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Showing posts from November, 2023

Book Review: The Boar Hunt by V.M. Devadas

Originally written in Malayalam as Pannivetta by V.M. Devadas, and translated in English by Prabha Zacharias. The novel – the Boar Hunt – is a terrific read backdropped against the serene beauty of 1980s Kochi. The scaffold of the novel deals with gangsters and mafias and local dons. In particular the novel is staged against a set of gangsters who ruled Kochi in 1980s. There are no proper protagonists and antagonists. The storyline has a self-actuating pace and it is controlled and steered by a Jewish Russian lady named Grusha. She is sent by some unknown company to conduct a Russian Roulette for six gangsters. She in person meets all through her cab driver Musafir, who once was part of the mafia mechanism. Musafir, Albert, Lothar, Mustafa, Arumukhan, Getto, Raul, Satheeshan…are some prominent gangsters, their stories run silently throughout the book. In addition to these, Bappu is another powerful character who repents his Karmic deeds when confronted by Grusha. But he should be joi

Book Review: In God's Country, Karwar by Vijay Medtia

In God's Country, Karwar by Vijay Medtia kicks off with a bang with a murder of one prominent lawyer in the seaside town Karwar. It takes readers into the troubled house of Uma Verma, the wife of deceased lawyer. She didn’t have a good life with him. She was accused of having a secret lover that could have killed her husband. But that’s not the final story of accusations. You would love how Vijay Medtia give pieces of the origin for what is happening in Karwar. As the inspector Arjun takes the case in his hand with a personal care for Uma, the story begins unfolding with its own threads of nostalgia of youth and old memories of friendship and past haunting of three: Uma, Vinod, and Arjun. Before the dust could settle down for a proper investigation, the town is disturbed by two more murders, related to same field…maybe related to property. Uma, Arjun, and Vinod have had a long relationship etched in the history of Karwar. It was more like a friendship bond over love triangle. V

Book Review: The Brown Sunshine by Arvind Rishi

The Brown Sunshine by Arvind Rishi is a psychological thriller that masterfully weaves together a bouquet of tropes, creating a slow-burning, forbidden romance and a narrative that lays its emphasis on past haunting, broken lives consumed by darkness, mental invalidity through an utterly intriguing male character with a brooding peculiarity. With multiple points of views, Arvind’s narrative resonates with readers as it unfolds the poignant inward journey of Anthony Biswas, a forensic pathologist, who is often involved in cadaver anatomy that is actually a trigger point for him than the job. The timeline of the novel shuttles between many characters and places…stretches from 2014 to 2022. It starts with school days at Subhash Chandra Vidyalaya, Jamshedpur. Biswas has many friends at school, and some grew closed eventually with their combined misadventures and deeds. The storyline has sweeps, but mainly alternates between more than two timelines, past and present. Given the unstable

Book Review: Chocolate Planet by Dhruv Nalla

Chocolate Planet by Dhruv Nalla is a short engrossing children's book. It has been derived from sheer imagination. The story is backstopped against earth and other planets in the space. Two naughty kids Dhruv and Pragi, brother and sister, get into a space ship of their father. With the help of a robotic system, they fly in the space knowing nothing about landing and navigation. As they get lost in the space, they are as excited as sacred. The space depicted here is different from the real astronomy. The kids come across many a type of planets with peculiar ambience. Finally as they land on a Chocolate Planet, they go crazy seeing rivers and land of chocolate, the kids try to grab hold of chocolate boxes but they are interrupted by the police and taken away in a prison. On the other side, their parents are worried and get to know that the kids have flown away in space. The father being a space scientist takes necessary initiatives to save the kids from any untoward happening. J

Book Review: The Mystic Agency by Shyambala

The Mystic Agency is a prequel to The Mystic Lawfirm. Both novels deal with slightly dark and supernatural and immortal elements. Since I have read the Lawfirm first, I am able to understand the connection Draupadi and Radha shares and how Sudama fits in the picture. Well, one can also read both novels independently, they are so vividly narrated. Falls in the kind of thriller with supernatural or ghost genre, this time author Shyambala has weaved a riveting tale of one special young girl who could see and talk with ghosts. But the crux of the story lies in how she is useful for lord Yama and his subordinates that are running some agency down on the earth. The novel is backdropped against the sublime charm of Poona, the time dates back to the British rule. Mr Venkateshwar urges Draupadi to work for him, because of her special ability. Outwardly it looks easy one-time task; however, little did she know that her life will change forever once she begins interacting with these people from

Book Review: Alakshya by Anupam Dubey

Alakshya by Anupam Dubey is a deep and insightful book that marks the difference between gross and subtle, visibility and imperceptible, our existence on the earth and spiritual consciousness of the universe. The title Alakshya is a Hindi word, it means imperceptible, which cannot be perceived by hedonistic eyes. We humans have the tendency to believe what we live, see, and feel. We are so bound by tangible experiences that we ignore the intangible non-dualism that is the ultimate truth of the universe. Dualism is that we stick to. However, Alakshya lays emphasis on imperceptible elements. The book is divided into four parts. The format of the book is unique yet simple. Before each essay there is a short Hindi poem that tries to justify the concept lying ahead. The author has huge influence of Vedas and Upnishads and Yogic practices. The book’s content is linked to timeless wisdom enshrined with these Hindu scriptures. The first part “The Intuition” is epic with its relevance. You

Book Review: Lalji's Nairobi by Nitin Nanji

Lalji's Nairobi by Nitin Nanji is a socially, culturally, and economically insightful novel that features the story of one enterprising young man who defies all the odds and builds a successful business setup in one of the colonies of British East Africa – Kenya. As you can guess from the title, the novel features Lalji, and his story from being a poor lad to one of the wealthy men in Kenya. How did that happen and in how much time – the narration fills that. Though fictional the novel is rooted in history, the time period of the story is the early 20 th century, when India was being ruled by the British. Lalji’s family was based in a village near Porbandar port. That time Gujarat was passing through a rough time due to heavy taxes imposed by the imperial government and severe famine. Lalji’s father was worried and in the village, people were either fleeing abroad or converting into Khoja Muslims. The author has finely captured the social and political essence of that time by sh