Author : Yann Martel
ISBN No : 9780857865533
No. Of Pages: 352
My Rating: 4/5
I had bought “Life Of Pi” way back in 2010 seeing that it has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize but the other books in my stock kept me swamped until I saw the movie posters of the same book which said, “One Boy, One Boat, One Tiger…” and it was that line and hype that compelled me give this book a priority.
“Life Of Pi” is a fable of a Tamil boy named ‘Pi”. His father owns a zoo in Pondicherry (India) but due to some happenstance their family decides to migrate to Canada. Many birds and animals of their zoo also travel with them on the same ship. During the voyage, a nocturnal hurricane gain supremacy over the ship and leave Pi as the only human survivor. He finds himself on a life boat with a hyena, a zebra (with one leg broken), a female Orang-utan and 450 Pound Bengal tiger named, Richard Parker. The rest of the pages of the book tells about the struggle and adventure, hunger and hope, loneliness and belief & defeat and determination. Pi, who explores the deep affairs of spirituality in his early age helps him in his exertion and endeavour.
I really loved the book as the book circumnavigates around elements like desire, belief, motivation, hope, expectation, determination, God, nature, invisible forces etc. Some people say that the ending was not good but according to my notion it was exquisite. I completed the book in 3 days. I rate it 4/5.
Some more Information about the book-The novel, which has sold over ten million copies worldwide was rejected by at least five London Publishing houses before being accepted by Knopf Canada, which published in September 2001. The UK edition won the Man Booker Prize the following year. It was also chosen for CBC Radio’s Canada Reads 2003 where it was championed by author Nancy Lee. The French translation was chosen in the French version of the contest, Le Combat Des Livres, where it was championed by Louise Forestier. The novel won 2003 the Man Booker Prize, a South African novel award. In 2004, it won the Asian/Pacific American award for literature in Best adult fiction for years 2001-2003. In 2012, it was adapted into a theatrical feature film directed by Anglee and Screen play by David Magee. (Source: Wikipedia)
Here are two very informative links which I discovered while I was surfing the internet. The first one have got the content of the tourism book launched by the Ministry Of Tourism, Oman. On this link you just have to mouse over the pictures in order to gain the information. And the latter one is a website owned by a Canadian Teacher who dwells in Muscat. Both the links will provide you almost all the indispensable information about the country. Till Then, take care. Lots Of love. Regards, Harshit Chauhan.
The Two Links :
1. You’ll see all the Omani Men wearing dishdash, their national dress with anklelength, collarless gown with long sleeves. The dishdash are usually white but you’ll also see men wearing brown dishdash. In addition to this they also wear a resplendent turban on their respective heads. And, you’ll find Omani women all covered with black cloth, with their “Hijab” on.
2. Sulatn Qaboos Bin Said Al Said, The Sultan Of Oman enjoys pinnacle social prestige from the people of Oman. You’ll notice his portrait hung in each and every Mall, Hotels, big or small shops etc. People Of Oman worship him. So, if you have anything against him, I’ll advice you to keep your mouth in your pocket 🙂
3. As far as perfumes are taken into consideration, Omani Men and Women are very passionate. Each time when you’ll pass any Omani men or women, your nostrils will compel your mouth to say, “WOW” 🙂
4. Roads Of Oman are fabulous. Forget about ditches, you won’t experience any patches on the roads Of Oman.
5. Don’t get astonished if you see a door with a name plate,”The Prayer Room” anywhere in Oman. Oman is a Muslim eclipse piece of land in the world and in Holy Quran they are said to offer respect to Allah five times a day. So, you’ll see separate paryer rooms for men and women in every mall, petrol filling stations etc.
6. Petrol is very Cheap. If you ask for help to a good samaritan for one liters of water, he may say,”No” but his answer for one liters of petrol would be YES*. Moreover, Petrol in Oman is not only cheap but also shares a unique relation with diesel. Diesel is more costly than petrol.
7. You’ll hardly notice any traffic police on roads but still they have one of the finest Traffic systems.
8. Oman is also for resplendent cars. Huge, massive and powerful cars are seen more.
9. The ‘Khanjar” which is the traditional dragger of Oman. It is similar to the Yemeni jambia. The khanjar is curved and sharpened on both edges. It is carried in a sheath decorated in silver, on a belt similarly decorated in silver fifigree. A khanjar appears on the flag Of Oman as part of the national emblem Of Oman. (Source :Wikipedia).
10. You’ll perceive more Indians than the Omanis. Quit strange but true.
11. Zillions Of date trees.
12. The water and ectricity bill of a normal house in Oman is almost same. Water is costly and electricity is cheaper.
13. Since electricity is cheap, you’ll find AC everywhere.
14. You’ll find most of the shops or offices motionless or closed between 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
15. Zillions Of coffee shops.
16. You’ll also witness several women waiting for one Omani man outside malls. shops etc. Actually, they all are wives of that fortunate man.
17. Almost all the houses and buildings in Oman are painted white.
18. You’ll also have a glimpse of the Omani Flag which you’ll see waving on Government buildings, Schools, Colleges and Universities.
19. Mosques are good in numbers but there you can also find some Churches and Temples.
20. Last but no the least, The Omani people are well known for their hospitality and offers of refreshment. To be invited into someone’s home will mean coffee (kahwa), a strong, bitter drink flavoured with cardamom, and dates or halwa, a sticky sweet gelatinous substance which is made from brown sugar, eggs, honey and spices. It can be flavoured with many different ingredients, such as nuts, rosewater or even chocolate. Lokhemat is another accompaniment to coffee, which are balls of flour and yeast flavoured with cardamom and deep fried until golden then served with a sweet lime and cardamom syrup. The sweetness of this dish often counteracts the bitterness of the kahwa. (Source: Omannet.com).
Day14: From Muscat International Airport, Seeb to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai.
My last day in Muscat was motionless, I did not sojourned. I got up in the morning and wished every member a fab morning. I turned on my laptop and connected it with wi-fi. On the url I wrote, WWW.GOOGLE.COM
The page showed me “Google Oman”, with google embellished with erratic colours. I opted facebook as my second option. Was glad when I saw Manisha Rathore, my school time chemistry teacher, on facebook. I requested her to join my facebook network. Then I started collecting precious pics from the cameras of other two families, on my laptop. Bunty and my mother went to Lulu mall to buy some frozen eatable items. My father, Anand mausa and Pratap mausa went to Samsung shop to own a microwave and a smart TV. Time passed quickly. It was 3’o clock and I decided to pack up for India. All four of my family joined me, too. I was worried regarding the weight of our accoutrements for, we were allowed 120 Kgs (30 kgs per person) and I was ruminating the weight more than the legal one. Moreover, Urmila mausi displayed her love and plethora emotions by providing us with zillions of items.
I said, “Don’t burden us, our luggage weight will increase and the airport authority people won’t understand your love.”
“We’ll be penalized”, I competed my concern.
But she was firm and said,”You won’t face any problem, your luggage won’t increase”.
I then went to Mars mall alone, just five in distance from Bait Muscat to buy a thnkx giving card for my mausi. I cursed myself for not bringing the same from India and for the same reason I paid heavy price for the card. I was astonished to discover the damn high price of a normal small card but its importance was zenith and I, without any delay made the payment of 500 Baisa or 75 INR (at that time). I showed my respect by handling her both, my card and emotions. Hugs, past 15 days recapitulations, wishes, thank you were some elements which we experienced and celebrated in that last moments in Bait Muscat. All other members wished us Godspeed. We wished them too and thanked our host for organizing the trip. Pratap mausa accompanied us to the Muscat International airport. He too, wished us safe journey and captured last two images of my family in his Nokia cell phone at the airport. Blessings played their role and our luggage weight stopped at 119.786 kgs 🙂 (120 Kgs. was allowed) otherwise, 4 OMR per Kg. was the penalty and to our good fortune, we escaped it.
Quite easily with patience, progressing into various stages (security check, visa check, passport stamp, check in counter) which every passenger encounters, officialismly we cleared all legal ritualities and after some hours we reached Mumbai, India and with that, a fabulous tour came to its end.
A laptop means a lot to a student and when it comes by happenstance, its magnitude of alleviation is gigantic and the same pinnacle felicitous alleviation I acquainted in Muscat. This day brought me a new resplendent Dell laptop 🙂
In the morning, I wrote on a piece of paper :
– 500 Gb harddisk
– 4 Gb RAM
– i5 processor
– 1Gb Graphic Card
“At least this configuration you must aim”, my mind commented to me, personally again 🙂
In the afternoon, my family and Anand mausa went to Samsung showroom with Mausin, which was present at our relevance for the last time 🙂 We went to finalize a Samsung microwave oven for us and a smart television for Anand mausa and family. After anatomizing we made the final choice of both the products and returned to Bait Muscat.
In the evening, Pratap mausa, bunty and I went to Lulu mall to buy my laptop. I told Pratap mausa about my configuration requirements and he bestowed me with the best of his experience while we were on the way to Lulu in Grand Vitara car. Again we began to scrutinize the laptop and its accessories and in the end after beating the puzzlement between two dell laptop models, a Dell Inspiron N5110 model was selected for my future entertainment and studies too 🙂 A cooling pad caught my attention and my brother also extolled the product and thus we purchased two cooling pads. A Filipino, who was assisting us showed us a trio pack of speakers, mouse and headphone and that too was put in the cart. For all this we paid 281 OMR or 281.900 OMR, to be precise. We entered home and every member of my family congratulated me and I gave gargantuan thanks to my creators and thank you to other family members. When I opened the flap of the device, the very first thing which captured me was the Arabic language printed on my keyboard buttons. I laughed. “You won’t get sleep today”, Anand mausa commented 🙂
On that day, the dinner was offered on the behalf of my family and meat batti was the dish. Ice cream was served on my behalf as laptop treat 🙂 I don’t know what the others were doing after that, as I got engaged in my laptop treasure 🙂
“Ostrich, I’m going to see today”, my psyche thought in the morning. On that day, we took only Yukon and now you can well comprehend the monstrous dimensions of that car for, we twelve peoples were packed like sardines. I, bunty, Ashie amma and Guddu sat on the last portion of the Yukon and as always, Guddu occupied the Benjamin’s portion again 🙂
“How fat he is….and how much more weight he’ll gain in future…”, my mind ruminated 🙂
I said, “Guddu, you wanna loose and I wanna gain, give me some and we’ll both be profited.”
He said, “What?”
Ashie chimed, “yes, bhaiya what ?”
I said, “your weight” 🙂
After covering a approx distance of about 200 Kms. we reached Barka Ostrich park and after making a nominal sacrifice of 2-3 OMR we were at the main spot where we saw 10-15 ostriches, some sitting and some standing in an irregular pattern. It seemed that some of them got up in our respect 🙂 “Birds resembling camels”, I thought. Cameras and other photo capturing devices were on high duty at that time. One ostrich became magnetized toward us and thus, we also became excited to see the world’s largest bird with an arms distance. Urmila mausi took out some biscuits and we all began to feed the ostrich. The snake resembling neck of the creature was worth looking. Then we saw some eggs of the same creature and that too we captured in our respective cameras. We took turns to click our respective images with the ostriches. It was a damn hot day and that compelled us to have a refreshment and after the break we preferred to continue our sojourn and thus, we rolled to our next spot: Nakhal Fort.
Nakhal Fort is akin to the Nahargarh Fort of Jaipur. After sacrificing 500 Baisa per person we made our entrance. Some ancient guns which were increasing burden on the walls of the fort caught our attention and we kids desired to have some pics with the ancient treasure. The scorching heat of the sun continued to our misery and everyone was advised to keep their gaugles, caps, hats on. There was no public on that day and you can imagine how solitude the fort was. Although the place was fab and I was enjoying too, the fort failed to amaze me…because I have already visited certain place akin to Nakhal Fort and moreover I belong to Rajasthan, which is famous for such forts in the whole word. The thing which I loved the most was the date farm which I observed from the fort. So, don’t forget to climb a certain height in measure to see the date farm.
The third spot in our list was the hot water spring. The first priority on reaching that spot was to have lunch. All members enjoyed non vegetarian food and I, a turnout vegetarian ate curry. I was the first one to finish my food. I folded my jeans to my knees and preferred to luxuriate in water. I saw water running on the bead of polished erratic coloured stones. To my surprise, many minuscule fishes came to greet me and showed their hunger by eating the dead skin of my feet. I flashed my hand in the water and they swam in erratic directions but soon they came again to provide me massage therapy, in fact, free massage therapy. I extolled their heroism. Soon, Bunty and Guddu joined me and then I thought to catch some minuscule fishes. Initially, I went to Urmila mausi and brought a plastic disposal glass to capture the creature but it was a damp squib. Bunty and Guddu, too were unsuccessful. I went to Manju Mausi and she provided me a plastic poly bag. Ashie wished me good luck. I did which was not appreciated initially by Guddu & Bunty.
Bunty said, “abey, yeh kya kar raha hai?”
Guddu commented, “bhaiya, aise nahi pakak saktey aap fish ko”
Now, I’ll tell you what I did and what was not accepted by them, though they were later proved wrong by me 🙂
I entered my feet in the poly bag and then finally placed it in the water. Some people near by the kept on watching my act I kept my eyes glued in the water. They were roaming in irregular pattern everywhere in the vicinity but none was entering in the poly bag. But my patience was rewarded when a minuscule fish entered the polythene to eat the dead skin on my feet. I rejoiced.
“Very good, bhaiya”. Ashie complimented.
“Very good”, Guddu chimed.
“Immediately put your feet out”, Bunty proclaimed.
I did as Bunty instructed.
And I became the owner of a tiny creature. My capture caused consternation in the mind of the fish, I assume. We all rejoiced. The happy news was also delivered to our elders.
“Its time to jail another fish now”, I thought.
To do the same it was indispensable to locate the fish in a safe place as I was having a single poly bag. So, I placed it in the same disposal glass which was first used as a fish catching instrument.
In the same manner I caught two more and was responsible for isolating three fishes from their family & friends.
Bunty then came with a bigger idea. He brought a rectangular piece of cloth and requested me to hold from one end. We generated a trap by locating the cloth inside water on the polished stones. Guddu was instructed to compel fishes to swim in the direction of the trap. So he ran in the water on the polished stones and generated a stampede among fishes. Unaware of the repercussions they swam in our direction and when the passed above the cloth, I and Bunty pulled the cloth up in the air. The collection of that endeavour was vaguely about 10-15 fishes. The captured fishes were then transferred in the disposal glass. Pratap Mausa also came to join our team. And with the same technique we again isolated some fishes. The technique was used two more times. Urmila Mausi proclaimed, “hurry up, we’ll leave now.” It was time for us to take a prompt verdict. Urmila mausi helped us. She transferred our hardwork in a 2.5 or 3 liters empty juice bottle. More water was added in the bottle. It was a fab felling when we saw about 40+ fishes swimming in a consternation style.”When we came to this spot we were twelve members and now as we are leaving, we are 50+, tremendous increment in the population”, my mind commented, personally.
Sawadi beach. I always wanted to enter sea water and my desire was accomplished at Sawadi beach, Oman. I was the first one to change my clothes, followed by Bunty and other of my family members. I was ready to enjoy and saw other members getting out of the car. “Snails”, I thought. I saw Guddu changing, and and to convert the same moment into an anecdote I managed a camera from Urmila mausi and shouted,
“Guddu, see here”. With only blue colour cloth, tied with the help of an elastic on his waist, he shouted even more louder than me.
“Are stop, aap bhaiya, aise kyu kar rahe ho?” 🙂
Bunty joined me too.
“We will show this to your Omini Girlfriend 🙂 “, Bunty chuckled.
“hunnn, we will”, I chimed.
Ashie, who was watching the scenario also bursted into laughter. Guddu had no option, he was embarrassingly laughing and we were happy.
In small different groups we entered the water. From soda to hock, Urmila mausi showed his concern regarding the our safety. Guddu and Tunnu were luxuriating wearing swimming gaugles. In a short period of time, all twelve members of our family were in the sea water. Our enthusiasm got feathers, everytime a tide came and collided with our bodies. I saw the Sun. The sky was tinged orange and the sun was beginning its departure. “Say good bye to the Sun….he is going to USA’s side”, my mind commented to me. We found some shellfish clams when we dug the sand under water, with our hands. Then began the competition. “Collect clams”, was the proclamation. All of us showed true team spirit. Tunnu was among the biggest collector of clams. The collected clams were safely placed in my shorts for, I was the only one to have a pocket in my costume. It saddened me to same extent that I was unable to collect clams as I holding the responsibility of their storage. I said, “I am a truck, load your clams in me 🙂 ” When my pocket was full, I went to the shore and placed the clams in a polythene. I returned. Again the truck went to the shore and again he joined his team. Some of our members began their crawl towards the shore. Then I also tried to catch some but after collecting few, I got a cut on my index finger through the sharp edge of a clam 😦 I began my crawling too. In this manner we collected many clams. The first thought which penetrated my mind was to get rid of the salinity of the water which was sticking to all my body. It was a dirty felling. I came to know about the bathroom cum changing room in the vicinity. The male and female members of our group marched towards the male and female changing room respectively. We changed. It was a fab and fresh. Tunnu and me were among the first one to exit the bathroom cum changing room. I was out bare body but jeans on 🙂 And soon the all male members of our family were out (except Bunty). Anand mausa was the only one who came fully dressed and the rest came bare body. Some came wrapping their lower part of body in a towel. Some exited in underwear. Mean while I helped Tunnu in changing his clothes. Pratap mausa, who came out in his underwear was changing with the help of a towel, tied around his waist. Unaware of the future ramifications, of the enviroment we were engaged. Then came an Omani man wearing brown dishdash(national dress for Omani men, anklelength, collarless gown with long sleeves) and started shouting which we could not comprehend, for he was showing his anger in Arabic, a lingo for us. But from his tone it was limpid that he was not happy with us. He shouted:
ماذا تفعل هنا؟
لا يكون لديك أية اداب؟
لك كل البلداء تتغير الملابس أمام أحد المساجد.
وعلاوة على ذلك هناك نساء أيضا غرفة تغيير الملابس.
تصل الرياح سريعة.
أو سأتصل الشرطة.
He was more then 6 feet plus and with a giant monstrous dimensions. No one spoke to him. His anger compelled us to comprehend him. My imagination landed on the correct area. He must have shouted :
“What are you people doing here?
Don’t you have any manners?
You all morons are changing clothes in front of a mosque.
Furthermore there are also women dressing room.
Wind up fast.
Or I’ll call the police.
He was still there and repeating his angry words. Now Bunty came in the scene. To our misery he too came bare body with only towel tied on his waist. But he knew what was the scene going on at that time. He showed his intelligence and asked my father, who too was standing half naked with only jeans on his lower part, to provide him with his clothes which were lying near him.
My father said, “Come and take”.
Bunty shouted,”give me the clothes, he is seeing me, I don’t want to come in front”
Father replied,”come and take”.
“What are you doing? Pass my clothes”, Bunty demanded in a bold voice.
My father while handling the clothes to him pretended to be a hero. He said, “wear your clothes, all of you wear your clothes.”
I whispered,”You are standing like Salman Khan, first you wear your clothes 🙂 “
Pratap mausa, who too was in my father’s club in displaying muscles, bare body, also made the inception with T-shirt followed by Jeans. By that time the Omani went. We stared starring at each other faces. Then came another man and said, “Do you know what he (Omani Man) was saying ?”
We said, “NO”.
He was saying that you people are changing clothes near a mosque. Moreover there is also a ladies changing room near by 🙂
I tried my best to control my laughter and all of us too, I guess. We began our departure towards Yukon. While we were marching, we recalled that anecdote.
I started, “Why he was worrying too much about the mosque?”
Anand mausa said, “He was not. He has many wives and he was worrying about them”
“He was afraid that one of us may impress any of his wives by his muscles and take her away from Omani man”, Anand mausa completed the hilarious sentence.
I said looking at my father,”Why were you standing like Salman Khan?”
To this my father had no rejoinder and he too bursted in laughter.
Tunnu started, “Bhaiya was changing and towel came out 🙂 “
Anand mausa joined,”Which bhaiya?”
Tunnu skipped that question and started another fake one.
“Papa was changing and two ladies were seeing him changing the clothes” :), Tunnu siad.
We came to Yukon where the female members of our group were eagerly waiting for us. We narrated the anecdote. They too enjoyed. Urmila mausi provided sprite cans to all the members. We sat in Yukon and drove to our last spot.
Al Sahwa Park was the last place we sojourned on that day. The park is located between Muscat International Airport and Muscat City Centre. It was already dark when we entered the park. Though tired, we began to explore the massive park. Guddu took me to the territory of park where there were some swings. We took dinner and relaxed. Since the park was situated near the Muscat International airport, we saw many Aeroplanes passing above are heads. Vaguely speaking, the time interval between them was not more than three minutes. After dinner, Ashie, Tunnu, Anshu, Guddu, Bunty and me went to enjoy again. We returned Bait Muscat.