Friday, 30 March 2018

The Buddha of the Brothel by Kris Advaya's: a review

You know you're in for a good read when from a favorite publisher you get a true story. The cover catches your attention at first glance and then the name of the book sends you to a frenzy! Kris Advaya’s novel “The Buddha of the Brothel” does exactly that! Done in beautiful pastel colors and featuring a beautiful artwork every time to mark the beginning of a chapter, this 333 page book captivates you from the moment you pick it up.

According to the blurb- When Kris made a trip to India to study Ayurvedic massage he never thought he would find love, adventure, and heartbreak. Traumatised by the loss of his friend and army abuses, Kris came to India practicing meditation and chastity, but both efforts were turned head over heels when he caught sight if Radha, a sex worker in Pune’s notorious red light district. Before he knew it, Kris was wrapped up in the world of Pimps and crime Lords, losing his hold on the life he had been pursuing and all dreams of stability he had once built in his head. To be with the woman who had stolen his heart away, a life altering decision awaited.

The book is exactly what the blurb states and so much more. I started off with this book not knowing what to expect. The flow of the book (just because it's a non fiction) is a tad bit slow and that is mainly because it is someone's life story. You would need to know that person and develop your feelings towards him. Know what's going on in his life and how you can relate to it. Once that slow start fades off and you know what is going on and you get acquainted with the characters of Kris’s life: you get the feel of the book.

It traces Kris’s journey in India. He comes to India to study Ayurvedic massage but what goes on in his life is much more beyond those massage classes. The Buddha of the Brothel: the title itself sheds life on the story and what the whole book is all about. On an unexpected day, Kris meets Radha (yes!) Who is a sex worker (if that's the way to put it) and then his life takes a turn.  The book or shall I say, Kris’s life is nothing short of a good film with everything mixed in it.

What I liked most about the book was the writing style of the writer. Not even for a moment would you feel that this is a non fiction and a true story because it is written in the form of a prose. A Literary memoir in its truest sense, I also loved the way the sarcasm, puns, hope and so many mixed reactions were put forth to the audience to read and react. There comes a time in the book where you actually feel that you're living Kris’s life.

The amalgamation of Buddha and the Brothel makes for a great mix and a great read. Coming to the cons of the book (because, trust me there's not much to say about the book and it is for you to read, understand and decode) would be the fact that it is too lengthy a read and can get tiresome. Having said that, this book is not for the masses but whoever reads it would end with a very renewed sense of energy. For me, this book is a 4 out of 5. Looking forward to more memoirs in the future. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The Malhotra Bride by Sundari Venkatraman's: a review

Romance has been one genre that has refused to leave my heart even after my area of reading has expanded far and wide. Even after all these years, there is still a place where one good romance book can make me sit up with a tub of ice cream under a comforter and soft music throughout the day/night. One look at Sundari Venkatraman's The Malhotra Bride and I knew I had found, after ages, the best romance book. One look at the cover and it had my heart...

According to the back cover- When Akshay and Sunita's horoscopes perfectly match, announcing them as made for each other, there is little they can do except meet to honour their parents' wishes. Though Akshay becomes curious after one look at her photograph, Sunita has set plans of her own. And when they come face to face, she is absolutely determined to get rid of him. But will getting rid of one prospective groom help her get rid of this getting married business altogether? Equal parts tense and passionately romantic, this tale of love and arranged marriage will not only keep you hooked but will change the way you consider marriages.

We all are simple romantic by the heart, aren't we? No matter how much we are surrounded by the complexity of life, simplicity never fails to leave our side. And when out of the blue moon you find those few characters who redefine simplicity then you can't help but fall for them. This book, at first glance, told me that it would be a Mills and Boons story to the core but somewhere the hardcore reader in me wanted to think otherwise. It was probably my mistake: expecting something that every other author does these days. This book was: extraordinary out of the ordinary.

The book didn't have an overdose of characters. The families of the bride and the groom and the bride and the groom. That's it. The book also doesn't deal with the complexity of a family. The families out here are rich and yet both the families have that startling difference between each other. The book starts off with both the families trying to coax their rebel daughter, Sunita and their handsome son Akshay to agree to the marriage alliance with each other. And both, refusing to get married to the other.

They do meet, yes. The story that follows is so sweet that it might give you diabetes. (Okay! just kidding). The perfect book to read in one go, it deals with their 'courtship!' Well, the reason for the quotation marks being used out here will surely be clear to the readers of the book (and I urge every single romantic to read it!). A very simple story, weaved in a very simple way, it took my heart. I won't lie, with a fixed smile on a face while reading it, I kept hoping against hopes that the book will not be so simple. It cannot be such a fairytale but I guess the writer had other plans. This simple, neat and clean story touched all the right chords and satisfied me.

It had everything any story could've had. The characters had their depth. The story had it in it. But I still have a few complaints. The first one being: grammatical errors. The book could've been revised for proofreading one last time before publishing. The second: such fairytale exists I agree but I expected more from the end of the story. There was something that was missing. There was a time in a story where a hiccup happened (I'm not gonna mention what) and I wished it didn't. Even though the writer managed the hiccup with ease I was left thinking, was it really necessary? The families could've had more layers in them strengthening their difference of upbringing (what I mean is, more details could've been used).

All said and done, this book is surely a must read from the writer and I would encourage more people of today's generation of going back to such simple romantic stories and feeling what love is all about. I would love to read more from the writer and for me the book is a 3.75 on 5.