Transition of Thoughts

Weaving thoughts into words

Tag: Pakistan Page 1 of 2

Microblog Mondays: India’s smog emergency

India's Smog Emergency

India’s Smog Emergency

Source: http://www.jantakareporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/o-INDIA-SMOG-facebook.jpg

As if having more than 10 Indian cities in the list of the top 20 most polluted cities wasn’t enough, the last few days have been disastrous for people living in many parts of the country.

While people generally have to contend with pollution from all kinds of vehicles, construction, factories, tanneries, power plants, noise and more on most days, this time it’s the farmers of Punjab and some parts of Pakistan who are burning 30 billion kgs of leftover straw. This started a week or two week back and slowly the toxic smoke consisting of a variety of dangerous gases has moved through to Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Chandigarh and most other parts of North India creating an apocalyptic situation.

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Book Review – Thar Express

Thar Express

Thar Express

Source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91CNfVxb5LL._SL1500_.jpg

‘Thar Express’ is an e-book by Nagendra Murti about a man who has lost his memory and the way he goes about remembering his past under the care of a good doctor. Does the book work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this –

Am I dead? Is this how it feels to be dead……?

Thar Express tells the story of a man who is rescued from the aftermath of a landslide near the India-Pakistan Line of Control. He is barely alive and appears to have no memory of his identity, his past or the circumstances that led him to a remote and sensitive part of the country that he was rescued from. After initially being cared for in an army hospital, he is sent to a doctor who specializes in treating those afflicted by memory loss.

Under the unconventional but effective care of this doctor, he begins to remember tiny fragments of his past and sets off on a journey of re-discovering himself that leads him across seven different states and brings him in contact with people who wittingly or unwittingly help him along in this journey.

The army intelligence, initially suspicious of his antecedents and intent but with no hard facts to act on, stumbles across information that pushes them beyond suspicion. They launch a relentless manhunt to re-capture what they now consider to be a dangerous insurgent. Will the authorities’ worst fears come true or are they just chasing an illusion? The story takes the reader through twists and turns, introduces characters who represent the eccentric mixture of mirth and cynicism that is twenty-first century India and unfolds the unexpected ending.

First things first, the book has an interesting cover page and a catchy title which would leave you expecting more. Since there’s no paperback version though, you have to make do with the e-book version and check it out through your Kindles’ or other e-book readers.

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Peshawar Attack: Lives Lost. Dreams Crushed.

Peshawar Army Public School Attack

Peshawar Army Public School Attack

Source: http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_51/809836/141216-peshawar2-0417_59b124bacb85165b817636cff44928ee.jpg

Anwar was like every other 16 year old of his age who loved music, movies and spending time on the Internet playing games and surfing on Facebook. A topper in his class, he was full of life and had many friends who loved him for his affable nature and his ability to keep everyone happy. Little did his mom know that when she was making his breakfast today, it would be the last time she would be making something for him. Anwar always hugged her before leaving for school. She couldn’t have even imagined in her wildest dreams that it was the last time she was hugging him.

There were hundreds of Anwar’s today. They were full of life and came to school with happiness and joy lit on their faces. They had heard about terrorists and such attacks in other parts of Pakistan and the world. But for them school was a place to study, make friends and learn the lessons of life. Dressed in neatly ironed uniforms with bags containing books and their lunch boxes, they got out of their buses and walked to the classrooms for another exciting day.

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Book Review – The Karachi Deception

front_karachi deception

‘The Karachi Deception’ is Shatrujeet Nath’s first novel. In the past he has delved into business journalism and was the Assistant Editor at Economic Times. This novel is published by Grey Oak Publishers in combination with Westland Books and seems to be another addition to the list in the growing and upcoming military thriller genre in India. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this –

Project Abhimanyu – an audacious plot hatched by the RAW and the Indian Army intelligence to assassinate Mumbai’s dreaded underworld don Irshad Dilawar, who’s hiding in Pakistan and assisting the ISI in its proxy war against India.

Major Imtiaz Ahmed is picked to lead the special ops mission deep inside Pakistan – but the ISI and Dilawar are several steps ahead of the Indians. Beaten at every turn, Major Imtiaz is faced with the horrifying realization that Project Abhimanyu has been compromised…and his men are being lured into a deadly trap.

Set against the backdrop of global terrorism, Shatrujeet Nath’s debut novel is a quintessential spy thriller where nothing is what it seems – and treachery is a constant companion.

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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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Movie Review – Bourne Legacy

Directed by Tony Gilroy and starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton in lead roles, Bourne Legacy is the fourth installment in the ‘Bourne’ film series based on Robert Ludlum’s ‘Jason Bourne’ novels. Just like the previous three installments, this one is just ‘inspired’ by the novels rather than a total remake. Let’s see how does it fare without Matt Damon aka. ‘Jason Bourne’.

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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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Tete-a-Tete with Jims Andrews – Navy Engineer & Author

Jims Andrews is a chief engineer with the merchant navy, sailing the high seas for the last ten years. He lives in Calicut with his family. He has written two books namely – “Fall of a Sparrow” set in the backdrop of the tsunami which lashed the archipelago of the Andaman and Nicobar and “The Patriot” which is a marine terrorism edge-of-the-seat thriller.

1. What inspired you to start writing?

The answer to this one is very simple and honest. I write for the love
of writing.

2. Considering both your novels are based in the vast emptiness of the
oceans / seas, how much do your experiences as a navy engineer
influence your thought process? And how much of that reflects in your
writing?

One situation which urged me to start writing is the solitude of the
oceans (though the inclination had been always there). Once I start
writing in my cabin, in the middle of some ocean or the other, it is
always the ocean dominating the proceedings and invariably it ends up
as the key player. Though both my books are pure works of fiction, my
merchant navy background helps me to do away with a lot of research
which otherwise would have been very cumbersome.

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Book Review – The Patriot

To be truthful I hadn’t ever heard of this book or the author. A couple of weeks back I got an email from him asking me to review his labour of love. I immediately checked out the synopsis and was hooked on. A novel on marine terrorism and that too by an Indian author is as rare as it can get.

The book goes with the tagline: Terror on the High Seas. Going through the cover with the image showing a very rough sea and a ship – INS Indraprastha in the background, you start thinking that this is going to be a real thrill ride.

With over two hundred thousand metric tonnes of highly volatile crude oil, she is a massive Indian flag merchant vessel sailing in the Arabian Sea towards Cochin in India. But in between the ship is hijacked by 9 highly equipped terrorists who with their Kalashnikov’s and grenade launchers look ready for a grueling mission. They plant underwater mines around the hull in front of the captain’s eyes. What is their aim? Will their mission succeed? Why does one of the terrorists change sides midway? The book tackles all these questions and more.

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