Reading Reflections (Jan 5, 2018)

Completed one more story from the Rumpole collection - 'Summer of Discontent'. Cool story. It is interesting how Mortimer picks up a socio-political issue and had it play around in the professional and family circles of Rumpole, then a case related to it. Here it is about unionization. Everyone is unionizing. There is talk of professionalizing law and manage everyone by productivity etc. and allowing solicitors to practice as a judges. Not being fully acquainted with the British legal system, I was not clear of the differences between barristers and solicitors. I looked it up. Apparently solicitors draw wills etc. while barristers fight cases. This difference apparently is a British thing and does not exist in India. Coming back, in the backdrop of this case, Rumpole has to fight a case where an union member has been accused of murdering an engine driver who did not join in on the strike. The story is a humorous account of how Rumpole bails him out by working the current social condition to his favor. Of course he has a lucky break that gives him crucial information. But still the story is not just the ending but the whole journey which was immensely enjoyable.

Still continuing with Parthiban Kanavu. There was a mention of history of flags. How the Pallava flag used to be ox but after defeating the Chalukya and bringing down their boar flag, Narasimha Varman changes it to lion. We get to know further about the history between Mahendra Varman and Partbhan Cholan. Both had apparently wooed the same lady, a scion of a small Chera King. But she had opted to marry her first suitor the Chola king. And the Pallavas had gracefully relinquished their claim. In small ways, he builds the antagonist as a positive character. Someone who was brave and defeated the large enemy. Someone who is gracious. Only crime of his being ignoring Parthiba Chola's letter and slighting him. Also it is mentioned Narasimha Varman ended up marrying daughter of a small Pandya king. So we have all 5 clans coming in the story - Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, Cheras, Chalukyas. So kind of gives a feel of the Indian history. So far story has been fast moving and we have learnt a lot in the first 40 pages.

Also continuing the Fifth Discipline. Here after mentioning how structure more often cause failures to occur then the author goes on to give examples of how every action can go wrong. One can offer freebies in a town to improve standard of living. But people from other towns will rush in to take the freebies making poverty level continue to remain the same. He says often solving problems will involve moving it from one area to another unless it is a systemic fix. Piece meal fixes always move problems from one area to another area. He says people often work hard trying to push through the wrong solution. So he advocates broader reflections of overall reflections of any move.

The fourth book being read Death on the Orient has moved a bit more with Poirot meeting a colleague from Belgium and they discussing an Americian gentleman whose body movement seems to indicate a viscous temperament.    

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