Thursday, May 30, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Agriculture is considered to be the major occupation in rural
India. In terms of farm output, India currently ranks second in the world. The agricultural sector in India accounts for almost 16 percent of GDP and 10 percent of export earnings. The importance of agriculture and farming in this country can thus never be undermined.
However, the irony lies in the fact that the welfare of the farmers, who play the most important role in this occupation, are often neglected and ignored. The poor farmers cannot afford advanced technologies and thus depend on rainfall and other sources of nature to grow their crops. At times the farms fail to produce the desired yield, perhaps due to scanty rainfall or lack of proper planning, leading to poverty and deprivation. The farmers then have to borrow money from the money lenders at high rates of interest to survive and to sustain their families, with hope that they can repay the loan with a prosperous yield in the next season. However, when fate deserts them, they find themselves standing at the cross-roads of failure and hopelessness, under the burden of heavy debts. The poor miserable farmers then resort to their last option, suicide.
Kota Neelima’s 'Shoes Of The Dead' highlights the agony of farmers and their families in this political fiction based on the backdrop of debt-driven farmer suicide. The story starts with the suicide of Sudhakar Bhadra who fails to bear the huge burden of debt. However, the district committee of Mityala, comprising of powerful individuals, dismisses the suicide and refuses compensation to the widow. Sudhakar’s brother, Gangiri, makes it the mission of his life to bring justice to the dead by influencing the committee to validate similar cases of farmer suicides.
Gangiri faces severe hurdles on the way, from politicians and other prominent members of the district committee. However, it is his firm determination that leads him on. He is supported by Nazar, a well known journalist, who publishes his story of struggle and resoluteness, thus shaking the very foundation of power in the state. Keyur Kashinath of the Democratic Party, and first time member of Parliament from Mityala, feels the heat and tries several ways to gain control of his first major crisis. Keyur is the son of Vaishnav Kashinath, the party’s General Secretary, and is all set to inherit his father’s power in
The book is slow to start with. However, that is justified since characterization plays a key role in this story, and the first few chapters lead to the setting of the plot and introduce the primary characters to the readers. Gangiri is caring, loyal, hard-working, and devoted to his goals, and he gradually creates a place in your heart. You smile when he rises, and feel sorry when he falls, but you never leave his side even for a single moment in the story. Keyur is another memorable character in the story who brings out the true shades of a normal human being, the inability to distinguish between good and bad, and fails to strike the perfect balance in his actions and deeds. Other characters like Lambodar, Vadrangi, Nazar, Gul and Videhi keep the story alive, as the line between fiction and reality blurs eventually.
Kota Neelima meticulously deals with the problems surrounding farmer suicides, and tries to come out with a solution or two. She manages to transport us in the world where peasants and farmers feed on their tears and survive with an everlasting fear of loss and defeat. She is a political editor with The Sunday Guardian which clearly showcases her prowess with the subject. She is also a Research Fellow for South Asia Studies at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies,
, DC. Her previously published work includes the novels Riverstones and Death of a Moneylender. Johns Hopkins University, Washington
Somewhere in the story, the conversation between two main characters is as follows:
“You must be a fool to forgive so easily.”
“Or a farmer.”
Strange but true – it’s tough being a farmer in the land of farming. This 'Shoes Of The Dead' fits perfectly in the heart, mind, and soul of its readers.
Title: Shoes Of The Dead
Author: Kota Neelima
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Publication Year: 2013
Number of Pages: 288
Genre: Literary Fiction
My Rating: 4/5
Thank You Blog Adda for providing me with the wonderful opportunity to review this book.
This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!
Monday, May 27, 2013
Oh, here, there
I follow you now
as you paint patterns
in the canvas of nothingness
void, depleted colors
strokes of brushes
fine, gentle, mild
This is my first attempt in writing a "pattern poem". I am really inspired by my friend Cat who writes beautiful poems which have a pattern of their own. Do check her blog here.
This Poem is shared with Magpie Tales.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
(Image Source: http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com)
However, the attachment didn't stop there today.
Her eyes rolled over the intricately carved words, and she identified, in a unique concoction of surprise, horror, and raw dismay, an uncanny resemblance of her life events with the progression of the chief character, Maria. She re-read the lines, often slowing down her pace not to miss even the minutest of syllables, and yet there was no denying the fact that she had tumbled upon her own story, her life and death, love and hatred, success and failure fictionalized with swift motions of an author's pen.
She paused for a second, and thought, "Am I floating on my own reflection?"
This Micro-Fiction is shared with Picture It And Write.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
It’s that time of the year again when the country bathes in vibrant colors and different chants of team-support rock the stadiums all over the nation. Yes, I am talking of IPL – VI and the craziness surrounding it. Cricket pundits have always debated on the authenticity of such a tournament where players are auctioned for money and celebrities who rule the silver screen own the franchisees. A few dirty fish have also threatened to poison the pond, owing to the recent charges of spot fixing. However, you can never deny the fact that IPL does provide you with that delightful dose of excitement, thrill and entertainment.
I, along with the residents of my apartment complex, decided to come together for an evening of food and fun on May 26, the day of IPL Finals. At the time of writing this, Chennai Super Kings had already qualified to the Finals, while the 2nd team’s spot was still in contention with Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals passionately aspiring to lay their hands on it.
The spacious Conference Hall in our Apartment Complex, adorned with a 52 inch LED TV, and comfortable sitting arrangements, will serve as the perfect location for the entertaining evening.
A dinner party based on cricket, why not start it with cricket itself? Prior to the commencement of the real game, a few 5-overs a side cricket matches will be played in indoor premises among the residents of the building. The rules would range from underhand bowling to one drop catches. No serious business, just a fun way to start off the proceedings.
A spring in their steps and a smile of camaraderie, can you beat that? The residents will be sporting head gears of the team they support on the big day. Banners have also been prepared, and while we won’t be able to view the match live from the stadium, we will leave no stone unturned in producing the same ambience in our Conference Hall.
I am quite sure that our Conference Hall would be way louder than the
Eden this Sunday.
We would start serving the starters during the cricket games between the residents, along with a variety of soft drinks, based on preferences. Dinner will follow suit, with lip-smacking delicacies, prepared with the high quality gourmet products of Kitchens of India.
Aloo papri chat
Main Dishes –
Side Dishes –
Chicken Darbari (A Ready To Dine Dish from Kitchens Of
Prawn Malai Curry
Dal Bukhara (A Ready To Dine Dish from Kitchens Of
Mughlai Paneer (A Ready To Dine Dish from Kitchens Of
Mughlai Paneer (A Ready To Dine Dish from Kitchens Of
Tomato Chilli Chutney (Kitchens Of India)
Shredded Mango Chutney (Kitchens Of India)
Jodhpuri Moong Dal Halwa (Kitchens Of India)
Kesar Falooda Kulfi
A get-together with family, friends and neighbors, on the grand finale of one of the most star-studded sporting tournament around the globe, with the taste buds savoring the delicious food on offer, can a Sunday evening get any better? Truly, a feast for the senses.
This is my official entry to the My Gourmet Party contest organized by Indiblogger in association with Kitchens Of India.
(Image Source: http://magpietales.blogspot.in/)
you see that house of gold
right around the corner
as you turn east
into the horizontal landscape
notice how the dandelions crane their neck
to have a closer look
at what lies beyond
the brownish shades
a few hours later
these dandelions bloom
orbs of power
fertilized with gold dusts
they rise into the horizon
kissing the eastern skies
This Poem is shared with Magpie Tales - Mag 169.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
(Image Source: http://www.wallsave.com)
"move on with time"
and yet I couldn't
as tears bloated the sleeves
of my crease-less shirt
flow I did
with the gulls that hovered
across those lakes
where we plundered the waves once
flow I did
to the mesmerizing rhythm
of rain drops brushing
tickling our love
we hid beneath the clouds
in silent ecstasy
flow I did
holding the shells that carried
the sound of the seas
beyond which we dreamt
a life, now forgotten
but do you remember, sweetheart?
I fail to flow today
the burden weighs heavily
on my frail shoulders
I sink deep
into the abyss
of twinkling nothingness
This Poem is shared with One Single Impression- Flow.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
(Image Source: http://hdwpapers.com)
As the little heart pumped inside my soul, I knew things would be all right now, between me and him.
The doctor's voice reverberated against my eardrums, forcing me to smile each and every time I remembered his exact words, "Congratulations, you are expecting."
The doorbell rang and my anticipation touched the skies; he would surely propose marriage once I gave him the news, and then, we would start our own sweet little family, in my valley of dreams.
I hugged him excitedly and whispered "You are going to be Dad, Honey."
He shrugged, freed himself from my embrace, and chuckled, "Don't be crazy darling; this is just a damn accident."
This Five Sentence Micro - Fiction is shared with Five Sentence Fiction - Accident.
‘Health is wealth’ – a well known adage that most of us would agree too; very true indeed, ‘cause without taking proper care of your health and well-being, you won’t be able to relish the other wonders that life has to offer.
What’s the use of a high paying job if your unfit body disobeys the operations of the strenuous work environment, or can we enjoy an outstation vacation if our bodies do not stand up to the long distance traveling? You might be earning loads of cash, but you really need to stay fit in order to enjoy the pleasantries.
And that’s exactly where modern healthcare is touching lives today. You never know when you can fall sick. Life is unpredictable, with questions that do not always find answers. Precautions are needed, but they don’t guarantee fitness all the time. A proper medical treatment is essential when one falls sick.
Apollo Hospitals are among those centers that have really carved a niche in healthcare. The hi-tech equipments, along with caring staff members, and well designed laboratories have helped this group of hospitals in its growth all along. Apollo Hospitals have proved to the best place to be to when you need proper treatment.
Apollo Hospitals specialize in varied types of medical care. Now, I am no doctor, and neither am I a great student of medicine. Hence, to cut a long story short, I have highlighted some of the key medical treatments provided by this hospital, well, in the form of haiku (A haiku is a Japanese form of three lines poetry with a syllable count pattern of
Hope against cancer
High energy radiation
Treat tumors with smile
Turns you fit and fine
Bloodless liver surgery
A marvel of science
Transplanting stem cells
Forming blood cells and platelets
Ingredients for life
Hold hands tight with love
Through thorns and roses
Those tiny fingers
Curl around your silken smiles
A cry of new life
Adorning a new color
Beauty of the soul
Paving way for perfection
Cyst and tumors cured
Run, jump, race and win
Hip replacement when in need
March ahead my friend
Graft vs Disease
Planting cells of brighter life
Fight against illness
One – Zero – Six – Six
Helpline, or health-line, you say
Dial when in need
Matters of the heart
Should be dealt with utmost care
And that’s what they do
A growing health hazard
Obesity, as they say
Cure before it’s late
A non-invasive treatment
Quick and effective
Achieving high precision
Surgery of spine
Using high – end procedures
A relief for sure
Body, a puzzle
Complexities of humans
A revolution indeed
Healthcare comes of age
As a blogger who loves writing haiku poems, this was my take on Modern Healthcare. I am glad to be living in a generation with such hi-tech medical facilities, that reduces my health worries to a great extent.
Because I know, Modern Healthcare has indeed managed to touch lives, in a really big way.
This is my official entry to the Apollo Hospitals - Touching Lives contest organized by Indiblogger in association with Apollo Hospitals.
Friday, May 17, 2013
this night of spring
whistles past my window
one last time
one last time
I dance to the rhythm
of musical spring
alas, one last time
I wish you would return
your smile blooms my life
This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - Kyoshi Takahama's 'the night of Spring'.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
(Image Source: http://www.123rf.com/)
do dried petals rekindle
those memoirs inscribed
in closeted pages
as fingers brushed
amid stolen smiles
to musical chimes
they knew it
and felt it
they kissed it
and loved it
time stood still, but not too long
day turned to night, and change of song
good luck and good bye
may the Gods be always on your side
'cause I have failed you in ways more than one
I know no destination, but I run and run
the hourglass mimics my pace
as I race with the turtles
I tried, I tried, more and less
and yet couldn't cross the final hurdles
those pages drowned with tears
now scream out loud at me
will dried petals rekindle
and bloom once again
to weave the perfect dream
yes, you and me
The Magical We
yes, you and me
The Magical We
This Poem is shared with One Single Impression - Rekindle.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
A love story, a superhero account, or the tale of struggle of a man who finds it difficult to adjust to the society? Call it whatever you wish to, because Rishi Vohra’s debut fiction ‘Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai’ does full justice to each of these descriptions.
Rishi Vohra had a successful career in the Indian entertainment industry. He completed a Green MBA from
and a Masters Diploma in Environmental Law. He recently relocated to Mumbai. He
has written guest columns for many Indian newspapers. Interestingly, he is also
a Certified Specialist of Wine and currently writes for delWine. San
Francisco State University
‘Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai’ starts with the narration of Balwant Srivastav, or Babloo, as he is called by others. The first few pages serve as an introduction to the protagonist’s character as Babloo plainly states how he is described as autistic, schizophrenic and psychotic by the doctors, his family and his friends. He lives with his parents and Raghu, his younger brother, in the railway colony located next to the Bandra station in Mumbai. However, he is often neglected by his family, resulting in a gaping loneliness that has grown in magnitude over the years. Babloo converses with his own self at times, who he believes to be his only true friend, and tries to figure out the answers to queries that are too difficult for him to comprehend.
The only person who understands Babloo and likes to spend time with him is Vandana, a resident of the same colony. Babloo secretly admires her and is in love with her. He dreams of a beautiful future with Vandana in a house by the sea. However, he finds it difficult to emote and is clueless regarding expressing his feelings towards her. This is when Sikander, the bad guy, enters the scene. He falsely promises Babloo that he would convey his message to Vandana, and in the process, devises plans to get closer to her.
Babloo, frustrated by his own lack of identity, and eager to make Vandana proud of her and win her heart, dons the character of Rail Man, a superhero-type guy who patrols the railway tracks in order to find and save people who might be in trouble. In the process, he beats up the trouble-maker and rescues several victims from danger. However, unfortunately, he is perceived by the politicians and the police as a danger to the society and they do not hesitate in referring to him as a criminal who has taken the law on his own hands.
There are several subplots in the novel, and the author should be credited for giving proper attention to each one of them. The Raghu – Vandana, Sikander – Vandana and Sonal – Sikander stories flow seamlessly in the backdrop, gradually assisting the progression as Babloo narrates his own tale of his search and longing for care, love and respect. Rishi does his best to go deep into the character of Babloo and successfully portrays the pent up anguish that dwells in the protagonist’s heart.
‘Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai’ is a heartwarming tale that helps you relate to the protagonist Babloo in more ways than one. We, as human, do face moments of depression and that sudden motion of aloofness at times, and that’s when we identify the Babloo hidden deep within us. Rishi Vohra’s emotional page turner is a truly satisfying read. Hope we see more such inspiring and unconventional storylines as debuts by aspiring authors in the literary world in near future.
Name: Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai
Author: Rishi Vohra
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2012
Number of Pages: 272
My Rating: 4/5
Do checkout http://www.rishivohra.com for more details on the author and the novel.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Thursday, May 09, 2013
(Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org)
those silent eyes
that reside in darkness
knows no fear
Daredevil is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Living in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, Matt Murdock is blinded by a radioactive substance that falls from an oncoming vehicle. While he no longer can see, the radioactive exposure heightens his remaining senses beyond normal human ability. His father, a boxer named Jack Murdock, supports him as he grows up, though Jack is later killed by gangsters after refusing to throw a fight. After donning a yellow and black, and later a dark red, costume, Matt seeks out revenge against his father's killers as the superhero Daredevil, fighting against his many enemies including Bullseye and the Kingpin.Daredevil's nickname is "the Man Without Fear".
This Haiku is shared with Haiku Heights - Daredevil.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
(Image Source: http://www.popularscreensavers.com)
the sun that sinks
in the blue dissolving skies
like sugar in a teapot
or salt, if you prefer
silently bloating bubbles
that blow hot and cold
as the frozen rays pave the way
to the sands of time
oblivion to fate.
This Prelude Poem is shared with
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
paint me with colors
that know not my name
sprinkle me with dust
of knowledge and fame
'cause I will live today
and tomorrow too
dark clouds flow away
smiling at the rainbow new
I grow young with simmering stars
and play with the shadowy moon
my dreams show me the path
destination by noon
paint me with colors
that resonate with verses
of poetic freedom
love and bliss
paint me today
as I close my eyes
and to the gift of life, I pray
This Poem is shared with
Monday, May 06, 2013
Sunday, May 05, 2013
Saturday, May 04, 2013
It was 3 in the night, or morning, whatever you prefer to call it (yeah, dawn will be appropriate too), and I got a call from her.
“Hey, guess what? I am selected for the fashion show in my college,” she screamed in delight.
“Wow, congrats,” I tried to sound excited, but my sleepy tone resulted in a failed act.
“What? Why are you like this? Isn’t it great?” She was probably able to see me from the other side of the phone, don’t know how!
“No … I mean, yes, I am pretty excited … this is super cool … wow, trendy,” I tried to find some fashion jargons but trust me, when you are woken up in such a hurry, your mind hardly registers anything.
“Yes, I can see that,” she replied, her sarcasm clearly visible. “Anyways, can you do me a favor?”
“Hmm,” that was the only answer I was supposed to give.
“Tell me what hairstyle I should sport?” she dropped the million dollar question.
Hairstyle? Did she wake me up at just to talk about this? Oh God!
“Sleep now dear … We can discuss tomorrow morning,” I said, trying to be as understanding as possible.
“You think I have time? The show is tomorrow. You boys are all the same, you have changed Akash. You have changed a lot,” saying so, she disconnected the call, and also my sleep.
What was I supposed to do then? Simple, comply with her wishes. I had to make her smile (see, I am quite a responsible boyfriend). However, I didn’t know where to start from, what to find, and how to go about it.
But as they say, if you wish for something from your heart, you get it. I logged on to my PC, and after trying my luck with a few searches, I got what I wanted.
My hard work paid off and I was directed to TRESemméIndia Youtube channel. I made myself a quick cup of hot tea and browsed through the videos one by one. A lot of hair styles to choose from – and I started visualizing Sapna sporting them. Finally, I came up with the hairstyle that I felt would suit her perfectly. I took my car keys and ran out of my house.
“Sorry love, I was rude,” I called up and apologized (as always).
“It’s ok, you go to sleep,” she said slowly. I could sense the sadness in her voice.
“Can’t sleep on the road, you see. If you are not awake, come out,” I smiled.
I loved the shock on her face as she peered out of her window. She motioned me to stay where I was and quickly rushed down. God, how can someone look so cute all the time?
“What’s this? What are you up to now? It’s ,” she said.
“I know dear, but do we have time? Isn’t the show tomorrow?” I replied.
She hugged me, and I said “Sorry” again. I told her to enter the car, and we quickly raced towards the 24X7 Supermarket Store that had newly opened in our area.
The store didn’t have much customers at this hour and we rushed to the section of Hair Products. We bought bottles of TRESemmé Climate Control Shampoo and TRESemmé Climate Control Conditioner.
“Do you know how to use them?” I asked.
“Like people normally do, right?” she asked inquisitively.
“Sapna, your hair is special. Treat it the special way,” I smiled, and continued, “Take a small amount of TRESemmé Climate Control Shampoo and apply it on wet hair. Gently massage and work into a lather. Rinse thoroughly. You can repeat it one more time if you feel so. Next, you have to squeeze all the excess water out of your hair and apply an adequate amount of TRESemmé Climate Control Conditioner, from the middle to the end, till the hair feels smooth. Use a white toothed comb and comb starting from the end. Slowly move up and untangle the hair. After 2-3 minutes, rinse thoroughly,” I took a deep breath (Phew, had I memorized so much in my school days, I would have surely scored hundreds in all my papers).
“How do you know so much?” Today was surely a day of innumerable surprises for her.
“Well, love teaches you everything,” I said and saw her cheeks turn red. I was loving it. “What about the Messy Updo style?”
“What about that?” she asked.
“Sport it tomorrow. It would suit you.”
Needless to say, she emerged as the star of the show the next day.
“Thanks Akash, you saved me. I love you,” she whispered as she hugged me after the contest.
“Thanks TRESemmé, you saved me. I love you,” my mind raced with joy.
This is my official entry to the TRESemmé Ramp Ready Hair contests organized by Indiblogger in association with TRESemmé India Youtube channel.
Friday, May 03, 2013
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
(Image Source: http://wallpaperswide.com)
'cause that's what you will face
if not today, then tomorrow
uncover those smiles
rugged morphed wails
shrouding the dawn
the sun would rise
of sanity and wisdom
purity comes to light
holding hands with evil
and what do you make of it?
a six letter word
encompassing universal truth
as good hugs the bad
and you smile tears at the moon
don't waste away that trust
accumulated over sands of memories
you searched for them in myriad grains, remember?
relish the bloom before it's too late
a tribute to life
to joy and grief
'cause you never know
tomorrow you might be just another fallen leaf
This Poem is shared with