Book Review: Killer Moves By Varsha Dixit

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AUTHOR
Varsha Dixit
FORMAT/ GENRE
Kindle Edition / Crime Thriller
ASIN: B07DGKFYBZ
 
 

Now doesn’t this one give you the Goosebumps? Scary!😱
 
 

BLURB

Everyone has a secret. Aisha Khatri has many!

Aisha’s life is seemingly mundane on the surface-she writes for television and takes care of her niece Kiara and her retired father. But when Kiara’s life is threatened during a modeling assignment for the famous Kabir Rana, once a suspect for his wife’s murder, the only way Aisha can save Kiara is by accepting the unique ability she has aggressively resisted all her life.

But Aisha is not the only one with secrets. There are others who have secrets and will kill to keep them. Aisha is determined to protect Kiara even if it means placing herself in the crosshairs of a depraved killer who butchers beautiful girls and leaves them as grotesque displays.

Is Kiara a target of a serial killer or is the killer closer to home-and Aisha’s heart?

Who is Kabir Rana? An elusive and moody fashion photographer burdened with a dark past or a murderer who got away?

How will Aisha save Kiara from a killer who is several steps ahead of an entire city’s police force? When the dead come calling, will Aisha answer?

From the bustling streets of Goa to the beautiful palaces of Sirsa, Killer Moves is a fast-paced, gripping, romantic suspense tale with strong thriller and supernatural elements.
 
 

MY TAKE

Intense, inviting and intriguing, ‘Killer Moves’ has all the ingredients required of a successful crime thriller. The build-up of the suspense surrounding the murder of young women is well planned and has the ability to keep the reader hooked till the end. The guessing game that starts at the start of the book continues till the end and is interspersed with some interesting twists and turns. A sea of emotions find place in the pages of the book, some subtle and others intense and searing. Telepathic communications between the protagonist Aisha and her grandmother’s ‘boyfriend,’ as well as Aisha’s ability to communicate with the spirits, add an element of surprise and interest.

The characters not many, are well developed. While instincts define Aisha who is fiery and strong, rebellion is the hallmark of Kiara. Kabir Rana is an enigma.

Racy and nail- biting, the book is definitely a wonderful and engrossing read that prevents you from keeping it down till you’ve reached ‘THE END’.


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Buy the book @ amazon.in

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Book Review: Falling In Love With Cupid (A Mytho-fiction Romance Series Book 1)

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AUTHOR: RUBINA RAMESH
FORMAT : KINDLE EDITION
ASIN: B07G6NQD1C

 
 

Though not an ardent fan of romance fiction, I picked up this one. Want to know why? There were two reasons- 1) though a part of a romance series, this one has at its core mythological characters, and I’m partial to the same. 2) It’s from one of my favourite authors. So I had a lot of expectations from this one, and I must admit that Rubina did not disappoint me. In fact I loved every bit of this novel and can’t help wait for the next in the series. That said, here’s my opinion on the book –

The story of Psyche and Cupid though short, wraps within its fold multiple emotions. There is hate, despair, doubt and love. Revenge meant to wreak havoc, ends up in two souls getting entangled. However their path of love is fraught with dangers and difficulties. Will the flame of love burning within them help them overcome the obstacles or will it reduce them to ashes? ………That’s where the suspense lies, and to untangle the mystery you must read the book.

The language, the imagery, and the twists and turns keep you hooked. In fact they draw you into the story, and you can’t help but try step into the shoes of the characters and live their role.

Revenge gone awry is how one can describe ‘Falling in love with Cupid.’
 
 
VERDICT

A light yet intense read one that will ensnare you and not let you stop till you reach the last full-stop.

 
 
To get the blurb go to > Goodreads


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Buy the book @ amazon.in

Book Review: Dystopia by Manoj V Jain

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Books!
Spreading light, making lives
Each a lesson leaves behind
But some there are that make you think
Leave a message to take and drink
Digest, absorb and ……….follow.
 
 

 
 

‘Dystopia’ by Manoj V Jain is exactly that. A short read of just 146 pages, this one is an eye-opener. Thought provoking, and one that can leave adults especially those that force their will on their children, feeling guilty, ‘Dystopia’ reveals the damage over protectiveness can have on the young mind. It also reveals how overpowering parents ‘shoo’ away their children from speaking their mind freely. This in turn translates into the child becoming an introvert or hesitating from revealing secrets that are meant only for parents’ ears. At times the child may turn to friends for help. Lack of proper guidance at this stage often spells doom for the child.

The age of dystopia i.e. adolescent years are those when a parent makes or breaks a child for incidentally it is in these years that the child is most fragile and impressionable. Inept handling of their problems can break them, make them cynical and force them to tread a path no parent in their right mind would wish their child to tread.

The story guided by the spirit of Dystopia sees five friends get together after decades. Their talk, their mannerisms, their thoughts all reflect their upbringing and life, and when they talk, discuss and catch up, the spirit of Dystopia rues on their life when they entered his gates, finds reasons and excuses for the flaws in their personality and more often than not, finds the fault hidden in faulty parenting.

 
 

The blurb on Goodreads is just a click away. Want to read it? Click HERE
 
 

Narrated in simple, crisp and lucid language, ‘Dystopia ’once again brings to the fore Author Manoj V Jain’s skill at making a mundane topic truly interesting and engaging. One can’t help but let the brain engage in a debate of sorts while going through the pages, and admire how skillfully the author has his reader engaged in the topic albeit sub consciously.

VERDICT

The book one of the best on parenting, is a must read for all parents especially those with young kids and adolescents.


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Buy the book @ amazon.in

Book Review: The Bodyguard by Ruchi Singh

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Format: Kindle Edition
ASIN: B07BD2D9J3

 
 
BLURB

Someone wants Vikramaditya Seth Jr. dead.
He refuses the Z+ security option offered by the government. With too many variables trust is hard to come by…

Esha Sinha prepares for her first assignment outside of active army service, oblivious to the fact that she has to baby-sit a man who has no respect for rules or protocol—a man who is headstrong, workaholic and a tenacious flirt. As the attraction between Vikram and Esha simmers and sizzles, another attempt is made on his life.

The killer is resourceful and determined.
The motive is unclear and perplexing.

Will they be able to nab the assassin before he gets to Vikram?

MY TAKE

A tale of suspense with a twinge of romance, ‘The Bodyguard’ is an example of fine writing, one that has the ability to not only keep the reader hooked but also get involved in trying to sort a mystery, an identity. Cleverly crafted, this is one book you may want to read again after a few days.

Fast paced, the book makes you fall in love with the character of the bodyguard Major Esha Singh a woman of grit and determination who though a lonely soul herself tries to resist the charm of her boss a tenacious flirt.

Written in simple, lucid and crisp language, the story does throw up some surprises in the form of unusual twists. However isn’t that what good thrillers are all about, catching their reader unaware?

Overall a truly enjoyable read with the power to keep you on the edge of your seat, ‘The Bodyguard’ does justice to both the plot and the characters.

WARNING!

Don’t pick it up to read at night. No there’s nothing in there that will scare you out of your wits. It’s just that once you pick it up you may not want to keep it down till you read the last word. Now this could translate into a read deep into the night and being caught sleeping in your work place or over the kitchen counter the next day. 😉 I’m sure you don’t want that. 🙂


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Buy the book @ amazon.in

THE AUTHOR

RUCHI SINGH

View her profile and get a sneak-peak into her writings HERE at Goodreads

BookReview: Into the Great Heart by Kamla K Kapur

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PUBLISHER: Jaico Publishing House
ISBN: 978-93-87944-10-7
FORMATS: Paperback/ Kindle

Buy the book @
Amazon.in (Kindle edition)
Amazon.in (Paperback edition)

 
 

THE BOOK

In a hurry? Then don’t pick up this one.

Why?

This is one book to be relished slowly pondering over each word, each line.

‘Into the Great Heart’ is a lyrical biography that has at its heart Guru Nanak and Guru Angad alias Bhai Lehna. It is as its name suggests, a journey into the heart of one of the greatest Gurus of all times. Narrated mainly in Bhai Buddha’s words, this book the second in the Sikh Saga Series, carries forward the stories of Guru Nanak and his favourite minstrel Bhai Mardana, from the first volume. It also introduces the reader to the second Sikh Guru, Guru Angad and gives us an insight into his personality, love and devotion towards Guru Nanank and the events that unfold before he is declared the successor to Nanakji.

Written in simple, crisp and lucid language like the shabads composed by Guru Nanakji, the book gives us an in-depth insight into his life, thoughts and teachings. Pivotal to this narrative are some forgotten or should I say generally overlooked female luminaries like Mata Sulakhni (Guru Nanak’s wife) , Bebe Nanaki (his sister), Khivi (Bhai Lehna aka Guru Angad’s wife), and Amro. It also brings to light another interesting character in Bhai Mardana’s granddaughter Aziza a spirited girl who driven by a devotion to Baba Nanak and his teachings, yearns to learn all that happen in the Baba’s dera. She yearns for a freedom that is not hers to be thanks to her conservative mother, yet remains determined to live life on her terms without toppling the harmony of either her house nor Society. These female characters play a crucial role in the Guru’s life, his influence on his followers, the tensions he encounters at home and the path of self- reliance he advocates. All-in-all this is one book that transports the reader into a whole new world, a world where spirituality does not call for renunciation, a world where the voice of the woman is not stifled, a world where selfless dedication to mankind triumphs over family.

The book along with imparting some truly meaningful life-lessons also sheds light on some important aspects/ customs of the Sikh community like their spirit of service to humanity, the langars (community kitchen) they conduct, etc. Reading the free flowing shabads of Guru Nanak shared here, and understanding their meaning makes one yearn to know more of the Sikh Guru and his teachings. One can also feel a sense of calm descent upon the mind as one goes through the pages of the book.

The characters are well developed with their virtues and vices finding space within the pages of the book, thus making it easy for the reader to resonate with their emotions, their frustrations, their fears, their joy. The book wraps within it a sea of emotions some subtle and some not so subtle.There are also some heart wrenching moments as well as some joyous ones.

The pace is perfect and the style of narration I must admit, had me hooked. The book is in every aspect engaging, interesting and informative.

VERDICT

A perfect read for those who love to drown in a lyrical read as well as for those going through a tumultuous period in life.

A collector’s delight, this one offers food for thought, and also works as a guide for the soul that’s lost in the wilderness dark.


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Book Blitz :: Storm From Taxila by Shreyas

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~ Book Blitz ~
Storm From Taxila by Shreyas Bhave
15th to 17th August

About the Book:  

BHARATVARSHA, LAND OF THE ARYAS: 270 BC

Bindusar, the Samrat Chakravartin of all the Aryas, ruler of the Indian subcontinent, is dead. Chaos rules across the empire. The royal succession turns upon intrigue, dark coalitions, violence and death. The realm stands divided and civil war ensues.
In Vidishanagri: Asoka kills his brother’s Ashwamedha stallion and marches to Patliputra with his army. The ancient Brahminical order rises in his supports, awaiting his entry into the capital. Have they made the right choice?
In Taxila: The rightful heir, Sushem, raises an army to meet the challenge posed by his ambitious and gifted brother, Asoka. He prepares to march to the capital and seize the throne by force. Will history repeat itself; will Sushem achieve what his grandfather Chandragupta did 50 years ago?
In Junagarh: Guild Master Hardeo sets out on a private mission to acquire the great salt pans of Sindh. Will he succeed in his secret enterprise?
In Vidishanagri: Radhagupta travels to fulfill the task allotted to him by the Order. Kanakdatta, the Buddhist, stands up to stop him. Will Radhagupta fail in his mission?
The winds of war howl over the sub-continent, blowing every last person one way or the other. Blood will be spilled, secrets revealed and men ruined. History shall be made.
In Book II of the epic Asoka Trilogy, the storm approaches; the harbinger of death and destruction. When the dust finally settles, the great question will be answered: Who is the next Samrat of the holy Lands of the Aryas?


Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon




Read an Excerpt:

The cloaked man stood before them, his hands folded, his back straight, looking them in the eye.
Sushem studied the man from head to toe. He looked harmless enough. He was much too old to be a spy or assassin. “You desired a meeting,” he said. “Well, you have one. Now speak.”
“Allow me to say that I am honoured to meet the young lion in person,” the man said, bowing. “I once had the honour of meeting the lion himself, in a similar tent in this same place, fifty years ago.”
The words took some moments to register in Sushem’s mind. When they did, he froze. “You claim to have met my grandfather?” he asked, surprise showing on his face.
“Indeed, My Lord. I met him when he was laying siege to Patliputra, just like you.”
“What is your name?” Sushem asked, sitting down and resting his chin on his clasped palms. This was getting interesting.
“I am one Dasharath, and I represent the Ancient Brahminical Order.” “For what purpose did you meet my grandfather, all those years ago?”
“To help him take the city, My Lord.”
The words of the fable resounded in Sushem’s head: Like a bolt of lightning he came to liberate us. “No one knows how my grandfather captured the city. It remains a mystery.”
“Not known to the common people perhaps,” Dasharath acknowledged. “But I represent the Ancient Brahminical Order.”
Sushem rubbed his chin thoughtfully. The role of the Order in his grandfather’s victory over the Nandas had been well documented by bards and scholars over the years. “So how did you help him take the city?” he asked.
“It was simple.” A smile crept across the lined face. “Patliputra is invincible, but only above ground. Below it is an entirely different story.”
“Is there a hidden way into the city?”
“Aye, My Lord.” There is a tunnel that joins the infamous underground maze of the Patliputra prisons. It starts not too far from where we stand.” “And you say you took my grandfather through that tunnel?”
“I did. I remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.”
Sushem glanced at the Senapati, who wore a dubious expression. Looking back at Dashrath, he asked, “Do you have any proof?”
Dasharath slipped a hand into his cloak and drew out a roll of cloth. He unrolled it slowly, letting it fall to the ground. A small shining circlet of gold remained in his hand.
“The ring…” Sushem said, recognizing it instantly. “It is my grandfather’s fabled ring. He wore it when he captured the city and till the day he died.”
“Do you think this is the true ring, My Lord?” the Senapati asked, inspecting it suspiciously.
Sushem stared at the ring for some time. Then he nodded. “It is,” he said. ‘There is no other like it.” He leaned forward, his grey eyes looking straight into Dasharath’s brown ones. “Why are you telling me all this; showing me this ring?” “The Order wishes to welcome you to the city as it once welcomed your grandfather. We wish to see you take the city and oust the Pretender, your brother, who sits on the throne just as the Nandas once did.”
Sushem took a deep breath. “This tunnel you speak of… can you tell us where it is?”
Dasharath smiled. “I cannot tell you, My Lord, but I can show you.”
About the Author:
Shreyas is a 21 year old guy currently pursuing his B.Tech in Electrical Eng. from VNIT Nagpur. His love for history since his childhood prompted him to write his take on the story of Asoka who was one of the towering figures in the history of India, which has been taken up as ‘The Asoka Trilogy’ by Leadstart Publishing.
The first part of the trilogy called ‘The Prince of Patliputra’ has been published in January 2016 and garnered positive responses.
He is also presently working on several other manuscripts and completing the final year of his engineering Course.
Connect with the Author:

Spotlight~ Blind, Certainly is Love by Reshma Ranjan

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BLIND, CERTAINLY IS LOVE
by
Reshma Ranjan



Blurb

Neha Jaiswal is beautiful and intelligent—an alluring combination—but chooses to be a recluse. What works for her is her intimidating personality that comes with her success. With no desire to get into a relationship, the strong, assertive, and hardworking Neha manages to keep the men at bay—all except one.

Sumit Conrad, a super successful businessman, is an intriguing specimen of a man. Known to the world as the good Conrad, Sumit is actually a recluse who prefers only his own company, to the exception of his brother John and sister-in-law Sarika.

When fate throws the flirt in Sumit and the furious Neha together, sparks are bound to fly.

Will Sumit be able to convince the headstrong and opinionated Neha that what he wants is a long haul and not a passing phase?

Or will the stubborn and cantankerous Neha be successful in driving him away?

Will their love make them blind to each other or to their own flaws? Will this blind love ever find its way?

Grab your copy @


About the author


Reshma Ranjan is a passionate romantic who loves literature and has been driven by the romance around her. She has made up her own happy endings in her imagination for every movie and for every book with a sad ending. 

“Slowly I started to create my own characters and situation, creating a world of romance and happy endings to my liking. But for my laziness, I would have penned umpteen numbers of stories with unexpected people meeting and falling in love and uniting for a lifetime.”  

Also a voracious reader but for which she believes she could never have started writing. “If I can bring a smile and a happy sigh on at least one reader’s lips I will feel a blessed writer.”
You can stalk her @
       
                  

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Book Review ~ Hounds of Shiva by Preetha Rajah Kannan

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TITLE: The Hounds of Shiva
AUTHOR: Preetha Rajah Kannan
PUBLISHER: Jaico Publishing House
ISBN: 9789387944114

BLURB

As its mahout goaded the mammoth royal elephant to the open space where Navukkarasu was held, the beast trumpeted in fury, knocking down walls and ornamental arches in wanton aggression. The earth shook under its tread and the crowd surged back in fear.

Navukkarasu fearlessly stood his ground asserting, “The Cosmic Dancer who wears a garment of elephant hide will protect me.”

The animal charged forward – only to stop short before the saint. In an instant, all aggression leached out of the beast. As docile as a lamb, the elephant circumambulated Navukkarasu, clumsily fell to its knees, and raised its trunk in homage to him. Lumbering to its feet, it then carefully backed away from its intended victim.

Hounds of Shiva is a treasure house of tales with impassioned, heroic acts of sacrifice, devotion and service in the lives and times of the Nayanmars – the sixty-three Shaivite saints who were exemplars of bhakti. Kannappa gouges out his eye to heal Shiva’s wound; Punitavati renounces her youth and beauty to follow the Lord as an emaciated ghoul; Siruthondar sacrifices his own son at Shiva’s command; Iyarpahai gifts his beloved wife to another man; Samandhar raises a boy from the dead; Poosal builds an intricate Shiva temple in his heart.

But the book’s hero is Lord Shiva, who assumes myriad disguises to sport with his devotees, blessing and testing them. Filled with astounding miracles, Hounds of Shiva is an untold tale of the Blue-throated Lord and a feast for the mind and soul.

MY TAKE

A journey into the lives of some of the greatest Shiva Bhakts, ‘The Hounds of Shiva’ is both interesting and enlightening. The stories 37 in all, introduce us to a bhakti of very high order in simple, crisp and lucid language. The glossary at the end of the book is a ready reckoner of sorts and makes the read easy to comprehend and appreciate.

Short and crisp, the stories move from that of one Nayanmar- Shaivite Saint – to another with ease. While each story gives us an insight into the level of love that that particular Saint has towards Lord Shiva and the extent the said person could go to, to keep his faith in the Lord intact, the penance and sacrifice he / she could undertake to attain salvation at the lotus feet of the Lord, it also enlightens us to the fact that the life of Saints is anything but easy and that nothing can be attained via shortcuts. The road to salvation is tricky and dangerous. It takes its toll in the form of renunciation or extreme suffering. So the life of the blessed one is not exactly something that mere mortals need be jealous of. They suffer; they strive and earn their reward after undertaking a journey arduous without a sigh, and undergoe untold miseries with a smile on the face and the ‘Om Namaha Shivaya’ mantra on the lips.

Though the blurb mentions Shiva as the book’s Hero, I personally felt that the Lord was just an instrument to define and extol the virtues of the Shaivite Saints and that it is they who are the true Heroes. Had it not been for their unwavering faith in the Lord, they would never have undergone the extreme trials and tribulations required of them, with a stoic attitude.

Another thing that struck me was the level of understanding each story brings out, between the family members of each of these Saints. It goes without saying that in a way these Saints were able to heed their calling and follow their heart without an iota of doubt or misgiving, because they had the unstinting support of their family be it their parents or spouse.

TAKEAWAY

Gems of knowledge in the form of snippets nestled in a box within each chapter. These gems can pertain to anything from the significance or history of a particular temple, a text, a special day or even a cult. They are truly ‘delectable’ (read knowledge enhancing).

VERDICT

An easy read, yet one that needs to be read without a hurry in order to imbibe the essence which is true bhakti.


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Book Blitz ~ The Wooing of the Shrew by Sundari Venkatraman

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Print Length: 154 pages
Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published) 
Publication Date: August 1, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited 
Genre: Romance

Dayanita Thakore was a prickly princess who didn’t care for the idea of any man getting close to her… until Prince Harshvardhan Singh Gaekwad turns up in her life.

Sparks fly even at their first meeting when the Princess of Udaipur clashes with the Prince of Baroda.

He falls in love with the fiery princess while she fights her attraction to him tooth and nail.

He woos her, beguiles her, cherishes her…

…while the princess feels that maybe he couldn’t love such a tempestuous woman such as herself.

But before they could cross the great divide and get to know each other, something happens, something terrible that might just blow their lives apart.  
It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR

Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 35 titles (31 books & 4 collections) to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1 Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 

Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

You can stalk her @
      
        

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Spotlight~Morsel of Different Shades by R K Sanyal

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A MORSEL OF DIFFERENT SHADES
by
S.K. Sanyal



Blurb

Sumitra Ghosal came all the way from Bankura in West Bengal to join the education service in the recently formed Bundeli State. During the period from 1956 to 1990, spanning more than three decades, she got shunted around small towns and semi-rural areas. The book is woven around her experiences on women teachers lives. She found for some teachers, cruel circumstances charting out the unknown trajectory, while for the others, the evil streak already present manifested itself rather blatantly during their teaching careers.

Ranging from the weird to the quirky, scheming to whimsical, there were all kinds of women for Sumitra to experience and continuously learn from. Bearing a religious bent of mind, Sumitra, a spinster by choice, didn’t fail to take cognizance of the bizarre instances of marital co-existences in the couples she met throught the story.


Read an excerpt

Sumitra Ghosal had stepped into the thirties. Young and hopeful, bubbling over with the excitement of yet another transfer, she arrived at Domod, a district town. The three successive postings at Putlinagar, Bajera and Sagar in the sprawling Uttar Madhya Desh (UMD) had done little to exhaust her. UMD had its capital at Lakshminagar. As distinct from other States, it had predominantly Government schools, private schools not many in number. This State was created according to the prevailing trend of creating smaller states out of larger ones. Rashtriya Daridrya Mochan Party (RDMP) was in power, their manifesto focusing on widespread measures for promoting education for women in remote corners. Sumitra, though, found the efforts not coming entirely from the depths of a sincerely dedicated state. It seemed to be RDMP’s propagandist move to gain more votes.
Sumitra found travelling in ramshackle buses and waiting at railway platforms for the few trains available at odd hours, quite an ordeal. Hers was the fate to move around insignificant remote corners in the heartland of India, where commuting was not easy; semi-rural people formed the stock of commuters. Sumitra, however, didn’t rue her fate; she enjoyed, for she was an optimist drawn by the hidden charm of the unknown places. And what a taste of independence in not marrying – she wasn’t anybody’s property. Her decisions were squarely her own. She had her own conduct or the way to what people say, religiosity; none could teach her the way to realise God. If, as a woman, she worshipped the deity of Hanumanji, let people laugh at her fasting or bratas on Tuesdays and Saturdays. That she got the strength of character by observing the rituals of her making was what mattered. That she wrote with her fingers, without making any impression, the names of Gods and Goddesses on her pillow before sleeping was her unique way to ward off any trouble.
She had a personality built up over long years of getting over the inferiority complex she had developed in her formative years. Neglected and over-ruled, she wasn’t permitted to go for higher education, as her parents wanted their nubile daughter to be tied in a nuptial knot. But Sumitra went on rejecting proposals one after the other until her parents got tired. She was finally allowed to go for higher education. She had a late start, but this belated take-off made her even more determined to be independent, even to take a curious, brave and adventurous decision to take up lectureship in the newly created state of UMD when her native place was in Santhal Parganas in the east.
The fourth and the youngest daughter of a businessman, she had had occasions to go to shikar and witness ruthless killings of sambars, tigers and other small animals or birds. In those times, there was no ban on shikaris engaged in indiscriminate decimating of wild animals. One day, she was seated in the jeep with her legs on the warm and still throbbing body of a fallen sambar. Touched, she took a vow not to have meat ever again. Thus, she was the only vegetarian amongst her non-vegetarian sisters. Alas, she had no brother, and that is why she equated the male visitors of her generation to her parental house as brothers and bestowed them with sisterly affection.

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It was the month of April when nature attired herself in a new garb with little smooth green leaves sprouting on some trees, while the others had not yet shed completely their brownish yellow leaves. A mixture of dusty yellow fallen lifeless leaves under the massive trees and the seasonal flowers past their full bloom presented a spectacle of life and death. One had to step over the crispy fragile remains of what once was a prized greenery to get near the rows of pansies, zinnias, lilies and other flowers to see the minute tapestry of the multicoloured spectacle amidst the crackling dead leaves. The winter’s ruthlessness had made way for the pleasant breeze, dusty at times, that replaced the cold winds of February. It was a pleasant, beautiful, sombre and placid morning in a strange land when Sumitra joined the school at Domod as a lecturer. It could have been the month of July with blackish-grey clouds suppressing the bright onset of the dawn or the torrential rains drenching her on her first day of school; it could have been the month of December with its biting cold necessitating the full stock of woollen clothes. Nevertheless, out of all the random eccentricities of the transferring authority, she was slated to join the school during the best period of the year, and it sure augured well. A placid look came over her face when she saw the red cap over a green body, the gulmohar, topping the fresh green leaves of the massive tree at the end of the road leading to the school. The April bliss.
She got the first shock when she found the distance cut short abruptly. The school happened to be in full view, even as she was jostling through the crowd, manoeuvring the sharp cuts and turns of the street; an expectation of an ideal location of the school belied. Why this proximity? A school in a bazaar? How nauseating and depressing?

Grab your copy @


About the author

A member of the Indian Statistical Service, S.K. Sanyal retired as Director, Central Statistical Organisation, Delhi, after having served as a statistician at Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, and as a Professor of Statistics at All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata.

After retirement,he served from time to time as a consultant with the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, Delhi. As a UNDP consultant, he had short-term assignments at UN Statistical Office at New York, Malawi University, Malawi, and Central Statistics Office, Sierra Leone. Prior to those, as a sampling expert, he delivered lectures on Sampling at Fiji and Nepal on behalf of Statistical Institute for Asia and Pacific, Tokyo, and ESCAP, Bangkok. At NIPFP, he was deputed for poverty studies at Sikkim on behalf of the Asian Development Bank.

Besides numerous technical papers and articles, he has also published a novel, ‘Shifting Silhouettes’, and a real-life story, ‘Memories Unlimited’. He resides in New Delhi.

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