Book: Yes, My Accent is Real

kunal

To take a break from the The Big Bang Theory marathon with a light reading, this book was picked half expecting it would be light and funny enough, and half expecting I can finish it in a couple of days so that I can carry on with the TBBT series. It is more than that, I learned invaluable lessons as a human being from this memoir. This book is as cool and witty as Kunal Nayyar.

About the Author:
Kunal Nayyar is a British Indian actor and writer best known for his role as Rajesh Koothrappali in the CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory.
According to Forbes, Nayyar was third on the list of World’s Highest-Paid TV Actors for 2015.

I can see how much effort he had put in to this book, unlike some of the so-called celebrity writers. His English is, unsurprisingly, impeccable. This book can be shelved as ‘humor’ yet, his life-stories are mostly filled with humility and hardship.

As a fan of Raj, like most of the readers of this book, I enjoyed what little time he spent talking about the character and playing him. His lesson on ethnicity and being a minority in a foreign land, is too precious. Sometimes, we use that as a defense mechanism when we can’t accept the failure, but in reality, “We just aren’t good enough”.
One of my favorite quotes: “This is what we do to people when we’re intimidated: we make them out to be monsters so we’re more comfortable with ourselves. We judge. We demonize them to brace ourselves for rejection.”

I felt his childhood was more like mine after 2012, saturated with American media, as reflected in the opening essay, “Everything I Know About Kissing I Learned from Winnie Cooper,” which tells how watching The Wonder Years and becoming infatuated with its young actress while growing up prepared him for his own first kiss and how life came full circle when his acting career gave him the chance to kiss the real actress.
It’s a fairly quick read, and most of the stories only last a few pages so it was pretty easy to breeze through it in a couple of sittings. It still feels weird to critique someone’s life story, but I will say it’s well written and Kunal is really easy to relate to even if he is famous.

Pleasant enough, witty, charming, even touching. It was a nice read. If you enjoy his acting, you’ll likely enjoy it. Yes, My Accent Is Real isn’t a must read.

P.S. I’m glad I’m getting back into non-fiction, it’s been a long time since I’ve read so many in such a short period but it’s been a welcomed change so far.

Peace
MADdy

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Book : I Am Malala

MALALA-FINAL.jpgLet me preface this write up with some facts before I go further, This part of my blog is not a book review section, I wanted to name it “books I’ve been through” but I shortened it with “Books”.
It’s hard to review these kind of books and I don’t think they should be reviewed at all. They aren’t there to entertain the audience and it is not about writing style or adjectives that the author used. These books are meant to transmit a message.
I started researching on Malala ever since her story got exposed to the world, so I couldn’t wait to finish this when I received a copy from a roadside book seller. I must say, I had a very good experience buying the book too, the lady who sold me was talking a lot about books which I normally don’t expect from a normal roadside vendor. She told me that everyone should read this book especially girls. When I said it’s for my sister, she gave me an extra discount.
“I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” is the true story of a nineteen year old girl’s campaign for women’s right to education. In 2011 she was shot by the Taliban in a bus on her way home from school. Two men boarded the school bus “Who is Malala” they asked and fired gun shots, two lodged in Malala’s head. It is indeed a powerful book. Malala’s story is remarkable in light of women’s role in her culture and the groups fighting to persecute women. It was the Taliban that claimed responsibility for shooting Malala calling her crusade for education rights an “obscenity”. The first half of the book Malala describes Pakistan’s history including the history of her ancestors and the northern region of Pakistan, Swat where she lives. Malala also shares stories of her family, giving the reader a glimpse into the culture of Pakistan from a young woman’s perspective. Many of the stories involve Malala’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai. She describes his involvement in local politics, in the community and his vocal support of education for boys and girls. There’s no doubt Malala’s passion and courage to stand up for women’s rights stems from her father’s actions and character. Ziauddin Yousafzai defied Taliban orders by running a private school that encouraged girls to attend. Malala describes the challenges and frustrations her father faced when starting the school. The motto over the school’s door read “We are committed to build for your the call of the new era”. Her father believed the school’s students could fight the enemy with pens, not swords.
Some reviewers claimed the book was poorly written, not interesting. But the book is written in the perspective of a 14 year old girl. I imagined my 14 year self at that stage of a situation and I was disappointed, I would have blamed my gender and place I born for everything but Malala is very proud of her gender and place, she don’t have words to express the beauty of Swat valley and the innocent people out there.
Malala’s story emphasizes education’s value. Looking deeper it challenges readers to examine the role of education, its purpose and function within a society. Withholding education from certain groups within a society hinders progress, threatens peace and perpetuates poverty. These principles also apply to Western cultures where education is the starting point for eliminating poverty, reducing crime and violence in impoverished neighborhoods. There are parallels; it’s thought-provoking.
It is important that we become more familiar with the cause that Malala represents, and how groups across the world like the Taliban have attempted to take women’s rights back to the dark ages. I admire her strong stance and her peaceful voice. And the narration of the beauty of Swat valley, which is probably one of the few compliments I would pay her co writer Cristina lamb.

Malala has never hidden that face not when the Taliban insisted on it, and not when she emerged from her battle for survival to stand before the members of the United Nations in July and deliver her message yet again, a little louder.

Conclusion:
“I am Malala” is a compelling read. She as an individual is a remarkable women who is a hero for women’s right to a quality education. With her father, Malala created the Malala Fund that supports education for women including the Global Partnership for Education. The book is a good starting point for learning about the complexities of women’s rights in some countries and education access. “I am Malala” delivers a message to each reader about the value of education.
Education empowers.

Love
MADdy

Happy Ending

I took my pen and writing pad after a very long period.
Bhayya are you going to write a story? Asked my little sister with a lovely tone.
Yes dear, replied.
Will it be a happy ending story?
I paused for a moment, I lost the grip with the pen. After few seconds of silence i lifted my head and looked at her, her eyes were curious to know the answer.

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Life was not much happier for the last couple of years, after we lost our parents. There was nothing left for us.
It was a long walk of struggle and pain to finally reach here in this small apartment.
I gave up everything for my little angel and started being a good parent, video games and fantasy novels could no longer entertain me. I was trying to be mom, dad, brother, sister everything i can, to raise my little angel.
She always had a curiosity but never asked me about our parents. May be she don’t want me to be sad, maybe she was not missing them.

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I looked at her she was playing with her crayons, I took a 2hb pencil from the pen holder mug and started scribbling her face. It was the most familiar and easy to draw pic for me.
I do this all the now and then just to get relaxed, each time I try to make her more beautiful. Her eyes were as shiny as blackberries.
I finished it up and took the pen again, she was busy drawing coloring her new work.
she didn’t listen when i said, “It’s going to be the happiest story ever dear”.

I kept writing 🙂

Love
MADdy

Image

Live and let live

This post is one of my first ones after a long break. I left blogging for so long due to many reasons – work, holidays, exhaustion and most of all, lack of self-motivation. And now I realized motivating yourself to keep on blogging is not the hardest part. Coming back with bags of enthusiasm, new ideas, and most of all – grasping the fact that your own work has been left out there for so long was the most difficult thing. I had this weird feeling of guilt that I failed myself get my own stuffs running.

So let me get back to track again, and this is a painting i did in support of LGBT communities in India and over the world.

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Medium : watercolor on paper
Work : Live and let live

with lots of LOVE
MADdy

Book : Who Moved My Cheese?

WhoMovedMyCheeseCoverThere was a book lying on my college library from a long time and that was “Who moved my Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. I always heard that it’s a great book. Two years back, I sneaked out of a boring class and went to library, I took this book. It took me only 1 day to complete this book and I must confess that it’s a very good book. It’s a small story that will make you think about your present situation.

A group of old school friends is gathered for dinner and the topic of conversation gets on to change – in career, relationships and family life. One of those present contends that change no longer bothers him after having heard ‘a funny little story’ called Who Moved My Cheese? In this artful way, Spencer Johnson introduces the reader to his fable on how to cope positively with change.

The story involves four characters who live in a maze, the mice Scurry and Sniff, and two little people, Hem and Haw. All is going well because they have found a huge source of their favorite food, cheese. Hem and Haw have even moved their houses to be near it and it has becomes the center of their lives. But they do not notice that it is getting smaller, and are devastated when they arrive at the site one morning and find the cheese is gone.

Who-moved-my-cheese-Johnson-Sniff-Scurry-Hem-Haw

This is where the story splits in two. Scurry and Sniff quickly accept the loss of the cheese and go off into the maze in search of other sources. The little people, because they have built their lives around the big cheese, feel they are the victim of some kind of fraud or theft. Yet this only makes things worse, as their clinging on ensures that they go hungry. Meanwhile, the mice move on and find new cheese.

The cheese in this story can be related to many things in your life like work, money, family, knowledge etc.

The fable captures well that moment after we have lost a job or a relationship and we believe it is the end of the world. All the good things were in the previous situation, and all the future holds is fear. Yet Johnson’s message is, instead of seeing change as the end of something, we must learn to see it as a beginning. We have all been told this, but sometimes motivation is lacking. To make himself accept reality, Haw writes this on the wall of the maze: “If you do not change, you can become extinct.”

I am listing down a list of phrases taken directly from the book that are really thought provocative.

Having Cheese makes you happy – Being knowledgeable and intelligent makes us happy

The more important your cheese is to you the more you want to hold on to it – When you think that you have a lot of knowledge on one subject you tend to hold onto it a lot more and don’t share with anyone.

If you don’t change, you can become extinct – If you don’t upgrade your knowledge you will become outdated

Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old – Check continuously whether you are upgrading your knowledge level on a regular basis before it gets outdated.

Movement in a new direction helps you find new cheese – Exploring and learning new things will make you move to more distant places in your work life.

When you move beyond your fear, you feel free – When you break the barrier that stops you from learning you feel happy.

Imagining myself enjoying new cheese even before I find it, leads me to it – The thought of being more knowledgeable, than the others around you, after you learn more helps you to drive yourself in the direction of excellence.

The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese – The sooner you realize that your knowledge or your job is outdated the better it is.

It is safer to search in the maze than remain in a cheese less situation – It’s better to search for more information and more knowledge if you want to grow rather than cribbing at one place continuously and expecting promotions in your job.

Old beliefs do not lead you to new cheese – Doing same things again and again gives you same results but when you want to achieve greater results you need to do different things or do things differently.

When you can find and enjoy new cheese, you can change course – Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to bigger changes that to come

Move with the cheese and enjoy it – Change along with time and you will enjoy life

There are few more things that are inevitable and we must accept it as it is to grow, to learn and be happy.

Change Happens – they keep moving the cheese

Anticipate change – get ready for the cheese to move

Monitor change – Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old

Adapt to change quickly – The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese.

Change – Move with the cheese.

Enjoy change! – savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese.

Be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again – they keep moving the cheese

There is a lot more story in the book that will make you think about what you are doing now and whether it is the time to change or not.

P.S: When I thought of start writing about books I read, this book came first in my mind as it was the first book to complete since I joined college.

P.P.S: I read this when I was down with a lot of tensions and Needless to say it didn’t help me as I thought it would ;p but I still feel it worth a read.

Peace

MADdy

Quote

Quote Challenge #2 – Day 3

Hello blogging world,

This is the fourth day of the challenge (i extended it) :p sorry for delaying my last post in the challenge.
This is me, this is my life. I’m too lazy sometimes. OK forget it :p

I was nominated by one of my favorite blogger, This is my life. and this is a blog i’d proudly recommend to my friends and fellow readers.

The challenge rules:
1) Post in three consecutive days.
2) You can pick one to three quotes per day.
3) Challenge three different bloggers per day.

My quotes for the day:

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[I’m a Joker inspired guy, i don’t know if normal people can handle me, but am not gonna change for others, period.]

Nominees: 

1, Chai & Biscuits
2, The Crazy Bag Lady
3, new2writing

 

Peace
MADdy

The Impression

[A free time in office chatting with the girl whom I never spoken before sitting behind me through local IP messenger]

Me: Hi
She: hi
Me: Please do check my blog if you have time: madsoulofficial.wordpress.com
She: So you a writer?
Me: well I don’t know I’m just trying to build some audience on the blog so that when I write/draw something good it’ll reach out people.
She: I had a sneak peak, tell me a story now 😉
Me: a story?
She: ya anything like a flash fiction or something, lemme see what ya got :p
Me: well, ya let me think for a while.
She: okkie
Me: Once upon a time there was a guy who believed that one sided love is the purest form of love, No complaints, no demands and no risk of heart breaks and he thought, he could never express it but still pursue the love of his life forever.

And then I turned around and looked into those beautiful eyes trying to communicate my heartbeat.

She: The End?
Me: The End.

Love
MADdy