Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ford County: Book Review

Ford County, spanning 320 pages, is the first collection of short stories, set in Mississippi, by John Grisham. As you embark on this adventurous journey, you are introduced to the characters, which at first baffle you, but as you travel further, they start intriguing you, and by the time you reach the end, they sink in and stay there for a long time.

Seven tales, exemplifying the human facets of love, care, hatred, vengeance, greed, guilt, taboo, humanity, conjure up extreme emotions in you, and that, is what makes it worth a read.

Blood Drive: The three blokes set out on a bizarre road trip in an attempt of performing a heroic action of saving their friend’s life. Hell breaks loose when they take a detour and end up in a hospital injured and charged with felony.
Fetching Raymond:  A mother, along with her two sons, ventures out to bid her youngest son, on the death row, the final farewell. It takes us through the chaotic lives each one of them had led.
Fish Files: A lousy lawyer receives a call on one fine day which changes his life forever.
Casino: The love for his wife and the hatred for her rich boyfriend cause him to bring down a million dollar casino.
Michael’s Room: A lawyer is abducted by a man and is hauled to a place where he comes face to face with his inhuman deeds of the past. The heart wrenching story makes you ponder over the evil existing in the society.
Quiet Haven: A man posing as an attendant appears in an old age home. Towards the end of the story, his ulterior motive comes to light. But in the process, the little joys he brings to the sick, old and dying residents are soul soothing.
Funny boy: A young white boy counting his last days of AIDS is abandoned by the family and how a black woman breaks down the walls of hatred and makes his last days tolerable by tending him, hits you hard.  

A tale, when told, can either brush by you or draw you in. Blood Drive, due to its hilarious nature, fish files, with its nail-biting-twists and Quiet Haven, on account of its cryptic element, succeeded in engaging me till the end, when the need of blinking felt like a task.

The rest, although built colorful characters, lacked the intensity that makes you one with the story. Despite the downsides, the boisterous and the wild feel to all the tales, reflecting the society which has nursed the anomalies forever, and the interesting characters he has brought to life, make it worth the company.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Rising Star - Rajiv Senaboya

“Free souls can never be caged” aptly describes this engineer turned musician Rajiv Senaboya who, even during his engineering days, never ceased to amaze people, whether he performed live in concerts or during the jam sessions. 

With a guitar in hand, magic in his voice and a dream in the eyes to make it big, he chose to walk down the path that would gradually lead him to where he always wanted to be.

Before he found his footing in Bollywood, he succeeded in grabbing some serious eyeballs when he started performing gigs at café rocks, a preferred hangout for youngsters in Ahmedabad. It led him to the idea of forming the band ‘Trinity’ best known for their Indian fusion music.

The band, with Rajiv as the lead guitarist and the first vocalist, started doing private shows at a small scale and turned out to be a great success. There was no looking back for Rajiv as well as the band.

Their soul stirring performances led number of cafes (Blue spot café, 3 Octaves), clubs (Gulmohor Greens, Chokhi Dhani) YMCA and institutes (AMSOM) to approach them. They took a baby step further and ventured out of Ahmedabad for their performances.

With his belief that music holds the strength to make this world a much better place, he mentored all those who either wanted to learn guitar for fun or were looking for a career in music.

It was not long before he tasted his first notes of success.
He stepped into the world of Bollywood with his first film, Second Marriage Dot Com directed by Gaurav Panjiwani. He worked as a guitarist with the composer Manan Munjal .

He exploited this opportunity and his work was appreciated, and he soon started working on zero line, directed by Gagan Puri. Rajiv is currently working on number of promising projects that are lined up for him.

Rajiv has never failed to leave his mark on people with his skills, sincerity and passion, be it his fans or the people he works with. This promising musician is determined to carve his name in the history of music and his focussed efforts are, with each passing day, taking him a step forward to his destination.

Have a look at the video and if you like it, join this immensely talented artist's facebook page Rajiv Senaboya: here

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The morning saga

                                 Picture from

The birds fluttering their wings and singing the morning song wake you up and as you open your eyes, the air in its purest form cuddles you. The sun rays embellished with the golden sprinklings manage to find a way to peep into your room through the window pane and kiss your skin. And, while you are still soaked in the beauty the nature showers upon you every morning, you hear your loved one approaching you, calling your name in a voice that fills you with love. You feel the hand on your forehead, the touch making you feel alive.

For some, good and morning are contradicting terms and for the virtually nil luckier lot, mornings are wrapped in a hamper with all the goodies which makes your heart melt. Different phases in your life offer you a bouquet full of memories which would bring up discrete moments way ahead in the future. Such was today’s morning when a brush with nostalgia transported me back to the stages of life which have left deep impact on me in ways that govern my behavioral patterns.

My mornings have been tinted with various shades from time to time. The days, back in school, when life seemed a playground, where you catch up with friends, share jokes, play and learn, started with, what I tag them as, curious mornings. With a military rule of switch-off-the-tv-before-9-and hit-the-bed-by-9.30 in place, wishnig hello to a brand new day was never difficult unlike other kids who were literally dragged out of their beds.

Mom, back then, worked in an NGO. She had to travel extensively throughout the state. She got up at 4 in the morning, cooked for us, woke us up, picked up the floor bedding, placing them neatly on the only single bed we had and finally left for the tiresome day ahead of her, which brought her back at 12 midnight. Super mom is a word not good enough to describe my mom.

We never had a concept of breakfast back home. Dad has always been having his lunch at 9.30 in the morning which is pretty much the breakfast time. This continues till date. The children of working moms tend to get responsible at an early age. Without creating any ruckus, by the time my caretaker cleaned the house, washed the clothes and utensils, I would finish my daily chores and get ready for school. She tied my hair in two plates with invariable perfection. While she was busy doing that, I narrated to her all the incidents that made my day exciting at school. She never, in all those years, ever got tired of listening to the blabber I tortured her with. The tune I learned in the music class, the new game we played in our physical education class, the lip-smacking noodles I managed to lay my hands on from a friend’s lunchbox with whom I shared mine,  the A+ I got in a test, yes I belonged to that category, the no-nonsense-always-a-first-bencher breed.

My caretaker, at the age of 45, had to walk down 6 kilometers one way, do her chores, dress me up, feed me and leave only after I was seated in the auto rickshaw in which, along with a dozen other kids, was driven to school. But being the determined woman she was, she never showed any displeasure. All I could sense was her love for me. She has been a very important part of my life and even though I don’t talk to her or see her anymore, she will always hold a special place in my heart. At times, I can’t help but think that more than the need of money, what pulled her through was the mutual love we shared.

Those were the only days when mornings brought a twinkle in the eye and the mind was always pre-occupied with the thoughts of the day welcoming you with open arms; the times when all you had to care about were the exams, which then, seemed akin to a monster capable of gulping you in without a dash of guilt. But, as years passed by in what seemed like a jiffy, mornings started becoming more dreadful.

Before I enter that war zone from where I wonder how I got out alive and sane, instead of being lost in oblivion, I will step back and rekindle my soul by exploring all the nitty-gritties and nuances of life when the simplest of things like a toffee or an ice-cream could make your world go round.