Thursday, 30 November 2017

Book Review – Secret of the Himalayan Treasure by Divyansh Mundra

Somewhere in the deep valleys of the Himalayas ,devoid of any sunlight and beyond the reach of mankind lies a secret treasure which if discovered can change the present and future of a not an individual but a nation all together. The treasure is guarded by secret society of seven masters, each of who has a book that leads to the next master. The secret had been fiercely guarded and passed on from one generation to the next since the age of Great Emperor Ashoka and was supposed to remain concealed hadn’t the multi-millionaire business tycoon Harish Vashistha shot himself in a press conference. What transpires is a chase that changes many lives, some for good and others for not so good.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Book Review- The Boys Who Fought by Devdutt Pattnaik

Mythology is not the first choice in books for kids. The obvious choice is comic book series or short stories. My 9 yr old is no different. While he does like to listen to stories based on mythology, when it comes to reading he prefers the sci-fi comics or stories. The Boys Who Fought was the first book based on Mahabharatha that he finished reading on his own. He came to me to clarify a few doubts and understand some new words but it was an independent endeavor overall.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Book Review- Murder in Paharganj by Kulpreet Yadav

War does not end anything. It just sets the stage for next war.
- Pg 231

Vicks Menon, an investigative reporter seems to have his life falling apart. He has lost his job with a leading newspaper and his relationship with his girlfriend Tonya is on the rocks due to his alcoholism. His friend’s call about a murder of a white woman in a hotel in Paharganj seems like one of the many happening in the capital till Vicks notices important people taking interest in this murder. Vicks quickly realises that this case could get him his job back. What he does not realize is that in the pursuit of a good story he will become the target for both the police and the woman’s killer.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Book Review- Karachi Deception by Shatrujeet Nath

Abhimanyu was the son of the great warrior Arjun who bravely broke and entered the complicated Chakravyuh in the historic battle of Mahabharat. However, he was not able to come out of it and lost his life. When Major Imtiaz Ahmed was called for Project Abhimanyu, he knew he was entering a Chakravyuh. Would he meet the fate of Abhimanyu during the project or would he emerge triumphant remains a mystery throughout the 250 odd pages of Karachi Deception. 

The plot revolves around Unit Kilo, a highly specialized and covert cell of the Indian army which has to eliminate Irshad Dilawar. Dilawar is a name associated with every imaginable illegal activity and gravest of terrorist attacks in the Indian subcontinent. In spite of being in the most wanted list, Dilawar remains on the loose and flourishes under the protection of Pakistani government. While the Indian government works relentlessly to garner support on global platforms to declare Irshad Dilawar a terrorist and pressurize Karachi to surrender him, Dilawar lives comfortably in Pakistan and continues planning further attacks to claim innocent lives.

Major Imtiaz Ahmed is one of the most talented officers of the army who unflinchingly works to accomplish the mission and never backs down even in the most perilous situations. When General Dixit offers him to be a part of Project Abhimanyu, he knows that this might be the most dangerous project he has ever undertaken. With lieutenant Rafiq and captain Shamsheer, Imitiaz has to strike and eliminate Irshad Dilawar in Karachi amidst all the security. Everything goes as planned till Imitiaz finds out that there is a traitor in the team. Imitiaz has been advised to abort the mission sighting obvious dangers. Does he give in to the threat and retreats or does he take the challenge head on and continues to work on the mission? Will this Abhimanyu come back from the chakravyuh to claim victory? Does Dilawar run out of luck this time or is able to get away once again with the backing of his “friends” in Karachi? To find the answers to all these questions, you should read this intriguing book.

The Indo-Pak tussle is not a new subject and many books have already been penned on a similar plot. This book also is not an exception. However, a crisp writing style and a completely unpredictable twist at the end sets this one apart. The characters may have a striking resemblance to some living ones. The story flows smoothly and the description of incidents is vivid. It is interesting enough to finish in a couple of sittings.

My rating: 

About the Author: Door-to-door salesman, copywriter, business journalist & assistant editor at The Economic Times; Shatrujeet Nath was all this before he took to writing fiction full-time. He debuted with The Karachi Deception in 2013, followed by The Guardians of the Halahala and The Conspiracy at Meru, the first two books in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. At present, he is writing volume three of the series. Shatrujeet lives in Mumbai, but spends much of his time in the fantasy worlds of his stories. (Source: Goodreads)

Friday, 8 September 2017

Book Review- Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin

It’s easy to distinguish a good book from the “not-very-good” ones. The latter is forgotten sooner or later, but a good story written lovingly stays for you for a long time, almost forever. You may forget the names of the characters, the story line may fade after some time but the warmth it created when you read it, always…always stays. Last Train to Istanbul was one of the finest books I have read in a long time. 

Book Review- The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Illusionary identities, twisted unrealistic personalities living in times that are characterized by political drama and cultural upheaval is how one can describe Rushdie’s characters in The Golden House. The inherent inquisitiveness of human beings can lead to unreal, almost weird imaginations. But haven’t you heard, the reality is stranger than fiction. The Golden House by Salman Rushdie is tale of betrayal, secrets and misplaced trust.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Book Review- Unlawful Justice by Vish Dhamija

Justice is sometimes an illusion. Law sometimes looks like a spoilt pet of those with money and power. Law is supposed to serve justice based on evidence and logical inferences. But then evidence can be created, manipulated, bought or even eliminated. So how does one expect justice from law which solely relies on suchevidences? And even if justice is served, does it remain lawful? Many such questions or doubts will come to your mind while reading Vish Dhamija’s Unlawful Justice. Actually, after finishing the book. Because, while reading this one, you will be completely absorbed as you turn page after page. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Book Review- Jason Cage by aKay Brothers

Jason Cage, the protagonist in this first book by aKay Brothers, is lonely. Mostly, not by choice. He can’t seem to get use to people around him; People who live as if everything was normal. Jason knew nothing was normal around him. Irrespective of where he went, he knew he was surrounded by abnormal things. Things that didn’t let him sleep peacefully at night, things that make him see stuff he might have avoided otherwise. Things that nobody else could see.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Book Review- Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

It’s quite easy to become Men Without Women. You love a woman deeply, and then she goes off somewhere. That’s all it takes…….And once you have become Men without Women, loneliness seeps deep inside your body, like a red wine stain on a pastel carpet.”

-page 223

What intrigues men about women? Is it their eyes, their curves, their tresses or is it their ability to transport them into trance and make them forget about the worldly sufferings? How does a man feel without a woman? Does it break a man when he loses a woman who was not even “his”?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Book Review- Bhrigu Mahesh, PhD- The Return of Damyanti by Nisha Singh

For somebody who is particularly fond of murder mysteries, detective novels and thrillers and who has grown up on a steady diet of such books would have very high expectations from any new author and his detective character. And it is seldom that a new book from a relatively new author meets many of those expectations. This is one of those rare books.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Book Review- When I Hit You or A Portrait of a Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy

What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear about somebody facing domestic abuse? Something like this:
  • Why doesn’t she retaliate?
  • Why doesn’t she pack up and leave?
  • Why doesn’t she ask for help or go to the police?
  • Why doesn’t she tell her parents? They will help her.
  • Minor altercations happen in all relationships. She is overreacting.
  • It must be her mistake.
  • She is just exaggerating. Her husband (or the person accused) is such a gentleman.
  • There is nothing called rape in a marriage.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Book Review- Half Pants Full Pants by Anand Suspi


I have not been attracted to a book cover and a title for a long time now. I have learned to be cautious about the promises book covers and titles make. It has happened often that the only good thing about the book was its cover page and sometimes the title. But when I saw this book while browsing the internet, I was instantaneously sure that I am going to read and enjoy this one. And enjoy I did, with every single page I was falling in love with this book even more. The classic 5 paise and 10 paise coins on the cover page beckon you to take a trip down to childhood, one of the best times of your life.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Book Review- Seasons of the Palm by Perumal Murugan

What a painter does with a brush, Perumal Murugan does with his words. He creates vivid colorful imageries with impeccably picked words. The simple stories with modest characters become extraordinary with Murugan’s magical touch. Having read One Part Woman and Pyre by the author, I was eager to start with Seasons of the Palm. 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Book Review- Black Water White Fire by Jaspreet Taunque

An innocent child turning into a cold-blooded terrorist, a glam-diva yearning for the impossible and a commando trained to remain unfazed craving to surrender to a forbidden feeling- these are the elements that make Black Water White Fire by Jaspreet Taunque exceptional. Set on the backdrop of the terrorist attack on Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai in 2008, this fictional plot perfectly captures the sentiments of that situation and embeds them into a riveting tale.

Book Review – Rafflesia by Gautam

Rafflesia is a rare flower found in the jungles of Indonesia which blooms only for 5 days in a year. It is the largest and heaviest flower known. It is distinguished by its meaty smell and absence of leaves, stems or roots. It survives by absorbing nutrients through the threads found in the flower.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Book Review- Aavarana-The Veil

Day 22 of #AtoZChallenge

Religious fundamentalism, liberalism, secularism, feminism and progressive ideologies are beautifully woven into a fine mix of facts and fiction- that’s Aavarna for you. Originally published in 2007 in Kannada, the novel is rated 4.7 on Flipkart and 4.3 on goodreads. Bhyrappa had been openly and strongly criticized for the views he presented in the book. Regardless, Aavarna, The Veil has been translated Hindi, English, Gujrati, Marathi and Tamil and read widely across the world.

Book Review- Becoming Assiya by Simran Keshwani

“We fail to understand how harrowing images of beheading, suicide bombing attacks at school-going kids and mass genocide serve as a crystalline scythe to cleanse your soul. How many Aylan Kurdis must it take for this blind bludgeoning of mankind to halt?”

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Unaccustomed Earth- Short Stories by Jhumpa Lahiri

Day 21 of #AtoZChallenge

When Jhumpa Lahiri puts pen to paper, you know there will be magic. Not the kinds of magic that will make you stand up excitedly and clap your hands till they hurt; but the kind that will bring a smile of deep contentment when you close the book. 

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Book Thief

Day 20 of #AtoZChallenge

Have you imagined a life without books? Have you imagined being killed for having a particular book? For us bibliophiles, isn’t it a nightmare to see books being burned? If you think you are somebody who absolutely loves books and can do anything for your books, wait till you read about Liesel from The Book Thief.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Quiver Full of Arrows

Day 17 of #AtoZChallenge

Jeffrey Archer is well-known for unpredictable twists and explosive outcomes in his novels. His novels which are usually longer than an average book contain multiple twists and turns during the long course of the plot.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell- Book Review

Day 16 of #AtoZChallenge

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is Nadia Hashimi’s debut novel. Her fiction mostly portrays relationships and plight of women in war-struck Afghanistan. The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is a story of two young women who undergo various feats to overcome the tremendous challenges thrown in their face by their respective destinies. Though both of them are centuries apart in time, they are both forced to live parts of their lives posing as boy/man. The freedom that they tasted in the garb of opposite gender is something they could not have had experienced as a woman. This is a story of Rahima or Rahim-the bacha posh and Shekiba or Shekib- the woman-man guard of the royal palace.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Book Review- Pishacha by Neil D’Silva

Horror is a tricky genre`. It dangerously dangles between being excessively gory which evokes disgust rather than terror and being so unreal that it sounds hilarious. It takes a very fine balance between the two to make a story that summons fear. Neil D’Silva, the author of Pishacha, seems to have found that balance. Pishacha is the second novel by the author and proves once again that it’s not only the silver screen that can have the desired effect in horror genre`.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Eat,Pray,Love- To Balance Your Life

Day 5 of #AtoZChallenge2017

Eat, Pray, Love- three things that should define life. Only these elements are required to balance one’s life. Everything else should just remain on the periphery of this philosophy. But we do the exact opposite. We fill our lives with all the non-important things and push these three elements on the horizon and end up yearning for balance in life. And that is what happened with Liz, short for Elizabeth.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Bhujia Barons- Book Review

Click to Buy on Amazon.in

With an annual turnover of Rs 4000 crore, Haldiram’s tops the list of snack food brand in India, the list that contains big names like Hindustan Lever and Nestle` Maggi. Haldiram’s revenues are now more than that of McDonalds and Dominos put together (http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/haldiram-s-posts-annual-revenue-of-rs-4-000-crore-beats-hul-bikanervala/story-Mb8WfcYOopLSQx8sf7hTlJ.html) . What started in a tiny shop in the small town of Bikaner, Rajasthan way back in 1937 is now recognized globally for its sweets and namkins that appeal to taste buds all across the world. In India, Haldiram’s is synonymous to tangy snacks, delicious sweets and mouth-watering delicacies. But behind this spectacular tale of success lies a tale of grit and determination; a tale of brothers falling apart for profits and power and a tale of a family that had only one dream. Pavitra Kumar tells the story of how Haldiram’s became the king of snacks in India and are aptly called the “Bhujia Barons”.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Book Review- Alternative Realities by Nighat M. Gandhi

Click to buy

Feminism and its various aspects have always been a matter of unpleasant debates in society. Women’s freedom, sexuality, equality or education is still not considered worth discussing in our largely patriarchal arrangements. But does that contain the free spirit of womanhood? Hardly. When Nighat Gandhi took on a journey to find out what love means to different women, she barely had any inkling of the discovery she was about to make. Alternative Realities is a strong and profound tale of women finding love in most unimaginable places and their celebration of love and life.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Book Review- Love Muffin and Chai Latte` by Anya Wylde

Click to Buy

Tabby, short for Tabitha Lee Timmons, has a dream plan for everything. Love, marriage, kids and a picture perfect family life after that. So when Chris proposes to her, she thinks she is finally going to live her dream. After all, Chris was everything a girl could dream of: handsome, dignified and rich. Except that Chris is much more than this and he comes with an instruction manual that Tabby has to follow when she visits his family. And that’s where the trouble begins because the family lives in India.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Book Review- Confused Bastards by Manav Vigg

If there is one word that could define the youth today, it would be “confused”. Now, this confusion is bad or good is a matter of debate actually. But almost everything causes confusion in their lives. Education, career, relationships (or the lack of them), money etc. Some people choose to surrender to the confusion and take the easiest way out by listening to others who want to make decisions for them. But there are others, a different breed, who do not want to give in to the confusion but strive to look beyond it and carve a way through it. Confused Bastards is a story of three such extremely confused, almost delusional, young men who take a leap, sometimes to succeed and flounder at others.