Thursday, October 30

Kite Runner - A Review

Kite Runner, is a novel released in 2003, topped the best seller’s list in the year 2005 in USA. Khaled Hosseini, author of the book is an Afghan by birth. He is now settled in America with their citizenship; had authored one more book to his credit.

The prose is done in an astounding way and the emotions of each character, drawn perfectly.

The book starts with and older Amir going back to his memories in Kabul where he had grown up till the age of 12. Amir, a Pashtun considered being an upper class, lives in a society who got a privileged life under the shadows of his iconic father and a posh livelihood. His only companion is Hassan, a Hazara servant, an outcast those times. The relationship between the two kids is portrayed best in the first half. Amir was never ready to accept Hassan as his best friend, but they always sticked together in whatever they did.

Innocence of children and their thoughts are streamlined amazingly in the pomegranate tree expeditions to Amir’s read-out sessions of classic books for Hassan to the kite running competition. But jealousy in Amir result in some sour incidents which leads Hassan and his father to leave the house and this is before he with his father become a part of the exodus of natives to America escaping the Soviet attack on Afghanistan.

Second half deals with Amir’s life in America depicting the immigrant’s hardships and emotions, his blooming romance, his fathers surrender to a tumour, his guilt ruling him of betraying his friend Hassan and the search for Hassan’s son back in Kabul.  

In short the book is weaved on the relationships of a father and his son – Amir and his father, a master and his servent – Amir and Hassan, two good friends – Amir’s father and Rahim Khan, a silent romantic relationship between Amir and Soraya. There are some surprises too in store.

The book definitely highlights the sufferings and tragedies of a nation after a war and internal conflicts in a heart wrenching manner. The plight of orphaned children and woman are portrayed well in this write up. Well, towards the ending at one point when we feel that things are getting settled with Amir, immigration problems comes as a monster which make the reader too feel an uneasiness as it did with Amir. Thoughts go wild with the reader as it did with Amir. This is where the author succeeded. He could very well relate his protagonist with the reader; same with other characters like Ali, Rahim Khan and Soraya – Amir’s wife.

A definite read, the book is brought by Riverhead Trade in a paper back mode with 384 pages to gorge on. On a 10 star rating meter, Kite Runner, definitely deserves a 8 rating. Go, Get it.


Post written for India Special

Tuesday, October 28

Shouted Aloud... :)

--> -->
“Beep Beep”

The mobile screamed continuously. He tried to avoid the voice, no noise. But every three four minutes his mobile was crying for attention.

It was a very day yesterday for him. Long hours of grueling meetings and talks with clients had actually made him exhausted. And after coming home also he had to work till the wee hours of the day. For the first time he felt a day is made of 50 hours. Every minute he was longing for a relaxation from the schedules, hit the bed and sleep to glory. And finally when he did sleep at 6 am he had decided not to get up from the bed, the whole day.

Half asleep his hand searched for the mobile. Grasping it, he pulled back his hands under the comforts of the blanket. Laziness was at the heights. He didn’t feel like opening his eyes. He just clasped his hands lay over here. It was then when the mobile cried again. Fuming anger and frustration made him grip the mobile tighter. It was a Herculean task to open his eyes. That is when he realized there is nothing more heavily than them. He checked the mobile screen where an alert was waiting for him reading “23 messages unread: Read now?”

What the Fuck? 23 messages! What the hell happened to all? He slowly lay on his back. Adjusted his pillows to give his head a support; Surfed through the messages. Some read

Now what to do? Will have to reply everyone, 23 replies? Will type one single message and send it to many at a go. Hah! Thanks to all those technological advances Nokia is bringing, he thought.
He got up from his bed and headed to the bathroom. In three minutes he came out with a toothbrush in his mouth. The foam of the paste was slowly finding ways outside his mouth. He switched on his laptop lying down on the bed. He was expecting an important mail from one of his customer with whom he is trying to expand his business. 115 mails in the inbox! He was just shocked. It was just some 6 hours back he had cleared his entire inbox. 12 hours and 115 mails and that too on a holiday! Freak! He searched for the customer’s mail. It was somewhere lost in the heap of ‘deewali greetings’ messages. He got up and went on to the terrace.

The whole city was decorated with lighting..!! He checked his watch. It was almost 7 pm in the evening. One deewali is almost over. He looked at the skies. Even the Gods were celebrating it seems; Clear sky with streaks of long thin clouds. All were glittering reddish, as if retired-for-the-day Sun had illuminated them. Lots of birds were flying here and there and lots of crackers too illuminated the sky. He felt relaxed.

Each and every street was illuminated. Flashy dancing lights were on their best. Only smiles and happiness floated in the air.
He stood there. Something started flashing in front of eyes. 23 Messages…115 Mails… Oh No! I need to reply to them, he thought. The day is getting to over and I can’t give an excuse of work and sleep to these people who cared to message or mail on this occasion. But, How? He was clueless. He wished there will be some technology by which he can just shout the greetings and it will be delivered to everyone he loves and cares about. Just some satellite connectivity which will capture his words and safely deliver to his dear ones.
He smiled at himself for his weird thoughts. He turned back to get the laptop. Just for a moment he felt his legs not allowing getting back. He stopped trying and then came to the edge of balcony. With all his energy, with all his care, with all his love and with all his power he screamed aloud


His blood veins had almost popped out from his neck. His face turned blood red. His eyes sparkled. He looked around. A small smile bloomed over his face. He looked into the vast sky imagining some satellite capturing his waves and delivering it to his dear one!!

He again shouted

The sound waves echoed throughout..!

Thursday, October 16

“Check the site”, a rough voice bounced over him.

Abhinav turned back. It was his project manager Batra. A stout person, he was just behind him holding a coffee mug in one hand and a burger in the other. Without wasting an iota of time he closed all messenger windows which were open on his desktop. The social network sites were minimized.

Calling back what his boss had asked him to do; he clicked on the Mozilla explorer, the new downloaded web browser. He was happier to operate with that than the old fashioned Internet Explorer. He typed in the title bar and checked for the site.

“Abhinav, I want you to open” Batra sounded impatient.

Abhinav stared at the monitor. He read what he had written. ‘’. One thing was confirmed. There is some mistake in what he had written. What the fuck? Now how this hell word spells? His fingers moved through the keyboards aimless. He recalled the day when his English teacher scolded him for making mistake in the spelling of ‘Friend’. He forgot to add ‘i’ into the word. His word ‘Frend’ also was sounding the same. He forced himself to think harder. Is it an ‘e’ or an ‘a’ in the word my project manager want? He asked himself.

Abhinav, don’t waste time. Just check it out – This time Batra stressed more on the word.

24 years of age. Right from Kindergarten I am having problem with letters. I never understand where to use vowels. He completed high schooling facing all taunts from teachers. Engineering was completed with high flying colours but still he realized he was many a times a laughing stock due to this problem of his.

With all guts, he once again wrote ‘’. ‘Oh my beloved God, help me out from this situation. Please evolve in front of me as the alphabet which should be actually befitted into the word after‘t’ and before ‘r’, he prayed. Sweat drops emerged on his face from all the pores.

20 years of repeated conscious efforts to improve this problem of his had created a kind of I-Hell-Give-A-Damn attitude towards this. Though initially he always used to feel embarrassed for his silly mistakes, in a later stage he covered all those with his academic performances. He cleared his 12th exams scoring high marks, joined engineering and finally completed masters in business management.

“Abinav, what’s happening? What the hell are you typing? Are you on grass? It is what I want.” Batra sounded much psyched out. He spelled each alphabet separately and his voice echoed the whole cubicle. Abhinav didn’t feel like looking at others. ‘What will be others thinking about him? An MBA graduate who don’t know the spelling of a very common word. A word, which we start hearing from the age memories are imprinted in our brain.’ He felt like diving deep into some ocean or just running fast to some thick dense forest.

Abhinav typed on the screen, ‘’, this time perfectly as dictated by his mentor. Some web page got opened. Batra came forward and checked the site. Clicked here and there, and made his way back to his cabin. Abhinav sat there aghast with a hangdog expression. Some of his colleagues came to him.

One of them kept patting him behind. Abhinav got up from his chair. “Yeah, I do have some problem with vowels. I always make mistakes when words with vowels are written. Now what the fuck I can do about it? I am facing this very bloody problem from the bloody start of my life, from the time I got memories, from the time when I know what bloody fucking thing a language is. Yeah I got some confusion with few letters in my mother tongue and with English too. I tried my best to change that problem, but the bloody hell it hounds me like a dick head, many a times putting me in an awkward position. Now why the hell you people are behind me. Just for another mother fucking laughing stock” Abhinav sat back on his chair. He took the pen in his hand and started twirling in between his fingers.

Everyone surrounding him sat silent.

“Hey, chill man. That’s not a unique problem. We all know you are the best. Its just a small imperfection.” Sidharth, his friend, murmered.

It was a total silence in the cubicle.

Sunday, October 12


The moment the flight landed he couldn’t wait for the door to open. He had already unfastened his seat belt and impatiently waited on the aisle. The beautiful air hostesses were waiting for the door to open. The red skirted girls were looking beautiful if not ‘HOT’, he thought. While he waited there impatiently the door opened and he rushed towards it. Stepping down the stairs he sensed the smell of his motherland.

While waiting for the luggage he threw his eyes towards the gate. After a round of gaze, much to his delight he found his sweetheart, his better-half waiting over there, outside the glass walls. When their eyes met each other he could feel an upheaval of joy beaming out from his body.

He got into the Mercedes that was waiting outside for them. The driver helped him load his luggage back into the dickey. “What happened to the new BMW? He asked. “Your sister had gone to meet her friend in that, sir” the driver said politely. Settling on the back seat with his lady, he felt very relaxed. Holding her hands, sitting very close to her he dabbed his lips on her smooth cheeks. The touch itself had made her cheeks turn rosy.

In front of the huge iron gates they waited. As the security guard opened the gate, the Merc moved in. Along side the garden the vehicle headed towards the palatial white bungalow. When the vehicle reached the parking space two servants came running towards the car. The doors were opened for them. Both of them got down from the car and headed towards house. “Keep the luggage in my room” he ordered them.

Entering the colossal living room, he saw his father watching something on the television. Heading towards his change room, he asked for something to eat and drink. He was very hungry. He entered his dress change room and removed his blazer. The temperature here is getting worse year by year, he thought. Switching on the a/c he untied the tie, unbuttoned the shirt and unhooked the belt. He entered the adjacent bathroom, had a shower and came out in a silky towel. Drops of water were still on his body. There she was waiting for him. “The food is ready”. He went near to her and held her close. “You are wet.” She removed his towel and tried to dry his body. “I will make you too wet, don’t you want?” he giggled. Blushing, she threw the towel on him and headed towards the door. “Come dressed up, I will be waiting for you near the table, your food is ready”, she smiled coyly. He opened the cupboard, got a night dress out from many. This one was the one he had picked up from London, in his last business trip.

The table was full of dishes. Right from his favourite chicken items to fish items and even mutton. The vegetarian dishes also were there but he didn’t check which all were there. A bottled of chilled champagne also was there. His mother came down and sat besides him. He planted a kiss on her cheeks. Her face was gleaming with happiness. After the food he headed back towards the living room. His father was watching some movie in which South Indian superstar Mohanlal was acting his guts out with comedy. Greeting his father he settled in his two lakh worth cushion. “How is the system” he asked. His father gestured with his hands which meant ‘Superb’. He sat there content. Paying seven lakhs for the home theatre system including the plazma television didn’t go waste.

Bidding a good night to his dad he went to his bedroom. He reached near the bed, the one he had specially imported from Italy. He jumped on to that bed and slipped into the blanket. She was taking a bath inside the bathroom. He switched on his music sytem which he had brought from New York splurging more than 12000 $. Jim Morrison was playing in the player. In some time she came out. He stared at her. After a shower she always looked more stunning. He got from the bed and took steps towards her.


He banged the alarm and made it stop crying. Opened his eyes. He didn’t get out from the blanket. Lying down on his back he stared the ceiling. The plaster of the roof had cracks running down in a particular pattern. The old ‘Orient’ fan was doing its job with a buzzing sound as if it was tired running the whole night.

He removed the blanket; sat on the bed. His lips nurtured a smile. He stared the banyan tree which was visible outside his almost dilapidated house through the windows which bore broken glasses. He got up from his bed, which made squeaking voices and was shaking.

“What a wonderful dream” he thought and headed towards bathroom in his boxers.

“Shit”, he fussed. The geyser needs a repair. The water was so chilled which can bring anyone back to full senses.

Wednesday, October 8

Changed Strategy...

It’s always like this. He had never reached the railway station without all those last minutes hurry ups. When he reached the station the announcements were echoing all over the platform. He checked the list and hurried to the second platform. The train was there ready to leave. It looked like a big python.

Before entering his coach he checked the reservation list which was hanging outside the door. He was delighted to see his name, Anup Tiwari. He looked all around as if his name was there in some national newspaper only to realise that no body was bothered. Laughing at himself, he took his baggage and jumped inside the coach. Suddenly, something pulled him back. He checked the list once again, who all are going to come in his cabin.

Seat Name Age Gender From To
S8-37 Ram Prakash 54 M LTT KKDI
S8-38 Jagadamba Kadam 48 F LTT KKDI
S8-39 Archana Sahoo 34 F LTT RHA
S8-40 Meera Shah 22 F PNVL TCR
S8-41 Rajesh P 37 M RTGI ERS
S8-42 Jagdeesh Pujari 39 M RTGI ERS
S8-43 Anup Tiwari 24 M LTT MDGN
S8-44 Mangal Sahoo 37 M LTT RHA

His eyes then got stuck on one name, Meera, his eyes glinted happiness. But the boarding was after two stations.

He reached his birth, a side lower birth. He kept his baggage beneath the seat and settled. His eyes scanned all the passengers in that cabin. Next to him there was a man with a thick moustache, maybe in his mid thirties. ‘How boring it will be to travel 1500 kilometres with this guy’, he thought. An old man was reading a magazine, oblivion to the world outside the train in the platform. The lady who was sitting beside him was looking much younger though, enough to be his daughter or daughter in law. Anup stared at her; she was stacking their baggage here and there. Twelve baggages, he counted. There was a not-so-bad-looking female sitting by the window seat. Wearing a big round bindi on her forehead, she seemed to have befriended solitude for this trip, if not for life long.

He sighed! This trip is going to be boring unless berth number 40 hosts a smart girl. ‘Meera Shah, sounds Gujarati!’ He thought. More than her name it was her age that excited him. Only two year younger to him, he imagined her like a mirage. Various prospective faces of Meera flashed through his mind, together with thoughts involving how to impress her to gain her friendship and flirt with her till destination.

The train started its journey with all its passengers. The sleeper class he was in was almost full. Tea and coffee vendors went here and there shouting their product, serving and collecting money.

“Do you mind to exchange your seat with my wife’s ticket? It’s a window seat.” The husky voice from the moustached man interrupted his imaginations about his yet-to-be-befriended friend Meera. “Yeah, no issues”, the answer was quick since this time his brain worked faster than a supercomputer. The tough, rough moustached person was giving an offer to sit near berth number 40, Meera’s seat. He wanted to jump with joy. Recalling the award for the best actor in his school days, he made a so-so face in front of him. He exchanged the seat and watched the couple sitting together in the side berth. “Happy for you, I will somehow manage over here’ was the expression on his face. He only knows there was huge crackling joy bursting inside him.

When the train slowed down at panvel he took a position nearby the door. Each passenger entering and exiting were under his eagle eyes but no one cleared the criteria of a 22 year old beautiful lady with all those womanly features to the perfect as he had imagined. Suddenly a face caught his attention. Wheat colour face, black, straight and silky hair, she wore a beautiful smile. Her eyes were green which excited him and her lips were rose in colour, wide and full! The ear brows were perfectly shaped and the nose ring adorned her totally. Wearing jeans with a pearl white shirt, she was nothing less than a movie actress. She was far above from what he imagined. ‘The entire trip is going to rock!’ he thought. Flirting which is his forte is going to be the main weapon.

That is when he saw something odd; something he missed because of his excitement. A kid, maybe in his second year after birth, trying to tug at his mothers arm. Before the train started moving she raised the kid and placed him on her hips. Both waved to those who came to see off them. After few seconds she took her luggage and headed inside to settle in her berth.

Anup stood there standstill.
“Strategies should be changed” he thought with a grin.

Wednesday, October 1

Am Sorry...

He kept his mobile aside. Every one minute he passed a glance over it. Confirmed there was no call missed. He was feeling restless. He turned here and there on the bed. He closed his eyes and covered his head down below the pillow. The noise of fan was piercing his ears. He tightened the grip of pillow over himself. He twined his legs. Two minutes past that he threw the pillow towards the door. Got up from the bed and got hold of the cigarette packet. He lit one fag in a jiffy. Smoke tunneled from him like from a steam engine. He verified the mobile once again. The wrinkles on his face were showing the frustration. He went to the bathroom to get a leak. A drop or two; There was nothing more to come. Flushed the toilet and came back to the room, slamming the door.

He took his mobile in hand, dialed the short dial number. He saw screen showing her name. It read ‘Calling Babez’, it read. Before getting connected he canceled the call. A deep sigh came out from him. He kept the mobile back, crawled back into the bed. He tried to close his eyes tight. Few minutes went by. He got up back and looked at the mobile. It was lying there silent, unmoved, as if this was not the first time all these are happening. He felt each second passing like decades.
Two minutes. The mobile started ringing. He grabbed it quickly and checked the name. It was her only. He kept it back. The rings went on and then dead. The screen showed ‘1 Missed Call’. He stared at the mobile. It again started ringing. One ring, second ring, third, fourth and so on. Before it got dead he jumped and got the mobile, his fingers pressed the button. The call was on.
“I am sorry”, a sweet trembled voice filled with grief whispered.
A moment of pause.
“No, I am sorry” He said.

Another moment of silence, but this was a sweet one.
Both smiled, burgeoning to laughter.
It take only few words to melt down the tension resulted from a fracas.