Sunday, May 25, 2014

Suicide at IIT - Review by Anusha Judith, WritersMelon


My Review Of Suicide At IIT

Suicide is a topic that elicits a lot of curiosity in people. Everyone is interested to know the why, how, what, when, where of the action in question and especially the real purpose behind it. It is our inherent curiosity that does not let us live in peace till we find the real answers.

I’m no exception. The title of the book intrigued me and I wanted to know why someone would commit suicide at IIT. After all, it’s one of the premier educational institutions in the country, (the author makes it a point to stress on it) and the cut throat competition only ensures that the very best are selected.
My initial suspicion was that the victim could not handle the pressure, broke down and therefore took his own life. However the initial pages rapidly defy this. We find that the protagonist Siddharth is in fact an excellent student, overambitious and overzealous , with a good record, 8 point GPA ( That speaks for itself), a well paying job secured at campus placement and was behaving perfectly normal with friends and family alike. What could provoke such an intelligent student with a bright future to end his life?
Gradually we get a clear picture of Siddharth through the interview conducted with his friends, family and professors. The author has smoothly weaved in a few childhood and adolescence experiences which played a vital role in the suicide.

The book is cleverly divided into three parts by the author and evokes the interest of the reader by sucking him/her into the crime scene, as a spectator to the unfolding investigation. Giving one the feeling of watching an episode of CID and one literally gets the impression that ACP Pradyuman will be called to solve the case with his sidekicks Daya & Abhijit .

Ravi Kumar R has done a decent job at giving us a glimpse of the inner workings of the minds of students at IIT. His portrayal of the media and its sensationalizing tactics are spot on. The introduction quote by Kafka is well chosen and blends well with the rest of the novel. There are few instances where we find the protagonist merging with the author. The ending is a bit too optimistic for my taste, with his vision of India as a developed nation in 2030 , One can indeed hope.

The book is a breezy read, less than 90 pages and does not take more than two hours at a stretch. I recommend it for a short journey or a lazy Saturday afternoon.



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kafka and Dostoevsky as "Blood Relatives"

Glad there is a connection..

Kafka's private library, unfortunately recorded a decade after his death, contained Dostoevsky's "Letters", "The Brothers Karamazov", "Crime and Punishment", and a one volume collection of shorter works with the title "The Gambler". (4) In 1914 a German translation of Dostoevsky's "Complete Works" had become available. On thebasis of Kafka's Letters and Diaries we know that he read many other works besides those in his library, including Nina Hoffmann's Dostoevsky biography and Strachov's introductory essay to Dostoevsky's "Collected Works". Further it will become obvious that, although unmentioned, Kafka was familiar with "The Double". As early as 1913, in a letter to his fiance Kafka wrote: "the four men, Grillparzer, Dostoevsky, Kleist and Flaubert, I consider to be my true blood-relations". (5) This statement expresses not only his affinity with those men as writers, but also an identification with their existential complexion. In the one case, Kafka might have had in mind Dostoevsky's epilepsy, paralleled in his own life by tuberculosis and, perhaps even more so, the complex and ambiguous relationship with their respective fathers. In their writings this culminated for Dostoevsky in "The Brothers Karamazov", for Kafka in "The Judgment" and the notorious "Letter to His Father". As for their illness, both viewed it as release and punishment, both were aware of the complex and secret workings of mind and body, both cursing and blessing it at the same time. 
- Roman S. Struc, The University of Calgary

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Book Review: Animal Farm

“All animals are equal but some are more equal than others” – Animal Farm

Animal Farm is a satirical novel by George Orwell targeting the dictatorship built-up on a cult of personality. He intelligently brings out the fact that the socialism as an ideology sticks only on the paper but when implemented, the practical realities of hero worship leading to dictator ship are inevitable.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Book Review: Catcher in the Rye


'The Catcher in the Rye' is a novel by 'J D Salinger' which has become more popular with adolescent readers across the world. The story is about 'Holden', who is expelled from a private school as a result of which alienates from the rest of the society.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Review: The Fountain Head




“Man’s ego is the fountain head of human progress.” 

I know you believe it but If you have got any problem with the above sentence, here is the novel to convince you. Great characters, very powerful and inspiring words, mind blowing details, great expression and very relevant themes. Was very impressed with the way it started. Felt like Roark is the man the world needs.

As the story progressed, got more insight about Roark and Peter Keating. Roark became a bit predictive but was never boring. It was Peter Keating's character that impressed me very much. The way he doubted his eligibility, status as a famous architect and the way he got destabilized in the presence of Roark was very impressive. I had come across many Roarks and Keatings during my IIT days; Keatings who assumed the best positions in the world’s best firms and Roark's who were struggling their part in their 'hopeful' world. It was very good to read similar characters in print.
It was Dominique who was extremely mysterious. Her character in general and behavior in particular with Roark is awesome. Roark's character which seemed pretty straight forward took a sudden interesting turn with her entry in to his life. However, in the end, Dominique ended up as a hate figure for all the feminists in view of her extreme sub-ordinance to Roark and psychological domination of Roark. Toohey's role grew in importance as the novel proceeded and together with Dominique does amazing things that surely has got many dramatic consequences which entertains the reader immensely.
The climax where Roark addresses the court, I feel is one of the best written passages ever written. Below is one passage from the book which I liked very much.

"How did you know what's been killing me? Slowly, for years, driving me to hate people when i don't want to hate...Have you felt it, too? Have you seen how your best friends love everything about you- except the things that count? And your most important is nothing to them, nothing, not even a sound they can recognize. You mean, you want to hear? You want to know what I do and why I do it, you want to know what I think? It's not boring to you? It's important?"

The review may be summarized as given below.

Pro’s:

1. Characters that stay with you for the rest of our life.

2. Excellent narration and gripping plot.

3. Inspiring and at times philosophical which makes the reader introspect.

Cons:

1. Focus was mainly to highlight the hero Roark that other characters were made to pay homage Roark


Check out the below link to buy the book at the best possible price

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Book Review: India's Struggle for Independence

There were many movies I had watched and a few books I had read which dealt with independence struggle and revolutions in various countries that were very inspirational and motivational. But unfortunately I couldn’t find one, though there are many books available in the market that gives an account of India’s Struggle for Independence. Most of the academic books also gave a dull narration of the most inspiring story thus leaving the potential of the great struggle story yet to be unleashed.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Review: Caste: Its Twentieth Century Avatar


Want to know how the caste system evolved over the years and the implications it had on the Indian Society. Want to learn how the caste mobilization has changed the country and its economy? Want to study how the caste system creped in to the non- Hindu religions and modified them?