Thursday, January 29, 2015

No Boyfriends, Please

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"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'. 

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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Monday, January 19, 2015

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.
Buy @


Watch It 







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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Monday, January 12, 2015

The Crossover Year by Bhargavi Balachandran

Name of the Book :  The Crossover Year
Author :Bhargavi Balachandran
Pages:  250 Pages
Publisher: Alchemy Publishers
Buy @
Amazon

The Story....
As you can see I have not used my usual format of introducing the He and the She section in this review. For there are no other protags in this story other than  Sri Anu Prabha. Written in first person, Anu takes us through the journey of her life - from being a working woman to a housewife. I could relate to Anu to a large extend. How many of us can say that as a woman being a housewife or a working woman is completely satisfactory?

When you are a working woman, not only do you have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of the men in the office but also have the nagging guilt conscious of not being a perfect housewife. [ I feel this should be my personal space for ranting. But then it will be a novel by itself .. grrrumph!!!]

Anu comes across very real. In fact, the author has not at done anything to show her as a perfect woman. She is a woman with faults, with desires, ambitions, ability to make errors and defend herself when caught - while making those errors. 

Anu is introduced to the readers as a working woman - struggling to please an idiotic boss. When she looses her job, not only is she faced with questions like why she does not have a child,but she also has to take stalk of what actually she wants from her life. There is always a difference between a housewife and a working woman. In every gathering a working woman will not leave a chance to rub the housewife with her job while a housewife will retaliate by show offing her culinary skills or her kids, especially if the working woman does not have kids. Bhargavi has brought out this very beautifully. 

In the course of discovering herself, Anu meets many characters. Each character changes her life a bit and pushes her towards her destiny. One character that left a lasting impression on me was Ajay. Though they were not romantically involved, his appearance in her life made Anu grow as a person. For better or worse - that is for you to find out. 

Rating


Reasoning

I really liked the story. It is something every working woman goes through. My peeves with this story are firstly the voice of the narrator. It is too colloquial. While it might work for many. Since Anu is from Chennai, India and I don't expect her to have a British or American accent but when I read an English book I would prefer the voice in my head to have an English intonation. 

Another thing I felt a bit confused about is at times Anu really seemed muddled up - regarding what exactly she wants in life. I understand she was not getting a job and being out of the work force suddenly one might take up odd jobs. But on the other hand she seemed very gathered in her thoughts but her nature comes across a bit aggressive while dealing with her office environment - specially when she goes for interviews.

Her married life has a lot of ambiguity - did the author remove Mukund, her hubby, from the scene just to progress with the story and then conveniently drop him back to tie up the loose ends?

What I felt was the inner conflicts of Anu were very sublime as compared to the outer conflicts she faced. She did not have a personal problem. Nothing should have stunted her growth career wise. If there was a MIl problem or Hubby Problem or any personal problem which she had to face as  a housewife maybe then her character would have come out much stronger. Even when her name came out in the tabloid where she talks about.

Would I Recommend ?
It is definitely a one time read. Specially for women who are in this situation where one has to juggle between a career and family. So there you are.. more than half the population of the world please pick this book up :)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

F.R.I.E.N.D. R.E.Q.U.E.S.T

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Friendship is such a give and take relationship. As the saying goes - you cannot choose your family but you DEFINITELY can choose your friends. Facebook has changed the concept of friendship. Now we have online and offline friends. It’s funny actually - the way you start with, 'Thanks for accepting my friend request" to pouring your heart out in the wee hours of the night.  I have often wondered why? Do we trust strangers more  than we trust our own friends in real life ? Or has the thin line
between reality and probability been erased?

When I say friendship, I don't mean flirting, affair or sex talks - I just mean friendship - in the pure form that it exists. A friendship between two women from different strata of the society - who have never met but are bound now due to the same interests they share. I've thought about this many a times. Frankly speaking, when I tell my other half about it - he doesn't understand. He is not a Facebook fan.  Then one day he asked me  whether I am running away from reality or hiding behind a virtual world. It was supposed to be a joke but it got me thinking. Am  I ?

Why do I have such close friends in the Facebook? I cannot share a Starbuck moment with them nor can I cook a potluck during the weekends. We share only few things... blogs, comments, visitations, shares and Likes. Has our virtual world taken over our reality?


No. But this is one world we cannot share with the loves of our life. My friends don't understand why my mood is off, if a writer's block has taken permanent residence - I cannot make my friends understand what I am going through, but when I tell it to my virtual writer friends, the difference in their reaction is heart-touching. Moral boosting, pep talks and the right push – they all join to see that you gather up the right words. 

Maybe I am going away from reality - but here I do have friends who think like me, share the same views and visions and aspirations. As we play with words everyday two words are becoming a small world by itself - Friend Request. 


A SALUTE TO ALL MY VIRTUAL FRIENDS WHO HAVE SEEN ME THROUGH THICK AND THIN... 

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When She Smiled by Ritoban Chakrabarty

Name of the book: When She Smiled 
Pages : 234 
Buy at: Amazon.com 
Check the Blurb @ Goodreads

This book reminded me so much of the cute love story between Aamir Khan and Ayesha Jhullka in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. If I had to imagine anyone playing the role of Roy, I would visualize Amir Khan during his Wohi Sikander days. I always seem to make irrelevant connections between a book and a movie. Well, its my imagination and don't you dare change the channel :P

The story starts unfolding with the tale of Mrityunjay as he settles in his new school. His friendships, his crush on Akansha all spin a sweet tale of youth. Mrityunjay or Roy, as he is known amongst his friends, makes a reader visualize all the nuances one faces in the high school. Along with the crushes comes the heartbreaks, the ridicules, study pressures and peer pressures. 

I like the easy flow of the story. The author makes the reader see the world from the eyes of Roy. I was angry when his father beats him up and furious at the Sir who dares to slap him in front of the class. I was sometimes angry at Akansha and sometimes smiled at their confused age. When you begin reading this book, don't go looking for a teenage romance.Its not. Its about a young lad who comes to understand one very important aspect of life. Life should be wasted on what others feel for you, Something we all must have gone through in those awkward, innocent years. 

But one thing I can definitely say - if you have gone to a DAV school in India, these incidents will not be a storyteller's pov but what you might have gone through.

One line that shows the positivity of the Author and that really connected me with the novel :


That is one attitude every youth should have today. Love is an emotion but obsessive love kills your future. The youth should have no time for obsessive love. Moving on from an experience is what makes you grow and being obsessed about a situation is want makes you stagnant. The author has brought this in his story very well. 

Rating 


What I did not Like :

I understand the book is written keeping the youth in mind, but travelling with the author only with his POV can slow down the pace of the novel at some spots. Specially the relationship between Akansha and Roy had too many on and off switches. At moments I want to shout at him- Atta boy! move on. But then this cannot go against the book for it is about puppy love. And we all know what that is :) 

A mention to all the Youth who are dejected in Love...
Read this book. This book is about positivity and getting over it. Life is to short to mope. 

Yeh Nahi Toh Woh Sahi
Woh Nahin to Koi Aur Sahi
 ... will keep you all happy. Specially when you are in high school. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Poisonous Heart

Picture Prompt by The Book Club 


The anger consumed her. It started like a small flame, but soon it has grown inside her, consuming her. This was not the promised world, her mother had made her dream about. She was the Queen, yet loneliness was her constant companion. With a new spurt of anger, Creirwy threw the embroidered cover over the gilded mirror set up at the corner of her room. Swishing her long black robe, she went to look out of the window. 

The garden of blooms sprawled in front of her. However, the beauty in front of her did not please her. Her attention totally focused on the little girl playing happily amongst the oleander bushes. Her nemesis. 

"My Queen, the King would like your audience," the voice of her maid cut through her reverie. 

"Send him in," she snapped. 

The King strode in, his presence dwarfing the huge chamber. "When the hell will you assume your duties as the queen of the Kingdom, Queen Crierwy?" 

"The day I feel like I'm a Queen, not a shadow of your dead wife," she bit back, tears of humiliation gathering in her huge eyes. 

The King remained unperturbed. "I loved her," he said quietly, "it is difficult for me to forget her. You know under what circumstances we got married. If only your mother....."

"Don't you dare take her name in front of me ..." she thundered, forgetting her positon in her anger. "She sold me to you for the promises you made to her."

"I didn't make any promises," The King caught her shoulders and forced her to look towards him. His face earnest, reflecting her own grief. "I didn't want to marry anyone after Snow's mother died. I'm still trying to understand her death. "

Crierwry gave a mirthless laugh, "Have you not yet understood it, my Lord? 

The King shook his head, looking bewildered. Crierwry smiled and walked towards her gilded mirror. She pushed aside the covers and whispered, 
"Mirror Mirror on the wall,
Let the King find his answers once for all. "

The she plunged her hand right inside the mirror. 

The King took a few steps back in horror. "You're an enchantress?"

Criewry didn't say anything but brought out an apple from the mirror. "This is the apple your wife ate before she died of illness. You all thought it was the plague." She turned the apple towards the King. He saw a bite mark - similar to the apple that had been lying beside his dear late wife when she hand fallen to her fatal slumber. "This was poisoned apple my mother, The Enchantress Ceridwen, had given to her best friend - your wife." 

The King slumped to the nearest settee. "Why?"


The Queen looked at him contemptuously, "Don't you remember? Seducing her and leaving her? Do you think she has ever forgiven you for that? You chose her best friend as your Queen, after making her dream about a future with you."

The King was breathing hard by now. "But you are her daughter? How could she do that to you?

"She has filled me with the same anger that she is consumed with. My love was also killed by her magic, so that I wouldn't dare to marry anyone but you. My heart is no more beating, my Lord. It is just a hard mass."  She brought the apple very near the King's face.  "Just like this Apple.. Be warned, this apple will slowly be a part of your history - never to be forgotten."

The King looked at her beauty, now contorted with anger and vengeance and walked out of the door, a sense of doom resting heavily on his stooped shoulders. The heavy door closed behind him but the piercing laughter of the woman from behind door, resonated in his soul.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Bygone Year

I so would hate to turn out like Miss Havisham :P
Image: Google Image
I am such a bloody copycat. I had no wish to write about my gratitude list for the year 2014.  But seeing such posts in every other blogger's site, I suddenly felt the urge  to do so. I belong to that category of people who believe -that whatever good has happened to me, it's my birthright. But on the other hand, even if I myself say so, I believe whatever bad has happened comes under the category of a lesson learned. 

Year 2012-2013, I lost some family members... some of them, I could not imagine my life without. So, 2014 started without any expectations. Morbid in fact. But I have kids. And with the sweeties running around the house one cannot stay depressed for long, now can they? So I harnassed my emotions and plunnged into.. err.. nothing life altering- but Facebook :D. Come on, don't snicker. One has to have postivity coming from some direction and I am just glad I met some wonderful  virtual people out there. 

I met some very philosophical ladies out there. Some had lost their loved ones too. So when I started with my woes, the only line they said was, "HUGS <3" [3 being the heart formation] and then they told me to buckle up my seatbelt and take life in my own hands. Bloody hell.. no one sympathised more than twice. And that is when I realised I was becoming a sob storyteller. I basked under sympathy. Somehow, it made me sit up and kick my *&%  for I had no wish to turn into Miss Havisham.  :P

So the year 2015 has started with new determination, resolution and above all a cheery disposition. There are times memories come flooding back. I am fine with it.. for they are sweet memories. They are of loved ones, so why give them the guilt feeling of ousting themselves out of my life.. ? *looking over my shoulder :P

So folks.. stay happy..Life is but one !
This post was written as part of the Ultimate blog challenge and the Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fairy Tales

Cinderella
Google Image 
Have you ever thought deeply about our fairy tales? The ones we insisted upon hearing / reading before going to bed. The cute Snow White or the permanent damsel in distress Cinderella- all had one thing in common. Guess what ? The bloody wicked stepmom. Aila!! So if the wicked stepmoms were not there, we wouldn't have had fairy tales. Thinking about it is only making me dizzy. The gospel for kids wouldn't have existed.
So here is my tribute to all the fairy tales I have heard. Ok well, some. The list is too long.

Dear Cinder,

Pray tell me how did you run with shoes only in one leg? And what the heck was wrong with the eyesight of your stepmom - she did not recognize you in the ball, just becuse you had make up on? Wish I had the number of your stylist. It would have saved me some embarrassing moments. :D

Dear Snow White,

Snow White
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A lady with a Brave Heart. Walking into the jungle and all ready to mingle? Here I am walking with mosquito repellent in my backyard. :( I have one question for you - where did you learn to cook? On the very first day you won the  heart of 7 highly irritated oldies- not bad, especially since you had not worked a day in your life.

Dear Beauty,
Bella, The Beauty
Google Image

Hats off to your sacrificing nature! What a wretched father
you had. He needs to be locked up in the Tihar Jail for daring to sell you off to a beast. Tell me something- suppose he never turned back? Actually, your story is the only one that has a bit of morality- beauty is not skin deep.

Rumpunzel
Google Image 
Dear Rumpunzel,

Wah!! What a hair!! Just give me the me of the name of th oil you used and I will not be sarcastic towards you! A man of at least 80kg uses your hair to climb a tower - my salutations! By the way, your parents sold you off for veggies.. muli ke bhav! ( at the cost of raddishes)

Dear Disney Princesses,

Your sole purpose has been to fall in love and get married. All your actions were performed to get the man. Not one of you came out as strong, independent woman. You taught us how to be damsel in distress, waiting for my knight or Prince to come to my rescue.

But you forgot to tell us how to handle manufacturing defects. How to defend myself when my Prince is an abuser? Or when my Prince is the one I need to be rescued from? Why did you not teach me to fight every villain in my own terms?

So you see, fairy tales are exactly that. A myth and it is now time for every mother to wake up and teach her child exactly that. Fight back the hunter!

STOP CHILD ABUSE - TEACH YOUR KIDS TO FIGHT BACK.

The Disney Gang
Google Image 
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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Matches Made In Heaven By Sundari Venkatraman

Name of the Book : Matches Made In Heaven
Name of the Author : Sundari Venkatraman 
Buy @:
Amazon.com | Amazon.in | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.au

How do you review short stories? This question has been debated in many forums. Every story has an essence, a feel. Some of the stories live up to it and some don't. Being a fan of Leo Tolstoy, I always feel that the stories compiled together should follow a thread. Be it in the form of a character, theme or situation. Thankfully, in this book I found a thread. Romance. My favourite kind. At the age of 40+  I'm a bloody sucker of Romance. What can I do? God is Love. :D

Sundari Venkatraman has brought together 13 stories under the title of Matches Made In Heaven. 13 ? Ummm.. well only Sundari can get away with that number. :D .. and she did. 

The Anthology starts with a smashing foreward from Milan Vohra, our very own first Mills & Boon writer in India, Author of The Love Asana and Tick Tock, We're 30.

Stories that worked for me ....

 Beauty Is But Skin Deep: This one was a beauty. My Fair Lady is a bit overated in India. To have a dark skin is still looked down upon in the marriage market and Sundari has very sensitively transfrormed Simran. She did not have an expensive pigmentation injections but she underwent a confidence lesson under the gentle hands of Nitin. 

I just loved An Arranged Match. It was just too cute. Ritu came out as a fiesty beauty while Yash was a cool guy. Both complimented each other. Though the ending was predicatable .. well some stories however predictable they are, as a romance reader you always want to read it. This is one of those stories. 

Rehaan and Jhanavi took my heart in Chahti Hoon Main Tujhe. It was a hot-hot romance and one of the best in this series. It has a complete feel. A story, a conflict and a beautiful ending. Jhanavi as an actress comes out superbly. The history and the papparrazzi create the right amount of tension. 

MadeInHeaven.com : Damn cute. Sundari is good in raising social issues without sounding preachy. In here too she has subtly brought out the fact about the worries parents go through if they have an unmarried daughter sitting in the house. I just loved the listing Menka created for her needs in a groom :D

Rahat Mili: is a story of reincarnation. The journey of unfulfilled desire of  souls. The story goes back and forth and then falls into place, making this into a page turner. 

The Reluctant Bride: Loved it. Till a woman is not ready-- she is not ready. If a man understands that, he is really a man. Again a beautifully portrayed story of a woman understanding her heart and a man waiting till she does not. 

Shewta Ka Swayamvar: Too good. And having such reality shows in India, one can very well visualize this kind of a story. Even though I don't approve of these shows for the bride never marries the grrom or even if they do they end up in a divorce court within a year.. but this story has arealistic version - of a participant who will find her mate if she follows her heart. Of all the heroes created by Sundari in this series, I am partial Aditya. 

Love Match for Velan: This is a mythology. A rare piece which I'm sure many mytho lovers don't know about. The love story of Lord Kartikeye. Beautifully penned. 

Other Stories....

Soulmates: I really don't know how to rate this. It has all the right ingredients but I personally feel it was too much information in a short story. But on the whole this story leaves you with a smile over the love stories touching different generations. Maybe .. if it was just the story of Soumya I would have loved it. But taking it to the next gen after almost panting my way to know what was in store for Soumya was like asking a runner to run one more mile after reaching the finishing line. 

Reema's Matchmakers: To start with the story title did not do it justice. Reema was the matchmaker. So I started reading it with a different set of mind and was a bit puzzled by this title. But I cannot say I did not like this story for it is a beautiful story of a second chance. I just wish this had some other tittle. 


Stories that did not work for me .... 

Groomnapped: That is the first one. I remembered a TV serial when I read this. Bhagyavidhata. No it is not the same story under any circumstances. But Sundari's stories generally creates a visualisation for me. This story had a 'Dil Maange More" [Heart wants more] kind of feeling. It was too abrupt. I wanted to know more. I got a bit furious after reading this story, in fact. A bit apprehensive- if I would get the same feel in every other story. 

Red Rose Dating Agency is another one that was a bit complicated for me. It could have been a long beautiful story and I really wish Sundari takes it up. But as a short story it was finished off in a bit of a hurry. 
Pappa's Girl: I am sorry about this but the girl came out very weak. I understand the problems that an heiress will face but here she comes out too archiac and in today's world with Paris Hilton leading the way for stray heiresses, imgining a woman, a successful business woman, being rescued by her Dad everytime, did not work for me. 

Rating 
Reasoning 

Phew! That was one long review. That is the problem with short stories. Each story holds an element of desire, like and dislikes [a bit strong word I know] but some of the stories are such page turners while some makes you want to skimp through the stories. But thankfully in this series even the stories which could have worked better are page turners. I am just dissappointed that they are not a novella. They have that potential and the use of narration was a bit too much in the stories that did not work for me. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

PK - Creativity or a Satire?

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Today I went to see PK. For a movie with an universal message, this sure has a 'desi' twang. I missed the beginning 5 minutes of the movie. Mutt me, had booked the tickets online for the AMC theaters. I hate online bookings. Always end up doing something wrong. This time too I lived up to my own image of myself. The movie was right, the timings were perfect, had punched in the right credit card number - so what went wrong? I had booked it in the next city !! How I manage to do this - is a tale by itself. All I can say for now -is that it is an art by itself and takes special people like me to execute them :D

I had heard  a lot about PK. I knew it had an alien, a satiric presentation on our own personal 'God Men' (my personal favorite) and above all Aamir Khan. So amidst great hullabaloo and screaming and tears (my little one hates going to the movies. He sits through it till the popcorn lasts), we managed to drive 50 miles to the Glendale AMC Theatre. 

When I entered the theatre, I thought I had entered the wrong theatre box. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I could see a few rows dotted by Americans. In the dark, only the ones with golden hair were visible- sparkling as the ray of light from the projector on the wall lightly kissed the silken threads. Now I don't think to watch Aamir Khan, one has to wear a wig and come -unless Aamir has specifically declared that he is partial to blondes. So here I was watching a Hindi movie with a room full of Americans. Now that is Bollywood going global! 

PK kept me entertained throughout. Though at times, I had to steer my little Ritz part 2 away from the screen. There was a condom education scene and I am still debating with the Indian, old fashioned mother in me if sex education should be taught so young. 

But the movie sure has a message and I could see even my American counterparts understanding and agreeing with the ideologies presented. Of course, we Hindu's came out as the most tolerant lot but if any one of us had expected anything else then you really need a lesson on Toleration Power of the Hindus. 

Now that I have joined Sudarshan Kriya and positivity is becoming a part of my life - I have decided to analyses this movie on that basis. For this movie has a lot to say. One question which really touched my heart was should we worship the God who made us or the one whom we made. This is applicable to all religion. And it is high time we all look into this. 

The actors all did justice to their part. Boman Irani too, in his small role, left an imprint as he always does. I just wish I could say the same thing for Sanju Baba. But then Sanju is always a pleasure to watch, whether he really does something or not is of no consequence. 

My only request is to the Aliens out there - that we think you are an advanced race who acts stupid and behaves and talks like a moron is not really true. That is Aamir Khan and Rajkumar Hirani's version. I am sticking to Yargo by Jacqueline Susann. Tall, handsome and bald :D

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Who is the Founder behind the concept of Bitcoins? - God Is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian

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After reading reviews by my blogger friends, my interest is piqued about the book God Is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian. It has made its way to my long list of TRB... I certainly need some extra pair of eyes!!! - specially while editing my own errors in typo :P

My friend and fellow blogger Janaki Nagaraj has covered about Bitcoins while Pooja Abhay has used this in creating an intriguing puzzle in her her blog. On the other hand, Sonia Rao has questioned Ravi Subramanium over his depiction of women in his stories.. (I would love to hear what he really had to say about this - verbatim :P) I must first confess, the concept of Bitcoins interested me a lot. So much so, that I started tracing back the path of the history of Bitcoins. The find was interesting but didn't satisfy my curiosity. 

One name jumped out from the pages of history - the mysterious man behind Bitcoins, Satoshi Nakamoto. The faceless, identity less and the powerhouse behind Bitcoins. Why did he choose to remain a mystery? Is there a conspiracy theory behind this? 

After publishing a paper in the Cryptography Mailing List in November 2008, his last presence was felt when he released the first version of bitcoin software client in 2009. By 2010 he had receded to oblivion and the reason stated was he had more better things to do. (grammar tossing -intentional) Strange isn't it? Not only for a man who was going to change the history of paper money but also for the Governments who were ready to accept his invention without any questions being raised. 

While some theories also point towards 3 American students from Dublin who had used the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto,others point  towards a single man whose love for the Japanese culture made him take up this name. Curiouser and curiouser.. as the bunny would say in Alice in Wonderland.  But still a question lingers in my mind... Why the hush hush? Why does the USA not bring forward these people who are the the master mind behind this huge revolution of Bitcoins? 

Yours thoughts are welcome ... :)

All these questions have given birth to this urge to read God Is A Gamer by Ravi Subramanian...




God is a Gamer 
by 
Ravi Subramanian





The Blurb
Aditya runs a gaming company that is struggling to break even. A banker slips off a highrise building, plunging to her death. The finance minister has made some promises that he is finding hard to keep. The LTTE has unleashed terror in America that sends the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai.


Enter Varun, parttime drug dealer and fulltime genius. He turns around the gaming company before disaster strikes. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into the shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal transactions—drugs, sex and money. God Is a Gamer culminates in a stunning climax where money means nothing, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.


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Meet the Author









Described as the ‘John Grisham of banking’, by the Wall Street Journal, Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, is the author of five bestselling commercial novels—If God was a Banker (2007), Devil in Pinstripes (2009), The Incredible Banker (2011), The Bankster (2012) and Bankerupt (2013)—based on financial crime. His latest book God is a Gamer, releases on September 12th.

Having been a banker himself, he has a unique insight into the industry he writes about and a flair for spinning intricate plots that keep readers on the edge of their seats His debut novel, If God was a Banker, won the 2008 Golden Quill Readers’ Choice Award and, more recently, The Incredible Banker won the 2011 Economist-Crossword Book Award in the ‘Popular’ category. He won the Crossword book award for The BANKSTER in 2012.

Ravi lives in Mumbai with his Biotechnologist turned banker wife, Dharini and his fourteen year old daughter Anusha.



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