Friday 4 July 2014

Casper goes to Meerut

The last exam of the semester spelled holidays not only for me but for another member of the family. Casper is our English Springer spaniel who has never travelled out of Delhi and NCR. Although, technically he had made his first journey from Kolkata to New Delhi by air when he was hardly a month old to land at our home but this was going to be the first time after that. In 90% of the places it is difficult to travel with dogs – hotels prohibit them, they get uneasy in a new place, flying makes them uncomfortable and nervous. However, Casper loves riding in car and so we decided to go for a short road trip to Meerut to visit our relatives.

We left around 8am, yes, the target was to leave by 7am…well never mind, it was a Wednesday and we did not come across heavy traffic so it was all cool. As Papa sat behind the wheels and Mummy as the unofficial navigator, Nani and I sit in the back with Casper. The little furry boy usually enjoys looking out of the window but since it was going to be a longer trip so he just wanted to relax and made it a point to sit in the centre i.e., right in front of the AC!

Casper here comfortably seated with his Nani ready to ride!
The roads were largely well-built, we did not really come across any unmetalled road except for one short cut in Meerut itself which drove between two vast fields. The ride was otherwise smooth and fun especially with Casper’s antiques along.

He is naturally apprehensive and a cynic… we had taken a short break on our way as we stopped the car and let Casper out so that he can do his pee-business, have water and might as well have some biscuits. He peed immediately after jumping out of the back seat and sniffed around the side of the road. I poured out some water in his bowl and offered him some Pedigree chunks but he simply refused to even look at it. The dog was resolute to act tough. He quietly hopped back in car and THEN had some sips of water. He was worried we had come to get rid of him there… and leave him behind. Silly dog!



There were times when he would simply cuddle up and rest on my lap and in the next moment he would scratch on the window to put his head out. He loves it when his long ears are pushed back against the gust of air. We listened to old movie songs, courtesy Nani. The sky was cloudy and the sun gave us a pleasant surprise by playing hiding-and-seek with us. 

Get, set, goooo!!!
Finally we made it to our destination without getting our car drenched in mud thanks to fine roads and the benign absence of puddles. We were well received by our relatives but not Casper by the dog-next-door and a bunch of street mafia (cute dogs they were). I hurriedly brought him inside the gate, of course after he had peed. Casper found a spot in this new home in front of the cooler. I met two of my young cousins with whom I ended up watching X-Men’s first part. Before this we had played a round of Ludo. The kids went along pretty well with Casper who was equally pleased to have met them.

At the time of a walk, I went to my car to fetch the stick we usually keep to prevent any fights between dogs or to keep Caspy from eating anything from the road. No, we don’t hit any being, just banging the road once or twice does the trick to indicate what not to do. Dogs, and in fact any animal, often fall sick after consuming rotten food people leave by the side of roads. As he strode around this new colony, he often detoured and ran towards the car to hop in. He craved for the ride again.

Having his head out of the window coolly, Casper loves to be brushed against the breeze as the car drives on...
It was time to say goodbye now and Casper could not have been happier. It was a day well spent in good company with yummy Jalebis and home-cooked butter Naan! For Casper it was all about the car ride!


Friday 20 June 2014

With This Beautiful Book, Give Yourself A Chance To Cherish The Beauty Of The ‘Unimportant’

What began as a hobby to beautifully preserve one’s memories turned out to grow Wings of Poesy, to take an opportune flight to the horizon. Krishna Kant, a postgraduate student of English literature, offers an ‘anthology of poems‘ handpicked from his rugged school diary cum treasury of poetry in times of disturbance when people are so overworked with their lives that they tend to intentionally ignore simple things of beauty.
wings of poesyThe verses mostly share simple rhyme schemes, sometimes they do not even rhyme as no-rhyme is in fact better than a forced-rhyme. Raw language with appropriate usage of the so-called flowery terms, is what forms the cornerstone of the book as it helps the reader visualize the words easily without strain and quite comfortably.
Hallucinate this sky with swords and spears, the life below our eyes, be pierced.’ (The Last Call, page 37)
A widely varied mix of themes is a treat for every moment of every reader. From the value of an ‘Extra Two Rupees‘ for a young underprivileged girl to the relentlessly demanding life of a soldier, from how a boy wishes to be born to his mother each time he takes birth to those who are ‘Born in Brothel‘. If wisdom is something too heavy to swallow for one reader then the door is open to an insight of the two sides of Fashion that smoothly ponders if it is a friend or a foe.
A common feature of Krishna’s poems comprise of a snappy, thought-provoking remark in the ending lines that leave you with a lump in the throat (not in the pleasant ones). This is the characteristic of especially those pieces that intend to act as mirrors of the society we live in. We, the people, from very different walks of life and what we all are unknowingly and indirectly doing to one another, and all that we are not doing while we are capable of doing to make a difference in others’ and in our own lives.
Let nothing deter you from marching ahead, towards a resplendent time.
Let the destiny obey your commands, and get you…. your desired life.‘ (Let Yourself, page 18)
The book is a good read for those looking for a break in the middle of their much important, busy lives; to cherish the beauty of the ‘unimportant’, and find glimpses of joy through the same. It is not esoteric thus anyone who is not particularly an expert in the high and mighty poetry may equally enjoy the verses and make merry.

Originally published on the youthkiawaaz.com

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 http://blog.blogadda.com/2011/05/04/indian-bloggers-book-reviews" target="_blank" > Book Reviews Program
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Sunday 4 November 2012

Hurdle


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.



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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 (www.disabilityindia.org) is yet another effort in enabling empowerment.

Support:
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 - http://www.sfcdindia.org/


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 http://www.blogadda.com/bsr/  and support the NGOs.

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