Saturday, November 8, 2014

Whisper of the Worms

marcadian


A crow eyed peep in to the backyard of a banking organization.

An unusual portrayal of the life and times of an ordinary mortal and his subdued fight for survival.

A moving story of the commercialized people in an imaginary country called Marcardia, portrayed through their psyche and polity, makes one think, laugh, and get emotionally choked...

Listen to the Whisper of the worms to hear the muffed wail of the humans on the run, lured by the carrot, forced by the stick..... 


This is a story of Thobias Mathai, his trials and tribulations with the banking system of an imaginary country, Marcadia, and how he is trapped in the politics and corruption of the ‘Smile Bank’ in the final days of his life. The story begins with Thobias being diagnosed with lung cancer, in USA, where he’s settled with his family. He doesn’t reveal this to his wife and his children, and decides to return to his native land, Marcadia to revisit his past before he dies. He meets his mother after two decades, and reminisces the time gone by with his childhood friend. But before he can spend his last days in peace, he has to deal with a fraud case investigation which he’s wrongly put into.


The first part of the book deals with memories, emotional and nostalgic flashbacks, and relationships of the characters near and dear to Thobias. It is interesting to read about the rustic life, the simple living and strong bonding shared by the characters. Thobias had received education, worked in the ‘Smile Bank’ and left Marcadia getting fed up with all the nepotism involved in the system.


Marcadia, though an imaginary country, seems very much like India. The author has drawn all these facts about banking system from reality, and has employed it in the fictional tale. The actual plot begins after about fifty pages. It is a satire through and through. The sarcasm is evident in the dialogues and the very narration. The Marcadians in the banks are synonymous with Indians. It seems that the only difference is in the name.



Though the story is a decent read, it can be a bit uninteresting for certain metro readers. With patience, one can enjoy the story. Some of the things that put me off were the cover page, the title, the monotonous font, the out of the world names of characters and places that I can’t even pronounce. The weirdest ones are Chathukutty, Thresiakutty and Thodupuzha. The cover page is downright boring, and the title seems out of place, as if it is given by accident. Had I been in a bookstore, I perhaps wouldn’t have picked this book. 


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

Monday, November 3, 2014

Playing with Colors, and thoughts..

recent

In life you cannot impress everyone, nor can you expect everyone to consider you the center of their lives. Just know that they love you, and be satisfied and happy for that one precious blessing. Wondering that whether not being near a loved one would be considered not caring, you should forgive yourself and spare yourself from that guilt, because the universe will surely send them your love and care by hook or crook. Sometimes, you can’t just stand at the back wondering whether the person amidst the crowd in front needs you or not, you have to go there and find out, fearing all the while perhaps the person doesn’t need you. Insecurities as these, need to be faced. You need to face them. You need to understand and put it in your conscious and subconscious mind that those who love you always acknowledge your presence, even if they don’t show it, they are happy that you are present. Many people may touch their lives, many people may mean a lot to them, but the place you have in their hearts won’t be replaced by another- the hearts may grow, the rooms may multiply but your corner will always be yours. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Verses: A New Flame...

rediscovering self


I traversed the land
I crossed the oceans,

Flew above the clouds
Moved underground,

To burn away the me
That I used to be,

I buried my old self
Put it to the grave,

Kindled a new flame
Tired of being the same.

I found beauty
And changes aplenty,

I listened to the tale
I dreamt of the lore,

I answered every whisper
That the wind bore,

I'll master the pen
I'll conquer the quill,

I'll built my empire
With my unfaltering will.

rediscovering self

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dear You



Dear You,

It has been several weeks since I last wrote to you. 

I didn’t know what to write about. About your songs that I keep listening to, day in and day out, in a loop; about the forums that I regularly visit and write in anonymously; about the fan fictions that I read about you; or about the doodles that I make of your name in the corners of notebooks while making futile attempts at studying, or about the multiple times I gather courage to call you, but cut the call just before it connects. I don’t know what stops me. Perhaps I fear you have forgotten me in these three long years. I don’t want to know it for real. I want to hear your voice, but I can’t bear it if you don’t recognize mine.
to love


People here adore you, as they do in the rest of the country. Every cafĂ©, every shopping mall makes it a point to include your song in their daily playlist. Every cab tunes in to listen to your interview. And the neighbors include the latest updates about you in every chitchat. My friends gossip about your fashion statements, latest hairstyle, your country tours and your upcoming stage shows. It’s you and you everywhere- in the entertainment page of every daily, in the catchy pictures of the brands you endorse, and in the cover page of more than half of the local magazines.


All this seems so surreal. It takes me a while to believe that my childhood spent with you was real. To remind myself that the face in the photographs I possess is yours and the person I held hands with while walking barefoot along the sea shore was you. Do you remember when the old tree house came crashing down on me? You fussed over me as if I were a hurt child unsure of myself. And remember the crowded bus we took to the next town to visit mother. You kept me calm with your roughly composed songs when my phobia took over. You weird intonations always made me laugh. I still remember those songs. My favorite ones are ‘Echo’, ‘From the Terrace’ and ‘Will you marry me?’ I wonder why you don’t include these in any of your albums.

I cherish these memories with all my heart. I wonder if you do too. I wonder when I can see you again in person.

Or if I can, at all.

Yours
With Love.


XXX


Dear You,

My pillows are all wet. My eyes are swollen. And I can’t seem to control myself. I don’t know if it’s grief or happiness. I’m confused. I’m not in my right mind perhaps.

I can’t seem to think anything other than your words. You said you already had a special someone in your heart, in the chat show this evening, when asked about the rumors and linkups. And the honesty and intensity with which you said it… I don’t know what I feel is hope or despair. Hope is a dangerous thing. I’m already on the edges; I don’t want to crumble down. And I don’t even have a choice. I can’t shut you out. It’s impossible for me. Everything in this town reminds me of you.

I received one of the few invitations to your concert that you had given away for free for the townsfolk. I don’t know if I was meant to get one, or it was by chance. Dear me, let’s try and believe the latter. I’ve decided to go, though. I have decided to gather all my courage and meet you this time. It shall take every ounce of my will power to be in the crowd that’d be cheering you. But I will go, or else, perhaps I won’t get a chance in future.

Waiting for the days to pass.

Yours
With Love.


a band, a song


Dear You,

I am here, at your concert right now. I am eagerly waiting for the album launch and your performance. I can’t tell you how excited I am. Words fail me. And this place is huge; I had never been to one. Thankfully the seats around me are empty till now, so I’m fine here.

They have announced your name and the music has started, but where are you.

Awaiting,

With Love.


XXX


Journal Entry:

If I could live one of my past days once again, I would choose yesterday.

I watched him with sweet remembrance as he entered the stage and made it his own. I watched him smile at the crowd, his eyes searching as the focus shifted from one end of the gallery to the other. The faces in the crowd were magnified in the larger screen. He waved his hand delightfully. And then his eyes found me. With a smile so big, he waved both his hands and began, “In my old memories, you’re there, expecting me- beckoning as though whispering…”.  I stood and cheered for him along with the crowd. I realized it was ‘Echo’- one of those songs that I loved, with revised lyrics and tunes. I was overwhelmed. I fell in love with the song once more.

I was shouting and clapping with the people around me, when the focus rested on me. I was surprised for a second. He was about to sing another song, but he was moving though the crowd as the music began. He came up the steps and stopped right in front of me. I was so happy to see him that I could have hugged him right then, but something stopped me. I knew that music. “Will you marry me? Will you live forever with me?” he then began, in front of those thousands of people, and perhaps the entire country that was witnessing this live. The entire six minutes that the song took, I was too shocked to react. I just looked at him as he circled around me, looking back and smiling at me every second.

I fell in love with him once more, all over again.

marriage


P.S: Want to listen to this song- here.

Read another story, written by me: here

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Another Award for Blogging...



I keep returning. But Au Revoir still holds. :) Just couldn’t resist the temptation of coming back.

I received the Liebster Award from Privy Trifles recently. So this post is to acknowledge it and pass it on. This one's my second award. 1st Award

I don’t know how I found her blog at first. A vivid memory tells me I was searching something about Paulo Coelho and/or Life in a Metro, and a few lucky wrong clicks landed me in http://www.privytrifles.in/. I have been so thankful for the chance discovery ever since.

Some of her questions and my answers:


1.                  What is writing to you?
A gift. A therapy for mental peace. It feels empowering to know that my thoughts make sense. I take pride in it.
2.                 Why Blogging?
For the need of a personal space which I can call my own- my personal safe haven, and a platform in the eyes of the world.

3.                 What does your blog mean to you?
It means a lot- I’m very possessive and protective about it, I cherish and treasure it with all my heart.
4.                 If given a choice what would you like to change about LIFE right now?
Nothing really. I like my life as it is. My past has made me the person I am, my present feels infinite. :)

5.                 Say something to someone you have always wanted to. ( Can be in a code without any names)
I am a bit selfish, in my own right, even if you think I’m not and I can’t be.

6.                 Meaning of life to you in one word.
Infinite. :) ( I've been taking ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ seriously and believing every word of those beautiful quotes and one-liners.)

7.                 One lesson that life has taught you that you want everyone to know.
You can’t force anyone to understand you, if they can’t, then they just can’t. But you shouldn’t stop empathising with them- if not for anything else, then just to realise every day that you are more priveledged.
8.                 One song that describes you perfectly.
                        A few are there, umm, still thinking the right one....

9.                 How would you like to be remembered?
A person who knows her mind, who’s not fake. Someone who’s flawed but still people can draw inspiration from. Read more about it- in the paragraphs here.
10.             Words for me.
Your blog is one of the best things that I discovered in blogosphere, that makes you one of my favorite virtual contacts. J I used to wonder at first- how can someone write words that inspiring every day? How can she conjure up emotions so touching and moving in every post? And very much like you, I love the written word- it inspires me and stays with me for long. And as you wrote recently about a sense of belonging- I feel I belong there, in The Memoirs of Me.







I would like to tag the following blogger friends and pass on the award to them.


My questions to the tagged bloggers:

1.       How has blogging affected or changed your life?
2.      Whom do you draw inspiration from?
3.      Suggest one of your favorite books and why it is close to your heart.
4.      Which era, or culture or country would you like to belong and why?
5.      Do you think being anonymous has its advantages? Why?
6.      If you would want to have a pseudoname(pen name), what would it be?
7.      What would be the title of the story of your life?
8.      Make a confession.
9.      Describe yourself in three words.
10.  Mention a wish from your wishlist.
11.   A few words for me and my blog. Gracias! Merci!


Do leave the link here friends. I’m so eager to read your answers… :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Au Revoir



Lupita Nyong’O said in her acceptance speech at the 86th Academy Awards, “No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.”

Among the hundred or more dreams that I have, I want to find The Dream that is worth chasing right Now.

I want to set my priorities right.

I want to be able to have my own unbiased opinion in every field, every topic of argument, and every aspect of life.

I want to gather that much of knowledge and wisdom and experience, so that I can be confident of what I speak, and be an individual who knows her mind, who knows her decisions and is unapologetic about it.

Somewhere down the line, I’ve realized that I’m not blogging for myself anymore- I’m blogging for fame and success. So this is the right time to stop, stand and stare; do a bit of pondering.

That’s why I want to take a break from blogging. A short one. It’s my second home, my mind’s palace, so rest assured- I’ll come back to it. And when I return, I’ll blog because it makes me happy, not because I want success.

I’ll return when I can write true and honest, once again; and can view that as a success in itself.

I’ll return when those feelings, emotions and ideas that once bubbled inside me are back and when no other method of expressing or voicing it out, works.

Till then, Au Revoir…

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Anti-Social Network by Piyush Jha


the antisocial network by piyush jha


The Book Blurb:

From the bestselling author of Mumbaistan and Compass Box Killer, comes the third riveting installment in the Mumbaistan crime-thriller series.

When college students across Mumbai are murdered one after another in gruesome ways, Inspector Virkar from the Crime Branch is called in. As Virkar investigates, he stumbles upon a ruthless gang of young, tech-savvy miscreants who use social networking sites and the Internet for blackmail and sextortion. But how are the two cases linked? And who is the mastermind behind these killings?

As the case grows murkier, the computer-challenged Virkar finds himself greatly out of his depth, chasing a killer who always seems to be one step ahead, and a group that soon trains its sights on him. He must race against time to unmask the gang and to find the murderer before his reputation is ruined forever.

Thick with suspense and layered with grit, Anti-Social Network brings to you Inspector Virkar’s toughest case yet.


My Review:

It starts like a chor-police run and chase in the backdrop of psychotic series of murders, but grows to something more involving cyber crime, identity theft, drug addicts where certain informants, a hacker and a psychologist (counsellor) help the Inspector to solve the puzzle.

Even though I haven’t read the first two books in the series, I quite enjoyed reading this one. All the books are standalone books, except a single character, Inspector Virkar, who appears as the protagonist in all of them. He is a witty, irreplaceable central character of the novel. Like a Dan Brown book wouldn't be as much a thriller without Robert Langdon; and a C.I.D show would be a flop without ACP Pradyumn; the world of Mumbaistan wouldn’t be fun without Inspector Virkar. I loved some of his Hindi punch lines and Marathi ‘muhawre’s.

The best part about the book is that you won’t lose interest. The chapters are short, you are spared from lengthy descriptions, and the last paragraph of every chapter ensures you turn the page to the next. It does justice to the genre of crime thriller. Among the characters I liked Usman teacher, his network of ‘khabri’s who gave precious nuggets of information to the Inspector. Drug addict, computer genius Richard was another attention grabbing character. I liked the way the mystery and plot took us through so many locales in Mumbai- the busy Bora bazaars, dark by-lanes, nightclubs, the Willingdon college, the Marine drive, cafes and restaurants, dingy apartments under constructions, ghost towns, Jain temples -almost every unknown nook and corner of Mumbai, which we non residents do not have the slightest idea about. But some of the plot-lines, and character details gave the feeling ‘read that somewhere’ and ‘seen that somewhere’. I can’t say there was much uniqueness in the story. I could easily guess the final part of the mystery.

Priced at 195 INR, this 195 page book from Rupa Publications is good for a one time read. It would definitely provide a thrilling experience during a long boring train journey. My rating for this Indian thriller would be 3.5 out of 5.

I would like to thank The Tales Pensieve, for giving me the privilege of becoming a part of the Book Review Programme.


author

About the Author:

Piyush Jha is an acclaimed film director, ad filmmaker and the author of the bestselling novels in Mumbaistan series. A student political leader at university, he pursued a career in advertising management after acquiring an MBA degree. Later, he switched tracks, first to make commercials for some of the country’s largest brands, and then to write and direct feature films. His films include Chalo America, King of Bollywood and Sikander. He lives in his beloved Mumbai, where he can often be found walking the streets that inspire his stories.