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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jacob Hills by Ismita Tandon Dhankher

Book Review- Jacob Hills by Ismita Tandon Dhankher

     If you are looking for thriller,crime, betrayal and Romance all at once; My finger would just point you a fresh book  " Jacob Hills" by Ismita Tandon Dhankher. She blogs at lesserknownpoet.  Jacob Hills is her second novel after 'Love on the rocks', released  in 2011. The publisher of the book is HarperCollins.

Jacob Hills is a thriller novel with a unique style of narration. The story revolves around  George Chandy couple. It is beautifully penned to the delight of readers. Each section has a different narrator from the story, so by the time you reach the last chapter you would have seen the story from all possible perspectives . This gives the book a  unique appeal.

Maj. George Chandy is newly posted to Jacob hills near Shimla that houses the elite War college. He is posted here as an instructor to train the finest Army officers for the finest jobs. Eva, the Anglo Indian wife of Maj George is the female protagonist and witnesses  death of a woman under mysterious conditions. The dead woman has several cigarette burns on her private parts and a pendant locket with the engraving "Anita Weds A.R 1982". The murder mystery is the main plot of the story. The book also takes you through the liberal lifestyle of Army Officers and the filth that is considered to be a mark of modernity. From wife swapping to use of sexual favours for career progression, it has all that a society would oppose morally. 

But Eva and George are the soul of the book. Their amazing chemistry and mutual love and respect for each other stands apart. Also the flinge between Capt. Rana and muslim girl Heena ending into a forced marriage and later into a happy marriage is another reason you would love the book for. Ismita s background as an Army Officer's daughter, has done absolute justice in narrating the book with intricate details of Army life and flip side attached. 

                                                        A must read... and a 
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Saturday, June 15, 2013

WeChat - A dream chat.

With the advent of internet and mobile phones, communication has become as easy as a breath. Meagre press of a fast dial button on your cellphone and you are talking to a person who is thousands of miles away. And as if the voice was just not enough for  "the Dil Mange More" generation, we brought in super apps to cross all barriers of communications. You can hear, text and also see people  in real time. The distance is no parameter in the equation of this super app " WeChat ". The new App WeChat is the new revolution in the realm of social networking. Dont let your phone to be slanged if it is not installed with the revolutionary App  We Chat. Get it now @ WeChat's Youtube channel.

My so far experience with this application has tempted me to imagine a chat session with some of the most interesting people on earth.

Rajnikant SirOne man i admire for his simplicity and mad fan following. A great actor and a great human being above all. He is our desi all man - A superman, hitman, spiderman and batman.

Neo (Me)
Neo (Me): I want to be a part of the chat.


                   Ekta Kapoor: For being a symbol of women empowerment and ruling the TV industry                    for more than a decade. This lady is fearless and blunt.

 Big Boss: Nobody has ever seen him. We only hear his commanding voice and display of witty twist that makes this show a HIT HIT .I love Big Boss for his out of box thought and laconic conversations.

                                                 Uday Chopra: For his optimism to         deliver a solo hit. For his innocence and baffled choice of movies. 

Sreesanth: For all the controversies he has been into right from the days of his inception in Team India.

 Rakhi Sawant: One girl you can hate or like but never ignore.

And here goes the chat....

This post is a part of "WeChat with Anyone, Anywhere!" by Indiblogger.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Refrigerated Platter

          Two years of college affair blossomed into a marriage for Monisha and Akash. Since Akash belonged to Bihar, he lovingly called his wife Monisha as Monuwa. Monuwa loved the new pet name given  by her husband. Life was a song for the couple. But unfortunately Akash got posted to a remote place  on account of his transferable job. The place of posting had no facilities to support family life and Akash had to go alone and wait for the periodic leave to see his beloved Monuwa back in Bhopal. 

                                            It was tough for Monuwa to live alone and away from dear hubby. But she had no choice. The better side of the story was that Monuwa had luxury of time and life style. Her college friends found it extremely difficult to adjust with their  in-laws post marriage. They lost a big deal of liberty and space. Mouwa had both the perks in plenty as she was not staying with her in-laws but all alone. She loved her TV. It was her door to unlimited entertainment. She started getting up late in the mornings as she slept late at night. She became Television Philic. She loved her daily soaps to such order that she used to cook once in a day and store the remaining food in refrigerator for remaining meals of the day. There were jokes in the market that Monuwa was so prospective and proactive that she used to cook her next Sunday lunch on Sunday itself by storing the food in Fridge. She would leave her bed only to open the Refrigerator door and grab her choice of food. The freshest food on the shelves was never newer than a week. She ate and she sat before the TV. Her passion did not permit her to make friends in the neighbourhood or to step out for a walk or some physical acivities. 

Occasionally, college friends visited her and warned Monuwa of her increasing body weight. She was a couch potato by then. Expanding and stretching like the daily TV serials she was addicted to. She felt lazy from mind and body. Sleeping at odd times and eating odd dated food. The two things she loved was her TV and  refrigerator. It was her lifeline. No amount of people s advice worked on her. That was her addiction to TV and refrigerated platters.

Three months passed in a jiffy and Bigg Boss 6 hewaniyat  just got over. It was the morning phone call that made Monuwa to get up little earlier than usual. Akash gave her a surprise that he was coming the next day afternoon for a month long leave. 

Akash was shocked to see the fat woman standing on the terrace of his rented house was none but his sweetheart Monuwa. He teased her as he hugged her after months. He brought dreams for Monuwa. He wanted to make up for the lost times. He wanted to take her out for movies and dinner. So the very next day they moved out to City Mall for shopping.

A few minutes of walk tempted Monuwa to breathe hard and crave for rest. But she was loving walking with Akash so she did not complain. Suddenly she started fainting accompanied with a pain on the left side of the chest. Akash did not waste time and took her to a nearby hospital where she was thoroughly diagnosed. The reports said Monuwa was suffering from high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and Obesity.She saw the reports and thought of all the warning signs that her body and friends gave her. She thought of Television and  her refrigerated platters. It was late to revert the situation. 

With heavy heart she asked the doctor,"Will I be fine ?" and the doctor smiled at her and assured her affirmatively.  She was asked to follow strict diet and medication with phenomenal change in lifestyle to avert the potential danger and welcome a healthy,happy life.

Moral of the story: Ignoring health warning signs can result in serious diseases and ailments at later stage. Respect and love your body because that is where you live.

                                                    My Healthy Speak Blog

                This story is a part of Colgate Total Pro Gum Health Contest at Indiblogger.


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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Taste Migrated.

   The last time my French friend Jean Jack Radi came to India, he got serious addiction to Indian food. I still remember he used to talk at length about the variety of Indian cuisines and the parallel intoxication he achieves out of it. Though we had professional relationship but a thing or two about this man, almost my father s age  tempted me to befriend him outside the professional sphere. I was a bachelor then but my love for food kept me at close affair with my kitchen. I invited him for a lunch party at home the next day. Radi warmly accepted the invitation and said he would join me with a bottle of Bordeaux Rose Wine. I smiled back at him indicating that it would be a perfect party. The next day  as we say became a history. I made him my special Hyderabadi Dum Biriyani and mint Raita. We started with the bottle of wine and never ending conversation that lasted even longer than the food and dessert. 

                                              Six months from then I m in France now. Sitting at my apart-hotel room. Yes its Radi s country and my friend Radi wants the same party to be repeated in Paris, 8000 km away from my Indian civilization. He spoke to me over the phone and said that much has gone into his taste buds but not the taste that he had in India. It was a matter of pride for me to hear this from a French who are considered to be passionate about their own culture of food and drinks. I obliged to his request and invited him for a weekend dinner party with his wife at my apart-hotel room in Paris.
My apart-hotel room has a fully furnished kitchen with the best crockery. So cooking wont be a trouble. But the ingredients to cook the Indian spicy food is a far away dream.  No ! its really not a dream. It is dream come true moment. Thanks to Kitchens of India. The "heat and eat" concept makes your life easy and comfortable at places where you cannot manage the luxury of you kitchen. The delightful range of Indian dishes are skilfully prepared to perfection and brought to you in a ready to eat format by the Master Chefs of ITC. It is a legacy passed from generations.
                            The gourmet products from kitchens of India can migrate the Indian culinary delights across oceans and continents to keep you at home away away from home. I was introduced to the heritage product Kitchens of India by a friend of mine who has been away from India for a decade but never away from Indian taste. I am thankful that his advice came as a bliss.I know Radi loves aromatic sensations of Indian spices and herbs. I know he would have spoken at length about the Indian food to his wife. I will not let his passion dry down. I know I am going to make a new charmer of Indian delicacy.

For the weekend dinner party I have planed Bordeaux Rose wine at room temperature ( The french love to have their wines maintained at room temperatures ) with roasted peanuts and cashew nuts. The main course would consist of Mirch Ka Salan and Chicken chettinad with Basmati Rice. Mirch Ka salan is an extravagant delicacy made from succulent green chillies, delicately cooked in thick gravy of roasted peanuts, almonds and sesame seeds.  Chicken Chettinad has succulent chunks of tender chicken in a spicy paste of curry leaves and freshly ground pepper showcasing the distinctive tastes of Dakshin. This gravy has a Dravidian signature effect to it. My dessert for the night would be Jodhpuri Moong dal Halwa. This sweet dish cooked in Ghee with liberal use of dry fruits is surely gonna be a great afters after a spicy main course.

      The ambiance is going to play a major role. My drawing room has large glass windows opening to River Seine. The serene flow of river Seine at night will be blended with Sufi music and Indian classical instrumental music. This imagination of food and ambiance is already driving me crazy. I dont know what mystical effects it would have on Mr. & Mrs Radi.  Come Saturday evening I m waiting finger crossed with my virtual Master Chefs of ITC and Kitchens of India

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