Tag Archives: Review

First Month Review – January 2016

The first month of the year is over already. I know its not the best use of the blog space that wordpress has so generously provided to me and countless others like me to share a part of ourselves with the world, but, I am still going to use some bandwidth to write about the progress on my goals for the year that I very ambitiously put up on my blog. This is to hold myself accountable in the public domain, and believe it or not, its not easy. So, go easy on me for now, people 🙂

Read more books – I did manage to read four books as desired and am on my fifth, but frankly, I am a little disappointed with myself on this front. Here is a glimpse of my reading list –

  1. Daughter of Destiny
  2. Chronicles of a death foretold
  3. Animal Farm
  4. Many Lives Many Masters
  5. Crime and Punishment (Currently reading)

Watch more movies – I watched some good movies over this month. These were –

  1. The Machinist
  2. The Pianist
  3. Wings of Desire
  4. The usual Suspects
  5. Amelie
  6. The American Beauty
  7. Air Lift

Blog more often – This is my fourth post of the month! (Hurray for somehow managing to write these) But again, there is so much I want to write on. The initial wait and procrastination of switching on the laptop and starting to put your thoughts across is the major put off for me here. Any suggestions on how to drive yourself to put in words what you know and want to be known, are heartily welcome!

Travel more – January passed with me being in Delhi (home sweet home), Mumbai (the naval dockyard and Colaba stay), Dehradun (Wildlife Institute of India), Jim Corbett National Park (Field visit) and I am writing this from Gwalior. So, I guess, these count!?

Getting fit – I ran a grand total of three kilometres in the entire month. #EpicFail. I guess this is something that I am doing really bad at!

All in all, the books, movies and travel are giving me more than enough material to blog on and getting fit would just have to be more prioritised.

That’s all for now! Back to the year, marching ahead to a brand new month!

 

 

 

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Twelve Years a Slave

Twelve Years A Slave

I finished reading the book “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup yesterday night. The book tells the story of a free ‘Black’ man in pre civil war America who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. He thinks day and night of his freedom and ways to achieve it, able to fulfil that ambition only after being subjected to twelve years of heart wrenching pain and brutalities. The narration in first person by the sufferer of the crimes is as reliable a source as it gets to figure out the true picture of slavery in those times.

An advertisement for 'SALE' of slaves, many of whom were free men of north, abducted and forced into slavery
An advertisement for ‘SALE’ of slaves, many of whom were free men of north, abducted and forced into slavery

The fact that the writer was a free man, capable of reading and writing, a violin player of repute, and was kidnapped and sold by freemen to make profit in the slave trade in itself is capable of moving one to tears. What further deepens the feeling of sadness is the narration of his condition over the years and that of his fellow ‘Black’ men and women, many of whom did not comprehend the concept of ‘freedom’, having been born and brought up in slavery. The writer has thoughtfully weaved their stories in his own, to give the reader a complete picture of the prevailing conditions, describing in details the plantations where the slaves were made to work, the system of their eating and resting and PUNISHING phases of the day, the whole ‘Pass’ requirement to move around, and the need to obtain your masters’ consent to mate or marry.

Slaves working in cotton plantations, required to bring a certain quantity everyday, failing which they would be whipped. This ‘certain’ quantity is determined on the first day, where owing to the fear of being lashed and in eagerness to prove his/ her worth to the master, the slave works the hardest.

While there are instances of the ‘sympathy’ shown by ‘white’ people, the book in general goes on to explain, in a simple, non exaggerated manner the views of freemen who considered slaves just ‘property’, to be used and disposed of at their will, much like their mules or dogs. At the same time, it is the sympathetic white whose determination and will to the writer’s freedom, actually puts forth the process of his redemption.

In my opinion, the book does justice to the task it was written in mind with. It acquaints the reader with the devilish practice, with the right amount of details, the right picture and the concise and truthful narrative. I recommend the book as a definite read and would be on the look out for the adaptation of the same as a movie by the same name. Meanwhile you can grab a copy here.