Sunday, 13 January 2019

House of Cards by Sudha Murty

My Rating : 5 /5

I religiously have been following the ritual of starting my year by reading a book by Indian Author. This time I chose Sudha Murthy’s House of cards. And when I pick up a Sudha Murthy’s book, I know what to expect. Her writing will be simple and her characters and stories will very relatable and up-lifting. Same with this book as well. 
Mridula a small town girl marries a simple man Sanjay with expecting only love and respect from him. Though Sanjay initially was down to earth and abided by the rules but faced a lot of discrimination in his professional life and he started holding everything in his heart which changed him in to a stone hearted and money minded person. While Mridula remind the same Sanjay changed drastically and that was the main reason for their difference of opinion. He even bought up his son on his own terms who also never cared for his mother until the end when he realises his mistake. What Author Sudha Murthy has tried to show here is not only being unfaithful to your spouse is bad but being untrustworthy as well. Though Sanjay never had any habits nor he cheated on his wife but never trusted her in money matters and was very secretive about so many things while Mridula was an open book and that broke her heart. Well, I was happy that towards the end Mridula finally gathered herself and chose her own path.

Monday, 31 December 2018

I've never been (Un)happier by Shaheen Bhatt

My Rating : 5 /5

When I picked up this book I mainly wanted to know what is 'Mental illness' all about because the word ’Depression’ is something I never believed in even when I was going through that phase as a teen. I thought it’s just a reason people give to escape from a situation, I didn’t even spare me sometimes. So I really wanted to know how and why people get into ‘depression’ and this brutally honest book by Shaheen really gave me an insight about the whole thing. Her thoughts were so relatable. It cleared all the misconceptions I had about depression. It takes guts to share personal experience about this sensitive topic and I applaud her for writing a book on it because this would help a lot of people especially those who are passing through that phase, they would definitely feel they are not alone and that feeling itself is uplifting.

Friday, 16 November 2018

The Liberation of Sita by Volga

My Rating : 4 /5

It was strange how I stumbled upon this book. I just happened to read one part of it found it interesting so bought it and read the whole book in one go. Usually I refrain from reading epic-retelling as I get agitated with the whole new perspective. Anyway this was not exactly a retelling it was more of revisioning. Though the whole book revolves around Ramayana but each story here is completely author woven. The story is about What-if Sita had met and had a deep conversation with Surpanaka, Ahalya, Renuka and Urmila, who all, like her have suffered a lot in their lives with or with out their mistake. The main theme of each story was either feminism or dealt with patriarchal society that they lived in but somewhere in-between there was lot of philosophical undertone embedded to it. With each story the author was trying to tell her readers that women should be self reliant, should not depend on anyone for her happiness and detachment is the key. 
Having said that I did have some problem while reading few parts where Rama was painted as male chauvinist, which was hard for me to digest. And just when I started thinking the whole feminist perspective was going overboard the last part of the book saved me. The last part was written from Rama’s point of view, which said how from childhood he was entrusted to preserve Arya Dharma which in turn was also the cause of his personal loss and misery. 
The heart touching part of the story was when Rama says to Lakshmana that he wants to thank mother Kaikeyi for sending him to the forest for fourteen years where he could live each and every moment with Sita which probably wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, this was indeed a beautiful perspective. 
This was my first Telugu book translated in English and I am sure in its original language this book would have sounded more deep and intense but the good part of translation is that it would reach more audience. I also loved what the author Volga had to say about translations, she says “ ,but a mother is a mother anywhere. So when I see similarity between that mother and my mother I feel happy. When I realise that the feeling called ‘mother’ is the same all over that world, my happiness is doubled.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Pyjamas are Forgiving by Twinkle Khanna

My Rating : 2.5 /5

This is the first time I’ve read anything by Twinkle Khanna. I haven’t read her column or any of her other books but have watched many of her interviews and she is very good at it, so my expectation was too high when I started this. It started good, looked promising too, so I thought I would finish it in one sitting but soon it failed to hold my interest so I took way too much time to finish it than usual because nothing seemed interesting neither the story nor the characters.

Actually, there was no story at all the beginning didn’t seem like a beginning and the ending didn’t seem like an ending. And the characters especially the main protagonist Anshu was neither strong nor fierce I didn’t expect Twinkle Khanna’s protagonist to be this spineless. I didn’t understand why Anshu had even come to the Ayurvedic retreat in the first place, where all she did was repeat the same mistake which she had done in the past. There was no growth in Anshu's character and that was sad. I didn’t get the whole point of the book actually. This book could have been so much better but as it turned out it wasn't. Also, sadly I couldn’t enjoy Twinkle Khanna’s writing much either, the sarcasm, the witty lines were all over the places and it was very hard for me take this story or the any of the character seriously even though there were many serious issues that was touched. Anyway at least I did finish this book and I don’t regret reading it so that's a good thing.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Manto - The Movie

There are some movies you go watch for entertainment without giving much thought and there are movies for which you need preparation and which makes you think, ‘Manto’ was that kind of a movie. I came across Manto’s works first when I was doing MA literature. One of his pen sketch on Ismat Chugtai was prescribed for us. I actually had no intention of reading it but then when I started reading it I couldn’t stop, his writing was very casual and fun to read and somewhere in the back of my mind I thought I would read more of his works later but that ‘later’ never came. And then my second encounter with Manto’s work was when I had to teach one of his short story “Toba Tek Singh’ to my students. When I read the story I felt it was deep. Deeper than it appeared and that made me read more of his works. I was more than happy when I got to know that there was movie coming out on his life.
About the movie all I can say is that I loved everything about it be it the direction, the narration, the dialogues and the acting. I feel short of words if I go on and express what I feel for the movie. The direction made me live the movie in that era and for two hours I was literally transported to that time specially the first scene from the movie, the intellectual talks between Manto, Ismat, Safia and few others was so aesthetic to watch. The beauty of the narration was the amalgamation of Manto’s short story with his life story and each story was deeper than the other and fitted just perfectly. The helplessness of the character is so beautifully portrayed by Nawaz that I don’t have enough words to praise him, also each and every character in movie have just lived their part. The only complain I have about the movie is that it was too short and left me wanting more.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Poonachi: Or the Story of a Black Goat by Perumal Murugan, N. Kalyan Raman (Translator)

My Rating : 5 /5

God this was deep!
What made me pick up this book was the cover (who wouldn’t fall for it?), the title and of course the author. I had already read and loved Perumal Murugan’s two other novels so I was kind of sure that I would love this one too and I did.
The beauty of his novels is that it would be about ordinary people and the day to day struggle they go through to meet ends and also the hardcore tradition they follow which is least known to us. To know people of that culture and tradition is quite fascinating.

Coming back to Poonachi as the titles says its a story about a black goat of course, but mind you it isn’t as easy a story as the title sounds. A book of about 170 pages can be read in a day or two but not these kinds. It’s not an easy read at least for me it wasn’t.

While reading I had to close the book several times just to ponder over few things the author said so casually between the lines. Also, sometimes I just wanted to gather myself to go ahead since the feeling of what would happen next was quite scary.

The whole book is allegoric in so many different ways. For one thing you can see this as a coming of age story of a black kid to a goat, here again the colour ’black’ is symbolic which symbolise ‘discrimination’ ‘the odd one out’. Since the black kid was also an orphan it was too heart wrenching to know how it was treated by the fellow goats. But do goats treat other orphan kids this badly? We sure have no idea about that but we humans do, right? Thats where it becomes allegoric again. At some point it also throws light on how humans take animals for granted how they exploit them for their own good. In so many ways the story of Poonachi also kind of symbolises life a woman.I can go on and on about the allegoric references from the book thats how deep this book was for me. A special thanks to the translator who translated this gem, otherwise I sure would’ve missed this powerful, poignant tale of Poonachi :')

Monday, 20 August 2018

Inkredia - Luwan of Brida by Sarang Mahajan

My Rating : 4 /5

I haven’t read much of a fantasy fiction as its not my preferred genre, wanted to try from a long time though. So, when I heard about this book and got to know that this was written by an Indian author I wanted to give it a try.  I was more than happy  to attempt to read this one since it was not another interpretation of our mythology but an original plot.

The story revolves around Luwan a 17 year old boy and his elder sister Meg. It starts with Luwan denying to pay any kind of tax to Lord Gruwak of Brida and now he wants to escape from that place before he gets killed. The plot is kept simple in the beginning but as it moves on it gets complicated especially once Luwan and Meg start their journey. They go though lots of hardships throughout and Luwan learns many things about himself and his parents on the way, including some of his hidden powers. The journey is full of challenges but Luwan and his sister gets lucky every time escaping them with the help of some supporting characters. It’s got everything a fantasy book requires I guess, action, adventure, emotion, lots of strange animals and scary and imaginary things and of course magic! It was strange in the beginning to imagine these stuffs since I am not used to it but I started liking it as the story moved on. The plus point of this book is that it’s fast paced and well written. The book never bored me nor did the language both were smooth, which I least expected. The twist in the end was great and unexpected.

I was hooked with story from start to the end. I have literally carried the book everywhere till I finished it. Author Sarang Mahajan’s imagination is really appreciable, since I haven’t read any fantasy book I have nothing to compare to so I really liked this one. Yeah, I wanted a better characterisation and background of the main protagonists which I didn’t find in this book but hope to find in the next. I am curious to know how Luwan and Meg survived in the new city they went to. That means I am looking forward to read the next book in the series. 

Thanks Gloryburg Publishing for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

#INKREDIA #SarangMahajan #INKREDIALuwanofBrida #Gloryburg #INKREDIAreview 

House of Cards by Sudha Murty

My Rating : 5 /5 I religiously have been following the ritual of starting my year by reading a book by Indian Author. This time ...