Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
'BE FOCUSSED - THOU SHALT WIN' - Review of "Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai"
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“Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai” the first novel by Rishi Vohra is a superb narration which will invoke inspiration for the so called “under achievers” to focus on their goals and work towards their accomplishment. Like the intertwined tracks, the characters make the story an intricate mace of love, attraction, heartbreak and courage and the destination is hope and victory.
The story is written in the first person by Babloo, nickname for Balwant Srivastav, who introduces himself and states that ‘they’(one can say the experts and people around him) said that he was autistic , schizophrenic and psychotic. He is a neglected child for no fault of his as he is slow by birth. He is a 24 year old young man living with his parents and his only brother Raghu , younger to him, who is a graduate and is employed ..The family has been living in the Bandra Railway colony for 26 years. Nobody cares for his likes or dislikes, except Vandana, the daughter of his father’s boss, who is very kind to him and lives in the same colony. However Raghu being the more eligible is engaged to Vandana. Babloo is ignorant about this. He has only one aim in mind – to get the appreciative nods of Vandana and marry her. The colony bad boys’ gang headed by Sikander also has his lusty eyes on her. When he comes to know about Babloo’s adoration for her he uses him to become friendly with her. Vandana is enamoured with Sikander’s high talks but realizes his nature and also saves a teenager from his clutches. However Good prevails over evil.
The introduction of the character of RailMan from the railway tracks is the mainstay of this novel. He saves the oppressed and people in distress. How Babloo lands in the mental asylum and how he is groomed into a self confident citizen is beautifully described and one should really value Rishi’s imagination for such an useful and inspiring finale. It makes us realize that as parents, siblings , friends , neighbours, relatives and well wishers we must understand with compassion the needs of such Specially abled members of our society and lend a supportive hand for their rehabilitation.
Kudos to Rishi Vohra for his first novel and we wish that he will give us many more such beautiful literary experiences.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
There was a Time When Cricket was Played Like This...
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I was watching one of the IPL-6 matches the other day. With cheer leaders cheering for each team to microphones attached to players in the field, viewing cricket these days have become a visual extravaganza. This made me think of a period (mid eighties to mid nineties) when I was so crazy about cricket and how the matches were telecasted during those times. This blog post is about those days, when as a small kid I will eagerly sit in front of Doordarshan to watch those cricket matches. There was a time when cricket was played like this
- Only one camera was used to cover the entire match and it is placed near the long-off region
- Only channel that telecast cricket was Doordarshan
- If the test match involving
Indiawas held in any other country only highlights will be shown in Doordarshan. One has to depend on All India Radio (AIR) for live commentary of all Test matches outside India
- Doordarshan had only two commentators – Narathom Puri in English and Sushil Joshi in Hindi (I started learning Hindi listening to Sushil Joshi; he uses only 10 sentences to cover the entire match like – khobsoorat cover drive char run keliya)
- First slip position is reserved for captains.
- Diving while fielding is unheard of in cricket field.
- A score of 30/0 after 10 overs or 45/1 after 15 overs were considered to be a very good score in a one day international.
- Day and night matches were rare phenomena.
- Colored cloth and white ball were yet to be discovered in
- Field restrictions were unheard off.
- Cricket even used to be played in ground meant for athletics having synthetic running tracks.
- If a batsman mistimes a shot, the single camera in the field moves in the direction where the batsman intended to hit and by the time camera-man realize that it was a mishit and spots the ball, the bowler may have started walking back to his bowling crease.
- Terms like “Physio” or “Coach” were unheard off in cricket.
- Best cricket reporting was done by R Mohan of The Hindu and the best weekly covering cricket was “The Sports Star”
- If you are travelling, the best bet to update the cricket score was the pocket radio.
- Best commentator for cricket in All India Radio was none other than Harsha Bhogle.
- Slogging happens in one day cricket only after 40 overs are bowled.
- Test match crickets were meant to end in draw. Rarely did the Test matches ended in victory for one team.
- No one was talking about the concept of neutral umpires for Test matches.
- Every April and September there will be a one day tournament played in Sharjah and during the live telecast you could see Dawood Ibrahim and all those big names in Bollywood in VIP stance in Sharjah.
- Once a series is over, one has to wait for weeks or months before another international series happen.
I am sure I may have missed so many while writing this one. If you use to watch the match those days and feel that I missed few points unique to that era please add here.
To sum up here is a match that falls under that category –
during the 1987 Reliance World Cup. Enjoy!
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Your Favorite IPL Team Please....
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Salvation of a Saint – Whodunit and Why – A Gripping Thriller!
Here comes a thriller with a mind blowing theme originally written by Keigo Higashino and wonderfully translated by Alexander O.Smith with Elye J. Alexander. ‘Salvation of a Saint’ is a suspenseful murder mystery with an intricately woven story involving crime and intelligent investigation. One just cannot keep the book down once he/she starts reading it.
The story is about unraveling the crime of death of Mr. Yoshitaka Mashiba by Kusinaga the famous Tokyo Police Detective with the help of his able assistants Kaoru Utsumi and Kishitani. Yoshitaka Mashiba is poisoned to death using arsenous acid .The first informant is Hiromi Wakayama the student of Ayana Mashiba , the beautiful wife of Yoshitaka . Ayana is away at her parents’ place at the time of murder but all clues lead to her being the prime suspect.
Yoshitaka Mashiba is rich and wealthy and wants to marry and have kids and marries with a precondition that if the wife is unable to bear him a kid within the one year of marriage he would seek divorce. Ayana has a birth defect that has rendered her infertile. But still she marries him. However he is killed. There is Yoshitaka’s legal advisor and close friend Tatsuhiko Ikai, who is a lawyer and his wife Yukiko, mother of a two month old kid. Another crucial character is Junko Tsukui, who is the friend of Ayane and who also commits suicide by consuming arsenous acid. When the mystery deepens and cannot be unscrambled, Utsumi seeks the help of her physicist friend Yukawa, whose acumen and reasoning clears the mystery.
The meaningful and logical research done by Keigo in the technicalities of the crime in the administration of the arsenic acid is commendable and praiseworthy. The investigative process and the imaginative prowess of the detective and his team show the ingenuity of the author. The string of events right from the first chapter to the last have coherence and are consistently placed.
Though the author reveals the intention of the killer in the first chapter , the wife’s being miles away from the location of her husband’s murder , her patchwork skills, her interest for gardening and watering flowers’ plants, her dedication to her husband , thoroughly attending on him when he was at home, his habit of drinking mineral water even for making coffee, the student Hiromi’s attachment to the family, Detective Kusinaga’s soft corner and attraction for Ayane and Junko’s tragic episode all make the readers ever alert and curious to know the killer Hence a prolonged applause to Keigo for the meticulous approach, for making this book an enthusiastic reading.
This is a gripping thriller. I did not attend to any social calls during the reading of this book. We must also thank the Alexanders for translating and making available such a detective book with the unpredictable suspense to all English readers. This is a must buy book for all fans who have a penchant for exceptional crime fiction. Looking forward for many more creations from Keigo and many more translated works from the Alexanders.