“Go on,” he said.
Dec 24, 2012
“Go on,” he said.
Oct 16, 2012
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Oct 4, 2012
I got my answers when I picked up Krishna Key.
blogadda, and the excerpt said "Five thousand years ago, there came to earth a magical being called Krishna, who brought about innumerable miracles for the good of mankind. Humanity despaired of its fate if the Blue God were to die but was reassured that he would return in a fresh avatar when needed in the eventual Dark Age—theKaliyug.
Who wouldn't be intrigued by an excerpt like that?
I like countless others in India and the rest of the world, have found the Blue Skinned God fascinating. Even if you don't believe him to be a God, but a mere historical figure; you can't reduce the allure that word Krishna has. (that's why earlier I said I tend to call them rulers). Raised in a Hindu household, Krishna and his Leela has never been stranger to me. And accepting that this blue skinned guy killed a 6 hooded serpent before he was even 10, doesn't really seem strange. But its never been his godly chamatkar that have held my interest. This protagonist of Mahabharat intrigues me because of his diplomatic and political skills. If you want to learn people skills, this should be your GURU. :)
Coming back to Ashwin Sanghi's Krishna Key... In a single word...its INTRIGUING. It has a interesting premise on which its built. Mr. Sanghi had done a lot of research and he possesses all the markers of a great story teller. His narration is fast and clear. The plot evolves soundly and with a great speed, that intrigues but doesn't really makes you breathless. (Blame my Matthew Reilly trained mind for this). The twists and cliches emerge and resolve. The questions arise and find answers and then more questions are born. The images in the book are apt and provide the much needed visual appeal that offers more understanding. All in all, Krishna Key is a ride that I will suggest to one and all.
Though, I will share the wonderful book with friends and families, there are things that if avoided would have made it even MORE exciting and gripping... For one, there are too many theories floating and at some point mid-way in the book...you find it hard to handle all the bombardment of facts, figures and scientific research. Second, I am a proud Hindu, though not religious I have a healthy respect for all things scriptures say, as well as the history of the continent that I call home. But seriously, sometimes in the book, you find all the assumptions and claims about how great civilization we HAD, a little too much. I mean, alright, we are probably the oldest and possibly wisest of them all, but claiming no one was / is smarter and older than us, or even all who were older and smarter were born out of us, is a little too much from my point of view. (I haven't had time to Google for accuracy of all claims in the book, and frankly there are so many that I am not even feeling like searching). Third and the most important...I wish the shlok were printed in Devanagari instead of Roman script. It would have eased the trouble of trying to make sense of the words written in Roman. And Lastly, I seriously think the last few pages with Saini's romance was a tad too much. Could have done without it.
But all in all, the book has found a place on my bookshelf, and will be on the list of books I will recommend to others for reading. I was reluctant to buy Ashwin Sanghi's Chankya's Chant for its "bestseller" status...but I believe I will give that a chance too...who knows, I might find my next Google project there. :)
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Sep 17, 2012
I was also waiting for receiving a book from Blogadda during the time. As luck would have it, Kranthi Askani's Fractured Legend and Smita's Untruly Yours both arrived on the same day, and I faced the dilemma of choosing between both. I'm really not sure why I picked up Fractured Legend first, but I'm really glad that I did it. Coz if I was subjected to the trauma of reading the mind-numbing Fractured Legend after reading Smita's novel...I surely would have done some bodily damage to myself, and anyone who dared to enter the war zone. You can read my review for Fractured Legend, here.
Frankly speaking, after Parinda Joshi's disastrous Live from London; I was a bit skeptical about reading another 'so called' Chic-Lit from another NRI author, AGAIN revolving around someone settled abroad returning to India and finding life here in contrast with their rosy memories. And it was with Live from London at the back of my mind, I picked up Untruly Yours to read. This was a HUGE mistake... I shouldn't have assumed anything. And to correct those assumptions, Let me start with commending the creative team who has put together an excellent cover design for the novel. It's refreshing to see the pink lettering on a kulfi colored background; while the lady in lavender dress with Coffee cup in her hand, offers the visual appeal that would make sure the novel is picked up by even a casual browser in a bookstore. For that matter, when I picked up the novel for the first time, for a brief moment, I thought it was a "Little Black Dress" publication. (Those who know LBD will know why its the hallmark of a good chic-lit...for those who do not know... well, "it's a girl thing")
Coming back to Untruly Yours...in one word, the novel is "SASSY". It reminded me of "Almost Single" by Advaita Kala. It is funny...at times the novel made me giggle hysterically in public transport. It has a great mix of a lot of elements that makes it a fun chic-lit and a very engaging read. Its light, springy and interesting enough that you start to identify with the protagonist. You laugh at her neurotic obsession with cleanliness and her passionate dislike for her mother-in-law. You laugh at her furtive tries to teach discipline to her son and the universal struggle to enlist her husband's help in household chores. You feel her yearning for that misplaced passion in her decades old marriage and you identify with her wishes to help out her friend in need and even understand (if not agree) with her emotionally unbalanced moral swaying. Even when you identify with her moods and emotional turbulence; you secretly wish that she will not really take "that" step. And while you are in middle of all that wishing, you realise that you have crossed the line between fiction and fact. That even before you realise; you've already started thinking of her as your friend. Someone whom you wish to talk to; share a laugh with...Someone to whom you would like to advice and possibly see happy in the end.
And THAT, I believe is the sign of a good author. I hope to see a lot more fun, bouncy and happy tales from Smita. I would definitely recommend Untruly Yours to anyone who is in mood for some belly shaking laughs and silent smiles. (Rather, I've already handed over my copy to a colleague of mine for reading). So, to answer Smita's question (the one that she had asked in one of her mails)... YES, you should continue writing. People will DEFINITELY take you serious as an author... and I will always be ready on this side of the sea to read and review... :) Great start Smita...Keep it up.
Sep 12, 2012
Why do you read books? For me, I read them coz I believe they are the perfect stress busters. They take you from the mundane everyday life and show you worlds and worlds of wonder. Places, people, situations and countries that you personally could not meet, books take you to them. Your world expands to encompass everything and everyone when you read.
What do you read? A lot of people read fiction, some prefer autobiographies, some prefer financial while others rely on self-help books. What do I read? I read EVERYTHING...though my fav genre will always be fantasy, I don't confine myself to it. So, when I saw blogadda offering a fantasy fiction sort of novel, I jumped at the opportunity. I read through the introduction for the novel and loved what I read there. It was intriguing. I mean won't you be intrigued if you read "His fictional style integrates magical realism with Gothic elements."? What's not to like in that combination?
Well, let me tell you what's not to like...false promise.
The back cover creates a picture in your mind about this new world of magic and mysticism that would haunt you with its preciousness and sharpness. Into the world where sadness,and mystic is at war for peace and hope...where you will be offered a gripping tale that would take your breath away, and heart pounding... Sadly, it is not so. The only thing that novel delivers is overload of arcane words and lengthy, unending confusion that some might mistake as a story.
It is not my intention to stir trouble with those who might have liked the novel...neither am I looking to start a war like the one here. I'm simply sharing my views. And I did not like this novel.
Why? You ask...well, here you go.
1. The back cover: It creates a false expectation in your head. It leads you to believe that you are getting into something that the novel is clearly NOT. Now, whether this was done intentionally by the publisher and Author (I believe he does get a say in whats printed on back cover)... I will never know.
2. Vocab: I couldn't really get past the overload of vocabulary in the book. For some time, I actually felt like I'm reading those Word Power books people read for appearing for exams like GRE and TOEFL. The words that author uses are too cumbersome, for no apparent reason. It reminded me of the episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. where Joey writes a recommendation letter for Monica and Chandler to help them with adoption. And to sound smart, he uses a thesaurus for EVERY word in the letter. Of course while on F.R.I.E.N.D.S. it was funny... while reading the novel, it simply put me to sleep. I should possibly thank the Author for the amount of sleep I manged catch though.
3. Story: Was there one? I mean, nothing happens in the book...and even if it had happened, I didn't really understood. Possibly coz my head started swimming if I continued reading more than 5 pages in one sitting.
4. Language: Descriptive is such a tiny word to express the writing style of author. I have to give it to him that he is very observant and was very engrossed in his own novel that he thought the reader should know absolutely every minute detail of the scene he was writing. At times, I moved from top of the page to the bottom without anything happening, but knowing all the surrounding the characters.
5. Characters: There are a lot of them in the novel, But none of them clear, none defined properly... in short the characterization is non-existent. Which is a sore, coz why would you wanna read 200 pages if you don't know, don't identify with those who you are reading about?
I could go on and on about what I did not like and how utterly bored I was while reading this novel. But I think that would simply be too much time to spend on a novel that I did not like. So, I'm gonna cut this review short....for ratings... I don't wanna write down a number, coz the number might feel bad about being rated. ... Moral of the story: Don't read unless you want an alternative to Word Power books while studying for your GRE and TOEFL.
Sep 10, 2012
- Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
- Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
- One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
- And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls
Jun 12, 2012
I sit amidst all the happy chaos, looking at and worried about the strays around the playground. They look utterly perplexed, scared and extremely stressed. We all are sitting in the common playground, which is temporarily converted into a concert hall with a stage and some chairs for seating, along with speakers to facilitate broadcasting of music and anchoring. The atmosphere is one of joy and frivolity...festive. But while all of us are gearing up to welcome the new year with colors, lights and dance...no one seems to have taken into consideration the gang of adoptive stray dogs of the housing complex. There are some 6-7 strays that have taken up residence in the communal areas and are fed by the collective dog lovers of the colony. There are two dogs which are adopted by the security guards of the society. Though of Indian origin, these are better in terms of lodging and food...since they share both with the security guards. One amongst these all, is a new mother with a litter of 4 cute fur-balls.
While the members of housing society are rejoicing at clock ticking 12 and bringing in a new year...these mute spectators are confused, and scared of happenings. They don't understand why their usual living space is all of a sudden ablaze with flood lights, why are all people gathered there and are making so much noise...and worst of all, why are there fireworks going on?
May 26, 2012
|When you see a back-cover like this, won't you be tempted to pick up the book?|
May 15, 2012
Apr 24, 2012
There is a great affinity between trees and men. We grow at much the same pace, if we are not hurt or starved or cut down. In our youth we are respledent creatures, and in our declining years we stoop a little, we remember, we stretch our brittle limbs inthe sun, and then, with a sigh, we shed our last leaves...
- taken from The Kitemaker
(Friends in Small places by Ruskin Bond)
Apr 22, 2012
This Delhi born and raised Pathan, who holds degree in Economics; has shown to world that someone with absolutely no links to film industry CAN make it big. His life has been in spotlight ever since he started. First for his said resemblance to Dilip Kumar; (this was while he was doing Fauji on television)... then his choice of controversial negative roles in Darr and Baazigar... People have always been on rampage about him and his choices.... be it his unorthodox explicit love scenes in Maya Memsaab; or the fact that he danced at weddings; or even the fact that he consistently is nominated and has bagged more Filmfare awards than any of his comrades and/or seniors. Even his marriage to a Hindu girl was once shadowed by doubt and criticism. He simply goes ahead and proves that "tongues wag when you do good work".
Its more than 2 decades now that he's been acting...and he shows no signs of slowing down. People might criticise him for his botox-ed face and weaved hairs... the man "still" has got enough charisma that his films hardly ever FLOPS. But its not his films or commercial success that brings him to my inspirational list... its the "other" side of the star that dazzles me.
He's not only a star, he's a successful producer, philanthropist, entrepreneur and most of all visionary. His choices in roles, be it in the films or outside...has always showed that the fellow is looking into future. Let it be his choice of negative roles or co-ownering the IPL cricket team or even in producing India's first truly Sci-Fi movie Ra.One...(commercial success of the movie is a different topic altogether, here I refer to only vision and effort behind the movie). And on top of that... he's a family man. If you ever had a chance to catch the show "Living with Superstar" on TLC; you'll see how involved in his family and children this King of Bollywood is. His son used to attend the same school as my cousin sis, a couple of years back... I still remember the teachers of his son going all sweaty and nervous on the PTA meetings, coz he used to attend each and every one of them. I mean, who wouldn't be nervous if SRK walks upto you and asks "Is there anything I can do to help you?"
There are tons of things I can go on listing about him, and I'm sure I will find a lot of people who will either object or criticise my admiration of the man... so, to conclude, I'll simply ask you this... Will YOU not respect and find inspiration in a man who describes his ambition in following words???
Apr 21, 2012
She was a broke single parent, trying to get ends meet. Single, lonely, with a child to support...holding on to a dream. A dream of being a "published writer"...that was when she gave birth to one of the legends of the 20th century. She proved the complaining captains of "Children -Don't-Read-Anymore" league wrong. She not only is a live example of "rags to riches" but an ultimate inspiration to all those who have a dream. The female who single handed changed the perception of the world "magic" and brought meaning to utterly non-sensical words like Quidditch and Aloha Mora...is a live testament of following dreams into reality.
And her trials and pains were rewarded in the most magnificent of ways. The lady saw herself, progressing from living on social security to multi-millionaire status within five years.
What I find truly inspirational about her is the simplicity with which she agrees that she still finds the success staggering. And humanity with which she says that Harry delivered her from a life of misery. To quote her...
Apr 12, 2012
"Do you know why I became a pilot?"
"No... No, why?"
"For the fun of it... Why else would anyone do anything,really..."
The Amelia Earhart to Larry Daely in the movie, The Night At The Museum-II
(pardon my spellings, am far too sleepy for a spellcheck)
Mar 26, 2012
I bet everyone has a unique answer for these questions. There are people who get inspiration from world leaders, some gain it from friends or family or co-workers...some will even get inspired by true life heroes...or even on screen heroes. Some find the strength in movies or some might find it in songs. For me... inspiration comes from all over the place. And I've been meaning to write about my inspirations for a while now... FINALLY, here I go.
She is a woman, born in a modest, lower middle class family, with 6 other sisters to share a small government quarters. Struggle was a second nature and "studying" was the only way to go. And she did EXACTLY that. She studied her way out of her social background, helped complete education and marriages of ALL her six sisters while raising a happy and healthy family. A family that is not only held together with love and respect but also an immense belief in her way of life. Her six sisters and two daughters along with rest of the kids in her "family" even today follow her wishes and advice without a doubt. At 54 years of age, she still is an image of ever youthful energy and immense inspiration to all those who come in her contact. She is the one, who made me who I am today. and she will always be the driving force in my life. She is none other than....... my MOTHER.
Feb 24, 2012
Feb 22, 2012
I'm so still that even snakes can climb on my body and coil around my neck and we both invite everyone around to sit still, not run around restless all the time.
The children suddenly realised that all the gods n goddesses whose pictures they had seen were constantly playing dumb charades with their hands and feet, communicating different ideas. They have been playing dumb charades in temples for a very long time, expecting devotees to guess what they were saying. But while the gods continued to play, the devotees had stopped playi g and so the gods were left alone with their mudras that no one bothered to understand.
Excerpt from Devdutt Pattnaik's Fun in Devlok series for children. Sometimes BIG ideas come in small, illustrated, big font-ed packages... :)
Feb 18, 2012
Fear of death leads to two kinds of fears as it transforms all living creatures either into predator or prey. The fear of scarcity haunts the predator as it hunts for food; the fear of predation haunts the prey as it avoids being hunted.
Nature has no favorites. Both the lion and the deer have to run in order to survive.
The lion runs to catch its prey and the deer runs to escape its predator. The deer may be a prey to the lion, but it is predator to the grass. Thus no one in nature is a mere victim.
Without realizing it every victim is a victimiser, and there is no escape from this cycle of life.
Feb 4, 2012
'There'll be a next time,' he says, 'because a man doesn't stop going down such a lovely path once he's begun it. And a woman is a glorious thing to hold and to have. The right woman, when you find her, is more than sunlight. You watch for her, Murphy, and whike you're sniffing those sweet flowers along the way, treat them with care and affection, and don't bruise their petals. If you love with kindness, even when you can't love with permanence, you'll deserve the one who's waiting along the path for you.'
Jan 9, 2012
So, what's the reason for this walk through personal history?.... Well, I got back from watching the live event "Jaanta Raja" this weekend.
For those who have no idea what it is, here's a little intro...
Shivaji Bhosle also known as Chattrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosle (1627-1680) was the founder of the Maratha Empire in Western India in 1674. The play is a tribute to his life and times.
Ofcourse, none of the descripations on web, comes close to the exact nature and feel of the event. It does not fall into a typical "theatre" event, it ain't drama. Its performed on a stage...yes. But the stage is open air, and part of the ground around the stage is as much a part of the narrative as the stage itself. Its a larger than life dramatisation of events from the life of one of Maharashtra's most loved and respected ruler, Shivaji Maharaj.