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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Catching Fire

English: A map of the fictional nation of Pane...
English: A map of the fictional nation of Panem from Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Main Characters : Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Gale, Rim Everdeen, Hazelle, Haymitch, Linna, Octavia, Portia, Finnick, Mags, Johanna, Beetee, Wiress, Darius, Thread, Careers and President Snow.
Descriptin of one of the main characters: Finnick Odair is one of the participant of the Hunger Games, this year. He has already participated in the Hunger Games when he was 14 and also won it. He is the youngest boy to have won the games in the age of 14. His mentor is a lady named Mags. He is very brave. He is skilled in using swords and tridents. He is from District 4.
Whom I like and why: I like Darius. He becomes an Avox because he steps forward to save Gale from Thread. He is very brave. He serves for Katniss during the Hunger Games. An Avox is a person whose tongue has been cut by the Capitol so that they can never talk. This is a kind of punishment the Capitol gives to people who oppose the Capitol and its rules.
Whom I dislike and why: I dislike President Snow. He wants Peeta and Katniss dead. He is very selfish. He is the President of the whole Panem.  He has the power to alter laws and rules in Panem. He is heartless. He gives extra liberty to the Capitol of Parem. He likes to see the Hunger Games every year.
Setting/theme of the story: Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen get lots of money and a big house in the Victor’s village. They tour the village together. In this year of Hunger Games, Katniss and Haymitch get selected. Peeta volunteers for Haymitch, so, Peeta and Katniss participate again. They form allies with Johanna, Beetee, Wiress, Mags and Finnick. Meanwhile the people who oppose the Capitol decide to rebel against the Capitol. They use Katniss’s pin, the Mocking jay, as their symbol. Cinna, Katniss’s stylist in the Hunger Games, is also a one of those who oppose the Capitol. So, he channels his emotion into Katniss’s dress by making the outfit like a Mockingjay’s feathers. By this, he tells the people that he is a part of the rebellion. He is punished by the Capitol for this. They all go into the arena and the seventy-fifth Hunger Games begins. Mags, Finnick, Beetee, Wireess, Peeta, Johanna and Katniss stay together. Meanwhile in Capitol, Haymitch and Peutarch, another mentor of District 4, plan to blow up the arena and get out all the victors alive without the Capitol knowing about it. The Victor tributes from Districts 3,4,6,7,8 and 11 have varying degrees of knowledge about it. Only Peeta and Katniss do not know about the plan. Most of the districts in Panem are in full scale rebellion. In the arena, most of them die.  Wiress gets picked up in a hovercraft. Beetee using his wire ties to make a hole in the forcefield. The arena gets picked up in a hole in the forcefield. The arena gets blowed up. Mags dies. Katniss, Finnick and Beetee are saved by Haymitch and the people who rebel against the Capitol. Peeta and Johanna are taken away by the Capitol people. Haymitch explains to her that they saved her first instead of Peeta as she was the Mocking jay, the symbol of the rebellion. As long as she was safe, the rebellion will continue and they can win over the Capitol. Katniss falls asleep. When she wakes up she sees Gale, her friend, who is supposed to be in District 12. He explains to her that after the Games, the Capitol sent in planes and dropped fire-bombs. There is no District 12 anymore. He also tells her that he saved Prim and her mother just in time. That’s the end of Catching fire.
Part I like the most: I enjoyed the part when Cinna cleverly signals to the people that he will be a part of the rebellion by dressing Katniss as a Mocking Jay. The Capitol kills him for that.

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Mocking Jay

mocking jay pumpkin
mocking jay pumpkin (Photo credit: apocaknits)

Title: Mocking Jay
Author : Suzanne Collins
Main Characters : Gale, Prim, Katniss, Haymitch, Coin, Pultarch, Delly, Boggs, Johanna, Jackson Katniss’s Mother, Snow and Finnick.
Description of one of the main characters: Coin is the President of District 13. Though District 13 was destroyed, the rebels went and lived in the underground. Coin wants to kill President Snow and take the place herself. She wants to be the President of Panem. She accepts Katniss as the Mocking Jay, the symbol of the rebels and the rebellion itself.
Whom I like and why: I like Johanna. She is very brave. She is from District Seven. She is athletic. She is kind. She doesn’t like people who tell false things. She is very helpful and fights very well. She was part of the last year’s Hunger Games. She was one of Katniss’s allies. She was the one who brought Beetee and Wiress to Katniss.
Whom I dislike and why: I dislike President Snow. He always tries to doom Katniss. He supports only for Capitol. He leaves messages to Katniss by keeping cold, white roses wherever Katniss goes. At last Katniss kills him. His grand daughter goes into the final Hunger games.
Setting/ theme of the story: Katnisss Everdeen accepts to be the Mocking Jay. She gives speeches and encourages everyone to keep fighting for freedom. Meanwhile the Capitol tries to destroy all the districts. They force Peeta and erase all his memories and fill him with memories like Katniss trying to kill him. Gale, Jackson, Boggs and the others save and bring them back to District 13. After treatments by Beetee, Peeta becomes normal. During one of the attacks, Boggs and Katniss’s sister Prim die. Katniss kills Snow. Coin also dies. There is just one more Hunger Games but all of  them came back alive from the arena. It is all happy. Katniss has won freedom for the people of Panem!
Part I enjoyed the most: I enjoyed the part when Gale saves Peeta from the Capitol. I also enjoyed the part when Katniss kills Snow.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013


“Neverwhere” (Photo credit: tripu)

Title: Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman
Main Characters: Richard, Mayhew, Door, Mr. Croup, Mr. Vandemar, Maraquis De Carabas, Gary, Hunter, Lamia, Jessica, Anaesthesia, Sylvia, Angel Islington and The Beast Of London
Description of one of the main characters: Hunter is the best bodyguard in London Below. She has killed the great blind white alligator-king in New York below. She has fought the bear that killed thousand of men in Berlin Below. She has killed a black tiger in the undercity of Calcutta. She wants to be the greatest hunter in London Below. She is Door’s bodyguard but she also serves Islington. But instead of saving Door from the enemies, she gives Door away for money.
Whom I like and why: I like the Maraqis de Carabas. He is faithful to Door and Richard. He does not kill anyone. He makes dangerous deals to find out who killed Door’s family. He finds out that Angel Islington was at the back of all this.
Whom I dislike and why: I dislike Angel Islington. He is very wicked. He acts as if he is good to Door and Richard but is the one who killed Door’s family. He is imprisoned for killing people. The prison can be opened only by Door or with magical key to the lock.
Setting/theme of the story: Richard Mayhew sees a wounded girl lying on the London sidewalk. He offers to call the ambulance but the wounded girl doesn’t want him to. So he takes her home and keeps her. The girl introduces herself as Door. Two men named, Mr.Croup and Mr.Vandemar, come in search of Door. Richard keeps Door hidden in his house. Door explains to him that those two men are trying to kill her. She requests Richard to meet her friend, the Maraquis de Carabas, instead of her and also tells him to tell de Carabas that she orders him to take her back safely. Richard meets de Carabas and tells him Door’s order. De Carabas takes Door and goes off. Door thanks Richard. Just when, Richard thinks that everything has been settled and goes back to work, nobody in London recognises him. Gary, Sylvia, Jessica and all his other friends don’t recognize him. So he starts roaming in the streets of London. One day some people suddenly come and take him down sewers. Suddenly he is in a place where he dosen't know. Then a rat comes and looks at him. Anaesthesia, a girl, introduces herself and tells that they are all rat speakers. Soon he knows that he is in London below. He sets out to find Door and the Marquis. He finds them and starts going out with her. Door hires the best bodyguard in London, the hunter. Richard and Door meet Islington and Islington asks them to bring the magical key. She lies to them that if she has the key she would be able to send Richard back to London above. So Richard and Door get the key. Door makes another copy of the key exactly, for safety on their way back to Islington. Hunter betrays Door and helps Mr.Vandemar and Mr.Croup take Door away. At that time, the Beast of London comes. Hunter’s aim is to kill the Beast and become the best hunter. But Richard kills it. Hunter gets hurt and then gradually dies. She gives the knife to Richard before dying. Meanwhile Maraquis finds out that Mr.Croup and Mr.Vandemar are working for Islington. So, de Carabas and Richard go to save Door. They reach there and find Door standing beside Islington. Door has given Islington the copy of the real key once she knew that Islingon was in the prison. So now, Islington forces Door to open the door of the prison. Door acts as if she opens the doors but instead pushes Islington, Mr.Croup and Mr.Vandmar deeper into the prison and also forms more protective doors so that they will never come back again. Richard gives up the aim of returning to his old life. But he becomes a part of London Below.
Part I enjoyed the most: I enjoyed the part when Door finds that she has talent to open and close doors. She also has the talent to create doors.
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The Guide

Title: The Guide
Author : R.K.Narayan
Main Characters: Raju, Raju’s father, Raju’s mother, Rosie, Marco, Raju’s uncle, Guffar and Velan.
Description of one of the main characters: Rosie is a temple dancer. She maries a rich man, whom Raju calls Macro. She is an idiot. She tells Raju to help her stage programmes asks him to borrow money from his friends and makes him bankrupt. She starts living in Raju’s house and best dancer but she is very cunning.
Whom I like and why: I like Raju’s uncle. He is a very strict man. He likes and respects his relatives, especially his sisters, vey much. When Rosie sends out Raju’s mother, Raju’s uncle comes and takes her away to his own house.
Whom I dislike and why: I dislike Rosie. She is the trouble maker in the whole story. She is a she-devil.
Setting/theme of the story: Raju gets out from jail. He was sent to jain for borrowing too much money and for not being able to return it back. He comes to an unknown village. A man named Velan thinks he is a sadhu and starts worshipping him. The villagers give him a place in the temple to stay. They provide food for Raju. They come to him with many problems. He tells them something and by fluke the problem gets solved. He starts giving discourses and teaches small children bhajans. He also tells the villagers about the importance of education and asks the teacher of that village to gather all boys and teach them. Soon Raju believes himself to be sadhu and also starts living smoothly when suddenly the rains stop. The village becomes dry. Cows and other animals start dying. The villagers come to Raju, thinking he is a sadhu, and plead to him to bless the village so that the rains come. Raju tells them that he will fast for 12 days and that on the 12th day the rains will come. He starts fasting and after a day or two starts starving. He calls Velan, his friend and confides to him that he is not a sadhu but is just a prisoner released from jail. He tells Velan why he went to jail.
This is Raju’s story:
Raju had a shop which sold old books, magazines, biscuits and other things in the Malgudi Railway station. He was interested more in travelling and showing visitors around Malgudi. So, he left his old profession and became a guide. He showed many people around Malgudi. Then one day he met a man named Marco and his wife Rosie who was a dancer. Marco requested Raju to be his guide. Raju accepted and showed Marco all around Malgudi. Rosie danced all day. She asked Raju if he would help her dance in public shows so that could earn money and as a guide, Raju readily accepted. Marco suddenly left Rosie and went off. Rosie moved into Raju’s house and made Raju borrow money. She asked Raju to fix a mandapam for her "Arangetram". She did not spend a single penny but made Raju borrow and spend. Then one day, she sent Raju’s mother away from the house. Raju’s uncle collected her and dwent back to his own house with his sister. Raju got involved into cases in the court for not paying back the people he borrowed money from. He was put in jail.
After hearing the story Velan still calls him as “swami” and still believed that if he requests God, God would give rains to the village. Raju continues to fast. He becomes very weak. He stops walking, talking, doing things normally. On the 12th day he steps in the bank of the river to finish his fasting and at the momment rain comes pouring from the sky, and Raju lies down forever.
Part I enjoyed the most: I enjoyed the part when Raju racks his brains, trying to remember the stories his mother had told, for the discourse he has to give.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dario's In Chennai

Our tennis master let us go early, a couple of weeks ago, and while we were coming back in the car we guessed that it might be because of Chennai Open. My father asked my mom if she remembered going to one of the Chennai Open matches once. My mother told that she remembered and she also said that she remembered the lousy pizza he bought for her there. At that point of the conversation, I jutted in saying that pastas and pizzas are very good if you eat at the right place. Then my brother reminded us of the day my mom made Sunfeast pasta and we had hated it. My mom stated that she dislikes pasta. My father said that he would take us to an Italian restaurant one day and show us the real taste of pasta and pizza. My mom suggested that it could be today as she hadn't prepared any dinner.

On reaching home, my father checked Zomato. We could spot a few vegetarian Italian restaurants. And that is how we landed up in Dario's. We got stuck in the traffic so we booked a table. After reaching there, I went in with my brother to have a look at the kitchen. I met the master chef. The kitchen was clean. They had gas burners and electric stoves. They showed us the ovens which generate so much heat. Have you ever wondered how they make pizzas in restaurants? I saw how they make and here is the video:

Of all the tings I ate, liked 'Chocolate Brownie With hot Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream' the best.

My father overdressed and he explained thus:
"Such restaurants will have too much of AC and I don't want to sit there feeling cold and uncomfortable."
But Dario's disappointed him. The AC was very bad.

The service was good. We all had a good dinner. It was a really nice experience. We all got to know how pastas and pizzas taste- our main objective of going there. Thanks Dario's for introducing us to the Italian cuisine.

Name: Dario's
Address: Dario's, Poes Garden, Chennai
Ambience: The AC was bad
Food taste: The food is very good...
Service: The service is very nice.
Cleanliness: The whole place is very clean. The kitchen is maintained neat.
Parking: It's valet parking.
Cost: Worth the whole experience.
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Meet Mr.Mulliner

1st US edition
1st US edition 

Title: Meet Mr.Mulliner
Author: P.G.Wodehouse
Main Characters: Mr.Mulliner, James, Wilfred, George, Augustine, Lancelot.
Description of one of the main characters: Mr.Mulliner loves to sit in the Angler’s Rest and tell tall tales about his far-flung family. He takes part in all gossips and starts telling stories.
Whom I like and why: I like Wilfred very much. He always advertises his inventions like Raven Gypsy face-cream and Snow Of The Mountain lotion. He also invents Buck-U-Uppo, a tonic given to elephants to enable them to face tigers with necessary nonchalance.
Whom I dislike and why: I do not dislike anyone. All the characters are funny and charming. The characters do nothing to make me dislike them. The whole book is filled with characters who cannot be disliked.
Setting/theme of the story: Mr.Mulliner sits in Angler’s Rest drinking hot scotch and lemon. When he gossips with others, he starts telling stories of his far-flung family. He talks about his nephew George once, and then another time he talks about his brilliant brother Wilfred who invents lotions and tonics like Mulliner’s Reduc-o and Mulliner’s Ease-o. Another day he talks about another nephew of his called Augustine who drank Wilfred Mulliner’s Buck-O-Uppo, which was meant for elephants. He talks about Lancelot Mulliner (one of his nephews) who was a poet. He talks about his uncle William and his cousin John San Francisco Earthquake Mulliner (J.S.F.E.Mulliner). He talks about one other nephew of his named Federick. He talks about Clarence Mulliner and his photographic techniques. At last he talks about James Mulliner, a detective story writer and about how James Rodman spent some weeks in a hounted house for 5000pounds. He ends saying that he shouldn’t bore others with family gossip.
Part I enjoyed the most: I enjoyed the part when Mulliner kept telling that his cousin’s name was John San Francisco Earthquake but the other repeatedly told him that there was only a fire in San Francisco and not a Earthquake.
“Brother William’s eldest son, my cousin John San Fransisco Earthquake got this name,” said Mr.Mulliner.“There never was a San Fransisco Earthquake,” said the Californian “only a fire”.

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