Thursday, July 14, 2016

Six Degrees-Game Of Blogs-Book Review

Six Degrees-Game of Blogs brought back a flood of memories for me. Having been a part of this activity in one of the teams and having made an awesome bunch of blogger friends, reading this book reminded me of the eagerness with which we had participated in this activity. It was a great learning experience and I completely understand how challenging it must have been for the rest of the teams to coordinate across different time zones with fellow bloggers of different tenets.

This book consists of three stories by three teams of bloggers who were randomly grouped for the activity; mind you each story is a collaborative work with the story being written in a couple of days with twists and turns being provided by Blogadda in between. There is a reason why I cite this here, since the characters and a large part of the skeleton of the story was already provided, the teams had to build a story based on it. We did have our limitations.

The stories published in this book are:

1. The Awakening- Team By Lines
2. Entangled Lives- Team Potliwale Baba
3. Missing- A Journey Within- Team Tete-A-Ten

I have an admittance to make here, if this book was not written through this interesting activity I wouldn’t have picked it up to read. All through the activity I had a strong opinion on the various stories that we as teams were weaving up, all of them never felt anything beyond the 'contemporary-below average-Indian-fiction'. Since there was no forum to express this opinion, and we bloggers were busy with our own stories working on the plot and dealing with the tight deadlines I brought this up here. One of the stories in this book in fact rightly cites the pun” Write your college love story and become a bestselling author” well that’s how Indian authors are nowadays. I write this with great trepidation on how this review will be taken.

While ‘The Awakening’ primarily feels like a science fiction, the highlight for me was the amount of research and imagination that has gone into it. Kudos to the team on that, all the inventiveness with the alien world and interesting trivia was the only reason I thought this story was the best among the three.

The second story ‘Entangled Lives’ left me as a reader entangled too, supposedly this was a murder mystery. And of course there had to be a medical disorder to spice it up. What bogged me down was the entire tone of the story, the usage of some words and the bloopers in the plot. All I wanted to know was who killed and why, nothing out of the ordinary!

The third one ‘Missing- A Journey Within’ has everything missing by the way. I still am thinking about the duodenal atresia that two of the characters have, what did this medical condition do to them to make them go missing. I wish there was more research and relevance here. One noticeable fact is the strength that has been added to some characters, especially by bringing up some important social issues like homosexuality and rape. I wish this was dealt with more refinement.

The stories are not by seasoned authors, the stories are not an individual effort and the stories had their boundaries. I think that explains why the book deserves three stars, probably two point five will do.

Rating: 2.5/5
Book Details:
Title: - Six Degrees by Blogadda
Publisher: -Leadstart Publishing and BlogAdda.Com
Publication Year: - 2015
ISBN:- 9352013891 (ISBN13: 9789352013890)
Binding: - Paperback
Number of pages: -  422
Price: - Rs349

PS: 6 Degrees is India's first book published through collaborative blogging, written completely by bloggers for the Game of Blogs activity at BlogAdda. Know more about Game of Blogs here. You can buy 6 Degrees: Game of Blogs if you liked the review. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fade And Wither

One blighted morning I fell off the tree
Bereft of life and drained of my colour
Was it the branch or a passing breeze
That brought me on this road of pain
For what I was yesterday ain’t today
Parched and perplexed, I lay hither
With these changing shades of me
Without a leaf what can be a flower?
Tell m, shouldn’t it flow with ease
Lingering through each other's vein
Love, if is love isn’t it meant to stay
Why does it fade, how does it wither


Sunday, May 29, 2016

What 'THITHI' Did To Me...

“You do not have to do it after I die”

He had told my mother during one of their late morning tête-à-tête after a round of household chores. My paternal grandfather had no second thoughts on repudiating some of the customs that did not make sense to him. This was during the period when he was diagnosed of prostate cancer in his seventies, he was being treated for the same and palliative care was all that could be given after the surgery which he had undergone. It was all seeded in his bones and lungs, the cancer cells and of all that mattered to him was his ‘THITHI’ for reasons known only to him; he did not want us to perform the ritual every year. I must say he was very opinionated. Nevertheless his children do it every year now; if he is watching us from somewhere I am sure nothing else will be making him more furious!

Why I brought this up today was because I happened to watch a Kannada movie by the same name last evening with my parents so I couldn’t help but reminisce about it. While some call the movie a dark comedy with unpretentious frivolity, there is something esoteric about it. This was beyond all the brouhaha that Kannada movies are receiving these days, and I am glad I have watched all of them in the theatre. Nothing feels better than watching our fellow Kannadigas put our cinema and our land on the world map.

I am not going to let off any details here because this is not a movie review, this is about the feeling it left me with after I walked out of the theatre, the smile it brought on my face when a group of kids who were walking down the stairs started dancing in front of the theatre screen when the closing credits was on with the orchestra music. I do not know what they understood of the movie but this was a good sign. Watching good cinema is as important as playing a good game or reading a good book, I am glad that with movies like these we can do this today.

Century Gowda, Gadappa, Thammana, Abhi, Cauvery, the shepherds, the dealer in the Xerox shop, the kids playing tiger and sheep after school, the money lender lady in the arrack shop, the dancing old man in the death procession and a dozen other characters portrayed in the movie are all around us. And therefore people of this land connect to the story. What hit me more is the ease with which issues like patriarchy, property, religious beliefs, complex family matters, teenage sexuality, loans, bribes, support of the neighbourhood and all the rustic village life are portrayed in every scene. All one needs is an observer’s eye and a listener’s ear. See through the scenes and listen in between the dialogues, especially Gadappa’s and your movie watching of ‘THITHI’ is complete.

After the movie was over, when Appa was still on his seat hooked to the screen.

“Eli, thithi oota hakalla illi theatre alli!”

[Get up, they are not going to give you lunch now in the theatre!]

So said my Amma with her natural brevity. The lady next to me smirked [The movie by the way is a feast!]. Miffed by the force Appa decided to take his own way out of the place, as we were walking ahead I realized he is not with us. I turned back and remarked...

“Appa elli Amma?”

[Where is he?]

Yen nin problemmmu….your Appa must be gone somewhere” she said, as cool as a cucumber.

“Like Gadappa?” I added.

Well, this is what ‘THITHI’ did to me.