Book Review: Balraj

Do you have the strength to give up everything in a quest to find happiness?

I was amazed on reading the tag line on the back of the book I received in my mail last week.It was ‘Balraj’ written by Manoj Jain. This petite book was a quite read and unputdownable until you read all 142 pages in the book.The journey of Balraj in the different cities of India relates to different phases one has to go through in the life.The transformation from unbecoming of Inder to becoming Balraj was described in the way keeping all the arguments in mind one would think before taking such a big leap.

The life of Inder, before becoming Balraj majorly takes into account the dilemma what every person on the earth feels once at a time about his life,career etc.The new journey is always as exciting as when he reached Jaipur and landed up in a cafe. The phase in Varanasi was equally interesting in addition to the point of time when the protagonist has to decide about what he should to do next. The author has chosen the billboard has a sign to provide inspiration to the protagonist and amazingly it appears at every point like we see.

I found the book quite short as more sabbatical points could have been added to Balraj’s journey. There were many use of brackets in the starting pages of the book in which author tried to define about previous life of Inder. However, it declined in the later pages.Due to its short size, I feel it has room for more addition and improvement of the book.
I would rate it as 3.5/5 as per my review.

Day Twenty: Wrap It Up | Thank You

screenshot_20170410-161607.pngFinally, I have been able to wrap up the twenty day challenge of wordpress. This is my twentieth and last post for the everyday inspiration challenge. Having said this, it does not mean I will stop here. I will make sure that I keep my regular continuity here and keep writing here.The journey was refreshing,enthusiastic and energizing. I have never written this many posts in my life. The truth is , I kept on searching for words for the entire day during this challenge. I think due to this commitment and your timely encouragement in the form of likes and comments, I was able to complete it on time.

The whole twenty day journey was quite amazing. There were some prompts when I liked to write on them and had huge ideas in my mind. For example, I liked to write about ‘A Series of Anecdotes‘ and ‘A Letter To Myself‘. These were encouraging.For some prompts, I had to struggle a lot and had to ask my friends about the suggestions. I suggest everyone who wants to be a blogger and have not written much, should take up this activity.

I would like to thank everybody associated with it. I appreciate you took time to read my posts and provided feedback which I needed most.I hope to get your continuous support towards my journey. till then CIAO..

Rab Rakha!

Day Nineteen: List of Posts I like

Blogs and posts, I like:

1) The Yellow Bus
“The Yellow Bus” is amazingly written series of love anecdotes which revolves around yellow bus.The intense relationship described between the characters is brilliant.

2) The Bride Was Gone
“The Bride Was Gone” is quite an interesting read.The writer explains how a mother plans a ravish wedding for her daughter.Her daughter wants it her own way and elopes from home just before the marriage. Finally, mother feels peace after she comes to know that her daughter is happy.

3) A Series of Anecdotes | My Book

They say the best is yet to come, but you always have that one piece that is best among the rest till now.So from posts, “A series of Anecdotes” is the one that I considered the best. I have described the on and off relationship between me and my favorite book.

I will add more links whenever I heart any. Till then, CIAO!

Rab Rakha!

Day Eighteen: A Series of Anecdotes | My Book

Relationship:
She was watching me from across the shelves. I gazed at her. She looked away and started blushing.Quite stunned by her blue dress, I was mesmerized.I picked her up and went to the counter. The young boy at counter enveloped her and gave it to me. Yes, she was my favorite book ‘Heer’.

Anger:
She was watching me from across the shelf. I gazed at her. She looked away angrily. Quite stunned, I asked her what happened. She did not respond.I asked her again. She , furiously, said,” go with your Red one. Don’t talk to me”.Yes, I was reading the another one.

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Love:

She was still watching me from across the shelf.I gazed at her. I tried to touch her. She stepped ahead.Naughtily, she pecked on my hand.I hold her.She was in my hands then. She was so beautiful I could not keep her aside. For the next three days, we were cuddling in the same bed till I listened her story completely. I kept her back in the shelf. I did the harsh thing.

Separation:

She was watching me from across the shelf.I gazed at her loving eyes. Those were wet. I knew the time had come for the next phase. Someone had come home that day to take her.With moist eyes, I gave her a peck on her cheeks and handed over to her new praiser. The separation had happened and it was the hardest thing.I wanted her to light as many hearts. I was happy inside that she is going to be a torch bearer for masses.

Day Seventeen: A Map as Your Muse | College

There is a path that leads to heaven. There is a path that leads to a liberal world. Not all are so fortunate to have the experience of that path. For me , it started from my home and after traversing for 40 miles, I reached a place that is called as college. Yes, I was fortunate enough to have experience the life beyond,
to live on your own, at your own terms , freely with your like minded friends.

Early in the morning, I used to wait at the train station for my train that would lead me to a city named as Ferozepur. The city has a historical culture. It was a hub of freedom movement before India was freed.The place is close to Pakistan border and is last from the Indian side. The soldiers of both nations India and Pakistan performs a flag retreat ceremony everyday at the Hussainiwala border, which is just 10 miles from Ferozepur. After deboarding the train at Ferozepur Railway Station, we had to take a local taxi to reach college, which was about further 4-5 miles away.
At the train station ,we always happened to meet fellow college mates who used to be coming from different cities to attend college. There was always a energetic and fresh environment with the people talking about various activities happening in their family or cities.

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The college, the place where I spent significant four years of my life, was known as Shaheed Bhagat Singh College of Engineering and Technology (SBSCET) was not just an educational institute,but everything that would make us learn how to live life with dignity, how to behave with others, how to respect others views, to fall in love, then fall in love with everything related to it.
When you lost your love, the same place offers its shoulder to cry on.


The place is where I met my lifelong friends, who still stand by me through thick and thin in spite of wherever they are.We had done so many things together from sharing rooms, class projects, traveling, eating, business ventures.
we share each and everything with each other.

The place which gave you so many things , how can you forget about it. How can not you revere it. It will always have a special place in my heart, in my life.
Whenever it would call me, whenever it would want me, I would be readily available to reach to it. It has no less religious significance.

image and map courtesy: google

Day Sixteen: Poem | Solitude

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I never had anything in my drafts which goes unpublished. Though being a procrastinator, many ideas did not come on paper. So the drafted posts always remained locked in a bottle inside my mind and I threw the bottle in the sea. For the day sixteen, I was asked to complete something, that I left unread, unpublished, unnoticed in my drafts. As my blog drafts were empty, I searched for my heart and mind and found that I wanted to write a poem since long back. Yesterday night, it was complete aura to write. A little drizzle, cool breeze , darkness and solitude engulfed me and quickly , I penned down a small poem in Hindi. I translated it to English today. here it is :

Wandering in the.life, come to this point
The benign time and the thick shade
Longing in the heart
Solitude, quietness

Humming breeze
Drizzling droplets
The bard sings
My heart longs for you

Day Fifteen: Take a Cue From Your Reader

When I wrote the post for day six Day Six: The Space to Write,I was given a task to ask my reader for suggestions for day fifteen post.My friend and fellow blogger (newmoonplan)  suggested me to write my ideal place for rest and relaxation.

The only ideal place for relaxation is my bed. I feel relaxed when I finally lay down on my bed. There is nothing more relaxing that a sound sleep.I must tell that I am not a fan of afternoon naps. I rarely sleep during mid days.

There are many other things which I do for relaxation. If I have been working whole day on a computer, the eyes feel heavy, I prefer to go for a short stroll or have a cup of coffee.Whenever I have to walk longer distance, the body feels weary, I opt to stop walking for sometime,sit somewhere and observe the nature.

Reading books make me feel relaxed when I am mentally tired. If I talk to somebody for long or I am stuck in any long meetings, body may not feel tired, mind surely does.Books are the things that present relief to the mind.

Overall  it depends on the mood too. Sometimes, I do prefer to listen to music,or talk to any old friend whenever I feel anxiety. Our bodies develop their own inner system to recover and relax.I feel everybody has his unique own ways to relax.What are your ways to relax.Do share your thoughts.

Rab Rakha!

Day Fourteen: Recreate a Single Day | Story

“My … name is …Anuj and and …I..am from ..from….DD..Delhi”

A simple looking boy  with a  wheatish  complexion and a little whiskers introduced himself in his stuttering voice to the first ever class of English.The girl sitting behind him, Venus, was laughing  at and was making fun of his English ability. After her own introduction , She talked to her friend about Anuj and again laughed.

The class was over after the preliminary introduction round of the all students.There were two more classes. Venus started feeling sleepy.The parathas she ate in the morning had started showing its effect. She could barely open her eyes.Anuj was listening enthusiastically to each and every detail like a new born baby looks at everyone around with amazement.

When the classes were over, it was time for a lunch break. Venus turned around and found a few students inside the class.Anuj had vanished somewhere.Venus along with her friend, came to college gate to get ‘Chole Kulche‘. Ram Lal was famous in the area for his spicy and delicious ‘Chole Kulche‘.Students and teachers of the college  crowd around him to get their hands on the snacks.Venus, when reached, ordered two plates of ‘Chole Kulcha‘ and started talking to her friend.

Beta Anuj, serve  madam with Chole Kulche” Ram Lal asked his son to serve Venus. Venus was surprised on hearing this name and looked back at the boy.He was the same boy who was in the class today.On seeing her surprised face, Ram Lal explained her,” He is my son ji. Very intelligent. He wanted to study English and was preparing from three years to get into this college. Today his dream has come true.”

Venus was feeling guilt over her act of making fun and left the place in haste.

Day Thirteen: Play With Word Count

When I step out today for the evening stroll, I was wondering about how the things have changes in my life.During my school days, I was a brilliant student. Studying well, scoring good marks and be-friend with everyone. these were my attributes.Every teacher used to like me and thought that I would a very successful person one day. If I am successful or not, that I do not know. My life has surely not been what I had thought would be.

In my previous post as I had mentioned that when I was introduced to the library concept, the seed of reading was seeded inside me and in few days, I have read all the literary books available in it, though the count was not much high.I have always shaped myself as a writer.From nowhere my classmates would ask me write some rhymed lines for the school events.

I still remember the day, when I caught hold of a collection of novels written by Punjabi writer, Amrita Pritam. They were ‘Ikraarnama’ and ‘Chakk number 36’.I was so engrossed into it that i read it completely in one sitting. I forgot my daily jobs. I forgot my homework.I forgot playing.I became a book worm.I pictured myself as a writer. I started writing ‘writer’ in my signatures. I penned down many poems. I penned some posts in my diary.

Next, the thing happened , what was bound to happen. I completed reading all novels that my library owned. Now I was out of reading material.The city in which I used to live do not have any book shop that would sell story books or novels.All the book shops had only academic books. In the lack of reading material, my thirst for reading kept on increasing day by day.

After completing my school education, I moved to another city to get college education. In new city, I met new people, made new connection.The new city was larger and broader than my previous city.Most of the new friends used to live in the hostel. So we were in reach of each other through out the day. Everyone owned different type of books. Now using give and take method, we had a large pool of books available.

I had a broader range available now. I was able to satiate my hunger of reading to some extent.Those four years were like experimenting with reading new authors.I read the books written by Ravinder Singh, Sidney Sheldon, Robin Sharma, Chetan Bhagat along with regional writers like Amrita Pritam, Gurdial Singh, Nanak Singh, Shiv Kumar, Paash, Balwant Gargi etc. My writing passion also bloomed. I wrote some poems and articles.A few of my poems were published in my college magazine.I started my own blog and wrote a few posts there. Though when I read those post later, I did not like them much.

After spending the four glorious years in college, it was time to move on to the real world. Time to get job and earn some money.I shifted to another big city for job prospects. This time, it was a metro city. My exposure was increasing. Now I was earning money, I could buy my own books the way I want.Tragically, my reading habit declined. I was not able to focus on reading books. Whenever I pick up the book to read, I was hardly able to read beyond some ten pages.Though, I was buying a large number of books. My to-be read list was shooting up. Reading speed was declining. I could complete only few books.Whenever I would visit any book shop, I would tell my mind that I had to complete the unread books first that are lying in the house before buying new one.However going through the shelf of book store, I would always end up buying one or more books. Now my hobby had shifted from reading books to buying books.I felt depressed. My writing habit was also affected.It happened for five years. Then I decided to move to a new city. I thought that new city might bring about change in me.

I was partially right. I started picking up books for reading and started regaining my speed. I started enjoying books. I stopped wasting my time on watching tv or youtube.I read many novels and a few short story collection books.This new city opened the path to new dimensions. I started taking part in literature festival. I went to a few books fairs. I had grabbed a few old classic novels.I subscribed to city library to lay my hands on the sea of books. This city library had a good collection of regional literature which otherwise is rarely available on book stores.I was enjoying the found path. I also started writing new blog posts. My blog was more lively.The credit goes to wordpress too to incite the feeling for writing inside me. It is first time in my lifetime that I am writing a post everyday that too from last two weeks.

I hope that I will be able to keep up with my habit of reading and writing. I feel contented when I write something. The emotional feeling is beyond words.

Current post is for day thirteen post. It was about to writing post on any subject in any genre. the condition was that length should be different from earlier posts. I brainstormed a lot but could not find any idea to write. At last, I started without anything in mind and this post was the result. I have mentioned few of these things from this in previous posts.  This has some elaborated  portions than previous posts.

My earlier posts had around 300-500 words. I decided to write a long post of about 1000 words. I will write more in next post. Do provide your feedback about this one.

Rab Rakha!

Day Twelve: Reading the unread

booksWhen I was 11 years old, I learnt about the purpose of library one day.I went to my school library and checked the library catalogue.Sadly, apart from some course academic books, it had very limited literary books.The first book I laid my hands on was ‘The Train to Pakistan’. I read it in a single day and returned the book next day to the library and got new books issued. In next few days , I read all the novels or story books that our library possessed. The librarian was quite impressed. She even tried to grab new novels for me, so I could read more. That library laid the foundation for my hobby of reading books. Since then I have read numerous books. Apart from English books, I have read many Punjabi and few Hindi books too.

Lately when I joined college, I read the book ‘Five Point Someone’, which was quite short and frankly , I was impressed by it and I continued my journey of reading books in college.

When I started working, it was then , when I faced the backlash. I could not find time to read books.I got into habit of buying books but could never start reading them. If I start them, then could not be able to complete it.The unread shelf of books was increasing day by day. Whenever I visited my home, I would take a large pile of unread books with me and then again buy new after coming back.The increasing list of unread books was depressing my state of mind.

Few months back, I felt my desire for reading was vanishing. I felt depressed about it. I wanted to regain it.I grab a few books that interested me and  started reading them, and slowly I was on track. I have read a few short story collections and some novels in few months. My target is to complete reading 25 books in this year. So far I have completed reading 9 books in 3 months. I have subscribed to a local library to satisfy my need of grabbing books. The library issues me three books at a time and I can keep them for a month.

So I got a deadline to complete the books. This has enabled me to stand up from my bed and start reading. I have observed that when I have the time set for the book , the reading is fast and enjoyable.So once again the library is playing a part in revitalizing my hobby of book reading.When I know that I have free time to complete the book, I become lethargic and read few pages in a day and would forgot all the matter when I would start next after few days.I feel really happy to be on track.

How do you cope up when you feel backlash about your hobby. how do you satiate your hunger of reading. Do let me know below. till them CIAO.

Rab Rakha!

PS: The books in the picture are the ones which I grabbed when I visited Delhi Book Fair in January 2017.