Transition of Thoughts

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Tag: Afghanistan (Page 1 of 2)

Book Review – The Taliban Cricket Club

The Taliban Cricket Club

The Taliban Cricket Club

Source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71nO3biRspL._SL1500_.jpg

Timeri N Murari has more than 14 published novels to his credit including many bestsellers. He has also written screenplays for various movies and plays. Truth be told, I wasn’t aware of his pedigree when I picked up The Taliban Cricket Club. Instead, I was quite intrigued at reading about cricket in a country which has suffered from wars for years on end. Moreover, the story of the Afghanistan Cricket Team has been a true fairytale even among those who don’t really follow cricket. Is the book as good as it sounds? Let’s check it out.

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In conversation with Sami Ahmad: Author of “Red Jihad”

Sami A Khan

Sami Ahmad Khan read Literature at Hindu College and Rajdhani College, University of Delhi. He then completed his master’s in English at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Sami was awarded a Fulbright grant at The University of Iowa, USA, in 2011. He has engaged in film production, teaching, theatre and writing. His short stories, plays and articles have been published in magazines and academic journals. His political thriller Red Jihad won the Muse India Young Writer (Runner-Up) Award at the Hyderabad Literary Festival 2013 and “Excellence in Youth Fiction Writing” at the National Debut Youth Fiction Awards at the Young Writers Meet during Delhi World Book Fair 2013.

Currently, Sami is a Doctoral Candidate at JNU, where he is working on Science Fiction and Techno-culture Studies. He is now working on a sequel to Red Jihad.

So we have him here for a tete – a – tete –

Aseem: What is one most important thing / things you have taken back from your days at the Hindu college and JNU?
Sami: Think for yourself, stick to your guns and have an opinion about anything and everything. It’s surprisingly liberating – DU/JNU style!

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Book Review – Red Jihad: Battle for South Asia

red-jihad-battle-for-south-asia

“Red Jihad” is Sami Ahmad Khan’s first attempt at writing a novel. He has engaged in film production, teaching, theater and writing. His short stories, plays and articles have been published in magazines and academic journals. Does his first novel work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this –

2014: Pakistan has transitioned into a full – fledged democracy and is reconciling with India. However, there are forces working against this fragile peace. A Pakistani jihadi leader, Yasser Basheer, travels to the Red Corridor and enlists the support of an Indian naxalite commander, Agyaat. Their plan: to unleash Pralay, India’s experimental intercontinental ballistic missile, on the subcontinent.

As the missile changes course en route, it hits Pakistan and causes collateral damage. In response, Pakistan unleashes war on India. As the web of politics, deceit and treachery deepens, it turns out that there are larger interests at stake and bigger players involved in this combat. The battle for South Asia turns murkier as an Indo – Pak war threatens to embroil many other countries in the end game.

Have India and Pakistan sparked off the mother of all wars? A gripping thriller, Red Jihad explores probably the most feared nexus – between the jihadis and the Naxals.

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Book Review – Zombiestan

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Mainak Dhar has thirteen books to his credit. But to be honest I had never heard of him or this book till I got hold of it. I am a fan of books which deal with terrorism, suspense, thrillers and the likes. But only if our contemporary Indian writers get time to move away from romance and college love stories, would they write something else, right? Anyways, so I began this book with quite some expectation. Did it impress me? Let’s check it out.

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In conversation with Mukul Deva: India’s first military thriller writer!

An alumnus of La Martiniere College, Lucknow, the National Defence Academy, Pune and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Mukul Deva was commissioned in December 1981 into the Sikh Light Infantry of the Indian Army. He took early retirement from the army after fifteen years of service, including a decade of combat operations in India and overseas. He is now an entrepreneur and motivational speaker, leadership, business and executive coach, and consultant.

He is the author of ‘Time After Time..It all Happened‘, ‘S.T.R.I.P.T.E.A.S.E: The Art of Corporate Warfare‘, ‘M.O.D.E.L: The Return of the Employee‘, the recently released ‘The Dust Will Never Settle‘ and four bestselling books in the ‘Lashkar series: ‘Lashkar‘, ‘Salim Must Die‘, ‘Blowback‘ and ‘Tanzeem‘.

Aseem: An army man writing books. Now that’s something new at least in India. How has your experience been?
Mukul: Yes I guess it’s how most people perceive army men. And how army men view themselves. Most of the ones I know are very articulate and have great stories to tell. I simply decided to tell them, without thinking too much about it. In any case I have always believed that I can do anything if I wish to do it since it is seldom capability, but belief in our capability that matters. As for the journey – it’s been incredible. And continues to be so… I find I am full of ideas and the words don’t seem to stop flowing… ‘Tis as though of (literary) Viagra I have drunk…:)

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Book Review – Tanzeem

Tanzeem is the fourth and final installment (After Lashkar, Salim Must Die and Blowback) in Mukul Deva’s series of military thrillers. He has written these books at such breakneck speed that he released the 4 books over a span of 4 years from 2008 till 2011. I like many others am in love with his Tom Clancy style writing. And ever since I read Blowback, I was waiting for the day I could lay my hands on Tanzeem.

The book begins where Blowback ends. After the confrontation with the heads of the Indian Mujahideen, Iqbal, the undercover Force-22 operative decides that he needs to go into the heart of Pakistan and take out the killing machines with his own hands. Despite attempts by the top brass to prevent him from taking such a decision, he doesn’t heed their warnings and takes on the arduous journey. The rest of the story deals with how he succeeds in finding and befriending the group of terror masters waiting to unleash a wave of urban global terror. Does he succeed? Is he killed? You got to read it.

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Uncle Sam’s debt crisis: Can it ever live within its means?

Let me start off with an analogy here. Consider an individual who doesn’t have the means to go on a holiday to Europe but goes for one by taking a loan. But then he wants to send his children for education to good colleges. So he takes an education loan. And he also wants to buy a car. So he takes an auto loan. Loans becoming such a predominant part of his life that he starts using one set of loans to fund his other set.

Something similar has gone wrong with Uncle Sam. US has never stayed within its means. Whether manufacturing huge gas guzzling cars or spending trillions of dollars on mindless wars (Iraq and Afghanistan), the US govt. has always lived beyond its means. One would think that the crisis of 2008 which was the beginning of the economic collapse of the world would give them some sanity. But then as they say common sense is really not that common.

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Learning to live in the terror democracy of the world!!

As our lovely home minister, P.Chidambaram was busy boasting about how Mumbai has not been attacked by terrorists in the last 31 months since the 26/11 incident, terrorists were laughing at his statement. They must be discussing among themselves on how lucky they are that such politicians are ruling the roost in this country. They must be wondering at the idiocy of such horrible claims when all citizens themselves agree that terror attacks are prevented not because of good intelligence but terrorists themselves not planning any such acts.

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Book Review – Blowback

“Blowback” is the third in the Lashkar series by Mukul Deva. With his amazingly vivid descriptions of what goes in the mind of a terrorist, to how terrorist attacks are planned to even describing weapons in great detail, Mukul has brought alive the concept of military thrillers in India.

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Salim Must Die – Book Review

‘Salim Must Die’ is the second book in the Lashkar series by Mukul Deva. If you enjoyed Lashkar, you will love Salim Must Die. If you are craving for the growth of the thriller genre, Salim Must Die is for you. If you want a dose of reality and fiction intertwined, Salim Must Die should be your next read.

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