Sunday, 30 March 2014

Prisoner Jailor Prime Minister(Book Review)

  Tabrik C’s political drama Prisoner Jailor Prime Minister is intriguing, dark and intense with a highly volatile and fascinating protagonist. From the hallowed halls of Harvard to the political abyss of 7 RCR, Tabrik C weaves a political thriller underlayed with dark and heavy emotional content.
  Siddhartha Tagore- a musical prodigy, Tibetan enthusiast and political leader stuck between the crossroads of his past and present-is a conflicted and unstable genius thrust into national limelight for his forceful views. Leading a disturbed nation exposed to the consequences of its own vulnerable past, Siddhartha Tagore battles his own karma as well as that of the nation amidst a whirlpool of conspiracies. What makes the story stand out is its continuous brush with lust and power that makes for a scorching read. The emotional turmoil of the characters, especially that of Greg Templar, leading to a murky muddled chain of events threatening to destroy the nation as a whole is bone chilling. And trapped in this ever continuous cycle of vengeance is the nation’s integrity and the people.

  The story begins at Pokhran, on the borders of India, with India standing at the precipice of a political fallout. With a populace that is more aware of its privileges and rights demanding answers and a highly dangerous nuclear threat looming on the horizons, Siddhartha Tagore must break all rules to save the nation. But conspiracies brewing underneath this political storm and his own dark past wreak havoc to create a drama where the nation ultimately gets stuck between the power struggle of revolutionaries. Rukmani Devi, a Nobel-Prize winning economist who believes that the answers to the problems ailing the nation lies in her old Vedic ways falls victim to the feigned fervour of Greg Templar and endangers the nation as a whole to her own radical ideas. Digging up the dirt of the past to stain the credibility of Siddhartha Tagore, she brings about a dangerous turn of events that unleashes Tagore’s past and endangers all that he ever cared about.
  Yet the story lacks fluid pace and at times, conviction. Flitting continuously between the past and present, the story loses its grip at certain points. The narrative is certainly racy and the writer unfailingly keeps you hooked to Siddhartha Tagore who, as a protagonist, is charmingly charismatic and unexpectedly dangerous. The unfolding of the story from a third person perspective unaware of the consequences that his own insignificant presence might ensue (Akbar Shah) also makes for an interesting plot turner. The plot thickens as the characters take the story forward but somehow, the narrative becomes more about Tagore’s personal life than real politics threatening to tear everything apart. As a political thriller, you do expect the writer to concentrate more on the Indian political scenario rather than the personal drama of Tagore.
  However, kudos to Tabrik C for creating such magnificent and relatable characters. It is absolutely wonderful to see a writer break tradition and weave a political thriller with heavy doses of suspense, menace and power. If you are looking for India’s answer to the likes of Grisham, Archer and Sheldon, this is the book for you.

  Rating: 3/5

  This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Bow and Arrow...

  I have been serving my Master for the last 10 years. Strong as the gusty winds with a flexible spine and intricately drawn flowers adorning my wooden body, I have been my Master’s most faithful and prized possession, his constant companion in victories and defeat, his pride and joy of yesteryear's youth. Placed delicately over the mantelpiece, I would often look on haughtily at his other trivial possessions, my scorn almost palpable at their uselessness. I was beyond their reach, detached and invincible, their friendly bonds a disgust and abhorrence to my very soul. I have been carried on my Master’s shoulders, laid defeat to inflated archers, pierced the very hide of thickly veiled creatures and my indomitable spirit, unbending and unyielding, could not comprehend the necessity and splendour of humility.
  Yet my spirit felt restless for it craved her presence. After all these years I still couldn't feign detachment and prove myself immune to her beauty. I have touched and felt so many of her kind, guided them skilfully to their targets and left them to my Master’s mercy to do as he pleased. They had been discarded with ruthlessness after repeated exploitation, their slender and fragile frames worthless and futile after incessant exercise and their pleas had failed to stir my soul. She had never begged, never ever looked my way except to critically access my demeanour with a conceited disdain. Her touch left me breathless... Together we had brought down so many, rejoiced in our glory and had still remained apart. I often searched for her amidst the rows of arrows Master kept neatly arranged in the drawing room, hoping beyond hope that Master had not racked her beautiful body apart. Slender yet strangely alluring... Open yet strangely detached... She had left me rankled and distressed with her quiet mystery. She kept coming back to haunt my dreams and left me peculiarly vulnerable to her charms time and again.
  Master, ofcourse, was getting on in years and he no longer wielded the awe inspiring skill and expertise of his youth. His hunger for glory was now satiated and as I lay there on the mantelpiece day after day, inactivity and idleness softening my lifelong vanity, I found myself yearning for the warmth of friendly attachment of the others around. But pride held me away; my loneliness unwilling to accept their sympathy.
  Drowning in this self inflicted loathing and nostalgia, it took me by surprise when I felt Master’s hands on my body. Adrenaline rushed through my body and excitement filled my core. Maybe after all this time Master too had been unable to resist the temptation of reliving those moments of past glory, maybe his hunger was not yet satiated. As his purposeful steps crossed the expanse of the drawing room, I breathed in the scent of the air around me. But Master had other plans. He unlocked the door to a hidden room adjacent to the drawing space and all the breath left my body. There she lay placed gracefully over the mahogany table, her spiked ends glinting in the light filtering from the windows around. Her striking willowy frame was a little worn out, yet I could still trace the design that had adorned her beautiful lithe body. And as her sight filled my famished eyes, I felt humbled. I felt the futility of my vanity and as Master left me to rot in this unknown abyss, my pride came crushing down from the clouds above to fill me with peace.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

New Beginnings..

The house felt alive for the first time in months, my husband going around with a tray full of drinks, his loud exuberance infectious and holy in its happiness. Noisy chatter and lively music filled my ears and I smiled. The surprise had been totally unexpected; after the relentless and unforgiving hours spent at office the surprise had been a welcome relief, a reminder that I was still loved and cherished. I looked around at the crowd that had gathered to celebrate my birthday as my daughter came running up to me, her eyes bright and luminous.
‘Happy birthday Maman!! ’ she screamed almost gleefully and hugged me tight, her small arms unable to span the entire width of my waist. I sighed and picked up her frail little body to hold her close, her sweet scent filling my nostrils.
‘Thank you, sweetheart,’ I whispered softly. I looked over my daughter’s back at my husband, willing him to turn his gaze towards me, willing him to acknowledge by some gesture that I was forgiven for the hell I had put him through.
‘Maman, did you like the surprise? Daddy and I planned it months back but I wasn't sure if he would...’
My daughter seemed at a loss for words. After the mounting tensions in our marriage in the past few months, her world had been submerged in insecurity and anxiety. Yet Ankit had gone ahead with the surprise and inspite of the fact that he was hardly acknowledging my presence now, he seemed hopeful and happy. Maybe there was still time to repair the holes in our marriage. I would do it for the sake of my daughter, I would do it for the sake of my family. I put down my daughter and asked her to go play with the other kids as I walked with purposeful steps towards Ankit. He was immersed in some heated debate and his eyes shone with excitement, something that I had robbed him off in the past few months.
‘Ankit?’ He started as I took his name. ‘I love you so much. Thanks for the surprise, it feels like the best birthday ever,’ saying so I hugged him and as I looked into his eyes I knew I was forgiven. Some of his friends whistled from behind and we laughed, listening to the lost sound of our joy after months apart.
That night I sat at the table looking at the letter Suraj had left with my brother six months back. He had promised to call me every day, promised to rescue me from the marriage that my parents had forced me into. I had waited every night for his call, faithfully believing that Suraj wouldn't abandon me. I had cheated on Ankit but I had felt no remorse, no regret until now. I took off the earrings he had gifted me on my last birthday and took a deep breadth.
I waited for your call every night Suraj.. I pleaded you to call.. Yet You didn't..
I took a bite from the birthday cake and whispered to myself, ‘To new beginnings Anita.’
As I left the room I looked back once, wondering if I could let it all go. The phone, the earrings and the cake lay on the table. But the letter was clutched tightly in my hands. Ankit deserved to know the truth, he deserved to know how his Anita had foolishly abandoned him for the superficial promises of love. His affection hadn't been enough, our daughter hadn't been enough. I had craved so much more, yet I wasn't ready to lose it all. Not today, not ever. I tore the letter and burnt the pieces and holding my head high I walked towards the bedroom towards new beginnings.

 This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Sunday, 9 March 2014


Bright flashes of light, accompanied by fragments of unfamiliar images, scattered my senses and made my head throb. And then I slipped back into the familiar pool of unconsciousness, only to wake up to a throbbing head again and again. I lay unaware of time, letting it flit by like the soft winds of dawn, unnoticed and untouched. I wished to open my eyes but my eyelids fell heavy and tired. My whole body had a will of its own now, my mind a slave to its demands as my body slowly shed the exhaustion that had it gripped in its suffocating hold.
‘Soumya, are you awake dear?’ It was my mother’s voice, soothing and cautious, as if she were afraid to shatter the sweet blissful sleep my body had given into. I opened my eyes with difficulty and relief washed over me to see her familiar beautiful face looking back at me with kind soulful eyes. I breathed in deeply the scents of my room, its warmth and familiarity a balm to my heart. I was safe here, and the last remnants of my fear vanished. The uncertainty of unconsciousness didn't bother me anymore.
‘How do you feel now? Do you remember anything darling?’ my mom asked me gently, removing my tresses from my forehead.
‘I feel okay, though my head hurts.’ I lifted my hand to my head only to encounter rough gauge and cotton. I stilled. I closed my eyes and suddenly I was scared.
‘I can’t remember anything ma, I have no idea where I was last,’ I said. I was panicking now and my mom tried to calm me down. She left the room promising to be back within a few minutes.
I stared at the ceiling trying hard to recall but all it did was make my head throb harder. I moved my head from side to side in frustration and my eyes fell on my phone beside the bedside lamp. I reached for it and my hands shook as I shuffled through the humongous amount of messages in my inbox. Twenty- five unread messages from the past week. I had been unconscious for a whole week....
My stomach lurched uncomfortably at the thought. I opened the most recent conversation and a premonition of dread filled my heart.
Sudha: We will meet at Riya’s place. Her parents aren't in town.
Me: Have you bought what I asked you to?
Sudha: Yes. I’m driving over to her place right now. The guys are already there. Hurry
Me: K..
Oh Lord!! The accident came back to me with startling clarity. High on drugs and alcohol, senses muddled, Riya had lost control of the car. The clang of metal and the burning heat of the crashed car flooded my body with its unmerciful reminiscences and I cried out in despair.
My mom came hurrying back into the room. She looked tired and was carrying blood red pills in her hand.
‘Are they dead ma? Are they?’ I cried as tears gushed down my cheeks. I had to know if my friends were safe, if they too lay in the safety of their homes. My mind refused to cope with the trauma and I started shaking, my body shivering violently as beads of sweat broke out on its surface.
‘Sshh sweetheart, everything will be fine. I promise you,’ my mom said. She made me take the pills, the red dissolving away slowly in my mouth and a bitter taste filling my buds thereafter. My eyelids grew heavy and they closed over questioning eyes full of despair as I drifted off to the familiar world of unconsciousness again where reality couldn't touch me.

  This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Guilty Pleasure..

    I drove through the wild stormy night, the rain pouring down in torrents, blurring my vision and mind. I reached the hospital breathless and apprehensive, my emotions a scattered mess, my heart in a reckless turmoil, fearful of the sight that was to greet my senses.
   As I entered Raj’s cabin and looked down at the lifeless body wrecked by years of smoking, I broke down and gave in to the mindless torrent like the heavens above. My best friend, pale and peaceful in his unworldly slumber, reached out to me from those dark depths to torture my mind with flashes of the past whence he had inevitably given in to smoking under my ruthless pressure. Guilt assaulted my already frail senses and I reached for the cigarette; as the smoke filled my lungs I deeply breathed in the stale stink of the hospital cabin and left the place.

  This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
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