BOOK REVIEW: THE INIMITABLE CHAOS OF LIFE

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TITLE: The Inimitable Chaos Of Life
AUTHOR: Maliny Mohan
PUBLISHER: Story Mirror
ISBN: 978-93-86305-46-6
GENRE: Fiction ( Anthology of Short Stories)

THE BOOK

TITLE

Does justice to the contents of the book which is in fact a collection of stories that bring to the fore the chaotic side of life.

COVER DESIGN

Ah! This I admit, fails to impress. It lends an old book look. I would love to see the author take a re-look at this aspect while going in for a reprint and come up with something that is both eye-catching and communicative.

BLURB

A naive girl of eighteen is trapped in a dungeon, which changes her and her capturer’s life forever. Afar, tucked away in the sleepy terrains of a town in Kerala, a married woman is determined to revisit a forbidden part of her past. A model-turned-MBA aspirant is scourged mentally for a decision she almost made three years back. Back in the less happening village of Kanyapuram, an aspiring author loses a copy of her very first manuscript.

True to its title, ‘The Inimitable Chaos of life’ is an amalgamation of enthralling stories borrowed from the chaotic pages of life, which allure you to relive the multitude of unique emotions humans are made of.

MY TAKE

WOWs!!

The stories 14 in all, bringing to the fore the myriad shades of human character and emotions. Beautifully crafted, they bring forth the inherent strengths and weaknesses in human characters and relationships, sacrifices that are life changing, enmities that ruin, loss that causes heart breaks, nostalgia at the sight of an old flame, etc., etc., Though there is nothing extraordinary in the stories, what makes them unique is the way they have been told. Yes, there are some where the conclusion is well in sight before one reaches the end but there are also others with an element of surprise, twists that leave one saying, “Oh! My God! How did I not foresee this?”

Characters are well- developed and one can relate to each one of them and their actions and reactions and why not, after all they come across as simple folks right there in next door.

OOPs!!

The editing leaves a lot of scope for refinement. It needs to be tightened. Unnecessary jargon/ words and phrases that do not sit well in the contexts they are placed in, often act as speed- breakers. These need to be revisited and removed/ replaced to make the flow simple yet smooth. Hope the author looks into this aspect too while going in for a reprint.

VERDICT

Overall an interesting and engaging read, I’ll give the book a 3 on a scale of 5.


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THE AUTHOR

MALINY MOHAN


Maliny Mohan is a doctor with a creative bend of mind and a passion for weaving stories. Born and brought up in Kerala, Maliny Mohan has contributed to a short story anthology, titled ‘Love and other enchantments’, brought out by a group of five authors – The Fictitious Five, and another titled ‘Colors- Different shades of love’.

An avid blogger, Maliny Mohan is passionate and strives hard to listen to her heart, every time it beats out of sync. Her tales mirror her eye for beauty in its varied forms, sometimes resplendent with the most vibrant of hues and at other times poignant, enriched with subdued shades of grey and black. Apart from being passionate about writing, she is also a trained dancer, lover of solitude, bibliophile, tea-lover and an amateur poet.

Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer

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~ Release Day Blitz ~

 
 
 

Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer

 

12th August, 2017

 
 

 
 

Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala
 


Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.

Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

 

 

Read an Excerpt

 


“I am the Queen! This will be my throne!” The seven-year-old chirped leaping from the middle of the porch towards the broken mortar which served as a mock throne. “You will be my guard!”

“Guard?” the man pondered scratching his unkempt beard. 

“No.” He shook his head and smiled seeing her indignant eyes. “I will be the Queen’s elephant.” He beamed.

Sukratu stepped out of the house to see his daughter in action, perching herself on the tramp Loha’s back, pretending in all earnestness that he was her elephant. He smiled and was about to set out for his duty as the night guard of the King. A sudden lightning appeared in the eastern skies. Sukratu had barely walked a few paces when a deafening thunder made him instinctively turn towards home. He heaved a sigh, finding Loha shielding the girl as if he would, his own child. 

“Father, don’t go.” The girl pleaded. 

Sukratu smiled and shifted his gaze towards the sky. He saw dark clouds loom over the city. The monsoon winds had started to make their presence felt. He had to reach the palace soon. “Isn’t my little Queen brave?” He called out. 

The girl nodded. He saw the fear fade. From her eyes. From her heart. She knew she was the queen! Pride filled his heart. His mind ached to stay home but duty beckoned. Tearing his gaze away from the one he treasured the most in his life, braving the drizzle that would soon turn into a storm, he unwillingly walked towards the King’s residence. Sukratu’s house was in the third ring of the concentric structure of Vrishabhavati. In the centre, was the structure, that served as the residence of the king and as the centre of all trade activity of the city. Here no wealth or goods could change hands without the king’s knowledge and approval. The residences of the noblemen formed the two rings around it. The guards and soldiers forming the outermost circle with the citizens living around them. 

As per the protocol, Sukratu approached General Ugra’s residence quite ahead of his reporting time— an hour before the moonrise. He walked into the empty courtyard. But the rain made it impossible for him to stand there any longer. He knocked at the giant wooden door fervently. The doors creaked as a strange woman clad in a dark indigo garment opened them and glared at him with a frown on her forehead. 

General Ugra, Sukratu knew was never faithful to one woman. His superior’s romantic exploits were not his concern either. But something about the woman at the door disconcerted him. “Please let General Ugra know that…”

“He has already left for the palace!” The woman frowned before attempting to shut the door. 

“What? How ca…” Sukratu’s words hung in air as the door slammed on his face and the woman disappeared from his line of vision all of a sudden. Something did not feel right. He knocked at the door again. Firmly this time, as though seeking answers. Any change in the reporting time would have been announced the day before and he remembered that nothing of the sort had happened. His knocks went unanswered. Frowning and muttering under his breath, Sukratu hurried towards an empty cowshed three houses away from Ugra’s place hoping to catch his companions who he knew would be equally surprised. 

The first to arrive was Khela, the eighteen-year-old guard, holding a metal shield above his head. The newest addition to the King’s guard, Khela was related to General Ugra and Sukratu felt that his position in the King’s guard was largely a result of undue favours that Ugra showered upon an otherwise impudent boy. 

“Sukratu! By the great Varuna, I should have come to you earlier!” Khela hurried towards him. Pausing for breath, he added. “Our platoon has been given a relief tonight! It was a sudden decision and I personally informed all the others.”

“Relief for tonight? That happens only when…”

“Our guarding hours change from night to day!” Khela completed in a hurry. “Now, come with me.” He turned towards the western direction and the javelin he held started to sway dangerously and came close to grazing Sukratu’s arm. 

The older guard’s instincts made him dodge the cut. “Where?” Sukratu hissed, visibly annoyed, first with the fact that he was kept in dark about the change in guarding hours and then about Khela’s irreverent behaviour. “And watch who your weapon hurts, boy.”

Khela shrugged and changed the position of his weapon. “We are now going to the place.” He winked, stretching his hand in the direction. “Follow me, this is the only night we get to have some fun.”

Sukratu did not move. The place he knew implied the tavern where wine was served. “We cannot drink tonight, Khela. When do we have to report tomorrow? By sunrise?”

“You ask too many questions. The rest of us are there too!”

“That does not answer my question.” 

“Well, I don’t know, and I don’t care to. The palace is paying for the wine. Are you coming or not?” 

The last sentence sounded more like a threat than an invite. Sukratu had all the mind to give the youth a piece of his mind and storm back home. His daughter would be overjoyed to see him before she went to sleep. It gnawed at Sukratu’s heart every day to leave her under the care of Loha— the tramp who had begged him for shelter about six months ago and then became a part of his life. The girl liked him instantly and had begged Sukratu to let Loha live with them and he, despite his misgivings about the tramp’s origins and his unkempt appearance, could not refuse his only daughter. Over time, Sukratu felt grateful for Loha’s company. Now his daughter did not have to be all by herself every night. The guard’s home would have been unguarded if not for that stranger. Sukratu brushed aside these thoughts and had almost decided to go home when the thought of meeting other senior guards and clarifying the confusion struck him. He followed Khela’s lead, making no attempt to hide his displeasure. 

When they reached the tavern, Sukratu to his dismay, found many of his brothers in arms deeply drunk. “When did they reach here and when did they…”

“Quite some time before. I just forgot to tell you in advance!”

Sukratu’s eyes scrutinized the men and women of the tavern who were serving wine to the guards. There were no other citizens or travellers in the tavern. 

“Just for us, the whole night!” Khela said as if reading his thoughts, bringing him an earthen goblet. 

The older guard accepted the goblet taking his first sip with a sense of foreboding. 

“Where were you all the time, old friend?” The voice belonged to Tunga one of the senior guards in the platoon. 

The grin on his friend’s face brought a smile to Sukratu’s lips. “Tunga, what is this about the sudden change in our guarding hours?” 

“The King… that imbecile, has finally remembered that we are human too!” Tunga guffawed, emptying his goblet, waving vigorously at a woman of the tavern who obliged with a seductive wink. 

She approached them, skilfully distributing her attention between both the men, winking at Tunga and pouting her lips at Sukratu. Her brows rose at Sukratu’s filled cup. “Don’t keep the Sura nor this Sundari waiting, my love…” Serving Tunga his wine, she placed her fingers upon Sukratu’s shoulders, digging her nails into his skin for a moment locking her gaze with his and turned around swiftly, letting her light upper garment rest on his face for a fleeting moment. 

It was a wilful invitation and Sukratu knew it. His attention though was caught by the colour of the garment. The Indigo hued garment! All the women of the tavern wore clothes of the same colour. So did the woman he saw in General Ugra’s house! Was Ugra at home while the woman lied that he was at the palace? If the General and the whole platoon of the night guard were lying down drunk, who was minding the security of the King? Sukratu looked at the rest of the guards. No one seemed sober enough to talk. The only sober man Khela had disappeared!

“By the great Varuna!” Sukratu exclaimed aloud and rushed out, pushing the woman who tried to stop him away. 

He raced to the King’s residence, as fast as his legs could carry him. The huge wooden gates of the structure were closed and secured from inside. The rain lashed drowning his cries. Misgivings regarding the King’s welfare made him shudder. He had to meet General Ugra. Something told him that the General had his own reasons to send the whole platoon of guards to enjoy a drunk night. He was a guard who had sworn to protect the King with his life. The general owed him an answer. Sukratu rushed to General Ugra’s house determined to confront him. 

That, Sukratu realized was the biggest mistake of his life. 

At the gates of the general’s residence he saw a familiar figure hurrying out of his house, a heavy bundle on his shoulders. “General Ugra!” he called out, feeling relieved. 

The figure started, and the bundle fell to the ground. Sukratu came to a sudden halt as he realized it wasn’t a bundle after all, but a blood-drenched corpse. A stroke of lightning from the sky revealed the face and the very familiar greying curls. Sukratu froze for a long moment before he could speak.

 “K… King…”

Something hit him on the head even before he could utter the name. Sukratu staggered, reeling at the impact, clutching at his long sword in a vain attempt to defend the next move. 

“Finish him!” The General shout behind him. 

Before he turned around, Sukratu felt the cold metal tear into his back. Lightning struck revealing the contours of the person. Khela! The javelin stabbed him again. Thunder drowned his screams. Falling to the ground with the weapon still stuck to his back, Sukratu lifted his sword and managed to slash Khela’s palm though the latter, unlike him was vigilant and alert. Crawling away from the menacing duo, knowing very well that he could not last more than a few moments, Sukratu’s thoughts, went to his innocent daughter. She would now languish as an orphan remaining in dark about the monsters who killed her father. Or would they kill her too?

Sukratu would never know. 


About the Author:
 
 

Saiswaroopa is an IITian and a former investment analyst turned author. Her keen interest in ancient Indian history, literature and culture made her take to writing. Her debut novel Abhaya, set in the times of Mahabharata was published in 2015. Avishi, her second novel set in Vedic India explores the legend of India’s first mentioned female warrior queen Vishpala.

She holds a certificate in Puranas from Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is also trained in Carnatic Classical music and has won a state level gold medal from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. 

 
 

 
 

Vishwamitra by Vineet Aggarwal

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Indian Mythological Fiction

Book Blitz

11th August 2017

When Satyavati, wife of Rishi Ruchik, exchanges with her mother the magic potion for bearing a child, they change not just their children’s destiny, but also the history of mankind. Born of this mix up is Vishwamitra, the son of a Kshatriya, who strives to become a Brahmarishi—the ultimate and most powerful of all Gurus.


Vishwamitra is the powerful story of a brave but stubborn, haughty yet compassionate, visionary king of Aryavarta who not only acquires material wealth through military conquests but also becomes one of the most well-known sages of all times.

 
 

 
 

5 lesser known facts about Vishwamitra

Almost everyone would have heard the name of Vishwamitra and some may even know of his dalliance with Menaka, or the role he played in the Ramayan but even those who are familiar with his name, may not know these five things about him:

  1. Vishwamitra was born a Kshatriya prince and he reached the status of Brahmarishi, the highest possible rank for a Brahmin only through his tremendous effort!
  2. He is the discoverer of the Gayatri Mantra that is spoken by millions of Hindus even today all over the globe! 
  3. He is associated with two major Avatars of Lord Vishnu – Parshuram, the 6th incarnation was his grand-nephew while he himself became the Guru of Shri Raam, the 7th incarnation.
  4. Vishwamitra’s daughter Shakuntala gave birth to Bharat, the King who gave India its official name – Bhaarat.
  5. He is credited with the remarkable feat of creating actual star systems purely on the basis of his mystical powers & the stars he created can still be seen in the southern hemisphere as the Crux. 
About the Author
 
 

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal is described by many as a doctor by qualification, manager by profession and artist by temperament. Born in a family of doctors, he successfully completed an initial stint with the family occupation before deciding to venture into pharmaceutical management and currently pursues writing and photography as a passion.

 

He is the author of popular online blogs ‘Decode Hindu Mythology’ and ‘Fraternity Against Terrorism and Extremism’ and the author of books ‘Vishwamitra – The Man who dared to challenge the Gods’ and ‘The Legend of Parshu-Raam’

Book Review : Frank Goes To The Market

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TITLE: Frank Goes To The Market
AUTHOR: C.G.Salamander
ILLUSTRATOR: Chetan Sharma
PUBLISHER: MsMoochie (2017)
ISBN-13: 978-9385290190
GENRE: Children’s Literature
Reading level: 1.00 – 6.00 years
 
 
 

THE BOOK
 
 
 

 
 
 
BLURB

 
 

Grab your shopping basket!
It’s time to step into a busy market.

It’s Frank’s first trip to the market and he is thrilled! He RUNS towards a sea of tomatoes. He HOPS towards a cart of potatoes. Finally he TURNS around to look at his mother. But, much to his dismay, she isn’t there.

Watch a crowded marketplace come to life in this vibrant story as we follow the adventures of one unforgettable little boy.
 
 
 

MY TAKE
 
 

A cute little book of 22 pages, this one belongs to the Little Book Lovers’ Reading Series and is resplendent with colourful pictures each a veritable treat to the eyes. Aimed at reinforcing pre- reading skills and arousing an interest in the little minds, ‘Frank Goes To The Market’ does exactly that. While each page carries forward the story of Frank and his visit to the market which is filled with adventure, in just one or two sentences, the picture presentation of the narration leaves a lasting impression on the little mind. This I say not from the point of a reviewer but from firsthand experience.

A reading of the book with my 17 month old grandson by my side was enough to make me realize the effectiveness of the illustrations which are not only colourful but are communicative too. There are a few things in the book that he could easily relate to. For example as soon as he saw the first picture with an auto and Frank and his mother he was thrilled to the core and instantaneously related it to an auto near our home. In fact he related Frank to himself and identified Frank’s mother as myself his grandmother. ( Maybe because he sees me often in a saree unlike his mother who is always in a salwar-kameez). He was so thrilled by what he came across in each page that he was literally squealing in delight and wanted me to narrate the story again and again.

The story is simple and while children in the age group of one to four may not be able to read it on their own, they will surely enjoy it since all the elements in the story are there to see in their home/surroundings. In fact it just crossed my mind that the story can also be used as a medium to let them unleash their creative side and yarn a story of their own/ take this story forward.

There are certain passages that rhyme and give the story a poetical touch making it interesting and soothing to the ears.

The activities at the end of the book like ‘Word Fun,’ ‘Match the rhyming words,’ Find and Colour’ and ‘Put in Order,’ add a touch of fun combined with study and are engaging. The story imparts an important lesson and two too.
 
 
 
VERDICT
 
 

Overall great story, perfect style, engaging read with catchy and eye-appealing illustrations. A veritable treat for the young mind with plenty of nutrition enough to charge their creative side, I’ll give the book a 4 on a scale of 5.


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GET A COPY @ : Amazon.in

Book Review: Just me, the Sink & the Pot

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TITLE: Just me, the Sink & the Pot
AUTHOR: Sudeshna Ghosh
ASIN: B01N4VLQ5H
 
 
 
THE BOOK
 
 
 


 
 
 
BLURB ON GOODREADS
 
 
 
Meet Pamela, an overweight girl who’s looking back at her school days. From longing for a Valentine to dealing with a sibling who hates her, Pamela has a lot to deal with. She even has a special bunch of friends at home who she can turn to – but they aren’t the kind of friends you’d expect. Life sucks when you’re fat. Can Pamela ever be happy?
 
 
 
MY TAKE
 
 
 
Picked up the book purely out of curiosity. Know what? The title and the blurb made me wonder how the two were related and I must say that when I went through the book I found the title to be apt. In fact I think there could not have been a better one.

‘Just me, the Sink & the Pot’ has at its core the subject of body shaming which is I must admit, something that is on the rise these days. The dilemma, the sufferings and the aspirations of an overweight girl are put forth beautifully and one can’t help but empathize with Pamela the protagonist and the butt of ridicule both at home and outside. But there were places in the story where I felt she was getting too obsessed with her weight and structure unnecessarily and that the real cause of her miseries was her own low-esteem. She was virtually turning out to be her own enemy.

The story is relatable as far as Pamela’s state of mind and her experiences are concerned and it did make me empathize with her. But it also set me thinking in another direction. While I could easily relate to the treatment meted out to Pamela both at home and in school, I could not digest the fact that school children in India can be so promiscuous as made out in the book. Yes, there may be a few say one or two or at the most four to five in a classroom who have no qualms in openly flaunting their liking for a member of the other sex. But the way it is brought out in the story it looks like the majority of the thin/ skinny girls in the protagonist’s class are promiscuous and have no qualms in openly flaunting their liking/ bedding the boys/ consuming drinks, etc., etc. Wonder whether I’m getting old and times have really changed so much or it is just Pamela’s blind belief /is she just imagining things?

The language is simple and lucid making the book not only a simple read but a fast one too. It addresses an issue that needs to be dealt with by society in all sincerity and throws up some vital questions like-

1) Don’t obese people have a right to the good things in life like parties, friends and above all impartial treatment at home?
2) Don’t they have a right to a space of their own?
3) Do looks really matter while picking up one’s friends?
4) Does anyone have a right to hurt other’s feeling/ body shame them?
 
 
 

VERDICT
 
 
 
Overall a wonderful read, I’ll give the book a 3 on a scale of 5.


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GET A COPY @ : amazon.in


About the author


Sudesna (Sue) Ghosh is a writer based in Kolkata. She was born in the United States and moved to India when she was 9. After completing high school there, she went back to the US for her higher education at the University of Rochester. She has also penned What Would I Tell Her @ 13 and News Now, along with several short stories. When Sudesna isn’t writing, she tries to do her bit for animal welfare.
       
                          

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Spotlight: The Casanova’s Wife by Sundari Venkatraman

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(Marriages Made in India Book #4)
by
Sundari Venkatraman


Blurb


Bharat is the elder of the Maheshwari twins. Being a super model, he travels from Jaipur to Mumbai to Delhi, modelling for high-end brands and playing show stopper during fashion shows. Clothes, jewellery, glares, briefs – you name it and Bharat Maheshwari models for it. 

Dia Mathur is a management trainee based in Mumbai. She’s surprised to find herself at an after event party hosted by a major fashion label, thanks to her best friend. That’s where she meets Bharat, completely unaware of his claim to fame. 

Sparks sizzle and they get together instantaneously. But things fall apart when Dia realises that Bharat is quite the Casanova and might not make for a life partner. She disappears from his life…

…to surface again two years later, at no place other than his family’s drawing room in Jaipur. Will the Casanova turn a new leaf? Or will Dia have to play second, third or fourth fiddle to every gorgeous model who comes into his life?

Read Book #4 from MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA series to find out more about The Casanova’s Wife.

Grab your copy @

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*Also available in paperback format in some countries





About the author



Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 16 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 

Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…


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BOOK REVIEW- THE CONSPIRACY OF MERU

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TITLE: The Conspiracy of Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha Series Book#2)
AUTHOR: Shatrujeet Nath
PUBLISHER: Jaico Publishing House
GENRE: Fiction (Fantasy)
ISBN: 9788184958874
 
 
 

(For details including review, of Book #1 of the Vikramaditya Veergatha Series i.e. THE GUARDIANS OF HALAHALA,’ CLICK HERE )
 
 
 

THE BOOK
 
 
 
TITLE & COVER DESIGN

While the title points towards deceit, the cover design gives us a fair idea of the tumultuous times we are about to witness within the pages of the book.


 
 
 

BLURB

VICTORY IS TEMPORARY
THE BATTLE IS ETERNAL

Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva?

 
 
 

MY TAKE

PLOT/ STORY-LINE: The second book in the Vikramaditya Veergatha Series, ‘The Conspiracy of Meru’ continues to keep us on tenterhooks. The transition from the first book i.e. ‘The Guardians of Halahala’ is smooth and the author has cleverly managed to maintain the suspense regarding the Halahala and its whereabouts till the end. In fact the Halahala still evades not only the Devas and Asuras but the readers as well.

The story is as I mentioned is intriguing and engaging and keeps the reader on tenterhooks with its twists and turns. While the fierce battle scenes especially that off the coast of Dvaraka are enough to give goose bumps, the havoc wreaked by Ahi is spine chilling.

Once again the author takes us through a maze of emotions. There is chivalry, love, deceit and much more that only a reading of the book can bring to the fore clearly. No review can explain the intricacies involved in the story with perfection. There are certain startling revelations that can have a bearing on the unity of the Guardians of Halahala and the turn the story takes in the next book in the series. While the mystery deepens, the conspiracy thickens and unholy nexus between the foes starts taking root to defeat the King and his Council of Nine. Will they succeed? Only time will tell.

CHARACTERIZATION: Characters are well- developed especially the secondary characters of the Series who take centre stage in this book (Here King Vikramaditya has been relegated to the background). But what stands out is that even the characters of the Devas are relatable. They are not entirely sugar coated. They have vices just like ordinary human beings. Lust, jealousy, deceit and a sense of helplessness at times makes them integrate easily into the story

LANGUAGE AND STYLE: Crisp and lucid. I loved the author’s style of narration and use of words.The flow takes one along with it and the imagery helps to transport the reader to the thick of action taking place. The battle scenes had me spell-bound.

PACE: The pace is perfect. Will keep one glued to the pages without giving a gap to let out even a yawn.

 
 
 

VERDICT

Picked up the book with a lot of expectation having thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series ‘The Guardians of Halahala.’ Must say the author did not disappoint. A wonderfully crafted story, one that one can’t possibly regret having picked up, I’ll give it a 5 on a scale of 5.


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GET A COPY @ : Amazon.in // Infibeam // Flipkart

THE AUTHOR

SHATRUJEET NATH

To visit author profile and know more about his other works CLICK HERE

Book Review : The Wrong Turn

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TITLE: The Wrong Turn
AUTHORS: Sanjay Chopra and Namita Roy Ghose
PUBLISHER : Om Books International
GENRE: Historical Fiction


THE BOOK


BLURB

1944, Kohima — a small, sleepy town in northeast India. Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) along with the Japanese, are on the brink of bringing the Empire to its knees and forcing the British out of India. But, inexplicably, the tables turn. The INA’s advance is thwarted and the victory march to Delhi is halted. Seventy years later, the British admit that the Battle of Kohima was the greatest battle they had ever fought. Even more so than the battles of Waterloo and Dunkirk.

Was it then that old Indian curse — betrayal? Someone from within Netaji’s own ranks? Were there forces other than the British, waiting in the shadows closer to home, who stood to gain even more from the INA’s defeat? Or was it just love that irrevocably altered the course of India’s destiny?
The Wrong Turn: Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji, is a sweeping tale of passion set against the freedom struggle. Debraj, the rakish playboy and scion of a distinguished Calcutta family, and Nishonko, the fiery revolutionary sworn to the cause of the INA, must not only fight their common enemy, but also for the love of Aditi, the rebel with the healing touch.

A haunting tale of love, friendship and betrayal of an entire nation, The Wrong Turn veers inexorably towards a poignant redemption.


MY TAKE


PLOT/ STORY-LINE: An interesting one that’s destined to make one think of what the India of today would be if Netaji and his Azad Hind Fauj were to decide India’s destiny post-Independence.

Wonderfully crafted, the story is a saga of the struggle of the people and the mutiny that took place in the Armed Forces during that time that saw a steady stream of ragged Indian soldiers desert the British Indian Army to join hands with Netaji’s fauj in their yearning for dignity and respect.

While on the one hand we see intense patriotism drive common people to leave all that’s dear to them, sacrifice their loved ones, live a life of fugitive and at times resort to nothing short of guerrilla warfare, on the other side we see the ugly face of those that seek to take advantage of the situation. Driven by selfish motives and the desire to rise up in the ladder of life they are ready to turn in their fellow countrymen. Unfortunately it is people like Goopta who are the curse of Society, who decided the destiny of India of post- Independence. Corrupt to the core, it is they who stabbed at the very core of the Independence Struggle by their deceit and ensured that they had a say in the new order.

‘The Wrong Turn’ represents not only the wrong turn in India’s freedom struggle but also the wrong turn in the life of the protagonist Debraj Mookerji the Scion of an aristocratic family who is involuntarily drawn into the freedom struggle by circumstances beyond his control.

Steeped in myriad emotions like patriotism, deceit, love, jealousy, hate and empathy, the story takes us on a journey of sorts through a part of the freedom struggle and imparts a feeling of being in the middle of the action. It also gives us an insight into life in Kolkata of those days.

The twists and turns makes the book an engaging read but…….it’s the climax that turns out to be the icing on the cake.

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters are well- developed and easily relatable. One can’t help but see in them a strong resemblance of our next- door neighbours, friends, relatives and politicians.

LANGUAGE: Crisp and lucid.

PACE: Fast paced

STYLE: Perfect


VERDICT

A truly engaging read, one that will enthrall the historical fiction fan to the core, I’ll give it a 4 on a scale of 5.

(For more details regarding the book like excerpt, buying links, author bio, etc., do CLICK HERE to visit the Spotlight on the book.)


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SPOTLIGHT: THE WRONG TURN

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THE WRONG TURN:
Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji
by
Sanjay Chopra & Namita Roy Ghose



Blurb

1944, Kohima — a small, sleepy town in northeast India. Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) along with the Japanese, are on the brink of bringing the Empire to its knees and forcing the British out of India. But, inexplicably, the tables turn. The INA’s advance is thwarted and the victory march to Delhi is halted. Seventy years later, the British admit that the Battle of Kohima was the greatest battle they had ever fought. Even more so than the battles of Waterloo and Dunkirk. Was it then that old Indian curse — betrayal? Someone from within Netaji’s own ranks? Were there forces other than the British, waiting in the shadows closer to home, who stood to gain even more from the INA’s defeat? Or was it just love that irrevocably altered the course of India’s destiny? The Wrong Turn: Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji, is a sweeping tale of passion set against the freedom struggle. Debraj, the rakish playboy and scion of a distinguished Calcutta family, and Nishonko, the fiery revolutionary sworn to the cause of the INA, must not only fight their common enemy, but also for the love of Aditi, the rebel with the healing touch. A haunting tale of love, friendship and betrayal of an entire nation, The Wrong Turn veers inexorably towards a poignant redemption.

Grab your copy @


About the authors


The Wrong Turn is a story that traverses the cities of Calcutta, Singapore, Rangoon and Kohima caught up in the blaze of the Second World War. It is about the clash of four desperate forces as they come together in Kohima to vie for the brightest jewel in the crown — India. Victory will come to those who possess not just the coldest steel but even colder hearts.”

SANJAY CHOPRA is an airline pilot and author of two collections of short stories.  Said and Done and Tailspin stories . He believes that his  office forty thousand feet in the sky and his travels provide him with a view that fuels his vivid storytelling that cuts a wide arc through time and space.

His stories have won the Invisible Ink, the Millennium writers and Southport awards in the UK and USA. In the words of his readers, ‘He is a storyteller like those of the old days, yet his stories are as modern as tomorrow.

He lives in Mumbai with his wife Tisca Chopra, an actress and he is currently working on a film script and a web series. 


You can stalk him @
      
               

Follow the Authors of The Wrong Turn @ Pinterest

  



This was a story waiting to be told. So much about Netaji was smoke and mirrors, partial views foisted on us by the British and other vested interests. Here was a man who was a personal hero, who was part of the lore of my childhood. And here was a chance to set the narrative straight – through the lens of a very human yet universal story of love.

During a school project on ‘The most memorable day of my life’, NAMITA ROY GHOSE wrote about a Russian girl on the day WW2 ended. She got her first rejection slip from the teacher for making things up. Ever since, Namita has established her storytelling skills through her scriptwriting, screenplays poetry, fiction, legendary advertising campaigns, and as a renowned advertising film director. A Creative Director with HTA, she left after 13 years to start her own film company, White Light, one of India’s top ad film outfits. A social activist, she is the founder of Vanashakti, an NGO that works to protect the environment. Namita has done pro bono work on issues like domestic violence, child welfare, sexual harassment and forest preservation. She is an avid traveller, a photographer, foodie and teacher.
      You can stalk her @ 
                          

   Praise for the book


Vidya Balan “I like historical fiction. This one is just gripping, racing along like a thriller. I am sure people will love it and I wish Namita and Sanjay all the best for the book”.

Shekhar Gupta: “Gripping reading. This is one writer duo with story-telling imagination and uncluttered turn of phrase”.

Jug Suraiya: “A sweeping saga of war, love and betrayal, set at a climactic point of India’s fight for freedom”.

Lord Meghnad Desai: “An absorbing and indeed thrilling story of one of the most crucial events in India’s history”.

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Love@ First Sight : The MatrikaS Creative Woman’s Journal

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A lazy summer afternoon!

The sweltering heat combined with the power-cut was getting on my nerves. To top it I’d just had a break-up and was feeling lost and lonely. As I lay there all alone on the big wooden table, I reminisced those days with my ex. The secrets we’d shared, the sweet nothings I’d scribbled on her bosom all came back to mind. I sighed and decided I’d not fall for another. Gradually sleep overtook me………zzzzzzzzz!

A touch soft and silky as that of a feather caressed my being. At first I thought it was a dream but then when the feeling lingered on, I opened my eyes. Lo! Behold! What do I see? A beauty draped in soft maroon silk with golden polka- dots scattered here and there and a golden feather print adorning the center, lying by my side. I could not take my eyes off her. Unknown to me my heart had surrendered to her charm.

The beautiful one: “Hi! I’m CWJ.”

Me: “CWJ?”

CWJ: (With a short laugh) “Oh! Sorry! That’s my pet name, short for Creative Woman’s Journal.”

Me: “Oh! Glad to meet you. You are native of?”

CWJ: “MatrikaS.”

Me: “Ah! Yes. Those paper people, the ones who come out with some really innovative stuff. I’ve heard a lot about them. Never come into contact with one.”

CWJ: (Struts like a proud peacock) “So, friends?”

Me: (Eagerly) “Yes, friends.”

*************

As days passed by, the bonds between us grew stronger and stronger till we finally decided to take our relationship to the next level.

CWJ opened up to me willing me to explore her. At first I touched her hesitatingly as would a man his newly- wedded wife. A shiver coursed through my spine. I felt as though I was treading in Heaven. Slowly, casting my initial inhibition aside I kissed her, poetry flowed from me only to be etched deep in her bosom. The poet in me found an artist in her. We complimented each other.

That day we became one.

Together we made many a list, shared many a secret and vowed to stick together till the end.

The feeling of loss and loneliness left me forever. I found my true love in CWJ.

Today I have no qualms in saying that as far as I am concerned, it was love @first sight.

(Wondering who I am? No points for guessing. I am yours truly, a silver bodied, gold bordered jotter pen.)

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Me & My Love


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Well, that was the love- story of my pen and the MatrikaS Creative Woman’s Journal a product of MatrikaS – Scribble Your Heart Away. Reading that you may have already got a fair idea of the plus points of MCWJ or the MatrikaS Creative Woman’s Journal. However, I’ll put together just a brief introduction / review of the journal for the benefit of my readers and those looking out for some good writing material. But before I move further, let me tell you that true to it’s name MatrikaS (which is derived from Sanskrit and stands for ‘MOTHER’) has brought out this Creative Woman’s Journal to honour women and their dreams, their aspirations this Womens Day. It is the brand’s gift to Women.

The MatrikaS Creative Woman’s Journal a one of it’s kind, keeps every woman in mind and hence comes in four different designs or should I say, is available in four different themes. They are –

1. Feather – To Write!
2. Butterfly – To Dream!
3. Dragonfly – To Fly!
4. Fish – To Glide!

(For further details visit : MatrikaS Woman’s Journal Page)

Just see the connection between the designs and the themes. While the feather as you know served as a writing quill in earlier times a butterfly is apt for those who dream. The dragonfly is a spectacle to behold when it flies around and a fish is the epitome of grace as it glides in the water.

Being one with a passion to write, I chose the one with feather as it’s theme. So, let’s see if the journal true to it’s name is smooth and soft as a feather and compliments the quill (pen). Let’s see if it appealed to the writer in me. 🙂

The Cover

Stunning! A look at it and you can’t help wish it was yours. I’ve had some who taken in by the sheer beauty of the cover, wanted to take a selfie with it. 🙂

cover

An Introduction

The image says it all.

The Inside

Soft and smooth double- sided ruled sheets of high quality paper, are interspersed with 8 adult colouring sheets inspired by nature. There are also a number of plain sheets bearing the MatrikaS tagline “Scribble Your Heart Away.” These make the journal not only useful for jotting down one’s life- events, important things, etc., etc., but act as healer/ stress- buster/ motivator. They inspire too.

While the adult colouring sheets act as stress- busters and help one relax, the blank sheets are there for you to draw, doodle, scribble, play or indulge in whatever is close to your heart.

The ruled- sheets can be used for some serious writing.

rule

WRITE/ SCRIBBLE TO HEARTS CONTENT

adult

COLOUR AWAY & DE-STRESS

 

The sticker pages towards the fag end of the journal are a revelation, something innovative and exciting. These pages have ideas of lists that one can make. Then there are stickers expressing one’s moods and some that will shake you up when you feel lost and lonely or pacify you when you are in a pensive state or off- colour.

secret list

SECRET LISTS TO HELP YOU AROUND

pacify

STICKERS THAT INSPIRE/ PACIFY

moods

STICKERS FOR EVERY MOOD & MUCH MORE

The Journal winds up with something that’s bound to excite the bibliophile and the traveller in you. Wondering what? Well there is a page for you to record your TBR list (To be read list) and another for the places to be visited.

The last double- sided sheet is for entering the ‘Who’s who’ in your life i.e.details of the people who matter to you.
 
 
 
 

Is that all?

If you know MatrikaS, you know that the Creative Journal will not be only about pages for you to ‘Scribble Away Your Heart.’ There will be some value additions too. So here in the Creative Woman’s Journal we have –

1) A paper pouch in the inner-side of the back cover to put those small bits and pieces of paper that one is prone to scribble on when an idea presents itself and there’s nothing else suddenly at hand except for some corner of a newspaper or a bill.

2) A black ribbon that acts as a book-mark. To be frank this was the only disappointment. I’d have preferred a proper book- mark with some ethnic design. It would look lovely and inspiring.

3) An elastic protective band to hold both covers together so that nothing falls off from between the pages.

4) A small elastic loop to hold the pen. Wish a pen too came with the journal. Its inclusion would have made the journal complete.

pouch

THE POUCH

back

BACK COVER WITH REMOVABLE PAPER FLAP CONTAINING DETAILS

  
 

VERDICT

A creative journal for the creative woman, one that’s sure to appeal to her aesthetic sense as well as inspire her to dream and doodle and pour out her heart in the form of words, ideas and creative articles, the MatrikaS Woman’s Creative Journal is truly awesome.
 
 
 
 

Interested?

Do check out the video of the product created by MatrikaS


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