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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Mary Poppins

Movie: Mary poppins
Genre: Classics/ Musical
Directed by: Robert Stevenson
Produced by: Walt Disney
Based on: Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
Music by: Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman
Cast: Julie Andrews(Mary Poppins), Dick van Dyke(Bert), David Tomlinson(George Banks), Glynis Johns(Winifred Banks), Karen Dotrice(Jane), Matthew Garber(Michael), Hermione Baddeley(Ellen)

Katie Nanna, the nanny of Jane and Michael, withdraws from her post not being able to tolerate the kids’ tricks on her. Mr. and Mrs. Banks are on the look out for able nannies when Mary Poppins comes to them. Mary Poppins, a fairy answering the children’s call for a kind and sweet nanny, who has rosy cheeks and looks pretty good, gets the vacant post immediately. The kids start loving her from the start. Mary Poppins takes them on adventurous journeys, she being a fairy. Mary, Bert, Jane and Michael have lots of fun.

The father, Mr. Banks, starts getting irritated when the children tell about their adventures with Mary and Bert. He summons Mary Poppins for an “explanation”. But all that Mary says is,” I would like to make something very clear. I never explain things.”

Mary understands that the children want their father to show them his love. So she makes him take them out to the bank he works in. There, Michael wants to feed the birds there by getting them some food from the bird lady for tuppence. But the managers of the bank force the boy and take the tuppence to tell him that he can save it in the bank. But immediately, he and Jane start shouting, “Give me my money.” People in the bank think that the bank is not giving their money back and so, all of them start demanding their money. There is chaos, and the two children run off, grabbing their tuppence. On the streets, when they get lost, they meet their old friend- Bert. He takes them back home.

George Banks is fired from his job. And he realises at that moment how much he loves his children, and the good Mary Poppins has done to his home. He goes back singing, and cheerful, and takes his children out to fly a kite. When nobody notices, and when everything is well, Mary Poppins leaves silently. Bert wishes her goodbye!

I loved the part when the kids go around singing to everybody- "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." I also loved the dance of the chimney Sweeps. My favourite character is Bert followed by George Banks, and Winifred Banks. I also love the Admiral, and of course- Mary Poppins!

I simply loved the movie. It was fantastic! I feel it is under the must-watch-without-fail category...

Monday, December 29, 2014

ET- The Extra-Terrestrial

Movie: ET- The Extra-Terrestrial
Genre: Sci-fi
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Produced by: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
Story by: Melissa Mathison
Music by: John Williams
Cast: Henry Thomas(Elliott), Robert MacNaughton(Michael), Drew Barrymore(Gertie), Dee Wallace(Mary), Peter Coyote(the man with the keys), K. C. Martel, Sean Frye and C. Thomas Howell(Michael's friends Greg, Steve and Tyler)

Some aliens land on the Earth to collect plants, and while doing so, they encounter humans. Terrified, they all get back to their spaceship and take off, leaving one of its kind behind. The lonely alien hides in the storage room of a house near the garden. Meanwhile, Elliott, a small boy along with his brother Michael and his friends- Greg, Steve and Tyler, party in Elliott’s house. While coming back to the house from the storage room, Elliott meets the alien and gets terribly scared. But no one believes him when he reports this to his brother and friends. He decides to take on the alien himself, and lures the alien inside the house using food. Elliott becomes good friends with the alien. He calls it ET. He shows the alien to his brother Michael, and his five year old sister, Gertie. They protect ET and do all kinds of playing with it. The ET even learns to speak English when Gertie tries to teach it.

Meanwhile, some government agents try to capture this alien because of its abnormal powers. Therefore, Elliott , Michael and Gertie try to save the ET. They develop a communication device so that ET can ‘phone home’. During a ride in the forest with Elliott, ET successfully calls his fellow-aliens for help.

When people try to capture ET, Michael, Elliott and his friends transport the alien to its spaceship safely. ET bids goodbye to Michael, Elliott, Gertie, Mary(the mother of Elliott) and goes back home.

I liked the climax very much. I also liked the part when Gertie dresses the ET like a girl and teaches it to speak English.

The movie is very nice. I liked it very much.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Movie: UP
Genre: Animation, Adventure
Directed by: Pete Docter
Co-Directed by: Bob Peterson
Produced by: Jonas Rivera
Story by: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and Tom McCarthy
Music by: Michael Giacchino

Carl Fredricksen was fascinated by Charles Muntz, a wilderness explorer, as a young boy. Now, as an old retired balloon salesman, after his wife’s sorrowful death, he seeks for the adventure that he had always wanted to have- a trip to South America. He ties hundreds of balloons to his house and sets it afloat. He creates sails and wings to navigate the flight.
At this time, to his utmost surprise, he hears a knock on his door when he is afloat. When he opens, he is even more surprised to see a small boy named Russell, who is keen on becoming a ‘Senior Wilderness Explorer’ in his porch. Together, Russell and Fredricksen, who is a little discouraged at having Russell with him, steer themselves on the vast sky and land in South America(by accident). Russell becomes friends with a 13-foot giant bird and calls it Kevin, and also a talking Dog named Dug. They meet Charles Muntz in his lab in the wild, and realize his wicked aim of wanting the bird- Kevin- as a part of his collection. Old Fredricksen, young Russell, and Dug the Dog do away with the villain and save Kevin from the treacherous villain- Muntz. They restore Kevin back with its kids and set off on a journey back home. Russell is declared a ‘Senior Wilderness Explorer’. Carl Fredricksen achieves his lifelong dream of travelling to South America. And Dug the Dog finally gets a master! All is well.

The movie is fantastic, and I feel it is a must-watch film. The part I enjoyed the most is when Fredricksen finds Russell standing in his porch while the house is afloat. The shock, the surprise, the irritation and amazement- it’s all there then.

Please do watch the movie. It surely is amazing...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Science? Commerce?

Class 10 is the year when every single person you meet has something to say about your studies or career. Ranging from all unknown relatives, familiar ones, school friends, friends’ moms and their relatives, some ‘Aunty’ whom we just happened to get acquainted with- everyone starts off with the same question: “Ohhh… So, you are in Class 10! What are you going to choose next year? Science? Commerce?” Yes, that is the question that I dread when I talk to someone. I pray so that they don’t ask that damned question. Why? Because I don’t know the answer, and will not be able to provide them with one. At least, if it is my dad, I can ask him straight on the face what his problem is. If I do the same to the others, I will have to be ready to take that gorgon stare from my mom(who believes that answering in such a way points to bad bringing-up), which I am not ready to.

But here is something very amusing- most others of my class seem to have identified answers for such questions. Or at least they have an answer even if they are not very sure about it, because of the constant bombardment of these standard questions. Out of thirty-five in my class, half of them want to become doctors(one has even specified that she wants to be a gynaecologist!), some of them want to ‘crack IIT’ or want to get into NIT, one wants to become an IAS officer, a few want to become fashion designers(I don’t see any boys in my class wanting that), and there are a few who want to go and work in NASA as an aero-physicist! Well? What do you infer? I might seem to be the only one who really isn't very clear. But thank God! There are some others to give me company...

Many people start advising about how to go about choosing, and all that. They say, “One, identify what your interests are.” As a fact, I am stuck at that very first step. How do you really identify your interest? Forget about those who are exceptionally- exceptionally- good at something like music, art, dance, or even physics, math or any other subject. Their interest would probably be that. But for someone like me, who is not exactly very interested in one particular thing but likes everything without even disliking any- what should we choose- Science? Commerce?

Of the people who talk often, about this, to me, my father tops the list. For one thing, he can convince me either way- to take commerce or science- through how he argues on each side- that is something I don’t like much. It’s very confusing, and irritating. But he says it’s good, and that he is only playing the devil’s advocate.

As far as I understood them all- If I choose Science, then I will have to drop other things. I will have to study real hard to score marks if I am not able to manage both studies and the extra-curriculars(which is bad because all the “Cultural Events” start only from Class 11). Also I can still choose to become a CA or any other professional. All options will be open. But if I choose Commerce I can never come back to the Science stream. That is very clear.

We discussed courses such as Humanities(IIT-M has a course for that) and Law. We weren’t sure whether I had to take Science or Commerce to pursue those. I didn’t actually want to do B.Pharm, which we did discuss about, because I will have to take Biology for that.

At this point, I actually try to understand why my dad took science group when he was in Class 11. His reply is simple. He says: “Back then it wasn't prestigious if you didn't take Science. It was seen as if you couldn't.” Well! That didn't help me solve my little(or big) problem of deciding on what to choose.

Of course, my dear grandma and grandpa believe that I have to take Commerce and become a Chartered Accountant. My mother has already made it very clear that she would love it if I take up Science with Biology and become a doctor. At this point, I have to stop with the story to tell you that I am clear I won’t become a doctor.

But finally, they all tell me one thing that all of them agree upon: Choose anything you want. But whatever you choose, do it sincerely and be in the top.

Now, we come back to the first question: What should I choose? Science or Commerce?

Let us see. Class 11 is not really far off!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Prefect's Uncle

Title: A Prefect's Uncle
Author: P G Wodehouse
Main Characters: Gethryn(the Bishop), Marriot, Wilson, Norris, Franie, Pringle, Lorimer, Reece, Monk, Danvers, Mr. Lawrie, the Headmaster, Mr. Wells

'A Prefect's Uncle' is one of the best books that I have ever read! It's a perfect P G Wodehouse book- absolutely hilarious! This is one of the series of school stories that Wodehouse wrote in his young days. 

It starts off with the boys coming back to Beckford College, after the summer holidays. Marriot, a senior, is trusted with the job of taking care of his Aunt's boy Wilson. Gethryn(called by everyone as the Bishop) gets a strange letter telling him that he is supposed to meet some Uncle of his at the station. When Gethryn goes to the station expecting to meet a lunatic of a uncle(who wants to meet him just when the term has started!), to his utmost shock, he finds his Uncle to be a top-hatted small boy younger than himself. Here is how the conversation goes between the boy and Gethryn:

A top-hatted small boy , who had been hovering around the group, addressed winged words at him. "I say, are you looking for somebody?" The Bishop stared at him as a naturalist stares at a novel species of insect."Yes," he said. "Why?" This affair, thought the Bishop, was beginning to assume an uncanny aspect."How the dickens did you know that?" he said."Oh, then you are Gethryn? That's all right. I was told you were going to be here to meet this train. Glad to make your acquaintance. My name's Farnie. I'm your Uncle, you know.""My what?" gurgled the Bishop."Your Uncle. U-n, un; c-l-e, kul. Uncle. Fact, I assure you."
Gethryn is put down by the thought of having his footsteps 'perpetually dogged' by an Uncle four years younger than himself! The feeling becomes worse when he finds out that his Uncle belongs to the same house that he is a prefect in- Leicester's. Therefore, he goes on back with his Uncle. Before he could warn his Uncle not to publicize their relationship, Farnie goes about telling people about them. The Bishop is completely disgusted about the whole scenario, and the only thing that cheers him is the upcoming MCC Cricket Match. 

Meanwhile, Farnie gets into bad friendship with the senior bad boys- Monk and Danvers. He borrows four pounds from Monk on one of the occasions. On the day of the MCC match, Monk demands the return of the four pounds immetiately and blackmails Farnie. So, Farnie steals the money from the Bishop's purse and gives it to Monk. Without daring to meet Gethryn's fury, he leaves a note to Gethryn and runs away. 

Gethryn during the tea break of the match against MCC, comes to fetch his hat, and thus finds the letter. Afraid of the consequence that might take over if Farnie is found missing, he abandons the MCC match to go in search of Farnie. Due to the absence of the Bishop, Leicester's lose the match. Gethryn brings back Farnie, but has to face serious situation back in the house, since he doesn't open up with the reason of his disappearance(for Farnie's sake).

Everyone, especially Norris- the team captain- is furious with Gethryn for loosing them the match. He takes off Gethryn's name in the school's eleven. When things didn't seem to settle at all, Farnie moves away to another school in France. So, now, Gethryn tells all his friends the truth. Everything ends happily.

There is an aside story that also goes on about Pringle and Lorimer, which is completely hilarious. Read the book to enjoy!

'A Prefect's Uncle' is a must-read!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Tolkien Reader

Title: The Tolkien Reader
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

First of all, here is something about this book- from the book:
“For anyone who has yet to read the The Hobbit or The Lord Of The Rings, here is a brilliant introduction to this most captivating author- and for Tolkien fans it is an indispensable addition to the small shelf of books by J. R. R. Tolkien, a book to read, to enjoy, and to keep.”

I belong to the latter group of people. I have already read and enjoyed The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings. And, I loved reading the short stories and poems of Tolkien in this book.

There were three stories- Tree and Leaf, Farmer Giles Of Ham and The Adventures Of Tom Bombadil. Since, I have already been introduced to Tom Bombadil in the Lord Of The Rings, I already knew who he was. I love Tom Bombadil’s cheerful songs. I also liked Farmer Giles Of Ham. It was very different, and had a completely different set of characters.

The Tolkien Reader also contained a play written by Tolkien-The Homecoming Of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son. That was very nice, too.

In the end, the book had a random collection of poems by Tolkien from the Red Book. All the poems and songs were very nice. I have always loved J. R. R. Tolkien’s songs!
But my most favourite was Oliphaunt and Perry-the-Winkle.

Here, you can read Oliphaunt and one page from Perry-the-Winkle:


I loved reading the book. It really was an indispensable addition to my small shelf of Tolkien books! Do read it.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Swachch Bharat

Recently CBSE conducted an Essay Writing Competition on topics about the Swachch Bharat. I also took part in the competition. I wanted to share the essay I wrote.

This was my topic:
How do you think that Swachch Bharat Swachch Vidyalaya campaign can be taken to
achieve the goal of clean India by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma

My Essay:

We don’t need to search for examples elsewhere.

A decade or two back, the Indian Railways- the largest and the most efficient network in India- was not as it is today. A  decade or two back, it was a pathetic sight. There was this huge problem of people smoking- inside compartments, out on the platforms and in any other place in the station- making everybody around them passive smokers.

My dad says that you seriously couldn’t travel peacefully in a second-class train compartment, back then. People smoked cigarettes unmindful of the person sitting near them. The pathway in the trains were littered with stubbed cigarettes and bidis. If you could see that scene, it would be like this:
A man smoking his cigarette without for a moment considering his co-passengers. Blowing it right into their faces… while they wrinkle their nose, and try to avoid it. But how can they avoid if the man is sitting right in front of them?
This was the monster-problem in the trains and the railway station.
But the Government of India decided to put a full stop to this nonsense.
And, the Railway Department of the Government rose to fight against this unfair practice.
Strict measures were taken. Restrictions were tightened. Cigarette sale in the platforms were prohibited. Even if a train stops in a lonely village station at the middle of the night, officers came around to check if people were violating the rules and smoking. People who smoked were fined, then and there. No explanations were tolerated.
And the result of all these? A perfectly safe and secure, and clean, railway system, that we have now.

What does this show us? It shows us that Swachch Bharat Swachch Vidyalaya campaign can be taken to achieve the goal of clean India by 2019.
When such a big network like the Railways, with millions of people travelling, was able to do the needful, so can Swachch Bharat Swachch Vidyalaya campaign with so many enthusiastic people, including students, in India’s billion brilliant population.

Primarily, the Swachch Bharat Swachch Vidyalaya campaign must concentrate on deterring the people to stop littering. Then we could do the cleaning process.
The problem in India seems to be that there are five sweepers to clean up but five thousand people to litter. So, we should make all of them responsible for what they do to their surroundings.

The students and teachers will help keep the school clean.
Each locality must take up responsibility for their own area.
Ultimately every district, village, city, state and every part of India must strive for cleanliness. Only then the idea of Swachch Bharat can be implemented.
And, for this, Swachch Bharat Swachch Vidyalaya campaign can help in a great way.

After all, what better gift can we give our Mahatma, Bapuji, on his 150th birth anniversary than a super-clean India- a Swachch Bharat!

Let us remember this motivational quote ‘Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way’ while we make our way to a clean India. JAI HIND!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Five Points That I Learnt From “How I Made $2 Million In The Stock Market” by Nicolas Darvas

This book by Nicolas Darvas is the story of how he made money in stock market through trials and errors. It is a book where Darvas talks about his initial stages when he entered the stock market, and how he learnt from his mistakes to perfect this system of making money.

I read this book. It was really nice! Actually, it is written from the stock market perspective for stock market profits. But I felt that some of the points that Darvas learnt in life is mostly common to anything we do. Here are the rules that Darvas put down for himself:

  1. I should not follow advisory services. They are not infallible, either in Canada or Wall Street.
  1. I should not listen to rumours, no matter how well-founded they may appear.
  1. I must accept facts and read just myself accordingly- my pride and ego would have to be subdued.
  1. Everything that I have to do needs a great amount of self-discipline.
  1. It was a period of disaster- caused by egotism, leading to vanity leading to over-confidence, which in turn led to disaster.

All these are true not only for stock market. Anything you do, you cannot depend on what other people say. Anything you do, you can’t fall for rumours. Anything you do, you need to have self-discipline. So, these rules apply for anything we do.

Even though I did not read to know about stock market, I enjoyed reading the book because it was like a story- a story that was very interesting to read.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Heroes Of Olympus- The Blood Of Olympus

It all started way back in Class 7.

“Hey, you haven’t read the Percy Jackson series, ah?” - was the question that all my classmates and friends asked me. No. I didn't know any Percy Jackson. But it started there. I read the whole series, and finished it in Class 7. Then, I continued with my favourite friends, Percy and Annabeth, in the Heroes Of Olympus series. From that year on, I've been immediately reading the new releases- The Lost Hero, The Son Of Neptune, The Mark Of Athena and The House Of Hades, as eBooks. One of my classmates always makes sure it comes to me soon after the release.

But this time- The Blood Of Olympus was already out. I assumed that I would get the eBook as usual. But not so.
“Sorry! I don’t think I will be able to send this time!”  was all that my classmate said.
Ah! How was I going to  get the book?! I had to read it! And- be one of the first people to have read it!

Thanks to Eloor, our usual library, I got a copy of The Blood Of Olympus to read.

I finished reading it, and travelled with the seven demigods to the end of the final battle with Gaia, after which everybody is peaceful and happy.

Title: Heroes Of Olympus- The Blood Of Olympus

Author: Rick Riordan

Main Characters: Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Piper McLean, Jason Grace, Leo Valdez, Hazel, Frank Zhang, Coach Hedge, Reyna, Hylla, Thalia, Zeus, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Ares, Asclepius, Victory, Octavian, Nico, Gaia, Giants.

Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Leo, Piper, Hazel and Frank. They were the seven demigods chosen to defeat Gaia. But they had a problem with the prophecy.

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with the final breath,
And foes bear arms to the doors of death.

To storm or fire the world must fall- that presented a problem. This meant Jason, son of Zeus(god of storm and lightning) or Leo, the son of Hephaestus(god of fire), might die in the final battle So, the seven demigods set on three dangerous quests that would help them solve everything- they had to capture Victoria(the goddess of victory), they had to capture the war god Ares’s heartbeat from the Old Temple and they had to talk to Apollo and Artemis(the twin gods) into following them in the battle, and get the secret potion from Asclepius to make sure that Jason or Leo could be brought back alive even if they die.

While capturing Victory, it becomes clear that Leo is going to die, because Victory screams at the Percy, Hazel, Frank and Leo, that one of them will die. But nothing is said about it. The magic medicine that they acquire from Asclepius is handed over to Piper to keep it in safety.

The Gods and the Demigods together successfully defeat the giants. But while doing so, a drop of blood from both Annabeth and Percy seeps into the ground. The Blood Of Olympus has been given. Gaia awakes.

Zeus blows the seven demigods to Camp- Half Blood.

Meanwhile, Reyna, Nico, and Coach Hedge counter problems and finally reach Camp-Half Blood safely with the Athena Parthenos, only to find that Octavian(a Roman) is planning to war with the Greeks. But as Reyna arrives, and earns trust with the Greeks by giving back their sacred statue of Athena, the Romans stop following Octavian and listen to their old Praetor Reyna.

The seven Demigods, the Roman and Greek forces together wage the war against Gaia. Finally, Leo takes Jason and Piper up into the air, where Piper charm-speaks Gaia into sleep-mode. Leo fires Gaia with all his strength. As heat builds up, and Leo understands that one of them must die, he pushes Jason and Piper from the war ship where they might die.

Octavian launches himself on a missile to attack Gaia, in the name of saving Rome. Together, Leo’s fire and Octavian’s missile crumbles Gaia so much that she will never be able to reform again. But Leo’s warship, bursts into flames illuminating the whole sky.
Everybody thinks Leo is dead and pray for him. Things slowly settle down. Greeks and Romans become friends. Peace prevails.

But did Leo die? Of course not! He is the awesome guy who is “all about doing the impossible”. So, what happened to him? Read to find out.

The book is really awesome. I am glad I was able to read it so soon.
Did you pick up your copy?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Adventures Of Stoob- Testing Times

Title: The Adventures Of Stoob- Testing Times
Author: Samit Basu
Main Characters: Stoob, his friends, and a villainous crow

“The Adventures Of Stoob- Testing Times” is a very nice book. It is funny, and makes the reader laugh throughout. Starting from the name Stoob, everything is downright funny. Well, the name is actually a shortened form of Subroto Bandhopadhyay! And then why is it Stoob? Here is an excerpt from the book where the protagonist(Stoob) gives the reason for calling himself Stoob:

Subroto Bandhopadhyay. It’s a nice name. If it’s 1914. If you’re dressed in a white dhoti-kurta and part of Indian Freedom Struggle. If you’re fifty years old and have three children in college and you’re running an arty theatre group. But I’m none of those things. How am I going to feature in strike partnerships with an about-to-retire Messi if my name doesn’t fit on the Barcelona team shirt? How am I going to have my own rock band, or invent something that lets us live in space, or direct my own action movies if my name is Subroto Bandhopadhyay?

And here is my favourite drawing from the book: 
Now- coming over to the story:
Stoob is relieved that the exams are over. He is overjoyed. But the announcement comes- all the earlier test marks do not count. Stoob needs to pass a big final examination to complete middle-school. Stoob borrows notes from his friend Ishani, and also takes help from Rehan, to study for the upcoming exams. But he is also tempted to partner with Prithvi, who is planning to cheat by copying. Ishani and Rehan save him from committing such a mistake. They also try to make Prithvi let go of such an idea. But they fail to do so. So the threesome plan, and make Prithvi’s numerous attempts to copy go in vain. They make him angry, and finally they all pass out decently. Ishani ends up being class first, and Rehan second. Stoob does well, and Prithvi realizes his mistake. They all pass out of middle-school happily.

You are wondering where the villainous crow comes, right? Read the book to find out.
I enjoyed reading the book very much.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Title: Contagion

Author: Robin Cook

Main Characters: Jack Stapleton, Laurie Montgomery, Terese Hagen, Calvin Washington(deputy chief), Colleen Anderson, Chet, Dr. Zimmerman, Dr. Martin Cheveau, Warren, Slam,Spit, Lou Soldano, Bingham, Richard Overstreet and Beth Holderness

JACK STAPLETON is a very interesting character, and I naturally like him the most. From John, he becomes Jack. From an overweight conservative with old tastes, he becomes a ‘pickup basketball nut’ as he describes himself. He lives in the 106th street, in Harlem, along with NY gangsters. A conversation, about where he lives, goes this way:

“Come on,” Chet said. “Where do you live?” 
“I live on the Upper West Side,” Jack said. “It’s no secret.”
“In the seventies?” Chet asked.
“A bit higher,” Jack said.
“You are not going to tell me it’s higher than nineties, are you?” Chet asked.
“A tad,” Jack said. “I live on a Hundred and Sixth street.”
“Good grief!” Chet exclaimed. “You are living in Harlem.”
“What’s in a name?” Jack shrugged.
“Why in the world live in Harlem?” Chet asked. “Of all the neat places to live in and around the city, why live there? It can’t be a nice neighbourhood. Besides, it must be dangerous!”

Not only does Jack live in such a place, he is also friends with the gangsters by playing Basketball along with them. Apart from this, Jack is a professional doctor, and very committed to his work. He  is a truly hard worker, and is very smart. Finally, Jack Stapleton ends up being a perfect “Detective Doc”.

Jack Stapleton gets seriously bored with the mundane cases in the pit, autopsy room, until his colleague cum friend, Laurie Montgomery, allots him the case of a man, named Nodelman, whose diagnosis is an unknown infectious disease. The case appeals to Jack Stapleton, and he becomes very interested it it. Finally, in front of Calvin Washington, the deputy chief, Dr. Stapleton predicts the disease that killed Nodelman as plague. It remains a statement to joke and laugh at, until Agnes tests a lung sample and really finds it to be plague. They alert the City Board of Health. Since Nodelman had been a patient in Manhattan General, Jack straight goes to the Manhattan General hospital to inform them. Due to his sarcasm, he gets thrown out of the hospital by the heads. He leaves it to hell.

But, this just doesn't stop with that. Everyday, more interesting cases come to him, all originating from the Manhattan General. And Jack makes astounding diagnoses of serious diseases such as influenza, tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever(rickettsia).  This time, he tries to visit the hospital without getting noticed by his enemies there. He manages to make some friends over there, but is not able to find anything fruitful. And- he also gets caught while stealthily trying to talk in the microbiology lab. But, Bigham, his employer  doesn’t fire him. He is still employed.

And what more! The people in Manhattan General do not like his theory of all these diseases being spread intentionally by a doctor(Or is it just one person who has hired them to beat up Jack?), and they decide to hire a few men from the Black Kings, a gang from Harlem, to do away with Jack. But Jack has his own friendly gang to protect him. It becomes a gang war, really. By this time, Laurie, his friend, gets all worried about him, and calls her Detective friend, Lou Soldano, to protect Jack.

Then it reaches the climax. Jack’s suspicion about a doctor spreading these diseases is confirmed. He just needs to find who he/she is. And he gets into a lot of trouble. He gets captured by the disease-spreading villains, and is then saved later by the gangsters.

This book- Contagion- is really very thrilling. This is my first book by Robin Cook featuring Jack Stapleton. I enjoyed it very much.