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Glaring Shadow A Stream Of Consciousness Novel

In a stream of consciousness mode ‘Glaring Shadow’ is the self-account of the life and times of a man, who liquidates his immense wealth only to consign it to the flames.The agony and ecstasy of his life as he makes it big in our materialistic world and the way he loses his soul in the bargain, only to regain it when tragedy strikes him makes one ponder over the meaning of success in life. This philosophical ‘novel of a memoir’ is a compelling read that is conducive to contemplate about the nature and scope of human relationships.Chapter Titles1. Glaring Shadow2. Pains of Regret3. Cradle of Life4. Outlook for Re-look5. Humbling Reality6. Orgies of Love7. Pangs of Remorse8. Villainy of Innocence9. Couple of a Kind10. A Character of Sorts11. Moments of Poignance12. Enigma of Being13. Vignettes of a Village14. A Teacher of Note15. Brink of Incest16. Love-less Love17. Flights of Heart18 Gaffes of Youth19. Pats and Slights20. An Emotional Affair21. The Harlot Zone22. A Lingering Longing23. Smallness of Bigness24. Disown to Own25. Sentiment of Ruin26. Enigma of Attraction27. Veneer of the Vile28. Swap for Nope29. Goring Syndrome 30. Back to the BasicsBook excerpt for a feel of its literary style:Glaring Shadow He had the soul of our times, and is the namesake of many. He tamed success by the scruff of its neck, only to fuel envy in our neighborhood. When it seemed there was no stopping him, fate dealt him a deadly blow in his early sixties. Besides losing his wife, son and daughter-in-law with their children in that fatal road mishap, he found his leg mangled in the debris of that Ferrari. The intensity of the pity all felt for him seemed to match the magnitude of his loss, but as he became a recluse, his thought eluded all, and in due course, his tragedy became a thing of the past. But, in time, his intriguing behavior brought him back to the top of the page three in the local media – why he had disposed off his lucrative real estate for a song that left the realtors in the lurch. And as if to create a newsflash in the business world, he had off-loaded his considerable stockholding, which sent the bulls running for cover in the country’s bourses. Soon, even as the scrip was still crunching in the bear hug, the closure of his umpteen bank accounts earned him the national headlines, as it heralded a first rate liquidity crisis in the country’s banking system. But even in that gloomy setting, it cost me a fortune to acquire his palatial bungalow the outhouse of which he had retained. When I called on him for chitchat that morning, I was shocked to see him shredding mounds of money lying beside him. Unmindful of my protests, as he picked up another wad of notes, I snatched it from him as if it were the money I paid through my nose. However, getting hold of another set, when he resumed his destructive regimen, I said it was absurd that the toil of a lifetime should be laid waste thus. Maybe, to clear my vision as well as to set his mind at rest, he unwound himself, which I would rewind for man to readjust his clock of life. But then why not reveal his name when he is worth writing about? It’s because, the value of this tale lies not in his name, hallowed though, but in the hollowness of life he had led that is even as his name became a synonym for fame. However, if someone were to guess who it is, so be it. “My tragedy brought to the fore the falsities of life,” he began melancholically. “How sickening it was to sense the anxiety of those to step into the shoes of my lost heirs. If only they stopped at that, and not stooped further, wouldn’t I have taken them as the necessary evils of my aimless life! But they began to believe that they had a case for cause of action to file a suit in the court for their share in the spoils of my life. Let them go in for a writ if they want to, how I care now. What is the injunction they are going to get from the court but to maintain the status quo. Better still if the court were to grant them this shredded stuff; won’t that save me the bother of scavenging it. But then, why blame them? How I failed to see that the self-worthy will not ingratiate themselves, and that it is the self-serving that cater to the egos of the egotists. Won’t the upright seem arrogant to the egotistic, served by the servility of the spongers. Oh, by letting success go to my head, how I began to condescend to descend to the principled folks, who tend to occupy the middle order. Didn’t Napoleon say, ‘The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man” and, anyway, they are few and far between as Shakespeare had averred “Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand”. “Maybe in our age of the billionaires, the ratio could as well be one in a million.” “You may not be off the mark after all,” he said. “Aren’t more and more people getting exposed to the temptations of money these days, and don’t I know how difficult it is to resist the temptation of the moolah. More so, as it appears, Mammon and Bacchus have pushed Venus to the backbench of life. Well, warming up to the dubious, didn’t I make it appear that only those who courted me counted? But why would sane minds court the empty heads any way? But still, I didn’t care that my attitude distanced the discerning, even Anand my nephew I was fond of, and he was the last to know of my tragedy. Why not, won’t it take time for news to trickle down to the distant relations? When he came to offer his condolences, how my troubled conscience was solaced by the empathy I saw in his eyes! What a contrast it was with the put-ons of others underscored with their eyes-on-my-heirless-wealth! It was as if his ethos had placed my derailed life back on its ethical tracks. How I pleaded with him to become the prince of my domain and the inheritor of my fortune, and it was only when he declined my offer, did I realize what a pauper I was in spite of my riches.” “Don’t tell me he’s a saint not wanting to be one of the richest on earth. Maybe, it’s his weird way of getting even with you.”    “You may know that he values love above all else, and that’s saintly, isn’t it?” he said. “He’s skeptical about the senseless wealth for its malefic affects on the ethos of his life, and what’s worse, the questionable quality of those that it ushers into one’s life. While his modest station in life keeps off the axe-grinders and the gold-diggers from trespassing into his life to his hurt, he’s afraid that the halo of my bequeathal would change all that for it might make him a false deity flocked by the dubious gang. That used to be my philosophy of life as well. I always wanted a woman to enter into my life, pulled by my persona and not seduced by my wealth for I know women have a weakness for successful men. Well for my part, I always had a weakness for desirable women. When Ruma wanted me to own her and her riches as well, for good or for bad, it all changed forever, but now, how I wish I had his pragmatism to love and to life. Whatever, that monetary rise was the beginning of my moral fall.” “But money can bring the best out of man and I’ve a cousin to name for that,” I said.“When he was a man of modest means, he pestered me no end for a paltry sum he lent me but now he’s a silent donor of millions. I guess that it was his insecurity then that made him petty in spite of his being large-hearted. Why, it’s the hand that holds the money that shapes its character and not the other way round.” “And sadly for my money it fell into my frivolous hands,” he said staring at the heap.  “When I said at his refusal what I was to do with all the money, Anand said in jest that I might as well hang myself with it. Oh, if only he had told me how to go about it; can one make a rope out of a wad of a trillion? Why money is paper and rope is coir; money can buy rope but can’t make one on its own; which is stronger then, money that buys rope or the rope that gets sold for money? Yet all the money in the world cannot tie a monkey? But strangely it can bind man, even the Herculean one! Or is it that man himself submits to money, thinking that he would be weak without it. Oh, how I acquired wealth to feel strong and appear so to Ruma. But what money did to me than making me a weakling? What of this impulse to destroy that, which I had accumulated all my life. Can I become strong by shredding the stuff? Maybe, am I not rooting out the cause of my bane? How my hands have begun to ache already, and I’ve so much more to shred still! Wonder why didn’t I feel any strain at all accumulating all that wealth; what a heady feeling, the sense of success is! Why did I let the glaring shadow of success eclipse my soul? Maybe I would never know. But now, wiser for the myth of wealth don’t I see the falsity of fame in which I had been gloating over.”    “You seem to be shaken really.”    “I was in a slumber till Anand stirred my soul in showing me the reality of life,” he said reflectively. “And what a shock it was.” “Maybe it paves the way to unburden yourself.” “Isn’t it strange that unburdening itself is a burden for me,” he bemoaned. “How tiring it is to destroy all that I had built, so to say, over my dead soul. Whatever, can one either build much or destroy enough with bare hands. Maybe as business machines generate wealth, we need money munches to devour it. But all I’ve is a pair of scissors.” “If ever you get to invent one, I don’t see any takers for it and that saves the bother of patenting it.”   “Surely sense of humor helps,” he said trying to get up from his chair to reach the bureau. “How I forgot I needed crutches, don’t I have the ghost leg still? Even after exorcizing the devil of wealth, I may have to put up with it for long. And that speaks about the power of habit that is the bane of man. Didn’t I develop the habit of making money to impress Ruma, only to go down on the road of doom? Wasn’t my sense of insecurity to retain her love that was behind all that? But then, how admirably did Anand lead his wife Anitha through the travails of life.” “If you don’t mind my being frank with you,” I said involuntarily, “your tone betrays your jealousy couched by the admiration of him. It’s also clear that you wished Ruma was cast in Anitha’s mold.” “I like your perceptivity, the acme of sensitive writing,” he said and added reflectively. “Don’t I know you aspire to be a writer? Your muse willing, maybe my life can inspire you to make a memoir of it. If so, pray not give away those who came into my life and I too, but for a slip of the tongue, won’t name any save those you are already in the know. Name them as your fancy suggests, and what’s in a name as Shakespeare had said.”  “Why it’s an idea, and as Abhishek Bachchan says, it can change one’s life,” I said enthusiastically. “Let me take notes,” “Why not you give it a try as I glean through the glaring show of my life in all its myriad shades,” he said handing me a writing pad.  
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Prey On The Prowl A Crime Novel

Even as Detective Dhruva was enamored of Kavya, whom he rescues from her kidnapper, Radha, an alleged murderess on the run, gatecrashes into his life. But when Kavya too joins him after her man was poisoned there ensues the tussle of a love triangle, which gets unraveled in a poignant end, but not before a series of murders. So, then who could have poisoned Ranjit the realtor, Shakeel the Inspector, Pravar the criminal and Natya his accomplice?Well the needle of suspicion tilted towards Pravar that was till he perished with his mate, but then who was the one?  Could it be Radha under the scanner for her role in the death of her husband Madhu and his mistress Mala, Pravar's sister? Or was it Ranjit's spouse Kavya, who owing to Stockholm Syndrome, takes to Pravar her kidnapper.As these deaths by poisoning puzzle Dhruva, Radha avers that Kavya had the motive and the means to kill her spouse, her paramour and his wife besides the cop.However, reckoning that when the ill-motives of the natural suspects to commit a murder are an open secret, someone with a hidden agenda might be tempted to use that as a camouflage for his subterfuge, Dhruva begins to look around for the culprit.  The Book's Agenda for Revenge.1. Prey on the Prowl2. Shakeel’s Fixation3. Ranjit’s Predicament 4. Rags to Riches5. Dhruva’s Dilemma 6. The Gatecrasher7. Operation Checkmate8. Foul on Pravar 9. Stockholm Syndrome10. An Aborted Affair11. Psyche of Revenge12. Victim of Trust13. Backyard of Life14. Cuckoo’s Nest15. ‘Untried’ Crime16. Kavya’s Quagmire17. Murders to Mislead18. The Other Woman 19. Shakeel’s Demise20. A Perfect Murder21. Deaths in Spandan22. Arraigned in Remand23. Depressing Discovery24. The Red Herring25. Wages of Abuse26. Decoding the Crime27. A Poignant End:Book excerpt for the feel of its literary style:Prey on the ProwlThat June evening, the crimson sun gave in to the dark monsoon clouds to let them end its long summer reign over the Deccan skies. What with the thickening clouds thundering in triumph, Dhruva woke up from his siesta, and by the time he moved into the portico of his palatial bungalow at 9, Castle Hills, the skies had opened up to shower its sprawling lawns. It was as if the eagerness of the rainfall matched the longing of the parched soil to receive its fertile mate in an aroma of embrace, and in the ensuing echoes of that seasonal union, the roots of the garden plants devoured every raindrop, that is, even as their leaves shed the overburden to accommodate the new arrivals.Dhruva, impelled by all that, stood engrossed, and Raju, the housekeeper, fetched him a plateful of hot pakodas, which, facing the spatter, he began to savour, and before he had finished with the snack, Raju returned with a mug of steaming Darjeeling tea for him. Soon, the refreshed sun resurged to warm up the leaves, even as the satiated roots let the bounty go down the drain. Done with the beverage, Dhruva picked up the sachet of lanka pogaku, to roll a cigar, and finishing that as he reached for the cigar lighter, the rainbow, in its resplendent colors, unfolded in the misty skies. However, when he began puffing away at the cigar, as if dispelled by its strong scent, the dissipated clouds began disappearing from the horizon.Watched by Dicey, the Alsatian, Dhruva savored the cigar to the last puff, but as he stubbed the butt, and stepped out onto the lush green lawn, the pet followed him to leave its footprints on the damp canvas in its master’s tracks. Even as the clouds began regrouping in the skies, he covered the garden to caress every croton and coleus as he would Dicey. But when it portended downpour, Raju led Dicey into the portico and Dhruva headed towards the study to pick up the half-read Crimes Digest of the month. However, as it rained again, he reached the first-floor French window, standing by which he thought that it was akin to the urge of the assassin to revisit the scene of the crime, for a review of the same. Amused by his analogy, he thought as if the rain was obliterating its earlier footprints, but when it ceased raining and the skies turned murky, seemingly mourning the loss of their resplendence, he too immersed himself in the dark world of crime the Digest pictured.Meanwhile, Raju let Dicey do the patrolling, and soon it began barking at the gate inducing Dhruva to reach to the window, through which he saw a sensuous woman, tentative at the half-open Iron Gate of his mansion. Enamoured of her attractive face and desirous of her middle-aged frame, as he stood rooted, the pet sprang up to the gate, forcing the tantalizing trespasser to beat a hasty retreat. No less affected by her sensual gait in her retreat, Dhruva lost his eyes to her, until she went out of his sight, but readily alive to her loss, he cursed himself for not sticking to the portico. Inexplicably obsessed with her, he rushed to the gate only to see her turning the bend even as Inspector Shakeel came into view on his Bajaj Pulsar.When Shakeel greeted Dhruva, feeling lost, he forced himself to hug him, just as Dicey leapt up to the visitor in welcome, and as Raju took away the pet, Dhruva led the cop into the portico, wondering aloud what made him scarce, for nearly three months then. When Shakeel began to detail how he had reached the dead-end of the investigation of a double murder he was handling, the detective closed his eyes, as if to avoid reading the script from the cop’s body language.
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Benign Flame Saga Of Love In Chapters Format

The attractions Roopa experienced and the fantasies she entertained as a teen shaped a male imagery that ensconced her subconscious. Insensibly, confident carriage came to be associated with the image of maleness in her mind-set. Her acute consciousness of masculinity only increased her vulnerability to it, making her womanliness crave for the maleness for its gratification. However, as her father was constrained to help her in becoming a doctor, she opts to marry, hoping that Sathyam might serve her cause though the persona she envisioned as masculine, she found lacking in him. But as he fails to go with her idea, she becomes apathetic towards him, and insensibly sinks into her friend Sandhya’s embrace, for lesbian solace.  Soon, in a dramatic sequence of events, Tara, a suave call girl, tries to rope in Roopa into her calling; Roopa herself loses her heart to Sandhya's beau Raja Rao, and Prasad, her husband’s friend falls for her. And as Prasad begins to induce her husband to be seduced by whores, to worm his way into her affections, Roopa finds herself in a dilemma. However, as fate puts Raja Rao into Roopa’s arms in such a way as to lend novelty to fiction, this ‘novel’ nuances man-woman chemistry on one hand, and portrays woman-woman empathy on the other.  Who said the novel is dead; 'Benign Flame' raises the bar as vouched by -  The plot is quite effective and it’s a refreshing surprise to discover that the story will not trace a fall into disaster for Roopa, given that many writers might have habitually followed that course with a wife who strays into extramarital affairs - Spencer Critchley, Literary Critic, U.S.A.  The author has convinced the readers that love is something far beyond the marriage tie and the fulfillment of love can be attained without marriage bondage. The author has achieved a minor revolution without any paraphernalia of revolution in the fourth part of the novel – The Quest, India.  The author makes free use of – not interior monologue as such, but – interior dialogue of the character with the self, almost resembling the dramatic monologue of Browning. Roopa, Sandhya, Raja Rao and Prasad to a considerable extent and Tara and Sathyam to a limited degree indulge in rationalization, trying to analyse their drives and impulses – The Journal of Indian Writing in English.Overall, Benign Flame is a unique attempt at exploring adult relationships and sexuality in the contemporary middle-class. All the characters come alive with their cravings and failings, their love and their lust. Benign Flame blurs the lines and emphasizes that life is not all black and white - it encompasses the full spectrum of living - Indian Book Chronicle.Chapter Headings:1. Ramaiah’s Family2. Realities of Life3. Hapless Hope4. Turn at the Tether5. Moorings of Marriage6. World within the World  7. Roopa’s En Passant  8. Threshold of Temptation9. Sathyam’s Surrender10. Sandhya’s Sojourn11. Match in the Making12. Poignant Moment13. Wedding Season 14.  Veil of Fate 15. Naughty Nuptials16. Tidings of Love17. Tentative Moves18. Fetishes of Fantasy19. Curtain of Courtesy20. Blueprint in the Offing21. Enduring Longing22. Villainy of Life23. Playboy at Play24. Scheming the Theme25. Device of Deceit26. Software of Detour27. Tara’s Theory28. Night of the Mates29. A Brimming Romance  30. Euphoric Forays31. Living the Dream 32. Chat at the Bar33. Amour on Rein34. Surge of a Merge  35. Date with Destiny36. Threesome Sail37. End of an Innings 38. Subdued BeginningBook excerpt for a feel of its literary style  - Ramaiah’s FamilyThat winter night in the mid-seventies, the Janata Express was racing rhythmically on its tracks towards the coast of Andhra Pradesh. As its headlight pierced the darkness of the fertile plains, the driver honked the horn as though to awake the sleepy environs to the spectacle of the speeding train. On that, in the S-3, were the Ramaiahs with their nine year-old daughter Roopa.Earlier, from Ramavaram, it was in the nick of time that Ramaiah took Janaki to Vellore for the doctors to extricate her from the jaws of death. Now, having been to Tirupati for thanksgiving, he was returning home with his wife and Roopa they took along for the sojourn. While her parents were fast asleep, Roopa sat still on a side berth, reminiscing her times at the hospital where Janaki took one month to recuperate under Dr. Yasoda’s care. Soon the train stopped at a village station, as though to disrupt Roopa’s daydreams of modeling herself on the lady doctor at the Christian Medical College Hospital, and as she peeped out, the ill-lit platform seemed to suggest that the chances of her being Dr. Roopa could be but dim. Ramaiah too woke up to the commotion caused by the incoming passengers, and was surprised to see his daughter still awake, lost in her thoughts.    
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Stories Varied A Book Of Short Stories

Stories Varied delve into the possibilities of woman’s life in the man’s world. While 'Ilaa’s Ire' takes one back to woman’s life and times in the Vedic age, ‘201’ Qualms depicts her predicament when torn between trust and duty. If “?” addresses woman’s marital stress in an alien land, 'Cupid’s Clue' is about her acting on a rebound in the native place. Even as 'Autumn Love' enables a woman to discover the void late in life, 'A Touchy Affair' renders her amenable to her man’s other woman well in time.Just as 'Love’s How’s That' inflames her old flame, 'A Hearty Turn' brings the female lesbian leanings to the fore. As 'Love Jihad' bridges lovers’ religious divide with a secular plank, 'Tenth Nook' creates a marital gulf on the material plane. If 'Eleventh Hour' is about woman’s lust for love, 'Twelfth Tale' underscores her quest for power.Book excerpt from 'Autumn Love' for a feel of its literary style -‘Is it a point of no return?’ she thought involuntarily moving to the edge of the chair. Reading his ‘have you forgotten about the castration?’ message, she sank into the chair thinking, ‘is it a lighthearted joke or as a loaded message?’, and for a clue, began to recall the events of the year passed by. ‘Oh, how my life had turned on its head when I turned fifty?’ she thought in wonderment. ‘That’s when I immunized my heart against attractions and insulated my life from vacillations! So I believed, didn’t I? But when he enamored my heart to give a flirty spin to my life, didn’t it dawn upon me that I had only sterilized it for a ritual regimen, and no more. Oh, how his first glance pierced my heart to stir my life that very instant!’ Returning from a temple when she found him alone in the drawing room, she felt as if god had sent his angle to receive her in her own abode. The moment their eyes met, it was as if they began their joint search for a love ground to share, which they had to abandon as her husband entered the scene from behind the curtain. He was a friend of her husband’s childhood pal settled in the States. Having spent the best part of his life there, he came back with his wife for good, leaving their two children, who were US citizens. That was six months back and they had since settled in Hyderabad, where, incidentally, both her married daughters stayed. As he happened to be in their town alone, to explore some business opportunities there, that evening, he came to call on her husband at their common-friend’s behest. Introductions over, as her husband wanted her to prepare some coffee for them; she went into the kitchen with a heavy heart. ‘While my missing his sight had understandably irked me, didn’t the thought that he too would miss my sight inexplicably hurt me?’ she began reminiscing about that dream encounter. ‘But then, how the smell of the boiling decoction lifted my spirits for it portended serving him some steamy coffee with my own hands. When he said he never tasted anything better, how I hoped he would leave some dregs for my palate to share his satisfaction. What a disappointment it was seeing him empty the cup and how exhilarated I was when he said he had broken his life-long habit of leaving the dregs. Then, as he was preparing to leave, how depressed I was, but how relieved I was when my husband invited him to visit us again!’ She got up from the chair and as if to walk down the memory lane, she walked up to the compound gate.
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Crossing The Mirage Passing Through Youth

If passing through youth was like crossing the mirage of life for Chandra and Nithya, it proved to be chasing the mirage of love for Sathya and Prema though for plain Vasavi, Chandra's pitiable sibling, it was the end of the road.As life brings Chandra, who suffers from an inferiority complex for his perceived ugliness, and Nithya, who was bogged down being jilted by Vasu, together, they script their fate of fulfillment.And as poetic justice would have it, Sathya, who caused Prema's heartburn, himself was led down the garden path by Kala, doing a Sathya on Sathya.Just not that, life has in store just deserts for Vasu owing to Nithya's retribution as he tries to stalk her. Besides, after many a fictional twist and turn, the way the story ends, challenges the perception that fact is stranger than fiction.Sign Posts to CrossShackles on PsycheEnd of the TetherBurden of FreedomOnto the TurfRespite by DeathLessons of LifeNaivety of LoveDilemma of DisclosurePerils of YouthAbsurd ProposalCrossing the MirageSetting the PaceOasis of BlissBusy bees in HoneycombTwist in the TaleLove in the BindTurn for the WorseShadows to the ForeSpurring on to ErrTempting the FateStooping to ConquerFouling the SoulPoetic JusticeAgony of PenitenceEmbrace of LoveLife of a KindJust desertsBook excerpt for a feel of its literary style:Shackles on PsycheYouth is the mirror that tends us to the reality of our looks. The reflections of our visages that insensibly get implanted in our subconscious lend shape to our psyche to define the course of our life. This is the saga of Chandra’s chequered life that mirrors this phenomenon in myriad ways.As perceived by the deprived, he had a fortunate birth. Yadagiri, his father, was the prominent pearl merchant in Hyderabad - Deccan, the seat of the Nizam’s power in undivided India. The patronage of the royals and the nobles alike, helped add gloss to his pearls making him the nawab of the trade. Besides, Princely Pearls, his outlet near the Charminar, was a draw with the rich, out to humor their wives and adorn the mistresses. When Anasuya, Yadagir's wife, was expecting her second issue, trouble brewed in Telangana, the heart of the Nizam’s province. While his subjects' surge to free themselves from his yoke clashed with the Nizam’s urge to keep his gaddi, Sardar Patel's plans for a pan India was at odds with his designs to retain the Deccan belt as his princely pelf.‘With a go by to the nobility,’ Yadagiri tried to envision his future, ‘it could be shutters down at the Princely Pearls.’Thus, at the prospect of the momentous merger, even as the populace got excited, he was unnerved perceiving a slowdown in his trade. Confounding him further, as the impending merger was on the cards, Anasuya's delivery time neared .‘Should it be a girl again,’ he thought, ‘it would be only worse. Why, without a boy, what of the surname?’Soon, as his wife was moved to the hospital, he was rattled by the prospect of her delivering another daughter. But, as it turned out, his fears proved to be liars on both counts.Anasuya delivered Chandra, the very day the Nizam, courtesy Sardar, capitulated to the Delhi sarkar. And soon, the nouveau riche, from the business class, began to outshine the old nobility, pearl for pearl. Buoyed by the bottom line, Yadagiri dreamt of building a pearl empire for his son in the Republic of India. While Anasuya lavished upon Chandra the affection due to a son born after one gave up, Vasavi, his sister, running ten then, found in her brother a soul to dote upon. Thus, toasted by his parents and pampered by his sibling, Chandra had a dream childhood.But, when he entered adolescence, the realities of life began to confound him to his discomfort. Coaxed by his father to excel at studies, he was perplexed for the lack of aptitude. What's worse, the antics of his classmates made him hapless -- they marginalized him at playtime, for his lack of reflexes, and, for want of grace, targeted him at fun-time. Well, to cap it all, the snide remarks of the have-nots, that he chose his father well, induced in him a vague sense of inadequacy.As if all this was not enough for his tender psyche to cope up with, he had to contend with the sternness of the paternal strictness. Thus, it was only time before the seeds of alienation towards his father were sown in his impressionable mind. But the support he got from his sister and the solace he felt in his mother’s lap helped soothe his ruffled feelings a little. In time, he reached the threshold of youth, but couldn’t cross the despair of adolescence.Oblivious of the possibilities of life, man goes through his journey of disarray, in the itinerary of the past, chasing the mirages of malady even amidst the sands of hope. And that despairs him forever.Into his puberty, as his biology induced in him sexual curiosity, owing to his ungainliness, his youthful urge for reciprocity remained unfulfilled. Being naïve to the feminine nuances, his eyes couldn’t comprehend the emanations of their indifference. When in dismay, as he turned to the mirror for a clue, the reflections of his self-doubts stared him in his face. Yet, goaded by desire, he ogled women but to no avail. And as he went back to the mirror to reassess his self-worth, the craft of man wouldn’t oblige where nature’s device deluded him. Thus, being in a limbo, he came to be haunted for being unwanted.Besides, as his sexual urge got augmented, his eyes became the instruments of dissection of the maiden form. Though bowled over by females, he was unable to interest them himself. Intrigued by their manner, he turned his focus onto those to whom they were drawn. And soon he realized that though the nominators of female admiration varied, the common denominator of male appeal appeared to be the dashing.As a corollary to his discovery, he shed his inhibitions and psyched himself to make a pass at a fancied lass. But in a reproach, governed by vanity, she said that she doubted his acquaintance with the looking-glass. Sadly, that fatal tease came to shape his outlook about his own looks to his detriment. Disdained thus, he shunned maidens and mirrors alike.Once when his father reprimanded him for his unkempt hair, he entrusted its upkeep to his sister’s care. And as she said, in jest, that his porcupine hair needed tins of oil to be tamed, as a way out he went for a crew cut. Though it was in the fashion then, he invited ridicule of all for the same reason. Belittled thus, he became a recluse.Perturbed by his proclivities, Anasuya alerted Yadagiri who dismissed it all as the tentativeness of youth, and advocated patience to let it pass. Unconvinced though, Anasuya suborned her female instinct for ‘action’ to the ‘inaction’ of her master’s wisdom. But, as Chandra began to even lose his appetite, her motherly love could take it no more. Thus, she took her son to the family physician and, on prescription, put him on Liv-52.As that too failed to enhance her son’s appetite, the mother was at a loss, and it showed. However, the women of the neighborhood read it all wrong and gossiped on that count.“An unwed daughter of twenty-eight,” opined a sympathetic soul, “surely is a sore.”“No less an eyesore,” said another.“What can be done,” said a fair-skinned, “when the girl is so dark?”“Don’t tell me,” said a know-all. “She got her chances but Yadagiri rode the high horse then.”“That’s the trouble with us,” philosophized a bluestocking. “We aspire for more than we can hope for. Wanting the very best is a bad idea but failing to see what the best one can get is even worse.”Unmindful of the gossip that reached her in its magnified form, Anasuya broached the subject of Chandra’s condition with that lady philosopher who professed herself as an amateur psychologist. Having read the brief, the lady of letters diagnosed the malaise as a case of ennui and as for the remedy, she prescribed a course in fiction for him.It’s thus amidst his class books, the Zolas with the Gogols, that Anasuya slipped in, started gracing Chandra’s study. Unable as he was to concentrate on his studies, he began browsing through them as a way of distraction only to end up delving deep into the fictional world pictured in them. Soon, as he was seized with novels in their scores, their fictional aberrations helped him analyze his own shortcomings. But what really hooked him to the novel was the ego gratification it afforded him in judging the characters portrayed in it. What's more, the empathy he felt for the fictional figures brought the latent sympathy he had for his sibling to the fore. This, in turn, abetted self-pity in his consciousness.Well, Vasavi remained single, not by choice. While nature deprived her of a whetting visage, her upbringing failed her in imbibing aplomb. Besides, Yadagiri’s attitude towards matchmaking didn’t help her cause either. No sooner would a well-meaning proposal come forth than he would dismiss it on the grounds of status or pedigree and/ or both. It was as if he came to see his own elevation in slighting others and as the well-wishers too lost patience with him, the leads to the prospective matches got sapped one by one. All this had dented his own efforts besides drying up the well of his daughter’s marital prospects.On the other hand, Vasavi, having failed to induce a suitable boy on her own and with nothing better to do, went on an acquisition spree of diplomas in assorted faculties. Ironically, that made her progress on the marriage front even worse, as the list of eligible bachelors on academic plane was leaner, what with the penchant of the boys to take up jobs with their basic degrees.When Anasuya saw the folly of it all, she started pestering Yadagiri to see the writing on the wall. Finding there weren’t any bachelors of over thirty left on the roll of honor, he swallowed his pride and opened his doors for all comers. However, having gone past her prime by then, Vasavi came a cropper with every proposal that came by. But, at last, fate seemed to test her character by tempting her into wedlock. And steeled by life, she said ‘no’ to the guy who said ‘yes’ for he made his mercenary intent too apparent for her liking.It appears that nature has double standards when it comes to endowing the sexes. Why, it's as if, it affords the females, the charms of youth, only to attract the males to propagate the species. Uncharitably though, so it seems, it dents the female aura on the way to menopause, leaving her to fend for herself mid-course. On the contrary, and for the same purpose, it vests virility with men well past their prime.   Anasuya, however, thought of a detour as she saw that they had reached a dead end. She said that it would be an idea to let a widower lead her daughter to the altar. But Yadagiri would have none of that for he felt it would devalue the family and demoralize their daughter. Thus, the status quo prevailed and Vasavi, to her discomfort, remained single.By the time she crossed thirty, Chandra crawled into the final year of his B.Com. With her emaciated frame and pimpled face, Vasavi seemed even more pathetic to his sympathetic eyes. The thought that they shared the ugliness, bequeathed by their father in equal measure, made him   empathetic towards her, even as he was embittered towards his parent on that very score. ‘Oh if only we had taken after our mother!’ he thought endlessly. ‘Why, we would’ve inherited her beauty, wouldn’t we have?’For its very possibility, the thought of deprivation made it all the worse for him. But, in time, the realization that ugliness was a worse curse for women than men, evoked  sympathy for the weaker sex in his empathic soul.Whenever he found himself in his sister’s presence, the pity he nursed for her insensibly surfaced in his eyes. The first time she was struck by his manner, finding his stare scaring, she gazed at him to gauge his mind. As their eyes scanned the bounds of mutual sympathy, at length, their souls got bonded in eternal empathy. In their state of fellow-feeling, fearing that speech might impair the purity of their emotion, they preferred to keep mum.‘How wretched it must be for her, in her condition!’ he thought then. ‘Hasn’t she reached the dead end, in the midst of her life? Maybe, a career would’ve provided some distraction for her. But dad would have none of that. It’s as if, the very idea scandalizes him. It is really stupid of him to stick on to the old times!’Often, as he felt his own life was no less oppressive, he became melancholic to his mother's worry. Whenever she tried to probe his mind, he put it in the wraps, lest its exposure should burden her even more. Despite finding him dismissive of her inquiries, she never ceased pestering him but to no avail. Thus feeling helpless, she kept an eagle eye on him, and whenever she found him depressed, which was often, she sent him on some errand. She had reasoned that an outing, if it did not alleviate his melancholy, would at the least help unstring him a little.That day, as Chandra was confined to his room for too long, Anasuya went up to him in concern.“What’s wrong?” she said feeling his forehead. As their eyes met, he savored her affection.“What a beautiful mother!” he thought.  “What a pity she bore us ugly.”Seeing his condition, she sent him on an errand to the Princely Pearls. When he was leaving home, he found his sister playing with the kids of the neighborhood.‘How she loves children!’ he thought with mixed feelings. ‘Won’t she be distressed for not having one of her own? Is it as an escape from boredom that she gathers them? But would that help her in any way! Maybe, it could be even worse for her. Why, wouldn't the charm of their company sharpen her lacking even more? Isn’t all this misery because she is ugly? What an angelic soul, with life so sour! Oh, ugliness is the worst of fates, so it seems.’While he crossed the Lal Darwaza, he happened to come across two burka-clad women.‘What's this Muslim custom of wrapping up woman in burkas!’ he wondered. ‘What is it that is sought to be hidden behind the veil? Is it beauty or ugliness? Whatever, the veil seems to be an ingenious leveler of the inequities of genes, at least in the public view! But, on that score, do women really care to hide themselves behind their veils? After all, it can't be, moreover, how can they be mad to endure the ordeal of breathing and the discomfort of constraint in that? Then, of what avail is it to women than to cater to the male sense of insecurity about them? Oh, how man's falsity of purpose deprives women the joys of being her free selves? Won't the burka symbolize the hold of man over woman’s body and soul, not to speak of her psyche? Well, the slaves were better off than these women in their veils, why doubt that.’As he went along, feeling sad about that, he found two hamalis toiling to push a cartload of cloth bundles.‘Why, men like these too have no way to lighten the burden of their birth,’ he thought, looking at them. ‘To be born poor and ugly is a double jeopardy really. Oh, how the color of the skin came to be the measure of the looks! Well, it could be that the white man owes his dominance of the world more to his fair skin than the grey matter of his brain.’Inexplicably, he was seized by an impulse to follow the travails of the hamalis. So, unmindful of the surrounding traffic, he kept course with the cart. As if to shorten their arduous course, the laborers exerted themselves to accelerate their motion. Lost to them, he came in the way of a speeding car.Bringing the vehicle to a screeching halt, the woman at the wheel yelled at him in her sarcastic tone, “Hi, you find life burdensome?”Muttering an apology, as he moved away in confusion, she sped past him in irritation. The poignancy of her insensitivity perturbed him as he lumbered along to the dismal destination.‘Won’t it seem the color of the skin is the measure of man's worth as well?’ he thought in humiliation. ‘Oh, how dark skin devalues man in more ways than one. Would I ever be able to induce a decent dame to become my wife? Why, even Vasavi refused to entertain ungainly men, didn’t she? How come, even the ugly seek beauty in their mates? Why not, it's the beauty that triggers the biological impulse.’At that, inadvertently, his thoughts turned to his mother.‘What should have been her compulsions to marry my father?’ he thought. ‘Being so beautiful she herself that is! If only she married another, perhaps, Vasavi and I could’ve been differently made, wouldn't we have been? Won’t mother be thinking that way, seeing the plight of her children more so her daughter that is?’But, on second thoughts, he felt ashamed that he allowed himself to think in those terms.‘The reality of life is unmistakable, isn’t it?’ he felt dejectedly. ‘It’s the fact of heredity that shapes one’s looks for good or for bad. Unfortunately for us, we took after our father. Had we acquired our mother’s features, and even a shade of her complexion, it would’ve been all too different. Vasavi would have been a mother many times over by now and I could have been the playboy of the college. Wouldn’t that have made all those who snub me envious of me?’The envisaged envy of others in his fantasy made him envious of them in reality.‘Surely, it could be a heady feeling to be admired by women,’ he thought. ‘How wanted that might make one feel! Won't the glow of the favored shows it could be infinitely fulfilling. But looks like, it's my fate to encounter indifference indefinitely. What a wretched life, I can't even dare to daydream!’In that state of depression, when he saw his father at the Princely Pearls, his state of mind ensured that he found him more oppressive than ever. The grouse he nursed that it was his father’s genes that were the source of his and his sibling’s troubles came to the fore as though to settle scores with his hapless parent.The psychic mix of hostility towards his father and empathy for his sister catalyzed by self-pity made Yadagiri's welcome words seem absurd to Chandra's pixilated mind. What was worse, the father’s show of affection appeared apologetic to his son’s afflicted mind. Unfortunately thus, in the son’s myopic vision, the paternal love seemed an embodiment of parental guilt. It was as if at that very moment the son’s alienation from his father reached a point of no return.   
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Onto The Stage Slighted Souls And Other Stage Plays

A compendium of the author’s Indian stage and radio plays:"Slighted Souls" is a poignant love story set in rural Telangana, beset with feudal exploitation of the downtrodden dalits. Besides forcing the dalits to toil in the fields as bonded labor without impunity, the land owning doras had no qualms in reducing the womenfolk of this ilk as sex slaves in the gadis, which results in an armed rebellion engulfing two young lovers."Men at work on Women at work" is a tragic-comic episode depicting the fallout of sexual harassment at the workplace in the Indian urban setting with its traditional cultural underpinnings."Castle of Despair", built on the slippery ground of man's innate urge for one-upmanship, portrays its facade of falsity on the grand stage of human tragedy. The radio play, "Love on Hold", lends voice to the felt anxieties of a man and a woman as their old flame gets rekindled and the dilemmas of possession faced by the couple in a conservative cultural background.Book excerpt from Slighted souls - A political stage play' for a feel of its stage:Scene – 1Voice Over: Under the British Raj in India, the self-indulging Nizams of Hyderabad abdicated the administration of their vast principality to doralu, the village heads,  letting them turn the areas under their domain into their personal fiefdoms. While the successive Nizams were obsessed with building palaces and acquiring jewelry, the village heads succeeded in ushering in an oppressive era of tyrannical order. Acting as loose cannon from their palatial houses called gadis, the doralu succeeded in foisting an inimical feudal order upon the downtrodden dalits. Besides making these dalits toil for them as cheap labor without impunity, the doralu had no qualms in making vassals out of the hapless women folk. What with the police patels and the revenue patwaris in nexus with the landed gentry and the moneyed shaukars making a common cause with the doralu in their unabated exploitation, their sub-human condition ensured that the dalits were distressed economically, degraded socially and debased morally.   Ironically, lending the privileged few the muscle power to perpetrate the inimical social order were their henchmen from the other backward classes. Moreover, given the British political pragmatism of an indifference to the Indian caste conundrum the downtrodden dalits had nowhere to run for cover. Though the merger of their province with the Union of India brought the curtains down on the Nizams’ two-hundred year misrule, the exploitation of the rural dalits by the dora-patel-patwari nexus continued unabated. And that led to the formation of 'communes' as part of a peasant movement in July 1948 under the Telangana Struggle that didn’t take off any way. On the other hand as the seeds of egalitarianism began to take roots in the urban Indian soil, in time, these “slighted souls” too began to envision the dawn of an equitable era for them. However, the nascent upward mobility of the downtrodden was at odds with the vested interests of the feudal order, and to nip the dalit moral assertiveness in the bud, the ‘axis of evil’ saw to it that such were brutalized to make an example of them.“Slighted Souls” scripts the life of the downtrodden of Rampur nearly a decade after the famous but failed peasant struggle of Telangana. Making cohorts with Muthyal Rao the dora in oppressing its dalits are Papa Rao the Police Patel, Rami Reddy the Patwari, Papi Reddy the landlord and Shaukar Suryam the moneylender. Beginning with the life and times of Yellaiah and his wife Mallamma this play unfolds the urge of the deprived to unyoke themselves, and the desperation of the privileged to rein in them.[Curtains up: Mallamma sits in front of her thatched hut in the dalit mohalla weaving a bamboo basket. Enter: Yellaiah, and seeing him, she goes into the hut to fetch some water for him, and he takes over the work.]Mallamma [Back with a glass of water]: Why make a mess of it maava.Yellaiah [Taking over the glass]: Take it I’m giving them their due.Mallamma: I wonder how they’re harming you.Yellaiah [Having empted the glass]: Aren’t they harsh on my darling’s delicate hands? Mallamma [Taking back the glass]: I’m glad you’re still fond of your old woman.Yellaiah: Who said you’re old dear. I’m ever scared that some dora or a patel might grab my Malli.Mallamma [Taking the bamboo work]: You know it would never be the case.Yellaiah: Well but still.Mallamma: Leave alone the patels and the patwaris, would the dora ever forget that incident in a hurry? Besides, I’m behind the bamboo curtain, am I not? Yellaiah: Well who can forget that potential tragedy turned farce? [He laughs heartily]. But still it hurts to let you toil day and night.Mallamma: So be it, till our Narsimma becomes a big officer. Till then, the fact that you care keeps it going. Yellaiah: Where is Sarakka?Mallamma: Wonder why she hasn’t turned up yet.Yellaiah [Making a move to get up]: Why not I better check up at her school. Mallamma [Holding him back]: Isn’t it enough that you’ve been toiling like a mule all day long. Yellaiah: Why their lot is any day better dear. They are well-fed by peddollu and attended by doctors. See, they’ve doctors to look after them but we’ve to put with the quacks. I hear even their lives are insured these days.Mallamma: Well, mules have a price tag on them, but what about us. Don’t dalits come cheaper by the dozen?[Enter: Maisaiah on his way in a hurry.]Yellaiah:  O Maisaiah, where are you running to now?Maisaiah: Running around on Shaukar’s errands, oh, how I’ve forgot about memsaab.  She said she has some work for me before he returned from Warangal.[Exit: Maisaiah.]Yellaiah: Why, their women too boss over our men, don’t they? How I wish our Narsimma won’t have to put up with all that. Mallamma: Why should he as Pantulayya says he’s bright. He feels the same way about our Sarakka, and Renuka.  But I think Renuka is better than both.Yellaiah: Don’t I know you’re always partial towards your brother’s daughter.Mallamma: It’s as if I’m a stepmother to your kids. Yellaiah: Why get hurt dear, I was just joking. But still our kids are hot heads while she carries a clear head? If not for you, wouldn’t they have become rebels by now?Mallamma: Whatever, once he sets his mind; Narsimma is not the one to waver. And Sarakka too is developing the same traits, isn’t she?Yellaiah: Well, how you’ve been drumming him not to get distracted from his studies.Mallamma: Why not? You know how we’re undone by being unpad. I want all three of them to be well educated. I’ve been hoping that an educated Renuka makes an ideal wife for our Narsimma. But sadly vadina seems to have developed second thoughts about giving her to him.Yellaiah: Don’t I see Anasuya is rooting for Saailu, her good for nothing brother. Well, we can only hope that your brother Yadagiri puts his foot down for once.Mallamma: But can he do that? Any way, there is still a long way to go. Let’s see what the future has in store for them.Yellaiah: What a wretched life ours is Malli? We don’t even have a say in our own affairs. It’s Papi Reddy Patel who’s behind all this. And don’t I see his game plan?   Mallamma: Don’t they say woman is woman’s enemy. Let’s hope Renuka’s fate prevails over vadina’s whims.Yellaiah: How I wish that happens.Mallamma: I’m quite hopeful, more so as times are changing.Yellaiah: Wish I’ve your strength of belief Malli.Mallamma: Maava, if you want change, you’ve got to dream about it. Yellaiah: How’re we to dream Malli, when life itself is a nightmare? Oh, how the peddollu have reduced us.[Enter Sarakka with a slate and a few school books, and collapses in front of them.]Yellaiah: Malli quick, fetch some water for Sarakka.[Even as Mallamma brings in some water, Yellaiah takes Sarakka in his lap. After the mother sprinkles some water on her, the girl gets up and greedily drinks from the tumbler.]Mallamma: What happened to you my child?Sarakka: I felt thirsty on the way amma. But they didn’t allow me to drink from their well.Yellaiah: They refuse water to a thirsty child! Oh, how lowly are these peddollu.Mallamma: Well, their well is full of frogs, yet they think it gets polluted if we drink from it. What an irony?Yellaiah: Why, being a frog in the well is better than the bane of being a dalit.  Mallamma: Oh, why did God make it so inhuman for us?Yellaiah: And see their gall; they say its God’s own will. Isn’t it like rubbing salt on our wounds?Mallamma: He must be a cruel God to say that. But did He say that?Sarakka: We’re dearer to God, that’s why Gandhiji said we’re harijan. We’ve that lesson in our class.Yellaiah: If only Gandhiji lived long enough to make it true for us.Sarakka: Maastaaru says God helps only those who help themselves.Mallamma: Who knows another mahatma might be waiting in the wings to pick up the threads?Yellaiah: Having made us anguthachaps all along, mercifully, they’re letting our children study these days.Mallamma: Well, grudgingly. Whatever, it’s going to be the turning point for us.[Enter a tired Narsimma with his schoolbag] Yellaiah: How our poor Narsimma has to walk all those miles. If only we’ve a high school here.Mallamma: Why’re you so dull my boy? Narsimma: I couldn’t go to school amma.Yellaiah: Why what’s the matter?Narsimma: I was crossing the gadi and the dorasani held me. As their Maali fell ill, she made me work all day in the garden.Mallamma: Why, when it’s julum on us, the dorasanlu score no less.Narsimma: And all the while she was yelling, Narsiga, Narsiga, Narsiga. It’s as if she can’t get my name right.Yellaiah: Well, they think we’re not entitled to our name even.Mallamma to Narsimma: Bear all that for now my boy. Once you’re a B.A., all will call you Narsimma. Yellaiah to Mallamma: I’ll sell my shirt to make him a B.A., and it’s my word to you. [There is a commotion outside, and Sarakka exits.] Sarakka [Reenters]: Maisaiah mama is being carried on a cart. Shaukar Saab is also there. Yellaiah: Let me find out what’s the matter. Mallamma:  I’ll also come. Lachamma might need me.[Exit: Yellaiah and Mallamma leaving Narsimma and Sarakka. Curtains down.]
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Bhagvad Gita Treatise Of Self Help By BS Murthy

"Bhagvad-Gita is the most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue" - William von Humboldt, who wrote seven-hundred verses in praise of Bhagvad-Gita.  It is a matter of consensus that Bhagvad-Gita in the present length of seven hundred slokas has many an interpolation to it, but no meaningful attempt has ever been made to delve into the nature and extent, not to speak of the effect of these on the Hindu society at large. The methodical codification of interpolations carried out here, for the first time ever, puts the true character of Gita in proper perspective. Identified here are hundred and ten slokas of deviant nature and or of partisan character, the source of so much misunderstanding about Bhagvad-Gita, the book extraordinary, in certain sections of the Hindu fold. In the long run, exposing and expunging these mischievous insertions is bound to bring in new readers from these quarters to this over two millennia old classic besides altering the misconceptions of the existing adherents.In this modern rendition, the beauty of the Sanskrit slokas is reflected in the rhythmic      flow of the English verse of poetic proportions. Besides, the attendant philosophy of the      song that is Bhagvad-Gita is captured in contemporary idiom for easy comprehension.Contents of this book 1. Introduction 2. Awe Unfounded 3. All about Interpolations Chapters 1.  Arjuna’s Dilemma 2.  All about Life 3.  Theory of Action 4.  Practical Wisdom 5.  Art of Renunciation 6.  Practice of Restraint 7. Know the Spirit 8.  Cycle of Creation 9.  The Sacred Secret 10. Discern the Divine 11. Nature of Omnipresence 12. Doctrine of Faith 13. Field and Farmer 14. Proclivities to Know 15. Art of Liberation 16. Frailty of Thought 17. Science of Devotion 18. Thy Looking-glass Link to an audio rendition of this Treatise of Self-help in this site https://archive.org/editxml/BhagvadGitaTreatiseOfSelfHelpBuBSMurthy  
Views: 584

Jewel Less Crown: Saga Of Life

It's perilous penning this blurb. It's fine when man is modest about his work. It even affords him the aura of an invisible crown!But what about his work? Were it an art or craft, it is there for all to see.What of a literary work of an unheralded author? Well, lauding the same might raise one's eyebrows. Failing to praise wouldn't make a 'jewel-less crown' either! Why not see, if this is the great Indian novel.This is the story of the rise and fall of an ambitious man, the decline, and the decay of his conniving wife, the trials, and tribulations of their wayward son as well as the grit and gall of a spirited woman, who enters into his life. This depiction of their life and times not only pictures the facets of ambition and achievement, intrigue and betrayal, compulsion and compromise, sleaze and scandal, trial and sentence, but also portrays the possibilities of repentance and resolution, love and empathy coupled with compassion and contribution, leading to the spirituality of materialism, and that makes it the saga of our times.The story of a lifetime, truly.This story is scripted inBook One, Artha and Kama,1. Party Gone Sour2. Trauma at Tihar3. Mind of the Maligned4. Twist at Tis-Hazari5. Trial in Camera6. Dilemma of Qualms7. Moment of Reckoning8. End within End9. Vestiges of Prestige10. High on Rebound11. Bellows of Delhi12. Dicing with Life13. Spidering Spadework14. Loss to Order15. Daring the Fate16. Victims of Deceit17. Baring the Soul18. Garland of Guilt.Book Two, Dharma and Moksha1. Bliss of Being2. Collage of Crime3. Domain of the Devil4. Renaissance of Life5. Sprouts of Love6. Despair of Hope7. Turn at the Bend8. Amity of Empathy9. Day to Remember10. Spirituality of Materialism11. Sense of Reincarnation12. Epilogue.Book excerpt for the feel of its literary style - Party Gone SourThat New Year's Eve, all the nouveau riche of New Delhi seemed to have gathered at the Misty Nest in their ubiquitous wear. While women wore designer dresses, men turned up in safari suits. Hosting them at their grand dwelling in the Defense Colony were the Gautams, Prabhu and Sneha. By the time the last guest was hugged in welcome, Gautam’s silk kurta and Sneha’s mink coat were truly crumpled. Augmenting the warmth of their bonhomie was the Glenfiddich with soda. In time, while the lure of the Scotch drove many into the lap of Bacchus, the allure of Venus enticed others to ogle at the desirable. But, above all, it was Gautam’s good-humored banter and Sneha’s sensuous charm that lent aura to that midnight rendezvous.When the New Year was an hour away in its coming, what with the inebriated becoming tardy in their tangos, the going got really bawdy. As Sneha too got into the act, there was a virtual riot for a round with her. When someone went overboard to bottom pinch her, she paid back with a belly punch that regaled the gathering.As the gigantic clock was all set to halve the night, the antique chandeliers were put off. When the radium hands went straight up on the dial, the ribaldry reached a new low on the floor. At that, as the Gautams goaded all to raise their hands to fold out the year on hand, the boozers struggled to get on to their feet to welcome the year in the offing. But, for its part, the antique piece welcomed the incoming year with the first of its twelve chimes that reverberated in that sprawling banquet hall.In the prevailing darkness, the euphoria that followed led to a fresh round of bear-hugs amongst the sexes before the stewards switched on the chandeliers as though to let those bear witness to the goings on. As if that translucence showed the revelers the reality of life, sanity was restored in that exuberant setting, and soon the pangs of hunger made the gathering scamper for the buffet of varied cuisines, brought from the capital’s five-star restaurants.When the hosts went up to the table to pick up their plates, a steward alerted Gautam to an urgent telephone call. Soon, seeing her man turn all pale, Sneha made her way to him in apprehension. When Gautam made her privy to their unfolding tragedy in an undertone, Sneha nearly swooned into his arms. The news of Suresh Prabhu, the heir to their business empire, hauled up in the lock-up was enough to unnerve her. That he was booked for rape and murder as well ravaged her soul no end. In her state of shock, she was unable to comprehend what Gautam mumbled into her ear to lift up her spirits.Having realized that they were attracting undue attention, Gautam led his wife into the anteroom, leaving the gathering with a free rein on the rumor mill. The breaking news, set in motion by someone who had eavesdropped on the hosts’ conversation, gained circulation with understandable exaggeration. And there followed an intense debate about the eventual outcome of the current indictment that led to the Gautams’ predicament. The indignant gathering, in one tone, roundly censured the hosts for the fall of their only offspring. For once, everyone seemed to agree that loose morals would only bring ruin in the end, even for the rich and famous. Of course, even the mighty of the world are bound to fail on the false path, so emerged the consensus. Even those who professed closeness to the Gautams maintained that they knew all along that things would come to this pass with Suresh, sooner than later.Such are the ways of the world that the lows of life would turn the admirers into critics, and what is worse; make the naive speak as the know-all.Closeting with Sneha, Gautam assured her that he would pull out all the stops to free Suresh in no time. But Sneha was terrified that the magnitude of the indictment might be beyond the endurance of their son. In spite of her awareness of their political clout and the loopholes of law, her sixth sense gave a dissenting note, making her apprehensive about the possibility of her son coming clean out of this messy case. But as hope coupled with her confidence in her go-getter man calmed her nerves a little, Gautam led her back into the banquet hall.When the besieged couple resurfaced, what with everyone feigning camaraderie and volunteering help, hypocrisy seemed to rule the roost on the human stage. As if to show up the fallacy of human sympathy, appeared malice to induce innuendoes about the perceived closeness of Sneha with the powers that be.'Why, in this topsy-turvy,’ said a naughty one, ‘her leeway is bound to come in handy, won’t it?’Not to be left out, curiosity too entered the arena to tie the crowd to the unfolding drama. When the hosts tried to make light of the incident as but a storm in the teacup, the guests maintained that they would not desert the ship in the storm. With his appeals for a premature adieu falling on deaf ears, Gautam left for South Extension with an entrapped feeling. Thereafter, preyed upon by her guests, Sneha remained a prisoner in her own palace. 
Views: 539

Puppets Of Faith Theory Of Communal Strife (A critical appraisal of Islamic faith, Indian polity ‘n more)

 On one hand, this ‘book of logic ‘n reasoning’ appraises the Islamic faith shaped by the sublimity of Muhammad's preaching in Mecca and the severity of his sermons in Medina, which together make it Janus-faced to bedevil the minds of the Musalmans. That apart, aided by “I’m Ok – You’re Ok”, the path-breaking work of Thomas A. Harris and Roland E Miller’s “Muslim Friends–Their Faith and Feeling”, this work for the first time ever, psycho-analyses the imperatives of the Muslim upbringing that has the potential to turn a faithful and a renegade alike into a fidayēn.  On the other hand, this work, besides appraising the monumental rise and the decadent fall of Hindu intellectualism, analyses how the sanātana dharma came to survive in India, in spite of the combined onslaught of Islam and the Christianity on Hinduism for over a millennium.  Also, besides providing a panoramic view of the Indian history, this thought-provoking book appraises the way Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Azad, Ambedkar, Indira Gandhi, Narasimha Rao, Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Narendra Modi et al made or unmade the post-colonial India.Possibly in a new genre this free eBook is a book for our times.Contents  Preface of Strife Chapters1.  Advent of Dharma2.  God’s quid pro Quo3.  Pyramids of Wisdom4.  Ascent to Descent5.  The Zero People6.  Coming of the Christ7.  Legacy of Prophecy8.  War of Words9. Czar of Medina10. Angels of War11. Privates of ‘the God’12. Playing to the Gallery13. Perils of History14. Pitfalls of Faith15. Blinkers of Belief16. Shackles of Sharia17. Anatomy of Islam18. Fight for the Souls19. India in Coma20. Double Jeopardy21. Paradise of Parasites22. The Number Game23. Winds of Change24. Ant Grows Wings25. Constitutional Amnesia26. The Stymied State27. The Wages of God28. Delusions of Grandeur29. Ways of the Bigots30. The Rift Within31. The Way Around32. The Hindu Rebound33. Italian Interregnum34. Rama Rajya 35. Wait for the Savant  
Views: 217

The Valley of Shadows - eARC

NEW NOVEL IN JOHN RINGO'S BLACK TIDE RISING SERIES From his corner office on the forty-fourth floor of the Bank of the Americas tower on Wall Street, Tom Smith, global managing director for security, could see the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park—and a ravening zombie horde. Officially, Smith was paid to preserve the lives and fortunes of employees, billionaires, and other clients. And with an implacable virus that turned the infected into ravenous zombies tearing through the city, the country, and the world, his job just got a lot harder. Good thing Smith, late of the Australian special forces, isn’t a man to give up easily. But saving civilization is going to take more than the traditional banking toolbox of lawyers, guns, and money. Smith needs infected human spinal tissue to formulate a vaccine—and he needs it by the truckload. To get it, he will have to forge a shady alliance with both the politicians of the City of New York and some of its less savory entrepreneurs. But all of his back-alley dealing may amount to nothing if he can’t stave off the fast-moving disease as it sweeps across the planet, leaving billions dead in its wake. And if he fails, his only fallback is an incomplete plan to move enough personnel to safe havens and prepare to restart civilization. What’s more, there are others who have similar plans—and believe it or not, they’re even less charitable than a Wall Street investment banker. Sooner or later Smith will have to deal with them. But first he has to survive the Fall. A New Novel in John Ringo’s best-selling Black Tide Rising zombie apocalypse series. About *Black Tide Rising: “. . . an entertaining batch of . . . action-packed tales. Certainly, fans of Ringo’s particular brand of action-adventure will be pleased.”—Booklist* "This anthology broadens Ringo’s  Black Tide world, serving up doses of humanity amid the ravenous afflicted. Comedy has a place in this harsh reality, and these stories stir adventure and emotion at a frantic clip throughout. Zombie fiction fans will be thrilled."—Library Journal About the Black Tide Rising Series: “Not only has Ringo found a mostly unexplored corner of the zombie landscape, he's using the zombie frame to tackle a broader theme: the collapse and rebirth of civilization. The zombie scenes are exciting, sure, but its the human story that keeps us involved. A fine series.”—Booklist About Under a Graveyard Sky: “Ringo combines humor and horror in this strong series debut, the thinking reader’s zombie novel.”—Publishers Weekly  About John Ringo: “[Ringo’s work is] peopled with three-dimensional characters and spiced with personal drama as well as tactical finesse.”—Library Journal “. . . Explosive. . . . fans. . .will appreciate Ringo’s lively narrative and flavorful characters.”—Publishers Weekly “. . .practically impossible not to read in one sitting . . . exceedingly impressive . . . executed with skill, verve, and wit.”—Booklist “Crackerjack storytelling.”—Starlog BLACK TIDE RISING SERIES: Under a Graveyard Sky To Sail a Darkling Sea Islands of Rage and Hope Strands of Sorrow Black Tide Rising **
Views: 437

River of Night

A NEW NOVEL IN JOHN RINGO'S BESTSELLING BLACK TIDE RISING SERIES. Sequel to The Valley of Shadows. Tom Smith used to be somebody. Now he's just another refugee, fleeing the smoking ruins of civilization. Well, maybe not just another refugee . Late of the Bank of the Americas where he used to be the global managing director for Security, Tom and his fellow survivors watched New York City burn. His plan to the save New York long enough to find a cure for the zombie virus hadn't survived the bloody scrimmage between angry cops, cunning gangsters, and rapacious City officials. Now only millions of infected humans, driven mad by the high infectious tailored rabies virus, inhabited the city. But Tom and some trusted allies were able to stay one step ahead and escaped offshore. Now they're holed up in a safe house in coastal Virginia and it's time to breakout. Between him and his objective, one of the bank's prepared evacuation camps in the Cumberland Valley, are hundreds of miles of clogged roads, burnt-out towns and howling mobs of infected humans who know only hunger. He must corral his motley team, complete with middle-schoolers, to navigate the treacherous landscape. And yet he feels his odds are good. But there's always someone smarter. And they like things just the way they are. Without a fat checkbook and the team of hired spec-ops mercenaries it used to bring, how will Tom Smith fend off entrepreneurial marauders, a brilliant sociopath or two and a kill-count hungry member of the E-4 mafia? And if he pulls it off, no one is sure how they will they re-start civilization. But Tom Smith has the spark of an idea. About *Black Tide Rising: “. . . an entertaining batch of . . . action-packed tales. Certainly, fans of Ringo’s particular brand of action-adventure will be pleased.”— Booklist* "This anthology broadens Ringo’s Black Tide world, serving up doses of humanity amid the ravenous afflicted. Comedy has a place in this harsh reality, and these stories stir adventure and emotion at a frantic clip throughout. Zombie fiction fans will be thrilled."— Library Journal About the Black Tide Rising Series: “Not only has Ringo found a mostly unexplored corner of the zombie landscape, he's using the zombie frame to tackle a broader theme: the collapse and rebirth of civilization. The zombie scenes are exciting, sure, but its the human story that keeps us involved. A fine series.” —Booklist About Under a Graveyard Sky : “Ringo combines humor and horror in this strong series debut, the thinking reader’s zombie novel.”— Publishers Weekly About John Ringo: “[Ringo’s work is] peopled with three-dimensional characters and spiced with personal drama as well as tactical finesse.”— Library Journal “. . . Explosive. . . . fans. . .will appreciate Ringo’s lively narrative and flavorful characters.”— Publishers Weekly “. . .practically impossible not to read in one sitting . . . exceedingly impressive . . . executed with skill, verve, and wit.”— Booklist “Crackerjack storytelling.”— Starlog BLACK TIDE RISING SERIES: Under a Graveyard Sky To Sail a Darkling Sea Islands of Rage and Hope Strands of Sorrow Black Tide Rising The Valley of Shadows **
Views: 341