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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Wordpress versus Blogger

This blog has been shifted to abhyused.wordpress.com

I feel that the shift to wordpress has to be made eventually. And the time has come for this blog too. 

Please find me on abhyused.wordpress.com

Monday, 24 October 2016

Book Review- Agniputr - Vadhan

ISBN- 978-93-86141-07-1
Title- Agniputr 'When Agni First Spoke'
Author- Bommadevara Sai Chandravadhan / Vadhan
Publisher- Bloomsbusy Publishing India Pvt Ltd
Price- Rs 299
Pages- 354
Cover Design- Graficus



This book comes with a lot of promise especially because it is a supernatural fiction book and is published by Bloomsbury. Harry Potter fulfilled those two criteria and we know the rest of the story. The cover design is perfect with a burning house in the background which raises questions instead of uncovering the plot.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Chhatarpur

Chhatarpur is a sleepy town in Bundelkhand. When we think of Bundelkhand, we think of villagers defecating alongside dusty roads, cattle sitting in the middle of those roads, basically an India stuck in time. Chhatarpur is surrounded by such villages but it is better, cleaner, more developed than neighbouring towns like Bijawar, Tikamgarh, Gulganj which are sleepier and dustier yet.

The roundabouts in Chhatarpur have been recently installed with traffic lights. The main road which runs from the Post Office roundabout to the Panna Naka three-way, has dividers too. The vehicles in the town do not understand these foreign concepts though. They try to squeeze through whatever space they find. Everyone is in a hurry although everything they need is within a one-kilometer radius.

The shopkeepers in Chhatarpur try too hard to please you. Not because they are wily, clever businessmen but because they want to be your friends before they can sell you stuff. The local grocer would give you free stuff to taste, the clothes merchant would show you every shirt, the fruit seller would return your money if you come back with a mango rotten from within.

As a kid growing up in those streets, I realized that not much happens in the town. True, there are 'bad' locales where men fire country-made guns at each other but in the colonies, the schools, the colleges, the offices--Chhatarpur remains by and large quiet. People sit in their offices and sip tea to get through their days. Housewives divide their days in nap times and TV watching times. Growing up there as a kid was fun because we could play outdoors. We had a large grassy plot of land in our neighbourhood. Kids from other colonies would come and we would form teams and play cricket matches that resulted in lifelong bitter rivalries. Nowadays, the plots have been covered by buildings and the kids have disappeared from streets.

Chhatarpur also is the city of narrow lanes and densely packed markets. The bajariya is the main market area of Chhatarpur and one needs a lion's heart to navigate traffic there. The market begins from the main chauraha and continues to grow denser as one pierces unruly cycles, men walking in groups, cows, women sitting in rickshaws and all other traffic things to reach the main market center. There, one had to leave their four wheeler at the side and enter the paved lanes wide enough for one and a half person only. Certain daredevils take their cycles and motorbikes inside the bajariya area. Inside, one finds shops of jewelers one after another. It is difficult to understand why so many people selling the same thing open shops so close to one another. A motley crew of other shops punctuate the jewelry shops at places.

Then there is the bus stand. Buses from the neighbouring cities and sometimes Delhi and Agra ply regularly from here. Since Chhatarpur doesn't have a railway station yet, the bus stand is the only way to get out of the city for the daily wage labourers. A peanut seller stands at the entrance of the bus stand. People flock around him and try his peanuts before purchasing a packet of five rupees. He seems to lose peanuts worth at least two rupees to the shameless tasting per customer. How he continues to stay in business is anyone's guess.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

What I have for you

Go ahead, sweetheart,

Open the box. Unwrap it quickly, tear away the paper. I like your restless fingers as they run through the box. You may shake it vigorously and put your ear to it. You will hear some heartbeats. Inside it, there is some goodness that you had lost. A small gesture of kindness, a smile for no reason, a deep look into your eyes--it is all there.

My love lies at the corner too. It is the only thing that really matters. It is passionate, mad and whimsical. It repeatedly wants to be loved back but don't worry, it is selfless from inside. If you look at it long enough, it might make you cry. So look away.

Have you ever been kissed in public? Has it made the crowd disappear? Have you felt hugged? I am sure you have hugged but have you felt the hug? Well, here are some of those feelings in one corner. These feelings of mine, if you hold them correctly, will make everyone else disappear. They will be the only things that matter. So hold them only if you like them.

At the other side, I also have for you some sadness. When you dial my phone and the number is busy, when you sit alone and I am not in the room, when you eat alone my favourite food, at those moments, this little sadness will sit with you. Do not mind it though. It won't hurt until my love is with you. And as you know, my love is forever.

Now, close the box once you have seen the gifts, love. The gifts cost me nothing--just my heart and everything that I had. I had nothing before though. Now, I have you. 

Love,

Me.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Book review- The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan


The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra (Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation #1)The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

One of the worst books I have read. The last quarter of the book is when the writer gets to all the action. It is not so much crime and detective fiction than it is a spy action thriller which manages to preach secularism, Hindu-Muslim unity, how all men named 'Narendra' are evil and are ruling India now. The book references Indira Gandhi, Bollywood, Ramayana for no darn reason. [spoiler] The main villain is named Narendra/ Arun Jaitly [/spoiler] which has a bit of an anti-BJP political undercurrent. If we ignore the unfortunate nomenclature and preachy dialogue as mere coincidences, the book in itself is a textbook of bad writing.

Monday, 3 October 2016

FIRE AND WATER: A POEM

A fistful of fire,
and some cold ash.
Reasons to live,
and an ugly crash.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Graduation

"Congratulations, big day eh?" The compliment hits you in the gut. You are still not ready to be called a doctor. You want the title but there will be responsibilities. The real world will wait for you because after today, you will have a degree that will enable you to treat people. Complete strangers will come straight to you with their problems and you will be medically qualified to touch them, listen to them and treat them.