15 September, 2014

Ri Homeland of Uncertainty - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title: Ri Homeland of Uncertainty
Author: Paulami Duttagupta
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publishers: Fablery Publications

Story: This is a completely different book from all the books I have read so far. Book is the adaptation of national award winning Khasi film. 
Story is about a terrorist Manbha, who calls himself as a freedom fighter. His goal is to free Meghalaya from India as a separate state so that people in their state get basic necessities like water, food, good education and jobs. He is very deeply disappointed by the step motherly treatment of Indian government to the people from their state. He leads a strategic terror outfit with the aid of his boss 'Steve' in Bangladesh which aims to kill police and CRPF to bring terror in Shillong. 

He gets betrayed by a team member who is also a police informer 'George', loses his other team members in firing and escapes alone to hide in a journalist's house 'Emika'. Main part of the story is about the conversations between Emika and Manbha, how Manbha's ideologies and thoughts change after Emika let him understand the essence of humanity. I don't want to reveal the climax, but story ends in an unexpected way. Story gives a moral that guns will not solve problems. They bring more terror and uncertainty in society. Terror can never bring peace.

What i liked?
 I surely liked the message. Story is small, but brings the message straight forward  into our heart. Characterization is good. S P Kyndiah's character, his commitment and his feeling when he loses his loyal colleagues in firing operation is depicted very well. Emika, who is a journalist wins our heart for her bravery by handling the situation well when she knows that a terrorist is hiding in his home.  Manbha's character is the best as it shows varied emotions throughout. Even though he is a terrorist, he is a man with heart and he doesn't want to kill innocent people. Writing style is good and flow is smooth between different incidents in different places.

What I didn't like?
There is no specific point that i disliked. Basically, this story covers a serious concept and book handled this well. Might get boring for a normal book reader who enjoys fiction, twists and turns in the story. This is very realistic and straight to the point.

My rating:

Overall: A serious book with a message. You can purchase book at Rs 150 here

Until next time,

12 September, 2014

Growing saplings #Flash Fiction

7 year old Pragya daily waters the seeds
Planted in beautiful pots three in a row

To capture different stages of growing saplings for a school project
Excited she is!  One day, when she zoomed in her camera lens

Alas, found the washed out saplings due to previous day’s rain.

Linking this to the Fiction Challenge ‘From 15 to 50′ hosted here.
Phrase prompt: Three in a row
Word count: 50

Until next time,

Image courtesy: http://shailajav.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/from-15-to-50-fiction-link-up-september-2014/

09 September, 2014

Book bucket challenge - My top 10 favourite books

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

This book bucket challenge is doing rounds in Facebook from long time and I cant be away from this challenge being a book worm. What say?

Here goes the challenge:
Write the list of top 10 favourite books you read.
Post in the internet with hash tag #BookBucketChallenge and ask/ tag/ challenge your friends.

My top 10 favourite books:

1. Davinci Code by Dan Brown:

A fantastic read! I loved reading the puzzles, mysteries, myths, legends and a compelling storyline. My thirst for a thriller with a mix of history is satisfied. Became Dan Brown's fan from then and loved his other books like "Angels and demons" and "Digital Fortress". Read my review here and purchase from flipkart here

2. Angel of the dark by Sidney Sheldon

Another on the edge thriller which I couldn't keep away until I finished it. There are millions of fans to Sidney Sheldon and we all know each of his books is a gem. The writing style,  gripping narration and character building are best in his novels. Read so many books later from the same author and it is really very difficult to chose best one from his novels. Read my review here and purchase book from flipkart here

3. The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan

I love to read history, especially to know about the customs and traditions followed in those times. This book describes Mughal period in very detail level and also about the role of women in those times. Narration is very good. Read other novels too which are part of Taj trilogy and loved them all. Read my review here and purchase book from flipkart here.

4. Wise and Otherwise by Sudha Murthy

Real life stories and experiences of people interest me a lot. This is one of the books which gives a message at the end of each story. Each story emphasizes on importance of moral values and how people's behaviour changes with circumstances. Other books of Sudha Murthy like Dollar Bahu and Mahaswetha are worthy to read. Read my review here and purchase book from flipkart here.

5. The Seventh Secret by Irving Wallace

I don't have any words to explain how much I loved this book. This is about the story of Hitler in his last days, his strategies to escape enemy, secret about the bunker he stayed at the end of his life etc.,I like Irving Wallace's other novels too like 'The Fan club', 'The Second Woman' etc., His novels show that he does a lot of research on each topic that he writes. Read my review here and purchase book from flipkart here.

6. The complete Sherlock Holmes by Aurthur Conan Doyle

Iam a big fan of Sherlock Holmes from childhood. I liked the climax of each short story and the way deductions are explained which are very easy to understand and apply in our day to day lives. After reading these detective stories, you will feel like you can deduct something from every small observation that we overlook. Read my review here and purchase book from flipkart here

7. The Best Laid Plans by Sidney Sheldon

Another entry from Sidney sheldon novels. There are many good novels from this author which are pure delight to read. It is difficult to choose one or 2 best novels out of many on the edge thrillers with gripping story lines. This is a story of love and betrayal with power of politics. A gripping narration with lots of twists and turns. Purchase book from flipkart here

8. Doctors by Erich Segal

Erich Segal's characters are very realistic and after reading the novel you cannot easily forget them. This novel gives so much information on doctor's day to day lives, their challenges with a fantastic story in the backdrop. I loved each and every character in this book. This is one of the high volume books that I read (600+ pages) and completed quick. Other novels from the author like 'The Love story' and 'Man Woman and Child' are also fantastic reads. Purchase book from flipkart here

9. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Another book from my favourite author. I like mystery, mythology and history. This is the perfect combination you get from this book. You can understand about  religion, historic places, events and more about Rome and Pope. Story is engaging throughout and book is a page-turner for sure. Argument between religion and science is also dealt well in this book. Purchase book from flipkart here.

10. A calendar too crowded by Sagarika Chakraborthy

This is a collection of short stories, mostly woman oriented. All are heart touching and realistic. Each story explains plights of women in different perspective. Stories cover most common problems of women like dowry deaths, female foeticide, gender discrimination etc., Writing style is simple, yet interesting. Read my review here and purchase book from flipkart here

So, how did you like my list of books.. Please let me know if you too love them :)

Until next time,

Image courtesy: All book images from goodreads.com

05 September, 2014

Thank you Teacher

India celebrates Teacher's day on September 5th, which is the birth date of a great teacher and second president of our country 'Dr. Sarvepalli RadhaKrishnan'. As a student, we used to participate in different activities and perform before our teacher in schools on that day to entertain them and to let them relax and enjoy in a happy mood. Our Principal used to recognize best teachers by awards and prizes. It used to be a fun event organized by students.

Teachers play a very important role in our lives. They mould us to be a great human beings. As per Indian mythology, we give great respect to them only to be next to our parents. On this day, I remember many wonderful teachers who impacted my life and want to tell them a big thank you.

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. - Albert Einstein

My first teacher/ Guru is my dance teacher 'A Parvathi Ramachandran'. She is an excellent teacher guiding her students to be more creative on their own. Instead of giving traditional education, she encouraged us to experiment and set our own dancing style without imitating any one else's. What more can a student expect from a teacher?

Another teacher who i considered as inspiration was 'Mrs. Radhamani', she was my Telugu teacher in school. Her teaching style is excellent, whatever she teaches, it sticks to your heart and she knows how to impress us :) Being an introvert in school, I was hesitant in participating in debates/ elocution / any public facing performances. With her support, I gave a speech before whole school and earned accolades. She encouraged me to participate in Junior red cross camp to Shimla which made me self reliant and confident. 

There are many teachers from our college who encouraged students to think innovative or to think beyond our books. There are many teachers who made me realize that bookish knowledge alone is not enough in this world and learning is a continuous process. There are many mentors in my professional life who guided in my successful career. 

Even though I couldn't name each and everyone here, I am indebted for their guidance and suggestions and would like to say my heart-felt Thanks.

Thank you teacher. I wish you a very happy Teacher's day :)

Until next time,

Image courtesy: www.glavo.net

01 September, 2014

Private India - [Book review]

Book details:
Title: Private India
Author: Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson
Publisher: Random house
No. of pages: 480
Genre: Crime thriller

My Expectation: I like murder mysteries, had been an ardent fan of Sherlock Holmes from childhood :) I also like Ashwin Sanghi's novels, which are thrillers with a mix of mythology. Haven't read any novels of James Petterson, but knew that he is an expert in thrillers. After reading the blurb at the backside of the book, i was expecting an on the edge thriller.

Story: A series of murders come into light in Mumbai and a private detective agency 'Private India' with intelligent staff takes up the case. All victims are women and murderer leaves clues by placing some objects near the victim. It is very clear that murderer enjoys the art of killing. He takes care by not leaving any prints/ clues to trace him back although he leaves a strand of hair at every victim. Can 'Private India' team tackle the problem and stop the murders at right time? This forms the remaining story.

My Take:
Guys.. what is new in this story? we have heard of many stories of pschyo killers with series of murders and detectives finding clues to atlast find him to stop in the last murder. Sometimes, eventhough story is not interesting, the way it is written might impress to read you the book. I see a lot of confusion in the book, with many characters being simply added as masala mix. A connection to the murders with ISI, Indian mujahuddin, Nimboo baba, match fixing and drug dealer Munna, an Attorney General etc. doesn't seem very relavant.

Yes, story becomes interesting in the middle, but i lost interest at the end and i was waiting for the story to end soon. There are many things which i felt were unnecessary and illogical.

1. How Indian government can give a case like this (series of murders) to a private agency even though the agency is very famous and capable. Since Private India cannot deduce much until 6th murder and cannot stop the massacre till 8th one, at least Government would have included CBI logically. What say?
2. I don't understand the importance of a few characters like Munna and Nimboo baba. Good to read about some realistic characters, but how good it is when they are not directly relevant to the story or doesn't contribute much.
3. Epilogue and last few pages are very boring.
4. Too many cooks spoiled the broth. You heard the saying right? It is a disappointment for Ashwin Sanghi's fans, as they expect some mythology touch and something new to learn. Readers of James Patterson might feel better as it is a thriller, but the plot might not impress them.

My Rating: 3/5
I wouldn't recommend this to die hard thriller fans. Good for a time pass read in a train / bus journey. Forgot to tell you! the big font is a savior for eyes. No stress in reading 450+ pages, hope other publishers also concentrate on font too along with story line.

In case, you want to purchase book from flipkart at Rs.193, here is the link.

Until next time,

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

28 August, 2014

Vinayaka Chavithi Celebrations - in Andhra style

Vinayaka Chavithi is a unique festival for Telugu people because of the way it is celebrated with family members. It is fun time especially for kids, decorating clay idol, Palavelli (Wooden frame to tie fruits), marking all notebooks with Om or Swastik symbol with watery vermilion paste, praying Lord Ganesha with different types of leaves (patri), helping mother in preparation of special dishes for the day - Vundrallu and talukalu. I have many wonderful memories associated with this festival from childhood. As children, we used to wait for this day for whole year.

Importance of festival:
Before I touch upon our way of celebrating this festival, i should also tell you the importance of the festival in our lives. This is celebrated as the birth date of Lord Ganesha, Son of Lord Parameswara and Goddess Parvathi. Ganesha is also known as Vighnadhipathi, which means first God to be prayed before starting any work to avoid obstacles and bring success.

Story behind Puja:
The legend is that Moon God laughed at Vinayaka on his birthday watching him walking slowly because of over eating his favorite dish Vundrallu, which made Vinayaka's belly burst. Goddess Parvathi is upset with this and cursed that no one should see moon from now on, or else, they will face many obstacles/problems. When all other devatas requested her for a remedy, she changed curse saying that whoever watches moon on Vinayaka Chavithi without performing puja to Lord Ganesha and without wearing akshinthalu (rice with turmeric powder kept in puja), will face problems. So, it has become a custom in Telugu household to perform puja on that day morning to Lord Ganesha, by taking head bath, wearing new dresses, preparing and offering dishes which please Ganesha, listening to the above story and wearing those puja akshinthalu at the end.

Puja process:
We buy Ganesh idol made of clay, different types of fruits available and different types of leaves(patri) to perform puja. We prepare and offer Vundrallu/ Kudumulu, Chalividi, Vadapappu, Panakam and a sweet called 'Talukalu' prepared either with jaggery or sugar and milk. Each fruit bought for Puja will be cleaned, applied with vermilion paste and kumkuma and tied to Palavelli (a wooden frame), which is tied above the Ganesha idol. All fruits are tied symmetrically as shown in images. Some also buy and place an umbrella above clay idol. We usually write Om/ swastik symbol on academic note books of children with vermilion paste and kumkum and keep before God during puja. After performing puja, we listen to the story about Vinayaka's birth and wear akshinthalu at the end. We end the puja with harathi and distribute prasadam. Usually, we keep God decorated in household and pray for at least 3 days and leave the puja remains along with idol in a lake, which is known as 'Nimajjanam'. Few people perform puja at home daily till 7 or 9 days before immersing idol in lake on 10th day. Because of performing puja and wearing akkshinthalu on head on that day, it is believed that no problem arises even by seeing moon by mistake. So, that's how we celebrate making every family member participate actively. 

Let me know how you celebrate this festival :)

Until next time,

25 August, 2014

Easy books for beginners

In this digital world, Book reading is becoming a rare quality.  Isn't it?

World is moving fast. We prefer twitter, mms, sms to facebook, letters and emails. 

We always want quick updates. We don't have time to dig into details. 

Still, some people are interested in books, some listen to audio books, some watch movie adaptations, some read e-books, use kindles, everyone has some shortcut.  Agree?

Many colleagues and friends who are still interested in reading books ask me to suggest some easy books for beginners to catch up and make it a habit. They all know there are many advantages of reading books like enhancing our memory, improving our concentration, increasing knowledge and sometimes, it can be simply to escape to that fantasy land :) Here is the list of books that i read so far and remembered to document. From this list and beyond, i would like to suggest few quick, easy reads with quality stuff to any beginner who want to start the habit of book reading. 

1. Wise and Otherwise by Sudha Murthy - My review

A short story collection which is based on real life experiences. Each short story is simple and easy going  which can be completed in an hour. Everyone will definitely love Sudha Murthy's writing style and also understand moral values behind each story.

2. Five point someone by Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat's books are simple to read and connect well to the mindset of youth. This book already was very famous among students and became more popular due to movie adaptation '3 idiots'. Can't believe it's just Rs.52/- in flipkart now. Anyways, you can complete this easy read very quick for sure :) I would also recommend you to read '2 states' from the same author, if you liked this.

3. Urban Shots Cross roads by multiple authors - My review

A fresh breeze of modern short stories from multiple authors. Since there are different stories about different sets of people, we can easily relate to many characters in our day to day lives. As it is basically a collection of short stories, few might be too good, some bad and some ok types. Overall, its good time pass to read this book.

4. Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle - Collection of short stories - My review

My Favorite of all. My habit of book reading started with this and i love these short stories so much. This complete collection is my prized possession so far. As you might have guessed from the name of the detective, these are collection of detective stories. You wont be disappointed by the story line of each thrilling one. But, the language used in this book might seem too old and classic, you might need some time to love the writing style. A good choice for people who love detective stories with mystery and thrill. 

5. Lucifer's Lungi by Nitin Sawant - My review

Might not be a best read, but easy going thriller having humor as integral part of the story. First few pages might be boring, but you wont regret for picking up this book to read as the remaining part compensates for the same. A short story which suits our modern thinking.

So, all beginners... do let me know if you agree with my list.

Note: Books picked above are easy to read and might improve your interest in book reading, but this doesn't mean that they are the only best literary works that i read so far. 

Until next time,

Image courtesy: All pics from flipkart.com and goodreads.com

Share some love :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...