Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Book Review - Sirens Spell Danger

Sirens Spell Danger is a collection of three thrillers by three amazing writers. 

The first one “Femme Fatale” is a fast paced thriller that is full of action and also my favourite.  Loved the attention to minute details, not a single scene or character seems out of place. The plot is tightly weaved and there are no loose ends. You can almost feel the excitement as the action picks up in the last few chapters.  There is an unmistakable tinge of subtle humour even in grim situations. It has the author's inimitable stamp all over it! There's no attempt to showcase the protagonists as larger than life. They could be anyone you see on the street, very realistic and believable.

The next one” Bella Donna” comes across as the best researched of the lot but it did get a little predictable. A medical thriller, with a slick execution of the story line. It may look a tad bit confusing keeping tab of the large number of characters that are introduced in the beginning chapters, but as the story progresses, it leaves you amazed at the detailing that has gone into it. Each chapter begins with a subtle hint of the protagonist’s side of the story, then climaxing beautifully in the end.

“Bellary” dwells on the paranormal and the world of make believe. There seem to be some gaps in the story and this one could have done with better handling.

Sirens spell danger is a compelling read. A great mix of three thrillers that keep you hooked till the very end. 

The book is available in a Kindle Edition
Total no of pages : 211 pages
Kindle price :   99.00

Saturday, December 14, 2013


There’s a dark tunnel. It’s probably night time. Crisscross railway lines meander through it. Though it’s dark, I can see pretty well. I wonder what I am doing here at this hour of the night. There is some baggage with me and a couple or more kids and some grownups. I don’t seem to recall knowing any of them. But it seems they know me well. It looks like we are waiting for a train. But why here, is what beats me! Why not at the railway station? These questions have no answers.
At the distant, we can see a light. Probably it comes from a train. Yes, we can hear the whistle and then the familiar chug. The train slows down as it approaches us. I am helping everyone get in. One by one, they all climb in. By the time the last person climbs up, the train blows its whistle and starts to move. I panic. I start throwing my luggage in but it falls out and I scream for the train to stop, but it chugs away. I run behind it, but I know I have missed it.


It’s the dark tunnel again. There is a narrow spiral staircase running up in the middle of the tunnel. I am standing on top of the staircase, with the same set of people. We are late; we might miss the train if we don’t hurry up. Everyone is climbing down the staircase balancing their baggage. There, I can see the train, its approaching fast and we must hurry. The guys in front seem to be taking ages to climb down. That the staircase is narrow and spiral, is adding to our woes. We are not even half way down, when we see the train come to a halt below. We clamber down; dropping our baggage, stumbling… we have finally managed to reach down. The train has started to move, but it is slow enough for us to try getting in. Everyone climbs in one by one. The train is gaining momentum just as I try to climb in. The force pushes me down and before I can get up the train has chugged off without me.


I have seen this dream hundreds of times before. In fact, this is the only dream that I ever remember seeing. Most of the other dreams are forgotten as soon as I wake up.  Each time there are some common factors, and some totally new ones. But the end is always the same.

I have missed that train.

I have never seen those people who are boarding the train with me in real life. Their faces don’t seem known to me. Why I am always last to board the train is a mystery. Why I let them board before me and why I don’t shove them aside to get in, is a mystery too. Why I carry so much baggage is a mystery. Why I see this dream again and again is a mystery.

I always wake up sweating when I see this dream. I wonder if it has some meaning or parallel to my life. How do I find the answers?


             I am participating in the write tribe festival of words. from 8th -14th dec.
                                This is written for the Write Tribe Prompt "Dreams"

Friday, December 13, 2013

10 types of people that I hate..!

There are people.....and then there are people that you loathe. Here are 10 kinds of people I hate and make sure to avoid:

       1. The “Negative” kinds

These are the people who are so full of negative thoughts and ideas, that if you happen to talk to them about anything, they will come up with a hundred things that will not work. Forget encouraging you, they will bring you to so much despair, that you will give up before even trying!!

2.The “Bitchy” kinds- 

 These are the people who back bite.  We all bitch sometimes, but how do you stand people who have nothing but bitchy things to say about everybody? They are the “know-alls” who have a lot of interest about everyone’s life except their own. They will not shy of concocting the damnest of stories and passing it proudly to all and sundry!

      3. The “Forever Big eyed exppression ” kinds-

Excessive flattery is their forte and you will always see them dilate their pupils and give you that “wow” look for the stupidest thing you do, show or say. Some flattery is always welcome, but these are the people who will make you feel like you can do no wrong. They will help you make all the wrong choices if you get fooled by their wide eyed appreciation of everything.

       4.The “Manipulative” kind –

These people are mean and will manipulate you as it best suits them. If you are not careful, and trust them too much, be prepared for a really bad heart break and the feeling of being treated like dirt. Yes, that’s what they will do you.

5. The “Twisted” kinds-

These are the people who don’t mean what they say. They will say something and mean something else.  In fact, they expect you to be the same and will understand something else of what you speak. If you are the kind who says exactly what you mean, and expect that they will too, you are in for a rude shock. You will spend half your time clearing the misunderstandings between each other.

6The “Couldn’t care more” kinds-

These people take you for granted and how much ever you do for them, they will make it seem like  it was your duty and their birth right. While you patiently wait for them to call you, meet you or spend time you, they are always busy. But they expect you to be there for their every need. They sap your  energy and make you wonder why you take so much trouble in the first place!

       7.The “ Dominating” kinds- 

These kinds of people dominate over you and would always have it their way. They will never let you win any argument, and will ensure that you accept their point of view. For the sake of the relationship, you may let them dominate at first, but over a period of time, it can be frustrating.

8. The “Egoistic” kinds-

These people have egos the size of a football pitch, and you never know when a slight joke, a little leg pulling or a small slap on their back can hurt them so much that you have to spend all of your next week saying sorry and pacifying them!! Over a period of time you get tired of weighing every word before talking to them.

       9.The “late Latif” kinds-

These people have the faintest regard for time, if any. They make you wait endlessly and they have a solid reason every time! You get tired of waiting for them, but no sir, they have taken this pledge of being late every single time. They neither value you nor your time and they are probably those who have given “The Indian Standard Time” a bad name!

    10.   The “show off” kinds-

These kinds of people like to show off…. A new car, a new piece of jewellery, a new something every time, and you can be sure the price they quote is inflated too! They believe they are the privileged lot and they take pride in making everyone else look small in comparison.

With everything that is bad, there also exists good….the yin with the yang….. The 10 types of people whom I love…but I’ll reserve that for another day…..!


                      I'm participating in the write tribe festival of words from 8th -14th dec..
                                     This is written for the Write Tribe Prompt "People"

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A ticket to travel...

If I could buy a ticket, 
where would I rather go?
To the hills, to the oceans,or the forests,
to what nature could possibly show?
These places I've been to before,
And they've thrilled me to bits each time,
But that's not where this ride will be,
oh,where do I put my dime?

Ah! I know a better place,
 I'd go down my memory lane,
Just the place I want to go,
To relive my childhood again.
I'd like to find the stop where I,
Left my innocence behind,
I'd like to know when I really grew up,
Enmeshed in the daily grind.

I want to know the station where,
My chirpy self, got off,
I left her side for a minute or two,
To be by Ms.Little Gruff.
I want the little ME back again,
That is where this ticket is to,
I'm off to find, bring her I will, 
And bid this strange ME adieu!


I'm participating in the Write Tribe Festival of words, from 8th -14th dec...
And this post is written for the Write Tribe Prompt -"Travel"

Yeah! That's music to my ears...!!!

Daddy's heartfelt laughter, 
that rises from deep inside his belly 
and fills up his sparkling brown eyes,
that reverberates in my heart when I am sad,
Yeah! That music to my ears!

Endearing names that mom calls me by,
most meaning nothing at all,
but each one so filled with her endless love,
there's no other name I'd rather be called,
Yeah! That's music to my ears!

Each time hubby croons out of tune,
Each time he's made me laugh,
Each time he says, "I love you dear"
That is all I ever want to hear,
Yeah! That's music to my ears!

Hearing my little one's first cry,
Hearing him blabber only the way he can,
Yet knowing what exactly he means,
And hear him coo in return,
Yeah! That's music to my ears!  

I'm participating in the Write Tribe Festival of words, from 8th-14th dec..
And this post is for the Write Tribe Prompt- "Music"

Books... (A 55-errrr?)

I wonder what the words do at night,
After I close my book shut,
Do they wriggle out of the pages?
And jump down and march about?
Maybe they climb up to my pillow,
And silently sneak into my head,
That should explain why I see them all,
As I turn and toss about in bed! 


                               I am participating in the write tribe festival of words from 8th -14th Dec
                                                  This post is on the Write Tribe Prompt- "Books"

Just some "Food" for thought....

Mantra no 1:  Love thyself!! 
Because unless you do, you cannot expect others to love you back!!

Mantra no 2: Let go!!!
Sometimes you have to learn to let go... Maybe the inability to do so which is the cause for so much grief.... be a free soul.

Mantra no 3:  Stop worrying!!!
Most things will settle on their own, if only we could stop worrying about them! It not sucks away your positivity and confidence but also leaves you stressed out and flustered. Learn to lay back and keep calm.

Mantra no 4:  There's always another view!! 
Not for nothing is it said, that there's your view, the other person's view and the truth....Face it! you may not always be the only one who is right...

And lastly, Mantra no 5: Take that turn!
When you reach a dead end, take that turn...You don't want to be stuck in a rabbit hole forever...


I'm participating in the write tribe festival of words from 8th -14th dec...
and this post is on the Write Tribe prompt- "Food" 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


                     Ah!    Those were the days of  pure unadulterated fun. 

                     The days before TV became a household necessity. When just a few neighbours had the privilege of owning a colour TV and would happily accommodate the less privileged ones in the homes for the favorite shows. When at exactly 5.30pm on Sundays we would hear “washing powder nirma..washing powder nirma…dudh ki safedi….” on our neighbours TV and realize its time  for the Sunday movie on Doordarshan! When we would rush to finish our chores and run to their house just in time for the movie to begin.A movie would be enjoyed over animated talks and cups of steaming hot coffee.  
When           When the whole family would wait for “Chayageet” on Wednesdays on Doordarshan with no difference of opinion over which program to watch. When siblings did not have to fight over whether they should watch “pokemon” or “tom and jerry” and then decide to watch what each wants on two different TV`s in two different rooms.

                      When we would wait to reach home after school and go out and complete yesterday`s game of “lagori” with our friends and our parents did not have to worry about watching if we were safe. When we did not need anything more than playgrounds to keep us occupied. When we could play in the rain and not worry about being scolded for the fear of falling sick. When carom boards, chess boards, ludo and snake and ladders did not gather cobwebs in some fancy cupboard but played everyday with siblings and friends. 

                     The days before there were more people in houses than electronic gadgets. When there was so much time for dads and mums to spend with their children. When they taught us virtues and good habits by telling us little stories thus shaping our thoughts and actions. When we felt listened to and important by our parents. When parents did not keep themselves so occupied with their mobiles and laptops that they could not even hear what their little one was trying to say.

                     The days when we had family get togethers and dinners and the talk would revolve around who was doing what in the family rather than meet on networking sites and discuss scams, fake swamijis, and all irrelevant details. 
Wh               When cousins would plan little events during family time, enact funny plays and sing songs, bringing out all latent talents out of the closet. When first, second and even third cousins would bond over planning and arguing who got which part to play and practicing the “script” with so much effort. When the whole family would plan picnics together, and hire a bus, carry home made food and all necessary staples for the outing, instead of just one family simply driving out to a mall in their fancy cars and eating all the junk that money can buy. When we carried badminton rackets, cricket sets and volley balls to play during our outings, not video games and i-pods. When we carried a radio instead and tuned in to listen to Amin Sayani`s deep throated voice and the latest movie songs.

                     When festivals meant, meeting families and friends, eating great food and relaxing. When Diwali meant getting up early, taking oil baths and wearing new clothes. It meant visiting all elders of the family and taking their blessings. The greatest joy was getting a princely Re.5 coin from grandma which she would have planned and kept ready for the entire army of little children who would visit her that day.
                     When entire families of our apartment would gather after Lakshmi puja during Diwali and burst crackers together. When during Holi, eating “gujiyas” and applying gulal was the most awaited event after the ladies in the apartment had finished praying and dancing around the bonfire lit to signify the burning of “holika” .
                     When Sankranti saw kite flying competitions on every terrace and the sky would be adorned with kites of every make and colour. When every lady of the house would greet her family and neighbours with til-gud and say “til gud ghya goad goad bola” meaning ,have this ladoo of sesame seeds and jaggery and always speak sweetly.
                     When Ganesha Chaturthi was far less commercial and much more fun. When dancing in the “sandall” while installing the Ganesha idol was fun and not disgraceful. When the entire society got together and sang “sukh karta dukh harta” with utmost devotion and the prasad “gopaalkaala” that was distributed was a mixture of offerings from all the houses.

                     When we could solve any problem by just discussing them with our friends while chatting on the terrace of the apartment. When no heartbreak seemed permanent, because friends would help heal the scar. Being scolded by parents did not signal the end of the road and 10year olds did not commit suicide even after being beaten by the parents, because we had friends to share our misery and give guidance.

                     When board exams of std.10 and 12 were treated as battles, where neighbours would come to our houses and wish us luck and give us gifts like a pen or a small chocolate bar , all aunties in the apartment would feed us dahi-sakkar as a good luck charm and inquire how we had written the exam after we came back. When we distributed sweets to everyone in the apartment after the results were announced, receiving advice on what we should do next. When we felt happy in others achievement and sad in their failures.

                    When neighbours could ask each other , “I am going to the market, do you need anything” and the favour would be returned without asking, in taking a sick child to the doctor or babysitting or rolling out papads.

                    These days seem like they were light years ago….I wonder what memories my children will have? What tales will they carry forward to tell their children? Will their cousins be some distant galaxies whom they might not even meet more than once in their entire lifetime? I am pondering over all these thoughts and just then I am shaken awake by an ensuing fight, and a request,

                      “Mamma, can I see the TV in your room, Chikku will not let me see “Mighty Raju” on POGO, he wants to see “mickey mouse”.”

********                   *************************************************************************************************

                                  I am taking part in the write tribe festival of words 8th- 14th december 2013                                                           Write Tribe prompt on Recalling memories



Friday, December 6, 2013

Steamed up?

Nayana emerged from the shower enjoying what the hot water did to her tired and cold body. After a hard morning of strenuous running and working out in the chilly weather outside, the hot water had felt like tonic. She looked at the mirror in front of her. It was foggy with steam. She always had to write something on a steamy mirror. Using her finger, she scribbled on it.

I Love you.

She was about to make a heart shape on the mirror as she always did, when she noticed another line of scribbles starting just below where she’d left off.

I love you too…

She gasped.

Who’s there?” she screamed, turning all around, looking everywhere for some signs of the prankster.

No one.

She looked at the mirror.

A smiley.

“If this is a joke, I don’t like it one bit” she said. “Who’s there?” A firmer tone this time. She didn’t want to sound scared.

And then she looked at the mirror again. More scribbles.

Always the bold one, huh?” 

“Why won’t you speak out?” her voice gave away the scare that had started seeping into it, her eyes glued to the mirror.

“Fancy getting some clothes on? You don’t want to be seen like this, do you?”

She hastily pulled a towel from the hanger and wrapped it around herself. She decided that she had had enough of this. She turned the door knob trying to get out of the bathroom. The knob seemed stuck.


“Why are you doing this to me?” she broke down, sliding along the door, falling to the floor, tears now beginning to fill her eyes. She looked at the mirror.


Maybe whoever it was, had left. She gathered herself, got up and walked to the mirror. She didn’t want to be talking to someone through a steamed mirror. She picked up a napkin and rubbed the mirror furiously, till it looked free of steam. And then she gasped again. She could see Neel’s face through it. He was smiling at her.

It couldn’t be…she thought. Neel was dead.

The mirror steamed up again, and he seemed to have vanished as quickly as he appeared.

“You killed me, didn’t you?”

“No….no…. Neel, it was an accident.….kn…know that…”


And then something wrapped itself around her neck and dragged her into the mirror, even as she struggled to break free, making a crash sound followed by a thud.

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