Monday, November 30, 2015

How did it get late so soon?

Hello blog buddies. How’ve ye all been? I’ve been out of this space for quite long and of all things, I’ve missed this space tremendously, this community. Writing and reading keeps me sane.

I have missed reading all your blog posts, I promise to catch up with you guys soon, on your life updates.

How did it get late so soon? 

Now that we are in the last leg of the year, I’m sure you all have been reflecting on the goals you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year. And I’m sure you have already achieved 98 per cent of it. Even if you didn't set goals, I’m sure you have been living a purpose driven life and that’s basically the same thing.

For once, I thought I will not blog about my recent life’s experience. Then again, I pondered upon it, and was heck, why not? I have to document this, an experience of my lifetime. Strike when the iron is hot and here I am, rambling about my recent experience.

I’m just back from experiencing a three week military training, Integrated training program. It’s a program for my office where we instill discipline, integrity, sense of ownership and loyalty. A program which is initiated upon the command of His Majesty the king, a privilege in itself.

When I informed my friends and families about this training program, they all sympathized me, said that it would be challenging physically. With that skepticism in mind, I kept on postponing my schedule for the longest time. I had initially planned to go early next year but somehow, I took the last leap of action and confirmed that I will go by November. And I did the right thing.

Now that I underwent the program, the whole world seems an entirely different thing to me, at least for now. It embarrass me to think that the life I had been leading till now is so mundane and laid back, physically. 

Routine and discipline are the order of the day in military life. From the moment you open your eyes to the time you close it at night, it’s all about discipline. The word NO is non-existent in the military dictionary. This depicts positivity in the life of the armed personnel.

For someone, who had never seen a gun first hand before had her heart on the throat when trained to fire the bullet. It’s all about the routine, they said. It was so true. After a while, the morning jog with 4.4 kg SLR on the shoulder and 10 push-ups anytime of the day seemed very normal. The commands seem quite funny for the civil mind to register and articulate at first. But now that you have been totally immersed in it, it becomes part of you. And that’s routine again.

With my lovely comrade, friend and a confidante K.C

It’s all about taming your mind. The mind game. If you think you can do it, you can! I had this chill down my spine every time I thought about waking up at 5am and doing the physical training. Just the thought was enough to give me a fever because I have never been that morning person. But with routine, I could wake up and start my day. I was able to see the sun rise and sun set for the entire three weeks. Another achievement there!

It astounds me to know the capability of a human body. How it can be trained to build so much stamina and how it can withstand anything. I'm amazed at my body's capacity to brave such physical strain. 
This program opened my eyes to view the armed personnel from a whole new level. My reverence for them has increased triple fold. The sacrifice and life-long commitment they have given to serve the king, country and people is remarkable.  I have nothing else, but deep respect to the armed personnel.

Letting your hair loose and wearing flip flops felt like a guilty pleasure. It was also a total disconnection from the outside world when we were not allowed to wear a wrist watch and carry a cell phone. Sometimes, it felt timeless when you are tuned to the routine and the last thing you need to do is look at the time.  

Its funny to learn that our organization skill is nothing compared to the armed personnel. Starting from tying your shoe lace to ironing your clothes and making sure that your belt and cap are straightened, uniformed personnel knows it best. They are so organized, like pomegranate seeds.

I can rant on forever about my thrilling 3 weeks experience, but I need to stop. Perhaps, we can have a coffee date and listen to me rant further, if you're interested.

All in all, it was an amazing experience, an experience of a lifetime.  And I’m so proud of myself for conquering it. My lovely ladies and comrades K.C and Ana Tshering made it further delightful, I have never laughed so much in my life before than with you ladies. Thank you 8th Batch for being awesome comrades, you guys made it more merrier. Sometimes, all it needs is a little will power to learn life’s greatest lessons.  

Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review // A Little Life

As I turned the last page and closed the 720 pages book, I was sobbing, silently. It had me taken on a tour of the life of an emotionally and physically damaged man, Jude St. Francis.    

Hanya Yanagihara’s A little Life published in March is a story about four college friends who have come to New York to make their way out in the world. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, ambitious artist; Malcolm, a frustrated architect; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude who serves as their center of gravity.

It is seemingly the story of four friends and their friendship over the decades which is tinged by addiction, success and pride. 
But it’s the story of Jude alone at the end, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man haunted by his insurmountable past.

Jude walks with a limp, suffers from episodes of severe spinal pain and will not say a word about his life before college. He cuts himself. Early on the book, we come to know that Jude cuts himself but one is kept on hold as to know the reasons for self-harm. 

The graphic depiction of abuse and physical suffering is so raw and severe in A Little Life. At times, I had to get away from the book, distract myself from thinking it too much, get some fresh air and start from where I left it.

This is one of the books that leaves you speechless and makes it extremely hard for one to do a proper review. I absolutely loved this book and there’s no way that this little review of mine will do justice. I knew even before starting this book that I will be completely invested in the lives of the four friends. I braced myself for the emotional turmoil I will be put through.

Let me tell you what this book deals on. It deals on a lot of difficult subjects including physical, emotional and sexual abuse. If you’re having a bad day or going through a rough patch in life then this is not the right book to pick.

Even before I picked it, I knew this was going to be the book of the year for me. It indeed is! 

It was like knowing that he is going to be THE ONE for you, even before meeting him. Heartbreaking yet a beautiful book on the true meaning of friendship. It astounds me to think how humans can be so brutal yet the same humans can be so loving and forgiving in Jude’s life.

Adult adoption is something I read about in the book for the first time. It’s interesting how Yanagihara immaculately brought about the beauty of male friendship which over time turns to love relationship. I have never read a book where the deep love between two men are so intimately portrayed as in A Little Life. Female characters are less or non-existent for that matter.

Art and photography, legal practices, medical jargons, paintings and architecture are so well detailed in the book. 

The last art by JB ‘Willem listening to Jude Tell a Story’ had me weeping literally. I cannot fathom the pain Jude goes through on seeing the art and later Harold. 

It was surprising to find Bhutan and Punakha, particularly being mentioned in the book. How did Bhutan strike to Hana Yangihara when Jude and Willem goes on a vacation and the vacation happens to be in Bhutan?    

I love it when a book leaves me emotionally draining. That’s when I find the outside world immaterial, and all I want to do is crawl into bed and sleep for days. This is what exactly this book did to me. 
Is there a life after A Little Life


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