Sunday, December 29, 2013

Aisle Be Damned - Book Review


About the Book 
Title: Aisle Be Damned
Author: Rishi Piparaiya
Publisher: JAICO Publishing House
ISBN: 978-81-8495-465-4
No. of pages: 214
Price: INR 250
Genre: Humor

About the Author

Rishi Piparaiya is an over-worked and over-travelled corporate executive based in the skies, 38,000 feet over India. He heads sales and marketing for a financial services multinational. His other professional claims to fame include running football betting syndicates in Spain and setting up random internet businesses that contributed to the dotcom bust.

The Cover Speaks

"Swaying hips, praying lips and flying tips" scripted on the front of the book with the image of an air hostess passing through the aisle of the plane catches one's eye and for once compels the reader to browse through the pages for what all red hot stuff they carry.

The rear cover has some says from the first readers starring the book as a good pick to laugh through the pages.

" Absolutely first -rate sense of humor... a must read for harassed travelers, frequent or otherwise!" - Jerry Rao.
"I read... this veritable from start to finish in one go... Rishi's writing is as fluid as his surname is complex." - Cyrus Broacha.

A Hilarious Take on just about Everything Associated with Air Travel.
- Getting seamlessly upgraded to Business Class.
- The hows and whys of micromanaging the pilots.
- Action plans to counter the airlines Technical Snag routine.
- Sure shot strategies for winning the affections of flight attendants.
- Awesome icebreakers to start conversations with attractive co-passengers.
- How smart executives deal with the Walk of Shame to the economy section.
- How a water bottle dramatically improves flight safety.
- Breezing through immigration and customs, always making your flight connections and a whole lot more.
Rest assured, your flying experience will never be the same again!

Book Review

The book is a hilarious take on the air journey. The way author starts with a list of the things to be carried while travelling amuses the reader. And the reasons mentioned later why to carry them makes you roll on the floor. Rishi starts his book from the thought of planning an air travel to the entering into the place called airport and then the entire journey from check-in to check -out.
 It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, ‘as pretty as an airport’. – Douglas Adams.

The author has covered every minute details while travelling. He has collected all his experiences and penned down this book in his amusing tone. He tells you everything from how to entice the lady behind the screen to upgrade your ticket to business class to how to manage to get your arms rested if you get a middle seat. Why should you carry a sack of birdseed for a safe travel or a masala dabba to ensure a pleasant journey leaves the readers laughing out loud. 

Air travel has traditionally come with more than its share of flamboyance, ostentation and romance. Rishi goes on to prove this. He reasons why window seats should be preferred for not only staring at fluffy , candy floss clouds but for aisle passengers get shafted more during hijacks. His weird reasons yet sensible arguments keeps the reader trapped. He tells you how to kick start conversation with business tycoons and make the flight attendants take extra care of you. 

This book is a complete package of laughter gags while you reach your destination. It will guide you throughout the journey with funny do's and dont's. Even if haven't experienced air travel, give it a shot with this book and you will come to know what lies behind the flamboyant air travel tradition.

In a Nutshell

The author has put down his views in an impeccable humorous way. This book will serve as the best catch-up read during your travel. Don't forget to put it in your travelling bag.

My Rating

4/5

Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
JJJ

       
The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

इश्क़


इश्क़ एक दरिया है
डूब हमे जाना है
जो ना दुबे
तो रास नहीं आना है
जो डूब गए
तो सांस नहीं आनी है |


Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
JJJ

The Girl in the Tattoo

    This post has been selected amongst the Blogadda's WOW posts of the week.

The delicious aroma of something being cooked was struggling to find its way when the chef scurried into the kitchen and the aroma raced against the closing door to find its way through the cafeteria. The sweet and spicy smell dangled in the air sensitizing his olfactory nerves stimulating the secretion of saliva in his mouth and an irresistible urge to have a look at the catering counter. The legs tried to push him ahead and hands were about to reach the serving vessel when suddenly the only culprit brain activated the neural activity sending the message to sit back and resist. He dragged his body back and returned back to the seat.

Aasna gave him a quizzing look seeing him empty-handed. She was already annoyed by the stupid bugs sent out by the fools of testing team and seeing him blank, she fumed. She got up from her seat and bashed her hands against the table.
'What? ', she enquired.
He just shrugged his shoulder with a deceptive smile. She trampled her heels in anger towards the serving counter and grabbed her usual order of cheese grilled sandwich and a cup of coffee. While she returned back with the antidote of six hours of work-bullying, she was a little calm. But as she saw him resting his head on his left-hand staring at the spinning fan, she pretended to be still angry. She put down the plate with a blow on the table but he seemed totally lost. She too avoided him and concentrated on the food. Just a minute had passed and she felt something was missing.

What is missing? the cheese in the sandwich or the caffeine in the coffee?, she wondered.
Actually it was his usual chatter during their meal breaks which was missing today. She called off the five-minute cold war and snapped her fingers at his face. He jerked in the chair while reassembling himself back. He just nodded with that wry smile again. She had admired this answer-without-speaking attitude of him since past six years.


Both of them were friends from college. The duo used to be very popular in their times. The charm of the charming lady and the wittiness of the handsome lad kept the college muggins hitched to their daily happening quarrels or some surpassing engagement in some or the other campaigns. He and Aasna were together known as A2 (A- square). Intelligence had bound their brains and dance had bonded their souls. They were a great dancing pair. When they used to perform, people used to bite their nails with their sharp and clean moves. Girls felt jealous when he held Aasna in his strong arms to make a spinning move. Guys felt furious when Aasna tickled her fingers on his face before they leap into the air and he swings to catch her deftly with his tattooed arm. The tattoo carved on his arm made the boys green with envy. It was so elegant and cleanly drawn but was still obscure. It was the side face of a girl with her flowing hair covering half of her face and the eyelids sprouting out of the silhouette made it heavenly beautiful. Everyone wanted to figure out who the girl was? Was Aasna carved on his arm? But that remained a mystery for the peers. The duo never answered when confronted with the tattoo questionnaire.

Bringing him back to cafeteria, she tried to unravel the mystery behind his answering smile. He gave her a hint and directed his eyes to look around. She looked around and found there were only male employees grabbing their meals. No woman except her occupied the space. She got her answer and gave him an assuring look. She looked up and asked HIM to bless him. Her hungry rats got fed and she went to put the plate. He again got lost somewhere where no one intruded.

It was their mutual understanding to allow him to wander in his own world even when they were together. She never tried to pull him out of his reflection instead enjoyed his presence and the revered aura of love enveloping him.

The duo left after finishing their daily tasks. It was a bit cloudy. The lightening streaks and thunderous sounds made her heart skip a beat but she masked the brave lady face. He seemed indifferent to the surroundings. The stormy weather didn't stop him from racing against the trees.

Her phone rang. She picked up the call and a worried voice at the other end said, ' The weather forecast is saying it's not clear over there, is it??' She looked out of the car window and said in a low voice, ' Yes, it's cloudy all over here and ...'
Before she could complete he interrupted, 'How's he?'
'Composed'.
He heaved a sigh of relief and said, 'Take care of him. This day always makes me worried. I'll be back by this weekend.'
'Ok. Don't worry. I'll take care of him.'
'Bye sweetheart'.
The call disconnected. She was happy to see Faizal returning nearly after a month but at the same time was worried for her friend behind the steering.

They reached the block-D. He parked the car and they made their way to the apartment. He was unusually silent all the way. She knew he was chaotic inside and made her a little worried. He sat on the sofa loosening his tie and folding up the sleeves to the arms. She went to the balcony pleading the clouds to go away.

Bang! Bang!
The clock struck nine and her heart paced fast. She peeped at him from the balcony. He sat calm with his eyes closed. A strange satisfied happiness had enveloped him which she had seen years ago.

She was afraid of loosing him. She was caught with fear. Her hands went numb in the praying position. After five minutes she opened her eyes with a conviction that her prayers have been answered. She looked up and indeed HE listened. The clouds withered away and the crescent moon playing hide and seek from past four hours shone bright and clear. She jumped out of happiness and called him.

He slowly opened his eyes as if putting something on halt. He was equally happy. He wore the same half-sleeve T- shirt which he had worn two years back and from then onwards he wore that T-shirt only on this day every year.  He walked towards the balcony.

She was so tensed that when he approached and she got a glimpse of the tattoo she felt that she had seen that tattoo before! If only she could remember where.  She composed herself with five deep breaths. She admired the beautiful tattoo exactly after a year as it got unveiled once in a year by him on this day only.

She went inside and came out with a decorated thali. They stood together. He looked up and admired the moon through the sieve. He brought the sieve in front of the beautiful smiling face and just gazed and gazed. Aasna didn't interrupt him as usual and allowed him to take his time.  After nearly fifteen minutes, she put down the photo frame she held till now and asked him to drink water. He again closed his eyes and drank water as if she is holding the glass and finally broke his long-day Karwa Chauth fast. He turned his head and caressed the tattoo as if it was her face. Aasna ensured everything went well as per her promise to her.  She got the dinner table ready and served him a plate of her favourite food items. His eyes gleamed and he ate peacefully. Aasna looked at him and admired him again. She waited for him to break the silence.

After finishing the dinner, he looked at Aasna with respect and said,' Thank-you so much. Had you and Faizal not been with me, I would have died with her.'

Aasna interrupted, 'Ssssh! She hasn't died. She resides in you. Her blood is flowing in you. She wanted you to live and fight back Leukemia with her blood transfusion and complete the dream you have seen together. She must be very happy to have you. Not everyone is as lucky as her who rests on her beloved's arm forever'.


Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
JJJ

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

ठंडी बयार


करनी थी बहुत बातें
कहने थे कुछ राज़
रह गई सब अनसुनी
रह गई सब अनकही

थोड़ी सी मोहलत थी
थोड़ी सी मुहब्बत थी
एक ठंडी बयार ने
ठंडा कर दिया उन्हें
चले गए वो दूर देश
छिप गए किसी अँधेरे कोने में

पर चाँद की आस में अभी भी कोई चकोर है
चांदनी अभी भी उसकी छाँव है
तारे अभी भी टिमटिमा रहे है
रौशनी उनके साथ है
बस हम ही हताश है
बदहवास अशांत है

किससे कहे जो कहना चाहते थे
शायद अब चुप्पी से ही बतियाना चाहे
शायद खुद को खुद का इंतज़ार है
खुद ही सुन लेंगे अनसुनी कहानी
खुस से ही कह देंगे अनकही दास्ताँ

शायद यही हमारी पहचान है
खुले आस्मां के तले हम खड़े
न जाने किसके इंतज़ार में
शायद उसी ठंडी बयार के
जो हमे भी ठंडा कर सके |

Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
JJJ
 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Baramulla Bomber - Book Review



About the Book
 
Title: Baramulla Bomber
Author: Clark Prasad
Publisher: Niyogi Books
ISBN: 978-93-81523-97-1
No. of pages: 315
Price: INR 395
Genre: Science Fiction
 
About the Author
 
Clark Prasad, alter ego of Suraj Prasad, could be called a mixed citizen. Born in a leap year (year of Rocky, All the President’s Men, Omen, Hera Pheri and Kalicharan) in Lagos, Nigeria he lived most of his life in New Delhi and had his education in Lagos, Delhi, Mangalore and Kozhikode. His family background is from the town where George Orwell, author of 1984 (a dystopian fiction) was born, and where Mahatma Gandhi had re-ignited India’s freedom movement – Motihari.

A pharmacist with a management degree who believes in conspiracy theories, Baramulla Bomber is his first book. His first education o he mysteries of the universe came via Carl Sagan's Cosmos, and since then he never looked back on reading, watching and discussing about the universe. He grew up during the cold war days with BBC radio was one of his mysterious companions as a kid, when his father played the news regularly every day. World War II news and documentaries on CIA-KGB tussle kept him engaged.

As a kid he wanted to be an archaeologist or an astronaut, but fate had its own road and he got involved with Mr. Carbon aka Chemistry. Currently he is a healthcare management consultant, based at Bengaluru, Planet Earth.

Aside of writing, travelling and hiking, he is deeply involved in alumni activities for his Alma Mater.

Clark's favourite authors are Robin Cook, Jeffery Archer, Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth and Tom Clancy. Books like The Odessa File, Patriot Games, Coma, Not a Penny More not a Penny Less, and of course Da Vinci Code are some of his favourites.
 
The Cover Speaks
 
A fervid cover with eyes of a man peeping out of the secret gives the book a thrill look.
 
Synopsis
 

An Ancient Weapon from the Vedas & Bible
Once Hunted by the Nazis
Powered by the Sound of the Universe

Reborn with the Help of Quantum Physics
Going to be Unleashed onto the World
And Kashmir Holds its Secret
The only way
Multiple intelligence agencies are tracking Mansur Haider, a god-fearing aspiring cricketer from Kashmir. His girlfriend, Aahana Yajurvedi, is trying to locate her missing mountaineering team, which vanished after a mysterious earthquake struck Shaksgam Valley. Investigating Mansur and the Shaksgam Valley incident is Swedish intelligence officer, Adolf Silfverskiold, whose only relationship to God consists of escorting his girlfriend to Church.
 
To save the world
A dual China-Pakistan battlefront scenario facing the Indian Home Minister, Agastya Rathore, whose ancestors carry a prehistoric secret linked to the stars. He is faced with the challenge of finding a lasting solution to the Kashmir crisis.
 
Is to challenge one’s faith
Which biblical weapon was tested in Shaksgam valley? Why is Mansur Haider important? Is there a solution to the Kashmir crisis? Can destiny be controlled? Does a cosmic religion exist?

Book Review
 
Baramulla Bomber is book eka (one) of Svastik Trilogy, a trilogy which looks into the origins of universe, Vedas and the destiny of human race.

More than a billion people are praying for India’s new fast pace bowler Mansur Haider from Kashmir to succeed. One politician is making sure the Indian subcontinent is at peace while another is trying to get forgiveness from his nation. One Swedish intelligence officer is trying to decode a puzzle by a fanatic who is making one last ditch attempt to bring chaos to the world. And all of them are connected to Mansur Haider and Kashmir. As a result a secret will be revealed.

The book absorbs many scientific theories and historical events which are deftly used in the plot throughout the book. This shows the potential of the author and readers look forward for the next two books in trilogy.

With a plot that revolves around Kashmir, Pakistan, China, cricket, ancient secret societies, and espionage? Baramulla Bomber is one heady cocktail that will make for page turning reading and introspection.
 

In a Nutshell
 
The author has intensely worked over this thriller and it becomes evident as the story becomes a page turner. With an intense plot, the reader becomes curious to find out what happens next. So grab a copy and find out what is it all about.
 
My Rating
4/5
 
 
Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
JJJ
This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hiccups - Book Review


About the Book
Title: Hiccups
Author: Harsh Pande
Publisher: Jaico Publishing house
ISBN: 978-81-8495-414-2
No. of pages: 325
Price: INR 199
Genre: Fiction/ Love story
About the Author

Harsh Pande was born and educated at Pune. In spite of suffering from complex orthopedic disorders by birth, which entailed a battle for rehabilitation through several surgeries, he displayed an unusually resilient spirit and a remarkable lust for life. He topped the Maharashtra State Board Examinations both in the 10th and 12th standards while studying at St. Vincent's High School and Junior college. He also represented the West Zone in the popular and televised Bournvita Quiz Contest while at school. He then graduated with a distinction from the prestigious College of Engineering Pune winning a gold medal at the Tata Research Development and Design Centre during his internship.
 
A successful Computer Engineer, he was selected into one of the leading consulting firms in the world. Through all these years, writing had remained a consistent passion. He wrote actively for the school and college magazines, posted regularly on his widely popular blog http://harshpande.blogspot.in and also found time to launch a very mischievous 'Project Breakup' on Facebook. Those who came in contact with him were fascinated by his wit and indomitable cheerful attitude towards life.
 
Hiccups is his debut novel; the inspiration for which was "an epiphany" he experienced while holidaying in Goa. You can find more about him at http://harshpande.com
 
Harsh Pande, sadly, passed away on 23rd April 2012. He was 24 years,3 months and 16 days old.
 
Harsh used to inspire by saying 
“No one has a monopoly on ideas!”
“You have to experience life before you can express it.”
 
The Cover Speaks
 
The book cover is endearing and attracting. A smiling lady in the embrace of a man with colourful "HICCUPS - A love story with a difference" catches one's eyes. The black cover with floating pink hearts gives it a soft touch.

" You came into my life and changed everything... forever. Before you walked into my life, all I did was survive... you made me rediscover what it means to be alive."
 
Synopsis
 
Hiccups is a tender love story. It revolves around the life of the protagonist and his struggles  - caring for his mother, paying for his engineering expenses and doing well in his studies.  What happens when he meets a beautiful, witty and intelligent girl with a penchant for the good things in life?

Destiny brings the two of them together under the unlikeliest of circumstances. What follows is a fascinating journey that will change their lives forever.
Book Review
 
Hiccups is truly a love story with a difference. The most distinguishing factor of the book is that the protagonist and his beloved are given no names throughout the book. Yet there arose no need of calling  the protagonist by any name. See the beauty of the script! 

This entire script depicts how profound knowledge the author held right from G.K. to relationships to the essence of life. 

The boy lost his father at the age of eleven and now is shouldered with the responsibility of her comatose mother. He struggles to pay the hospital bills and his college fees by his academic excellence winning one or the other quiz. At such a quiz called 'Fastermind', he meets a girl who brings life to his dead life. He comes out to be very witty and amusing throughout the quiz. The dialogues woven by the author are superb. She chases him to discover why such an intelligent guy keeps himself isolated from the world, what is his secret lair where he rushes as soon as the classes end? As she finds out the truth, their few days friendship seems to be stabbed by her stupid act. He blames her of spying him. What happens next? Does their friendship resumes or she is cursed with the blot of a spy?

Will the boy ever see his mother again or will he carry the burden of his ill-fate?

Why do the victories feel like defeats?
Why has the joy been replaced by sorrow?
How much longer will fate fill anguish into my story?
Will I ever witness the sunshine of redemption, in all its glory?
 
Hiccups- a discotheque is the place where story takes turn and read out more to find what happened there. Some of the lines quoted by the protagonist hits the nail. They make you laugh, they make you feel his emotion, they leave you in the awe of his persona. 

The night arrives just to watch her dance,
The moon peeks through the clouds, just to get a glance.
 
The slushy mushy conversation will sweep you off your feet. The beauty of the lady and collectednesss of the lad weave an aura in the story. Their pranks make way to gags. Their combat leaves you in despair. Their sweet talks keep you engrossed. 

The book shows the battle of a boy through the trauma of losses but his never-say-die spirit will make you impose your faith and reverence in the character. The beauty with brain also keep you hitched to the book. 
 
My favourite lines from the Hiccups are
"Whenever something unfortunate happens... we should not ask 'Why did this happen?' These questions have no answers. Because it is not our duty to ask questions of God or our Destiny. All we have to do is move on and live our lives. And that life is all about finding out what happens next."
 
I feel like author has left his soul in the book. He has penned down his understanding of life, relations and destiny in form of a sweet story. All I can say is, "I'm falling short of words to describe how amazing the magic of Hiccups is. Take a bow, Harsh!".

In a Nutshell
 
The book is a true roller coaster of emotions. From chuckling to laughing to weeping, it endorses human heart in every way. Grab a copy and start reading it. I bet you will remain lost in the hiccup of Hiccups.
 
My Rating
4/5
 
Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
JJJ

The Guardian Angels - Book Review



About the Book
 
Title: The Guardian Angels
Author: Rohit Gore
Publisher: Grapevine India Publishers
ISBN: 9789381-841280
No. of pages: 328
Price: INR 125
Genre: Fiction/ Love story
 
About the Author
 
Rohit Gore is the author of best selling novels 'Circle of three', 'A darker dawn', 'Focus, Sam'.
Rohit  grew up in a number of towns in India. At various times in his childhood, he wanted to be a theatre actor, an architect and a bookshop owner.

After completing his engineering degree, he based himself in Mumbai. An MBA from S P Jain Institute followed and since then he has been working in the IT industry.

He loves sports, specifically the discussing and watching part of it, since the playing days are long gone. He has travelled a lot – a consequence of living in Mumbai and London. His greatest passion is reading and it inspired him to write. He is a frequent contributor to many online writing forums and wishes there were more writing groups.
 
He currently lives in Pune, a wonderfully vibrant city with his wife Pranita .He has a keen interest in history, especially the history of music and the arts. One of the things he would like to get better at is photography.
 
The Cover Speaks
 
I fell in love with the cover at the very first sight. As they say, "Don't judge a book by its cover" but the cover promises an intriguing love story with the tinge of friendship. The back turned girl with wisps of tress falling on her face enclosed inside the silhouette of a man and the yellow hue draws one towards itself. The dust jacket saying "Brilliant and Addictive" prompts one to read the story at a stretch.
 
Synopsis
 
The Guardian Angels is the epic and tumultuous story of two star-crossed lovers who weren’t just soul-mates but were also each other’s protectors.
 
The fates of Adi Mehta and Radha Deodhar are deeply entwined when within days of their first rendezvous they save each other’s lives. Despite their vast sociopolitical differences, they are drawn to each other and to an uncertain future fraught with contrasting ambitions, personas and ideologies.
 
. . . he is the son of a billionaire, she is the daughter of a socialist.
 
. . . he is quiet and unassuming, she is a firebrand and spirited.
 
However, an unexplained phenomena ties them forever – whenever they are in peril, they are each other’s only saviours.
 
Over the following two decades Adi and Radha live through hope and despair, joy and sadness, and try to decipher their relationship. As the truth of their bond is revealed, they must confront the true nature of love, and ultimately, their destinies.
 
Book Review
 
The story is narrated in five intriguing parts.
I- When Adi and Radha were Teenagers
II- When Adi and Radha were in their late teens
III- When Adi and Radha were in their Twenties
IV- When Adi and Radha were in their Thirties.
V- The Present Day
 
The story kick starts in the 'Bullyzone' of school ground where Adi sees Radha for the first time. They become each others' saviours and come to the rescue of each others' lives. Adi emerges as a promising cricket player getting praises and blessings from legends. He was on the way to become the next Sachin Tendulkar when destiny blows off his only passion and forbids him to held his bat aloft in air again. At this point for the first time he gets to see the motherly side of her business woman mother who leaves aside all her work to look after her.
 
Adi and Radha always run-in over petty trivial issues and this is how they develop a strong bond. The author has nicely portrayed how their small disputes brings them close. As Adi leaves for US to pursue higher education, Radha stays back and joins Sudha Bapat, a social activist following the footsteps of her father.
 
The hereditary Huntington's disease in Deodhar family plays a major role in Adi and Radha's relationship. As they grow up, love triangles also appear and story takes an interesting twist. Adi pulls off Mehta group from the puddle while Radha uses the might of her pen in Oorja. Time takes turn and unveils the real motives of Sudha Bapat. Drained of all energy Radha drags herself with Vedant, editor of Oorja . And Adi finds pleasure with Nicole, his collegemate. What happens to these couples? What Huntington's hunts for? What Adi and Radha  are destined for ? Numerous questions popping up gets answered in The Guardian Angel.
 
The story is put up in Radha's diary alongwith putting light on other characters. I liked the way author has put up the story in form of Radha's ramblings. Lucid flow of words gives life to each character and it seems the entire plot is running right in front of your eyes.
 
Rohit Gore! You have proved the might of your pen. Kudos!!!
 
 
In a Nutshell
 
I found myself lost in the book as soon as I started reading it. Get yourself a cup of coffee and push yourself in the chair to let the magic unwind. Love, friendship, social rebels, politics, disease, relations will all tie you in a bond with the book.
 
My Rating
4/5
 
 
Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
JJJ
 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Never Mind Yaar- Book Review

                                                  
 
 
 
About the Book
 
Title: Never Mind Yaar
Author: K. Mathur
Publisher: Southpac Publishers Ltd.
ISBN: 978-0-473-17480-4
No. of pages: 220
Price: INR 350
Genre: Fiction
 
About the Author
 
Born and brought up in Mumbai, K.Mathur lives with her family in New Zealand. Mathur showcases her unique perspective into her city’s psyche in Never Mind Yaar. She holds a blogspace at 'Never Mind Yaar'. Her articles on the environment have been published by the "Green Dream Foundation, India".
“I’ve always enjoyed my city except when violence has erupted between communities. On the whole people seem to get along fine. We are proud of our own community but accept that others are proud of theirs. The food we eat, the clothes we wear and the languages and dialects we converse in are diverse and most of us say vive la difference. But there’s a handful in every community who are extremely suspicious of those differences.”
 
“Why is secularism or a different way of doing things such a threat to these people? This issue has disturbed me since the 1980s when I witnessed communal riots in Mumbai. I felt compelled to talk about it in Never Mind Yaar. But first and foremost, the book is a love story and a story of friendship and fun between three young girls from different backgrounds – Hindu, Parsi and Christian – who meet at college.”
 
The Cover Speaks
 
The cover is a bit of bizarre. With watermark of banyan tree, the small cartoon of three friends and a fancy gate of Gyan Shakti college don't make a good combination. Had it been a plain color with small subtitles , it would have been better.
 
Synopsis
 
The title is an attitude - our tendency to feel defeated by the scale and nature of certain problems. Rather than meet them head on, we circumvent them with a sigh and a consoling “never mind, yaar”.

When long time friends Binaifer Desai and Louella D’Costa meet Shalini Dayal at Gyan Shakti College, a true friendship that transcends cultural and religious backgrounds is born. Louella is a Christian, Binaifer, a Parsi and Shalini, a Hindu.

The novel’s main plotline surrounds Shalini who has fallen for an impetuous student activist, Bhagu. Where does his desire to help the less fortunate lead him? The challenges are many - Shalini’s tradition bound family, the couple’s youth and inexperience and the travails of life in Mumbai, a city the girls love but know, is fraught with communal tension.
 
The book has been endorsed by several readers and it's evident from its dust jacket.
 
"To me the book is a mixture of history, cultural information and a lovely story rolled into one. Unique and compelling."- Sarah, UK
 
"I read, I related, I loved." - Benifer, Mumbai
 
"Never Mind Yaar is driven by a strong narrative, a rich cast of characters and a strong sense of place which is intriguing for noth Indian and non-Indian readers."- Graeme Lay, reviewer, NZ
 
"A page turner." - John McCarthy, Author, NZ.
 
The author, KayEm has also made a lovely video on the story. You can watch it HERE.
 
Book Review
 
College, canteen and friends - three most intriguing words when come together takes you back to your good old days and you find yourself in the best of your time. The book depicts the friendship of three friends- Shalini, Binaifer and Louella and a love scene between Shalini and Bhagu. The mingling of different cultures between the three friends Louella, a Christian, Binaifer, a Parsee and Shalini from a very orthodox Hindu family has been well penned. The author has given a political tinge to the story through Bhagu. The expected indulgence in college fun lacks in the story. It's a slow paced one-time read.
 
In a Nutshell
 
Though I found the book a bit verbose but it provides a good read taking you back to your college days and take a dip in your old memories and some lost-forgotten friends.
 
My Rating
3/5
 
 
Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
JJJ
 

 
This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program. for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

बस यूँ ही

बस यूँ ही चाँद को तकते रहना चाहूँ
बस यूँ ही तारों को टिमटिमाता  देखना चाहूँ
बस यूँ ही समन्दर किनारे लहरों के आगोश में बैठना चाहूँ

बस यूँ ही हवा के झोंको में खुद को समेटना चाहूँ

बस यूँ ही बडबडाना चाहूँ इस शोर में
बस यूँ ही खो जाना चाहूँ इस भीड़ में
बस यूँ ही सहेजना  चाहूँ अपनी यादों की टोकरी
बस यूँ ही सहलाना चाहूँ वो खोई मासूमियत


बस यूँ ही जाना चाहूँ अपनों के बीच
बस यूँ ही हँसना चाहूँ पेट पकड़ के
बस यूँ ही रोकना चाहूँ चीटियों का रास्ता 
बस यूँ ही चाहूँ छिपकली से नैन लड़ाना


बस यूँ ही निहारना चाहूँ नीला आसमान
बस यूँ ही चलना चाहूँ अनजान डगर 
बस यूँ ही मग्न होना चाहूँ रात की चुप्पी में
बस यूँ ही गुम होना चाहूँ दिन के उजियारे में

 
बस यूँ ही बने रहना चाहूँ मनमौजी
बस यूँ ही चलना चाहूँ अपनी राह   
बस यूँ ही रंगना चाहूँ सफ़ेद काग़ज
बस यूँ ही हवा  में गुमाना चाहूँ कलम


बस यूँ ही जीना चाहूँ जी भर के
बस यूँ ही चाहूँ मौत के आगोश में चैन से सोना

बस यूँ ही जाना चाहूँ दूर देश
बस यूँ ही पकड़ लेना चाहूँ सूरज को अपनी मुट्ठी में

बस यूँ ही गाँव में चबूतरे पे बैठ सुनना चाहूँ परियों की कहानियाँ
बस यूँ ही चाहूँ  इमली के पेड़ पे चढ़ना
बस यूँ ही भागना चाहूँ रेलगाड़ी के पीछे 
बस यूँ ही पकड़ना चाहूँ खुद की परछाई
बस यूँ ही उड़ना चाहूँ चिरैया संग


बस यूँ ही बस यूँ ही |


Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
JJJ

Sunday, September 15, 2013

बेरंग कली

This post has been selected amongst  Blogadda's WOW posts of the week.

गुलाबी मखमली में लिपटी
देख अपनी नन्ही गुड़िया
काला दिठौना लगाया माँ ने
चाँद से सुन्दर मुख पे उसके |

हरे पालने में सावन के झूलो का आनंद लेती
पापा की शहज़ादी पल भर में ही नन्ही कली से
गुलाब की पँखुडियों-सी कोमल लाड़ो बन गई |

नीली स्कूल युनिफ़ॅार्म  कब कॅालेज की
सलवार कमीज़ में बदल गई
माँ को यकीन न हुआ
कलेजे पे पत्थर रख अपनी लाडो को
भेजा दूर शहर |

सफ़ेद कोट पहनकर मरीजो का इलाज
करने का सपना संजोये
अपनी काली कजरारी आँखों में
निकल पड़ी अनजान चेहरों के बीच
अपने चेहरे को पहचान दिलाने 
माँ की प्यारी नीले आसमान के तले |

नई कोंपल  की भांति अपना
गुलशन खिलाने ही वाली थी वो
की कमबख्त दीमक की आँखों को
भा गई  हमारी कमसीन कली
बेदर्दी से उसकी नाजुक पंखुड़ियों को रोंदकर
दीमक ने उसे चखना चाहा |

वीरांगना की भांति लड़ी हमारी कली
हिलोरे मारकर दूर करना चाहा दीमक को
लेकिन द्रोपदी का इतिहास फिर जीवित हुआ
कोई कृष्णा नहीं आया उसकी लाज बचाने
आये कई दुर्योधन उसे अपनी जांघो पे बिठाने
फिर किया दु:शासन ने उसका चीर हरण |

लाल चुनरी जिसे ओढानी थी
ओढाई गई उसे सफ़ेद चादर
पंच तत्व में विलीन उसकी रूह को राहत देने
पांचो पांडव की भांति देश ने मिल प्रतिज्ञा ली
ठाना दु:शासन के शासन का अंत करने का |

जितना लम्बा इंतज़ार किया बेटी ने माँ के गर्भ में
उतना ही इंतजार किया बेटी की माँ ने
जब आया फैसला उन दरिंदो को  
फांसी  के तख्ते पर लटकाने का
चैन की सांस मिली बेटी की भटकती रूह को
जो बस अंत समय तक यही कहती रही
"मै बेटी हूँ  मेरी  माँ की 
लाडली हूँ  मेरे पापा की
आँखों  का तारा  हूँ सबकी "

और आज दूर काले नभ में
झिलमिला रहा है हमारा ये तारा ख़ुशी- ख़ुशी  |


Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
JJJ


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
Silly smiles Take you Miles.