Saturday, November 30, 2019

Lute of the Nightingale by Khosrul Hossain (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

As my reading target for this year is nearing its closure, I am always looking for the books that I have not heard much about and are written from the new Indian authors. This made me pick up my next book which is not the usual stuff that we get to read- the book named “Lute of the Nightingale” written by Khosrul Hossain with the tagline that says “The girl who spoke with her ink”. The cover page and the overall texture of the book gives you an intimation that the story is very dark and shall need your emotional cells to be strong while reading it. And it is exactly the same.

It’s not very easy to write on a protagonist who is of an opposite gender and it becomes more difficult when the character also has a physical issue which, as a writer, one doesn’t suffer. And this is where I would like to mention that Khosrul has done a wonderful job of describing a girl’s heart and with the same protagonist, a patient’s heart as well. We understand the challenges such people face in the real life through this character.

Saying this, the book is not only about how this girl is suffering with her physical issues but also about her relationship with her mother, Taslima, and Keshob, who stays with them. The chemistry that is discussed and the kind of evolution in the relationship of Reshmi- the protagonist and Taslima goes through is what makes this book a deep acknowledgment of the author’s work. The girl who cannot speak and has a physical disability which is only making her weak day by day ends up falling in love with a boy named Himaloy who is a poet already suffering with a heartbreak. The way their meeting is described makes you imagine the beautiful movies where characters speak with each other through minds and souls. The graph of their relationship is also a turmoil which makes Reshmi suffer more than before.

While the protagonist’s story in itself is so messy, author still manages to talk about each and every character so well that at a time, you feel that every character is the protagonist of the book and not only Reshmi. The way flashbacks are narrated in the form of letters makes the book interesting and makes you excited to know what all has happened with Reshmi’s mother and how Taslima is still alive and so well around her. Also, there are several stories which are separate stories and are not sub-plots to this one are also very beautiful and exciting to read- mostly the last one made me really scared.

Overall, the book is insightful and tells you about imperfect characters who have taken decisions or have fallen into darkness due to destiny and how it impacts other people around their life. The book speaks so much about emotions, love, betrayal, pain, hope, bravery, heart-breaking incidents that you just can’t be grateful about your life which is so well given by the grace of God.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book – Firstly, I believe the book is quite slow which makes it little hard to go through it at times and it could have easily been 30-40 pages short. There are few grammatical concerns but those are really few otherwise the language that author has used for narration is something which I really liked.

Except this, the book shall be surely treated as a distinct book by the matured readers and as per my personal opinion, I give this book 4.25* out of 5.



Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Soul Of Truth by Shaji Madathil/Jessy Skaria-Translator (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

If you are interested in spiritual contents then it really becomes difficult in finding it because not all of them are written or portrayed in a way which shall connect with you. Hence, if we specifically talk about books, it is really difficult finding a book that is written in a way as you think and process your thoughts about spirituality. And fiction books which are based on the theme of spirituality is very tough to enjoy these days because people end up writing a very boring projection which is hard to grasp or enjoy. I find myself lucky that I got to read this book named “The Soul of Truth” by the author- Shaji Madathil which really entertained me for almost two weeks with its 350-odd pages of wonderful story of a character who is no more but speaks his thoughts on his life and death for 41 nights until his spirit completely leaves us.

The book is originally written by the author in Malayalam but it has been translated into English by Dr. Jessy Skaria. It is generally said that when the translation happens, the same soul of the author can’t be delivered in another language but I am just thinking, if I felt the story so much in a translated language, how wonderfully it must have been written in the original voice in Malayalam itself. Incredible! The book is about a protagonist who has lost his life and now he is narrating his story with us and his thoughts about life, death, philosophies etc. from his perspective and making us aware about things we don’t generally feel gratitude towards.

The book is divided into 41 different chapters where each night after the death, the protagonist, Uthaman, is remembering some of his memories when he was alive and connecting it with his current condition where every day, his spirit is getting little away from his family, friends, home etc. Uthaman, through his character, teaches us about how everything in our life comes to teach us something but it is upon us to take action and better our life. If we don’t, we shall end up having the nature of self-pitiness and lose everything one by one.

The way the life story of Uthaman is narrated by the author is very beautiful. The book flows slowly where in every chapter, only one part or scenario of Uthaman’s life is discussed but the way the chapter starts describing the current state of the spirit, what he is watching his family is doing in his absence, and on basis of both of these, a moment of his life is remembered by him at the end of which we are given a philosophical, spiritual or moral message on the same which makes us think about us and our approach towards our life and people. How people who loves us so much forgets us slowly is also discussed with the lasting chapters.

The book also tries to give us advice regarding how we aren’t celebrating our Planet Earth and killing it slowly. It also talks about other social messages as to how society doesn’t allow two people to fall in love even when they are comfortable with each other and can lead a good life. Similarly, how women’s period can be celebrated rather than making it a taboo is another good sequence. The life of an individual in village, city and even out of India is described very vividly which tells us the state of mind who can be in at different points in life. There are many such topics which are discussed with such an ease by marinating it with a fiction story that you never find them preachy but brings positive change in you and your thoughts. I give this book and narration 4.5 stars out of 5.

I recommend it to everyone who loves reading slow books which helps you evaluate deep inside you and search for answers for the questions you never asked yourself.



Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Love on the Everest: Love Conquers Everything by Deepthi Ayyagiri (Book Review: 2.5*/5) !!!

Kindle Unlimited is a great opportunity to explore the short stories written by the Indian authors which are famous in its own digital space. This lead me to the short e-book of around 50 pages titled “Love on the Everest” written by Deepthi Ayyagiri, the authoress who has many other short e-books on Amazon platform. The book also highlights its tagline on its cover page- “Love Conquers Anything” which tells us two parts- 1. The book is about love and 2. The book is about protagonist who is passionate about conquering the Mt. Everest.

Being a girl, writing a book on climbing mountain and that too from a boy’s perspective is surely a difficult job which Deepthi has done very beautifully as nowhere did I feel that the emotions of the boy was missing in the narration of the story. Keeping the size of the book in the mind, the narration is very fast-paced and I must say, authoress tried very well by still assuring that protagonist’s background is described briefly to ensure readers are able to connect with him. The story is not only about its romance genre but it also talks about the life at such mountains for the people who are wanting to explore it and the ones who help these explorers to achieve their life goals.

There are few knowledge points in the book which helps you to understand the environs and modus operandi of the climbers. The way story is treated makes you imagine it like the Music Singles which comes out on Youtube with a short story involving just two characters in the main story with an ending which makes you smile even after having tears in your eyes. The climax is treated beautifully rather than giving it the unrealistic ending even though there are parts in the book which sounds quite filmy and not very realistic.

Talking about the drawbacks now- I felt that author, having short story in her mind, didn’t extend few sections which weakened the emotional quotient of the book due to which you don’t feel the characters’ pain or delight most of the times even after you are aware what they are going through. Similarly, I feel that author completely skipped the training part of the climbers which could have made this book sound more researched and exploratory. Through the story, somewhere there should have been a thought triggered in the mind regarding going for mountaineering which I didn’t feel.

Overall, the book is a light read which you can go through in order if you are looking for a short story in the form of an e-book. I am sure authoress can do well with the long format stories as she shall get the opportunity of adding the segments descriptively along with taking care of the emotional quotient. I must end this review by saying that even after being a self-published e-book, it is very well-edited which is rare case these days. I give this book 2.5 stars out of 5.



Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Insider by Bharat Choudary (Book Review: 3.5*/5) !!!

If you must have gone through the post regarding the last book I completed reading, you must be aware that it was in Hindi language which took around 18 days for me to finish. Hence, the next book that I wanted to read after that had to be a great motivator to ensure I carry on the last phase of my reading marathon this year with great energy. Hence, I decided to pick up a short thriller book written by a new Indian author named Bharat Choudary. The book that I am talking about is of around 150 odd pages and titled “The Insider”. The title of the book is very attractive along with its cover page with does its job perfectly for you to pick it up and read its synopsis; after that there is no chance that you would not give this book a try.

Bharat’s writing is very simple which makes it easy for any beginner to go through the book with very ease. The book is written in a thriller genre hence the expectations from the pre-climax or climax of the book is always very high due to several popular Indian authors. I must say that author tried very well and the way the whole story is executed says a lot about his skills as a story-teller. I liked the characterizations made by the author which makes it easy for us to understand the mindset of each and every character involved in the story. I liked the plot of the story of how a writer’s life is projected with so many layers to it that after a point of time, it becomes difficult to figure out what would happen next with protagonist and other characters involved in the story.

The first half of the book is more about the development of the story and most parts of it is about the story that author has written influenced by a real-life half-solved mystery. Post this, author wishes to give it his own ending but then in the real life, some developments take place which ends up ruining the plan of the writer’s thought behind what to do with the climax of his story. And from here meets this aspiration of the author with a wanted criminal.

The 2nd half of the book consists of lot of actions and written with ultimate passion. You can actually visualize the whole thing with big action Bollywood actors. The pre-climax and climax is how the Race series in Bollywood is written where you find someone dead in this moment and then alive in the next and again dead and then again alive which keeps on going which keeps you on your toes. I had not assumed such twists in the story hence I had to re-read few parts in the end twice after making the notes in my journal hence I recommend everyone to keep on noting down the character’s relationship with each other in order to enjoy the climax.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book, I must say that author could have easily played with the story right from the first page if there would have been little twists done with the timelines of the story which could have given more opportunity to explore. Also, I feel that the conversational part between characters aren’t very appealing which sounds artificial on which author should work in his upcoming books. Similarly, the way climax is written is very confusing which could have been written in a bit easier manner. I feel that more genuine characters should have been added in the story to make it based in a larger world as currently, it involves only few characters and only moves around them.

Overall, this book is a light thriller which you can complete within 3 hours of time. I give this attempt 3.5 stars out of 5.



Friday, November 8, 2019

Vaidik Sanatan Hindutva by Manoj Singh (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

It has been my wish to read Hindi books regularly but never got an opportunity for the same. Finally, because of this new will and wish within me to understand my religion as much as I can as I have started believing that religions though sounding very traditional and old-school speaks of dimensions that we don’t even think about while listening about them. And I believe how well a Hindi author can write about our religions such as Hinduism, Sanatan Dharma etc., no other language and their authors can do justice to it. This made me pick up the book named “Vaidik Sanatan Hindutva” written by Manoj Singh in Hindi language. Picking this book made it more relevant because author’s education profile is B.E and MBA which means he is probably not a blind-believer but has gone through the intricacies before believing in the same and writing about it.

The book “Vaidik Sanatan Hindutva”, I must say, as many of the people are mentioning on the Internet is not out-and-out spiritual book but talks vividly about how we, as a human being, live and thrive on the planet Earth and even after knowing that without it’s well-being, we can’t survive a second, we don’t think twice before polluting it and depleting our natural resources. Author is basically frustrated with the way scientists have started searching for another planet realizing that planet Earth shall not be healthy enough because of us- human beings due to which we shall need to look for an alternative to keep our species alive. Author is angry about how rather than talking about how we can save our planet, we are searching for another planet to make it another hell like Earth.

The book starts with criticizing one of these scientists, a very popular, Stephen Hawking. And then author talks about how our very own religion which is originated in our country, India, itself speaks about the importance of the Planet and its well-being. How in all our religions such as Sanatan, rituals such as Vaidik rituals and religious holy books such as Rigveda, there is mention about worshiping of Mother Earth not because of some blind faith but because the Sages of those era understood the importance of our planet which serves us with everything selfless like a mother.

Author discusses about all such rituals in the Sanatan dharma which speaks of things like Gayatri Mantra, Mahamrutyunjay jaap, yagya, Yoga etc. which might sound regressive to this modern generation but how they are also scientifically important for us, our survival and planet is also discussed. Similarly, author also talks about the seasons in India and how each of them are beneficial to us in its very own way. The importance of Sun is mentioned vividly in the book which discusses its importance for all the living and non-living beings on this planet as it is the single source of energy for us.

And finally comes the most interesting part of the book where all the festivals are discussed which are widely celebrated in India. All of us have just blindly celebrated the festivals without realizing the real meaning behind their celebration or why they even exist on particular day and time. The importance of each festival, the rituals that are performed during those festivals are mentioned which makes us realize what kind of geniuses our sages were that even if we blindly followed everything they said, we would have been in a better place today. I was literally surprised to learn so much through these chapters. How all the rituals have been planned keeping all the segments of people, all the societies inclusive is thought-provoking and astonishing whereas we have always considered them as regressive thinking.

Author’s language throughout the book is in the kind of Hindi we love listening to whenever someone like Kumar Vishwas or Amitabh Bachchan speaks in a very good command. The way all the chapters and topics are classified with their appropriate sectioning in the index too makes it easy to grasp the book. I would recommend everyone to read this book topic by topic every day rather than rushing on to it. As this is the first Hindi book I have completed, it took me 18 days to finish the 238 pages of this but I am happy to have invested around 3 weeks in grasping this powerful book which taught me so much about me, my country, my religion, my society and the way I should be changing my lifestyle with small changes.

Talking about the drawbacks, I must say that the way author starts this book is very negative and disappointing as the way author pounds on the scientists is very bad. Also, mentioning the name of Stephen Hawking specifically was not required and looked very bad on author’s part. If author, rather than mentioning the same, had talked only about what he did later in the book, this book would have been a very positive book spreading only positivism rather than blame game.

Overall, this book shall provide you many insights as mentioned above along with improving your Hindi language. I give this book 4.25 stars out of 5. Recommended!



About Me

My photo
Book Reviewer | Movie Reviewer | Bibliophile | Business Analyst