Saturday, February 20, 2010

Don't spoil his future

I saw a news item in today’s Hindu. A thirteen year old Pakistani boy mistakenly boarded Indian bound Samjautha` Express. The boy was actually fleeing from home in order to escape from his father’s wrath on his low marks obtained in recent examination.The boy was dully arrested at the border and handed over to the police. He faces a possible 5 years prison sentence. Is it right on our part to spoil a carrier of a child who has mistakenly drifted across the border? I wish our judicial authorities have enough sense to release the innocent boy and hand over to Pakistani authorities.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Old Lady at the Crossing

When we are studying in school we have been repeatedly told to help the elders who are unable to cross the road by them during the busy flow of traffic. Even our moral science class had illustrations of aged old lady standing at the edge of road trying to make an attempt to cross but unable to do. In the next picture a school boy wearing uniform took her hand and navigates to the other side through never ending traffic at the zebra crossing.

But I had my astonishment when I saw a poem by Mary Dow Brine” Somebody’s mother”. The entire story that was illustrated as a cartoon in Moral science classroom was told in the poem by her. I came across the poem in the web site Almanac

And the woman's feet were aged and slow.
She stood at the crossing and waited long,
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng
Of human beings who passed her by
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.

Read the full poem

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Kite Runner

I am skeptical of reading books by non-English speaking authors. Very few authors only impressed me. R.K.Narayan is a giant among them all. Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things is an exceptionally good novel. It touched my heart beyond comparision. The setting up of God’s own country as a back drop for the novel, the intelligent mixing of native Malayali characters with their rich culture, the double crossing politicians and the final act of forbidden sex made the novel interesting read to the end.

Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is another novel that mesmerized me. Though it got rave reviews I resisted reading it for a long time. Finally when no other book took my attention The Kite Runner invited me from The Eloor Library shelf and I took a risk. When I was in to the second chapter I was completely drawn into it. If any book fails to hold my attention with in first ten pages I would eventually abandon it. Set in Afghanistan the story depicts the country from their monarch days to Soviet invasion till and subsequent talibanisation through the eyes of protagonist. The brutalization of the society after the Taliban took over sends shock waves when you read it.

However towards the end the story revert back to ordinary melodramatic novel with predictable situations. The inner conflict the protagonist undergoes when he witnessed the crime done to his childhood friend and his subsequent inaction torments him through out his life. That conflict and his hunger for redemption alone set the novel apart till the end.

Very good read after a long time.

In ''The Kite Runner,'' Khaled Hosseini gives us a vivid and engaging story that reminds us how long his people have been struggling to triumph over the forces of violence -- forces that continue to threaten them even today.—New York Times