Showing posts from 2014

Review: God is a Gamer

I had always been a fan of thrillers but somehow I'd this idea that Ravi Subramanian wrote a lot involving banking-which given the fact that my father is a banker & loved his books-would be boring. 
How wrong I was!
I was lucky to start off with God is a Gamer as my first book by the author. And although it did involve banking & some pretty mundane financial stuffs, the core plot revolving around bitcoins was what kept me hooked.
God is a Gamer is an intriguing tale that begins with a meeting. Joseph Saunders the CEO of Visa International & Vijay Banga President of MasterCard International meet up with a US Senator Gillian Tan to discuss about an initiative that Russia may soon take which would cost the credit card industry a lot of their revenue. Soon after the famous WikiLeaks incident occurs, shaking the US government & forcing all international banks to withhold WikiLeaks' finances.  Enter Bitcoins.
Bitcoin is a form of virtual money that allows purchase o…

Click Away For a Cleaner India :The Domex Campaign

4 months back, our office team had set off on a trip to McLeodganj. We'd landed early morning & had discovered much to our horror that no rooms were available at any hotel. After spending more than 12 hours in a bus, all I could think of was a clean washroom to feel human again. A friend & I embarked on a journey to find that paradise. But even after 2 hours we found nothing. By this time we had shred every ounce of shame & were contemplating just barging into some house & using a toilet, hygiene and courtesy be damned!
Finally we headed back to the bus stop & located a public restroom. Oh the relief!

The toilets in our offices, with the fancy bidets, soap dispensers & hand dryers, the ones in our homes that are cleaned everyday & smell so good with all the fragrant air sprays, have you ever spared a single thought to life without it? Yes, where will you click your selfies, right, but more importantly, where would you pee? Being blunt but there's n…

Half Girlfirend Reviewed

The phrase ‘much ado about nothing’ would fit snugly as a one-liner review of the celebrated Indian author Chetan Bhagat’s latest offering-Half Girlfriend. Before you say am being prejudiced, let me clarify, I’m not anti-CB, I did enjoy reading Five Point Someone & stayed up late laughing aloud and waking up the entire household when reading 2 States. I just feel that after a decade, as the writer was so kind to point out, there should have been some kind of improvement in his writing. I was disappointed. Even the synopsis printed in the book cover:
“Madhav didn't speak English well. Riya did. Madhav wanted a relationship. Riya didn't……” I mean what happened to the standard? If you can’t improve at least don’t downgrade!
Coming to the plot, Bhagat has nothing new to offer. Boy falls in love with girl. Correction, horny boy falls in love with girl. Girl leaves. Rural India is brought into focus as boy trudges back to his hometown in Bihar. If the 3 Mistakes Of My Life was …

Let's Leave It At Strangers

You know that heady feeling...when your eyes meet for the first time? That sudden rush of blood into your cheeks, and the rest of your body turning cold? When it's like firecrackers going off  & you hear yourself wolf-whistling (not really, that thing just happens inside your head). One moment is all it takes to know, that life's not going to be the same again. You know that you are going to come back to that moment again & again, when sitting alone with a book in your hand or when you're watching a movie or when you are chatting with your friend over phone. You know you'd recount each second's detail, when someone will ask you "How'd you guys first meet?" You treasure this moment, play it in slow motion behind the closed lids of your dreamy eyes. May be you'd ask him about it too, if you get a chance. How was it for you..when we first met? And you will wait for the answer hoping that the overwhelming feeling was mutual.
And then y…

Lost & Found

So it was your usual friends' day out, 12 hours spent in the humid Delhi weather in September. We were a group of 3 girls & a guy, who'd decided to spend a Sunday exploring the delights  that Delhi had to offer-namely the National Science Centre -wherein much to the chargin of my guy friend, the 'Taramandal' show was restricted to kids only, Connaught Place -where we utilized our smartphones to the maximum trying to locate a decent place to eat & where we all re-established the fact that men can never ask for directions & Hauz Khas village-where my guy friend took it upon himself to peep into every little nook & corner and shriek in delight like a child who's chanced upon a hidden toffee, whenever he discovered a couple nestled in there.

We decided to wrap up the day at the park in the Hauz Khas village. We spent a good 15 min walking around only to spot stray dogs & no sign of any deer or rabbit or whatsoever exotic creatures. I earned the lab…

The Rohtak Suicides:Why Can't Girls Be Allowed To Be Girls?

I don’t know where to start. The sheer injustice of it, repeated time & again; the blatant refusal of people to open their eyes to something so obvious, the strong denial of this society that refuses to change its attitude, have left me feeling helpless. When I came across this headline-’Death over eve-teasing’ I admit, I was shocked. I am ashamed to admit that even though for a fleeting second I too had joined the ranks of those who feel that eve-teasing is a petty issue in our country, like urinating in public…I mean girls get raped everyday…who kills themselves just ‘coz someone cat-called when they were walking down the street?!
As I went on reading through the article I felt a sense of dejection, the girls were aged 17 & 16! They should be worrying about what to wear to college the next day, which movies to watch, what books to read, whether they will make it through the entrance exams for graduation, about that cute guy in class, anything at all-not about penning down 6 p…

The Deliberate Sinner : Reviewed

The Deliberate Sinner is a debut attempt by Bhaavna Arora. Rihana the protagonist is described as a free spirited adventurous girl, who ends up marrying Veer-the eligible bachelor in town. The marriage however gradually turns into a nightmare for her as she discovers Veer is not the same guy who courted her.
It being a debut novel I can’t be too harsh with the review, but seriously, which Punjabi family names their daughter Rihana?! The flow of the novel is very abrupt I felt; which is one of the reasons why I couldn’t finish the book in one stretch. Although I appreciate the honesty with which Bhaavna has portrayed the much hushed need for female sexual gratification, I feel most of the details were unnecessary & made me feel like I was reading an Indian version of 50 Shades of Grey.
That said, now let me focus on the good part. The Deliberate Sinner talks of the harsh realities of Indian society-it explores with brutal honesty, the truth behind most marriages in India-compromis…

Lucifer's Lungi:Reviewed

The title had me raise an eyebrow.. (I actually can't raise one so it was the pair that got raised.) Lucifer from my limited knowledge of the Biblical texts, was supposed to be a fallen angel, often considered as the Satan or Devil...or something as such. Why would he bother draping a lungi was beyond me. So I decided to find out. Am glad I did.
The synopsis at the back is quite sinister & was one of the reasons I avoided reading the book at night. 'A clash of beliefs, fears and frailties with unknown Gods & demons', no thank you! But I digress.
The book opens with the author introducing the age in which the story is set-an era minus the Internet and mobile phones, almost like the Stone Age. But even then the young protagonist faces a dilemma similar to what we face everyday in office-staying awake…minimizing the frequency of yawns…finding an effective way to clear the debris off a stagnant mind. But unlike us he finds a very aesthetic solution for this-wanderlust!

The 4 Letter S Word

It was a trap. A casual invitation… a seemingly harmless one mostly laid for amateurs (read boyfriends & husbands) & I was drawn into it, though I belonged to neither category. Such is my disastrous fate. But first a foreword…
Sale-the 4 letter word that breathes elixir into every female’s bones; the talisman that would awaken the dead (the dead in reference being a female), the one word that can strike fear into the coldest & strongest men has finally arrived.

When you’ve had had a break up & are in the midst of the denial phase, text messages are fired at the rate of 2 long winding messages/minute & every ‘ping’/’ding’ of your cell phone, makes your heart skip a beat. During those crucial seconds when you stare at the screen, already essaying out a reply & a ‘ding’ announces the arrival of a message that you pounce upon…“ FLAT 30% OFF! EOS SALE on at XYZ…” if my phone wasn’t worth more than half my salary, it’d have found itself flying across the room by no…

The Epidemic Called Marriage : 2 Reasons Why I Don't Want To Get Married

Is this the Chinese year of marriage? It started slowly. Nondescript. A photo on my Facebook news feed, of a friend who I didn’t know even existed in my friends’ list, standing next to her life partner. Reddish-maroon shade of lipstick, that slight shine on the forehead from the sweat, face a bit ashen because you know, too much of foundation & the flash going off in your face, the groom holding in his paunch & trying to look appropriately delighted-trademark photos had slowly started creeping into my news feed. Soon enough came along photos of little babies, babies asleep, babies crawling, babies dressed up in cute little outfits, babies just being babies, babies babies babies..until I just couldn't find the energy to do another “awww…so cuteeee!”

And now they are everywhere! People getting married left right & centre. Is Doomsday happening after all? Everywhere I see people are either marrying, or going to a marriage or discussing it. And like all good mothers, mine h…

When The Lights Go Out

"Saab, you want tea?" the liitle chap was looking at me with big hopeful eyes. I was surprised to find him here today.

It's a Saturday night, that too after the Good Friday holiday. That means I'm all alone in the office. The normal people with normal lives have either taken a much deserved short vacation with their families or have found the extended weekend an excuse to booze more & party wilder. The only company I've is a snoring guard at the main gate & a red-eyed maintenance personnel who's probably curisng my presence that forbids him to leave before I do. 

"What are you doing here this late? Go on, go home now. Here take this" I handed him 10 bucks & shooed him away.

I finally log off & switch off the monitor. The admin guy looks up hopefully. I nod at him as I pass by him towards the door. As I reach for the lift button, there's a fluttering of lights in the corridor before all goes dark...For a second I can't even see a…

It's Not K!

Write Over the Weekend theme for this week This time we’re aiming at making it more creative! Your post must contain a text conversation ending with someone saying “k”.

“So I call her up & ask her to forward that mail. But she wouldn't ‘coz she said she’d exhausted her data balance & can’t recharge now as it’s late already. I mean of all the days, she decides to bail on me today!” After meticulously typing this out on WhatsApp, I patiently waited for him to come online & check it. He appeared online, his status changed to typing…& 5 secs later this appeared on the window:
I can handle all kinds of SMS lingo, especially when vowels disappear & you end up playing a guess-the-word game; I enjoy linking the context with the plausible word that the sender could’ve meant. I can even excuse typos, like when a friend who quite obviously was still asleep, texted back a “Gn” to my “Goodmrng J “ message at 9am. Even I use NP(no problem), TP(time pass), BTW(by the way…

A Friend Forever

She glanced disinterestedly at the numerous photos lying on the table, while her mother droned on about each guy, their salary, family status & long winding family connections, until she could bear it no longer.

She let her thoughts wander, outside the window she noticed it was so bright & sunny, the sky as blue as it was that day. The day she met her true love & knew that she had found what she had been looking for all this while, clearing every confusion, healing all her pain; she had known that she'd never be alone again.

"Will you still love me when am no longer..." Lan Del Rey's voice filled the room as her phone rang & her mother finally paused the monologue to ask "Who's it?"

Her heart skipped a beat, as it always did when she took her name aloud; "Oh just a friend from college-Sangeeta".

Write Over the Weekend theme for this week This time we’re aiming at making it more creative! Your post must contain the word Friend …

The Apparition

Gargi glanced at the rear view mirror & groaned, ”Not again b&&ch! What the heck do you want from me?!” The apparition floated silently behind her. Gargi dialled Rohit’s number, “she’s back…” “Who?” “Riya that witch, you dumb head” “Oh okay… where are you? Come over to my place”
“What’s with her? Why does she hate you so much?” Seher frowned at Gargi. “Don’t look at me, if I knew I’d have solved my problem way back…she doesn’t do anything actually. She just keeps mouthing some words at me. Am damn sure they are not sweet endearments though…”. Rohit who  had been pacing up & down until then, looked up. “Mouthing words? Why didn’t you tell me that before? Riya’s ghost might be trying to tell you something” “What on earth could she be telling me? She died in a freak accident. It’s not like someone murdered her & she’s trying to lead us to the killer…right?” Gargi looked at Seher unsure. Seher looked at Rohit for confirmation. “I dunno really…Riya was rich though. And…

My New Year To-Do List

I clicked on my textdocs folder after a long long time. And all my posts under my blog came up categorized as ‘A long time ago’ by Windows 7. I felt guilty instantly. I don’t even remember what I wrote last save for all the so-called clever/witty WhatsApp & Facebook status messages.
So overall, here’s what my new year will be like.
1.Write more: I’ll write every other day. No matter what I come up with, it’s going into my blog or in my new journal a friend gifted me last year. Writing gives me the much needed clarity of thought. I miss how I’d shut off the world & just pen down words that flew into my head from God-knows-where. I miss my sole talent-the ability to find every situation funny, something to laugh about no matter how difficult things get & then blog about it of course! I live alone, have all the peace & quiet I could possibly need & now even the damn freezing winter in Gurgaon can’t stop me from blogging!!!
2.Read more: I’ve less of a complaint in this d…