So the latest book I read is ‘What is the Universe in?’ by Anthony Grey.
The author wrote this book from the time in which he wad detained in China for being a journalist for Reuters. At the time of Cultural Revolution in China, he was the sole Reuter Correspondent (and the only British Journalist) in Peking. Apparently some Chinese Journalists were taken hostage in Hong Kong by the British Authorities. He was held hostake for two whole years. He is supposedly the ‘first international hostage of the modern era’ ( quoted from — http://www.anthony-grey.co.uk/index.html).
Being confined to a room, he wrote a set of short stories to keep his mind occupied. Of the set, 7 is published in this book.
Before I move on to the my opinion on the stories, reading of Hong Kong and Britain made me look up history and strangely I was surprised to know that I did not know that Britain had occupied Hong Kong till 1997. Ofcourse I knew that the United Kingdom had a lot of colonies. But I was of the opinion that all that was over atleast by the 1980s.
It seems that Hong Kong was still a colony of Britain as far as 1997 at the time of which the Hong Kong handover took place. ( — http://gohongkong.about.com/od/historyandcultureofhk/a/hkhandover.htm)
Now on to the book. The short stories in the book are
— The Old Man and the leaves
— To cut a long story short
— Gollywhite for Sigmund
— Crime and Calculus
— Newton’s Lore of Gravity
— A man was Later Detained.
I am do not generally read short stories. But the title and the words ‘Philosophical reflections’ made me grab the book from the library before my mind could even process what I had in my hand..
The whole book makes one think about what we are, why we do the things we do and what the point of it all is. Each story has a few pages before it where the author indirectly writes about his confinement or something related. There is a part before ‘A man was Later Deained’ named ‘No Story’. That really got me thinking. What the author says is generally before one writes a news article one should check for the fact with the given questions.
So if one asks this question in relation to our life, then one starts thinking why we are doing what we do. I mean we don’t know the answer to any of these questions and yet we fight and struggle in life to get to someplace which we feel is great. But isn’t it all relative? I mean what we desire is what we have observed from the time of our childhood. A person whose childhood held all the material things that money could buy would desire entirely different things from a person who has lived in dire poverty and had to struggle to get even a single meal per day.
So in short there is no point in it? or is it as they say ‘What you believe is what you get!’ or is it
I wrote the above as a draft and never got round to post it. So I thought I’ll post it anyways…
Wrote this on 11 June 2015