Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2014

Book Review: Delhi Is Not Far by Ruskin Bond

As the author forewarns it is a plot less tale, the story is about lower middle-class yet busy people who live in a town and manage day-to-day difficulties. It features a slew of characters – all ambitious but tied to their native town Pipalnagar in more than one ways. Arun is a struggling writer; he writes cheap thrillers for small publishers. His publishers advise him to write thick books or guides for colleges that sell like hot cakes. But he wishes to follow his passion than indulging into a pure game of money making. It is clear that people of small town care about passion and interest over minting money. Next is Deep Chand, the barber, he is of the opinion of moving to Delhi where he can make lot of money by opening a saloon shop. Aziz, a teenager, owns a musty junk shop. He too wants to open a big junk shop in Chandni Chowk. Arun is the central character of the novella around whom other minor characters gallop about. Suraj is an orphan suffering the fits of hysteria. Ar

Book Review: The Last Don by Mario Puzo

‘The Last Don’ is a piece of extraordinary caliber, and Puzo is at his best. The Last Don is a masterful tale narrating how mafia life is linked to the needs of Hollywood in America. The novel marvelously shuttles between the aging Don Clericuzio’s family that holds a deep-buried secret, Las Vegas Strip Casinos, Hollywood, and some throwbacks from Sicily. The novel takes its readers to New York, Las Vegas, Hollywood, and Sicily of Italy through a web of interesting characters. The last line of the novel highlights the cruel reality of the world in one simple go – “Oh, what a wicked world it is that drives a man to sins.” Dante – the Don’s grandson is the point of ‘jocular moods’ throughout the novel, though he is equally danger and an able antagonist in the book. His traits lead superb climaxes in the book. He is one of the best characters in the book and simply hilarious. The book has also showed the pathetic condition of writers who are involved into making the great

Book Review: The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh

Undisputedly ‘The Hungry Tide’ can be regarded as the best work of Amitav Ghosh. The novel has a few fact-provoking themes: adventure, silent appeal for love, nature’s wrath on human intervention, redemption, traces of lust, confrontation between the beast and the humans, and spiritual streaks to a degree. Like other great writers, in an attempt, he too have found a setting – a place where the characters of the books can be seen engaged into different conflicts and pulling the readers ultimately. The writer has prodigious imagination powers. The story of this novel opens with Piyali Roy, often known as Piya in the book. She is adventurous by nature because her profession gives her that sort of leverage. She comes to India, from USA, to research about Irrawaddy dolphins, mainly found around the Sunderbans. In her journey she soon gets acquainted in the contact of Kanai Dutta, a businessman from Delhi. Ironically, he is not as daunting as Fokir. If readers heed on the ch

Book Review: The Wheel Turned by Malathi Ramchandran

The book opens up in early 1960s; China and India are at war. Meena is married to Anand, an army captain who is taken as the Prison of War (POW). Soon after his disappearance, the army declares him dead. However, Meena shows compelling optimism and believes that he will return one day. On the other hand Meena’s life is pale and solitude, so she visits her native place, then Anand’s officer friend, Pradeep marries her. She starts a fresh life, though Anand is alive in her heart. Up there in the Chinese prison Anand acquaints with a Chinese girl, Ming lee, with whom he falls in love. Though their love story couldn’t carry on, but that girl helps Anand to escape from the prison. Anand returns to India as a monastic fellow than a soldier in a group of monks. Meena’s reunion with him fails, as he’s never a part of her life. Love comes to her again, tenderly rakes up her old feelings and memories but leaves her again. Meena is devastated on her ravaging fate, but she accepts that

Book Review: Not Exactly Shangri-la by Martin Moir

Martin Moir is a London based writer. He was associated with the Oriental and India Office Collection of the British Library in London. Not Exactly Shangri-la is his debut novel; he fictionalizes the adventures of one Timothy Curtin, who after apparently completing his doctorate has come to do some research regarding the history of the Himalayan kingdom ‘Kalapur’.   He, being the secretary of the ‘Royal Himalayan Centre’ in London, Curtin organizes a lecture in the presence of the main head of the monastery of Kalapur’s.    Further, he, the abbot unveils about a secret document entitled ‘The Lives of the Lamas’ will soon be made accessible to selected foreign researchers, and before he departs he hands Curtin an official invitation to visit Kalapur. When Curtin takes up his scholarly adventure, Kalapur is tussling with a violent struggle. It is taken that the construction of the kingdom’s recent historical past is a major cause of conflict. Curtin’s research therefore has maj

Book Review: Unforgettables by Nandini Rai

Unforgettables is a collection of short stories written by Nandini Rai. The book contains stories from many eras – contemporary to modern to as old as 14th century. The first story unveils a solitude state of things for a lonely housewife since her husband is often out for business outings. Thus to fill the gnawing absence she tries taking art classes and the tutor being a bachelor finds himself weaving threads of infatuation with her. Though she is also getting attached to him unwittingly but the feeling of betrayal stops her from taking any indifferent step. Yes, there are traces of betrayal and second love but the honesty of the woman outwits those traits and the story ends on a positive note. Other stories deal with various themes and times; the story of a boy who longs to be a sailor is of 18th century. With the next story there is a change of geographical settings – that is all about an Argentine actress. To add more thrill, this collection also has a murder mystery.

Author Highlight: Mulk Raj Anand

India in spite of her variety and complexity is a cultural unit. She stamped an image of her own culture. Culture is an exploratory term, which advocates the sum total of all that is reflected in the mode of life of people – their thought processes, attitudes and outlook towards life, social structure, infrastructure, values, traditions, customs, their requirements, aims, aspirations, ambitions and national commitment and then this is best expressed through arts and letters of the country. Best measurement of culture of any nation is possibly only through her literature. Literature represents the inner and outer life of a nation. Indian English literature began as a byproduct of eventful encounter between vigorous and enterprising Britain and a stagnant and chaotic India. This encounter is, “India, withered trunk…suddenly shot out with foreign foliage.”  One form of this foliage resulted in original writing in English by Indians. The most significant event in the history

Book Review: Burial at Sea by Khushwant Singh

Burial at Sea is a hastily written novella by Khuswant Singh. The story is staged against the pre- and post- independence backdrop. Mr. Mattoo introduces his son, Victor Jai Bhagwan, to Mahatma Gandhi. And soon, he becomes one of the brilliant students of Gandiji. Victor is ambitious but at the same time sounds contrary to Gandhian thoughts, thus there is always a rift between the both. After a successful academic stint in England, when Victor returns India he opposes the idea of freedom for India, and also wants to bring India at a global level by establishing number of industries. Thus to start with he sets up a textile mill around the Yamuna River and further in a very short span of time he establishes many other niche industries and becomes one of the leading capitalists of the country. On the behest of his parents when he gets married to a simple lady his life takes a dull turn, subsequently he takes his wife as a sex toy. While giving birth to a baby girl, she dies. Ther

Book Review: Never Say Never by Anjali Kirpalani

Based on common-day themes such as treachery and betrayal, which are superficially prevalent among the young generation, ‘Never Say Never’, to say in other words, is a book of today. It can captivate the hearts of college-going teenagers as these people (pupil) often make resolutions on various days but seldom follow because of many state-of-things. In this book Nikita is a lead character but actually a dumb, considering her tenacity. When you got nothing to do with life and want to start something anew, the first thing happens is falling in love that too with your friend’s lover. Though the trait is cheap and hollow but in books like these – it is always fun to read a risible stuff any day. Nikita Kumar is a very complicated person. The writer portrayed as she is often confused and upset with herself. Probably, she doesn’t know what affinities are meant for her, just like many other modern girls, who live in profligacy and often think going out of common way means succ

Book Review: Love@Facebook by Nikita Singh

The book was written in 2010, when Facebook was emerging in India unlike the USA or other European countries where it was on a decline. It needs no extra introduction that Facebook users can chat and flirt on this platform with an ease.  So, here is the same story. While browsing smart guys’ profiles on Facebook, Vatsala falls for Ronit’s profile. Ronit is a popular VJ, almost a celebratory, and famous among teenagers like Vats. Clearly, if she can have Ronit (in both means) then she would also be taken as half star. She profoundly chases him a lot, puts a lot of comments, and likes almost every image of him. After some passive chains of events, she finally gets the attention of Ronit. On the other hand, a typecast lover Ankit is behind Vatsala for four years. Ankit has every aspect to be her lover, except the celebrity status. As we all know, true love is true. Ankit gets Vatsala in the end and for this to happen the author uses a very popular yet common trick: Vatsala t