Telegram, a potential new literary magazine .

I don’t write reviews of magazines, but I want to make an exception for this one. Tons of online lit-mags are coming out every month and most of them are of sub-standard quality in terms of content, design and editing. Telegram, on the other hand, stands out as a magazine exclusively devoted to literature.


To review Telegram, I’ll take one issue (September Issue) as a sample and give an overall reaction.

It contains a balanced mix of poetry, short stories, reviews, discussions and non-fiction articles related to literature, music and art in general. It also has a fun quiz section on literature.

The theme for September is Cityscape; stories that are connected to your hometown, stories where cities become characters. All the stories have successfully achieved this. There is Bus Route 86 by Percy Wadiwala which describes Mumbai in the span of a bus ride. Its cricket, its humdrum, its buildings and corners – everything come into life as the narrator remembers his childhood city and the city now, how it has changed over years. Parallel to this cityscape, there runs another story, story of a failed love and tussle between two friends, powered by ego and politics. The end is both surprising and apt. A fine piece of fiction.

Prayag by Nilesh Mondal tells a person’s experience in a new city via a letter sent to a friend who has never tried to become intimate with her city. Madras and Pondichery come to life as the narrator describes his experiences at both places, and how he has fallen in love with the new city more than his hometown. This story is both description-wise beautiful – you get to experience all the five senses – and effective to incite the urge to know your city, to feel home with it. The result is a satisfying and nostalgic read.

Local Politician by Abhyudaya Shrivastava is a humorous take on a local politician during a bus ride. The hypocrisy is brought out brilliantly, in a way that is not at all offensive.

The poems go with the same rhythm like short fictions. Augmented Reality and Souvenir are the poems I loved. The Home I Left is a long poem wonderfully written that chronicles the journey of a city as it grows old. It reminded of a poem by Jibanananda Das which starts like: “I am walking for a thousand years…”

The discussion on Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and the study of the relationship between madness and literature is surprisingly insightful. I did not anticipate such a well researched article. It should be noted that Mrs Dalloway is often compared and discussed along with Jane Eyre and Wild Sargasso Sea. A few interesting observations could have been added to the article then.

A detailed and well written review of Persopolis is also there in the issue. Glad to see a graphic novel getting place in the magazine.

I was saving the cover story for the last, because I think it is of huge importance. The cover story on the upcoming Indian music bands is very informative and an example of good journalism. I like to mention that the article on JNU published in the July issue is also a very good one. I enjoyed reading that. There is a humour and truth in the reports, making them quite engaging.

One thing I like to suggest is to include one or two lines about the contributors after the index page or at the end of each piece.

Overall, I like to say that a magazine like this gives me hope that something good is happening in Indian literature. I believe, if it keeps up this quality, it’ll see bright days in its future. I have become a regular reader of this magazine.


On James Joyce

Whenever people ask me who my favourite writer is, I blurt, without even letting them complete the question, “Joyce, Joyce, it can’t be anyone else.” And the reactions I normally receive are mixtures of surprise and doubt.

A writer who have not read even one Austen or Bronte novel, says his favourite writer is Joyce. It surely would stir doubt about the honesty of the statement. Even it can reflect pompousness, pretentiousness or boastfulness of an aspiring writer who wants to let people know that he knows things.

I don’t want to defend myself, I don’t need to. And I am not bound to explain myself either, because I really don’t care.

This post is my dedication to the writer for whom I have the purest, the most childish love possible between a writer and a reader.

(Before starting, I confess: I have not read “Ulysses” and “Finnegans Wake” yet.)


I never knew I want to be a writer. I am good with mathematics and science has always been my easy choice. Still, when time or mood permitted, I picked a random book and read. My childhood books consisted of the Bengali translation of “Tintin” and Bengali comics like “Nonte-Fonte”, “Batul the Great”. I never needed to seek stories in English language. Feluda and Byomkesh gave me all the Sherlock Holmes I wanted to read and “Chader Pahar” (The Mountain of Moon) gave me all the adventures I aspired to have. When I needed some serious stuff, I had our good old Tagore.

During my college days, I didn’t regularly read books. My selection was so random that I read one book by Bhagat, then next by Robin Cook, then Hosseini or Ken Follett or Coelho. I never wrote much either. One or two scattered Bengali poems max.

James Joyce

So 19 years of my life had passed and I had read only some 20+ books. After graduating in engineering with rather good marks, I had too much free time. I watched all the movies I got from hostel and had all the boozing I could indulge myself in while staying in home.

I could do nothing but read books. I read “The Idiot” by “Dostoevsky” next. Strange, isn’t it? I just randomly picked it from my ebook collection I got from my hostel friends (reading or not you got to have collections to show off). It was long but I liked it. It was good time-pass for me. I read “1984”, “A Passage to India” after that, which I got from our town library. I attempted to read “Beloved” and “Midnight’s Children” back then but couldn’t understand it.

One day, I happened to come across a book titled, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” By then, I started to doubt whether I’d remain an engineer and go for research in control and automation.

The title and the content of the book had a kind of ironical justification to my mental condition back then.

There were few thoughts, emotions I used to have when I was child and I thought only I thought that, and they were my secrets, my very own little but extremely personal ones. No one knew it. But here was this book where I was seeing Stephen doing things, thinking things that shook me at the most vulnerable corners of my mind. For example when I read:

But he was not sick there. He thought that he was sick in his heart if you could be sick in that place. Fleming was very decent to ask him. He wanted to cry. He leaned his elbows on the table and shut and opened the flaps of his ears. Then he heard the noise of the refectory every time he opened the flaps of his ears. It made a roar like a train at night. And when he closed the flaps the roar was shut off like a train going into a tunnel. That night at Dalkey the train had roared like that and then, when it went into the tunnel, the roar stopped. He closed his eyes and the train went on, roaring and then stopping; roaring again, stopping. It was nice to hear it roar and stop and then roar out of the tunnel again and then stop.

I literally used to do that. During the boring lectures in the programs at my missionary school, I used to do that (opening and closing ear-flaps) and entertained myself. I thought I knew a trick that no one knew. It was mine. Mine. But this strange author came and took that away. For the first time, I realized what words could do to a person. I read that part again and again. After that, I came across this paragraph,

He turned to the flyleaf of the geography and read what he had written there: himself, his name and where he was.

Stephen Dedalus

Class of Elements

Clongowes Wood College


County Kildare



The World

The Universe

I wrote that in my school copies. (Anirban Nanda, Class 4, Section A, Saradamoni Sisu Niketan, Haldia, West Bengal, India, Asia, World, Universe.) How the hell Joyce knew that?

Though winter is short in my country, I cherished those nights inside quilt as described below.

First came the vacation and then the next term and then vacation again and then again another term and then again the vacation. It was like a train going in and out of tunnels and that was like the noise of the boys eating in the refectory when you opened and closed the flaps of the ears. Term, vacation; tunnel, out; noise, stop. How far away it was! It was better to go to bed to sleep. Only prayers in the chapel and then bed. He shivered and yawned. It would be lovely in bed after the sheets got a bit hot. First they were so cold to get into. He shivered to think how cold they were first. But then they got hot and then he could sleep. It was lovely to be tired. He yawned again. Night prayers and then bed: he shivered and wanted to yawn. It would be lovely in a few minutes. He felt a warm glow creeping up from the cold shivering sheets, warmer and warmer till he felt warm all over, ever so warm and yet he shivered a little and still wanted to yawn.

In short, I felt Joyce wrote this book for me to read. It was meant for me. The struggle of Stephen to find his vocation in later chapters resonated with me. Though the prose was becoming denser with each chapter, I read the book line by line. Read each sentence again and again until I understood it. I read it three times in a row. I almost ruined the library copy.

There are many more deeper secrets that I share with this book and for this reason, whenever I feel down, I read it; whenever I feel a block, I read it.

I read Dubliners after that and with each story —I must emphasize on ‘each’— I learned unexplored sides of human emotions. So, yes, even if Joyce had never written (thank God he did) “Ulysses” or “Finnegans Wake”, I’d worship him all the same.

Joyce is not just another writer for me; he is my tuning point, my Literary Guru.

How to write a friendly and honest review.

Reviewing a book is a tricky job because

  1. The writer is eagerly waiting for the review you’ll be writing. This is true for every newbie writer. If you write a beaming review praising it, the writer will read it again and again and will feel a sheer joy. I have felt it.
  2. The reader i.e. the reviewer also has invested some emotion into the book and it’d bound to reflect on the review.

The reason this is a very tricky job is that a pretty well amount of emotions is connected to it, and a review is absolutely, completely and definitely a professional business. You may have reviewed a work written by your friend and given a corny, lovely review of that. That’s okay. But once you become a well-know reviewer, you should become more professional.

So, let’s get started, shall we? It’ll be short, I promise.


Reviewing means ‘a critical appraisal of a book, play, or other work’ (ref. concise oxford dictionary) which, upon expanding tells: you read a book and you give honest opinion based on your experience of reading books and the opinion would be such that it’ll help the writer/artist ‘appraise’ his/her work.

In straight words, from your review both the writer and readers must get something of value.

Now, if the book is good, the work becomes pretty easy and everyone feels very happy. What happens if the book is not so good? Read on.

Basically, you have two options here:

  1. You praise the work anyway and the author gets happy. But after reading your review when a reader buys it and gets disappointed; believe me, he’ll never ever going to read your review.
  2. You point out the issues point-blankly. That’ll hurt the author brutally. He/She has spent hours creating the book and getting such a review will hurt. When other writers will read your review, many may get scared of your review and will not prefer to get their book reviewed by you. Because your review do affect the sales.

Here is what you should do:

  1. Point out the good things first. And don’t forget to justify that with required quotes as it’ll increase the credibility of your review(without spoiling major plot-points). Don’t spoil a book in your review.
  2. Point out what you think of it in context of the current society. It’ll help the reader understand if he really needs to read the book. (for example when I wrote the review of ‘Voices of the silent creek’; I started it like this: The book ‘Voices of the Silent Creek’ tries to bring out raw truth about women hidden behind the curtains of big houses and how knowing their situation, people choose to keep their mouth shut. The hypocrisy of people calling themselves supporter of women empowerment will strike you fiercely in this novel. A very different attempt for a debut novel and definitely deserves a round of applause.  Read the full review.)
  3. While handling critical points, do it honestly but candidly. Never ever underestimate or insult the ability of the writer. That’s the greatest insult a writer can have. For example, if you see the dialogues are not good, instead of writing “The dialogues are very badly written and doesn’t interest me at all”, write, “I believe if the dialogues are constructed tautly, the effect of the story would become more lasting.” Basically, you did the same thing, but the later is more candid.

With that I am listing few quick points that may be of your help in any other review:

  1. Don’t write summary and spoil the entire story.
  2. Show proofs of your opinions and justify that.
  3. More detailed the review, more spoilery it may become. Try to write a review that doesn’t spoil the story but gives enough glimpse into the story to justify your point.
  4. Personally, I don’t like to rate books, but it’s not a sin to rate a book either. Everyone assesses everything in this world by some certain scale.
  5. Don’t add blurb in your review. It makes it look less professional.
  6. Try to learn something from the book because your love for books is the whole point of becoming a reviewer or a writer.
  7. Don’t promise to review more books than you can read properly. This is very important. Try to review as much as possible by you, not more than that.
  8. It’s preferable to restrict yourself to your favorite genres. But if you are an avid reader who eats everything that come in his way, then you go for all the genres.

So, that’s it, I suppose. Lately, I was not much active here, but now on, you’ll see regular blog posts. Thank you for reading. Do leave your comments.

Happy New Year

2015 is arguably (if I can find anyone to argue! :p) the most eventful year of my life. The year started with me gluing my face over GATE preparation books with almost 8 hours of continuous study a day. Also, it was my final year of graduation; so it was a bit emotional. Frankly, I had no serious plan to write anything. I had only written two short leisurely stories in my 20 years of life. I had one friend in my college who was also writing stories and was doing quite good (Biswadeep 😉 ). So, while preparing for exams, I started peeking into different kind of books (till then, I never choose to read any book. Whatever came in my way, or whatever our library had, I read). Till February, I couldn’t write anything.

But after exams gone, I found myself free to do whatever I want. So, I wrote one or two stories and sent them to few anthologies (remember, I didn’t have much connections then and I had to follow Biswa and few of his friends’ profiles to find the contests.) It (my story) got selected and from then, I gained confidence and kept writing more.

After that, strange things happened. I got okay marks in GATE and decided to drop a year to prepare again, because I had high ambitions. I even started going to coaching classes and refused the job I got from campus placement. But then unexpectedly, one day I received an appointment letter for research post in a project at IIT Kharagpur. I came here and started working on interesting things.

Now I have six anthologies published, a blog with 3000 views, administration to a facebook page of 7k plus likes, attendance to a book launch of which I am a part of (with authors I admire and from whom I’ve learned many things). I’ve met wonderful people from both technology and writing background, few of whom have become very good friends from whom I can seek help at 2 A.M. I am starting 2016 with better visibility of what I want to do in future and a mix feeling of fear and confidence about what I am going to do.

Thank you for everything 2015 and a very happy new year to you all.

Interview with Aditi Bose

Me: How are you feeling?

Aditi: I feel like a frozen icicle. Delhi’s getting darn cold slowly. Jokes apart, I’m currently in a content state. Things seem to be on the right track. So I am not complaining.

Me:Yes, it’s quite cold in here too. Let’s start with a conventional question. Tell us something about yourself.

Aditi: I am a mother. This is what will always come first. The rest follow – writer, swimmer, shopper, foodie, and an utter romantic.

Me: When did you start writing & what/who inspired you to begin writing?

Aditi: I have been writing for a very long time. As a child I used to write my personal diary and a travel journal. Writing a novel is a recent entrant though.
My parents and the stories they told me are an inspiration. My child is too – when you have to tell a kid a new story every night, there is no choice but to keep your creative juices flowing.

Me: What did you like to read in your childhood?

Aditi: Enid Blyton and more Enid Blyton. A few years later I was hooked onto Satyajit Ray’s Feluda series.


Me: Feluda is my favorite. I have read every story of Feluda in my childhood days. 🙂 So, who is your favorite Author? Anything specific that keeps you hooked to his/her writing?

Aditi: I like reading a plethora of authors. Usually the story line and the book cover is what attracts my attention. But, in general, I like Danielle Steele and the poignancy that she brings up in her stories.

Me: Oh, I see. What is your current book about? Can you tell us something about it?

Aditi: My Dream Man explores the changing relationship between a professor and his student. I don’t think I want to divulge any further.

Me: How have you conceived the idea about writing this book?


Aditi: Ideas just come to me suddenly – out of the blue. This one also just happened.


Me: Could you tell us something about the main character of your current book?

Aditi: The female protagonist is a vivacious Bengali girl and the professor, who is twelve years older to him, is a mature and calm person.

Me: Tons of other books are being published every day out there. What makes this book different and attractive for a reader?

Aditi: Because it has been written by an attractive lady! (Giggles). Jokes apart, I think the teacher-student relationship in a romance plus the kind of twist that it has hasn’t been experimented with yet.

Me: That seems interesting. It is said that a writer should always read a lot, do you agree? Does it influence one’s writing? How do you avoid the influence & maintain the flow?

Aditi: The words should / have to doesn’t apply to writers. We are a bunch of creative people and we do what we like. For some reading works and for some staring into open space does.

If one were to read only a single author’s writing then it is likely that some influence would brush off. As for avoiding influence, there’s really no need to avoid it. Every writer, eventually, always finds his own style coming out.

Me: Do you follow a special regime to write? And how do you go about writing every day?

Aditi: The only regime that I follow is that I need to feel happy and energetic. When I do I can write even an entire chapter in an hour. But when I’m tired or upset I can’t get the words out of me. So there are days at a stretch when I give myself a break without feeling guilty about it. And I never set myself goals like ‘X words in X days’ etc.  I write when I feel like.

Me: Do you like to plot and plan everything beforehand or just let your writing lead you though the story?

Aditi: I have the basic plot in mind. That’s it. Names of characters, incidents, the twists everything happens as I write.

Me: You are a management graduate. Does it help you in your writing career? 

Aditi: Nope. But, having an MBA degree, being a good student, and being an alumna of well known educational institutes in the country does give me a sense of self pride.

Me: When you sit to write, how do you create the flow/mood to keep writing without getting disturbed?

Aditi: I don’t create because I can’t. I have my responsibilities which I need to fulfil. So I just avoid times when disturbances are high. So till I know I can get some silent time in the house I stay away from writing.

Me: Do you see yourself exploring other genres like crime thriller or fantasy?

Aditi: Fantasy maybe. But in the distant future, if ever. The only other genre I like writing is tales for kids. My first book – an ebook – was a collection of short stories for children – ‘Hama-Guri goes to School’.

Me: What is, according to you, are some of the traits of a successful writer (be it’s a blog writer or a fiction/non-fiction writer)?

Aditi: When a writer can write without thinking how much royalty he will be getting, he’s a successful writer.

Me: Well put. In what position do you see yourself five years from now?

Aditi: The mother to an almost teenage daughter! (Laughs)

Me: 🙂 She is lucky to have a mother like you. What do you like to do when you are not writing or reading?

Aditi: Sketching, swimming, being with my kid, Whatsapping.

Me: New Year is around. Do you want to give any message to our readers?

Aditi: It is easy to make promises to oneself and even easier to break it. Don’t do that in 2016. Have smaller goals if need be, but live upto it.

Me: Thank you so much, it’s a pleasure interviewing you. Tell us when your book is going to be released and where can one find it? 

Aditi: My Dream Man is already on the stands. You can order it from Amazon or PustakMandi. It will be on Flipkart soon.


Me: Also, if you are okay with it, how can someone get in touch with you?

Aditi: They can follow me on FB or on Twitter.

So folks, that’s all about Aditi and her book, The Dream Man. From her words, it seems intriguing. Watch this space for more interviews and discussions. Thank you for reading. ❤

—-interviewed by Anirban Nanda.

How it is possible to read more than one book at the same time.

As a voracious reader and an ambitious writer, I am member of many book-clubs where we share what we are reading and discuss it. So, when I say that I am reading 3 books at a time, people get surprised and ask how it is possible to do so and still not mix up themes and characters.

First of all, it’s not a matter of pride for reading more than one book at a time. People who read one book at a time normally plunge themselves in the book and become lost into it, which is a great thing and truly depicts how one should enjoy a book.

But as for me, like many others, who reads many books at a time gets a different experience, neither superior nor inferior to the previous case.

Let’s get to point about how someone does read a lot of books at a time, let me tell you from my own experiences. I am currently reading Elizabeth Costello by J.M. Coetzee, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy; all of which are well respected. Each of these has separate plot, themes, styles and characters. As a writer who doesn’t say he earns his bread by writing, he has to go through separate realms of life-styles/thinking processes; for example: a writer who also works as an accountant has to be a good serviceman, good reader, good husband, friend etc etc. So many personalities where you are supposed to think separately and behave accordingly. Do they mix these up? This is the source for me to find the reason of my reading many books at a time. While I am reading the story of Caulfield I am thrown into different world and different tone and while I am reading Elizabeth Costello’s story which revolves around struggles of a writer at old age, I see a new style and premise and a lot more though provoking literature. But I do not mix them up because I do not read them as a reader, rather I read them to find the tricks the author is using in his writing. I do not get surprised/delighted to face a plot twist, I normally get drawn to a novel solely because of the writing style and set up and how the writer is building the whole plot. I do get lost into the stories but on some level, I’m also aware of the techniques the author is using.

That’s is most probably the case with me. I don’t know if I am able to make myself clear enough, but right now, this is all I can think of (and blogging because the thought is tormenting me).

Why (should) humans read?

Yesterday night, I decided to write a post like this. Topic is weird and want to know why I am posting this? Because:

  1. I think it is high time in this awesome gaming/cinema era for publishing a post on reading or telling stories and what is the need to listen(read) to those stories.
  2. I need to increase post reach of my page. LOL, Jokes apart, following lines are implications of a true reader’s feelings.

To tell you the truth, I have been going through a gaming spree for few months. Yes, gaming. I have played games like Transistor , Bastion , Trine, The Walking Dead, Child of Light, Stacking, Bioshock, Brothers- a tale of two sons, FEZ , Her Story and Gone Home. Pretty long list, eh?

But guess what! There is one common denominator in all these games which is …  Story and Presentation. Now why have I pulled gaming in an arguably opposite domain i.e. reading? The reason is simply this: you need to understand the difference of impact on your perception from reading a book and playing a game and watching a movie.
Lets take an example of Game, say The Walking Dead which is both famous in gaming world and in TV series. Now here in this game/serial you find yourself among zombies craving for your blood and your fate depends on the choices you make (in the game also). In that sense, in the gaming world you get to enjoy a better experience of the surrounding environment than in the serial.


Now, imagine if there is a book awesomely written on the same and you are reading it. With each line you will be forming images of the scenes happening and as well forming your opinions (sometimes agreeing and sometimes not) along with the characters. You are creating an world all by yourself. When you watch the same in serial, it bound to differ with your world and opinions.

For example, take the famous Bollywood movie Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) where in the end Simran’s father declared the epic dialogue “Ja Simran ja, ja jee le apni zindegi”(Go Simran go, live your life.) I know you are remembering the exact scene depicted in the film. But people who have not watched the film and reading this post have already formed a different image from the film. So the film is basically feeding you with an image that is visualized by someone else (most probably the director).

But humans have fortunately been given a brain which can do things which is far beyond understanding of scientists even today. So the thing is, with game or movie you are devouring something, creating nothing which is in a way, not the complete use of your ability to create new worlds.

Next what comes in mind that, why do you even need to use your brain where as you are getting ready-made entertainment from films and games? Well, that’s a tricky question. To answer this, let me talk about a famous book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn where things have happened beyond our expectation. Now among us, who have read both the book and watched the film will know that reading the book before watching the film has made them construct their own anguish/opinion/joy. Do you remember the following lines from the book?

I’m so much happier now that I’m dead.

Technically, missing. Soon to be presumed dead. But as shorthand, we’ll say dead. It’s been only a matter of hours, but I feel better already: loose joints, wavy muscles. At one point this morning, I realized my face felt strange, different. I looked in the rearview mirror – dread Carthage forty-three miles behind me, my smug husband lounging around his sticky bar as mayhem dangled on a thin piano wire just above his shitty, oblivious head – and I realized I was smiling. Ha! That’s new.

My checklist for today – one of many checklists I’ve made over the past year – sits beside me in the passenger seat, a spot of blood right next to Item 22: Cut myself. But Amy is afraid of blood, the diary readers will say. (The diary, yes! We’ll get to my brilliant diary.) No, I’m not, not a bit, but for the past year I’ve been saying I am. I told Nick probably half a dozen times how afraid I am of blood, and when he said, ‘I don’t remember you being so afraid of blood,’ I replied, ‘I’ve told you, I’ve told you so many times!’ Nick has such a careless memory for other people’s problems, he just assumed it was true. Swooning at the plasma center, that was a nice touch. I really did that, I didn’t just write that I did. (Don’t fret, we’ll sort this out: the true and the not true and the might as well be true.)

Only a reader will understand what kind of shock he/she will be in after reading this. Where as in the film, it would take merely 1 sec to show what is told above. My point is: your emotions are more intense in case of book; you are instantly making opinions on the situation which for sure will make you more aware and rational person in the long run. And that’s the whole point of being a human and not a horse. Human can form opinions from which they take decisions. And decisions can only differ between human and animal. Clearly, the more you read, the more you form opinions, and more thinking results in effective decision making capability during important turning of your life.


That’s why from the very beginning of human civilization, humans told stories to their descendants, to pass the tale of their lives, or drew cave drawing which is an intuitive form of telling stories. Presenting stories in form of writing has always remained an useful way of spreading thoughts, and it will remain like this as long as humans exist in this planet.

So read a book, and live another new world.

[Book Experience] Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the ShoreKafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

While reading this book, I can assure you that this is not like other books; be it realistic or fantastical. Unlike in other novels which will take you through a well-defined path, give you a certain meaning, where all the events and interpretations tend to converge in to one, you won’t find that in this book.

Here symbolism is at its peak and here everything seems a metaphor. And that exactly what it tries to be; a metaphorical journey, where unexplainable or unreal incidents try to vaguely give you a clue about its metaphor. After completing this book, you will feel like floating in a dream as a whole, without any specific interpretations of things happening here. Sure enough, you’ll get some idea about what it is about, you’ll not be confident; because Murakami wants you not to feel confident about anything’s meaning in the book.

Sardine rain, leech rain, talking stone and cats, entrance to a semi-real-metaphysical-afterlife world, a man-woman mixed sex, this kind of weird things will come across while reading the novel.

I’ll try to share my musing on few such incidents here : [You need to read the novel to understand the following]

Sardine rain: This thing happens just after killing of cats. Cats love Sardines, so raining sardines may symbolize Nakata’s sympathy for those killed cats.

Leech rain: To explain parasitic nature of the tormentors at the parking lot.

Kafka: It means crow in Czech, which also indicates to ‘the boy named crow’ , the inner soul of our protagonist, who lives through multiple times and falls in love with same women twice, first as lover, second as son.

Kafka on the shore: The portrait inspired by which Miss, Saeki writes a wonderful song (named Kafka on the Shore), that prophesied events that will occur later on the novel.

Entrance Stone: A metaphorical gate through which Kafka connects to his mom/lover even after her death, an afterlife world.

Mixed sex: To give neutrality, because Kafka is utterly confused about sex.

The unconscious children: Refers weirdness of war, where no logic works, same like those children became unconscious without any reason.

As a whole I can say that it is a MAGICAL book. The word ‘spellbinding’ in the blurb is apt. I love Murakami’s style, his twisting plot, weird events, and everything.

View all my reviews

RAP(A)-ism ─Anirban Nanda


*Offensive contents may be found.
*It’s a fiction; so are the names.
*No offense intended to any particular person or group or organization.

Year 2020:

He settles himself on the reading desk and opens his laptop which is also called ‘Whackbook’. Renowned-and-popular-author or RAPA is his name, which according to him, is one of the honourable and elite names for someone to be called. Pushing the power button has woken up the electronically advanced, multipurpose, 10 gigahertz core driven and rareOS loaded scientific machine. A bunch of glowing grapes ─which is not bitten─ has glorified the backside of the stylish and glamorous technical masterpiece. Opening his facebook account he sees 100 new notifications and 50 new friend requests. But I was only offline for three hours. He has thought. Then he has stretched his arms yawning in his comfortable chair and closed his eyes. How popular I am! I am the RAPA. He’s then come closer to his whackbook and saw the deadline. Today is the last day for the national level literary contest organised by TALE; The Association of Literary Elites. I must hurry. Then he has placed his hands on his temples and concentrated for few minutes. The short story must be a masterpiece. The prize money is big. It has to be dark and gruesome. People like negative topics.

He has thought for a long time and then started typing the story. This story would be awesome ─acid on face combined with rape. It is the darkest possible story I can write. He’s typed and typed; for hours. After three hours, he has looked at the 5000 word-long story and smiled.

After 15 days:

RAPA updates a status:

Just saw the announcement of the winners in the nationwide competition organised by TALE. And guess what…I WON THE FIRST PRIZE! Thank you so much for your support and likes. Go to the following link to read my story named Dark Life of a Girl. (

─feeling happy 🙂 .

After updating the status, he has gone to bed and merged himself in the softness of deep slumber.

Few blocks away from RAPA’s house; Dr. Samson Saha (sometimes mocked as Savior in Satan because he charges big for treatment) just has returned from his long day’s work. He’s refreshed himself and watching his watch ticking 2.00AM he has gone to bedroom to join his wife. His wife rarely has the opportunity to watch her husband dine with their family and so she has got used to such routines. Samson enters and smiles at his sleeping wife and then has unhinged the nightgown and walked towards the bed.

Ting Tang Ti Ting! His cell is buzzing. He reluctantly has taken out the phone and stared at the number. It is from emergency department in the government hospital nearby. His wife has woken up and looked at him with half opened eyes. Samson has picked up the phone gazing at his wife. From the other side the voice speaks, “Doctor sa’ab, a girl is just admitted on reference from the local hospital. You have to come now. Someone has thrown acid on her face. Please sir, come quickly.” Samson has cut the phone and looked at his wife tiredly. Wife nods at him understandingly and says, “Go save the girl.”

Ting! Another ‘like’ has buzzed in RAPA’s phone.

MORAL: Writing to stop tortures on women is same as writing “Smoking kills” in a cigarette packet.

©Anirban Nanda