All posts by Rajesh Naik

I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book Series: Ramayan Series by Ashok Banker: Mythological epic retold as an amazing and imaginative fantasy

This is an eight-book series where Ashok Banker retells the Ramayan in the style of the modern “fantasy” novel, like the Lord of the Rings series by JRR Tolkien.

The first of the series was written in 2003 and series was completed in 2012 with the eighth book.

Here are the images of the covers of these books:Ramayan Series Cover Images

I had heard the Ramayan in bits and pieces in my early childhood. Later, I read abridged YA versions and graphic art forms (called comics then) from Amar Chitra Katha. Somewhere along the way I consumed the English versions by Rajaji (C Rajagopalachari) and R K Narayan. I was eventually put off this epic by Ramanand Sagar’s teleserial in the 1980s, where it became morlistic, dull, and full of cardboard charaters.

Anyway, a few years ago, my wife (Swapna) had purchased the first of the series, and I picked it up just after she finished it. Once I started reading it, I just could not put it down. I gobbled-up the first six of the series as and when they were released. I was under the impression that the series was over with the six books (maybe there was a gap between the publishing of the sixth and the seventh book, or something in the sixth book gave me that impression). However, I recently discovered that Banker has added two more volumes to the series, making it a total of 8 books.
Continue reading Book Series: Ramayan Series by Ashok Banker: Mythological epic retold as an amazing and imaginative fantasy


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Movie: Ek Din Achanak (1989, Hindi, India)

Ek Din Achanak is an art film of 1989, based on a Bengali story titled Beej. The movie is directed by veteran Mrinal Sen and has won a lot of awards national and international awards.

Ek Din Achanak Poster

Directed by Mrinal Sen
Released in 1989
Genre Drama, Suspense, Relationships, Art Cinema
Cast Shabana Azmi as Neeta
Shriram Lagoo as Sashank (Professor), Neeta’s father
Uttara Baokar as Neeta’s mother
Aparna Sen as Aparna, a student of Professor
Roopa Ganguly as Seema, Neeta’s younger sister
Arjun Chakraborthy as Amit, Neeta’s brother
Manohar Singh as Neeta’s uncle
Music by Jyotishka Dasgupta
Produced by N.F.D.C.
Language Hindi
Length 1 hour 45 mins

 

The Plot

One rainy day, when the streets of Kolkatta are flooded, Shashank, a retired professor (played by Shriram Lagoo) steps out of his middle class house for a walk and does not return. His family – comprising his wife (played by Uttara Baokar), his elder daughter Neeta (Shabana Azmi), younger daughter Seema (Roopa Ganguly), and son Amit (Arjun Chakraborthy) tensely wait for him to return and start the process of tracing him after a day or so, by contacting hospitals, informing the police, enquiring with acquaintances, and so on.
Continue reading Movie: Ek Din Achanak (1989, Hindi, India)


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Movie: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013, Hindi, India)

Bhag Milkha Bhag is a biopic based on the life of the Indian 400 meters Olympian Milkha Singh, who won many international races and held records in the late 1950s to early 1960s.

Bhag Milkha Bhag Poster
Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Released in 2013
Cast Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh (Adult)
Japtej Singh as Milkha Singh (Child)
Divya Dutta as Isri Kaur (Milkha’s Sister)
Soonam Kapoor as Biro (Milkha’s romantic interest)
Pawan Malhotra as Gurudev Singh (Milkha’s army coach)
Yograj Singh as Ranveer Singh (Indian National Coach)
Prakash Raj as tough army officer (Milkha’s army officer)
Dalip Tahil as Jawaharlal Nehru (Prime Minister of India)
K K Raina as Wadhwa (Bureaucrat)
Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Produced by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra & Viacom
Language Hindi
Length 3 hours 10 mins

The Story

The film starts with the 1960 Rome Olympics, where Milkha Singh (played by Farhan Akhtar)  is leading a pack of elite runners in the 400 meters final. Something happens as he hears his coach shout “bhag Milkha, bhag” – he slows down and looks back, comes fourth and misses a podium finish.
Continue reading Movie: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013, Hindi, India)


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

There are no dead ends in Bangalore

Dead End Image
“When you reach a dead end, turn right” was the baffling instruction I got, when I asked for directions to some place in Jayanagar. We had just moved to Bangalore (from Delhi) in mid-2004, and I was trying to get used to the roads and places in Bangalore.

To me a ‘dead end’ meant an end (as of a street) without an exit, a cul-de-sac, or a blind alley, so how could I turn right?

Eventually as I drove to the alleged ‘dead end’, I figured that I was approaching a T-junction (where I could turn right or left). In the next few weeks, it became clear to me that T-junctions are also called ‘dead ends’ in Bangalore.

Over time I realized that ‘dead ends’ in Bangalore lingo mean many more things – like a sharp right or a left turn, or bend in the road or an intesection (Bangalore has many of them with 5, 6, and sometimes 7 roads). So, ‘dead end’ in Bangalore could mean any of them.

Dead End All Image

I thought I had figured out all possible versions of ‘dead ends’. So, I was stumped when last year (2012), someone gave me directions on New BEL Road – “go straight for 100 meters, at the dead end turn right, and the buiding is the first tall one…”. Well, I knew that the new BEL Road was straight for the next kilometer and I could not remember any ‘dead end’ for a while, at least not the kind of ‘dead ends’ that I was now familiar with.

Dead End New Image After I walked the 100 meters, I did come across a new kind of ‘dead end’ – a small road meeting the main New BEL Road. Well, one lives and learns.

Since my initial encounter with Bangalorean ‘dead end’ I have come to know that others too have been baffled with the usage of this term in Bangalore. Here is a post Rickshaw Drivers and Vampires by Anand Ramachandran. I reproduce a relevant excerpt from the post:

“Give up, fool. This is a dead end, there is no way out. I have you know.”, said Gangrel.

The human smiled. “Nope. You forget – this is Bengaluru.” he shot back, before suddenly taking a left turn and vanishing.

– from Rickshaw Drivers and Vampires by Anand Ramachandran

Maybe ‘Dead End, Right’ is a new metaphor for ‘there is always a way out of tight corners’ 🙂

[There is also a horror movie titled a Dead End. I have not yet seen it, but have put it in my long ‘maybe someday’ list. In case you have seen it, please the comments below this post.]

More Such Posts here https://rajeshnaik.com/category/musings/


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

My blogs (Rajesh Naik)

This is my personal site, and I hope to make blog entries where I share my thoughts and opinions about books, movies, events, etc., or maybe describe places I visited or food I ate or wanted to eat. Personal stuff, maybe light-hearted and trivial, maybe serious, maybe of no interest to anyone at all 🙂


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.