Saturday, 26 July 2014

Happily Murdered by Rasleen Syal: a review

The cover being the most ‘striking’ feature of the book, the title simply adds up to the splendor. Happily Murdered…. This debut work by Rasleen Syal raises the expectations from the first look at the cover. The bridal attire and the blood accentuate the beauty of the cover all the more. And so does the blurb…

On the back cover- ‘Who killed Gulab Sarin?’The radiant new daughter-in-law of the influential Mehta family dies mysteriously on the very next night of her wedding. The murder is an inside job, the police are certain. It could be anyone- the adulterous husband, conniving in-laws, jealous friend or the love struck ex-fiancée. With an aim to save themselves and incriminate others, it is not long before these suspects turn into amateur detectives, hunting for clues and delving into hidden secrets only they can unearth. They coerce, pry and blackmail in an attempt to get to the bottom of this mystery. Will one of these nine unlikely sleuths finally unravel the mystery behind Gulab’s death and avenge it? Or will the truth die and viciously as Gulab?

As the blurb seems interesting, so is the book. The book starts with the narration of Gulab dancing in the pavilion and then, death. It then catches the pace with the narration in two parts. One with Gulab telling her part, and the other with how the family members play detective to find out the bottom of the mystery.

As the book advances, one feels that even they are a part of the mystery of Gulab’s death. For once, the authoress can make the readers feel Gulab and at the same time, the authoress makes a great attempt in showing the readers what the family members feel at the current scenario.

There are even points in the story where the readers themselves start to link the points and unearth the mystery and I believe, that’s a very big compliment for any writer. Everyone becomes very eager to reach the conclusion to the book which I am sure the readers would be flabbergasted at.

When the revelation is done, the readers still feel that they have unearthed it but again they are caught in the maze of the mystery. For me, in the end, I was both tears and smiles! It should’ve been the perfect end for the book.

Apart from all that, I felt that a bit more bewilderment in the scenes or a bit of twists and turns would’ve done the trick. A few printing errors were there which were very much avoidable. For me, it is a very next to perfect book, giving it 4 out of 5.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

J.U.I.C.E by Mohit Jain: a review

J.U.I.C.E, very interesting name to start with. After reading the name, I didn’t know what to expect from the book. But then when I started to read the book, it was something else. What most attracted me towards the book was its cover, the art done in the cover and the name. J.U.I.C.E mostly stands for Join hands for Creating Education.

On the back cover- We all like story books. On the other hand, majority of the students do not feel like reading academic books because they find them difficult to understand. J.U.I.C.E contains different short stories explaining the concepts of Economics and Management. Readers would not feel that they are reading something relevant to their academics but still by the end of it, they would attain a lot of knowledge regarding these subjects. Our motto is to make people view these subjects from a different perspective and expand the horizon of their thinking.

All the concepts of Business Studies and Economics which seemed to be so tough when we used to read seemed to be more transparent with the book. Hats off to the writer for such an unbelievable thought. The facts stated in the book were so true and very well experimented. Ample number of examples given in the book makes it one great book to understand.

The plus point of the book was the presentation to the readers. The gist of every chapter printed at the beginning of each chapter brings about the flavor of the book. Adding to the spices of the book, I would also like to mention the ‘cool’ animations used in the book to explain each bit of it.

I am surely recommending this book to be one of the academic reference books to the future generation who want to learn commerce or to prosper in the commerce field. The graphics used in the book were so perfect that it enriches the reading experience by the thousand folds. The Hindi words used in the book seem the best need for this book.

I am sure this book would be the most wanted reference book of its time. The only flaw of the book is a few grammar errors in a few places. I also felt that since the book is so nice, a bit more added topics would’ve done the trick. But it is so less that it is no important. All in all, I would give this wonderful book 4.5 out of 5, waiting for the upcoming books!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Dolmens in the Blue mountain by Kandathil Sebastian: a review

“Dolmens in the blue mountain” what does this name signify to you? To the people who don’t know the exact meaning of a Dolmen, the book might seem a bit boring at first glance. Not till a person flips the pages that he/she gets a hang of the magic that is in the book. Kandathil Sebastian’s debut work, the book surely is about Dolmens and much more.

On the back cover- Most of us still dream and hope to find ways out beyond violence and corruption. Using dolmens (single-chambered tombs constructed, dates back to Neolithic period 4000 to 3000BC), as a metaphor, Dolmens in the blue mountain explores the meaning of life and death in the context of migrations of Kerala’s Syrian Christian community, and the struggle for survival of tribal communities in the Western Ghats mountain ranges. The story revolves around the lives of three brothers. One of them migrated to Canada. The second one joins a Delhi Based NGO, bogged down by a corrupt and callous system, and was forced to quit his job on moral grounds. The third one stayed back in Kerala, but got into conflict with the radicalized tribal community. Will the brothers, inspired by the dolmens, which taught them the meaning of living in harmony with nature, without compromising the resource needs of poor people and future generations, be able to fulfill their dreams and aspirations?

To begin with, the blurb gives the readers a much ‘outlined’ idea of the book. Dealing with the Syrian Christian community and its growth in Kerala, the book is surely a nice read. It’s very impressive the way the author had connected the story of the three brothers along with the dolmens, keeping it as a metaphor throughout.

It would not be a lie if I say that the Dolmens are the best part of the book. Teaching life and death in its own way, the book surely acts as a motivating read for all kinds of readers. Another thing that I liked about the book was the way the author has kept a track of all their lives and presented to the readers in such a way that they don’t feel cut from any story.

As the story covers a long time frame, the research needed to put it up, gives the book a feel-good feeling. The describing power of the writer is commendable all through the book.  Though in the beginning, the readers might be a bit confused over the storyline, the further advancements in the story clear all doubts. The perfect end to it leaves a sense of enlightenment in the eyes of the reader.

Giving a crystal clear view of the landscape, I call this book a mind refreshing read. Though the book has its own set of smiles and tears, it only adds to the beauty of it. For me, I found the book a nice read, if only the book could’ve been a bit more interesting that it already it, it would’ve done perfectly well. At this point, I would like to rate it 4 out of 5 waiting for more to come from the author.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Wordbite and Vanya’s Notebook Book Giveaway #1| Love Lasts Forever | by Vikrant Khanna

WordBite and Vanya’s Notebook presents Book Giveaway #1| Personalised Author signed copy of Love Lasts Forever | by Vikrant Khanna

• Summary of the Book
So you think your love can last forever…? Get married!
Eighteen year old Ronit falls madly in love with Aisha the moment he meets her at his graduation day from a naval college. He believes he has found his perfect soul mate, and come what may, his love for her will last forever. Seven years later, he gets married to her. Big mistake!
A week later he completely hates her and believes she has turned into a devil.
But his perception about love and life change when he hears the poignant love story of Shekhar, his Captain, on a ship that later gets hijacked by the pirates of Somalia.
As they are left fighting for their lives they confront if love truly can last forever…? But does it get too late?

• About Vikrant Khanna
Vikrant Khanna is a captain in the merchant navy. When he is not busy working or penning down his ideas, he likes to capture the beauty of nature on his camera. He was brought up in Delhi and studied at Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar. His first book "When life tricked me", published in 2011, is a national bestseller and has been widely appreciated by young readers. His interests apart from writing include playing the guitar, composing songs and cooking. A complete arts afficionado, we would say

Participate in this competition. 
Follow the link embedded in the beginning of the post.
A lucky winner will be chosen and he will be gifted an author signed copy of Love lasts forever by Vikrant Khanna

Bad Romance by Harshita Srivastava: a review

‘Bad Romance’ this different name will give the readers a reason to think and they will automatically pick this book. The efficiently designed cover will strengthen the urge among the readers to buy this book. The quality of the book leaves a wonderful impression on the readers and they immediately jump to see the blurb to know more about it…

On the back cover - Life is a bitch and I’m one of its victims. I had the perfect life. I was blessed with the perfect boyfriend, a perfect best friend, the perfect set of girlfriends and perfect choice of career. There were some loopholes but then they went beyond my perspective. Overall, I had the kind of life people would ideally like to have but happy times aren’t meant to last forever. Sometimes we feel that we have figured life but that’s something that is never going to happen. You know why? It’s because it has this habit of kicking us right in the middle of ecstasy. No wonder, it did the same with me. This is my story, my story of that exploration within, my feelings, my emotions, my thought process, my priorities, my conflicts and my journey into the temptation of love, lust, lies and betrayals. This is the story of Kritika and a man who gave her life another dimension, Tanishq. This is a story of the complexities of relationships and the trap that a simple idea of sensuality, pleasure and euphoria can put you into. This is a story for everyone who has loved, lost and fought for survival and love, together.

This book is based on true events (part fiction) and any reader can feel that after completing the book. A story of a girl who falls in love with a guy, just to realize that he was not perfect for her and then when she found the perfect partner, life tricked her and left her in her own miseries.

This is the story of a girl named Kritika who had fallen for Vikrant in the very first meeting but soon realizes her mistake and regretted her decision. But keep the relation keeps going in hope of everything falling in place in future. As the story moves on she learns the meaning of love and finds her true love in her best friend Tanishq. Kritika and Tanishq starts to dip themselves inside the essence of true love but Kritika isn’t able to free herself from Vikrant. To know what happened to their love story readers have to finish the book.

The narrating style is good and new. The author has wonderfully portrayed the feeling of a woman by framing perfect words for it. Readers can easily feel every pain and anguish the female protagonist was going through.

Readers might also feel the story line is a bit common. This story can be told in a different way which could’ve made it more interesting. I could spot a few editing errors which were dropping the speed and essence of the book. Over all this is a regular love story with a fresh narrating style and I would like to rate it 3.5 out of 5.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Silver Haze by Pankaj Varma: a review

Silver Haze is one book which doesn’t attract readers through its cover. No, it doesn’t have any over powering cover with bright colors; not does it have any ‘magnetic’ name to attract the readers to itself; yet it has some effect on the readers. It has something, as the result of which people would go for the book.

The blurb also doesn’t say much about the book; but maybe the simplicity attracted me towards it; to quote it “I have always accepted what was expected of me all my life” “I try to recollect when I had chicken served in a wedding. Suddenly I remember- it was my own wedding years ago!” All these lines are able stir all the emotions kept deep inside a person.

Coming to the story, can anyone tell me what he/she would feel when one day; late in your age you are diagnosed with irrecoverable dementia? The story is of one such patient. It’s about Neeru Sharma! No it’s about Kamala Puri. It’s about a journey of self-discovery, (if I may term it that). It is a real life story which deserves hats off.

The book starts off when the protagonist is diagnosed with Dementia and she sits thinking that she will make the most out of what she remembers. The way the whole book is described, makes the reader go fully into the book. The readers can feel how the book goes from the day of the protagonists’ marriage, to current day.

The story also moves along with the time of the situations of North India during the time of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. The commotion happening outside the house of the main protagonist clearly has its reflection on the story and that has its own essence.

Etching characters of such a big family would’ve been tough for the writer but keeping every character distinct yet emphasizing every character is a job well done by the writer. For odd reasons, I could connect to every character as if it were me.

The uphill climb of the story leaves a very lasting impression on every reader. Somehow I felt that even with every element of the story, something was amiss. Apart from that, a better presentation could’ve made this book a wonder. Keeping in mind, that the book is the author’s debut book published by himself, and the book is a wonderful book, I would rate it a 4.25 out of 5.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

"Body is made in Kitchen!" says the talented actor in a chit chat with Vanya's Notebook!

For now, while celebrating the 100th post on my blog, the person I present here is surely THE best and needs no formal introduction! But yes, I am really happy that Vanya’s Notebook could go further, now, to TellyWood! Many of my readers are sure to watch Television. And the GenX surely watches Channel [V] and when bestselling authors like Durjoy Dutta and Sumrit Shahi write the script of the show, it’s a must watch! When a person watches a show, he/she is sure to have a favorite character; the person I am talking about is surely your favorite from Channel [V] and many more shows! So, here is Ankit Gupta (Parth Kashyap of Sadda Haq fame) unplugged for you …

Vanya’s Notebook- To begin with, I will ask the most clichéd question ever asked to anyone. How did acting occur to you? I mean, why suddenly modeling or acting?

Ankit--Not suddenly, I always wanted to be an actor. So I started modeling. Did well in modeling then moved to Bombay.

Vanya’s Notebook- In the struggling years of your career (which every actor once goes through) I am sure you must have seen the harsh side of this industry. How was the new experience for you and how did you bag the first offer?

Ankit--I would not say struggling period. Struggling is a very negative period according to me. I would say learning period which always goes on. It feels great when people loves my work and supports me. After seeing the other side of the industry, I am enjoying every bit now.

Vanya’s Notebook-And then a series of offers for both acting and modeling came through. You were also a part of the once TRP topper Balika Vadhu of Colors and for now, as far as I know, you are the face of John Miller; how was the transition? Modeling or acting? What’s your choice?

Ankit—After Balika Vadhu I wanted to do something substantial. I bagged Mahabharata for Star Plus as Sahadev, but then was not very much keen to do that. So continued with modeling. Did big campaigns like John Miller, Fashion Big Bazaar, Airtel etc. I prefer acting any given day but I love modeling too.

Vanya’s Notebook- I am (and I am sure most of my readers are too) a regular viewer of Sadda Haq, the Channel [V] TRP topper starring You, Harshita Gaur and Param Singh in the lead roles, what were your thoughts when you were starred in the show midway when it was already a hit one?

Ankit--Most of the people don't know that I was the first one to sign for Sadda Haq. However, my track started late. That's how the story was supposed to be from the very beginning. So nothing like that I came in midway or something. And I knew Harshita &Param already before the show so we had good bonding. And we have hell lot of fun on the set.

Vanya’s Notebook- Parth Kashyap, the character you play in Sadda Haq is a man who talks less, is mature, smart, and intelligent, and has a bad past and an even worse love life. Is Ankit Gupta, as a person, anywhere related to Parth?

Ankit--Somehow yes. I have seen many ups and downs in life probably something like Parth only. But I focus on present and am very happy. And everybody has some or the other issues in their pasts so I think everybody are kind of related to Parth.

Vanya’s Notebook- I had heard somewhere that you are in love with sky diving, it being one of your hobbies! A unique hobby I must say. Which was the best sky diving location according to you? And how many hobbies do you have?

--Well I haven't got a chance to do it yet. But am sure one fine day I will get some time for myself. I heard New Zealand is a good place for sky diving. It has started in India also.

Vanya’s Notebook- All thanks to the show, all your viewers, and fans to be precise has drooled over your physic, your perfectly sculpted body! What’s the mantra of your fitness? Any special fitness regime you follow?

Ankit--Body is made in kitchen. I eat well. Take proper care of what I am eating. I avoid eating out or junk food. Eat good, stay positive and workout under a professional.

Vanya’s Notebook- I am pretty much aware of the female fan following that you have. Any incident of a girl gang swarming around you for a look at you or an autograph?

Ankit--Gang?? Well, haven’t come across yet. But sometimes fans visit our set or girls call out my name while going to gym or when I’m out.

Vanya’s Notebook- What was the best compliment you received till date? And of course, from whom?

Ankit-- From my mom. She said now I am acting well. Otherwise, she is never satisfied with the work I do.

Vanya’s Notebook- To be very frank, I couldn’t stop myself from asking you this- In a relationship? Single? Married? Engaged?

Ankit--That's a secret (laughing).

Vanya’s Notebook- I am pretty sure our readers would love to know a few things about you, so let’s play a simple game! Answer whatever comes first in your mind when I say these words, just make sure it’s the first thing that comes in your mind- Life, Love, Favorite food, Favorite color, Rains, Darkness, Future, Friends…

Ankit-- Life - my family
Love – myself                                    
Favorite food - choley chawal
Favorite colors - black, White
Rains - water drainage
Darkness - time before the sunshine
Future - Bollywood
Friends - I have very few.

Vanya’s Notebook- Though I don’t want to end talking to you, I also don’t want to bore you with my questions. Before parting, I would like to request you to leave a few words for the readers (mainly your fans) and of course for my blog!

Ankit--I am overwhelmed with the love and support for Parth & for Ankit. Keep loving & watching Sadda Haq. I wish to entertain you guys whole my life.

It has been a pleasure talking to you Ankit! Wishing you loads and loads of success in your life!”
‘Thank you so much.’

Ankit Gupta, though being one of the finest actors of the era, has a golden heart! It has been a heart-warming experience talking to one of the handpicked actors of the TellyWorld! Here is Vanya’s Notebook, congratulating him for his success for now and forever… looking forward to see more of him on Television!

PS- If you want to ask Ankit Gupta any questions, drop in here at the comment box and Ankit would reply to one and all!

Monday, 14 July 2014

And We Remained by Asad Ali Junaid: a review

Remember you college days? How much fun can engineering college be? What about your feeling when you’re principal gets you arrested and files a FIR on your name for doing NOTHING? Want to know about the Dappan Kothu? And We Remained by debut author Asad Ali Junaid is just the book for you if you want an answer to all the previous mentioned questions.

As on the cover- It is Bangalore in the late 1990’s. There are trememdous socio-economic and cultural transformations taking place as a result of liberalization. How would these changes impact the thinking of a group of friends in their late teens? How would they cope, find opportunities and what of their original identities would they be left with, after western ideologies are brought in and bombarded into their awareness by cable TV? Told through emails and first person account of events, And We Remained is a light and entertaining read of these friends as they experience love, heartbreak, prison, politics, drunken binges, strip clubs, sexcapades, US and Europe during their journey into adulthood.

The first striking feature that caught my eye was the cover, the black and white combination in it and the name of the book. Sahir, Sandeep, Wardha, Gopal, David, Anand, Engineering, Sex, US, Philosophy are the works which mostly strike out from the cover, demanding immediate attention and after reading the book, one surely knows why.

Before moving on to the story, I would like to congratulate the author for moving ahead with this unusual venture and publishing at on his own stake. And I must say, the author doesn’t disappoint. Now coming to the story! Well, I don’t think I can actually term it as a story. For me, it is a testimony of events! Events of all their lives.

Another thing I loved about the book was the narrating style of the book. Off late, I haven’t been a witness to such a drastic narrating style. The two ways of the narration was wonderful. The past from everyone’s point of view and the present through emails. I specially loved the concept of the email exchange.

If I talk about my favorite character, I would want to mention David here. I had simply ‘fallen’ for his character. Applause to the author for being able to give all the characters equal importance yet retaining his focus on Sahir and Wardha.

The book also described friendship in a very pure way, through fun. The epilogue is something which leaves the readers agape. That was the masterstroke by the author. Finding a drawback for the book was really tough for me but nonetheless, when I finished the book, I felt that a bit more to the book could’ve done no harm, for which I would rate the book 4.25 out of 5.

This story is really an absorbing one told differently….

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Helpline by Uday Mane: a review

Pain, Depression, Pressure, Career, Failure, deception, Dreams, Emotions, regret, darkness, void, friendship, goal, motivation, luck, longing and Love. All these are important parts of a person’s being but at times, are led to such an extent that they end up being suicidal. In most cases, suicidal people opt out of rehabs, counseling which result in nightmares. And finally, lender to the last resort, a suicidal helpline comes! Uday Mane, in his debut work, The Helpline does its best.

On the back cover- Samir is suicidal. Rachael works for a suicide helpline. Fate connects them through a phone call. And so begins Samir’s story of love, longing, errors, regret and a girl who changed his life. As his story reaches his conclusion, Rachael will know the true reason behind his suicidal tendencies. But this suicide helpline is not any ordinary services. There is more to the mysterious and yet so convincing voice of Rachael. As this new mystery begins to unfold, Samir is going to discover three things: What is The Helpline? Who is Rachael? What is Samir’s own identity? Every year, several teenagers in India attempt suicide because of failing relationships, dwindling careers, parent pressure or the competitive world. This story is about one such teenager, his early problems and the hurdles to cope with them. This story is about finding hope in the early struggle. This story is about fighting for what you believe in and discovering your true identity. This is not a story about falling in love. This is a story of rising from a failed love story.

As alluring as it seems, I want to give a standing ovation to the writer for attempting the book. To begin with, I won’t lie if I say I compared this book with all the books I have read before beginning it. And I must say, this book was over all my expectations.

Beginning with Samir’s nightmare, this book captures the reader’s eye from that very instant. It is just the book for everyone suffering from problems or with friends suffering from the same. There is saying in the book, not exactly quoting it, it says something like- anyone can be whatever they want to. This one message, reaches the readers from the first till the last page.

A book of very precise characters and indicated roles to every character, I would like to term this book a very well-scripted book. The incidents described in the book can happen with anyone and yet with no one.  What I mostly liked about the book is the narrating style of the author.

The narrating style makes you feel like an eye witness to Samir’s life. Another effort made by the author through this book makes me give another ovation to him because not many people do this. The author donates a part of the book’s sale as charity for children welfare through The Rotary Foundation.

The end of the book is the most sought after for every reader cause while reading the book, everyone gets so mixed with Samir’s life as if they are a part of it. The only hitch in the book was a few grammatical errors and only one scene, according to me, was a bit lengthy. Apart from that, this book surely deserves 4.75 out of 5.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Your Love Was All I Had! by Kaushal Kumar Jha: a review

The cover and the name surely speak the book out to the readers. The title, thoroughly describing the book does its best in captivating the readers at first glance. Everything has its own significance and the title, cover and blurb justifies this very saying.

On the back cover- Rahul loved Riya. Riya loved Rahul. Rahul is a Medico, Riya is a non-medico. Rahul is from North India, Riya is a Maharashtrian… and the differences were endless. But, love never saw their differences before connecting their hearts. Will they be able to keep their commitments in Love? Would they prioritize Love instead of their families and careers? Will this love story end with smiles on their faces? ‘Your love was all I had,’ a story about the journey of an aspiring doctor in Mumbai; from his life in a small town, to his migration to a bigger city for earning a degree in medicine and the quintessential degree in ‘Love’! A story about two people who are destined to fall in love, but not destined for each other’s company, for a ‘happily ever after’ story. This book hopes to acquaint you with the real meaning of love in the age of social networking, where love begins on walls of ‘facebook’ profiles and ends on confession pages!

The story starts with the narrator, Kaushal, introducing himself to his readers and then leading himself to the main character, Rahul and then to the story of his life. For me, I found the beginning very interesting and the style of writing too.

The way the story progresses, it leaves the reader glued to the book and smile with the narrator. The narrating style is fresh and is a feel good in the book. The author has, very well described the flaws of the society and its thinking.

It’s about opposing the quintessential society and fighting for love but is love more important than the society? Will love be able to overcome the conservative thoughts of the society or will they sacrifice? This is what the book is about.

Keeping in mind that it is a debut book, the author has surely done his best in describing everything and assembling the plot. As the describing style is new, the readers would surely want to read more of the author.

For me, I felt the story and the narration was the same story on a different platter.  It could’ve been written in a better way, in a different style but nonetheless, it is a nice read. Apart from that, there were many mistakes in the book. Grammatical errors. Proper proofreading would’ve taken it to a whole new level. For me, it’s 3.5 out of 5.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

India was one by an Indian: a review

Out of the blue, there has been one book which I read very recently; it is not a clichéd book, it is not a normal book. It is a tribute to the country, to the policemen, to everyone. The title of the book, India Was One and the name of the author An Indian, made me take this book to be a non-fiction but I was proven wrong.

The very first things that caught my eyes were the chapter divisions, the drawings at the beginning at the chapters and the thought! The thought, played a huge role in the book which, I believe, made this book a must read.

The beginning to the book, to many people may seem to be just another love story but as the book progresses, it resembles more of a love to the country we live in, the country which has given us everything. Another thing that I liked about the book was its writing style. The narrative was a plus point of the book.

Descriptions were pin-point in the book, which I personally liked. It was much needed and the personalized touch in every description made this book eye catching. Also eye catching was the love, friendship shown in the book where you end up going along with the protagonists. At some places, though, I felt that the situations or descriptions are exaggerated.

While coming to the end of the book, I liked the poem at the end of the book. It was simply wonderful to read. And of course, while closing the book; the writer has shown us one thing, India Is One. Saluting the author for his work, I would rate it 4.5 out of 5.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Halfway Up The Mountain by Kiran Khalap: a review

The magnificent piece of art done by the cover artist is sure to attract many eyes if the book is kept in bookstores along with several other books. The intricacies and the details of a woman is well thought of and well executed in the cover art. The writer, Kiran Khalap has done exceptionally well in both the book and the cover keeping all the things in mind which results in attracting the readers to the level of reading the book at one go.

On the back cover- Kiran Khalap’s first novel is a poetic work, in which prayer, pirituality and reality are interwoven, a village girl, Maya, fights her fate in a traditional Indian family. She makes steamed pancakes and turmeric leaf fragrance and skips school. Her fate is tied to Ravindra, in an arranged marriage that falls apart when Maya meets the poet, Krishnarao, and is forced to spend the night in his house marooned by a torrential storm. Ravindra refuses to believe that their son Sharan is his own, and leaves her. The young girl is undone by  men closest to her, abandoned in an Indian society that places no value on woman on her own. A tale of snakebites, separation and liberation.

When I first started to read the book, believe it or not I didn’t know what to expect with the book. The writing style of the writer kept me spellbound throughout! The paper quality, the chapter division, the font used, everything is so enchanting that it seems like the book has cast a spell on the minds of the readers.

Coming to the storyline, the story of Maya- her life, her love, her attachments, her soul; everything has been very well described which leaves the reader thinking himself/herself to be a part of Maya’s world.
The tale of all those men who were close to Maya’s heart, her father-her brother-her husband-her son abandoning her in this world for herself is fascinating. The way the narrator has written it makes a reader go on a lifetime adventure through the book. The characters, descriptions were also very well executed.

We all have something or the other to learn from Maya and her life. The whole book is poetry in the disguise of a prose. After reading the book, yes, the readers are left satisfied as it answers the Universe. All the questions in a woman’s’ mind and soul. A rare book of its type! A must-read!

It would be my special recommendation for all the ladies out there reading this review to read this book and go astray in the whirlpool of emotions. I can actually call this a perfect book rating it 5 upon 5.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Anti-Social Network by Piyush Jha: a review

How would you feel when you become a part of a sextortion racket? If someone blackmails you with your videos and asks for money? How would you feel if I tell you that all this may happen with the help of links you usually stream on the internet and ‘accidentally’ download without even noticing what it means? The cover of a long haired girl holding a sharp knife, a terror to most students in Mumbai, Piyush Jha has surely done a great job with the 3rd book of the Mumbaistan series- “Anti- social Network”

On the back cover- When college students across Mumbai are murdered one after another in gruesome ways, Inspector Virkar from the Crime Branch is called in. As Virkar investigates, he stumbles upon a ruthless gang of young, tech-savvy miscreants who use social networking sites and the internet for blackmail and sextortion. But how are the two cases linked? And who is the mastermind behind these killings? As the case grows murkier, the computer-challenged Virkar finds himself greatly out of his depth, chasing a killer who always seems to be one step ahead, and a group that soon trains its sights on him. He must race against time to unmask the gang and to find the murderer before his reputation is ruined forever. Thick with suspense and layered with grit, Anti-Social Network brings to you Inspector Virkar’s toughest case yet.

Mumbaistan, Compass Box Killer, both are there safely tucked on my bookshelf but when I caught hold of this book, I don’t know why but I had an urge of reading it then and there. The cover, the name everything was attracting me to itself. I, for now, can’t stop myself from complimenting the quality of the book.

Being the third book of its series, it is a subject to much expectation of the readers. And the author, in no way disappoints them. Yes, the book has surely made me feel a soft corner for thrillers. The book, when it starts grips the readers from its first page.

Gruesome, I wish I would’ve had more words for describing the kinds of murders in the book. But, for me, the book taught me that everything has a reason and maybe the people who do those crimes are not so bad in reality.

For the characters, I would say, words fall short in describing Inspector Virkar. After reading the book, I can bet on the fact that when Inspector Virkar is here, no fear! The way the character has been etched, the way he rides his bullet, the way he takes his beer and goes on a midnight boat ride to clear his mind, the descriptions, all give a cinematic expression to the scene.

As far as the murders are concerned, while reading, I could visualize the scenes very well and I actually had to close my eyes and read through the gaps of my fingers the scenes where the murders with the missing body parts were described. Trying very hard, I couldn’t find any negativities of the book. A little more thrill, speed would’ve taken the book to a whole new level. For me, this book is 4.75 out of 5.

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

I am dead but my heart beats by Priyank: a review

The first thing that caught my eye at the first glimpse of the book was the tagline of the book-‘It’s not a love story…. It’s a revolution’. The wonderful paper quality, wonderful feel of the book raises a hell lot of expectations from the book.

On the back cover- How a love story once hated saved 6 lives in a COMMUNAL RIOT? Should community, language or tradition be the obstructions for true love from blossoming? How cruel can a married girl’s destiny be to throw her into prostitution? Have you ever attended an uninvited marriage reception with your beloved and got caught by the hosts? Why a boy decides to spend his entire life in a mental asylum? Why a girl at midnight runs away from her family? How worse it can be if you one caught by your girlfriend’s parent while kissing her? I AM DEAD BUT MY HEART BEATS is a fascinating saga of love, educations, community, hatred, sacrifices and hope. It’s about from youngsters from different communities speaking different languages- Aryan, Anshika, Zahid and Swati. Get ready for a heart breaking journey of a complete real life story.

The name I AM DEAD BUT MY HEART BEATS is a wonderful nail biting tale which questions the society and its forms. A rigorous attempt to show the world what It is and the cruel side of the society.
The love stories of Zahid, Swati, Aryan and Anshika leave the readers open mouthed at certain places.

The author has used certain poems in the whole book which adds to the fuel of the book. It’s wonderful how to story at a point has been linked to the COMMUNAL RIOTS.

The writer, in his debut fiction has made it a point to write his best in a very wisely chosen fast paced narrative. Though, individually the stories were inspiring, the readers would’ve liked it if the stories were linked a bit more.

Or maybe the two stories running parallel would’ve helped. The writer questioning the thoughts of the society has been very well added in the story. Ignoring the grammatical errors in the book and congratulating the author for his debut work, I would like to rate it 3.25 out of 5.