26 November 2007

I'm 15% done!

I've read 15% of the 86 Newberry Award Winners. That just doesn't sound as impressive when it's typed out.:-(

I just finished Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon. The pigeon's name is actually Chitra-Giva which means "neck painted in gay colours." They just shortened it to "Gay Neck." Considering the times, with the completely different connotation of the word gay, and that nowadays things tend to be very ethnically correct, I wish they had called it "Chitra-Giva: The Story of a Pigeon. Oh well, que sera.

This is the 1928 Newberry Award winner. Since it's based on the life of a 12 year-old boy and his flock of pigeons, you get a lot of insight into life in India. (At least 1928 India.) I had no idea the all-encompassing pasttime of pigeon-rearing in India. It was (don't know if it is still going on) such a normal thing for everyone to raise and train pigeons on their rooftop.

Interesting to note: at the time this book was published, no one had yet scaled Everest. The Indian prayer was that no one would ever conquer it. It was a symbol of divinity that would be best left untainted by man's footprint. It is such a different viewpoint than that of the western world where we are always trying to conquer the next "unconquerable" thing.

This story follows Gay-neck's birth, training, trials and eventual drafting into World War I. While I wouldn't describe it as fascinating, I would say it was an interesting read. Not gripping, but you wouldn't be wasting your time.

Note: The entire thing is saturated with Hinduism ideals and values. Very educational.

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