Friday, September 14, 2007

Pi to the Rescue

I know that many of us voracious piglets (we’re still young) have spent time in our respective pens reading this book. So what better way to start than with a book that shares the story of Mr. Pi Patel. I loved the book but have a bone of contention. On the positives, Yann Martel definitely has a way with words. The book flowed perfectly, always with a philosophical thought OR God, yet not-God driven cloud surrounding each page. Perhaps that is why I liked it. It was an easy read, and some sentences were so meaningful that I wanted to mark them out. I don’t mark books at all, but if it was between writing this phrase down and marking it, marking was the easier option.

I actually completed the last few pages of the book on a subway ride home. In the days prior, I discussed the book a bit with a friend who had already completed it. I had to call her once I was done, she wanted to gauge my reaction. And boy, a reaction I had. As I reached the end of the book, I walked out of the subway shocked, a bit ticked off with Pi, and even felt betrayed by him in a way. Here’s a little fella that I had supported and rooted for throughout his challenging journey, and who on a whim decides to leave me with a tormented and puzzled brain. No closure whatsoever, how ungrateful! In time though, I respected Yann Martel and acknowledged that the global purpose of the book was more important than pleasing poor ‘ol me.

I am still open to interpretations of the book and very very interested in the story you decided to go with. I am so torn, on one hand I want to believe all that he went through was true, because I spent SO much time with him - as his shirt frayed, or as he woke up and crawled under and over the tarpaulin, as he tamed Richard Parker, as he visited the edible algae land (which was truly out of fantasyland), and on the other hand, I want to accept the story with the humans in it, because it was added as this nagging tick. A doubt, a question. Granted that is what the author intended to happen in the first place, but I definitely do NOT want to be the one who lives in a bubble and chooses situations just so that they appeal to my idealistic world.

I wonder also if our choice of story to live with is guided by how long we spent reading the details of each story (75% vs 2%?). The second story was perhaps meant to be a slap in your face, and it sure was. Anyways, I am left without real closure, each time I lean towards one story, the tick pulls me back.

If facts remain the same, and we know they did,

Story 1: All humans die initially, Pi deals with it and tries to survive with a bunch of animals.
Story 2: Humans survive including Pi, similar order of events occur, with humans instead of animals.

From Pi: “I wonder—could you tell my jumbled story in exactly one hundred chapters, not one more, not one less? I’ll tell you, that’s one thing I hate about my nickname, the way that number runs on forever. It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go.”

Have you let go of this book?

Pi = 22/7, Pi spent 227 days at sea
Pi = infinite decimals, implying an unreliability on Pi (absolutely right, he changed his story at the last minute)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oink Oink...


This blog has been a long time coming - a couple of months perhaps. So here's how the idea originated - nothing too original about it. As most of my friends know, from time to time I send out random emails with my opinions, or a snippet of what I see, hear, read or think.

This has often set off a spree of comments back and forth among everyone which has been interesting and also enlightening. These thoughts stay locked up inside our heads and some may never make it to the outside world. Well, that's about to change. As simple an extension as can possibly be, I figured why not dump these thoughts and mix them up with those of others'. And voila - Oink and a curly tale!

It would be great if we had more than one (me!) poster. If you would like to post, let me know. Commit to what you can do depending on your schedule, it could be once a month, once a week or even daily. I expect wholehearted enthusiasm as you showed when we discussed this earlier, so you there reading, respond now!

One more post to follow, but for now, I couldn't have chosen a more opportune day to start this blog - today is the birthday of one of my favorite authors - Happy Birthday Roald Dahl!