Where the Rain is born  – Anita Nair  #BookReview

Where the Rain is born – Anita Nair #BookReview

Rain is synonymous with Kerala.  As a Malayalee (person from Kerala),  I naturally love the monsoon rains.  The title itself drew me to the book.  This is not just one book.  It has many books within it.  The book is a mixture of 34 fictional stories, poems, non-fiction,  essays,  POVs from writers in Kerala,  or writers writing about Kerala.  Also, all the stories are not about rain.

The book starts off with the first story which tells us about where the rain is born.  This short non-fiction account is taken from the book ‘Chasing the Monsoon’ written by journalist and travel-writer Alexander Frater.   He recounts how he witnessed the rain being born at the southern-most tip of Kerala.  He is at the Kovalam beach with a bunch of weathermen, journalists and other enthusiasts.  The south-western monsoon clouds make it’s first landing here and thus the rain is born.  This place Kovalam is just about 50 km from my hometown Varkala.  Thus we probably see the first monsoon rains in India and never even knew about it.

Next is a short fiction by Shashi Tharoor called ‘Charlis and I’.  I loved the way the author has woven the progress of the different castes through the various policies in Kerala.  But still, it is a simple, heartwarming story about a few boys.  His language is impeccable.  On a similar vein is the story ‘A village before time’ by V K Madhavan Kutty. Continue reading

Fish out of water  #DiaSameer #FridayReflections

Fish out of water #DiaSameer #FridayReflections

Sameer peeped into the kitchen to see Dia holding a cabbage in her hand and staring outside the window.  He waited a bit longer to see what she was doing.  After some time,  seeing no action,  he entered the kitchen and hugged Dia from behind her.  She shrugged him off.

‘Please,  can’t you see I am trying to do something useful here,’ she said picking up the knife ready to attack the cabbage.

‘But you were just staring outside.  Do you know how to cut this?’

Dia looked down and shook her head with a tear ready to escape her eyes.

‘Come,  watch me do this’

‘But,  amma will see you in the kitchen,’  she protested.

‘But, amma also sees you working outside,’  he retorted.  ‘The heavens will not pour if I cut this cabbage.’

He took the cabbage,  sliced it expertly into two.  He put it on the chopping board and started making first vertical and then horizontal cuts.   It took him about 10 minutes to completely shred it into small bits.

‘There.  Now you can do the rest,’ Sameer said and gave her the chopped cabbage.

Dia hugged Sameer and thanked him for helping her when she was a fish out of water.

And Amma, who saw it all,  was proud of her son.


Dia and Sameer, a geek and non-geek couple.  These stories are short snippets on their approach to daily life.  This story is definitely inspired by a real life incident. Do you know people like them?  Do share the stories with me. ***  

The characters Dia and Sameer are fully imaginary.  Any likeness to people you know is purely coincidental.   The views are the characters’ own and light-hearted.  They are not endorsements.


Linking this short story to Friday Reflections.

This week’s prompt is ‘Fish out of water’. 

Lost     #FridayReflections #shortstory

Lost #FridayReflections #shortstory

Image courtesy : Pixabay.com

I felt the constriction in the chest.  It felt like dead weight on my throat. I couldn’t speak.  My  eyes widened but I couldn’t see.  It felt tight.  The tears still dry.

Not now.. not now.  Let me get home.

Thank God, today everyone is busy.  Even the receptionist who would otherwise have been just painting her nails.

I wish today was another day when I could have shut out everyone and cried?.

Roma had called frantically.  ‘Sumit is engaged,’ she said ‘and you did not tell me.  I thought you are still a couple.’ Continue reading

Son of Shiva by Preetha Rajah Kannan #BookReview

Son of Shiva by Preetha Rajah Kannan #BookReview

This is the second book of Preetha Rajah Kannan I am reading.  I had loved Shiva in the City of Nectar.  The book and a few other blogs had inspired me to travel to Madurai during the summer vacations.  So, when Jaico Publishing asked me to review this book,  I was more than happy to take the offer.

The Hindu religion is full of stories.  In fact,  in today’s terms,  I would call it mythological fantasy.  Each story more fantastic than the other.  There are the numerous re-tellings,  and local village stories pertaining to the Gods.  There is so much of religious literature in local languages that we the English readers are missing it.  So,  I am glad that Preetha has compiled a treasure trove of stories based upon the Tamil writings primarily from the book Sri Kandhapuranam written by Dr. Akila Sivaraman and other sources.  So,  is this a translation?  Not really.   The stories are put together following a sequence of events.  Back stories are highlighted as and when a character is touched upon.   Continue reading

Anything but books Tag

Anything but books Tag

I am loving this tag doing the rounds introduced to us by Shantala.  It has been fun reading other’s responses.  For a change, this one is not about books but a little more about me.  Read through and pick up the #AnythingButBooks tag.  I would love to read yours too.

Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

I grew up at a time when there was just one hour of cartoon shown on Sunday mornings at 9 called Mickey and Donald which I loved.  Then there were the video cassettes of Tom and Jerry we used to watch for endless hours.  Among the recent cartoons,  I love binge-watching Shinchan.  I have to watch it,  I have 2 boys.

What is your favorite song right now?

It is a not so current song.  But, I have been listening to this on endless loop as I discovered it recently.

Kehte hain khuda ne is jahan mein sabhi ke liye
Kisi na kisi ko hai banaya har kisi ke liye
Tera milna hai us rab ka ishara maano
Mujhko banaya tere jaise hi kisi ke liye

For the non-Hindi speaking,  here is the translation –

“It says God has created someone for everyone,

Finding you is a sign from Him,

That I am made for someone like you.”

I love the way the music goes around in circles. If you loved the lyrics,  the music is even better. Here is the link

What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

I can spend hours walking.  I love to go for long walks,  walk in a market, shopping, walking to anywhere.  All I need is a pair of comfortable and strong shoes.

What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I love to spend time in Museums and in ruins.  I can spend hours and hours going through each and every exhibit and reading all the notes written below it and I can remember them too.  On my last weekend in London,  I spent the whole day,  yes the whole day, at the Victoria and Albert Museum and at the Natural History Museum.  It was pure bliss.

As for the ruins,  I stay near Bassein fort and I love to walk around the ruins of the fort.  The fort is used for movie, music videos, ads and TV serial shootings too.  It helps to maintain this historical monument.  But, it could also damage the original features of the fort.  I wish our Archeological department does more to protect this fort.  You can see the fort in this famous song from Heropanti.  Ignore the foreground dancers,  just see the beautiful fort in the background.

What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about (this can do with books, I guess)?

I want to learn about editing videos. Why? To create book reviews with videos.  I don’t want to be staring into a camera and showing people book hauls.  But, more like an edited video which will show what the book is about.  Anyone help me with where can I start?

What is something unusual you know how to do?

There really is nothing unusual I know that the rest of us doesn’t know.  In fact,  there are too many things I do not know to do.

Name something you’ve made in the last year (and show us, if you can).

Well, last year I made this website.  I used tutorials on Youtube to understand how to customise the themes, how to add code and lot of nitty-gritties.  I am a techie and code loves me.  It was pure bliss to seep through endless code after ages.

What is your most recent personal project?

It has to be growing capsicums.  It did grow, I posted the pictures on Instagram.  But,  now I want to create a fairy garden or a miniature garden.  All my time is now spent in watching their videos and Pinterest is full of ideas.

Tell us something you think about often (maybe while staring out of windows).

When I look out of my window,  it is to a main road which is 100 feet wide.  So,  loads to think about like cars, clothes, signals. Just before the road is a peepul tree inhabited with birds of all kinds.  Their morning activities are fun to watch.  There is also crow’s nest and I love watching their antics.  Beyond the road is an unkempt open ground.  It is green now due to the first rains and a delight to watch.

Give us something that’s your favorite, but make it something oddly specific, not like your favorite food, but like your favorite food when you’ve been studying for hours and forgot to eat. Or, you know, something like that.

I am not really a foodie but I love to listen to music when studying or working very hard. If it needs me to concentrate and stay awake,  music is the best.  It helps me focus.

Now that you know me a little more,  tell me about yourself.