Book Review: The man from St. Petersburg - Ken Follett  

Posted by Divya A L

A story during World War it is, comprising the following elements - Poverty, Murder, War, Politics, Anarchy, Love, Betrayal.

The British try to make a secret alliance with the Russians to get them to their support in a war against Germany(who plan to attack France). The Russian Anarchists defy the war as they feel the lives of poorer Russian mass would be sacrificed when they don't even understand its purpose. This man from St. Petersburg known as Feliks is one such anarchist who will find a way out to stop the secret treaty getting signed which will in turn save those innocent lives from the miseries and brutalities of the war. The idea is to kill the nephew of the Czar of Russia (Aleks) which will enrage the Czar to an extent to distrust the British and decline their support.

The story also involves a love triangle which will turn the plans of Feliks upside down with every murder attempt against Aleks. He finds Lydia his lady love, after 19 years and reminisces those youthful days of his. Lydia, however, would be married to Walden, a semi-official diplomat under the Conservative governments, the uncle of Aleks who is involved in the negotiations of the treaty. Feliks also discovers that Lydia would've given birth to his daughter who grows up with Walden, her "papa" and not surprisingly, she'd have derived the anarchist qualities of her real father.

While Feliks is hellbent on killing Aleks, Walden hides Aleks and vehemently tries to see Feliks arrested and sentenced to death. As it dawns to Lydia that only one of her loves could survive at the end of it, she desperately tries to protect them both. Charlotte puts up quite a show in helping her real father get to his target victim.

What I liked the most is the different perspectives that come out from Walden, Feliks, Lydia and their daughter Charlotte. A nice story and damn well written by Ken Follett!

4.5/5 for this one!

Chicken Pepper chettinad!  

Posted by Divya A L in


Chicken 1/2 kilo
2 onions
1 tomato
mustard seeds
cumin seeds and powder
coriander leaves and powder
curry leaves
coarsely ground pepper
ginger-garlic paste
chilli powder
turmeric powder
green chillies - 4-5

Method of preparation:
Heat 3 tbs oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, wait till they pop. Add onions, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add chopped tomatoes and green chillies and fry for another minute. Add salt, 1 tbs chilli powder, 2 tbs coriander powder, 1 tbs cumin powder and mix. Add a glass of water to this, put in chicken and mix well.... Allow it to cook for about 20 min (till it turns dry). Now add 2 tbps pepper powder , curry leaves, coriander leaves and fry till almost dry! The spicy yummy pepper chicken now awaits you!

~Cooking time: 30 min.
Serves 4.

PS: This was the most yummiest dish I've ever made. It was finger lickin good!! I never knew I had cultivated a master chef in me!! :P :D [I am aware of my habit (good for me bad for you) of bragging about myself] But I SWEAR, it was yummy!!! :)

A gift!  

Posted by Divya A L

All of us love gifts, especially when they come in as a surprise! Today I was pleasantly surprised to receive one such(a lovely bracelet) from my colleague's(bus mate) daughter (studying 12th). Ask why! Honestly, I am really not too sure. All I was told by my colleague was, his daughter was thankful to me for making him be more open and carry a broader perspective towards her (than being in a complaining and restrictive mode) and help him understand her better!

Now that was something I never knew of, and I still don't get a complete picture. :) Anyway, happy to know that I was of some use to someone behind the screen!