Saturday, April 09, 2005

Lord Emsworth and the Girlfriend - PG Wodehouse

Rudyard Kipling called this The Perfect Short Story.
And it is.
There isnt much more to say about this other than this short story has the one instance when Lord Emsworth stands up to his Gardener and His Sister.
The scene wherein the little girl slips her hand into his giving Emsworth the courage he needs is stunning for the visual imagery that it draws in your mind.Picture a western where the lone hero is about to face the rampaging hordes. Its sunset and you can see mostly silhouettes , the hero is resigned to his fate and then a child puts her hand in his and grips it tightly. Your viewpoint is from their back and suddenly the hero draws himself together stands upright and you know then that he is invincible today.
I think that only Uncle Fred Flits By comes close to matching this story

Friday, April 01, 2005

Wings Of Fire - APJ Abdul Kalam

APJ Abdul Kalam was one of the architects of India's Missile Weapon Development programme. He is also deeply religious and attributes a lot of the events in his life to fate , destiny and God's hand. My current views on war and thanks to Lucifer my views on fate destiny mean that this should be pretty much a book i dislike
To add to this the history of the missile development is mainly dry , mostly consisting of i worked with the great man so and so and together we achieved great things.
And yet this dry history is interspersed with such brilliant observations which are so undeniably worth spending time over, that i did like this book. Though i may not agree with most of the things the author does say most of the advice , quotes and verse did make me think and you cannot ask more of a book.
Kalam does come across as an extremely well read person though a trifle naive at times (he calls India Gandhi a great person ..on second thoughts he is either naive or extremely shrewd!). And he is of course extremely smart. It is a pity then he is just a figure head for India, i'd rather see people like him in the role of a ruling politician.
In some ways the author does show the things it is possible to achieve even in India's corrupt bureaucratic systems.
The best chapter of the book is the last.
There is a sadness that Kalam’s life seems to have revolved around his work . He does point out himself that his bloodline will end with Kalam. But I guess that’s a conscious choice he has made and he seems happy to have made this choice.
And some words to live by given my current penchant of resigning from my job
Dont worry and fret, fainthearted
The chances have just begun
For the best jobs not yet started
The best works not yet done