Grim Tale of Farmer Suicides – ‘Shoes of the Dead’ by Kota Neelima

Farmer suicides in India, especially in certain districts of Maharashtra have seen a steep rise in the last decade.’ Shoes of the Dead’ by Kota Neelima is a tribute to all those dead farmers and the people fighting for their families to receive compensation. Non-fiction works related to farmer suicides abound, however a fictional work talking about the plight of the Indian farmers, due to varied reasons, was missing from the scenario.  It was really great to finally find a political novel based on farmer suicides, set up in contemporary India.

This political book intertwines several aspects of socio-economic India through the eyes of an idealistic journalist, an ambitious young politician and an educated yet poverty- ridden farmer seeking justice for his brother’s suicide. In the midst of the tug-of-war between Keyur Kashinath, the young and rich politician and Gangiri Bhadra, the crusader of the farmers, there are characters like a greedy moneylender, a seemingly good district collector, unscrupulous middle men, a good and a bad maha sarpanch who plays important roles in Gangiri’s fight for justice.

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On Criticism

Criticism is something which has always fascinated me. I have read many a times that constructive criticism is good and have seen people claiming that they are fine with criticism. However, like everything else, it is easier said than done. To be very frank, there have been quite a number of times when I abhorred the person who criticized me. I am sure it has happened with majority of the people, at some point.

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R.I.P. by Mukul Deva – The Review

R.I.P. The Resurgent Indian Patriots by Mukul Deva is one helluva ride for its readers with the main protagonist along with his associates acting as vigilantes in order to stop the corrupt culprits rocking and on the verge of destroying the nation. Right from the cover picture to the end of the story one can enjoy a dramatic and pulse-pounding experience while reading the book. A thrilling ambiance is perfectly created in the very first chapter of the story with three immaculately planned murders taking place simultaneously at three different parts of the country. From there, I can assure you it will be a pulsating journey for the readers. R.I.P. talks about the self-appointed vigilante group K-Team headed by Colonel Krishna Athawale. He and his team of five other Special Forces Officers have deadly plans to free the country of the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Being an ex-army man, Krishna and his teammates are incredible in handling complex and deadly plans with ease. Raghav Bhagat, another ex-army personnel, having personal issues with Krishna is the gun for hire, hell-bent on stopping the K-Team. The Special Director of CBI, Vinod Bedi is caught between the crossfire, though with the same intention of halting the plan of action of the K-Team. Along with these characters, there are few other characters like the glamorous news anchor Reena Bhagat and two young boys Sachin and Azaan, who play important roles in taking forward the story.

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Tick-tock We’re 30 – Book Review

It’s been a long time when I had the spare time to read a book. It was known that motherhood comes with a lot of responsibilities, however the presence of the word “never-ending” was unknown to me. While leading a monotonous life, I chanced upon the offer to review Tick-tock We’re 30 by Womenweb. After going through the brief, it seemed to me that the book is the just the one I was looking for at the present moment – a light-hearted, easy-to-read chick lit.

The story revolves around Lara Bagai and her set of friends. They all are attending the reunion during Lara’s upcoming 30th birthday. It is the story of a weeks’ time wherein a lot of changes happen in all those people’s lives. Lara and Nishad, one of the SN gang members coming for the reunion, made a pact in a drunken state a decade ago to get married in case neither of them gets a suitable partner by the time they turned thirty. The main story is built on this very pact, along with the various sub-plots of the other gang members.

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The Krishna Key Reviewed

Mythology and thriller when put together make for an interesting read. However, I have rarely seen Indian authors delving into this genre. Writing a thriller set agaist the backdrop of Indian mythology is no mean task. It takes a lot of research and understanding of the subject before finally writing the story. A big applause to Ashwin Sanghi for not being one of those authors who are only comfortable in the tried-and-tested genres, specially the very similar coming-of-the-age stories with sachharine sweet happy endings.

Ashwin Sanghi must have read Dan Brown’s ‘Angels and Demons’ and ‘The Da Vinci Code’ numerous times as his book ‘The Krishna Key’ resembles them to a great extent. Be it the plot or the writing style, one cannot miss the similarities of the book with those of Dan Brown’s bestsellers. The book deals with the tenth avatar of Vishnu, Kalki. The story recounts the gruesome serial killing done by a man who considers himself as the Kalki avatar. The first of his victims was Prof. Anil Varshney, a noted historian and it was his friend Ravi Mohan Saini, another historian of repute who was wrongly charged for the murder. Saini with the help of his student and her father, follows a thrilling journey in order to prove his innocence.

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Sexy@Sixty by Namita Jain – A Review

The age of 60 is a milestone in many ways. One bids adieu to their professional life in order to witness, relish and enjoy things they have missed for years. In other words you can live your life to the fullest from the age of 60. On the flipside, with the ageing process knocking at the door, it is also the age when a lot of people grapples with what is referred as ‘old age’ health issues. Sexy@Sixty by Namita Jain is a book which will assist people attaining at the age of 60 to still live an exciting, active and beautiful life.

In this age of competition and pollution, we tend to forget to take care of our body as well as mind. Sexy@Sixty with the several health and wellness tips and advises is an honest attempt to make your life more meaningful. The main aim of the book is to inform you about the common health related issues and diseases, the severity of which can be reduced with a little bit of lifestyle and dietary changes. It starts with the chapter “Couch Potatoes”. It acts as an alarm for you to leave your sedentary lifestyle and make yourself more active for the betterment of your body and soul. The second chapter “Battle Against the Bulge” deals with the issue of putting on weight, the reasons behind being overweight and how to free yourself from the ugly bulges by undertaking a right diet and correct exercises. A general overview of various common ailments which might mar your well being like hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis, menopause and arthritis are also discussed in the book. Along with the symptoms and the risks associated with the diseases, the book also talks about the various ways of dealing with them.

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A Review of One and A Half Wife by Meghna Pant

Since the time we are born we become an integral part of a plethora of relationships. As we start growing up, we actually start to understand the importance of those relationships. There are some people who constantly keep on paying obeisance to the relationships around them while there are some who tend to not acknowledge the sanctity of relationships. One and A Half Wife by Meghna Pant is the story of human relations and how it can make and break the life of a person.

One and A Half Wife is the story of a girl-next-door whose life changes along with the trials and tribulations which she faces in the course of her life. The protagonist of the story, Amara Malhotra starts of as a simple girl who lives a life the way her Biji(mother) wants it to be. The strong-willed Biji has only two targets in her life – the first one is to get a Green Card and the second is to get her only daughter married to a rich Green Card holder. The first of Biji’s dreams found shape with the help of her brother and her family leaves India and settles down in America. However enjoying the American Dream was not as easy as it seems to be. With several hiccups here and there, Amara’s non-descriptive life changes when she is married to Harvard-educated millionaire Prashant Roy. Finally, Biji’s second dream also found a fruitful culmination. However, on the very first day of her marriage, Amara saw her vision of a perfect life with a perfect Prince being shattered. Her so-called fairytale marriage was nothing more than sacrifices from her end and selfishness, demeaning comments and indifference towards her from her husband. She was constantly scrutinized and criticised for her looks, her manners and etiquettes by her husband. She tried her best to save her marriage by overlooking the negativities, sometimes stooping down to incorrigible levels, but it collapsed after a few years. With the end of her marriage, the American Dream after which she was running as per Biji’s wishes also came to an abrupt halt. However, life does not stop there and Amara comes back to the place of her birth Shimla to start her life afresh. In Shimla, she is caught in the web between traditional beliefs and modern ideas. With a little compassion and counselling she came to understand what actually is “Her desire” rather than anyone else’s desire for which she has been living and suffering till then.

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Summertime Fun with Kyra

Summer season is the time when we actually tend to experience the ill-effects of global warming. The summer of 2012 till date has seen me hopping three cities with fluctuating temperature and humidity. Everyone, every other day is praying to God and also resorting to bizarre rituals just to get the glimpse of the Rain God. But suddenly something inside me asked “aren’t summers meant to be hot, that too in a tropical country like India? That voice helped me to stop fooling myself and instead of complaining venture out in order to enjoy the sun and the heat.

With the new found wisdom, I started thinking of ways to enjoy this summer to the core. The first idea that came to my mind was to give a call to my dear friend Kyra, the globe- trotting, extrovert girl always brimming with ideas. After a lot of deliberations, Kyra and I set out to experience some real summertime fun. I was ecstatic about the fact that in this closeted living, finally we finally got the chance to nourish our body with the essential Vitamin D while having some real fun.

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Time to Change the Disgraceful Prenuptial Affairs

Walking down the aisle with the person of love is a dream which is cherished by nearly everyone. A marriage is a celebration of love and bonding between two individuals. However, there are certain prenuptial customs which can deter the charm and enjoyment of a marriage.

The matrimonial ads have always fascinated me. Even a few years ago me and my friends, in our free times, used to read them aloud and laugh out loud at their sheer absurdity. The “Brides Wanted” ads were so similar, whether it was meant for Hindus, Muslims or Christians. Though I do not follow them anymore, it remains the same till now. The grooms and their parents are always on a lookout for a bride who is “fair, really beautiful, convent-educated with traditional values and modern outlook”. Are they looking for a single girl? The other requirements notwithstanding, people are still obsessed with fair complexioned girls. It acts as a mirror of the Indian psyche which is yet to shed its fetish for fair skin and embrace inner qualities of a person. When I was a kid, there was only the Fair and Lovely advertisement which was seen on TV. The people around me and the culture in which I was brought up gave no importance to superficial aspects like skin colour. On the contrary, priority was given to our education, our thinking and our power to judge things in the future. However, the past few years have proved me wrong again. The consumer market is now flooded with fairness products who unabashedly flaunts their bias toward fair skin. Popular actresses and well known celebrities are all promoting the so-called fairness products. I feel it’s a shame that we are drawing the younger generation towards a notion that beauty is all about possessing a fair skin and not a fair mind. The concepts of fair ideas and fair judgments are nowhere being instilled in the minds of the young people. For a country like India where majority of the people are below the age of 25, I feel there is the utmost need for all of us, at least the so-called educated ones, to be the change and stop this shameless portrayal of our preference towards fair-complexioned people.

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