Probably one of the toughest …But I have hope and can see the light at the end of the tunnel already!
This is a Hindi poem called ‘Chip Chip Ashru Bahane Walon’ by Gopal Das Neeraj. It can be read at : http://www.geeta-kavita.com/hindi_sahitya.asp?id=82
I just finished this book by Mohsin Hamid which is a quick read – 179 pages. Took me all of 2.5 hours to get through it.
I picked up the book because I had read Hamid’s reluctant fundamentalist and found it an interesting story which was well told.
This book, however, has left me unmoved and unaffected. The style and the structure of the novel is unique and also attention grabbing for a while but after that the novelty of the style fades as quickly as the strength of the story. It is a decent story, filled with predictable cliched descriptions of poor people living in horrible conditions, defecating openly, having sex when there is no privacy but it falls flat.
It falls flat in the end because there is no character development and there is no motivation or drive ascribed to the central character. We don’t know what fires him or gets him down, we do not know the intensity with which he loves. He is a passive figure and yet he is portrayed as the ambitious underdog who goes on to overachieve. Most of all, the title of the book is completely misguiding.
The language is good. Hamid has a flair for writing, there is no doubt about that but the structure and the storyline of the novel do not serve it very well. For the most part, it seemed to me like a half hearted effort.
I think, for one to function in the best way possible – in personal, professional and social lives is to have a definition or an image for the self. Now, this does not need to be a binding specification but more like a guiding light. What it helps one to do is to focus their actions towards their intended image. It makes making choices easier, less time consuming and there is a lesser possibility of wandering about fruitlessly.
I am not one of the best organized people on this earth. I wish to be but I have not been such till date. However, I have decided to determine certain areas of my life in which I would like to focus more of my energies than in others. There are two of them which are pressing and have already been determined. One, losing weight healthily and Two, writing a book before this year ends.
To add to that, I also want to make a goal or a destination for my other interests as well so that I can lead a focussed life.
The first step towards this would be to imagine a me which I would like to be. Would I like myself to be well dressed? Would I like myself to be well groomed? Would I like myself to be well read? Would I like myself to be well travelled, well spoken, well mannered, well behaved etc etc etc? The second step would be to look at people who I find successful and emulation-worthy and find their traits and then try and replicate them.
While it’s still easier for me to define my own goals, it’s more difficult for me to find people whom I admire and want to pick up skills from not because there aren’t any but because there are so many – almost everyone I can think of.
Nonetheless, there is a need to do this at the moment and I am floundering.
Mission ‘Find an Internal Compass’ starts now.
2014 is an important year for me. Which year is not after all?? In a way, all years are important but some shape you in significant ways and 2014 is going to be such a year. I have a feeling. Already, I am beginning to sense a change in my values and outlook towards life. I feel grown, not only in age but also in wisdom. I also feel less reckless.
So, in the spirit of marking 2014 as a milestone year, I want to achieve two goals which are very close to my heart :
1. Lose 15 kgs
2. Write a book
This is my utmost desire in life and I feel compelled to accomplish these two goals in the remaining 8.5 months. It has been my burnign desire to write and to look light for so many years now that it is astounding I have not yet done it.
I hope I can gather the perseverance, tenacity and skills for executing the two.
If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?
patience, perseverance, wisdom