The Woman Who Wasn’t There

“The Woman Who Wasn’t There” by Robin Gaby Fisher and Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr. is a true, chilling story that comes to my mind each time I think of that terrible day of 9/11. I just cannot believe that a human being is capable of playing with fragile emotions of survivors of 9/11. It’s pathetic! I just couldn’t put this book down because Tania’s audacity to do what she was doing was mind-boggling. There are so many questions that I wish Tania would answer. Why did she do this? What was she thinking? Does she feel sorry now? Did she apologize especially to Linda? After I read the book, I had to look at Tania’s photo online. I really want to watch the documentary now.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson is a gift from Dhanesh and Marga. Thank you! It is like no other biography I have read. When I started the book, I was expecting to learn about the great values and life of a visionary person. But, I was completely in shock! He is a visionary yet his anger and the way he treated people if they are not as he expects them to be is shocking to me. It seems that he could easily walk over any person for selfish reasons without much regret and this scared me.

It specially struck a chord with me because a part of his personality gave me an insight into my father’s personality. I feel my father is extremely hard to please as he has really high expectations. His anger scares everyone. I have seen my father returning food in restaurants and home because it didn’t meet his standards. My father shares reality distortion field with Steve Jobs. He started his career with loading steel in trucks and today he is a highly successful industrialist. Even today, my father’s first priority and the only passion is his work. Thanks to this book, I am able to understand my father little better! This book has really helped my heart.

I believe that one has to be extremely lucky as Steve Jobs if one wants to be successful with his kind of personality. All the biographies teach me one important lesson over and over. There is no black and white but there are many shades of gray with respect to human beings. If someone seems horrible, look close and you are bound to find some extraordinary good in that person. If someone seems like an angel, look close and you are bound to find that the person is not perfect.

Above all, I do believe that Steve Jobs was a true seeker. I strongly believe in the Steve Jobs’ point of view with respect to religion: “I think different religions are different door to the same house…” (page 15)

Decision Points

Decision PointsDecision Points by George W. Bush is easy to read and to the point. I love the way the book is structured around key decisions during his presidency. I enjoyed it thoroughly and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in finding out how and why George W. Bush made the key decisions during his presidency.

He came across as a patriotic President to me. Also, I learnt the complexity of making decisions that affects the world as the President of America. It’s not black and white as we, the commoners, perceive because there are so many details and facts that only the top administration is aware of. I think it will take at least a decade or more to figure out if his decisions were right or wrong. One thing is for sure and that is: he became President at one of the most unfortunate time in history. If I understand it right, even Abraham Lincoln was a very unpopular President during his term and was often ridiculed. It is only now that we know that he was one of the greatest Presidents. So, let the time judge the presidency of George W. Bush.

Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush

Spoken from the HeartI enjoyed reading ‘Spoken from the Heart’ by Laura Bush. I have always admired her as the First Lady and so, I was really interested in her book. I found her very elegant, poised, composed and matured. This book confirmed my opinion about Mrs. Bush. It’s just amazing how much America does for the needful all over the world. It might be that other countries are as charitable but I am just impressed with generosity and charitable nature of Americans overall.

I share Mrs. Bush’s love for the books. I am convinced that first and foremost it is prayers and devotion to God and then it is education that enables us to overcome our adverse situations and makes us better-off. So, I commend her efforts towards spreading literacy and improving education wherever possible. I was born and brought up in Calcutta and we had a book fair every January. I used to look forward to that book fair so much. It was my opportunity to look at so many different kinds of books. So, I am so happy to read about Mrs. Bush’s effort to start the tradition of book fair in America. I wish we had a book fair in Tupelo. If any of the Tupeleons reading this article has the stamina, time, contacts and feels inspired to start a book fair, I’ll be honored to help. Annual book fairs are a huge step towards promoting the love for books.

Cane River

Cane RiverCane River by Lalita Tademy is an indepth look into slavery and Creole culture in Louisiana. The author chronicles four generations and enlightens the readers of the lives of slave women pre, during and post civil war. All these women were so strong, brave and above all, practical! This is also a story of mixing of races and its repercussions. Next time, I go to Louisiana these stories will come to my mind when I see the faces of locals over there. Thank you Mr. Abraham Lincoln for the “The Emancipation Proclamation”!

The prevalent human thinking of fairer skin is better than a dark one seems to be inherent in most cultures. This is a shame! I wish we could learn by now that dark is beautiful as is night. I wish we can learn that dark skin doesn’t make you inferior in any respect whatsoever. It makes me feel so happy and proud that our President is an African American! We have indeed come a long way! We don’t have slaves in India but the way some servants, untouchables and poor people were treated was no better. It’s a shame that Indians, who are mostly brown skinned, when it comes to choosing a wife, the fairer skin is always more beautiful to us. It is with a shame that I share that when my family visited America for the first time in late 1980s, I noticed that if an African American would pass us, we would clutch the handbags tightly as if the person has higher probability of being a thief just because he/she is dark skinned. I kept thinking about all these while reading this book.