Thursday, September 11

Book Review: Thoughts on John Green's Work!

If you stalk people on Whatsapp, there's a huge chance you've come across this author, John Green. The blue and white ‘okay, okay’ written in clouds display picture? Yeah, that one. The guy basically wrote the best book ever written, 'The Fault in Our Stars', a book most now claim to have read because they've seen the movie.

This book has gotten so famous that now people have started disliking it. 'Oh! it's really boring and a little slow, brah!'

I read this book a while back because-

a) I had never heard of it
b) my friends had not heard of it.
Seriously, that makes a lot of difference. Tell someone you've read 'The Fault in Our Stars', they will think you're a hobbyist reader or tell them you've read the English version of 'Bajo la misma estrella' and they'll be like 'oh, look, we've got a freaking scholar here.’ It just makes so much difference, in spite of the fact that both the titles mentioned are translations of the same book. Just the name and Shakespeare was asking what’s in the name?

Anyway, enough of trying to be funny here.

This last two weeks, I decided to be really productive and so I read ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ (again), ‘Looking For Alaska’, ‘An Abundance Of Katherines’ and ‘Paper Towns’. This is all of John Green’s work I could find online. And Auckley boy was I impressed!

The Young Adult genre of books, specially about love, gets a lot of flak from everyone because of how it doesn’t contain any real life values and things that could change your worldview. I get it. I really do. It has some base as well, because some of the famous books the genre has churned out don’t contain anything more than a lonely boy meeting a popular girl and then something cute and funny and then marriage. So, when I jumped into this genre with ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ I was really apprehensive. I thought about it a lot. If this book turned out to be one of those books, I wouldn’t even be able to tell anyone how cute it was (I love those books!).

But boy oh boy was I wrong!

Tuesday, August 12

And they marched on, the new freedom fighters!

His room was empty. Empty in the sense that there was nobody else in his room, except him of course. How would he know otherwise? One has to be in the room, to know who else is in the room. His laptop was also in the room but since the laptop doesn’t breathe oxygen and it doesn’t speak in the tongue we humans understand, we don’t count it in our decision making. So this non-living thing, the laptop was sitting on the bed with its screen lid open emitting a saffron and green. He was trying to choose which tiranga he’d put as his WhatsApp display picture. On the internet, he could only find the tiranga in one colour combination but he wasn’t satisfied. All his friends somehow had gotten customized tirangas. He took out his phone, opened WhatsApp and scrolled through the display pictures of all his friends. They had various shades of tiranga, some had it in red-blue-green, some in yellow-blue-orange, some in some other colour. He wanted to ask them how they got these unique tirangas. This one combination in particular was really nice but he didn’t know what colours they were. Midway in his text, he looked up who he was texting, he realized it was one of his girl friend. Because the 'everywhere tiranga' thing had now replaced the overly cute emo quotes, he couldn’t differentiate between boys and girls. Back in the day when things were normal, all the girls ever put were normal pictures while the boys obviously went for those overly cute emo pictures. When he understood the gravity of his actions and what this mistake could have costed him, his throat went dry, he felt as if all his courage had been sucked out and his fingers couldn’t type the remaining question. Internet wisdom had taught him he simply couldn’t ask a girl about colours. That’d open the encyclopedia of colours. This discussion he’d reserve for another day when he’d be all lonely and desperate for human companionship obviously after having tried talking to all the living and nonliving things around. In spite of the sudden distraction, his mind wandered back to the ever persistent question, how do I get myself a customized tiranga? He looked around his empty room only to find there was no one else in it, no one else who could help. He sighed. He literally sighed.

Monday, July 7

I wish she had just cheated on me!

It was late. The clock on my wall showed 11.00. I am not really a clock person, I don't keep time and I do cool things like that. But this clock was special, this was a gift from Ish, after our third official date. 'Because you're never on time, take this.' She gave me the clock she had in her room.

It was late and she hadn't called yet. She had gone to this night-club tonight to celebrate one of her friend's birthday. I was invited. I didn't want to go. Lots of homework to do. And last night I and Ish had gotten into this huge fight and she said I was stupid and she wanted nothing to do with me. I decided to ignore her for some time. I had to call home as well. My mom freaks out if I don't talk to her every once in a while. That is really sweet to be honest to have someone care for you without any pretense, but it also annoys me sometimes. It had been a week since I last spoke with her, the week that unfortunate incident happened. Ish had come over to my flat and was staying the night. Mom overheard her on the phone. Things got awkward because Mom didn't really anticipate a girl in my apartment singing love songs to me while making moaning sounds. I don't know. I sometimes fear she’s on the train already, to surprise me. I’d call her tonight to check up on that. About Ish’s staying in my apartment, before you start judging me, we have this ritual. When we'd argue, more often than not Ish would lose control and start with her fuck you’s and what an insecure little bitch I was. She’d tell me she was wasting her time with me. This all didn’t really feel nice and to be honest it hurt a lot in the beginning. But as I began to understand her a little better, I realised she never meant all those things. She said them to have the upper hand in our fights. Also, after having her share of regret of saying those hurtful things, she'd come over to my place to stay the night. All forgiven in the morning, justifiably so. I was willing to let fights go, if I kept on getting some action. A healthy bargain never hurt anybody. I’d not deny if you asked me whether I provoked her at times to say those mean things. And because Ish lost control over what she spoke last night as well, I was waiting for her to come over.

Saturday, February 1

When his parents died, he ceased to exist!

He had what we generally term as chronic pain. His back ache had become a part of his new life. Whatever he did, wherever he was, he always talked about his back ache. It got repetitive after a while but no one really said him so. After all, both his parents had just died few weeks ago.

He had a little sister, who he didn’t talk to at all, not even about his chronic ever-lasting back ache. She was 14.   

They lived in a two storied home with their relatives, father’s brother’s family. Uncle had been very kind to them, provided the whole upper floor for the two of them or I should say one of them, because he was never seen. They were concerned about him and the little girl, and it showed but it was tragic how he missed all of that.

No one really knew when he was home and when he wasn’t. He walked like a shadow, quiet and cold, pale and white. His eyes seemed to be distant and forlorn; his shoulders seemed to carry the weight of the whole world. With his parents, his spirits had also left it seemed. He just talked about his back pain all the time. He kept on muttering it under his breath, ‘Oh! The pain! My back’, he’d say. His one hand was always massaging his back, although not really in any productive manner. His one hand was always there, while taking a bath, while eating, while smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes after cigarettes, cigarettes after cigarettes. Even after he left the room, the smell lingered. You could smell the poison that was reeking up his lungs, destroying it bits by bits every second. Whenever he said anything, you could see tiny puffs of smoke coming out of his mouth. His voice always choked and some words always got lost. But he kept repeating like a cassette gone bad, ‘Oh! The Pain! My back!’ She offered him help, she asked him if she wanted her to fix a doctor’s appointment, ‘now I can, I just have to ring up this number’ but he never replied, he never looked at his sister who claimed she could fix an appointment with the doctors now right from her phone.

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