Book Review: Our Moon Has Blood Clots by Rahul Pandita



Our moon has blood clots is an endless journey of kashmiri brahmins, who ones belonged to the river Jhelum and are trying hard to keep the Kashmiri alive in them. They don’t get home at the end of day because their home is in Kashmir. And, one such Kashmiri Brahmin Rahul Pandita has dared to share his experiences of the exodus of the Kashmiri Brahmins.

Kashmir has largely been the subject of scenic beauty and terrorism instead of tourism. Newspapers have given less space to the struggle of Kashmiri Brahmins so did the primetime debates. The available works on this subject has either spread the propaganda or misled the readers. But, this book tells about the glorious history, lifestyle, painful nights and fearful days the Kashmir Pandits.

It begins with the mention of tradition, history and the childhood of the author. Later on, it talks about the cricket matches where Kashmiri public goes in a clear divide in Hindustani and Pakistani cricket fans. The hooting for Wasim Akram’s fast bowling valued down the sixes of Sunil Gawaskar. It shares the nationalistic feeling of a kid, who storms out from the hideout to confront his anti-national milkman. In his memoir, the author has talked about the Hindu Muslim harmony of Kashmir, which prevailed for centuries despite external interferences. But in 1990 something burned the bridge. In a far town Islamabad, Benjeer Bhutto delivered her frightening speech that goes as har gaon se ek hi awaaj buland hogi..azadi..azadi..azadi har ek school se ek hi awaaj buland hogi..azadi..azad..azadi. This speech took a giant leap and armed gazis begin pouring in Kashmir. It ended up in public massacres and large scale displacement of Brahmins in the valley.

The government rehabilitation centers ran out of order and kids grew up with scars in their hearts. Till date, the issue of exodus is as real as it was twenty four years back. The governments either right wing or the left have offered rehabilitation to Kashmiri Pandits but could not assure the safety of their honour and integrity.

If I would have to say about the language of the book in one line then I will say that Our Moon Has Blood Clots is a poem. It’s a poem of distress, unrest and sustenance. The author, who experienced the exodus as a kid is now the associate editor in The Hindu. I can’t ever get over few lines of the book like Vickey ko bhar lo Dickey me Apna Kaam Karega. I have one more, sabse khatarnak hota hai murda shanty se bhar jana,na hona tadap sab kuch sahan kar jana, ghar se nikalna kaam par aur kaam se lautkar ghar aana, sabse khatarnak hota hai humare sapnon ka mar jana.

Experience as an Avid Reader: I fall in love with the book because it’s like listening the story of a tragic event from your elder brother. I find his writing close to realism, where most of senior journalists lack. He doesn’t preach and put the facts clearly. It’s not just about this book. At times, I felt like weeping, enraging and reconciling what stands ahead everything. This book clears the confusion of falling in sides because there is none. During the refuge in Jammu, the author comes in contact of RSS people. They asked him to unite against a certain community for vengeance. But then the writer made a different choice and now is an acclaimed author, writer and columnist.

50 Words Verdict: For people, who want to read the true history of exodus, it is a must read. The author has shared his memories of troubled childhood, sense of patriotism and real example of making right choice that makes you the person who you want to be.

Book Review: Shoes of the Dead by Neelima Kota

Book Review of Shoes Of the Dead

Farmers are the back bone of our sophisticated urbanized society. They work hard from dawn to mid night to let us live with Comfort, have clean cloths, and proud us on our earnings. And, in return urban India looks at rural India with much of irritation and hatred feelings. In between, the policy stands for earning maximum votes for the policy makers and while leaving many stones unturned.

This is what “Shoes of the Dead’ tells us in a simple, relatable, and fluid style of fiction. The composition of the facts with excellent storyline makes it an interesting fiction based on Indian politics. There is media, especially the brighter side of, an agile politician, his plans of bequeathing his political stature to his own son and so to his grandsons. Further, there is a party called Democratic Party, which makes no controversies at all. So, the book gets an easy way to reach in the hands of potential readers. It throws light on social development schemes of our governments, no matter who head them. It also provides a short preview of rural banking system and operation of credit schemes.

Kayur, the young politician is gearing up for a long battle to regain the faith of his constituents. Vaibhah Kashinath is trying his wisdom to create a political pitch for his own son. Then, there is an established businessman, his beautiful scholar wife, and a rebellious yet ethical journalist. The story swiftly moves from one point to other by keeping the reader enlightened with the facts and real like accounts. Each passing page fills more the reader with more excitement and curiosity to know the end of socio-political war.

Senior Journalist Neelima Kota has brilliantly portrayed the mental & psychological differences between rural & urban India. It took time, hard work, and creativity to convert a scholar’s research into a fictional story but the author has done it sensibly.

Experience as an Avid Reader: It was a gift for me to read such an eye opening fictional account, which was purely based on research and analysis. One can easily get to know the real assessment report of universally touted government schemes. Some facts are really attention seeking. For example, Sixty three percent of our farmers own less one hectare of land. Another statement, the rural government medical schemes go defunct so that private medical units can earn money and support the leading political figures. There is one other statement, which caught my attention. It was about rural bank branches, which face tough competition from local moneylenders. In short, I loved the book for its manner of putting hard core facts and research in form of a novel.

50 Word Verdict: “Shoes of the Dead” is one among the rare stories that reveal the real pictures of our rural backyard. It gives you the data and understanding of how policies came in existence and why they fail to work”.

Book Name: Shoes of the Dead

Author: Neelima Kota

Page: 288                      

Publisher: Rupa Publication

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

ट्विटर ट्रैंड और बेचारे नेता जी

टि्वटर पर ट्रैंड करना इंडियन पॉलिटिशियंस को किसी पुराने प्रेमप्रसंग जैसा लगता होगा जो कभी तो दिल को सुकून देता है कि हां जी हमने एक अच्छा वक्‍त बिताया लेकिन कभी एक अनचाहे भूत की तरह उनके राजनैतिक जीवन में भूचाल खड़ा कर देता है. कभी यह बिना खर्चे वाला प्रचार दे जाता है तो कभी कोई पुरानी चिठ्ठी और चिठ्ठी भेजने वाली को सामने ला देता है. अगर रिसर्च किया जाए तो यह पता चलेगा कि कुछ नेताओं के लैपटाॅप वाले चेले जिनकों सोशल मीडिया असिंटेंट भी कहा जाता है. अपने नेताजी को ट्विटर ट्रैंड के बारे में डायरेक्टली बताने से बचते होंगे कि कहीं ट्विटर ट्रैंड का नाम सुनकर नेता जी को दिल का दौरा बगैरा ना पड़ जाए. इसलिए यह लैपटाॅप चेले ट्रैंड को एनालाईज करके बताते होंगे कि वाह भईया जी क्या बोला आपने राज्यसभा-लोकसभा या टीवी चैनल डिबेट में, इसलिए ट्रैंड कर रहे हैं और सब इंटेलो टाइप के लोग आपकी तारीफ कर रहे हैं. लेकिन अगर ट्रैंड निगेटिव हो तो बोलते होंगे कि ये तो अपोजिशन ने करवाया है. इंटरनेंट पर सब हो सकता है. अब नेताओं के साथ एक समस्या यह है कि ट्विटर कोई टीवी चैनल तो है नही कि अपने प्रभाव का इस्तेमाल किया और बंद हो गई टेंशन देने वाली न्यूज.

इस माध्यम में समस्या यह है कि आप को पता नही होता कि सोशल मीडिया ट्रॉल्स आपके ईनिशिएटिव को किस तरह लेंगें. यह भी नही पता होता कि ट्विटर पर कितने सर्मथक हैं और कब आपका समर्थक आपकी पार्टी का मजाक उड़ाने वाले ट्वीट को रिट्वीट कर देगा. दूसरी तरफ अगर आप रोजाना किसी भी मुद्दे पर ट्वीट करने वाले नेताओं में शामिल नही हैं तो भी यह जरूरी नही है कि आप ट्विटर पर ट्रैंड नही करेंगे. इस मामले में आलोक नाथ और नील नितिन मुकेश को लेकर बनाए गए मजाकों को याद किया जा सकता है. जो बिना बात के ट्विटर पर कई दिनों तक ट्रैंड करते रहे थे. इन सब में सबसे ताजा मुद्दा है बीजेपी के विजय गोयल का जिन्होंने राज्य सभा में दिल्ली में आने वाले यूपी और बिहार के लोगों को रोके जाने की जरूरत पर बयान दिया. नेता जी के बयान देते ही वे ट्विटर पर ट्रैंड करने लगे. ट्विटर पर लोगों ने उन्हें राज ठाकरे की राजनीति करने वाला और दिल्ली नवनिर्माण सेना बनाने जैसे आइडियाज दे डाले. अच्छा सुनिए इस ट्रैंड के साथ ऐसा नही है कि ये आम लोग हैं और बोल कर शांत हो जाएंगे. ट्विटर ट्रैंड का फायदा विपक्षी पार्टियों के 300 स्पार्टंस जैसे बहादुर और हार ना मानने वाले ट्रॉल्स भी उठाते हैं जो जरा बात में आपका खेल बिगाड़ने को तैयार रहते हैं. मसलन विजय गोयल के स्टेटमेंट देते ही आप और कांग्रेेेेस पार्टी के स्पार्टंस ने गोयल साहब पर हमला बोल दिया. दिनभर के ट्विटर ट्रैंड में आप वालों ने बीजेपी और बीजेपी के जीरेक्सस यानी नरेंद्र मोदी तक को नही बख्शा. जीरेक्सस याद है ना आपको? अरे वो 300 सिपाही वाली मूवी में लंबा और देवता जैसा दिखने वाला आदमी. ट्रॉल्स ने मोदी और मोदी की भाजपा पर विभाजन करने वाली राजनीति का आरोप लगा दिया इसके बाद बिचारे गोयल साहब को चैनलों के डिबेट शोज में जा-जा कर अपना मत स्पष्ट करना पड़ा. हालांकि उन्होंने ट्विटर पर भी कुछ ट्वीट करके अपनी बात कहने की कोशिश की थी लेकिन ट्रैंड में उसकी कौन सुनता है कि जिसका ट्रैंड चल रहा हो. हमारे राजनेता अभी तक इस ट्विटर ट्रैंड बला का तोड़ नही ढूंढ़ पाए हैं.

पोस्ट स्क्रिप्टः ट्विटर ट्रैंड में बड़े नेताओं जैसे नरेंद्र मोदी और राहुल गांधी को कोई खासा फर्क नही पड़ता क्योंकि नरेंद्र मोदी पीएम बन चुके हैं और राहुल गांधी की हाल फिलहाल पीएम बनने की कोई उम्मीद नही दिखाई पड़ती.

My English Teacher

At first, the title ‘The English Teacher’ seemed little simple and less impressive but then I chose to go with this title because this post is about a simple person, who was my English teacher.  When I was just 15 years old, I got to join a coaching, which used to offer classes in Maths, Science and English as these were the most game changing subjects in our part of world. We used to get coaching for these subjects. So, I also went in such coaching and I think this was the only thing that I did right in my whole life. In this coaching, I didn’t get enough in Maths and Science but I made the most from the English classes. And, this was because of my english teacher. I can honestly say that he changed my life with his early morning English classes. Though, he gave similar classes to everyone and can’t say about others but he really changed my life like madiba did and coach Thomas Carter did of his students.  I always feel like crying whenever I see movies with such life changing characters.

I feel like crying not because the portrayed pain and sufferings, shown in the movie but that makes me see my past life when I was a young boy with unsure goals and motives. In those days, I wasn’t aware of my likes and dislikes and had no vision for my life and career.  But then one day he came and just changed my life with his little 30 minutes long classes. The best thing about his classes was his funny jokes and interesting portrayal of fictional characters. He used to crack jokes after finishing each chapter like I still remember that coward man story and beautiful representation of Lucy gray.  I still remember that his initial lines before starting any new chapter, “chalo jane ek darpok aadmi k bare jo bibi se nai darta tha” and we all giggled on such remarks. These remarks develop a connect with the story and makes us know the characterization. His teachings developed the habit of reading english stories in me. I cant pay thanks to him but I will always try to change the lives of others with honest efforts as he did.

Saying him role model may not be justified but he has surely changed my life and induced the seeds of paying utmost dedication in whatever job I take.

I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with

Roommates: friends or foes

Sometimes it becomes too difficult to understand the difference between your friends and foes.  It becomes tough when you live in a metropolitan like Delhi with unknown faces.  These unknown faces includes our colleagues,  roommates, long lost relatives,  who now least relate to us and acquaintances turned friends. With the these people,  we share the day today life,  our little successes and great sorrows.  With the these people,  we share minute by minute moments of your first date,  first trophy for your hard work and the vent out anger with a mug of beer.  So these people mean a lot for us.  But the sky falls when these lifelines deceive us.  In such moments,  we think of never trusting these people but you trust me we again fall in these traps because these issues don’t matter us any more.  Does they?  I shared my experience you share yours in comments section.  It will be great to see what you guys are experiencing…. Cheers


My Hogwarts Role Models

I am an avid reader and see famous fictional characters in real people. Today, I am gonna talking about my role models, who also relate with famous harry potter characters like Professor Dumbledore, Hermione Granger and Professor Snape. You can easily relate these people with book’s characters. It is my sheer luck that I got to work such nice people in my life. They have awarded rare opportunities to prove my skills. So, without wasting our precious time, I would begin with Professor Dumbledore.

Mayank Sir – My Professor Dumbledore: My Professor Dumbledore is Mayank Sir, who talks less but gives real insights on any sort of topic in a mystical manner. He is an ocean of knowledge like the real character. In all my enthusiasm, I have got the habit of entering in his cabin to share whatever curiosity hits me.  Though, I should be little professional and think twice before sharing anything with him. For me, his sermons are like Professor Dumbledore one liners, which calm down my curiosities and shows me the way ahead. In all my experiences with Mayank Sir, I have learned the art of being an attentive listener because he talks less and gives us the clues to go further. Here is an excellent experience of mine which I can share. Once, we were talking about the conflict journalism and renowned journalists, who have covered Middle East in last thirty years or so. We young journalists were inspired with American journalists like Steve Coll, Robert Fisk, Richard Falk and many more. Considerably, I have read Steve’s Pulitzer Prize winner Ghost Wars, which is an analysis on cold war days. So, I was mesmerized with the access and balanced reporting of English journalists and just said that I don’t see any Indian journalist, who have gone this far. As I say this, Mayank Sir corrected me instantly by saying that if you can’t see something then it doesn’t mean that that thing doesn’t exist. Sometimes valuable people, moments and opportunities just wander around us and we could not measure them up. There is an Indian journalist called Deepak Ji, who is amongst the top Middle East covering journalists. And, this was in pure Professor Dumbledore style. This conversation ended with the Indian journalist’s name. But, he gave me a clue to know about the eminent Indian journalist called Deepak Tripathi, who has worked for BBC, Al-Jajeera and written the book Breeding Ground on the origin of Afghanistan and Islamic terrorism. And, so Mayank Sir is my role model and my Professor Dumbledore.

Satyendra Sir – My Professor Severus Snape: You may call me a Harry Potter fan but this book has real like characters. And Satyendra Sir is my Professor Snape.  I have learned the art of storytelling from him. There is no person, who can tell about an incident in as vivid & amusing manner as Satyendra Sir can. But, in the mean time, he is as strict as professor snape or Guru Sifu (A character from Kungfu Panda movie).

Khyati Sehgal – My Hermione:
Yes, when I am talking about the writing inspirations then how can I forget my most helpful ally Khyati Sehgal. She is the brightest girl, a true friend and a passionate writer. I have learned lot of things from her in my initial days, when I was working for her. Initially, it took me a while to understand her but she with all her knowledge helped me in knowing different styles of writing.

Thank You Mayank Sir – My Professor Dumbledore and Khyati Sehgal – My Hermione Granger for helping me in realizing my dreams. And, Thank you Satyendra Sir for making me learn the art of storytelling though, I am still learning.

I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with

My View on Anticipating India – The Best of National Interest

Shekhar Gupta's Book Anticipating India The National InterestCan we review our Alma mater, rank up school teachers or even give ratings to our textbooks while reading them? For a normal person like me, it isn’t possible as I believe that these institutions can get me a caterpillar evolution and guide in becoming what I wish to be for. So, reviewing Shekhar Gupta’s National Interest columns was not possible for me. Thus, I am sharing my experience and view on these columns with my limited knowledge and intellect.

Before start reading the best ‘National Interest columns, I went on reading the recent copies of this column from web to understand the soul of this column. Because I think it is necessary to read anything without the baggage of expectations. So, reading recent columns introduced me with their flavor. The national interest columns are not about giving opinion on general issues, happening all across the country. These columns emphasize the vested interest of the nation in local issues like rape, molestation and killings that prints on second and third page of newspapers.

This column talks about the national interest lies in the tragic story of a family, which visited all corners in government to punish the person, who molested their 14 years daughter and even jailed their 16 years son for false allegation of stealing vehicles. It was a vicious seed of crime against women and national interest column talked about it. There are the anecdotes on the rise of HMT generation – the Hindi medium type that includes Kalpana Chavla, Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar. This was a whole new crop of youngsters, who came from small towns to claim its share and gave tough challenge to elite Oxfordwallahs. And, this column talked about this. The book Anticipating India – The National Interest  is divided in six parts that includes columns published during NDA days, UPA1, UPA2, the declining era of UPA, the rise of Narendra Modi and in  the days of Anna – Aam Aadmi protest.

My Experience as a Knowledge Seeker: As I am into my early years of Journalism, this book is like a treasure. It get me the great lessons of journalism that I couldn’t have till date. It made me learn the art of being patient. It told me why this journalism business is so special and what its perks are. It did the storytelling of good old days but in form of anecdotes instead of heavily intellectual opinionated columns. It told me that Indian politics can’t be learn by reading big bulky books but by interacting with big old sidelined people. Shekhar Gupta calls himself an old styled reporter, who has got the habit of asking tough questions. And, this collection of columns is best among all the national interest columns published so far in last eighteen years.

50 Words Verdict: I suggest this book to all my journalism fellows as a must have, who still hold the cuttings of old Saturday columns, whose paper is dying with every passing monsoon. It is a treasure for young journalists and raise serious questions while staying away from old school of missionary journalism.