Flights From My Terrace

Rated 4.82/5 based on 11 reviews
This book is a collection of 58 essays most of which are based on observations from my terrace. Some have been written quashed in ramshackle buses while commuting from home to work place. Still others have been written from the snug confines of a car, watching ordinary life pass by with its extraordinary hues. These myriad hues have coloured my life and enriched it, hope they enrich yours also. More

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Words: 77,690
Language: English
ISBN: 9781310157080
About Santosh Bakaya

I am an educationist, with a passion for writing, many of my books and articles have been published worldwide. I am an essayist, a poet,and a novelist. Many of my novels for young adults have already been published. My poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi is about to be published. Although I have a doctorate in political theory, it is the everyday reality which always enthralls me.

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Review by: Aakshi on March 07, 2015 :
Santosh Bakaya takes the ordinary and makes it into a subject of her keen eye for detail and witty storytelling. These essays are not about the big, extraordinary, "important" events. Instead, in their own way, they teach us that sometimes all we need is imagination, a keen sense of record and memory, and an open eye to realize the meaning that lies in our everyday.

The essays range from her trip to her ancestral home in Kashmir, the materialism associated with a festival like Diwali, the pleasures of meeting a virtual friend in real life, striking a sudden bond with a stranger the author meets on the road, the perils of bureaucracy and babudom, among others. These are the author's everyday encounters with the world which get imbued with a special meaning as they become a subject of her witty prose. Reading her work, one can sense that she is familiar with the canonical works of English literature, and her references are rich.

I look forward to reading more by the author, and recommend the book to anyone who enjoys wit and fantasy in language and storytelling.
(reviewed 59 days after purchase)

Review by: shaktiadeeb on Feb. 18, 2015 :
Recently read "Flights From My Terrace " by Santosh Bakaya's. It came as a beautiful collage, depicting varied hues of life. The so called mundane and trivial things to many, get a special and beautiful place in her script.

Vivid description and an eye to detail catch the interest of the reader and one is transported to the world of Santosh. Fully laden with emotions and sensitivities, each incident is a beautiful narrative. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects, catering to different sensibilities - a crowded bus, the beauty of nature, the smell of the rural folk, the nuances of a child growing, and many such images are brought out perfectly.

It throws light on emotions, sensitivity, evolution, growth, love, passion and things galore, in myriad ways.The book has touched the chord and I am rediscovering that the world is full of beautiful people and its beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. A total treat to mind, heart and soul.

Shakti Adeeb
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)

Review by: Samragi Madden on Feb. 07, 2015 :
Written by Santosh Bakaya who holds in her pen a great treasure and the ability to express the minutiae of human experiences. You are stood by the author witnessing the scenes unfold around you. The stories are non judgemental and recounted with an impish humour. A beautiful collection which makes for a good afternoon's reading delight.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: aamirj on Feb. 03, 2015 :
Blessedly gifted with a golden heart and keenest of eyes for detail. Rountine things happening around us which we overlook being unimportant to notice have been woven into enticing and absolutely captivating pieces of artistry by Santosh.
The vivid and powerful imagery created by the author is astonishing and barely paralleled.
(reviewed 90 days after purchase)

Review by: Faheem Gundroo on Dec. 12, 2014 :
I purchased the ebook, and in no time transpired to the world of the author: A world seen from her terrace. There is no allegory to derive, only scenes- unseen, unnoticed- that play in the daily platitudinous of our lives. These collection of essays essentially carry an edict: we must stop and look around us. There is a beautiful world out there. A world that till now lived in author's mind. A world to which we are privy now. Thank you so much for writing these essays, Santoshji.
(reviewed 34 days after purchase)

Review by: gaurav yadav on Nov. 17, 2014 :
What an eye-opener this book was! Each essay succeeded in enriching me, and in these essays I found a treasure which I am going to cherish life long.
With what effortless ease, the writer plays with words, whether she is writing about birds, or snowmen, about the friendships that she cultivated on the wayside, she has an admirable word mastery, which increased my vocabulary by atleast 200 new words- I have to admit here, that my vocabulary is nothing to boast about- but now with these words in my kitty I can sure boast about it.
The essay on the author's dog brought tears to my eyes , as did the one on her father. What impressed me most was her minute observation of small things which we have no time to stop and stare at.
This is a book which is a must read for all with its humour, wit and pathos. Yes, a strong thread of justice and fairplay runs through this collection . I am eagerly waiting for her next book.Hats off, madam.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: manmohan bakaya on Nov. 10, 2014 :
An excellent collection of everyday life in India away from metros. There is humour and pathos as the writer talks about her journeys present and past. Whether it is in a bus or about reminiscences from her terrace, a realistic portrait of common people leaves its imprint on the reader. The writer's concern for downtrodden is evident as is her love for her family and her joy in bringing up her daughter.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)

Review by: Preeti on Nov. 09, 2014 : (no rating)
Santosh Bakaya is able to write about incidents and people around us in a way which reminds me of Anita Desai. To write about one's own family and friends might seem very easy but the art of making them interesting and identifiable to a larger audience is not something which every author is able to achieve.

Read the book if you want to rewind memories of days gone by of fun, laughter and carefree. Read the book for its sheer simplicity of a world which we seem to be fast losing.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)

Review by: onepiece93 on Nov. 03, 2014 :
I just happened to buy and read this book, “Flights from the Terrace”, by Santosh Bakaya. I was absolutely mesmerized by the way she uses words. It appears she has a magic wand by the waving of which she makes the words dance, skip and gyrate. The effortless way with which she writes is indeed awe inspiring. Even in her two page essays, the characters appear to be finely etched. Her sense of humour and wit shine through her writing and in some of her essays, particularly about her childhood and two essays about Kashmir, her heart peeps through.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)

Review by: Haseena Husain on Nov. 03, 2014 :
I have a treasure trove of memories"says Santosh Bakaya in one of her essays from her Book "flights from my terrace".
In this book of essays Santosh takes us on a journey,allows us a generous peek both into her childhood and her mind.
She brings the people alive,introduces her characters to us with a familiarity that amazes the reader.
Santosh speaks of hidden desires, aspirations,moments of grief,glory success through her essays,which should definitely be a part of English literature for students.
She is verbose,uses metaphors,with amazing alacrity,her personification actually brings alive each object that so far we humans tend to treat as inanimate.
One goes down memory lane so often during this journey,drawing parallels with ones childhood days.
Santosh talks about her journey of life through her characters.
So she speaks about Bharatpur,Kashmir,her life in Jaipur.
Her conversation with her grandma(my grandmother too had the same opinion about men)
Her communication with her father.
Through her essays one also gauges the fact that Santosh has very high observation skills,as she perceives her world from the terrace of her Rajasthani home.
I particularly loved the sentence"we are all looking for something that can change our mundane lives"
The essays are replete with dialogues and communications which hold us to pause ponder,reflect and connect.
I have been trying to fight Facebook addiction unsuccessfully,but it :flights from my terrace that actually kept me off FB all morning.
Once you start reading it will be tough to leave it incomplete.
Santosh Bakaya...Thank you ,cheers to you and please keep writing.I love your writings and harbor deep affection and respect for you.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: lalitmag on Nov. 02, 2014 :
I am really happy I read the book. It was sheer pleasure. The essays of Santosh Bakaya vibrate with life. They are lively, they are humourous, some touch you to the core and some even move you to tears. The writer seems to have a keen eye for detail and observes the day to day happenings of people with deep interest and then weaves these so called ordinary details into extraordinary tales.
The writer has a very effective way of communicating with the reader. Once you start reading an essay, you find yourself transported to the world of Santosh Bakaya. In this world, there are characters from all walks of life, funny ones, sad ones and even tragic ones. And then ,of course, there is nature in full abundance. It is apparent that she is in love with nature, in love with the trees, the sky, the birds, the rivers, the mountains , the rain and the snow. Humanity shines through each and every essay. The style is very effective and smooth, the language is such that everyone will find it easy to understand. Santosh has a way of holding the reader in her grip.
Those living in India can easily identify with the scenes, the incidents and the human characters. People from outside India can get a very good insight into the day to day lives of Indians and their problems, their joys and their sorrows. The writer also takes us to her homeland, Kashmir, We can sense the love she has for the land and the people."After almost a fortnight of untrammeled joy, it was time to leave. In a world torn asunder by
hatred, venom, ill-will, we had received nothing but love in Kashmir-my home!!" these are words from one of her essays on Kashmir which reveal that in spite of the troubled nature of things in Kashmir, the Kashmiris are full of love. There is no rancour, no hatred, it is love all around. This love permeates the whole book. A must read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Ampat Koshy on Oct. 31, 2014 :
Book Review - Flights from the Terrace by Santosh Bakaya Published in 2014 on Smashwords and avaialble in formats of html, for Kindle (mubi), Pdf etc.
Subtitle: I am Not a Cannibal and Other Essays.
The book starts with a foreword by the novelist Lisa Falk Ellis and an introduction by Joyce Yarrow that are so comprehensive in nature that I wondered what I would write about when I started reading the book. My fears were quickly laid to rest as the essays unfolded before me in profusion. The first one was the ideal introduction, setting the pace by inducting me into the time travel machine (a "pea green boat," at times) Santosh Bakaya Magazine uses to travel to the past, to different places and memories and even to incidents that are coloured by the imagination and events and actions that leave one enthralled on perusing them. The title itself drew me in and here I am forced to take pause to comment on something both of us have in common. Santosh is vastly read like me and uses her reading in the same pell mell fashion through allusiveness and intertextuality that is best when used creatively and not academically, "as this gives life to thee." Thus, the first essay is called "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive" referring back to Wordsworth on the French Revolution and we are ushered into the pleasant and happy world of a writer who is definitely going to be known in all English speaking countries in the coming days. This world is a full one and adorned by her rich powers of description and imagery that abounds in a profusion and welter of details and vocabulary. Her English is Indian but of the best kind, larded with both references and local colour that garnish it with such spice and seasoning that it is a richly cooked dish that resembles our famous concoctions like the Hyderabadi biriyani to use a metaphor from the culinary world.
I have read some of these pieces before as she was kind enough to put many on facebook for readers to get a sneak peek into her world that is an entire universe and have not some others but the first thing I would like to make clear is the reading and learning she has done has helped her and undergone transformation here into something really fresh, original and deep which is worth reading. Her voice resembles the best of the English essayists, with their personal essays, like Chesterton whom she quotes in one essay, refers to Dali's painting in another, and while being droll and even sentimental like Dickens or Priestley, in being situated in India, in Jaipur and Kashmir, to be precise, with its smells, sights, sounds and tastes that are predominantly different it also calls to mind two of our own best writers, none other than R. K. Narayan and Ruskin Bond.
Two essays stood out so sharply to me. The first essay is the one on her Grandmother, which I can say will vie with Khushwant Singh's essay on his grandmother and for those who have read both this is saying no mean thing, is no mean feat in itself. But her essay that brought me to tears is the one on her father. Her rich characterization of both major and minor characters in a continuum and her use of motifs make the book almost fiction like and novel like but here she transcends herself in her writing, which is rare as strong emotion often leads to writing that is flawed.
"A magpie robin is flitting from tree to tree in solitary splendour, chirping its greetings in my direction. It hops onto the arm of my chair, making a twittering effort to yank me out of my reverie. I literally shake my head, trying to free it of the memory shards that resiliently cling to it; a tiny sparrow also sends a happy chirp my way and the duo succeeds in its mission of uplifting my spirits, and the memories discreetly pull themselves back and settle into the nooks and crannies from which they had crept out-till it is again time for a comeback." The essay on her father ends like this with the force of a sledgehammer that can be fully appreciated only by those who have read it and the reference of the magpie robin is not fortuitous as it is what her father used to call her.
She is that happy encounter and chance in today's world, someone from an older world and sensibility and if we want a sane India and sane world we need to read her and such writers urgently as what they keep alive in us is our humanity without which the world is getting swamped in a murderous no holds barred competition.

Read her!

by Dr A.V. Koshy
Note: Santosh Bakaya is winner of the international Reuel prize for Literature and writing, 2014
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)

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