Friday, 21 July 2017

"If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying?
If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?"
-Anonymous

Friday, 14 July 2017

“If you understand others you are smart. If you understand yourself you are illuminated. If you overcome others you are powerful. If you overcome yourself you have strength. If you know how to be satisfied you are rich. If you can act with vigor, you have a will. If you don't lose your objectives you can be long-lasting. If you die without loss, you are eternal.”

- Lao Tzu

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good


"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Sometime back last year, PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik adorned the name of India with medals in Rio Olympics. Apparently, the streets of Indian cities lay galore with flex banners painted in passport size pictures of politicians welcoming and congratulating the proud winners. That makes me wonder, what about those 118 other athletes who represented India but were less fortunate than Sindhu and Sakshi.

Undoubtedly the conclusion is- "No one ever talks about you if you don't win! Either be the first or the forgotten".

Success is boolean- Similarly, either you succeed or you don't. If you are doing good, you are doing injustice to the better. Although there has to be a tradeoff between what you are, what you think you are, what you should be and what you think want to be. At that point satisfaction comes into picture.

As Voltaire quoted- Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. (The perfect is the enemy of the good.)

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Book Review: Arranged Marriage


I picked up this book as my third one from the author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. I was fantasized by the feeling of reading all her books since the time I finished these exemplary ones- The Mistress of Spices and The Palace of Illusions (which I have reviewed here). But this one broke my heart and shattered my dream of sinking in another supposed great work of hers.

This book is a collection of short stories on arranged marriages. But let me first tell you, it is not solely about  "arranged" marriages, but marriages, and not even marriages, sometimes complicated relationships. It highlights the vices like live-in, infidelity, affairs,suffering, pain, injustice to women, distress  etc. I was expecting it to be a collection of sweet and sour stories of arranged marriages in India, of which some might be successful and some unfortunate. But this is entirely different, not even a single story created aura of positivity- all ridden of happiness. Moreover, most of them are not narratives of India but mostly of the US- Indians, mostly Bengalis in the US.

However, if asked to choose some stories which I liked a bit are- The Maid Servant and Meeting Mrinal, which are little lengthy but captivating. After every installment of reading the book, I felt dull and gloomy, and upset for no reason! It gives off a negative vibe. Strangely, people have given so good reviews to this on the web that I was hopeful that at least the subsequent story would be different, but disappointed later.

The way marriages are portrayed here let you feel as if arranged marriages are the worst that can happen to women in India, with a demanding spouse, atrocious in-laws and the patriarchal mindset of Indian culture. It almost did not focus on the other side of it, which is progressive and fairer to women.

I give it 2 on 5 stars and do not recommend this book to anyone.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing this review.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at bookreviews@mansiladha.com.

Monday, 29 May 2017

हीरा



नाज़-ओ-हिफाज़त में थे अपने शहर की गलियों में,
तिजोरी में तो सोना भी पीतल हो जाता है,

रखे कदम जो चौखट के बाहर तो समझा,
तराशे जाने पर तो कोयला भी हीरा बन जाता है।