Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Unconditionally Yours by Mehek Bassi

Anthology is the latest flavor of the season. Anthologies based on love have flocked the Indian literary scene completely. Some have been compelling and jolting while some have fallen flat on expectations. Author Mehek Bassi in her second book " Unconditionally Yours" has gone outright to strengthen her hold on love and emotions associated with it. So has she been able to deliver the goods? Let's find out.

First look at the title and the tagline and the cover image and it's color and the readers will be soaked in love from top to bottom. It's a beautiful rendition of the idea and weaving it into an anthology. There is no blurb to talk about but the tagline suggests about 10 love stories to look forward to in the book. A small blurb containing few facts about the book would do a world of good to it.

Story No. 1:

A story which knows no boundaries. It's a story of a soldier and his undying love for his country and others. Love makes enemies melt too. This is the moral of the story. Read it for it's absolutely simple yet splendid narration. There's a lot more in it than college romance.

Story No. 2:

People are kind but are they kind enough to part something from their life which can change somebody else's life forever? It might not happen in real but it happens in this story. A story with a big heart and love which is unmatched for the people who are not your immediate family but still are family. It again teaches a big lesson in life never to ignore anyone. They might come good sometime or the other in your life in future.

Story No. 3:

Sometimes a selfless act is enough to make someone realize of their mistake. It's equivalent to a harsh punishment. This is what the story is all about. It's a good story more about selflessness and honesty.

Story No. 4:

One move, one step and all can be ruined or can turn out to be the best dream ever. That is what the story is all about. It's about love which has to be confessed but hesitations creep. It's a nice story with the hearts in your mouth for sometime.

Story No. 5:

When somebody's love becomes a purpose for revenge then nothing in this world can stop you to claim justice either by hook or by crook. It's a beautiful story of love gone in a haste but memories which remain etched in the mind forever.

Story No. 6:

It's a story of two young people who have feelings for each other but are afraid of what might happen after the confession. But sometimes love takes over all other emotions and holds true till the end. It's a cute love story with bits and pieces of love holding it till the end.

Story No. 7:

Never ever do things in your life with loved ones which make you repent your one action forever. The story holds true in this case. It's the best story of the whole lot. Selfless love for their own, harsh realities and what goes around comes back around makes it one amazing short story.

Story No. 8:

I wish I had words for this story. How life turns around for a beautiful little girl in one day. One single incident that changes it all. It's not a story it's the reality of our life. It's an eye opener. Readers need to read it to experience the excruciating pain of a person. It's a brilliant story.

Story No. 9:

A simple yet alluring story of two people who are supposed to spend their life together forever. The anxiousness, the fears, the joys, the questions and their multiple answers in the mind, the dilemma, the excitement these are the words which best sum up the story. It's a nice story to read.

Story No. 10:

Arranged Marriage might not be a very trendy concept of marriage ever but still it holds firm in some cases. This is one story where it holds true in each and every aspect. It's a marvelous story of two strangers who meet, get married and then it's up to them to stay besides each other till the end. It's a story which tells you if it's destined to happen this way, then no force on earth can prove it otherwise.

There are a lot of positives in the book. The stories portray each and every bright and dark spot of love. Sacrifices, sorrows, joys etc. are the emotions which have been used to balance the whole idea behind the book. The stories which compel the readers to be jolted are story no. 1, 7, 8 & 10.

The stories which are the weak links of the book are story no. 6 & 9. They needed a little bit more in terms of ideas about love in it.

It's an anthology worth spending time with. 10 stories which won't be a burden instead teach you a lesson or two about love and will make you fall in love with it's characters and witty narration. A book to be enjoyed for it's sheer audacity to explore the highs and lows of love in life. It will rise and rise till it takes you beyond the clouds in fairy tale world of love between people and love in many relationships.


4 OUT OF 5

Help Me Please (Chapter-4)

That slap might not have left a physical scar on Manav's face but it drew the ire of many in the college. After a couple of days as I was standing out of my class I saw a boy walking calmly towards me. 

I gazed past a gathering crowd near the notice board and got horror struck when I saw Manav approaching towards me with confident and energetic steps. I felt lost and nearly had tears in my eyes. 

He came up to me and with a poise in his voice said, Hi Miss. 

Tttt.... Tanisha. 

Oh Yeah. Tanisha. I'm sorry that day I couldn't get your name in the midst of all the drama. 

I'm sorry. 

What? Can you speak loudly Tanisha? 

I'm sorry Manav. 

What for? If you are thinking about the slap it's all gone and forgotten. 

But I'm really sorry. I mean I didn't wanted to slap you. But it just happened. 

Ahh. Don't worry about it. I came up to clear the air. I don't hold grudges. 

Tears welled up in my eyes and he came near me and with his soft hands held my face and caressed my wet eyes and cheeks. 

Shhhh. shhh.. Calm down. I told you Tanisha there is nothing to cry or sulk about. Please get over it. 


No if's no buts's. Let's have a fresh start? Friends? 

He outstretched his hands towards me and I thought for a second and my hand automatically twined with his. 

He smiled and made a mocking gesture of a big smile and walked away. 

Days flew by gradually and we came over that incident. We two became close and people started gossiping about us. 

He was calm, I was outrageous. He was ever smiling and I was ever rude. Still he bear all my tantrums and from slapping fiasco to coffee and movie and best friends we became inseparable.

Gradually love culminated in our hearts. But both of us feared about the outcome and never confessed it in front of each other. It had been nearly 9 months in the college and we were together forever. 

Our bonding and love and support for each other can be gauged for the fact that he dropped by at 2 in the night to wish me Happy Friendship Day and I treated him in the morning over a cup of coffee. 

He usually used to sneak in my house which at first horrified me but later on became our  regular late night outings with each other. 

We never crossed lines of physical intimacy and restricted ourselves to holding hands and embracing each other. I guess there was a sense of awkwardness among us. 

"US" it sounded cute and caring for both of us. It gave me a sense of pride to have the hottest guy of the college besides me and girls including my friends seething with jealousy. 

There were a few times where we had disagreements and fights too about his extra sensitivity towards girls but he always laughed it off and cheered me up that instant. 

Valentines day grew close and I knew that something special will definitely happen this year. 

There was love but still there was no confession from his side. I had that old school funda in my mind that he is a boy and he should be man enough to propose me. 

I occasionally used to blush at this thought and would smile at my stupidity. 

He suddenly managed to disappear from the college a few days before Valentine's day. 

I was hurt about it because I his best friends expected an explanation but he didn't tell me about it. 

13th February was about to get over and nearly my head was throbbing with all sorts of thoughts about him. 

Suddenly my phone beeped and I got a message from him . It was 11 o clock in the night. 

"Be ready. Will come to pick you up in an hour". 

I was surprised. Till the time I tried to call him my phone beeped again. Another message popped up on my screen. 

"Don't call up please. Trust me and be ready". Mind you in your best clothes. "

I got all excited and nervous about the approaching moment.  

I ensured that my parents were fast asleep so that I could sneak out and be with him. 

It was "The Moment" I was waiting for always. 

(To Be Continued)

Review: The Backbenchers: 3 Days of Summer (The Backbenchers, #3) by Sidharth Oberoi

School romance was rekindled with this series long back. A pang of jealousy, changing stances towards each other, love and fun times of school were the essence of the first two parts. Author Sidharth Oberoi in his third installment "The Backbenchers: 3 Days of Summer" tries to bring the characters on the same page with a wild adventure trip. So is he successful in continuing with the tradition of successful backbencher series? Let's find out. 

Ananya has never been to Summer camp before, and that's exactly what school seems to be offering this time. And not just that- they are offered the chance to undergo a hands-on workshop with India's leading authority on digital photography.  Natasha - eager to rediscover herself, signs up too. The boys join in on the fun, and the expedition is led by a young, vibrant new teacher. They come across two new pals- A dusky-brainy-nerdy-rebel girl from Ooty and an up-top performer from Doon.
But things never are what they appear to be- and it soon turns out that their teacher has her own hidden agenda behind the workshop. An eccentric genius photographer tries to play the kids against each other and they find themselves square in the face of danger, in a tropical rainforest, nonetheless. In the midst of that action, Yuvraj and Ananya cross a new threshold in their relationship. Will it last?
Will they prove their mettle when their ability to work as a team is questioned?
Join the unbeatable, indomitable backbenchers in a trip right across the country, and gaze into the wild - through their docile, yet remarkably vivid lenses.

First look at the title and the cover and glimpses of the previous two parts of backbencher series is there in the readers mind. Those who have gone through the first two parts can easily relate it to the third installment. The blurb talks about the same old characters but with a twist of some trip in it. The blurb is definitely good enough to increase the curiosity of the readers with glimpses of the old self. 

The story starts off in Presidency Convent the main location in the previous two installments and most of the characters reprising their roles i.e Ananya, Yuvraj, Natasha & Shreya and introduction of new characters like the dynamic Mitali Roy the teacher, Abhinav the by from Doon, the angry Sanjib Desai & not to forget Natasha Nambiar the crush of Abhinav. They all set out for a photography course stint advertised by Sanib Desai in the jungles of Tamil Nadu as location and Mitali Roy to lead the way. Little they know about the past between Sanjib & Mitali and once they come to know of it they become extra cautious in their approach. The photography course gradually turns out to be a nightmare for some of them as Sanjib tricks them in to the jungles with some own personal agenda and revenge on Mitali. Does his antics pay off in the end? Will the children be able to ward off the threat looming large at their heads? Will Mitali be able to forget the old scars? That's what the story is all about. 

This time the story is more of an adventure and exposure to outside world for the young kids of the story.The adventure keeps things interesting and curiosity levels high in the book. The personal rivalry of Mitali & Sanjib is the most sought parts of the book. A few moments of rage and fury and smartness are worth reading. 

The downside of the book is lack of some bold narration in the story. It's plain and predictable. The story becomes a personal vendetta neglecting characters like Yuvraj & Ananya. A lot more could have been done to avoid such feeble attempt at weaving a story around young kids. Lack of excitement in the first half is pretty evident most of the times. 

The book though the third in the series and an attempt to be different from the rest two is somewhat successful but leaves highly disappointed when it comes to expectations and change in the styles of writing from the previous two books. The book can be read to keep the continuation alive for the readers who have gone through the first two parts. It's not one of the best attempts. 


2 OUT OF 5

Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: I Loved A Street Woman by Nitin Vinay Khare

Some books are best left undescribed. They have things in it which make them different and altogether a new reading experience for the readers. Author Nitin Vinay Khare in his novel "I Loved A Street Woman" has tried something different to suit the readers taste. So how different is it from the others? Let's find out. 

How much can one sacrifice for love?Is love just fun and physical pleasures or something much beyond that?Would one chose a street woman over a princess?Do omens and destiny play any role in our relationships and love?
I loved a street woman is the story of Capt. Aviral (Ex Indian Army) a young war veteran who is reconciling his life, estranged from his childhood love and recovering from war injuries. Was it really true love that he lost? 
As Aviral starts his Travel firm, he accompanies a strange travel freak mysterious girl Umrao on a random trip. As they visit old forgotten cities and experience the cults and practices of these places and explore the unseen life of villages en route, their most secret doubts and fears begin to unwind. As the trip ends and Umrao disappears leaving no clue, Aviral finds that she belongs to the banned streets of the some unknown town.
Will he ever accept and confess his love for her? Will he sacrifice everything for love?I loved a street woman is a journey which unfolds the absolute meanings of love.

First look at the title and a strange feeling overpowers the mind of the readers. There is more to the title that meets the eye. The cover image portrays a beautiful woman with her back facing towards the readers. It's the essence of the title which leaves the minds little confused. The blurb talks about sacrifices made in love and about two characters who are going to experience it together. It's the depth of the blurb which makes you understand the mystery behind the title of the book. It's a well carved out blurb. 

The story is about Captain Aviral. He retires from Army because of numerous injuries suffered in a war and his left leg is left amputated for the whole life. His best friend Yashika helps him out in getting out of the entire trauma and also helps him in establishing a travel business. The friendship between them takes a beautiful and an ugly turn in a short span of time and Aviral is left fending for himself. He drowns himself in work to forget Yashika and one day a strange travel request of Umrao to 4 Hindu pilgrimage sites baffles him completely. He makes a hasty decision and decides to be the chauffeur for Umrao during the entire journey. The journey marks a new beginning for Aviral as he gradually keeps getting close to him and falls in love with her. The love makes their bond stronger but Umrao hesitates in reciprocating back in a similar manner. A sudden development changes it all and life strikes hard on Aviral as a series of events trigger the unthinkable things in his life. So will Aviral move out of his past and be with Umrao? Will Umrao accept him? That's the story all about. 

Love has no boundaries. It can happen with anyone anywhere and anytime. This is what is the primary essence of the book. The realization in life and the positive attitude towards each and everything in life is also a strong theme of the book. The sacrifices too play a major role in the book. A love story with a different kind of setup and altogether a very different approach to it blended with history & adventure. Umrao is the stand out character in the book. Her character though has a lot of unspoken things to it but still speaks and leaves a great impact on the mind. 

The book as a few downsides to it. The things between Aviral & Yashika were wrapped too quickly. Details of love between Aviral & Umrao lacked depth too at times. The book required a lot more detailing and depth toning down the history narration in it. A lot more focus was required on the personal lives of the characters. 

The story is about love and sacrifices made in it for each other. It's a start and stop game but with a lot of heart and soul in it. Some startling revelations will keep the readers hooked till the end. It won't disappoint you as a reader but lack of depth will be an eye sore sometimes. It has more to it than one can imagine. 


3 OUT OF 5 

Review: How I Got Lucky by Farhad J Dadyburjor

Satires are few and satires exploring entertainment industry hardly exist. It's never easy to blend in humor with some serious emotions and then go on to write a book and present it to the readers. Author Farhad J Dadyburjor in his debut novel "How I Got Lucky" tries his hand penning down a satire covering the various aspects of entertainment industry from the eyes of a magazine reporter. So does the satire works? Let's find out. 

A satire on the entertainment world set against the frenzied buzz of Mumbai city
I was with Lucky... Lucky Star. He showed me what he was wearing to the Cannes Film Festival. Hes given me an Exclusive.
Raman Malhotra is thirty five, uninitiated in the matters of love, and endlessly confused about his sexuality. A journalist with The Weekly, his search for front page scoops come to a screeching halt when hes assigned the Bollywood beat. Throw into the mix the shenanigans of an overpowering lesbian photographer, a dirt-swapping PR queen, a webcam model doling out sexual favours, and a rising Bollywood star. 
Ramans blah existence is dramatically thrown off-kilter when he finds himself being pursued and courted by the bisexual king of Bollywood, Lucky Star. Puckered into a world of celebrity, malicious gossip, and meaningless shags Raman wrestles with his sense of self, ideas of love, and the monstrous caricatures of entertainment. 

First look at the title and the cover and it sounds humorous to the readers. The vibrant cover image and the witty title works as a charm for the book. The blurb highlights the theme of the book and talks about the central character of the story. The blurb is quite bold in speaking about it's theme and there are no doubts saying that it gels well with the title and the cover of the book. 

The story revolves around Raman a journalist who is assigned a job by his boss Shaila to get some sneek peeks good or bad about celebrities and help them in increasing the readership of the magazine. Raman goes on to explore the wild side of the entertainment industry where he stumbles across all sorts of people like a lesbian photographer and her affairs, an upcoming star In Manjeet & not to forget Lucky Star the heart throb of Bollywood who later on goes on to have an affair with Raman which is kept away from the media. Raman is stifled out by the stiff competition in his office from Shaan her colleague and the happenings on his personal front. So will he able to rise in his new assignment or will fall down with a thud? That's what the story is all about. 

If there is seriousness in the story then there is humor too. If it talks about discreet relationships and wild flings then it talks about office jealousy and competition too. If it talks about entertainment industry as a whole then it talks about office pressure and the knick-knack of being a journalist too. The story has all in it to make it a perfect satire for the readers to cherish. It's quite different from a regular story line and few surprises awaits the readers every now and then in the story. Spot on narration and dark and bright side of entertainment industry awaits as a package for the readers. 

The downside of the book are the first few chapter which go nowhere at all. It takes a lot of time to build up a story around Raman. The pace is slow at times and it feels a bit dragged in the middle parts of the book. 

All in all it's a humor filled story of a person with lot of turmoil and upheaval in emotions time and again. It takes sometime to get the grasp of the story but after that it's a ride worth hitching and a journey worth undertaking with Raman Malhotra. 


4 OUT OF 5

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Help Me Please (Chapter-3)

I was tired of the numerous flings I had. When I turned 18 and stepped out in a new world i.e college a lot of things came a long with it. Friends, fun, frolic, gossips etc. became part of my life. I was fun to be with and not to be messed with too. I was happily leading single's life but boys never escaped my eyes as I was part of a huge girlie gang. We would spend hours chit chatting about boys and sharing personal experiences with each other. 

I was busy in my own world until one day when he passed by. A tall handsome lad nearly 6 feet in height, impeccably dressed and a bright smile, white teeth and fair complexion and clean shaven face and a body which could make girls fall flat there itself. I tried hard not to stare at him but couldn't help myself. I was lost in staring at him along with the others and my eyes followed him till the time he became invisible among the crowd. One of my friends snapped me out of the moment.

Hey Tani. What happened? Where are you lost? 

Oh.. Ahh. Nothing. just remembered something. 

Or is the boy which just passed from here? 

No Sunita. nothing like that. You know me well. I'm happy being single. 

Ahaan. but Tani he is the one who increases our heart beat each and every time is here. 

Ahem Ahem. How come do you know so much about him Sunita? 


Everybody knows about him. He is Manav Thakur. The cool handsome and intelligent guy of our college. 

It seems Sunita you have developed a crush on him. 

What? No. no. Nothing like that Tani. It's just that he is irresistible. 

(giggles again)

Is he from our college? 

Yeah Tani babes. He is in the arts department. He often comes here as he is the president of our debate society too. 

Quite a star this Manu Thakur is. 

Corrections babe. It's Manav Thakur. 

Yeah Yeah whatever. 

I'm leaving now Tani. I have a function to attend today. See you tomorrow. 

Ok bye Sweetie. Love you and yeah will meet tomorrow. 

I exchanged hugs with her and this is how the love at first sight funda worked at me. Indeed he was too hot to handle. 

I became quite a stalker after that day and with the help of my friends extracted a lot of information about Manav. He was single. He was available. Girls lined up for him. Their jaws dropped whenever he was around. He wasn't rich but he wasn't poor either. Polite, humble and ready to mingle too. 

I just needed one chance to get close to him and after a few futile attempts an opportunity knocked my door. As he was the president of the debate society there was inter college debate competition that was suppose to happen in one of the rival colleges and our team was supposed to go there too. So hunt for some new and dynamic speakers was on. A notice was put up for the same on the notice board. I jumped with joy. 

I went for the audition and was awestruck as soon as I reached the auditorium. Lots of speakers were present and there he was sitting in the middle of the auditorium listening carefully to each and everybody with a lot of intent and passion. I had heard that he himself was quite a good speaker too. 

As I was lost in thoughts a boy came up to me and shook me hard. I was shocked at first and then he grinned. I got angry. 

What is it? How dare you touch me? 

Excuse me. You are blocking other's way. Kindly move away from the door. 

You don't have manners. You are not supposed to touch a girl. Illiterate fool. 

Woah woah. Calm down wild cat. 

This infuriated me more. I started shouting at the top of voice and the crowd was stunned. 

Manav rushed towards us and acted as a peacemaker between us. His attempts were proving futile. Suddenly the other boy said something which sent the temperatures soaring. 

You dumb fool girl. How dare you shout at me. 

This was enough to make me slap him hard. As soon as my hand left to connect his jaw call it god's cruelty or my destiny he ducked and it got connected with Manav's right jaw. 

People around me gasped for a second and some girls even fainted in the crowd. My eye balls bulged out as I had tears in my eyes and ran away from there. It was not the start I wanted. 

My crush and my probable first love went for a toss with the slap. Everybody just kept looking at me as I ran away from there as far as I could. 

(To Be Continued)

Review: A Wild Rose : Love Blossoms Until the Thorns Prick by Uzma Jafri

Some books leave such an ever lasting impact when it comes to love stories that you never come out of the reverie. It gets stuck in the mind. It might become the cause of happiness for somebody or pangs of sorrow. But they all hit with an equal force. Author Uzma Jafri in her debut book "A Wild Rose" has penned down one such love story where it's a mixture of a lot of emotions. So is it different from the others? Let's find out. 

Ritu Anand. Vivacious television anchor envied by many, makes the biggest mistake of her life. A man is at the center of it all. Who is he? And why is he after her?
Ritu Anand is a strikingly beautiful and wealthy divorcee, all of 25 years. None but her parents and best friend in life, Sumbul, know the truth of her divorce. Her career too, had gone to dust thanks to her failed marriage and traumatic ill-health. To the rest of the world, Ritu maintains a faade of still being married. In an effort to piece her life together again, she goes back to being an anchorperson after 3 long years
And a very important part of this new life becomes the enigmatic Anshuman Sinha. Not very tall and with an average physique, deep hazel eyes and sharp intense features, Anshuman is dangerous and irresistible he is the very picture of 'Ritu's Man'. The devastatingly dashing casanova soon has thelove starved- Ritu eating from the palm of his hand and dreaming of a picture perfect life with him. The gullible Ritu is soon weaving the tapestry of a picture perfect life, of a happily ever after with her lover. But there is her hidden past to deal with. What was the truth behind her sordid marriage? And coming to the present, what did she know about Anshuman at all? Will this new life be the chance Ritu was hoping for? Or is this some deep, dark hell?
Has she fallen from the pan straight into the fire?Is love blooming or have the sinister thorns torn the petals to shreds?
Watch the bookshelves for this fascinating book, a look at a different side to love. After all, are there really any guarantees in love for a happy life ever after?
The lyrical Urdu poetry of greats such as Ghalib and Momin adds an ethereal passion to the heartfelt prose of Uzma Jafri. A truly spellbinding book, a truly impassioned effort.

First look at the title and the tagline and the reader gets intrigued by the darkness surrounding the title. It drips of love, revenge and sacrifice. The cover image has shades of rose in red and thorns in black which are apt for such a mystery title. The blurb talks about Ritu Anand and Anshuman Sinha and their lives when they cross each other's paths. The blurb is unusually lengthy. It could have been kept shorter than what it is right now.  

The story revolves around Ritu Anand and her life which has been marred by a brutal divorce and a fake commitment. It leaves her in a state of turmoil and takes her away from love and commitment. She was a successful journalist in the past and after 2 years of isolation she joins DAG. There she meets Anshuman Sinha who in his first look makes her go crazy. Gradually they start getting close to each other which culminates in to a serious relationship which helps her come out of her past. Her friend Sumbul meanwhile doesn't approves of it and keeps warning her about Anshuman. It all falls on deaf ears as Ritu is completely blinded in Anshuman's love. But there is more to Anshuman than meets the eye. So will it be too late to realize the undiscovered side of Anshuman or her love for him will keep their relationship going? This is what the story is all about. 

The story has a lot of depth in it when it explores the past of Ritu & friendship between Ritu & Sumbul and the deep dark end of the story. The characters of Anshuman creates curiosity in the minds of the reader while Ritu is all about excitement. The careful approach of Sumbul can't be ignored too. The second half holds a lot of depth in it. The shayaris are an added touch to the theme and the story of the book. The narration is simple yet thought provoking at times. It's impact towards the end will leave a mark for sure on the readers mind. 

The downside is the first half which is quite regular in its approach. The excitement factor could have been cashed upon some more in the story and it becomes predictable towards the latter half as what to expect from the story. 

The book is quite a charmer with the title and the darkness and the state of Ritu towards the end. It'll make you jump, surprise you at times, make you fall in love, make you cry but in the end let you explore the undiscovered side of a man and a woman which escapes the eye of many in real life. 


4 OUT OF 5

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: In Love of Honey, Money & My Virgin Passport by Mita Jain

I.T industry is considered to be the revolution in our country. It came down hard and hit all the fields simultaneously making man completely dependent on it forever. But if it all looks good and rosy from outside it's not like that at all. Author Mita Jain in her book titled " In Love of Honey, Money & My Virgin Passport" tries to explore the I.T industry from the eyes of her book and its characters. So is the book startling enough? Let's find out. 

Let’s play a game. I say a word, and you think of the next few words that flash in your mind.
Hyderabad –Bangalore –Gurgaon -Mysore –Pune –
Did something click in your mind? Is there something common about all these places? If so, you already know what this book is about: the very iconic software a.k.a. IT industry.
Is this industry really a way to easy & money-minting job? Maybe yes. Maybe no. What do you say? Perhaps, Vinay can help you decide.

First look at the title and the readers will be impressed. It is one of those long attractive titles to suit the readers taste. The cover image is a perfect representation of the theme highlighted in the book. There is no blurb for book at all, an extract which hints at what is going to happen in the story line. A blurb should have been there for the book to let readers know a bit about it. 

The story revolves around Vinay who after being rejected in 15 campus interviews is selected one fine day for a company SolBytes and from there on starts his I.T career with a lot of fanfare. The initial excitement fizzles out with time owing to a lot of office politics and no work and just play. Things get dull and gradually when he is side stepped by his own friends he uses another method to gain the upper hand. His penchant to perform for the company lands him up in a project which is out of his expertise. What happens when he lands up in the foreign shores? What is in store for him? It's a book of learning, shocks, startling revelations and a lot of surprises thrown at you every now and then and last but not the least the taste of your patience and endurance of you along with many. 

The plight of I.T industry has been highlighted well in the book by using a lot of characters esp. freshers which helps in the exploration. The knick-knack of offices are attended to in a fun way in the story. The main element to throw light of what happens inside has been solved by the book. The narration is simple and fluid and easy to understand. 

The downside is the story which waivers off and doesn't holds fort in the middle. It loses track for a while. It could have gone into more depths in order to uncover the realistic nature of I.T industry. It was not sufficient. 

The book holds true in some parts feels bit stretched at times but best can be related to the I.T industry people. The people who are not from the field won't be able to relate to all the good and bad so easily. It's a general representation and in a fun way which keeps the reader busy and the book entertaining. 


3 OUT OF 5

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Help Me Please (Chapter-2)

I never was a reserved one. I always wanted to be the prankster. I loved experimenting in my life.

By the time I was 11 I had joined numerous hobby classes. I tried dancing, singing etc. But I couldn't keep my feet firm in either of those classes. After the initial excitement I always ended up feeling bored of the same old monotonous routine.

I was very famous in school. I was a scholar. At that time I looked a little geeky but with time I learnt how to woo boys and charm them around me. I became the damsel which every other girl was jealous of.

I was filthy rich. My dad had a huge business empire. He was a cement exporter and importer. We had a lot of factories in and around India. My mom was a high profile neurologist. It was a love story for my mom and dad. It all started on a bad note with few verbal exchanges in a party and then it transformed in to apology sessions from both sides and finally culminating in to love and marriage.

My dad was a Bengali and my mom a Punjabi. It was never easy to get the both sides on the same page. The culture shock couldn't be handled well by my nana & nani and dada & dadi too. They all shook their head in disagreement when they heard about the blossoming love story.

Both were respectable families and hell bent on diving my parent’s love and tearing it down to bits and pieces. But it didn't work. My mom and dad were so much in to each other that they took vows if they won’t be together they’ll commit suicide.

When their parents heard of it they got furious and scared. Finally after a long ordeal my parents got married. It was a classic tale. Even the marriage day was marred by some serious accusations. My mom’s family came from a long line of doctors and they had a huge reputation in New Delhi. My dad was no less in Kolkata. But due to his business he used to travel a lot.

My mom understood my dad’s line of work completely. She never interfered in his life. My dad was a loyal husband too. They enjoyed each other’s company and the end result of their love is me i.e Tanisha Roy.

I am half Bengali half Punjabi girl. I speak both the languages well. I dress up like any modern day girl and I didn't like eating fish. I was more of a gol-gappa girl. Gradually my dad shifted his base to New Delhi and my mom though reluctant at first to leave her in laws behind gradually agreed.

My grandparents too agreed to move out to a new place for the sake of business. I was brought up in an orthodox environment. What my mom and dad did no one in my family including relatives wanted to ever happen again.

Though it happened twice after that but in my case everyone was bit extra possessive. I was the only daughter and the only child. I was welcomed with open arms in the family.

The day I was born my dad ended up with a multi-crore contracts for his company and I became the lucky mascot of the family. I was the girl with a silver spoon. Chauffeur driven cars, loads of servants, plush bungalow and n no. of houses all over India. It was an ideal set up to spoil anybody. But I was not bothered about all these technicalities of my parents. I was the girl who hated going to school, spoiled and soiled her uniform each and everyday was aware of the term make up by the time I was 13 and had friends irrespective of class and background.

Though my parents advised me against it but there was little they could do to stop me. I was a well pampered mannered girl. 

By the time I was 15 I had numerous flings and n number of boys fighting among themselves for me. I was a perfectionist in each and every way. I was arrogant but I knew how and when to use it as a weapon against people who never liked the filthy rich and arrogant status of mine.

I never fell in love as for me it was a non-sense concept. Love and I were poles apart from each other.

But I think my destiny was planned otherwise. I too fell in love.

He was the one I could drool for. He was the one who was in every sense perfect for me. He was class apart from every other boy I ever had fling or went on a short term date.

He was uber cool. He was classy. He was none other than Manav Thakur. He was the boy of my dreams.  My love, my everything and probably a boy with whom I could spend my rest of lifetime.

But he is not part of my present? Where is he now? I miss you Manav. I really do. Please come back to me. 

(To Be Continued)

Short Story: Help Me Please (Chapter-1)

Please leave me alone.

Please I beg you.

(Devilish Laughter in the background)

(Incessant Crying)

Please help me somebody. Plea….

I was all sweaty when I woke up in the morning. I looked around and saw its 7 a.m. already. I couldn't remember when I did slept last night. The only memory I have from midnight is that bad dream that haunts me time and again. It has been the story of my life for the past 3 years now.

You all might be wondering who I’m. I’m Tanisha Roy aged 22. I stay alone in my 2 BHK apartment in a posh locality of New Delhi. Like many others I too have parents but I last met them 1 year back. They could never understand me. They never supported me. I was an eyesore for them all throughout my life. I am not what I was 3 years back. 3 years have passed on after that horrible ordeal. I want to sleep peacefully but peace comes at a price. I still have to pay some price in my life to attain self peace.

I work for “Help People” a NGO as a teacher. I teach poor students from Monday- Friday. I get 25k per month which helps me in spending my life with a little bit of comfort. This flat was a gift by my wealthy parents when I was 17. I come from a wealthy family. People call such families as “filthy rich”.

I am 5”4. I am fair in complexion. I have deep black round eyes and natural brown hair. I have a slender body. At 55 kg I am an eye candy for many out there on the streets. My legs ooze oomph. My face is pretty. My curly brown hair is a god gift. I love dressing up like any other girl. Jeans, tops, Indian outfits are all part of my wardrobe. I love using make up. I have a tattoo too on my right shoulder. I want to get it removed though. It gives me painful memories. Over the last 3 years the futile exercises of getting justice has made me lose all my charm.

I’m not the same Tanisha anymore. I have lost my charm. The beauty of my face and my body is all gone thanks to some people and an incident in my life. What is this incident? You all will get to know my story in time. I’ll take you back into time when mobile was becoming a rage among youngsters and there was an adrenaline rush in our blood.

What about today? When will this dream fade away? When will I be able to sleep with a smile on my face? Probably never. I have spent sleepless nights waging a lone battle. A battle which is termed as a lost cause but I still won’t give up. I need justice and I’ll fight for it. I won’t forfeit my right to leave with honor and dignity.

I hate the murmurs and the gossips of the society and the neighborhood. I too am a human being. I want to shout but I can’t. They all hate me and despise me out there. But it wasn't my mistake. Please, try to understand me. But our society comes with a typical mindset where most of the times a victim have to pay the price even for an event which might not be your doing.

Enough of my introduction. Let’s sail back in to the past where it all started. That fateful 1 month when I learned a lot from life. I don’t want to go back into time. But today I want to try out the writing technique in order to vent out my frustrations.

(To Be Continued)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Dead Man's Alibi by Mita Jain

Mystery thrillers are a rarity in our literary scene. It's not been convincing or a thoroughly pursued genre. Author Mita Jain in her book titled "Dead Man's Alibi" has tried to weave a mystery thriller and make it sound like a convincing plot for the readers. So is she successful in her attempts? 

Live interview with Jay Gandhi.
I: Hello Jay
Jay: Huh! [In a disheveled state]

I: I heard you are in trouble?
Jay: Me, the best criminal lawyer in Hyderabad. You kidding?

I: Well, wasn't a dead body found in your house last night? 
Jay: Who told you? [Pushing the mike away from his face in a fit]

I: Is that dead man your father?
Jay: Has Rathi been talking to you?

I: Is it true? You killed your father!
Jay...... [Clenching his teeth and blocking the door to his house]

I: ..... [Waiting for response}
Jay: ..... [Looking back inside his house as if checking something] 

I: Did you? [Waiting again] You did? [Eyes wide now]

First look at the title and the cover image and readers can imagine bloody gory scenes in their minds. But for a mystery thriller the cover and title are justified and carved out well. The blurb is more of a conversation which is not very convincing but it could have been much better. Though it doesn't gives out too many details and leave the readers in a frenzy. 

The story starts off from Jay Gandhi's house a famous criminal lawyer in Hyderabad city. One fine night a body is discovered in his hall and his maid Kathy comes screaming around to his room. The body is burnt and scarred and Jay is horrified to his mother faint next to the body. He is clueless as he summons Inspector Rathi his nemesis and work partner at times to investigate the case. But suddenly the heat is turned on Jay as he finds himself in a lot of trouble and many start to believe that he is behind the murder and faking it. A note in the dead man's hands, a lot of questions and few suspects and some people for support in difficult times make it a big time mess. How will Jay handle it? What all shocking revelations await him once his criminal mind goes to work? Will he able to prove his innocence? That's what the story is all about. 

Murder mystery is an apt description for the book as it sends you on a wild goose chase from page one till the end. The fluidity in narration and the no. of surprises, twists and turns and not to forget the shady characters in the story will leave the readers gaping for breath. It's a mind blowing story carved out with simplicity yet command on each and every detail required in a murder mystery. It's thrill can be experienced in the minds all the time. It holds the power to enchant the readers all the time. 

The book has not a single downside in it's story. Some might feel it lacks depth but it doesn't requires depth. 

This is one mystery thriller which you can crave to read again & again. It sets the tone with it's pace and edge of the seat conversations. The suspicions and the readers mind will be in a regular tiff making it more absorbing and mind boggling. It's a thriller to get thriller and it's a mystery to get dizzy. It's all the way amazing till the end. 


5 OUT OF 5

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review: Chockolate Sauce by Arpit Vageria

Indian writing scene is bustling with all types of love stories. Stories full of love, lust and sex. Stories full of happiness and sadness and a a few more stories which are an inspiration to many. Author Arpit Vageria in his debut novel "Chockolate Sauce" has tried his hand at a love story full of confusions. So will this love story charm the readers? Let's find out. 

Four individuals Arnab, Aditi, Jahnvi and Rishi. They are friends. Good friends. Strange friends and stranger relations. 
Arnab likes Jahnvi. Aditi likes Arnab. Jahnvi also thinks she likes Arnab. And Rishi.. well.. he likes everybody!! 
Arnab, family loving guy, younger son and mummys pet! Emotionally blackmailed to stay back in Indore, pursues his Graduation from Renaissance College.
Aditi- Caring, helping and loving girl. Arnabs best friend. His agony aunt. Who knows and understands Arnab more than he himself can ever. Loves him? Does not love him? Neither knows that! Jahnvi, is a charming and pretty girl, with high values and family centric who would never want to hurt her parents in any way. 
Rishi, a playboy and unfortunately Arnabs best buddy. He loves many and more! Only if he knew whom he really loves?!
Who loves whom more? Who leaves whom? And why? Does Arnab love Jahnvi or Aditi? Or does Arnab love both of them?Love. Break up. Useless logics. Sex buddy. Money. Career. Parents. And love again! Fate throws them challenges, one and all. Will they fight and win? Or lose? Read on the confused tale of love and lovers.

First look at the title and the cover and both of them are like two hands entwined with each other. The title is one more out of the box thinking titles which has intends to charm the readers by it's uniqueness. The cover image is a beautiful representation of a boy and a girl. The blurb talks about four people and their confused lives and the path they tread upon in order to achieve their dreams. It's a good blurb considering the title and tagline of the book. 

The story revolves around Arnab and his love for Jahnvi and the course of their love which undergoes a lot of ups and downs and tries to overcomes a lot of obstacles on their way to the final commitment of being together with each other. Their friends Aditi & Rishi act as a support pillar in times of crisis and indifference which leads to things getting back on track. The story is about misunderstandings, commitment, love, sacrifices, trust and understanding and holding each other's hands no matter whatever is thrown at you to deter you from your path. So will they be able to survive the entire ordeal? That's what is there to be found out. 

The story has a fluid narration and lots of emotions which one always expect in a love story. True love never runs a smooth course and that is what is the essence of the book for a longer period. The cute little love exchanges and some poems are good to read and relate to the love story. The end with a surprising revelation holds fort for the plot. 

The downside of the book is the same old mushy romance with flavor of newness missing in it. The tagline "Dark & Sinful" doesn't works in the favor of the book nor the plot. It could have been more edgy with some surprise elements in the book. First half of the book is not that attractive and the randomness in some parts just takes away the charm of the story at times. Rishi's character could have been utilized better in the book. 

In all a love story not very different from what we see nowadays in our writing scene but high on emotions and plight of a young boy who struggles to get back his lost love.  It's charming at times but gets predictable too. It's not the best of the books out there but it's not bad either. 


3 OUT OF 5

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review: When Strangers Meet by K. Hari Kumar

A lot of us stumble across few strangers at random places and sometimes out of curiosity a striking conversation happens which you can remember for a long time. A conversation which breaks the monotonous nature of two people conversing about usual things without any interest. Author K. Hari Kumar in his debut novel " When Strangers Meet" has used this stranger phenomenon in his novel to tell a tale of three people. Are these strangers friendly? Let's find out. 

What happens when Jai is stranded at the metro station with an irritating stranger called Iyer & a mysterious Pathan? How will the tale from Iyers past affect Jais future? And why does the mysterious Pathan keep staring at Jai? What happens inside that small room of the metro station? Nobody believes Jai when he claims that He was there!. People think he is crazy, but is he? 
The story revolves around Pathan, Jai & Iyer, and their tryst with each others destiny. A light-hearted drama with a heavy tint of suspense that captures father-son relationships from the viewpoints of three different strata of society. Action,Comedy, Romance, Drama, Suspense...A typical Bollywood fiction... 
A touching tale about choosing between the paths of our dreams and their expectations. 

First look at the title and the tagline and the readers will love it and the cover image is a funny one which will spread smiles on faces. The blurb talks about three people and their chance meeting and then how they all get connected to each other. The blurb goes hand in hand with the title and the cover image of the book which is a big plus and doesn't lets out too many hints about the story. 

The story is about Jai who has just dumped his girlfriend, has arrogance and style and is about to step in the college world. He has some dreams. Dreams to become an actor and do something in animation. His dad a maths professor finds it waste of time and wants him to pursue engineering. Jai is fed up and one fine night he runs away from his house to fulfill his dreams.He lands up at Ghitorni Metro Station where he meets two strangers one Mr. Krishnaprasad Iyer & Mr. Hussain. He finds Hussain grumpy and unwillingly commits himself to listen to Iyer's life story. What happens after that a series of events which leave a strong mark on Jai's mind and changes all his perception towards life and his family. What has Iyer and Hussain in store for him? Will he ever go back home? That's what the story all about. 

It's a story which readers can relate to and remember for a long time. It's fluid narration, humor in Iyer's character, grumpiness of Jai & subuded Hussain makes the story and the strangers all the more interesting. The limited approach works in the favor of the story. It has been carved out with perfection leaving behind all the romantic sagas. It's spicy, unexpected and surprising in nature which is the best part of the story. 

If I were to point out flaws in the story then I won't be able to find one. It's not a book with flaws. 

It's a story which is strange enough just like its strangers. Its simple and charming narration and the way plots moves around from one place to another and comes back to the present will make the readers drool over it. It's a must read story which connects a lot of dots in one's own life story too. Get ready to be a part of a strange journey in tandem with three strangers who'll change each other's lives completely at the end of it. 


5 OUT OF 5