Teenage Diaries :- Review


Teenage is a very wonderful yet a very much confusing period of life. You step out of child zone and have to spend good five years of adolescent before you get labeled as an adult. When I was growing up, I wanted to be the centre of attraction. I wanted to be liked, feared and awed by people. When you are from a Gujarati middle class family, you are at the epitome of what seems to stereotype to others but a part of your life.

When I felt that I had left my teenage behind and was living a full on adult life, someone reminded me of that phase again. I stumbled upon a wonderful book by the name Teenage Diaries by Saurabh Sharma. Set in the pretext of Baroda of Gujarat, this book is a story about a guy by the name Ghanshyam. Yes, middle class guy with middle class name. The story starts with birth and rapidly takes you teenage. The pace slows down there. And it is necessary. Some places I felt I was sitting there witnessing things happening in front of my eyes, thanks to a good narration. A thing I love about fiction I that it takes you to a superficial world and gives you an opportunity to live with that character or even be that character.

Anyway, coming back to the book, story has more than one turning point. Right from an under-confident Ghanshyam falling for a girl to receiving reciprocation and then pushed away by the same girl for reasons best known to her, it keeps your interest glued to the book. Second turning point comes when Ghanshaym tops the boards and meets new friends who go on to become his lifeline and create a GK out of Ghanshyam. Incidents that change his life completely and dramatically are narrated very well.

The book speaks of teenage romance, infatuations, adrenaline rush, forbidden fantasies coming true and a lot more things. I wish I had such a life; or at least a part of it. Saurabh has omitted unnecessary detailing wherever possible. Language kept is very simple. It strikes every chord right. I really liked the way book ends with a subtle to be continued hint.

A fresh perspective in Indian fiction genre where endless people are writing only about college life, breakups, hookups, flings and meaningless sex.  Very good attempt for first time author.


Banofee Pie 3 (Fire meets Illusion – 2)

Fire meets Illusion – 2

Banofee Pie Part- 1

Banofee Pie Part – 2

“With her charm and khaki attire, she can give any actor run for their money.” “Is she telling truth? What if not? What if her intentions of entering jungle are not matching with her actual desires? I guess the only way to reach the truth is to be around her. Truth will come out on it’s on in this way rather than I having to follow her throughout the banks of Ganges which are not safe for strangers.”

“Hello?” Maya snapped.

“Fine. I shall travel with you to the foot of Himalayas. But at any given point of time, you will be responsible for yourself. My work is only to show you the path. You have to decide if you should take it or not.” She thought for a moment and shook her head in agreement.

“All right then. We shall collect necessities tomorrow, have you little skilled up for the journey and begin.”

“And how are we going to travel?” She asked him, joy filled in her voice. He rolled his eyes in answer.

 “It’s a 21 days journey on feet; if the weather and jungle doesn’t be of much hassle. We will kick start with Varanasi followed by Allahabad and proceed towards Hardwar finally reaching Rishikesh. We will try to close to city and yet not enter them as much as possible.” She found it little weird but did not react as she had already given a word. Soon after that dialogue, she went to her tent and lay on the bed. There was a satisfactory smile on her face. She had cleared round one to find the Yogi. He too lay in his tent with smile. Both had different reasons to smile. At a little distance in the darkness was a pair of eyes observing the activities happening.

 “Are you going to stare at me just like this?” Aagney snapped and she was forced to apply break to her train of thoughts about last night. “You seem to be a very religious person.” She countered him with a very obvious attempt to not be caught by him for staring him. “I saw you chanting something when you lit fire last night. Now you were worshipping the sun.”

“Maya Palash..” He said in a deep and calm voice, “You seem not to understand a difference between gratitude and religion. I worship fire because it gives us warmth. I worship water because it keeps us alive and I worship the sun because it the eternal source of energy. If there was no sun, there would not be life existing. A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. I differ myself from any such set values. I do not need a religion if it asks me to abide by a set of rules created by its founders who felt those were right rules to follow.”

“Are you trying to say that there is no existence of supreme power to whom people refer as god and this whole organisation stands on lies?” She admired the fact that someone had a clear opinion but was now thoroughly confused, questioning her own beliefs about God, religion and spirituality. “Save your questions for your Yogi and freshen up now. We have a lot to cover today before we begin the journey to Varanasi.” He said and walked away allowing her privacy and space for herself.

As he left, she entered the water thinking ‘who Aagney is really?’ His behaviour, actions, physique and mannerism were nothing less than those which suited royals.Maya wasn’t wrong in thinking like that. Aagney was indeed last heir of Suryanshis, the descendants of sun. His worship of fire and sun was evident of it.

She wondered why had he chosen to be her guide and only. This meant he would not protect her may something goes wrong and she was on her own. She took a deep breath and submerged herself in water leaving it to her destiny.

(To be continued)

Banofee Pie -2

(Click here to read part 1)

Fire Meets illusion 

It was just about dawn. He opened his eyes and like his daily ritual he first touched his right hand to the earth and prayed to mother earth. This was something he did since he was 5 without fail. He was disciple of A Great Yogi who used to often say; “We all are children of mother earth. Be grateful to mother earth.” He then walked towards the river, quickly freshened up. Waters of Ganges were calm yet babbling. A smile set on his face as he saw the water changing its color with first ray of sun. He jumped into water. He was familiar this river and its flow; and why not, he had lived through its banks. He settled himself into river facing the sun, closed his eyes and joined hands. This was yet another routine he followed over the years.

Maya was quietly watching all his activities. She looked at him in awe. Aagney was six feet tall with lean body and wore scars of fights on chest proudly. He had a pendant with tiger nail around his neck. He gazed her, their eyes met at a glance & at once she remembered every word of conversation they had few hours back.

He looked at her through fire and said….

“The man you are talking about, the Yogi; no one knows if he really exists or not. Those who have gone looking for him have never come back. They have either been eaten up by beasts or have disappeared in thin air. Besides, I do not know your identity or your intentions to enter the jungle. Jungle does not accept those who do not belong to it. If you are still alive, you must have some uprooted connection with jungle.

A thought passed in Maya’s head. She killed it immediately and said; “I’m Maya. Maya Palash. I was born in Bombay. We stayed here till I was 5. After that, my dad took up a job in USA and we shifted there. Since then this is first time I’m here in India. But ever since I can remember, I have been getting these visions about snow clad mountains. And ever since my dad told of this man, I’m in search of him. I decided to quit my job and find the secret of life.

Aagney was carefully listening to her; analyzing her by every word she said. A smile set on his face when he heard her name. MAYA. The word echoed in his head. He thought to himself, “If I go by what she says, her name was very correctly decided. She was just like illusion. She was taller than usual women. With those perfect pair of hazel eyes who spoke a lot but no one could ever understand what they spoke, thick long hair of which she had tied a bun, her lips were just like rose petals. She had the body of an athlete. She wore no jewelry apart from a ring on her finger that symbolized that she was elite. Her face was glowing like moon. She was delicate but fierce. With her charm and khaki attire, she can give any actor run for their money.”

(To be continued)

rentnread.in: A story of my maiden startup

Saturday, June 07 2014; 08:00 PM. I packed the final stuff remaining. Officially I close the company I started on August 18 , 2013. My maiden startup it was rentnread.in. The concept was to make textbooks available for students  at affordable rates. Allow them to take book on rent and return it upon use. i couldn’t make it large but it will always remain close to me as it was my first ever business and  with no monetary help from anyone. Anyways I learnt many lessons from my start-up that I will always remember. Few things I learned from my start-up

1. Know your market: Yes. Its very important to know your potential market. Do pilot project. Go meet the potential consumers. Tell them about your product.  Take their feedback.  And make sure you use that feedback. Supply has no value unless there is demand,

2. Find a co-founder: This one is as crucial as your firm. Look for someone of the same wavelength like that of you. Someone who would take care of your firm in your absence. One reason rentnread suffered was my absence.  I’d not discuss why; but I wasn’t available to provide services for a good period of two months and people thought firm vanished. Don’t let this happen. Go wherever services should never stop.

3. Communicate: Communication has kept world alive. Had there been no communication human beings would not exist. Communicate with your co-founder, your sponsors, your clients and most importantly talk to yourself. Tell yourself your mission, vision and goal behind having started this business.

4. Do your homework well: Do your homework well. When you pitch your project to potential VCs; tell them how your project is generating revenue.  When you pitch your project to customer; tell them your USP.  If your service depends on factors that seriously affect your business or a essential part of your business; make sure you take care of that part.  Eg. rentnread  heavily depended on delivery of the book to the consumer and pick up.  Inadequate transport system was one reason for failure. had I figured it earlier ,story would have been different.

Anyways when I learnt this it was already too late. But I will bounce back. Soon