Heaven is overrated

All religions have a wonderful aspect to the afterlife, the aspect of Heaven. A place of white and peace, where everything you ever wished for will be yours. Contentment galore. And most theists strive so hard to have a chance to enter the Pearly Gates.

But has anyone ever thought about whether Heaven is enough? What if there could be more?

When I think of heaven, I imagine a penthouse suite in the clouds with a gorgeous view of the ocean and sunset; perhaps it is always sunset. People wearing white, flowy robes and gowns and everyone has the glow of happiness. It’s also breezy there so that all our white gowns flow making movement seem ethereal. That’s my traditionalistic view of heaven, fuelled by movies and pop culture.

But having thought about things, if that is heaven, then it’s pretty damn boring.

What if Heaven is not just about an abode in the clouds. What if it is not about ‘settling down’. What if it’s the beginning of a journey, one through space and time!

I have recently learned with great wonder and great humility that we are less insignificant than the sub-atomic particle of a speck of dust when we identify our place in the universe (knowledge courtesy of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey).  In light of this knowledge along with my recent experience with 2001: A Space Odyssey (the book and the movie), I just started thinking of what I would want Heaven to be. Of what makes more sense to me to be a Heavenly experience than clouds and white and peace.

Imagine that death is merely a form of ascension, a transfer to a higher form of being, one not bound by time, and space, and a physical body; one that has no needs or wants; one that requires no food or water for sustenance; one that is free to explore the universe and its glory.

The ascended being can go near and watch a star go supernova without worry of repercussions, and just enjoy the marvellous beauty of the universe in motion, which is also an example of birth in death. They can shuttle through star systems and galaxies and behold their splendour. They can hitch a ride on an asteroid, just for fun. They can explore the far reaches of the universe that are just not humanly possible to visit. See wonders that we do not yet know exist.

That to me sounds like a truly fulfilling Heaven. What more can one ask for than to experience the beauty of the universe.

Short review of a book in progress: The Shining

After what seems like forever, I am now reading Stephen King’s The Shining. Found a dirt cheap Kindle copy and bought it immediately.

For the uninitiated, the gist of the story is that a 10-year-old boy named Danny has precognitive and telepathic abilities. His father, Jack Torrance, is unemployed, he gets fired from his last job as a teacher because of his temper, and is an ex-alcoholic. Their family almost falls apart because of Jack’s behaviour. Then he gets a job at this hotel up on a hill to maintain it through the winter when it is closed. But there’s something, a lot of somethings, and not nice ones, that are also there with the Torrance family. And Danny can sense them.

The book is engrossing and creepy. And I love it when author’s are not hesitant to play the devil’s advocate with their stories. Like Danny’s “visions” being interpreted as “autohypnotism” by the pediatrist. King just does a fantastic job of keeping the reader hooked with his breadcrumbs of mystery and little hints of terror.

I am hooked and I thinking this Sunday may well mark the completion of the book.

Another thing about King’s books is that you don’t realize how you creeped out you are by it until you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

All About Slugs (Not the Slimy Kind)

Useful information for all bloggers!

The Daily Post

When we start writing a new post, WordPress automatically creates a URL for the post using our blog’s address, the date, and post title. Great, now you don’t have to worry about your post’s URL, right? All taken care of.

Not quite. You don’t need to lose sleep over your post URLs, but paying some attention to the post slug — the bit of the URL after the address and date — can have a nice traffic payoff.

“I’m still not sure what a slug is!”

The slug is the bit of your post’s (or page’s) URL that describes what that specific post is about. Here’s the URL of this post, with the slug in bold:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/post-slugs/

If I’d used the URL that WordPress auto-generated for me based on the post title, the slug would have been:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/all-about-slugs-not-the-slimy-kind/

They both get the job done, but one…

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Guest blogging: Done!

I have guest blogged for the first time ever! And it feels really cool 🙂

The wonderful Fantasy Angel is hosting a guest blogging week and was kind enough to feature me. Please head over to her blog to check out her informative and entertaining posts. Did I mention that apart from being wonderful she has a super human reading speed? That has to be her super power.

So this is  the direct link to the guest post. I hope you enjoy it.

Do you have a Book-et List?

Most people have a bucket list – things they want to do or experience or places they want to visit before they die. Well, I have a book-only equivalent of it – a book-et list. There are hundreds and thousands of amazing books available to read, falling in to every genre conceivable.

My Personal Book Collection

My Personal Book Collection

My preferred genres of books are Science Fiction, Science (nonfiction), Whodunits, and Mystery/Thrillers. And so far, these are few of the books that I plan to read sooner or later. My Book-et List, in no particular order:

I own a copy of The Selfish Gene and The Time Machine, so I will probably be reading them sooner than later. And I am currently reading 2001: A Space Odyssey; and man, is it exciting! I was floored by the opening paragraph!

However, the above list is by no means complete. As I discover more interesting books, I will keep updating this list. I hope some of you find a book from here that sparks or reinforces your love for these genres and these authors.

Till then, Happy Reading to you and me!

 

“I think I just wrote me some science fiction!”

There was an interesting question I came across on Quora today, one involving some exercising of the creative brain cells, and I decided to give it a go.

This one pertained to science fiction in particular, which is my favourite genre. Having read and watched so much of the genre, I attempted an answer to the question. Most of the answers already present were about robots, time travel and space travel and I wanted to write something different.

This was the question (the hyperlink will take to the question page on Quora):

What is the best science fiction story people can come up with in two sentences?

And this was my answer:

“Hello, we come in peace.”

“‘Hell … ‘ and ‘… piece …’ ? Err… that’s all I’m getting, is that transpretator fixed yet? … what do mean ‘no’!  … Crap, this is embarrassing, we’ll just have to make do with it … here we go … … what, are you kidding me?! … We’ve come to extend friendship and what they want is for ‘all hell to break loose’ … Oh, you’ll get exactly that, you puny humans! … Open fire!”

So, what did you think of it? This was my first attempt at any such writing so all feedback, positive and constructive, is welcome.

 

Hocus Pocus Indeed

Hocus Pocus  Courtesy: Goodreads

Hocus Pocus
Courtesy: Goodreads

In the title I refer to the book Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut. This post will be my review of the book, or whatever I managed to read of it. But how I got to reading that book deserves a mention.

In my current workplace, I am fortunate enough to have some very interesting people who are on the same wavelength as me and read good literature (across genres). One of them is a very good friend of mine, and she came up with the most fantastic suggestion. Let’s start an office book club! So on the third Friday of the month, which is our monthly birthday celebrations day, we all gathered in our Proofreading room (we’re an academic editing firm), and each of us spoke about our favourite or most influential book. Someone mentioned reading Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and how good a book it was.

I had read about Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse Five many times. So I decided to read a Vonnegut book next and get to know the author.

I could only get my hands on Hocus Pocus. The synopsis was mildly interesting; I usually refer to Goodreads ratings when a synopsis doesn’t entirely convince me. A rating of 3.5 or more stars means that the book is likely worth my time; anything above 4 is awesome and must be read! Hocus Pocus is a 3.8, so I decided to give it a go.

I had only read a short story by Vonnegut before, 2 B R 0 2 B, which was right up my alley. However, it wasn’t something that helped me understand or like the author.

So, Hocus Pocus. Vonnegut’s writing is supposed to satirical and wry, and it was so in this book. But those instances were not that many. Or if there were, I just did not find them funny enough. The book is a narration, on scraps of paper of varying sizes as stated by the author, by the protagonist Eugene Debs Hartke, who through his disjointed flashbacks tells the story that includes his past and life choices that led him to his current situation, and the history of the college turned penitentiary he is in and of the founders and trustees of that college. 

And it is not interesting.

I could see that satire at work, drawing parallels between inane situations narrated by Eugene and the government and political actions and situations; highlighting the illogic of things and people. But all of it is so drab and uninteresting. The protagonist is downright boring. I didn’t like him, hate him, or identify with him. I was indifferent. Basically, I just didn’t care what had happened to him or what was happening to him. I just did not get drawn in. And that’s not a good sign when you’re reading a book.

I just couldn’t find or make any connection with the book.

Usually, when I have a book to read, I *make* time to read it; but with Hocus Pocus, I found myself doing everything else but reading the book even when I had the time. I realised that I did not want to read the book. This is probably the second book, after the utter piece of crap Atlas Shrugged, that I have left a book incomplete. No, wait, it’s actually the third time; I also did not complete Brave New World but only by the last 20% or something. With Hocus Pocus, I don’t think I reached even halfway through.

So would I recommend it to anyone? Probably not. Will I read another book of his again? Yes, I will give him another go, but not in the near future. I already have a ridiculously long wish list; I’ll consider the purpose of my existence fulfilled if I can read at least half of it.

If anyone else has read the book, do tell me if I missed something good about the book.

Polling Station

As part of my Blogging University (BU) tasks, I have to create a poll to gain insight from readers and, hopefully, potential followers.

So, here goes.

 

Ok, I confess I am bit of a narcissist, but I am a healthy one. Yes, healthy narcissism is a thing.

I have also come up with some theme days as was suggested in one of the earlier BU classes, if I may call them so. And I have turned my ideas in to a poll. If you have any other better suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

Note from the Authoress

I am not new to blogging but I have not blogged for almost 2 years now. Criminal, I know! So I have set out to change that and start writing again, with a fresh blog. A do-over.

Actually, I now have two blogs. First I was debating where I should keep my blog: WordPress or Blogger? I loved how gorgeous all the themes on WordPress are but the lack of free customisation was quite a dampener. And that was Blogger’s advantage; customise to your heart’s content! So the final decision went in favour of Blogger.

But I don’t wanna give up this blog either! So I have now decided that the best thing to do is to have two blogs. I will consider it an attempt to make up for the last 2 years of blogging inactivity. And I will let these two blogs develop as separate entities, perhaps showcasing different sides of my persona. I will also not advertise one at the place of the other.

Let’s see how this experiment goes!