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Showing posts from May, 2022

Book Review: Apna Utsav by Purnendu Ghosh

Apna Utsav by Purnendu Ghosh is an admirable nostalgic memoir cum semi-autobiography. The book is slightly long and stretches up to 300 pages. The book is about the author, he vividly brings forth his life’s phases and events right from the birth to up till now, at the age of seventy. Right at the beginning, the author says: Apna Utsav begins the day one is born. It continues even when one is gone. The title Apna Utsav means personal celebrations and ceremonies of life. In this book the author mainly brings good memories of his life from childhood to old age. His take on life is not void, rather it’s full of wisdom and experience. The author introduces his family tree, parents, upbringing, foreign sojourns, achievements, his finicky mental state, relationship with wife and children and much more. The book gains philosophical pattern when the author tangentially sheds light on arts, cinema, country, freedom, education, and so on. Like a veteran narrator, first he starts with his sto

Book Review: Ghost of Honour by A.R. Felcita

Ghost of Honour by A.R. Felcita is a crime thriller with a good dose of horror and supernatural elements. The novel is staged against the Western Ghats in South India. As the story commences, we see that a talented police officer named Stanson Bastine is posted at a small village ‘Malaiyoor’. However, the village is not a crime hub, rather he has to investigate some century old murder mysteries. Soon a bunch of students arrive at the village to do survey on some medicinal herbs and the drama begins. A student named Pricilla is disappeared in the air. Following the event, there is commotion in the village and it’s believed that the curse from the mountains is back and it’s going to make villagers life hell. Things are not the way it looks. Little did they know that something sinister and hidden is lurking at them? ‘Ghost of Honour’ is a multi-layered thriller with many subplots. As the novel chugs ahead, it comes out that the village is being guarded by ‘The Guardian Deity’. Nobody

Book Review: Noctambulism: Flood of Blood by Shubhan Balvally

Noctambulism: Flood of Blood by Shubhan Balvally is a riveting murder mystery set in Goa, amidst a large family. As the novels kicks off, you better go through the large Pinto family tree. Understanding the family tree is critical to the overall grasping of the novel. You needn’t worry about so many characters, once chugged ahead, mid way you may begin calling them by names. Basically it boils down between two brothers: Lazarus and Lawrence Pinto. They gathered massive wealth in the form of assets, business, property, gold and what not. The elder brother Lazarus is a polygamist, he has three wives and around eight children. While the younger one Lawrence is simple and under the domination of his elder brother. First 10 or 15 chapters focus too much on their lives, sweeps, and current lifestyle. In December, the family gathers at their own island Bat Island, there they have villas under a mansion. So many ladies and children, rivalry was just around the corner. All looked friendly,

Book Review: Night of the Millennium by Ruskin Bond

Night of the Millennium by Ruskin Bond is a short story that is slightly spooky and has horror elements. As usual it is set in Mussoorie, in Nag Tibba, a sort of hill side. If you have read other popular stories of Ruskin Bond, you might be familiar with this Nag Tibba. The story is staged against the night of 31 December 1999. Soon a new millennium will be celebrated by the world. The new century will not be like previous one, it will open various vistas for growth and development especially for skilled, hardworking, and intellectual persons. Since it’s a New Year night that many do not sleep, Pasand, a young man, who is highly successful in his efforts, is taking a stroll past midnight. He is thinking about others performance in life by seeing their large houses while walking. But success has made him arrogant. He takes others for granted. He is also lustful and tonight wants to sleep with any woman to exert his dominance. The road he is walking has an old cemetery beside it. T

Book Review: Janya Bharata by Manu Nellutla

From the epic sagas like Mahabharata and Ramayana, there have been many re-telling. And nearly all novels eulogize the main protagonists, which are mainly gods or demigods. Those novels play around lord Rama, Vishnu, Pandavas and Kauravas and other auxiliary characters. However, this time, Janya Bharata by Manu Nellutla sheds light on commoners. As in what the normal folks and soldiers felt for the war, how they were staged, and what ramifications they had to deal with during and after the war. Janya means public, so the title is apt. Unlike the gods of that era, this novel features normal characters like Mitrajit, Kumudini, Aparajit, Chitraangad, Purna, Dhruti. They live in a village called Devasthana. As the story commences up, we see Mitrajit and many physically fit men are sent to the training camps. The rumour is that big kingdoms and their allies have to go to war if peace didn’t strike between Pandavas and Kauravas. The novel is not about conversation of kings, war preparati

Book Review: Forever She (Tales of Otherworldly Love & Passion) by Amitav Ganguly

Forever She by Amitav Ganguly is an enthralling riveting collection of seven short stories about love and passion, where in each narrative a female character nudges the main storyline. The book is not about romance or love stories; rather it depicts the true and unconditional love that two persons could share in life and even after death. The opening story is ‘Obsession for Whom’ . It’s about an Adivasi woman Mahua Mahato that goes missing. The narrator when reached in a small forest-side village, he eerily finds the place somewhat strange. The villagers are worried about that missing woman while the police are suspecting it as a case of murder. When the narrator sees the missing girl’s picture on the phone, he gets the vibes of seeing a soul mate. He feels love for that woman though never met her. In the surprising turn of events, he is guided by an intriguing spotlight pattern falling from the lamppost and the killer is caught, who was none other than his coordinator Khagen Das.

Book Review: Parody by Ramu Upadhaya

Parody by Ramu Upadhaya is another terrific offering on the layers of the society. Like his earlier novels that are based on people’s juggernaut entwined within their society, state, and country – this one also follows the same footsteps. Parody in an open affront refers to imitation, or mimicking and aping the others with the change of circumstances. The novel has a few named characters that are always in the centre like Joe, Jim, Dumez, and Doly. The undertone of the novel explores the evolution of changes in the society through the characters. The novel is poignant in capturing the evaluative and critical mood of the state and country that is depended on its mass. Broadly putting, this novel brings out the pitfalls of the making of a state by focusing coverage on topics like customs, culture, disparity, pride, and much more. If you have read other books of the author, you will get that hunch that in Ramu’s books, the building of the society from rudimentary aspects takes place

Book Review: Punyam by Ritesh Gupta

Indian mythology is a repository of fantastic tales. No matter how many times you read and listen to tales from the Holy Scriptures like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas, and Upanishads – their compelling and intriguing storytelling aspects take you to a different level. Punyam means good karma or merit. The book Punyam is a collection of twenty-five short stories from scriptures like Puranas, Upanishads, Ramayana, and Mahabharata. The book takes a dive into the greatness of the characters in the form of highly elevated spirits, gods, demi-gods, and saints. Through the stories, you can come to know the level of dedication and sacrifice and righteousness our mythological ancestors have had to lead their life. It is a very delightful read, all stories are positive, and impart a sense of lesson, morale enhancement, spiritual rejig, and so on. Stories are divided as per the sources. If you have read Ramayana and Mahabharata, some of the stories may sound like a revisit. However, the stor

Cover Reveal – Kindling (Prequel to Rage of the Immortals) by Kanika

Before they were enemies, they were brothers. If Cifer had his way, he would protect Atom forever. He would let himself be cut down if it meant that Atom would be safe. Atom is the centre of Cifer’s universe. But he is not a child anymore and Cifer needs to let him find his way, or suffer the consequences. Nightmare enters Cifer’s service to repay her debt. She encounters Atom, the dashing King of Heaven, and they become inseparable. The lonely Pfeline and the hurting liege of Heaven find comfort in each other. But Atom cannot give her more. His body and his soul mean nothing if his heart belongs to another… Atom can’t help loving whom he loves, but he’ll be damned if he utters a word to her about it. His love is not only unrequited; it’s forbidden too. He would die a thousand deaths before he acts on it. But when his beloved is threatened by a dangerous enemy, how far will he go to protect her? This is NOT a love story. This is a story about Love. …about how cruel Love can

Book Review: Immersed in West Africa by Terry Lister

The title says a lot. Let me explain it in a few words. Terry Lister is a regular solo traveler who has so far tasted cultural aroma of over 96 countries, including 22 in Africa. His latest book is a travel experience which he gained while being in five West African countries namely Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. All these countries are located in the west of Africa. He travelled there like a normal man, with difficulties that a local could face. However, whatever he lists down in this diary-like travelogue is interesting and for sure stir a streak of curiosity in people who either enjoy armchair adventure or so far not tasted the soil of any African Country. I found the book highly rich with his personal accounts of people, soil, climate, dealing with corrupt officials and locals who demanded extra money, and so on. Terry begins his journey with Senegal, which also remains his base point. In this country he visits many historical monuments and places that

Book Review – Pentias: Master of the Elemental Jewels by Karthika Sajeev

Karthika Sajeev is becoming famous for her Pentias series. Previously in the series, the first book was Pentias: The True Bond. In this novel, we saw how Pentias (five friends) are formed. So, if you have read the first book in the series, quite obvious you will be familiar with the characters: Aahan, Aarav, Dhyan, Farhan, and Harshi. Second book in the series is Pentias: Master of the Elemental Jewels , it can be read as an independent novel as well. It’s a light fantasy thriller for children, but even hardcore fantasy readers will fall for it. The novel looks like a complete fantasy thriller with many charming aspects such as brilliant storytelling, backdrop, pace, and much more. What’s in the story? The lead character is Aahan, his younger brother Aarav and other friends are always with him but he is the cynosure of the novel. When Aahan turns 15, on his birthday he is disturbed by a recurring nightmare related to that haunting mansion of Mrs. Laurel’s. The haunting story is cov

Book Review: Daughter of Luharu by Monica Sudhir Gupta

Daughter of Luharu by Monica Sudhir Gupta is a riveting novel that narrates the tale of forlorn fate of women during pre and post independence. The novel is poignant in capturing their pain and tribulation among the patriarchal Indian society. No matter what the women’s contribution is towards a home or nation, they are always treated deplorably. In this novel, we see similar situation where the protagonist Roheeni fights and stands first for herself, then for her daughter and others. Her stance for voice and justice is worth watching and highly appreciative. The story begins with eight-year-old Roheeni living in a fictional town Luharu, in North India. The time is before independence. Her father is a rich businessman who hardly has time for her because she is a girl and her mother passed away when she was born. Soon, she is married off to Vishnu Das in a nearby village Chiriya at the age of eight. The first issue that the novel highlights is the child marriage. At her father-in-la

Book Review: The Cord by Sredhanea Ramkrishnan

The Cord by Sredhanea Ramkrishnan is a terrific page-turner novel. It casts the characters that are entwined in a common plight due to circumstances of fate. At one time, they were having common comradeship and brotherhood, but the partition of the country separated them for nation above their personal interests. The novel is multi-layered with many subplots and its timeline expanse is large…i.e. before 1947 to that Bangladesh liberation war of 1971. The story begins with the division of British Indian Army for two countries – India and the newly formed Pakistan. Major Ashraf goes to Pakistan with his family but his son Azad hides and remains in India. Why? That is another story within the novel. After the dreadful partition, the author introduces characters with their struggle and sweeps. Soon the story chugs ahead, leaving the trails of partition behind. Azad joins the Indian Armed Forces under the father-like guidance from one Hindu family. On the other hand, Major Ashraf lead

Author Highlight: Mohul Bhowmick Talks about his New Book ‘They Were My Heroes’ and Stories from his Life

  We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have a multi-faceted personality Mohul – the author of ‘They Were My Heroes’. He converses about a successful stint in cricket, his journey as a travel writer and poet and much more. We would like to know about career in cricket? Do cricketers write books? Playing cricket is more than just a profession for me; it is like oxygen. I would not be able to live without it. The sport has shaped the person that I am today and I am extremely grateful for the teachings that it has imparted to me. I have had the great honour of being selected to play for Hyderabad at various national-level competitions organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at the under-16, under-19 and under-23 levels so far. I have also been privileged enough to get named in the probables of the Hyderabad Ranji Trophy team, and am working towards getting a call-up for the same at the moment. As for the second part of your question,

Book Review: Dewdrop and Banyan Tree by Ramachandran Rajasekharan

Dewdrop and Banyan Tree by Ramachandran Rajasekharan is a delightful poetry read. The great thing about this book is that its inherent theme is life. All the poems are either sprung from the poet’s life or his parents from whom he got the genius of literature and some more observations. Ramachandran Rajasekharan unspeakably divides the book in two parts, first twenty or so poems are light and mostly based on childhood, and nature. And the second part or towards the end of the book you will find poems with grave tone. There is a contrast but you will have a smooth ride. In some of the poems both dewdrop and banyan appeared to compare two aspects of life, one is pure and fragile, while another one talks about strength and support. The title poem is brilliantly penned down –it draws comparison between being pure and strong. The poet nudged on his exceptional observation powers. He brings forward life lessons and nature concerns and the memories of childhood glory. It’s evident that th