Monday, September 12, 2011

Immortals of Meluha

The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy, #1)The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book which was not only bold but also adventurous by Amish. Especially in a religious country to write a book on God which is worshiped throughout. It gives Lord Shiva a wonderful human like quality and feelings. Revolving around a mystery which any reader can easily relate without knowing any mythological stories. A simple but effective story with reflective qualities.

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Assault of thoughts

The shape forming in my mind, the reminiscent of my thoughts is disconcerting me. My thoughts keep whirling in my mind like a tornado. Days followed by nights these thoughts pursue me like a cop after a thief, a hunter after an animal and like the pain after a bone fracture. I want to hide where they cannot chase me. But like the need for human beings to breath is constant, the need to capture these thoughts in words has become erroneously essential.
I can’t run, I can’t hide and I can’t escape my thoughts either. And when I do capture them, they flow like honey, gurgling river and without stopping for a breath it continuously flows out of my head. The relief is unimaginable and the craving for more is incredible.
It may take up days even months before these thoughts make any sense in words. But the coerce me to continue, physically I feel the jolt to type and type more. Like my mind and hands are possessed and I have no control. I live recluse because they don’t allow the space for anybody and anything. Even in my sleep the thoughts keep dancing and writhing in discomfort I wake up. Wake up with an urgent urge to pour them down.
What has happened to me?
Do I need help?
Maybe I do, this turmoil is more than I can handle. But the stories these thoughts spin are simply unimaginable. My publisher simply loves them but he is unknown about the assault these thoughts have on me.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Nivi's Fable

A long time ago lived a talking cat. It would spread the wisdom of the living, non-living and the dead. People flocked to hear it from far villages and towns. They thought it was divine and worshipped the cat. His fame turned hundred times more than its size. Its brown curling tail would swish excitedly when it spoke of sapience with all these humans hungry for guidance. It had two different colored eyes, one green and other amber, which people thought denoted its sagely manners. Though it is believed that a cat needs sixteen hours of sleep, Mr. Tod here, oh that’s the cats name kept by his mistress. Mr. Tod sleeps only for six hours a day.

‘The cat’s a saint when there are no mice about.’ But Mr. Tod never went after mice or birds. He was just happy with milk and some bread. He just like all would love to rub against his mistresses long old legs for a good meal or a warm spot.

His mistress was an old lady wearing always a skirt and a hat. She took absolutely no interest in the people flocking in to see her Mr. Tod. It did not amaze her that her cat could talk. It was just another thing. She would feed him tuna, some milk and bread every day. She just loved her Mr. Tod, who would lick her arms after being petted.

Soon, the rich, the circus men demanded the old lady to loan her cat. She was rude and disparaging to any such requests and demands. She made an announcement in the local newspaper ‘Mr. Tod will not be for loan for a day, months or a year.’ Mr. Tod soon realized his mistress’s dilemma. He knew she was being harassed because he could talk. A decision had to be made and a tough one. He became mute. He then purred and mewed just like other cats.

Humans will be humans; especially the ones who desperately wanted the cat. They thought the old lady had some tricks up her sleeve. She purposely did something to the cat so he won’t talk. Vicious as they were, they spilled some oil at the old lady’s front door. While going out she slipped and fell on her hand. Of course, her hand broke and she yelped in pain. The neighbor’s immediately called the doctor and helped her to lie on the bed. Then they wiped the oil from her door. Mr. Tod watched everything that happened that morning. He sulked. His worldly wisdom and advice fell flat in front of the cruelties of vile humans.

He pushed a little pile of gold, silver and money he was offered by humans to the leg of the bed. His mistress was softly moaning about her broken hand. He jumped on the bed with a skill known only to cats. He mewed and the old lady cuddled him with her good hand.

“Are you hungry, Mr. Tod?” she asked.

Mr. Tod was astounded at the gentleness and generousness of this woman. He made a decision which was difficult for him as well as his mistress. He broke his silence for one last time.

“Mistress!” he said, “I would have to go.”

“No, no, no Mr. Tod, please don’t go.” She begged.

“He who provide to anyone without any malevolence
would seek the almighty’s regard and benevolence”

The old lady nodded with tears in her eyes. She petted him one last time. He licked her broken arm slowly. Looked at her old gentle eyes one more time and jumped to the floor. He trotted out of the house in a direction no one will ever know.

The doctor came and examined the old lady’s hand. It was not broken anymore. He looked surprised.  And the dull pain had healed immediately. The old lady looked at the pile of gold, silver and money next to her bed. She took it and handed it over to the doctor and said,

“Thank you for coming. Take this and don’t charge the poor anymore.”

Friday, February 25, 2011

Delhi in new perspective

Delhi has been a city of mixed feelings for me earlier, with some aspects being good and some bad. But i was determined to visit the city with my darling and see it through his eyes. I expected to be delayed at Delhi airport due to fog conditions during January. But the beginning was good and we reached on time. A very helpful colleagues of my mother's office agreed to pick us up from airport and tour the city.

After being fed with "Cholle Bhature" from the famous 'HALDIRAM' of Delhi. That was some amazing the cholle bhature I had in a long long time. Along with some rather interesting conversation with the head of the office about various places to visit in and around Delhi. We left like two bubbling school kids on a picnic.

Though the roads looked familiar, it had some new essence to it. Such age old architecture right in the city surrounded by modern buildings and roads. It was sight very rare to see. We stopped by at the famous Qutub minar (Quwwat ul Islam mosque, Alai Darwaza, etc.) all in the same complex. We decided to make a quick gateway here but we ended spending almost 40 mins. Everyone was trying to capture the great qutub minar, in one shot. So did we. The artisans may have taken years to build and carve the minar but all the same we took its picture in less than a minute. here are some of our efforts.

It still fascinated me, the beauty of these buildings and the minute details of the carving and scriptures. I could visualise the artisans toiling with little hammer in hot sun. Anyway coming back to the point, there were even some fantastic benches of olden era which we took fancy too. Ofcourse nobody gave them a second glance as they were just benches to rest.
This was our last stop here and then we headed for some serious shopping. We went to "Sarojini Nagar", all shoppers beware take plenty of time and money with you. The market is huge and full of goods, just like a manish market cum Bandra linking road cum fashion street merged into one. Though if you do feel hungry there are some sophisticated stalls selling hot cocoa and coffee, corn, and other items. I just took simple corn and coffee (coffee tasted horrible). We bought few woolens for our trip ahead to Uttranchal and one really big bag for all the shopping. Leaving from there we toured the city, saw India gate from rather far as it was closed for republic day. There are rehearsals of the march for republic day held at India gate, which is open for public to see and we missed that.

I have only seen construction after construction happening in Mumbai for metro, but Delhi has a full fledged operation. We got out of the car and headed for nearest metro station. All the instructions were pretty simple with maps all over the place for people to decide which route to take. We bought our tokens and one cannot buy return tokens from one destination. For each journey that you make a new token has to be bought. We went from connought place to chandi chowk.

It was rush hour and train was crowded as per Delhi standards (not Mumbai ofcourse). It was still fun with announcements and indicators which stations arriving etc. Chandi chowk station was deserted till we came out to the street. we had to ask 4 different people the directions for "parathe wali gali" and had to roam in 4 different streets till we got the place we wanted to be. Thats what i don't like about Delhi.When directions are asked, people there would never say 'I don't know'. Instead they will point the travellers in wrong directions. In our search for parathe wali gali we stopped at a vendor who was selling my favorite  gol gappe (pani puri) they were amazing they do not have the concept of mitha pani. Then we paused at 'Haldirams', the shop was amazing streaming with people and whole variety of food to hog on. We decided to keep this option as back up in case we do not get the place we want to eat.

Finally by God's grace and a sane person who gave us the right direction we landed in the gali. We thought of first doing a quick recon of the place. We found an ancient chat place with wonderful variety like the dahi bhale, aloo chaat, dahi kachori chaat etc. I thought of trying dahi kachori chaat. it was mouth watering and wonderfully fiery. Check out the picture to enhance your taste buds.
Further we came across 'the paratha shop' called Pt. Gaya Prasad Shiv charan Paratha Shop, established 1872. It had the perfect setting with walls adorned with pcitures taken with all celebrities, small tables with benches and 1 waiter waiting all the tables. Two cooks making paratha orders at really amazing speed. The rule for ordering was you have to order two paratha's does not matter how many share it. We tried the following, don't gasp, we were hungry. We tried, the obvious aloo paratha, gobhi paratha, mix paratha (mixed vegetables), paneer paratha, badam paratha (almonds) and khurchan paratha (dry malai paratha) all made in ghee complemented with various chutneys and achaar (phew). Since we could not stuff ourselves anymore, we packed meva paratha and rabdi paratha along with us.

After having such hearty meal, we were unable to walk back to the metro rail station. We leaped on to cycle auto rickshaw. We reached right on time to leave for our train scheduled at 10.30pm from old Delhi station.

That was my day concluding in Delhi and I left with a variant feeling than from my previous visits here. Hope all the food lovers do visit the 'parathe wali gali" and enjoy the paratha's as we did. Enjoy!!