Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When the past crawls to the present, there's soulful music!

Shadows rising from the past
Crawling under her skin
Reaching out to the golden

Uncovered in the dust
Screaming to be rescued
Stripped naked till bare feet

Piercing rays of sun
Swollen blank eyes blink 
Registering the present woe

Tiptoeing to the present
Past beckons new indulgence 
Music is for the soul

 This poem is written for the picture prompt provided by the MAG for this week.

Unshaken devotion teaches free flight.

The pricking silence 
Rescuing angel swoops in
Blooming yellow bud

Pretty violet wings
Unshaken old devotion
Teaching free flight

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for this week is 'RESCUE'.

Book Review - RIP by Mukul Deva

Book title : RIP
Author : Mukul Deva
Published by : Westland Ltd.

R.I.P. The Resurgent Indian Patriots. Self appointed guardians of a nation seething with anger at the endless scams and scandals rocking its very foundation. Vigilantes who vow to stop corrupt politicians and colluding civil servants. Even if it means killing them. Colonel Krishna Athawale and his team of Special Forces officers rally to protect the country from the enemy within. They call themselves the K-Team. And no one is safe from their deadly intent. Hellbent on stopping them is Raghav Bhagat, rogue para commando, gun for hire and Krishna’s bĂȘte noir. Caught in the crossfire is Vinod Bedi, Special Director CBI. Reena Bhagat, a glamorous news anchor, embittered by her husband’s betrayal. And two young boys, Sachin and Azaan, torn apart by the loss of a parent. It doesn’t get bigger.

In a country where corruption and dirty politics have become like a given, an unacceptably accepted scenario, a read like this was so refreshing. Just the thought of having a clean country with a good stable government, though at the cost of the lives of the corrupt was so very welcome. Makes you wish something like this really happened in our country. Made me wish Colonel Krishna Athawale was real.

The personal turmoil the people involved in defense might face has been portrayed very delicately. The acute qualities they develop, the amazing sensory abilities they possess is just amazingly described. The angst of losing a beloved, the anxiety of a bad relationship, the joy of finding new love, the blind trust shared between the team, the connection between true friends, the stress even kids go through is all excellently rendered by the author.

The dirty roots of corruption is so wide-spread in India, when dug you unearth so many filthy people with their hands soiled with the blood and sweat of more than one innocent common man. We need books like these to alert the people who still have not realized the gravity of the situation and inspire those who have.

Mukul Deva
This is my first read of a novel authored by Mukul Deva, and i must say i'm a fan already. A literal page-turner. It did compel me to keep the midnight oil burning. The characters are so well described. As you read on you tend to share their pain, their excitement, their joy, their frustration, their success and their mission!

The work is so professional and the scenes and characters so thoroughly described. You can feel the storm rise within you. His words succeed in making you a part of the rebellion. The silence pricked, the intensity felt and the war waged. I, for one, enjoyed this thrilling, race-pulsing, realistic fiction a lot and would surely put in a word to all my fellow readers to not miss it and grab a copy ASAP!


Price : Rs.200
Pages :286
My Rating : 4 on 5
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The scintillating bond.

Dusk to dawn
Things can turn around
Blooming dale

Hold on and let go
Water drops on lotus leaf
Scintillating bond


This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights and the MAG. The prompt for this week is 'DUSK'.

Book Review - Once upon the tracks of Mumbai

Book title : Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai
Author : Rishi Vohra
Published by : JAICO Publishing House

It's not about the place Mumbai, or the railway tracks that spread like veins throughout the hands of this city. It's more about the fact that a lot can happen over the tracks of Mumbai. The world from the eyes of an autistic person is very well illustrated in this debut novel by Rishi Vohra.

Balwant Srivastav, aka Babloo, the autistic guy who tries to live his everyday life with a hope that it would change any moment. His very existence in the house next to the tracks, where he lives with his parents and a pampered brother, was neglected conveniently by them. His frustration and his love for the movies leads him to believe that someday his life would change and things would never be the same again.

Amongst the weirdness of the narrow minded society around him, Vandana is his only solace. The only friend he has who seems to understand the few words he manages to utter. The whole story revolves around him trying to be a better man so that he can live his dream life in future with her on the beach.

The rage, the frustration, the love, the thirst for serving justice, the drive to achieve something in life of a neglected, independent person who is not understood by the so-called 'well-wishing' members of the narrow-minded society is put forward very nicely by Rishi. The attempt to illustrate the lines on which most Indian people walk, willingly or unwillingly is appreciable. Imagining the world from an autistic person's perspective is very disturbing. The things they have to go through every single day, just because people do not support/understand their plight is a shame.

The book was kind of a drag in the beginning, but it catches pace after almost half of the book with the advent of the Rail Man, which is an interesting concept, but kind of reminded me of the SpiderMan. The explanations are very detailed and helps you visualize everything as though a movie is running in your head simultaneously. A one-time read for sure, but not a book for keeps though it succeeds in showing a lot of reality bites.

A good novel for a debut author, and would certainly love to read more by him in future.

About the Author...

Rishi Vohra recently relocated back to Mumbai after completing a Green MBA from San Francisco State University and a Masters Diploma in Environmental Law, prior to which he had a successful career in the Indian Entertainment Industry. After featuring as a guest columnist for various newspapers in India, he currently writes for delWine and is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW). 'Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai' is his first novel.

Do visit Rishi Vohra for further insights on this book and the author himself.

Price : Rs.175
Pages :266
My Rating : 3 on 5

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SOMC - 13... Home is where the heart lies.

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles. 
Home is where the heart lies - I've heard and used this a lot of times, but felt it more than ever this week. My serenade sings my happiness of meeting parents after a long time. I don't know what this magic of being with people you love is all about. It just feels so right and leaves you wishing for more.

The same environment feels different. The old looks brand new! The joy of greeting your parents to your house is a different joy altogether. Their arrival also marks the expectation of loads of  food and goodies. Aaaah! Unpacking never felt so good! The presence of a mother turns a house into your home. She complains, she whines, she irritates... but in all of this, the only emotion you see pouring in her kind eyes is love. Oh how i've missed her and i'm sure you would too once you leave home for your job. Homesickness can sometimes be very very cruel.

And then there's your father. The unshakeable pillar of the family. Just having him around is like an energy booster. A confidence like never before rushes into my body when i just have him around. The feeling of taking him on a ride on my two wheeler for the first time on the pretty empty streets of Pune was bliss. It's strange how good it feels to treat parents with your earned money. It's more fun though when you get them to spend on you!!! ;)

I think every parent should let their kids stay on their own and not tag around them all the time. The instinctive protective nature of parents hampers the growth of kids in the direction of being responsible and independent. We should be allowed to experiment, make mistakes and then learn from them!!! It's all about knowing when to hold on and when to let go. A beautiful balance between the two results in harmony.

There's this wonderful feeling of accomplishment when you're capable of taking care, both of yourself and your parents, even if it's to a little extent. And the proud look in their eyes which still see you as a five-year-old is something to behold. Make the best of the time you get to spend with them, because once you step into the corporate world, long frequent vacations are things of the past. So look out for those little gaps you find and live it completely.

Thus, singing the tune resonating with the whistle of the pressure cooker in the kitchen, screaming out to remind me to shut my laptop and go to my parents, i sign off to enjoy this beautiful week! Until then, try catching up with your parents if you haven't for long, or just drop a loving call maybe! Happy bonding you guys. Adios!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.  


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

SOMC - 12... Sitting down is fine until you also stand up!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.    

With more and more people getting into desk jobs, good and healthy ergonomics has become the need of the hour. Being in the same posture all day is more taxing than taking a run. At the end of the day when you finally get off your seat, every part of your body aches. There is so much discomfort, that you just want to go back home and lie down.

Amidst all this, one of the issues to worry about is the fact that this lifestyle only succeeds in making us more lazy than we already are. We techies return home only to get back on our personal laptops and probably get on FB, gtalk or skype! More strain, more laziness and then even after a night long sleep, we wake up still feeling exhausted instead of being fresh. We don’t find ourselves welcoming the morning sun! The weekends are mostly spent getting our beauty sleep. The sleep very much craved by this body which never seems to get enough of it.

But surprisingly i have found myself thanking a desk job, because it had made me more health conscious. As they say, we gotta make the best out of every situation life throws at us. Make it a point to change your posture every now and then. Also it is very important to get off your chair. Just take a stroll. Go talk to a colleague at his place personally instead of pinging him/her each time.

Splash some water on your face, clean your eyes every now and then. You’ll feel more fresh to work. Water is a very refreshing agent. Just try it and you’ll notice how much change it can get into your day. And not just washing, but drinking it as well. If you’re among those who hardly drink water (blame it to the laziness, shall we?), then keep a bottle right next to you, within an arm’s reach. And before you know it, you’ll find yourself emptying it!

If listening to music is allowed in your office. Then songs with some grooving tempo right after lunch could be beneficial. The sudden burst of loud music in your ears helps activating your mind which would have gone into hibernate mode! But make sure you use your ear-phones and are not disturbing your neighbors. And for your sake, i hope there is no restriction for this in your company.

Few relaxed deep breaths now and then also helps. When there is fresh intake of oxygen finding its way to your brain, you feel replenished and less sleepy. It’s only natural to feel sleepy when your eyes are strained from staring into the screen for prolonged intervals. But it’s up to you to find ways to ward it off. Try and getting some exercise everyday. Humans were not designed to sit at a place all day. So maybe a relaxing walk after dinner. Find company and you will enjoy it. Yoga is an amazing tool to feel fresher for longer.

Well, thus singing the serenade of health and cheer for you, i sign off this weekend settling in the good ergonomics of my workplace! Sitting down is fine as long as you stand up!!!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.   

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our Amanat - A guest post by GladToBeAWoman.

She has been in the headlines for quite some time now. After having created a huge mass uproar nationwide, she has been silenced by the all-powerful clutches of death. Yet, her end has unleashed a new beginning in more ways than one. Her death and the sin committed against her, that led to her death has not withered away in oblivion. It is still very fresh in the minds of every Indian, and that is how she continues to be India’s ‘Amanat’
The grave wrong that was inflicted against her has only been further worsened by certain remarks and statements by various law-makers of our country. Not only are their perspectives severely flawed, but are awfully baseless and detached from reality. Girls need to feel safe and respected, not suppressed and inhibited. Amanat’s death should act as an eye-opener to every individual in the country, and it is simply not sufficient to declare her ‘martyr’, hold candle marches and protests, or to name anti-rape laws after her. The brutality committed against her is an utter disgrace to mankind, and to uproot such a malaise that wrecks the society needs some concrete actions rather than simply glorifying the death of just another victim, or shuddering at the thought of what terrible agony she must have gone through, or cursing the 6 rapists. For, the fact remains that our society is infested with such perverted ones who are always on the prowl to satiate their lustful urges. And no, the solution is not to put restrictions on the Amanats or blame their “advancement” for such contemptible incidents. 
Amanat has only been a reminder of how girls, despite having reached the pinnacles of success, still have to suffer such atrocity at the hands of devils. She has become a symbol now; the unmitigated anger and grief that her suffering has generated has to be channelized in a proper direction, so that tougher penalties can be meted out to those that are convicted of something as heinous as sexual assault. She did not get justice while she was alive, but her death must be honoured and not forgotten as another “sensation event” crops up in our life. As it is, it was Amanat on that ill-fated night, but it could have been any one of us. We need to ensure that none of our daughters, sisters or friends is subjected to the same devastation. 
Amanat has stirred a revolution, a call for change, and we need to hold on to the cause, for it demands rectification. The resonance that has touched millions across the country, and even Indians living abroad, has to be translated into better security for women, and more stringent anti-rape laws. We cannot afford to have any more Amanats. This was a wake-up call and we’ll not let it fade away into a whimper. Her's was not a standalone or isolated case, of course, perhaps her's was the most frightful one, in many respects. We all need to a drastic reformation. Each one of us. The government, the system, the legislation, everything needs a review. The monsters lie within us, so do the seeds of change. 


Guest post from

Glad2bawoman is an online media company with a growing community of over 75,000 members. For women and about women, the articles on the site encompass a variety of topics including Health, Empowerment, Leisure, Fashion and Relationships.