Artemis

 

Somewhere in near future, say 100 years when most of us who are reading this will be dead, Man makes base on the Moon. The base soon turns into a full fledged city which is named Artemis, named after Greek goddess. Author should have studied mythologies from other cultures. He could have come up with a better name.

The book has Artemis at its center and a character named Jazz. Her actual name is Jasmine. She arrived on Artemis when she was six from Saudi Arabia and have been there for last 20 years. She works as a low-level porter and earns her living by delivering and smuggling goods. That’s when you learn that no world is free from crime. Where there is man, there’s crime.

Trond is a telecom tycoon who shifted to Artemis because of her daughter who is crippled by an car crash on Earth. The low gravity on Moon helps her walk with crutches which would have been impossible on Earth. Trond is typical businessman who is always looking to expand and make profits. He finds an opportunity to make it big on Artemis. He hires Jazz for a job which leads both of them into deep trouble. Do they get out of the trouble? Who helps them and who is after them? You’ll find answers to these questions when you read the book.

When you start reading this,  you won’t even know that Jazz is female. Not until a few pages when author uses the noun. She behaves like a man which she carries till the end. Her tomboy image adds some spice to the story. After 30 odd pages, you’ll start comparing this to The Martian. You will be disappointed. Especially in the climax part when there are more intelligent and experienced person living on Artemis, why everyone looks up to Jazz? It doesn’t make sense. She is witty. She is clever. She is a rebel. These qualities make the reading delightful just until the climax. It doesn’t click. There is something missing in the finale. Let me know if you find that.

Humor is the biggest plus point of the story. It makes you laugh. There is some sarcasm and crude humor too. Something for everyone I say. If you find it difficult to laugh while reading this, then my friend you should make that appointment with your shrink. You need it.

The blend of characters makes a tasty smoothie. You’ll get to taste many flavors. You’ll like every flavor. Even if you don’t like it, you’ll not dislike it. You’ll enjoy the smoothie until it hits the bottom where it wouldn’t be smooth anymore. I just hope that wouldn’t leave a bad taste.

Beg. Borrow. Steal. Read this shit.

P.S. – If you are a devote Muslim or a hardcore feminist, You may want to skip this book. Jazz is a Muslim girl who sleeps around with different guys. She talks freely of her sexuality. She drinks. She doesn’t wear hijab. She leaves alone, away from her family. These things don’t go well with the Muslims I guess. For the feminists, you have a lot to criticize about the way author has presented her. There’s a lot of sex talk, jibes which are awkward. If you fall into the above two categories, you may want to stay clear.

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Achievement Of The Year

It was lunch time today and I was just finished with my lunch. Generally, that leaves half an hour of time at least until I get back to my work. I use that time to continue reading my book on my Tablet. I think that is the best use of my time. But sometimes, I don’t feel like reading my book. Today was one such day and I thought of scrolling through my Twitter timeline which surprisingly is throwing less crap on my face everyday.

While scrolling through the timeline I found one tweet which was just casual. It didn’t have much responses at the time of viewing. But it struck me. Some tweep had asked a simple question. “What have you achieved in this year 2017 ? Have you made any difference?” The words may have been different but the subject is the same. I stopped scrolling and the tweet froze on my screen.

I did a rewind of this year. Starting from the month of October. No results found.
Then September. No results found.
Then August. No results found.
This continued till January. Not a single result to display. A feeling of disappointment took over. I did nothing substantial this year. I haven’t made a difference.

The feeling of disappointment has turned into the feeling of failure. What could I have possibly done so as to avoid this feeling? The bogey of thoughts started circumventing this feeling until a call for site inspection derailed it. I don’t know whether that call saved my day or not. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Is it necessary to achieve something every year? Do I have to make a difference every year? I have to find answers. I HAVE TO.

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How I became a Hindu

Since last couple of years, I am trying to know my religion. I have been ignorant. But the things happening around me, in my country have made me curious about my religion. Reading books, articles, trying to understand the festivals and rituals has added much to my knowledge. I am always searching for books written on Hindu Dharma. This quest has lead me to a book named “How I became a Hindu” By David Frawley.
Reading a book on Hindu Dharma written by a Hindu may contain biased views. So I thought of reading this book which has been authored by a person who was a Christian. An American Christian whose uncle worked for a Christian missionary. David Frawley studied Hindu Dharma for almost 20 years before accepting Hindu Dharma in 1991 with a new name, Vamadeva Shashtri. This book is his journey to India, across India and across globe learning and spreading Hindu Dharma.
The present situation is such that, Hindu Dharma is being attacked from all sides. The major role is being played by Christian missionaries and Muslim Madarsa. David Frawley explains how these missionaries and Madarsas are being funded by foreign sources to convert innocent and ignorant Hindus. The same money is also used to spread lies and hatred about the Hindu festivals and rituals. Often Hinduism is criticized for it’s caste system. You’ll understand that the differences that exist in our caste system are also present in Christianity and Islam.
He narrates about his spiritual experience in his conquest to self realization. His discovery of Yoga and meditation techniques which helped him reach a higher consciousness. During his travel across India he met Swamis, mystical sadhus and siddhas. The numerous temple visits across the country which strengthened his belief in Hindu Dharma. After accepting Hindu Dharma in 1991, He has dedicated his life towards writing books, articles and giving speeches in support of Hindu Dharma. He has been honored with Padma Bhushan for his contribution towards India and Hinduism.
If you are a Hindu and if you haven’t read this book, then you must. If you are not a Hindu and want to know about Hinduism, then this book is the best possible start for you. This book has given me a new purpose to know about my Dharma. The references used by the author will keep me busy reading for months. I have no doubt that this book will give you a fresh perspective on Hindu Dharma. Add this to your “must read” list.

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The Human Robot

A couple of weeks back, I was watching Ancient Aliens on History 18. The topic of discussion was that the aliens may have sent robots from time to time across various regions of the planet to gather information and send it back to their home planet. What type of information they might have sent wasn’t discussed. While watching that episode a weird thought crossed my mind. What if we are the robots these aliens planted on this planet? Does that make sense?

When the show was over, I started thinking about the idea. If we look at ourselves as a machine, what I said makes sense to a great extent. Although we have unlocked much of the secrets of our body, The biggest secrets are yet to be revealed. The biggest puzzle of the human body is the brain. A lump of flesh floating in a liquid that controls each and every muscle of the body. It’s quite fascinating.

Now… When I look at my body as a machine, I find that many of the parts are replaceable. Eyes, Heart, Liver, Kidney etc. Tremendous amount of resources have been allocated towards the research of human body. Just like the organs, even external parts like, limbs can be replaced. Though they don’t function a hundred percent like the original, they make your life almost normal. I have no doubt that we would be able to see robotic limbs which function like a the flesh counterpart in near future. The android era, just like the the mobile OS, is closer than we think.

Apart from brain, my fascination is towards the disease which infect the human body. These viruses and bacteria which cause those diseases are micro organisms. One requires microscope to see them. So tiny organisms which keep on evolving and infecting this human machine. This doesn’t stop here. Human body has it’s own anti-virus software which is called immune system. Even this keeps evolving. Most of the times, this anti-virus software wins and keeps the machine clean from the viruses, bacteria and malware. But when it cannot, the machine fails to function properly. External updates in form of medicines can help the body recover. When, even these updates cannot stop the infection, it leads to the death of the machine. What happens after the death is a mystery which hasn’t been solved yet. Maybe all the data from brain is transferred to some centralized unit for processing and helping to make a better machine.

The free will given to the brain makes it possible to think new ideas and their implementation. These ideas lead to the progress of this machines. Where these ideas come from? Are they already programmed into us? Is there some event that riggers these ideas at specific times? These are some more mysteries which will remain unsolved till the death.

Enjoy this machine form as long as you can. Stay fit. Do good to you and those around you.

And Think Nonsense…

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Paradise Lost and Regained – Book Review

Once in a while there comes a book which alters the way you think. It gives you insights and hope and a fresh perspective towards life. Towards everything. A few years back, The Alchemist did this to me. And then The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And now this one. I got this book as a giveaway some two years back and I never thought of reading it. It was my foolishness or maybe it wasn’t the right time for me to read this book.

The story is quite simple. It is about a deer who lives in forest in the beginning before it is captured and taken to the zoo. From there, the deer escapes and gets back to the forest only to find a new way to look towards the forest, towards the life that’s ahead. It’s perspective towards life in forest before the zoo and after the zoo will take you by surprise. As you read the book, chapter by chapter, the story engulfs you and soon you replace yourself with that deer.

Every chapter in this book is a take on different stages of our life. The beginning, the childhood, the teenage, the maturity, the old age. Life lessons which have a potential to change someones life, are rendered smoothly. The language used complements the subject very well and makes it easy to take the insights. My favorite chapters were those where the author has commented on the negative emotions that persists and the adverse effect of those emotions. Though many a times these emotions tend to give a dark shade to the book. But you’ll have to ignore it to understand what the author i really trying to convey.

Buy. Beg. Borrow. Steal. But read this book. You will not regret.

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