Oct 10, 2016

A Journey By Train

The first thought that comes to me is that the train is an economic and safe way of travelling than going by road. If we leave the 10 percent of 1.3 billion people of India, then everybody's life is associated with train. Some may have good memories and some may have bad. I too have a melange of both ,and most of them are good.

I remember, in my childhood, going to my maternal grandfather 's place. It was a four hour journey from Bhopal, and it had its own excitement. I would buy chips,  always take window seat and stare out for a long long time. I use to imagine a sword  pointing  away from the train, a big strong sword which I would hold in my hands, and then everything would cut into two pieces as the train would move. I use to wait for mountains whenever there were green fields, and use to wait for caves whenever there were mountains. 

My mother sometimes use to chat with the fellow ladies and kids, and they would ask for our home place, my name, my age, my school and everything about me and nothing else. I wonder why everybody of us want to know everthing about another man's kid. My mom as gentle as always would tell them, and in return ask about their lives and kids. She sometimes shared food with them. My grandfather's place was a village of around 500 people. The station only had 2 platforms, and there always were very few people whenever we go there. My grandfather had always come to receive us and we use to cross tracks and go to home. We use to spend one month every year in the village and then return back to my hometown. When I was a kid, I had travelled most in summers because it was the time when every kid goes to different places and travel. 

As I grew up, my visits to my grandfather's place reduced, and studies took over prime importance in my life. After schooling, I joined an  engineering college in Indore, and sometimes used train to travel to Bhopal. With time, I started loving to travel alone and when you do not have to necessarily indulge in chatting with somebody. I would relish that time, would listen my favorite playlist and read  a novel.  I always think that a train journey is going to come and I could finish up this novel that time.

It is not that I always disliked talking with people on the train. It sometimes give us good friends or an unforgettable experience. Two of such experiences are worth sharing and one of them was when I met an Italian on a train. I was going to Mathura and we both got side lower and upper birth, so we were there facing each other. Our talks went from his town, which I don't remember as this was almost a 10 year old conversation, his hobbies and why he visited India. He wanted to know my religion, in which part of India did I belong, what did I study and why was I going to Mathura?  It was a good conversation, and one can realize that even today I remember bits and pieces of that conversation.

Another experience was of 7 years ago when I was going to Pune for my first job, and I met this guy younger to me by 3 years or so. He was a very enthusiastic guy, crazy and passionate, and what made me happy was that he was interested in talking to me rather than me to him. Even today I am connected with this guy on social media and I see him as a founder of a startup, and I feel that it is good to be connected with such crazy and passionate people. 

These experiences in life make you feel contended and happy, and also make you  believe in the corner of your heart that you are lucky enough to be born in this generation of transport and communnication.

Today, I am 29 years old and am travelling from Gurgaon to my hometowm, Bhopal. I do feel sometimes that air travel saves time, and if you have frequent travels then that makes you believe in a myth that you are rich. It has its own importance, and a journey by a train has its own. Today is one such travel where my wife is sleeping silently on a lower birth and I on the upper birth have all the time to think, read, ponder and blog that I am doing right now. Haha...
I wish and prey that everybody get such lovely experiences in their lives.

Keep Smiling:)

Image Courtesy:Google

Jun 6, 2016

Murder Most Right

Book Review: Murder Most Right
Author: Anup Rijhwani
Category: Fiction
Rating : 3/5

This book by Anup Rijhwani, is a story of Aakash, that makes us sail on the turbulence of his life to the point when he landed into prison. This will make us travel back in time with Aakash in his life so that he could get relieved from the traumatic memories of his past.

The story is weaved with good characters of the protagonist Aakash, Shiva, Feroze, his father, and mother. It is a typical middle class Indian story but you would feel engaged with the story, and would like to finish it in one sitting. The book is written in the early 21st century, so it would be quite easy for youth to connect with the story, as the fun and frolic activities described in college or school is all the more same for everyone. Also, Aakash's life had typical middle class problems which is so deeply penetrated in Indian society that I think most of the Indian readers would connect with the story. The author had also taken utmost care of not leaving behind any string, and that had also kept me glued to the story. 

The story was quite predictable from the beginning but it's presentation in the form of a rendevous between Aakash and Shiva was unique and good. There were kind of timely breaks with Aakash's story, and there he and Shiva would talk which also kept me wanting more till the end.

I also personally felt that there was some extra information in the story, as the narration of his previous life was so minutely detailed that I could not relate this objective to the ulterior justification of his present day condition. The plus point in this was his narration, which was so good that you would like to forget this extra stuffing, and would rather concentrate on the story.

I also felt that author could have added some spice in Aakash's life as his was only described with the suffering. He could have made to enjoy his life with some good and beautiful descriptions of his love life and there could be some maniac and highly insane acts of his and his friends, but I found them missing in the story. 

Now, comes the ending of the book and that took my thoughts away, and for a second I thought what just really happened, and then I reread that to grasp the ending completely, and smiled by thinking about this unique ending to the story. 
On the whole, I liked the story which I felt was predictive, but at the end found an unpredictable ending. A reader like me actually look for instances  in a book which would make him feel good even for a moment, and the ending in this book gave me that moment.

 I would recommend this book to all the guys out there who love reading Indian fiction.

Feb 21, 2016

Gunshot Victims Unit

Book Review: Gunshot Victims Unit
Author: Vaibhav Mukim
Category: Fiction
Rating : 1/5

Gunshot Victims was a story about a dystopian world where communalism was prevalent everywhere, and only Gunshot Victims Unit, that cures the victims, was free of this evil. It had been portrayed in the book that only GVU, Gunshot Victims Unit was the place from where this can be controlled.

GVU was said to be located in Calcutta, and so the story. The story had many open ends, and I think that the author had not been able to close all of them. The characters were changing with pages, and it had become very difficult for me to keep track of the main character, and surprisingly I didn't understand who the protagonist was in the story.
I had never seen or imagine a place where people everytime and everywhere introduce themselves with their name followed by the place like I am Chetan from Gurgaon, but this book made me visit that place. Even the names of the characters were not chosen aptly for example there were two characters with the name Gru and Guru,now how on earth would a reader read the conversation between the two.

The author had tried to portray a dystopian world but I believe this was a very low researched novel.

I am writing this review on a blog which goes with the name -Smiling Planet, so I have to respect that and also say some good things about this book, and which is that the book is thin.

Jan 17, 2016

Eighteen The end of innocence

Eighteen The end of innocence is a story of Raghu, Aadi, Shalini , and, also you and me. It is because that we can connect with the story in some way or the other, and would remind us of our teenage days.

The book started with the protagonist Raghu and his life when he was to take final exams of school. The story moved on with putting up his views, generalities of his life and his friends. It all started with him making a choice for his life about his education, his friends and his girl.

The first thing that I liked about this book was that an Indian author had written a novel in a third person style. I have not seen many Indian authors doing that and I prefer reading books this way, so I was on hook from the first page. The story however was a bit slow in the beginning, but you wouldn't come to know that you were gripped with the story with the finish of first quarter.Each chapter started with telling you the glimpse of what must have happened in some words and left you guessing till the end. I liked this way of putting up the story.
The characters were drawn beautifully, and my favorite character in the book was Aadi. This  portrayal of characters was also one thing that many Indian contemporary authors, who write mushy mushy love stories, don't do. I say this because I picked up this book with same image, but by the end this book had already formed its unique image, and this is not some normal repetitive Indian mushy mushy love story but I would say a unique story in its own way. All the cracks that were opened in the story were sealed appropriately. The story was complete in every sense and that has left me,not happy, but very satisfied with the ending.

The editing of the book was also done quite nicely. There were meanings of Hindi words given at the end of each chapter. Even a foreign English novel with German words in between does not put meanings at the end or anywhere in the book. Many small things have been taken care of and all of that has made this an enjoyable read.

On the whole I suggest this book to all those who like reading love stories written in a simple language, to all those who want a break from reading scifi or non fiction books, and also to those who only read books when they travel.

Rating: 4 out of 5