Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Book Review: Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera

Finished reading "Marriage Material" by Sathnam Sanghera. It is a tale of family, love, inter caste marriage and relationship with neighbours.

Taking inspiration from Arnold Bennett’s classic novel The Old Wives’ Tale, Marriage Material tells the story of three generations of a family through the prism of a Wolverhampton corner shop – itself a microcosm of the South Asian experience in the country: a symbol of independence and integration, but also of darker realities.

The story is about Arjan Banga, who is, somehow, forced to run the Bains Store at Victoria road in Wolverhampton, after the unexpected death of his father, and unfold the history of his aunt Surinder who had eloped many years back. In these jumble and confusion, he finds his relationship with his fiance Freya in a fix.

The book is written in two parallel narratives. One in first person that tells the story of the protagonist Arjan Banga through his point of view and the other is in third person, a story dwelling in the past, describing his family history.

Due to this eccentric point of views, I found the story a bit confusing.

The book is divided in several chapters telling two different and parallel stories. Some portions of the book is undoubtedly engrossing but some chapters are not that interesting. There are too many characters and names that interrupts the flow and makes the narration again confusing.

I really liked the detailing and touch of humour. The language is neat. The 'Surinder' portion, when the story dwells in the past, is interesting. Overall, for me it was an average read that left me with mixed feelings.

I got this copy from the publisher Random House India (Random Reads, official blog of the publisher) for an honest review.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Women and Marriage!

Society expects
Marriage should be her main goal
Not her excellence?

"Now I invite Mrs. Naina Agnihotri on stage to receive the 'Shining Star Award' for her excellence in the field of Social Service and Awareness.' The host announces.

A graceful woman, wearing a beautiful lemon yellow sari approaches the stage with a decent smile on her face. The audience applaud and several cameras flash instantly.

Naina runs an NGO which works for the welfare of unprivileged children and women.

She looks at the audience and joins her hands and then receives that prestigious award. After thank you speech, she says "I'm not Mrs. yet." She gets off the stage, smiling.

She is about to sit on her chair when she hears a woman whisper. "You know, she is 36 and still unmarried!"

Written for: Magpie Tales
                  Haiku Heights
                  Haiku My Heart

My book "Uff Ye Emotions 2" (An anthology and I'm one of the contributors.) is getting wonderful reviews! Get your copyHERE  and share your views.

I'm participating in a writing contest. Read my story"Revolutionaries" HERE. Share your honest feedback and please vote for me if you like it!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Winter mornings

Crisp wind in winter mornings pricks
And then, slowly
Magnificent golden streaks of sunshine
Emerges, piercing the blanket of mist
Cossets the delicate dewdrops
Dancing on the exquisite petals
In its warm affectionate arms!

Written for: Three Word Wednesday

My book "Uff Ye Emotions 2" (An anthology and I'm one of the contributors.) is getting wonderful reviews! Get your copy HERE  and share your views.

I'm participating in a writing contest. Read my story "Revolutionaries" HERE. Share your honest feedback and please vote for me if you like it!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

Finished reading "The Almond Tree" by Michelle Cohen Corasanti. I'm so glad I read this book and for that I would like to thank Mr. Yawar Khan and Finger Print Publishing for giving me this opportunity!

I am an avid reader but I'm very selective about books. I've kept myself restricted to contemporary women/romance fiction, but recently some books made me realize that I should try different genre and The Almond Tree is one of them.

The Almond Tree  is the story of loss, pain, tolerance, perseverance and achievement. It tells the story of Ahmad, a Palestine, and his family. It's about their suffering during Israeli - Palestine clash. It's about his life journey from a seven years old to a sixty two years old. It's about his innocence and understanding. It's about a beautiful bond between a father and a son. It's about the frustration of a suffering brother. It's about love and friendship.

It's about reading a beautifully poignant story!

The Almond Tree is the debut novel of the author and I must congratulate her for the wonderful work! I'm very impressed with the research, for writing this story.

This book has the most heart wrenching start I've ever read! The author has managed to create a very real and poignant imagery through the beautiful and skillful narration. Each detail acts as an eye-opener.The situations and characters are very well defined. The execution of the story is so beautiful that you could feel the pain and find yourself flowing with that.

There are some inspirational one liners that I loved reading.

Overall, The Almond Tree was an amazing read. It's moving. It's interesting. And it's engrossing. I totally agree with The Huffington Post that "This novel will become one of the biggest bestsellers of the decade." And it should be. I'm eagerly waiting for the author's next book.

I strongly recommend this book to everyone who loves to read!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Revolutionaries: A short story for a contest!

When there's rock strong dare
When there's no fear
The life becomes enthusiastic game
And sometimes, that enthusiasm...
A Revolution!

25 June 1975 to 23 March 1977. The period of Emergency that created a great impact on Indian Politics. No matter we witnessed that period or not, we all know about that magnificent movement.

I've tried to write a short story "Revolutionaries" about four fun loving boys, set in this period to participate in a contest conducted by Notion Press. Read this story HERE and please for vote for me if you like it.

Thank you!:)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bright sunshine of joy!

Gleaming tears, just like
Dewdrops, evaporates with
Bright sunshine of joy!

My story "Dilemma" is going to appear in an anthology "Uff Ye Emotions 2" (releasing soon!).

Do you remember any such strong moment of awakening that cleared off your Dilemma? I invite you to share your thoughts HERE!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Whenever we talk about dreams, we tend to think about those dreams we see with our eyes open. Type dreams in the search section of my blog, you'll find so many posts! So, for a change, I thought to talk about the dreams that we see while sleeping.

There are so many dreams floating in my eyes, but I'm an absolute dreamer when I sleep. Let me sleep for 15 minutes and I'll tell you (Mostly) what I saw. I really enjoyed the interpretation of those dreams though I didn't believe in any of them. Also I sometimes see unknown but very clear faces in my dream and I wonder if these people really exist.

Many years back, a girl, whom I had known but I can not call her my friend, came to me and gave me two books (Wuthering Heights and Gunahon Kaa Devta (Very nice book) to read. I was pleasantly surprised and shocked at the same time.

Some days back, I saw a dream in which that particular girl  has given me 'two' books!! When I told about my dream to a friend she said "You and your dreams." She sighed.

I thought it could be about a discussion about book with that girl. But it was amazing when this dream came true!

It is said that morning dreams generally come true. I don't believe in this myth but one morning, when I was at my aunt's place, I saw a weird dream. I saw an old woman, who was a far relative (My father's aunt's (Very close to us and we used to live at the same place) aunt), was lying unconscious and a blood soaked bandage was wrapped around her head.

When I woke up, it felt strange as I never interacted with that woman. Just saw her once in a function, sitting quietly in a corner.

When I returned home after two days, I was chatting with my cousin aunt (My father's cousin sister) who was like a friend. Suddenly I noticed something. Her house (adjacent to ours) was unusually silent.

"Where is dadi ma? The house seems quiet." I asked.

"Oh, she has gone to her native place. Nani has died na," she replied.

"Which nani?" I was confused as her nani was already dead.

"Oh maa's aunt. Do you remember her. You might have seen her when you visited there for a function."

I was shocked. "How did she die?" I asked.

"She fell from the terrace." She said.

And I was speechless!!

Sharing with: Write Tribe Festival of Words Day 7

Friday, December 13, 2013

People who deserve to be ignored

In a journey, sometimes blissful or troublesome, sometimes peaceful or sometimes challenging, sometimes exciting or just plain, called life, we meet some unselfish, compassionate, helpful and understanding people who touch our hearts and stay in our memories forever even if they are far or detached.

But there are some other people who also stay in our hearts but for other reasons. For their selfish, wicked, masked, arrogant etc. image. Such people don't deserve to be in your life or even memories. I think, you don't have to be rude. Just keeping a decent distance would be enough for your peace.

1. People who show that they are very helpful to you and they are trying their level best. Are they really?
    You can also keep fake friends in this category. Hundred enemies are cipher in front of a fake friend!

2. People, sometimes very close to you, pretend to be your well-wisher and show that they deeply care for you but actually mislead you indirectly. Enough for your shattered peace.

3. People who are too busy for you. Have you ever felt that you are the most easily available person for people but when you need them they are always busy? If someone actually cares for you, will try and manage time for you. Those who are too busy, don't deserve your attention.

4. Those who don't miss a single chance to bring you down, come to that in a sugar coated tone. Some people just can't tolerate to see anyone growing! Maybe due to sense of superiority complex or jealousy. Such people tend to injure your enthusiasm and discourage you. Don't listen to them. Staying away would be a good idea!

5. People who are nosy and tend to extract all the information from your life (And maybe spread to the world!). Dangerous people. Keep them miles away from you.

Be good and kind. It doesn't take much. 

You can't solve anyone's problem? No problem! At least don't create problems for them. That would be a great help!

So, you are talking about people today! I would like to share that Uff Ye Emotions (An Anthology in which I'm one of the contributors) is going to release soon. I invite you to share your thoughts HERE on a very special and unconventional relationship (Other than romantic and close blood relation) that you nurture and cherish in your life. I would love to know your thoughts!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Breath of fresh air and freedom!!


Beautiful journey
Connects with the thread of life
Instills new fervour

Life needs space to breathe
Breathe a fresh air of freedom
Devoid of worries

When I think about travelling, these thoughts come to my mind. I don't travel much. I'm not good at socializing. I prefer to stay at home.

Gradually, I have grown with this thought that  you should do everything you actually want to do, of course if those things are not illegal and unethical. You have got only one life and you have to fulfill all your wishes and dreams in this life only.

Recently, I saw a movie called "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara. I found it reflecting my thought. I think it's one of the most contemporary, beautiful and modern films of Indian Cinema! The characters travel a lot, seeking their personal space, trying to banish their anxiety for some time. They connect. They overcome their inhibitions.They fulfill all their wishes. They teach that living your life to the fullest is the most beautiful things to do. Very very uplifting! Whenever I see this movie (Yes, I watch it every time I catch it running!) it seems like a breath of fresh air and freedom!!

 Sharing with Write Tribe Festival of Words Day 5

I would like to share that Uff Ye Emotions (An Anthology in which I'm one of the contributors) is going to release soon. I invite you to share your thoughts HERE on a very special and unconventional relationship (Other than romantic and close blood relation) that you nurture and cherish in your life. I would love to know your thoughts!

Book-Review: Dear Life by Alice Munro

Alice Munro is a BIG BIG name in the writing world! To get in touch with her you can follow her Facebook Page.

Dear life (I so liked the title!) is a collection of 14  stories with nice themes.

I don't need to say anything about the writing of the author; or about the beauty of  those lovely words but I felt they were a little old-fashioned and dark . Stories are very narrative. I felt that I was hearing a story from someone as they didn't give me any chance to unfold the story myself. And right there they didn't work for me.

Although the pace of the stories is good but I think the execution lacks fluidity. Sometimes, I felt that 'Are they really going anywhere?' Though they have nice and even touching themes, I found the structure of the stories very plain.

If you like reading classic stories, it could be a perfect read for you!

There is a beautiful touch of innocence in the narration and I really liked it! Feelings of the characters are beautifully sketched!!

My favourite stories in the book would be "To Reach Japan", "The Eye" and "Dear Life". (Actually, all the stories written in the first person are nice)

Overall, I would say (It may sound weird to you) it was an average read for me. But I would say that getting a chance to read Alice Munro is a matter of pride and an opportunity itself, and you should not miss the opportunity!

I'm thankful to Random House India! (Visit Random Reads, official blog of RHI) for giving me this opportunity!:)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Magical healer


Chuckle of a child
Those lovely conversations
Music to mom's ears

Sleepless nights torture
Embrace blissful slumber with 
Magical healer

(I strongly believe that Music is a magical healer. It acts as a tranquilizer for a disturbed mind, spinning with problems, pain and worries!) 

I would like to share that Uff Ye Emotions (An Anthology in which I'm one of the contributors) is going to release soon. I invite you to share your thoughts HERE on a very special and unconventional relationship (Other than romantic and close blood relation) that you nurture and cherish in your life. I would love to know your thoughts! Thank you!:)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Love for Books!!


Land of lovely words
Where interesting characters dwell,
Various emotions swirl
Touching your heart
And you find yourself flowing in that wave!!

Book! Ah! I love them (Just like you!) since my childhood, when we children were not allowed to read novel but I did that secretly!

Once, one of my uncles said "Give her an advertisement page and she'll read that too." I did that. I still do that. I read each and every word written on the phial of a medicine! I still love reading comics!

You can't find books everywhere you go but I kept seeking them and somehow found them at the place where I least expected them. People wondered how could I read a book in the light of a lantern, staying aloof.

There are many books that kept me awake till 2-3 am. People say I have a certain glint in my eyes while in a book store!

But there is a thing in me that keeps me wondering that "Am I really a voracious reader?"

The reason is very simple. I can't read ANY book. It's true that I can't do without books but they have to be of my choice
I have known some people who can read anything, any genre. Are they actually avid readers? Not me?

Recently, we had a discussion on Twitter and we reached at a conclusion that "Life is too short to waste on books that you find boring!" And I'm a strict believer of this.

In Hindi, I didn't like reading novels by  Premchand (I like his short stories though) My brother said "Don't tell this to anyone else!" I haven't read Godan Yet though I have tried several times.

I have at least 15 unfinished books. Even some very big names don't interest me. Like I don't like reading Danielle Steel. You may hate me for this, but I don't like reading classic novels. I gave up on Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (I somehow feeling ashamed to admit this)!! I prefer reading contemporary fiction.

Yesterday I finished reading Dear Life by Alice Munro. Although, I'm glad and proud that I got a chance to read her. I so wanted to finish and like each and every story but I found many of them very plain and dark (Please wipe those innumerable exclamation marks off your face!Will write the review soon)

So, eventually, I'm still hung with a question unanswered "Do you think I'm an avid reader (That I love to call myself proudly) (Please don't say NO!! No, please be honest!:))

Reading  "The Almond Tree" currently (I have got this book for review) and my God! what a heart-wrenching start!!

Talking about books, I would like to share that Uff Ye Emotions (An Anthology in which I'm one of the contributors) is going to release soon. I invite you to share your thoughts HERE on a very special and unconventional relationship (Other than romantic and close blood relation) that you nurture and cherish in your life. I would love to know your thoughts!

Sharing with Write Tribe Festival of Words Day 3

Monday, December 9, 2013

The yummy leftovers!

Sanaya is so busy playing game on her mobile that a yummy wholesome breakfast cannot attract her attention. Sarita, the maid, is making her braids. Mishty, Sarita’s daughter is dusting but her eyes are glued to that plate. It looks yummy. A plate full of sandwich and veg roll. A glass full of juice. A bowl of soup. She hasn’t even tasted them in her life. She shrinks her nose at the mere thought of those tasteless chapattis she is going to have after work.

The bus has arrived and starts blaring. Sanaya takes few bites and takes a sip of juice while Sarita puts a stuffed tiffin box in her bag. Mishty finds herself drooling.

Sanaya runs to catch the bus, leaving those delicacies. Mishty is hopeful for the leftovers.

“Sarita, make aaloo parantha for sahib.” Memsahib says. She she collects the leftovers and dumps then into the bin!

"When you worry about your weight, dislike any food and want to discard it or even discard, please remember, someone, somewhere is starving and struggling to get a single meal. Food is pious. Respect it!" 

Written for: Write Tribe Festival of words day 2
                     Theme Thursday

'Uff Ye Emotions' (It's an anthology and I'm one of the contributors!) is going to release soon. You can Pre-Order your copy HERE or HERE or HERE

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Jewels of memories


She takes out an old album from the closet. Smiling pictures of dear ones, in the album, are the best companion of her loneliness. They stir the reminiscences of happy days of togetherness. They evoke nostalgia and tears roll down her wrinkled cheeks.

Jewels of memories
Treasured in the safe of heart
Shine in solitude

Written for: Write Tribe Festival of words: Day 1

Monday, December 2, 2013

Colours of Rainbow

Splash the colours of
Rainbow, on canvas of dreams
Design them with hope

Written for: Haiku Heights
                  Poets United

'Uff Ye Emotions' (It's an anthology and I'm one of the contributors!) is going to release soon. You can Pre-Order your copy HERE or HERE or HERE