Sunday, January 31, 2016

Book Review: It Will Always Be You by Megha Rao

Well, romance is one of my favourite genres and that's the main reason I chose this book to read. It Will Always Be You by Megha Rao (Penguin Metro Reads) is a love story of Aditya and...well, Aditya. No, it's not about gay couple. Both female and male protagonists have same names, Aditya! Why? I'm yet to figure it out!

Female Aditya is smart, outspoken and stands up for herself and her little brother. She has been kicked out of her house for no reason (At least there's no plausible explanation) and sent to male Aditya's (Tiger) house to pursue her studies.

Tiger is a rock star and quite likes the female attention he gets. But, guess what (female) Aditya doesn't care at all.

It starts with a quirky, hateful encounter. Aditya & Aditya, gradually calm down, and eventually start feeling for each other. But, there's something that's stopping them to confess their feeling to each other.

What's that? And, what's the destination of this hidden feelings? Want to know the answers? Then, read the book.

Even your favourite genre can't guarantee entertainment. Despite being a romance (from a popular brand) this book did not work for me. Even if it's a fiction, I demand some reason and logic. In this book, many things happen without a reason.

Writing is nice, but for me, it was a little childish. The situations/reasons are not concrete and convincing. Few things are repetitive and have been stretched for longer than necessary. Protagonists are interesting but they could have been portrayed in a better way.

Chapters seems disconnected, which disrupts the flow. And, most disappointing thing is that the writing/situations/characters don't evoke any emotion.

For me, it was not so interesting. But, it may entertain you if you like reading about rock stars, college going young people.

I received this book from the publisher for an unbiased review.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Memories! I smile, I weep

Every single day
I open the treasure of your memories
I smile, I weep
Some make me yearn for more
Some hurt deep, oh so deep!
I whirl, and whirl, 
And they chase
No, how can I erase?
So, I make a choice, 
And move to the lovely ones
Memories churn
Take me on its wings
Emotions glisten in my eyes
My lips tremble to smile
The moment I feel you beam
And your voice ring

Sharing with The Mag
                             Poetry Pantry
                                      The Tuesday Platform

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Book Review: Me Mia Multiple by Debashish Irengbam

A new release titled “Me Mia Multiple”? A love story with a twist? Piqued my curiosity (Stories with twist are always welcome) and then some 4-5 stars ratings. Definitely going to read, I thought and ordered.

Me Mia Multiple by Debashish Irengbam (Harper Collins India, must say they are coming with some really interesting titles!) tells the story, twisted story of Jeevan Raikar, constantly shielded by his three married elder sisters (and eccentric brothers-in-law), who is greatly depressed and suicidal.

One fateful night he decides to end his life, for the fourth time, but see his luck…he has been rescued by a girl who calls herself Mia. Mia, seems a sweet innocent girl. Then some other day she is arrogant Tanya. And sometimes super cool, sensuous Alisha!

Jeevan tries to ignore her but the more he tries to detach himself the more she gets attached to him, and his life seems to upend drastically. For good or bad? You need to read this book to know. And I can assure you won’t get disappointed.

The storyline of this book is oddly unique, and the execution, significant ingredient for an engrossing story, is intelligent! I particularly liked the exceptional humour in this book. Situations are very convincing and characters are brilliantly portrayed. Supriya, even though she arrives in the book just once, is a supreme character. Jeevan’s sisters are adorable but sometimes I got confused. It took me a lot of time to soak in their names and nature (but thankfully that doesn't affect the flow of the book).

The book is loaded with secrets. It’s light-hearted yet intense. It’s funny yet serious. At times, it exhibits thoughtfulness. That you must learn to live with your imperfections. That you must fight them instead of whining. That you must care for those who care for you. 

The book is totally unpredictable, another significant ingredient of an interesting read! 

Overall, for me, it was an entertaining and gripping read. Recommended to all those who are looking for an interesting and ‘different’ read.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Book Review: The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Divakaruni

I'm an avid reader but my genres were restricted. Earlier, I hardly thought beyond contemporary women/romance. But, recently I experimented with different genres and realized that it has helped me to grow as a reader (or maybe even as a writer, in the long run).

As I talk about different genres, mythology came as a pleasant surprise! I started reading “The Palace of Illusions” by Chitra Divakaruni and found myself totally engrossed.

My brother and author of yet another nice Hindi mythological fiction (Swayamvar), Nilabh Verma suggested me to read a Hindi novel Draupadi (Yajnaseni in English) by Pratibha Ray.  Encouraged by the interesting elements in Draupadi, ordered The Palace of Illusions (Thanks to Jyoti who suggested it as a must read!).

The Palaceof Illusions is a wonderful retelling of Mahabhratha. I have always felt that Mahabharatha has incredible interesting elements and quite ahead of its time. Being told by the most powerful woman character of Mahabharatha, Draupadi, it worked best for me!

The book starts with these powerful lines from Innana’s Journey to Hell:
Who is your sister? I am she.
Who is your mother? I am she.
Day dawns the same for you and me.

The book beautifully tells about Draupadi’s lonely childhood and her special bond with her brother and dhai maa, her loving caretaker. Her special friendship with Krishna. Her special, secret feelings for Karna.

Words by Ved Vyas in this book (To Draupadi) are striking and I feel they are base of Mahabharatha,

He advices Draupadi, "Three dangerous moments will come to you. The first will be just before your marriage. At that time, hold back your question. The second will be when your husbands are at the height of power. At that time, hold back your laughter. The third will be when you're shamed as you'd never imagined possible. At that time, hold back your curse."

But then, he had said rightly that Draupadi's destiny was too powerful for him to change.

Chapters are wisely arranged that stand individually, and carry little lesser known stories. Although very well-known, each of them, characters are brilliantly portrayed. You will feel attached to them, especially Karna and Krishna. The attitude that Draupadi exhibits in this book, I wanted to know what was she going to do next even though I knew, and this is the beauty of this book. You want to keep reading even though you know what may happen.

The language is beautiful, perfectly suitable for mythology. I found myself floating with the words.

There’re two things that I found disturbing. First, there’s a POV swap, from first to third. I didn't get the need, if done purposefully. And second, I waited for Arjun’s feelings and reaction when Draupadi finally becomes 'his' wife, but that went without being mentioned. But, I liked the book so much that I happily ignored that!

Overall, it was a mesmerizing read that filled me with a sense of loss and fulfillment at the same time!

Highly recommended to every book lover (irrespective of genre, of course!)

Monday, January 4, 2016

दर्द का वो नायाब क़तरा...


दर्द का एक नायाब क़तरा छिटक कर 
मेरे दामन में आया 
उसे सहेजा  मैंने,
दिल से अपनाया 
एक छोर से फिसलते अरमानों  को,
कस कर थाम था मैंने 
उसी में ढूँढा था एक सपना सलोना 
छिटकती नर्म धूप,
झील का वो किनारा, अंजाना सा 
वो धीमी मुस्कुराहटें, पहचानी सी 
छन् से टूटा वो सपना 
बस एक पल में, छिन गया मुझसे 
मालूम था मुझे...शायद,
दर्द का वो नायाब क़तरा छिन जाए ग़र कभी,
तो इतना ही दर्द होगा. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Book Review: First Brush on the Canvas

The best thing about an anthology is that you can always move ahead to a different perspective, with a different expectation.

First Brush on the Canvas was a joint venture of Writers melon and Half Baked Beans.  Stories, mostly by new authors, came as a result of a nationwide contest, judged by authors like Ashwin Sanghi and Preeti Shenoy.

The book is a collection of 14 different stories edited by PriyankaRoy Banerjee.  Different because they are from different genre i.e. Romance, Comedy and Thriller. The book deals with interesting themes.  

An Adoption by Uttiya Ray is unique as it tells about a gay couple and their urge to adopt a child and complete their relationship. Coffee, Conversation and You by Shaily Bhargava is a sweet quirky tale and my favourite! 

Reborn by Rafa Dalvi leads you to a world between humans and supernatural of vampires. Very well written!  Lepidoptera by Stuti Chandra is a well crafted story, written in a diary form, and liked reading it. Again, there is The Murder by Arunav Choudhury is a modern and interesting take on Mahabharata. The first story The Pieces by Anwesha Ray was a nice read but I didn't get the conclusion. 

I liked those interesting quotations on writing by different writers just before starting a new story.

As the title of the book suggests, the book cover could have been a little vibrant. I would have like to know more about the authors, links to their blog or FB page. The introduction of the authors could have been placed in a different page, because being written just before the story made it look like a part of the story. There is a wrongly placed page that may confuse the reader.

Overall, it’s a nice little collection, and most importantly it covers varied genres that may attract wide range of readers.

I thank Writers Melon for a copy for an honest review.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

One good book is far better than twenty mediocre ones! 

Didn't read much last year but I got hold on some really good books, and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is one of them. And I truly thank Penguin India for the (unbiased) review copy! 

I finished this book two days ago but the effect of this book still lingers, and I somehow find it difficult to review this book because as I sit down to write the review, so many thoughts whirl in my mind.

Me before You is an excruciating story that encounters harsh realities and supreme unfairness of life. And, the moment you turn the last page (It has 480 pages but I didn't realize when I actually turned the last page), you would realize that it has strong elements of a love story.

Louisa Clark, 26, has lost her job. But, as a sole earner of a full-fledged somehow happy family, she can’t sit back. She grabs a job of carer or high-paid friend to Will Traynor. 

Will Traynor is a young, handsome, wealthy man whose world has shrunk to his wheel chair for life. He is angry at his helplessness. Tired of pains and frequent sickness. Having lived a successful, romantic, independent and adventurous life before his accident, it’s completely understandable that he finds it difficult to…live.

Louisa has six months to ease him, and to make him happy. But, it won’t be easy for her in a cold smile-less environment of Will’s house with a carefree father and a stiff mother. Her boyfriend doesn't like the idea of spending too much time with her boss. And,Will is cranky and doesn't get along with the carers. 

But, this is the challenge of this job, and after a significant incident, Louisa will do anything to make Will Traynor happy, like a mission. Just she doesn't know that Will’s mental strength is helping her to find new horizon for herself. To emerge from her stifled (just like her room) life!

This book carries strong emotions. And it evokes a sense of loss. The narration is crisp that slowly yet smartly unravels myriads of feelings; considering the subject of the story, it doesn't preach, thankfully. The characters have been sketched brilliantly, and they seem convincing. You will instantly like Louisa and her genuine efforts. I particularly loved the character of Will Traynor, the male protagonist. Will Traynor will stay in my mind...perhaps forever.

I loved the dialogues, the conversations between Will and Louisa. The wit and humour are well placed and incredibly effortless. 

The author has took the liberty to swap the point of views, and that’s okay but I would have liked it more if she has chosen Camilla Traynor, Will’s mother, as one of the narrators. The character has potential which, I felt, has been squandered.

Even though the book started a little slow, and didn't turn out the way I'd expected, it touched me in a certain way, and I love this book for this particular reason.

For me, it was a poignant and engrossing read, and I highly recommend this to every book (fiction) lover.