Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: www.marryAghost.com by Abhimanyu Jha

Have you ever been in love? I am sure you have. Isn't that moment great? Your life takes a completely different turn, of course for better or worse that depends on how you wish to handle it. So, how does it feel to be with (wo)man of your dreams?  Ultimate. But what if you fall in love with someone whom you've never met only heard, have never touched but only heard, have never even seen but only heard? Yes, I am talking about the invisible spirit or to put it straight a Ghost!

Oops! Did I scare you? I am sorry I didn't intend to. See, love is that strong a power. It can even make you fall in love with a ghost. Especially when the ghost in question is a twenty something pretty girl who "wears shimmering blue kurta with shimmering white squares all over it, shimmering sky blue dupatta to go with it, shimmering yellow leggings and shimmering bangles to accessorize it." The girl in question is Maahi, our protagonist of the book "www.marryAghost.com". She is beautiful,  lively and yet Veeru (the other protagonist) cannot see her. She is dead and searching for oblivion, which she can seek only with the help of Veeru.

Meanwhile, our man, Mr Veerupakshya and his best friend, Jerry design a website called www.marryAghost.com, all but for fun. Little did they know that whatever they do would land them up with ghosts in real. Maahi along with her saviour, an old spectacled lady, who calls herself Asmita Deb Burman, a molecular biology professor at IISc Bangalore, register on this website to seek help from its creators in searching Maahi's lost love. Yes, Dr Burman or Asmita ma'am as she is referred to in the book, has concluded from whatever little information Maahi gives her that Maahi died in front of her lover. Thus she is under tremendous pain which can subside only when she meets her lover and seek oblivion. All this long lost love has to be searched within eight days or else Maahi stays trapped forever on earth.

So, Maahi and Veeru set out on the journey to search for Maahi's lost love about whom neither of them have any idea except that he is a golden haired man who calls her in her dreams. The book begins in Bangalore moves to Goa as Maahi and Veeru start their search. But our man, who in the beginning had no whatsoever reason of believing in ghosts, has gradually as time went by fallen for this pretty ghost (Men, I tell you). He is moved by her pain. He wants to see her, hold her and comfort her. But how can he? She is a ghost. However,  it seems lady luck seemed to have favored him. Due to his intense desire to help Maahi find oblivion,  he is soon able to see her. And, thus begins their love story. While Veeru is all bowled over by Maahi's beauty, Maahi on the other hand doesn't want him to fall for her, fearing he might get trapped or stuck forever in this non existential relationship.

Having discovered that it is not Goa where Maahi had died but a city down south (I wouldn't want to spoil the fun, find out for yourself), Veeru and Maahi then start their journey to the city of Maahi's "dreams." Do they find the man Maahi had been yearning for? Or Does Maahi remain trapped forever on earth? Is Veeru indeed in love? Or it's merely an infatuation towards a pretty girl? Who is Asmita Deb Burman,  how can she see ghosts? And then, what about the man, who is dressed in medieval style and has been a ghost for over 500 years, why does he help Maahi? Or Does he not? Questions. Answers. More Questions but not all are answered. This is precisely how is the book- www.marryAghost.com.

Why I like the book? Because it has a different storyline compared to what usually you would find in the books by newbie authors. Further, the book leaves you open ended. After the 246 pages end, and you see "To be continued..." written on the right hand side of the book; you want to shout out to the author and say "Can you please finish the story?" It is a fun read, easy to comprehend and good choice of words. It might get filmy a bit at times but you won't mind that. Conversations between Veeru and Maahi are interesting. On one hand,  you know what Veeru has been thinking about; on the other, you see Maahi contemplating about the happenings around. As the narrative flows, you too are transported from one end to the other. Like Veeru, as a reader you are struggling too to find Maahi's golden haired man.

Aren't you interested in finding him out? Please do. Happy Reading!  :-)

This review is a part of the biggest http://blog.blogadda.com/2011/05/04/indian-bloggers-book-reviews" target="_blank"> Book Review Program
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Game of Blogs: ENTANGLED LIVES- CHAPTER 13


Round One Chapters 1|#2|#3|#4|#5|#6|#7|#8|#9|#10
Read Chapter 11

The white pages with letters scribbled all over them lay on Shekhar’s table in his study room. He clearly remembered those pages, which he had kept aside in one of his “To Read” files initially and had taken them out only a couple of days back after Naina reminded him. It was a Sunday afternoon, when Tara was at work finishing up her next cover issue and Roohi was fast asleep. Naina knocked on Shekhar’s study room door ‘Knock Knock’; “yes?” came the reply from Shekhar. Naina had never disturbed him when he was inside his study, which she considered to be his sacred place.

As Naina entered the room that afternoon, Shekhar was surprised. “What brings you here? Has Roohi not slept yet?”, said Shekhar in a mellowed voice with a cigarette stuck in his left hand and a copy of the latest TIME magazine in his other.

Naina took out a bundle of papers hidden behind her and handed them over to Shekhar. “What’s this?” he asked thinking was he supposed to get any letters that day. “I have written something. I want you to have a look and tell me how it is. I did not want to disturb Tara Madam as she might not like me writing something,” Naina uttered in her soft voice. Shekhar was taken aback.

“You write?”

“Not really. I just wanted to write this.”

“What is it about?”

“I don’t know. I wrote what I felt.”

Before Shekhar could say something more, Naina spoke again, “It is nothing great. It is merely a small something in Hindi. I was scared English might not do justice to what I wanted to say. I just want you to look at it and tell me if it is nice.”

“I never knew we had another writer in making in our home.” Shekhar smiled.

Naina didn’t say much and excused herself from the room. Shekhar had an uncanny habit of keeping things in his “To Read” file unless it demanded his attention then and there. It was two days before Naina was murdered that she had reminded him of the pages. Shekhar had as usual taken the pages out but never managed to read what she had written.

A strong breeze brushed inside from the window of Shekhar’s study. The papers that were kept on his table were all flown here and there. Shekhar was suddenly transported back to the scene today. He got down and picked all the papers that lay scattered on the floor. He recognised the writing that he had seen when Naina had handed him those papers. They were small poetries in Hindi. They all had a sense of awakening in them. Shekhar was bowled over by the thoughts that Naina possessed. However, the smile on his face faded as he recalled the fact that such an aspiring life was cut short so soon. “Why would anyone want to kill Naina?” he thought to himself. As he got up with the papers in hands and placed them on the table, Inspector Java walked in.

“Ahem Ahem”

“Oh, I am sorry I didn’t see you come in.”

“I am sure the papers had something more mesmerising than this bulky officer to have your gaze glued to them,” Java sad in a sarcastic tone.

“No, actually…” Shekhar wanted to say something about Naina’s poetry but cut himself short.

“So, Mr Dutta, Sad about your loving maid being dead?” Java said in a tone that unsettled Shekhar.

“What are you hinting at Mr Jawalkar?”

“Call me Java. I prefer that.” He was so profound in his expressions while calling himself by that name that it seemed it was not his name rather an honour equivalent to a Padma Shri.

“So where were we? Ah, I was asking you generally that you must be saddened by Naina’s death. No?”

“Yes, we all are. She was like a family to us. Roohi was too close to her. Naina would take care of the house like her own. When Tara and I had to step out for some work, she would always pitch in, to take care of Roohi, the food, the house, everything. Naina had become quite the woman of the house.” Shekhar stopped and suddenly felt he shouldn’t have said the last line.

“Woman of the house? I thought that’s your wife Tara.” Java was enjoying the beads of sweat that occupied Shekhar’s forehead.

“No, what I meant was like a foster mother to everyone of us.” Shekhar felt relieved having said that. He wondered what if Java speaks about what he said to him, to Tara. She will never like being compared to a maid as the woman of the house.

“So, Mr Dutta, what had you been upto since the morning of the crime?”

“I was finishing up some freelance writing assignments that I am due to submit tomorrow.”

“Ok. What was Naina doing then while you were writing?”

“I don’t know. I work in my study and she never disturbs me until it is something extremely important.”

“Why did you then come out of your study?”

“I heard the door bell. Naina called me out. My daughter Roohi was in Cyrus’ arms. She had hurt herself.”

“Do you know that man personally?”

“Cyrus?”

“Yes?”

“No. I have met him just once near the tea shop opposite our apartment.”

“Interesting”

“Do you think Cyrus knew Naina?”

“Excuse me? How can he know her? He had come to Mumbai only a few weeks back while Naina has been here in Mumbai all her life.”

“No, may be through social networks?”

“I don’t think so. Naina was not the social network freaks. She was too humble to get into all that. She even refused our offer of gifting her a smartphone on her birthday. She had strictly told us to give anything but a phone. She was happy with her old Nokia 1100.”

“That reminds me, I will have to check her phone records too.” Java shouted out to his counterparts outside the room and asks them to get hold of Naina’s phone records.

“So Mr Dutta did you like Naina?”

“ Sorry? What did you say?”

“I said did you like Naina?”

“As a person, of course yes. I told you earlier she was like a family to us. Roohi liked spending time with her.”

“And you?”

Shekhar was getting annoyed by Java’s continuous poking into his personal space.

“I did too. She enjoyed listening to my poetry and articles.”

“How sweet is that!” Java said in a mocking romantic tone.

“That’s it.” Shekhar got up from his chair and looked straight into Java’s eyes. He had moved couple of inches forward to come face to face with Java. There was hardly any space left between the two. Shekhar was angry now.

“Listen Mr Java. It would be good if you spend your time asking or finding about who the killer is rather than asking me about whether I liked Naina or not. Whatever information I had I gave you. Being a top cop, you should do the rest. Stop harassing our family unnecessarily.” Shekhar spoke in one breath and stopped as Java put his hands on his mouth.

“Don’t teach me Mr Dutta, what to do and what not to. I know my skills perfectly. Naina died or was murdered to say it clearly, when all four of you were inside the house. How can she be killed without an insider’s hand?” Java spoke in a stern voice.

“Are you trying to say I killed her?”

“Oh come on Mr Dutta, I am neither a fool nor are you. You might not have killed her but you may have assisted in her being killed. Of course, that needs to be established. Or should I say its done already?” Java said in a voice that was confident of proving Shekhar as the guilty.

“Listen Mr Java, you can go ahead and say whatever you want. I have told you what I had to. There is nothing much I can say.” Shekhar said and turned around to leave from his room.

“By the way, why don’t you ask Tara about her fight with Naina the other night? She might give you a better answer.” Shekhar said and walked out of the room.

“Smart ass. He knows how to play his moves. You think you can fool Inspector Java? You are wrong Mr Dutta. I shall get hold of you very soon. Just wait and watch,” Java took out his cigar to smoke. “Why would Tara want to kill Naina? Did she suspect her of having an affair with Mr Dutta?” Java thought to himself. He hastily got up from the chair, where he had reclined till now while interrogating Shekhar, walked out of the room and called his next “suspect.”

Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Books are man's best friend, Indeed

I happened to read this beautiful poem on Facebook. It had been shared by a publishing house' Facebook page. I just thought I ought to share this with everyone here. 
The past few days had been a tumultuous one for my family. How grave a natural calamity can be, is realized only when one of your loved ones is a witness or sufferer of that. (I shall write about this at length in my other posts)
There might have been several moments in your life too, when you had been let down, when you didn't know what to do at the moment, when the people around you would leave no stone unturned in bringing you down. It is those very moments when that small paperback tucked somewhere in the corner of your shelf gives you the breathing space. The small paperback that you may have been ignoring for quite some time due to your tiring schedules will give you the "right" break that you had been wanting for long. 
"Books are man's best friend." Haven't we read this so many times? It is just that how much we apply this to our lives. A book opens up avenues for that long lost soul which had been desiring to go on a long sojourn. A book is something that we befriend at every juncture of our life. They are your friends when you have none. They are your soulmate when you are dying to have one.
Is this post sounding too preachy? No, I don't think so. I am a writer and I love to do story telling. I realized its been too long since I wrote a post here, and what better to write something on book. There was a "Ten Books That You loved Challenge" on Facebook a couple of weeks back. My news feed was flooded with statuses shared by people. Everyone had Ten books that had made difference to their lives in some way or the other. Many even said that books can never be numbered down to a mere ten because there are many books that leave a mark on your life not just one. 
I guess that's what books are meant for. I am not a voracious reader. Yes, I admit it. But since the day I have started reading, books have become my friends like never before. As I finish this post, I feel its time I picked up that small paperback tucked in my book shelf. They are waiting for me. Meanwhile, why don't you go and wipe the dust off those yellowing pages? 

Book Review: 60 Minutes By Upendra Namburi


Going by the cover of the book and the praise showered on it, a reader would definitely want “60 Minutes” to stay true to its name and praise. But it is anything but that. The book is about the rivalry that exists between two ‘hot shots’ of corporate world; a romance that goes sour and turns into jealousy; pressures of a contemporary urban lifestyle and how it can take a toll on you, your mind and your life; It is also a book that delves into the world of stock market and how it is a make and break situation for many; It is also a book that shows how ambition can turn ruthless at times; It is a book of too many things woven into one. All the drama enfolds in plain 60 minutes.  

The book travels between the present, past and then back to present. By the time, you fathom what happens in the book, you are clueless. While trying to be ‘racy’, the book becomes a confused mess with situations whose descriptions go on and on and on. Basically, you just want to say “Enough, that’s it!”  The author, Upendra Namburi, tries to touch upon several subjects of relevance and debate but in the end, it all becomes a messy affair.

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/images/pixel.gifSet in Mumbai, the book has three main characters- Agastya, the chief marketing officer of an FMCG company- BCL, who is all set for the most important product launch of his career, which is scheduled in 60 minutes; Maithili is Agastya’s love interest or mistress to say the least, who threatens to disclose their affair to his wife and the media if he does not come up with 15 crores in the very 60 minutes during which he has his product launch; the third most important character is Sailesh- Agastya's arch rival who is the chief marketing officer of Stark, BCL’s arch rival and biggest competitor. While Agastya is waiting for the biggest product launch of his career, Sailesh is all set to do anything to stop Agastya from this product launch and he too precisely has 60 minutes to destroy his rival.

60 minutes begins at 2.30 pm, exactly 60 minutes prior to the product launch of BCL. As Agastya brainstorms hard to figure out a smooth launch for his company’s product, Maithili storms into his cabin and claims 15 crores in the next one hour, else she goes to his wife and the press. Yes you got it right. Just like Bollywood movies, Agastya is married to Nandita and has two children too. Nandita is by far the weakest character in the book, who is oblivious of Agastya's first marriage and does not suspect his infidelity at all (Agastya is her “pati parmeshwar” after all). She appears and disappears from the story just like how the words disappear from a sheet of paper as you erase them.
The independent and stern Maithili is a confused character in the book. She is strong and yet attempts suicide. She reminds you of the vamps that you see in Ekta Kapoor’s serials or Bollywood movies. She is seen sleeping with Agastya at her will despite fighting with him, abusing him and challenging him. If that’s not all, she is also in a live-in relationship with Ismail, an alcoholic divorcee, who abuses her and she meekly surrenders to him. The third protagonist, Sailesh hardly has any background story apart from his professional life. He is married to Tanya, who as the story unfolds is seen sleeping with (yes you got that right) Agastya. (This man loves to sleep around with women)
The author, Upendra Namburi tries desperately to build the characters and their background within the ‘racy’ 60 minutes. As a reader, I struggled to keep tap with every now and then flashback scene. What’s worse is by the time you know what is happening, you return to the past, and trust me it has absolutely no sense what so ever to the current story. Corporate politics, share market and most importantly sex are the so called ‘essence’ of the book. The sex depicted in the book is violent with screaming, biting, pushing and beating all put into one. The best part is all the women put up with this violent sex willingly.

I took up this book because I had to review it. Sadly, after reading this book, the choice for the second book review was absolutely a nightmare. The book is a mere caricature of  Bollywood movies. Either the author is too influenced by such Bollywood style drama or he was just plainly attempting at it. The descriptions are so vivid, about everything from the background stories, to how the corporate hierarchies work and not to forget the adrenaline rush one gets when placed in front of the stock market situations.

The book is 360 pages long and it is far-fetched to the core. With an experience in sales and marketing, Upendra Namburi tries to offer a peep inside the inner machinations of a competitive business. But he fails to make an impact with his story as well as the characters. Read it if you have no other choice in the world.




Monday, September 15, 2014

Game of Blogs- ENTANGLED LIVES- Chapter 7



Read the previous Chapter of the story here














Twenty Minutes was what she needed, to arrange the Dutta household in order. The presence of a nine-year-old child could have an impact on everything that is present in the house. However, this house was different in comparison to all the other places that Naina had earlier worked at. It was mostly in disarray due to the adults and not the child. She had been working at the Duttas’ since Roohi was just a month old. Tara had hired her through known sources, who had assured her of Naina's impeccable sincerity and humble attitude. And, Naina did stay true to that.






She wasn't like the usual maid servants you would see working in the Mumbai households. She was educated, could manage to speak English, which wasn't fluent, but at the same time it could be understood. Prior to working with the Dutta's, Naina had worked with an old couple who had taught her to read and write.






Nine years of relationship with the Dutta's had transformed Naina from a maid to almost a family member in their house. She was the one who would often attend to Roohi's demands when Shekhar was busy scratching his head to turn that white piece of paper into a page full of letters. Naina was the one whom Tara would rely on when she had to arrange a quick office meeting at home on a holiday so that she wouldn't have to step out and sweat herself. The class difference between the Duttas’ and Naina had blurred long ago.






To try out Tara's clothes, ornaments, and other cosmetics when no one was around had become a regular hobby for Naina. However hard she would try and avoid, Naina couldn't control the urge to try those pair of danglers that Tara would love to adorn her ears with or that perfect red hot silhouette that Shekhar had gifted Tara on their recent anniversary. While she was unmindful of Shekhar's presence in the house, Roohi was the one whose eyes Naina tried avoiding most of the times.


Every morning she saw Tara leave the house in a hurry to reach her work place on time. As Tara hurried across the rooms to catch her bag and laptop, Naina would run from one corner of the house to other to fetch her phone and other important files that Tara often forgot. Today morning was a little different than everyday. She had just tried the new pink Chanel lipstick, which Tara had bought a few days back while out for shopping, when she heard Tara scream on top of her voice. "Shut the fuck up! I told you to finalise a photo for the cover story a week back and you guys have still not dunnit. Why the hell are you being paid for? To stare at your boss' backless blouse?," Tara was at her insane level.


Naina quickly wiped the pink lipstick off, and ran out of the room. She saw Tara sitting on the breakfast table with one hand on the laptop and the other holding the phone. Unlike the other days, Tara was working from home today on an important cover story that had been pending for weeks. Next to her lay a pile of white sheets, each having a different picture and a few handwritten papers. Tara got up from her chair, cut the call and threw the phone in a fit of rage on the table. Naina was surprised to see Tara in such an angry state.
The phone rang. Tara picked up the call and screamed yet again, "If you don't get me the pictures I want in 15 minutes, I am going to make sure you are not to be seen in the office again." She cut the call and dialled a number, "How long will you take to send me the layout for the cover story?" This time she was a little patient. Before hanging up, she said "I want the layout in exact half an hour." "I am heading out; I should see the layout in my inbox when I come back," she hung up.


As she turned around, she saw Naina in a white shirt and black skirt that Tara had gifted her on her birthday, looking at her with a baffled look. Tara lifted the cigarette pack that lay on the table, pulled her wallet out of the thick stack of papers and walked towards the door. Naina was still looking at Tara and before she could say something, Tara spoke "Shekhar is working in his study. Roohi is out to play. I am heading out for some work. If he asks about me, tell him you have no idea." Tara closed the door behind and left. Naina stood still without speaking a word. She saw the table that she had cleaned just a few minutes ago. It was now turned into a paper bin. Without a second thought, she turned herself towards the kitchen.


Around the neighbourhood, where the Dutta's stayed, was a small cafe which Tara frequented often. It wasn’t too near but Tara liked to walk down to the cafe smoking her cigarette. She loved to sit on the corner table placed next to the large window panes of the cafe. The cafe had an old colonial charm. It had opened a few months ago and was an instant hit with the youngsters and those creative souls who loved to read and write amidst the smell of brewing coffee. Tara needed her regular dose of espresso today to ward off the negative energy that had shrouded her since morning. It was a cover story that could take her career to a level from where there was no looking back. Little did she know that this could also be the story that may even put her dear life at stake. She was in no mood to let go of this story at any cost. From pictures to the layout, she wanted it all perfect and on time.


As she entered the cafe, throwing the last bit of the cigarette away, she saw that her regular seat was


already occupied by someone. She glanced across the cafe and saw it packed. The cafe manager had seen Tara entering and scanning the cafe for a seat. As he approached her, Tara moved to the girl sitting on her regular table. "Hi, do you mind if I sit here for a while? This is my regular place and I usually don't like sitting elsewhere," Tara said in a mellowed yet stern voice. Before the girl could reply, Tara sat down and kept the laptop on the table with a mild thud. The girl flinched, but she smiled and said "It would be my pleasure to share a table with Mumbai's hot-shot journalist. You are Tara Dutta. Right?" Tara scanned the girl opposite to her who was wearing a denim shorts and black razorback, with a red bandana tied on her head. Her neck was adorned with chunks of colorful beads while her left wrist was covered with wooden bangles and a Tissot men’s watch was wrapped on her right wrist. A black DSLR camera was kept on the table next to her cappuccino and extra chocolate doughnut.


"I must say you are quite well versed. But do I know you?" asked Tara with a sense of pride. "Ah, well I am no hot-shot like you. But I am a wanderer who loves to capture her travels in the form of photographs," she answered with a sudden confidence that she had always explicitly shown. "May I know how did I feature in the wanderer's frame?" Tara was now more than interested in taking forward this conversation with an unknown person who had known her somehow. Jennifer, who was back from the hectic Sunderbans tour, had sensed Tara wasn't as polite as she had assumed her to be. She politely remarked, "Well, I happened to read an interview of yours in one of the lifestyle magazines. The way you balance your personal and professional life is praiseworthy, I must say."


"Oh well you are being kind my dear. I didn't catch your name."


"I am Jennifer Joseph. A photographer."


"Hi Jennifer, you seemed to have read quite a lot about me and drawn a conclusion too from that about my life. What else can be expected from mere readers," she said as a matter-of-fact. "But,” she continued, “let me assure you, I am not what you might think I am." Jennifer was puzzled at the revelation that she heard. “Oh, then why don’t you tell me about you?” asked Jennifer


"It would be better if you know it by yourself in course of time," Tara said with a cold look that could turn many in front of her to have a spine chilling moment.


The usually bold and straightforward Jennifer was taken aback by the coldness shown by Tara. It was as if she had not just usurped Tara's regular table but had as though hit her where it hurt the most. Sensing where the conversation could lead to now, Tara was the first to react. "So Jennifer, you were telling me about yourself."


Jennifer adjusted her camera in front of her, took a sip of the cappuccino placed in between her and Tara, and laid her back to rest on the couch that Tara would have loved to rest on. She had realised that she needed to be over and above Tara in order to give her a quick response. "Well, I am not the one who has stories to tell. I am sure being a hot-shot journalist, you'd have loads of stories to share. I am a Keralite. I lost my job there, so as of now, I am just a wanderer who merely has instances from the jungles that I visit often for my photo shoots."

Tara was now observing the Tiger tattoo that Jennifer had engraved on her arms. "You are wild lover."


"Sorry?"


"I mean to say you love wild animals." Jennifer knew where that came from. "Oh that? yeah its quite an old one. I got it inked when I was a kid. I love tigers. I would often go out with my grandpa to just have a look of the wild beast. "


"So what brings you to Mumbai then? There aren’t many tigers here anyway," Tara came straight to the point without wasting any time. Jennifer thought for one extra-long minute. She stared deeply into Tara’s blue eyes and said with a deep sigh, “This” and she took out a bundle of papers with images from her backpack and placed it on the table.


Tara looked at the stack of photographs placed in front of her by Jennifer. She was instantly struck by the colours and pictures that had been framed. They all had a story to tell and she didn’t even have to ask Jennifer what they were all about. But Tara being the not so pleasing personality that she was, looked up from the photographs and faced Jennifer who was busy devouring the hot doughnut with the chocolate oozing out of it. She adjusted her chair to bring back Jennifer to the conversation and forget the doughnut for a while.


“Did you like them?” said a smiling Jennifer who seemed to have read too much between the lines.


“Well, they are kind of good, but they aren’t the best. I feel they are amateurish,” Tara bluffed. She had never seen such imagery ever in any of her photographers back in office. She wanted to hire Jennifer instantly but wouldn’t do so without letting her plead.






Jennifer was aghast. She had had rejections earlier but had never felt such a bitter moment like when Tara spoke of her pictures. She wasn’t the one to face the heat easily. She retorted, “Well, they are any day better than the pictures that I see in Mumbai’s top selling newspapers and magazines,” said Jennifer and quickly murmured, “including yours.” Now it was Jennifer who had touched Tara’s yet another weak nerve.


Before Tara could speak, Jennifer spoke again, “Being a photographer, looking at pictures is my favorite pass time. Sometimes I wonder, Oh lord! Which idiot had hired them. These people have no sense for pictures and what do they intend to tell you? Either the photographer is fake or the employers do not know what a photographer is like”






Jennifer’s words stung Tara like a bee. She had anyway not had a great start to the morning. Now Jennifer’s outright replies had left her nowhere to hide. She knew Jennifer was right but couldn’t say it on her face. After all, Tara Dutta was the superior. She would not let any random stranger on the street to take her down like this. She wanted to say something more but realised it was not the perfect situation. The cover story needed her more than the argument with a stranger. She drank her espresso in one shot, asked the waiter to get the check, pulled out one of her ever fascinating visiting cards from her wallet, and extended her hand holding


it towards Jennifer.






“Keep this for your reference. What are you doing on Wednesday? Call up my office and fix up an appointment. Let’s talk in detail at work.”


Jennifer didn’t know whether to be happy or not. Moments ago the same lady had ripped apart her photographs and now she was holding her business card out. She had thoughts running in her mind. “Why is she offering me her card when she did not like my photos?”


Before she could bring the question to Tara, the phone rang up. Tara picked up the call. “Oh my god, I am coming in five minutes. Please don’t let him go.” She kept the card on the table and waved a goodbye to Jennifer in a hurry.


Jennifer was clueless. She too got up from her table, paid the manager and left in a hurry following Tara.






Read the next Chapter of the story here



Previous Chapters- ENTANGLED LIVES


Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4


Chapter 5


Chapter 6



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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Food Review- Terminus 1, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi

In a first, and hopefully not the last, I attempt to write a food review of the restaurant, Terminus 1. This place is located on the second level of Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. Ask me about how we zeroed down to this restaurant? My friend, with whom I was going out for lunch, wanted to "try" or should I say "experiment" with food. She is a hard-core non-vegetarian and loves to experiment with food. Thanks to her acquaintances too, in office and otherwise, who have a liking like her, she doesn't spare a moment to try out places. Off late, she has become a blogger on Zomato; and thus, her culinary adventures have reached a new crescendo. So, after a lot of thought process, she finally zeroed down on this place.

As we made our way through the ever confusing ways of the mall, we finally were able to spot the restaurant. The restaurant had nice interiors with wooden flooring, live kitchen and drinks counter, a couple of briefcases and clocks adorned their walls, while the lighting was perfect- not too bright not too dim. Sorry, i didn't quite bother listening to the music being played. What we liked about the live kitchen was the fact that the cooking done by the chefs was being shown on a TV screen placed right above the kitchen wall.


(From top) Prawns Taco and Bacon Quisedilas, Devil's Kiss, and Pork Ribs

So, as we seated ourselves comfortably at one of the couches next to the grand windows, we were greeted by this ever smiling waiter, who came to assist us with the menu. Yes, almost all the staff was very courteous at the restaurant and we were quite glad about that. Despite being a Saturday afternoon, the place wasn't as crowded as it should/could have been. It turns out that they had recently opened their doors to the visitors and probably not many knew about them. Honestly, we didn't mind the restaurant to be not much crowded :-D

Coming to the spread that we ordered. After a long scanning of the menu "book" (yes, they had a menu in book style and not cards or pamphlets) we came down with some mouthwatering food delicacies, which at least read so. Later, on being served, we were glad that they tasted well too. :-) We started with Prawn Tortillas and Bacon Quesedilas, which were served along with a tangy tomato salad and a white sauce (pardon me, for being so simplistic with the food vocabulary). While my friend ordered some cocktail, I decided to go for the Mocktail, called "Devil's Kiss." Oh yeah, it was a blend of guava juice along with some basil leaves and a tinge of chilli. Buoy! that was one wonder I devoured apart from the other two starters. The tacos had a generous amount of prawns stuffed in them, but tasted a little bland; while the Bacon Quisedilas was worth every bite and quite filling as well.

We were so full by the time we finished the starters that we decided to order just one main course- Pork ribs glaced in beer sauce served with black beans, sauted veggies and boiled potatoes. Now, my friend had especially chosen this restaurant for this very specific dish. As luck would have it, the food turned out to be good as well. Though I could manage just one piece as the dish was too sweet for my otherwise spicy taste bud. I enjoyed savoring the sauted veggies and boiled potatoes instead.

Overall, this restaurant is a must try if you are visiting Ambience Mall any time of the day or night.

Here goes my rating for this place:
Food 4/5
Ambience 4.5/5
Taste 3.5/5
Courtesy of the staff 5/5



Monday, September 1, 2014

An Abstract Touch To Make My Home Beautiful

This post is a part of Makemyhome activity at BlogAdda.com

The yellow door round oil burner 
In a quaint corner of the house, I sit with my favorite author and a cup of tea. On any other day, I would prefer to sit besides the window, stare outside and at the same time, be engulfed in the thoughts of the book that I hold.

Today, its been raining. And, quite heavily. I am left with no option but to sit on the bed and switch on the light to read. It is extremely dark outside, thanks to the dark clouds hovering above my apartment building.

Just as I am about to switch on the light, the power goes off. Disappointed that I may no longer be able to finish my favorite author's book, I open the windows to let some fresh air breeze in. As I look beyond the horizon, staring, pondering and just smelling the wet earth; my husband comes in.

Knowing very well that how much I love to read and all, he suggests me the most brilliant idea, which I could not have fathomed on my own. :-) While he was busy surfing something on the net, he came across this beautiful piece. The suggestion was obvious. Let's revamp our bedroom. Being a person, who loves to decorate the house with the best possible showpieces, cases, photo frames, lamps, vases, sofas etc; I haven't been able to experiment much with the design of my house off late.

However, this yellow door round oil burner was too hard to ignore. I could picture my room perfectly. Sitting cozily on the bed with my favorite author and cup of tea, as the clouds roar outside and the rains play a different tune on my window, this oil burner lights up my room just the way I want- dim, beautiful and serene. The perfect makeover- an abstract touch to my room.