The Kite Runner…

28 04 2008

“Now there is a way to be good again…

For you, a thousand times over.. “

And so those words sang in my head when I spent my time with Amir, Hassan, Baba and Sohrab. It been some time after ‘Gone With The Wind’ since a book has deeply stirred my emotions and swirled tears in my eyes.

‘The Kite Runner’ is in a way, a celebration of human spirit and life in all its totality. Filled with human vices and touching emotions like love, sacrifice, selfishness, envy, rivalry, guilt, loyalty, betrayal, cowardice, love-hate relationships, lies and redemption, this little work of fiction feels so much human in its element that it strikes a chord and leaves lasting impressions.

This book is about two brothers Amir and Hassan, who share a unbreakable binding vine of kinship and love despite their ethnic, social and religious differences, being reared by a father who loved them differently. Though the story is narrated by Amir in first person, its that idealistic sacrificial and loyal love that Hassan showers over Amir that tenderly tugged my heart. While wadding through Amir’s guilt and his escapist choices, somehow my bitterness and hatred towards Amir effaced into thin air towards the end of book, as he tries to live up to Hassan’s love and atones for his sins. I was enraged at Amir for his betrayal of Hassan, yet I couldn’t stop myself from forgiving him when he redeems himself from his fallacies by running for Sohrab’s kite. Made me wonder, if deeply moving love can make one raise up to its worth. Is that cosmic justice, or is it the flow of life? Aptly titled, this inherently beautiful tome left me aching for more and I am sure I would treasure this forever in my private collection.

Here are some Phrases/Quotes from the book that I enjoyed…

“β€œβ€¦ I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering it things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”

“She said, ‘I’m so afraid.’ And I said, ‘why?,’ and she said, ‘Because I’m so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening.’ I asked her why and she said, ‘They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you,’ and I said, ‘Hush up, now. Enough of this silliness.'”

“Because when spring comes it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting”

“”He knew I’d betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time. I loved him in that moment, loved him more than I’d ever loved anyone…”

“”I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba. Was it a fair price? The answer floated to my conscious mind before I could thwart: He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he?”

There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft… When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. ”

“I thought about Hassan’s dream, the one about us swimming in the lake. There is no monster, he’d said, just water. Except he’d been wrong about that. There was a monster in the lake. It had grabbed Hassan by the ankles, dragged him to the murky bottom. I was that monster.”

“A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.”

“I throw my makeshift jai-namaz, my prayer rug, on the floor and I get on my knees, lower my forehead to the ground, my tears soaking through the sheet. I bow to the west. Then I remember I haven’t prayed for over fifteen years. I have long forgotten the words. But it doesn’t matter, I will utter those few words I still remember: La illaha il Allah, Muhammad u rasul ullah. There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger. I see now that Baba was wrong, there is a God, there always had been. I see Him here, in the eyes of the people in this corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him, not the white masjid with its bright diamond lights and towering minarets. There is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need, I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is. I bow to the west and kiss the ground and promise that I will do zakat, I will do namaz, I will fast during Ramadan and when Ramadan has passed I will go on fasting, I will commit to memory every last word of His holy book, and I will set on a pilgrimage to that sweltering city in the desert and bow before the Ka’bah too. I will do all of this and I will think of Him every day from this day on if He only grants me this one wish: My hands are stained with Hassan’s blood; I pray God doesn’t let them get stained with the blood of his boy too.”





Living Through The GM Diet..

22 02 2008

15/02/2008

It all started with a seemingly innocuous lunch conversation yesterday. A lot of guys expounded on the benefits of dieting, GM Diet, cleaning system, and what not. I sat there listening to all arguments and thought of having a first hand knowledge. So here I am, going through an unlikely experiment of GM Diet. Its kind of a tough resolution for an emotional eater like me, let me see how it goes. πŸ™‚

Day ONE: (Only Fruits Except for Banana)

Had a couple of Strawberries in the morning and a fruit chat at 4 PM. My head is throbbing like hell in an hour and I resisted the temptation of the Cappuccino lingering around in the meeting. Had a china pear for dinner and that numbed my head ache. Like a true Andhrite, I promised myself a grand Hyderabadi Biryani, if I survived through this diet. See my gluttonous wishes haven’t changed much since college days. πŸ˜‰

So far, it feels easy. My tough challenge would be wading through the weekend.

Day TWO: (Only Vegetable with a cooked potato for breakfast)

So today is a vegetables day with a potato for breakfast. I hunted the kitchen to discover a tiny potato and steamed it to heart’s content. Probably it must be the first time in my life when I relished a cooked potato sans seasonings. Indeed a lifetime experience. Then tried to play the rabbit by munching on to the carrots and peas. πŸ™‚ I felt that headache returning to me by evening. Had a lemon soda and saw that ebbing away. Silently I added Chinese Hakka Noodles to the self promises, I I stick around this diet till Day Seven.

I checked my weight today – 58.7 Kg

Day THREE: Fruits and Vegetables (No Potato and No Banana)

I woke up at 7:00 AM as hunger pangs hit my stomach. Man, what a self imposed misery it was! Thankfully I found grapes in the kitchen and almost finished half a kilo of them in the early morning for breakfast. Who called this diet, anyways? πŸ™‚ Steamed Ridge Gourd, Tomatos and Garlic together with some spices and had it for brunch. Sipped lemon juice (no sugar) while watching Jodhaa Akbar and ate amla and fruit salad for dinner.

I checked my weight today – 58.4 Kg – – No major change from yesterday

Day FOUR: Bananas and Milk

I can claim myself a milk allergic. 😦 So That leaves me with bananas. Am actually considering substituting Yogurt for milk. Lets see How it goes. Yesterday I shopped for the largest bananas ever found in the market and bought three of them. Had a nice cold badam flavored milk for dinner. I had a tough timing sleeping today, as I felt a tinge of nerve weakness. My entire lower body ached in minute ways and most of the sleep time went in discovering new postures for comfort. No Jokes, I hated this sign of weakness.

I checked my weight today – 57.1 Kg – Voila A Whopping change!

Day FIVE: Beef and Tomatoes.

I woke up early morning, with a gnawing hunger and looked at Tomatoes with revenge. Steamed five of them along with pepper and salt and had some real trouble eating them. Now that was a real proof for my culinary abilities. πŸ™‚ I still haven’t figured out what can I substitute for Beef. I had around 50g of steamed chicken for lunch and by evening, my knees started aching. So I didn’t stick to rule book today. Had a couple of pieces of Guava fruit, one lemon soda, along with one phulka and 100 g of dal instead of the lean meat that was advised.

For those who are looking for vegetarian option, don’t plainly substitute rice for beef. Instead, to replace a 3 oz (85.05 g) serving of meat, use:

* 1 cup (236.59 mL) cooked dry beans, peas, or lentils.
* 3 oz (85.05 g) tofu (soybean paneer).
* 4 Tbsp (59.15 mL) peanut butter.

I checked my weight today – 56.9 Kg – No major change from yesterday

Day SIX: Beef and Vegetables

I experienced a fleeting sensation of fainting problem. Since Beef was out of question, I had a single phulka with steamed carrot in the morning. This time I am not going to miss my lunch at all. Had 10 oz. fried chicken for lunch. And I took a bowl of steamed and spiced carrots and peas for dinner. No Signs of weakness at all. I guess the worst is over by Day 5.

Day SEVEN: Brown rice, fruit juices and vegetables

Finally the last day and the easiest one too! πŸ™‚ Had a bowl of vegetable rice cooked with Potato, Onion, Cauliflower for breakfast and lunch. Dinner saw me gulping two glasses of watermelon juice.

Finally I lived through the GM Diet schedule. Yes, there are slips in certain days, I do acknowledge humbly. But those slips did indeed make a positive difference. I lost around 5.5 pounds, but thats not all. My observations and cribs would call for another post as I don’t want to spoil the joy of this experience with analysis. πŸ™‚

Update: Looking at the tremendous amount of attention this post has received from people scouting for information on GM Diet, I couldn’t help but recommend these posts here. Worth taking a look.

My Experimentation With Different Types of Dieting

Some Food For Thought here for those who are forced to do this.





In The Spirit of Silent Music..

8 12 2007

In a Blue Evening, Clear and Chilled,
Stilled in the Silent Chords of Music..
I sighed at the sight of soulful melody..

Music is a feeling and not sound,
How content I am, I can’t place in words,
As the joy of living is only sung and felt..

As the touch of resonating notes breath life,
And evoke the gentlest rhythms in my cold being,
I lay thawed there in spent emotions..





Reasoning With Life..

16 11 2007

Sweetheart.. Reason it out.
Be Sensible. Apply Logic.

Does these terms sound familiar? I guess many of us prudent individuals have heard or said this quite often at times, however so futile the situation may seem. Let me be a candid confessor here. I have given up on logic in personal space. However mature I may feel or behave, I know that nothing works on reason or logic especially in relationships. Emotions stand for no reason and love heeds to no advice. Somehow I enjoy that drama that unfolds whenever we deal with relationships. Guess that sheer touch of madness is what makes us sane otherwise.

I have seen many individuals make a fool of themselves in their pursuits. And many more who build ego walls based on false premises to battle their affections. I wonder how many would ponder over this fact.. But when the judgment day arrives, we still count the number of lives we touched or the lasting bonds that we built as our accomplishments. Guess being on the top holds no worth if there are no one around to share the joy.. Yet, I guess our typical tendency is to pursue unworthy things with all fervor with disregard to those pursuing us. Hmmmm.. Reasoning with life never works..





Sonnets from the Portuguese

16 12 2004

Elizabeth Barret Browning is my goddess of romantic poetry. Why do I love her Sonnets from the Portuguese? Its because she gives me hope and puts a twinkle back in my eye! πŸ˜‰ Her poetry is for keeps and I treasure most of those 42 sonnets by my bedside.

Why this poem moves me? Why it touches my heart like a gentle breeze? Why I feel moved by the intensity of these emotions? Never could answer that. I hope you will enjoy this the way I did…

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
‘I love her for her smile–her look–her way
Of speaking gently,–for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,–and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love, thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning





What’s this Guilt?

17 11 2004

So many times it so happens that we feel guilty that we haven’t lived upto someone’s expectations. The guilt trips that we take and the disappointment that we enforce on ourselves, are they essential? I think we create guilt when there is no need for it. Guilt is a personal admission that I am conditionally Lovable. And it is one emotion which is absolutely unnecessary for existence and it is that emotion which degrades the quality of life. I feel this Guilt again does not come from within my mind. I have never felt guilty that I haven’t lived up to my standards. Is that why I can relate guilt to a sort of shame kind of feeling?

At times I don’t find myself wrong anywhere but the society is hell bound to make me confess and realize that I made a mistake. This is again and idea that I feel is brought up from the society. The society has decided a threshold, performing below which makes me guilty and my performance above that threshold is appreciated by the society. Guilt for me at times is the fight between what I want to do and what this society wants me to do. Now if I conform to the society I feel guilty as I am not what I want to be.. If I didn’t, I feel guilty as I couldn’t fulfill the expectations of others placed on me. Its really a tough fight to shed that sensation.. Yet, am working on it..





Poems and Poems..

8 09 2004

Author: Laurie Picotte
Poem Title: Leaving
Poem:

Leaving is the hardest thing I ever had to do,
but what hurt the most to me was having to say goodbye to you.
Will be still the same the next time that we meet,
or drift apart and change like two strangers on the street.
Time can only tell us what will lie ahead,
but will time fill my vacant heart just like when we met.
The tears finally fade and my feelings disappear.
If anything at all, this I have always feared.
Now that I’ve left you, will I ever learn,
Always knowing deep inside, that I can never return.

Author: Laurie Picotte
Poem Title: STRANGER

Poem:

Each day that passes by I come closer to the end
The time when we will say good-bye to what we had back then.

What I thought would make me happy is breaking up my heart
It’s a battle of emotion that’s tearing me apart.

I made a promise to myself that I intend to keep,
but how can I go on with this pain that is so deep.

It was hard to get to know you and I’m still not sure I do;
but one thing is for certain I really do love you!

Through all these times of trouble we came upon this place
the path where we will have to part and choose our separate fates.

Guided in our journey by the Angels from above,
We will meet again someday; my dear sweet lost love!

Author: Laurie Picotte
Poem Title: WILL YOU BE THERE

Poem:

When time comes to a stand still and the world come to an end,
will you still be there for me from now until then.
When the moon never beams and the sun no longer shines,
will you still love me more and more as days go by.
The way I feel about you the world cannot compare,
please don’t ever leave me I need you there.

I got these poems from onlinepoetry.com. I am touched by the depth of emotions they portray.