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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Railonama by Various, Anupama Sharma (Editor, Author)

Blurb (from the jacket & GoodReads):

Interested in funny, heart-warming, and inspiring real life travel stories? You will love reading Railonama. It is an anthology inspired by travel on the Indian Railways.

The book contains stories from authors: Ajay Mankotia, Ambika Jindal, Anindita Deo, Anupama Sharma, Asiem Sanyal, Atul Sharma, Bala Parthasarathy, Chandrashekhr B. Kulkarni, Diane Caldwell, Dilshad Sanyal, Dr K.C. Jindal, Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan, Elayne Clift, Francois Juneau, Frank Joussen, Ganesh V, K.H.D. Karr, Ken Haigh, Kshitij Bisen, Lalita Bhatia, Malini Mathi Vathanan, Mary McCormack, Michael Clifton, Monali Ghatge, Nikhil Narayanan, Pat Hale, Pradeep Chaswal, Raminder Rayar, Renuka Vishwanathan, Rohit Khanduri, Savita Mudgal, Shailender Arya, Sharada Balasubramanian, Sheela Jaywant, Sheila Kumar, Sijeesh V Balakrishnan, Snigdha Khurana, Sukanya Mohan, Sumedha Sengupta, Susmita Bhattacharya, Tessy Koshy, Varsha Halabe, Vibha Batra, Yogesh B Sharma.


RAILONAMA is a collection of heart-warming, inspiring and surprising stories of train travels in India. Stories have been carefully selected from people all over the world who have traveled in India pre- and post Independence. This commemorative book of enriching and entertaining short stories and poems is a must read for anyone who has lived in or visited India.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (Richard Hannay #1)

Blurb (from the jacket):

'My guest was lying sprawled on his back. There was a knife through his heart which skewered him to the floor.'

From that moment Richard Hannay's own life is under threat. A few days before, the dead man had told him of a political assassination that was shortly to take place in London and which would have terrible repercussions around the world. In mortal danger he sought refuge in Hannay's flat. Now he had been murdered and Hannay had to move quickly if he was not to suffer the same fate. 

Pursued by both police and killers he heads for Scotland. There, among the Scottish moors, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, and Hannay needs all his resourcefulness and courage to stay one step ahead. His only hope is to persuade someone in the British Government of the impending danger. But will he be able to get to them in time and save the country from certain ruin?

The Thirty-Nine Steps is the most famous of the five novels featuring Richard hannay and established John Buchan as one of Britain's finest writers of suspense stories.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bubble wrap by Kalyani Rao



ABOUT THE BOOK:Twelve-year-old Krishna Singh has been married off to Shyam Singh of Rokhagadh, Rajasthan. Before the wedding, Krishna's grandmother gives her a box filled with exquisite jewellery, telling her to sell it in times of trouble, but otherwise to hide it from her parents and in-laws. Accompanied by Gudiya, the fifteen-year-old widow of her cousin, Krishna realizes that her cold marital home is a far cry from the loving one she left behind. The world outside has modernized and is beamed via television into her home. But she is not allowed to go to school, instead a female tutor comes home to teach her. A dubious father-in-law, a husband away at boarding school and a mousey mother-in-law clearly show Krishna what is a woman's place in this family. An unfortunate incident leads Krishna and Gudiya headlong into a series of events that change their lives forever. As they deal with one situation after another, the girls discover each other and learn much about the world they live in. Bubble Wrap is a story about their fight for survival against impossible odds in a shallow male-dominated society. Told through the eyes of an innocent girl married off too young, Bubble Wrap is a passionate tale woven against the backdrop of small town Rajasthan, where, amid modern trappings, there are families that live out antique traditions and outmoded beliefs.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Metamorphing by Kunal Pancholi

AUTHOR: Kunal Pancholi
EDITOR: Anushree Nandee
COVER DESIGN: Avinash Sathianathan
Publisher: Leadstart publishing Pvt Ltd

JOT(From the jacket):

28th APRIL, 2000: Flight No. 9x4876 bound to Srinagar has crash landed into the Everest Base camp. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the flight mysteriously went off the radar for few minutes and missed its landing. All passengers are feared dead… except for three bodies that are yet to be recovered.

8th DECEMBER, 2050:This, without doubt is the most gruesome murder in recent times. Early this morning, an unidentified woman was found mutilated at the western gates of the abandoned Victoria Terminus Station in Mumbai. Authorities report her head was … well … semi-decapitated and she was drained of all her blood. The shocking part - the crime scene was devoid of any signs of blood spatter…
ROHAN: He was shorter than the shortest girl in school; he had to be ahead in the game!
RUDRA:A man without a past, coaxed into a murder investigation; will he ever grasp the true nature of the 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Perfume by Patrick Süskind

Blurb (from the GoodReads):

In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift: an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs.

But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume"—the scent of a beautiful young virgin.

Told with dazzling narrative brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Laburnum For My Head by Temsula Ao

Laburnum For My HeadLaburnum For My Head by Temsula Ao
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are so many highly acclaimed literary awards. Booker, Pulitzer, Orange, what-not. In fact, how many Booker winners and shortlisted have I read! I have read a few Indian literary awards too - like Shakti Bhatt First Book and Hindu Literary Prize - but I have left behind the father of them all - Sahitya Akademi Award! The official literary award of India. When I came across this book on some online book selling portal, I felt some kind of a patriotic urge to read the book. And so here I am done with it finally...

It is a bunch of eight short stories, the first one being the Laburnum For My Head is very touchy. In fact, all the short stories were touch, with nothing as much as an ant same. Each story is unique in it's own way. The only similar all the story share is that their settings are all North Eastern India, but even the time spaces differ from story to story. While Laburnum For My Head could be a modern day story, The Boy Who Sold an Airfield and Death of a Hunter are from pre-Independence.

Having nothing much to say about the stories, I decide to conclude the review stating that the language and the narration of the book is one of the best. Serenity is in every word in the story. When I was reading the book, it felt like I was living in a lush forest, among the other human-inhabitants, spending a uneventful, peaceful and a tranquilizing life.

I doubt there would people who wouldn't enjoy reading this book...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Business Doctors by Sameer Kamat

Blurb (from the jacket):

Ivy League educated management consultant, Michael Schneider, gets hired by an unlikely client - a mafia boss who wants to make a last desperate bid to resuscitate his family business that spans across gambling, drugs and porn.

A reluctant Schneider takes on the challenge to analyze the problems and re-launch the underworld organization into the super-competitive, highly evolved world of crime.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ten Days by Leela Nandan


TEN DAYS  Obessions...revenge...and murder most foul
EDITOR: Shobit Arya and team
PUBLISHER: Wisdom Tree.
PAGES : 211

JOT(from the jacket): Tina is the brightest young executive in a call centre ,and an office romance adds spice to the hectic pace of world...till a stalker strikes terror in her life. 

Vikram , a police officer, is sent to investigate a cybercrime in the same call centre .His life takes a dramatic turn when his ex-girlfriend, leila, now married to someone else, re-enters his life. Soon after, his assistant ends up dead.

Tina,on one stormy evening, stumbles upon the plot behind these seemingly unrelated events which plot behind these seemingly unrelated events which turns out to be something infinitely menacing...

MY REFLECTION:  The life in a call centre is always quick, hectic, busy. The life at call centre , people over there, the emotional bridging between the people, their vulnerabilities and intentions etcectra are addressed in a realistic and appealing way. Tina our protagonist is a happy-go- lucky, cherubic and a charming woman. She seeks happiness from her little world. 

Things take an odd turn suddenly, Tina is in danger.She encounters few strange consequences , few events put her in bewilderment and shock. 

The book is a thriller but it is too gory.It's hard to digest many parts of the book. They are very painful. 

The author has given a  lot of description and addressed so many characters which is so confusing and deviating I guess. 

But this book addresses the atrocities against women , the irrationality and cruelity against them which will emotionlay shake the readers.

About the Author: Leena Nandan is an IAS officer of 1987 batch , Uttar Pradesh cadre. A graduate in English Honours from Patna Women's college, she has a Master's degree in Development Managment from the Asian Institute of Managment, Manali.

ISBN 978-81-8328-364-9


The Twelfth Imam by Joel C. Rosenberg


PAGES : 490 pps

                                          WHAT IF THE WORLD WAITS TOO LONG...AND
                                              IRAN DEVELOPS NUCLEAR WEAPONS?

Tensions are rising in the middle east . Iran's president vows to annihilate the United States and Israel. Israel's prime minister says someone must hit Iran's nuclear sites "before it's too late." The American president warns against a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and says negotiations are the key to finding peace.

And amid it all, rumors are swirling throughout the region of mysterious religious cleric claiming to be the islamic messiah known as the Mahdi or the Twelfth Imam. Word oh his miracles ,healings,signs and wonders is spreading like wildfire.

CIA operative David Shirazi was born for this moment . he is recruited and sent into Tehran with one objective: use all means necessary to disrupt Iran's nuclear weapon programs, without leaving American fingerprints and without triggering an apocalyptic new war.

But time is running out.

MY REFLECTION :  This book being a Evangelical fiction was like a cultural and literary shock for me. It's  a religious thriller and it's narrated  mmarvelous The language is rock solid. The traits of all the ccharactersplaying in this thriller are presented intricately without missing a single nuance.

Coming to the plot. It's captivating. Especially , it's so amazing how the plot maneuvers towards the crucial events that made me feel awestruck. I definitely need to appreciate the author for the kind of research he has carried out  in understanding the theology of both Islam and Christianity The best part of the book for me is ,while connecting the dots between the two religions.

Overall the book is written fabulously with a stir of suspense,crime,mysticism religion, riots, politics, etc. The book revolves around issues which are very deep to my conscience, but I somehow made it to fathom them.

The only thing that bothered me is  the abrupt closure of the novel, with hardly a note of climax. without this the entire book is  good.

 WARNING: This book contains literature which may hurt the sentiments of people who believe in Islam. And  this book  has biased description about Bible and Jesus.

As this book is a work of fiction, I sincerely request the readers  to look at it  from a creative writer's point of view. I cordially request all the readers ,not to take any part of the book  granted as it triggers the feelings of Fundamentalism

I hope all the readers will  respect the "freedom of expression" and accept the author.

About the Author: Joel C. Rosenberg is the NEW YORK Times best-selling author of five novels. Joel is the producer of two documentary films based on his nonfiction films. He is also the founder of The Joshua Fund , a nonprofit educational and charitable organization to mobilize Christians to " bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus" with food,clothing ,medical supplies,and other humanitarian relief.
ISBN-13: 978-81-8495-447-0


Friday, October 17, 2014

Love Lasts Forever... by Vikrant Khanna

                           only if you don't marry your love
PAGES- 248.

JOT(From the jacket) :    So you think your love can last forever..?
                       Get married !
Eighteen-year-old Ronit falls madly in love with aisha the moment he meets her at his graduation day from a navel college .He believes he has found his perfect soul mate, and come what may ,his love for her will last forever . Seven years later , he gets married to her. Big mistake! A week later, he completely hates her and believes she has turned into a devil.

But his perception about love and life change when he hears the poignant love story of shekhar ,his captain ,on a ship that later gets hijacked by the pirates of somalia .

As they are left fighting for their lives they comfront if love truly can last forever...?But does it get too late?

MY REFLECTION :  The problem with youngsters of this generation is they are too quick in everything, they are naive and gullibel.All the subtle emotions, vulnerabilities, feelings of two youngsters are showcased in a witty, artistic yet realistic way. 

The book comes like two birds at one hit. There is another love stroy narrated in this book, which is situated in 1980's which is a very heart touching one.It made me weep. I learned a lot from that story which is so true about love and life. 

The Best  part of the book for me is the depiction of the navy. All the scenes of the ship being hijacked, How  all the Navy staff had to disconnected from their family and friends and had to stay in somalia as hostage have thrown a light about the life of Navy men. Reading throw these scenes touched the chord of patriotism in me. 

Finally the book is a lovely story of a young navy person who looses hope in his love life(after marraige) and wishes to end the  relationship, but later  realises what's love by the love story of his captain which inspires him to introspect and get his love back

A must read to all the married people , who are having a gloomy married life. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR :  A Sailor by profession and a writer by passion , Vikrant has penned two novels before this . He lives in delhi with his family. 

You can get in tough with him at 


ISBN-13: 978-9382665175


The Bluest Marble by Vipin Kumar

The Bluest Marble
The Bluest Marble 
is it always about loving your friends & family
EDITED by Sandipan Deb
Published by BecomeShakespeare.com
Pages - 264
Genre - Fiction:Urban life

JOT(from the jacket) : Aditya is know as Ram kumar 125 - a name given to amnesiac patients in a 'Mental hospital'. He doesn't have amnesia; he just doesn't want to go back to the world he knew before . His inmates include : UT- The brilliant former CEO, Rajesh- software engineer and Jacky - Doctor in Theoretical phisics.among these 'crazies' Ram Kumar 125 discovers happiness himself,the true Aditya ,and the secret of happiness.He has been unconsiously looking for all his life.

MY REFLECTION: 'Mumbai', the city filled with people full of dreams.Here lives one such person from the huge city, working in a Business firm leads an ordinary life. He is Adithya. Every thing about him goes well untill his Boss Ousted him.
        The depiction of the life of beachelors who stay away from their parents and come to the city to have a living, in the midst of masses is done very well. The life at night pubs,Parties etc. The emotional bridges between people in the city too are showcased in a realistic way.
        Aditya's frequent hallucinations about his ex-girlfriend pooja are a highlight to the book. these really hit the slightest chord. and finally the story takes a U turn when he decides to end his life.

        After that the story has rushed to the climax not narrating much about 'the bluest marble'. I felt it could be written better .The plot is ok but the climax wasn't satisfactory.                

ISBN 978-93-83952-05-2


Sunday, October 12, 2014

I.T. Hurts by Subhasis Das, Mahi Singla

Blurb (from the jacket):

Dont we all live for a few dreams? These friends did the same.

Gautam, the rich brat, Subho, the corporate slave, Mudrika (Moody), the ambitious girl, Richa, the tomboy, Pritam, the dummy and Ali, the carefree genius-six people from different backgrounds enter in the IT industry with a common dream-to become rich.

On the very first day of his job, Gautam falls for the gorgeous nanya. But when he admits his love to her, he gets the shock of his life-she is soon to be married. Devastated, Gautam moves out of Ananyas life and finds solace with his gang of friends and in cans of beer. Corporate life and its grind helps, too and so does a move to the States. But Gautam decides to give love a second chance and flies down to Mumbai. Will he be second time lucky?

Find out in IT Hurts! a heartwarming story of new found love, old friendships and the trial and tribulations of a punishing industry.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Flight of Pigeons by Ruskin Bond

Blurb (from the jacket):

Set in Shahjahanpur during the revolt of 1857, A Flight of Pigeons is Ruskin Bond's classic novella about the twists of fate, history and the human heart. 

When Ruth Labadoor's father, a clerk in the British magistrate's office, is killed in an attack by sepoys, her family seek refuge with their trusted companion, Lala Ramjimal. From here they eventually hope to escape to their relatives in Bareilly. But their plans go awry when Javed Khan, a fiery Pathan opposed to the British, abducts Ruth and her mother and takes them to his haveli. To their surprise, it is not hate that impels him in this time of war, but an almost crippling passion for Ruth. It will be months before the fall of Delhi to British troops brings them freedom—from fear, bafflement and despair, not only their own but also Javed Khan's. 

Based on true events, A Flight of Pigeons is a haunting story, rich in detail and drama, told with simplicity and deep humanity.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Blurb (from the jacket):

Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts. 

This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people–a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight’ s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Four Encounters by Osamu Tezuka (Buddha #2)

Blurb (from the jacket):

Osamu Tezuka, the godfather of Japanese graphic art, brings ancient India to life, lavishly retelling the life and times of 'the enlightened one' in his critically acclaimed eight-book masterpiece: BUDDHA. The fates of real and imagined characters are deftly interwoven as they engage in fresh and unexpected adventures, playing out Tezuka's philosophical concern with overcoming fate and the uselessness of voilence.

In book two, The Four Encounters, Prince Siddartha – fated to become the Buddha – is confronted by the harsh penalties of social injustice within his own kingdom, fuelled by selfish warlords and villains like the depraved warrior, Bandaka. The tragic fortunes of his loved-ones, such as Tatta the rogue and Migalia the fierce female bandit, force the Prince to choose between love and destiny; Siddartha must forsake his heart and begin his pilgrimage.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Kapilavastu by Osamu Tezuka (Buddha #1)

Blurb (from the jacket):

Osamu Tezuka, the godfather of Japanese graphic art, brings ancient India to life, lavishly retelling the life and times of "the enlightened one" in his critically acclaimed eight book masterpiece, Buddha. The fates of real and imagined characters are deftly interwoven as they engage in fresh and unexpected adventures, playing out Tezuka's philosophical concern with overcoming fate and the uselessness of violence. 

In the first book, Kapilavastu, Chapra, an ambitious slave, spurns the caste system into which he was born and tries to become a nobleman. Tatta, the wild pariah child, communes with animals. And the monk, Naradatta, strives to uncover the meaning of strange portents surrounding the Buddha's birth.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Blurb (from the jacket):

The compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world.

Drifters in search of work, George and his simple minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream--a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California's Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed as Lennie, struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy becomes a victim of his own strength.

Tackling universal themes and giving a voice to America's lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men has proved to be one of Steinbeck's most popular works, achieving success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cafe Latte by Amit Shankar

Cafe Latte : Eighteen Unusual Short stories
Guest Editors : Shayantani Dutta sen, Reshma Bhatnagar
Published by : Renu Kaul Verma( Vitasta Publishing Pvt Ltd.)
Pages No. : 1-190 pps.
INTRODUCTION : I am very surprised to look at the personal note ( loads of love), followed my the author's signature , soon I leafed through the book. It some how made me fill special.There is always a subtle magic lingering  around the personal notes . 
                                   As mentioned, eighteen unusual stories are truly unusual, few bizarre, few heart touching, few thought provoking .All the stories are very simple, but carrying a deep message which can transform the readers. 
                                    Here I am just trying to give a glimpse of  all the stories

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Blurb (from the jacket):

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family's lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed—within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duck pond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac—as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark - from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Private India by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi (Private Series)

Blurb (from the jacket):

In Mumbai seemingly unconnected people are dying, strangled in a chilling ritual and with strange objects carefully arranged with the corpses. 

For Santosh Wagh, head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world’s finest investigation agency, it's a race against time to stop the killer striking again. 

In a city of over thirteen million, he'd have his work cut out at the best of times but this case has him battling Mumbai's biggest ganglord and a godman who isn't all he seems.

And then he discovers there may be an even greater danger facing Private India. Hidden in the shadows is someone who could destroy the whole organisation along with thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens...

The Turning Point (Best of Young Indian Writers) edited by Nikita Singh

                                                      The Turning Point edited by Nikita Singh
                                                              Wisdom Tree, New Delhi
                                                              Page Numbers : 1- 201 pp.

Stories By :Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan * Durjoy Datta * Juda Balan * Harsha Snehanshu * Shoma                            Narayanan * Parinda Joshi * Atulya Mahajan * Nikita Singh.

 Insert a Carrot  ( Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan) : Insert a carrot , no doubt seems to be cheesy and speaks of a hidden meaning ,so is the story. It's an adult conversation between two friends ,who speak about  their boy friends. I was embarrassed to read  the cheesy , perverted conversation between two girls. It's because of my conditioning that only boys are perverted and have a conversation full of vulgarity. 

                This story through some light of how the girls in this generation are advanced and almost stand equal to men in this corporate world.

The English teacher (Durjoy Datta) : This is a story of a boy who has entered his adolescence, who is high on his hormones. All he wishes is to satiate is carnal desires , his amorous fantasies towards his English teacher who is already married . He is full of lust and always behind his English teacher .The malicious desires to enjoy his English teacher are always haunting him.As time moves, he enters college, then into a company holding a good position but  his fantasies ....they are still there.\
                  This story tells us how one's desires can fuss up with our life and make us a villain.

The Return of the (original) Vampire(Juda Balan): This is a story of a vampire ,who wants to satiate his thirst by the blood of a beautiful girl but ends by falling in love with her. 
            I could only understand this much , because many parts of the story were esoteric and the clause and phrases were a little bit complicated for me to understand due to the narration which was a  bit confusing.

The Summer Showers( Harsha Snehanshu): this is a sweet love story between two youngsters ,written ,narrated ,expressed  with lot of humor in a fresh style which I loved the most .

The X-Boss (Shoma Narayanan): this is a funny , surrealistic story of a Boss and his employer . speaking  few more words will kill the surprise of the story. 
 An Unlikely Accomplice(Parinda joshi) : This is the story which I didn't fathom at all , The narration turned out to be a little complicated and the plot was also very lamenting.

The U-Turn (Atulya Mahajan) :  This story is about a person who's wife is about to deliver their baby and he was filled with insecurities about how to handle his new child.Not knowing how to choose his priorities.

A Whispered Prayer( Nikita Singh) : This is the story of a rape victim , who her life has changed  after that incident. How is able to fight back ,staying bold and strong with the help of her boyfriend.

           This story actually disturbed me so much. I just couldn't imagine my self in the protagonist't shoes. The story  speaks of how the society should change it's perspectives towards the rape victims.

 NOTE : ALL the short stories actually do not have a strong plot  but they have strong thoughts, sharp ideas which are thought provoking and make the reader think for a while.
                                                                                                                         ISBN 978-81-8328-356-4


Monday, August 25, 2014

Vengeance Of The Warrior by Shobha Nihalani (NINE Trilogy #2)

                                                 NINE: VENGEANCE OF THE WARRIOR
                                                                          Edited by
                                                       Vaishali Mathur and Arpitha Basu 
                                                        Penguin metro reads, New Delhi
                                                              Page numbers: pp 1-339

AUTHOR: Shobha Nihalani is the author of Nine:Curse of the kalingan warrior,the first book in the NINE trilogy,and The Silent Monument. Her debut novel,Karmic Blues ,was translated and published in Denmark. She lives in Hong Kong with her family.

ESSENCE OF THE BOOK: This book being the second book in the NINE trilogy contains new characters which weren't mentioned in the first one. In the first book the kalingan warrior's  spirit is imprisoned in the temple of Angkor.
                                         And now  the spirit is back with double the vengeance, arrogance, anger and thirst to kill the three members of the secret council of nine- Tara, Aksh ,Zubin and finally destroy the Mauryan era.
                     And this time it is not the spirit but Tejaswi who pestered a witch to invoke an evil spirit in her with the help of her black magic for her personal reasons. The kalingan spirit which is thirsty immediately turns up into tejaswi. A combination of Yan and Yang. Feminine body with a masculine consciousness, warrior's spirit in Tejaswis's body is back to battle against the secret council of Nine.It's few times more stronger, angry and arrogant.
                      This time it is a tough battle for all the three young members of the council to battle against the spirit . They seek the help of the six senior members synchronizing their energies ,honing their physical abilities to tackle the kalingan's spirit
                      Raakin and Anitha are the protectors of the three members of the nine this time, they work hard ,sparing their lives to protect them.
What happens when  Tejeswi along with the kali yogis encounters the young members Tara,akash,Zubin and their protectors Raakin and Anitha at  Dhauli in Orissa ( which is the battle field of the kalingan empire ,The place where the terrible war took place in 261 BC between Mauryans and kalingans ) is best savored by reading the book.

NOTE : The author has very well depicted the second book too ,festooned with a few facts like
                  The twenty -three -foot -high Ashoka Pillar in Delhi ,weighing over six tonnes ,built during Gupta era ,is an enigma. Modern metallurgists are still pondering over the quality of the pillar which has shown no signs of corrosion for thousands of years.                                     

      It's an amalgamation of facts and fiction ,together formulating into an objective ,crisp plot. The narrative style is perceptive, captivating and energetic.
         Overall the book is great,with a few cliched descriptions ,form the first book.  

Review in association with The Bookaholics


Sunday, August 24, 2014

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, David Lloyd (Illustrator)

Blurb (from GoodReads):

"Good evening, London." It's nine o'clock and this is The Voice of Fate... It is the Fifth of the Eleventh, Nineteen-Ninety-Seven...

"The people of London are advised that the Brixton and Streatham areas are quarantine zones as of today. It is suggested that these areas be avoided for reasons of health and safety...

Police raided seventeen homes in the Birmingham area early this morning, uncovering what is believed to be a major terrorist ring. Twenty people, either of them women, are currently in detention awaiting trial...

The weather will be fine until 12:07 A.M. when a shower will commence, lasting until 1:30 A.M... 

Have a pleasant evening."

A frightening and powerful tale of the loss of freedom and identity in a chillingly believable totalitarian world, V for Vendetta stands as one of the highest achievements of the comics medium and a defining work for creators Alan Moore and David Lloyd.

Set in an imagined future England that has given itself over to fascism, this groundbreaking story captures both the suffocating nature of life in an authoritarian police state and the redemptive power of the human spirit which rebels against it. Crafted with sterling clarity and intelligence, V for Vendetta brings an unequaled depth of characterization and verisimilitude to its unflinching account of oppression and resistance.

"Remember, remember the fifth of November..."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Curse of the Kalingan by Shobha Nihalani (NINE Trilogy #1)

JOT( from the back cover) :


 261 BC.
After his bloody battle with kalinga,the Mauryan emperor Ashoka ,overcome with remorse,swore never to wage another war .And to make sure no one else did .His Navarathnas- the NINE-
     Zealously guarded their powers and knowledge, handing them down through millennia and generations to ensure lasting peace.

                                                EXCEPT THAT IT WAS NOT TO BE!
from the corpses of kalingan warriors rose an angry spirit bent upon avenging the kalinga empire ,destroying the NINE and using their hidden knowledge to rule the world and change its destiny.
                                                                PRESENT TIME
The bloodthirsty warrior has possessed the body of a young man,making him hunt down and kill the NINE one by one. IT is now up to the chosen Trinity -nurse Tara ,DJ Akash and forensic expert Zubin -to stop him.


            The cover page is festooned with a green emerald in the middle, a picture of tomb and a building to the corners.I initially didn't fathom their presence on the cover page, but as I leafed through the book ,they started making sense.
            Firstly I don't have words to describe the author's narrative style. The plot is absolutely terrific.It's a fine tapestry of history, philosophy, science, technology, spirituality and religion. Even though this is a work of fiction few parts of the book are actually objective like:
             'Everything we experience has a purpose. It might not be what you thought it would be but you know you can handle it. If you were not who you are, if there was the slightest doubt that you were incapable, then you wouldn't have been here. You have a reason to be here..'

These few sentences have a great effect on the reader. I felt, they were written as if to address the reader.

            It's amazing how the author has interwoven the whole plot around spirituality and Buddhism.

'The mind works in two ways: Linear thinking and associated thinking. IQ is associated with the linear thinking and emotions with associative thinking. And a repetition of a chant breaks both these circuits and allows the mind to be in a state of rest and awareness.'
          Through these lines the author has given a scientific approach towards chanting mantras (religious) which is very informative to youngsters,who are usually septic towards  rituals and praying.

          All together the book has kept me curious, enthusiastic and surprising through out the read. Once reading the book I learned that there are many thing to explore in the world.

Note: I specially thank the author Mrs. Shobha Nihalini who has written this beautiful Novel which has inspired me and educated me about many things and I am anticipating to read the next book of the trilogy.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Twice Upon A Time by Anjali Bhatia

Blurb (from the jacket):

Is a man’s past set in stone, or can it be changed? Rewritten and reshaped?

Is time a reality, or a construct of the imagination? Fleeting and fragmented?

One man is about to find out...

Meet Arpit, a bitter young man who embarks upon an incredible and seemingly impossible journey to right the seven wrongs that have shadowed his life, all in a quest to be together with Mannat, the love of his life.

When Arpit meets Nishimaya, a modern-day mystic, little does he know that his life is about to change. In entirety. But change comes with effort. And Arpit has to lose himself in order to resurrect his past and set things right. With every past mistake he corrects, he finds a corresponding change in his present life . . . but not all changes are easy to make. And as Arpit travels further back into his own life, he’s forced to dig into frightening depths and fight against his own self to dredge up the truth from the sediments of folly that litter his world.

Unknown to him, however, Mannat is supporting his struggle from halfway across the world even as she tries to gather her own life together. And Nishimaya, as she takes Arpit through the swirls of time, has to confront ghosts of her own as well. 

As their lives get caught in the web of karma, dreams, memories, and destinies, Arpit, Mannat, and Nishi must stumble and fall if they are to reach the end. But Time still holds a revelation none of them had expected...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translator)

Blurb (from the jacket):

Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel. 

Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life: what is sexual desire, and should she ever tell Miu how she feels for her? Meanwhile K wonders whether he should confess his own unrequited love for Sumire. 

Then, a desperate Miu calls from a small Greek island: Sumire has mysteriously vanished...

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