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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

When Strangers Meet.. by K. Hari Kumar


I have received this book for reviewing from the publisher, himself. This is the third book - after The Homing Pigeons and The Secrets of the Dark - that I received from these publishers this month.

If you come to read my reviews of The Secrets of the Dark and The Homing Pigeons, you might have understood I have literally become a fan of Srishti Publishers. Maybe, there are someone out there who might be thinking that I have been writing positive about the book because I was asked to review, read any of these three books and you will realize the fidelity of my reviews. In fact, it is a shocker even to myself that all the three consequent releases of Srishti Publishers are so wonderful.

Plot (from the jacket - hand typed):
What happens when Jai is stranded at the Metro Station with an irritating stranger called Iyer and a mysterious Pathan? 
How will the tale from Iyer's past effect jai's 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 and Iyer, and their tryst with each other's 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.

Amazing things happen When Stranger Meet..

Three men.
One fateful day.
A small room.
And a story of a lifetime...

About the author (from the jacket, too):
K. Hari Kumar is working as an Assistant Director in the Indian film industry. He has written, acted and directed four independent projects that have been screened in various film festivals.

My take on the book:

The plot:
Though the blurb mentioned on the back of the book and that which is mention under the plot, doesn't portray the tenth of the enthusiasm that the story holds for the reader. I assure you that the story is far better than the plot sounds. Here, let me try to give me give a alternative plot of the story.

Pathan, Jai and Iyer on a fateful day come to meet in the rest area of a Metro Station in Delhi.
Each of them are different in their both economical and societal backgrounds.
Jai is young boy full of ambitions and dreams of his own. He runs away from his home in the hope to pursue his dream.
Pathan is from a poor background and he is on a journey that would change his and his gamily member's life forever.
Iyer is a typical South Indian Brahmin, whose story would fill up the most of the pages in the book.

This is the story of how Iyer's meet with Pathan and Jai, changed their future lives.

That's the basic idea of the story.

It is very typical how the author's narration keeps on fluctuation. One moment, I was like I could never write like this author. The very next paragraph I feel like anyone could write better than this other. Throughout the read, my feeling kept fluctuating between these feeling. Now, even after completely reading the book, I can't judge the author's language used in the book and his style of narration.

Author lost his marks in my books only the aspect of his writing.

I would specifically like to thank Arup Bose for asking me to review this book for him. I am glad I read this book. Even the other two books sent by him were equally enthralling.

After I too had a love story, I have come to read three amazing books from Srishti Publishers.

Off the records, the best part of receiving the books from the publishers is their bookmarks. Check the photos at the end of the review for the photos of the Publishers exclusive bookmarks I have received with this copy of the book.

Cover design:
If you have a look at the cover design of the book, you will notice three character - a funky guy with long hair to the left, a Pathan in Kurta to the right and a fat person with Tilak smeared on his forehead and with a cup to the middle. The cover picture seemed apt as the whole of the story revolves between the three of the characters.

Above all, I loved the back cover of the book. It is unlike the back covers of the other books, which contains the description of the story and a few lines about the author with a small square of his picture.

I loved the very idea of author's embossed, full length photo on the back of the book.

Story and other aspects:
The prologue starts with the second-person narration of Iyer smoking in the train (which was, according to the Indian Railway Association, illegal), which is heading Delhi. Following ancient tradition of prologue-writing, the prologue starts in the middle of the story and leaves us confused as hell.

Then the first chapter starts with the thrid-person narration of Jai's life.

Somewhere between the story joins the Pathan of the story.

Both of them end up in the rest area of a Metro Station, when our Iyer, the probable protagonist - because best part of the book is filled by his story and he is the reason for the mind boggling twist - enters the scene.

Like I have mentioned in the above part, the language was a drawback. Two entirely different feeling run parallel and keep fluctuation throughout the read. It is either amateurish or very intriguing. Also, it needs a good deal of editing. If not for these drawbacks, the book is a perfect-ten! (A very rare in the case of this blog.)

During the first-person narration of Iyer's story, there were many Tamil phrases used in the exchange between the characters, which is a plus point. It gives adds the realness to the narration. Being born in Chennai and brought up in Hyderabad, I am pretty good at understanding Tamil language.(However, my Tamil speaking skill is a disaster.) So I understood the Tamil phrases used in the story easily. I am certain the author has been to or from South India, or else it wouldn't have been so easy to throw in those Tamil phrases which were in perfect sync with the setting.

Owing to not bore you, I end this review fast and with a good note saying that this book is worth reading at least once. It is very rare I like Drama, but when I do, it is helluva Drama, I say.

Especially for the starters. People who are starting out reading lately should read this book. The flaws and the editing overlooks might not count much for them. For others, it depends on their interest. If you value a good story, you must read it. Or else, if you pay attention to the narration and language, I think you must give this book a second thought. Story is given highest importance in my books, though...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Da Vinci Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci


I never knew who da Vinci was. It was only after watching the movie, The Da Vinci Code, I came to understand that Leonardo da Vinci was a person who creates puzzles for his time pass. He  also drew few paintings like Mona Lisa and The Last Supper (during that time, I didn't even know what was the significance of the painting).

Slowly, there after I came to learn Leonardo was no puzzler (person who creates puzzles), but an artist. It is only after I read this book, I came to understand the reason behind his fame. The text in this book has literally swept me off my feet. Though the methods he exercised were bizarre and awkward to understate. (He got the general of the army to strip all this clothes and made him lie stark naked to draw some painting!!)

Description (From the jacket - hand typed):
For everyone who has read and enjoyed Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, here is an exceptional insight into da Vinci's inner world, in his own words and images.

The notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci - a treasure house of unparalleled ingenuity, curiosity and creative energy - have inspired their readers for centuries. Fascinating and tantalizing their readers for centuries. Fascinating and tantalizing by turns, the individual pages of the notebooks, densely covered with da Vinci's sketches, jottings, calculations and detailed diagrams, are among the most prized possessions of the world's great art collectors.

Painters, sculptors, engineer; mathematician, philosopher, inventor; architect, anatomist and naturalist - da Vinci's talents are seemingly endless. This is new selection from the notebooks, bursting with imagination and quirkiness, sometimes cryptic or even incomprehensible, is the perfect introduction to the mysteries of Leonardo da Vinci. Those who know him as the celebrated painter of The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa will be astonished and intrigues by this sparkling testament to one of greatest minds of Western Civilization.

My take on the book:

I rated this book four. And I rate da Vinci the whole five!!

For me, before I read this book, painting was something way over my head. There are some painting I came across which are like a baby's puke of different colours on a canvas and that would price over a million rupees! Anyone can mix some colours and throw them on a canvas and call it a painting.

After reading this book, there are two types of paintings for me - paintings like I have mentioned above and the paintings of da Vinci's.

Of course, da Vinci made the general of the army to strip off his cloths and lie down naked, but just so understand the anatomy of humans.

There are many bizarre incidents mentioned in the book of discussion like da Vinci summoned the dead bodies and skinned it to understand the anatomy and neurology of a human body. He wanted to understand how the muscles of a human body reacted for an action. He keenly studied proportionality of various parts of a human body with other parts.

It is just amazing to know that there was so much background work needed for painting. I doubt how many painters now-a-days have so much knowledge.

I don't want to prolong this review any more. I just want to say that after reading this book, I just have one word for da Vinci - Respect.

For all those people, who love art, artists and wanna-be artists.

Stickeen by John Muir

Stickeen by John Muir

Rating: 1 out of 5

ISBN (edition I've read): N/A (e-book)

Read between: 26-08-2012 (One day read)

This is very infamous book. On GoodReads, there are about 340 ratings and 40 reviews.

I came across this book when I was searching for some adventures novels online. Specifically I was searching for adventures that have taken place a long back and considered classics. That is how I came across John Muir and found a whole load of John Muir collection.

I think that it is not legit to read e-books for free, but what could I do? I believed that they were offered for free since that first publication of this book dated to early 1900s (around 1913 or something). I just believe I haven't hurt anyone's feeling by reading this for free.

Plot (from some website):
The great explorer and environmentalist, John Muir, 
first met the little dog Stickeen while exploring in Alaska. 
This is the true story of their challenging and memorable 
adventure climbing the glaciers of the north country.

My take on the book:

It hardly took for me to complete this book in 30-minutes! The book was the shortest novel, I've ever read yet. There were very few pages and to top that, there were even fewer words.

Actually, from the title of the book and the description, I was expecting a adventure by the author and a dog... It turns out to be just that.. but less adventurous and more disappointing.

John Muir, the author, is a scientific explorer (that's what I could make out from the story). One day, he walks out of the camp, to explore the nearby glacier, leaving behind his crew. A dog, named Stickeen, owned by one of the crew members, goes with him, even when he refuses it to. The mere exploration of the glacier turns out into a struggle to get back to the camp, against the violent winds. The way return is a field of crevasses and the last 20-pages of the book deal with the disaster and the way they got back to the camp.

I, who is writing an adventurous story of a dog and a boy was very expectant with the story. I was looking forward for some emotional drama between the author and dog, but against my all hopes the dog, after whom the book was named, had very little part in the whole of the story.

The terminology and the vocabulary used in the story were very high-leveled. Not every person can understand it. I often had to refer Google dictionary for understanding many words.

And then, when you slow start to imagine the story, the story stops. You are rudely woken up from the dream, in which you are expecting a roller coaster ride of adventures of a man and a dog.

Complicated language. Hard-to-understand narration. Short prose. All of them make this read a total no.

I don't think there will be anyone who are willing to read this book. Yeah, unless and until one wants to know why I had a bad time with this book or there is a soul out there as experimental as I.

Arty Facts by Ankita Kapoor


I have received a e-copy of this book from the author, herself, for reviewing, which I won in a giveaway on http://thetalespensieve.com/

When I have accepted to review this book, I had second thoughts, The plot sounded very girly. The last time I read a girly book, my basic instincts were to tear off the book and burn it and bury the ashes, what was left of it. It was No Dealine for Love by Manasi Vaidya.

But this book was not that bad. In face, I enjoyed reading this book. The humor-filled narration of the author made it not just bearable but also entertaining.

Plot (from Amazon):
Arty Facts is the amusing story of a small town girl, Aarohi who lands up in Delhi and the dubious and ludicrous people she encounters, no matter where she goes or how hard she tries to stay away from them. This book is dedicated to everyone who has been harassed by their horrible bosses, loves bitching and enjoys taking this flight from reality with their bitching buddies-- a god-send I'd say in this wild, wild world! So while you hop skip and jump through the jungle called life, don't forget to bitch a little!

About the author:
Ankita Kapoor was born in the erstwhile princely city of Lucknow, in India in 1983. She holds a Masters degree in Fine Arts from the premiere Delhi College of Arts, New Delhi. She worked for one year as an Arts Coordinator in a popular art gallery, and she worked two years as a Lifestyle journalist in New Delhi. Both the roles gave her a window into the social milieu of the twenty-first century city circuit. Apart from painting, writing is her passion. She spends time travelling, cooking and fooling around with her gal pals, or as she'd like to say "Bitching!" Presently, she lives in Dallas in Texas with her hubby, who she credits for the support and strength he lends... and ofcourse the numerous books that line not just her wall, but her life!

My take on the book:

First of all I would like to thank Reshmy Pillai, for considering eligible for reviewing this book and for asking the author, Ankita, to send me e-copy of the same.

The whole of the story revolves around a verb - bitching. The famous act of talking and expression displeasure over a person behind their backs. I primarily read girly books or book authored by woman authors so that I could understand something about the most confusing species of human - woman. I believe a bit of understanding would help me collect enough courage to tackle a unfamiliar girl at the bar. And yeah, I have learned something from this book. The book contains many bitching facts of woman and man alike, but nothing else. I don't think knowing a few facts of bitching might help me pick a girl.

Anyway, trying to not drift from the very topic of discussion, the read was a breeze. I completed it in a day. It is a mere exaggeration. A good reader could complete it in, at most, three hours. So small was the story and add to that, the smooth, breezy narration with humorous and witty style of the author.

I am not a big fan of girly books. (I believe this book to be one, too.) But the humor in the narration of the author made it interesting. I strongly believe the author had her way with the words. Or else, I wouldn't even got through the first ten pages.

The story is a first account narration of a girl from Lucknow, who lives as a paying guest in Delhi. At the start of the story, the protagonist is unemployed and on the verge of running out of her bank balance. She needed a job and that too very soon. With the help of her bitching friend, Pawan, she gets a job a art gallery, The Shades. Then on the story is narrated in the form of dairy entries. The narrator goes on to explain the various incidents she experiences and various ludicrous people she comes to meet during the time she works in The Shades.

Cover design and the title:
I think the title - Arty Facts - of the book is very witty. It is a homophone of the word Artifact, which means, an object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest. 

The cover design of the book is catchy, too. It is kinda of some weird painting that are sold for a very huge amounts for some balding - if not already bald - rich, insane businessman, who buys it even without knowing what the painting really signifies. Since I didn't get a hard copy, I can't comment of the paper quality and the extra features of the cover design and the design of the back cover.

Story and the other remaining aspects:
I can't agree with one point mentioned in the plot of the story. I don't think the protagonist is a small town girl. She drinks every form of spirit invented yet on the face of the Earth. But I could be wrong. Maybe, she got used to drinking during her brief six-months stay in Delhi. Or maybe, small town girls do drink.

Though the narration was witty and humorous, I couldn't much get myself to enjoy the story. The story was most of the time happens in the setting of a art gallery, which I am least aware of and best part of it was about artists and their painting, which I am least aware of, too.

Overall, I think girls would enjoy reading this book more than guys, or precisely me.

For all those girls who love bitching and who are willing to read a light, funny read...

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Secret of the Dark by Arka Chakrabarti

Srishti Publishers have themselves mailed me the copy of this book for reviewing. This is the second consecutive book, I've received for reviewing from this publishers, after The Homing Pigeons.

If you have read my review of The Homing Pigeons, you would have understood in how awe the book had kept me. And this book is no less. In fact, this book is better than the other one. (I don't understand why I keep comparing both the books. Probably, because it was after some time, I have got something substantial to read which caught my interest from start to the end, till the very the page.)

Plot (On the jacket):
Is one born with his destiny or does he forge it?

In the mystical land of Gaya, two prophecies bind the fate of men and empires alike. The Destroyer born from the royal seed on the Land of the Setting Sun shall bring the empires down, or so has been foretold.

In between the Destroyer and the world stand the Seven Guardians of Gaya, guarding the realm of man. A king, a father, defies the Seven and fate itself to save the last drop of his blood and prince Agni grows in the Land of the Rising Sun, exiled from his own people, unaware of his past.

Losing the woman he loved most to the shadows in the dark, Agni is thrown into a whirlpool of events that he neither knows, nor understands. His quest for vengeance brings him to the doorstep of a secret that will shatter the very foundation of beliefs of a world.

Can Agni avert his destiny? Can he uncover the truth about the Seven and the prophecies, now hidden behind a veil of ignorance?

The secrets of the dark are sometimes so terrible that they are better left unsaid.

About the author (On the jacket):
Arka Chakrabarti is a twenty-five year old youngster from Kolkata whose small quest to chalk out the perfect words for the perfect moments drove him to take up content writing not only as a passion but also a profession. A commerce graduate from Heramba Chandra College, he is passionate about reading fantasy novels, ever since he was a child. With this book, he has taken his first step into the world of diction and intrigue, chalking out an unimaginable world of secrets and mysteries.

My take on the book:

Fantasy. Frankly, I am very new to this genre of stories. I haven't read many of them, save for the Shiva Trilogy, the story of which I don't actually remember. So there aren't better books to compare this book with. I will try to explain what I felt and how the book is in detail.

Cover design:
I think a little more effort on the design of the cover might have attracted the attention of the readers what the book reserved. Even the tagline - ... the debt of blood is never repaid - on the cover page was blunt and normal. Red text on a dark background wasn't much appealing.

Not to mention, The Homing Pigeons had a very good, or rather pleasant, cover design.

I haven't been a big fan of Srishti Publishers. They have published many boring novels before. But I keep reading books from them because once in a while they come up with gems of the books. For once, take I too had a love story. Even Durjoy Datta was launched by Srishti Publishers. And this month they have launched two gems, again - The Homing Pigeon and The Secret of the Dark.

Apart from the above mentioned points, affordability is another aspect most cultivated by Srishti Publishers. Most of their books cost around hundred bucks or so.

Since this book is pretty thick (340 pages), unlike other books by Srishti and the quality of the story is good, the book has been priced 195.

Story and other aspects:
Being a Fantasy, the author has to explain the details of the setting of the story from the very scratch. The narrating style of the author must be captivating for the reader enough to make him the very realms of the reality. That is what I felt during this read. I started to believe in a world of Gaya, which was divided into two large continents and everything else about the world, mentioned in the story. The fictional map of Gaya, displayed in the starting pages of the book was brilliant. Brilliant is the idea of the map, not the map itself. I think better computerized map would have done a great deal understanding the map. The idea of naming the continents of Gaya as 'The land of setting Sun' and 'The land of rising Sun' was witty.

The aspect of a book I am most keen about is the language. It is the language of the story that creates or shatters the interest of the reader. Readers shouldn't be made to refer dictionary every second page. Neither they should be made to go through a single line more than once. The Secret of the Dark has a very simple language, which would flow as smooth as a hot knife through butter. The writer uses just the correct word to explain the situation, which makes it a pleasant breeze to read this book.

Another best part of this book is its story. Also, story is one reason I rate it four instead of five.

Story is very captivating. The author tried his best to hook the reader to the book by maintaining an unwavering suspense. But at some point of the times, the unending names of the characters gets on the nerve. Add to that, the irritating and confusing Greek-sounding names like Damian, Crixus, Torman, etc. In fact, I couldn't even pronounce a few of them.

There is another story - The story of princess Alexandria - in the book, that runs parallel to the main story. I was waiting for the stories to interject at one point, but that point never came. Also, I don't understand the significance of that story. Maybe, I have missed the part which explained its significance when I was busy racing through the words, trying to break the suspense.

Even at times, the details of the fights got me snoring. Maybe it could be just me, who is bored by the fighting sequences in the novels.

I felt that the end of the story was pretty abrupt. The last one chapter or two was bit of a rush. It was the suspense breaking chapter. There were too much information to relate and understand. The end was pretty sudden. I was left with a feeling - "Is the story over?"

Overall, the story was good. Language was smooth. Plot is interesting. Quiet a good read for this summer.

I would recommend this book to Fantasy lovers, who are looking for a Action-Fantasy rather than a Romantic-Fantasy.

Title : The Secrets of the Dark

Author : Arka Chakrabarti

Tagline : ...the debt of blood is never repaid

ISBN (edition I've read) : 9789380349909

Publishers : Srishti Publishers

MRP : 195

Pages : 342

Rating : 4 out of 5

Read between : 18-05-2013 to 23-05-2013

Review for : Arup Bose (Srishti Publishers)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

3 On A Bed by Rajdeep Paul, Sarmistha Maiti

3 On A Bed by Rajdeep Paul, Sarmistha Maiti

Rating: 0.5 out of 5

ISBN (edition I've read): 9781481129046

Read between: 10-05-2013 to 11-05-2013

Probably, my fourth GoodReads give-away win. Otherwise, I doubt I would've ever come across this book. In fact, if I were to choose between this book and any other book, I would definitely choose the other one. I still wonder why I registered for the give-away of this book.  Perhaps, because it is by Indian author and I love reading Indian novels. Now regret even writing this review for this book.

3 on a bed is a collection of three contemporary Indian novellas by two young filmmaker turned authors, Rajdeep Paul & Sarmistha Maiti.

Named after their critically acclaimed film 3 on a bed, India's first Polyamoric film produced by Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata; the authors penned down three novellas of different taste in the backdrop of contemporary India and its changing urban lifestyle.

The film 3 on a bed tells a story of a ménage-à-trois or a threesome of two men and one woman, who fall in love with each other and instead of fighting over hierarchy & possession, decide to share their love equally among themselves; whereas the novella 3 on a Bed continues to delving deep into their interpersonal conflicts.

India 24 portrays the lives of individuals from different parts of India with different social strata, cross-connecting each one's lives, to provide an insight into the greater politics of life and living in contemporary India.

1 Day for Love explores a young woman's obsessive fear of the festival of Holi (The festival of colours) against the evolution of gender and class politics, culminating into an all-encompassing indifference infecting the fabric of the Indian society.

About the authors:
Rajdeep Paul (born September 1981, Kolkata, West Bengal) is a boy who refuses to grow up like his favourite hero Peter Pan. He lost his mother at age of 9 and had a very protective childhood. He studied Computer Science and Engineering to fulfill his father's wishes. He worked in Infosys Technologies Ltd for three years as a Software Engineer and during that tenure had the opportunity of travelling to and staying at different parts of the country and interacting with a vast variety of urban Indian youth working in the IT sector. He was not a serious worker in the company but still scored well with his bosses for being the poster-boy in the officer's extracurricular activities. 'India 24' was written by him while he was in Infosys, inspired by events that took place around him. In 2007, he quit his job to follow his dream of film making and joined Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata to pursue a course in Film Direction where he made the 32 minute short film '3 on a bed' along with Sarmistha Maiti. The '3 on a bed' novella is a progression to the short film, while the film's story had a wide canvas, the novella concentrates on the acute inner lives of the same three characters. Rajdeep now lives in Kolkata and works as an Independent filmmaker and Writer. He is presently writing a series of Epic Fantasy Novels to be published in 2013.

Sarmistha Maiti (born December 1979, Haldia, West Bengal) had dreamt of becoming a writer since her childhood, which she spent in different industrial townships across the country travelling with her parents. Her father, an Engineer in a Public Sector Company, wanted his daughter to also be an Engineer. But encouraged by her husband to twelve years, a celebrated artiste, she went against her father and took up first graduation and then post graduation in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She started her writing career as a Journalist in Hindustan Times, Kolkata in 2000 followed by the Times of India, Kolkata and then as a Copywriter in an Ad Agency. Her first book, a collection of Modern English Poems titled Forbidden was published in 2004. She in presently the Managing Editor of www.mattersofart.net (India's 1st e-zine in Art) and has been also contributing as an Art Clinic to different Art Magazines across the country since 2007. In 2007, she also took up a Course in Film-making from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute as an editor, where she met Rajdeep; their diverse backgrounds initially providing a backdrop for great conflict and later for great collaboration. Sarmistha now lives in Kolkata and works as an Independent Filmmaker, Writer, Art Critic and Curator and the conflict between her industrial background and creative pursuits reflect greatly in her works.

My take on the book:

Bunsen books. Never heard of this publishers. Probably, new to the industry. Probably, ready to publish any book under the sun. But, believe me, the design of the bookmarks, the paper quality (the book itself weighed good), the logo of the publishers was very impressive. It gave the impression of a classic publishers who release only rare, creative and best of the best books. Also the first bookmarks says,

Busen Books is an outlet for those authors, whose works are sometimes too 'left of center' for major houses and their conservative approach to publishing.

I was very impressed by their very motive. Aspiring to be an author, myself, I made a note to send a copy of my book to these publishers when I am done with the manuscript. But now, after reading the book, I think better of it. Now I think conservative approach is better than this crap of a book, I'm writing review for.

Rajdeep Paul and Sarmistha Maiti, both, are students o Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute. I have heard too many praises for the works of Satyajit Ray. Didn't get to see any of his works, though. I also heard the all his works are different, thought-provoking and very controversial. He was one free-soul struggling in the conservative shackles on Indian tradition. I think, but these stories are way too disturbing.

It consisted of 3 novellas,

India 24
It is written only by Rajdeep Paul. Perhaps, it is the smallest of three novellas. The stories starts with the letters boldly representing, '00 hrs'. The following chapters parts are named, 1 AM, 2 AM ... 11 AM, 12 PM, 1 PM ... 11 PM, 00 hrs.

The story starts at a random scene at a call center. There are two characters named in this part. In the next part some other random scene from some other setting is derived and some more characters are named. The whole story is about the random events, incident and cliches from the ordinary lives which is happening at the time named in the start of the part. However, I THINK, at the end of the story, there is a link placed between all these stories. I THINK because I couldn't must understand the story for the following reason,

  • The English, if that is the language used in the story, was the worse. I couldn't understand major part of the story. I had a nightmare of re-reading this story.
  • In the mere 30 pages, 27 to be precise, the author has named so many characters that it is very difficult to remember them when they are derived, again at some other point of the story. The author should have attempted to at least give a little, basic background to every character so that it would have been a little less difficult to remember and recollect the characters. If I am asked, the authors shouldn't have involved so many characters. The idea of the plot was good, but the rest of the aspects are killings.
  • I suggest the author to hire an editor. At least, the publisher should hire an editor. It was like the writing of an Kindergarten kid and the publisher had printed it without giving it a second look.
3 On A Bed
The second novella in the book. The prime story on which the name of the book is derived. It is written by both the authors, Rajdeep Paul and Sarmistha Maiti.

It is the story of three people - two men and a women - who are deeply in 'love' (I call 'shit', in this case) with each other. Everyday they sleep on the same bed, with men on either side of the women, stark naked. The very thought disgusted me. I THINK India hasn't got into such decreased values. Yeah, I have heard of Beat Generation and all, but this was too much to imagine. The women loving two guys and the two guys are okay with it. How is it even possible? It is impossible as for my imagination and reality of the contemporary situation is considered.

Forgive me, if this is all true and possible. All the time, I was thinking 'Awesome-Threesome' was only restricted to porn videos and at max, sluts. But here, the three of them are in deep harmony with each other. They say, 'I love you's to each other!!

Maybe the story had a deep blend in it. Maybe it is for deep thinkers who think unlike me. But the book is given to me and this is my review, to put forward my view. I call this book disgusted by this very story. Even the cover image of the book portrays three people sleeping together.

Please, spare me these kind of crap!!

1 Day For Love
It is the third and the final novella in this torturous potpourri. It is written by Sarmistha Maiti and is the biggest of all the three stories. It spread almost the half of the book!

Frankly, I couldn't even get myself to complete this story. From the bits and pieces, I have read I came to know that the lead character, a female, whose name I don't even remember, had a strange disgust for the festival Holi for reasons I don't know (I don't even know whether they have mentioned it in the story). She turns green at the very thought of colours. 

Somewhere in the middle of the story, I learnt that she is married, but loves someone else in a 'mysterious way'. It is not the usual form of love but sacred, it was told. I never knew there were forms of love. I hate this story!

First of all, I think the authors or the publishers should concern an professional editor before getting the book printed.

Secondly, please, try new things, but not the ones which are disgusting like these. Please be more expressive. I hate to say this but the language was a torture. Please make an effort to improve it. After all, it is the medium through which you communicate with your readers.

And, also, yeah, stop using phrases like, "I love you, but it is the pure kind of love, not the other one." "Yeah, even my mother says that there is a divine intervention for us to meet." The phrases can't exactly be the same, but there are umpteen alike sentences in the book.

Not to forget, the book had its share of jokes. "Sorry for the late ... There was a huge jam." I couldn't control my laughter when I first read this sentence. There was a huge jam? What jam? Fruit jam? Later I figured what author wanted to convey. "Sorry for being late ... Was stuck in a traffic jam."

I even don't know why I am writing this part of the review. After reading the review, I am certain not a soul will venture to buy this book and, in case they did, I salute you, comrade.

Hell, no recommendations to anyone!! I so hate this book!!


Friday, May 3, 2013

The Homing Pigeons... by Sid Bahri

The Homing Pigeons... by Sid Bahri

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

ISBN(edition I've read): 9789380349916

Read between: 28-04-2013 to 03-05-2013

First of all, I like to thank Nimi Vashi (of http://thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in/) for electing me as an eligible reviewer to review such a great book. Yeah, I also want to apologize to her that I couldn't review this book as early as I had promised. It was the time, I have external examinations going and that was why I couldn't read this book on time. Anyways, better late than ever, here is the true and unbiased review you have asked for.

In the middle of the catastrophic 2008 recession, Aditya, a jobless, penniless man meets an attractive stranger in a bar, little does he know that his life will change forever…..

When Radhika, a young, rich widow, marries off her stepdaughter, little does she know that the freedom that she has yearned for is not exactly how she had envisioned it…..

They say Homing Pigeons always come back to their mate, no matter where you leave them on the face of this earth. Homing Pigeons is the story of love between these two unsuspecting characters as it is of lust, greed, separations, prejudices and crumbling spines.

About the author:
A hotelier by education, an ex-banker and a senior executive in the outsourcing industry, Sid gave up a plush career in the outsourcing industry to follow up his passions. Based out of Ranikhet, he is now a struggling entrepreneur and a happy writer. A self-proclaimed eccentric, he is an avid blogger who loves to read and cook. Cooking stories, however, is his passion. The Homing Pigeons is his debut novel.

He can be reached at sidd.bahri@gmail.com

My take on the book:
Readers, let me explain the situation I have completed reading this book in. I started reading this book immediately after my lab examinations and I have my final examinations in a couple of days and I am writing a review on this book. Such a hook-up this book is.

Warning: Start reading this book only if you have no important examinations for the next four days. Anyway, I am sure you wouldn't take that long to complete this book.

This book is a total hooker. You start reading and it is very difficult to put this book down.

It was a honoring experience to review this book to which the very own Shashi Tharoor had said, "...a remarkable novel by a first-time novelist of immense promise...often exquisitely rendered...exceptional achievement that deserves all the plaudits it is sure to garner." (From the front cover)

The whole story alternates between the stories of two different characters - Aditya and Radhika. During the first few chapters, there seems to be no connection between both the characters. Aditya explains his pitiable situation after losing his job due the recession and how he lies off on his wife's money. Radhika, who has recently lost his husband, is marrying off her step-daughter, who is marrying just so that she can inherit the fortune left behind by her father.

Every chapter is narrated in the first-person narration of the character the chapter is named after.

As the story progresses there are little links seen between both the characters. Still further a concrete link is formed between the characters - they turn out to be deeply in love with each other. Then, the reader, starts to develop a strong curiosity how both the character end up in so diverse the situation they were in. Aren't lovers meant to end up marrying?

To top the story, the narration was equally exquisite. The language used by the author is at its simplest best. It is as smooth as hot mercury. The flow is uninterrupted due the such a smooth use of words.

About the publishers. Shristhi Publishers are those publishers which are considered a risk by the people. I don't blame people for that. Many of the books from those publishers are like that, but then we can't overlook some gem of authors from these publishers - like Ravinder Singh, Durjoy Datta, and now, Sid Bahri. This book was exceptionally good from the publishers. Seasonally, they keep providing us, readers, with such a treats. The Homing Pigeons is on helluva treat.

Also the cover designs. Most the cover designs of the books that release lately are a disaster. It is the cover design that attracts a reader. There is a saying since a long time that says, "Don't judge a book by its cover." And people are judging books by its cover since a long time, too. So it was very important to have a good cover design if you want a person to pick up a book. The Homing Pigeons's cover design is one good. It is simple and pleasant, as same as the story.

Overall, it is the smooth read one would prefer reading during the evening, sitting in the lawn having a tea. A pleasant read.

For those authors who are looking for a pleasant read like a hot tea during the winter evening...

I hate to say this, but I think you should make some effort to improve your handwriting, Sid Bahri. (Take it in good humor.)

Damn, I didn't know that there was poster embossed inside the shipped parcel. I found it out only after the left bottom part of the poster is torn.

This review is a part of the Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books visit thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com

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