Saturday, December 31, 2016

Book Review: Switch E Roo by Kiran Manral

Let's visualize a scene: A woman wakes up after a long nap, and sees herself in the mirror. Her reflection in the mirror makes her shudder! Why? Because it's not her reflection. She finds a stranger there. Her face remains the same but her body...her body is someone else's.

How would she feel? How would she react? How could this happen? And, how could she get her body back? Would she get it back ever!?

Switch E Roo by Kiran Manral (Juggernaut Books) is all about that. It has a strange plot that tells the story of Mrs. Dimple Bhalla who suddenly finds that someone has stolen her body - just body - and replaced with another.

I love reading paranormal stories (not necessarily horror) as they are different from normal, usually gripping and makes me think.

Switch E Roo is a short story so very quick to read - with a totally unexpected end. Since the plot is different and intriguing, it piques your curiosity instantly and makes an engrossing read.

Ms. Kiran Manral is an experienced novelist, so writing is naturally neat. She has expressed Mrs. Bhalla's panic, restlessness and carefulness (to hide this strange change) well.

If you like short stories, if you like intriguing, unique tales, read this one. You won't be disappointed. And, it costs you just Rs. 10. You can read it on this cool Juggernaut App (on your phone).

Monday, December 26, 2016

Book Review: The Rise of Hastinapur by Sharath Komarraju

The best thing about a good mythological fiction is that you know the basic story, still it engages you. Lesser known facts play vital role in making such stories more interesting. It's like you know the destination, but it's the journey - execution - that makes it more exciting.

In The Rise of Hastinapur, the author, Sharath Komarraju, has used his imagination very creatively to introduce several lesser known stories. It's about three significant women characters of Mahabharata - Amba, Pritha aka Kunti and Gandhari - three women who are important pillars of this epic mythological fiction, Mahabharata.

Amba lives for revenge but circumstances and different men disappoint her. Pritha is determined to save his brother Vasudev, and his wife Devaki who are imprisoned in Mathura. Gandhari has to make a tough decision - to save her kingdom but it's her burning revenge that provokes her to make this decision.

And, then there is Bheeshma who is the common string between these three women, and seems to make difficult, sometimes unintentional unfair decisions.

'If happiness indeed lies in the things that you have, what happens when so much is taken away from you that you have nothing?' 

First section is about Amba. And, it's my favourite. It's intriguing, bold and skillfully sketched section. Amba's only hope is her unborn son, but she gives birth to a daughter. And, her disappointment, anger and anguish, her feelings of revenge is so brilliantly expressed. The fight between Bheeshma and Parshuram was exciting.

Pritha's story is about her endeavour and determination to save her brother and about her unexpected encounter with Surya (Sun), father of her first son, Karna. I really liked her meeting with Surya, and the realization is beautifully done. But, there's another angle in this section - Devaki's angle that I didn't enjoy much.

"Everything he did, every strategy he implemented for us, he did with the aim of bettering Hastinapur's chances of winning. He was fighting for them, Shakuni, from our side."

Gandhari's section was the one I was most interested in. But, the first half of this story was not that exciting I expected it to be, however the second half is very good.

The book ends on an interesting note - the Ganga's conversation with Kuber where she talks about the future of Hastinapur (silently and sadly, the future of Bheeshma). Bheeshma is one of my favourite characters. I think he (and Karna) is the most selfless characters of Mahabharata, however in this book he has some grey shades. 

Overall, The Rise of Hastinapur was an unusual, bold and interesting read. If you like reading mythology, you should read this book. You won't be disappointed. 

This book was in my reading list (I haven't read the first part in this series). I truly thank the author for giving me a review copy!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

7 Reasons You May Not Succeed As a Writer

You love writing. You dream to be a published writer. You dream of seeing your name in reputed newspapers and magazines. Or to become a best-selling author, expecting a handsome cash flow in your account. You work hard but get only rejections. You get depressed and start thinking that you can’t make it. A question keeps creeping in your mind – why? What went wrong?

Here are some reasons or reminders! 

Read the full article on Writer's Melon.

You may find it helpful if you are a new writer (Like me)! It's based on my personal experiences. I am still learning.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Silhouettes of the dusk

I know it's not that good, but find it okay as I painted after a long time (and was actually expecting a disaster!).

Dimness of the dusk
Silhouettes of gloom, golden rays
Sneak in silently

Sharing with Paint Party Friday
                  Haiku My Heart
              Poetry Pantry
                   Monday WRites

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Book Review: The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal

I received The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal (Rupa Publications) from Writer's Melon for review. I knew it would be a different read...different in a good way.

This book is for those who think 'Iss Desh Ka Kuchh Nahin Ho Sakta!' and for those who think 'There is hope and India can rise if good people join the Indian politics.' So, basically, it's for every Indian. This book pictures the developed, modern India that any Indian would enjoy to envision.

The book is about four patriots, vehement youngsters, Raghav, Aditya, Varun and Salman, who tend to think differently. Hailing from different backgrounds, they have similar vision and dream - dream to see India Rise powerfully! They decide to walk together to fulfill this dream, but the journey is full of hurdles.

The book portrays that journey of growth and hurdles nicely. It follows a very thoughtful objective - "We don't need more systems, we need the right people in the existing system." (from the book).

The story opens in 2006 and ends (or maybe begins actually) in 2022 as it talks about the beautiful future of India. However, I felt the end was a little unconvincing.

"Be evil to some if you have to, for the greater good.' This is the philosophy of Raghav, my favourite character. Talking about the characters - the author has sketched the characters really well. They seem energetic and believable except Salman's character. This character seemed underdeveloped.

The incidents are well-thought and smartly placed. I liked the cover, and I can (almost) recognize the characters. But, one thing bothered me. Why didn't author use a female patriot as a main protagonist? It would have been really interesting! There are women - interesting women but they are secondary characters.

There is a lovely touch of romance too. In fact, the love life of the four patriots sows the seeds of revolution and determination. I really liked these little love stories as they make the read light, relieve tension, and the author brings out these tales at the right time.

Overall, it's a well-researched book, full of optimism and ideas. Very thoughtful and innovative, I would say. Every Indian should read this book.

You can buy this book HERE

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Dangling desires...

Dangling desires,
Seek assurance; here comes
The flushed streak of hope!

Crimson hue of bliss,
A piece of peace, faraway...
yearnings unfulfilled.

Sharing with Haiku My Heart
              Poets United


P.S.: If you like my writing, if you like mature yet delightful love stories, if you like relatable characters and convincing situations, you will like my book, We Will Meet Again. 

You can buy my book my book from Amazon India  Amazon UK. It's free for Kindle Unlimited users! 

If you like paperbacks, you can get it here @ a fab discount: