Favourite Music

Moderator – Words Remain

 

Lyrics

 

And my hands are growing old

And weary with pain

Still I fold them to pray

To the one unchanged

Yesterday and today

Oh YHWH

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Autumn of The Reading Days

I am on the last leg of my reading challenge.   With 43 / 52 books done and 4 more in the progress, and with the number of books that I will read as part of my academics and work, the number is sure to push beyond 52. I came across some really interesting books while I was participating in this challenge and I have added them to my “Must-Read” list of 2017 or 2018 depending on availability of time. They are  –

  1. Elizabeth I the Queen by Alison Weir
  2. Gloriana by Michael Moorcock
  3. Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
  4. Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
  5. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  6. Consolations of Philosophy by Alain De Botton
  7. The Complete Essays by Michel de Montaigne
  8. Ideas A History by Peter Watson
  9. Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko
  10. Kafka on The Shore by Haruki Murakami
  11. A History of the Modern Middle East by William L Cleveland
  12. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  13. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  14. Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka
  15. The Rise and Fall of Third Reich by William Shirer
  16. Napolean: The Path to Power  and Citizen Empire: Napolean in Power  by Philip Dwyer
  17. A History of The Arab Peoples by Albert Hourani
  18. Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzche
  19. The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki
  20. SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
  21. The Silk Roads: A New History of The World by Peter Frankopan
  22. The Age of Revolution, 1789 – 1848 by Eric Hobsbawm
  23. Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
  24. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  25. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
  26. A Tale for Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  27. The Swerve: How The World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
  28. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  29. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Business and Self Development Books

  1. Upstarts by Brad Stone
  2. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
  3. Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping Our Future by Ashlee Vance
  4. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg
  5. Originals: How Non-Conformists Change the World by Sheryl Sandberg
  6. Zero to One: Note on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
  7. Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker
  8. The Art of People by Dave Kerpen
  9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  10. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
  11. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss
  12. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
  13. Deviate: Seeing Reality Differently by Beau Lotto
  14. The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone by Steven Sloman
  15. Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini

 

for now.

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The Splendour of Eyvind Earle

I happened to chance upon this astoundingly beautiful artwork – Fairy Tales by Mahea Rodriguez.

mahea-rodrigues-small-01 (1)

It said that she is inspired by Eyvind Earle. Curiosity piqued and I googled him. He was an artist employed by Disney and has created some breathtaking original art for Disney cartoon movies. He is chiefly known for the magical landscapes he painted for the movie Sleeping Beauty.

I check some more of his art. The thing about his paintings that first struck me, is how familiar the work is, the warmth they exude, like the memory of summer vacations of childhood. On further inspection, I perceived the grandeur that pervades his paintings. Even when he is sketching a simple tree, it is not just any other tree, its nature in all its glory. His works have a resplendent quality. They truly paint a thousand words.

 

Afterthought – The works remind me of Sesson – not in terms of style or colouring, but in terms of the soul of the work. 

I attach some of his works available in imgur. You can enjoy more of them here, here and here.

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Currently Reading

I am surprised by the number of books I have read this year. 34 and counting. I am currently reading

  1. Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
  2. A Clash of Kings – A Song of Ice and Fire 2nd Part by George R R Martin
  3. Grit by Angela Duckworth
  4. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (My Comfort Book)
  5. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
  6. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  7. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  8. Persepolis 2 by Marjani Satrapi
  9. The Karamazov Brothers by Fyodor Dostoyesky
  10. The Origins of Political Order by Francis Fukuyama

I must say Days Without End is VERY VERY VERY much a difficult thanks to the Irish American 1st Person Narrative. 😦

Game of Thrones

Top 5 Favourite Characters in Game of Thrones – Number 5

 

It’s a tie between

  1. Sansa Stark

Sansa 1

I read a ‘joke’ in Reddit about how the Stark Children reunion looked like.

Jon Snow says: I started off as a Crow and ended up as the King in the North.

Arya says: I started off as a street urchin and ended up as No One.

Bran says: I started off as a quadriplegic and ended up as the three eyed raven.

Sansa says: I got raped by different men and now … shit.

This is one of the most insensitive manner to portray Sansa’s struggles in GoT. Sansa Stark has had a remarkable character arch from the first season till the latest. From a pretty little spoilt girl who got delighted at the prospect of marrying Jeffrey Baratheon and bearing his children to becoming the Lady of the Winterfell the journey has been arduous.  She has spent some of her formative years in Kings Landing, under the watchful eyes of Cersei. But at the same time Cersei gave some sage advice to her. Take for example that conversation between Sansa and Cersei after Sansa becomes a woman.

Sansa 2

She has seen her father getting killed brutally, been shown the prospect of marriage with or married to six different male characters – Joffrey Baratheon, Loras Tyrell, Tyrion Lannister, Robin Arryn, Peter Baelish, Roose Bolton, she has seen Joffrey bleed to death, she has seen Lysa Arryn being thrown down the Moon Door by Baelish, inappropriately touched by Baelish, been raped by Roose Bolton, been psychologically tortured by Joffrey and by the courtiers of Kings Landing. These circumstances are absolutely trying for a Princess who was in fact groomed to be the next Queen of Kings Landing.

She has grown stronger as each year passed by and has now become an able administrator. She keeps her cards close to her chest. Even Peter Baelish is not able to have the hold on her that he thought he will continue to have. She has outgrown all her obstacles

SAnsa 3
The Lady of Winterfell

In the latest episode, when Peter keeps warning about Cersei and says he knows Cersei the best and Sansa retorts, “You don’t know Cersei better than anyone here” implying that Cersei has had considerable influence on her during her time in the Capital. Sansa, is now a smart, political savvy woman who means business. For all we know, she might end up the Queen of the Kings Landing as planned by her parents.

  1. and
Jaime
May Be, its Maybelline.

Jaime Lannister

 

If there is a tragic hero in the Game of Thrones, that is Jaime Lannister.

You know what they call him – The King Slayer, The Oath Breaker, Man without Honour. His father was most proud of him though. No matter what others may brand him, this magnificent being called his father is proud of him. I think that kept him on. That and his love for Cersei. The most handsome man in the Kings Landing likes no other women than his sister. He is honourable in his own weird way.

Jaime Lannister is a Prince. Son of one of the most powerful man in Westeros and behaved with that arrogance only the Lord-lings possess. Yet he is not a completely hopeless person like many others. His feelings are genuine. He is not an innately cruel person. True, he may not have a grand ideology like Tyrion that guides his life. His concerns are immediate – his sister, his children, and his family’s survival. In that way, Jaime is a lot like Tywin, who has put his family’s honour at the top of his concern.

Jaime, really is not the inhuman predator that he is made out to be. His strength and flaw is Love. The things he does for love. Like pushing a 9-year old from the top of a castle. Or silently watching Cersei transform into the Mad Queen. Or standing by and doing nothing while Tyrion is made to suffer for a crime that he did not do. Or having a change of heart and finally helping his little brother escape his predicament. His love for those around him has dictated his actions.

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He comes across as a heavily misunderstood man overshadowed by his father’s imperious image. He himself quite can’t bring about to be assertive in front of Tywin compared to Tyrion or even Cersei. He was the Golden Boy of his father.

One of his best moments has been with Brianne of Tarth. I really loved their track. The kind of mutual respect they had for each other, I think, was rare in Jaime’s life.

Jaime’s is a cursed life. With an irreparable black mark on his moral by killing the King he had sworn to protect, by loving that one woman he is not supposed to love, by not able to love his own children like how he wants to love, and losing his one precious asset which defines him – his right hand, by losing his children one after the other in front of his own eyes, he has become a tragic figure.

Jaime 1

 

 

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Twelve Dancing Princess, Hawaa Hawaa and Taraf De Haidouks

 

Here I was, minding my business, reading some random nonsense, adoring some Oviya memes, and I heard this Hawa Hawa song. One of the more brilliant songs in Rockstar, part of the charm is that the song tells a tale. Such songs which has some story are some of my favourites, including BoneyM’s Rasputin. Hawa Hawa has adapted the Grimm Brothers’ 12 Dancing Princess where the queen does to the Dhozak* every night and dances like wind. So I read this blog and came to know that even the music is in a very east European genre. Smitten, I checked out some videos and stumbled upon Tara De Haidouks Turcească. I mean, pure magic. I have never heard such a powerful stream of music before. More on this later. (?)