Oxford Shenanigans

“Oh, so you blog?” “Yeah, I do! Well, kind of.” That murky wave of guilt laps at my conscience and I remember that it’s literally been months since I last posted. Sitting across a new friend at a beautiful coffee shop in Oxford, I begin to recall why I started blogging in the first place….

To Marguerite – Continued

By Matthew Arnold Yes! In the sea of life enisled, With echoing straits between us thrown, Dotting the shoreless watery wild, We mortal millions live alone. The islands feel the enclasping flow, And then their endless bounds they know. But when the moon their hollows light, And they are swept by balms of spring, And…

Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh

Sometimes, I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there’s no room for the present at all. Beautiful, reflective, and charmingly nostalgic, Brideshead Revisited paints a captivating picture of the British aristocracy in the prosperous age before the Second World War. This is a novel that speaks of religion, love, art,…

New Year, Old Concept, Same Life

At the debut of every new year, the vast majority of the 7 billion (and steadily increasing) human inhabitants of this earth sit down at their desks (or stand in their showers, take a run in their parks, do handstands in their rooms for all I know) and mull over the past 365 days with…

Household Gods, by Philip Hobsbaum

Household Gods “I mirrored their breaking lives,I saw their pale Distraught coming and going, lined despair, His shaken bulk, her calm pose in the doorway— I saw them. I was there.” “I have so long been silent, even now Hardly at all remember how her slim Long fingers once caressed me—was that how At one…

There but for the, by Ali Smith

It was one of those rare december break mornings; one where I actually woke up with the burning sensation (rather, a pounding heart attack) to get a start on my holiday homework because oh lord why is there always so much work. Knowing that staying at home would eventually lead to languorous inactivity, I wiggled…

Siem Reap: Savong’s School

I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy. – Kahlil Gibran The rickety drive up the bumpy, pot-holed path to Savong’s School was always one of suppressed excitement; the pit of my stomach would…

Siem Reap: Colorful Characters

The most exhilarating part of traveling is chancing across an intriguing, colorful array of people along the way. This trip to Siem Reap not only led us on a journey of self-discovery and service, but brought us on an adventure to meet a myriad of different characters, each with their own riveting stories. Often taxi drivers…

The Outsider, by Albert Camus

Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee? It is this strange  insouciant detachment that characterizes ‘The Outsider’; that makes it such an unsettling and yet morbidly compelling read. It is a story that leaves you with an aching sense of gaping vacuity, a feeling that perhaps life has no meaning, and no…

It’s All in the Mind.

It’s that time of the year when work starts piling up- multiple IAs and assignments lie in a stack of unkempt, disheveled papers at the corner of your desk- constantly reminding you, beseeching you to pay some thought to your neglected duties. But all you can think about is how to avoid studying for your…

Taking a Nap: A Break from the World

I never really believed in the power of naps – quite frankly, I considered them a waste of precious time that could be put to use productively. It pained me to think of wasting thirty minutes on pure lazing around: there was simply too much to do to take a break just for the sake…

Perfume, by Patrick Süskind (Translated by John E. Woods)

If no one asks me about it, then I know what it is; but if someone asks me about it and I try to explain it to him, then I do not know what it is. ~ St. Augustine, quoted by Patrick Süskind in On Love and Death A quote intended to describe time, but aptly adapted…

Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

The flaw, or crack in character, is really nothing – and need be nothing – but his inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity, his image of his rightful status. – Arthur Miller, Tragedy of the Common Man. I have fallen in love with…

Piffling Postages

Things have been a bit of a convoluted Christmas-light-esque jumble of tangled wires lately, but suffice to say these few days have been incredibly eventful ones. The past week has been frenetic- from helping out at Open House 2013 (a chaotic jumble of 400 people!) to watching The Importance of Being Earnest, to multiple IAs…

All My Sons, By Arthur Miller

‘[…] the underlying fear of being displaced, the disaster inherent in being torn away from our chosen image of what or who we are in this world.’- Arthur Miller, Tragedy of the Common Man.  The fear of not being that which you want to be. A pervasive fear; one that everyone falls prey to at one…

Elements of Thought

Throbbing aches Of a newly formed notion Coaxed out of tranquility; Conjured from wispy thin air- Forced to materialize, to be made aware Retaliating Lashing out Coiling spindly fingers throughout Leaving us with no choice but To live in perpetual fetters to inescapable contemplation In transient delusions of liberation Tied to aphoristic observations Significance in…

Nothing Good or Bad, Only Thinking Makes it So

Thought. The throbbing ache of a newly formed notion, coaxed out of the tranquil state of wispy thin air and forced to materialize in the depths of our minds- retaliating; lashing out and coiling its long fingers around our brains, leaving us with no choice but to live in perpetual fetters to its inescapable contemplations……

Lord Turnbull and the ‘Really Inconvenient Reality’

Lord Turnbull came to give a presentation on his ‘Really Inconvenient Truth’ about climate change today, but all I got out of it was the reflection of a ‘Really Inconvenient Reality’. His presence here was showered with prestige, but tainted with an unfair amount of conceit. Not on Lord Turnbull’s part- but rather, the entire…

What it truly means to be Lasallian

Today I met up with A.S and A. at Laurent Bernard Chocolatier to have a good catching up, and the conversation that we struck up really resounded with the very core of who I am. We talked about Lasallian Leadership Training Camps (in which selected students with ‘leadership potential’ are sent to for an introduction…

Idyllic Sundays

Pumps of adrenalin surge through your veins as you cross the short expanse of the tennis court- legs flying over the green surface, breath gasping in short puffs, muscles stiffening in preparation for the impact;– then, all of a sudden, time stops. The ball falls slowly, exaggeratedly towards you as you screech to a stop,…

Perplexingly Puzzling Paradoxes: The Tortoise

I have an riveting problem for you to scratch your head over today, but I have no doubt many of you have come across it before: Achilles and a tortoise were about to race over 100 meters. Achilles was ten times faster than the tortoise, but the tortoise requested only a 10 meter head start…

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Don’t trust your own judgement. Think. At first glance this hefty book may seem like a compilation of daunting concepts and unmoistened bare facts- the book is indeed dry and may come across as an esoteric psychological analysis of a specific area in the cognitive sciences. However, it is reasonably conveyed in layman’s terms- and…

In Praise of Idleness, by Bertrand Russell

I made the mistake of bringing this book out with me one day- being seated across people on the bus inevitably means being uncomfortably scrutinized by the brash auntie, the self-righteous uncle, or even the occasional pony-tailed student (albeit more discreetly). The usually surreptitious glances evolved into somewhat tactless gapes and frowns, which confused me-…

New Year, Schnew Yarrr.

New Years, Christmases, birthdays- all these celebrations usually call for a cup of nostalgia and a spoon of melancholy, or else a flaming plate of excitement- but these past few days have been anything but so. Relatively phlegmatic, tranquil, and utterly devoid of lugubrious mournings of lost time. I think I’ve come to accept that…

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

A colossal tome reflective of Ayn Rand’s literary greatness, her magnum opus- a beautiful volume brimming with burning conviction, fierce challenges to societal values and morals, packaged in a deceivingly modest-looking paperback. Ayn Rand- in her complete appreciation for individuality- pays homage to the driving forces of the world, the men (and women) without whom…

The Time Machine, by H.G Wells

The title of this book brings back those fun-filled days spiritedly running through the meadows of blooming creativity and imagination, brimming with childish naivety and a profound love for the new and exciting. That’s right, there’s something charming in the foolish thought of exclusivity in a child’s wanderings- I had, at the raw age of…

Farenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

I read two brilliant books in the last 24 hours, the first being a wonderfully simple and heartfelt book (which I will review later, it has become my favorite book of all time and hence deserves a second, third, fourth, or dozens of reads before I can review it objectively), and the latter being the…

Those Barren Leaves, by Aldous Huxley

Starting with my first-ever book review on this blog! It seems rather apt to be reviewing this book, as Aldous Huxley is arguably my favorite author of all time-although that’s not much of a feat since I’m unfortunately not as well-read as I would like to be (due to time constraints). Prior to this I’ve…