Sunday, January 29, 2017

An Unsuitable Boy by Karan Johar (Book Review- 4.25*/5) !!!

There are few personalities in Bollywood about whom you always feel like knowing because they carry some personal vibe with them. We assume that they have life behind the screens and cameras which has many things to tell to the people. One such personality is Karan Johar who has always been in news- either for his great work in movies or television or for his personality and frank statements that he keeps making in news every now and then. I have been excited for his autobiography since the announcement of it. It is named “An Unsuitable Boy” which is apt for the personality that Karan is.

As expected by readers, Karan Johar has covered all the topics such as his sexuality, his talk show, his relationship with SRK, Aditya and Kajol, his journey in Bollywood being son of a producer, his opinion about the changing times in the industry etc. The best part of the book is that Karan has never tried to be diplomatic while talking about anything. He has put his views and inner feelings straight forward. Also, he hasn’t shied away from giving the due credit to the people who have been involved in the upliftment of his career at different times. One of the most emotional parts of the book has been the section where Karan narrates the whole scenario before, during and after the death of his father and how it turned into a man from a boy overnight.

As a layman, we have been in the assumption that Yash Johar was very rich and Karan was born with a silver spoon. But it was great reading and knowing the financial challenges his father faced during his years in Bollywood and how his family was skeptic about him entering the industry. The school and college days are also defined very appropriately which actually makes Karan Johar feel that he is unsuitable in this society. What a child goes through in teen years because of being fat, girlish, imperfect etc. changes the whole lifestyle of the person. Karan talks about his father and mother with great respect whenever he mentions them which are surely going to be the inspiration for everyone reading this autobiography.

The whole DDLJ-making part till the KKHH release part, the way Karan evolved as a filmmaker with the confidence and trust provided by Aditya Chopra and Shahrukh Khan is nicely narrated by him and is one of the most interesting sections in this book. The only time Karan have been diplomatic or not fully clear while speaking something about himself in this book has been when he talks about his previous relationships and sexuality. He mentions other relationships frankly in the book but does not name any of his exes. Another drawback of the book is the repetition of few names and scenes again and again. It seemed as if Karan wanted to prove the point to those people through this book that he really acknowledges their contribution in his life. Similarly, he does not clearly narrate some part and leaves them in between and suddenly mentions the end of the whole scenario. These are few turn-offs in this book. Otherwise, it’s one of the most intriguing autobiographies I have read. I rate this one 4.25* out of 5 stars.



Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Great Indian Righter by Babloo Wanaby (Book Review-4.5*/5) !!!

Since last half decade or so, the publishing and book market has totally changed for good or bad that I do not know but it has changed. Earlier, when you would go through the Bestseller Lists, you used to find the books which were considered to be full of high literary value. Nowadays, if you will check the Bestseller list, you will only find the rom-com, college campus stories or mass fiction. This has frustrated many writers and readers who loved the classic books and literature stuff. Right from Chetan Bhagat to Durjoy Datta to Ravinder Singh are daily abused by this section of literati. There are many satirical articles and posts on these writers. But now, a book named “The Great Indian Righter” is released by Babloo Wanaby which is a parody on these writers and let me tell you, it’s extremely funny.

Not every time a book in the humor or parody or satirical section that makes me laugh and giggle but this book has many such moments. As I have been reading and reviewing these pulp fictions from last 5-6 years, it was very easy for me to relate with all the stuffs Babloo was talking about. His character, Churan Bhogal, is amazingly personified. I really liked relating him to the Bestselling author of India though the author have put the disclaimer that everything is fiction and not to relate it with anything real. Haha! Similarly, another character, Robin Singh, who takes inspiration from Churan Bhogal, and writes a pathetic tragic romantic novel is a wonderful character and I, even, related him with an author who have written the similar tale and went on writing many other bestsellers.

I personally liked the scene when two professionals from publication houses meet and talk about these two writers. Similarly, the sex scene between a character and his partner while the sex talk between the two main protagonist is so silly, vulgar yet funny that I died laughing. The conversation with in-laws of Churan because of the book that he had written on his marriage life is another delighting take on how the personal life of these writers get affected by writing nonsensical stuff. Even the climax is so beautifully handled that it shows the debutante writer, Babloo Wanaby is not here as a One Book Wonder but has talent of writing many more books in this genre. This genre really needs good writers in India and I can claim that Babloo is surely a good addition to the list. I rate this book as 4.5* out of 5.



Chanakya In Daily Life by Radhakrishnan Pillai (Book Review-4*/5) !!!

I have almost all the books of Radhakrishnan Pillai with me but it has been so unfortunate that I only got to read 2 of them. The first book of Pillai that I read was “Chanakya In You” with which I wasn’t much impressed because I got very little to learn from it as my expectations were quite big with the author. Last week, I picked up his latest release “Chanakya in Daily Life” published by Rupa Publication. The cover page of the book is so interesting that I think the people who judge the book by its cover are already going to make this one a Bestseller. Haha! Rest, talking about the fulfillment of my expectations this time, I am in awe of the book and the kind of stuffs I got familiar with after going through the book.

The book is divided into three parts: Personal life, Professional life and Family life. Author gives insight regarding various topics under each of the section for which we should take care despite of whatever tasks we are busy in. He shares Chanakya’s words in between of the chapters and then tells us how we can follow his advice in today’s time. He also gives due credit to Chanakya for sensing the future so rightly that few of his advices are genuine even after thousand years of his writings. The best part about the book is that nothing is spoken in philosophical voice where comprehending few things becomes difficult for the reader. The easy language and simple sentence formation helps reader to capture the tips and tools shared for a happy life easily without re-reading the sentences.

The examples given in the chapters help to understand the concepts of Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti. I basically liked how even the small things like how to start the day, how to talk with others, how to be a good parent, how to maintain balance in life, how to make friends, what to do before sleeping etc. are discussed which can actually make big differences in life. Overall, this book is a recommended one for your shelf. Do not miss this book in any case. One of the best works of Radhakrishnan Pillai for sure even though I haven’t read all of his works. Haha! I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

The 365 Days by Nikhil Ramteke (Book Review- 3.75*/5) !!!

Not always do you come across a book which does not speak of any story as such but still keeps you intrigued throughout. I remember reading one such book by Aravind Adiga which did not have any story but it told so much about that protagonist that I couldn’t stop thinking about that character for many days. I have got a similar feeling right now after completing “The 365 Days” written by a debutante author, Nikhil Ramteke. The book is just about what a character named Shijukutty goes through when he leaves his home to change his fortune but gets trapped in a land which looks glamorous but has a very depressing lifestyle for some people like him.  

Initially, I was disappointed with the way story was moving in a very slow pace. I was waiting for some twists and turns to take place and nothing of that sort was happening. But I realized after a time that this is not about a story. It is about a human being and what he goes through for 365 days away from his home in a dream that one day he will be rich but within his horizon, what he sees is only darkness and failure. How tough it is for a person to live and survive in such a place without a single entity known and familiar to him is very beautifully described in this book.

What a migrant goes through in a totally different country in the quest of earning money is realistically portrayed by the author. As my father himself stays in UAE, I was very well aware of the situation Indian workers face in gulf after the agent fools them by showing big dreams and packages. The literary quotient in the author’s writing style is delightful to read. The characterization is wonderful. The conversation between the characters is one of the best things to read. How the people from different religions, regions, races and languages stay together in spite of differences inspires us through this book. The minute detail of every minute how a day passes is very nicely depicted in a chapter with timelines. It shows how difficult passing each day is! 

The last few pages of the book are very emotional and I am still in the mindset of protagonist and feeling so dark that I have nothing to say. If the author can do this to a reader through a book of just 180 pages, it tells about the potential of both- the book and the writer. I recommend this book for all the readers who like reading dark books which tells about a character’s survival in a region where there is no scope of entertainment and pleasure. I give this book 3.75* out of 5. I wish it had little more depth and story. I am looking forward for the next book from Nikhil Ramteke now. 



Saturday, January 21, 2017

Learning How to Fly by A.P.J Abdul Kalam (Book Review- 4.5*/5) !!!

There are very few personalities who leaves behind such an impression of themselves that you can only think about positivity and motivation whenever you hear/think/feel about them. A.P.J Abdul Kalam is one such personality for whom not only I but the whole nation and world have immense respect. His contribution to this country and society has been priceless and we shall be indebted towards him always. I have always liked reading books written by Mr. Kalam which made me pick the latest release named “Learning How To Fly”. The book is said to be “Life lessons for the youth”. Rupa Publication has done a great job in compiling few of his last speeches and lectures and publishing it in the form of this book.

All the speeches and lectures sound so perfect that many a times I couldn’t believe if Mr. Kalam actually spoke them spontaneously or perfected it by preparing drafts after drafts as a writer does while writing a book. Each and every speech has a message behind it and therefore it leaves you with lot more knowledge than you had before reading it. Also every chapter shows the vision this Legend had for India and its youth. None of his speech was just a talk show. He has provided insight through each and every speech of his. He literally had bullet points actually for each and every field or area in which India needs improvement with a proper scientific planning how the same can be achieved.

All the paragraphs where Kalam had discussed how he worked in the field of aeronautics are an excellent read and you want to know more about how this man worked on several proud achievements of this country. The way he speaks in respect about his seniors and keeps on telling us again and again to be leaders and creative gives a lot of inspiration. Abdul Kalam’s vision for India to make it an accomplished nation by 2020 is repeated in many speeches which tell about his commitment towards his country. 

Overall, I would say that it is one of the best books which need to be read in the genre of compilations. Anything that can bring me closer to A.P.J Abdul Kalam is a dream and the most cherished gem for me. And so is this book. I recommend this book to everyone. My rating is 4.5* out of 5. I just wished this book was double in size than it is as I wanted to read more speeches/lectures given by one of the most respected and valuable person this country has produced. 



Friday, January 20, 2017

Inner Engineering by Sadhguru (Book Review- 4*/5) !!!

There are few spiritual leaders in our country for which people are crazy about. Every time they speak, people listen to them in awe and with lots of expectations to explore a new dimension of life. I have become very keen towards reading and listening to such stuffs from last 2 years. Sometimes I even feel like moving away from all the materialism and senseless achievements of life to a place where there is no body and experience the zenith that these spiritual masters talk about. One such man who is bringing a lot of change in my life from spiritual point of view is Sadhguru a.k.a Jaggi Vasudev.

I have read several articles, books and columns written by him. I have seen many Youtube videos of Sadhguru’s. I have heard many podcasts released by him. I am even following if some event is happening nearby me by his foundation: Isha so that I can attend and learn the art of Inner Engineering about which he talks a lot. To my surprise, I recently came to know about his new book named “Inner Engineering” which also has the tagline: “A Yogi’s Guide To Joy”. This is said to be Sadhguru’s one of the most ambitious books of all time out of many that he have written. 

The book covers a lot of detailing related to how a human being can identify the unexplored in his body, mind, and energy and how to achieve joy through them. The book starts with Sadhguru giving little insight of his life so that the reader can know the person whose words we are going to read ahead and follow. The whole section is so moving that I started feeling proud of reading this book from then itself.

Later on, as Sadhguru moves ahead and starts describing about how our body is attached to so many things in world and how we are related to things we never even think about gave me so much of positive energy just by reading his words. The way each and everything is described makes it very easy for a non-yogi to understand how to achieve that state of life where everything will be in our limits and control. Also the real and fiction examples given for the concepts and methodology about how the preached message can be wrongly executed in life also tells the reader how not to implement the author’s words in life. The actions demanded from us in “Sadhana” section are also worth trying because of the ease in every methodology. 

Earlier, Robin Sharma’s books had changed my life in terms of motivation and leadership while Sadhguru’s books (especially this one) are changing my life in terms of spirituality, yoga and meditation. I give this book 4 star out of 5. I am not rating it very highly because I had lots of expectations from the person whom I have considered a Guru. I still feel that there are many explorations which Sadhguru just theoretically conveyed but didn’t give a practical approach to it through which we could implement the same. Except this, the book is totally recommended to everyone who is living in myths related to Yoga, meditation and spiritualism. Read it to learn the real implementation.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Anuradha Prasad: "I want to be known as a prolific writer and that's all" (Interview) !!!

I have been associated with the authoress, Anuradha Prasad, since her first book and it gives me great pleasure that she is back with her 2nd book- Coming Back Home. After the release of the book, I had a short interview with her. Please read to know what she has to say about it and her journey as writer.

1. Dear Anuradha, how has your life changed since last 2-3 years after becoming an official author?

Ans-  People’s attitude towards me has certainly changed. They look at me and say - Oh! You have written a book? We would like to read it. There are some who eagerly waited for my second. Besides that, Book signing is a great experience. On the personal level I feel proud to leave behind a legacy.

2. Tell us something about your new book- Coming Back Home?

 Its  about  finding your  place in the universe. Its about true friendship and love . Its also about taking care of your parents and finding  a reason to let go of the one, who  hurt you the most with no ill feelings. Its about success!

3.How did you decide to write about Bollywood and glamour industry?

It just happened. I did not decide anything. I have been associated with the publishing and fashion industry for quite some time. So I just thought of it!

4.What research did you go through to develop the characters of Arpita and Riku?

No research. I just thought of these common people and they trying to reach the pinnacles of success in Bollywood. I have also seen and heard of innumerable stories of Bollywood strugglers.  So as I went on with it, I  visualized what could  be the possible pitfalls for my characters , in a given situation and went ahead writing . I had  imagined  the characters of  Riku -as a reckless Bastard  and Arpita as a hard working, talented hope less romantic.  I was very clear about the main characters and the story with the backdrop of Bollywood unfolded. 

5. We find that you are extremely beautiful. Like your character, Arpita, have you also tried in Bollywood ever? Haha!

Thanks a lot  but I am not very comfortable accepting compliments about my looks as it takes away the focus from my writing skills. I want to be known as a prolific writer and thats all. Besides ‘Only beauty and no brains’ idea does not attract me. Having said this-  I have done a few modeling assignments offered to me in my early twenties.  I was quiet successful too. But I never ran after it!  I  found my centre through writing. I love it, as it is  really challenging  and therapeutic. 

6. You have sent across a message about Women Empowerment through the character of Arpita. How do you feel your book will change the mindset of girls/women in our country?

Arpita is not a strong woman but slowly evolves through her experiences. I have written about evolution and strength rather than rebellion and empowerment! I feel women of our country must be educated and find their right place in the society. Woman empowerment according to me is not all about burning the bra, but also about being proud to be who you are and the freedom to make choices. This book  also inspires men to respect and  accept fairer sex as equals or superior in many aspects while on their own journeys. 

7.Have you come across any Bollywood person who may be interested in adapting one of your books into a full-fledged movie?

The book is still new to the market. Hoping to reach out to the maximum readers first. Bollywood could happen eventually. But so far I haven't come across anyone interested in making it into a movie. 

8.How has been your association with Leadstart Publication?

My experience was good., without any bumps . Smooth.

9.Tell us something regarding your next work. On what topic is it going to be based upon?

I haven't thought of anything so far. I will let you guys know the moment I come up with a concept. 

10.Any words for your fans who are reading your books?

I love you guys. Keep reading. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Think With Me by 'Saharasri' Subrata Roy Sahara (Book Review-2.5*/5) !!!

Reading non-fiction books give me a different kind of satisfaction because may be a reader won’t learn anything after reading a fiction but a non-fiction book surely adds something to our knowledge. Even if the book is unable to provide any knowledge, it at least changes or builds our opining towards something. Last time when I had picked the book written by one of the most eminent personalities of India, ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara, Life Mantras, I was really happy with the kind of insight he had provided on various subjects. It was the 1st book in the Trilogy of “Thoughts from Tihar”. The book also turned out to be a Bestseller and readers liked it very much. 

I just picked the 2nd book in the same trilogy named Think With Me which also has the tagline “Fundamentals for making our country ideal”. I assumed that the book will consist of each sentence being very meaningful as it has to speak everything in just 100 pages. Unfortunately, I am very disappointed after reading this book. It seems just because author wanted to continue writing in the same trilogy, he purposely added this book by scribbling various thoughts in his mind he had for political leadership, population growth, education, the media and religion in just 15 days. 

The solutions that the author has provided aren’t really impressive and effective. He has sounded very childish in the opinions that he has given because they are so obvious that almost 90% Indians have the same on the respective topics. After that the corrective measures that he has shared with us is also silly most of the times which are not possible to be implemented. The thing for which Chetan Bhagat is regularly trolled; Subrata Roy Sahara has repeated the same in this book. In comparison to his first book in this trilogy, this book is nowhere close. I give this book just 2.5 stars out of 5. Thankfully, the book is not much thicker and I was able to complete it within 2.5 hours itself. Hope the author will bounce back with the last book in the trilogy. Looking forward to it. 



Saturday, January 14, 2017

Think and Win like Dhoni by Sfurti Sahare (Book Review- 4.25*/5) !!!

Just recently, the best Indian Captain till date, the legend M. S. Dhoni, announced his retirement as a captain for limited over Cricket and gave the captaincy of all the three formats completely to Virat Kohli. The decision taken by him came at such a perfect time considering that Dhoni does not find himself captaining the team in 2019 World Cup that we couldn't stop talking about him. This led the reader in me to read a book based on Mr. Dhoni and I got my hands on "Think and Win like Dhoni" written by Sfurti Sahare. As obvious, this book is published by Jaico Publication which has never shied away from publishing the contents which no other publication dares to. 

I remember I read a book written on Salman Khan about why he is the way he is. The name of the book was "Being Salman" and after completing it, I was so disappointed that I decided never to read any such books which will talk about why a certain personality behaves in a certain manner. This book is also on the same lines but I am astonished at the fact that being the 1st time author, Ms. Sfurti Sahare have managed the topic so well on how Dhoni takes difficult decisions keeping himself calm on the field that I would like to read more book from her on different topics now. 

Talking about a personality like Dhoni, it could have been possible that the book would have talked about obvious facts and cliche. But the authoress have actually given some great tips for us to become successful in our decision-making capabilities by giving meaningful examples of Dhoni's decisions on the field that can surely make us successful and a good human being. There are stuffs which we are actually unaware about Dhoni regarding how it is easy for him to be so detached with success, fear, failure, achievements etc in the times when other players over-react on and off field. I liked the conversation between the author and the man himself in middle of the chapters. Reading what Dhoni feels about certain things in his own words has been a great experience.

There is a lot of learning that a reader can take with himself after reading the book. Author have nicely categorized the chapters and the sub-topics. You can feel each and every desperate emotion of authoress where she wants you to adopt Dhoni's exemplary style in your own life and achieve your goals and yet stay grounded. The only drawback that I felt while reading the book is the repetition of the same incidents again and again. Also, there are few typos here and there. Rather than repeating the same incident again and again, author could have mentioned the incident and then listed down all that we can learn from it. 

Otherwise, this book is one of the perfect non-fiction books that one should surely read. For Dhoni's fans, this book is a must thing in their shelf. Author's research and deep knowledge in the subject impresses the reader a lot. Being a woman, her interest in Cricket and the insights that she provides is hard to believe. Kudos to the authoress for her efforts. I give this book 4.25* out of 5. I wish it had 100 more pages. The book is that good.



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Love & Peace by Abhishek Kothari (Book Review-3.9*/5) !!!

There are few authors who attract fans with their first novel and then get lost somewhere in their own world. Not many of them return back and are known forever as “One Book Wonder”. There is one more author whom I considered the same.  ABHISHEK KOTHARI! His first book “A Feeling beyond Words” was released in 2010, almost 7 years back. I never thought the writer would bounce back with his 2nd book. Surprisingly, few weeks ago, he released his 2nd novel named “Love & Peace”. It is published by the same publication- Srishti.

Abhishek’s writing style has improved tremendously and not even once did I feel that this is just the 2nd book written by him. Every word and every sentence is used so perfectly that it makes the reading experience incredible. I am not a great fan of romance-genre written by Indian authors anymore because we get to read the one and the same thing time and again. But astonishingly, this story, though based on love, doesn’t sound cliché or boring like other books in the same genre. It is written on a very fresh note giving a different dimension altogether to the word called Love.

Because of the title and cover page of the book, I had thought that it belongs to the non-fiction genre but reading the synopsis made me realize that it’s a fictional work. The book, basically, deals with one-sided love and how the character evolves from that heart-broken phase of depression after rejection and bounces back to achieve what he never thought he will ever be able to. The characterization is done very wonderful of each and everyone which will be the biggest reason if this book gets the Bestseller tag which it should eventually achieve.

The book starts in a very confusing tone as it becomes hard to understand if Sanjay and Raju are the same person or two different personalities. But later on when the backdrop of the story is revealed, the scenarios starts getting clear. I, personally, enjoyed the 2nd half of the book where the character of the Raju is shown climbing hierarchy in his organization with his intelligence and wit. In the pre-climax and climax, I liked how author focuses on respecting a girl’s choice rather than forcing yourself upon her. I am amazed in the way the climax and ending of the book is handled with great maturity. In 150 pages, the way author have handled romance, depression, victory, passion, love, heart break, girl’s emotions etc are commendable and hence I go with 3.9* out of 5. This book is surely recommended if you want to read something new in the romance section written by an Indian author.



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Small Steps to Big Reading by Hozefa A. Bhinderwala (Book Review- 3.5*/5) !!!

I have been reviewing and mentioning books in my blog and tweets from a long time just for a reason that I need people to read books as much as possible. My inclination towards Indian authors is also for the same reason that I started by reading them and hence, I feel every new Indian reader will be able to relate to what Indian authors try to speak in their book. There are many people who still try to run away from reading even though they know that there is nothing bigger and interesting than reading books. For such people, Mr. Hozefa A. Bhinderwala have written a book named "Small Steps to Big Reading" which also has the tagline: Converting non-readers into readers. I would like to mention Bloomsbury publisher here for publishing this great book written by Hozefa as it is very necessary for people to understand the reasons why they are running away from reading and the methods to overcome the dilemma.

Hozefa have written this book in a very simple language which makes it easy for you to read it in one sitting. The book is only about 120 pages and hence it can be easily read within 2 hours. The purpose of the writer has been to share the methods and ways through which non-readers or demotivated readers can get back to reading very easily without feeling it an extra-burden in their routine. I have liked how author have explained things with which you will very easily relate because we have all gone through the same. The figures and diagrams in between of the paragraphs makes the point of the author more clear. Also the methods and experiments that the author have asked us to implement is easy and possible and sounds effective. 

I was personally very interested with the author's claim of reading in fast pace without worrying about the parts which remains unclarified in the process of reading. He has told it very precisely about how while reading slowly, the body needs extra efforts to concentrate on the words and fit it in our mind. While when we read fastly, we tend to read between the lines etc. Author have cleared many doubts and myths in an impressive manner throughout the book.

The book is written like a newspaper articles which is meant to be read and shared with others whom you feel need the suggestion/advise urgently. The only drawback about the book I feel is the lack of live examples. Author could have added real examples of how non-readers applied his methods and in what duration they turned into a regular reader. Also, author should have spoken about different genres of books which could have helped non-readers to understand which genre is of their interest. Otherwise, I believe that this book is the need of the hour to bring back all the people back to reading and also motivating the non-readers. But the bigger task for the author for now will be how to make non-readers pick his book first. Haha! I give this attempt 3.5* out of 5.



Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Last Bloom by Poulomi Sengupta (Book Review- 3.75*/5) !!!

Whenever a reader picks up a book, he adds many expectations to it. I picked up a book of 400 pages on this Sunday and thought of completing it in a day itself. But I had judged it as soon as I picked it up for reading. The title of the book is "The Last Bloom". The cover page of the book has a flower. The book is written by a debutante female writer- Poulomi Sengupta. It is based on a girl's life who has just entered a new college and is struggling to fit in with new environment and extensive level of politics. At first, I thought as the story is based in college, it is going to end up being another love saga somewhere. But the way, author remains focused on her opinion throughout the book is an amazing experience to read.

The writing style of Poulomi Sengupta is amazing. She manages to write in simple language yet display her strength in vocabulary. The book deals with how the politics in college ruins the whole environment and does not let the education win over the personal interest of few people who want to win seats and rule the sector. Author have again and again described how innocent and dedicated students who are in campus just to study and gain knowledge are forced into participating in the politics otherwise bear the blunt of the majority. The fight between the girls is also described in length. How in jealousy and temptation to be more popular and powerful, girls keep fighting among themselves only to ruin each other's personal space and careers.

Authoress have used the backdrop of Bengal to project the whole issue which is quite evident because of the communal and linguistic issue of the state. People are very skilled and talented there but the political and regional issues doesn't let them grow. Author have mentioned how parents and students prefer to continue their education in their mother tongue itself rather than English language and thus keep getting behind in the race of competition in this ever-competitive nation.  

The author have also used lot of philosophies in the book which I personally liked a lot. I liked the conversation she had with Vivek most of the times and also liked one particular conversation with her father in the midst of the 2nd half of the book. All the conversations are so enlightening that you want to keep reading them again and again. The characters are very hard to get used to in the beginning but as the story moves ahead, you will be able to remember their names and understand who are with the protagonists and who are against her (Haha!).

Talking about the drawbacks, the book is not edited at all in terms of its length. There wasn't many twists and turns for which author needed 400 pages to narrate the whole story. The over-description of not-so-important scenarios have added to the pages unnecessarily. The book could have been easily completed within 300 pages itself. I also felt that not all characters got defined properly except few like Priya, Aashi, Renela, Keya, Suvo etc. I was also expecting a mind-boggling climax but it happened on a very light note without much sound. Overall, this book is a great attempt considering written by the first time author and the topic chosen. I give it 3.75* out of 5. 



Saturday, January 7, 2017

Coming Back Home by Anuradha Prasad (Book Review- 3.75*/5) !!!

It is always special to read the 2nd book of any author whose debut book was read by you as soon as it was out. It is a kind of a risk you had taken then and only because you liked the author did you wait for so long to purchase the 2nd book. One such author for me has been Anuradha Prasad. I had read her 1st book 2 years back when it released and waited till now for her 2nd. Finally, I got my hands on it and I completed it in just 2 sittings. The name of the book is "Coming Back Home". The cover page of the book is very artistic which makes you excited to read about the story of the glamour industry where boys and girls fall up to an extent to enter in the field. This story is also about two such characters trying their luck- Arpita and Riku.

The writing style of Anuradha Prasad is very simple which is basically targeted for all the new readers as well who have just started picking up pulp fiction novels to at least start reading something. This book is definitely a great time pass and you would not feel bored even for a moment as story keeps moving in fast pace. The characterization of each and every character right from the protagonists to Sunny, Sujoy, Rahul and Arpita's parents is done so well that you can understand the mindset of each one of them. 

The story begins with the regular stuff about how girls are treated in the industry as objects and everyone wants to sleep with them in exchange of a small role in a big movie or television. At that point, I had felt that the whole book is going to talk about obvious things but I was amazed how author left this at the initial level itself and moved ahead to the love angle of the protagonists. Even that wasn't narrated like a cliche and teenage stuff but authoress directly came to the point. The way story moves towards the depression and loneliness of one character and then to the other is what makes this book readable and special. 

In the 2nd half, authoress shifts her focus little from Arpita while Sunny is shown in the light of another protagonist and reading about him also makes the experience of the reader delightful. You will find an ideal man in him. In the pre-climax, the way Riku again comes back, it feels as if the obvious ending is about to happen. But the whole execution of the same has been dealt with so maturely that last pages of the book leaves you grinning and smiling. 

Talking about the drawbacks of the book, I would say that the editing has not been taken quite seriously. This book could have got more effective and precise if it would have been shortened up to 250 pages or so. There are many scenes which weren't required and didn't take story ahead. Secondly, the character of Riku is totally ignored after a point of time. As his characterization is very nicely projected in the initial pages, it would have been fun reading about a man from small town making big in industry and then doing different stuffs when finding himself losing his stardom. Thirdly, I didn't find much research from the author in terms of the theme of the story- Bollywood. Author kept the things simple. May be because she wanted to speak more about the relationships between the characters than what happens in Bollywood. 

Over all, this book is a light read and a fine page-turner. It is more on the darker side as characters face lots of depression in between. But specifically leaves a message about how a woman can bounce back in life after being thrown away by a man for not being as good as him. I liked how author managed to send across a message without being preachy. I give this book 3.75* out of 5 and recommend it to the readers.



Friday, January 6, 2017

State vs Amrit Kumar by Dr. Govind Sharma (Book Review- 3.75*/5)!!!

After taking a long break from reading when I finally returned back to it, I picked up the book written by the debutante, Dr. Govind Sharma IAS (RETD), named "State vs Amrit Kumar". Seeing that the book is of about 150 pages only, I had doubts if it would have covered anything substantial in the name of the story which can create any kind of effect on the reader, but the experience of reading this one turned out to be great because of the depth in which author have covered the whole story. Right from the first page, author keeps you intrigued regarding what will finally happen with Mr. Amrit Kumar, the protagonist of this story. You want to know why is the lawyer fighting his case when he is the Hero of the story and could not have done anything wrong. 

The book starts with introduction of too many characters which is the only drawback I found in this story. Remembering too many characters and their relation with each other made things very complex for the reader. But the characters have really managed to give depth to the background of the story that author have managed to cover in the first half of the book. The way author have built up the story wins the reader's heart. At a point when we come to know that Amrit Kumar have just taken his birth in the story, it comes as a surprise that the whole story is going to take us to the next generation all together. And the way dots are connected in the 2nd half by letting each other's children meet among themselves etc, gives story the much needed boost.

The characterization of Amrit Kumar is nicely done and the way he fights against the corrupt without worrying about the law and the instructions from his seniors makes you another fan of his. Author have also tried to justify up to what level can a police officer go to help the society and people. Even though the character's mindset is rightly defined according to a horrific incident he experienced as a child, author haven't proved everything done by him as a right revenge against corrupts. The politics, lust, love, belonging-ness, motherly love, corruption etc. are very well covered by the writer. The story had so many dimensions that I felt I only got to read the synopsis in 150 pages. Author could have easily stretched this story and explained things more descriptively by writing it in 350-400 pages. I will give this book 3.75* out of 5.



Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Strongman's Daughter by Madhuri Iyer (Book Review- 4*/5) !!!

After a long time, I picked up a novel to read as my examination got over. I am highly satisfied with my choice for the book I picked to get back to reading. The book is written by Ms. Madhuri Iyer named "The Strongman's Daughter". I had liked the first book written by her very much named "Manhattan Mango". And I don't even remember to how many friends I have already recommended it. I had lots of expectations with the authoress and I can happily claim that this is another good book written by her with so many emotions, twists and turns that you are always excited to know what is going to happen next in the life of the protagonist, Aditi Narvekar.

There are few writers who write only about the rich society just like how Zoya Akhtar always create movies for the same class of people. Both the sisters, Anita Shirodkar and Madhuri Iyer are also doing the same in the field of literature. Haha! This book is about the relationship between the father and the daughter. Father is the CM of Goa who is the most powerful man in the area. He have already decided that his daughter is going to be the successor in politics for him. But as usual, the daughter doesn't want to get into politics but some situations lead her to join hands with her father's biggest rival and the story unfolds just like a Bollywood movie.

The premise of the story could have made this book sound unrealistic and over the imagination kind of content but fortunately, authoress haven't written a single scene which felt like an unwanted addition or exaggerated formation of the situation. The characterizations are perfect and you can think from everyone's point of view. The way Aditi is fighting for herself; the way Maithili have given herself totally to the CM without thinking that he is her best friend's father; the way Raj Dias enters the story and becomes a great part of it; the little cameos of Steve and Sonam; and the big ego of Mr. CM etc- every character have played a part which will make you remember their names even after weeks of reading the book.

Overall, author have done justice to this saga of a young girl's clash against her father. The book is a perfect page-turner. I liked reading about what might happen behind the closed door of such rich families. What more does this person needs who likes to know the internal matters of every household? Haha! I give the book 4 stars out of 5.



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