Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Review: God Is a Gamer

God is a Gamer
  About the author:

 Ravi Subramanian is an Indian author. A banker by profession, Subramanian has written popular thrillers about banking and bankers, including two Crossword Book Award winning titles The Incredible Banker and The Bankster. An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Subramanian has spent close to two decades in the financial services industry. After having worked with companies such as Citibank, HSBC and ANZ Grindlays, Subramanian is now the CEO of a listed NBFC. Subramanian continues to write popular columns for well-known magazines and has his own personal weekly column in the Career and Business life page of The Economic Times.

Book Trailer:


The ‘product’ as Ravi Subramanian loves to call his books is a treat to the eye with its classy and creative Front and back covers. It will add beauty to your bookshelf. Read on, to see whether it will intrigue you as a reader as well.

 Story line: The story begins with an interesting prologue that introduces the reader to the amazingly exciting and adrenaline-pumping world of finance industry, the whistleblower site wiki leaks, the emerging giant and dark world of bitcoins.

The assassination of a US Senator, Gillian Tan follows. Adrian Scott, an FBI special agent, who is in charge of the investigation, is clueless as to who would have wanted the senator dead. Gillian Tan, the close friend of the President, was killed in his bulletproof car. The killers had employed a very well planned operation to eliminate the senator and had left behind very few clues. The investigation leads Adrian to the illegal trading chain called Cotton trail where the murkiest trades on earth are carried out under the shroud of anonymity.

Meanwhile, in India, phishing scandal plagues the multi-national bank, NYIB and Swami, the head of retail banking in the firm approaches his mentor and friend, Aditya Rao for advice. Aditya was a part of NYIB, but had quit to start his own BPO eTIOS. He also runs a successful gaming company called Indiscape. Another of Swami’s friend is Sundeep, who is in charge of Indiscape. The three had become friends while they had worked together in the initial days of the NYIB.

 The seemingly unrelated incidents are in fact two of the main links of a chain of crimes that occur across a world that is governed by virtual money called Bitcoin. Through seemingly unconnected narrations, the author introduces many more characters who eventually create a chain in an elaborate scheme where even God is taking the side of a Criminal and plays a game efficiently planned by the perpetrator of the crime.

 Maybe everything is fair in love and war. That is what the author tries to convince the reader. But sadly it didn’t work for me. Crime to eliminate Crime? And that too in the process destroying millions of other lives? Not fair. The author tries a double ending. An epilogue appears in chapter 97 and two more chapters follow that takes a detour.

The Epilogue is ‘The End’ meant for the world that is described in the book and chapter 98 and 99 are for the reader. In these chapters, the author takes us on a detour to explain that not all that appears to the eye is the truth, talk about a tale within a tale. He tries hard to prove that revenge is not a crime. While the actual culprit lives happily ever after, the one who is selfish and a fool in love, a prey for the predator, ends up behind bars, ostracized by the entire world.

 I was disappointed with the climax. Also, there were so many digressions from the actual plot that could have been avoided. Even though the language and narration are good, the many digressions and the unsavory ending was a definite dampener as far as the story line go. Many unnecessary inclusions to add spice to the story, too many characters, many similar names, information overload in certain chapters and too many negative characters. 

Verdict: If you want to read an international style thriller from an Indian author, this book is for you.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Aliens are the new Craze!

Team By Lines

Grand Finale!
Have you ever done something impulsively and then realized that it was the best thing that you ever did?

Have you ever dismissed a line of thought as baseless and then when fate threw a chance, was forced to study in depth about it?

Both of the above things happened to me in the last month.

When Blogadda announced the Game of Blogs, where ten bloggers together as a team would co-author a story, which was to be judged by some of the best selling Indian authors, I joined it impulsively. I didn’t think how it will work out or how ten different people with diverse thought patterns would write a story.

Blogadda gave me a team and the only person I knew among the ten, was our point of contact or team leader, Anmol Rawat. I had visited his popular blog a few times. I knew none of the other members, nor was I familiar with their writing.
Blogadda gave us characters and we had to weave a story using them.

It appeared initially as though we would be disqualified even before we began. There were issues naming the team, as to who will form the whatsapp group and also about the story genre. Two inactive bloggers who were part of our team didn’t respond, and we were given two others as replacement. Then another team member dropped out owing to his busy schedule and we got another replacement. One of the ten- Sohail, didn’t respond till the end. Another one Niranjan, failed to join in any of the discussions or volunteer to write anything though he had joined our whatsapp group. So in effect, we were just eight members in team By lines.

Our point of contact, Anmol suggested that, we should think out of the box regarding the story line because most of the other teams were writing murder mysteries. I suggested that we write a science fiction thriller, an Alien Story. Even after I explained what I had in mind, no one had a clear idea as to how to go about it. Anmol had written a sample chapter and I modified it to incorporate the alien part. After reading it, majority agreed.  Soumyaa, our own law student wrote an overview about our story, which immediately turned all the skeptics into believers. Thus began our love affair with aliens.
I never believed in Aliens, always dismissed them as the over active imagination of some creative minds. But because of the story line that we selected, and also because I was the one who suggested it, I was given charge of doing research about aliens and what way we would progress our story. 

There was no definite story line during the first week. One by one, the team members wrote and the story moved ahead little by little. And then, I saw a youtube video by Michael tellinger about ancient Aliens who lived on Earth, the Anunnakis.  The main villains had entered our story as though fate had guided them to us.

Our hero was a peacekeeper Alien, whose humanoid clan was in charge of protecting Earth and the living beings on Earth. The Anunnakis or the gray aliens, who were forced to leave earth during ancient times, were the power hungry aliens who were targeting earth again. Our hero Cyrus was in search of his second in charge, Clariota, the second most powerful peacekeeper, in order to face the army of gray aliens who were about to attack earth.

Our story became our passion, the Aliens , the new craze.

Blogadda too threw googlies in the form of twists every week. After the end of the first week, our team rank was three but position was five in a total of thirty teams. By second week, we had climbed up the ladder and reached the second position with a second rank. As though the aliens were pulling the strings, both of the twists given by blogadda gave us dramatic entries and avenues to progress our story.

As head of the research wing for our team and the one who had to edit the story to synchronize with other chapters, I read hundreds of web pages and watched many youtube videos. And our story took wings of its own with each post. 

Each member wrote something that would guide us forward.

Soumyaa researched about Kundalini meditation, which had a supposedly alien origin. Tina was drowning in information about gadgets people have invented to detect the presence of Aliens. Anmol was constantly sharpening his axe to use on the many number of posts written by his teammates. And he was our Nicholas Sparks who wrote many romantic interludes to keep the interest of the readers.

Ashutosh, Paresh, Ramanathan and Prerna gave us many twists with their intuitive writing. Every night, near midnight, our whatsapp group would be hyperactive active to meet the midnight deadline for the day, imposed by Blogadda. There were near misses and hits. We would celebrate each post with cheers and laughs.

There were many spooky things happening as well that made us blame the invisible aliens as the trouble makers. My faithful phone crashed and its software had to be re-installed. My laptop acted weird at times and a 500+ word chapter went missing from my laptop. My team members said I was using the age-old excuse and it won’t work. But it was the truth! I had to start from scratch again. 

On the day of the grand finale, my WiFi became dead. The last two chapters were with me, and I had to submit it to the other team members for further editing and posting. My kind neighbours gave me their password and we were rescued again.

In the mean time, after first week, Ramanathan became busy with some personal issues and hence  was not able to contribute. But Blogadda offered a solution. Three members could post twice. That would give us the necessary ten posts a week.
Many other minor issues were all managed effectively by co-operating with the super eight. After the first week where there were issues, ‘One for all and all for One,’ became our slogan. Tina was travelling on work, Soumya left to attend a national meet, Anmol Rawat had exams coming up. Nothing mattered.

 Ashutosh, Paresh and Prerna chipped in with jokes, motivation and posts. And we became possessive about our Aliens.

We had created a Secret Group in Whatsapp as well, (which has remained secret till now) where four of the team, the editorial and research wing (Tina, Anmol, Soumya and Me) brainstormed. This was the best thing that came out of the Game of Blogs. We bonded over deadlines, writers blocks; wrote, edited over thirty thousand words over a period of three hectic weeks and became very good friends.

My belief in positivity has strengthened now after the Game of Blogs. I was entered into a random group, but each of the team members I came to know was a gem of a person. I adore every one of them. Read more about them here in Tina’s post.

Out of the eight, three of us- Me, Tina and Soumyaa are crazy about Hrithik. Three other members Anmol, Prerna and Paresh are mad fans of Deepika Padukone. Prerna has been acknowledged by Deepika Padukone herself as her biggest fan and have even walked the ramp with Deepika during filmfare awards.  Therefore, the boys keep buttering Prerna to get Deepika for a dinner date. Especially Anmol!

Ashutosh wavers between Emma Watson and Sonam Kapoor.

So there were heated filmy talks and debates as to who will star in the movie based on our novella. We were such mad people. We think far ahead. Always. After all, Aliens are our muse. We are miles ahead in vision and creativity.

If given a chance, I would work with these great people any time. They have bestowed a new name on me as well. 
Naming ceremony!

The Great Master, after the character of The Great Master (the Guru of all peacekeeper aliens) I created for our story!

Crazy with hours of research, I even spotted a colourful UFO in the sky last week while watching the late evening sky. Twice- not once!

May be my muse had come to pay a surprise visit!

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers 
This post is part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompts that they have provided. Today’s prompt is Blank is the new blank  “_____ is the new _____.” There’s your post title. Now write! 

I am one of the guest authors at We Post Daily for the month of October.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Healthy Child Makes a Happy Home

My little darling when he was six months old!

When I was in college, my niece was born. Very soon, she won over us all and became the reigning queen in our house. The whole house would become a happy place when she was awake and smiles were dominant on every face.
While she was in her sixth month, she came down with chicken pox and the whole house was twenty-four hours on alert until she became alright. That was my first encounter when an unhealthy child turned the home atmosphere unhappy.

I remember how my father used to carry me around when I was down with fever when I was small. I was a normal healthy child and I didn’t have any chronic disease as many other children of my generation. My father was a doctor and he took good care of our health. Whenever an epidemic was spreading, he instructed us to take precautions and gave us preventive medicines.

Now I am a mother and every time my son becomes sick, my heart thuds like mad. I am the worrier and my husband calms me down. We hover over him like protective angels and until he recovers, every precaution is taken and medicines given as prescribed by the doctor. We browse online for foods to be avoided and food that can be given.

I keep a note on things that might make him sick. An ice-cream late at night surely invited a bout of cold and cough. If we sent him to school when he had not fully recovered from a minor illness, he would take more time to recover from it. So we never send him to school when he is having even a slight cold.
When he was two years old, he got chicken pox and that one month was like hell. Sleepless nights! Both my husband and I had to carry him around as he refused to sleep on bed. As it was April, we had a regular supply of watermelons, which luckily he liked and ate. He refused all other food. Only homoeo medicines were given to him. He recovered from it within two weeks and was back being the happy child that he normally is. Our home again became a happy place with his sound of laughter.

Only another mother can understand the tension when a mother finds that her kid has fallen sick. No matter how strained the relation, even after her kids grow up, a mother still sees the little kid of hers in the grown up person. I have seen my mother fussing over me and my mother in law fussing over my husband. A mother always remains a mother.

I can understand now why my mother used to get tense when any of us were down with any sickness. How the presence of a sick child at home made the whole house gloomy. I now understand how parents become super humans who don’t need sleep when their kids fall sick.

I now understand that more than those medicines that they give, it is their love that make their kids recover from any illness.

I now understand that healthy food and hygiene are the best doctors in the world. May all the children of the world lead a healthy life! May god give their parents a happy home!

A home that is brightened by the presence of their happy and healthy child.

Take a look at the following website of Dabur Chyawanprash that is a boon for today's kids.


This post has been written for "A Healthy Child Makes A Happy Home" prompt for the contest by Dabur Chyawanprash in association with IndiBlogger.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Newton's first law and the Seasons!

I am a person who loves Newton’s laws of motion. They make sense completely. Especially the first law- the law of inertia.

“An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force,”it says!
The ‘object’ mentioned in the law is me. Completely ME.

Unless an external force, often in the form of a scheming husband or a mischievous son, makes me get up from my seat in front of my computer, I will remain seated until I grow roots.
Unless the same external forces push me out of the bed on cold cozy mornings, I would love to sleep all day.
Unless these external forces irritate me by whining for food, I would never enter my kitchen.

But, But, But. Like every coin has two sides, I doesn’t like to apply this law in some cases- especially in the case of seasons. I don’t like summers- they are too hot to my liking and wilts my favorite plants mercilessly. I can’t wait it to pass. I wish then the external forces arrive and take it away soon.
I don’t wish for any of the other seasons to change. They can exist for as long as they want. There are two favorite seasons for me. Winter and Spring.

I especially love winters. I love the snow. Though people love to associate winter with its lack of warmth, its coldness, I personally love the winter energy. It is a time I love to spend delving deeper into my personal dreams. Somehow, I am more creative during winter. I love winter months, maybe it is because I was born during the winter season. I love wearing the warm clothes, the mufflers and even mittens. I haven’t lived in a place where it snows during winter. It is one of my cherished dreams. I want to live in a place, which looks like a Christmas postcard, complete with snowy landscapes where everything is white all around. In a house with a real fireplace where I can sit in front of the fire reading my favorite books. Or where I can sit near my loved ones and chat for long. And then there Christmas would arrive, with its colourful Christmas trees, seasonal foods, cakes, bells, gifts and lots of love from family and friends. I would love to make snowmen. Lots of them. I would love to be involved in a snow-ball-fight. Ha- how fun it would be!

Reader, are you from such a place?! I envy your luck.:) :)

Then there is Spring, which is a treat for the eyes. Flowers make me come alive with their scents, colour and charm. Spring urges me to transform, leave behind my lethargy and look out for new beginnings. Spring is the time for a fresh beginning. Like the earth, I want to leave behind the old clutters and start everything anew. 

I leave you with a few quotes.



This post is part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompts that they have provided. Today’s prompt is Mid-season replacement: For many of us the seasons are changing, bouncing unpredictably between cold and warm. Are you glad to be moving into a new season, or wishing for one more week of the old? 

I am one of the guest authors at We Post Daily for the month of October.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chapter 27 ;Team By Lines :Game of Blogs

Read Chapter 26 HERE


When Shekhar opened his email inbox, there were two new emails sent by Jennifer. She had moved to a nearby hotel after Tara had left the Dutta Mansion. He opened the first mail and found several photo attachments in it. The photographs were the ones taken by Jennifer while Cyrus was carrying out Tara’s awakening. The photos were magical, Jennifer had managed to capture the transformation of Tara into Clariota with great skill. His eyes gleamed with greed, teeming with the possibilities that lay ahead of him and the possible commercial value of the photos.

The second mail by Jennifer contained a text attachment. It had a few thousand-email ids - the second phase of their plan. Shekhar wanted to mail his revelation piece to as many people as possible before Cyrus destroyed it. He was only a few hours away from glorious fame and recognition throughout the world. The world would read his work with the supporting proof.

His fingers flew on the keyboard and the story started to build on the screen of his laptop. He began with his life with Tara and then progressed to the incidents of the past few days. He poured his heart out into words. It was not fiction, it was not a sci-fi story and it wasn’t even an account of an alien fanatic. It was his truth and his personal story. He was voicing out all his frustration and ire through his words. The content reeked of his exasperation towards the events that had taken a toll on his life.

The whole day passed and he had not cared enough to drink even a sip of water. His eyes were weary and burning. But he needed to complete it and send to the world. Amidst all this, his phone had rung thrice but he had not bothered to look at the screen to find out who was calling. He was so immersed in his world that he had even forgotten about Roohi and the fact that he had not picked her up from the school that day.

The world outside had become dark when he finished writing.

Without wasting another second, he composed a new mail and attached the story, which now contained some ten thousand words. Once he was done, he attached a few images to support the data in the story. After checking whether everything was fine, he added all those thousand ids and clicked on the send button. He knew the mail was soon going to go viral online.

He jumped high with a sinister laughter rejoicing his achievement. He picked up his phone and dialed Jennifer’s number. He could not wait to tell her the good news.

“Hello,” Jennifer answered.

Shekhar didn’t answer as his attention was caught by something that had appeared on his computer screen.

The screen displayed a failure message. The mail was not sent. It asked him to check his internet connection. He tried refreshing the page but it resulted in the same - ‘No network.’

The next moment, a pop up window appeared on the screen with a message in bold letters.


Before he could even react to the message, his laptop sparked and went dead.

“Paa….What are you doing? I would never have expected this from you!” It was Roohi. She had arrived on her own from school. She had even changed out of her school clothes.

“What did I do now? I was so engrossed in my work and forgot to pick you up from school. I am sorry. You have come on your own before also,” said Shekhar, trying hard to act normal. Every cell in his body was screaming at the failure of his best-laid plans.

“Paa, you know I am not talking about that. How can you do that to Mom? Don’t lie to me, I can read your thoughts,” said Roohi, glaring at Shekahr and he stepped back in fear.
“But Roohi, how… I mean how do you know?” asked Shekhar. Even before Roohi answered, Shekhar realized how. Roohi was Tara’s daughter and Tara was a powerful Peacekeeper Alien. Roohi would have inherited her powers.

“Yes, exactly. You are correct. I have inherited my powers from my mother. More than anything she needs me now. I am sure of that. I sense an impending doom. Cyrus and mom needs me. I need your help to reach them. I had seen you following mom the other day. Please..please, take me to them,” pleaded Roohi.

“NO…I have already lost my wife to some hare-brained scheme of some weird people. I am not going to lose my daughter now,” shouted Shekhar.

“We have no other option Shekhar. Listen to Roohi. She is not the little girl anymore. And I have heard what exactly is going to happen. Tara and Cyrus need our support,” said Aryan coming into the room. His unshaved and unkempt appearance emphasized the seriousness of the occasion.
“Yes Paa… it is for mother earth. And this is our last chance,” said Roohi, there were tears in her eyes.

Shekhar couldn’t protest anymore because Jennifer entered the room then in support of Roohi. Roohi had not left any stone un-turned in her quest to help her mother.

The Grand Master was moving around making the final arrangements. Cyrus went near him and briefed him on their progress so far. At three major points across the world, they had chosen towers to extract the physio - electricity generated by the earth. The production of Galladium from the gold they had accumulated with the help of various world governments was progressing at a smooth pace. At a few places, they were also extracting it from the ocean.
The amount of Galladium that the Great Master had asked them to had left him confused.

The army of the awakened Peacekeepers was a billion in number and was positioned in the eight cardinal points as instructed by the Great Master. They had used just a handful of Galladium to awaken the whole army. Why did they require such vast amounts?  Reading his mind, the Great Master answered.

“Do you know what the Anunnakis did to fend off the attack of a powerful reptilian- alien army which attacked earth during their reign here? They created a protective shield using Galladium around the earth. Galladium shield is capable of disrupting the control mechanisms of any spaceship. It creates havoc in their system controls. We are going to use exactly this same technique against the gray aliens. They would never anticipate that the earthlings are capable for such an endeavor. Our presence is a mystery to them. They do not perceive us as Peacekeepers. They don’t know what we are or how many of us inhabit the earth. They have come to know of Haides and through him, you. The rest of us are hidden from their perception. We have a huge advantage over them.”

“But Great Master, how can we accomplish creating such a shield?” asked Cyrus.
“We will use the power of sound to levitate the Galladium in the exact same way that the Anunnakis did during their times. Our scientists have given us detailed sketches of how to use the universal sound of OM to levitate it towards the outer space, by deciphering the Sumerian Texts. The armies of peacekeepers have to use the special prayer stones and cone shaped tools we have gathered from across the world, together with their powerful chants, to keep the Galladium rising up. The formation of the shield has to be accomplished by us four – Haides, Clariota, You and Me. Our mind power projected onto it will ensure that the shield is strong enough to stand for centuries to come,” said the Great Master.

“But Great Master, how much time will it take? We have hardly twenty four hours left before the first batch of gray aliens would arrive at their base point on the moon,” said Cyrus.

“The Anunnakis had created the shield within a month. They had done it quadrant by quadrant of the earth.  We do not have the luxury of time. All we have are four powerful peacekeepers and a million newbie peacekeepers. But we have the advantage of Galladium which will continue to keep our energy strong,” said the Great Master.

After bowing low to the Great Master, Cyrus left. The Great Master sighed. He hadn’t revealed the complication in the plan to Cyrus.

After all, it affected just him. Hadn’t he lived long? He had come to live on earth only a few thousand years after his home planet had disintegrated into pieces. But he loved Earth almost as much as he had loved Phaester Osiris. Compared to Cyrus and Tara, he was a veteran. He was more than seven thousand years old. But he was still in his prime because Peacekeepers had a normal lifespan of 10,000 plus earth years.

The formation of the shield was going to require him, the central key to the process, to be connected with its energy shell. The formation of the energy shell of Galladium was going to weaken him over time. He knew the weakening could become fatal. Cyrus, Haides and Tara had to contribute just one fourth of the binding energy together.  He had created the algorithm that way to keep them safe from the energy leaching that would occur during the strengthening of the shield in the last stage.
Outside, Cyrus hurried to be near Clariota who was instructing the peacekeepers gathered outside their camp. Her eyes had regained its sapphire blue colour, his favorite colour in the whole world. He could read her thoughts now. And he remembered the good times and the bad times they had together faced.

He had tried to hide from everyone how much he loved Clariota. Only the Great Master knew. He had hurt her when he had proclaimed that Clariota was just one of his students. No, she had never been that. He had loved her from the moment he had first seen her. He had fallen in love with her laughter, her eyes and her courage. When she had bared her feelings to him, he had hurt her feelings and insulted her. Just to keep her safe- her safety had always been his first priority. Being the Master of the Peacekeepers, he lived on the edge of peril.

Saddened because of her unrequited love, Clariota had decided to take on the earth mission. Once on earth she had gone missing. She had created a shield to forget all memories of her life as a peacekeeper to come in to terms with her unrequited love. And then in her earthly avatar as Tara, she had fallen in love with Shekhar. It had taken him five long years to trace Clariota after she had transformed herself into Tara.

A few feet ahead of him, Clariota stilled, hearing Omega aka Cyrus’s thoughts. After her re-awakening, her powers had become stronger and she could read Omega’s mind clearly. A familiar warmth spread through her and her heart thudded fiercely. What she had felt for Omega was almost a thousand times more than what she had ever felt for Shekhar. And those memories of her love for Omega had returned with full force. Her earth memories had suddenly become dull.
She turned back and faced Omega. Her eyes twinkled. Omega aka Cyrus recognized that the twinkle did not belong to Tara. The woman standing before him was entirely Clariota- his Clariota!

No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back. I knew always that you were trying to protect me. My instincts were never wrong,” said Clariota, her face lit up with a lovely smile.

“I am happy you could read my thoughts. I feel guilt free at last. Yes, Clariota- every single thought you read were true. I always loved you. But we are still not free, we are still bound by chains. We have our mission, which requires our full effort. And of course, your earthly connections still hold you in chains,” said Omega.

Clariota, nodded. Holding Omega’s hands, she walked away from the throng of peacekeepers. They talked for hours via thoughts even as they continued instructing the peacekeepers in the preparation of the creation of the shield. At the end of those long and happy hours, perhaps the last carefree hours that they might ever have, they had ceased to become Cyrus and Tara. They were now Omega and Clariota- A pair of lovers whose heart beat like a single unit, their mission was common, their goal the same. With every passing second, they fell a little more in love.

When moon rays caressed Clariota’s cheeks, Omega pulled her into his arms. Clariota smiled, her most cherished dream had come true.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. To sink and die in your arms is my only wish,” said Clariota and Omega gathered her in a tight hug.

Far away in the horizon, the moon was shining bright. An unusual red spot was visible right near the centre of the largest crater on the moon. The first batch of the suicide gang of Gray aliens had arrived at their moon station.

 “Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

Read the final Chapter 28 HERE

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Musical Memories

Music moves me.   It makes me laugh, sing, or cry. And some songs -they make me go on time travel.

My first song was ‘twinkle twinkle little star’, the nursery rhyme that continues to be the super-hero among rhymes. To mime the twinkling stars using hand gestures, to express the wonder on the face and then jump up pointing at the sky to show the exact location of ‘the world so high’ are still the exact steps that is followed religiously by tiny tots all over the world.

I remember the accolades it gave me when I performed it in front of family during any family get together. I remember the petting that followed and the song rather made me vain.
Time flew and now my son sings it with so much love. As it is a lullaby, I used to sing it for my son while putting him to sleep, and he used to demand for it every night.

So when I hear twinkle twinkle little star, my heart grows fonder and many memories run towards me.

Another song brings fond memories and makes me vain. It is ‘Tumhi meri mandir, Tumhi meri puja’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar from the movie Khandan. My uncle who had a huge collection of old hindi songs had gifted me a collection of Lata mangeshkar songs on a birthday. This particular song caught my attention and I learnt it by heart soon. One day, while I was humming it in the class during a lunch break, my class teacher heard me. The next day some people from the KVS or the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan were coming for inspection. She ordered me to be prepared to sing it then. I was just nine then. Stage fear was unheard of and I sang with panache. There was thundering applause after I ended the song. The chief guest got up and gave me a bouquet. I became a singer officially and a forever member of the school prayer group.

My husband’s favorite song is ‘Humhe tumse pyar kitna’ by Kishore Kumar and he makes me sing it often. And whenever the song comes on television or on radio, I associate it now with him.

‘Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought,’ said Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of the finest lyric poets among the English Romantic poets. I agree 100%.

I have a long list of sad songs that tug at the chords inside my heart.

Listing five of them here:

1) Din Dhal Jaaye Haye, Raat na Jaye

2) Somebody’s me

3)Time to say goodbye.

4)Jeevan se bhari teri aankhen

5)Someone like you by Adele.

This post is part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompts that they have provided. Today’s prompt is Eye of the beholder:  Describe what it feels like to hear a beautiful piece of music or see a stunning piece of art. 

I am one of the guest authors at We Post Daily for the month of October.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Blogadda Game of Blog; Team By Lines: Chapter 20


Cyrus came out of the Dutta Mansion and almost bumped onto Aryan Ahuja who had been eavesdropping at the door. Instead of being ashamed at being caught red handed, Aryan appeared elated to meet Cyrus.

“I can’t believe my luck. I always wanted to meet someone like you,” said Aryan, whose face had lit up with a happy smile. He had the same goofy expression that would brighten a follower’s face on beholding his idol.

He had believed every sentence uttered by Cyrus. Whatever he had heard had reinforced his belief in the person himself.  He had followed Cyrus closely online through his blog ‘The message from beyond’. Aryan by then had assumed that the blog was a veil to hide Cyrus’s true self as well as a tool to create awareness about aliens. The blog was an encyclopedia of knowledge about aliens online. Many Alien fanatics like Aryan were ardent followers of the blog.

Cyrus stopped and read every thought running through Aryan’s mind. He knew the man who stood in front of him was one with a pure heart. He needed many more such benevolent souls in his crusade against the gray aliens. He understood that Aryan was bubbling with questions. He had the answers. Shekhar and Jennifer were quick to believe his discovery. May be he can help in re-awakening Clariota.

“Yes Aryan, I will answer all your questions. Will you come with me?” said Cyrus, and Aryan almost jumped when he heard the answer to a question he had feared to ask. But he happily nodded.

What happened next was all a blur to Aryan. All he remembered was that Cyrus had touched him near the crown of his head. When he opened his eyes next, he was inside a chamber that had pristine settings. The walls, which had texture like shiny velvet, were the sources of light. There were plants that looked like common houseplants but something about them seemed different.  The large room had the appearance of a meditation chamber. A serene sound like that of cascading water was wafting in from some invisible speakers.

Aryan eagerly looked around for the source of the sound and stilled a moment when he noticed that it was coming from the vicinity of the plants, which were swaying in harmony with the music.  How was that happening? Aryan wondered.

“They are playing musical memories. Those ferns used to grow near a waterfall. We make them play the remembered music aloud. It increases their life span and also soothes the occupants of this hall,” said Cyrus, answering Aryan’s thoughts.

“Please sit, Mr. Aryan Ahuja . I will answer all your queries. Something tells me that you are going to be very useful to me. I know that you heard every word that I spoke at the Dutta Mansion. And I can sense that you hate being so transparent in front of me.  I know all the questions that you want to ask but you can ask them one by one. But before that I want you to promise that whatever I tell you will not be used for material gains. It will be used only for the greater good,” said Cyrus, his face acquiring the calmness and serenity of a highly evolved soul.

“Of course Sir, of course,” said Aryan, with a vigorous nod.

“The danger that I was talking about to Clariota at the Dutta mansion is real. It is imminent. We assume it will happen within few months. The good news is that we have unearthed the secret scrolls, which were hidden inside the chambers of a temple of the Sumerians. We believe it contains the secrets of the Anunnakis or the gray aliens. The scroll though old had survived the ravages of time which in itself speaks of its authenticity. We have a special set of peacekeeper alien scientists trying to decipher the codes at this very moment. But we can’t rely on that alone,” said Cyrus with a sigh.

“I have read that the Anunnaki’s were able to harness the earth’s energy using curious stone circles erected throughout southern Africa. That there still exist numerous gold mines across the terrains that are millions of year old and continue to baffle scientists .They might have been a technologically advanced civiliaztion,” said Aryan Ahuja, eager to know more about the Anunnakis who were mentioned in the tablets recovered from the ruins of the highly developed Sumerian civilization.

“Yes, they were. And all those mines are testimony to their craze for monoatomic gold or galladium. It has led them to war with various planets spread across the Milky Way. They were intelligent enough to recognize that  Monoatomic gold had miraculous properties. It has the ability to stop the aging process, and increase the capabilities of the brain. It helps the person who consumes it in specified quantities to sense evil or become telepathic. It even helps the person to time travel using the enhanced sense of mind power to peek into the past or future. What we peacekeepers have as inborn ability, they acquire using this magical mineral,” said Cyrus.

“Are they then a danger to the peacekeepers?” asked Aryan.

“No. We exist in a different astral plane to that of the Anunnakis. We become visible to them only if we allow them to see us. They don’t perceive us and are unaware of the danger that we pose to them. It is the same case with humans too. We can co-exist with you without your knowing that we are near you. Humans can see us only if we intend so,” said Cyrus.

“So is earth home to all the peacekeeper aliens or have you come to earth to on a mission?” asked Aryan.

“No… the earth is not our home. We once lived in a planet called Phaester Osiris in another corner of the Milky Way. Our ancestors sucked out its resources without replenishing them and our home planet split into pieces, forcing us peacekeepers to become wanderers across the universe. We are now volunteer peacekeepers and strive to help souls in danger.  We monitor all the planets that have life. But now, the same fate awaits earth in not a far future. The danger that the earth faces from the grays is just the beginning,” said Aryan, and stopped talking, as he perceived something.

With the sound that resembled a splash, a turquoise blue dome entered the chamber like a flash of lightning. The dome that was spinning like a top abruptly came to a stop at the centre of the hall. It then opened like a flower. The creature that emerged out of it was completely in agreement with all the pictures man had painted of aliens since time immemorial. It had gray skin, eyes that resembled huge dark goggles and had legs and hands that were eerily thin. It was almost thrice in height to that of a normal human being.

Suppressing an involuntary scream, Aryan grabbed the arms of Cyrus in an act of seeking refuge. Cyrus patted on his arms and asked him not to panic. While he watched, the alien shrunk in size and then morphed into a human shape. It was a lean man who appeared to be in his mid forties.

“Hail the master!” said the man and sat in a chair as directed by Cyrus. He seemed in a hurry and his eyes flitted between Aryan and Cyrus as though asking whether he could speak in front of Aryan.

“Speak Haides, be assured that Aryan is a friend. He needs to know. I believe the news is urgent. You preferred to travel instead of using the messenger balls,” said Cyrus.

“Master, they have changed the dates. The deterioration of the ozone layer has sped up things. They arrive in not three months from now. They arrive in seven days,” said Haides, and then fell silent. Perhaps Cyrus had warned him to shift to telepathic communication. Cyrus appeared calm but the silent communication that followed between the two seemed profound to Aryan. Haides seemed to be one of the spies that Cyrus had mentioned at the Dutta mansion, the ones who were in charge of collecting data from the world of the gray aliens.

“Only a miracle can save earth now!”exclaimed Cyrus at the end of the silent discourse.  Aryan sank back onto the chair he was sitting understanding the despair in Cyrus’s voice.

The silence that reigned in the room was ominous!

Read CHAPTER 21 

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