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!

Happy New Year!!

Many memories are made in a span of few minutes but they last for a very long time. They are meant to be cherished and lived again and again in that small personal space.

A very delayed happy new year to all my kind readers who have been the strongest support to me throughout this amazing journey of book, stories, and dreams.

It is a year into my blog and I know how idiotic it is of me to miss my blog anniversary, yes I get it. It was really stupid. Thank you, WordPress for reminding me.

This year had been the first step towards taking the time to give the credits for all those amazing authors who put their time and soul in creating great stories and taking readers in a journey worth dying for.

Dreams and books had been my sole companion for a very long time. However, I have a family of bloggers who support me, a great number of readers who encourage me…

However, the best thing is…

Authors are my friends now.

People whom I adored are closer than they seem and a part of my writing.

I know I tend to forget the blog most of the times. {I’m sorry!} There are times when I delay the reviews for a long long time. So I need to thank all those amazing people who put up with me and my tardiness. Love you all!

So now this year lots are things coming up!

First thing: I will try my best to keep my writing with lesser delays and more fun things attached to each book.

So keep reading and keep smiling!waves in sky2

Review: Secrets, Sins and Struggles!

Sometimes setbacks and bitter experiences which a person may not have expected make him discover some unknown and hidden strengths in him,leaving him stronger and steelier in determination.

  • Secrets, Sins and Struggles

In recent times, short stories have started gaining new color in a way that would appeal to people. However, never had I imagined that the same short stories can be used to send a message to the society. The book that I’m going to share with the world is: Secrets, Sins and Struggles: The journey of five women, by Kamini Kusum.

Name: Secrets, Sins and Struggles: The Journeys of Five Women

Author: Kamini Kusum

Publisher: Zorba Books

ISBN: 978-93-85020-95-7

Category: Fiction-Short Stories

sss Description of Secrets, Sins & Struggles:

The book is an amalgamation of strength and the struggles of five very distinct and powerful women, who attain the adjective “powerful” with their determination and their spirit to overcome any odds to reach the final destination.

The story speaks of ladies who had to undergo tough transformations to realize their dreams and aspirations.

Each story is unique and the plot is special as it outlines the problems of new generation women. The fight has taken a whole new meaning and the term “equality” has gained a new definition.

Through small yet powerful stories the author has made an effort to spread the thought and share the courage of these strong ladies.

My thoughts on Secrets, Sins and Struggles:

I have to divide my thoughts based on the stories involved and eventually come to the overall conclusion.

First, the story of a rape victim named Pooja:

The story made my blood turn into ice. Never had I expected an author to start a book with the strongest and the most horrifying story that a person can ever experience. However, Kamini Kusum has made that effort and it just pushed the expectation of the book with the powerful writing in its very initial pages.

The story narration is beautiful and there are moments when I thought, maybe the author should have expressed Pooja’s thoughts and the emotional cycle that she had to go through.

Second: The story of a sweet corporate lady, Geshna.

Of all the stories in the book, this is my most favorite. This is the journey of a girl who crushes her dreams for the sake of a man who wouldn’t give a second thought about her.

The beauty of this story lies not within the initial build up. It is after the fall that the story makes an impact. It shows how a woman can burn in the flames and still rise from the ashes like a phoenix!

Third: The story of a girl with high ambitions, Shrawani.

This is a story that is awe-inspiring. The writing here was that great compared to the other stories. There could be more to it rather than the guy distracting the ambitious girl and later cheating her. I was a little disappointed as the expectation had reached the peak by now.

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Fourth: The story of an idiot girl who throws away the greatest gift offered by life to her, Harsha.

This story is the only one which makes one feel that maybe all men are not that bad. It is not always the fault of a man for the sufferings of a woman. Sometimes women are foolish enough to not see the greatest treasure offered by life and go out in search of fool’s gold.

The reason I liked this story was it is unique.

It is simple to understand and writing is so beautiful that the perspectives of each character are well put through.

Last but not the least:

Soul Sister’s are forever: The story of Avni and Saumya.

Many times we forget that our well-wishers are not exactly stupid enough to point the wrong direction. They do it for a specific purpose. However, situation and experience play an important role in how judge it.

 Some people try to act clever but they forget that there is someone smarter watching and keeping tabs on everybody’s activities.

Also this is the only story where revenge plays a part. Maybe taking revenge is wrong, however, the satisfaction it provides is something only the ones who have done it will feel. I’m not advocating revenge here, however, sometimes I guess it’s okay.

So overall the book was a great read and I would like to rate it 3.5/5 stars!

I would also like to thank and simultaneously apologize to the Author and Anuj for the amazing book and delayed review respectively.

 

Review: Ashvamedha!

 

Was it worth it? I don’t know. But I have realised that there is something attached to the power of politics that is addictive. Power to influence, power to make yourself heard, power to make you important;

  • Ashvamedha, The Game of Power

A story is interesting as long as the plot is strong and the characters are dynamic. One such book that held me captive is Ashvamedha!

Name: Ashvamedha, The Game of Power

Author: Aparna Sinha

Publisher: Srishti Publishers

ISBN: 978-93-82665-76-2

ashvamedha  Description of Ashvamedha:

Ashwin Jamwal, an ordinary man leading an ordinary life is chosen to be the most powerful man across the globe. His surroundings and the people arround him have been manipulated, threatened and even murdered to get him to the ultimate seat of power.

However the question remains: Why?

On the other hand there waits a man in the shadow of darkness, planning for years to be the most powerful man in the world. However, that can be achieved in only one way: to defeat the current most powerful person on the Earth.

Since power has been divided among people of various sectors, the only way to defeat the most powerful man to create him first. Hades is out there to do just that.

The story of power, politics, love and torture come together to make a gripping story that takes a reader to another level of mystery and crime. With a bated breath jump on this journey with Ashwin to reach the peak of power.

A fair warning: Power is addictive!

To check out the trailer:

 

My take on Ashvamedha, The Game of Power:

Every story has a protagonist and an antagonist. Never had I ever read about an antagonist create and help the protagonist to become powerful.

That is the sole reason I chose to read this book. The verdict: the read till the end was definitely worth the effort!

The story is well written and starts off with Ashwin put into a political drama. The death of a minister and his lover is a great way to bring the curiosity to edge.

Then the story takes us back to Ashiwn’s past and his journey to become the most powerful person in the world.

Here the story seems little unbelievable as most of us know that power is a very fickle thing. Extreme planning may not yield the expected results when power, money and cunning minds are involved. Blow the plot into a global scale and the plot seems rather unrealistic.

However, once the reader crosses the threshold of believing or not, the story is unparallel and reminds me of Sidney Sheldon’s “Tell Me Your Dreams”. I had loved that book as it had left me speechless and now Aparna Sinha’s “Ashvamedha” has left me in the same state.

ashvamedha2

Maybe power is something that belongs to the mind. It is an illusion, a palace of glass that shatters the mind once the control slips. The story leads the reader to firmly believe in this aspect.

The best part however is the climax!

Never, ever had I guessed the direction it was heading in and it left me both speechless and shocked.

It was like “all along I saw the signs that lead me to the destination. I ignored it. Then when the destination was just beyond the range of visibility, it slapped me hard in the face while pouring ice-cold water on my head!”

Perfect ending!

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The story may have its share of loop holes and the hero worship involved, however, it makes up with the dramatic style of writing and the suspense it keeps on building with each page.

The other thing that made me love the story was the unique way of character development. The introduction of character was delayed leading the reader further into the author’s trap of suspense.

Together the story was something I really enjoyed reading and I am awfully sorry for the delayed review. I apologize for the radio silence in the matter of books!

My end of semester exams are going on and will last till 7th of January.

If this book had the capacity to make me quit studying for exam, imagine power it wielded over me!!

The plot is 100 times better than all of my text books put together! So I rate it a 4/5 stars!

Lots of love to the author for sending me the book and being ultra patient with me! Also a huge shout out to Tushti Bhatia for the amazing book!

 

Review: Colorful Notions!!

Ever dreamt of packing your bags and just leaving for a road-trip to unknown destinations and places that signify the cultural heritage of your country?

If yes then I have something to say to you.

Pack light, carry cash and the most important thing – do not at any cost, fight with your comrade.

Where did I ever learn this?

Sitting at home with an amazing book name: Colorful Notions!

Name: Colorful Notions: The Roadtrippers 1.0 (Click on the name to buy)

Author:  Mohit Goyal

Publishers: Srishti Publishers

ISBN: 978-93-82665-80

colorful-notions-197x300  Description of Colorful Notions: The Roadtrippers 1.0

Abhay alias Ab dreams to take a journey across the length and breadth of our country in hopes of witnessing the cultural diversity first hand and get the kick out of traveling the terrain with his car.

With him joins his side kick Shashank alias Sasha and Sasha’s beautiful girlfriend Unnati. Unnati provides the voice over to the video of the journey which is to be made into a movie by Ab.

With just high hopes and big dreams the trio set out to make a record and travel the distance to witness twenty-five amazing places known for their spectacular beauty and notable foodie delights.

On their epic journey they encounter the adrenaline rushing action sequences, haunted forts, tryst with love and fight between friends. They encounter the wildness of the nature and craziness of the humans across states. Meanwhile they delve into the past hidden in the stones and rocks, palaces and caves. Their journey takes them across places that they planned to visit and emotions that they had never planned to experience.

Join in this epic journey with colorful words and feel the emotions of twenty-five places sitting right at your home!

colorful-botions

My take on the Colorful Notions:

I would never ever give up a successful job just to go on a trip. That is something all my friends and family are aware of.

So starting this book was essential to me. I’m an occasional traveler and I only travel with family or friends. Never alone and never in a small group. I never found it fun.

When I started with the book, I was wondering is this trip worth it for the characters. Exactly on the same lines of the parents mentioned in the book. Then the journey just started off without any delay. That’s when I started enjoying the read.

Each of the places is so beautifully described that suddenly I have twenty-five places to visit, okay not exactly, around 20 at least.

That’s because I have visited the beautiful Mysore palace, breathtaking Rameshwaram, calm and soothing Kanyakumari. I guess I would have visited other places when I was young and I practically have no recollection of the places.

leh-ladak * Pictures taken from google. I do not own them*

The book is not just a journey to various different places. It is an emotional journey as well.

That is written so perfectly that the reader will not be able to find where they changed their perspective of going on and about the journey. In the very beginning, the journey is all about making it across the country. Somewhere the purpose is learning the most that you can from each culture and each place. The confusions and the turmoil in the minds of the characters is something that was worth all the effort of reading. It is easy to relate to and believe in. Also, the solutions offered for these are really good.

The fights and stress that the characters undergo are written in a brutally honest way which I really liked. In a travel book the fatigue and travel sickness are a must. Also missing home is something essential just like the song by Passenger “Let her go” suggests.

My most favorite part was Kanyakumari. Love the way author has expressed the ocean, the scenario and the love. I have been there and I know how it feels. Thank you Mohit for such a writing! It really took me to the same place again.

colorful-notions1

What I missed in the book is some snow-covered peaks and their description. I would have loved to read more about their trip in Leh and Ladakh. I wish a little more on the people there and also in Kerla would have made the journey better.

Weaving the journey into a story is pretty hard and the author has done it pretty effortlessly. One can just go with the flow.

The greatest and the most epic part of the book is…

Hands down winner of magical moment in the book…..

The Taj!

The description, the situation and the timing, fantastic! no words can express that.

pablo

With all things in mind I will rate the book 4/5 stars!!

I received this book in exchange of an honest review from The Tales Pensieve. Thank you so much for the book!

Review: The Peshwa!

Life is a battle of sorts, there is a story behind every battle fought, written by the winner. The only choice is that, either you choose to write the tale or life will do it for you.

One day the father may pass away but on that day, the son becomes the father. The grandson becomes the son. There is always a father; always a son. Always a parent; always a child.

  • The Peshwa

History has a charm that many of us don’t take a second glance at. The story changes with time and the recorded story is just a document. Until there comes a time when the same story is retold with the emotions and life instilled into the characters. One such story brought back to life is : The Peshwa.

Name: The Peshwa, The Lion and the Stallion( Click on the link to buy)

Author:Ram Sivasankaran

Publishers: Westland Books

ISBN:978-93-85724-21-3

the peshwa.jpg  Description of The Peshwa:

When the sun shines over the Mughal empire, the bearers of the sun, the Marathas fell to the onslaught of the Empire.

Over years, the Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy, Balaji Vishwanath Bhat gains strength to retaliate and bend the knees of the Emperor on the Peacock throne.

The only thorn in his side is the loyal and faithful Nizam. His cunning mind is the only thing saving the Empire from falling to the Marathas. However, the lion of Mughals makes peace with the stallion of Marathas with a gesture that leaves the Marathas in peace and Nizam in fury.

The Nizam is sent to Malwa to suffer in the barren lands close to the Maratha hold. There he sits and makes his grand plan to extract revenge from the Peshwa.

Unfortunately, before he gets a chance to retaliate, the Peshwa moves on to the other world, leaving his eighteen-year-old son to be the sword and shield of the Chatrapathi.

The young Peshwa with his theoretical knowledge has to prove his mettle and fill in the shoes of the Peshwa heritage. Being the first Peshwa to learn the art of warfare, he has an immense responsibility to bear the confederacy and keep it from falling apart. At the same time, for the Mughals, the time has come to make their move.

How will the new Peshwa make his stand? How will he emerge from the clutches of the lion? How will he lead his men to the battlefield when he has yet to witness one for himself?

What does it take to become a Peshwa?

What is he willing to sacrifice for the peace and lives of his men?

the peshwa2.png

My take on The Peshwa:

One thing that I understood when I started reading this story was, the future is set in motion for every individual even before the plot has been planned. The only way is to fulfill the role that is designed for the individual.

At the beginning, the story is setting the stage for the young Peshwa to take up responsibilities. Under the guidance of a clever and cunning man, the game is put into action. What he does not know is that another story is overlapping him throughout this journey.

I absolutely loved the story from the very beginning and I am in love with the author’s style of narration. He has painted the 18th century with his words for the reader to get lost into and live a life of court politics and warfare.

In between, he brings the joys of life and gives each and every character the freedom to develop into actual people. The emotions that are portrayed are so good that even a person who does not know history will fall in love with the characters.

The strength of each character, the shrewdness, the love, the pain, the joy and the way they synchronize with each other is something that I really love about the book.

The best part is

The war.

The writing that went into creating a battlefield and then choreographing the fight in a way that leaves the reader, is pure magic! I had goosebumps while reading it. I had not expected the war to be that captivating.

the-peshwa3

Another thing that left me baffled and in pain after finishing the book is that the story is not focused on the protagonist and antagonist alone. It is true that the story is from their perspective and the journey is designed in a way that we understand the emotions of the Peshwa. I loved it very very much.

However, the characters that come along this journey are growing and developing with the time. Nobody is forgotten and faded. Everyone is accounted for and everyone gets a place in the story of victory.

I think that is true with each one of us. A lot of people make their presence in our lives. When they leave, there is a hole left behind by them. Maybe someone may fill that gap, however, the pain still remains.

One of my friends said a statement: ” You may join a broken thread, however, the knot will always remain and remind you that the thread is not as it used to be”.

Burning the bridges is the easy part, turning and looking back at the people on the other side is the hardest. The Peshwa is one book where you can actually feel this.

So with everything, I rate the book 5/5 stars!!! I loved the writing, the style of narration and the story itself.

I received the book from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest review and it has in no way affected my views about the book.