Sunday, May 17, 2015

#FriFotos - Panhalgad fort Entrance - #Entrances

Here is my entry for this week's #FriFotos  - a weekly photo forum to share photographs from around the world. The theme for this week is Entrances

Here is the picture of one Entrance to the Panhalgad fort campus near Kolhapur, Maharashtra 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

#FriFotos - Dagdusheth Temple Tower - #BlackAndWhite

Here is my entry for this week's #FriFotos  - a weekly photo forum to share photographs from around the world. The theme for this week is BlackAndWhite!

Here is the Vimana, or the temple tower of the Dagdusheth Ganpati Mandir, Pune



Sunday, May 3, 2015

Book Review - "Story of Tublu" by Jahid Akhtar



"Story of Tublu" is well.... :) The story of "Tublu".  It speaks about a boy, Tublu's journey through the decades, his journey through life and its complexities.  Using a very simple language, Jahid Akhtar presents this story of the mundane life of a commoner, yet it is this mundaneness that draws one to start liking Tublu, aka Tanmay Bora, for it is a story that you and I so readily identify with.

Set in the laps of the washlands of the River Brahmaputra in Assam, the author takes you through the boyhood journey of Tublu, who is a regular boy-next-door character.  He is not too ambitious, but is definitely someone who wants to work and settle in life; Not back out, but live life sincerely.

From the time he moves in with the Sharma family, they, in a sense, become the central point in his life; what with Maina becoming the focus of his attention. Maina is the daughter of the Sharmas, and although she is not Tublu's obsession, she is also not someone that Tublu can picture his life without.

This is a story of an endearing boy whose life begins with a setback, but he is set on sincerely getting his life in order with an engineering degree and a steadily progressing career.  What starts as a figment of fascination in Tublu's mind at a very young age, ultimately converts into a reality thanks to the twists and turns that life brings with itself.

This short novel is a quick and enjoyable read. Having said that, there are parts of the book that really need a tighter narrative and better editing, which are the only parts that reveal that this is the work of a first time author.

I will go with a 3.75 out of 5 stars for this book. The novel has a slightly drab start, but catches on as the story progresses.  Here's wishing Jahid Akhtar the best, and looking forward to future works from this author from Assam.

The details of the book -
Title - Story of Tublu, an amazing journey called life
Author - Jahid Akhtar
Publishers - LiFi Publications, New Delhi
ISBN 13 : 9789382536758

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

You can buy the book on Flipkart from here

Friday, May 1, 2015

Reviving an old hobby - Embroidery

Picture this - Its a holiday and you have your day planned. You wake up, only to find no water in the tap. And no chance of it returning for another couple of hours.

That's my situation now, and here's what I did -


Here is the current state of this project  - The Front View - Neck design





And a design for the nape of the neck of the Kurta material


Saturday, April 25, 2015

#FriFotos - #Spring is here

Here is my entry for this week's #FriFotos  - a weekly photo forum to share photographs from around the world. The theme for this week is Spring!

Here is a whiff of spring from the beautiful farms of Morachi Chincholi, near Pune, Maharashtra


Monday, April 20, 2015

Languages - you can only speak so much

Reducing someone to the number of languages he or she speaks trivializes the immense power that language imparts. After all, language is the living testament to a culture’s history and world view, not a shiny trophy to be dusted off for someone’s self-aggrandizement.
Excerpt from http://ideas.ted.com/why-i-learned-20-languages-and-what-i-learned-about-myself-in-the-process/.

I discovered this link on my facebook feed today, it was shared by the good souls running the TEDxGateway page - https://www.facebook.com/TEDxGateway

Being a language aficionado myself, I eagerly clicked through to know what this article had to share, and landed on something that I myself have come to realise over the years. The following paragraphs quoted from the link above, particularly, resonate with me -
Reducing someone to the number of languages he or she speaks trivializes the immense power that language imparts. After all, language is the living testament to a culture’s history and world view, not a shiny trophy to be dusted off for someone’s self-aggrandizement.

Language is a complex tapestry of trade, conquest and culture to which we each add our own unique piece — whether that be a Shakespearean sonnet or “Lol bae g2g ttyl.” As my time in the media spotlight made me realize, saying you “speak” a language can mean a lot of different things: it can mean memorizing verb charts, knowing the slang, even passing for a native. But while I’ve come to realize I’ll never be fluent in 20 languages, I’ve also understood that language is about being able to converse with people, to see beyond cultural boundaries and find a shared humanity. And that’s a lesson well worth learning.”

And I completely agree with the above points. Reducing someone to the number of languages that person speaks is sheer injustice to the power of expression that each of those languages bring along with them. And trust me, it takes a lifetime along with a lot of persistence, to learn any language. And even then, we need to etch in our minds that it will still be only a tool to communicate, and that the actual communication is a skill that resides in our brain, that needs constant nurturing. When these two come together, is when the magic happens. And the language that you spend the time most on, will become your language of fluency. And it is ok to not be fluent in 'N' languages, your ability to communicate matters more.

And this is why, perhaps, one of the slokas in my sanskrit lessons from my 10th standard lesson says that to be able to speak sentences that are non-provocative, yet true, yet are kind on the ears and beneficial to the person hearing it, yet reflecting what is put to practice from one's self studies, is akin to penance, a penance of speech, a penance of the spoken word. The original text -

अनुद्वेगकरं वाक्यं सत्यं प्रियहितं च यत् |
स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनं चैव वाङ्ग्मयम् तप उच्यते ||
And I am sure, my english teacher who blogs at https://forstudentswithlove.wordpress.com/ will agree with this.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Short Story : Alamu's tryst with the speaking squirrels

This post is to aggregate my short story blog posts for easy reference.

Alamu's Journey Into the World of Ramayana is a short fictional story based on Vatsala Dorairajan's reading of the Valmiki Ramayana as part of the Read Ramayana Project. It is the story of a young girl called Alamu(shortened from Alamelu) is a young girl, who is known to often wander into interesting and intriguing places with the help of Nidra Devi, the sleep fairy. In this episode, she is transported to a world of speaking squirrels and spinning trees, and she discovers an indirect connection between two parallel worlds.

This is published in three parts  - Part 1 , Part 2 , and Part 3 .
You can download the entire piece and read it as a PDF from here.

Happy Reading! :)


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