Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rules for Writers


Check out these "Rules for Writers" by George Orwell

George Orwell has earned the right to be called one of the finer writers in the English language through such novels as 1984, Animal Farm, and Down and Out in Paris and London, and essays like "Shooting an Elephant."

1. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

2. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

3. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

4. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

5. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

(From Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language.")

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book Review - Milan (A Wedding Story) - by Simi K. Rao


Book Details:
Title: Milan (A wedding story)
Author: Simi K Rao
Publication date: Aug 31, 2015
Formats: Paperback, Digital Ebook
ISBN-13: 978-1517142865
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Blurb:
When a daughter turns marriageable age, what should a responsible father do? Easy- wed her to the most suitable boy who comes knocking on the door. Jai Bharadwaj, Mili's father and owner of The Serenity Tea Estate in the idyllic Nilgiris would've probably liked to do the same, but being who he was, he had to ask her first. What would she say?

My Review:
Milan is a story of a traditional arranged marriage in India. The bubbling character Mili meets her old school mate Ahaan again, through a marriage proposal brought by his mother. Mili remembers how she used to tease him in their school days, and she was glad to know that he actually likes her and has no hatred towards her. Her parents were too overjoyed with the proposal and hoped Mili too accepts it.

To their luck, after careful consideration, she accepts the proposal, whom everyone thinks as a good catch, but like any girl of her age, she too has her own trepidation about the future since she had no plan of an arranged marriage in her own life. But she slowly accepts the proposal which her parents feel is the right one for her, like an obedient daughter just the way her older sister had done four years ago, who is happy now, but in her case Mili gets time to know Ahaan better and actually falls in love with him before the wedding. So love comes after the marriage is arranged, and the story ends in their marriage, without any twists or complications. These days such marriages are not rare, where the boy and girl get a chance to know each other before their marriage, arranged by the parents, with the elders’ permission, and they subsequently fall in love before the wedding.

Written in a simple language, I like the way the author’s description about each setting which makes one visualize the scene clearly, the anxiety of the parents sending away their loving and pampered younger daughter in marriage, Mili's anxieties of the marriage, and also how the relationship between Mili and Ahaan develops step by step, in a short time, and then they fall in love completely before the wedding.

Explanations of various Indian terms and rituals, including some recipes, are described at the end, for a better understanding.

The story is about an Indian traditional arranged marriage in steps, and I enjoyed reading it. However, I feel that it would have been fantastic if one more chapter was added to it about their new life of few months, which gives the reader an idea whether her decision was right.

My Rating: 4/5

About the Author:
Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in both northern and southern India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. She is the author of multicultural contemporary romantic fiction. The inspiration for her books and other creative projects comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances. Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life. Much of Rao's down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world. A practicing physician, Rao lives in Denver with her family. Her published works include Inconvenient Relations and The Accidental Wife. She is currently at work on her next release.

You can connect with her at http://simikrao.com/ , https://www.facebook.com/simikrao/ and Twitter @ SimiKRao.

I wish the author all the best.

The book is available here - Amazon.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ganesha Festival 2015


Wish you all a Very Happy Ganesha Festival 2015

Ganesha Festival, also called as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a great festival of India. It is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Ganesha, the supreme God of Wisdom and Prosperity. Usually the day falls between August 20 and September 17.

Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born on a fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Magh. He is worshipped during every festival and before people undertake a journey or embark upon a new venture.

In Maharashtra, this festival celebrated for 10 days.