Wednesday, 19 March 2014

My Dream Library

         By chance I have come by the new topic on IndiSpire: What would your dream library look like?
         Well, I still don't know how it will look in appearance, but I know where exactly it should be or will be. There is this hilly patch near my home which once missionaries tried to have for their hospital, let's just think the land has a different idea in mind and I can just hope it will be there for me when I have the means to buy it.
         Ya folks, curious as it may sound I have the audacity to dream a village library. Oh, not the cozy little one with thatched roof and muddy walls which may remind you of a Wordsworthian paradise, but the well furnished, air conditioned (global warming is at its peak and the villages are not excluded), double storey building (that is the minimum) with a cinema hall and a vast reading room.  
        So all my grumbling cousins can have a peep in during vacations (they will be all grown up then, so we will save it for their kids), can have their favourite books and favourite nooks to perch on. And in weekends there will be the screening of these classic, forgotten movies which adapted literature to screen so that they might come to know how someone else have drawn their imaginations. 

        Yes, that's my dream. A dream where the students in my school doesn't have to pay for expensive academic books, a dream in which the life of this community center around our library, a dream of my people set out in the world, armed with the knowledge they got from here, which instills in them a pride for themselves and a respect for others so much so that they won't trample on others or get trampled on.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Inferno - Dan Brown

Date of Reading: 30/12/2013
Author: Dan Brown
Publisher: Doubleday
Place: New York
Year: 2013

          Why do you read Dan Brown? Is it for the intricate, heart throbbing journey through Robert Langdon's mind or are you attracted to the final turn and the destination that saves the world from an imminent catastrophe? If ever such question has popped up to you, 'Inferno' is the answer.
         As always Dan Brown takes us to another detour of Italy, through its high artistic culture which offers a plethora of intricate meanings to the ever curious minds. I never had much taste for Dante, or anything related to him but the novel had me glued to the spot till the end. Well, isn't that why we call it popular fiction and the former the classic!!!
         Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence without any memory of his last two days and how he got from Harvard to Italy. An attack at the hospital springs him to action and he escapes with Dr. Sienna who was attending him at the time. He finds a cylinder inside his jacket pocket which displayed a modified version of Boticelli's painting Map of Hell. As a request for help brought an attack from US consulate, both of them follow the the clues to Palazzo Vecchio, the museum.

       The director recognises Langdon and mentions his arrival in the previous night with Ignazio Busoni, the director of II Duomo to see Dante's death mask. Now they find that it is stolen and the video footage shows Landon taking that out. A call from Ignazio's office informs that the director died of heart attack and he left a message to Robert giving him the directions to Florence Baptistry.
Dante's Death Mask
        There they find the mask which is inscripted with some secret messages. Jonathan Ferris, who claims to be from WHO saves them from the scene and they follow the riddle to Venice, where Langdon is captured but Sienna manages to escape.
        He is brought before Elizabeth Sinskey, the director general of WHO and the mystery of the two days unfolds. They are here to stop a virus created by Zobrist, the brilliant geneticist who speaks vehemently against over population. He has committed suicide on the completion of his project which is supposed to be some deadly plague to annihilate the human race. Sienna was his lover and the attack at the hospital was her plan to trick Robert.
Dan Brown
        Langdon leads them to Istanbul where inside the huge cistern they find that the virus has been spread from the water soluble bag. He gets hold of Sienna who explains that the virus induces infertility but that won't mean the end of our race as there will be many who can adapt to the new condition and survive it. She accepts the offer of Sinskey to work together in implementing preventive measures. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister - Tabrik C

Date of Reading: 03/03/2014
Author: Tabrik C
Publisher: Hachette India
Place: Gurgaon
Year: 2014
From: BlogAdda in return of an honest review

         Let me begin by introducing the author, as he might be new to many. Tabrik, as it is given in the inside cover is a political enthusiast, perfumer, and internet entrepreneur. He owns a post graduate degree in History from St. Stephen's College, Delhi where he was also the president of the student's union. His major interest lies in the observation and analysis of political personalities, and their subsequent influence in the destiny of the nation.
          True to his background we can call his first novel as a political thesis come to life. The future of India for the next two years is drawn with clarity and precision, and his suggestion of boycotting Chinese goods I find interesting though rather unrealistic. Alas! a superstar like Siddhartha Tagore might be able to persuade the Indian youth where I failed miserably with my friends.When they can't even leave this disposable Chinese pens which cost only two rupee in the market, what can replace the electronic goods??? 
     The protagonist, Siddhartha Tagore, is projected as India's savior who employs a kind of monarchy in the nation. He takes pledge in private without a cabinet which only later comes to existence to slow down his decisions. A single handed constitution as the author suggests will strengthen the nation and fasten the development, but placing the destiny of a vast, and diverse nation under the mercy of a man will suppress the marginalized voices and destroys the promises of stability that our democracy offers. A Prime Minister, who is born with a silver spoon in the mouth, educated abroad and keeps company with the so called elite class will ever be able to grasp the real India whose soul lies in the villages?
As to the women in the story, I find their characters rather repellent. Rubaya is the muse of the 'Mozart man' who enjoys being a pilot and crashes her plane in this attempt to share the domain of men. Rukmani Devi, the Nobel laureate, wins the elections but makes a comic figure in her first appearance in the parliament, leaving her opponent Siddhartha to mesmerize the members. 7RCR yields to her only at the charismatic withdrawal of the musical genius.
        All in all its a true political thriller to which the element of music and the bipolar and bisexual hero add a special charm. A commendable achievement by the author from whom we can expect more. Now to the story:
           Set in a futuristic India, precisely that of 31 December 2016, story starts with Siddhartha Tagore's ascend to power as the new Prime Minister of India. Moments before Pokhran has witnessed some nuclear attacks from terrorists and the new PM has also had to face the threat of BJP led by Rukmani Devi in demand of a change in the constitution. He proves to be a stern ruler with an iron fist who leaves no mercy to anti-nationalists.
         His rise to power has been swift as his father had already made his way as an MP from Calcutta. After a few years of recluse life in USA, he is eventually brought back by the third front leader, Lok Neta, to finish the dream of his father.
His outrageous ideas against Pakistan infiltrators and a proposal to boycott Chinese products, put this musical genius into lime light and the sudden, unexpected death of Lok Neta opens the doors of 7 Race Course Road to him.
         In between the readers are transported to his Harvard days where he meets the beautiful twins from Mumbai, Rubaya and Karisma. He falls for Rubaya right away, but his bisexual nature makes him seduce his room mate Gregory Templar, who aspired to be a priest, and this alienates them both. He is prone to occasional insanity which he controls by taking Lithium pills regularly.
        Ruby and Siddhartha eventually gets married, but the joy lasts only for one day as Ruby dies in a plane crash piloted by herself. He goes into an irrevocable depression from which he gets consolation from Karisma. Finally he disappears to New York from where he comes out of the trauma through politics.
         Thor, the foreign professor in Delhi School of Economics who is also an accomplice of Rukmani gets wind of his past and a search in Mumbai reveals that Siddhartha has son in Karisma which is unknown to him. His influence brings together father and the son -- Kabir -- but PM's affair with President's OSD, Krish Rathore, brings shock waves to their bond.
        When Rathore is found murdered, suspicion falls on Kabir but Rukmani thinks otherwise. A quick search in Thor's place yields the necessary evidence she needs; the foreign professor smells the danger and promptly returns to US. He was the one behind the explosion in Pokhran and Krish threatens to reveal that he is conveniently killed.
         Siddhartha suffers a stroke due the attack of a protestant and he announces fresh elections. But before the campaign begins, he goes for a promotional trip to US for his new album "Rubaya" and there he confronts Thor who is revealed to be none other than Gregory Templar. Karisma's timely intervention saves his life, but the assassination attempt brings back the stroke which forces him to retire from active public life. 
Tabrik C.
Rukmani wins the election but not with a majority to change the constitution. Message of the people has been clear and India continues to sail forward notwithstanding foreign threats.

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