The Silent Breeze

Be quiet for a while. Listen.

Carbonated

The flimsy cup

Holds the dark liquid

Holds it

Firm

Tight

Disciplined… Even then…

The liquid beckons

The external darkness

Ignored

By the lusting mouth

The momentary sinful union

Refreshing yet dark

Invigorating yet poisoned

The inviting skin

Hiding the negative

Society and its men

Reflections

Of the carbonated desire

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Telephonetics

Emotive

Boisterous sounds

Varied levels of pitch

Coloured and random

Jostle out like stampeding bulls

Restless chaos

In the tiny holes

And the long-winded tunnels

In an effort to meet the ear

 —

A pilgrimage

Lasting a few nanoseconds

In an effort to create

A structured tsunami

Flooding into the listener

The listener responds

Words with words

Emoting emotions

Deformed and reformed syllables

Hurtling down the dark tunnels

Reaching

The other end of the spectrum

Two sources

Two destinations

Two producers

Two consumers

Two beings

Two

Review of Sid Bahri’s “The Homing Pigeons”

The varied contours of the element of love are brought out in a unique manner in Sid Bahri’s “The Homing Pigeons”.  The book evolves from the tale of two persons who are completely different from each other and yet develop a bond to a tale interspersed with the obstacles of social stigma which eventually play havoc with their minds and lives. The story, essentially a love story, delves into the disconnect between the past and the present. This disconnect or misalignment mutates from a seemingly inconspicuous independent factor to something that leaves an indelible mark on the characters’ lives. This is a microcosmic representation of a dilemma that the globalized Indian culture faces when its path crosses that of the older generations. The younger informed generation wants to go beyond what it construes to be mere rules and regulations of their cultures as the logical worth of these elements has degraded in their eyes. In terms of the story, the characters crave to bring to the fore the concept of love as being beyond rituals and customs. Their crusade is rudely interrupted when their elders choose to take the tried and tested path of their cultures. This interruption, in turn, causes heartbreaking decisions to be made which end up disorienting the romantic waves which, until then, flowed along harmoniously.

The inability to communicate fluidly the ravaging storm blowing in their minds was another stimulus to the growing of the vacuum between the two characters. This goes on to prove that assumptions and negative thought processes that inadvertently rise in the dark recesses of the mind end up catalyzing the erosion of the bond that had so seamlessly and purely developed in a short period of time.

Although the book primarily dwells on the making and breaking of love between the two protagonists, it directs our attention to certain blots in our history like the anti-Sikh riots. From a rosy setting, we are heralded into the murky happenings of the past and the gruesome murder of fellow Indians. An event such as this not only carves out a new rugged path in Aditya’s life, it leaves a deep cavity in his parents’ minds. Certain moments of indiscretion and hot-headedness caused disastrous cascading effects all over the nation. The ripple effects are still strong enough to be not ignored as was proven in the case of Aditya’s parents when he broached the topic of marriage with them.

The book fails to deliver when it comes to the love story in itself. Different thought processes get played out repetitively after certain intervals which causes certain lulls in the flow of the story. Apart from that, the building up of the dilemma in the two characters’ lives is very promising and when it finally reaches the peak, the final bang comes in the form of a whimper as the story ends quite abruptly with a strong utopian essence.  Although happy endings are quite welcome and leaves the reader with a positive aftertaste, the erasure of all wrongs and negativity in a perfectly harmonious fashion happens in the span of a handful of pages. From my perspective, I would have liked to relish the ending as I would like to slowly relish and explore the orgasmic delight of an exotic dessert. On the technical front, the book needs better editing.

All in all, the story is engrossing and the painting of the characters has been quite vivid along with the parallel elements of social constructs and a forgettable past.

My rating is a 6/10.

Review of Ruchir Sharma’s “Breakout Nations”

Economics has always possessed that characteristic indigestible and toxic charm which renders the study or dissection of any topic, even remotely associated with it, an intensely grey-cell-intensive expedition. This is where Ruchir Sharma’s book barges in through the gates of the mighty impenetrable bastion and brings with it a deluge of fresh air. The very first element that catches the reader’s attention is the ingenious and yet simple compartmentalization of different countries and geographical regions into independent and distinct chapters. This breaks down the seemingly convoluted concepts of economics into understandable and soluble pieces or nuggets. Each chapter delves into the economic situation of a particular country or a geographical region. The current economic situation when coupled with the past, the predictable future, political events and bigwigs, cultural mindsets and other good and not-so-good elements makes for a heady concoction. In that vein, each chapter can be likened to a short story narrated from the third person’s perspective by a master story-teller. To extend the viewpoint, the book, itself, is synonymous to a collection of short stories where each story is equally engrossing and unique.

The book is an ode to the emerging or breakout nations of the immediate future, nations that are going to stride ahead in terms of development and stability and stand out as role models for the other nations of the world. Through logic and reasoning, it scrutinizes certain economies and gives a verdict on whether that particular nation is poised to grow or fall in the coming years. Sharma starts off with the big giant, namely China. According to him, the wonderful stories revolving around China’s gargantuan growth in the future are over-estimations of the real scenario. Its growth rate is poised to slow down alongside the negative factor of an aging population. Inflation is also a major factor that will play spoilsport to the long term meteoric growth story that is projected now. Soon after the hype about China is busted, Sharma goes on to tackle the Indian conundrum. The most hard-hitting fact that comes across in the chapter concerning India is that the ‘demographic dividend’ factor is highly overrated. Besides this, poor infrastructure, corruption, policy paralysis and inflation are serious hurdles that are going to stem the apparent steaming ahead of India into the developed world.

Through the examples of Mexico and Russia, Sharma highlights the destructive effects of oligarchic nations.  The infrastructure in Brazil has degraded to such an extreme level that CEOs are compelled to use helicopters for commuting from one location to another. As for the disaster story of the Eurozone, he points out that all is not doom through the examples of Poland and the Czech Republic. He also talks about the grey area of the world aka The Fourth World which is represented by countries such as the African nations, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the others. Although the future trajectory of these nations cannot be determined in any particular manner because of the varied volatile factors governing the economic and political machineries of the nations, Sharma throws in delectable pieces of logic supported by facts which hints at the possible demise or growth of certain countries.  The two countries that stand tall by the time the reader has completed the journey called Breakout Nations are South Korea and Turkey. While South Korea is flexible and dynamic enough to churn out world-class Asian brands, Turkey is headed by one of the most charismatic leaders of our times.

The book, in itself, is a beautiful odyssey that is characterized by an in-depth knowledge about the machinations of different nations around the world. Sharma’s genius comes to light through the manner in which he has effortlessly and quite simply put forward the complex logical theories governing the economic future of the nations. This book is highly recommended for people who wish to come to terms with the current global economic situation as the book helps the reader to compare, dissect, analyze and judge economic theories and deductions in a much simpler and digestible manner.

breakout-nations_apr172

 

Published in http://www.proud2bindian.com  (April, 2013)

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