Saturday, 28 May 2016

Books & libraries



https://echoesfromemptiness.com/tag/concepts/
It must have been due to the usually large full moon, else I might not have gone quite loony.  It’s the Cancer overtones in my horoscope. Only those with a passing interest in astrology might understand that sentence.

After months of downloading free books, frankly I got more than a bit fed up reading romances which by the way tends to offer tons of free e-books..at least the first book. It’s a bait, I tell yeh. One the things I really miss about Singapore aside from endless variety of food is the National Library. Yup. That might be the reason why an average Singaporean studies are envied. The study system is not without it’s drawback but that’s a topic for another day.

Have any of you gone to any of the public libraries in Singapore? Well as someone who used to spend 12-20hrs each week in the library, it’s bloody AMAZING. It houses a number of topics under the sun.  Maybe except Karl Marx- but that was still available in the university reference section. And the National Library is 7th stories high. #swoon... And it’s so accessible for the general public. I think back in the 1990s, we were allowed to borrow up to 4 books & 2 magazines, if  memory serves me right. If I ever visit Singapore, you can be sure to find me either in the Library, hawker center or the Zoo/Gardens 80% of the time.

Kaiser Library Kathmandu,

My culture shock of being exiled from the Lion City included seeing the pathetic collection of books in library in Kathmandu. Kaiser Library was interesting but that was more of a private collections of books and ill managed, the British Council book was alright if mostly for academic purposes, and the library at college. Yuk.  An ordinary young individual surviving in Kathmandu has little money to spend on books/magazines/newspaper etc. Still over the decade I lived in Kathmandu, I amassed a collection of books more varied then that, even if I had to pay for the books.
I thought things might be better across the border in India, down South, where everyone is supposedly a Maths/Science/Dance genius.  Well… there are quite a few bookshops that’s I frequent that are decent, sadly there is a lack of Libraries. Of course I have been to Justbooks (which btw even offers doorstep book delivery) & other minuscule and equally deserted  libraries. How are Indians so smart if they hardly visit any libraries? Is the nuts that Indian moms routinely snack young toddlers on? Or the pure butter & mukhan (butter cream) that’s an integral part of the Indian diet? Musings aside, I finally made the effort to pay for a library membership, Eloor Libraries  located near Commercial Street.
It’s 800 for annual membership, and lordly the books are not free even after becoming a member. We have to pay 10% of the book cost as “rent” plus we can borrow only up to 1200rs. So that means aside from the 800rs membership, there’s a maximum line of borrowable amount of 1200 amounting to 2000rs per annum. About the cost of 4 - 8 brand new books.  Hell, not sure if it’s such a good deal…since if I choose second hand books I can easily purchase upwards of 15 books for the same amount.
  Anyways, there are the very first books I borrowed from Eloor Library.
Dance Dance Dance – by Haruki Murakami. The story is as indefinable as it’s title. I kept on reading, as it’s went along the pages and cross section of society, with background music playing “Dance”… but I could not fully interpret the choreography. Talk about skeletons in the closets, Matrix,  Inception and Alice in Wonderland overlaps.  I was clearly reading a novel written by someone who has talent but it made me feel inadequate. I might take a bit of time to gather my scattered courage before picking up yet another novel by Murakami.
Well, it’s a good thing that I perchance also picked up “THE ART OF THINKING CLEARLY” by Rolf Dobelli. Except I have yet to read it beyond the cover page. Lol, I hope I manage to read it before the end of the month. I have no intention of paying late fees!
 
However im in the middle of reading “Confession of a Buddhist Atheist” by Stephen Batchelor. A glossed over hippie past to a full fledged Monk to an ordinary lay practitioner.  I confess that I picked it up because of the font used, not to small, not too closely spaced out. It’s said to be controversial, and I agreed even if my bone of contention is right now due to the image on the cover & back page.  Did they have to use a picture of Buddha candle??? The more I think about it, the angrier I seem to feel  if somewhat silly. Am reserving my full response till I finish reading it. Right now though, i'm midway through and while his journey and questions of Buddhism is valid, it does not really intrigue me. Maybe because it's not only part of my religion but also cultural upbringing. For instance, while I cant validate or prove reincarnations; I do think it occurs, and reaching Nirvana is the ultimate goal. 
After a hearty lunch consisting of Tufu  Chulpan at Hae Kum Gang a few hours earlier, I headed to Star Bucks for a Mug of ridiculously expensive and decadent Hot Chocolate and settled down to read. Only to see “BookWorm” right across. Darn dumb of me to pay for a membership!
 
 
I did end up buying a book or two. Again.  Really need to buy a proper book case now instead of stacking up books all over the place. 
 
And then my feet dragged into HomeShop...and I ended up purchasing yet more of stuffs for the house and a yearning to buy this fantastic painting. I think it will perfect for the living/bedroom.
 
 
  

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Gangtok

Ah....Gangtok Gangtok GANGTOK.

Whenever i hear the noun "Gangtok", it reminds me of my youthful follies..  Namely how my then-lover replied to my pro-long silence and side glance on his  suggestion to elope. "How a city girl like me could never adjust to a small town like Gangtok".  More than a decade later when i finally had the opportunity to visit i did not hesitate (much).

I had plans to travel to Gangtok for a prolonged visit in the 7 sisters states in 2017 but a chance circumstance prevailed upon me & i grabbed it up. The initial plan was a  four day trip alone. Then as i was musing the idea out aloud..my lil cousin expressed her interest..ONLY YO DITCH ME LAST MOMENT. WTF. 2 hours before we had to leave!! After making me postpone the trip due to her work schedule. That was all right since i was prepared for a solo trip but the shit had yet to hit the fan. She somehow convinced her mother that i would not go and thus gave me a chaperone!! Jes!! After a ripe old age of 3 decades,  i suddenly have a chaperone to go one of the safest place in India!
 
Thank God. it was alright. Not the most Fun of trips but alright. Not that bad. Visited all the must see places...note it was all religious places. I dont know why. It not deliberate per se, but somehow places of religious significance always draws me. Rather then the hippest pub.

from Enchay Monestary to Hanumman Tok.

rolls of endless prayer wheels

stomping it up & away the cold chill on MG Rd


At the end of 2 Days, 1 Night trip, i realized... yup. Gangtok is no place for me. Or at least that's what my initial view is. It's too small, worse then Pokhara and i have seriously no clue what the local does to chill out except booze. maybe it was the  shackles of a elder relative, maybe it's me, maybe it's Gangtok. Even if they offers some amazing drinks manufactured & sold just in Sikkim. Had to pick them up!! :D

One of them was Musk brandy, with essential oils of various spices predominantly cardamon added to the mix. A common recipe is Musk Brandy, hot water and a dash of honey.
Next on the MUST BUY list is the FIREBALL!! a fruit based brandy....yummy!
 
While i was definitely not impressed with Gangtok, i will return too Sikkim to check out other places.. heard it is lovely place for treks.. If not for the hills then surly for the drinks... Lol  
 
But one thing i realized was, the old man was right, I would not thrive in Gangtok. 





Friday, 6 May 2016

Things Mr. Big Says #0008

one lazy afternoon...


(rushes into the room)...
Mr. Big      :  How did you make this coffee?

Me             : Err...what! you saw me make it in front of you (paranoid that he's about to start whining non-stop)

Mr. Big      : No, I want to know how you made it, so i can make it in office.

Me             : Coffee powder, sugar & hot water.

Mr. Big      : (Sips...) Can i take (your) kettle? It would be useful in office

Me             : (Biggest glare my small eyes can make)!!! cgcjhgvhjkvkj!! #$%^!!  ( + lots of under the breath swearing the useless traits of I&^%$# men)
Orpat OEK-8137 1350-Watt Cordless Kettle