,’…