Monday, 31 December 2018

Book Review #114 : the sun and her flowers


The Sun and Her Flowers, by Rupi Kaur, is perfect for anyone who has recently broken up with someone who did not nurture your soul sufficiently to sprout. For all shattered spirits in search of a safe haven, this poetic collection is nectar to busy little injured bees. In a garden where precious buds are in dire need of water, The Sun and Her Flowers reflects souls who rise above the barriers that hinder their growth. It is a passage between decay, awakening, and healing. Rupi Kaur’s most recent anthology is “the recipe of life.”

Rupi Kaur vividly plays with paradoxical symbols. The book cover contained sunflowers, typically resembling joy and vitality, and its content depicts themes of woe and melancholy. It symbolises the process of regaining light after prolonged, somber nights of despair. Even vibrant and cheerful beings, like sunflowers, can wilt and suffer with scarce nurturing.

The Sun and Her Flowers encompasses an enticing table of contents, akin to a flower cycle: wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. Each category portrays poems with illustrations done by Kaur herself, relevant to their respective themes.

One of the many reasons to love this book  is its capacity to truly mend and heal broken hearts stuck in despair and darkness. This anthology provides light at the end of the readers’ tunnels, and give hope to souls who consider themselves unfortunate.

If you read her first book (Milk and Honey), it's still in Rupi's signature style, but she manages to cover similar topics from a different standpoint. It kind of feels as though her books are maturing with her, as this one handles the issues from Milk and Honey in a more mature, learned tone.

Even if some of the poems in the sun and her flowers seem like recycled oldies-but-goodies, there's no denying that Kaur is brilliant. She's not afraid to speak her mind and talk about taboo subjects, such as female infanticide, immigration, rape, abuse, mental illness and sexual empowerment. Her poems contain difficult subject matter and can be hard to read, but they all hold a unique power that can and will speak to many people around the world. This leaves readers feeling as though Kaur has gone deep into the depths of their personal lives and put all the heart-wrenching feelings they once felt down on paper.

Reading The Sun and Her Flowers will honestly change your life and your relationships with yourself and others. I am truly looking forward to reading her future publications. Definitely recommend that ALL young women read this, if for no other reason than to see that we are all sharing very similar struggles in love and life in general.

Ratings : 5/5 

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Top 15, 2018 Life Lessons



Top 15, 2018 Life Lessons: 🌻

Since 2018 is coming to a close, I thought I would reflect on some of the lessons I learned this year. What a year! Today, I’d like to recap and share my biggest life lessons of 2018. It’s been the best year so far but that doesn’t mean everything was going my way. Read to know more... :)

1. Fall madly in love with yourself. "I am enough". 
2. Have unwavering faith; things will fall into place.
3. Never take life for granted.
4. Be more observing.
5. It’s okay to dream big.
6. Only when you move away from your comfort zone and cocooned life, you discover other facets to yourself.
7. Listen to the little encouraging inner voice more than the self doubt demon who plagues you. 
8. Don’t be scared if you fall off the wagon.
9. Dignity lies in getting a sense of the ending and letting go what’s not meant for you, gracefully.
10. Not everything you see on social media is real or goals.
11. Worry about your craft. Not the algorithm.
12. Genuine love is a privilege. Do whatever it takes to nourish it, so it lasts forever. 
13. Enjoy and be in love with the “process” of something not just the end result. Be in love with the fight too, not just the victory. Be obsessed with improvement.
14. Our proudest achievements come in the face of the greatest adversity.
15. Thoughts become things.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Book Review #113 : Patna Blues


Book :- Patna Blues

Author :- Abdullah Khan

Publisher :- Juggernaut

First thing first. I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Mr. Abdullah Khan for entrusting me with the review for his debut book ‘Patna Blues’.

"Patna Blues" revolves around three main characters; Arif, a Muslim boy from the lower-middle-class family who dreams of becoming an official of the IAS and changing the fortune of his family. Zakir, Arif's younger brother and an aspiring actor who eventually becomes a victim of the fascist side of India. The love of his life, Sumitra, a mature married Hindu woman. Arif and Sumitra, two amateur poets, share their love and passion for Urdu poetry. Urdu Shayaris are the fragrance of this story which will certainly make you fall in love with them.

The book is hard cover and the cover looks very good with a picture of a young boy who plants a lots of questions and curiosity in the reader's mind.

The book illuminates the post-Babri life of Indian Muslims too. The way the author has explained the life of a Muslim boy or a Muslim family in the Hindu majority India is the highlight of the book.

The book is a heart-wrenching tale from dream to destiny with a gripping storyline and admirable characters. It explores the various taboos existing in our society and highlights the hostility towards Muslims. The characters are relatable inspired from those who we have met at some point in our lives. My most loved character is that of Arif, a boy who despite of several hurdles doesn’t lose hope. His relationship with his family and friends is warm and pleasant.

The book is a gripping read which doesn’t allow you to take a break from it. At one point, it seems that Arif is a reflection of the author himself. The distinct portrayal of emotions make this novel an interesting yet realistic read.

Patna Blues does full justice to its title. As we accompany Arif Khan, the protagonist, along his life’s path, mostly strewn with speed breakers, pothole’s and occasionally down gravel filled paths as he trips and falls, again and again, we can’t help but root for him to do better: to pass the all important IAS exam this time, somehow be with the woman of his dreams, help his Abba with the financial burden that wears his lower middle class police officer father down, find his beloved younger brother Zakir who the police have picked up one dark night and then have denied picking up.

There are a lot of scenes and incidents that take place and are left unexplained as to why it happened or what exactly happened. I humbly demand him a sequel. The author writes lucid language that is relatable and understandable. The narration is a combination of crispiness, ornamentation and a bit of a drag at places.

I recommend this book to one and all. Especially to those who wants to try out new storylines, that are different from the unusual boy-meet-girl tale. It is a heartrending tale that would eventually pull the reader to the very depth of the narration. The ending is touching, a feast to the readers’ soul and perhaps the best part of the book.

Rating - 4.5/5

Friday, 26 October 2018

Book Review #112 : God of The Sullied



"God of the Sullied" is one of the most intriguing works of fiction that I have come across recently. It will take you down a rollercoaster ride as the pages reveal the mystery enhanced by Gaurav Sharma's engaging writing style. There are a lot of plots and twists along with fantastic characters in this book. 

The storyline is gripping. This book gives you a taste of Hindu medieval timeline. An un-put-down-able fiction, "God of the Sullied" is a pacy read for all mythology buffs!

"God of the sullied" is the first book in which Eklavya is the protagonist. Eklavya was the boy who severed his right hand thumb and gave it to Dronacharya as his Gurudakshina. Apart from this, we hardly know anything about him. In this book, author Gaurav Sharma has re-imagined and executed everything. Reimagining and writing about a mythological character is not an easy work. But the ease with which the author has reimagined everything is laudable.

Use of easy and lucid language makes it enjoyable to read. The narration is also good. Editing of the book is tight and absolutely perfect. This book has made my mind visualize every description made by the author. The book is well researched & takes you to the heights of excitement.

VERDICT : This book is truly a captivating novel with each page and character building up interest in the book. Will surely recommend!

TIP: Preferably try finishing the book in one go.

Keep writing, Gaurav Sharma. Kudos to you. Looking forward to reading you more.

Rating - 4.5/5 

Disclaimer: I received the book from the author asking me to review this book. I read the blurb, which seemed intriguing, and I accepted his offer, in exchange of an honest review.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Book Review #111 : Dystopia

Title: Dystopia
Author: Manoj V Jain
Publisher: The Write Place
Genre: Fiction 
Pages: 146



Manoj V Jain’s Dystopia is the story of five school friends who reconnect after decades and attempt to resolve why a dear friend killed herself at eighteen. 

The book is set in the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai and is centred on a single night at one of the friends’ house. Regular flashbacks take you to different points in time giving the narrative some perspective.

Jain has divided the story into two parts- Shambala, the idealistic and dreamy world of adolescence and Dystopia, the dark and angst ridden reality. As with any murder plot, the end is a shocker and takes you by surprise. The reason for Anandita’s death is the final piece of the puzzle, but yet the story somehow feels unsatisfying. 

Dystopia is nothing but a reflection of what we as adults might have gone through as kids, how our life shapes depending upon how over protective our parents were or careless with our up bringing; how we behaved with others as we grew up and vice versa. 

Most of us are the results of our childhood. Dystopia is a good read for those grappling with childhood pains, growing up, teenage angst, role identities and parenting but one should be careful that the book does not end up being a trigger to past problems.

The writing is good but fails to interest because of the incessant transition from reality to flashback. A topic gets initiated and even before its culmination, it is monotonously interrupted by the spirit of dystopia. The scenes hence become over-stretched and uninteresting.

‘Dystopia ’once again brings to the fore Author Manoj V Jain’s skill at making a mundane topic truly interesting and engaging. I admire how skilfully the author has his reader engaged in the topic.

If you are a parent, this might turn on an internal debate with your subconscious mind for the good or the bad but beware, that the message this novella wants to spread, must be taken seriously. ‘Dystopia’ is an eye-opener. Thought provoking, and one that can leave adults especially those that force their will on their children, feeling guilty, ‘Dystopia’ reveals the damage over protectiveness can have on the young mind. This in turn translates into the child becoming an introvert or hesitating from revealing secrets that are meant only for parents’ ears. 

VERDICT: The book one of the best on parenting, is a must read for all parents especially those with young kids.

Rating -4/5