Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The novel Memoirs of a Geisha was written over a 10-year period during which Golden rewrote the entire novel three times, changing the point of view before finally settling on the first person viewpoint of Sayuri. Interviews with a number of geisha, including Mineko Iwasaki, provided background information about the world of the geisha.
Speaking frankly, I bought this book because of the catchy cover. They say in America ‘Don’t judge a book by the cover’. But that is exactly what I did. I felt when the cover looks so exotic; the book must be worth a try and Lo! I landed up with one of the best books I will ever read in my life.
Memoirs of a Geisha, Is more of an autobiography of a small girl Chiyu, who by fate has been sold to Gion (more of a prostitute house) along with her sister and then begins her turbulent journey to become one of the most cherished Geisha of all times – Nitta Sayuri San. The book very is intelligently written and once started you wouldn’t rest it till you finish the last page.
On one hand, the author Arthur Goldman tries to explain Japan during the world war II as seen by the eyes of a small girl and the transformations it goes through her life period. On the other hand he very intricately explains the feelings of the girl towards her sister, Satsu; her delicate animosity filled relationship with Mameha, her love for the chairman and her confused relationship with Nobu, who wishes to be her danna. The book further goes on to explain the difficult times of world war and how she braved them with the help of the chairman, her guardian angel.
It is Japan like never before.
My Kudos to the author Arthur Goldman , who despite being an American has explained Japan and Japanese culture in such mesmerizing words.
My Suggestion: At the very immediate opportunity, go grab this book and get started.
Author: Arthur Golden
Genre: Historical novel
Publication year: 1997
Pages: 448 (hard cover)
ISBN: ISBN 0-375-40011-7
Having lost his wife to atrocities of poverty five years back; he was the loneliest person on earth. He had such a zilch of presence that his demise would not have mattered to anyone. Anyone, except one or two occasional pedestrians passing by the traffic signal, opposite the big shopping mall; where he pestered them for alms. If not begging, he would while away his time seated on the pavement and watching the mannequin day and night. The lifeless wooden doll replied with equal intensity staring back. It would communicate silently with eyes, breaking away the contact only when one of the storekeepers changed its position or when it was being dressed or undressed. Every time, the dresses changed, it would seek the approval of the beggar and he would nod his compliments in return; his lips, a tad parted as if in exclamation and awe of the dress. In truth, he was happy to have some company. It was comforting enough to know that there was someone aware of his existence. By now, he was sure that the doll would scan the roads and miss him, once he was gone. It was comforting enough to know that his existence mattered to something.
Fortunes changed when a frustrated passerby dropped a lottery ticket in his bowl and the ticket won him amounts he can never define. He was rich overnight. Mansions, servants, cars, women – he could have bought anything with his newly found riches but, all he did was to barge into the shopping mall and bargain for the mannequin, buying it for himself and himself alone. It was the only companion and the only friend he needed to live. Some friendships are simply invaluable. They were friends when he was indigent and they will be friends in riches too.
Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie
Author: Agatha Christie
Lead Character: Hercule M. Poirot
Genre: Fiction, Crime Thriller, Murder Mystery
Who do you think is the best detective character after Sherlock Holmes? Do you even know other characters? Well, in case you don’t know let me introduce to you Hercule M. Poirot, A Belgian by Birth but settled in UK and he does best what he does – solving Mysteries. Kudos to Agatha Christie for having brought Poirot to light.
Talking about the book, Dead Man’s Folly is a story based in the 1950’s in UK. Ariadne Oliver is an author who specializes in Mystery books. Her Services are called upon by Mr. and Mrs. Sir George Stubs, a noveau rich war hero who now owns the Famous Nasse House.
Nasse house is organizing a garden fete and Ms. Oliver is called upon to arrange a new game, a Murder mystery, more like a treasure hunt where the participants work their way through the clues until they reach boat house where a local girl is enacting a dead body. Ms Ariadne Oliver is glad and up and about her work. But something is not right. She feels someone is making her do things as a part of the mystery game that will help him/her/them to meet their end objectives. At this point she seeks the help of her old friend M. Poirot to help her and to prevent the murder if it actually takes place.
But the girl in boat house is murdered, so are the other people. Hercule Poirot, though not able to prevent the murder doesn’t give up until he solves the mystery and finds the culprit.
I would not say that this is one of the best adventures of Poirot and definitely not one of the best books by Agatha Christie. There is not much of depth to the characters and the clues provided are a bit obscure. The description of the mansions and building at a point gets drab but nevertheless, once Poirot begins putting the pieces into the puzzle that it gets interesting.
If you are interested in detective works and if you are big Christie fan and if you want to relive the Sherlock-Holmes-Like stories, then go for it. It is definitely worth one read.
Once upon a time in IT Industry
Narrator: It was 1 O’ Clock in the morning of 24th July 2016.
Two security guards and a lady were whiling away their time at Gate 4 security checkpoint discussing frivolous stuff as if it was the most important discussion that could save humankind from extinction.
Ravi was logging out late that night. Not because there was lot of work. But because it was the last day of the quarter and he wanted to get as close as possible to the 9.15 average office hours.
Yes. The world has progressed. India has crossed 10 billion in population, Paul Octopus predicted that India will come within top 110 teams for next FIFA qualification (2018). KKR failed to qualify for semis for the 10th time in IPL and Sachin is still playing for Indian Cricket team. But, the attendance policy of 9.15 hours remains.
Ravi unzipped his bag for security check and since there was no one else apart from these three, he keenly listened to their conversation. He gathered they were singing odes to Sudhakar, the software engineer who died five years ago.
Guard1: Sudhakar was a very hard working boy. He was awarded many ‘On The Spot’ and performance awards.
Guard2: You knew him personally?
Lady (All excited): He must have made lot of money from these awards
Guard1: Yes! I knew him personally. He was from my native, he seeked my blessings every time he had a code release and touched my feet once in 6 months when he had his appraisals. And No! It was recession in 2009-10, so they only announced awards to keep employees motivated and never paid any money.
Lady (disinterested): That is sad. Poor him.
Guard2: (Nodding his head) poor him, poor him.
Guard1: But he never complained. Because, if not anything else, the company gave him his lady love. Just that she was demanding. The cost of her clothes (which obviously he bought) was inversely proportional to their size. The clothes grew smaller and their cost increased. But he never complained. He was happy.
Lady (All excited): I am sure their parents would have disagreed, did they run away and marry?
Guard1 (with a sad face):No. His happiness was short lived. Recession had changed the company for ever and Salary Cuts did what all the HRs and Planning team cannot do for ages. Employees started quitting the company in hoards. But Sudhakar, he asked my advice. I told him he has a good future here and he must not quit. He took my word and stayed back. Uday denied him the appraisal rating, Nandan denied him the promotion and Krishna denied him the VISA he deserved. As if this was not enough, his girl friend changed boy friends just as their fortunes did. She replaced Sudhakar with Anil from opposite cubicle who got promoted, got a 5 rating in appraisal and his VISA was also initiated.
Lady: Really???? .Who was these people you mention.
Guard1: Oh! There were his PM, GPM and DM. In that order.
Lady: So Sad…
Guard2 (nodding his head): Really Sad really sad.
His nodding was getting on her nerves. She tried to ignore him and concentrate on story.
Lady: what happened next?
Guard1: Sudhakar lost interest in Life. He busied himself with work and was always lost in thoughts. And then one fine evening while crossing the road, he met with an accident and died.
Lady (tears in her eyes): Life is so unfair.
Guard2 (nodding his head) very unfair, very unfair.
The lady lost her fuse and started screaming at Guard2 and he retorted back. Guard 1 jumped in to sort it out. Ravi excused himself and started walking to the cab grinning. Sitting in the cab alone, he was searching his bag for the ear phones. He was still grinning thinking to himself “Such liar’s people are. There was no Sudhakar, I just floated that story some months back for fun and now the security guard says he knew Sudhakar personally. Such liars!!”
He felt a hand on his shoulder and the person asked “They will do anything for gossip na?”
Ravi (shaking his head and looking at the person): Yes, anything for gossip.
And then he gets back to his work. He at last found his ear phones. When he is pulling them out, the truth dawns on him. He stops midway and thinks
“Wait. I was alone in the cab, so who is this person?”
Afraid, he slowly turns his head to his right and sees a GHOST.
The ghost grins from ear to ear.
Sweat dripping down his forehead, aghast and horrified Ravi continues to stare.
The Ghost asks: “Now tell me. How did you learn about my story?” the ghost winks nudging Ravi at his arm.
Ravi has his eyes wide open. He shrieks, screams and faints. His earphones still half struck in the bag.
The Ghost roars in laughter.
So you think you can write?
“So you think you can write?” The most clichéd question an author, a poet or a writer is asked every time he or she proclaims of his/her skills. Yes! Yes, it is very embarrassing and belittling question to be answered, an insult to our talents. No more, are we not going to bear with these disparaging questions. Looks like Goddess Saraswathi or her contemporaries interested in literature have come to our rescue.
There is this site http://iwl.me/ which analyses your writing skills, compares with the writing skills of other greats and suggests that your writing style matches so and so writer. What more, it generates a badge and authenticates that your writing style is that of the great so-and-so write. You can post it on your blog or website and gloat about it
I am not sure of the algorithm behind this site, it does some calculations. Yes it does.
For the first sample, my writing style was that of Ian Fleming (I was on cloud 9). Next, I was rated as Cory Doctorow (Cory who???) and next H.P Lovecraft. My friend who was watching my disillusioned state gave up on it and said “Dude, you have your own style, you do not copy any authors, that is the reason Mr. Big Brains is not able to predict you”. I liked this idea and want to stick on with it. So, I stopped trying to analyze.
Hope at least you find the author you emulate. Good luck, pay visit to the site and find out.
And yes, Don’t forget to come back and comment on this post as to which author you write likeJ.You never know, who will start following you after they know whose writing style you match.