Friday, 30 December 2016

Book Review: My father is a hero

Book: My Father is a Hero
Author: Nishant Kaushik
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Genre: Fiction | Relationship
Pages: 199
Price: 195 INR


Vaibhav Kulkarni has had few accomplishments worth boasting about in his modest life and career. Yet, his happy universe lies intact in the love and pride his ten-year-old daughter inspires in him. Nisha Kulkarni justifies every reason to be the favourite child of Pune’s premier school-be it her academic brilliance, her exceptional facility with music, or simply her unassuming charm.
 With his daughter showing promising signs of a stellar success story, Vaibhav has made peace with own unrequited dreams of the past. But when the girl mysteriously starts losing mojo and spirals into despair and seclusion, Vaibhav faces the toughest test of his life as single father - to reclaim his child’s trust and happiness. 
What distance will a middle-class man with limited means go to show his daughter the merit in believing in a dream? Read this gripping tale of love, courage, and of the emergence of an ordinary man as an extraordinary hero.

My Rating:

Plot: 3.5/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Character Sketch: 4/5

My Review:

“My father is a hero” is the story of Vaibhav who is a single parent to his 10 year old daughter Nisha. The book beautifully shows the relationship between a father and his little daughter around whom his world revolves. They are enough for each other and are very happy in their sweet little world.

Nisha is an extraordinary student who is loved by her teachers and admired by her friends. She sings beautifully and idolizes Rihanna. Vaibhav wants her to grow up to be a happy, self-sufficient and successful lady. Despite not having any knowledge of music, he wants Nisha to be a great singer because her dreams matter a lot to him. He doesn’t lament on his unfulfilled dreams and desires because all he wants is his daughter’s dreams to be fulfilled.

I could definitely relate a lot to the book on a personal level as my father had also been a single parent to me after my mother passed away when I was twelve. As I was reading the book, Vaibhav’s love, sacrifices and dedication to his daughter definitely won my heart.

When Nisha suddenly retreats inside a shell and hides something from Vaibhav, he is shattered. He cannot see his daughter losing her friends, getting punished by her teachers who once loved her so much and failing in her exams despite being a class topper once. The story is about how a middle class man like Vaibhav leaves no stone unturned to bring his daughter back to a life full of dreams and happiness.

Though the plot of the book is simple and the writing is ordinary, the book touched my heart. Vaibhav’s struggle to bring back the smile on his daughter’s face was heart warming. This book scores high on the emotional quotient. Its beauty lies in its simplicity.

However, I did not quite like the ending chapter of the book as it did not feel realistic to me. Maybe, an emotional scene between Nisha and Vaibhav where the girl realizes and tells her father why she thinks he is her hero would have appealed to me much more than a celebrity telling her that her father is a hero. 

Apart from that, I really enjoyed reading the book. It was a beautiful and emotional read. I would like to give it 3.5 and would recommend it to all the daughters & sons who think that their father is a hero.

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

Indian Bloggers

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Book Review: The Tantric Curse

Book: The Tantric Curse
Author: Anupama Garg
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Genre: Fiction| Thriller
Pages: 280
Price: 295 INR


On an amavasya night, eight-year-old Rhea mysteriously lands at the doors of Shaktidham, a Tantric house of worship, in a trance. Realizing that she is blessed with unusual faculties, the guru of Shaktidham, Satya, chooses her as a disciple over his own son, Krishnam, to carry on his lineage, a privilege previously bestowed only to males. But the lineage has been cursed for generations, and it is up to Rhea to either break the curse or perish in the attempt.
Will she succeed in her endeavour? Will her love for Krishnam become an obstacle in her path? The Tantric Curse, an unusual story set in the world of Tantra that aims to dispel most of the myths about the practice, will keep you spellbound till the very last page.

My Review:

There are some books that stay with you long after you have finished reading it. They inspire you, they thrill you and they enlighten you. “The Tantric Curse” is one such book.  Reading it was an enriching experience.

It is not only a thriller set in the world of Tantra that tries to dispel all its myths, but is also a beautiful love story that will touch your soul. The story starts in Shaktidham where a little eight year old girl, Rhea lands when her parents die in a road accident. She meets the guru of Shaktidham, Satya who chooses her as his disciple. 

Rhea can see future events in her dreams since childhood.  Satya chooses to teach her about Tantra as he believes that she is gifted and can reach the heights of sadhana that no one ever could. Satya has a son, Krishnam who is a few years elder to Rhea.

Rhea and Krishnam grew up together. Since childhood, they are inseparable. They couldn’t realize when their friendship gradually blossomed into deep love.

They got separated when Rhea became victim to the misuse of Tantra. But does separation means end of love? How long can a woman wait for her love with the conviction that he will come back when it is time? The author has beautifully portrayed the profound relationship between Rhea and Krishnam, two highly evolved souls who loved each other unconditionally despite not being together for as long as eleven years. The telepathy between them is beautifully shown.

The book also talks about Rhea’s long journey as a sadhak in Shaktidham to working with Dr. Vishnukant as a spiritual counselor in UK. As I read the book, I was completely fascinated with the character of Rhea and deeply invested in the love story. I loved Rhea’s answer when a friend asks her who Krishnam is:

“The core that remains stable within me, in spite of any peripheral movement. Some people, whether they are there or not, are still a part of you. A part that lives until you are alive. He left, but still he never left. An effortless saint, who is content, steadfast in every situation and loves me the way no one can. He is the man who possesses me in every way, without possessing me physically.”

The book is also rich in spiritual teachings that will inspire and enlighten the readers. I can definitely go to the book again and again. I couldn’t find any flaw in the book and therefore, I would like to give it 5 stars and would like to congratulate the author for writing such a spellbinding story.

Highly recommended! It’s definitely a book to remember. 

I got a review copy from the author for an honest review. The opinions are my own.
Indian Bloggers

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Book Review: Colorful Notions: The Roadtrippers 1.0

Book: Colorful Notions: The Roadtrippers 1.0
Author: Mohit Goyal
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Genre: Fiction| Travel
Pages: 200
Price: 175 INR


Would you give up your high-paying job and comfortable personal life to drive ten thousand kilometers across India? Just for fun!

Three twenty-somethings dare to do just that! While the two guys take turns to drive, the girl gives voice-over as they record their entire journey on a handycam.

Ab, Sasha and Unnati are ordinary youngsters, rendered special by the feat they accomplish. As they recount their adventures, I crave to live their journey all the more. They look at each other with a glint in their eyes, as if refurbishing those memories, as they narrate their spooky time at Bhangarh Fort, strange escapades at Wagah Border and Sundarbans, car breakdowns, wild animals, near-death experiences and highway robbers! It's nothing less than crazy.

Colorful Notions is a journey of three young hearts on the Indian terrain and into the inner recesses of their souls, giving a new perspective to relationships, love and life. 

My Rating

Plot: 4/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Character Sketch: 4/5

My Review

"Colorful Notions: The Roadtrippers 1.0" is an adventurous journey of Abhay, Sashank and Unnati as they take a crazy road trip to travel 25 iconic places in the country over a period of 3 months.

Abhay (AB), the narrator of the story dreams of making a documentary movie on the crazy road adventure. He resigned his job in an advertising agency to fulfill his dream. His best friend, Sashank (Sasha) took a 3 month sabbatical from his family business for the road adventure. The thing that attracted him most to the road adventure is his love for food. Sashank's girlfriend, Unnati (Unns) is an assistant RJ who said yes to the adventure because Abhay told her to give voice-over as they will record their journey.

As I love travelling, I was thrilled to travel along with these three characters to the beautiful destinations. They started their journey from Delhi to the Jim Corbett Park, then they moved to Haridwar and then they traveled to Leh & Ladakh. 

The ambiance and beauty of some destinations were so beautifully written that I felt I could see those places. However, if you read this book as a travelogue to experience the 25 places they traveled, you might be disappointed as the author has not described all the places in detail. Visiting Alwar's Bhangarh Fort at night, Sasha proposing Unnati in Kanyakumari, the adventure in Sunderbans and meeting the Lama at Bodh Gaya are my favorite sections of the book. 

Travelling is a great teacher. It changes our perspective and makes us better human beings. Here is a beautiful quote from the book on travelling:

"Travelling teaches you to live in the present, in the moment. You only think about the place you are currently at and the meal you will eat next."

It was enriching to see how the three characters evolve to become better human beings at the end of the trip. When they started their journey, all of them were somewhat confused and they were battling their inner demons. The way they conquered their demons and understood the purpose of their life in those three months was beautifully projected by the author. It was heartening to see that they were rewarded for their crazy road trip as a famous producer agreed to sponsor their documentary.

Overall, this book was a great reading experience. The narration is fast paced and once you start reading, you won't feel like taking a break. Gripping and captivating, the book will tempt you to go on a crazy trip with your friends soon. 

I will go with 4 stars. Highly recommended to the dreamers and the travel enthusiasts. 

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

Indian Bloggers

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Book Review: When Arya Fell Through the Fault

Book: When Arya Fell Through The Fault
Author: Reenita Malhotra Hora
Publisher: Om Books International
Genre: Fiction | Fantasy
Pages: 207
Price: 124 INR


When Arya Fell Through The Fault Is The Magical, Coming-Of-Age Tale Of Arya, A 12-Year-Old Boy From San Francisco, Who Is Ridiculed By Bullies. Anything To Do With His Ethnicity—Food, Traditions Or The Fascinating Mythological Stories He Has Been Raised With, Has Become The Building Block Of Unpleasant School Experiences. 
In The Wake Of An Accident That Confines His Once Vibrant Mother To A Hospital Ward—Kept Alive By Tubes And Machines—Arya Clings To The Only Remnant Of Their Bond: An Old, Battered Copy Of The Ramayana, India’S Ancient Epic Story Of Rama’S Battle Against Demons.
One Night, Arya Falls Through A Fault In The Earth Into The Wild Woods, Where Ravana—The Demon King—Strategises To Destroy His Ramayana—The Last Copy Left—And Threatens To Rewrite History From His Evil Perspective. 
Will Arya Be Able To Save The Story Of Rama, Heal His Mother And Return Home To Tackle The Demons In His Ordinary World?

My Rating

Plot: 3.5/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Character Sketch: 4/5

My Review

"When Arya Fell Through The Fault" is the story of Arya, a twelve year old Indian boy who stays in San Francisco with his parents. His mother, an Ayurvedic doctor packs khichdi for him in lunch every day that results in Arya getting bullied by his classmates who call him a goop eater. 

Arya dislikes his mother for packing khichdi for him in lunch that makes him the subject of jokes. 
Despite the differences with his mother, Arya loves listening to the Ramayana, which his mother reads to him daily. He is enchanted by the bravery of Lord Rama and idolizes to be like him. The bullying doesn't stop at his school. His school fellows insult anything that is related to his ethnicity. 

Life goes in the same pattern for Arya until his mother meets an accident and goes into coma. Arya clings to the old, battered copy of the Ramayana that signifies the bond he had shared with his mother. One night, there is an earthquake and Arya falls through a fault in the earth into some unknown wild woods. 

He learns that it is the land of Ravana who has planned to destroy the old battered copy of the Ramayana so that he can rewrite history. He comes across a group of vanaras and a sage who helps him to understand that only he can save the world from the evil clutches of Ravana. 

Since then, a battle between good and evil starts. Arya soon realizes his inner strengths and his good qualities. He gears up for the battle against evil without any restraints.

While battling with Ravana, he realizes that there is Ravana inside him too. His most important battle is to kill his inner demon (read: Ravana) to restore good within and around him. 

"Staring me in the face was the image of a shattered boy who had never stood up to the demons, but let them control his life." (pg 179)

"When Arya Fell Through the Fault" is an adventurous tale of how a young 12 year old boy manages to fight his inner demons. However, I felt that in the middle of the book, the pace dropped. The narration was good in parts. In some places, it was bland. 

There are some good quotes in the book. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Life was a myriad of experiences. Some good, some bad and others that made no sense at all. However over time, even the most nonsensical things would make perfect sense."

I would give the book 3.5 for the adventurous ride and for the beautiful morals embedded in the story.

Highly recommended for children as they will find this book extremely intriguing.

I got a review copy from Word Bite for an honest review. The opinions are my own.