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Opposite lines

Opposite lines

A poem with alternate lines being romantic and the reverse

For you my darling I’d go anywhere

As long as you pay my business class fare

For you my sweet I will do anything
As long as I am paid for it in cash kind or Bling

For you my beloved I’d write a whole song

But only if you agree to go away for long

For you my dear lover I’d give up my life

As long as you don’t ever get near my wife

 

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Phenomenal Girl

Phenomenal Girl

The beaming smile that dazzles all
And hides the hurt deep in her eyes
The eyes that tell a unique tale
Of one so young and yet so wise
She runs she sells she works she laughs
The strays find comfort in her arms
Her two wheeled steed will come at once
Whenever there’s a call for arms
All and sundry bank on her
But who will hold her when she cries

 

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Naquab

Naquab

In the flesh we have never met
She’s in a veil but yet
She’s always in my mind and heart
Which distance veil age society can not part
A vision of her in the morn
Quite makes my day. I am lovelorn

 

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A Broken Man , A Review

A Broken Man , A Review

A Broken Man, a Review
Akash Verma, the bestselling author of two previous novels appears to have done it again with A Broken Man, published by Shristi.
This is a love story, but not just another love story. It is a story about politics, caste, student movements, the vernacular versus English divide, culture shock and the creative process.
The protagonist is a dalit boy from the backwaters of India’s hinterland who comes to a city to try and escape poverty through education. Here he gets involved in the ugly underbelly of student politics in order to survive. He also encounters the idealistic version of student politics, but as an adversary.
This encounter changes him, and ultimately changes the very course of his life. He finds the lodestar of his life, which brings a new focus in his very being. This happens when he saves the life of a Brahmin girl who was a student leader and daughter of a prominent politician during an attempt on her life.
This results in his discovery of a new world and a new kind of people, so far totally outside his experience. He finds love, finds heartbreak, uncovers his creative being and ultimately changes the course of his life to become a celebrity in Mumbai.
I do not wish to disclose much of the twists in the story, which keeps flashing back and forth in time between Mumbai and Lucknow, and is told as a story the protagonist is telling his driver during a long drive to Lucknow in a quest to reunite with his lost love.
The growth of the shy rustic boy who only knew disdain and accepted that as his due to the acclaimed writer in Bollywood is the fairy tale of his life, which his good fairy, his lost love, made possible,is the real story.
It is a story about hope

 
 

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The morning walk

The morning walk

A walk in the Park
The gentle musical notes of the cell phone sound jarring. This is followed by a poke in the ribs, a minute later, which is even more so. I reluctantly open my bleary eyes. It is still dark in Mumbai, at six am. The lady of the house is insistent, I cannot turn over and go back to sleep. The ritual of the dawn torture is to begin, the morning walk.
Although my heart continues to be a juvenile delinquent, time has broadened not only my vision but my waistline as well, and my corporal body is no longer in tune with my spirit, but is showing annoying signs of aging. These morning exertions were my way of trying to keep the doctor at bay.
Once we enter the park however, the lush green surroundings, the venerable old gnarled trees, the refreshing sea breeze, the soothing sounds of bird-call and invigorating sight of pretty ladies in jogging gear flitting around uplifts the mood and energises the soul.
Suddenly an explosive sound sends the birds flapping in the air. It is the laughing club, violating the copyrights of Ravan and Bollywood villains of yore; they go Ha Ha Ha, belly laughing their way to health, and frightening children, dogs and the weak of heart.
We next pass the yoga freaks, trying to attain three improbable postures before breakfast, the Ta-i-chi nuts fighting in slow motion with invisible opponents, the meditation gang catching up on their morning nap pretending to elevate the soul and perhaps body too, the fitness addicts sweating and grunting superciliously at us podgy huffers and puffers, the bird watchers ogling our poor feathered friends, intruding on their privacy, the dog walking domestic help flirting with each other and the ominous chanters, who are joined by a musically inclined man’s best friend, who joins in the resonant Oms with a tuneful howl.
In short, the usual flora and fauna in any open space in any city in our country, at this time of the day. All of you who participate in this morning ritual are familiar with it.
Another interesting feature I observe is the expression of my fellow walkers. There are those overburdened by the cares of the world early in the morning, and mope as they walk. The angry old men scowl at everyone. The jolly good bhakts yell Jai Sri Ram at everyone they pass. The Casanova leers good morning only at the ladies. Those in love go around with that rapt attention to their neighbours’ spouses while their bitter halves glare at the world, the garrulous pontificate loudly to all within earshot, oblivious of the bored looks of their captive audience, and the serene few walk along with their blissful expressions, living in their own world of inner peace. I am sure you all know and recognise these species.
The unique feature in our bit of green is an old gentleman, who all by himself sings morning ragas, playing the tabla, accompanied by a recorded tanpura for scale, eyes shut, trained voice, and walkers stop by for a while to listen, before moving on. The laughers, talkers, grunters, chanters, nothing disturbs our serene singer. This is the background music to our walk I really look forward to.
But one day a new sound pleasantly intruded. Someone was playing a harmonica with great skill. The tune was a classical devotional. Then a mellifluous voice joined in.
We found a group of senior citizens sitting in a circle where a gentleman was playing the harmonica, while a lady was lending her voice occasionally. They had eyes only for each other. The rest watched in silence.
They had a wide repertoire. The tunes moved to filmy bhajans, classic hits, and then romantic numbers from the fifties. I realised that these would be the songs of their youth.
My imagination whirred. Was this an unrequited love from a bygone era? Neighbours of old, who couldn’t speak of their hearts then, are meeting in their twilight years reliving old memories? Or just fellow walkers who yearn for each other, but age, decorum and societal norms keeping them apart, expressing untold thoughts through music?
Whatever their story, I wished them every happiness. They made this morning even sweeter than the rest.

 

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Video promo of Memories a Novella

 

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Outsider, by Shirish Singh, a review

Outsider, by Shirish Singh, a review

Outsider by Shirish K Singh — A review

There are plenty of books out there giving us the inside story of a particular segment of our corporate world, be it banking, stock broking, fashion, law, media, jails, music, hospitals, airports, name it and it’s there. But this is the first book that I have come across that gives you the dirt on the Health Insurance industry.
Health Insurance is something that is touching all our lives, for we are covered through personal policies, corporate covers or government schemes. And we all have different experiences, often grievances with the system. Here is a insider’s view point, made interesting for the lay reader, as gripping fiction.
But this just isn’t about Health Insurance, although it touches upon all the players in the game, the insurers, the TPAs, the providers, the corporate, the regulator and the beneficiaries. This is about running a corporation, how it is done, and how it ought to be done. It is also about relationships, about love, about motivation, about finding peace. Briefly, it is about life.
The author has deep insider knowledge not only about the health insurance industry, but also about advertising, the corporate world, and the armed forces, which gives authenticity to his characters and his plot.
The story is about a corporate tycoon who hires an inmate of an ashram to turn around one of his ventures, a health insurance company, which is floundering.
The new comer is an enigma, and is an outsider to the industry, hence the title.
He interacts with the various key players, all of whom have their own agenda, and a power play unfolds which one sees in any corporate boardroom across the globe. Industry insiders might find startling similarities with some prominent figures in the business.
During these maneuverings our protagonist, Satyakam, the outsider, inevitably comes close to some of the other characters, and his mysterious past begins to unravel, creating upheavals in many of their lives, ultimately leading to a catharsis.
This indeed is a turnaround story, a turnaround not only for the company, but also the lives of their protagonists.
There are management lessons to be learnt here, for the insurance industry, especially health, and also for any corporate in general, as well as lessons to be learnt about life itself, on how to deal with love, loss, and learn to live in peace with oneself in this difficult business called life.
I recommend that you give it a try

 

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