27 Feb 2015

Book Review: Shattered Dreams

About the book:

Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the national bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana – The Game of Life.

Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita at the end of Book 1.

Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riveting drama of Rama’s exile. Through tales of Rama’s unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata’s actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita’s courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. 

This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail. With Valmiki’s Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from theKamba Ramayana and Ramacharitramanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before.

My View:

I haven’t read the first book from the author, but going by the information the book has the journey of Rama, his birth and the way he was trained under Vishwamitra and the most divine part of Ramayana – his wedding with goddess Sita. We are from the 90s, we grew up watching Ramayana (without the hype and overrating), but no matter how it is explained again, I am all ears. Mainly because Ramayana doesn't have many people like Mahabharatha (that’s right, I just cannot remember names). Ramayana is one such epic where in you don’t have to possess any love for religion or spiritual power – not that it teaches you to be right, but at least it tells one that good always triumphs over the evil.  

This book – Shattered dreams tells about why Rama was the one who was enthroned and not the others. I always thought that Rama was the favorite son of King Dasaratha; and author suggests the same too. But there has to be evil in the form of “shaitaan kahan hai toh bagal main” types; author explains the way Kaikeyi and Manthara ladies plan up against King Dasaratha, convince him that why it is right and already decided that Rama, has to face exile. Every chapter tells the readers, why the decisions were right and the footnotes are often extension of the same to readers on incorporating them in their life.

Doing everything in the context of quoting Dharma, how far is it correct? Author expresses thoughts as to why Rama was the “right” adhering to his father’s decision of sending him away and that in turn made everyone quote him as “right”. Meanwhile is it OK not to listen to family’s advice about not to not entering the agnathavasa, stay at the kingdom and fulfill the needs of the people?

Shattered dreams gets into the “I will tell you so many things in the name of righteous” at times. Al though special mention about the footnotes, most of the times these conveyed about the current scenario of the chapter and how the same should to adapted in our life. But at times, the annotations don’t even relate to the chapter in discussion and just randomly quotes about how a leader should be, what he has to do but was Rama a good leader? Was it OK to let go all his disciples in the kingdom, to let them be in ‘not-so-good-leadership’ just because he had to be right? I don’t think so.

Neat narration, crisp language, and a bit stretchy; apart from the beautiful cover (which does not include Sita or Lakshmana) the footnotes have footsteps in the form of paduka. Now when you flip the pages very fast you can actually see these padukas move ahead. Most interesting find from the book has to be the reason behind the beautiful peacocks having various shades in their feathers. Now, I will not tell you guys why, for that please pick the book and have a good weekend read! 

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. on BlogAdda Participate now to get free books!

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2 Feb 2015

The Other End of the Corridor by Sujata Rajpal

About the Book

When your dreams are tainted with lies and deceit, you have no other choice but to walk to the other end of the corridor Leela has nothing extraordinary about her except the dream to become famous. Her desires take wings when she gets married to a handsome boy from a respectable family in Delhi. But her dreams are shattered even before they have a chance to take flight. She happens to meet two friends from a long forgotten past, which infuses hope and opens new avenues to realize her dormant aspirations. Leela delves into previously unexplored paths of deception and forbidden passions that only make her stronger. In an attempt to rediscover herself, she falls in love with life and with herself but her life takes a sudden turn again… No matter what, Leela will continue to chase her dreams. Where does this journey take her? 

My View

This plot is about Leela and her dreams; should I say “dream”. There is a Leela in each one of us, all of us have dreams, aspirations and we also have hopes. But do we actually work towards our aspirations? What do we do to turn dreams in reality? Does having hope make us reach our goals? What is that extra mile Leela took in order to live her dream? Sujata in her first novel writes about it; in terms of first efforts, I’d say author has lived up to expectations.

The plot is very simple and she carefully chooses not to give it away in the blurb or anywhere else. Reader actually has no idea till he completes few chapters, but by the time reader makes a subject from the novel, Sujata has moved forward with the story into another subject. The way the story is written, for 30+ chapters, it is not boring/stretching and hence the plot is commendable.

By the time I was done reading the book, I actually wondered how to summarise the plot; well you just can’t and that is the best about the story; no giveaway at all. But yet the story is very simple and it happens around us.

I did not like one aspect of the story, is how easily her problems get solutions. Leela has a problem and instantly there is a solution, this works well for the story not being stretchy but it actually made me think “Is life that easy?”

This one is a pick that you start, don’t want to stop and complete it; for a non-thriller genre this kind of feeling is very positive. 

Gritty and Positive!

I know Leela since 11 years now. She was cooking at the neighborhood and acquaintance suggested we should hire her, when we were in search of one. Her haath ka khaana was not extraordinary but very tasty; she would listen to what we want to eat and how moderately spicy it should be. Who doesn’t like “yes attitude”? She was instant hit with mother. 

As years passed by she learnt how each of us wanted breakfast ; dad wanted papaya scraped and sliced into small pieces but I wanted them vertically sliced, but not into pieces, sister hated papaya and mom was not supposed to eat papaya.

Leela told me her husband did not return home after a huge fight that broke between them over her being financially supportive to her sister’s kids for their education. “Didn’t you go in search of him?”, I had asked. “You can either be a loving wife or caring daughter”, he had warned her. Before she made her decision he had decided to part ways.

Apparently Leela came across that her husband married for the second time and settled in a town, the same town that of her sister; she used to get his updates constantly. Meanwhile, Leela was fulfilling her responsibilities of a caring daughter, supportive sister, guiding aunt to her nieces and in all the process we never realized when she went on to be pillar of our household. Al though money was important, seldom did she made any fuss about it, she was part of my wedding like my sister and she cried in buckets at my Bidaai. Back at my in-laws people actually mistook her to be my younger sister and were in shock when I told them who she is.

Her husband returned. She wanted to start a family. He stayed with her for months and vanished again. Leela was devastated; her hopes of starting family died much before they sprouted. She was taking care of her mom’s cancer treatment and funding fees to her nieces and helping her sister with her construction work; all this along with full time work at my house.
6 months since Leela’s health started deteriorating; in her early 30s, she had all kinds of ailments said the reports – Thyroid, Low HB, and Arthritis. She could hardly walk post 7pm but she made sure that she served till that time – and not because of money but because my son was too much attached to her and her babysitting.

Recently she was diagnosed with HIV positive and the doctor suggested her to stop work immediately. Our world came crashing down with the pillar collapse; but she hardly cared. Currently she is diagnosed with Bone Cancer and TB, HIV is killing her bit by bit. She requested if we can find her a job that does not require leaving home. Leela being an uneducated wanted to be a freelancer; she took 15 days of training from a team of tele-callers and now works for a small start-up. Her never say die attitude is contagious.

She refused to choose being “labelled” as HIV positive and has positively accepted life and made everyone follow her with her gritty heart!

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.

17 Jan 2015

Chutneypudi meets Cyanide - Ondu explosive interview!

Nimdondh interview bekithu. When can I? I asked. “Why not now", anta bantu uttara, nange aytu shock. Ee Shetty friends yav matter aadru ever ready irtarallappa anta.
“How about tomorrow sir, yen time”, ande and next day intervieiw maade bitte.

Interview gintha hecchaagi, adu conversation yavag aytu gotte aglila; but amazing thought process ivarge and unlike hero Rakshith, Rishab Shetty (Rishe) ge ondu churu Udupi Kannada influence illa I mean idru adanna avru thorskolodilla. Naanu nimmashte chennag Mysore Kannada matanaadaballe andru, innu single aagrio Rishab Shetty ya ondu chikka chokka *decent* interview illide

I asked Rishab, ee pic nalli iro towel lucky na anta - he laughed. Ivru nagodh jasti pa :)

K: Neevu Sandalwood ge bandaga adara mele idha opinion eeglu haage idya?
RiShe: *laughs* obviously illa. Reality ne bere Assumptions ye bere alwa? Na bandidu actor agoke but kelsa kalivaaga nan passion direction anta ansthu. So adralle diploma kooda madide.
K: Tughlaq failure aadru nim careere ge adu olley boost anta nimgansutta?
RiShe: actually no. Tughlaq nalli nan look masked aagittu. Tughluq-ginta nange ondu identity kottidu “Cyanide” . Ee movie na Tamil nalli kooda madidhwi. Kelsa kalsidhu Cyanide, but recognition kotidhu Lucia. Anantara UlidavaruKandanthe.
K: Ulidavarau Kandanthe na niv director madidhre, nim role na Sandalwood nalli bere yar madbahudu ansutte nimge?
RiShe: *laughs* *thinks a lot* nan prakara yaaru maadok agolla.
K: Rajath direct madtiro “Sipaayi” movie li nim role yenu?
RiShe: *shocked* olle research madidhira? Lucia shooting nalli naanu Rajath andhkondidhwi, ava movie madidhre naan adralli ondu role play madbeku anta, and vice-versa. Sipaayi movie nalli nandu ondu chikka role, but significant anbahudu story ge.
K: Rikki ishtu bega yaake? UK tara neevu beralu sutkotini anno fear ilwa?
Rishe: Rikki subject was ready from 2009. But kaaranantaragalinda it was not seeing reality aste; but one day I decided idanna naa made madtini anta; so here we are – Rikki by June end release agbeku I guess. Yavdakku time annodu irolla, maadle beku anta horatare aage agutte.
K: Rakshith na itkonde barda script Rikki na?
RiShe: nandu Rakhith sneha, actually snehakintha migilaada relationship namdu. Ava sothaaga naanu solodralli experience tagondidhe, so nam rapport match aytu. Rikki bardaaga, it was not Rakshith specific; but kramena avne hero anta decide maadide and adhadh nantara initial script illitanaka 11 revisions agide and by now, yes avnigaage ne bardiro character type moodi bandide

K: Fans bagge matadona, any such situation? Mob agiro types?
RiShe: Ha Ha, actually yaaru nanna recognize ye madolla. Oh Rishab alwa, UK nalli madidhralwa anta avrige flash aagoshtrallI will be out of scene. But hudgirgintha ammandiru nanna fans anbahudu; bahushaha Ulidavaru Kandanthe adhmele yellaru Rishab nanna maga anno feeling nalli idaare.

Rikki movie ge premiere passes kodtaare, alli avranna khudaagi bheti maadi ondu selfie tagdhu, Rikki ya exclusive interview maadtini anta nan plan, nam RiShe yen heltaro gothilla!!!