The Wet Railing by Anirban Nanda

It’s raining outside, reminding me this piece.


I wrote this story to fight with my writer’s block participating in #1000wordsmarathon. I wrote it within 50 mins. Hope you would like it.


by Anirban Nanda

What will you feel if you are tied to an iron for your whole life? Pretty bad, nah? Well, think about me. Yes, me. I am a railing; a thin cylindrical metallic rod to prevent you from falling off from a metro. I am too old now, a bit rusty and fragile. Maybe I am no use to you, but still you can lend your ear for a few minutes to this old man’s ─sorry, not man, old railing would be more appropriate─ meaningless ramblings.


This is monsoon you know. And for me, monsoon comes to me with bittersweet feelings. Bitter because it gifts me rust on my body and corrode it bit by bit; and sweet, yes; not…

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Review: #Iam16ICanRape by Kirtida Gautam


#IAm16ICanRape by Kirtida Gautam
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Recently I have read a very lengthy and much talked book  #IAm16ICanRape
by Kirtida Gautam which takes on a very important aspect of our judicial system and more crucially psychology of rape.

Now as the subject is really hard-hitting and the book is 630 pgs long, I was excited to read this one hoping to find a true magnum opus on the current position of woman in India. In fact, I have finished this book quite a few days ago, but I was doubtful about my opinion on the same. So after much thought I am presenting my true opinion about this book.

Firstly, this book is an honest attempt. But in midway through the book, I have almost decided to give it a 2-star and stop reading further. There are reasons for that which I will point out shortly. Basically the book gained 1 more star for Chapter 10.1, 6.4 and few more chapters on Aarush, our protagonist.

Too Many Characters:

In my opinion, this book would be better if it had been presented as a non-fiction book. The fact that, with almost 15 characters and 630+ pages; if the story and narration are not gripping enough, the book will bore the reader.

This book has lot of characters and the author has tried to give equal space for each one of them. Whereas, many characters are redundant and removing them would have made this book far more compact and gripping.


Next are narration, language and style. The style is in simple prose for which I have no problem but the presentation is not lively at all. For example consider the following excerpt:

“Around 12:15 a.m., I get a call from the Santosh Hospital. Dad collapsed in the parking area at RK-JEE. How and when did that happen? We rush to the hospital and find out that Dad was backing his car from his parking space when suddenly, he fell on the wheel and fainted. The watchman, Makkhan Singh, rushed to the spot and drove him to hospital.”

As each chapter is devoted to one character only it’s really irritating when in every line the character says “I am doing this, I am doing that.”

Like this one:

(From a chapter on Rudransh)

“I am so excited with this thought that I cannot sleep. I wake up at least five times during the night to check the time. Every night when I go to bed, I get the feeling that it is morning in five minutes; but tonight, the time simply does not pass. By the time the alarm clock rings at 5:30 a.m., I am already up. I go for my morning walk.”

(From a Chapter on Meghana)

“I come home. My cook, Sarojini, has come. I ask her to pack three different Tupperware tiffin boxes. I specify in my instructions to use Tupperware and not regular plastic boxes. The first tiffin is my lunchbox, the second my 4 p.m. snack, and the last my 6 p.m. salad.

I drive to my office. The intern, Shivani, is not in the office. I don’t appreciate it when people are late when they are on an internship. I criticize Shivani in front of Rajkumar, who is my best friend and colleague.”

It’s just telling, not showing. Even you can’t differentiate the tone of each character; all are almost same.


Also, most of the narration is based on dialogues and I am not happy to see the author considering her readers so dumb. A tone, or mockery, or sarcasm should reflect in the dialogue itself. We don’t need a comment explaining meaning of the dialogue each time.

For example:

“Hi Dad, I didn’t notice you. When did you come? What is the time? 1:30?” she asks.


“No, it is 9:30,” I answer.

“How come RK-Ji is back so early?”

Sarcasm, again!

“Has your MIL’s spirit entered in your body by any chance? Why so much sarcasm? At the end of the day, you are a woman and you can’t change that, right?” I am her father-figure, she should not verbally brawl with me.

Good Mind-play:

But at the end few chapters pay off well as mentioned earlier. Very deep insights are presented at very crucial points that question our beliefs. Like this one:

“There are people who believe in the basic goodness of human nature. I believe in the basic evil of human nature.

I am a memory collector. I like to collect memories of high and intensely emotional moments. Any idea why people watch movies or read fiction and stuff? Homo sapiens crave emotional experiences. They need intense emotional experiences, but the fact of human life is that they don’t get those experiences in their real lives. They bottle up emotions, then they go out and watch or read something and their emotions come out, a process called catharsis. The lower the intelligence of a system; the more prone she/he will be to enjoy vicarious emotions and believe in the make-believe. That is how the film and TV industry survives. By stupidiots, with stupidiots, for stupidiots!”


“When Mom slapped me, the absolute first thought that came into my head was, ‘Does she know?’ Then I quickly put all the pieces of the puzzle together. If she knew, she would not have been the only person to know. Bob would have known too! But Bob just hugged me and welcomed me back home. He didn’t know a thing, which implied Mom didn’t know anything either. She slapped me only because she felt like slapping me. Good! That is good! She thinks I was angry with her. I was not angry, I played angry, but in reality, I was relieved!”

I adore this kind of mind-play. The division of chapters, though very unconventional and confusing, is basically a timeline of the events that take place in the book. A clever way of chapter division.

Nearing at end of this review I can say that, it has good insights, an average plot, an average narration and too many characters (so many that you may forget their names). So it leaves me dangling in between whether I like this book or not. Hence, giving it three stars.

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[Book Experience] Domechild by Shiv Ramdas


Domechild by Shiv Ramdas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tomorrow it was past midnight and though I was aware that next morning (I mean today) I have to wake up early and catch a train, I was tensely reading this book clutching the cover and cursing the author for writing such a long book and making me stay awake so late. But it was worth it.

Contrary to expectation, I have found this book a proper mix of Orwellian dystopian and a GOT type thriller. But still, at the end of the book, I am satisfied and happy. The language is good, full of juice and humor proving the author’s mastery over words.

Like any other sci-fi novel this book opens in a futuristic world with total-vigilance on everyone. I was really excited about the theory to be developed later for this totalitarian society . And for that I was reading this book earnestly, waiting for the revelation. But it was sad that I had to wait till next half of the book where things got more complicated with every line. The book is a 100% sci-fi thriller with original thoughts on how our society would turn out if things present in today’s world go wrong. Shiv Ramdas has cleverly used the modern world technology for total vigilance. Here as everything in society is automated, the citizens are appointed for the sole purpose of monitoring everyone’s movement. They have a social network site where people get to check others’ profiles and chat with them (with fake smiles and words). In case, there is some discrepancy, the citizens have to report the same to the concerned officials. I think this is convincing enough in that world.

In midst of all these highly futuristic civilization, there is a different world altogether outside the city(of course the name of the city is Dome). When one timid person is thrown from such a systematic, mundane and fearful world to a wild, dark and addictive world, one can understand how interesting the adventure will going to be. And also, the hidden plot twists have emerged in such unexpected situations that the whole book has become a treat for sci-fi readers. I don’t want to spoil anything but the end few pages are so awesomely constructed that it leaves the reader desperately wanting to read the next part/installation.

I have deducted 1 star because of these:

1. The running through tunnels in mid-section seemed has been dragged too much. Almost 30 pages can easily be reduced.

2. The theory that has established the dystopian world in this book is quite convincing and original. The theory is this: a highly talented scientist with help of a company demystifies the working of human brain reveling which exact points of our brain is sensitive to what kind of information. The problem has arrived when that interface has become corrupted due to some conspiracy and thus making the same information act like a drug.
There is one thought of mine based upon the above theory. In that sense,the information or the digital data itself has the ability to control human brain by inducing exact signals at exact points of human brain. This gives the company the ability to control every human being in the way they have wanted and thus reducing half the effort by everyone(to control and to save). Anyway, this only is my personal thought.

Another good thing about this book is that, unlike other recent books, this one respects your IQ and let you figure out different subtle plot-points by yourself. I thank the author for that.

Well, what are you waiting for! Go give it a read. Highly recommended.
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