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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Akshaya Patra

Education is the basis of life. It encompasses all aspects of life such as employment, literacy, self-reliance, morality and awareness of about our society and country. An educated man/woman can find a job and feed himself/herself and his/her family. A morally educated society has better social and cultural values which in turn alleviates the problem of rising crime rates in the society. Apart from core subjects and languages, moral education and physical education taught in schools help an individual to be a healthy contributor both mentally and physically. And as today's children are tomorrow's citizens, our nation will be in safe hands of well-educated citizens. Hence, education is the basic right of every child.

Food is the basic want of a man. Until and unless the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are not fulfilled, it is impossible to aim at higher goals beyond the needs and wants. Novel initiatives such as the following can help make the society better educated and fulfil the basic wants hand in hand.

1. Provide one meal a day for all the school-going children at school.

2. For children who pass monthly tests with an average score or above, provide greater incentives like monthly ration card which helps the child to draw groceries sufficient for another member of the family. This would not only encourage the child to excel in studies, it would boost the family members to send their children to school and support their studies.

3. The above strategy can be extended for higher education aslo. A child of a higher grade should be given more incentives compared to a child of a lower grade. For example, providing uniform or sanitary pads for girls alon with one meal a day.

4. Check for child labour and identify uneducated children. Once they are identified, admit them to schools so that they get enough meals to feed themselves as well as get educated.

5. Teach children tailoring, handicrafts and such co-curricular activities (can include karate for girls for self-defense) so that children can become an earning member of the family in their free time apart from becoming educated. This way, their parents are also happy and the nation can witness more entrepreneurs.

Written for I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Becoming a father

Sridhar was pacing up and down the corridor. There had been a flurry of activity from 11 PM. A life changing event was imminent and he was not sure whether it was going to be good or bad. Tired, he sat down on an empty chair located near a hospital ward room. As he stretched in the chair, trying to shed off his languor, the noise in his surroundings became duller. He remembered her – his wife, Kavya, when she had let out a squeal as a tear escaped her eyes on hearing from the doctor that she was pregnant! Her joy had been seamless. She had called her parents and in-laws over to their house for a grand get-together party. She had chosen names for her unborn daughter or son.

Nine months had just flown by for Sridhar. Well, for him, the news was exciting and unnerving at the same time. More responsibilities to be shouldered, more savings to be made to welcome a new member, all of it suddenly seem to come down on his head at once. Doctors had asked him to be careful as her blood group was O negative, the rarest group. For all reasons, his in-laws had decided to stay with them for domestic help, and life for him was hunky-dory as they took care of her hospital visits and medications as he rushed at office from one meeting to another. Work load was heavy for him as it was the peak time of the year, targets to meet, appraisal around the corner, he hardly could have a wink of sleep at night. He had almost forgotten that she was pregnant until he had to take an off from his office and admit his wife to the hospital that day.

“Congratulations, Mr.Sridhar, it’s a girl”, said the doctor. What? He was a dad? It didn’t sink in at once, he stared at the doctor. “Go ahead, meet your wife and your daughter in room 203”, the doctor smiled and walked away. He rushed immediately, not knowing where 203 was. And then he realized, it was in the opposite direction. He turned around the corner and stood at the door. There he was standing as a dad, witnessing his daughter’s cry. He waited until he was sure of reality. He wanted to make sure it was happening for real. Then he slowly walked across to her bed. Kavya’s eyes were closed. A nurse handed over the baby to him.

He was so overwhelmed with joy that he wasn’t sure whether he could hold in his hands something so delicate, tiny and beautiful. He found himself holding her, an extension of his body. A part of his life had taken a shape of a beautiful human form and staring back at him. Oh my, my! He placed the baby next to his wife and looked at her. He touched her cheek and said, “Kavya, thanks for a daughter.” She opened her eyes gradually, awakened by the touch. “Kavya, thanks for a daughter”, he reiterated. She smiled and held his hand.

They used to be a happy-go-lucky couple before marriage. But, after they had moved to the city and settled with a married life, their jobs had taken away all the time that could be spent together. Their relationship was just like any other mechanical life, trying to make ends meet, fill stomach and buy basic needs and wants. But, now, they were a father and mother! Their love had transformed from a careless-teenage love to an engaged relationship to a committed marriage and now as parents of the most beautiful daughter! He kissed Kavya on her forehead and tightened his grip around her hand.

He placed his other hand’s little finger near the baby’s hand and it soon wrapped its fingers around it and dozed off to sleep.

The touch of a loving wife and a beautiful daughter had awakened a loving husband and a loving father in him. He was bound to the love of his life, now, stronger than ever and for forever!


Image credit: wikipedia

The host asked the boy, " What is the most unforgettable moment of your life?". 
The boy was physically handicapped with an impaired ability to speak. 
But his lack of physical strength was compensated by his intelligence. 
He had won in his professional degree as a gold medalist and was being interviewed by a news channel. 
He slurred in reply, "When my mother gave up on me saying you are just another irritation to the world and walked away."


Sweet nothings whispered
Future is a mystery store
They love or depart.

Written for Haiku Horizons: "store"

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


After a few days, doing all her household chores herself, she was missing her mother. She was in an alien land, leaving behind all her old connections. 'Freedom', she thought when she had arrived, 'from old memories, old culture, old societal pressure'. Here, she thought she could do anything, undo her wings and fly, experiencing gusts of sea-wind and basking in sunshine. But, it was a different life altogether, she had freedom but no time.

Written for Lillie McFerrin Writes- flight.

That road

Do your remember that fly-over? Everyday we used to travel down that road. In the frenzy of mornings, not noticing it, in a hurry to get past it and reach our destination. The road is still there, witnessing flurry of activity suddenly in the mornings, some couples exchanging lovey-dovey talks at sunset, some other acquaintances making small talks, some just waiving to say 'Hi', some just stuck inevitably in a traffic jam, some just not stopping at all. Also, do you remember the golden-yellow glow in the sky at sunset? It was a sight to admire. But, only for a few moments. Then we would be soon gone, past it. But the road is still there, aged by passers-by.

I finally quit taking that road one day.

Written for Magpie Tales: mag 246.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


She had sabotaged  her friendship with everyone that she was envious about. A topper in her class, a lady with a handsome man, an opera-singer, a rich father's daughter. All of them were her close friends, all of them were her enemies, simply because they provoked her envy. She was none of them, and today too, she is none of them. The only difference was she was no more envious of them because she had won the inner battle.

Written for Lillie McFerrin Writes - envy.

A nation in shame

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Behold the cost of their entertainment!
They have striped her for fun and thrill
Cold unknown hands without sentiment
Are ready to torture her, rape her and kill.

What a shame to the nation!
What a shame to humanity!
She was just another nature's creation
Look, how her free wings are brought to futility!

With a new dawn, everyone moves on,
Maybe blind and numb to what they feel,
As the nation plays her as a playing pawn
A woman in her dies every night piecemeal.

Note: There is a new crescendo in the crimes against women these days in India. Indian ancient Manu scriptures say "Yatra Naryastu Pujyante, Ramante Tatra Devataaha" Where women are honoured, Gods and Goddesses like to reside there. Unfortunately, there is no fear of morality, spirituality in the current days. There is a rise in pedophiles. Every woman thinks twice to open the door for a stranger. And every mother never wants to open the door for a stranger!

I also learned that it is the same in the USA. One in five women in the USA is a victim of rape. This news obviously brings disgust to every woman irrespective of her nationality. 

I blame the men-dominated society, media and crime laws for it. Men want women to see sultry, naked actresses and that has become a catchy trend for any commercial business. Advertisements for almost anything wants a woman ready to strip for the media. And what goes around, comes around. 

Written for Magpie Tales: mag 245.


Toil all day for crumbs
Leaving loved ones, home sweet home
To fill your stomach

To fill your stomach
Which remains empty after all
Everyday in vain.

Written for Haiku Horizons: prompt "full".

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Book Review - God is a Gamer

Book: God is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Genre: Thriller
Pages:  310
Price: Rs.299
Publication: Penguin Books

Image credit: Google

The book says the author is India’s No.1 thriller writer. Well, he surely deserves it. He is the first Indian author to have struck the chord in me. With well maintained language proficiency, vocabulary and consistency in the story plot, Mr. Ravi Subramanian deserves all credits for this amazing novel and surprisingly so for an Indian author! I had a repulsion towards Indian authors particularly because of low English proficiency in their writing. Chetan Bhagat’s stories were the last I could admire, notwithstanding the level of language proficiency. I had no more expectations from Indian books. But this novel! This novel has pushed the limits of Indian authors to a much higher level, and do please keep up the good work, Sir! It is good to have a Sidney Sheldon from India.

The best thing I liked about this novel was that even a layman could understand the concept of bitcoins and the story revolving around it. Such is the explanation, description and coherence of the chapters as they unfold with pages. It has a very gripping prologue and makes the reader ask for more in the coming pages.

The story revolves around the main characters Adithya, Swami and Sundeep, former employees at NYIB;  Malvika Sehgal, Indian CEO of NYIB;  her daughter Tanya ; Varun, Tanya’s boyfriend and Adithya’s son; Gillian Tan, Senator of USA and the agents Adrian Scott, Dan and Tony; Indian finance minister in an affair with Malvika.

Adithya’s past suddenly looms back one day when Varun is found jailed for an Indian-Nigerian issue of selling of drugs. Adithya acts as his son’s saviour and his life becomes hell from then onwards. He faces a series of issues and plummeting of revenues in his own companies – eTIOS and Indiscape. As he tries to get them back on track with the help of Swami, Sundeep and his son, he discovers, his company is being possessed by someone to carry out crimes in US. Malvika’s murder, Swami’s death,  Gillian Tan’s murder are linked to each other as the agents Adrian, Dan and Tony try to un-entangle the mystery with the help of Indian police. 

Another thing that was interesting about the novel was that the story is released in bits and pieces. The starting pages talk about Senator Gillian Tan and his story and suddenly after he confronts an explosion, his story comes to a standstill and starts off with stories of other characters – Indian PM, Swami, Tanya, Varun, Adithya. This way the curiosity of the reader is maintained. The death of Malavika fit in well in the narration and brought the intended shock to the readers.

Although there are many mysteries unravelled as the pages are turned, it does not keep the reader waiting for too long, which is good.  The pace at which the incidents happen is very consistent. A dragging slow and boring novel would be a waste of time, otherwise. The chapters were kept short and did not drag too much. 

I was always suspecting Varun and Sundeep to be involved in the ATM heist, Cotton Trail and Gillian Tan’s murder.  But, Tanya being targeted, came as a shock to me. I have very slight inkling on her. Anyway, Varun was the main culprit, agreed. But, he roams free in spite of being the biggest culprit. And the Agents Adrian Scott and Tony settle with their investigation with Tanya as the mastermind of the crimes. This makes me angry. When I found out that it was Tanya who was genuine in her love for Varun and that she did not cheat on him, it was relief and at the same time, disgust for Varun.

Tanya’s reaction to the FBI agents was not apt, when they threw light on all the crimes taken place so far and held Tanya as solely responsible. Her reactions were not justified. She was mostly like a confused immature girl that did not go well with the situation.

The novel demands memory and concentration on names of characters, terms and some facts, to be on track with the story. For a thriller to be completely successful, I would have liked it better if the agents had got the real culprit.

Is revenge a crime? The novel poses an interesting question. The answers may be subjective as people differ in their thoughts, but here the revenge of Varun against his father Adithya has made a thrilling novel.

Rating:  4 stars

Verdict:  It is a complete thriller and is the best among the Indian books that I have read. I would definitely recommend it to others.

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

Thursday, 6 November 2014

If only

image credit:  Dick Blick Art

As soldiers fight for love and peace
Not with guns and ammunition
Amidst the detritus of shed-down trees
Selfless and life-giving for their nation.

What a heart-rendering circumstance!
Blood-thirst, angst, hatred grown so wild!
They left their home without a second glance
His mother, back home, is prepared to lose her child.

She once wishes for a world of bloom
Flowers of harmony instead of guns
Colourful life instead of white and black gloom
Orange smile of petals and green life of ferns.

Written for Magpie Tales: mag 244


At the horizon
Golden yellow sunrays shine
A new life has dawned.

Written for Haiku Horizons : "dawn"