Tuesday, July 24, 2007
“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance"
- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru claiming Independence from British at midnight
Pandit Nehru’s eternal words on Independence needs to be revisited to remind us that each day our great, diverse and unified nation progresses slowly but surely into a modern age of technical, industrial, social and intellectual excellence. As privileged citizens of this fast developing economy, each of us has responsibilities beyond legal obligations.
Again in India’s history we are at a new horizon promising success and contentment to all. As a part of the global economy, with its organisations gaining credibility internationally, India and its citizens are at the threshold of being recognised as a force to match up to.
From its academic reach, private sector growth, to gaining confidence of foreign investors in Indian people’s skills; the resources of India are fully mobilised for an economic boom. We have seen the sensex soar, cities with rapid infrastructural changes and competitive services to benefit the common man.
Inspiring speeches from great leaders are always welcome by the masses, rallying forces into action. Our nation has been fortunate to have had many great leaders to guide its people, from the time of foreign invasions to the British colonialists. As an educated, aware and able citizen, you too need to volunteer your time and energy to ensure that the nation forges ahead. Working with society groups, non-profit social organisations, coordinating with Government institutions, etc you too can make a difference in your locality. The change starts with you. Let your new patriotic form influence your family, neighbours and subsequently the masses.
The most painful part of the Independence struggle may have been over but enduring this freedom requires the combined synergy of India’s resolute citizens. The change that you decide, will be the one in which we reside.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Firstly, let me say, I - an adult male, am greatly embarrassed to admit that I have purchased and happily read my first Mills & Boons novel. Ahem! Yes, indeed, it was pleasurable. Well, to start off, at the bookstore chain they were giving away M&B for Rs.99 each, which is like USD 2. So I saw through those tempting names and fixed my gaze on ‘Intrigue Series’. This was about a detective, a female one of course. So I said to myself, why not, I like crime (not in a criminal way). Plus the cover was indeed intriguing with the ‘Red Letter Days’ series stamped on the back.
So there I was giving the cashier the book as discreetly as possible, as I scurried away from females who were too embarrassed themselves to browse through that M&B Sales Section of the Bookstore (I have come to love Crossword bookstores so much that I don’t bother hauling myself to uptown Strand Bookstall anymore).
I was in a funk in my reading habits. I had started 4 books to create my reading interest and keep it alert and jogging. I had on my hands, Keith Ball’s Sam Orwell Chopper (Sc-Fi Biker Fiction), Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Pirsig’s Philosophy), Salman Rushdie’s epic Satanic Verses and Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Gonzo Journalism). So you see, such diverse Classics were not keeping my head in good shape. So I had to get hold of a fast read that would satisfy my ego a bit at having completed reading pronto cover-to-cover.
So Devil’s Due, I realized is a second book in a series and even though I never read the first one, this was very much unabridged and easy to follow. Told from the perspective of Lucia Garza, a strong, fashionable, desirable, cold femme fatale; who manages to get her way most of the time; she is loaded and rich by her past experience and now working as a private eye due to a benevolent gift of finance from a secret agency – the Cross Society. Now all is normal till half of the book is over. Then you realize about timelines and leads and how events in the future are being manipulated. Lucia and her partner Jazz have to give priority to any red letter order they receive from the Cross Society. This does some good and some bad. They are joined by relevant male love interests. Ben McCarthy joins their operation and falls for Lucia like moth on flame. There is good chemistry described in these pages.
All the characters are well developed. The plot also moves swiftly and there is plenty to worry and wonder about. Eidolon the rival time-future manipulator is planning a big hit. Our heroes are losing faith in Cross Society. A nerd with a vault like residence and Hummer for commute is also present. It is all very well-done mix with plenty of thrills in intermittent spaces.
The last four chapters are exhilarating to say the least. These had me on edge. It was unfolding events and info like an ocean with an upset stomach. I was very much engaged during the last few chapters and was happy with the way everything took place. It’s a Mills and Boons so no one reads it for tragedy-news. Things were kept real and yet pleasant. The concept of changing or altering future is very interesting background and how the characters affect or force changes is very entertaining.
All in all, a good book to read before picking up major projects.