Monthly Archives: April 2019

Not everything is awesome #BookBytes 6

I’m sharing a quote from the book 1984 by Gerorge Orwell. The first time I read it I must have been in my early teens. I have little memory of it perhaps because I would have had little or no understanding of it. Then I read it again some seven or eight years ago and was blown away. This is the third time I’m reading it and it strikes such chord.

The book talks of a dystopian society completely controlled by a central authority, that of Big Brother. People aren’t allowed to voice dissent. They’re not even allowed to think of dissent. If one does, it leads to ‘thoughtcrime’. A new language called Newspeak is created for the people. The dictionaries are constantly ‘upgraded’ to contain fewer and fewer words.

Here’s a quote from the book. 

‘It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words…’

‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thoughts? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.’

1984, George Orwell

I’m not going to talk about the book in this post, but just about the quote that I picked, about the dangers of a shrinking vocabulary because No words = No thoughts.

When our children (or even we ourselves), use ‘awesome’ for everything they like, and ‘gross’ for everything they don’t, it is perhaps time to take note. Awesome might stand for anything from a intelligent satellite in space to a delicious bowl of pasta. How ridiculous is that!

We are turning into a generation that doesn’t think or feel as much, a mentally, emotionally impoverished generation. What’s worse is that we are doing it wilfully, voluntarily, lazily. We are rejecting the depth and richness of words and hence that of thoughts and feelings.

My takeaway from this particular passage is to explore and to use language in all its beauty and to help my children do the same.

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If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage from a book that leaps out at you demanding to be shared join in with #BookBytes.


Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share it on your blog and link back to this latest post.
  • Put in the logo (above) so it’s easy to spot.
  • Leave the link to your blogpost in the comments so I can drop by too.
  • Book Bytes goes live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. The next edition is scheduled for May 7th. Do join in.

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Me first? #BookBytes – 5

I finished reading this delightful book. Here’s a quote that spoke to me.

‘This is what you do’, Mindi said. ‘You follow your so called passions and don’t consider the consequences for other people.’
This charge again. It would be easier to be a criminal fairly prosecuted by the law than an Indian daughter who wronged her family. A crime would be punishable by a jail sentence of definite duration rather than this uncertain length of family guilt trips.” 

Balli Kaur Jaswal, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

This quote got me thinking. And it’s not just about daughters, though it definitely holds more true for women in general. While I don’t support the old-fashioned idea of self-sacrificing women, I do think one needs to consider the repercussions of one’s action, specially on loved ones. No one is an island, at least most people aren’t. So what one does is, more often than not, likely to impact others.

And yet one owes a debt to oneself – to do the best for one’s own self. So how far should one go in search of personal excellence or satisfaction or simply in the pursuit of passion or happiness? How does one strike a balance?

That’s a decision each one of us has to make for oneself. What do your think?


If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage from a book that leaps out at you demanding to be shared do join in with #BookBytes. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share it on your blog and link back to this latest post.
  • Put in the logo (above) so it’s easy to spot.
  • Leave the link to your blogpost in the comments so I can drop by too.
  • Book Bytes goes live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month so the next edition is scheduled for April 16th. Do join in.