Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Review: Johnny Gone Down

A new thing which i am starting in my writing.. yes other than my curious minds is all about the books i read and which had deep impact in me. A vivid book reader which i am, i have gone through many books of world literature but yet there is something good which i feel about this book by the second time novelist Karan Bajaj.

After reading "Keep off the grass" i must admire Karan bajaj for the kind of writing he has, which is mature logical and dark. yes the author himself says in his interview that movie like old boy (Korean) were his inspirations.

Johnny Gone Down is a complete story of Nikhil from his appointment letter in NASA to being ending up first as a monk, then an accountant to a drug mafia and then a software mogul. The story starts with the graduation day at MIT where Nikhil is with his best bud sameer. Nikhil has just landed up with his dream job at NASA and is expected to join by next month. Suddenly sameer lands up with an idea of leaving to Cambodia for vacation. Everything is well planned except that when the two reach Cambodia they find themselves in the midst of a war. Nikhil in his act of selflessness saves Sam and he in turn stays there only to be caught by the revolutionists and for many a years being in jail he escapes back only to find himself in Thailand and hence becomes a monk even when his heart still wants him to get back to US for his dream job. He continues with monk for full 10 yrs and finally on a trip to Brazil decided to move out and now he finds himself in Brazil being an accountant to a drug mafia. falls in love with a Brazilian actress and gets married. but now again circumstances forces him to flee to US where he becomes a software giant but life comes as a full circle and now he returns back to India to complete the full final journey whose destination is "Death".

With the above synopsis with very li'l spoilers included, the book continues to move at a pace of its own not forcing its reader to be lost somewhere or feel sleepy. An extraordinary journey with little philosophical touch and a time frame covering more than 25 yrs and 6 countries. this is an extra ordinary journey of a man. While reading the book we can still feel the touch of Bollywood in the narration. of course the book and the plot make up a spicy Bollywood movie. A sense of realism brought in few portions were just remarkable.

But still the character Nikhil tries to arouse curiosity among the readers. he might well be regarded as a superhero but a hero who is about to die in the first chapter of the book, looses his hand in the first 100 pages of the book and a dedicated monk lived up in monastery for 10 long years and still ending up in drug business. How do you rate this hero. may be the one which is not seen much in literature. a very difficult book to lay off, that's precisely the reason why i finished the book in one go.

A word for the author Karan Bajaj: Take a bow. In line with the current Indian writers i admire him just because of the style of writing covering almost all aspects: philosophy, thriller, darkness. just like his former book the character is confused and almost wants to take up whatever the life is offering him not knowing of the consequences. In recent days never seen a writing so true and dark.

Lessons learnt: Live life king size, live the life as its a canvas and paint it with bright colors, live the life at present and never to think whats gonna happen next. A life which we regard as a perfect could change overnight and yet instead of pressing the panic button we must continue on whatever life offers us and be patient enough to get the correct fruit.

For me to sum up with the book and the character: "A life once lived, but fully lived"

My Rating: 8.5/10 for good writing and a fantastic plot.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A tribute to "Nothing"

Well i am starting this post not something which i can say is my own writing but thanks to John D Barrow book i am able to understand some concepts of nothing and zero and just sharing it.

Nothing in itself is a concept. the dictionary have 10 different meanings for nothing. so it got to be something right

zero in itself is circumlocutary. i.e it is using more word than required to express an idea. in tennis the use of word "love" comes from a rather unromantic french word "leuf" which means egg which symbolically represents zero "0"

plus when we all say he is fighting for love (not money).. which means nothing..

A null operation is a technological crap for nothing in computer. so when the initial computers were designed, during the difference between one key stroke and the other key stroke the computer would run the null operation meaning nothing is to be processes now.

but not all usage of zero were derogative. in earlier 15th century when french used to escape to scotland they used to keep their names secret by using the surname nimmo derived from latin "nenot" meaning no one.

writers also embraced the theory of nothing in their own sense. elbert hubbard book "essay on science" was a neatly bound book of blank pages. The ray craft used it as an autograph book
also in 1974 the nothing book was published which is a beautiful bound book in a nut brown denim building full of empty pages for the delight of dedicated scribbler

Elbert Hubbard

Zero became a great trouble for the early days of computer. in the days where all documents and applications were processed with the help of computer. Now the dates were recorded with the last two digits of the year. little did the computer and their developers knew that as year progressed to 2000 the literal 00 was of no significance and the calculation would start backwards. now just think if the credit card expiry instead of 01-Jun-2001 becomes 01-Jun-1901. what a blunder the world would have caused.

There are other amazing stuffs in the book one of which is a paradox explained through a small story

There is a man and a turtle. The man walks at 400 metres per hour. The turtle walks at 40 meters per hour.
The turtle starts the race 400 meters in front of the man.
By the time, the man has travelled 400 metres, the turtle will have travelled 40 meters so will be 40 meters ahead.
The man travels another 40 metres, but by then the turtle is 4 meters ahead.
The man travels another 4 metres, but the turtle is 0.4 meters ahead.
And so on…
The man can therefore never overtake the tortoise.

The point here is we keep going in relatively smaller amounts but we would never go to exact zero, each time just the difference is leading towards zero 

Well this book would serve a great fact book and an awesome read which it is. so all facts are just from the first chapter of this good book. so just track this book on

For all Indian Readers:Flipkart: http://www.flipkart.com/books/0099288451?pid=pnw3f1adtf&_l=oMITT7hLtDgRhkHnIEH7fA--&_r=OJHxb7ljLS4UQpxFegA5DA--&ref=158fa884-4bb0-4236-8b7b-d0cf6c5d9b48

For all outside India: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Nothing-Vacuums-Origins-Universe/dp/0375726098/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321701418&sr=8-1

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My path to prosperity!

Its just strange that "Circumstances laid in front of us have a part to play in shaping up our entire life". We all act together and some choose to throw it away while some might want to redeem it. Its just the way we look at it, act strong and achieve the goal.

Just to state a small instance where there were two good friends. They used to stay together, had the same goal  but different yet strong ideas to achieve it. They knew that if they acted smart enough they would turn their small investments to big fortunes. But suddenly the market collapsed and the bank in which they put their money had hopelessly failed. The former said to latter that worry and tension might not bring the money back but hard work and positive approach would definitely help them. Saying this the former went to work with optimism but latter went to work mourning the loss of money,

Its so strange that the situation in front of them were same where one chose to follow the path of prosperity the latter chose to curse it and let go off the positivity in him.

If circumstances had the power to bless and harm they would bless or harm each one alike but the same circumstance would prove fruitful or disaster to different person only proves that its not the circumstance that is good or bad its the human soul. I do hope that this particular instance would help in the enlightenment of my friend who just challenged that the path we chose is the path that is shown in front of us. Well most of you who will read this would agree with me on the thought i pondered upon.