Finding my friend #Wow

Anil read the post on WordPress called #Wow Hello.   He thought about his wife Usha whose date of birth is Oct 28.  He called out to her, “Usha,  what was the name of your first friend when you were a kid?”  “Oh come on! How many times I have told you.  It’s ‘Lata’ ‘Lata’ ‘Lata'” shot back Usha looking up from her novel.  You could never catch Usha without her novel or the newspaper.

“And you said her birthday is in September?”, Anil persisted.  “Yes dear.  Hers is Sept 28 and mine October, same date.  Now let me read my novel in peace.  It’s almost the end of the book”.

Usha would never read anything on the internet.  She felt they were alien creatures.  There is no smell or character when reading on a computer.  That is another reason she has never had a Facebook account or any social media presence.  She preferred to use Anil’s Facebook account to check up on their family and relatives living across the globe.

Usha shut the novel as she finished it.  There she sat with a smile on her lovely face, still thinking about the story.  She asked  “So, why are you asking me about Lata now?”

Continue reading

The race of life

silhouetted-figure-and-tree-1008861How long before I put my head to a soft pillow and sleep? How many more years before, I get a complete, undisturbed long sleep?

I started working at age 13 after I lost my family to war. I am 63 now. What has changed? What did I achieve?

I have been working hard to make ends meet. At 13, it was survival from one day to the other. At 63, it is survival one week to the other. That is all that has changed. No family, no friends. Achievements include getting off the road into a ‘sleeping bed’ which I call home. ‘Sleeping bed’ is the bed I have rented that I can use for 6 hours till the next occupant of the bed comes in.

There is no more strength in my body, no will in my soul to achieve anything to win this greatest endurance race of life. I am looking up to the almighty for solace.

(160 words)

—————————————————————————————————————————-

This post is part of Friday Flash Fiction of 140-160 words.

#Flash Fiction

The 10 books I love and recommend

books

Books have been my best friends since the time I was 5 or 6 years old.  I love reading all kinds of fiction books.  Over the years, the reading has slowed down a bit,  but I have promised myself never to let go of my favorite hobby.

Listed below are some of my favorite books in no particular order.  They are my favorites because it has that special something in the book which makes me remember the story even now after many years.  Some of them I love so much,  that I have read them multiple times and enjoy it every time I read it.    Continue reading

Private India : Slow thriller #BookReview

Private India

The book is about an Investigating agency called ‘Private India’. The agency is investigating a routine case of murder. What looks like a routine investigation soon becomes a series of murders committed by a serial killer.  There are some common factors between the murders like all of them are women, murdered using a yellow scarf.  Soon there is a murder each day.

The head of Private India, Santosh Wagh and his team consisting of Nisha, Mubeen and Hari are working on this case.  Santosh and his team try to find a common link or a pattern in the murder.  Initially, they are flummoxed with the dead women murdered by a yellow scarf.  Then they also notice there are objects carefully placed on the bodies, more like a setup.   There is also some evidence kept like hair.  However, the team soon realizes that the murderer is looking for some free publicity and with the props, is trying to mislead the investigation.  However, the way Santosh stumbles upon it and finally makes sense of the murderer’s objectives enables him to predict the next few murders.  But, the murderer is a step ahead at almost all the times.

The characters have been well-developed with personal stories.  Santosh has a drinking problem and the author tries to reason out why he is drinking.  Mubeen has a racial discrimination story, Hari has caste discrimination and Nisha has gender discrimination.

There are many twists and turns in the thriller which would be best enjoyed when reading the book and not detailing it here.  Overall, this is a good read.

What worked for me?

  • The story is well-built up and mystery unfolds very well with small details on almost every page.
  • The book starts off slowly and begins to gain momentum in the second half
  • The characters and locations are identifiable
  • Simple English suitable for first time readers

What didn’t work for me? 

  • The language of the book is very much Indian English.  Nothing wrong in that,  but would have been better if only the dialogues had been Indian English.  It distracts a bit.
  • There is also a terror angle in the book which is really unwarranted.  The story should have ended when the mystery was solved.  Instead, it goes on to punish the other support characters in the murder and in the process is saving the country from a bomb blast.  Very filmi I would say.  That chapter can be completely removed.
  • There are a lot of explanations provided for Indian trivia like ‘trains with people packed like sardines’, ‘Dharavi’ descriptions.  ‘Mahim church’, etc.  This slows down the pace a bit.

What could have made the book better? 

  • Better editing would have helped.  The first 150 odd pages are very slow and boring.  The second half of the book is fast paced and interesting.
  • The unnecessary terror angle could have been removed.
  • Adding a map of Mumbai in the book would have helped people who are not from Mumbai to identify the places and distances.

Overall rating – 3/5 

Good book to read for newbies.  There is nothing new or unusual in the book.

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

Ganpati Bappa Morya – God of Prosperity

The arrival of the God of prosperity, goodness, peace, knowledge and wisdom, Ganeshji,  is celebrated in Western India as a 10-day long festival. Though Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated all over India,  in Maharashtra it is celebrated as a grand festival.  The clay idol of Ganeshji is brought into our homes, or in pandals.  He resides with us for few days and then is immersed in water.  Here’s a collection of Ganesh idols near my home.

All photos were taken by Siddharth Sunil

Continue reading