book review- the old man on the beach & …


My take – 22 short stories with a strong autobiographical leaning. Tales are relatable, touching and thought provoking. Writing style is fresh and original. Characters are well etched and remain in memory even after the page has turned. Tears, smiles, chills, thrills, pining, yearning – get a dose of what appeals to you.

Author: D.K Powell

Here’s how the author himself describes his work – ‘

“Twenty-two short fiction stories and semi-fictional essays which individually stand alone but together takes the reader on an imaginary journey from childhood in 1980s Britain to adulthood as a teacher, to life in Bangladesh and finally to old age (and beyond) in contemporary Britain.

Separate characters, narrators and scenarios present different fictional ideas yet hidden within each is a kernel of truth, deliberately masked, about the author behind them all. Here we meet schoolboys hiding from witches, terrified teachers, dangerous school Heads, magical instruments, mysterious prisons and (extra)ordinary women – yet everything has some basis in reality. The stories explore difficult themes such as childhood innocence, abuse, sex, love, religion and death.

Some stories and essays connect together to form a chronological thread while others contradict each other or imagine alternative lives. All of them are intended to amuse or challenge the reader’s understanding of life and, if they take the time to look closely, to reveal pencil marks hidden behind the paint.”

Pages – 244

Don’t miss this roller coaster ride.

Code Blue

I agree 100% Heal the Healers

The Vagabond

Somewhere in the middle of a busy emergency or an Intensive care unit, a voice sounds “Code Blue.. Floor No..” Doctors and nurses rush leaving whatever they are doing to aide those who are already handling the crisis. These would be the moments of adrenaline rush in any medics life. I started in the field of medicine back in the late 90s when the corporate culture had not set in. There were no mobile phones with 5G access. Even the internet cafes came in by the time, I was already knee deep into the course. Those were the days of satisfaction where snail mail was the rule of the day. Letters used to be handwritten and people would still write greeting cards.

Flash forward to the explosion of internet and gone are the days of wait and satisfaction. Now are the times when google and youtube has made everyone a…

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Book review – Indra: the rise and fall of a Hero


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I always nurtured a soft spot for Indra, him being Arjun’s Dad. I was left puzzled by how casually Indra is laughed off, – and yet multiple passages in Mahabharat cite him as a benchmark of excellence, by describing a great warrior as ‘ fierce as Indra himself.’

This glaring contradiction indicated a vast abyss where his aura got diluted/distorted- whether due to time or by design. This book finally vindicates the real Indra in all his gut and glory.

Mr Utkarsh delves deep and wide, deftly interweaving folk tales with fiction into a coherent sequence of Indra’s life. He highlights the merits of Indra – his power games, his war strategies, his ambition, his friendships. As also his weakness for soma and stree. His constant tussles with the brahmin cadre, some whom he comes to admire (Dadhichi) while some others who use, abuse & dispose him at will.

His love-hate relation with the wily Vishnu (ahem!). A sequel in the making?

A neat read. A much-needed analysis of Indra.

Author: Utkarsh Patel (A lecturer of comparative mythology at the University of Mumbai and is a guest faculty in many other academic institutions across the country. He is an author of mythological fiction. He is also a founder member of ‘The Mythology Project’ (, which explores our rich cultural heritage through archival collections and by researching living myths and traditions.

Utkarsh regularly conducts workshops on various world mythologies—Greek, Mesopotamian and Norse—in addition to the epics of India, particularly the Ramayana and its myriad versions. Utkarsh is a TEDx speaker. He is also regularly invited to speak on various mythological subjects, with an emphasis on the interpretation of mythological characters and incidents, feminism, management and other topics, at various literary forums and festivals, organizations, etc.

For more on his work, visit

Publication: Rupa

Genre: Indian Mythology

Pages: 312 link for the book



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Mira sat still in the office meeting. Ramrod straight. Eyes fixated on the screen. She was glad the Corona mask hid her face, because all her attention was rivetted on her tongue tip.

The tip did an acrobatic leap, a desperate attempt to reach that tiny gap between her last 2 molars. Wedged in between 2 molars , deep and snug next to her gums, lay a tiny morsel of apple. Her breakfast apple.

The tongue tip worked like a spade, then curled like a scoop, dug in like a spoon. It scraped the inner, then the outer surface of the molar. No use. The morsel hid deeper like a soldier ducking into his trench.

Mira felt a slight give, and her pulse quickened. The morsel rotated in its grave. It somersaulted. Its skin now lay stuck to her gums.

Mira’s jaw ached. Her tongue begged for mercy. It had been swaying, tugging, cajoling that morsel for – Mira’s eyes swung to her watch – was it only 2 minutes?

Mira fidgeted. She itched to dig in a manicured fingernail and yank out that damned morsel. Ah! that apple tasted so crisp crunchy at breakfast. Now, an hour past its prime, it felt wilted and tasted rotten in her mouth.

Apples dont always protect you from doctors. This one would probably force her into a dentist’s chair!

Mira swung her jaw side to side to dislodge the stubborn bite. No use.

The speaker droned on. Mira heard not a word.

Then Mira felta slight give. And thensome more. Some more. And Yessss – the morsel finally surfaced and was quickly flushed down her throat.

Mira grinned behind her mask. Then she realised the entire room was looking at her. Then it dawned on her that she had said the ‘Yesss’ out loud.

The above was an exercise in ‘slow motion writing’, as part of Himalayan Writing Workshop by Chetan Mahajan. Click here for more details The writing is targeted at zooming in and amplifying a moment, making it visual, sensory and raw.

Did it work? Did you relate? Had the same experience