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Chota Bheem and Junior

The gang of Dholakpur has well and truly invaded our space. Junior is so much smitten by Chota Bheem that, he refuses to wear shirt after having food and insists on wearing full trousers ala his favorite superhero. For a person who has seldom tasted any form of sweet, he would mimic chota Bheem’s action of eating laddu with both hands, do a fist pump like him and proclaim that he has become strong (“naan chota bheem aatam strong aaiten). Then begins the actual role play. Everyone else, except his mom, becomes Rakshasaas. He would ask us to “fight” with him and even otherwise, he would declare war on the “rakshasaas” and would begin punching with full vigour. The cartoon has various forms of Bheem aligning with little Krishna, Ganapati to fight super villains and also there is a full-fledged Bheemayanam, where the Dholakpur fellows enact Ramayanam. Junior is so impressed by Bheem that anything and everything he imitates that character. In Youtube, there are songs for each of the charac…
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Before she knew him by Peter Swanson - book review

If at all there are two story tellers who are poles apart in their trade, Keigo Higashino and Peter Swanson would form the extremities of storytelling. Of course, some may argue that they fall under different genres. But both of them deal with murders and police investigations in their own way. While Higashino’s approach is more methodical and minute to the point of being real, covering the investigative angle, Swanson delves into the darkest corner of the suspect and at times the victim’s psyche, touching upon the greyness of the surrounding characters as well. If at all you can think of a color tone, it would be all shades of black for his stories. In this book, Swanson, hits the ground running with the assumption that, even though only 4 books old, his readers would be accustomed to his way of storytelling.
The story begins with a couple, having moved into a new locality, gets invited to their neighbor’s house for dinner. The entire story is setup around the 2 couples with a detec…

Newcomer by Keigo Higashino - book review

The master of investigative thrillers is at it again. I am amazed at the simplicity with which Keigo Higashino, weaves police investigations and how original he makes it sound. There are no slam bang, breathtaking chases, blasts and not even gun shots for that matter. The only violence in the story would be that of the incident under investigation. The meticulousness and methodical approach with which the detectives solve the crime is so simple and detailed at the same time that, it is almost impossible to guess or watch out for that sleight of hand trick, which reveals the “who” and in some cases, the “how” part of it.

Many a times I’ve wondered around the side stories of the minor characters involved in a story. If there is a hero who has an issue with a villain, many a times we get the back story of the hero’s friend to some extent, but never about the henchmen of the villain, unless they are like second in command to the main villain. In this book, I felt the approach towards, how…

Awakening

Whenever I read meme’s, about the tricks used by parents to wake up their kid, I would be reminded of my own experiences. My mom would be busy in kitchen and usually it would be my dad who would be burdened with the task of waking me up. He would switch off the fan and I would be all sweaty, irritated and angry when I wake up enraged. My mom had a simpler way of waking me up – shout out my name and start scolding at increasing levels of decibel. You can never fight with someone who is more angrier than you. My poor dad used to bear the brunt of my anger. At times in fit of anger, I would switch on the fan and go to sleep again, only that the anger would’ve made me wide awake. May be he might have tried his best to nudge me awake and switching the fan off would’ve been his last weapon. I never thought about all those and only bore grudge for each time he employed such methods. Another peeve being, round neck banians. I was forever growing in size and for a really long time in my life, …

No kidding

A while back, when I had posted something about, how having kids soon grows onto become the mission statement of every adults life, one of the comments was about, how wrong it was, as a philosophy. The lady had mentioned that, no person, however close they may be, should ever be the reason or purpose of anyone else. It wasn’t as blunt, but the message was more towards, how one should always have their own passion, independent of anyone. Of course, caring for your family, friends, kids all those are given. But we should all have a purpose or passion that we should strive to achieve to our full potential was the message she wanted to convey. Highly idealistic it may sound. But on an emotionally charged environment of a family setup, where the word bonding takes literal and figurative meaning, it is highly unlikely to think of anything beyond kids, till some point of time, after some point of time, I guess. I never knew, when I began to care so much about junior and when did, every singl…

Red Maruti

I’ve been relishing a 500 page Sujatha short story collection since January this year. Didn’t want to finish the book at all as almost all of those stories were awesome. What a man Sujatha has been!!! To conceive such themes and story lines 3 decades before and to even think on such areas for a short story is astounding. Be it sci-fi, romantic, thrillers, drama any genre, Sujatha manages to leave his stamp of perfection and freshness. In fact, he has grown into a genre of his own and anything which is novel and unique along with some scientific inputs explained at a basic level, is called out as “pulling a Sujatha”. Of the several dozen stories, which includes the original short story which got made into the movie “Kannathil Muthamittal”, the one that immediately stuck a chord with me was “Red Maruti”.
The story is about a family that travels back to Chennai on a Red Maruti car. There is a grand old lady, her son, his wife, their kids all part of the group who are on the commute. The …

Thadam - movie review

After a long time, a decent thriller movie in Tamil. Right from the time, the teaser trailer was released, the movie piqued interest. It was a really long trailer at that, running close to 4 mins. The hero meet heroine on a crowded lift. They work on the same building, different floors. He asks her out for coffee which she declines stating that he is asking the wrong question. His brilliant response being that, she may be a feminist and he doesn’t mind her taking him out for coffee either. She again rejects with same reason. He wonders out loud, probably she believes in equality and rephrases his invite as, let both of them go together for coffee, which she smilingly refuses saying the question itself was wrong. And if he asks the right question, she would consider. It is not just the hero, but any viewer would be tempted to think, what the hell is wrong with the question. Was it grammatical or any other logic around the same. He finally breaks the puzzle and asks her out for tea. By …