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Kafka - on the shore

For once I have something to blog about. Not just whining and blaming others. Or posting some silly quotes which only I found hilarious, and reposting it.

Ok. The day I saw about Arundhati Roy's book "the ministry of utmost happiness" I read more about her and read part of her article in Caravan. I realized we share some common enemies. Isn't that how friendships are formed - based on whom you hate or dislike? OK, why don't I buy her book.

Amazon order was prepared. Luckily they had some offer on hardcover book. So that went into shopping cart. Because I did not want to pay 50 rupee delivary charges, I browsed through suggestion Amazon provided and selected "Kafka on the shore" by Murukami - a Japanese writer.

Now both books have arrived and I haven't yet removed the plastic cover of Roy's book. Instead I am reading Kafka...

And interestingly enough, I am proceeding quite well. Though two other book which I was trying to read few pages a day at least, are peeping from time to time and asking "what about us".

The reason I am able to read is because I paid for it is because the book is having some events, not just thoughts. And it is not saddening. So next time, I should google for a book which is NOT SAD before I start reading it.

The other book I was trying to read was "Bhagavad gita". I have borrowed my sister's book which has Sanskrit shlokas, meanings of each word and then the complete meaning. So I will read aloud the shloka, some times multiple times, disjoin the sandhis, then try to understand the meaning. Some how, this is better for me than just reading essays on each shloka of this most profound philosophical work.

And last Gita shloka I remember reading says something like " you are your own friend and you are your own enemy." Don't we all know it? But still act more as enemies - always trying to self-sabotage?

OK. Back to Kafka on the shore. There are two stories running in parallel. There is a teenage boy who will run away from home and keep a pseudo name of Kafka. And there is a strange event of 16 children falling unconscious in a school picnic. So far they do not seem to be related. They are not even from the same time period. This accident happens some time during world war II, but the boy's story is current.

So let us see how these two will be linked. And what Kafkaesque events will unfold - because I read that the author's style is supposed to be of magic realism. 

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Someshwara shataka

ಚರಿಪಾರಣ್ಯದ ಪಕ್ಷಿಗೊಂದು ತರು ಗೊಡ್ಢಾಗಲ್ ಫಲಂ ಈವಿದಾ
ಮರಗಳ್ ಪುಟ್ಟವೆ ಪುಷ್ಪವೊಂದು ಬಳಲಲ್  ಭ್ರಂಗಕ್ಕೆ ಪೂವಿಲ್ಲವೆ
ನಿರತಂ ಸತ್ಕವಿಗೋರ್ವ ಗರ್ವಿದಂ ನೃಪ ತಾಂ ಲೋಭಿಯಾಗಲ್ ನಿಜಂ
ಧರೆಯೊಳ್ ದಾತರು ಪುಟ್ಟರೆ ಹರ ಹರಾ ಶ್ರೀ ಚೆನ್ನ ಸೋಮೇಶ್ವರ

Will a bird in the wild go hungry just because one fruit tree dries up? If one flower withers, will not the bee get any flowers? If one haughty king is miserly, will there be no patrons (of poetry) on this earth?


ಕೆಲವಂ ಬಲ್ಲವರಿಂದ ಕಲ್ತು ಕೆಲವಂ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಂಗಳೋದುತಂ
ಕೆಲವಂ ಮಾಳ್ಪವರಿಂದ ಕಂಡು ಕೆಲವಂ ಸುಜ್ಙಾನದಿಂ  ನೋಡುತಂ
ಕೆಲವಂ ಸಜ್ಜನಸಂಗದಿಂದಲರಿಯಲ್ ಸರ್ವಜ್ಞನಪ್ಪಂ ನರಂ
ಪಲವಂ ಪಳ್ಳ ಸಮುದ್ರವೈ ಹಾರ ಹರಾ ಶ್ರೀ ಚೆನ್ನ ಸೋಮೇಶ್ವರ

Learning from wise men, reading from good books, observing others  work and learning from good company, these are the ways a man becomes omni-scient (sarvajna - one who knows everything). Just like many streams join together to make an ocean.

P.S.
1) If you find some of my wordings in this shataka is wrong, please let me know. It is a 40 year old memory.
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