Monday, October 27, 2014


Her eyes opened to a precariously dim lit room. She wakes with a jolt and stands, still unsteady from her slumber maybe. A sharp pain in her back and her sore eyes remind her, she had slept on the cold carpet yesterday. Her body still in grip of the sleepy inertia; she settles back on the oddly fresh rug and looks at the vacant room for some time. She fiddles with her hair wondering about the cold. There has been a weird lingering cold all over the place lately. Her bright and lively house seems to have given in to the cold, as it gives her the chills too. It is morning but still feels like there are hours left for the sun to wake from its own nap.
She finally gathers herself, for there is work to be done. Her children are off for a walk with her husband she figures. They didn’t wake her up? Killian didn’t wake her up? They did have a fight last night but it was unlike Killian to not come and sleep next to her in the middle of the night and wrap his protective arms around her. His warmth could take this cold away. But guess he was more angry than usual this time. Pancakes and espresso! That would bring the smile back on his face. She briskly walks towards the kitchen, the pain still refusing to subside from her frozen bones.
The carafe hazes with steam, ready with the boiling coffee and she languidly glances at the wet cobblestone. The pancakes are ready too, but her joyous troop has still not returned from the stroll. She opens the front door, stands on the porch; worry taking over, hollowing her somehow. Where are they? She wonders but soon her pensive trance is broken by nature. She notices the delightfully green grass pepping out of the white sheet slowly. The pancakes!
She finally manages to shake off the fear from her mind. They will be reaching any moment now, she thinks. Her children would be hungry. Killian, he loves her, he can’t be angry for so long and she has to make amends this time. It was her fault but only now that she thinks about the last night she can’t recall the reason behind the fight.
She hurriedly arranges the table. The pancakes, the maple syrup, the coffee pot all there, but her family is missing. She rushes inside the kitchen to fetch the box of Chocos for Marie. How did she forget that? Marie needs her chocolate filled milk every day first thing in the morning. How did she forget? She almost runs out with the box and a jug of hot milk and settles down on a dinning chair, tired and panting; the pain - more than she could bear now.
They are all there! Eating, giggling, enjoying; and so is she. She can see them, but not feel. The chill is growing with the day, and she knows now why. They are never coming, at least not to her. She exists but not as herself. She stares blankly at her own black eyes and the devil sneers. She is forced to watch her family; her Killian, her Marie and her Dan. They eat something in which, only she can see - blood, her blood with the devil flavor now. The devil is feeding them her blood! She runs towards the mirror right across the table, the mirror through which she was pulled into this grey cold world and the devil smiles at her.

“Marie, Honey, Mama loves you; now eat fast!” Is the last thing she hears before her new world echoes with ‘It is Time’.

P.S. - Photo Google!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Book Review: God is a Gamer

Book: God is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanium
ISBN: 9780143421399
Pages: 310 
Ratings: 4/5
Price: 299

Something about the book: (Goodreads)
Aditya runs a gaming company that is struggling to break even. A banker slips off a highrise building, plunging to her death. The finance minister has made some promises that he is finding hard to keep. The LTTE has unleashed terror in America that sends the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai.

Enter Varun, parttime drug dealer and fulltime genius. He turns around the gaming company before disaster strikes. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into he shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal transactions—drugs, sex and money. God Is a Gamer culminates in a stunning climax where money means nothing, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

Pop quiz – What happens if you have not read a good book for months?
Ans – You are literally going through literary withdrawal and would get high with even a small insignificant dose of good fiction.
Of late, I have been reading some really ‘not upto the mark’ books (totally my fault!) So when Blogadda sent me God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanium for review, my expectations were below the zero mark but it had me from the very start - the prologue! The story starts with an intense conversation, between two corporate honchos, regarding Wikileaks. The story rushes straight into action with an explosion and from there on the book doesn’t really have any drop points. The story moves with parallel plots in multiple cities including Mumbai, Washington DC and Goa. Characters range from S senators, to Heads of Banks and Mastercard and Visa to drug dealer cum gaming genius and many more. The death of a US Senator was what sets the pace of the book but is not the only one and the way the story is weaved with phishing issues, Bitcoins and world financial drama is what makes it impossible to keep the book down.
Pros :
1.   Plot – When you use Wikileaks and Bitcoins in the initial pages and do a damn good job at it, half the battle is won. And when you get large plotlines together with such ease and in a convincing way, it means you can pat your back. The plot is not only intriguing, it is written in simple yet in a very engaging fashion.
2.   Characters – One of the major issues with thrillers with a lot of characters is readers tend to lose track of the characters and a lot of times some characters and under used or just appear as fillers. But with the short chapters and the constant plot swings of God is a Gamer, it is hard to lose track of the characters. And each one is important, or at least that is what I felt.
3.  Well Researched Matter – The content is not only fresh but is very well researched making it an enjoyable read.
4.  Ending – Oh didn’t I fall for the pseudo ending and say seriously before I got the mild attack! *Have said too much already!*
Cons :
1.   Logical Loopholes – Data transfer from a system that is shut down, that too cause of a malware! Is that even possible? There are quite a few logical loopholes but this one stood out glaringly for me (an IT professional). Another one was the phishing attacks – don’t they need cell phone access for the one time password or something? How do Account ID and Password give you total access of the account?
2.  Ending – Yes, I liked the fact that I almost fell for the pseudo ending, but the actual ending was a bit unrealistic for me to digest.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and would give it a 4 on 5. The book would make a lot of readers hit Google for atleast a couple of hours. It is fast paced and fresh and totally justifies its sub genre of Banking Thriller. And this is confession time – after reading this book I realized what I have been missing for months. Totally recommending the book!

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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Review - Me, You & Of Course Love

Book: Me, You & Of Course Love
Author: Himanshu Chauhan
ISBN: 9781630417772
Pages: 266 
Ratings: 3/5
Price: 150

Something from the book: (Nothing really stood out so it is going to be the blur this time)

"Every love story has something extraordinary in it."Well, it was a myth for Himanshu till he met Ishika online. Ishika is a nurse from Mumbai. But love comes with a "conditions apply" tag. Six years age difference, career & different cultures.
Anusha, is a girl who wears her heart on her cheeks rather on her sleeves. She was the little "extra" in Hims extraordinary love story. From her vodka to his favourite website they always share a little "extra"and become best friends.
Himanshu's career is on stake as he plans to destroy Ishika's marriage. Would he be able to save his love? Would he be able to get out of the best friend-zone?
A tale of love, emotions, betrayal and much more. It's not a cliched love story but a story they had both dreamt of.
For every new comer in the storytelling kingdom these days, Romance serves as the scrutiny free, immigration free gate and same is the case with Himanshu Chauhan, whose debut novel Me, You & Of Course Love was sent to me by BlackBuck publications for review. The story is of Hims aka Himanshu who falls in love with Ishika, a nurse from Mumbai and their roller coaster ‘something extra’ love story. The issue with Ishika and Himanshu was – A. Age difference of 6 years (Hims has a thing for a smart older lady); B. Career and Cultural difference C. Anusha. Anusha is Himansh’s best friend but not his love – so you can imagine! The story goes from simple love to full swing drama zone with Himanshu’s plans to wreck Ishika’s marriage. And then there is the side kick best friend zoned story line.

Pros –
1. Narration – The flow helps a reader connect well with the story.
2. Last Chapter – Glad it did not end with an over the top incident. The last chapter sums p the whole books feel pretty well.
3. Relatable characters – The characters of the story are people we would easily find around us, hence you tend to get in the tone of the story.

Cons –
1. Nothing New – The story is not a fresh one, nor is it the best version of this typical storyline.
2. Editing - There are so many places in the book where you feel 'this bit was not needed'. Grammar needs polishing, content needs brushing up and story needs to be crisp.

The story seems to go with a Chetan Bhagat flow with pages out of My Best Friend’s Wedding, Mere Yaar Ki Shaddi hai and many more. But the end of this total Bollywood material is on a very subtle human note. The story is nothing new and has been told and retold in a million ways before, but the book still somehow is refreshing and light for a one time read on a lazy day. I would rate this perfect chick-lit a 3 on 5. 

P.S.- This book was given to me by BlackBuck Publications for review and the review is completely my own view about the book.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Out Of Denial

Flying blind in the realms of darkness
Is a soul so torn, lost in madness;
But denial is the citadel she has built for herself
Refusing to let go of her decimated self.

Rendition of life, ripples of past
All have some dark spell cast;
Luring her to a sparkling Mangata,
Feeding on her grieving platter.

But torn she is, not defeated yet
Unknown to all, she has now put a self-bet.
Breaking the walls of denial with a sneer
She now wanders to find acceptance’s lair.

Hath no power like a scorned woman

How dark would she be, once out of the gloomy den?

-Vaisakhi Mishra