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Review :The Silent Patient

Hey readers! Hope you had a great weekend full of happy, unexpected surprises!

I think all my fellow book lovers can agree on the fact, no matter how hard the day had been for us, just the inviting sight and wafty smell of books as we enter a bookstore, makes us happy beyond words! Who knew my happy visit to a bookstore, a few days ago, would spiral into something special and coincide with my love of writing. I am building too much suspense, right? Well that’s the result of the latest novel I read ;P.

Alright, let me help you guys unravel this mystery…I have joined hands with an awesome bookshop Rajat Book Corner (which leaves no stone upturned to promote reading of books through its various initiatives ) for multiple book readings and reviews! I would be reviewing random books selected by the owner of the bookstore himself, over the course of next few days.This is the first collaboration in these exciting series and this week’s pick is ‘The Silent Patient by debutante author Alex Michaelides from the genre: fiction/psychological thriller.

“Only she knows what happened.

Only I can make her speak.”

Plot

A woman, a famous artist,shoots her husband dead and hides behind the veil of silence for years on an end. A man, a psychotherapist, intrigued by this incident, decides to heal the accused murderer and break her silence. The plot of the novel mainly revolves around how successfully Theo manages to wake Alicia from her still stupor, until things take a turn for good or for worse. Caution, no spoilers ahead!

Writing Style

The novel speaks to us through two distinct mediums. The first voice belongs to the second protagonist of the story, physiotherapist Theo Faber. The second voice is of our leading lady, Alicia Berenson who communicates with us through the pages of her diary. The author has used two different methods of writing, and fused the abstract (Alicia’s diary) with the actual ( Theo’s narrative), making the plot gripping and edgy till the very end. The novel is divided into four parts, each providing a view into both flashbacks and the present, taking the story forward. The best element of this book is that, the protagonist’s character arc is developed through the eyes of the other characters and her paintings; a writing style which plays full justice to contemporary literature.

Highlights

  • A good work depicting contemporary style of writing.
  • Is a treat for mystery/ psychological thrillers.
  • Great amount of dialogue in the narrative, instead of third person perspective, which adds more realistic touch to both the story and characters.
  • Is extremely pocket friendly for me, no guesses as to how and why. Lol.

Review

There are a few things that I wish to bring to light about this book in this review. First of all, it’s a great debut novel by the author. A big shout out to his creative, imaginative and writing skills which were put together to create something worthy to be read and to adapted into a movie soon after its release! You can guess , how great the story is already.This was my first time experimenting with a book that falls in the category of physiological thrillers and I am intrigued enough to read other titles soon. These books keep the readers at the edge all the time, bubbling with curiosity as to what would happen next, at the same time enabling them to question their conscience. Cool, isn’t it?

This novel is exactly as you do not expect it to be. You are presented with the most unique twists and plot leads when you start believing the story will tone down and vice versa. One begins the novel by reading about the main character Alicia and then the focus jumps to the second lead, Theo, going back to Alicia only for short intervals. So at the end, the reader is left wondering who actually the ‘silent patient’ was; Theo or Alicia? Let’s have a discussion on this in my comments section, once you are done reading the novel.

You are bound to be amazed by its ending, which acts as both the strongest anchor and biggest loop of the story. It is open to interpretations at the same time providing a concrete boundary to draw conclusions from.

I wish the author writes a sequel delving more into the life and character of Alicia Berenson. How thrilling would it be to read her silent thoughts! Well let’s hope for the best and I hope this message reaches to the author.

For me, this book stands at 4.3/5 with all its enjoyable parts and little snags here and there. I would definitely recommend this exciting piece of contemporary literature to my readers for its different style of character development, narration, plot and of course, *ending*. I would be eagerly waiting for that discussion…

I am glad that I read this unconventional book, which gave me an insight into the wide-world of genres that I am yet to read! For that, I am glad that the owner of the bookstore suggested I read and review this particular book. Do visit the store’s site for exciting book offers, reviews, author interviews and many more. (Link provided above).

Also, don’t forget to follow my blog for book review, poetry and much more.

Cheers!

Scars of Peace

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Hello fellows! The feeling of penning down pieces of your heart on paper, is liberating, isn’t it? You feel like you accomplished something great. And if the poem turns out to be as you imagined, the wave of happiness is beyond words and boundaries of expression! When I wrote this poem, I never knew, these words on paper, would turn out to be so beautiful and painful at the same time (I hope its true for everyone, not just me). I have been waiting a long time to share this,with all of you and I felt today is the best moment to do this. I’ll tell you the reason in my next post, soon.So here’s presenting my favorite poem from my collection. Let me know what do you feel about it.

Amidst the clashing of ideas and weapons,

There exist  few fighters struggling, with ribbons,

The men march on the battlefields with sombre, expressions,

The women fight their own battles against, repressions,

Children are the ones, who are left behind,

 Who acquire wisdom during the battles of the sighted blind,

Forced to give up their homes, their happiness,

They fall prey to the difficulties that arise due to the adults’ viciousness,

Daughters try to shield themselves from the wolves lurking around,

Sons try to rebuild their abodes, trying to keep their minds sound,

Even in the tumultuous times, they never lose their innocence,

Content even in grief, cheerfulness reflecting on their countenance,

The hope that glimmers in their souls,

Is worth learning from them, while achieving our goals.

Such is the story of a young little boy,

Who even in the face of dread, was unfazed by this ploy,

It had been a month since, he last saw their faces,

He was optimistic, after the victory, they would be subjected to praises,

His father told him to have a strong mind,

After their success his destiny would be immaculately aligned,

His mother lovingly patted his cheek before leaving,

It would only be a few days until they would be united, he slept, believing,

His friends told him, they would never return back,

Reliving their childhood memories was one thing they would lack…

Still he felt optimistic while bringing together shards of life,

Years later, when he visited the devastated wrecks,

Where there was both pain and love in rife…

Bhagyashree,10.10.18

All rights reserved.

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Cheers!

Wonder: Book Review

Hello people!After a long, long time, I am back to doing book reviews. Ta-da!

What marks this review to be special, is that it is a test of ability and my dedication towards writing. Well my followers are well aware of the fact how I love to rattle on and on about things that I wish should be brought to light. So a friend of mine challenged me recently and has placed a large sum of money (at least for us) on a bet,daring me to finish this review within five hundred words. Now, I have a point to prove and I’ll fight till the last ounce of courage to do the same!It’s my reputation at stake after all!

“You truly are a wonder!”

Admirable Plot

R.J Palacio pens down a beautiful story revolving around a ten-year old boy August “Auggie” Paulman and his struggles of adjusting in a new school, mysteriously hidden underneath a giant astronaut’s helmet, which he refuses to take off most of the time. Being encouraged by his loving, protective, supportive family consisting of his mother, father and elder sister Via, he succeeds in finding courage while facing the world and wining the hardest battle of his life; accepting himself the way he is.

Fascinating Writing Style

The narration of this story takes into account multiple perspectives of all the leading and secondary characters, a writing style which is uncommon in most literary works. You begin the novel by reading about Auggie and his views towards the world and finish the novel, reading the story of ancillary characters through their own words, connecting the dots of significance in their lives. I loved the author’s style of writing where parallel stories and character arcs run throughout the story, playing justice to each character and each event. The writing is strong, well-developed and tugs at your emotional strings at unexpected moments, providing many hoops for the reader’s revaluation and personal growth.

Awesome Highlights

  • Although it might seem, from the first glance, the story does not only focus on the main character. It is about a melange of characters coming together and embarking on a ‘wonder’ous (see, what I did there?) journey of doubt ,conflict and victory.
  • Deals with an extremely sensitive topic, but the narrative never appears to be preachy or ordinal.
  • The narrative seems more of a journal/diary entry instead of an outsider’s view, so the readers connect to the characters more quickly and easily.
  • The most lovable character is the family dog, with whom you fall in love at the first glance!
  • Is available in paperback and pocket-friendly 😛

Book Review

It is a non-conventional story about blurring boundaries of outer beauty and acceptance of the inner divinity. It takes into account various issues of the contemporary world including adolescent insecurities, upholding social images and helicopter parenting. The distinct writing style in itself carves out the message; loud and clear; it’s all about inclusion and acceptance. The characters in the novel speak to you through their own words and you live their lives with them.

Apart from the abrupt ending and a little lack of humor, the book is an amazing read. I know, most people will not agree with me on the humor part, but unless a writer does not involve hilarious moments, the narrative seems incomplete to me,

After I finished reading, I found out this novel is based on real events. I would have loved to read the author’s own reaction and how she dealt the situation in the story in some or the other way. I t would have added a more special and realistic touch.

The book stands at 3.9/5 for me. I suggest all to people, who have doubts in their abilities to succeed in life, to read this book. It would change your perceptive towards problems and you’ll be instilled with courage to deal with them.

Did you notice, I have used synonyms of ‘wonder’ as my adjectives in paragraph titles? Of course you did, I have full faith in my readers! Speaking of which, I also had full faith in my abilities, I would be able to win this bet!And, I did! So, I am waiting for the bet money, my friend…

Let me know in the comments section, if there is any book, you would like me to review.

Don’t forget to follow my blog.

Cheers!

20 Questions Book Tag



Hello people! What’s up?

You know how you have to come up one thing you learnt at the end of summer programs and remember the lessons for the rest of your life? You want me to throw my light on my lesson learnt this summer; people take blogging way too seriously, and I need to catch up soon…While gaining this enlightening insight I came across some amazing book tags and fell in love with them. I saw this one at the amazing abooknation and knew from the first glance, I would be doing this book tag for sure.

Cheers to my spirit of trying something new this summer!

#1: How many books are too many in a series?

As long as the story is interesting with great character arcs and gripping plot I am fine with any number of books that the author wants to include in the series. My only condition being, releasing the books quickly!!!

#2: How do you feel about cliff-hangers?

Never read them until you have the next book in the series right next to you…

#3: Hardcover or paperback?

Hardcover when you have to make your book shelf look aesthetic and paperback when it’s time to go pocket-friendly (which seems my only choice, now-a-days :P)

#4: Favorite book?

A book I would swear by, is ‘Doctors’ by Erich Segal. It’s the right blend of emotions, drama, mystery, fiction, reality and all the elements you look forward while reading a book. Although, I wasn’t keen on reading this book before, but I guess, reading this book was one of the best decisions of my life, so far!

#5: Least Favorite Book?

Why does this happen to book lovers? This is the most difficult question, that we have to answer. Trust me, it’s hard. Jokes apart, I haven’t come across a book that I have detested reading yet and I hope, I never will.

#6: Love Triangles, yes or no?

I am always up for love triangles in books. They always leads to exciting events and reactions from the characters, that gives us more pages to read and bask in our fantasy world a little longer.

#7: A book you are currently reading?

I am reading Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler at the moment, heavy read, I know.

#8: Last book you recommended to someone?

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, a book which I collabed with another blogger, on. Link here (Part I)and here (Part II).

#9: Oldest book you’ve read? (publication date)

The Swiss Family Robinson which was published in 1812. For the heads up, I own one of the oldest editions of that book!

#10: Newest book you’ve read? (publication date)

My book, ‘AN INWARD ODYSSEY’; a collection of poetry which was published last December!

#11: Favorite author?

Don’t have one. I go through different phases of reading, wherein I try different authors and genres and whichever one I like the best, more books of that particular author/genre are added to my bookshelf .

#12: Buying books or borrowing?

Buying, it’s always, buying. I am extremely offended by the idea of borrowing/lending books, and I am not even sorry for my strong opinion.

#13: A book you dislike that everyone seems to love?

Now, that’s an interesting question.I would say, P.S I love you by Cecilia Ahern.

#14: Bookmarks or dog-ears?

My heart is torn into two, when people dog-ears pages of their books. How cruel! It’s ALWAYS bookmarks!!!!

#15: A book you can always reread?

For the record, I’ve read the entire Harry Potter series seven times, then outgrew them. So I think rereading books is a good idea only till the time you are reading your favorite portions of the novel.

#16: Can you read while listening to music?

Music is my go-to companion for every chore, every task I have to accomplish even when I am writing poetry or any other literary piece. However, this companion needs to leave the room, when I am reading. I can either concentrate on the glistening words or the heartfelt lyrics at a time.

#17: One POV or multiple POVs?

Reading both kind of works, I think I lean more towards multiple POVs. It’s always better to know each character from their own perceptive as it adds more depth to the story.

#18: Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

Knowing my amazing time management skills, it’s either the entire book or the ever growing list of chores that I have to tend to. So, sadly, I have to divide the book over the span of multiple days to play justice to my role both as a responsible human being and a book craving bookworm!

#19: Any book that changed your life?

This is my favorite question! ‘Born A Crime’ by Trevor Noah is one such book that hilariously taught me life lessons and made me realize how fortunate I am living my life, the way I want to. I suggest everyone should read this book, once in their lifetime.

#20: Who do you tag?

Anyone and everyone who wants to do this tag.

I know, it’s been a long time, since I have done book reviews. Well, now I know, why learning time management skills in school would have been a good idea…

Never mind, I would now make up for the lost time with numerous posts, I promise!

Don’t forget to follow my blog!

Cheers!



The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: Book Review (Part II)

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Hello people! Today seems to be a wonderful day! Can you guess why? We are finally out with the final part of our collab! DRUMBEATS!!!

You may recall our reviews of the book “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” (Linked Here;inkandthoughts and Here;lifeofchaz ), but do you know what really happens behind the scenes? Well if you don’t, here are a few things you should know about how the magic of “collabing” works.

Things That Go Into A Collab

  • Trying to get Chaz to read the book for two and a half months. 
  • Trying to explain to Chaz concepts one-hundred times because he never understands the first time. 
  • Trying to work with ten hour time difference living on opposite sides of the world. 
  • Waking up at 3AM to finish writing posts and making Instagram posts. Take a guess, as to who did that… 
  • Attempting to book plane tickets to India in two days, and then cancelling because a certain “someone” threatened the other about their collab answers. 
  • Hiding out in a car to escape mothers to talk to bloggers in the U.S after staying up all night. 
  • Losing hope that the post will ever be done. 
  • Being astonished when “someone” finally finishes the book and writes up a post.
  • Learning what Instagram is and what “Boomerang’s” are. 
  • Surviving after talking to each other for weeks on end. 

A small sneak peek for the readers, who thought it would be easy to work on a collab. Trust me, it is not, especially when two dumb heads come together to talk about intellectual things. In between taking jabs at each other, every now and then and cracking lame jokes, we tried to perfect our art of coming up with philosophical answers. This final draft pays testimony to our numerous attempts of answering these questions and polishing them till they were the best (at least for us)! So please don’t judge us too harshly!

Bhagyashree’s Brainiac Questions to Chaz

1) Being a foreigner to the novel did you have any preconceptions or notions about the story? How did they change after completing the novel? What are your thoughts about the author after going through her works? Would you continue reading her works here after?

Chaz working hard on his reading.

I had no idea what this story was going to be about. It’s funny because when I looked it up, I saw the word “romance” somewhere in the synopsis and falsely assumed it was a love story. (I told that to Bhagyashree and she could not believe me!) My thoughts could not be more different than what they were starting the novel. Roy now reminds me of a strong political writer, and I think I would probably read another one of her works if she continues to publish. I am looking into reading her first novel now as well!

2) How did you interpret the title both at the beginning and at the end of the book? Do you think the story plays justice to the title or it talks about finding acceptance in pain?

Chaz attempting to read .

I’m honestly still not sure what to think about it. (This is the hardest question out of all of them!) The characters ended up in their own little communities together, but it’s hard to imagine any type of happiness after all of the pain the story weaved through. I did not think this was going to be a happy story in the beginning though.

3) The book talks about how political turmoil affects people from all walks of life and their adverse reactions to situations concerning them thereafter. Do you think the author justifies them or piques the reader’s sympathy towards these people in any way? Or it is just an attempt of condemning these actions?

I think that the author does a great job in portraying these struggles in the way that she does not try to pique sympathy with over-the-top techniques. I had mentioned in my review about the “rawness” of the story, and in that sense the author just shows what is happening. It is up to you if you want to feel bad or not, but the story is not going to wait for you to make a decision.

4) The author challenges the very idea of attaining happiness by orthodox means through her characters. Do you believe an individual’s circumstances come into play here more than his/her own choices? How do you think the lives of these characters would have turned out had they succumbed to the guidelines entrenched with rules and boundaries?

I think that Roy is trying to abolish the old rules and boundaries that society has put up ever since we can remember. We are in a big turning point as far as social movements go, and the author celebrates that with the choices that she has her characters make. The characters may have had an easier life if they had confined themselves to the old rules, but it is clear that they would not be truly happy if they never remained true to themselves.

5) The novel talks about development in the sense of losing grasp of one’s roots. Do you share the author’s acceptance that this is the way forward? Do you think reading and writing about the struggles of the ‘silenced’ would help make society more empathetic towards these people and eventually alternate avenues of development would emerge?

Chaz still attempting to read, but at a different camera angle .

Yes – telling the stories of the silenced does go a long way in making people more empathetic. We have seen examples of it happening before ,with, every social movement that has succeeded. If you look at the world’s history you can follow the lines of each movement and how they succeeded. These stories play an important part in the development of those movements.  I am in full support of it and in full support of losing grasp of one’s roots. Just because the roots are there, it does not mean that they are worth losing. (In this case they are!)

6) There are a variety of social issues discussed in the novel ranging from social inequality, exclusion, domestic violence to depression and political turmoil among others. Which of these varied themes according to you needs to be extensively written and widely read in the current times?

Chaz’s pup doing all of the work for him .

Would it be a cop-out to say that all of them should still be explored? While there are progressive movements that are in different stages than others, and some of them much further along, we have seen that it is important to keep writing about them even after the movement has come to a “success”. Everyone should be able to experience the freedoms that they deserve, and the battle for them is unfortunately not close to being over, but at least we are living through the most progressive time in recent history.

Chaz’s Clever Questions to Bhagyashree

1) Media can portray only the negative aspects of certain events and culture to skew people’s perceptions which end up making them blow certain things out of proportion. Do you feel this novel portrayed anything unfairly?

That is the beauty of this novel, it never presents anything with a backdrop of fairness or impartiality. It presents the facts as they are, leaving it on the shoulders of the capable readers(like both of us, an oxymoron in itself, isn’t it ) to form their own opinions. I won’t say that the novel has portrayed anything in negative light, but yes, it would have been a good idea had the author included other perspectives than just the characters themselves. And a more, well-mapped plot, that does not include everything that the characters (or the author herself) come across, would have mellowed down the story for people like us. Although, when we talk of Roy, as a precocious author, we can’t really expect that to happen, so I guess what we are left is, broaden our understanding!

2) How important is a well structured plot for you? Did you feel the same way I did, or do you think that the message of the story is much more important than making sure the story beats are in the right spot?

I believe both a well-structured plot and powerful message go hand in hand, in the making of a great story. One without the other fails to create the charismatic impact that the author wishes to cast on his/her readers. On one hand the plot steers our imagination on a well routed path, the message of the story, on the other hand, lets us run our imagination wild, on uncharted lands in search of interpretations. I disagree with the notion that the author should focus on either of the two things while carving a story, but surely, the plot shouldn’t have too many backstories and character arcs framing spontaneously, like we have in the book. That just leads to the reader losing momentum of the story.

3) We had spoken about if this book was required to read in schools in India. With so much discussion on censorship lately, do you feel works like these should be encouraged to read? How young is too young to introduce these dark themes during class?

Roy’s works have always tackled the dark realms of truth in an unpretentious manner. Once you decide to read her novels, you can expect yourself to be drawn in a labyrinth of reality, that you are aware of, but fail to acknowledge its presence. Censoring stories like these, would mean holding back the links which connect people with the reality behind the farce reality. So I believe works like these should definitely be encouraged to read right from the time we learn to distinguish between right and wrong and form our own judgments and opinions. Coming to the last part of your question, you can’t expect a scenario where kindergartner kids are debating on these issues, can you? (But then, you would be dealing with the smartest set of kindergarten kids on this planet, a bit unrealistic no?) I understand your concern about the impact this novel revolving around relatively dark themes can have on young minds, so I ‘ll say, teenagers on the brink of adulthood and people beyond this age bracket with their well developed analytical and conclusive skills, would be the best audience for the book.

4) Pain is everywhere in this story. Do you share in any of the pains and struggles that some of the characters in the story faced? Which of the struggles are you fighting against the most in your own life? 

Months flew by, waiting for Chaz to finish reading.

Each character in the novel deals with different kinds of pain and battles his/her own victories. Acceptance of an identity, pain of losing loved ones, trying to be befitting in a world you don’t belong to and the courageous struggle to start anew are some of the core threads discussed in the story. It wouldn’t be a misnomer to say, we are bound to face the pains and struggles of each character in some way or the other in our long, long lives. Given a choice, I would go for the pain and struggles of accepting and adapting to a change, faced by the country, rather than any specific character. Now that more makes sense, since about to start college. Lol!

5) There are a lot of themes involved in this novel that have to do with family relationships, especially motherhood. We saw Anjum ripped from her family, and family ripped from her, plus the same for the other characters. How important is it to listen to your family? Should they control who you really want to be? 

Family is an exceedingly important part of who we are, what we do, the choices we make and how we lead our lives. However, I don’t believe being a part of a family should entirely dictate the terms of our choices and the way of our living. There is a very fine line between looking up to your family for guidance and acting according to their predictions up to the point you suffocate your freedom. The entire burden of balance lies on this willowy line. I guess as long as this line doesn’t slant too much on either side, you’ll be fine. A hard task surely, but worth trying. If not anything, you would have some great things to laugh about, later on!

So this brings us to the end of my first collab ever. I hope as much as I enjoyed working on it, even you guys would enjoy reading it. I would love to hear what you people think about it in the comments section.

A big shout-out to my fellow blogger-turned-friend Chaz, who helped me remain calm during moments of panic at the inability to finish the post on time (or was it the other way round?) and making my tedious wait worthwhile. Let’s collab once again next month, what say? ;P

I would love to continue working on such fun collabs in the future. Well, fellow bloggers you know whom to reach out to, if you feel interested enough to read a book together, review it maturely ( or immaturely, same thing) and discuss the book, in every creative way possible. You guys already know my Instagram handle and my mail id, i you want to reach out to me.

I would be eagerly waiting for your reviews and messages!

Don’t forget to follow my blog for book reviews, collabs and more!

Until the next time,

Cheers!


The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: Book Review (Part-I)

Hello people! The world is such a small, strange place, isn’t it? The land on its surface is divided by boundaries and its people are united by art, literature, history, legacy and above all,emotions. Who would have thought, two strangers , residing in different parts of the world would bond over a hardbound collection of words, dwell over it, derive at conclusions and create something so beautiful out of it!

I remember messaging a super cool blogger who goes by the name of Chaz Green (you guys must already be familiar with his amazing blog-Life of Chaz ) two months ago, asking for a collab and expecting no answer in return to be honest! I guess he was too kind to respond to a two-and-a-half month old baby blogger (don’t even know whether its a real thing or not) and agree for a collab. So after a lot of discussion (about how it is NOT a love story and who gets to have the best spot on our collab poster:P), we decided upon a book by a profusely acclaimed Indian author, Arundhati Roy; ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’, read it together and the result; the first ever collaboration of my life with another blogger! So, this blog post holds a special place in my heart and will remain etched as a beautiful memory forever! Oh God, why do I turn poetic, every other moment of my life? Just for the heads up, it’s not Chaz’s fault that we are posting this blog about a month later than we decided to. It’s just that,he happens to test your patience to decide, whether you are worthy for him or not! Plus I got the premium spot for my picture, but you could get that,of course!

How to tell a shattered story?

By slowly becoming everybody.

No.

By slowly becoming everything.’

Plot

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness narrates a hard-hitting story which revolves around three characters from different backgrounds, who are brought together by the common links of pain and non-acceptance. The novel begins with introducing us to Aftab, a young boy hiding a secret in his heart right from the moment he was born and struggling with his identity in the world, till he transforms in Anjum and pledges her allegiance to the world, which challenges the very existence of rules and boundaries. It then delves deeper into her transformation, the challenges she faces, the ever lasting relationships she forms and the journey of her embracing motherhood. The story then travels to how Anjum loses her spirit in the light of 2002 Godha train burning (apologies, non-Indian readers you will have to read about this beforehand, to understand the novel), leaves her world, or as she calls ‘duniya’ once again and starts anew in a graveyard. As time elapses, she befriends other outcasts and establishes a hotel-cum-resting place for weary travelers along the graves, depicting how hope can be found in the darkest of places. The story then moves forward, where we witness a massive protest at Delhi and how the characters are one step away from meeting each other.We then have a rendezvous with the next character Biplab Dasgupta, a diplomat who tells his story of how he fell in love with S. Tilottama along with two other men Musa Yewsi (who becomes a Kashmiri millitant) and Nagaraj Hariharan (who carves a sparkling career in journalism in Kashmir)  in college. He then jumps to the present revealing how the sudden appearance of his first love created upheavals in his life. The story is then told through Tilo’s perceptive,joining dots of her story from childhood till date. The rest of the story, then completes the puzzle of how and why the characters meet and how the Ministry of Utmost Happiness is finally established in a world outside, yet lying inside the real world.

Characters

If you happen to meet Chaz at some point of your life, do me a favor and ask him how many new Hindi words he learnt and how many he remembers along with their meanings. Trust me, you would definitely be surprised at his answer and be amazed at the amazing character he is! Be prepared, Mr Green!

Jokes apart, every character arc in the book, develops vehemently and fits well in the story. The author does not shield the characters in the veil of pretense or sympathy, but presents them to the world, as they are, urging the readers to accept them in the same way .

Anjum: The protagonist of the story who transforms herself from a young Muslim boy, Aftab, to a transgender who goes by the name of Anjum. It is through her eyes, we see her struggles of shedding an identity and accepting a new one and finding hope in the shards of her broken world. Her strong personality, graceful demeanor and strong will to fight back against the current are the things that appeal to the readers and urge them to know her story.

S. Tilottama : An architecture, who finds herself in the midst of a political turmoil while following her lover, Musa. She later marries Naga and improves her relationship with her dying, estranged mother. She ultimately finds her happiness in rearing a child named after her lover’s first born.

Nagaraj Hariharan: One of the three suitors of Tilo. He works as a renowned journalist in Kashmir and marries Tilo in the later part of the novel. After she leaves him, following fourteen years of marriage, he is devastated and struggles to find balance in his life again.

Biplab Dasgupta: A diplomat and an ardent admirer of Tilo, who plays an important role in saving her from meeting with a drastic end. He later meets with Musa and broods over how he wasted his life in search of a treasure which never was his.

Musa Yeswi: A Kashmiri insurgent and a master of disguises. It is in search of his love, Tilo embarks on a dangerous journey and nearly losses her life. He later befriends Dasgupta and they both reminisce their good, old days, to rekindle the spark of happiness.

Other characters in the novel, help take the story forward in an interesting way, with their backstories and struggles running in parallel. which proves to be a different read, than most of us are accustomed to.

Writing Style

The plot of the novel is well knit and keeps you at the edge, barring some parts. The book is divided into different parts, each focusing on a different era of India’s development and how the different characters deal with these changes. The story is narrated in a third person perspective, never really giving the readers a chance to delve deeper into the minds of the characters. I feel the story has a kind of abrupt ending, which focuses on only a few characters being able to learn the true purpose and the source of happiness of their lives. Just like reality, though! I think, that is the beauty of this book, it never paints a fairy land for the readers. It grasps the reality in its words, accentuates them and presents them to the world.

Review

This probably the second hardest part, you guys know, what the hardest part was, right? So apologies in advance, Miss Roy if we do not live up to your expectations of the review…

So the book begins on an interesting note, depicting the life of a transgender in the Indian society in the wake of the changes that take place in the country. With some more characters appearing in the story and so many event taking place, you seem to lose the momentum of the story after some time. With the introduction of the other characters, the plot becomes uptight again and you start craving for them have a happy ending, which they had been searching throughout their lives.

With the melange of social issues going on in the book, you find yourself dragged in a part of a world, which you wanted to avoid for a very long time. It would be a good idea, to read about these issues beforehand, so that you don’t feel disoriented while actually reading.This book tugs at the strings of your heart and acts as a soother at the same time, only you need to keep your emotions in check and mind at work, while deciphering this novel.

This book stands at 3.8/5 for me. I was expecting a little sprinkle of gentleness and cheerfulness at the end. which would have truly paid justice to the title. But never mind it is a good read, although a serious one, with a stinging story line and open interpretations. Only strong hearts, tread ahead!

This post isn’t complete yet!Next up is a discussion on the book where both the bloggers have put in their hearts, souls and different perspectives to analyse the book from each and every angle! Tried to make it sound serious, but you know how it is with us…

So visit our blog again, to know how different thoughts and emotions are brought together by words!

Cheers!

The Kite Runner: Book Review

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Hello people! What’s new? I have had pretty adventurous last few weeks trying to juggle time between college applications and reading!These times can be pretty tough, no? Somehow, I managed to sail through and now I am back to my blog. I hope you people haven’t forgotten about my blog and excuse me for not being regular…

So before analyzing the book, some words of enlightenment…Keep the title of the book in mind as you finish reading the last page of the novel as it is the medium through which you realize how beautifully the book transforms from being about one character to another! Trust me, the moment is so emotionally entrenched, it is enough to give you goosebumps and stays with your soul forever.

” For you, a thousand times over.”

Plot

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a novel which spirals between the past and present of two characters Amir and Hassan, poles apart, but sharing a common thread which links their life forever. In the beginning of the novel we meet a grown up Amir, settled in US.A, faced with apprehension and dilemma as he receives a message calling him home. A home which he had left long back. A home which he called ,Kabul. The words then travel back in time and two carefree boys , with the elder one (Amir) narrating their tale, comes into view. The story then moves forward describing the incidents of the nonchalant childhood of the dedicated friend Hassan and the dependent owner Amir. In an attempt to win his father’s respect and love, Amir and Hassan enter into a kite flying competition, which changes their lives beyond redemption. As time flows by, the political turmoil increases in Kabul, To avoid the tumultuous Amir shifts to U.S.A with his father and starts over. Years later unavoidable circumstances call him back to his homeland to discover some startling truths which give him a chance to repay his debt to Hassan.

Writing Style

The novel is written mostly in first person perspective, divided by different time periods. The story is narrated by the protagonist Amir with dashes of life experiences provided by the other characters. It takes into view the various political aspects that plagued the world during the late 1990s to early 2000s and and how common people were affected during those onsets. The only addition in the novel which could have satisfied the readers’ (or specifically my ) curiosity had we gotten a chance to read about his life, through Hassan’s point of view.


Characters


There are mainly six characters in the novel aided by other characters who help take the story forward.


Amir : The (legitimate) son of an Afghan businessman whose mother died during childbirth. His friendship with his servant, Hassan, forms a major part of the story until the time his cowardice forbids him from saving Hassan from a horrific fate during childhood and pushes him in a trench of self-consuming guilt all through his adult life. In the circle of life (The Lion King feels, right?) he ultimately absolves his sins and becomes ‘The Kite Runner’ for a child who linked his past and future together.


Hassan: The (illegitimate) son of an Afghan businessman who was fostered by the same nursemaid is Amir’s(I gave away the spoilers, already). His dedication towards his master and fearlessness turns him a target for bullies, for which he has to pay a great price. His life revolves around his master cum friend who ditches in him in the hour of need. His unflinching support and trust for Amir results in his untimely demise and is survived by a son, who is later adopted by Amir.


Baba: Father of Amir and Hassan who leads a dual life; a life full of fun, ambition, celebration, friendship and laughter and another full of guilt. He is shown to be a man who lives and dies for his principles at the same time, betraying them as he commits the biggest folly of his life; non acceptance of his own blood. His attention and love is always craved by his elder son Amir and provided in abundance (although secretly) to Hassan.


Shorab: Hassan’s son who is later adopted by Amir, after his parents’ demise. He comes across the readers as a replica of his father, who reminds Amir of his friendship and guilt everyday, until he dons the same role of a man, he had left behind in childhood.


Rahim Khan: Baba’s oldest and most trustworthy friend who provided Amir with all the love he had been missing since birth. He is the boys’ trusted confederate and adviser who later on provides Amir a chance to let go of his guilt.


Soraya: Amir’s wife and a school teacher who supports him throughout his writing career. She accepts the idea of adopting Shorab when she comes to know his identity and works tirelessly to bring a smile on his face , no matter what it takes.


Book Review


This book narrates a a timeless story which stays alive through time. Many themes are touched upon in the course of novel like friendship, gallantry, fatherhood, political turmoils, emotional, physical and mental abuse and the author plays full justice to each one. Each character has its own story to tell and fits in the narration perfectly. The plot is extremely gripping and keeps you at the edge all the times. With each page you turn, you begin on a new journey of the characters which ultimately culminates bringing together shards of life away from pain to laughter.


It is almost perfect, but there are a few things which could have elevated its status even more. A glimpse into Hassan’s life, his thoughts, his feelings, his relationships would have provided more depth to the story. A peek into Baba’s other life where he faced remorse and guilt and learnt to deal with it would have been a literary artwork. Also, a detailed description into Amir’s teenage years dealing with pain and sleepless nights, if provided, would have been a delight for the readers.


It is not just a tale to be read and forgotten about. It is a tale to be read, lived and remembered throughout. So this book is definitely a 4.2/5 for me. It would be a perfect literary getaway for the coming weekend. So grab this book and do read it, if you haven’t already and be prepared to float through the lanes of Kabul in search of a boy and boyhood, lost far behind.


Let me know in the comments section, if there is some book of your choice that I should review.


Till the next time, enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to follow my blog.


Cheers!

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Must Read Autobiographies and Biographies

Hi guys! What’s new? Long time, no?

Over the past few days I have been analyzing the evolution of genres I like to read. I know it took a looonnngggg time (sigh). Jokes apart, I never knew how biographies and autobiographies that I detested reading earlier ( too harsh, no?) would become the love of my life!

I have read some amazing books over the past few years and I thought it would be a nice to list a few of my favorites and probably, have a discussion with you people, later.

So here are my favorite biographical titles(in no particular order) that you MUST read once in your lifetimes.

  1. A.P.J Abdul Kalam: A Life by Arun Tiwari

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A book which beautifully encapsulates the journey of a small boat owner’s son who establishes himself as an illustrious scientist and later the 11th President of India. Author Arun Tiwari takes his readers on an exhilarating voyage on how the struggles of childhood were transformed into inspiring achievements through dedication, passion and hard work by the celebrated ‘Missile Man of India’. Finishing the novel would leave you desperately wanting a few more glimpses in the life of the man, loved by the rich-poor and young-old alike. A suggestion for all the the ‘word-adventures’, your thirst for a quest can be quenched a little if you read the titles by the Man himself, including ‘Ignited Minds’, ‘ Wings of Fire’, ‘Believing In Yourself’ among many others. So, Happy Reading!

2. The Story of my Experiments with Truth by M.K Gandhi

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This was probably the first autobiography that I ever read in my life, it was an experiment in itself. And mind you, an experiment that bore beautiful results. What can be said about an autobiography never meant to be written, which later became one of the most popular reads of all times. The book is divided into five parts, each focusing on a different phase of Gandhi’s life. You begin reading about a young boy dealing with an early marriage and the loss of his father. You witness him experimenting with stealing smoking, drinking and eventually atoning for his sins. Further into the novel, you meet a young man, a lawyer in South Africa struggling against oppression. As the young man turns mature and wise you embark on a journey of attaining freedom, with him and his countrymen. The impact different global events had of his life, his thoughts, his ideologies is described in a charismatic way in the book. A story about life and acceptance of truths surely makes the cut to be on your ‘To Read’ list…so what’s stopping you? Go grab this book from a bookstore and immerse yourself in the simmering magic of truthful words.

3. The story of my life by Helen Keller

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How can anyone miss a story of a gracious lady conquering the world with deafness, blindness, determination and courage as her partners? The book paints the early impressions of a picture with an infant Helen battling with an illness which renders her blind and deaf for life. Her frustrations as a result of being caged in a dark, soundless world turns her in an angry and bitter child, which changes after a teacher enters her life. Under the guidance of her teacher Miss Anne Sullivan, Helen learns to read and speak. She establishes herself as a child writer with her short stories, losses and regains her lost spirit and confidence with the events that unfold subsequently. With each page you turn, you meet a new Helen, defeated yet again, but endowed with another layer of patience and grit dazzling on her soulful armor.

4. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

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An unfinished account of life by one of the Founding Fathers of the United States is a rejuvenating read from the textbooks and office files we have to read every day(gosh, those are b-o-r-i-n-g). It begins as an address to Franklin’s son William and later delves deeper into the various struggles and breakthrough achievements of the polymath (eh, big word)! The book is divided into four parts, mainly focusing on Franklin’s journey of publishing his first paper anonymously and subsequently establishing his own printing firm. A few glimpses in his world of inventions, discoveries and politics are given up till the last chapter which remains incomplete. It ends on a mysterious, thrilling note giving off an entire different satisfaction of finishing an unfinished book. You also get to read about Franklin’s ancestors and his childhood, his interests, his hobbies, his love of reading, all of which reflects in his adulthood and helps him become the man as we know him today. So what do you think, is today a good time to read an unfinished draft?

5. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

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A memoir by the founder of Nike, this book is probably an exception in this list, but it undoubtedly deserves a mention. It covers the phase of author’s life, when he decided to establish a shoe company and how he went about the plan. Originally named “Blue Ribbons”, the company helped Knight fulfill his dream of averting a war from its source (no insights this time). As you read along the pages, you will fall in love with the young, reckless, sometimes self-doubting, broke Knight and live with him the euphoric feelings as he cracks his first deal, finds a partner in his mentor, earns his first profit and the saga continues. The book points to the various troubles Nike faced and how Knight’s right and motivating attitude lead his team to victory. It is a story of struggle, spurs of failure and ultimately the sweet victory which deserves your sincere reading (now that’s a record of using an alphabet multiple times in a sentence)!

6. Becoming by Michelle Obama

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I read it recently and you know how I felt? I should have read it as soon it was released! It’s that amazing! An autobiography by the former First Lady recollecting her childhood days, transforming into the colorful days of youth, to finally leading her life as a part of the First Family. This book too is split into different parts highlighting the various junctures of her life. Through the incidents of childhood (some extremely hilarious) she points to the undercurrent of lessons learnt which changed her perspective towards life. Her compelling story telling coupled with wit and wisdom (I am getting better with alliterations) reflect her accomplishments and disappointments while juggling roles throughout her life. With some surprising revelations both political and private you are assured a life-affirming and adventurous time reading this book!

If you are planning to enjoy this long (way-to-go) weekend with bunch of new books to read, these are the titles that you can bank upon.

Let me know in the comments sections any other books that I can read in this category or books that I should add in the list.

Multiple blog posts are coming up to make up for the time, I have not been able to keep my followers updated!

Also, as always, don’t forget to follow my blog.

Cheers!

The Pursuit of Happyness: Book Review

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Hello people! How’s it going? For the record, I am having a pretty terrible week (sigh). The Big Bang Theory is ending this week and we might never see Dr. Sheldon Cooper and his antics again… With so many epic sagas ending this year, it’s going to be difficult to find happiness in our lives once again, right?

Coincidentally the book I had been reading recently, is ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’. Wow! Is there a divine power at play these days?

So coming to the book, I really could not understand, why the title of the book was chosen to be ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’? I have come up with two possible theories for that. One maybe, it is a story of life and struggling against the odds to find happiness (which seems likely). And the other inspired by the daycare where happiness was spelled with a ‘y’, and the protagonist was determined to let his son know the right thing. Maybe, maybe he was also determined to let the world the right thing about himself too; his worth, his potential underneath his dark skin. Which of the two, do you think is the most appropriate theory?

While you read a book, you either like a book or do not like it (although it seldom happens)! But this book has forced me to choose a middle path of partially liking this book.

” The world is your oyster. It’s up to you to find the pearls.”

Plot

It begins with the author Chris Garner, a successful stockbroker, taking us on a tour through his life, his struggles, his failures, his decisions and finally his victories. Carving his escape through an abusive childhood, without a father figure, he enrolls to render his services into Navy. With time he becomes an able medical practitioner(the only black on the team of whites) practicing in the Navy later joining his senior and dabbling in the field of research. He marries a woman as he prepares for medical school. Infidelity causes his marriage to drift apart and him embracing fatherhood for the first time. Determined to make it big, he decides to work as a stockbroker against the wishes of his family. He faces extreme shortage of money, rejections and failures but ultimately he wins big and establishes a multi-million company.

Characters

Chris Gardner: The protagonist of the novel. He begins his journey of life,aspiring to be Miles Davis, an actor and later leads his life as a Navy soldier-turned-medical practitioner and researcher- successful stockbroker. His experiences as a childhood, mold him as an adult and is reflected in his ways of upbringing his children. One relates to the struggle he goes through to reach to the top and gets inspired oneself to move along no matter how difficult the path is.

Christopher Gardner Jr.: The only guiding light in his Poppa’s world, when his path becomes too dark. Although only his childhood is reflected in the book, his antics are enough to melt your heart and his words are enough to leave a lasting impression on your soul.

Bettye Jean Triplett: The protagonist’s mother and his first guide to the world beyond. It is her belief in her son that leads to him believing in himself and ultimately meeting his destiny. Her actions seem serene and timid all her lifetime, which sows seeds of serenity and calmness in her son, an attribute of whose worth he realizes much later in his life.

There are other characters in the protagonist’s life, who impress him, inspire him, torment him, help him, teach him and ultimately make him a bigger and better person. It would take the entire space of blog post to describe each one of them, so how about you guys read the book and you describe the various characters to me in the comments section?

Writing Style

This novel is mostly written in the first person perspective with a prologue and epilogue by the author himself. The book is divided into different parts, each describing a phase of his life. You begin the book by reading about his childhood and finish it as you read about his roller coaster ride to success. His journey of establishing his own company and running it, is not shown in the book. This is one aspect which the readers, I am sure ,would have loved to read. Only if he had taken us with him on a trip to his company scaling the heights, this book would have been more interesting to read.

Book Review

Well the book is quit an amazing read, but there are some things which could have been presented in a better way. The struggle of a boy (transitioning into manhood) among abuses, poverty, violence and lack of a father figure sure generates empathy in the readers’ minds and makes us applaud the author for coming out of bad memories of childhood so beautifully. We are then transported in his youth and his ‘misadventures’ in that phase of life. While I was impressed at how high he was soaring profession, I cannot help but felt indignant about his infidelity. Had he not committed this blunder, I sure his life way have turned out to be happier right from the beginning. Although this blunder resulted in him having his bundle of joy (or joys, should I say)in his hands, but any satisfaction, any gift cannot justify this deed of his. We then meet a young father, testing his destiny and working hard to meet both ends meet and at the same time waiting to fly. The words in these pages sting your heart hard and you cry with the author and wipe your tears with the motivation provided by his son. As I have said earlier as well, the book ends abruptly. If only the authors have provided an insight into the world of the author’s company, this book would have soared heights. Also, the topic of the author’s relationship with his biological father and mentors is touched upon briefly and not explored fully. Encounters and relationships like these need more in depth writing. Apart from these glitches, this book is a good read over the weekend and acts as the best gift for budding entrepreneurs. You remember those childhood stories, completed with ups, downs and many morals at the end. This book is just like those stories, only for adults and not for children.

For me, this book stands at 3/5. I con’t believe I am saying this, the movies with the same name moved me more than the book. Probably it was Will Smith’s acting and presence on screen. Never mind, it’s always better to read the book than to watch a movie. Just for the heads up many parts are omitted from the movie, the focus being on the last part of the book only. So you will have to read the book anyways, to know the complete story. Or you can just refer to my blog (wink)!

I hope you had a better week than mine and you guys are better at handling your emotions when some faced with some tragic ends!!!

Until the nest next time, let’s reminisce about the good ol’ Big Bang Theory days!

Don’t forget to press the cute, little, white and blue ‘Follow’ button on my blog!

Cheers!

Fun things to learn from Avengers: Endgame

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Hello people! Hard to forget this amazing franchise so easily, isn’t it? It was iconic, the way people flocked over to theaters last month to bid farewell to MCU. From the fateful day , trust me, I have not been able to stop thinking about the legendary series…

Apart from chivalry, righteousness, team-work and all the other qualities that the Avengers stand for and how can I forget, deaths of characters that made cry our hearts (and eyes) out, there are some things which have not be thought over, yet.

So here are ten fun things which can be learnt from Avengers: Endgame, if you paid attention during the movie (alright , I understand we were invested emotionally )!

I hope with this blog, I don’t imitate World War III.

  1. Sass and humor can take you a long way, well unless you are Tony Stark and are endowed with a mission to save the universe…
  2. You can take Captain America’s famous shield for sledging (only if you happen to be Morgan!)
  3. Bigger your body size, bigger and better is your brain. (True fans get the reference immediately!)
  4. It is always better to eat your tacos inside, where there is less of winds and amazing distractions. In real life, no Hulk is kind enough to share one with you.
  5. Always dress accordingly when you travel back in time, as it could arise suspicion and you could get caught.
  6. It is for the greater good if you could make people revise your name at frequent intervals, if they are forgetful about it. Poor Rocket!
  7. Never let Star Lord and Thor get in an argument! We all know, who will win, with the deep voices and all (I am not going to reveal it). Well, it’s going to be a little heartbreaking for Quill.
  8. It’s for the best if you keep a tab on all the members of your group and their activities once you return from your heist. The consequences can be disastrous otherwise.
  9. You can always count on Thor to carry any style effortlessly be it cropped hair or sporting a French plait down his chain (this was hands down the best beard style I have ever seen)! Go Thor!
  10. No matter how weirdly you behave with people in the first meeting, there are chances you might impress them with your brilliant ideas that can change the course of event. That’s the story of my life, anyways!!!

Let me know in the comments section, if there are other things that I have missed out and need to be added in the list.

Also, don’t forget to follow my blog and enjoy the weekend!

P.S; This is probably the the shortest blog I have ever written. So *pat*, *pat*, I am learning how to write briefly! Big feat!!!

Cheers!

Kota Factory (web series): Review

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Hi guys! I am so fond of experimenting with a myriad of colors and hence these different shades every week. I would love feedback from you guys about the color of my blog page (I am going astray from the topic..so here we are all serious now…)

Although this blog is a little different from what I usually write about, but trying new things makes life more exciting and interesting. Doesn’t it? And the series (which I finished binge watching, again, yesterday) I am going to talk about in today’s blog, surely deserves a mention!

So here we begin!

For all my readers who are not familiar with this scenario, here’s a little background guide for you (remembering MUN’s, anyone)?

Kota is a well-established town in the state of Rajasthan, India, which houses a large number of pre- engineering and medical coaching institutes. Students in large numbers from all over the country, flock to this this town in hopes of undergoing extensive training to be granted admission into prestigious colleges. The extreme pressure of performing well, either make diamonds out of coals or break the existing coals. The struggle of a new student of coping with the life away from his comfort zone is depicted in the series.

Creator: Saurabh Khanna

Director: Raghav Subbu

Cast: Mayur More, Ranjan Raj, Alam Khan, Jitendra Kumar, Ahsaas Channa, Revathi Pillai

Streaming on: TVFPlay, Youtube

Plot

In a black-and-white frame, we meet a young, anxious,apprehensive boy, Vaibhav, who has migrated from his hometown to Kota, to get into one of the prestigious coaching institutes. His inability to crack entrance into the best coaching institute lands him in another one where his life changes. New bonds, new friendships, new memories, new romance, new courtships, new lessons, new responsibilities, new life- altering decisions and everlasting impressions are created on the way to fulfilling his dreams…until the fateful day which flips his world upside down.

Review

This is probably the first monochrome web series in the age of fine colors and precise definitions. You begin the series, expecting it to be a portrayal of how a student is crushed and defeated with all the pressure teeming around him, but you would be surprised and satisfied as the drama unfolds.A monologue from a seemingly “old school” professor breaks all stereotypes of orthodox teacher-student relationships and keeps you glued to watch the next episode. Further into the series, you find yourself wanting to envelope the protagonist in a warm, empathetic embrace (wow, I getting better at alliterations!)as he struggles to adjust in his now competitive, hostile and parent-less world. Here as well his teacher comes to his rescue and hence begins a new chapter of a newly made independent Vaibhav. Dealing with academic problems and dallying with an acquaintance(that too, with an academic undercurrent) sums up the latter episodes of the series.

The protagonist’s sidekicks and roommates Uday and Meena show you two different sides of the same world, one struggling to prove your worth to the world and the other, struggling to accept your inability to prove your worth.
The top-notch acting of the (stars-in-the-making studded) cast, strikes the cords of your heart and you start living each characters’ life through your eyes. Each actor displays the nuances of great (no wait, tremendously great) acting skills, but ultimately the adorable and naive Meena steals the limelight.

The writing and story is so bold ,gripping and realistic, you feel like giving the writers and creators a standing ovation. They have beautifully captured the details of everyday life of students and presented them to the world in the form of a cinematic luxury.

I think the black-and-white screen, the aerial shots (pointing to the zenith) are euphemisms for the harsh realities of life of the students. As the end of the series draws near, colors are fused in the screen and you left believing that Vaibhav has finally found a course, a direction and happiness in life.

Small incidents in the series light up your day, like, Meena unburdening his friend from the load of maintaining long-distance friendship, Vaibahv’s mother finally at peace when he adjusts himself aptly in his surrounding, Vaibhav paying gratitude to his teacher and many more. Uday’s portrayal of a boy struggling to fulfill his father’s dreams at the cost of his happiness is commendable.

Kota Factory isn’t just a web series but a cinematic experience that keeps everyone marveling at the creativity of story narration and presentation. There are few glitches that I have with the series. Firstly the creators used to upload one episode in a week and left you at a cliffhanger waiting for the next. And secondly, it ended way too soon. You feel, you just started knowing Vaibhav, learning to grow up in unfamiliar and uncharted surroundings and the next thing you know, you won’t be welcome in his world, until the next season.

This is without doubt, one of the best web series I have seen in a long time, barring Game of Thrones and a few others. So I would rate this series 4.5/5 and suggest everyone to add this to your must watch series. The best thing about this series is that, it provides subtitles for people who face a little trouble understanding Hindi.

Watch these series once and then we will discuss whether the episodes could mellow your heart and convince you to applaud Vaibhav and millions of others who face this struggle.

Before visiting YouTube to binge watch the series, do remember to follow my blog!

Cheers!

The Help: Book Review

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Hi everyone! I have now become a one-month old blogger! A question has been nagging me since the past few days…Am I still new in the blogging world? Should I change me tags?

Jokes,apart I hope something exciting happened with you over the weekend. My weekend was pretty mundane with an exception of buying three new books, which will be read and reviewed pretty soon!

Before beginning, can we just focus on the cover of the book? It’s not just a book cover, it is a piece of art in the truest sense. Just look at the bird in the center, doesn’t it appear to be speaking (or singing) to us through the cover? And of course the other two birds, a little distant and hesitant, but nodding their approval and supporting their leader! It you finish the book and glance at the cover once again, you will realize the three characters are the same. The leader etching her voice in our minds and the other two, supporting her! A big shout-out to the creator for such a brilliant portrayal of the theme! I hope one day my books are also privileged of having such brilliant pieces of art as their covers…

Summary

American author Kathryn Stockett pens down a beautiful story about different people and their lives, emotions, struggle, resistance, friendships, love, losses and victories. The story is set in the town of Jackson, Mississippi, where we meet three head strong women, Aibileen Clark, Minny Jackson ,colored maids who also help raise children and Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, a young graduate, who aspires to be a writer. Skeeter’s attempts of unraveling the mystery behind her family maid Constantine’s disappearance, leads her to a realization that colored maids are treated differently and they have to lead harsh lives. She then decides to bring this truth in front of the world,in the form of a book, with the help of all maids of her town. The pages of the book, bring the lives of all three protagonists together and leads o unexpected friendships, unexpected emotions, unexpected struggles and unexpected victories…

Writing Style

The books is divided into chapters in lieu of the characters and is a fine example of first-person narrative. Two of the three protagonists are black and stories from their point of view are refreshing. Apart from being strong, bold and unique, one remarkable thing about Stockett’s writing is that, it grasps the attention of the readers right from the beginning and never losses ground. It is hard to believe that it’s Stockett’s debut novel. Each character in the story has a story to tell and the articulate writing plays justice to every character, every incident in the novel.

Characters

Primarily there are three characters; Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny, but other characters like Mrs Hilly Holbrook, Mrs Celia Foote, Mrs Elizabeth Leefolt, Stuart Whitworth and Constantine Bates take the story forward.

Aibileen Clark: A colored maid in Mississippi who first introduces us to her world in the novel. She is a loving, caring and nurturing lady who has raised over a dozen white kids. She lost her only son, Treelore in an accident and misses his presence in her life. She is a courageous lady and the first maid who agreed to reveal the deplorable lives of the domestic help in the town to Skeeter. Her ability to hide her emotions in times of trouble give her a very calm and poised demeanor.

Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan: A fiery, young graduate, aspiring to be a writer against her mother’s wishes of getting married. She is a strong willed woman, who is ready to fearlessly face all the obstacles in the pursuit of her goal. She is one of the few people who never uses others to her own advantage and treats everyone equally. Her caring nature and gratitude for her loved ones know, no bounds. Her confident sense of humor is prevalent throughout the book.

Minny Jackson: The best cook in the entire town with an honest opinion, which she never fears to present to the world. She often tells her employers what she thinks of them, often resulting in her frequently getting fired from her jobs. In the early parts of the novel, she is shown to be afraid of her abusive husband, but over time she gathers courage and ultimately wins over her fears and starts her life anew sans her painful past and shackles. Her courage to share her stories, further inspires others as well and together they bring out a story, which is revolutionary and heartfelt at the same time.

Mrs Hily Holbrook: A egoistic racist and pretentious lady belonging to the elite circles of the society. Her vain pretense and attempts to uphold her honor causes rift between Skeeter and herself.

Mrs Celia Foote: An arch enemy of Mrs Hily Holbrook (although unbeknownst to her) and (an employer) and student of Minny. Her acts of defiance causes ripples in the ideal society.

Mrs Elizabeth Leefolt: Another vain and pretentious employer of Aibileen, who suffers from Postpartum Depression. Her antics and irresponsible behavior towards her child, make you wonder how the little child is blessed to have Aibileen around her, as you read along.

Stuart Whitworth: A dignified young man, who plays Skeeter’s love interest. He is the first person to know about the controversial book Skeeter plans to write, which he keeps a secret and supports her unwillingly.

Constantine Bates: Probably the most important character in the novel, according to me. She is Skeeter’s family maid, who disappears suddenly. Skeeter’s attempts to know about her whereabouts lead to the realization and hence the collection of stories from the servants’ quarters of the elite households.

Book Review

This debut novel by the author provides a fresh narrative of stories by the black community, a topic which has not been probed enough in the past. It also offers a contemporary style of writing, where different stories are narrated by different characters from a first-person perceptive. This book is like a colorful canvas of emotions. You feel angry, sad, happy and satisfied with each page you flip.

Instead of each character, I would like to say, each page has its own story to tell. The plot keeps you at the edge of your seat throughout its course and you feel robbed of a faithful companion as you finish the book. Complex relationships between each character is perfectly captured and eloquently described which multiplies the beauty of the book.The story which finally emerges from the debris of lies and secrets, shines bright against all odds.

How a novel can be both serious and savagely hilarious at the same time, is exemplified in this book. If only a little more light could be thrown on Minny, this novel would have escalated from being near perfect to absolutely perfect. Although you would be both surprised and shocked towards the end, when you find out what antic of hers had made Mrs Hily Holbrook vulnerable to the society. (Alright, no spoilers ahead!)

It is not just a good book to read, but it is life to be lived. So I would rate this book 3.8/5. Read this book once and trust me you will never be able to forget it in your lifetime. It becomes a timeless tale told through the pages of time.

(Let’s see if you remember what I always say at the end of each blog!)

Cheers!

A Happy Day!

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Hey people! I am so happy today! I am smiling even as I write this!!! There are two reasons behind my happy smile; one being a 10-kilometer drive I went along to test my driving skills for the first time ,yesterday. And the other; I am celebrating my blog’s ONE MONTH ANNIVERSARY!!! Isn’t it exciting! Honestly, I did not think I would come this far (lol, I know it’s not that far along)!

I began my journey into the world of blogging with poetry and trudging along I started writing travel blogs, book reviews, random organized thoughts and many more (follow my blog to find out more)! I can’t thank all the people who believed in me and joined hands with me on this new path and phase of life. Huge hugs!!!You guys already know that I published my collection of poems last year, right?

So today’s blog is a tribute to the past one month in which I racked my brains looking for new thoughts to share, virtually met new people, came across some beautiful thoughts by equally beautiful people and above all realized where my true calling lies! A tribute in the form of a poem from my book.

I hope you guys, enjoy this variation and lose yourself in the simmering magic of words.

Here’s my gift to my blog on its first one-month anniversary!

A Deferential Gift

His echoing footsteps filled the room,

The rays of hope coming in from the opened door,

Diminished the gloom.

I became still and excitement washed over me,

The bare canvas was eager to be a part of the enthralling spree.

I prayed to the Almighty amongst all the canvases,

I should be the one, where his brush strokes would paint the blank spaces.

With a piercing look around,

He choose me to make a picture, profound.

The artist sharpened his pencils and drew over my body,

For his masterpiece could not be tainted as shoddy.

An excruciating pain was felt over my heart,

On the path to perfection this, was just the start.

 Every day ,with every line drawn,

A fragment of my identity was gone.

Each day he drew to his heart’s delight,

I endured the pain for that one dazzling sight.

The next day a new pain was born,

When the artist began to erase what he had drawn.

After ten long days of this agony,

Came the real test of my gallantry.

I was being vibrantly painted into a picture, grand,

For I was to provide relief from ordinary lives; morose and bland.

With each stroke I was suffocated,

With each object brimming to life,

I was defeated.

Neither did I object , neither did I oppose,

While attaining peace, this was the destiny, I chose.

He relentlessly pursued bringing the canvas to life,

Little did he know, I was losing the strife.

Slowly I started losing my breath,

Nearing was my age old nightmare; death.

With a little life inside me, I heard,

I was embellished, which I could see with my vision, blurred.

Before the final show, a black cloth was drawn over my eyes,

I was the artist’s feat, that had to be prized.

Losing my identity did not matter,

As long I could provide peace from the chaotic clatter.

The serene painting into which I had been transformed,

He hoped, would keep the people united for long.

The infallible joy I experienced after losing my identity,

 I believed I could spread happiness and help people forget animosity.

An empty canvas that I was,

My sacrifice had ultimately found a cause.

This enlightening delight demands no gratitude,

Just people to smile eternally and shed their twofold attitude.

With this gift I bid adieu and leave the Man a message to fathom,

Join hands and make my sacrifice immortal, for, eras to come!

All rights reserved.

I would love to hear your stories of blogging and the ways you celebrate your blog-anniversaries. Share your stories with me in the comments section.

Also, click the follow button for more interesting thoughts and posts!

Love, celebrations and cheers!

License to Live: Book Review

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Hello readers! How’s your week going? I had a great week. You know I had cast my vote for the first time. I feel responsible (alright, let’s say symbolically responsible) now. Let me know in the comments section what were your experiences in casting your vote for the first time.

Before beginning, I want to ask a question from all of you. Did you guys know there a category of books that fall in the genre of ‘fiction inspiration’? I knew about two distinct categories of fiction and inspiration, but fiction inspiration, is new, isn’t it? I had no idea about this, before reading the novel. Well, I learnt a new thing today, coincidentally, in tandem with the theme of the book.

Summary

License to Live, by Priya Kumar is a novel that narrates the tale of a seeker on a journey of self discovery, a journey of happiness, a journey of life, about life,for life. The protagonist, a successful corporate guru, realizes that something is missing in her life. A chance encounter with a stranger turns her world upside down and motivates her to sign up for a bizarre seven day seminar for a whopping $25,000(approximately Rs 18,00,000 ) by one of the finest success coaches in the world. What follows is an exciting journey to the future, past and present (in the particular order), spread over three countries which forces Priya to reflect and learn something which she had always overlooked…

Plot

The plot is part fictional, part inspirational (now I know, that’s a thing). I am sure many of you will relate to the protagonist as you read about her internal struggle and dilemma in the early chapters of the book. The plot takes an interesting turn with each chapter and makes you turn the pages without stopping. While reading the book, you realize somewhere deep down, her journey has become your journey and her learning become your learning. You let go of your demons of the past, create new possibilities for future and learn to be in the present over the span of the seven day journey with Priya. Her accomplices become a part of your journey and you greet a brand-new-you as you close the book and brush your hand over the front cover.

Characters

There are primarily four characters in the novel, each on their own journey, this own mission.

We first meet Miss Priya Kumar, a successful corporate guru in the novel. She is unsure about finding contentment and happiness in her self-carved life and longs for fulfillment. She signs up for a bizarre seminar and in the process of completing assignments, she starts understanding life and taking responsibility for her every action. Her battles with the fears of future, guilt of the past and difficulty of being in the present is a true depiction of the internal battles we face each day. I think a rendezvous with her (even if it is though the pages of the book) is necessary for us to reflect on our actions and lead our lives in a better.

The most important character in the novel is Kurt Rinck, the best success coach the world has ever seen. His severe coaching methods and detached attitude towards his disciples make you wonder about the depth of his lessons and trust me you are not disappointed. He forces you believe in yourself and fight until you have achieved what you wanted to at the beginning of the journey. Although his presence in the book is minuscule, his powerful teachings and thoughts are enough to inspire you for a lifetime.

The other two characters in the novel are Priya’s two accomplices Uma and Karlos. The fellow disciples help her in the ultimate journey in unintended ways and the most difficult phases. These characters make you a realize, all the people who cross our paths, have to eventually leave one day, but what is important and worth remembering is the pinch of good that these people added in our lives.

Review

Let me be frank with you guys. This book is like a textbook that we used to study in school, complete with a page dedicated to instructions dictating how to read the novel. To be honest, I had not read that page in the beginning and had to start again because that page contained the necessary itinerary for the journey, I advise you to repeat the same mistake and follow the instructions diligently (read the book and you will know what I am talking about).

This book is the perfect guide for those looking answers about their everywhere, but within. It is book that can change your life, only if you put to practice what you read. Miss Kumar tries to reach you through her writing and urges you let go of your past, be in the present and create new possibilities for future. Be responsible, be courageous, take the plunge and contribute more for a more satisfying and fulfilling life. With bits of humor and sarcasm, you are bound to realize one thing, life is incomplete without one little thing; laughter. As you read the pages, you realize that this is the book you had been waiting for throughout your life, to bring a change. Keep in mind one thing, only you are responsible and capable to change your life, always.

What I felt was missing in the novel was ,an afterword after its abrupt ending. This was probably a nudge for us to rewrite our own destiny or a way the author adopted to tell us, life never stops, it moves along. Whatever it was, I feel with a little more insight in the character’s life after learning life’s greatest lessons would have added another aspect to the book.

If I were to rate this book, it would be 3.9/5. It’s worth a read at least once in your lifetime. Who knows with this you also realize your true calling and start to grow taller and stronger from your stagnant self?

Let me know if there are any books which you would like me to review.

And don’t forget to follow my blog.

Cheers!

The Mystery of the Talking Skull: Nostalgic Review

Hi guys! Enjoyed the weekend? My weekend was pretty awesome too. I had a pizza plus cheese garlic bread (they delivered it an hour late, but still) and watched Boss Baby. It’s a hilarious movie, you should definitely watch it sometime.

I also reread ‘The Three Investigators’ series. Pretty nostalgic, no? I am sure most of us have spent our childhood fantasizing about the mysterious adventures we embarked on with our (imaginary or real) friends. The only sad thing about these series, is that they are not longer printed and published. I have been in search of these books, since a long, long time. If anybody is willing to sell me those books, inbox me. PLEASE.

I had the fortune of reading one of the earliest editions of The Mystery of the Talking Skull, hence the tattered cover of the book, which I thought of sharing with you guys. Isn’t it grand? The smell of the book pages is so unique and triggers so many emotions at a single point of time. If you happen to be somewhere near my house, stop by and I will show you the book. Remember the book is only available for viewing purposes and NOT for lending or borrowing.

So today’s book review is a tribute to our childhood!

The Mystery of the Talking Skull by Robert Arthur Jr. is a novel of mystery genre involving three juvenile detectives Jupiter Jones, Peter Crenshaw and Robert Andrews. All it took was a dollar to set the wheels rolling for this mystery. A dollar which was paid by Jupiter for a battered trunk, belonging to a famous magician The Great Gulliver, who had vanished as mysteriously as his tricks. The trunk then attracted the attention of many queer magicians and gypsies. Even more bizarre were the contents of the trunk, including a skull which talks. What follows is the journey of those three young boys unraveling the mind-boggling mysteries of the the talking skull and the disappearance of the renowned magician.

The plot of the novel is extremely gripping and forbids you to rest until you have reached the end of the book. Since childhood, I had loved how the author had woven together strings of clues throughout the book and brought them all together at the end, to give a fantastic ending. And of course, beginning to my craving for adventures and solving mysteries(which sadly never happened to me, if you exclude searching my ‘lost’ notebooks with the help of chiding clues provided by my mother, *sigh*). You begin the novel assuming you will be able to solve the mystery before the protagonists do, but as the plot reaches its climax, you left with a dazzling and unique solution put forward by the detectives. The best thing about ‘The Three Investigators’ series is that, there is no specific order to read them. You begin from anywhere in the series and as you finish the first chapter, you feel assured to have know the characters since a long time.

What else can I say about the characters apart from what we already remember? The main characters resemble people we come across everyday in our lives, simple and ordinary with extraordinary abilities. You can count on Jupiter to amaze and leave you in splits with his imitations and actions. And not to forget, astound you with his spectacular deductive, observant and analytical skills. Peter with his impeccable hunch of sensing dangerous situations and providing the biggest clues to upturn the mystery, will charm you with his athletic, funny appeal and head-strong will. Robert (the character identified myself with the most; non-athletic and nerdy) is the backbone of the group. Any research to be done about the case, any news clipping to found for reference, any suggestion for solving the seemingly impossible clues, he is the person to turn to. The boys’ mentor and filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock is given a graceful and elegant part in the narrative. How he discovers the potential in young people, introduces them to this world of marvel and guides them is surely a treat for the eyes and mind. In the recurring characters, Aunt Matilda and Uncle Titus (Jupiter’s guardians) are my favorite. Their timely and comical comments can make anyone’s day. I wonder how they never suspected how Jupiter created an army of useful equipments for solving mysteries in their backyard!My parents would have defiantly found out about this, the very first day. How about your parents?

It is very difficult for me to rate this book, as it opens the channel to my childhood memories.You can’t rate memories, right? So I would just say these books are beyond rating and stars. These are pure gold! Just like the three question marks on the detectives visiting card(read the book to find out more), these books are unique, refreshing and eludes mystery right from the first glance.

Even if you haven’t read these in your childhood, read them in your adulthood and let’s see whether you are able to forget those childlike adventurous fantasies?

Let me know your thoughts on whether we should start an online book reading club for these rare books?

Also, don’t forget to follow my blog.

Cheers!

Tuesdays with Morrie: Book Review

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Hi guys! I hope everything is going well with you people.

The last two days have been full of adventure (I hope adventure is the right word) for me. For one thing, results of high school graduation examinations were out (you can congratulate me on passing with a decent percentage!) Secondly I finished reading a book which left me in both happy and sad tears (I am not a person to cry easily, otherwise)!

So today’s blog might be a little heartfelt and possibly urge you to read this book, this very instant.

When you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom is a memoir of interactions between a professor of sociology and his student, a renowned sports columnist and radio host. The beginning phrases of the novel begin with a depiction of graduation ceremony wherein a professor bids a tearful goodbye to a student (a rare sight, no?). The book then delves deep in the journey of the student as he grows up to face the harsh world, disconnects with his past and comes to know his coach, his professor is about to die. He comes to know that professor had contracted ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) two years ago and soon the disease will seize his entire body. Riots and strikes on his work front lead him to visit his frail professor every Tuesday and hence begins the journey of the student learning life’s greatest lessons from his teacher on the verge of death…

You begin reading this book expecting it to be a collection of monotonous spiritual teachings, but as you finish the book you realize, it is much more than that. It is about birth, death and the thing called life in between that matters. You cry, you laugh, you think, you reflect, you learn while reading the book and you start living after reading it.

You are bound to fall in love with the characters of the memoir and identify yourself with the protagonist seeking answers, seeking self-discovery, seeking life in its truest form. You tend to salute the old professor’s spirit to live life to the fullest and to find peace and humor in death. Going through the pages, you realize you have become a spectator in Morrie’s study, where his last class is held. You learn about life, about death, experience pain, happiness and loneliness with Mitch, sitting beside him.

What I loved about this book ,was ,that the student-teacher relationship provided both of them something they were looking for, throughout their lives. Morrie became a listener, a healer, a guide, a coach for Mitch and he in turn provided love and warmth to his teacher. This mutual relationship between the teacher and student changes their life forever and waits to change yours.

Another thing worth learning from Morrie is his undying spirit to bow down before the ultimate truth. He maintains his attitude of never pitying his -present condition and grieving about his past till the very end. His wisdom, his humor, his words leave you wishing for an encounter with a teacher like him.

This memoir is a flawless piece of literature and deserves to be read , reread and understood by each and every person on this Earth. I rate this book 100/10 and applaud Morrie for being a teacher who awakened life in death and Mitch for sharing a story, so pure, so serene, so beautiful with the entire world.

Just fourteen meetings of the ‘Tuesday people’, are enough to make you realize how unfair and short life can be and how dignified and strong we can be.

Morrie although you might not be with us today, but you never left us. We remember to love you and you continue to teach your students through your wise words and humorous tales.

I plead you to drop your urgent works and commitments for one day and read this novel to awaken yourself to the journey of self-discovery. You will not be disappointed, I assure.

Let me know in the comments section, were we on the same page, while reading this timeless tale.

Don’t forget the follow my blog!

Cheers!

Book Series that are must reads

Hello readers! This week seems to go by a snail’s pace, isn’t it? How I wish (like millions of others) that we could just fast forward to the weekend. Never mind, let’s focus on the bright side of things. First of all, I visited my Alma mater today after a long time (well, not long exactly, say about three months)!I don’t know why I had that anxious-nervous-excited look on my face before the actual event…even when everything went smoothly as I expected it to be.

You know when I have this exact same anxious-nervous-excited state of mind, well, when the story does not wrap up in a single novel and is continued in the form of book series. Do you also feel the same, as you read along to unravel the story further?

So here’s a list of book series (in no particular order)that you should read at least once before you decide to watch movies based on these! A bit of advice never judge a book by its movie.

  1. ROBERT LANGDON SERIES by Dan Brown
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All of these novel begin with our protagonist, Harvard Symbology Professor Robert Langdon, finding himself in midst of a controversial adventure. Hence begins his quest to uncover a hidden truth that could change the world, by solving symbols that pose as obstacles, with different allies in each novel. The plot of each book involves a scientific mystery and religious, philosophical revelation that makes the series all the more interesting to read. The thrilling twists and turns make you wonder what would happen at the next step and perfect for readers who have an inclination to read mysteries and science fiction novels. Trust me, when you start reading these books, you will find it difficult to stop yourself from turning the next page and read further, even if you have been sleep deprived for three days straight!

2. HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY by Suzzane Collins

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How life gives unexpected presents to us, is beyond comprehension. I picked these books in a bookstore for gifting to a friend, however what I did not know was, these books would open doors to a new literary world for me. Imagine an arena where twenty-four adolescents have to mercilessly slaughter each other to ensure a continuous supply of food in their homes. It is such a horrifying sight to even think about! It is a story of two such adolescents Katniss and Peeta ,who disgusted by this, struggle against the ultimate authorities to bring a change and in the process lose everything they feared to lose. It is a perfect illustration of how deep embedded harsh realities of life could be changed just by love and willingness to change and adapt. Read these over a long break and you will never be able to forget the fiery Katniss and calm Peeta who changed your life forever.

3. SHERLOK HOLMES SERIES by Sir Author Conan Doyle

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Looking for adventure, mystery and thrill? Go to 221 B Baker’s Street and savor these with a splash of witty comments throughout the day! Complete with four novels; ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ , ‘The Sign of the Four’, ‘ The Valley of Fear’ , ‘A Study in Scarlet’ and sixty short stories, this thick book would not let you leave your seat until you are through with it. These series would leave you wanting for your own mystery to unravel with your friend (hopefully, somewhat like Dr. Watson)! The perfect time to read stories larger than life is NOW. Let’s see if you can break my record of reading it, in five days straight! Let me know in the comments section, if you were able to achieve this feat.

4. HARRY POTTER SERIES by J.K Rowling

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Welcome to the world of witches,wizards, spells, potions,wands and a lot more excitement, which will make wish desperately for a letter from Hogwarts. A story revolving around an orphaned boy, the only person who could survive a death spell by the darkest, most powerful wizard ever know in the history of magic. After spending the first eleven years of his life in an unhappy home, the doors of the magical world welcome him with open arms and hence begin the battle between The Chosen One and The Dark Lord. The seven books in the series are a complete package of love, action, mystery, excitement, teenage rebellions and powerful resolutions and revolutions which will definitely make you reminisce about your childhood. Accio Harry Potter books!

5. SHIVA TRILOGY by Amish Tripathi

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A series about a journey of a man with extraordinary abilities, becoming a God. The first part of the fictional trilogy focuses on the protagonist’s journey of becoming a leader, a champion of the masses and the proceeding novels focus of him mobilizing people for a battle to bring change. Each novel has something new to offer to the reader, right from the relationship Shiva shared with his wife, sons, family, friends, people to the personal dilemmas he had to face and sacrifices he had to make for the greater good. These books are a real hit among people of all ages. Read these series sometime and lose yourself in the journey of a man with jagged locks, with a serpent around his neck, famous for his destructive dance ‘Tandava’, a loving husband, a doting father, a fierce warrior who ultimately became the ‘Mahadev’.

6. ME BEFORE YOU TRILOGY by Jojo Moyes

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This was the first love story that I red (not too fond of love stories and expected to not like this one), instead of disliking it, I fell in love with the story. The series unravels the twisty-turny life of Lou, a free-spirited girl after she is employed to look after a quadriplegic, Will. She falls in love him and despite several attempts is not able to convince him to change his mind about assisted suicide. She is devastated by his death but continues to move ahead with what he taught her, living. Living to the fullest. She decides to shift bases and begin anew, where she meets someone who changes her life once again. Circumstances force her to leave behind her old life and start again, but this time, she has learnt how to treat herself better and let go of of her past, which had been stopping her since a long time…With the first page you turn, you start living your life through Lou’s eyes and love her life through your eyes…

7. PERFECT FLAWED SERIES by Cecilia Ahern

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Like love stories, young adult novels are not my cup of tea, but this series deserves a mention in this list. The words in these novels depict the world of a society where the people are not divided on the basis ‘rich-poor’ , ‘haves-have nots’, ‘males-females’ but ‘flawed’ and ‘unflawed’. The society bows down towards the unflawed and the choicest of humiliations and reserved for the flawed. A young girl Celestine’s world turns upside down, when she is caught aiding a flawed and herself declared one. She gathers courage and dares to do one thing that had never been attempted before; she dares to challenge the system and her destiny. Along with her family and united group of fellow flawed people, she establishes a new social structure of logic with compassion. If you want a break from the serious novels (the type which I usually like), you can read these series. And a humble suggestion, read these with logic and compassion!

8. LORD OF THE RINGS SERIES by J.R.R Tolkien

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How can I leave behind the war saga of The Ring in the fictional world of Middle Earth in this list? The saga begins with the Dark Lord Sauron losing The Ring which gives him immense power. The scene then cut to centuries later, when a Hobbit, Bilbo comes across the ring and hence begins the tale that ensure bloodshed, merciless killings and revelation and various dark secrets in the battle of power. It’s such an interesting series, that if I give away the spoilers, I would feel that I am ripping my heart out (its extremely painful)! So read it out yourself and let me know would you spend your lifetime with this book than facing all the harsh realities of the world, alone?

9. CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C.S. Lewis

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Well, undoubtedly these are, one of the best science fiction-fantasy book series written in the history of literature! It illustrates the adventures of the Pevensie children in the magical world of Narnia (which they enter through a magical wardrobe in their house). They establish their own rule, fight the evil White Witch, save and rescue Prince Caspian over the course of these novels. Each visit to Narnia escalates into a new adventure for the children and a new delight for the readers. I read these books over the course of two years, for I never could lay my hands on all the books at a single point of time. I hope this doesn’t happen to you and you enjoy the adventures of Narnia, uninterrupted.

10. DAIRY OF A WIMPY KID SERIES by Jeff Kinney

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Alright, alright, I know I offended some people right there. I know these graphic novels do not qualify to be authentic literature but trust me, these are worth a read. The protagonist of these ‘novels’ is a wimpy boy, Greg who documents his life in a journal. His methods of avoiding a fight with his younger sibling, trying to stay out of way of his elder brother, his encounter with bullies and incidents highlighting his laziness would leave you splits. These novels can be finished in two hours each, so in two days time, you can proudly say, you finished an entire novel series!

P.S: Some of the incidents and characters in the books might resemble to some people, which I think was (un)intended by the author!

So let me know in the comments section, whether you likes any of these book series and then let’s have a discussion about these over a cup of coffee.

Also, don’t forget to follow my blog, in the excitement of buying and reading these books!

Cheers!

The Duchess: Book Review

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Hello again! I still can’t over the Endgame fever…

Never mind, let’s begin with today’s book review. I have to say one thing though, although I don’t know the team behind this splendid cover, but the make-up, jewelry and the close-up shot is on point. Kudos to the team for that!

This story by Danielle Steel revolves around an eighteen year old Angelique Latham, orphaned after her father the Duke of Westerfield ‘s death who finds herself employed as a nanny at an abusive and eccentric household. Grating circumstances force her to quit her job and shift bases to Paris. After helping a wounded, young woman from the streets, she decides to venture into a business unsuitable and unthinkable for a high born, timid, tranquil Duchess like her.

Let me know in the comments section, if you were able to guess the profession (honestly speaking, I could not!)

Alright then, let’s talk about the plot. It is undoubted a fast paced and well plotted novel, my only problem with it, is its short length. The author focuses on the protagonist’s life before the business venture a little too much, leading to a shorter time span dealt with her life during and after the business wraps up(attention, spoiler alert)! The plot flows swiftly from one phase of her life to another generating respect for the character for struggling to survive in the world, alone , instead of sympathy. The unexpected twists surely keep you at the edge of your seat as you read along the lines. The conclusion is both thrilling, intense and satisfying at the same time. Rest assured you will have a dazzling smile on your face as you put down this book, after finishing it!

Knowing it’s Danielle Steele, you will find that the characters never go astray from the plot. Each character has its own deep embedded character graph which evolves during the course of the novel.

The protagonist eighteen year old Angelique Latham is a head strong lady, who becomes an accomplished businesswoman, doting wife and responsible mother in a small fraction of time. Every role she dons, she performs it to the best of her abilities. Being the aristocratic businesswoman, her aim of earning great profits never overshadowed her concern for the well being of her workers. Her life comes a full circle after the birth of her son; what she could not ear for herself, she earned for him.

Andrew, an ambitious politician and Angelique’s husband is an open-minded, unorthodox and righteous man. He always supported and loved his wife, despite knowing the truth about her, which could have ruined his political reputation and their marriage. What I feel is that his character should have been highlighted a bit more, but I guess like Khal Drogo’s death, I will have to make my peace with his as well!

Angelique’s stone-hearted brothers play an important role in providing her a platform to prove her mettle to the world, and ultimately bringing her one step closer to her destiny.

All the other characters in the novel, including her former employers, her business partners, her business clients, her old servants and her friends all have something to teach her and help her in establishing herself as a mastermind in the business arena.

This novel bring fresh, ground -breaking ideas to light. It provides an appreciable combination of melancholy, satisfaction,thrill, new rules and ideas of running a business(I doubt whether anyone was inspired by this)and a heart felt struggle of surviving, failing and emerging as a victor among all odds . The only problem is the division of novel. Steel spends too much time in establishing a sturdy base for her character, which ultimately leads to less focus on areas and characters which should have been highlighted (Steels and I have a lot in common, when it comes to writing, I suppose, winks). If you read the novel, you will be able to understand my point in a better light.

Apart from this one literary glitch, this novel for me stand at 4.1/5. Let’s see if you rate this novel, the same as I did. Tell me in the comments section how you liked the novel.

Till then, let’s dream about the weekend and don’t forget to follow my blog.

Cheers!

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter: Book Review

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Hello people! Watched the ‘Avengers Endgame’ yet? Don’t worry I won’t give away the spoilers in this blog, so you can scroll down without any worries or anxiousness(I know how hard spoilers hurt)!

So this blog is officially my first book review. I hope you guys don’t judge me too harshly…

Before beginning I just want to point out the title of this book, hands down, is too interesting and complex to comprehend in one go and gives you varied ideas. I had so many ideas that I don’t even remember which I settled on before starting to read this book. Let me know which all ideas you had (if you have not read the book yet). So coming to the theme, it is no doubt a great theme to write a book about, but I feel the execution could have been a little different and a little more focus could have been on Pheobe, the memory keeper’s daughter. Nevertheless it’s a great novel to read and book lovers can be assured that your weekend will be well spent, it you decide to read this book in one go.

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards is a story of complex human actions, emotions and relationships. It is divided into five time periods; 1964, 1965, 1970, 1977, 1989.It begins with Dr. David Henry, an orthopedic surgeon forced to deliver his twins in a desolated hospital (wow, what an adventurous way to be born! Sorry let’s get serious again…) with the assistance of hospital nurse, Caroline Gill. Dr. Henry’s twins turn out to be a perfect, healthy boy Paul and a baby girl Pheobe born with Down’s Syndrome and has bleak chances of survival. To protect his wife, Norah from the grief of losing a child, he decides to send to an institution with Gill’s assistance while declaring the infant dead to the world. Unable to leave the little girl to fend for herself in the institution, Gill decides to shift bases and raise Pheobe as her own child away from the prying eyes of the world…

Talking about the characters, it’s a tough one as each character has a story in itself. David (on whose daughter the whole story should have been weaved , but never mind!) the doting husband before the birth of his children, struggles with his demons and is never able to conquer them after that life-altering event. He shoulders his responsibility of being a father perfectly, but somewhere fails himself as a husband and a protector of his children. You should definitely read this book to understand his dilemma,his choices and his deep rooted sense of being a protector.

Norah the ideal wife and mother who never could get over her daughter’s death. All her attributes find roots to one event of her life. Her ability to feel something amiss in her life, yet her inability to see it makes her strong and vulnerable at the same time.

With her determination to raise a baby with special needs, alone and set everything right makes Caroline Gill outshine throughout the book. Both her inner conflict and comfort are reflected through out the novel through her actions (for many its through expressions, hence the point). We need more courageous characters like her to inspire us in our lives.

Both Paul and Pheobe are different yet same in one and all ways. Both have a determination to prove their mettle to the world, to accept, to forgive but the author never allows us to get a satisfying glance in their world. (sad, no?)

All the other characters help to take the story forward in justifying manner. Nevertheless, I loved each character to the core and I feel, it made my read worthwhile.

The plot twists and highlights of the novel are surely one of its strengths although a little more focus should been on Pheobe (as said before). The conclusion of the novel is intense and gives rise to various emotions in the reader’s mind at the same time, rendering it useless for him to decide how the scheme of things which characters are victims of self guilt and which ones are of circumstantial brutality. The novel hit the emotional and physiological corners of my soul and made me question whether protection ultimately leads to hurt and pain?(Too deep, right?) It provides to right dose of happy moments, moments to be proud of, moments to smile about, melancholic moments and most importantly moments to be remmeberd for a lifteime.

So for me, this book is definitely 4.1/5 for me and should defiantly be on your book shelf. (Two many definitelys in one sentence, pun intended! )

Go ahead and read this book and my book review and be a kind-hearted while judging the two things!

Take a deep breathe and live the long week ahead and don’t forget to subscribe my blog!

Cheers!

Books to read while travelling.

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Hello readers! See true to my promise , I have already started to be a little more regular than the last break…

Talking of breaks it’s almost the end of April and many of us are gearing to enjoy the upcoming breaks. I know many of you have already made plans and preparation to visit exotic places during this time of the year. However for book lovers, any trip isn’t complete without them perched near a window seat with a thick book in hand. The companionship of reading while travelling is bliss for them!So for all the book lovers put there, here’s a list of books that you must read while travelling. All of these are paperback editions, so that one worry (of the books being damaged), is off your list.

5. LIFE OF PI by Yann Martel

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A thrilling memoir of a young boy, Pi Patel surviving a shipwreck with a zebra, hyena,orangutan and Royal Bengal Tiger in a lifeboat can surely make your journey more exciting than you expected! The book is divided into three parts. The first part focusing on the protagonist’s childhood spent in India. His family owns zoo in the picturesque Indian district of Pondicherry and he shares a cordial relationship with the animals, specially the Royal Bengal Tiger, Richard Parker. During the Emergency, his father decides to shift bases to Canada and from here begins the second part of the novel. This throws light on journey of the protagonist, his family and zoo animals in a ship vessel, which later drowns in the sea. How Pi combats the harsh difficulties with animals on board in a life boat and manages to saves his life could turn into an exhilarating read during the trip. The final part of the novel reveals a grown up Pi narrating two versions of his story to a novelist and asking him to choose one among them for his novel. As you read along the pages, you will realize the novel focuses on the theme of journey of life between two places with varied companions and companionships in the face of difficulties and moments of happiness similar to your journey to beautiful locations! So go ahead with this book in your luggage and enjoy your vacations!

4. EAT ,PRAY ,LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Ever thought of going on a solo trip to discover yourself? Or just reading book about the same theme to get inspired? For all those looking for inspiration, this book is just perfect for you. Well, isn’t it a coincidence, that I read this book on a trip to mountains myself? A larger than life story about young, successful Elizabeth Gilbert takes you on a journey from losing belief in life to finding it back and loving yourself. We see (or read about) a determined Elizabeth Gilbert planning a solo trip to three countries with varied cultures after finalizing her divorce.Like the previous book, this one too is divided into three distinct parts. The first one deals with the leading lady’s adventures in Italy, mainly with nourishing herself with food. The second part is pictured in India. The smell of incense sticks and the peaceful chants of prayers will reverberate in your ears, as you read Elizabeth’s account of her days in India. The third part follows Elizabeth in her journey of finding the love of her life in Indonesia. You will enjoy the book with its light -hearted and positive instances on your voyage or even otherwise. It’s one of those books which , once you start reading can’t be put down without finishing. And loving them at the same time. It is surely a journey worth remembering for life. Or in Gilbert’s words, ” A journey of ‘I’ in countries starting with ‘I’; Italy, India and Indonesia.

3. THE MOTHER I NEVER KNEW by Sudha Murthy

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A collection of two novellas about understanding the roots of one’s life and in the process discovering some startling truths. The Mother I never knew is a collection of accounts of two men Venkatesh and Mukesh both on a journey of uncovering a grave truth. Venkatesh’s world is turned upside down, when he stumbles upon a look alike of his and shares his father’s name. Upon further investigation he finds out about his father’s another marriage and a family he never knew existed before. Venkatesh’s determination of making amends for his father’s behavior and how he unburdens himself from guilt forms the crux of this story. The other story deals with a young, grieving man Mukesh, who finds out he is adopted after his father’s death. With a troubled mind he sets forth on a journey of uncovering the truth about his birth. During this trip to his past he discovers how he was nearly abandoned at birth by hew unwed mother, how his was ill-treated by his foster family and how he finally found love in the arms of his old, frail mother he had left behind, in this pursuit. The heartfelt journeys of two different men with a similar agenda in mind would add a soul-satiating breath to your journey. Do read it once and lead yourself to the warm embrace of love and care in the arms of the ones closest to you…

2. WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR by Dan Millman

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Half fictional and half autobiographical book based on the early life of gymnast and author Dan Millman will surely lead to a new you during your journey. A college going gymnast Dan is frequented by a nightmare of having an encounter with Death and being saved by an old man. In the days that follow, he meets the man from his dreams at a petrol pump and is intrigued by his ideologies. Over time, Dan asks the old man, whom he addresses as Socrates, to guide him in finding happiness. Socrates trains him physically, spiritually, mentally in seeking answers to his questions. These interactions seem to change something within Dan and he starts living his life until a tragedy strikes. A leg injury rob him of gymnastics and Socrates help him in healing once more. One thing worth learning from this book is that happiness is in the journey itself and not in the destination. Dan finally discovers himself later in life after a failed marriage and realizes that the answers that he was long searching for were always in front of him. Always with him. As you wind down the mountains or ride through the sand dunes, do read this book and question yourself which answers are you seeking. And for a matter of fact, our mind and souls work better when surrounded by nature(wink, wink)!

  1. MALGUDI DAYS by R.K Narayan

So the best one for the last once again!

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Although it is not a novel, it is a collection of stories, but for a light -hearted, soulful read, this surely makes the cut. It revolves around a young boy Swamynathan and his adventures with his family and friends. For all those who are familiar with Indian culture, this book would make you revisit your childhood memories and laugh at the flimsy excuses we used to come up with to save ourselves from scolding. For all the others, a humble piece of advise, read this book once and the next time you remember your childhood, this book would surely find its mention in your nostalgic moments.What makes it different from other books and novels is that the protagonist is a child and all his childlike views and questions about the world makes us question our long forgotten curiosity and eagerness. Kudos to the author for keeping the child alive in himself and then through these pages for all of us to savor. After finishing this book, don’t forget to give a call to your old friends and teachers and laugh heartily once again with them!

So here’s my list of books that you should read on journeys. Do tell me which place you visited and which of these books you read there in the comments section. But at the same time, don’t forget to enjoy the trip at the same time and click loads of pictures…

So till the next time, enjoy the weekend vibes (long needed!) and don’t forget to follow my blog!

Cheers!