This blog used to be views on various things. But in all these years, I find it going a whole new direction.
Something which I have loved all the time. It's BOOKS!! So, presenting a whole new saga, of books and a little about them, whatever I can find, write, visualise and imagine...
Mumbai or rather India is under siege, when the
prime minister is threatened with a nuclear attack. Lashkar has warned India of
this attack, if a referendum is not declared in Kashmir, within the next three
Rudra Pratap Singh and his Anti-Terror Cell have to
find the bomb and the attackers at breakneck speed. India gets ready to fight
with its nuclear weapon and grudgingly it is agreed to by the PM. He communicates
this to the Pakistan PM and the two countries get ready to combat each other.
As RP, tries to find the attackers, he also has his
wife and unborn child to deal with, and also his love interest to deal with. He
has the cops behind him with the top cop, Kant. The race against time, and the
attackers, the technical help that he needs at the time and of course, his favourite
Zen monks and their stories, which he keeps telling are all parts of this
Will RP save India and its millions and will India circumvent
the nuclear threat are questions, which the book has answers to.
Personally, I did not like the book. There was no
flow in the writing, especially in the dialogue between RP and the bureau
chief, Kant and also in the love dialogue between RP and Sana.
Quantum Siege, by Brijesh Singh is a story, which
begins, goes through to the rough middle and bumps into the end. I’m not sure
if to read this book, I needed to find out more about the cops and their
lifestyles, and the terrorist agenda. But this book definitely needs more in
terms of language and spacing of its chunks of matter.
I have always been proud of my spellings. ‘Who
needs a dictionary?’, I used to think. Whenever I noticed the children at
school literally memorising the words from a dictionary, right before the
examination, I used to smile (snigger is probably a better word) and head to
the exam hall.
But, times have changed and today, I find the need
for a dictionary. But this post isn’t about dictionaries, but about spellings.
Spellings improve with writing. And I mean writing without a computer.
When we write by hand, we would realise that there
is only one way we can learn a word. And that is by writing it. Write a word, Wrote a word, Written a word, Writing
a word. Writes a Word. Every little nuance of the word can now be at your hand, if we write it first.
Also, look up its meaning in a dictionary.
And write it down a few times. And not just that
day, but tomorrow and day after too. And two to three days after too. That way,
it would stay in your head.
Write a mail using that particular word or words.
Write it on your story, an essay, a report or even your blog.
See that a few people read it, and they might find
mistakes, which you could have missed.
Also, read up as much as you possibly can. Newspapers,
books, advertisements, magazines, anything with good spelling.
Go back to your school books, which teach you how a
word can be spelt. See, if you can find a few rules of writing.
Make a list of your commonly misspelled words.
Read with a pencil. Mark whatever you need, and
look it up.
Also, read as much as you can. You cannot possibly
be a good speller, if you are not a reader.
Finally, use mnemonics.
There’s a MnM in mnemonic, too.
English is a funny language.
But where would we be without it? Best of luck… And use the spell check and notice if you have got everything right!
PS: And finally, get my spelling right! It's Sruti Not Shruti or even Shruthi. :P
mythology and that too something, which we only have a clue about, is tough.
Charu Singh is one such person. She has successfully managed to like and
explore a varied set of mythology.
Buddhism, Shambala is something, which is similar to Hindu Mythology, but in
this book, it has freshness and seems an unexplored territory.
You can catch the Review, right here. This
is what Singh has done in the ‘Path of the Swan’. So, let us read on to
understand how andwhy this book came
This is your debut novel. It also comes after quite a few mythological
novels. What according to you was different about it?
Well, I think that the theme was rather different, my book is based on Tibetan Buddhism, and I don’t think
anything has come out in the mythology genre in this area.
Also, my book is not
centered on a particular deity, I have used the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon and
mythology but the story is my own mix. So as such, it is not the
retelling of a story centered around a deity.
How did your ‘Path of the Swan’ happen? What
kind of research did you put into it?
The ‘Path of the Swan’ was an after effect of my stay
in Sikkim, I lived in Sikkim for a short period, a couple of years ago. Sikkim and Tibetan Buddhism had a lasting impact on me.
At this time, I explored Vajrayana Buddhism which held
a fascination for me; I was surprised at the vast pantheon
of Bodhisattvas, Buddhas, Tarasand lesser deities that make a part of the Tibetan
At that time I studied Buddhist lore, the mysticism
behind this form of Buddhism and felt I could base a book on this. However, I
am not a Buddhist; spirituality for me is an interest.
How did you come up with the core idea and
I came across the central idea of the
book during my travels across Sikkim and other parts of India’s north-east. The book developed as an idea through the
Authors have a way of telling their story, with elements that are most important.
Between your storyline and your characters, which takes precedence?
The story line was important, you can’t have a book
without a plot.
I developed the plot in various stages
as I wrote and the characters are equally important, I did not rest in my
writing till I was satisfied with the character I drew.
Which particular character did you feel most
close to? Why?
I felt very close to both Tashi and Yeshe, I liked
Tashi’s simplicity and the story really formed around him. It began as Tashi’s adventure and his realization.
Yeshe came into the book at a later stage, she was
inspired by the Tibetan yogini Yeshe Tsogyal though their stories are not the
same at all. Yeshe was a female character I could
relate to her and yet I built her into something that grew from my vision of
what a dakini would be like.
How much of the
series is based on facts and how much is fiction?
Fact and fiction, the book is set against a Tibetan Buddhist mythology backdrop and the legends I
have used in the book are really there as a part of Tibetan and Mahayana
For instance, the legend of Shambhala is an important
part of Tibetan Buddhist literature as also that of
the Maitreya or the Buddha to be. I have also used certain deities that are
worshipped such as the Goddess Tara and the Buddha’s mention in the court scene
But these again form a
part of the fabric of the book but the central characters of the book are my
So yes, there is an element of imagination used in the
book side by side the mythology.
The second part of the series is expected
next. When do you see it released?
I am currently writing the
second part, so it will take a year give and take before the publishing process
In your second part, what is being repeated
and what are the new elements that are being introduced?
The second part is under work, I am introducing
several new elements but let that be a surprise.
What was the most challenging part about writing a series, such as this?
Writing a series is challenging, right now I am only
thinking of part 2, I’ll reach 3, as and when I come to it. I believe, I have finished it when it is done.
What was the most challenging part about
writing this book?
This was a challenging book to write, I have tried to combine fantasy with a subtle use of
Tibetan Buddhist and Zen imagery in the book that conveys a different level to
Hence, I call it a spiritual fantasy. Only the reader
and critic can tell me whether this worked out.
Sujata Massey’s ‘The City of Palaces’ is a lot of stories mixed into one. The story is Pom’s to
begin with. Set in the British time, we are put through several lines of her
life and how tragedy strikes, when she is left without a family. Orphaned, she
roams around, until she ends up in a school where she is hired as a maid.
The best thing about the
beginning of story was the Anita Desai touch I felt in the story of the
village. Though both these stories have a similar base to them, yet when she
does take Pom’s story away from Lila’s (from ‘The Village by the Sea’), she
gives it a completely different touch.
As Pom lands up at the
school, she is made to pull the fans of a classroom and instead, she ends up learning
English! The various classes, the lesson in prose and poetry teach her an odd
hand, which would help her in the future. Pom or Sarah, since she is now a Christian,
finds a friend of the past at the school.
Bidushi was in her village and is
also orphaned, yet she finds that she has an aunt and uncle to live with. She
goes to them, but here she finds that she is living a closeted life, until the
person she has to marry, a Pankaj Bandopadhyay who makes sure that she is at
Pom and Bidushi become fast
friends and Pom finds that she is better versed at English, and is meant to
teach Bidushi. Bidushi asks her to write letters to Pankaj, since she does not
find herself adept at it. Pankaj and Sarah, under the name of Bidushi find that
they both enjoy writing to each other. Until, Bidushi is taken ill. Pankaj
comes to see her, but only on her death bed.
Sarah is accused of
stealing and she takes flight, with the help of Abbas, a kindly tonga driver at
the school. She takes a train to Calcutta, but ends up in Midnapore, quite by
mistake. As she is looking for something to do, one day she is chanced upon by
Bonnie, an Anglo-Indian girl. Bonnie takes her under her wing.
Sarah or Pamela, as she
is now known finds herself in a situation, which she cannot get out of. She is a
prostitute in Rose Barker’s home. There are quite a few girls under Barker and
she pays the girls under her charge.
She soon finds herself pregnant,
and has a baby girl, Kabita. She promises herself that Kabita would
not be put through the same circumstances, she finds herself in. She manages to put her under
Abbas’ care and finds herself in Calcutta.
Here, she looks around
for a job, with her English speaking skills. She soon finds one Simon Lewes,
who is willing to pay her for organising his personal library. Lewes, who has
no clue of her past life, is happy to find somebody, quite proficient at the
job given to her. Known as Kamala Mukherjee, now she finds herself liking the
But it is here, where
she rediscovers her first love, Pankaj who is now a lawyer. She is asked by him to spy
on her boss, Lewes for he is working for the British in a high position. This she
does, and also finds friends in a Bengali family. She also continues to send
her daughter, the money she would need. She also finds herself unwillingly attracted
to Lewes, who still remains a British loyalist. (This kind of reminds one of
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but Passey has more to add to this story)
Stuck between these
situations and the British getting ready to leave the nation, she has to make
quick decisions. What happens now and what does she need to do to prevent anything
bad to happen to Kabita, what could she do about her love for Simon and her
love for the country is this historical fiction’s finish.
This piece with all its
numerous research, its various novels and poetry, as well as the research
books, which are all mentioned in the book and a part of the bibliography, as well
has been done with an expert hand.
The flow in the language
to put forward almost four different kinds of chunks into one solid book requires
patience and an adroit hand, which this author had, alright. So, kudos to the
author and her research.