Dreams And Hope

The sky was clear and blue, no turmoil or trouble was present today to colour it grey and the cemented path like an old man didn’t talk about the pain it felt by being trampled on by its children. There was a certain kind of happiness, it was almost like a dream. And it was in this jocund day that the naive, soon to be warrior was out. However, he looked too carefree to be one who would carry the legacy and that was perhaps because the world has not touched his shoulders and gifted him the universal blessings – the burdens. Everything was possible in his world today and so was the dream of having a friend for himself just like others have. A journey should begin with this friend so the bonds of friendship just like trees, would grow deep and remain forever and surely it did begin, with the warrior marching ahead with a tattered shirt draped over his shoulder and no slippers on his feet as they were still a far fetched dream – unfulfilled and unreachable – implying that the world may not have visited him yet but the ritual of obscure glancing was complete. However, it was not a day about hardships and struggles but friendships and love so held tightly between the fingers of the soon to be warrior was a thin rope – a connection – that tied him to his friend having a black body supported by his four paws and made warmer by whiskers on his face and happier by the energetic bark and wagging tail. He walked proudly, being a loyal and noble companion, beside his innocent and soon to be warrior friend.

Some dreams may seem that they reside in depths of galaxies and that is where they usually do but once we invite them and welcome them with an open heart they subtly enter our homes to become ours forever.

Pictures from Internet.

Betrayals and Paybacks – Review

Author – Sana Shetty

Book – Betrayals And Paybacks

Publisher – Write India

Ratings – 3.5/5

How far would you go to protect your loved one? Would you even condone murder?

The story is set in a village on the banks of river Kaveri and is built around three main characters – Vedant, Misha and Jay. Jay, who has paid the price of loyalty and friendship through his death, Misha who is still grieving for her brother, Jay’s death and finding it hard to believe and Vedant, the protagonist who has return to his village after many years with nothing being the same except him.

I loved how the plot was devloped giving way to every character for growing. While you read the story you never get that feeling that there is not sufficient background for any character. The sense of mystery grows with every chapter to keep you hooked till the end. Also, though being a work of fiction I loved how the idea behind story was something realistic and not hard to believe.

Betrayals and Paybacks is an apt name for the book and the author once again portrays and plays very well with the theme.

The only complain I have is that I felt it became slightly fast paced at the end and the author could develop the story more. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to read a good short thriller book as it won’t disappoint you and also feed your quest for mystery and thrill.

You can buy the book from amazon.in

I got this book from the author for an honest and unbiased review.

P.s. If you still want to know more about the book I’d put a video about this book’s review on my YouTube channel soon. Link given below :

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmEovx71L39LKLIFYjVx3_Q

Flying Without Wings – Review

Author – Rishabh Puri

Book – Flying Without Wings

Publisher – Black Ink

Ratings – 3.5/5

REVIEW :

When I first read the synopsis I was little skeptic thinking that it would be the same cliche story about a rich man meeting a poor woman and falling in love but as I read further and probed deeper in to the world of Karan and Milli (the protagonists) I got much more than the simple cliche story.
Flying Without Wings is the love story of Karan Singhania and Milli Bajwa living in totally different world but being similar in many ways. The story is about hopes and dreams and through Karan and Milli’s journey we explore it again and again making it a story one can read when feeling hopeless or having a really bad day. I liked how the characters are introduced in a way that will provide readers an insight about the characters life, how the story is slowly devloped providing enough background information for readers to grasp and making the work of fiction an interesting read.
What surprised or interested me the most was the level of optimism shown in the story which has this ability to even make a reader feel hopeful and what disappointed me was this need for more information than given but may be that’s just me being a lover of full-length novels rather than short ones.
Overall, it’s a nice short love story woven with hope and power of love. I would recommend this book to any one who needs a little more hope and sunshine in their life and ultimately the courage to ‘Fly Without Wings’.

You can buy the book at amazon

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.

Critical Essays on Dalit Literature – Review

Title – Critical Essays on Dalit Literature

Editor – Dr Murali Manohar

Publisher – Atlantic

Review –

Critical Essays on Dalit Literature stands out as an informative and introductory book on Dalit literature. It is a compendium of critical essays written in such a lucid manner that it can be ideal for the students as well as any person desiring to get familiar with the history of Dalits in India.

It begins with introducing the reader to the origin of the Dalit Movement by rightfully commencing with B.R. Ambedkar’s Autobiographical Notes which renders an insight in to Ambedkar’s own struggle and leaves the reader simply with truth and inspiration. The second essay by Melody Lalmingthani carries forward the idea of education as a form of liberation by citing references such as Saraswativijayam by Potheri Kunhambu, one of the earliest Malyali novels which deals with the theme of oppression of Dalits at the hands of Brahmins. Albeit several essays deals primarily with Dalit literature one does not need to have a prior knowledge about the concerned texts (however reading the books discussed in the essays would be quite insightful for the reader to understand the representation of Dalits in Indian history). They endeavour to enhance and augment our understanding of the social and political condition of Dalits in the past and present. Moreover, the book in its aim to educate the reader about the Dalits also adeptly provides a brief yet basic information about the societal representation of Dalits by focusing on subjects like gender, region, religion, globalisation and so on.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to educate themselves about Dalit’s history . It stands out as a relevant text in today’s world where misconceptions and divisions breed and has personally aided me to comprehend, at some level, the history behind the reservation system and look forward to the philosophy of humanitarianism.

Quotes – ‘Education is the greatest of all wealth.’

‘Just as a person who is untouchable to a Hindu is also an untouchable to a Parsi, a person who is untouchable to a Hindu is also an untouchable to a Mohammedan.’

Critical Essays on Dalit Literature – Review

Title – Critical Essays on Dalit Literature

Editor – Dr Murali Manohar

Publisher – Atlantic

Review –

Critical Essays on Dalit Literature stands out as an informative and introductory book on Dalit literature. It is a compendium of critical essays written in such a lucid manner that it can be ideal for the students as well as any person desiring to get familiar with the history of Dalits in India.

It begins with introducing the reader to the origin of the Dalit Movement by rightfully commencing with B.R. Ambedkar’s Autobiographical Notes which renders an insight in to Ambedkar’s own struggle and leaves the reader simply with truth and inspiration. The second essay by Melody Lalmingthani carries forward the idea of education as a form of liberation by citing references such as Saraswativijayam by Potheri Kunhambu, one of the earliest Malyali novels which deals with the theme of oppression of Dalits at the hands of Brahmins. Albeit several essays deals primarily with Dalit literature one does not need to have a prior knowledge about the concerned texts (however reading the books discussed in the essays would be quite insightful for the reader to understand the representation of Dalits in Indian history). They endeavour to enhance and augment our understanding of the social and political condition of Dalits in the past and present. Moreover, the book in its aim to educate the reader about the Dalits also adeptly provides a brief yet basic information about the societal representation of Dalits by focusing on subjects like gender, region, religion, globalisation and so on.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to educate themselves about Dalit’s history . It stands out as a relevant text in today’s world where misconceptions and divisions breed and has personally aided me to comprehend, at some level, the history behind the reservation system and look forward to the philosophy of humanitarianism.

Quotes – ‘Education is the greatest of all wealth.’

‘Just as a person who is untouchable to a Hindu is also an untouchable to a Parsi, a person who is untouchable to a Hindu is also an untouchable to a Mohammedan.’

The Catcher In The Rye

Author – J.D. Salinger

Publisher – Penguin Books

Genre – Classics

Pages – 228

Ratings – 4.5/5

“The Catcher In The Rye is a classic novel originally published for adults but has since become popular with adolescent readers for its theme of teenage angst and alienation”.

The book centres around the life of Holden Caulfield, the protagonist who can be discerned as the voice of teenagers. It is written in subjective style where we get to read about Holden’s feelings about school, his classmates, Hollywood, his siblings and his family. Holden as a character is best seen as a critic who criticizes everything in his life and considers most of the people ‘phony’. The book contain certain colloquial terms which were known amongst the teenagers of his time.

The book is about Holden’s psychological journey from a period of his life. He, still grieving from the death of his brother Allie goes through an internal traumatic experience where he is never at ease anywhere. He never settles at one place and contemplates about going ‘somewhere out West’ where nobody would know him.

The only time he feels delightful is when he hears a boy singing, “The Catcher In The Rye” in the park and though it may seem insignificant but the fact it renders relief, if only for a short period of time, to the troubled Holden corroborates that it is integral. One can perhaps, interpret it as an analogy for Holden, who admires in children attributes that he struggles to find in adults like kindness, genoristy, spontaneity and innocence. Falling off the cliff could be a progression into the adult world that surrounds him and that he strongly criticizes.

One can also argue that “The Catcher In The Rye” is a disguised war novel. Salinger after returning from the war, writes not about his horrific experience but wrote a “coming of age-novel”

I would recommend it to everyone as it is a novel which leads us to retrospect on our journey as a teenager and what we have gained or lost being an adult. Have we become more ‘phony’ or pretentious or does the childish part of ourselves still remain somewhere deep inside?

Sources for some information – Wikipedia.

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land – Review

Author – Ali Land

Publisher – Penguin Random House

Genre – Psychological Thriller

Pages – 337

Ratings – 4/5

An intense gripping tale about a traumatised child of a serial killer and how it affects not only her but the lives of the people connected to her.

The book will take you on a psychological journey narrated by Milly Barnes, a fifteen year old girl and with every chapter we come to know about certain aspects of her character. She will make you feel sympathy but she will also leave you feeling surprised by the end of the book.

As it is a story about traumatised child, there are certain episodes which might not be suitable for you if you are sensitive. It’s a book pervaded with themes like sexual abuse and violence.

The book isn’t one of those fast paced thriller and if you are expecting that then it’s definitely not for you, it is slow and with every chapter you’re closer to unraveling the truths and lies about Milly and her life.

I liked how the author concluded the book because it was something which came as a surprise. The writing style of the author is impressive as you can slowly comprehend the workings of the mind of the main protagonist, Milly. It does not leave you with a sense of incompletion but rather with a sense of contentment.

I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading a psychological thriller, it won’t disappoint you and once you finish the book you’ll comprehend the essence of the book in a better way.

Inside the heart of hope – Review

Author – Rishabh Puri

Publisher – Srishti Publishers

Pages – 121

Rating – 2.5/5

‘Inside the Heart of Hope is a story of strong will, perseverance and optimism which will make you wonder if sky is really the limit’

Review – Inside the Heart of Hope is a simple story of a boy named Rick (the protagonist) and how he overcomes the most difficult challenge of his life with a smile. The book showcases fortitude and hope and one point of time, a reader has to feel the hope surging through the pages of the book.

I would recommend it to any one who wants to read something simple and hopeful.

A BIT OF SPLENDID THINGS – REVIEW

Author – Audrey Maloney-Vangen

Publisher – Olympia Publishers

Genre – Poetry/Romance

Pages – 69

Ratings – 3/5

Blurb –

Let Audrey Maloney-Vangen whisk your imagination away to beautiful beaches, violent storms, snowy lands, and Rocky Mountains in this collection of personal and vibrant poetry.

Audrey takes her readers on an adventure through a retelling of her childhood in her native country of Trinidad, her travels in Canada, and her holiday in breathtaking Venice.

For all her happy memories, Audrey also adds a very special personal touch to each poem, and her heart-warming love story of how she met husband, her relationship with God, and the loss of her daughter all culminate in a collection bursting with raw emotion.

The collection can open your eyes to a vast world of culture, as well as a few life lessons in love, loss, and happiness.

What makes this book unique? Like her book cover photo, Audrey had attached personal photos at the end of many poems, which she took herself, in order to give her readers a visual treat, that captures the moods in her poetry topics.

REVIEW –

The poetess, Audrey in her book has very beautifully described fragments of her life in such a way that the book along with the twenty poems forms a story itself. She introduces her book with a beautiful and surreal description of Banff and concludes it with her poem,The Journey of Love. I admire her rhyming scheme which was prominent in each and every poem and the simplicity and optimism with which she describes even a tragic event – death of her daughter. There is a sense of religious zeal prevailing in the book and with the poetess’s eye you experience that feeling perpetually in every poem. Her poems center around the theme of love in its various components – love for a husband, love for God, love for your hometown, love for new experiences and journeys, love for your family and friends. One of the remarkable element of the book were the pictures that Audrey herself has provided for her readers to comprehend her experience in a much better way along with her words. I would conclude my review in simply summing up the book as a ‘simple, heart warming journey of poems.’

I would recommend it to anyone who would want to read about an optimistic, religious journey of life.

I was given this copy by the publishers for an honest and unbiased review.

Men And Dreams In The Dhauladhar – Review

Author – Kochery C. Shibu

Publisher – Niyogi Books

Pages – 283

Genre – Fiction

Ratings – 3/5

Synopsis :

Nanda, an engineer from Kerala at the dam construction site, hiding from his past, from the law, torn between the love of his dear ones and the kalari code of revenge. Khusru, a youth displaced from his native village in Kashmir, a gambit in the terror plot that threatens to blow up the dam, working as a labourer at the site. Rekha, a Kathak dancer at heart, a doctor by profession, arrives at the campsite as the consort of Khusru. A village that accepts the dictates of modernity with a heavy heart, its population steeped in superstitions and religious beliefs.

All throng the campsite like moths to a flame, some escape untouched, successful; some miss a step and perish. Each has a story to tell and a dream to realise. Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is about aspirations of these people, with their cares and worries woven into the site life. The fury of nature and the hardships of project life have no mercy for the weak and no time for the dead. Like an eternal spectator the Dhauladhar watches as men risk their life and limb in the quest to fulfil their dreams.

REVIEW :

The story revolves around the life of many characters with Nanda, Khusru and Rekha being the protagonists. The character of Nanda is that of a silent, dutiful observer, Khusru is initially a pawn in the hands of the terrorist group and Rekha is the one who dares to dream and follow it. There are some novels which tell the plot rather showing and Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar fall in to such category. The recurrent theme in the novel is that of how life links us all in one way or another and how we despite of not knowing each other become more than a stranger. The nuances of the life of workers are scattered all over the story. The three protagonists of the novel have their own story to tell, surviving and escaping from the past without knowing what Dhauladhar holds for them. The language is colloquial making it an easy read and though the first few chapters are just instrumental for the exposition they eventually develop and fit in the plot. I loved author’s art of characterisation as it felt that the characters are not fictional but living with us in reality.

The novel is pervaded with autobiographical elements, drawing from the author’s life and profession. It gives you more like an essay or documentary feel giving better insight in to the construction of a dam. The theme of the novel revolves around the realities of the life of people living or working in Dhauladhar range and how it brings them together.

The book does seem a nice read but failed to impress me as I am lover of novels that leads its reader to think rather than rendering details to an extreme extent, there were many instances where I felt that author should just have dropped the hint rather than giving a comprehensive content. It is a tale of realities embedded in to a fictional world and the author has delivered it very well but for me it still lacks the factor that would make it an interesting read. As a reader and reviewer, I felt it could have developed more but perhaps that’s just my perspective as I don’t have penchant for novels dealing with technical background.

I would recommend it to anyone keen to know about the realities of life of people living in the hills, I personally loved the character of Mangu Ram who is the voice of traditions and antiquities of the hills.

The book was provided to me by the author for an unbiased and honest review.

If I had To Tell It Again by Gayathri Prabhu- Book Review

Genre – Fiction

Author – Gayathri Prabhu

Pages – 185

Publisher – HarperCollins India

Rating – 5/5

SYNOPSIS –

Sixty-six years of a lifetime gone.

There would be no funeral. He had donated his body to the local medical college. It was part of his script, his fantasy about death. He would show his hospital donation certificate to anyone who came to our house. No rituals for me, he would announce. To his mind, there was some justice in being cut up by medical students. He had wanted to be a doctor.

There is his corpse, lying on the floor, people constantly milling around, talking about his untimely, unfortunate death, while I stare at everyone in dry-eyed annoyance. He had always been a popular man, much-loved, generous to a fault to his neighbors, even if angry towards his own family. I just want him gone from the house. When the van from the morgue comes to pick him up, everyone urges us to touch his feet, to ask for his blessings. It is expected from the children of dead parents. Everyone watches us.

You first, an old man points to me, my father’s first-born.

I bend down, my fingers touch his feet.

In my mind the words form, loud and distant – I forgive you.

Review –

If I had to tell it again is a museum of memories where certain pieces of art leaves us feeling emphathy and teary-eyed while some are so palpable that it resonates in our heart perhaps leaving its mark perpetually.

It is a self narration elucidating the beautiful yet deteriorating relationship between a father and daughter. I said beautiful because that’s how relationships are, they are weaved with care and love but there are also flaws, expectations, fragility, selfishness on the other side of the coin. The book is written with an array of beautiful words and ocsillates between first person and third person narrative; comprising of five parts covered in 185 pages.

It explores and brings out the crucial matters pervading in our Indian families yet being surreptitiously ignored – mental illness, child sexual abuse and domestic violence.

I would not recommend this book to any person who loves to read light hearted content but definitely to people who have fought, lost, won and will fight again. I love this book (to the extent of recommending it to my college professor) and though I couldn’t read it at once and may be even you wouldn’t especially if you could relate to it but once you are done reading it you will definitely find yourself moving away from the prominent lines of dark memories to a tiny line of hope and courage perhaps not now but surely some day.

Thanks a lot HarperCollins India for giving me this book to review as it now belongs to one of my treasured book collections.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

Gayathri Prabhu is an Indian novelist who currently resides in Manipal, Karnataka. Prabhu holds a MA degree in Mass Communication from Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, an MPhil in Creative writing from Swansea University in the United Kingdom and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in the United States.

You can buy this book from amazon.in.