“A daring attempt to depict an overwhelmingly evil, male chauvinistic society”
The “Bubble Wrap” is more than anything, the author’s way of coping up with a society that refuses to see women as a living-breathing equivalent of its male counterpart. The praise for the book lies for a daring attempt to depict an overwhelmingly evil, male chauvinistic society. This is the story of Krishna and Gudiya as they try to escape a life that the malevolent society imposed on them. She succeeds in reminding us of the dilapidated society that we unfortunately live in.
As Krishna and Gudiya go through one life-changing event after the other, they come to terms with the misnomer that they thought to be the world around them. The whole of their dreams and mental depiction of reality pop with the ease of a bubble wrap as the truth slowly perforates into them. They realize that all that they have is themselves in this world and realize that most people around them have intentions that are seldom benign. As the plot thickens, the noose around them tightens and they decide to sacrifice everything that they have and own in a desperate attempt to escape the world that is coming down on them fast. They risk it all on this one final plight of theirs.
The daring in Miss Kalyani Rao’s intent is but sadly missed in her narration, which for reasons unknown is unfairly biased against the men in this world. Her depiction of men in her universe caters to the hysteria of a world of unruly evil hearted goons. She forgets to feed the reader with reasons for her characters actions and never hints at the provocations for their malevolence, in this unfortunate world of hers the status quo is that all men are by nature sex-adicts, pedophiles or evil pimps. She forgets to support her characters with stories that reinforce their actions.
The huge gap in narration left by Kalyani makes the world of character that she has created act out of character, many times without rationale. Added to this is the obvious grammatical mistakes left out by her editor. Not to mention the fact that some of the major characters in her story makes but only what can be called a passing cameo, for instance the husband of Krishna who makes himself present for hardly a few lines in a few pages. Afterwards he vanishes forever, never to be spoken off again. So happens to be the case with many characters, they are lost or forgotten in the course of narration.
The most bewildering part of this book was the snapshots of Krishna’s diary sprinkled around the book. I for some reason could gain nothing, nor device the reason for its existence in the book. They neither add to nor deduct form the story, they are just there for the sake of them being there. They have made me wonder why they exist many times, they still do long after I have finished the book.
But that being said the book is not half as bad as my last few paragraphs portrays it to be. The narration is good enough to keep you rooted to the story and keep the page turning without much effort. The twists that the story contains were a pleasant surprise most of the time and the ending was the biggest surprise of all. This book is a good companion for one of the many short journeys of yours. You will be fine as long as you shy away from asking questions.
“Substitutes Props for characters, End for narration and Quantity over Substance”
Remember by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley is the second book in the Baker Family Chronicle by Karen, which is also called the Redemption series. The truth is, It is more precisely described as a nagging drama of Ashley Baxter and her return to the Baxter fold. The story revolves around the lives of The Baker kids and is set a few years after the previous book (Redemption) left off. The book follows a similar line of thought and narrative as Redemption and mostly revolves around Catholicism and it’s ideals in keeping with the previous book. But with all the respect I have for the Catholicism, this books fails abysmally, it neither succeeds in conveying the relevance nor the necessity of this principles in day-to-day life. The book manages only to show off its characters as depraved and enchanted.
The book is neither a precious piece of literature nor is it interesting to dedicate oneself to. In fact it is one book that you can totally skip without the fear of missing out on anything of value. But the book may come in handy if all you are interested in reading is an uncomplicated story of people whose lives are needlessly complicated, or if you find yourself in a long train ride with no admirable company whatsoever.
The issue with the book is not the over inducement of Christian teachings in it but the sheer inability of the author to look at her characters as humans with their own lives and stories. She treats most of them as props to guide her protagonists to the predefined destination. She is brutal to her sub cast, she labels them as good and evil without ever bothering to view them as children of circumstances nor does she explains why anybody, even her main characters act the way they do. The book for some reason has defined the end first and the narrative just craves to reach there and in this blind pursuit it loses out on the journey and the characters.
Remember by Karen Kingsbury is yet another example of why she is called a Christian author, But beyond that she makes no claims and her claims make no fame. She is an author who sadly lost the story for the end. These are but few of the several reasons that made Remember by Karen Kingsbury quickly climb up high on the list of the worst books I read this season. Redemption was by far a few notches better than its successor.
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The Indian election 2014 is unarguably the most sensational and most interesting election to date to have occurred in India. The massive election that involved the participation of almost one eighth of the world population was no less interesting than any show in the world. There are a slew of factors that has made this election as electrifying as it has been, most people are watching this election as they would have watched their favorite football team battle it out in the world cup finals. The elections of 2014 has it’s share of everything that would make it a blockbuster any where any time, be it the stark contrast in personas of the leaders, the fiery salvos being fired at each other, the blow by blow media coverage of the election fiasco and even the angry restless supporters swearing at each other in the various social media sites.
The major reason why the elections are as hyped up as they are now is less because of the candidates and their actions but solely due to the relentless work of India’s free corporate media that has learned the knack of making anything and everything into a sensational marketable item. The more successful candidates were the ones that were able to use and tap into this media frenzy for breaking news and use it to their advantage. The rise of AAP can be attributed to this effective use of media prowess and so can the painstakingly and precisely calculated brand image building by Narendra Modi. They both used the media effectively, one for carried away but that is a discussion for a later time and the incumbent Congress was terrible at media management and that has affected them and now by all predictions they are heading for an unceremonious demise (But there is lot more to that than just that, Congress messed it up big this time).
When media has helped the election and its campaign get covered in a never before way, making this the first election to be televised extensively and where the media dictated fortunes, the leaders of the many parties unwittingly turned this election away from a federal one where party mattered to a presidential one where the individual was the prime focus. Such a successful shift of election style has helped BJP the Indian right wing party greatly and punished the incumbent congress party; this is mainly because of the sharp contrasts in personas of their prime ministerial candidates, where one is strong, opinionated and decisive the other appears clueless, confused and undecided. This contrasting persona has and will affect the election to an election that has been turned into a personality contest in a country whose dreams of being a world super power has been shattered and their ambitions violated. This is what the campaign has all been about, to bring back the nation to the glory days and to enable it to see the dream that appeared to be within grasp half a decade ago.
This election has stood out from the rest on the fact that this must be one of the first elections to have bee selected on the plank of development and a prosperous future alone. When usually elections deteriorate into petty minority politics and divisive strategies to isolate and consolidate various vote banks, where segregation along communal lines are a common strategy to achieve electoral victory, this election has become a stand out. During most of the election the candidates has distanced themselves from theses lines and is mostly seen as a self-destructive strategy to adopt. Though there have been some lone salvos and the some attempts to convert the election to old lines, they have remained mostly unsuccessful with Narendra Modi showing great restrain.
What ever be the result that comes out today, one thing is for sure, it will be historic and fantastic for the future of the nation. A change is in the reckoning and many expect Narendra Modi to deliver on his elaborate and embellished promises. I as all curious Indians out there am currently glued to the television screen, counting seconds before the first numbers to start trickling in. After all the speculation, anticipation and projections there is no substitute for the real thing. See you on the other side.
“The perfect travel companion, blissfully light and engaging”.
Redemption by Karen Kingsbury is the first in the Redemption series, A trilogy revolving around the Baxter family, a highly religious and orthodox family living in Bloomington, Indiana. Redemption, the first book in the series redemption revolves around Kari Baxter. When Kari Baxter finds out that her husband, Tim Jacobs a college professor who is having an illicit affair with his understudy, her whole world falls apart. She is further devastated when he asks for a divorce. The much distraught Kari takes to religion and its echelons to save her and her marriage from this crisis.
Redemption is the story of betrayal and as the name of the book gives away ‘redemption’, Karen reiterates that the troubles of Kari are not enough reason to throw away a otherwise perfect marriage away and that marriage like all relationships require care and effort. Redemption is by far Karen’s effort to convince the reader that even perceivably devastating betrayals in marriage can also be forgiven and a that a stronger marriage can at times be redeemed from these ashes.
Karen builds up a fairly elaborate family, each member with their own problem and in midst of her narrative she occasionally takes a detour to ramp the reader up on the background stories of the rest of the Baxter. Even then she forgets many main characters and fails to build them up, unfortunately they just remains as names and references. The most unforgivable of those is the story of Angela, Tim’s lover. Even though she is central to the story she is conveniently forgotten. The story and its over reliance on religion and not on reason and the fact that the very story that is central to the book, the story of how the reconstructs their broken marriage is ill developed and leaves gapping holes and enormous in-continuity in the narration.
Otherwise the 360 odd page page-turner is a fairly light read, its one book that could keep you company during a short journey and would provide you with reasonable amount of entertainment. It however doesn’t reach up-to the authors reputation of being an inspirational masterpiece.
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Just voted for a new government in India. I hope this time its a charm.
They could have put the ink more beautifully, but its not how it looks but what it means that matter.
The President being photographed is not any president but a 3500 year old one. The President tree is the giant sequoia located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in the United States, California. It is not the tallest giant sequoia tree in the world (75 m), but it is the third largest tree in the world.
The tree until now had never been photographed completely. A team of photographers from National Geographic and scientists from the Sequoia National Park to be the first to accomplish that feat. if you look carefully you can see the tiny scientists among the branches and leafs of the giant tree. I myself could find four of them, you are welcome to find more if you can.
Courtesy : National Geographic Society
From The Life of William Grimes to the slave narratives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, slavery in fiction and reality is not something thats easily digestible to the modern man, it makes him flinch with disgust and the details churns his stomach in ways detestable. 12 Years a slave is the autobiography of a freeman, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery and redeemed 12 years later. Solomon Northrup lived in a time of great turmoil (which eventually culminated in the American Civil War) when the american consciousness was torn between freedom and slavery, with the southern states supporting strongly the institution of slavery and the northern states strongly condemning the devilish practice. What happened of it is a matter of history and of little importance to the book.
Solomon Northup was born to a freeman and spent his childhood working in his fathers farm, later he went on to move to Minerva after his marriage. The rest of the particulars of his life again is academic in nature now. He was a carpenter by profession, an educated, trained and unsuspecting man, who was lured by two strangers with the promise of a more rewarding job and then sold into slavery in the slave pens of New Orleans. The one thing that differentiated this man from the rest of the slaves around him was the fact that he knew what freedom meant, a fact that he had to conceal cleverly due to the fear of punishment and torture.
Solomon’s narrative of his on experience as a slave is mostly objective but it brims with a feeling of distance towards the whole of life. His need or desire to be as much away from the most torturous 12 years of his life is easily reflected in his writing. Its neither flowery nor flaunting oratory of any nature, just an observation of what he had to endure and how he did so. His account of life he saw happen around hims and what it meant to him. The most wonderful thing about Solomon’s narrative is that he didn’t demonize the villains in his story, they were definitely villains but he reserved crude judgements to a very appreciable degree.
The book ’12 years a slave’ by Solomon Northup is a good old slave narrative that objectively illustrates the life of a slave and his livelihood through the eyes of a freeman that he was. The book offers a clear perspective into the working of the institution of slavery and explains why the masters behaved as they did and for what end. Solomon explains that not all his masters were cruel and each had his own on way getting what they wanted form his slaves, from treated them a little as men and others terrified them. some gave them little comforts and rewards others gave them nothing and kept them that way.
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In association with ‘Pirates’ A Publishing House.