31 July 2008

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Its now become on of my favourite books...thanks Param for recommending this book and even sending me a soft copy. I now intend to buy this book for my collection…

It’s the most beautiful book I have read in a long, long time and touched me deeply…I could relate to the book as I often say...I don’t want to grow up.

The style of the book is wonderful...like a fable, very simple and at first glance looks like a storybook for children. Its less than 100 pages but it has so much depth in it. It is so philosophical but at the same time requires the innocence and faith of a child.

And the book has pictures!!! Interspersed with the text are more than forty childlike watercolour pen-and-ink pictures.

The book seems to be author's yearning for a freer and more sincere and introspective world.

It seems a bit autobiographical…the author begins with an anecdote from his childhood where he makes a drawing, which no adult is able to understand. In fact he is told by sensible (!!) adults to put down his paints and coloured pencils and concentrate on "matters of consequence" – thereby ending "what might have been a magnificent career as a painter."

The book then skips to several years later when the author has himself become a sensible adult(as he says) and as he describes his interactions with other adults I was thinking…so damn true…

One day he meets the Little Prince in the middle of the desert. The Little Prince lived happily alone on his small planet until the wind planted for him a new seed, from which sprang the loveliest flower he had ever seen. He lavished his love and attention upon the flower, which in turn tormented him with her vanity and her pride (so much like the control that adults typically want to exercise over people they love), ultimately driving him to abandon his home and venture forth into the galaxy in search of the secret of what is really important in life. He visits several planets and their owners till he reaches Earth where he finally learns this secret from a fox - the secret of unconditional love, which makes all things unique, and how the pain of saying goodbye is worth it if it changes how we look at the world.
This book is a MUST READ….
I finish with a beautiful quote from this book
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

Calvin Gyan - one of my favourites

Like Calvin says - The key is PERSISTENCE!

30 July 2008


Playing with words...

Try it at http://www.wordle.net

Les Miserables, the musical

Based on the Victor Hugos novel, it has a very moving storyline... a love story set in the plot of the French Revolution with just the right combination of humour, pathos, love and loyalty.
The main storyline revolves around the conflict between two men - Jean Valjean, at heart, a good man, but a small crime and he is labelled a criminal for life, and Javert, a police officer who has unbending principles of justice and is hell bent on capturing his convict no 24601.

Their lives and those befriended and loved by Jean Valjean become inextricably entwined - the wretched Fantine, whose illegitimate daughter, Cosette, is cared for by the thieving, lying Thenardiers whose own daughter, Eponine, is destined to fall in love with idealistic student, Marius, who, in turn, is captivated by Cosette.

All this has been fantastically moulded together with breathtaking songs and a very imaginative and clever revolving stage... the barricade filling the stage, finally turning a full 360 degrees to reveal the terrible and shocking aftermath of the confrontation was amazing.
At this point, when the fighting has just stopped and all the men lie dead on the barricades there is a long silence – very effective and literally sends chills up your spine.
The Thenardiers were marvellously humorous and at the same time were genuinely dislikeable ...they played their roles so well.

This is the ONLY musical I have seen in which there is no simple dialogue...everything has to be sung!!!

The play begins with a work song – 'Look down' followed by 'On Parole', both of which highlight the plight of the people called the les Miserables in France at that time.
The actor playing Jean Valjean had the most amazing voice...so apt for the role. His delivery was excellent leaving one totally impressed. His rendition of 'Come to me' at the time of Fantine's death and 'Bring Him Home' were really beautiful...

Generally the singing was breathtaking …whether it was the patriotic fervour of 'Do You Hear the People Sing?' Or Fantine’s 'I Dreamed A Dream' or the Little Cosette’s 'Castle on a Cloud' or the humorous 'Master of the House' by Thenardier and Madame Thenardier...

17 July 2008

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
~ Arnold Lobel

11 July 2008

Robin Hood Events

For team building Logica organized an archery day out for the AON onsite team members...
A first look at the website for Robin Hood Events and I was totally excited and fully charged up for the day out.
It sounded like great fun...we don't shoot real animals or people - more the pity, because we could all think of a few candidates we would like to shoot!!!
Started in a coach from London at 7:30 AM, chocolates to munch on the way, general banter and chatting and before we realized we were in Canterbury by 9:30 AM.
This is a ’after a simple but yummy breakfast just before the event’ snap...

3 women – so we were divided into 3 teams...The Clueless led by Pam Lewis, The Little Johns led by Dawn Eyles and The Punters led by yours truly...

Equipped with our bows, quiver with 5 arrows each, protected with our finger tabs and arm bracers we started with 3 quick practice rounds on a normal target...one of the shots in the 1st session was a bulls eye...wish I had been able to shoot like that the whole day!!!

Competitive rounds of shooting different animals from huge bears to tiny owls followed this.

And not all targets were stationary…we had birds hanging with string and it being a windy day they were moving!!!
That’s our moving target

And then there was a speed round…15 secs to shoot the 5 arrows that we had. While in the other rounds we were shooting randomly (each one was identified by a unique combination of the cock and hen feathers on our arrows) and in the end checking the targets…for this round we were shooting as a team.
This is my team in the speed round

The negative marking round not to be missed – a wolf and a coyote in the middle of several sheep. If you hit a sheep...lose points.
This is a picture with the hits on the wolf and coyote…at the back you can see the hits on the white sheep…

A hit or a kill – many animals had an area marked out…you hit in that…it is a kill. Anywhere else it is just a hit.
That’s a kill!

Volleys- pictures of people we would like to shoot had been provided to the organisers in advance. These were pinned to some of the animals and you had a volley if you managed to shoot them.
And this is a volley…its also Murali who managed to get into all the snaps irrespective of whether he managed to hit the target or not!!!

Finally a knockout round to decide the Archer of the day…that’s all of us competing for the title that was eventually a close contest between Luke and Simon.

The final scores
  • Clueless - 202
  • Little Johns - 184
  • The Punters - 183
  • 09 July 2008

    ...Eventually all the pieces will fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and just know that everything happens for a reason...