Wednesday, 22 May 2013

When Strangers Meet! - Review



This is my first review for a book written by an author who personally asked me to write a review for the same. Not that I am popular and all. :P Long time back, I had created a profile in Skillpages, a social network kinda thing like facebook. I had updated my skills as writing and blogging. Jobs would come often but nothing caught my eye until Mr.Hari Kumar had posted a 'job' requesting a review for his wonderful book.

Name: When Strangers Meet

Author: K. Hari Kumar

Genre: Drama (I would say)


I had ordered the book online and was eager to write review. Sure, you would get excited when people approach you to request a review from a blogger. And I thank the author for having written this novel.
Normally, I am a slow reader and try to picture the surroundings et al. I like to picture myself in the story. And this is my first Indian novel after Chetan Bhagat's The Three Mistakes of my Life (if you don't count the small Indian fables by Ruskin Bond :P). 

As always, I am not going to reveal the story but I would tell it in short. The story revolves around three main characters - Jai, an arrogant teenager; Krishnaprasad Iyer - a 30 year old something Tamilian from Tuticorin and Hussain - a family man owing a tea stall. The story starts with the teenager Jai, running away from the house in frustration and Hussain coming to the railway station for collecting a lottery ticket in Delhi. This is where Jai meets both Iyer and Hussain. The story basically tells how Iyer's life story influences Jai's. I might not infuse the interest in you to read this book if you read the before line. But believe me, the book was a real entertaining and fast paced. 

Also, I could relate to the novel very much as it talked about Madras and Rajinikanth at length. The book has a great slice of India and Tamilnadu. The way Iyer reminisces his life story is very happy. Here and there were a few laughs with tinges of romance sandwiched too. One hilarious and astonishing scene is when Iyer (a Brahmin) manages to retrieve a mutton chop from the biriyani at a muslim function. 

The romance between Iyer and Padma (another character) was very cool and gentle. However the author's description of the same Padma over three to four times, in a very poetic and exaggerating way, did initimidate me a little, at times. Okay, I get that she is beautiful :P. 

It was fun to read about Chennai in a novel (this is my first time). And the frequent usage of Tamil and Hindi slang words in the novel, could be both interesting and nit-picking at times. 

What surprised me was the ending of the story and it was a complete twist. I personally like twists and I can say it is worth reading this novel for that twist. At the finish of the novel, I was very much satisfied with it and also happy about it.

The novel is a fast paced, light hearted and a little bit of sentimental drama. This, I would say a must read.
I am not going to give any rating as reviews for anything depends on that person's taste and perspectives.
But I think, most of you would like the book, especially since it is Indianish. :)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

How Does Modern Healthcare Touch Lives?

I confess that when I hear the word 'Hospital', it does freak me out......even now. I am no new person to that place. I had my first surgery when I was four months old. And since then, I have had more than 20 surgeries. These have been the result of a little misfortune by birth. But now, 'All Izz Well', thanks to my parents. Now I am not looking for any sympathy. I have already seen that a lot and I am tired of it. Maybe the tone of the above lines might have made you go with a sad, "Awww" :P, which brings to my mind this singular word sound made by girls, usually; For some reason, I laugh when they do/type that.



My point is, due to these surgeries, I have seen a lot more needles (injections), tablets and medicines, X-rays, forceps, surgical tapes, finger-stick, cotton gauze, tincture, endoscopy and finally anesthesia. This is one word that I hate and that brings chills to me still. Even the cooum's smell is much bearable than anesthesia, I will say. But only because of this anesthesia, surgeries are possible. Yeah, in the early past, patients were operated in their conscious state. Now, it is not possible or rather people won't accept it. I had say, anesthesia is a very important invention. Even endoscopy, which enables doctors to see 'inside' the organs, is a real good finding.

We would still have that memory, where, when we were very young and in the hospital for some fever, the nurse who injects a needle for a blood test, would try to divert our attention to some poster on the wall. Though it sounds lame, it did work to some extent when suddenly pain surges into the body.

Modern heath care has indeed seen many inventions and all of them aims to reduce the work of doctors or reduce the healing time for that patient from a particular surgery etc; If you had seen the movie Prometheus, you would know that the lead actress gets into a operating module or something, presses some buttons and the system starts removing the alien baby that is forming rapidly inside her stomach. Though that scene is so gross, I was fascinated by the technology. I am not sure whether such a technology really exists. It would be great if it does. But the present level of technology in medicine does fascinate me too- from the contact lens to the stem cells. What with the existence of more beauty-conscious people in our society, people are even opting for cosmetic surgery. I have seen a skin doctor having more patients than doctors practicing other professions, even earning more than some of them. :O In today's world, skin is also given much importance just like any other organ.

While Modern health care sounds good to hear on one side, we must also remember that, "Prevention is better than cure". In my case, the situation could not be avoided and therefore many medications had to be taken. But apart from that, all people in this world face a problem and I guess it cannot be changed but reduced to a certain extent. With the growth in the food market and introduction of various machine processed foods with this preservative and that anti-oxidant, our lifestyle, without doubt is changing. This, in itself is a major problem, due to which, problems arise in our body. You don't want to change the nature of your body. When that happens, the problems pile on slowly. Even the vegetables and fruits that we eat, cannot be proved to be 100% natural and healthy, right? Some or the other chemical will be in that. The earth's soil has changed. So, there is a problem in every food item. We can't escape from that but can reduce it by depending on home-made food items. Just Less Bad. Accidents, too are caused by human errors.

The thing is, we spend too much money on food- be it any processed food/ biscuit/ chips/ chocolate/ drink from the supermarket or restaurant or a fast-food outlet etc; Remember, please do avoid fast-food outlets unless you are sure that the shop is hygienic.

But then when the problem (fever, head-ache or heart-attack) comes, we spend even more on medicines and unnecessary tests. If you really think, it is actually like, we spend money to create problems in ourselves and spend even more to cure them. Why go that extent searching for pain? Prevention is better than cure. I know those colourful drink cans, crispy chip packets, soft and hot parottas & samosas would tempt you. Just have control :). Also remember, too much medications is bound to have an effect on you. Majority of people (95% - just telling) get admitted to hospitals due to self-created problems, directly or indirectly. The remaining 5% people (attacked by birth problems) are those for which Modern healthcare is really worth using upon.

Eat well and stay healthy.

Visit Apollo's site.

I thank Apollo for giving this opportunity :)



Friday, 3 May 2013

A-Z Experience!


Hi Friends!

Phew! That was one helluva (wanted to use this word once for fun) Challenge. Initially I thought of taking up the Challenge and did register for it. But as April approached, I suddenly wanted to withdraw from it, what with the surprise holidays I got, due to the protests held all over Tamilnadu, hence my mind got kind of distracted. I was prevented from making such a decision because of a blogger friend but the irony is that person hasn't completed the challenge still. :P But I did :D.

Fortunately, I had already decided on the theme and the corresponding topics for the letters. Believe me, half of the job was done with that. But still, it was difficult to manage. The month of April was very hectic for me, thanks to the two tier examinations- the first being a Unit test sort of thing and the second being the semester exams (ending on May 6).

 To tell the truth, I enjoyed the starting of the challenge, like for the first 15 letters or so. Then the job began to be tough and not-enjoyable. Also another thing I noticed was the lack of my "unique" touch that usually comes with my posts. Am I bragging? :P Hehehe. What I meant was, I usually spend some time on each and every post. But in this challenge, as the letters advanced, my time spent on it became less. In particular, the last 4-5 letters were like, "Oh I must finish this thing as soon as possible". All thanks to the exam pressure :/
It was not as if it I am going to win something. The least penalty could have been removal of my blog's name.
But satisfaction of completing something is always within me. I also felt kind of guilty of not visiting people's blogs who visited mine. Even when I visited, I was totally put off by the length of the post. Gosh, they were too lengthy. I just closed it and didn't visit any more blogs. I didn't have time for myself, first. In this midst, visiting others' seemed to be far-fetched. Atleast the back-scratching (learnt this word from the Blogger Confessions) should be meaningful and justifiable :P.



I don't know if I will participate in this challenge again, next year. But if I do so, all posts should be completed with scheduling before April, so that I can get time to read others' blogs and appreciate it more. In short, Planning. Well, the distance is too much between me and planning. I plan a lot, but nothing succeeds.

But on the whole, it was a fulfilling experience to blog about Chennai. I tried to not make my posts like a tourist would. I gave it a slice of my opinion, views and perspective of it. :)

I am back and will read your blogs shortly, next week. Wait For It. :)

Those of you who are interested in reading my posts and who are interested in knowing a slice of Chennai can do so by clicking on A-Z challenge tab below "WAIT FOR IT" picture. :)

My personal favourite is the post for Q - Quintessential Chennaite.

Image: Internet

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