My Brother and My Bestie— My soliders, My heroes.

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

I have been running away from writing this post for about a month now, since I did not know who deserved the blade of honor in my life. Then i finally felt that without their contributions in my life, I could not have been what i am now.

They both deserve this post, since they have both molded and shaped my life, so beautifully, that today i can finally say I am an independent woman.I am a working professional for about 3 years now, and i would not say that earning money, is enough to say one is independent. One really is fit to survive in this world, if they know – to solve problems, travel alone in unknown places without a smart phone, take care of people around, pay the electricity bill(shocked! don be, there is more to come), know to make railway reservations, place an order in a restaurant, take their computer for repair and it is a never ending list.

Half of you all, must be wondering, what sort of things am i using to define Independence. But trust me, only a child who is the only daughter, and is the youngest one after two brothers, will relate with me.  I was brought up in a very protective atmosphere,  with a mother who adored me and never showed me the harsh things of life, and a father who always told how harmful and dangerous this world could be. Till my schooling, my life was limited from home to school, and school to home. My world was limited. I was scared to explore, and also to ask my mom if I should experience anything new. I was so closed in my comfort zone, that stepping out would give me jitters.

My elder brother is like my second father, so i felt safest, sitting on his shoulders and seeing the world, which were our two bedrooms :). But then he left for higher studies and then it was me, mom, dad and my second brother, Manish. We were together for a major part of  my adolescence and he showed me, the parts of life, which was called FUN :), we went and played cricket together, he taught me cycling, and told me tricks of how one scores in exams 😉 (shh that’s a secret). But on a serious note, he taught me, how a human being should be, he never complained, in his life, never cribbed, always took on problems bravely and emerged with flying colors. He also taught me that truth is not always the right thing to do, once mom was at fault and he took the blame and faced dad’s wrath. I would have never done that, I could never ruined my impression in front of my dad. But now i know, what being selfless is. We used to fight like crazy, hit each other like animals, but today i know, all that fighting has only taught me every time to control my anger. He always told me to travel alone, take buses, he taught me how one should answer in interviews. He imbibed a different kind of confidence in me to face this world. He always told scoring less marks is fine, but the knowledge is more important. Thank you dude… and You will forever remain my star and my hero.

The second person who shaped my life, is my best friend. I met him during my college times. He was one shy of a person and never spoke to me eye in eye. But then gradually when we became friends, I discovered the person in him, which most of us would have ignored and walked away. He was not super great at academics, but the knowledge he has in gadgets, in OS, in softwares, in GK, in the world, i don even stand a chance to compete. He made me courageous to face this world. I was so much of a dud, that i was scared even to talk to my phone’s customer care, thinking i would fumble and could not tell my problems. He also exposed me to the world of placing an order. Even now, unless, until needed i  don’t order thinking people will not appreciate my taste. But he made me learn, that its okay to ask what you want , than struggle later. It is okay to travel alone, without getting scared, and he used to tell me, keep looking at the places under the shop sign boards, to know where you are. He also made me explore my city, go out with friends, bunk classes sometimes which was a total sin to do. But all this came with a price. He used to tell me, to tell at home honestly where I am going, with whom I am and how late it would be. A lot of times, my mom frowned, but then she appreciated my honesty and allowed me go places, since she knew that I had realized the difference between wrong and right. I never used to spend money, always believed in saving and that made me a miser mostly. He told me that its okay to spend on stuff you like. And only when you spend, you will know the value of money and how should one save. I used to feel inspired by him, when i used to see him, save money, to buy a smart phone, a bike, a x box. I owe you a lot of happiness which i saw in my life. And thank you for dropping me home a million times and keeping me safe, because else i could have never been out for so long.

All in all, every person i know has made me strong and happy and feel good about myself.  But these two people will always stand out because they never sympathized with me or my problems, instead taught me to solve it.

I want to tell you guys…

My heroes
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way.
You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

———————————————-Bette Milder

Image Courtesy: Google.

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The Bankster-A superb attempt at Mystery-Ravi Subramanian

Book: The Bankster

Author:Ravi Subramanian
Genre: Fiction(Mystery Thriller)
Madhu Stars:3.5/5
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Here comes another gripping murder mystery by Ravi Subramanian after ‘The Incredible Banker“,If God Was a Banker,I Bought the Monk’s Ferrari and a couple more which won quite a few prestigious awards. Though i never got a chance to hold on to any of his books, i was well aware of his works. Being a management graduate he associates his books books in and around bankers and banking. But the book cover may get you thinking. A man holding a briefcase and a gun, so who is he? a Banker, a Gangster or a Bankster?
The story revolves around a bank known as GB2,  and its interesting characters and their works. It is centralized around a few key employees, Vikram, Tanuja, Harshita, Raymond and a few more and how a few of them get murdered in suspicious circumstances. The surprising part is all these employees are apples of the CEO’s eyes and are supposed to be the best bankers, relationship managers but they blow you away by their corrupt practices and the way they deceive their customers. And money laundering being the hottest topics of now, Ravi has hit bang on. But its just not about the bank. There is another story concentric to this one, which is about an old man, Krishna Menon whose fight is not anywhere close to banking or these bankers but against setting up a nuclear plant who is avenging his son’s death(how, why? Read the book :P) . The beauty is in the sync between these two stories.
Its about lies, deceit and how greed to earn more can take over a person’s humanity. It is obvious that the people close to truth are eliminated and all their deaths look like accidents or suicides.
But will Karan Punjabi, an ex banker and now a journalist with TOI be able to uncover the mystery of the deaths of his ex-colleagues or will the killer be smart enough to deceive him when he is this close to unravel it all.
The book is gripping enough, i really did hold on to it but also forced myself to stop when i felt that i wanted to unravel the mystery myself before i knew the end. I do not feel the book’s cover did any justice to the actual story 😉 but jokes apart, the book’s literary quotient could have been better  and i could have done away with a the melodrama(inherent in most of the Indian Author books) and unnecessary stretching of the book here and there. Every murder mystery is a story within itself and there is a very subtle link between all. I can say so because here the consecutive chapters are not necessarily linked but it does not lose its charm and keeps you reading.
Like a few one liners say about the author comparing him to John Grisham is a far fetched comparison but it is definitely a decent attempt in the lines of mystery.  Not being from management/banking background i do not know if the book can really be called about bankers, that’s up to the other readers to decide. But I guess it is a very good read and does not really bore you at any part. The book picks up pace from the 4/5 chapter onward.
Readers of John Grisham,Stephen White,Michael Crichton e.t.c, might feel that the story has a very expected ending and could have been more finely framed in terms of the deaths and banking policies but i respect any author who can maintain the interest levels of the reader and not let it drop. And besides that the ending was not that expected also :P.. Grab the book, since its worth the money.
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com . Participate now to get free books!
Thanks to BlogAdda for the author autographed copy of the book!
For getting it a little cheaper go for the Flipkart Link.

Too many elements took away the story. Land of the Well

Book: Land of the Well
Author:Sampurna Chatterji
Genre: Fiction
Madhu Stars:2/5
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One book which I was totally looking forward to has disappointed me at quite a few places. The snippet behind the book increased my curiosity levels and made me feel that it would be a good read. Quickly getting to the main theme of the book, it’s about youngsters who are totally misguided by the idea of Death.
The story is set up in Goa, away from the fun and the frolic (surprised? It was off season in Goa), about a young lad who has just finished his 12th exams, brilliant but very protected by his parents. This youngster has a very sad story to share about not having friends ever, always being shielded by his mom and dad, no decision of his own. For a boy of his age where independence is everything, he was being caged. And when you are sad you are vulnerable. This is where the other characters of the story enter Goa and the story begins. And he who is in dire need of friends gives in everything to be in their gang.
For the first time in life he breaks away from his cage and demands to stay back in Goa for a few more days alone. The strength to take this stand comes from straight from his heart after he sees a pretty girl whom he gets attracted to from the very moment he sees her. But she is not alone. She comes with a group of friends very weird in their own ways but with even more weird names.
He does manage to stay back after his parents leave, finally gets to taste independence but everything comes with a price tag. So what price does he pay: something which really shook me off.   He meets them, gets their approval to be one among them, gets their appreciation but is all that for real or a very big trap he is unaware of. The book really held me till he narrates the story of “land of the well” but then the only constant term and feeling in the book was DEATH.
All these friends are traumatized scared and have almost stopped living their life because they are scared they would die someday. To be very honest I did not understand the book after a point, could be because it was beyond my understanding levels or because I always search stuff which I can relate to or a feel good/bad (this din feel anything-may be too mournful). There are a lot of crisscrossed love stories, lot of deaths and one murder or maybe not hidden in the story.
My advice: Pick up the book and try to finish it at one go. If not you might lose the flow.
After a point the book had a lot of repetitions of the same incidents, same characters and failed to leave a mark in my mind. I do not know which adjective I should associate with the book: Spiritual, philosophical, or morose.  It’s for you if you can associate to one of these attributes closely. I would not agree that it was a mystery or even if it was, it was not carried out properly.  A little lesser pages with a little more of suspense/proper story line would have done justice to the book.

Mad at someone… write it don’t speak it :) :).. The frustration funda ;)

This is exactly the conversation I had with my dearest friend last Monday: Actually it’s a part, be happy at least I am generous enough to share it 😛

Him:(could not make his name funny ;).)-What the hell yaar, you cannot understand this little thing? I am busy, I can’t join you for the Movie.

Me: “This little thing”, Are you kidding me ?The last week when I had planned a meet with all old friends you were busy with other friends, the week before you could not come for the puja at home as you had relatives at home. This time what’s your excuse?

Him: THEY ARE NOT F###### EXCUSES. It’s the truth and it is genuine.  I seriously have problems. Now I have to hang up and please don’t call back. ‘tak and the line goes dead with an engage tone’.

But he really knows me well, since I called back, I hate to keep conversations half, though I never let the other person finish it.

<<Tring>> <<Tring>>, four calls go waste and one tear droplet pops up and his friends follow from all directions from both eyes. He picks up, he is fuming with anger, comparing him with an Angry bird would be an understatement.

Him: What is it yaar? I told you don’t call back.

Me: I am crying dude.(attempt to sympathy 😉 ;)), you don’t want to talk, what if people are around you. You have to explain to me,Why only in my case you get busy? When it’s your friends you are not, when family you are not and you tell me I am your best friend. From now on don tell that.

Him:Ok.(dying to close the conversation but not so soon boy)(sadist me)

Me: Okay? oh!! now you have new friends right? right. why do you need to talk to me, You don’t care, I was blind to not have seen it.. I use a lot more of this metaphorical expressions to get across my point. but in vain. I told you he knows me just too well.

Him: Listen I’m switching my phone. DON CALL ME BACK you B……… No he does not say it. 🙂 I survive.


Now I am crying, so automatically my brain has stopped working, all I want is to fight with him, make him feel bad, tell him a lot of unrelated stuff, make him feel guilty and at the end feel peaceful at heart. oh my god, I have so much of sadism inside me. See writing helps. Now his phone is switched off, I can’t show people I’m crying, I carry the “Strong Girl” avatar with me, but I also can’t stop the turmoil inside me, making me feel “oh you unimportant creature, see he actually does not have time only for you, and you foolishly gave me so much of undue importance.” And I fall for this inner voice of mine(which guy said all inner voices are good) and feel defeated. But now how do I spit the venom inside me out on him? And then my Gmail becomes my tool to glory.

I put his email address in to list and start typing my heart out in the email. Sorry could not enclose my email, I guess I already ruined my personality enough, don’t wish to do it any further J. I abuse him very generously, I write stuff I can’t even dream of telling the worst of my enemies, I then neatly put down all the instances where I helped him and where he turned me away,(girls I tell you… ;they remember everything)).. maybe if I could write such neat answers in exams I would have topped in my university. The point is, even before I reach to signing my name off I feel lighter than ever, my tears have stopped long back lest I could not have seen clearly. I also start thinking clearly and of all the times when if he was not there to help, I would have been in deep down trouble. I don’t send this email to him because by now I’m cool and don feel mad at him anymore. I trash it. I do mention to him about the email and we both share a laugh on that.

You guys should try it and tell me if it works, mostly it should work. It is a cheap stress buster and typing it as a mail serves even better because then it gives you a real feel of you telling it your friend/ enemy. It works more than once 🙂

I have learnt from experiences in my life that bad and unhealthy arguments have only given ME pain, and tears. I have also lost many a friends, made a lot of enemies. But god has been grateful enough to bless me with friends who forgive me for my lose tongue, giving a long thought to useless stuff and also make me understand that they love me for who I am and I don’t really have to change.

But yet, I feel a surge inside me, and this time it is the sane inner voice, that I should try and control my anger, not talk only my part of the frustration and also let my people do that. After all it’s my turn to give back in the good way.

We all get frustrated, angry and hold bad things for people at one point of our life, I felt it at many a times, so I know how good it feels when you can vent it out on someone and the other person instead of shouting back, takes it calmly and understands your pain behind it. So here is tinny winy advice to all of you, if you think someone is telling more than required and you genuinely care for that person take the heat, its fine at least the other person will feel better. You will feel like a friend indeed. A few of my angel like friends not only take my anger and also make me smile.

So if you are angry take a pen/ or just start typing randomly but don’t fight. You will always know if your anger is genuine or not. And if your dear friend is mad at you, tell them bring it on. Anger is yet another way of expressing love.(applies to good friends, I would never recommend my dear readers to take shit from random strangers 🙂 :))

Image Courtesy: Google

Tin Fish-Book Review

All these days of my life I tried my level best to know what guys talk amongst themselves and Tin Fish is like giving you a young boy’s diary well edited and composed of hilarious episodes. Tin fish is a nicely composed story of fun filled and challenging incidents of four young lads studying at a posh boarding school. It’s about Brandy, Porridge, Fish and PT Shoe. Thinking how guys can have such weird names, well these are the pet names of Barun Ray(The hero J ), Sanjay, Pratap and another guy whose name I do not remember. I bet you too cant because after reading the book for some time, you too will feel more associated to Brandy and not Barun.
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Yes giving pet names to people is a part and parcel of our lives and so is there’s especially because they are school going kids but every pet name has a story. Brandy a Bengali chap, is sent to Mayo, a boarding school at Ajmer, and Tin fish is one of his favorite foods (though I do not really know why the book was named so, may be because they relished Tin fish and it stayed with them forever). He gets ragged, but then ends up making the best of friends in his life: Fish, porridge, and PT Shoe.  They discuss of all things in this world, be it their hatred for kipling, Moraji desai’s Urine funda, zeeni baby(Zeenat Aman J). They are great company for each other in happiness and  in sorrow.
A lot of people gripe about Indian authors blaming their books to be very narrative, having very simple English, but surprisingly these are a few things which matter to me. I ask you how nice can a book get if it’s as though someone is narrating it you so expressively, and I really do not like sitting with a dictionary because of the excessive verbiage in some books. I like it simple.
Tin Fish did justice to both my needs. A few more things which stood out were the way the author captured the honesty and innocence in these adolescents is and how well the stark reality of death is handled by them. Ya someone dies. I do not wish to reveal anything more.
When they leave the school after their boards I was in tears because I can so well relate to the pangs of separation from my closest friends after my tenth boards.
Owing to my busy days I read the book in parts, which sort of spoiled the fun, so I suggest read major chunks of the book together if you really want to enjoy it. Also one thing which I strongly felt not so appealing about the book, is that the author has been too descriptive about many things, where the book drags a little. All in all it is a book which would be thoroughly enjoyed especially by guys, a little less by girls since we can’t relate much. Another revelation about guys is they too are very emotional at times. So if you wish dive deep into your old fun times with your hostel mates Tin fish is for you.
Keep reading, keeps you healthy
Time for my stars: 3.5/5.
A special note for the author: Tin Fish was a breeze man 🙂 🙂 🙂

The train affair…Episode #4. :)

For episode #1:

For episode #2:

For episode #3:

Patience always pays… but don’t ask the timelines :P. Little Kettle

It was almost a month after the heart breaking incident with Shikar, I got an email from him. He had tried to get in touch on phone quite a few times before, but i felt so small in front of him, that i stopped taking his calls or openly ignored him. My ego was hurt.

 

 

The email went like this,

To my cute train mate,

I have no clue why i am writing this email to you, or if this email would change your mind. I just felt it was important to let you know what i feel. Firstly i want to sincerely apologize for not turning up on our “Date” and behaving so indifferent with you though it was my fault. It somehow felt very difficult for me to ask for “Sorry” from someone whom i hardly knew, but yet i went ahead and tried to get in touch with you quite a few times. All the while you where taking revenge from me, for what i did unintentionally.  Whether you believe it or not, a guy takes very few things seriously in his life, and when he does, the other person should realize her importance ;). You came into my life like fresh breeze and just left without any notice.Its too hot, and i need the breeze back.. Ok that was a bad line but it just means, i am sorry, can we be friends again?

Yours,

Shikar.

I was so happy to see his email that i did not care much what was written in it, i started pondering on the thought that how he got my email id, then i realized that he picked it from FB. His words “To my cute train mate,” started ringing in my mind and made me feel like i had won the battle. Yes for a moment that is what i felt. And then i realized i was being such a kid. I felt its time now i forgive him and get back to his life, so i quickly messaged him on his cell, telling “Its OK and we are friends”. I immediately got a reply “:)” from him.

He then asked me for my address, this was a little uncomfortable for me, because i really did not know him that well to invite him home, also my mom was not aware, of my little secret train affair. But it would be awkward to ask him “why”, just when i was pondering on these thoughts, my phone beeped again. He had messaged again, he told “chill i am not gonna kidnap you, just wanted to pick you up from your place, since this time i don’t want history to repeat” . I messaged back telling “if this time history repeats, there will be no cold war but a world war”.

Finally we decided a place and i ensured that it was close to the place we worked, so that we could meet after office. The place was called “The little Kettle”. I did not dress to my best, since i was scared to be very hopeful this time, i just wore regular clothes. I was done with work on time and reached  “The little kettle” to find him there before me. I gave him a smile and felt a little weird at this situation.

 

We started speaking of our work, life, families, and then finally our Ex’s. It initially seemed as though we were set up to see each other by our parents but slowly my true self was out, and i was yap yap yap all the time. He turned out to be a very patient listener.  We somehow clicked well together. There was a unsaid bond between each other , and we were already loving each others company. We did not even realize when it was past 3 hrs, he insisted on dropping me back home, but i was a little doubtful. Sensing my apprehension, he said he would wait till i get a bus to home. I happily agreed.  But after that what happened truly amazed me. He followed me till my bus stop. It scared me and also made me feel special. He was not the kinds who would stalk or kidnap me but still we hardly knew each other. I still trusted my instinct and let him drop me back home.

Life is so unpredictable at times. I never expected that the nerdy, rude, arrogant looking guy would someday follow me and drop me back home. I guess my happiness had no bounds because I had not expected any of this to happen.

Thank you Shikar. But the series of surprises had just started. I went home and opened his FB page and started checking his pictures as we all do. But life takes you on high and then drops you from sky. In one of the recent uploaded pics,  some guy was pouting out to him. What the hell!!!!.. Was Shikar gay??

 

Images courtesy:Google

Love can happen a lot of times…. after all we all crave for love :).

A review for Ravinder Singh’s second novel:Can love happen twice.

Title: Can Love Happen Twice?                                                                                                                           
Author: Ravinder Singh
Publisher: Penguin
Genre:  Love story
Price-125(Flipkart gives you at 88)
Madhu’s stars: 3/5

Ravinder Singh, author of Indian bestseller, “I too had a love story-True story” , is back with  fiction this time. His previous novel was one painful read dedicated to his girl friend Khushi, who died a week before their marraige. His next book’s title is apt for the story he has carried, and will be a interesting read for people who have had heart breaks.

The plot is simple but Ravin likes to add a sad flavor to his books. Ravin is still deeply immersed in Khushi’s memories when he meets someone else.So will they fall in love? Will they get married? Will Ravin not feel guilty of loving someone else., when he loves khushi so much?Well read the book if you want the answers, but one secret which i can reveal is it has different sort of a setup. The whole book is actually a narration on the Radio by Ravin’s friends on Valentines day.At a lot of places the story seems true and a lot of places it seems made up.

Personally i do not believe that love can keep happening a lot of times and also love can happen just once in life. Seems contradictory right? What i mean here is  if the other person has not cheated on you or has not died then it is difficult to move on. Since then its nobody’s fault.But on the contrary if the other person does not give a damn about you then there was no love ever.   And one just has to move on and find true love. But we all crave for a little care, compassion and like to be made feel special and we are tend to fall again.

So if you think its time to move on, pick up this book, it might make you cry at the end or you might just toss it up in the air and say “what a waste of time”, “How bollywoodish”, but i think books of fiction are meant to be like films, they are meant to hold for those 200 pages and make you feel good. All in all, the book is very okay and the proof reading is bad. Ravin could have made it much better. The first novel was way better. This one seems too fake at times.

Image Courtesy:Google

Best and Safe deal: You can buy it:
HERE