Sunday, July 26, 2015

Self Reflection

Photo of Rick Chana Chatterjee
“It must make you think of all the people you left at home,” he said, “When you put that kettle on the stove with just enough water for yourself.” – As spoken by Nabeen in the book by Amitav Ghosh, In The Antique Land.”

In the present world of internet, SmartPhones and devices to help us stay away from real human contact, relying almost at all times on virtual friends and family, the more deeply we think of ourselves as alone, we realize that more than ever before we are in a search to find someone who can mirror our needs and desires, a bank we can anchor on, all the time.

The question that arises in my mind is, are we really looking for someone, or are we simply getting over a loneliness that is gnawing at our heart. Or then, is it a search that will only bring us closer to ourselves?
If we ask someone who is in the midst of many people around them in flesh and blood, are you lonely? They will say yes, despite the family and the partner maybe, the well of loneliness is only growing deeper.
Likewise, the same predicament follows the people who are always alone, living alone. The search is unending.
Then, if it is a common to all living in these times, then, can we say that at some point the search will end, because, neither the mirror nor the self will be, because both will have dissolved?
Is the seeker then, in fact the one we seek? Then, will the quest to find the ‘other’ end with the discovery of Self?

Finally, will the mirror that reflects cease to do so, because it has thrust the Seeker back to Self?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book Review: The Ray Synchronicity By Lata Sony

For someone, whose reading is limited to nonSci – Fi, Lata Sony’s debut novel, The Ray Synchronicity was a challenge to begin with, but within the first four chapters, I began to understand that I had something right up my street on my Kindle. The reason being, as I said elsewhere too, the book is designed to be read by people who have hope in a better future ahead, made possible by Science. I began to consume it like a hungry reader who cannot find time, even to eat, because, the book is so fulfilling.

It is not as if, there is a sermon on the Kindle waiting there for the reader to embrace, but clearly, the insights into human nature and the creation of people whom you meet on a daily basis now, on planet transformed into beings you will want to embrace, The Ray Synchronicity, is all about realizing your potential, herenow, if you want to, although the book is placed in 2039. Events are even taking place in 2550! So for the reader, it is a jump into the future even as they read today.
What I liked about the book is its flirtation with spirituality and making the ‘other-worldly’ a very worldly phenomenon. Especially in Chapter 4, I almost hoped I was a scientist myself.
I would easily put this book among the vast million books available for man’s hunger for a better world, although there is no great self-search to do, only awesome Bio-Ray guns to adopt, which convert negative to positive energy, right away! The book is replete with suspense and conflict that adds to the speed of a racy read.

In her interview with, the author reiterated that she thought that India needs more spiritual sci-fi, because India’s urban and rural are in that point of time, where the traditional and the modern are coming together.

Perhaps the solutions are deeply embedded in The Ray Synchronicity

Go for It!


Interview with the author, Lata Sony

Q 1. Thank you for speaking to me, Ms Sony. My first question to you is, how do you think the world will change/transform spiritually, going by the ideas you put forth in your book?

‘Transforming the world’ sounds very grand and ambitious and I don’t think any book can do that by itself. What a book may do is give words to a reader’s personal experiences and feelings, provide an explanation or confirmation and that may click for someone who is ripe for transformation.

However, to the question if there was a spiritual motive behind the story, then yes there was. Several, in fact. The first objective was to let readers know that there are energies beyond our knowledge and imagination and our physical vision. Like me many have experienced these energies. Some who have had near-death-experiences have even seen their entire physical body (and other bodies) as an energy matrix.

The second objective was to help readers imagine how cosmic energies might work to shape your life. I have put this in a very simplified form by personifying energies and Time. The logic being that the powers that control human emotions and traits could very well be just as good and bad as humans. Our creations reflect us after all.

The third objective was to help readers see how the essence of any religion may be interpreted in terms of energies. This is the common platform where the foundation for real unity between religions, between tradition and modernity, and between spirituality and science can be built.

Q2: Do you think your book has the potential to affect change in human thought and behaviour?

Yes I think so. As the title suggests, the book is about a synchronicity created by higher powers. A couple of readers told me that they had begun to see a pattern in their life after reading the book. Once a person is aware of the patterns in their life, they can realize their full potential by finding answers to: Why do these things happen to me? What were the external factors that made me what I am? What internal changes should I make to counter those external influences? Do I take my limitations too seriously? How can I solve problems through love and intelligence? What should I feel grateful about? Who are the people I should forgive? What do I do to love myself more?

In its core, the book is really about the struggle between the internal you and the external you made from worldly circumstances. And the transformation is about going back to what you were meant to be, and what you really are rather than what the world makes you.

Q3: In which case, who is your target audience?

Honestly, that’s something I haven’t figured out. Just as the book defies categorization as it has elements of spiritualism, sci-fi, romance and thriller, the ideal audience for this book defies classification. Originally, I started with Young Adult as the target audience as I felt that youngsters may be more open to something new. But it turned out that people across all age groups liked it. At the same time, those who expected Dan Brown like science-fiction were disappointed with the first few pages. Some continued till the end and discovered that this was something new and fresh. I think the people who were most enthusiastic about the book were either spiritually-inclined or with some idea of metaphysics. On the other hand, this book is not at all for people who have dogmatic and rigid views about their religion.

Q4: How are you marketing your book to reach your audience?

As of now, I am more interested in reviews and have put my best efforts during free promos. I search for sites that promote free ebooks and request each site to feature my book. This is quite a painstaking process. In the future, I’ll consider paid marketing to make the book more visible when I have two more books ready. Investing in three books brings the best ROI per the pundits of book marketing.

Thank you, Ms Sony! Wish your book finds wings across the globe and may your keyboard keep clicking!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Book Review: Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh

If you have picked up Amitav Ghosh’s latest in the Ibis Trilogy, Flood of Fire, STOP. First revise the first he wrote, Sea of Poppies, then skim through the second, River of Smoke and now you will be ready to read his last and final in the trilogy, Flood of Fire, but remember, you must start from the last, the Epilogue, first.
The enormous research done to write this book will dawn to the reader, only when this is read and absorbed thoroughly. Having said that we are to remember that the full Ibis Trilogy was written from the journal notes, jottings, ‘jack-chits’, pictures, documents that was the collection of the bankrupt landowner we met in Sea of Poppies, Raja Neel Ratan and his son, Raju, during the years that Neel ran a printing press in Shanghai, with his partner, Compton ( Liang Keui – Ch’uan ) in the years 1838 to 1841, years leading up to the first Opium War. In June Neel fled on the Ibis, which resulted in the first book, Sea of Poppies.
Now enter the pages with much hilarity in waiting, for while the Flood of Fire finally is a book that describes the war, it is as much a book of passion and fire of the flesh in the medley mix of characters who make themselves available to the reader, and if one has read the first, then you know them all, but their lust for money and for love is made available in this one, so much that it is hardly possible to leave the book for a minute, after it is in your hands.
Take for example, Mrs Catherine Burnham married to the wealthy unscrupulous British merchant, Benjamin Burnham for his wealth and power, must satisfy her lust for flesh with the young American sailor Zachary Reid, working as a mistery ( carpenter ) on her husband’s budgerow. His passions really were for Paulette Daughty, a young French woman, grown up with a wet-nurse in Kolkata, but instead of finding its end there, Zachary is in the grip of Mrs Burnham and is richly rewarded with forbidden love and sex in the confinement of her boudoir . You must remember her husband has his own afflictions, that being what was revealed to us in Sea Of Poppies, when the poor Paulette was in all her naivety made to spank Benjamin Burnham on his bottoms and scold him in a strange ‘play’ until, Mr Burnham fell on the wooden floor spent and heaving…
Not that only, Mrs Burnham’s unfinished business with Captain Mee, the only man she told Zachary she had ever loved also comes up momentarily but again meets failure because the two main characters, Mrs Burnham and Captain Mee, decide their own future at the end of the book.
Here, Zachary left in the lurch, with a lot of experience and a taste of wealth, pursues his old love, Paulette who is ignorant of the age and maturity of Zachary’s sexual age by now, since she last knew him on the Ibis, is not yet ready to marry Zachary.
Leave that as it may, the other surprise waiting for the reader comes from Mrs  Shireen Modie, wife of Bahram Modi, the Parsi Opium trader from Bombay, who finds herself going to China, to meet her husband’s son,  Ah  Fat, also known as Freddie, when Bahram Modi has passed away under strange circumstances, and of whose ‘other life’ Shireen is not aware, until,  Zadig Bey, friend of Bahram Modie informs her about it. The rather protected Shireen with two daughters has suddenly having to wake up to a lot of stuff, her protected life had hidden from her. But in the journey she finally finds her own new life with Zadig Bey, as if to say, that she had moved on, since her husband’s death, albeit with his friend.
There are a few things in this book that are of concern to me. These are of course not to do with his writing style, which is simple and absorbing. But it has to do with his treatment of the characters, who are women in particular.
For instance: Mrs Catherine Burnham. She was bold and no matter how deceitful and cunning, she had made her peace with a young man’s flesh, that being Zachary’s  who was at her husband’s service. If Ghosh had deemed it such that her primary passion for Captain Mee would be thwarted early in her life, when both of them were young, then, why was it not possible for him to ensure that the passion continued between the Mistress and her husband’s servant, thereby bringing in a new and fresh angle to this association?
Second, why did he make Shireen Modie marry once again, when she was a wealthy widow, with two daughters and in the face of facts that Parsis in India are known to befriend spinsterhood as bed partners gladly? Also, for the fact that she showed desire to open a hospital in her late husband’s name, with the monies she received, she had a worthwhile cause to fall back upon, than becoming a wife again. She was used to living alone for long period of time, when her husband was alive and out on business.
Last but not the least, the last act of sin, was to have taken the entire family that made up Shireen’s husband’s ‘other life’ in China, extinct.
Ah Fat, are men who write such books that will go down in history as one of the greatest trilogies written in fiction, finally, conservative men?
What reasons have you, Amitabh Ghosh, for the above considerations? Or for that matter, if you were his voice, dear Reader?

Read more Here