Tag Archives: Books

KL bird park

Travel they say helps to unravel your own thoughts and understanding about your own self .Whenever we visit a new city our effort is to visit places which boast of natural flora and fauna of the place.

KL bird park claims to be the largest free flying aviary in the world.It is surrounded by many museums , old parliament house , butterfly park , orchids garden etc . The whole place is just beautiful . I loved the infrastructure of the whole place and the way they have organized the whole city

Kuala Lumpur bird park is located in the  lake gardens and is just minutes drive from the bustling city center. The KL bird park has been divided into many zones.

There are zones where the birds are allowed to roam just like natural state and they can fly and feel as if in their own home. In this zone you can see birds like egret , storks, hawk, pelicans , ducks , herons , peacocks and the list goes on.

Then there are enclosures like zoo where more birds from different parts of asia are kept.

The KL bird park has shows at 12:30 and 3:30 in the noon. It is amazing to see how birds can perform tricks , speak and understand just like humans and even do mathematics.Even you can also be part of the show if you are interested.

The KLbird park has a restaurant named as Hornbill restaurant which serves quite an eclectic mix of asian cuisine and is competitively priced. The only downside of the whole experience is the tickets, which I feel are little overtly priced.

It is a must see place if you are a nature lover. The kids also would love it as they get to participate in the bird show.There are rest areas as well as information center where you can learn lot of trivia about birds. You can learn about the different kinds of nest they make, food they eat as well as how the babies are incubated.

Its a surreal experience to see the birds in their natural environment. We  got to feed emus and ostriches with their favorite greens. They are really humongous in shape and size.

Do you know that a single Emu egg can feed omelette to 17 human beings ?

Some of the pictures from the KL bird park






Maria’s room

maria's room

Maria’s room is written by Shreekumar Varma , who happen to be a noted author , playwright , newspaper columnist and poet.

This book I got last year and was planning to read from long time . Finally was able to finish it few days book and I am glad I did it. Maria’s room offers you a heady concoction of goa’s carelessness , the expectancy of monsoon mixed with the impatience of unrequited love . The opening of the book is spectacular and I would rate five stars to the way goa has been captured in monsoon .

The melancholics of local life , the pregnant skies and the rolling waves mixed with the deluge of travelers who want to bask in the glory of  I-care-damn attitude provides an apt background for the love story of Maria and Marcel. The protagonist Raja Prasad , an author from Chennai trying to run from his father and maybe from himself finds refuge in one of the hotels in Goa . Later when he shifts to Maria’s guesthouse , he meets Lorna and falls in love with him . As the book progresses you realize the wretchedness love offers . The expectancy of monsoon and the swelling oceans complements the fidgetiness of  tormented lovers. The two love stories happening at two different points of time differ only in their treatment . Does Raja Prasad can conquer his inner demons ? What happened to Maria and Marcel ? Why the book is called Maria’s Room ?

The book captures the beauty of goa , the sights , smells of the rain. The peculiar habits  which people have , Raja Prasad’s dislike for the non vegetarian food and the intoxication which the monsoon y goa offers . The protagonist blends effortlessly in the carefree ambiance of Feni and music but through peeps the secrets of past keep haunting the present . Does the shadows of past reflect on the present too ?

The vivid poetry of Goa’s languidness and the turbulence of rains  complements the mysticism of man’s desires and love . My only lament was that writer also seems to loose his track of plot while wandering in the poetry of Goa just like a boy left wondering in the toy shop ? Was this a planned diversion , a planned wandering  like a besotted tourist who looses his track of time  ?   I felt that the plot of the book was bit hurried and the author would have spent more time in building the story .But for the love of Goa and the excellent narrative which book offers its readers , i will rate this book 4 out of 5 stars . The poignancy of the forlorn love story seeps into the past and present and makes it a Must Read.

Life ,Odds and Ends.

Today I am in conversation with Anvita Bajpai , a fellow blogger and alumnus of IIMB . She is the author of Life , Odds and Ends , a collection of   four short stories  ( soon to be available in leading bookstore ) by LIFI Publications.  I had great time conversing with the versatile author . Hope you have great time too reading this conversation ( Also My first interview in the “Books and Authors” Series )



1)    What was the inspiration behind the book ? And how did you come up with an idea to write a book?

I think I am a natural writer. I had been writing for quite some time for technical papers , presentations, journals etc. . My work and my penchant for writing germinated an idea in my mind which has come up in the form of Life, Odds and Ends.

The inspiration behind the stories come from fact that in urban scenario we face different kind of challenges like work -life balance , shifting and overlapping of roles between man and woman . For a working women balancing motherhood and an active career is always challenging . Also the recent  rape incidents and child abuse has helped me to come up with Soul-mates , one of the stories in LOE

2)    Tell me something about the book ? Do you think that you have evolved too while writing this book?

The book is a collection of four short stories . These stories are the reflection of us and the challenges which we face in an urban life . I don’t think that I have evolved as a person while writing this book but definitely I have  transited from my technical writing to fiction world through this book.

 3)   How have you researched for the plot and the characters?

I have always been a keen observant and my technical work also involves observing people behavior in the urban scenarios with the advent of so many social networking applications . The plots and characters are inspired by my imagination , observation and the happening which surround one’s existence

4)    What attracted you to writing ? Is there any routine you follow , any interesting thing you would like to share with the readers?

Writing comes naturally to me. In past, I was more focused on technology work and so was writing more papers, articles etc based on research and understanding of technology and business, and used to have non-technical discussions/conversations during in-person conversations or e-mails. However, as I work in understanding human behavior based on the data available across domains (retail, banking, internet, social data etc). Hence, probably this overlap of understanding human behavior, the inclination of writing, and also a keen observation of people and things around me results into a little more non-technical writing. After all we all live a life – just that a few observe in more details and are able to articulate it. Mostly I write in a silent environment, but given a deadline I have written otherwise too – provided I had already had a thought-out outline for the story.

5)    What is the hardest and easiest thing about writing? Did you ever encounter writer’s block  while writing your first book?

Not faced the ‘writer’s block’ as such. However, at times I write story with long breaks in between to attend to other professional-personal activities and then it took some time for me to get back to context – as there was a long break in between. First self-editing also was time costuming for these sections of book.

6)    Who are your favorite authors and why ? Any recent book which touched you ?

I read various authors, and subjects – so not one favorite. Recently, I read ‘The difficulty of being good’ by Gurcharan Das, and ‘The holy cow and other Indian stories’ by Tarun Chopra.

7)    Do you proofread/edit your books ? The book cover looks interesting . How did you come up with the design ?

First two iterations, I have done rest were done by editors from publisher’s side. The cover, I worked on the idea of scattered pictures, the final images were selected and placed by the designer though. I have also designed the trailer for the book using my own collection of photographs taken @ http://youtube/7i485G11B3g

8)    Nowadays lot of Indian authors are coming up with their work ? What do you think about this trend ?

People are finding more opportunities for being expressive. Its good as we see the Indian expressions though the people who closely observe it.

9)    What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

There may be things which may be exceptionally good or bad. Otherwise most of the time reviews may also be based on the perceptions of the reviewer. For example, the movie “Paheli” did run just for a week in PVR in Bangalore – was not rated very high commercial success, but I and many I know like it very much. So, obviously there is an assessment, and rating – but it is relative than being the absolute.

10) Any message you will like to share with your readers ?

Just the following quote that I wrote a few weeks ago.

” Life has four important pulls – live, evolve, create and nurture. The struggle lies in figuring out a way to balance these pulls – that’s what is the common and of interest between all of us – and that’s what is LIFE.”

 Thank you Anvita for your time . It was lovely talking to you. Anvita can be contacted through her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LifeOddsEnds . She also blogs at  http://anvitabajpailoe.blogspot.in/

An evening with Shashi Deshpande

It was a book reading event at one of my favorite libraries, Easy lib . Easylib is doing great job where they are bringing book lovers , authors and the readers at one roof . The book reading was by eminent author Shashi Deshpande  from her latest book Shadow Play .

Shashi Deshpande is a well known figure in the literary world . She has been writing from many decades , have also won Sahitya academy award and having heard her before , I had made up my mind to attend this event .

The event started with a introduction by Vani Mahesh , founder of Easylib . And after that Mrs shashi Deshpande read few excerpts from her latest book ” Shadowplay” . The crowd was an eclectic mix of writers , editors and book lovers . What followed was an animated discussion on the process of writing , the blurbs from the book and the inspiration behind the book . When one asked her how does the characters in the book start doing or behaving in a certain way and not the other way round , are there any parameters which makes her decide that . She pointed that though she creates the characters but slowly they start doing or behaving  in their own way and she only acts as a medium . I found that very intriguing .

Book Launch

The discussion then followed through the current indian fiction scene and some of the acclaimed work done by the indian writers . Many present there felt that there has been exponential increase  in  people expressing themselves and many new authors have come in the block but that is not the same case with readership . There was a stimulating discussion that the standard of writing has decreased and there are  books in market with very poor English  or poorly edited . In fact few people felt that the quality of writing has deteriorated in the recent times . What do you feel about the current Indian Writing scene ? And where do you see it going  ?Has any indian book inspired you lately ? I would love to hear your views too .

The Author , Shashi Deshpande
Listening with rapt attention
With Vani Mahesh

The evening ended with people getting signed copy of the book from their favorite author . It was lovely being a part of such thought provoking discussion and listening to one of my favorite author . A decade ago or so reading had really dwindled due to advent of Television and other electronic gadgets . But slowly with a change in indian fiction scene when many acclaimed authors came up with novels incorporating indian sensibilities , there has been an increase in both readership and authors . I feel this is a good sign and it will only get better with time . I am an optimist after all 🙂

Amidst books


She comes hurriedly. There are drops of sweat on her forehead. She occupies the corner stool. And picks one of her favorite book. She immerses herself in the world of fables. Trying to forget her pain, she keeps reading on. The images of doctors , nurses keep flashing in her mind . But she moves on.

PS : Books are our best of friends. They never fail us . A good book listen and talk to us . Our pain subsides when we are in the company of a good book . This piece was written to highlight the importance of books in our lives and the divine intervention it offers when we are in grief.

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