Friday, May 30, 2014


I bathed in sunshine today after years of solitude. Got a new look, a bit decked up than earlier days. Am super excited and back on my feet to welcome my buddy.

Grandmother did not let anyone use my cozy corners – they belonged to the only daughter of the house leaving for higher studies four years back.

The anticipation is simply killing.
“My barbie house”, cried the girl, tears welling up in her eyes seeing it broke down into pieces.
There are bruises all over me…

In daydreams? 

Slowly I got back into my shell waiting for the trip to the repair shop.

Written in accordance with Write Tribe picture prompt below. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Book Review:My Life My Rules: Stories of 18 unconventional careers

Title: My Life My Rules: Stories of 18 unconventional careers 

Author: Sonia Golani

Publisher: Westland

ISBN: 973-93-82618-27-0

Price: Rs 250/-

This is not a new book.  Why even am I writing about this now?

Though published in the year 2012, the impression this book left in my mind is the sole reason I am writing about. As mentioned in the author’s note, the book is a celebration of life and I second it without a doubt. There are a few other factors behind the review, this book being one of my favorites.

This paperback chronicles the journey of those brave hearts having the guts to listen to their inner calling. They did not buckle under the pressure of living their lives as  mundane routine and could afford to take risks and chose to walk away, which paid off. 

The narration style is crisp and conversational.  It flows from the point the meetings were set-up by the author with these 18 successful personalities who could marry their passion and work in a near perfect way. The conversational tone preserved throughout the book makes it lucid and easy to read and at times you visualize the same in front of your eyes.

The book is a resource of support for those who are mulling the idea to break free mid-life but are yet to cross over the line of risk – either at the crossroads, seating on the fence or knocking on the door for some time in the hope of getting into the realm of entrepreneurship. It shows one that none of them did something out of the world except being risk takers -abandoning the plush comfort of corporate offices and guaranteed handsome paycheck at the month end.

There are stories of Rahul Akerkar – US taught Biochemical engineer turning to be a successful chef, Manohar Parrikar – an IIT graduate proving to be one of the finest politician country could ever had, an environmental toxicologist finds his true calling in Indian Ocean in Rahul Ram or the familiar face of Harsha Bhogle- an IIM A graduate changing the way sports commentary is done in Indian television coining it as a full blown profession to crave for while watching the game.

In one chapter we find the story of unassuming Amish Tripathi - IIM Kolkata graduate and banker discovering his literary talent in a blockbuster trilogy, in another one Rajeev Suresh Samant raising an exciting toast to life in founding the  Sule Vineyards – the dawn of an era when India started producing some of the best malts and a new business venture in India, while three others detail the journey of Aditi Govitrikar – model and actor switching career  from being a doctor , Rashmi Uday Singh – the IRS officer demonstrating the fine qualities of a food critique , TV host and author. There are few more to add to the list.

Each chapter tells a different success story charted in their own way eclipsing the traditional way of leading life. I am sure there are few others as well who tried in similar vein and manner but are probably not as successful as them. I extend my salute to them as well though they have not found a mention in the pages of this book.

I found the book a very interesting read and recommend all 18 stories to my fellow friends. Hope you will find them interesting and can relate to your personal lives.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Liebster liberation for me

Would like to start with my sincere apology for not being able to be in touch with my blogger friends of late.
Emergency situation on my family front kept me away from being regular. While I was making one or two sporadic posts in between, I wish I had been more regular than what I have been. Things are getting better on that front and here I am.
I do remember about one of my unfinished actions and that is on Liebster award.
Some great things happened for me during the month of April. Yep, exciting month it was for many reasons!!!  I wish every month would have been similar except the daily blogsJ.  It is not that I did not enjoy the daily blogs but not sure and confident if I would be able to do justice to that kind of challenge month on month.

I got nominated for Liebster award from some of my fellow blogging friends who I came to know during the challenge except Nandhini. These coming on my way, in addition to getting nominated for SunShine award by two accomplished bloggers, were icing, cherries and what not, on the already delivered cake I was enjoying J !!!

Am immensely grateful to the following people for considering me worthy of the Liebster award and I would like to believe that they did it, in letter and spirit, based on the content and not anything else.
Additionally avid blogger and journalist, Vishal Bheroo @ was kind enough to nominate me for Quintet of Radiance Award.

I sincerely thank you - Nandhini, Ushaji, Tom, Carol and Vishal once again for this gesture of theirs to proffer this award on me and shower their love to my blogs on a regular manner. I am humbled by  this gesticulation from them.

Now the hard part.

While there is no doubt that I have been motivated by these nominations, I request for your apology not being able to fulfill the criteria to accept the award, mainly due to paucity of time and hence I have taken a decision not to display the badge on my blog.

Based on few other discussions and comments from other blogging friends in blog sphere, I urge the blogging community to take a hard look in the criteria part to be fulfilled. Though I do appreciate the motive behind institutionalizing these awards in helping and motivating bloggers but the process calls for simplification to a great extent.

I am sure I am not the first person raising these points and do hope that these are being noticed for further consideration and due diligence. Though over simplification might dilute the essence of the awards, I request policy thinking in the context of the situations I am in.

Before signing-off, my sincere thanks to all my blogging buddies across geographies and countries without whom, I am no-body here.

Friends, please continue to shower your love and support for my blog to stand up on its own feet.

Thanking you.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rohit and Vijay

Rohit and Vijay- best of buddies took the swimming scene by storm that year bagging most of the golds between themselves in the circuit.

A healthy competition between them was the hallmark of their bond.

Everyone was hopeful about their prospects in the world championship in next two months.

It was 23rd March, 2014. Rohit defeated Vijay in the senior nationals by the whisker of a second.

They hugged each other in the tight embrace like other times.

Today Rohit is missing his buddy in the airport on the way to Melbourne.

Vijay could not afford the travel.

Rohit wished he knew then Vijay’s contract terms with his sponsor.

Written in accordance with Saturday prompt s/he wished s/he knew then what s/he knew now

Write Tribe

Sunday, May 11, 2014

No Qualms

She was all over the place in the little sleepy town.

In all the local TV channels and on the front page of the only newspaper.

People were talking about her on the street corner, in the busy market place and everywhere.

Reporters moved around the gullies trying to talk to her for sensational news bytes.

She realized she could not hide the truth anymore from her blind aging mother.

Police would be anytime soon.

No qualms and guilt about the incident last night- she spoke to herself once again .

He violated her and had no right to live anymore.

Written for Write Tribe Weekend prompt “She realized that she could no longer hide the truth”.

Write Tribe

Book Review - 14: Stories That Inspired Satyajit Ray

Title: 14: Stories That Inspired Satyajit Ray 

Edited and Translated by: Bhaskar Chattopadhyay

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 978-93-5136-193-0

Genre: Fiction

Price: Rs. 350/-

This paperback edition is an anthology of English translations of 14 short stories that Satyajit Ray, the renowned filmmaker requiring no further introduction, adapted into his movies. Now, on one side of the book, there is Satyajit Ray with his hallowed presence and on the other side, the short stories -on their own merit standing tall in Bengali and Hindi literature. With due respect to both sides, in the middle, there is Bhaskar with his pen, bringing these stories to a wider horizon of literature loving community and the new generation - more comfortable in the language.

It was very tempting for me to get carried away to talk about Ray, the enigma of Indian Cinema -his movies and neorealism thoughts etc. but I kept reminding myself that the subject of this review is not him but Bhaskar and his book. So let’s focus there.

To start with, I commend this initiative of Bhaskar and Harper to introduce the 14 choicest stories in English and the adapted movies to a wider audience taking interest into the movies of Ray as well as the rich literature heritage of Bengal by eminent writers like Rajsekhar Basu, Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay, Narendranath Mitra, Rabindranath Tagore, Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay, Premendra Mitra with Munsi Premchand delivering in Hindi. In the words of Sharmila Tagore – one of Ray’s actresses, “A wonderful way to introduce readers not only to some superb stories, but also to the genius of Satyajit Ray, who, from these very stories, created great cinema.”

Coming to the works of Bhaskar, a budding writer of three books so far, the spirit of the original stories is very exquisitely preserved ,through and through, in the translations. While we all know that literal translation is not possible, the choices of appropriate wordings and sentence formations have upheld the situational mood intact in each and every occasion.  As far as text is concerned, they flow in nicely and lucidly with the messaging of the original stories coming out clearly and distinctly.

Be it religious dogmatism in believing  the daughter-in-law to be an incarnation of Mother Kali in The Godess  or the business of cheating people claiming acquaintances with Chirst, Buddha and Tutankhamen by self-styled Godman, Birinchi Baba or the humane relation between Ratan and his Babu in Postmaster - all are delivered well with required finesse.  While on one side the translation of Gupi Gyne Bagha Byen by Upendrakishore Roy Chowdhury is at its hilarious best, the tussle of family life and male –female relationship are aptly captured in The Prologue and The story of a coward. Sadgati dealing in caste system- a blot on our society and Satranj Ke Khiladi on two chase aficionados – both by Munshi Premchand remain the same old treat as in their original versions.

There are two of Ray’s own stories – The Guest and Pikoo’s diary. Ray has used both print and cinematic media to deliver his messages through these stories and adaptations. 

The size, weight and compact paperback packaging of the book with the majestic picture of Ray on the cover makes it comfortable for the reader to remain glued to the book and help to hop from one story to another in no time. 

Those who are familiar with Ray’s films know that his deft deliverance of situations, in the form of change of contexts, references, backgrounds between frames through colors, movements, symbols and alike more than mere conversations, stamped his signature in his creations. He made necessary changes in the stories while adapting them to the movies to suit his way of expressions in that medium.

A must read in my view, the book very well serves as the first time read of the stories not being familiar to the originals. The efforts towards the book will be fulfilling and find a meaning if they evoke any interest on Ray’s cinema in the young and old generations. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In Retrospection : The AtoZ challenge days

Reflection is sweet when a demanding challenge like AtoZ- simultaneously arduous yet invigorating, is successfully done and dusted.  It tastes sweeter when a few awards, in the form of appreciation from your fellow friends, are thrown into the mix.

When I retrospect on my decision  of 25th March,2014 to join the writing experiment  from a write tribe post of  Corinne, I have no hesitation in concluding that this not-so-well-thought-out  jump covered quite a distance and it helped me validate myself. I was neither aware of this event earlier and nor was I in a position to pre-write a single post. Only thing that pushed me to take up this task was my blogging journey that had initiated just a couple of months ago. It did put me into a web zone with a set of like minded people- accomplished in their own merit, with whom, given a chance, I would sincerely like to trudge along, any day.  I don’t want to sound artificial and untrue with mere mention that everything went hunky dory and I enjoyed every minute of it. Yes, I had my own highs and lows, laced with myriad emotions running high on different days.

The zeal and zest for the initial few days, with so many thoughts to talk about, soon gave way to the dreadful deliberation of trying not to sound monotonous, repetitive and painful to others. The thought about not ending up being a burden on my fellow bloggers, did cross my mind from time to time. While in the mid game, I was close to feeling penitent on the choice of the topic – commented at the beginning by Beloo as a tall ask (!), but somehow I held the fort with spirit and continued.  

 It has been a great learning curve for me and helped me mature towards rearing my long cherished passion to take up the pen again- just for the sake of writing.  On the jagged corners of the course, while I was pushed to the brink to withdraw during my nocturnal writing sessions, the soothing zephyr of dawn through another read coupled with the motivating comments kept me going. The dollops of zing poured through the kind support of the facebook group mates, not allowing me to give up, were at times the only succor to stay put. Sometimes, I faced an internal dilemma if a theme based writing, on a daily basis, does suck out one’s creativity which was then countered with getting over the anxiety of going blank on writing and overcoming the dreadful syndrome –the  writers’ block.

Today, while writing this post, I feel immensely gratified that this series opened up a whole new world in front of me and I got to know and exchange thoughts with people across the world, from all the continents. There were so many beautiful writings keeping me hooked and glued day after day, such breath taking snaps introducing the places I might not physically visit and awesome food, philosophy, short fictions, haikus, festival tours, nostalgic diary of college and school days, amongst many more thought provoking contributions from the participants. While any kind of particular success was not in my mind other than challenging my own self at the beginning , I am fortunate to come closer to so many wonderful philosophers, educators, linguists and other personalities, all of them, I collectively and fondly call as friends.  Yes, friends – Beloo, Eli, Tom, Vishal, Carol, Kathy, Usha ji, Damaria, Philip, Rajlakshami, Proactive Indian, PravashPheno, Shailaja, Shilpa, Vidya, Richa, Sunila, Srilakshmi, Shesha, Sreeja,  Sheela, Sitara, Sugandha, Inderpreet, Tulika , Shalini, Maniparna, Nabanita, Angela , Danny, Dr Sushree and many more , it was only because of you that I could sail along and this poor soul remains indebted to all of you for making me a part of your journey.  Though unintentional, I am sure I have missed mentioning quite a few of the names who have visited my pages from time to time and encouraged me. I sincerely apologize for the inadvertent oversight.

I also thank my wife, Sharmistha, for putting up with me while I was in the zone and helping me with her timely reviews and comments.

Thank you all once again for being there. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Then came Sunshine Blog Awards

Wow!  They made my day. In a span of few days, I was nominated for the Sunshine award - not just one but two of them, in the midst of last month’s A to Z blog journey.  Isn’t that great?

For me, yes - this was something truly amazing. This was a form of recognition, for the first time, for my attempt at expressing my thoughts and feelings. Since it has been just a few months that I have taken up blogging, this appreciation meant a lot to me.

I am extremely thankful to Namrata Kumari, writing at The lexical tapestry  and Usha ji (Mrs. Usha Menon), weaving her beautiful sweet and sour stories at Kuch Khatta Kuch Mitha – both of them writers and bloggers in their own merit, to consider me suitable for this nomination and I accept this with great humility. 

This is truly motivating.

According to the rules of the Sunshine Award, I am to follow the below. Having completing this today, I am relieved of the guilt that was haunting for last 2 weeks not able to get to it.

* Display the award on your blog
* Show your gratitude and link back the person who nominated you.
* Nominate Up to ten of your favorite deserving bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.
*Link the nominees in your post, and let them know.
* Write TEN interesting things about yourself.

My nominations for the Sunshine award are as below whose writings and travel blogs are held in high esteem.
Tom Macinnes - Cobbie's 
Anita – The Explorer of Miracles
Tomichan Matheikal - Matheikal's Blog
Inderpreet Kaur Uppal – Eloquent Articulation
Eli Z - Explative – in exotic India
Proactive Indian – Proactive Indian
Maniparna Sengupta Mazumder – Scattered Thoughts
Manu Prakash Tyagi – Yatra, Discover Beautiful India
Jahid Akhtar - Flashbacks
Krishna Chandran – Dream Weavers Diaries

Now here are TEN interesting (!) things about myself.
  • 1.      I think too much till things get complicated.
  • 2.      Have started liking learning from my daughter.
  • 3.      Relationships are a complex maze to me.
  • 4.      Good at navigation on road- not in life.
  • 5.      Enjoyed my school days in a boarding school.
  • 6.      Life got a spoonful of zing after I took up blogging and writing.
  • 7.      Find joy in social work – am a Rotarian.
  • 8.      Expressive with opinions and emotions.
  • 9.      Sacrifice self and family for others’ sake who care a fig for it.
  • 10.  Between sea and mountains – I can spend hours on a sea shore.

I am enjoying my new found identity in the company of many new friends here, in the blogsphere, amongst many stars and moons and would like to thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful person you are.