Foundation and Earth

Foundation And Earth -Isaac Asimov – Review

The decision has been made  but Trev ..oops Trevize  is still not sure why he chose what he chose. Why did he chose Galaxia ?He is searching for an answer and for that he needs to find earth , not sure why but it seems right.

Foundation and Earth

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As a stand alone novel this is brilliant , great twists and turns, science and action . This book alone can be made into a three part movie if required .

But going by the standards of other Foundation Series novels , I am a bit disappointed. Way too much time spent on altercations between Bliss and Trevize and an attempt to bring in some sexual scenes which seemed completely unnecessary . But again this was written years after the foundation series, it was possibly expected that the writing style could change.

The book has it’s edgy moments and connects well with the whole foundation series while also hinting it’s connection with the Robots series. A great deal of attention paid on exposing the weaker side of even Gia , showing that it too is vulnerable and there can be forces much beyond it, making it look much more humane that shown in Foundation’s Edge

 

All in All Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov is still a great book to read.

 

Foundation's Edge Book cover

Foundation’s Edge – A brilliant followup to the Foundation Series- book review

Very recently I had written a post about the foundation series by Issac Asimov and how it was one of the most important works of science fiction .

But Asimov did not end the foundation series with the trilogy . After the immense success of the trilogy , persuaded by his publishers , Asimov wrote 4 more books. One prelude ,talking about Hari seldon and 3 after the second foundation.

Seeing me go all gaga over the series, My dear wife decided to give me a perfect birthday gift . She gifted me all the foundation series books she could get hold of (and some more). Now my collection has all books except Foundation and Earth(Last copy in stock of which I was able to grab on amazon recently)Foundation's Edge Book cover

This is a review of Foundation’s Edge , the book that follows the original triology’s last book .

Generally whenever authors revisit their original trilogies and try to juice out whatever is left of the story , they lose the essence , the style , the soul of the plot.But , in case of Asimov, I am happy to report that it is not the case.

Everything from the gripping plot , the twists and turns ,and the doses of science is perfect. It does not seem that this book was written separately from the original series.

Plot Highlights (Mild Spoiler Alert):

//Spoiler Alert Start//

This books picks up where the last foundation series book left in which the Foundation is made to believe that Second foundation is wiped out . Many years have passed and another Seldon crises is averted. So much so that it seems the Seldon Plan is almost 100% on track. It is too good to be true ,and whenever something is too good to be true , you suspect :) . That is exactly what some of the Foundationer’s do. This is their attempt to find the Second Foundation Again.

One of the best part of the story is on how Second foundation is finally shown in a more humane light. How in-spite of their mental strengths they are not immune to the basic human emotions such as jealousy , greed , ambition and how even the best of them can fall for them. The structure and expansion of the Second Foundation is also detailed out .

//Spoiler Alert Ends//

Nevertheless there are some pretty big plot twists and surprises which I cannot reveal without revealing the whole story .

Should you Buy this Book? HELL YEAH . There is no good reason to miss this if you have read the foundation trilogy.

I am sure my Wife regrets her decision of giving me these books since I have spent almost every free second I had in past few days , hooked up to the book.I was also part of a Clan on an iPad game called Clash of Clans , I got so engrossed that I did not even log in and was kicked out of the clan :P . Books Win over online Games :).

Now Awaiting the delivery of the next part of the series  Foundation and Earth

   

Karva_Chauth

#FastForHer for gender equality – Really?

#FastForHer . So there is a new trend where Men are being urged to fast along with their wives for “Karva chauth” . It is claimed that it is to show how much their wives mean to them and promotes gender equality .

But I ask you all : Really? Gender Equality ..How?

Here is the way I look it : Karva chauth is a hindu tradition where women fast for the long lives of their husbands , they go to the extent of not even having a drop of water to show their love and dedication for the Man. In our male dominated society customs are made to give ego boost to men and encourage women to sacrifice  and this is a shining example of it.

I do not see how this #FastForHer promotes gender equality . It is like saying that

As a woman you anyways Have to go through this suffering , you have no choice because it is your fate for being a woman . I, a man ,on the contrary am free from such bondage , but just to make you “feel” equal, I too will fast for you , going against tradition , such a great Man I am.

How does suffering of two make it better than suffering of one? In an age when people should be talking about removing the taboo around Not keeping karva chauth , we are asking men to jump in too, making it more difficult for a woman who does not want the fast , she can no longer say no due to the compounded guilt.

Many woman keep this fast because otherwise “Log kya kahenge” , that is the what needs to be removed , not compounding that guilt .

Female :Honey , I do not want to keep the fast 

Male : Come on baby , I will keep it with you. (Somehow that is supposed to make your suffering less)

 

Some people claim that it is Feminism …No it is not , feminism talks about equalizing opportunity for men and women, not equalizing suffering . 

I am not against women who want to keep a fast , it is their choice and if it gives them satisfaction of any kind , who am I to judge . But if you ask men to keep karva chauth out of guilt , guilt of how much their wife is suffering for them, you open up a Pandora box.

I do not even question the men who keep a fast for their wives, please by all means-go for it, but do not pretend that it uplifts the stature of woman in the society , it does not . it just enforces the expectation that she anyways has to keep it , and by keeping the fast for her ,you basically get more brownie points .

People will not talk about how great your wife is because she kept a fast for you , because it was anyways expected , they will speak about how progressive you are because you too kept it for her. The only reason to keep fast would be that you perhaps get satisfaction out of it or your wife feels good about it , it does not uplift her stature or give her gender equality .

What next ? How else do you want to promote gender equality ? Running around with a weight tied to your abdomen when your wife get’s pregnant? How ill it make it better? If that makes your wife feel better , you have a sadist wife who enjoys your suffering , don’t you think?

Or Demanding that men be paid less to bring them at parity with women employees who are paid less for the same work?Don’t reduce woman’s suffering but increase men’s ..

Come on CB’s(Chetan Bhagat’s)  of the world …demand lower pay for your work..because GenderEquality ..Meh

FastForHer ? No Thank you ..

Aakaar Innovations

A cause worth taking up – Affordable sanitary pads #FreedomFromShame

Menstrual cycle is still a taboo topic for discussion in India. 50% of human race undergoes it , still we cannot even talk about it forget discussing about menstrual hygiene  and various options available .

To make matters worse , in many parts of India, a woman is considered “impure” during “un dino” (having her periods) . She cannot touch the deity in a temple or even , in some places, enter their own house. They live in makeshift sheds outside .

Imagine , a biological phenomenon which basically is linked to a woman’s ability  to conceive a child, probably the purest form of “being human” , an ability to bring life to this world , a power similar to God and still being perceived as impure.

But this blog is not to discuss about various taboos surrounding menstrual cycle but to shed light on an organization that is trying to do something.

Due to various taboos surrounding this issue , many women, especially in villages are unaware of menstrual hygiene, leaving them vulnerable to diseases and loss of productivity due to discomfort. Many girls end up skipping upto a WEEK of school EVERY MONTH , eventually leading them to quit school all together .

Aakar is a social enterprise that creates affordable biodegradable sanitary pads . Their model is simple, bring the simple technology to villages where women themselves make and sell these pads . These women also educate other women about menstrual hygiene while becoming mini entrepreneurs  themselves.

They are running a fund raising for expanding this noble venture and I believe it is worth contributing to .So Go and DONATE

http://www.ketto.org/campaign/campaign_details.php?fmd_id=203#3

Top reason’s why you should contribute

  • This is a social venture and NOT a plain charity. They won’t distribute once and go away. it is sustainable. Your contribution will have a long lasting effect
  • The Women earn, they become the entrepreneurs, bread winners .

 

 

BookBucketChallenge

10 Books that have stayed with me #BookBucketChallenge

So there is a new fad of naming the top 10 books that come to your mind when you try to list the best books you have read. The idea is to not think much and just let the first instincts come up. I was nominated by Nitin Joshi ,So here is my List

1)NCERT -

I am not going to be a pretentious prick by starting with the likes of Ulysses ( i have not even tried reading that yet). I LOVED NCERT books , not the real content or “in syllabus” section , but the extra information they gave. I devoured the short biography section in physics and chemistry books . I read and re read them .Also  loved the physics chapters not in syllabus , especially the ones on black holes and galaxies(sadly they were always out of course) . NCERT had only recently started adding these small FYI type sections just to keep the interest alive and I cannot thank the person who did this enough. I read it , more than my course.

2)Nandan and Champak:

Big fan, so much so that I actually submitted a story to Champak once, though it never got published. And to the same list add Chacha Choudhry , Nagraj and captain dhruv . :)

3)A Journey to the Center of the Earth

We used to have 1 library period every week(what a pity) when I started reading this book . I read it during that period and before going back , hid it behind some physics chemistry reference books which I knew not many people search, so that no one issues it .Took me a few months to finish this in parts.

4)Issac Asimov Foundation Series:

This is like the ultimate series for any science fiction lover. I wrote a whole blog post dedicated to asimov’s books .

5)A Brief History of Time + A Briefer History of Time+The Theory of Everything

Sorry to club them together but all three speak about the same concept . The laws of physics and universe explained in the simplest and elegant manner.If I had any say , I would make them compulsory reading in schools .GO BUY THEM even if you do not like physics. These are simply brilliant books

6)Public speaking books by Dale Carnegie:

From the Art of public Speaking to How to Win Friends and Influence People I have read them all. Trust me, they are good. These books have even been a great help

7)The Magic of Thinking Big:

Yes, I have read Self help books in the past :P .And would be lying if I say , i didn’t like them.Many of them were pathetic, but this one just stood apart from the rest. Loved it

8)Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Classics):

YES I have read this and I actually like this . My sister got it as a prize when we were kids, at that age you read everything you can get your hands on. I have read it at least 4-5 times. Lovely book. Someone recently told me that I was the first guy she met who likes this book.Really? Any other guy  who likes this book say Aye .

9)All Parts of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

When we first got internet at home , I came across a txt file which had perhaps the most wonderful science fiction ,with dozes of comedy and laugh, I ever read.. I started reading it and within 4 days , finished it , only to realize a few years later that I had read the entire series on a CRT monitor.This is a MUST READ GO GO GO READ

10)The Fault in our Stars:

A very recent addition to the list . Again a full blog on it

So here was the list of first 10 books that came to my mind. If I think more, perhaps I could add The Alchemist
or Angels and Demons or maybe Autobiography of a Yogi (Complete Edition with Free CD)
to the list , but then these are not the books that shaped me, the ones listed above did and many of them had a lasting impression on me. I believe the first books you pick up will always be the most impactful.

So who do I nominate?

I nominate Shashidhar Bhattaram, My ex Boss, Mentor and a very dear friend

Manan Puri: My Batchmate at ISB

All people on Mr Unreasonable page :). This is a good exercise guys. try  it , and if you want , I can eve feature you on this blog . Awaiting your lists