Forbidden Path


At this present moment if I were to define my state of mind it would be a simple one-word summation – confused. Yet I press on because that is what life is all about. You may be shaky  and sorrowful inside yet you have to pull on…..

Refuting the evergreen optimists, I’d say, life, as such, is not a propellor. It may provide you with motivating and catalytic opportunities , however, there are times when best of efforts towards a set direction come to naught. Going by the divine machination, if nullification evinces a process of elimination then the obvious question that props up is: “if this is not, then what?”

I know I am not to fathom or judge the Divine Will. I agree that is exactly what I am up to and that is perhaps why  I am more baffled and dejected than ever. But in the final analysis I am human and I want to hold on to something in life, even if it is a mere illusion. And illusions being illusions, they can be as wispy as ever.

So, the stark reality is that I am back to square one. And when I try to decode God’s encrypted message in-between the steep declines of failures, I come to a dead end.

Perhaps the answer lies in the quest itself and not in the despairing dilemma.  Yet…..as I trudge on in search of the next milestone, bewitched and befuddled, the blinding signages beckon me with witchy guile and the ghoulish wind almost throws me out of path with a satanic hiss,”This is not for youno….. not for you…..no …….never for you.”

And I, like the one possessed, lurch on forward with that same ancient query on my querrulous lips, “if this is not, then what…….then what……then what?”

images

From Google

This Post is in response to WordPress Daily Prompt : Dilemma

And Then There Were Words


phobias

From Google

Ahoy! I am back. While going through my blog I realize that I have been absenting quite a lot and therefore want to make up for the lack of posts in between.

At times, it may be difficult to find interesting topics to write on and at others, you are bubbling with ideas to put forth in black and white. During those dreary stretches of disappearance from blogosphere, I often wondered whether the ink in my quill had dried up untimely. The thought made me feel empty. And sometimes gave me the jitters.

It is at this bleak point in life of diffidence and doubt that I chanced upon this loooong scroll of uncommon words at the back of an ordinary Register. Just imagine! A delightful find indeed, more so, because these were inscribed where they were least expected to be and that upped my spirits no less. Now, here there was a treasure trove worth sharing. For the scholarly, these may not be serendipitous revelations but for me they were an enchanting and valuable addition to my vocabulary.

So, my friends here they are. Let me know how many of these were already known to you and how many expanded your lingual horizon:

S.

Word

Meaning
1. Globophobia Fear of balloons popping
2. Ombrophobia Fear of rains
3. Geniophobia Fear of chins
4. Tetraphobia Fear of number 4
5. Tryophobia Fear of holes
6. Pogonophobia Fear of beards
7. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia Fear of long words
8. Lipophobia Fear of fats in food
9. Genuphobia Fear of knees and /or kneeling
10. Sanguivoriphobia Fear of vampires
11. Ergophobia Fear of work
12. Emetophobia Fear of vomiting
13. Triskaidekaphobia Fear of number 13
14. Arachibutyrophonia Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your month
15. Nomophobia Fear of being out of mobile phone contact
16. Ancraophobia Fear of wind
17. Ephebiphobia Fear of youth
18. Xanthophobia Fear of the colour yellow
19. Myrmecopobia Fear of ants
20. Turaphobia Fear of cheese
21. Anthophobia Fear of flowers
22. Hylophobia Fear of trees/forests
23. Omphalophobia Fear of belly buttons
24. Scriptophobia Fear of writing in public
25. Pentheraphobia Fear of your mother-in-law

To think of what all humans are fearful of!! But I guess the most relevant are the ones at Sl. No. 15 and 25. Trust me to come across and be intrigued by all sorts of phobias and fears. My young colleague thought I was endowed with, what she called, a khurafaati dimaag. Now, that’s quite a non-translatable phrase! The closest will be weird brain?  I am not sure. So let’s drop that.

Coming to phobias…Google aunty defines it as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. While overpowering dread can take a turn towards insanity, short lived fears can be situational, conditional and may be considered normal. For example, if you are nauseous you may suffer from emetophobia. I do whenever I have to travel to the hills.

Triskaidekaphobia is quite common as the number 13 is considered ominous and harbinger of ill-luck. I think ergophobia is our national trait.

When I was young, I remember I used to feel vulnerable of my youngness now whether that is tantamount to ephebephobia is a call that a shrink needs to take.

Sanguiphoriphobia? Now who would love to have vampires around?

While I won’t rule out a tinge of madness in meself I’d be no less happy to know what of the above phobias you think you are suffering from or trying to fight with.

Lemme know…..even in whispers will do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So long……………..sleep tight!!

Boss Ka Sauce


tc3a1bua

From Google

Remember those good old school days when you had to prepare for class tests and half-yearly/annual exams in the good old fashioned way. You had to regularly attend classes, read chapters, understand the meaning of what you read, listen attentively to your favourite teacher explaining you the subtle nuances hidden between the lines and reproduce the same on answer sheets. Yes! I am talking about my all-time favourite subject – Literature – a discipline which transports me to a different plane all together!!

However, this post is in a lighter vein. So, let’s not delve into the deeper realms of the subject. I’d rather tickle you with that evergreen joke of an average boy mugging up a series of essays on expected topics. Unfortunately, what he learns by heart does not appear in the question paper. So, he has to write on “The River” instead of the essay on “The Cow” which he has so painstakingly prepared. The result is somewhat like this:

Our village has a river which runs through the meadow. The meadow is covered with grass. The grass is very green. So, the cows visit the meadow every day for pasture. The cow is a gentle animal. It has four legs, two horns and a long tail. They are white in colour. Cows give milk which is very good for health. I too have a cow at home. Her name is Meena. Every day I take my cow to the fields ….”

And that is how a mediocre feels happy tricking life accosting an unexpected turn!

Coming back to the present,  gone are the days of writing essays, passages, précis, letters which have been taken over now by e-mails, blogs, FB posts, Tweets, Smses.

If you ask me I can still fill up pages on any subject, be it the cow or the river, without mooing a protest. However, given a choice, no brownie points to guess the topic on which words will gush out in torrents without a pause to think. Simple! It is “My Boss”, the ultimate discordant note hyphenated between composure and commotion in a pen-pusher’s eventless life. Right?

No! Don’t let your memory cells pan on that (in)famous ad on Hari Sadu. Every boss may or may not be a Hari Sadu. Yet the clan has the enviable ability to endlessly add woe to a subordinate’s servile existence, sometimes by torment and sometimes by passivity.  To this the boss has every right to bellow, “Not every subordinate is as docile as you portray them to be.” Agreed. There are those exceptionally bred employees who have the caliber to drive the bosses up the wall. I salute them. Alas! The percentage of this breed is so miniscule as to have next to nil impact on the Body Corporate’s contribution to market share or the GDP.

Bosses are bosses! You cannot image a parallel adequate enough to define them. They can give chameleons a massive inferiority complex when it comes to changing colours and our homegrown netas a run for their money when it comes to defection. Having had the privilege of serving under the worst of the clan, who could put the most formidable celluloid villains to shame, I implore to all my readers not to harbor a second’s doubt on the authenticity of my vouch safe. Much before SRK could break the mold of the stereotypical good-guy-next-door-hero, the bosses had already ushered in the era of the protagonist flaunting definite shades of grey. The true-spirited amiable ones are just exceptions to prove the rule.

Having had such vast experience, I feel it’s my moral duty to share the same with my esteemed readers. There were those (read bosses) who made it quite clear, at the very outset that it’s the junior in grade who had to slog and the cherry on the cake was for them to relish. There were those who would make the poor subordinate toil hard to be told in the closing hours of the day that s/he had done nothing at all. There were those who knew by heart which angle the head was to be turned and which direction the accusatory finger to be lifted when trouble seemed to be brewing in the horizon. And then there were those sharif ones who did nothing, relied heavily on the poor fellows down the line, appreciated their work loudly in public and flogged them (verbally) as well when anything went wrong, that too in full view and audibility of the public. Last but not the least, there were those unique ones, who held their subordinates in utter contempt because who would know better how to (un)do a job than the boss himself? And of course those who do not know Newton’s Fourth Law of Corporate Existence, for them here it is – bosses are always right even if they are wrong and if you are naïve enough to point this out to them it is you who is the epitome of incompetence and ignorance, the one who needs immediate counseling and a course in efficiency and mind application.

With such an illustrious career, (having handled and suffered all of the categories described above), one may assume that I must have by now pocketed all the tricks of the trade to survive in the corporate jungle.

Yes! I have so to speak. The worst of the specimen taught me to learn what I abhorred the most and unlearn what I held dear to my heart. It was hard to compromise, no doubt, harder to follow the herd and hardest to be me in the face of rising pressure brought down to smash the core to pulp.  My well-wishers tell me that I have been naïve and to some extent imprudent. I believe wisdom lies not in exhibiting bravado but in showing boldness with a generous scoop of intelligence. I don’t know whether I have passed the exam. But it will be wrong to presume that the battle is without. The war is very much and will always be within till the last breath perhaps. And the fact that I have not given in to the will of the power be and yet stayed afloat adds enormous credibility to the adage je shoi shei roi (s/he who endures is the one to remain).

Shaking off nostalgia, I’d go with the jingle “har ek friend zaroori hota hai”. Likewise, “hare ek boss zaroori hota hai”. Otherwise, during those chatpata aao-behen-let’s-chugli-kare sessions wherefrom would we get the lip smacking ketchupee food-for-gossip but from the latest karnaamaa of the respectable boss?

And God forbid if he overhears that……………….

Shhhhhhhhh…………koi hai kya………………………?

 

When Grounded


ALL AROUND THE TWONFor quite some time now I have been resenting the fact that I have lost the habit of reading be it bedtime or leisure time. Reasons?  Tight schedule, pressure of work, physical and mental exhaustion, general lack of concentration and attentiveness, immersion in diverse activities leading to short retention span (that’s completely my own psychoanalysis), reader’s block ( if that really exists  – something akin to writer’s block!) or rather saturation in terms of mental assimilation due to over engagement in a routine of  voluminous reading, re-reading, analysis and occasionally fruitful and at times totally inutile but grueling  R&D as part of my office work,  gravitating around myriad mundane meaningless chores rather than orbiting around higher pursuits, etc. etc. The list of excuses is endless yet they are just excuses, and therefore in the final analysis, lame.

This time God heard me out from some distant Universe and I fell sick twice consecutively and severely which meant hours spent lying on bed counting the number of rotations the ceiling fan took without cooling the room to near comfortable temperature. Of course, the AC was functional but running that would not have given as much masochistic pleasure as the former exercise imparted.  And given the fact how and what I am, spending the day just being horizontal was more killing than the vengeful virus which attacked my poor biological system mercilessly. So, what to do when grounded, completely, in the true sense of the term?

  • Ruminate agonizingly on each bygone moment of a life misspent heightening your mental miseries?
  • Give in to imagining a bleak post retirement life confined to bed suffering as much as being painful to others – a formidable and morbid projection into the unknowable future which can easily suck you into a head spinning cyclonic swirl of paranoia?
  • Play Candy Crush Saga on your Smartphone till the phone is bereft of all smartness and starts behaving most un-smartly?
  • Enter the medicine induced soporific zone and be there till you start feeling like a zombie?
  • Be glued to the idiot box till an unmatched precedence of idiocy is established?
  • Listen to mom’s disgruntled drones on how every department of the household is dwindling to disastrous malfunctioning on account of deliberate absence of dedicated care and concern?
  • Or very simply catch up on your unfinished (or rather neglected) reading?

And for once, I fantastically took the appropriate decision of pursuing the last but not the least bulleted activity.  Why fantastic? Well! That is a different story altogether for a mind perpetually vacillating between what is right and what is easy.

Now the prime consideration was the choice of read. Of course, you don’t expect a fever-frenzied mind to dwell upon the intricate corollaries and fitting axioms which tenaciously bridge the gaps between Science and Religion or how the corridors of power tortuously wind into corruption mired alleys of stinking scams and shameful controversies ceremoniously dropping on the way any pretension of exemplary ethical governance that the hopelessly naive citizens of this country, even after so many years since that fateful Day of Independence, are still stupidly clinging to.

Mind has its own magical contraptions. Even after more than three decades, as soon as I pick up a soft bound, I invariably recall how my father used to so very strongly pronounce that all paperbacks contained trash as soon as we laid our hands on one of them. It was not that he condemned the genre in letter and spirit but I guess had I and my sister invested a little more of our time and interest in hard bound classics (which we actually did intermittently) instead of racy page turners he would have been more happy and satisfied. So was the case with my Paternal Uncle who was famous for finishing a bestseller in breath-stopping speed and then proclaiming it to be “all nonsense” throwing the book aside!! In this era of economizing on tetra/refill packs, I wonder what my father’s comments would have been on easy-to–carry-versions, and more so, for the portable digitized (kindle?????) ones.

Disregarding memories of my father’s admonition I settled on a read which would be less exacting on my racked brain yet nonetheless not fail to keep me intrigued. Since my formative years, I had been fed a staple diet of adrenaline-rushing-whodunits (thanks to my elder sister), not because of their gory quotient but because they were always considered more mind stimulating. At an age when my peers were hooked to mushy romances ( the Mills & Boons & Barbara Cartland types) and normed a non-addict ( to such mindless pretty-young-thing-swooning-over-the-tall-dark-handsome-macho-guy-at-first-sight-love-stories) as distinctly  perverted and weird I, in turn, held them in utter contempt for being so gullible and dumb to nurture that unflinching fondness for such Cinderella-esq-fairy-tales and all-matches-are-made-in-heaven-kind-of-notion. But that was a long long time back, really!!!

So coming back to my present status of being sick in every possible sense of the term, what could be more engrossing and attention diverting (from my-days-are-numbered-on-this-planet-earth-syndrome) than a fast paced suspense thriller. I quickly settled for a Mary Higgins Clark. This time it was “All Around The Town”.

Blurb: Laurie Kenyon was kidnapped at the age of four and returned after two years to her parents who could not stop thanking God for His kindness. They thought it was a miracle that their child was safely back and behaved as though nothing was amiss. Mr. and Mrs. Kenyon staunchly believed that Laurie was abducted by some unlucky childless couple who must have showered a lot of love and care on their poor, estranged kid and ultimately realizing their mistake and supposedly feeling guilty had thought of giving her back to her real parents. It was Laurie’s elder sister, Sarah Kenyon, who promised to herself that no harm should befall her little sister ever again.

Laurie grew up to be a very beautiful, intelligent and spirited girl. A gifted golfer, an ace student and a loving sister, Laurie was Sarah’s world. However, when Kenyons suddenly succumbed to a freak road accident, Sarah’s comfort cocoon crumbled. She was left alone to take care of her young sister who now blamed herself for their parents’ death. Laurie’s shrink diagnosed her to be positively suicidal. Gregg, Laurie’s ex-boyfriend, could not figure out why she suddenly broke away from him without any rhyme or reason.  But when Professor Allan Grant, Laurie’s Varsity mentor, was unexpectedly murdered, all clues pointed towards Laurie. Sarah, left her thriving career of a Public Prosecutor, to defend her sister in Court. Yet Sarah knew that there was no other way for Laurie but to plead guilty as it was more than confirmed that she had committed the crime under the influence of her alter-ego.

Laurie’s abductors were now celebrated Television evangelists and feared if Laurie opened her mouth about what happened to her in those two years of abduction, their career would be doomed. So, the only possible option left for them was to not let Laurie speak even if that meant taking an extreme course of action. Justine, Laurie’s psychoanalyst, was at his tether’s end as Laurie’s multiple alter-egos would not let the truth be disclosed. In such mind boggling situation would Sarah be able to save her traumatized sibling from the gallows? 

My Take: Higgins deftly weaves multiple sub-plots cogently into the mainstream in a seamless flow of storytelling. The book is gripping. The narrative is consistent. The characterizations relatable. However, I have a problem when it comes to murder mysteries. Being a diehard the-all-time-queen-of-crime-fiction-Agatha-Christie fan, I land up comparing every other mystery writer with the doyen. While Christie is class apart Higgins is very, very American. While Christie tends to delve into the minds of her characters, thereby pulling her readers along to do so as well, Higgin’s build-up is situational. I have often found Higgins predictable because Christie has taught me to suspect the least suspicious of characters. While Higgins relies heavily on dramatization Christie unobtrusively eggs her readers to follow her train of thought on how to deduce the right answer (read the culprit) from the baffling miasma of contrary facts – it’s more like patiently putting a jigsaw puzzle in place. Christie draws her readers in a mind game of collaborative investigation of come-let’s-find-out-who-it-can-be-style whereas Higgins tells you point blank who it is as the narrative progresses episodically in leaps and bounds. Notwithstanding the above critique, Higgins is interesting and does not let a moment drag in a race of tight scripting. She is well conversant of the subject that she takes up to-deal with in each of her novels which by the detailing is made quite clear to her readers how well-researched the theme is. In the instant case, the sessions on psychoanalysis for handling/treating a patient with Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) is  reflection of her vast and thorough probe and study on the subject.

By the time, I finished this three hundred odd paged book, I was flexing my muscles thinking that after all  my reading speed appeared to be intact precluding the self-imposed hiatus. And the results were not so bad at all! I had completed reading the novel within a few hours’ time!!! Now it depended who the credit could be given to – the writing style of Mary Higgins Clark or my readership prowess.

Little About The Author: Mary Higgins Clark is one of America’s best-selling authoresses. At the age of ten, she became aware of ‘the fragility of life’ when one fated morning her father quietly slipped out of this world in his sleep. She and her siblings were brought up by her mother who was a strong and resilient figure in her life. Widowed early Mary herself had to bring up five kids on her own.  Thus, her characters always show that indomitable side of human spirit which enables them to carry on undaunted in the face of adversities. She is well-versed in the nuances of criminology and behavioural problems and patterns of crime perpetrators. She is known as America’s “Queen of Suspense” and her books have been adapted by film makers and converted into audio cassettes. In 1987 she became the President of Mystery Writers of America. Being Irish she feels she is a born storyteller. Each of her fifty one books is a bestseller.

My Epilogic Two Bit Gyaan:  Having apprised all you sweet readers of all about Mary Higgins Clark and her powerful crime fictions, I would like to swing back to the state of affairs which served as the genesis of the long discussion on how to kill time when you are yourself being killed by deadly micro-organisms. And having endured as much as I would not have liked to, the divine wisdom that prevailed at the end of the ordeal, was that it is far far better to pick up the threads of whatever you have dumped a long long time back because you thought you were too-too busy and life increasingly pressuring than to submit to excruciatingly painful bouts of self-pity and torture. So do take the hint guys and God forbid next time you are compelled to stick your backs to your bedsheets free your minds of all imaginary fears and listen to your souls’ pukaar and resume what you have been procrastinating for eons. Like I did losing myself in the complex world of MPDs, satanic preachers and murky macabre outcomes though it may sound a bit perverse but then it is each according to his/her preference…At the end of the day what counted was that I was relieved of a tiresome baggage!

Bye & Be Good To Yourselves!!!!

MARY HIGGINS CLARK

Mary Higgins Clark

Mirror! Mirror! On The Wall…


IMG_20160422_061452

What best to drive away the boring monotony and teeth clenching stress of a harrowing routine than to sip in smugly mug full of green tea,  at regular intervals, its warmth coursing through the esophagus supposedly detoxifying each cell of the body knotted tight in anxiety and apprehension of an imaginary imperfection and directionlessness that life is taking to. The smoking golden brown liquid, at least giving you the semblance of a rejuvenation hard pressed to attain otherwise, is more than welcome.

Well! It’s just not the sips but the entire paraphernalia of preparation that entails a temporary separation from the cluttered desk (and a clogged mind too) – picking up the porcelain mug a tad too big for the drink and washing it clean before getting down to enjoying the much-needed and at times much-neglected break. The cleaning bit takes me to the washroom though that’s not the designated place for such activity. But given its proximity, in comparison to the pantry, makes it the choice location for the exercise. The wash basins overlook a length of mirror glistening with diligent rubbing.

My reflexes work on my hand involuntarily as it rotates the mug on its own volition, without my mind quite concentrating on the action, under the tap opened in full force. The water swirls in circular motion inside the emptiness of the mug smooching and serenading up and down the porcelain walls ready to vault out of its bosom into the womb of the sink. It’s too mundane and meaningless an exercise to ponder upon. I have better things to mule over….I toy with the idea of “better things” and a long list of to dos roll out in front of my eyes.

Eyes that are busy staring at a stranger’s face finely wrinkled around the corners of the eyelids, a deep line running down either sides of the drooping lips and a forehead receding into a streak of silver shining under the glare of the sink tubes. The skin has lost its brightness a long time back, the smile its charm and the gaze its glint.

The first thought that rises like a wave inside and descends lifelessly in an enervated cascade of worrying nags is “When did I grow these?” The greys were less in number the last time I had gotten time to take stock of my physical incapacities. The next query that follows suit is, “Well! Age has caught on after all…” But age is just a number and midlife is merely a station where woman rediscovers herself! Somebody shouts desperately within. But the voice soon gets drowned in the hub of more disturbing interruptions.

Women are strange beings…I do not know whether they have actually landed from Venus or Mars but they have a stranger mechanism of reconciliation to what is working somewhere very rapidly in their inner being observing, absorbing and accepting facts in a matter of fact manner and adapting to a changing/changed scenario with an equanimity and ease which perhaps is not common or available to the “unfair” sex.

So, here am I mentally jotting down what I am supposed to do and how I am supposed to be, given the circumstantial evidence, that I am not what I used to be ten years ago. The first is to tone down the aggression which is now an inescapable part of me. One is supposed to be mellowed by age and not bellow belligerently in the middle of nowhere when the idea of a secured zone brimming with unruffled calm and unhampered comfort gets rippled by a pair of idiots in an inebriated state riding a rickshaw hitting the vehicle standing at a signal escalating the nuisance quotient exponentially for a crowd to gather and have fun at the expense of a fifty plus woman taking to physically assaulting the two miscreants who have wronged her sense of propriety and composure.

The patch of grey goes so well with a serene demeanour and saintly disposition…………….

Hop…..skip…..jump….

What about a makeover???? A hurried wardrobe scanning in my mind’s eye and I am determined to get rid of the dozen leggings and jeggings and capris and palazzos…………..those surely do not jell with the salt and pepper mop!!!

A greying aged lady is most becoming wrapped in pristine six yards……….

Lately, I have been often given to visualizing my scrawny body (not exactly) getting seamlessly merged in layers of sterile sheets surrounded by unfazed apparatuses functioning in clock-work precision attached to my sensory organs by rolls of wires inside the clinical hospitality of an ICU or CCU. Worry-clinched faces of my near and dear ones and host of other acquaintances vacillating between relief and two-minute grief.

To be very honest I am not sure whether these dark visions are outcomes of a mind addicted to fanciful and rather filmy depiction of self-sympathy or a premonitory intuition indicating towards an inevitability which I should be suitably warned of well in advance.

In a fleeting vain moment, I do, for once, think of succumbing my ill-cared tresses to petal soft nimble fingers playing a majorka on my scalp while I, reclined  in a well-padded parlour chair,  slip into a rhapsody of pampered styling, colouring, streaking, jell-spraying, henna dripping feat….. so alien to my age-battered body……I give up on the idea as soon as it raises its head.

Strange is the way I try to arrive at what is me by a contrarian method of suggestions and eliminations till a conclusive statement is drawn!

Age is defeating as long as we equate it with quickening of a process of biological degeneration leading ultimately to an unreturnable end.  Contrarily, age can be a pride booster if we, instead of counting the greys, focus on the richness of wisdom born out of countless experiences of a long and not so easy life which has taught us to live and live well. As long as the faculties are intact, and that is what we should be working on tirelessly, yes, tirelessly, life is worth living and enjoying, ups and downs come what may. The greys do not count, seriously.

And death…even if it is the truest of all truths…….can be considered to be merely a security check at the gateway of a richer, more meaningful, even if intellectually inconceivable, afterlife!!! What say you?

 

The Perennial Dilemma


WRITER'S DEKS

From Google

Of late I have started taking pride in the fact that I possess a skill. A skill that is precious and needs to be honed every moment whether I am physically or mentally at it. You may be wondering which is the skill that I am raving about? You see, I write. That sounds so mundane. Now what’s so special about writing? You may ask. Well, there is something extraordinary about it because of the very fact that it does not come naturally to all and sundry. It also means that I have a medium under my command which is a part of me, an extension of my persona and an expression of my inner self. It’s a strange definition of skill, isn’t it? May be. But it’s something that I have been dwelling upon for long and I believe it defines the verb very well. Don’t you think so?

Now, coming to the activity of writing. Be it blog, review, story, commentary, poem or essay, the underlying nuance is expression of thoughts and feelings. Expression again has deeper connotation. It is indicative of a talent to word thoughts and feelings the way one wishes (in so far as writing is concerned). It’s something very, very personal or rather individual.

My writings are strewn all over the electronic page and some in print, though, a few look down upon online writing disparagingly, but the matter of fact remains that these are being read if not extensively then at least by a cluster of sincere readers with whom I have grown a deep virtual bond (that may sound oxymoronic yet it’s true). And then there are my well-wishers who keep on telling me how proudly they announce to others that they have a writer in their list of acquaintances/intimates.

So it all adds up to my interest in a hobby which originated in leisure but is gradually acquiring the urgency of a compulsion. However, it’s one of my co-bloggers, Maliny Mohan’s evocative post, which if not prompted then definitely inspired me to write today on ticklish nags which have been bothering me for quite some time:

  • Why write?
  • Or more specifically why do I write?
  • Is it the thirst for recognition?
  • Is recognition a valid impetus to write?
  • Is it cathartic?
  • Is it therapeutic?
  • Is it the urge for creativity?
  • Is it a stand-alone outlet for ventilating displaced frustration and disappointments?
  • Is it a substitutive mechanism to cover up the lesser degree of attainments in other walks of life?
  • Is blogging equivalent to writing or more debatably can bloggers be called writers?

I shall try to attack each bulleted point/query ad seriatim.

It should not be very difficult to expand on the first one, i.e. why write. But, to be very honest, at times it is hard to justify one’s area of interest or inclination or make others understand the incessant call from within to vocalize in black and white what you feel about your surrounding and society, about yourself and others and sometimes about nothing in particular but just those impalpable, intangible niggles and nibbles in your mind which when rolled out on a page in front of your eyes make so much sense and satiate to no extent the fevered immediacy of regurgitation within. Whenever anyone has put up this question to me with a certain amount of awe tinging the intonation, “Oh! You write ? Is it?” I have felt only one definite emotion overpowering rest of my concerns – embarrassment!  Generally, people (here I refer to society as a whole) is very apt in making one feel either misplaced (rather displaced – as though you belong to some other planet) or stupid (as though it’s of no consequence that you have the ability to do something better than others, more so, if that activity is not directly yielding or meant for any commercial/mercenary gain). So the next best quest of why write does never get the opportunity to be ventured upon. So again why? Perhaps because it fulfills a need, a search, a vacuum within? Perhaps because it provides a space where you are just yourself without the fear of being trespassed or intimidated or intervened. Perhaps because it helps you to delve deep within and find answers to questions which at times you are yourself fearful to face or ask. Perhaps it is merely because you are swift and sure and adept at it. Perhaps it is where you find an unknown, unnamed, unseen friend who knows you too well without judging your inabilities and incompetency – where you find yourself, your true self, undeterred by misgivings and apprehensions and experiment with one’s own self without being unnecessarily accountable to strangers or insiders – in short its a zone where you are unchained, unhindered and uninterrupted!

I think it is the commercial considerations attached to any skill that take precedence than the art itself in contemporary consumer market driven social milieu. Whether you are able to earn from the act is of consequence. Whether you are a best seller is what invokes curiosity and appreciation. What and why you write are secondary factors best forgotten or rather forgiven?

Now, coming to the more specific one – why do I write. Again, the answer lies in all of the above explanations and explorations. At the same time, there is more to it…Writing happened suddenly to me. Yes, it happened in my voyage of ventilation to find that perfect medium which is I, me and myself without a trace of doubt. where I am not fumbling for a foothold by hit and trial method but which is the anchor, the harbour, the  gangplank for my uncertain footfalls. I have always been good at it from my school days, I am still rather individualistic in my style in my older age with the only difference being that earlier no one used to believe that I could express myself so well (they thought I lifted paras and passages from somewhere – from my teachers to my fellow mates) which kind of irked me and stopped me from indulging in the art. Why, I wonder? Perhaps, because at that point of time, it was more important for me that people believed me or had faith in my potentials. Having said that, I now conclude that any foray whatsoever indisputably originates from man’s inner and most primordial quest for finding oneself, isn’t it? I, therefore, found myself in the spill of words…tumbling out of a closet well hidden in some un-locatable attic…but that happened much later, much, much later when I stopped caring for what others thought of me or my, shall I say, passion (it’s a strong assertion!). But yes there was always that thirst to be read and understood… tinged with that heady yet unrealized bit of wish to influence and inspire a circle of minds (amenable to your school of views and ventures) thereby enlarging the periphery of a reach which was physically not so attainable or attractive a proposition but virtually definitely so!!

I think I have partially tackled the third bulleted point…Is it recognition that propels one to write? Even if it is so, then why not? Why do we write? To be read…Had there been no readers would the writings be of any worth other than to one’s own self? There is no shame in confronting a desire and accepting it without an iota of guilt. There is again a vast difference between recognition and ambition. To be recognized is an impetus. It satiates a part of one’s self which is craving to be known for doing something worthwhile, something good for one’s own self as well as others, not absolutely altruistic but something which is a just amalgam of self-love and philanthropy. Ambition is rather the outcome of greed, ruthless competitiveness and narcissism. It has a very definite trace of negativism which is not totally bereft of prejudice, partiality and to a great extent a devouring gluttony for conquest. Recognition is healthy and the desire for it healthier because it facilitates excellence in one’s area of interest and inclination – it satisfies one’s core hunger for self- actualization.

I shall now jump the next bullet as I have already addressed it and attend to the next three altogether. Writing can be cathartic. Yes, very much so. You can fizz out your bottled up emotions, anxieties, agitations in a flood of well threaded verbosity and let out a big, noisy sigh of relief aaaaaahhh! Done it! I think those who maintain a regular diary is more disciplined to this exercise. It is in that sense therapeutic as well because the act does something which no medicines can ever possibly accomplish so quickly and so pithily – it helps you destress and unclog and unclutter. It makes you bounce back from the quagmire of disturbing and disrupting miasma of poisonous vibes. It disengages you from the irrational you and reinstates the smart intelligent and focused you…..it does the unquestionable balancing act! The lever is set and the fulcrum is right at the spot upholding equilibrium, poise, composure and grace. You are you….the fine, infallible, flawless spirit. The one which is not you – the mired, the maimed, the molested one left locked in a drawer inside the pages of a cheap notebook or a more fashionable daily reckoner!!

However, whatever said and done, I would say the creative part of the whole exercise is irrefutably the prime grosser. Whether we are whistling like a pressure cooker or doing a tough trapeze of verbal acrobatics, on the body of an innocuous notepad, we are in the final analysis, creating a newer self-rising like a phoenix from the ashes of debilitation. Our stories immortalize man’s indomitable spirit to survive the test of time – it is immaterial if the chronicles tell tales of our personal travails and turbulence – the undeniable truth is that, whichever way and form be it, the devastating tsunami within is corked and curbed and metamorphosed into something which is beautiful, strengthening and life giving. It is then that one senses the satisfaction of an infinitesimal infinity divinely calligraphed in print.

It is a fact that our survival instincts make us find ways and means of sustenance. Many a times we find replacement channels where we can best ease out and be happy forgetting the remorse and dissatisfaction of lack of accomplishment in mainstream fields of activities. One of my subordinates did himself proud as a formidable union leader to get over the slight of being a non-performer. However, he withdrew himself considerably from the former forum when his work got him a standing and helped him hog a substantial slice of limelight. It would be wrong to generalize that all good writers have done poorly in other walks of life. They may or may not have but then there are many who have found in creative outlets means of greater satisfaction and joy when tormented by life or rather lack of ‘life’.  What I am trying to say here is that there is nothing wrong if writing is taken up not just a leisurely act but a substantive effort to quash the overpowering and frustrating feeling of ‘lagging behind’ in other more socially prominent walks and established exercises which define the normed concept of ‘doing well in life’.

Lastly, I touch upon the most crucial and controversial subject – blogging as against writing. The debate probably is unending. Can bloggers be called writers? Bloggers have graduated to being writers. But then again being a writer is supposed to be an elevation in stature. A blogger is just a blogger, a dabbler of sorts, who is just trying to hop on the first step of the ladder hoping that someday he/she will be heard, known, acknowledged, applauded, and last but not the least, published. Are there bloggers who are only dedicated to blogging because they sincerely believe that they are doing a world of good or making a huge difference to human civilization by simply commentating on myriad grudges or at best chronologically assembling the day to day mundane flow of life – in short just being bloggers? When I hear of gory happenings of blogs being silenced for good for being true to the owner’s opinions, I tout for the clan. I think it is again that deep-routed attachment to misnomers that prod us to deprecate our own selves. Anyone who has the gumption to put forth their contentions for others to comment upon is doing a service to mankind because ultimately the act is facilitating a spout of opinion to be built in favour or disfavor of a particular issue! Left to me I would rather subscribe to my personal space than to tag on to the ism of a publishing house or a well circulating tabloid. At the expense of being not so vastly read, I’d bask in the glory of being honest to my pen and scrupulous to what my heart says which is much more important to me than being famed and followed.

In brief, any act to be true and meaningful requires to be attempted with enormous courage and undaunted faith. Any act, which is unequivocally honest, carries the danger of being rudely criticized and severely opposed. History has been witness to innumerable rebel-instigating outbursts incurring the wrath of the power be and the plebeians alike. Writing is not a backseat job. It is not an armchair idler’s languid ideation for useless recreation. It is not a lazy leisurely indulgence in unbridled fancies. It is a mode which has shifted orbits, broken age-old moulds, rubbished obsolescence and spirited change. Be it blogging, authoring or journaling, writing is an industry in itself, which has revolutionized growth of mankind. Discriminating one form from the other, is childish and futile, as content in this context is of uppermost significance. So, uncap your knibs and let the earnestness of thoughts and ideas sweep away the cobwebs of inutile biases, dogmas and doctrines. Write to your heart’s content, mind’s rest and soul’s satiation. The dilemma is all over as it never was. It is you and your innermost feelings which are perennial and potent.

WRITING

From Google

Odd Vs. Even


KEJRIWAL

Remember Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq, the Turkic Sultan of Delhi through 1324 to 1351?  He was known to be a man of letters, a gallant warrior and an ambitious ruler. However, History knows him more for his eccentricity rather than his accomplishments. In 1327 he promulgated an order to shift his Capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, in the Deccan region. But what came as a burning proof of his whimsical governance was when he allegedly decreed that the entire populace of his erstwhile capital, i.e., Delhi be shifted to his new capital at Daulatabad.  Though he made elaborate arrangements for a so-called smooth transfer of the people along with his seat of power, nonetheless the discomfort, to put it very mildly, caused to his subjects, during this process of migration, was so appalling that the entire incident went down in history as an example of unmatched autocratic and eccentric ruling. No wonder his reign was marred by frequent popular rebellions and revolts.

Analogous to Tughlaq’s temperamental promulgation, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal has once again slapped the odd-even scheme on the unsuspecting populace of Delhi with the noble intent of freeing the Capital’s air of pollutants, i.e odd-number plated cars to ply on Delhi roads on odd days whereas even number plated to run on even days. The scheme is also applicable to vehicles which enter the city from other parts of National Capital Region (NCR).  A very commendable project indeed! However, how much the scheme is going to improve the health and hygiene of the people is highly debatable as the inescapable mounds of dirt and discards still dot the cityscape in abundance. The roads are still ill-maintained and repaired in patches which render travel extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient as vehicles keep on jumping from one bumpy patch to another. Least said the better when it comes to sanitation because notwithstanding his over-blown trumpet, Mr. Kejri has not been able to gain even an ounce of success in getting work out of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. So the stench keeps rising from the clogged drains and the silts scooped out of a lucky manhole are kept piled next to it till the next burst of rain clouds for the smelly, mosquito infested dump to be swept into the hole again. Coming to vehicular congestion and the consequent pollution, there have been days, even under the much touted odd and even scheme, when crossing a single traffic signal has been an onerous affair!

But it’s difficult to make a man, who is so taken up with his own ideas, understand the travails of common man bogged down by drastic reformatory dictates of the Ruling Party. Reforms and resultant curbs are best suited when put in effect in small measures accompanied by alternate arrangements. In Mr. Kejri’s scheme of things, it is either a forceful imposition or nothing at all. Delhi suffers vehicular congestion because of absence of alternate means of transport. The Metros are as it is over-crowded throughout their plying schedule. So are the public buses. The autos are no less expensive either. Cabs charge exorbitantly when demand is on the rise. Other Metros like Kolkata and Mumbai have an efficient local rail service. Delhi has none.  Again, the distances traveled in other Metros are not comparable to that in and around the Capital where day-to-day commuting entails inter-state movement.

Lately, Mr. K has come down heavily on diesel driven vehicles too. I am told that the transport manufacturing companies, even the giant operators, are finding it extremely difficult to produce engines with diesel-CNG compatibility. The cost of converting the diesel-run engines into diesel-CNG compatible engines is huge. The small-time transporters, who are aplenty, cannot afford such conversion. If, as Mr. K envisages, diesel driven vehicles are banned from plying in the city what will happen to these small-time operators and their families? What about the heavy motor vehicles like trucks and tempos which transport goods to and fro Delhi?  How manageable the cost of living be if transportation of day to day requirements is stalled on account of the embargo on diesel driven transports? Will not the Government suffer if the revenue earned from the sale of diesel is curtailed one fine morning in the Capital? And most importantly what are the alternate solutions to all these practical problems?

ODD EVEN II

Change is inevitable. It is reactionary not to allow change to happen. As I write this piece, constant and irretrievable changes are taking place in the surrounds. But Nature’s changes are so imperceptible that these do not jolt the people by their suddenness, except force majeure, which by their very nature, is unpredictable and befall unannounced. Other than the calamities, the import of these regular yet invisible changes cumulate on day to day basis becoming palpable over a period of time without disturbing the daily routine in an unexpected and unanticipated manner.

Likewise, the fortnightly experiment, that Mr. K is indulging in, would have been more effective and welcome had it been injected in the day to day stream of city life in gradual measures, backed by stout infrastructural supports, without largely disrupting the daily lives of the people all of a sudden.

Again, rules are acceptable and court willing compliance if their underlying logic is comprehensible. Vehicles irrespective of odd-even number is permissible on all days  if self-driven by ladies but  the same relaxation for a chauffeur-driven lady commuting on a regular basis is not allowed. Security reasons were cited for relaxing the rules for lady drivers. Then how come the same reason is not applicable for ladies who are accompanied by their drivers? What about those who are not medically fit to drive their vehicles or travel by public conveyance, irrespective of gender? What about commuting options for senior citizens, in and out of service, more so, considering the onset of a scorching summer? Why are two-wheelers allowed to ply on all days under the scheme when they are the cause of 33% vehicular pollution? Does CNG not add to environmental pollution? What about the hazardous fumes emanating from the CNG kit installed in the vehicle? What about lane jumping? What about traffic signal flouting? What about haphazard parking on either side of the thoroughfares, lanes, by-lanes narrowing the breath of the road leading to invariable congestion? What about so many other eye and mind sores which await rectification and keep on escalating public frustration?

As a law abiding citizen of this country, I am bound to adhere to the Government’s strictures, whether acceptable/convenient or not (irrespective of the Rs. 2000/- challan followed by an immediate-off-the-road-firman for flouters). I have an even numbered vehicle. Being a single earner maintaining two cars is simply no-no for me. Having completed more than half a century on this planet earth, I consider myself in the category of senior citizen in spite of the misnomer that a senior citizen is one who has superannuated from service. Endowed with arthritic knees and enlarged ankle bones, driving is not a very appealing prospect for me.  Traveling by public conveyances is equally unthinkable as I am not supposed to be standing on my two feet for more than ten minutes at a stretch. Since, I commute long distances every day to attend to work I am compelled to depend upon my driver. Surprisingly, Kejriwalji’s odd-even scheme does not take into consideration such cases. Therefore, on odd days I have to either depend upon autowallas, who make it a point to make the best of commuters’ inconvenience by demanding higher charges outside the meter, or cabs, both adding excessively to monthly expenses of a service person with limited income.

Had only spending more resolved problems, it would have been still endurable to some extent. The other (odd) day when I took an auto from Doctor’s clinic to my residence, the distance being in NCR’s parlance at a stone’s throw, the autowallah after reaching my residence told me quite irritatingly that I could have walked up from the main gate of the block instead of bringing him inside since now he had to take a longer round to take the exit gate of the colony which was not even a three-minute route from where he had stopped!! While Mr. CM keeps raving about how he has himself gone for car pool with his ministers and party people residing close by, for us hapless ones, that option is also not available.

And talking of inconvenience, I remember in the first phase of this odd-even scheme, my sister and brother-in-law, travelling an odd-numbered vehicle on an even dated day, had to wait interminable hours at the border till the stipulated hour the scheme was in force. For readers, who are  unaware, in its second phase, the scheme is in force from 08.00 am to 08.00 pm for the latter part of the month for fifteen days as part of a pilot project i.e. 15th of April onward.

This is an inspired scheme for our CM who had come across this idea on one of his trips abroad(?) But what did not strike him while enforcing the same in his very own land is that blindly borrowing schemes and ideas do not always pay, especially, in a country with an overflowing population, minimal infrastructural backing and an uninspired junta who is readily inclined to find out ways and means to break the law or bend it as much as their preferences and selfish benefits require.

Yes, this is a jugaadu nation. Going by the first phase of odd-even scheme in the month of January this year, the residents of the Capital have prepared themselves for the worst. Now one out of every three cars on road flaunt the much-in-demand CNG sticker (how these are being procured is a different story altogether). So, CM’s dream of having lesser number of vehicles on-road does not also seem to be materializing.

The Kejri Government went for an online opinion poll on the scheme. The outcome of the plebiscite has not yet been disclosed. Instead what we are subjected to on a daily-ten-minutes-interval-basis is a monotonous self-broadcast on FM (which has almost become the propaganda machine of the Party in Power) about what wonderful difference the odd-even scheme is making to the city roads and to the city dwellers as a whole.

ODD EVEN

From Google

 

Written for entries under TOI’s #OddEvenDobara

Spring Fest


a clean day

the world goes on

in its usual way

Its early summer. Going by the season, Spring is bygone or at best merging gradually into the desultory lull of sunny siestas. Soon the blazing sun will proclaim its monarchy with a blinding ferocity that will be stunning in its gorgeousness and calamitous in its devastation.

It is said that Spring is in the mind. To overcome the trauma of a grievous end, the abundance of greenery can be sublimated into a way of living where thoughts will not be perpetually intimidated by the finality of a recession…..of an ephemeral avalanche of rejuvenation or the paralyzing fear of approaching decay.

Yet we err as humans and wish to  imprison the grains of pleasurable times in capsules of immortality or prolong the trickling of the sands of memorable moments through the inescapable slits within clutched fists  fighting the eternal evasion of progression.

As seasons follow seasons we are deluded by a sense of forward movement……where we lack is our inability to realize that at times we are stilled in our onward journey lagging behind in evolving with the passage of time.

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………spring

in her balcony

a riot of green

 Again why are we so infatuated by the idea of beauty….of novelty ….of a fresh beginning? Isn’t it just a flow……a never ending course towards unimaginable discoveries? From soothing to scorching to shedding …..revolving within  a cyclic procession of no start-ups and no give-ups….just an well-guided order by which the prevailing arrangements of the cosmos are kept intact without the insecurity of toppling over upside down!!

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 bunch of leaves

I breathe in deep

the morning mist

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cacti blooms

I sniff for fragrance

but in vain

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patches on leaves

a stormy evening

leaves its marks

The storms of the past shall always blemish the present and shape the tomorrows in its turbulent hues yet…..

goodbye to spring

in her balcony

shadows shrink

The Retreat


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The Retreat of  Yogada Satsang Society 15 Kms. from Shimla near a village called Panthi

He asked me in his piquant way

“What did they teach you at The Retreat

When you went away….”

I wrapped my mind around the globe of silence

Undaunted by watchful mountains

And guarded by a benevolent sky

I tried to word the typhoon

Welling within

Failing, I gasped for a reply

Simple and succinct

Which will reinforce his faith

In his world of friends and foes

Beliefs and dis-beliefs

He waited patiently

As I looked deep into his twinkling gaze at a loss

Tumbled out an answer at long last

“I did not go to learn anything as yet…

Just wanted see….

How the Formidable Silence works on me….”

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In the Presence of the Omniscience Silence – A Vintage Glimpse

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The steep winding pathway to the Aashram

This is just the preliminary to a riveting Travelogue I am soon going to etch…

Chase The Philosopher And Not The Stone


I took more than a month to finish an unputdownable novel, which to be honest, is inexcusable. My friend, Shri J Mathur, was baffled, “How could you take so much time. I finished it in two days. And it was gifted by you, remember… and now you say you don’t have time!!” This was in-between thanking me profusely for introducing him to this new genre of suspense thriller.  It had always been a pleasure to share with like-minded people what I found interesting and worth discussing and debating upon.  It was rather overwhelming to know someone felt obliged by this not-so-altruistic-act.  

True, lack of time was one of the pretensions I often resorted to, perhaps to cover up my other inadequacies. But as I put on my thinking cap to analyze this present shortcoming of mine several untouched factors peeped in from behind undrawn curtains of the mind.

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Myth and Mythology go hand in hand. It is those unresolved premises of myths that timelessly evoke intrigue. Mythology feeds on this foggy feast gluttonously. From a litterateur’s view point, Mythology is a layered chronicle pivoting around larger-than-life characters. Krishna, is undoubtedly, the most awe-inspiring and dynamic persona of Indian Mythology. The quest, whether he is a figment of imagination of ancient narrators or truly the Divine Incarnate, has always led to more intricate queries. Time and again, we have also come across the premise that the King of the Cowherds may not altogether be just a fictitious entity. What if historical facts indicate his iconic presence in an epoch ravaged by political upheavals? Why is the birth-story of Christ so damned similar to the birth-story of Krishna? Will the edifice of Christianity inexorably crumble to dust if the West accepts its subordination to the oldest religion of the world? What is the basis of this conflict between Western Theologians and Hindu Mythologists over precedence and predating of religions? Is there a proven scientific explanation of all that has come to be known as pagan worship in Hinduism? Over and above, if all these seriously contemplative issues are tangled into one complex terrain of a chase and hunt thriller? Then what….?

Blurb: Ravi Mohan Saini, a well-known Professor of History, is charged of murdering his childhood friend, the famous Archaeologist Anil Varshnay. Saini flees with his favourite pupil Priya, from the clutches of the ruthless Police Inspector, Radhika Singh, aided by Priya’s father, Advocate Ratnani,   in a desperate attempt to gather proofs to establish his innocence.  However, those who can save him from being convicted are all murdered one after the other by an unknown assailant who somehow has clue to Saini’s every moment’s  moves. Unfortunately, each murder points a finger at Saini. But what Saini does not know is that, in this macabre game of find and finish, he is merely a pawn in the hands of the mysterious Mataji and that the key to his innocence lies in the grip of none other than the formidable underworld don Sir Khan. Alas it’s going to be too late before Saini realizes that the name Sir Khan is just an anagram for Sri Krishna….  

Does the plot ring a bell? By now, my readers must have already guessed that I am talking about none other than the Dan Brown of India – Ashwin Sanghi. Krishna Keys – the third of his trilogy – has distinct similarity with the path breaking Dan Brown sagas. The wrongly accused expert on the run for his life coming across serendipitous clues to his freedom which also at the same time open a floodgate of disputable and indisputable hypotheses which if accepted inarguably can topple the age-old beliefs of the masses upside down!!

Krishna Keys, as I said earlier, is a page turner, for those who are in the habit of gulping down a whodunit for the simple attraction of finding out who the culprit is which usually is the last chapter’s trump reveal. For an always questioning mind Ashwin Sanghi presents a maze-like matrix twined with a slew of conjectures and a volley of well-researched dig outs, which are at times unpalatable by virtue of their voluminous pile.  From sacred Jyotirlingams to nuclear transmutation, from the epical battlefield of Kurukshetra to the contemporary Shining India, from the Godly Krishna, the multi-dimensional diplomat and astute king-maker to the harassed modern-day Historian, Ravi Mohan Saini grappling with a slew of mind-boggling factual as well as misleading data, the novel Krishna keys is stupendous in its sweep.

The redoubtable fact about Sanghi is the enormity of his read and research. His contribution to present-day Indian writings in English is trailblazing. He has pioneered and popularized a genre hitherto not much explored in Indian mainstream literature, though there are many who have later followed suit, to the point of saturation. Yet, I have certain permanent grievances against Sanghi:

  • His plots are unnecessarily complex
  • The barrage of information, though well researched, blurs the narrative
  • The reader gets lost in the mesh of innumerable speculations leading to nowhere
  • At times it is difficult to distinguish the story from documented finds
  • There are numerous trails intertwined in the narrative which are left open-ended
  • The climactic theory is most times either too simplistic, too oft-repeated or too unfathomable
  • I personally have a definite abhorrence for his fondness for copious bloodshed and grim violence
  • The gory flow of the story, thus, ends up being absolutely antithetical to the intent of the theme, which is designed to be subliminal in essence
  • Sadly, the long-drawn nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat thriller, more than often, falls flat in the conclusive chapter, in the absence of logical demystification of conventional isms

The Krishna Key, especially, has unmistakable flavour of Paul Coelho too. As a reader, I fail to appreciate the forceful interjection and analogy of the legendary life-story of Krishna with the mainstream narrative of a wild hunt for Saini, the supposed perpetrator of serial crimes, who himself is more a victim than a victimizer. Again, there is nothing earth-shattering about the key-message of the story.  As is usual with Sanghi, the theorems he propounds is more engaging than the story he tells.  This time, he has overdone himself. The improbabilities and implausibility embedded in the storyline, to say the least, is appalling.

Having said all that, I still concede the fact that given a chance I  may once again give his upcoming novel Sialkot Saga a try. And that goes a long way to define Ashwin Sanghi for you all.

Make it intelligent reading…