A Dead Man Can’t Run Forever

If Suits is your frontrunner on the TV Shows list, John Grisham should be the frontrunner on your Books list.

The Partner by John Grisham: sort of a review

Patrick ought to count his blessings that Vakeel Vandumurugan didn’t handle his case because if he was, Patrick would be dead lang syne, that too for the second time.

Now, The Partner is a serious, racy novel plethoric with legal innuendos, long names (too many of them too to keep track of, in fact), shrewd, savvy characters and an exalting case charged for murder and robbery on a man who returned from the dead, all packed in 410 pages (actually depends on the edition you choose) under John Grisham’s finesse. Patrick Lanignan, a young lawyer was found dead (with a pelvic bone for evidence, since his car caught fire and burned to a near wipeout) by the interstates of Biloxi, they buried him under a sizable tree, sniffled and sobbed for him and went on with their lives after his memorial service. The only person happy for this tragic cataclysm was his wife, Trudy who gained two million dollars on his insurance that she never knew about. Four years later, a high-end detective agency finds him in the countryside of Brazil, getting ready for his morning jog. Grisham then reveals that Patrick (or Danilo, his Brazilian alter ego) had pulled a Brobdingnagian heist of ninety million dollars right before he faked his own death.

He is captured by the detective agency to be tortured remorselessly on repeated questioning of the whereabouts of the money he stole. The news about the capture of the dead man on the run brought back slews of interested groups; the FBI (they were just curious but well, they’re the FBI), Benny Aricia (they man who owned the ninety million dollars), Patrick/Danilo’s ex partners of the legal firm he worked for pre-death, the insurance company that paid up two million dollars to his wife, the guy his wife was cheating on and basically, the town of Biloxi on a whole with many question on their mind but the soundest one being – whose pelvic bone was that the State police found then?. And to further surprise, barely a million out of the ninety million dollars stash were spent by Patrick. He lived tight and miserly in Brazil, with all the dough.

Only through few more pages comes to light that there is a completely extraneous reason for this heist. Patrick and his confidante, a Brazilian lawyer unravel the mystery like opening some fruit; peeling off one layer at a time to Patrick’s newly recruited lawyer, Sandy who is also an old friend, a classmate from college and a pallbearer in his funeral to defend him against his multiple capital charges. Writing further about this book would do injustice to you if you are planning on reading it and injustice to the movie (Water for Elephants, yeah I’m watching just now and for the first time) that I’ve kept on Pause.

I’ll end with this – towards the last chapter of the book, Patrick’s capital charge of a maximum thirty years of incarceration gets dropped and plummets down to a penalty of maximum one-year imprisonment for something he did (avoiding a spoiler alert here). This book was like reading Suits; if Harvey was charged and Michael defended him; only a hundred times better. And it ends with a sudden turnabout of events that you don’t see coming. I wouldn’t rank it above the Rainmaker or A Time To Kill but this is on par with the Street Lawyer and fairly good book.

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Me, myself and the damned resolutions!

First of all, HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS!!

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Second, I read this illuminating but a tedious post couple of years ago on this day and I wanted to share the condensed version of it with you all.  But before that here’s the Me, myself part of the title’s explanation: I am an ultra failure when it comes to resolutions. As a kid, I would write a bulleted list of all the things I ought to get done that year which was something like this

  • Workout Maths every day. Get A+ in Maths and Hindi. I flunked Maths and as it turned out to be, I grew allergic to Hindi.

Varaadha padippa vaa vaa na, epdi varum?

  • Play tennis better than previous.

I don’t know if the quality of my game improved but I definitely dredged out a large chunk of my neighbours’ already deteriorating wall from hours and hours of exhausting wall tennis. I mean, the magnitude of my wall tennis was such that my that time neighbour developed a toothache from it, I dismantled a make-shift garage with asbestos (it fell down completely one day and I just walked away like I did nothing but one thatha next door was watching discreetly with the pretense of reading a book and he gave me away) and I might have busted my brother’s forehead when I went for a backhand. So this resolution went really went (maybe not for others around me, unfortunately, but definitely well for me).

  • Eat more vegetables and more bananas. (I still hate bananas. And vegetables.)
  • Practice paatu every day. (I don’t think any of my practice session went past S P S.)
  • Watch less of TV and read more. I did read more but I saw TV as much as earlier.

So as you can see the indisputable fact of me being a sheer failure when it comes to resolutions. Oh wait wait wait, last one…

  • LOSE WEIGHT. How did I forget this? This resolution is like the pizhaiyaar suzhi of Resolutions List. Complete complete complete miserable piece of failure I am, when it comes to food. How can I eat vegetables and bananas when I hate them? And how can I lose weight if I am to eat vegetables and bananas and not eat my pizza and my Karachi cookies?

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So I was done once and for all with those damned resolutions and I came across this post with simple, beautiful “resolutions” for every day. 1) It didn’t have any of those low-carb, no cake, no chicken diet plans 2) It didn’t have targets like FINISH TRIGONOMETRY AND QUADRATIC EQUATIONS or whatever 3) It did not require any physical effort. Easy-peasy no? Actually, yes. These 15 or so resolution helped me a great deal – like an inventory to a meaningful life – and I hope it has an equal effect on you.

15 RESOLUTIONS FROM SOME GREAT MINDS

  • Walk and be more present. – Thoreau
  • Keep a diary. – Virgina Woolf
  • Make your life wider than longer. – Seneca
  • Define yourself. – Anna Smith
  • Break free from your ego. – Alan Watts
  • Cultivate a growth mindset. – Dweck
  • Turn haters into fans. – Benjamin Franklin
  • Think rather than know. – Hannah Arendt
  • Let go of perfection. – Anna Lamott
  • Master your critical thinking. – Carl Sagan
  • Get lost to find yourself. – Rebecca Solnit
  • Be like water. – Bruce Lee
  • Choose courage over cynicism. – Maya Angelou
  • Cultivate true friendship. – Emerson
  • Live by your own standards. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Here’s to hoping 2018 treats us well. And kick some ass this year, guys!! 🙂

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