Thursday, April 27, 2006

news update!!!

I have finally created a new blog... 'Musings..'.. click on the link to your right...

My poem 'India of my Dreams' on Musings recieved a reply from the President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam...

Dear Akshya Shivakumar,

Thanks for your mail and the poem.

With best wishes,


:) :) :)

post your comments!! am waiting to hear from my readers!!! ;)

Thursday, March 02, 2006


It's been too long, hasn't it?

well, here's some news....

current reading list

Autobiography of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ji
-World on Fire- How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Insecurity, Amy Chua
- DNA-The Secret of Life, James Watson
- An Introduction to Public International Law, SK Verma
- Two alone, two together- Letters between Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ji and Indira Gandhi 1922-64, Ed. Sonia Gandhi

Wish list (my birthday's around the corner: 9th of March!!)

-iYo, Julia Alvarez
- Six Easy Pieces- Fundamentals of Physics Explained by its most Brilliant teacher, Robert Feynman
- Blink-The Power of Thinking without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell

Have a fabulous day!!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

musings on the Victorian Era...

The 19th Century authors are indeed a class apart. Their way of giving life to their thoughts is such that even the best thriller of present times will be put to shame in front of them. Such is the idiosyncrasy of authors of the by-gone Victorian Era- they knew not their contribution in shaping the metamorphic face of literature.

The Victorian novel was primarily concerned with representing a social reality and the way a protagonist sought and defined a place within this reality. Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is no exception. It seems to be, in the first few pages, an autobiography of Ms Eyre, but as the story uncoils, we can perceive the handiwork of a literary genius. Ms Bronte is certainly a versatile authoress, but even more so, a rational thinker.

Jane Eyre takes us on a journey through the pages of memory... the owner of the book being our guide and companion. Mr. Rochester's entry does, if I may say so, enhance the scale of intensity of the work. The depiction of his passionate agony when Ms Eyre decides to leave Thornfield is indeed commendable, and can be cited as an example of the ability of the author to put herself in the mind and soul of her character.

The language used by Ms Bronte and other authors of the Victorian Era highlights their ability to use language as tool to sculpt their thoughts in so sublime a way that absolutely nothing can penetrate their line of thinking. These works are a vital part of the true essence of the English language, the evolution of which is as unpredictable as it was centuries ago. It is indeed a joy to read such literary feats, and one certainly hopes that the present 'lingo' will be modified into a more refined one in due course of time.

To recapitulate, the astuteness and sagacity of Ms Bronte in penning down so sensible a novel only suggests that we, as authors of the New World, have indisputably a very long way to go... for the path our literary ancestors laid leads to a goal beyond us at present- immortality of their works.

Friday, October 28, 2005

the Don of fiction...

'A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns'...

'I'll make him an offer he can't refuse'.....

Most of us (I’m certainly included) would have grown up in awe of the speaker of these famous lines... 'The Godfather' has long captivated the heart and soul of people around the world, breaking all existing barriers of language and ethnicity…

Much has been said about the Godfather saga, but surprisingly little about the author meets the eye... here are some excerpts from online resources...

Mario Puzo was born into an immigrant family in New York City in the area known as 'Hell's Kitchen'. His father was a railway trackman. Puzo lived with his six brothers and sisters above the railway yards. The discovery of public libraries and the world of literature led Puzo in the direction of writing. During World War II Puzo served in the US Air Force stationed in East Asia and Germany. After the war he stayed in Germany as a civilian public relations man for the Air Force. Puzo then studied at the New School for Social Research, New York, and at Columbia University. During this period he took classes in literature and creative writing. In 1946 he married Erika Broske; they had five children. His first published story, 'The Last Christmas', appeared in American Vanguard in 1950.

Puzo worked for 20 years as an administrative assistant in government offices in New York and overseas. In 1946 he married Erika Lina Broske; they had three sons and two daughters. Puzo's his first book,
Dark arena, appeared in 1955, when he was 35.

From 1963 Puzo worked as a free lance journalist and writer. He wrote for men's magazines, among them Stag and Male, and published book reviews, stories, and articles in such journals as Redbook, Holiday, Book World, and the New York Times. In 1965
Fortunate Pilgrim appeared, which followed one family of Italian immigrants from the late 1920s through World War II. The plot centered round an Italian peasant woman, a twice-widowed matriarch Lucia, her perception of the 'American dream', and juxtaposed her honest and determined progress with that of a corrupt climber. Neither of Puzo's first two books gained financial success, though both received good reviews. Both were translated among others into Finnish. Puzo's fourth work, The Runaway Summer of David Shaw (1966), was a children's book. After an expensive medical emergency - a gallbladder attack - Puzo decided to write a book that would also be a commercial success. While working in pulp journalism, he had heard Mafia anecdotes and he started to collect material on the East Coast branches of the Cosa Nostra.

The rest, if I may add, is history...

Among other works of Mario Puzo, The Fourth K, a socio-political thriller, and The Last Don, a return to the world of Mafia, are eminent.

Puzo died from heart failure on July 1999 at his home in Long Island, after completing his latest organized crime book, Omerta, which appeared in July 2000. In the story Puzo depicts a family whose members represent the legitimate world and organized crime. Finally the right and the wrong side of the law come into conflict. In his last years, Puzo spent time collecting material and writing The Family, dealing with the Borgias, masters of intrigue and one of the most influential families in Renaissance Italy. The book was completed by his longtime companion, Carol Gino.

Mario Puzo's legacy of power, virtues and society remains an enigma to some, but to most, it is, and it was, and will be, nothing short of a masterpiece...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

the maxims of creativity...

Today's the day for simple stuff...

Simple yet elegant...

Ring any bells???


(If you guess that right, you're an acclaimed genius!!)


(But since you're one of the average kinds, I'll relieve your tiny brain from so much overwork)

It's 'Daddy-Long-Legs' by Jean Webster (and before you ask, no prizes for guessing that!)

Jean Webster has a charismatic style of writing...letter writing, to be more precise. Her main character, Jerusha Abbott, is sent to College by an eccentric trustee of the orphanage she's a part of, with the only condition that she must regularly write to the Trustee, whom she names 'Daddy-Long-Legs'. The way Ms Webster moulds the sublime character of Judy Abbott and Jervis Pendleton and signs off with quite an unexpected twist only fortifies her reputation as a creative and talented author.

'Jean Webster' is, in fact, the pen name of Alice Jane Chandler Webster. A hardy lady with socialism in her blood, Ms Webster was born and lived most of her life in New York State. Incidentally, she happens to be the great-niece of Mark Twain and was also related to Samuel Clemens.

'Daddy-Long-Legs' is one of those feel-good books, which leaves you with a contended aura in the end. The sequel, 'Dear Enemy', is but another milestone in the author's career.

It is easy to get lost in this fairy-tale-like story with a tinge or two of hard-core reality, so lost that you would not be able to put this book down too soon!

Happy reading!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

a curiously curious book...

What happens when a Physicist enrolls in a Bio Course?? Predictably, he finds a Paper written by a famous biologist, and starts working it out. This physicist in question is no exception... he read Adrian and Bloke's paper demonstrating that nerve impulses were sharp, single-pulse phenomena- the conclusion of their neurological experiment on cats.

The result: the physicist scans the library for a 'map’ of a cat
(and if you think that's right, then you're a classified bloke-it's called a ‘zoological chart’)

The man: Richard P. Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965.


Well, now that you've been given enough time for the situation to sink in, you must've realized that I'm reading a new book. People who know me and are reading this will scoff at my words, for I’m always reading something 'new'...

"Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" is, as adeptly described in the sub-title, a book of 'adventures of a curious character'. The fact that this curious character is a rather famous personality does not, fortunately, loom over each page reminding you that you're reading the works of a Nobel Prize awardee.

In fact, it makes for excellent bed-time reading too, but only if you intend to sacrifice some...errr...many hours of your 'natural and periodic state of rest during which the consciousness of the world is suspended'.

The language is simple and to the point, and the circumstances described have a grounding in facts. Mr. Feynman proves himself to be a witty, humorous and satirical genius of a physicist.

Must read for all students of science (me) and people (you) interested in great prodigies of their time (me)... (!!!!!!)