Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Morning After


The sun rays came slanting though the partings of the closed curtains and fell directly on the round face. Two tiny eyes were forced open and blinked thrice. Sneha sat up on her bed, her hair tousled, making her look all the more childlike.  The bed sheet on the opposite side of the bed was half on the floor, all crumpled. Her eyes ran across the room searching for Raj. She could smell the faint scent of his Hugo Boss perfume in the air reminding her of the previous night which she spent in his arms. He still wears it, she smiled to herself. She rubbed her arms and crouched on the bed as she mused about the things that happened.

Raj has come back, finally. I knew he would. His guilt is
too strong for him. I will forgive him, like everytime. He thinks
I don't know the real reason behind those nights he stays
away giving the excuse of late night office meetings.
Ah ...those red roses he brings for me every morning
he comes back from Richa's. He knows red roses are
my favourite. Making love to me every Saturday and
making me breakfast every morning is his 
way of compensating for what he did. His scrambled eggs
are the best in the world, if only they changed everything he did.
He is probably doing the same again now, fixing me
breakfast and a cup of tea, with extra cream and less sugar,
exactly the way I love it. He knows every detail about me.
Does he knows everything about Richa as well?
Raj is good at picking up details and remembering them.
Too bad, it increases his guilt all the more.

Sneha ran down the stairs to the dining room. Her eyes fell on the bunch of red roses on the tea table as a look of puzzlement crossed her face. Why are the flowers here today?, she wondered. Raj wasn't in the kitchen. She ran across to the patio looking for him. 

"Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me."

James Blunt's voice blasted at full volume. "I've to change that ringtone, how I hate it!! It has always been Raj's favourite. He must have changed it after I slept off last night" , she talked to herself as she came to get the phone.

"Hello. Is this Mr. Rajesh Malhotra's residence? " the voice came from the other side.
"Yes, I am his wife, Sneha"
"We are very sorry to inform you that we found your husband's body in his car. We also found another lady's body in the car along with your husband's, but we couldn't identify it. The accident took place yesterday evening and both died on the spot. We need you or somebody from the family to come down to Colaba police station to identify them."
"How is it even..."
The words froze in her mouth as Sneha looked across to the tea table which was empty except for a few drops of water in the place where she saw the red roses a few minutes back.


The phone slipped from her grip and fell on the floor with a thud.

~The End~

This was my first attempt at a short story. Do let me know your thoughts :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book Review - The Secret Proposal by Aniesha Brahma


Author: Aniesha Brahma
ISBN: 9789380914237
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Year: 2012
Publisher: General Press
Number of Pages: 208
Language: English

Genre: Fiction/ Romance
Price: Rs. 125 ( I received a review copy from the author)

About the Book
       Eight years ago, she was the teenager he would use to get out of boring parties. But now, he is stunned to see her grown up.
       He decides to delay his marriage by getting into a false engagement with her. Then he falls in love with someone else and she forces herself to move on. He comes back to her, but she's determined not to take him back. Will she ever get over her unrequited love for him?
      Would a grand gesture from him make her believe otherwise?
      And how do you know that your knight in shining armour has been standing right next to you?
      Join Tanveer 'Veer' Bhattacharya and Larissa 'Jasmine' Chroborty as they embark on a journey which questions relationships, friendships and makes one wonder...
    how long would it take for love to eventually find a way?

About the Author

       Aniesha Brahma, currently a Masters student in Jadavpur University, is pursuing a degree in Comparative Literature. She was born and brought up in Kolkata, West Bengal.
Aniesha can be contacted at her website : www.anieshabrahma.webs.com

Swarnali Speaks :
       First of all, I would really thank Aniesha for the personal note she added on the first page. Gestures like these make the reading experience better :)

  Coming to the book, the cover is really pretty and the picture prepares us for the fairy tale romance world that we are about to enter as we read the book. As you can read from the back cover of the book, this is the story of Larrisa a.k.a. Jasmine and her childhood crush Tanveer a.k.a Veer.

For starters, almost everyone would identify with the protagonist of the book, Larrisa for we've all had our shares of crushes, those innocent stares, the light-headed feeling when your crush looks back at you and smiles, the unending daydreams and what not. I don’t have a particular love for romances, but this book was a pleasant change from the same old stereotyped campus romance tales that I’m tired of reading. Another thing that I particularly liked was the absence of grammatical errors. I didn't notice any in the book (I don’t remember having come across typographical errors either but I’m not very sure about that). The language is simple and lucid and the story flows smoothly. I loved the narration where the author describes the festivity and mirth that envelops the City of Joy, Kolkata and its inhabitants during Durga Pujo. The celebrations and ceremonies are immaculately described.

Of all the characters mentioned in the book, I loved Larrisa’s best buddy Meghan a.k.a MM the most. She is the perfect best friend who is always there to help Jasmine and fixes all the mess ups she does. Everyone needs a bestie like her :D Veer is the very handsome knight in shining armour that our heroine has been crushing after since she was a teenager. He is omnipresent and arrives at the right moments to save our damsel in distress.

A few things I didn't like much in the book were the repeated use of phrases like “bridal style”, and “chocolate brown eyes”. The novel seemed to be filled with parties of all kinds happening over and over throughout the course of the book. Larissa seems to be too weak, fainting multiple times.

Apart from these minor glitches, the book is a really pleasant read, perfect for those days when you want to just sit down and relax with a light breezy book. A really good debut novel. If you are a chick-lit fan, you'll really like this one. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series (with Meghan as the protagonist) that Aniesha is planning to write next.

Rating : 3 / 5

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review - The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian


Author: Ravi Subramanian
ISBN: 9788129120489
Binding: Paperback

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Number of Pages: 358

Genre: Fiction
Language: English

Price: Rs. 250 (I received a review copy from Blogadda.com for review ) 

Book Cover says:

 Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threaten to destroy the reputation that the Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) has built over the years. Who is behind these killings, and what is their motive? Is the banker at GB2 fast turning into a bankster?

When Karan Panjabi, press reporter and ex-banker, digs deeper, he realizes that he has stumbled upon a global conspiracy with far reaching ramifications a secret that could not only destroy the bank but also cast a shadow on the entire nation. With only thirty-six hours at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and uncover the truth.

About the Author: 
Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, has spent two decades working his way up the ladder of power in the amazingly exciting and adrenaline-pumping world of global banks in India. It is but natural that his stories are set against the backdrop of the financial services industry. He lives in Mumbai with his wife Dharini and daughter Anusha. In 2008, he won the Golden Quill Readers Choice award for his debut novel, If God was a Banker.

Find the author at :

Website: http://www.ravisubramanian.in/index.asp

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Authorravisubramanian

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SubramanianRavi

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/authorravisubramanian

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/AuthorRavi

 Swarnali Speaks : 

This is one book I heard a lot about ever since it was on the stands and I had almost planned to buy it when I saw it on Blogadda's review programs. 220 copies for the much awaited The Bankster were available and I'm pretty sure almost everyone who had applied for the book must have received a copy. :P

The book is worth the wait and is a complete page turner. What I loved best about the book is the fact that the author has done a brilliant job in withholding the suspense till the very last. There are moments when you think you've got the whole thing figured in your head but then a totally unexpected twist to the tale makes you realise that you've been digging in all the wrong places till now. The end is completely unpredictable. The entire book can be summed up as a jigsaw puzzle with all small pieces scattered here and there and you cannot make out which piece fits where until the author takes you by the hand and connects the dots and you are left with a sense of awe.

The author efficiently uses his banking background to his advantage in the setting of the book. The language is pretty simple but the book does contain a few banking jargon spluttered here and there but that doesn't act as a hindrance to the reading process. The book begins in Angola’s alluvial diamond mines and then the scenes keep seamlessly shifting from there to Devikulam in Kerala to Mumbai and to Vienna. I loved the wonderfully detailed descriptions of the setting which made the whole reading process feel like a movie watching experience. Despite the skips from one location to another, the reader does not feel a sense of fragmentation which is a big plus point for the book. The first few pages are a tad bit slow as the settings and characters are slowly established. I was in fact pretty puzzled trying to figure exactly what was happening and how all these different incidents happening at seemingly unrelated places relate to the main plot that is the deaths of the employees at the bank as mentioned in the blurb at the back. The protagonist of the book, Karan Panjabi arrives pretty late in the book and has a very casual entry and all of a sudden the book begins to move at a neck breaking speed.

The book was a pleasant read apart from a few minor issues here and there. There are a few typographical errors which were missed during the proof reading process. Another problem I found was with the usage of a few Hindi terms in the dialogues and a few direct and literal translations of Hindi terms and phrases into English. The use of colloquial language does make the story feel more believable and real but it obstructs the complete understanding of the connotations for a non-Hindi understanding reader.

I would definitely recommend the book to all readers who love fast moving thriller plots.
Rating : 4/5
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com . Participate now to get free books!

Friday, November 9, 2012



To be or not to be
To do or not to
Past and present intertwine
Into a grotesque mesh
Leaving me all confused and knotted.


Wishing forgetting you came easy,
Wishing just a goodbye would have done it all,
Wishing it was enough to erase all those memories,
Wishing just closing my eyes would end it all,
Wishing turning away would set me free,
From all those memories which look so distant
Now that you're not here anymore.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Situs inversus

Hello bloggy-friends

If you've read my post on Heterochromia iridis, you'll know that I've a special love for the human physiology and psychology (sadly, I don't happen to study either). I have always been intrigued by everything different and unnatural. What is weird and freaky to most is interesting to me. So I have decided to do posts here on rare and very less known disorders of the human body. After my post on Heterochromia iridis, here comes the next on the list-

Situs inversus

Situs inversus /oppositus / transversus is a gene linked disorder. It is in fact the shorter version of the Latin phrase "situs inversus viscerum" . As the very words "transverse" or "inverted" suggest, this disease has something to do with an inverted order. In this case, it is the visceral (meaning internal) body parts. People suffering from this disorder have their internal organs placed in the opposite order to the normal placements. That is the organs that are normally placed on the right side are placed in the left and vice versa. A total mirror image placement as you might say in simpler terms.

A normal arrangement of the internal organs in a human body is situs solitus. In this arrangement organs like the heart is placed towards the left and the liver on the right. A person having situs inversus will have their organs placed in the opposite sides. Take a look at this picture-

See the mirror image placement of the vital organs?

Now you might ask why is that word "totalis" included in that picture. Well, there are two kinds of situs inversus -
1) Situs inversus with dextrocardia (the heart being on the right side instead of the left) called situs inversus totalis.
2) Situs inversus with levocardia (the heart being on the left side) called situs inversus incompletus. This condition is comparatively rare and has much more complications that the former.

As I mentioned earlier in the post this is a genetic disorder. It is autosomal recessive meaning that a person inherits the disease only when both the chromosomes responsible for the arrangement, each coming from either parent are affected. People who are carriers and have one defective chromosome live like normal individuals.
But in some cases this may also be linked to the X chromosome (one of the sex determining chromosomes). This condition can be found in mirror twins who have identical features in their body placed in opposite sides to each other. For example one twin is left handed and the other is right handed.

Leonardo da Vinci had seen and drawn dextrocardia way back in the 16th Century. People with situs inversus totalis usually lead normal lifestyles and may not even be aware of their condition. However, the incompletus can come with several complications.

The Canadian- American actress Catherine O' Hara (the lady who played mum to Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone) had mentioned in interviews that her organs and reversely placed.

NBA basketball player Randy Foye was also diagnosed with situs inversus but thankfully, it will not have an impact on his performance.

Do you know anybody who has this rare condition?

P.S.- I'm no medical student and everything written here is from my understanding of the disease from the information given on online medical forums. 

Bye till next!! 
Stay healthy...stay happy ( vice versa is also applicable here :P) :D