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Book Review: The Mother I Never Knew by Sudha Murthy

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Book Review: Monkey on the Roof by Ruskin Bond

Monkey on the Roof is a typical Ruskin Bond story, like about nothing but looks everything. The story features Ruskin Bond or say shows how he lives in Mussoorie at the cottage with an adopted family. Initially, he talks about animals and birds and insects that break into his cottage or onto his study table. He never harasses or chases them mercilessly; rather he drives them away from his window which opens to the mountain side, where he stands for hours watching the people on up road, school children and troublesome monkeys. He says that his roof is made of tin, old fashioned, where monkeys often make noise and if there are no monkeys, then its cats vs. rats at night. Ruskin finds obstacles to his sleep; he loves sleeping and admits that he is a lazy writer. If freedom was given, he would have his stories written by his assistants.

In the story he also tells about his obsession for bed tea and breakfast. Ruskin puts strong emphasis on having good breakfast ever since his young days.…

Book Review: The Lioness of Morocco by Julia Drosten

Some books are so terrific with their cultural backdrop that more than the story you begin taking interest in local customs, people, tribes, rituals, and so on. On the similar lines, we have The Lioness of Morocco by Julia Drosten, a historical fiction. The story opens in 1835 when colonization was taking roots in European culture.

Sibylla Spencer is a strong-headed woman of twenty three, unmarried, and daughter of Spencer Shipping Company’s owner. She has different opinions about the life she is leading in London of 1835. Somehow, she gets on with Benjamin Hopkins, a clerk in Spencer Company. They get married. When Spencer Company’s Moroccan trade agent dies, Sibylla along with her husband moves to Morocco to handle business accounts. Once they are into Mogador, a port city in Morocco, the priorities in their lives begin changing and the love between them evaporated without showing signs of wisps. It is clear that Sibylla is not happy with Benjamin, but still for the sake of her two…

Book Review: The Pregnant King by Devdutt Pattanaik

The Pregnant King by Devdutt Pattanaik is mythological fiction that takes funny, yet grim, stance on gender bias and duality. Gender bias and discrimination have always plagued the society wherever it existed. This story is based on the similar lines, well it is surprising to know that these issues even plagues during the Mahabharata era. The story has an interesting slew of characters and placed around Mahabharata time – so with characters and overall plot and setting, all make it a riveting read.

Through the story we get introduced to a kingdom called Vallabhi. The king of this kingdom is Yuvanasha, but sadly he is childless despite having three wives, who at times teases him for his manhood. On the other hand, his mother Shilavati is a woman of staunch values and alludes herself as the ruler of kingdom. Not so far from this kingdom, the battle of Kurukshetra is on. Pandavas are busy fighting their kin Kauravas. Yuvanasha longs to fight for Pandavas but his requests are met with co…

Book Review: Monkey Trouble and Other Grandfather Stories by Ruskin Bond

This book is a compilation of three novellas, specifically written for children below fifteen. Let’s see all the stories one by one. First in the line is Monkey Trouble. This story is about Tutu, a female monkey. Ruskin’s grandfather buys it from a street juggler for three rupees. Though initially grandma is against keeping this unstable pet at home but with time she accepts her. Tutu indeed is a troublesome monkey. Its mischiefs and wrong adventures not only cause havoc at home but also in the city.

Tutu’s main victims are aunt Ruby and her fiancée Rocky, and to some extent grandma and uncle Benji. Once Ruby and her fiancée go to buy a ring for their marriage and then soon the boy (young Ruskin) follows them secretly and behind him comes this cheesy monkey. In the jewelry shop, this monkey creates commotion and runs away with a pearl necklace. After then, almost half city chases her and in the end it throws away the necklace in a stream. Somehow the jeweler gets hold over that preci…

Book Review: The School among the Pines by Ruskin Bond

The School among the Pines is a long and captivating story about students of hills. In this story Ruskin has narrated a story of three pupils who go to another village to attend school and the route to that village is not only long but also filled with dark jungles, surging streams, wild animals and so on. Let’s see the story and get connected to their plight.

Bina and her younger brother Sonu lives in Koli village, their village has a primary school. As Bina is now a student of sixth grade, so she has to walk to Nauti, another village that has a high school. Every morning Bina, and their friend Prakash, and Sonu (Bina’s younger brother) walk through up and down hills, cross a wide stream to reach the school that is approximately five miles away.
Upon reaching school, they see a crowd, and sense something has gone awry. It comes out that their absent-minded Maths teacher is missing. Rumours have that he has been snatched by a leopard. A leopard on a killing spree is a normal proposit…

Book Review: Govinda (The Aryavarta Chronicles Book 1) by Krishna Udayasankar

One thing that majorly differentiates Mahabharata from Ramayana is the fact that the former has a lot many characters with intricate level of relations and loyalties. Further each character has a very definite role to play which is revealed in the Mahakavya at an opportune moment. All this made Mahabharata complex and not so easy to understand for many. Well, that’s a general consensus about the epic: a complex plot with a web of characters and each of them having different layers to it.

So in an effort to quench thirst of inquisition about the epic one can buy ‘The Chronicles of Aryavarta’. Consisting of three books: Govinda, Kauravas and Kurukshetra the novel is a description of the events as they took place in Aryavarta (consisting of North, Central, East and West India) (never understood the neglect of South India in Indian History). Initially in the preface the author gives an insight into her mind while penning down this book. She considers this work a logical interpretations t…