Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence


This is one of the unputdownable books. I stayed up late to finish it at one go.
It is journey into a conservationist's mind and how he goes about it in a practical, no nonsense way. Of course , he needs a team on his side to do that.
Anthony is offered a herd of wild elephants which initially consist of nine but two are shot dead because they had turned bad and he gets seven.
This herd tries every trick to escape Thula Thula, his sanctuary. Slowly, he wins trust of the Matriarch, Nana by speaking to her, reassuring her in a soft tone. However, he is ever cautious and careful as one can't trust a wild animal fully.
It is amazing how the elephants communicate with each other and their ability to know things beforehand or comprehend what has happened thousands of miles away. It's uncanny and unexplainable.
Anthony balances his relationship with the local people. He respects each and every animal out there in the wilderness. He is adamant about the herd to have minimal contact with humans.
There is so much beauty in the African Jungles, its people, the tribes, their belief in the Supernatural, fearlessness of his team and so much more....
A must read book for all those who love the nature, the animals, the unpredictability of it all...
May be an image of elephant and text that says "Learning about life, loyalty and freedom from a remarkable herd of elephants Elephant The Whispere LAWRENCE ANTHONY with Graham Spenc2021/8/22 08"

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Girls Like Us by Elizabeth Hazen

Poetry Review

Girls Like Us by Elizabeth Hazen

This poetry book is hard hitting. It talks of the strong minded females who has certain misgivings due to societal pressures.... It explores relationships and bondings...

Being in a same sex relationship, is not recognised by most communities....yet the poet accepts it...

She is fearless about flaunting it, acknowledging it...

The poems touch us, the language is flowing, maybe a bit flowery at times but in no way that puts us off. No poetry, for me is trivial or superfluous, because the poet puts all her emotions while writing a poem...

Poetry only comes from us when we are having deep connection with someone or some issues....same is the situation here too....

The poet has deep connection with her writings and that has come through...

My favourite poem is....

*Why I love Zombie Woman*

Because she's stuck with rigor-mortis legs and decomposing skin, but perseveres; because she sees without eyeballs, she hears with oozing ears; because her organs, like eggs dropped from their carton, hit the path with splats, but still she trudges on; because her need is clear, uncomplicated: she must feed; because she barely notices the rats
that gnaw her ankles; because she doesn't stop, even after the hatchet hacks clean through her reaching arm; because she will pursue her prey till they have nothing left to chop.
Because when she lies in pieces, inside out, she will not know regret, or shame, or doubt.

I recommend it for everyone not just poetry lovers

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Myth of Hindu Terror by RVS Mani reviewed by Ramesh N Vinayak

The Myth of Hindu Terror by RVS Mani reviewed by Ramesh N Vinayak

Book Review - The Myth of Hindu Terror

In my opinion, an Autobiography is most difficult to write - particularly when the author is  focusing on few years of his  career and is just retired from Govt service and hence  constraints on what can be written and how much details can be revealed..

The Myth of Hindu Terror - is a fair and square attempt to write about a part of the life of the Author - glorious with achievement and yet lot of turbulence and trouble for standing up for right cause.

The author - Mr.RVS Mani a retired officer who has worked in various Departments and Ministries of Govt of India during his 30+ years of career, has penned this interesting book - "They Myth of Hindu Terror"

While you keep reading the book - you will feel as if Mr. Mani is sitting infront of you and narrating the details of events as they unfolded.

Mr RVS Mani - an upright Tamilian, son of an officer with impeccable values and culture, cricketer, ritvik, part of managing comittee of a Vinayaka Temple in Sarojini Nagar, South Delhi and a trustworthy team mate for his superiors and a great friend to his buddies.

Life and circumstances put him in Intenal Security (IS) division of Ministry of Home Affairs. 

That was sometime in 2005 and a new Govt had taken over in 2004.

In this book,  RVS takes us through the events particularly from 2006 to 2010 where there were many terror attacks in India right from IISc bangalore.

There are some startling disclosures.. Without giving much details and killing your interest to read the book, I will list them down

- Impeccable and exceptional intelligence gathering by resources of IB and MHA
- Timely notificaiton of State Govts
- without failure - State Govts sit on them
- Invariably - terror attacks happen and blame game begins

The book takes us through a journey of terror attacks

- 11th July 2006 - Mumbai - serial blasts in suburban trains
- 8th Sept 2006 - Malegaon serial blasts
- 18th Feb 2007 - Samjhauta Express blast
- 18th May 2007 - Mecca Masjid Blasts - Hyderabd
- 25th Aug 2007 - Lumbini Park Blasts, Hyderabad
- 11th Oct 2007 - Ajmer Shariff blast
- 21st Nov 2007 - Dist Courts, Jaunpur, Faizabad, Varanasi UP
- 1st Jan 2008 - CRPF Camp, Rampur
- Sept 2008 - Delhi Blasts
- 26 Nov 2008 - Mumbai Terror attack

As RVS takes us through these events, he also unfolds how the UPA Govt, remote controlled by Sonia Gandhi and Home Ministry under P Chidambaram and then Sushil Kumar Shinde, played the deadly game of creating the narrative of HINDU TERROR.

Such treachery not only made normal Hindus feel guilty and ashamed, but gave leverage to Pakistan so show that saffron terrorists are the one doing all attacks and Pakistan never supported terrorism.

You will be also shocked to know that

- Entire top brass of Min of Home Affairs were in Pakistan two days before 26/11 mumbai attack
- They were to return on 25th but their stay was extended in last minute and they were taken to Murrie a hill station that had very low telecom coverage and hence cutting of the top brass
- Additional Secy Border Management - who was normally not part of Home Secretary Level Talks (HSLT) was also included and he was the one who convinced Home Secy to agree for one day extension.
- A pak boat was spotted close Indian Nautical Border few days before 26/11 but no action was taken..
- CISF/CRPF commandos based in Mumbai could have been deployed to counter the terrorist attacks.  But Home Ministry sat on that
- NSG team was ready in Delhi Airport and Plane was ready to take off. But Home Minister, Shivraj Patil had given instruction that he would accompany but he went off to sleep and was not accesssible.  Hence Commando deployment was delayed by many hours

And the worst is - UPA Govt gave a list of wanted people in Pak to Pak Govt but 2 of them were already arrested in India.  This made the whole exercise a joke and Pak used this to destroy the credibility of the dossier.

My take after reading his book UPA Govt deliberately wanted to support Pak to prove it's claim that Pak is not supporter of terrorism and hence built the Hindu Terror Narrative.

Now comes the Ishran Jahan case. He was asked to file an affidavit on the stand of MHA by the court and he went and filed. The affidavit was stating the facts and hence supporting the claims of all those officers suspended/arrested for Ishrat Jahan encounter.

This put him in the cross-hairs of powers running the country.  How he suffered, how much torture he went through and how much he lost - you must read the book to know.

And he raises some genuine and shocking questions - which have not been answered.

After reading the book, I really started believing that - THERE IS BHAGWAN - who has been really shielding our nation from such nefarious and poisonous politicians.

And we have a saying in Tamil - translation of which is - "Dharma will be surrounded by deceit and treachery and utlimately Dharma will win"

Jai Hind.

Do buy this book at -

Saturday, April 29, 2017

24-Hour Readathon: Opening Survey

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I am reading from Delhi, India

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Mary Oliver's poetry books...

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Rice munchies and tea...

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I am a school teacher. I teach English to Class 12. That is, 17-18 year old girls.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I have been participating in the readathon for a long time now. So it is going to be pretty much same as others

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros to share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that she’s reading or planning to read soon.

Why I Wake Up Early
by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Top Ten Things That Will Make Us Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I read much of everything but I can't stand books related to the following:

1. Self Help

2. Fantasy

3. Super males/Super Girls

4. Werewolves

5. Chick Lit

6. Alpha Males

7. Serial Killers

8. Women Abuse

9. Animal Abuse

10. Child Abuse

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Friday 56/Book Beginnings on Fridays

Welcome to Week 320!|

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your 
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. 
*It's that simple.


The Wren From Carolina by Mary Oliver (Why I Wake Early)

Just now the wren from Carolina buzzed
through the neighbor's hedge
a line of grace notes I couldn't even write down
much less sing.

Now he lifts his chestnut colored throat
and delivers such a cantering praise -
for what?
For the early morning, the taste of the spider,

for his small cup of life
that he drinks from every day, knowing it will refill.
All things are inventions of holiness.
Some more rascally than others.

I'm on that list too,
though I don't know exactly where.
But every morning, there's my own cup of gladness,
and there's that wren in the hedge, above me, with his

blazing song.


Why I Wake Early
by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.


Booking Through Thursday

btt button
What have you been reading lately?
I have been reading Romances lately. Nothing much to write about. I read the romances and forget the stories, if we call them that, promptly and then go to the next. Sometimes one just needs mindless stuff, and this is one of those times!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Poetic Book Tours: Among The Lost by Seth Steinzor

Among The Lost by Seth Steinzor 

Back Cover:

Among the Lost, set in the modern American rust belt, is a meditation drawn from Dante’s Purgatorio. To Dante, Purgatory was the mountain where souls not damned went after death to cleanse themselves of sin in preparation for entering Paradise. What, Steinzor asks, are we preparing ourselves for, having lost the fear of hell and the hope of heaven, in the course of our daily urban existence? And whatever that is, how do we go about preparing for it?

My Review:

Hindu Religion is about attaining Nirvana, where the cycle of rebirth is broken. One strives to attain that highest status where ones soul merges with that of God. The soul stuck in mid way is in fact, how we are. We do not even realize it and that is what is terrifying. When we follow the right path then Nirvana is not as difficult as it seems.

I won't say that this book of poetry was a revelation for me. I liked the narration. The way he describes the mundane everyday life and is very near to the cycle of birth and death, being in a hospital. I always found that it is only place which levels us. We are forced to contemplate our own mortality. It is how we deal with it, is the question as well as the answer.

Lost love need not be saddening. It gives us the confidence and capability to love. However, we are lost in the maze of life and think, why me, why me....

I found the poems rhapsodic, melodious and very touching. The beauty of words cannot but touch the soul, that very soul, which wants to attain the highest state. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Essential Readings & Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment by K.V. Dominic


“K. V. Dominic Essential Readings” gathers for the first time the three most important works of poetry from this shining new light of contemporary Indian verse in English: “Winged Reason,” “Write Son, Write” and “Multicultural Symphony.” A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic’s prolific and profound verse. Each poem includes unique Study Guide questions suitable for South Asian studies curricula.
Written in free verse, each of his poems makes the reader contemplate on intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, political, and social issues of the present world. Themes range from multiculturalism, environmental issues, social mafia, caste-ism, exploitation of women and children, poverty, and corruption to purely introspective matters. From the observation of neighborhood life to international events, and everyday forgotten tragedies of India, nothing escapes the grasp of Dominic’s keen sense of the fragility of life and morality in the modern world.

My review:

This poetry book is one of those which stays with you long after you finish reading the poems. The poems deal with the real issues of our present society and have been written in very beautiful language. The poems deal with real emotions too, arising out of those issues.

Women's issues, cultural values, globalization, its impact, all these have been dwelt with strongly and hit us hard. We are aware of what is going around us yet we turn a blind eye. The poems in this book brings us back to those and we are forced to confront.

I recommend this poetry book to all those who the world to change for the better...
Sharing here one of the poems....
Pleasures and Pains

Pleasures and pains;

two sides of a coin.

We toss it early morning;

majority gets the pains side.

Pleasures come like sprinkle,

while pains fall like deluge

and continue like monsoon.

Happiness is a mist

while sorrows shower like snow.