Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jai ho

I almost jumped with joy when I saw A.R.Rehman accepting Oscars not once but twice.:) I definitely felt so proud to see him on that stage as a winner. Now, let me be honest and say that I have not yet heard the songs of Slumdong Millionaire. But I have always been a great fan of A.R.Rehman music. His music has always been soul stirring and beyond boundaries. The way he brings out the best from his musicians and the way he introduces new talent is absolutely commendable. A man of few words, he lets his music speak most of the time.

Kudos to the absolute true genius of music.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The three books that touched me - 4

The last book ( but not the least) that I shall be talking about is IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE: MY JOURNEY BACK TO LIFE by LANCE ARMSTRONG along with SALLY JENKINS. For those of you who do not know about Lance Armstrong, he is one of the world's best cyclists. He has won Tour De France ( that is supposed to be the Wimbeldon for the cyclists) seven times consecutively. He is also famous for his "Lance Armstrong Foundation" that brought out the yellow LIVESTRONG bands in support of the fight against cancer.

The book is mainly about Lance's fight against cancer and how he emerged to be a winner. He also speaks about the cycling races especially the ones that he went for after he was diagnosed with cancer.

He was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 25. But instead of resigning to fate, he fought back with strong will and determination. Along with that fight, he got back to cycling and makes history.

I must tell you that this book really swept me off my feet. The fact that it was a real story and autobiographical made me borrow this book. As I started reading, it opened up a new world to me. Before I read the book, I had very little idea about cycling as a sport. The book revealed so many facts about cycling that I began to understand that this is one of the most challenging sports. What amazed me was that even a normal person finds cycling physically demanding; and imagine how a person with cancer would have dealt with it! What stupendous determination Lance Armstrong must have had to do so! And it is just not that; he emerges as a champion! What a comeback he makes! Even before you read the end, you conclude him as a winner by looking at the way he handles the whole thing. This man inspires you with his feats as you read the book.

If you think that you are looking at the greatest obstacle of your life, then just grab a copy of this book. I am sure that by the time you finish it, you will feel that your obstacle is nothing at all and even if it exists, it can be easily conquered. :)

One of my favourite quotes of Lance Armstrong is :

"Without cancer, I never would have won a single Tour de France. Cancer taught me a plan for more purposeful living, and that in turn taught me how to train and to win more purposefully. It taught me that pain has a reason, and that sometimes the experience of losing things–whether health or a car or an old sense of self–has its own value in the scheme of life. Pain and loss are great enhancers."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The three books that touched me - 3

The second book that I really enjoyed reading in the recent times is "THE ZAHIR" by Paulo Coelho. Okay, I had heard about Paul Coelho, but I think more than him, I had heard about his book "The Alchemist".:) Recommended by my friends, I purchased a copy of " The Alchemist". But I could not go further than the first few pages of the book. Ya, ya, I know that you might find it ridiculous, but honestly I was not inspired by "The Alchemist".

So this time, when I saw " The Zahir" at the library, I wasn't sure if I had to pick that up. But I thought I would give it a try. And believe me, once I started reading it, I was hooked to the book till the end. And I ended up recommending it to my friends.:)

In Paul Coelho's words - "Zahir means visible , incapable of being unnoticed. It can refer to an object or a person that takes over every thought of ours until we are unable to think about anyone or anything else. It slowly becomes our obsession."

The book is mainly about a famous author's search for his missing wife. The thought of his missing wife becomes the "zahir". I think the book turns out to be interesting as we can connect ourselves and people around us with the characters in the book. Even if you are not convinced with the plot, you might be tempted for some soul searching. For me, the journey to the missing wife was very fascinating rather than the end part of meeting her. Somewhere I thought it was on par with "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari".

I definitely think the book is worth atleast one reading and if you connect with it, you might wanna read it again and again.:)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The three books that touched me - 2

The first book that I will be writing about is "PSYCHIC DETECTIVE". It is a book based on the experiences of one of the famous psychics of Australia- Scott Russell Hill.

When I picked up this book from the library, I had nil knowledge about psychics. Hence I was curious and decided to read it through.

"Sensing Murder" was one of the famous serials that was aired in few countries. The main theme of the programme was that some unsolved cases were given to the chosen psychics. Based on their psychic abilities, they gave clues which were assembled by the private detectives.

In this book, Scott narrates his experiences of him being a psychic detective on the "Sensing Murder" show. It maps his victories, failures, his pain and anguish as he goes ahead with each case. Many a times, he would not be given any clue about the case. He would go ahead guided by his intuition and psychic ability. He would provide clues to who the murderer could be and the whereabouts of the body of the victim ( in case the body of the victim was not found before). Then the clues were put together by the private investigators.

The book is definitely a fascinating read. It opens up a new world of psychic ability, a world of mystery. The fact that there is more than what you see kinda knocks you down. I enjoyed reading it immensely as it was gripping from the beginning to the end. There is lot of sincerity in the author's narration. I think it is a good book for a starter who wants to know about psychics.

I have believed that there are things that are beyond logic, beyond reasoning. There are mysteries for which science has no answers. There are people around us with exceptional abilities. All these might be labelled as fake and nonsense. But the mysteries continue to persist and exist.

No, I am not getting into any debate. It is just that if you get to read this book, do read it with an open mind, without any inhibitions. Then you will enjoy it more. Who knows, it might open a door for you to explore a different world or to explore yourself and you might stumble on some exceptional ability of yours!!!!:)))))

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The three books that touched me - 1

As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I have been doing lot of reading after coming to Melbourne - thanks to the excellent library next door! I have been reading a lot of fiction and most of them are from not-very-famous authors. Yet, I must say I enjoy them a lot. I have been choosing diverse types of books to read. Many of them can be passed off as a one time read. But I believe that reading definitely adds on to your life, no matter what you read.

I don't remember the name of the movie that had this dialogue- "You do not choose the book. On the contrary, the book chooses you."

I loved the dialogue a lot when I heard. But I was not very convinced about the statement until I started paying attention to the type of books I read.:)

Most of the times, I go to the library with my toddler. She runs all around the library pulling those books and DVDs down. So sometimes I do have a very hard time selecting the books as I am busy running behind her. So usually I pick my books very fast. The criteria for this quick selection is the eye-catching title or the author's name or an impulse.:) This process has sometimes ended up with books that I just stopped reading after 5 pages.:) But at the same time, this process has got me some books of lifetime.

In my next three posts, I will be talking about the three books that touched me and I read these books in about three weeks, one after another.:)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Great Ocean Road - 3

At the end of the second day on the Great Ocean Road, we were totally exhausted. Yet we were in high spirits ( including Tunga) maybe because of the beautiful places that we had seen.

Next day, we started off back to Melbourne. We decided that we would stop impromptu at a couple of beaches on the way and head back home. We stopped at an isolated, stony beach before Lorne. All the three of us got busy looking out for sea shells on that beach.:) Tunga collected her first sea shell there and we were so proud of that.:) We found very artistic, different types of sea shells on that beach. So after some photography, we headed further.

After the lunch at Anglesea, we took a break again at the Point Roadknight Beach. We had not heard about this place but we just decided to have a look. It turned out to be a sandy beach and a beautiful place. We wanted to spend more time there but as Tunga looked a bit weary, we decided to drive home early.

This whole trip to the Great Ocean Road was very refreshing and unforgettable. The images of the vast ocean have stayed with me since then. As mentioned in many of my posts, there is no better destresser than the nature itself.:)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Great Ocean Road - 2

Motel Marengo- that was the name of the hotel where we stayed for 2 nights. This hotel is situated at Apollo Bay. If you are looking out for a simple, comfortable, homely place, then this is the right stop for you. There are rooms with beach view in this hotel, but we did not get one. We did not mind it because we knew that during the whole of the day, we would be with the sea anyways.:)

So after the rest and the refreshment, we thought we could explore a bit of Apollo Bay. As we reached the end of this small town, we noticed a sign board that mentioned "Mariners Lookout". Now this was not in our list of "to-see" places. But as we had some time on hand, we drove to this place. We had to park our car at one point and trek a bit. The path lead us to the top of a range of hills. And the view from there was awesome. We could see the whole of Apollo Bay from the top. As we savored the beautiful sight, our daughter, Tunga, was happy to see the grazing sheep on those hills.:) Needless to say, we were one happy lot for having explored this lookout.

One thing that you should know is that the Great Ocean Road is full of scenic places. So you really need to prioritize the places. We had this list of places ( that we had researched on the net) but we decided to take it easy as we did not want to stress out Tunga.

Next day, we set off to Cape Otway. This place is at the southern most tip of the Great Ocean Road. It is mainly famous for the lighthouse. On the way, we got very close views of the koala bears perched onto the trees. I really love them for their don't care attitudes as they slumber on those trees.:)

This time, we thought that we would climb the staircase to the top of the lighthouse at Cape Otway. But it would prove to be tough with Tunga so we decided to take turns. The view from the top was amazing. It was so windy out there that even a not-so-fragile person like me thought that I would be blown away.:) I held onto the railings tightly.

After lunch, we drove to the most famous place in the Great Ocean Drive- the Twelve Apostles. As I mentioned that it is a very popular destination, the place was overcrowded. But then the crowd will not bother you because you will be so busy looking at these tall, magnificient rocks. There is a boardwalk on one of the apostles and I must admit that it is always gonna an unforgettable experience for me. Of course, it is a little perturbing to see people falling all over to get photographed with the apostles. But as I said before, the majestic structures and the roaring ocean below them compensate for all those petty disturbances. We spent a quite a lot of time there amidst the apostles.

After this, we wanted to make it to the famous "tree-top walk". But we were delayed and could not make it in time for it. At a petrol station, we were told about the Triplet Falls. So we decided to go there instead.

So we set out on a two kms trek to the falls in the Great Otway National Park. This trek gives one a real feel of a walk through the dense forest. The huge, towering trees allow only a sparse amount of sunlight through them. We knew we were near the falls as we heard the roaring sound. One glance of the falls took away all my weariness. It is definitely one of the best waterfalls I have ever seen.

After spending some time there, we started our return trek to the car park. The return path was a different one that had lot of steps. But at one point, the path came to a dead end. We could hear the cars so we knew we were somewhere nearby to the car park. But we did not know the way out. I confess that I was a bit scared at that point, wondering what to do if we got lost in the forest. Then somehow we went through the bushes, made way through the trees and managed to reach the mud road that led to the car park. You can imagine how relieved I was when we reached that road. What an adventure that was for us, especially with our one and a half year old daughter hanging on with us!!:)