KiKiRa The Great

I’ve been fortunate enough to be nestled into the world of Bangla Literature in my formative years. I had begun reading magazines and novels for children even before I turned ten. The joy of holding a freshly printed periodical magazine at least once a month and glancing through the pages to skim the content before rushing off to school was incomparable. Calcutta has carried a rich tradition of interesting magazines for children, young adults as well as adults. The ones, especially for pre-teens were a huge treasure of informative articles, short stories, poems, comics and sports. Anandamela, Shuktara, Kishore Bharati, Kishore Gyan Bigyan, Sandesh – there were so many to choose from each fortnight! The most popular among these, Anandamela was from the ABP house of publications – it was bourgeoisie, glamorous, rich in content and had great print quality priced at Rs 10 for each issue.

kikira

The annual pujabarshiki Anandamela 1996 and the Kikira novel published in it (on right)

The fortnightly and annual Pujabarshiki issues of Anandamela introduced me to Kikira The Great by Bimal Kar. No, he isn’t Japanese and is almost not a detective. KiKiRa stands for Kinkar Kishore Ray, a brilliantly crafted pseudo-acronym to enhance his identity. He is a self-proclaimed magician who had a target of at least a hundred magic shows in his lifetime but was stopped short at only thirty six of them due to an illness. A sudden bout of disease disabled one of his hands and made it impossible for him to perform on stage again. He called himself ‘Kikira The Magician’, ‘Kikira The Wonder,’ ‘Kikira the Great,’ and still had a few tricks up his sleeve that effervesce in all of his cases. Kikira has two assistants, a young clerical fellow named Tarapada and a doctor of medicine, Chandan. The evolution of this apparently lopsided friendship between the three occurred during a case for the first time. The first story in the Kikira series – Kapalik-ra Ekhono Achhe (Tantrics Still Do Exist) – began with Tarapada and Chandan as the main protagonists, Kikira only making an entry later with a burly introduction! I think the author wanted to experiment, improvise and give a trial with the readers to see if they accept such an offbeat character.

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Book Review : Jao Pakhi

jao pakhiIf you have read any of my reviews on Bangla books, you might be aware that Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay is one of my favourite authors. My admiration and awe for his writing cannot be described by just ‘favourite’. The author’s USP is his characterisation – you’d be amazed to get into their psyche peeling off layers from apparently mundane characters. They are people around us, but each with a different story to convey through their eyes or words. Have you ever read an entire novel on dialogues, without a single paragraph of narration? I’ve been learning not only the nuances of fine writing, but more about life in general from this octogenarian author’s works. There’s rarely been a story where he has failed to impress me as a reader.

Jao Pakhi (Fly away, Birdie) is one of the more tender stories with lesser shock value from its characters. It’s the story of a young man named Somen. He’s a rookie just out of college with his dreams still shaping up. His father, a man ruled by his ideals, lives in a village building his own hut and growing his own crops. His mother, however, didn’t leave the city as she raised her two sons and a daughter, married them off and still lives with her family. She wants Somen to begin working and establishing himself in the world like his elder brother Ranen. She wants their father to hand them his money from a policy that is going to mature soon.

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Book Review : When Our Worlds Collide

Blurb View:

Image Courtesy: Amazon

Image Courtesy: Amazon

Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life.
Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up.
She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines.
He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’.
They meet each other quite by chance.
And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives:
For Zayn, it’s a ‘Partner-In-Crime’.
For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her…
When their worlds collide,
It is not what either of them expected it to be.
Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him.
What happens these two become friends?
The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak?
What happens when two completely different people collide?
Do they become friends? Or, is their friendship doomed from the start?
‘When Our Worlds Collide’ is the story of two twenty-three-year olds,
Who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world.
A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances,
Marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after!

Review:

Aniesha Brahma has been a steady writer of romance. I’ve read all her books now, this one even before its release! Romance for young adults doesn’t need to be cheesy and Aniesha is one of those rare YA writers in India whom you can trust not making it cheesy.

You begin with an interesting line in the preface –

‘It’s not always about the happy ending, sometimes it’s about the story.’ 

I loved it, as I believe in it. Happy endings have cliche to such an extent that people have stopped liking stories that don’t have one. But it’s the story that matters at the end, not the ‘happy ending.’

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Co-writing a novel for Team ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’ #CelebrateBlogging

So this BlogAdda came up with this novel idea of writing a novel as teamwork. Pretty usual for them to harp on unusual ideas and throw them at us, bloggers. This is definitely a challenge to the blogging community, co-writing a whole novel with 8-9 strangers. But it is indeed a great idea to bring the community together, let bloggers from all over the country know each other, support and co-work as teams.

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

They have provided us with five core characters to build our story upon. We can and will add three more to spice up the story. They will be judged by a jury panel every week and they will keep eliminating teams. At the end of three weeks, three teams will survive. The best one will be published as a book by BlogAdda. Isn’t it great?

Our team is ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’, comprising  DivyakshiPriyanka VictorArpitaDattaNupurSulekhaMariaRoshan and Priyanka Roy Banerjee. 

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Though we have come together by sheer luck and BlogAdda’s permutation, we have gelled so well as a team that I don’t recall not knowing these people a week ago. We have brainstormed, argued politely, given each other space, stood by when any of us is busy and working, helped each other with blogging technicalities as well as nitty-gritties of writing.

I believe we can make it to the top, so does my team. Do read all our chapters, follow our Facebook page and show us some love!

Week 1: 
Chapter 1 – Princess’ Day Out
Chapter 2 – The Weekend Brunch
Chapter 3 – The Journey
Chapter 4 – The Phone Call
Chapter 5 – Through the Eyes of a Stranger
Chapter 6 – The Princess and her Pied Piper
Chapter 7 – Shadow play turns real
Chapter 8 – Mysterious Tattoo
Chapter 9 – The Confrontation

Week 2:
Chapter 1 – I’m coming to get you, Princess
Chapter 2 – The evening before
Chapter 3 – A Good morning
Chapter 4 – Trigger happy
Chapter 5 – The Calm before the storm
Chapter 6 – What lies beneath
Chapter 7 – Pandemonium
Chapter 8 – Whodunit?
Chapter 9 – Divulgence

Week 3:
Chapter 1 – Shadows in the Night
Chapter 2 – Taken
Chapter 3 – Truth and Pretence
Chapter 4 – The Perfect Crime
Chapter 5 – Standoff
Chapter 6 – The Return
Chapter 7 – Catharsis
Chapter 8 – The Reunion
Chapter 9 – Epilogue

  • You can tell Blogadda what you think of our story directly here. Best comment wins a prize from them, we believe 🙂

 

Image Courtesy: Divyakshi Gupta

Image Courtesy: Divyakshi Gupta

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