Monday, July 30, 2007

Book review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Name: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Author: J K Rowling

Publishers: Bloomsburry

Price: Rs 950/-

My rating: 4.5/5

A search for ‘Harry Potter’ in Google would return you a staggering 394 million results. This review, is just one of the drops of the ocean out there on the net. This series has become such a legendary phenomenon, that the world now consists of just two types of people – those who know him, and those who want to. And it is no surprise, that the people from the latter category are moving over to the former, in thousands and millions by the day – considering that the series is the third highest selling book ever, in history, and that, it has made the author J K Rowling, richer than the queen of England, and the only billionaire author ever.

Coming straight to the point - The last book in the series, ‘The Deathly Hallows’ is my best amongst the seven books. It was really worth going in the wee hours of the morning of 21st July, to the book store, where I had pre-ordered for it and enduring the serpentine queue, to lay my hands on it. J K Rowling has given the decade old saga, a befitting end – a wonderfully studded one, at that. She has closed several story threads, which remained open in the previous books, very artistically. Although, there are some small niggles which remain unanswered in the book, by and large, it gives a good satisfaction of having reached the end of a journey, which has held readers around the world riveted for years.

The story revolves around the quest of Harry Potter, and his friends Hermionie and Ron, to find the ‘Horcruxes’ of the evil Lord Voldermort, and destroy them, to kill him. What the ‘Deathly Hallows’ are, gets revealed somewhere in the middle of the story – and I wouldn’t rob you the suspense of finding it out for yourself. As for the question regarding whether the hero Harry, lives the war or not, I bet, almost everyone who has already read it, me included, would have definitely flipped through the last few pages, to find out the answer, before they got done with the entire book. The rest of them would know about it, from these people, who would nearly be celebrating the fact that Harry survives, as if he were a real hero, not just a fictional character.

The point is this. If you are a Potter fan, you would have already, or in will, in due course, read this book, irrespective of what I say here – be it in the form of a original copy borrowed from a friend, a pirated one picked up from a sidewalk on a street, or just the pirated pdf version which is doing the rounds in the emails. If you aren’t yet one, and if you like fiction and fantasy… or simply, are a lover of outstanding pieces of literary work… then... just don’t miss it!!

I love JKR…

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A hiatus...

Its been more than a month now... since I have taken a break from active blogging. My last significant piece of literary work on my blog was the short story on Global Warming, 90° N 0° W I had written for my company e magazine. And although it recieved really rave reviews from my readers, I have been struggling to get back my momentum on writing something similar - the same momentum that had helpled me slog 15 hours in 3 straight days to get that story complete in the nick of time, before the magazine went through for the month.

I do have good reasons to cite for this break... Initially, I'd been busy preparing for and taking my GMAT, which although went well, was a disappointment for me, coz i was not able to score as well had expected to. The weekend after that, I was busy with a Volleyball inter-corporate touranment, in which me made it to the semifinals in our first outing since i've joined Honeywell two years back. The weekend after that, i'd been to my native, after two months. The weekend after that, was my TOEFL exam - for which i barely prepared, and which rubbed more salt into my wounds of a not-so-good GMAT performance - I screwed up the speaking section in it (Speaking!! That too ME!!! Of all sections?? This, for a person who's the youngest trainer in the history of his company!! What an anticlimax!!). I still await the results of that test.

In between, and after these major events, i've been busy with a fresh influx of work at office - trying to make up for the short days i'd worked while busy with my exams, while remaining afloat in the deluge of new work! Add to it - release of the the much-awaited last book in the Harry Potter series - Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows (which i had pre-ordered) and a belated gift I got from Shalu di - The Google story - awakened the bookworm in me, which had been starved of good books for the past three months coz of my GMAT preparation... I'll take another week atleast to finish both these books...) - which means, i'm not yet done with my writing break!

Whew!! (pant pant!!) Lot of things i've been involved in lately - except for some creative writing... Realizing that i needed to gear up, and sharpen my worsmithy skills for the upcoming apping times for my dream B-schools, and to finish another story I have promised for the next edition of our magazine, i have made this desperate attempt to offload my heart and mind of a burden...

Aah.. that feels better... guess the next short story is just around the corner somewhere!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Free hugs... (INEPS Campaign)

One of the most heart-warming videos I have seen in a long time... With a wonderful message at the end...

I wouldn't want to steal the magic from the video by explaining a lot about it... watch it for the impact it makes! :-)

Thanks to Divya, my friend, for sending me this one...

And here are the lyrics of the song i found on the net: (Thanks bonafide)

I don't mind where you come from

As long as you come to me
I don't like illusions I can't see
Them clearly

I don't care no I wouldn't dare
To fix the twist in you
You've shown me eventually
What you'll do

I don't mind...
I don't care...
As long are you're here

Go ahead tell me you'll leave again
You'll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It's all the same
And I'll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
Do it all over again
It's all the same

Hours slide and days go by
Till you decide to come
And in between it always seems too long
All of a sudden

And I have the skill, yeah I have the will
To breathe you in while I can
However long you stay
Is all that I am

I don't mind...
I don't care...
As long are you're here

Go ahead tell me you'll leave again
You'll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It's all the same
And I'll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
Do it all over again
It's always the same

Wrong or right
Black or white
If I close my eyes
It's all the same

In my life
The compromise
I close my eyes
It's all the same

Go ahead say it you're leaving
You'll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It's all the same
And I'll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
Do it all over again
It's all the same...

(Translation of the message:
AIDS is not transmitted this way.
But love is.
Together let us fight discrimination.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Resaturant review: City Choice Restaurant





City Choice Restaurant (Non – Veg)

16th Main, BTM II Stage (Next to Udupi Garden restaurant)

Very reasonable prices, good food, good location.

No parking space of its own.

Other than the non-availability of seats on weekends, the other major concern regarding eating out in Bangalore is the exorbitant cost involved in it. A huge consumer base, consisting predominantly of the IT folks in Bangalore, and the shortage of restaurants, with good food, has driven the cost of eating in the “good” restaurants northwards.

City Choice Restaurant in 16th Main, BTM II Stage provides you the best of the two worlds – great food at extremely reasonable rates. Sample this – Tandoor, Chinese starters – Rs. 35-60, Side dishes – Rs. 40 – 60. Rice items – Rs 50 – 60. Roti, naan etc – Rs. 8 – 15… and for the quality of food you get there, you’ll really start wondering if it you are sitting in a restaurant in such a central location in Bangalore. Some of my favorites include – Pepper Chicken, Lemon Chicken, Kalmi kabab, Methi Kulcha, Chicken Biryani and Kadai Chicken.

This restaurant probably may not be the place where you would want to go to, on a team lunch, or if ambience plays a great role in your eat-out experience. The ambience is average – nothing special to mention about. But if food is on your mind – you can still enjoy it on the comfortable couches, on tables separated by high dividers, which give you decent privacy. One more hitch, is the non-availability of parking place associated with the restaurant. You may need to park your vehicle a little away, in one of the by-lanes nearby.

So, for all those staying in and around BTM, this would be a good place to savor some delicious Mughalai and Tandoor food, without having to worry about making your purse very much lighter.