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They Don't Fit in the Pocket

I must have been in Class 7 when I read my first Hindi pulp fiction. It was a novel named Sile Huye Honth (Sewn Lips). The hero of the novel was Major Balwant who was a private detective and I had smuggled the thin book out of Dad's trunk of books. It was supposed to be out of my reach but I managed to get it out. So, I had to turn criminal to get to read my first Hindi detective novel. The name of the author was Colonel Ranjit but I didn't know that it was the pen name of Maqbool Jallandhry. I don't remember the names of the members of Balwant's team. But I remember that he had a dog whose name was Crocodile.The other thing I remember very well is about the monthly newspaper bill. There was this book stall near the bus stand from where I used to take a bus on my way back from school. Our household newspaper used to come from there. At the beginning of a month, Dad or Mom would settle the bill for the previous month - which would be roughly 100 to 120. But the next mon…
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Gift from My Little Angel

Towards the last quarter of 2013, I had decided to quit my job to focus on my writing. I already had a plot of a novel in my mind. All I wanted to do is write it in peace, away from the grinds of daily routine.
                   I had started buying the books I thought I needed for researching the background of my story. And I found most of the books I was looking for.
                   At the office, I had put down my papers and had started serving out my notice period.
                   That Monday morning, I was just preparing the files that I need to share with the team for knowledge transfer that day. When I got a call from the Mailroom – which handles the deliveries of couriers inside the company campus – I was a little surprised. I have not ordered anything – which basically means books – in the last few days. And I did not remember anyone telling me of anything that they had couriered to me.
                    I went down to the Mailroom to collect it. After signing for i…

Kid, Love and Resurrection in a Bookstore : Reviewing The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry

Let me start with a confession. I stop to watch whenever I come across You've Got Mail running on any channel. And no, I'm not romantic enough for that movie. I just stop to watch the bookstore scenes.
There is something so cosy and reassuring about an old and small bookstore, where picking a book becomes a very private, a very intimate, a loving act. I feel like walking into such a store and spending half a day or more, just loitering through the well laden shelves, sitting down occasionally, flipping few pages now and then, finally walking out with a treasured bag of books. 
Mr. A. J. Fikry, the protagonist of The Collected Works of A. J. Fikryby Gabrielle Zevin, runs the small and only bookstore on Alice island. He is an eccentric with quite definite tastes in books. He knows his books and certainly not afraid to refuse any that doesn't comes upto his mark, even if they are the bestsellers of the time. The list of what he is not going to stock on his shelves is long. I me…

Thrilling Salvation : Reviewing Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

What if all you have to do to commit a murder is to be absent from the place of murder? 
Just not be present at the scene of the murder at the time of the murder, and voila, the murder is performed by you. That's gonna be some murder, yes? Hell yes.

Keigo Higashino is the master of the impossible murders/crimes. In the Salvation of a Saint, the bestseller author of The Devotion of Suspect Xoffers the readers another impossible murder to fry their brains over. The Devotion of Suspect X has already been labelled the Japanese Thriller Phenomenon. I was lucky to do a review of the book for blogadda sometime back. You can glance at the review here

In his latest book, we have another impossible situation. The husband is killed. The wife is away at her parents home. The lady, with whom the husband is having an affair, has visited him the night before, but was not in the house at the time of the murder. The neighbors has not seen anyone going into the house. So, who murdered the husband? I…

Mine or World's

"Maana ke dosto ko Nahi dosti ka lihaaj.
Ye Kya baat ki ghair ka ehsaan lijiye."
[Agreed that friends (dear ones) no longer held the relationship as sacrosanct.
That's no excuse to sought favours of strangers.]At some point in time, some line, some couplet, some stanza of some song smacks you right in between the eyes.I had never sought favours of strangers. Whenever one has de-sanctified the uniqueness of a relationship, I have installed loneliness in its place.One day all the rooms of my building will be occupied by loneliness. That seems certain.But after all I have done for the loneliness, living for it every moment, giving away my nights to it every night, maybe bleed for it. Maybe by then I will own the right to the loneliness. And call it my loneliness. And not share it with the world.Yes, I wanted it to be in a relationship. But at least loneliness, my loneliness, just mine.I want to be an antique,archaic, trifle, or trash, whatever but in a home. I never would b…

Less A Key, More A Puzzle : Review of The Krishna Key

Keys open a door for us or it unlocks some treasure to us. Puzzles are an art unto itself. They are solved for the solving of it. It may or may not lead to anything further. 

The Krishna Keyis abundant with puzzles to solve. But the key may not be a key per se. But it is certainly a thriller worth one read. 

Before starting to read the book, it will certainly do well to just forget the comparisons of Ashwin Sanghi, the author of three mythological thrillers including the latest The Krishna Key, with Dan Brown. Coming with this kind of notions overshadows the actual reading experience.

Being a thriller, the book is all about chasing and finding the criminal, whom we, as reader, already know. As it is a mythological thriller, there is also an ancient secret to be revealed. And again for the same reason, the hero of the thriller must be an academic, in this case an historian, who can share the ancient knowledge or the explanation thereof. 

Ravi Mohan Saini, the historian, is an expert in the…

Punctured Story Telling : Review of Fractured Legend

In a crowd of books pedaling porn - of one sort or the other - and parading itself as the truth of relationships of our times, when I came across the following description 
“We are like the moths that follow invisible spiral loops to go round and round a flickering flame before jumping into the center leaving in their wake, a glowing red sore in the eye of the flame,” says the narrator, a temple slave. Priyambada makes up her mind to leave the temple where she melt into flesh at night and froze into statue by the morning. She renounces her immortal chalices, the temple facades, for a mortal life, for a life in flesh… But the tangles of life in flesh – marriage and bearing children – thrust her into a world of tribulations that cast her off into the past, sealed past, frozen past.Nandhini, a professional assassin, is plagued by an assignment to retrieve a mysterious manuscript that is smeared with a rope of blood across its pages. She finds herself in the midst of a complex game of dece…