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Review of “Kashmir 90” by Vineet Mishra

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Kashmir 90 by Vineet Mishra
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I give 4 stars to “Kashmir 90” by Vineet Mishra. It is a story from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

This is pretty good book on marriage, love, life and some events that shook India. You will feel the trials and tribulations of the lead character Shiv Pandit and his friend Vineet as your own.

The story starts with marital problems of Vineet and Mallika. They are a typical modern couple who has a lot of money but stress, no time for each other and rushed, tired life as side effects or price for that money. Shiv Pandit is always gregarious friend of Vineet. One fine day they meet for beer and Shiv is not in a joyous mood. He also rues that his life has become routine and dull. Vineet feels he can find remedy for his problems in Shiv’s experience. Shiv tells him that his story started from Srinagar, Kashmir. He joined Regional Engineering College, Srinagar in mechanical engineering. There he meets love of his life Maya who is from Kerala and jo…

Review of “Shold I hate or love” by Kisnaa

I give 2.5 stars to “Should I hate or love” by Kisnaa.
The story is simple love story between Aayan and Siya. Aayan a simple, innocent, intelligent and hardworking boy. But he is from a dysfunctional family with a sadistic step dad. Siya is a beautiful simple girl in his class. They fall in love. They come close and then grow apart. This all happens in flashback. All this is being told by Aayan to Samaira, his current girlfriend. This is the story of Aayan journey from Siya to Samaira.
Though there is one boy and two girls, it is not a love triangle in traditional sense. Because Samaira comes when Sia leaves him. The story is moving and romantic. Lovers of genre will  like it immensely. Each chapter has one or two Hindi Kavita (Poems) which are also translated in English. Which shows that author is proficient in both Hindi and English as well as Poetry and Prose.
The story gives some gyaan too like doing things for happiness.
“You always take care of your health. Sometimes unhygieni…

Review of Adhira by Aditti

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Adhira: Love Lost & Found by Aditti Gaur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Friday, 4 November 2016 Review of Adhira by Aditti

Adhira: Love Lost & Found Adhira: Love Lost & Found by Aditti Gaur My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adhira by Aditti Gaur (one t more maybe numerology), I give this book four stars. Thank you Tushti Bhatia and author for providing me a review copy.

Adhira gives us a glimpse of how an independent woman reacts when life throws complex situations at her. The pace of book is very slow. But it is an interesting read. Aditti has a very deep understanding of women’s emotions. Adhira is very emphatic and compassionate.

Long distance marriages are a difficult thing to maintain and responsibility of women like explained below: “In this patriarchal society, no matter how successful a woman became, her real worth is measured based on how successful she was in handling her marriage, children, husband and other relationships”.

The love hate kinda relationship between Adhira and her f…

Review of Love Forever @ Rajpath

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Love Forever @ Rajpath by Kalpana Mishra
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love forever @ Rajpath Approved …. As proposed by Kalpana Mishra, I give this book three and half stars. Thank you Tushti Bhatia and author for providing me a review copy.

As they say love is blind but in this case it is not so. Both protagonist Shalini and Kartik are very driven, intelligent, sensible and level headed. Their love is anything but blind. It is sweet simple love story, a classic office romance.

Shalini Pahilajani (surname is a tongue twister. Can’t figure out how to pronounce it) is a very intelligent and hard working girl. She is selected as a group B officer in Central Government and posted in a ministry located in one of the many Bhawans scattered around Rajpath. Kartik Vats is also posted in the same bhawan. Hence the name Love forever @ Rajpath. I will come to second part later. Shalini is a Sindhi whose family came from Pakistan during partition. Shalini does not want to marry as she thinks the marria…
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Ashvamedha - The Game Of Power by Aparna Sinha
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ashvamedha by Aparna Sinha, I give this book 3.5 stars. Hats off to a woman author to write an english thriller mystery in India. Thank you Tushti Bhatia and author for a review copy.

Come on a thrilling ride. Please suspend the belief and just enjoy. You will get your money’s worth and much more. The action start from first page with an accident and kidnapping and it is relentless till end. There is no slack moment except the unnecessary love track between Ashwin and Adya. Except that the action and thrill is unending and relentless.

It is a welcome break to see a thriller from an Indian writer that too from a woman (except maybe Ashwin Sanghi). The market is overflowing with mushy romance. It is said that Indian reader wants nothing but romance. So it is very courageous from Aparna to write a thriller mystery in English. There are many thriller mystery writers in Hindi; most prominent being Ved Prakash Sharma and …
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The Three Wise Monkeys by Jeet Gian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A solid 3.5 starts. Thanks Saheli Chatterji and author to provide me a review copy.

The author is a CA and the book is about money laundering. Though the book is light heated in approach but it deals with a serious issue of money laundering through bogus off shore companies. The book explained the concept in such a simple and interesting way that even a layman like me understood. There is an ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) or you may also call him/ her Unknown Beneficial owner ;). Then a chain of bogus companies is set up in countries like Belize, Panama, British Virgin Island, Cyprus and Cayman island etc. Then through these countries the money is finally parked into Switzerland. Even the name of UBO can be hidden by using share register or MOA. These countries are called tax heavens and they have double taxation avoidance treaty with India. So if the money is taken through this route it is almost impossible to trace it back …

Review of Raven Song by Ashcroft

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Raven Song by I.A. Ashcroft
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Raven Song (Inoki's Game, #1)
by I.A. Ashcroft
Format : Epub
Review copy provided by: Author Assistant
Star Rating: 3 stars
I was provided a review copy and thanks Author Assistant for that.
The book is set into not so distant apocalyptic future. There is radiation harming humans. The Geiger counter is everywhere. The main protagonists are Jackson and Anna. The story is meandering and confusing. It reminded me of Kurt Russel movie Escape from L.A. One reason maybe that it is just part one of four part series. So the story is just building and it will pick up pace later on. It is strictly a one time read.

Some excerpts:
The men are disposable machines as explained beautifully below:
“Besides, the Coalition will need your services in the future. Sort of stupid to poison you all now.”
The argument was quite logical.
______
Anna wakes up in a daze naked:
“She noticed then, in a distant way, that her palms felt only bare skin. Anna looked down,…

Ketamine

Ketamine
2 Oct 2016 Dev Chakravarti was having coffee with Aditi at Starbucks. ‘Dev, don’t you become bored with chasing all these drug lords and criminals. It is such a boring field I guess. How do you feel being ACP, Homicide, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)?” Aditi teased him. “Dear what you do by the way? MAM of Spiel advertising.” Dev asked. “I study consumer habits and spot trends.” she said. Dev phone buzzed. Name of Mohammad Najeeb, ACP, anti Narcotics branch of NBI flashed. He listened the call for full five minutes. Then he remained lost in thought. After five minutes when the silence became too much Aditi touch his hand lovingly. He came out of his reverie. “What?” She asked. “That’s cool yaar. Can you do a study of consumer’s trend of a drug for me Aditi.” “Which one?” “Ketamine.” “What is the need?” “There are murders committed because of this as far as I know. Ganesh and Najeeb are already there. I have to go now.” “I want to come with you.” “OK. Tag along. We have to reach M…

Stolen hope

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Stolen Hope by Shubha Vilas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A solid five hundred stars. The copy is provided to me by Sh Shubha Vilas as a token of affection with these remarks.

“Dear Rajan! Here is a book that integrates Ramayan with our lives….and hoping that these life lessons become your life time companions.” Regards Shubha Vilas

This is not an ordinary book. This is a gem. This is an epic. This is not merely a retelling of Ramyana. It is interpretation of it. It has pearls of wisdom. You can not give it a casual reading. It is so intense and enlightening you have to read each page 5-6 times so as to get the full meaning. It gives the deeper meaning of actions of various characters especially lord Rama.

Sample some of the pearls of wisdom:

1. At the right time, when the desire to control is not given up voluntarily; it will be taken away involuntarily.
2. Responsibility is not a choice it’s an honor.
3. Nonfulfillment of our desires is not always someone else’s fault.
4. The lowest nature of a…

When my father cried

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When My Father Cried by Manisha Bhatia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A solid five stars. This is a debut novel of extremely talented Manisha Bhatia.

The copy is provided to me as a token of affection with these remarks

“Dear Rajan! With lots of love and best wishes for today and glorious future tomorrow. God bless.” Manisha.

From here itself the compassion of author is evident. For a debut novel quality is first rate. You don’t feel you are reading a novel of a first time author. It reads like a work of a veteran.

This is a tome of a book. It is thick and above that the font is small and line spacing is single. There are almost 400 pages. So when I first got it I felt daunted by its sheer size. But once you start you will fall in love with Malini Malhotra and you wish that the book never end. It is simply unputdownable.

I identified with her and her emotions. To tell you the truth I cried with her and laughed with her.

Ms Bhatia has written with a lot of heart.

In the end I reproduce the part p…

Lemon girl

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Lemon Girl by Jyoti Arora
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very good book. Thanks to Jyoti for providing me a review copy.

The man woman equation in our society is still skewed. It is good that I read it after watching pink. The story of lemon girl gives the same message. Is rape the mistake of girl? Is she too inviting through her dress or manners so that the boy became horny?
Jyoti points this out beautifully:

‘How can anyone treat a victim as culprit and the culprit as victim? If a rapist is a victim. of temptation, then all thieves and robbers and corrupt people are blameless too because they too are victims of temptation and opportunity.’

It is story of Arsh and Nirvi, the Lemon Girl. It is told form their point of view in alternate chapters. There are other characters too like Tia, Kusum, Sam etc but protoganists are Arsh and Nirvi. Nirvi is a happy go lucky girl when Arsh first meets her. Then she is raped by her own brother and her mother blames her. She hates them for it and lea…

Let the game begin

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Let The Game Begin by Sandeep Sharma
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks Mr Sandeep Sharma for providing me a review copy. A solid 3.5 stars.

I lost hope on Indian writers because apart from Ashwin Sanghi everybody is writing either romance or Myth. So this book is very refreshing. This covers a very long time span, 4000 years to be excat (now that is something). The basic outline is given in blurb and saying more will give away the plot. I hate to give spoilers of a mystery thriller.

It starts with two kingdoms Chaturang and Sarprakt and comes to present day India. There was a massacre in the past and it is/ will be repeated on the highest functionaries of the Indian Government to low level persons. The killer always leaves a chess piece at the crime scene. The game of chess is very intelligently integrated into the plot.

The language is very simple but there are many grammatical mistakes which are eyesore. sometimes the author try to use flowery language and complex/ compound sentences an…

Grinning gorilla

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The Case of the Grinning Gorilla by Erle Stanley Gardner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very enjoyable. I completed it very fast. Like i used to in younger days. Do i need to say more





Some excerpts :

“You don’t get to understand human nature,” Mason said, “by listening to what people tell you when they’re talking to you.”




“You don’t?” Fallon asked, surprised.




Mason shook his head. “That’s when you see them with their make-up on, with their best foot forward. You learn about human nature by watching people when they don’t know they’re being watched, by listening to conversations that they don’t know are being overheard, by prying into their thoughts whenever you can find what their true thoughts are. You learn about people when you see their souls stripped naked by suffering.”
________

Mason’s eyes narrowed. “Addicks was experimenting along modern lines, trying to make animals neurotic. And he had some peculiar ideas about hypnotism. Apparently he felt that a man could not be put into such a deep h…

Amorous aunt

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The Case of the Amorous Aunt by Erle Stanley Gardner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a tedious read. The narrative is convoluted. I did not like very much.


Some excerpts :

Della Street, Perry Mason’s confidential secretary, said, “A couple of lovebirds have strayed into the office without an appointment. They insist it’s a matter of life and death.”


“Everything is,” Mason said. “If you start with the idea of perpetuating life, you must accept the inevitable corollary of death—but I presume these people aren’t interested in my philosophical ideas.”

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The prediction

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THE PREDICTION by Swarupa Chavan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book about something which gives you a peek into future call it ESP, Premonition, sixth sense, intuition or clairvoyance. This is also about levitation. Science does not accept these things but as a character in book explains

" Well Mr Tandon, despite the difficulty in understanding precognition, it is easiest form of ESP and has been tested and proved. The most popular theory holds that precognition is a glimpse of [possible future that is based upon present conditions and existing information, and which may be altered depending upon acts of free will." Dr Mehta countered.

This is not a happy gay book. This is very dark and depressing and the protagonist Tia is a cursed soul or so she thinks due to this gift or curse of ESP. She predicts death of her mother and her whole family especially her father distance from her. She is sent to a boarding where again unfortunate things happen. Without giving away much it …

Rukhast departure

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Rukhsat The Departure by Sujit Banerjee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thnx Sujit Banerjee and goodreads for providing a review copy of the book.

Well this is supposed to be a short story collection. Which in a sense it is. I dont know what to say about it.

Let's start with length. Stories are short and you can finish some of them in less than 5 to 10 minutes.

Language is pretentious sometimes but most of the times it is normal english. Nothing great but it conveys what it wants. Take an example of first story Abhimanyu The Beginning passage

"Moments pass. Or are they days, months, years, decades, centuries? Moments that hesitate between darkness and the lush green of ripe field. Moments caught amidst the smog of city that is in a hurry to reach somewhere, but still not sure where."

Does it convey something? Maybe to author or a reader who can make something out.

Lets go to technique and structure. Stories have characters, dialogues and their interplay, emotions and psyche.

These s…

Review of beyond lyrical

Beyond lyricalI was all set to write something again,
A soulful music playing in the background, intensifying emotions,
Evening walking towards a melodious night,
And all I could think of is You.   I don’t know what to write anymore or how to write,
There are too many emotions bubbling within me,
Words fall short and expressions too limited to contain,
‘Coz ain’t you and I limitless?   I leave everything aside and close my eyes,
Thinking I’ll sleep it off and you’ll be gone,
But there you are again, looking at me like a dream,
Was it? I question myself…   Your name running through my head, your eyes into mine
Your hands hold me, and our legs entwined,
My heart smiles, eyes dance and everything brightens,
You are my comfort even when it’s dark.   It feels like a lot of other things besides love,
I fight myself, argue with my emotions, my feelings,
I think may be life gets in the way, takes you away,
At the same time, I never want you to be gone.   And I look up my screen…

Review of Mysteries WIthin

Tried to review your poem “Mysteries-within” (https://www.facebook.com/notes/indrani-samajpati/mysteries-within/10152634810140143?__mref=message_bubble). This poem makes you think. What is the purpose of life? We come into world, study, grow up, work and family and finally death. We have so many life experiences along the way. We cheat, lie and steal and other do the same to us. We are in a constant state of flux. Because of all this turmoil there is insecurity and stress. Sometimes we feel to run away to Himalayas away from all this cacophony. But there is no peace even there because the turmoil is within us and not without. You can’t run away from yourself. One can lie to whole world but never to himself. And there is something within us, call it soul, Atma, conscience or anything which always tell us what is right and what is wrong. We can suffocate its voice but can never kill it. We chose to ignore and over the years it becomes so faint and low we can’t hear it. Amid all this ch…

Review of The speechless me

Tried writing a review of poem of a very talentd poetess Indrani Samajpati titled "The speechless me".  Link (https://www.facebook.com/notes/indrani-samajpati/the-speechless-me/10153286446375143) The poetess described true love as opposed to the Bollywood love we see in movies. This is how the love should be and as rightly pointed out by her it is not in material things or physical intimacy. It starts with conversations and slowly graduates to the state where you understand and enjoy the silences of each other. Love is in between the dialogues and in pauses. It slowly builds up and before you know you are head over heels in love. Ture love is neither in material things nor physical intimacy. She touches your heart and make you feel like you never felt before. The true lover accepts you as you are with all your fears, shortcomings and imperfections. She makes you rise in love, not fall in love. True love is where you both become a better person. She touches your heart and soul a…

Suggestions to a poetess

I read your poems and they are very sensitive and beautiful. You asked for reviews and suggestions. I tried review a few and found it very difficult. Here is the sole suggestion.
Your poems talk of utopian love, longing, silences, loneliness, pain, tribulations of an unquiet mind and the journey within. It is said beautifully. In fact this is the origin of poem as told by Shelly and Pant (quoted below):
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. ---Percy Bysshe Shelley (Husband of Mary Shelly of Frankenstein fame)
वियोगी होगा पहला कवि, आह से निकला होगा गान।
उमड़ कर आंखों से चुपचाप, बही होगी कविता अजान॥ §सुमित्रानंदन पंत
To be a poet you must have experienced pain. If I put it in engineering lingo, having experienced extreme emotional pain and having a compassionate, sensitive heart is necessary if not the sufficient condition of being a poetess.
हैं सबसे मधुर वो गीत जिन्हें, हम दर्द के सुर में गाते हैं जब हद से गुज़र जाती है खुशी, आँसू भी छलकते आते हैं
Poem is like tear drop w…