Monday, August 12, 2013

Chit-chat with Rishi Vohra

Rishi Vohra, author of 'Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai' was kind enough to take out some time and answer a few questions.

Rishi Vohra

Rishi Vohra recently relocated back to Mumbai after completing a Green MBA from San Francisco State University and a Masters Diploma in Environmental Law, prior to which he has had a successful career in the Indian entertainment industry.
Having been a guest columnist for various newspapers in India, he currently writes for delWine and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. 

RG: How did book writing started for you?
RV: I had this character in my head and felt this pressing urge to give him a life on paper. One day, I just sat down and started writing and wrote every day, before and after work. Several months later, I had the first draft of my book in hand. At that time, I was writing for fun. The thought of trying to push it for publication came in much later.

RG: How did you get the idea for "Once Upon The Tracks of Mumbai"?
RV: I had only the character in mind and just a rough storyline. Random thoughts started hitting me while writing the book, and his story unfolded with each page.

RG: What were the challenges you faced while publishing your book?
RV: I was in California at the time of deciding to push this book for publication. I faced more challenges there than here, as literary agents abroad told me that the book "wasn't written with Western sensibilities." When I turned towards the Indian market, within a few months itself, several publishers expressed an interest to pick up the book for publication.
The book was just awarded an 'HONORABLE MENTION' in the General Fiction Category at the Hollywood Book Festival 2013, so now readers in those circles (in the U.S.) are beginning to take notice of the book.

RG: How was your reaction seeing your published work in your hands?
RV: It was like holding your newborn baby! I can't explain the feeling but I count that moment among the several moments of true happiness in my life.

RG: Any memorable moments you remember while writing this book?
RV: I was in Berkeley, California at the time. Besides UC Berkeley and its eateries, the place is known also for its thriving arts and culture scene. This made it an environment conducive to write all over the place - on the footpath, the UC Berkeley campus, coffee shops, the lawns etc. In the process, I met many artists (painters, musicians, poets, jugglers etc) and we always exchanged ideas about the kind of work we were doing. It was a learning process for me, which also encouraged me to keep at it. I learned that anything created by or done from heart will always bring you joy and that is what we should strive for rather than constantly looking for the approval of others.

RG: Are you currently working on your next?
RV: My next is ready. It's a fun ride set in Bollywood.

RG: Who is the first one to read your initial drafts?
RV: Close friends and family.

RG: When not writing, what do you usually do?
RV: I don't have a set routine, but I'm always doing something productive!

RG: How do you handle criticism?
RV: Positively. After all, criticism is always intended to steer someone in the right direction. I use it only for betterment and never take it personally.

RG: Any last words for the readers?
RV: I'll be back!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Review: Jacob Hills

It's just another evening at the Tiller's Club.

Capt. Rana, a Young Officer training at the War College, stands at the bar, deliberately avoiding his pregnant wife, Heena. Saryu, village belle-turned-modern babe, drink in hand, chats up another YO. Her husband, Maj. Vikram Singh, shoots angry glances at her. The flamboyant Lt. Col. Gary Randhawa and his wife Pam chat merrily with the senior officers - who'd guess that they lead on underground swinger couples' club?

In a corner stands Eva, the beautiful Anglo-Indian wife of Maj. George Chandy, who finds herself at the heart of a murder mystery. The murdered woman's body is covered with cigarette burns. A six-year-old girl's wrist is similarly marked. Another little girl shows signs of severe abuse.

This is Jacob Hills: and army station that houses the War College. A world of genteel conversation, smart men and graceful women. Set in the 1980's - in a country on the cusp of tradition and Westernized modernity - Jacob Hills is the story of what lies beneath the smooth veneer. It's a noxiousness the Chandys must confront if their love is to survive Jacob Hills.

About the author
Ismita Tandon Dhankher is 'A Lesser Known Poet'. Her poem, 'I am Beautiful', won a prize in the Yahoo-Dove Indibloggers contest. She's also the author of the romantic thriller Love on the rocks, released in 2011.
Ismita went to Sophia College, Ajmer, where she studied economics, history and sociology. After acquiring MBA and a brief stint in the foreign exchange division of Thomas Cook, Mumbai, she took up poetry and prose wholeheartedly.
She's currently working on The song of the Sufi Masroof, a book of photographs and poems. Ismita blogs at

The cover of the book has a 1980's look and gives an impression of a thriller/suspense type book. It is plain and simple. The synopsis doesn't really tells much about the book, but gives an introduction to the different characters.

The book is set in 1980's, in Jacob Hills, a military camp near Shimla. Being set in an Army surrounding, it gives a whole lot of detail about the ways and functioning of army, including the boss-subordinate relations, the officer's club and the officer's wives. It also shows the hard realities of women abuser, child marriage and child abortion. Only a lady author could have written the book in such a detail mentioning even the minutest detail, specially the part where officer's wives is included.

The character building is done perfectly, spending just the right amount of time describing the character. The reader is able to make an impression of the character. The narration is plain and simple, and plot is beautifully built.

One of the most interesting thing about this book is it's alternate person narrative style. Each chapter is written from the point of view from a different character which makes the book even more interesting. It helps in giving an account from the point of view of different characters, such as the abuser and the one being abused, the lover and the hater. This is the main USP of this book.

Although I did feel the ending was abrupt, and could have been better, or the author could have spent more time on it.

 On the whole, this is an short enjoyable read. Read it for it's alternating person narrative style, the army related surrounding and the character building.

Rating: 3.5/5

Book: Jacob Hills
Author: Ismita Tandon Dhankher
ISBN: 9789350296493
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Fiction/Suspense
Page: 263
Language: English

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chit-chat with Rituraj Verma

I got a chance to ask a few questions to Rituraj Verma, author of 'Love, Peace and Happiness: What more can you want?'. I am really grateful for his time and patience. 

Rituraj Verma

Rituraj Verma started his career as a mechanical engineer having cleared the IIT JEE as a fluke. He pushed his luck further and by another fluke, managed to get into Tulane University, New Orleans, for this MBA. Naturally, he switched tracks to FMCG, sales, retail, real estate, and then finally, consulting. He met his wife, Smriti, at the Indian Railways Staff College in Baroda and has always claimed that she was the lucky one, which of course, is often debated in the family.

His true calling, however, seems to be writing, and this book is an act of subconscious expression, amalgamating real life stories with fantasy in a liberating manner.

In his adventurous moments at home, he enjoys being referee to his son and daughter  Sometimes, he manages to sound tuneful when he is playing the electric guitar, though some neighbors disagree. When he is not playing the guitar, he is usually playing with his own hair on this head.

RG: At what point of time in your life did you first thought of publishing your book? What was your inspiration?
RV: That's an interesting question. A colleague of mine had just published his first book and he asked me what I had written in my college days. And the story came back to me, almost as I had written it 23 years ago. That's when I decided that I would do a book of connected short stories.

My inspiration for this book has been the angst behind the lives of people in urban settings. Stories surround us. I just wrote some of them down.

RG: What challenges did you faced while publishing your first book?
RV: There were many challenges - one of course was finding a publisher. The second was getting the book proof read and corrected in time. A third was finding a good publicist.

RG: What was your reaction when you finally had your first published work in your own hands?
RV: It was a feeling you get at the end of completing a long distance run. You know you are finished, but you could have done better.

RG: Love, Peace and Happiness, is completely different in the sense that it isn't a novel, neither a collection of short stories, it's somewhere in between that. How did you came up with that?
RV: I wanted to come up with something that was half blog half book, and could interact with readers in a meaningful way. So I decided to write this book in a completely different style. I think that the future holds promise for this genre - called Adaptive Fiction as e-readers take over. The experience of reading will take on a different complexion in the future as the devices that people read books on will remain connected to the net.

RG: What was the idea behind giving your readers the liberty to end the stories on their own will?
RV: As I wrote this book, I gave the stories to several friends who somehow seemed to interpret each story differently. Then I realized that there were many layers to each story, and I thought that each reader should be allowed to introspect and decide on how the stories should end. So I put up alternate ending on a website and gave them the option of contributing their own endings too.

RG: Any memorable moments you remember while working on this book?
RV: The fifth story in the book is a particularly poignant story, one which draws inspiration from a close friend's life. When I sent the story to my editor, she read it and sent me a message - "This is my story - How come you have written it?" I was pretty touched by her comments and I felt that I had done justice to the struggle of young women in India.

RG: Are you currently working on your next?
RV: Yes, I am. Actually I have started work on my next three books. The first is in the same genre as LPH, the second is a myth fantasy set on the day that the Manu Smriti is being written.

RG: Who is the first one to read your initial drafts?
RV: The first reader is my wife, the second my daughter and the others are close friends.

RG: When not writing books, what do you usually do?
RV: I read a lot, I like watching movies, and of course I work too.

RG: What kind of books do you usually read?
RV: I read a lot of American authors. These days I have started to read mythological fiction as the next book is a myth fantasy.

RG: Who is your favorite Indian author?
RV: I like the world created by Amish the most.

RG: How do you handle criticism?
RV: I had a tendency to over react, till I learned that it's best to soak it in and improve one self.

RG: What is your alternate occupation like?
RV: I am a real estate consultant. 

RG: One thing you would wish to change to make this world a better place to live?
RV: Literacy for all. I think that is our biggest challenge as a nation. As an author, I think more people reading will change this country.

RG: Any final words to the readers?
RV: Don't give up reading. Read something, anything on a daily basis. And don't spend too much time watching TV or surfing the net.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Review: Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai

"Autistic. Schizopherenic. Psychotic..."
'They' use these words to describe Babloo - the doctors, his family, his teachers... everyone... except Vandana. She treats him the way he wants the world to see him. 
Mumbai... the city that defines his ultimate desires. Will it allow him the love and 'normalcy' he so craves?
Vandana... yearns for a soul mate to rescue her from the confines of the Railway Colony they all live in. Is she looking in the right place?
Rail Man... a fearless, real-life hero who succeeds in doing all that Babloo secretly wishes to do... is Babloo his inspiration or.. is it the other way around?
A random twist of fate on Mumbai's endless, serpent-like, jangling local train tracks ties all these characters together in a complex weave of love, heartbreak and courage. 
Babloo draws the reader into his fascinating, heart-rending journey through the twisted, choked lanes of Mumbai, into an open space where he can finally exhale, be born again.

About the author
Rishi Vohra recently relocated back to Mumbai after completing a Green MBA from San Francisco State University and a Masters Diploma in Environmental Law, prior to which he has had a successful career in the Indian entertainment industry.
Having been a guest columnist for various newspapers in India, he currently writes for delWine and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. This is his first novel. 

They say never judge a book by it's cover. And it's said precisely for this book. On the first look, it might look like a rosy Indian Bollywood-ish love story, but trust me, it's not!

The story is about Babloo, who is suffering from autism, but the world around him fails to understand him. Everyone considers him good for nothing and is always compared with his younger sibling, who has a job; except one. Enter Vandana, somehow she finds the un-usual way of Babloo amusing and funny. 
And then there is Sikander, who is a total neighborhood playboy, who somehow uses Babloo to get to Vandana. 
Babloo wishes to do something big and different, and refuses to take the job of an office boy that his father had arranged for him. He wants to help others selflessly and become a hero. Will he be able to come out of the web of his life to achieve what he really wants? The book is about his journey. 
All of this is set into an city unexpected - Mumbai. And in a neighbourhood which values the opinion of the society to the brim. With twist and turns all through the plot and some harsh realities of the society, the setup is sure to keep you hooked till you reach the end. 

The way he book is written surely surprises me, it's not a typical Indian novel. The narration is smooth all through the book, and is sure to keep your hooked. There are elements of surprise, pinch of humor, realities of how the society works, and a man who wants to be good, so that he can be with his love of life. This book won't disappoint you, and is worth every penny spent. You are sure to have a good time reading it. 

Rating: 3/5

Book: Once Upon The Tracks of Mumbai
Author: Rishi Vohra
ISBN: 97881849553053
Publisher: Jaico Books
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 266
Language: English
The author can be reached at his official website.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review: Tantra

Tantra by Adi
Anu is a leather wearing, no-nonsense professional guardian with a reputation for killing the most dangerous vampires in New York City. But when her enemies murder the one person she truly cared about, all she wants is vengeance. The only clue points to New Delhi, so Anu puts in for a job transfer.

In India, she finds more than she expected. For one thing, her fellow operatives have made a truce with the vampires.

For another, it's way too hot to wear leather.

At first, it seems Anu's biggest challenge will be evading the nice boys her aunt wants her to marry. But when children start disappearing, she discovers forces older and darker than anything she's faced before. All of Delhi is in danger, especially the sexy stranger who sets Anu's pulse racing.

To prepare for the coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt.

About the author
Adi grew up reading fiction books by flashlight, hiding under the covers, pretending to be asleep. While it would certainly affect his academic life the next day, he did go on to get degrees from Stanford University and Harvard University, so it was not at all bad.
Somewhere along the line, a poetry book and a minor textbook were published. He wishes he could withdraw all copies of said poetry book from the market. At the time, it was poignant, but now it's just embarrassing.
He's always given more credit for his successes in life to those late-night reading habit of years ago than to the high-school academics he trudged through, and he yearned to write one of those books himself.
Deeply impressed by the vast religious history of India, he could not help but pick this topic for his first novel.

You know the saying never judge a book by it's cover? Well, that is completely applicable in this case. While the cover is way too immature and shabbily designed, the content inside will not disappoint you. The good thing is the author realized this fact, and has a contest running up to design his new cover.

The book is about Anu, a professional guardian who keeps the vampires of the city at bay. However, this makes her closed ones at risk, when finally the vampires takes over the only person she cared of. Seeking vengeance, she makes her way to India. Assessing the situation here, she realizes it is a lot different from what was back there in New York City. As she digs deeper, she reveals the deep dark secrets of how the vampire community in this new place works. But soon she realizes her real enemy isn't actually the vampire community, but someone even worse than that, who is a lot more powerful from the vampires, whom to kill would take a lot more than the ceramic blades. 
Enter Dr. Sharma and Pandit Grover, who help her de-mystify the secrets of Senaka, her enemy. She soon realizes that his weapons is less of physical, but more of spiritual, the power of tantra. She now has to dig down deep into the old sanskrit texts to look for a weapon to face Senaka, the sattvic way. This would mean, she has to go beyond her capabilities, master the skills of something which hasn't been used in years and realize her potential to the fullest, within the limited time!

The book is total page turner. Great narration, in a complete flow, with a pinch of humor, this book is sure to hook you up. You are sure to enjoy your time with this book, and would just wish to reach the last page of the book, to know how the mystery unveils itself.
However, I do feel at some places the description was un-necessary and that the author tried to spoon-feed a point or two. A lot of questions were left un-answered, and so I feel we can expect a sequel to this.

On the whole, the book is sure to give you a great time. Buy it, read it, enjoy it!

Rating: 3.5/5

Book: Tantra
Author: Adi
ISBN: 9788190863629
Publisher: Apeejay Stya Publishing
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 335
Language: English

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Women on Platform Number 10

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton; the thirty-seventh edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be a part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "The woman on platform number 10"

It's not that this was happening for the first time, but today was different. It went past that threshold value, and so finally Jay decided to run away from his house. He left the house, on his toes, making sure no one from his family comes to know about it. His house was at a walk-able distance from the railway station. He had heard from his friends, whose elder brothers had gone to Mumbai and were now independent and earning. And so he thought of going to Mumbai, away from his house, away from this mess. 

He ran with all his might, crying, till he reached the railway station. He saw the railway information board, and noted the next train to Mumbai leaves in another 3 hours from platform number 10. 
He went to the platform number 10. There were not many people there, considering it was a small town, and the odd hour. He sat on an empty bench, crying. Most of the shop vendors were closed. He was all alone there, except those dogs who were looking for something to eat. He cried for a while, till suddenly he felt warmth on his shoulder. He looked up and saw a women sitting beside him. He never noticed when she had come and sat there. 
There was something really special about this women. He could feel the sudden change in the atmosphere. He could feel the positivity which had been missing all this while. Her smile had the aura to evade any worries around her, no matter it's magnitude. He somehow felt better around her. 

W: What happened? Why are you crying?
Jay: Who are you?
W: That isn't important, my boy! Tell me, what happened to you?
Jay: I am running away from my home, I'll go to Mumbai, and earn and be independent so that I don't have to go to home again.
W: Why do you want to leave your home? 
Jay: Every single day, my father drinks alcohol, and then comes back to home and beat my mother. They both yell at each other, use bad words. And then my fathers beats her even more. They tell me to go to a different room, but their voices isn't stopped by the walls. Since I'm their only child, I get very scared. Once I tried stopping them, but that went in vain and my father started beating me instead. And then later my mother scolded me for intervening in between them.  Since then I didn't do anything to stop them. I just hid behind the door, crying, wishing everyday that some angel would and save us from my father. But I don't think that is ever going to happen, so I'm running away from them. Once and for all.
W: But that isn't going to stop the problem, right? He is still going to beat your mother everyday. Don't you think you should do something to stop them?
Jay: Yeah, but what can I do? I tried already what I could. 
W: Let me talk to your mother once, bring her here tomorrow in the afternoon.
Jay: She wouldn't come. What should I say to her?
W: Just bring her here, say anything, just bring her here anyhow. I'll surely sort out this mess for you. But for now, you must go back to your home and sleep. And be a strong boy, you shouldn't cry.
Jay: I think you are right. I'll go back to my home. Thank you.

Jay somehow felt good. It was a strange feeling, but he felt better, after a really really long time. He felt that everything is going to be good now. He was now all determined to sort this mess, instead of running away from it. So, he slept that night. 
In the morning, he was faced by another challenge. To somehow get her mother to the railway station. 
He thought of faking it and told her that she needs to receive some relatives. She somehow believed him. He didn't expected her to believe him so easily, but he was relieved. He had faith in that lady he met a day before. 

Upon reaching the railways station, Jay saw that women. Seeing her, he blurted out the truth. At first, his mother was angry on him, but somehow the aura that unknown woman had made her anger vanish in no time. 
W: Jay told me everything. He was about to run away to Mumbai, I stopped him.
M: WHAT? Really? Oh god, thank you so much. It's just that...
W: I know everything, I am just here to help you.
M:  But who are you?
W: That isn't necessary. What is necessary is to stop what is happening with you.

The woman instructed Jay's mother a bunch of things and told her to do as she said. She reassured her that everything is going to be alright. 

Later that day, as usual, Jay's dad entered the house, drunk. Seeing his wife, he started his usual routine. As soon as Jay saw his father had started to beat his mother, he dialed a number from the mobile phone the woman had gave him. Instantly, the door bell rang. When my mother went to see who rang the bell, as expected, there was no one. She went back, and the heinous act of his father continued. Again, the bell rang, and just like before, there was no one on the door. This went on for another couple of times, when his father really lost it, and went himself to see who was on the door. All he saw were two men with Bell Bajao written on their cap. This outraged the father even more, he slammed the door, and blurted out all his anger on the mother. More than what he was doing previously. This really scared Jay. He saw his father angry every single day, but not to this extent. 
Suddenly, the door bell began to ring. This time more frequently. Again and again. His father ignored it, and continued beating his wife. Finally, with a loud thud, the door broke open. Men in khakhi uniform stood at the other side of the road, with handcuffs in their hand waiting to be binded to someone. 

The father was arrested and was taken to police station. He was charged of domestic violence and was sentenced to prison for a really long time. 
This meant Jay and his mother could now live in peace. It was almost a dream come to true for him, for he had wished only one thing, every single day, for the past 2 years. 
He then saw the woman. 
Jay: Thank you so much. All my worries have gone. All thanks to you. I've really cleared this mess. But who really are you?
W: Remember you had always wished for an angel to come to save you from this mess?
He heard his mother calling out him, he turned his head in other direction, by the time he turned back to his original position, there was no one. It was like someone had vanished. 
He then realized, his wish had finally come true, he had met the angel of his life. "Truth is stranger than fiction", he thought.
That night, he and his mother had a peaceful sleep after a really really long time. 

Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is a pattern of coercive behavior that is used by one person to gain power and control over another. It may include the use of physical and sexual violence, verbal and emotional abuse, stalking and economic abuse. Sexual, emotional and psychological intimidation may also occur.
Every year, many men and woman become a victim of domestic violence. If you are a victim, or if you know anyone who is, then raise your voice, report it at the first sign of it. 
If anything happens infront of you, then don't forget to Ring the Bell!

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this blog- a-ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be a part of the next edition, visit and follow Blog-a-Ton.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


So, you're just sitting in the middle of the night, thinking about the long list of things you want to do on your weekend, and then you realize what you actually need to do. Clear up the backlogs. Yeah, that's right!
I never fail to delay such posts. And so, continuing the tradition, here I am again, coming up with something what I should have done quite a few months ago! 

Yeah, it's an AWARD POST, and you know what that means!
I've been nominated for the Liebster Award! Yay!! 
Even though this might not be my first award, but believe me the excitement is still the same. I'm thrilled everytime to see such nominations! 

What more? Not one, but three people nominated me this time. Leo, Priya and Ayushi. Thank you all of you for considering me for this thing! 

But every award comes up with it's own set of rules, and this is no exception. So let's have a look.

1. Post 11 things about yourself.
2. Answer 11 questions set by the nominator.
3. Choose 11 deserving bloggers 
4. Set 11 questions for them.
5. Let them know about it.

Okay, 11 random things about me. This is seriously the most difficult part, cause I don't really know what to say. But I'll try my best!

1. I generally prefer working till late in the night, cause there is no one to disturb you at that odd hour.

2. My parents still buy my clothes. I just can't do that. 

3. I saw Batman series for the first time just 2 days ago. (I know this is surely going to raise a few eyebrows) 

4. I'm not really fond of the super-hero-types movies. 

5. In classrooms, I sleep more than I write.

6. I've developed a new interest into this thing called Quora. Go check it out! 

7. Recently I've started liking the Reggae fusion genre.

8. I recently developed an interest in playing computer games, after nearly 4 years!

9. Being a salesman isn't that easy, and I've learned it the hard way! 

10. I seriously have no interest in the ongoing IPL. (Read further here)

11. I love the Bangalore weather! 

 Answers to Leo's 11 questions.

Q. Once place abroad you'd love to visit, and why?
A. This definitely has to be some not-yet-discovered islands in the pacific ocean. Simply because it's sure to have mesmerizing landscapes, breathtaking views, and yeah, the most important - PEACE!

Q. Your favourite fiction novel and why?
A. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. The way he blend facts into fiction simply amazes me!

Q. One thing you'd love to change in your personality, and why?
A. Umm.. not sure. I'd rather be the way I am. 

Q. Which would you prefer to play, indoor or outdoor?
A. A blend of both, actually!

Q. Who'd you say is your role model, and why?
A. Well, to be honest, I try to achieve excellence in everything I do. If I play cricket, my role model would be Sachin, if I teach, I'd want to teach like Feynman and so on... So basically, If I'd want to be good at something, I'd consider the best in that field as my role model.

Q. One thing you wish people would stop pestering you about?
A. The latest gossips. That's a complete waste of time for me.

Q. One dream of yours which has already come true?
A. There are so many little dreams that come true everyday!

Q. A rose in the bouquet or in the garden?
A. In the garden. That way it's aura can be felt for a longer time, and by many others.

Q. A name you like the most (other than your own)?
A. Names actually interests me a lot. I always have the interest to know the meaning of the names of the people I meet. I believe a person is a lot similar in nature to what his/her name actually means. There isn't a single name that I like, but yeah, many names intrigue me. 

Q. If you were to rename your blog, what'd you name it as and why?
A.  I don't know actually. Naming it once was a tough task, I have no idea what amount of time it would take to rename it! 

Q. One honest opinion about my blog?
A. Honest.. Okay! I'm not really a fan of Haiku (and I don't blame you for that, the fault is actually mine), but I do like your other posts. Going through your blog, it's hard to filter out those other posts. I guess, you should use labels and categorize your posts so it's easier for people like me! :)

Answers to Priya's 11 questions.

Q. Which is your favourite movie and why?
A. Schlinder's List (1993). The only movie which bought me near to crying.

Q. A career option you'd never opt for and why?
A. Surgeon. I can't see other's blood.

Q. Is it better to be born rich than to be talented?
A. A big NO!

Q. A book you wish had never ended.
A. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell 

Q. What upsets you the most?
A. Seeing someone else upset. And what makes me more upset? Seeing someone else upset and the reason being me!

Q. What is your greatest phobia?
A. Crawlers and other creepy insects!

Q. What is the craziest thing you would ever want to try?
A. As of now, wedding crash!

Q. What is your idea of a perfect weekend?
A. When at the end of it, you realize that all you work is done, and you feel like you haven't worked at all. And that you're ready to face the week ahead again!

Q. Why did you start blogging?
A. Just because I saw this option in the services that Google offered - Blogger. (Read further here)

Q. What is the one word/one line that comes to your mind when I say the following:
rain - big window, smell of wet mud, pakodas, coffee
pizza - home-made > everything else
books - give me some mooooooooorree
hate - why?

Q. And finally - Vampire Diaries or Prison Break?
A. I haven't seen Vampire Diaries, and I'm not a fan of vampire related stuffs, and that I really liked Prison Break, so it's gonna be the latter! 

Answers to Ayushi's 11 questions.

Q. What is the meaning of your name? Do you believe you are living upto it?
A. It means scholar. Well, I'd leave the second part for the people around me to answer!

Q. What moment do you wish to live again and again?
A. Childhood. 

Q. Are you happy with your profession, if yes, why? If not, what would you want to be?
A. I'm still a student, and you don't have much choice when it comes to that. But yeah, I do enjoy what I learn.

Q. In what other way do you help poor apart from giving money?
A. The only difference between them and me would probably be money. Making them realize that money isn't actually a criteria to form groups in a society, and for once, getting close to them, leaving all the money matters behind.

Q. What one thing would you want to vanish from this world?
A. Money. Think about it, bringing back the bater system! 

Q. What do you hate most about online social networking?
A. People who use it for the purpose it isn't meant to be. 

Q. Any celebrity you'd want to date and why?
A. Umm.. No!

Q. If given a change to exchange lives with anyone in this world, who will that person be and why?
A. President of the country, as I'll have the supreme power in the whole country, and I belive I'd put that power to good use.

Q. Which possession of yours you can't tolerate to be touched by others?
A. Mobile Phone

Q. Define yourself in four words. 
A. I'm a human being.

11 people I'd like to nominate

1. Kirti
2. Avik
3. Ankita
4. Prakhar
5. Harshal
6. Shesha
7. Sushmita
8. Diksha
9. Pooja
10. Ratika
11. Vineet

Now it's my turn to bombard 11 people with some questions. *evil laugh*
So, here I go.

1. What does your name mean?  
2. What is your ideal holiday destination like, and why?
3. If you had a genie right infront of you, and that he would grant just one wish of yours, what would it be?
4. What according to you is one thing that could change the present situation of the country?
5. What is God to you?
6. Before you die, I want to... ?
7. Blogger or Wordpress?
8. What would you like to be re-born as? (except humans)
9. One  thing in your life you wish you could just "delete".
10. What would your alternate occupation be? Or how would you like to spend the rest of your life?
11. What is your honest opinion about my blog?

Looking forward to your posts! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ten Reasons why I like IPL











PS: Well, yeah, those are the ten reasons why I like IPL. Initially, I thought of Ten Reasons why I dislike IPL, but then I realized why waste my and your time when I can easily express my views this way! 

Friday, March 29, 2013


Okay, I don't know where to start from. There is something really creepy going on with me these days. It keeps hovering around me, always. And just when I think it's gone, BOOM it makes it's presence felt again. I don't know how it got to me. I don't know for how long it's going to be there with me. I don't know how to get rid of it. It's just there with me, always, even when I'm all alone.

Who - Don't know; Can't be seen
Why - Not known
When - Anytime 
Where - Everywhere
Till when - Looks like forever

It has now reached to such a level, that I'm talking about it here also. It left me with no options. I mean, literally, anywhere and everywhere I have to bear with it. It wasn't like this before. I'm seeing more of it these days, more than ever before. 

Oh, you look confused? Wait, let me show you something.

For those who don't know, I'm second from right.

This is one of my photos taken last year. I'm the guy third from left. Yeah, the same guy who looks like he is constipated, and has seen something really disturbing and is agitated to god-knows-what-extent. 
It's this jinx I'm talking of - a camera. I don't know what happens to me when a camera sees me. I mean, just look at the picture, anyone would suggest I'm not mentally fit to live in this world with that photo. 
And mind you this is not once-a-time thing, it happens every single time, not matter what the place is, what time of day is, or when that street dog pooped. Every single time.

And what am I doing here? Looking at his arm pits? What a timing!

Is it me or the camera angle?

*No Comments*

Why is his hand higher than mine?

I mean I get caught in the most randomest of my expressions.

Just when I thought, everything is perfect, the location, the pose, guess what? The camera refused to behave properly!

And just when I was really close in getting a good group photograph, BAMB! Someone comes infront of me, just before that click!

Sometimes it's the expression, sometimes it's someone else. This time it's the light!

What more? I have really cool friends who think they can take this to the next level! 

<< Well, actually I don't mind that. Cause that in a way makes me look less-bad >>

But hey, I wasn't like this since the beginning.

Yeah right, that's me too! The same me who now looks like he's always constipated!

And for those who know me well, would know that in the recent times the camera has been kind to me only once, and that that very picture has the "privalage" of being my display pic for, say, some past 4-5 years. 

I simply don't understand what kind of bad karma one has to do to piss off a camera.

But one thing is for sure, the camera jinx is gonna have a tough time fighting with me. Cause I won't let loose this early. I'll give a good fight! *evil laugh*

Or all I need is a good photographer?

Anyway, I'll let you guys leave while me and my monkey ponder upon our next move to tackle this jinx!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: Love, Peace & Happiness

Love, Peace & Happiness: What more can you want?
Stories surround us. Stories about people like us who make difficult and often complex choices that sometimes astound us. You must have come across some people in your own life who closely resemble the characters in these stories. Maybe you have gone through trying moments in your life too.

For instance, have you ever been bugged enough with your partner to want to leave? Have you ever had to choose between love and money? Have you ever had to compete with your partner? Have you ever felt that your family weighs you down when it comes to choosing your partner?

At times like these, haven't you wished that things happened differently and that you could change how they ended?

Now you will control how the stories in this book end.

Each story centers on the life of an urban middle class character caught in a set of circumstances beyond his or her control. A Hindu girl living in with a Muslim boy is suddenly in the glare of global media in a reality TV show, a divorced cynical man faces the prospect of committing himself to a prostitute, a highly talented small town girl must choose between life and death. All must resolve the conflicts within their beliefs.

Read the way the stories end in the book, but if you don't agree with the ending, visit the website for alternate endings.

If you don't like the way the stories end there either, write your own, and if your ending is selected, see it print in the next print run with your name in the acknowledgement.

Hoping to change the world, one story at a time...

About the author:
Rituraj Verma

Rituraj Verma started his career as a mechanical engineer having cleared the IIT JEE as a fluke. He pushed his luck further and by another fluke, managed to get into Tulane University, New Orleans, for this MBA. Naturally, he switched tracks to FMCG, sales, retail, real estate, and then finally, consulting. He met his wife, Smriti, at the Indian Railways Staff College in Baroda and has always claimed that she was the lucky one, which of course, is often debated in the family.

His true calling, however, seems to be writing, and this book is an act of subconscious expression, amalgamating real life stories with fantasy in a liberating manner.

In his adventurous moments at home, he enjoys being referee to his son and daughter  Sometimes, he manages to sound tuneful when he is playing the electric guitar, though some neighbors disagree. When he is not playing the guitar, he is usually playing with his own hair on this head.

First of all, this isn't an easy book to review. Cause it's not a straight forward novel with a plot. Neither it's a collection of short stories. It's something of it's own, a collection of inter-related short stories!

The book is a collection of nine short stories, which are all related in a way. The author tries to bring out all kinds of beliefs through the various characters in the stories, and put them through various real life situations; their reactions, justifications and outcomes of these familiar real life situations is what is worth reading in this book.
Through the various characters in these short stories, various ways of thinking is portrayed to which you can relate to among your friends, relatives or even yourself.
All this, with strong characterization and flawless way of writing from the author makes this book worth a read. This book is sure to touch you in some way or the other, bringing back old memories. If not, you are sure to learn something from this book, something very personal, which is going to be with your for the rest of your life. This book is not an easy read, not at all. Each story is short enough to be completed in a couple of minutes, but what's nice is that it leaves a deep impact on you, and makes you think about the various beliefs of these characters and introspect yourself. I think this experience is the main USP of the book.

What more? The author never tries to force you to the end of the stories, you can always go to the website, and come up with your own ending!

Rating: 3.5/5

Book: Love, Peace & Happiness: What more can you want?
Author: Rituraj Verma
ISBN: 9789381836347
Publisher: Jufic Books
Pages: 223
Genre: Fiction
Language: English

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review: When The Signal Turns Red

When The Signal Turns Red

Girish and Prajakta are in love. Very soon Girish will be joining the numero uno IT company of the country. He prepares himself by buying expensive clothes and other accessories he had always dreamed of. He and Prajakta have together planned to build on a good bank balance and then meet each others families to talk about marriage, probably after a year or two. Unexpectedly, the families get involved before Girish can join the IT company. Against all odds, the couple managed to convince their family and an engagement date is fixed. But destiny has other things in mind. A global catastrophe mars their plan which leads to the engagement getting annulled.

Will Girish find a way out of this predicament? Will he ultimately win Prajakta's hand or will he move on in life, learning to live without her?

About the Author:

Jayanand Ukey

Jayanand Ukey works for an IT company and is also a freelance journalist and blogger. He has a computer engineering degree from VESIT, Mumbai University. In a career spanning a decade, he has kept his hobby alive by writing three books. This book is his first published work. Jayanand lives in Mumbai with his family.
To know more about the author, visit him at or email him at

The cover of the book gives a fairly good idea about the theme of the book. A couple along with an old man shows the book is about a couple in love and somehow the story is linked to his/her father. It is simple and to the point, which is good.

The book is about two freshly-out-of-the-college couples, Girish and Prajakta. Both are placed into the top IT companies and are now planning to take their college love to the next level. Now that they had their jobs in their hand, they plan to talk to their families about their love. But something unexpected happens, and their parents come to know about their hidden love. 
Against all odds, the parents agrees to get their children engaged, one week after their joining date of their job. However, just a week before, job offers of both, Girish and Prajakta are withdrawn due to the on-going economic recession. And subsequently, the engagement is called off.
How the male protagonist leads the story to an happy ending by getting married to his love, is what this story is all about. 

The book is written in simple english, which is very easy to read. The narration is commendable which makes you want to keep on reading till you reach the conclusion of the story. During your read, you'll always think of what will happen next. And at times the author tries to keep the suspense up.

However, this book fails to impress you at the end. Certainly, you are happy to know the conclusion, but it fails to hook you up. This is more of an grandmother-told story which you listen to. There is nothing new in the plot, and is fairly guess-able at each step.

Nevertheless, this book is surely a one time read. You would not feel bored, but you can't expect a mind-blowing time. Read it if you're looking for a short read and don't want to spend your time too much. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Book: When The Signals Turns Red
Author: Jayanand Ukey
ISBN: 9788180460852
Publisher: Alchemy Publishers
Pages: 198
Genre: Fiction
Language: English

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review: RIP

RIP - by Mukul Deva

RIP - The Resurgent Indian Patriots
Self-appointed guardians of a nation seething with anger at the endless scams and scandals rocking its very foundation. Vigilantes who vow to stop corrupt politicians and colluding civil servants.
Even if it means killing them. 

Colonel Krishna Athawale and his team of Special Forces officers rally to protect the country from the enemy within. They call themselves the K-Team. And no one is safe from their deadly intent. 

Hell bent on stopping them is Raghav Bhagat, rogue para commando, gun for hire and Krishna's bete noire.

Caught in the crossfire is Vinod Bedi, Special Director, CBI.
Reena Bhagat, a glamorous news anchor, embittered by her husband's betrayal. And two young boys, Sachin and Azaan, torn apart by the loss of a parent.

About the Author
An alumnus of La Martiniere College, Lucknow, the National Defence Academy, Pune and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Mukul Deva was commissioned in December 1981 into the Sikh Light Infatry of the Indian Army. He took early retirement from the army after fifteen years of service  including a decade of combat operations in India and overseas. Now settled in Singapore, he is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and an executive, business and creativity coach. He is also a Mentor on the United Nations Institute of Training and Research Afghanistan Fellowship.

Mukul Deva
The cover of the book is appealing and is sure to catch your attention at a book store among others. It is very thoughtful and apt to the story. The red and the orange tint, depicting the rage and anger, a soldier with a gun, leading it's country to a new horizon in the background. 
The book is a page turner in it's true sense. You are so engrossed in the book, that you don't even pay attention to the page number, till you realize the book has come to it's end. Whether you are a slow reader, or a fast one, you'll definitely want to complete this in one go.

A team of five ex-commandos, who call themselves the K-Team as everyone's name starts with a 'K', Krishna, Kamlesh, Kashif, Kevin, Karan and Kulwant, are a bunch of hardcore patriots who are set to bring justice to the country and punish the culprit. 
The story starts with 3 murders, each having charges of corruption on them. The responsibility is taken by RIP, and they openly warn the government to murder 3 more people in the coming 3 days if their demands, to put the guilty behind bars and to bring better laws to prevent such things in future, is not met. 
Home minister Karunakaran, who himself is involved in many such cases, will stop the RIP at any costs. Special Director of CBI, Vinod Bedi is called up, to stop them. But for the fear of them being caught alive, Raghav Bhagat, an ex-para commando is hired to take the RIP down before the CBI gets their hand on them.
It's a heart throbbing tale of three groups who would do anything to get the job done with a lot at stake. 

The best thing about the book is its familiarity with the real world incidents in the past. The recent scams and cases could all be related to in this book. Even some of the characters. With the right message for politicians and the citizens, this emotionally charged thriller with flawless narration makes this is a book worth reading. Go grab your copy, this book ought to be in your bookshelves! 

Rating: 4/5

Book: RIP
Author: Mukul Deva
ISBN: 9382618198
Publisher: Westland
Pages: 298
Genre: Fiction
Language: English

Mukul Deva can be found at his official website, here.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at