The Afghan- book by Fredrick Forsyth

Fredrick Forsyth is well known for his gripping thrillers involving international espionage, terrorism etc. His books are well known for attention to detail, research and vivid explanation of facts. 

‘The Afghan’ is no different with its acute appeal to grip the attention of the reader till the end with unpredictable twist sand turns. The main protagonist has been divided in two characters from two very different cultures- cultures at war in modern times. But their fate brought them together with a similar destiny curved for them. They portray the same persona- one is an Afghan, Izmat Khan and the other a British Colonel Mike Martin, disguised as an Afghan. When the west got secret information about a deadly plot by the Al-Queda, they attempted to do something not done before. They planted Martin as an Arab (due to his features and special talents) into the excruciating world of most dangerous terrorist community to extract information. The events unfolded gradually and dramatically which led Martin to the target but he has to make some quick decisions, which can cost his life or thousands of others.

The book justifies the fictional environment. One of the things I liked was the detailing of the transformation of an American to an Afghan. The way every loophole was anointed with tints of suspense and mystery. The cover, the disguise was the most important thing for Martin to survive. The thriller gained motion when the real Afghan escaped and things got tough. The ending though could have left the reader with a more trailing suspense but overall it was surely a great piece with catapulting highs and lows.

2 States, the story of my marriage- book by Chetan Bhagat

The galavanting days of our teens and tweens have somehow come to life in the novels by Chetan Bhagat. Readers seem to have found a connection with those college memories full of adolescent, truth and dares, romanticism, bunking and all those things, which takes us through one of the most exciting phase of our lives. In ‘Five Point Someone’, narrator Hari and his ‘close friends’ took us on a journey through the lanes of IIT- academics, extra-curricular and ‘others’. Moving to ‘3 Mistakes of my Life’ was rather a mature novel trying to create a different kind of impact.

‘2 States’ enthralls with an experience to which any fresh graduate or post-graduate would relate. A brief wild romance set in the backdrop of IIM-A between culturally disparate Krish and Ananya transforms to a social plot as the story unfolds. Inter-caste marriages (not much in vogue a century back) and the ordeal for lovers for acceptance have been put forth with all its nuances but in a laconic expression. The idiosyncratic behavioral pattern of different communities in India has been beautifully woven around a love story. A wave of analog smile brushed my face reading through sections of the novel because of its typical melodrama with specks of intelligent and obvious humor. The potpourri of emotions and social dilemma of the main and associated characters etched a familiar picture of an inter-caste marriage in the Indian society. The ups and downs of the whole drama climaxed into ……..I would rather refrain from revealing the end. I would want readers to find out. Keen readers can surely look forward to this book if you have enjoyed Bhagat’s past works. It’s definitely worth a read!!!

This Is It- documentary by Kenny Ortega with Michael Jackson

When a phenomenon like MJ features with the best of his career, it is definitely worth a watch. His death was such a great loss, like an end of an era- an era of stunning pop, funky moves, moonwalk and songs that have left a mark in our hearts. This documentary features footage of the last MJ concert, which unfortunately never happened. It is more of a memoir of the last rehearsals and off-stage interactions with his associates. His last moments recorded with his choir, orchestra, his directors, producers, his fans (selected over thousands to be a part of his dance troop for the show) and his passion- his music.

The film started off with testimony of his fans who were auditioned for the show. Tears rolled down when they were privileged to be a part of The King of Pop. Then started the rehearsals, which was like history re-created for all present on the sets. Each number was revamped to give a new look in terms of effects and choreography. Everybody including MJ rehearsed their parts with undivided passion. And everybody adored and applauded the King of Pop- their inspiration, their stalwart.

It was a breath-taking experience watching MJ perform with the same vigor in numbers like ‘Beat It’, ‘Smooth Criminal’, ‘I’ll Be There’, ‘They Don’t Really Care About Us’, ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’ and the list goes on. He perfectly knew every beat and every step, every single piece was a master-piece. His solos were awesome. The final garnishing came with songs like ‘Black or White’, ‘Earth Song’ and ‘Man In The Mirror’. The agony or passion towards love, social issues, global warming etc. cascaded through every note. It was an ‘out-of-the-world experience’, at least for me, to watch the compilation of the best of MJ. The movie ended with the note, ‘The King of Pop Lives Forever’ and so it will be. 


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