Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami

The book started with a great promise. A bunch of Japanese teenagers have found their soul mates and they are the happiest they have ever been. But, everything does not continue to remain swell. Differences occur, the group falls apart. One young man, our protagonist, a colorless, dull (you could say in a manner) passionless, Tsukuru Tazaki is expelled from it and leads an almost normal looking but a solitary life after that. 16 years later he sets out to resolve the mystery of his expulsion and finds out what happened.

The buildup was quite good. Even till the end, one keeps looking for the next answer but the book does not end in a resolution. There is much pondering about loneliness. There are some characters here and there, a venture into mystical, supernatural etc…but in the end, it’s all pointless. It is quite a pointless book.

It was okay to read, i wanted to turn pages but not as often. I dont know but I am not as charmed by Murakami’s storytelling as others seem to be. It’s just an OK read.

Guilt and Responsibility

I always keep feeling that I have no control. I flow with the flow of life. And then, I end up feeling like I have no control over my time. When I am not able to do my work, I feel guilty about that and when I am not able to spend some time taking care of my family, I feel guilty about that. It’s a mess. I am already facing the guilt syndrome without having any major responsibilities. I tend to assume that I have more responsibility than I actually do. I want to do everything for everyone. It’s insane. The guilt of not being able to do something spurs me further into not doing anything. All in all. The more responsible I feel, the more dissatisfied I am. And I just presume that I have to assume all responsibility.

It’s a vicious circle. I need to feel less guilty and find more control on my time if I want to do anything worthwhile.

India Needs better Foreign Relations!

I have not done an objective analysis about this but from anecdotal evidences, I have come to conclude that the foreign relations policies are not paying well for India. Our diplomacy is stale and archaic and is not changing with the pace that the changing world relations demand. We are unsure of what our place in the world is and what is our vision for it.

Something needs to be done about that.

New Life

As I descend into the 31st year of my life, I have decided to change my professional track. So, I stopped walking on the career line I was following till now and will make a big jump into the wilderness and land of unknown paths called “Entrepreneurship”. Where will I go from there is unknown but one thing is for sure, I wont be coming back to this track again.

My mom got new knees, its a new phase in her life too.

My brother is going to get an MBA, a new phase in his life too.

Too much happening. All major life altering things in a way. I am sure I will have tons of fun doing it.

Excited. Thrilled. Just a little bit scared. Anxious.

Men who don’t grow up!

There are some men who are forever trapped in the boyish mindset of the teens and find it incredibly hard to get out of that even when they grow up in age and enter a professional world. I had such an experience during a personal development workshop that I attended as a part of a training program for my company. In it, we were to do a communications exercise in a group of 4. It so happened that the 3 girls in the training were all in one group with one boy. Now, all the other guys at seeing this, started smirking, making comments on the pitiful condition of that boy in our group. One called us out and said ” Hey! Go easy on him”. Others make comments like “Dude! Hold tight!”. Now, please make a note that these people have at least 4-5 years of work experience and they are supposed to be people managers and yet the amount of professionalism that they show when it comes to dealing with females amidst them is zero. What were the three girls going to do to that boy? Eat Him? Skin him alive? Abuse him? No, in fact what the other guys were doing to him was abuse and at the same time an extremely immature and sexist act. How do you expect from people who tease a colleague for sitting with girls to be mature enough to deal with women in their team and what would their attitude be if they have female subordinates or female bosses?

An excuse can easily be made attempting to cover this behind a joke. “It was just a joke!”, I know for sure that would be the retort. But, I disagree. I believe, that to make such sexist jokes in a professional environment is wrong. You could may be make as many jokes as you like among friends but doing this in an office is uncalled for.
When the foundations of professional behavior are so shaky, how can we expect to ever get sexism removed from workplace?

This has made me realize that sometimes, a joke is not all innocent and we need to point out to such events where college/teenage distasteful and uncomfortable humor, specially regarding females, is carried on into offices and propagated. It creates a sexist and unhealthy work environment.

What’s most surprising and disappointing is that no one pointed this out, everyone either participated in it or shut up, me included. What that indicates is the unapproachability of senior people within companies and openness for suggestions.

But I wanted to highlight this incidence, if only to release my anger.

Yes Please – Amy Poehler

Just finished reading this book by Amy Poehler and it looks like a half hearted attempt. Neither were the incidents entertaining nor were they funny. I am just bound to compare it with Tina Fey’s Bossypants and it was such a good book – genuine, witty and funny. This book has nothing.

I am disappointed as I like Amy’s comedy but the book just does not cut it.

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I finally read the novel by Gillian Flynn. I had been seeing it being hailed for a long time. Eventually, I decided to give in. Took me about two days of intense reading to get through the nearly 600 page novel.

It was interesting. The novel started a bit slow. But I was interested since the psychological exploration which the author does is quite deep and precise. Then there were twists. And the book got very interesting. However, after 400 pages, I started to feel it was a bit longer than needed.
Nonetheless, it was entertaining. Above all, it was the psychological tussle between a couple which I thought was well done. Reading the minds of relationships – that is something which Gillian Flynn has managed to do very well. She said in an interview that her goal was to make couples looks askance and trust me, for a day, I was really affected and upset after reading the book :)

It’s a book worth a read. I would give it 3.5 stars out of 5.