Saturday, September 1, 2012

Life in July 15 - Sept 1

Books, Books and books. This is how i would describe the last month and half. A lot of reading has been done and a lot is yet to be done. Here are the highlights -


~Signed up for the coursera course - Fantasy and Science Fiction. As part of its syllabus, it requires reading about 10 books in 10 weeks. I am about mid way and so far, i have enjoyed books read so far, the future books are also awaited with anticipation. But the course is very hectic. Read books, right a critical analysis, evaluate peers and listen to lectures , overall, its in the tune of about 25 hrs per week (That is one full day). With work and other commitments, it has been a very hectic but enjoyable journey so far. The books read so far are -
Grimm's fairy tales - http://arvindbatra.blogspot.in/2012/08/grimms-fairy-tales.html
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - Didn't like reading them. Yes, the language was great, wordplay was highly amusing but the story/plot was so absurd, incomplete and felt immaturish :)
Dracula (Week 3) and Frankenstein (Week 4) - http://arvindbatra.blogspot.in/2012/08/dracula-and-frankenstein.html
Week 5: Hawthorne's short stories - Rappacini's Daughter, The Artist and the Beautiful, The Birthmark and Dr. Heidegger's experiment. Short stories were fascinating, very creative and amusing. Week 4 also included Poe's collection but i didn't get time to read them. For some reason, i liked the big novel plots better as there is more time/characters to play around.
Week 6 - H.G. Wells' stories - The country of the blind (read), The Invisible man(read), The star (yet to read) and The Island of Dr. Monreau (yet to read).   I liked invisible man. One would assume that being invisible would be a boon but Wells digs deeper and what follows is a fascinating tale.
Overall, i am happy in reading these books. I am not too much able to appreciate the genre in an academic sense but as a reader, i am loving it!

~ Signed up for another coursera course - Listening to World music. Took it religiously for first two weeks, did the third week hastily and missed fourth week due to trek. Realized that my third week assignment was incomplete hence i will not get a certificate. So, have decided to drop it now. It was getting too hectic as well.

~ Started another course - Introduction to Sustainability.

~ Kashmir trek - http://arvindbatra.blogspot.in/2012/08/kashmir.html

~ BPIBC Meetup books -
July: Small is Beautiful -  http://arvindbatra.blogspot.in/2012/07/book-review-small-is-beautiful.html
August: Why Nations Fail -  http://arvindbatra.blogspot.in/2012/09/why-nations-fail-review.html
September: Curfewed night. Finished the book yesterday, review coming out soon.

~iWeekend at Hyderabad - Went to ISB Hyderabad to mentor at the iWeekend event as part of the group  Hatch. Very informative. The workshop was quite interesting, a lot of things to learn in addition to mentoring. Liked the enthu in junta and realized how important it is to look at the complete picture. Often listening to ideas from others, one realizes that so many holes are there. Meeting old friends at ISB is always a plus.

~Movies:
The good ones - The Dark knight rises (thrice - dont ask how, and i find the movie ok), kahaani, Paan Singh Tomar , the cult Gangs of Wasseypur I and II, very very good.
The bad ones - The bourne legacy(WTF was that).
Documentaries - Khayal Darpan (http://arvindbatra.blogspot.in/2012/08/khayal-darpan.html)  and Jai Bhim Comrade (http://arvindbatra.blogspot.in/2012/08/jai-bhim-comrade.html)
Big fan of Nawazzudin Siddiqui now.
Watching 3rd rock from the Sun re-runs on TV. Loving it! 

~Composting - Started khamba composting at home. Happy to have entered this space. It is still a learning phase. Lot of flies, bad smell, worms etc etc.... all is happening.

~ Lucky Ali concert at Hard Rock cafe. Listened to his songs after such a long time. But again, HRC is not the right place to enjoy his songs. They are not wrong, the drinks do not gel well plus the place was too crowded. He has grown old, but i was happy to see him happy. He has a new album out, yet to check it out.

~ Attended an event at ISB where different people have come together to save the lakes in Bangalore. Was amazed to see so much enthu in people. Also present were representatives from BDA, BBMP, LDA (Lake development authority). Good to see action in this space.

~ Runs: Ran max 18K before the Kashmir trek. Half marathon on 16 Sept. Need to do a long run before that.

~ Work was decent, although a lot of holidays taken. Went to laser tag yesterday. Board game group continues to expand both in people and number of games.





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