Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Banyan - Serving with a noble cause

Have you ever thought of the mentally disabled patients under treatment in various facilities and asylums? What about their condition after they get cured? Do they really go back to normal life? Do their family and society accept them? The answer is only partially yes. Only a few instances where those who cured are taken back to their home and start to lead a normal life again. The rest are again abandoned, and they may face troubles for the rest of their life.

There are a few NGOs operating for the wellness of such persons, especially women and one among them is The Banyan. I came to know from this through a Facebook post shared by a friend. Since its inception in 1993, it has been serving for the noble cause of identifying and helping those who are mentally ill and abandoned to make their lives better. They train those persons to make handicraft products and enabling them to earn. The bags in the below image are handmade by one of the persons belonging to the care of The Banyan. 

Image taken from a Facebook post
 Here are a few things we could do to render some help to them.

1. We can visit them and buy their products. Those who belong to Chennai are easy to access them, as the organization is located in Mugapper, Chennai. It not only will make revenue to them, but also becomes a token of encouragement and appreciation that they are not just what other thinking about them. 
2. Apart from buying ourselves, we can also share this information and recommend our friends, family and colleagues to buy their products. 
3. Our responsibility doesn't just stop from sharing the information alone. If any of us come forward to arrange a wholesale purchase of their handmade profits, it will be of a great help.

The person behind this noble service is Mr. Senthil Kumar and his contact no. is 08754501642. The contact address is below (contact info taken from Facebook post).

The Banyan Adaikalam
6th Main Road, Mugappair Eri Scheme,
Mugappair west, Chennai – 600037
T: 044 – 26530504, 26530599
F: 044 – 26530105

Please visit the website for more details. Please share this as much as possible.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sorna Regai (Golden Palmlines) - my favorite novel

In the present era of computer, internet and smartphones, novel reading has been reduced to a considerable extent. People read novels as ebooks in their smartphones nowadays. I myself do not read much nowadays, as I spend more and more time in front of laptop. But whenever I read any book, it still gives immense, unmatched and ultimate pleasure which I don't find in internet and computers. If it’s a book of favorite genre or written by a favorite author, it’d be more interesting and exciting. I always get this excitement whenever I read the novel Sorna Regai (Golden Palmlines) written by Tamil writer Indira Soundararajan. I read it for the first time 12 years before, and I have read it many times after that. But it still looks fresh to me, may be because it was the first mystery thriller novel I have ever read.

The plot is about the events surrounding a death sentenced prisoner, a crime branch police officer, a young palmist, a theatre projectionist and his wife in a time span of less than 2 days. Most of the author’s works are based on supernatural elements, traditional beliefs and mythological aspects. Sorna regai falls under similar category with Palmistry as the base for the plot, thus given the title. There is a small note about different aspects of palmistry, its meaning and benefits, at the beginning of every chapter, making it interesting to read.

Apart from being published as a novel in the year 1999, it was also aired as a tele-serial in Raj TV channel as Marma Desam – Sorna Regai, as the third installment of Marma Desam series. It was quite famous those days. I have heard many people saying that some of the author’s works are kind of crap. I agree with that partly. But I can say surely that this one is an exception.  Sorna regai is not a great novel, not the best written book, but comparing to bulky, hundreds of pages of current bestselling thrillers, I feel that this is a fairly good thriller, not long and not too short. Those who like to read mystical thriller genre stories, this is for you.

About the Author
Indira Soundarajan is the pen name of P. Soundararajan, a well-known Tamil author of novels, short stories, and and screenplays. He is an expert on South Indian Hindu traditions and mythological lore. His stories typically deal with cases of south Indian Hindu traditions and mythology, supernatural occurrence, divine intervention, reincarnation, and ghosts, and are often based on or inspired by true stories reported from various locales around the state of Tamil Nadu. He lives in Madurai. 

(This review is an english version of already published review of the same book in Tamil)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Indian Quills Reading Challenge 2013 - Are you ready to read!!

Last year when I started blogging, I kept this thing in my mind that apart from movies, I should write a lot about books, the books that fascinated me, the books that made me crazy that I kept reading it over and over. But being a very very lazy person, I hadn’t done that except only once. I like to read a lot but I am not an active reader because of my stupid laziness. Nowadays I rarely do sit to read. I have a habit of lying in bed while reading (even for my semester exams I used to like this only). I start reading a book and within a few minutes I will be in a pleasant dream, as I sleep without my knowledge. This happens 90% of the time when I attempt to read any book be it a novel or a magazine or a textbook. Even in public libraries, I had slept a couple of times, turning everyone's attention towards me. I still haven’t completed Agni Siragugal (wings of fire) which my father bought me at a book expo some 12 years back. Funny thing is, when I try to sleep I won’t get it and when I eagerly start reading a book, I have no idea when I get slept. 

Ok let’s leave the boring stuffs about my reading habit. The point is, now I am given a chance to make myself active in book reading, through Indian Quills Reading Challenge 2013. It is an effort to gather all the books penned by Indian authors, irrespective of the timeline, in order to make an effective database of Indian literature under one roof The Tales Pensive. As part of the challenge, the reader has to give a target of the number of books that he/she will read throughout this year through this introductory blog post and add the link in the challenge’s website. After that they can review the books in their blog and share the link in the website. My target is atleast 15 books. 

Image source - The Tales Pensive
It’s not just confined to bloggers alone. Non bloggers can also participate and put forth their reviews. There is a separate column for non-bloggers to share their reviews in challenge’s website. For more details and guidelines about the challenge, visit here.

I feel that it’s time to change and improve my reading habit (and a few other habits too) and I am going to achieve it through IQR Challenge 2013. Thanks a ton to the organiser of the challenge Reshmi. I wish her efforts turn out to be a huge success.

Happy reading!!