Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Monster

Violence these days has become a tweet gone viral, with 140 characters of hatred and a hashtag of lunacy.

War is not the new shirt you’ve been saving that one morning you just wake up and go “I should wear this today”. And nations are not siblings, no. If you hide each other’s toys and then go on taking revenge on each others’ most loved possessions, don’t think mom’s going to help you when you end up pulling each others’ hair and breaking nail for nail. Dad’s not going o come home with presents and put you on his shoulders. No one is going to clean up the mess when you turn the house upside down and leave it all destroyed.

How easy it is to post “Modi is a coward afraid of war with Pakistan” and how painful it is to take bullets on your chest and bury your dead.

For every other headline saying “Delhi on red alert against attacks” there’s a normal citizen like me terrified of doing my normal things. The thought of a family member being blown away makes every inch of my skin tremble with fear.

If you call blood thirst courageous, I’d better find solace in cowardice. Of all the history I’ve mugged up in school, I don’t remember any war that has done us some good. But I do remember civilizations being wiped away and nations ripped off their social, economical and political stability due to war.

True that we need a solution.
True that we cannot and should not tolerate terrorism.

But I am sure war is not any obvious answer. 

Sunday, 2 October 2016


some days make me feel like there is a conspiracy against me in the world
everything topples down one by one
just when I think it better ended  something disastrous unfolds

I take in a deep sigh and whisper to myself, have courage young girl.
there are going to be days even worse in life
there are going to be days you'll have to choose between burning paths
and walk ahead without any loved one by your side
sometimes the fire will engulf your most precious people
and sometimes those people will themselves choose the other path.

some people will enter uninvited into your life and become a part of it
they will question your beliefs, your past, your insecurities
they'll think they can rescue you, take you out of this labyrinth
out beyond to the field Rumi wrote about
and indeed they will
they will hold your hand and guide you out of the blazing fire
but just when you're about to step inside the gate of bliss they'll vanish
vanish like a puff of smoke out of the fire they just extinguished
and there you'll be standing
one step forward from here will make you the girl you always dreamed to be,
the girl your mom will be proud of and the world will cherish

but the sad part is, you won't be able to move from here
your palm is still wet with the imprints of their fingers that were just held between yours
your mind still shelters their image and their promises
these thoughts running in your mind will again paralyze your strength
now your feet are heavier than a sack of milestones
you should have stopped

you'll curse yourself
though you knew all this while that you'll never have the courage to go alone from here
why did you hold their hand in the first place
you should have crossed the fire alone
but you wanted friendship and companionship
you wanted love
well girl, there's always a prize you have to pay for love
it's the most romanticized and longed emotion in the world so what made you think you'll get it so easily

now stand here
stand here and watch others go
learn from them
there's no fire here but you'll still burn with envy and lust

meanwhile, be brave

Thursday, 11 August 2016

To Write Or Not To Write

I am an occasional writer, or perhaps one aspiring to be. This realization dawns upon me as I sit down to write after a long time. I often feel an urge to pen down my thoughts but something or the other comes in the way of my bleak dedication. Be it lack of composite ideas, pre-occupation in some other work or mere shameless procrastination. However, I could fill pages if I had to write about my daily activities, my writing block or my apprehensions. But then I stop and ask myself- who would want to read all this? Who am I? A celebrity? A sports icon? An acclaimed actor? The truth is I am nothing; just a breathing piece of flesh in this vast universe ruled by numerous talented and twinkling stars. I am just a dull member of the galaxy clouded by the ever so magnificent moon. So I realize that if and when I wish to write I must consciously decide to distinguish the writing from the writer. It may pour itself into the pages like rain droplets hissing down the window pane but I must make sure that the window remains shut.

So what shall I write about? Love? Nah. It is cliché to the point that all of my poems end up glorifying the purpose, existence and importance of it regardless of the theme I had begun with. Also, I have never been in a relationship. I know nothing. (But isn’t it the job of a writer to imagine and create what is not there?)

So I tell myself to move beyond love and write a story about, umm, well, a war. A gruesome war narrative that would stir the soul of the reader by bringing to life the struggles of millions of those scarred from the clutches of the monster that destroys both the perpetrator and the preventer. But how could I even dare to think that I am capable of such an endeavor? I have no experience or research accomplishments whatsoever. How will I ever be able to understand the gravity without having sufficiently read, heard or searched?

Now I search for a lighter topic, something that would not be beyond my capabilities and something that could attract more readers. So I pick a recent controversy and plan to voice my opinion in order to give a new angle to the event. Finally, the nib of my pen touches the page of my new diary and I see that the ink has already dried up.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Book Review #1

The Bestseller She Wrote

Ravi Subramanian

Romantic Intrigue

Westland Ltd

275 INR

Ravi Subramanian, a banker-turned-author, is a famous bestselling author of seven books. TBSW is his 8th book and entirely different from his earlier ones that were set in the banking world. In this book too, the male protagonist is s banker-turned-author (I know, right?).

The story is set in modern day Mumbai where the protagonist Aditya Kapoor is settled as a bestselling author. Middle-aged Aditya lives there with his wife Maya and son Aryan. Maya is a caring wife who sacrificed her career as a banking professional and instead became an educationist.
Then enters Shreya Kaushik, a pretty, belligerent and straight forward management student. In a predictable turn of events, Aditya gets attracted to Shreya who is a good deal of years younger than him. Shreya, who wants to be a bestselling author like Aditya seeks this as an opportunity to make her foothold in the industry. I was confused throughout the novel whether Shreya actually had fallen in love with Aditya or it was mere fangirling gone wrong. However, Aditya is caught in a love triangle of sorts and heads on with the 'best of both worlds', until of course there's a twist in the tale and events get chaotic. How he deals with entangled relationships and whether he's able to come out of the web he weaved around for himself, read the book to find out.

When I had started reading the book I thought it would be another yound adult cliché and by most, if not all means, it turned out to be exactly that. The author at numerous occasions, by medium of dialogue between his characters, mocks the currently trending bestsellers by new Indian authors and how they simply sell trash. Ironically, he has managed to only marginally go beyond this category. In one dialogue his lead character is voicing her opinion on bestsellers - "push any book, however mediocre, through an aggressive sales campaign and you have a bestseller". This quote from the lead character should have been the tagline of this book! There are a few plot holes that I managed to notice because at some points the plot was getting boring. If you're a feminist, the book is rather likely to piss you off at a few instances. For the initial part of the novel, I was unable to create a vivid imagery of Shreya. In contrast, Aditya and Maya are nicely carved characters. There are other supporting characters like Sanjay, Aditya's friend, who are shaped well and play key roles in the plot. However, my favourite character has to be Maya. A strong-headed woman who is equally gentle when it comes to family and the society. Extremely courteous and sacrificing, she beautifully fills the gap Aditya leaves as an unreasonable and unable-to-create-fanbase protagonist. Despite the clichés, there are many positives that have made this book stand out in the shelf of this genre. One is definitely the writing style of Ravi Subramanian. He is among the many IIMalumunus-turned-author but a slight notch higher. Despite his professional background, he doesn't write like a boring banker. It shows that he hasn't simply become a writer, but has the skills. Steady vocabulary, quick paced narrative and relatable setting of the novel will more or less keep you glued.

I am reviewing The Bestseller She Wrote by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!