Monday, August 26, 2013


There was once a man with a plan. “I want to be famous!” He said as he dreamed of the future where he would get much recognition. “Such beautiful sculptures will I make, that generations will remember my name! They will stand the test of time and make me one with immortality!” He exclaimed before embarking on his journey. The man’s name I will not mention for he no longer wishes it so. Listen to his tale and you’ll know why.

The man tried and tried but no sculpture could he make that got him his fame. He tried for days, then weeks, then months, then years but to no avail. Forget fame, even modest appreciation rarely came his way. Out of pity, a few customers would sometimes buy his works and pay him a pittance which provided two square meals for the day. The fame never came, the struggle carried on. Little changed. The sculptures lay unsold; the hunger for greatness began to fade. The tools began to gain rust; the hands grew pale. Finally one day, the man sighed “I’m tired” he said. Indeed he was. The pursuit for fame had been long and unrewarding. With anger and relief he destroyed his dreams. For once and for all, he abandoned his pursuit. “Useless! Devil! Vile monster! I bid thee adieu! Too long have you held me in your grasp! I free myself from your chains! No more do I want fame!” He exclaimed. “You my art! You have been my sole companion. You offered peace but I chose ambition’s frustration. You were there on my pillow on the hungry nights; you were there on the lonesome mornings. But I have been a blind fool. To find fame, I missed the pleasures you so graciously grant. Forgive my greed and accept me to become one with thee.” The man put his mind to his creation. This time the hand flowed with grace rather than with rush. His eyes followed the sculpture with love rather than with anticipation of a fortune. His body swayed comfortably as if dancing to a melody rather than with contracting muscles focused with tension. His fingers worked with divine precision and design. In a short while, it was complete; his first masterpiece. But he din’t know it. For him the joy lay no longer in the result; it lay in the process. No pain anymore; no suffering; nothing to achieve. Sitting silently, following his art, he felt complete. Higher than fame, more than glory, beyond immortality; he was one with body and mind. It was no surprise that the results were spectacular. He sat in his workplace for 3 days and 3 nights creating 13 sculptures of unmatched skill and brilliance. On the 3rd Night, he lay down exhausted. He never woke up again.

The awful stench attracted a hungry stray dog that crept into the basement in the wee hours of the night and devoured his remains. It wasn’t until the new tenant’s curious child opened the door and got the shock of his life that the news came to be public knowledge. The police came. The investigation was conducted. But no name could be put to the dead man’s body. They searched for a signature of the artist on his work perhaps. Upon close examination they saw it had been stricken off from most of the figures barring 13 relatively newer ones. The name etched into these ones simply read –


On the walls, a message was painted –
“Fame was once my delight but it became my poison. My art rescued me. It brought me joy. What’s in a name? It’s designed to fade with time. But one’s deeds, they are remembered forever.”

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book Review - The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

This is officially the first book review I am posting on my blog. How I would love to say 'This book was awesome' and 'GO AND BUY IT NOW!!!' but sadly my opinion is quite the opposite.

But before I present my official verdict let me tell you, I bought this book a few years ago when I was still in school. The title page caught my eye and the first chapter was even more fun. I am reading it now, after my college is finished. So my opinion as a 22 year old would definitely differ from a general school reader. I am a person who is more generous with compliments than a critic cares to be. I express admiration where admiration is due. Sadly for this book, admiration is not even a consideration infact interest is a luxury. Thankfully though It wasn't so bad that I was unable to finish it, unlike certain absolutely horrible books that have put me to sleep on more than one occasion. (All respect to Virginia Woolf but sorry Ma'am, 'Mrs. Dalloway' put me to sleep better than any bed-time story ever written).

So you might say, I got through it. If however your fresh outta college and looking for a good book to read - this book is not for you. If your in school and looking for adventure and a fun experience - this book is still not for you. If however your a first time author and your looking for how NOT to write a book - THIS IS A MUST READ. Here's the problem with Mr. Bosch - The man or woman (since his identity is kept a 'secret' - wise choice for people would've killed him by now for writing this shit), has spent half the novel narrating how you should not read further or how he's already said too much or how the 'secret' is an unbearable burden which no reader should bare. After creating all this suspense, one would expect the culmination of the novel to if not leave you completely satisfied atleast attempt too. Sadly this does not happen. In a lackadaisical turn of events the author quite frankly suggests you to make your own ending.

The protagonist Cassandra is an eleven year old girl who is a 'survivalist' collaborating with another boy - 'Max Earnest' whose non-stop talking is rarely appreciated and both our 'heroes' find a magician's diary that creates much mystery. The mystery is not fully revealed, yet it seems the man has discovered a secret which is the fundamental basis of all life and a certain cult of Alchemists want to get their hands on it. The novel revolves around how these two children throw water on the plans of these two genius, semi-immortal, strange bad guys and getting themselves out of a sticky situation.

Here's the truth - Just when you think the book's about to get good - the plot loses its direction and the fuzzy drink which you open expecting the bubbles to over flow turns out to be flat. Its a proper let-down.

The action sequences have little action, the characters have little depth barring maybe Cassandra and Max-earnest. The profiles of the bad guys is incomplete, the profile of the dead magician (who apparently still lives) remains unclear. After a point you ask yourself 'What are these kids trying to solve anyway?' and sadly you get no concrete answer. There are bits of the book that give you bits of creativity, knowledge and ideas - eg. the concept of Synesthesia, Alchemy, the construction and setting of 'The Midnight Spa', etc. The question of what exactly is 'The Secret' is unanswered and our good guys are reprimanded for their heroic deeds by their school principal rather than be awarded for basically getting in trouble and being saved by a secret agent who conveniently appears when required and just as easily disappears.

Structure wise Ring composition is used heavily and adds flavor to the writing but the dis interesting nature of the content fails to add value to the narrative. The inconsistent formal-informal tone the author strikes with the reader initially attractive later just makes one realize what a waste of time it has all been. In an attempt to salvage the debacle, the twist ending gives you hope; a light at the end of the tunnel but by this time you seem to ask yourself if you really care about any character at all.

So all in all I'd rate this book a miser 2/5 stars.

If this is your first book Mr. Bosch, you sir have a long way to go. But this much I do agree that you have great potential. I suggest you use it for your next project.

If there's one lesson I learnt from this book is that if the author tells you 'Don't read further' You might wanna take his word for it.