Monday, October 8, 2018

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Dorothy lived with her small dog Toto on the bleak Kansas prairie. One day a dangerous cyclone swept across the prairie and picked up the house with Dorothy and Toto still inside. As the hours passed, Dorothy eventually fell asleep and when she woke up, she and Toto were in a fantastical and strange land. To find her way back, she started her journey to the Emerald City. Now, read on…

Dorothy: Come along, Toto. We will go to the Emerald City and ask the Great Oz how to get back to Kansas again.

When she had gone several miles, she came across a great cornfield beyond the fence, and not far away she saw a Scarecrow, placed high on a pole to keep the birds from the ripe corn. While Dorothy was looking earnestly into the queer, painted face of the Scarecrow, she was surprised to see one of the eyes slowly wink at her.

Scarecrow: Good day.

Did you speak?

Scarecrow: Certainly. How do you do?

Dorothy: I'm pretty well. Thank you. How do you do?

Scarecrow: I'm not feeling well for it is very tedious being perched up here night and day to scare away crows.

Dorothy: Can't you get down?

Scarecrow: No, for this pole is stuck up my back. If you will please take away the pole I shall be greatly obliged to you.

Dorothy reached up both arms and lifted the figure off the pole, for, being stuffed with straw, it was quite light.

Scarecrow: Thank you very much. I feel like a new man. Now, tell me…who are you? And where are you going?"

Dorothy: My name is Dorothy and I am going to the Emerald City to ask the Great Oz to send me back to Kansas.

Scarecrow: Where is the Emerald City? And who is Oz?

Dorothy: Why, don't you know?

Scarecrow: No, indeed. I don't know anything. You see, I am stuffed, so I have no brains at all.

Dorothy: Oh! I'm awfully sorry for you.

Scarecrow: Do you think if I go to the Emerald City with you, that Oz would give me some brains?

Dorothy: I cannot tell but you may come with me, if you like. If Oz will not give you any brains you will be no worse off than you are now.

Scarecrow: That is true. You see, I don't mind my legs and arms and body being stuffed, because I cannot get hurt. If anyone treads on my toes or sticks a pin into me, it doesn't matter, for I can't feel it. But I do not want people to call me a fool…

Dorothy: I understand how you feel. If you will come with me I'll ask Oz to do all he can for you.

Scarecrow: Thank you.

…and they started along the path of yellow brick for the Emerald City. After an hour or so the light faded away, and they found themselves stumbling along in the darkness.

Dorothy: If you see any house, or any place where we can pass the night, you must tell me; for it is very uncomfortable walking in the dark.

Scarecrow: I see a little cottage at the right of us. Shall we go there?

Dorothy: Yes, indeed. I am all tired out.

So the Scarecrow led her through the trees until they reached the cottage, and Dorothy soon fell into a sound sleep. When she woke up, Toto had long been out chasing birds around him and squirrels. When she had finished her meal, and was about to go back to the road of yellow brick, she was startled to hear a deep groan near by.

Dorothy: What was that?

Scarecrow: I cannot imagine, but we can go and see.

One of the big trees had been partly chopped through, and standing beside it, with an uplifted axe in his hands, was a man made entirely of tin. His head and arms and legs were jointed upon his body, but he stood perfectly motionless, as if he could not stir at all. Dorothy looked at him in amazement, and so did the Scarecrow, while Toto barked sharply and made a snap at the tin legs, which hurt his teeth.

Dorothy: Did you groan?

Tin Man: Yes. I did. I've been groaning for more than a year, and no one has ever heard me before or come to help me.

Dorothy: What can I do for you?" she inquired softly, for she was moved by the sad voice in which the man spoke.

Tin Man: Get an oil-can and oil my joints. They are rusted so badly that I cannot move them at all; if I am well-oiled, I shall soon be all right again. You will find an oil-can on a shelf in my cottage.

Dorothy: Where are your joints?

Tin Man: Oil my neck, first. Then, oil the joints in my arms.

And Dorothy oiled them and the Scarecrow bent them carefully until they were quite free from rust and as good as new.

Tin Man: This is a great comfort. I have been holding that axe in the air ever since I rusted, and I'm glad to be able to put it down at last. Now, if you will oil the joints of my legs, I shall be all right once more.

So they oiled his legs until he could move them freely.

Tin Man: I might have stood there always if you had not come along…How did you happen to be here?

Dorothy: We are on our way to the Emerald City to see the Great Oz.

Tin Man: Why do you wish to see Oz?

Dorothy: I want him to send me back to Kansas, and the Scarecrow wants him to put a few brains into his head.

The Tin Woodman appeared to think deeply for a moment.

Tin Man: Do you suppose Oz could give me a heart?

Dorothy: Why, I guess so. It would be as easy as to give the Scarecrow brains!

Tin Man: True. So, if you will allow me to join your party, I will also go to the Emerald City and ask Oz to help me.

Scarecrow: Come along.

They all passed through the forest until they came to the road that was paved with yellow brick. There were few birds in this part of the forest, for birds love the open country where there is plenty of sunshine. But now and then there came a deep growl from some wild animal hidden among the trees. These sounds made the little girl's heart beat fast. Suddenly, a great Lion bounded into the road. Fearing Toto would be killed, she rushed forward and slapped the Lion upon his nose.

Dorothy: Don't you dare to bite Toto! You ought to be ashamed of yourself, a big beast like you, to bite a poor little dog.

The Lion: I didn't bite him.

Dorothy: No, but you tried to. You are nothing but a big coward.

The Lion: I know it. I've always known it. But how can I help it?

Dorothy: What makes you a coward?

The Lion: It's a mystery. I suppose I was born that way. All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts. I learned that if I roared very loudly every living thing was frightened and got out of my way. Whenever I've met a man I've been awfully scared; but I just roared at him, and he has always run away as fast as he could go.

Scarecrow: But that isn't right. The King of Beasts shouldn't be a coward.

The Lion: I know it. But whenever there is danger, my heart begins to beat fast. Do you think Oz could give me courage?

Scarecrow: Just as easily as he could give me brains!

Tin Woodman: Or give me a heart.

Dorothy: Or send me back to Kansas.

The Lion: Then, if you don't mind, I'll go with you…for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage.

Dorothy: You will be very welcome for you will help to keep away the other wild beasts. It seems to me they must be more cowardly than you are if they allow you to scare them so easily.

The Lion: They really are but that doesn't make me any braver, and as long as I know myself to be a coward, I shall be unhappy.

So once more the little company set off upon the journey, the Lion walking with stately strides at Dorothy's side. Toto did not approve of this new comrade at first, for he could not forget how nearly he had been crushed between the Lion's great jaws. But after a time he became more at ease, and presently Toto and the Cowardly Lion had grown to be good friends.

                                                                                                                      Adapted by Akash Shukla

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Three Wise Monkeys: Review from a candid pen!

Language is my gateway to literature! As a linguist, before I get to understand the literature of the text, I like to see how much the text welcomes me through its language.

The single most driving force in this Jeet Gian’s text was its ‘present wit’. The language unfolds the academic debacle of Amar, Akbar and Anthony in a perennially humourous way.

The main characters are not just easy to remember but they seamlessly leave an indelible impression on the reader’s mind through the contextual nature of their names—the innate Bollywood connection.

The text does not refer but alludes to various moments of smiles—sometimes to Amitabh Bachchan (for promoting Kutch) and sometimes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi (for making the world believe in it as a peaceable region).

The story plot does not just roam around these three grappling-to-be chartered accountants, it also lends itself to the day-to-day trauma of a surviving middle-class individual. The story does not unveil the monetary turmoil in their life but it also explores the fear that can be a human condition.

The free-wheeling nature of the three protagonists is roped with the underlying theme of their friendship. The mention of Leopold Café, Mumbai, post the terror attack vaguely but certainly hints at the indomitable spirit of Mumbaikars.

My recommendation to the novel is not merely on the point that it has the verve, vigour and vitality to grip you as a reader, but I suggest you to read this to have a laugh in between the witty metaphors that begin at page 1 and end at page 400.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

myDaily Meal: Decoding good health!

Health and meal do not exist in separate playfields!  

Grappling with bad health, I delayed this review for long until myDaily Meal accidentally slipped into my hands when I reached out to grab some book titles.

Since the work at hand was already a head spinner, I chose to look the other way but a certain one-liner caught my eye—‘perfect meal in 1 minute’.

As a linguist, myDaily Meal suddenly imposed upon my interest and I felt no burden to read on…

The next claim fascinated me some more--healthiest meal you can ever have. So without further deliberations, I chose to indulge…

I prepared a myDaily Meal in my gym shaker and took a swig. The greatest assessment of a health product is when you place it in testing waters! And I did the same. Within five minutes, body responded to the myDaily Meal intake. I felt a surge of vitality returning to my routine-ridden existence.

For me, things can be a turn off if they don’t taste good. Thankfully, myDaily Meal scored a brownie point even there. The meal is available in an array of flavours and is delectable to your tastebuds. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Her Resurrection- A Review

Picture Credit:

Feminism is not a fad but intent, not a cult but a religion in India. 'Her Resurrection' by Soumyadeep Koley is not merely a harbinger of harsh realities to fore, but it is the undying spirit of women that survive the dogmas and refuse to succumb under the bigoted faiths. 

Maya among the likes of Kumar and Shittuppam, is not just another protagonist helping to unfold a story plot; it is instead the pull back of the male skin to unfold the grave and grotesque misdemeanours of men.

Often, I have snubbed and sidelined the entity of feminism as a part and parcel stemming from the pragmatic discourse of intellectuals. However, Soumadeep with his tale of Maya has not only brought out the catharsis post rape but a catalysis of reactions that gains momentum when a young girl chooses to defy the contemporary societal norms and refuses to be a pariah in the course of her endless trauma.

I can take you through the day-to-day impediments of Maya and share all her travails but what good is a beautiful text if not read but seen only from the eclipsed view of a reviewer. People like Shittuppam and Kumar are not individual characters menacing the very existence of Maya in the text, but they are everyday metaphors of menace against the rebels like Maya who refuse to kneel down before their oppressors.

The voice of Maya, regardless of caste and creed, is the strong voice of the suppressed subaltern community. In the text, the curse called dowry mocks and jeers at the idea of a progressive India when a minor wails to study and the inebriated father thrashes her if she chooses to open her mouth against ‘his will’.

Even the idea of a teacher is flayed when he stands against education and questions: so now, you wish to study more than me, girl? And, that wasn’t a question at all! It was education lampooned and Maya ridiculed.

‘Her Resurrection’ is a seething attack on the questionable mindsets of males. To me as a linguist, the text is not just a story but a mission that uncovers the atrocities against women to achieve honour for them instead. 

Join his social-media effort at: and let us make ‘her resurrection’ possible by honouring her essence.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Rustom (2016) - Movie Review

Rustom Pavri. A decorated naval commander is taken to trial, or in better expression, was taken to trial for shooting three bullets into the chest of his wife’s lover. Or, is it? Is the plot this obvious? So, a man’s ego is upset over wife’s deception but was there a greater game afoot? Rustom answers it all. The plot is seemingly loose towards the first half when the scenes grapple to clinch a maturing. 

The seeds of a murder, a trial and a confession are sown towards the beginning. Director Tinu Suresh perhaps has loosened the characters to unfold on their own until the second half of the script where the action begins to gain momentum and people begin to suspect multiple issues. Was it a premeditated murder of a shady businessman or a crime of passion committed in the spur of the moment?

With this thought wreaking havoc in audience, Akshay Kumar playing the lead role of the naval commander and interestingly who projects a slight shade of a spurned lover in the first half begins to appear cool, calm and collected during his own trial. This transition baffles the viewers.

Rustom is a man who shows that honour of a lady conquers all animalistic emotions of could-be violence on spouse. The movie is not merely an entertainer for box office collections but a flick with a moral message for men in the contemporary era. Even when, Akshay Kumar gets to know of his wife’s indiscretion, he stands before her with pain in his gaunt but refuses to lift a finger on her character.

He repeats his gentleman-like gesture when he refuses to hire a lawyer for himself because he could not smear his wife’s character to defend his own. In a nutshell, the movie is not just about the intent of a gallant naval officer but about the undaunted values inherent in the Indian Navy.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Silken her voice
i secretly rejoice
Saw a smile
Wanna kiss this while
She barely knows
But i hide the woes
Accessed her before she allowed
grabbed her before she bowed
Blast from the past,
Bed is where she’s cast.
Tossed she lays,
through lips she pays.
Animal is my love
so tempting is the curve
in arms she swerve
Delhi en vogue is the latest swerve!
Grab you gently
pretend that u no longer wait intently
You flick those locks
then are emotions i box
  I found them in the docks
Dolled u appear
I zip & u bare
tell you,
nothing to fear
When silence your ‘no’
U already ‘know’
Rage u calls
Peace u pine
I feast on fiesty
now u lie on the dine
Like lock swallows key
Stop! U never make a plea
More, more, more
I’m your!

touched in lust
Hushed in lips
pert in hips
sex jumps from first
now, far from rust.
Da virgin quits to trust...
Heat in breath
Passion in sound

She waits to score
pen down,
 hate me to core
but now, I write no more...


Tuesday, November 5, 2013


 Ouch! She said in fear
Something I couldn't bear

She fell off the bike,
Never touched the ground
I held her that day,
today her thoughts surround

It was a roadkill, allright
I was the one who died.
She had screamed in fright
The street saw it.
I saved her with all my might.

Funny the saviour died that noon
who cares. . .
I saw my moon in that noon

I brought my poison home,
and home-alone we were,
she wrote my palms,
while she slid in my arms

Oh! I saw her eyes,
yet again,
They could always kill.
Priceless my love,
never came with a bill

Now she ain't here,
I couldn't bear
I am flipped.