by Hermann Hesse, Hilda Rosner
This book can be mistaken for the story of Gautam Buddha, but it is not.
It is the story of Siddhartha, a young man who leaves his family in order to search for meaning in his life with his friend Govinda. While Govinda follows Gautam Buddha, Siddhartha embarks on his own quest.
This self-discovery tale stands for the fact that an individual does not attain enlightenment through intellectual methods or by immersing oneself in the pleasures of the world.
An individual attains self-discovery by the totality of his/her experiences. Siddhartha leaves his home, ends up going after materialistic & carnal pleasures, leaves it again only to realize the true meaning of life on the banks of a river.
This is a decent book & at less than 200 pages it is able to convey the point very nicely. It is well-written & is able to move the readers. However, the book does not dwell deep into Siddhartha’s journey so it should be read for its message & what it stands for.
Byculla to Bangkok
by S. Hussain Zaidi
I read Dongri to Dubai earlier & thought will follow it up with this. Somehow I did not find this book interesting since a lot of it is known now. Even the writing style is not very captivating.
This book traces the stories of Chhota Rajan, Arun Gawli and Ashwin Naik. However, I think movies have done better justice to the Mumbai underworld with the likes of Satya, Company and some of Amitabh Bacchan’s old films.
The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I had watched the movie in which DiCaprio plays the role of Jay Gatsby and this book is hailed as a masterpiece for depicting America during the Jazz Age. While the book is well-written and Fitzgerald is able to paint the lavishness with his words, it fails to captivate.
The book is an American classic, but only for Americans. A person (like me) who is not aware about the Jazz Age & the 20s period in the US may feel disconnected from the novel and its popularity.
The underlying theme of the book is the decline of the American dream & the moral bankruptcy prevalent in the US at that time. The period of excess consumption & greed & the divide between the new & old money is what this book has portrayed throughout.
However, the period depicted in the book has become a norm even in India. The greed & material excess is what its all about everywhere & is also being replaced with the next generation.
Nevertheless, this book is a reflection of its time & those keen on picking up classics will have this on their list. Just ensure you read a little about the American society during that time.