The Soul of Afghanistan...!!!

Khaled Hosseini, with his books, 'The Kite Runner' & 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' has brought out the soul of Afghanistan in his words. His words add magic to the all magical land.
He has brought many people like us close to what Afghanistan actually is, rather than being a hot topic in debate or top story in news articles. I would say that my view about Afghanistan has changed after reading his books.

Both his books deal with Afghanistan before and after the wars, and both end with a new light of hope shining at the distant horizon for the people of Afghanistan.

Where 'The Kite Runner' deals with a child facing complexities, and in a world of his own, his fears, his wishes, his dreams, his aspirations dominated by his how he falls prey to a system where not every person is treated equally - but how can a strong feeling be justified in the mind of a child, who even after many years, away from the place - the system & and: the people he betrayed, his conscience is heavy with guilt and somewhere inside he knows, that debt has to be paid. And He gets his second change with Rahim Khan's message "There is a way to be good again.", coming back to the land of his birth which was nowhere close to the land he had grown up in. The book leaves your ears ringing with Hassan's call "...For you, a thousand times over." Everytime, this line came up in the book and i couldnot stop but feel a tear trickling down my cheeks. Hassan's letter to Amir actually left me with a broken Heart.
Its not easy to touch so many hearts and lives with just words, and in that respect Khaled Hosseini has done a commendable job.

'A Thousand Splendid Suns' runs parallely between two women, born in different decades, but in every right independent. Its starts with One Women, her growing up years, her married life and then with the birth of another girl in a household, the story shifts to her growing up years and her love life, and the step she initially takes to save that love. 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' is the story of people who stayed back and lived with the ongoing war. Where millions were dying, how two women with different pasts and values get connected to each other with a never ending bond. And then there is no limits for Love, "Love just is" (As Paulo Coelho puts it in 'The Witch Of Portobello') - no meanings, no definitions, no baundaries.

I loved both the books, both bear with them the soul of Afghanistan and Khaled Hosseini keeps alive that spark. Both the books are set in Afghanistan and talk about how it suffered under war.

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let the final drum roll beat!!!

it is finally over
all the fun and cheering and readin... everyone is slumped on their beds...snoring away to glory!

i had nice FUN! and i really do hope y'all had loads of fun too!

Take rest and rise and shine!!

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I can't believe peope r up early and READING. I won't believe it till I see it.. and now I am feeling LOW.. for not reading Sigh!!! :D

3 cheers to Bethany and Trish! Bethany completed 2 [yes yes!!!!!] books and Trish 1 :D and together they r donating as of NOW, 67dollars! can u freaking believe that?! i can't and I m so so so HAPPY!

it is fun.. i MUST agree!

thank u all for coming to cheer the cheer-leader [ that is me! ] :D


update 1:02 AM! I can't seem to synchronize between the eysand the hands, and Veens doesn't knwo where she is yping..

sworry guys.. teriible... but i nee to goto sleep.. i have promised mom to take her to temple tomorow AM. so good nights from ME!

and u all have happy time reading... i will check in the AM!

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I am off ofr a break!
here is the list -

i just found out my name is not ther ein the cheer-leaders list **sigh! but i m anyways cheering :-) 

i totally word-verification :-/ argghhh!!!!

and i hate when i cant see my comment too :(


will be back in some hours to chk on you alls status!
Check out my books on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/profile/Veens

Read-a-thon Cheer-Leader ;) -1 hr!

i thought i will update my blog too :D

6:01 PM == already half an hour into it!

and went to - 




L squared --http://l-squared.blogspot.com/

cpmpleted my one hour ! YAY!!

for Read - a thon! :)

nowi m off for some rest LOL! ;) i completed this post @ 6:50PM!

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Review: the road of lost innocence by Somaly Mam

The book came to me on 15th. I was sitting there, talking with 'the guy', when it arrived. And he as usual asked me, how many books did I order for this month. And I went into defensive mode,instantly. What else can you expect from me, right?!

The book-cover was beautiful. On the cover page Somaly sat there, thinking, looking towards her future maybe. As the fortune-teller told her - 
' the black one - she will have the three flags' - power, honour and money. 'She will travel in plane andshe will be a leader in the family'. She will help you.'
This is the first memoir I have read. I don't know, why I chose it. Maybe I wanted an author from another part of the world for my Orbis Terrarum CHallenge! But I never thought, it will this different. I sometimes, never read reviews about certain books. And this was one of them. I knew, what it was about. But never knew, how intense it could be. 

As you all might already know, Somaly is from Cambodia, and now a Cambodian heroine. She was abandoned at birth by her parents and was looked after by her Grandmother until she disappeared.She was taken into the care of a man she called Grandfather, but was treated no better than a upaid servant. Raped at 12 and forced to marry at 15, Somaly was then sold to a brothel. After years of abuse she managed to escape. 

She was the 'lucky' one. Somaly in 1997, co-founded AFESIP to combat trafficking in women and children for sexual slavery...rape.
It's still happening constantly, today, tonight. My story doesn't matter, except that it stands for the hundreds' of girls stories too, and there stories is why I don't sleep at night. They haunt me.
Somaly talks about herself, what she went through in a tone, that doesn't demand sympathy. She just never uses emotions/feelings to state her experiences, and in itself touches you. You can't believe this is actually happening to someone out there! Kids aged 5-6 yrs a\old are sold off by there own kin. And these people live with the money, the girls earn through prostitution. In men, it is highly believed that sex with a virgin, will cure them off many diseases, including AIDS. But these little girls, get them faster. The little girls vagina are sewn back and they are sold again. If you are a virgin, you should cry and bleed. and these little girls cried and bled. They were beaten, punished and what not. It is too cruel to even say!

Leading a normal life is not possible for them. Even Somaly, has nightmares that don't let her sleep.
But I couldn't take the image of the sex-related violence out of my mind. There was nothing I could do to annihilate my past. Coming back to life, to some kind of innocence, felt immposible. I didn't know where my youth was, where to dig to look, if not for happiness, at least for some kind of peace.

It is the evil done to me, that propels me on. Is there any oter way to excercise it?

I wish you guys would actually buy this book and read! I want you to read it and feel, as I did! I feel suddenly so overwhelmed. I can't imagine there plights. Today AFESIP is trying hard to save thousands of girls in Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia [ south-east Asia] where women - trafficking is the highest and is worth 500 million dollars, roughly the amount of money that the government allocates for Cambodia. 

If buying this book, payes even for one girl's one day food; I am glad I did something, even if it is a mere nothing.
What else can we do?!
On Oct 15th on Bethany's blog [B&B Ex Libris], there was this post that touched a chord. And something to the same effect, was also there in Somaly's book,

The Frech seemed to eat vast quantities of everything, but especially meat. I could hardly believe, how much they put inside themselves everyday.
I was oversome by it all; the succession of dishes, the abundance and the fact that people left food on their plates[...] We could fees whole families in Cambodia just with these left-overs.
It is not just French who eat and waste,we do too! And it is not just food, it is things. How much do we buy and waste?!
I don't understand how to pass this message over to you all, but all I wish, is that everyone reads this book once! and feel the sheer sense of helplessness for this hideous injustice happening all over!

And that's all I got to say. Please help in the most-little way you can! At least by being aware of this.


Short Story Review 5: Looters by Laura Jamison // BLOG ACTION DAY

Looters by Laura Jamison is the Story of the week at Narrative Magazine
The story is about the friendship between Denise and Gwen. They were both trying to be journalists when they met each other in 1989. After which they became roommates.  They had lot in common but were totally different people altogether.

It was true that they had a lot in common, but really Denise grew toward and around Gwen, like a vine seeking the sun and finding, on its way, a dependably lovely stake to curl around

Gwen came from an affluent family, and even when she worked for the newspapers part-time for no money, her parents filled her bank account with enough to live lavishly. She was a fun-person who always went ahead and talked to 'weird' people about 'weird' things. On the other hand, Denise had to struggle, struggle a lot for herself. And so Denise kind of started believing - 

If she could just imitate Gwen’s ways—act like someone who expected nothing but laughs and gifts from the world—maybe she could fool fate.
Of course like every other friendship, there too had problems. And this is a story about how relationships start to dwindle. How problem's, that were never problem's before start to rock the cozy boat of angelic perception. 

It is a good story, I really identified with Gwen and Denise's relationship a lot. It reminded me off, my younger days too.  I hope you guys get around reading this one; because it is as if you tread those roads of friendships that you would want to not remember, but eventually you feel good about it too, it might have happened to you too, as it has happened to me. 
And like Denise, I too wonder sometimes, if I would have done anything differently, but it is now too late to care!

I actually like Laura Jamison's style. It held my attention [ which has a very short-span] and I wanted to see, what happens next all the time. It is a good story, come read it here!

On an aside, it is -

On October 15th bloggers everywhere will publish posts that discuss poverty in some way. By all posting on the same day we aim to change the conversation that day, to raise awareness, start a global discussion and add momentum to an important cause.

So lets us also JOIN! Please sign up and promote this day on your blogs. Spread the awareness. Let's be the change, that we want to see! Let's do our single-penny of good to combat poverty!! a little always counts in a BIG WAY! My mom always says, if you put 1 Re and 1 Re together it grows to 2 Re and everntually WILL become 100 too. So lets do ur tiny bit and help in whatever way possible!

I am reading 'the road to lost innocence' a Memoir by Somanly Mam; which has touched me in ways I can't explain! I hope to write a review about it today.
I hope bloggers unite for this cause, today is the day - 15th! Lets unite !


I am waiting Lady, pick me up please!

What tomes are waiting patiently on your shelves?

Ohh!! so many! 

Actually, I recently found out that I have a kind of addiction to books! OK I know it is way too common, but mine is of different kind. I like to pile books, irrespective of them being new-releases or old. And I love to OWN the books i read!! This is an expensive addiction to say the least, and mostly ends me with little money for my other hobbies[ which by the way thankfully are none ]

So this question is as if made-for-me kinds! To remind me maybe, of the to-be-read book list of my shelves!

The one's that I recently bought are there, but those I will be reading in the next few months! Apart from them, there are a few books that I have collected from my uncle, which I wanted to read.. but have not read them YET! **sigh**! So here is the list of books waiting for me, since the time I ransacked my uncle's 'book-box' [ that must be before 2002 :( ]

I am glad for your patience, and I promise you today; that I will be picking you guys up pretty soon!! And never leave you un-read for someone else!


Oh my good God!

Did you hear that?!

Arvind Adiga's White Tiger won the Man Booker Prize!!! YAY!!!

I was first shocked... then HAPPY... then exhilerated!!
I have **sigh** not read the book! But one of my friends did, and was appreciative of Adiga's work!

I am going to get my copy soon :-) :-D !!

Read more -

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Guess what?!

Guess who knocked on my doors today?!

Guess who I have been waiting to meet?! :-)

OK !! after reading awesome reviews about Sarah Dessen all over! I decided to get a book by her :o)

and i am participating in the Sarah Dessen's challenge too; that is to read --2-- books by her!!
thanks to Becky :o)

SO I am super excited now!! and can't wait to finish 'God of small things'!! :0)

By the way, ain't Read-a-thon on this 18th? if I am not wrong?! I am the 'reminder' ;) I go about reminding people about it :D

Yay!! so mine was a happy day!! Hope all of yours was equally wonderful :-)

Photocredit - who else?! Veens herdelf :)


Giveaways and Giveaways!!

There is a giveaway of 4 amazing titles at Bookfool's blog, Bookfoolery and Babbles.I have asked for The Lost Diary of Don Juan: A Novel. Which one are you requesting?!!!

I want to get An Exact Replica of A Figment of My Imagination
**sigh** is it sinful to want so many titles?! ;) of course NOT! So I entered in the giveaway at Linus's Blanket!! Go and check it out :)

Dar @ Peeking between the Pages is giving away The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy :) So what are you waiting for?! Sign in there!

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I won I won I won!!!!

Yup!! I won!! :-) **HUGE SMILE**

OK, lemme calm down here !!

I am so freaking EXCITED. Guess what?! I wona copy of MATRIMONY! YAYAYA!

can you believe that?!

A HUGE THANKS to ALEA @ Pop Culture Junkie! thank u thank u.
And the thing is that, the publishher's are ready to ship it to India!! Awesomeness personified !! :D

okay!! so this is how Glad I am!!!!!

Someday, maybe I will also host a giveaway ;) !! HOPEFULLY!!

I will let you guys know, when I get the book ... :) :) :)

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Short Story Review 4: Don't Stop Now by Al Riske

Alright! Thanks to Gautami AGAIN, she got me to read this one too :-)
I found her review really funny, and as it was a really short 'story', I thought, I will give it a try :-)

Don't Stop now, is a story based in 1972. It is about 2 17-year olds. The story is narrated by the boy who is with Leslie on a date. It is a very simple but cute story, about 2 'kids' making out on a lake-side. There silly talks and there silly little -nothings. It is about a girl who is so sure about herself and a boy who is not sure about the next moment. 
Of a girl who means what she says and about a boy who is certain, he will forget what he said. 
It is about them wishing to go on to the next step of their juvenile relationship :-). 

They both are just 17, and they don't want to stop now :-)

I can't write anything more, as there is no "story" as such, but it is still interesting reading a boy's perspective. 

It made me smile, and I hope it makes you too :o)

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Short Story Review 3 : Mallard and May by Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia Ahern's first novel PS, I Love You was one of the biggest-selling debut books of 2004 and a number one bestseller. Her successive novels are Where Rainbows EndIf You Could See Me Now and A Place Called Here. PS, I Love You, starring Hilary Swank, is now a major motion picture. 

Mallard and May are impossibly in love with each other and have just got back to Ireland after a winter spent at their holiday home in South Africa. Things can't possibly get any better than this. They both decide to spend a day at a beach-resort before heading back home. It is here that they both meet-up some enthusiastic French lads from the flight, who Mallard is suscipicious about.  The French boys, come to Ireland every year for their holidays and end up telling them about what happened to them last summer, when they were here visiting. May and Mallard are very upset listening to it and plan to return to their home immediately. What happens to them after that is for you to read and know.

Ceclia has an amazing way to put forth 'love in words'. Yup! right! I mean it. The way the main characters love each other is so amazing. the pictorial details are amazing, but the story was kind of predictable. 

It has a sad ending. 

You can read the story at Women and home.

I would recommend it to all romance-story lovers for a light and fast read, especially with a cup of steaming sugary tea :-)

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Short Story Review 2: The Ghost by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Read about The Ghost by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at Gautami's Tripathy's blog the first time, and had bookmarked it too. So today I read it at last!

This short story is based after the time of the war between Nigeria and Biafra. 
It is about Prof. James Nwoye, who has gone to the University for his pension, which has been due for awhile now. There he meets  Ikenna Okoro, who was thought to be dead during the war. He first
 thinks, that he is a ghost, but later on realizes he is alive and had migrated to Sweden during the war. He was one of those who had not remained true the Biafran cause, he thought.

This story, gives you a sneak peek in to the lives of people like Prof. James Nwoye, who taught at the university - during the pre-war phase, then hoe their lives c
hanged during the war and then the consequences of the war! How for them, death during war, was just like death due to some accidents. About their lives that were destroyed by the war and their after-maths. How 'fake-drugs' didn't kill people but left them be killed by illness. 

This story is about his life in a nut-shell, about his dead daughter and wife. About his living daughter who is worried for her father, who stays alone in Biafra. 

And this story is about James's dead wife Ebre, who visi
ts him weekly, to moisturize away the dryness of his soul with nivea. 


I would like you guys to read Gautami's review too! Which is by the way perfect :-)
I wanted to copy her style, but can't :o)

I was preparing myself for 'Half the Yellow Sun' by the same author. I think I like her already :-)

If you guys have time, do check out the short story at Zeotrope

Take Care!
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Booking through Thursday's ME- me!

First time on Booking through Thursday :-)

I like this me-me a LOT!

What was the last book you bought?

I bought Just Listen By Sarah Dessen and Skinny Dip by Hiaasen Carl. Though Neither of them have reached me yet. **sigh**! 

Name a book you have read MORE than once

Hmm! Seeds of Corruption by Sabri Moussa. I am still reading it, re-reading it. I have not been able to complete it. ut there are some parts I find worth re-reading. :-)

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

Yes. The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho. Actually made me realize a lot of things that I had previously never thought about, 

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews

Mostly by reviews of fellow bloggers. You can see my blog-list on the left, those are the people I take recommendations from :-). But if I am at a bok-store, and I see a gripping summary at the back, I do take my chance at it ;). And I have bought couple of books, because I loved their cover designs too :o).

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I prefer fiction mostly!

What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?


Most loved/memorable character (character/book)

Robert Kincaid from The Bridges of Madison County. Sarah Ferguson The  Ghost by Danille Steel. Actually speaking I like 2nd beau much more. I can't rememeber his name. **sigh**

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

Seeds of Corruption by Sabri Moussa and The God of small things by Arundhati Roy

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?

The Gathering By Anne Enright, read my review. Finished it on Oct 2nd [ Gandhiji's Birthday :-) ]

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

Oh Yah! Recently, You are here by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan. Didn't like it at all :-(

Check out my books on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/profile/Veens

Random Books from my TBR pile

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