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Showing posts from March, 2024

Book Review: Falling Night by Phil Clarke

Anything based out of Africa becomes my instant favourite, be it a movie or a novel or a documentary. In that pursuit, for years I have read novels of Wilbur Smith. The more I get to know about this continent, the lesser it seems. Indeed Africa teems with stories – adventurous yet horrifying. Phil Clarke’s novel Falling Night is a brutal honest account of a humanitarian aid worker’s life in the horn of Africa. Though delivered in fictional tone, the novel is an extended version of a memoir of an international aid worker. The hero of the book is Alan Swales. He is from England – a young man with a girlfriend and good lifestyle. However to break the monotony of his life from a golden cage, his quest for something unusual and adventure brings him in the war-torn Kugombwala (fictional African country). MedRelief is the company that brings him. He works as an administrator in a hospital looking after starving kids. MedRelief was a sort of NGO, working in close alliance with UN peacekeepers

Book Review: The Ayan Triangle by Avinash Ashu

‘The Ayan Triangle’ by Avinash Ashu is a riveting romantic thriller wrapped in sci-fi genre. The way ‘love essence’ confronts readers in the novel would be a new journey altogether unlike any other. The story, right since the first page, is gripping and immersive. Not so many characters, yet whatever the cast is, that is enough to swirl you through its tempo and thrill. From the opening lines, I found myself drawn into the turbulent yet tender world of Ayan, the protagonist navigating the tempests of love and ambition in life. He is chasing the distant dream Siya, however, Elina seems to have a true love bonding for him. All major characters are young, first school and then into college. For them love is a different taste on the platter of life. Be it any age, but the obsession for love takes readers to a thrilling journey of incredible ups and down in their lives. Avinash's prose paints vivid portraits of love's highs and lows, leaving me emotionally invested in every twist an

Book Review – Valmiki Ramayana: A Commentary by Lakkaraju Ananta Rama Rao (Three Volumes)

Among all famous versions of Ramayana that are being narrated and circulated across the world for ages, Valmiki’s Ramayana tops the chart for its veracity and originality. Valmiki and Vyas are considered two top-notched poets from India that recorded and wrote the greatest books of the world ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’ respectively in their eras. Today our literature arenas are abundant with retellings and various versions of storytelling and commentaries pertaining to Ramayana. In light of spreading of the most original text and commentary, late Shri Lakkaraju Ananta Rama Rao did meticulous study and research on Ramayana for decades. The book Valmiki Ramayana – through three volumes – is a monumental task in commentary literature. His volumes of commentary brilliantly sketch all characters and their roles and the splendor and magnificent of courts and kings with immaculate cultural scope. The book volume delves deep in Ramayana from all angles of events referred as Kandas . The

Book Review: The Book of Sevens: the Mountains by A R Vikram

Couldn’t believe that this could be so much fun! Oh, how this book charmed me with its pesky characters and the magical book that deliberately threw them in adventures beyond their age…yet they managed to set everything all right for needy people on those mountains and around them. It was a sheer delight the way these kids got to navigate through the world, on different countries, on mountains, met with many people from time unknown to their consciousness. Do any of the stories of the mountain entice you? I liked that Iran story, it was like direct head-on with that monster snake, saving those brothers, and their village. Superbly built on imagination and some old folklore! The stories of three kids, in home and outside, were funny, tender and heart-wrenching. No matter these were kids, unlike Enid Blyton, they have had their own share of grief and pitfalls in family. It was an earnest picture of attraction and all the associated complexities. The second concurrent theme of the novel w