हे सर्व कोठून येते? – A Book Review

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If you are aware of the contemporary Marathi theatre scene, then one name will be very familiar to you: Vijay Tendulkar. He was a fantastic playwright with many milestones in Marathi theatre like Ghashiram Kotwal, Gidhade and Sakharam Bainder which are recorded on his name. He had also written stories for some amazing films, such as Ardhasatya, Akrosh and Nishant. On the other hand, he had written many short and long articles, essays on various occasions. “हे सर्व कोठून येते?” is a compilation.

While talking about this book in its prologue, he said “After observing people for so many years, I feel labeling them is pointless. They are very complex, we can only scrape the surface of one’s personality. We have to accept that every person has a whole different life other than one we have experienced. We should not make judgments about the ‘other part’ of life. If we do, then it should be for our own musing.”

This book is all about people he met, interacted and worked with in his long span of a career as a journalist; an editor of various periodicals, a writer and during his work under Nehru Fellowship. He came across various politicians as a journalist and editor and he has tried to present them differently trying to put some light on their unique facet. He had taken the interview of ex-CM of Maharashtra Vasantrao Naik, ex-CM of Gujrat Chimanbhai Patel and J P Naik but in this book he has written elaborately about them and his experience of meeting them for an interview.

While working for Maratha, one of the old popular Marathi daily, he had witnessed a lot of different avatars of Pra. Ke. Atre, legendary writer, orator and owner of Maratha. He has been active in politics in those days and was famous for being blunt while putting his thoughts to words. He has dedicated some of the articles to his fellow writer, friends, and colleagues.

But the last two articles from the book are really different than others. They talk about death, murders and death penalty elaborately. These two articles have made me reschedule my today’s blog post for next week and write this review for you guys. I tell you, folks, I had never read anything so thought-provoking about somebody’s death or somebodies act of murdering another human. I wasn’t able to speak about anything for almost 15 minutes after I finished the book on this note. Guys, I recommend that you grab a copy of the book at least for these two articles. I know, it’s a Marathi book but you feel free to ask me anything if the language is a barrier for you, I will be very happy to help you in this matter.

My rating: – 4.5/5

Name of the book: हे सर्व कोठून येते?

Publisher: Rajhans Prakashan

Pages: 195

ISBN: 81-7434-317-2

ISBN13: 9788174343178

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Or borrow from your library.


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Absolute Khushwant – A Book Review

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It has been a busy month so far. I just shifted to a new place and was busy in settling down in my new home. When I was putting my books on the shelf, I realised that I had piled up lots of half-read books in the past few months. So I put myself on a new mission to finish these books before I pick up any new book from my ‘yet TBR’ pile.

One of the books in that half-read pile was Absolute Khushwant. I had picked it up when I was traveling from Nashik to Pune as my ‘one for the road’ book. But I had barely managed to read very few pages; thanks to the bumpy ride of the under construction highway. As I reached Pune, the book got sidelined and joined the others in ‘half-read’ pile. I am fascinated by his way of writing so I decided to finish this book before any other book.

This is my first book of Khushwant Singh. I have not read any of his works, not even his weekly columns which used to get published in some Indian newspapers. But the rawness with which he pens his thoughts just holds you till the last word. This simplicity and frankness always touch your heart even if you disagree with his views.

In this book, this 96 old guy writes very frankly on almost all of the aspects of human life. He opens the dialogue, by telling us how he feels about being old. In the later pages, he opens up about his views on sex, love and marriages. He talks about his relationship with his wife Kaval and the rough patch in their marriage. He also writes about his worries, insecurities and much more.

He then moves on to the people he came across in his life, few he liked, he respected and some whom he trashed with his pen. He had trashed the religious fundoos (his word for fundamentalists) from all the religions including his own with harsh strokes of his pen. He took a strong stand against Bhindranwale for which he was on their hit list for years. He shares his views about politics, terrorism and the riots of 1984.

Even being agnostic himself, he writes elaborately on various religious scriptures and what he finds good in them. There is a long piece on Sikh community in the book along with one on the city of Delhi. Khushwant shares his love for Urdu language and especially for Urdu poetry, where he tells us how he enjoyed translating works of great poets in English and his favorites amongst those legends.

As the book comes to an end, topics of his essays turn philosophical like destiny, luck, faith in humanity, etc. He aptly concludes the journey on the point of death. He shares how the death’s of his family members which he witnessed at a tender age affected him, and now at the age of 96 how he expects to put the full stop to his journey, and then he signs off with his remarks on himself.

Overall a good read. I liked his style, the rawness of thoughts, no sugar coating and being straightforward. Now I am looking forward to reading more of his work. I would rate it 3.5/5. I would recommend you this book if you are interested in non-fiction short writings.

Paperback: 200 pages

Publisher: Penguin India (17 August 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0143068717

ISBN-13: 978-0143068716

Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.2 x 19.6 cm

You can grab your copy at

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Zero Hour

32385700640_ce730110ab_k-840x420It was around 2130 hours, Major Vikram rallied the bravo company around him to prepare for an ambush. Everyone on the team was already briefed and was aware of their role in the mission in the evening. Intel was heavy and solid this time. Group of insurgents was mobilizing in the forests on the other side of the border. It was moonless night, perfect opportunity to cross the border. Everyone on the border posts was alert. Major and his team at their base were getting ready, communications were getting double checked.

Major and his team at their base were getting ready, communications were getting double checked. Ammunition was loaded in a set pattern, supplies were checked. Final cleaning and assembly of their weapons of choice completed. Soon the table was cleared of all backpacks, ammo, and weapons. Major came forward and a map of the area was unfurled on the table.

Major re-briefed the plan. The border was sealed any way at every post. Every pair of eyes was vigilant for movements across the border. Strategically a gap was created in the border detail to serve as a funnel. Right across the gap, there was an open patch, big enough to dig the graves of all insurgents. Surrounded by all sorts of covers and high ground, as if they were created for this ambush only. Major had done the recce and identified the position of his troops. All the birds knew their nests. Everyone had already memorized the details of every cover and open grounds in the zone. their minds have carried out the action already in the mind space. Routine night petrol was going to be there on the regular schedule. Major asked if anyone have a doubt, none responded. Heads nodded and gathering dispersed.

Everyone was keeping their calm and there was pin drop silence. The only thing you could here was ticks of the clocks which team had already synced together at re-briefing. Radio came to life and chattered about the routine petrol communications. Everyone in the company sprang on their toes. Bravo company was cleared to start setting the ambush. Zero hour has started.

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Today is the last day of A to Z challenge with Blogchatter, day 26. Z is for “Zero hour. You can find my other posts from this challenge here.

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Y is YouTube

YouTube_logo_2015.svgAround 15 years ago, if someone told you about sharing video over the internet you would have had a good laugh about the idea. But three guys from PayPal dreamed about this and first ever video sharing platform of internet era was launched. In 2005, the launch of YouTube hit the world and opened a big avenue of expressing the thoughts in form of videos. YouTube spread rapidly amongst youngsters and some bloggers upgraded themselves as vloggers. 

Books, Fashion, Food, Self-help, Comedy, Art, DIY… you name it and YouTube will find hundreds of videos on that subject. A lot of independent creators have come forward and started their own channel. Now you don’t need big production house to create your film. Even your phone camera can do the trick.

Now in 2017, I doubt there is hardly any urban youth in India who haven’t subscribed to at least 10 YouTube channels. High-speed internet connectivity is not an issue anymore in India with 3G network connectivity. Even 4G is spreading its network rapidly. This has given a big foothold for YouTube community in India. I personally have subscribed around 60 channels who are creating amazing contents on so many diverse topics from around the globe. YouTube has made it possible to see what guy or girl from another part of the world.

Let me tell you about my favorite YouTubers from my following list.

Arriel Bissett A booktuber from Canada who is equally crazy about the books like me…

Casey Neistat is a New Yorker filmmaker who is most consistent in daily vlogging. This guy had set a bar very high for all those daily vloggers.

Savan Dutta, Bengali Singer, composer and songwriter who has music blog named The Metronome

Shankar Tucker is a clarinetist and composer who has worked with so many artists around the globe. Do check out his videos for amazing songs.

Nerd writer is the channel for you if you like to enjoy the word plays or orations and rhetorics are your things. He simply breaks down the speeches, dialogues, and movie scenes to the level where you feel it all ‘elementary’

Prajakta Koli will never fail you if you are looking for the funny side of your daily lives with her channel Mostly Sane.

Maati Baani is a musical duo of Nirali Kartik and Kartik Shah creating and spreading music amongst all with collaborating with artists from every corner of the globe.

Are you a foodie? then Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube is the perfect place for you. What did you say? you would love some drinks with the food? Here you go guys, Jaime’s DrinksTube serves you amazing mocktails, cocktails and other drinks to quench your thirst.

Hey, girls, interested in some fashion tips and styles? Sejal Kumar from Delhi will tell you all. Her travel vlogs are also very interesting.

Guys, you want the full package of fashion, books, tv, movies and music favorites every month? then go check out Manchester girl Hannah Witton‘s monthly favorite.

Hope you like their work… Don’t forget to add your favorite YouTubers in comment bellow. 😉

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I am participating in A to Z challenge with Blogchatter and this is my take on day 25 challenge. Y is for “YouTube. You can find my other posts from this challenge here.

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E(x)press yourself

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Image credit to Mina’s blog

It’s very regular day, you get out of your house for your daily routine for the first time. Maybe for a quick run or cycle ride. Maybe you are out on the way to your office. You come across “official” graffiti on the walls of public facilities as an official promotion as an artwork. Sometimes, preaching some social message or just some casual artwork. But in ancient Greece, when commoners didn’t have any choice to raise their voice to the elites who had all the powers to decide the futures of commoners. Graffiti came to their rescue as a medium to put out the social concerns and political rhetorics on behalf of commoners.

 

I think even before entering any kind of formal social structures during the evolution of humanity, we always felt the need to express ourselves. We expressed with various pictograms, we painted the walls of caves narrating stories of our daily life of a hunter-gatherer. Slowly with the evolution of society, our interactions increased and we started having dialogues. Exchanging the thoughts amongst each other, we started to create more detailed paintings describing our social activities like festival celebrations, social dances, feasts.

As we discovered our ability to speak, we quickly developed our languages and soon we got so many ways to express ourselves. We started telling stories, songs got created. We can’t even count the number of books even from a single language which is known today. We express through paintings, sculptures, dance and facial expressions. We have developed so many art forms just to satisfy our urge to express.

Still many of us lack the ability to express their thoughts in public so they turn to the diaries, journals. Those journals are their den. There are so many introverts in this world who keep expressing their thoughts for the audience in their cocoon. Sadly, many thoughts are just suppressed inside with tight lid on them. Some thoughts are not socially acceptable. For example, here in India, we have big no-no for social or public mentions of intimacies. Everyone is ready to gossip. It’s a guilty pleasure. Nobody wants to accept it publicly. This social pressure tries to put many such thoughts suppressed within. “लोग क्या कहेंगे” is the biggest worry for us Indians.

The Sad part of the story is some people couldn’t find the safety valves for their trapped emotions, thoughts and the urge to express is killed accumulating tremendous pressure within. If the consciences are strong for the person, he or she will rebel against the social norms and create something constructive with that pressure. But in many cases, this pressure cripples the person and the vicious cycle of depression starts.

The urge of expression is the soul of life and when this urge starts dying because of depression, one looses the soul. That soulless body will live the life till nature ends it or he or she takes the final step. Let’s try to help these souls, let’s take a step ahead and be more open to all thoughts. There is no harm in listening to someone. No harm in reading a book which has been created with so much effort. So just keep doing guys, express yourselves, you will be heard.

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I am participating in A to Z challenge with Blogchatter and this is my take on day 24 challenge. X is for “E(x)press yourself. You can find my other posts from this challenge here.

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Writer’s block

There’s a moment in every writer’s life when he had the urge to write. Still, he or she feels empty. There are thoughts in mind, but they are not ready to come down on paper. Maybe because they are too random to link or develop further, or they are just too fast to catch hold of one and work on it. Recently I experienced one such block. Just a couple of days ago, when it was time to write something with the letter ‘u’. I definitely wanted to write. I was not at all ready to miss a day again in A to Z Challenge again.

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A representation of writer’s block by Leonid Pastemark

I struggled with that block and Came out of it. Somehow I managed to put some thoughts about our fascinating mind. Isn’t it really cool, our mind plays games with us in terms of creativity. When we have that urge to write something or develop a story around a thought, it just denies you the capacity of to think about it. It will create a blockade around that thought so that you can’t access it. I think that’s what the writer’s block is. On the other hand, when you are not at all expecting anything creative to happen, you will manage to write an amazing piece of poetry.

Many people often taunt the writers saying “There is nothing like writer’s block. It’s just you trying to be lazy.” I know there are some great writer’s who had mastered their mind and they had command over a huge volume of vocabulary. They could write wonderful stories, songs or poems effortlessly. Saadat Hasan Manto has once said, “When the fountain pen is not in my hand, I’m just Saadat Hasan. A man who knows and is able to express little. It is the pen that transforms me into Manto.” But on the other hand, if you search on the internet you will find that number of renowned authors and songwriters have undergone through this phase in their career.

I think this whole writer’s block thing is about our state of mind. Many times our mind is pretty much preoccupied with numerous processes. Work pressure, family issues or may be some quarrels with your buddies over petty issues. You name it and it will be there bothering your mind at one time or the other. When you try to create with this backdrop of mind, it has to be tough. But it takes just one spark to break free from this block and get those creative juices flowing. Considering the writer’s blocks faced by the greats from the creed, our blocks are just small rocks. Let’s not worry about them, soon the river flowing within will cut through and the passage will be clear for the emotions to be penned. So keep calm, and create!!!

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I am participating in A to Z challenge with Blogchatter and this is my take on day 23 challenge. W is for “Writer’s block. You can find my other posts from this challenge here.

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