Turkish Meze by Sevtap Yuce

Standard

turkish meze

Even thought it’s not a totally vegetarian cookbook, I bought and read it for research purposes. Because, I am planning on writing a cookbook myself.

Later on though I found out that one of my Turkish friends here in Sydney actually knows the author: Sevtap Yuce! Mine is in Kindle format. So, if one day we take a trip together, I’m going to have to buy a hard-copy of it so that I can get it signed by the author.

Advertisements

Kürk Mantolu Madonna by Sabahattin Ali

Standard

kurk mantolu madonna

Fakat insanlar nedense daha ziyade ne bulacaklarını tahmin ettikleri şeyleri araştırmayı tercih ediyorlar. Dibinde bir ejderhanın yaşadığı bilinen bir kuyuya inecek bir kahraman bulmak, muhakkak ki, dibinde ne olduğu hiç bilinmeyen bir kuyuya inmek cesaretini gösterecek bir insan bulmaktan daha kolaydır. Benim de Raif efendiyi daha yakından tanımam sadece bir tesadüf eseridir.

Bir yabancı ile karşı karşıya oturulduğu zaman âdet olduğu üzere oda arkadaşımı gizliden gizliye tetkik etmek, kaçamak bakışlarla hakkında ilk -ve tabii yanlış- kanaatler edinmek istiyordum.

İnsanlar birbirlerini tanımanın ne kadar güç olduğunu bildikleri için bu zahmetli işe teşebbüs etmektense, körler gibi rastgele dolaşmayı ve ancak çarpıştıkça birbirlerinin mevcudiyetinden haberdar olmayı tercih ediyorlar.

Yüzünün hareketlerinde, ağzını, ellerini oynatmakta boyalı teyzesini taklit eden ve bütün manevi kuvvetini de eniştesinin ukalalığından alan bu kızın, bu kalın dış kabuklara rağmen içinde sahici insandan bir şeyler kaldığını zannettirecek alametler mevcuttu.

Fakat bu haller, içinde saklanıp kalmış olan insanlığın ara sıra nefes almak için yaptığı hamlelerden ibaretti ve muhitinin senelerce sabırlı bir çalışma ile vücuda getirdiği sahte şahsiyet, asıl hüviyetinin başkaldırmasına meydan vermeyecek kadar kuvvetliydi.

Yalnız bazı günler birdenbire vahşileşiyor, gözleri bütün ifadesini kaybediyor, küçülüyor ve kendisine hitap edildiği zaman yavaş, fakat her türlü yakınlaşmayı meneden bir sesle cevap veriyordu. Böyle zamanlarında tercüme yapmayı da ihmal ediyor, çok kere kalemi yanına bırakarak saatlerce önündeki kâğıtları seyrediyordu. Onun şimdi bütün mesafelerin ve zamanın arkasına çekilmiş olduğunu ve oraya kimseyi bırakmayacağını seziyor ve hiç sokulmak teşebbüsünde bulunmuyordum.

Dünyanın en basit, en zavallı, hatta en ahmak adamı bile, insanı hayretten hayrete düşürecek ne müthiş ve karışık bir ruha maliktir!.. Niçin bunu anlamaktan bu kadar kaçıyor ve insan dedikleri mahluku anlaşılması ve hakkında hüküm verilmesi en kolay şeylerden biri zannediyoruz? Niçin ilk defa gördüğümüz bir peynirin evsafı hakkında söz söylemekten kaçtığımız halde ilk rast geldiğimiz insan hakkında son kararımızı verip gönül rahatıyla öteye geçiveriyoruz?

Bütün basit insanlarda olduğu gibi, kederden sevince, heyecandan sükûnete geçiyor ve bütün kadınlar gibi her şeyi çabucak unutuyordu.

Herkesten sakladığı ruhunu ihtimal ki bu deftere dökmüştü ve şimdi onunla beraber gitmek istiyordu.

İnsanlara kendinden hiçbir şey bırakmak istemeyen ve yalnızlığını, ölüme giderken bile beraber alan bu adama karşı içimde nihayetsiz bir merhamet ve onun mukadderatına karşı nihayetsiz bir alaka uyandı.

Zaten küçüklüğümden beri saadeti israf etmekten korkar, bir kısmını ilerisi için saklamak isterdim…

Henüz ona dair hiçbir şey bilmediğimi, bütün hükümlerimin tasavvur ve hayallerime dayandığını biliyordum. Bununla beraber, asla aldanmadığıma dair sarsılmaz bir kanaatim vardı.

Henüz ona dair hiçbir şey bilmediğimi, bütün hükümlerimin tasavvur ve hayallerime dayandığını biliyordum. Bununla beraber, asla aldanmadığıma dair sarsılmaz bir kanaatim vardı.

Çünkü müphem bir his bana, kim olursa olsun bir insanı tamamen gördükten ve gördüklerini kendinden saklamadıktan sonra, ona hiçbir zaman büsbütün yaklaşılamayacağını fısıldıyordu.

Çalışmak hiç de fena bir şey değil. Bana dokunan, ruhlarımızı alçaltmadan çalışmak isteyişimizin hoş görülmemesi…

Aşk dağıldıkça azalan bir şey değildir.

Bu hareketsizliğin, korkuya dayanan bu tereddüdün daha zararlı olduğunu, insan münasebetlerinde bir noktada taş kesilmiş gibi kalınamayacağını, ileriye atılmayan her adımın insanı geriye götürdüğünü ve yaklaştırmayan anların muhakkak uzaklaştırdığını karanlık bir şekilde seziyor ve içimde sessizce yanan, fakat günden güne büyüyen bir endişenin yer etmeye başladığını hissediyordum.

O beni mahzun zannediyordu. Halbuki değildim. Şimdi, gülemeyecek kadar mesuttum ve saadetimi ciddiye alıyordum.

İçimde boş kalan bir taraf bulunduğunu ve bu boşluğun bana adeta maddi bir eziklik verdiğini hissediyordum. Bir şey noksandı, fakat bu neydi? Evden çıktıktan sonra bir şey unuttuğunu fark ederek duraklayan, fakat unuttuğunun ne olduğunu bir türlü bulamayarak hafızasını ve ceplerini araştıran, nihayet, ümidini kesince, aklı geride, ileri gitmek istemeyen adımlarla yoluna devam eden bir insan gibi üzüntülüydüm.

Beni, bütün ömrümce bir meçhulü, mevcut olmayan bir şeyi aramaya mahkûm ediyordu. Bunu yapmamalıydı…

Ben neydim? Ruhum, bir ağaç kurdu gibi beni kemirmekten başka ne yapıyordu?

Bu akşam anladım ki, bir insan diğer bir insana bazan hayata bağlandığından çok daha kuvvetli bağlarla sarılabilirmiş.

Gene bu akşam anladım ki, onu kaybettikten sonra, ben dünyada ancak kof bir ceviz tanesi gibi yuvarlanıp sürüklenebilirim.

İçimde hiçbir arzu yoktu. Ne geçmişi, ne geleceği düşünmüyor, ancak yaşamakta olduğum anları biliyordum. Ruhum rüzgârsız ve kırışıksız bir deniz gibi sakindi.

Binlerce kilometre uzakta, bir insan yaşamaz oluvermişti; bu vaka günlerce belki de haftalarca evvel olduğu halde, ne ben, ne Maria herhangi bir şey sezmemiştik.
Günlerin birbirinden farkı yoktu. Fakat birdenbire, avuç içi kadar kâğıt, her şeyi altüst ediyor, beni bu dünyadan alıp oraya götürüyor, benim buraya değil, telgrafın geldiği uzak yerlere ait olduğumu hatırlatıyordu.

Halbuki buraya bütün hayatımla, bütün yaşayan taraflarımla merbuttum (bağlıydım).

Maria Puder’le tanışmadan evvelki boş, gayesiz, maksatsız günler, eskisinden çok daha ıstırap verici bir halde, yeniden başlamıştı. Arada bir fark vardı: Hayatın bundan ibaret olduğunu zannettiren bilgisizliğimin yerini şimdi, dünyada başka türlü de yaşanabileceğini bir kere öğrenmiş olmanın azabı tutuyordu. Etrafımın artık hiç farkında değildim. Hiçbir şeyden zevk almama imkân olmadığını hissediyordum.

Dünyada bir tek insana inanmıştım. O kadar çok inanmıştım ki, bunda aldanmış olmak, bende artık inanmak kudreti bırakmamıştı.

Hayatta en güvendiğim insana karşı duyduğum bu kırgınlık, adeta bütün insanlara dağılmıştı; çünkü o benim için bütün insanlığın timsaliydi.

Hayat ancak bir kere oynanan bir kumardır, ben onu kaybettim. İkinci defa oynayamam…

Her şeyi, her şeyi, bilhassa ruhumu hiç bulunmayacak yerlere saklamalı…

O bu dünyadan ayrılırken, benim hayatıma, başka hiçbir insana nasip olmayacak kadar canlı bir şekilde giriyordu.

Lion by Saroo Brierley

Standard

My memories were all I had of my past, and privately I thought about them over and over, trying to ensure I didn’t ‘beget’.

Some of these memories were good, and some of them bad – but I couldn’t have one without the other, and I couldn’t let them go.

The people in the station weren’t people at all, but a great solid mass I couldn’t make any impact on, like a river or the sky.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to me had he not taken me in, or had I refused to trust him.

Today, there are perhaps a hundred thousand homeless kids in Kolkata, and a good many of them die before they reach adulthood.

It was only a couple of years after my period on the streets that the notorious ‘Stoneman’ murders began in Calcutta, following the same phenomenon in Bombay. Somebody started murdering homeless people bedding down at night, especially around the city’s major station, by dropping a large rock or slab of concrete onto their heads as they slept. Thirteen people died over a six-month period and no-one was ever charged (though the killings stopped after the police detained a psychologically disturbed suspect). Had I stayed on the street, there’s every chance I wouldn’t be alive today, and certainly not writing this book.

I later learnt that Ganesh is often called the Remover of Obstacles, and Lord of Beginnings. I wonder whether that was why the girl chose to give it to me. (Ganesh is also Patron of Letters, and so, in a way, is the patron of this book.)

That initial disbelieving desperation to get home – that feeling that, unless the world was immediately put back the way it had been, I couldn’t survive, couldn’t exist – had long faded. The world was now what I saw around me, the situation I was in.

Instinct, memory, doubt and excitement were all coursing through me at once.

Even at this first meeting, though, she told me she was grateful to my parents who had raised me in Australia, and that they had the right to call me their son because they had raised me from a child and made me the man I was today.

‘Everything is written’: destiny takes its inevitable path.

I would never have imagined when I left here that I would one day willingly return, yet here I was now, looking over the place, a tourist of my old terrors.

lion

Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipovic

Standard

zlata's diary

“War has crossed out the say and replaced it with horror, and now horrors are unfolding instead of days. It looks to me as though these politics mean Serbs, Croats and Muslims. But they are all people. They are all the same. They all look like people, there’s no difference. They all have arms, legs and heads, they walk and talk, but now there’s “something” that wants to make them different.

Among my girlfriends, among our friends, in our family, there are Serbs and Croats and Muslims. It’s a mixed group and I never knew who was a Serb, a Croat or a Muslim. Now politics has started meddling around. It has put an ‘S’ on Serbs, an ‘M’ on Muslims and a ‘C’ on Croats, it wants to separate them. And to do so, it has chosen the worst, blackest pencil of all—the pencil of war which spells only misery and death.”

War is no joke, it seems. It destroys, kills, burns, separates, brings unhappiness.

How you can come to love an animal! She doesn’t talk, but she speaks with her eyes, her paws, her meows, and I understand her.

…young people without arms and legs. They’re the ones who had the fortune or perhaps the misfortune to survive.

It’s as if Sarajevo is slowly dying, disappearing. Life is disappearing. So how can I feel spring, when spring is something that awakens life, and here there is no life, here everything seems to have died.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, someone is using the ugly powers of war, which horrify me, to try to pull and drag me away from the shores of peace, from the happiness of wonderful friendships, playing and love. I feel like a swimmer who was made to enter the cold war, against her will. I feel shocked, sad, unhappy and frightened and I wonder where they are forcing me to go, I wonder why they have taken away the peaceful and lovely shores of my childhood. I used to rejoice at each new day, because each was beautiful in its own way. I used to rejoice at the sun, at playing, at songs. In short, I enjoyed my childhood. I had no need of a better one. I have less and less strength to keep swimming in these cold waters. So take me back to the shores of my childhood, where I was warm, happy and content, like all the children whose childhood and the right to enjoy it are now being destroyed.

I keep thinking about the march I joined today. It’s bigger and stronger than war. That’s why it will win. The people must be the ones to win, not the war, because war has nothing to do with humanity. War is something inhuman.

Why is politics making us unhappy, separating us, when we ourselves know who is good and who isn’t? We mix with the good, not with the bad. And among the good there are Serbs and Croats and Muslims, just as there are among the bad. I simply don’t understand it. Of course, I’m “young,” and politics are conducted by “grown-ups.” But I think we “young” would do it better. We certainly wouldn’t have chosen war.

It’s freezing. Winter has definitely come to town. I used to love and enjoy it so much, but now it’s a very disagreeable guest in Sarajevo.

There are lots of beautiful pedigree dogs roaming the streets. Their owners probably had to let them go because they couldn’t feed them anymore. Sad. Yesterday I watched a cocker spaniel cross the bridge, not knowing which way to go. He was lost. He wanted to go forward, but then he stopped, turned around and looked back. He was probably looking for his master. Who knows whether his master is still alive? Even animals suffer here. Even they aren’t spared by the war.

Some people compare me with Anne Frank. That frightens me, Mimmy. I don’t want to suffer her fate.

I sincerely hope we won’t have to. But hoping doesn’t mean a thing here.

Again and again they keep sinking all our boats, taking and dashing all our hopes.

Life’s Golden Ticket by Brendon Burchard

Standard

28959379

Brendon Burchard’s Life’s Golden Ticket took me on an unexpected journey. I found myself sitting and looking at the book after I finished reading it. Here’s my favourite bits and pieces from the book:

Though you cannot recall it ever happening, a spell has been cast upon you, and it has mesmerized you into believing that you are not good enough and that there is something wrong with you. This spell is Society’s Spell, and it has made you secretly feel inadequate, ugly, weak, slow, small, useless, and helpless for far too long.

Sometimes we forget that everyone has important moments in their life—happenings that forever affect them.

Too often we forget the most important and meaningful chapters in our life’s story.

Themes present in what you were taught in life, and themes present in how you have lived your life.

‘Well, if that’ a prescription for a tough life, I gotta tell you something—you swallowed it whole. You let the themes in your life become your beliefs, and you let those beliefs guide your behaviors. You swallowed what the world taught you, hook, line, and sinker, without ever questioning it.’

If you are unaware of the world within you—your internal thoughts and feelings—and you are unaware of the world around you—how people perceive you and your behaviour—then you don’t have the ability to answer the question ‘Who am I being right now?’ Because you judge who you are at any point in time by your thoughts and feelings as well as what other people are thinking and feeling about you.

You need to break free from the fear and suffering and anger that you have chained to the past. Because those emotions are holding you back from living freely. They’re holding you back from venturing into new territories. They’re holding you back from being who you were meant to be. It’s time to use your smarts and your strength.

“You’re not small and weak anymore. You can’t keep using me as an excuse to live shield up and sword out. Your life is what it is because of you, not me.”

We’re scared to death to be alone or unattended, so we follow the herd—either doing what we’re told or what everyone else is doing.

In life, the path of least resistance is always silence. If you don’t express your feelings and thoughts to others, you don’t have to deal with their reactions to it. You don’t have to feel vulnerable. You don’t risk rejection. But I’ll tell you what: the path of least resistance leads exactly where that ride leads to. Nowhere.

No goals, no growth. No clarity, no change.

Life’s like being in a lion cage, mate. Show fear, back down, or turn away from what’s in front of you, and you’re dead.

…but he presented an incongruous image—he looked like an ox sitting on a toothpick.

…performers, who, by showing us their talent and potential, always remind us of our own.

You can’t wonder where miracles go or where they come from—you just have to be thankful for them when they arrive, and thankful for them after they departed.

My final lesson to you, then, is about contribution, and it says simply this: if you want your life experience to be bright, choose to contribute.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Standard

the metamorphosis

I absolutely loved this book: the title, characters, transformation they all go through as a family after Gregor’s illness which transforms him from a useful bread winner to a burden to the family.

I can easily picture the whole flat where this story takes place (I just need to reorganise the furniture a wee bit, that’s all), Mr Samsa’s polished gold buttons, even the swishing sound Mrs Samsa’s skirt makes. Not many authors can paint a vivid picture like this.

Here’s some of my favourite lines from the book:
As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.

I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.

Was he an animal, that music could move him so? He felt as if the way to the unknown nourishment he longed for were coming to light.

He was a tool of the boss, without brains or backbone.

What a fate: to be condemned to work for a firm where the slightest negligence at once gave rise to the gravest suspicion! Were all the employees nothing but a bunch of scoundrels, was there not among them one single loyal devoted man who, had he wasted only an hour or so of the firm’s time in the morning, was so tormented by conscience as to be driven out of his mind and actually incapable of leaving his bed?

But Gregor understood easily that it was not only consideration for him which prevented their moving, for he could easily have been transported in a suitable crate with a few air holes; what mainly prevented the family from moving was their complete hopelessness and the thought that they had been struck by a misfortune as none of their relatives and acquaintances had ever been hit.

The door could not be heard slamming; they had probably left it open, as is the custom in homes where a great misfortune has occurred.

I only fear danger where I want to fear it.

If I didn’t have my parents to think about I’d have given in my notice a long time ago, I’d have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He’d fall right off his desk! And it’s a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing.

His biggest misgiving came from his concern about the loud crash that was bound to occur and would probably create, if not terror, at least anxiety behind all the doors. But that would have to be risked.

However, Gregor had become much calmer. All right, people did not understand his words any more, although they seemed clear enough to him, clearer than previously, perhaps because had gotten used to them”

Then his head sank to the floor of its own accord and from his nostrils came the last faint flicker of his breath.

Gregor’s serious wound, from which he suffered for over a month – the apple remained imbedded in his flesh as a visible souvenir since no one dared to remove it – seemed to have reminded even his father that Gregor was a member of the family, in spite of his present pathetic and repulsive shape, who could not be treated as an enemy; that, on the contrary, it was the commandment of the family duty to swallow their disgust and endure him, endure him and nothing more.

A man might find for a moment that he was unable to work, but that’s exactly the right time to remember his past accomplishments and to consider that later on, when the obstacles has been removed, he’s bound to work all the harder and more efficiently.

The main thing holding the family back from a change in living quarters was far more their complete hopelessness and the idea that they had been struck by a misfortune like no one else in their entire circle of relatives and acquaintances.

The next train left at seven o’clock, and in order to catch it he would have to rush around like mad, and the sample collection was still unpacked and he was not feeling particularly fresh and energetic. And even if he caught the train, a bawling out from the boss was inescapable, because the office messenger had arrived by the five o’clock train and reported his absence long ago; he was the boss’s creature, mindless and spineless.

Sometimes he mulled over the idea that the next time the door opened he would take control of the family affairs as he had done in the past; these musings led him once more after such a long interval to conjure up the figures of the boss, the head clerk, the salesmen, the apprentices, the dullard of an office manager, two or three friends from other firms, a sweet and fleeting memory of a chambermaid in one of the rural hotels, a cashier in a milliner’s shop whom he had wooed earnestly but too slowly- they all appeared mixed up with strangers or nearly forgotten people, but instead of helping him and his family they were each and every one unapproachable, and he was relieved when they evaporated.

“I hope it is nothing serious. On the other hand, I must also say that we business people, luckily or unluckily, however one looks at it, very often simply have to overcome a slight indisposition for business reasons.”

Calm consideration was much better than rushing to desperate conclusions.

And for a little while he lay still, breathing lightly as if he expected total repose would restore everything to its normal and unquestionable state.

The door could not be heard closing; they must have left it open as is usual in houses visited by great misfortune.

For now he must lie low and try, through patience and the greatest consideration, to help his family bear the inconvenience he was bound to cause them in his present condition.