Deception Point : Review

Book : Deception Point
Author : Dan Brown
Genre`: Science Thriller
Published By : Pocket Books
In : 2001
Ratings : 2.5/5
Cover Image : Good

I have read Deception Point after Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code and Digital Fortress. Naturally, it was a let down.
Though I was not much impressed by one of the above said either, it was definitely better then this. 
In Deception Point Brown had touched a new low. The story, characters (always his strong point) even the 'mystery find' was a huge let down in  more then one ways. A true deception.

Plot
 Rachel Sexton is an able Intelligence Officer (gister) with NRO and is the daughter of the chief political rival of the president of America .She is being dispatched by the President to the Arctic to witness, confirm and advertise the 'earth shattering discovery' of the millennium - a meteorite excavated from under tons of ice by the NASA. After the extraction and analysis the meteorite confirms the presence of extra -terrestrial life in space! 
The much needed news is life saving for the Presidential elections as it will help boost the NASA image of a money sucker from the minds of American junta. So,the checking, scientific analysis and confirmation is all done and with certificates of authenticity from NASA as well as four independent and popular scientists-cum-celebrity experts and Rachel Sexton the president announced the discovery to the masses only to know that he as well as the American junta has been deceived. Now the lives of the protagonist Rachel and the celebrity scientist with hero like looks are in acute danger.... 
ANALYSIS
One can breeze trough the book if not looking for the story and its rational progression as Brown's narration of Arctic Ice, ice berms and the ocean currents was nicely picturesque.
The book let you feel the frost and the chill in more then one ways. Pun Intended.
Its fine if  taken as a Discovery Arctic Episode on Meteorites buried under Arctic Ice. One will get nuggets of information such as Its the Arctic which have  polar bears as etymologically Arktos= bear and Antarctic i.e. Anti=not and arktos =bear so in Antarctic no polar bears are found!

A point to praise is the time capsule Brown created for the incidents to happen... Just one day!All 500+ pages inked by the incidents of slightly more then 24 hrs.  This is something incredibly good as though the events ,the twists were poor and tacky the pace felt believably good and logical.

Characters were a big let down. Gabrielle Ashe evolved as an interesting character in the pool of stark white and black caricatures.
The hi-tech,highly trained Delta Force persons blundered like Gali ke goons in Hindi-film-style. :D

VERDICT
I will not recommend it to anybody.
Though others by the same the author you are welcome to read as I am waiting for the next Dan Brown.

Kodak Moments!

Moments which made me forget the blood and sweat , in that order, of parenting. The tears and stress, frown lines, the hoarse voice and the way I pack lunch boxes in my sleep, the list is endless. 
The Happy Kodak Shots :D

Mama's Pet ! Happy Day 83.

Sitting on the Rainbow ! Happy Day 84
Ready to Paint!
Happy  Day 85.



On Seat Of Brotherhood and Peace- A rare occasion
Happy Day 86

A happy moment on a rushed up Monday
 Happy Day 87

Just Before starting Holi ....
Happy Day 88

Meera Bai  Pihu 
Happy Day 89

Flying High
Happy Day 90
Awsome Twosome
Happy DAy 91

A Jane Austen Mystery !

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Book : Jane and The Unpleasantness Of The Scargrave Manor
Author : Stephanie Baron
Genre` :  Austen Mystery
Published in: 1996 by Crime line Publishing.


"I would rather spend an hour among the notorious than two minutes with the dull. "
                            -Stephanie Baron from the mouth of Jane Austen.
I love Agatha Christie and I Love Jane Austen.One can easily imagine my bliss when I saw the two writing styles and genre`so dear to me being merged into one.An Austen Mystery ..WOW

The book is a rare one (at the time of buying I was not aware of a full series) as in it the author Jane Austen is the protagonist and her formidable powers of wits, observation,quick analysis and deduction are put to better(?) use then writing Novels of Manners.
Here she is the accidental spy caught in a plot of some one else and sleuthing around for the sake of the damsel in distress, the heroine.

The Plot
It starts with Jane visiting the country residence of her newly married friend Isobel. There at Scargrave Manor instead of pleasure and a respite from her own problems she found herself deeply tangled in to a web of murder,deceit and danger. The situation was not merely un-pleasant but had larger implications as in terms of politico-military relations of France and England .
How Jane untangles the web and what developments of personal and social nature occur is what the story is made up of.

CAST - 
All characters are well drawn,unbelievably believable,have depth in them and are rich in layers.The lovely Delahoussaye ladies,the contradictory Hearst Brothers and of course the object of Isobel's affection - the silver haired Lord Fitzroy Payne, a character which is described in the Editor's note as the basic model for the famous Mr. Darcy but you can easily see or not see that its vice-versa ! Its Lord Payne who is moulded on the lines of the brooding,silent and proud Hero of Pride and Prejudice. 
But the review is incomplete without mentioning the towering Lord Harold Trowbridge. (Read the book ! Its worth it.)

The Style
I must say that the writing style is incredibly similar to Austen.The book is written in the form of letters and pages of  Jane's journal and there is not a single paragraph where one would feel it all to be fictitious not written by Ms Austen HERSELF ! Well placed Editor's notes increase the authenticity and spontaneity of the journal which so unlike the nature of Editor's notes !!. 

VERDICT
GOOD ! 
It is well written and well researched book bound to thrill you even you are not an Austen fan. 
For more on this and others in the series visit HERE .

Classic and Contemporary

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Books are my life-blood and I have read them irrespective of  hype,writers and genre.
 There are some which I enjoyed, some I admired and some I am awed by. 
Long before internet and blogging, I, as a kid use to list down every book I would read in a small green and white 'SAFE EXPRESS' diary given to me by a loving aunt. 
That diary is missing from past one year,almost the same time I took to blogging, and an urgent visit to my hometown perhaps, can solve its disappearance. In that list (started from 1990s) there were no categories,only titles and author.
 I marked a star near to those which I liked and a heart near to the ones I loved ! 
When I took to blogging, I wanted to make a bookshelf page for my

 blog for which, I had to categorize books.From here the trouble began...

What is termed as Sahitya/ Classic and what is Contemporary is not to be decided simply as old and new stuff but it has to be based on a meaningful distinction.My understanding of Classics is greatly influenced by my mother's views. She 
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is herself a Classic lover,a daughter of Classic lover parents and was a wife to a husband with similar tastes augmented with philosophical cadence.No wonder she studied Literature in college and retired as a teacher of the same.

Googling the net and Wikipedia definitions worked as a bonus for this topic and I am ready with my definition of Classics in following points-

My first point is to define it,followed by the matter it deals with, the

 impact it makes and the way it is written.In the 5th one, I pointed out a trivia which was hard to ignore.


Austen
1.) Classics are immortal and universal

 - shashvat aur Sarvbhoumik.
These are the books which stand the test of times and have a  timeless appeal  to readers across oceans and centuries.

 2.)The emotions and life situations of these are aviral ,nirantar - continous and spontanous . 
These depict the catharsis of human psyche` in combat with the mighty forces of nature, destiny and harsh realities of the living world.

3.)These impart knowledge,wisdom,a clarity of mind and soul and have a message or philosophy to be discovered (not always earth shatteringly new). 
Hardy
4.) These are beautifully written. 
Be it in the simple and heart wrenching words of Premchand or the fluent, literary language of Shivani , the poignant and picturesque narration of Thomas Hardy or sharp and charmingly witty writings of Agatha Christie... Classics boast of distinctive styles and exemplary writings ..
 And as per me the Classic writing Style need not to be flowery language decked with  philosophical tendrils and psychological dew drops but, a simple writing which touch the heart,prompt reflection and provides a window to the soul.

5.)Interestingly,a common feature of classic is that most of them were banned in their times.
Gaura Pant Shivani
As they defied sticking to the rule-book of their times,they aroused unjust criticism and most of
 them were banned.So,their worth is understood after a long time of their emergence.

                          ***
Here I rest my case and sincerely hope that the points presented here do justice to Classics.
Its essential for me to make a clear breast that I am not in unison with people labeling ALL the century old stuff as Classic and shun ALLthe new stuff of past 10-15 years as Modern. 
So I found the term Contemporary Classics a dear one :)

And wait for a second as this anonymous guy has nicely summed up my idea of classic which I took pages to explain !! :D

 'Classics are books your fathers give you and you keep them to give to your children"

Listening to the Nothings


Pic. 1 - NO !
All she want is, what she wants!
This time it were the roses her father brought for her. Ma dearest was not at all understanding/divining what daughter dearest was too proud to speak! Clearly, it was a helpless situation, for both of us.             
 What exactly happened was that I dressed her up for a neighbour's party but instead of her usual chirpy self and radiant expressions, she was carrying a glum, offended and hurt look. Doubting nothing, I pinned a red rose on her dress, and
PIC 2. Little pleased 
She looked a little pleased. I thought, she wanted to pose with flowers so, I made a small bunch of roses and gave it to her. Immediately, her eyes lost the pensive look and she gave a hint of smile.  
PIC 3 -You are Doing Fine Mom!
Pic 4- Happy Day 82
Still understanding little I  'asie hi'  just for a lark, pinned a yellow rose in her hair and it was then that I got the usual dazzling-party-wala smile!                        Then it dawned on me that she wanted me to understand her longing for the floral décor but was embarrassed  to 'ask'. The reason of her sulking and my bewilderment was solved and quite understandably it was my fault .                               



"Ma should ought to understand her whims and fancies,
all her moods,benevolent and antsy,
whether she likes the rose or pansy,
Ma must gauge it with out being grumpy. "

In the pics one can see the transition from a No-snaps-stage to  Okay-I-am-fine-stage to a-little-pleased-stage to the-Hurray stage.  May Lord have mercy on me and make me wise and calm while dealing with my angels. Amen.

Dear God ! Pray, Continue...


Dear God! If you have ever travelled for one day and two nights on an Indian Railways Rajdhani or any Express that too with two hyper active kids and without a husband/brother/mother.... that is, alone on your own, only then you will be able to relate to my words about the following pics. 
My children felt - "The journey is AWESOME Ma! "
I - smiling all the way, clicking pics for memories, adoring their happiness despite being on the verge of tears and somehow feeling joy despite being and looking so haggard!
Rewards of motherhoodand of being a good wife!


Pihu  to my dismay, always think the compartment as a gymnasium  and  to my irritation, behaves accordingly!

Anindy thinks the compartment to be a plush hotel room and expects to be treated accordingly in terms of food, fun and frolic where fun is translated as comfort and frolic as TV.
Dear Ma is taking care of the whims of children and is looking more of a poor Ma as Anindy clicks this picture.
(Happy Day 81)

Still, don't know why, I am thankful for the too-some twosome.

The (W)Hole of Creation


IndiBlogger BadgeDo you know I just witnessed whole of  the creation in front of my house? Read on.
Pihu  and the (w)hole of Life.
An underground water line leaked and broke in front of my maternal house, for the repairment of which, a big hole was dug by the municipality people. It was filled with muddy water and instantly became a hit with Pihu who became nothing less then enchanted by it. So much so, that she insisted on posing with it! 
By the time the prompt government labour was able to fill it up, it became a breeding house for mosquitoes and a plethora of other insects.
Children splashed stones in to it, stray dogs quenched their thirst from it, and my son along with his gang, started studying the life breeding in and around it. Pihu was sure she saw tiny tadpoles swimming in it ! 

Thus, suddenly, the slushy water hole became the center of their universe with creation of life happening in front of them. Pihu with saucer eyes called it Whole of Creation! Saari Zindagi..she said.


Stop Boys! Happy Day 80
Pihu got ready to meet the lil 'freinds'
Concerned, I poured a little petrol to crush the mosquito population and instantly gained the title of a 'Killer Mom' much to the envy of the Kill Bill Uma Thurman! 

The next morning, afternoon and evening was dedicated in survey of the 'bodies' of 'poor' mosquitoes  floating over the iridescent petrol layer. Anindy was quick to point out the beauty of their death bed and used the word Ajeeb which he uses to define irony. I was secretly pleased about him understanding the irony concept. Ironical ? 

At night the discussion veered towards - "how the departed souls must be faring en` route to the next world?
What will happen to them ?
 What about their next birth?" ...... 
and finally -
 'Ma, I am worried for you.They can come back to take revenge and perhaps now at this very moment all souls of mosquitoes have united and are coming to attack with vengeance!'  

Only after me and Anindy gave a full one hour lecture on health, hygiene and safety, Pihu was convinced that the 'killing' was indeed necessary. She blasted those who are not promptly filling the hole and are the ACTUAL cause of this 'bloodshed'.She told me that she was equally concerned about me too as much as she was for the mosquitooes and their babies. I felt lucky to be in her list !
And on this note of mutual satisfaction,world peace and universal love, she slept. I took a deep breath and offered a prayer to the departed souls.
 Good Night.

With Emily Dickinson

Happy Day 78 : https://mormonshare.com/lds-clipart/bird-and-wor

These are two stanzas from a poem read by me in my childhood  which I remembered today on seeing a bird having a gala feast! Indeed a remarkable feat.... The poem ! 

"A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.


Happy Day 79 
And then he   drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped side wise to the wall
To let a beetle pass."                                         - Emily Dickinson

Glimpses of Happiness !

Some moments are of pure delight 
The times when tedium,boredem flies
And happiness spreads its warmth in my heart
Praise the Lord! These two are doing it right from the start... -'making me smile' 

Pihu always wrap this towel turban around her head  pretending to no other but herself as if she has LONG hair....It makes her SOo happy . Bound to be a happy day 73

What happens when Pihu gets a chance to get ready by herself ? Bright neon lip-colour ,flower-ring,beaded chains for bracelets,my stone bindis for ear studs (her ears are still not pierced) and all bling accessories her short hair can support ! Happy Day 74

With my  awesome twosome any journey is fun , but during our trip to Andhra Pradesh when we got stuck in a traffic jam for four hours this was how they made us laugh. Happy day 75 

In the temple premises : The stout iron chains became the swing for Pihu and soon 'dada' followed course!  Happy day 76

Anindy,Pihu and Tushaar at my hometown. Though Anindy is just a  9 year old, Tushaar ,being from his Nani's place, is ALWAYS referred to as his 'childhood' friend- bachpan ka sathi. It makes Pihu jealous and she tries hard to make her own 'childhood' friend ...No Luck yet! So she'd forcefully butt-in between them evoking this picture of forced emotions on Anindy's part :D
Happy Day 77

A Flower Bloom, So Does Hope

"I have a garden of my own,
Shining with flowers of every hue
I loved it dearly while alone
but I shall love it more  with you
Happy Day 71 : Ralph Aldo Emerson and Marabeth Quin 
And there the golden bees shall come
In the summer time at the break of morn
And break us with their busy hum
Around the Shia's fragrant thorn "
                                             Thomas Moore. 
Happy Day 72 : Art by Donald Zohan

Happy Feet

Nothing happens until something moves ! 
Albert Einstien.
Happy Day 70 (http://wrensden.blogspot.in/)

Happy Night and Happy Day


“Though my soul may set in darkness, 

it will rise in perfect light; 

I have loved the stars too fondly ,

to be fearful of the night.”

                                                                             Sarah Williams.

Happy Day 68

"Through primrose tufts,
in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes."

                                                                         -  William Wordsworth

Happy Day 69

The Second Mrs. Gioconda : Review

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Book : The Second Mrs. Gioconda
Author : E.L. Konigsburg
Genre : Mystery
Published by : Simon and Schuster Children Publications
 Year : 1975

WHY,people ask,why did Leonardo da Vinci chose to paint the portrait of the second wife of an unimportant merchant when dukes and duchesses all over Italy and the King of France as well, were all begging him for a portrait by his hand? Why?

The book claims it 'lies' with  Salai-a petty thief, a shameless liar and the youngest apprentice in Leonardo's studio. 
It revolves around Leonardo, Salai and Beatrice- a young Duchess with a plain face and a beautiful soul. 
Other characters of II Moro - Beatrice 's husband and  duke, Isabella- Beatrice's elder sister, Cecila- II Moro's true love and 
the Renaissance life - a character in itself give beauty and depth to the author's interpretation of the historical events.
How Monalisa- the second wife of Mr. Gioconda came into picture and was turned into 'the' picture/portrait is the carefully wrapped up end of the book.
The book is short,beautifully written and is well paced.Though its target reader is the young adults, it is a pleasant read for all age groups. The author, E.L.Konigsburg(she passed away last year)is a noted writer for children who wrote from their perspective , generally after interacting with them. This quality of her,has rendered simplicity to the complex plot, illumination to the layered characters and  a connect to the people in the book in bare minimum words.

VERDICT : A good read.