Sunday, December 30

Yes , I Will !



As the meadow basked in sunlight; 
As the birds chirped , happy and gay ,
You beside me,  knelt , shy and white
And i hark back the moments till this day .

I sat hours vying , crying and whining
You consoled me , but did i ever thank ?
I remained naughty,  prying and  teasing
With a smile , in your work you always sank 

-
-
-

 -Soon to be part of an anthology - 

                               ***************

This post is a part of the  write-over-the-weekend , an initiative for Indian bloggers by  www.blogadda.com

Monday, December 24

The Secret Of The Nagas - Book Review



Book : The Secret Of The Nagas 
Author : Amish Tripathi
Label :  Mythology / Fiction
Pages : 396
Price : Rs. 295

My Take on The Book : 


                     The book is the sequel to the national best seller ' The Immortals Of Meluha '  and the second book on ' The Shiva Trilogy ' series  . The first book happened to stirr quite a discussion amongst the critic circle , for the author was seen embarking on an unprecendented venture in sketching Lord Shiva as a mortal being . It is advisable that you grab a copy of  the first book of the series before you indulge in this one . The story is a seamless continuation of the first book and so also one might feel lost if one ignores the first one.


                        In the sequel , as the title hints , the true essence of the Nagas remains the cynosure . The Nagas are believed to be the purporters of evil , while the suryavanshas and the chandravanshas enjoy a shade of purity . Here we see , Shiva , Sati and their warriors inquisitely being on the look out for the Nagas , to destroy them eventually and thus bring peace . Another intention being the Lord Shiva's quest in finding out the reason that led to the death of his brother Brahaspati. The destruction of the Nagas also seem necessary for the dampening of the plague and ill health that has been preying upon the Brangras . Eventually , the story thrusts forward effortlessly , enlightening the reader at regular intervals with nuggets , sewing together bits and pieces of the otherwise unreasoned facts that were seen embodied in mythology . The story has been delt in a way that sounds more plausible to the atheists out there,  who outrightly shun the concept of God merely because of the unreasonability of the myths . But then , this is purely a fictionised version , which doesnt make the act of believing any more enticing for an atheist .  


                       While most of the incidents seem knit together in a way  quite as Hindus believe to have occured centuries back , certain incidents are given intriguing twists and turns according to the whims and reasoning of the author . Needless to say , the book proved to be a compelling page turner for me , with the writing style being quite lucid , and sophisticated . It was a treat to find almost nil typos or grammer mistakes to serve as an aversion , which these days, has almost become an inevitable part of Indian publications  ! . Being an ardent believer of Shiva , in a way , i was disappointed that Shiva is seen at his mellow best most of the times , having little in the story to highlight his prowess and greatness in its true sense , with Sati , Ganesha , Kali and the warriors seen more on the action front , even though the story revolves around magnanimity of Shiva . The character of Anandamayi has been given a naughty , sizzling edge to it , on her attempts to have Parvatheswar surrender to her love , in an almost filmy manner , lending a refreshing touch to the story at places . 


                        One thing that i missed was the absence of subtleties  ,when the authors dwell into the fineries of the emotions and scenarios.The book was absolutely driven forward by the story leaving little space to drill minute details in between fast paced events and thus the intensity with which the characters are portrayed suffer a let down . Also , why would Shiva and his warriors smoke marijuana ?! Or did they in the epic stories too ? I am not so sure of that. Sadly,those portions brought the picture of  the intoxicated kinds to my mind ! . However , its worth mentioning the philosophical titbits the author has sprinkled at places . For example , the concept of masculinity and femininity as inevitable parts of the character of each person , the depth of each , deciding the strength or fragility of our character . We have been sculptured with shades of good and bad and its we who need to weigh good over bad so that we are able to achieve ultimate sanctity . As for me , the portions which are going to linger for a while would be one , the revelation of the Naga identity and two , the aforesaid piece of thinking .  


                        I was reminded of The Davinvi Code and the other books in that series by Dan brown, when i found myself reading this book with the same utmost urgency . Definitely not a book thick on heavy words or intricate sentence construction ,which should make it an easy read . The sentences seemed to pour in , as if each word was meant to be , not a bit out of place or the plot skewed in any instance . You can finish the book in a matter of hours , maybe in a couple of sittings like i did .  I am already looking forward to the last book on The Shiva Trilogy ! 


                                       *****************


Sunday, December 23

Siblings - A Haiku


First through blood and -
Then by love , siblings knit a chain -
Resplendent its threads !

                          **************


Image source : www.redbubble.com 


Saturday, December 22

Haiku - Alone


 Dreams seep down troughs 
To depths of fear , unveil shrouds 
You - a blur far away

************


Image Source : Favim.com

Sunday, December 16

' 14 hours ' By Ankur Chawla - Book Review

image source : google


Book :  14 HOURS
Author : Ankur Chawla 
Label : Non Fiction 
Publisher : Rupa Publications
No. Of. Pages : 164
Price : Rs. 195

Prelude :  

                 The book 14 Hours has been authored by Ankur Chawla , who at present , holds the managerial position at the Taj mahal Hotel in Delhi. The book is an autobiographical account by the author, one of those fortunate survivors from the horrendous beseige by terrorists of the Taj Mahal Palace and Hotel , Mumbai that occured on 26th November 2008 , an incident which pinned the whole country in a state of utmost horror and disbelief . The author was serving the hotel as an operations management trainee at that point of time . 

Essence :

               The account flags off with a brief introduction of the author's life prior to the incident . The apprehensions of the author who is blessed with an enviable opportunity to serve the Taj Hotel, Mumbai , given that he hails from Delhi , has been sketched perfectly in the earlier pages  . Then ensues the incident proper , and the imaginations of the reader is dragged down to the subtle ingredients of the opulent hotel , which  gained it the privilege of being the most sought after hospitality sector in India . The pace seemed to suffer a bit in the start , but it sure gains momentum after the first  fifty pages and the pace gears up, taking the reader to an entirely heightened emotional level , which indeed brings to life a saga of horror , bloodshed and ultimate wreckage. The readers would definitely have their minds opening up in the realisation of the extent of disaster the incident actually was , both to the innocent people who lost their lives in the cold blooded massacre and to the hotel authorities equally . The author has penned down a powerful and poignant depiction of the egregious deed and the mental and physical turmoil he and his colleagues were forced to succumb to , on that doomsday . We come to know from the author that , amidst all those torturous whirlpool , he and his colleagues never for once deterred from their duty to keep the safety of the visitors on a higher platform . 

                   The part which i found the most engaging , albeit mind wrecking , was the narration of the grueling hours the author and his fellow mates had to tread in the linen room . If i , as a reader relishing the pages in the comfort of the four walls of my home could find the incident nerve stirring , one can very well imagine the intensity of emotions the author must have gone through enclosed in the darkness of that dingy hide out , counting seconds , deafened by the alarming shrillness of the gunshots . After having been mentally taken on a roller coaster ride of those eventful 14 hours , i found myself reading in relief and happiness , the portions where the author returned to his residence , his lighter moments with his room mates and the part he played in the renovation of the hotel . The one emotion which untiringly echoes throughout the pages, is the warmth of his relationship with his mother and the depth of this relevation, that his family mattered the most to him , which happened to dawn on him like never before during the period of hostage . One cant help but feel connected to that gurgle of emotion the most . The narration ends with a glimmer of hope and the author, being tagged as a survivor, is seen truly surviving the flashing shreds of the past in an admirable manner .  The note to his mother towards the wrap up section is heart warming to the core . 

The Glitches

1. A  few typos at places , which can be overlooked.
2. The writing seemed less evocative in the beginning , though the author does a commendable effort in pulling it back to the frame halfway .

The Glitters

1 . Good font
2 . Fineness of vocabulary
3 . Intriguing title and content . 

Recommended to : Those in search of influential  autobiographical works and light reads would especially  love this book . However, i recommend this book to all book worms out there . You wouldnt regret this one !

My rating :   3.5 / 5 


P.S :  This review is a part of the Book Review Programme at www.blogadda.com Participate now to get free books!

                                        *******************


Saturday, December 15

Against the stormy wind


Image source : Google
                                    The crimson sky had started spreading its wings . I cringed my eyes to check my watch . It was half past six . A rather cheesy music started blaring loudly from behind me . I glanced back , almost startled at the pitch of the sound ,only to be welcomed by a pan stained row of teeth jeering at me . Avoiding him, i adjusted my dupatta playing deftly in the wind and hovered over the group of people waiting impatiently for the bus . 

                                  ' The Bus ' failed to prove worthless of the long wait . With barely 30 seats and double the need , i strived hard to strangle the cuss which was emanating from the crevices of my mind . Struggling as i might to balance myself , i fumbled inside my hand bag for the wallet ,when i heard the ticket collector exploring his way skilfully through the crowd . Paying for the ticket , i placed myself at a safe corner of the bus , not a tad bit interested in suffocating myself to death . I never noticed the man sailing his way towards his target until i felt a hand snuggling close to me . Revolt did i , as best as i could, throwing a deadly stare at him , and clutching my handbag close to me . I let out a sigh when he disappeared in a scurry behind the thick veil of bodies clinging  onto each other . 

                                  Reaching my destination , my college , i strolled back unaware of the many cold eyes prying on me . Near the Indian Coffee House inside our campus , i stumbled upon Vinay , my batchmate . 

" Hey !  . What is a female species doing outside the hostel at this time of the hour ?! Its past nine ! ."  He asked , a dubious expression dancing on his face  .

 " You do realise right that a Paediatrics professor is staring at you coldly from inside the coffee house . Decent women never wander around once the daylight recedes " .He advised in between suppressed chuckles . 

" Spare the nonsense Vinay . Nothing can matter to me today , though i do carry a pepper spray in my bag ! You know,  i managed to grab a pass today to attend that Conference on Book Writing organised  by ABC publications ! Such an evocative session it was ! " I beamed . 

" Okay , now tell me you havent gone out of your mind , Neetha . I hope you are well aware of the Medicine PG sessional exam which is due next week . With such an important exam honking loud around the corner what were you thinking you while you went wasting your time on some silly book session ?! " 

" Its not that i am not preparing for the exam. I am ,trust me . But does that mean i should sacrifice something close to my heart just because everybody else here is burying their head inside the textbooks day in and day out . Is it some kind of an unwritten rule that medical students should sit mugging up for ' twenty five ' hours a day ! " 

" You do as you wish . I cant bother fighting with you at this eleventh hour of exams . See you later . Ciao " . 

'Eleventh hour ?! There is still a week to go for the exam '. I buried that thought inside me as he raced away on his Pulsar scared of losing yet another minute of his precious study schedule . 

Reaching my room i saw Kavya , one of my room mates , swelling up in resentment . 

" Where were you all this time ! . Anita's marriage has been fixed and she took us on a huge treat today at Arcadia . Can you believe her luck . The guy is extremely rich and highly educated too . Oh, and to make things better , he is damn handsome as well . Can you imagine such a combination ! " . She seemed out of the world . 

" You should be sharing this news with your husband . Dont forget to include the last sentence " . I teased Kavya while i settled down on my side of the bed , pressing my face deep into the hollow of the fluffy pillow . 

" Yeah as if he would be bothered . Leave me , what about you ? . You have any idea how old you will be next March . 27 yrs ! ' Chee , you are a granny ! ' That is what we all are going to say on your birthday if you dont accept one of the proposals your poor mother begs you to accept , atleast by next year . " Kavya threatened in a playful tone . 

"  Kavya , dont you dare start on the subject again ok . If i am not bothered why would you guys be ! " . Also i am not simply sitting jobless and warming myself in the sun around here. I have big plans for myself . Will you be able to digest it if i say I managed to communicate with a publishing company today during the conference session . Finally the doors to my dreams are slowly opening their arms . Not that i am not planning to marry ever , but let us leave the marriage deal to God for the time being ok . " . I  pretended to close my eyes as if in a trance . Seriously , i never got along well with Kavya . 

" You dont belong here Neetha . Go , chase your destiny and all those crap you talk about usually . I, tonight , have a very important date with ' Harrison , The textbook of Medicine ' . Make it a point that you dont bug me more with your theories ".

                           Kavya retreated back to her study table . I too snatched a flourescent marker from my table and settled on my chair to devour the textbook . 

                          The next morning , while i was straining as i might to make out the kind of murmer humming through the stethescope , with an extremely confused patient sitting across me ,  Anita , my other room mate , nudged me softly from behind . 

" Come here , i need to ask you something " . She whispered in my ears . 

                          I glanced at the disheartened face of the patient and passed the stethescope to Naveen , my junior unit mate . " Try if you are able to make out the Ejection click . I hear just the Murmer " . 

                         Anita almost dragged me to the classroom and having closed the door behing she pounced on me , literally,with a question ,  "  Are You involved with Vinay ?! " 

" Oh my God , where did that come from now ! . Why would i be doing that ?! " I retorted almost shouting at the top of my voice . 

" I knew they would be lying . You know that Abhay right . The one who keeps a grudge against you for not being part of his college union . He saw you yesterday night outside the coffee house with Vinay . He and his friends have come to the conclusion that you are having an affair with him . What else would a girl be doing with a guy at that time of the hour  ! See how imaginations fly !"

" Well, so that is the reason behind Abhay smiling at me with a  ' i - have - won - over - you ' scoff when i met him at the Procedure Room today . Anita ,You trust me for who i am right . Thats more than i could ask for . Yesterday , on my way back here i could sense the stone cold eyes of the people trying hard to make me feel bad for being out there on the streets alone . And then Vinay came . He was showering me with preaches in his usual self worthy tone saying i was stupid to be chasing my passion while i could utilise that time to score better in my exams . And then Kavya tried to irk me with her mention of the ' Get - married - if you are 26 ' motto . And now that spineless Abhay with his sleazy conclusion ! To all these prancing minds i say , " Not to judge me through their eyes such that they could cleanse my soul free of its specks . I can very well manage myself and definitely no , i am not treading a lost path as they must be hoping . Maybe i am not practical , but then ,heeding to my heart has always been inevitable for my peaceful existence ". 

" Oh well i know you , my dear CHE ! " Anita punched me on my shoulder and passed a big grin . 
                     
 Right then , Naveen barged open the door and shouted frantically at me . 

" Neetha , the HOD himself has come to take the class ! Cant he just sit in his room and sign the ledgers . I was scared to the core that he might ask more about the case we were examining . Do have any idea what an Ejection click actually is ?! " 

I looked at his sullen face , " Ofcourse i know . Remember i am your senior ! Dont worry . I will explain on our way to the ward " .

Naveen gave me a smile of relief . " No wonder i like you so much ! " . He stated .

A momentary murmer of joy fleeted through my heart . I did have friends who loved me for what i was , absolutely . 


                                       **********************


Friday, December 14

Interview With Debut Author Rituraj Verma

                                                   

                         Here I bring to you, author Rituraj Verma, who stormed his entry into the world of literature with his debut work ‘ Love , Peace & Happiness : What More Can You Want ? ‘, a thought provoking, insatiable and thoroughly enticing collection of stories interwoven into each other. With the book receiving warm accolades both from the critics and  readers alike, I was prejudiced while approaching him for the interview fearing that i would be welcomed with a half hearted response . But I was in for a surprise when, instead of basking in the glory of his success , he tried his humble best to contribute as much as he could about his book which blossomed in the foray of literature on August 2012. We see him at his excited best while he talks about his supportive family and the achievements of his kids on similar fortes . Having etched an exceptional career life with the inception being in IIT, he has switched paths several times varying from retail agency and heading the consumer rights division of Future Group to his latest venture as a freelance real estate consultant. Wishing him greater success in his tryst with words, let me move onto the questions.   

Rituraj Verma

 Q 1 .  Tell us something about your new book ‘ Love Peace & Happiness : What More Can You Want ? ‘  .  What was the inspiration behind selecting modern India as the central theme of your stories ?

                           Well, there are several inspirations behind the book - I could list them all in a small paragraph - Facebook, Hemingway, Inception, Mumbai, Catch 22, my own kids, friends, acquaintances, Kurt Vonnegut. The list goes on, but most importantly I found the human condition a very big driver to words that came into my head. 


Q 2 . You have switched roles several times in your professional life . How did the ultimate transformation from an IITian to a writer happen ?

                        I always was a dabbler in writing, but once I crossed forty, I decided I would get serious about it. I guess everyone has a book in him or her but few people are able to cross the threshold. In my case, it was a friend who egged me on and I wrote the first draft in four months. 


Q 3 .  . Is the process of having the book published more tiring and demanding than coming up with the writing itself ? 

                     Yes it is. My publisher is a young man so he is slightly better than the rest but the industry is in trouble with readers preferring to read messages on facebook and twitter to words in a book. The world of publishing is changing fast. I wonder how the world I am writing about in my next book will change by the time I finish writing it. 


Q 4 .  What would  your advice be to youngsters who get caught in the process of choosing between their passion and profession as their future path , given that both travel different paths  ?
             
                   Ideally you should be 'combining passion and profession into one helluva life', but you have to be 'really good to pull it off'. So while a safer bet would be to 'stick to your day job while following the passion as a hobby', I would choose 'Give it your best and don't give up' as my preferred cliche. 

               

Q 5 .  In the story ‘ The soulmate Theorist ‘ you sketch the life of a person who frequent a brothel after a failed marriage .  Do you think moral degeneration plays a part in the instability of  marriages and personal relationships of the present generation ?

                  Morals and degeneration are two sides of the same coin and the story points towards the hypocrisy of our times. People make rules for others that they can't keep up with themselves which is the reason why relationships are so unstable. 


Q 6. Is there an author or a specific work which has left an indelible mark in your mind ?

                  Hemingway for his ability to show , rather than tell a story and Franzen for exactly the opposite, but with a great deal of texture


Q 7 . Have you ever encountered Writer’s Block ? Is there any particular writing habit that you adopt to get over it ?

                   I don't encounter writer’s block very often. But I do use meditation as a technique to immerse myself in the character's souls. That works best for me when I don't really know the character's next move. 


Q 8 . With  suicide rates shooting up amongst younsters what would  your advice be to younsters who are forced to juggle their personal life and professional life at equal pace ?


                    For all those who find life dreary and impossible, remember to read Catch 22 before you pop that pill or slash that wrist. Seriously, don't kill yourself over something small. 


Q 9 . What are your interests apart from writing ? Who is the Rituraj Verma the mass doesn’t know of ?

                    I play the guitar, read books, go for workouts, almost all at the same time. Or close to it.


Q 10 .  There is a general notion that authors get too stuck in their work that they spare little time to interact with their family. What has been your experience regarding that ?

                    One can overdo anything. I try to keep a very disciplined approach to writing, limiting the good work to the early hours when my mind is the freshest. Sometimes I do tend to overdo the publicity bit which can bother my wife, but mostly she and the kids love reading the reviews and they swell with pride when the good ones come in and act all unconcerned and arrogant when the bad ones come in. We are a very literary family as a result. My daughter just won second place in a national essay writing competition. My son is part of literary societies at IITK and if I could convince my wife to write she would win many prizes.

             Our hearty congratulations on their success !

Q 11 .  Moving on to the 'lighter' side :

       A .  Your DOB :  28th June 1967

       B.   Favourite band :  BB King

       C .  Favourite quote :  In the end, there is only one catch - Catch 22.

       D .  Favourite city : Mumbai- For its constantly increasing energy levels 

       E .  What keeps you going : A small dynamo fitted in my head. 
                     

Q 12 . What is your next step as an acclaimed author ?

                    I don't deserve the pedestal you have put me on. I'm just a beginner learning to write better. So , hopefully I will write a better book soon. I will post some stories on my fan page in advance. 


                                 ****************************

                   Maybe the readers would want to disagree with him for once , when he said he didn’t deserve the pedestal we have put him on .An author who has churned out a widely read piece of work after months of mind wrecking moments and hours of toil , sans doubt , deserves every bit of the awe and admiration readers shower him with . 

                               ****************************

To know more about the book or to buy it visit Rituraj Verma’s Website www.riturajverma.com

To read my review of Rituraj Verma’s debut novel  ‘ Love , Peace & Happiness : What More Can You Want ? ‘   click on the link  Book Review       

P.S : I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Rituraj Verma for sparing time from his busy schedule to make this interview possible . 

Compiled by  Maliny Mohan ,writer at   www.colouredbydreamz.blogspot.com


Wednesday, December 12

Love , Peace & Happiness : What More Can You Want ? By Rituraj Verma - Book Review

Image sourced from Google
To read my interview with the author Rituraj Verma  visit the link  Interview With Debut Author Rituraj Verma 

Book Review :

                        When I grabbed the copy of ‘Love peace and happiness : what more can you want ? ‘ from the courier guy , I was pretty much sure that I was in for a treat . Though the title sounded a bit cliched , i was intrigued nonetheless for i have always looked forward to interesting love stories be it in print or on celluloid  . The  cover page was colourful and at its creative best . I settled down to savour the pages one after the other and found myself effortlessly immersed in the emotional turmoil that was being depicted in print right before my eyes .  

                         The book flags off with an introduction from the author Rituraj Verma , in which he flawlessly predicts the possibility of the reader tending to connect the characters with those from their real life .  Needless to say , in the following pages , I found myself being painted raw in its black ink , which I found thoroughly amusing and  introspective to the core !  The foreword by Smriti Verma follows , which is sure to leave an indelible mark in the reader’s mind as she dwells on the transformation of her husband into the author Rituraj Verma , as the masses know him as . One cant help but notice her excellent hold on words which inturn acts as an affirmation of our belief on how enticing and  path breaking the book per se can be .

                       The book has been sorted as a collection of nine stories dealing with the lives of young people , their niche being the modern India . For a person hailing from a conservative family the scenario might seem a tad bit far fetched, but still he or she would , sans doubt , be treated by the various shades of characters sketched in depth so beautifully. Better yet , for the larger mass of readers who have started incorporating into their daily chores the inevitable changes in lifestyle , this book comes as a seamless extrapolation of their personal lives . With competitive minds vying at breakneck speed to inflate their bank balance at any cost , it’s the personal relationships that suffer the brunt . The author succeeds in projecting this grueling state of present generation to the limelight in a thought provoking manner .  

                      Be it Sneha and Ashish of ‘ A High Like Heaven ‘ who slogs through an unhappy married life or Rakesh of ‘ The Emotional Cripple ‘ who gets torn between his mother’s persuasion to get him married and the vagaries of being committed to the wrong person, the problems seem extracted impeccably from what young readers find the most mind boggling these days . The author deserves every bit of praise for conveying the same across to the readers in such a way that they are able to strike an emotional chord with the problems and thus making the process of reading the book all the more rewarding.  Then we have Swetha who being a Hindu enters boldly into a live in relationship with Hanif , a muslim and shows courage at an even higher level when she takes another tough decision towards the end of the story . The author brings to life a modern day independent woman in the form of Swetha who knows to stand up for herself  eventually , come hell or high water , even when the fact remains that she has been born vulnerable at heart .  A protagonist who touched me to the core was Aparna who had to tread a bed of thorns and sacrifice her personal life for the betterment of her family , they being part of the lower caste . The cascade of events that surface in her life is at its poignant best .

                  The names of the characters kept fleeting between the stories as the author mentions in his introduction , which seemed a bit confusing midway . Little did I know that for the same reason I would be in for a surprise in the wrap up story towards the end . The last story can be rightly put as an amalgamation of all the tantrums that one comes across in the previous ones . And here , the author takes us on an evocative journey into the deepest crevices of our minds with his philosophical brilliance on the concepts of love ,peace and happiness .


                 The author brings to limelight the stark realities of present day lives and the intensity of influence money plays on our daily decisions and thereby instilling in the readers an urge to debate on the pros and cons of the same. An overdose of sex comes to play the villain sometimes ,  but at other times , physical intimacy serves as the bridging strand between  otherwise disconnected minds .  

              Above all the rather unique approach of alternate endings is sure to leave the story lust minds as enthralled as they can be , especially when the author has preferred a sad mellow ending and we end up wishing if there could be a happier way to bring the story to a climax . Though most readers would find this unconventional , the author has made it a point that he offers hyper links at the end of each story such that those who feel  unsatisfied with the way the story ended can very well refer the link online and read the alternate ending . Needless to say , I recommend this book to all readers who are in search of something to let you think , smile and ponder about . Take it with a pinch of salt and you are sure to be rewarded with a soul stirring experience .   


Author : Rituraj Verma
Publication : Leadstart Publication Pvt Ltd
No. of pages : 223
Cover : Paperback
Language : English                                                     Review By
                                                                                    Maliny Mohan

 Those of you who would like to grab a copy of the book do visit this link  Buy-the-book Online  .                                                                
                                                                                     
                                                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, December 11

At The Coffee Hut


Image Sourced From Google
It seemed a dull uninspiring day 
Sun shining bright , the month being May !
I walked to the Coffee Hut , not quite gay
To see you at the table , digging on your whey .

I sank down on some corner without any say
Cued for the waiter , who soon came my way
You had no clue ,but with my heart you did play
Leaving  me lost , every other time you sway.

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-
-
-
-soon to be part of an anthology-

********** 

Friday, December 7

Serving Till The Last Breath



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                                 Terrified and tainted , I stood alone in the midst of the barren land , which was till three months back a vast forest in all its pride. I shuddered a little when the long stout branch which stood grazing me swayed roughly to one side . It hit the hard rock bottom with the loudest thud I have ever heard . The most beautiful and awed- at plant of the forest , with its fresh green leaves ruffling cheerfully at the lightest cue from the softest breeze , my companion for six long years left my side . No .  It was murdered ! . Stabbed at the body for umpteen times over , as it refused to budge , my dear friend now lay dead and trembling in a heap of dried leaves  . 

    " Aah , let us take some rest now . " , I strained hard to hear those words . The proud tint in his voice could be recognised however far he stood . He was the leader of the gang which was appointed to cut down the trees to make way for the largest steel plant in the country .

"  Is it just me or do all of you feel the same after a day of hardwork and toil ? I guess this is what they call ' satisfaction ' ! He jeered at his friends , a gleam of victory shone bright in his eyes as he scanned the bare land exposed to its ultimate rawness .

  " Come , let us sit down under the shade of that banyan tree and have a pint or two . I cant wait to finish the job off  and grab today's salary . Dont forget that come what may , we are going to celebrate the last day of our tenure in this area tonight at Mahesh's toddy shop . "  He declared while his hands deftly played with the lid of the white coloured bottle .

                            A pang of fear shot through my trunk as he mentioned the word ' last day ' ! . Soon followed a wave of pain  at the thought of  the plight of my fellow beings . I miss my family . That day , when i found my little one slowly sprouting from the seed I left intentionally on the soil , I was elated to the core . Shouting as I might , I fluttered my leaves in ecstacy . Little drops of rain showered on us that moment as if they rejoiced too . The waft of fresh scent that emanated from the soil welcomed him to this world . A world where nature lived in harmony , a place so humid , so bright and so content - Our thick green forest !

                           I remembered the day when my little one nudged at me in excitement with his fragile roots when a group of birds flocked and nested on him for the first time . I found him the happiest that day . He kept still the whole day for fear that his slightest movement would disturb the little ones resting so trusfully on him . 

                         We offered comfort and shade , its our fruits that men savoured , we lent them shelter , we gave man even his life breath . Each moment man inspires air into his lungs , we do our part diligently such that he wouldnt get cyanosed breathing carbondioxide . And now, all those species of flora whose lively vibes and efforts served to balance the nature were brought down to a lump of logs merely in a matter of hours .

                      Men need us ! Time and again  Mother Earth tried  engraving deep on his mind the one truth to which mankind ever pretented to be oblivious of . That he can never dwell on Her unless he learns to respect Her . The wrath that She has been unleashing, albeit hesitantly ,was meant to teach him this lesson the harder way . Unfortunately greed has encroached his mind with its ever slithering chains to such an extent that he chose to be deaf to her wails , blind to Her tears  !

                        The violent gaze of the sun with its razor sharp rays shook me up from my thoughts . I realised for the first time how penetrating these rays could be , for the hugs of my taller companions never for once let me fall prey to such torments before . At the thought of which , i felt a deep agonising pain as a chunk of my flesh was torn apart from my trunk . " Oh ! Is it happening ?! " . I felt  my branches being mercilessly axed down by those workers . My leaves wailed in clutters more for the painful thought of having received such heinous torture in return for all those years of selfless service ! . I whimpered a bit before the last chunk of me was torn apart . 

                       The men were over whelmed on finishing their assigned job way before the allotted time . They scampered away in a hurry to stuff the wood they just cut onto the truck . In the peak of fervour none of them noticed the hard green mass that rolled off from one of the branches . A worker unknowingly stamped his feet onto the mass to push it further deep into the soil . It was a fruit ! The tree left the world , but not without leaving  behind the last glimmer of hope for the very manhood which left it in shreds. 


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P.S : Pause for a moment and think of nature as one among us. In this industrial world, cutting down trees has almost become a necessity for a multitude of reasons . But even then there is something we could do such that they dont end up as an endangered species . Plant a seed somewhere for every tree that we purposefully axe down . Let that act be the light at the end of the gruelling tunnel . 


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Tuesday, December 4

The Menace Lingers !

Picture Source : Google Images
                                           Seven months of service at a government hospital in rural India right after my MBBS graduation doesn’t make me an expert in matters relating to health . Neither should that hold me back from putting across something which demands action and further more, careful planning . Yes , I am talking about the plight of the many HIV positive patients dwelling in the grueling darkness of horror and helplessness across the country . Having been dissected by action panels time and again , the scenario has definitely come out of its veils to brighter response over the years . But still , the same question continues to hang in the air as dubious as ever - ‘ Have we done enough ‘ ?

                                         During my short stint as a medical officer at a government hospital  , I came across a couple of HIV patients who used to frequent the OPD demanding a particular medicine to help them get some sleep at night . The same drug which is normally prescribed at a particular safe dose was in government supply which these patients are very well aware of . Having had the opportunity to talk to one of those patients in my opd one day , I enquired whether he has completed his ART ( Anti Retro Viral Therapy ) . Much to my surprise I realized that he hasn’t taken any treatment at all , though it has been conveyed to him years before that he was retro positive . He told me “ You tell me , will I be cured of this disease forever if I take the treatment ? I wont be , I know. Then why should I even bother ! “ . Try as I might , I failed to evoke any positive response In him towards what he, as a patient should be doing, for the sake of him and the people around him .

                                        Disheartening to know that such dejected minds exist in the silent corners of our country  fighting against the harrowing arrows of  this dreaded disease  all alone . Definitely , actions are being taken at the best of  governments capabilities , atleast close enough, such  that the disease is being curbed . But incidents like these project the gravity of the situation much more to the limelight . Have we done enough ? Then why do people like him still exist in gallows in the nooks and corners of our country ?

Picture source : Google Images
                                        I strongly believe that the cleansing ought to begin from the root levels . Be it unhealthy sexual practices or drug abuse, the problem has burrowed to unimaginable depths . HIV positive mothers give birth to babies unaware of the fact that a lot could be done to save atleast their babies from the clutches of the same disease which has torn their life apart to shreads .  The prime step is to let people realize the fact that contracting the disease isn’t the end of their life . Amongst all the adverse effects , there is one truth that this fast paced generation teaches us – that a lot can be achieved in a days time . When the situation remains so efforts should be directed at creating proper awareness that appropriate Anti retro viral therapy clearly extends the life of  the diseased years forward , given that they dedicate themselves for the same at the earliest .

                                    Its high time that the taboo ruling the society in the name of HIV be destroyed . They deserve a healthier tomorrow just like each one of us . Also its high time we realized that there is little use in waiting for the last hour to make the much needed correction . With the disease having chewed up their cells and gradually their minds too there is practically nothing the doctors can do to revive them back to their normal lives . Prevention , and in this case proper awareness as well , definitely is better than cure .

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Sunday, December 2

The Revival


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 34; the thirty-fourth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "Of-Course, I'm insane"


                         The clamour of the chai vendor shook Diya up from her dream . The hustle bustle around her revived her back to her senses . Yes , she was on a train that would take her to Palghat . She looked out at the vast stretch of paddy fields flanking the rail . The crimson shade of the sky would have invoked an impulse in her to dabble on a piece of white paper  if not for the hefty cloud swaying in her heart . 

                     Resting her head against the window sill , Diya checked her phone . It was  6 P.M . Three more hours to their destination . Her gaze fell on the old couple sitting opposite her . They seemed happy . More than that they seemed content . Now thats the curious thing about being heartbroken . When you flutter in the strokes of love the people around you cease to exist . Your eyes wander in awe at the splendour of nature . You see the world in a shade of red . And when the same clutch of love strangles you a tad bit harder , thats when you realise the world isnt a garden of red roses after all . There are people in it . All shades of people ; some black , some yellow , some red . Happy , sad , content , overzealous , dejected ; The emotions are multitude .

  " Diya , do you need something to eat ? " , her mother enquired . 

                       A bundle of  infinite affection resonated in her voice .  Diya shook her head . She was not hungry , not even parched . Her parents headed back to their discussions on the families they would be visiting the week ahead . No , this wasnt a mere trip to reconnect with old friends . This was a means to rekindle her lost laughter .   

                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                       Three months back , she had been on the same train travelling towards the same destination . For a different purpose though - To visit Vivek . 

                        Vivek , the guy who sprinkled her days with the one mesmerising spice of life ; Happiness . The person who instilled the indelible spark of passion in her . Not just for love , but for the whole world , towards art , towards words , towards every nuance of life which remained unexplored . Vivek, the guy , who after drenching her neck deep in fervour forgot to carry her in his arms such that she wouldnt drown head deep .

                     He never had a hint that she would be coming . She was always the impulsive type , a trait she regretted at the end of that day . Try as she might she couldnt get through to talk to him for the past month . Now she was going to pay an undeclared visit to him . Reaching the station she called him on his number . He didnt attend it as usual . She thought of sending him a text , though its been days since he replied to her texts . 

" Vivek , i know you would be angry when you know this . But i am here at the Palghat railway station now . Could you pick up my call for once " Her message read . 

                      She was surprised to see her phone ringing the next minute . She attended the call , a  sparkle twinkling on her eyes for the first time in days . 

   " What is wrong with you Diya ! Have you gone insane ! "

   " Ofcourse i am insane Vivek ! . I have always been . I am not asking much of your time . An hour , or at the most a few minutes . I am not sure why i came down here without letting you know before . I knew i would reach the station past nine at night . But you loved that side of me , the spontaneous me . Dont you . I came here for you Vivek . Please give me  a few moments . I wouldnt bug you more "

  " No , i cant meet you . Priya wouldnt like it ". He retorted.

  " Priya , the girl you had been talking about ? " . How relationships take newer forms in a matter of days . 

" Yes ". 
                          She was almost on the verge of breaking down . She noticed a girl staring at her from across the waiting room  . Not always one finds such melodrama in public places ! Diya mumbled further , " Think of all the good times we had and just meet me as your old friend lost in the city in this late hour . Please Vivek "

    " I have told you once , Diya . You didnt tell me you were coming , for one . Another is , as you said , you are an old friend , but a forgotten old friend . " . Saying that he cut the phone . 

                     Aghast , Diya  deftly dialled his number again only to hear the busy tone . She sat there staring at her phone for a long time . She remembered dialling his number for one hour at a stretch .  Tears started pouring down her face . To that moment she was not sure why she took that train that day . Was she that insane  . Somehow she had to suffice the one desire that had been ruining her days over the past one month . To see him , to talk things over , which she failed to do . After trying in vain to reach him for more than an hour , she noticed that her fingers had begun to ache . Resting the phone on her lap , She closed her eyes and sank herself more onto the chair .  

                 Maybe she dozed off for a while for it was the lady in charge of the waiting room who reminded her that it was almost 11 p.m . 

" Where is your train ticket , madam .? " The stout lady enquired .

" I dont have a ticket " Diya replied helplessly.  

" I am sorry madam , you are not allowed to be here in the waiting room overnight if you dont possess a train ticket . "

"Oh , i am sorry . I didnt know that . When is the next train back to Cochin ?" . 

              She had planned to stay there overnight and take the early morning train back . Didnt Vivek use to drop her back usually ? She reminisced with pain . 

" The Ahalya Express has just come ." The lady strained her neck to confirm the train was still on the platform . Its about to leave now ." She almost yelled .

                    Diya remembered grabbing her backpack and heading in search of the ladies compartment like a girl frantically trying to escape yet another disaster in her life. Managing to cling onto the door in time she realised she had no ticket . She hoped the ticket examiner wouldnt try barging into the heavily packed compartment . The crowd was frightening . She slept on the floor with a bunch of other women . Though it seemed unfortunate atfirst , later she realised she was lucky to have secured atleast that much space . 

                     Opening her eyes the next day she tried hard to let herself believe that the whole incident was a nightmare. But the pang which returned back to her heart  with all sharpness proved otherwise .
                                                
                                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                  Now after three months her parents found out the perfect place to bring back the joys in her life . Their native place . They never knew what had happened . Just that she was heartbroken . If they had known ,they wouldnt have planned their journey to the same station which had shattered her life . 

                      Diya didnt complain . She was going to face the past . She was prepared to let it go .  Her eyes grazed the sky now donning a lavender shade . Tucking back the strands of hair that fell on her face she smiled as the soft breeze brushed past her .

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