Thursday, 16 April 2015

Daddy's Girl - Margie Orford

Daddy's Girl by Margie Oxford was published in 2011 but only just got my hands on a copy and I am mildly impressed. It is gritty and depressing yet quite compelling which is was forced me to finish the book as fast I could manage.

The plot is based around the disappearance of a nine year old girl who is ace cop of the Cape Town's Gang Unit Riedwaan Faizal's daughter. As a result of his attitude he comes under the radar and so left without any choice, he enlists the help of investigative journalist Dr Clare Hart. The book is set against the backdrop of poverty and violence and there is a kind of authenticity to it that it chilling. It is quite impressive to read.

However, the book begins quite vaguely and this vagueness continues to plague the author's style of writing making the scenes, at times, quite difficult to understand. The book, however, is still very gripping. It alternates in perspective between Capt. Faizal,, and Dr Hart, but is not restricted to these two characters. We also see flashes the young girl's thought process once she's been abducted, and the harrowing experience of two young girls who've seen more dark times life than most ever do. There are quite some inconsistencies caused by poor editing of the book but all in all, it's an enjoyable book to read if crime novels interest you.

If you enjoy this book, Margie Orford has several other books and a series based around Dr Clare Hart which have also been on the bestseller list. Check them out!

Monday, 13 April 2015

I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai & Christina Lamb

THE GIRL WHO STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION and was shot by the Taliban

There are hundreds of reviews of this books spread across the internet, after all she is the girl 'who stood up for education'. At least that's how she wants to be known and she will because it is how she became known as the 'girl who was shot by Taliban'. I believe, however that there is no better reviewer for 'I Am Malala' than a girl of her own age. The irony of the situation is,  I'm sure, not lost on anyone of you. 

I Am Malala sends a shiver down your spine a reader as you turn page after page and read about tragedy after tragedy. Malala was born in Pakistan in 1997, where the birth of a girl child is no cause for celebration but she was celebrated. She was born to  Ziauddin Yousafzai, the son of an imam, and of an illiterate mother in the Valley of Swat. Perhaps her father had known that his little girl would do great things not only when she was an 'adult' but much before. At the tender age of 15, she was mercilessly shot in the face by a Jihadi and not once but she was shot at thrice only the other two bullets missed her.

The story does not dwell on the shooting for long nor does it philosophize her thoughts yet it binds the reader with almost a hypnotic sort of power. The story is simple and follows her life from the moment she was born to the moment she opened her eyes in the hospital in Birmingham after extensive surgery yet the incidents slowly accumulate and make it difficult to imagine what people in Pakistan survive on a daily basis, especially girls. 

Malala, herself, soon recieved death threats on a daily basis. Even on sites like Facebook and within the confines of her own home, she was not safe. She was a perceived threat to Taliban, an militant group, due to activism in support of education of girls. The book is a must read because it introduces the world to the reality through the eyes those who suffer.

If you want to know more, Malala spoke at the UN in celebration of her 16th birthday. Take a look!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Should You do Whatever the Fuck You Want? I did

I recently awoke from a 'I can do whatever the fuck I want' phase (hashtag rebel). I didn't think anything I did would have consequences. More than that, I didn't realise I wasn't prepared for the consequences of my actions. I thought society was wrong and societal pressure to conform was restricting. Why shouldn't I do what I want? If I want to throw a cup out of my balcony, I will. If I want to drink too much, I will. If I want to make out with a random guy because I need some action, I will. But, societal pressure is not always bad because it stops you from doing what you are, yourself, going to regret. Because trust me: you will regret breaking your favourite cup; you will regret drinking when you're sick the next day; you will regret the moment of selfishness when you ended up hurting the one person who means the world to you. You will regret it. 

Hashtag (#) no regrets is not always a good way to live. It screws up your judgement of right and wrong. Once you do something against your principles, you will feel terrible about it. Being a rebel is not about doing things that put you in the moral wrong, it's about doing things you think are right like supporting gay rights or committing to the one you love even everyone thinks s/he is severely flawed. If you want to do what you want, do something good, for yourself if not for the someone else. Don't do something wrong that will make you cringe every time you think about it.

Society isn't always right. In fact, it's mean, absurd and downright judgmental. But society is also your conscience when you're own conscience is compromised by desire, rebellion and foolishness. No matter what you do, it's ramifications are going to come back and bite you in the ass and it's not always a good thing, but if you are going to be okay with the consequences 10 years down the line, it's cool - Do your thing. Because like, Adam A. Montapert rightly said, 'Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of [their] choices.'