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Showing posts from September, 2018

Book Review: The Tiger in the Tunnel by Ruskin Bond

The Tiger in the Tunnel by Ruskin Bond is a short story about doing duty with courage and valour. In this story, we see Baldeo and his son Tembu. They hail from a tribal village in North India, where Baldeo’s wife and daughter lives. Baldeo and his son live in a small hut nearby a tunnel where the overland trains pass by. In the village, they have a small piece of land on which they grow some crops but it is never suffice to fill their bellies. So as to lessen the burden of financial constraint on the family, Baldeo has taken a job of a tunnel guard. His duty is to make sure that the tunnel is clear off the obstacles before trains pass through it. He is stationed at that tunnel which is located in the hills and surrounded by dense forest from both sides where wild animals often create havoc.

At the same time rumours have that a man-eating tiger has killed many humans in and around the tunnel. Like every other night, one night Baldeo picks up his lantern and a small axe in his hand an…

Book Review: Wavy Bob by Sameer Suryakant Kulkarni

Wavy Bob by Sameer Suryakant Kulkarni is an incredible novel about an Indian IT professional named Ketan. Yes, you can say that this is a story of Ketan, but we also see some other characters with auxiliary importance. Ketan, around thirty-years old, lives in Pune while working for an IT company over seven years.

As you advance into the story, you will get to know that Ketan is not a normal guy – he is way different than other ambitious people working in the IT industry, because of the reasons like he is uncharacteristically impulsive and always lives in fear of insecurities. But despite all, he is a way honest and hardworking guy and people around him appreciate him for this virtue, even his organization. The characterization of Ketan is fully developed and the great thing is that he doesn’t sound like a larger-than-life character. Thus, this aspect makes this novel very relevant and contemporary with respect to current time.
Let’s discuss how we got the title of the book – Wavy Bob…

Book Review: The Last Truck Ride by Ruskin Bond

The Last Truck Ride by Ruskin Bond is a short story about a truck driver Pritam and his assistant Nathu. Pritam is a fifty-year-old Sikh man; he drives a rickety truck on the mountains. He makes two trips every day and carries limestone quarries from the blasting site to the depot at the bottom of the hill. Nathu is around twelve years old; he is from a far-away hilly village, because of poverty and scanty resources at his village he’s come to the town to work so that he can run his family that lives in the village.

Nathu is working for Pritam for over six months, at the wage of ten rupees per day. Pritam’s two sons live in Punjab and he will retire soon to live with them in Punjab. Pritam is a fast and reckless driver despite knowing that the roads in the mountains are tumultuous and narrow and curved. Nathu often talks about his poverty and village life and nature there. Nathu has a walnut tree before his home in his village and that tree gives two baskets full of walnuts every yea…

Book Review: The Eyes Have It by Ruskin Bond

This is a very popular story by Ruskin Bond about two blind persons who happen to meet on a short train journey. The story is a great example of irony as both persons, a young man and a young girl, are blind but they show as they aren’t. This story is also known by other names like – The Girl on the Train and The Eyes are not Here

The narrator is a young man – he was alone in the compartment till Rohana, well then a young woman boards the train and with her comes her parents who instruct her what to do and what not to do while traveling on a train. As the train chugs out of the station, the young man sitting opposite her by the window side strikes conversation with her. She politely replies to all his questions and he shows off as he is not a blind chap.
First they talk about nature and the young man in between compliments that she has a beautiful face. Upon this the girl says that this is a very common remark she often gets. The train is bound for Dehradun. The girl says that she …

Book Review: One Precious Moment by Ritu Kakar

One Precious Moment by Ritu Kakar is a terrific novella about love and loss. Most of the time we cherish thinking about our bygone days, best days and childhood days of life through memory lanes; on the other hand, there are some life-changing moments that change our lives so drastically that we either shudder or mesmerize thinking about those moments. In a nutshell, these precious moments either make or break our lives.

One Precious Moment is initially a love story but with time it gets transformed into a ‘one-character fight’ novel. We see that Mira is a college going girl, residing in Lower Parel in Mumbai with her parents. And there is this handsome guy Rahul Singh, an IT professional living in Mahalaxmi. They both travel by local trains. Though Mira is a college student and Rahul a working professional, they fall in love gradually. Their love story commences from railway stations and they typically fall for each other while travelling on local trains every day. According to Mira…

Book Review: Tarikshir (The Awakening) by Khayaal Patel

Tarikshir is the first novel by Khayaal Patel and it looks like that he’s nailed his position as a prolific writer in the Indian literature arena, with the results already out. He now stands out from warts-and-all sort, because words are out that he is a promising writer. Why? Well, there are many reasons that you get to believe after reading the novel. Though, the foremost is blending of three genres into one powerful plot. Another great aspect is that the way, it sounds subtly, author has transformed one era to another or one genre into next one is commendable. So, broadly putting Tarikshir by the debut author Khayaal Patel is a heady mixture of mythological, historical and fantasy. Hurray three into one!

The story commences with Valikesh, a gibbon from Hanuman’s army. After the final war of the Ramayana with Rama as a winner, the monkey army of Hanuman is taking rounds in the kingdom of Ravana. Valikesh has joined the army to plunder the treasure after the war and is busy collecti…

Poem Summary: A Photograph by Shirley Toulson

A Photograph by Shirley Toulson is a heart-touching short poem about memories that we gather in our lives. Certainly we have no hold over time-span of our life but we can bring alive reminisces of bygone time through pictures and photographs. This poem is based on the similar lines. Let’s understand this poem briefly, stanza by stanza.


The cardboard shows me how it was When the two girl cousins went paddling Each one holding one of my mother’s hands, And she the big girl – some twelve years or so.
In the first stanza, the poet is referring the photograph as a cardboard. The photograph has three girls, the bigger one is the poet’s mother, and other two small girls are her mother’s cousin. The small girls are holding the hands of her mother. And that time, according to the image in the photo, her mother was around twelve years old. All three stood still to smile through their hair At the uncle with the camera, a sweet face My mother’s, that was before I was born And the sea, which appears to ha…

Book Review: The Great Train Journey by Ruskin Bond

The Great Train Journey by Ruskin Bond is a collection of fourteen short stories. The theme of the book is to find back ‘Time to Stand and Stare’. The author says that once there used to be plenty of time when children would spend their time around trains and railway tracks and railway stations. Well, nowadays this all seems a thing of difficulty because people of today hardly have any time to stand and stare anything that fascinates them.

This collection is marvelous in its form because all fourteen stories in this book are about trains i.e. train watching, traveling on train, walking on the tracks, and so on. The author has compiled short stories in some way or the other that they revolve around the trains and railway stations of small-town India. The stories are so powerful and engaging that they will take you back to a time when life was not so full of care and there was time to stand and stare. But not for too long, or the train would leave without you!
The title story – The Gre…

Book Review: The Tiger King by Kalki

The Tiger King by Kalki is a story of a Maharaja who goes on to kill hundred tigers in order to change his fate. But will he succeed, let’s see.

The Maharaja of Pratibandapuram is known as tiger king because he was born as a special child. And when he was just 10 days old, he was speaking like a grown-up child, and that time he asked the astrologer about his future, who said since the king was born during the bull hour, hence he will be killed by the hundredth tiger. The boy was raised like a normal prince and everything looked normal and fine. But one day when he turned 20 and crowned as the king of Pratibandapuram, talks of his fate reach to him. As per prediction if he managed to kill hundred tigers then he is safe. So leaving all other work, he decides to kill hundred tigers to safeguard himself and after that he will look into the other matters of the state.
Soon it’s announced that no man from his state will hunt the tigers, and if anyone found guilty then their property will b…

Book Review: Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra by Ruskin Bond

Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra by Ruskin Bond is a collection of fourteen soulful stories. The main theme in most of the short stories is homecoming. For example in Escape from Java, Ruskin narrates the tale of escaping from an island which is soon to be acquired by Japanese and he and his father being British, need to do something on urgent basis to escape from that dangerous island. As they start their journey on a rickety aero-plane, soon it crashes into the sea and after that how Ruskin and his father struggle for survival fills the rest of the story. In the end, they somehow reach Dehradun and feel at peace.

Well in some stories Ruskin has talked about his father and family that used to live in Dehra probably when India was ruled by the British. In the stories, that are staged around Dehra, Mussoorie and Fosterganj, you will find that Ruskin has talked about his cottage, people living in them and the overall day to day life of hilly people. For instance one touching story about a…

Author Highlight: Rajesh Iyer Discusses his New Book ‘Spinner of the Twisted Tale’ and Stories from his Life

We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Rajesh – the author of ‘Spinner of the Twisted Tale’. In this interview, Rajesh talks about his writing aspirations, the route to getting his book published, and his inclination towards storytelling. Stay on...while we chat with him.
What motivates you to write and how long have you been writing? I’ve been writing for over two decades now; as a scriptwriter for TV series, newspaper and magazine articles, a few films scripts that are under production, apart from three novels and two children’s story books. Besides being an editor and having commissioned over 500 books (mostly children’s), I was thankfully always surrounded by stories.
To answer about motivation, well to me stories mean much more than mere entertainment. That is something the protagonist Nalini feels and professes in this latest book. They are the life force; an unseen connect that binds everything together. So, logically, when you’re surrounded by stor…

Ruskin Bond Poem: What Can We Give Our Children

Through this short poem Ruskin appeals to all of us, parents and adult ones, to give proper education, knowledge and honour and many more valuable aspects to our children. If moral values and right ways of life aren’t properly taught to children, the future of our race may go bleak. Read this simple short poem and you will get to know the valuable lessons this cute old writer is talking about.

One prominent theme of this poem is that right moral values are better than gold.
Poem:
What can we give our children? Knowledge, yes, and honour too, And strength of character And the gift of laughter. What gold do we give our children? The gold of a sunny childhood, Open spaces, a home that binds Us to the common good… These simple things Are greater than the gold of kings.
By Ruskin Bond

Book Review: Spinner of the Twisted Tale by Rajesh M. Iyer

Stories carry far-fetching influence on humans. Whether we are listening to them intently or they fall upon us out of somewhere, erratic specks of visualization and inquisitiveness begin itching in the cask of our subconscious. Hence it is rightly said that stories are inevitable to human race – you cannot ignore them – stories can open or shrink your world depending upon its narration.

Rajesh Iyer introduces us to the life of a prolific storyteller, Nalini, whose long life is filled with storytelling sessions for a cast of audiences. Her stories are daring intrigue, witty, ironical; and at times filled with dark moments. After Nalini was born, unlike other babies in her family, her first word was Kadhai – in Tamil it meant story. However, some of her relatives counteracted it with Kazhutai, which meant donkey in Tamil. As she grows up, she begins narrating stories of amusing irony and great significance. Since the novel has its roots to pre-independence days, you can say that time s…

Author Highlight: Kavya Discusses her New Book ‘Somewhere in a Song’ and Stories from her Life

We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Kavya – the author of ‘Somewhere in a Song’. In this interview, Kavya talks about her writing aspirations, the route to getting her book published, and her inclination towards psychological thrillers. Stay on...while we chat with her. 
What motivates you to write? This might sound strange. Music motivates me to write. If I love a particular song, immediately a story will form in my mind. I would feel inspired and start plotting the story. Sometimes, an entire soundtrack (especially A.R. Rahman’s albums) will bring in some ideas for my stories. No wonder my book ‘Somewhere in a Song’ revolves around a song. What were your feelings after publishing this book? I felt euphoric. Since this story had two themes that were close to my heart, getting it published was really blissful. Why did you choose to write a psychological novel based around a song? I didn’t mean to categorize the story as psychological. It somehow fell …

Book Review: You Cannot Have all the Answers and Other Stories by Deepa Agarwal

Well certainly as the title suggest that in our life we cannot have all the answers no matter how hard we try or go berserk with inquisitiveness. This situation is quite pragmatic in life and on the similar lines we have this book by Deepa Agarwal - You Cannot Have all the Answers and Other Stories – a collection of fifteen unique, engaging, and a bit dark tales which features female protagonists in each story. In short the stories are placed around females, mostly all ages.

While reading this book, you may come across various stories about women that take place in our societies, though may not every day, but somewhere for sure. The book has very intense theme, some people may take it as dark, because here we see how women get trapped by the time clock and circumstances that force them to either accept this life with full womanhood or go ahead as a rebel. A close look reveals that it is the duty and compassion towards family and society that binds a woman into rite of passages, on th…

Ruskin Bond Poem: Lines Written on a Sleepless Night

Lines Written on a Sleepless Night is a very funny poem by Ruskin Bond. He wrote this poem when he was about to turn seventy. On the night before his 70th birthday, he just couldn’t sleep. Why? The urge to write something was disturbing him. So he got up and penned down this humourus poem and went to sleep.

The poem is bit satirical in nature. Ruskin discusses the things that he can’t do and the things that he can do easily. Read the poem given below and you will see that he was foolish with worldly or tech-related things but hopeful with creativity. The poem is simple and in rhythm, like Ruskin Bond books and short stories, his poems are, too, full of simplicity and mirth.
Poem:
I’m unfamiliar with statistics, I wouldn’t know what to do With a book on Mathematics Or a girl of ninety-two.
I really can’t tell the difference Between a man from Kalamazoo And the kind of endangered species That you only find in a zoo.
I’m hopeless at Nuclear Physics- Don’t ask me to make you a bomb- But if you woul…

Book Review: The Perfect Us by Durjoy Datta

The Perfect Us by Durjoy Datta is a book about layers in relationship. If there is relationship between a boy and a girl and it is going up year by year, then it means it is crossing one layer after another. Many people get into relationship but they are afraid of changes, thus the layers in the relationship see an untoward stagnancy and they break up for better off. The book is more about conflict of interests in the relationship than on love.

Coming to the story – there is only one theme - and that is how to have a baby after being in relationship for over ten years. The story features Durjoy’s regular characters: Deb and Avantika. The two are different i.e. Avantika looks stunningly beauty, she is rich, and holds a job of investment banker. On the other hand, Deb is a kind of creative hopper; he is a writer, scriptwriter and all but an abled corporate professional. Other than differences in their tenacity, they also have distance in their financial status. In short the guy is less…

Book Review: The Third Level by Jack Finney

The Third Level by Jack Finney is a story about time intersection. The narrator of the story is a thirty-one-year old Charley who works in New York. Charley insists that the Grand Central Station of New York has three levels, but people working at the station say only two. Charley claims that he has been to third level, on this his friend Sam, a psychiatrist, says that Charley is looking for escapes from the reality of life, as today’s world is full of insecurity, fear, wars, etc. Also, he called that it is a waking-dream wish fulfillment. Charley is also in the hobby of collecting stamps and his friends often labeled stamp collection a type of effort to escape from reality. To this Charley puts that he inherited the stamp collection hobby from his grandfather and during his time the world was a good and secured kind of place. So, he doesn’t agree that stamp collection is an excuse to remain aloof from the reality.

One summer night Charley, instead of taking bus to reach home, thinks…