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Showing posts from 2021

Dopehri: Book Review

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  Book Title: dopehri  Publishers: HarperPerennial India (Hardcover) Author's Name: Pankaj Kapur ( Translated from Hindustani by Rahul Soni)  About the Author:  Pankaj Kapur is a versatile, and acclaimed actor of Hindi Theatre, Film & Television with a string of awards including the National Film Award to his credit.  In November 2019, he made his literature debut with this book  which he had written in 1992. My Rating: 3/5 ⭐ 'dopehri' felt like a 90+ pages Long Short Story, not a novella. Read it in 60 minutes flat without skipping a single word.  The author, Pankaj Kapur is an illustrious actor and I've adored his performances ever since I was hooked onto watching 'Karamchand' as a kid. Probably, this was what triggered the great expectations from this little book. W e know he has an impeccable command over the Hindi language. I really wish I'd read 'dopehri' in its original avatar first, instead of this translated English version.  While readi

City Under Curfew and other stories: Book Review

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Book Title: City Under Curfew and other stories Author: Fazayal Shabbir Publishers: Leadstart Publishing My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 About the Author:  Fazayal Shabbir has followed the traditional route of mechanical engineering topped with a post graduate diploma in business management on the academic front but is unconventional in other aspects of his life. He holds a black belt in Judo and accomplishments at state level, and sports is closest to his heart. Book Review: It is an assorted collection of 12 short stories which make for quick and easy reading. I find paperbacks keep me hooked longer than ebooks do and such stories are the easiest way to bring me back into the rhythm of reading. I could relate to the title story the most because I'm a 90s kid from Mumbai who has seen those scenes of curfew during the Hindu- Muslim riots and the cold-blooded encounters in by-lanes. I was a tad bit sad that the remaining stories that follow in the book are not based on the same topic and neither

Written in Tears: Book Review

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  Book Name: Written in Tears Author Name:  Arupa Patangia Kalita- Translated from the Assamese by Ranjita Biswas About the Author & the Translator: Arupa Patangia Kalita is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for her short stories, the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award, and the Katha Prize. She is adulated as one of the most outstanding voices of fiction writing in contemporary Assamese literature.  Ranjita Biswas who has beautifully translated ‘Written in Tears’ is an award-winning translator herself.  Publisher: Harper Collins India My Rating:  ****/5 'Written in Tears' is a collection of 8 short stories about the life in Assam, which just made me realise that one must read a lot, and reading more stories from different parts of our world is a MUST. While most of the stories have been told from the point of view of the women of Assam and showcases how they lived, their beliefs, and struggles, ' Face in the Mirror' gave me a jolt. Probably because it sounded

Arranged Marriage - Book Review

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  Book Title: Arranged Marriage Author Name: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Publishers: Kindle Edition My Rating: 5/5⭐ About the Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni won the American Book Award for this book. She writes for children as well as adults and has written in multiple genres including historical, mythology as well as fantasy.  This is the second Indian- American author I've read as we celebrate Women's History Month for #FemmeMarchAtWomaniyat-Week #2 prompt: Literary Fiction  It's a collection of 11 short stories that capture the life of Bengali women based in Calcutta and America. As the title suggests all the stories highlight the flawed concept of the arranged marriage and the traditional patriarchal mold in which it has been shaped, stuffed and crammed as per convenience since ages. Each story is different from the next, which will go at your heart with a wrench, leaving you wondering how women suffered it in silent submission. Why did it take so much time to shake

Flipping Tables

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  "Unbelievable! She flipped it neatly, and turned it again too, within minutes," her teenager son looked up at her in awe. " I know son, I was watching your Ma too!" Pa chuckled and beamed a smile at her as she brought steaming chapattis and settled at the table. "Ma, how did you do that?"  " You made it look as easy as flipping these chapattis," Pa interjected, giving her palm a loving squeeze.  "The helicopter I was flying can backflip from a hovering position because it's got semi-rigid rotor systems. After I've  established a positive 'G' on the rotor blades it co-operates, letting me pull-off a clean back-flip!" She was mentally back in the cockpit as she explained, passionately. "Mind- blowing, Ma!  My friends joke that  girls can't drive cars." "Tell them, the woman of today can sail her own boat and sink your ship too if she decides to," Ma laughed. 🚁  This 150 words microtale was origin

Interpreter of Maladies- Book Review

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  Book Title: Interpreter of Maladies.  Author Name: Jhumpa Lahiri.  Publishers: Harper Collins India.  About the Author: Nilanjana Sudeshna "Jhumpa" Lahiri, born July 11, 1967 is an American author of Indian origin who is best known for her short stories, novels and essays in English, and, more recently, in Italian. My Rating: 5/5⭐ Interpreter of Maladies is a collection of nine short stories by Jhumpa Lahirihi. This book has received great laurels like the Pulitzer Prize and the Hemingway Award for Fiction.   I'd first read her 'Namesake' when I was a teenager and ever since I've remained totally floored by her writing style. So for the first week of #FemmeMarchAtWomaniyat I decided to re-read theses stories that brought her into the literary limelight. Her stories are women centric for sure but more than feminism, I feel the beauty of her writing is in her eye for details; her impeccable English with superb vocabulary used to describe the smallest nuances;

The Guide: Book Review

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  Book Title: The Guide Author: R.K. Narayan Publisher: Penguin Classics My Rating:  *****/5 About The Author:  R. K. Narayan,    (born October 10, 1906, Madras [Chennai], India—died May 13, 2001, Madras), one of the finest Indian authors of his generation writing in English. He  was famous for his works set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi.   This is just an attempt to bring the spotlight back onto a great book by an Indian author. Not that it's forgotten, but because this beautiful book needs to be celebrated more as the years go by.... 'The Guide' is a novel written by the illustrious author in 1958, which    brought him the 1960 Sahitya Akademi Award for English, by the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters.  So it is pointless to even try and review such a great novel that was also adapted into the Filmfare Awardee movie of 1965 starring Dev Anand as the protagonist Raju Guide and the ever gorgeous lady Waheeda Rahman playing Rosie the d

Love, Ladies & Siyaappa- Book Review

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  Book Title: Love, Ladies & Siyaappa Author : Jiganshu Sharma Publisher: Self-published My rating: ⭐⭐⭐/5  (For 18+)Mature content alert!  Originally a Punjabi-Urdu word, 'Siyappa' means wailing loudly when one has fallen into trouble, but this word is largely used like some sort of a cool word. Hence I was expecting more humour from the book, going by the 'Chick-lit' like look of the book-cover.  Here is a collection of 6 short stories written by the author which are based on the North Indian culture and society, presented along with a few articles by other women. This book touches upon the different scenarios revolving around intimacy issures and physical abuse. The author has tried to question the coercions women face, and secretly suffer but are never allowed to raise a voice against.  The first story addresses the age old problem of the stereotypical MIL's obsession of having her Daughter-in- law produce an offspring on demand for the sake of the family'

On A Journey Of Life- Book Review

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Book Title: On A Journey Of Life Author: Kajal Rai & Nivedita Karmaran Self-Published on Amazon Kindle Pub (Ebook format) My Rating: ***** On A Journey Of Life  offers you two (long) short stories by two authors namely, As The Miles Went By written by Kajal Rai & That Summer written by Nivedita Karmaran. Both the stories in the book complement each other beautifully. The commonalities between the two separate stories are that each have a female protagonist who has embarked on a journey of self-discovery, by peeking into their individual pasts. In  As The Miles Went By,  the protagonist  Saanchi Avasthi  reads her late mother's diary, and decides to go on a spontaneous road trip to the mountains of Uttarkashi, while in  That Summer,  a recluse yet free-spirited Rashi Anand is writing a letter to her dear old friend and revisiting her past, thus taking the readers along on the proverbial journey of her life.  What I loved about the book was the young voice in each of the st

Kafka on the Shore- Book Review

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Book Title: Kafka on the Shore Author: Haruki Murakami Translated by Philip Gabriel Publisher: Random House  (Penguin Vintage Books) My Rating: **** About the Author: Haruki Murakami is a  popular contemporary Japanese writer, who  studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo.  His writing is  heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. His books have been translated into more than 50 languages and many international honours and awards have also been conferred upon him. I'd read that Haruki Murakami's books are easily accessible yet profoundly complex. After reading 'Kafka on the Shore', I understand what that exactly means.  As a professionally trained commercial artist, I've learnt about 'Surrealism' as an art but I've never seen it applied to writing, in this fantastic a manner. Haruki Murakami is a magician as far as this book goes! The book progresses simultaneously in two parts- All the odd number chapters is in

SmörgÄsbord of Musings- Book Review

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  Book Title:  SmörgĂ„sbord of Musings Author: Rathnakumar Raghunath Publishers: Goya Publishing My Rating: **** About the Author: Rathnakumar Raghunath  was born in 1988, in Chennai, India. While he was more inclined towards music as a child, as he grew older, he developed a passion for languages. In school, he wrote a couple of short stories and won the Camlin Young Author award for his work, 'It Happened One Night' SmörgĂ„sbord of Musings- the book with the typographical cover in pretty colors is a classic example of how simplicity can be extremely beautiful and unforgettable. The title is  so intriguing! I was longing to read the author's musings ever since the day I heard another book reviewer read from the book. SmörgĂ„sbord typically means a Scandinavian celebratory meal served in the buffet style. Here the author has indeed served us a sumptuous fare of the widest variety of thoughts,  poems, anecdotes and all expressed from the points of view of different people - men