The Origin

Alpha and Omega.
Beginning and End.

Where do we come from?
Where are we going?

I remember buying the Dan Brown Novel, Origin from a bookshop at Mumbai International Airport in the year 2017. And since then it was a part of my collection, on a waiting list, as to when it will be read by me. The delay in reading was because of a mistake I made. After buying the book, I read Wikipedia plot and I kind of lost interest. Hence, the delay. Not a good idea. I suggest one shouldn’t do this, at least not for novels. Reading the plot summary before reading the actual book, ruins the excitement. For movies, at times, it helps. But I think one should resist this practice.

By now, I have read the entire Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown—Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Inferno, and now, Origin. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading each one of them, including Origin. I have also read Deception Point and Digital Fortress, but that was a long time back. Here, I may have to Wikipedia the plot for refreshing my memory.

I haven’t travelled much in my life so far, I mean beyond India and a few countries. Therefore, I make it a point to Google every destination mentioned in the Dan Brown books so that I understand the art, architecture and artist better. Origin took me through various cities of Spain. And now, after Google-Touring Italy, France, Turkey and Washington DC, I would also like to visit Spain (someday) to actually see, feel, breathe and admire the art and history embedded in the structure of these destinations—or rather those that form the very skeleton of these cities and countries.

Besides geographical locations mentioned in the book, I also Google-check the pronunciation of many names of the people and places referred to in the novels so as not to mispronounce. All I can say is I am learning.

I am sure many reviews may have been written on the book, Origin. I haven’t checked. But I know I am not that great a writer yet to attempt to review one of the best books ever written by one of my favourite authors, and one of the best author, the world has. Hence, I will just quote some of my favourites sections from the novel.

The book begins with a beautiful quote:

We must be willing to get rid of
the life we’ve planned, so as to
have the life that is waiting for us.

– Joseph Campbell

Any man can stay sober in a desert but only the loyal can sit in an oasis and refuse to part his lips.
(Navy Admiral Luis Avila)

These two mysteries lie at the heart of the human experience. Where do we come from? Where are we going? Human creation and human destiny. They are universal mysteries.
(Edmond Kirsch, the tech genius, computer scientist and futurist)

…when my passions flare, diplomacy is not my métier.
(Edmond Kirsch – I think the above statement is all creative peoples’ issue. I have experienced it myself and felt it among the creative/visionary people I have worked with. It is hindering and hampering and debilitating when what you see and experience and try to explain to others, no one wants to understand, and most times, not even listen to. It feels depressing when someone who can vision the future is ignored or dismissed by a crowd just concerned about the present or way too lost in the past.)

…religion had survived advances in science for millennia, and that it served an important purpose in society, and while religion might evolve, it would never die.
(Robert Langdon)

Scientist and spiritualists often use different vocabularies to describe the exact same mysteries of the universe. The conflicts are frequently over semantics, not substance.
(Robert Langdon)

Men plan, and God laughs.
(News Anchor)

Nothing is invented, for it’s written in nature first.
Originality consists of returning to the origin.
                                                              – Antoni Gaudi

Memento mori. Remember death. Even for those who wield great power, life is brief. There is only one way to triumph over death, and that is by making our lives masterpieces. We must seize every opportunity to show kindness and to love fully…Your conscience will be your guide. When life is dark, let your heart show you the way.
(The Monarch to the Prince)

Success is the ability to go
from one failure to another
with no loss of enthusiasm.
             – Winston Churchill

The price of greatness is responsibility.
(Winston Churchill)

History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.
(Winston Churchill)

Love is not a finite emotion.
We don’t have only so much to share.
Our hearts create love as we need it.
Love truly is not finite emotion. It can be generated spontaneously out of nothing.
(Ambra Vidal)

Love is a private thing. The world does not need to know every detail.
(Julian thinking of Ambra Vidal)

Love is from other realm. We cannot manufacture it on demand. Nor can we subdue it when it appears. Love is not our choice to make.
(Julian reminiscing his father’s words)

I don’t believe the same God who endowed us with sense, reason and intellect intended us to forgo their use?
(Father Bena: My favourite character in the novel.)

Edmond Kirsch’s Prayer for the Future:
May our philosophies keep pace with our technologies.
May our compassion keep pace with our powers.
And may love, not fear, be the engine of change.

Six Kingdoms of Life and the Seventh. Now to know the Seventh, one will have to read this fascinating book.

Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) rule/control humans? Like every scientific invention and discovery, there are numerous pros and cons attached to each invention, each discovery. However, it is our intention that makes each of this invention or discovery, a blessing or a curse. And I think as long as goodness exists, we, the mortal human beings, will thrive, survive, leaving some beautiful footprints, actual and digital, for the generations to come.

I think it was the right time to read Origin. Lockdown, introspection, hermit mode and to ponder on the Origin. Well, let’s end this post on a positive note with another quote from this thought provoking novel:

Abundance: The future is better than you think.

…Ashu Bolar
ashubolar@gmail.com

Vikramaditya Trilogy – Book 1: The Guardians of the Halahala

It was in April this year. I was on a short sabbatical from work for academic reasons, and since I was temporarily free from the grilling corporate atmosphere, I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. So I decided to read as many novels as I can in these two months from my gigantic book collection. Yeah, I collect books, and someday, I guess will have a library of my own. 🙂

I decided to start with The Guardians of Halahala – a book which I received from the author Shatrujeet Nath on winning a promotional contest on Facebook. My friend, Dia, was the one who had enrolled my name in the contest, but I thank her that she did because the book is an interesting read. Since I am a Vikramaditya-Betal fan, I enjoyed every chapter of the first veergatha in series from the trilogy.

The plot is extremely gripping. I thought it would take me at least a week to complete the book, but I completed it in three days as there was this constant curiosity to know what happens next. Some pages on the fight for protecting the state, did remind me of the Trojan War, I studied during my MA literature days.

In several scenes, when Samrat Vikramaditya is having discussion with his council of Nine Members, it reminded and related me with how in the corporate world a boss and reporting managers should interact with each other. In the book, all the council members including the King, respect each one’s thoughts and considers other’s opinions. There is equal chance for a man or a woman to be a Councillor. There no discrimination of any sought during discussions or in allocating responsibilities. There is a learning here for many bosses, who are prone to tell their colleagues, rather than ask or discuss.

My favourite sentences/phrases from the book:

“It is in the nature of the bloodied sword to doubt the strength of the untested metal.”

“The council trusts you to do what is right – not what is convenient.” (I so wish the corporate world people understood this!)

“Pride and incompetence – what more harm need anyone inflict on his fellow beings, my king?” (Once again, this reminded me of many ignorant yet arrogant acquaintances.)

“…their expressions ranging from fatigue to relief to triumph.”

“…things were always deceptive when viewed from a distance.” (Yep, they are. And we still get carried away at times and get judgmental.)

“…rumor flies on a hundred wings.” (Oh yes, it does!)

“We shouldn’t let worry and fear impair our judgment.” (Never Ever!)

“…the metal winking wickedly…” (I like the personification used here.)

“…before the phrase could anchor itself in his mind…” (That’s how most of the time we react and then regret.)

“Everything I see and hear and say and do…”

Well, since I have read The Guardians of the Halahala, I was eager to know what eventually happened to Vikramaditya, his nine councilors, to the kingdom, the devas & asuras, and the Halahala. I did try convincing Shatruji if in some way I can know ‘what next’, but well the answer was to read the next book –  The Conspiracy At Meru.

The good news is Book-2 will be available for purchase on Amazon.com soon (Release Date: 22nd August 2016; Pre Order option open).

I am hoping Betal will have a significant role in the coming issues! 🙂

Thank you Dia, and Thank you Shatruji for the copy!

VA-1&2

Check the trailer for ‘The Conspiracy at Meru’ (Vikramaditya Veergatha #2) by Shatrujeet Nath at Thunderclap or click: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/45165-the-conspiracy-at-meru

Happy Monsoon! Happy Reading!

…Ashu Bolar

The F-Book

What were you thinking friend? I meant was facebook. 🙂

Today is the Internet Era where having a facebook profile is a must (If you don’t have one then you get an OMG reaction) and checking facebook profile at least twice a day is mandatory. There are many other social networking sites; however, facebook still remains one of the most popular amongst all.

There was a time when people kept dairies penning their everyday thoughts. However, this act is now replaced with status updates – some short, some long; sometimes once a day, sometimes several times in a day. With fancy mobile phones, accessing social networking sites has become very easy. I never had a diary, but yes, I do have a facebook account. I am not keen on posting updates but when it comes to decorating profile, I must say I am good at it.

Decorative enough, right? 🙂

Even I check my account at least twice a day. Every time I log in, the images and posts on my home page fill me with mixed emotions.

A Friend’s Wedding Album – likes, congratulations!

Honeymoon Pics – likes on couple and more likes on the destination (next on travel list)

Friend’s Kids Birthday Pics – wishes and likes

Get Together Pics – likes (longing for one)

Witty Posts – likes and laughs 😀

Horoscope Update – some hope

Love Horoscope – very little hope

Gloomy Remarks (as in break up related) – sad (but happy on my single status :))

Stupid Comment – wonder why this person is on my list??? :-/

Repeated Stupider Remarks – block the person  😉

Sale – smile does not leave my face till I shop shop shop and literally run out of cash!

Friend Request from a Long Lost School Friend (and a good one) – very happy! 😀

Friend Requests from Strangers – ignore

Someone Poking – I feel like poking in real sense

Game Requests – ignore

Company Promotional Update – likes likes as no other choice

Right Hand Side Ads – some very good ones

Photo Tagging – irritated (I am not quite fond of that) x(

Videos – some good, some annoying

Vacation Snaps – likes (God knows when I will go for one!)

And emotions keep swinging from like to dislike, happy to sad, irritation to anger, and of course, the vice versa.

For some, or rather many, this book is friendly, fabulous, fashionable, fanciful, flirty, funny, free spirited, full of life— in short, Fantabulous Book!

But for few it is fake, foul, flimsy, forbidden, futile, false, frustrating, freaky—means WTF book?

As for me, most of the times, reading this book makes me happy for the fact that I have so many friends, and that they are happy in their lives. We may not be conversing or chatting everyday, we might have not met for years now, but we are still connected, no matter which corner of the globe we reside.

And on friendship day with so many beautiful messages, again my emotions are swinging—a smile, a tear—and I am glad that there are friends who care.

Wishing all my friends a Happy Friendship’s Day and hoping to find more friends in the future on my Fav Book, my Facebook!

…Ashu Bolar