The man at the grocery shop

John had felt feverish throughout the day. It was the cold mango drink he had had the previous night that had given him the chill. He still however went to work, and did his best to complete his routine tasks. Coming back from work, he decided to skip the normal dinner, as he often did when he was sick, and treated himself at his usual eating place, a local restaurant, with fruit juice and spicy vegetable soup. The change in diet, the spices, and the fruit juice did an instant trick, and he felt relaxed and re-vitalised while on his way back home. Living free means taking care of oneself, and skipping the evening meal was not the wisest decision, as John, feeling hungry, realised late at night that day. It was still quarter to ten, and the grocery store was just a block away. John packed up a few notes in his pocket, donned back the shirt he had worn...
Read More

Voltaire’s India related stories

Voltaire was an 18th century French writer of the Enlightenment period, a liberal thinker, and a proponent of tolerance and reason in the world. He wrote Candide, and a number of short stories that describe his views on various issues that were of concern to him and the Europe of his times – religious tolerance, faith in reason, abhorrence of superstition, and a free life. Some of his interesting stories related to India In Bababec, a muslim traveler visits India and meets fakirs engaged in self-denying and torturous acrobatics, like sitting over nails, and meditating. One of them is persuaded to give up all this and live like a good man. But he returns back as he loses his social status and influence over women. Voltaire asks whether it is not enough to live like a good man and reach heaven? In The story of a Good Brahman, an honest and learned brahman admits his ignorance – he is not sure about himself,...
Read More

The Evil Dead — movie review

Genre — comedy The cover blurb calls it the best horror film of the year. The film is really a comedy with some effects of horror thrown in. With children of course it never fails to leave its right impact of morbid horror with its close-your-eyes scenes. But the movie is adults rated, so perhaps Sam Raimi got mixed up with the intended audience. A more appropriate name would be — The Comic Dead. I wonder why it was banned ( 🙂 Ref – the IMDB site) in UK and Ireland between 1983 to 1990? Shot in 35 mm and only 1-1/2 hours long, the storyline contains elements that have been beaten to death by now in any number of horror movies. A bunch of college youngsters proceed toward a lonely cottage somewhere around Tennessee, where one by one each one of them falls prey to demons / ghosts / evil spirits or other inhabitants of the nocturnal, hidden world of spirits....
Read More

The Mumbai local blues

They carry millions everyday in their jam-packed, bare-iron compartments. Every packed journey on the local trains of Mumbai tells hundreds of stories of its own, of bravery against injustice, of courage against sheer might, and of moral strength. The trains do not just transport passengers, but take them through a test. They often oppress the downtrodden, and give no comfort to the ones better off. Occasionally, for the unlucky ones, the test turns out to be a lot more bitter, and forgettable at the touch of one’s destination. Here is a leaf out of a small, rather cool journey on a local train in Mumbai. Roger stays on the periphery of the city, and often travels weekends to the city centre for amusement. He has now been in the city for over a decade, and has been a regular commuter on its local trains from his school days. Staying and working in a distant suburb, way out of the hustle and...
Read More

Fifth Grade Flop? — A book review

What happens when an under-confident, accident-prone school boy discovers and displays his hidden, latent talent in front of an audience? His image gets an overhaul, and he goes from being a klutz to a talented boy with a bright future. This is an interesting and inspiring story of a fifth grade student, Andrew Able, written in first person from his own point of view, about how he overcomes his apparent lack of confidence to star in a school musical play and also do well in sports. In doing so, he is able to change the perspective of his parents as well, who now consider him talented and on his way to becoming famous. Andrew Able is the second son of a lawyer and a homeworking mother, with an elder brother who is the sports star of his school, and the ‘proud earner’ for the family. Andrew, on the opposite, is a klutz — prone to accidents everywhere, and not good in...
Read More

Elements of short stories – Kelly Anderson

The Short StoryAuthor — Kelly Anderson A good short story communicates a lot with a short amount of writing. They have to grab the reader’s interest quickly. The reader helps by bringing their knowledge and experience to the story – the writer gives hints and the reader uses their imagination to expand on the ideas. The Plot The plot is simply the arrangement of events which occur in the story. Most plots are chronological (in order from what happened first, to second and so on.) Most stories are structured with an orientation, then complications leading to the climax of the story and then ending with a resolution. The Setting The events in a story must take place somewhere at some time. This is the setting. A good writer can place his or her story very quickly as well as establish the mood of the location. The Characters A short story usually concentrates on one or two characters. The characters react or respond to the events introduced. The...
Read More