Monday, 21 May 2018

A Selfie a day keeps forgetfulness away


The slanting morning rays were entering in the drawing room through the eastern facing window. It was a Monday and I was in a rush to get ready. That was when Niva, my daughter crawled up to my feet. She held to my calves. She wanted me to pick her up. A smile opened on my face and I lifted my darling daughter. She caressed my face with her hand. Her touch was so soft, so true, devoid of any selfish motives. I was thoroughly drenched in the love which she showered on me. Unconsciously my eyes fell on the wrist watch. It was quarter past eight. I had to go to office. I tried to persuade the apple of my eye. 'Father has to go the office. He will return in the evening with toys, fruits and lot of goodies for his babies.' I told her. She jerked her head and disapproved the idea of her father putting her down. The moment I lifted her by her shoulders, she began to cry and she was back to her joyful self when her head rested against my chest and her bum comfortably ensconced on my elbow. 'You wont allow your father to go to office, will you?' I asked her. 'No.' She said. That was the first time she had used the word no. I was elated but torn between the desire to enjoy some more company of cynosure of my eyes and the possible repercussions of my reaching office late.

'Okay shall we take a selfie?' I asked her.
'Safee, safee.' She babbled.
I took out the phone and took our selfie. She was too happy to see her in the photograph. I put her down with my mobile phone in her hands. She sat there with the mobile phone in her hand, admiring her round face like a moon.


This picture remains special. Whenever Niva sees it, she comes running to me and hugs me tightly. Clinging to my legs she says Baba and I pick her up and hold her tightly to my chest. Wriggling and loosening my grip she says 'Safee. Safee.' I try to capture this moment in my heart, for these moments of innocence will not last permanent. Today I am her world, but tomorrow she will go out to create her own world. Though she will love me, the time we will spend together will shrink. Over a period of time I may even forget her babbles and little moments of joy which we shared. Her first smile, her first baby step and so many other first things. But thanks to selfies, now I have repository of memories, which I will dig out when I grow old and have nothing else to do and when Niva is busy finding her own little sky, carving an identity of her own.

The debate whether we should allow our children to use mobile phone is endless. When we were children it was about television, now it is about mobile phones. But the fact remains that you cannot keep children away from mobile phones. They can be informative too. Everything in moderation is ok. 
 

Moreover no one can deny that taking pictures is fun. Now the Mobiistar phone’s front, dual Selfie camera that captures a 120° wide-angle shot. This Selfie experience is going to surely change the way we perceive selfies. Now we can have multiple people and locations in a single frame. Every one gets his/her own space and yet we are together. 120 degree shot is for sure no less than 180 degrees and will cover huge expanse of area, be it foliage of trees or an intricately carved temple, nothing can be missed from the frame, including your good self of course. So what are you waiting for? Grab your Mobiistar phone now.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

To Hell and Back - Book Review

Anurag Anand's To Hell and Back comes with a tag-line Not all Tragedies are Orchestrated by Fate. The book opens with Namrata and Akash taking the road. A white SUV blocks their road. Its occupants kill Akash, leaving Namrata untouched. Akash was a cofounder of a start up and his death caused by a road rage makes newspaper headlines. Was it really a tragedy or something sinister. After all not all tragedies are orchestrated by fate.

Anurag crafts two women characters whose lives are poles apart. Namrata is a young, independent woman who can even walk out of a marriage when she finds it is not working. Renu on the other hand is a demure housewife living in a village with outdated code of conduct for women. Girl child needless to say is unwelcome there. Yet she tries to catch the scratches of happiness that come her way. Describing her thought process the author says, 'But then each moment of victory deserved to be savoured, untouched by the fears and uncertainties of tomorrow, and this Renu had learnt to do very well.'

Describing the unhappy marital status of Namrata, the author says 'It is relationships are like rubber bands. Each time they are stretched beyond their acceptable boundaries, the boundaries redefine themselves to accommodate the breach. And just like a rubber band doesn't need much to be stretched to lengths it has previously withstood, the degree of incivility a relationship can take is also defined by what it has been through previously. Once you disrespect your partner in a particular way, the next time you will probably end up doing the same, in a greater magnitude, and possibly on a much feebler pretext, once you begin flinging cuss words at each other, the abusing becomes a veritable constituent of your relationship. Until the relationship, just like the rubber band, can bear no more and snaps.' What an astute observation of marital relationships.

And then their lives intersect for the good. The story takes a very different turn from here. Though the author has woven believable characters, I felt that Namrata overcame the agony of gang rape too soon. Also Akash's past deserved a little more mention. Yet To Hell and Back is lucid and holds promise for sure. Do read this book.

The Temple Bar Woman - Book Review

On the cover page of the Temple Bar Woman there is a micro review by Tosh Greenslade, an Australian actor. He says read this book now before it becomes the next blockbuster movie. Now something like this is bound to raise expectations. The book when read against this background was disappointing for sure. But that doesn't mean that the book isn't a decent read. It is story of Radha a school teacher. She is raped by a politician's son and sold into a brothel. A few twists and turns later Radha realizes that she and the brothel-keeper have a common enemy. Radha hatches a plan and succeeds in seeking revenge.

The writing is good. The language is simple and free-flowing. But the story is quite incredulous. It is hard to believe that a teacher like Radha will meekly submit to her fate and agree to entertain her clients. Rakshit is the good Samaritan here. But only to make him meet Radha, the author makes him visit brothels. He selects Radha and goes to her chamber to bed her. Thereafter when Radha arrives in his house and stays there for years together they make love only once and don't even mention it thereafter. Radha's political acceleration is too hard to digest. Also Vikram not identifying Radha is unbelievable.

It is for these flaws that the chances of the book being a blockbuster are very slim. Such tall claims rob away all the good things that the book holds. Read the Temple Bar Woman at your own risk.