Thursday, July 26, 2012

The WIngs Of Silence!

Wings of Silence, a very apt title for a tale marked by some of the most subtle feelings of humans. This is one of the finest tales, never heard of. The relations has brought alive by the author. It doesn’t speak just about the relation between two brothers, it’s about almost all the relations existent in a Hindu family, whether it be a father-son, mother daughter, cousins, aunt, grandparents and even the relationship of humanity! One might just say that this would have never happened in real life, a brother sacrificing his career for one, who was completely worthless, but then the author, shapes up and builds the story and the characters, in such a way it compels you to believe it can! Each and every protagonist is very finely described, a soft, strong willed Raj Sethi, who hardly (in fact never, save for his diary and after winning the Gold!) displays his emotion, the winner, the topper, Mr. perfect Saurav Sethi, the smart, beautiful, caring, Shalini, and the disciplinarian Akshay Sethi. In the beginning it seemed like the book would revolve around the life of Saurav Sethi, through whose eyes the entire description is done, but gradually, after the girl of her dreams came into his life, he was a changes man. He was more concerned for his brother, who was a loner, who craved for company, but never told (or signed). He understood that there is much more to life than just medals, and being the centre of attraction. He had to give a life to his brother first. Some of the portions, like running away from family and the wallet being stolen from goons, did seem straight out of the movies, but when the parts before and after it are so absorbing, you hardly care. I went through this book in straight eight hours and felt a lot of emotions creeping in and making eyes moist. The part where Akshay hugs Raj, Raj not leaving Saurav after winning the medal and placing his medal on his neck were some of the best moments! Apart from the above characters, I loved the character of Ekta, and Aunt Sheelu. They completely symbolize the essence of a joint Hindu family. On Saurav’s part it was definitely a very bold decision, to against his parents, to go against himself, and I also tried asking myself the same question after reading his situation, but I am afraid you actually need to be in his shoes to answer such a question. What he did was something commendable, and was probably out of the fear that he would lose his new friend, his brother. In one sense, this was more because he couldn’t imagine his life without Raj, and although he thought winning an Olympic gold would bring redemption to Raj, he knew it was too much to ask for. The love angle between Shalini and Saurav was cute, and so was between Olga and Raj (however short it may be), and Sheelu aunty teasing them added a bit of spice, but I am glad it was not overdone! However, I just wished Saurav would have also gone on to win the Wimbledon, but then, it surely would have been too ‘Bollywoodish’.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Google It...!!Really??

I saw this man on television answering questions on the Infosys debacle, I had seen him but wasn't able to recollect who he was. After about 2 minutes, I put my mind to rest and pulled out the weapon which has all the answers. Google!Turned out the man in question was the Co-Chairman of the company Kris Gopalachari.
The question which struck me was "Is Google making us dumb??" or maybe "dumber"
I started pondering over this thought and developed two contradictory set of theories.
We grew up in the time of video cassettes and Floppy discs, Computers were a luxury back then and search meant searching through the dark recess of cupboard for our best pair of clothes. Britannica was the answer to all our questions, and Oxford used to be give us the meanings! As of today, in this fast paced world, it is really hard to ignore the infinite collection of information available on Google. It has an answer to everything! You want a recipe, or you want to research about the Mayans, you'll get it all. All the facets of today's world: humor, politics, economics, entertainment etc. is available with it. It has answers to questions no one else probably would have. I am not advocating copying or cheating or plagiarism and am not telling you to find the easy way out, but you just cannot ignore looking out for a library which stocks everything under the sun. It doesn't matter whether you are 16 or 60, your cast creed or religion, modern technology insures knowledge is at your tips. One is only as dumb as he wants to be. Most of us are certainly smarter than that!
This argument stems from the basic assumption, that we were smart earlier. But then that's a debate another day. Google is making us dumb, in fact dumber, if I can be politically  incorrect. Do you remember the last time you applied your mind to a thought? All our brains work today is think "How do we Google it"? PC or on phone?
Our grey cells are slowly and steadily rusting, thanks to google, and with the advent of social networking, the dumb quotient has hit an all time low. We don't even google it now. It's just a tweet and the Twitterati replies with an answer! We have successfully added a whole new step to an otherwise prosaic process. Just for argument sake let's say that Google indeed has made us smarter and we have a high IQ to support the fact. 
But then, where did you check your IQ?