Oh, Excuse Me Please!
It is believed that we learn a lot from observing things around us rather than just reading about it. A practical experience is hard to forget and sometimes it gets etched deeply in our memories that it has a significant impact on the way we grow up.
Many of us are into the habit of giving excuses for everything under the sun. We look at people giving excuses and getting away with it (most of the time). Seeing people do this day in and day out, we get drawn towards it,involuntarily . Initially we might stammer and stutter, but with practice we would master the art of giving excuses. I happened to read somewhere that the very process of trying to think up of a story to cover up the mess, makes children creative. Absolute rubbish I would say. It’s things like these which gives others a false sense of being right.
Some of us always have an excuse ready to throw, when people question us or expect us to justify our actions. Getting into this habit, would not let us face our obstacles and take failure with the right spirit. The more excuses we make up, the more we justify our actions and the more we distance ourselves from the problem. We aren’t going to benefit by taking an alternate route to avoid the problems. We have to face them and walk past them. Only when we see our mistakes and the impact of it, we would learn not to repeat them again. Rather, we would learn a lesson by ourselves without someone else having to point it out. If we try saving ourselves just for that one moment, without considering its repercussions in the long run, we might win the battle, but eventually we would lose the war.
We should remember that we are not God. We are simple men and women. We are allowed to make mistakes, only to learn from them. We are allowed to mess up a few things provided we clean them up. It is only when we start accepting ourselves truly, for what we are, that we would get to know more about ourselves. Only then would we be able to handle the problems thrown at us. Only then would we be in a better position to rise from the ashes. Else the false sense of thinking we’re good will lead us to our doom.
When we start giving excuses, basically we try to push ourselves away from the crux of the problem and attribute our failures to something else. This would probably help one feel less guilty. Eventually, when it becomes a habit, we end up vehemently refusing to face our failures.If we happened to succeed at a mission which we thought would never materialize; many people would spare no opportunity to let the world know of their supposed hard work. When we aren’t in the habit of giving excuses for our successes, we shouldn’t develop the habit of giving excuses for our failures as well.
After all, it isn’t a big deal to make excuses. But,it does matter when one has the guts to own up to one’s mistakes.
Guest post by Ashwini C N
Ashwini C N is a blogger from Chennai who blogs at Just the Way I Like .
She believes that anything worth talking is worth writing, precisely the reason she writes a blog. Apart from being a blogger, she is a Software engineer, an amateur Photographer and an ardent Reader.
The Obsessive Possessive Celebrity Love in India
Few days back I was having a fun conversation on facebook which was not just for fun. It was a discussion where every girl fantasized each word in the chat thread to become true. One said, “I love SRK” and celebrated his birthday. Two other married girls fought for him tagging others as “the other ladies”. SRK love was oozing from each and every word they were typing so was it getting exuded from each and every letter I typed. Recently I read somewhere that when you meet SRK’s honey eyed gaze and dimpled smile there’s no way out from the warm charm! Neha Dhupia says, “Sex and SRK sell in India”
There’s no need to be flabbergasted if Fair and Handsome sales shoot up as SRK acted in it. People may buy Navratan oil as Amitab ji is in the ad. May be certain men and women from cities and suburbs might think and decide as to what to buy as obviously SRK will neither use Lux nor Fair and handsome cream but the product takes the cake in most of the areas in UP , Bihar , Haryana where you come across many obsessed with anything a celebrity does. Sometimes even the metros and cosmos are not exceptions!
Similarly in Tamilnadu where Rajnikant is worshipped, people pray for the “Thalaivar” if he falls sick and they are ready to teach some culprit a lesson if he talks against the super star.
We all know that we can never mess with three things in India, 1.) Religion 2.) Cricket 3.) Cinema.
There are instances where X and Y have stopped talking to each other as X cannot tolerate a word against Chirenjeevi (Tollywood actor) and Y can’t resist the actor and his party and continues the mudslinging. Hence they did not settle their differences but settled in their differences. We Indians may or may not know who the Home minister is but we definitely track which movies are getting released on Friday, which heroine has the highest pay and who is not in good terms with who. Page 3 is the most read page in the newspapers. Hence when the youngsters were asked what UPA stands for by a certain newspaper, nobody was able to answer but we all remember who Aradhya is. If you really don’t know who she is, you are the odd man out who is not much interested in celebrities. AradhyaBachan is under lime light from the day she started growing in her mother’s womb.
Yes, we are a celebrity obsessed nation. There are even people who chose favourite actor if he is from his caste. I once saw a colleague’s unabashed support to a Tollywood hero who acts with 3 heroines in each utter flop movie who are less than half his age. The reason behind his unfathomable support is the same caste they share and he even voted for that hero’s father. “Ridiculous” is the word which came to my mind that second. Religion, movies, politics and cricket seamlessly blend with each other. You never know who jumps from what to what in India. A person might be of a certain religion one day and after becoming a musician he may adapt some other religion for his own convenience but even this will be questioned by the fans! The way there is no boundary line between IPL and bollywood, Virat Kohli and advertisements, Rajnikanth and Japan, SRK and overseas there are no boundaries to our endless love towards our stars.
We get amused by seeing Sachin’s century and feel depressed if he resigns. We watch SRK’s outburst in Wankhede stadium for days and also read his article on outlook and vehemently criticise. We religiously read about Aishwarya’s weight gain or Salman’s court summon! We may even ignore the accidents done by super stars but remember to twist their words and combine them in such a way that it sounds objectionable. We ban artists and movies even when a single person gets hurt. Our obsession crosses boundaries too and we equally are obsessed by International sports, Hollywood, English music bands or the sitcom celebrities. If one person has Barney Stinson’s cover photos and follows his words like Bible, the other wants to get David Beckham’s new hair style.
This doesn’t mean we are not serious about the burning problems of the country like corruption, rapes and flawed laws. We do fight for them but irony is we fight for our favourite celebrity in the similar tone and rage! The obsession is harmless till it is in limits but when it reaches the level of verbal abuses and holding collars and shedding blood; the only outcome is the star becoming more famous after that.
We study the stars and guess the future but we are possessive and more obsessive about our favourite stars and their future!
Guest article by Afshan
About the author: This is Afshan, the meaning of which is “bright” or “radiant” . By profession I am a software Engineer and work on bright computers which can dim the mind’s light. My laptop is a magical boon to me which gives a chance to store all my thoughts. It is my “pensive”. I mostly write poems, short stories, general articles based on current affairs , movie reviews and any thing under the sky which makes me think.
To visit her blog, click HERE
The survival of the fittest
The age-old expression from the Darwinian evolution plays an important role in our daily life. We strive everyday to put our best foot forward; to show a best face at the work place, in our home and among our friends & dear ones. We always want to be a star performer on the stage, a great accompanier, a memorable entertainer, and overall a successful & admirable human being to be associated with.
The dedication and the energy we devote, coupled with the quest for achievement will put us on a fast track to the realization of goal. In between comes the recognition as pit stop which refuels our passion in the journey. We go to great heights, make a lot of sacrifices to get things done our way and to impress others with the outcome.
But the enthusiasm we put in the beginning of every activity tends to reach a saturation point and becomes a difficult task to move up from there. You may call it a point of ‘mid-life crisis’ or ‘comfort zone’. The achievement you had so far gets on to your head and blocks your vision to go beyond. The mind loves to become dormant and the soul dusts in the laurels of the past.
We encounter an illusionary block in our way and get a doubt factor in the system. Worse is sometimes it becomes a melting point where all the achievements and good-will start to diminish and pulls us down, if we fail to act on it. We will realize that reaching the top is an easy thing, but being there is not.
The comfort zone you’ve settled in is not going to change the past but definitely going to shape the future. It may be a stressful activity to move out of that region but when you embrace change, you’ll realize that it’s a small discomfort you’re buying to entirely change the way the world perceives you and for the larger goodness of yourself for bigger achievements.
Constant focus and assertiveness is going to help in maintaining the place you’ve reached so far. Don’t settle down for anything less in the activities you undertake. Question everything that comes your way and challenge yourself to look beyond the goal. Don’t just aim for success; target sustainable success.
The way we start our day determines how it is going to end. Stretch your horizon after every single lap. Make yourself self disciplined, as only the fittest of the fittest will survive here. You’ll get a day only once in a life. Make sure to go MAD – Make a Difference!
About the Author:
Anand has a Masters degree in marketing and works in advertising in Chennai. He is a life blogger and writes articles concerning life and its nuances. He loves to spread inspirational messages that help people discover happiness from within. He blogs at http://musingsofanand.blogspot.in
Vishwaroopam issue – whose business is it anyway?
At 5:55 pm, the honorable CM gives an arm length speech about why the government had banned the so-called religiously outrageous movie ‘Vishwaroopam’ in Tamil Nadu. At 6:15pm, when I flip to a news channel on TV, there stands the veteran actor Kamal Haasan, who emotionally ricochets into the mic, his objections about the movie insulting the Muslim creed. In the papers, the entire first page is consumed by the ban of a single movie. Who is really involved here anyway? Is it the director, the government or the public?
Media, of all things is just a form of expression and entertainment to the public and why should the ban or the progress of a single movie affect any religion or any audience. Fine, let’s leave the opposing Muslims out of this. What about the other public who call themselves the fans of the actor or cinema who want the movie to come out in the screens of Tamil Nadu? Does the movie solve any of the problems that we already have here? If at all the movie is going to give a noble message by its appearance on screen, are we even ready to take the good message into heart? Are we going to put an end to corruption, terrorism, violence, poverty, the outrageous monetary scams and other crime that we do?
I am sure we won’t! There were a million Mahathmas, Teresas, Abdul Kalams, Prophet Muhammads, Jesus, Adi Sankracharyas, Buddhas who lived just to mend our ways. Who were born into this world to guide us into light. But have we ever taken what they said into heart? We have always remained the corrupt world which doesn’t give a damn to whoever is ready to help and I imply the same will happen after Vishwaroopam’s release. So why bother about it’s ban or release anyway? Why organize protests, strikes, outrageous cry on the roads?
Movies, books, the newspaper, actors or any other form of artists are nothing but a mere source of entertainment for the public to enjoy at their leisure and we are in no way personally obliged or connected to anybody. So why worry if Sachin retires or Kamal’s movie survives a ban?
We have the world ahead of us. We have global challenges, problems and disasters side by side! We have the issue of poverty, where people are DYING every day. We have the issue of corruption where our hard earned money is being SWINDLED every hour. We have the problem of terrorism where people are SHOT DOWN like dogs every minute. We have the issue of women sexual abuse where 1/10 women are losing their SOCIAL STATUS every second. We have the problem of caste disparity and religion disparity, where many innocent people are being BEATEN UP every milli-second.
In the middle of all these burgeoning problems which really deserve the public’s attention, do we really have time for such a petty issue like releasing a movie or not? We do get the time because we neglect other important issues. We are literate, but we never have learnt to prioritize on things. We are sensitive, but sensitive only for petty issues which do not connect to reality. We are very active, but not active enough for those problems which need to be activated upon. We do raise our voice, but do not raise it for our societal gain, but for the gain of a cinema star.
I am not personally against or for the movie’s ban. In fact, if it gets released I will be the first person to watch it in theaters. But, I really feel that people should look at a movie as an entertainment and not as if their lives depend upon it and concentrate more on the reality that’s gripping us, the issues that really curb us from our freedom. After all, whose business is it anyway?
Pic courtesy – The Hindu
Article written by Gayathree Ganesan
Gayathree is a under-graduate student of commerce who loves to write. She write poetry, short stories and articles in her blog. She has also volunteered for the Greenpeace Chennai in its Junglistan campaigns. She also writes for the E-magazine Pulse72plus and contribute articles every month for the magazine and its blog.
Are bloggers masquerading as writers?
In the recent past, I was having quite an interesting conversation with my quirky cousin who can make talking about filth sound like a Van Gogh creation! In the course of the conversation, he asked me, “So, how does it feel to be a writer?” Well, I had to process the information of me being a writer. I asked him again, “What was that?” He again mouthed the same question. Well, I told him that I wasn’t a writer. I am a blogger. “But bloggers write and hence they are writers, right?” Well, his argument sounded quite convincing and logical but I could not lead myself to believe that I am a writer. I am NOT a writer but a blogger.
This position of mine might make you squirm in your seat if you are a passionate blogger who also happens to write terrifically. Well, here are my two bits on the argument.
Please don’t think that I am a crusader for writers in the process badgering bloggers. No. I am just of the opinion that bloggers are not writers . . . they are Bloggers. So, I’m a proud blogger and not a writer. There are negligible chances that I might become a writer tomorrow but for now I’m a blogger by choice.
- Being a writer is something that is a passion as well as a profession. A writer only writes and for a hobby does other mundane things like gardening, cooking, clicking photographs and other things.
- A blogger has a main profession say, being a teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc. and also has a hobby like blogging among many other zillions of interests.
- Blogging is something like a hobby for non-writers. One may excel at it and in the process gain many followers but that does not make a blogger a writer.
- Some writers may use the medium of blogging to test waters and also draft their forthcoming works. They can be bloggers as well. Writers have that adaptability – they can be both.
- A tiny post with a few hundred comments cannot make a blogger think that he/she is a writer. Some even think that they are best than the best writers found in the best-selling list.
- Bloggers can become writers. I don’t rule out that possibility. They can quit their full-time job and take to writing, if they happen to realize that, its is their calling.
- Writing a post is quite a minuscule activity when compared to writing a full-length work of fiction/poetry/play or a non-fiction essay/book.
- While blog posts can be cooked up in a jiffy, entire works need time, patience, many adjustments and oodles of inspiration that requires the muse in residence.
- When one says that writing has always been his/her passion, hence they started blogging, I interpret that as, ‘I didn’t have the courage to take up writing as a profession OR I cannot do that full-time and hence I blog.’
- A few hundred or even thousand posts in a span of two to three years is done in one stretch by a writer for one single work of art.
But then, you may want to ask, “Aren’t some people doing full-time blogging and getting paid for it as well. Well, even they are bloggers in my opinion, for they are only blogging and not writing as a profession. In this globalized world words, tags and labels have become all-encompassing and all-pervading. Synonyms are in vogue and the real words have been forgotten. Delusion has become a way of life and the word ‘writer’ has lost its worth and standing. I salute the patience and courage of writers and also think that I’m better off as a blogger – The best spawning of words and ideas.
Let the brickbats and bouquets, if any, may appear.
- Guest post by S. Susan Deborah.
Susan is an academician by profession and blogger by passion. She is awaiting the defense of her Ph. D thesis on transgenders in Tamil Nadu. She moderates the vibrant blogger community The Chennai Bloggers Club in Facebook while also grappling with writing ‘serious’ academic essays. She blogs at susan-deborah.org
Movie Review: Vishwaroopam – Larger than Life
There is a dialog almost half way through the movie, where Pooja Kumar’s character Nirupama, asks Kamal Hasan an age old question that perhaps has become synonymous with only Kamal – “Neenga nallavara, kettavara?” (Are you a Hero or a Villain?). While a packed theater in the US of A, where Yours Truly was lucky enough to catch Kamal Hasan’s Magnum Opus – Viswaroopam, responded in unison with the classic ‘Nayagan’ repartee, Kamal Hasan’s ‘Viz’ answers, after a Shankar-ish ‘Time Splice’ shot – “I am both a Hero and a Villain…”
I’ll tell you what, with Viswaroopam, Kamal also convinces you again that he is a Wizard as well…
In short Viswaroopam entertains, and how…
Viswanath (Viz) is a Kathak dancer in NYC and the film opens to a beautiful ‘Unnai Kaanadhu Naan’ with him teaching Kathak to a bunch of beautiful ladies which includes Ashmita (Andrea). He is married to Dr. Nirupama (a beautiful Pooja Kumar), a Nuclear Oncologist, who considers it only a marriage of convenience to complete her Phd. Viz’s effeminacy and the age gap drives her to have a fling with her boss. For securing a divorce, she hires a private detective to follow Viz and uncover anything that she can use to file a divorce. The detective does uncover something that opens a big can of worms that turns their life upside down. Revealing anything more would not be spoiler free.
Some quirky one liners, and amazing body language from Kamal make Viswanath bring the house down with comedy in the first 30 odd minutes. After those 30 minutes, the film takes you on a roller coaster ride between USA and Afghanistan; Between Al-Qaeeda, FBI and RAW; between terrorism and the war against terror. And it is one hell of a ride. This is perhaps the best Espionage thriller to come out of India in a long time. Yes it does remind you at times of the American TV series – 24, but Kamal manages to hold his own. There are no unnecessary songs that mar the pace of the film. Action is high octane and some of the chases on the streets of NYC are top class. There are moments of brilliance in the film thanks to some amazing writing by Kamal Hasan himself. Some of the one-liners are going to be remembered for a long time. Casting is more or less perfect barring a slightly stiff Shekhar Kapur, and a completely wasted Nasser.
However, Viswaroopam isn’t without its flaws. The pace of the films drops significantly in the Afghanistan portions. The film is understandably violent as well and is not for young children or for the squeamish, as it shows what has happened and is happening in the name of terrorism. The biggest flaw in my opinion is the use of tacky graphics in the film. The super-imposed face of Kamal on the stunt double in many scenes seems jarring. The helicopters seem straight out of a video game. The climax and the hint of a sequel seem slightly abrupt.
And so it comes to the final question that almost everyone seems to be asking. Does it hurt absolutely anyone’s feelings or communal harmony in general. Well, yeah, perhaps if it is the Al-Qaeeda terrorists. On a serious note, there is nothing in the movie about propagating communal hatred. Kamal is specific about whom he is targeting – The Al Qaeeda terrorists. Secondly, I think ours is a country with people faithful enough to believe in their religion, and yet smart enough to understand that no faith can be tarnished by a mere movie that speaks nothing about it. Creating communal tensions for personal and political gains without any grounds has almost become a trend in the country and it is we who need to be vociferous against it.
So all things considered, Viswaroopam is one of those movies that needs to be watched. If you see it in DTH you will definitely want to see it on the big screen again.
Go for it, whenever it comes to your screen that is.
* Kamal Hasan is extraordinary
* Well written Dialogs
* Excellent Camera Work
* Slow in parts
* Tacky CG work
Movie reviewed by Sudhakar who blogs at Idly Vada Sambar
Five Natural Remedies to Treat Throat Infection
Winter months usually bring bouts of cold, viral fever and other infections. The changing weather along with the pollution triggers allergies, asthmatic attacks, and even aggravates sinus problems. Knowledge of traditional home remedies for chest congestions and throat infections can help you keep away from antibiotics; even if you are on medication these natural treatments can still provide symptomatic relief and build your immunity.
With some simple ingredients from the kitchen, a bit of patience and effort you can cure yourself of common cold and throat infection. Here are five traditional treatments that I use to treat throat infections.
Saline water gargle is probably the most common home remedy for throat infections; it is an easy and highly effective treatment. Gargle 3 times a day for maximum effectiveness. Saline water gargle once a day during winter will prevent throat infections. For more effectiveness, you can add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to the saline water; turmeric is a natural antiseptic.
Add a tablespoon of fennel seeds, some grated ginger, and salt to a glass of water and boil for 5 minutes. Strain and gargle using this liquid.
Homemade Cough Syrup
When I was young my mother used to make a sweet herbal concoction for me every time I had strep throat, tonsillitis, or pharyngitis. Even now, I use this effective homemade cough syrup. Unlike the over-the-counter cough syrups, like Benadryl, this has no side effects and builds immunity.
Here the recipe for homemade cough syrup:
Step 1: Mix the following ingredients with 6 cups of water.
Fennel seeds (Saunf) (5 tbs.)
Pepper (1 tbs.)
Bay Leaf (1)
Half cup chopped ginger
Two cups black Tulsi leaves
Sugar (3 tbs.)
Step 2: Bring to boil on high flame. Then simmer on low flame till the liquid is reduced by half.
Step 3: Add honey as per taste, strain and store in a clean container.
Warm half cup of this drink and have it every 2 to 3 hours till the infection is cleared. Fennel has antimicrobial properties that cure respiratory problems, while clove heats the body, and tulsi purifies the blood and helps unclog phlegm from the bronchial tube.
Soups and Rasam
Often people with throat infections have pain while swallowing food or water; however it is also important to provide sufficient nourishment to the body during such times. Chicken or vegetable soups with a dash of pepper or some hot and mildly spiced rasam are the perfect option. If you are able to cook or have someone prepare food for you, then moong dal soup and spinach soup would also work wonders. Make sure that the soups are nutritious and low on spices.
During a cold or throat infection, it is essential to keep the body hydrated. So sip hot milk tea, clack chamomile tea and even lemon tea throughout the day. This will not only energise and rejuvenate you, but also help your body fight the infection. I usually keep packets of Organic India Tulsi Ginger Tea to use during such times.
Honey and Lemon
Doctors usually prescribe vitamin C supplements such as Celine for people suffering from throat infections and colds. A much more wholesome alternative is to have natural sources of vitamin C such as amla and lemon. For best results, have lemon juice and honey with warm water every morning on an empty stomach.
These treatments are common part of Indian culture and probably derive from indigenous healing practices such as Ayurveda and Naturopathy. I’m sure you must have come across similar ghar ke nuske; do share those here and let me know if these remedies worked for you.
Article written by Seema Misrahas a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and currently works as a freelance writer based in Bangalore. A loner and non-conformist, she is happiest holed up in her terrace apartment watching movies, reading books, painting or simply whiling time away.She blogs at http://www.blogarticlesonline.com/
Product Review of Wakecup: Coffee Day Espresso Coffee Brewing Machines
The Wakecup Espresso Coffee brewing machine manufactured by the Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) company will allow you to brew the perfect cup of espresso, much like a professional barista, with the press of a single button. All the mess of grinding coffee beans, measuring the right amount of ground coffee, and cleaning the coffee maker are done away with. You can opt for the semi-automatic Vega or the fully automatic Orion, depending on your requirements.
While manual espresso machines use steam or a piston to drive the hot water through the coffee, in an automatic or semi automatic espresso brewing machine this is done using pumps. In a semi automatic espresso brewing machine you can control the pump manually through a switch; this will allow you to determine the exact volume of water to be used. On the contrary, in a fully automatic machine the pump is controlled by a pre-set timer. In such machines when a specific volume of water passes through the coffee the pump turns off. Personally, I prefer a semi automatic brewer as it allows me to control the strength of the brew.
The Wakecup Espresso Coffee brewing machines have a capsule slot where Wakecup coffee capsules need to be fitted. Once this is done, all you need to do is select a preset option for the automatic machine or the start/stop button for the semi-automatic one. Both machines are easy to operate with a high level of usability and have an easy to use design. They have detachable water storage units with a capacity of 1 L.
The Wakecup Vega semi automatic brewing machine (which costs Rs. 4499.00) comes in two colors, onyx black and crystal white, with an adjustable base and drip tray that allows you to use different cup sizes. Its compact size allows it to fit in almost anyway, be it your office or home.
The Wakecup Orion automatic brewing machine (which costs Rs. 5499.00) allows for 3 programmable coffee brewing settings. It has a special thermal block heating system that allows for quick heating, sports adjustable and removable drip tray allowing the use of different cup sizes, and has an auto capsule ejection system. It comes in attractive exotic red or sober pearl grey color.
One of the major drawbacks of this product is that it can be used only with Wakecup capsules, available at select CCD stores and at the CCD online store. This means that you can choose from two capsule types, Estate Blend (pack of 2) for rupees 198, Pure Arabica (2 Pack) for rupees 298. There is also a combo offer comprising one pack of each coffee for rupees 248. Considering that this is a relatively new product in India, I think in the near future we will have a wider variety of coffee to choose from.
All in all, Wakecup automatic espresso brewing machines are a good purchase for coffee lovers as it literally brings the café to you home!
Seema Misra has a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and currently works as a freelance writer based in Bangalore. A loner and non-conformist, she is happiest holed up in her terrace apartment watching movies, reading books, painting or simply whiling time away. She blogs at http://www.blogarticlesonline.com/
Book review: The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy
Nilanjana Roy is a popular journalist and writer. She is a regular columnist at Business Standard. The Wildings is her first novel. Not since reading T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cat” have I enjoyed a book about the feline species so much. Nilanjana Roy has woven a magical tale describing the lives of the wildings (stray cats for uninitiated) and other assorted city animals. This lovely book is written without a shade of condescension.
Spoiler Alert: Please skip the following two paragraphs if you don’t want to know the plot.
The story revolves around the wildings of Nizamuddin, which includes several clans that live by strict rules. The cats communicate with each other by linking to a psychic cat network through their whiskers. One night their network is interrupted by the calls of a strange, new cat, called Mara. The calls are very potent, indicating that Mara is a sender, with exceptionally powerful linking skills. The community gathers together and decides that this intruder must be killed. Beraal, an experienced hunter and the clan-queen, is entrusted with this task.
The plan goes of off-kilter when Beraal realises that the sender is a tiny orange kitten, who doesn’t even know that she is linking. Beraal takes Mara under her wings, and teaches the kitten to control her sendings so that she doesn’t disturb the cat networks. Under Beeral’s tender guidance, Mara begins to hone her linking skills; soon she is able to travel to distant places through the psychic link. She even ends up befriending the tigers at the zoo. When a large clan of blood-hungry house cats attack the community, Mara helps the clan in the most unexpected manner.
The story-telling is fast paced and captivating. While Mara and Beeral are the most detailed characters, we meet a host of other wildings, including the naughty kitten Southpaw, The blue-eyed Siamese Miao, and the villainous Datura. Other animals including a reticent mongoose, Kirri, and a brave mouse, Jethro also make an appearance.
Interspersed with the text, are illustrations by Prabha Mallya. These black and white, mixed media images blend beautifully with the text. My favourite is the small drawing of Mara and Southpaw rubbing noses, and the full-page rendering of Mara looking at the Royal Bengal tiger, Ozymandias.
The most delightful aspect about The Wildings is that it is indeed a world of cats, and not an allegorical reference to human societies. In fact, the book rarely talks about humans except to refer to them as awkward, “bigfeet.” However, some of its themes will resonate with all readers, such as Mara’s fear of venturing outside her house, Southpaw’s unquenchable curiosity, and Beraal’s strong maternal instincts.
This book raises serious questions, such as the dangers of isolation and the cause of insanity, however it’s done so subtly that you never even realise the seriousness of the issues. Reading the book is a complete journey of wonder and thrill, right to the action packed ending. However, it lingers long after the last page has been read.
This curious assortment of cats is sure to win your heart, especially if you are an animal lover.
Book review written by Seema Misra is a Bangalore-based freelance writer and artist. When she is not writing, she spends her time reading books, comics, and graphic novels. She is also an avid movie-watcher, and reviews independent cinema, world cinema, and animation. She blogs at http://lalalandandreellife.blogspot.in/ and http://lalalandandreellife.blogspot.in/.
Chasing my dreams!
“You may say… Am a dreamer! But I’m not the only one!” This John Lennon song “imagine” is what I remember every time I think of my dreams. It’s so true that each one of us would want to be something at some point of time in our lives. We all have our own goals and aspirations… we always want to be where nobody has ever been before!
We have our own world of fantasy where we try and live that person whom we want to be… At least that’s what I do! I imagine myself being there… I guess it’s a lot of fun! And it’s free!
Imagination! This magical English word is a world in itself… It’s where anything and everything is just a cakewalk… It’s a world wherein I am the boss! And nobody else can fool around… it’s a world where I can loot a shop, rip my boss apart, flaunt expensive cars, have a new girl, give a hard slap to my enemy, and get away as its all legal and ethical! How I wish it was all feasible!
That’s when I wake up! And the stark reality stares at me, it reminds me that it was all too good to be true and this is where I really belong. It hits me every time, with the very same intensity, and I take my time to come to terms with it. Every time it makes me wonder…
It’s a disappointment that there is such a huge disconnect between those two worlds. I have no clue how to bridge the gap. I don know if at all it’s possible. To be honest I really don’t care! All I can do is to keep running behind it!
For instance, I picked up guitar in my engineering! And I dream to perform on stage… Well, looking at the level I am currently in, it might look like am being over ambitious! But it doesn’t matter! The joy of imagining myself on stage, performing to a packed house always gives me Goosebumps! And it always makes me practice more so that I can do it someday!
Every time I set out with my friends on a trek, I dream of heading to Himalayas. That’s something which needs loads n loads of preparation. These treks make me believe that someday, I should do Himalayas! And that’s one thing, probably one of the very few things, which are materializing from my dream world as I am headed to Himalayas pretty soon! And it goes without saying, I am elated! It feels so good when you work hard for a long time, setting your sight on something, and you know it’s about to happen!
Well, if you are wondering what I am trying to convey by writing all this, even I don’t know! I am being completely honest! It was something that was going through my mind for a while now, and that’s about it. All I can say is that I can’t stop dreaming! No matter how stupid those dreams are… I just let it be. Cos at some farthest corner of my mind, I still believe that it might come true someday! I just can’t stop running behind it neither can you!
About the author: Dreams chased by Sharath Subrahmanya from Bangalore. He is an engineering graduate from NIE and currently working with a MNC alongside chasing his numerous dreams.