Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review: The One You Cannot Have by Preeti Shenoy


I finished reading  “The One You Cannot Have” by Preeti Shenoy. I have read all her previous novels and really liked them. I expected the same from TOUCH and trust me it was such a beautiful read that it still lingers in my mind.

This book is a beautiful love triangle. Aman, Shruti and Anjali. Aman and Shruti were inseparable for four years that they never imaged their life without each other. But fate plays its trick. Shruti is now married to Rishabh and her marriage is on the rocks. Anjali, after six disastrous dates, finally finds a true friend and lover in Aman. But Aman is still living in the past.

The One You Cannot Have (Westland Books) is an emotional journey. Every journey has its destination. So, what’s the destination of TOUCH? For this, you’ll have to read the book.

The book is written in first person, from the point of view of every key character and I really liked this idea.

Honestly speaking, when I started reading this book, I was a little disappointed. I found the first two chapters slightly plain (Unlike Ms.Shenoy’s previous books) but after that, her words started to play magic.

Lucid flow of narration makes the execution smooth. The writing is very intelligent. Each chapter, from different points of view, ends at the peak point that you eagerly want to know more. The characters and situations are relatable and very well defined.

I loved the character of Anjali!

I felt that the story ended a trifle abruptly as I expected Shruti’s thoughts one last time.

But I loved the closing lines:

“Did the sun rise from the west this morning?” says my mother.
“I don’t know about that. It’s just that the sunshine reached my heart this morning”

Overall, for me, it was a delightful read. It’s interesting, touching and engrossing. I would say it’s a must read for every fiction lover.

I thank Bookadorers for this lovely read as I won this book in a giveaway contest conducted by them on twitter.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Creative rendezvous

The idea of Author Blog Hop was new to me but I found it interesting. A kind of creative rendezvous, where some creative people meet through their blogs and share something about them and their ideas.

I came to know Arti Honrao, a wonderful writer, who dips her pen in the emotions to craft her beautiful stories, when we played the Preeti Shenoy's prompts. She is the author of three books "My Life Story", "Is This Love & Autumn: The Last Leaf" (I got a chance to read this nice book. You can read my review HERE), and "Resemblance: Journey of a Doppleganger" . Recently, she (And Namrata) has started a lovely e-magazine Writer's Ezine.

So, it starts with a short question answer session.

What am I working on?

I'm working on some short stories and articles.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, it's difficult to answer. But I would say I try to make my writing interesting by adding some real life snippets. I try to keep the narration simple and focus on contemporary/relatable plots, characters and situations.

Why do I write what I do?

I write to settle the eddy of thoughts and imagination whirling in my always occupied mind. I think writing is the best way of express. I relate to contemporary (Sometimes paranormal) stories/ideas/characters and it reflects in my writing.

How does my writing process work?

I always try to chisel the ideas that flash in my mind. Sometimes they transpire at odd time, place or even in my dreams. My mind is always occupied and it sometimes, it makes me restless.

I would like to invite two authors to join this creative rendezvous:

Uma Maheshawari Anandane

She is a wonderful writer and has published two e-books Inside My Poem Book and Rhythmus, many different articles. She blogs @ Rhythmus and writes parenting articles @ Momscribe.

Nilabh Verma

He is an engineer by profession and writer by passion. He blogs @ Nilabh's and Dharmasansar. He is the author of Hindi Mythological Fiction Swayamvar.  You can read my review HERE and participate in a giveaway on Goodreads.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Summer Delights!

When the scorching heat of summer hits us mercilessly, we think of splashes of water, a cold shower, ice-creams, soothing breeze, cold drinks and so on.

Apart from these lovely things there are some delights that cannot be avoided in summers. These are the essence of summer. Satisfy your eating pleasure. Improve appetite. Above all they are good for health and help you stay fit.


King of fruits. Sweet smelling. Juicy. Yummy. Mangoes are the soul of summer. Everyone loves mango pickles. Apart from being tasty, it has some health benefits also. According to some research, it prevents leukemia, breast and prostate cancer. It is rich in fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. Good for skin. But, be in control. Overeating can make you look plump after summers! :)


Famous writer Mark Twain had said: "When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what angels eat."

It’s actually fun and soothing to have the pieces of bright watermelons in summer afternoons. But it’s not only fun fruit but it is packed with nutrition. They are rich in Vitamin A B and C. Filled with a lot of water; they act as cooling agent and can beat the heat in summers. It has a red pigment lycopene, which is good for skin. It can quench your thirst and fill your stomach without adding calories.


They are full of water contents, dietary fibers, vitamin A and C, folic acid and potassium. They are low in calories and excellent for those who want to lose weight. They help in maintaining good skin and blood pressure. In summers it’s a great snack for in-between-mealtime hunger.


It’s refreshing to add fresh cucumber in your meals. Its peel is rich in insoluble fiber that prevents constipation. It’s 'very' low in calories and filling thus you can have it to satisfy your in-between-mealtime hunger without worrying about your diet. It’s good for vision, teeth & gums and skin. It’s packed with water content so it keeps you hydrated in summers.

Mint leaves:

Aroma of mint is refreshing and very familiar in summers whenever you visit vegetable market. It’s a cooling agent and helps you fighting with heat. It’s good to have when anyone suffers from headache, stomach ache and indigestion. It can prevent nose and gum bleeding due to excessive heat in summers. It can act as mouth freshener. It can be taken as mint juice, mint leaf herbal tea or chatpata chatni.


In summers, we must add yogurt in our meals. It prevents indigestion and is good for skin. It makes you feel fuller without adding bundles of calories thus helps you to lose weight. It acts as soothing and cleansing element for our body and loaded with calcium and vitamins. It helps you maintain blood pressure and cholesterol. It is good for hair. Raita makes the meals interesting. Isn't it?

Nariyal Paani:

In our country, coconut has auspicious value. Tender coconut water is rich in electrolytes. It's very refreshing and has moderate sugar content i.e. low in calories, so, it could be an excellent alternative to other cold drinks in summers. It is good for skin and hair and helps in weight loss. It keeps the body hydrated and prevents urinal infections. 

Gulp down Nariyal paani when you feel tired in summers. It gives you instant energy!


Water is the elixir of life. You might have heard the dialogue of the movie “Jab We Met” ‘soda cola sab apni jagah par paani ka kaam paani ki karta hai’ How true! No matter what you drink, only water can quench your thirst completely. It keeps you hydrated and flushes out the toxin from your body. Makes your skin glowing. Good for hairs. It improves your excretory system. Helps you lose weight. It’s a great stress buster. And what not? Now we use refrigerator for chilled water in summers but how fascinating it was to use ghara/matka or pitchers! Water can do wonders, so have plenty of water in summer to stay stress free, energized, glowing and fit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book-Review: The Vigil and Other Stories by Gita V Reddy

Finished reading "The Vigil and Other Stories" by Gita V Reddy, a collection of 15 different stories. I read some nice reviews, so decided to read this book.

First of all, the stories are enclosed in a nice cover!

The book opens with the title story. This story "The Vigil" is nice and very thoughtful. It tickled a sweet feeling and left me smiling. . "Open Court" starts really well and manages to hold the grip, though the end was a little confusing. "Time and Space" is based on a thoughtful theme but it ends abruptly.

As I said earlier, yes, stories are different but I had a problem with the way they have been told. I was not fond of short stories but recently I've read some really nice short story collections that changed my perception about short stories but this book couldn't meet my expectations as I couldn't help comparison.

The writing seemed hurried and it lacked detailing, making the stories a little scattered. The narration is very simple, that sometimes, it fails to create a nice imagery. Some stories are too short, considering the type of the story. Despite interesting plots (The excerpts of the stories are very catchy that one may pick this book to read instantly), I found some stories banal.

Most of the stories are women-centric and the author has expressed the emotions of a woman really well.

Overall, for me, it was an average read. If you like reading short stories, it could be a quick and light read.

This review is a part of Readers Cosmos Book Review Programme. Thank you!
You can follow them on Twitter for interesting book updates and free books.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chronicles of publishing: Guest Post by Harsh Agarwal

An entrepreneur by profession, Mr. Harsh Agarwal is an author and editor. Recently, I got an opportunity to read his nice novel Nazaqat. You can read my review HERE.

I'm glad to share his insight about 'writing and getting published', on my blog!

Image Link

Getting published is the new cool among people from all age groups. Is it bad? Not at all! It’s a great feeling to see your words taking form with ink and paper. It’s beautiful and of course prestigious. No one can be called a real author unless he/she is published. And e-book doesn't really count.

So, let’s talk about how one can get published because I have been myself asked the same question repeatedly. It is the second last phase of your journey to become a published author and the most painful one. Wondering what’s the last? Well, it’s marketing – just as daunting as getting your stuff published. I have never been able to decide which of two I hate most. I guess it’s a tie.

Now, before you pledge to get published, let’s get a few things straight. Be it a short story, a full length novel or a part of epic series. Are you sure your work that you want to get published at the moment is complete? Does it need any more editing? You sure there are no more changes from your side? If your answer is no or uncertain, work on your piece again. Polish it more.

Only when it’s done, you need to sort out a few elements like sample chapters, synopsis, blurb, author bio, your lovely photograph and the complete script of course. Each of these elements has their own significance and by compiling all these elements, you make a thing called ‘proposal’. Proposal is a medium to sell yourself and your product. Yes, your product alone is not sufficient. You need to know your thing in and out. What are your target readers? What is your marketing plan? Which kind of cities the book will target? How efficiently you will be able to market the book?

Once you are done with the proposal, you can start approaching publishers. Plenty of fishes in the sea actually. Fishes of all kind. The first attempt is usually to opt for traditional publishing where you don’t need to invest a penny in publishing. If that doesn’t work out, the other option is self publishing. Both have their own pros and cons so choose judiciously. It usually depends on your own caliber to promote and sell the book.

If you are completely new, you can participate in numerous competitions for anthologies. A number of publisher – old and new – regularly organize competitions for short stories. So you can mark your presence by getting few stories published and then do a full length book.

How to find a publisher for your book in particular? Go to flipkart and see which publishers are releasing books of your genre or category. Go to their websites and find the submission guidelines. Act accordingly. Word of caution – don’t be disheartened by rejections. There would be so many of them. Brace yourself and be immune to all such heart breaks. Have faith in your work and keep working.

If they ask for complete manuscript, don’t start dancing because you still haven’t reached anywhere. It just means they want to read the complete script and decide. Also, it can take from weeks to years for publishers to reply and hence you have to be really patient with the entire procedure.

If you ask me the best part of being an author, it would be the experience. Becoming an author is a complete learning experience. You are not merely an author! You are your own critic, your own editor, a marketer, a salesman and pretty much what so ever you are required to do in the journey. It helps you have new perspectives about everything. You get to deal with a lot of new people and make new friends.

Well, this is just a brief insight about getting published. There is definitely lot more going and there is lot more to deal with once you embark your journey of getting published! Feel free to contact if you need any help.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book - Review: Things Your Mother Never Told You About Love by Juhi Pande

Generally, I'm not interested in non-fiction but the title "Things Your Mother Never Told You About Love" was so catchy that I had to read this!

"Forget Algebra, love can be the hardest, most complicated thing on the earth."

Things Your Mother Never Told You About Love by Juhi Pande (Random House India) is an interesting and unique take on naive and a slightly confused state of young mind and heart. It deals with the emotion, a person experiences in tender, carefree age and the way it progresses with time and maturity.

The book is divided in 18 chapters, each one, telling about the gradual growing thoughts and enlightenment. Some little snippets may remind you of your childhood days. But some portions could be childish for a mature reader. 

The narration is very light and easy going. Sometimes it's insightful and factual, sometimes a bit dull and sometimes humourous. 

Some chapters are beautifully written and described especially the last chapter 'Love' (Obviously!) 

Don't plan falling in love
Don't question falling in love

"The beauty of love lies in the fact that it can't quantified. Since it's tangible, without a gauge, you have to rely on your guts!"

But considering the type of book, the book cover is very plain, dull & boring. It could have been more vibrant and interesting.

Overall, for me, it was a quick and different read. The writing style is light and interesting. I'd say, it's a kind of book every teenager should read!

I received this book from Random House India for an unbiased review. Thanks!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


In a silent darkness of night, when slumber evades me, a tiny dream sprouts in my heart. Awed by that dazzling dream, I glide in the limitless sky of opportunities, with the wings of desires, festooned by zeal, dedication, grit, patience and hope, trying to track a path for me, that may lead me to my shining destination, where success resides majestically.

But I'm oblivious of hurdles.

Something pulls me, resisting my flight. I turn to see some mocking smiles, jeering my zeal. I ignore, as I make my way ahead.

It hurts but I choose to fend it off.

Again, I felt a jerk. Ah, failure and rejections. I flinch. Feel my dedication wobble.
But, 'I won't stop chasing my dreams' I decide.

After a toilsome flight, I’m attacked again. Misfortune glares mercilessly, challenging my patience. Tries hard to circumscribe my determination and hope. I scream in despair, inwardly. A thought of giving up strikes. Failure, rejections, misfortune smile together. Those mocking smiles turns into laughter.

But hope and patience are stubborn enough to be challenged. They rise like a phoenix! Recharge themselves with new zeal and devotion. I just can’t let my dream fade and shatter. All these virtues pay, I’ve heard. I’ll try and wait for my shining destination. It may embrace me in its loving arms and I’ll bask in the glory of success ….someday soon….

Read a really nice magazine Writer's Ezine (Glad to be published in it) for some beautiful stories, poems, pictures, and much more...

Sharing With: Every Day Gyaan

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Book Review: Mom In The City by Kausalya Saptharishi

Finished reading a lovely book "Mom In The City" by Kausalya Saptharishi (Random House India). The book has been categorized as the first "Mom-Lit" genre. Interesting! Isn't it?

I love reading contemporary women fiction laced with a light breezy romance! Mom in the city deals with a very common yet sensitive theme in a distinctly different way.

"Single Women/Mothers!"

I wonder why people protrude their eyes or raise their eyebrows to see a single women/mother, no matter which society we live in. Why they often start judging them without realizing that such an attitude/approach may force a women to tolerate an abusive/suffocating marriage.

I've written an article on this subject that has been published in Alive Magazine.

Anyways, Mom In The City revolves around Iravati Krishna, recently divorced single mother and her 2.5 years old adorable son Abhi.

When Iravati enrolls her son in a posh playschool Bumblebees, she realizes that her life is not going to be easy. She meets some well groomed high profile mothers who host grand birthday parties and holiday in exotic places all over the world. Most importantly, they all look so happily married that Ira feels ashamed of her divorced status and finds herself lying about it.

She is still trying to settle in a new place and environment with the gleeful company of her best friend Priya, when Vasu, her old friend and college time crush comes back in the picture. Finding herself in the marsh of her own lies, she asks Vasu to play her 'Fake' husband.

Will the dolled up mothers of Bumblebees ever find out the reality? What's the destination of Ira's and Abhi's blossoming relationship with Vasu? To know these answers, read this interesting read.

I found this book very enjoyable and insightful. I really liked Ira and I loved Abhi! The writing is beautiful, crisp and very descriptive and for the first time I liked a descriptive book. The narration is breezy that creates a real and vibrant imagery. The characters are brilliantly defined. I liked the light touch of humour! I liked the "Six Stages To Making Your Child Eat: Requesting - Pleading - Begging - Coaxing - Threatening - Shouting.

For me, it was a wonderful engrossing read that encloses a great insight. The book cover is very endearing.

I strongly recommend this book to women readers and I think it's a must read for mothers who like to read.
Loved the writing style of the author so, eagerly waiting for her next book!

I truly thank Book Adorers (You can follow them on twitter for interesting book updates) for sending me a review copy for an honest review. I'm glad I read this book!

Sharing with The Tales Pensive