Wednesday 19 December 2012

The Krishna Key: Book Review!

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

“Five thousand years ago lived a man called Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu,who promised to return in the dark age of Kaliyug in a final avatar to punish the wicked and cleanse the world. But someone has beaten him it to it…"

So says the trailer, yes, this grand extravaganza of a narrative has an audio-video teaser that promises a riveting read.

People have long anticipated the return of ‘Vishnu’ (not Krishna) in the last of his avatars named Kalki. No one knows how and where he will come, let alone how he would look like. Taking advantage of this obscurity as the past news stories reveal,  several mortals emerged as THE avatar and sought respect which was reciprocated as people did begin to follow and worship them. While this was all a hoax to fulfill one’s personal desire of being treated as a god and be loved by all, et al; Ashwin Sanghi has thrown a possibility how this platform of claiming-to-be-god could be used by someone, read a fanatic, to cause destruction and unrest and to even justify his actions in His name.

So, now we have a scene of murder and the one held guilty is a respectable professor of mythology from one of the best colleges in Delhi. To clear himself of all charges he takes a journey of decoding the truth behind the murderer while in pursuit of the Krishna Key.

I noticed how several reviewers have simply called the Krishna Key as preachy and trashy, how the story line can be confusing and how it unsuccessfully attempts to intrigue the reader .

But I beg to differ from everything said about it. In my opinion the story is fluid as we go along solving the murder mystery with Professor Saini to places of importance to Lord Krishna – from Kalibangan to Mount Kailash which can prove to be quite exploratory for those who have only heard of these places in fables.

As for the regular flashbacks into the Mahabharata era while some readers may well be able to connect it to the parallel present day story others may find them as unwanted breaks in their primary plot. Every chapter opens with an interrelated piece of mythological occurrence.

Equipped with a number of images and figures so as to aid the reader in understanding the plot, the author has evidently put in long hours of research in order to make it as authentic and convincing as possible.

Carrying on with the legacy of indulging in thriller mysteries based on mythology from the The Rozabal Line in 2007 that was about Jesus Christ’s tryst with India; to the award winning Chanakya’s Chant this third installment by the author penetrates also into the Bhagvad Gita apart from its titled hero.

I would give three out of five stars to Ashwin Sangha’s The Krishna Key for the sheer efforts put in by him in the research and let alone in the logical compilation of the pictorial representations. This is definitely a must read for all those who enjoy suspense thriller supplemented with aplenty treats of folklore and mysticism.

This review is a part of the" target="_blank" > Book Reviews Program
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Sunday 4 November 2012


It burst out of it,
Out of the little hat,
The inverted black hat,
And it showed me what I hadn't seen in ages.

Ages not the years,
But the number of hurdles.
Hurdles I’d set in my mind,
Which kept me from advancing,
Advancing to my ultimate resolutions.

Resolutions I believed never existed,
Had concealed themselves in those hurdles.
Hurdles that had extended,
Like the branches of a tree,
That shot to the sky,
As it faced hurdle in growing in the little black hat.

The tree burst out of it,
Out of the little hat,
The inverted black hat,
And it showed me what I hadn't seen in ages.

Saturday 7 July 2012

Zomato Restaurant Guide 2012

What do you do after a long day of working like a Trojan, when you are justifiably starving and wish to chill out at the right spot, with the right food and with the right person (well, you need to take care of that). Apart from this you are also not so tech-savvy and even if you are since you must be tired already, it would seem like a big task to switch on the PC and go online and look for an eat-out to relax. Let alone call up a friend only to get their suggestions after listening across to a myriad of their problems.

This is when Zomato may come to your rescue with their premier issue of Zomato Restaurant Guide 2012. The book comes with some special features like QR codes for easy browsing into the menus through one’s 3G phone, categories of restaurants broken down into fetching exclusive sections, user reviews, ratings etc.

The book has a novel set of restaurant categories that range from Casual Dining to Girls’ Night Out and from Catching-Up to Best Wine List and from Business and Travel to Romantic Dinner. These 20 categories are thought-provoking, indeed, making us wonder and question ourselves what really the purpose of our sortie is and what all choices there could be at our disposal to make it worthwhile and memorable.

A special attention has been paid to an assortment of international cuisines with categories as Asian & Oriental, Italian & European besides, North Indian and Mughlai intensifying the Indian cuisine. In fact, there is a special section for desserts and bakes especially for those who can’t resist the sweet edible course. In the same section we have options of aboriginal French patisseries too that are otherwise quite hard to find here.

The guide is user-friendly and quite easy to use as it has visual icons that make it easier for users to understand the given information. For example, An image of a ‘bicycle’ signifies if the place allows Home Delivery option or not, for dining option there is a set of fork, spoon and knife, the usual green and brown mark for vegetarian and non-vegetarian, a small credit-card look alike to denote the same; hence, adding appeal to it.

The average ratings and user reviews provided with every restaurant entry help the user in getting an idea of what to expect from the place that catches his attention, however, keeping in mind that choice of every individual differs and varies extensively making them quite subjective.

The number of entries in the book is quite limited and very exclusive that makes it pretty tight. However, in their defence and which, frankly, makes sense too, that they have got their website for that as it caters almost ALL the eating-joints of the city. This book is meant to be occasion based. The pages mostly incorporate only sought after and rather posh locations. It is surely a delight for those who love to splurge and explore new places.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at  http://www.blogadda.comParticipate now to get free books!

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Ah! Poetry: Book Review

Ah! Poetry: Book Review

It is a mild poem,
Feeble yet stern..
Shredded yet evinced...
Embossed with immense emotions
It shines in dark
When your light lingers upon it

Pluck these words with a smile..

The ‘Poem’ is self-explanatory that delves into the nature of a poem. In few words the poet clarifies how poem writing can bring respite to an unspoken soul and how the words are connected with thoughts of the person.

A bit of repetition in can be found in ‘Paradise Lost’ through which the poet describes a part from a refugee’s memory who has escaped oppression from a battleground.

Through her poem ‘Way To Live’, the truth-seeking poetess brings guidance to those who feel lost. Her work is a humble example for the same effort that shows off a simple and irregular rhyme scheme.
Quirkily, ‘Doors’ closes with a simple question before the reader, thus invoking their thought process. Its poetess wonders about the common yet strange character of doors and ponders over why they act in their typical, never-questioned-before ways of movement.

‘A Little At A Time’ is amazingly short (30 words) and effortlessly says a lot about the trouble with excess of anything, here love.

‘Neda, Coup d’Oeil’ is a sensitive composition that focuses on the issue of death of innocent during war.
Deflowered is delicately written from the point of view of a sex-worker, who finds herself lost and deflowered of innocence and identity.

‘ Road’, one of the five short poems from the ‘Palm’ collection, is more like a statement that incorporates no poetic device save the sixteen words are written in a single stanza; ‘Road’ has a deep realization in it that makes it admirable.

Four-stanza long, ‘Haikus On Coffee’ is an interesting art work following the regular pattern of 5-7-5 syllables in every piece referred to as Haiku (A Japanese form of poem writing).

‘Poet’s Dilemma’ is vivid, hilarious and a joy to read, descriptive in, delves/dives into the vegetable world, personifying them all with emotions, ambitious and tasks to accomplish

Mime perhaps takes inspiration from William Shakespeare’s quote – “The world is a stage”; it also talks about the vastness of world, “...yet inaudible am I...”

‘Those Papers In My Drawer’ is a beautiful poem that will make us recall those days when we are constantly asked to clean the disordered shelves and drawers.

Just after reading the title ‘Billionaire’ I had presumed the following poem would be about someone with a billion bucks. I was proved wrong. It is one of the most beautiful poems.

Two twenty three pages generously bursting with imagination, mindsets, and abstract thoughts are an overwhelming compilation of honest work, belief in oneself and one’s abilities to pen down all the feelings on paper for everyone to read and interpret in their own way.

The publication could have been taken care of, in some cases grammatical errors can be felt mainly in terms of punctuation and unnecessary spaces. The publishers could perhaps revise the next edition.

Thursday 31 May 2012

In Support of The Differently-Abled!

The Society for Child Development is a registered NGO with 16 years of hands-on experience in advocacy and empowerment of persons with disability. Their basic aim is to educate and train, support people in finding their rightful place in the society, and ensure their inclusion in all fields.

Located at New Delhi, India, they run a special school for children with intellectual disability in the age group of 5 to 16 years. On graduating from here, the youngsters move to the Vocational Training and Production Center where they are trained in skills and trades to enable them to earn a living and stand on their own feet.

Besides this, they have an Independent Living Center for persons with intellectual disability, an established parent support network and an extremely effective legal aid cell for providing pro bono legal counsel and spreading legal awareness among disabled people in disadvantaged areas. Such persons are identified and through community meetings educated about their rights and privileges and then encouraged to seek access to their rightful dues from the society and the Government.

They have also undertaken a number of research projects on behalf of the Government and other agencies which are working in the area of disability.
An extensive website on disability related information ( is yet another effort in enabling empowerment.

I: Working With Families
Basic education, independent living, social and adult needs, and viable solutions for vocational training and sustainable livelihoods.

II: Integration and Inclusion
Advocacy for policy change, working for Human Rights, Involving Community Participation, Activities with non-disabled and disabled school children.

III: Bridging Gaps

IV: Strengthening Organizations and Capacity Building

Note: In their direct service program they run a special school for disabled children, a vocational training and production center for disabled youth to create avenues for their employment and a live in center which provides shelter to the disabled.

In the Outreach services through the Parent Support Network and the Legal Aid Cell, they conduct training workshops, ensure inclusion, advocacy and capacity building and provide pro bono legal counsel. The Legal Aid Cell also provides pro bono legal counsel and services to disabled children and their families in the slum areas around Delhi and helps them gain access to their legitimate entitlements and facilities provided by the Government.

Their work stems from the well recognized need to create a climate where disabled people can access their rightful place in society. India, with its more than 6% disabled population (60 million) has joined the international community in this by ratifying the UNCRPD treaty.

Visit their website here -

This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative.
I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit  and support the NGOs.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Fat Consumption: An Act of Kindness

Fat equivalent to 20g found in a choco-chip cookies' packet weighing 83gm.

My sister goes all the way to a retail store in a different colony which is about 1.5km away from our dwelling. She takes a rikshaw to go this far for bringing these irresistible food items due to their unavailability in our nearby market complex.

As soon as she gets back home she hides all of it in the depths of our kitchen’s topmost cabinets and sometimes if the stuff is way too mouth-watering and nearly lip smacking, which in consequence puts it at a higher risk of getting filched and consumed by other contenders of the house; then she employs her cupboard safe to bury those delectable victuals (victual is synonymous with foodstuff; yes, dictionary-reading is one of my other geeky pastimes).

Despite putting in so much research and hard work in zeroing in on the best hideout for her edible treasures she always fails awfully. She wonders later for days how I always get to the stuff in time! How do I always know when the item shall perish off and also about its storage conditions…

I have a secret long kept to myself. But no more.

Hardly is she aware of my sniffer-nose which happens to be an acquired quality (remember the ‘inherited and acquired qualities’ in Heredity and Evolution chapters) of mine from my pet cocker spaniel doggie – Jasper!

I sniff all the way to the whereabouts of her chocolate chip cookies, raw Bournvita, the potato wafers, the toffees, soup packets, instant noodles etc.

I like to help myself leaving behind all the guilt that I earlier used to have – “I’m selfish”, “oh it belongs to her”, “I should not give in to temptation and break the bond of sisterhood I was lashed with since birth.”, “I’m being heartless and this is an act of stealth and theft and treachery and what not!”,”I do not deserve to reap the benefits of her drudgery”...

It took me one long excursion of introspecting myself to realize and look at this scene from a completely different point of view. 
I am not a sinner and I am a good doer! I’m the hero (or heroine for the feminists out there)!

All this while I was only simply doing her a favour!

For her sake I have been putting MY health and MY waistline at stake by willingly taking in all that fat she allocates for herself.

Unknowingly and rather naively I have been helping her whilst what she does on finding out my deeds is to take my case and leading me to the hands of mother.

But god knows I always had the right intention.

Unfortunately she hasn’t yet realized this. 
Hope she gets a perspective soon. Amen.

Tags: Humour, farce, hypothesis, ridicule
Photo Credits: + dog Casper

Sunday 11 March 2012

Book Review: Vivek and I

"...surely a promising plot"

Rating: 3/5

PLOT: In school-going Vivek’s innocent eyes, Kaushik Mistry was everything an ideal man ought to be like: he was intelligent, wise, and humble, he had an appealing personality, he was successful; in short he was a complete man for whom almost everything was achievable and worthwhile. Similar were the thoughts of everyone who knew Kaushik. Yet, he was miserable and nobody, in a minuscule town like Valai, could imagine why.

Caught between the desperate attempts of Vidya, a fellow female colleague’s obstinate demonstrations of love for HIM and his own dilemmatic lovesickness for Vivek; Kaushik, a 26-year old English teacher from Baroda, finds himself questioning his conscience all the time. Though he is sure of what he wants but hurting others is not characteristic of him either.

A voracious lover of nature and innately sensitive to his surroundings and his dear ones, our protagonist Kaushik goes through a number of phases to some of which he reacts very humanly; hence, ending up directing himself dissolutely.

Unable to bind his love interests to himself, he is left out torn and devastated. Moreover, his sexual-orientation poses as a major challenge for him of acceptance by and survival in the sneeringly orthodox society.

I found it a little slow-paced; I had never read anything like this which dealt with such a sensitive topic as homosexuality. Author Mayur Patel has tried well to maintain the curiosity factor by seasoning the story with cricket, local teenage spectacles and a persistent threat by a beast on the loose from a jungle.

It surely is a promising plot; however, I, personally do not read a lot of mush stuff, so I found it only a little agonizing at some points. The narrative gives an insight of the Western Indian and South-Western Indian cultures (mainly Gujarat, Maharashtra and Kerala), enlightening the reader with the composition of some of the local cuisines; the annual fun melas of Holi. It also draws a subtle distinction between the urban and the rural lifestyles and general nature of people found in the two parts.

Recommended to those passionate for chick-literature, those who would like to attempt to appreciate a topic as perceptive as homosexuality and to those who simply like to experiment with their reads.

P.S. The book incorporates some syntactical and grammatical errors in due course of its narration.

Read on Youth Ki Awaaz

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