Book review: Tea for two and a piece of cake by Preeti Shenoy
Tea for two and a piece of cake by Preeti Shenoy, her third novel is a story of a plain-Jane Nisha and her turmoils in life due to the vagaries of love and marriage relationship.
Spoiler alert: Skip the next four paragraph, if you want to keep a blind eye on the book summary
Nisha is a 26 year old female working in a travel agency. A plump, girl next door look and of course she has no boyfriend yet.As luck would have it, one fine day she gets a chance to go out with the hottest guy in the office to attend a dinner event in one of the biggest travel parties; lady luck shines again and she ends up spending a night at suave Samir Sharma’s house. He is one of the rising stars in the travel industry.
Due to some turn of events when she loses her present job, she gets into another one as a personal assistant of Samir. Soon, she finds herself drawn more and more towards Samir; being good at her work definitely helps her. Samir also starts liking her and finally they get married.
Marriage marks a turning point in Nisha’s life; being married to a big shot had its own advantages and disadvantages. She had no need to work in office but then she had nowhere to channelize her energy so she joins cookery course much to the dismay of Samir. In eight years of time, two kids later life moved fast forward for Nisha only to be jolted out with a shock that Samir has moved on. He no longer wants her to be a part of his life.
Two kids to support and nowhere to go, Nisha heads back to her old house, leaving the mansion of her husband. As she and the kids get adjusted to the new routine, Akash, an old friend of Nisha from her first job enters their lives. Soon her life starts taking a new turn under the firm but kind guidance of Akash; thoug he is younger to Nisha, yet a matured man to take care of things. In middle of all this, her neighbor Mrs.Billimoria pitches in with her tea and cakes to watch over her kids when she goes out and delivers food. Yes, her old culinary skills came to her rescue at this time. She starts her own catering business and amidst all these starts discovering a new life, a new Nisha. She realizes that she loves Akash and so does Akash.
The topsy-turvy narration of the story and the way each events unfolds layer by layer would definitely appeal the readers. Nisha moves to the new city with Akash but whether they tie up the knot or not? Well, I will leave that for you to find out.
The plot is compelling and Preeti has managed to weave a story like a maze and makes you glued to the book till the end. The emotions of the characters are well described and beautifully written down. Many of us might be like the plain Nisha in the beginning and over a period of time, many of us will come out with flying colors in life and learn to move on. I believe, this is a story of almost every second Nisha in our streets, in our offices, in our relations!
Tea for two and a piece of cake by Preeti Shenoy is a simple story, written for simpletons like me and probably you too. Do read it, makes a goozd time pass.
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101 Folktales From India
This one book is a definite must for all parents who want their kids to read Indian stories rather than just Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys or God forbid Twilight series!!!!!
Its called, ‘One Hundred and One Folktales From India‘ written by Eunice De Souza. The book, as is self explanatory, is a collection of folktales from all across India-from Kashmir, to Nagaland, to Assam, to Konkan, to Kerala etc. Some tales are new, never before chronicled, or rarely narrated in such collections. While some are very popular, well known stories.The book is divided into 6 parts, each having a separate theme. There are stories about magical beings, about kings and queens, heroes, Gods, clever men and women, saints and sadhus, of famous personlaities like Akbar Birbal, Tansen, Tenali Raman, of beasts and birds and several more!
The language is simple, clear cut, easy for the youngest children to grasp and coupled with superb black and white illustrations done by Sujata Singh, these tales are sure to entice kids. The stories can also be enjoyed by adults who have little time to read and want short, simple, witty stories. Its a great book to read if one is travelling short distances. One can easily read five to six stories in about 15 minutes since most stories are one or two pages only. Its a good way to revisit one’s childhood when such stories were popular to read or get in touch with Indian folktales.
Despite its collection and marvellous illustrations, many parents would prefer buying some other folktales books like the Amar Chitra Katha or Aesop fables books. The former is in general very popular and its colourful illustrations along with the comic book style format will surely catch the eye of any young kid more than Eunice De Souza’s ‘One Hundred and One Folktales From India.’ That’s one and the only disadvantage of the book. There are just so many better, more vibrant, colourful books about India’s rich folktales and mythology that both parents and kids might prefer that. They may view De Souza’s book as just another big, fat, long, textbook type book that completely discourages them from buying it. Of course, a parent can definitely influence a kid’s choice!
Apart from that, ‘One Hundred and One Folktales From India‘ is a brilliant collection of stories, fables and folktales that allows any reader, with its simple language, to get a glimpse of India’s rich stories!
Ragini MMS – review
A weekend masti that goes scarily wrong. For a regular horror flick watchers, it is a time tested plot. Ekta Kapoor’s movie (yes, this is a producer’s child rather than the directors and very few producers can claim such a tag) picks over the masti from her previous outing Love, Sex and Dhoka blends it in the horror mixer, making of which is influenced largely by the English flick paranormal activity.
So it is a back to back haunted Friday releases. If last week Haunted tried to scare us (did it?), this Friday the 13th, Ragini MMS flaunts scares us with its sleaze and eeriness.
When Udhay (Raj kumar) and Ragini (Kainaz Motivala) arrive at the desolate farm house, the setting is a predictable and picture perfect for a horror flick. We know it is going to be a haunted place and we know the ghost is lurching somewhere there. While Udhay has his own plans to secretly sex-tape their love making to sell it for profit, the ghost in the house has its own plans!
Both Raj kumar and Kainaz fits their role to the blood T. Kainaz as a cute, city-bred English speaking, unsuspecting, sexually active girl friend while Raj as a restless, conniving boyfriend are very convincing both as a daring couple “raring” for their weekend secret fun as well as when their fun turns to a nightmare.
But the good points of the movie are not that much either. Yes, the movie has its own share of eeriness and can send some chillness through your bones but unfortunately the movie is quiet a plain jane horror. It lacks a sub plot and it lacks direction. The initial portions of the movie would remind you of dozen sleazy Hollywood horror flicks you would have seen earlier, where sex and lust is the precursor to the arrival of the ghost. The MMS in the title is just to justify the trigger jarring constant shaking of camera mode style cinematography coz our lead guy is trigger camera happy but that itself does not have much to offer in the movie as such. For the title Ragini MMS, I would have loved a serious movie on the subjects of MMS scandal sans the ghosts. The good thing is as any good horror movie should be it has some controlled, silent movements to scare you but also the bad thing is that you almost know it too. But hey, inspite of what other critics might say, it would definitely scare an ordinary movie-goer to some extend. The unconvincing part though is the climax – seems like the director went completely blank of his scary wits.
Ok, let’s me end the review with a sleazy cheesy thought that haunts pops after watching the movie: “If you want to have fun, have fun at home – don’t risk in an desolate unknown place”
GingerChai verdict: Sleazy, horror flick not entirely bad either. Ok, I did not say good either.
The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi
We have so many Indian mythological characters that have a lot of powers but still we have very less contemporary Indian superheroes like Spiderman, Batman, Superman etc.
And similarly I have always wondered why we don’t have more fantasy fiction when we have Things like Ramayana and Mahabharata for inspiration. But this book- Immortals of melhua is one attempt towards contributing to Indian fantasy fictions.
Immortals of Meluha is the first book in the series of Shiva Triogy by Amish. When I first heard of Immortals of Meluha, I thought it’d be something like “The Da Vinci Code”. But I was wrong- this book is different.
Shiva at the start of story is no lord- he is a tribal man from a tribe residing by the side of Mansarovar Lake at the foot of mount Kailash in Tibet. An extremely skilled warrior, he is the chief of his clan and Bhadra is his deputy and childhood friend. Though the best, most courageous and intelligent warrior in many tribes combined, he is fed up of the barbaric ways of the tribal life.
Plot in brief:
The Indus valley civilization of today is the Meluha of 1990 BC. Meluha is an amazingly organized and scientific civilization for its time. The Infrastructure of the Meluhan cities is so good that it can put the modern day cities to a shame. The people of Meluha are not only happy- they are Immortal.
But this crazy-and-freakishly-perfect society has its own set of problem. And like their grand style of living, their problems are also grand. The river saraswati, whose water is main component of their elixir of life- Somras, is drying. They face constant terrorist attacks from the rival nation- the Chandravanshi who have joined forces with the ferocious martial art warriors- the Nagas.
Then there is the legend of Neelkanth which says: “When the evil reaches epic proportions, when all seems lost, when it appears your enemies have triumphed- a hero will emerge.” Enter Shiva in Meluha and the story kicks off…
Other than the Plot the book has two most important aspects:
1. The character of shiva- the character shiva has been put in an interesting manner.
The introductory description of shiva’s physique in first chapter says it all. He is atheletic and he is warrior- an extremely good one at that. He smokes chillum. He has a sense of humor – a really good one. He is a natural dancer- a perfectionist dancer. Despite belonging to a barbaric clan, he is humane. He is an inspiring and extremely respected leader. He has lazy, elegant and effortless charm about him. Ladies can’t help admiring him.
Sounds like James Bond? What seperates him from being bond is the fact that he is profoundly humble and he can love. He is in deep love with Meluhan king Daksha’s Daughter- Sati, who is, let us say a little reluctant to go in a relationship with shiva though she likes him a lot. Interesting uh? It is…
This character shiva- the elegant, powerful and effortlessly brilliant, alone makes the book a worthy read.
2. The language used- The language used in the book is, to say the least- contemporary.
That is where the main objection of critics lies- when godly people go about saying stuff like “For god’s sake man, if you are happy with her, then I am happy for you” it becomes a little difficult to digest. It could have been better of the language was a little more dignified when you are setting the plot in 1990 BC.
But for me, such language totally worked- it helped me connect to the story better and added to the humorJ.
But there was one place in the book where even I had an objection with the language- the chief scientist- Brahaspati explaining Shiva about food, oxidation of food by oxygen present in respiration and other truck load of science including ageing. I mean man, cm’on- you have set your plot in 1990 BC, did you forget? At least use some creative words for the scientific terms to prevent it from being weird- like you could use “pran vayu” for oxygen.
Amish has a very captivating style of storytelling- the story is fast paced and gripping. The book has everything- Drama, Action, Romance, emotions- everything. Romance has been portrayed particularly well. Once you start the book, it is an absolute un putdownable. Amish has this ability of putting romance and action simultaneously in same scene. He is also very, very good at sketching the characters because of which you can relate to the characters better.
A must read if you enjoy fantasy fiction- the book leaves you waiting, anxiously for the sequels!!
PS: I personally liked the character ‘Anandmayi’ –towards the end of the book, a lot. Read the book and you’ll understand the obvious reasons behind this
The Girl who played with fire by Stieg Larsson
Certain people in law and secret police circles are involved in morbid sex slavery and the like. Lisbeth Salander gets into this mire and soon half a dozen people want her dead and six feet under.
In the second installment of Stieg Larsson’s “Millenium trilogy”, asocial hacker Lisbeth Salander is on the run as she is a marked person. She is hunted by several parties all of which have a unique tie with each other — sex slavery. The girl who played with fire delves a little deeper into Lisbeth Salander’s morbid childhood in a broken home as her father regularly abused her mother. The last straw was when Lisbeth’s mother was knocked senseless and with a hemorrhaging brain when Lisbeth made sure that “the evil happened” to her father; picture a Molotov cocktail being tossed in after you into the car.
There are several characters and a few meandering story lines so I will break this down for you to the best of my codeine addled brain:
1) Bjorck and Bjurmann attorneys, together with Zalachenko in the seventies were part of the Swedish secret police, Sapo.
2) Zalachenko and Salander and a Molotov cocktail made from a milk carton in the early nineties, met. This resulted in Salander was thrown into an abusive asylum
3) Now Bjurmann was Salander’s guardian in the new millenium. The circle was complete.
4) Bjorck, Bjurmann and Zalachenko were all involved in sex slavery at some level or the other.
Lisbeth Salander was the woman who hated men who hate women and, by her very existence, threatened to rip the net of sex slavery wide open and hence is marked and obviously she had to be silenced. Bjurmann eventually took Zalachenko’s help to wipe Salander off the earth. Along the way our protagonist Blomkvist’s friend and fellow journalist Svensson and his wife Johansson were shot.
But why? Who is Zalachenko? How is he related to Salander?
My cryptic review aptly ends as abruptly as the book itself. I will get my hands on the final denouement and be back with a review soon, that much I promise! Until then, happy holidays!
Author: Stieg Larsson
ISBN 978-0307269980 (English)
The girl with the dragon tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
ISBN 978-1-84724-254-2 (English)
Publication date: 2005
Translated by: Reg Keeland
Harriet Vanger has been missing and presumed dead for 40 years. But then why does her great uncle, Henrik Vanger, still receive one framed flower every year on his birthday, from her?
Sweden may be the land of the midnight sun, blondes and the furniture manufacturers, Ikea, but Stieg Larsson’s book is anything but the pink picture painted by my opening line. “Män som hatar kvinnor” or “Men who hate women” (known as “The girl with the dragon tattoo”) is an intricate book that exposes the murky and horrific underbelly of the fictitious Vanger corporation where almost every character above 70 is a misogynist who resorts to incarcerating, raping and mutilating women as a release for their sadistic sexual tension.
The story follows disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist who has recently lost a libel case against one Wennerström corporation and takes on the Henrik Vanger’s offer of investigating the death or disappearance of his grand-niece, Harriet Vanger over 40 years ago.
Along the way his path crosses that of Lisbeth Salander, an asocial punk-type who also happens to be a brilliant hacker. As the unlikely duo team up to uncover the truth about Harriet Vanger’s death or disappearance, they also uncover the secretive, misogynistic and sadistic vile life of a member of the Vanger family.
It is very difficult to summarize the book without giving away all the intricate yet shocking details that would be revealed as one reads the book. The book itself isn’t a spectacular work of literature as obviously it has been translated from Swedish to English and literal translation always fails at several steps. Also, the beginning and the end of the books pale in comparison to the fast paced middle but are quite paramount (obviously!).
It is worth a read and I look forward to reading the second in the series “Flickan som lekte med elden” or “The girl who played with fire”.
Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie
Author: Agatha Christie
Lead Character: Hercule M. Poirot
Genre: Fiction, Crime Thriller, Murder Mystery
Who do you think is the best detective character after Sherlock Holmes? Do you even know other characters? Well, in case you don’t know let me introduce to you Hercule M. Poirot, A Belgian by Birth but settled in UK and he does best what he does – solving Mysteries. Kudos to Agatha Christie for having brought Poirot to light.
Talking about the book, Dead Man’s Folly is a story based in the 1950’s in UK. Ariadne Oliver is an author who specializes in Mystery books. Her Services are called upon by Mr. and Mrs. Sir George Stubs, a noveau rich war hero who now owns the Famous Nasse House.
Nasse house is organizing a garden fete and Ms. Oliver is called upon to arrange a new game, a Murder mystery, more like a treasure hunt where the participants work their way through the clues until they reach boat house where a local girl is enacting a dead body. Ms Ariadne Oliver is glad and up and about her work. But something is not right. She feels someone is making her do things as a part of the mystery game that will help him/her/them to meet their end objectives. At this point she seeks the help of her old friend M. Poirot to help her and to prevent the murder if it actually takes place.
But the girl in boat house is murdered, so are the other people. Hercule Poirot, though not able to prevent the murder doesn’t give up until he solves the mystery and finds the culprit.
I would not say that this is one of the best adventures of Poirot and definitely not one of the best books by Agatha Christie. There is not much of depth to the characters and the clues provided are a bit obscure. The description of the mansions and building at a point gets drab but nevertheless, once Poirot begins putting the pieces into the puzzle that it gets interesting.
If you are interested in detective works and if you are big Christie fan and if you want to relive the Sherlock-Holmes-Like stories, then go for it. It is definitely worth one read.
“So now what?” asked Shastri.
“Well… finally I get to say this, Checkmate” replied Shakti.
Twenty Years Ago:
They were at it for sixteen hours now; the court was watching the best game of Chess ever played. Prince Shakti was already awarded the young genius award by the king. Shastri was the peasant’s son and was also called a young genius by the villagers. At age 10 they both had the game played for hours together.
‘Checkmate,’ said Shakti.
‘Look at him, as savage as he can get,’ thought Shakti, ‘No plan, no art, just brutal primitive savageness.’
‘Not yet’ Shastri simply glanced at the board and not seeing anywhere, finally he shouted, ‘Checkmate.’
The whole courtroom was silent, no one was able to defeat Shakti in the game till date. They had no idea what would happen next, was the title of young genius getting transferred to the peasant’s son? They silently watched the game. The king was waiting for the prince to say it.
‘Throw him in prison, sentenced for life,’ shouted the prince, ‘And throw his family out of the kingdom. Their farms are the royal farms from now.’
He kicked the game board and walked out of the room.
Guarded dragged away the ten year old boy to the prison, they heard his last muffled words, ‘The game begins.’
Ten years ago:
King Shakti was on the height of prosperity. The Kingdom had the latest advancement of technology present in the world.
To strengthen the defenses even further King Shakti ordered building a water gate on the great river Indus. The origin of the river was in his kingdom but flowed through the neighboring kingdoms. He knew the neighbors would not like it, but he wanted to win. This would be his last defense. Checkmate.
Ten days ago:
King Shakti received a bad news five days ago. Shastri had escaped prison, they say, for ten years he kept reading books from the royal library. He just learned things in the prison and finally he ran away to freedom.
Not only did he run he placed a challenge for the king himself. Now, the messenger had come with the message that Shastri had camped at the gate of the enemy and had challenged the king to fight.
So finally, the king set out to destroy the adversary with a show of strength. He took double the army out of the gates to the camp, but found it deserted.
The enemy had fled. The king decided to chase him to finally end the chapter of Shastri.
The chase continued for ten days where Shastri kept running
As the king chased Shastri, he came across a narrow path completely surrounded by bushes. Shastri stood there silently. He had no where to go.
The king got down from his horse and faced Shastri.
“So now what?” asked Shastri.
“Well… finally I get to say this, Checkmate” replied Shakti.
“Not yet. I have something to show you” said Shastri, pointing to the tree standing in the dark.
“What some final weapon hidden for me?” asked Shakti sarcastically.
The king lighted his torch to see the tree properly.
Fourteen days ago:
King Biswajit was in deep worries, the neighboring kingdom was building the water gates to obstruct the water flowing in the kingdom. If this would succeed, they would have to depend on King Shakti and his whims for water. He wanted to attack the kingdom but feared, the water gate would be released.
They brought the hooded stranger to the court.
‘I can get you king Shakti’ said the stranger.
‘I will mark his place of death for you’ said the stranger.
‘What do you want for this task.’ asked the king.
The stranger smiled under his hood.
Shastri was about to play the biggest game he ever played. He saw the narrow path on the way and marked on the tree…
‘This is where King Shakti dies,’ Shakti read the mark on tree and jerked his head back.
Arrows shot from bushes and pierce the heart of the king. The remaining army was ambushed in the bush. King Biswajit’s army was waiting for the king in the darkness.
As King Shakti collapsed on the ground, Shastri smiled and said,
- Guest post by Siddhesh Kabe . To visit his blog click HERE
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To be part of us, read Becoming Chaiwala.
I just discovered internet. It was great to just surf and make new friends. I had my share of bad relationships and was done with the whole Boyfriend-Girlfriend thing. Chatting was fun and it gave me a release from my hectic work schedule. Life was wonderful with the internet at my disposal and complete anonymity.
And then, I met him online. Mystery Writer. He would not tell me his name and I dare not give him mine for the fear of having a pervert attached to me. We met every night at the chat room to chat on all sorts of stuff….fashion, movies, clothes, people….it was fun to share anything with him. I began to look forward to seeing him online every night. It almost felt like a secret date.
After a few months of secret dating, my curiosity got the better of me…who was he? Why did he not give me his name? He could not be a pervert….he was too decent for that…I knew what he worked as…an architect….was he gay…nah…I knew where he lived….I knew his love for colours and of his creativity…yet I didn’t know who Mystery Writer was. In his own words, he called himself an artist…and I felt so loved by him….yet I didn’t have enough courage to call myself anything other than Angel Girl.
One evening, he asked me “May I mail you…in the morning? My sketches may turn to doodles if I don’t rest. Our nocturnal chatting is making my mornings long and my evenings never ending….the only time that flies is the hour I spend with you.”
My heart hammered in me….a mail in the morning…for me…would he do that for some time with me….I blushed. This was the next step….we would have to exchange our emails. “Yes, why not” I replied. I had begun to trust him. That was the start of an email every day. It changes my life drastically. His mails were a source of inspiration; they became my Feel Good Factor. I began to smile at work. My colleagues were always asking on how I managed to stay so happy and why I looked so sleepy…Mystery Writer… I would whisper in my heart. And the mails flew in and we began chatting in the afternoon. He shared his designs from work with me and I shared my work of meeting people and going places with him. It was always interesting to bounce ideas off each other.
“Don’t you want to know who I am?” he asked me one day. I thought for a while. I knew that we were half a world apart from each other… our paths would never meet… but my heart refused to listen.
“Can I ask you for your name?” I typed breathlessly.
“Yes, but it will be my looks that scare you…” he replied.
I looked puzzled at my screen. Why would his looks bother me? I could not understand… before I could ask, the topic changed. The next morning, I was all nerves. I was to attend a party in the evening with some important delegates from out of town. My documents for the meeting were in place but I felt really shy in the wonderful dress I picked up for the party. Mystery Writer had assured me that it would look great on me … but I had laughed it off. He had not seen me in person, let alone seen a picture of me. He would never have guessed that I was a person with a problem figure and looked like a duck waddling around. We had discussed the dress and my skin colour and I laughed off his suggestions saying that I would look like a duck dressed up in peacock blue.
A parcel arrived at my work place that afternoon with my name on it. It looked like it had travelled half way across the world. I held my breath….who would send me a parcel? With trembling fingers, I opened the parcel. The packing was plain but twinkling inside was a beautiful bracelet that looked expensive. It looked carefully chosen. The stones were the colour of sapphire.
A dried yellow rose was also tucked in the filling with a note that caught my eye:
“A duck dressed as a peacock must have a beautiful accessory to match
Enjoy the party and relax…you will be quite a catch”
I was totally bowled over. How did he find me??? I was so touched by the gesture… he made me feel special. Who was he? How did he know where I worked? I wondered. My party was a success that evening and I loved the way I felt when the bracelet twinkled on my wrist. It made me feel special. I wanted some answers. I waited for him to come online the next day…he never came. He didn’t appear in the night either. I mailed him twice and check my mail whenever I got a chance. A day passed by and then two, no reply. I began to despair. There were more mails from my end and a week went by with no reply. Mystery Writer had disappeared. He touched my life at an instant and then he disappeared.
To cheer myself I decided to try out a different set of wardrobe and went out for more parties. It didn’t fill the void I felt, Mystery Writer had disappeared.
Another party with some delegates from Europe was announced. I had to go. The peacock dress reminded me of Mystery Writer. I did not want to wear it. I decided to go in my latest craze-a black and dark blue net sari. As the evening of the party approached, my heart was full of despair. I felt out of place thinking of the sari and it was too late to change my mind. Dressing up, I realized that I forgot to accessorize and was stuck with just a pair of tiny black studs and the bracelet. The yellow rose peeked from the box that I preserved with such loving care. My eyes misted in the memory. Bracing myself to meet everyone and no one at the party I put on the bracelet, put my hair up in a neat French twist and took a last look at myself. The reflection I saw stopped me to my tracks. The bracelet made me look elegant…it looked like I had selected the perfect sari and spent money to look beautiful. I missed him. The party was lovely and the European visitors loved my presentation. But the bracelet reminded me of Mystery Writer, I missed chatting with him. It would have been lovely to share my success with him. Among the delegates was a young entrepreneur who walked with a slight limp and with a walking stick. He was taller than all the men in the room and had an easy smile. I liked his smile and smiled at him when he yawned at our Director’s speech.
All evening he was attentive to everything I said and presented. Occasionally, I caught him staring. Ignoring the fact that it made me blush when I notice it, I walked up to him during dinner and introduced myself.
He smile and asked “Why is it that you dressed in a sari when your colleagues have dressed in a Western fashion?”
I smiled. He has a great voice, deep and smooth. “I like being different. “ I said as I played with my bracelet.
“Different? …. Do you mean different like a duck among the peacocks?” he asked. A dimple appeared on his left cheek.
My jaw dropped open. How did he know about the duck feeling I had?
“The last time we met Angel Girl, you were worried about being different” he was touching my hand, the one that played with the bracelet.
I stared at him trying to comprehend…. a thousand questions raced through my mind.
“Who are you? ” I asked staring at him.
He was a tall man with a great voice, an easy smile and with a stick that made him stand apart from all the guests I had seen. Yet something about him seemed familiar. And then it struck me….he has a yellow rose embroidered on his shirt pocket. I had seen it when he took his dark jacket off. That was why I had approached him in the first place….the rose was exactly like the one I got from… Mystery Writer. It was HIM….
By the time I found my voice, he disappeared and his parting words registered.
“A duck dressed as a peacock must have a beautiful accessory to match. Enjoy the party and relax…I had to see you looking beautiful … See you soon.”
The wind-up bird chronicle by Haruki Murakami
This was the first Murakami book that I read and was completely smitten by it. It easily blends in surreal and everyday events in such an intricate web that you are forced to stay glued till the very end.
The story is about a man named Toru Okada whose cat has disappeared, and then one day his wife leaves him even though they didn’t have any fight or any conflict. He begins to search for the reasons behind this and in the way meets many people who help him in their own ways to understand the situation that he finds himself in. Along the way, their own story unravels adding many layers to this unique story. A story filled with surreal situations, perplexing at times, yet it doesn’t seem odd and doesn’t obstruct the smooth flow of the narration.
The characters in this book are perfectly etched, be it Okada’s wife Kumiko who is fighting her own inner demons, or her evil brother Noboru Wataya, or our very own Toru – simple suburban guy whose simple uncomplicated life takes a twist, Malta Kano – a sort of a psychic healer, May – Toru’s no fuss young neighbour, a rich lady oddly called Nutmeg who helps him a lot in the latter part of the story and the ‘wind – up’ Bird ofcourse.
The book has quite a bit of flashbacks and in one of those Toru and his wife goes to visit an old wise man named Mr. Honda. The philosophy that he endorses forms the crux of this story. He tells the:
“When you are supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top, when you are going down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom.When there is no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up.”
Simple yet complex story telling with many layers of situations – a must read.
Author: Haruki Murakami
Translated by: Jay Rubin
Originally written in: Japanese
ISBN : 0-679-77543-9