Book Review – Home Fire.

I do not normally review books that I read but, when I read something extraordinary, I do. Kamila Shamsie‘s Home Fire comes under this category. I came across this book by accident and bought it at the recommendation of another avid reader friend and I am glad that I did.

The story as accepted by the author is based on the play Antigone and the characters in the book are all named with names similar to those of the play.

The story is about two families of British citizens of Pakistani origin who get trapped in problems of the modern world of terrorism.

Character portrayal is simply brilliant and the conflicting emotions of being Muslim, modern and British with roots in Pakistan are brought out vividly. The background is all too familiar for people who are abreast of what is happening in Britain vis a vis its Muslim population and I for one could not put the book down once I started reading it.

A very unusual treatment of a very troubling situation skilfully articulated by the author, I recommend it to my readers who are readers too.

It is available on both hard copy and kindle formats and I read it on my kindle. At some future date, I intend reading it again. I also intend reading all other books by the author.

The Association Of Small Bombs.


This is a rather unusual title of a novel that I have just finished reading. It takes one Hindu family, one Muslim family, and other characters including some terrorists and puts them all together to come up with a remarkable story of India and terrorism.

The title makes sense towards the end of the book.

The author Karan Mahajan is new to me. I read a review of the book in one the newspapers that I read every day and decided to buy the book. I am glad that I did.

Having lived in Delhi and also having close friends who have lost children in terror bombing, I was able to relate to the Hindu family. The Muslim characters come alive too because I have met people like that in many parts of India.

What is interesting about the book is the way that the author goes behind scenes and describes character traits and weaknesses of the characters in the narration.

It is a book that I will return to read after some time to savour the characterisation.

Pakistan And The USA – Bud Abbott And Lou Costello.

bud abbott

Or better, these two!


I am sure that all my readers know that POTUS Obama is the chief guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations on the 26th inst. This will be the first time ever that the POTUS will be the chief guest. Naturally, security is on everybody’s mind.

The US is not taking any chances and has warned Pakistan not to send any terrorists into India while the POTUS is in India!

And lo and behold, Pakistan assures the US that they will not send terrorists into India.

Indians cannot stop laughing at this slapstick comedy of the century!

Indians would love to get the POTUS to live permanently in India. I personally will be willing to host him in my humble abode.  I will be able to sleep peacefully as would 1.4 billion other Indians.

Pune limps backs to normalcy after blast

Pune is where I live. And I have lived here for nearly a quarter century. The main reasons for my late wife and I choosing to move here was its climate and its very laid back attitude to life. Compared to Mumbai where we had spent the maximum time together and Bengaluru where we were living before we moved here, Pune was a paradise.

So, when I caught sight of this headline, I was stumped.

The Pune that I knew does not run or even walk. Its usual pace is a limp. Its next faster pace is to simply saunter along at a leisurely pace. In fact, where I live and quite a few localities of the city, life goes on at a limpy leisurely pace bar the rush hours due to school/office/factory timings. The Punekar is not to be hurried to do anything. He will take his time.

Take my mentee who for the purpose of this post will remain unnamed though will receive a link to it via email. She has just got engaged to be married and wanted to come and give me the invitation card and to personally invite me to attend the marriage function and the reception in the evening. She rang me up at 11.30 am yesterday to announce her arrival and readily accepted my invitation to have lunch with me. She promptly asked if I needed anything from the city where she was shopping and I gave her the task of getting a couple of things that you get only in that part of the city. She said that she would be at my place at 1.00 pm. That is my usual lunch time. At 1.30 I rang her up and she said that she would be reaching in 20 minutes. I said that I won’t wait for lunch for her and she could have lunch whenever she came. She eventually came at 3.00 pm profusely apologising for delaying but insisting that I skip my siesta and spend the afternoon chatting with her. Thankfully, she got what I wanted instead of forgetting that and as a peace offering brought something extra as well. Incidentally forgetting to do chores is another Punekari trait.

That is the typical Punekar’s attitude towards life. Punekars don’t limp back to normalcy. They are already limping around. And look at the nitwit who planted the bomb. He could not even cause sufficient damage because he did not expect the bomb to explode vertically! I would not be surprised if s/he turns out to be a Punekar.

I am an oddball in this beautiful city because I am always on time and the other people involved are stumped by my punctuality. My hosts particularly can usually be expected to be in their house coats when I land up at their place at the announced time.

I would not like to live in any other city.

Synchronicity – Pune Bomb Blast’s Second Anniversary.

Today is the second anniversary of the infamous German Bakery bomb blast about which I had written two years ago.

I would not have normally written about it but for the synchronicity that I experienced.

In my other blog rummysmusings, I was led to write on terrorism and that I had to do so on the second anniversary of the bomb blast was too remarkable for me to ignore.

What say you TOF?

To Hang Or Not To Hang Ajmal Kasab.

The lone captured Islamic Terrorist Ajmal Kasab, who cold bloodedly shot innocent civilians on our 26/11 carnage at Mumbai has been found guilty and given the death sentence.

Our anti death sentence brigade has started off its own brand of logic for why we should not carry out the death sentence. As one of our better known columnists says, “Hang Kasab? By all means. So long as we know it’s an emotional reaction of revenge, and not a rational response to an inhumanly savage act of violence which the killer’s death can only compound, never mitigate. Instead of hanging him, bury him alive in prison.”

While the majority of Indians believe that he should be hanged, this fringe has started off its attempts at being human.

I for one am in favour of carrying out the death sentence for the following reasons.

1. If he is in jail, another bunch of lunatics trained and supported by Pakistan based terrorist groups will hijack a plane or a ship or some thing else equally horrendous and demand his release in exchange for hostages taken. To save innocent civilian lives, our government may well do it. They did it once before and that released prisoner is one of the world’s most wanted terrorists.

2. Kasab is likely to preach jihad inside the prison and some released lunatic is likely to carry that out on Indian soil again.

I say, let him go and meet the virgins and drink all the wine that flows in streams that he was promised by his handlers, when he attains martyrdom.