Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hoover Building?

Image Courtesy: Google
I didn’t know what this was. I never cared.

This argument has been around for some time. They say if I should get across the struggle to possess a permanent job, I would be required to qualify the job tests, and in order to get through the job tests, one requires General Knowledge.

General Knowledge?

Yea, you know what this is, don’t you? A potion that is part buried in the history and part in the present—science, math, geography and whatever you can think or imagine about. Well, it also depends on who prepares the question papers. For some even the date of birth of some dumb old politician is General Knowledge. Can’t blame them. So is the charm of this phrase—General Knowledge! Sometimes, this phrase even makes me feel that I am good for nothing.

The crux of the argument was related to my loves—things that I love the most doing. Reading is a skill I possessed in supreme ratios, as a young boy. As I grew up this skill grew with me, too. But as every gift goes, there is a ‘field of inclination’. I was inclined more towards reading fiction. Not that I despised non-fiction or poetry for that matter. Fiction had its hook and we had our own walks to take.

To put it simple, I was denied the pleasure a couple of times, at least to my memory, directly, of reading fiction due to the restrictions on living a life without GK. The question stands, why is fiction considered barren of any GK?

Even in my book Wall of Colours, I think, the best part is what you learn about a variety of subjects, and not just a bunch of stories. In a world, where knowing is controlled and limited by a criteria set by the ‘rulers’, one cannot read a book just for one purpose. There should be multiple purposes for a book; otherwise, the majority of population is reluctant to buy it. I have seen scenes the like in book shops I visit. There parents or even kids, stand in front of the book shelves, spending a considerably long time in weighing the ‘usefulness’ in buying a book. Eventually, it is rare that such people end up in buying fiction. They purchase Yearbooks and go back home gloomily.

What I have to tell you here is something that shakes this assumption of the mainstream middle class homemakers that fiction offers no ‘facts’ or GK, as they sum up with their parochial and limited sense of understanding. Have you heard of Hoover building? I did not know anything about it until I read The Racketeer, the latest best seller by John Grisham. Yes, the very same book I offered a review of. And by the way, the review will be published soon, as currently I am still in the process of reading it.

“…Victor Westlake was settled back into his routine and office on the fourth floor of the Hoover building in Washington.” (205)

I thought a moment for Hoover building, but remembered nothing of the sort. Like everyone else struck with something uncommon or unknown, I went to Google.

Built in the 1960s, the J. Edgar Hoover Building is the office of the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The building is situated in the US, at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C.

Here is a screen shot.
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Now tell me what you learn from it.

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