Friday, December 28, 2012

Dear John, book review

 
"Dear John", this book would never have been on my desk. Though I like to write romance(though I don’t remember when was the last time I wrote romance), reading of this genre was never my cup of tea. Actually it happened so that I had heard praises for the film, "The notebook". And my sis the other day watched it and liked it a lot. So I decided to watch it. Now the question was, whether to watch the film first or to read the book on it. Now I have read Nora Robert(writes romance) earlier and I knew I can't read anything of the genre.
 
It's that my sis's vacation has started and shockingly she wanted to read book, A book but one that will not need any amount of thinking. She started searching for teenage romance. For me it’s like, God! These books are so dumb. But she wanted it nevertheless. So I thought about The notebook. But it was already in circulation, so the picked next book of the same author. I know I don’t need to write all this but thoughts are pouring out my head and I am glad that I read this book. In fact my sis must have read just 50 pages but I have completed the book already. Now about the story.
An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life.
The book is written in three parts. The first one is about the time when the two meet and fall in love. Now reading this part was difficult for me. It was mushy with lots of repetition and I felt to discard the book a million times. But I have this necessity to complete every book that I pick up. So I continued. It was okay.

The second and third part is about the their lives in separation. Now I have to say this that even though the first part I felt mushy, I think it was the base of the 2nd part, and then I felt the same mushy parts beautiful. I mean the way it was written was beautiful. In second part, I could make sense of the first part. And the third part was much more beautiful. It was sad but this was more than a teenage romance, it was about reality, true love, hurt and emotion, of love, betrayal, care, desire. I think the writer has done such a marvellous job that I had my own screenplay running as I read the book. And the book touched me, it was wonderful.

I liked the story. But more than that I admired the author's skills to use the perfect words to get the situation or emotions reach out to you. The best example of that would be the ending, it couldn't have been better written.

Highly recommended
My rating - 4 of 5 stars

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The story is...

 
They were on the couch, holding hands. She was resting her head on his shoulder. Some movie was playing on tv but it looked comical without any sound. No words were exchanged between the two but felt all the same.
 
She shifted and looked in his eyes, My Perfect husband. As he looked in her deep brown eyes, he smiled, how lucky they were to be together. She had the most amazing eyes and an such a loving heart, my Perfect wife. They were so much in love.
He could see a tear forming at the corner her left eye. He leaned closer and whispered, I love you! I will always love you, and held her closer. Even without words, they both could feel the deepest emotion erupting in the other.
      Then suddenly, suddenly, the tv went black. He closed his eyes tightly till it hurt.

Hey mister-good-for-nothing!, a voice echoed behind him. It was pungent, mocking voice.
Food is on the table, I'm having dinner. Come over if you want to have it. I am not going to wait for you. She murmured a curse. He turned. His bitch wife was holding the remote. She was red in anger and so was he. He stood up helplessly. His mind cursing. God! Reality is so bitter. So, so bitter. What I have married into?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Odyssey

*** My original post was deleted :( I don't know how. Tried to recover, but no luck :( So I have just saved my old post content to this new post..

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 34; the thirty-fourth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "Of-Course, I'm insane"

"Are you insane?", some woman asked in hysteric voice.

The ladies compartment was moderately crowded. My eyes drifted in the direction of the voice. She was middle aged woman, dressed in a nice cotton saree with a suave floral pattern. She was sitting on fourth seat diagonally opposite to me on the other side of the train aisle. Her authoritative and arrogant face implicated the ilk of government employee who send back the customers complaining either that some unwanted document was missing or it was their tea time/lunch time. In her lap was a polythene bag containing green peas. She was picking out the peas and the other ladies around her were pretending to be helping. Together, they looked like a knock out gang.

They all were looking hysterically towards the girl in the window. She was wearing a stylish shirt and trouser which made her look quite odd in the gang. I was intrigued and inadvertently started listening. The train was slow, journey long, with no other way to pass time, I thought, it's okay, I need some entertainment!

"Off course", another woman said.

The pretty girl sighed as if stepping down but then the next second she started animatedly with new found courage. "Don't you think instead of sulking and grumbling everyday, it's better be off that job and do what you actually love"

"Leaving such a high payment job for a hobby which can't give even half of your salary!" The woman next to her said shaking her head left to right. Nobody seemed to be convinced with the girl's argument. "How come your parents gave you the permission?" the woman continued.

Somewhere behind me, voices were getting louder. I tried to concentrate and focus on the gang talk."You know what?", the girl continued, not ready to give up. She had a confidence in her voice and her face reflected happiness, like it was a decision of precision and that would change her life.

She continued with a relentless urgency to prove herself, "Yea! You are right! Of-course! I am insane! You think it that way b'coz you all have forgotten how to live life! Is this the way to live life? Look at yourself. What you have become? A schedule. A timetable which is planned by someone else. Weekdays by office and weekends by your husband or saas. Get up at 5 am. Make breakfast which you yourself don't get time to eat. Rush for the train. Reach office and crib about everything the whole day. As clock strike six, rush for the train, squeeze yourself inside. Once reached destination, stand in Queue for the auto. And after all this maneuver, what's next? Wait sulkily for tomorrow which would be exactly the same junk.

You think it's insane to leave a good paying job, but I think its wise to get free of this rollercoaster ride which does not give you any amusement but instead makes you puke and dizzy.

You are looking at the monetary loss but plainly ignoring the satisfaction you get from it. Few months of work that I love will give me much more happiness which years of unequal work will not give me" She let out a heavy sigh.Why was she defending?
Everyone fell silent. Even the girl flushed about her speech and started looking out of the window. I knew what everyone was thinking. Same what I was. Is this true?

The sound behind me grew louder and interrupted my contemplation. I turned around to see what was the fuss about. Two ladies were quarreling over seats. Each was trying to raise her voice over the other. Both the parties repeated their point again and again and again. Then, one of the two blurted a curse. This threw the other in fit. She wad shaking in rage. Their quarrel was right on the thin line and was just one cross-word away from a real-good woman-fight. The ladies who were earlier listening and some enjoying, now looked tense. They knew fighting women are very unpredictable. They may slap each other, abuse or they may just end it up with a few bad words. But anyone from the spectator might get hurt. In between their shrieks, there was a sound of someone singing.

A few boys had sneaked in the ladies compartment and were hanging out at the door The guy began to sing loudly. Now the whole compartment was turned into a mess. The irritation was visible on everyone's face. I looked at the other gang. Some of women were looking at the fight, some were looking at the singer with a twisted face while some just sat looking out of the window. I guess they were still contemplating the girl's speech or trying to stay peaceful in the outright chaos. A lady among them said, "It's good philosophy to talk about. But life is not so kind". She was still stuck to the question and she looked hurt.

The guy seemed to have taken the attention as encouragement and he started to sing louder. He was hanging out without realizing the risk. Now everyone stared at him with a minacious look. Then all of a sudden, the situation changed. Everything seemed to happen in flurry of moments. As the guy continued to threw his voice up singing oversmartly, a train came from the opposite direction and the next moment everyone heard a loud sound of a tight slap. The song evaporated and the compartment turned silent, complete silent. All mouths flew open. The singer had his hand covering his cheek. The astonishment faded, realization dawned and smiles curved on everyone's face. There were roars of laughter. The chaos has disappeared, fights forgotten, confusion about purpose of life lost its influence and the crowd of individuals turned into a single gang.

I couldn't stop laughing, at the oversmart singer's fate but also to think how the gravity of moment has changed it's course. I almost said aloud, Yea! Such is life!

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: Megha Haware, Participation Count: 04

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rangoli 2012

 

Happy Diwali to you all!

Diwali means lights, lanterns, sweets, crackers and rangolis. Some of my Diwali rangolis -

       

         

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Comedians, Book

 

This post comes almost after two months. But I am thankful that it’s not due to compulsion of filling the space. Most of my past posts have been book review, as is this one. Usually, before I request a book from librarywala.com, I spend considerable time in searching book fitting the mood. After spending quite some time reading spiritual books, I wanted to read some fiction work. I don’t remember how I landed on this book. But after reading I was happy about the catch.

The Comedians

Three men meet on a ship bound for Haiti, a world in the grip of the corrupt “Papa Doc” and the Tontons Macoute, his sinister secret police. Brown the hotelier, Smith the innocent American, and Jones the confidence man—these are the “comedians” of Greene’s title. Hiding behind their actors’ masks, they hesitate on the edge of life. They are men afraid of love, afraid of pain, afraid of fear itself...

***

Has it been difficult transition for you from contemporary read to a classic? Well, it always has been for me. There are times when I have put down the book never to pick up again. I feared that this book too has same fate, returned without reading. But it completely surprised me. The book is such that it doesn’t grab your interest on it’s first page but gradually and smoothly you get involved in the story, the characters and the life.

The author Graham, narrating as Mr. Brown, warns us of Haiti, as to the other characters and takes us through the life there. He meets Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Mr/Major Jones on the ship. Jones is visiting for (doubtful)business and the Smiths for the cause of ‘Vegetarianism’. When they all land on the Haitian soil, the story begins. It’s when we read, do we know there is some country out there which is completely with different and difficult life.

As Mr. Brown gives us a rough ride through the country, the politics, the indifference towards life, more apt death, he also takes us through the complexities of life, the mind and thoughts of the three characters. He refers them - Smiths, Jones and himself, as comedians, living the comedy of tragedy. While he Smiths with their comic ‘Vegetarian’ agenda look like the comedians, they emerge as heroes and the Jones, the comedian, who has his art of making friends by making them laugh, and who is dreaded by Brown, turns out like his twin. 

For me, the book is semi-fiction. It gives picturesque info about the Haitian life, it’s hideous politics (Greene is also said to be spy/journalist). At the same time it also exposes to the vulnerability of human nature in relationships. The most I like in the book is the artistic way it is written and the mind / relationship elements that it touches, be it about love / lust / patriotism / cruelty / jealousy / shame. One thing I regret is the un-translated French conversation that you come across now and then.

If you don’t mind reading heavy books and are a fan of story telling, I would definitely recommend this book.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The devotion of suspect X : Book Review

 

Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.

When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko’s manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there’s something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmanoeuvring and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.

The book is nothing less tricky than the main character Ishigami, who misleads the police investigation of the murder and in the end surprises us to the core. This book is a different and an innovative package. First of all the backdrop is different, a Japanese setup, Japanese names. Tough the murder event is commonplace, it has an intelligent twist. It is not the murder but the after events that are of significance.

The stand out point for this book is that the book is not about how the murder happens or what leads to it. That part of the story moves quite fast and the later part, the plan for escape is the main story. And another highlight is, this book is not about the who-is-the-murderer search. Here the murderer and his plan is right there for us to read, know his moves, yet it succeeds in engaging us. It’s completely different than the usual mystery novels that we read.

The character build up is very strong and after a few pages, we have all these character ready in our mind playing their role. I liked the fact that, initially we get familiar with the characters and with time we get to understand the characters more but by the end of the novel we know their complete personality.

The relationship between mother and daughter even tough written less about, is enough to get the subtlety of the relation across. Also the friendship between the two researchers and between the physicist and the detective is quite well built. It’s a fast read and after first 40 pages you get eager to turn the page. Although I wish the end would have been different but… There is a film that is in making and it will be interesting to watch it.

I recommend this book and my rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

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Sunday, March 04, 2012

When Journey Meant More Than Destination

 

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 25; the Silver Edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The topic for this month is 'When Journey Meant More Than Destination'.

शोध तुझा

पहाटे सकाळी मी उठले
अंधारी मन्द धुके पसरले होते
दुर कुथेतरी धुंद बसुरी वाजत होती
जणु मला स्वतःकदे मोहीत होती

कळोखी चिम्ण्या चीवचीवत होती
थण्ड झूळूक अंगी रोमांच आणीत होती
धुक्यातून एक सावली उमगली
मनातली इच्छा जणू पूर्ण झाली

धावले तुझ्याजवळ सगळे विसरुन
पण ती सावली गुप्त झाली मला भूलवून
शोधीत फिरले इकदे तिकदे तुला, कान्हा
तुझी बासरी ओडीत माझ्या मना

माझी घालमेल तुला कळत नाही का?
माझ्यावर तूला प्रेम नाहीका?
हळू ह्ळू सकाळ उजळीत होती
धूके विरून बासरीही मंद होत होती

आजही नाही भेटलास तू, कन्हा
विरहाने अजून व्याकूळ केलेस माझ्या मना
पण हाच विरह तुझ्याजवळ नेतो मला
ह्याच विरहात प्रेमाचा प्रवास मी अर्पण करते तुला
   
-    मेघा हावरे  ©

PS : After a loooong time I have posted on my blog. I was into this so-called writer’s block. But it was a coincidence that I looked at my reader and saw blog-a-ton’s new post. And after a long block suddenly this poem flashed in my mind, but in Marathi. I wish I could write it in English. But translation would kill the original. So I kept it just the same with a hope that readers would understand Marathi since it is Devanagri script, just as Hindi. Hope you enjoy it!

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.