Foreword

There is neither a structure nor a texture to this blog. The subject matter can be anything and everything under the sky that I feel about at any given point that I happen to sit and blog rambling about everything in general. My thoughts and views are basically influenced by what I read, hear, gather, and ponder... if there is any copyright violation which I have not duly acknowledged, kindly let me know.

Ref: Chichkoo is what I lovingly call my daughter, kiddo my brother, amma and taatee my late maternal grandparents, and OA is the other adult in the family.

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Sep 30, 2011

Amma - Maxim Gorky - Translated by Krovvidi Linga Raju

I bought Mother, English one a long ago but could not read it and then I dont even know where it is currently. I lost some books in the flash floods back in 2000 in Hyderabad, a lot of books were given away when I moved to US after wedding :(((... sob, sob, sob.. and a lot more when the brother was moving from India to Canada and now to Norway for good!!! and now am back to building a library from scratch but now I know when I want to get rid of them for whatever reason, where they are supposed to go, to the local govt. library.

Well, for the little history here, OA (other adult, the abbr. flicked from the famous Madmomma) has started his personal library collection and there are quite a few Telugu books with him, so each time he visits, I get a few of them along with the BL books :), so while he plays with the kid, I make the most of the time reading them out.

I am neither a hardcore communist nor an extremist of any kind though I have many wild and violent ideas myself and usually refrain reading too much of rebel books thanks to my already notorious rebel nature. So this is the first of a kind read for me. I am very much impressed by the way the author narrates the life and times during the revolutionary times in Russia, it is a very good read, gives us an insight of lives of those revolutionaries, how they are born, what they had to face, what happened to them. This book deals with the transition of a mother or one such revolutionary Pavel from a very soft and easily scared mouse of a woman to a fearless revolutionary herself. The most touching narration with attention to details. The book is actually based on real life incidents of May Day march in 1902 at Sarmavo and subsequent trials of the members involved.

I am intrigued as to the reason why the author chose Nilovna, the mother as a protoganist and not Pavel to bring about more fervor but then again this angle of the story from the eyes of a mother or a woman who is illiterate, had lived a meek life with a wife-beating husband husband of whom the entire neighborhood was scared of. The way her life changes, every little subtle and strong emotion is portrayed just left me awe struck.. there is complete justification to the characters and the way they feel. The fight against exploitation, the dream of working class to get their bare minimum rights, not be oppressed, to come out of the clutches of burgeois system, raises their voice against the rich blood-sucking management. This novel not just involves the working class but also the farmers who were not as active but still they were part of the socialist movement.

The story begins after the death of the husband dies, leaving the son and the mother alone. The son first gets into his drunken father footsteps but gradually gets out of it and becomes a part of a socialist group, brings forbidden books to his house and then gradually his like-minded socialist activist friends keep trickling in the house and the discussions, their meetings and everything takes place with the mother in the house which greatly influence the mother. The son keeps the mother abreast of what he is doing. The mother is initially really scared but then gradually listening to the friends and being there at the gatherings musters up courage and the how she becomes a part of it all, becomes a messenger herself distributing the forbidden leaflets to the activists spread across the place in various hidings in various disguises. Various characters you come across in the novel, the friend Androi, or khokhol an Ukranian with whom the mother forms a bond and who eventually comes down to stay with the mother and son, how both of them get arrested in the May Day march, the subtle love angle of Sasha and Pavel which is never really expressed just understood, the way people take the cause to their heart, the way the spies are tackled, everything takes you into another world... The trial that involves them and the ending finally how the mother gets caught when she tries to distribute a suitcase-ful of leaflets of the forbidden trial and the way the ending is left hanging really touched me to the core! Not even an ocean of blood can drown the truth! her words as she chokes on her blood as she is beaten badly at the end shows her undying spirit! Her journey from a timid woman to an admirer of brave people to being admired by many for her heroic deeds is explained in an awesome manner and I feel it all kind of gives credibility to the movement as such in the eyes of the reader without being overtly dramatic.

There are certain points or observations that I liked very much in the book... the fact that the people living in worst of hardships are actually the kindest to the fellow humanbeings.

"Jesus Keerthi kosam praanalarpinche manushule lekapote, prabhuve undevaadu kaademo".. how very true, this one sentence to be brings about what actual communism is.. it is not arguing about being Godless or whatever, it just gives a lot more importance to the man or the people who make the "God" him.

Basically, I loved all the inner feelings of the mother, the thought process that makes her what she becomes eventually.

A book that I really enjoyed reading despite of being a translation! A book worth reading!

Sep 27, 2011

Cheekatlo Suryudu - Yandamoori Veerendranath

An attempt of YV in science fiction, an okay read. The story is about life some millions of light years away from our galaxy which plans to take the solar energy to generate its own power thereby weakening the sun and expediting the process of sun's self burning theory putting the living beings on earth at risk. The story is set centuries ahead of us, the space travel and add to a love triangle, the book makes an okay read with some inputs about the space language and stuff to get the user acquainted with the lingo.. good effort to begin with!

Sep 23, 2011

Okkadu - Inaganti Venkatrao - A political biography of CBN

Well, this was a long pending read considering my love for biographies and of course admiration for CBN.  Maybe I passed it on unknowingly but the kids loves him to..crisp, yellow shirt and white beard.. it is Chandra Babu Naidu for her, any time any day she just stops and comes running if he sees him on TV, on paper anywhere, I guess one dedicated fan of his she is.  One thing I attribute this to is her love for yellow :).

Coming to the book, it begins with the Alipiri incident of 2003, a people's war attack on him and the dwells into the group, its work mode and the reason it targets CBN in their hit list.  One reason I like this book, it does seem like a very pro-CBN write up.  It probes into his political career, a little bit of life in between but by and large focuses on his decisions and their outcomes analyzing the pros and cons.  No where did the author makes us feel that he is a CBN sycophant and that is what hooks me on it.  Even though it is a political biography I did not feel bored reading it.  One because it portrays CBN as a statesman rather than a politician.  It brings out nicely the way he combined politics with administration and good governance in implementation began with him.

A very good to read nonobjectively and base an opinion!!!

Me on CBN

He knew very well that he neither had the charisma or the following of NTR or the enormous political history of Congress to get through into politics when he came to cross-roads with extra-parliamentary forces like CBN.  I would not totally agree and neither would he that it was totally in public interest he did all that he did.  The reason I like the guy is he took public interest along with his personal goals to carve an undeniable niche for himself.

I remember feeling good about Hyderabad each time I came down from Bangalore, something new, something fresh.  I remember the way he has taken AP from a dot on the map to the notice of bigwigs in the financial hubs of the world.  I remember the discipline he brought in the govt. offices... unbelievable.  For the first time in life govt. employees were actually working, things were getting done.  I saw that clear change because it was about the same period was running around for some certificates and stuff and was shocked to see prompt responses, things that actually took days and months were actually getting done.  The staff are actually found in the seats when we approach them.. For the first time, I witnessed a politician who actually worked and made people work.. and needless to say, fell in love with him and also I revel in the fact that our birthdays are just 2 days apart, maybe the planetary power or something but something really clicks.

He is cunning, fine but without that he wont survive in that place.

I personally have this feeling that he focused all energy and financial reserves of the state to develop just Hyderabad and thereby fueling this war for Hyderabad but then gradually when I think deeper and analyze, he was looking at overall development and it is just that he did not have enough time.  Hyd and Vza pre and post CBN is a proof in itself.  I would love CBN and JP join hands, blending in their ideologies and work out some kind of a partnership and evolve into some power to reckon politically...

sigggghh... speaking of dreams!!!
  

Antharmukham - Yandamoori Veerendranath

The cover of the book claims it to be the author's career best novel and maybe it is.  To me, YV is a copycat, knows the pulse of the readers and gets inspired by foreign authors and introduces them to Telugu audience with his own style of writing period.  I have watched this program Antarmukham in Maa TV for a while, got intrigued and wanted to a part of it and when I mailed up, got an instant reply from the author as to the format of the show but unfortunately, it was all scripted and he was just anchoring the show and presenting it but had no choice in selecting the participants and also by then all the episodes were canned and the program was done with!

Well coming back to the book, this is obviously yet another inspired work the source being "The outsider" by Albert Camus.  It is in fact a wonderful book about existentialism.  Like they say, personality is a mask.  A man is certainly not what he portrays himself to be.  He has various aspects within himself, some known to him and some unknown.  This book deals with the inner thoughts and feelings of the protagonist who at the beginning of the book has lived his life and is confined to the bed, deathbed actually and actually dies at one point but comes back to earth getting the boon from the God that there is no death for him and what happens in front of his eyes and what goes in the back of his mind regarding his past and present.  The harsh reality and everything is what makes the book interesting.

The author combines with this, his own personal note where he mentions an incident which provoked him to write this book.

All in all, a good book to read.  The protaganist seemed close to me, it was like I knew this guy or maybe it was me thinking as a guy in that era :) or something like that, full of thoughts, racing thoughts, practicality aspect and some unconventional decisions. 

Sep 22, 2011

The Day of The Jackal - Frederick Forsyth

For a thriller lover like me Frederick Forsyth is a boon :). Just totally totally loved this book of his when I read it the first time around and wanted to read a few more of his books but somehow could not!

This book is about a professional killer/assassin who is hired by a French Terrorist Group OAS to kill the president of France. It is an out and out fiction except for the way of life led by the French President and it also brings out the loop hole in issuing passports, not checking the death certificates when issuing a passport and a few such things. I liked the ending where it is leaves out giving the info about the true identity of the assassin.

I watched the movie first and then the book and no points for guessing, I love the book better but when I watched the movie, it was no less :), so take a pick whatever, if you love thrillers, this author might be the one for you :).

Accidental Time Traveler - Sharon Griffiths

Well, thanks to my platinum membership in British Library I am getting to read a lot of British Authors these days, the English is better structured in terms of syntax and grammar and no real dramatic change so the transition has been easy :).

Loved this fiction work of Sharon Griffiths.  The transition between the past and present and blending it beautifully in a story, that mystery element well preserved is what I liked the best in the book.  It is about a journalist Rosie who has this serious row with her committed boyfriend and suddenly she finds herself in a house in 1950s, minus the accessories and peripherals of life like a cell phone, TV or any latest gadgets that make life easy and how she begins life thinking she was in some kind of a reality show like Big Brother and the characters that she sees, the way she is torn between, past and present, going in and out of the conscious semi conscious modes is well written.  A good read after a long time.  Thoroughly enjoyed it.. :).

The Hammer of God - Arthur C. Clarke

It is not my typical read, not much into space fiction and certainly not this khichdi kind of a read (personal feeling).  It is about Robert Singh, an asteroid named Kali which is headed towards earth and how this Robert Singh tries to change its path and all that... MAYBE of interest to someone with an interest in astrophysics related fiction but certainly not for me.

For the most part, my thoughts and the links kept disconnecting, largely because it did not in any way interest me :(.. could have read it in a better frame of mind or at more leisure and MAYBE that would have made some difference but overall.. not my type.


House Surgeon - Kommuri Venu Gopal Rao

Touted to be an investigative medical journal, it did not present itself as a lucrative read to me a hardcore Robin Cook type of reader :) but still in that time and age, it must have been an investigative one in Telugu literature.  The story line revolves around a young house surgeon, the journey of his life and the years of his house surgery and give us a peek into the life of medicos.

An okay read .

Sep 14, 2011

Naanna - Movie Review

I am a die-hard movie maniac, can watch a movie any number of times and cry and laugh with the same intensity as the first viewing and actually really enjoy watching movies... well, this is a redundant loop that I get into each time I mention movies...

It has been a while since I watched it but took time now to write about it :).

Naanna, we watched because of the title, the theater was the most dabba-est one, even when compared to our Poornima Dabba.. Ganga Mahal in GDW, some seats taken out... no a/c, open door, old world kind of a theater just opposite one of the poshest theaters, Bommarillu, YVS Chowdary's theater which is a class apart from this one.  Forgetting the appearance of the theater.. there were around 10 people in all in the theater.. 3 families to be precise :).

Though the movie is kind of a rip off of "I am Sam" a Sean Penn movie, it touched a nerve somewhere, loved the movie... the actors were simply superb... the kid was the best in all, just burst into tears seeing the kid mime in the court room in the climax.. superb acting!!!  Vikram did his best, Sara, the kid was plain awesome.. she reminded me of Sreya in certain angles :), well then again, all kids in similar dressing look the same to me :).  Anushka was good too... other than that crazy song and yearning for Vikram, everything in the movie, neat!!!!  well again, the song and situation is crazy but the picturization I like like like...

The story line is about the struggle of a developmentally delayed father whose mental age stops at 7, fighting to get the custody of his daughter... touching!!!

kaakulu enduku nallagaa untay naana - endalo tirigutay kada..
chetlu endugu podugga unnay  - valla daddy podugu kada :).
Enugu endugu laavugaa untundi - adi boledanta tintundi kada... chaala chaaala chaaaaaaaaaaaala nacchindi, simple unrealistic answers that seem so apt for the kid, being a kid with the kids, not theoretically practically.

The kid went crazy with that okanoka oorulona song.. check the trailer here.. and I loved that superb kaaki raaaju song :).


Sep 7, 2011

Blogs on Issues

To begin the posts for Tejaswee and IHM that I intend to do in the process giving words to my random racing thoughts in a specific direction on a specific topic, I begin here with my opinion on giving back and helping out... list of blogs on gender issues, women empowerment etc.

I am aware certain issues that plague children, women, disabled, destitute and poverty-stricken in this nation but am not really a person who would actually go looking through to learn more of them and try to analyze the solutions they have offered.  In stead, I believe in tackling the issues, that happen right in front of my eyes.  We would most certainly be called meddlesome, idle, cranky women high on hormone surge if we start involve on any particular issue at grass root level but I still strongly believe that the change has to begin with me, my outlook, my way of leading my own life.  It is easy to lecture but tough to follow!

Alternatively, the best way to get into giving back to the society is through organizations also set up with a basic framework.  Easy, pick one of your choice and see what you can do and get that info as much as possible from the sources available on the net and see in which way you can contribute, volunteering giving your time or money whatever be your preference.

To me, IHM is one blog that handles a wide variety of issues and that is more than enough for my quota of reading as I am not a serious issue-blog reader.

Gender issues, in particular, I might seem to be a feminist at a glance but not really, I take the gender bias issues like any other issue with the same amount of passion, nothing much, nothing less.  To me basic needs come first and then the need for empowerment, be it man, woman or a child.  Agreed, the plight of women and all but I am yet to get there!


Sep 6, 2011

In Memory of Tejaswee..

The Indian Homemaker, aka.. IHM has launched contest and awards in memory of her loving daughter Tejaswi who left this world for her heavenly abode last year. Check here.  I have been planning to do some posts in the categories mentioned in the blog for a while but somehow it slipped my mind and laid there among the numerous to-do, yet-to-start projects that keep floating on in my mind until today I saw a reminder in IHM's blog.  I got to know Tejaswee very late, her letter to future shows her love for life and liveliness and there is a place etched in my heart forever.

It is painful to move on for a mother when the child who came out of her own flesh and blood and grew up into a beautiful individual inside out just vanishes into thin air... memories haunt.. pain hits in waves, here it comes and here it goes.. grief, mourning, gloom everywhere.  It is such an inexplicable feeling.  I felt a sharp, stabbing pain when my grandmother passed away and can relate to it in a way, It gives me shudders thinking it is multifold for a mother... that feeling of guilt of the daughter taking leave before her, in front of her own eyes, that helplessness, that shock of it all.  I admire the way IHM handled all this, she grieved and let it go, drained out her emotions before they drained her out and is getting involved in a lot of things, awareness, helping out people in distress while fighting her own battles.  She is one strong lady who moves forward despite everything and is trying to move on, letting her daughter's soul free, I am sure Tejaswee is going to be proud of it all, the way she is going on with it, working for a cause in the name of her daughter, keeping her memories alive.  I see it like this, she got the daughter into the world, had a wonderful time with her and then the kid suddenly disappears and is back within her, for the lifetime, in every fabric of her being!

As my tribute to Tejaswee, I intend to do a post on all the topics enlisted out in the categories, not for the contest, but for her.  So, IHM and Tejaswee, this is for you both...

For Evil Eyes on LO