Monday, March 28, 2016

To Kill A Mockingbird

Title: To Kill A Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee

Six-year-old Jean Louise Finch, fondly known as Scout, and her elder brother Jeremy Finch, or Jem for short, live with their father Atticus Finch, a lawyer, in the tired old racist town of Maycomb, Alabama. One summer, they get introduced to a boy named Charles Harris Baker, who shortly called himself Dill. Dill, Scout and Jem start playing and spending a lot of time together. They are terrified, but also amazed, at their neighbour Arthur “Boo” Radley whom they have never seen and who hasn’t come out of his home for many years. Once, Dill dares Jem to touch the wall of the Radley mansion just to prove he wasn’t afraid. They do many things and work out many plans to make Boo Radley come out of his house. After the summer, Dill goes back to his family and, Scout and Jem are left to themselves.

While walking back home from school, Jem and Scout discover small  gifts like bubblegum and wrappers in a tree-hole in the Radley’s place. Deciding that those who discover things are the owners until somebody else’s ownership is proven, they start taking the gifts. They get a packet of bubble gums, a small figurine of themselves, a wristwatch and many other assorted gifts. Jem writes a letter to the person thanking him for the gifts. The next day, they see Mr. Radley, Boo Radley’s father sealing the tree hole with cement. They are disappointed that they can’t get any more gifts, but in time forget about it.

Meanwhile, Atticus is posted to defend innocent Tom Robinson, a black man, accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell.  Atticus fights his best and proves why Tom Robinson hadn’t done it. But, Maycomb, steeped in racism, had never delivered a case in favour of the coloured and is also not prepared to do so. Tom Robinson is unfairly convicted. Atticus and Jem completely lose faith in the law of the country. But Atticus destroys Ewell’s last thread of public pride. Due to this, Ewell swears to kill Atticus. Jem, Scout and Atticus fear the attack but it does not happen for many days. Also, the town of Maycomb starts abusing Atticus as a "nigger-lover", and blames him for letting his children mix even with the coloured. They blame him for setting a bad example.

On Halloween night, sly Mr. Ewell attacks Jem and Scout in the dark while they return from a party. Jem gets badly hurt and Scout does not understand what is happening. At that point, a mysterious man saves Jem and Scout and take them home. After going home, Atticus calls the doctor to check on Jem’s broken hand. They go back to the place of attack and find Ewell dead. Meanwhile, Scout finds out that it was Boo Radley who had saved Jem and her. She immediately stops fearing Boo Radley, goes up to him and thanks him. She gets to know that it was Boo who left them all their small gifts.

Atticus is under the assumption that Jem killed Ewell, while Atticus’s friend Mr. Tate believes Boo did it. But finally, they conclude that Ewell fell on his own knife and killed himself: like what happens to those who kill a mockingbird!

Scout goes to drop Boo Radley in his place. Boo Radley goes inside his home, and that is the last time they see him. The story ends by Scout feeling bad to have not given Boo anything even after he has given them so much.

I like Dill and Scout the best. They are really charming and insane with their ideas. I love them. The best part in the book was when Scout met Boo Radley in the end. I like Boo Radley very much too. 

The book is all about respecting people because they are people and not on the basis of colour. It talks about overcoming the stereotypes and fighting the right battle. The book was really nice. I loved it.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Lazy Girl's Guide To Being Fit

Title: The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Being Fit

Author: Namrata Purohit

Do you pick the fattest book from the library so that you can just sit and read all day? Do you feel lazy to pick up a glass of water for yourself even when you are a little thirsty? Do you look at the mirror and know that you are going a little extra in some places but just ignore them, convincing yourself that you will slim down once you start working out? And do you always resolve that you will start working out regularly from the next day onward? Well, Namrata Purohit’s ‘The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Being Fit’ basically asks you to stop thinking too much about it and rather start moving. That would show better results, really, and then you can still read your fat book!

So, what should we be doing? The first thing, the book says, is start! Dance, jump, run, kick, play, walk, squat, stretch- just do something! You won’t and can’t lose all your extra fat in a month. But you surely will- gradually. Namrata, in the book, asks us to have SMART goals: simple, measurable, achievable, reasonable and time-bound.

The book discusses various exercise routines, and also talks about a healthy balanced diet and the benefits of exercising. It talks about motivating yourself. Start, and you won’t stop, the book says. It gives tips as to how to continue some workout routine even on long holidays.  

At the end of the read our motivation is renewed. And, we decide to start our exercise regimen from the next day onward…

Oh gods, no! Let’s start today. Let’s start now!