Monday, 30 March 2015

Baby Makers by Gira Aravamudan: a review

Books on society and culture are something that are not much in the trend now a days, with so many ‘fiction’ tales coming up in front, non-fiction has taken a backseat. But when I saw this book, I couldn’t stop myself from admiring the authoress for taking up a topic which most writers don’t pick up. Yes, Baby Makers by Gita Aravamudan is about the story of Indian surrogacy. The blurb of the book added fuel to the fire of my desire to read the book at one go.

According to the blurb- The baby makers are many. The couples who supply the genetic material, the embryologists who create test-tube babies, the gynecologists who insert embryos into wombs and deliver the babies and, most importantly, the surrogates themselves. Then there are the agents who source the surrogates, organize fertility tourism packages and even arrange for babies to be ordered over the Internet using frozen genetic material supplied by the intending parents. Eggs, sperm and viable embryos can be bought and sold like any commodity. The terrain is complex; there are many thorny ethical issues involved and very delicate emotional ones too. This is a book about surrogacy in India and how it transformed itself from a marginalized and socially unacceptable procedure into a multimillion dollar industry. It is a non-judgmental, open-minded enquiry into surrogacy laws (rather, the lack of them) and the many cogs in the process. Baby makers’ uses rigorous journalistic research and compelling personal narratives to paint a picture that is as fascinating as it is frightening.

Yes, just as the blurb says, the book is about Indian surrogacy. To begin with, I would like to congratulate the authoress on writing this book with such extensive research work to back it up. The language used throughout the book is a very easy to understand and simple. No fancy words have been used to make it look articulated; instead the writing shows that it has been written for the mass. Coming to the story, there isn’t only 1 story the book has shown. It is a combination of a few stories taken up from the real life of the whole cycle of surrogacy.

The book has shown parts of all of the cycle, starting from the surrogate, to the condition of the surrogacy house. Apart from all that, it has also shown the condition of the couple who are hiring the surrogate and the whole process in extensive detail. At the end of the book, you might just give your heart out to the characters inside the book. How the process is commenced and then completed. The highs and lows of the surrogates and the people who have hired and finally the process of taking the babies back to their own country. The whole process is very well described. The addition of the ‘laws’ of surrogacy has added to be the cherry on the cake for the readers.

This book can anytime be a must read for the people who want to opt for surrogacy, for they will be able to know all the intricacies involved in the process and then they can make up their mind on what to do and what not. The examples given in the book of the few cases related to surrogacy and the problems one might face is also an eye opener. Yes, it is true that today it has become a multi-million dollar business. The cons of the book, which I felt was that a few pictorial representations should’ve been there to make them more understandable. Apart from that, I don’t find any other con to speak about. A must read. I would like to rate the book 4.75 out of 5.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Derivation of Life by Viraj J Mahajan- a review

The total thought behind the book Derivation of Life by debut author Viraj J. Mahajan is worth applauding. I loved the way the cover has been designed with the matte finish that the designer has given. I loved the way the designer has brought in life to the cover. And this is very true that after seeing the cover, one surely turns to see the blurb and I am sure that after reading the blurb, one would start reading the book immediately.

According to the blurb- Archana always wanted to provide a perfect life for her family but the course of her life takes a drastic turn when she has her second child. Will her family have the same life ever again? Set in the early 90’s of Ujjain, Derivation of Life throws a light on a middle class family and their quest to find happiness.

The only reason why any reader will start reading the book will be the vague outline that the blurb gives about the story. After reading the blurb every reader will have an urge to know more about Archana and her life. What happened when her second child was born? I will like to congratulate the author for he has done a wonderful job in keeping the essence of the book alive inside the blurb itself.

The first thing I would like to mention to my readers is the wonderful way the author has started the book. The prologue is something that every reader looks forward to in any book. Especially coming from a debut author, the prologue is really good. From there, I was engrossed in the book throughout till the end. Coming to the story, I would like to say that the story was well thought of.

Having read many books till date, the expectations from any further book rises and the author of this book has lived up to the expectations one has from the story line. The characters were also very well written. Such were they, that any reader can visualize themselves in front of the characters, living their life and their moments. The flow that the story has coupled up with the narrating skills has brought in a new life to the characters.

If I talk about the cons of the book, I would like to say that the narrating could’ve been better at places. And the writing, maybe, a bit more refined. Another round of editing could’ve made this work more than what it is. A small polish to the whole book and its presentation could’ve taken the book to a whole new place. Having said that, a debut book is not much expected to be perfect. All in all, a wonderful read. I would like to read more from the author, giving the book 3.75 out of 5.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

The day that changed the course of my dreams!

In the world where living a life all alone is as tough as living with other people, all we need is someone or something pushing us towards a more optimistic life when all things fail. I am glad to have a few very treasured people in my life who tend to push me towards positivity and goodness whenever I lose hope. One such person is my fiancée. I am glad to say that I have got the best. The man in my life, though being a man of a few words, can fill my life with positivity and hope.

There was one such situation that brought us together and I can never forget that day. It was the day when I wanted to share my heart out to him. I wanted to tell him about my future about what kind of a future do I envision. I knew, after a much heated debate with myself that the kind of future I want wouldn’t actually be the perfect future one envisions for a partner or for a daughter but then I knew that I could never do something that I don’t want to or rather won’t be able to. So, gathering all those thoughts inside my mind and finding a reasonable moment to say, I gave my heart out to him.

I told him about what I want to do, what the situation is and what I am expected to do. I told him what I want to quit and what I always wanted to do. There is no doubt about the fact that I was damn scared when I was saying all this. But the fact that all this was on the phone actually helped. After I was done telling him everything, all he asked for was 20 minutes to call me back. I disconnected the line and was crying my heart out in the comfort of my home. I was scared as to what would happen.

But just then I got a call from him asking me to come down. It was 9o’clock at night and I couldn’t believe my ears when he said that he is in front of my house. The 17kms that distanced our houses was covered in just a matter of 15 minutes and he was there. As I went down and I saw him standing there, I couldn’t resist myself and I went on to hug him. He whispered in my ear “I love you” and at that moment that was all I needed. We found a place to sit in the nearby locality and as he held my hand tightly, he explained to me the pros and cons of every step I want to take.

Along with that, he also told me that he is there beside me in every step of my life that I take. I was really scared to what my mothers’ reaction would be when I will tell her about all this but he cooled me down and told me to go about this slowly. He even assured me that he will talk to my mum regarding all this. That was the perfect motivation and strength that I needed at that moment. I couldn’t stop the tears of happiness that were shedding from my eyes. That moment of relief had it all, the passion for my dream and the love of my fiancée. I was surprised to see that even then he hadn’t forgotten to bring me my favorite chocolates to cheer me up. As I went up to my room and he went back to his home, I was comparatively calmer. After dinner, I told my mother everything and even she was calm and she understood.

Today, as I sit here and recall the incident; I know. If that day, the man of my life wouldn’t have been there, I wouldn’t have been able to follow my dreams the way I am today. Such moments, with near and dear ones fill your life with positivity and happiness when you need them the most. I am really glad; I have not one but many such people in my life.

Note: this is a part of

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Change is the only thing that is constant

As history has it, change is something that is constant in every situation. Sometimes the change is good and sometimes bad. Sometimes, it might be for the good and sometimes for the bad. No matter how good or bad change is, the one thing that we can be sure of amongst all this is that, change is something that is one of the biggest contributions that our life gets in order to shape up our future in a more concrete way. There have been so many changes in one person’s life that it is next to impossible to keep a track on every change. But, there has to be certain good changes that have affected us in such a way that we can’t help but remember it and be thankful to it throughout our lives.

Men and women, both, go through changes in their lives in all stages. Women are one part of the society, who belongs to everybody. In one stage of their life, they are daughters. In the next stage, she is a sister. Following it, she is a wife. And then finally, she is a mother. In the circle of all these stages, she manages to be herself, be a woman. Today, being a woman, I would like to talk about the most significant change in a woman’s life. The day they get married. After years of living in their father’s home, uncontrolled, like a free bird, there comes a time when  they have to leave all that and go to a completely unknown house. Live with them; be theirs, as their daughter in law. This change brings with itself loads of other changes in the life of every woman.

The way they live, changes. Their mornings change, so does their nights. A girl who is used to live on her own now has to live on terms. But then, the change is for the better. Today, the person they are is a reflection of the kind of family they belong to keeping a side of their own house too. I remember, my best friend was a very tomboyish before her marriage. She was one girl who always used to run around, do random things without even caring about what others might think. She was sad, and lonely, I knew because I used to be her confidante. I still remember the day she got married, crying herself out and not letting me go. But today, when I see her with her husband and her 2 year old naughty kid, I know. She is one happy woman in her life. She had everything that she always wanted to. Her life has changed a lot she has become more responsible and more down to earth.

There was line which I wrote long back and the quote I made, still rings in my ears very often – “The girl who sits on the wedding seat, is entirely different from the woman who emerges from it…!” Changes, give way to a new confidence in everyone’s life that we never knew were there. Whether it is good or bad, the only thing that is in our hands is to accept the change and embrace it, for we should know that it will help us form our future in one strong way.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Positivity still reigns!

If we look into the dictionary and search for the meaning of ‘Optimism’ we usually get an idea of what it is. The idea of looking on to the more favorable side of events or conditions is the basic definition of the word. But to think of it, how many of us are actually optimistic when situations come? How do we see the glass at a glance? Half full or half empty? It might be any of the two, but the hope of positivity is something that gives a meaning to our lives and fills our heart with happiness. Among the many other stories I have, there is one favorite incident of mine that I want to recall but before that, I would like to thank IndiBlogger for bringing forth this wonderful topic to write upon and giving us all a chance to tell our story to the world.

Today, when we see the world around us, we see loads of mishaps happening. Incidents starting from rapes of women of all ages to road accidents and many more are coming into view like hot cakes. We, the citizens, sit back home and probably do nothing other than discussing what others should do and what they should not. We think of not letting the women of our lives go out late at night and impose certain rules on them. But do we ever think about the victims? How they are coping up? What should we do to avoid these things rather than suffocating the women of our family at home? The answer is NO!

One day, a group of friends were discussing about the issue. They were all trained in martial arts. They wanted to do something for the women of our society. If not anything drastic, they wanted at least to arm the women of their safety when they are out of their homes but they didn’t know what to do. They knew, the pessimistic world wouldn’t allow them to do anything. But they believed in finding positivity among all the negativities surrounding the environment. They wanted to break the shackles of pessimism. They planned on moving ahead with the plan they had made and visited each and every household of the neighborhood so that they allow the women of their family to join the self defense class they have started.

No one allowed the women of their family to join. You know the reason why? The founders of the class were boys! Days passed by but their classes weren’t getting any students. They were starting to give up when one day a girl went on to them and asked them to give her classes. As they started giving her the self defense classes, many more women of the area started to open up and come forward for the classes. Slowly, word spread out and today, there are almost 50 women and girls of all ages who come in batches and learn self-defense. They have their branches in many places and they plan to expand too. The charge is free, allowing women from all kinds of households to join the classes.

A few days back, when I accidentally met one of the founders in an event and talked to him about the whole scenario and the things they are doing, I felt that positivity still reigns. Optimism is the key to a wonderful future ahead!


Monday, 2 March 2015

The dreamer by Vivek Jain: a review

A wonderful blue background with a guy spreading his arms wide for the girl of his dreams- the cover of debut book “The dreamer” an unpredictable lover that couldn’t say anything by Vivek Jain is just that and much more. Where the cover remains such that can be lost in the numerous other novels of the genre, the blurb does its best as a pro for the book. The blurb is surely something that can entice readers to read the book at one go ever thinking about how the story will turn out to be till the end.

According to the blurb- Love does not mean having your mate on your side or does it? Can a guy love a girl in such an unpredictable way that she becomes his soul? Are all these ancient love stories like Romeo and Juliet fake? And if it is not, then can this kind of love happen in today’s generation? Vivek is a guy with a slight scientific bent of mind, who always tries to perform experiments related to various fields of science. At a school function, he meets a girl Shruti, who becomes his addiction… his princess, his angel…Goddess… the reason for his existence. He falls in love with her at first sight… handing over his entire life into her hands… Somehow, Vivek manages to speak to Shruti… then follows an addiction about her… a madness that knows no end. To prove his love for her, he designs a telescope to impress her. But four years later, a tragic change of fate enters their life. Shruti turns volte-face and refuses to even recognize or acknowledge Vivek. What is this story all about? Is destiny playing a game with Vivek? Or is Shruti playing a game with him? Or is there another angle? How will this love story end? Will Vivek win over Shruti… or will it remain an unfulfilled dream forever?

As far as the reality fiction is considered, the book can captivate the readers. But we cannot ignore the few places where the book seemed too over-hyped to be a reality fiction. The characters used in the book were real and that shows. Coming to the story, it was nice and the way it had been presented was also nice. It managed to keep the flow going at a pace of its own.

But I would’ve appreciated it more if the narrating style would’ve been a bit better than what it is now. The characters of the story come to life with the words of the author. Every character has a well defined personality and every character has a closure of its kind. The main protagonists of the story have been well maintained throughout the book giving the book its much needed essence.

For the cons I would like to say that the story could’ve been written in a more captivating way. The way it is now seems like it has been written for teenagers who are more into chick-lits. The book is not for the people who want to read a proper romance. The language in which the book is written is too over-bearing at parts. But I can’t ignore the moments where the book speaks a lot. I feel a much better edited version of the book could’ve been presented to the readers. For me, a onetime read; I would like to rate it 2.5 out of 5.