Nov 30, 2011

Unleashing Genius: A book review





Book title: Unleashing  Genius
What about? :  A book on learning Miracles
For : Children of all ages & adults of all disciplines
Author: Dilip Mukerjea
Publisher: Westland

For a reader each book has something to teach. If our mind is open to reading what the author has written between the lines, a book of fiction can also be a learning experience. However here is a book which is an out and out personality development course. ‘Unleashing Genius’ completely reminds me of the summer camp my mum had enrolled me for, in my school days. What a world of a change it had brought in me. My perception and outlook had changed completely. For ages I’ve been wondering why I didn’t keep those course papers of that personality development camp, safely. They had disappeared into oblivion and I was wishing I could lay my hands back on them once again, somehow, miraculously.  And Voila! I have found a far more superior complete book on learning miracles- Unleashing Genius.
Being a completely illustrated book, thankfully, it is immediately set apart from the other mundane self-development books. The not-so-serious personality that it has been given , makes this book possibly the only fat book parents will be able to gift their children without making them feel like it’s yet another task coming their way.
There is no literary genius applied to the language so it is very easy for a non-reader to also follow the simple exercises for the brain.
 “Welcome! We have entered The Century of The Brain!” announces Pg. 29 and isn’t it true? In this highly competitive world, smarter you are better chances of survival you got. A little bit of slack and you are making spaces for another to overtake you!
 A series of memory tests and exercises give you insights into how easily one can improve memory capacities through logic. I had fun doing one exercise after another and couldn’t believe that I found the book un-put-downable! Did I need the book at this age, you ask? Ofcourse, I did. My hubby keeps complaining that I’m getting increasingly forgetful nowadays but I’m sure keeping in mind the simple lessons I’ve learnt from ‘Unleashing Genius’  I will be surfing that problem real soon.
Mnemosyne- the Greek Goddess of Memory has definitely blessed this book because there are some concepts in this book which are most definitely unforgettable. Mind Mapping is a complete revelation. Need to give your brain a jog? Try Mind Mapping. I remember back in my copywriting days, I needed to ideate and quick! It was then that I felt brainstorming was the need of the day to crack the brief and dish out a unique Ad’ Campaign’ concept. And for that I had to have more than one brain working there.  Had I come across Mind Mapping before, I would have known I was wracking enough brain myself, to come up with a solution on my own.
Reading Dynamics is another brilliant section in this book that school going children can benefit from- well laid out strategies to develop reading skills, ways to extract meaning from a passage that you have just read and extremely useful tips.   
If you are really looking for flaws then I would say the JOKES section is quite a waste of precious print. I would skip right over that to the ‘Braintertainment’ section. A good Quiz, some witty puzzles and I am nearly at the end of unleashing my genius.  Thankfully the solutions are also close at hand. ;)  :D
What I liked the best was even the back cover had some tidbits to offer.
Take a look at the CATSEYE :
Curiosity:
Alacrity
Timing
Senses
Errors
Yippee!
Excellence
This is a smartly written acrostic that sums up the book with the 7 letter pointer to keeping on learning, improving and unleashing your genius. 


This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

Nov 19, 2011

The very first review of NTU

"Every one of us will have a thousand stories to tell. But not all stories have the same charm. What makes a story fascinating is the minor details that make the stories come alive and give the reader a vicarious experience of living through the story. Vibhuti has excelled in this element...... "

The very first review of  'Not Totally Unbelievable' and its TOTALLY made my day!
Karthik LakshmiNarayan of Lucifer House Inc. has done it again. Constructive criticism has always been his forte but this time he has gone steps ahead and given a budding author such brilliant support and a beautiful pedestal of words of appreciation..I can't thank him enough!


    For a humbly written book as mine I never expected such a heart warming review.

    Read the first and complete BOOK REVIEW of 'Not Totally Unbelievable'. 




Nov 15, 2011

LEAD to a headSTART

Mighty Oaks from little Acorns grow......

And one such seed of thought led me to consider having my collection of short stories published.
I am sure every aspiring writer knows how difficult it is to progress into becoming a published author and I began the journey with all possible fears too. It was only a letter from my former editor in charge late Mr. Sunil Poolani ( may his soul rest in peace ), that brought cheer and hope to me. It was a wonder to receive a letter from him that extolled my writing capacities. What happiness!
   
It is by God's grace that I got the right publishing break through Leadstart Publishing. Founded in 1994, Frog Books now an imprint of Leadstart, brings out about 10 titles a month. And I'm happy to let my readers know that 'Not Totally Unbelievable' is one of their New Releases in the month of November.


 My maiden title 'Not Totally Unbelievable' is sailing smoothly on the waves of love from readers far and wide. Many thanks to my editor Mr. Oswald Pereira and the C.E.O. of the publishing house, Mr. Swarup Nanda who took personal interest in turning my work out in time and with elan.

Do check out their website - www.Leadstartcorp.com to know more about my book and its publishers..:D

Three Cheers to the art of book publishing!


Oct 29, 2011

Happy Diwali @ FlipKart

It has indeed been a happy Diwali for me. God is great!
 And then like a cherry on the icing, I visited Flipkart.com only to find MY FIRST BOOK available for purchase online..
At 25% Discounted Price 'Not Totally Unbelievable' can also make a wonderful Padva/ New year gifting idea...
Its just a hop, skip, jump to www. flipkart.com and then a click to pick it up..BUT you will have to promise a book review will be posted as soon as my book is read..Now make me a Diwali gift too!!!
:D

 Synopsis:
Lin delves into her knowledge of the magical powers of the Tisane to solve the problem that her elder sister Liu is facing at The Lingnan Tea House.
 Dereck has accidentally slipped into a seemingly unending black hole while trekking in the Black Forests of Germany. His whole life flashes before his eyes as he travels down the dark tunnel. Once out in broad daylight, he is surprised to be alive and shocked to find himself in India.
One evening a teenager looks up from the book she is reading and finds a phantom staring her in the face, floating between her mother’s white roses, a few steps away from her.
On another day Daddy’s bike journey once again very mysteriously comes to a similar end like always, almost like a decree from God.
For Meera, a young teenager, life seems to have always turned a deaf ear towards her. One day she finally decides to step off into oblivion. She goes unheard.
‘Not Totally Unbelievable’ is a collection of 10 short stories narrating the extra- ordinary experiences in the lives of the seemingly most ordinary people from the Occident, Orient and India. These pieces of fiction are essentially true stories that will compel one to believe in mysterious magical powers and forces around us, within us.

 Hope to see you'll at Flipkart leaving some book reviews for me to read and learn from! :D
Warm wishes for the festive season once again....

Oct 16, 2011

When dreams come true.....

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.- Walt Disney


I started this blog and began exploring myself as a storyteller. Little did I know that I was actually opening up a door for myself! 
I was only an advertising professional- a copywriter until I gave it all up, went on a hiatus away from it all and found my MoJo to write for myself. Write like I wished to. Write to entertain not sell. So here I was, dishing out tales, deriving inspiration from true life stories. And what a splendid support I received from my fellow bloggers and friends.


They gave me the confidence to see myself in a new light, as a writer!


I now walk down a new path, hoping all my friends here in the blog-o-sphere will guide me as lovingly as they had in the past. I request you to once again oblige me with your love, visits and readership.


My dear friends, my maiden venture as an author has been published and is presently being distributed all over India. So you will be seeing 'NOT TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE' on the shelves of leading bookstores and even online, very soon !
 :D


I dedicate this maiden venture of mine, as an author, to all those friends who graced my blog with kind, appreciative comments, polished my writings with their clear and corrective criticism. 


With Warm Regards,
Yours Always,
VIBHUTI BHANDARKAR 




PS: will keep you'll posted about the progress of the book and also provide all details in following blogs. Keep visiting! ;)

Sep 27, 2011

The Secret of the Nagas: Book Review



The Secret of the Nagas: The sequel in the Shiva Trilogy.
Author: Amish Tripathi
Publisher: Westland
My Rating:  **1/2


Since I read this sequel to the ‘ The Immortals of Meluha’ right after, expectations from this second book were even greater. That must have been the only reason why the second book from the same writer became a very big disappointment for me. From the first book I’d decided that Amish Tripathi is a very intelligent writer but ‘The Secret of the Nagas’ has brought him rungs lower than he’d actually climbed up to, in my opinion.
The book cover is so intriguing and the book title promises the unearthing of some tantalizing secret between the pages but nothing like that happened. One of the sinister Nagas has murdered Brahaspati, the great scientist of Meluha who had become Shiva’s quite a good friend. Subsequently the death threat was on Sati, Shiva’s beloved wife. So Shiva is out to hunt the dangerous Naga down. The Neelkanth has more than one reason to wipe out the Chandravanshis who had resorted to using the Nagas in their war with the Suryavanshis. In this second book Shiva has evolved into a more confident and valiant leader, hell bent upon carrying out the duty of destroying evil, his supposed role at Meluha.
As the story unfolded I was desperately waiting for some big Naga secret to be out but there is nothing very serpentine or mystical about them apart from the fact that they are mere mortals with a host of physical abnormalities. The slow discovery of the exact location of the Naga kingdom-Panchvati seems to be the whole motive of the book.
Amish has introduced new characters into Shiva’s tale and weaved in some more mythical stories with Parshuram but I am still stuck with the niggling thought there isn’t much to read about the mysterious Naga clan. Is it just me or has Amish really not put as much pain and research into the sequel as he’d in the Immortals of the Meluha? I wish he’d layered and laid out the stories in a better flow like the first book. Somehow I did not find the second book as spell-binding. What is a saving grace is that Amish has a way with his descriptive style. The Battle of Madhumati is well-painted using good words before the reader’s eyes.
Then  Amish has tried to shock the readers by introducing the Naga Queen as Sati’s twin sister Kali whom Sati’s father had abandoned. Sati also has a son Ganesh, the Lord of the people, whom she’s accused of having abandoned herself.  This twist in the mythological tales I have grown up with didn’t go down well with me, however. The Sequel is a poor patch on Amish’s previous success. It is very unfair to keep comparing the two books but it is happening very naturally and unintentionally. The Immortals of Meluha told a contemporary story based on legends that were smart and intellige ntly crafted. The Secret of the Nagas, is full of poor attempts at recreating those clever twists.  
Taking potshots at the Bengali community through the stories of the Brangas, was quite unrequired in my opinion. And the prime minister of the Branga kingdom loaded with gold jewellery named Bappiraj dragged the great music director Bappi Lahiri into the Shiva Trilogy. I found that very silly too! Or may be its just my lack of sense of humour.
Now I shall stop wallowing in my disappointment in the book and just wrap up by saying Amish could have done far better. 


This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

Sep 20, 2011

The Immortals of Meluha: Book Review


The Immortals of Meluha: The first book of the Shiva Trilogy.
Author: Amish Tripathi
Publisher: Westland
My Rating:  ****

The book cover will definitely draw the BholeNath fans towards. A fine illustration of how Amish describes Shiva – a lithe muscular body with numerous battle scars on his skin. 
The back cover blurb however instantly erases any chances of the reader expecting a mythological tale.  It clearly states that this is the story of a man whom legend has turned into God. Interesting! So this should be a completely different and contemporary take on the age-old stories our grannies have been telling us about Lord Shiva. And indeed it turns out to be quite a good read.
Amish is an intelligent writer and the kind of research that has gone into the book shows. It is amazing to see how each character connected with Shiva and his mythological stories, appears and develops as the story unfolds.
 Shiva is in fact a mere mortal, the chief of a mountain tribe called the Gunas who live in the Himalayas. Nandi is one of the captains of the Meluhan tribe who is sent by the King Daksha to invite Shiva and his tribe to their land. The land of Meluha is supposedly the glorious land which Lord Ram established. And this is the land which we modern Indians mistakenly call the Indus Valley civilization. I loved the way the land has been described, so thrilling. Wonder why our History textbooks couldn’t be made this interesting?
At a point I found a strange connection with present day situations where the Suryavanshis of the Land of Meluha are at terrible loggerheads with the Chandravanshis who rule over Lord Ram’s birthplace- Ayodhya! Now does that ring a bell???
On arrival in Meluha, Shiva and his tribe are quarantined and administered the Somras by a Meluhan doctor Ayurvati and her nurses. The medicine was to decontaminate them from any kinds of disease they could be carrying. It is the Somras that turns Shiva’s throat blue making him the much awaited NeelKanth. Shiva’s life changes forever. He is no longer a mere caste unmarked immigrant in Meluha but the savior of the Suryavanshis, the destroyer of all evil. The NeelKanth is expected to eradicate the terrorist Chandarvanshis who are allegedly destroying their river Saraswati. Shiva remains in denial for a good half of the book and that’s where I felt the story dragged a bit.
Shiva meets with Sati the daughter of King Daksha who is a Vikarma- carriers of bad fate and hence cannot be touched. Shiva however falls in love with her and come what may is bent upon getting her.  It is an emotionally high point when Shiva as NeelKanth makes a public appearance and reaches out to a blind old man considered as Vikarma to express his dislike for this unfair rule and wishes that such discrimination could be stopped.
Between a lot of battle, politics and philosophy there is Sati who refuses to accept Shiva’s love and that she needs happiness too. I found the story telling drags once again. However all’s well that ends well!  I like all love stories to end on a positive note and that is just what happens.
The concluding chapter ‘The Question of Questions’ is quite a lesson in its own. I would conclude that the book is an overall good read.


Thanks to BlogAdda I got to read this book earlier than I'd expected. 


This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!







Aug 16, 2011

'Musings of a Wanderer'- A review



I remember a friend of mine expressing his doubts about the future of poetry when I suggested he seriously consider getting his collection of poetries published. Someone had crippled his faith by saying that prose would rule the publisher’s choice over poetry, anytime!
I beg to differ.

               My heartfelt congratulations to you Shreya Chatterjee and I applaud your effort in bringing your feelings out into the limelight through such fluent poetic verses. Shreya Chatterjee’s ‘Musings of a Wanderer’ is a collection of short verses that rekindle hope in this day and age that poetry will not die a slow death. As long as emotions and experiences stir one to pull out their quills, one should continue to write in verse. And also believe in it enough to know that there will be some hearts out there that will definitely relate to your words and connect with your book of verses.

This extremely reader friendly slim book of 95 Pgs. is full of sweetly simple poetry that clearly comes straight from the heart. No bombastic words, no over-the-top extravagant subjects, no drama! Just plain, free-flowing MUSINGS one can breeze through. You don’t need to possess an intrepid soul to connect with this wanderer. She talks of journeys that most may have experienced with child-like innocent wonder. And it is amusing to see how she has turned simple daily happenings into pieces of art for all to appreciate. This book is indeed a world within a world!

Shreya Chatterjee’s style of writing will come across as very contemporary for those (like me) who have grown up reading and appreciating poetry of the golden ages written in chaste English.
Please do not expect verses that will rhyme and follow strict meters though at many points it did feel as if she’s woven many Haikus together to make one piece. She is a writer of free will and free verse, a true wanderer! She has explored. She has expressed the way it comes to her.

There are many high points in this collection of poems. However I wish she had taken more pains in carefully titling each piece. There are many poems, in my opinion, which would have been examples of perfection if their titles were well selected. ‘Candle Tete-A-Tete’ made me expect  yet another light-hearted romantic piece whereas it turned out to be a beautifully, creative piece which told me ‘What is a candle’ and brought before me the different significance of the Candle in our lives.

I recommend you read ‘Defiance’- am sure many will be able to relate to the spirit in the poem, the fervour of emotions is at its peak expressed through a rich selection of words.

I must thank BlogAdda for initiating me to this collection of poems. It is nice to read such light-hearted poems too, once in a while!



This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

Aug 8, 2011

55 Fiction #8


His heart began racing on hearing the roar in the distance.
It was a pitch dark night.
He bravely began moving in the direction of the growling which got louder and louder, as he inched closer, stealthily.
With one sweep he deftly pulled the wallet out from beneath the snoring man’s pillow and bounded away. 



Aug 3, 2011

TOMORROW

With a promise that I have picked up my pen with an intention to write and post more regularly, now on, like in the past. My dear readers, I'm sure will rebuild my faith in my writing with ur kind words of appreciation and serious criticism too..:D
Here's a fresh new story as a toast to this rich blogger's world and our friendship!!! Now on I will write like there is no TOMORROW..

TOMORROW

“Rickshaw” she yelled but all zipped past her, laden with passengers. Well past 10pm. M.G. Road was still a busy thoroughfare. The dinner meeting had sealed the deal and Neena was elated that she’d be standing on her own two feet, an independent fashion designer, very soon.  Presently however, she couldn’t stand in her stilettos anymore. Her back hurt so much that she wished she could tear them off her feet right away. Just then a rickshaw stalled a little ahead seeing Neena flailing her arms. She was saved.  “Aundh” she informed the rickshaw driver. As she hastily stepped in, Neena promised herself a car before the end of the year. Then she could drive into the city and back, as and when she pleased. Then she wouldn’t have to suffer backaches and await some rickshaw driver’s mercy.
 “This is quite an achievable short term goal Neena” she convinced herself with a broad grin, remembering the hefty check she was carrying in her purse. She couldn’t believe she’d been hired by the famous director-producer duo, the Kapurs’. Designing for such a big banner in the Hindi film industry only meant that there would be no looking back.
 It felt like an exceptionally cool night’s breeze on her face and Neena was still smiling to herself when her eyes met the cabbie’s, through the rear view mirror. Neena was flabbergasted to see him leering back at her. 
Partly disgusted, little scared, it felt like an eternity before she’d finally reached the gates of her apartment complex. Neena paid him off hurriedly and ran barefoot to the elevator. While she held onto her handbag and footwear with one hand, she punched the button of the elevator with the free hand. Neena was still rummaging the contents of her purse for her house keys when she realized her cell phone was missing.
“Mum, I’ve left my phone on their office desk I suppose.” She informed her mother as she let herself in.  Swerving around with a look of great relief, her mother rose from the sofa, switching off the T.V. immediately.  “Neena, where have you been? I’ve called your cell more than twenty times by now. You almost worried me to death!” She admonished her.
“I have great news for you but we’ll talk in the morning Ma. Go to bed. I’m extremely tired….Sorry! ” Planting a kiss on her mother’s forehead, Neena disappeared into her room.
“I hope it is where I think it is and stays there. I cannot afford to lose my BlackBerry.” Neena superstitiously believed in omens and wondered what this meant. She laid her tired head on the soft pillow trying to visualize what the next day would bring but try as she might she couldn’t have imagined her ‘Tomorrow’.


                                                       ****************************************

The glass door flung open and another customer walked in. A gust of wind that followed him fluttered the pages of the calendar hanging on the wall.  Mihir’s assistant attended to the customer while Mihir stood staring at the calendar. Is it time already? He wondered.
An extremely ambitious entrepreneur, Mihir Sabnis had picked up a heavy personal loan from a local Marwari money lender to start his own Cybercafé. It was a swank set-up of 15 computer stations, a franchise enterprise with a leading Internet Service provider. He’d opened shop at a prime location in Aundh and business was good but the Easy Monthly Installment wasn’t as easy as he’d imagined. And time seemed to really fly. He’d skipped his E.M.I for the last couple of months requesting the Marwari to pardon him for the delay under one pretext and another. Now a third check was already due. Mihir was sure he’d have to pay up all the E.M. I.s’ this time without fail. “How can I ever hit a break-even at this rate?”  Mihir thought aloud, pulling at his hair in frustration. He seemed to be making money to fill the Marwari’s pockets and not his own.  Was it a wise decision? Mihir again asked himself. “I should have simply waited for a bank to sanction a personal loan.” Muttering under his breath he left the Café with a frown. 
24 year old Mihir was a bike enthusiast and his Bajaj Pulsar was the best stress buster for him. He was pulling a Sit-down Wheelie when Mrs. Agrawal stepped out of the beauty parlor neighboring Mihir’s Cybercafé. Mihir brought the bike down and the front wheel landed just a few inches away from her feet. She glowered at him so sternly that Mihir revved up the machine and sped away. Down the road he went, took a ‘U’ turn and was driving back in at the complex gates when he unfortunately came across Mrs. Agrawal once again. She was about to step out of the gates. This time Mihir had recklessly failed to slow down. He jammed on the breaks and came to a screeching halt, just in time to avoid hitting Mrs. Agrawal.
Scared out of her wits she scolded him at the top of her lungs, “You fool! Don’t you know how to drive safely? Someday, at this rate, you will kill someone or get yourself killed!”
Sometimes people speak without thinking.
 Mihir arrogantly shot back, “How about Tomorrow?”


                                                *********************************************


‘Welcome to Agrawal Construction Company Pvt. Ltd.,’ read the board hanging on the first floor. Mr. Suresh Agrawal owned the entire first level. One half being utilized as their office and the other was his residence. He stood in his office window smoking a cigarette. The board outside was very cordial but Mr. Agrawal was really a shrewd man. He could only think of money and never let go off a single opportunity to make some additional moolah.  Baner road was being widened to 80’ but he had lost the contract to a competitor firm. He was still grieving the loss. Thus the tarring of the portion right outside his building became a complete eye-sore for him. The machines at work, the fumes from the burning tar acted as constant reminders causing him to be in a perpetually foul mood.
Traditionally a money lender by profession, Mr. Agrawal continued to pursue it as a side- business. Discreetly, he lent large amounts of cash against property to young entrepreneurs for new business ventures but at very high interest rates. He was also capable of making his recovery single-handedly. He promptly went back to his ledgers to study the list of defaulters. And there he found someone to vent his frustration upon. 
Soon he was threatening Mihir Sabnis over the phone. “No excuses this time young man. 3 E.M.I.s’ are due now. If you can’t pay up I will confiscate your computers & every bit of furniture to auction them off or I will have to take over your Internet Café until I recover my money. You understand?”
Without allowing Mihir to utter a single word, he’d cut the call after a strict, “Pay up in cash or check, not later than Tomorrow.”


                                                             *********************************


Neena showered and dressed, taking care to look as exquisitely turned out as possible. She couldn’t show that the loss of a phone could harrow her so much. And she also had to appear being absolutely stylish herself. So she wore her best sundress, glossed her lips and preened before the mirror.  Putting the hat on and taking it off, “OTT?” she asked her mother.
“And pray what is that?” her mother inquired, laughing.
“Oh Ma, come on! You must know OTT is Over The Top. Your daughter is a fashion designer. You can’t sound so clueless.” protested Neena.
“They aren’t interviewing ME!” said her mother teasingly. How proud she was of her daughter! Confident that Neena, would soon be a brand name in the fashion world. 
“Ok. I’m off Ma! Don’t want to get late.” Neena had wisely chosen a pair of Ballerinas this morning and how kind they were to her feet!
Like every other morning Mihir was in the stilt parking lot cleaning his beloved bike when Neena stepped out of the elevator. Tousled hair, groggy eyed from late nights before the computers, he stood wringing a wet rag. Neena, fresh as a flower made a sharply contrasting picture. However, her heart began beating faster at the sight of this neighbor.
“In a hurry? Need I drop you somewhere?” Mihir Sabnis had offered.
She breezed past him with a polite “No, Thankyou!” disappearing around the corner after throwing him a big broad smile. She would have loved to pillion ride on his flashy bike but she couldn’t possibly be seen with him when he was looking like that.


                                                              *******************************************


Neena was peering at the meter reading when the stinky rickshaw driver announced “30 Rupees” holding a palm out for Neena. “How I abhor this rigmarole!” she thought to herself, gritting her teeth. Neena was back outside the Kapur’s office, at 10 a.m. exactly 14 hours later.  ‘Bharat Residency’ was a small, four florid, old structure and the four flats on the ground floor had been converted into offices. The Kapur’s operated out of one of them.  A thin brick wall and an old creaky gate, laced by an almost negligible strip of land that passed off as a footpath, separated the building property from the main Baner Road. The builder had however provided a spacious yard and there seemed to be ample parking space available. The garishly colored ‘Welcome to Agrawal Construction Company Pvt. Ltd.,’ board on the level above the Kapur’s office caught Neena’s eyes as she passed through the gates. She must have missed it in the dark of the previous evening for the gaudy color combination was just impossible to ignore in broad daylight.
Neena rang the doorbell to the Kapur’s office and waited. She dint hear any movement from within. She rang it once again but there was still no response. Neena walked to the open window besides the entrance and noticed the ceiling fan slowly rotating. “That means they are inside.” She guessed and decided to wait.
A good 1 hour later the door had still not opened. She wondered why? All sorts of ideas began racing through her head. Neena went around to the back of the building but the rear exit was locked from within too. Just then Neena happened to look up and found Mrs. Agrawal watching her.
“Sorry to disturb Ma’m, any idea about the Kapur’s? I’ve been ringing their doorbell since an hour but nobody is opening the door.” Neena tried to hide the anxiety in her voice. She was longing to lay her hands on her expensive, new phone as soon as possible.
Mrs. Agrawal held a thoughtful silence and finally spoke, which already seemed like eons later, to Neena. “I don’t think there’s anyone in the flat downstairs. I heard the couple’s car come and go, very late in the night. The horrible noise that SUV makes, I tell you! I guess they never came back.”
This bit of news was very disturbing for Neena. How was she to reach them now? All the contact Nos. were stored in the BlackBerry and were as good as lost until she got the phone back. The Kapur’s in turn only had her cell No. to reach her. “Oh! What a bother!” Neena fretted.
She was standing there under Mrs. Agrawal’s balcony in a stupefied haze when they heard a roaring engine at the front of the building. Neena rushed in the direction of the noise in hope of seeing the couple. Instead she saw a huge truck had pulled in. The doors to the Kapur’s flat had finally been thrown open but she saw two men were carrying the office furniture out. “What is happening here?” Neena questioned the driver who seemed to be concentrating on chewing the betel nut in his mouth. Neena’s voice had succeeded in rising over the noise of the truck’s engine. The look in her eyes must have melted the driver for he actually stopped the meditated munching to reply “Maydum they are shifting out, can’t you see?”
A volley of questions popped in Neena’s head. Does the sudden shifting mean that they are in some kind of a problem? Is that why there was no contract between us? Will my signing amount check realize at all? Are they jilting my dreams? Neena couldn’t believe her luck. She dint know what she must do next so she simply waited in hope that Mr. Kapur would turn up at the site. “He may want to organize the packers or pay them off and then I may get a chance to speak to him.” Neena consoled herself.  
Mr. Kapur never turned up. It was noon and Neena’s tummy was rumbling in protest for she had skipped her breakfast. Neena saw the packers and movers truck reverse out. Dejected, she was about to leave when Mrs. Agrawal reached her side. The chatty lady had struck conversation. In hope of being able to reach the Kapurs’ through Mrs. Agrawal, Neena tried to be her most friendly self.

                                                       ******************************

Mr. Agrawal was getting restless. There was no special meeting scheduled for this morning but Mihir Sabnis had called to say that he would be coming with his check. It was already hours since his phone call and still there were no signs of the boy. Mr. Agrawal’s spirits were still not up and the cacophony of the packers and movers’ truck was irritating him. His temper was slowly rising, very much like the previous day. “Why are these turning out to be such lousy days, back to back?” Mr. Agrawal mumbled to himself.
He went to the window to give the truck driver a piece of his mind but to his relief, the truck was already at the gates. His attention was now drawn to the conversation between his shrill voiced wife and a young, beautiful girl. He could only see the top of her wide hat. He imagined such a well-dressed girl would definitely have a pretty face. As he was craning his neck to get a glimpse, the sound of screeching breaks suddenly pierced the air, immediately followed by a terrible crashing sound from the main road. He could see people running from across the road to their side. It appeared to be a major accident from the continuous honking of numerous cars and the loud sound of the collision itself.   
Mr. Agrawal didn’t understand why his heart had suddenly started racing faster. A weird thought crossed his mind but he was not ready to acknowledge it. It evoked a strange emotion within and he began to run downstairs, as fast as his aging knees could carry his bulky body. He rushed past his wife who had also begun to move towards the gate, out of curiosity. Neena had never felt the urge to visit any accident site ever before but this time she surprisingly felt drawn straight towards it.
Mr. Agrawal didn’t stop to look at Neena but kept going with his dutiful wife in tow.  Neena stopped at the edge of the footpath, shell-shocked. A metallic blue Bajaj Pulsar lay mangled in the middle of the broadened road, only a few meters away from the ‘Bharat Residency’ gate. It looked far too familiar to her. Her stomach churned and she felt faint. She wasn't sure if she was ready for another dose of disturbing news in the same day. Neena however slowly mustered all her courage and went ahead to get a closer look at the accident victims. She hoped her hunch was wrong and to confirm that she would have to step ahead and find out herself.

Neena walked past the truck driver who was sitting at the roadside, tending to his own wounds. He was bleeding and looked shaken. The two other men must have gone for help.  Neena thought, seeing the front of the truck had been completely rammed in, right in the centre. “The impact must have been great.” she observed sadly.
She heard a couple of boys discussing the freak accident. Cutting diagonally across from the opposite side, the biker had driven right into the flowing traffic. The Packers & Movers’ truck had just left from Bharat Residency in its respective lane but the bike was at top speed and the head-on collision was inevitable. “The boy just got flung off onto the roadside, man!” exclaimed the onlooker. “Utterly suicidal driving!” concluded the other.
As Neena got closer to where the biker lay she saw Mr. and Mrs. Agrawal had successfully made their way through the curtain of spectators. For a moment she wanted to turn back in the fear of a gruesome sight but she pushed ahead through the crowd and managed to clutch at Mrs. Agrawal’s elbow. Like spectators around a road show, the crowd was thick but nobody seemed to want to help. Not an iota of concern on their faces for the accident victim. They were merely discussing a mishap. Soon there’d be reporters at the site, Neena imagined.
Just as the trio thrust into the clearance, Mr. Agrawal who had led them through gave a loud gasp and reeled backwards. Neena and Mrs. Agrawal lunged ahead to support him. It was Mrs. Agrawal’s turn to take a look at the biker and she screamed. Turning her face away, she told Neena, tears rolling down her cheeks in an instantaneous stream, “I knew this would happen! I was trying to warn him. Oh my Lord, he spoke without thinking!” She was inconsolable. And Mr. Agrawal was kneeling on the ground, muttering “This can’t have happened. This is not true.” At that minute Neena saw hope that her fears could be rested. Assuming that the victim must have been a Marwari relative, she went forth to take a look herself. One look and she’d frozen over.
Mihir Sabnis had hit his bare head on the Road Roller parked at the side of the road. His lifeless eyes stared into space. Mihir lay there, dead.
Neena heard someone say “What a day this is!” before she’d fainted.  

This story was written for the CARRY ON TUESDAY #116 prompt
and the 3WW CCLII prompt words: Appear, Dose, Pierce

Mar 27, 2011

The BrainFever Bird

...And neither did I know that theres anything named like this until I spotted this bird, lurking in the branches.
What an amazing sight! Wish my lens was good enough but I watched it to my heart's content. And I am sure it's keen eyes were staring right back at me. These birds are always so alert that even if I make the slightest sound I soon find them looking at me, into my lens..:D


The Brainfever bird, is a medium sized Common Hawk Cuckoo. I don't know whether it is just me or is there an uncanny resemblance with the Shikra and the Asian Koel? Maybe the similarity to these birds gives it the categoric name Hawk-Cuckoo.

Learnt at WikiPedia that this bird is a brood parasite, laying its eggs in the Babbler's nests..


Another question occured in my mind, Why would they be known as the brain-fever birds? And I found the amswer at WikiPedia again..
During their breeding season in summer males produce loud, repetitive three note calls that are well-rendered as brain-fever, the second note being longer and higher pitched.These notes rise to a crescendo before ending abruptly and repeat after a few minutes, the calling may go on through the day, well after dusk and before dawn.
In fact that weird sounding bird-call was what drew my attention towards it. And the minute I spotted it through my cam' there was a sudden pin-drop silence. Felt like it knew the bird-watching rules too!!!
 LOL

Interesting FACT about this bird: The type locality of the species is Tranquebar in Tamil Nadu, once a Danish settlement and from where a specimen reached Martin Hendriksen Vahl who described the species in 1797.
Courtesy WikiPedia again

Dr. Ajay Pradhan again at the rescue for recognising this bird!!!

Mar 18, 2011

WOW



http://www.gettyimages.com/



When evening breeze blows
Oh! how romantic it is
Wistful, mellow, its tickling


Have begun blogging again and heres my first Acrostic Haiku for the month of March, posted for





Innovative Prompt C: WOW


and



Breeze, Mellow, Tickle

Feb 1, 2011

Editor's Choice!




Every writer dreads the Editor. And to be the apple of the Editor's eye is a terribly coveted privilege too, isn't it?  Blog Junta has just brought this good news my way! Yayyyyyyyyy!!
At least one story from my recent series has caught their eye. Does that mean there is hope for me as a writer? Do I hear a YES? :D


Do visit the selected story It Was Time... Thankyou for the beautiful shiny medal! ;)
Three Cheers to the Editors at BlogJunta..Hip Hip Hurray!!!

Jan 21, 2011

Best of Indian Blogosphere (BoIB) 2010 polls

Dear friends,
I'd always loved poetry even as a kid but only realised that I could write one too not until I was in the 5th grade.
I was overwhelmed to see my poetry published in a community magazine in 1999 when I was a teenager.
And my recent poetic achievement is that my blog has been shortlisted for the  final round of Best of Indian Blogosphere (BoIB) 2010 polls under the category Poetry.


Please find the polling widget in the sidebar. Hope youll will vote for me and show me your love once again. :D



Jan 4, 2011

Curtain Raiser on the brand New Year 2011

Yaaayyy!!! Here's my latest acquisition and boy, am I proud of that!
BlogAdda has sent me this shiny new badge to flaunt my victory. What an inspiring way to begin blogging all over again in the fresh New Year. :D
Thankyou Blog Adda. Thankyou Anisha..Threee cheers to this wonderful world of blogging!!!! Hip Hip Hurraah....

Here's a picture for BlogAdda's  Share-A-Photo contest...