Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review: One Indian Girl

One Indian Girl

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read a Chetan Bhagat book after a long time. I am not a great fan of Bhagat's writing and so I don't usually buy his books. But the reason for picking this book was the feminist tag it carries. But the book is a huge disappointment on that front. I had a pre-conceived notion about the book that it had a strong female protagonist. The main character of the book, Radhika Mehta, is a highly successful woman on professional front, but she is anything but strong. She suffers from such low self-esteem that she constantly needs a man in her life to validate her. She went as far as having affair with a married guy, father of two kids, who is also twenty years older than her. And not just that, her every relationship culminates into physical relationship. This is hardly acceptable given the fact that Radhika hails from a conservative family. I'd have loved to read a story about love. But sadly Radhika equates love with lust. Personally I couldn't relate to the character. At the end of the novel, you'll fail to fall in love with the characters. The male characters, Debu and Neel, are all assholes. The character of Brijesh is "too good to be true". Personally, I feel the character of Radhika's mother and Aditi didi are more believable.

Anyway, the flow of the novel is good. It keeps the readers hooked up till the end. A three-star rating for that. Otherwise, it's not that kind of book which you'll want to re-read.

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Zero- The Ultimate truth of The Universe

"All beings are unmanifest in their beginning, O Bharata, manifest in their middle state, and unmanifest again in their end. Why, then, lament for them?"
-The Bhagavad Gita

Thus we all were nothing but zero in the beginning, before our birth, and there's again zero after death. In between birth and death, there's this beautiful illusion called life.

We have not brought anything with us at the time of our birth, We don't take anything from this world at the time of our death, thus making zero the biggest reality of the universe. Meanwhile, we forget this reality and waste our entire lifetime in the pursuit of wealth, which will never be ours truly. The money accumulated in our bank accounts remain mere numbers- nothing of value to us once we left this world. But the reality transcending birth, death and our entire universe is one and only ZERO.

This post is written in line with the Prompt : Write a post on 0 (Zero). Write anything- humour, short story, haiku, poem, or a memory.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: The Mistress Of Spices

The Mistress Of Spices The Mistress Of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of Divakaruni's writing, but frankly speaking, I am a tad disappointed with this book. The quaint title of the book, "The Mistress of Spices" and the unusual subject it deals with, intrigued me to purchase this book. This is like a modern day fairy-tale, a mixture of modernity and mythology. Though unlike the other novels of Divakaruni, the storyline is quite sluggish. When I was midway through this book, I put it aside for sometime, as the story was moving at a rather slow pace. Then after quite a gap, I started to read it again and finished it. That's why I have given it one star less in rating. There are so many stories intertwined: Ahuja's wife, Haroun, Geeta, Jagjit, each of them has a different story. But the main characters of this novel are the spices, each with it's own distinct characteristics. Divakaruni, as always, weaves magic with her words. And that I think is the charm of her books. I'd like to share some quotes from the book worth remembering:

"Child-longing, deepest desire, deeper than for wealth or lover or even death."

"What answer is there for love."

"..... vanity which is the other face of the fear of being unloved."

"Most ordinary..... is the nature of deepest magic. Deepest magic which lies at the heart of our everyday lives, flickering fire, if only we had eyes to see."

"..... mothers bear the pain that starts with the birthing and continues for ever, the pain and joy both, tangled dark and blue as an umbilical cord around an infant's throat."

"..... does one ever really know what one wants?"

"Hope not built on reason brings disappointment only."

"Each desire in the world is different, as is each love."

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: The Sialkot Saga

The Sialkot Saga The Sialkot Saga by Ashwin Sanghi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally finished reading "The Sialkot Saga" by Ashwin Sanghi and loved it. As with other books of Sanghi, this too never failed to tickle the grey cells of the brain. It's a real treat to the intelligence. The writing style is lucid, free-flowing, though at times I had to make a little bit extra effort to understand some pages, like the stock-market related events, there were so many of them, or the aircraft deal. Sanghi has quite an expertise in many subjects. This book clearly manifests his mastery over many subjects and the depth of research that he undertook to write this book. I really do wish to go through some of the books mentioned in the Bibliography section of this book.

The book is divided into seven parts, spanning six decades, covering many locations. The entire life of two protagonists are sketched. Though some part of the book, like the TRAC incident, is clearly inspired by some Sidney Sheldon novel.

Overall, an enjoyable read.

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