Saturday, November 30, 2013

Harbour Moon

harbour moon
the loneliness of fishermen
under lighthouse cliff
                     (Joe of Flat Frog Haiku)

My Continuation -

harbour moon
the loneliness of fishermen
under lighthouse cliff
counting marbles in their tray
childhood days, and a glass of beer

Thursday, November 28, 2013


reading you all
I learnt to write, and dream

A Happy Thanksgiving Day to all my blogger friends. It's your constant support that motivated me, and made me write day in and day out.

A Big THANK YOU to each and every one of you.

This Haiku is shared with Haiku Heights - Thanks.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kabuko the Djinn - Review

Kabuko the djinn is the evocative story of a djinn who journeys through human life in search of occult knowledge. Wishing to study the dynamics of the human species for himself, in order to unearth the secrets of human power, Kabuko enters the body of Ajee Shah, a boy born in post-independence Punjab, Pakistan. As Kabuko loses himself to the trials and tribulations of living an ordinary yet intrinsically exceptional human life through Ajee, sex and the supernatural collide, entangling them both in a cataclysmic event that is to change their lives forever. Woven throughout this tapestry of youthful yearnings and a desire for transcendental knowledge are real secrets of the Islamic occult, true stories of Muslim saints and the folklore of the Punjab.

About the Author
Hamraz Ahsan is a seasoned journalist and syndicated columnist with over 30 years’ experience in Urdu print media. He has researched and written on various social and anthropological subjects, including work on the remote tribes of Punjab. He is a published poet and is author of Tibbiaan Uttey Chhaavaan (Shades on Dunes), a collection of Punjabi poems; Muqeem Bi Masafar (The Settler is also a Nomad), a collection of Urdu poems; and Par Samundraan Walley (Trapped on the Other Side of the Ocean), Punjabi short poems about the immigrant experience in Britain. He is also the author of Harf-e-saadaa (A Simple Word), a collection of his Urdu newspaper columns. His most recent poetry book is a book of Punjabi Sufi-inspired quatrains. 
He currently lives in London and writes for newspapers around the world.

There are three things that influence my decision of picking up a book and read – title, cover and the blurb. To some extent, I also do get biased by authors whose works I have read and admired since years, but for newcomers and debutants, we can disregard this fourth point. So, when all the three mentioned parameters click, you can be assured that the book that you are holding in your hands is titled ‘Kabuko the Djinn.’

A title that is unique, a cover pic depicting a young child with fiery eyes, and a blurb promising a story that I have never heard or read anywhere (considering the fact that I am a book addict and a voracious reader), my heart was compelled to pick up this book, and man, did it satisfy me?

Absolutely, the book simply rocked.

This is the tale of Kabuko, a djinn, who wants to have first-hand experiences of a human’s life, feeling the emotions that are felt by the human species, and thus shares the body of Ajee Shah, a boy born in post – Independence Punjab in Pakistan. He settles into the body of the boy, when he is in his mother’s womb, and stays with him for thirty years of his life, learning and narrating the events in the boy’s life, as he grows and experiences the thrills and the charms of childhood, youth and adulthood.

What really stands out in the book is the way the events have been described. Though the plot is complex, the author narrates them in such a simple manner that you can even read the whole story with your eyes closed. The author, Hamraz Ahsan, certainly has a keen eye for observation, and that shows in the descriptions that cross the boundaries of space and time, often engulfing the readers in the beauty of its words that we are left spellbound, and addicted to its essence, we continue reading.

If you ever want to delve into a world of fantasy and mysticism, then this is the book to explore. The way the author talks about spirits residing in human bodies, djinns, paris, and several other magical beings, is simply engrossing. He weaves his words in such a manner that they convey the minutest of details, but doesn't bore you with unnecessary descriptions. The author creates a perfect balance, highlighting what is necessary, and painting a dimension so unbelievably believable that you do not want to go out of its realms. That is how the author binds you, and you don’t mind even a bit.

Hamraz, you have simply done an amazing job with this book. This flowed so seamlessly, lucid, just like a crystal clear stream of water, rippling on its own course, obeying the current. Along with that, you have also given your readers an adorable character in the form of Kabuko. Perhaps, djinns do exist, and someday, I wish I get to meet Kabuko the djinn in real, though not as a part of my soul, but as a friend.

On a serious note, this is a real refreshing read. So friends, after a hard day’s work, if you want to get rid of your tiredness by having a cup of tea, and then remember that you already emptied the tea packet the previous night, do not panic. Get on the bed, relax, and start reading this novel. It will serve as a perfectly soothing balm to your tired body and mind.

Title: Kabuko the Djinn
Author: Hamraz Ahsan
Publisher: Prakash Books
Imprint: Fingerprint Publishing
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 292
Price: Rs 295
My Rating: 4/5

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I love the lightning
And the thunder that it accompanies
'Cause it reminds me of you
The moments that flew
As you clutched my arms tight
In the shady rainy shed
The leaves sheltering us from the rain
And we drenched, completely
In sacred passion.

This Poem is shared with Poetry Jam - Lightning.

Gathering Seashells

gathering seashells
while ocean tide rise and falls
two sisters bicker

My Continuation - 

gathering seashells
while ocean tide rise and falls
two sisters bicker
over the colors they choose
one loves red, the other blue

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Life's Like That - Review

To read the full review, click here.

Title: Life's Like That
Author: Prashant V. Shrivastava
Publisher: Blackbuck Publication
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 224
Price: Rs 150
My Rating: 1/5

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Country For Men - Review

This book tells the ugly truth about India. A girl born in India is considered to be a liability right from her birth, she has to suffer at difference stages of her life from the very people who are supposed to love her, cherish her.
The increasing number of incidents of rapes and other dreadful acts against women had made things worse for them. now they aren't safe even inside their homes. 
The book is the historical, geographical and social view of the hate culture that the women are forced upon. 

About the Author
Rohit Kumar Singh Jadon (RKSJ) has always taken a keen interest in travelling and the questions about life, which are hard to answer. An engineer by profession and a writer by passion; after being in and out of many jobs his passion have taken over his profession and he is now totally driven towards writing. After the success of his first book, A Short Affair Called Life, he has written a much bolder book. This book is all about the injustice the women of this country face every day.

The author clearly states “This book isn't another entertaining story; it’s the ugly and terrifying truth of Our Nation.” So be prepared for hard hitting revelations instead of candy floss romances. Get ready to delve deep into the evils of modern society, and pray for the emergence of a savior who can rescue us from the drugged mentality that has chained the countrymen since time unlimited, ‘cause only a miracle can be our messiah, and guide us to the light.

Author Rohit Kumar Singh Jadon, better known as RKSJ, narrates the misdeeds that have been happening in this country against women since years. Rapes, sexual exploitation and violation of women rights have always been a black spot in our nation. We feel proud to call ourselves Indians, but the reality lowers that pride. How can we call ourselves as citizens of a progressive nation if we cannot take care of our women?

RKSJ highlights the incidents that have shamed the beautiful culture of our country that we often boast of. While we pray to Goddesses, we harm the women who are supposed to be reflections of those Goddesses. Contrasting, but true. The so-called ideologies of providing equal opportunities to women are fake, ‘cause safety also comes directly under the list of opportunities. If the women do not feel safe in their own nation, their motherland, where will they go?

And think of it, we still refer India as our MOTHERland – again, a sharp contrast to the actual plights of mothers and sisters and daughters and all girls and women in this country.

What could be the reason for the increased rate of crime against women? RKSJ points one of the reason to be the patriarchal mind-set of the society. He says that since women are also pursuing jobs and making a career of their own, men often feel threatened and to showcase their own power, they perform such dastardly acts.

Why can’t we all live in peace?

Though there are several men who are good, the country is still an unsafe place for women due to some who ruin the image of the society. The number of rape cases in the country has seen an exponential rise in the last few years, and the numbers keep increasing. The Government has made several bold talks, and planned to implement measures that would probably curb this evil, but unfortunately, most of them are still in the planning stages, and the ones that have been executed, have failed to really come up with positive results. Crimes are still happening, and in larger numbers.

What should we do then? Where are the loopholes? Perhaps it’s in the way the criminals were brought up in this society. Perhaps, there are flaws in the current system that fail to curb the animal instincts of these men. Perhaps, a better education system, or perhaps …

This book is an eye – opener. We can be proud of India winning the World Cup, but we should be equally ashamed of the atrocities carried out to women in this nation. Perhaps, it’s time to weave miracles, and believe in the power of good, to eradicate this evil from the society.

Title: A Country for Men
Author: Rohit Kumar Singh Jadon (RKSJ)
Publisher: Blackbuck Publication
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Non - Fiction
No. of Pages: 150
Price: Rs 130
My Rating: 4/5

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Healthy Kid, A Healthy Nation

My eyes closed, my lips tight
And yet I know, you love me right
Enclosed in your care, I live and grow
As I remember moments, not so long ago.

A cry anew, loud and shrill,
Welcoming the world, and its thrill,
Oh, these joys of colors and light,
Learning the rules of day and night.

I grow by your side,
Enjoying the ride,
Living the days,
You teach me the ways.

And then comes the horror,
Immunization terror,
Scared of the expected pain,
My little mind goes insane.

But you hold my hands tight,
“Do not fear, it will be all right.”
True to your words, it didn't hurt,
The thought of crying evaporated in mirth.

Polio drops, BCG,
Pentaxim and Hepatitis B,
Measles, influenza and pox,
Vaccination packages in the box.

Am I now fit to walk the world?
Can I now fight the stones that are hurled?
The deeds are still half complete,
The protective layer isn't yet deep.

Healthy living is healthy eating,
Nutrients served, germs retreating,
You cook me food that’s simply the best,
They nourish me complete, and are perfect in taste.

I go out to play, cricket and football,
Outdoor sports help overall,
And a glass of milk when I return,
I grow stronger, and fitter, in turn.

As I pass through the phases of childhood,
By my side you have always stood,
It is your love and care that makes me, me
That’s why I am immune, wouldn't you agree?

You guarded me from evil,
Saved me from devil,
Instilled in me hope and freedom,
Made me the prince of your kingdom.

And that’s all what a child needs,
Toys come and go, but they don’t feed,
Children grow with parents’ love,
Immunity greets you like a pure white dove.

United we stand for a stronger nation,
Kids need care, and all the attention,
Let India be the superpower in this fitness game,
Children of this country will ignite the flame.

Note: All the images are taken from various sources in the Internet. Clicking on the images will redirect to their respective sources.

This is my official entry to An Immune India contest organized by Indiblogger in association with Dabur Chyawanprash.

Homepage of Dabur Chyawanprash:

An.Al – The Origins - Review

There are legends, myths, fables and parables. And the tale of the man with two heads is one of them. When the invitation to play is a dead, mutilated stray dog stuffed inside a gunnysack, you know that the game is going to be dangerous and that the only way to stop the madness is to understand it. And to hope that when the time comes, the knife finds a sweet spot. This is where it all began . . . this is the story of the man with two heads.

About the Author
Athul DeMarco resides in Bangalore. For now. He is a design researcher who is constantly on the move. When he is not travelling, he is seated, in his boxers, writing on his laptop or shouting at the television. He took a break from a cushy job and gave up on a company expense account in 2009. Bored and disillusioned with early morning flights, he remembered what somebody had once mentioned, ‘If you like travelling, writing, and meeting people, and are always trying to figure out what people are thinking, you either become a researcher or you start to live their lives . . .’
And so, he now spends his time writing stories instead of making PowerPoint presentations.
He is delusional when it comes to cricket and believes that Ajit Agarkar is the greatest player of all time. He also believes that Sherlock Holmes truly exists. Athul’s body clock suggests that he is currently residing in Japan. He is unsure of most things, but firmly believes that he is 1/16th of everything.
An.Al – The Origins is his debut novel.

A twisted killer on the run, a corrupt cop eager to buy favors, and a man with two heads playing the detective – what do you call this conglomeration? Simple, you define it as “An.Al – The Origins”.

I did not know what prompted Athul DeMarco to come up with this book until I read his interview that’s posted in the last few pages of this novel, and I was glad he did come out of the tired and cliched formulae that have flooded the bookstores in recent times, and devise a plot so unique, engrossing and spine chilling that you would get drawn deep into its mysteries, unearthing the suspense, and going on the kill with your own set of theories.

“An.Al – The Origins” is not your usual run of the mill story. It’s macabre, violent, gory and scary, and thus it’s unique, enticing you with a flavor you have never tasted before, a delicacy unnamed, yet enjoyable.

The story is a cat and mouse chase story, thought, with lots of differences. Anita is the culprit here, killing people, and feeding on them. Yes, you heard that right. Due to her rather bizarre upbringing, she finds herself alienated from the societal norms, and isolates herself into a world of her own, filled with memories of her dead parents, who instilled in her the characteristics that are as different from human traits as chalk and cheese. However, her crimes do not go unnoticed, and here comes the hero, or rather the heroes, in the frame. Alfie and Andy, conjoined twins, dive deep into the mystery, and using their skills and wits, get to the root of the puzzle.

What’s new with the story you would say. There have been so many tales revolving around killers and criminals, with the super cop or the intelligent detective tracking them down. I agree. However, what really differentiates this book is the treatment of the plot. The language makes you visualize the scenes, and you see the chapters transform into events happening right before your eyes.

Full credit goes to the author, Athul. The progressions are lucid, and well described. There are no significant glitches, and the story flows seamlessly. You wouldn't really like to keep this book down. You fall in love with the characters and their characterizations, both good and evil, and admire the different shades reflected in the story. If you are a book lover, you got to have this in your collection.

However, I was a tad disappointed with the final showdown between the twins and Anita. The author had really raised my anticipations of a mind-blowing climax, but well, it wasn't as big as I thought. Now, let me not get too critical here since to be honest, whatever the writer presented was really good. It’s just that I had expected a bit more going towards the last few chapters of this book.

That wouldn't stop me from reading the next part of the series though, whenever it comes out. I really enjoyed reading it, and I am sure you would too.

Title: An.Al - The Origins
Author: Athul DeMarco
Publisher: Prakash Books India
Imprint: Fingerprint Publishing
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 264
Price: Rs 250
My Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

These Three Letters

had words been enough
stories wouldn't have strayed
their normal path
looming over uncertainties
defined not by destinations
but three letters -
E - T - C
tales clubbed
and packaged

these three letters
encompass the cosmos
and we live

This poem is shared with

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


crimson hues
when mixed with water
lost and dissolved

This Haiku is shared with Haiku Heights - Blood.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


seven seas
do separate the lovers
but not their love

This Haiku is shared with Haiku Heights - Seven.

Traditional Knowledge, Natural Growth

Want your babies to rock the world? Yeah, that’s something we all wish for – bright, intelligent, healthy kids. No kidding about kids of course.

Parenting is a tough job, and I realized it all the more when my wife shouted on me one bright Sunday morning when I bought a flavored synthetic baby massage oil from the market. I had seen its ad on TV, and owing to the brilliant offer that was on display (buy two, get one free), I instinctively added it to my purchases, only to be mocked by my wife – “What will you know about babies? Pehle tum khud to bade ho jao (You need to grow up first).”

It’s always the right product that makes all the difference. Soon, I was able to differentiate between the best and the rest, in terms of baby products. Fatherhood does teach you lot. The added responsibilities motivate you to learn, and learn, for the benefit of your child, and your family.

Being a father, well, equates to being satisfied, and being happy.

With time, and little assistance from my better half, I learnt about Ayurvedic and natural products that help a baby in his/her growth. Synthetic products are a strict no – no, as they can adversely affect the baby in ways more than one.

Baby massage should be carried out regularly, as it helps the baby in his/her growth, strengthening muscles, increasing blood circulation, and eliminating toxins. The massage starts immediately after birth, and continues for a few years. When a baby is born, a cleansing massage is done using a soft wheat-dough ball, added with almond oil and turmeric. This is performed for the first one week.

When a baby is between one and three weeks old, he/she should be massaged daily with dough ball. Once the baby is one month old, massage with the hand begins, and is carried daily till the baby is 3 months old. During this period, maximum time should be utilized in massaging the spine, back, neck, waist, hands and feet.

The massage can be continued till the baby is 2 -3 years old, depending on his/her overall growth and development.

So that is it. I made it a point to ensure that only the right products are bought for my baby. After all child care is all about giving your baby the natural love, not synthetic.

This is my official entry to Traditional Knowledge, Natural Growth contest organized by Indiblogger in association with Dabur Lal Tail.

Friday, November 15, 2013 - Review

So here goes the deal. You buy something, and we will pay you back a certain amount of cash that you have spent. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

And why wouldn't it be? We all love money, and the thought of receiving back a percentage of what we spend is simply unbelievable; but trust me, fantasy can be true at times.

For, when there is, the shopping dreams you have nurtured all through can finally come true.

Now comes the big question - why and how would Cashkaro pay you back? Well, here goes the detail:

1) Join and create an account. It’s free.

2) Search for the website you want to shop at. Cashkaro has collaboration with over 350+ top websites, and thus you have all the more flexibility to go for the best deals.

3) provides discount coupons and cashback. So whatever you decide to buy, you will always have the satisfaction of earning the best deal.

4) After you purchase something from the retailer’s website via its link on Cashkaro, you will get cashback into your account. Once you have Rs 250 in confirmed cashback in your Cashkaro account, you can request payment to your bank account as well.

Pretty cool, yes, and that’s what prompted me to try it out, and to be honest, I wasn't disappointed. 

My Experience

I created my account in Cashkaro and started browsing through the list of discounts and cashbacks that were on offer. I was totally floored by the number of sites that are associated with Trust me, you got to check it to believe it. 

Being a book lover, I browsed through the offers on books. I liked one that was provided on SnapDeal, and clicked on the link and was redirected to the SnapDeal website. I made my purchases as usual, and logged off. Soon I received an email intimation from Cashkaro team stating that I will be receiving cashback for my purchase shortly.

Soon, true to their words, I received cashback in my Cashkaro account. What is more exciting is that I can transfer it to my bank account, thus using it as a real cash.



Cashkaro won my heart with the brilliant offers they have in store. You can buy anything, everything, and even plan holidays and book travel tickets from your favorite sites online, at the same time availing amazing discounts, offers and cashback. The interface is smooth, and crisp, clearly highlighting the ease by which a user can navigate. Rather, the site has been designed keeping in mind the needs of all kinds of users. There is something for everyone, and that’s the best thing about it.

There are several websites in the market that offer discounts and coupons for online purchases, but what differentiates Cashkaro from the rest is the high professionalism and ethics that is driven by their team. Whenever I had a doubt, there was always someone ready to address my concerns. In fact, I never felt that I was interacting with them online. It was more of a direct communication, with my confusions and doubts being addressed instantly.

Final Words

Go for It should be instantly added to the browser’s favorites’ list of all those netizens who love shopping online. It’s always exciting when you get back cash after making a purchase, isn't it?

The Storm In My Mind - Review

The Storm in my Mind... is a collective narrative of events, habits, stereotypes and idiosyncrasies revolving around the contemporary society of Kolkata. It is a story of love as much as it is of hatred, passion, friendship, trust, misunderstandings, nostalgia and love for his city. It is the story of Aryan, his Kolkata and his mellowing heart that makes confessions of the times he has seen.

About the Author
Ayaan Basu is a striving author, an avid blogger and a columnist fighting his days between MNC-clad work schedule, writing and veracious travelling routine. Being single, apart from writing, he was also a singer/guitarist for a Kolkata based rock band Driftwood.

Sometimes you come across a novel that floods you with memories, nostalgia abounding in your senses, as you sip through the pages with a hot cup of tea, reminiscing the long lost days, when you were younger, looking up to face the world with the view of an explorer, failing and learning. ‘The Storm In My Mind’ does exactly that to me, as I unravel the simplicity in the words wrapped in the pages.

‘The Storm In My Mind’ is the story of Aryan Roy, an engineering student, and his relationship with his friends – Anushka, Kaira and Faiyaz – and Kolkata. You can easily guess the Kolkata connection when you look at the tagline of the book in the front cover – “Ami, Kolkata and Confessions” (Ami means ‘me’ in Bengali).

This is a story entangled in bonds – of love, friendship and camaraderie. The chapters work well together, and there is a smooth continuation that keeps you engaged in the story. Never for a moment will you find your attention straying or your interest wavering. The narration is lucid, and thus proves to be a quick read. In fact, you can easily complete this book within a few hours. And that is the biggest plus point of this novel – it will keep you engrossed.

I generally do not like Hindi conversations in an English novel. It tends to act as a speed breaker, halting the smoothness of the flow, and often a deterrent. However, I didn't feel so while reading this story. It too had its fair share of Hindi conversations, but they sublimely congregated with the story. They didn't seem out of place, and were apt, on most occasions.

Yes, on most occasions, and unfortunately, not on all. This doesn't apply to the Hindi snippets only. While the first half of the book is warm and cozy, the second part turns out to be pretty much ordinary. The plot becomes a bit more predictive, and even though the author does put in some finishing twists here and there, it fails to match the beauty that was woven in the first half.

However, considering this is Ayaan’s debut novel, it does hold a lot of promises of its own. The author tries an unconventional style of storytelling by characterizing Kolkata, something different and unique. The scenic beauty of the city are clearly described, which to me, a Bengali living out of his state, is a real gift. The author beautifully takes us through the different lanes and localities of Kolkata, enchanting us with the beauty of this ancient city. In fact, his attempts are quiet successful, and Kolkata seamlessly integrates with the other protagonists of the story.

I would love to read more from Ayaan. Here is a debutant who knows how to recollect the memories that are often cherished. This is a book about love, life and Kolkata. If you have ever been in this part of the city, lived or worked here, you will surely love this book. Just give it a try, and you may find it to your liking.

Title: The Storm In My Mind
Author: Ayaan Basu
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 168
Price: Rs 100
My Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Entangled Branches

entangled branches
sun ascends through lifeless limbs
beautiful chaos
                     (Anmol a.k.a HA)

My continuation-

entangled branches
sun ascends through lifeless limbs
beautiful chaos
a grasshopper dances
under shade of maple leaf

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Introduction To Java Programming - Review

This book is intended for a one-semester, beginner’s level course on Java programming. It includes the new features included in JDK1.7. Each of  its 16 chapters provide review questions for the readers to self-test their learning. “Try It Out” programs that enable the readers to develop programs for real life problems have also been included. Introduction to Java Programming will help budding programmers solidify their foundation on Java and move on to higher level topics like Swing, JDBC, Servlets etc.

About the Author
Dr. K. Somasundaram is Professor and Head of  the Department of  Computer Science and Applications and the Head of  the Computer Centre at Gandhigram Rural Institute, Gandhigram, Tamil Nadu. He has published over 125 research papers that have appeared in both national and international journals. He has attended several international conferences held in USA, Hungary, Italy, Singapore and Australia. He has published four books, out of  which Programming in Java2 and Advanced Programming in Java (both by Jaico) are bestselling titles. His research interests include image processing, image compression and Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) processing.

Why? Oh God, why?

Why does it always happen to me? Why why why?

Why do dreams break, why does my heart ache, why do my tears shake?

Ah, don’t go by the rhyme. It’s just that I am clearly frustrated by the events that have happened lately in my life. I forget to carry an umbrella when rain descends on an otherwise sunny weather. I bunk my office to meet my date, only to realize that she is a he (my bad luck, I told you), and now, when I finally thought life couldn't get more frustrating, I get to read ‘Introduction to Java Programming’ by K. Somasundaram.

Yes, frustration is the word I will put forward. Why didn't I get this book in my hands during my initial years of corporate life, when I was struggling with Java? Why wasn't this book in my neighborhood library when I was floating against the tides, struggling against classes and packages?

To be honest, there are lots of Java programming books in the market, but what sets this book apart is the treatment that’s meted out to this subject. With innumerable examples, and practice programs, this book is a class apart. To all beginners, this is a perfect platform that sets them on the right track, covering the basics, elucidating the tricky areas, and answering questions that are often baffling, and ignored in several other textbooks.

And no, this book can’t be categorized as a textbook. Textbooks always made me fall asleep, but this book woke me up, to the myriad possibilities that are in store for a programmer. With lots of years already in the software industry, I could very well gauge the impact this book can have on any willing mind, whose fingers are itching to develop the codes that run the world.

Yes, Java as a language has always been in demand, and it will continue to be so. This book ensures that you grasp the fundamentals, and gain a thorough knowledge in the subject. Java isn't definitely limited to the 300 odd pages that this book is made up of, but it definitely mentors us to walk ahead with this beautiful language as company.

The concepts are brilliantly elucidated with clear definitions and explanations, and the review questions allow the readers to self-test what they have learnt. If you face any doubt, you can always go back to the beginning of the chapter, re-read, and your doubts will be cleared. This is a book that makes programming all the more exciting, and interesting.

Thus, I regret not having this book when I was a newbie in the IT sector. Ha ha, no kidding. On a serious note, I would recommend this book to everyone who is about to enter the beautiful and mystical world of Java Programming. Try this, and hone your skills. Java is one of the best programming languages ever developed, and this book will definitely help you grasp it and have it in your control.

‘cause when you are out their coding, the world ceases to matter. What matters is what you conceptualize, and visualize, and how you implement the design. This book teaches you that, and much more, and is thus more than a perfect guide to Java programming.

 Title: Introduction To Java Programming
Author: K. Somasundaram
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Computer Science
No. of Pages: 326
Price: Rs 325
My Rating: 4/5

Killer In High Heels - Review

What happens in Vegas doesnt always Stay in Vegas.
L.A. Shoe Designer, Maddie Springer hasn't seen her father since he reportedly ran off to Las Vegas with a showgirl named Lola. So she's shocked when he leaves a desperate plea for help on her answering machine ending in a loud bang. Gunshot? Car backfire? Never one to leave her curiosity unsatisfied, Maddie straps on her stilettos and, along with her trigger-happy best friend, makes tracks for Sin City in search of her MIA dad.
Maddie hits the jackpot, all right. She finds not only her dad, but also a handful of aging drag queens, an organized crime ring smuggling fake Prada pumps, and one relentless killer. Plus, it seems the LAPDs sexiest cop is doing a little Vegas moonlighting of his own. In a town where odds are everything, Maddie bets it all on her ability to out-step a vicious murderer. She just hopes her gamble pays off... before her own luck runs out.

About the Author
Gemma Halliday, author of the High Heels Mysteries, has received numerous awards, including a Golden Heart, a National Readers Choice award and three RITA nominations, as well as hitting both the New York Times and the USA Today bestseller list. She currently lives in San Francisco Bay Area where she is hard at work on several new projects including more books in the Maddie Springer Stories.

What do you do when you love the first book in a trilogy? You instinctively go for the next one, hoping to derive the same thrill and joy out of it that you gained from Part – 1. Your expectations rocket sky high, since you trust the author has added a lot more flavour, and spiced up the concoction to your overly salivating reading mind. And then, comes the moment, when you finally pick up the book. If your expectations are met, well and good. If not, go grab a drink, and better luck next time.

So, if you would like to fall into the second category, “Killer In High Heels” is just not for you, ‘cause like its prequel – “Spying In High Heels” – this book too comes loaded with just the right amount of ingredients to keep you fully occupied on a warm winter Sunday.

Gemma Halliday returns with her protagonist Maddie Springer, and this time, it’s her relationship with her estranged father, Larry, that forms the backdrop of the story. She receives an unexpected call from Larry, which, cut short by a loud bang, makes her believe that her father is in some sort of danger. She packs her bag, and along with her best friends Dana and Marco, hurriedly rushes to Las Vegas in search of her father and to help him out. Little did she knew that the events would be murkier, and darker, than she had expected them to be.

What I really liked about this series till now is that even though the plots are grave and serious, they are beautifully adorned with the right dosage of humor. You are never weighed down. Rather you flow along with the story in perfect sync, at times even witnessing the words come alive, and the characters living out the pages just right in front of your eyes. The narration is crisp and sleek, and irrefutably fun. Oh, what a master storyteller Gemma Halliday has turned out to be, and the numerous awards she has received justifies her potential. Not only will you love with the story, you will also find yourselves drawn towards the characters.

You can’t write a review for the High Heels series without talking about its prime characters. Maddie, as always, is the ever inquisitive girl, who lands up being at the wrong place at the wrong time. She wants to be in the thick of things, carrying investigations on her own, but she isn't a James Bond, and that’s what makes her so real. Maddie is a normal person, trying to sort out the problems of her life, when fate lands her in these sorts of mazes. However, that’s not always a wrong thing ‘cause it gives her the chance to come face to face with the LAPD’s sexiest cop, Ramirez. Together they form a tangled pair, neither are they in a relationship nor are they out of it. Confused? Don’t be, just read the book and you will know what I mean.

And what can I say about Dana? I just love her ‘ohmigod’. She is one of the funniest characters I have ever come across in any story. She will make sure you do not suppress a laugh, whenever she is around. Marco, Mrs. Rosenblatt and Maddie’s mother form the rest of the mad cap bunch, and all of them put together does provide you with a memorable journey.

I loved the KILLER as much as I had loved SPYING. Time to go UNDERCOVER, perhaps (‘Undercover in High Heels’ is the third part of the trilogy)!

Title: Killer In High Heels
Author: Gemma Halliday
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 258
Price: Rs 299
My Rating: 4/5

Saturday, November 09, 2013

By The Shore

by the shore
discarded lovers
broken shells

My Continuation -

by the shore
discarded lovers
broken shells
footprints on sand
lost in silver waves

This Tan Renga is shared with Carpe Diem - By The Shore.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

No Cilantro For Me Today

No. No way. No cilantro for me today. My taste buds demand for fish, yes, just the right kind. Till then, I'm not going to get down. Got it?

This 140-characters micro-fiction is shared with Succinctly Yours - Week 137.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Day We Found Love, Again

Separation was inevitable, and we both knew it.

No, this wasn’t any case of her being in love with another guy, or me having a fascination towards my female colleague. It’s just that we weren’t meant for each other. Period.

Ours was a love marriage, full of passion, one that came bundled with the bright colours of youth, sparkling like gold, but with time, it faded away, the leaden metal exposed.

So, when she came up with the proposal, we didn’t argue, we didn’t fight. We just knew this had to happen, someday, if not today, then tomorrow, and I nodded my head in agreement. Was I sad? I know not, but yes, a hollow, a vacancy of unfulfilled promises did envelop my heart.

Divorce in India is always a lengthy process. It takes months, and even years, for the final verdict, and till then, you just have to go with the flow. Courts, dates, lawyers and all. We did get our divorce papers, signed them, and handed them over to our respective lawyers.

However, we tried to keep our relationship amicable. We were no longer living together, she staying in the 2 BHK flat where we had together woven dreams, while I had rented a 1BHK nearby. The proximity ensured that we were aware of each other’s whereabouts, without meddling into our affairs.

It was time for her to leave, to fly off to Chicago, for an official assignment, next day. As I wasn’t her ‘ex-husband’ yet, I decided to go with her to the airport. In any case, she didn’t have any other relatives, or friends, in this city who could see her off. A few gifts would do no harm, and I went to a nearby gift shop to buy something for her.

Her flight was at 10am. It was already 6. I got up, dressed, and ran towards my car. The engine reverberated, and I was off to her place to pick her up.

The gift stood still, alone, on my bedside table, isolated, forgotten.


I reached her place, and parked the car. I walked up to the flat and pressed the door bell.

No response.

Once, twice, thrice, and yet no response.

I took out my cell to dial her number, when suddenly the door opened. She was standing transfixed, her head bent low, tears in her eyes, and a red suitcase, in perfect equilibrium with the door hinges. She was wearing a light blue denim jeans, black tee, and a maroon jacket. We didn’t exchange a word, and silently walked towards the car.

We seated ourselves, and I turned on the engine, when her muffled voice broke the silence of the moment – “Do you know what day it is today?”

I knew. It was the day I had proposed my love to her.

I shifted the gear from second to third, and then to fourth. The car moved smoothly. I wished our relation had turned out to be as smooth.

She took out something from her purse, and asked me to stop the car. She then showed me the content of that ‘something’.

A dried rose, flattened with pages of time, a greeting card with “I Love You Marry Me No … Plz” written inside, and a diary, her diary.

“These are very precious to me,” she said, tears streaming down her cheeks, “and so were you. I do not know when I would return. Please keep the diary with you, as a token of the love, the affection we shared.”
Her voice trailed off, while I lost mine.

“Is it necessary to go?” I asked her, and then realized that I had forgotten to bring the gifts I had brought for her, the look of “oh-shit” visible on my face.

“What?” she asked amused, and I felt relieved to see a glint of smile on her face, “You forgot my gift?”
I just nodded. “Miss the flight.”

“Treat me then,” prompt came the reply.

We went to a nearby café, had sandwiches and steaming mugs of coffee, our eyes lost in each other, seeking answers, answering questions. We hardly spoke, as our fingers entwined, the warm feeling of past rushing back in my veins.

I ordered for a cake, a time to celebrate, and the waiter simply said, “It’s 9am Sir. We can provide you with the cake only after 12.”

We confirmed the order, and told him to deliver the cake to our (yes, our) address. We left, hands in hands, our hearts back to where they belonged.

“Let me cook for you today,” I offered, knowing pretty well how bad a cook I was. And yet, sometimes, you don’t care. It’s just the feeling of doing something for the person you love that matters.

“Ok. Mister, but are you trying to impress me?” she said, winking naughtily.

I came out of the kitchen, and chased her all around the flat. Finally, tired, we fell on the couch, breathing heavily, happily.

“I love you,” I said, rather whispered, in her ears.

“Ok. Fine. But rush to the kitchen. The noodles smell burnt.”

Oops. I had forgotten that it was me cooking today.


The food was ready, and the cake was delivered.

She looked at me, and her sparkling eyes danced with joy, ‘cause on top of the cake were two cute heart shaped platinum rings, that I had secretly ordered and bought.

“I love you, and I have made the lunch too. Will you be mine, forever?” I bent down on my knee, holding one of the rings, and proposed.

“Hmm. Will you cook lunch for me daily?” She asked, her lips curled, smiling mischievously.

“If not lunch,” I answered, grinning, “I will definitely ensure a delicious dinner, with an enticing dessert.”

She laughed, and I laughed too. She came closer, and we hug each other, our lips obeying the law of love, gently caressing the emotions that lay deep within us. We were together, now, and forever.

~ o ~

Needless to mention, the divorce papers were shredded and fed to the bin.

This is my official entry to "Platinum Day of Love" contest organized by Indiblogger in association with

Winter's Arrival

winter's arrival
time for blankets and some wool
wish I was a sheep

This Haiku is shared with Haiku My Heart.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

November Books

As the winter dawns in Gurgaon, the sweaters and jackets find their way out of the cupboard. The temperature drops gradually, signalling the arrival of chill, something I had never experienced in Kolkata. Winters in Kolkata were cool and pleasant. Gurgaon refuses to be cooperative.

But then, if you have books, and a warm blanket, you can endure any weather. I am lucky in that regard, as I have quite a few paperbacks waiting to be read and savored, in this month of November.

There will be additions to the list in the coming days. Till then, I will be pretty occupied with these, and their soothing warmth.

This post is shared with Book Haul - November.

Wise Enough To Be Foolish - Review

Wise Enough to be Foolish is a fictionalized memoir that traces the journey of an Indian girl's life, with all its challenges and delightful surprises, as she blossoms from an insecure child into a confident young woman. This roller-coaster ride of adventure, laughter and heartache, as she balances her love life with her struggle for independence, will keep you guessing. What rules will she break next? How far will she go to find herself?

About The Author
Mother of two girls, amateur athlete, part-time writer, management school drop-out, traveller, entrepreneur, in full-time employment with the worlds largest escorted touring company and woman behind The Active Holiday Company, Gauri Jayaram is a little bit of many things and still not satisfied! She frequently combines her love for long distance running with rock music.

For more about the book visit

You know that feeling you get when you cuddle up to sweet memories under your blanket, your eyes closed, the honey-dewed fragrance melting your senses, fragmenting the weary body, thus revitalizing it all over again, and soothing your tired nerves. You earn a smile, of sincerity, going with the flow, savoring the delights that life have to offer, and thanking the almighty for all and everything. You find solace, and peace, and your troubles cease to exist.

‘Wise Enough To Be Foolish’ by Gauri Jayaram serves exactly the same purpose. It’s pleasant, soft as a silk, and at times cleverly straightforward and blatant, and is a perfect interpretation of life, for who knows where life would lead to in the future. It’s best to live in the present, learn from the past, and dream for the future.

That’s what Gauri, the author, and the protagonist does. Born and brought up in a family of three, she often felt aloof. Her parents love and affection were showered towards her elder and younger siblings, and she, gradually turned out to be the black sheep in the family. She was different, and she took pride on that. Often her behavior appeared rebellious to her parents, but that’s what she was, and that’s what life had taught her to be.

Gauri found love, and lost it, umpteen times, always looking for that perfect soul mate, someone who would understand her, support her, be her guide and her pillar of strength, always forever. However, things didn't work out as expected, and relationships she valued came falling down in no time. This continued till she met her Mr. Perfect, and as they say, all’s well that ends well.

Gauri, rightly quips at a certain portion in the book – “From someone ungettable, to one who went to jail, to a Parsee priest, all the way to the one I will always love, to the man I eloped and married – it was a wild journey. And, finally, I had found love – in a man who was very like me in some ways.

That’s the path she had traveled, and we, as a reader, should be glad that she made us a part of it.
This is not just about Gauri’s quest for love, freedom and identity. Rather, this book is about each one of us, who, stuck in the busy humdrum of our lives, often choose to ignore our wishes and have learnt to wade along with the flow. This book teaches you to fight, not for anyone else, but for yourself. This is a book about chasing your dreams, listening to your heart, and living the way that makes you the happy in your own world.

Gauri’s narration is flawless, the words cleverly poised,and punctuated, that makes the story all the more realistic. We feel as if the author is right there with us, narrating the events, one page at a time, dictating from her diary. Story telling is an art, and Gauri perfects it to the T.

This book must be read, re-read and re-re-read, when you feel low, or even when you are basking in excitement. This story is for everyone, for everytime, ‘cause it is not only the author’s tale, but it is a story about all of us.

Title: Wise Enough To Be Foolish
Author: Gauri Jayaram
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 216
Price: Rs 225
My Rating: 4/5

Monday, November 04, 2013


I wouldn't mind erasing the past, but what's the guarantee for a better future?

Things have changed, people have moved on, leaving me abandoned, isolated.

Memories linger, in warm summer mornings, and in cool wintry nights, the sunny balm and the icy smoothness melting my heart, as I whisper tears.

Dwelling in hypocrisy, should I lay rest to the sweet whispers that play gentle music in my head, throbbing against the veins; my arteries tuned with love, her love?

I reside in indecision, uncertainty my forte, but someday, and someday soon, things either need to go back, or run forward; and till then, I relish the un-erased vacuum.

This Five Sentence Fiction is shared with Little McFerrin Writes - Erased.


naked feet
kissing dewy green carpet
sheer bliss

This Haiku is shared with Haiku Heights - Grass.

Friday, November 01, 2013


she creeps
on the edge of your bed
still and silent
laughing a shrilled cry
her head rocking
bloodshot eyes
fingers glide across your skin
and you sit, numb

This is my attempt on the occasion of All Hallow's Eve. In honor of the day, this poem contains exactly 31 words.