BOOK REVIEW :: Think with me by ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara

41jrob0wDqL._AC_UL320_SR212,320_Book: Think with Me
Author: ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara

Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Release: 10 November 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: 3/5

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Think with Me – Fundamentals for making our country ideal” is Subrata Roy‘s second book of the “Thoughts from Tihar” trilogy. The book is divided into 5 topics – Electoral System & Leadership, Population, Education System, Media, and Religion. The writer elaborated on the problems we Indians are facing at present and tried to give some solutions for those problems in this book.

I agreed on the points writer raised on Electoral System and Leadership. A narrow minded person can never make a good leader. And our current electoral system helps flourish corruption and corrupted people. He repeatedly mentions about the five categories of emotional sphere, “I“, “My“, “We“, “We All“, and “Us“. He even offered to guide the system if the authority (ever) agrees to implement the solutions he suggested.

I found his opinion on poor population is outright insensitive where he mentioned poor people are responsible for the degeneration of merits and qualifications of India’s entire population. We all know for a fact that lavish upbringing doesn’t ensure someone’s intelligence or make him a good human being. Same way being poor doesn’t mean they can’t be a skilled professional or a good human being or have the emotional sphere of “Us”. No one can deny that our country always depended on efforts and hard works of our poor population. We had great leaders, writers, poets, players, artists, activists, businessmen who belonged to poor families. Most of our security personnel come from poor background and that doesn’t stop them from being brave or skilled fighters. I would like if the writer reconsiders his view on this topic.

The chapter on our Education System is well thought and his solutions are interesting. I will leave it for the readers to find out.

Where I completely agreed with the writer was the chapter of Media. The role of the media houses on nation building is huge. But our media is doing just the opposite these days. He suggested which actions should be taken to stop irresponsible journalism. In my opinion they could be really effective if applied.

Religion has an unavoidable impact on human lives. Our country’s political motto is “Unity in Diversity”. To maintain that, we all need to put extra efforts and keep a peaceful approach to solve the problems sometimes arise due to communal tensions. Otherwise a civil war or riot can break out and destroy our country anytime.

This is the first and only book from the trilogy I have read. It takes longer time for me to read a non-fiction as I give more time to understand the writer’s perspective. One needs to keep in mind that this book contains writer’s own opinion. The solutions he offered not all of them are practical and agreeable. But overall it is a good read.

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

When It Rained Here

The wind started thrashing the window panes suddenly in the evening and I knew it would rain. I opened the window of my bed room and sat on the bed in dark. The silvery threads of lighting were flashing at the distance in the sky. The cloud started rumbling. Bangalore is no more pleasant during summer like it used to be. Earlier we used to show off the ever-pleasant weather of Bangalore, the city of gardens. So a rain like this is a reason for a joy after a hot summer day.

Even though our apartment building is far from the main road, the adjacent lanes have a good number of vehicles flowing through all day. Soon it started raining and the cool breeze started coming in my direction. People started running around, disoriented yet happy. Some of the balcony doors opened and people stood there for a while enjoying the rain. I remembered it’s been a while I took time out to watch the real life around me. Many memories were piling up in my mind. Thought about the paper boats and puddles in our garden. I can never get enough of rain.

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[Royalty free picture taken from internet and edited in Photoshop]

Bikers were hurrying towards their destinations as they were not prepared for this. Few pedestrians were struggling to hold on to their umbrellas. Cars, autos and trackers were occasionally clogging the 4 lane junction. The shop owner across the road was watching the rain with an amused expression. One tall guy changed his direction suddenly as it was being difficult for him to manage his umbrella and remain dry. Raindrops on black telephone cables were glistening like diamonds.

Away from all these a lone dog was trying to keep himself dry under a tree. I know this dog. The dispirited dog was all soaked within few minutes. The front gate of the house next to him was closed. He walked away somewhere to find a better place.

The lady from one balcony in 3rd floor of a building across ours went inside leaving the door open. I noticed the only big tree in our area moving violently, as if it was dancing with impish glee. The dog came back again to his old spot but didn’t feel comfortable. He looked at the boundary wall of the house for a while and then decided to leave again. This time to a different direction.

I closed the window, knowing it won’t rain for long as everything was still so visible. I didn’t want to witness the moment when it stops.

 

BOOK REVIEW :: A Walk in the Rain by Udai Yadla

Book: A Walk in the Rain31849927
Author: Udai Yadla

Publisher: Kyron Publications
Release: 2016
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3/5

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Sunny was a timid, lonely boy before Sandy came into his life. Sandy changed Sunny’s lonely friendless, gloomy life into a bright sunshine. Two innocent 5th standard classmates soon became inseparable and found love and solace in each other. After few years Sandy disappeared from his life without a trace. Sunny had endured a lot of grief in his life but losing Sandy was the worst of them all. He never healed and went back to his solitude and grew up to be an extremely introvert and misogynist. His heart was connected to Sandy’s with the “thread of love”.

Sunny was still deeply in love with Sandy when his only friend Imran planned to give a surprise birthday gift to him. Imran wanted Sunny to forget Sandy and start a new life. That night Sunny met Saloni and his life changed again. They instantly started hating each other. Sunny hated Saloni for being a prostitute. Saloni hated him for being a rude and insensitive person. That night Imran was brutally murdered by a pimp named Hari while trying to save Sunny from a mob. Saloni was the only hope for Sunny to find Hari and take the revenge. In exchange of money Saloni agreed to help Sunny and they set for a dangerous journey. Was Sunny walking into a trap laid by Saloni? Did they overcome their hatreds and become friends or they turned out to be enemies? Would Sunny be able to fall in love again? What happens to them finally is up to the reader to find out.

The book talks about a very serious issue. Our mindset and social conditioning makes us hate and judge prostitutes irrespective of their reasons to choose such profession. We hardly ever question or judge the customers or the society these prostitutes serve, willingly or unwillingly. The story shows us why and how women are forced to accept such degrading life. Some of them are yet very much able to retain their self-respect and grace.

The characteristics of Sunny reminded me of a girl from my class in college. She would keep to all by herself and hardly talk to anyone. She would look uninterested in everything around her. She wouldn’t make any friends. I even heard she once tried to commit suicide. Fortunately Sunny never did so. Sandy’s memory kept him somewhat happy and alive.

The action scenes seemed very much like a Bollywood movie but I must say they were the added spices for me. Even though there are many grammatical mistakes and some sentences sounded really odd, I found the story rather interesting. This was Udai Yadla’s first book so I wasn’t expecting it to be perfect. The style of narration is good. It is a light read actually. I finished it in one sitting.

Rain plays a very important role in this story. I myself love rain so much. So does Sandy and Sunny. The descriptions of them playing in the rain reminded me of my childhood. After finishing the story the cover makes lot of sense now.
 

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

BOOK REVIEW :: Finding Juliet by Toffee

Finding Juliet- coverBook: Finding Juliet
Author: Toffee

Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors
Release: 14th December 2016
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3/5

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Our Romeo, Arjun, in his roller coaster journey of finding the love of his life, learns the most valuable lesson : Mind-game is the most favorite game of adults. To escape from becoming the victim of love one needs to know the rules of mind games. The story reminded me of those days when I and my friends were learning our lessons in hard ways. The days of confusions, whether to show more love or to hide, whether to open up and share or to stay distant, the heart breaks, the sleepless nights, tears and then finally moving on. We all had our share of pain.

Arjun is a clueless (about love) boy who believes in true love and waits for the cupid to do the magic at the right time though he doesn’t understand women or girls at all. He stereotypes girls in his mind at every step of his life. Then he falls in love, not once but thrice, following every rule of love available in the rule book of losers (we all felt like that at some point of our lives). After rejection he even tries his best to remain friends with them. But eventually he loses all of them. Filmy, yes. But very much relatable.

Even after all these ups and downs he manages to score good marks and gets enviable job. Already lost trust in love Arjun had to face a horrible and tragic incident which changes the course of his life. Anyone else would have lost hope in life and become mentally unstable after that but fortunately he has a very special friend who supports him in every phase of failures and heartbreaks without ever judging him. Anjali, his childhood friend, doesn’t even blink before rushing to help him or to be by his side.

Then he meets Krish, the loveguru, and gets a crash course on women, love, lust and  life. He turns into a Casanova to the point of loathing himself. But still couldn’t find the peace of his mind. Then finally he realizes what does he want from his life. As every film ends, the story of our Romeo also ends with a happy note and he finds his love.

The book is suitable for young adults who loves erotica. The narration is too informal and tries to tell us about a lot of things in very short time. I couldn’t feel emotionally attached to any of the characters. Most of the characters are one dimensional and failed to catch my attention.

The cover is catchy. I liked it.

PS. : I have one question which is still puzzling me.
1. How was Arjun rescued from his flat in Hyderabad you-know-when (can’t give spoiler)?

PPS.: The stereotypes about girls in every page made me feel so annoyed that I have actually counted them consciously and it was 42 times!

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

Fact and fiction

This was my task.

Fact and fiction

Trying to write both fact and fiction can help you realise the relationship between the two.
Write a paragraph (50 to 100 words) containing one fact and three fictitious elements. You can write about yourself, about your interests, about history – about anything you like.
Then try the reverse – write a paragraph containing three facts and one fictitious element.

 

And I have come up with this.

1 Fiction, 3 Fact : Ravi was in his final year of engineering, living in a different city while I already started working and still lived in our native place. He was my childhood friend. One night during our regular chat session over yahoo messenger he told me he was going to see the sunrise at the sea beach nearby with his friends whom I didn’t know. He didn’t reply the next night but next day I got a call from an unknown number telling me he drowned and if I suspected anyone.

1 Fact, 3 Fiction : That giant truck from the opposite direction was overtaking the other one at the same time when we turned at the blind bend of the road. It was too late to avoid the clash. Before I lost my consciousness, drenched in my own blood, I saw both the truck ran away. No one else was there to help me on the highway at 4 o’clock in the morning.

Why don’t you try too and write in the comment section of this post?

Flowers, Spring & BigBouquet

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
— Robin Williams

Spring is here again! The season of new beginnings. Fresh buds blooming, animals awakening from hibernation and the earth coming to life again. The temperature is rising slowly. At some places the slight winter chill still refusing to leave the night air. This is the season of flowers. The earth is turning green again before the Summer hits us. Spring is the season of colors as well in India. 12th March we are going to celebrate Holi, the festival of colors. Humans of India surely took inspiration from the nature.

bangaloreinspring

Spring also reminds me of my childhood in Kolkata. Every year during March we would have our annual exams. We would eagerly count days for the last exam to finish and then we would be free birds playing in our garden whole day. The White Lily would spread its enchanting fragrance every evening and I would smell and tell myself how lucky I was to have a garden full of flowers. Because I knew not everyone was that fortunate.

In our garden we had White Lily, Marigolds, Pinwheelflower, Four o’clock flower (Mirabilis jalapa), White Rangoon Creeper, Rose, Land Lotus, Hibiscus, Night-flowering Jasmine to name a few. We never needed to buy any flowers. But that was past. While we still have the garden in Kolkata, I live in Bangalore now and having a garden here is merely a dream. Balcony gardens can’t beat the actual garden ever. Even if we wish to gift someone or wish someone to gift us flowers we need to go to the local florists. The fragrance of freshly bloomed flowers is one of the things I miss so much.

nightfloweringjasmine

With our busy schedules these days we hardly can spend much time at the florists and buy the perfect bouquet for our loved ones or for ourselves. Some shops are at such a busy road that even standing there for few minutes is a pain. That’s where online e-commerce sites come to our rescue. Even then most of the sites have limited combinations of bouquets and no tool for customizing our own choices. BigBouquet (www.bigbouquet.in) gives us such options. The first ever and only site which allows their customer to choose the flowers, number of flowers, greens, fillers and packaging.

bigbouquetwomenday

 

Give it a try this coming women’s day. Tell the women in your family that they are special. Or just buy flowers for your home anyway. BigBouquet ties up with local vendors who don’t have access to the online market. With the current situation after demonetization and our economy changing from cash-based to cashless these local vendors are one of the victims. Even though BigBouquet started its operations last Spring, the role it is playing to help the local florists’ businesses is more relevant now.

Celebrate the season with flowers, friends and loved ones.

HUMAN I SEE : 4 : The Cab Driver

‘A’ has a habit of talking to the drivers whenever we take a ride anywhere. He just can’t sit idle having a stranger within his radius of 10 meters. I join him sometimes if the person is really interesting. Meeting new people is one of the main purposes of travelling after all. Last year we were going to Chennai from Bangalore to attend a family function and we took a cab to reach airport. I don’t remember the driver’s name anymore but I remember him and his words vividly. From the first moment he struck as a very nice person. Offered us bottled water and wifi password for free. It was hot summer day. We didn’t need the wifi password.

We started chatting as usual. The JNU topic was still fresh. Kanhaiya Kumar was out on bail and rest were still in jail. Automatically our discussion shifted to the topic of the recent trend of labeling people as anti-national and sending them to Pakistan. It is amazing how words of wisdom come from strangest people and places. I will try to quote and translate his words as I remember.

“These politicians and their supporters now want us to hate everyone who is not Indian. Specially if they are Pakistanis. But tell me madam why should I hate a person I don’t even know or have seen him? They are also someone’s sons and daughters. They also work whole day like me to feed their family. Tell me sir, does a Chinese mother love less? When they die at war do their families grieve less? What if I was born in China or Pakistan? These things are not in our hands, right?”

At this point I felt sudden rush of emotions that someone so different from me feels exactly the way I feel. While those days I was discovering lack of empathy and compassion is the new definition of patriotism which disturbed me and made me worried so much, I was overjoyed meeting a stranger who has both the qualities in right amount.

He went on telling more.

“Regarding our own countrymen and fellow citizens, did you ever notice how do they keep the 5 rs pen locked with a chain at the counters of Banks? They (the authority) don’t even trust us with a 5 rs pen and we talk about enemies! We don’t need any enemies. We are even beating our own children at colleges. If they become successful in starting a riot anytime soon people like us will die or protect each other. They will take the first flight abroad to run away. Probably all of their children are already abroad studying or working or they don’t have any family to worry about that is why they don’t care.”

There were more discussions till we reached airport but these two points he made stirred me most. All these fresh incidences of violence and outrage at Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia University reminded me of him.