Thursday, August 19, 2004

Broken Music

You-Know-Who is waiting to get his copy of Sting's autographical Broken Music. This book, according to the reviews, is about Sting's childhood and adolescent years. If his book writing skills are anywhere near his song writing skills, then this seems like a must-have. Ofcourse, in addition to loving a good book, one should also be a lover of good music as well. Sting's website has his best songs all ready to listen to in just a click.

You-Know-Who is the one who got me hooked onto Sting with his Nothing Like the Sun album.

Why should I cry for you if I ever lose my faith in you coz I will keep saying Be Still My Beating Heart.

There is nothing like the sun...really.

Bookwormed!

There are so many bibliophiles out there in the virtual world. If you sometimes sprout horns about your knowledge of books and your voracious capacity to read book after book after book (in other words, if you think like I do) then hold on. The Net is infested with the bookworms. They are everywhere. And they have site after site to tell you about their love of books. Needless to say, I got over my I-am-the-greatest-book-reader-that-ever-was feeling pretty quickly.

There are plenty of really interesting and unusual books that are reviewed by these bibliophiles and it is sheer delight to see the workings of the bibliophile's mind. Some of my favorite worms are at BookBrowse, Bookworms' Den, Curled Up With A Good Book, BookSurfer, Book Reviews at the exalted Guardian website. So what are you waiting for? Come join the worms :)

Sunday, August 15, 2004

My Personality boils down to four letters

Every single time I take up an online personality test that is based on Jung's classification system, I get bracketed under the Rationals ('NT') and the sub-type i and j. So what this means is that I am an iNTj person which translates to introverted,INtuitive,Thinking, Judging. When I read the description, it paints me out in a grossly exaggerated fashion but there are some parts that are uncannily accurate.

I tried one yesterday in Bloginality. This is a rather neat site and they ask you very few questions. So the next time you get the questionnaire itch (like I often do), try this one.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Chicklit: Sophie Kinsella & The Shopaholic Series

I did it! For the first time, I actually picked up a book knowing it was Chicklit and wanting it to be Chicklit and ended up enjoying it thoroughly because it was Chicklit. I almost finished this book in a single sitting but excuses like cooking dinner for a starving husband and my obsessive conformation to Circadian rhythms sort of interrupted the process. Anyway, I did finish it from cover to cover and was erupting in peals of laughter at almost every page. Ok, I am getting there. The book is titled 'The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic' by Sophie Kinsella. Apparently, Sophie Kinsella has written (that should be read 'continues to write') a series with the 'Shopaholic' Becky Bloomwood as the lead.

This is my first book of Kinsella's and I would love to pick up another one when I get into the I-need-to-read-a-woman-book-and-let-my-hair-down-and-laugh mood. If I were to use a few crisp words to review this Shopaholic book, I'd go for 'Mills & Boon with a delightful sense of humor'. Actually, it is more a funny book that has a touch of the Mills & Boon in parts where Luke Brandon figures. You just know that this is the guy that Becky will fall for no matter how hard Kinsella tries to move your attention elsewhere.

I read a review of another Shopaholic book - Ties the Knot I guess - where the reviewer says that when you just want some nice fluffy read, you should go in for this book. I couldn't agree more.

An Interesting Chicklit site that's called Chicklit too :)
Other Reviews of The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Strange Smiles

I love to smile. Some say that I smile too much and if the way my facial muscles shape up when I smile is any indication, I have to agree that it is a little too much of teeth-showing. Well, I did not intend to go into my smile specs. I wanted to mention the thing I did today - I smiled at a stranger. I love to do that every now and then and most of the time, the stranger is far too stunned to react instantaneously. After the "stun" moment passes, they usually smile back. Some of them turn behind thinking that I must have smiled at the person behind them! In an Indian setup where people do not hesitate to chat up passengers in trains and buses and pour out their sob stories right after hello, I am surprised that smiles are looked at rather suspiciously.

They probably think that I am smiling at something about them that is not quite right or that I am probably not quite right! Whatever the case, I suppose my expression does convey that it is just a harmless friendly smile that is offered in pleasant acknowledgement of another fellow human being. Maybe my facial muscles scheme together and what comes out looks like a smirk. I don't carry a mirror around so I don't really know. Smiles convey volumes of thought in the way they are expressed and sarcastic smiles are very interesting to observe as long as they are not directed at me. /*---At this point, I did a Google search on types of smile and most of my hits were about teeth whitening and other dental procedures to help improve the smile. There was one about using the smile to identify lying and deception and another about Internet smilies. Hmm...I shall let the link posting pass---*/

My recent warm memory of a smile happened on a busy Monday morning in a bustling road near my home. My friends were getting into a car to leave and I was busily waving goodbye to them with both hands. I suppose I overdid the waving bit because when I looked up, in that fraction of a second, I saw a 35ish man who was driving on the other side of the road, look up at me and smile broadly. I smiled back before I realized how funny it must have been for him to be amused on a Monday morning in a busy road. I hope it made his day a lot lighter; it definitely made mine breezy.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The pervasive GAP

She was talking to me at length about her mother and her mother-in-law. She categorically stated that these two women were of no practical use to her. They did not help her manage her busy life at all. She had to cook, clean, take her baby to day care and then go to work. She had to do all these chores herself. Why have relatives when they cannot help you? she groused. As she went on in this fashion, I gaped in total confusion. I did not understand why she was holding everyone else responsible for her problems. I summoned my halo and quietly acknowledged the gap in our life focus.

This is just one of the many many things that make me aware of the power of the GAP. To some, 'gap' is just a three letter word that means one of the following depending on the context of usage...

Gap n:
a) a conspicuous disparity or difference as between two figures
b) an open or empty space in or between things
c) a narrow opening
d) a pass between mountain peaks
e) an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity

To me, GAP is in capitals and it always reinforces the fact that every interaction in life is permeated by it. There are gaps in expectations, gaps in understanding, gaps in life ambitions, gaps in land forms, gaps in success stories, gaps in thoughts, gaps in breathing, gaps in the mountains, even gaps in the occurence of happiness and sadness in life. The GAP sometimes goes beyond the time and space realms of comprehension to the level where it shows up between one's own lower and higher self.

The GAP is probably the main cause for unhappiness, futility and a lot of such downers. But the GAP is also an indicator that there is so much more to life than where we are at a given moment in time. There are so many realms to conquer, so many gaps to bridge. Every gap is a pleasant reminder that man is infinite in potential and that the universal consciousness is one.

As many books on meditation like to emphasize, "Seize the gap. It is the tool to greater self awareness". I am amused at the gaps that I see in and around me after I have become aware of them. It no longer bothers me that there are gaps. I don't want to seal them at all. I want to build bridges across them and move on. Life is indeed about differences and what are differences but gaps in sameness?

Glory to the GAP!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Nobody knows how we do it

How does one describe a book that went right through the skin and caused twists in the heart and pangs in the tummy? I don't know how Allison Pearson did it. When I read this book about a year back, I was going through the very same emotions as Kate Reddy even though I did not have babies to cater to. I was able to relate to the things that Kate said and did in a way that I never have with any earlier protagonist. This is a gem of a book and not just for women. For all the men who wonder why working women seem like unfeeling b*****s and weepy cases alternating in a peculiar manner from one to the other, need to definitely read this book.

There are many fantastic reviews of this book out there. Just a few pointers to some of them

On Mostly Fiction: Pearson on Mostly Fiction

On Raji's blog: Greenhorns

Allison Pearson's interview: Pearson Interview in Random House

Here is where Raji & I and the two other smart women in our book club first heard about "I Don't Know How She Does It": Excerpt on BookBrowse