Showing posts from December, 2008

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga – a Book Review

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga – a Book Review By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel) December 30, 2008 Writing about the dispossessed, poor and the destitute is not a small feat. Poor and the impoverished do not own the press. They don’t have any powerful and effective lobby group to represent them in the government or corporate sectors. Portrayals of this underrepresented segments of human society is mostly superficial and marginal at best. Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger reminded me Monica Ali’s The Brick Lane , not in its depiction of men and women in Indian sub-continent, but the razor sharp words of critiques, untangling the myths and disillusions perpetuated by the ruling “master” in the name of preserving so-called democracy, have similarities in overall texture. Also, various issues in Arundhati Roy’s poignant non-fictions, essays are explored in White Tiger in moving dialogues and monologues. The story of Balram Halwai is the story of a common man who can be found in every ci

One World, Many Minds - Intelligence in the Animal Kingdom

Evolution may not be as linear as it was perceived before. New research are finding startling evidences that there are multiple evolutionary lineages, especially, in the development of complex cognitive sophistications. Fish, reptiles, vertebrates and invertebrates may have more intelligence than the "supreme" human beings ever considered to these "inferior" species to have. "One of the most common misconceptions about brain evolution is that it represents a linear process culminating in the amazing cognitive powers of humans, with the brains of other modern species representing previous stages. Such ideas have even influenced the thinking of neuroscientists and psychologists who compare the brains of different species used in biomedical research. Over the past 30 years, however, research in comparative neuroanatomy clearly has shown that complex brains—and sophisticated cognition—have evolved from simpler brains multiple times independently in separate lineage

Shoes - The Noble Truths of Suffering

Aleksandar Hemon's story published in The New Yorker on September 22, 2008 was one of the best stories I've read this year. The title of this sparkling and mini-voltage filled story is The Noble Truths of Suffering . A novice Sarajevo writer's encounter with an American prize winning author, the observations through a voice of drunken stupor, and elaboration of violence through Buddhistish non-violence made the conflicting descriptions of war, brutality and politics painfully live. Here is an excerpt from Aleksandar Hemon's "The Noble Truths of Suffering": "an ex-marine who would have been a hero in the battle of Falluja had he not been dishonorably discharged for failing to corroborate the official story of the rape of a twelve-year-old Iraqi girl and the murder of her and her entire family, an unfortunate instance of miscommunication with local civilians. Tiny returns home from Iraq to Chicago and spends time visiting his old haunts on the North Side,

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - a Book Review

Changez's life changes drastically, from pursuing efficiency and fundamentals in appraising businesses to questioning the fallacies embedded in hard core capitalistic haunting bonanza. Freshly graduated from Princeton, highly motivated pursuing career to coveted aristocracy, Changez moves past his classmates and colleagues at Underwood Samson in rapid pace, beaming with unmistakable confidence in his every strides, demeanor and winning smiles. September 11 changes everything as he reflects on his plight: "the door to the elevator was shut upon me and I began to travel down the shaft, alone." Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a slender novel, but with substantial pathos imbued in sharp observations, without relinquishing a good story's structured rhythm into cliched slogans against power and superpower. The effective monologue that the writer used where an unnamed American was entertained over a cup of tea and later the mouth watering dinner of Lah