Friday, March 29, 2024

"Shadows of the Soul" - Poetry

In the echoes of mundane days, hollow whispers sway,
Chores start and end, in an endless ballet,
Yet within, a void lingers, a silent plea,
Acceptance masks torment, a facade for all to see.

How do I bear this weight, this silent storm?
Expertise in agony, a skill to conform,
Yet within, my soul shivers, untouched by ease,
A masquerade of strength, a dance with unease.

Am I the puppeteer, or the puppet in this game?
Do I cling to stagnation, or fear the change?
In the depths of doubt, where confidence once shone,
A stranger in the mirror, a ghost of the one.

Where did I lose my voice, my unyielding stand?
Opinions now silenced, by fear's trembling hand,
Once unafraid of judgment, now caged in doubt,
A shadow of the past, a whisper's soft shout.

I do not know this altered face, this fractured soul,
Unwanted, unwelcome, a part that's lost control,
But I refuse to drown, in this sea of pain,
To let the ache consume, and my spirit wane.

Love must find its voice, in the depths of night,
Embrace the broken pieces, and reclaim the light,
For pain should not define, nor hold eternal reign,
In the heart's tender dance, let healing remain.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge Blogaberry Dazzle hosted by Cindy DSilva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Mads' Cookhouse.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

"IF I HAVE TO BE A SOLDIER" by Nikhil J. Alva - Book Review

Name of the book: If I Have to Be a Soldier

Author of the book: Nikhil J. Alva

Genre of the book: Literary & Contemporary Fiction


"If I Have to Be a Soldier" by Nikhil Alava presents a poignant exploration of friendship, loyalty, and the grim realities of war. Set against the backdrop of the 1966 Mizo rebellion, Alava weaves a gripping narrative that delves deep into the complexities of human nature when confronted with moral dilemmas and the harsh consequences of choices made in times of conflict.

The story follows Indian Army Captain Samuel Rego, who finds himself entangled in a web of conflicting loyalties when he discovers that one of the most feared rebel commanders, known as 'Che,' is none other than his childhood friend from the Mara tribe. As Samuel grapples with his duty to his country and the bonds of friendship, he is forced to confront the brutal realities of war and the personal sacrifices it demands.

Alava skilfully portrays the emotional turmoil experienced by Samuel and Che as they navigate the treacherous terrain of the Mizo Hills while being pursued as fugitives. Through vivid descriptions and powerful imagery, the author vividly captures the tension and danger of their journey, immersing the reader in the harrowing struggles faced by both characters.

What sets "If I Have to Be a Soldier" apart is its exploration of the deeper themes of identity, redemption, and the enduring power of love amidst the chaos of war. As Samuel and Che confront their past and the choices that led them down divergent paths, the novel poses thought-provoking questions about morality and the human capacity for forgiveness. In the backdrop, their also exists a love story that is likely one of the reasons for the drifting apart of these two friends due to confusion and misunderstanding.


"If I Have to Be a Soldier" is a gripping and emotionally resonant novel that transcends the confines of its wartime setting to explore timeless themes of friendship, sacrifice, and the search for redemption. Nikhil Alava's masterful storytelling and compelling characters make this book a must-read for anyone interested in the human experience in times of conflict. Alava's prose is both lyrical and evocative, drawing readers into a world of turmoil and uncertainty, where the line between friend and foe blurs and allegiances are tested. The author's meticulous research into the historical context of the Mizo rebellion adds depth and authenticity to the narrative, offering readers a glimpse into a little-known chapter of India's past.


Nikhil j. Alva is an award-winning producer-director and writer. His work has been screened on major broadcast networks and platforms all over the world. Nikhil earned a BA (Hons) in Mathematics from St. Stephen's College and later MBA from the London Business School. He is a serial entrepreneur, a climate change warrior, a communications and social media maven, a national shooting champion, a pianist and an avid golfer. He is a rebel without a pause, a chronic supporter of underdog causes, and lovers the challenges of trudging off the beaten path. This is his first novel.


Format: Paperback/ Kindle Edition

Price: 324 INR/ 171.09 INR

Publisher: HarperCollins India

Pages: 336

Availability: Amazon

This Book is part of Blogchatter's #Book Review Program #TBR Challenge #BookChatter #2024

This blog post is part of the blog challenge Blogaberry Dazzle hosted by Cindy DSilva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Mads' Cookhouse.