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Showing posts from October, 2018

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…

List of Interesting Characters from Ruskin Bond Stories

Ruskin Bond books and stories are around the corner for over sixty years now. Undoubtedly, he has written over 600 stories, in the form of novels, novellas, short stories, fiction and non-fiction. Ruskin writes about nothingness, in general, but still his stories are relatable and the kind of characters of that we experience somehow look familiar to us and many stay with us for long, even when we pass the stories from one generation to another. This post brings a list of some interesting characters often spotted in his stories, like Binya, Rusty, and many more.

Bhabhiji: In the book Rusty Comes Home, there is a long story about a very peculiar and staunch woman, she is reverently or out of fear is often called as Bhabhiji. She is the head of the home where a dozen of grandchildren run pell-mell and brides can never compete with her, no matter whatever they do. According to Rusty, in that home you will everything (love and food) but no privacy. As Ruskin says in the end that Jane Auste…

Book Review: The Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

The Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday is self-help cum philosophical book that includes a variety of practical-looking cases in the form of stories and examples, from fields like history to philosophy and everything in between.

The book, first in the place, serves ambitious people. It says if you really value your goals and objectives, the biggest obstacle is you ‘Yourself’. That is your ego that stops you from lowering down to get humble and learning in life. It is now a proven fact that our lives are misguided by our ego more than instincts. As a matter of fact, ego is the root cause of problems that frequented us in everyday life.
The author relays the importance of being an egoless life via different situations and makes us grasp that our ego prevents us from improving by telling us that we don’t need to improve. This is the main reason behind our unsuccessful career/life, even if we get it, we lose it after a short period of time. Another great point that the author recommends t…

Author Highlight: Hureen Gandhi Discusses her New Book ‘Page 6 And Beyond’ and Stories from her Life

We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Hureen– the author of ‘Page 6 And Beyond’. In this interview, Hureen talks about her writing aspirations, the route to getting her book published, and her inclination towards witty and light-hearted novels. Stay on...while we chat with her.
What motivates you to write? I like to spread laughter around. The idea that my writing can put a smile on someone’s face motivates me to write. What were your feelings after publishing the book: Page 6 And Beyond? There were mixed feelings. A sense of relief and satisfaction that the book I was working for almost year and a half is finally live. A sense of anxiety as to how the book will be perceived and a sense of gratitude towards all the people and travel opportunities in my life that made this book and the stories possible. Why did you choose to write a contemporary novel based around a chatting app? Page 6 And beyond was not planned. It happened! There were incredible insp…

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is a thriller, if not a murder mystery. The story opens with a couple’s fifth wedding anniversary. Things go awry and the wife disappears with no particular clue left behind. Husband is not only clueless but also ill-informed. Their marriage was starting to fall apart already but he didn't want to see his wife gone.

The police investigation commences but to no avail. The husband thinks he needs to do something and starts doing the investigation on his own. The girl’s parents also start to worry, their only child went missing. From childhood to high school, from neighbors to in-laws everyone is questioned and investigated and yet no one has any clue. Now the finger gets pointed at the husband because now he's the only one who could have done all this! But the girl’s parents keep faith in him. There is media that frames a different picture of the whole scene. The girl is one of the famous one on whom the book series is written, thus what everyone wond…

Book Review: Kafka on the Shore by Murakami

After reading Norwegian Wood and IQ84, you may feel that this book is one of the best works of Murakami. If this is your third book, you must have at least understood what to expect from him.

Murakami has told that you may need to read this over and over again to understand the book! In the days of Twitter and Instagram, we don't think many have time or patience to read any book as bizarre as this even once.
As the story goes: so you have a kid who is 15 with mental age of a big guy who runs away and is still running away from home, reality and everything else! And (like IQ84) this one also has a parallel track of another dude who is around 60 but with the mental age of a kid who cannot read!
So while the first one talks to his alter ego (of imagination or maybe a real crow! I or Murakami doesn't really know or care!), which is a crow! And the other dude can talk to cats! (At least in the beginning when nothing makes sense).
It starts with a modern re-imagination or retellin…

Author Highlight: Gautam Discusses his New Book ‘Rafflesia: The Banished Princes’ and Stories from his Life

We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Gautam– the author of ‘Rafflesia: The Banished Princes’. In this interview, Gautam talks about his writing aspirations, and the route to getting his book published. Stay on...while we chat with him.
What motivates you to write? I love to write. It is a deeply satisfying experience for me personally. Different people are addicted to different things at different points in their lives. Some love to travel. Some love sports, not that you must have one at a time. I like many things too, but as of now, writing seems to be the one that precedes all other interests. How did you handle the response of this book? Well, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the book. It was more of an experiment. I knew from the beginning that it was something off beat. However, readers have been very kind to shower praises, despite the length of the book. The reactions have been extreme – from Oh my God to Yuck. I took everything in my …

Book Review: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Phantom of the Opera is a horror novel written by French writer Gaston Leroux. The book was first serialized from 1909 to 1910. Initially the book was written in French and when it started gaining attention to due Paris Opera fact, it has been made available in other languages, including English version.

Basically, the story enigmatically revolves around very popular opera singer Christine Daae. Tragically, the opera singer (Christine Daae) becomes the object of fascination for the supposedly 'Opera Ghost' and the strange events that take place after he finds out that she is in love with her childhood sweetheart, Raoul de Chagny. So, the lady is in love with a ghost. That’s an amazing crux. Raoul de Chagny is passionate about her, compelled by love and jealousy; he performs bizarre and terrible acts to keep her around him.
The plot of the book is captivating. In snatches, you will find that the writing isn’t that great and engaging, so you may get bored in places but stil…

Book Review: Pyjamas are Forgiving by Twinkle Khanna

This is a third contemporary novel by Twinkle Khanna, her two previous books were good, readable. But this – third one – is a huge disappointment. May be because the storyline seemed too short and draggish. This story is about a woman named Anshu from Mumbai. She is forty, has no children and divorcee. To take a respite from her life or so called karma, she visits an Ashram in Kerala, where she will be indulged in yoga, and other restraints, like sex forbidden, and limited food and so on. Well, there she finds her ex-husband Jay with his new and younger wife Shalini. After this point, the book takes a rewind process and the character goes back to her past life for retrospection i.e. love and marriage with Jay and what possibly went wrong so as to see this day.

The book explores the deep psychoanalysis of common human traits like jealousy, infatuation, selfishness, betrayal etc. This novel has limited scope of story but the author has stretched it deliberately, and for such a short st…

Book Review: Last Train to Istanbul by Ayşe Kulin

Last Train to Istanbul is a war-fiction by Ayşe Kulin, first written in Turkish, but the book gained immense popularity, thus it got translated into many languages. The English translation is as good as Turkish, thanks to the brilliance of John W. Baker.

The novel is more about political turmoil gripping Turkey during the period of WW-II than battlefields and all that war-related misery. As the power of Hitler begins rising in Europe, the pressure on Turkey increases because of its strategic location. On one side, British wants to have Turkey to their side without giving any substantial military aid, while on the other side Hitler pushes Turkey towards his party. Turkey’s plight and fight lies in being neutral.
Among all this political chaos and crises, in the novel lies a story of one family that unwittingly gets divided and later they all struggle to become one once again. First off, they are torn away by religious differences and then by Hitler’s policies. The rift in the family …

Author Highlight: Ritu Kakar Discusses her New Book ‘One Precious Moment’ and Stories from her Life

We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Ritu – the author of ‘One Precious Moment’. In this interview, Ritu talks about her writing aspirations, the route to getting her book published, and her inclination towards contemporary fiction. Stay on...while we chat with her.
What motivates you to write? I have been a very avid reader and a lover for creating stories. I still remember I was 8 years when my mother got me my first collection of Moby Dick, Robinson Cruose, midnight stories, taming of the shrew. They all fascinated me more than my academic syllabus. I loved the different characters in all those books, I was fascinated with the stories and I lived each story with each changing character. But a secret that I want to share is that even at that age while I loved reading, I loved writing too. I would create essays which really impressed my teachers, so I have been a story teller since long. And now after a very long time that need, that desire to write an…

Positive Eating: A Guide to Everyday Health & Nutrition with Easy to Cook Recipes by Radhika Toshniwal

The veracity of this book falls on the credible profile of the author Radhika; yes she has over fifteen years of experience in nutrition field. Well, she is here to steer your eating habits onto a substantial and positive route. Did you see the tagline:  a guide to everyday health & nutrition with easy to cook recipes. Everyday health practices matter, right? You can brighten your day, resurrect your energy packets (just in case you suffer from laziness and so), feel good in mind and heart owning to positive eating. Yes, positive eating matters a lot. It makes difference in your life. Don’t treat your food like a moss…it is something that you need every day till your last breath. Thus, it’s better to be in company of salubrious food items.

Many laymen/folks won’t realize that this book (Positive Eating) by Radhika ma’am is an eye-opener than just a plain read about cuisines or recipes. The book explicitly opens up the case of a food item and exposes why you need it and how…what i…

Book Review: And Now We Are Twelve by Ruskin Bond

For the people interested in whereabouts of Ruskin Bond, as where he lives, with whom, is he married or living with an adopted family? Well, this short story is for you - And Now We Are Twelve – this story is about Ruskin’s cottages (he used to change quite a few) in Mussoorie and family and children associated with him since a long time.

In a nutshell this story is plot less; rather it accounts the life of Ruskin Bond since 1970 when he started building a family with family of others. Reading this short story will reveal as why Ruskin chose to stay in Mussoorie as he could have settled in England, Shimla or some other hilly place of India. The story goes like this, when Ruskin came in Mussoorie as a new entrant, he got the company of Prem, an inhabitant of hills. Prem along with his small family stayed with Ruskin in his cottages, sometimes up the hill or down in the valley, as a helper. Gradually, their understanding grew deeper. This you will read in the story From Small Beginning…

Author Highlight: Gaurav Gupta Discusses his New Book ‘College Diaries’ and Stories from his Life

We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Gaurav – the author of ‘College Diaries’. In this interview, Gaurav talks about his writing aspirations, and the route to getting his book published. Stay on...while we chat with him.
What motivates you to write? Creating a difference in someone’s life or making someone smile. Or if someone can find their stories in mine or relate to it, that also gives fair bit of motivation. More my work is read, more I feel connected with this world. You remember the movie – ‘The Ring’ – In that, there is a girl Samara that just wants to be heard. My writing soul feels the same – it just wants to be read. How did you handle the response of this book, were there are any hiccups from college faculties? There haven’t been any hiccups so far. My campus faculties are fairly pleased with the book which is based on IIT Roorkee. People have liked the book so far. But what lies ahead of me is the tricky task of marketing the book so that p…

Book Review: RAFFLESIA: The Banished Princess by Gautam

‘RAFFLESIA – The Banished Princess’ by Gautam is a Bildungsroman novel. Through this book we meet Appu (Apurva Sharma) – a very silent, emotion-provoking and intense character. The book is about him. How he grows up with his parents, the kind of society he witnesses, his subaudition with some of the people outside his family, and most important how he struggles to eke out his share from the world or how he tussles to be a good fit in the hedonism of the world which is nothing but a meaningless chase for unbridled desires.

Appu is terrific. You will feel for him. He is naïve, honest, and inexperienced. His favourtie tale is RAFFLESIA – The Banished Princess. Appu liked this tale ever since he got hold of it. He had read it numerous times since his childhood. Why? There is some strange connection to his heart with this tale of a princess. Probably Appu tried to rise above all – everything – from all the hues and cries that grip the soul of a middle-class family. But did he succeed? Pro…