Monday, March 30, 2015

Bluntly speaking - Kids

Roomie dear allegedly checks my blog site every single day and gets mighty disappointed not finding anything new. She even said, 'The Book thief had become the blog thief' :D Well said! I have been meaning to write something, anything at all. But my head was as empty as a null object (Excuse the atrociously bad joke, I am an object oriented programmer :P ) 

I am a very strong opinionated person. I think I started writing my posts, because I did not feel many people in the world could stomach my spoken word :D But then somewhere down the line, I veered away from venting much of my pearls of wisdom. Since there was nothing ground breaking happening anyway, I thought, might as well spread some shock and awe and reveal my ground breaking thoughts ;) 

Disclaimer before the reader proceeds : The thoughts are entirely my own. I would encourage a healthy hearty debate. I would love some in fact. But in good spirits of course :) 

Let me pick up something I have been having a lot of conversation about lately - kids. One aspect that I regularly see myself defending is why have kids? I was not a great fan of kids. I loved the bubbly, vibrant sorts who would get along with any stranger. But who does nt love those kids who perform to the crowds? I quite like kids now that I have had one of my own :D 

When asked why have kids, my rational, scientific mind says - because it is biologically natural to have kids. It is nature's dictum to try and improve our gene pool and produce the next generation. That is why I am a big proponent for cross cultural, cross ethnicity kids - mix the genes, make them stronger! I feel it is not only physically natural to have kids, it is emotionally natural too. Like the logical synapses of the mind enrich when we learn a new trade or pick a new skill. I feel the emotional circuits gets enriched when we have one additional person to love , to care. Why does gardening or looking after a puppy make one feel so good? Its the love and care that we put into something that gives us an intangible gratification. Imagine the gratification when you see something you have created out of your own self smile back, hold your finger, kiss your cheeks! It is surreal.

During the organic chemistry days, I remember, a lesson about covalent and ionic bonds. Without boring readers from other faculties (as if my topic was not boring enough :S ) , bonds are what tie elements together. A covalent bond is where some electrons are shared between elements, while ionic ones are where one elements lends some electrons and the other borrows some. Both result in a relationship - a bond. A covalent bond is way stronger than an ionic bond. Logical is nt it. A relationship based on sharing is stronger that one based on give and take! Look at that - science showing us the way :D With children I feel couples get the electrons to share. Some argue that, they have everything going swell. Why would they need  children to strengthen a bond. I do not say that kids strengthen a weak relationship or can mend bridges. They are an reinforcement to an already strong tie. Honestly, I have not seen a couple who have consciously decided to stay away from children, not being pulled towards puppies, kittens or the likes. The desire to nurture and rear is too natural.

I also feel, kids are a link to the previous generation. They not bind us to our parents. They see a miniature of their kids in their grand kids. In fact, the lack of day to day responsibilities, makes them look at grand kids as even more engaging exercise. Most talks veers towards the young ones, but then, that is so much more satisfying.

There is one last argument with which I would rest my case. I have met more people who have regretted not having children, than who have repented having them. So go on... parenting is worth it.

PS. I do not judge or cast aspersions on anyone who has chosen not to have children for whatever reason. It is after all a free world.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The book thief

Set in Nazi Germany, The book thief is a unique story of a child who is in love with words. This desire makes her steal books. It is the story of her foster parents Hans  and Rosa Huberman. Papa(Hans) has silver eyes and Mama is a wardrobe of a woman. But they are gentle and kind and have no qualms in sharing their meagre life.  There is Rudy Steiner with lemon coloured hair who is the best friend and competitor of the book thief Liesel  Meminger. Integral to the story  is the Jewish fist fighter Max Vandenburg and Isla Herman 

The story brings together the lives of all these non descript characters. Its the upheavals the actions of one man the Fuehrer cause on the people living in Himmel Street. 

The book's narrator is an interesting character. I was on page 7 when I had to go back an re-read to ascertain who it was! The times were hard and it is easy to be empathetic towards the people whose lives were dragged because of one man's wish to dominate the world. But the author writes about the trying times in a flippant manner. Still he strikes the right chords. There is one section about the marching of Jews to a concentration camp. The pathos would move stones. The only thing that did not work for me was the lack of anything new. The book was as if being written for the very predictable ending that it had. And there were flashes of brilliance while depicting human emotions. But they remained as flashes only. 

The book is a good story. It is about human nature. About the urge of humans to do things like steal  things that of no material worth - just to feel good. It is a story that reiterates  the inherent goodness in man. A tragic but positive story!

Some lines from the book that packed a punch
The day was gray, the colour of Europe.

I guess humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, houses of cards, thats where they begin. Their great skill is their capacity to escalate.

Eleven-year-old paranoia was powerful. Eleven-year-old relief was euphoric.

It was the beginning of the greatest Christmas ever. Little food. No presents.

Their heartbeats fought each other, a mess of rhythm. Liesel tries to eat ers down. Te taste of heart was not too cheerful.

Liesel crossed the bridge over the Amper River. The water was glorious and emerald and rich. She could see the stones at the bottom and hear the familiar song of water. The world did not deserve such a river.

Say something enough times and you never forget it.