Books, Music

Time, Life and Stoicism via Songs

As another year ends, it is perhaps appropriate to reflect on the passage of time. This is also the second part of my blog on exploring stoic philosophy through songs, particularly Hindi songs.  This blog focuses mainly on Seneca’s  “On the Shortness of Life” (“De Brevitate Vitae”), a moral essay that he wrote around 49 AD.  I’m relying on the…

Continue Reading

Books, Music

Stoic Philosophy through Hindi Songs

My introduction to stoic philosophy came via a YouTube video.  Titled “Stoicism 101”, the engaging video was presented by Dr Massimo Pigliucci, professor of philosophy at the City College of New York.  Presented at an informal setting, likely a pub in NYC, Dr Pigliucci provides a very good overview of the history and philosophy of Stoicism.  I was intrigued enough…

Continue Reading

A doodle of Lt Col Desmond Hayde by MF Hussain
Books, History, School

Lt Col Desmond Hayde and the Battle of Dograi

“It’s about regimental pride,” said my friend, “I will send you a video regarding this.”  I was speaking on the phone with my classmate Chengappa after thirty-five years.  I remember him as a superb sportsman in school but I must confess our paths did not cross much then, boys tend to be self-absorbed in their own cliques.  However, I’ve been…

Continue Reading

Books

The Hidden Pool

When we first moved to New England, I was smitten by the scenery.  We moved in summer and the trees were tall and green.  Narrow roads wound their way surreptitiously through towns and the countryside. For long stretches, they were bordered by stonewalls.  And the trees, tall and green, flanked the roads on either side, the sun peering through the…

Continue Reading

Books, Family, Memories, Nikhil

Bedtime Stories

I remember the first time I told my daughter a bedtime story.  She was a little over two and not in the mood to sleep one night. Jungle Book was the ideal story since she loved animals.  Her curiosity was piqued as I narrated the adventures of Mowgli.  When I got to Sher Khan and “roared”, she burrowed closer to…

Continue Reading

Books, Memories

Chasing The Monsoon

While driving through my neighborhood a few months ago, I happened to pass a house that had a number of items placed on its driveway with an accompanying “Free” sign.  There were the usual knickknacks – items once bought but of no interest to the owner now.  What caught my eye, however, was the sizable pile of books.  As I…

Continue Reading

Books, Memories

Rocket Boys

Once in a while, I come across a book that captivates me.  The author is able to draw me into his or her world and take me along on a journey in which I am an interested and intrigued companion.  Homer (Sonny) Hickham Jr.’s memoirs titled  “Rocket Boys” is one such book and I just finished reading it last night.…

Continue Reading

Books, Memories

Libraries

Fourth grade was an exciting time for me.  I changed schools and was now studying in the same school as my older brother.  An impressive colonial-era building, with large sprawling fields – I was fairly intimidated and in awe the first few days.  It was also the first time in my life that I had access to a library.  The…

Continue Reading

Books, Memories

Enid Blyton

Good authors have the ability to fire up our imagination while great authors have the ability to transport us to the magical world they weave with their words.  Children of today’s generation will probably nod their heads and point to J.K. Rowling but for a large group of children of my era, the author of choice was Enid Blyton.  Many…

Continue Reading

Books, Memories

The Readers Digest

  When I look back over the years, some of the most memorable gifts that my brother and I have received were the annual subscriptions to Readers Digest.  These were gifts from our uncle Vijumam and they extended for probably a period of 5 years in the mid to late eighties.  Vijumam was a voracious reader.  Besides buying novels, he…

Continue Reading