Monday, 18 April 2016

A SECRET REVEALED

Gripping & Lucid Mini-Sequel !!!






BOOK DETAILS:

Title: The Mini-Sequel to the Alexander Secret : A Secret Revealed
Author: Christopher C. Doyle  
GenreFiction
Publishers:  Westland Books
Price: INR. 90
Goodreads Rating: 5/5

BOOK REVIEW:

So finally after more than a year, C.C.D had secretly launched a mini-sequel to the Alexander Secret under the title ' A Secret Revealed '. Albeit this book was already published online in six parts;one part every month starting October 2015 and the Paperback was specially launched for the folks who aren't game with epubs ( Like Me).
A Secret Revealed picked up the strings from where the author had left The Alexander Secret, a cliff-hanger & consternating moment that was, in which Vijay received a call from someone claimed to be his deceased father's friend & tipped to meet him at Starbucks in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon but after 6 months . And thankfully with lucid writing, the mini sequel revealed the secret , as its title said, about the mysterious caller but again, left the readers on the edge thinking about the secret that leads Vijay to a new mystery that will unfold in 2016 . 
Hang on....... what about Radha ? Is she alive or dead ? And what's the new mystery ? To get all these answers , buckle up for the Book 2 of the Mahabharata Quest Series : ' The Secret Of The Druids ' which is all set to release in May 2016.

A Secret  Revealed is available at following Online Store


  

This is Not a Paid Review ! The Opinions expressed in the review are my own , and remain unbiased and uninfluenced . "




                                                                            - Rahul Rai Khatri


Saturday, 16 April 2016

We have Kashmir The Bastard signed the Act of Accession !!!

Anecdote 3 : Freedom At Midnight

Kashmir had denied to accede to India & as well as Pakistan. In October 1947, The Viceroy of India received Intel about the raiders inching towards Kashmir to take down the Maharaja & hence Kashmir in the territory of Pakistan. But there were many British troops who were still in an independent Kashmir and if not extricated could be the victims of the frightful massacre. But Mountbatten in no way wanted intervention of British forces, but if have to then it would be Indian forces. So after a Cabinet's Defence Committee , decision was made to land DC3, with its incumbent V.P. Menon, Col. Sam Manekshaw of Indian Army & an Airforce officer, on the abandoned dirty strip of Srinagar Airport. V. P. Menon was ordered to Srinagar to present the Cabinet's terms to the Maharaja while the officers accompanying him studied the Military situation. While they flew off, Lord Mountbatten ordered all India's Civil air transport to leave their passengers where they were and head for Delhi. Shortly before midnight of Saturday, 26October , another refugee joined the greatest exodus in history. Hari Singh, the Maharaja of Kashmir, too fled but to a pleasurable exile in his palace located in Jammu. After a difficult 17 you trip, Maharaja's entourage reached Jammu. The exhausted Hari Singh went immediately to his private quarters to retire & before going to bed he called his ADC to issue his last order as a ruling Maharaja. ' Wake me up only if VP Menon returns from Delhi' he said, ' because that will mean India has decided to come to my rescue . If he doesn't come before dawn, shoot me in my sleep with my service revolver'. As soon as they'd returned to Delhi, V.P. Menon and two officers who'd accompanied him to Srinagar made their report to another meeting of CDD. Mountbatten ordered VP Menon to fly to Jammu & on other hand ordered an airlift to stay flying troops at the dawn of following morning. Hari Singh would not die of a bullet in the first night of his flight. V.P Menon reached his bedside before the expiration of the ultimatum the Maharaja had given his ADC. With him, awaiting only Hari Singh's signature on the Act of Accession. V.P. Menon was back in his Delhi Home late on the evening of that same Sunday, 26 October. Alexander Symon, Britain's Deputy High Commissioner, joined him for a drink a few minutes after his return. Menon was jubilant. He poured them each a stiff drink. Then he pulled a piece of paper from his jacket & waved it gaily towards the Englishman.
' Here it is', he said, 'We have Kashmir The Bastard signed the Act of Accession. And that's we've got it, we'll never let out go. '
& India was true to V.P. Menon's promise. Soldiers were made to land in Srinagar with material to take over what by right belongs to their Nation.



                                  - Rahul Rai Khatri

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

THE SIALKOT SAGA


ASHWIN SANGHI IS THE JEFFERY ARCHER OF INDIA !!!






BOOK DETAILS:

Title: The Sialkot Saga
Author: Ashwin Sanghi 
GenreFiction
Publishers:  Westland Books
Price: INR. 350
Goodreads Rating: 5/5

BOOK REVIEW:


Truth be told, I ordered this book just 'cause it's written by Ashwin Sanghi ( The Dan Brown Of India ) but after reading few pages I realised that the author had jumped to another court which is held by Jeffery Archer in which historic chain of events are related to a fable and hence popped a great work of fiction like ' Honour Among Thieves ' & so is like ' The Sialkot Saga '. Another confession is that I discourage my fellow readers not to read this book 'cause as mentioned earlier I'd picked the book with a hope to find another ravishing theology like that of Chanakya's Chant & The Krishna Key and so the beginning was not gripping, as what I always expect from this author,but with turning of pages the plot turned gripping . Better to say that the plot had engulfed me.
* And with alacrity, I corrected my mistake of discouraging readers by ranging 'em & telling (not asking) to read the book ASAP with tipping off that Ashwin Sanghi is now the Jeffery Archer of India *
Now coming to the Book, The Sialkot Saga is the 4th book of the Bharata Series written by the best-selling author (And still my fav) Ashwin Sanghi. Launched with an anecdote of the most heinous incidents in the history of mankind, The Partition of India , which desecrated more than million families with many children rendered helpless. Towns were looted, Women were raped , Brothers which once live together turned against each other & somewhere in between same time a train rolled in the Amritsar railway station with pin drop silence inside the coaches.Sukhbir Singh entered the train and found a little soul alive and as was about to deboard the train he heard another voice , so handing over the kid to his colleague , Sukhbir started the search of other voice. Then on the book is divided into 7 parts carrying the description of 10 years in each part from 1950-2010 in 6 parts while the 7th holds about 2010. Alike Jeffery Archer, Ashwin Sanghi had bolted the major real life incidents that cracked in the Indian history with the life of his protagonists, Arbaz Sheikh & Arvind Bagadia.Raised in different families but with the same set of codes in mind to earn as much as possible, Arbaz and Arvind were committed to their business in the different locations but found themselves against each other on the table of money and started a sinister and actual gripping plot. Arbaz Sheikh, son of a Dockworker, was raised in a Muslim family with very limited resources at the hand but Arbaz was always motivated to study hard till the day he lost his father, the only bread maker of family and eventually led Arbaz to take his father's place as the earning member & feed his mother . With time, Arbaz started trying his hand in local business under the patronage of & Abdul dad his journey towards affluence started . On another side, Arvid was raised in an upper-class Marwari family & had started investing in different businesses since school days & using the same tactics, years later, he landed on the Forbes list of Richest Man. 
The dates, the geographical specifications and detailed description of the actions in the book add to its authenticity. While the novel is simple , the narrative is not passive and leaves covert clues to hint the incident taking place in the book,but lets the reader keep track of them .Like Archer, Ashwin doesn't go deep into the emotional turmoil faced by the characters, instead, he focuses on one aspect of their lives. It can either be a motive or a driving emotion of revenge or pride or even sense of duty towards public. It's because of this that I didn't find myself as involves and attached to the character as to the plot.Beside this outline the plot is balanced on of the famous myth or better say about the oldest brotherhood of the world, Ashoka's Nine which was deemed to protect a secret whose presence in the public milieu can bring havoc.
'cause I felt sated after wrapping the book so I'll give 5/5 to the sagaciously written The Sialkot Saga .



The Sialkot Saga is available on following Online Store


  

This is Not a Paid Review ! The Opinions expressed in the review are my own , and remain unbiased and uninfluenced . "




                                                                            - Rahul Rai Khatri

'Tryst With Destiny ' was an extempore !


Anecdote 2 : Freedom At Midnight


Few hours before the midnight address of Jawaharlal Nehru in the Indian constituent Assembly, he received a phone call from one of his aide in Lahore. After hearing from his caller, he came back to the dining room of his home where his daughter, Indira Gandhi, & his guest Padmaja Naidu were seated. Both women gasped as he returned. He slumped ashen in his chair, clasping his head in his hands, unable to speak. Finally, he shook his head & looked at them, his eyes glistening with tears. All the water in the old city's Hindu & Sikh quarter had been cut . Fires were ranging out of control in half a dozen posts of the city. Stunned his voice barely a whisper, he said:' Hope am I going to talk tonight ? How am I going to pretend there's joy in my heart for India's independence when I know Lahore, our beautiful Lahore is burning ?' After his phone call from Lahore, Nehru had neither the time not the inclination to write a speech ' TRYST WITH DESTINY '. His words were extemporaneous, heart-felt & that speech achieve the grandeur & nobility in the whole world.

                  - Rahul Rai Khatri

TRYST WITH DESTINY :

" Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. 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.
It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity with some pride
At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries which are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortunes alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortunes and India discovers herself again.
The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?
Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.
That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we might fulfill the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity.
The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.
And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for anyone of them to imagine that it can live apart.
Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.
To the people of India, whose representatives we are, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill will or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell.
The appointed day has come - the day appointed by destiny - and India stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle, awake, vital, free and independent. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. Yet the turning point is past, and history begins anew for us, the history which we shall live and act and others will write about.It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the world. A new star rises, the star of freedom in the east, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materialises. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed!We rejoice in that freedom, even though clouds surround us, and many of our people are sorrow-stricken and difficult problems encompass us. But freedom brings responsibilities and burdens and we have to face them in the spirit of a free and disciplined people.On this day our first thoughts go to the architect of this freedom, the father of our nation, who, embodying the old spirit of India, held aloft the torch of freedom and lighted up the darkness that surrounded us.We have often been unworthy followers of his and have strayed from his message, but not only we but succeeding generations will remember this message and bear the imprint in their hearts of this great son of India, magnificent in his faith and strength and courage and humility. We shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, however high the wind or stormy the tempest.Our next thoughts must be of the unknown volunteers and soldiers of freedom who, without praise or reward, have served India even unto death.We think also of our brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the freedom that has come. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen, and we shall be sharers in their good and ill fortune alike.The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be.We are citizens of a great country, on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and democracy.And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves afresh to her service. Jai Hind "

Friday, 8 April 2016

Even The Devil Cried !!!


RECAPITULATION 1 : ' Freedom At Midnight '


In those days , India & Pakistan were not born but actually ripped apart. Even the cruelest, manufacturer of that doctrine of partition, wept for one or another reason. Jinnah had been 41 when he fell madly in love with Ruttie, 17 year old daughter of his close friend. Ruttie had been equally mesmerized by Jinnah. But her furious father had obtained a court order forbidding his ex-friend to see his daughter. & on 18th birthday, she stalked out of her millionaire father's mansion & went off to marry Jinnah. Their marriage lasted 10 years. She grew into a spectacular beautiful woman. She was not a gay, vivacious socialite and an ardent & quick tounged Indian nationalist. On one occasion, at a luncheon in New Delhi, she was seated next to the Viceroy,Lord Reading, who was lamenting the fact that in the atmosphere of world war I it's quite difficult for him to visit Germany. But why, asked Ruttie Jinnah, was it so difficult ? ' Well ' explained Reading,' the Germans don't really like us British. I can't go.' ' Then', Ruttie quietly asked,' how is it that you British came to India?'
The differences in their ages & temperaments produced their strains. Ruttie's flamboyance & outspokenness often embarrassed Jinnah. For all his passionate love for her, the unbending Jinnah found it difficult to communicate with her mercurial, blithe-spirited wife. Jinnah's dream collapsed in 1928, when the beautiful wife she'd loved but failed to understand walked out on him. A year later in 1929, she died of an overdose of Morphine. And in the August of 1947 in Bombay,he placed his bouquet, on her grave, for the last time. He wept like a child !



                                           - Rahul Rai Khatri

Saturday, 2 April 2016

TRAIN TO PAKISTAN

Lucidly written ......Heart-Wrenching tale !!!









BOOK DETAILS:

Title: Train To Pakistan
AuthorKhushwant Singh  
Genre: Fiction
Publishers:  Penguin Books
Price: INR. 250
Goodreads Rating: 5/5

BOOK REVIEW:

1947 was the year when English freed the Hindustan by splitting into two : Pakistan , a Muslim-based Nation, got its independence on 14 August and India, a Hindu-based nation , was declared Independent on Aug 15 .Till the time English reside, they rule over the people of Hindustan  by using a simple tactic of Divide-And-Rule and when it comes to leaving the Nation , they did same with the difference that this time some powerful people of the same Nation second that thought. Now in the 21st century , People of India & Pakistan celebrate their respective Independence day but still there exist many who maintain a stoic expression but cried within their heart. Yes, two Nations were born in that August of 1947 but at the cost of carnage. Few Malefactors on both sides kindled the hatred for one-another , people who once resided in a single village like brothers butchered one another. Everyone till now celebrates the independence days but no one from the leadership on either side ever stepped to share the grief of those who lost their loved ones in an uncalled feud. People were provoked on the name of caste & creed & trains carrying the refugees rolled to another side were ambushed before crossing the border, Passengers were killed and then the train was made to cross the border so that other side would never consider the earlier one  inferior in any case and then the latter did the same with the refugees . Truly heart wrenching that was.
Truth be told , My best friend wants to read this book so I bought it to gift her but before I could present her this , she left so  I started with  ' Train to Pakistan ' .First published in 1956 , Train to Pakistan is a classic of modern Indian fiction. The plot revolves around the a small village, Mano Majra , settled on the border of India & Pakistan in the summer of 1947. Unlike other villages and towns in India & Pakistan,Sikhs and Muslims live together as brothers in Mano Majra. But a money-lender was murdered and the suspicion falls on a Sikh was in love with a Muslim girl and hence triggered the chain of events which made this book a page-turner . 
No doubt with a perspicuous style, Khushwant Singh had written this magnificent fiction pouring the pain, in words, he went through 'cause of partition. With his writing author had depicted how before partition people of Hindustan lives together . Characters in the book are deeply engrossing . Iqbal , a social worker who had come to Mano Majra for his social work but framed & put behind the bars on the charge of the suspicious activity. Being an educated fellow, he was respected by all who came across his way from the sub-inspector to the 'Bhai Ji' of the gurudwara. Bhai Ji was depicted as an honest & religious person who used to take care of the daily chores of Gurudwara . Then comes , Banta Singh , was the headman of the village & is usually called as 'Lambardar' 'cause his ancestors had held the same designation in the village .Juggat Singh aka Jugga Badmash ranked among the top 10 criminals and was in love with Noorah , a Muslim girl . And Hukum Chand was portrayed as the magistrate who had done everything possible on hand to protect the clashes between two parties. He made decisions for the betterment of others.
So ' Train To Pakistan ' is a metaphor which symbolises that 'humanity' is greater than any materialistic greed. And it's a must read for every human especially for the people of India & Pakistan !!!
* And Yup This book landed on my shelf but I'm going to keep a separate copy for my best friend 'cause this book belongs to her ;) * 

TRAIN TO PAKISTAN is available at following Online Store


  

This is Not a Paid Review ! The Opinions expressed in the review are my own , and remain unbiased and uninfluenced . "




                                                                            - Rahul Rai Khatri