What I Talk About when I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami

This is a book about that part of Murakami’s life where he runs. He has gained a lot of insight into himself by running for nearly 23 years and taking part in marathons and triathlons and an ultramarathon. It is a memoir of his running life. Is it well written?? Yeah. It is a simple book, easy to read and with a couple of takeaway lines full of life wisdom. It is inspiring in a lot of places. So much so that even a person like me, who is dead against running, was inspired to start to run. 

It is breezy. Murakami does not reveal a lot of himself. I sensed him being restrained all through out the book. Nonetheless, it can be picked up. It took me all of 5 hours to finish, so is a breezy read as well.


‘Up In The Air’

I just finished watching ‘Up In The Air’. It is an exquisite movie. Great theme!! Great direction and great acting. It is really really good. Too bad I saw it so late in the day.

Spoiler Alert

The whole theme is about companionship. Clooney plays a man who has always been against carrying the baggage of any kind of a relationship – blood or otherwise. Eventually he meets someone who he feels he can discard his philosophy for. And then there is a twist. He goes from feeling the bliss of solitude and independence to feeling the need for companionship and the joy it brings. He is disappointed in his new quest and ends up like before – alone and up in the air, travelling light!

There is a scene in the movie where he earns 10 million miles and is made to meet a distinguished pilot. It is a moment he has dreamed about all his life. That is what he has been working towards always. He has been imagining it and practicing the conversations he would be having. All of it does not matter when the moment finally arrives. He can’t remember what he had prepared to say. He can’t feel the joy he anticipated. He can’t feel the excitement he thought he would because at that time his priority is something else. It is a powerful scene. Makes one realize that when the moment arrives, it may not at all be like we imagine it would be. Things which matter so much to us at this moment may not be worth it at the next moment. There is always something bigger – a connection which we all need.

The emotions in the movie are controlled and moderated like grown ups do. Excellent watch! Made my night!

Obama reelected as USA President

Barack Obama has been re-elected as the President of USA beating Mitt Romney. In his victory speech he said, “No matter what, you can make it in America” …and that’s very true!

Although the result is not really a surprise to me or to anyone else I think, what has been really surprising is the reaction of Indians towards the US election. For one, they seemed to take more interest in the US elections than Indian elections. They were exhorting their fellow US citizens to go out and vote and these are people who themselves would never have voted in their own countries. They all heaved a sigh of relief when Obama was elected. There could be a couple of reasons for this:

1. These people identify themselves as future US citizens and therefore are invested in US elections

2. They feel Obama is more like them and they identify with him – he rose from nowhere, is not white, is not black either!

3. They want to participate in important, global issues

4. But the biggest reason, I think, is that they feel a void in the leadership space in Indian politics and to fulfill it, look at the next best option – the world superpower.

What I feel? I don’t care who the American president is. I only feel sorry about the Indian Politics. I feel sorry that Indians have to look to USA to feel the thrill of politics. I feel bad that my generation does not show any interest in the politics of its own country but does so in that of the US. Just sucks.

But Yay!! for Obama…it will probably be just more of the same. Often, people are more relieved by the status quo than by change. So, more people are at peace than not.