Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Game of Blogs - Midway through the heart

Team : Qissa

Read the previous part of story here

Costly Realization

Neon Lights rapidly altered in nano seconds dancing rhythmically in sync with the loud music being played in the background. The smoke from the cigar had propagated in the surroundings. Gorgeous girls were seen in sexy outfits, high stilettos, smelling amazingly seductive. The so called gentlemen moved behind these stunning beauties like honey bees around the beautiful flowers. The bar tenders were explicitly trained to move their hands swiftly to make the demanded drinks. Platters of mouthwatering starters in vegetarian and non-vegetarian were served on the tables. The heavy metal rock music made everyone over there tap their feet. People were lost in the bliss of the music ignoring the oozing of champagne, smoky blistering sizzlers served. The newly opened Lounge at Colaba grabbed the attention of the Mumbai’s Party crowd. This hot and happening bar attracted all sects of junta with its exclusive discounts and heartwarming gestures.
Shekhar occupied the table with two seats at the right hand corner of the bar. Distressed, he chose not to bother any of his friends or family. In spite of his utmost endeavors, the heart wrenching scene of his wedding anniversary often flashed in front of his eyes. He muttered “Who says that memories fade away”? Very soon the 250 ml of whisky brought out the voice of Shekhar. With a heavy heart he uttered,
Har Khushi Ke Pahlu Haaton Se Chhut Gaye,                                                                                     Ab Toh Khud Ke Saaye Bhi Rooth Gaye.
Haalat Hai Aise .........Haalat Hai Aise..” He recited the last line thrice..Urgh..!! He was unable to recollect the next line.
Haalat Hai Aise, Zindagi Mein Hamari,                                                                                         Pyar Ki Raahon Mein Hum Bilkul Toot Gaye” Shekhar heard a voice from behind.
Their eyes met exchanging courteous smiles. “Thank you sir” said Shekhar.
“My pleasure” came the prompt reply.
“Had you not helped me, this would have killed me the whole night. I blame my blurring memory. You seemed have come alone. Why don’t you join me” asked Shekhar. 

“Hmm..Why not! By the way I am Nikhil, Nikhil Ranade” Nikhil shrieked in the noisy setup.
“Hi, I am Shekhar. Nice meeting you”.

They said cheers raising the saturated glasses. Their conversation lasted until midnight hovering over poetry, books, science, fiction, politics and economies. They gave a damn to the banging glasses, raising voices, empty tables. It seemed as if both have known each other well in a very short span of time. Two strangers became good friends. Few glasses of alcohol, several words, and numerous smiles opened their hearts out.
“So, how about family? Are you married?” asked Nikhil.

This remark brought back painful memories. Shekhar replied in monosyllabic “Yes. My little princess is 9 years old” showing signs of discomfort. He quickly jumped and took over the conversation before Nikhil could start digging for more of his family details.
“What about you Nikhil?”
“Well...It’s a long story bro. “Sometimes you end up burning your hands before you realize”. It took some time for me to understand that I was with a wrong girl. But, yes I think I have found my soul mate. Wish I could settle down with her and have a beautiful family like yours” uttered Nikhil. “How lucky she is to have a person like you in her life” Shekhar said. 
“She is absolutely amazing. Beautiful and bold is an epitome of love. I admire her fragile skin, curly tresses, milky skin and that beautiful heart beneath the skin. There isn’t any reason to not love her. It is her passionate, zealous attitude in life that attracted me the most. But, God is not fair all the times. She is into an unhappy marriage. I am ardently waiting for the platinum day of life. The day she accepts my proposal and says “I do”, the day I get an opportunity to give her the beautiful diamond ring that I secretly bought for her. “Tara.. Tara Dutta” the love of my life.
Shekhar went numb hearing Tara’s name. He felt he had just seen a bad dream. Bang! Bang!!The sound of the broken glasses made him trust that he had heard right. It was Tara.
Words didn't cross his lips. He left the place with watering eyes without uttering a word. He now understood from where Tara’s expensive gifts were coming from. The picture was clear with all dots connected now. Tara’s late night parties, countless messages were for Nikhil. He walked down the road with a heavy heart and painful memories. Small world! Isn’t it?

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.

 Read the next part of the story here

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Book Review - Private India

Book: Private India

Author:  Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson

Publisher: Arrow Books

Category: Suspense Thriller

Pages: 448

Out of high expectations from the author, I have applied for the review of “Private India”.  It was an ecstatic moment to see the book signed by the author. Thanks to Blogadda! . Yipee..!!! I said and flipped the pages.

The book is divided into two parts. Although first few chapters failed to grab my attention, the second part could make me read the book without putting it down.

The play begins with the chain of murders happening in the city of dreams, Mumbai.  Santosh Wagh, the main protagonist heads a detective agency “Private” branch in India. His team members Mubeen, Nisha and Hari are well trained and highly intelligent. Rupesh, the corrupted police officer requests Santosh Wagh to take up the case and crack the murder mysteries.

The serial killer slays the victims by means strangulation, leaving yellow scarf at the scene. The detective Santosh discovers that the executioner is against women hood and pattern of crime scene resembles the nine incarnations of Goddess Durga. Personal revenge is the reason behind all the killings.  

Jack, head of Private worldwide enters the story but his contribution to solve the mystery is insignificant. Santosh is an alcohol addict and suffers from the mental trauma blaming himself for an accident that killed his wife and son. Nisha is a beautiful, bold detective married to a rich stockbroker with a kid. Mubeen is highly intelligent tech savvy officer. Hari Padhi, a forensic expert joins hands with the murderer and is responsible for season murders. Abdul Zafar is a trained government doctor and a forensic postmortem expert turns to be a terrorist and plots a bomb in Private India office located in Colaba.           

Drugs, mafia, prostitution, bomb blasts, child abduction, begging and all sorts of illegal activities are referred in story. Took many things didn’t cook the story well. South Mumbai is truly explored in the book. Finally, post eight killings the assassin is revealed to the readers. Climax failed to answer motives of couple of murders. The story ended abruptly without a take away. Story was unsuccessful in connecting the dots. The last 20 pages didn’t create any enthusiasm to go ahead and complete the book. 

Few unanswered questions: Why would South Asia’s well settled surgeon blackmail Ms. Aditi Chopra aka Mr. Aakash for money? An officer or forensic expert (Hari) is hired without validating his background? How is it justified that an intelligent officer like Santosh didn’t find out about Mr. Hari? How did Ms. Aditi Chopra aka Aakash meet Hari Padhi?.  There is no explanation given on Priyanka Talati’s Thailand Visit?.  How ridiculous is that Private India’s office in Colaba, highly advanced couldn’t detect the Gunny bags with RDX and Bomb?

The story is fast paced, mini chapters of 2-3 pages with simple and lucid language. The editing could have been better. On the whole, this seemed to be a Bollywood masala style with many characters, twists and some drama. Unfortunately, this book neither left an impact on me nor satisfaction. The orientation of mythology tells where Ashwin Sanghi has contributed, yet this is not a typical classic Ashwin Sanghi type of book. Although not a kind of book that can be placed on the shelf for ages and centuries, can be flipped once.

Rating: 3/5

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Game of Blogs - Midway through the heart

Team : Qissa

Read the previous part of the story here

Lonely Star

Tara headed towards her office after having a cup of green tea and cheese toast. While her office was just a furlong distance from home, it consumed around an hour to reach one way every day.  She propelled her car into the short lane next to the signal avoiding the piled up traffic. Little did she know that she was taking the wrong road.

She impatiently muttered “ Urgh..what the hell is happening? Why is this bloody traffic moving at snail’s pace? Oh..God..I don’t want to look like a careless dumbo in front of the foreign delegates. All because of Shekhar and his senseless arguments early in the morning.”

Tara was a career-oriented woman and wished desperately to shine in her line of work.

“You were born to win, but to be a winner; you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win” she constantly told herself.

She had spent a lot of energy and hard work to reach the current position. She was now leading a young team of media planners. It was certainly true that she was always the limelight of the innumerable presentations. She enjoyed the attention she received from heads of various organizations. Clever and intelligent that she was, she was adept at grasping the impressions, and utilizing them in climbing the ladder in her professional life. The never compromising and perfect attitude of hers crafted her as the competent, confident and credible woman at work.

As she was busy faulting Shekhar in her mind, she heard a scary thunderous horn from the lorry driver behind signaling her to move ahead.

Finally, the moving traffic made her feel better. Tara raised the speed of her car and vanished at rocket speed.

Parking her second hand Black Honda city she drifted to the nearby escalator. Before budging to the conference room, she quickly sneaked into the washroom to make sure she looked her best. Tara was well known amongst her colleagues for her perfection in everything. Be it project, presentation or appearance, she would make sure to be impeccable. Tara picked clothes, accessories and cosmetics which looked as if they were customized for her. Never in her life had she chosen something without proper judgment and she always took pride in her choice. Shekhar was of course, an exception!

Tara had always strived to dress in crisp, sharp and formal attire. For the meeting today she had worn a well-tailored black knee length skirt with a cream shirt with self-printed floral design on it.  The black blazer she carried was elegant, smart and complemented her dress. She chose to wear black pointed stilettos which went hand in hand with her perfect dress.  With her perfectly manicured fingers, she began to touch up her face.

“Eye makeup has to be significant. One can command and convince the other side of the table with one’s magical eyes” she told herself. She took a black mascara and slowly rolled it on her eyelashes. She used a peacock blue liner and brushed it along the beautiful arc stretch of her eyes. She then pulled out the crimson red cherry flavor gloss on her thin, delicate lips. They really looked kissable! Combing her dyed straightened hair she glanced at the nail polish on her fingers. Quickly she sprayed herself with her favorite perfume “Victoria Secret” that Nikhil had bought for her during his US trip. Finally, with a bold, confident look she made a move to the conference room.

Sometime during mid-day, Tara’s handset beeped with a message “Hey Pretty Woman! Would you mind having a cup of coffee with me?” Her blush was evident on her face after reading the message. She rushed to the cafeteria to meet Nik.. Nikhil Ranade, her best friend in recent times.

Nikhil and Tara had known each other since the day Nikhil had joined Tara’s organization. While Tara headed Media Planning, Nikhil headed Marketing. Their professional relationship gradually blossomed into friendship. Dreams, desires, hopes, ambitions, problems-there weren’t anything left out to be shared. Nikhil’s dynamic personality and intelligence at work place made many women in the office go weak in the knees. Tara too, was one of them.


 “What is bothering you Tara? Look at you..Where have you lost your precious smile?” he asked holding her hands in his.

“Nothing Nik..” she said hesitatingly.

“Come think I am not your best friend? Why can’t you just be cool with me?” Nikhil muttered.

“It’s just that Shekhar and I had a terrible argument yet again.  I just cannot bear to see my little one Roohi rebelling against me. There must be some way out of this?”

“Forget about it. Have you given a thought about me? What have you decided? Please think at least now before it is too late. I will catch you at the party tonight” Saying this Nikhil left but not before kissing Tara on her hands.

 Tara nodded her head throwing a reluctant smile at Nikhil and thought, Nikhil’s gifts, his care, his attitude, his income, his success, is seamless. Shekhar has not turned out to be a man I actually longed for. I only asked for an understanding and well settled husband in life with a cute little daughter and lovely home. Who said “Life is lovely and beautiful?This man has made it impossible for me.

If not for Roohi she would have divorced Shekhar a long time ago. At times, the existence of Roohi left her in frustration. Partially she felt that Roohi had cut her wings. But then, Roohi was her only solace whenever she found living with Shekhar unbearable…..

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.

Read the next part of the story here