Book Review : Private India

Image Courtesy: Flipkart

Image Courtesy: Flipkart

Blurb View:

When a series of seemingly unconnected murders rock the city of Mumbai with the macabre rituals and artefacts found around the corpses, Private India, a leading investigation agency takes the case. Santosh Wagh, the head of the organization, has only one mission. He needs to stop the killers before they strike again. However, in a city of over 13 million people, he finds that the clock is ticking too fast. He finds himself pitted against underworld dons and a Godman who isn’t what he seems. However, the worst is yet to come and Private India itself may be threatened with a revelation that could destroy the entire organization.


Not having read a single James Patterson book might  have been an advantage when I began reading ‘Private India’. There were a few preconceived notions though, having read Ashwin Sanghi before. I had braced myself for a generous helping of mythology with a dollop of thrill and race to find the culprit. The ingredients were still present, but in different proportions.

The book begins with a lot of promise. Two murders in as many chapters give an inkling to the readers that there is a serial killer on the loose. A veteran detective heads the leading investigating agency in Mumbai, which has its counterparts all over the world. His team seems invincible but they aren’t able to find any clue about the killer. Meanwhile, the series of murders continues. Detectives and forensic experts keep working overtime to solve the case, but the clues are hard to find. I think here enters Ashwin Sanghi with his background knowledge and research in Indian history and mythology. The clues are arranged in order of a small portion of Hindu mythology, which in my opinion, could be elaborated for the betterment of young readers.

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The name says it all – a product launch campaign featuring something black. The suspense was supposed to grow darker with each clue for three consecutive days, followed by the actual product. Sounds interesting? It bloody was!

When BlogAdda invited to participate in this #WhatTheBlack campaign, I was mighty curious like many of my fellow blogger friends. Signed up the form and waited with bated breath for the first clue to arrive. It was clear that the final product would be something in black, but it is pretty difficult to guess without the clues since the product might be anything – food, cosmetics, daily use commodities, a gadget, a book. Came July 30 and the first clue arrived.

Day 1 – A black egg with chocolate inside

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Arrived in the afternoon, while I was already fretting over friends posting snaps of these on social media as they had already received the clue. The packaging was impressive and cute, to say the least. My father-in-law was probably more excited than me and took initiative in cracking open the black egg. The paint was not up to the mark and stained all our fingers, but the chocolate inside was worth the effort. An egg-shaped note from BlogAdda and added incentive to wait for the next clue, the next day.

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Love Thy Neighbour!

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

True. Having been taught the gospels of Saint Augustine in a school named after him, this is one of his teachings I believe in. You cannot discover more than half of yourself unless you have travelled. Each new sight and sound, flora and fauna unravels a part of you hidden hitherto from your own soul.

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

I have travelled in India, yes. As a family, we’ve done the usual ‘South India’ tours, the ‘Bombay-Goa’, ‘Rajasthan’, and the shorter ‘Puri’, ‘Darjeeling’ ones. There’s one more tour that people from Calcutta usually cover early in their life – Nepal, our beautiful neighbouring country. My parents had missed it, somehow. My in-laws have visited there recently. It seems we’re one of the few couples in our family not having been there. I’ve always longed to visit Nepal as I primarily adore mountains. The alluring chill of the hills, the tranquility that is hard to find in the plains, and the familiarity of the people in language and habits are reason enough for a visit or two. So I had planned a Nepal trip long ago including places to visit, food to eat, adventure, religious shrines, national parks and lakes. The itinerary got easier with Skyscanner providing a credit of 1 lakh rupees to accommodate all my plans. Here’s the plan all chalked out for any one to have a great trip in Nepal. I have pointed the key places I’d like to visit in the map here – Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Patan (5 km from Kathmandu), Royal Chitwan National Park, Pokhara and Lumbini. Each has it’s own significance in my trip, read further to know how they fit.

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An Equal Mother


Write Over the Weekend theme for this week:

This time we’re having at a mother’s day special! Your post must contain the word ‘MOM’ and you have just 5 sentences to complete your story.

‘Happy Birthday, Mom,’ Shruti had a glimmer of smile light up her face as Aanya was approaching her.

Her smile faded into oblivion as Aanya walked past her towards her mother’s portrait, like she usually did each year.

Shruti has been yearning to be addressed as ‘Mom’ while raising her dead twin Smriti’s daughter Aanya for the past ten years.

While Aanya’s father has moved on from his dead wife to her attractive twin sister, Aanya could not accept Shruti who looked like her mom but didn’t smell equally divine.

Shruti decided to wait for Aanya, ageing with her dead sister on the wall.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

A Close Shave

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

R shifted uncomfortably in the uber plush revolving seat. It was his fourth day of interrogation at the Cyber Crime Branch. Not really bothering about his fate as a professional hacker, he was more interested in exploring M, the investigating officer for this case. She had her eyes on him as the prime suspect of carving through national security. He had set his goal on piercing her confidence and getting off this case without asking higher authorities for help.

M glanced at her suspect from the other side of the glass cubicle and rolled her eyes.

I hate that unclean stubble. It makes me uneasy and takes away his boyish charm. Is he too worried about the case?’

Brushing aside her little crush, M donned the persona of a stern officer and went in the interrogation cubicle.

“Care to explain these?”

She added a little drama and dropped a few documents on the table with a thud. R was startled and opened his eyes to the lady he was dreaming about. Having been up all night at home researching his way out of the allegations, he hadn’t slept a wink. Waiting for the officer in the plush leather seat cooled by the air conditioner, he had probably dozed off.

It was going to be a bad day. In order to prepare for the case and his defense, he hadn’t paid attention to grooming up in the morning. He would have to try without his handsome hacker’s charm this time.

With a sigh, he started resting his case in front of her.

 This post is a part of the Protest Against Unlean Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda.

I would like to tag The Whitescape and Manjulika Pramod in this post. 

I am accepting Manjit Banerjee‘s tag in this post.

Present for Future

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Christmas is around the corner again and everyone gets the chance to play Santa to their loved ones. Being a parent probably gives one the perks of playing Santa to their children all life. There are innumerable things, material or intangible, that you can gift your children besides memories. Of course, memories are the best gifts for their future. I still cherish my childhood for everything my parents had done to make it a memorable one. I am yet to start raising a child, but I would like to jot down five gifts that would be essential in crafting their future as stellar human beings.

Image Courtesy:

Image Courtesy:

1. ‘No’ to gender stereotypes  – I noticed that the advertisement for this contest suggests planning Stanford education for sons and wedding expenses for daughters. Do we really need this stereotyping even in the 21st century? Too many people, like in this advert, still believe that little boys ask for toy aeroplanes and girls ask for princess dolls. I think we should finally cross the barriers of aeroplanes and dolls and make them available for all children irrespective of their genders. I would like to gift my child the sensitivity to steer clear of gender stereotypes. Be it a girl or boy, I would want my child to believe that they have the right to both dolls/Stanford or aeroplanes/lavish wedding, whichever they choose to ask for.

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A Clean Step

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

R kept glancing at the woman sitting right opposite to him in the metro. He was half way through to office on a boring, gloomy Tuesday morning, already craving for the weekend. He was reading on his old-fashioned large e-book reader and not the sleek ones. The lucid, delicious descriptions of food in the book made his empty stomach growl. Breakfast in office was still twenty minutes away. R stole another glance at the woman to distract himself. She was reading a paperback with so much intent that it seemed she would be seated in this train forever. He regretted sporting a two-days stubble that probably made him look dirty.

Wednesday brought better promises with itself. R boarded the train clean-shaven with a full stomach. He spotted the woman two stops later, leaning near the door. She gave him fleeting stares, probably of appreciation or flirtation. ‘My clean shaven look bowled her over,’ smirked R. He didn’t notice her alight the train behind him. A tap on his shoulder while walking towards office made him turn around. She flashed a card briefly to him. Her Phone number? He was hopeful.

“Officer M, Cyber Crime Branch. Would you like to be under arrest?”

 This post is a part of the Protest Against Smelly Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda.

I would like to tag Sudeshna, Diptee, TheWhitescape, Parama, Soumya in this post.