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30 July, 2010

Avarice, The Human Greed

(Based on a small excerpt from Khalid Hosseni’s “The Kite Runner)

I used to be a very happy man,
Leading a life, the best I can.
Blessed with a smart and beautiful wife;
What more can I ask, than a perfect life.

We didn’t have all the riches on earth,
But content that we had more than our worth.
People used to say that they envy me,
For I used to be cheerful and always in glee.

But to change, the things were bound;
And it’s then, “THE MAGIC CUP” I found.
“I am a mysterious oyster” it said,
“Will produce a pearl, if a tear is fed”.

I never knew to be sad and sorrow,
Was wondering “A tear? Where do I borrow?”
I then started looking for the gloom,
Unaware that it was to be my doom.

I looked around if someone would care, 
A few tears, if they can spare
So that the cup’s veracity I could test,
To know how I can use it Best.

All my attempts were but in vain;  
I looked around and found no pain. 
To resist; too good a temptation the cup was,
I was ready to do anything decadent to crass.

I was ready to go on a killing spree,
Did not realize that my greed had better of me.
The closest to me was my beloved wife,
And I didn’t think twice before taking her life.

Now I have the cup and all the tears,
All the sorrows and all the fears.
With the cup in a hand and seated on mount of pearls,
I weep on her dead body, which in my other arm curls.


28 July, 2010

Memoirs of Geisha

Author: Aurthur Golden

Tone of book? - upbeat

Time/era of story - 1930's-1950's

Romance/Romance Problems Yes

Inside culture (main char) - Japanese

Is this an adult or child's book? - Adult or Young Adult Book

Outside culture (society) - Japanese

Woman's story? Yes

(Courtesy: Allreaders)

Speaking frankly, I bought this book because of the catchy cover. They say in America ‘Don’t judge a book by the cover’. But that is exactly what I did. I felt when the cover looks so exotic; the book must be worth a try and Lo! I landed up with one of the best books I will ever read in my life.

Memoirs of a Geisha, Is more of an autobiography of a small girl Chiyu, who by fate has been sold to Gion (more of a prostitute house) along with her sister and then begins her turbulent journey to become one of the most cherished Geisha of all times - Nitta Sayuri San. The book is very intelligently written and once started you wouldn’t rest it till you finish the last page.

On one hand, the author Arthur Golden tries to explain Japan during the world war II as seen by the eyes of a small girl and the transformations it goes through her life period. On the other hand he very intricately explains the feelings of the girl towards her sister, Satsu; her delicate animosity filled relationship with Mameha, her love for the chairman and her confused relationship with Nobu, who wishes to be her danna. The book further goes on to explain the difficult times of world war and how she braved them with the help of the chairman, her guardian angel.

It is Japan like never before.

My Kudos to the author Arthur Golden, who despite being an American has explained Japan and Japanese culture in such mesmerizing words.

My Suggestion, at the very immediate opportunity, go grab this book and get started.

Teasers :My Favourite Quotes from the book

"Adversity is like a strong wind. I don't mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be."

"This is why dreams can be such dangerous things: they smolder on like a fire does, and sometimes they consume us completely."

"Sometimes we get through adversity only by imagining what the world might be like if our dreams should ever come true."

"I dont think any of us can speak frankly about pain until we are no longer enduring it."

"We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course"

"I had to wonder if men were so blinded by beauty that they would feel privileged to live their lives with an actual demon, so long as it was a beautiful demon."

"Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper."


24 July, 2010


It was torn apart,
By the vehement and intrepid wind,
Though Unwilling, it had to depart
From its family and its rind.

It was atlast going to rest
After the hard and long toil.
It had risen form earth's crest
And now it was going back to the soil.

It swirled and it swayed
Whenever the wind gave it a jerk,
"I want to descend in peace" it prayed,
But the wind made it go berserk.

Those sultry summers and serene spring,
It had begun to recall;
The joy those happy moments bring
It thought, would lighten its fall.

It thanked God, for having made it a leaf,
For those jolly days and life on a tree,
Though it was short and brief;
For having bound it then and now let it free.

With this prayer it landed to be crumpled
by some feet, some hooves or some toe
And then the pieces to be blown away and humbled
Surely, the wind has proved to be its greatest foe.

Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall

This is an artwork by Mark Parisi. It is funny and very witty:)

The other side of the wall

Murphy's law for Humpty Dumpty states that
 "Everytime Humpty Dumpty sits on a wall, Humpty Dumpty must have a great fall "    :)

19 July, 2010

PotterMania2020 - The Best Kept Secret

We can never get enough of the magical world and we can never get over the pottermania.”

Right! For all who are done with the harry potter series and shelved the books, time to dust them off and read the books again. Time to get your basics right.

For we are about to enter the magical world of potters, this time fast forwarded to 2020.

People have come, people have gone but their nature remains the same. There are death eaters present even now about 20 years after the greatest dark wizard ever Lord Voldemort was defeated and killed. Some of these death eaters are into hiding, some others are trying to get along and the rest continue to trouble muggles and the weak. The order of the phoenix still continues to thrive to keep the bad wizards at bay and establish peace.

But something is wrong with the minister of magic. He is planning to go open to the muggle world. To let all the non magical folks know about the existence of the clandestine magical world. The death eaters are supporting the Minister and so are the FMIO - For Muggle Involvement Organization.

You find it interesting so far? I bet you do.

This is the premise on which the site best kept secret is built.

Check it out here:

It is a wonderful site , the plot especially keeps you hooked right?

Equally good are the role plays and the character details you get once you sign up. This site gave me a chance to relive the experiences of those best twelve years of my life. I am glad that this site has been made.

I am sure you will enjoy it too. Go have a look and join the bandwagon.

16 July, 2010

The guns of Navarone

Author: Alistair Maclean
Tone of story: suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
Time/era of story: 1930's-1950's
War Thriller: Yes
Armed Forces:   Special Forces
Specific to - WW II
Kid or adult book? - Adult or Young Adult Book
(courtesy: All read)
Easily one of the best books by Alistair Maclean and by far, one of the best World War II novels.
I will try to summarize the plot without giving out much. During world war II, the axis powers have control over the small Island Navarone. This Island hosts the most powerful guns, guns to which many ships of the Royal navy have fallen prey. On the Island Crete, there are about 2000 British soldiers who need to be evacuated and to accomplish this task the allied forces have to pass through Navarone.
All possible means of entering Navarone to destroy the guns have been tried and failed miserably. However, there is one route to enter Navarone which neither the allied forces nor the axis powers would term as possible means to enter the Island.
It is to accomplish this task, to enter the Navarone and destroy the guns Captain Keith Mallory, a famed mountain climber before world war II is chosen along with a team of the best in business. What happens next is an on-the-edge-of-the-seat thriller story.
The book describes some intense situations and some heart touching ones. Andrea, the silent and deadly Greek giant is one of the best war hero characters you will come across. He doesn’t talk much but conveys things to the point and is more dedicated than anyone else on the team.

I strongly recommend you read this book. It is not every day that you come across Alistair Maclean at his best.

Teasers: My Favourite Quote(s) from the book :
"There are no brave men and cowardly men in the world, my son. There are only brave men.To be born, to live to die - that takes a lot of courage in itself"
- Andrea to Stevens

A movie has been made on this book with the same title. For more details click here (Courtesy: IMDB)

12 July, 2010

OTIOSE dreams

This post has been selected as a 'Spicy Saturday Picks' by BlogAdda

6th June 2010, Sunday 06:03 A.M

I don’t know how I landed here. But I have been here for sometime now.I have gained great experiences, seen great struggles. David has fallen and I have fought Goliath with the help of Lord Voldemort. In return, he wanted me to help him find Shaktimaan. He was feeling very insecure in London, so he wanted to kill, defeat and take Tamraj Kilvish’s place. I Bargained for an autograph from Harry potter ( I actually wanted Emma Watson to sign. But :( ,some other day, Harry for now). He agrees and he has invited me to his father’s grave in part four of the HARRY POTTER series. Voldemort has regained his body and he is about to duel with Harry.

Me: Hey Voldy *poking my finger at his back, he feels tickled*
Voldy: Stop Tickling, Don’t you see I have to duel with Harry?
Me: Before you duel, I want his autograph. Remember the deal *eye winks*
Voldy: Hey boyo, you will have to wait till I have punished him and cursed him. I will Use Crucio to inflict pain and then kill him later. In between, when I take a break, you can get his autograph *smug look on the face*
Me: No, no no no. Not done. I want his autograph right now. He will escape with the dead body of Cedric and you will make a fool of yourself as always.
Voldy: *naturally irritated* what are you? A male Oracle or something?
Me: Believe me Voldy. You don’t want to do this. Don’t duel, just kill him if you want to. If he escapes now he will kill you bit by bit . I have read the books. He will kill your horocruxes and you in part 7. What a shame.
Voldy: * totally furious* Can someone shut this lad in one of the graves? *He gives a villainous smile*
Wait.*The smile grows into a big grin*. I think I will need to practice Avada Kedavra before I use it on Harry. Don’t I?

He raises his wand. I am shocked. Unable to move, I don’t know what to do now. He then utters the most dreaded curse. I close my eyes. So this is how it ends. All the dreams and passions gone for a toss.

I remember reading a thread on the bulletin board that said “If you get to know that the next moment you are going to die. What will you do?”
I was cursing myself. Damn it! Why didn’t you read the whole thread? You would have had some idea at least as to how to handle this situation. Then I remember. There was another mail from Deepak. He always plays these stupid situational games of what- you-do-when. A particular mail read “If you are given a chance to do things before you die what will that be?”

I tried to remind myself of what I had replied .

1. Go curse my manager using choicest of swear words
2. Tell that beautiful receptionist that I was looking for the HSBC drop box actually and not trying to flirt with her.
3. Say bye to my mother, sister, brother and dad.
4. To advice my neighbor aunty not to cry when hero divorces heroine in Pavitra Rishta. (What? You don’t know Pavitra Rishta? Zee TV? Do you have a mom/sis/galfrnd? Haven’t they mentioned it to you? No? Damn it, you are one lucky guy.For gals, I am sure you know this TV serial better than me)
5. Finish reading the book ‘ The God of small things’ (I have been reading it for 7 years now)
6. Watch the last episode of Heroes season-3.
7. Find out who was Phoebe’s mystery stalker in F.R.I.E.N.D.S (don’t remember which season).
And went on the list.

Phew!! None of the above will be possible now. The curse will hit me any second and my body will be air borne for few seconds and lay dud on the floor, just like Albus Dumbledore’s. I was feeling light, I was air borne indeed, but someone was holding me and then I heard it.

To infinity and beyond”.

Buzz light year?? (Apply breaks -zzzzzzzzzzzzsssssssssssscccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhh).
What was he doing in Harry’s world?
(And then it occurred to me)
Voldy must be Zurg’s friend and Buzz is trying to trace Zurg through Voldy.Yeah all bad men are connected like all the underworld people and villains in Bollywood.They must be conducting these meetings like in movies. Status calls probably??
Ahhhhhhhh! Why can’t I keep work out of my life when I am not working?


So I am airborne with Buzz and screaming hoorraaaays when suddenly the erratic Baloo of Talespin crashes his Sea duck into Buzz and I fall down and down and down into labyrinths of darkness.

I feel a tap on my shoulder, open my eyes and look back.A tired and irritated looking giant standing behind me in the queue says:
Aapka number aagaaya, ticket lijiye aur jaake train mein sojaaiye”.
(Translation: Dude, get moving, get your ticket and doze off on your seat in the train)

Ahhhhhhhh. I hate these queues for train tickets in Bangalore Railway station.

08 July, 2010


The below picture is an artwork by Steve Nease. I just could not  resist the temptation of sharing it with you all and here it is.

06 July, 2010

The Fourth Protocol

Tone of story - suspenseful (sophisticated fear)

Time/era of story: - 1980's-1999

Spying/Terrorism Thriller  -Yes

Cloak & Dagger Plotlets: - stopping a saboteur/spy - preventing bomb/biohazard/disaster

Kid or adult book? - Adult or Young Adult Book
(Courtesy: All reading)

John Preston, A senior officer at the MI5 of the British Intelligence system is constantly tossed around to various section by the Deputy head of the MI5 who is nothing but a political animal who wants to secure his position and keep away anyone who is faithful to the current chief of MI5.But as luck would have it, John Preston keeps running into instances which point to a plot to destabilize the British political machinery and disrupt its relationships with USA.

There are people out there, bad people who plan to break the fourth protocol; which if broken would lead to severe damage to property, resources and a great loss of lives. And then there are people who hold the strings and make others play and it is these people who help Preston through his mission. He has to deal with the foreign agencies and people who are trying to harm his motherland and also his own countrymen whose intentions he cannot be sure about.

A thriller which will give you Goosebumps as it goes through the well crafted twists and turns which at last lead to the triumph of the righteous.

Fredrick's attention to detail is simply awe-inspiring, one gets insights into the Russian and British intelligence systems like never before. At times, one may find the book lengthy viz Philby's well drafted letter which goes beyond four pages. But nevertheless, it is done in a typical forsyth style.

All in all a good engaging read and if you love the international drama involving secret agencies and men of valor, skill and strength then this be sure not to miss this book.

Teaser: Trivia from the book 
Ian Flemming's James Bond series depict the chief of SIS as 'M'  although it should be 'C' taken from the initials of the last name of the first chief of SIS. 
There is a movie based on the book with the same title, directed by John Mackenzie and starss Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan( Of James Bond Fame) and Ned Beatty.
Check out IMDB (click on the link) for more details.

01 July, 2010

The salary day