Category: General


My Life In Books.

General World XLNC Time Fiction Myriad Tiaras | By Aditya | 2014 Trackbacks (0) Add comment   
The course of life that I've charted upto now is filled with books. Books which inspired me, motivated me, made me wonder and also some books which made me feel sad and depressed.
 
All the books in my life! 

I've read books which range from crappy Chetan Bhagat shit to Dostoevsky. From Nietzsche to Ayn Rand. From Art of War and The Prince to religious works like The Bible, The Quran and The Bhagvath Gita. And I must say that all of them have inspired me in some way or the other. Some positively, some not as much.

I remember reading the religious books I mentioned soon after I finished my 10th exams. They changed my perspective about God, love, morality and the purpose of life. But today I'm not religiously inclined nor am I too spiritual - heck, I could easily be classified as a staunch atheist for all intents and purposes. But these books made me take up such a stance about God and religion - all these books had conflicting points amongst themselves, so I chose to remain religionless for a large part of time from them on.

During my Bachelor's I started reading other philosophical and radical books - books by Nietzsche and Ayn Rand. Nietzsche didn't have as much as an impact on me as Ayn Rand's Fountainhead - I must say it screwed up head in a lot of ways and I actually ended up being too Objectivistic for my own good. The book was followed by long periods of introspection, rejection of normalcy and manic depression. (Read my initial blog posts and you'll see the connection!)

Anyway, after the long and dark night of Objectivism came some amazing books like Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov - this was one amazing and profound book. It's among my favorite books of all time. And also Shantaram - which too is a personal favorite of mine.

In between Religion and Roark came Nietzche's Beyond Good and Evil and during that time I was inspired by Nihilism and Existentialism.

So from a outside perspective you can see how I went from being religious or spiritual (while reading The Quran, The Bible and The Gita) to learning about the meaninglessness of life (Nietzsche) to being self-sufficient and reclusive (Ayn Rand).

After all these books, came a period of lull - I stopped reading so that I could stop being inspired by every other book that came my way. I shifted to science, Wikipedia and gaining knowledge, I learnt new things about life, morality and death and I started searching for purpose and aims and goals - but didn't find any. Science was a good way to sidetrack from all the philosophy I crammed into my brain but it didn't provide the answers I was looking for.

Then came the fall - After I lost all hope and was feeling as hopeless as I ever could (a year ago) I went back to square one. I started reading the old books again, retracing my path to get a better perspective and to get a deeper understanding as to why I behaved the way I did.

I just finished rereading Shantaram a few months ago and the circle you could say is complete. I've learnt from all the mistakes and I can see where and how I went wrong with all the ideologies and viewpoints I had. Now I start afresh. You could as well say that I have started a new life altogether.

My next few posts will elucidate further on the various books I mentioned in a more detailed manner and will reflect not just on the contents of the books but also on my state of mind while I read them.

P.S. - In addition to the books I mentioned, I also read works of Khalil Gibran, Khaled Hosseini, Rushdie, Orwell, Tolkien, Kafka, Nabokov and Orhan Pamuk.


How Does A Story End?

General XLNC | By Aditya | 2013 Trackbacks (0) Add comment   

It seems to me that when stories are written they start off being very detailed and articulate. They have all these different characters with each having stories of their own and then their own emotions and how these characters develop and change forms the crux.

But how does a story end? Do things get better or worse? And is the end that important? When I write stuff I don't care about the end. But when things get too complicated and hypocrisy seeps in I end stories.

But what good is the end? And do the stories really end? I could write about a king slaying a dragon and end it there. But what next? The story doesn't end there. Just that part of it does.

As a child I used to imagine what happened to those kings and knights. What happens afterwards, do they truly live happily ever after? Do they lead successful lives with no more misery?

Stories end when we stop reading and stop thinking about the characters. For me stories never end. I might forget them for a while, but the stories and characters will always exist... And I always hope they are as happy as the stories they are a part of say they are!



Of Beauty, Beasts And The Beholder

General World XLNC | By Aditya | 2012 Trackbacks (0) Add comment   
Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction.
Wikipedia

What does this definition actually imply to us though? It tells us that beauty is a notion of all our perceptual senses. Not just our sense of vision!

What makes people crave beauty is beyond my perception though! And contrary to as is often said, I feel, beauty does not lie in the EYES of the beholder but in the MIND!

A cockroach, for example, is deemed to be ugly, repulsive and outright hideous. Yet it doesn’t care how it looks, it goes about its business as usual. It doesn’t want to look more attractive, it doesn’t care about being beautiful. It has evolved itself to its present state and is happy with it.

Yet we humans don’t even have the basic commonsense that I feel a cockroach has and label people at will as being attractive, beautiful or ugly. If I look hideous there is nothing I can do about it. Let me rephrase that to - I don’t want to do anything about it. That doesn’t mean though that I’ll wear tattered clothes and run around with unkempt hair.

Our mind is so attracted to beauty that we distinguish people based on it, which I feel is ridiculous. There have been innumerable people in history who were, as most people would classify, ugly. Abraham Lincoln was considered to be a very ugly human being, let alone being the ugliest President of the United States. Albert Einstein was considered ugly as was Gandhi – the Mahatma (which translates to Great Soul and not to great looks or great beauty).

Yet no one cares now if any of these people were ugly or beautiful. All people cared about, and still do is, how these men were from the inside – incredibly selfless and noble.

Vanity is, in most cultures, considered to be a deadly sin. So why do we give it unnecessary importance? Why beauty is so pointlessly glorified is something I cannot understand? I don’t care if a person is beautiful, ugly or even monstrous as long as the person and I feel comfortable with each other. And this was the basic essence of the legendary fairy tale “the beauty and the beast”.

I could be the most handsome human to have walked on the planet and yet have the ugliest and most repulsive thoughts in the entire world whereas Gandhi and Lincoln, though ugly as most people say, had the most beautiful thoughts about the future of mankind.

The fact that a person feels ugly and tries to change themselves is disgusting and I would call that thought as being ugly, not the person’s appearance.

I seriously wonder sometimes whether the world would accept a person who doesn’t accept him/herself.

And as, my favourite Superhero vigilante, Batman himself famously stated – it is what you do that defines you!!


Inglorious Bastards!!

General Politics World Hyderabad India Life | By Aditya | 2012 Trackbacks (0) Comments (1)   

From the time I was in school, I have been hearing all around me, people calling my generation - the next generation, the future citizens of India, the generation which will drive India into the next phase of its development, the citizens who will see a developed India and the brightest citizens yet of our beloved India.

Most of these titles and ranks were given just to get more applause in school assemblies and functions. They were used more for the appeal than the actual facts the words bear. These words make sense but have no weight in meaning.

As I look at school going children today, I see that the same stories, the same titles and ranks keep repeating themselves. I think to myself - Are we being shepherded by scheming politicians and corrupt businessmen into a place of no return?

Students don't care what they study as long as they get good marks and please their parents and teachers.

Teachers don't care what they teach students as long as they get paid and stay happy.

Parents don't care what their children study as long as they get good marks and they can proudly and happily trod in the neighborhood.

Society doesn't care what children study or what their parents think as long as they stay good children who go to school and their parents pay their loans and taxes.

Governments don't care what their subjects do as long as the government is stable and faces no threat.

In this vicious chain of events, we see one recurring pattern - NO ONE CARES!!

No one cares if our country houses the largest population of poor people.
No one cares if 30 farmers a day commit suicide.
No one cares if politicians stash humungous amounts of money from corruption.
No one cares if our country is going to the dogs.
But everyone cares if their share of the pie is affected.

Such hypocritical bastards we have become that we hardly care what our fore-fathers dreamed of and died for to give us our share of freedom and liberty.

Children should be made to understand what our country needs and why their education will have a profound influence on the future prospects of our country's growth. But all we teach and are taught is how to evade the law, circumvent it or corrupt it further.

All our ethics classes and moral science classes have already faded away into things of the past. Now the last ray of hope is that prominent people in society will influence people to at least stay on the righteous path a little longer.

I know people will comment that all these sound good on blog posts, but to carry over and translate these ideas and philosophies into actions is improbable and never certain... Well to them I say this - There's no certainty — only opportunity.

 



Footprints On History!

General World XLNC Time Life | By Aditya | 2010 Trackbacks (0) Comments (1)   
Every-bloody-body wants to leave his/her footprint when they leave. Footprints on history! People always want their successors to look unto them and say these were my predecessors, my ancestors and my godparents. These people want to seek immortality in whatever they do.

What these people are doing in that way is stopping creativity, halting imagination and prohibiting originality. Never content, never satisfied or happy… these people throw what all they do onto their children or surrounding friends and family. They act as mentors and “guide” the people actually into room of vacuum.

Some might argue that we have evolved by such practices; I ask what evolution without originality or ingenuity is? What all we could have become but did not? What all we could have done but cannot?

We have arrived at the dead end of science and religion…we keep practicing the same principles, the same dogmas and directionless creed. What is philosophy if it is not your own? What is attitude if it is artificial? What is a stance or position if it is synthetic and simulated rather than your own?

I want to create my own footprints not my fore-fathers’… And I would rather sustain myself for my life rather than uphold a consignment of my ancestors’ history for ages.


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