Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Favorite Books 10

Book Review Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, Anton Chekhov, A Schoolmistress and Other Stories, The Beauties
Book: The Count of Monte Cristo (Original French title 'Le Comte de Monte-Cristo')
Author: Alexander Dumas (French, 1802-1870) (in collaboration with the ghostwriter Auguste Maquet)

Original Language: French
Year: 1844
Category: Thriller, Adventure

Story: Edmund Dantes is a victim of conspiracy of Mr. Danglar, Fernand, and Villefort. All set in the conspiracy with personal jealousy, anguish, and interest. Mr. Danglar conspires because Dantes is promoted the captain of the ship instead of him. Mr. Fernand conspires because he wants to marry Ms. Mercedes who is about to marry Dantes. Judge Villefort conspires to save himself. So Dantes is imprisoned in the darkest dungeons of Chateau d'If. He met old Mr. Faria who is digging through the stones to get out of the dungeon. Eventually they became friends in those dark, and alone life. Faria died of Catalepsy, but before death he handed over a map of hidden treasure to Dantes which lies in the island of Montecristo. Dantes escaped with a trick and returned in disguise to have revenge of the life he was robbed of...

Comment: This is one of the most exciting novels that I read. A classic. An excellent thriller on love, conspiracy, and revenge. There is a movie with the same title and characters, but the movie is entirely different than the novel. For example, in the movie Fernand and Dantes are friends, but in the book they are not. In the movie, Dantes had a happy ending with Mercedes, but in the book that did not happen. In the movie, Fernand's son is actually Dantes's son, but in the book he is not. In the movie Fernand died in the duel with Dante, but in the book Fernand committed suicide. There are a lot many differences. The character Caderousse in the book is totally absent in the movie. But anyway, the movie - may be coming with a different theme, but I must say, retains the value of a classic one. The book established vengeance in terms of mercy, but in the movie it is in action. Yet both the book and the movie are separately classics on their own dignity. But don't by just think that you have gone through the book merely by watching the movie. It is not a substitute of the book, and much too different than the book (in most cases, movie depictions of a book seldom reflects the original story).

Bangla paperback should be available at Seba Prokashoni at Segunbagan, Dhaka.


Story: The Beauties (Original Russian transliteration 'Krasabitse')
Author: Anton Chekov (Russian, 1860-1904)

Original Language: Russian
Year: 1888
Category: Short Story

Summary: They boy, the grandfather, the driver and everybody else were amazed with the beauty at the peasant - the beauty that can't be touched, can't be owned, is short-lived, is short-sighted, is melancholic, is wonderful, is deep-rooted, is wavy, that has no meaning but a meaning, that can't escape the mind, but is out-of-reach. The boy was once again amazed by another beauty a the railway station - the beauty that can't be touched, can't be owned...

Comment: Anton Chekhov is known as one of the world's best short story writers. We can apprehend from his writings the definition of short story (and may try to write one). Salman Rushdie's secret pen name is Joseph Anton where Joseph comes from Joseph Conrad, and Anton comes from Anton Chekhov.

This is not a book, but a story from his short story collections book 'A Schoolmistress and Other Stories'.

Free online reading (English translation) at: Anton Chekhov Books

Let us buy paper books. Let's enrich our mind and home library.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Favorite Books 9

Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Stranger, The Outsider, L'étranger, Albert Camus, Absurdism, Nihilism, Existentialism

Book: Uncle Tom's Cabin

Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe (American, 1811-1896)

Original Language: English
Year: 1852
Category: Drama

Story: (I don't like the word 'slave'. Just using it as a placeholder.) Mr. Shelby needed to sell his most-trusted slave Uncle Tom to Mr. Haley - the slave trader. The plan to sell Jim along with Uncle Tom is overheard by his mother Eliza who fled to save her son Jim from detachment. George who is Eliza's husband tried to flee to Canada. In the boat Uncle Tom saved Mr. St. Clare's daughter - the little angel Eva. This brought him luck and eventually he was settled in this good man's house. But after demise of St. Clare, his bad luck turned in and he was sold to mean Mr. Legree. Eventually...

Comment: Perhaps the most touching novel on slavery. The most pathetic but powerful sketch is the detachment of a slave from his/her family when s/he was taken away to be sold somewhere else. In effect it used to end the bond with their family members forever. The author portrayed some holy and sacred deaths, I mean, a holy death can't be described more sacredly. She was a renowned abolitionist in her time. She was a sound proof that pure hearts might exist everywhere, among all the races of the world. They are the ones who lit up the world full of pains and agonies.


Book: The Stranger (Original French title L'étranger) (Also exists as 'The Outsider')
Author: Albert Camus (Pronounce as 'Albore Kamu' or 'Albair Kamu', French Algerian, Pied Noir, 1913-1960)
[P.S.: 'Pied Noir' in French means 'Black foot']

Original Language: French
Year: 1942
Category: Drama
Story: Meursault is an atheist, and is mostly indifferent to events of life - whether they are emotional, or tragic, or whatever. He accepts his mother's death normally and became engaged in mundane activities soon after the death - watching movies with girlfriend etc. Later this indifference of his emotion was used to vouch for his criminal mind when he killed a man. He was prosecuted, spent his time in jail, met a chaplain there, and emotionally outbursts his last feelings.

Comment: Albert Camus was the second youngest nobel laureate in literature (awarded in 1957, at the age of 44), and the first African-born to receive the award. A conspiracy theory exists that his death by car accident was plotted by the Russians. But anyway, this is just a theory and likely to be anti-Russian propaganda. He was awarded nobel because of his clear-sighted vision on problems with human consciences which is excellently portrayed in 'The Stranger'. One thing I noticed in the novel is the too detailed description of anything.

Camus was a philosopher and supported 'Absurdism', declined 'Nihilism', and was not interested in 'Existentialism'. These are some heavyweight philosophies and I am not going to delve deep inside. Just to touch - Absurdism says there is no meaning of anything in the world except what meaning we impose on them. Existentialism says philosophical thoughts must rise from individual's moral, scientific, and authentic behavior (true to one's personality, and spirit). Nihilism says life has no intrinsic value, meaning, and purpose. Absurdism is reflected in the novel.


Bangla translated PDF ebook (First page only, 90 KB): The Stranger (Bangla first page)

Let us buy paper books. Let's enrich our mind and home library.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Naomba - The Kenyan Beat

Naomba, Krystin Ndela, Kenyan Music, Swahili, Uniwezeshe Bwana, African Beat
Thought of sharing some cultural divesity.

'Naomba' is a popular Kenyan pop song. Artist is Krystin Ndela. It's an easy-going dance beat. The song is kind of hymn or hallelujah.

Thanks to my Kenyan friend Moses. However, the language is Swahili and I didn't find a full translation of the song in the web. If I receive any feedback from Moses, I will get back you. I only found the following lines in the web.

Naomba uniwezeshe Bwana. (I pray that You enable me Lord)
unisaidie. (I Pray that You help me)
Naomba uwezo wako Bwana. (I pray for your ability Lord)
Naomba, mimi Naomba. ( I pray, I am praying)

Let's learn some Swahili. From the tranlsation above (I took help of google translator at: http://translate.google.com/#sw%7Cen, blended with my own understanding):

Naomba = I pray.
Na = I.
Kuomba = pray.
Uni = you.
Saidie = Help.
Bwana = Lord (God/Master).
Mimi = I.
Uwezo = Capacity/Ability.
Jaribu = Try.
Majaribu = Trial.
Kuwawezesha = Enable.
Wewe = You.
Wako = Are (as in, 'you are genius') - I pray that you are able, Lord.

You can search in YouTube for the video (search for 'Krystin Ndela Naomba'). 720p version (78 MB) is available there, however the 320p version is also there (23 MB).

Dropbox link of the mp3 (3.32 MB): Naomba

Enjoy the African beat :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Collected Anagrams

Anagrams are wonderful creations by some 'workless' people. But really I call them genius - especially when the anagram relates somehow to the original words. Below are some wonderful anagrams that I found in the web. Just as a collection.

When you rearrange the letters ->

Comments: So 'anagram' itself has a funny anagram :)
When you rearrange the letters ->

Comments: of course, eyes see.


When you rearrange the letters ->

Comments: You know dot and decimal point.

When you rearrange the letters ->

Comments: Dilip Vengsarkar was an Indian batsman
well-known for for his wonderful shots.


When you rearrange the letters ->

Comments: You must know how Princess Diana died.

When you rearrange the letters ->

Comments: Oooh La La...

When you rearrange the letters ->

Comments: Often...

When you rearrange the letters ->

Comments: Yes, they are.

  When you rearrange the letters ->
Comments: Cops watching.

  When you rearrange the letters ->
Comments: Roger is an English singer and instrumentalist.

  When you rearrange the letters ->
Comments: Madonna - the pop singer. There is another anagram for her name 'Occasional nude income' (She used to pose nude for artists in her early life)

  When you rearrange the letters ->
Comments: Shakespeare wrote Hamlet being influenced by the events of Danish Prince Amleth.

  When you rearrange the letters ->
Comments: 'Rocket Boys' is a story by Jr. Homer Hickam from which the film 'October Sky' was adapted.

When you rearrange the letters ->
Comments: Often true for daughters-in-law, however, they will also
turn into Hitlers someday... so no laugh... :|

Anagram of my name ->
When you rearrange the letters ->
Comments: Well I am an old-fashioned man (mossy man). May be it is an instruction to somebody to hide me from my lady... :)
There is a similar anagram 'HIDE MOSSY HERMAN'. May be I am the reborn jazz musician 'Herman' whom you need to hide.