March 29, 2016

THE SELFISH GIANT BY OSCAR WILDE

March 27, 2016

THE POWER OF VIRAT KOHLI


THE POWER OF VIRAT KOHLI


We watch Virat Kohli playing, 

And we watch a phenomenon,

Those eyes that look at the ball are not eyes,

But something sharpened beyond limits,

The ball becomes slow, big, time stops, 

The split second is stretched and 

He seems to have all the time in the world, 

And the hands and the legs spring into action

With a stroke play that seems like child’s play, 

And the runs move on as if it is nothing to him!!

And it IS nothing to him, light and easy, 

Lot of fun and full of joy, to exercise the power 

And the sheer passion!!

Born with that super duper brain and body, 

An exquisite being who honed his talent 

With hours, days, months and years 

Of practicing and makes it all look like the 

Most elementary thing, the happiest thing!!

Thus a nature that is light, easy, happy, 

This moment and a sheer treat to watch!!

So many matches he has won for India, 

Each a brilliant display of fireworks 

From that miraculous brain, hand, 

Body and eyes combination!!

Thus he is a hero not just in cricket, 

But an inspiration to all. 

He makes us feel, that we too can be him, 

That we should be like him, he is an icon, 

And shows what is needed for brilliance , 

Joyous living and Success!!

Passion to perform and learn, 

Grit to hold on when all else are gone, 

Focus to put the countless hours 

In service of one’s love, 

Working with others to share the passion, 

Finding joy, meaning, and thrill 

From the game of life, 

Character to take slip ups in his stride, 

To play for the joy of playing, 

Not for name, position or money…

And much more…

Virat is thus a man, a power and 

We need to learn that, and 

We do, all of us die hard fans..

We too have a Virat in us and that 

Gets released every time he plays…

That is why we cheer, we cry and 

We laugh in freedom…it is the hero in us 

That we see in him!!

God bless the power machine, our own Virat Kohli!!!


March 24, 2016

A THING OF BEAUTY BY JOHN KEATS

ALONE WITH EVERYBODY BY CHARLES BUKOWSKI

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD BY DYLAN THOMAS

I CANNOT GO TO SCHOOL TODAY BY SHEL SILVERSTEIN

I AM NOT YOURS BY SARA TRESDALE

HOW DO I LOVE THEE BY ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

HELAS BY OSCAR WILDE

FUNERAL BLUES BY W.H. AUDEN

A TOTAL STRANGER ONE BLACK DAY BY E E CUMMINGS

DREAMS BY JAMES MERCER LANGSTON HUGHES

DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP BY MARY ELIZABETH FRYE

March 09, 2016

O HENRY



O HENRY



O HENRY


Core essence

O Henry was a famous short story writer. Imagine a writer writing hundreds of stories each with a dramatic twist at the end!

What would you say of such a writer?

And each twist is not for the twist, but shows a deep, sympathetic humanity and love and laughter and feelings of warmth.

O Henry had a childlike, innocent and beautiful mind. And the way he uses language was so humorous, warm and deeply touching the heart all at once!

Each of stories has that unity of language, warmth and finally the twist. You cry, laugh, feel good. They are the most feel good stories ever written. Yet they are shorn of silly sentiment yet, deeply mushy and full of feeling!! THAT was and is the art of O Henry.

His stories can be read again and again and they would work as anti depressant pills. They would give you that sense of goodness and bring out the deeply held innocence, the child-man, in you too!!


Works of O Henry

DOSTOEVSKY

DOSTOEVSKY





DOSTOEVSKY


Core essence

There is only one author who has exposed the dark corner of man’s soul fully down to its roots. That author is Dostoevsky.

They are classic mysteries, and along with the brilliant plot twists, there is brilliant revelation of the evil in all of mankind, the beastly dark being, lurking within people and finding expression outside.

Dostoevesky brings that all out, his focus is maniacal and he misses nothing.

When you see Dostoevskian characters, you see the soul in the way it should not be, and thus you cleanse yourself. His effect is in the way of the negative, he teaches you how NOT to be and how you might be acting in self destruction.

Thus he is serious, morally profound and out to show the soul both in its light and the dark, usually dark!!

You come out of Dostoevsky entertained as you do in horror movies, but here real!! You are deeply entertained in a peculiarly intellectual way of discovering evil and you become wise and horrified , both!!

Dostoevsky remains unsurpassed in his depiction of the psychology of evil.

Works of Dostoevesky



LEO TOLSTOY


LEO TOLSTOY



LEO TOLSTOY


Core Essence

Leo Tolstoy was one the greatest writers of all time. As a writer he explored human nature as he saw it. His was a searching soul, ridden with conflicts, never finding peace even at the height of his fame when WAR AND PEACE and ANNA KARENINA got him great acclaim from the public and critics alike.

He was not stable as a person and led a reckless life in the beginning of his life. Later he suddenly turned very spiritual and that conflict raged within him. His marital conflicts also added to his mental burden.

He wrote some beautiful short stories that showed the flawed nature of human beings. He added a prophetic touch to it, but his search had never got him peace. He was a great influence on Gandhi, and Gandhi too was experimenting with living styles.

There are two aspects to a literary giant. One is his philosophy and the other is the expression of the truth as he sees it. In the second category, Leo Tolstoy was supreme and the Philosophy clashed with the artistry. But both juxtaposed into a thing of sheer art. He was determined to write it all out and did.

Thus came out from that genius extraordinary writings in a long life of non stop writing. As an army man too, he would write.

It was as if writing was his second voce and that voice paved the path for generations of writers with that determined, dogged and utterly never ending search.

List of works

VICTOR HUGO



VICTOR HUGO



VICTOR HUGO (1802-1885)


Core essence

Victor Hugo is one of the most extraordinary story tellers of the world. He used language, plot twists, deep themes in a manner that left you breathless with excitement.

The device he used in telling stories were all a unity and it was sheer genius that stemmed from his romantic soul and that could convey an emotion, a thought, a theme, a situation and a story with that ability that would take the reader to dizzy heights of enjoyment. He was the foremost member of the romantic movement. There was a deep concern about man and his place in the universe, in the romantic movement and style of writing. Hugo was the best in that.

Novel after novel proves that. He would see men and his beliefs, and his conviction down to the roots, lay bare the human soul and the most ordinary character thus acquired grandeur in his novels. And the very beliefs deeply held led to ACTION and the conflicts flowed from the beliefs, the main theme at hand, and the characters will to act and assert!!

Thus Hugo created a whole world of life pulsating with drama, color imaginative themes and great , deeply defined and fashioned characters.

To read Hugo is to acquire that mind that reveres life, that loves idealism and realized that the ideal is not a fantasy but here, now before you, in great , deadly conflicts and in the battle to live an defined meaning in life.


Works of Victor Hugo

MUNSHI PREMCHAND

MUNSHI PREMCHAND



PREMCHAND

Core essence

Premchand was the greatest modern story teller of India and in the top in the world too. He was primarily a very genuine and concerned artist. For him art was the honest voice of the soul, no pretences and no hypocrisy.

His stories on the surface are simple, about simple people. But the genuineness he brings to the story, the theme and the style of writing elevates the story to great ART!!

The very simplicity and genuineness takes the reader to a region he had lived but never confronted. Premchand makes him to confront and see the folly, the danger of egotism, and the blindness.

Each if his stories touch you deeply, making you ponder on the issues of life. But Premchand achieves this quietly, sincerely not by shouting or preaching. For that very reason the effect is dramatic in the way only Premchand could create.

That is why he had a huge impact and even today, he is a leader in the modern movement in literature.

Works of Premchand

RABINDRANATH TAGORE


RABINDRANATH TAGORE



RABINDRANATH TAGORE


Core essence

Rabindranath Tagore was a complete artist. He was a story writer, poet, essayist, painter, and musician.

What moves such an artist who left no field to give expression to the thing bursting within him?

It was his sensitivity to the world and the human condition which was always present. He lived his art and all that he saw, and all his personal quest and experiences found deep , passionate expression in all his various works of art in all fields.

His poems and stories are filled with very sharp observations and delicate expression. He could move deeply just with his words and each story is touching, haunting and makes you feel the piece.

He became an icon in India and in Bengal . He was part of the freedom movement but more as an independent mind looking at the events. And he never stopped short to criticize Indians too when he encountered hypocrisy. He stood primarily for internationalism and his novels and stories and poems expressed that. Yet he could be patriotic too, in a defined context and in that sense he was very modern.

He had a deep spiritual bent of mind too, which is not surprising as all artists finally need to know the roots of things. His spiritual voice found expression in Gitanjali, a collection of haunting poems that got his the Nobel prize for literature in 1913. ,

All his life, he breathed art in all its forms and even taught by establishing a university called Shantiniketan that was a forerunner of modern methods of teaching.

List of works

OSCAR WILDE



OSCAR WILDE






OSCAR WILDE

Core essence

A writer is shaped by his nature and the nature of a writer is shaped by the basic beliefs that he deeply holds. From childhood, Oscar Wilde had a wonderful influence both because of his mother and father. His mother was a poet and a linguist and his father was an acclaimed medical practitioner.

Hence deep thought and learning became a part of Oscar Wide. His nature was formed then. But this nature was very first handed. He actually developed a wonderful feeling for the beauty both of language and ideas. In him, the two became one actually.

This pitted him against the world and his originality became his trademark. H was thus arrogant, confident and looked as if he was not serious. But in fact, he was very seriously in love with language, its beauty and its power to communicate the soul.

His writings thus completely express this fact. They are beautifully written, are sensual with lovely use of word combinations and expressing a light hearted view of life, born of deep wisdom that is above the triviality and pseudo seriousness of contemporary life then.

It was a bold and beautiful life, lived richly with literature and language mastery and brimming with laughter, freedom and carefree outlook!!!

List of works

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW





GEORGE BERNARD SHAW


Core essence

George Bernard Shaw was one of the greatest dramatist the world has known. He was a prodigious writer and wrote nonstop all his life. He had a great struggle initially and the novels that he attempted were not a success with critics and publishers.

But by 40 his life changed and he reached the greatest success both in terms of quality and fame. He is the only one to have won bt the Nobel and the Oscar.

He was a sharp observer of events of the world, of human beings and ideas that ruled human beings. Nothing missed his brilliant eyes and mind.

Thus, he could see the stupidity and the follies of both ideas and men and even grasped how ideas shaped men. He was also active in life not sitting n an ivory toer. He wa a critic in a magazine and also was active in politics. He was a professed socialist but as an artist and thinker he was way beyond politics and was primarily a seer interested deeply in the affairs of the world and men.

Thus came out some magnificent plays each executed to perfection.

His plays had satire, intelligent wit, sympathy, deep observation, expose of false and ridiculous ideas. Hence the full, whole effect of the plays was sheer engagement and entertainment. His plays became hugely popular and he lived on to the ripe age of 94 and was writing when he passed away. He wrote prodigiously and his was a mind that had so much content and the greatest talent to express it all in the most serious and yet the most entertaining.

AYN RAND

AYN RAND




AYN RAND (1905- 1982)

Ayn Rand is one of the most popular novelists of the 20th century and her books have sold around 40+ million copies as of 2016 and her sales increase year by year, astonishing the publishing world.

She was voted also as the second most influential author after the bible, in the US.

She is championed by countless people who are convinced of her OBJECTIVIST philosophy and strive to lead a far more meaningful and happy life.

Most of the great leaders whether they are business magnates, inventors, actors, directors, musicians, politicians, writers etc have been greatly influenced by Ayn Rand according to various surveys carried out.

The greatest of thinkers and the commonest man have been influenced by Ayn Rand.

Who is Ayn Rand?

What is her philosophy and why did she capture the minds of millions of people?

What did she really stand for?

Ayn Rand stood for man at his highest possible.

She believed all the good things that any one would believe. She said that Man should live for himself, not sacrifice himself to others nor sacrifice others to himself. She said that faith is not good as it tampers with thinking and she knew that reason, our supreme tool to live and function was man’s greatest asset and value.

She was an atheist but not a militant one; she was an atheist by implication because she did not posit a super nature above the evidence provided by the senses. For her Existence was absolute. Existence exists and only existence exists. The nothing is literally nothing.

She said that Man is a value and his own life is the standard of value. Thus she being a supreme individualist championed Selfishness and Capitalism, the simple deep, egoism of the rational kind.

Man should live his whole life with a purpose and practice rational self interest. She held that reason, purpose and self esteem were supreme values for which thinking were the means.

Thus, she advocated man’s inalienable rights and loved the American Founding principles. All this she held with a blinding and binding certainty and she explored every single issue that concerned life, here on earth.

Who can deny any of the above?

But Ayn Rand’s distinction was her courage to uphold the above as absolute, to fashion the above in beautiful life affirming stories with deadly conflicts and man emerging as the hero and winner.

She believed that man was a heroic being with reason as his tool and his own purpose as the rule of living.

Thus each of her famous novels were received with shock, deep admiration because each of her novels, whether it was “Fountainhead”, “Atlas Shrugged” or “We the Living” etc, had in it plots that were interesting and exciting, value conflicts that were deep and significant, and the writing part was a full expression of a mind that thought and valued at the same time with seam less integrity, clear and deeply passionate together. Her mind went on and formulated a whole philosophy of living on earth and she named her philosophy OBJECTIVISM and wrote and taught that through many landmark non-fiction books too.

Her certainty stung the reader and that “Ayn Rand Effect” would leave you a completely transformed person.

The full Ayn Rand inaugurated a way of thought that has the possibility to bring complete peace to the world, solve each of the problems of the world and the exposing of the ills and madness of the word would pave the way for that ideal that is the practical- each man living for himself with 100% rights, each happy and productive working to the best of ability and each free, the government merely an agency to protect man’s rights.

Thus Ayn Rand is the future world which can be, should be and must be if we love Life and Man.

March 07, 2016

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE


SHAKESPEARE (1564 – 1616)

Shakespeare was born in 1564 on the 23rd of April. He remains an enigma as very little evidence remains of his life, except the extraordinary poems and Plays he wrote. All that we can do is to take the bare facts of his life and reconstruct his life in all its passion and glory.

Shakespeare lived his childhood in Stratford, a small town near London. He must have been a keen observer of people because the kind of observations that he brought into his plays in later life are so universal and cannot come without deep seeds laid in childhood.

In 1582, at 21 he married Anna Hathaway. 3 years later he had his first child Susanna of whom he was very fond.

In the early 1590s he struggled to make his mark in theatre in London and by 1598, he succeeded in establishing himself as a producer, playwright, and actor.

From here he flowered and all his native genius poured out in three major phases, first of the histories and comedies, then the deep tragedies and finally the tragi-comedies.

Shakespeare excelled himself as a supreme entertainer of his times, but little would that world would have known that he would be played by every single community and culture across the whole world in the future.

Today he is widely recognized as the supreme literary giant who could create stories from the most ordinary person by giving a universality, depth and shocking familiarity that could entice any audience anywhere, anytime.

This ability came from his deep observation of people and the world around him and even in history. He understood the core, flawed nature of human beings and could see with stark clarity where it would take them. He could see drama and comedy and tragedy from all the real people he observed.

The comedy was the flawed and foolishness of people and the tragedy too was the same. Shakespeare had a simultaneous ability to craft DRAMAS from that material that required a special genius.

Thus you see Shakespearean characters, and they are not out of this world, they are all the people whom you know and recognize, the common fears, insecurities, jealousies, attachments, loves, betrayals, the tragic-comic flaws…

Shakespeare is the common man’s world but taken to a universal stage.