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Showing posts from September, 2013

A Student- Teacher Reunion

In June 2009, I read 'Tuesdays with Morrie' written by Mitch Albom after seeing it on a friend's bookshelf. And, inspired by Albom's return to his college professor, I tracked down my highschool teacher Mrs. Mandira Dutta and called her. I heard the phone ring and Mrs. Dutta's familiar voice from the other side. I was so happy that I could barely speak without being excited. In very loud tones that I didn't bother to lower although I was in my college building, I introduced myself and told her how extremely happy I was to talk to her! She sounded just like she did back in school. I almost could visualize her expressions and her cheery face!

We spoke for a long time and then I asked her address and told her that I would like to meet her. And almost the next Saturday, I paid her a visit. She lives 45 minutes from my place and my excitement knew no bounds. As I was getting out of my vehicle, I saw her wave at me from her window and I jumped and rushed to climb th…

Micro Stories by Paulo Coelho

I like Short Stories by Paulo Coelho. I came across these micro-stories (another name for Flash Fiction)- Paulo Coelho's Stories for Parents, Children and Grandchildren, on a book website and loved them so much, that I instantly wanted to share them here. In the future, this is going to be my referral point. 

Enjoy the stories. He is so good at them!

Rebuilding the world A father was trying to read the newspaper, but his little son kept pestering him. Finally, the father grew tired of this and, tearing a page from the newspaper - one that bore a map of the world - he cut it into several pieces and handed them to his son. 'Right, now you've got something to do. I've given you a map of the world and I want to see if you can put it back together correctly.' He resumed his reading, knowing that the task would keep the child occupied for the rest of the day. However, a quarter of an hour later, the boy returned with the map. 'Has your mother been teaching you geography…

Honor thy word!

Why does it happen that the thing you most want to do, when you are so excited about it, finally comes to mean a little less than it did when you first heard about it?

Here's what has happened! A friend of mine, asked me to attend a two-day workshop on Urban Disaster Risk Management in another city, along with her. I told her, I'll try to tell her my commitment to the workshop in a few days and I did let her know yesterday that I could come, after taking care of my exams and studies. Only to find, my friend very conveniently messages me on a social networking site, that she wouldn't be able to make it! And this is the same girl who once said to me, 'You always cancel plans Sharayu!' Really? I find it hard to believe now like I did then!
How can people not honor their word and just let go off things in such a casual manner? I've always attended events and workshops alone for most of the time, even when I was in Architecture school. This callousness of people bo…

Sara Teasdale

I fell in love with Sara Teasdale when I first read 'Gifts'.

I gave my first love laughter,
I gave my second tears,
I gave my third love silence
Through all the years.

My first love gave me singing,
My second eyes to see,
But oh, it was my third love
Who gave my soul to me.

The next poem that I read, 'Winter Stars' from Flame and Shadow had me completely transfixed with memories from my childhood. I randomly opened a page and came across these lines that just made me incredibly glad to be able to read her poems.

From windows in my father’s house,
Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,
I watched Orion as a girl
Above another city’s lights.

I have a 1920 Macmillan edition of this book. Since I am very particular about old books and always hunting for old editions, the moment I laid my eyes on the cover, I was overjoyed and hyper-excited and immediately bought it! That was the best moment. Such unadulterated joy!

It was April when you came
The first time to me,
And my first look in your …

September 1, 1939 by W H Auden

September 1, 1939: Seventy-four years ago today, just as World War II was breaking out, W.H. Auden wrote a poem that took its title from the date.
(Source: Goodreads Quote of the day for Sunday)

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them …