South of the Boarder, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

I don’t know. I just don’t know what I would write to review this book. I mean. I have heard people say you either love Murakami or you hate him, there isn’t a meh.

When I read Dance, Dance, Dance, I was in love and when I read this one, I’m not so impressed. I thought it was a waste of time.

There were deep conversations that I loved and the depth and detail of the protagonist amazes me. Just that, why a person would go through or inflict something hurtful on one self and those that one loved is not beyond me. I could actually relate to the protagonist. But my basic principles, principles on which my very being I constructed on, shook.

So I mean I have a love-hate relationship going on over here.

I mean, how strong is the writing when you hate the book and yet you relate to it and you dig the depth of the conversations and you love bits of it and you also end up feeling that this very writing is a strong impenetrable fort.

So ya, I’m confused about this book.



A post that’s of no use.

It’s never going to stop.

The rape, the abuse, the murder of innocent lives and most of all, the murder of beautiful souls.

It doesn’t affect everyone the way it should. It’s just the talk of the day and then back to normal for all those who spectate. Because we know that it can’t really be helped!

All those social media outbursts. What use are they of? This very post included. We all talk how unjust this is and do nothing about it but stare at a 46″
television set or a 9.7″ tablet or a 5.44″ smartphone. As though, our swearing under our breaths or our anger-for-just-a-day or furious FaceBook posts, or Tweeting or going live on Instagram is making those lives any better.

They say “The Pen is Mightier than the Sword.” Is today’s media doing any justice to that saying? (Nah, it was just some jobless guy’s free advice!)

The news lady talks about how a so and so public figure has or has not tweeted about his opinion of the crime at hand. And there is this red breaking news tag that flashes the photos of a child’s mangled and rotting dead body. (Hereby is feeding your curiosity.) All they seem to care about is the opinion of a government, a politician and a celebrity. What good is a tweet? What good is a FaceBook post? What good is an Instagram Live? A family just lost a child.

Oh, I’m sorry. A family did not “just” lose a child. A family lost a child mid-Jan and that exact same crime is being tried to be wiped off of the face of this God forsaken country mid-April. It’s being made a political and a religious plot. But what it is, is a brutality that is indigestible.

A snippet from Wikipedia: The headline – “Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India.” Tourist Advisories – “Rape cases against internationals have led several countries to issue travel advisories that women travellers should exercise caution when travelling in India even if they are travelling in a group; avoid hailing taxis from streets or using public transport at night, and to respect local dress codes and customs and avoid isolated areas”

What a wonderful thing to read about a country that you’ve been singing on top of your voices, the famous verses – Saare Jahaan Se Acha, Hindustan Hamara. Is it though? (Not sure about you, but my mind’s saying –  Nope. Not in a million years!)

But let’s face it. How many Nirbhayas has this country seen? How many Asifas has this country remembered? How many gang rapes has this country tolerated? How many banners has this country borne against the crime? How many such crimes were actually reported? How many police officers have committed this very heinous crime when it is their jobs to save their people from? How many politicians?

We’ll never know, will we?

The Color Purple by Alice Walker is an iconic book that spoke of a woman’s struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse over four decades – as Wiki would have it. How ironic is it that Asifa left us in purple?

I was numb all this time I wrote this note, but now there’s is a lump up my throat when as I write: The day a parent killed a newborn because it was a girl was a better day than today when a parent buries his 8-year-old girl child who suffered rape.

#Asifawearesorry #aching

A Father’s Issues and Father Issues..

There is this dad.. A father.. He lives alone. He doesn’t have a phone and most certainly not the internet. He has a bicycle which he puts to use when he writes. See, he writes letters and uses his bicycle to get to the mail box so he can post those letters. He doesn’t have a phone and most certainly doesn’t have the internet but he keeps reaching out to someone through his letters. Well, maybe he likes a quiet life. May be he likes to write letters. Maybe he is old school. One day, he got back his letters. They were addressed to Death, Time, and Love. Who writes to Death, Time and Love? I mean are we talking about a mad man here? No, we are talking about a father here. A father who lost his daughter. His 6 year old daughter to a rare form of brain cancer. Her name was Olivia. Strange. Just strange and typical of Life. Gives you something, as if you’d asked for it. You get attached to it and Bam! Takes it back. Brutal.

While this was happening, in another world, there is this daughter, 27 year old daughter, who hates her 56 year old father to bits. And aches for the father he could have been.

Again, Life is a strange mystery. So this is a letter she writes to Life. Would Life respond? Or would she get the letter back like Olivia’s dad did?

Dear Life,

Hi.. This is She. You know Her. Well you know Her better than anyone alive. You have been there. Throwing stuff at Her and to Her and grabbing it back or catching what She threw back at you. You know Her inside out. There are no secrets between you and Her. Actually, scratch that. She doesn’t have any secrets with you. But you seem to be doing a pretty good job of being a silent secret yourself and watching from the shadows. You know Her every smile and Her every tear. Let’s face it. You caused it.

And She doesn’t regret any of it save one. Just one question for you.

Just because someone gave his sperm, is he called a father?

Is it fair that someone like Olivia’s dad and She coexist in this world??

A few days later, She got her letter back with a red stamp that read “Return to sender”.

They both stared at each other. Her words at Her and She at Her words.


Haunts me.. Every time.. One of India’s greatest epics..

And I thought The Mahabharata was a touchy subject just for me. 😛 (Expecting friendly answers. No intentions of stirring a Kurukshtra. Again :P)

Okay, what I am writing might not sit well will almost everyone who has responded to the post. And I would like to apologize for the length of the post.

Bedtime stories – that’s how the obsession with the great epic started for me. Thanks to my Grandmother. It actually has a huge grip over me. I started my mythology spree with the very recent Jaya by Devdutt Pattanaik. And then it just kept continuing. As I read Jaya, when in the end Yudhishtira doesn’t even turn once to look his people as he ascended the mountain to reach swarga, I sat there with the book in my hand wondering what on earth did he do that for? From there my quiver of questions wanted to be shot (all at once at that) (Questions like The kings had a lot of wives. Why was it that only Draupadi was chosen to be wedded by all? kept me from peace). Then there came Ajaya I and II by Anand Neelakantan. That was like a boon in disguise for my mind. That for me was “perspective”. I mean the story was the same nut it justified the actions Kauravas (without the story being changed. I’m not saying there was no tweaking. But it was just tweaking and not twisting). I mean, come on I have always been told how only the Pandavas were righteous and I (being the rebel that I am) have always questioned that. And now, Yejnaseni. I am done 3/4s of the book and I have a lot of questions.

What I have always been exposed to until I read Ajaya was how good the Pandavas were. To put it right, what I have always been exposed to until I read Ajaya was how only the Pandavas were good. I mean come on, you know how there is always two sides to a coin, the Pandavas would have had their set of shortcomings. Speaking of which, the Kauravas would have had their baggage of righteousness. Correct me if I am wrong there. I am so attached to all of these characters.. Especially, Karna. And all those characters who were affected by hierarchy.

I know it is an age old story and we have no way of finding something called “fact” and I am not asking you to do that. I am so attached to all of these characters and all I am doing is stand up for people like Karna and Eklavya and the many others who had suffered in the stampede hierarchy.

This book tells me that the Pandavas did not gauge a person by the scale of caste which is why Draupadi serves the Kirats (Eklavya’s caste) food cooked in the akshayapatra and that the Pandavas and the Kirats had food together and that Arjun would remove the all the used plantain leaves.  I’d like answers for two questions in this scenario,

  1. Then why was caste always in Karna’s way? If you don’t stop injustice, it just means you support injustice. Why didn’t the Pandavas stand up for Karna like Suyodhana did during the display of prowess of Guru Drona’s disciples?
  2. Do you really think the priest Dhaumya (who was always with them) would have been in a 100 kms radius of the Pandavas if they didn’t mind of caste?

Another scenario in this book that grossed me out is this:

Obeying Kunti, (and at Yudhishtira’s insistence of securing unity amongst the brothers) Panchali had to marry the pancha Pandavas. I’d made peace with her fate and kept reading until, each and every husband of her’s except Arjuna tells her that even when she was only Arjuna’s betrothed they had all secretly desired her. How can one secretly desire one’s own brother’s betrothed and under pretenses of obeying elders to accomplish said marriage?

This rendition makes my heart heavy because I feel the author hasn’t been fair with her characters. Tweaking happens in all renditions and it is done for the story’s sake. But here, it has been tampered with for a reason and it is, in my opinion only to justify the Pandavas’ actions.

Clamouring Thoughts!

My thoughts are faster than my pen. So to put anything organized on a paper seems almost miraculous!

To rephrase that: My thoughts get interrupted faster than I can write. So to put anything intelligible on papyrus is almost a miracle!

Basically I rephrase more times than I can write the following sentence.

So ya, I am stuck.


P.S: I rephrased that like ten times and I’m like move on already!

Story of my life!

Book Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.

It’s not every day you get to read about a hundred year old protagonist. And when you do, authors like Jonas Jonasson do us the favor of making sure we have a good time.

I wouldn’t say the book was un-put-down-able. And the awesomeness of the book lies in that very fact. You don’t want the pages turned rapidly because what happens when it gets over? Of course it happens with a lot of books out there. So what way is this any different you ask? Well, that’s a tough question to answer without spoilers but I’ll try my best not to reveal anything. You have got to take your time with this one. Here is what I did. I’d read one paragraph, close the book, think about the way Jonasson has written it, laugh and read it out to my roomie and we both sit there laughing about it. Not one paragraph or two, it took 2 weeks for me to be done with the book, so you do the math.

Anything can happen in Allan Karlsson’s life and Allan Karlsson is such a positive person that he could almost put up with anything (you’ll get the “almost” part when you do the honors) or anyone or anyplace. Which in turn means he could almost survive anything or anyone or any place (Well, as long as there is vodka. Vodka – mind you. Not green banana liquor). Any-frikkin-thing. So be armed to meet a lot of people and things and places in that book peeps!..

Oh and did I mention? This book has actually brought out my love for the comedy genre which I was terrified of by the way (Because what if I don’t get the pun?? No that would be horrible. I’ll just stick to thrillers and horrors.). You keep guffawing and people, it might not annoy you as you are the one Jonasson made sure had a good time. But there are people around you who might be annoyed by that constant “he he” or “ha ha”. But that’s okay. Let the whole world go to hell! I’m reading something really really funny-precisely what Allan would say (or so I guess)!

Mel Gibson wondered.. “What Women Want.”

Sigmund Freud, a well acknowledged neurologist had once asked the question – “What do women want?”

Okay, lately, been trying to figure out that exact same thing – being a woman myself. (I know irony at its best. Lol!)

In the process, I’ve gotten in to the habit of reading a lot of articles. Some of the lines had a huge impact on me and instead of pursuing figuring out what women want, I side with my gender’s ability to drive men crazy. Oh hey, did I just say that out loud?

Right, all the articles seem to suggest in subtle lines with varying synonyms that all a woman wants is to drive men (the less-fortunate gender) crazy (of course without meaning to).

Well here are a few lines I found interesting and I had to pen my take on it. Couldn’t resist guys. Apologies in order – to my fellow female species.

Article: Women’s minds, are much more complex than men’s. Women embrace several different natures in their personality. In addition to the men’s straightforward “logical” way of thinking, they incorporate a personification of the unconscious counter-sexual image, in other words the inner man in a woman – according to the famous Carl Jung. 

I say: So you’re saying, a woman’s mind’s something like the movie Inception? Dream inside a dream inside a dream? Took me watching twice to understand, that one. That shit’s confusing, eh? All the best figuring that out peeps!


Article: “What I’m gonna share with you is simple, however it seems very counter intuitive. It doesn’t seem like it could be true. It doesn’t seem to make sense.”

I say: Er.. It’s simple but doesn’t make sense? I’m sorry but you don’t make sense. We are quiet straightforward you know. Just sense the tone buddy and you’d be fine. I’m sure you’ll get there. (Okay, now I Can Not (see – note the capital C and the capital N) stop laughing! Oh! You adorable poor lot.)


Article: “Men and women have different tests in life. A woman’s test is material and a man’s test is a woman. For example: Men have nice cars. Not coz they have nice cars but because they know women like nice cars. Coz men, men are hunters, cars, the bait and women, the victim. And a woman, comes along, “Ooh! Nice Porsche.” And he thinks, “Gotcha bitch!”

I say: You’d think that wouldn’t you? But later is when you realize that women weren’t the victim. Ha! Busted! (See, this is practice: Did you get the tone?)


So, I had fun doing the reading and trying the figuring out part at which (as you rightly guessed) I sucked big time. So this article I wrote is basically to wish our fellow species (who I rightly called the less fortunate) all the very best in getting driven crazy by the wonderful women you love!

So Mr. Freud, it was sensible of you to stop with the question and not poke around it. Good day to you sir – if you are still not all consumed by the question you’d asked (I meant if you are still alive. No I mean even if you are up there. Hey you know what? If you are up there, then you rest in peace buddy! No genders up there. Or so I guess. I wouldn’t know.)

Of Her, By Her and For Her.

Smoothing out her father’s starched white cotton shirt, handing him a packet of sugar as she always did, stood by the door waving goodbye as he left for work, was the beautiful lady in her early twenties. A father’s youngest of six – a result of which, utterly pampered. A simple life, she led. She was just done with her final exams in B.A Politics, awaiting her results. She wasn’t scared at all about her grades, why would she? She was the best in her class. She was beautiful. She was smart. She read a lot of books. She painted. She sang. An all-rounder, that’s what she was.

Eventually, it so happened that her father found her a groom! He got her married and she had moved to another place with her husband. 3 years later, she had a daughter. Her one and only daughter – the daughter who is now putting her in to words.

From even before I could take my first steps to now, every time I faltered, I knew she had my back. And what of all the stuff the woman was used to all her life that had changed, just because there was a small 3kg bundle in her hands? Willingly, at that. She chose me over all her talents. Over all the things she could have done that no doubt would have gotten her name in history, she chose to nurture me. All her priorities took one step back.

Books didn’t mean to her as much as giving me a nudge forward when I was in need did. Painting didn’t mean as much as comforting me when I was low did. Singing didn’t mean as much as my graduation did. Not anymore.

Yes, my mom, my inspiration.

Kudzu For Hangover?

Is Kudzu what I need?

So there is this witch, disguised herself a man. Brewing the most exotic of concoctions is what she does for a living. She, (or in this case to go along with her disguise should I say) he, has that ability to keep the customer enticed for as long as the concoction lasts and leave him/her to the mercy of hangover when he/she is done with it. I call myself the victim here. And as a victim, I ask Google what i would need to get out of this hangover and Google tells me that I need Kudzu.

But I’m talking about a book hangover, Google! Kudzu is an antidote for hangovers caused by alcohol!

JK Rowling AKA Robert Galbraith – Strike Series!

Book Review: Career Of Evil

Robert Galbraith’s un-put-down-able #3 Cormoran Strike thriller, Career Of Evil.

Spoiler alert. I am freely shamelessly giving out the plot because I’m super pissed.

So, the detective goes on a wild goose chase along with Robin, his partner/secretary following his hunch. He comes down to three people who might actually hold a grudge against him, so great as to send his partner/secretary, a dead woman’s right leg. Not to mention, the exact leg Cormoran’d lost as an army personnel. So that’s about 50% of the book.
The person who the protagonist is desperate to hunt down, is not totally hidden as in the case of The Cuckoo’s Calling or The Silkworm. The author gives us a taste of the culprit’s thoughts and activities. Which leads to the best part which creates this unadulterated pent up pressure of when Robin is going to be kidnapped or killed. As in, literally every second. I find the pressure going up every time she takes leave of Cormoran, be it to board the train home after work or vice versa or when she goes on to investigate or tail another live case in the plot, alone.
The way it’s written, of course, I don’t have so much as a letter to criticize JKR. She was and remains to the day, the best story teller I have known.

But I must say I’m disappointed with the plot. I was expecting something like Robin being taken hostage and Cormoran with his deduction and all that rescuing her and taking her safely to the church in Masham on her wedding to her waiting groom. I would have liked that better. The story was entirely being built up on that sort of an ending and causes pure irritation when it isn’t that.