Stories that matter!

Hi there folks! Great to be back with another book and a story to share.

Last week I left with a note that I will talk about a place that I have always dreamt of and then landed there just to feel the joy of accomplishing my bucket-list.

The place where I found myself to be lost within its beauty is Bhutan!

Bhutan is my neighboring country and we have a lot of harmony with them. Even then I realized we are quite different in our mannerisms, our beliefs and our heritage. On the other side of the coin I also found that we are similar in many aspects.


Bhutan is a colorful country with its beautiful flags beckoning the travelers to stop and enjoy the heart of hospitality.

Tiger’s Nest
Tiger’s Nest

After the journey, I found a book that made me realize that dreaming to go far and wide are necessary for human life. And the book that brought me there is: The Alchemist.

It is quite late for the review as this book has definitely made the top of “Must-Read” for many. Still it was an experience I must share with the readers.

Name: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho

It’s not often I land with a book and think that I have covered a course of my life which people only dreamed of. The reality of life can never match what the dream expects.

I cannot make justice to a book that has been so thoroughly loved and read a million times. So I thought of sharing the quotes that touched me the most.

And here comes another one:

Last but not the least, the book hands out the motivation required for anyone when they are down or depressed. If someone needs a pick me up or a dose of inspiration, go ahead pick it up at your nearest book store. I know that no bookstore will run out of stock for this book!

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Ghoomophiro: Travel Bringing Families Together!

Is it easy to forgive yourself for a mistake that you have committed repeatedly? A mistake that you had promised never to do again?

Can you say a simple “Sorry” to yourself and forgive yourself? Again? I don’t think so.

To all my readers, I apologize as I have not come back with the beautiful books that I have been hogging for myself. For authors who have shared your books, sorry for the delay, but I will surely be writing about your brainchild. And last but not the least, I’m sorry that life took the navigation controls from my hand and held me at gunpoint to prioritize everything over writing.

I had not quit writing in true sense. I had been writing a more personal chapter of my life and looking back, I don’t regret it. However, I assure you that the future works are an inspiration of the twists and turns that I have faced in the past year.

I am really excited to bring a new set of amazing books, wonderful stories that cannot be contained in pages and finally another journey of writing my heart out!

I want to change few things on the blog, might take a little while to figure out what exactly I want to do, but I am sure I will find the required resources for it. 

Since the hiatus is done and I am crawling back up, I was out there looking for something that makes me feel like the one book that can define my journey of two years. So I ended taking a trip to Bhutan. Guys, its definitely a place worth visiting! The peace and serenity did definitely change me. But I guess, I could not yet bring the magic back into my words. 

That is when I found a book on travelling that took the thought right out of my mind and pushed me right back into writing. 

*A standing ovation to the book and its author* 

Here comes- Ghoomophiro

Book Name: Ghoomophiro
Author: Himadri Garg
Genre: Travel Fiction
Publisher: Kalamos Literary Services
ISBN: 978-93-87780-20-0

It was a boring afternoon when my friend Anuj told me about the book launch at Sapna Book House. It felt weird to be attending one as I had stopped reviewing books for a while. However, the book calls and opportunities do knock the front door.

The surprise that was in store for me was that the author turned out to be cut from the same cloth as I am. Humble, travel enthusiast and fire spirited! That sealed the deal for me. Ghoomophiro was coming home with me tonight.

Wohooo!! #MyCopy

So coming to the night with the book:

It starts out with the story of two travelling sisters, now looking at their children in the year 2025 and wondering what are they missing out in life even when technology has eased all possible burdens. That is when they decide they need to make their kids see the world in an actual trip to the lush islands of the Andaman.

The story progresses with how the family that has distanced itself is brought back together and is understanding the joy of travelling with the sisters. Travelling is not expensive if you plan the framework. Travelling is fun when you trust you instinct and try things right out of your comfort zone. Experience in travelling leads one to appreciate and crave it more. And so the sisters reveal their learning and lessons to the future generation.

What I loved about the book:

First would definitely be the story and the plot. Its detailed and very clear where the story is taking you. The characters are defined and grow beautifully with the reader.

The lessons of travelling the sisters provide. There is a symmetry to the story where the younger generation question the sisters in each chapter and the sisters explain them with an experience out of their own travel stories.

What I did not like about the book:

No book is without its flaws. Ghoomophiro has tiny problems like grammatical mistakes which is little difficult to overlook.

The book is predictable and you just know what to expect next at few places. However, it is still bearable as the author has brought out the Andamans and so many other places quiet vividly.

Key Takeaway for reader:

This book teaches the reader about responsible travelling through the method of story telling.

Overall this book was a worthy read and I personally could connect to may things as a traveler myself. So give it shot and experience the homesickness to a place you have not yet been!

Question for the reader:

Have you been to any place where you feel like “This is a dream that I am living?” or is there any place that you have wanted to visit for a long time? If yes then let me know in the comments! I would definitely like to know. Also my next article is going to be about that.. So stay tuned until next time!

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

Review: Finding Juliet

When you look back, most days in life seem ordinary, but there are some that change your life forever and remain etched in your memory.

  • Finding Juliet

A lot of love stories for the valentine month and I hadn’t expected four in one love story plus few odd ones here and there in a single book.

Times are changing. The book that showed me that was:

Name: Finding Juliet

Author: Toffee

Publisher: Srishti Publishers

ISBN: 978-93-82665-85-4

finding juliet.jpg  Description of Finding Juliet:

Arjun is a geek engineer with bad luck hovering over him in the department of love.

When his friend asks him about the past, Arjun divulges in his story of how lady luck shied away from him not once.

Thrice.

Then there is another part of his life with friends and parents he neglects every time a new girl walks into his life.

When that same girl walks out, he reverts back to his life support: Anjali.

It takes time for him to articulate his thoughts and understand what exactly is he searching for when everyone around him gives him the “Handbook of understanding women”.

Will he finally understand what his heart wants? Does the fate have something else planned for him?

 

My take on Finding Juliet:

There was a time when a single love story sufficed for a book and a person. The requirements to an exciting love story changed not in quality but with quantity. Triangle love stories turned into hexagon and octagon love stories. Now one-to-one stories with too many intersections and speed breakers make up for a “good” love story.

This book starts off on the same lines.

However, this book surprised me when it changed course and came to a stand still when it decided to become “The Handbook of understanding women and their behavior!”

That was kind of funny and at times infuriating. I was wondering, “Do girls really do that?”

If you think the book is coming to an end, you are in for a sweet surprise. The hero becomes a playboy. A geek is reborn as a flirt.

That is the moment when he witnesses that many men live a hollow life because of too much expectation from things that cannot and do not deliver.

The writing is simple, interesting and the grammatical mistakes are only present in dialogues giving it a colloquial touch rather than highlight itself as a mistake.

This book is for young adults and people who love “love stories”. I for one am not that much into them hence, if the book inspired me enough to make me read it completely, then that book is good enough read.

Overall I liked the book and I feel that it is a light read, good enough for a break read rather than a serious read.

I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

 

Review: The Jeera Packer

“What you don’t do never really leaves you. What you let go of never let’s go of you.”

  • The Jeera Packer

One reads books so that he can get lost in the world that someone else created with their imagination. When such a world takes you on a journey that you can never experience on your own, there are no words left express your thoughts.

I for one can never be a sharpshooter or get into politics. Clean or dirty politics, it doesn’t matter for I can never imagine being a part of the power game. So I picked up a book to take a look into that imaginary sphere.

Name: The Jeera Packer

Author: Prashant Yadav

Publisher: Fingerprint!

ISBN:978-81-7599-418-8

the jeera packer.jpg

Book Blurb:

“I once changed the history of Uttar Pradesh

with a gun and a finger.

One shot, one man.

Right man, wrong man.

But that was thirty years ago.

I shot people through their heads back then.

I pack jeera in the basement now.

THIS IS ME, AND HERE IS MY STORY.”

I liked the blurb so much that I couldn’t help but put it here for the readers to read. This is the reason I chose to read the book.

Description of The Jeera Packer:

This is the story of a sharpshooter turned shopkeeper, who is searching for the purpose of his life. The dark past is hidden away from the world, under a layer of jeera dust.

However, the beast inside is still restless. It has yet to quench its thirst. In a way that the art of killing is given its rightful tribute.

At the same time, the political scenario in UP is setting itself for the biggest election to be seen with wolves howling for power and foxes vying for a bit of flesh. There is only one who man deserves to be at the wrong end of the sniper – the Chief Minister.

Who is the victim in this game of ultimate power?  Who is the one holding the reins? Who shall emerge unscathed? Who shall end up losing everything?

The stakes are high and the anticipation brimming. Let the world fade away as you get lost reading!

the jeera packer3.png

My Take on The Jeera Packer:

This is my first ever political-crime-thriller and I must say I did get a good book to start it off with.

When I started reading this I felt drawn to the characters. They were simple and easy to understand. The deeper I was drawn into a story, the more I understood their complexity. Each character is important to the plot and while the character undergoes change, the plot develops.

The author has started off with various characters within the shades of black and gray. It is truly beautiful how certain characters in the gray shade turn white while the characters in white shade turn dark. The writing is different as the narration is not from a single perspective. It shows how power impacts each individual from his seat of dominance.

Though there are few grammatical errors and certain characters seem fictitious, it can be overlooked because of the story as a whole compensates it.

The best part of the book is that it zooms in on certain rarely noticed objects and drives the reader’s attention to it while in the backdrop makes the reader think on the lines of the characters.

“Nobody dies of starvation in this world, unless you are a cotton farmer”

There are some statements that make you nod your head in acceptance while there are others that make you think “how true! how come I never noticed!”.

So overall the book was fantastic! I rate it 4 over 5 stars!

Review: One Indian Girl

I think I’m crazy. No. I am pretty much crazy. Reason?

The book which I read even after hearing everyone, I repeat, hearing everyone say “not worth reading”.

I’m a glutton for self-punishing by reading books that antagonize the reader.

If you are pretty fed-up with life and want to feel good, pick this book up and tell yourself that even if you choose to write a story, you would do better than this.

If you are still confused, then the book is One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat.

Name: One Indian Girl

Author: Chetan Bhagat.

Publisher: Roopa Publication

ISBN: 978-81-291-4214-6

one indian girl.jpg Description of One Indian Girl:

Meet Radhika, a super achiever working at Goldman Sachs and earning over half a million.

Meet Brijesh, the poor guy getting married to Radhika.

Seems like a simple love story?

Well, you are yet to know Radhika well. She is a “Feminist”.

Sounds like a different specimen right? Not exactly.

She wants equality. In what exactly?

Wait till the end.

This is her story of never-ending narration of her past and failed relationships. So read at your own risk.

Okay, what’s the point of two sections of my opinion and the blurb? It sounds the same to me.

On this Valentine’s day, I will suggest every single person read this book. Why? You will definitely feel so awesome about being single!!!

Back to the book, I will be very mature and write what exactly I liked about the book rather than crib about it at this point.

I liked the cover.

So coming to what I didn’t like about the book:

The story. There wasn’t any.

The point I’m trying to make is this: The book kind of demeans the reader’s intellect and the culture India as a whole stands for. There is a character assassination of every Punjabi Mom for I, being a Bangalorean can tell you Punjabi mothers are not bears and are not ultra stupid. Next Punjabi fathers. I don’t think they are biased people who keep silent during the raging world war at home. However, I shall not stand to judge that.

Next Punjabi fathers. I don’t think they are biased people who keep silent during the raging world war at home. However, I shall not stand to judge that.

Coming to young women of India who happen to go out of the nation. Well, no comments again. I don’t think they end up being so mentally weak that they require others to control their highs and lows.

Finally the guys of this epic book, Debu, the useless, Neel, the careless, and Brijesh, the helpless. I can’t describe these masterpieces with words. I find myself lost with my sorrow at how stupid these men are and clearly clueless.

I totally give up after so much frustration. I did this to myself.

So now to get over book depression I choose to go pick up another book. Hope that is better in that One Indian Girl.

Guess what? I have a feeling that it will be.

Review: Figmented Reality

In the era of social media, attention is become a major influence in life

  • Figmented Reality

It takes a lot effort into making a story out of hard facts and emotions. It is an art to craft a story with layers of plot and multitude of characters and their journey through the various situations.

One slip in timeline leads to chaos within the story.

Want to see chaos? maybe you should take a look at this:

Name: Figmented Reality

Author: ZUKO (aka Sidharth)

Publishers: Frog Publishers

figmented-reality Description of Figmented Reality:

The protagonist of the story is an addict. You name it and he may as well have it. Alcohol, smoking and sex.

Also, he is a slave to the worst form of addiction…

So how did he fall in this vicious trap of addiction?

Is there no way to come back?

Is it true about what he is perceiving? Or is it just a fragment of his imagination?

Is his reality stained with the stories woven by his mind?

Find out in this book.

My take on Figmented Reality:

The story is a chaos. That is what I felt throughout the book.

The story is divided into a psychological lesson and a story.

The psychological part has no connection to the story and at times seem boring. Maybe the thoughts are correct and relatable, however, it is just not needed at that point.

It might have been better if preaching came after the story. Something like “Moral of this chapter”.

The next part the story.

That is once again divided into three parts.

  1. The actual story that is happening.
  2. The hallucination
  3. The text chat.

The actual story and the hallucination are very confusing. Just like in the mind of the protagonist.

The text chat is just antagonizing the reader.

chaos

Image source: Pinterest

What I liked about the book was the courage of the author to write about some of “untouchable” topics.

It was good till a point. However, after a certain limit, it felt like pure perversion.

I don’t have the right to comment here as I do not know what is the state of mind of a person who is abused sexually. However, I think a book with a central theme of abuse should focus on that.

Coming to the theme.

There is no theme for the book. Confusion seeps in at every point. I felt lost at many places while reading this book. Maybe if everything was chronological rather than shift between reality, hallucination, flashback and current events, it would have been easier to digest.

Overall I didn’t like the book much as it felt very confusing.

Though if there are going to be other editions, a lot of room is available for improvement.

With a little bit of modification with the story telling and lesser preaching, the story may become really good. It has all the elements that are essential to a good story. However, rearranging it is required.

I thank the author and Nishant Joshi for giving me this book, in exchange of an honest review. Thank you and apologies for any harsh word.

 

Review: Confused Bastards!

Great dreams come at a cost. Some cost you peace of mind yet some others cost you your fame. However, those dreams are worth it all. Fight for it, in a way that the world stops and watches you rise.

Unique stories don’t just happen. They are made. Preferably drunk and cursing at life when it shows you the place that you need to stand in.

Well, that’s the new version of “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Or so.

Recently, I had been to a lit fest Indian institute of Management, Bangalore to witness the biz lit festival. There a question was raised as to why there was no start-up fiction. Then the various authors chose to answer in various ways.

The one I liked the most was “Start-up stories never belong to the category of fiction.”

What is it about the start-up wave?

Well, I had this amazing opportunity to be a part of few start-ups and I’ve seen the energy that builds the dreams and brings out shattering innovation. I saw a glimpse of the beauty within the walls of a mind struggling to sort through the ups and downs of entering into the market.

So the when this book ended up on my shelf, I had no choice other than reading it with all my heart.

Name: Confused Bastards

Author: Manav Vigg

Publisher: Srishti Publishers

ISBN: 978-93-82665-77-9

confused-bastards Description of Confused Bastards:

When three friends, frustrated of their miserable existence get drunk, their story starts with a big bang.

Akash, the creative genius who is in search of success finds himself getting closer to his dream.

Jai, the brain which brought about the revolution, thanks to his torturous manager finds himself in a dream-like life.

Vivek, the peace-loving poor chap finds himself on an exciting journey.

All this happens because the trio creates a website for all the miserable and frustrated people out there to share their unabashed and unadulterated opinion regarding anything and everything.

The website was an instant hit among people and took them to unimaginable heights.

However, good things don’t last forever…

The dream turns into a nightmare within the snap of the finger …

The trio comes crashing down from their high and ends up in prison.

Moreover, they tumble into a confused abyss…

What next?

Will they make it back up? Or are they lost somewhere in this start-up wave?

 

Take a look at what Manav Vigg himself had to say. Since the video is old, I will not vouch for the campaign in the end.

My take on Confused Bastards:

The story has a normal beginning with the perspectives of the three friends and their opinions. Eventually, the story takes few small twists and turns and boom!

You are amidst a freaking start-up wave!

confused-bastards1

No, sorry. It doesn’t happen like that.

The idea pops into the story and starts directing it slowly. The flow seems to increase in speed and there comes a point where the story is completely fast paced and super exciting.

In the way it climbs up to Euphoria, it comes crashing down the next minute.

The crash is expected. However, the climb back up is sweet.

At first, I thought just like Akash and it felt very much like an idiocy.

Slowly one gets into the flow and it doesn’t seem so stupid anymore. It becomes more fun and enjoyable. Not a single moment feels too heavy or philosophical.

That’s the best part of the book.

The writing is very simple and one can directly plunge into the story. The characters are well-developed and they are highly relatable. You can either feel like Jai, Akash or Vivek. There is a slot for all the beautiful women who support crazy men and that happens to be Sneha.

Overall, the book was a good, fun read. I thank Tushti Bhatia and the author for sending me this book. I enjoyed reading it!