Sunday, November 13, 2016

Kamini Kusum: "Women Empowerment is good but trying to extend its horizon beyond a limit could be dangerous." (Interview) !!!

An Interview with the debutante authoress, Kamini Kusum, who have just released her first novel, "Secrets, Sins & Struggles". She have written 5 stories in her first book itself. Let's see what she has to say about this and her journey as writer.

1. Dear Kamini, how does it finally feel after becoming an author and getting that tag? What changes do you find in your life after the release of the book?

It’s a dream come true. Though I had been writing for years now- articles and short stories. Some of stories had been awarded and appreciated for creativity in my organization but with “Secrets, sins and struggles”, I become a published author. Feeling great!!

2. Tell us something about your book- Secret, Sins & Struggles.

It has five stories about five women. It’s about the lives and loves of these women, tracing their long, eventful journeys that are anything but linear. 
Pooja, a teenager forced into the flesh trade but determined to escape and get justice. Shrawani who dreams of becoming a bureaucrat despite all the trials life throws her way. Avni who is torn between her childhood friend and her brand-new boyfriend. Harsha who is trapped in a loveless arranged marriage while still being haunted by thoughts of her forsaken lover.  Geshna who falls head over heels for a high school sweetheart only to find her own life shrinking to accommodate his. 
These stories are about the odds stacked against women in their path to love and success. They are also about hope that the next turn will lead to the happiness and success they all long for. 

3. What made you write a book with 5 different stories and not just one with good 200-250 pages?

When I had started writing this, I knew I had to get it out to the world by all means as it has great messages to convey not just to women but everybody. Also, I knew that the stuff and the way I am writing is absolutely nowhere in trend in Indian market of Fiction. But that didn’t deter me. It was the best way to bring out the protagonists in the book; one single story couldn’t have done justice to it.

4. Did you research and talk with different ladies while writing this book or you created the story and emotions yourself?

Well, these stories are not completely imaginary. All these five stories have many real incidents that inspired me to pen down. For first story, I literally walked down the GB road (the red light area) in Delhi to bring a picture perfect in my story. “Madam Bureaucrat” is more or less one of my friend’s story with a little bit of  writer’s imagination. Rest other stories too are realistic.

5. Do you believe that girls in India misunderstand something else as women empowerment and fight for wrong things?

Yes, I agree. Nobody is perfect and absolutely mature and when this cloud of immaturity settles down, then they understand the reality. Empowerment is good but trying to extend its horizon beyond a limit could be dangerous.

6. How easy or hard did you feel in finding a publisher for your first book as it’s not very easy for debutante authors in India?

I didn’t approach any traditional publisher. I knew for a new author, its like waiting for ages to see your work out. I had a solid story and I believe it will be loved. I approached Zorba Books which is a self publishing company. They helped me bring this beautiful baby of me out to the world.

7. How has been your association with Zorba Books till now? How did they help you in publishing your book?

They are a fantastic team headed by a strong lady, Shalini Gupta. They did it all for me giving a big control to me throughout the publishing process making me an authorpreneur.

8. Can you tell us something about your next book? 

I  have completed 40% of my next book which is an inspirational love story. A very realistic story ; full of emotions. Though I am too much into promoting “Secrets, sins and struggles”, I intend to complete my next book by mid next year.

9. Where do you see yourself as a writer in next 5 years or in long-term?

I am a big Danielle Steel fan. I would love to churn out 2-3 three novels a year just like her. Being in a hectic corporate job, it’s difficult. Let’s see what’s there stored for me.

10. Any words for your readers who are picking up your book as their next-read?

I assure you, you won’t stop in between and will be hooked till the last page.

GO CLOWN by Shatrugna Vadwlas (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

Earlier this week, I had rated very highly to a book belonging in the "humor" genre which made me pick another humorous book named "Go Clown" which comes with a tagline "#AccheDin for Comedy!". The book is written by the debutante, Shatrugna Vadwlas, who is a Software architect based in the US, with an American Masters in Engineering and an undergraduate degree from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), India. He is a contributor to the Times of India, Huffington Post etc. He has completed a writer’s course at the Writers center, Bethesda in Washington DC. His novel Go Clown (Get High Legally!) is a Literary Fiction Comedy set in India, America, Nepal and Thailand. He contributes to various online portals like Faking News, India Opines etc.

When you know that the writer of the book have contributed to the most famous online humor portal, Faking News etc, you have very high expectations from him. You already know that even if the book is not going to be very special, it will still be very good and you won't be disappointed. But seriously speaking, after reading this book, I am in awe of the writer. Just in the name of humor, author haven't tried to write a simple story by inserting few great one-liners and funny scenarios. He have written a very good book with a great story with humor as premise which keeps following every chapter. 

The book discusses almost the whole life journey of a guy named Kiriti who is an average Indian but belonging from a controversial land. He moves to different parts of the world to find different scenarios. He has his own point of view on things and act according to his state of mind. The Clown in him discusses and does things that will make you laugh out loud without worrying about the people sitting around you. I had read few parts of this book in the local train and people were looking at me as if I have gone crazy or mad. This is what the book does to you.

In the manner the story has been narrated seems little confusing in the initial pages as you have to actually concentrate a lot to understand what's going on. But later on as soon as you start getting the characters and set-up, you begin to understand the whole concept. The hypocrisy of Indians is discussed. How mediocrity and casteism is the base of every Indians attitude is discussed widely. The education system and what happens in campuses is also discussed fearlessly. The politics, religions, caste, region-wise, NRIs etc have been discussed in the form of satirical comedy which definitely interests the reader who have got bored reading the same kind of books from Indian fiction authors.

Talking about the drawback, the initial chapters could have been written little more simply for the understanding purpose. Sometimes, few scenes are narrated in such a fast pace that you couldn't enjoy the journey of reading while reading them. There are few grammatical mistakes here and there but they are avoidable. Rest, there is nothing wrong with this book. The set-up of the GO game is a very unique concept. There are few quotes which I liked a lot mostly in the second half of the novel. The Clown is surely going to be one character I wouldn't forget soon. I give this book 4.25* out of 5. 



Secret, Sins & Struggles by Kamini Kusum (Book Review-3*/5) !!!

Feminists are growing in population on daily basis in our country. Haha! Owing to which, there are many books that are based on women empowerment these days. Even Chetan Bhagat's latest release "One Indian Girl" also portrayed the same theme. I am just done reading with the book named "Secrets, Sins & Struggles" written by the debutante authoress, Kamini Kusum. The book is the journey of five women and how they fought against their internal and external demons. Do not get confused that these 5 women are friends to each other in the book but it is 5 different stories in the form of an anthology. Each story is of 50 pages or something and speaks about a certain character's ups and downs. 

The SSS is a nicely written book with a very smooth narration. The narration is very simple which makes reading this book a good experience and you will end up reading it in a single sitting within few hours. The characterization is also very good of each of the 5 main protagonists and other characters associated with them. You will not feel a single character out of place. Even when all the stories are short, author have managed to explain the backdrop of the story very nicely in the initial few pages itself which builds the premise very beautifully. I also liked the climax of each of the stories as it sounds quite realistic and doesn't end up being a dramatic fairy tale. In my personal opinion, I liked the first story of Priya a lot which describes how she stays in hell and every time she gets a ray of hope, it turns out to be another disaster for her. All the other stories are also nicely woven but as they are mostly about love tales, it didn't touch me the way the first story did.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book, the only thing that I felt underwhelming was the theme of the stories excluding the first one. All of them almost had the same premise where the girl wanted to do something but because she was in love with a boy, she sacrificed everything for him and after getting hurt in love, they bounced back by achieving their ambition and falling in love with that best friend who stayed with them during their break-up phase. This problem lies basically with the 2nd and 3rd story which sounds almost same. The story based on rave party is also nice and has a different theme all over about revenge. Overall, this book is a light read and specially for the readers who have just got into the habit of reading. I give it 3 stars out of 5.



Thursday, November 10, 2016

Band, Baaja, Boys! by Rachna Singh (Book Review- 4.25*/5) !!!

I have always found myself disappointed after picking any book that belongs to "Humor" genre. I have always found such books a show-off where the author is forcing us to laugh by creating stupid scenarios. And these stupid scenarios sound so fake that rather than laughing, you want to hit the author for trying to fool the readers on the name of humor. I recently picked up Rachna Singh's latest book named "Band, Baaja, Boys!". This book also belongs under the humor genre but the cover page and then the synopsis couldn't let me ignore the same. And I must say that this is the first book in the genre which I have liked so much. This will always stay in my favorite list of the books that made me laugh. 

The treatment to the backdrop of the story given by Rachna is amazing where she ensures that anyone who have visited Allahabad or knows someone from there could relate with it very easily. I am a North Indian and therefore I found everything mentioned in this book very relating and true. Author have used humour and sarcasm to discuss many culture and tradition in North India which is actually disgusting, orthodox and backwards. But the way they are talked in this book makes it a hilarious reason for you to laugh and enjoy. The dialects and words used by the characters are totally Illahabadi and anyone who would read the conversations will end up laughing crazily. 

The way characters are setup and their background is discussed makes it more laughable as there is always some or the other incident discussed which we see happening in the family associated with us in our daily life. Still reading it in this book in the author's language makes it more interesting, fresh and funny. The way girls are been looked at in a state like UP has been discussed widely through which many one-liners have been carved out. This book is such that even when you will read it for the 2nd time, you will end up laughing as much as you laughed in the 1st read. I recommend it to everyone who is searching for some fun while reading. I give this book 4.25* out of 5. Definitely, recommended!



The Patient Patient by Tushar Rishi (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!

I have read many books based on the topic of the deadly disease "cancer" in both the genres: Fiction and Non-fiction. Recently, I picked the book written by the debutante, Tushar Rishi, named "The Patient Patient". It's a fiction book but basically based on the author's personal experiences. Seeing the cover page of the book, I wasn't much pragmatic about the content but after I begun reading the story, it just kept indulging me in its words and sentences. I had assumed that the story is going to be very boring as its all about a cancer patient's journey and struggle in a government hospital but to my surprise, Tushar Rishi have written this book in a very natural manner without asking for any sympathies from his readers for the protagonist. 

The protagonist is dealt as if he is just another boy and not a cancer patient. This is what makes this book so special. Also, cancer is not spoken of in every alternate sentence but as a theme in the backdrop. The characterization of every character is very well done even in this small story that you can relate with each and everyone of them. I liked how the story begins very normally discussing about the school/college life of Sameer and suddenly the medical examination and everything comes into the picture after which the life changes for him. The struggle that a person has to go through when he gets detected with a deadly disease is beautifully discussed. The tryst with government hospitals where they give such dates for appointments which only worsen the patient's situation is also narrated fearlessly.

How the whole family and even friends get affected after a person's struggle with the disease starts is described in the book. The character of Rocky, Sameer's parents and Aditi is so well described that you can understand the plight behind everyone's situations. The plus point of this book is the humour and one-liners that Tushar have inserted between dialogues and scenes which makes you smile, giggle and laugh even in between of some really serious moments. The blog posts that are mentioned in between of the chapters are a great read. The way protagonist speaks about his pain can be felt. This book can be read in just one sitting because of its simple narration, good humorous fillers, emotions and fine content. I give it 3.75* out of 5.



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ravindra Rao: "I am a pariah in my own family"!!! (Interview)

Recently, I read a very interesting book based upon Bhagavad Gita named "19th Akshauhini". It was an unique approach that I found in all the recent books that are based upon Gita. Hence, I thought of having an interview with its author, Haribakth, and know more about how he ended up writing such an informative book. Read the interview to know more about the author and his first book. 

1. Hello Ravindra, how do you feel after finally becoming an author now? What changes do you find in your life or lifestyle?

I feel nice because I am able to do what I had wanted to do since past 8 years. I see myself more as a reformer with logical or rational bent of mind unraveling Gods mysterious words than   an author. Changes in life style have been made but attributable to more time available at my disposal rather than being an author.  Mind set too has changed so too outlook with writing my first book. With the template devised Most of my questions are answered. I am no longer in doubt. 

2. Our Indian society makes it very hard for us to choose a way which is uncommon. How hard was it for you to leave your job to pursue your passion of writing?

It was very hard not because of multitude of responsibilities that lay ahead but due to lack of courage. Responsibilities did make it hard but they are external. The Internal fears bogged me down more.  

3. What made you to decide to write under a pen name and not with your own name?

I am completely under the hypnotic charm of my Lord and used that name when I first signed in for an email account. All my subsequent email ID’s has that component. When writing about the pastimes of Lord Hari, It is but in fitness of things that my name should be Haribakth. 

4. Tell us something about your book- 19th Akshauhini.

It  is a  tribute to the Lord and His words , that made me name the book 19th Akshauhini. The parallels are uncanny. The God and His words are imperishable. The God left for His spiritual abode, but left His immortal words for the solace of likes like me. His words being invincible unlike other akshauhini’s which perished, the book is named 19th Akshauhini. Because it is a template of logic/algorithm for unraveling God’s words, Algorithm of the Gita is part of the name of the book. The title of book aptly conveys the treasures hidden within. 

5. What made you write book on this topic out of all the topics in the world in spite of knowing that there are already several books on the same topic?

There are umpteen numbers of commentaries on Gita and all of them can be pigeon-holed / classified under 21 different types.  But this book is radical and revolutionary in the sense that It is not a commentary but a guide to interpret/understand Gita in its resplendent Glory and in wholesomeness. Based on this book, as many commentaries may be written as there are number of persons in the universe and all of them could be valid. These facts were needed to be brought out and I was the Chosen one. How can I make that claim? Gita has been in existence in recent times for the past 5300+ years but no one has seen it the way I have seen it. I am a mediocre person with normal IQ level and could not have unraveled them but for Illumination by the Lord Himself. 

6. Weren’t you scared before getting the book published if a certain section of society might not find your views appropriate?

Truth has to be told. I am a pariah in my own family. I have told it as tactfully as my intelligence allowed me to. 

7. Do you believe only in Hindu scriptures or do you also spend your time reading books on other religions too?

I believe in the words of God. God is not necessarily Hindu or God of only Hindus. What has been said by God in one scripture (of any religion) is not different than what has been said by God in scriptures of another religion. It may have been interpreted differently by different people belonging to different faiths. The Litmus test to determine whether it has been correctly interpreted the scripture (of any religion) or not is given in my book. They have not been concocted by me but quoted by God Himself. The reference thereof is given. 

8. How has been the contribution of your daughter, Vaishnavi, helped you in completing the first book of yours successfully?

She is a good artist. The adage, One good picture speaks more than volumes of text has been proved by her in her illustrations. The credit for all the illustrations is to be attributed to her. The Idea or concept was mine. But it was she who breathed life into the characters and the book. The background, how to deliver birth to my concepts was visualized by her. But for her, the book may not have appealed to a large segment of the public. 

9. How hard was it to find a publisher for your book?

It wasn’t difficult, because I was googling for publishers the moment I started writing. The entire exercise of completing the writing has taken one year. Due to the time lag, It can be seen that in many places, continuity is lacking, though it makes little difference considering the nature of the book. 

10. Any words for your readers?

Apart from Words of gratefulness and thanks, I request them to read it with open mind. Read it and judge it independently without superimposing it on your pre-held beliefs or indoctrinated opinions of great personages or Guru’s. Reject my contention if it does not appeal to your logic or intellect but not because It has been said by Guru X or Guru Y . I would love to read a new commentary on Gita  by any of my readers  in light of my views in the book. God bless all of them. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Where the River Parts by Radhika Swarup (Book Review-4.25*/5) !!!

How rarely do we come across a book which stays with us even after hours of completing it! Some books are not written with words but soul. Radhika Swarup is one name which have got added in my "favorite authors" list after reading her book "Where the River Parts". The cover of the book is so soothing that you already get an idea that you are about to read something very decent, natural and Indian even if not an excellent piece of literature. But after completing this book I can say that rarely an author manages to write a book in such a manner that not even once you feel that the things are exaggerated or faked even when it's based on a theme and topic where many authors end up doing the mistake by sounding preachy and patriotic. 

The book starts in the period of 1946 and speaks about the tension before the partition and how the two families of different religions- Hindu and Muslim who share a very close bond are about to get affected by it. Asha, the daughter from the Hindu family, is having sisterly bond with Nargis, the daughter of the Muslim family. Eventually, Asha falls in love with Nargis's brother, Feroze. And then the partition takes place and they get separated. The sufferings that Asha's family had to bear haunts her even after many years. And Asha's journey right from her teenage to old-age is told in this book in one of the best ways possible. 

The way Radhika Swarup have traveled through times and narrated the journey of Asha from being a daughter to lover to wife to mother to grandmother is incredible and the way characterization and maturity is handled time to time is indescribable. The pain of separation and losing one's own family is reflected through the character of Asha so well that sometimes author does not even talk about it but you can feel the same through dialogues, conversations etc. The way Asha nurtures the feeling in her heart for the people who are left behind even after years speaks volume. Asha's decision for her grand-daughter in the last few pages is something which will win your heart even when her daughter is against the marriage. 

The re-union of Asha and Feroze is handled so beautifully that one cannot imagine that it's just a fiction story and it does not have real people involved. Such a perfectly written book this is! Author have handled many scenarios very elegantly without making it sound controversial. Even when the theme was so critical, author haven't made any opinions for any religions and kept everything emotional, sentimental and hearty affairs. This book is surely something that I shall always have in my shelf and pick it up whenever I would want to feel lots of love and emotions. I give it 4.25 stars out of 5. Definitely, recommended.



It must've Been Something He wrote by Nikita Deshpande (Book Review- 3*/5) !!!

This weekend I ended up reading another book with a very big title written by a debutante Indian author- "It must've Been Something He Wrote" by Nikita Deshpande. The cover page of the book is very delighting which will surely catch the eye of the curious reader. The synopsis is yet again successful in gaining the attention and making the reader think of reading this story to know the adventure of Ruta between work and life in a new city. I have found that recently many authors are writing books on the book industry itself by drafting their characters close to a real-life personality- author, publisher etc.

If you are closely associated with the Indian publishing industry from last 4-5 years, you tend to enjoy this book but if not, then its just a normal story for you about an author or publisher or a struggling author trying to get his first book published. The story of Ruta is amazing where she is not liked by her boss but keeps on trying things to impress him. But as destiny is written for each one of us in its own way, every time she is about to do something good, a disaster takes place. And the reason is always Ruta. Author have written such scenarios with great narration that you will feel pity with her but yet it excites you to know what happens in next scene.

The book is great in the first half when the protagonist is playing charmingly with her personality with everyone. Her first meeting with Jishnu Guha is very interesting. The first thrashing in the meeting by boss is also laughable. Her blossoming relationship with Arjun is also worth-reading. But the problem lies in 2nd half when everything becomes spontaneous and consistent. You understand what the end would be like and that's when the book becomes predictable. Yes, there are some surprising moments but it is not enough to excite the reader in you. The climax is quite happening but as I said, predictable. Overall, it's a light read which can be in your list of favorites if you have just begun reading Indian fiction books otherwise it's something that can be easily missed. I give this book 3 stars out of 5. 



Friday, October 28, 2016

23½ Ways to Make A Girl Fall For You by Cyrus Broacha (Book Review: 3*/5) !!!

Reading a humorous book is always a stress-buster and when it's written by someone witty like Cyrus Broacha or Twinkle Khanna, the excitement to read those witty lines make you turn page after page so quickly that you end up finishing the read within 3-4 hours. The same happened with me when I picked up Cyrus Broacha's latest release "23 & 1/2 Ways to Make a Girl Fall For You". Though this is not one of the best works of Cyrus but as he is known for being that agony uncle who gives advise to anyone who is not able to find love or date a girl, this book is a must-read. 

The book is full of letters that normal Indian guys have sent to Cyrus for asking a tip, suggestion or asking to motivate them about how to propose or approach a girl. Cyrus knows that it's hard to explain the Indian men that the girl will never say YES to them so rather than giving a challenging response, Cyrus starts sympathizing with the readers in his reply. And that's where the fun begins. Also when in few cases he gives advise and let the man know that he is not wrong on his part, that becomes more hilarious. The references that Cyrus gives in his reply of other topics and situations is damn hilarious and this is what makes this guy special. Right from his BAKRA days to now, the guy have not stopped impressing us.

In few letters, I did feel that the letters to Cyrus sounded really fake because of their length and the way the grown up guys showed innocence. Cyrus should have scripted those letters with little more reality than doing it just for humorous purpose. This is the only problem that I had from this book where the letters were as long as 2 and a half pages sometimes. It became exhaustive then to continue reading that letter as you already know the end result of it. Also, in some of the responses, Cyrus did sound as if he was trying to be humourous and it wasn't coming it to him naturally. Otherwise, this book should be read in breaks because the letters and the reply becomes monotonous for the readers after sometime and you will stop enjoying it in the middle of it. I give this book 3 stars out of 5. 



Monday, October 24, 2016

The Talent Sutra by Devdutt Pattanaik (Book Review- 4.75*/5) !!!

Devdutt Pattanaik is a legend. Period! I have read many books on mythology and several other books based on how the incidents mentioned in mythology can be referred for the challenges we face in modern times- either at personal front or professional life. But the kind of explanation that Pattanaik provides in simple words with the right incidents is unbelievable. The pictorial representation or summation of the whole chapter is so particularly designed that after seeing it, you won't ever forget what you read in that piece. I am just done reading his latest release "The Talent Sutra: An Indian Approach to Learning" and it is as perfect as his other books.

The book basically tells us about how we run behind Lakshmi forgetting that Saraswati is more important if we want Lakshmi to come itself towards our destiny. The book tells about how by self-realization, analysis and imagination, we can go on to build our talent, nurture relationships, run an organization by keeping everyone happy. Several exampls are given how a person thinks only about himself at a managerial post and faces chaos. But as soon as he starts giving important to his colleagues, sub-ordinates and employees, he starts getting the result that he always aimed for. The author also focuses on the power of being patient and understanding the human emotions even in a corporate world as a company/organization falls when the resources are considered just as machine and only work is expected out of them.

The book is definitely full of sutras and the 120 pages is full of such knowledge along with an example of the modern times that it makes it more relevant. In the end of the book, the words used in the book is explained which are of Sanskrit source so that the user can understand the purpose of usage of these words. The book is divided in 4 parts and each of them is treated very well and you can explain how each step of the process can be executed in our work life. Overall, this book will surely stand on top as one of the best books by the author. I rate it 4.75* out of 5.



Sunday, October 23, 2016

19th Akshauhini by Haribakth/Vaishnavi (Book Review-3.75*/5) !!!

These days many writers are publishing books based on Gita or their own version of Gita. It is good to see such books doing good in Bestseller's List because this generation needs to know about the Indian mythology and there is no better way than reading such books which are written in simple and friendly language. The latest book that I have read based on Gita is "19th Akshauhini" which the author calls it as an explanation of algorithm of the Gita. The book is written by the father-daughter duo- Haribakth and Vaishnavi. The author have tried to answer many questions that he feels people want to know. 

The book is divided into three parts- The spiritual part, the mundane part and the last one is the pictorial presentation of dialogues through which a reader can easily understand the concepts. Author have tried to explain how Gita is relevant in today's world even after 5300 years. Many examples and situations are discussed through which Gita's credibility has been proved. Many myths have been busted by the author through explanation of difficult terms and breaking them down for a layman to understand how certain rules have been created. 

Author have also widely tried to prove how God have not been wrong in cases where we easily get off by giving the example of that one mistake committed by God. There are many perspectives of a scenario being discussed and also how there are alternatives to the primary one is told to the readers. I, personally, found the first and the last part of the book very reader-friendly and interesting. The middle section of the book becomes little boring. Also, I didn't find few topics relevant to be included in this book. 

The research behind writing this book is clearly visible in the way author have given the references and practical examples. I also liked the tabular representation in between of the chapters where the questions and their respective answers are shared with the readers. There are many questions that will get answered for you through this book so it's definitely one of the good books based on Gita and explanation of how it can be followed in our modern world. I have little complaint with the publisher for publishing this book in such a large size. It has made it so heavy that reader will find it hard to carry with him while traveling or reading while lying on the bed. Also, the price of the book is on the higher side. This might act as a blockage for this book towards its journey of becoming a Bestseller. I give this book 3.75* out of 5.



Saturday, October 22, 2016

It's All in the Planets by Preeti Shenoy (Book Review- 4*/5) !!!

Preeti Shenoy is one of my favorite authors and I make sure that I have her book with me on the first day of its release itself; though I missed her last book which was her first attempt at non-fiction but I am sure that I'll read it soon enough. I am just done reading her latest release named "It's All in the Planet's". By the cover page and the title of the book, I had wrongly assumed that it's another non-fiction by her but after I read the synopsis did I realize that yes, Ms. Shenoy is back with her forte- FICTION. The book is indeed a treat for her fans as it speaks of love, relationships, human emotions and several circumstances a human being goes through in this thing called LIFE. Through this book, she is also wanting us to believe in DESTINY and that everything is not in our hands. We should leave somethings to happen according to its own course.

The book is written in a very simple language. Yet again, Preeti have tried writing as first person for two different protagonists in alternate chapters which makes it more interesting reading the same story from two different perspectives. Though I felt that many scenes are repeated as both the characters narrate the same part in first 1-2 paragraphs. What I liked about this book is the way author have treated the same plot which every Indian romance-genre authors write in a very special manner making it look like something mature. If only every writer had this talent. 

The characters are very well described by the author and you can relate with each one of them. The character of Nidhi is so simple yet charming that you want to meet her. Aniket's desperation to impress his girlfriend so that she doesn't leave him is also handled well in first half. The relationship between Nidhi and her step-mom, Tara, is very well portrayed. The way how Aniket's orthodox father changes his mindset in the ending also looks genuine. The good thing about the book is that it breaks so many stereotypes in such a simple manner that never sounds preachy or forcible. 

Talking about the drawbacks, I didn't find story much based on the theme and title of the novel that all is in the planet's. Initially, the horoscope that is shared before each chapter is written in the same language as they are printed in papers and magazines but in the second half, it is written in such a manner that it sounds fake because of it's direct reference to the character's circumstance. The climax isn't very movable though it does everything you wanted to happen in the end but still, it felt incomplete. But still, this book is a light read and makes you think in many scenes. I give this book 4 stars out of 5. 



Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Girl of my Dreams by Durjoy Datta (Book Review- 3.75*/5) !!!

I love the timing of Durjoy Datta's books' releases. As soon as you start feeling that it has been a long time since you read his last book, you come to know that next one is about to be released. And Durjoy Datta's novels have that feeling which makes you nostalgic about your days when you started reading Indian authors initially and liked reading love stories which seemed realistic. Not many authors have come out of that zone of writing the typical love stories except few and Durjoy is definitely one out of them. He has grown as an author immensely in his last 3-4 books and now in his latest one named "The Girl of my Dreams", Durjoy Datta have tried thriller and let me tell you, he has passed with good marks. 

The Girl of my Dreams is about the protagonist Daman who is facing challenges in his life after surviving a deadly car accident. His girlfriend, Shreyasi, was with him in the car and he feels that because he was driving that day, he is guilty of her death. Now he has a new girlfriend, Avni, who is not very happy in a relationship because Daman is a writer and he names his virtual girlfriend as Shreyasi even after Avni asking him to use her name several times. The whole thing becomes chaotic and difficult for all the characters in the book when Shreyasi comes back in the story. Everyone is confused that she was dead then how could she return back in flesh and blood. And from here onwards, the curiosity of the reader starts growing with each page.

The characterization of Durjoy has always been mind-blowing and even in this book, each and every character is so well developed and defined and you can actually imagine them. Right from Daman’s confused character, Sumit’s helpful one, Shreyasi’s destructive nature to Avni’s composed one- every character has been given justice. Even Jayanti’s and Karthik’s character is beautiful portrayed and not treated as side characters in the book. The first half is exciting as you want to know what thrilling events are about to happen in the story and as Shreyasi’s character enters once, the book takes a different turn altogether. The 2nd half is well-written describing the struggle of Daman and Avni against the evil play of Shreyasi. As a reader, even you are in panic while turning each page. The segment where the car is been burned is one of the most terrific parts of this story.

The climax is also nicely closed and does not let you feel that in the name of thriller, you have been given a plain story to read. It feels as if a good romantic thriller has been gifted to you after a long time by an Indian author. I got a feel while reading this book as if I am reading a Novoneel Chakraborty’s book. Talking about the drawbacks, I felt that climax could have been little more hot and spicy as not much happens in the end. Also, not much is explained in the end about behavior of Daman at different point of time throughout the story. There were many things that were not justified in the climax which makes you feel little incomplete. Except that, The Girl Of My Dreams is a treat for Durjoy Datta’s fans. I give this book 3.75* out of 5. 



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat (Book Review-3.75*/5) !!!

CHETAN BHAGAT- A name that urged Indians to read more than a decade ago. I started reading novels after knowing about the humorous contents his books has. And after that I make sure that I read his books the first day after its release before someone else starts giving the review. Generally people believe in giving negative reviews to his book to prove themselves intellectual, literati or whatever! The last book that made me feel that it's the Chetan Bhagat I know was 2 States. Revolution 20-20 and Half Girlfriend couldn't impress me because I felt that I was reading a movie script than a fiction novel. This time he has come up with a book in female voice named "One Indian Girl". I was doubtful about this one too as I believed that it would be too feminist to digest. But fortunately, I am enough impressed with the story and felt that I read a book written by one of my favorite authors.

The story is about a girl who is quite feminist and does not believe in getting pulled down by her parents or anyone just because she is a girl. She makes it sure that she does things which she feels is right without worrying about anyone else. She also have to hear about how she is doing things which are okay with boys but she shouldn't do it being a girl. But she is what not many girls in India are. She has a great job out of India. She earns what 10 average men cannot earn collectively in India. She has more than one relationship which is not digestible in Indian culture. And story of such courageous and successful Indian girl makes this book a phenomenal read. 

Chetan Bhagat have not tried to preach much feminism which is the plus point of the book. The story is very well handled right from the prologue. As is the case with many stories, even this one gets better when the story goes back in flashback. The characterization by CB is spot-on once again. The character of Radhika is very well crafted and the writing style of CB does not allow you to think that its not been written by a girl. Yes, I agree that few sentences are provocative as they are kind of general statements which not many girls would think while being intimate with someone or dressing themselves for a party. And I am pretty sure that CB-haters are going to pick up these sentences against him to pull this book down which has already broken Pre-ordering record on Amazon.

The book has not been stretched anywhere. The second flashback is not as good as the first one and it has a reason because the affair is with a person of another class itself. The climax is little filmy but has an appropriate ending. I was little unsure about what decision will the girl take in the end but the feminist point is well handled in the end and the final decision of the girl only makes you smile in the end of the book. Talking about the drawbacks I would say that too much insight of the protagonist's job has been discussed which becomes irritating after a point of time. As I said above, at few places, CB has not justified a girl's point of view correctly which looks quite fake and attention-seeking. Also, the humour is again missing just like the last two books for which CB has become popular. Overall, I give this book 3.75* out of 5. It can surely be read once. 



Monday, August 29, 2016

03:02 by Mainak Dhar (Book Review 4*/5) !!!

When I received this book titled "03:02" written by Mainak Dhar and published by Westland Publishers, I was surprised what it would be actually about. And then I read the synopsis and couldn't understand what the book is seriously about except that at 03:02 AM, the city of Mumbai suddenly went black with no electricity, no phones, no internet and no working cars just as if civilization was taken away from the human beings. But what is the reason for the same and how the city will overcome against it was a big question mark for me. As I began reading, I was impressed with the way the story begins and author directly comes on the topic and the city gets dark in the first few pages itself. The book becomes very slow after that as without giving us the reason of this unexpected and unbelievable circumstance, author just keeps on talking about how everything have just stopped all of a sudden. 

At this point, I had decided that the book is not getting anything above 2.5 stars from me but finally the reason is told to us. Though very less understandable to us and eventually we get to know that a big terrorist group has invaded the city with all its forces. And then there is our protagonist who is helping the people in his residential complex and around it just like Akshay Kumar does in the movie "Airlift". And when he comes to know about the terrorist group and how he will have to fight it with leadership, courage and conviction, he just stays positive throughout and starts managing things with the little resources and manpower that he has. 

The writing style of the author is very superb considering the command over the language and the narration style. Even the plot is so fresh and research-oriented, author haven't complicated the narration by streaming the timeline up and down like many other authors and confusing the reader. Even the vocabulary is simple which helps you to keep reading this book in a good speed with a flow. He has written things so brilliantly that you feel that everything is real and you even imagine it happening around you. It becomes scary after a while and I had to go for short walks outside to come out of that state of scary situation. The characterization is also nicely developed which makes you understand the background and mindset of each and every character involved.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book, the first 70-100 pages aren't much interesting as author gets stuck in that one situation itself to build the premises. It could have been easily cut short down. I also feel that the book needed a lot of editing as the whole story could have been summed with the same effect in 50-60 less pages. Well, the climax is nicely written and the way book ends leave you with a wide smile than teary eyes as I expected it to end. I give this book 4 stars out of 5. I would have given it 4.5 easily if it would have been slow in terms of taking the story further. I would like to read more from Mainak Dhar in future. 



Friday, August 26, 2016

Second Lives by Anish Sarkar (Book Review- 3.5*/5) !!!

The thriller genre is finding too many takers in the Indian publishing world currently as foreign authors are been challenged at the Bestseller's List. I am getting lots of good thriller to read these days even when the famous thriller writers, Ravi S and Ashwin S, are not releasing their books since last few months. I completed reading Anish Sarkar's Second Lives this week which is published by Westland Publication. This 350-pages book is definitely a page-turner and keeps you hooked throughout. The writing style of Sarkar is wonderful which keeps you intrigued and you want to finish the book in the single reading. Actually in this case, I would suggest the readers to not take too many breaks while reading this book as you might end up getting confused between the several murders that happens in the story.

The characterization of all the 5 friends is wonderfully done by the author and you can relate with each one of them. I also liked author's idea of writing chapters in first voice of each of the 3-4 main characters. Though it became confusing at times about whose version I am reading but still writing a thriller with this perspective is surely commendable. Author reveals half-story of any scene initially and later on discloses the whole thing which keeps the reader excited about anything might get disclosed now. Same feeling that we get while watching the Bollywood's Race series. 

The biggest problem with this book is its predictability in the 2nd half. You almost understand what will happen next if in case you have read many thrillers. I never like when a new character is introduced in the end and given the whole attention all of a sudden and a thriller where we have kept guessing the murderer among the central characters. Like it happened in Novoneel's latest The Stranger's Trilogy. In the pre-climax, a new character is introduced and defined as the Mr. X all of us have been guessing while reading the story. It takes away the interest of the reader that the book has been getting right from the first page. Also I didn't like how each of the character ends up having affair with some character who gets revealed to be the partner-in-crime later on or a part of the story. But still this book is worth reading. I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.



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