Thursday, 19 March 2020



Book Synopsis- Jeeva is Shiva. Either as a ‘Nirakar’ (formless) entity or as the life energy in every living being, Shiva thrives in people’s consciousness. Shiva’s presence is not only felt in the chants and prayers of ascetics but also in the common man’s
household, in folklores. And in the hearts of every woman who aspires to see Shiva’s virtues in their husbands. This is the love story of 25-year old Kattyayni, who saw Shiva and His various ‘Gunas’ in a man. In a firangi, to be precise. Yes,
you read it right. A brown-haired, blue-eyed, pale-skinned, 6-footer firangi, born from an American father and a Spanish mother.
Kattyayni, who grew up in a traditional Bengali family, has always felt fascinated about the sweet-cute-dutiful, passionate, and sometimes tragic Shiva-Parvati romance, the stories of which she has been hearing from her grandmother
since the onset of adolescence. Deep in Kattyayni’s mind sits the Lord, spreading His aura throughout her conscious and subconscious mind. So when Kattyayni meets ‘Rudra’, the firangi who demonstrates a ‘shuddh desi’ way of
life by embracing yoga, rudraksh, dhoti, khichdi, and his beloved ‘Shiva’, Kattyayni finds a deep connection with him. This is a connection that goes beyond the level of her heart to touch her soul, to a point where love becomes totally unconditional. She sees Neelkanth, Adiyogi, and Vaidyanath in the firangi. But at the same time, she feels a deep desire to know Rudra’s actual identity. Who is Rudra?
Set in the mixed cultural backdrop of Goa and flavoured with the ethnic specialties of Kolkata, this romance will surely knock at the minds of those who are in love or looking to find true, selfless love.

Review :

The book opens amidst turmoil, at the culmination of a long term relationship right before Kattyayni's CA final examinations. We find her unable to dedicate her utmost attention to her studies, and rightfully so. Her betrothed has cheated on her, and like anyone whose aspirations are coming towards an end she looks devastated. At this point I turn my attention to her characterisation, probably pivotal and most carefully sketched out in the novel . Her family appears to be extremely supportive in the initial introduction, as her sister cheers her up and her mother has been praying in temples, a custom in India many parents follow as well wishers for their children's examination scores. And although Kattyayni wants to feel strong and happier for the sake of her family, her mind is preoccupied with her failed Relationship and how her fiance had cheated on her with Sonika , a woman who Kattyayni despises, as she caustically remarks on her modelling career -

' She failed in Higher Secondary exam twice before she finally gave up and chose to capitalise on what she got without any effort, through God's grace and her parents' genes!'

We have a very millennial look at love as Kattyayni logs in to her Facebook and looks at her friends updates on their love life in the light of her own heartbreak. She does not deny her true feelings, and what you find about the character is that she maybe a lot of things, but she is not pretentious! She accepts 'And those pics... are driving me crazy!' Craving an explanation, Kattyayni starts a conversation with Arman where he insults her character as backward in presentation and modern in implementation - and here I resonate Arman with society's impossible standards for women. No matter what they do, they are little off the perfect mark. Here I feel the author's own personal experience has helped shape her characters and plot, owing to a much better handling of women's experiences in the hands of women who write about them. 

"You have always been too much career-oriented." He complains. "Your 'No's have always hurt my manliness" Destiny leads Kattyayni to Rudra in the beaches of Goa, her lover addressed in the title of the book as 'Shudh Desi Firangi' Despite being of foreign origins, with an American father and Spanish Mother, Rudra is essentially Indian in his own right, infact, in some senses his identity is more Indian than others who belong to the origins. While their relationship begins with a lot of sexual tension, especially as Kattyayni worries about Rudra touching her 'accidentally' inside a car- we see a gentle side to Rudra emerge as she assures ' I can see him now exercising special precautions whenever he has to operate the gear.' This calls for a stark contrast between him and her ex, who had been preoccupied with his own convenience compared to her comfort. We can easily guess that eventually the two are going to be falling in love and while the story is pretty simple in that respect, the book is worth a read if you're a beginner or into romance novels.

Something I highly commend about this book is the references to Bengali culture specifically in the festivals, the ideal avatars of husbands and wives. While I strongly detest the ideas of deities, my Bengali origin allows me to resonate with the conditioning received by Kattyayni that leads her to search for a Shiva like husband. Kattyayni expresses the view of the Orient of the exotic, as she admires his pronunciations of Hindi words with an accent. Skirting the edges and venturing into cultural differences, coming to a better understanding of the other and eventually figuring out how to best work things out are other minor, yet significant aspect in this book that focuses of relationships.

Two problems with this book have to be the formatting and extremely simple writing style. While the author uses ornamental words sometimes, the events are narrated in a way that failed to grab my interest  due to the monotonous chapters. There are extremely minor grammatical errors that you can ignore if the book interests you in it! Overall, the book is worth a read but the author has immense scope of improvement.  I rate the book 3.5 Stars!

Grab the book by clicking here !

Sunday, 1 March 2020

A Dumb's Story by Sudipta Roy - Review

The book starts with the reader being introduced to Nairit, a protagonist who has been at the hospital in coma. Among severe circumstances, we are informed that cancer has led to the loss of his tongue, therefore, his speech. We are given insight into his character, romantic life, and personal ambitions as the book progresses and one must say that the author is adept at sketching his protagonist in the light of tragedy. Portraying the inner state of the protagonist after the loss of his ability to speak is attained by the usage of first person narrative, as in an inner monologue Nairit yells -

' I can't speak! I can't talk! I can't say any more in my life'

However, tragedy doesn't curb his desire for aiming for something better, something beyond his scope and he is led to believe in his ability to make it in the sphere of politics. He isn't motivated by greed or sheer ability to attract sympathy for his situation, his causes are at the most human and basic level. However, as we connect political figures with great speakers we realise how this ordeal can be a bit of a challenge for someone like Nairit who is dumb.

The problem with the book, although subjective, has to be it's writing style. Somehow I found it unable to convey the events of the plot properly as it juggled between the first and third person narrative- otherwise a brilliant device of narration.  There were parts that just got too tedious to read at a stretch, lacking any arresting turns of phrases or something that would make me read it more attentively. Minor grammatical errors can be excused.

I would commend the authors ability to come up with a unique plot, in a world of repetitive novels. His characterisation abilities are on point, and with some work done on his presentation skills, I can figure Sudipta Roy as a fine author of our times.

Would rate A Dumb's Story 3/5 stars! Click here to buy!

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Anita by Renuka Guru | Book on Adoption

"Adopting one child won’t change the world, but for that child, the world will change.”

Anita is a Scottish girl adopted by an Indian couple who have moved to Edinburgh, and Renuka Guru's novel follows the life of a bright young girl , a square peg in a round hole. Charting cultural differences in the course of genuine affection and quest for a sense of belonging, the novel captures a reader with its sweet and intimate writing style.

The first chapter itself captures the Indian tradition of worship and bhajans in a light uplifting mood, and with a character like Katie allows us to view it as an outsider to the culture, full of wonder. We come across childish fancies that we have also had, for example, Anita is confused about the time difference of Bangalore and Edinburgh just as we have been as children, unable to understand how our noon can be someone else's midnight?

The first hint at physical differences as posed against emotional comes where we are given an insight to the time when Anita was about to be adopted, and Hari, the first child of the adoptive parents Gopalan and Ramaa. His father says, speaking about the adoption process, "Let's wait until we confirm it with the officers. They  want her to go to people who look like her." Hari asks- "Because she has golden hair?"

But the family is highly supportive and ensures Anita learns about her own culture as she grows up, and overall the book exudes a warmth, of love and humanity. Highly suggest it for readers, beginners to reading and anyone who is considering the beautiful deed of adoption. Brilliant theme dealt with expertise, click here !

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Radical Politics Of Indian Love - Short Story Collection Review

Radical Politics Of Indian Love is a collection of daring short stories by Rachita Ramya, an author whose writing boasts of potential and whose plots aim at providing you with a twist that you will never forget. I read the 7 short stories in this collection over a span of two months, and despite massive changes in myself and my life during this period, somewhere I could connect with the plot and relate to the protagonists.

Treesome, the first story took me the most by surprise. Partially because it was my first read from the author, partially because it had a brilliant plot twist. It is also worth noting that the author has a nice tone in her writing that follows into the next story Royal Bengal Tigress, dealing with one of the strongest female portraits I have ever seen built in short stories. The next story, The Writer, The Lover and The Doctor follows a different pattern but has the similar plot twist that took me by surprise in her First short. Modern Indian Widow and Two Strangers somehow share a similarity, yet prove to be different in their own ways, the latter being my favourite in terms of unity of plot, style and narration. No Man's Refuge and The Bollywood Hero are good in their own potential, but not as impressive to me as the remaining five!

One of the common themes of Ramya's stories is women and love. They say-
"The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself and shine amongst those who never believed she could.”
Ramya's stories are portrait of women rising in and with love. Although the women are portrayed in a strong framework, they are never associated wit masculinity which is a feat on its own since most writers fail to do it right.  They are also set in and around different parts of India -urban and rural and chart a vast landscape in the exploration of a land of diversity, dark and light, united in a spirit.

Extremely empowering collection of short stories, highly recommended for you if you are a fan of Jhumpa Lahiri or enjoy reading short stories with a twist!

Click here to buy!

Friday, 1 November 2019

The Conspiracy Unknown : Merging Several Genres

Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Contemporary 
Publisher: NotionPress
Book Length: 401
Price: Rs.415

The Conspiracy Unknown is a mixed creation of historic, fantasy and contemporary genres. A back story taking place in the BCE has an unknown connection to the occurrence of events in the present times(ACE). The book is very informative in every aspect as the author has concentrated in describing minutely every small detail, whether it is a character introduction, a war scenario or a mere room in the palace.

Cover: The cover design is quite dark with a crimson tinge and a marching battalion of troops towards a wrecked kingdom. Artillery, swords and spears along with the flag of the empire are being carried by the generals and soldiers, which emanates a very morose vibe of an upcoming event of destruction and loss of lives. The dreamy landscape of the city palace on fire, emanating smoke also symbolises the inevitable consequences of infiltration and destruction during the war. The title of the book, The Conspiracy Unknown is printed in white bold uppercase fonts with a sprinkled "bloody" texture on it, in the top half of the front cover along with a subtitle and the name of the author at the bottom edge of the cover. The back cover consists of the blurb of the book along with the description of the author. The cover design very well complements the plot of the novel. An impeccable visualisation of the ancient warfare brings forth the great march of the climax scene before the final battle, in the novel.

Title: The title is apt to the content of the book and goes in sync with the plot of the novel. "The Conspiracy Unknown" - narrates the story of vengeance of the Annda dynasty over the Moriyan empire. In the Great War, a group of revolutionaries revolted against the Annda dynasty and conquered the throne, saving the commoners from the rule of unjust, cruel King Dhana Annda. The leader of the group of revolutionaries was Ragupta Moriya, who was the disciple of the great teacher Anakya of Taxila. Then, after several eons of conquests, Ragupta made Dhana Annda flee to various provinces of the land of Tsuhindan. It is thus how he took the entire land of Tsuhindan under his shadow except for the far south where three kingdoms, namely 'The Kholas', 'The Yuhandyas' and 'The Kheras' knot up and stayed as independent empires. Later, Ragupta's son Rasabind Moriya descended the throne and everything seemed to be peaceful until the naming ceremony of the third prince, Hisoka by his grandfather, The Great Ragupta himself. Mysterious events happened at the event, which took us back and forth in the timeline, through the conspiracies and unknown intentions of certain group of men who seem to possess the actual power to control others and fulfil their purposes using them. Besides conspiracy by Anga Annda, son of Dhana Annda to get back his dethroned empire we also get acquainted with the internal conspiracies within the Royal Family itself to capture the throne. All the events mentioned above took place in BCE(Before Clearance Era) and in the ACE(After Clearance Era) nearly 2300 eons later, life of Dr. Sebastian Stein was under an unknown threat by a mysterious man in black suit, who claims to work under 'The Organisation', an underlying powerful agency which practically claims to control various political, economic and military aspects of several countries in the present times. An underlying link binds the events of the two eras which is yet to be known.

I noted several errors that often interrupted me, some which are Glitches:

 1. Typo - 'he' instead of 'she' on page 121, eleventh line from the bottom. 
2. Typo - 'from' instead of 'for' on page 151, fourth line from the bottom. 
3. Typo - 'what' instead of 'want' on page 280, thirteenth line from the top. 
4.  Typo - 'scared' instead of 'sacred' on page 304, thirteenth line from the top.
5. Typo - 'third' instead of 'second' on page 323, fifteenth line from the top. 

My Verdict:  The author has created a sphere of virtual reality, where there exists the World of Feower, within which is the Land of Tsuhindan. Not only a new world but a new religious belief called the 'Clearance' has been created which has a close resemblance to 'Christianity' in the real world. New historical characters such as Ragupta Moriya, Anakya, Dhana Annda, Rasabind Moriya, Hisoka, Ander etc. were created which has a close resemblance to our real-life historical characters of Indian History namely Chandragupta Mourya, Chanakya, Dhana Nanda, Bindusara Mourya, Ashoka, Alexander. This anagrammatical approach of naming characters and places is something which I found quite interesting in this book. Even a close relation is there between some sequence of events like revolt and conquests of Ragupta against Dhana Annda with the help of Anakya as a strategist behind it. Besides these known subsidiaries, the author has put magical elements like braincharmers, soul charmers, magicians and scientific elements like particle colliders in this novel which makes it a treat to read.
           An enormous number of characters are there and the reader will find an accurate description of more or less all characters elaborately as mentioned by the author, thus excellent characterization. However, some unnecessary descriptions and details of rooms, palace, cities have been mentioned which makes the book-length to almost four hundred. Freckles of romance in-between times of tension were indeed needed for lighting up the scenes. I really liked the characters of Konsal and Koyal. Their skill of deduction, detection and its demonstration was like a cherry on the cake which made me stick to the book even further. Though the book is a heavy read, its lucid language and intriguing plot makes it difficult for the reader to put it down. It took me five sessions to complete the book. The further one moves into the plot, the more one enjoys it. The culmination of the novel leaves the missing links, through the mysterious boy "Keishab" between the BCE era that now affects the life of Sebastian Stein in the present time(ACE). Kudos the debutant author for such an amazing attempt and I look forward to reading the next part of the book soon. 

Rating : 4* / 5*

Buy The Book Here -

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Primrose's Curse by Kiara Shankar and Vijay Shankar : Review

Primrose's curse is a book written primarily by a little girl- so when you pick this book up it may remind you of your childhood when you read fairy tales, and wished to write one. Kiara Shankar amazes me with her novel, and I find it inspiring that a child is writing so well! Despite being aided in her endeavour by her father, the primary work of the book is by her and I cheer her efforts which are quite successful for her age.

The plot itself reads like an amalgamation of two of my favourite Children's Classics - Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz and I am sure the little author has also read these books.  Primrose Fernetise is a beautiful 12 year old who works tediously to support her family in the absence of her mother. When her father suffers a stroke, she goes out in the quest for a divine flower that will cure his paralysis - and thus begins the magical story with the woodland animals.

Primrose is hardworking, compassionate and brave, but also sarcastic and sceptical at parts which makes her character's traits more convincing. When she engages in the quest to defeat the evil queen of Hellevue Island, I am surprised by how easily the speaking animals convince her. A critical eye would doubt this, but a child might not- which is why I feel the book is more suited for kids.

The following part almost feels like Alice falling into the hole :

"The moment she touched the stem of the flower, her body felt an experience like she was on top of the world filled with overwhelming ecstasy."

And I love the references to Hedwig, Munchkins, etc. The plot lacks originality as it's built on several existing tropes - but it definitely is a perfect version of reimagination and retelling genres.
I can't wait for what Kiara Shankar writes as she Grows up!

Buy the Book by clicking here!

The Secret of The Palamu Fort by Razi : A Review

The Secret of The Palamu Fort is a mystery novel of a kind, along the lines of Ray's works. Let's look into the novel that took me back to Feluda, and other icons of sleuths in its pages.

Cover: The cover design is absolutely exquisite. The front cover portrays the valiant warrior 'Satyabhama' whose story is literally the backbone of this novel. The glossy texture of 'Satyabhama' over the graphic background of a battlefield, gives the notion of a mythological element associated with the novel. However, to the surprise of readers, as one goes on they get to know its actually a thriller based with some references, from historical background. The title of the book is printed in glossy white hue at the top edge of the front cover and the name of the author at the bottom edge. The back cover of the book consists of the blurb along with a silhouette of 'Detective Horo', who is the protagonist of the novel.

Title: The title is apt to the content of the book and goes in sync with the plot of the novel. "The Secret of the Palamu Fort", centres around the tale of the hidden 'Elixr of Doisa' and its protector, Satyabhama. It takes us back to the land of Jharkhand, 1650 AD during the reign of the Chero King, Raja Medini Rai and his kingdom. Prosperity was at its peak during his reign, as he was a very kind and generous king. It is under his privilege that Satyabhama became the chief of the military forces during his time, who led him to win several conquests and acquire the 'Elixr of Doisa'. Satyabhama protected the elixr till his last breathe as he promised Raja Medini Rai, from the conspirators within Raja's own court. However, he received a horrible death in return. Since then this folklore began that the 'Elixr of Doisa' was cursed and the ghost of Satyabhama protected it. With this historical plot as the background, a murder takes place in the present timeline, which was stated to be done by the ghost of Satyabhama, as mentioned by the eye-witnesses of the murder. Thus, the thriller began to unwind where Detective Robin Horo investigates about the murder and eventually finds out the conspiracies made in the past and in the present times to unravel "The Secret of the Palamu Fort".

My Verdict: "The Secret of the Palamu Fort" brings forth two plots, in two different timelines, intertwined yet fits so perfectly well to complement each other. Besides the historical intricacies, the character development of Detective Horo and his companions namely Neil Horo and Babulalji have been made with great care which resonates to a great extent with the famous detective stories of "Feluda" by Satyajit Ray. One finds an essence of reincarnation of the character, "Feluda" in "Detective Horo" which makes it all the way more appealing to its readers. I am flattered especially because how well the author has conveyed his story following a similar style of writing as the great Satyajit Ray, yet with a mark of originality in it. Kudos to Razi! The language of the book is lucid and thus accessible to a wide range of readers. The book has every element to make it a complete package. It includes a historic reference, mysterious ghost killer, folklore, deductions by Detective Horo to solve the case, comic relief, adventure, conspiracies, riddle and its solution through mind-boggling interpretations. At the culmination, the reader gets all the missing pieces and answers to the definite questions that arise in the course of reading the book. It is a sure shot page-turner and one who loves thrillers will definitely love it. Simplicity defines beauty. And that's what I felt after completing this book. I loved it!

Rating : 4.5* / 5*

Buy the Book by clicking here!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The Ryders' Riddance: Samson Ryder #1 : Review

Genre: Crime Thriller 

Publisher: White Falcon Publishing 

Book Length: 383

Price: Rs.399

Cover: The cover design has been made keeping in mind, the content of the book. "The Ryders' Riddance", portrays the story of vengeance of Samson Ryder with a very well framed cinematic plot. The front cover consists of the silhouette of a man within whom we can see a scenery, which embarks the moment when this story began - the night when Ryders' parents got killed. The spurts of blue on the white background of the book is symbolic of the hurt, pain and challenges Samson had gone through in his story. The title of the book is written in bold uppercase fonts in the middle, with a combination of black and white subsequently matching the background cover of the book. The back cover consists of the blurb and information about the author along with his picture.

Title: The title is apt to the content of the book and goes in sync with the plot of the novel. "The Ryders Riddance" truly depicts Samson's motive to get rid of the global terror- Falcon, who ruined his life by killing his parents, when he was a kid. There is a point in the story when Samson only wanted to get out of this game of vengeance, safely with his colleagues namely, Khloe Denver and Panlo Kippins. By this momentary change of intentions, one can clearly sense the grave risk of losing one's life or close ones in this act of hunting the predator aka Falcon. Thus, however it might seem lucrative to read how the protagonist tries and succeeds in his vengeance, on the contrary, it was actually a disastrous phase in Samson's life, which he wanted to elope from. A normal happy life with his family was what Samson always longed for which however he never got because of Falcon and thus "The Ryders Riddance" from his guilt, rage and animosity by the path of vengeance, to take it all from the one who once took it all from him.

My TWO CENTS :  "The Ryders Riddance", is what I say to be a tantalising thriller. With such innovative names of western origin and such diverse characters, the author has truly shown his mastery in imagining, analysing and storytelling. The story begins on a sweet note, celebrating the companionship and bonding between Ryders' parents, Vincent and Pauline when the deadly 'Deathstalker' hit them to their doom. Assassined eighteen years ago, was when the story truly began. It was eighteen years back when Samson lost his parents and started living with their family friends, The  Sebastians. Since then, they had become his family and his father's colleague cum friend, Ulrich Sebastian took great care so that Samson didn't come to know about the assassination, which took away his family. This was a prevalent step at the moment to protect young Samson from the talons of Falcon. After eighteen years when Samson grew into a man and realised how things really were, an undercover agency namely the SIA(secret intelligence agency) offered him with an opportunity to take his vengeance and also do good to this world by preying on the Falcon. Falcon was like an unknown parameter in an equation. Nobody knew whether it was a group or a single person who has become the most untraceable global mafia, whom no global agency had any clue of. They only knew that Falcon existed and thus they said: "The Falcon sees it all, but none see the Falcon." As the story unfolds and the plot takes up its pace. Ryder meeting Khloe and Panlo and getting ready for their mission through learning skills like to withstand grave situations, tactics, coding and armed combat had some vigorous descriptions in the middle of the book. However, sometimes I found it difficult to keep track of the story merely because of its twisted interlinks with its subplots and also quality language. This book is not recommended for readers who are accustomed to a lucid way of writing. Coming back to the story, I just loved the backstory of how 'The Falcon' surfaced and how illicit circumstances and corruption can turn one into a rebel and take justice in one's hands. I felt the story wasn't only about the hardships of Samson Ryder but it was also about Vetero Heracio and his unfathomable journey of transformation into The Falcon. The icing on the cake was the henchmen of Falcon, Alan Myke. His character reminded me of the "Joker" from DC Universe. The madness, brutality and coldness will surely be a treat for every reader who loves to read thrillers.

Overall the book was like a roller coaster ride. The more one gets to the later, the better it gets. I personally found the book a worthy read as it makes its readers visualise the story like a motion picture itself. Kudos to such a creative attempt!

Rating : 4* / 5*

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Technically, I Love You by Piyush Gupta | Book Review

If you like Popular Fiction- if you are the first to buy books of the likes of Ravinder Singh- you might enjoy reading Piyush Gupta's novel, Technically I love you. The plot is a love triangle- and although most authors have a tendency of getting messy and ugly with such plots Gupta is smoother and best at the handling of the plot and it's movement. All chapters are designated properly in time and that allows for the reader to have a better track of events. I was especially impressed by one line of the blurb :

"Love, a four lettered word, present in every dictionary
Heard by everyone, felt by some, faked by many. "

The book also deals in adult content and if you are in for it, grab the book. I highly enjoyed reading about the female characters who are different in their own way and I especially felt that they didn't seem a right fit for the protagonist Ritesh. However, the plot is beyond my scope of critique because well, I can not judge two people in love.

What I had  problem with was the language of the book. The plot deals with some grave scenes and important lessons are learnt by Ritesh in the course of it. However the writing style is way too simple to let the reader sense the paces of different parts. If you have read books like The Notebook or Revolution 2020, you know how the writing style of a novel is key to the reader actually building a relationship and love for the novel-now language acts like a transport from reality to fiction. The transport was not efficient in this case and thanks to bad editing at several places - the novel reads more like a first draft than complete product. Apart from the one line mentioned, I found all good lines too cliche and I felt that I have read something similar sometime or the other.

Pop Fiction lovers will enjoy the book, and new readers might find it interesting. With work on the language, Piyush Gupta may lead the Popular Fiction Genre in India someday and I hope to read better works from the young author. You can grab the book here.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Master Your Money, Master Your Life by Abhishek Kumar | Review

After Rich Dad Poor Dad and Tony Robbins's Money - MASTER YOUR MONEY is definitely the next best book I have read in the Finance genre. And I promise I have read a LOT of them. Most of them go on about the same old advises, save, don't spend, invest and YOU'RE RICH! Not this book. The best part about this book is that it has totally rewired all money strategies to device one that involves the best practices of the greatest experts of finance. As I flipped the pages, I could slowly sense the strength of the words which were strategies backed by research and logic and that clearly puts forth the amount of efforts that have gone into the creation of the book. It would be a shame if this book does not become a cult classic in finance for Indians and I highly suggest you grab this book today!

Abhishek Kumar doesn't look at money in isolation but in integration with family and social life and the influence it has on it. The higher we move up the ladder, the higher we find ourself surrounded by stress that originates due to or lack of money. So, why not take a step back? And if moving ahead is the desire- we may as well be strategic about it. He busts several money myths - my favourite being that some people have the idea : We should take a loan as it provides a tax benefit to us. He almost mocks the people with this mentality as he puts for his argument : " It is equivalent to saying we should fall sick so that our sick leave doesn't go wasted"

The book is not only full of logic and reasoning regarding the ideals of handling finances, but also provides numerous solutions- in the form of 5 ideas which guide you towards a fulfilling life where you enjoy your money without wasting it all and leaving nothing for your retirement. They prepare you to meet both desires and emergencies, and since the very core of the book is the 5 fund(a)s I wouldn't share it - However, you should definitely grab the book here.

If you want to be successful you need to master the tool called money, and this book will help you do that Today!

Sunday, 7 July 2019

One Monsoon in Mumbai by Anitha Perincherry || Book Review

When I picked this book up, my expectations were not high. One page into the book and I realised that for a debut author, Perincherry's language is polished and she has a flair with her writing style. She begins the novel with a realistic depiction of the city of Mumbai where the novel is set in :

" Mumbai, a puzzle of a city, put together with jagged pieces of wildly fruitful dreams and shattered hopes. Here, some gambled for fame and fortune, some looted, some cut throats. They called it business."

Such a strong opening is bound to draw you in right? I looked at the passage in disbelief weighing the heavy realities summed up into a few words. Although the genre of the novel is Rom com and it eventually loses the intensity of the starting lines, these lines are no less imoactful than literary masterpieces. Which is probably why to sum up, I think One Monsoon in Mumbai showed a great potential- especially that of the author in the language she wields.

Adhith and his father, the Finance Minister are prime suspects of Income Tax Department - they have been apparently looting tax payers money in crores and Seema Rawat is sent as an undercover agent to collect evidence and reveal their fallacies. Although the book classifies as a Rom com it does not get overly cheesy which is one of the most commendable things about this novel.

Seema is clearly the primary protagonist of this novel and her character has been built with a strong background - something that often authors miss. Whatever her present is has been shaped by her past that she is not so proud of. She is rebellious and shares a complicated relationship with her aunt. In a few chapters you come to realise that all her life she has tried to escape from her aunt but found herself with her due to her circumstances. However, they clearly care for each other - it is the unspoken issues between them that probably give rise to the coldness that often prevails between them. Her relationships with Adhith and Vikram are quite strange - and often she fails to draw her boundaries as an undercover agent. However, that is only human.

They undergo several turmoils in the course of the novel and it is clear within the first half that Vikram and Seema make the better match. Meanwhile, Adhith has announced marrying Seema to his father - without any consultation with her. Come to think about it, that is not the only thing that fails to make sense in the novel. I am intrigued by how Seema manages to become Adhith's girlfriend in the first place. Regarding Vikram slowly revealing his concern for Seema- it almost seems forced because there is no major action that leads to the result. The minor events are not convincing enough - and in the pursuit of giving Seema the spotlight we hardly see any other female character who plays a significant role. Sure, there are a few more characters but their names aren't even notable.

To like this novel you have to be in mood for romance.  With no doubt , Vikram is certainly anyone's dream guy. He is caring, he is cute, he is smart and responsible. In the scenes where he is present with Adhith you can clearly sense their contrast - and it almost shocks me how Seema could even act to like the guy. Sure, he is not a villain maybe but he is still quite - to put it in a word- useless. His character does things that makes me want to throw a chair at him and I am sure the author intended to build the character this way for certain reasons and I liked that the author has done a great job with the characters.

Let's talk about the plot of the book - while it is laid down from the very first chapter what the intent of the protagonist is- thus mapping out the plot of the book, it does have it's own twists in the book. Romance is accompanied by working for social factors and never do we find any of the characters forsake their career for their love. If anything, love propels them towards working harder and achieving more important goals and that is one of the best parts about this book. I am glad to not have read yet another Rom com where the characters found love and left the world for it.

 The plot seems linear but while paying close attention I was often confused by the flow of the story and thought that it could have been more polished if the author could have revised it a few times or sent it to an editor. However, that doesn't mean that the plot is bad - it is a complex plot with three characters facing their own problems and for a debut author capturing all these intricacies is definitely quite difficult. Seema is always depicted as a character bothered by her past and so are the ones around her and that shapes all their lives indirectly or directly. She herself is an extremely imperfect character- although she often tries to convince herself that she is capable and strong in several events through the plot. I like the way the author uses events to provide her character sketch instead of plainly stating how she is.

Overall, we could conclude that One Monsoon in Mumbai is very well formed in terms of language, plot and characterisation but lacks polish and clarity at some portions. For a first time this is commendable and I am sure that the author Anitha Perincherry is yet to attain her full potential - and this work is a promising preface to what she is yet to deliver. You can grab the book on Amazon if you want to read One Monsoon in Mumbai!

Magic Required by H. S. Paisley | Fantasy Book Review

"The decided water would be the way I died. But I swam anyways."

The opening lines of the novel were enough to let me know that I had picked up a good read. H S Paisley's Magic Required follows Lochlan Elyll who has visions of deaths which haunt him. I liked three things the most about the book - language, plot and character sketch. The language is typical to most fantasy novels- and manages to instill confidence and assert a strong tone. Any reader will be able to read, relate and take inspiration from several chapters of the book.

Celtic stories and folk tales have always interested me and this novel brings magic to life- in this book Magic is a living entity. In this futuristic novel, the protagonist is a demi God unwilling to come to terms with the past, haunted by nightmares and dilemmas - and it is his flaws that attract me to him. This brings me to the characterisation of the book - within a few chapters you realise that Lochlan's character is very well built-especially because reading about unreal heroes is too cliche and although Lochlan is a brave and strong character- his flaws make him a perfect character.

There are several characters in the novel which add dimension to the plot and I love the fact that the author didn't go all in on just the hero. The author has mingled mythology with contemporary and futuristic themes to create a novel of it's own kind and I would love to read more from her!
Some parts probably could have been more polished - and some themes better dealt with but I liked the majority of the novel! You should totally get this book on Amazon.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Seasons by Priyam Acharya : Poetry Collection Review

When I picked up Seasons by Priyam Acharya, I didn't expect much of it. I have picked up modern Indian poetry quite often and mostly have been utterly disappointed. I was almost taken by surprise when I read the first poem - Glass Shields Glass which vividly captures the poet's thoughts as she sits in a cafe, and looks at a glass top shielding hundreds of tiny glasses. The essence of her poems is mostly love and romance, mostly the passion, often the pain it brings for the person concerned. Some of the ideas portrayed in her poems can get repetitive but her writing style makes up for it. If you enjoy reading descriptive and thoughtful poetry with impeccable language, you may find Seasons interesting!

Priyam Acharya is at her best while writing poems of heart break. In one of my personal favourites, she writes :

' I'm a prisoner of our memories.
But do I call this a prison?
I knew not
That a prison could also be a refuge.'

Her poetry is the sort that you would read at 2am at night while thinking about a bad breakup. Her poetry is the sort that acts like a friend's hand on your shoulder after a rough day. It smells of understanding and empathy, something I search for while reading poetry. 

Among the 162 poems, some of her poems also touch on other aspects of human life such as belief, gratitude and power over oneself. I did find a few poems unable to capture the essence of their message due to ineffective wording, but that was a minority in the collection. Also, the concepts in the poem are scattered and I would probably have been happier with a separation of themes. However, overall, Seasons is a book you have to read if you enjoy poetry and poetry collections. If you want to grab this book, click here ! The book would surely entertain beginners and moderate readers :)