Sunday, 30 June 2013

Perverse - Larry Rodness

Date of Reading: 22/06/2013
Author: Larry Rodness
Publisher: Ithoh Press
Place: USA
Year: 2012
From: the author in exchange of an honest review
My Rating: 3.5/5

            Hmph! . . . I am not exactly a fan of vampire stuff (well, except for 'Twilight Saga'), and this cover page almost scared me off. But tempting is the offer of a free book and so here I am. Larry is indeed blessed with an enchanting language, the narrative is so gripping that it is impossible to put it down without finishing.
          Some of the plot can be predicted, but not the climax. And isn't their some truth in Laszlo's question? If there is a devil that sucks your blood out and turn you into a blood longing vampire, shouldn't there be a God to cure the virtuous? Too bad this book too follows the age old dictum; once a vampire, always a vampire.
            The total atmosphere is eerie, which suits to the theme. But I would have preferred some comic relief in between. There is the absence of a parallel plot which is often felt as the story goes on in the same place circling around a few characters. On the whole a good book for one time reading and much better if you are travelling.
            Emylene Stipe is a rare second generation Goth and as she finds that her parents have already revolted against the existing social system, she revolts against the parents. With her friend Nancy she does some perverse attempts to experience the stage between life and death which when found  by adults results in the separation of two.
           As a teenager she moves out of her home and starts working in a textile shop. She comes into the friendship of a man called Stelio who is twice her age, but the absence of a romantic interest from his part frustrates Emylene further. Once when he shows interest on an anique picture, she wins that from the reluctant shopkeeper.
She hangs the picture on the room and a girl appears who seems to be pursued by the men inside. Emylene helps her come out and names her Poinsettia, but things begin to change on her arrival. Stelio dies suddenly and her store and apartment is burned in fire. Poinsettia persuades her to take her place in the picture as she nothing is left for her in this world. Emylene goes in, too late in understanding the true nature of her friend; people believe her to be dead and the place comes under the influence of her vampire friend.
           After two years she is saved by the shop owner Laszlo Birij who gives the real story of Poinsettia. Her real name is Mira and she was his wife. After the attack of a vampire during her honeymoon, she too is turned and is put into the picture until a cure can be found.

         Now the city has become a ghost town, but Emylene succeeds in finding her mother alive. Father is still under the clutches of Mira and so they set out for a final battle together with Laszlo. The surprise comes in the form of Stelio who turns out to be the master vampire. With the help of her parents Emylene destroys him and Laszlo stabs Mira. When they burn the whole town to demolish other vampires, Laszlo gets trapped. At the end of the novel he is seen to be feeding Mira in their secret place.          

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Ring the Bell against Child Marriages!!!

            I have been to a conference in Durgapur, West Bengal last week and I remember watching a pregnant woman with her little child taking rest on the platform.
          "How old can she be?", my friends were whispering.
             "Not more than sixteen, for sure".
          Not an unusual sight you might say, and I can't contradict. When Indichange has asked me to write on child marriages, I searched my memory; Hmph . . . none of my friends have got into that misfortune, they have fought well with the support of our teachers.
Indian law says a marriage below the age of eighteen is child marriage. Will a girl turn into a grown, emotionally matured woman by the age of eighteen? For God's sake, she will be in the first year of her graduation (that is, if she is born into a cultured society where women are educated). While her male counterparts travel through colleges with PhDs and Post-PhDs, she is deprived of her platform to perform, succeed and be independent.
            A marriage before or after eighteen won't matter, if her status remains same. In a country where the usual law of marriage is disregarded quietly, it might be fruitless to talk about a raise in the age of marriage, but it should be done; so that no girls will have to write their exams with bulged bellies and morning sickness again; so that they won't be ashamed of their birth as a woman and unhappy in their role as a mother.
           As always reform should start in families; so let each mother and father take the pledge of bringing up their boys with respect to women and their girls with respect to themselves. Its a small step, but one that will go far.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Shoes of the Dead - Kota Neelima

Date of Reading: 10/06/2013
Author: Kota Neelima
Publisher: Rainlight
Place: New Delhi
Year: 2013
Rating: 4.5/5

             Each book in my shelf has an outside story; a tale through which they came to my life and this one is going to be special. Thanks to BlogAdda's Book Review program, this third book of Kota Neelima was my constant companion throughout my train journey which extended to three states -- Andrapradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. 
             As one of the members of new generation who is acquainted with agriculture through the plays of Farmville, a political novel on farmer suicides is an eye opener. Rains may not come, and crops might wither but there won't be any free gifts or mystery babies to wait for. The green fields with lotus ponds and the waving children covered in mud whom I can watch through the train window presented a contrasting picture to the one I was reading. Nonetheless, the story is about them, a time they might have passed and wish to forget -- the time of rice water survivals. By the time the story reached the meager survival of Gangri, the severe food poisoning episode has taught me hunger and my experience of the book was complete.

            Neelima's career as a journalist has quite evidently helped in the writing task. Nazar Prabhakar, the sharp journalist works as the writer's unconscious and his occasional repartee is the most cherished moments in the story. There are three story's running simultaneously -- Nazar and Videhi's, Gangri's and Kayur's -- but author hasn't let the reader stray from the central theme, debt related farmer suicides. 
             Author has avoided the usual cliches of blaming the democratic system and the political representatives, instead a middle path is taken to know the ways that make them forcefully corrupt to adapt to the political tides. The writer expects some fruitful action, not another discussion with fancy words in the news room. A fast paced serious work which will leave its trace on you and is much recommended in this turbulent times.
The district of Mityala is witnessing an increased number of farmer suicides due to successive crop failures and the burden of debt. When Sudhakar Bhadra succumbs to this same fate, the powerful district suicide committee of Mityala which governs the interests of moneylenders and traders dismisses it as aptra and refuses compensation to his widow.
            Sudhakar's brother, Gangri, who was working as a teacher in the city resigns his job and vouches his life for the justice of other farmer suicides. He becomes a member of the committee and influences others to vote rightfully.

             This increase in the suicidal rates engenders the political future of Keyur Kashinath, the first time MP of Democratic Party from Mityala. As the son of Vaishnav Kashinath, party's general secretary, he is heir to his father's power in Delhi politics. His intention to oust Gangri from the committee through foul means catches the eye of the young journalist Nazar Prabhakar and the news creates ripples in Delhi politics.
            Keyur is forced to investigate the issue personally and his contact with Gangri turns him against moneylenders. Farmer suicides of the past years are reconsidered and the deserved ones are given compensation.
Kota Neelima
Meanwhile Gangri's nephew dies of malnutrition and fever and a heartbroker Gangri commits suicide. Keyur resigns his MP position and comes to Mityala to implement Gangri's plans.

Something to ponder:  
"The increasing toll is bound to trouble the people in power because farmers like us are not supposed to be visible to the government. . . But now our lives are drawing attention because of our deaths." - 93

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