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Monday, September 29, 2014

Award nomination denomination

First of all I would like to thank my dear friend and fellow-blogger Elly Stornebrink for awarding me the two awards. It's such a big compliment to be nominated (which equates to awarded) along with such prolific bloggers.

I also thank the Almighty for guiding me at every step, and my parents, friends, well-wishers and peers for supporting me through. Without all of you, it would have been impossible for me to be here.

The two awards,
>The sunshine blogger awards

and,

>The very inspiring blogger awards

are indeed very prestigious and encouraging titles. I have always aimed at including both traits in my blogs, and surely winning these awards would be no less than a dream-come-true. May the most deserving nomination win.

As per the instructions, the nominee has to present7 qualities of themself. So, here is my self-praise list:

~I am an aspiring writer and have few poems, short stories and articles published in Indian print and online media.
~I have been blogging since 2008. Previously in rediffblogs and presently on blogger.
~My various genre include poetry, articles, book reviews, views and analysis, theology, short stories and more recently- haiku and stories for children.
~I hail from a small mining town Kolar Gold Fields near Bangalore in karnataka, India
~I love to read, make crafts and travel.
~I am a die-hard nature lover and sky gazer.
~I love making friends, learning of new cultures and spreading goodness.

We also have to award the titles to 8 other bloggers . So here are my awardees (you need not re- blog about these awards again if you have already been awarded by them) :

Elly Stornebrink
Judy Yaron,
Cindy Ackley,
Amrit Sinha,
Roshan Radhakrishnan,
Sophie Bowns,
Candess Campbell,
Sunny Fernandes.

And lasting here's a list of instructions to be followed by the awardees.

¤Include the images of both the awards in your nomination/accept speech,
¤State 7 pro things about self.
¤Nominate/award 8 other bloggers you find to be deserving.
¤Let your nominees/awadees know about it.

(Another award and my thank you note in my next blog:Award nomination denomination2)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Two little birdies

Witty and Mitty were two little birds. They were best friends and stayed together as often they could. Witty was very clever, and Mitty was very soft, not just on the outside but in his heart too. One day while they were flying together to their friend litty’s birthday party they saw a huge plane fly by.

For a minute they mind went blank and fear engulfed their heart. For their parents had always told them horror stories about this big monster bird, which came with a thundering noise, and caught such little birdies that did too much mischief or did not heed their parents or did not sleep on time. This monster bird then took all the birdies it caught to a far away place and cut their wings so they couldn’t fly back home, scooped out their eyes so they could not see the beautiful world anymore, and fried them for his food.

Now both Witty and Mitty were so scared as the monster bird seemed to be darting towards them only, both shivered from their tip to tail and flew as fast as they could for their dear lives.
“What are we going to do, Witty?” Mitty asked his chirpy voice shivering with him.
“I don’t know, Mitty. We first have to take shelter.”
By luck, just then he spotted a huge banyan tree atop a big cliff.
“Fast! Swoop to that little hole in that big tree ahead us. The monster is too big to enter that small hole.”
Witty’s mind was working faster than his wings.

Once in the safety of the little hole, both friends hid in its darkest corner, their eyes tightly shut, and hugging each other with their little feathery wings. For a moment that seemed like ages they felt the droning noise was yelling in their ears and the monster bird was right over them.

Then, the noise grew distant again and as they slowly opened their eyes so very slightly to see where the monster was. They saw its tail turned to them and it was flying away towards the sun. Both birds heaved a sigh of relief and danced with utter joy.

Just then Witty thought this was their golden and only chance to save all the little birdies the monster must have caught this time.
“Come Mitty, We have some friends to rescue.” Witty yelled as he took flight to follow the plane.
“Wait! Come back, Witty. Where are you going? Why are you following the monster? And who do we have to save?” Mitty screeched flying behind Witty and trying to catch up with him.
“The little birds the monster must have caught this time,” Witty explained not taking his eyes off the monster and flying as fast as he could to stay in its trail. “We cannot let them die! If we follow the monster bird to its den, we can free the little birdies when he will fall asleep and fly back home.”
“Are you crazy, Witty? If the monster sees us he will fry us straight away or eat us raw!”
“He won’t. We’ll stay out of sight and follow right behind.”

Mitty swallowed hard for he knew Witty had made up his mind and he couldn’t leave his friend alone either. The birds fluttered their wings as fast as they could, but the monster always seemed to fly faster. The two little birds soon grew tired, and just as their wings began to really ache badly Witty got another idea.
“One last time, Mitty, use all the energy you have and follow me.” Witty encouraged his friend and darted towards the plane.

In a few minutes, both were now right over the monster and landed over its head. For both were sure, that was one spot the monster would never be able to look up and see.
“Now, we can rest all the way, Mitty. The monster will take us home.” Witty exclaimed with a big smile and a wink to his friend.

Thus, Witty and Mitty set out again in their own little adventure.

To be a writer refined... (1)

I've been a member of the Ultimate Blog Challenge Community and the Ultra Blog Challenge Community for almost three months now and I have got to learn, understand and see so many aspects of writing in both these forum.

I have met some wonderful bloggers and friends, interacted on an international level and imbibed amazing intricacies of writing. I am so grateful to the Almighty for leading me here, and to both these forums and the people I met here for making a world of difference to me.

One thing which I have very recently learnt through these challenges and its participants is that consistency is one of the most essential traits to be a writer. It is a very complicated and vibrant field, and to survive here one needs to blend in all the colours and work through the way.

No matter what is on in our life and no matter what state of mind we are in, we have to write to keep the writer in us going. Once we quit or say "off" at the face of any compulsion, it becomes so difficult for the writer in us to recollect herself and continue as if nothing had hindered her path at all.

The writer in us is like a separate individual in herself, who resides within us. Whatever happens with us or around us is ours to bear or share, but the writer must remain unaffected whatsoever. She may get inspired, share in your joys, sympathise your pain or dwell on your worries by weaving words on each occasion, but to stop her from writing because of our personal reason or priorities is just not done.

I have faltered this month, succumbed to my failings and may or may not meet the challenge this month, but today I have struggled against my feelings, my failings and my faltering footsteps, and made an attempt to keep the writer in me going. The result is this blog open to your honest scrutiny.

Speak your heart out.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pride comes before a fall

"I don't know if this made it to international media but the news of a youth falling prey into a tiger's den in New Delhi's National zoo/park did create nation-wide furore.

Earlier this week on Tuesday, a youth crossed his safety limit to have a clearer look of the White Bengal tiger by climbing over the fence. As his fate could have it, he tripped and fell on the dangerous side of the fence. His death made a slow visit on him with the feline taking its time to gauge the intruder, round him up and measure up the opportunity. Eyewitness even said the youth had sat for nearly five minutes cornered, pleading with joined hands for his life. Then came his end- as swift, brutal and scary as one can imagine.

This episode is shocking, sad and scary, but it raises many questions.

° where were the authorities during the whole time? Shouldn't they have been spread across the premises to ensure abiding of rules and provide help in case of emergencies? The tiger gave them 15minutes of the youth's life, yet they arrived after his death visited on him.

° It is a myth that the creatures of the wild are always ready for the kill. In reality they do not harm until they are hungry, are attacked/angered at the first place, and/or have been tortured or feel threatened themselves. So, are the animals given all the rights they deserve in their enclosures? Or have they been neglected, and deprived of their neccessities?

° The animals of the wild, especially felines do not turn man-eaters until it's their last resort, and have been starving to death. So, are the animals in the zoo/park properly fed on time and in the right portions? Maybe that is what the White tiger in the Delhi's incident was analysing for the five minutes the youth sat begging for his life! Seeing if it can any other source of food!

India's National pride is falling in the eyes of the world. Questions have to be answered, errors corrected and needful done before we shame ourselves for it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Have you ever held a sparrow?

Years ago, one warm summer afternoon we were called out of our doors with the sound of a soft thud on our porch. Probably something had fallen over our underground tank-top.

And indeed something had. To be precise a living thing- a sparrow. We are still at a lose to guess how it landed there, but it did appear very scared. A cute little thing, it sat cuddled in one place looking around with utter helplessness and shock. When it realised our presence it cuddled up even more.

We were worried if it was hurt. I and my sister were about to check on it when my mother stopped us and warned us against touching the innocent thing for its own good.

My mother has spent her childhood in the countryside of Tamilnadu and witnessed from her own eyes, so she knows. Sparrows are very puritan kinds and never ever forgive being touched by a human (she does not know if they have other species in their taboo list). Once a sparrow is touched by a human it becomes an out-cast in its community and never taken back. In fact (my mother has seen so herself) the rest of the sparrow community pecks the erring bird to its death.

Maybe that is why, as I realise it now, I don't recall even one of the sparrow handlers in zoo and museums ever hold them. They have always entreated them to perch on their balled up fists.

So, have you ever held a sparrow? If so, have you seen it through to the end?
What is your opinion in this regard?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Little England in India

The local folk lore has it that long, long ago K.G.F was once a very large, dense jungle. There was so much abundance of gold here back then, that it were found in lumps near the foot of trees and the tribal people dwelling here back then used to pluck them up like fruit and used it for personal use and trade.

One day, a soldier of the then ruler (probably one from the Gupta dynasty) passed by its thickets and noticing such riches informed his king, and thus began the earliest mining operation that was to change hands over course of centuries and provide wealth and livelihood to countless for more than 2000 years since then.

Welcome to my home-town of folk lore and rich history- Kolar Gold Fields.

(the image of the main road leading into the town taken on my mobile phone).

Situated near the south-east border of Karnataka in India, 100 kilometers from the state capital Bangalore, it is a small sleepy suburb surrounded by picturesque landscapes and enriched with a surprising blend of cultures and languages. It perfectly reflects the world-famous slogan entire India prides itself in- "Unity in diversity".

You can learn all of its history and geography in its wikipedia page from the link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolar_Gold_Fields

It was known by many names prior to the mining lease going into the hands of the british John Taylor and Sons company in 1880, which was then given its present name. The township was later built in the year 1902 with many british officers, engineers and skilled workers settling here with their family.

With the administration designing the entire township in resemblance to the city of London back home and coupled with the soft- warm weather and lush greenery, it was nicknamed Little England.

A title K.G.F still resonates with humble pride. It still has salvaged its original design-plan, many of the buildings and structures and a love for society and fashion in its people that seems to be inherited by its early settlers. (I'm sorry I couldn't gather enough pictures to show along).

It still has broad roads that might have not so long ago bustled with traffic and people, beautiful spread of greenery and fauna which still attracts nature lovers, abandoned and adapted buildings that still hold promise of golden future if handled rightly, a mines which was once the second largest in Asia,  now in a state of stale slowly waiting its death yet hoping for a new lease of life.

(the file- image of the workers working in the mines, as taken from the facebook page "KGF- the little england") and a mount of cyanide-dump (from the mines) which was built with centuries of mining. It is now almost 30feet tall and occupies nearly 10% of the land area (images below). *note: the image of the interior view of the cyanide-dump was taken from the facebook page "KGF- the little england", The image of the frontal view of the cyanide-dump was taken by me in my mobile phone.

Tackling the teacher's cane

In a recent blog, "Has there ever been a Mrs. B in your life?" my dear friend Judy Yaron, described the agony she suffered as a child from her English teacher, where her teacher actually thought she was doing Judy good by questioning everything she knew, but in reality she was trampling her confidence. This post reminded me of similar incidents from my own life, when I felt tortured by my kannada teachers (the regional language of where I live) during my primary and secondary schooling.

Their strict demeanour and unapproachable attitude actually made me turn away from the language. I was petrified of them, and fear and I don’t do well together. Where students generally respond to fear and learn what is at hand, my mind blocked out the subject itself and what I needed was a survival skill to escape punishment and the teachers' attention. My solution lay in memorising the questions and answers, and I managed to read and write enough to pass the exams, without really learnt the language.

This trick came very handy in tackling the classes in my high school years. As to why teachers of this particular language tended to be so strict is beyond me! There was but this one teacher (of kannada) who was strict but somehow I was able to impress him everytime.

In his very first class he tested our language skills by making us write the words he dictated on the blackboard. The good ones succeeded, the not so good ones got in his black-book in return. When my turn came he gave me one of the words he usually found students err- his name, Prabhakar. As kannada has different symbols for each phonetic, he found students usually got confused in them. I simply spelled out the word in mind and put it on the board. And lo! I had got it right.

One of the reasons that worked in my favour with him was that he was lenient enough to explain complex parts in English and allowed us to discuss them in English as well. Nonetheless, whenever he chose to bombard us with questions, I would be shivering inside hoping he would not ask me (which he never failed to do). However, using the survival skill I keenly developed during primary school, I would stand up with all confidence and answer to the point. Like a computer my mind fetched from memory and answered any question he asked.

Thus, by succeeding in creating an illusion of understanding the language, I passed my courses with flying colors, when in reality I could hardly speak a complete sentence on my own without mistakes.

Showers of blessing

It has finally rained here in K.G.F (my home-town) today, after a long period of wait and desperation.

As mid-June to mid-october is the season of monsoon in India, you can understand the relief the birds, animals and people felt on finally receiving a good shower just today through out the entire season this year; that too when all other parts of India, esp. South India and more precisely most of the neighbouring districts received irregular but moderate rainfall. All the while we were thankful for the few light showers we received and prayed for even better in the days to come.

As always several theories abound to explain our predicament. Scientifically they say as the plantation of eucalyptus trees has increased in the past decade in our district, it has upset the water balance which in turn has upset the rain-bearing clouds.

Another theory suggests that the high voltage lines of the newly laid electric gauges for railway dissipates the clouds away.

The local folks even assert that the sporadic digging of borewells to overcome the water shortage has released so much of earth's internal heat that it drives away the clouds to cooler zones where they then fall as rain.

A common apprehension however is that the Almighty is angry by the reckless erring mentality of the folks here, and He is punishing us this way.

I don't know what's the exact reason, or how much weight each theory actually carry... But I truly hope and pray our wait is over and more such rainy days are here to come in K.G.F.

And if you are wondering what or where on earth is this K.G.F, you can wiki or google it out, but do stay tuned for my next blog, for a small glimpse of my home-town through my eyes (and words).

Friday, September 19, 2014

Role distance plays

Continued from "Distance, thou art strange."

Where distance has played such magical medium on one hand, it has on the other played the trickster who slowly, silently, flungs us in the labyrinth of daily routine and such priorities where we don't find a way to interact with each other except once in a blue moon. These have been friends from my childhood and school life, who have seen through life with me. We have learnt together, played together, grown up together, shared our dreams, confided our secrets, been partners in mischief, spoken hours at length about everything and nothing! With whom I understood the meaning of friendship, who have now moved to various destinations with their life, but are still as dear to me.

Taranum Fathima, Arshiya Nausheen, Trupti Jain, Mahalakshmi Satish Balaji, Kavita, Charanya, Kusuma, Seema, and so many playmates of my childhood...
I can't blame them, I hold myself responsible most of the time. I have been the one to drop my end of the thread, to give in to the delicacy of the situation and not pursued them enough.

I still recall the after school minutes I spent with Arshiya on the steps of our school waiting for our parents to pick us up and sharing all the knowledge we had in the world. I was so hurt when in the first year she chose someone else as her best friend! But she proved herself to be a true gem and kept me as close as ever.

Charanya was the first to separate choosing another high school, but for years till she moved to another city we met often, exchanged letters and stayed up to date with each other.

Trupti was the next to go away with her family shifting to Pune, but the distance was yet to not settle between us. We sincerely wrote letters to each other every two months, and what letters they were! Each of a dozen+ pages, complete with the latest minutest development to the last detail, livened up with jokes, quotes, designs, drawings and picture postcards!

Anybody else who saw it wondered how we could write and read such novel-sized letters to each other and what on earth could we have written in such close knit handwriting, but only we knew how short the letters seemed to us. Yet now, we have each other's phone number and email id but have no time except for an occassional Hi.

Taranum has been another gem and probably the one amongst us who goes out of the way and to lengths to maintain a steady interaction and never forgotten a friend. Maha and kavita have tried their best to remain in touch since distance set in, but we all have a void in our lives which only we can fill.

My note to them is: "You remember, whenever I was asked who my best friend is, I always replied as- All my friends are best in their own ways.

I wasn't wrong and I can still proudly say so. Thank you for enriching my life and sorry for all the forfeiture on my part."

Distance, thou art strange!

It's really funny how distance plays such tricky games with our heart. Sometimes when it takes two close ones far from each other, they writh and wither in each others memory, and sometimes it becomes such a casual thing we accept it like morning after night.

I understand more than blaming distance, the onus lies on the love and dedication the two people shared betwixt them. But what when the feelings are equally true, and affection equally indepth in both the instances? I speak from my own experiences here, and of friendship- a relationship I hold truly precious and sacred in my life.

I don't know if the proverb "Distance makes the heart grow fonder" suits the instances I relate to here, because they have always remained at far flung places from me. But yes, they all have surely become important part of my existence in such a short duration that I strongly believe destiny had planned our friendship.

Cindy Ackley, Judy Yaron, Elly Stornebrink, Yatita shah, my group of co-authors from the anthology "Love stories that touched my heart", so many friends and siblings I made via facebook and in my college years! Our interactions have usually been of touch-and-go nature, and always via one telecom media or another(except for a few whom I have met for a short duration). But my friendship with each of them has clicked almost instantly, and the honesty, trust, joy, comfort and respect I share with each of them, (I know) comes from true friendship.

A personal note from me to each of them: "I don't know if we would ever meet in person, but somehow it already feels like we have, and I'm so grateful to each of you for all that you have done, have been and mean for me."

Continued in Role distance plays.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Once a first bencher, always a first bencher!

As promised in my last blog "M for phobia" here is how me and my friends became the designated first benchers in our first year of pre-university course.

Having lived 10 years of our life by the rule-book, abiding teachers, following discipline and being the goody-goodys of school, like most teenagers even we had thought we'll at last taste some freedom, there won't be any more uniforms, class prefects, assemblies, bells announcing the school hours or punishments for missing a class.

But let me clear our intentions here. We had no desire to go wayward or stir up any storms, just simple and safe liberties that will give us the ecstacy of quitting the title of "school-girls". One such liberty we looked forward to was taking whichever bench we preferred, for we were really tired of being allotted seats in class by our class-teacher through out the school years.

But it was not meant to be! The first we attended, most of the classmates had already arrived and taken the benches of their choice (leaving the first three empty). We didn't think much about it and as we were 6 in all, we occupied the second and third row, as the last few benches were very distant from the lecturer's podium, and we were not sure if we would be able to hear them.

The day went well, except for the little disappointment that nobody felt like changing seats throughout the day. But it happened the same way the next day and for days following it. Even the lecturers started recognising us as the front benchers.

It wasn't a big deal, but we only wanted to break free from the dull routine. We even tried going early and taking other seats before others arrived but their usual occupants always fought their place back. They said it was the perfect spot for them and they either didn't want to be noticed by the lecturer, or be bored by their lecture, or had important gossip to share which couldn't wait and obviously impossible to be done right under the lecturer's nose.

We even offered sweetly the front benches to few other sweet types, but no! They were too nervous to sit there and be noticed by the lecturer so easily. Their chosen spots were their perfect hiding spots!

Thus, by choice, by force, happily and unhappily we became the "designated" and "perpetual" first benchers of our first year pre-university course.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

M for phobia: part 2

Continued from Part 1

The first time was when I was in my 1st year of pre-university course. I was in college attending a language class, and I and my friends were always the first benchers (will tell the story behind this in my next blog). Right in the middle of the lecture in hopped a big green grasshopper right in front of me, and kept hopping about as if super-excited to be in a college for the first time (though I seriously doubt if it was its first time). Those who suffer from any phobia can understand how strongly it affects us.

I tried to block it out, tried not to notice it and even moved a few benches behind to help myself stay calm, but no! The -hopper hopped all around the class, and I startled about my seat everytime it did so, sometimes I stiffled a screech, sometimes I almost screamed.

Finally, the lecturer in class ( a wonderful professor with the ideal blend of cordiality and discipline about him) had had enough. He asked me laughingly a couple of times to ignore, but when I failed to do so, the next instant STOMP! That spritely little life was crushed under his feet.

I believe he did it for me. Even if it was to restore order in class, the act's onus lies on me. It didn' t deserve to die, nor did I deserve for it to be killed! I only wished it out of the class. One innocent creature died because of my childish behaviour...

The other died earlier today. A tiny little green grasshopper this time. It had somehow landed itself in our backyard and by chance I and my mother happened to be there on a chores.

It was our presence or the chaos, it got excited and started hopping about the place(actually fluttering about, to be more precise). I don' t know, if our mutual fear attracted it to me, it thought I would save him or it was trying to scare me off, but it kept coming towards me. I tried to keep myself calm and act mature, but my mother noticed how terrified I was and as she is not apt in the art of catching them and releasing in the open, she did what she thought the next best thing for me- out flew the broom and SWAT! A little life was again lost because of my irrationale fear.

I wish I could undo both the instances, but it can't be done. I'm truly sorry for the lives thus lost. And if I have any sentiments through these twin blogs, I'm sorry about it too!

Maze of my own

This was what I was like the whole of last week.

Everytime I try to write,
I always get so distract,
I'm lost in a maze of my own.

My words take flight,
Then simply disappear from my mind.
They are lost in the maze I told.

I want to read and read,
Share, like, reply and comment,
But when I wish to write...

All is lost in the maze you know.

Then my dear friend Elly Stornebrink came to my rescue, and in the past two days, she did me a world of good. The below four lines are specially made and dedicated to her. Thank you, Elly!

Then I told my friends,
And amidst them a friend replied,
With her pep talks, aid and advice,
She brought me out of the maze of mine.

M for phobia

A funny thing about we humans is that everyone of us, in general, nurture a fear/phobia of little things. I know, psychology considers this a serious and innate problem, whose roots may lie in some childhood or very old occurrence which the mind has forgotten but it's effect remains.

The phobia can be anything- fear of height, of water, of darkness, of crowd, of isolation, or even insects. What I find funny is we believe ourselves to be the most supreme of all creatures of the Almighty, yet in a little corner of our mind there's such a strong fear of a minute or mundane stuff.

I suffer from partial insectophobia, meaning I don't fear all insects, just cockroaches (esp. the kind which glides about) and grasshoppers. And bless me! These two creatures somehow find a way to be around me ever so often.

I'm a little more insensitive and brutal towards the former. I just want it killed. No other option. Even if it's out of my sight, it never goes out my mind until it meets its end. But for the latter I'm a bit lenient. They have such innocent look about them (esp. The green variety), and I don't really know how harmful they can be! So, if they are taken out of my sight, i'm happy about it. But they were killed twice for me, and I'm really sorry about it.

Continued in part 2

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Halt! Oh people!

A haiku pondering on the way the world is going with its vices.

it's clear! Look yonder,
the path we are headed now,
is roadway to hell

Monday, September 8, 2014

Unforgotten love

Prelude:

Here are two haiku reflecting the same emotion, speaking of similar feelings- an unrequited love/ the memories of a lost companion. What's even more beautiful, it can mean any beloved, and need not only be romantic.

While working on them, I got bits of both and I couldn't develop into one, so I framed both.

Now I'm not able to choose one over the other. So, please help! Tell me which of the two you find/like better? :)

The twin haikus:

>You remain with me,
  Like fragrance of crushed roses,
  Rays caught in rainbows

>You stay in my heart,
  Like life within frozen lake,
  Like droplets in cloud

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Last but not the least

Previous in the series: bound by pain, bonded by love.

9-12 of my twelve most loved novels.

The books I discuss today belong to different genre, and deal with myriad of emotions, aspects and individuals. But each a treat in itself.

The Hungry Tide, The Ultimate Gift, and Teddy.

> The Hungry Tide is a celebrated epic novel by Amitav Ghosh set in the backwater countryside of West Bengal. It travels with two diverse individuals headed for the same destination- Pia and Kanai who befriend each other, dealing with various prevalent and in-depth topics which plague that part of the world, like attacks by man-eating tigers, lives of the fishermen families, and conflicting opinions. Every character in it speak for themselves and every factor has been handled masterfully.

> The Ultimate Gift (also adapted into a movie) is a soft and simple coming-of-age tale narrated by the awe-inspiring author Jim Stovall, in which spoilt and good-for-nothing Jason Stevens, great-grand nephew of Red Stevens, upon the latter's death is forced to accept a year long challenge (according to his Will) in order to inherit a multi-million dollars worth property. He has to fulfill certain conditions set by the not-so-dear-departed for each month under the scrutiny of his lawyer, aimed at teaching him the value of various emotions and relationships like hardwork, love, dreams, friendship etc.

But will Red Stevens succeed in his aim is the real million-dollar question. It's simple approach, flawless storyline and amazing characters are what actually makes this book special for me.

> Teddy is the first of two part novel "Theodore" by the very talented upcoming author Sophie Bowns. E-released last month and presently available only in digital version, it takes us back to the days of kings and castles of victorian era England. What I love about it is it's simple and sincere language, and intense storyline.

It takes us through the life of two totally unconnected people Prince Theodore and a common girl Bonnie, as their go through life, deal similar losses and struggle to find their place in the world. The poetry versions, found in her blogsite, of some of the situations in the novel are beautiful.

I can't wait for the second part and I'm just so glad I know the author rather cordially. My wishes are with her.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bound by pain, bonded by love

Previous in this series: 4-6 of my most loved novels.

7-9 of my twelve most loved novels.

The books I speak of here are full of life, innocence, brutality, pain and tragedy. But it is the courage and commitment of the protoganists to never lose hope, never give up on life, never bow down and go down or emerge fighting for right that wins our heart.

I speak of The Diary of a Young girl, Echoes, and The Kite runner here.

> The diary of a young girl, or better known as The Diary of Anne Frank is a first hand account of the terror of Nazi regime and life during the Second world war through the eyes of a 14 year old young jewish girl, Anne Frank. It is so full of innocence, candour and pain... it makes our heart bleed.

Co-incidentally I got to read this book when I was about the same age as her myself, in my high school. Maybe it was this which made connect with her so easily.

> Echoes by Danielle Steel is yet another account of the lives and times during and in between the two world wars. A fictionalised story spanning generations, it maintains an on-the-surface coverage of the political warfare and consequences as the characters get embroilled in it. Yet even this feels so terrible, one can't imagine what went through the actual victims, survivors and witnesses.

> The Kite runner celebrates itself as the debut novel of the prolific present-day author, doctor and acticvist Khaled Hosseini. I must say, what a ground-shattering debut it is! The story of two friends, bonded and separated by fate, tragedy and torture. We grow with Aamir in it, love him, hate it, support him, revolt against him and silently witness the double standards of the soceity and the terror of Taliban just like him. We want to do something about it all, yet feel as helpless as him! Maybe that's why Hosseini chose him as the narrator from all the wonderful characters, and over himself too!

All these three novels have made me cry, but I know they and the people they speak of deserve it and more.

Note: all hyperlinks in this blog redirect to their respective wikipedia pages

Next in the series: Last but not the least

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

4-6 of my twelve most loved novels

previous in this series: my top twelve most loved novels.

In my last blog I mentioned one of my favourite novel which speaks of following our dreams- The Alchemist. Strangely, the next two novels also deal with the same theme in completely contrasting perspectives.
Don Quixote, and Alice in wonderland.

> Where The Alchemist speaks of dreams in the literary context and hints at the other connotations as in aspirations, Don Quixote stresses on dreams in this very other context. Our hero is so inspired by the various warrior stories he has read of knights in shining armour, that he sets out to meet his own adventures and become a knight himself. Thereafter unfolds a series of hilarious misadventures and heart touching lessons.

In a very well handled and light-hearted way it shows us the thin line which separates commitment from craze, and how one can either become a hero or a fool.

> In Alice in wonderland, on the other hand, Sir Lewis Carroll tells the tale of a little girl who falls down a rabbit hole and falls asleep, and goes through many adventures in her dreams.

I grew up with Alice, with my sister bringing her home one evening for me from her school library. It was instant friendship between us, and then we often met every weekend when she visited me as a cartoon series.

> Another book which coloured my childhood was Ruskin Bond's Childrens' omnibus. A collection of myriad tales set in different backgrounds, speaking of different stories. It is full of such diverse characters, creatures and consequences it is a treasure trove in itself. A book whose stories I treasure even in my memories and a book I would love to keep for generations to come.

Note: Hyperlinks redirect to their respective wikipedia pages

Next in the series: Bound by pain, bonded by love.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My top twelve most loved novels.

Very recently, I came across a chain-status update on Facebook asking the person and their tagged along nominee to list their most loved books ever.

It really caught my fancy because books are that one commodity I go head over heals over. I can't imagine my life or the world without them.

So, I thought why not dedicate my initial blogs of this month for this very theme, and as I feel 'books' on the whole is too large a universe to pick ten bright stars, I have narrowed down to the field of novels and as I cannot find my list complete by just ten, I have made it twelve! And because it is my blogspot, I  prefer to add a praise or two for each of my picks.

Here's my first three in the list:
> Great Expectations:
One of the famous works of Charles Dickens it tops my list for the mere uniqueness it radiates. It follows the life story of Pip, from the dull marsh countryside of England to lands across borders, in his pursuit of great fortunes and the love of his life.

For me, it is a genre in itself and it abounds with some of the most memorable of Dickens' characters(and almost every character from this novel). Each of them are so full of life and individuality, and none of them seem out of this world. Be it the eccentric Miss Havisham, mysterious Magwitch or the unassumable Mr. Jaggers. This book is my most favourite travel companion as well.

> Pride and Prejudice:
A classic like the above mentioned novel, it needs no introduction nor do its characters. The second most read and appreciated novel by Jane Austen, it captures the victorian era English countryside, life and urban soceity with finesse sans all the wars and politics that plagued it in reality.

It is a subtle tale of love, siblings-bonding, friendship and relationships and a true gem for me.

> The Alchemist:
A legendary novel in which the theme speaks profounder than the storyline, and perhaps that was the intention of its author Paulo Coelho. His every novel follows a simple storyline and oozes with wisdom, so does this too.

It simply asks us to believe in our dreams and pursue it come what may. The uniqueness of this novel is that it mentions the name of the protoganist just once, and addresses him throughout as 'The boy' which compels the readers to connect with him as one and believe in its relevance.

I can read all the above three a zillion times and find them as new as ever every time. Have you read any of these three? What is your say on them? What are the top ten most loved novels?

Do share and indulge.

Note: Hyperlinks redirect to their respective wikipedia pages

Next in the series: 4-6 of my most loved novels