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Review of Being Good Enough by Rohini Paranjpe Sathe

Being Good Enough
Being Good Enough – Book Cover

Being Good Enough is the journey of Jyoti, who stays in a chawl in Mumbai trying to leave behind her troubled past and working hard to give her son a bright future, hiding from him all the curses and abuses she faced. However, past has a penchant of catching up with the present and Jyoti’s life would not be any different. Rohini Paranjpe Sathe’s debut novel ‘Being Good Enough’ is a tale of human flaws and beliefs of a patriarchal society and how experiencing them and fighting them make us stronger and more humane.

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Guy on the Sidewalk – A Review

“Life has a plan for each of us; we may not understand the whys on our journey but every event is meaningful nonetheless.”
Ken Poirot

In this age, when words like skepticism and cynicism rule the world, it is a heartening experience to come across a story as simple and effortless as the Guy on the Sidewalk by Bharath Krishna. Right from the cover of the book till the end of the story, you can feel the eternal conflict which an Indian professional living in the USA encounters on a regular basis!

Guy on the Sidewalk is the story of Jay – his journey from India to the USA and again back to India. The story starts with his last day in the USA and the varied emotions he has been experiencing. It then goes to a flashback and gives a vivid account of Jay’s laid back college life, tiring MBA days and his brief professional life, all in India. That is when he travels to the USA to pursue a specialization. From hereon, he depicts the various phases through which he passes, before realizing his actual call of coming back to where he belongs – India.

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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.

While you start keeping pace with the story, you will be ensured full action and entertainment, sometimes extremely similar with a lot of thrilling movies. In fact, my personal opinion is that R.I.P. has all the ingredients for making an intense and engaging Bollywood movie! Once you start reading the book past the first chapter, you will understand how addictive it is. Your brain will be filled with various presumptions of how the story would unfold in the next chapters and how will it conclude. That is the very fact which made the book unputdowndable for me and hope will be the same for everyone else as well. Between all the serious plans, operations, killings and chases, there is also a romantic angle in the story which comes as a brief yet welcome relief and does not hamper with the flow and rhythm of the story.

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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.

Though the book is titled Sexy@Sixty, it’s appeal and relevance can be said to be universal. The main aim of the book is to motivate you to slowly but surely follow a healthy lifestyle. Health and beauty is not only meant for the younger generation. However, if you start taking care of yourself from a young age it will help in keeping a lot of diseases at bay.

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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.

For a girl the insult does not stop with the ridiculous matrimonial ads. Arrange marriages are something which have been part of our society from time immemorial. The arrangement is done after following a number of prenuptial steps, the first being the grooms side visiting the brides place, with or without the groom! As a part of such affairs, I was a witness to the bizarre methods which some of the family members resorted to.  The reason –  to find out whether everything is fine with the bride. The most interesting thing is that all those were done by trick methods – the girl being asked to serve tea to everyone in the room to see whether she walks properly or not, the girl being asked to lift her sari a bit in a bid to know whether the her facial colour matches her other body parts! Can customs get to be more ridiculous and demeaning?

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A Perspective on Religious Rituals

To begin with, the sentiments and opinions written in this post are entirely mine. They have nothing to do with any particular religion or the rituals associated with it. It is just to share my traumatic experience which happened in the name of religion and above all, GOD.

It happened just a month ago – the immersion ceremony of Goddess Muthyalamma. She is one of the many forms of Goddess Durga/ Kali.  We all know idols are taken for immersion in processions.  From my childhood, I had been a great admirer of such processions. The sights and sounds of merriment associated with processions always mesmerized me. Though I had never been a part of such processions, yet I adored them to the core. To ever have a negative outlook of such processions is something that I never imagined.

The immersion procession for Goddess Muthyalamma also started in a similar fashion of enjoyment. At around 9p.m. a procession went past my house. I enjoyed the sounds of the crackers and the dhaks, relished the prasad along with my parents. It was all nice and good. Being the month of May, it was extremely hot and humid. The day being a Saturday, I went to sleep quite late unknown of the fact what lay ahead. It all started at around 2p.m in the night. The electricity went off and I again cursed the Bangalore Electricity Board for being so inhuman. But the fact was that it was the beginning of long night of processions of a dozen of idols through the narrow lanes of Bangalore. Puja organizers from various parts of the city followed the same route for the immersion event. The quite narrow 3rd Cross of Kalappa Layout being one of the chosen paths. Each and every organizer gave their best shot to make the event successful. They finely decorated the idols, hired various kinds of dancers and instrumentalists, decked them with peculiar outfits and also managed to get the noisiest of firecrackers. All the idols stopped in front of every alternate houses and thus advanced at snail’s pace. The local people, aware of such annual events, were busy offering pujas to each and every idol. The sound of the firecrackers and the dhaks kept on increasing. In the midst of it all, I made a failed attempt to sleep.

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