Showing posts from April, 2015

The Activist and the Capitalist

Book Blurb: “I’m not drunk – just a litt-le high.” On a magical moonlit night,  Jai  and  Anusha  meet and fall in love. When they meet again however, they discover that Jai is the crass capitalist developing Rasa Vihar, the heritage building that Anusha and her NGO are fighting to protect. Inevitably they clash, with neither willing to concede to the other. The problem is that although publicly they are enemies, in private, they are wildly attracted to each other. – but when secrets and betrayals enter the equation – things really begin to get out of control.  Will the Activist and the Capitalist ever be able to find common ground? An exciting love story, set in Chennai from the best-selling author of Sweet Sixteen. I liked the lead characters so much- Anusha and Jai. Anusha is an introvert, a twenty four year old who finds it difficult to open up to people easily, and let them get close. She goes into a defensive state and retreats to a shell when people try to get over


The very first thing you notice about Zaroon Junaid is that he is strikingly handsome. His deep penetrating eyes if ever rested on yours would give you a racing heart and make you swoon. But beware, he’s arrogant and a bit spoiled rich brat with conservative ideals, at first of course. He wants to be the best, and can’t stand anyone considered being at par with him in academics, and brilliance. He’s rude, chauvinistic, and too stubborn to apologize for his mistakes. Of course, at first. Then he learns from life, and changes for the good, for Kasaf Murtaza, once his sworn rival but then his wife. Zaroon is not the stereotyped hero as we see in Bollywood or tele soaps in India. He’s different, realistic, natural, not at all larger than life and therefore very likable. He’s imperfect and flawed. But his character, personality and viewpoints shape with time. He falls for Kasaf gradually over years of differences, arguments, and fights. He doesn’t go running after her but s


Yama is the god of death according to Hindu and Vedic mythology. He is death- personified, and takes or collects the soul from the mortal world. He has been depicted in different form of art- theater, movies, children's tales and paintings. Many interpretations and popular culture has affected the way we view him. My favorite version is the modern uber-cool bored and looking for a bit of fun 'soul-collector' in a Bollywood movie. Hilarious depiction. Different cultures around the world has a God of death but with a different name. I would like to know more about it. :) Wikipedia Link


X represents every Anonymous writer, every ‘Unknown’ under my favorite quotes, and every person who prefers to hide behind a mask. The absence of a name, an identity makes me intrigued. I imagine and wonder the reason behind that decision to be anonymous. Perhaps in hiding they get the courage that they couldn’t summon otherwise. Perhaps it protects them from judgments of their near and dear ones who don’t understand them. A simple letter ‘X’ serves the purpose. Every secret letter signed off with this single alphabet speaks volumes. It tells of words unspoken, tales untold that have finally seen the light of the day. Everything so enigmatic. Everything so interesting. And who isn’t fascinated by the masked characters, unknown spooky narrators whose reliability is questionable, and every voice that seemingly has no source. And the authors behind pen names and second identities who stir minds, alter perspectives and create a revolution- Kudos to them! Anonymity has its

Water Horse #atozchallenge

First originated perhaps in Scottish or Celtic folklore, water horses were said to be sea monsters- unusual looking animal, a long necked beast like a sea serpent with four limbs and a tail. These creatures found place in legends, tales, and even in the 18th and 19th century literature. Some voyagers claimed to have sighted them around 18th century and more than a few gave detailed description about how they looked. This mythical creature has been associated with magic and many abilities. A fantasy family drama film 'The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep' was released in 2008. A children's movie, I had loved watching it with my sister. It was the time when we were exploring fantasy world through Harry Potter movies and Narnia, and this one offered an entirely new realm. The story line was simple enough- a lonely boy discovers a mysterious egg that hatches a sea creature of Scottish legend. So exciting for the child in me! How he hides the fast growing animal from his f


V for Vendatta- the movie(2006) It is a movie adapted from a graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Set in the dystopian, futuristic UK against the backdrop of oppressive fascist government, it tells about a vigilante called V- the mysterious man wearing a Guy Fawkes costume who works to bring down the government. His talks and speech patterns are unusual- full of artistic ornamental words starting with 'v', quotes and an influential intonation. The story is about his encounter and relation with Evey Hammond, and how they work together to reveal the governments' true face to the public. "Remember, remember The fifth of November The gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason Why the gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot." The movie itself is very thought provoking, influential and a must-watch. Anonymity, unknown identity and stories of such vigilantes interest me and this one is one of the best movies I have ever watche

Urmila #atozchallenge

Book Blurb From GoodReads: As the title says it, it's about Sita's sister, Urmila, also Lakshman's bride, whom he left behind in the palace of Ayodhya for fourteen lonely years. She could have insisted on joining her husband as Sita did. But she did not. Instead, she silently braved tears and tragedy and loneliness. Why? This is her story: Urmila, the most overlooked character in the Ramayan.  Book Blurb From Amazon: From the bestselling author of Karna’s Wife, comes this book about Urmila, Sita’s sister and the neglected wife of Lakshman, and one of the most overlooked characters in the Ramayana. As Sita prepares to go into exile, her younger sisters stay back at the doomed palace of Ayodhya, their smiles, hope and joy wiped away in a single stroke. And through the tears and the tragedy one woman of immense strength and conviction stands apart—Urmila, whose husband, Lakshman, has chosen to accompany his brother Ram to the forest rather than stay with his brid

Taita #atozchallenge

Reading ‘River God’ by Wilbur Smith was an entirely new and wholesome experience. The story is a very long one, almost a mini epic, set in the ancient Egyptian Society, spanning the reign and lives of three generations in a very powerful dynasty. It’s a memorable tale of love, loss, and miracles in the land of gold, involving Lady Lostris and beloved Taita. Taita is a slave, and an eunuch. Spare your assumptions; he is nothing like your imagination. He’s the most loved and cherished character in the book. He is the hero, one of the most memorable characters I’ve ever come across. He starts as a slave, then proceeds to become Lady Lostris’ confidant and guide, and grows into one of the most influential, wise and powerful personality in the Egyptian society. He was forced to become a slave at a very early age, and was deprived of his right to live as a human male. Still he’s loyal, smart, resourceful, and has many secret inventions and parchment rolls to his name. There was n

Santiago #atozchallenge

Santiago is the lead character in Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’ . He becomes a shepherd against his father’s will, who wanted him to become a priest in the local church. When he thinks there’s nothing left to learn from the sheep, he sells them even though he’s very attached to each one of them, and embarks on a journey to live his dreams. He becomes a treasure hunter ready to cross the vast Sahara desert for his treasure. His journey helps him achieve spiritual, emotional and psychological maturity.  What I learnt from his journey to follow his dream and his search for treasure is that, we don’t tend to meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason. He meets Melchizedek, who claims to be the King of Salem, tells Santiago about the soul of the world and insists him to follow his dream. He also gives him two magical stones, Urim and Thummim, which represent “yes” and “no”, to help guide whenever he’s confused. Without this encounter, the journey wou


Shannon, an English teacher in a high school in Oklahoma, in the modern world and present realm, gets trapped in a soul exchange process and lands in Partholon. She gets sucked through an ancient vase, a portal, replacing the soul of a Partholon princess called Rhiannon. Befuddled at first, she learns the ways of the new world- the culture, customs, and the ornamental language, which is similar to that of ancient Greeks and Egyptians. She gets attached to the land and its people with time. She’s referred to as Rhiannon throughout the book, as the real Rhiannon is nowhere to be seen (perhaps in the modern world that’s not as interesting). Rhiannon is the High Priestess of Partholon, a mythical land of gods, goddesses, shamans and mythical creatures. She’s the Beloved of Epona, Goddess of Partholon and she must marry the High Shaman to rule the land efficiently and access the guidance from the omnipresent powers. And the High Shaman happens to be a centaur- a half human and


I've attempted to sketch certain characters that sometimes peep through my thoughts, but in vain. Never have I been able to do complete justice to them. They are so well formed inside my mind, with a mind and conscience of their own, but when I start typing about them, their life, their story, I always feel something is missing. The character feels incomplete. I had always this image of a traditional Muslim girl with a 'hijab' covering her head. She lived in not-so-modern surroundings in an Arabic town, with small tombs and brick dwellings around her home. Belonging to a very conservative family and society, the only place where she could be herself was the terrace; free from the glare of her father and her aunt, free from the worldly affairs, with solely herself and the birds for company. Today I named her Qiana. Twenty three year old, beautiful woman- Qiana. Her image is not that developed in my mind, but occasionally I see her. She has a younger brother, Qadr, wh

Park Min Young's Character in 'Healer'

Healer is a Korean Drama. It's very very interesting- the characters, the story and the plot. It's just wow!! The hero is a very famous night courier known by the name 'Healer'- the best in business in the country. No one has ever seen his face, as the job requires him to maintain anonymity. No one knows his identity. Park Min Young's character is so much lively, so bubbly and so entertaining. She's so adorable when she tries to ease her nervousness by hoarse singing and weird dancing. She is scared easily, but tries her best to put up a brave face in front of the overpowering antagonists. She was abandoned at just eight years of age, switched orphanages several times, and went through phases of physical and mental abuse. But successfully recovered from the dark past by the help of her foster father, who's really a wonderful man. Her character is a bit tom-boyish, yet you'll surely get hooked to it. She's a reporter in a small entertainment news

Ofelia #atozchallenge

Ofelia is the child protagonist in the Spanish movie ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’- a compelling allegorical story with mythological background. It seemingly is a fairy tale for adults as the violence content of the movie is not really apt for children. Ofelia lived with her mother and a strict army officer in the military base of fascist Spain that continuously fought the rebels. She took care of her ailing pregnant mother, and was taken care of by Mercedes who also nursed the mother. Ofelia believed in fairies, all things magical and miraculous. I liked this child character. She is given three tasks by the fawn that she had to complete to prove that she was the princess in past life, so she could enter the ‘Underworld’ kingdom and reunite with her father. This is the crux of the story. The movie was considered the best of 2006 by critics. Some called it a parable and made references to occult mysteries and symbolisms. The significance of the movie is in the initiation process, that

Nemo #atozchallenge

Captain Nemo in 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'. Played by Naseeruddin Shah, it was one of my favorite magic and supernatural movies. I don't know if I would still like the movie, but years back it was a very interesting watch. Everything paranormal or extraordinary fascinated me to no end. " Captain Nemo (Prince Dakkar)  is a pirate. A scientific genius who roams the depths of the sea in his submarine, the  Nautilus , which he helped build on a deserted island. Nemo tries to project a stern, controlled confidence, but he is driven by a thirst for vengeance, and wracked by remorse over the deaths of his crew." P.S: Sorry for making it so short. A to Z challenge is becoming tough for me to manage. But I'll survive. Tomorrow I have a child character, in her early teens. Just one hint, she's Spanish, created by a very famous Spanish author. The movie adaptation is the one of the most widely watched and appreciated spanish movie. :)

Mozzie #atozchallenge

   Mozzie, aka Mozz is the closest friend and most trusted confidante of Neal Caffrey in the TV series ‘White Collar’. Together they used to carry out the world famous con and live in the luxuries that the heists provided. But after Neal works under FBI agent Peter Burke of the White Collar department, with a tracking device secured to his ankle, they have no choice but to live descent lives. They keep their skills alive by helping the FBI solve tough and confusing cases. Mozzie is such a darling. He’s just so cute with his bald head, short height and weird sense of humor. He is a voracious reader. He reads it all- classical and modern literature, mystery novels especially by A.B.Tattersol, history of art, and anything he can get his hands on. He always has a perfect quote at the back of his mind, fitting for every situation they are in. I love those quotes. It not only provides the characters with the much required inspiration but also moves us audience. His favorite p

Liesel #atozchallenge

She’s the Book Thief, so beautiful a person, as described by Death who narrates her story. I loved the movie; I haven’t read the book. The story follows Liesel from her childhood to teenage years, her growth amidst the tense surroundings during the world war. When Liesel’s brother and mother die, she is send to foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann. She is just ten then. She slowly develops a liking towards Hans and finds friendship in Rudy, the local boy. Hans teaches her to read, starting from alphabets to full-fledged books and she’s eventually able to complete reading her most treasured book ‘The Gravedigger’s Handbook’. She discovers her love for the written word, and utilizes the basement wall to create her own dictionary of difficult words, reading one book after another. She’s surprised by book burnings done on Hitler’s commands, and steals a book from among the ashes. She also gets invited to Ilsa Hermann’s library, to read her favorite book every day. The

Kim Mi Young #atozchallenge

I loved the character Kim Mi Young, the female lead in the Korean Series ‘Fated to Love You’. Kim Mi Young is a very common woman with no special talents, who is not really noticed by anyone and remains in the background. She is her office’s ‘post-it’ girl. She does everyone’s errands as she’s too genial to say ‘no’. But no one ever actually expresses a word of gratitude to her. She’s taken for granted, until a fateful incident with a famous soap company’s CEO, Lee Gun changes everything. The drunken state mistake of a one night stand with the stranger Lee Gun, was fate bringing in love with a twist in her ever mundane life. The confident, charming and kind Lee Gun made her realize she was a ‘superglue’ not just a mere ‘post-it’. He was the only one to recognize and acknowledge her humane qualities and advise her that being to kind is not good. He told her to have confidence, not to be too timid, and made her feel like a princess from a country girl. As

Jodha Bai #atozchallenge

A teleseries on Zee TV Jodha Bai was the Chief Rajput wife of Emperor Akbar, and the mother of his successor, Jahangir, thus the grandmother of Shah Jahan. She is usually referred to as Marium-Uz-Zamani as the historicity of the name ‘Jodha’ is very controversial. Her marriage to Akbar was a political alliance but gradually she could garner respect and honor of the Mughal household. She brought about religious tolerance in Akbar, his reign and instilled in him the compassion to view other ethnicities favorably, which was previously lacking. Jodha was the first wife of the Emperor to observe and practice Hindu rites and rituals in the royal household. She was allowed to keep her religion and was not forced to convert. A Hindu temple was created for her to perform puja, within the palace ( harem ), where she worshiped Lord Krishna and Akbar too occasionally took part in the rituals. Her nature, character and personality intrigues me a lot. How could a single woman change th

I #atozchallenge

I, me and myself- one of your complex characters who has too much going on inside her mind. Smiles! Dance! Joy! Here I am. Read about me . Read more about me . Without intense overbearing and all consuming love, there can be no hate. So I believe love is the basis of all emotions. And I get emotionally overwhelmed very easily, I am a very sensitive person, and almost every emotion culminates in tears. It’s both funny and embarrassing at times. And the demons in me that surface every once in a while, bring out all those negative energies, which I have learned to channel into creating my masterpieces- poetry, quotes, beautiful write-ups and yummy dishes.  Read some more?!

Hawking #atozchallenge

Watching ‘The Theory of Everything’- the story of Jane and Stephen Hawking, their marriage and life together, was an emotional, sentimental, and inspirational experience. The depiction of Stephen Hawking’s love for physics and the stars, workings of his genius mind, his thesis and publication of ‘The Brief History of Time’ despite problems in his personal life and his still unyielding ambition of finding that one universal equation that proves the theory of everything, is overwhelmingly motivational. Their lives from Jane’s perspective shows her to be a really emotionally strong, brave, and capable person who had compromised a lot to be with the person she was head over heels in love. I don’t know much about the facts, but as the movie implied, they were both amazing persons- flawed of course, but still amazing. I could empathize with them both, for their choices and opinion of each other. I wonder how Stephen managed to come out of his depression and carry out his re

Gus Waters #atozchallenge

“I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”   Gus Waters is the protagonist of one of the most loved novels, ‘The Fault in our Stars’ by John Green. I had read and reviewed the book first. Then when the movie was released I watched and loved the characters once again. This one’s a timeless modern tale, tragic yet realistic, it intentionally won’t make you cry, still you’d find yourself crying towards the end. Read my words here . Following are my favorite quotes by Augustus Waters. “Oh, I wouldn't mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” “Maybe &

Fantine #atozchallenge

Fantine is a fictional character created by Victor Hugo, in his 1862 novel Les Miserables. She’s a factory worker, and becomes a reluctant prostitute to cater to the needs of her daughter, Cosette. She is pretty, innocent and na├»ve orphan at first, but is forced by circumstances to sell her hair and teeth and become a prostitute. In the process she loses her beauty and her health, but proves to be a good mother. But unknown to her the fraudulent caretakers of Cosette extorted money from her for themselves. After Fantine’s untimely death, Cosette is rescued and raised by Valjean, the main protagonist of this tale. Les Miserables is a long story. An epic tale spanning years. I have not read the book but I really liked the movie. It vividly shows the beauty of poetry and expression of various feelings through the verses. I love the words, the rhythm, and the rhyme. It feels poetic way of conversing is the only natural way; talking and prose just corrupt it. That’s why w

Eun Dae Gu #atozchallenge

Eun Dae Gu, the lead character in the Korean sitcom ‘You are all surrounded’ is stubborn, mysterious with too many secrets, and seemingly arrogant at first. He joins the Gangnam Police Department as a trainee aspiring to become a detective, after graduating from the law school, with reasons secret and vengeful. He is reserved with an angry and revengeful look perpetual on his face; talks less with his team mates, disapproves easily and compliments very rarely. But his past is deep, and tragic. His never ending search for truth and justice have made him emotionally closed. Dae Gu had a quiet childhood in the small town of Masan with his single mother, whom the society viewed with suspicious eyes and whispered names resembling ‘mistress’ behind the back. His name was different then- Kim Ji Young. Dealing with bullies and bad mouthing about his mother, he still grew to be a studious student. He had the shock of his life when he was fifteen. He witnessed his mother being murder

Draupadi #atozchallenge

The Mahabharata never ceases to amaze me. Every time I read or watch a version of this epic; the story, the unforgettable characters and the enormity of the plot still manages to awe me. Draupadi is one of the most memorable characters in Mahabharata. She is a woman born of fire. She loved Arjuna but had to marry all the five Pandavas for the five wishes she had asked of Lord Shiva in her past life.   Even though Krishna himself had blessed this unique alliance, she had to bear the brunt of the society and relatives who questioned her virtue and called her cursed. There were so many incidents where she was humiliated and asked to prove her piety. The infamous gambling event between the Pandavas and Kauravas was one of them. The Pandavas lost everything in the gamble- their titles, lands, themselves and even their wife. She was publicly disgraced in the royal court by the Kaurava’s attempt to disrobe her calling her a slave, not the treasured daughter-in-law that she wa

Choi Dal Po #atozchallenge

I would never forget Choi Dal Po. Every book I read, every TV series I watch introduces me to a new character, unique and original in his own way. Some I forget, but some shall always remain with me, close to my heart. Choi Dal Po is one of them. I already miss him. Hailing from the Korean series ‘Pinnochio’, Choi Dal Po is a chubby cute super intelligent lad who grows to be a reporter. The eleven year old kid was rescued by an old man living in the countryside who was on the verge of insanity. The old man took him to be his long lost son who supposedly drowned and was no more. This kid took the name of that son, Choi Dal Po, and lived with him happily taking care of him. He had no choice, as his father was estranged and mother was dead. His once happy family was destroyed, and he had to remain in hiding from the media. I loved this eleven year old, when he tried to be dumb and foolish to properly imitate the old man’s real son, lest the old man should discov

Bano #atozchallenge

Bano is the female protagonist of the Pakistani series ‘Dastaan’(Our long story), which is based on a novel named ‘Bano’ by the Pakistani novelist, Razia Butt. It is set in the days of independence in Ludhiana, Punjab and then in Pakistan. It begins with two close knit families who start slowly to grow apart for the difference in their political views and their support to The Congress and The Muslim League. It follows the love story of Bano and Hassan, and the many trials and tribulations they go through during the partition. The first few episodes show happy times, and you are bound to be floored by Bano’s bubbly nature and innocence that steals away Hassan’s heart. Bano too falls for his charm. They meet on the wedding of Bano’s elder brother Saleem with Hassan’s only aunt Suraiya. What starts as tease and leg pulling soon blossoms into romance. It is beautiful, the way their love is depicted. They are engaged to be married when Hassan finds himself a job. But these ten

Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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