Thursday, January 29, 2015

No Boyfriends, Please

Nexus Desktop

"Ma, we need to talk!" Aditi told her mom softly.

"About?" Asha stopped folding the clothes, "don't tell me you have flunked in political science quizz."

"Na Ma. You were right. The bells do ring in your heart!"

Asha stared at the radiant face of her daughter, as if seeing her after a long time. There was an unusual sparkle in her eyes- like the morning dew adds a sparkle on the rose petals. Her skin was radiant- a touch of a red hue adding a natural blush to her skin tone.

"What do you mean by a bell ringing in your heart?" Asha asked cautiously. Her heart already knew the answer, but she was so scared - this was too soon. She was not prepared to give her daughter a talks about the bees and the birds.

"Mamma, it's a wonderful experience. That moment my whole world got cocooned in those four words."

Four words? Asha gave a nervous flick to the pillow cover. Some good-for-nothing must have told their innocent daughter I love you, Aditi and this idiot must have fallen for the age old trap. "I send you to school to study, not hear four words."

"Comon mumma, don't be a glitch!"

Glitch? What the heck! Asha turned furiously towards her daughter. "Is this the way to talk to your mother? No wonder you are back asnwering nowadays. Who is he?"

Aditi looked bewidered. "Who is who?" 

"The idiot who has shown you the world through a rose-colored specatacles."

"Mumma, what the heck! Yikes mom.. I am just 14.. "

Asha stoped, confusion resulting in a small frown playing between her brows. "Then what are you talking about?"

"My teacher. He said in front of the whole class that." Aditi curls her index finger in both the hands and glares at Asha and after a dramatic pause states, "quote - you have come first -unquote."

Asha turns a shade of beetroot red. "Uh oh. Great news." she mumbles. She turns and goes back to her folding of clothes.  Then seeing her daughter's fallen face goes over and gives her a hug. "Sorry sweetheart. But as a mother I worry too much. You are too young to have boyfriends and I don't want you to ruin your career. "

"Yes mom, I understand. Don't worry about it." Aditi hugged her mom and started going out of the room. Then she stopped on the  doorway, " Mumma when did you meet Dad?"

The beetroot color was back on Asha's face. 


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Sunday, January 25, 2015

March Along With Us...



It was 8:00 pm. While the sun rose in India announcing the augmentation of our Republic Day, we the expats in the USA waited a few hours behind – but with no less sense of pride and anticipation. All the channels had been revoked to telecast the Republic Day Parade.  I watched it while cooking, with a mixed reaction. In the past years, somehow the childlike pleasure we had while watching the parade had watered down. Our constant complains about the democratic nature of our country, the constant insults the women are subjugated to in India, all had taken away the simple pleasure we felt while watching this parade. Somehow, today I wanted to watch – along with my little ones.

After our Hon. President Pranab Mukherjee made his speech and our Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi along with the USA President, Barack Obama took their seat – I suddenly felt glued to the television. No, it had nothing to do with the eminent personalities who were being projected on the screen. It was the immense display of Women’s’ Power that held my attention. For some time all the rape victims, the dowry deaths and the disgusting behavior of men towards women in India took a back seat. For here lay my answer as to why it was happening. It was a tug of war. The rope being the power, the rising authority of women in India.

With every force, a woman was introduced. Army, Navy, Air Force, Cadets.. The whole parade glorified women power. I felt proud of each and every woman out there – they all represented us. I salute them. 

But, as the show came to a stop with our National Anthem – the doubts resurfaced. Will it only be a show? Or will now women power be re-enforced in our daily life?  I am not saying we need to pick our broomsticks and beat up the men – though if it comes to that, we don’t mind. :P But will men ever realize that there is nothing we cannot do that they can? So stop protecting us, stop demotivating us – now the time has come to walk together - for unless the men realize that- we will always bear the tag of  'developing nation'. 

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What is it that I really want to say?



This Post is Written for Wordy Wednesday #1 at B-A-R

This letter is for all those who stand watching on the streets -a girl being raped, humiliated or Eve-teased.

Dear Bystanders, 

I am so sorry that you're neglected by every media channels, the police and the social network. Oh you brave souls, no one understands how much courage it took for you to stand for hours just to watch a girl being humiliated by a few goons. Aila, you are no Amitabh Bacchan or Akhshay Kumar. How can you be expected to jump in to fight with a few guys? God has given you only one set of organs and no spare parts. Don't you dare lose them. Who the f*&%$ is she? She was drunk,, roaming in the night and it is only fair that a few guys have some fun at her cost. No issues. You are but a bystander. 

Now if some one doubts your humanity, blame the society. The police  harasses you if you report an incident.  So keep your mouth shut, till a daugher in your house is not humiliated in the same way. One thing I find very funny - the love the journalists have for a story. They would rather watch the action through their lenses rather than stop the girl. Aha.. I see the same looks again. Kya be? Am I Amitabh Bacchan? Oppss.. sorry!

I wonder what I will do under such circumstances. It's so easy to poke those sedate, zombie like bystanders. Will I be the part of a crowd or will I try to stop them? Are words easier said than enacted?  I don't know. For I have not faced such a situation. I can only say one thing.... I don't want to be a bystander ... I was to be the one to kick some asses. Maybe I'm a dreamer. I don't know . I cannot even imagine the scenario - where my blood will not boil when a young girl is molested in public. I cannot imagine watching with a grin, while a camera records everything, wondering if I will be in the news that evening. 

Check the video - see the shameless grins on their faces. Oh sorry.. that is I am on TV smile.. for some idiot must have recorded it rather than stopping the show. 

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blog Tour: Angelic Beats By Sarita Singh


Angelic Beats 
By 
Sarita Singh




The Blurb
Angelic Beats is the story of a boy in his late teens who falls in love with a married woman. Both defy their ages; the woman for her looks and innocence and the boy for his confidence and clarity in life along with integrity. The journey of the boy for his passion also becomes journey of love for both that finally takes them to more meaningful destinations. It unfolds the changing perspective of a young boy and a married woman in various situations of life treading the path of love and success together. How they carry on with love and friendship as a responsibility is quintessence to their journeys.Love can make one completely blind or it can candle all the darkness in life.Sometimes destiny becomes the greatest magician. It brings two opposite people, Sahil and Aakanksha, on one platform. Even their personal statuses do not match for one is married and the other single. One is confident about making choices in life, whereas the other is always scared of making a choice. One is always positive, and the other is negative in outlook. Unlike mathematics, where “+” and “−” always make “−”, sometimes in real life, “+” and “−“ do make a “+” together. On the road leading to his passion, he happened to meet the first love of his life too. Before going to the National Defence Academy for the journey to be a commissioned officer in Indian Air Force finally, he introduced “love” in her and his own life and pledged his heart to her. The arrows of cupid struck her also. Do their final choices engulf all other relationships like a storm and rage and bleed their self-esteem? Or are they able to carry their choices gracefully through their quest for happiness?

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The author, Sarita Singh, is a post-graduate in chemistry with a post-graduate diploma in mass communications. Born and brought up in Panipat, Haryana, she has been married to a doctor and is blessed with a son. The author is a state civil services (allied) officer, who has also taught in various institutions earlier. Reading and writing have always been a part of Sarita Singh who used to write her diary from a very young age. Like many others, she too loves gossiping and enjoying with friends and family as she loves spending time with them. The author believes in a few optimistic thoughts: “I am alright, I am happy where I am now, but I wish to be somewhere else. And I will try for it.”



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Monday, January 19, 2015

Blog Tour: Canvas Of Dreams by Jaya Siva Murty


Canvas Of Dreams
by 
Jaya Siva Murty


The Blurb
 Riya seems to have lost everything—the man she loves to another woman, her husband to death and her soul to fear.An unexpected meeting with her first love, Ryan, stirs up long repressed feelings but also allows her to move out of the long shadow of the past. Unburdened, she feels free to pursue her dream of opening an art gallery and the handsome and intriguing artist Rehaan. But memories of her marriage refuse to fade away and then suddenly, Ryan shows up in her life again. Now, Riya must find the courage to reconcile her past and present.For Riya, life is a canvas of dreams. Can she distinguish between reality and fantasy?
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Meet the Author





Jaya Siva Murty is a business writer and social media manager from Visakhapatnam, India. Fascinated with the written word since the age of ten, she would file away her poems and short stories in a secret diary, till some were finally published by ‘Times of India’ and ‘Savvy’. She has written for the Economic Times and now provides India-relevant stories for a Hong Kong based magazine. When she’s not designing content for websites, or writing technical blogs and articles for clients worldwide, she spins yarns with unusual twists and turns through her works of fiction.

Jaya holds a business management degree and has taken creativity lessons at Stanford University. ‘Canvas of Dreams’ is her debut foray into novella writing.


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Ri- Homeland Of Uncertainity by Paulami Duttagupta

My Views on Ri- Homeland Of Uncertainity by Paulami Duttagupta

Idealism at its peak. That is what my first reaction was when I first read Ri. First of all what does Ri mean. Google Uncle told me it means Homeland. Ri- a homeland. The word rings very pure when you say it aloud. One of those small words whose vibrations outweighs its meaning. 

But the Homeland it is referring to, is not resonating with any peace or love. There is a tug of war for power between the rebels and the authority. Now this is not something anymore 'uncommon' in India - or for the fact in any part of the world. Why and the morality of this is debatable. 

The author Paulami Duttagupta, brings out a complete society by etching four characters

Kyndiah: representing the law 
Janet - representing the press
Manbha- representing the outlaw 
Emika- the society

It is Emika's character that makes me think that this story is too idealistic. The cynic in me will not be able to forgive Manbha. Whatever his reasons might be, to become a killer has no justification. There should not be any excuse to terrorism.  But again that is my personal opinion and bears no consequence to the writer or her story. 

Coming to the story, my favourite character is Kyndiah. His has all the shades of life. Bitter yet positive about the changes coming his way. Open to all changes, even if he has the authority in his hand. Fighting for a cause because he believes in it. Just the kind of a hero our society needs. 

What the society doesn't need is Manbha. To fall in love with Sanjay Dutt in Khalnayak or Sharukh in Don/ Don2 is really ironic. Of course these things happen but as I said I don't think I can sympathize with a man who resorts to terrorism. Manbha is shown as a man who has lost his way and he can be brought back. Brought back ? After taking up arms, mass killing, arms smuggling... brought back? Can anyone ever return from the point of no return? Here is my one request to the author... Ri Part 2 if she ever plans to write- can she deal with this character and the aftermath? It would make a damn interesting subject!

To complete Manbha's character, one needs Emika. Somehow I felt she represented India. Too forgiving. Too ready to move on after a disaster occured. Too blase. Somehow the post effect of Mumbai attack became fresh in my mind. Yes life has to go on and life is for the living ... but as Emika accepted Manbha and forgave him - well, it takes a large heart - A very large one. 

Of all the characters, Emika's character didn't gel with me so well. Somehow I felt there was a co-relation between Emika and Manbha's character. Emika had to do this for Manbha to do that. This really froze up her character. She had to ignore the gun when her son walks in. Smile when she was threatened. And forgive Manbha for the role he played in her ruining her life. It was too easy for Manbha. To forgive a crime of this magnitude is not possible - at least for a mere mortal soul like me :)

Janet represented the Hounds of Journalism. How and why.. read the book :)

The Language - is clear and precise. A fairly easy read. The voice of the author is quite distinct and its very clear the love she has for Meghalaya. You can feel the reverance in her tone. 

Characterization - too many in too few a pages. This stunted the growth of the characters. Why was Janet rubbing Kyndiah the wrong way? Why was Emika not afraid when the nozzle of the gun pointed towards her? A terrorist group forgetting about Manbha after he .... (sorry cannot tell ) is hard to believe for they do have a code of (mis) conduct too. Don't they?

Rating 


Reasoning ..

1. When the terrorist group is introduced- too many characters and too much actions. 
2. I found Emika too tolerant.  --- I suppose I am the harsh one :(
3. Too many questions were left unanswered - specially regarding Manbha.... ( Do I see Ri part 2 coming out soon?) 

Would I recommend this book ? Yes, I would. But this is not a light read. I read it 3 times before writing this review. I needed to see the justification in many places on the actions of Emika. I don't know why I am bitching about Emika but I really feel that you forgive such an act - you have to be a saint. And I am no saint :)








Ri - Homeland of Uncertainity
by 
Paulami Duttagupta 





The Blurb
Ri- Homeland of Uncertainty is adapted from the National Award Winning Khasi film by the same name.


Trapped in the limbo between ideology and conscience, Manbha finds him himself part of a terror outfit. An unexpected opportunity, anger, squalor and disillusionment - followed by and armed combat and injury lead to the soul- searching that form the substance of this moving tale.
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Meet the Author









Born in Shillong, many moons ago, with schooling at Loreto Convent, and an English Honors from St. Edmunds College, Paulami Duttagupta started her career with All India Radio Shillong. She had written and also given her voice to a few shows there. Later she came down to Kolkata and got a post graduate degree in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. She had also taken up a fancy to learning Spanish, but today confesses that she has forgotten most of it.

She has written for ‘The Times of India’ in the ‘Guwahati-Shillong plus Edition’ and also ‘The Shillong Times’. Television had always attracted her and was connected to the Bangla TV industry for about 6 years. She was associated with ETV- Bangla, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath in this period.

Having left her day job in 2012, Paulami took up full time writing. Her first novel, “Pinjar” released in early 2012.

Her second novel “Unplanned Destinty” released in 2014. She is also the screenplay writer of the national award winning Khasi film – “Ri Homeland of Uncertainty”.



“Ri” has been adapted into a novel and was released on September 14,2014



She is currently working on her next project as movie script writer.



Apart from writing full length novels, she has written several short stories and articles. She has also contributed to the “Minds@work Anthology” and the “Family Matters International Anthology” in 2013.



Recently she has contributed to the “Learning and Creativity Anthology” , “Her Story Anthology”, and “Celebrating India – Love across Borders Anthology”.



When she is not writing or watching movies, Paulami is either reading biographies or classic pieces of literature. Cricket, food, cinema, books and music are an integral part of her life. 


You can stalk Paulami Duttagupta  @


                          


           
       



Check out The Book Club Tour Schedule 


A Giveaway 

The Prize 




a Rafflecopter giveaway





Some extra Info on the book 

This book is an adaptation from a movie. Why? The author will answer that in one of our blogs which we will post soon. Stay tuned !!!




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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Blog Tour: Delirium by Soumya Aji



Delirium
by 
Soumya Aji
A Harper Collins Publication

Sports, Love, Steroids... Will love win? 







Blurb 
I was addicted. 
To him. 

Anjana Narendra just can’t keep her head straight when it comes to the nation’s heartthrob,cricket vice-captain Avinash Katagi.The mere sight of him sets the heart of this thirty-one-year-old television journalist pounding, and fills her stomach with butterflies. He seems smitten too – taking her out for romantic walks in the botanical gardens, appearing by her side when she has a road accident,knocking on her door in the middle of the night. Even as Anjana is swept off her feet into a whirlwind romance,the reporter within her sniffs out the biggest scoop of the season. all too soon, she is neck-deep in trouble with her bosses and the cricket board, struggling to make sense of the sordid world of steroids and celebs. Will anjana give up the delicious young man she is hooked on to? and does she even want to? Sinful and alluring, Delirium is a heady cocktail of intrigue, temptation and betrayal.


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Meet the Author

I love day-dreaming and my close friends in this endless activity include Hamlet, Howard Roark, Absolem, Miss Marple, Elizabeth Bennett, Katniss Everdeen, Holly Short, Sirus Black, Gimli and Septimus Heap.. occasionally, Saphira also :) Otherwise, I am a serious hard-nosed print journalist who writes about politics, social issues and culture..
I've spent most of my life reading and writing.. I also love movies, dance, theatre, music, trekking, yoga.. I tried my hand at Russian and French and remember Rooski Izink Nimnoga and je sais un peu de Francaise .. (I bet I got that wrong).. but the latest language I picked up, Spanish, is very close to my heart, as I want to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's yellow butterflies in Espanol.. I speak, read and write three Indian languages -- Kannada, Hindi, Tamil .. and my masters is in English, so I obviously love language and communication..
I also love knitting and I hate cooking :) I'm trying very hard to be good at a new job -- parenting -- to my three-year-old, but boy, is that the toughest job!

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Blog Tour: The Mystery of The Missing Iguana by Ruchira Khanna


The Mystery of The Missing Iguana
by 
Ruchira Khanna 



The Blurb

Alex and his pet chimpanzee Angelo are the young detectives of their neighborhood. When a friend's pet Iguana goes missing, Alex and Angelo immediately take on the case, and the sneaky reptilian leads them on an exciting chase. How will alex and Angelo use their sleuthing skills to solve this mystery?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A biochemist by profession she made a mere choice of enrolling herself into a technical writing course. Now, little did she know that this small decision would take her on a path to creative writing and eventually publishing a novel.





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