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Showing posts from April, 2017

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

The morbidity of tragedy doesn't diminish its astounding nature, particularly if it is well-documented. Its like witnessing a gory accident - our mind instructs us to stop looking into details but curiosity is hard to abate, much to our own extreme discomfort. I am not uninitiated to the topic of the Everest, and more specifically, the darker aspect of it, having read a few accounts of George Leigh Mallory - who remains a quaint personal inspiration. Irrespective to the same, high altitude tragedies do not seem to blunt the pang I feel - several thousand feet vertically below the scene of action - for the men and women up the slopes. And what men and women they are...
Into Thin Air is no mean feat. Of course, being based on the painful spring of 1996, when the majestic mountain claimed the highest toll since foot was set upon it with the purpose of summitting it (later outrun by the events of 2014 Everest avalanche and the avalanches triggered by the 2015 Nepal earthquakes). Jon K…

The Relevance of Myth

Like good manners, mythology, in all cultures, is an inadvertent, yet obvious ingredient in a child's rearing. This in itself, is something of an aberration, given that mythical incidents and characters are hardly ever the epitome of ideal or good behaviour. The ultimate outcome is all that matters. Mostly it pertains to the good-over-evil card, or absolute faith or sheer strength. As children, these tales generate awe. To adults, well, we just note the discrepancies; some of us move on, others hold on.

The real purpose of mythology is not to mobilise our good senses. These can be viewed as guides in leading a sane life. Mythology appears based on  very real experiences. Their characters, when one considers dispassionately, are as flawed as me and you. They are scared, hurt, ecstatic; they wage wars, plunder, have fits of anger, cheat, love, lose and do every other thing in the book (pun intended) to live by. Their condensation into a powerful rhetoric is what does the trick. Tha…