Friday, November 29, 2019

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran - Kitabi Karwan Repost


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The Prophet by Khalil Gibran I always feel an overwhelming sense of inherent bias while reading classics. It comes from a place of self-doubt honestly - How is this book supposed to make me feel? What if I don’t like the popular lines? What if I don’t like the book? Am I the stupid one for not understanding a deeper meaning behind what appears to me to be a simple book, albeit well written? This is partly what happened to me while reading The Prophet. It’s hard to avoid the bias when you start reading a book that has been so popular, that it hasn’t been out of print in nearly the 100 years it has been in print. Simply written, the book has a plethora of beautifully written verses that’ll leave you stunned and make you grapple with pre-existing notions about certain values and emotions. Khalil Gibran explored many philosophies and religions over his lifetime, and the incoherence and lack of uniformity in his opinions reflect that. It might also help to cross relate his work with the context he would have worked i.e. the early 1900s. In a book that takes strong stands on values and virtues, it’s hard to not have polarised reactions. Your opinion would ideally jump from either ends of the spectrum, and leave you wondering about Gibran. Perhaps that’s when you ought to remind yourself, that poets, authors, and artists in general are people...just like the rest of us. Flawed, damaged and yet aspiring to be the best version of themselves. Reading this book made me experience emotions by telling me exactly what it wants me to think about it. The jury’s still out on how that model would work with individual readers, but the book contains some beautiful gems in the form of prose verses, some of which are attached to this post. #fiction #classic #classics #reading #bookstgram #books #book #kindle #ebook #kindlepaperwhite #kindlebooks #meta #germanfiction #classicfiction #kitab #karvan #kitabikarvan #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #theprophet #khalilgibran #kahlilgibran #theprophetbykahlilgibran #lebanon #poetry #prosepoetry #beauty #morals #virtue #religion
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I always feel an overwhelming sense of inherent bias while reading classics. It comes from a place of self-doubt honestly - How is this book supposed to make me feel? What if I don’t like the popular lines? What if I don’t like the book? Am I the stupid one for not understanding a deeper meaning behind what appears to me to be a simple book, albeit well written?

This is partly what happened to me while reading The Prophet. It’s hard to avoid the bias when you start reading a book that has been so popular, that it hasn’t been out of print in nearly the 100 years it has been in print. Simply written, the book has a plethora of beautifully written verses that’ll leave you stunned and make you grapple with pre-existing notions about certain values and emotions. Khalil Gibran explored many philosophies and religions over his lifetime, and the incoherence and lack of uniformity in his opinions reflect that. It might also help to cross relate his work with the context he would have worked i.e. the early 1900s.

In a book that takes strong stands on values and virtues, it’s hard to not have polarised reactions. Your opinion would ideally jump from either ends of the spectrum, and leave you wondering about Gibran. Perhaps that’s when you ought to remind yourself, that poets, authors, and artists in general are people...just like the rest of us. Flawed, damaged and yet aspiring to be the best version of themselves.

Reading this book made me experience emotions by telling me exactly what it wants me to think about it. The jury’s still out on how that model would work with individual readers, but the book contains some beautiful gems in the form of prose verses, some of which are attached to this post.


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Dark Circles by Udayan Mukherjee - Kitabi Karwan Repost




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Dark Circles by Udayan Mukherjee Time, is a relative concept. Reading this book is an experience that will make you experience this relativity. In a poignant and elegant debut novel, Udayan Mukherjee has produced a work that has without a doubt jumped straight into my favourites shelf. Dark Circles is lucidly written, with a descriptive form that might bother most fans of purist literature, but it is refreshing. From adopting a matter-of-fact approach towards a rather gut-wrenching family secret, to a beautiful appreciation of mental health, each page of this book reaches out and clings to its reader. The depths of the book alternate between the obvious (the parallels of an urbane lifestyle as opposed to a quaint life in the mountains) to subtleties in plain sight (one of my favourite parts of the books is the conversation about good trees. I have put up a picture of it) to downright beautiful (the exchange between the brothers in the park). Even though the book very articulately emphasises the dynamics between families, societies and mental health, personally what stood out for me was the capturing of complex emotions and thought processes in simple words. Again, one of my favourite paragraphs from the book dealt with the same. A seemingly melancholic book that makes you stoically think about life, it made for the perfect companion on a long train ride. I am genuinely looking forward to more of Udayan’s work. PS: Udayan was formerly the managing editor of CNBC India, and had quit his job to introspect in life. He spent a lot of time in the Himalayas, where he also ended up writing this book. Maybe the clichéd idea of discovering art away from the mundane chaos of urban life is true. Just some food for thought. #darkcircles #udayanmukherjee #cnbc #cnbcindia #bloomsbury #bloomsburyindia #bloomsburypublishing #depression #himalayas #mentalhealth #mentalhealthbooks #mentalhealthbookclub #family #society #bengali #reading #bookstgram #books #book #kitab #karvan #kitabikarvan #bookstagram #bookstagrammer
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Time, is a relative concept. Reading this book is an experience that will make you experience this relativity. In a poignant and elegant debut novel, Udayan Mukherjee has produced a work that has without a doubt jumped straight into my favourites shelf. Dark Circles is lucidly written, with a descriptive form that might bother most fans of purist literature, but it is refreshing. From adopting a matter-of-fact approach towards a rather gut-wrenching family secret, to a beautiful appreciation of mental health, each page of this book reaches out and clings to its reader. The depths of the book alternate between the obvious (the parallels of an urbane lifestyle as opposed to a quaint life in the mountains) to subtleties in plain sight (one of my favourite parts of the books is the conversation about good trees. I have put up a picture of it) to downright beautiful (the exchange between the brothers in the park).

Even though the book very articulately emphasises the dynamics between families, societies and mental health, personally what stood out for me was the capturing of complex emotions and thought processes in simple words. Again, one of my favourite paragraphs from the book dealt with the same.
A seemingly melancholic book that makes you stoically think about life, it made for the perfect companion on a long train ride. I am genuinely looking forward to more of Udayan’s work.

PS: Udayan was formerly the managing editor of CNBC India, and had quit his job to introspect in life. He spent a lot of time in the Himalayas, where he also ended up writing this book. Maybe the clichéd idea of discovering art away from the mundane chaos of urban life is true. Just some food for thought.

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - Kitabi Karwan Repost




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Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka The beauty of this book stems from something I now relate to Kafka i.e. the nonchalant acceptance of something surreal. The story begins with the transformation of an ordinary man into what most translators agree, is a “monstrous vermin” (Kafka wrote one German). However, the subtle messaging of book goes beyond this radical “metamorphosis”. It might has well have been a paralysed member of the family or a breadwinner made invalid by old age. For me, the book captured what we all perhaps know, but refuse to explicitly acknowledge about family and society. You’re worth what you bring to the table, and emotional bonds can only offset this principle barely. Frankly, the simplicity of what the book sends out as a message, and simultaneously it’s scope for multiple interpretations make for a good read, but not a satisfying one. #franzkafka #metamorphosis #kafka #kafkesque #family #society #german #franzkafkametamorphosis #translated #fiction #classic #classics #vermin #insect #reading #bookstgram #books #book #kindle #ebook #kindlepaperwhite #kindlebooks #meta #germanfiction #classicfiction #kitab #karvan #kitabikarvan #bookstagram #bookstagrammer
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The beauty of this book stems from something I now relate to Kafka i.e. the nonchalant acceptance of something surreal. The story begins with the transformation of an ordinary man into what most translators agree, is a “monstrous vermin” (Kafka wrote one German). However, the subtle messaging of book goes beyond this radical “metamorphosis”. It might has well have been a paralysed member of the family or a breadwinner made invalid by old age. For me, the book captured what we all perhaps know, but refuse to explicitly acknowledge about family and society. You’re worth what you bring to the table, and emotional bonds can only offset this principle barely.Frankly, the simplicity of what the book sends out as a message, and simultaneously it’s scope for multiple interpretations make for a good read, but not a satisfying one.