Tuesday, 20 December 2016


This book is about Ramya and her daughter Aparajita. Ramya lost her husband in an accident. She was sold by her husband’s friend, Anjum, into flesh trade. She was too young to understand the world and gets carried away. She believed few who in turn exploited her for their own good.

Trapped in the merciless milieu of one of the largest red-light districts in India, Aparajita faces the repercussions of something she has least control of. A restrained society snubs Aparajita for her social class, under the influence of a centuries-old enigma that still persists in the fifth largest economy of the world. The fiasco rips her hope and crushes her childhood dream to study as she grows up in the street of ill repute.

As they say, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, Raj Kaul comes to the rescue of her and Aparajita. So when an opportunity to ditch being a sex worker is offered who would deny?That’s why Ramya marries Raj, an artist who works for an NGO. Ramya has only one goal that drove her to marry Raj which is to make her talented daughter study in a proper school. She will do anything to protect her daughter from the evil eyes of the pimps.

I loved the way how the characters were portrayed and the events which were used to spin a perfect story. Though it wasn't a bulky novel, (I love fat novels) within 98 pages, the author was successful enough in bringing out the best of the character Aparajita from being a small girl to a grown one, realising her dreams.

I accept the fact that the author has done a fantastic job in writing the intriguing story. While the first half is narrated by Ramya, Aparajita's mother, the second half was narrated by Aparajita. To be truthful, I loved everything in the second half. It is full of positivity. The letter Aparajita wrote to her step father was beautiful. It is very rare to find a person like her stepfather these days.

A short and crisp story that very well brings out the emotions of the central character. The author has superbly expressed the feelings of a woman. The plot is likely to touch the heart of every woman. I also felt that though the author has made a good attempt to highlight the issue of sex workers coming back to the society and trying to lead a normal life, but I felt that there are other element that could have been looked into.

In all, a good read and I am sure women are going to like it a lot. Author has done a great job in addressing these issues which women of the current Indian society are facing. This problem is not just in the rural areas but also in urban India.

Rating – 5/5

P.S: I won a review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Book Review #75 : The THC Under a Gibbous Moon

Author: Manoj V Jain
Publisher: Notion Press
ISBN: 978-1-946129-82-6
Genre: Adult Fiction
No. of pages : 194

The story of the book The THC Under a Gibbous Moon is about three different individuals, Sanjaneka, Samar and Varun, who visit The THC, Total Healing Center for reasons very peculiar to them and it becomes a part of their journey wherein they want to get rid of the disharmony in their life and come to terms with it.

The book conveys the message, "It's okay to be emotional, it's okay to fail, it's okay to disappoint. Just move on". It is very modern in its approach and as a reader, you will connect to the story. It is also about the other side of human behaviour and desires which are usually hidden under the pretext of culture and "Log Kya Kahenge" syndrome that our society is affected with.

The narration of the book, The THC Under a Gibbous Moon is very bold. The characters, the situations that they are in, their sexuality and their existence, the problems they face and their exploration of solutions make the book a gripping read.

We, as humans, have gone beyond the usual of expectations. We always want more, more than that more and it goes on and on. In this never ending loop, we have engulfed ourselves with pain and agony, with irritation and discomfort, with trouble and turbulence, with what and what not! In the quest of achieving, beyond the expectations, we leave behind the bundle of happiness and the nature of being content.

The book is all about the healing process, that one needs during the demanding times, during the phase of accepting the past and overcoming it only to move ahead with grace. The book talks in detail about sex, gay relationship, expectations and betrayal in great detail.

The story is aligned real perfect with various incidents and it needs patience to read in full as it is not a thriller. The book still appealed to me for the simple fact that it talked in great detail about the human psychology which is the need of the hour.

Homosexuality is still a taboo subject in India and in Indian context the attitude is skeptical and not so clear enough to be discussed openly. Also marriage is said to be an institution of responsibility , compromise and convenience. It has become an affair of complexity. The book deals with both of them in a bold and honest manner.

“The THC under a Gibbous Moon” an excellent novel tells about the haven of health for both the physically and psychologically sick and troubled persons inclusive of those suffer from sexual dysfunction. The center gives them holistic treatment in the form of Massage, Oil and Steam bath, coupled with the therapy like Acupuncture , etc for recovery and rejuvenation so that they lead a happy and hale life.

I am overwhelmed by the functioning of the Total Holistic center which caters to the needs of the people affected by chronic diseases. The tight time schedule, good diet, timely advices by the doctors  psychological support given to the inmates and professional touch of the employees with result orientation all are fantastic and informative. Such clinics should be opened in a large scale in our country instead of poly clinics and specialty hospitals.

It is a roller coaster read. I would recommend this book, The THC Under a Gibbous Moon, to anyone who is interested in reading a bold and gutsy adult fiction. Good job, Manoj!

Rating - 4/5

I won a review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities.

Book Review #74 : The Allegorical Expedition

Author – P Satyadeep
Publisher – Partridge (2016)
Pages – 200

I recently got to read a book by P Satyadeep, an HR professional, The Allegorical Journey. This book surely stands to its bold title – a journey which is full of experiences that are more than the usual.

Pages praising the landscape in such a way that will not only appeal to the readers but also give them a respite from the usual ‘city life’ is commendable.

Another important aspect of the book is that P Satyadeep, the author, has tried to revisit the scriptures and mythological instances of the great Hindu religion.

Being a debut author, Satyadeep has done justice to his work. He has presented a quality production to the readers and I am sure they will love the book. It felt good coming across the descriptions of ghats in Varanasi, ashrams, cultural landscapes and so many things that will give you a kind of relief… A break-away novel in this modern era of cheap-fame trick in literature, P Satyadeep has created a landscape which is far from the land of elites.

Story - SJ (Satyajit) is a well-known movie director who has enough of things to live a comfortable life. However, he decides to do something which serves a true purpose. Thus, he decides to set out on a journey that takes its course through various places. He meets different people and learns many kinds of new experiences that one cannot have sitting home and living the life as it is. As a twist and also leaving the chances open for a sequel, the novelist P Satyadeep has left the end open-ended. He goes in search of the truth and he ends up meeting Shantilata, a spiritual healer who in turn refers him to Pandit Shukshmachari. He goes on an expedition covering various places en-route meeting the Panditji. What did he discover during this expedition? Did he meet Panditji? If yes, was his questions answered? This is the story all about!

What more I would like to highlight about the book is its quality chapter-titles. The titles are so metaphorical that you will be curious enough to read those – Taming The Monkey Mind, Mind is Reborn, Lost in Wilderness, The Blissful Soul, A True Revelation and so on… Truly, this novel becomes an Allegory that the author has intended to make out of it. You also start seeking the purpose of your life.

Yes, there is a magic in the realms which we don’t generally bother to explore. That magic needs to be unfolded and presented to world, and seeing the things happening, gives me a hope. Themes and plots, ideas and impetus, there are many things wrapped with our ancient marks. One needs to go ahead and untie the things and P Satyadeep has taken the courage to be on this ‘allegorical expedition’.

In a nutshell, if I might say so, The Allegorical Expedition sets the readers too on a journey to find solace and seek truth away from the daily life that we lead.

Rating- 4.5/5

P.S: I won a review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Book Review #73 : In Loving Memory

Title: In Loving Memory
Author: Haimanti Datta Ray
Publisher: Rupali Publications
Pages: 100
Genre: Non-Fiction/ Biography

In Loving Memory is in Haimanti Dutta Ray’s own words a memoir where a doting daughter recounts how she had seen her father the late painter Shyamal Dutta Ray, who passed away in 2005, at close quarters as well as her reflections on the art fraternity to which her father had belonged. The book isn’t about lamenting the loss of a beloved father; it is primarily a daughter’s reappraisal of his influence on her life that has been wilfully accentuated, and a celebration of this.

It is a memoir where a lovely daughter, the author Haimanti Dutta Ray, expresses her love to her father,  Shyamal Dutta Ray, a noted water colorist, in a sensitive way. It is a very short and sweet read with less than hundred pages. The artistic paintings done by author's father gain attraction.

The writing is so appealing for the fact, the memories were captured not only from the aspect of a doting daughter but also from the aspect of a fan who loved the art. She has written not just about the artist, but about the man behind those beautiful canvases that adorn the walls of several museums and private collections.

It also portrays some of her outings with her dad on special invitation to few places and what her dad liked the most. The book also points how her father stuck to the water colors when his counterpart moved to oil painting. Rivers have made the impact to create wonders in his paintings. His paintings have got a place in the hearts of thousands of people as well as they are displayed in national and international galleries.

What moved me the most was the final chapter "And Life Goes On" where the author talks about how her life and that of her mother changed after her father's demise. She writes, "Life must and should go on. This is the lesson that I have learnt after Baba’s death. Books have become a constant companion and a solid mass of unalloyed love and commitment, post our bereavement."

This book is an honest and humble tribute to a father by his daughter. It is a fantastic attempt by her in remembering her father for his great works getting national and international repute. This book is of great help to understand and appreciate the works of one of our major painters.

Born in 1934 at Ranchi , Shyamal Dutta Ray started drawing and painting at a very early age. The author of this book Haimanti Dutta Ray gives a clear picture about her father’s commitment and devotion to his job as a painter. He was blessed with a keen mind and the ability to impress others with his paintings. Since he worked hard to give life to his drawings and dreams he was honoured by laurels and prizes. 

Coming to the book – the writing style is simple and to the point. The inclusion of some of Dutta Ray’s paintings is an added bonus, as you flip pages.

The book is a good read for the artists and students of art so that they get a clear picture of an artist's life.

Rating: 4.5/5

P.S: I won a review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Book Review #72 : Blood In The Paradise - A Tale Of An Impossible Murder

Genre: Fiction/Thriller
Author: Madhav Mahidhar
Publisher: Frog Books
ISBN: 978-93-52017-10-2

The cover of the book caught my attention – The picture of a dark wall with an eye and blood dripping from that. It is so intriguing.

Murder mysteries thrill me as they send a chill down the spine. The plot is set in Bangalore, the hub for IT companies. The story deals with the current days’ financially independent women, their intelligence, their feminist thinking, their ambitions and their lifestyle.

The story begins with a suicide note of a woman – Madhumitha. My heart sank seeing a successful woman to be depressed and eventually deciding to end her life. The suicide was being investigated by DCP Vishwaroop – a highly intelligent, honest, sharp, diligent and competent cop and his team. The author manages to make you ponder between the intellects of DCP Vishwaroop and that of Madhumitha along with her friend Anupriya. It’s a detailed narration of how they decode the little clues gathered while investigating the suicide or the murder scene. The author has been successful in depicting the role of media, the women’s commission and how it becomes a hindrance for the work of the police department. Knowing almost for sure who the criminal is, you will not be able to keep the book down!

The author has done a detailed research for writing this book. It gives you an insight of the present days scenario of a man and woman relationship, the problems of married life and its consequences.

His narration will keep you riveted to the plot. You will end up discovering the facets of feminism and how confused the concept of feminism is in our society. You will question age old structure of our society and its impactful consequences in our lives. It describes, how this society gives us the courage or the strength or both to do the impossible in a sheer possible way. The author has also, cleverly, tells the readers what ideal feminism should be; it’s not about hating men, but establishing feminine dexterity in every sphere of life.

The language is lucid and simple and, the characters are well-portrayed. The efforts taken to create the settings in Blood In The Paradise - A Tale Of An Impossible Murder by the author should be appreciated and the scenes appear very real in terms of their detailing to the core of correctness, for example the legal trails and the interrogation questions. There are the details which will give you a kind of visual experience of watching a movie… Those who love suspense, will surely love it! However, I found the story stretched in places and could have 10-12 pages shorter easily.

I hope the author comes out with even more interesting plots which I know he will and am waiting for his next bestseller.

Recommended for all who love thrillers/ mystery. Especially, the youths who want to read the novels with a lot of detective impetus and adventure will surely love the book!

My rating: 4.5/5

P.S: I won a review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities.