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Friday, July 19, 2019

A Man from Mandu by Manoj V Jain

Blurb (from the cover):

Is he the New Age Guru that we have all been waiting for?  

Is he a fraudster? 

How does he know the story of your life? 

In his latest book, Manoj Jain delves into the world of Godmen and devotees, of faith and money. A Man from Mandu is a book of deception, transformation and growth. Read about Dhawal and his metamorphosis into Avishkar Baba, the Sadhu of Stories, and about Tarini who is promoting him so successfully. But what does the scheming Tarini have to gain?

My take on the book:
This book isn't like any I've read so far. Though I don't think the synopsis does the justice but a snippet of the book will get you hooked for sure.

The story talks about Dhawal, a.k.a. Avishkar Baba. He is an ordinary man turned Godman. Every chapter starts with a quote by Avishkar Baba as a Quote of the Day on WhatsApp and Instagram posts. The story takes course, most of the chapters have these parables sermoned by Avishkar Baba to  his growing followers. These parables are sweet and thought-provoking. The story is as breezy as it urges to stop and ponder over our own lives. These quotes from the start of the chapter will only have deeper meaning at the end of the chapter.

This story is as funny as scary it is. The entire concept of a Baba with an online presence and, touching and healing his followers in ways undefinable is pretty much funny being a reader. But when you think about it, the so-called Gurus from the present age, the Godmen with their impoverished attire and all-knowing attitudes and the effect they are holding on their followers is immense and scary. It lets you question yourself about the religion, belief and stupidity.

The story is deeper than it seems.

On the other side flows the story of Tarini, who is Avishkar Baba's manager. Her management career was about to hit rock-bottom just about when she meets Dhawal and Avishkar Baba is born,

Overall, it is a perfect book you can read over a weekend. It is light-hearted and provocative.


Title: A Man from Mandu

Author: Manoj V Jain

ISBN (edition I've read): 9781645871620


Read between: 09-07-2019 to 11-07-2019

Publishers: Notion Press

Pages: 165

MRP: ₹ 349

Monday, June 10, 2019

Upheaval by Vijai Singh Mankotia

My take on the book:

This is the first book I've read from these publishers, Har-Anand Publications but it left quite an impression.

For the start, I have to complain about the physical feel of the book. Given that the price of the book is almost Rs. 700/-, I would suggest the author or the publishers to put in a little more effort into the physical feel of the book. There are chances the book might go overlooked due to its feel.

I had very few expectation from the book when I started it, but it turned out way interesting. Book covers are very deceiving.

The story starts at a faraway place somewhere in Afghanistan. The time is past. Among the bloodshed and dry mountains, the story beautifully takes place. Though, the significance of the scene in clear at this point of time, it makes sense later.

Then the story snaps back to India and it feels so real. The unrest shown in the protagonist, Himanshu Mishra, the son of Prime Minister of India (as in the story), is so beautifully shown, it all seemed very real.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances the protagonist had to take office in the largest democracy in the world and fate happens, that he falls in love with a girl from Pakistan. The melancholy and dilemma involved in the love story is presented so beautifully by the reader won't miss a feeling experienced by the characters in the story. The author successfully stirred every emotion in me.

The best part of the book was the narration. It doesn't just stick to the plot of the fiction, but the author had made sure he has got his views and opinions about the near-past politics, terrorism and various other trivial problems faced by present day world and India, in particular.

As I read these views put forward by the author in the form of a monologue or a dialogue between the character of the story, it was deeply surprising to know how much the author has researched. It was only after reading the author's bio did I understand that Vijai Singh is a retired army official and active political enthusiast. Though most of the matters mentioned in the story seemed legit and believable for most of the extent. But as it is mentioned in the disclaimer in the start, I would suggest everyone who read this book, to do thorough recent into the topic before using any of the facts mentioned in this book for any purpose.

Overall, this book had left with quite a few emotions stirred. But then, everything is well that ends well...


Title: Upheaval

Author: Vijai Singh Mankotia

ISBN (edition I've read): 9789388409209


Read between: 03-06-2019 to 10-06-2019

Publishers: Har-Anand Publications

Pages: 229

MRP: ₹ 695

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