5 Dec 2014


Everything turns into a memory – good or bad – and is stored in the recesses of your mind only to be called upon when life manages to replicate some part of the memory at some point, a smell, a sight, a sound, a word…


I lie curled up in a ball, my favorite pillow yielding no comfort.

My tummy is hurting so bad that I can’t stand up. I will myself to think about something else but the moment my thought process leads away from the pain, a sharp jag brings it back to the focal point somewhere between my ribs and my waist. I hear the clink of vessels in the kitchen next to my room and I wander into a tale of self-pity in my mind – I lie here, suffering, and my mother doesn’t care enough to come cuddle me, say a few soothing words. She gave me some medicine about an hour ago and that was that. Self-pity can be very comforting and very destructive – a few tears leak out of my tightly-closed eyes. It would be years before I realized that there is nothing my mother could have done about it. On the other hand, the way she reacted is what inched up my threshold for pain and for that, I am thankful now.


I lie curled up in a ball, my favorite pillow yielding no comfort.

I knew that I’d just gotten past the point of no return. Three years together have come apart at the seams. I’d parroted about a point of no return but when it really comes to pass, I feel dissociated despite the questions about the future that has a big, gaping hole in it. I think what makes me want to break things is that someone who is supposed to know me well chooses to believe the first rumor that comes around. It would be long years before I understood that when you have had enough, the first excuse is enough. I vow I’d never let a boy get me this low ever again. Now and forever, I come first. Me.

But that doesn’t stop me from beating myself up secretly for failing. The baggage is piling up.


I lie curled up in a ball, my favorite pillow yielding no comfort.

I feel winded, like someone had taken the air out of my lungs. The long, long post that highlights everything that is wrong with me. Surprisingly, I am not angry at the writer; in her defense, I’d started it. I always thought that I’m only as flawed as the next human being, but seems like I’m more than. I know it is pure spite that is spilling out, that I wasn’t half those things by many other people’s accounts. But I’m like that chef, one bad review trumps twenty good ones. Way to kick a person when she’s down, I tell the author in my head. Forgiving her is easy, chit of a girl... forgiving myself is what is going to take a long, long while.


I lie curled up in a ball.

It is only when you are dying that your life flashes by you, they say.

I close my eyes tight and picture frames like the ones from 1 Second Everyday run by my mind’s eye – a half-eaten bowl of rice and a picture book about a hat that grew larger and larger, a beating that came after the kulfi in the fridge was checked on too frequently, Lego blocks in a yellow tub, a raggedy brown bear that wasn’t cute but terribly loved, Rachel, the dinosaur who has travelled all the way to Dubai – farther than I have ever gone, buttons that were bought to make earrings for best friends and forgotten in a bag, the blue credit card that has been buried at the back of the wardrobe, the picture from Grade 10 that brings a cringe to the face, Ma’s biscuit cake, pushing the cousin off his cradle, losing pets, writing stories, talking to the mirror and sometimes the pillow, hospital visits that swung between the best and the worst, the unbearable drama in some relationships, the astounding simplicity of others, one billion thoughts a day, life – past and future. 


The best moments of life and the worst are temporary. In the end, they are all relegated to one barrel of memories, each just a blip on the radar of my existence.

2 Dec 2014

"God is a Gamer" - Book Review

I have been walking around with this book in my hand for weeks now, looking for an excuse to not read it. When I expressed the requirement of having to compulsorily read it for the review, my colleague made an apt statement:

“If you read and average of a books a week from now and we’ll assume you will live till you are 80 years old, you will read a total of  2912 books. Now, do you really want this to be one of those limited number of books.”

For someone who hasn’t read more than 50% of even the classics, the sound math put things into perspective. 

Yet I ploughed on for another couple of days to ensure that my review is not biased by my personal views on writing and fiction.

God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian is India’s first bitcoin thriller. A storyline that weaves through global streets and paced at breakneck speed, the book is a huge improvement on the previous thrillers I have experienced from Indian authors. But the sheer number of characters which have been introduced with a pointlessness that numbs my mind is surpassed by the amount of effort that has gone into making those characters… well... point-ful. Unfortunately, the effort goes to waste.

Let me break it down for you.

•    The grand finale/reveal falls flat on its face – insipid to say the least.
•    Too many focal points to the story, all good in their individual capacities, but together lose focus and thereby, are ineffective. Like someone mixed upma, parathas and KFC chicken and then threw in a taco and some beans for good measure.
•    Weak characterization; most characters have been given roles with a lot of meat on them without actually letting the readers get to the meat. This, again, is a fall out of the above point, lesser focal points would have given more scope to elaborate on the intricacies of each character line, which in turn would have added to the storyline.
•    Flimsiness – of everything. Not one character, not only event could hold my attention.

•    Bitcoins are fascinating, I did follow the whole rise and fall of the actual Cotton Trail and all, and this book educates readers on why that is so.
•    A lot of research has gone into the writing bit of the book which is much appreciated; there are no half-baked facts on gaming, poisons and such which are covered in the book.
•    The language is simple and clean, straight-forward even. No bad grammar and typos and whatnot.

All in all, this is a book you should read when you are travelling for over a couple of days and you don’t have the focus to read a good book because of all the vendors going chaay, chaay, kaapi, kaapi, idli-vadeeee every few minutes, but you still want to read something to keep your mind off the rowdy crowd, the unnecessarily inquisitive aunty and the extremely judgmental college student in your compartment. Or if you are one of those people who carry a book around to show off.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian bloggers at blogadda