BOOK RECOMMENDATION: The White Tiger

Author: Aravind Adiga

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: 3rd November 2009

Genre: Fiction,  Picaresque novel

Pages: 321

Goodreads Rating: 3.75/5 (as of 13th June, 2021)

My Rating: 5/5

BLURB (Taken from Amazon)

Meet Balram Halwai, the ‘white tiger’: servant, philosopher, entrepreneur, murderer…Born in a village in the dark heart of India, the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram is taken out of school and put to work in a teashop. As he crushes coal and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape. His big chance comes when a rich landlord hires him as a chauffeur for his son, daughter-in-law, and their two Pomeranian dogs. From behind the wheels of a Honda, Balram sees Delhi and begins to see how the Tiger might escape his cage. For surely any successful man must spill a little blood on his way to the top? The White Tiger is a tale of two Indias. Balram’s journey from the darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success is utterly amoral, brilliantly irreverent, deeply endearing and altogether unforgettable. 

MY REVIEW

I wanted to read The White Tiger from the moment I had seen its movie trailer come out. And I am glad that I read the book before watching the movie because it was worth it. Now, without further ado let’s dive straight into the story.
The White Tiger is the story of Balram Halwai who uses his wit and skills to escape from poverty and become a successful entrepreneur. The novel starts with Balram Halwai emailing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, requesting a meeting with him while talking about his life story.
Now, let’s go a little backward and talk about Balram’s past life.
Balram comes from a poor family and lives in a village named Laxmangarh. He is not very fond of his joint family and aspires to study and do something big in life. But when his father is unable to repay the loan he took from the landlord (referred to as The Stork in the novel), Balram dropped out of his school and started working in a tea shop. Even while working in the tea shop, Balram starts spying on every customer at the table and overheard everything they said. He decided that this is how he will continue his education. But the owner of the tea shop wasn’t very happy with his work and so he fired him. Thus, Balram and his brother Kishan decide to go to Dhanbad so that Balram can start his career afresh.
While working in a tea shop in Dhanbad, Balram decided that he want to work as a driver as this profession would help him earn more money. Thereafter, he took driving lessons and landed a job as a chauffeur of The Stork’s younger son Ashok, who has recently come to Dhanbad from New York. But how does he become a successful entrepreneur from a chauffeur? For that, you need to read the book.
The novel ‘The White Tiger’ mostly revolves around Balram, Ashok, Ashok’s wife Pinky, Mukesh (Stork’s elder son, also referred to as The Mongoose in the novel), and The Stork. I liked the fact that the novel is written in first-person narration as it was easier to access Balram’s inner thoughts. Coming to the character of Balram, I would say that he is very cunning as well as confusing. Yes, I will agree with the fact that he knew how to work his way through but I felt that sometimes even he didn’t know what he was doing and why he was doing it. As a reader, I couldn’t understand whether I should empathize with him or should I despise him. Now, I will talk about the character of Ashok. Both Ashok and Balram shared a warm relationship as a master and servant. As he has stayed abroad, Ashok knew that servants should be treated respectfully. But, whenever Ashok’s family was around, i.e. when he was with his elder brother and father, Ashok behaved as if Balram never existed. This was something I disliked about Ashok. Now, while talking about Ashok’s wife Pinky, I would say that she is very annoying. Pinky didn’t have that much role in the book except in one instance when I liked her because she supported Balram for something he has not done. I don’t have much to say about the characters of Stork and Mongoose. The only thing that I want to say is that they are those kinds of people who think that the poor should remain loyal to them and that they can dictate whatever terms they want to their servants.
The novel focuses on three prominent themes- poverty, inequality between rich and poor, and corruption. The narration was very engaging and keeps the reader hooked until the very end. I found the novel an absolute page-turner and would recommend it to every reader.


P.S. Do not forget to watch the movie after reading the book as it is also brilliant!

About the Author (Taken from Amazon)

Aravind Adiga was born in 1974 in Madras and grew up in Mangalore. He was educated at Columbia University in New York and Magdalen College, University of Oxford. His articles have appeared in publications such as the New Yorker, the Sunday Times, Financial Times and the Times of India. His fi rst novel, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker Prize in 2008. His second novel, Last Man in Tower, was published in 2011.

To buy a copy of the book, click on the link below.

For more bookish updates, follow me on  Instagram

BOOK REVIEW:- Rumours of Spring: A Girlhood in Kashmir

Author: Farah Bashir

Publisher: Fourth Estate India (An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: 23rd April 2021

Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir

Pages: 228

Goodreads Rating: 4.17/5 (as of 8th June, 2021)

My Rating: 5/5

BLURB (Taken from Amazon)

Rumours of Spring is an unforgettable account of Farah Bashir’s adolescence spent in Srinagar in the 1990s. As Indian troops and militants battle across the cityscape and violence becomes the new normal, a young schoolgirl finds that ordinary tasks – studying for exams, walking to the bus stop, combing her hair, falling asleep – are riddled with anxiety and fear. With haunting simplicity, Farah Bashir captures moments of vitality and resilience from her girlhood amidst the increasing trauma and turmoil of passing years – secretly dancing to pop songs on banned radio stations; writing her first love letter; going to the cinema for the first time – with haunting simplicity. This deeply affecting coming-of-age memoir portrays how territorial conflict surreptitiously affects everyday lives in Kashmir.

MY REVIEW

I always had an interest in reading books that revolve around Kashmir. So, when I got the opportunity to review Rumours of Spring- a book that concentrates on Kashmir, I couldn’t resist myself!
‘Rumours of Spring’ by Farah Bashir is a haunting account of the author’s teenage years spent in Srinagar in the 1990s. The novel starts with the death of the author’s grandmother and moves back and forth, all the while the author narrating her past memories, about how their lives changed after Indian troops and militants took Kashmir under siege.
The memoir ‘Rumours of Spring’ follows the turbulent years of 1989-94 (also known as the Post-Tehreek Era) when an insurgency broke out in Kashmir. Throughout the memoir, the author has given several instances stating how difficult it was for them to lead a normal life owing to endless curfews and shootouts. The situation was such that it was an arduous task to just walk to the nearest bus stop, to go to school, or any other place. The people in Kashmir including the author’s family used to live under constant anxiety and fear because any time the troops could barge into their house to conduct a search operation.
I would like to share an instance from the book to describe the gravity of the situation during that time. The author during her periods chose to stay in bed, writhing in pain because she did not want to alert the troops to barge inside their house. Farah Bashir says, “Once, I had run out of the anti-spasmodic medicine. The thought of fetching some paracetamol from the living room, or to get a stick of cinnamon from the kitchen at night, was unthinkable! The curfew had its own way of slipping indoors. It was impossible to move about anywhere in the house without causing alarm. Who knew which of those noises would travel outside and alert the troops to barge inside the house? Sounds could attract a volley of bullets in your direction, unwarranted.”
The author has written the book in a simple but brutally honest manner. I couldn’t read the book at a stretch because the book gives a hard-hitting and unsparing account of the author’s girlhood in Kashmir.
I would like to thank the author for sharing her story with the readers because this is a tale that needs to be heard. Also, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read memoirs or books that revolve around Kashmir.

To buy a copy of the book, click on the link below:

https://www.amazon.in/dp/9354224210

About the Author (Taken from Goodreads)

Farah Bashir was born and raised in Kashmir. She was a former photojournalist with Reuters and currently works as a communications consultant. Rumours of Spring is her first book.

I would like to thank the publishers for giving me a copy of the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

For more bookish updates, follow me on  Instagram

Book Review:- Subtle: Love and its Afflictions

Author: Deepika Bhardwaj

Publisher: Inkfeathers Publishing

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: 8th March 2021

Genre: Poetry

Pages: 196

Goodreads Rating: 3.91/5 (as of 7th June, 2021)

My Rating: 2.5/5

BLURB (Taken from Goodreads)

Being a hopeless romantic, have you ever felt like an outcast in this world of ‘realists’? If so, then this book is exactly what you need! It’s a collection of poems that celebrates every aspect of love, aptly capturing the essence of modern-day relationships and the struggles we go through to keep up with them. From falling in love to falling apart, from insecurities and confusion, to acceptance. It touches upon a different emotion on every page.

MY REVIEW

‘Subtle- Love and Its Afflictions’ is an anthology of poems and is presented in the form of haikus. The book is divided into two parts- ‘The Fall’ and ‘The Rise’ and portrays an emotional journey of a person who is deeply in love.

The first part (The Fall) describes the feelings of a devastated lover who is suffering after getting deceived by their lover. The second part (The Rise) shows how the person emerges stronger, becomes hopeful, and sees the beauty of life.

One of the highlights of this book is its illustrations. Each poem is accompanied by lovely illustrations that help the readers resonate with the poems’ words. However, there were some poems in the book which was not very clear to me.

This book is a short read and can be finished within one sitting. If you enjoy reading micro tales/haikus then I will recommend this book to you.

About The Author (Taken from Amazon)

Deepika Bhardwaj can usually be found reading a book, and that book will more likely than not be a poetry book. She is an MBBS student and has written various articles and poems on topics crucial to gender equality, communal harmony, mental health, and overpopulation. Being an author was always on her bucket list, and eventually, it became a reality. Granddaughter of a renowned journalist, late Mr. R.C Sharma, Deepika developed a knack for writing from him. She aspires to continue writing, as her way to contribute towards a greater change. Other books she has co-authored are ‘The journey of self-romance’, ‘Coming of age’, ‘Aesthetics’, and ‘Tormented’.

I would like to thank the author for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

To buy a copy of the book, click on the link below:

BOOK REVIEW:- Brand New Start: Fast-Start Your Career with the Power of Personal Branding

Author: Mainak Dhar

Publisher: Bloomsbury India

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: 18th January 2021

Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help

Pages: 166

Goodreads Rating: 4.24/5 (as of 29th April, 2021)

My Rating: 4/5

BLURB (Taken from Amazon)

Studying in college or business school and wondering what it takes to land your dream job?
Early in your career and wondering how to set yourself up for success?
Feeling off-track after just a couple of years of working and wondering how to find an opportunity that fits you better?

If you find yourself nodding to any of these questions, then this is the book for you. Brand New Start teaches you that a lot of success at the start of your career hinges on how well you understand, articulate and present the most important brand you can work on.

MY REVIEW

‘Brand New Start: Fast-Start Your Career with the Power of Personal Branding’ comes from the CEO of a multinational firm Mainak Dhar, where he tries to make his readers understand the power of personal branding in their careers. According to him, academic degrees and work ethics are necessary but not enough to succeed in a career. What matters is your thoughtful and deliberative effort towards personal branding. Personal Branding not only encompasses the impressions you make in front of others but also creates a holistic image of you.
The author Mainak Dhar wrote this book in the summer of 2020, as a guide to help the readers to work on their personal brand and how they could use it to unlock career aspirations. This book is quite insightful and will aid people who are going to start their careers or want to prosper in their current workplace.
Before going to the key aspects of personal branding, the author has talked about the basics of personal branding and its significance. He has also discussed why many people shy away from personal branding. Then he has gone through the why, what, and how of personal branding.
Next, the author has explored the ‘ADDA’ model of personal branding. Adda is a Bengali word that means leisurely, intimate, and wide-ranging conversations regarding different topics amidst a group of people. From the viewpoint of personal branding, ADDA means seeking out people with whom they can have non-judgemental and open conversations.
I loved the writing style of the author. The author has tried to establish a rapport with his readers. While reading this book I felt as if I am having a one-to-one conversation with the author. He has also used diagrams, charts, and analogies to make the topic simple for its readers.
The author has focused on how our personal brands go beyond our workplace and impact individuals outside that periphery. I will recommend this book to anyone who is on campus and is looking for their dream jobs or someone who wants to progress in their careers.

About The Author (Taken from Amazon)

An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad with 25 years of experience in blue-chip multinationals, Mainak is the CEO of a multinational firm for India and South Asia. His passions outside of work are family, writing and fitness. Mainak is a bestselling author with over 15 books to his credit and holds a black belt in karate. Among all the hats that he wears, he considers his most important role to be the best possible husband and father he can be.

Thank you Writersmelon for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

To buy a copy of the book, click on the link below:

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Publisher: Bloomsbury Press

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: 1st January 2013

Genre: Domestic Fiction

Pages: 417

Goodreads Rating: 4.38/5 (as of 15th April, 2021)

My Rating: 5/5

BLURB (Taken from Goodreads)

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years – from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding – that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives – the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness – are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

MY REVIEW

A Thousand Splendid Suns revolves around two protagonists-Mariam and Laila and how their fate intertwined through the events of the novel. Mariam is the daughter of a wealthy merchant Jalil and was born out of wedlock. She lives with her mother in Herat, a small city in Afghanistan where her father used to visit once a week. After her mother passed away, she is forcibly married to a widowed shoemaker Rasheed in Kabul who is considerably older than her.
The other protagonist of the story is Laila who is 15 years younger than Mariam and lives in the same street as Rasheed and Mariam. Laila is a bright girl and comes from a very supportive family. In the novel, we get to see her beautiful friendship with Tariq which soon blossoms into love. However, when war reaches Kabul, Tariq and his parents flee to Pakistan. A few days later, when Laila and her family decide to leave Kabul, a rocket kill her parents, and a wounded Laila takes shelter in Rasheed and Mariam’s house.
Tragic circumstances force Laila to accept the marriage proposal from Rasheed. Initially, Mariam disliked Laila but as the story goes further, their bond deepens and they learn to live together, all the while suffering the brutality of their abusive husband Rasheed.
In the novel, Khaled Hosseini has highlighted the ill-treatment of women in Afghan society. The author has also pointed out the vulnerable situation of women during the Taliban regime when women were treated as a commodity and could no longer take their life decisions. While reading this heartbreaking novel, I considered myself lucky for having a blissful life.
The writing style of the author is remarkable. I liked the way he portrayed the complexity of human emotions. Hosseini has narrated the impact of the Soviets and Afghan war throughout the novel, and it was a bit difficult for me to understand them thoroughly. But, it didn’t impact my reading pace as I understood the kind of world Mariam and Laila are living in. There are certain situations in the book that is extremely sensitive and might trigger plenty of emotions. But if you can go through it, you will end up reading a great novel.

Note: A Thousand Splendid Suns novel was on my TBR list for a long time, and I wanted to read it after I finished reading ‘The Kite Runner’. Last month, I read this book along with one of my friends and thoroughly enjoyed discussing the book with her. You can check out her book review by clicking on the link below.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3913797497?book_show_action=false

About The Author (Taken from Amazon)

Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and moved to the United States in 1980. His first novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, published in thirty-four countries. In 2006 he was named a US goodwill envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency. He lives in northern California.

To buy a copy of the book, click on the link below.

https://www.amazon.in/Thousand-Splendid-Suns-Khaled-Hosseini/dp/1408844443

Author Interview With Nisha Sanjeev

About the Author

Nisha Sanjeev is a Practical Spirituality coach, Author, Energy Healer, Motivational Speaker, and storyteller. She helps people to achieve success and happiness in their personal and professional life. Nisha had given 30+ speeches and conducted 16+ training sessions to the date. She serves individuals and organizations through Online Tutorials, Talks, Workshops, Personal sessions, Retreats, which are custom-delivered to your needs. Nisha is also an award-winning Toastmaster and speaker.

I am glad that I got an opportunity to interview author Nisha Sanjeev. To know about my conversation with her, keep reading!

Interview

Q 1: Tell us about your profession and what did you do before you came into writing.

Ans: Before I came into writing, I worked as a journalist in reputed media organizations in India and Dubai. But deep down, I felt empty and knew that something was missing. For a long time, my life went like this- serve at day jobs and return home to eat and sleep. I was also suffering from terrible guilt because I wasn’t there for my child during her toddler years. Additionally, I was suffering from chronic back pain for around 16 years. My doctors warned me that I would be wheelchair-bound within years. But my life changed when I decided to enroll myself in Divine Healing Course! My soul-searching journey began, and I eventually discovered the ‘Real Me’. Gradually, my emotional blocks disappeared, and I started to live. Magically, my back pain also got cured. Afterward, I got back to writing and published two books.

Q 2: The name of your 3rd book is “When Your Jobs Sucks: Embrace your Crazy”. What is it about?

Ans: My third book titled “When Your Jobs Sucks: Embrace your Crazy” shares some useful tips that will help people transition successfully in their Professional life.

Q 3: You have written 2 other books. Can you tell us something about them?

A: The name of my other two books are: a) “Anamica – The Secret of her Awareness”: This book urges readers not to pawn their dreams for social status. b) ‘Step Out n Step It Up”: This book offers a powerful and simple code of conduct that can effectively and quickly transform people’s lives to a new experience of freedom and true happiness.

Q 4: At present, what are you working on apart from writing?

Ans:  These days, I am working with women (in-house, in-person, and online) and guiding them to empower themselves by harnessing their inner power and discovering themselves to create the life they desire. I aim to help awaken women, no matter where they are in life so they can create a life of abundance, peace, and joy.

Q 5: Can you tell us something about the online classes you offer?

Ans: I offer 3 online courses.

  1. Weekly guided meditation
  2. How to master your energy: This is a 5-video series that anyone can download and implement on themselves.
  3. 1-1 coaching: This course helps one to achieve career success, heal relationships and find purpose in life.

Q 6: What tips would you like to give to aspiring writers?

Ans: If you wish to become a published author, you need to be a good reader. Also, take out some time from your daily schedule and write. Try to write at least 500 words every day.

To know more about Nisha Sanjeev you can follow her website https://www.nishasanjeev.com/

BOOK REVIEW:- LIFE UNKNOWN: A PASSAGE THROUGH INDIA

Author: Kartikeya Ladha

Publisher: Wild Ambro

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: 1st January 2021

Genre: Non-Fiction, Travelogue

Pages: 404

Goodreads Rating: 4.21/5 (as of 6th March, 2021)

My Rating: 4/5

BLURB (Taken from Goodreads)

“Having lived through an age of darkness, humanity is surfacing to witness the light of our existence.”

In Life Unknown – A Passage through India, the author returns to his motherland, India, and sets out to face the depths of his being as he continues the adventure begun in his previous bestselling book, Dream Beyond Shadows.

His heartfelt desire to find a way to live beyond the shadows of existence takes him to Ladakh, Dharamsala, and remote regions of India’s far north, deep within the powerful energy of the Himalayan Mountains. It takes him to the sacred waters of the Ganges River, and ultimately on a 1000 km pilgrimage by foot across South India, following the echoes of a cryptic message.

This story speaks directly from the author’s heart to an audience considering the idea of leaving everything they know behind to embrace life in its raw and untamed magnitude and search for understanding and meaning. 

MY REVIEW

Kartikeya Ladha’s new book ‘Life Unknown: A passage through India’ takes the author on a spiritual and fearless journey across different parts of India- Ladakh, Dharamsala, South India, and other remote areas in the country. In his latest book, the author has continued the adventurous journey that he undertook in the previous book ‘Dream Beyond Shadows’.
The first part of the book that is titled ‘Return to Motherland’, describes his travel journey in Leh-Ladakh. While traveling in Peru, the author found a reason to return to his homeland India. Hence, after setting foot in India, he visited his parents in Delhi and then set out for a nameless quest to Leh-Ladakh. During his stay in Ladakh, the author has given intricate details about his lifestyle, the culture of the Ladakhi people, and how he explored different places over there.
In the second part of the book titled ‘A time of anonymity’, the author returned to his hometown Gwalior to visit his sick grandmother and talked about Indian family dynamics. After meeting his grandmother, he again started his travel journey and explored places like Rishikesh and Dharamsala.
In the third and final part of the book (titled ‘The Nameless Walk’), the author provides details of his journey to South India. While traveling, the author also speaks about his inner struggles and how he intends to fight them. I was amazed by the writing style of the author as well as the intriguing narration. The way he has described the scenic beauty of each place he traveled is noteworthy.
In the book, he has bared his heart out about his raw emotions and why he chose a different path that is not guided by materialistic needs. Not only does he takes the readers to different places in the book, but also gives them a lot of healthy life lessons.
All in all, I enjoyed reading ‘Life Unknown: A Passage Through India’ and will recommend the book to all readers. This book is bound to take the readers to some beautiful places in our land while sitting at home.

About The Author (Taken from Amazon)

A social media influencer with a community of thousands across the globe on Instagram, Kartikeya Ladha first gained international recognition after the launch of his book, Dream Beyond Shadows. Kartikeya used to live in the U.S. before quitting his job and letting go of his plans to build a life in America. Since then, he has been on a quest to discover our existence’s absolute truth, which has inspired travels to distant lands. His artistic imagination springs from his desire to create works that exemplify the rawness of “what it means to be a human being.”

Thank you to the author Kartikeya Ladha for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

To buy a copy of the book, click on the link below:

BOOK REVIEW:- Zoravar: Book One in the Bollywood Saga

Author: Maharsh Shah

Publisher: Harper Collins India

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: 28th December 2020

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 329

Goodreads Rating: 4.56/5 (as of 23rd February, 2021)

My Rating: 4/5

BLURB (Taken from Goodreads)

Sikh. Pashtun. Thuggee. Fraud. Movie Star. This is the story of Zoravar Cheema.

1945, Lahore, India. Zoravar Cheema, sixteen and in love with the magic of the big screen, dreams of becoming a movie star. By the time the turbulent events of 1947 roll out, he has made the most important decision of his life. He will leave his family and go to Bombay – even if it means moonlighting as a member of one of the most feared crime gangs in the country.

Zoravar begins his journey without a roadmap, spends his nights sleeping on the streets and struggles in the day as the junior-most apprentice to actors and directors, till a freak encounter makes his dream come true.

This is the captivating story of the rise and fall of a superstar, set against the heady, glittering world of Hindi cinema.

MY REVIEW

Set in the post-independence period, this story is about Zoravar Cheema, a Sikh-Pashtun. Zoravar is passionate about Cinema and wishes to become an actor. Owing to the tragic events of 1947, Zoravar and his family fled to Phagwara from Lahore. On reaching Phagwara, he decides to leave his family and go to Bombay so that he can fulfill his wishes. But before he could visit Bombay, he got framed by one of the most-wanted thugs in the country, Sultana. Thus, in this way, Zoravar got involved in criminal activities. However, one day, he managed to escape the clutches of the thug and ran away to Bombay.
Zoravar’s journey in Bombay is altogether a different story. The author has displayed the kind of struggles a junior actor has to go through before he gets his first break. Zoravar struggled a lot, from sleeping on the streets to getting beaten by guards of famous film studios. But eventually, he succeeded in becoming a Superstar.
The author has used real movie references in the novel. Zoravar’s journey in Bombay was set during the golden age of Bollywood when actors like Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Kishore Kumar, Nargis, Madhubala, Meena Kumari, and Guru Dutt used to rule the Hindi Cinema.
The novel is well-researched and brings out the nitty-gritty of Hindi Cinema during the 1950s. I liked the way the author has described the character of Zoravar in the novel. Not for once did I realize that he was a fictional character. The narration is engaging and the writing style of the author is remarkable.
“Zoravar: Bollywood Saga 1” is an absolute page-turner. It is a quick and entertaining read, and if you are someone who wants to know more about the early years of Hindi Cinema then I would recommend you to read this book. The story has its twists and turns and ends with a cliffhanger. And now, I am eagerly waiting to read its second part.

About The Author (Taken from Amazon)

Maharsh Shah has worked extensively with major movie studios as part of their creative development and commissioning teams. He lives and works in Mumbai but would prefer to migrate to the hills and run a tavern-cum-bookstore instead. He can be reached via Twitter: @maharshs

Thank you HarperCollins India for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

To buy a copy of the book, click on the link below:

BOOK REVIEW: I, Duryodhana

Author: Pradeep Govind

Publisher: Om Books International

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: 30th April 2019

Genre: Fiction, Mythology

Pages: 344

Goodreads Rating: 3.73/5 (as of 11th February, 2021)

My Rating: 3.5/5

BLURB (Taken from Amazon)

Awaiting emancipation through the embrace of death, Duryodhana, the fallen Kaurava prince reminisces about the past as he narrates his version of the incidents that unfolded in his life, starting from his birth as a lump of flesh. Truth is frail and often vulnerable to distortion as history tends to favour the victors. This saga of pride, loyalty and heroism interlaced with deceit, hypocrisy, and betrayal, leaves the reader with that one vital question, who is to blame?

MY REVIEW

‘I, Duryodhana’ portrays the story of Mahabharata from the perspective of Gandhari and Dhritarashtra’s son Duryodhana. The story starts with Duryodhana reminiscing about his life while he is on his death bed after losing the Kurukshetra war. The novel takes the readers through his journey from birth to how he was always side-stepped by Pandavas and his loss in the Kurukshetra War due to deception.
The novel is well-researched and engaging. Duryodhana’s love for Hastinapur has been portrayed quite well in this book and how he was misunderstood most of the time. The novel makes us question whether Pandavas were right all along and if we are right to blame Duryodhana for all his deeds against Pandavas.
All in all, ‘I, Duryodhana’ was a good read for me and I will recommend this book to all mythological fiction lovers. If you want to read another version of Mahabharata then this book is for you.

About The Author (Taken from Amazon)

Pradeep Govind is an NRI media marketing professional currently working in the Sultanate of Oman. He was the Project Director of the prestigious Times of Oman Literary Contest, a first of its kind literary project in the Middle East initiated and blueprinted by him with a view to offer emerging creative writers a platform to express themselves and benchmark their creative writing talent with the best in the region. His first book titled The Capillary Effect & Other Short Stories was published on Amazon in 2013. One of the stories in the book titled Unto Thy Neighbour was awarded an Honourable Mention for Literary Excellence in the Top 25 out of 1114 entries in the International Short Story Contest conducted by noted writer Lorian Hemmingway, the granddaughter of the legendary Ernest Hemmingway. Pradeep is also an enthusiastic lyricist and musician and has released his own English music album on the HMV label in 1995 where he not only penned the lyrics, but composed the songs and performed the vocals as well. He also scripted the music video for one of the songs in it titled It Could’ve Been Me. He also does guest columns and articles for the Times of Oman – Oman’s leading English newspaper publication.

Thank  you Om Books International for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

To buy a copy of the book, click on the link below:

BOOK REVIEW: Shall We Tango? Charlie

Author: Chetna Lumb Bedi

Publisher: Fingerprint Publishing

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: 1st September 2020

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

Pages: 400

Goodreads Rating: 4.62/5 (as of 8th February, 2021)

My Rating: 5/5

BLURB (Taken from Goodreads)

As soon as Ahana crosses the Gates of the Indian Air Force selection centre, she knows she has to fight the world. After all, becoming a garud Commando isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re a woman. It’s a man’s world in there! But Ahana isn’t just any woman. Headstrong, brash, rebellious, if anyone can get through a daunting special forces training regimen, it is she. However, what happens when life decides to turn around and punch Ahana in the gut? Can she take it as well as she hands it out? Witty, charming, and heart-warming, shall we tango, Charlie? Is the story of Ahana Lamba, a girl haunted by her past and deceived by her present.

MY REVIEW

Shall we tango? Charlie follows the story of Ahana Lamba who aspires to become a Garud Commando. Ahana Lamba lost her parents and her only brother at a very young age. She was raised by her Uncle Ranjeet and Aunt Shashi in London. Since her aunt was a victim of domestic abuse, she always aspired to do something so that women do not feel defenseless in front of men. From childhood, she took training in ‘Krav Maga’ that can be defined as a form of military self-defense and fighting technique. Sensing her abilities, her ‘Krav Maga’ coach told her to think about working in the military. This is the reason why she decides to become a Garud Commando. But it is not easy for a woman to become a Garud Commando. Being a bold and brave person, Ahana didn’t give up. In the book, we see the rigorous training she goes through to become a Garud Commando while facing obstacles coming in between the journey.

This book is very inspirational and encourages all the women out there to take up challenging roles. The courageous character of Ahana and her passion and dedication in every work inspired me. One of the best parts of this book is its writing style. The book has been written informally, and the author’s writing skills are excellent. The action sequences have been meticulously mentioned in the book and the courage and strength displayed by Ahana and other women trainees are worth mentioning. During the journey, Ahana becomes friends with Dana Dixit (another girl who aspires to become a Garud Commando), and the friendship that blossomed between them was so pure and heart-touching. I also liked the character of Flight Lieutenant Suri and his chemistry with Ahana. Some other characters in the story who play a significant role in Ahana’s life include Aamir, Maryam, and Khaala. I don’t want to talk about their roles here because it will give away the whole story. Once you read this book, you will understand what I mean.

All in all, Shall we tango? Charlie has everything a book should have. It gives the readers so much to look out for. The novel is a complete package of action, drama, romance, friendship, hurdles, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I will recommend this book to all the readers!

About The Author (Taken from Amazon)

Born in New Delhi, raised travelling through Southern India and the Middle East, and settled in Melbourne for over twenty years, Chetna Lumb Bedi takes on a relentless adventurous spirit, which also comes forth in her writing. With a degree in engineering, an MBA, and an extended career in management consulting, she finds courage by observing successful and independent women in society, breaking norms and setting standards for generations. She is a firm believer in the tenacity of women and their right to equal opportunity in the workplace, which is pivotal to social transformation of our world. As a Corporate Leader, she mentors young women (professionally and personally) and is a proud supporter of organizations that fight for the educational rights of young girls. Enjoying life with her husband and almost two-year-old son, Chetna thrives on balancing home, work, and her passion in writing.

Thank you Writersmelon and Fingerprint Publishing for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

To buy a copy of the book, click on the link below:

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started