Monday, August 30, 2010

Trip to Srisailam

It has been nearly 3 weeks after I am writing here about my trip to Srisailam. The monsoon showers in the catchment areas have filled up all the reservoirs of the state where I am residing. Having confirmed from a resource which said that the gates of Srisailam have been opened, we planned to view the beautiful dam site. We did not want to do a night stay in an unknown city; hence we decided to start early for the trip and return back on the same day. As per our schedule, we took the bus to Srisailam from Hyderabad’s Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station at 6’0 clock in the morning of August 14th. After my 3 year stay in Hyderabad, this was my first visit to MG Bus Station, as I never wish to travel by bus to any place. I always prefer trains rather than the state road transports. But this time, we had no other choice as the route had nearly 80 Kms of ghat section.

The Nallamala forest was just amazing and the weather was so pleasant. We reached the dam site by 12 after the zig zag cross ghat roads and the bumpy rides. The reservoir was nearly full but the gates have not been opened and I was so upset that I could not view the magnificent water gushing out of the gates. We had our lunch which we had taken from home in A.P Tourism Hotel. Surprisingly, the tourism facilities were neat and we spent much time in the back corridor of that hotel. From this place, we had a spectacular view of the reservoir and the Nallamala hills behind it. We went for a rope-car trip down the hill and a boat ride till the dam. The tourists were very less in these areas as most of the people were very eager to see SriSailam temple. We preferred enjoying the nature rather than standing in long queues to enter the sanctum sanctorum. I took lots of snaps and even after slowly visiting each spot, we had lots of idle time and we had to wait wait and wait and do nothing else to pass time. Finally as the clock struck 8, we boarded the bus for the return journey and reached home safely at early morning 3. The ride was quite a different experience and a bit tired too. I will have to upload the snaps in picasa soon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Case Histories - A book review

It took me unusually long time, nearly 6 days to finish this novel – Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. The read was quite complicated for a difference. Similar to the other books, I lend from library, this story is also set on the land of English. The author presents us in the first 40 pages with 3 case histories. Case 1: A 4 year old girl – Oliver Land goes missing from the tent where she was sleeping with her sister. Case 2: A 27 year old young lady – Laura Wyre is murdered brutally on the day she was helping at her father’s office. Case 3: A new mother – Michelle kills her husband with a garden axe out of frustration created when her husband wakes up the sleeping kid. Michelle lands up in prison and the kid goes missing. These 3 incidents take place at different time periods. Nearly after a decade, army person turned private detective – Jackson handles these 3 cases. The whole story is about closing these 3 cases and finding out the culprits behind the 3 tragedies.

I have read many mystery stories where a single mystery is solved. But this is the first time where I get to read 3 mysteries getting unfolded in the same book as pages turn one by one. Usually the curiosity of finding the culprit lies within me if I am reading. But more than the eagerness, it was the brilliance of the author which enthralls me much. How difficult it would have been to link 3 stories into one. In the course of finding the murderer/kidnappers and the reason behind it, Jackson’s personal life is also narrated to us. The agony which he faces after his divorce and a painful past which keeps tormenting him now and then is also beautifully put in words in between these 3 case histories. I would rather consider it as 4 stories in a 500 – page book.

Even when I was in the final chapter and when the author has finished revealing the hidden facts, I was left in a state of thought as to who killed whom and how did Jackson become successful in his feat. After a while or rereading a few lines from the chapters before, I got satisfied with the theme. It was a complete pleasure in finding such different genres of books and the time to read them till late night. It was nearly 12 when I finished it yesterday. {I am OK compared to my mom and sister who sit till 3 to finish a book}.

I don’t want to write about the minute details and compile a list of the characters of the book as I always write in other reviews. The intention behind each case history is quite simple, but the way it was presented to us is like a simple fruit salad with 4 fruits presented in a very beautiful bowl and presented with a surprising and finger licking topping. The read was tiresome though but will remain in my memory for a long time. Do grab it for sure if you come across this book.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 7 of Positivity

Here is the 7th and final day of this theme of Positive moments, with a small story at the end.

1. I was happy to see the National Treasure Movie once more in Zee studio, the movie which I had seen many times. I never get bored seeing the same movie again and again, if it is a favorite of mine.

2. Thanks to the traffic in the road – I had a small nap in the bus on my way to office. Finding out positivism even in a terribly struck traffic is really cool.

3. I am thankful to all my friends who are with me making my life more lively and happy.

4. I am thankful to my parents for what and how I am today.

5. I am thankful to the nature to let me live in this world and breathe every minute.

I complete my 7 days of Positivity with this. The experience was really different and I had enjoyed thoroughly doing this. It has increased the way I look at things and the optimist in me has grown up well. I would like to quote a story from Mahabharat at this moment. I am not sure why I am narrating this at the end of this 7th day. It might be the effect of optimism and positivism. Once Yudhisthira and Duryodhana were asked to go individually and find how many good people and how many bad people are there in the city. When Duryodhana returned back from his survey, he was so much frustrated and came up to a conclusion that every single person in the country is bad. But when Yudhisthira went for his turn, he found that all persons are good and said that he could not find a single bad person in his country. This shows that good and bad – positive and negative all lie only in the eyes you look from. A healthy and optimistic way of life is what we all need and so be positive at all times and be happy.

P.S : I am too happy that this is my 50th post in my blog.

The Dark Holds No Terrors – A book review

Nowadays in British library apart from the books written by British authors and apart from the plots set in the English land, I also find books written by Indian authors and set in our own native land. These books help me in enjoying a light read and I can know many stories happening in our country. In that way, during my last library visit, I picked up this novel by Shashi Deshpande. Having read another novel of hers, I was quite confident that this book is going to be again a nice one and it turned true. The story is about Saritha – a doctor, mother of 2 kids – Renu and Abhi, wife of a not-so famous writer - Manu, daughter of orthodox parents and a sister of late brother Dhruva.

Has anyone come across a mother who hates her daughter so much to an extent that she detest to remember about her daughter even at her death bed? Saritha aka Saru has such a strong hearted mother. She was always found fault for her doings right from the time she entered this world. It was not her mistake to be born as a girl to those orthodox parents who wanted a boy instead. Even after getting a boy, Dhruva as their second child, Saru’s parents never stopped scolding her. Dhruva was 7-8 years old then. He used to be so afraid of the dark and always gets comfort when he sleeps with Saru, rather than sleeping alone as instructed by his mother. One rainy night, Saru takes an adventure to go to the outskirts of the city. To her dismay, Dhruva follows her and gets trapped in a mushy land and fall into a pond and give his life. For this unexpected tragedy, helpless Saru will be blamed and called as a murderer by her mother for whom Saru is already a burden.

Saritha gets used to the atmosphere of unloving and uncaring parents. She moulds her future all by herself and joins a Medical college, gets married to a literary fanatic- Manohar in spite of much opposition from her mother. After nearly 10 years, one fine day in her clinic, a relative of hers breaks the news that Saru’s mother passed away a month ago. She gets shattered to hear it and decides to confront her father after a long time. The run – away daughter from home did not have the chance to meet her mother even when her mother was dying. Saru’s personal life with Manohar was also not good though it looks complete from outside. She lives a very bland life and always toils herself so much for the family of 2 children and for a husband who earns much less than her.

Manohar never cared to talk to Saritha about her mother or father or her late brother or about that tragedy. The night when Dhruva left this world haunted her dreams day and night even after 10 years. Though theirs was a love marriage, Manu and Saru lead a life which is full of adjustments done from Saru’s end. Manu never ever thought of upbringing his career and remained as a literary professor. He was enjoying all the comforts given by Saru who never missed to attend her patients in the morning and attend him at night. The care, love and affection which he showed towards Saru when he was courting her – all slowly faded out completely after 10 years to such an extent that he did not know where he is wrong and what is his mistake. An irresponsible and a total fool he has turned out.

Saru’s world remained dark and she had none to pour out and complain to. Even when she tried to explain her difficulties to Manohar – he did not consider them as great things and silently forgotten them. All of a sudden, one day Saru packs her bags, leaves her kids and reaches her father’s home. The author has put this scene in the first page of the novel and shows Saru as a hesitant lady to open up discussions about her mom or her husband. Neither did her mom forgive her nor did she give a chance to her to explain what happened on that stormy night of Dhruva’s death.

After so much hesitation, Saru confronts her father one day asking him so many questions – “Why does mother always think me as the one who killed Dhruva? Why didn’t she wish to see me at her last days? Why didn’t she love me as she loved Dhruva? Why should I live with the guilt of unsatisfying mom throughout my life? Why haven’t I given a chance to prove myself to her?” To all these questions, her father did not have answers. Later when her father receives a letter from Manu asking Saru to return back, he understands that her daughter is deep trouble. He helps her to talk about all agony Saru had kept within herself all these years. Saru blurts out the truth to her father that Manu behaves so violently with her in bed at night. Her father tries to console Saru and advices her not to be resilient but to face anything boldly.

The realization that Saru gets after nearly a fortnight stay in her father’s house is that it is her life that she is living and she has to live no matter how many hurdles come. She has to live for her own happiness by forgetting all about the past. “It is my life and I have rights to live in my own way”. She gets the courage to face the Dark, now that she knows that The Dark Holds No Terrors. The novel ends there and the author did not tell what Saru did after that. I somehow like this kind of ending where I can use my imagination for Saru’s life. Wish to read many more novels like this.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 6 - 7 Days of Positivity

It is now becoming a kind of regular habit to think of happy moments happened in a day, which is really helpful to forget the pain caused due to a muscle strain after a work out in Gym. The moments which are going to be cherished in this space for long time are here.

1. During my college days, apart from the friends around me always, I had a very special friend at my aunt’s home and she is my sister-in-law whom I call her Anni. After a long time we both had a nice 15 minute chat over the phone and I am happy for it.

2. I am really thankful to the Web and the Internet access available to me to which I seek help from for any small reliable information at any time.

3. I love to try new dishes in my kitchen and me and mom gets so enthusiastic in preparing it. I am happy that we could come up with a tasty and mouth-watering Vegetable Soup. It was raining outside and the hot soup satisfied the taste buds very well.

4. I am thankful that I am a member of British Library from where I could borrow a wide genre of books. I have completed my last novel – The Dark holds no terrors and now reading Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.

5. I am thankful to my gym instructor who helped me to become a little more flexible than yesterday. The exercises were good to do but the after effects were too painful though.

Monday, August 2, 2010

7 days of Positivity - Day 5

Thankfully it was a weekend and I felt nice moments to write down here for the 5th consecutive day. Here they are;

1. My sister asked me and my mom to shop for her friend’s engagement. I was happy to find a lovely cream white cum Blue sari for her and a salwar material. Really happy to shop for someone else rather than for myself. A different experience altogether.

2. Every weekend – both Saturday and Sunday I have my dance classes during which I had to wear a cotton sari for the practice sessions. I had only one which I used to wear every day but, now I am happy that I own one more of the same type, a pink color one which suited me well.

3. The novel – Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton was too exciting that I finished reading it @ my workplace. To my surprise, the next novel – “The Dark Holds No Terror” by Shashi Deshpande is also good to read and I am happy for it.

4. I am really happy that finally my butterfly puzzle has got its shape and it looks like it is going to fly at any time. It is so realistic and looks colorful and fantastic. The moment when I placed the final piece on the board to give its final look, we clapped with excitement. Thanks to mom also who helped in the course of finishing it. The credit goes to her too.

5. My to-be soon bro-in-law was too kind in treating us in a new restaurant on Saturday. The food was pretty decent enough for a first time taster there and I am really thankful to him.