Posted in reviews

Blowfish – Book Review

** I have received a review copy from Bloombury India in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Bloomsbury **

Blurb:

Mukund and Chaddha spend their days comfortably ensconced in their cushy jobs, wallowing in regrets that make for good conversation. Mukund, in a fit of bravado. resigns to pursue his “calling”; the only hitch is that he doesn’t know what it is yet! Chaddha is fired and seeks solace in shooting pigeons at point-blank range.
Mukund’s life spirals out of control when Colonel Harpal Singh, the housing society secretary, finds in him a reflection of his estranged son. Harpal places Mukund under “house arrest”, puts him on trial in a kangaroo court and coerces him to fight a ludicrous duel.
Constantly under threat, and running out of time and money, Mukund is about to go back to being a man with bad dandruff, a small car and even smaller dreams, when he meets Suman, a girl who, like him, is trying to figure out what life is all about.

Blowfish is a fast, funny and irreverent take on the overhyped pursuit of passion in a country where flashy cars and posh bungalows remain the only lasting symbols of success and happiness.

Review:

In my view, this book can be a good lazy read after you have read 3-4 heavy duty books, with too many metaphors or mind-boggling action or a flamboyant display of fantastical elements, back-to-back. Its simple, funny, fast-paced, realistic — sob story of all youth in India, who don’t want to grow up but they have, slightly haywire that we tend to be. One can very much connect with the different characters, a college topper gets lost in the corporate race; a temperamental punjabi; a stubborn yet whinny old dad; nosy, dominating society head; over caring mother; a confused first timer dad; a pregnant woman on severe mood swing. You’re in for a hilarious, ‘face-palm’-ing ride.

My Rating: 4/5

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Posted in reviews

A Window to her Dreams — Book Review

** I have received a review copy of this book. Thank you Writers Melon and Readomania**

Blurb

Aruna, a young divorcee, marries Bhuvan, an averagely successful young man. Both make promises of ever after with preconceived expectations—hers, freedom from a judgmental society and validation of herself and his, unconditional love and partnership.

Despite their best intentions, life plays rogue.

On the one hand, Aruna’s learned conditioning, developed as a result of her past, keeps coming in the way of their married normalcy and on the other, Bhuvan cannot fathom the signs of her distress.

Their good intentions are tried at every step until the day when Aruna’s past revisits her. Bhuvan’s silences, Aruna’s distrust and the resurrection of her troublesome past lead to a downward spiral in their life that shakes Aruna to the core.

As she stands on the precipice of a second failed marriage, Aruna tries one last time to take control of her life, something she had willingly surrendered last time.
Does she succeed in saving her marriage? Or is she held back by her own apprehensions, choosing to stay victim?

Review

What I was most mesmerised about this book was, apart from the characters’ PoVs, there is a limited omnipresent narrative of the Sharma haveli Anwar, giving a bird’s eye view of the Sharma family, especially the woman of the house Uma and her eldest daughter Aruna.

This is a book with no fairy tale, no make-belief, no feel-good elements. It is a blatant truth of a woman’s life. One wrong decision, your life is tainted for good. Marital life can be a bliss or a curse, depends on who you decide to spend with. Aruna’s first marriage was a nightmare, Singh’s style of writing will make you feel that nightmare for yourself.

That anxiety, that fear she bears during her first marriage, is sure to intimidate you against the institution of marriage. But the second marriage will make you realise, that marital life solely depends on your choices, your priorities and your determination and dedication.

I loved the storytelling and the characterisations — an apt depiction of a normal Indian middle-class family trying to make ends meet, fighting for one’s dreams.

 

My Rating: 5/5

Posted in Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: Awaken by Ashok Banker

It gives me great pleasure to reveal the cover Ashok Banker’s upcoming book Awaken published by Pan Macmillan India.


AWAKEN
Ashok K. Banker

THE SHAKTI TRILOGY BOOK I

27.06_AWAKEN_AK_To Client_V2

 

9789386215161 | Paperback | Rs 299

 

The Haters are coming to destroy all life on Earth. It is not a question of if, but when. 

The Brahmaand has already rung the warning bell and the awakening of the Preservers has begun. Kiara unexpectedly finds her skin covered with golden fur and her sense of smell extraordinarily enhanced; Saumya is suddenly able to go from Ahmedabad to New York in just a step; and Sia’s songs have the power to do things she had never imagined possible.

First in the thrilling Shakti Trilogy set in contemporary India, Ashok Banker’s action-packed and brilliantly imagined Awaken introduces our unlikely heroes who must discover and harness their superpowers before they can protect and preserve the Earth from the wrath of a menacing alien invasion.

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Ashok Banker is the internationally acclaimed author of over sixty published books which have sold over three million copies in twenty-one languages and sixty-one countries. He has been credited as the pioneer of Indian crime fiction in English and with launching the genre of mythological retellings, India’s biggest-selling publishing category. As a journalist, he broke front-page news for Times of India, Outlook and The Week. As a screenwriter, he created and wrote India’s first TV series in English, A Mouthful of Sky. Ashok is of Irish-Portuguese-Sri Lankan-Indian parentage, and lived in India for over fifty-one years before migrating permanently to the United States. Awaken is the first book in the Shakti Trilogy.

 

The Shakti Trilogy continues with Book II ASSEMBLE (November 2017) and Book III ARISE (January 2018).

Posted in reviews

i, HOLMES — Book Review

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** I have received an e-ARC of this graphic novel from the publisher**

Blurb:

Everyone has a secret. Hers can get her killed and she doesn’t even know what it is.

She was born with no parents and no name. Fighting to survive in a world of danger and intrigue is nothing new to i Rose who lives by her wits on the streets of New York, but after discovering that she’s being targeted as the descendant of someone world famous who she’s never met, i Rose realizes that life is about to become even more complicated.

Review:

It took me some time to get a hang of it. The beginning was a little here and there — Some random card game, a girl disguised as a man, a train suddenly blows up, a unicorn masked man, the aforementioned girl is a vigilante in the eyes of the cops, parrol officer — it took time to make sense out of it. Gradually, things started to make sense and the plot gained momentum, but just then, The End. I am like, “Am I missing something? How is it the end now?” But it was it. I hope the sequel is out soon.

iRose is quite of a tricky character to understand, that’s the highlight of this book. Generally females are typecasted and highly predictable.

I really want to read more of Sherlock Holmes-Irene Adler affair.

My Rating:

3.8/5

Posted in memories

The Bangalore literature festival

In these one and a half years in Bangalore I experienced one of the most exotic experiences of my entire life, when I attended the Bangalore literature festival.

 

I conveniently missed the inauguration. I planned to attend the sessions of my favorite authors.
First I attended the conversation of Devdutt Pattanaik, one of the most renown mythologist of India, with another author Mani Rao. They spoke on Mr. Pattanaik’s latest book “My Gita”. Both the authors have written their own versions of the Bhagawad Gita, and they discussed their point of view on the sacred book. This conversation made me more aware of my religion, my existence. What intrigued me was when Pattanaik said he disgusts the word “argument”, according to him Indian culture is about “Samvada” – discussion, you take information from another person and in turn give information. I never gave a thought about it. So a new realisation dawned in me.
The conversation being on mythology, don’t think it was boring, the man has a good sense of humour. He doesn’t speak of philosophy, so it wasn’t boring, I guess you too would have enjoyed, if you have at least a wee bit of interest in Hindu mythology. Not was the conversation constricted to Gita, Mahabharata was discussed, Ramayana was discussed, one can get a lot of knowledge about the mythology.

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Next I attended the session I had been waiting for over a month. Conversation of Durjoy Datta along with Ravindra Singh and Preeti Shenoy with Nandita Bose on “New- Age Romantics”. That’s we all connect to. They spoke of what New-Age Romantics is about, infidelity, polyamory, the institution of marriage, whether technology mingling with romance is a boon or bane.

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Ayushmann Khurana gave a Bollywood flavour to the lit fest. He’s worth admiring. He’s an actor, singer, music director, and now he had written a book with his wife about his struggles as an actor. He gave some tips to the aspiring actors and actresses.

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There was a separate Q & A session with Durjoy Datta and Ravindra Singh on writing. Even I asked some questions. The session really helped me come out of the confusion I was in regarding my writing journey.
The last session of the festival was a debate on “Are we heading towards an intolerant India?”. The panel included eminent journalists, authors, politicians, entrepreneurs. The debate was a heated one with a great response from the audience. Presence of politicians did make the debate political which at last agitated the audience. The disappointing factor was that, only the past riots that occurred, the flaws of the government was being pointed out on and on. No body spoke about the unnecessary moral policing, or the rigid censoring of films. Only the phrases were mentioned but nobody probed into them.

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These were only the ones I attended, there were many other sessions that took place in the Bangalore literature festival. The others didn’t much appeal to me, so I conveniently skipped. But I had my bit of fun.

Posted in Writing 101

Writing 101 #2 – make a list

Things I like
— I like collecting. I can’t stop collecting the freebies with my favorite biscuits or cereal or even the McDonald’s Happy meal merchandise. I’m a numismatist and a philatelist.

—  I have a thing for miniature objects. I like pens smaller than normal, I have around 4-5 miniature diaries (God knows what I want to write in them). I like babies, I enjoy playing with them.

— I like buying and reading novels. Whenever I pass by a book store, I always have a strong temptation to buy at least one – I’m a book addict!!!!!

Ummm…. what else?…. This is getting really tricky!!!!

— talking about food, I like Indian and Chinese. Since Indian cuisine includes a number of sub-cuisines, I particularly like the Bengali and the Punjabi cuisine.

— I like watching Hindi movies but I sometimes I do watch world cinema for a change
— TV shows, I always prefer the American and British ones.
— Music, the soft, romantic ones (don’t ask me about technical genres)

OK that’s it for now, it’s gonna take a lifetime talking about what I like

Posted in Prompts

Curious Case of……. Literature

When birthday comes and it’s time for gifts, I want nothing but books. Birthday has become an excuse to buy new novels, to experience new story with the new year of my life. Only a week left for my birthday, and here I am in a bookstore to buy myself birthday gifts on behalf of Mom and Granny. You know, one of the biggest problems with me is, whenever I enter a bookstore I am so confused about which book to buy, which book to select, which to reject. There are those vampire fictions which I haven’t read yet and, being a vampire fanatic, I am getting impatient to read them. Then there are romance novels of which I received pretty good reviews. Again there are quite many Sidney Sheldon thrillers which I have been planning to read lately. So many choices, but I could take only a few. I wish I owned this bookstore, or any bookstore; this thing always plays around in my psyche. Since I can make limited choice, its better I pick up some random books, browse through them a little bit and if I like them, I take them. Some books give me good vibes that I am going to enjoy reading them. Some seemed weird. One of them was Chetan Bhagat’s “Half Girlfriend”. At least the titles of his previous novels were sensible. Half Girlfriend, seriously? From when did we start having half and full girlfriends? Social activists say youngsters, by trying to ape the west, are defiling the Indian society and culture. This man alone, by writing such nonsense, is defiling it even more. Next I pick up Agatha Christie’s “The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding”, how can a Christmas pudding become adventurous? I open the book and I find this line, “Don’t eat none of the plum pudding. One who wishes you well.” What did the poor plum pudding do? Why so much torture on it? Then I pick up Nora Roberts’ “True Betrayals”. The title sounds contradicting but after reading the back cover, I get the good vibe. So I include it in my shopping cart. After spending about two hours (or maybe two-and-a-half) I finally decide on taking “True Betrayals” and “When Only Love Remains” by one of my favourite authors Durjoy Datta.

Posted in Opinion

10 books that have changed/inspired me

My Facebook friends had challenged me to write the name of 10 books that have changed/influenced me. I successfully completed the challenge. I thought I should share with my blogger friends too.
So the list goes:
1. David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)- I had read this book for the first time in fifth standard. This was the first book that gave me an insight about life, the reality.

2. Love Story (Erich Segal)- I love reading romance. This is one of the reasons why.

3. Till the last breath (Durjoy Datta)- My first experience of a medical drama and it was phenomenal. This taught me that love is not all about what we see in stereotypical Bollywood romantic movies, there is something more deep-rooted

4. The Fault in our Stars (John Green)- Love has no terms and condition

5. Hold my hand ( Durjoy Datta )- Ditto as 4

6. Feluda Series (Satyajit Ray)- This series has aroused a great interest in me towards detective fictions.

7. Aporajito (Bihutibhushan Bandhopadhyay)- I am a Bengali so I should have an interest towards my native culture and great books like this one has intensified my interest.

8. A Prisoner of Birth (Jeffrey Archer)- A phenomenal thriller. Kept me grasped in its charm and suspense till the very end. A very reason for Jeffrey Archer being one of my favourite authors

9. Shobuj Deeper Raja {king of the green island} (Sunil Gangopadhyay)

10. Wings of fire ( A.P.J. Abdul Kalam )- It gave me an outlining knowledge regarding rocket science and is a great inspiration for the readers to keep struggling to reach the ultimate goal.