Spotlights

Spotlight of Unfairy Tales by Carthik

Blog Tour by The Book Club of CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick

 

 
CARTHICK’S UNFAIRY TALES
by
T.F. Carthick
 
Blog Tour by The Book Club of CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick
Blurb

A damsel in distress. An evil dragon. A concerned father seeking a savior to rescue his daughter. A hero galloping off to the rescue – a knight in shining armor. Now THAT is stuff of fairy tales.

But what if the father’s real concern is for the dragon’s hoard; What if the damsel’s reason of distress is the marriage proposal by her pompous and vicious savior; and what if the story is told by the horse who bears not only the overweight knight but also his heavy, shining armor all the way to the dragon’s lair and back, facing certain death in the process?


What if there was more – much more – to all your favourite fairy tales than met the eye?


This book chronicles not one but seven such unfairy tales – tales told by undead horsemen and living cities. Tales of mistreated hobgoblins and misunderstood magicians. Tales of disagreeable frogs and distressed rats and bears baring their souls. Once you read these stories, you will never be able to look at a fairy tale the same way ever again.

 
Read an excerpt


This was wrong at many levels. The mayor’s despair and eagerness to solve the problem was understandable. But from what I have seen, no human problems come with quick fixes. Haste seldom helps. One requires patience to get to the depth of a problem and attack it at its root. A holistic solution does take a lot of time and effort but the benefits are long-lasting. Quick fixes, on the other hand, end up aggravating the situation. Take this situation of the rats itself, for instance. While the mayor may not have realized it, the fact was that the people of the town had brought this upon themselves. A few years earlier, people had complained of snakes. There were just a few of these reptiles, but still the people had complained incessantly. So, snake-catchers had been summoned to exterminate the snakes. Then, a few months’ later, stray dogs had become the object of the people’s ire.

“They keep barking all night. They just don’t let us sleep,” they had complained.

And they began to make a big fuss of how dogs were a public menace and exaggerated stories of dogs attacking humans started spreading, till finally the town council had to yield. Dog-catchers were commissioned and the dogs were done away with. With the elimination of their natural predators, wasn’t it natural that rats should multiply? But people just don’t realize these kinds of things. That is how people have been all the time. They wanted quick-fix solutions to all their problems then, and they want quick-fix solutions to all their problems now. They never learn.

Also, I suppose the mayor probably thought he would never be called upon to follow through upon his promise. So, he promised a grand reward just to appear to be doing something. That is another folly of humans, especially the leaders. They care more about perception than actually getting things done. And often initiatives undertaken to manage perceptions end up doing more harm than good.


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About the author

 


 

T F Carthick is a Bangalore-based writer and blogger who has been blogging since 2008. He is an avid reader of Children’s Fiction, Science-fiction and Fantasy. Enid Blyton, J K Rowling, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams are some of his favorite authors. His paranormal thriller ‘Bellary’ was one of the three stories in the book Sirens Spell Danger, published in 2013. Six of his stories have featured in multi-author anthologies and literary magazines. He has written over 50 short stories, many of which can be read for free on www.karthikl.com.

 


He is an Engineer and MBA from India’s premier institutes IIT, Madras and IIM, Ahmedabad and currently works as an Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Consultant at one of the world’s leading Consulting Firms.

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Spotlights

Spotlight of Prem Purana by Usha Narayanan

Blog Tour by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan

 

 
PREM PURANA:
MYTHOLOGICAL LOVE STORIES
by
Usha Narayanan
 
Blog Tour by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan
 
BLURB
 
Stories of love and extraordinary devotion 
 
No one is untouched by love, not even devas and asuras, kings and nymphs. And when they face life’s unexpected tribulations, their love also undergoes trials. Read how Ganesha took myriad forms to please Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, how Ravana shared an unbreakable bond with his true love, Mandodari and how Nala and Damayanti’s relationship was tested till almost nothing remained. 
 
Tormented by passion, wracked by betrayal, torn by the agony of separation, love in its many splendored forms is the origin of these incredibly endearing stories of Prem Purana. 
 
READ AN EXCERPT
Ganesha stood with Brahma’s daughter Siddhi on the sacred soil of Kailasa, offering worship to the linga that Parvati had installed. He glanced at his companion’s proud face, knowing that he had embarked on a rough path in attempting to win her over. For now, however, he had to focus on his confrontation with Parasurama whom Shiva had blessed with his great axe.

Siddhi watched from a safe distance as Ganesha bowed to the warrior and requested him to wait until Shiva granted him permission to enter. But Parasurama angrily pushed him aside and strode towards the cave. Ganesha intercepted him, causing the angry warrior to raise his axe to threaten him.

Finding that his antagonist would not listen to mere words, Shiva’s son extended his trunk by many lengths and wound it around Parasurama 100 times. He then raised the warrior into the skies so that he could see the seven mountains, the seven oceans and the seven islands of the earth below him. Then he whirled him around and showed him all the lokas including Vaikunta, where Lord Vishnu presided on his lotus throne with Devi Lakshmi. With his yogic power, Shiva’s son granted Parasurama a vision of Goloka, the purest of realms, where blue-hued Krishna resided with Radha and his gopis.

After showing Parasurama how insignificant he was when compared to the primordial universe spanning endless time and space, Gajamukha dropped him gently on the ground outside Shiva’s cave. He smiled at Siddhi who stood dazed, clinging to a tree for support, as she too had been granted the supernal vision by Ganesha’s grace. She realized now that her cheerful friend was called Vakratunda not because of his crooked trunk, but because he was the one who straightened out the crooked.

Parasurama recovered from his stupor and saw that he was lying on the ground at Ganesha’s feet. Incensed by this humiliation, he sprang to his feet and took up his mighty axe. The parasu hurtled towards Ganesha with a deafening roar. Siddhi trembled, certain that her friend would not survive the dire power of his father’s weapon.

Strangely enough, Gajamukha made no attempt to counter Parasurama’s axe. Instead, he joined his hands in worship to the parasu and stood calmly as if reconciled to his death.

Siddhi heard a horrific crack as the parasu struck one of Ganesha’s tusks and severed it completely. It fell to the ground with a crash, smeared in blood, looking like a crystal mountain covered in red chalk. Shiva rushed out of the cave, followed by Parvati, who turned into fiery Durga when she saw that her son had been wounded. She discerned what had happened and raged at the warrior who stood before her with the axe that had returned to his hand.

‘O Parasurama!’ she said. ‘You may be learned and wise and the son of a great sage, yet you have allowed wrath to overcome you. You received your parasu from your guru, Shiva, but abused your gift by using it to wound his son. Ganesha, on the other hand, allowed the axe to sever his tusk due to his respect for his father’s weapon. What next will you do, Parasurama? Will you assail mighty Shiva himself? Presumptuous warrior! I curse you this day that though you are an avatara of my beloved Vishnu, no one on earth or heaven will ever worship you!’

Parasurama cowered before the angry goddess whose fury grew by the moment. ‘It is only due to Ganesha’s forbearance that you are still alive, for he can kill a hundred thousand Parasuramas in the blink of an eye,’ she said. ‘But I am unwilling to be so tolerant and will end your life today!’

Durga rushed towards him, with her trident aimed at his head. Parasurama stood unarmed and unresisting. He closed his eyes, joined his hands together and surrendered to Krishna.

‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya!’ Parasurama chanted, invoking his god with his last breath.

At once, Krishna appeared before him, lustrous and omnipotent, granting him protection with one raised hand. Durga stopped mid-stride and gazed at Krishna. Her wrath vanished, dissolving like mist in the light of the sun. A beatific smile adorned her face. She offered him a reverential welcome along with Shiva.

Krishna addressed them gently, a calm smile on his face. ‘I have come here to rescue my devotee,’ he said. ‘Though Parasurama has committed a grievous sin, I request you to forgive him, Parvati. He is your son too, for you are the divine mother, the refuge of all creation. As for you, Parasurama, you have to undertake a severe tapasya to attain forgiveness. Worship the Devi who animates the three realms in the form of the gentle Gauri and the fierce Durga. Seek the blessings of Ganesha who is now Ekadanta, the lord with one tusk.’

Having offered his counsel, the lord returned to Goloka. Parasurama prostrated himself before the gods and laid his axe at Ganesha’s feet in tribute. He then retreated to a distant mountain to begin his worship. Parvati took her son into her mansion, to coddle him after his fierce encounter.

 

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About the Author

 


 

 

Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. Her bestselling novels span multiple genres: ‘The Madras Mangler’, a suspense thriller; ‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’ (Harlequin) and ’Doctor Stalker Spy’ (Juggernaut), lighthearted romances; ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’ and her latest ‘Prem Purana’ (all from Penguin) that have been praised as ‘Indian mythology at its fiercest and finest.’ Two new books are in the offing. When she is not travelling, writing or editing, Usha reads everything from thrillers and romances to the puranas.

 

 

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

Praise for Usha’s books:

 

 

 

‘Like the best of our mythological tales, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna too is a multilayered one…There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deception.’

 

 

 

The Secret of God’s Son is a compelling read on mythological tales.’ – The Sentinel

 

 

 

Prem Purana is so good! I am impressed at how Usha can write about Ganesha with so much personality while at the same time showing him as a cosmic divine being. ’ Dr Laura Gibbs, Professor, Indian Epics, University of Oklahoma 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Confessions of an Immigrant

Confessions of an Immigrant- 12

This rant is dedicated to Indo- Canadians who did every possible thing to let me down. When I was leaving India, my dad told me,” Beta! Be with your own people as they will help their own community.” I was pretty sure that his advise will be worthy for me in this new land. But when I entered the doors of Canada, my uncle told me something which was entirely opposite of what my dad had told. The very next day he took me to a bank where I was supposed to open my account. He took me to an Indian lady and asked her to help us in this context. To my surprise, she said that they were closing in 45 mins so they wont be able to attend us. My chachu was upset with this thing. He took me to another branch where he complained about that lady. He is very particular about these things and he knows how to get things done. Then we were entertained by the manager who guided me with all the things related to bank. He was satisfied with his services and appreciated him. After all this, he told me,” See Beta! You are in Canada and learn one thing that in Canada, your own people will let you down and with this instance what he said sounded correct.” I was in a dilemma and had so many thoughts that were fiddling over my mind. I thought not all people are like that. I was full of faith and positivity during my initial days in Canada.

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But thanx to these so called Indo- Canadians who badly proved me wrong with every step I took. Now I am almost an year old in this country. I help all those people who are planning to come to Canada. I dont give them false hopes but a reality check about these great people. In this one year, I realised that such people will never let you rise. So, who are these people? They are those people who are now Canadians but cannot change their so called contaminated minds. They reward you with their taunts, discourage you with their high status, crush you with their own praise and mock you at your Nationality when they themselves belong to that clan.

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When I was getting out of TTC bus, I was almost about to slip because of snow, when an Indo- Canadian remarked as a ‘Stupid Indian.’ That was the first attack on my Nationality by my own people. I just gave a staunch stare and went out.

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The next instance was an EPIC! I overheard a group of ladies talking to each other. They were saying that these days every other person is coming to Canada. They are making our Canada a village, so called Villagers who just want to get PR. Wow! What a remark, right? I was wondering that these women were calling our India a village, then who are they? Are they not villagers, who came much before us and now have a PR, so that they can give their own Nation this remark? Hats off to their sensibility.

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I have met great people in Canada who left no stone unturned to let me down. Be it at work place, college or any other place. I would like to thank those cheaters, rascals,morons who have not only let me down but also their own community down. When other people gave their introductions in college, they said they were Brazilians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Canadian but when people of our Nation gave, they said we are from Mumbai, Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, South but very rare said that they were from India. The only similarity between India and Canada is that they are multi-cultural countries and respect everyone. Then why in Canada we cannot come as a whole and say we are from India? Afterol, it is our Nationality. Here we are representing our country, not a particular cult or community. Learn to respect each other for God’s sake.

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Coming to Racism, forget others, lets talk about our own people. My Tamilian friend was beaten by a group of Punjabi students because he had won a certain game. Two Punjabi guys gave a racist comment on my friend who had a darker complexion, thinking that she is a Negro and doesn’t understand Hindi. I was refused a job because I am a Punjabi and have a fairer skin. A Chinese girl was beaten brutally infront of a gas station by some Indians because she was a Chinese. A Gujarati guy made racist comment on two Punjabi girls. My resume was thrown in a garbage by an Indo Canadian Restaurant owner because I am an Indian. Punjabi owners hate to keep Punjabi students at their basements. Superb!

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To add more, I have some splendid personalities with super judgemental powers. They judge on stupidest things. They think that you have befriended them because you want to go in their car. Moreover, such people think that you are using them to get their things done but in reality you are just looking for a friend. Salute to their mentalities!

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Why we Indians hate each other in Canada? This is because there are people among us who have painted this picture. After meeting such people, even now I hate such double faced cheap people. They die if you rise. They will burn to ashed if they get to know, you have a job or you have some money to support yourself. It is a shame on these people who have let me down. They thought that they will break me but sorry to you folks! You have made me stronger. With every taunt you gave me, with every betrayal you gifted me, with every demotivation you bestowed over me, has made me a survivor. Today after an year, after all those endless sufferings, struggles I have realised that these bad things were meant to happen. This is because God wanted me to show the other side of the coin. My notion, that this world is full of beautiful and good people finally breathed its last breath. I know that this world has some good and more of bad people. It is either right or either wrong.

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Moving forward, I met some wonderful people here who added positivity in my life. They are my extended family in Canada. They were always there to support me, provide me links, give me reality checks, guide me and their struggle stories made me realise that they also went through these trials and tribulations, so I am no indifferent from them. It is parts and parcel of life. This is the reason when I meet a new Immigrant, I tell them the harsh realities so that they are prepared for the worst. Canada goes with no trusting anyone, no showering favors on anyone policy. Stay away from such double faced, insensitive Indo- Canadians.

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My one year of frustration is gone. I have thrown  away negativity,stress out of my system and now I am ready for the new challenges. So dear troubles, please do come my way so that I can kick your ass off and move forward as a stronger entity.