Lexicon

This book was definitely one of a kind. Max Barry took all my beliefs about the power words have on us and turned it into a thriller that blew my mind. All of this while keeping us entertained with such an interesting premise. What if there truly a series of words that have the power to destroy us? Depending on our mental state, language is possibly a potent weapon most of us don’t really value the influence of and don’t understand the capability it has of destroying us. We wield the power to jab each other, hurt each other, cause pain or create happiness. What if there were words that we could use to take over another person’s mind? Does the idea truly seem far-fetched? It makes sense to me.

“For each person there is a sentence – a series of words – which has the power to destroy them.” – Philip K. Dick

It was fast-paced, predictable enough to make me feel smart but not enough to piss me off. It was exhilarating and infectious. There could have been some more character development but overall I was not disappointed in the book.  The guy in the book should have been the main protagonist in the book rather than the girl. The story should have analyzed why he was unique in being the only one in the world that could resist the power of words. Also, the antagonist’s motivations weren’t clear enough. An attempt to make him a religious zealot, a cancer patient and a person with just a shitty personality seemed like a Frankensteinish method of stitching up an antagonist that would piss most people of and cause most readers to root for the protagonist. It wasn’t required, but it was a small flaw in the overall amazingness of the book.

I loved how it spun the history of the spoken language from what started in Babylon when God was pissed off and how he split humanity by giving us different languages, with the thrill of a chase. I believe in today’s day and age, most problems are caused by our lack of understanding. If only we could communicate without the barriers of language, we would be so much better off as a whole. Language has a serious binding power. It tethers us together. Whether we are from different regions, different religions or different color or race, language gives us an anchor that knits us people together. I understand this, more so now than I ever did before, living in a country where a common language draws us people together like moths to light. Overhearing someone speak the same language as you works to provide you with a base; it acts as a linchpin that keeps people together and provides comfort to those that feel like they are stranded on an island.

The book definitely had some seriously awesome quotes that resonated with me. I definitely enjoy books with unique premises such as this and am always on the lookout for more. Give this a try if you are looking for some books that won’t bore you out of your mind.

“It’s defining yourself through the eyes of another. It’s coming to know a human being on a level so intimate that you lose any meaningful distinction between you, and you carry the knowledge that you are insufficient without her every day for twenty years, until she drives an animal transport at you, and you shoot her. It’s that.”

Excerpt From: Max Barry. “Lexicon.”

I guess I felt this quote meant something to me because I was in the throes of passion – ok I am totally exaggerating – but it meant something to me because there was a person I was starting to feel this way about. Obviously, since then, those feelings have calmed from being a torrential downpour to a soft patter of drizzle on a window on a rainy day.

Here’s another something I found interesting on some book’s Goodreads blurb:

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

– The Nightingale

Obviously I don’t know what its like to go to war. I was more interested in the love bit.

“Then he discovered God. It had been terribly alarming… He began to see the divine in everything, from the circumvolved fall of a leaf to the fortuitous arrival of an elevator.”

Excerpt From: Max Barry. “Lexicon.”

This is me. This is how I see God. In everything. In the smell of a flower, in the fluffy tufts of clouds, in the night sky filled with stars, in people when they’re not aware that I am watching. He is everywhere. He is inside me. I see Him like no one else does. He is my friend. He is my partner.

Overall this book was great.

Friendship and holes

I have turned off the switch that makes me have any meaningful conversations with people. The switch that makes me want to have a real heart-to-heart you know? And most people don’t want it anyway. Most people would rather just keep a friendship superficial than trust someone else with their mind. And in doing this, we protect ourselves so hard, we don’t see each other. Just read each other by our actions or our habits or by our superficial selves.

I’ve been living in a daze all this time. A dream like state where my life is passing me by like a blur. And there is nothing that I can do. Except dream. Ever felt that way?

I guess I’m writing this here because there’s no one else to talk to.

Discussions. They dredge up old memories. Old memories make me nostalgic, they do. Which make me happy/sad for the life that I am living. Because even though it makes me feel like I’ve become so much wiser, I feel like I’ve gone overboard in trying to protect myself to the point where I don’t feel anything anymore. Or maybe I do but I just don’t have anyone to tell these things to.

People think I have so many friends. They have no idea. One friend in every era. The last one was what seems to be forever ago. A purely platonic friendship that had the effect of a farmer tending to his plants, on my mind. There was growth because there was ample discussion. Ample time for thought. Now I’d just delve into depression if I did decide to open the door to thought and walk through it because there is no one to share this flood of information with. Revelation upon revelation. Epiphany upon epiphany and no one to help filter the crap out and keep the good stuff in.

The Help

“…I didn’t get s chance to pray for Treelore. Maybe that’s why God took him so fast. He didn’t wanta have to argue with me..” – Aibeleen Clark.

I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this book. I thought it was going to be one of those books that just sat in my shelf until the end of time or at least until I ran out of things to read. I was so wrong. Historic melodramas really aren’t my thing, I thought. Honestly, I bought the book because of the cover. *superficial self crawls under a rock*. How could I resist the yellow and the purple color combination!? It was love at first sight. I carried it around in my bag for days, just taking it out whenever there was some down-time and just caressed the cover.

Set in a time when African-Americans had been freed of slavery but weren’t treated any better, this book is one of the most entertaining books I have ever read. Hilarious and with wise-cracking  characters that make you fall in love with them, it’ll rile you and wind you up at the injustices but leaves you with hope for you know the future, because you are living it. It’s the story of the beginning of a revolution and to be part of any revolution is exhilarating in any form. Specially since there is no suspense because you know the revolution doesn’t fail. It is a spectacular success by any standard and you are being given a free ride into an inside story that fictionally at least, began it all.

He loves me. He loves me not.

Love is such an important emotion to feel. It reveals to us what a sham our realities actually are. It makes evident the fallacies we carry in our belief that everything we see is reality. We perceive through the looking glass made of our emotions. Looking at the same situation with two different perspectives, two different outlooks, two different mindsets, changes the meaning of our reality. And it is so scary precisely for this reason. If we don’t know whether our assumptions and presumptions and expectations of people are true, what do we really know? Do we really know what we think we know?

He loves me…? He loves me not…?

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I love Math. There I said it. It’s a one-sided, unrequited kind of love but it is what it is. The kind where you fall and you fall hard and there is no saving you from heartbreak as he pulls you into his embrace and showers you with love and attention one minute and the next, he pushes you away and rejects you as you yearn with longing for one look or one glimpse of his brilliance. The intoxicating kind that blinds you to everything save his perfection. The kind that makes you want to accept every complexity, every incomprehensible part of his mind that you cannot fathom, and that you cannot reach.

My mind is feverish. It’s a problem solver and it sees my love as a problem that needs to be solved and assigns every bit of resource into cracking it. I have sleepless nights as I lay awake dreaming about him. He is the subject of my dreams and the stuff my nightmares are made of. He is the source of all my pain and all my joy and how long have I even known him to feel this way already? What can I say about Math but that he’s like a temperamental teenager that toys with my feelings and leaves me either in tears or exhilarated and jubilant over whatever small victory over himself he’s allowed me to feel.

Do I wait it out and hope that he notices my existence? Or do I pursue him like I’ve never chased someone before in my life? Or do I just give up on the impossibility of my situation as this unconditional love I feel for him will probably never be returned with the same intensity.

Sometimes I even wonder, even though I feel like I cannot doubt his intentions but is he leading me on? Leading me into believing that he cares? That he gives a damn about how I feel only so he can have bragging rights in front of anyone who sees how head-over-heels in love with him I am? What does he want? He isn’t as simple as he makes himself seem. He is complex and irrational, and yet, he is the epitome of perfection. I sleep and breathe his very existence.

One Page Story – Fever

He was not well. Feverish. But it was subsiding. She sat next to him, draping his forehead with iced cloths. The delirium, the rheum in his eyes was starting to dissipate. He was coming to his senses.

It was late and he was awake. He lay on the futon into the hallway so they could talk without waking everyone else up. He slid to a side and motioned for her to get in next to him, under the piles of blankets she had placed on him to keep him warm as his body fought off the invaders in his blood.

She hesitated.

He said to her, “I won’t DO anything I promise”.

She looked at him with sadness and said, “That’s not why I hesitate. Everything that has happened up until now has happened under the umbrella of friendship. All the hugging, touching, all the looking. Lying down next to you now, just lying down next to you today, is going to be crossing the boundaries of friendship in my mind. It’s going to be the stepping outside of the line drawn between friendship and no-mans-land. A relationship without a label, without a name. And I’m thinking to myself, if I go there with you, and I lie down next to you, it means something. It means I’m willing to step outside these bounds with you. And I need you to know. If I step out and it doesn’t end well or if it doesn’t lead to a place with another label, I will never be able to look myself in the eye. I will loose all respect for myself”.

She lay facing him on the tiny futon. They lay there, looking into each other’s eyes.