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Europa by Hywel Richard Pinto. A book review.

Book: Europa Author: Hywel Richard Pinto Published by: Story Mirror Infotech Pages: 198
Summary: The year is 2250, and we are witness to a historical trial of one of the Silver Fleet’s youngest and most promising captains - Captain Richard Sparks, who has been accused of murdering a fellow crewmember during the Silver Star’s lengthy trip to Jupiter’s moon – Europa. But the crew is divided as to whether the Captain is to be blamed for the fiasco or whether there was a bigger conspiracy on board?


Can another murder on board the Silver Star be attributed to the unusual mission that the ship is on? Does someone want the crew of the Silver Star to fail in their mission to locate one of her sister ships, reportedly lost near Europa? And just how many of the team can Captain Richard Sparks trust, if he is to be believed as being innocent?
Meanwhile, a shadowy organisation back on Earth contends with a dangerous, corrupt and ambitious Indian politician, with the Europa mission being used as the cou…
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Karma, Dharma and Dress code: Why what I wear cannot decide anything about me!

Warning: Long post ahead. 
I recently read a post by Ms Kavya Sharma on Youth Ki Awaaz. She was belittled and shouted at, early in the morning because she chose to read The Mahabharata on her metro journey to college. What was wrong you ask? Her mistake was to read the ‘sacred’ text while wearing a skirt and blouse. She was deemed anti-religious, sanskaar-less and what not. In fact, the certain aunty national who brought her misconduct to attention pointed out that she was demeaning ‘Hinduism’ and even went on to say that her parents had taught her nothing.
Dear Kavya, you are not alone. As people (regardless what age-group) who happen to live in this time and age, we have faced shit and a barrage of insults all because of how we dress. We are the one who attracts miscreants in our jeans and T-shirts, salwar suits and sarees. And sacrilege… if we happen to wear shorts or skirts. It is us who with our mobile phones and forward thoughts lure rapists.


Politicians, babas, policemen and wom…

#Sorry not sorry

I feel sorry for ‘Sorry’ – such an abused term. When you come to think of it, it is just a word, right? It holds significance in some instance and at times, it is a mere excuse. But we humans absolutely love it as an excuse, don’t we? I use this term a lot; I mean a lot! I think of myself as a kind being, and hence, if I happen to push or ignore (deliberate), I say ‘sorry’. I say sorry for things that may not need a ‘sorry’. I say ‘sorry’ to people I am not really feeling sorry for (don’t read this the wrong way). In short, I say ‘sorry’ a lot like I have already admitted. It is my ticket to moving on, a ticket to redeem myself for mistakes and sometimes, tinged with slight sadness (maybe).


But is ‘Sorry’ the right word? Mean, is it even appropriate? Like they say, first you commit the murder and then say sorry. What is the point of it? I would say nothing. Sorry – the term originated from the West Germanic term Sore that evolved to Sarig, meaning pained or distressed. It is also known…

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami – a book review

‘All I did was to go to the library to borrow books’
An innocuous line, describing a mundane or regular activity of an avid book reader, wouldn’t you say? Something so simple and generic that one might not mention or think it out aloud had it been just another library and the trip without any consequence. I mean, libraries are boring places; one goes there to seek refuge, to get some reading or studying done, and leave with books of their choices. Plain and simple.
But then Murakami doesn’t see things in a simple manner like we do, does he? Nope. He brings the weird out in us. He gives life to all our silly thoughts of being followed, talking animals, and parallel universes and of monsters under the bed or in this case in the library basements.

On a fine day like any, the protagonist of Murakami’s The Strange Library, on his way home from school, lost in his thought, wishes to return his library books. He hates being late; he never is, as his mother did not raise him that way. He is a co…

Don't ignore Grief.

Bottle up your emotions, they say. Repress them. No need to talk about it. Hush it up. A tragedy is a tragedy. A loss of life cannot be a replacement or forgotten. There is no evading it or escaping it. It crops up as if it was always meant to be. And it is. It will. But we aren’t taught to see tragedy in a transparent light. We like to cover it up, afraid of the judgment that comes along with it. Folks will think we are cuckoo. It will ruin our reputation. They’d say we have gone soft in the head. Our emotions will affect our decisions and so we can’t be trusted. Blah. Blah. Blah. So we put a lid on it. Brush it under the carpet. Pretend to move on swiftly, trying to make sense of the awkward void of pain, distress, and restlessness. It should not be addressed. Swallow the pain like a pill. Ignore the panic. If you don’t stop talking about it, how will you move on? But the bigger and relevant question is, the one going through it, are they willing to move on already. Sadly, the sufferer …

Mind vs the heart

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Picture courtesy: Google. Only for representation purpose.
Standing on the highway, Roads leading both ways to somewhere, I stand still and wonder, Where do I belong?
The soothing lullabies of the green mist fairies call.  With promises to wrap me in the cool calm fog, Holding me in wet, gentle caresses, lulling the storm within. 
The call of the shrill, salt-laden sea sirens,  from the sun-baked rocks, Pull me back To join them as they make me one, in the fathomless abyss of wonders unseen. 
I lament my fragile being,  Born with one heart, not two, Torn between the ebb and flow of waves, And earthy scents in muddy dew. 
Both offer me refuge,  Cloaking me whole in their embrace, Dust to dust, flesh to flesh and soul to soul. 
In this battle between the mind and the heart, The heart but loses steam,  Leaving me stranded on a path to nowhere, never to be seen. 
My mind has been wrought with depression and all things crappy. This is a result of binge-watching a…

Celebrating Navratri? Stop now as we have no right to worship the female form...

Today my mom asked me to go get fall bidding done for her new saree. Navratri has begun and Durga Pujo is just around the corner. This year we are planning to go Pandal hopping on a Saptami instead of an Ashtami or Navmi to avoid the jams and the crowds. I will wear a saree too and my Punjabi husband will tag along for the delicious food.
In a multicultural household like mine, most festivals are a big deal, especially Navratri and Durga Pujo. But in the hullabaloo of festivities, we don’t stop to think of its essence – why do we celebrate Durga Pujo or Navratri at all. To celebrate Ma Shakti – a prompt answer from my mother. Navratri is a celebration of the nine stages of womanhood – a tribute to the power of the female.But to us commoners, it is a festival of dancing to the tunes of Garba or dandiya or Bollywood music. It is our turn to wear our best clothes, head out in the night, meet family and be merry. And once, this is over, the female form goes back to being what they always a…