Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Vivekean Version of the Prodigal Son

(An Extract from Indians in Pakistan, the Action Thriller on terrorism)

‘It was all my fault,’ I said frankly. ‘I was blind then but now I see the truth. You were right and I was wrong.’
‘Mother would have been happy to see you,’ he told me, sadly. ‘Too bad she’s not around.’
‘Wh - where is she?’ I asked, looking around frantically for her.
‘It’s too late,’ he said. ‘She’s no longer in this world.’
‘Mother, mother,’ I continued, not heeding him. ‘Mother where are you?’
‘She’s dead, dear brother. She’s in heaven now.’
‘No, it cannot be. She cannot die! I need to tell her how much I love her. I need to tell her how sorry I am for walking away. I wanted to introduce her to Najma, my wife. I wanted to - ’

Words failed me at that moment and I sank to my knees. There were plenty of kind words from everyone around but there was nothing that could console me – not even the beautiful hands of Najma wrapped around my neck. I was truly inconsolable.

Visit the Fan Page of this exciting novel at https://www.facebook.com/IndiansInPakistan

Read the preview at
http://pothi.com/pothi/book/vivek-pereira-indians-pakistan

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Exposing the Medieval Mindset


Today I visited the local fish market and was surprised to hear fisherwoman bargaining in English using words like “fresh”, “expensive” and “twelve hundred.” Yet, nearly a month ago, I saw several participants getting punished for using English phrases during day-to-day conversations in India’s premier reality show, Big Boss. Why is this anti-English idea being mooted on popular television shows when most of the world has adopted the language as their own and the world has gone truly global? Are TV show producers steadily succumbing to the paranoia of the medieval mindsets.
 
And, by the way, what is a medieval mindset? In the period following the collapse of the Roman Empire from the 5th century right up to the sixteenth century religion ruled the roost. All the major religions of the world came into prominence during this period but culture declined. The followers of these modern religions were just as brutal and barbaric as their pagan counterparts. The Christian armies burnt and even ate the corpses of their foes during the crusades at the start of the previous millennium.  

The Renaissance in the 15th and 16th century came as a breath of fresh air to the sea of unenlightened humanity who just could not look out of the box they had so ‘religiously’ prepared and entrapped themselves in. But the medieval mindset continued on and has survived even up to this day of tablets, Smartphones, iPods and YouTube videos. 

Unfortunately, fascists as in Egypt and possibly in India as well, the chief proponents of this medieval mindset, are being elected to power all over the world. We can ignore this threat to our own peril. People accept them as a means of change from all that is not right with their present systems, but they could be in for a rude shock when the change does happen!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Predictions for 2014 - The Vivekean Crystal ball Speaketh


(The Author has written an action thriller on terrorism entitled 'Indians in Pakistan' that is available at http://pothi.com/pothi/book/vivek-pereira-indians-pakistan)


Well, let's be optimistic when we gaze at the crystal ball. Yes, let's predict only the best for India and the world. Less crime, lower inflation, a rejuvenated economy, higher rupees, a soaring share market, higher incomes, lower taxes, less corruption, no terror attacks and so on. Hmm...this sounds more like a Utopian dream....and why not?

What could be the outcome for the Indian Lok Sabha elections in 2014?  Well, it looks like we re heading for a hung parliament and smaller parties like the AAP will play a major role in the shape of the next government. The Left parties might also make a comeback in these elections. And the Prime Minister? My prediction is that it won't be Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi. It's the crystal ball, stupid! Yes, it's quite logical that smaller parties would want their pound of flesh for support and maybe even the PM's position. So, we re looking at compromise candidates like Jayalalitha, Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal or even Naveen Patnaik.Well, sorry UPA and BJP supporters, but your unfounded overconfidence will be your downfall! Did anyone expect Arvind Kejriwal to be the Delhi CM? Seriously. Well, less support for the government at the centre can be a good thing as only sensible bills could will get passed and the authorities would think twice before doing anything immoral or unethical.

What about the Indian cricket team? - Let's forget our hockey and soccer team which are too much in focus these days - ha....India will miss Tendulkar who was an inspiration and a calming influence on the younger players. Well, Dhoni and Kohli will continue to be among the best in the world. In fact, the problem is not so much with the batting lineup as with the bowling. Ishant Sharma seems to be either getting bad advice from others and not listening to the wise ones.Our fast bowlers are not fast enough - or accurate.

And the international war on terrorists, Maoists and organised crime? Well, US itself has admitted that the Taliban will only get stronger and Al Qaeda may once again establish base in Afghanistan. The Muslim Brotherhood and its allies have changed colour once out of power and Egypt could perhaps go the Syrian way. Let's pray and hope that this does not happen. I'm not a big supporter of the Arab spring. The corrupt, mafia-like rulers like Gaddafi had kept the region stable but now one never knows what can happen there. Freedom (even freedom from corruption) does come at a bitter price. On the home front, Maoists will get wiped out as their support base is getting quickly eroded. Let's hope that this happens to the Indian Mujahideen and other domestic terror groups too.

Well, I do remember the Economy. I just paid Rs 55 for 1 kg each of onions and potatos, and only a few months ago a kg of onion had cost Rs 80 per kg. Wonders what these hoarders and black marketeers can do.This should be a sure sign that the Economy will bounce back. The monsoon was not bad and we have a talented workforce that can take on any challenges.The new RBI governor seems to be making positive decisions but will they turn around the economy? And let's reduce the price of LPG cylinders, Mr Manmohan Singh. The common man is certainly feeling the pinch.

Let me take this opportunity to wish all the readers of this blog a happy and prosperous new year and may you stick to your new year's resolution even if it is only to read my blog regularly. LOL.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Can a Novel on Terrorism become a bestselling book in India and globally?

This is a question I have always asked myself when I began writing this book about five years ago. Will a novel on terrorism have mass appeal and would I be catering to a restricted niche audience? Well, it's early days for my novel "Indians in Pakistan" but I'm certain the answer is "Why Not?".

As I worked on my novel, I realised that Jihadi fiction was becoming a genre by itself with works of Mukul Deva and "Red Jihad" capturing the imagination. But I still insist that the audience is not niche as terrorism affects us all overtly and covertly. Only a fool will deny that.Think of all those long hours you have spent in queues waiting to enter a plane or a stadium because of security checks. Think of the fear one feels when a loud sound is heard on the street or whenever you see a stray parcel lying in a public place. Denying you feel this fear or inconvenience does not mean that it is not felt. Any rational human being feels them. Doesn't every Mumbaikar traveling in a train or bus at one time or another wonder if there is a bomb waiting to blow them up. Wouldn't they sometimes remember the carnage of 1993, 2006 and 2008 and wonder if another attack is around the corner?

If terrorism is an everyday subject then why should we feel that a book on terrorism is unusual or niche - especially if that book dwells on human relationships and bonding. Indians in Pakistan is not only an emotional roller-coaster but also a thriller in which the action just doesn't stop. It ranks among my all-time best works of fiction and is sure to have  a global reach. The Likes on its Facebook Fan Page says it all, especially since most of the "Likers" are complete strangers and the fan base is spread across the world. This novel is available on Pothi.com, Flipkart, Amazon.in and Infibeam. So come on and get your paws on one of the best novels by an Indian Author.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Indians in Pakistan - Excerpts from Chapter 14 & 15


Ejaz and I met in a secluded area on Friday night. We were discussing possible courses of action when the sound of light footsteps interrupted us. Ejaz looked at me in silence and motioned for us to remain quiet. Suddenly the silhouettes of two men became visible in the darkness.

‘Who’s there?’ I queried.
‘It’s me, Akbar Bugto,’ whispered a voice. ‘And I have Omar Sheikh with me.’
‘We know exactly what you have been up to,’ said another voice.

There was a long spell of silence as Ejaz and I pondered the meaning of these words. Akbar Bugto was one of the support staff who hailed from Baluchistan. He was a handy man who worked at this camp in multiple roles including that of an electrician and a gardener. He was the most visible person on this campus. Omar Sheikh, the Kashmiri software engineer and main communications expert, on the other hand, was usually confined to the control room or the communications centre near the officers’ quarters.

‘What are you talking about?’ Ejaz asked Akbar. ‘Please explain your statement.’
‘I don’t need to explain it. All of us here know what I’m talking about.’ 
‘And that is…’
‘See for quite a while we have been keeping a watch on both of you…on our own.’
‘And what have you found out.’
‘That all of you, including the remaining Indian jihadis, are planning to run away. That Ejaz poisoned Commander Sharif. And lot’s more.’

When one’s darkest secrets are revealed out in the open in a casual almost lackadaisical sort of way, then even the bravest of men get petrified. This is exactly what happened to Ejaz and me that night. The stunned expression on Ejaz’s face informed me that I was not the only one whose head was swimming in confusion and despair. Was it the end of the road for us now?

 Read more at  http://pothi.com/pothi/book/vivek-pereira-indians-pakistan - Also available on Flipkart, Amazon.in and Infibeam

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Excerpt from My Novel 'Indians in Pakistan'



 ‘And how did the Americans become the enemies?’ Irfan queried. ‘Weren’t they the ones who gave us money and arms, and dug tunnels for the mujahideens and even the Al Qaeda?’

‘I just love it when you lads ask questions,’ said the trainer cheerfully. ‘Of course, they were our friends at one point of time. They helped us in Afghanistan. They gave Pakistan plenty of aircrafts, weapons and money to fight India. In fact, Nixon, the American President, sent a warship to the Bay of Bengal to attack India in 1971. Unfortunately, the war got over before it could launch an attack. But America did everything for its own selfish reasons. It was the height of the Cold War, and America viewed India and Afghanistan through the prism of paranoia. They feared that these two countries which were close to the former Soviet Union would pose a major threat to their imperialistic plans. They have always been imperialists and infidels. It’s only now that we have begun to realize this sad truth. The mighty Osama was wise enough and realised this quickly, and so he kept on attacking the Americans especially when they meddled in our affairs.’

‘But the Pakistan government and army still maintain good relations with the US,’ Irfan pointed out.

‘We receive aid from them,’ said Razzak, with a look of disgust on his face. ‘So, we have to fool them into thinking that we are on their side. We take their money and pretend as if we’re doing a lot when we’re actually doing nothing for them. Whatever action the army has taken against other jihadis is in the interest of Pakistan itself and not for the US. It’s all an act, you know. Of course, there are some traitors in the army and government who are close to the Americans. That’s why we killed Benazir Bhutto. We killed her because she was an American spy. We even killed Daniel Pearle, another American spy who posed as a journalist.’
‘And now the Americans have a nuclear deal with India,’ I remarked pointedly. ‘They are trying to destroy Pakistan with India’s help.’

Razzak appeared happy to note that his lecture had started to influence us, and we were beginning to realize the gravity of the threat posed by our main enemies. Mere words are enough to start wars or stop them. Mere words are enough to get someone to kill himself or somebody else. Mere words are known to have triggered revolts and destroyed great empires. Truly, the power of words has been grossly underestimated through the ages.

Read more at  http://pothi.com/pothi/book/vivek-pereira-indians-pakistan - Also available on Flipkart, Amazon.in and Infibeam

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Patriotic Poem

THE DREAM FUTURE OF INDIA


(An Excerpt from my book, Rose Gardens and Minefields)

When all the world weeps in sorrow
India can wake up to a new tomorrow

She can rise steadily from the dumps
Travelling to prosperity without any bumps.

Her people can struggle to attain their goals
All of them excelling in their specific roles

Then from a period of almost certain doom
Her economy will attain an everlasting bloom

Unemployment and poverty will be forgotten terms
Success will be familiar with her companies and firms

Mechanisation and industry will scale new peaks
Thus India shall begin her winning streaks

Her army will be the most feared force
Although it shall pursue a peaceful course

The conceited nations she shall humble
From their mighty pedestals they shall tumble

Let us drink to that joyous day
When Indian policies the world shall obey

Her designs for humanity will then unfold
Even mud will shine as bright as gold

The earth shall represent a beautiful dream
Every human face will have a beam

No tears will ever flow down again
For gone will be human suffering and pain,

If such a revolution ever takes place
We shall become an admired race.

Friday, August 9, 2013

End of Chapter 3 - Indians in Pakistan (An extract from the novel)


The guard shoved me aside and disappeared into the darkness. I was stunned by his heartlessness. There was supposed to be magnificent comradery in the jihadi movement. This was the impression I had before landing in Pakistan. And now I knew the bitter truth that we, jihadis, were a divided lot. It was every man for himself.

I finally reached my room. My eyes fell upon an old radio set kept aside in a corner. I switched it on and listened to the regional news. Then I fiddled with the cellular handset and tried to master its menu navigation system. It was of no use. I had never been good at this. I decided to ask Irfan to help me with it the next day. He really knew how to handle these things.

After some time I switched off the radio and changed into a night suit. Then I turned off the light and lay in bed hoping for a good night’s sleep. But the events of the day kept on replaying in my mind. And what an eventful day it had been! I kept on thinking for a while about our arrival in Karachi, the journey to the camp, the revolt of the Kashmiris, the introductions in the cafeteria, the sumptuous meal and the threat from the burly Lashkar guard. But there was one image that constantly dominated and pervaded all the memories of this exciting day. It was the beautiful face of Najma!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Indians in Pakistan - An Exciting Novel

I smiled at the irony that while we, the trainees, were equipped with rocket launchers, AK47s and other sophisticated weaponry, the head of the mission confronted us with a measly pistol. I was still smiling as my fingers pulled the trigger. The short, bald leader collapsed in a heap. Our jeep sped away.

We left the camp that night, leaving a trail of destruction in our wake. Scores of dismembered bloody bodies lay strewn all over the place. Almost every solid structure had been reduced to rubble. Small fires flared at various places. There were a couple of big fires that lit up the night sky. But what I remember most vividly was the ghastly silence just before we left the site.


The above segment is a short extract from my soon-to-be-published novel ‘Indians in Pakistan’, an action thriller that will leave you spellbound. It will also immerse you into a totally different world in which different forces are at play as jihadis plot a rebellion against their evil masters.

Firstly, love blossoms between a male and female jihadi during the terror training itself. Then there is a sudden outburst of patriotism among the Indian jihadis at the camp. However, the camp management uses harsh tactics to keep all the jihadis in check. Will the Indians revolt? What will be the outcome? Buy the book to get these answers.

‘Indians in Pakistan’ will also take you down memory lane by delving deep into the history of the subcontinent. It takes a frank look (a bit too frank some may say) on certain controversial decisions and actions of people from both sides of the border during and after the partition. It even revisits Pandit Nehru’s famous speech made at the dawn of India’s independence. 

Watch this space to find out more details of this breath-taking book. It will be available on Pothi.com within a few weeks and on several websites like Flipkart and Infibeam within a few months. But I can assure you one thing – it’s certainly worth the wait!

The Bandra of Yore: Where Have All the Pigs and Cottages Gone?

“If you tossed a stone up in the air, it would fall down upon either a pig or a Pereira” was an old Bandra saying. In places like Chuim or Chimbai, the prevalent version ended with “a pig or a Fernandes.” Apparently, since there are hardly any pigs left in Bandra, the  Pereiras and Fernandes have eaten them all up. But there has been a steady decline in the number of Pereiras and Fernandes in this area as well, due to  such factors as migration, the high cost of real estate and the pressure tactics employed by unscrupulous builders. No longer do we see those beautiful cottages with their breath-taking gardens. Bandra has indeed changed a lot and mostly for the worse. 

 

We now live in a concrete jungle filled with malls, shopping centres, eateries and mobile stores. This concrete jungle bustles with humans but is devoid of humanity. It is a “might is right” world where kinfolk slap court cases on each other. This is a far cry from   the  Bandra  of  yore. It  is  as  if  when the old wells of Bandra were blocked, the old Bandra died and a new one, much adored by our modern teenagers and shopaholics, came into being. And  even   now   the   process   of   change  continues  as  talented  musicians  compete   with recorded music, top notch athletes  turn  into online gamers and face-to-face conversations are substituted with impersonal greetings on Facebook.

 

“Waterfield Road got its name from the water that collected on the paddy fields when we were school kids,” said Uncle Neville, who then provided me with a nostalgic image of the Bandra of yore. Yes, we need to lament the change that has happened to this queen of suburbs; but we also need to keep an eye on the future and somehow endeavour to cope with this change.

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