Tiny Tales :: 1

Tiny Tales: 1

It was dark and cold night at the sea beach. There are hardly any tourists apart from them. She waited for him by sitting there. She couldn’t keep up with his pace at which he walked away from her. She was shocked seeing he could leave her in that dark sea shore alone. She waited. Because she believed her love would return to that spot eventually. She could have gone back to her room and waited. But she was scared for his safety. He was drunk and enraged. The sea was dangerous and so the deserted sea beach. She was scared for herself too for the risks she was aware of at such place.

He returned, but not to her. Seeing her seated on that rock he slowly took a shortcut to the hotel. Unaware she kept on waiting for him and someone else came to her. He was lurking in the dark bush for a long time assessing his chances with his victim. Moments later the sea roared, as usual, hiding the unusual faint scream from her mouth.

Next morning everyone asked, “What was she doing there at such hour alone?” “What was she wearing?”
That followed “She was asking for it. A girl like her deserves this.”

Book Review :: Nights Arose by Andrea Roche

41Bla9-4VfLBook: Nights Arose
Author: 
Andrea Roche
Publisher: Solstice Publishing – Winter Solstice Imprint
Release: November 28, 2016
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: 3/5

Buy @ Amazon

Nessarose Du Mouchelle, a Jamaican girl with a soul of a tigress, preferred her name as “Arose”. She was a rebel compared to the other Jamaican women during late 1600’s. Arose often disguised herself in men’s clothes to play the role of a man. While growing up she spent years at her uncle Edmund’s ship where she learned everything a sailor needs to learn to survive in a voyage in the ocean. Her uncle’s valet, Blaze became her best friend.

She already possessed the gift of Knowing and had the power of seeing the future when Old Bessonth, the gypsy woman, gave her the opalescent gem. The Gem of the Red spirit allowed her to send her spirit into the astral plane. Morel, the voodoo priestess with the help of her henchman-brother Ambrielle always wanted to get the Gem of the Red Spirit and control the spirit world. In order to do so, she hatched sinister plots to kill Arose.

The story revolves around Arose and her strength with or without the help of the Red Spirit. Even though at times she sought warmth and support from a strange man called Captain St. James or her best friend Blaze but she never hesitated to stand up to her enemies and fight alone. She didn’t even hesitate to help her enemy.

Whom should she choose as her partner? Blaze or Captain St. James? How would she defeat Morel? Would she be able to protect the people in danger?

Read the book and you won’t regret.

 I received an e-book from the writer Andrea through Reader’s House (@Readers_tweets) in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

 

I am a Potterhead

“After all this time?”

That’s what one of my friends asked me this Sunday after I posted a picture of my brand new collection of Harry Potter series to celebrate its 20 years anniversary. I couldn’t say “always” in reply as I didn’t read any book from the series until recently. “But better late than never”, I replied.

19442102_10153959315477325_6990992739317084426_o

Would you believe I finally started reading Harry Potter series just this January? And finished it in 20 days. All 7 books. When I started reading the first book I was already scheduled for a trip. I took the iPad with me loaded with all the 7 books. I even read while I was traveling by train. I read at night till dawn even when I was supposed to wake up in the morning. I read while waiting for the train. I read while I was visiting my relatives.

I couldn’t wait to get back to the story every night. The whole day I would be trekking in Uttarakhand or traveling from one city to other and return to my resting place tired and sleepy. But the moment I would hit the bed I would start reading. I even read while I was suffering from fever, cough, and cold which I caught from drastic weather change during the trip. I was that hooked. Any Potterhead would know the feeling. Then I watched all the eight movies one after another.

Let me tell you why it took me so many years. I was introduced to this magical world for the first time through the first movie when it came on Star Movies one night. I liked that movie but had no idea it was already a famous fiction series. None of my friends read English books let alone reading Harry Potter. Most of them didn’t even read book at all. So there was basically no one to put some sense in me, you see? I watched 2nd and 4th movies skipping the 3rd one on TV when I could while forgetting half of the things from the previous movies. So basically I wasn’t understanding what was it all about.

Then I watched the 5th one on big screen. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Then I gave up. I thought it wasn’t for me. I never watched the rest of the movies again. I saw the thick sparkly books at bookshops and the prices were outrageous for me at that time. And I couldn’t imagine myself reading all those bulky seven books in my lifetime even though I am a book lover. So I told myself I am never going to read or watch all these ever. “These are for children”, I told myself even though I read children books all the time.

Then I met Potterheads. Watched them around me. Slowly I started feeling jealous of them bonding over some dialogues or trivia which I hardly understood. I started feeling left alone. I grew curious. Then finally I took my chance. And boy, would I ever regret? Yes, I would. I regret missing out on this for so many years. Had I been reading these books during my teen days I could have fallen in love with one of the characters (read Fred) without knowing whether he was going to die or live in the future. I could have waited eagerly for the next book to come. But I missed all these little joys from happening. How sad!

I cried buckets for each and every death. I am still mourning. “She has finally arrived.”, one of my friends said this when I declared that I finally finished reading the series and I don’t know what to do with my life anymore.

I seriously don’t know what I am going to do with my life after this instead of re-reading these books and reliving the life at Hogwarts over and over again. These books taught me a lot. It echoes almost everything I believe. I think I have finally found a fictitious world where I feel at home. Where I can hide every time whenever I start feeling uncomfortable with this real world around me. Where I can seek the answers which I always look for in this real world. It has its share of sorrow, pain, anger, and all the negative elements of human world but it has countless of good things too which are so reassuring.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I think I am going to be a Potterhead now. “Always”.

Book Review :: Rafflesia the Banished Princess

IMG_0488Book: Rafflesia the Banished Princess
Author: Gautam

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.
Release: 20 March 2017
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4/5

Buy @ Amazon

Summary

There is no princess in this story. I too, like everyone else, was expecting this to be a story revolving around a female protagonist. Instead, there is Appu (Apoorva Sharma). This is a story about Appu’s journey from childhood to adulthood, the journey from a suburb of Guwahati, Assam to Leeuwarden, Netherlands; about his struggles, friendships, and relationships with people of different ages. It is a third person narration. The timeframe of this story is from 1982 to 2008.

My Review

Appu, a sweet, timid boy from Assam lived with his father Aabir, a Bengali and his mother Trina, an Assamese in a rented house in Guwahati. The family struggled with poverty yet was very happy with each other. As much as the poverty tried to run over them, his father’s Violin and music shielded them from any negativity. His parents dreamt and hoped that one day Appu will be a successful man and pull himself out of that miserable life.

Appu always struggled to express his emotions as a child and he never could change himself even when he grew up. His best friend since childhood, Rahul, always complained that Appu never shared his feelings, thoughts, desires, and hopes with him. Appu never really shared his feelings with anyone else either. He was extremely introvert and somewhat naive. He didn’t understand the complexity of the world. He kept on hiding his emotions to himself. He hardly understood people yet loved them dearly and never hated any even if they harmed him in some way.

I could relate with Appu to some extent. His mediocre, humble upbringing and surrounding was similar to mine. The revelation of his love of different languages made me feel I could very well be his friend.  At the workplace, he was the outcast, distant, silent one, just like me. Still, he managed to get so many affectionate friends who doted on him.

He treasured little things of life and kept them as a collection. A piece of paper with a scribble from Rahul and two books he got as gifts made his precious collections. Rafflesia, the Banished Princess was one of them. He even carried them to Netherlands. Those things helped him to cope with the loneliness and emptiness he faced in his life. As a reader, it was difficult for me to understand whether Appu ever fell in love with anyone or desired anyone in his life or not.

My Evaluation

If you like a slow, melancholy story you must try this one.

Things I liked:

  1. How the story handles a lot of emotions. It even breaks the stereotype that “Boys don’t cry.” They do cry and feel all the tender emotions.
  2. How Appu treasured books gifted to him. Like Appu, I too have such books which I carry everywhere. The nostalgia and the good memories attached to it along with the story itself gives a lot of comforts in hard times.
  3. All the main characters and their stories.

Things I didn’t like:

  1. Some goofs. Like in 1982 there were no STD booths in India. STD booths were opened during the late 80’s.
  2. Grammatical and typesetting errors. Text needs careful editing.
  3. So many insignificant characters and names which made the story lengthy.

 

 

‘I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

Book Review :: Cobra Z (Necropolis Trilogy Book 1) by Sean Deville

30632837Book: Cobra Z (Necropolis Trilogy Book 1)
Author: Sean Deville

Publisher: Severed Press
Release: 15 June 2016
Genre: Fiction (Thriller)
Rating: 4/5

Buy @ Amazon

Warning: This novel is not for faint-hearted.

Cobra Z is the first novel of the Necropolis Trilogy. I received an e-book from the writer Sean Deville through Reader’s House (@Readers_tweets) in exchange for an honest review. As soon as I saw it on twitter,  I found the blurb interesting enough to grab the opportunity. And I was not wrong.  

This is my first ever zombie novel. Being a fan of zombie thriller movies I have known enough stories which are almost similar. But never read any books before. Still, I feel this story is different in many ways. Unlike the movies, you get to see the story from 4 different perspectives. The villains, the security forces & governments, the civilians, and the zombies themselves! These zombies are fast and there are two types of them. One is infected but not dead. The other is undead. The infection spreads through bodily fluids and bites and works within 10 minutes.

It starts with a failed mission at the Hirta Island Research Facility where the entire team was infected with a virus which turns the human into hungry cannibals and there is no cure. One of the team members escapes the facility before the infection spreads with the sample of that virus without leaving any trace of being there. One year later the virus is planted at different locations around London by the followers of a religious psycho who believes he is delivering the god’s wish to punish the people who followed other religions and non-believers. A scientist who became estranged from the entire human kind pretends to help the religious guru but has a plan of his own. Rest of the story the readers should find out.

The story is bold and talks about almost all the issues we humans are facing in our current world. The storyline seemed very practical given the circumstances we got to see in Syria being under chemical attack recently. Who can guarantee there is no one hatching sinister plans with the biological weapons right now, as those kinds of attacks are not new in the history of mankind.

Though there are some goofs (at least two) which are negligible. Hope they will be corrected in later editions. Also, I felt the repeated descriptions of how the zombies thought and worked as a hive was completely unnecessary. At times it ruined the flow of the story. Apart from that, It is well written. Liked the language and tone of the story very much.  I loved how the story unfolded and ended. I am definitely going to read the next book.

 

BOOK REVIEW :: Unns – The Captivation

Book: Unns – The Captivation51DZKNa+wbL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_
Author: Sapan Saxena

Publisher: Inspire India Publishers
Release: March 18th 2016
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3/5

Unns, the 2nd stage of love, the stage of infatuation and captivation often makes us fool. In Urdu, there are seven stages of love. Hub (stage of attraction), Unns (stage of infatuation), Ishq (stage of actually falling in love), Aqeedat (stage of respect), Ibadat (stage of worship), Junoon (stage of obsession), and Maut (stage of death). I think I have lived all the first four stages of love and after reading this novel I am really glad that I have never reached any of the last three stages.

Atharva Rathod and Meher Qasim paid high prices at different stages of their lives for love. They were once high-school sweethearts. Meher being the ambitious one and obedient daughter of her parents, ended the relationship even before they could realize at which stage of the love they were. Heartbroken Atharva tried to move on for next 15 years and became a successful senior agent of RAW, the primary foreign intelligence agency of India. 15 years later they met again in Germany while Atharva was leading an important mission and Atharva’s life turned upside down. Was it a coincidence or planned?

They met again after 12 years, this time in the suburbs of Belmont. While they faced each other again, they had to face their own demons, emotions, and weaknesses for the finality. What happens at the end readers should find out. I recommend it for young adults.

Frankly speaking, I was never so confused about deciding whether I really liked or disliked a novel before. I liked the plot, the characters, and the narration. But still, there were a lot of things I didn’t like at all. The story could have been a brilliant thriller but fails miserably. Following are the points which ruined my experience of reading a good book.

  1. Text needs lots of editing. The grammar mistakes are really annoying.
  2. It was really difficult to keep track of the abrupt transitions between past, present and different time periods in the same chapters.
  3. A trained RAW agent can’t be such careless or naive to give access to his laptop which contains such secret and crucial information of the country’s security to anyone else.
  4. What Atharva was trying to find out for months, was found by others within few hours after the mission fails. That is absurd.
  5. It was actually Dev’s idea to involve Meher in the mission. But he never takes the responsibility when the mission fails. Why?

The book cover, binding, and paper quality are really good.

“I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.”

I am More Indian Than You Think

I come from a suburb of Kolkata which has a population that followed all kinds of religions possible in India. We even have people belonged to different tribes as neighbors. An outsider can’t differentiate between houses of different religious person, we live in such a way. Inter-caste and inter-religion marriage is very common in our area and nobody thinks it as more than a small gossip. But we all speak Bengali so the harmony was nothing extraordinary in my opinion.

I started playing chess when I was 11 years old. To be honest I was quite late compared to other chess players I know. I was a shy and introvert girl at that time. I still am. But that exposure into the world as a sportsman changed my life. During my first year I came to know the players speaking different but familiar languages and coming from different parts of West Bengal. I made friends for the first time with the boys and girls of different ages other than those I knew since my childhood. The horizon of my mind just started to get bigger.

IMG_0482

Within a year I got selected for national level age group tournaments. My first ever national tournament was held in Thrissur in Kerala. That was the longest train journey I have ever made at that age. It took us 3 days to reach there. I struck up an acquaintance with a lady in train who spoke fluent Bengali but told me her mother tongue was Telugu. I was amazed. Co-incidentally the journey covered the 31st December and 1st January. I was woken up by some people running around shouting and wishing each other “Happy new year!”. Such a unique and happy way to start the year.

My experience was same at the tournament as well. Till then I only read in books that our country’s political motto is “Unity in diversity” and I experienced just that after reaching the venue. So many girls from every corner of India came to participate in that tournament, held in a small village called Peechi. Some came with their families, just like me. The families made friends with each other with their broken English while we girls played against each other. Many knew each other from earlier tournaments. Every evening after our tournament rounds and before our practice sessions we played together in the hilly ground or went to see the beautiful reservoir & dam nearby. The tournament was hosted in a church. We all shared dormitories and had so much fun together. The village had only a small hut which served rice, sambar, and omelette for lunch and dinner. The only small stationery shop available there had a pay phone from where we made calls to home.

I made best of friends over the years from every corner of India. We grew up together literally. We met each other at tournaments every few months held in different corners of India. I participated in tournaments held in places I never imagined existed. I traveled extensively. And from that time I became a bohemian at heart forever. I felt proud being an Indian. I don’t think any other country has as many differences as we Indians have yet so connected to each other. During International tournaments I even made acquaintances with people coming from different countries.

We, chess players played against each other but never hated any. After every match we discussed and helped each other to analyze the games and find wrong moves we made. We wrote letters to each other for years pouring our hearts out.  I am still in touch with many. We never bothered about religions, regions or financial status. We shared rooms, meals, heartbreaks, failures and success with each other as if we were families. We loved and accepted each other just the way we were. We even tried to learn each other’s languages. We never laughed at each other’s accented and broken languages as we taught each other or at our poor scores in the tournament. More than anything we exchanged our different cultures and values.

I tasted different authentic regional foods (sometime even home-made foods) as I traveled to different parts of India since very young age. With that exposure I have developed a tongue which can survive with any kind of tasty food available around me without feeling homesick. From Chhole Batore to Dosa, from Fish Curry to Misal Pav, from Momos to Haleem, from Lucknow Biryani to Hyderabadi Biryani, from Rajma to Malabar Chicken, I am all game. That same exposure made me understand and love people even if they are not Bengali or Indian. I have become a global citizen yet an Indian at heart.

Today India has more than 40 Grand Masters and many International Masters. India has produced exceptional players over the years and many more in the making. Even though I don’t play anymore I still feel so proud of being a chess player. It is not a team game yet there is no rivalry. It is this Indian-ness that helped me succeeding in my career as a Graphic Designer, as a designer must understand every client’s taste and need is different. I shifted to Bangalore 10 years back and never felt away from home. I am #MoreIndianThanYouThink it is possible.

Knowing people with different mother tongues made me a language-lover. So I started learning German as well. Two years back I met an elderly German couple, Moni and Klaus on a trip in Coorg, Karnataka and we are still in touch through e-mails. As I spoke to them in German they said they felt at home. Before parting Moni gifted me her magazine as that was the only possible option she had. I still treasure that one.

IMG_0465

Lufthansa’s new TVC caught my attention. It is celebrating India’s growing global influence. In this ad the mouth watering food they are serving made me think how delighted Moni and Klaus would be when they make their next trip to India as they always travel by Lufthansa. And I hope I can visit them soon.

This post is written as a part of the contest #MoreIndianThanYouThink in association with Indiblogger and Lufthansa.