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Showing posts from May, 2018

Book Review: To See a Tiger by Ruskin Bond

To See a Tiger by Ruskin Bond is a short story covered under jungle stories section. Ruskin as a young boy wants to see the real tiger in a forest – in its natural habitat. Mr. Kishor drives him to a forest house and says that he will pick him after two days. In that forest house, an army corporal takes care of his luggage and room. For tea and meals, there is Bhag Singh – he is the servant in that house. They all know as why young Bond has come to the house.

In the evening, Bhag Singh informs him about a river that passes through the jungle and it is hardly fifty-meters away from the house. At night many animals come to drink water there and in the moonlight it is possible to see wild cats there from the verandah. As the night approaches, Ruskin sits in the verandah with a fire hearth around him. He keeps staring and staring but gets no view of the wild animals. Instead, he hears weird cracking of frogs, it seemed as thousands of frogs have gathered to celebrate something. The noise…

Book Review: Few Things Left Unsaid by Sudeep Nagarkar

Few Things Left Unsaid by Sudeep Nagarkar is a tasteless novel that claims to be a work of romance. There is no story in it, neither setting nor plot. Why and how people love his books and make him behave like a best-seller writer is indeed a matter of concern.

It is just an ordinary tale of a student pursuing engineering. These stories are very common and predictable. Writing was too lame – leaves no influence or impact on the readers - a below standard book by all means. Coming to the story we have two protagonists in this book, one is Aditya and the second one a girl called Riya. They are in the same engineering college and in the same class at least for the first year. After this that all drama starts: love at first sight, proposing the girl in a most romantic way, and then celebrating birthdays, talking on phone all night and chatting and so on. To their company are few good sane friends, a very common spicy thing that happens everywhere in India.
Well, their love story sucks an…

Book Review: David Copperfield in the Jungle by Ruskin Bond

David Copperfield in the Jungle by Ruskin Bond is a short story; it is staged against the Terai forests of the Siwaliks. The narrator of the story is a young Bond. His grandfather was a generous wildlife enthusiast but he never killed any animal for fun. Ruskin and his grandpa both of were opinions that killing animals for fun was an act of injustice. On this planet, both have the right to live in their respective dwelling places. Well, humans don’t understand this.

At the age of twelve Bond has no interest in shikar or hunting. He finds it terribly boring. Once Uncle Henry and his sporting friends take him on a shikar expedition into the Terai forest of the Siwaliks. The prospect of a whole week in the jungle as a camp follower bored him. He doesn’t like guns that kill animals or humans. They take shelter in one of the forest bungalows. On the second day, Ruskin is left behind. He begins exploring the bungalow. Soon, he discovers a shelf of books half-hidden in a corner of the back …

Book Review: The Elephant and the Cassowary Bird by Ruskin Bond

The Elephant and the Cassowary Bird by Ruskin Bond is a cute short story about the behavior of two animals: a baby elephant and a Cassowary bird. Whenever there is a mention of animals in the stories of Ruskin, his grandfather’s name appears inevitably. His grandpa has a natural talent in handling and understanding animals and even reptiles like python and chameleon. Grandpa is an animal lover who keeps many animals at his home while working at a zoo.

From his trip to Singapore, grandpa brings along a strange bird. It is Cassowary – something between Emu and Ostrich. It is taller than Emu but smaller than Ostrich. The bird is a center of attraction for many, since it is not found in India. Ruskin thinks how it will endure the subtropical temperature of Dehra, well it can if it was able to sustain in Indonesia and Bali.
There are many animals at home. There is also one baby elephant. This elephant circles around that bird every day to be friends with it. However, Cassowary is very hos…

Author Highlight: Vijay Sodhi Discusses his Book ‘The Rise of Rama’ and Stories from his Creative Life

It’s time for another author interview. Today, with us, we have Vijay Sodhi, he lives in London, England.
Kindly tell us a bit about you. I’d always been a really fortunate person. I grew up in Nigeria, West Africa where I was exposed to people from every part of the world. I had a loving family and parents who raised me well. Instilling in me a confidence that I could achieve whatever I set my mind to and the importance of contributing to society.
When I was 15, I threw all that out of the window and went off the rails. You name it, I did it. For 3 years I was lost in the wilderness of not knowing who I was. One day I was pulled in front of my headmasters office. He couldn’t believe I had fallen so far. He spoke quietly and with just a few words, he manifested a force that I had never experienced before. It was as if he shone a mirror into a deep part of my soul, I was reminded who I had been and who I’d become. From that moment I pledged I’d be a better person. In fact I’d be the …

Book Review: Henry - The Chameleon by Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond has persistently written about nature and animals in his stories. Though in real life he does not have pet animals, still he cares for the environment where he lives. Also, on one occasion, he revealed that stories of animals entice readers of all age. The idea of writing stories about animals worked wonderfully for him.

‘Henry - The Chameleon’ is a short story by Ruskin Bond. As you can make out that from the title itself that, Henry is a name of a chameleon.
One day when Bond’s grandfather was walking to a friend’s home, he saw some people gathered at a garden gate, ready to kill a poor chameleon, who was out for sunning in winter. He brought it home. Ruskin, as a boy, would often tease the chameleon by ticking a finger at its ribs or placing his finger into its mouth. Henry always looked around with suspicion and never cared enough to bite Ruskin. Grandfather’s love for random and most ousted animals always irked grandmother. Henry didn’t create any trouble at home, bu…

Author Highlight: Sadhna Shanker Discusses her New Book ‘Ascendance’ and Stories from Life

It’s time for another author interview. Today, with us, we have Sadhna Shanker, she lives in New Delhi, India.
Kindly tell us a bit about you. I am a writer by passion and longing, however in my day job I am a civil servant. With a 25 year old daughter, I am at the phase of life where one starts looking again at one’s own aspirations. I love traveling and I think it is one thing that enhances and strengthens the story teller in a person. As a student, I dabbled in acting, hosting, anchoring etc. on Doordarshan, but with a full time job, I focused my creative instincts towards writing. It is something one can do at one’s own pace and time. I am a PhD by education, and have always kept my learning alive. These days when I have time I do short courses on EdX that interest me. How do you handle the response of the novel, ‘Ascendance’? Buy at Amazon - https://goo.gl/xvBhcW The book has just been published in April 2018, so the responses are gathering momentum. When I read some reviews a…

Book Review: A Long Walk for Bina by Ruskin Bond

A Long Walk for Bina is a fascinating story about the people of hills. Ruskin is well famous for taking up themes like wild animal conservation, beauty of nature, and childhood memories. This book is written so beautifully that it consists of all three elements mentioned just now. The best thing about this book is that it does not belong to some particular characters. Here everyone looks equally important and interesting. In the centerline is the understanding of children and a leopard.

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 walk through up and down hills, cross a wide stream to reach the school that is approximately five miles away.
When they reach the boundary of the school, a crowd of people made them sense something is wrong. It comes out that their absent-minded M…

Book Review: Ascendance by Sadhna Shanker

Ascendance by Sadhna Shanker is a stellar novel that takes place in space. Whether you’re a space geek, sci-fi reader, or simply infatuated by NASA headlines, the riveting story of this book will take you on a journey through the final frontier.

Ascendance introduces us to a new planet called Elone in the space. It’s a unique planet - here women and men live separately. They are divided by a fence.  In the past they battled twice and it meant a lot of loss to both sides. The truth behind their conflicts is far more penetrating than just the territory gain. On this planet, lust for immortality is something bigger than any other hedonistic desire.
Ironically, immortality is not something that has been bestowed on them by God, rather for that they need reserves of Nepo, a valuable mineral, which holds the key to their survival. There on the planet, either it should be in abundance or they must find a feasible alternative. If nothing, they must come up with a new planet in the space. It …

Author Highlight: Shuchi Singh Kalra Discusses her New Book ‘A Cage of Desires’ and Stories from Life

It’s time for another author interview. Today, with us, we have Shuchi Singh Kalra, holding conversation about her third novel, A Cage of Desires. She lives in New Delhi, India.
Kindly tell us a bit about you? I'm Shuchi, author of two romantic comedies - 'Done with Men' and 'I'm big. So what?!'. I am also the wife of an Army Officer, the mother of a pint size daughter, and two lazy cats. I'm also a wine connoisseur, baking enthusiast, a restless traveller and a compulsive nomad. 
I'm a sucker for funny romance and I think my best writing happens when I'm surrounded either by mountains or the ocean. I used to run a quaint writing and editing studio and currently I'm in a full time corporate job. When not doing any of the above, I love engaging with people on social media and inflicting my opinions on random strangers. I love creating quirky craft work when I get some time to myself and I am also a hoarder of eccentric fashion accessories for no…

Book Review: The Quest of the Sparrows by Kartik Sharma and Ravi Nirmal Sharma

The Quest of the Sparrows is a promising book on practical spirituality, narrated in a fictional way. If you can read this book, chances are that your life will change positively. As humans, we constantly ask this question, what to do with this life? There is birth and then death. What lies between it. And the answer you get from this book is, Evolution. People are afraid in their life to change for better – before they contemplate any move, they tend to think about future security and certainty in actions.

If life is all about future security, then what is faith in divine? Does it guide our existence on this earth? You will be sent on a roller-coaster guide if you manage to grasp the core of the story. This story, in all senses, is for everyone. It is for masses. The story has been told through three person’s point of view. Their stories converge to one point: what is spirituality in life and does it matter?
The first part is of Nikhil. He is a rich businessman – all his life he ra…

Book Review: The Black Dog by Ruskin Bond

The Black Dog by Ruskin Bond is a short story which talks about superstitions about animals. This story has been covered in the book ‘Death Under the Deodars’. The narrator is Ruskin and the story is staged against the hills and forests of Mussoorie. Ruskin is a famous writer, at least in the hills of Mussoorie. He lives in Kempty village. Often he hikes to the hotel Royal, a walk of around five kilometers, to converse with Miss Ripley-Bean and Mr. Lobo.

Miss Ripley-Bean lives in one of the rooms of the hotel because once this hotel belonged to her father. And Mr. Lobo is a pianist in the hotel. People at the hotel say that animals with dark colour, especially of black colour cast omen on humans. However, Miss Ripley-Bean is of the opinions that if the person’s soul is pure and undefiled, then these animals also play as a guard.
On two occasions when Ruskin came and went to Kempty village at night, much to his surprise he found that a black dog of good height, usually taller than str…

Book Review: Strychnine in the Cognac by Ruskin Bond

Strychnine in the Cognac by Ruskin Bond is a short murder mystery which directly or indirectly features the adventures of Miss Ripley-Bean. This story has been covered under the book Death Under the Deodars of Ruskin Bond.

In this story, the murder mystery is neither solved by any detective or Miss Ripley Bean. As we know that in the book Death Under the Deodars it has been shown clearly that Miss Ripley-Bean lives in one of the small rooms of the hotel. The story is between the actor Dilip Roy and his actress wife Rosie. They have come to Mussoorie in the hotel Royal place to while away the summer. After summer, Dilip Roy has a shooting schedule in Switzerland.
Things are not good between them. They often quarrel. In the hotel, Dilip Roy remains silent and rude to many, while Rosie interacts with people and soon befriends Miss Ripley-Bean because both ladies share love for gardening. Nandu, the owner of the hotel, is on the seventh heaven because of the stars living in his hotel. Un…

Book Review: Arsenic in the Post by Ruskin Bond

Arsenic in the Post by Ruskin Bond is a murder mystery covered in the book Death Under the Deodars. This story dates back to 1920s – it is narrated by Miss Ripley-Bean. When this story actually took place that time she was a young girl of twenty. Well, now she is a seventy year old spinster living in one of the rooms of the hotel Royal in Mussoorie. The story is narrated in the company of Nandu, the hotel owner, Lobo, the pianist, the princess of Harshil, and Ruskin Bond.
Mrs. Doreen Smith is a voluptuous married woman in her thirties. She lives in Meerut with his husband, Mr. Clarence Smith, and an eleven year old school-going daughter. She is bored of her life – she leads a sedentary lifestyle and her husband is not much of fun to her in bed. She is looking for some extra in life.
Soon, she comes in contact with a tall and dark and handsome man, Monty Summers. They get along together quite soon and secretly make love whenever they get chance. Monty Summers is married and lives in …

Author Highlight: Saurish Hegde Discusses his Book ‘The Game of Secrets’ and Stories from his Life

It’s time for another author interview. Today, with us we have Saurish Hegde; he lives in Mangalore, India.
Kindly tell us a bit about you. I’m 22 years old, completed my MBBS course currently doing my internship in Kasturba medical college, Mangalore. I have been a reader since school, interested in biographies, thrillers. I’m also interested in all sports as well. How do you handle the success of your first novel The Game of Secrets? I feel grateful firstly to get my book published by a good upcoming publisher this early, and with the great reviews pouring in. I feel satisfied. Do you think that writing an intense science-fiction novel is as good as writing a normal novel? Please highlight your thoughts on it. Science fiction is better than writing a normal novel, reason being we are progressing towards a very tech oriented future. People are more concerned about the science behind the everyday life making Science fiction relatable to the present and the future context. Yes, it is …

Book Review: The Rise of Rama by Vijay Singh Sodhi

There is a difference between reading a story and watching a story. What if you got a chance to read the timeless epic Ramayana the way you have seen ‘The Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Game of Thrones’ movies. Vijay Sodhi, the writer of The Rise of Rama, has put in cinematic techniques to make this retelling of the Ramayana a great thrilling experience for the people of today. The Rise of Rama by Vijay Sodhi is the first book in the Ramayana trilogy. It is written in a screenplay style which makes it easy to grasp and enjoy. With the help of terms like INT, EXT, FADE UP, ZOOM TO and so on, for readers it becomes clear where actually the scene is set. These cinematic techniques have added a lot of clarity in the story. It’s like you are all there – director, actor, and reader.
The timeless Ramayan is a long epic saga and its story frame stretches over a long period of time, thus it is divided into seven parts, in Hindi each part is called as ‘Kand’. Division into seven parts makes it a pleas…

Author Highlight: Abhinav Singh Discusses his Book ‘The Last Attractor of Chaos’ and Stories from Life

It’s time for another author interview. Today, with us we have Abhinav Singh; he lives in Patna, India. Recently, he has published a terrific spy thriller called ‘TheLast Attractor of Chaos’. He is a Hollywood movie buff, an eccentric reader, and a foodie. The best innovation to ever happen for a person like him is the Netflix. He loves watching movies, three to four at a stretch and without ads. Reading, anticipating, and understanding Physics is his hobby and teaching physics is his profession.
How do you handle the response of your first novel, ‘The Last Attractor of Chaos’? Well, there isn’t much response to handle. I’m an Indie author and it’s my first novel. It will take some time to get response from the readers. Do you think that writing an intense spy thriller novel is as good as writing a normal novel? Please highlight your thoughts on it. Although it’s my first, I’d say that a thriller would need more research and a writer would have to face more struggle to create twists …

Book Review: Calling Sehmat by Harinder Sikka

Calling Sehmat is a spy thriller by Harinder Sikka; the book has been published twice since its first release in 2008. The story is about the Indo-Pak war of 1971, in which India played a major role in liberating Bangladesh from the clutches of brutal Pakistan. The story is staged against Kashmir and Pakistan. It is a story of a girl who goes by the name of Sehmat, she becomes an undercover agent to serve her nation, India, as well as to satiate her dying father’s wish.

Recently a movie called Raazi is released, starring Alia Bhatt. The plot and story of the movie has been inspired by this book. Sehmat is a Kashmiri young girl – full of life and love – and also the ambience of her house is secular and patriotic because of two reasons. First, her father is a Kashmiri Muslim and her mother a Hindu. And secondly, her father works for Indian agencies (like RAW and IB), though he has relations in Pakistan as well. When her father is about to die, he asks Sehmat to serve the nation by marr…