The top 20 books “to-read” in 2015

books photography

Countdown.

Everybody loves (or at least loves to hate) a list. This is especially true around the end of the year, when our inclination to rank things and to build coherent narratives out of the chaos of loosely-related events goes into overdrive.

For this week’s challenge, I invite you to breathe new life into the established genre of the end-of-year countdown list. Sure, you’re welcome to share your top-20 books, songs, or obscure craft beers of the year.

New Year and the first month of this New Year. As usual, I have plenty of resolutions which are already on the verge of extinction. But, I have made a list of top 20 books that I am about to read this year.

The Millenium series

millennium seriesHarry Potter Series

harry potter boxset

Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories Volume I and II (English) by Random House

sherlock holmes

 

The complete works of Swami Vivekananda (Vols 1-9)

swami

That’s it. I am not sure whether I will be able to complete all these heavy literature in a span of 12 months. But I will try to finish them off one by one soon.

L’esprit de l’escalier (staircase wit)

staircase photography

staircase wit meaningWhat if you had the power to rewrite history? You do.

I would undo some of the relationships I made in my life. Even though they taught me numerous lessons in life, for which I always have to be grateful to them. Still, I would go back to the history and undo the moment when I let them be my closest acquaintances.

There are times when people say something which they are not supposed to say and then keep apologizing to it over and over again. On a very serious note, people like these are very common. They crack certain jokes which are never intended to make fun but deep down the heart, their words would have offended few people around them.

So bottom line is

Words are powerful

And some people realize this, when they face consequences of their words. While some Google and watch some TED talks and convince themselves that Words are indeed powerful.

One such moment I still recall was made by my closest friends. He passed some really derogatory comments on me in anger. Inspite of all his friends, asking him to keep his anger on tab, he let go of his anger on me. The end result, however was a series of “Apology Sessions” followed by “Little things you do” video dedicating to me.

I have indeed forgiven him after 3 years, but the scars are still there and his name has been permanently deleted from my good books forever. So maybe, at the end of the 3rd year when we again met on some occasion, he had asked me whether I had forgotten that incident or not.

That moment brought out the ” L’esprit de l’escalier (staircase wit)” in me. I was thinking, while he was abusing me non-stop like some roadside cheap ass… I could have easily reported that to his parents. Or even worse, would have shown him “I don’t forgive creeps” board when he came to apologize. But it was too late now… I had all those “Should’ve Could’ve Would’ve” words only in my head. I was unable to spit them out at that instance of time.

I realized one thing that day, when things are ugly between people, its better to blurt out the nasty words rather than holding it on to yourself and later becoming a victim of L’esprit de l’escalier. Life always gives us options. The option to watch our actions before we commit them, and the option to undo them. Most of the times, the option to undo is almost zero. Because nobody except God can undo certain things in Nature.

  1. You can’t undo your words which hurt someone very close to you.
  2. You can’t undo the moment when you were not there for someone, who badly needed you by their side.
  3. You can’t undo the moment when you abandoned the ship when you had people looking forward for your help.
  4. You can’t undo the moment when you failed the expectations of someone.
  5. You can’t undo the moment when you lost trust of someone very close to you.
  6. You can’t undo the moment when you let a relationship let go of your hand due to your mistake.
  7. You can’t undo the death of someone close to you.
  8. You can’t undo some painful memories caused by someone to you.

Basically, you can’t undo certain fragile and sensitive things in life. You can only be a victim of L’esprit de l’escalier. 

But you can always choose a way to fix things up. If you are really really lucky, maybe you can manage taping back certain torn photographs of your lives and frame them once again.

Finally, all I ever say to people is WATCH YOUR WORDS. THEY ARE ALWAYS POWERFUL. WATCH YOUR ACTIONS. THEY ARE DOUBLE POWERFUL THAN WORDS.

quotes on life

A tiny drop in a vast ocean


Ice, Water, Steam.

For this week’s writing challenge, take on the theme of H2O. What does it mean to be the same thing, in different forms?

Last weekend I was almost done with loads and loads of Dark literature. My mind was turning into a lab where an alchemy of emotions were being mixed one into another. For a quick respite from those thousands of emotions I thought of going for a long long walk.

The plan was, to walk and engross myself in some solitude so that I can get rid of those dark elements of my mind. But, one of my good friends insisted I should probably take someone along with me. Trust me, it proved to be an excellent idea later.

I and my shutterbug friend both packed our bags and left for a long long walk. At one point, he started taking all the photographs of the beautiful sunset. And I… was rather standing there like a fool with my hands in the pockets of my Jacket. I so desperately longed to have a pen and a paper to paint those millions of colors which kept changing on the huge crimson Sky.

But I couldn’t brood much over the fact that I was indeed jobless there. So instead of feeling pessimistic about myself, I kept watching the beautiful sunset just like the Photographer in the movie Ship of Theseus.

ship-of-theseus-Aliya2

Stillness is something which I love sometimes when I don’t have option to fret and fume. I turned to my left, and could see our rucksacks lying like dead bodies near a pile of broken office furniture. I could see my friend clicking one photo after another and the multiple clickety clicks following after each shot (The one above this blog post is one such photo). I could see his beautiful eyes scrutinizing each picture and getting himself engrossed in his passion.

I turned towards right and could see all the tall buildings lined up one after the other and the unending horizon right infront of me with the Burning Sun setting at a rapid rate. I tried to quieten the thousand ripples which were there in my mind. I took few deep breaths and let go of all the dark thoughts, still strangling in my heart to squeeze away all the calmness inside me. I took few steps backwards and then started gazing towards the vast horizon infront of me.

Aaah…. It was such a joy.

With each step, that I took backwards…

I was walking another step towards my soul….

I could breathe more easily with each passing moment…

I could think more clearly with each zephyr hitting my face….

I closed my eyes for about few seconds and could picturise a more brighter version of fire shut in my bones….

I could feel the strong current of my emotions just like that of a river, flowing right inside my heart ….

But I could easily let go of them like a steam escaping from the nozzle of a Pressure Cooker…

I remembered the stillness of Water and the amount of remedy it can bring for an agitated mind…

I could let all the positive vibes from the Nature flow into myself, with each minute…

I felt so peaceful for a moment that I was alive … I was no more a dead soul inside myself….

I felt so proud to be a minuscule in this vast vast world …. a minuscule which hopes to bring about a gush of positive change in this world…

A tiny drop of water which when falls over a leaf, makes both the leaf and itself look so beautiful….

I am… technically no different than the tiny drop of Water which doesn’t have an identity of its own when I compare myself with this vast world which lies ahead of me.

But I am of much more value, when I co-exist with a leaf/flower petal. I add shine and meaning to both the leaf and myself with the positivity hidden inside my soul.

I am of greater value when I become the first drop of Water to create a thousand ripples in a stagnant lake…

I can be shapeless and formless… but I hold the power to wash away the pain or crush the enemy inside myself…. I hold the immense power to be what I am.

So who am I? asked my mind to myself.

Am i something ….

Just then as I was about to get an answer  …. my friend nudged me for a selfie and I came out of this world of Water.

The key learning from the sunset was ….

In Stillness you learn to listen to the unheard voices. You listen to the unspoken words and learn the meaning of life. 

I am very very thankful to my friend for having me dragged to see the Sunset first, that evening. Thanks buddy!!!

Yet another learning from that evening was …

Sometimes you have to ask people whether they would accompany you in your toughest times or not. Who knows, they may agree to pull you out of the deep abyss where you are stuck without having a single clue of what to do next.

ASK ASK ASK. I kept saying to myself before leaving from that place.

Liebster Award!!!!


Before i start writing anything for this post my big thanks and hugs to Mayur for nominating me for the Liebster Award which i never had dreamt of.

Thanks Mayur for your kind gesture towards a poor blogger like me.

liebster

 

(Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.

2. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you.

3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.

4. Go to the blogs you nominated and notify them of your nomination.

5. Give your nominees 11 questions to answer.)

This is my post:

Mayur is a very good blogger who captures your attention with his beautiful flow of words.

These are my questions asked by Mayur:

1.What’s your relaxing mantra?

Music – Yoga – Books

2. Which incident has touched you most in your life?

My father’s death.

3. What’s the thing you wanted most in your life?

A Best friend.

4. Which of your childhood memory is the prettiest one, please brief.

None

5. The top 5 destinations you want to cover in your life.

Himalayas, Hampi, Rishikesh, Mysore, Mount Kailash

6. Your favourite movie

Alice in Wonderland

7. Which is your favorite book and why?

Steve Jobs – An Autobiography by Walter Isaacson

This book gave me the courage to confess all the dirty truths about me in my public life.

8. What was your first post on your blog?

My first post was on “Love“.

9. If given chance, which fantasy world would you like to live in and why?

Obviously the world of Alice. Who would not want to be as small as an ant and again transform into monster….

10. Why did you start writing a blog?

I wanted to maintain a journal online so that someday when i am not there on this planet…. someone who shares the same struggle like me in their lives can draw some inspiration and make their lives beautiful just like mine.

11. Your favourite quote from movie/book.

Favorite quote of all time is : A thing of beauty is a joy forever by John Keats.

 

Here are my 11 Questions for other my nominated bloggers:

  1. http://itsmayurremember.wordpress.com/
  2. http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/
  3. http://scriptunderconstruction.wordpress.com/
  4. http://blackandwhiteheart.wordpress.com/
  5. http://jitterygt.wordpress.com/
  6. http://dreamman2020.wordpress.com/
  7. http://theonlysup.wordpress.com/
  8. http://joeowensblog.wordpress.com/
  9. http://brokenlightcollective.wordpress.com/
  10. http://fortheloveofnike.com/
  11. http://xavigeis.wordpress.com/

QUESTIONS

  1. What is blogging according to you?
  2. Who is your role model for blogging?
  3. 2 things that changed your life.
  4. What’s the craziest thing that you did in your life?
  5. How do you respond to criticism?
  6. 2 books which still remain fresh in your memories.
  7. One Movie which you suggest everybody to watch
  8. Your favorite blogging platform. Why
  9. Whats your aim in life?
  10. What does your blog say to the outside world?
  11. One award that you always crave for in real life.

Thanks a lot for reading my post…

Lots of love and hugs,

ARK