Can you recall the last time you had ordered food while surfing the internet? Isn’t it only a few days back when you decided to pick some takeaway food on your way back from office? It happens with all of us these days. Stress is gradually consuming our days, nights and peace of mind. And there are times when we relent to our circumstances and the all-encompassing pressure of multitasking.
I’ve been through days when I’ve been writing for an assignment throughout the day, with intermittent coffee and munch breaks. Later in the evening after I submit, my psyche goes on a toss and I tend to slump down. Coincidentally, if my better half is late from office the same day, we are left with no choice but to order food online or pick up a takeaway in Kolkata or call for home delivery. One of these days while browsing through various websites to order, I found Askme dot com.
Image Courtesy: Askme dot com
The inquisitive me landed on their plush yet simple website andcruised through the home delivery page. I punched in my preferred area within Kolkata and the type of food I wanted. The page offered me a range of choices to spoil, with their menus, ratings, photos and reviews. The search takes a few seconds, so does the order. Askme has a very easy contact number to memorise in case you want to rest your eyes and step away from the computer. Dial their number and describe your preference for them to suggest and place the order for home delivery in Kolkata.
So, the next time hunger consumes you and leaves no time for cooking or even assembling food particles together in a dish, pick up your phone, dial Askme’s number and order your choice of fodder. I’ve been sceptical to order food online in Kolkata but Askme has provided an easy-peasy portal for everyone to explore the options, choose the most relevant and wanted ones and just click.
Remember, your food is just a click or call away from you. Celebrate any occasion, even your tiredness or a stressful day with something exotic or just your favourite pizza.
I haven’t been watching the Cricket World Cup since its inception in 1975 as I wasn’t even born! Back then, it was called the Prudential World Cup and wasn’t as glamorous as it is now. The game was black and white and so are most of the photos from that era. The jerseys and styles were very ’70-ish with the players sporting long sideburns, hippie hairstyles and bell-bottoms. Our Ravi Shastri was arguably the most stylish emerging cricketer as evidenced in the picture below.
25 June 1983, India lifting the World Cup. Notice Ravi Shastri and his unkempt hair.
As the world moved on, the Cricket World Cup did too. With the advent of coloured jerseys in 1992, the ICC Cricket World cup added more glitz in terms of day/night matches where the audience in front of television could see sweat glistening on the forehead of a parrot-green clad Imran Khan. If someone is the most handsome cricketer still, it’s him.
Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the national bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana – The Game of Life. Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita at the end of Book 1.
Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riveting drama of Rama’s exile. Through tales of Rama’s unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata’s actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita’s courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail.
With Valmiki’s Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitramanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before.
Ramayan and Mahabharat have been the flavours of quite a few seasons now. While some of them focus on re-telling the epics, either picking a character and exploring their perspective or choosing an episode to elaborate and fictionalise. Here comes a new genre of narrating the epics – to add spiritual and philosophical explanations of their actions and thoughts. Quite innovative and introspective it turns out to be.
Since we’re all familiar with the basic storyline of Ramayan, it doesn’t matter that I haven’t read the prequel of this book – Ramayana – Rise of the Sun Prince. Shattered Dreams – Book 2 deals with the coronation and exile of Ram. The format of the book is very unique with the story divided into nine chapters and each page carrying footnotes with insights on the happenings. I’d say the notes are much more interesting than the story itself (which we all know by heart) and could have constituted the entire book.
The most common question asked to every child or teen is “Who is your favourite detective?” At least, that’s what used to be in my generation, about two decades ago. I’ve been gorging on detective stories since my pre-teens, haate-khori (baptism of writing) being done with Feluda. With Sonar Kella (1974) and Joy Baba Felunath (1979) being constant features on summer television, we didn’t have many options. Feluda ruled my childhood, along with Bangla translations of Sherlock Holmes in magazines. I loved Feluda, and was in awe of Sherlock, which strengthened as I began learning Chemistry. Those inferences from the criminal’s stained hat or a cigarette stub with his saliva on it made me wonder Holmes’s prowess. Could Feluda do similar stuff? Well, no, he was mostly a cerebral detective, with his Magajastra being the ultimate weapon.
Image Courtesy: Google
Unlike many other children who just read and loved detectives, I wanted to be one. Seriously. I’ve read Holmes at an age when others didn’t, I’ve religiously read Kakababu and Arjun’s escapades, I’ve read Colonel Niladri Sarkar’s young adult stories, I’ve read Jayanta-Manik and Gogol. Bangla literature has a vast ensemble of detectives/sleuths, and that’s what most of them liked to be termed. All of them were smart, not all were young men though, and only Samaresh Majumdar’s Arjun had the suaveness to second Feluda. I wanted to be someone who had the forensic analytical bent of mind and yet an uber emotional psyche to grasp the criminal’s mind. As I grew up, I found him and though I couldn’t be like him, I let him rule my mind as the best ‘detective’ ever – Byomkesh Bakshi. Well, the most striking thing about Byomkesh is that he never liked to be called a ‘detective’. He fancied the term ‘Satyanweshi’ (truth-seeker) and stuck to it until Dibakar Banerjee decided to rip it off in his next film.
This probably would have occurred somewhere in the globe a year or two back – picture a serious boardroom drama, with the design folks being present.
“Alright guys, settle down soon, we are planning to surprise the Indian automobile fellas; well, can’t drive everybody nuts neither can we shed the ‘Tata-for-commercial’ tag so easily, but let’s give a decent try.
We call this HORIZONEXT strategy, the focus is to be on the products intensely. We plan to build a car, a sedan for the entry level sedan segment and a premium hatch, with most of the goodies packed in it, and of course, guess what, with a superb price tag. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise – here cometh Zest and Bolt.”
(We would just limit this article to BOLT petrol variant as Zest is out of scope for this one). Hey, we are still in the boardroom meeting, reckon, the design folks are all ears to the lead voice.
In India, yes it was until a few years ago. Honestly, when I was a kid, I never bothered doing my own laundry as I was totally dependent on Ma for it. She indulged me probably considering that academics took a toll on me and I needed more time for games and books. Now when I’ve been living away from home for about nine years, I realize the monstrosity of laundry. Baba has been doing his mini laundry himself for years now. The same holds true for my father-in-law. What I mean by mini laundry is washing their inner wear daily while bathing. They would put the dirty clothes in the laundry bag otherwise, not bothering the lady of the house with trifles like kerchiefs and socks.
For everyone else I know, including my cousins and friends – they believed that mom would do the laundry, or the domestic help, and more recently the washing machine (operated by mom again). Sad but true, Ariel’s survey with AC Nielsen is a glaring fact that 76% of the men still feel that laundry is a woman’s job. From my knowledge and experiences spanning over three decades, I won’t blame only the men for this blasphemy. Our Indian moms and grandmas pamper their men to infinity. I’ve heard so many say “Babu’r toh porashuno achhe, bari’r chhele boshe kapor kachbe keno, amra toh achhi. (Why should Babu do any laundry when we’re there for him, he needs to study instead). The range of this ‘Babu’ spans anywhere for men aged 10-50 years.
To be frank, I hadn’t attended any Literary Festival until the Apeejay Kolkata Lit Fest 2015. It’s a shame, yes. But most of the earlier editions in various cities were either on days I was busy/away or priced hefty for each day/session. Not getting into the issue of priced sessions versus sponsored ones, I found the Kolkata Lit Fest mostly free, which encourages bloggers and aspiring writers like me to indulge only in time for a possible interaction with interesting authors.
Since it began on a Wednesday, the 14th of January, it wasn’t possible for me to attend each day or event. I studied the schedule carefully and chose my favourites. Day 2 – 15th of January seemed the best bet. There were two book launches slated for the afternoon by two very important authors in Indian English Literature – Shashi Tharoor and Upamanyu Chatterjee. There was a bonus privilege of watching Jeet Thayil converse with his exact contemporary Chatterjee. Who would miss the chance of meeting three of the quirkiest, wittiest and most interesting authors of our era? We jumped on the bandwagon and reached the venue – Indian Council for Cultural Relations at Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Calcutta.