Book Review|Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.

Title: Siddhartha

Author: Hermann Hesse

Genre: Philosophical Fiction

Publisher: New Directions

Year: 1922

Goodreads blurb: Herman Hesse’s classic novel has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers. In this story of a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege to seek spiritual fulfillment. Hesse synthesizes disparate philosophies–Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism–into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man’s search for true meaning.

My view: I started reading the book thinking it to be story about The Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama). Though it’s not a tale about The Buddha, I personally feel the book in places did pay an homage to him by showing the reverence people had for him, his calm, enigmatic personality that people were drawn to and how followers from all around wished to learn from his wisdom. Coming to the story, I don’t think much of it is relatable in today’s time. But, there are learnings throughout the book. As a young Brahmin, Siddhartha found no delight in himself, so he set out on a path to find spiritual fulfillment and meaning to life. In the first part, his goal is to become empty, empty of thirst, empty of wishing, empty of dreams, empty of joy. In the second part, he experiences the material things life has to offer. In life, we all at some point, after experiencing the pain’s and joy’s of life, set out (not literally) to find our purpose. In that sense, you might relate with him. But the idea of distancing oneself or for that matter abandoning society including family, partner, child for a personal quest is in some sense egotistical. I find Hesse’s philosophy hard to accept. One beautiful thing I learnt from the book is that knowledge can be shared but not wisdom. You gain wisdom through experience. Overall, this is not my first book in this genre, so it was an easy read. So, if you know what to expect and where to look for the learnings, you would enjoy this book.

Most people…are like a falling leaf that drifts and turns in the air, flutters, and falls to the ground. But a few others are like stars which travel one defined path: no wind reaches them, they have within themselves their guide and path.

…for you know that soft is stronger than hard, water stronger than rock, love stronger than force

Have you read the book? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Reading❤

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Sunshine Blogger Award

Hi all. How are you guys doing? Hope everything is alright!

I recently got nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by one of my fellow bloggers. Check out Aainaaz’s blog Beingflawsome. She writes about fashion, beauty and much more. I love reading her posts and I’m sure you’ll love them too. Thanks Aainaaz for the nomination. It always feels amazing to be nominated.

Rules:
• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
• Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
• Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
• List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

My Answers:

1.What is your favourite movie?

Difficult to choose one. The one’s I can recall are Avatar, Little Women, The Pursuit of Happiness, The Harry Potter series. Here, in bollywood I think Chak De! India is my all time favourite.

2.How is Quarantine treating you?

I’ve had relaxing 4 months. I’m learning a lot of new things. So, yeah, pretty well.

3.Where are you from?

I’m from Mumbai, India.

4.Goal with your blog?

To reach out and engage with as many people and leave a positive impact.

5.What post of mine do you like the most?

I found your post titled My Biggest Pet Peeves the most fun to read.


Nominees:

Princess

Dixitmrityunjay

Surbhi Mishra

Nabeela

Era

Piyush Gulati

Shadawss

Singhpiyush6089

Tanya Sheik

Question to the nominees

1. Your go to movie?

2. Favourite book?

3. Are you a student? If yes, what subjects do you study? Or in which field do you work?

4. One crazy thing on your bucket list?

5. If you could visit one place from fictional books, what would that be?

6. Your biggest pet peeve?

7. What languages do you speak?


Once again, shoutout to Beingflawsome for the nomination.❤

If any of you reading this post feels like this is something you want to try, you’re more than welcome. I would love reading your answers.

Until then,

Bye❤

Book Review|The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Title: The God Of Small Things

Author: Arundhati Roy

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: IndiaInk

Year: 1997

“That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.”

Goodreads blurb:
The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, a skyblue Plymouth with chrome tailfins is stranded on the highway amid a Marxist workers’ demonstration. Inside the car sit two-egg twins Rahel and Esthappen, and so begins their tale. . . .
Armed only with the invincible innocence of children, they fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family–their lonely, lovely mother, Ammu (who loves by night the man her children love by day), their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt), and the ghost of an imperial entomologist’s moth (with unusually dense dorsal tufts).
When their English cousin, Sophie Mol, and her mother, Margaret Kochamma, arrive on a Christmas visit, Esthappen and Rahel learn that Things Can Change in a Day. That lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever, beside their river “graygreen.” With fish in it. With the sky and trees in it. And at night, the broken yellow moon in it.
The brilliantly plotted story uncoils with an agonizing sense of foreboding and inevitability. Yet nothing prepares you for what lies at the heart of it.

My view: When I started reading the book, I found it a bit difficult to keep going. The writing is simple and lucid but the narrative is such that the events don’t unfold chronologically. They happen in instances of flashback and backstories for you to make the link. At times I couldn’t tell whether it’s the present or the past. But once you’re in the flow of it, a beautiful story in a rural setting unfolds. It tells the sad truth of Indian society which though multicultural and multilingual still deals with racism, intolerance, oppression and how this and the harsh politics leads a technically innocent man to be convicted of crime. The characters are all with their own flaws and come with the baggage of the past. I found the innocence in the children to be most likebable. Be it their pure love for a man considered untouchable by society, or how they analyse things said to them or the questions they ask their mother or even their ability to forgive easily as children, the author has done justice in portraying their childhood. Through the book, you realise how even the smallest things said or done can have the biggest impacts. How as a family, deciding who to love and how much to love can change lives forever.

Some beautiful quotes from the book:

“If you’re happy in a dream, does that count?”

“This was the trouble with families. Like invidious doctors, they knew just where it hurt.”

“Things can change in a day.”

“Perhaps it’s true that things can change in a day. That a few dozen hours can affect the outcome of whole lifetimes. And that when they do, those few dozen hours, like the salvaged remains of a burned house—the charred clock, the singed photograph, the scorched furniture—must be resurrected from the ruins and examined. Preserved. Accounted for. Little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstituted. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they become the bleached bones of a story.”

The novel, the first from the author also won Man Booker Prize 1997.

Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!

Bye💕


To read more book reviews, click here

Journey To The Top

On the journey to the top

Take your values with you

Don’t leave behind

Those close to you

Let them be part of your dreams

Let them grow with you

Imbibe the things

You learn at every step

Influence those around

Plant seeds of compassion

Let every soul you meet

Feel your impact

Share your joy

Your success

Because it is lonely at the top

Many people around

So few well-wishers

The one’s you always had

The one’s happy in your happiness

And in tough times, having your back

Are the one’s who are forever to keep

Don’t be consumed by yourself

Help others, be inclusive

Be kind and accepting

And when you stand at the cliff

Let the blooming flowers

You planted long ago

Give you joy

Don’t fall in the dark pithole

Of your own aspirations

The place you won’t find anyone

Not even yourself

Let your dreams be about everyone

Not alone you

Nida K.

New Things

Hi, what’s up!

This post is to inform you guys that I’ve taken up a social psychology course. So, you’ll find many posts from me about topics related to it. I’ve always been intrigued by human behaviour, how we think the way we do, inter-relation between humans, the capacity to influence and much more. And I think this course though at beginners level will help me learn more about it. I think no matter in which field you want to or are pursuing your career, behavioural studies are important as it will help you take better decisions. So, I’ll be sharing my learnings with you all.

Here’s my first post

Selective Perception

Selective Perception

Before you start to read further, I want you to check the image below. Do you find any error or fallacy?

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Okay so could you spot the error?

Take a look at the 10 of diamond. To all those who know or have played cards would know that cards of diamond are red, not black. But how many of you could actually identify it. Only a few. This is selective perception. It is a process in which a person sees only what he wants to or desires to see (based on his personal frame of reference) ignoring other perceptions or views. In short, the person will not see things he doesn’t want to.

Factors: There are many factors that lead or influence selective perception. Experts say your age, gender, emotional state, past experiences, interests, attitude, beliefs etc all influence your perception. These are internal factors. Some external factors include the size of the object you’re seeing, intensity (greater intensity or brightness of a object, makes it more likely for you to see it), contrast etc.

Types: There are two types of selective perception: perceptual vigilance and perceptual defence. In perceptual vigilance, the individual will notice or recognize stimuli which is significant to him. In perceptual defence, the individual creates a barrier between him and the stimuli in an attempt to protect himself from knowing it.
A classic study that illustrates both types of selective perception happened when students at Princeton and Dartmouth universities watched a film of a football game between the two schools. The Princeton students noticed more penalties committed by Dartmouth, and the Dartmouth students noticed more penalties by Princeton. Each group judged the football game depending on their team allegiance and ignored evidence that contradicted what they wanted to see.

How to work in the direction of expanding one’s perception for better decision making?

  • Become aware of your self, your behaviours and patterns for filtering perception. Ask yourself questions what is it that I concentrate more on, do I notice somethings and ignore others etc.
  • Open yourself. Condition your mind such that it is open to views and perceptions. Let go of your ignorance or fears of certain things and embrace them.

Hope this was helpful. Knowing yourself, your behaviour, perceptions really helps in decision making.

For a detailed read you could refer some sites I used https://explorable.com/selective-perception

https://dieprojektmanager.com/selective-perception

Until next time,

Bye💕


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3 Tools To Help You With Your Blog

Hi guys. Hope all is well. Today while reading the papers I came across a section with the title “Free tools to help you write like a Pro”. They have listed 3 websites to help you with your write-ups. I tried one myself and it’s really good. I’ve listed them below, hope it helps.

1. Grammarly– Once you sign-up, you can specify your language goals: formal or informal, and the nature of your audience whether general or expert. You can then write or copy-paste your write ups in the box on the website. It will check for clarity and engagement and will give suggestions accordingly. It will also give you a score on 100 which can be improved by implementing the recommendations.

grammarly.com

2. Hemingway App– This doesn’t need you to sign up. Just paste your text in the box and it highlights places which are lengthy, complex and with common errors. You can re-phrase the sentences or maybe eliminate some words not required as per the suggestion. It also tells you where to use active voice and when not. I’ve tried this and it’s really helpful.

www.hemingwayapp.com

3. Scribens- This is similar to Hemingway App, scans your text and corrects over 250 types of common mistakes. And with each correction, it provides an explanation to improve writing. It keeps a readability indication and provides definitions, synonyms with an accompanying dictionary.

www.scribens.com


If you found this helpful, don’t forget to like, comment, share.😊