Skip to main content

Book - White Oleander

Simply Superb!...One of the few books who could make me think so much...it is a must read for all those who believe that (sadness and not happiness) adds dimensions to personality of a human being...

Astrid (narrator of story) amidst the rigmarole of life is left alone...Ingrid, her mother, is too busy in her life - fighting the demons of her life....never giving Astrid the due affection but leaving her to get mature when she should be playing with Barbie! Ingrid goes to jail coz of killing one such lover and goes to jail leaving Astrid to go to foster homes.

It is then that Astrid learns to live - from the age of 12 to 20 in the book - from all the crests and troughs of life...seeing that she has to be alone...learning that loneliness is not just an emotion but way of life...

Since Astrid was always awed by her mother...loved her too much and that is why she hated her as well too much ...(because the fact is hatred is mirror image of love and you hate those people more whom you have loved at one point of time)
'Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. And intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you'll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.' ...more quotes from the book here

Astrid seemed to be an intrepid adventurer throughout the novel ...scared like hell and yet going on...losing the ones whom she loves...learning that no one will be there when she would need...

I loved the end where Astrid outgrows her mother (but not the emotion toward her) by staying with Paul...and deciding to continue living a tough life with him...she won me over completely...coz that is life...not to wish comfort but to embrace the defeats and sadness ...

Read my interpretation on the cover page here
1 comment

Popular posts from this blog

Top 5 things that make World Economic Forum work

World Economic Forum, Davos 2011.  5 days from 26 - 30 January 2011.  2500 delegates. 26000 people.  In 1 village called Davos whose population for the rest of the 51 weeks is only 13000.
Questions on its efficacy and impact are bound to happen. Especially when world's top leaders spend millions of dollars. Not counting their opportunity cost of millions of dollars which they could have used for their work.
I attempted my own rationale on 5 reasons which make World Economic Forum work.

How Branding can help your startup

I can bucket a startup entrepreneur into either of 2 buckets – one – Branding-is-for-Biggies! and second  who believe -Branding-is-important-after-Series-A-funding”. And first bucket is full till the brim. Let me start with a simple question with a possibly simple answer -

Remembering Tej...

You don't normally think of writing this for a friend who was just 31 years old.
Friend who you have just met.
I dont want any of you, reading this, to experience this ever again.

Tejendra Gwala, or Tej, as we lovingly called him, a 6ft 2 inches man was still a boy at heart. Full of dreams, full of youth and full of  dare to be different from everyone out there.



Few things -

1. He knew how to make you comfortable - I spent innumerable evenings with him - where he would just go and start speaking with strangers - whether t was a gym, dhaba or a 5 star restaurant

2. He knew his values - I was just 1 year younger than I was but he respected me and Aakriti (my wife) as his real brother and Bhabhi. There were dozens of time, when he would just call and say - I want "Ghar ka khana" and lets go for a drive.

3. He was the best closer that you would want in your team - knew how to finish things. Whether it was AV shoot in Chennai, fixing dozens of cabs, writing a strategic prese…