Friday, May 16, 2014

Crushed Innocence


Every pair of eyes present in the tiny 'so-called' drawing room landed at Veena, as she entered with her board results and many floating dreams of her future.

Her marriage had been arranged right then and there and she couldn't oppose as she was expected to understand the deplorable financial conditions of her father and deteriorating health of her grandmother who desperately wanted to see her as a bride.

She was just 15 and her prospective groom was 27 and…and blind.

Life seemed like a closed chapter that enclosed her shattered dreams as she was about to transform from a innocent careless girl into a mature woman.

18 years later, her crushed innocence enlivened in the form of pride as she saw her daughter’s name among those brilliant students who had cleared Medical Entrance Exam in the first attempt!

Written for: Five Sentence Fiction

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book-Review: Our Moon Has Blood Clots by Rahul Pandita

Finished reading "Our Moon Has Blood Clots" by Rahul Pandita. Read a memoir for the first time and it was good to read something deep and different. Thanks to Random House India for the review copy for an unbiased review!

Hindustan Times said about this book: "This book cannot be ignored. It is powerful, painful and revealing." True that. This book should not be ignored!

Our Moon Has Blood Clots is a poignant memoir of losing home and surviving the hatred buzzing in Kashmir Valley against Kashmiri Pandits. It frames a picture where thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were tortured and killed and were forced to leave their homes.

It is the story of lost home, hardship and survival. In this book, Rahul Pandita recollects those difficult times when he and his family had been forced to leave their home in Kashmir and how they had to strive to survive. I truly appreciate the honesty!

The deep yet lucid narration reflects pain and innocence of childhood. It depicts a sense of loss skillfully and reveals shocking facts! But as the narration keeps fluctuating from present tense to past tense, for me it was a little confusing at times. Sometimes, description of incidents seemed random and repetitive, affecting the crispness (For a book). 

The title and book cover are intriguing and touching.

Overall, for me, it was subtle and enlightening! An engrossing, shocking (I wonder what was the role of the Indian government that time when lots of innocent people were suffering and were being treated so unfairly) and poignant read. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

You Won't Miss Me

I am putting my books in the carton. Diya is humming some song, perched on the bed. I know she is upset but I'm amazed how she is keeping her chin up. I'm shifting to my new house tomorrow. There's a mixed feeling. Though I'm excited to visit a new place, I'm sad that I'm leaving her.

She is not my own flesh and blood but very very special. I feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful neighbour like her and her family. Never poking their nose in our private matter but always ready to lend a hand. I gladly reciprocate. I wonder if I'll get such a nice neighbour ever.

I look around. Packing is almost done. Then I look at her and reminiscence some lovely moments that we have spent together. It evokes a deep sense of nostalgia.

We talk a lot. She tells a lot of things and I am all ears. I have to laugh on her numerous jokes. And if I don't, she says casually 'Oh, this was not funny'. I enjoy her expression/shrieks while watching a horror film. Her uber-excited chuckle when playing video games. I like cooking her favourite food. I admire her thoughtfulness. She adores my two-year-old son. I love how she keeps an eye on him while I'm busy in some house hold chores. I truly enjoy her company.

Sometimes, I forget that Diya is just an eleven years old little girl.

"You know Diya, I'll miss you a lot." I say.

"No, you won't miss me." She blurts out finally.

I'm surprised. "Why do you think so?" I ask.

"Had you really felt so, you wouldn't have moved in the first place." Comes an instant reply that leaves me speechless.

Written for Write Tribe (It carries six body part idioms)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book Review: Times Lost Atlas

Finished reading a very different anthology "Times Lost Atlas" edited by Harsh Agarwal (Half Baked beans Publishers).

First of all, I would like to thank Namrata, a dear friend and one of the authors of TLA, for gifting me this nice book!

We tend to move away. Many incidents touch our hearts, we gape in exclamation, express our opinions,  even remember them for a some time (Sometimes, just ignore) but, being so much engrossed in our own life and priorities we just move ahead and forget about many important events that have significant impact on the world.

I think, this book could be an interesting way to look back! To recall what had influenced several lives. To realize what we missed!

Times Lost Atlas is a unique collection of short stories that covers 11 striking incidents in the last decade (Across the world) by some really nice authors.

The stories hide interesting facts and revelation. I don't want to disclose the details of the stories as it'd somehow steal the surprise element. Read the book and you'll realize that these stories are like moving reel, telling you about some highly important and life-changing incidents all over the world. It's like travelling, discovering and experiencing!

Stories are very well researched and I truly appreciate the effort by every author who contributed for this book. Every story is nice and distinct in its own way, but of course I have some personal favourites.

The Filch by Namrata (My thoughts are absolutely genuine) is very well written and full of emotions. Crisp narration and its unpredictability makes this story an engrossing read!

Innocents at War by Adwitiya Borah is very thought provoking story and a kind of eye opener I would say. It covers Godhra Kand. Some portions are moving. For me, it was an engrossing read.

The Rising by Malvika Roy (A children's author) is very engaging read. It's a poignant story of a journalist and a little girl Apsara. The situations and characters are well defined.

I would like to mention

United We Fall by Anurag Anand. It's very well crafted.
Beneath by Budhaditya is well narrated, though it's a little slow.

I think it's a brilliant idea to compile such stories and this interesting and thoughtful effort by the authors and the editor is highly commendable.

Overall, for me, it was enlightening. A different & interesting read. I recommend this book to every reader who like to read short stories and try different genres. Go grab it! I think it would be a nice reading experience.

You can buy this book HERE