Tag Archives: book review

Guy on the Sidewalk – A Review

“Life has a plan for each of us; we may not understand the whys on our journey but every event is meaningful nonetheless.”
Ken Poirot

In this age, when words like skepticism and cynicism rule the world, it is a heartening experience to come across a story as simple and effortless as the Guy on the Sidewalk by Bharath Krishna. Right from the cover of the book till the end of the story, you can feel the eternal conflict which an Indian professional living in the USA encounters on a regular basis!

Guy on the Sidewalk is the story of Jay – his journey from India to the USA and again back to India. The story starts with his last day in the USA and the varied emotions he has been experiencing. It then goes to a flashback and gives a vivid account of Jay’s laid back college life, tiring MBA days and his brief professional life, all in India. That is when he travels to the USA to pursue a specialization. From hereon, he depicts the various phases through which he passes, before realizing his actual call of coming back to where he belongs – India.

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Book Review: Private India by Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson

Things that came to my mind after finishing Private India? Engrossing? Extremely. Can be made into a Bollywood movie? Definitely!

‘Private India’ is the fruition of the collaboration between Ashwin Sanghi, an Indian author known for combining mythology and thriller, and James Patterson, an American author known for bestseller series’ of which ‘Private’ is one. Their unique collaboration results in bringing the popular ‘Private’ series to India. So, it naturally raises the curiosity and interest in the book.

Private is considered one of the finest private investigation agencies having its branches all across the globe. We have Private L.A., Private London, Private Berlin and now we have our very own Private India – the hi-tech investigative agency operating from a dilapidated, nondescript building.

Private India – The Story

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Review: Sita’s Curse by Sreemoyee Piu Kundu

What is Erotica? According to Merriam Webster it is defined as :works of art or literature that deal with sex and are meant to cause sexual feelings”. Yes, Sita’s Curse, in that respect is truly an erotica and ONLY an erotica.

Somewhere, behind closed doors, in her solitary world; somewhere, under the sheets with an indifferent lover; Somewhere, is a woman who will not be denied.

Trapped for fifteen years in the stranglehold of a dead marriage and soulless household domesticity, the beautiful, full-bodied and passionate Meera Patel depends on her memories and her flights of fancy to soothe the aches that wrack her body; to quieten an unquenchable need. Until one cataclysmic day in Mumbai, when she finally breaks free…

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Grim Tale of Farmer Suicides – ‘Shoes of the Dead’ by Kota Neelima

Farmer suicides in India, especially in certain districts of Maharashtra have seen a steep rise in the last decade.’ Shoes of the Dead’ by Kota Neelima is a tribute to all those dead farmers and the people fighting for their families to receive compensation. Non-fiction works related to farmer suicides abound, however a fictional work talking about the plight of the Indian farmers, due to varied reasons, was missing from the scenario.  It was really great to finally find a political novel based on farmer suicides, set up in contemporary India.

This political book intertwines several aspects of socio-economic India through the eyes of an idealistic journalist, an ambitious young politician and an educated yet poverty- ridden farmer seeking justice for his brother’s suicide. In the midst of the tug-of-war between Keyur Kashinath, the young and rich politician and Gangiri Bhadra, the crusader of the farmers, there are characters like a greedy moneylender, a seemingly good district collector, unscrupulous middle men, a good and a bad maha sarpanch who plays important roles in Gangiri’s fight for justice.

Kota Neelima is a senior journalist with years of experience in reporting farmer suicide cases. In the author’s note she has specifically mentioned that farmer suicides in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra are the soul of the book. While reading the book you can feel that it has incorporated a plethora of incidents which are rampant in India. The writer has only given fictional names and characters to portray what is actually happening to the debt ridden farmers of Central and South-West India and put forth the gravity of the situation in front of us.

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R.I.P. by Mukul Deva – The Review

R.I.P. The Resurgent Indian Patriots by Mukul Deva is one helluva ride for its readers with the main protagonist along with his associates acting as vigilantes in order to stop the corrupt culprits rocking and on the verge of destroying the nation. Right from the cover picture to the end of the story one can enjoy a dramatic and pulse-pounding experience while reading the book. A thrilling ambiance is perfectly created in the very first chapter of the story with three immaculately planned murders taking place simultaneously at three different parts of the country. From there, I can assure you it will be a pulsating journey for the readers. R.I.P. talks about the self-appointed vigilante group K-Team headed by Colonel Krishna Athawale. He and his team of five other Special Forces Officers have deadly plans to free the country of the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Being an ex-army man, Krishna and his teammates are incredible in handling complex and deadly plans with ease. Raghav Bhagat, another ex-army personnel, having personal issues with Krishna is the gun for hire, hell-bent on stopping the K-Team. The Special Director of CBI, Vinod Bedi is caught between the crossfire, though with the same intention of halting the plan of action of the K-Team. Along with these characters, there are few other characters like the glamorous news anchor Reena Bhagat and two young boys Sachin and Azaan, who play important roles in taking forward the story.

While you start keeping pace with the story, you will be ensured full action and entertainment, sometimes extremely similar with a lot of thrilling movies. In fact, my personal opinion is that R.I.P. has all the ingredients for making an intense and engaging Bollywood movie! Once you start reading the book past the first chapter, you will understand how addictive it is. Your brain will be filled with various presumptions of how the story would unfold in the next chapters and how will it conclude. That is the very fact which made the book unputdowndable for me and hope will be the same for everyone else as well. Between all the serious plans, operations, killings and chases, there is also a romantic angle in the story which comes as a brief yet welcome relief and does not hamper with the flow and rhythm of the story.

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Tick-tock We’re 30 – Book Review

It’s been a long time when I had the spare time to read a book. It was known that motherhood comes with a lot of responsibilities, however the presence of the word “never-ending” was unknown to me. While leading a monotonous life, I chanced upon the offer to review Tick-tock We’re 30 by Womenweb. After going through the brief, it seemed to me that the book is the just the one I was looking for at the present moment – a light-hearted, easy-to-read chick lit.

The story revolves around Lara Bagai and her set of friends. They all are attending the reunion during Lara’s upcoming 30th birthday. It is the story of a weeks’ time wherein a lot of changes happen in all those people’s lives. Lara and Nishad, one of the SN gang members coming for the reunion, made a pact in a drunken state a decade ago to get married in case neither of them gets a suitable partner by the time they turned thirty. The main story is built on this very pact, along with the various sub-plots of the other gang members.

Tick-tock We’re 30 is a mish-mash of comedy and drama. The story deals with quite a lot of characters and pens down the trials, tribulations, joys and sorrows of their life. The modern urban setting of the story and the myriad emotions and relationships which the story showcases are easy to identify with. You can put yourself in the shoes of any of the characters as they are all extremely identifiable along with their dreams, aspirations, heartbreaks and more. The wackiness of the characters will take you back to your college days when you were surrounded by adorable friends, jealous friends, pretty friends, crazy friends and not to forget your soul mates.  For you it can be a nostalgic ride remembering the good old days.

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The Krishna Key Reviewed

Mythology and thriller when put together make for an interesting read. However, I have rarely seen Indian authors delving into this genre. Writing a thriller set agaist the backdrop of Indian mythology is no mean task. It takes a lot of research and understanding of the subject before finally writing the story. A big applause to Ashwin Sanghi for not being one of those authors who are only comfortable in the tried-and-tested genres, specially the very similar coming-of-the-age stories with sachharine sweet happy endings.

Ashwin Sanghi must have read Dan Brown’s ‘Angels and Demons’ and ‘The Da Vinci Code’ numerous times as his book ‘The Krishna Key’ resembles them to a great extent. Be it the plot or the writing style, one cannot miss the similarities of the book with those of Dan Brown’s bestsellers. The book deals with the tenth avatar of Vishnu, Kalki. The story recounts the gruesome serial killing done by a man who considers himself as the Kalki avatar. The first of his victims was Prof. Anil Varshney, a noted historian and it was his friend Ravi Mohan Saini, another historian of repute who was wrongly charged for the murder. Saini with the help of his student and her father, follows a thrilling journey in order to prove his innocence.

The fascinating part of the story is how the tale of Krishna and the story are interwoven. Each chapter starts with snippets from the Mahabharata or more specifically about the life of Krishna. Though the idea of creating a conspiracy theory story based on Krishna is extremely noble and enticing, however in some of the chapters the connection between the two are not explicit.

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A Review of One and A Half Wife by Meghna Pant

Since the time we are born we become an integral part of a plethora of relationships. As we start growing up, we actually start to understand the importance of those relationships. There are some people who constantly keep on paying obeisance to the relationships around them while there are some who tend to not acknowledge the sanctity of relationships. One and A Half Wife by Meghna Pant is the story of human relations and how it can make and break the life of a person.

One and A Half Wife is the story of a girl-next-door whose life changes along with the trials and tribulations which she faces in the course of her life. The protagonist of the story, Amara Malhotra starts of as a simple girl who lives a life the way her Biji(mother) wants it to be. The strong-willed Biji has only two targets in her life – the first one is to get a Green Card and the second is to get her only daughter married to a rich Green Card holder. The first of Biji’s dreams found shape with the help of her brother and her family leaves India and settles down in America. However enjoying the American Dream was not as easy as it seems to be. With several hiccups here and there, Amara’s non-descriptive life changes when she is married to Harvard-educated millionaire Prashant Roy. Finally, Biji’s second dream also found a fruitful culmination. However, on the very first day of her marriage, Amara saw her vision of a perfect life with a perfect Prince being shattered. Her so-called fairytale marriage was nothing more than sacrifices from her end and selfishness, demeaning comments and indifference towards her from her husband. She was constantly scrutinized and criticised for her looks, her manners and etiquettes by her husband. She tried her best to save her marriage by overlooking the negativities, sometimes stooping down to incorrigible levels, but it collapsed after a few years. With the end of her marriage, the American Dream after which she was running as per Biji’s wishes also came to an abrupt halt. However, life does not stop there and Amara comes back to the place of her birth Shimla to start her life afresh. In Shimla, she is caught in the web between traditional beliefs and modern ideas. With a little compassion and counselling she came to understand what actually is “Her desire” rather than anyone else’s desire for which she has been living and suffering till then.

The book involves a lot of characters and situations which the readers will easily connect to. It starts with Amara Malhotra being taken to a number of pundits by her conservative and strict mother in order to know her future (especially to know whether their American dreams be fulfilled and whether Amara will find an NRI). Way back in the 1990’s these dreams and aspirations of making a great destiny in the USA were quite common. The story also narrates how a divorce and a divorcee were looked down upon by the society. The story also captures how American Dreams can turn into ashes and how parents can blame their daughter for her failed marriage without even a hint of logic behind them. It also describes the difference between the pre-globalised India and the post-globalized India in a subtle manner. The story also addressed the issue that with modernism the Indian society has also seen the emergence of the “moral polices”, the traditionalists who can exercise any sort of coaxing and violence in the name of keeping the society “clean”, “right” and “safe”.

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Urban Shots: Bright Lights – The Review

Looking after a baby 24/7 is a gruelling task and a lot of things, which were previously an integral part of your life, are affected. For me reading is one such thing which has been adversely affected. However, a couple of months back my husband told me about the Blogadda Book Reviews Program and I wasted no time in applying for it. Now, that I have been chosen to review their recent book on offer, Urban Shots: Brights Lights I am extremely ecstatic.

Urban Shots: Bright Lights as the name suggests is a compilation of 29 stories by 21 writers focusing on urban India and portraying a gamut of urban characters and their lives. One gets the opportunity to read a variety of genres in this single book. There are the humorous stories to tickle your funny bones as well as emotional and heart-rending ones which will leave you dewy eyed.

The very first story from the book, Amul, is one of the finest short stories I have read in a long time. It is a gripping tale of a 10year old terminally ill child who keeps on recollecting the fond and not so fond memories of her dead mother. Certain disturbing facts are unveiled from time to time with the flow of the story. The innocence with which Amul narrates the story will leave you with a heavy heart and you might feel tears rolling down your cheeks while reading the story. Kudos to Arvind Chandrasekhar for offering us such a poignant story.

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