Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lasting impressions of the Literary world

-By Swetha Amit
Books are indeed mans best friends as they say. Reading is a means of either getting away from reality or plunging into the same in a different manner.

While some prove to passing clouds, there are a few which tend to reign on your mind causing a downpour of thought processes and a hurricane in your cognitive space. There are a few which make you cry, laugh or think. Nevertheless they tend to leave lasting impressions which changes ones perspective of themselves or the world. The below are a few ones which have had that impact on me but may not necessarily apply to the rest.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas- This book by John Boyne was made into a movie which released last year. The book depicts a poignant tale of friendship across barriers set in the background of the dreadful holocaust. A tale of innocence weaved into horrors and an appalling depiction which makes one wonder if ignorance is really bliss after all. The write up is in simple language with a lot of subtlety.

Atonement- The write up by Ian McEwan makes one realize how a false perception of events taking place in a fraction of a second changes your life and that of others as well. This was also made into a movie but the book as most of time is better than the visuals. It carries a lesson that one can incorporate into our attitudes.

The Alchemist- This is probably Paulo Coelho’s finest works depicting a heartwarming tale. It teaches one the aspect of following their heart in certain aspects rather than the head which acts as a guiding force.

The Kite Runner- Khaled Husseini portrayed the tale of innocence and redemption in the end in a poignant manner. Not everybody gets a second chance to atone and if they do, it’s one of the most precious gifts life has to offer.

A thousand Splendid suns-This book by the same author of The Kite Runner makes one cry by its appalling story. This is one such piece of literary work which is bound to leave deep imprints. It makes one get a glimpse of the pitiable conditions Women especially are subjected to in certain parts of the world. Such aspects make one realize the true essence of freedom which many take for granted most of the time.

Black Beauty- A classic by Anna Sewell which denotes a tale coming out from the horse’s mouth literally. It describes the life of a horse at different stages, its feelings and the ray of hope it attains in the end. For most animal lovers, this is bound to be an appealing read and for the rest its an interesting perspective from the other side of the reigns.

Heidi-Read this in fifth grade and could identify with the girl and her love for her grumpy grandfather. My relationship with my late granddad was similar during my childhood days. It’s a story of a little girl set in the scenic Alps which is portrayed by Johanna Spyri in a marvelous manner.

Rebecca- Intriguing, mysterious and powerful. It amazed me as to how the main character despite being dead continued to dominate the entire book making the protagonist linger in her shadows. Rebecca did win in the end after all especially since we don’t know the actual name of the former. It was made into a movie as well directed by Alfred Hitchcock which was truly a classic.

Shantaram-Love Mumbai and could completely relate to how South Mumbai especially was described here in a poignant manner. The latter consists of beautiful architecture and buildings that take you back to the colonial era. This is a city which enables one to get a new identity by shedding our painful past and finding ourselves again.

The Fountainhead-Made me think that being selfish wasn’t a crime and enabled me to believe in its virtue after all. Selfishness now to me is fiercely sticking to your individuality and not compromising it for anyone or anything. This route may be a stumble amidst the thorns of frustration but that’s what guarantees you a bed of roses in the end.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel: This book is an embodiment of survival in the most trying circumstances. It makes one ponder and wonder for a long period of time marveling its epitome of hope.

Memoirs of a Geisha- Found this to be a poignant tale of a young girl under pitiable conditions. It brings out the murky elements of the dark world of Geishas but not without the ray of hope in the end looking at it from the protagonist’s point of view. Brilliantly written by Arthur Golden.

Tuesdays with Morrie- Very inspiring and teaches you to possess a never say die attitude even when one lies on his death bed. It makes one that self pity can be replaced with philanthropy and humanity making time for those surround you even as your clock ticks away.

Mahabharata- Mythology is nevertheless intriguing. It’s more than just an epic as it consists of lessons one can incorporate in different facets of life. It emphasizes on what not to do and present interesting sketches of its various characters.

Couple of Short stories that lingers in my mind today:

The Gift of the Magi- O’Henry’s wistful story makes one realize the essence of a gift which spells irony all over.

The Leopard by Ruskin Bond- Love the Author for his vivid description in his writings about the lush green valley of Dehradoon. This particular story is a touching one. It depicts friendship and trust which is attained in a subtle yet powerful way. And makes the author wistful and attain responsibility for its devastating end brought about by mankind. One can relate to it if they are nature or animal lovers.
Written for



Blogger KParthasarathi said...

Reading maketh a man(woman too).But sadly I don't read much though your post made me wanting to change.I must be surely missing so much and the poorer for it.Thanks

1:18 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Thanks KP!!They say its better late than never. So you can start a new hobby soon.Will definitely look for some recommendations from you then.:-)

1:54 AM  
Blogger Ayesha Parveen said...

That's a really good list, Swetha.

Thanks a lot. Cheers :)

6:59 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Thanks Ayesha.:-)

7:50 AM  
Blogger manivannan said...


You've listed some very interesting books. I've read three mentioned above - The Alchemist, The kite runner & Thousand splendid suns(cried reading both of KH)...

Need to check out others... Thanks for the suggestions :)

Happy blogging!

9:14 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Hi Mannivannan! Yes both those books were very stirring. Cant wait for his 3rd book.

Do keep visiting.:-)

8:56 PM  
Blogger manivannan said...

Sure, I will...and thanks for going by my suggestion :-)

Hope you liked the movie!!!


10:39 PM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Hi Mannivannan ,unfortunately my DVD guy seems to have lose that particular DVD due to carelessness by another member. However he was kind enough to suggest 2 movies made by the same director namely The Color of Paradise and Baran!! Watched the former which was brilliant.Am thinking of buying a copy of Children of Heaven. Liked the review and am sure it'l be worth an add to the collection.:-)

3:23 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Venkat - Dar on 6/1/2009 3:33:22 PM
Dear Swetha, A good choice of books aptly described!

Bobby Sakariah - Jeddah on 6/1/2009 5:27:45 PM
A nice and short review of books. Thanks

12:15 PM  
Blogger manivannan said...

So, your DVD guy's carelessness will soon add a great movie to your collection :D Nice!

I've watched both those movies, a Majid Majidi fan, you see :-). COP is a very touching film! I'm gald you watched it. And Baran is a love story, again very admirable!

Happy watching Swetha!

4:04 AM  

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