Friday, January 27, 2012

The Reluctant Detective by Kiran Manral - Book Review

The Reluctant Detective

With a whole lot of buzz around Kiran Manral’s new book, I was looking forward to grab it soon. And my excitement was justified thoroughly. A completely fun read, the book nudged my funny bones on enough occasions. And, I was merrily giggling almost till the finish.

The story is about Kanan Mehra aka Kay, a suburban home maker in Mumbai who recounts her life in a sequence of witty narratives laced with funky attitude. Recent murders in her apartment lead this uber housewife to ditch her fears and reluctantly aid in solving the case. In the centre of the storm by virtue of being the last person to have seen one victim and the first one to chance upon the other, Kay’s otherwise seemingly perfect life takes a tumble as she finds herself inadequate to deal with strangers including the policemen. No, she does not actually find the hand behind the gruesome acts like Poirot or Miss Marple, nor is this story a typical whoddunit ; but the tale is more  a spin on kay’s actions & reactions, a recount of her daily life going through a variety of sizzle.

I could connect to kay and why not ? – Wardrobe dilemma, battling bulges, grin & bear the maids saga , PTA woes, keeping the hyper kids engaged are some issues that will definitely ring a bell in all of us at some point or the other. Also, being a Cancerian myself, there was a lot of bon-homie with the protagonist !

Hooked to the book , I was chuckling away merrily even as I was waiting for my son’s progress report (btw, he is a preschooler ) inviting a few curious glances from some parents :D  That’s how much I enjoyed the read !

Coming to the characters, they are lively and well-etched. The perfect albeit serious hubby, adrenaline junkie son, pot-pourri of vibrant neighbours to the typical policeman, the people around Kay’s life are colourful & engaging.

As I am typing this review, few of the riot situations are still in mind like this one – 

Kay we are going for three days ! You have 20 tops,  8 trousers, 4 skirts, 3 stilettos ; to which she thinks aloud What if there is a discotheque in the hotel, men will never understand :) 
And another :-

Her narration of exploding buttons & splitting seams where in, a button of her jeans just flies & ricochets the wall of a restaurant promptly hitting a startled soul – Hillarious !

Kiran Manral, dedicated blogger, social activist, author defenitely deserves a pat on the back for having bared her heart & soul in the book.

I really could not fault any thing about the book except that the writer has tried to find funny overtures in all and sundry. Not there is anything wrong about it, but it was a few times uncalled for.Overall, the book is a pleasant, refreshing, light on mind kind of read with loads of smiles.

Go for it !

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kolli Hills - Heaven on Earth

If I had my way I would never have come back from the picturesque hills of Kolli - absolutely serene, still unspoiled by man's crafty commercialization and breathtakingly beautiful! I went ballistic clicking pictures of nature at its very best and this post is inundated with a whole lot of them :D
On a fine sunday morning we set out by car packed with a whole lot of exuberance & glee !Our 36 hours of breathing in the virgin air of the hills, still has me crooning. 

Daughter delighted with this small break

Hubby Dearest in the driver's seat 

Kolli Hills , a small mountain range located in the central Tamilnadu in the district of Namakkal are part of the Eastern Ghats

The mountain got its name as the Mountain of death (கொல்லி மலை) as it was believed that there existed a spirit of pretty maiden who lured passersby with her beauty and killed them !!

A toll before entering in to the mountain range had a list of Tourist attractions

Swaying Bamboo trees

There are as much as 70 hairpin bends to reach the top of the hills

 Just before we embarked on the sightseeing , a cuppa chai refreshed us even as the kids strike a merry pose

Ain't that pretty ? Pumpkings taking over the roof a dainty hut

Just before the Botanical Gardens

Kids having fun in the park !

Stunning view from Seekuparai Viewpoint

Headed to the local deity temple

The local deity Ettukai Amman ; the small temple with the idol is said to be as old as 1400 years old

Masila Waterfalls from a distance

 Gurgling rivulet from the wateralls

Up,close & Personal

Having just recovered from viral infection, we were just content to go knee-deep in the gushing water ; but promised ourselves to come back soon and get drenched silly 

The hills are also home to a Shiva Temple ( Lord Arapaleeshwarar) that was built in 1 or 2 century by the ruler Valvil Ori . The idol was found by a farmer while ploughing his land and the mark when his plough hit the idol is said to be visible even today

 The temple from outside (Gopuram)

Final stop was the sky Ganges (ஆகாச கங்கை) , my camera gave up on me and the memories of the cascading falls are captured in our memory !
Sky Ganges : Photo Courtesy : WIKI

All in all memories that will last lifelong !

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sukiran Temple - Kanchanoor

After a satisfying darshan of the Suriyanar Temple , we were headed to Kanchanur , the small village having the temple for Sukiran. Sukiran if propitiated and prayed is said to bestow all prosperity & popularity. Friday is the day of sukiran.
Kanchanur is 18 kms from kumbakonam and approximately 25 kms from mailaduthurai. From the suriyanar temple, this temple is barely 3 kms and is a must visit.

The presiding deity of the temple is Agneeshwarar and his consort Karpagambal. The deity got His name because, Agni (Lord of Fire) is said to have worshipped Lord shiva in this place.

Dhyana Mantra for Sukiran and its meaning

Himakunda mrinalabham
Daityanam Paramam Gurum
Sarvashastra pravaktharam
Bharghavam prnamamyaham

O Preceptor of the Demons ! O Representer of all Sciences ! I bow down to Thee
More to follow