Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Breeze

The swishing fresh breeze
Gallivanting in and out of the room
Blowing up the curtains,
Seeking free any stale feel
Cheering up the wind chimes
In the dark moonless night
Then softly rushing in
Blanketing all dreams in sight
Enveloped in her mirth
Dancing till the sun makes its climb
Caressing all on its way
A tendril, a book or grime
Stirring up birds from sleep
Laughing at their helplessness
As if the cloak of the night
Grants her, her boisterousness
Twirling like a ballerina
With few hours at hand
Sliding through every crevice
Before dawn makes her bid farewell

Book Review: The Husband's Secret

The Husband's SecretThe Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Witty. Simple. Engrossing. Set in Australia, the story takes you through an intense ride of emotions such as fear, anxiety, happiness, respite, and hope. Liane Moriarty (A die-heart Sherlock Holmes (Cumberbatch) fan, I was attracted to her surname more than the book title at first)has deftly wrapped life stories of three women, remotely related to each other, through a single life changing incident. Rachel Crowley, a part time secretary at St. Angela's Primary School, has sufferred the loss of her daughter 30 years ago. The case is closed due to lack of evidence. But she knows the killer. Will she ever be able to get the murderer jailed? Or is it that she has got it all wrong? Cecilia Fitzpatrick is enjoying her perfect life with three beautiful daughters and a husband. Then one day she comes across a sealed envelope that is addressed to her to be opened in the event of her husband’s death. Written in her husband's writing, the letter holds a secret that if spilled will whirl their life out of control. What will she do then? Tess O'leary runs an ad agency in Melbourne with her husband Will and cousin Felicity. A successful professional, Tess had never imagined a better life, untill Will and Felicity declare their love for each other. Shattered to pieces, Tess has her son Liam to take care of. But how can she continue working in the same office with her husband? What next? The stories cascade and the mystery unfolds leaving the reader wondering with a 'what if?' It's un-putdownable.
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review - Kaneko's Story

Kaneko's Story: A Conversation with Kaneko IkedaKaneko's Story: A Conversation with Kaneko Ikeda by Soka Gakkai
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Life of Mrs. Ikeda started at a simple household with traditional Japanese values. The book is a peek into her life as a child who was brought up in war torn Japan (World War 2), the values that she imbibed and passed on to her children,and a woman who supported her family and husband against all odds and stood as a boulder against life's uncertainties and challenges.
She is a living example of how one can accumulate good fortune though all circumstances and be the silent powerhouse that fuels one's own ambitions and provide strength to every one around.
her experiences are life enriching lessons that everyone can adopt.
A great read.

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Book Review - Chanakya's Chant

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Blood, lust and deceit – Chanakya’s Chant overwhelms the reader with the shrewd manipulations of the political world. A pacy and well researched plot, it makes you marvel at the mind of history’s most revered teacher – Chanakya - a kingmaker, a shrewd politician and the father of ‘Arthashastra’.
Ashwin Sanghi has worked intelligently in choosing this topic and weaving a story around it. His detailed research and usage of quotes from famous people, movies and books have added the necessary punch in the dialogues through the plot.
The premise of the story is how politics and human nature has remained unaffected by years of evolution and how the rules to rule people, that were established by Chanakya 2300 years ago, are still applicable. Sanghi builds a chronology of events in the life of Chanakya – murder of his father by a ruthless king of Magadha, his vow to avenge his murder, and his thirst for producing a king who would unite the entire Bharat as one kingdom. This plot is mapped with the life of his fictional character Pandit Gangasagar Mishra who determines to gain enough power enabling him to decide who the Prime Minister of India would be. While Chanakya mentors Chandragupta, Gangasagar prepares Chandani, while Chanakya convinces Ambhi’s commander-in-chief to train Chandragupta, Gangasagar asks Ikram bhai to adopt Chandini, while Chanakya makes people believe Chandragupta was a ruler chosen by God, Gangasagar gets Chandani shot harmlessly to make Indians believe that she was the daughter of the country. A mesh of strategy of the mind, body and soul – the story uncovers the raw side of every human emotion.

For the author – The writing style is similar to the likes of Sidney Sheldon that makes it racy and akin to a movie. Toward the end it gets a little drag. While reading it does seem that Sanghi is biased towards his female characters to be fair skinned, with auburn hair and green eyes (description of Vishaka – the vishkanya or even Chandini - the future leader). The usage of famous quotes adds punch to his story as mentioned earlier but takes away a bit of credibility from his writing skills. Personally, having read ‘Jwalamukhi Ke Phool’, Chanakya’s Chant looks like a poor cousin.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sleepy Eyes....

I pry them open
Yet they dance
I bathe them in water
Yet they slouch at every chance

I engage them with colours
And words and tricks
They seem interested
Only with subconscious pics

I tell them to open up
They smile and twitch
I try telling them stories
They rely on what they sketch

All day they keep me busy
Either hiding from dreams or reality
And at night when I tell them to sleep
They turn stubborn and make things blurry

Friday, June 26, 2009

And the magician sleeps...

I got a call from my mother around noon. “Michael Jackson’s no more” she said in a sad tone. The tragic news of MJ’s passing away had been covered by all news channels but a call from a fifty something, with least interest in English music, forget pop, expressing her sadness over the phone, I think that speaks volumes of what a legend Michael Jackson was. Unknowingly he had touched the right chord in every ones heart, whatever with the scandals and controversies that surrounded the later years of his life.
As I write this there are over 18 thousand tributes that have already been paid to the legend on Facebook. And I don’t feel like writing anymore.

Forget about the silver lining, still looking for dark clouds....

“Rain in Mumbai: Thirsting for more
Delayed rains, farmers’ nightmare
Andhra farmers worried over delayed rain…” so run the headlines across all dailies and news portals.
Its 25th June and the rains failed the forecast of the met department. Though it rained in few pockets in Mumbai the city faces a grim future if the monsoon does not catch on within two weeks. Heat waves scorch the north and central parts with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees. Roads have scattered traffic through the day with people looking for respite in enclosed spaces and AC consumption is on an all time high. No dark cloud, forget looking for any silver lining.
June has been a cruel month for the farmers and July is awaited with prayers on their lips.
Madhya Pradesh, the state producing 55% of the country’s edible oils still awaits monsoons, whereas by July beginning the sowing of seeds is already done. Delay in monsoons mean a drastic fall in food grain production and with the dried out tube wells and bore wells the anxiety levels for all farmers is very high. With all valuables pledged for money to buy seeds, the rain failure not only indebts them but also bring them to the brink with no food or money to sustain life.
As per NDTV report, the rain failure in the Krishna belt causes loss of 40,000 tonnes of food grain. In Telangana region the cotton crop is still to be sown and Andhra Pradesh counts days to water the fields to be readied for like paddy, cotton, maize and groundnut.
Government officials have predicted 81% of avg rainfall in the northwestern region of India and over all a 93% shortage. There is hope for a monsoon revival but the clouds seem very elusive. The rains, which should have covered most parts of the country by now, have stopped their movement ahead. The worry is that sixty per cent of the crops are rain fed and the government is drawing up contingency plans to counter the situation.
Rain failure would also put the newly elected government’s promise for providing food to all. Let’s see when it rains. Whenever, it does, should rain cats and dogs!