37#REVIEW

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BOOK TITLE: COLORFUL NOTIONS: THE ROADTRIPPERS 1.0

AUTHOR: MOHIT GOYAL

GENRE: TRAVELOGUE, FICTION

STARS: ****

Colorful Notions: The Road trippers 1.0 is a story based on 3 friends doing a road trip of some eminent places of India and making a movie of it. Abhay decides to do a trip on his car to 25 selected places of India along with his best friend Sashank. Unnati, Sashank ‘s girlfriend is also travelling with them to add voice of the description in their video.
This book is really unique in its way. First of sll, it’s a travelogue, a long one which covers almost all the important places in India. Secondly, it’s a journey of 3 friends where they’ll have adventures and will face several problems that arises from a long trip and also shooting a film. Abhay is one of the male protagonists of this book is a rich boy who lives alone because of his separated parents. Sashank is a food lover and all he thinks about is food and eating more food. They have different experiences throughout their journey starting from Corbett National Park to Jama Masjid. This book seemed very realistic to me. India is a place which is rich in culture and natural beauty. The author has carefully chosen the places that more or less covers the raw beauty of this nation. It was described in a really lucid way, how amateur travellers experience in their first long trips. This book was not only about travelling. It dealt with problems that we face in our lives like emotional, relationship and family matters. Abhay is a person with a typical character who had a dilemma in his mind regarding most of the things he faces like his relationship with his parents, his sudden love for Unnati. Most of all, this book gives you good vibes and a feel of adventure. I personally want to go on such trips like that was described in this story. I liked the way how the author has plotted each character’s emotion throughout the journey. This is a story with a happy ending, about friendship and gives us, the readers a message to live our life to the fullest.

I won a review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities. Thanks to them for giving me this opportunity.

32#REVIEW

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BOOK TITLE: SKYFIRE

AUTHOR: AROON RAMAN

GENRE: SUSPENSE, THRILLER

STARS: ****

SKYFIRE is the 3rd novel by Aroon Raman and is the sequel of “The Shadow Throne’.
Here’s a short synopsis of the book :-
India is faced with drastic climate changes. There are acid rainfall in various places and along with that snow storms are formed in certain ranges of Himalayas that have never happened before like this. The IB, R&AW and other investigation agencies think that these weather changes might be manipulated by men, to use it as weather weapon on Indian sub continent and it’s neighbouring countries. But who are doing these and how, why ?
In various slum areas of Delhi there are cases of missing children and adults but these are not the usual missing cases. Journalist Chandrasekhar, historian Meenakshi Pirzada and intelligence operative Hassan have opened an evening school for slum dwelling kids. One day, two police constables came to look for a boy named Gopal who was also absent from the school for the last few days. Meenakshi and Chandra didn’t take it casually a blame for theft on Gopal because the policemen couldn’t give any details for the search. So, Meenu and Chandra contacted their friend Hassan for help. As they dug deep into the investigation for Gopal, they came to learn that they are not solving any simple mystery. Their lives might be at stake but they are determined to go to the bottom and reveal the truth.

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Book Review:
Now, the question is – are these two events of weather changes and missing people, somehow related?
The book is based on a very scientific and ingenious concept. A French mountaineer in the western ranges of the Karakoram range was struggling to climb up when the rest of the 9 other mountaineers of his team was already dead. After going a few steps, he saw a strange green light and a sudden storm was created. As he looked more closely, he saw a giant robot like creature.
This view didn’t escape the close surveillance of the Indian armies at the border regions. What was the giant machine there, was it creating the storm?
In the slum areas of Delhi, kids were disappearing, Gopal began to investigate the case on his on. He and his pagal bhai together kept close observations and one day Gopal followed a truck that took him to the kala mill. But unfortunately it didn’t escape the careful watches of the notorious men who were behind this.
This was how the story started. How can technology be used to manipulate the weather against a country as weapon has been described in a very detailed way. The way the author has given the clues, it’s really mind blowing. The book totally got me glued from the beginning. The story was definitely a thriller with a touch of science fiction. So, if you love thrillers, action and mystery, you should check this book out.
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

30#REVIEW

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BOOK TITLE: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU

AUTHOR: RATNA VIRA

GENRE: CONTEMPORARY FICTION,FAMILY

STARS: ***

It’s not about you is Ratna Vira’s second novel. The story is about the single mother Samaira aka Sammy. She lives with her 16 year old son Aksh. Her daughter Tara is studying her undergraduate studies in London and lives with her father, Sammy’s ex husband Rishi. Sammy is a working woman so it’s not possible for her to check on her teenage son all the time but she think that her little Aksh is very happy and doesn’t have any adolescent problems. But her belief cracks when she gets a phone call from Aksh’s school saying that her son was bitten up. Aksh was a student of a famous school in Delhi. No details on the bullying event was given from the school. They got Aksh admitted in a hospital in Delhi. Sammy was really worried as Aksh remained in critical stage unconscious for few days. Rishi and Tara came from London. They were equally worried. Sammy couldn’t believe her good boy could actually got all mixed up with the bad lot. No well wishers from school came or showed interest about the matter. They mostly remained reluctant. Sammy didn’t expect such conduct from the school. on the other hand after Aksh got his consciousness back, he was found suffering from temporary amnesia so he could not remember whatever happened to him or who had beaten him up. Sammy finally decided to contact the school. But no hope in that. They were acting as if it was Aksh’s fault and her fault. She also began self loathing and questioned her duty as a mother. She tried to contact her friend Monica and Aksh’s tution teacher Mrs Khanna. They told him that lately Aksh was not putting enough concentration as if he was staring into the space lost in his own world. In the mean time when Rishi and Sammy searched Aksh’s ipad they found some poems written by Aksh on unusual subjects. Sammy couldn’t believe that she didn’t even know her son properly. All in despair , not getting a proper answer from the school about who bullied her son, she contacted her childhood aunty Maasi ji. There she came to know about the boy Kushal with whom Aksh got into a fight. As she got into the matter, she realised that her Aksh has got tangled himself in a web of political corruption. Now, it’s all upto Samaira to dig out the true facts and put up the truth to the society saving her son, her family.
The story line is no doubt an unique one. The author has dealt with the matters of real corrupted world. Things that don’t get out to the common people yet they only get suffered for some rich, powerful men. But I some how found certain parts boring and dragging. There were some parts where I had difficulty in getting into the story. But it’s definitely the kind of story that describes the darkness of the present day world. Another most important feature of this book is that it’s every chapter has a quote in the beginning.That I found very unique and interesting

Here’s  another shot of one of the inspiring quotes.

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.Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

25#REVIEW

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BOOK TITLE: MAN AND DREAMS IN THE DHAULADHAR

AUTHOR: KOCHERY C SHIBU

GENRE: FICTION

STARS: ***1/2

The author sent me his book for my honest review.
Men and Dreams In the Dhauladhar is a story of few common people from various regions of India belonging to various economic level, religions and classes. The clear description of the daily lives of these people and their past have been nicely described by the author. Other than Nanda, Khusru and Rekha who are the main protagonists of this story, there are a few other important characters. All of them have a distinct past lives/secrets that haunts them somehow. The speciality of this story is that all these people comes close to each other in the construction site of AM hydro project. In beginning of the story, I felt like the detailing of so many past lives of these people a bit dragging. But gradually as the story proceeded it took a different turn. The plot describes the day to day work schedule of the workers of the hydro project and the local people surrounding it. The author has used various Indian vernacular languages, hindi is the most common of them that gives the story a different taste. This is totally a different kind of story from all the novels I’ve read in the past. It includes the regional clashes in Kerala, the intra caste fights of Muslims and the people that get affected by these discrepancies even if they don’t want to. After reading this book it seemed like the author meticulously observed all these people dealing with their lives and running from their pasts to create a new life and fulfill their dreams. This is a story about ordinary men with extraordinary and broken pasts trying to mend and make their lives simple. It is a must read for those who love to read and know about people.

21#REVIEW

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BOOK TITLE: RAU : THE GREAT LOVE STORY OF BAJIRAO MASTANI

AUTHOR: N.S. INAMDAR

GENRE: HISTORICAL/ROMANCE

STARS: ***

‘My eyes, they rain all the time                                                                                                                       My eyes, they rain all the time                                                                                                                              Till I see him in mine’

This story is about the fearless Maratha Peshwa Shrimant Bajirao also known as Rau. This book depicts his life and his love for the half-muslim dancer Mastani. Rau was the Peshwa of the Pune-Satara region. He was to brim of success and was feared by his enemies, the mighty Mughals. He was dedicated to his work and had a different approach towards society. Even being a Brahmin in those early days of 18th century his mind was free from those orthodox Brahmin concepts. His wife Kashibai was a women of kind heart. She loved Shrimant devotedly. Their first son Nana like his father took responsibility  of the official duties at a very early age. Mean while Rau met this most beautiful singer-dancer Mastani. Even if she was a simple baiji, Rau had kept her and her troops and enjoyed her dance often. Gradually he fell more for her and their passion for love grew stronger day by day. Rau didn’t think for a single day what others would think of his activity.He personally married Mastani and she gave birth to his son Samsher. Soon all these became a great topic of gossip. The Brahmins got agitated. All the royal families felt that their pride were being hampered by Rau’s activities. But on the other hand Rau was arrogant, he was not to be convinced to any conclusion for leaving Mastani even when requested by his own brother Appa.

I truly believe that Rau was a man of strong will and great personality.He was so high with his own pride that he considered his word to be the last. He did not believe in any religious cliched systems of the Hindus. So he could easily accept the baiji as his wife- he never thought twice, which was unusual for a man of that time. According to me the love story was well plotted but the story is a tragedy. Everything was correctly depicted but… there is a big BUT… If the Bajirao was considered to be a man much ahead of his time then why did he even believe in polygamy. When he already had a lovely wife like Kashibai he should have been happy with his life instead he fell for another woman like any other royal men of that age. To me religion is not the factor but polygamy, it absolutely not so cool or anything chivalrous. What kind of a man you are if you hurt your wife and go gaga with some other pretty woman only for her beauty?( well,pretty much wortheless to me) So I didn’t like Rau’s character at all. I found it rather stupid. This would have been okay with me if Rau didn’t have a wife on the first place and married the dancer. That is all I have to say about this book. If anyone loves history or romance or believe in “Love is blind” things they are surely going to love it. There is no such interesting plot twist in this story, it goes plainly from the beginning till the end.

Favorite Indian Author

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I decided to do an author appreciation post. Before saying why Amish is my favorite Indian author I would like to talk about my liking on mythology.

Indian Mythology is somehow related to Indian epics. The two most famous Indian epics are Mahabharata and Ramayana. I came to know the stories of these epics when I was a kid of about three years. I was very fond of my grandmother and she used to tell me these stories all the time. Every night a bed time story was a must listen from her. Since then I got acquainted to the plots and various characters of Indian mythology. As we all know the Hindus do not believe in a single God but millions. So, the number of stories describing the Gods’ origin and their greatness are also more than hundreds. Each origin has a different plot based on the culture of India. I started to like Indian Mythology more when I read The Gita. Anyone who has read it must know the slokas and the writings are so much valuable.

Recently a few years back Amish Tripathy wrote his debut novel The Immortals of MELUHA. It was beginning of the modern myth and the Amish magic. I read his first book when I was in my high school. The plot was different. The story was set on the ancient Northern part of India. Then also there was discrimination in  the society. There were various classes of people. The Nagas were considered to be the most impure ones. Shiva before he became the Lord Shiva was the leader of his tribe. This story mainly surrounds how he met Parvati and got married with her, how his greatness started to grow and how he became superior. After a few months of the first release and an instant hit, the second book was published. There, certain new characters were introduced like Ganesh, Kali (both were Nagas), Parashuram. Kali was Naga sister of Durga/Parvati. But Parvati only came to know about this when there was conflict of the Nagas and Khastryas. In the last book as it was in the legend Parvati’s end was described in the most  challenging way. Needless to say I was more addicted to mythology after reading his books. So, last year when his first book of The Ramachandra Series was published I bought the book and read it. It was not that intriguing like The Shiva Trilogy but I’m hoping the next books will be surely more interesting. If we keep in mind the old Ramyana and then read this book, then it will be not justified. This book is revisiting mythology in a different path so we have to be ready for new views and keep an open mind to accept the imagination and creativity of the author.