Saturday, 15 September 2012

Work , Life and a Break -Part1

“Dude get a life! Who the hell works on a Friday night! I hardly see anyone in the office, except the 2nd shift guys!"

“Get out of office and dooo what exactly?” 

“Are you kidding me Pranay? You are a 27 year old single and smart looking guy. Go out and party with your friends”

“Dost! Party karne ka time nahi hai. Abhi toh career banana hai”

“Dude seriously tu impossible hai. Byee”

Pranay was a young lad heading a sales team in a big multinational giant in Mumbai. He was trying to make it big but very quick. It had been almost 4 years he had visited his parents in Lucknow. He felt it would distract him. He hardly went out with friends.  Leave aside relationships; he not even had occasional flings!

He was serious about his aspirations and was working towards fulfilling each of his dreams. But he had somehow forgotten that life was not just about quickly going up the management ladder. It was not about having a money making machine. It was more about valuing the people in your life and living each day as it comes. 

Like every other day it was late night and he was still in the office.  Friday or Monday didn’t quite matter to him. Suddenly he felt a little giddy and when he saw the clock it was almost 11pm. It was 14hours he had been in the office. He packed his laptop and decided to call it a day.

He had just managed driving out through the parking when he saw a slim, tall girl in a bright red kurti standing outside the gate with her back facing him. The street was dim lit and he felt at that time, it wasn’t very safe for a girl to be standing there alone. He pulled the car close to her and rolling down the window asked, “Excuse me, do you need any help?”

She turned and the diamond stud that she wore on her left nose sparkled; Thus, bringing Pranay’s entire attention onto her face. He could just not believe his eyes.  She looked ravishing. She had light brown eyes and her eyebrows were perfectly arched. She had sucked her lips in, reasoning why only a tinge of pink gloss remained on her lips.  He could sense a little panic in her eyes. Probably she wasn’t expecting anyone around at this time. 

 Suddenly breaking through his thoughts she replied coyly. “Actually I had called for a cab but it seems it's stuck in traffic and will take at least an hour to reach.” 

“Hop in. I can drop you. It’s probably not a good idea to wait here”, replied Pranay instantly.

Little hesitant in the beginning she thought it was no doubt a better idea to accept the lift.

Nodding her head she opened the door of the car and adjusted the seat; Once seated she signalled Pranay to get started.  She was continuously looking out of the window. Pranay could sense her discomfort.  As pranay tried to catch her glimpse she turned and said “I want to get down near Lokhandwala”. Pranay was in awe with her beauty and serenity. He felt like halting the car and just staring at her. Indeed, she couldn't have been more simpler, more considerate or more demure.  

Breaking the silence she said, “I need to get down here can you please slow down the car”. He was obfuscated.  He looked around to realize they were in Lokhandwala already. What a fool he was to have got lost in his thoughts. What would have she thought about him? He was so arrogant that he didn’t even converse with her.  

He pulled his Honda city to the left. She got down slowly, avoiding the puddle. Cursing himself, he started the car again. She had a smile on her face. For the first time he noticed her dimples. They made her look even more beautiful.  

Interrupting his thoughts and retaining the same smile on her face she said” Thank you, Pranay. Good Byee”. He smiled back and turned his car. 

On his way back home he was still thinking about her, he wanted to know more about her. He thought of meeting her again. But how would he do that? He didn’t know anything about her! Leave aside other things, he didn’t even ask her name! For a moment, he considered going back to the place where he dropped her. But it seemed useless as she would be home by now.  He felt like a dimwit. :(

He reached home exhausted. With a broken heart, he crashed on the bed.  He was just not able to forget the beautiful face. He was disheartened recalling the entire episode and his absent mindlessness. 

He suddenly remembered how she bid him goodbye. She called him by his name!!
“OMG”, he exclaimed.

How was it possible? They were neither acquaintance nor did they introduce themselves. Then how did she know his name?   He tried very hard but couldn’t get the answers. He was completely baffled.  
to be contd....

Thursday, 13 September 2012


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

Book Name:  Fractured Legend                     
Author:  Kranthi Askani
Category:  Fantasy Fiction 
Pages: 191
Publisher: APK Publishers
Rating: 3.5/5 

                                              Buy Fractured Legend: Book
When it comes to reading I am very selective in picking the books I read.  Fantasy Fiction is one style I avoid reading. But when I read the summary of ‘Fractured Legend’, I was in awe with the writers thought process. Quite unconventional I must say.  So I decided to go against my apprehensions and give the book a fair chance.

Fractured Legend is a story of a dilapidated temple which is home to a number of slave girls. These girls deliquesce into flesh at night and turn into rocks again in the morning. One such slave girl is Priyambada. Priyambada breaks free from her life as a slave girl to live a life of mortality in flesh.  The first part of the book revolves around her life as a slave girl and later about her life in flesh. She had served the queen for a lot of years and no longer wanted to live life as a piece of stone. With the help of a magical ring that she received from her queen, she slipped into a house and become a part of their lives overnight. She entered the home as a teenage girl who became a woman and who eventually got married.  In the beginning of her life as flesh, she battled the temptations to freeze back into a rock.  But few years down the lane, she had her own small world.  Priyambada had very well understood that it was better to age and die as a flesh than to live the life of immortality as a rock. 

The second part of the book is about Nandhini who is a professional assassin and is on an assignment to recover the manuscript. This manuscript leads her from one trouble to another and finally she has her life at stake. The third part of the story is about Pravalli, who is Priyambada’s daughter. She is drafting a long letter to her mom. 

The link between these three women is Aardya, who herself  is a slave girl and the one who Priyambada was closest to in the temple. 

Albeit the boring start, book picks up pace after some 70 odd pages. With every passing page you adore the writing skills of the author. He is a Paragon in descriptive writing. However, the author doesn’t seem to be an equally good story teller.  After a certain point of time the description looks like a guff and the story doesn’t seem to be moving ahead. What lacks the most in the story is the Mystery. It becomes quite easy for the reader to for see what would happen ahead.

On the positive note, the story & concept hit the bull’s eye. Author's conceptualizations of thoughts look intransigent. The book escalates you to an altogether different world. A world which seems to be unreal; A world which looks like an illusion. This world  is far off from the one you have seen and grown up in.  

At the end a lot of questions remain unanswered. The author leaves it for you to tie the loose ends.

Overall just a bit above average read. 

About the Author:
The author, Kranthi Askani is a novelist from Hyderabad, India. He works with Infosys, one of the software giants of India. His fictional style integrates magical realism with gothic elements. This is his first work in writing.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Living In Mumbai- Part 2

               Imagine, a Rainy day- getting wet like crazy, taking bath with hot water, relishing the taste buds with spicy bhajiya’s and finally sipping the garma garam adrak wali chai! Wait Wait…all this with old Hindi classics playing in background. Wah! What a quintessential experience! 

                 But what happens when you need to reach office for an early morning meeting and it starts raining heavily? Jam pack highway, cars moving at snail’s pace and to top it all you are hardly able to see anything in the rear mirror!! I am sure then, 99% of the Rain lovers would start cursing the rains.

            To me everything about Mumbai looks just perfect!! No No wait a minute, surely not the rains. When it rains heavily (which happens mostly), the traffic of the city comes to a halt. Water flooding here and there, king size potholes everywhere, semi wet people struggling to get a rick or cab and the pedestrians trying to save themselves from the water splashes. Hanging on the bus doors, walking and carpooling somehow people find other alternatives to reach home. Mumbaikar’s are so used to their prosaic life that whatsoever happens, they would struggle and reach their workplace every day.

               I am not a rain person. If it rains on a holiday I avoid going out. On weekdays rain banter me while driving to work. But once at work, thanks to my IT job, I get spared of the atrocities of Mr Rain. :) Sitting at one place and working on the computer, I somehow forget about the rain until its evening and time for me to leave. 

              I feel rains mock me. They paralyse me temporarily, leaving me with the only option to sit at one place and do nothing. When it rains, everything looks depressing to me: sad, dull and monotonous. Not at all does it seem romantic.  It only brings out the worst in me. I crib, I rant and feel irritated.

             This year it had been a dry monsoon for Mumbai. Didn’t rain like every other year. No heavy showers, no throughout the night rains. However, day before yesterday when it rained like cats and dogs, it seemed like a lot of prayers were answered. I didn’t realize the intensity of rains until I left office and got stuck at a signal for almost 30 mins. After that long wait, things didn’t quite improve. It only became worse. Vehicles moved inch by inch and my irritation grew by leaps and bounds. 

               The Radio channels managed to scare the hell out of me by updating about every street and every corner flooded with water. Stuck in the jam, I couldn’t possibly think of doing anything. Jaded, I started to think of ways to entertain myself.  Listening to music, contemplating, watching people outside; I did all. But nothing seemed to divert my attention from the traffic. I ate a few biscuits from my bag. But my hunger was in search of junk (Healthy /Unhealthy). I decided to stop cribbing about the rains and find a way to eat something scrumptious. And the bulb glowed.

                I knew there was a Domino’s at the street’s end. Without wasting time, I called up Just Dial and got the number. I ordered garlic bread with cheesy dip. A few minutes later I was outside the store, and the sales girl was sweet enough to come out and deliver the order in my car.  

                 After that I forgot about the traffic, I forgot about the cars, I forgot about the time and I forgot about the rains. I was busy enjoying my garlic bread and licking the cheesy dip. What bliss, I told myself.  I realized ‘Rains aren’t that bad’. Somehow they give you time for yourself.  Rains seem beautiful to people because people do things they like and not the things they are expected to do. People pause their lives and live a fresh day. To every person rains say something. 

That day I realized, to me they say Take It Easy Girl.