Tuesday 29 January 2013

RIP By Mukul Deva- Book Review

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

Book- RIP
Author- Mukul Deva
Publisher : Westland Books
ISBN : 978-93-82618-19-5
Genre : Thriller, Fiction

Thank you once again Blogadda for the opportunity to review another nail-biter. The book cover has a dangerous feel with the syringe pointing downwards against a backdrop of a soldier standing guard against the enemy on a hill top as the sun shines. That kind of sets the mood for this fast-paced thriller which has all elements of an action movie with an emotional appeal. 

The book begins with an introduction to the author and all the rave reviews that he has received thus far. An ex-army personnel with a record of five best-sellers in last five years, India's literary storm trooper and one of the pioneers of Indian thriller novels in the military genre. This impressive record and background sets the mood for the read and there will be no disappointments. Yes, you can smell the gunpowder quite literally while flipping through the pages. The details although purposefully kept vague as a precautionary measure are chilling and realistic at times. 

Coming to the plot- it revolves around the K team called simply because all it's members' names start with the letter K- Colonel Krishna Athawale, Major Karan Singh, Major Kevin David, Major Kashif Nadeem, Major Kamlesh Saikia and Major Kulwant Singh Bajwa. Notice that the team is very secular. It seems to be a very bright move by the author to infuse a bit of symbolism in the story. So this team comprising of ex- para commandos sets out to cleanse the system. On the border they've saved us from the enemy but now they've started this movement against the enemy within. People in politics and bureaucracy who have been eating away the nation bit by bit and have been escaping the wheels of justice- they need to be steam-rolled and weeded out from the nation's system in order to secure a developing, healthy society. With this ideology and oodles of patriotism, our protagonists set out on their mission. The best part about having many protagonists is that the author gets to play with a lot of emotions and invoke a lot of feelings. The book never loses its grip on the reader and is as fast-paced as guaranteed in the reviews.

This team is countered by two sets of individuals. One is the CBI team comprising of Vinod Bedi and Nandakumar while the other is a fallen angel Raghav Bhagat hired by Home minister who too is an ex-para commando. 

The novel starts in a classy James Bond-esque setting where the K team is shown in action while the emotions at play are described in a seamless manner. It is not a hollywood thriller with no soul but an Indian movie with a very Indian soul but a classy, to the point approach.

The author seems to have a lot of pent up anger inside him  against corruption which is visible on the pages of the book. He doesn't want to promote this killings but he clearly states that he wouldn't condemn such people like the K team. This strong sense of patriotism is visible in his writing. It is very real and certain characters will make you sit up with wide eyes. I won't divulge any further details now.

All in all, a good late night read. It sets the blood boiling and if yours is already boiling, it'll set your heart racing against all that's wrong with India today. Read it as common man. It'll make you feel empowered.

Hair today, better gone tomorrow.

This post is a part of the Gillette Satin Care contest in association with BlogAdda.com

She looked at me angrily,
It was a cold January night.
I froze in her gaze, and grinned,
as I didn't want to fight.

She gave me the look,
the look of disgust.
I was shaken from within,
If know, you must.

She had been an angel,
and was calm and composed.
Never did I expect her,
to scream and explode.

I am not good at this,
figuring out what's wrong..
I am one of those, who'd
rather sing their own song.

She was angry and,
I didn't know my mistake.
Asking her about it,
wasn't a piece of cake.

There was no other choice,
I had to take a guess.
For crimes I didn't commit,
now I'll have to confess.

I took a deep breath,
"Is it something I said?"
I spoke with a shudder,
I was as good as dead.

"Is it the comment I made,
about the way you talked?"
"Or is it the jest I made,
of your mom's wobbly walk?"

Her eyes filled with wrath,
I was hard to save.
I knew this was a bad idea,
I was digging my own grave.

She stopped me mid-sentence,
perhaps, out of pity.
Her eyes fumed, with no mercy,
burning my arguments' nitty gritty.

Before she could begin,
and I knew how it was gonna go.
She caught me staring,
and don't get me wrong bro!

It was a harmless strand of hair,
Shy, reticent, looking for approval.
Peeping through her armpit,
I wish she had opted for hair removal.

The bugle of the the war, 
that had been sounded.
Was withdrawn for a while,
as the leader was wounded.

She was a tad embarrassed,
wasn't gleeful as such.
I was like a foreign spy,
who knew too much.

She was about to scold me,
for not so long.
But now that I had seen it,
bro! It was on!

She went on explaining,
my each and every crime.
She went on from that moment,
to the beginning of time.

It was my fault or not,
guess, we'll never know.
I have no proof other than,
fingerprints to show.

Yes the prints came from,
that one tight slap.
Which ended her argument,
like a racer's last lap.

I am a victim of fate,
a fate so cruel.
I really wish she had,
opted for hair removal.


Tuesday 22 January 2013

"Flames" – my entry to the GetPublished contest

This is a story about two stories and how they intermingle and complement each other. They both involve one common link- the narrator. At different points of time in his life, the narrator fell for two separate girls. The stories that emerged from there had sharp contrast from one another. This story is about how one of the girls taught the narrator to fall and the other taught him how to cushion himself when he falls.

This story is real because in today's age, there are break-ups and patch-ups happening at the speed of light. To figure out what is going on in your partner's mind in not easy and might even cause you to overthink the situation and lead to insecurity and an inevitable collapse after that. This story delves deeper into that insecurity and clarifies the narrator's vision through his past experiences.

The narrative shuffles back and forth between the two stories as the narrator reminisces the difficulties and good times he had with his older love life. It might seem like he's hung up on the older girl but, actually he's just applying the "relationship wisdom" to make his current relationship succeed. Whether he'll succeed or fail is for you to find out.

The first story has it's faults. It had its ups and downs but eventually it didn't find a happy ending. The narrator took the heart-break as a tough lesson taught by life as somewhere when he was in the relationship, he could predict the end. His insight, although commendable, couldn't help him save the relationship as he saw the girl he loved slip away through his fingers. Love was lost. With that preface, he starts a new journey as he begins the quest for love. He starts off with an open mind as he knows that thinking too much can be hazardous in the matters of heart but, he is forced to reflect as the deja vu kicks in. The same insecurity, paranoia and insane expectations bog him down until he applies the power of positive thinking in his relationship. The how and why of this story is what is going to interest the reader.

Endnote- This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.

Monday 21 January 2013

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Mumbai Meri Jaan

This is from an SMS forward. Drawings are mine.


Bombay has no bombs and is a harbour not a bay.

Churchgate has neither a church  nor a gate. It is a railway station.

There is no darkness in Andheri.
... Lalbaag is neither red nor a garden.

No king ever stayed at Kings Circle.
Nor did Queen Victoria stay at Victoria Terminus.

Nor is there any princess at Princess Street .
Lower Parel is at the same level as Parel.

There are no marines or sailors at Marine Lines.
The Mahalaxmi temple  is at Haji Ali not at Mahalaxmi.

Teen bati is a junction of 3 roads, not three lamps.
Trams used to terminate at Kings circle not Dadar*TramTerminus. (Dadar T.T..).

Breach Candy is not a sweetmeat market, but there is a Hospital.

There are no Iron smiths at Lohar chawl.
There are no pot makers at Kumbhar wada.

Lokhandwala complex is not an Iron and steel market.
Null bazaar does not sell taps.
You will not find ladyfingers at Bheendi Bazar.

Funny Mumbai... zara hatke zara bachke yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan

Monday 7 January 2013

Shave or Crave- A Brief History Of Time

This post is a part of the 'Shave or Crave' movement in association with BlogAdda.com

This movement is not a recent one. It's been around ever since mankind started evolving. Don't believe me? I guess it's time I gave you all a history lesson. Let me take you back to not 20, not 30 but 65 million years back. Our characters are part of the oldest known primate species- the Plesiadapis. Mr. Unganba and Mrs Bruhaha! Yup! Those were precisely their names.

It was one fine morning in the grasslands of North America that Mr. Unganba was roaming around hunting deer. He nailed a beauty and was on his way home thinking how Mrs Bruhaha will welcome him once he displays his trophy!

As he reached the cave, it was already evening and he was dead tired to rub his stubble on the Gillette rock to smoothen his stubble for Mrs. Bruhaha's sweet love! He dragged the deer carcass inside home with hope that she'll be delighted to see him and look ho! She was already cuddling (ahem! to put it gently) with another Plesiadepian!! Unganba was heart broken!

He expressed his sadness through the following poem he wrote on a rock-

"inga boo bazinga,
Zillette, bazinga hooga bruu
Prota prota, milan zanga
Blogadda rocka,
Unganba shoopa!"

Which, translated to English means-

"She left me for another man,
who was smarter and clean shaven.
I've learnt my lesson and
I'll never forget it again!"


That rock was found by our scientists Mr. Gillette and has helped inculcate good shaving manners among men since time immemorial.