Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: The Nidhi Kapoor Story by Saurabh Garg

Tinsel town is always the talk of town. Be it young or old they all have interests in the lives of stars and their families. But not many get to see the real them behind those close doors. Author Saurabh Garg in his book "The Nidhi Kapoor Story" tries to bridge the gap between the commoner and the celebrity with a twist in the tale. So what is the twist and how does it plans to charm the readers? Let's find out. 

Nidhi Kapoor is a very successful, second-generation film star. She is the daughter of the great Nishant Kapoor, who came out of nowhere to become the first real superstar in the 80s.
The day before she is to start shooting for her much anticipated film, she comes home to discover her beloved pets killed mercilessly. Apart from the mangled dead bodies, the unknown assailant has left behind a letter threatening Nidhi, Nishant and their family.
ACP Prakash Mohile of the Mumbai Police is summoned to investigate the case. He asks Rujuta Singh, a photojournalist working on a photo-essay on Mumbai Police, to come along.
In the absence of any clues, Prakash and Rujuta are forced to dig into the past of Bollywood's first family. Unknowingly, they stumble upon a violent tale of lies, betrayal, treachery, infidelity and even murder at Kapoor's.
Little did they know that the murder of pets was going to be the first in a long sequence of attacks on Nidhi. The unknown assailant is adamant on taking away from Nidhi everything she holds dear-her family, her parental home, her career, her reputation and her life.

First look at the title and the cover and it asks a lot of questions from the readers. More or less it's a mystery as what to expect from the book. But moving on to the title it's not a lovey-dovey or a suggestive one which adds to the mystery. The blurb talks about stardom of a family and how events around them turn around in the present. The blurb finishes on a high and leaves a lot of questions on the mind of the readers. 

The story is set off in Mumbai, where Nishant Kapoor is at the pinnacle of his career. He has got family, he has friends and enemies too. But the other side of his story comes out to be darker and violent when years down the line the past comes back to haunt his reclusive yet popular actor daughter Nidhi Kapoor. It's up to ACP Prakash Mohille and his so called assistant Rujuta Singh, the ace photographer to hunt down the assailants who more or less want to take away everything from Kapoor's. So what will it take to hunt down the assailants? Will Mohile be able to reach the depths? What are the missing links which will tie the entire thread or will it always be covered with a cloud of mystery? That's what the story is all about. 

Once a thriller always a thriller. The story has the knack of picking up on the gentle nerves of the reader and prick on the softest of the spots, targeting the mind and churning the best out of the agile senses. There is a sense of calm yet the spots of black clouds hover around and cause eruption time and again. The elusive characters, the wretched past , the shady present and the uncertain future they all come together to build a story based on fears and guts. The drop down list of twists and turns is not huge, yet capable of hunting in packs to mislead the readers. The story forms an aura of intriguing suspense and capitalizes on the worst fears of a reader. 

The book fails to recreate the story in the latter half and towards the end diminishes without a solid fight. A repetitive sequence of the past cuts down the momentum and looks a desperate attempt at challenging the wits of the reader. It succeeds up to a point but then becomes meaningless. Nidhi's role has been cut down to size by an overshadowing Rujuta which becomes an eye sore and hogs the limelight away. Rujuta's character springs up a bit too much than required rather than other primary fascia of the story.

All in all the book is a bold attempt to be amidst action with ruthless deliverance and thriving on ghosts from the past. The story churns out some mindful ideas and brings forth the book in a hard hitting manner but fails to live up to the expectation when needed the most. It plays a definitive part in impressing the readers but what could have been a fight to finish just runs out of water and sweat towards the end. Nonetheless it's a different taste of Bollywood which surely impresses and provides the entertainment in a not so expected manner. A hidden facade of barbarism under the shades of sophistication. 


3 OUT OF 5 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: Hopelessly in Love by Sonia Kundra Singh

Teens bitten by love bug can be seriously sunk into a world of red dreams or can be sunk in the marshmallow of darkness. There are times when you experience both. Author Sonia Kundra Singh in her latest book "Hopelessly in Love" let readers go for a spin, mind you a treacherous spin from where it's either a red painted lovey dovey end or there is a void which will leave everybody in a frenzy. So which way is it headed? Let's find out.

Aryan had been Shelly's sister Shruti's boyfriend. He was handsome and the perfect man in Shelly's eyes. But her teen crush on him had come to nothing. Aryan?s brother Niven was in love with Shelly. However, when he learnt of her love for his brother, Niven left for an education abroad. Shelly soon had no contact with both brothers. But life brings them full circle, when Shelly goes for a job interview with who else, but Niven and Aryan, in their family firm. Niven is a tough man, harsh and uncompromising. He does not seem to have forgotten nor forgiven their past. Will Shelly be caught between both brothers again.

First look at the title and the cover and no rocket science will be required to decipher the gist of the book. The cover looks far from impressive though a broken heart tries to leave some generous hints. The blurb talks about few people and how their lives are intertwined to each other. The blurb could have been given a more exciting touch rather than sticking it with the story. Some off shooters could have been thrown at the readers to keep them off the scent.  

The story is of Shelly, her sister Shruti, Niven and his brother Aryan. There's a love cosmos involved and Shelly is amidst entire fiasco. Her tussle to keep up with the worldly pleasures bears fruitless punches as Niven hits on her and she hits on Aryan. But eventually it all fades away and Shelly has to survive with the thoughts. But her heart is set on something and she wants it all for herself. So will destiny serve it as a dish to her? Or will it be spiced up than ever before? Niven or Aryan who is the befitting suitor for Shelly? What role will Shruti play in her life? That's what the story is all about. 

Getting stoned or being used and thrown at is a feel. Being in love and not able to decide is another thing. The story takes a humorous take on what the doldrums of heart and mind is. It hops from one court to another, move back and forth and wishes you to dance to its tunes. The story with its aggression and mellowed combo throws some surprising punches. There are tit-bits where the constant struggle to hold on to something plays a havoc but entertains the readers. The snobbish and the arrogant are a bitter contrast but they add zing to the story. Helplessness is a factor which keeps the woman power strong in the story. Sharp sarcasm and retort makes the story chirpy. 

The downside of the book is it loses on the pure romance quotient. The exaggerated love making becomes monotonous and that tender and care goes flying out of the window. The showdowns should have been kept to a minimum because after a certain point it becomes repetitive and predictable. The end needed polishing as it again treads on something pretty unusual yet a little out of the line. A sense of serenity in the entire mix was required which is largely amiss towards the end.  

All in all the book does captures clear imaginations of young heart's dilemma. It sacrifices a few important potions of love which leaves a seeping gap. The story fills the void by playing hide and seek and constant belligerence of the characters with each other's mind. The humor keeps it alive and kicking and gives the necessary caffeine. A little of old age romance was required but nevertheless it's a spitting cocktail of mind and heart. 


3 OUT OF 5

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Review: The Notebook of Gargi Sarkhel Bagchi & Harshita Srivastava

Love, an endless topic to talk about. Maybe a word in the dictionary which has numerous meanings each suiting to a person or a condition or a scenario. There is a lot to be talked and tamed about it, but there are positives and negatives and that creates a spread out version of it. Author Gargi Sarkhel and Harshita Srivastava in their book "The Notebook of Romance" have put together people from different walks of life and express themselves on this one single most talked about yet eluding topic. So how have they fared? Let's find out. 

Overrated at times and yet underrated, love is something that goes beyond any form of control, power or influence. It can make you or break you, kill you or make you feel alive all over again. This exceptional emotion with different nuances and layers is about to be unfolded. The season of love is back and so are we. The third book in the Moonlit Matinee series, The Notebook of Romance takes you on a wonderful journey of the most beautiful feeling in the world through a compilation of 25 heartwarming tales.

First look at the title and the cover and a reader can easily score hundred points for guessing the genre of the book. It's pretty straight forward and no rocket science is required. It indeed is a notebook of romance once you go through with the entire length of the book. The blurb talks about love and it's importance in life nowadays. It hints as what to expect from the book.  

Story No. 1:

It's a story of love torn between the past and the present. The story turns out to be no special effort. The predictable prowess explored with certain limitations. There's love written all over it but the wow factor eludes a reader. The most engrossing part of the story are a set of questions which really hit hard and fast.

Story No. 2:

 It's a story of love from the unexpected quarters of life and under least pretentious circumstances. There's a lot of emotions stored in the story. A bit more work on spreading it equally rather than giving too much attention on clothing would have made the story look perfect. But nonetheless the story's imperfections and communique of love are much more to talk and die for. A classic raw tale.

Story No. 3:

It's a story of high expectations and reality. The truth be told there is not much too delve in the story but the humor lies in those single sided conversations where it's all about cribbing and dreams flying out of the window. A bit more masala and things would have hit the right patch. Till then... the story is a good humor but less on love content.

Story No. 4:

The story is about crushed aspirations and known corners of love. The story treads carefully before spilling out the beans but it neither has the charm nor the strength to woo the readers. The monotonous rambling also makes it fall out of favor when it ends on a disappointing note. An average story.

Story No. 5:

There are stories of love and then there are stories of vigor and valor. This is a valorous story where emotions score a lot over blind acceptance of fate. There's a tone of defiance in the story and it turns into it's true colors by the time it ends. The story is indeed passionate and filled with remorse and retort.

Story No. 6:

Instant, quick and quirky, this is what defines this story. But the main ingredients like feeling the emotions are all amiss. Pretty straightforward and age old romance with nothing new to savor. A dull and an average story.

Story No. 7:

A story about life's reality and ambitions and inhibitions post marriage. The story never quite got going and remained very monotonous. Towards the end it felt completely off sync, thus making it difficult to like it a bit. Another pale affair.

Story No. 8:

The story of untamed and quest for lost love. It's a rather unusual but a spot on narration. The thirst to quench in the entire story keeps the senses alive though it could have been more gripping yet the story is quite the difference maker till now. A bold attempt but predictable story line.

Story No. 9:

It's a story about remorse,regret and moving on or staying glued to the present. The story has a good touch of emotions. It looks bizarre at first but then realization sinks in and the story turns out to be good at giving vent to the hidden feelings and impromptu decisions. Expect the unexpected that is what life is all about and the story teaches you that.

Story No. 10:

It's a story of pain and trust and how much are you ready to confront your demons or getting tormented. The story takes a nice step to make it amicable for the readers to understand the worth of every relationship. There are emotions and angst running high but then there's a melancholy to it that hits like a lullaby and sings a tune of understanding goodness. A good story indeed.

Story No. 11:

The story is set off to mend broken hearts and glue the relationships to last long. It irrevocably states the heart of the matters and contemplates the next moves with utmost care. The story is chirpy yet has a serious tone to it though a much prolonged outlook would have done wonders. But still it captivates the heart and fills one with optimism.

Story No. 12:

It's a story of young fluttering hearts and ironic fears which seep through our lives knowingly or unknowingly. The story has tragedy mixed with love and despair and spells a lot of good drama before spinning out the final blow. It concludes and leaves a big void. But the story is a true symbol of love.

Story No. 13:

An age old phenomenon of love at first sight is in works in the story. The story is no different from the old romance tales and fails to flutter or spread it's wings in the right direction. With nothing new to offer there's not much to ponder or delve about in this old over-used romantic tale.

Story No. 14:

Love is deceptive and it is cruel too. The story hangs in balance until the end and by the end, there's either a big smile or a touch of humor involved in the entire scenario. But it beats a lot of imaginations heads up to score something out of the blue. A fun tale.

Story No. 15:

It's not the end sometimes that carve out the righteous but sometimes it's the start that means a lot. So the footing of the story is quite steady but the end is not that glorious. With all pomp and show it turned out be a dull affair once it finished without any miracle. A well thought idea but put together in a very unconvincing manner.

Story No. 16:

It's a stranger world and even stranger are its ways to teach us a lesson. The story tries it's hand at imparting a lesson or two, but alas the old romance catches up once again with no particular bright spot in the story. It certainly could have been a better offering but rather turns out to be a very dull affair.

Story No. 17:

Love by chance is an age old theory and it happens to very few same like in this story. The story is not a grand affair and it's a very regular love tale with not much to engross yourself as a reader. The predictable finish also doesn't helps its cause.

Story No. 18:

Love is blind and this story proves it till it sticks on the face. The story is quite fast paced and manages to string a lot of surprises but the best of the lot is saved for the end and there it hits the hilt and completes it's journey. A very intricately woven tale.

Story No. 19:

It's a story from rag to riches. Riches of the unknown kind but better than anything. The story revolves around two parallel lives and has a magnetic pull to it. It keeps the balance maintained and even gives enough space for love to blossom under trying circumstances. A story to look up to in dire days for it gives you hope to live and laugh.

Story No. 20:

This is a personal memoir more than a story. It could have been given more voice and made more interesting. But got finished just too quickly and the author seemed in a hurry to tell the tale.

Story No. 21:

How often hope plays a part in shaping our destiny. The story somewhat treads on this path and rather keeps the concept of love very much alive. It's a nice story with a feather touch of love to it. The only annoying part in the story is that the name of Nicholas Sparks has been misspelt as "Nickolas Sparks" just one too many times.

Story No. 22:

A strange story is always good for memory. It tends to stick out even after ages. This story contemplates the ifs and buts of love and with one sweet stroke finish what it started without a trace. The story is a brutal truth and desperate touch of emotions felt after a long time. A good story with good command over the set up and in many other senses.

Story No. 23:

How sometimes a day becomes so important in your life that it is etched forever? The story is a great reminder of that. A beautifully written story with pretty much everything in place from love to sadness from happiness to hope and from hopelessness to strength. The story scores at all fronts and turns out to be a winner.

Story No. 24:

 What happens when something happens in life but it's from the opposite side. But it all comes with it's own set of laughter and tears. The story is like a string to the guitar and like notes to the music. It sings and dances over the entire length and eventually turns out to be the page turner which one searches for. It has it's own set of pearls and they have been strung quite intricately and handled with delicacy.

Story No. 25:

A simple straight logic implies to relationships i.e understanding and togetherness. The story treads on similar lines and one by one picks up all the threads and tie them together to make a strong rope of bond and love. It's a good story and implies all the societal norms and modern day thinking to keep the sanctity of love and relationships alive. 

25 stories and most of them have worked their way out from the daily walks of life. Some of them carved out of sheer dedication and personal experiences and some out of wild imagination. The stories most of them touch the chords of feelings a person possess at various stages of life. There's a lot of sanctity and simplicity in the ideas as it doesn't feels like a bolt out of the blue. There are simple and complex a fine blend of love tales. Some stories which are worth talking and mentioning about are story no. 2, 12, 18, 22, 23 and 24. Honesty is the policy which works in the case of the book too and there's not much of extravagant attempt to overdo the entire phenomena. 

The downside of the book is monotonous nature of some stories. They lack the source of inspiration neither they hit the right chord. Some effort to rejig them to deliver the goods was required from their respective authors. Also the length of the book should have been kept down to 15 stories keeping in mind that lesser the number, the more it is able to engage the readers. 

All in all the freedom to express yourselves on a platform of love is compelling. Space and domain have been given a preference and expansive strategies to keep love in the forefront pays off as a gamble. There is a set benchmark to each and every narration and they try to maintain it either through narration or vividness. A bit more is required at times from few of the tales but nonetheless for the most part they get it right. A book with wide variety of love and flavors for all age groups.  


3 OUT OF 5


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review: Via Delhi:A Twisted Tale of Love by Sabi Shaikh

Love is a phenomenon or rather a natural emotion which doesn't bestows many with the gift. There's a certain section of the society who staunchly advocates it, yet it continues to elude many. Author Sabi Shaikh in his book "Via Delhi-A Twisted Tale of Love" let readers go through the motions of love and repercussions though the medium of his book. So how different does his book turns out to be? Let's find out.  

The country that is proud of its 'Unity in Diversity' is just a myth. Is love a deal between two religions or a pure relationship between two individuals? Saifuddin Khan was a Sunni Muslim boy who was pursuing his MBA and resided in the city of Nawabs, Hyderabad where as Mridu Bhattacharya was a Bengali Brahmin girl who was preparing for her BBA entrance exams and hailed from the beautiful city of Dehradun. Destiny strikes and they meet in the early morning hours one day in a very unusual manner and they become each others moral support in no time. Will their love story survive this ride or will it break down? Will this twisted Love story actually prove to be greater than any religion or will the Char log kya kahenge factor murder their love story? Who will be victorious in this Romantic, Bizarre, Roller-coaster Journey? 

First look at the title and the cover and Delhi is written all over it. Even the title gives glorious insights about the book that it's based on love. Then there's a blurb which is a roller coaster in itself. It talks about two people and their love for each other. It's a decent blurb leaving the rope in the hands of the readers to pull and unveil the truth. 

The story is set off in Hyderabad where Saifuddin Khan is in the process of getting a job. He has pressure from his family, yet there's a sense of freedom. But one day when he comes across Mridu, a girl from Dehradun it slowly turns into love blossoming in two different cities, yet felt and adored upon. But there are hiccups and it's not in their hands to decide their fate. Their castes along with society and family play the perfect villain. So will Saif be able to win his love? Will Mridu stand up to it or chicken out? Or will societal pressure kill one more budding love story? That's what the story is all about. 

Once a winner always a winner. Love and romance are the bread and butter of books and it never fails to excite the readers. Be it the simple way or the complicated aspects somehow the story always manages to pull the right strings. This story with it's clean presentation, straightforward approach and no non-sense drama sneaks under the skin. On the expense of the characters the book turns out to be a roller coaster funny ride. There are good chunks of humor and viable romantic nuances to keep the story alive. The societal tussle and great community despair is one of the features of the book and lends a positive side to it. 

The downside of the book is lack of a fresh idea. Somehow the story is an age old theory which represents and brings forth nothing new to the table. The book doesn't holds the right spark to stir up a lot of emotions as it goes through the monotonous ride with affluent yet careless manner. Efforts to rejig the entire idea of love could have done wonders to the story.  

All in all the book is a clean yet old warhorse. It carefully balances on the safest of the ideas and never ventures out of the limits. The story with wit and humor creates a good atmosphere but nonetheless it never throws anything peculiar to crave about. There are times the book feels good but then the familiar concepts of love kills the aspiring notion of reading something new. It's a mixed bag with no tricks to woo the readers out of their wits. 


3 OUT OF 5

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Review: Hey Dad Meet My Mom by Sandeep Sharma and Leepi Agrawal

Some stories come out from the heart, some are born out of figments of imagination and some stories are extraordinary. There's not much difference in all of them but still it's the extraordinary that captures the vivid scope of imagination with a glazing effect. Authors Sandeep Sharma & Leepi Agrawal in their book " Hey Dad Meet My Mom" have adopted a casual lazy elegant approach to tell a tale which is bound to catch you off guard. So have they been able to keep their guards up? Let's find out. 

Right since childhood, the world in which we live teaches us to bury our bad past somewhere deep inside us and just move on. So deep, that even we cant possibly dig it back out. What happens when a 10 year old child, who claims to be your future son, comes to you to help you find his mother, whos your perfect match? What happens when you eventually start doubting his intentions? What happens when a girl starts turning your dreams into nightmares? What happens when your future son starts haunting you? What happens when your future starts bleeding into your present through your PAST? Hey Dad! Meet My Mom!!! is nothing less than a roller coaster ride of mystery, love, comedy, fear and suspense. So make sure you don't forget to expect the unexpected!! 

First look at the title and the cover and a reader can easily be taken in by the title. It looks more like parenting kind of a book, but beware before getting be-fooled by the looks. The authors have done well to conceal the solidarity of the story and the image adds to that mysterious outlook. The blurb talks about a person and his chance meeting with his future and present and the past too. The intrigue with the blurb gets the right vibes and makes the ominous connections with the readers.

The story is of Puneet, a bank employee who has loads of banking experience but when it comes to love his resume is good as a dud. He needs help in love matters but he has a worried mother and peer pressure to get married soon. But then comes his savior Rishi, an unexpected ally from the most unexpected quarter who turns his life upside down and soon his life turned from the thorny bushes  to the wild petals of love. But will it last long? Who will take it to the last mile? Who's Rishi and how is he connected to Puneet? What's there in front of the eyes yet it allures him? That's what the story is all about. 

The story sets foot into territories which combine to dish out an unknown combo. A mystified romantic tale with humor, certain darkness, a sense of fear and life's aspects which affect your past to the future. The book traverses it all and with a great effect. Humor element coming from Rishi's quarters makes you laugh, Puneet's life as a turmoil acts as a gauging and pondering aspect and ladies of the story fill in the gaps of love and emotions. You are not devoid of this fun filled, yet serious encounter of life. The book unknowingly manages to create a great sense of nobility and humility with it's presentation of facts. The surprise factors working it's effect and giving the book more leverage till the end. The strange ramblings and fear add to the already mystery-personified story. 

The downside of the story is when it loses zing in the past narration and hurries up to fold too soon. There is a lot of scope to work on that aspect and keep it enjoyable and hook the readers with some more witty melodrama. The seriousness of the situation in the latter half demanded more maturity which lacks somehow. 

All in all the story and the book in all is indeed a roller coaster. It never settles down on a single approach and pulls up ideas out of the bag and simply out of the blues. Quick and quirky deliverance is the key and that's where the book scores brownie points.  There's a bit of work required to polish the latter half but overall the presentation is readable and most of all humorous. The book completes it's task with ease and solidifies the notion of not giving up in the worst of the scenarios of life. A fun filled life yearning book. It's never too late to meet a book with no desire yet filled with so passion.  


4 OUT OF 5

Review: Decoding Life by Vikas Singal

There are many aspects of life and even an entire lifetime is not enough to uncover the truth behind your existence. There's a word called "miracle" which acts as a bridge between the known and unknown. Author Vikas Singhal in his book "Decoding Life" tries to bridge the gap with his own experiences. So does he lives up to the expectations? Let's find out. 

Decoding Life is an anthology based on relations, love and human perceptions. The Taxi Driver depicts the emotions of a young lady on a thunderous night in Mumbai when she takes a local taxi driven by a fiery driver. A Rain Kissed Tuesday is a Hindu-Muslim love story where Aditya falls in love with Arisha on a rainy day. One of the stories, talks about the tension and the excitement of two people who are about to get married. Two states brings up the small environmental difference felt by two friends who are living in two different states.This sparkling anthology covers a wide range of human emotions. This would make you feel good when you decode them one by one. The stories talk through silences and are very thought-provoking! Enjoy decoding the various codes of life we live.

First look at the title and the cover and the book doesn't leaves a spanking impression. The cover pales in context of the title and lacks emotions or depth. The book is a collection of 10 short stories that is what it tries to state in the blurb giving faint ideas of what to expect from the novella. 

Story No. 1: 

A story about fear and inhibitions of a girl. Those real life incidents which change your attitude towards everything. The story felt incomplete but had a nice message of humanity in it. The biggest flaw of the story was when the modes of transportation changed from auto to taxi and it continued for the entire length. Along with that grammatically the story had errors which again leaves a shambled impression. 

Story No. 2: 

A story of love so innocent so pure yet unspoken and unfinished. The story leaves a very lasting impact on the mind with it's tell tale. There are tit-bits which reeks of divinity and gives impetus to the entire drama. A picture perfect story. 

Story No. 3: 

A story of complete understanding and the respect and vague ideas of life when distances play a crucial role. It's a nice story with a befitting finish. There's a touch of emotion which keeps the entire idea alive. 

Story No. 4: 

Sometimes there are perfections in imperfections. That is where the heart of the story lies but it turns out to be a dull affair and gives no refreshing meaning to the book. It is predictable and more of a formality in the book. 

Story No. 5: 

A unique idea to learn a life's lesson. Be it this way or that way you get to know so much about the hidden entities of life. It's an idea out of the blues but works as a short story. 

Story No. 6: 

A story of two friends and their bond which develops and grows with time. Sometimes it takes a single incident to test the strength that is where the story lays it hands upon. It's a meaningful exhibition of bonds and friendship and lingers on the mind for sometime. 

Story No. 7: 

The story is rather something which doesn't quite makes sense. It starts off passionately but fizzles out a bit too soon. A timid affair and lack of clarity too. 

Story No. 8: 

A story of brave hearts and young lovey dovey souls. It never hits off the right note and the chord remains but to connect it to a greater medium. It lacks intensity and predictably looks too filmy and incomplete in the end. 

Story No. 9: 

Uncertainties are liked and when it comes to matters of love and infatuation it makes all the more alluring. The story sets apart the usual barriers of love and steps in to the territories of unknown with a finish which makes the heart yearn for more. That uncertain end which will make you crave for a bit more and expectations at the peak. 

Story No. 10: 

There's always something about a mysterious personality. it tends to kill you all the more and look for something zingy. This is how life throws you in unexpected circumstances. The story starts up well, builds the drama and then suddenly out of the blue there's nothing fancy to worry or talk about. It looks a flat attempt to achieve something electric and never gets into the groove. 

These 10 stories somehow or the other try to change the perception or influence our thoughts. It talks about various aspects of life with liberty and throws the readers into a quandary with some strange circumstances. The give and take of emotions keeps the book going. The spirit of the stories are lively and let the readers choose out of the offerings to best suit their life. The best story offered in the lot are story no. 2 and 5.

The downside of the book is it's very limited experimentation. Some of the stories are very duller and fail to throw light on what to expect from them. Some bereft from good endings and some completely out of tune. Some more dimensions could have been exploited. Grammatical mistakes are there which is one eye sore which hits the first story hard and fast. Lack of uniqueness in some stories too, slides the graph rapidly. 

All in all decoding life, thus manages to unlock some of the secrets of life. A subtle approach to a complex subject. A larger than life approach is what it lacks at times. Some stories cover up the lack of intensity but it doesn't suffices the appetite. The spark is there but on the behest of incompleteness and that makes some ideas suffer. An average performer with some keen promise for the future. 


2 OUT OF 5 

Review: HiFi in Bollywood by Rishi Vohra

There's always between a tussle between mind and heart. Add to that, the peer pressure from your family to pursue something against your wishes. It's a general scenario in every second household in our country. With time there's been growing rebellion too among kids. Author Rishi Vohra in his latest book "HiFi in Bollywood" gets down to the deep dark tangled mysteries of life and it's obstacle course. So has he been able to give a definitive meaning to it? Let's find out.  

An aspiring filmmaker. The dizzying heights of Bollywood. And a strained father-son relationship.
Rayhan Arora's long cherished dream is to be a filmmaker in the Hindi Film Industry but his formidable father has other plans, a successful financial career in Corporate America and a marriage of convenience with Vanita, a medical student in the US.
In a final act of desperation, Rayhan abandons his promising life in California and secretly returns to Mumbai to work as an Assistant Director in Bollywood. The characters he encounters along the way become part of his journey of self-discovery - a self-proclaimed local goon with a penchant for acting, a powerful local politician who wants to marry Rayhans part-time domestic help, who in turn covets stardom, an angst-ridden, homosexual film director, ego-ridden film stars with twisted agendas and the mysterious Viola who captures his heart.
HiFi in Bollywood takes the reader from the streets of Berkeley to the film studios of Mumbai, from red-light areas to police stations and from reality to dreams and back to reality again!

First look at the title and the cover and one can easily relate it to tinsel town. The shiny outlook, the dreamy aspects and the lone figure cuts out to be an aspiration self. Cut the chase and the title gives it away not all but almost up to a point. The blurb though very lengthy tells a thing or two about Rayhan and his endeavors of life. The blurb needed trimming and rest was up to the readers to uncover the tale. 

The story if of Rayhan who on his father's insistence is pursuing Finance from U.S.A but much against his wishes. He wants to be a filmmaker but all the while he has not been able to put up a brave facade and man up for the hard life. The luxury and comfort taking it's toll. Add to that Vanita's introduction in her life as her life partner adds to his misery as he is stuck between the mind and heart dilemma. So how will Rayhan handle his tempered father? Will he ever be able to pursue his dream? Will his destiny take him to new heights or he is bound to be just another failure? That's what the story is all about. 

The book traverses a very simple path, the path to ultimate salvation. The hunger to achieve a goal and the desire to conquer all. In between it all there's a story which teaches you hardships and harsh realities of life. Be it menacing presence, recurring failures, manipulative personalities it all comes and whizzes past leaving you dazed. The book banks on the doldrums of life and serves the experience hot and fresh from a humor filled and serious perspective. There's an element of ponder in it which keeps the entire book going and let you draw comparisons from the real facade. It rather becomes heavy towards the end. 

The downside of the story is lack of depth and intensity. Time and again it tries to make a larger than life appearance but the spark ignites and then falls flat. The story needed more from other characters which is another aspect where it fails to gather much momentum. The career dilemma is good up to a certain point but the familiar tone to it brings nothing new to the table. 

All in all the book does a decent job in narrating one of those failure-success stories. It gives you grave insight as to what one has to do achieve the heights and conquer the odds but on the other hand as a reader the wishful thinking cap falls down time and again to churn out newer ideas to do so. It's a good story line but needed more work to gather more accolades. 


3 OUT OF 5 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Review: Karna's Wife:The Outcast's Queen by Kavita Kane

There are unsung heroes and then there are unsung tales. There are people who have been lost in the tides of time and time and again someone or the other tries to resurrect them and put it out for all. Author Kavita Kane in her book "Karna's Wife:The Outcast's Queen" tries to resurrect the man who deserved more than what he got. You wish to know and devour more about the unsung hero of Mahabharata. So has the author done enough justice to this legend? Let's find out. 

Karna's Wife: The Outcast's Queen tells the extraordinary story of Karna, the unsung hero of the Mahabharata, through the eyes of his wife Uruvi, bringing his story to the reader from a unique perspective. 
An accomplished Kshatriya princess who falls in love with and dares to choose the sutaputra over Arjun, Uruvi must come to terms with the social implications of her marriage and learn to use her love and intelligence to be accepted by Karna and his family. Though she becomes his mainstay, counselling and guiding him, his blind allegiance to Duryodhana is beyond her power to change. 
The story of Uruvi and Karna unfolds against the backdrop of the struggle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. As events build up leading to the great war of the Mahabharata, Uruvi is a witness to the twists and turns of Karna's fate; and how it is inextricably linked to divine design. 
A splendid saga from the pages of the Mahabharata, Karna's Wife: The Outcast s Queen brings its characters alive in all their majesty.

First look at the title and the cover and it's easy to make out the outlook of the story. Not that easy though as what to expect from the book. The cover has a sad damsel lurking in the balcony overlooking the sun and trying to decode life. The blurb talks about Mahabharata and a man who probably never got his dues paid in full. The blurb manages to keep the secrets in the closet and let the readers be on the run. 

The story is set off in Mahabharata period with a different perspective. It talks about Karna and his exploits. The Sutaputra who had secrets of his own, desire to be the greatest of all and the one who always got caught on the wrong foot. His constant quarrel with destiny seems endless and his fate resolved to ashes. But there's a bright spot in his life and that comes from the unexpected quarters. Uruvi, his wife tries to relive the glory and the disaster of her husband's life through her eyes. 

The story is set off with a different mission at hand. We all are acquainted with the Mahabharata, but this time the mantle is in the hands of Uruvi, Karna's wife to relive her solitary and woeful and probably a less joy filled journey of life. Her husband's exploits and unknown aspects of Karna which could never have been shed light upon. The story starts off with a lot of promise and glorifies the presence of Karna. It removes the dust and rust off from the shoulders of the great warrior and traces a path of magnum glory and glorious downfall. The known elements are a breeze through and the unknown aspects a few. 

The downside of the book is it's venturing out into the familiar territories. Uruvi's point of view gets lost with time and the story turns out to be another of Mahabharata's retelling. There's not much to know about Karna from the eyes of Uruvi plus the author does very little to shed light on Karna's existence. From being a promising start it turns out to be a dull affair as by the end of it, there's very little to rejoice about. 

All in all the book does tries to relive Karna but it fails to spin the magic. The story moves away from the task time and again and becomes more of Kauravas and Pandavas. There's no proper source of enlightenment except for few excerpts, thus making the book a rather timid affair. It's wistful wastage of glorifying the history goes down into a deep dark hole from where there's no turning back. A tale remaining incomplete even after it ends. 


2 OUT OF 5

Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer by Laxmi Hariharan

Sometimes there's more to life than a person imagines. It may be wild or subtle. Destiny or luck plays a crucial role in shaping up your past, present and future. Author Laxmi Hariharan in her book "The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer" targets the inner sanctum of a human mind and spins off a genius which keeps the colored exuberance of less mentioned aspects of life alive. So is it alive enough to keep the readers going? Let's find out. 

*An angry young girl, desperate to rescue her best friend.A sexy cop willing to do anything to save the city he serves.A delusional doctor bent on annihilation.* When Ruby Iyer's best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Kamini Braganza, she will do anything to rescue him. Anything, including taking the help of the mysterious Vikram Roy, a cop-turned-rogue on a mission to save Bombay. The city needs all the help it can get, and these two are the only thing standing between its total destruction by Dr Braganza's teen army. As Bombay falls apart around them, will Ruby be able to save her friend and the city? Will she finally discover her place in a city where she has never managed to fit in? And what about her growing feelings for Vikram?

First look at the title and the cover and a reader cannot make out what it is all about. Is it about a journey or is it about something else? That's somewhat left at the mercy of vivid imaginations. The blurb talks about Ruby and her exploits which in course of charting her present and future lead her to some unknown trajectories. The blurb cuts short the excitement built up to give an outburst to a reader. It gives you ample hints to go through the book.

The story is set off in Mumbai, where Ruby leaves with a roommate Panky and her life is thrown off gear when she experiences unusual occurrences. From there on, the book turns towards the other aspects of her life as she finds an unlikely ally in Vikram and support of few others. But it's up to her to turn around the tide in her favor. Plus she has some tasks to do too. So what will it be that will bring out the best? What will it take to strike the notion of deceptive and deceived? Will it be all easy for her? How will Vikram be a part of her turmoil life? That's what it is all about.

The story is set off in parts from the growth of Ruby to the struggle of her life till her ultimate salvation and sacrifice. The book's nature is a serious thriller and some aspects of being in a vivid scenario sheds light on reception of Ruby's character. The dark shades and the colorful hues bring out the best in the story. It hits few right notes when it comes to Ruby and her journey and keeps the swan song alive by spicing it up after a steady inflow of humor exchanges. The book explores life from a refreshing point of view and keeps the sanctity of everyday occurrences alive.

The story falls flat when it jumps from being a gong ho, cherishing story to a much serious thriller. The thrill aspect often found wanting and lacking deep development. The story takes time to get to the right course and often loses out on some good punches. It packs a bit too much information in the initial run which looks a bit messed up.

Overall the story does gives an impression of a fresh outlook to a brighter idea. It delivers good things in small packages and manages to salvage of what it can throw and receive back from the reader. The good times in the story are complimented with the struggling times which is entertaining and keeps the readers going but lack of blossoming finish tames the story a bit. It's a good start to the new road but needs more careful development in the future. A nice narrative.


3 OUT OF 5