Archive for August, 2013

The library

It’s funny how the library has always been a fundamental part of my life. At first I became a frequent visitor of our school library, not really for the books, but because it was a sanctuary of sorts. It was a place I could while away my time during the lunch hour, while the other kids were busy in the playground. Given that I was one of the few non-white students at our school in Manchester, pairing up with any of the other students as friend was not a viable option.
And so I would go to the library. That way no one would taunt me for being alone. The teachers became impressed by my regular presence there over seven years and soon I was asked to become a library monitor. It was a place I would silently flick through books, and wonder why Jesus said he was “the Word,” or why some authors wrote that Hindus were fatalistic because they believed in karma.
A few years later when I went to university I would spend long hours at the library. Here, I had friends, so my visits were not to while away time. It was to actually study! And of course to take advantage of the central heating. It was freezing at Lancaster, and I would feel so desperately cold that I would be the only student wearing fingerless gloves IN the library. I enjoyed reading the likes of S Radhakrishnan, the hypnotic words of Sufi mystics, the parables of the Buddha and the Sermon on the Mount.
And even later, as a Master of Arts student in Religious Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, sitting in the library was a hedonic experience. Here, the architecture was such that one could see floors of books by simply gazing up, as if to the Almighty. I enjoyed spending hours flicking through the Dharmashastras, trying to fathom the true meaning of dharma.
Today, they tell me I am middle aged, but you can still find me in the library! Now I am pursuing my doctoral from a leading business school in India. I have many friends, and the country is quite warm, so no need for central heating!
I guess at last I am a visitor to the university library for no other reason other than reading and researching! Ironically now there is no reason for me to visit the library as I have online access to most of the books and journals that I require. But still, being surrounded by books and by bibliophiles, is an experience to be relished.
And so my need for the library still exists. It’s only the reasons that have changed. Earlier it was a sanctuary, then it became a place where I discovered the richness of religious texts of world religions – the exquisite knowledge of centuries condensed in the form of the printed word. Today the library has become an integral part of my life. It is my sanctum sanctorum, an inviobaly private place to which I retire when I seek answers.


Here is a love story … Lily

When Lily walked, everybody watched. Riveted. Her grace, her poise, her suppleness. It was like watching a silken sheet ruffling in the wind. Or like a stream of water, each wave curling effortlessly into the other.
“‘Lily, the guests will be here. Hurry up and get ready,” her mother shouted from downstairs.
“Chill mom, I’ll be another five minutes, that’s all.”
It was Lily’s 21st birthday, and the house was decked like a bride, adorned with lights and decorations. The generous flower arrangement added bursts of colour to the bungalow, while the scent of rose and lavender lingered.
“Vijay and Deepak! Why on earth are you both loitering outside her bedroom? Let her get ready for the party.”
“Yes aunty,” said Vijay sheepishly.
“No way aunty! You know we have spent days toiling for her party, and now that everything is ready, you want us to go away! We are here to escort her to the party, ” said Deepak.
He winked at Vijay and added, ” Now auntyji, YOU be on your way. we continue to wait for Lily.”
Lily and her mother, the universal aunty Sharma, were both soft natured and popular, but they both looked remarkably different. Lily was tall AND had an hour glass figure. She was the epitomy of effortless grace, and her beauty was hypnotic. Lily was mesmerizing. Her mother was not.
Mrs Sharma had the same fair complexion and airbrushed pink cheeks, but she had was short and stout. In fact if she carried on putting on weight the way she was, in a few years time her width and height would be the same! And her nose was more triangular, while Lily’s was slender and regal.
It’s amazing how the shape of one’s nose can have such a significant impact on one’s perception of beauty! Aunty Verma had told Lily for years, “You have the best nose in our family,” as if this was some great achievement, like winning a beauty contest.


Editing counts for academic papers!

“The biggest problem I think many writers face is that when they write for a particular journal, they don’t pay attention to ideas and suggestions about the stylesheet and simply submit their paper expecting others to sort this out for them.”
Prof Menski, Managing Editor, South Asia Research

Contact me in case you need the following services:-
1. Simple language editing, and ensuring stylistic consistency as per the journal guidelines.
2. A rewriting of the document if English is not your first language.