Friday, November 30, 2007

Three Questions - Leo Tolstoy

A king wanted to know three things inparticular and that was when was the best time to perform important affairs, who was the most important person and what was the best profession. After asking many intelligent people and being dissatisfied with their answers decided to dress as a peasant and ask a hermit well known for his wisdom. The King asked the hermit what he wanted to know but got no answer. A wounded man comes along, the King nurses him and leaves him in the hermit's house. The next day the wounded man tells him that he was trying to kill him but wanted to be forgiven. The King forgave him and let him go. The King asked the hermit one last time. And the hermit said that the present was the best time to perform else the wounded man would've died. The most important person is who you are with since that is the person who needs you which was the wounded man. And the most important profession is the one that one has taken as otherwise things wouldn't be the same.
I think the answers to the questions were reasonable enough. People wish to know what would happen if things were different instead of seeing to issues at present. The present is the most important, it predicts the future.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Writer's Block

What is writer's block you may wonder. I'll tell you what it really is. Writer's block is this big black block shaped block that blocks all reasonable thought*. This block somehow comes mostly to people who try to write, whether successfully or not. It comes in the way of their logical thinking and fills it with the most random of illogical thoughts*. Therefore I feel the need to enlighten others about the big bad block that they too may be prepared should a similar situation occur to them as well.

The following are the stages you may go through during'Writer's Block':
-You get depressed.
-You're not satisfied with anything you write.
-You think you can't write anything that people will like.
-You forget that you write more to relieve your stress than for others pleasure.
-Your stress levels increase.
-You constantly need someone to tell you that you're a really great writer.
-Your inferiority complex evolves into it's even-more-inferior stages.

And after that....:
-You eventually conclude that you've got writer's block.
-You decide to write about Writer's Block and what you went through during that phase.
-You feel better after writing the article and even more so after publishing it.
-You then wonder about what to write next.
-And if you don't already have topics ready you may as well go through the entire loop again.


p.s.: Reasonable and illogical thought is subjective and can mean the same as unreasonable and logical thought.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Work Death And Sickness - Leo Tolstoy

God made the world that people wouldn't need clothes or to work. When he checked if the world was fine he saw they always fought. He then made it that they had to wear clothes and had to work for food and even this didn't bring them together nor did it bring them together when He put sickness on earth. Even when he said they could die at any time they didn't stop. Then He left the world to fend for themselves. Most of the world remained the same 'cept for a few who realised that it was important to live together and be happy in work, sickness and death.
Each one of us are a little selfish. We'd love for someone to pamper us the way we pamper them. But then there are those who would like to not have anyone involved in their lives and vice versa.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

An Orgasm Is Such Pure Pleasure

What're you afraid of?
There's none to scoff.
Be my fool.
Let out your tool;
Don't you feel me ill.
Let it out and let it drill. -6

I swear I won't tell;
Let your organ swell,
Make it seem crude.
You won't be rude.
I'm nude and ready;
Come and deflower me. -12

Don't be shamed.
It's I to blame.
I crave your penis;
I crave for sweet pussy bliss.
Come make my day;
And squirt away. -18

Make me scream;
And frothen our cream.
Make the juices flow,
Let's let the neighbors know;
We'll scream together,
An orgasm is such pure pleasure. -24

Sunday, November 18, 2007

God-Complex

God is not complex (or is he?). But I'm not here to discuss God but rather a concept called 'god-complex'. Because I can't elucidate it through professional explainations here are a few situations which will help you get a gist of what a god-complex is.

You have a god-complex if....
-Another person's views are completely wrong and don't deserve to be heard (even if they say the earth is not a hexagon).
-You think you're better than everyone else around you (even after someone else won the eat-as-much-as-you-can competition).
-You get jealous if anyone is better than you (especially if the person who won was your spoilt-as-you baby sister).
-You think you can boss over anyone you feel (even your boss).
-You assume you have right to take away life from another living being at will (you poisoned your neighbor's whale).
-You think you're God (and ask to be garlanded, worshipped and sung praises to).

Frankly I think we all have a god-complex to a certain degree. I just call it a 'madness' that cannot be cured unless the person is bitch slaped and dunked into a pool of ice cold water. Of course this method should be only used if the person is in the early stages. If in the later stages they should find a room at the nearest mental asylum.


p.s.: The chance of this post being similar to any other is unlikely and unnatural and considered as hogwash. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not considered to have thought anthing at all.

Esarhaddon, King Of Assyria - Leo Tolstoy

Esarhaddon captured another kingdom and was soon to execute the captured king but was unsure about how to go about doing it. A man comes to him and tells him that he himself is that same king and askes him to step into a font. As soon as he was in Esarhaddon was the other king , suffered for 20 days and eventually was put to death (as the other king). Then he was in the form of a she-ass which was slaughtered after which he woke up from the font. He then realised that he was also a living creature like all others and should give up his evil ways. He lets go of the other king and leaves his kingdom, goes into the dessert to preach about how we should treat others as how we would liked to be treated.
Do as to others as you would do to oneself. That's the moral of this story.

Too Dear! - Leo Tolstoy

Monaco was the tiniest kingdom in the world somewhere near France and Italy where gambling was profitted the King the most. People always came to play there. There was a robber who got caught. The kingdom had no guillotine and tried to buy one from France and Itialy but both were too expensive and the King didn't want to increace taxes so he decided to keep the robber in a jail cell and had a guard posted in front of it. He also made sure the robber got food too. Then the King's officials said that keeping the robber was becomming too expensive so they got rid of the guard and hoped the robber would run away but he didn't. He just came out of his cell to take his grub and returned back to his cell. When the King asked him why he wouldn't escape the robber told him that after his reputation being destroyed he has nowhere else to go. So the Kind decided to give him hs compensation and the robber went back to his normal living. He was lucky he wasn't in a country where there is a grudge for expenses.
Once your name in society has been mauled showing your face is like committing suicide for many. Had the robber been killed by some means or the other to begin with the king wouldn't have spent much and nor would he would've caused the 'poor' robber so much trauma in his mind. As the last line says, the robber was lucky because he got to live and was given compensation too.

The Coffee-House Of Surat - Leo Tolstoy

A man who stopped believeing in God entered a coffee house in Surat where people pf many a nation spend their time there. He asked his slave if he believed that God existed and the slave took out a little carved object which he worshipped and said that he did. Then a debate started with the people from different nationalities and different religions each saything their religion was the best and that God favoured them alone. Then a Chinaman who was a follower of Confucious told them the story of how different people thought differently about the sun. A man went blind staring at the sun to figure out what it really was. Some thought the earth revolved around it, some thought it was a greater being. Some philosophers found out that it was the sun which the earth revolved around and nothing more than a ball of heat and light. While to commoners a kerosene lamp was their sun. The higher a man's conception of God the better he understands. As with the sun the better you understand the more light you appreciate and notice as it falls on oneself. And nomore did the people in the cofee house dispute about who's God was best.
The main point here is that God exists and is just seen in the forms of different religions. There is no 'my God' or 'your God'. It's too bad the religious fanatics will never realise this.

Friday, November 16, 2007

In Mine

In my notes,
If you care to read;
You'll find i wrote
Many a thought seed. -4

In my bag,
If you take a look,
You'd find my dirty mag
But never a good book. -8

In my home;
If you came inside,
You'll find nothing but bones
With little to hide. -12

In my soul
If from my body unwound,
You'd find the thoughts I stole
And my hidden sins found. -16

In my mind,
If you got snared;
To search, you'd find
Things none can bear. -20

He who looks in mine has no shame;
Is able to live in peace no more;
Is driven insane,
And makes himself sore -24

Seek no further;
Before it's too late,
Run home to mother;
Least fall into the same fate -28

The Empty Drum - Leo Tolstoy

A man got married to a woman who the King of that place coveted. The King decided to try overworking the man till he died so he could then marry his wife. But each time the man completed his task on time. Even when the tasks were impossible like building a cathedral in a day or a river with ships in it by nightfall his wife assured him it would be done and it was as she said. But then the King came up with an extraordinary task. He asked the man to, "go there, don't know where and bring that, don't know what". The wife assured him and giving him a wallet and a spindle, told him to go to the Grandam who was the old peasant woman, mother of all soilders, take her advice, go and get whatever she asks and come straight to the palace as that is where she will be after the King's soldiers kidnap her. He meets some soldiers and asks them how to get what he wanted but they just tell him that they don't know where they go nor what they seek. When he meets the Grandam he gives her what his wife gave him and told her his story. She tells him to go to a city. There he should get the object that men obey more than father and mother and if the King says it is not the right thing it should be broken to little pieces and thrown into the river. At the city when a boy did not listen to his parents he heard the sound of an empty drum and went out. The man steals the drum and goes to the palace but the King said it wasn't what he wanted. So the man played the drum and went towards the river and the King's soldiers followed him. The King was afraid and let the man's wife go and asked him to stop but he just did as he was told. Once the drum was thrown in the soldiers ran away and the man went back home with his wife and the King too ceased to disturb him.
This was more of a fairy tale if nothing else. But there probably was some inner meaning to it. I think Tolstoy tries to tell us that we must never give up hope and should keep on working and our tasks will be over on time. The drum is a metaphor for dicipline or rules which when followed can remove chaos. The wallet and spindle were metaphors too I'm sure which probably were money and a hobby respectively. Of course it's also possible that there is no metaphor at all and this is a folk tale and nothing more.

The Repentant Sinner - Leo Tolstoy

A sinner died and reached the gates of Heaven. But St. Peter doesn't allow him on hearing his sins in spite of the times he denief Jesus and later repented. King David too was not willing to let in the sinner in spite of he too taking things away from the poor but later repenting. Then John the Divine came and he too told the sinner to dismiss himself. But then the sinner reminded John about how he himself said that God was love and he who loves not knows not God. And for this reply he was finally let into Paradise.
No matter how much you sin the gates of Heaven will always be opened for you is what I get from this story. Also it says that the person who does not love doesn't know God. I wondered if this is supposed to apply to atheosts and agnostics but since the story has a Christain outlook it's not likely . But the universal idea here is forgiveness and with it follows happiness.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Demons Within

We have demons within us. Most of us are unaware of them as they are a part of us and therefore together make a person whole. Without them we would walk the earth as lifeless zombies without much reaction to any situation. So in a way they are usefull to us. Each demon triggers a differnt reaction to a different situation. They may assist us as we perform day-to-day activities and are in full control of us at our most vulnerable moments. When we are most emotionalally expressive that is when inner demons are in control of us. When we are calm our demons too are at rest.
Some of us though seem to have complete control of our inner demons. We invoke them when needed and get rid of them just as easily. Theatre actors for example are capable of doing so. They are able to invoke theor demons and perform accordingly on stage. That's what separates them from most movie actors. Another form of invoking inner demons would be by consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Just watch a man in a drunken stupor and be amazed. The effects are more profound when a person is in an emotional state and then consumes alcohol. Performing yoga or even simple breathing exersises helps to calm one's inner demons.
These demons are nothing but our supressed emotions. Those hidden sides of us that don't get a chance to express themselves. We may hide them for many societal or personal reasons which may result in various psychological problems such as alter egos, multiple personality syndrome and so on. But the solution is not to fight one's demons. It's as the old saying goes, "If you can't beat 'em join 'em". Become one with yourself.


p.s.: The author does not force her theories upon anyone. Any similarity to some other article is pure coincidence.

The Godson - Leo Tolstoy

A man needs a Godfather to his son. After much searching he finds a stranger who agrees but doesn't show up ever again. The godson goes in search of him ans finds him on his way. He asks if he could come visit his godfather sometime and the godfather gives him directions. On his way he sees a mother bear and it's cubs feeding on honey. A log tied to a string was in the way and each time the bear moved it away from it's cubs the log just swung back till it killed a cub and the mother as well. The boy reaches his godfather's place where he lives there for 11 years but is told never to enter into a particular room but the boy goes there just to see and finds a throne which he sits on. He was then able to see the entire world and it's people and decides to look at his town. He stopped a theif from robbing his father's home and revealed to his godmother her cheating husband and then killed a man who was about to kill his mother. His godfather came and told him that he has now taken the sins of the man who he has just killed and should go to a hermit who will show him how to pays for those sins. On his way he helps various people. He finds the hermit who tells him to burn three logs, replant them carry water in his mouth to water them each day till from them grows an apple tree. The first one sprouts when he began to live like the hermit after he died, the second after he tried to convince a robber to mend his ways and the third when pitied and finally convinced the robber to mend his ways and then taught the robber his hermit ways and died.
What the story tried to say was that we shouldn't depend on others for our living, we need to be independant. When we do what we do for ourselves instead to just put on a show for others then we will realise it's significance. When others are able to understnad and learn another's point of view will there be fewer gaps between people. Also the more you try to fight your way through the more you get fought back. Finding the cause of the problem is a better option.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy Diwaali!!!

We all love Diwaali. I do too. But here's what many don't. People will keep on complaining on the issue often but it's not likely to change anytime soon. The thing that poeple most love and many fret are the firecrackers. Yes, those extremely noisy little things that can give you burns and leave you in a hospital, partially or completely deaf, permanent scars on your skin and the possible loss of a digit or more from your hands or feet. most of us don't learn till one of those things actually happen to us or someone close. But it's quite obvious, parents don't really care much for their childeren. Some of us are asthematic who die of the hazardous smoke but none care or like me, overly sensitive to the slightest change in the air. I wish more people had allergies to smoke and air congestion.
It's a shame, no more foggy mornings during Diwaali......just plain smog. I envy the forest dewellers. When will people learn to empatize with those who suffer silenly?
We have bans on loud speakers as well as fireworks after 10pm, so how come I hear Them all the way till 4am? Perhaps the police are already deaf. I guess it's perfectly normal to infest the air with killer smoke. I say we need to drop heavier fines on people who make, sell and buy really loud crackers that sound as if it's the Hiroshima-Nagasaki incidents replayed. People want to sleep eventually even if the 'bomb' supply doesn't deplete in one night.
And what's wrong with more sparklers and firelights? The sparklers I find are very pretty. And firelights are perfect. Sit atop your terrace and light a few. They make for a very beautiful sight and create such romantic scenes and everyone loses them, I know I do. But no, people would rather sucessfully lose their hearing through excessive use of loud crackers than look at multi-colored lights which cause less bodily harm.
So much for a much sought for 'Happy' Diwaali.


p.s.: This author hates smoke and it's generators, human or not!!!

A Grain As Big As A Hen's Egg - Leo Tolstoy

A grain was found and taken to the King of the particular land to keep as a curiosity. The King asked for someone old who might know of the reason of such a huge grain of corn and from where to buy it from. A man with two crutches, deaf and barely able to see or speak was called upon. He told the King to refer to his father who was with only one crutch and was able to hear better and speak better too. He said his father might know as such grain was seen. His father was a much better speaker and walked without crutches, could hear and speak fluently too. He told the King that in his time such grain was in plenty and when asked why it wasn't found anymore the man said that it was because in his time people worked hard on their own to eat and were happier that way whereas now people hire others to do their labour and owrk is not properly done. The King asked why he was stronger than his son and grandson and the man said that it was because doing all the labour on his own made him strong.
From this we learn that it's better to do our own work than to rely on other's. Only we know what is it that we need with practice and continious working will keep us strong. By hiring others to do our work we become dependent on them and lose the chance to strenghten our own capabilities. The fruit of our own hard work is the sweetest.

Monday, November 12, 2007

How Much Land Does A Man Need? - Leo Tolstoy

A peasant who was poor and had very little land tried to get the surrounding land so as to extend his estate and have the most amount of land assuming he would be happier with more land. He kept buying more and more land. He found some virgin land that a man was willing to sell for as far as the peasant ran in a day. So as the peasant walked he wanted more and raced to the spot where he was supposed to return. On reaching there he died on the spot. He needed land only enough to cover him six feet into the ground.
A simple message to say that we should be satisfied with what we have and not be greedy for more.
The story remended me of a scene in the story 'What Men Live By' when Michael saw the Angel of Death behind the man who wanted shoes to last a year when he died just an hour later and needed only sof shoes meant for people when they die. It just goes to show that it's better to live today than worry to much about tomorrow.
It's true, a man needs only land enough to be buried under after he dies.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Imp And The Crust - Leo Tolstoy

A peasant took a crust of bread with him to the feild to eat and left it under a bush. But when he wanted to eat it, the crust was gone and even though the peasant didn't fret over it he hoped the person who wanted it was happy. It was an imp who took it. He tolod the Devil of what happened. The Devil was displeased and gave the imp three years to make the peasant sin. The imp then took the form of a labourer and twice helped the peasant reap a lot of corn which was more than the peasant ever needed. He then taught the peasant to make strong drink out of the excess crop. In this way the peasant drank with his friends. The imp called the Devil to see the 'good' work he had done. He shoed how the peasant quarrelled with his wife after three drinks everyone acted as cunning as a fox, vicious as a wolf and filthy as swine. The Devil was pleased and asked the imp if he spiked the drink with the blood of those animals. The imp said that the blood of the beasts is always in man and by giving him drink the beasts showed themselves and men quarrel with one an another. The imp was then promoted to a higher post by the Devil.
A drink won't hurt you but more than a drink probably will. We are the true beasts when we're drunk. The things we hide inside abruply exit us and cause chaos. We hurt people who we'd never want to and regret it later.
Moral of this story is don't waste extra money on drink else be prepared to suffer the consequences of one's drunken stupor. It never ceases to amaze watching a drunken man perform his antics. It makes you see a differrnt side of him. A side you wouldn't want to meet should he be angry.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Three Hermits - Leo Tolstoy

A Bishop traveling on a ship overheard a peasant talking about three hermits living alone on some island and wished to see them too. On reaching the island he found the three hermits and asked them to teach him their ways of pleasing God. Their prayer was just one line which they would continiously repeat and always help each other out. The Bishop taught them the 'Lord's Prayer' and left by evening. Back on the ship while the Bishop looked out at sea he saw a white light coming closer to the ship. It was the three hermits running on water and on seeing the Bishop asked him to teach them the prayer again as they had fogotten it. The Bishop told them to say the prayer they always did as that was the prayer true from their heart and the three hermits went back to their island.
This shows that by saying a prayer a certain amount of times will not bring you peace. One has not to pray so much. One has only to say one's own prayer to God and that is sufficient ehough for Him to hear as God already knows our needs. To please him we have only to continue helping one another and pray our simple prayer and that would keep us happy. But people prefer to have elaborated and long prayers thinking that the more times you say it God will be pleased. Such is the trend today.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Announcement

The day they all dreaded had arrived. She was nervous. The speech she had prepared and written on recycled paper in her left hand was folded and unfolded more than a dozen times. She had it rehearsed in her head and in front of her reflection a countless times. It was the awful truth, but she had to tell it to the world. People already knew. Her job was to confirm it. Shocking as it was she had to read her speech over and over, knowing what she was about to say. She decided to say it out loud to herself one last time, "It's dead. Nothing could have been done. It's race has come to an end. The very la..." The door to her private room was swung open. A sombre male entered. "It's time for your speech". "Okay. I'm ready." said she with a smile even though inside she was afraid.
She steped in front of the mike and cleared her throat. The noise from the crowd in front of her died slowly till there was nothing but silence. Only the sounds of the fans hanging from the ceiling could be heard. She began,"It's dead. Nothing could have been done. It's race has come to an end. The very last whole human is dead." There were agitated cries from the crowd. A crowd of genetically born beings in forms of every animal known to 'whole man' five decades ago. Now there was no man and no animal, just 'Hanimals'. She herself couldn't even cry. She was a genetically born 'human snake'.


p.s.: The author has no intention of continuing this post with a follow-up.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Elias - Leo Tolstoy

Elias was once a poor man. Had barely a handful of cattle left behind by his father. He worked hard along with his wife and soon he became the richest man of the town. His calttle became many too. He had everything in pleny and was always able to serve the best produce of his cattle to his guests. He had two sons and a daughter. His daughter died in some brawl, his elsest son took to drinking and died as well and his other son married took a little of the property and never returned. Soon all his wealth started diminishing due to outbreaks of diseases among the animals. He had to see all he had to survive. He and his wife had only their bare necessities to survive on. Then a man who saw them who Elias once served him food and drink took pity on him asked Elias to come with his wife and stay as labourers. Once a few guests came to the man's house and he told them about Elias. They wanted to speak with him themselves so Elias was called for. They asked him if he was happy now or then. He told them to ask his wife and she said that when they were rich they always were scared of theives or losses and had no time for each other nor time to pray but now as lobourers they live in peace and have time to pray and speak to each other. At first the guests thought it was funny but then they realised how true what she daid was and refected on it.
According to this story the more you have the more you worry to keep what you have safe. You remain throught sleepless nights thinking of what you might lose. If you have less you can sleep at night 'cause nothing you have the theives want. That's actually a good feeling really.
But unfortunately even the poor man on the road fights for his footpath 'cause someone wants to steal that too. We all have something someone else wants. Our lives, our family, our homes, our material objects, etc. they want it all. Today we only look for a better security over what we own.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Little Girls Wiser Than Men - Leo Tolstoy

Two girls, Malasha and Akulya meet after Sunday mass. There was a muddy puddle. Akulya splashed on Malasha's dress. Malasha's mother came and scolded her and Malasha said Akulya did it so the mother slapped Akulya. Akulya's mother came and both mothers spat out harsh words at each other and eventually a crowd of people were arguing together. An old lady tried to tell them to stop. The two girls played with the muddy water in the meantime and laughed happily. The old lady then told the people that not to bother fighting, the little girls themselves have forgotten about it and are playing again and that the others should follow their example.
This one too was a really short story. This one was better than the previous one. I like the moral here. Here we see that just like how little childeren forget their worries and refrain from holding grudges, adults should do the same. It teaches us that arguring about small things gets us nowhere. And if we do end up in such arguments it can only lead to unwanted waste of time and energy. It's useless to argue over nothing.
This story was straight to the point and was short and sweet too.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Evil Allures But God Endures - Leo Tolstoy

There was a master with many slaves who he treated well and they loved him the same. The Devil wanted the slaves and the master to be on bad terms and took power one of the slaves named Aleb. Aleb tried to convince the other slaves that the master was one who repays good with good and evil with evil instead of repaying evil with good. The others didn't believe him and a bet was placed. Once when the master decided to show his lambs to his guests he wanted to show a particular ram with twisted horns. He asked Aleb to bring it in front for the guests to see. As the Devil sat on a tree Aleb went amoung the herd, grabbed the hind leg of the lamb and broke it. Instead of punishing him the master said that Aleb's master (the Devil) was not as strong as his own (God). With that the master set Aleb free and seeing how the master treated Aleb with kindness the Devil sank into the ground.
I don't understand why Tolstoy must always have animals harmed but never humans. Somehow harming defenceless creatures is better. That just goes to say that the description of the leg breaking was good enough for me to imagine the bone crack in my head. I wonder what happened to the Devil after he fell into the ground, it just seems strange to fall when he's not going to get hurt since he's the Devil. And had the Devil not arrived would the slaves have thought ill of their master on their own? If they all kept thinking the same they're nothing but a bunch of sheep who go where the rest go.
Other than that the moral story tells us to think before we do anything. Who knows..the Devil might be guiding us now.
This story wasn't very specific in it's morals. It's very simple with little to think over about. Was a much shorter story than the previous ones.

What Would You Do?

Here's the situaton:

The night is cool and breezy. You get up from your comfy sleeping place. As dark as it is the room is still bright. The stars are out and the view is great. You've got a smile on your face. You're at your window gazing at the vastness of the sky. You happen to shift your attention to your friend's window to see if she's okay. Then...you see them. Your close friend's 'loyal' hubby and a delectable, youthful female. They're in a physical position your perfectly certain your dear friend would definitly not approve of. The smile on your face has vanished. It's replaced with a most disturbed look. You wish you had not seen it, but you have. You now have a piece of information in your mind. You can choose to either ignore it or you could do someting. But what?...

I want you...yes you reading this to let me know what you'd do. I'm not asking this 'cause it happened but I just want to know your view.

Ivan the Fool - Leo Tolstoy

This was a story of Ivan who was a fool, his two brothers, Simon the soilder and Taras the stout, three imps and the Devil. Ivan lived with his father also had a sister who was deaf and dumb. His other two brothers took their share of their father's property and left including that of Ivans' property since a fool wouldn't need it. The Devil was disappointed since he hoped that they would fight over the property so he sent his three imps to create havoc between them somehow or the other. Each imp took a brother and decided that if one was to finish first they were to help the others. The first and second imps succeeded in causing trouble for the fisrt two brothers and sent them home for food and shelter with their wives. But Ivan's imp was having a lot of trouble. Ivan caught the imp by mistake and threatened to kill it but the imp promised to anything and showed him a root which could cure anything then Ivan let the imp go and told him that god should be with him and the imp perished at the mention of god. The other two imps came and failed too and ended up with the same fate. The other two imps taught Ivan to make soldiers out of hay and gold out of oak leaves. By this time both brothers were staying with Ivan, they found out what Ivan knew and Ivan made soldiers for Simon and gold for Taras. Eventually both brothers got their own kingdoms and were Kings. Ivan became king after he cured the previous king's daughter and married her. After the old king's death Ivan went back to his old shabby clothes and all wise people left the kingdom and only the fools remained. The Devil found out about how the brothers prospered and decided to do something about it. He brought the downfall of the two brothers and went on to Ivan. Ivan's folk could not be fooled as they were already fools and the played with money instead of using it. They preferred the barter system. The Devil couldn't buy anything since money was useless and wouldn't take anything out of 'Christ's sake' i.e. charity. The Devil told Ivan he could work with his head even though it causes it to split sometimes. But the Devil just talked and talked and no one believed that he could work with his head. He soon got tired and hungry talking so much and fell down a flight of stairs bumping his head on each stair. Eventually Ivan mentioned God and the Devil disappears from the place.
This was the strangest of what I've read of Tolstoy. I don't know if it's meant to be funny or serious. I think it's funny though. I liked the part when the imps fell into the ground. I wonder what happened to them. They seemed to have actually played an important role.
What I don't understand is if we too should all act like fools like Evan and we'll never have worries. I therefore learnt from the story that...

-Money will bring your downfall, it's better to play with it.
-Soilders are a sign of death.
-If you are a fool you are the happiest person in the world.
-You should work as hard as you can, eventually things will get easier.
-Barter system is better than pieces of gold.
-The Devil has imps.
-Being greedy does not bring you happiness.
-It's better to be a fool.
-The Devil does not approve of Christ.
-The devil is bad.

....I could go on. But that's what I learned. This would make a great story for kids. They'd love it.
The story does have a deeper meaning of course. And like other Tolstoy stories this one is moralistic too.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Poetry - The Complex And The Simple

Why do we appreciate poetry? Do we need to? Is it really important that we should understand it?
These are questions I refuse to answer for people who have no time to think of an answer for themselves. We're all endowed with fully functioning brains. But nevertheless I'm here (as annoying as it is) to let you know a little someting about what I think about the topic. I've had this conversation with a few before but I wanted to have it out in front of me to really understand it for myself. As a student of English literature I take great pride in knowing nothing of anything in literature (if you think I'm lying you know nothing about me). Fortunately for me, I won't be studying poetry till next year so I'll have to rack my brain a little less during this academic year. A profound plearure no doubt.
Early this academic year my literature teacher who takes great pleasure (and great pains too I'm sure) in talking endlessly about various parts and pieces (it's never a whole somehow) of literature, their authors, their opinions by various people and various other literary topics which fly over practically everyone's uninterested heads, happened to talk about poetry and I happened to be paying attention too, something odd considering I always make sure I lose track of or tune out long monotonous speeches (such as the likes of this). She said, that someone (famous I'm sure) said, that poetry should be complex...because life is complex. My slouched position in my seat changed to an upright one. The topic had aroused interest in me. How could she say that and agree with it too? Since when is life considered complex? And since when did poetry get to be compared to life? And whose life I'd like to know too?!
If you've read one of those poems you don't understand that seem to have a deeper meaning those are the complex ones. They make you think. You usually have to read between the lines more than once for these poems. Simple poems are those which are like simple prose. They tell a story in pure detail making it easier for the reader to understand it since there is no hidden meaning and everything is put right in front of the reader. Frankly I believe that poems should be both simple as well as complex.
If being compared to life then reading simple poems make you feel that life too can be simple and can make one appreciate the simplicities of life and forget one's worries. Complex poems give you variety. It lets your mind work giving it an exercise. And once you figure out it's inner meaning it gives you a feeling of satisfaction. True, lives are complex but they can be simple as well.


p.s.: I believe my grammer teacher is right. I do seem to have a penchant for writing annoyingly long sentences.

Where Love Is, God Is - Leo Tolstoy

This is a story of Martin a shoemaker. He was old and was miserable with God after his son died and cursed God for taking away his son and wanted God to take away his life too. A pious man came to his house and spoke of God and his and told him that whatever happens was because of God's will and that men were not to question his ways but to live for God and told him read the Bible to understand. Martin then got himself a Bible. He often read it. One day he got a dream where a voice told him that God said He would come meet him. Martin waited the next day. Three people came to his house. A sweeper, an old lady selling apples along with a bot who came to steal an apple and a woman with a baby who was poor and cold. Martin helped all of them in different ways and made them happy. He gave up waiting when he heard the voice again and saw the people he saw that day one by one and they vanished. Martin then realized how God came and he felt glad that he was able to meet God welcome him in his home.
I've been told different versions of this story. In the story various parts of scriptures from the Bible are mentioned and I assume it's to encourage the reader to pick up a Bible, take interest and read it. I don't think he wanted people to turn Christian but to see a different point of view. What the story tries to teach us is that we should accept things the way they are as a part of destiny but should continue to perform as many good deeds as we can and our hearts will feel lighter and we'll have lesser worries.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Two Old Men - Leo Tolstoy

Here two old men had taken a vow to go to Jerusalem during at least some point of their lives. The first man was Efim and the second was Elisha. Efim had more worries than Elisha who was more of a simple man. Eventually they plan a date and go on their way to Jerusalem with 10 rubles each in their pockets. On the way Elisha stops to help some pooor family and uses most of his money so goes back home since he hasn't enough to go furthur. Efim on tht other hand reaches Jerusalem and goes for his tour around the place. Three times he thinks he see Elisha at the very front of the alter at different shrines. On the way home Efim comes upon the place where Elisha had stopped earlier but the people staying there were no more poor and gave him food and drink for the way. Befuddled on reaching home Efim meets Elisha and asks him about how he got there and got back but Elisha doesn't answers him. Efim then understands that it's better to live life the way God wants him to rather than how he might've wanted to.
A moralistic story. When we wish to see God we need to have hearts that are light and untroubled which was probably how Elisha seemed to get right in the front even though he had already started on his way home. His soul went there anyways since God wanted him to. He had fullfilled what God had wanted him to do He was also very humble which is why he didn't tell Efim of how he helped the poor people in the hut.
What I liked was the mention of the various shrines in Jerusalem and of how there were throngs of people there. It reminded me of a feeling of solace. It felt really peaceful while reading that part.

Artificial

Here's a glimpse of a very interesting conversation between a friend and me which led to this post:

She: I'm planning on ironing my hair. What do you think?
Me: You're mental!!!
She: Okay, since you say that I won't.
Me: What's wrong with your natural hair anyways???
She: Well, some things should be artificial too you know?!
Me: (I'm laughing my head off) Whaaaat did you just say??? Artificial??? You want to be a fake??? How unrealistic of you. Do you know what you just said???
She: (Very disturbed by my comments) SHUT UP!!! I know exactly what I said!!
Me: (Very satisfied with self) Fine, fine!!! As you wish. I hope you know how dumb your statement just was.
She: (Really irritated with me at this point) S-H-U-T U-P!!!!!!
Me:
(Shuts up with a smile on her face.)

I was very interested in this statement of hers. It was the most honest yet ridiculous statement in my opinion. She wanted to be a little artificial and said it straight out and wasn't very hypocritical about it (Of course that was only till she realized what she said was silly but figured she couldn't take it back and had to suffer my comments).
Nevertheless the fact remains that today people want to be artificial. Nobody's happy being real. Real is unreal and fake is real. If you're not fake you're not cool. This is what I understood by wanting to be artificial. Real is uncool. It doesn't matter how bad your shoes hurt you while you walk, if they're in fashion they're to be worn anyways. Even if you have a wardrobe malfuction your dress is still the best, there's nothing wrong with the design, maybe you're just too fat (ugh...don't get me started on the perception of fat in the minds of tweens today).
But I'm glad the truth is out. People want to be fake to feel wanted. It's good to know such kind of stuff. Makes it easier for me to pick on such people.


p.s.: Yea, this author dislikes fake people and is a hypocrite by nature.
And for all those who enjoy being artificial, it's fake to be you!!!