Gharwaali Diwali


Waking up yesterday morning with a slight nip in the air, I felt a smile across my face. Aah, the time of winter is slowly approaching. The time with all the cozy blankets and the times when I turn the fan on full and jump inside the said blanket all curled up till the time my mother comes scolding me about the deadly effects of the an on full speed. All this times have a grandiose welcome to them. The celebration of Diwali. You know whenever someone talks about Diwali, the faces of everyone light up, especially mine. These are the times when the complete family comes together, all the hustle bustle inside the house right from the early mornings to the late night chats, everything that happens is all so much memorable. Knowing friends who haven’t been able to make it to their homes on the festival,and me quipping them on how #GharwaliDiwali is the best time and teasing them around made me realize the value of this special occasion. It is not just a festival, but a long week that is filled with all kinds of emotions, happiness, sadness, anger, disappointment, but only the happiness is what one indulges his nostalgia on.

 

Many of my friends from other countries have often asked me what is so special about the festival and whenever I am asked the question to share my best memories of the festival, it always takes me back to the times when I used to set up the lights for the house, setting the Puja table, going to the market for the various things needed for the same and the list goes on. However, one thing that always made me burst out into spurts of laughter was the time when me being in my very young age of 12, enjoying the bliss of the morning day cartoons during the fortnight long school vacations when my dad asks me to adjoin him for buying the fireworks. Yay time for any kid right? However during the ending days of the school, we were told about the extremely harmful effects of the crackers and fireworks o the nature and being made to parade around the city in an extremely boring Anti-Cracker Rally which always made me go UGHHH!!!!! NOT AGAIN!! But, unlike the other times, I actually listened to what the teachers said this time to us and gave a little thought into it. So when my dad asked me again whether I was coming or not. I, being extremely dramatic about it, slowly stood up, put my right arm forward and gave a long talk about how crackers are not good for the nature and basically everything the teacher said, I repeated it back. Amused, my father called my mother and sister who started laughing and asked me if I had a concussion or did something hit me in the head. Not letting that get to me, I took away the keys from my dad’s hand and did not let him go. That was the year I stopped bursting crackers and have maintained it till now. It is one thing that makes me laugh and smile at the old and naive person that I was.

 

This post has been written for the Indiblogger Happy Hours, Diwali – A Time for Family. Check this cool video out.

Hope you all have a grand Diwali celebration Guys!!!!!

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Private India by Ashwin Sanghi – Book Review


Private India is a thrilling suspense novel from two masters of the art: Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson.

Summary of the Book

When a series of seemingly unconnected murders rock the city of Mumbai with the macabre rituals and artefacts found around the corpses, Private India, a leading investigation agency takes the case. Santosh Wagh, the head of the organization, has only one mission. He needs to stop the killers before they strike again. However, in a city of over 13 million people, he finds that the clock is ticking too fast. He finds himself pitted against underworld dons and a Godman who isn’t what he seems. However, the worst is yet to come and Private India itself may be threatened with a revelation that could destroy the entire organization.

 

About the Authors

Ashwin Sanghi is an Indian writer and entrepreneur. He has also written: Chanakya’s Chant and The Krishna Key. He is also known by his pseudonym: Shawn Haigins.

A graduate of the Yale School of Management and St. Xavier’s College, he has since been awarded several acclaims for his work. His second book has been optioned for a movie by UTV and is expected to begin production soon. He currently lives in Mumbai with his loving family.

James Patterson is a bestselling American writer. He is best known for Along Came a Spider, Jack & Jill, When the Wind Blows and Step on a Crack among over 100 others.

 

MY REVIEW

Starting off with a promising note, Private India tries to do so very much in itself. The start to the book is phenomenal and I turned my pages quickly trying to gobble up more and more of this thriller that was supposed to keep me on the edge of my seat. Alas!! That was not happened. Reading Ashwin’s previous books, The Krishna Key and The Rosabel Line, I was coming in with great expectations of this book. Although the author tries and often successfully, the plot does leave a bit hungry at the end. The various series of murders and the clues along with them are written so as to generate this air of a great age thriller that will leave you gasping for air. With a stale plot, the authors fail to deliver what was promised. Mixing the Indian Mythology along with the murders, was something I did not expect and did bring a certain amount of freshness into the story. It clearly shows that the authors have done their research and they have done a good job doing that, but the essence of it wasn’t portrayed perfectly. Apart from the loose plot and the shoddy details regarding the police infrastructure as well as the technology being used, it also looks as if it has heavily borrowed from the long time running crime-show on a national television channel. Though Ashwin Sanghi is one of the Indians who absolutely nails down the thriller fictions, Private India is a let down. The real Ashwin Sanghi, whom I have come to love was missing from the words of this book. Grammatical errors on pages 211 and 393 could have been avoided, and the murder on page 117 should have dealt a blow to the reader instead of being the cold scene it was. Anyway, all in all the book did also have a few good points, intertwining government officials and the other murder scenarios are really good to the core and quite enjoyable indeed. Yet Private India just does not give you the goosebumps a thriller should, it does not make glue you to the chair, it makes you yawn (23 times during the whole course of the book) and it definitely does not leave you with a void one feels, when one finishes a great book.

Overall, I give Private India a 2.5 on ratings out of 5. 

Ashwin Sanghi – You are a brilliant author. There is no doubt about that. Keep dishing out thrillers, you’ll always have a reader in me. 

PS: I thank Blogadda.com personally for offering me the opportunity to review this book. 

Down memory lane


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 49; the forty-ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Relieving the shot glass of its content down my throat, I brace myself for the familiar gut wrenching moments. Cold sweat start to appear on my forehead as I fall off the chair onto the floor. Curling up along the carpet, my head starts to get heavy as I feel the force pulling me from all directions. Spinning around wildly, I wonder about my destination, hoping for a different destination, a different event, a different memory.Alas!! I know my hopes are of futile nature. Ending up in the same familiar room, the constant beeping, the blinding whiteness, I look from a distance as she holds onto arms tightly. Under her canopy of stars of the ceiling, I stand holding back tears, trying hard to remain strong, to swallow the choke in my throat, I try to smile. I really do. Looking into those big brown eyes and those smiling little lips, I find my comfort. Moments pass away as those eyes close. Only the smile is constant. I can cry now, I say to myself.

Looking at the  watch, I wait for the force to take me back. Again the gut wrenching moment, my body being pulled from all sides as I spin wildly back to my living room. Tears, I have no control over, start to work their way out. Clutching her photo, I whisper to myself, “Only if you were here Vaani. Only if I could be with you.”

Maybe I’ll come again tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be strong tomorrow. Maybe I’ll walk down memory lane again tomorrow, but today let me cry. Today, let me be weak, because a parent who has buried his child is not built to be strong.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 12