Sweta Samota’s Nine ; The Book Review


Nine: A Gripping Tale of Ila Sharma, The Number Girl (Romance and Mystery)

Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 2126 KB

Print Length: 293 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Language: English

ASIN: B07KWDLLZG

Blurb

“Nine” is a powerful read that tugs at the heartstrings.

A powerfully moving story!

A mix of Dan Brown and Nicholas Sparks is what Sweta delivers… And what a smashing hit!

What happens when situations put you against yourself and the world is at stake?
National puzzle champ, Ila Sharma, finds herself in trouble when she joins a college in the new city of Pune with an undercover agent by her side.

With her photo flashed in the media, she is sought after by the notorious gang headed by Danny. He forces her to solve a series of codes, that were coded by a brilliant IPS officer Manu Mukundi Lal who was the national security adviser to the Prime Minister of India.

She is caught in an accelerating quest to unveil a thousand years old powerful secret.
And with the three scientists going missing, she is on the radar by the Indian Intelligence.
Still reeling from the events back home, Ila is not sure if she can trust the man she loves.

As layers unfold, as she puts the pieces of jigsaw together, her personal life shatters bit by bit.

As she begins to decode the bizarre numbers, she is stunned to find a trail that leads to the Prime Minister of India and never-before-seen revelations lead her to a single inconceivable truth.

There is more to the world than meets the eye!
Read on as you travel through a saga of love and ambition, history and ideologies.
A blend of love, history, crime and fantasy.

 

` Review

Gripping Goosebumps

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Sweta Samota takes some time to build up the suspense and she provides almost equal time to unwrap the mystery.  There are some classified stuff, few encrypted puzzles ( read code)  and there is Ila.

Ila, shines like the beauty with the brain who is studying in Pune. Well, there is an undercover agent also, and in order to find out the identity, grab a copy. I enjoyed the narrative structure which never loses the pace and keeps a nail-biting tension among the readers. The author picks up Illuminati, one of the most controversial topics of Asokan History. No spoilers here, thus no storyline over here. The narrative dwells in the past as well as in the present era with RSS, Modi ( Pradhanmantri) among others. The cat and mouse game will keep you entertained, thanks to Indian Intelligence over here.The best part of the book is obviously the connecting dots between history and the present socio-political ethos of India. Sweta deserves an applause for providing such a treat to the readers. I enjoyed the close entanglement of well-researched facts and fiction, keep it up. I will be waiting for more stories from you and it must be on this genre. Sweta, I loved this one. Shaheed- E – Azam is also there, omg this particular phase about him and that too Kakori ( Bismil ka Sandesh)well, too good to stay away from such impeccable delight.

Do not miss the codes, do not miss the love story and more overlook for the truth.

Mitron, get the book.

Pros

Well researched

Gripping narration

Keeps it simple in style

Nice cover design

Cons

More character developments

The love saga could have been avoided, I enjoyed the thriller part(my pov)

Verdict – 8.5/10

About the author

Sweta Samota is an Indian author who writes thriller,mystery and romance. She is a computer engineer and holds an MBA in marketing. Over 13 years of experience in software industry where she was called the Decode expert, came handy in coding “Nine”. A nationalist and a runner.

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Other books: 1. Kiss of true Love 2. Radha in a Jinx – a short story that was in top three in Amazon words worthy contest. 3. Radha in a Jinx- Reflections Recently.

Sweta recently won The StoryAward in flash fiction contest conducted by She The People Tv.

Discalimer – Images provided by the author for an unbiased review.

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Sundari Venkatraman’s Kurma:The Second Avatar , A Book Review.


Print Length: 34 pages
Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published)
Publication Date: April 22, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited
Genre: Mythology, Short Story, Kidlit
Blurb
Sage Durvasa’s curse makes not just Indra, the Deva king, but also all the other Devas, lose their powers.
The completely shaken Devas rush to Lord Vishnu for help. The Blue Lord suggests that they churn the ocean of milk for Amrut, a divine potion, that would help them get back their lost powers and more.
For this, the Devas seek the help of their strong half-brothers, the evil Asuras. With Mount Mandara as the churning rod and the serpent king Vasuki as the rope, the Devas and Asuras begin the churning of the ocean.
When the mountain sinks into the ocean without support, it’s Lord Vishnu to the rescue as Kurma, the tortoise.
Read the story of Samudra Manthan to know about all the avatars Lord Vishnu takes in this segment to save the situation.
Know the author
This is the first foray into the mythology genre for the author and also the first book that she’s written for children.
Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 28 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.
Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end.
Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years.
Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

 

The Review 

Sundari Venkatraman’s objective is clear , she tells a story in a very simple way. Her plot-line is neatly woven and the language is crispy like the finger chips in Beer bar , perfectly salted to suit the taste of the reader. I’ve missed the prequel of Kurma: The Second Avatar, but it didn’t interfere the joy of reading this tale from Indian Mythology.

Sundari Venkatraman didn’t interfere with the original story written in Sanskrit. She knows the craft of storytelling and more importantly , she understands the pulse of both the reader. Thus , from the first page , she brings up the conflict and the rest of the narrative deals with the resolving of the same conflict.

Sage Durvasa  gets angry over Devraj Indra ,  King of Devas and he provides a terrible curse. Vishnu is the only one to provide a solution. We all know the story in an haphazard manner , Venkatraman presents it with proper introduction , beginning and the end. The book is well researched and neatly presented .

The churning of the Ocean provides so much data about the credibility of Vishnu, as the supreme God. The different forms of avatar , the concept of multiple existence and the treasures of Samudra Manthan were nicely presented in the book . Revisit the story of Indian mythology in English , without the literary jargons.

Pros

Who is your editor ? One of the best editors you have.

Simple Plot-line and Language

Lovely Cover Design and the index at the back

Cons

It ended , I was expecting more episodes of Mohini , Kamdhenu , Rahu and Neelkanth.

Ratings – 8/10

Get the book ..

Another Vishnu story is on the way.

 

 

A Book Review of Dr. Kanaklata Tiwari’s Pintoo’s First Bite


 

Title –  Pintoo’s First Bite

Author – Dr. Kanaklata Tiwari

Format: Kindle Edition

Print Length: 38 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Language: English

ASIN: B077BQWKMY

 

Review

Pintoo’s First Bite is a collection of tiny tales authored by Dr. Kanaklata Tiwari. The author revisits the folk tales and pop culture of the children and narrates the century old stories with a pinch of modern storytelling of her own. The age old tradition of  grandparents reading out stories for the toddlers is back with a boom in this collection.

The narrative is simple and endearing without any complexities of the adult mind . Dr. Tiwari has voraciously used the literary device of personification , where the animals have got voices and they speak out in almost every short story of this collection . The human beings have received a mixed treatment in this collection ; some being kind while others are bit greyish. The storytelling is linear in structure and sometimes end with a morale. The influence of Aesop’s fable is visible throughout the book  but the author creates her own little word where the human kingdom lives happily ever after with the animals.The author provides some funny and relate able nomenclature for the characters like Pintoo , Chunchu , Gabru , Aalo , Bhalo , Thumb Singh etc.My personal favourite is Thumb Singh became the king. The editing could have been much better and it acts as a bit of roadblock in the smooth ride of the book. No doubt the author comes up with a good package….

Hurry up buy the book for the kids in the house and for you to revisit the childhood.

Buying Link :  https://www.amazon.in/Pintoos-first-bite-Kanak-Tiwari-ebook/dp/B077BQWKMY

 

Pros

Lovable characterization

Simple plot structures

Adorable usage of personifications

Honest story telling

Cons

Choppy editing

Excessive usage of watermarked images

Know the Author :

Dr. Kanak Lata Tiwari

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Contact no 9819220411,

E mail :kanaklatatiwari@yahoo.co.in

Asst professor in KJSCE, Ph D in English Literature, Weekly Columnist In THE NEWSBAND, presented many papers in international conferences in Dubai,Athens<Bangkok etc. Pubblished many research papers in reputed journals.

ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS

Recipient of Unnao Garav Award From U P Government

 Recipient of Rishi Shankar Dixit Award for her book “Mere Maun Ka Mukhar” from Kolkata Kanya Kubj Sabha

 Recipient of Kahani Pratiyogita award from Delhi Press

 Recipient of Women of The Year ASHMITA Award 2014

 A prolific writer in Hindi& English, many articles and stories published in various reputed magazines and dailies like Hindi Femina ,Vama,Sakhi Jagran etc.  Compilation of poetry “ Mere Maun Ka Mukhar” “Atm katha jo Atm Katha nahi hai and “The Novels Of Thomas Hardy and R.K.Narayan ” “ Alice walker ,a compilation” have been published.

 A collection of stories (in Hindi UNSULAJHE PRASHN) Published .It is her sixth book.

 

 

 

 

 

Paulami DuttaGupta’s A Thousand Unspoken Words : A Book Review


 

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Authored by Paulami DuttaGupta
Published by Readomania
ISBN: 978-81-929975-9-9
Genre: Fiction / Political Romance

Book Review

A few months ago, I was a part of literature conference in Pune’s Bharati Vidyapeeth University, where the main debate revolved around great literature and popular literature. The key note speaker concluded that popular literature gives you pleasure for few moments but great literature makes you a worried man i.e. it makes you think.Well, Paulami DuttaGupta’s fiction A Thousand Unspoken Words is one such bright example of contemporary classics. I must congratulate the author for taking up such a politically charged plot line and executing it in such a fine manner.

While most of the Indian English writer prefers to highlight the negative aspects of the Hindi Film industry , Paulami DuttaGupta actually borrows( read inspired) the pseudonym of a writer(in the book) from a Bhatiyali inspired tune of S.D Burman , which was featured in the  highly praised Bollywood  film , Guide (1965). Very few authors can create a mood, Dutta Gupta provides such everlasting moments throughout the novel. Chetan Anand’s Guide was based on R.K Narayan’s novel of the same name and like the novel this book provides an open ended climax, it is up to the readers to decide what to choose? Sequel ..ah Haan.

The novel is about one of the most miserable ideologies of the era, yep Communism. Bengal witnessed the advent of communism and its considerable decay over the time and across the decades. Dutta Gupta criticized the hypocrisy of Leftist bureaucracy of Bengal.  The book exposes the political crimes brainwashing in Bengal. However, they are never loud but yes as a sensitive reader it hits you really hard.

I have always loved resilient characterization in novels. This one has Tilottoma and Riddhiman. You will enjoy the conversation between the characters, their dormant traits and the duality. Musafir appears as a robust political writer with a considerable amount of fiery fans. Tillotomma is the bravest and the brightest among them all. I have never revealed the plot line, but yes I can give you a hint-this one is a romance but not a coochie cool one. This book traces the emotional journey of the characters, their struggle with ideologies and of course the constant struggle ( read battling inner demons). This one is psychic and yet simple. Paulami DuttaGupta didn’t fall prey to the pseudo-intellectual mode and bombard the readers with out of the context sequences and GRE’s vocabulary. The book makes you reflect upon the ideologies of the society and it raises questions like the pen which propagate such ideologies, do they follow it by themselves? One who looks like an idealist turns out to be something else in the end and as a reader, it might crush you. The story is not about two persons falling in love but it is about surviving through it and discovering new aspects throughout the journey. The author did a decent job in providing the readers with realistic characters and in reality, people are selfish as hell. I must say, the author has chosen most of the rasas to deal with the art of characterization. The protagonists fall in love only to depart and the story is all about the pent of emotions which are yet to be exchanged i.e. those thousand unspoken words.

This book has got a heart at its right place and the read was indeed soulful. Ah, classic after a very long time. I’m going to read all other works by the author and I dare you to miss this one. Go get a copy of A Thousand Unspoken Words.Mani Ratnam might enjoy adapting this classic on the silver screen.

Pros

Kick ass Plot line( Bashes up the Commies, hits the Inqilab Zindabad mouthing Jack ass  idealists of Jadavpur University and Presidency University who are communist until they get rich ..take that.)

Hard Hitting Characters who are like us and still exclusive in their own accord.

No mushy romance and steamy (unwanted) love making episodes

The last phrase “She smiled sadly”, is engrossing.

Good cover design.

Cons

Ah, none.

Ratings – 10/10

Buying Link

 

The Author
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Paulami DuttaGupta is a novelist and screenwriter. She shuttles between Kolkata and Shillong. She has worked as a radio artist, copywriter, journalist and a television analyst at various stages of her life, having been associated with AIR Shillong, The Times of India— Guwahati, Shillong Plus, ETV Bangla, The Shillong Times, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath.As an author, her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and literary magazines. A Thousand Unspoken Words is her fourth book. Paulami also writes on politics, social issues and cinema. Her articles have appeared in Swarajya, The Forthright and NElive.
Paulami is associated with cinema and her first film, Ri-Homeland of Uncertainty received the National Award for the Best Khasi Film. Her second film Onaatah—Of the Earth is at post production stage and will release in 2016. She is currently working on her third screenplay. A short film tentatively titled ‘Patjhar’ is also in the pipeline.
Paulami is a complete foodie and is almost obsessed with watching one film every day. She also loves reading—political and social commentaries are her favourite genre. Literature classics and books on cricket are also a part of her library, apart from a huge collection of romances. Jane Austen’s fictional character Mr. Darcy is her lifelong companion. She is an ardent fan of Rahul Dravid and has been following all news about him for almost twenty years now.

 

 

When God Bribed A Sailor : A Book Review


Blurb

 

Corruption is a crime, and criminals deserve punishment. But what happens when Godhimself bribes a Sailor? Why does he do this, and for what?Kishaant is an aspiring cadet in Merchant Navy, but his life is ruined on-board his ship by a person whom he trusted the most. He loses his father, his girl-friend, his pride and even his sleep owing to this one single incident.But would this bribe change his life once again and bring it on track? Or is this bribe a gate away made by God to make the beautiful Tasha enter his life? Un-decipher the mysteries as you flow through the pages and unveil a true story of a Sailor, now sailing somewhere in a deep ocean.

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Review

 

There are good books, there are great books and then there are some which makes you believe in Life and love. Shalabh Bansal’s  When God Bribed a Sailor is one such book which restores your faith upon humanity. Some books should not be judged on parameters but should be enjoyed and most importantly it should be fondled from depth of your heart.

The cover design is unique where a God (in blue) is seen handling over a coin to sailor. It intrigues the reader to explore the narrative. Blue God is either Shiva , Krishna or is it something else? You have to find it out by yourself.

I have never revealed the plot elements in my review and it will be continued with this one also. However I can offer you an outline, this novel speaks about Kishaant – a sailor and this is not his sail diary but his story of his life and his final triumph in the end. Sea is full of terror and obstacles , so is Kishaant’s life. You will be amazed how the author in his first person narrative has lived the life of Kishaant in When God bribed a Sailor. It is the story of spiritual healing and finding the way to live your life again.The readers will feel the adrenaline rush when the God arrives and hand over a suitcase to the protagonist. What is there inside the suitcase? Is Kishaant going to use it ? Well you have to read it and be ready to enjoy the twists and rapid turns in the plot.

The characterization is one of the strong points of the novel, especially the main protagonist and Tasha. I am very thankful to the author for bringing up such a layered woman character. Kishaant is a hardworking young man who dreams big but fate played a game and the narrative is about how Kishaant fights back and rises like a Phoenix from the dark abyss of Shipping industry. Look out for Sister Catherine and Sanchi.

The first person narrative is simple and easily relatable to most of the readers. However there are some portions where thoughts and feelings of the characters have flown like a raging stream. One might find it bit obscure to decipher it and label it as a fault in the narration. Well , this technique is known as stream of consciousness technique and it is one of the most challenging way to describe the psychology of the characters.Saurabh Bansal have succeeded in delivering stream of consciousness in a gripping manner.

Full marks to Mr. Bansal for such a brilliant conception and execution. The book scores high on characterization, writing technique, cover design and flawless plot presenation. Extra brownie points for out if the way nomenclature of the chapters. It would be wonderful to witness this book on 70mm.

You want to experience romance, go for it. Do you need some thrilling moments and suspense? You have this one. Lastly , do you need some spiritual awakening?  Well, you know the answer. This is a must buy and it will remain with you for long.

Pros

Unique concept.

Gripping plot and Bansal is a master story-teller.

Engaging Cover Design.

Simple approach to a complex story.

Characterisation  in the narrative , look out for Tasha and Kishaant.

 

Cons

The editing could have been better.

Nothing more

 

Ratings-9/10.

Buying Link 

goo.gl/2keXTi

Author’s Info

Shalabh Bansal”, a successful 1st Engineering Officer in Merchant Navy, was born inMeerut on 30th May 1986. After sailing round the world, he finally decided to pen down his thoughts and experiences in the black and white format. He is already an author of two novels, namely “The Dreams Book” and “A Pluperfect Gift”. The latter one, i.e. “A Pluperfect Gift” got a massive response from the readers and was a good hit in the market.Some famous celebrities like “LUCKY ALI” and “ABHIJEET BHATTACHARYA” also liked the book and promoted it on their social pages. Even the great producer/director“Mr.MAHESH BHATT” also picked up the book for a read and praised it in front of a mass.The facebook page scored over 25000 likes gradually. Subsequently he was invited by the“DainikJagran” newspaper for guest articles and also by the “MERI” magazine for seafares for a column in their magazine.The author was termed as the “BEST UPCOMING AUTHOR” at a ceremony by the very famous “SAILORS TODAY” magazine. The magazine is circulated in India as well as many European companies with a tie up with Video-Tel( in Europe).Apart from this, he is also a photographer and many of his photographs have received critical acclamation.( like the erupting volcano, the midway rain, sharks and dolphins, etc)

Shalabh Bansal is still sailing and enjoys seeing the sunrise and the sunset over the bluewaters every single day. He also received an invitation lately to become one of the social moderator and co-ordinator of the “AAM AADMI PARTY” team, but he declined theinvitation due to his job pressure, which demands quiet a lot of time out of India.While doing his schooling from the very famous “ST. MARYS ACADEMY” Meerut, hiswriting skills were recognised by the teachers and they mentored them to dexterity. He graduated as a Marine Engineer from BITS PILANI, under the elite “TOLANI MARITIME INSTITUTE”, Pune in 2008.

 

Book Review : AN AUTOGRAPH FOR ANJALI


Book Review
An Autograph For Anjali comes with a gory murder narrative wrapped up by a bold love story. Venkatraman provides great characters and a smart plot for her latest venture.
First of all the novel boasts some well built characters like Parth Bharadwaj,Anjali,Jayant and Arjun.Even minor characters like Nalini and Seema stands out. Venkatraman’s character build up has been very strong in An Autograph For Anjali.To create an impact over the readers with the action of the fictitious character is not an easy job,but the author passes with flying colours.
The author has been very tactful to keep a simple plotline.Few months ago I was having a gala time at Meluha in Hiranandani Powai…when I recieved three sample chapters of An Autograph For Anjali from the author itself,since she has been a very encouraging blogger(she always takes the trouble to visit my blog)and a smart storyteller..I read the three chapters at a go.I thought this was going to be another lovestory only to discover that it dealt with a high society murder in Hiranandani itself.
Now the novel presents a plotline dealing with marital dicord and extramarital affairs in an affluent Mumbai society.
The murder mystery fades after few pages and a love lorn housewife takes over the narrative.It narrates the story of those (not everyone) married couples in India,where the husband takes the wife for granted and consider them to be just a serving hand in the domestic affairs of the house.While some of the wives consider this phenomenon to be quite natural,some of them try to break out of the cage called Sansaar and establish them in different world.The story of Anjali is about those Great Indian Women who can create a niche for themselves and who deserves to be loved.
You have to check out this novel to find out whether she is successful is setting her spirit free from the claustrophic paws of her husband.
Nonetheless we have a saying that behind successful man there is an woman,here you come across such a situation where the man brings out the best from the woman(brownie point for that).
The concept of legal separation and divorce have been handled with utmost care by the author.While you will enjoy the extramarital affair on one hand ,you will also hate another illicit affair to the core.
The relationship between son and mother is one of the highlight of the book but the highlight of this text is the platonic friendship between Parth and Anjali and how this friendship slowly turns into a reverential darling affair sways over everything in the book.So there is a highly demanding husband (businessman)who is more sensitive towards business policy than the feelings of his wife,and lovelorn but dutiful wife,a cheerful son , a highly efficacious author(a gentleman in every sense) and yes a murder mystery.Do you need more ?
Pros
1.Cover Design.(apt)
2.Characterization and Story Line(well planned)
3.Usage of Tennysonian allegory(The Lotos Eater)
4.Lovemaking Episodes..(very exciting)
Cons
1.Seema’s episode wraps up very quickly.

Verdict- 8/10
Grab a copy.

 

AN AUTOGRAPH FOR ANJALI
by
Sundari Venkatraman
 
 
Blurb
Jayant Mathur is found murdered in his bed, shot at point-blank range with his own revolver. Though she’s extremely disturbed by his death, Jayant’s wife Anjali is way more upset about something else. Who stands to gain by killing the multi-millionaire businessman?
Parth Bhardwaj is a friend and neighbour of the Mathurs. Parth is an author who goes by a pseudonym. He appears more than a friend to Anjali; while he’s also on good terms with her son Arjun who lives and studies in the UK. What role does he play in Anjali’s life? Jayant’s relatives are curious to know.
Jayant’s brother-in-law Rana is convinced that Parth and Anjali are the murderers. But Inspector Phadke has his own doubts about this theory. In comes Samrat, the private detective who appears as quiet as a mouse. Will he be able to find the murderer?
Will Anjali find happiness and peace?

 

 

Grab your copy @
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
 
In 2014, Sundari self-published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition); Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven (a collection of romantic short stories).
2015 brought yet another opportunity. Readomania came forward to traditionally publish this book – The Madras Affair – a mature romance set in Madras.
An Autograph for Anjali, a romance with a touch of suspense, is also a self-published novel. Going a step further, the author has published the paperback version through Notion Press.

 

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BOOK REVIEW : COlOR ME RICH


 

BOOK REVIEW

Color Me Rich very authentically portrays the aggravation of an artist who is unable to come up with good quality art. It also showcased the cons of getting into a hasty matrimonial alliance .Deep provides us with some authentic episodes of marital discord with tinges of sensual romance.

Deep’s Color Me Rich comes with a neat plot and some forgettable characters. Yes among the characters like Zenobia,Suma,Pran and others only two characters  named Bollywood Aunty and Akash shines. Somehow the art of characterization falls flat.

However the psychological array of Akash provides a good read.His presence simply envelops everything. Deep deals with various issues like the theme of isolation, the class clash and of course the notion of creative block.

 

The storyline travels from Mumbai’s western suburbs to the posh Cafe Parade and finally to Harbor’s Panvel Farmhouse. Now Deep very genuinely deals with the life of Akash Saigal,his struggling days and of course troubled marriage life.Zenobia seemed to be an eye candy and yes a hot beauty no doubt. The concept of muse has been finely dealt through the hellenic bond between Suma and Akash.Deep enlightened me with the in-depth knowledge about the history of portraits in India,his knowledge in the field of painting surely deserves an ovation. The struggle which most of the wannabe artists have to go through gets a factual representation in the narrative.

But what makes this book immensely likeable is the narrative technique and off course a gripping plot.  Mohan shuttles between the present and the past like a seasoned filmmaker juggling with the flashback and contemporary scenes.His usage of  “Yesterday’s” and “Today’s” are  laudable.

It will be interesting to watch a Bollywood adaptation of this sensational narrative.Now the plot resembles the tragic story of the artist Hema Upadhay…there has been a recent suicide in the B-Town…which can also be a part of another shocking plot.Let us wait and watch.

Now let me provide with the Positive Sides.

1.Engaging Plot

2.Psychological aspect has been finely dealt with.

3.Excellent research on Paintings,J J School of Arts.

4.Good study of Parsi Community.

5.Special mention about  the knowledge(of Mohan Deep) regarding Portraits .

6.A good juxtaposition of the Prolepsis and Flashback.

7.Excellent Climax build up.

Cons

1.Characterization of the minor characters.

2.Suma …a bit more was needed.

3.Small end notes would have been great,since there has been usage of Marathi,Parsi and Hindi Words (exclusively for the Occidental Readers)

Verdict- 7.5/10

Now grab a copy of  Mohan Deep’s Color Me Rich.

Color Me Rich 

by 

Mohan Deep 

Blurb 

A sensitive love story of a handsome and talented struggling painter Akash Saigal. What happens when he marries an extremely rich and beautiful artist and art investor Zenobia Taraporevala?

Prologue

 

J J School of Art, Mumbai.

 

Taking a charcoal pencil, Akash Saigal started drawing the wood-and-stone structure, popularly known as ‘Kipling Bungalow’. He was sketching sitting on a bench on which, in another era, K K Hebbar, M F Husain, Syed Haider Raza, Sadanand Bakre, V S Gaitonde, even Dadasaheb Phalke had sat with their sketchbooks, sketching the house where the author of The Jungle Book was born.

 

Ganpat Gupte appeared along with two of his gang. Gupte was the nephew of a minister, or so he claimed, and had the arrogance that comes with power.

 

“Ae Akash, kae karto?”

 

Akash looked up at the trio and said, “Nothing much. Just a drawing.”

 

“Okay. What is the day today?”

 

“Monday.”

 

“I should have known.Tere ko blue shirt hai na?”

 

Akash didn’t get the connection, but Gupte’s chamchas laughed knowingly.

 

“Didn’t you get it?”

 

“What?”

 

The three boys sang in unison, “Monday, blue shirt. Tuesday, black shirt. Wednesday, blue shirt. Thursday black shirt. Friday, blue shirt. Saturday, black shirt. Sunday…laundry!”

 

If Akash was hurt, he didn’t show it. He laughed sheepishly and continued sketching the bungalow.

 

But he would never forget this.

 

Today 

 

The elevator zoomed up, taking Akash directly to the penthouse on the 60th floor of Apollo Towers, and stopped with stomach-curdling smoothness. The door slid open to reveal his luxuriously done-up lounge.

 

He came out of the lift, turned down the passage, and walked over the deep-pile rug to the lounge.

 

He had returned from the salon.

 

He felt cleaner and fresher after his bimonthly facial – only Tanveer could give him a satisfactory shave – and pedicure. He liked to have his moustaches- like John Lennon’s – done like in the Sixties, and he liked sideburns.

 

His head was still heavy from drinking until the late hours, but he looked much better than he felt. His studio was to the right, almost hidden behind the lavish bar facing him as he entered.

 

Perched 550 feet above the city of Mumbai, he could see the Queen’s Necklace and the World Trade Centre. From Zenobia’s bedroom, the Gateway of India and the high dome of the Taj Mahal Hotel.

 

Pran smiled at him.

 

Akash returned the smile, picked up the bottle of Blue Label and poured himself a stiff drink.

 

“Isn’t it a little early for a drink?”

 

Without saying anything, Akash smiled, and switched on the TV.

 

The TV screen flashed a story over a video shot of Zenobia with him in happier times, followed by a shot of the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s heritage Gothic-style building and a subtitle: ‘Mumbai Police give clean chit to Akash Saigal.’

 

The newsreader said:

 

“Based on the findings of the forensic department and investigation, the Mumbai Police has declared the death of noted artist and socialite Zenobia Taraporevala suicide. It may be recalled that a year ago, Zenobia died from a fall from her 60th-floor penthouse. There were questions about her death. Was it a suicide, or an accident, or was she pushed to her death? Her husband, the famous artist Akash Saigal, was under a cloud all these months. It has now been established that tired of being confined to a wheel chair after a car accident, a depressed Zenobia committed suicide.”

 

Pran jumped out of his seat, still listening to the newsreader with open-mouthed amazement. He shouted: “Wow!”

 

Both the men hugged.

 

A shot of Prime Minister Narendra Modi now flashed on the screen, as the newsreader continued, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Singapore….”

 

Akash smiled tiredly at Pran.

 

“You already knew about it?”

 

Akash nodded and absent-mindedly picked up an envelope. He took out the card, glanced at it, and pushed it back. It was an invitation to his own function.

 

“Boss, when do we leave?” Pran asked.

“We have lots of time. The inauguration is after three hours, and the ministers never come on time. Agar aa bhi gaya toh hamari woh Fareeda baithi hai. Sambhal legi. Dad will take care of it. Chal baith, tu bhi le.”

 

“No, not me. I’m driving,” Pran said solemnly.

 

Akash knew that this was not the time to drink. He shouldn’t appear sloshed in front of the entire world and the prying media. He took another sip, and changed the news channel. 

 

And found himself staring at a picture of Zenobia on the screen. The still picture changed to a video shot of Zenobia and he at a party.

 

The newsreader was ranting:

 

“In India, the law mandates that the husband be questioned for cases involving the death of a woman within seven years of marriage. Akash and Zenobia had been married for barely two-and-a-half years. And Zenobia had died under mysterious circumstances, falling from the French window of her penthouse! The police always look for ‘the other woman’ in a case like this.”

 

The TV showed a shot of Suma, followed by a video shot of Suma and Akash emerging from the JW Marriott in Juhu. The newsreader went on: “And they found her in Suma. Suma Malkani, the beautiful ghazal singer.”

 

The State Minister for Cultural Affairs, Nanasaheb Palekar, was to launch the art school, named after Zenobia Taraporevala-Saigal, that evening at Powai. There had been several protests because of the controversy over her death, but the minister ignored them all.

 

A protest was planned for the same day by Kapila Khandelval’s NGO. It was unclear whether the NGO would go ahead with the protest or cancel it in view of the clean chit given to Akash by the police.

 

This project had been his baby and Zenobia’s dream. The government had given the land and the Taraporevalas had put in the money. Fareeda had inserted a business angle even in this dream project of Zenobia’s. The Zenobia-Akash Saigal School of Art had become the Zenobia-Akash Saigal School of Art and Business Management. She also had plans for a Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in an annex. The minister had given the nod for that, too.

 

Akash’s mobile rang.

 

He looked at the screen and let it ring.

 

Taking a sip of his drink, he moved towards his den. He stepped into his room, and before he could shut the door, the phone near the bar table rang.

 

“Boss?” Pran said. “Fareeda is on the line.”

 

Fareeda would be having kittens without him. Akash’s association with the project had given it respectability and even a cultural cause, and got the plot at one-eighth its market value, and all the permissions.

 

“Fuck her!” Akash said, but he answered the phone anyway. 

 

Fareeda seemed frantic.

 

“The media will be here in three hours. And the minister, too.”

 

Akash said, “Fuck the media!” and hung up.

 

The TV newsreader went on:

 

“Before Akash Saigal hit the big time, he lived in a small apartment in Adarsh Nagar, in the western suburbs. His paintings didn’t earn him enough to buy a decent vehicle. He travelled by buses and cabs. While Zenobia almost took a sabbatical, Akash shot to fame with his mixed media and three-dimensional installations after marrying her.”

 

Leaning against the soft, cool leather of a luxurious sofa, Akash said, “Cigarettes?”

 

Pran was already sliding open the glass door of a cabinet. A carton of Marlboros had just one packet left. He gave the packet to Akash, grinned, and threw the carton in the trash box.

 

They might have been sharing the same flashback, the same past.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Mohan Deep, is an Indian author, painter and Feng Shui Master. Mohan Deep is the author of ‘The Mystery and Mystique of Madhubala’ (1996), ‘It’s My Life’ (Novel) (1997), ‘Simply Scandalous: Meena Kumari’ (1998), ‘Eurekha!’ – an unauthorized biography of Rekha. (1999), ‘Four Options’ (2000), ‘Feng Shui for the Bold & Beautiful, the Rich and Famous’ (2001) and ‘Nehru and the Tantrik Woman’ (2002). After a sabbatical of a decade, during which he touched upon the lives of people as a Feng Shui Master, he was back with The Five Foolish Virgins( 2013). Mohan Deep is arguably the only Indian author to write what is often described as controversial, unauthorized star biographies in India. Columnist-journalist and former editor of ‘Illustrated Weekly of India’, Khushwant Singh called him ‘a truly gifted gossip writer’. “The maverick writer”, like columnist-reviewer-poetess.

Tara Patel described him has also been called William Goldman of Bollywood’s stars (By Behram Contractor, the Editor of Afternoon Despatch & Courier) (Source) Kitty Kelly of India (By R K Bajaj, the Editor of ‘The Daily’). Interestingly, almost every book he has wrote/penned has invited controversies for its bold content.

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Book Review : The Lowland


Lahiri has always been an earthy (read earthly also) writer.If you
go through her works like The Namesake,the Interpreter of Maladies(few
of them) you can notice a hangover for the Indian soil.The diasporic
element is somewhat very strong in her discourse.
The latest one(I am yet to go through Unaccustomed Earth)The Lowland
however appears to be the strongest among all.It connects several dots
of family bonding,forbidden love and the spirit of revolution across
nations.
On the surface level it is a story of two brothers Subhas and
Udayan,torn apart by the failed movement of communism(yes it has been
a great failure).
On the other hand it deals with one’s responsibility towards family
and the nation.
It highlights the issue that one man’s revolutionary is terrorist for
the other one.Lahiri in a very simplistic manner focuses on the brief
life of Udayan..how he gets attracted towards the ideology of Mao and
Che and how does he meet his dreadful conclusion.
If you have gone through the works in Bengali Literature which dealt
with the Naxalbari Uprising of 70’s in Bengal,you will notice a
singular point of view,where it is narrated from the perspective of a
communist.But Lahiri managed to showcase the otherside through the
remorseful episode of Gauri,where she dives into herpast and remembers
how she helped the communist party to annihilate a vulnerable Police
officer.I mean numerous films like Bhooter Bhobisyot(the latest)
portrays the Cops as the hunter and the comrades as the hunted.This
novel also showcased such incidents but yes thumbs up to Lahiri for
describing another instance where the Police became the prey.Read out
the following.
“But in the world of the party it had also been expected for him to
help kill a policeman.They were symbols of brutality,trained by
foreigners.They are not Indians,they do not belong to India”

(Lahiri,Jhumpa “The Lowland”)

If you have grown up in the communist Bengal,you are bound to strike a
chord with the communist side of the novel,if not then also you will
find it alluring.
Thousands of youth like Udayan lost their brilliant career and faded
into stone tablets.Literally you will weep after you witness the
tragic plight of Kanu Sanyal and Charu Majumder.
Now let me speak about the novel setting. It deals with two locale,one
with that of Rhode Island and the other in Tollygunge.
My knowledge about about American landscape and their way of living
has never been firsthand.But my experience about Tollygunge is
absolutely first hand.I have been there for almost 18 years of my life
in that area,yes the area between the Tollygunge Tram Depot and the
Christian Burial ground and also beyond the grand walls of Tolly Golf
Club.
I really relived those parts where Lahiri describes about the nooks
and corners of Tollygunge.We always tend to look for the national
history and overlook the regional history,I am highly impressed with
the eloquent details of Tolly history.
It is a beautiful novel of brotherly bonding,clashes between the
orthodoxy and modernity and of course some messy decision by the lead
characters.In the end you will feel for Udayan,you will love Subhas
and Bela but the character which will leave you intrigued is
Gauri-watch out for the sheer transformation.
Regarding the ending.. ah its up to you to discover.
Someone please translate this novel in Bengali.
N B : Cherish the exchange of letters between Subhash and Udayan.

Maryjane and Marijuana Diaries


It has been over two month or more than that,I haven’t reviewed a book.I got a copy of the book long back..and I have finished going through it.But I haven’t uploaded the review..people who are habituated with my notion of Laziness won’t be surprised..but the main main reason why i am not put up the review is that..I want to go for method reviewing.
.1338057121_maryjane-2

You might be wondering what is method reviewing ?

Well even I don’t know,just now I have coined this phrase,long back when Shahrukh Khan was playing the role of Devdas(estranged lover…addicted to drinking)..he opted for method acting,where he used real alcohol to bring authenticity to the character.So I thought why not try this,i.e one Ganja(in chillum or cigarette) for each story.

The compilation by Paulami DuttaGupta is based on addiction,some are obsessed with Football,some with themselves and others with Marijane itself. I am a very lazy smoker,I haven’t tried Ganja for a long time.My motto is…..Ganja is for fun..not to get addicted,so may be thrice in a year or fourtimes in a year.

But for the sake of Marijuana Diaries…I have reached my saturation limit.

So wait for it, a new review with a new outlook,it will be concieved when I will be in trans…and it will be written when I will be experiencing deja vu,people call it Hallucination.

Ref:

1.The original novel by Sharat Chandra Chatterjee is known as DEBDAS.
2.DEVDAS is a Bollywood adaptation of Sanjay Leela Bhansali of the same novel.
3.Everything is a fiction with a pinch of non fiction..believe it if you like it.
4.Marijuana Diaries,an anthology.