Monday, June 24, 2013


While it has been some time that I last organized a party, this is the first time I will host it all by myself. Till now, I had my mother to take care of food and my father took responsibility for provisions. I just had to ideate and invite.

This time it so happens that I am married. And by the virtue of that, I have my own home- A completely functional faculty with all the attributes of a home I had ever wished. The occasion happens to be a birthday celebration. I have 4 cousins coming over for the day. None of them married yet. So the onus of cooking and arranging and planning lies upon us, the host couple.
The anxiety, if my dear reader would appreciate, is driven my the idea of making the day full of fun and frolic for by guests. I think I will plan a birthday cake, some heart-warming morning breakfast of Poha-Jalebi, a royal lunch and an evening outing. I don't think it will be a big deal to handle this event. I have been cooking for 5 months now, so that is not a worry. My cousins love me, so criticism too isn't on the plate.
Why the fret then?
Well because it is "my" birthday, we are talking about. It's my quarter century birthday celebration. Believe me, I don't want to spend the day serving good food and being a good host. I would like to take a back seat for the day and just enjoy when someone else lays down the execution of his/her surprise plan.
I am writing this onto the blog in the hope that it will not be read by any of my guests. I would love to have them around. They are amongst the few people I love to have around. But pardon me the responsibilities of being a host that day. Please!!

Just a week, before I post a blog on how it all turned out! 
Till then, hoping to have my day on my terms :P

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Out of the Furnace of Life

I was looking at one of the persons I got in touch with recently. He is always full of verve. It is difficult to decipher if he lives in the present or the future. I got a chance to spend around 2-3 hours with this person and I went like "This is my chance upon knowing what's his inspiration in life!" and so, hopeful me, went on to indulge in some light chatter. Those hours passed to no avail. The next day I just ignored him. His enthusiasm however, was infectious. He indulged me into small chats and I couldn't help but respond.

The energy which drives itself is the foremost characteristic I look up to. Whenever I confront it, I look at it in awe and try to inspect it. My experience so far, limited as it is, has lead me to two kind of conclusions over these "extra bubbly" people. They are either too vulnerable, and so remain hyperactive and motive driven to maintain their sanity(sometimes without even knowing it). Or, they are among those few people who have seen the abyss of their lives and have felt the pain of losing everything.

In either case, the way they carry themselves is always impressive. I believe in the power of circumstances in making one stronger. Most people feel a point of absolute low in their lives before they turn 20. But only very few take lessons to build a sharp character around it.

Back to this person I was talking about, I think he belongs to the second category, or at-least, I hope so. This is the category which if feeds itself right, goes to create a beautiful tomorrow, both for themselves and for people around them. The key is to let a person be. If one has faced his life all by himself, as it is supposed to be, and fought his way out of it, can he assume to draw an extraordinary life. It would be wrong to assume  that financial stability or a strong family backing would ever interfere in this process. An emotional low knows no bounds and no reason. That is where one builds oneself and comes out shining as a diamond. That is where the basic instincts take a new shape and that is what excites me. It is amazing to time and again bump against such people and look up at the sky and thank the one who does this to make a person what he is supposed to be!

There is a reason why diamond shines the way it does :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

 The Story Of My AssassinsThe Story Of My Assassins by Tarun J. Tejpal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Six months after completing this book the appreciation for this writer and the work he has done has brought me back to write this review. The reasons to write this may be many but the strongest one is the fact that this author is extremely under rated.

I mean, in the world where in the name of Indian writers, we admire [Author:Arvind Adiga] and [Author:Arundhati Roy] but still a guy like [Author: Tarun Tejpal] who took the whole country with storm after his revolutionary magazine Tehelka remains under rated. It's nothing less but a shame.

The first work that I read of him The Valley of Masks was by pure accident and I never expected much from him. But after reading that book whenever someone asks me to suggest an Indian author that they can read, i can't help myself but to say "read Tejpal".

This book is unlike Adiga's The White Tiger(which won him the Booker) and Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire where the writer wants to exploit the desire of the non-Indians to see the misery and irony of a country.

Here, Tejpal gives a balance account of how the life of a poor and unfortunate Indian materializes when he lets fate take the handle of things.

The narrator in the book was planed to be attacked by 5 assassins who were handed the task to kill him. The actual attack never took place and all 5 were apprehended by the police.

Narrator is overwhelmed by the fact that he has been targeted to be assassinated with such grand a group of criminals. The hilarity and irony of the life of the narrator is captured well by the author.

The book gives us the story of all 5 culprits one by one and thus unfolds the plot of the great human tragedy. The author goes to great details to make us aware of the situation and psyche of all the 5 men.

Each story is tragic and refreshing at the same time.

After completing this one I was severely left wanting more of the author. I hope he comes out with another book soon.

By guest writer Prashant Gupta
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The OvercoatThe Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It been a long time since I saw the movie 'The Namesake'. It's a beautiful movie starring Irfan Khan and Tabu. In the movie, Irfan Khan named his son Gogol for his favorite writer and mentioned many times "The world is like Gogol's overcoat".

At that point in my life, my lack of interest in reading stifled me from finding and reading this story. Finally after so many years I came to read this and I regret so much, not have read it till now.

In this story Gogol encapsulates everything in the world related to the human desire.

The desire to acquire

The desire to hold on

The desire to control

The desire for authority

and other innate feelings that we witness in one or many different people every day.

This such a great story recommended to everyone.

Don't wonder if you find me someday standing in the corner of a room, muttering to myself "The world is like Gogol's Overcoat"!

By guest author Prashant GuptaView all his reviews

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Loving Juliet!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Guernsey is a small island in England. The story illustrates the character of a lady, Juliet through her interactions with the people of Guernsey just after the war is over. While the style of writing is in the form of letters exchanged between them, the theme revolves around how she starts living in the world of her pen friends. She goes over to the place to write her book on their book society. A very empowering story where the lady sets out to write a biography of another girl with a yet different shade of attitude, equally, if not more, appealing. This girl is characterized as someone who would either be hated or loved, but would not go unnoticed. While it may not be just to de-emphasis the significance of Gurnsey and the history shared, the main attraction point for me was the way the character of the girl unfolds. It is heart-warming to see a character coming out of pathetic past to make a mark and stick to her principles and listen to her conscience.

The sketch is unequivocal. The authors colour the scenes with the hue of their opinion. The fact that the opinion remains consistent is the main stay of the character. A character of a woman who stays where her heart is, is painted in the canvas of war, loss and struggle. A book that leaves you feeling richer!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

An emotional Indulgence

Unaccustomed EarthUnaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While I was rating the book, I asked myself again, was it the origin of the author and thus the emotions in those stories, that touched me?!

I realise however, that it would not be justified to pose a "why I liked it" before accepting that I indeed liked it enough.. so the rating..

While taking us through some wonderfully positioned(both geographically and sentimentally) places(places touched with absolute justice) the book presents the idea of our emotional plane, though affected by our origins,

removed from the geographical expanse, constrained and manipulated only by our feelings, thoughts and experiences.

The author again and again gets into the theme of loss, one way or the other. While I don't like reading sad stories, maybe I came across this book at a time when I was happy enough to let the story be just that. But I am more inclined to believe, that the story is written weaving loss as a part of our lives. That the people carry on and live despite however great their pains had been. The beauty of the stories is in the ability to balance the act of life and its opportunities despite of whatever one had to forfeit. They are not a judgement on nature's cruelty to leave us bereft of love but a factual image of how things can turn out.

Enjoyed this indulgence!

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Numbering the stars

Number the StarsNumber the Stars by Lois Lowry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Independence is a precious gift. A story of war brings back the realization multiplied to leave a sharp impact. The book emphasises on treasuring harmony while quoting from a letter written by a Danish Resistance leader a night before his execution:

" must not dream yourselves to the times before the war, but the dream for you all, young and old, must be to create an ideal of human decency, and not a narrow minded and prejudiced one.."

While reading an account of struggle captures the reader in that world, the writer I assume congratulates herself to have delivered the promise. The idea of putting a small girl at the centre of the story is not an innovative trick but to deliver that innocence, imagination, apprehension and courage in the same soft and chaste tone to appeal to the audience decides the success of the writing.

While the imaginative descriptions of the countries and locations did an excellent job in leaving behind memorable imprints, I for a moment amused myself with the thought of having learnt the entire geography through such descriptions. Then I wouldn't have feared that subject, maybe! :)

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