Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'Almost Single' ---- Book Review

Inspite of disturbing so many people in the train by switching on the lights till late night, I found time to finish my 3rd novel of the month --- "Almost Single" by "Advaita Kala". The Novel's title is one of the most discussed topics these days in magazines. The story is from a women's point of view and I like such stories basically. The reason may be because I am a woman plus I feel so close to the characters in the novel when a lady author narrates a novel. With this mind I bought the book from Landmark. Did Advaita Kala steal my heart? To be true, she has done 75% justice to the novel, but she did not sweep me off my feet.

There is no serious and thrilling plot in the story. Its about 3 friends - Aisha, Misha and Anushka who fell as victims of being Single in a society where girls are looked down if they are not married before 25. Precisely the age has come up from 21 to 23 and now to 25 these days. Thanks to few literates in the society for that. All three girls are working in Delhi. The Protagonist - Aisha works as a Public Relation Manager in a 5 - star Hotel who had a recent break up with her boy friend. Anushka is a married woman but she files for a divorce with her husband Anuj, who is a good friend to Aisha too. Misha also had many break ups earlier in life. To get rid of their Single status tag, Misha and Aisha desperately wants to get married to a rich person preferably an NRI(too much expectations for the girls) and uploads their profile in the web community. And Anushka wants to forget her hubby. I envy their friendship because all three gives shoulders to each other at any odd time of the day. Misha is Aisha's early morning advisor and Anushka for the late night advises. Aisha as usual like any other hotelian has a terrible boss. Aisha with her friend's support tries her best to keep her life lively and occupied. I again envy them for their coffee gossips in Barista (Because I am a strict no-no to Caffeine and dont get moments like that) during which their talks keep rounding only about guys and how to get married.

Aisha gets to meet a guy in her hotel and after a few meets, the guys falls in love. Not actually proposing takes place but Aisha gets only a hint from him. Aisha even carry her astrologer number in her speed dial to get to know about her lucky marriage stars. Her mom constantly give tips to her about choosing her attire to impress guys. Her aunt always comes with a list of guys marriage profiles. Aisha is too worried that in one year she will be crossing the twenties but still single. How does she ends up removing the single status from her profile? Did she managet to find her own expectations in life? Did her parents and relatives stop pestering her for being alone? Did Misha get a guy? Did Anushka move with her life after the divorce? At the end Advaita Kala, the author answers all this but it was more like a chapter coming to end and not the novel. The story ends so abruptly which was not purely justice to the reader. Also I didnot get the complete feel and lamentations of Aisha being alone. She could not decide what she wants in life. Also may be I didnot personally get hooked to her loneliness. Just because she is not committed, she does not stop enjoying life. She realises it at the end of the novel that she has not wasted her life indeed by not marrying all this time.

Its true that a girl cannot be 'single' in her life without overcoming problems from her relatives and from the society. Will the society stop pitying and gossiping about such girls? Will the relatives and parents stop pestering their kids to get married? Will girls be stopped from betrayal from their husbands/lovers? Finally Will girls get satisfied what they get in life? Answering Positively to all this Will questions will make life indeed really beautiful.

Finally I am not totally against marriage and getting committed. I do love to be the one and only one for a guy. But it shall happen on its own and at the right time. Unless that time, I feel it should be fair on part of the society and the relatives to stop talking about other's lives. When such a thing happened for Aisha, her life really turned happy. I am myself waiting for such moments to make this beautiful life more more happier.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What special on a Weekend???

Weekends are always seen forward most excitingly right from the start of the week. But what so special on these days? For some it could be the days where you need not face your manager and your colleagues. For a few people it will be a single day rest after a 6 day tiring job. They wish to be within the four walls in their couch(of course with the remote in hand). Guys take it a chance to meet their friends, have a drink, watch a movie and chat endlessly. Not to forget about the girls who spend so much time to groom themselves so that they look pretty decent the whole week ahead. But Girls also do roam and have fun together with their friends. And I see a few batsmen and bowlers near my home who forget hunger, books, parents, rain, sunlight and dust. They do make a nice pasttime to viewers like me on a weekend. A few other sincere studs could be giving their exams, attending extra special tuitions and thriving hard to fulfil their parents' as well as their dreams. For a few unlucky guys, weekends could be another working day like the 24X7 available medical practitioners, weekend support group and business people. Some lucky fellows wish to roam in the city on a weekend agenda like shopping, purchasing gifts, trying out a new restaurant, cooking something different, visiting a library, having a dentist appointment, surfing in the net, reading a book, enjoying a rain, having a long drive, talking endlessly to friends/relatives over the phone, swimming, dancing etc etc. Be it anything you do, saturdays and sundays are always entertaining provided you spend it as you like. It may sometimes turn out to be a boring one but the decision is always yours to make every weekend a cherished one or leave it just like another day in this precious life of ours.

Monday, November 9, 2009

2 States - The Story of My Marriage by Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat -- the name looks familiar isn't it. The author favoured by the youths of India. I have read all his earlier novels in a single stretch a year back. They were quite impressive which made me buy this novel immediately a week after its launch. It came out to be one of the most lovable novel I have read so far. I felt so comfortable with the author's narration and went so engrossed into it, that I read a few pages even at my office desk :). And this became the first novel, which whilst I am reading I forgot where am I and literally laughed aloud. Such good is the humour part of it. Hats off to Chetan for that.

The story as the title says is about a Marriage. Its not ordinary wedding but a wedding between two states - TamilNadu and Punjab. The protagonists of the novel - Krish and Ananya meet in IIMA - one of India's prestigious B-School. Ananya - the most beautiful girl in the college and Krish - a stud from IIT. I dont know how come all authors choose only beautiful girls in their story. Why cannot a IITian fell in love with a normal looking girl? I could find only one stupid answer for this question. Every girl is Ms.World in her lover's eyes. Beauty lies in the beholder's eyes. May be that could be the reason Chetan has described Ananya's beauty so much.

Ananya, the intelligent beauty is bit weak in one of her subjects for which Krish comes as a free tutor. After few meetings in college canteen, class room and in Hostel room, Krish discovers that he cannot be a JUST FRIEND with Ananya. Of course who can hide all his emotions and feelings when a girl gives right to a guy to be with her almost most of the time in a day. Why is the guy felling in love and why the girl accepts his proposal --- all this is not part of the story. The main thing is they fell in love with each other soon. And they dont stop there. They will be in a live-in together relationship for the 2 whole years which flew off very soon in some 50 pages. They also get a good(highly paid) job in their placement sessions. Nothing else till now but the scene of Krish's actual proposal to Ananya for marriage is little dramatic but the humour wins my heart.

Actually speaking, the real humour of the novel starts on the day of convocation. Ananya's parents from Chennai meet Krish's mom from punjab. First meet between parents is always a disaster in love stories. The same formula here too. Krish and Ananya could have eloped away for a marriage but for some sentimental and emotional bonding choose to win each other parents' hearts too. Is that possible in this situation where punjabis hate to the core the Madrasis and Tamilians dont trust anybody other than themselves? Yes Chetan made this possible at the end and ofcourse Krish too. Rest of the novel is just how Krish gains the trust of Ananya's Parents and how Krish family starts liking Ananya. It would not be fair enough to reveal everything in the review. I liked a few scenes and frowned a little too at a few places. Pros and cons always go hand in hand. I would like to end this review saying a little more about the protagonists.

Ananya comes from a traditional Brahmin family, where culture, tradition and all those big words mean a lot. If Ananya can expand the list of her traditional rules, she will definitely add to it all these ---- eating chicken, drinking beer, having a live-in relation, wearing shorts in guys hostel. She has a valid reason to do all these things. According to her, she is right. Thats what mattered her a lot and thats what made me like her character a lot.

Krish on the other hand is a easy - going guy to whose character I did not find anything special except for his boldness to HIT his own father. I wish, the author could have impressed me a more by carving Krish's character a little more different. I would have enjoyed the story more if Ananya has narrated the plot instead of Krish doing it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

India Vs Australia 5th ODI --- Rajiv Gandhi Internation Stadium Hyderabad

It would be pretty late to publish this post, but there are lots of reasons why it was postponed.

It was the first time I went to watch a ODI in a stadium and it turned out to be a terrific one to be cherished for a lifetime. I had been to the same stadium to watch a IPL match - Kolkata Vs Deccan. What magic do these camera men have in them to turn a sobre and dull looking stadium look like a lovely International ground in the TV sets at our homes.

Everything started good for me yesterday right from collecting tickets a week before, transportation to the stadium, finding a decent neighbour in the stadium, getting a correct vision to the pitch. Thanks to the perfect planning done by none other than my Mom. The day ended pretty well with no much tensions except for shelling out a few extra bucks to the auto fellow while returning home.
I had a vision earlier that Indians will lose this match. This I say so because Dhoni to whom I am a great fan will always love to end any series with a thrilling end (which I hope will be in Mumbai). My vision turned true to my dismay. Yes like any other Indian in Hyderabad, I also direly wanted the home team to win the match But we lost the toss and bowled so badly and allowed the Aussies set a huge target of 351, which our so called batsmen could not achieve.

The first half of the session was indeed a boring one as there were no wickets falling till nearly 25 overs. But I enjoyed identifying the players in the ground. (Jee Bharke Dekha Sabko)!!!! That was the only entertaining part and a few good fielding done by the Indian Players.

The half an hour break session was like a 2 hour wait :(. Lucky I was that my mom was beside me to chat with. Then started the superb batting by Sachin. I was on top of the world for every 4 and 6 and enjoyed thoroughly with a TIRANGA. Watching Sachin's record break of 17000 runs and 45th ODI hundred live was worth spending nearly 1K and 10 hours of time. I literally cursed 3 batsmen - Gambhir, Yuvaraj and Dhoni. They could have been a little more responsible.

In the Post-Mortem session of the match in office today, my manager gave a comment that "Ravindra Jadeja should be hanged" for a worst run-out. hahaha. I could never imagine such a comment.

After seeing such a crowd of nearly 40000 ardent Indian cricket fans in the stadium and a huge lot from their homes, I had a thought ---- Why is Cricket not our National game??? Be it our National game or not, it will remain my favourite pasttime for years to come.

ஆய கலைகள் 64 --- 64 types of art

Every Tamil person should have heard of this term "ஆய கலைகள் 64". When I googled a little, I found the origin of this word. It seems that the 2 Hindu Mythological Characters -- Krishna and Balarama have learnt all these 64 types of art. They should be really brilliant isn't it? True, that Art is always fascinating - For any act to become an art, it should be done in a proper way. 64 such forms of Art have been classified below:

1. Toilet Make-up, toilet and use of beautifying agents
2. Painting the body, and colouring the nails, hair, etc.
3. Decoration of the forehead.
4. Art of hair dressing.
5. Art of dressing.
6. Proper matching of decorations and jewellery.
Music and Dancing
7. Singing.
8. Playing on musical instruments.
9. Playing on musical glasses filled with water.
10. Acting.
11. Dancing.
General Education
12. Good manners and etiquette.
13. Knowledge of diffenrent langguages and dialects.
14. Knowledge of vocabularies.
15. Knowledge of Rhetoric or Figures of Speech.
16. Reading.
17. Reciting poems.
18. Criticism of poems.
19. Criticism of dramas and analysis of stories.
20. Filling up the missing line of a poem.
21. Composing poems to order.
22. Reply in verse (when one person recites a poem, another gives the reply in verse).
23. The art of speaking by changing the forms of words.
24. Art of knowing the character of a man from his features.
25. Art of attracting others (bewitching).
Domestic Science
26. Art of cooking.
27. Preparation of different beverages, sweet and acid drinks, chutneys, etc.
28. Sewing and needle work.
29. Making of different beds for different purposes and for different seasons. Physical culture
30. Physical culture.
31. Skill in youthful sports.
32. Swimming and water-sports.
33. Games of dice, chess, etc.
34. Games of chance.
35. Puzzles and their solution.
36. Arithmetical games.
Art of Entertaining
37. Magic: art of creating illusions.
38. Trick of hand.
39. Mimicry or imitation (of voice or sounds).
40. Art of disguise.
Fine Arts
41. Painting in colours.
42. Stringing flowers into garlands and other ornaments for decorating the body, such as crowns, clapnets, etc.
43. Floral decorations of carriages.
44. Making of artificial flowers.
45. Preparation of ear-rings of shell, ivory, etc.
46. Making birds, flowers, etc., of thread or yarn.
47. Clay-modelling: making figures and images.
48. The art of changing the appearance of things such as making to appear as silk. Pet Animals
49. Training parrots and other birds to talk.
50. Training rams and cocks and other birds for mock fight. Professional Training
51. Gardening and agriculture.
52. Preparation of perfumery.
53. Making furniture from canes and reeds.
54. Wood-engraving.
55. Carpentry.
56. Knowledge of machinery.
57. Construction of building (Architecture).
58. Floor decoration with coloured stones.
59. Knowledge of metals.(Metallurgy) :)
60. Knowledge of gems and jewels.
61. Colouring precious stones.
62. Art of war.
63. Knowledge of code words.
64. Signals for conveying messages.

I am very sure that there are lots more to learn for Krishna and Balarama in this 21st Century.

P.S: The post is based on google research and not with reference to any Reliable resource and comments are always invited for further improvement.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

சரஸ்வதி அந்தாதி

படிக நிறமும் பவளச்செவ் வாயும்
கடிகமழ் பூங்கமலக் கண்ணும் - துடியிடையும்
அல்லும் பகலும் அனவரது மும்துதித்தால்
கல்லும்சொல் லாதோ கவி.

ஆய கலைகள் அறுபத்து நான்கினையும்
ஏய உணர்விக்கும் என்அம்மை - தூய
உருப்பளிங்கு போல்வாள்எம் உள்ளத்தின் உள்ளே
இருப்பள்இங்கு வாரா(து) இடர்.