Book: Yes, My Accent is Real

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To take a break from the The Big Bang Theory marathon with a light reading, this book was picked half expecting it would be light and funny enough, and half expecting I can finish it in a couple of days so that I can carry on with the TBBT series. It is more than that, I learned invaluable lessons as a human being from this memoir. This book is as cool and witty as Kunal Nayyar.

About the Author:
Kunal Nayyar is a British Indian actor and writer best known for his role as Rajesh Koothrappali in the CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory.
According to Forbes, Nayyar was third on the list of World’s Highest-Paid TV Actors for 2015.

I can see how much effort he had put in to this book, unlike some of the so-called celebrity writers. His English is, unsurprisingly, impeccable. This book can be shelved as ‘humor’ yet, his life-stories are mostly filled with humility and hardship.

As a fan of Raj, like most of the readers of this book, I enjoyed what little time he spent talking about the character and playing him. His lesson on ethnicity and being a minority in a foreign land, is too precious. Sometimes, we use that as a defense mechanism when we can’t accept the failure, but in reality, “We just aren’t good enough”.
One of my favorite quotes: “This is what we do to people when we’re intimidated: we make them out to be monsters so we’re more comfortable with ourselves. We judge. We demonize them to brace ourselves for rejection.”

I felt his childhood was more like mine after 2012, saturated with American media, as reflected in the opening essay, “Everything I Know About Kissing I Learned from Winnie Cooper,” which tells how watching The Wonder Years and becoming infatuated with its young actress while growing up prepared him for his own first kiss and how life came full circle when his acting career gave him the chance to kiss the real actress.
It’s a fairly quick read, and most of the stories only last a few pages so it was pretty easy to breeze through it in a couple of sittings. It still feels weird to critique someone’s life story, but I will say it’s well written and Kunal is really easy to relate to even if he is famous.

Pleasant enough, witty, charming, even touching. It was a nice read. If you enjoy his acting, you’ll likely enjoy it. Yes, My Accent Is Real isn’t a must read.

P.S. I’m glad I’m getting back into non-fiction, it’s been a long time since I’ve read so many in such a short period but it’s been a welcomed change so far.

Peace
MADdy

Book: EX…A Twisted Love Story

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I’ve been away from my blog for very long time due to the tough schedules I have right now. This is a little piece of info about a book I read years before, I thought of updating something to the blog and let you all know that I am very much alive here.

“What will you do when a svelte and sexy girl comes up to you and says that she is your ex? And the only thing you know about her is that you don’t know anything about her.”

This plot made me choose the book and i would say i enjoyed reading this.
The story gives the readers breath a run for life. You would bite nails, you’ll feel scary, you’ll feel love, you’ll feel hatred, you’ll feel passionate and at the end you’ll feel it was a magic.

P.S: (*Major Spoiler*)
If you’ve watched the movie Fight club before you read this book, you would probably wonder about the climax.

The Legend of Mahishasura

Prologue

According to Shaktism or Shaktidharma that focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi, a denomination of Hinduism most of the Hindus observes Durga Puja or Navratri, a small group of tribals in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Assam are in grief. While most celebrate Goddess Durga slaying the Demon King, the Asura tribe from Jharkhand and West Bengal will observe Mahishasura Martyrdom Day on Mahanavami and remember how a foreigner used tricks and illusion to kill their ancestor.
The asura tribes believe they are descendants of Mahishasura and do not worship any god. They say that the Devi Mahatmya story of the Markandeya Purana, which describes the birth of Durga and her nine day battle with Mahishasura, is biased. According to them, the birth of Durga from the powers of Brahma oi, Vishnu and Shiva was a twisted version of the story.
The tribals now have help from experts and academics to bring their perspective to the forefront.

“Ravan and Mahishasur are our ancestors and the celebration of their killing by trickery must not continue the way it has for centuries, The so-called upper caste always had a grip over documentation of Indian mythology and that is the reason why the tribal perspective never got highlighted.” – Sushma, a member of the primitive tribe group (PTG)

Vandana Tete, who has been documenting unwritten tribal folklore, said: “Tribal tales are mostly in oral form and from various Santhal, Asur and Porku folktales we have figured out that Mahishasur was a king and he was killed by Durga. The incident has never been revered in our community. Civilized society should give equal place to all perspectives.”

Admitting that comprehensive research has not been done to look into the real history of mythological events, Tete said the ritual of Durga Puja was sponsored by the erstwhile East India Company for the zamindar families of Bengal to create a socio-religious divide among the tribals and the upper caste.

The Legend

Mahishasura was a dark skinned and athletically built King of a Dravida/Non Aryan kingdom.
His story is centuries old, when they used to be arch enemies with Aryans(Whites), who spread their kingdom in India along the coast of rivers of the Sind area and later along the coast of the Ganges. and Dravidas, who were in this country from the pre-Aryan days.
Kingdom of Mahishasura worshiped Buffalo; an animal totem. Mahishasura was a natural leader and had military skills superior to the satraps of Aryan kingdoms neighboring his territory. He was a shrewd person who stole a lot of military secrets of the Aryans in his early days by pretending to be a devout of Aryan beliefs to save his people (Something similar to the batmans skill set).
After each of his victories, he took away wealth and weapons of the Aryan sa
traps, leaving them bitter and furious. But he was invincible, commanded a deadly army and plundered Aryavarta at his will. Aryans dreaded Mahishasura who would terrify his opponents soldiers by leading his flock wearing a buffalo’s mask and holding a dead Aryan’s head at the tip of his sword.
Heavily built, dark and handsome Mahishasura enjoyed the awe he inspired among his soldiers and people. His ego grew in size with each of his triumphs. His ego would cause his defeat and death as he aspired to capture the great Queen of the Aryans. In a way, this tragedy was the precursor of that of Ravana.
The great Queen lived and ruled the northern part of Aryabarta. She was adored for her beauty, courage and insight; she was literally worshiped by her people. She commanded great respect among the clans of her kingdom because of the strength of her character.
He believed he would be able to charm the Queen to come out with him as his wife. He continued in his efforts and sent a messenger to her court with this impossible suggestion that was outrageous to the Aryan community. The great Queen sent a warning to Mahishasura, but, he paid no heed to the Queen’s words.
He was infatuated and th

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A Statue of Mahishasura in Chamundi hills, Mysore

erefore unable to realize that he had crossed the limit.
The Aryan Queen regrouped and led the army herself to Conquer the Mahishasura’s army. He tried all his tricks without success. He prayed to his god,wore his lucky mask and charged towards the great Queen to capture and run away with her. She was far too fast for the worn-out Mahishasura. She pierced the chest of Mahishasura with her spear and the half-dead king was captured in no time . The Queen did not look back, she ordered her General to throw the still alive body of king Mahishasura to her pet lion’s cage.
A King of Mahishasura’s stature could have had a much better life and a more befitting death if he did not cross his limit. But, he was ambitious like the Great Alexander
This great Queen’s victory gradually transformed into the eternal Tale of good versus evil in the hand of the conqueror’s poets and bards. People started to worship the Queen as the deity of ‘Power’, (Shakti’ in Sanskrit). decades after she was gone . When Aryan’s Puranas chronicled this Tale, she was given the name of ‘Durga’, the Goddess whose worship leads to overcome ‘durgati’ (ill-fortune).

Conclusion

Today, few Asuras, especially the younger generation, know who Mahishasura was and what he means to their community and the activists hope to change that and to raise their voice against the centuries-old systematic repression of their culture and religion.
There are two ways of concluding this Tale. We may conclude that Mahishasura deserved his end, because he was evil and tried to over reach.
The second is just the diametrically opposite view: Mahishasura was an ambitious king, fighting with Aryans to expand his territory, no way different from the Aryans who pushed the people of this country down south, beyond the hills of Vindhya. His story was written by the conqueror, therefore, he has been painted as an evil person. If we compare his character with those of many other kings of our history, he was not much different!

Book : I Am Malala

MALALA-FINAL.jpgLet me preface this write up with some facts before I go further, This part of my blog is not a book review section, I wanted to name it “books I’ve been through” but I shortened it with “Books”.
It’s hard to review these kind of books and I don’t think they should be reviewed at all. They aren’t there to entertain the audience and it is not about writing style or adjectives that the author used. These books are meant to transmit a message.
I started researching on Malala ever since her story got exposed to the world, so I couldn’t wait to finish this when I received a copy from a roadside book seller. I must say, I had a very good experience buying the book too, the lady who sold me was talking a lot about books which I normally don’t expect from a normal roadside vendor. She told me that everyone should read this book especially girls. When I said it’s for my sister, she gave me an extra discount.
“I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” is the true story of a nineteen year old girl’s campaign for women’s right to education. In 2011 she was shot by the Taliban in a bus on her way home from school. Two men boarded the school bus “Who is Malala” they asked and fired gun shots, two lodged in Malala’s head. It is indeed a powerful book. Malala’s story is remarkable in light of women’s role in her culture and the groups fighting to persecute women. It was the Taliban that claimed responsibility for shooting Malala calling her crusade for education rights an “obscenity”. The first half of the book Malala describes Pakistan’s history including the history of her ancestors and the northern region of Pakistan, Swat where she lives. Malala also shares stories of her family, giving the reader a glimpse into the culture of Pakistan from a young woman’s perspective. Many of the stories involve Malala’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai. She describes his involvement in local politics, in the community and his vocal support of education for boys and girls. There’s no doubt Malala’s passion and courage to stand up for women’s rights stems from her father’s actions and character. Ziauddin Yousafzai defied Taliban orders by running a private school that encouraged girls to attend. Malala describes the challenges and frustrations her father faced when starting the school. The motto over the school’s door read “We are committed to build for your the call of the new era”. Her father believed the school’s students could fight the enemy with pens, not swords.
Some reviewers claimed the book was poorly written, not interesting. But the book is written in the perspective of a 14 year old girl. I imagined my 14 year self at that stage of a situation and I was disappointed, I would have blamed my gender and place I born for everything but Malala is very proud of her gender and place, she don’t have words to express the beauty of Swat valley and the innocent people out there.
Malala’s story emphasizes education’s value. Looking deeper it challenges readers to examine the role of education, its purpose and function within a society. Withholding education from certain groups within a society hinders progress, threatens peace and perpetuates poverty. These principles also apply to Western cultures where education is the starting point for eliminating poverty, reducing crime and violence in impoverished neighborhoods. There are parallels; it’s thought-provoking.
It is important that we become more familiar with the cause that Malala represents, and how groups across the world like the Taliban have attempted to take women’s rights back to the dark ages. I admire her strong stance and her peaceful voice. And the narration of the beauty of Swat valley, which is probably one of the few compliments I would pay her co writer Cristina lamb.

Malala has never hidden that face not when the Taliban insisted on it, and not when she emerged from her battle for survival to stand before the members of the United Nations in July and deliver her message yet again, a little louder.

Conclusion:
“I am Malala” is a compelling read. She as an individual is a remarkable women who is a hero for women’s right to a quality education. With her father, Malala created the Malala Fund that supports education for women including the Global Partnership for Education. The book is a good starting point for learning about the complexities of women’s rights in some countries and education access. “I am Malala” delivers a message to each reader about the value of education.
Education empowers.

Love
MADdy

Happy Ending

I took my pen and writing pad after a very long period.
Bhayya are you going to write a story? Asked my little sister with a lovely tone.
Yes dear, replied.
Will it be a happy ending story?
I paused for a moment, I lost the grip with the pen. After few seconds of silence i lifted my head and looked at her, her eyes were curious to know the answer.

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Life was not much happier for the last couple of years, after we lost our parents. There was nothing left for us.
It was a long walk of struggle and pain to finally reach here in this small apartment.
I gave up everything for my little angel and started being a good parent, video games and fantasy novels could no longer entertain me. I was trying to be mom, dad, brother, sister everything i can, to raise my little angel.
She always had a curiosity but never asked me about our parents. May be she don’t want me to be sad, maybe she was not missing them.

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I looked at her she was playing with her crayons, I took a 2hb pencil from the pen holder mug and started scribbling her face. It was the most familiar and easy to draw pic for me.
I do this all the now and then just to get relaxed, each time I try to make her more beautiful. Her eyes were as shiny as blackberries.
I finished it up and took the pen again, she was busy drawing coloring her new work.
she didn’t listen when i said, “It’s going to be the happiest story ever dear”.

I kept writing 🙂

Love
MADdy

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Live and let live

This post is one of my first ones after a long break. I left blogging for so long due to many reasons – work, holidays, exhaustion and most of all, lack of self-motivation. And now I realized motivating yourself to keep on blogging is not the hardest part. Coming back with bags of enthusiasm, new ideas, and most of all – grasping the fact that your own work has been left out there for so long was the most difficult thing. I had this weird feeling of guilt that I failed myself get my own stuffs running.

So let me get back to track again, and this is a painting i did in support of LGBT communities in India and over the world.

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Medium : watercolor on paper
Work : Live and let live

with lots of LOVE
MADdy