Friday, 30 September 2016

Lemon girl

Lemon GirlLemon 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 leaves the home. Then she lives the life of a Gypsy and Arsh meets her.
Then it is a journey of healing and love as Jyoti puts it beautifully in this poem:

"As long as we stare
at the shadows of the Past,
our eyes find only darkness.
But the world of Future
is a portal of possibilities,
and the path to it is paved
by the choices we ourselves make."

The book is a mixed bag of humour, sadness, poignancy, romance and hate. It is a roller coaster ride and finally in true Indian fashion all is well. But it is heart-breaking at times which leads to a satisfying climax.

Some excerpts:

How is it that the things that you don't notice while they are happening often come to haunt you years later and raise their phantoms vivid to the last detail? How is it that I now can see clearly how you stood, how you looked, and how you looked at me there in the market in Ghaziabad, five years ago, even though I scarcely noticed any of that then?

She heard a million soothing words in your silence that night, a million calming embraces in the stillness of your hands. She stood bare before you, and felt you look into her, your core touching hers and finally bringing it to rest. And the reverberations that had been ringing through her since ages calmed down. She felt comforted, because she thought you cared.

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Let the game begin

Let The Game BeginLet 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 and that creates problem. Here the role of Dhivya Balaji, editor (that name sounds familiar) is important.

All in all a very good book. It ended on a cliff hanger and waiting for second one.

One good definition of science as given on page 104

"The scientific knowledge we have at the moment is based on is based on theories. Our 'science' is just incomplete bits of information based on some assumptions and some theories backed by experiments".

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Grinning gorilla

The Case of the Grinning GorillaThe 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 hypnotic trance that he would do something that would outrage his higher moral sense, but he felt that gorillas were so closely related to man that they could be hypnotized, and taught to commit a homicide.

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Amorous aunt

The Case of the Amorous Aunt (Perry Mason Mystery)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

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 is suffice to say it is depressing.

One thing is that i feel, Swarupa took the premise of ESP and built a story around it. She succeeded completely in her efforts. She did her research well and it shows. it is not easy to write a story based on ESP. ESP is at the core of story here. I am amazed the way she seamlessly integrated the concept into her story.

Depiction of feelings of characters especially Tia. She feels that due the the premonition she knows about impending disaster, but as she is powerless prevent it, that leads to sense of despondency, loneliness and felling lost. That is depicted beautifully. The english is first rate. I wish she could give me english lessons ;). That is why 4 stars.

Well done Swarupa Chavan. best of luck. Eagerly waiting for next book.

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