The Krishna Key : Review

Book    :  The Krishna Key
Author :  Ashwin Sanghi
Genre :   Mythological Thriller Fiction
Cover Illustration : Excellent
Best Buy at : Flipcart, Amazon
Trailer on : You Tube
Welcome Aboard to a journey to a submerged Dwarka, Mathura, Himalayas, Somnath, Vrindavan and Agra, into a world full of mythological coded scriptures, anagrams and ciphers. Its Ashwin Sanghi again and believe me he is organized this time. With characters like Saini, Radhika Pandit, Khan ,Vakil and Mata ji , he is much better. Though Mata ji disguised as  research student was a tad lame but then I reminded myself of Aamir's character in Fana .... and calmed my ruffled senses er.. feathers.
The dose of history and ciphers was also strictly measured unlike in 'The Rozabal Line'. Good.
The settings were VERY good.
The detailed history regarding the Somnath Temple and the concept of Philosopher's Stone was marvellous.
The description this time don't hurt unlike 'The Rozabal Line'.
The plot was simple and complex at the same time. The quest was believable and fast paced. The historical anecdotes about Krishna and his Dwarka kept me glued .
Kudos to Ashwin to renew interest of youngistan in our Mythological characters in fact meet fiction mythological thriller way.
 He also enriched my knowledge of certain things. sample this

"The Rosary represents the ecliptic – the path of the sun and moon across the sky. Yogis divide the ecliptic into twenty-seven equal sections called Naakshatras, and each of these into four equal padas – or steps –marking the 108 steps that the sun and moon take through the skies.”
What truly amazing is the fact that the distance between the earth and the sun is exactly 108 times the sun’s diameter. More incredible is the fact that the distance between earth and moon is 108 times the diameter of the moon. The sun’s diameter is 108 times the diameter of the earth.”
Image of Dwarka
His writing style is effortless and Thank God he is not explaining each and every hindi word and phrase making it feel as if written for western readers ONLY like Amish Tripathi  did in 'The Shiva Trilogy'
For the extensive research and the key image .... In this area ,he scored again! Master of research and conceptualisation.
  Now the Ummm...
Again he did give extra details of  Radhika's history ,made the character superficial  by the way she behaves...filmi ishtyle. The love blooming between her and Saini .. eww...
It would have been more realistic if Saini ,who was almost falling for Priya unaware of her true identity 'made out' with her instead. Only to later sympathise (and not sleep) with Radhika.

Actual images of seal,other items courtesy http://sarojbala.blogspot.in
Second, when he explains about Somnath as well as Mount Kailash being the place, and the evidences were convincing enough but again they all matched with Taj Mahal  as well. This  is bit too much. Its confusing to know what is correct as their are X number of places in India which can fit in the description if tried with Author's knowledge!

Third, the mythological story of Krishna before each chapter is neither relevant nor provide any new information .(to Indian readers at least)
So, their was some disconnect in the narrative... I can't tell what ...may be about Tarak  or Radhika ....
With Tarak agin I felt no need of his detailed past... The stress on his childhood problems made him fake and distant,specially when his mother seemed to be a concerned Ma .
I am myself confused about where to pin point the weakness but it is there.
So, most of the pluses I found are in comparison with 'The Rozabal Line'.
Overall the book is interesting but certainly NOT captivating. Sigh!
Looking forward to Chankya's Chant.

The Rozabal Line : Review

Title : The Rozabal Line
Author : Ashwin Sanghi
Genre : Theological Fiction
Cover Illustration : Very Good
Best Buy on : Flipcart , Amazon

The Rozabal Line is dark, full of anagrams,hidden truths, clandestine societies, is tiring to read and at times not compelling.
It traces back the history of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and bits of Hinduism to their very roots. It establishes that Jesus lived after Crucifixion and not just visited  but stayed, lived and died in India and that different people fighting for the religious superiority are basically cousins from a large clan spread all around the globe fighting for the ultimate supremacy and power.
First : Not Fresh.
Second : The book is like reading notes for my exams- a tedious task. Class notes have this miraculous tendency to turn the most interesting subjects into boring, tough and OTH (over the head )thing.
Same with the book.
The author , just like our over zealous Professors, had so much information  that at the writing table he poured it all... just like  our esteemed Professors tend to do without thinking about poor students.A wise editing would have saved his book from being a torrent of class Lecture notes on the religious history of  Christianity , Buddhism and Hinduism.
  Scores of characters like Father Vincent Sinclair, Aunt Martha, Swalkilki ,Terry Acton, supported by Alissa the American president also heading Illuminati ,Galib of Lashkar-e-Talatashar, the Sheikh, Osama of Al-Qaeda,Omar ,Valerio.... The regression sessions, Simon, Jesus ,the Marys, Kami the Japanese goddess, the birth and death cycle,the Hieros Gamos , the Bhrigu samhita , Gou-Uttama -Goutam Buddha, Brahama and Abraham etc... are err.... enlightening and at places wincing. 
The book is spans the globe with Vatican, London, Jerusalem, Pakistan, Japan, In India with Kashmir, Goa and  Delhi, then Afghanistan, Tibet and  America, whew.. The characters ,places and events I somehow managed to keep track but the history of each character and the sub-characters irritated me beyond bounds.
Actual Rozabal Tomb in Kashmir, India
 I am duly impressed with the extensive research he had done and  way he had presented HIS fiction on the bases of  destruction of world on 21 December12 . A glossary of many pages have been given at the end of the book and is a true delight for a history lover.
The Foot Imprint of Jesus in the Rozabal Tomb
He has  presented religion, spirituality, Karma, politics and terrorism in a unique blend and has  written about it with grace and flowing ease. He is a master of facts and anagrams, ciphers, codes and decoding.
I sincerely wish if he would have made two books of all the info he had. It would have been better to save the bombardment of history of each character and use it in other books. 
Being the  debut novel of Ashwin Sanghi written under the pen name Shawn Haigins, self published in America in 2008, after being rejected by scores of publishers, it is heady, heavy and very very much researched..
Bravo, for his efforts but had he come to me with the book I would have done the same as other publishers .
Still I am going to read the other two of his books. After all he has the spark! words and imagination and knowledge and intelligence!

P.S. - Visit The Rozabal and the Solomon Temple and Here for real experience of the book.

 I did!


Sons and lovers

Book : Sons and Lovers
Author : D.H. Lawrence
Genre : Autobiographical Novel
 Published by : Wordsworth Classic
My Ratings : 4.5/5
It is a beautiful prose with qualities of poetry flowing through out it. Its  a 1913 novel and is considered one of the 100 best novels of the 20th century.Initially it incited a weak reception, along with allegations of obscenity, it is today regarded as a masterpiece and  Lawrence's finest achievement .

The refined and sensitive Gertrude, meets a rough  miner at a Christmas dance and falls into a whirlwind romance lead by attraction of the opposite. Soon after her marriage to Walter Morel,realises the difficulties of living off his meagre salary in a bleak environment ,the difference in nature,tastes and philosophy of life with he under the earth in dark and she always blooming in sunlight and fresh air as pure as a flower physically and mentally.
 Gradually, her affections shift to her sons. The elder, William, who is so attached to his mother that he doesn't enjoy the fair without her. As he grows older, he defends her and later leaves  home for a job in London, where he rise ,got  engaged, but detests the girl's superficiality. When he dies, Mrs. Morel is heartbroken. The affection turns towards the second son , Paul, who is both repulsed by and drawn to his mother.He falls into a relationship with Miriam. The two take long walks and have intellectual conversations about books but Paul resists as his mother is the one capturing his soul .Paul meets Clara who symbolises the superficial sensuality.
Paul leaves Miriam, but even Clara  cannot hold him and he returns to his mother. When his mother dies soon after, he is alone.

My Review
Largely autobiographical its regarding Paul Morel(Lawrence own image) according to readers and critics alike.
I beg to differ slightly.
Yes, Paul Morel is the central character in fact the novel was first named as 'Paul Morel'  by Lawrence but its not all about Paul and his Oedipus Complex as people tend to see and refer........ instead it is a poignant story of Gertrude becoming Mrs. Morel ,William and his  home environment, the birth of Paul, Miriam's spirituality and Clara's sensuality and how  all this together shaped Paul the way he was... and more importantly how a strong character and emotional dependency of a lady affects the lives of all specially her sons as they can not be content with anyone less then their mother.
How they always feel for her as they know that she deserved much better and had wasted her youth and capacity of love,beauty, mind and intellect in trifles and battles ,with a drunk,abusive partner.The boys' hearts bleed for her.
How they could never be content with the superficial(Lily and Clara) but at the same time were unable to surrender to the one who is understanding and able to match the mother (Miriam) as it felt as betrayal , sharing a part of her sons with someone else...

The early life of Mrs. Morel I read through tears and was able to take command over me only after Paul started job and met Miriam. By then I was more or less accustomed to the fate and tidings of Morel family ...... and was bearing patiently whatever destiny and their own nature and actions were offering them.

As for the Oedipus complex..... I know about its mythological origin to which Freud gave the name and it is present in the book .
To me it seems natural to have  a protective sort of strong morally binding affection towards a personality whom we think almost ideal yet found him/her denied any fulfilment of desires and simple wishes and constantly struggling to be happy ....when we are capable we will definitely and naturally feel protective towards the person and will be in awe to see that he/she still has excellent faculties of brain, beauty and intellect and is virtuous and spiritual and it will be impossible to place somebody else in that sacred altar .
However in some cases as of Paul Morel the bond of affection and attachment was SO strong and SUFFOCATING as to make him feel guilty for every little pleasure without mother. William was also like that in childhood when he was not able to enjoy the fair after mother left.
The mother herself was not welcoming Miriam,insecure and unhappy ,causing troubles for the sensitive Paul resulting into his tryst with Clara and the final solitude.
Here Mrs. Morel's character had weakness in detesting Miriam. Her heart full of love and affection which was meant for her husband , but had to be showered upon her sons could have been more giving.
 Paul could have taken the stand As even after his mother's death he remained alone and unhappy in his loneliness, he is definitely suffering from SOME sort of complex (Oedipus). So the complex is not the feelings but to not let them go.
Controversial Aspects
 I found it clean and beautiful and failed to see any opportunity to differ or alter anything from what the author desired to say. Nothing controversial about it!

is the way Nature-landscape, trees, flowers, river, spring and the moon impacts all the characters, their moods and to some extent symbolises their actions throughout the book.
When Mrs. Morel was expecting Paul she went 'out' in nature and felt as if she is melting with it under the August and her face covered with pollens of lilies; it had a calming effect on her.
The flowers touched , felt and smelled by Miriam as if she is 'driving life out of them' ,
the rose-bush he and Miriam watched in perfect harmony , the gay flowers which Paul bring for his Mother, the flowers in the garden of Mrs. Morel, the fir-trees and pines where Paul 'met ' Miriam ,
 the scarlet carnations petals on Clara and him ,the flow of river Trent, depicting the turbulence in his relation even with Clara , the Ash-Tree in front of the Morel's home and the Orange moon for Paul's passion . All are easy to see and enhances the depth of the text.
 The characters attain transcendence and clarity of thought and psyche` while alone in nature and thus the characters and life in whole is very much influenced  by the forces of nature.
Loved it!
What I don't like is the way Paul behaved with Miriam and Clara and confirmed his weakness by sort of poisoning his Mother. Spineless ! (That's why 4.5/5 )
Though the author never claimed Paul having heroic qualities but a person of his sensitivities and calibre could have sorted his psyche` out and collected himself to behave like a Man and live like one.

Buy 'Sons and Lovers' Here At Lowest price



 The white blanket of snow is here again ....Not in Bangalore though but the X-mas effect is clearly visible as with December , along comes the Yuletide spirit . The 9 reindeer of Santa
http://www.the-north-pole.com/carols/rudolph.htmlDasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen  and the red nosed Rudolph with a nose like light bulb!are sprinting again throughout the world. 
Yes! Christmas is here and so is Santa.
As for my kids , Christmas movies are
filling the day and Christmas songs are the lullabies now.
They are extremely happy with the gifts Santa has brought and we are pleased for them. Its a rarity

that in a world full of  much unwanted knowledge at your doorstep , they both are still innocent enough to believe in Santa and the nice and the naughty list!

For my  daughter it's sheer magic! She was repeating  "How come Santa gave me exactly what I was secretly pining for?" while her brother also marvelled at the accuracy of the gifts!
He explained that its not necessary that we always got what we wished for but Santa gives what HE thinks best for us . Gracious to have such understanding children. Christmas does brings out the best in them.
 My elder one Anindy, just finished watching 'The Santa Claus' and 'The Santa Claus 2' back 2 back.(Its Christmas!so lil lenient parenting)
He adored Charlie in the first part and loved Lucy in the second ...... and Don't ask how both of them LOVED what they got!

 For my daughter Pihu ,who is 6 years , a Board game of 'Bheem and the Damyan' , a Scholar Kit stationary set, glitter crayons, two Pepper books, a big ball which is made in China(Santa brought that from China Dada!)loads of candies, bubble gums, lollipop , Oreo strawberry big (big packs confirms its Santa as the nearby shop have only small packs!!) and chocolate shots.
For her brother who is 8 years , a magnetic Dart Game (for concentration he said as he was secretly asking Santa to improve his focus!! Wow ), an exam stationary Kit, an Enid Blyton book (one of the 4 he was praying for ! more Wow) again loads of candies , Oreo and sugar stuff and a tennis ball much needed . Material enough to fight with other kids in school and neighbourhood if they dare to doubt on Santa!

'HE spreads the cheer, spreads the smile, works so hard, count all  your deeds,goes on and on for thousand miles. Lo! the bells jingle ,Lightly falls the snow, be a good child ; He'll be at your door' For'Jingle Bells' carol

Ani with gifts from Santa...

  And the thoughtful preparations they did to welcome Santa and make him feel at home... The cards, a self made story by Pihu and a copied one from my son! They love stories so they take it for granted that Santa will love them too.A gift parcel of a pen, eraser ,a scale and a sharpener put in a handmade envelope from papa's office A-4 blue sheet, and a small bed to lie down for a minute. By my son ,a story of  Bheem and Kalia , a long joke regarding Cricket and God and a plum cake for him as well as the reindeers. well all the effort and thoughtfulness propelled 'Santa' to be more generous :)

And yes, in the morning , for once ,they woke up before us and found the cake gone, the cards and the story and the pen-pencil gone . the bed was mussed and lots of wrapped stuff was there with chocolates in the socks .The twinkle in their eyes and the awe in their voice.
 Long live Santa!!


The Mahabharata Secret : A Review

Book: The Mahabharata Secret
Author: Christopher C Doyle
Cover Rating : Awesome
To Buy At Lowest Price Click Here :)

The cover says-


"244 BC Asoka the Great discovers an ancient and terrible secret a secret buried deep in the Mahabharata a secret that could destroy the world, a secret hidden away for over 2300 years. 
 Present day A retired nuclear scientist is murdered. He leaves only e mails with clues for his nephew. He and his friends follow a trail through ciphers and 2000 year old ruins. Pursued by powerful dark forces, caught between the secrets of the past and the intrigues of the present, can they unravel the mystery before an unspeakable horror is unleashed on the world....."
  The you tube video says ....
  244 BC: Asoka the Great discovers an ancient secret buried in the Mahabharata. 2001: A skeleton is discovered in a cave behind one of the destroyed Bamiyan Buddhas.  
Present Day India: A retired nuclear scientist is murdered and leaves clues in emails for his nephew, who embarks on a deadly search through ciphers and 2000 year old ruins, pursued by powerful, dark forces with dire plans for the world.What is the thread that binds these events? Unravel hidden clues in cryptic emails, search through ancient ciphers, verses and ruins and join the search for THE MAHABHARATA SECRET!
 These  are enough to prompt me to read it and my verdict is - its........ ummm.. .. nice.
 because it IS light , fast paced , provides thrills and suspense. I finished it in two sittings .  The author have definitely done a good deal of research and have blended the fact and fiction, technology and mythology effortlessly and convincingly.
The settings  are so good right from The Bamiyan Buddhas to The Tooth Temple of Lhasa and traversing across India from Bihar to Rajasthan...marvellous.
The descriptions of the sites and stupas, the intricate craftsmanship of the stone objects et al is enthralling.
The  description of the final caves ,the Illusion or the Maya is unusually beautiful , fantastic and still real! Many times in the book I felt my heart pounding.. It is a really good book for  a debutant writer.
Still its Ummmm ...
First because the quest of the Secret of Nine though never boring was a bit hurried..as if once all material on table, the plot in mind, the writer wants to reach the end fatafat......without letting the facts sink ,rushing in things a tad too much. 

 Second, the characters are  a big let down . They are without depth and the reader don't feel connected to them the way they do with Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code. 
Yes! comparison with it are inevitable.
as at places specially the fitting of the cogs and the intricacies of the gear and outer wheel of the key; it uncannily reminds us of Dan Brown .Plus the Holy Grail like quest, combination of  science and Mythology ....... but then,here the similarities end.

The dialogues are lifeless and the relation between Vijay and Radha or Vijay and his Uncle or even Vijay and Colin failed to take off beyond caricature level. The reader feels nothing for them. Its just the mystery of the task and the end result which keep us glued to the book. In fact at quite a few many times I have to skim  some portions .

But that doesn't mean that I don't like the book .All in all a good effort ..specially the imagination,(the concept of invisible island and bridge among others) and weaving of the plot  with geographical and socio-political situations is good.
I am looking forward for more from Mr. doyle. May he live up to his coveted surname 'Doyle' in field of mysteries!
Special mention to occasional brilliance in language. eg. -
'The landscape was bleak and barren; desolate scrubland with large rocks and boulders strewn around as if thrown there in anger by the hand of a giant." Pg. 192

Overall - worth reading        
When you have plenty of time and will not grumble for something more  substantial! 


Bangle Sellers : Sarojini Naidu

Poem : The Bangle sellers
Poetess : Sarojini Naidu
My Ratings : 5/5
I loved poems of Sarojini Naidu and remember her 'The Bangle sellers' verbatim. It was in our school poetry book in class 5th. The lines are etched in my mind and at that time I used to feel it will be in my heart till my last breath ......  such was and is the impact of the poem ...
It starts as
Bangle sellers are we who bear
Our shining loads to the temple fair…
Who will buy these delicate, bright
Rainbow-tinted circles of light?
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives,
For happy daughters and happy wives.

Some are meet for a maiden’s wrist,
Silver and blue as the mountain mist,
Some are flushed like the buds that dream
On the tranquil brow of a woodland stream,
Some are aglow with the bloom that cleaves
To the limpid glory of new born leaves

I was mesmerised by the beauty and picturesqueness of the lines... Now I can  see that my liking for the poem was the first indication that I, after all was a quintessential girly girl waiting to be domesticated and to become proud of the homeliness in me..
The words and the visual image it presented was just too much for me.

Who will believe if  I tell that I cried from emotion while reading it ? The 'rainbow tinted circles of light', 'shining loads', 'blue as the mountains mist',' fields of sunlit corn' and 'the limpid glory of new born leaves' were the picturesque words which my young mind was incapable to hold within and my little heart brimmed and ached at the same time with joy of beauty; and tears rolled down.

 Some are like fields of sunlit corn,
Meet for a bride on her bridal morn,
Some, like the flame of her marriage fire,
Or, rich with the hue of her heart’s desire,
Tinkling, luminous, tender, and clear,
Like her bridal laughter and bridal tear.

Some are purple and gold flecked grey
For she who has journeyed through life midway,
Whose hands have cherished, whose love has blessed,
And cradled fair sons on her faithful breast,
And serves her household in fruitful pride,
And worships the gods at her husband’s side.

Later, whenever I read it fresh meanings opened up.. the sheer beauty and the human element of the poem struck me...making it sort of ideal for my life as a woman.
From maidenhood of misty dreams through the golden bridal joy and bridal tears to the cradling of sons and daughters on the faithful breast and praying to God from her family's side.... the journey I have understood and have cherished each and every moment of it with these delicate, bright, tender and luminous circles around my  wrist!


Books for Grab in Bangalore

Lately books have become luxury.
They have become a thing to show off and are as status defining as a Gucci or a Lamborghini.
These are bought in bulk according to the colour scheme of the house , to be used as a piece of interior decoration!Hmmm... My cat is thinking hard....

More interestingly, reading books is passé` ... penning a one is in !!
Understandably with mass popularity of books the prices soar.....skyrocket.
Thankfully enough, the price hike comes with the culture of book cafes and multistory books stores like Landamrk, Blossoms, BookWorm etc. all of which offers good discounts and  various other schemes to reduce the burn on the pockets.

Still, bibliophiles like me can not live on such stores alone. And to save the day for people like us enters the small shops and shacks which lie unpretentiously like the proverbial gudri ke lal in alleys and by lanes of all cities and Bangalore is no exception.

If the famous Avenue road is the answer of  Dariya ganj  then almost all malls from Forum and Jayanagar Central  to Total and Big Bazaar and all outlets of Shoppers stop and  Reliance offer thelas full of second hand books at half prices near their gates. Though one can be sure of their being pirated.
 Then there is the famous Select Book Shop and Bookworms Store off Brigade Road and Blosssom Book House at Church Street are all at a walking distance and a paradise for readers.
Book Paradise at Jayanagar 4th Block, the Book Shop at BDA Complex ,Jayanagar 4th Block are also treats for book lovers. Specially the small shop in BDA complex which is cramped but full of books up to the ceiling :)
(It's closed on Sundays)

Then there is the Sapna Book House present at many locales in Bangalore though I'v been to the one in Koramangala .Its nicely stacked with books but the environment is not my type. The books are all stacked in metal stands and the store with harsh lighting lacks comfort and a homely  feeling which is so prominent in the Landmark, Forum Mall. 
 librarian animationSo for browsing good  stores are -Landmark, Forum Mall, Oxford Bookstore, Leela Galleria, Crossword, Residency Road.
As for the pinch on the purse if one still wants to save more, buy more and spend less :) then a good option is Koramangla Book Fair which offers SO MANY books of all genres and very reasonable prices and all originals. Sometimes they offer Classics as Buy 1Get1 OR take any 3 books at a meagre price. Children's books are priced 20 Rs. each so just for a song one can buy hardcover books for kids.
Besides the second hand books  they also deal in fresh books including latest arrivals and price them accordingly. The feel of the place is also good with rows and rows and rows of picture books, coffee table books, encyclopedia ,novels, Non-Fictions, Biographies, comics , cardboard books, covering every subject under the sun from baking to school charts and project book, Classic Literature to Pulp Fiction ,stitching to architecture, Discovery channel to Young Adult stuff  and Doremon to books by APJ Kalam.

For second hand books and rare editions beside the Book fair in Koramangala , Subash book Store and many others on Avenue road are a must visit.

Indira Nagar is another popular place for books but as I've not been there so have restricted the post to my area only.


Bestseller Books : A review

I miss those days when I used to get goose bumps realising that a person has written a book. Now its common... every body that is anybody becomes somebody  by writing stuff.
most are trash, if not pure then half cooked, half baked, pseudo- philosophical crap.
And all they including media , bookstores,readers care about is the numbers-  money.

Post Chetan Bhagat any one who knows English  is a writer. Its good at least people are expressing.Psychologists and sociologists must be on full time duty as all they need is few chapters of a book and they almost know the person.

Having said that I must say that Chetan Bhagat is still the one who writes better then all. Specially 'The 3 Mistakes of my life' Though female characters of his books including his own story inspired '2 States' are dampeners but ......perhaps this is what our current female generation has become caricatures... farratedar English speakers, uber cool sensible dressers, aware of social issues but all surf no salt! All this is equivalent to old times silai, kadhai, seena-pirona, talent wali Indian ladki ....and worse as todays gals have to maintain the no-nonsense, thinking gal mask also while not smudging the fuchsia lip gloss.
So, he writes what he sees and gets and  not what he imagines or thinks....

 Any way of the rest of the young breed ,most write about how they find true love(? )amidst countless relationships and one night stands. eww... and it gives them a good reason for explicit language and depictions .... more ewww... and all this in a repetitive Punjabi -influenced- dilli wallah- karol baghisque style-tu-tadak wali language.

The parents of such protagonists are either hi-fi socialites speaking with an accent and lets their kids try dope-shope for the heck of it or the mummyji , puppaji haggling with the vendor over bhaji rates  or doing total siyappa over the increasing age of the unmarried daughters or earning sons.

Its repetitively repetitive . No complaints about the similar concept, theme or incidents but the description and the narration MUST offer a new perspective and a  fresh writing style. otherwise It seems as if one has written the book by keeping previous one in front.
I specially disliked the national bestsellers ..... be it Advait Kala's Almost Single, Preeti shenoy's 34 Bubblegums and candies, Durjoy Dutta's I love you till I find someone else or Rajinder singh's She fell in Love.. God Help me!
I HATE it when after reading I find  'The National Bestseller' tag on these.... in what type of nation I live in where such trash is bestseller?  or mercifully it's only a book selling strategy to lure innocent readers like me. sigh.
Though I have not read Gulshan Nanda, still by the way Successful movies were made on his stories I presume he is far better.Some of the movies based on his writings  are Kaajal, Sharmilee, Neelkamal,Kati Patang, Daag, Nazraana , Aznabee , Azaad  and all of these are good romances with nuanced characters as in Neelkamal, Daag and Ajnabee.

So, till I grab a copy of Mr. Nanda's book its better to stay away from today's bestsellers...... as they in their much liked expression ....suck!


Blog Award

Hey !! I got the The Liebster Blog Award !
Thanks a lot dear Barbara Fischer for this :)
 "Liebester" is a German word meaning sweetheart or beloved, dearest, sweet, nicest... So its really sweet to receive it and sweeter to get it from March House Books, a blog I not only appreciate but adore.
 A major aspect of blogging is to connect with people so its a great way to promote upcoming bloggers and  to know more about your fellow bloggers.
By accepting, I am bound to answer the questions given to me and to word my own for the other chosen by me. Mm .. sounds good.well, here I go.

The rules are-

Link back to the blog that nominated you.
Answer the questions given.
Nominate 10 blogs & let them know.
Ask 10 questions for the blogs you nominate to answer in their post.
Share a couple of random facts about yourself.

and the questions which I have to answer are-

Do you have a favourite Christmas song? If so what is it?
'Christmas Wrapping' by Spice Girls
What or who inspired you to start writing your blog?
My habit of writing diary and need to express myself.

Do you remember the first book you ever read?
ChandBibi from Amar Chitra Katha and 'Snowwhite and the 7 dwarfs'(Hindi version) as a first bound book.

Do you prefer physical books or e-books?
Physical !

Do you have a favourite Christmas movie? If so what is it?
Its a Wonderful life, Santa Clause , Arthur Christmas.

Do you have a favourite series of books?
Harry Potter .... vaise I'm not a series person.

How often do you blog?
Depends upon time... though generally after reading a book or watching a movie.

Do you blog about books or a mix of topics?
Do you have a favourite author?
Tough.... Shivani, Premchand ,Tagore , Austen, Christie.           
If you won the lottery what would be the first thing you did
Open a Beeeautiful ,culturally rich and diverse Library ............. Not now.... I'v  a loan to pay . On second thoughts - after paying something must remain so a small library  will do.

Random facts about Me -

1. I Love to teach.
2. It takes a lot of self-command to avoid Pizzas and Paneer-pakodas.
3. When hub and kids are asleep, all quiet except,a softly falling rain ...I steals out of the bed for a book and a cup of coffee...
4. I Love to dance :)
My 10 questions are-
Why you choose your blog name this?
Which is your favourite  heroine  in literature?
Which is the one book you was mesmerised by and WHY?
What is that one idea (crazy/mysterious... ) on which you want a book/movie to be made?
Which book you have read/liked which was not in English that is a translated work ?
What according to you is a classic?
Which is the best mystery/Thriller you have come across?
Which country/culture attracts you most and you want to know more about?
What will you ask for if you are granted 3 wishes?
Do you think travelling is as important as reading/writing?


Almost Single : Book review

The book 'Almost Single ' came out some time in 2009 and there was a great buzz . It was in 'The Week' and was talked about  very much specially in constant comparison with Chetan  Bhagat and  the new breed of young Indians writing in comprehensible spoken English. 

Being an Indian bahu-mother of two and a working lady I had better things (read chit-chat,gossip and matching suit with dupatta-choori-bindi ) to do .... So its  recently while on another very 'important' shopping spree,I accidentally saw the book  and refused to let the 'opportunity' fly.
Its 2013 .By now  had Ms Kala wanted to , she must have not only written off the  maidenhood and single status of Aisha , Misha and Anushka but could have written the saga of their next generation too ....

Hmmm....They say that a long quest ends well.
Does it?

Not exactly... the narration is fine but the story is missing. It's like a diary with  routine inputs and  don't offers anything substantial. 'The Independent' claims it as - Bridget jones dons a sareee.... but Aisha is no Bridget Jones.
It lacks humour and charm both.
The New York Times says- Its sex and the city ...except the city is New Delhi... No, Sex and the City ladies  have depth .

The protagonist and her friends seem brain dead , without ideas and an objective of life other than eat, drink, drink and drink and get married to a rich ,potential (pun intended) and a hindi film hero like guy. They still have the guts to expect LOVE !!!
Its all very predictable and I can't believe my eyes when I  saw that Karan is actually falling for her.So , soo .. limp. And even the romance is  lacklustre.

The characters lack depths leave the layers ... and are mere caricatures. Aisha's 'gang' includes a divorcee, an on the verge of spinsterhood and a gay couple.... (nailing the theory that gay friends are a must for gals to be classified as moving in  uber cool society)

Its not that Aishas are not in real but in the story, her character had to be  stronger and more interesting. Some grey cells, a clear goal and an understanding heart would have done no harm.
 Though I agree that  if she IS writing about the REAL Indian working single girl er.. lady of today then chances are that you'll find 80% Aishas... who don't  feel just react, who are not affected by the pressing issues but are concerned of their vain vanity, don't possess the virtues of  giving love, warmth, compassion and sympathy but can give a speech on all these  complete with quotations in very Anglicised  English ... nothing just a dented-painted husk. All the more reason to have a REAL heroine out of Aisha.

Well then they say It's chick lit. but even by a chick lits' standard it must be fresh and interesting and 'Almost Single ' is none.

The only saving grace is the author's easy and breezy writing style which made me read the book in a single afternoon and which evidently had earned her many fans. And not to forget the spunky cover image ,one with bright pink shoes peeping from the saree..... it lured me.

All in all not good. Boring, predictable, stale, un-romantic!

The book is an example for all Indian writers on  how not to cater solely to the  west while writing i.e the book does not subdues the Indian effect or desipan  as it does not immedietly translates hindi phrases, slangs etc.  like Amish did in 'The Shiva Trilogy' where while reading you feel as if its written by keeping the west in mind so explaining simplest words like Agni, Bhaang...and gestures like Namastey ,Raksha Bandhan......



The Affair continues..


 Banana trees became  another favourite .... with their long, shapely leaves, clad in vibrant green colour from head to toe, these look regal.
Sometimes  the leaves sway like elephant's ears slowly,gracefully with elegance  unlike the Peepal leaves fluttering like a flock of birds on the slightest cue.
 Peepal leaves cause furore at the merest hint of air and make a noise like gushing water. that's why its another name is Chaldal i.e Chancahl(restless ) dal(leaf) To me they feel like a big bunch of naughty kids all rushing at the same time.  We have a BIG Peepal tree in front of our house in north. It's large, shady and green.....full of life. Always full of chirping sparrows, cooing koels,crowing crows ,humming bees and chattering monkeys. In the evenings it looks beautiful as mitti ke deepak filled with mustard oil are lit under it. I am grateful to my neighbours as they never messed up the tree with 'pooja samagri' and had made it a point to clean the place every morning.
(It's very rare in India as people put oils and ointments and pulses and fruits etc. but NEVER bother to clean the poor tree or the place around it.)
Another tree which is exclusive tto he Indian soil is The Mango tree- King of fruits. The scent which pours out from its leaves and the unripe fruit. Simply intoxicating!
When the season starts 'BOR' of greenish-golden colour bloom on its each branch and every twig looking as if golden dust is sprinkled on a bower of emeralds. Guess that's why the term bor or bour -bourana means getting mad, intoxicated ! 
I've read so much about the Tamarind tree but have never chanced to see it. It is said that Sur Samrat Mian Taansen used to chew its leaves to make his voice clear and fine. He loved it so much that he used to do Riyaz or practise under it only. Later  his mausoleum  in Gwalior is shaded by his dear imli ka ped . There is a festival in the month of December every year when musicians from all over the country come to his shrine and chew the leaves of this tamarind tree to get his
blessings .Its believed that
(Image thanks to GyanendraSinghchauhan  )

this chewing will make their voice melodious and will correct the sur, laya and taal of their music.The tree is almost denuded by the musicians at that time !
While I keep them chewing the imli ka boota... my tryst with trees will continue .

Related Post : An Affair







One of the most beautiful movies of Indian cinema, its as real as it can get along with melodious song, folk dance, lush village fields, rainbow chunris, clear rushing brooks and latticed ataris ..... the characters are honest, well layered and recognisable ...

First the story by Bharathan and Kamal Hassan in itself is complete then cinematography of Ravi K. Chandran and direction of Priyadarshan left nothing for desire. The movie has 'THE Priyadarshan Touch' with antiques, authentic art crafts,old havelis and sahmbles of temples with lakes, pools and  banyan trees with hanging roots.. all to capture your attention and imagination! 

The natural talent of Anil Kapoor and the rest of the cast with a special mention to the acting and characters of Govind Namdev  and Milind Gunaji take it to the  next level.
Special mention to Tabu for the wide eyed ,bholi-bhali village belle crying unabashedly at her broken marriage ...

Though Chithra got the award for 'Payalein chun mun ' my personal favourite is 'Taare hain Barati' in the intoxicating voice of Jspinder Narula ..... with the tall n firang Pooja Batra as the  blushing bride to be ... radiantly daydreaming her seven vows , with pooja ki thali , roli, akshat, haldi snan ,,flowers, sacred ornaments, jewellery, milk kesar ubtans, her bridal trousseau  and all in the timtim lights of mitti ke diyas and havan agni ..... sigh!
Still to see something better.....

ग़ुलाब- The Rose

                 ग़ुलाब एक...                                    डॉयरी के पन्नों में,                                     कोयल ने फिर कुह...