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

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Book Review #110 : Perfect Love – 5.5 Ways To A Lasting Relationship



I have gone through Shubha’s Ramayana series books as well. And all books are amazing with great life lessons. In this book, the author concludes the life lessons amazingly and as readers, we are glued till the end!

There are 6 stories from the shastras namely ‘The Wheel of Fortune’, ‘The Golden Letter’, ‘A Silent Voice’, ‘The Other Before Oneself’, ‘The Woman Who Chose’ and ‘A Condition About Conditions’, but Shubha has presented them in a very practical and simple way. I was completely surprised by the depth of love, in all the stories.

Forgiveness is key is the main theme of ‘The Wheel of Fortune’ which narrates the story of Nala and Damayanti. Tolerate first and forgive next is the first key to make a relationship last for a lifetime.

Rukmini expresses her love to Krishna in ‘The Golden Letter’ as she explores that expressing love is crucial in a relationship. Appreciative expressions of love are the second key to make a relationship last for a lifetime.

Trust is foundation of all relationships. In ‘A Silent Voice’, Shakuntala first starts learning to trust herself, her inner voice and then later on trusting Dushyanta, her lover and husband. Trust in others begins by trusting oneself first, inner voice second and life itself, third. Trust is the important key to make a relationship strong.

In ‘The Other Before Oneself’, the author narrates the love story of Udayana and Vasavadatta as well as Lohajanga and Rupinika who build their relationships based on quality time spent in each other’s company. Spending quality and quantity time is the fourth key to make a relationship last for a lifetime.

Savitri’s determination to stay with Satyavan is retold in the story ‘The Woman Who Chose’. The determination to stay together actually increases the overall levels of happiness and contentment in a human being. Savitri was resolute not to let go of the relationship even in the face of death itself.

As the name suggests ‘A Condition About Conditions’ is about the conditions that have positive or negative impact on the relationships. A positive condition is the last half-key to make a relationship last for a lifetime. The stories of Shantanu’s relationship with Ganga and Satyavati and Pururava’s love for Urvashi talk about how negative conditions complicate relationships from the beginning and strangulate them in the end. Whereas Draupadi’s marriage with the five Pandavas lasted a lifetime.

Life lessons of love, anger, lust, intelligence, etc all emotions are taken through and is quite implementable in day to day life. This is a genuine book with genuine content. 

Each quote and lesson given in the book touches the heart, with narration that keeps you hooked. These are my favourite quotes from the book-

"The commitment to be grateful in a relationship is the commitment that keeps a relationship”

“When you look down upon someone, they appear ugly. When you look up at someone, they appear beautiful. But when you look straight at someone, they appear the way they are.”

“Filthy roads are better than filthy minds; at least their filth is visible.”

"Small drops of water when collected fill up a water tank. Similarly, when efforts are made to fulfil small desires, it fills up the love tank"

"Just as the smile of the crescent moon against the backdrop of utter darkness is most beautiful, the smile on the face of a person who is surrounded by unlimited troubles is most attractive.”

I've received much deeper and broader understanding on the way how relationships should be dealt with. Here in this book, it's not just about two people in love per se, but how we can improve every relation in general.

Theory with practical lessons plus implementation of things and guidance by author himself. It is a guide to having fulfilling relationships and transforming the way we look at them, that will be useful for generations to come.  

Perfect Love – 5.5 Ways to A Lasting Relationship is a treasure trove of scriptural wisdom for the modern age. I appreciate the efforts taken by the author in studying, writing and presenting the book in such a beautiful way! For all those who wish to improve their relationship with their partner it is must read book! :) Highly recommended.

Rating - 5/5

Author : Shubha Vilas is a TEDx speaker, lifestyle coach, storyteller and author. He has delivered more than 4000 lectures on application of scriptural wisdom in day-to-day life. Curious to know more about him, then visit his website – www.shubhavilas.com.