Blogs, Book Review, Uncategorized

Once Upon A Crush: Book Review

Author: Kiran Manral

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Jufic Books

Pages: 224

Cover Design: Mistha Roy 

About the Author: Kiran Manral has worked with some of the leading media houses in India as a feature writer and journalist. Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published in 2012. She lives with her family in Mumbai and puts her current job definition down as school gate mom.

Blurb: The story revolves around the main protagonist, Rayna De, an almost 30-year-old, independent woman who is stuck in a horrible corporate job. Her boss gives her endless tasks making her life hell. Her parents are pestering her for marriage. She is completely stuck in her life where the only person who interests her is Deven Ahuja. Deven Ahuja is much like the character of Mr Darcy, who keeps confusing her. As Rayna is stuck between her job, her crush and the groom of her parents’ choice, Sid Bose, she discovers that life has its plans. 

Review: The cover page of the book, the cream coloured background with red lipstick and the red heart is eye-catching. The cover page immediately hints at the elements of romance and the presence of a female protagonist. The word ‘crush’ in the title captures the interest of the readers and immediately takes them to their college day’s romance. 

The novel is set in present-day Mumbai which takes the reader in the fast-paced city life which the modern reader will find relatable. 

The novel is gripping right from the very beginning. The story begins with the first-person narrative of the female protagonist, Rayna De, herself who tells us about herself her friend whom she calls Pixie. Rayna De talks about her corporate job, which she doesn’t find attractive at all. Even though her parents want her to get married, she is not interested in getting married and calls it a “communicable disease”.

Rayna is someone with whom the women of the present generation can easily relate with. She gets annoyed with her parents, who are nagging her to arrange marriage since she is going to be 30 soon. Rayna has a temper, curses, thinks about sex, keeps her house messy and finds her wardrobe outdated. Don’t you see all these sounding similar!

Kiran uses language intelligently, and we find many interesting quotable lines weaved in beautifully in the novel. The plot has a fast pace, and there is never a dull moment in the book. 

Overall, the novel is a fun read and interesting enough to finish at one go. It’s a speedily read which the reader will find enjoyable. 

P.S.: The review is done as part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program

Book Review, Uncategorized

The Assassination of Rajat Gandy : Book Review


About the author:
The Assassination of Rajat Gandy is written by Anurag Anand. Anurag Anand is one of the most prolific young authors in India today. The Assassination of Rajat Gandy is his twelfth book. He has written in various genres like self-help, historical fiction, and romance and crime thriller. His bestselling works include Where the Rainbow Ends, Birth of the Bastard Prince, Love on 3 Wheels, Of Tattoos and Taboos and To Hell and Back.
Anurag is a contributing author to several magazines and newspapers, he is also a corporate who works full time with an MNC.
Plot and Genre:
The Assassination of Rajat Gandy is a gripping political thriller. The story is set in Modern India and the current political scenario. Elections are going on and being the largest democracy, stakes are high. There are other minor but relevant events which slowly build up to the main plot. The riots in Bhopal, a road accident in New Jersey along with a Pharma company’s conspiracy all lead up to the main plot. The love story of Afsha Khan and Sumit Anand is very interesting too.
Characters:
All the characters are very well etched out. The main characters like Afsha Khan, a political correspondent with a leading news channel and Sumit Anand, an officer with the Economic Offences Wing who is on the trail of an industry lobbyist are very realistic. They have their own flaws as well as strengths which make them very relatable.
Review:
When I received the book for a review, it did not interest me much since I do not like reading political thriller. The story begins very slowly which failed to grab my interest initially but when it gained pace, I couldn’t keep it back without reading it through. The narrative is very tightly gripped. The story is fast paced and the dialogues hold the reader’s attention throughout. It has all the elements of drama, emotion, romance, thriller and suspense making it a perfect package. All the characters are excellently drawn especially Afsha. Afsha is courageous, bold and determined who can be seen as an inspiration. The swift story holds the suspense till the end.
The subplots are very interesting too. The murder of Alkesh, in the beginning, is carefully portrayed as a road accident, the narrative of Bhopal riots has some vivid description which gives it a very realistic feel. The different plot setting in every chapter brings some fast action and pace to the story. The story also brings out the dirty reality of how big multinationals and politicians play with the lives of innocent people.
The climax is quite engaging where all the subplots are tied together with the main plot.
I would highly recommend it to others and would wait for the author’s next release.

I received this book as part of the book review program by Blogchatter

AtoZChallenge, Blogs, Flash Fiction, Stories, Writer's Challenge

Theme Reveal 2019 #AtoZChallenge

I have been staying away from my blog for quite some time and it has been months since I have come back to it. A lot has happened in between and both my life and my blog seems to have updated themselves (quite literally).

What brings me back is my love for writing and the flow of thoughts which I have been trying to keep inside me but it only found its way out of my heart again and chose its own course through writing. With Blogchatter AtoZChallenge, I am trying to be more regular on my blog.

I am always curious about relationships. I find them very complex and mysterious. We form them through our heart but they need a lot of sweat, blood and brains to make them successful and work for a long run.

This year with the Blogchatter AtoZChallenge, I am going to write stories based on emotions and relationships which is going to be the theme of my writings for this month.

The theme for the AtoZChallenge this year is going to be – the complexities of emotions and relationships .

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

This April, get ready to read stories love, joys, laughter, tears and all the emotions that make or break the relationships.

Stay tuned!

Uncategorized

मायके की रातें

याद आती है वो मायके की रातें,

वो बहन से रातों में ढेरों बतियाना,

बीमारी में माँ का रात भर जागना,

पापा की वो कहानियाँ , माँ की वो लोरियां,

अँधेरे में डरना और माँ के साथ लिपट कर सोना,

बहन के साथ का रिश्ता सुहाना,

ढेरों गाने और हँसना हँसाना,  

परीक्षाओं का तो किस्सा पुराना,

बहन, माँ और पापा का वो साथ

जैसे रात ना हो, बस हो कोई दिन,

अब सब कुछ  बेबस सा लगता है,

रात भी पराई सी नज़र आती है,

थक चूर के बस गुज़र ही जाती है.

Social Responsibilty

People Defecating in the Open – A Bitter Sight and a Bigger Cause #CauseAChatter



Going to regular shopping in the local central markets a common routine for everybody. But what happens when you park your car in the parking lot of the market, wearing your best shoes and best clothes, open the door of the car and step out. “Eeks!” You just stepped on somebody’s poop. Feeling disgusted, you rub your shoes against the footpath, cursing, you move on. Who did that? Why was it there? It’s not something we need to bother. Blame the government agencies, MCD, Central Government, and State Government and so on. 

As a mother, it bothers me. When we are going somewhere and my kids spot some man urinating in public or poor children defecating in the open, they question me. 

“Why are they doing that in the open?” they ask. 

My answer, “they are poor and illiterate.”

“But why don’t they do it in the toilet.” They continue. 

“Because they are poor and don’t have a house and no toilets,” I answer them.

“What about hand wash?” the curious minds continue. 

“Well! They don’t wash their hands.” I try to give them a suitable reply once again. 

“Mom, you tell us that if we don’t wash our hands, we will fall sick. Don’t they fall sick?” the curiosity continues. 

“Of course! They fall sick due to lack of hygiene and sanitation facilities.” I try to satisfy their curiosity. 

As an individual, we try to give clothes, food, books and other utility items to help the poor and the needy but what about providing sanitation facilities?

Small steps lead to big change 

Before blaming others, we should take the responsibility ourselves.

We distribute sweets and chocolates on the birthdays of our children, likewise, we can also distribute hygiene products like soaps or sanitizer to poor kids. 

Giving soaps and shampoos to the maids and community helpers of our neighbourhood. 

Spreading awareness about hygiene and sanitation. 

Educating the poor like the maids, the community helpers and sweepers about the use of public toilets and teaching them the importance of washing hands. 

Organising cleaning drives on a regular basis where we go out and take the initiative to clean our neighbourhood. 

The Sulabh Model of Toilets

The Toilet Museum of Delhi is one of the very interesting places in the city. The museum not only exhibits various models of toilets but provides a solution to one of the biggest problems of our country – Sanitation.

Image courtesy : sulabhtoiletmuseum.org

The Sulabh model of toilets is perhaps the simplest and the most cost-effective way of dealing with the problem of sanitation in our country. 

Some of the advantages of Sulabh flush composting toilets are:

1.    Hygienically and technically right

2.    Socially acceptable

3.    Affordable and easy to build with available material. 

4.    Eliminates mosquitoes, flies and insect breeding. 

5.    Free from health hazards and does not cause pollution

6.    Easy to maintain, simple and cost-effective

7.    Needs less space and less water

8.    Converts the waste into biogas, rich fertilisers, soil conditioner, manure and clean and reusable water. 

9.    Can be easily constructed in the premises of the house, terrace or for the public needs

10.    Can be easily connected to sewers.

Image courtesy : sulabhinternational.org

When I visited the Toilet Museum, the cleanliness of the area amazed me and to think that there is a human waste treatment plant. There was no odour, the biogas is to light the bulbs and cook food, the manure and fertilisers are used for the plants and the clean and reusable water for watering the plants. The best part – no pollution anywhere of any kind. 

Encouraging the Sulabh Model of Toilets and the waste treatment plants like these can go a long way in dealing with the problem of poverty and sanitation in our country.