Thursday, 13 October 2016

Book - When Arya Fell Through the Fault: A Rather Unique Perspective to Ramayana

#WhenAryaFellThroughTheFault   #BookReviews

Title: When Arya Fell Through the Fault
Author: Reenita Malhotra Hora
Publisher: Om Books
Pages: 207
Price: Rs. 125
My Rating: 4/5

When Arya Fell Through The Fault Is The Magical, Coming-Of-Age Tale Of Arya, A 12-Year-Old Boy From San Francisco, Who Is Ridiculed By Bullies. Anything To Do With His Ethnicity—Food, Traditions Or The Fascinating Mythological Stories He Has Been Raised With, Has Become The Building Block Of Unpleasant School Experiences. In The Wake Of An Accident That Confines His Once Vibrant Mother To A Hospital Ward—Kept Alive By Tubes And Machines—Arya Clings To The Only Remnant Of Their Bond: An Old, Battered Copy Of The Ramayana, India’S Ancient Epic Story Of Rama’S Battle Against Demons.One Night, Arya Falls Through A Fault In The Earth Into The Wild Woods, Where Ravana—The Demon King—Strategises To Destroy His Ramayana—The Last Copy Left—And Threatens To Rewrite History From His Evil Perspective. Will Arya Be Able To Save The Story Of Rama, Heal His Mother And Return Home To Tackle The Demons In His Ordinary World? 

When you look at the cover you feel so intrigued - that is the charm of the book. As it can be visualized, the book revolves around a boy who is trapped between Lord Rama, Demon Ravana and the things he loves most. The blurb also offers a deep perspective to the book, basically how a 12 year old boy is struggles in his own life and how mythology becomes his sole rescue source. I felt very much drawn to this book just basis these.'

As mentioned in the blurb, the book revolves around a 12 year old Indian boy who lives in San Francisco. The biggest challenge in his life is the racism he faces throughout. Be it is his skin color or food, he is bullied in and out. His mother, an ayurvedic doctor is a well-cultured traditional woman who tries to embrace her traditions deeply and his father is a taxi driver who is trying real hard to meet the ends. The soul purpose of their lives is to ensure Arya gets the best. In all challenges that Arya faces, there is one thing that binds him to his family and his culture - the Ramayana. He embraces the story of Ramayana to his core. The moral learnings from the epic story have such significant impact on his own life that he uses them to fight all his demons.
Another thing I found interesting is the family bond that is visible. When Arya's mother is on her death bed, it is rather touching how he uses Ramayana in an attempt to save her. Few points leaves chill to the soul.

I really liked reading this book, it is rather quick read and refreshes the mind. The characters are well plotted and well narrated. I didn't find a dull moment in the book.

If you choose to pick up the book, I am sure you would love it as well.

You can grab your copy here. My rating 4/5.

The review copy of this book was shared with me by Cyclops Literary Services

I hope you enjoy it too.

Love & Cheers

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Stayed Dark for a Month


Ever since I started using internet (don't even know the time... maybe it was the 'Orkut age').
September was the first whole month ever where I stayed away from internet. Yes... I actually mean no facebook, no twitter, no blogging, even no watsapp or anything... Have you ever done that?

It was primarily due to extreme workload that I was facing and in the beginning I was like damn! I should find time to come online... but after sometime I actually felt great. After few days I felt no obligation to post anything anywhere... no compulsion to like any photos or comment any where. It was actually interesting.

When you are not online you actually feel more alive - more connected to your family & friends... I realized it last month. All the spare time I found, which although was hardly any, I spent with my dear husband. It was just me, my family and sadly my work...

Yes I am back online now but I believe it is now the time I would spend more with my them and relatively less online and maintain a balance.

Why I writing this post? Well... I wanted to share this new found happy revelation with everyone and also suggest to do the same thing. Try & Go Dark for sometime, you will definitely find something new in your life... it can be a new hobby, a new person or like me - a new found serenity in your existing relation.

Love & Cheers

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Gurgaon's "Majnu Drive" - Something for women safety

#RandomThoughts #WomenInIndia

I came across a news last night and I was immensely happy and impressed, not because I like to go
out at night etc. but because it is high time that women should start feeling safe in their own country and police out there is doing something about it.

The condition of women is horrible and you don't need to pick up a newspaper to know it. All you need to do is to step out if you are a female or -if you are a male - ask a female in your family. There are hardly any places in India where one can feel safe and I speak from a lot of personal experiences.

What I am glad to see is that at least Gurgaon police did something different. I am not sure about any such drives in any other city so I can't comment there. 

Gurgaon police led a drive this weekend where they placed women police officer in plain clothes on streets of Gurgaon and addressed the rising issue of women abuse and eve-teasing.

The drive is called "Majnu drive" where over 50 men were arrested and put in special 'majnu cells' for making inappropriate comments, gestures or more at women. 50 men arrested on 1 street in 2 hours is too much and clearly states the current condition.

I also read that this drive was also conducted in December 2015 where more than 250 men were placed under arrest. Did that improve the condition of streets or mind-set of men who step out in order to do such offensive things - I don't think so. But if such drives are conducted regularly it would at least instill a fear, a doubt that maybe there is someone who can cause them some consequences.

I really wish and hope that such drives are more frequent and spread across India so that all over India women feel safe and they can step out whenever they want and not just when 'society allows them'

I hope you agree with me.

News article here.

Love and Cheers

Monday, 22 August 2016

Book - Her Resurrection - Be ready to take an emotional rollercoater ride

#HerResurrection   #BookReviews

Title: Her Resurrection
Author: Soumyadeep Koley
Publisher: Gargi Publishers
Pages: 260
Price: Rs. 199
My Rating: 3.5/5

So begins Maya’s story in the picturesque countryside of Maharashtra, where she grows up amidst cruelty and domestic violence, being an unwanted girl-child. Yet, like a lonesome beacon beset by sinister wilderness, she pursues her dreams of reaching the stars with her tiny wings. One night, a twist of fate triggers a series of incidents, when she loses everything she had—even her virginity.

Severely traumatized after her father’s death, her mother’s imprisonment, and her own gang-rape, Maya finds herself all alone in the streets of Mumbai, with wolves lurking around for raw flesh. She’s weary, but not wary. She has no sense of the fate that awaits her. What follows, would change her life forever, as also yours, as her heart wrenching, yet inspiring story echoes through time.

‘Her Resurrection’ bravely paints an appalling picture of the society. Heartbreaking, hopeful and immensely healing at the same time, this emotional rollercoaster through dreams, tragedy and triumph is a moving tribute to womankind. Are you ready to embark on a transformational journey with Maya?

It's a scary world out there and it is clearly evident in this book.
What made me pick up this book was the title - 'Her Resurrection' clearly indicates what to expect out of the book and the blurb defines it very well too. We all have heard the condition of women in India, but reading it in such detail is whole other story. Also the cover is different, you look at it and for a moment you feel, 'Whao, that's intense'

The story revolves around Maya who struggles her way in Mumbai. You  name the violence and she has endured it but unlike many others she finds her way out and resurrects in a new form. It is a very intriguing and soul-touching story. It gives you chills at various instances but you would not dare put the book down. And although the topic is common these days and situations are little too predictable, you tend to be mesmerised in the words and Maya's world. 

The author, being a guy, has done a wonderful job in putting himself in shoes of women while writing the story. I liked the command and the flow.

The characters are well drafted, however, I feel the lack of relationship definition between Maya and her mother. This could have been written a bit more to bring more taste.

Overall, it was beautiful read, it's just that it had a few drawbacks. To start with it was kind of predictable, but we can ignore that as the story has its own charm. There were some grammar and editing issues which are visible here and there, and lastly, some descriptions were too detailed. With so much details one tends to lose focus.

However, all in all, I liked the book and would recommend it to everyone who would like to read on women issues and something different from romance.

My rating: 3.5/5. You can grab your copy here..

Hope the review helps.

The review copy of this book was shared with me by Cyclops Literary Services

Love and Cheers

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Book - Hill Billy: Take a trip down your childhood and hills


Title: Hill Billy
Author: Shivdutta Sharma
Publisher: Yogi Impressions
Pages: 206
Price: Rs. 202
My Rating: 3.5/5

A mango ensures the birth of a son…
Ghosts hoot and cackle in a forest…
A tiger strikes terror in the heart of a village…
A boy experiences the first stirrings of desire…

On trips back to his hometown, memories appear, cling, and then fade away like the mist in the Himalayan foothills. Tracing the pangs and pleasures of growing up during the time of missionary schools, wind-up gramophones, hand-pulled designer rickshaws, maharanis in their imitation castles, busty film stars of the black-and-white era – a lone, all-brown boy in an all-white American school comes to grips with his coming of age.

Fast-paced and furiously funny, The Hill Billy zips up the otherwise tranquil, languid, laid-back life in a hill station that hasn’t quite got over the hangover of its British past.

The debut work of an author who has spent a big chunk of his life coining advertising slogans and jingles – The Hill Billy runs riot with its take-off on school teachers, hunters, swamis, dairy farmers, and nosy neighbours. In the process, it takes a somewhat whacky, irreverent and cynical view of the characters who love, laugh and come alive through its crackling narrative.

Hill Billy is the second book I have read of Shivdutta Sharma and I am not disappointed.
To me it is nothing like what my childhood was, but it is rather entertaining to read from someone else's perspective.

The story revolves around the time of India's Independence. When a boy is born out of a mango - we consider it pure superstition these days (well in some of us at least), I found it utterly hilarious. As if a mango can turn the chromosome factor, haha. Anyways,  it is written in those old superstitious days and it totally makes sense. And the story continues in conjunction with the adventures of the boy and his family. How they move to India, how various incidences take place and he grows up.

The characters are rather interesting and will mostly remind you of your own aunts, uncles, grand-mom especially. Many women can also relate to their own mother-in-laws ;). The way certain characters are written, it is simply hilarious. You cannot help but feel how silly sometimes relatives behave and maybe laugh on some of your real life characters as well.

What struck me most is the way the time during Independence is written. Esp when Gandhiji was murdered. The way it is written gives you a glimpse into the grief that our nation felt - though us, today's generation, most of us literally don't care about what happened then. But it is worth praising.

Overall, it is a nice read and would make you want to go back to your childhood and play again and enjoy with those lost (in touch) cousins.

My rating for the book is 3.5/5.

You should grab a copy here if you would like to go down the memory lane too.

The review copy was sent to me by Anuj Kumar, Kalamos Literary Services.

Love and Cheers