Superstitions—Source and Eradication

Superstitions are the illogical or unreasonable beliefs and the acceptance of certain phenomenon as it is without trying to know the cause behind it. It’s also the belief in certain omen, charms, demons, witches, ceremonies and in the existence of supernatural beings. Superstitious beliefs arise out of ignorance, lack of education and a backward mind that refuses to change its belief system.

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Radha’s Holi Without Kanha (A Poem on Radhakrishn’s Holi by Sanchari Das)

The spring is colourless
Without you.
Holi is incomplete
Without you.
Dol Yatra has no destination
Without you.
You are the colour of my life:
Without you,
Even the festival of colours
Loses its meaning.

The colourful memories
From our secret tryst
Comes back to haunt me;
Memories from the time
When the air was tainted
With the colour of our love;
Memories when the time stopped
As we smeared each other
With the colour of love;
Memories when even the moon
Painted itself red
From the glow of our love;
Memories from the past
When our hearts fell in love
For the first time
In thousand decades;
How can we ever forget
Those moments
Of our sweet rendezvous?

I know,
We shouldn’t complain
For the pains earned in love;
But Kanha,
What’s love without you?
I know,
You are always there,
Tied to my broken heart forever;
But your Radha
Feels lonely without you.

~Sanchari

Be Your Own Fairy Godmother

Life is not a fairytale.

There won’t be any fairy Godmother turning up at your door to lead you to your Prince Charming. There won’t be a talking doll as a gift from your dead mother to help you finish your tasks faster. There won’t definitely be a winged horse waiting to fly you out of your troubles.

But all your troubles will definitely disappear. If you just work hard for it.

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After the Funeral (Agatha Christie)

“It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it? But he was murdered, wasn’t he?”

Cora’s habit of speaking the bitter truth at the wrong moments had a fatal effect this time. Some things are better left unsaid. Yet Cora decides to spill the beans of her brother’s murder on the day of his funeral.

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Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie)

“The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”

Murder strikes again in the life of the renowned detective M. Hercule Poirot and this time it’s on the famous Orient Express. But it’s the most bewildering murder: the victim being stabbed almost a dozen times even with his door locked from inside and the murderer seeming to have completely disappeared.

Welcome to “Murder on the Orient Express” written by the Queen of Crimes, Agatha Christie. While traveling to London by the famous Orient Express, Poirot is suddenly called to investigate the murder of a passenger who lies death in his compartment. The Orient Express stands still in its track, stopped by a snowdrift and isolated by the storm, sheltering a murderer whom Poirot must identify from the array of suspects before he decides to strike again.

But the case isn’t at all simple. There seems to be clues all over place; but clues that lead no where. Moreover, some amazing coincidences clutter the story of the passengers which are a little hard to believe or simply pass as coincidences. There seems to be more than one person involved in the crime, possibly both a man and a woman. And all the passengers seem to be telling either absolute truth or complete lies. But the biggest question is: where did the murderer go after committing the crime? Or is he hiding somewhere in the train, behind their eyes?

Here lies the most puzzling mystery that baffles even the great detective. There has been a foul play, he can sense that. But couldn’t put his finger upon it. With too many evidence but none quite appealing, Poirot just have his own intuition and the psychology of the suspects to rely upon in order to solve the mystery of the most impossible murder and the case of the disappearing murderer.

Agatha Christie strikes gold again with her award winning book that once again proved the sheer ingenuity of the author. With a powerful storyline, mind-numbing mystery and end-to-end suspense, Agatha Christie weaves a masterpiece that leaves the readers guessing until the end. And then, the unexpected ending comes as a blow to the unsuspecting readers who cannot but applaud the creativity of the mastermind.

“It is a trick. It is our business to find out how the trick is done.”

Appointment with Death (Agatha Christie)

“I never forget. Remember that. I’ve never forgotten anything– not an action, not a name, not a fact…”

Agatha Christie‘s detective Hercule Poirot had always been a little different from others. But the reason why the book “Appointment with Death” stood out is because of its unique storyline, brilliant plot structure, meticulous focus on psychological aspects and of course, the surprise ending.

“There are such strange things buried down in the unconscious… We shut the door on them and deny them conscious life, but sometimes they are too strong.”

Among the towering red cliffs of Petra, sat the corpse of Mrs. Boynton like some monstrous swollen Buddha. A tiny puncture mark on her wrist was the only sign of the fatal injection that had killed her. With too many suspects and only 24 hours to solve the mystery, Hercule Poirot recalls a chance remark he had overheard back in Jerusalem:

“You do see, don’t you, that she’s got to be killed?”

The story encompasses two parts. The first part is almost entirely dedicated to the family where the alleged murder takes place. The author took time in describing the psychological conditions of each of the family members who would later be suspected for the murder of Mrs. Boynton. Enters Hercule Poirot in the second part to investigate the unusual murder already committed at the end of the first part. And although he knows that nothing can be proved, yet he offers to find out the truth just by interrogating the suspects.

“Criminology is the easiest science in the world! One has only to let the criminal talk– sooner or later he will tell you everything.”

Very few detective stories choose to explore such psychological depths as the author does in this one. It even involves Dr. Theodore Gerard and Sarah King, the two psychologists who choose to evaluate the weird equations of the strange family and later investigate the case through their analysis of the human characters.

“They have been in prison so long that if the prison door stands open they would no longer notice! And they would all be afraid of freedom.”

Love, in its purest form, also finds a place in this unique detective plot. Be it conjugal love, brotherly love, passionate love or love between the family members, its presence can be felt all over the story. Amid the tyranny of the cruel Mrs. Boynton, love finds a way out. Also, the concept of freedom and bondage play hide and seek throughout the story. Vivid descriptions of nature and the amazing places that the characters visit also star in the novel. And at times, the book feels very less of a strict detective story and more of a psychological novel of love, life, freedom and philosophy.

“Here in the exquisite pure morning air they stood like gods, surveying a baser world– a world of flaring violence.”

Agatha Christie didn’t forget to sprinkle some humour while spinning such a serious novel. Be it in the exaggerated self-obsessions, fickle-mindedness or the manner of conduct, through sarcasm or at the irony of situation or turn of events, an observant reader will always find the hint of sublime humour.

“To investigate a crime it is only necessary to let the guilty party or parties talk– always, in the end, they tell you what you want to know!”

All in all, “Appointment with Death” by Agatha Christie is a remarkable book, not only for the brilliance of the famous detective Hercule Poirot, but also for the brilliance of the author herself who produced such a delightful piece of literature that managed to put murder and psychology, freedom and bondage, crime and morality, love and trauma, all in the same platter.

“The victim may be one of the good God’s saints or, on the contrary, a monster of infamy. It moves me not. The fact is the same. A life taken! I say it always– I do not approve of murder.”

I Bleed for You (A Poem for Krishna by Sanchari Das)

I have dedicated my life

For the love of you.

All my actions are the fruit

Of the love that I have for you.

I’m what your lessons have made me,

I’m a reflection of your teachings.

I love all, despite their appearances

Because I see you in all of them.

I love even the tiniest creature of all,

Because love is where I find you.

I’m kind to the cruelest beast of all,

Because kindness is what you sow in me.

In happiness, I find you smiling too;

In sorrow, I remember the loving you.

In anger, you calm down my nerves,

In struggle, you hold strongly my arms.

I fight, knowing you are with me,

In victory and in defeat alike.

I stare into the eyes of destiny and fight;

You are the source of all my strength:

I know I can’t fall, I have you behind.

I don’t worry about my success,

For you are there to look after that;

I just relish my journey as I work hard.

I’m hurt when people charge you

With false accusations;

Fools, I call them

They failed to understand you:

They saw your actions,

Never saw the reasons behind;

They heard your words,

Never listened to what you preach;

They retold your stories,

Never learnt from that you teach;

Yet I forgive them,

Because forgiveness is what you believe.

I don’t blame the people

For not understanding you;

Mere mortals they are,

With morals set in black and white.

You are way beyond your appearance,

You are far beyond their comprehension;

A thousand births will pass,

Yet you will still seem incomprehensible

To those who defines you without loving you;

Million years will pass,

You’d still be a mystery, hard to solve;

But mystery is what we all love to behold.

It’s not easy loving you, my Lord;

But it’s harder not to fall in love with you.

None can afford to know you

Without falling for you:

Knowing you is loving you, my Krishna,

You have that power over your devotees.

The path towards your love

Is beset with thrones.

But, my Lord,

There is a sweet pleasure

In bleeding too:

For I bleed for you.

~Sanchari

A New Home for My Books | Konnagar Book Fair

The smell of books calls out to me. Be it from the bookstores, library or the book fairs. For me, winter was always synonymous to book fairs. They are the only reason I step out of my house in the unbearable cold. Even if I don’t buy anything (which is rarely the case!), I just love the ecstatic feeling of seeing so many books at the same time.

One day while walking down a book fair, a thought passed my mind—what if some day my books get displayed in one of these shops? A shiver ran down my spine at the unbelievable thought. And then, while checking one of the stores, I saw a few books of some new writers sandwiched between those of Chetan Bhagat, Durjoy Dutta and Preety Shenoy. As a teenager then, I had newly found my reading delights amid these authors. I suddenly imagined a book with my name on its cover in one of these shelves among them. Another shiver!

But some 8 years later, the unbelievable thought of a teenager wandering in the book fair turned into reality…

A New Beginning in an Old Frame

While visiting the Konnagar Book Fair last year, we came across a store that displays the books written by new authors. They are basically a Book Club in love with Literature who promotes new writers. And when I told them about my books, they offered to display them in their store. They even welcomed me to their club “Konnagar Pathochakro”.

After the book fair, we visited their club where all the book lovers sit together to have a discussion about various books, authors and literature in general. Sometimes we share poems, short stories or articles written by us.

We began to gather together at a small room stuffed with books once in a week. Soon, I found myself engulfed by a talented community. I was elated. It reminded me of a literature club back at my hometown, Siliguri, where my parents had the membership when I was a child. And now, I am a part of such a literary community.

Ah, how beautifully history repeats itself..!

The First Step

One year rolled by and I received an exciting phone call. The “Konnagar Pathochakro” wants me to be present in the book fair as the member of their book club. They were to display my books and I was to sit inside the store as one their esteemed authors. Imagine my pleasure when I saw a childhood dream unfold before my eyes as I took my seat.

Until now, I had only seen great authors sit on a raised platform in a book fair and talk with their readers in the audience. And now, by some remarkable twist of fate, I was to sit in that raised platform! Maybe the platform isn’t the greatest, but for me it’s huge—for it’s my first step.

Another reason why I feel it’s really big, because I’m the youngest one out there. Remember that feeling when you are a kid and you visit an ancient building with huge doors and windows and you feel really tiny in front of them. Well, it’s the exact same feeling here! Sitting among all the aged people with far greater experience than me, I felt like a tiny little bud that just began her journey…

An Experience to Remember

Three years back, when I was writing my first novel, this is a scene that I had imagined time and again. Though, the reality is a bit toned down version of what I had actually pictured (talk about the weird teenage imaginations!). But it’s still something to cherish.

I mean, I may not have made a huge sale, but the look on people’s face is amazing. The way they looked at me with a mixed feeling of astonishment, respect and admiration for someone who wrote a book (and that too, a fat one!) at such a young age! It just fills my heart with happiness and encourages me to push myself forward towards something greater.

Despite all the money a writer can make, I think it’s the appreciation of the readers that makes us happier. And if you ever ask me to choose between a huge sale of my books and earning readers who can really connect with my work, I’ll always choose the later. And Konnagar Book Fair offered me just that.

My books found their new home in the bookstore of “Konnagar Pathochakro” and perhaps I too made a happy home in the heart of many new readers.

The year 2020 had been really hard upon all of us with so many things gone wrong, but still it failed to disappoint me. And I know, when I’ll look back to it some ten years later, I’ll look at it with respect for everything it has taught me. I’ll always remember this year for everything good that it blessed me with.