A Thousand Splendid Suns

An interesting fortnight ends. It started with the end of a vacation, a hugely entertaining college strike and ends with the onset of another, shorter vacation. But I enjoyed this fortnight because I read three brilliant novels back to back. The Namesake, The God of Small Things and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
A Thousand Splendid Suns deserves a review. It's a beautiful tale, as radiant as the title suggests. I was aware of the valor of the Afghans, but took it for the guns and violent bravery associated with a war ridden country. But this book shatters all notions and brings out the silent, enduring valor of the Afghans. And all along you have this eerie feeling that the characters in the tale exist all over Afghanistan.
The simple and plain Mariam is a character you rarely come across. She is so ordinary like one of us and yet, at the end of the story, it's Mariam who continues to haunt your memories.
I'm left with one regret. I do not know farsi or pashtun and I cannot admire the poetry and the title in its original flavor.
Thank You Mr. Khaled Hosseini.

An ode to the bum

Yes, this post is dedicated to my bum. And yours, and the guys and gals next door's. And to the beggar's, cop's, shopper's and shopkeeper's in the street. To cut it short, everybody's.

Imagine what you could not do without your bum. What would not be possible if humans did not have one.

What would happen in a bum less world?

* You can't sit. How would it feel standing all day?
* You can't sh**. Where would you from?
* You can't celebrate birthdays. No birthday bumps.
* Urdu would miss one of it's most admired greetings. 'Tashreef laiye zanaab'.
* English would miss one of it's most loved swears. 'Kick his a**'.
* People would look weird. I would have a difficulty admiring them.
* Kylie Minogue would be half as famous as she is. So would Rakhi Sawant.
* Sidney Sheldon's novels would grow thinner.
* My headmaster's canings would become unbearable.
* Nudity would grow into a necessity. Unless everyone starts wearing frocks of course.
* Where would the docs give injections?

If for some reason you believe that I should not have written about something so lowly as bum or that this post is below taste, I apologize. Please post accordingly and I would apologize personally to each of you.

India and US

I'm back after a real long break from the cyber world, thanks to a fortnight of vacation. The day I went off, I asked myself a rapid fire question, "What is the difference between India and the States"?

The answer was a bit peculiar, probably because I have never been to the US. Or because I was on a train.

In the US, when you buy a ticket, the clerk calls you 'Sir'. In India people call the railway reservation clerks 'Sir'. A bad joke, but probably true.