The Face and those eyes!

July 27th, 2015 10:00 PM
The lights were off, and the AC was on, I cuddled with my teddy bear and turned to my left. I slightly opened my eyes, and a face caught my attention. The face had sharp eyes, salt and pepper hair style that was unique, a sharp nose and wrinkled face with a thin jaw line. The eyes kept staring at me, It took me back so along with my teddy I took an 180-degree turn to face the wall. The face was still on my mind. Clean and clear, It definitely stared at me. Lying in the same position, I turned my head to see the book, my cheeks well dug on the cozy pillow. I blinked 5 times, I remembered the LASIK surgery that sometimes blurs my eyes due to dryness. Now the eyes didn’t stare but looked thick with an enchanting smile, the smile that we all sport when we see kids. I felt better that moment. Tried to turn back to my position and fell on the pillow upfront, I sniffed my pillow for its fragrance and settled. The face still running at the back of my mind.
July 28th, 2015 3:30 AM
I coughed unusually. I woke and searched for a water bottle at random and Picked my mobile instead, and the notifications distracted me. After a while, the wifi turned off as usual, and I fell back to my pillow. I was more curious, I jerked and turned to see the book. It furrowed now, huh? I thought and smiled. “What’s in it?” I thought, and remembered the horror movie that I saw in the afternoon with my boyfriend, horrific than the film.
8:00 AM
“Good Morning beautiful,” I read his message. I called him quickly and narrated the incident, he laughed heartily. He said he will take me to another horror movie tomorrow. Out of curiosity, I walked to my bookshelf to see the book. It read “Wings of Fire” and I sighed at the cover. “Hey, did you know? Abdul Kalam passed away yesterday. You never watch the news, right?” he asked. “What?” I blurted and looked at the book, the eyes winked.

Not Made for Each Other

“What’s all this? why this sudden change?” I asked.
“Well, oh well, I changed?”
“Enough of it, what makes you do this to me?” I raised my brows.
“Fuck, it’s you. You changed, we are not made for each other.”“Ho..how.. how come? after three years?” I stammered
“Look! Don’t blame me, get that? I am just the same all these years, right from my birth. It’s you who changed; I tried adapting as much as I can, and you just didn’t bother to notice how hard I tried to fit. Now, am done!”
“This is insane. You can’t tell me that. I .. I did notice.. but..” I tried to convince and console, but am not that good at relationship management.
“Look, we are done. Take your time, and I will be here for you. Let’s see!”
***
“What the fuck? how long will you take?” Adithya yelled and knocked my door thrice.
I rushed and opened the door; he scanned me top to bottom.
“What skirt is this? All pink and white.” he furrowed.
“My jeans didn’t fit, its tight da,”
“One more time you tell me I didn’t fit you, I will rip you apart,” I heard from my jeans lying on the coach.
“Okay, okay!” I pacified my jeans and turned to the confused look of Adithya. “I’ve put on weight. I tried hard, but the Jeans didn’t fit me..” I mumbled.
***
“Where are we heading? McD?” he asked taking his helmet.
“Subway, please?” I raised my brows and pouted.
Objects on the mirror appear closer than they appear, he smiled and wore the helmet.

Make it 2 – Book Review

Sharada Subramanian’s debut, the blogger who turned an Author. An Intrepid person who talks and writes her mind. I know her personally, but that has nothing to do with this review. Am really honest with the review, I swear.
The novel falls under “Soft-Erotica” and “Romance” genre. The novel, on the whole, portrays the present generation. Yes, the generation that takes all sorts of blame and assumptions by the previous, for being rash with driving, girls who drink and don’t wait for nuptial knots to tear their hymen, et al.
The story is about a guy – the typical US return who wants to marry an Indian girl. He falls in love and all is fine, and then he meets his ex-girlfriend. Her entry confuses him, and he finds it difficult to understand whom he loves? And with whom he should continue his life with? A modern story that clearly differentiates what it takes for a girl to pour her soul onto a guy, and how different is passionate love making from common flings.
First Impression – I love the title and the cover, so apt and lovely.
Overall Impression – There are two strong women portrayed in the story – who handles their life properly through their mind. The conversations in the story add the best value, the complications of their love life thrills the reader. Finally, the final decision by the three brings a smile, satisfaction and, of course, welled-up eyes.
What did I love about the book? – I loved Sharada’s way of knitting the story that doesn’t tag any a hero or a villain. It is such a gladdening read where it doesn’t demean any character for their decisions.
Sharp and extremely well-portrayed dialogues, like “I don’t want a marriage Karthik; I want you,” which steals the heart.
The romance was passionate, and it didn’t smell lust.
Rating: 4/5
Wow Factors: 1) Well-knit characters 2) Right portion of romance written elegantly 3) Vocabulary – The right words were used to explain the emotion.
Frown Factors: 1) Editing could have been better 2) Very desi dialogues that might not reach the global audience. Colloquial enough to catch Indians but some tightening here would have been better. 3) I was looking to read a strong Epilogue that explains the decisions even better and to give a clear idea for those who might find to understand the take away from the book
My opinion: A very good novel that details the present decisions, their decisions, their thoughtfulness and approach towards life. Any of the age 20-35 will love it. A good read for a lovely evening with a cup of coffee.
To The Author: Tight hugs and lots of love, looking forward to read every book of yours in the future.
Grab a copy of the book here – Amazon

Among the Stars – Book Review

Dhasa Sathya’s debut with his collection of short stories. He is an acquaintance, and we are just 100+ kilometers away. We met at an event, As we share the same mother tongue, it was good to catch up and share our thoughts. And I bought his book where we had all our books displayed. However, the review is honest and we are better enemies than friends with the difference of opinions about vocabulary, so trust me the review is not biased.
The novel is a collection of short stories written by Dhasa Sathya, different genres, and themes, but he loops each story. Independently, the stories make sense as well and if you read with the flow, again it sounds fine.

It starts off where the father narrates a story to his son. The first two stories are perfumed which sophisticated words, but then the other stories had pedestrian words, my anticipation of dictionary usage was fooled. Most reviews already spoke much about the vocabulary. I just thought, if this book is not perfumed with vocabulary, it would sound just like another anthology with short stories from writers. One part of me says the stories demand the vocabulary for its level of stories have something in store to analyze and understand. An excellent start for Sathya.
First Impression – I remember asking him to change the title as its published already, he was stubborn and it did help. The cover – am not much satisfied, but yeah, it suits the novel on the whole. Blurb could have been better.
Overall Impression – I personally love moral stories and those who makes one think. Definitely a superb read, nice surprises and on par with excellence. I don’t buy short story collections as such, as being more of a novel person. This book is an exception, I actually liked it more than any other short story collections I have read so far.
What did I love about the book? – The sentence structure and thought process of the author. He structures a simple observation in a breathtaking manner. Some examples:
  • May be we are blanketed in a cocoon of darkness and the stars are pinpricks through which the light from the outside shines – The one sentence I will always think of when I look at the sky, I loved this description.
  • I lit a cigarette to my mouth and inhaled hard. I could feel my body relaxing as the nicotine spread through my blood stream.
  • Most monsters roam among us, hidden beneath the mask of humans
  • The flowers adorned the neat braid of the young man the next minute, adding to her radiant beauty.
  • A transparent cloud of smoke – His definition of a ghost, made me smile.
The book also reminded me non-detail readings, where I am used to checking for the number of pages before I start the story.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Wow Factors: 1) Thought process 2) Simple and powerful stories 3) Font and font size changes used for transition – though it took me 2 stories to understand the change, then I got the pace.
Frown Factors: 1) The use of names – mostly it’s ‘Sanjay’ it was hard to change the avatar of Sanjay for every 5 to 10 pages. Also in the second story all 4 character names were similar starting with the letter ‘S’ and it literally pissed me off to understand who is what. 2) He started off with a story about telling stories and within stories comes another story, it was clumsy in a few places. I felt instead of a father-son narration if he had attempted something different, it would have worked much much better.
My opinion: “The block”, “Free as a bird”, “Into Oblivion”, “The Lone Soldier” are my personal favorites. I loved the book overall.
To the author: Fantastic is a mediocrity, and even your own vocabulary has no word to express appreciation. I love the thought process and the writer specs of yours, I look forward to your next work. You have right proportion of out of the box thinking, way of writing, grammar and vocabulary, and sentence structure, am sure that you’ll go places if your manuscript hits the right publishers.
Grab a copy of the book here- Amazon

Voices of the silent creek

Vikkas Arun Pareek’s debut novel. He sent a request using the book review form on my blog to get his book reviewed. The author sent me the eBook of his novel in exchange for an honest review, and here you go!

The novel falls under “general fiction” and “Women fiction” genre. His writing reminded Sudha Murthy’s style and even the story for that matter. A disturbing read, about the issues and nuisance that women faced and are still facing at the rural villages based in India. It swirls around three women and how they get related at one point, what happens to each of them?

The story is about Shanti, the heart-wrenching issues that she faces hit the readers hard. While her younger sister sports braveness. In a village where a Woman is looked upon as sex objects and are used only for branching the family further, giving no importance to her career, passion, life or feelings. What happens to them is the story.

First Impression – Good title and cover. Not attractive enough to pick if I cross on a store. The blurb could have been much better.

Overall Impression – A good read to know the other side of the life. As a modern young woman, I have heard a few stories about the issues the villages sport but the story tore the inhibitions and threw light on what it is, a brave attempt and a convincing book on the issues.

What did I love about the book? – Simplicity and the brutal awakening.

Rating: 3/5

Wow Factors: 1) Depth of emotions 2) Raw facts 3) Lucid 4) Proper connect and flow throughout without any loopholes

Frown Factors: 1) The start talks a lot about the girl having issues with her monthly periods. I hope the author was confused with Puberty and this, so the initial start was clumsy 2) Grammatical errors 3) Story seems stuffed in the middle

My opinion: A good attempt.

To the author: Good start, please research more before you start. Add more clarity, and use better words to express the emotions.
Grab a copy of the book here – Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Sathyam Cinemas

We walked together hand in hand across the aisle of Sathyam Cinemas. His Calvin Klein jeans and Burberry London perfume drew attention from every corner. He strode fast down the steps while I reduced my pace to admire the way he walked. He stopped and turned back to look at me. I blushed, he waved his hand to join him and I did.
A few girls from the third row cooed to each other, and I knew it’s about him, perks of having a smart boyfriend, I thought.
When I noticed a girl sitting left to the cozy couch we had booked, I pushed him across and sat to stay in the middle while that girl kept staring at my man. When he sat next, I moved closer and took his arms to ensure she realizes we are committed. Phew!
Lights dimmed, the crowd went mute, the movie screened and only silhouettes were visible, he tickled me and embraced. I blushed and looked at him, he stole a kiss quickly. That kind of kiss which pours his soul into me. “I will stay back in your apartment today,” I whispered. He winked and held me closer.
“Did you notice? Those girls were looking at you like anything. Why are you so smart?” I asked, staying tucked under his arms.
“No baby, they were looking at us. They stared at our togetherness. I smelled it.” he tried consoling.
Are you Sure Veera?” I struggled to turn my head to meet his eyes.
Am sure Rajesh, they looked at us like aliens. They will never understand, you sleep,” he patted me and hugged tightly.

One Tequila, 2 Tequilas – Book Review

Supriya Parulekar’s fifth novel published by Gargi publishers. The title of the book swirled through social networking sites and was running at the back of my mind. Three days back, I was tagged by a fellow reviewer to download the book as it was on promotions as a free giveaway.
The novel falls under “Romance”, and also, slightly on par with “Chick-lit” and “soft-erotica” genre. A fiction that reminds you Bollywood masti movies of Kangana Renault and Kareena Kapoor. A thoroughly enjoyable, filmy novel that I loved reading.
The story of Kosha, the boisterous and passionate young lady who falls in love with an unexpected person. She is a wildlife photographer who always risks her life for passion and strolls by life’s calling. How and with whom she falls in love? What happens to her love story? Happy ending? – read the novel to know more.
First Impression – The best title and unrivaled cover. Suits the theme, is so ‘pickable’, and I would also say the book is unputdownable. The blurb is again the best of its kind.
Overall Impression: Very cute indeed, a light read for a nice evening. Tempts to read more. I loved the characters of the protagonists. Kosha and Siddharth. Their love making scenes were so passionate and deep. The author succeeds, leafing the right element at the right place.
What did I love about the book? – The conversations between Siddharth and Kosha. The grandma’s character was written well. Descriptions were good.
Rating: 4/5
Wow Factors: 1) Simple and styling language. Perfumed with befitting words throughout. 2) Defined characters 3) The passionate love making scenes were handled very well
Frown Factors: 1) Usage of too many adverbs and adjectives to express the character/event. Sometimes it suits, but many a times it sounds dumped 2) Predictable scenes and climax. Nevertheless, I loved it – given the genre it fits. 3) A bit of a drag, if the book is crisped would have been a compelling read
My opinion: I would suggest this book for aspiring authors who find it difficult to fish the right word to express a feeling. A very light and warm read, women would enjoy more than men.
To the author: Loved your novel and the way you express microscopic details, for example: “She signed on the dotted lines” Would love to see a more crispy and guess-gaming books from you. All the best.
Grab a copy of the novel here – Amazon

You are my hero

When Ashwini fed Bala with a spoon of water, her father entered the room. “This is insane,” he mellowed. “Dad,” she shook her head signifying not to talk.

“How are you feeling?” he asked taking the seat next to Bala’s bed replacing Ashwini.

“Am good uncle, just one more day. You will see the carnivore, no more diets or extensive workouts,” he laughed.

“That’s good news, please don’t take up these assignments. I am worried,” he touched his hand and Bala’s nod made him smile.

“Dad, we will start early tomorrow. By 5:00 AM and I don’t know when we will return,” Ashwini entered the room with a cup of coffee.

“Why? No, I will go with him. You better work tomorrow. I already heard from your sister that there are several complaints at the school. Am all free, I can accompany,”

She looked at Bala, and he smiled batting his eyes acknowledging.

When Ashwini woke the next day, Bala was already up, he was busy looking at the mirror. She hugged him from behind and caressed his body feeling his 6-pack abs.

“Looks perfect nah? though not like Arnold, I look like SRK nah” he asked, turning and holding her shoulders.

“Hard work never fails Bala,” she hugged him and spent a minute hearing his heart beat.

“Please record the shoot okay? I want to see,” she told when he walked out with her dad.

“Sure, why not,”

She was pre-occupied, and it reflected at School. When questioned, she said them all about the ad shooting. She was thrilled; many congratulated and said they will wait to see Bala on screen.

“Wow Bala, you look like Mr.Perfect man,” the director exclaimed when Bala removed his shirt.
“Sheer dehydration sir, been months that I had normal food. All credits to the trainer,” he said.
“Yeah, I wanted to tell you yesterday about dehydrating your body.”
“Trainer did,” he smiled and walked along with him to the spot.

Hours together he was flaunting his body and the shoot, as usual took hours to complete.
***
Ashwini was waiting for him and after a long wait, he stepped in all tired. Her face lit with glee, “Yayyy, how was the shoot? Did you record the video.” she pondered. “Yes, yes, I did,” her father replied entering the home.

“Dad” she raised her brows. “I will prepare dinner,” she said and swiftly moved in when they stopped her stating they had dinner at the shooting spot.

She spent her night replaying the video again and again.
***
2 Months later, when they aired the new Cinthol ad, her eyes welled. They showed only his bare 6-packs drawing a yellow hint of plus over it.

She smiled ear to ear and looked at him. “My hero,” she thought, and he placed his hand on her head and pat gently.

First love matters…so does the Second – Book Review

First love matters so does the Second is Vishal Sha’s debut novel. I won this book through his giveaway, and I started off with nil expectations as I don’t know much about the novel or the author. Except that, I am connected through social networks.

The novella falls under ‘Romance’ and ‘Lit-Lad’ genre. A fiction that takes you through school and college days kindling memories. A college-goer will relate and love this book.

The story revolves around Vishal, his friends, his love interest, and family. The author walks you through a few years of the protagonist life.

First Impression: A catchy title and a beautiful cover, a novel that would grab your attention.

Overall Impression: A decent trial, and a warm read. It is light and sweet that you can read through over a cup of coffee. It goes easy on the reader, no room to fiddle around or no flabbergasting moments. I also loved the chapter titles; that curves a smile.

What did I love about the book? – Few phrases and dialogues were very cute and sweet to read. Example:

How was I supposed to know the value of cot 45 on the first day in Class 10th? I didn‘t even know the full table of 18.

I was just noticing her lips, occasionally touching each other. I couldn‘t help smiling.

but I guess when you are dying, everybody‘s attitude towards you changes.

Rating: 3/5

Wow Factor: 1) Nice dialogues and phrases that are witty 2) Simple language and vocabulary to read without having to check a dictionary.
3) Pain was well described

Frown Factors: 1) Grammatical errors 2) Lengthy sentences, descriptions, and timelines that were not necessary. Example: He called me at 6:15 AM and he came home by 7:15 AM kinds were not at all required. I will blame the editor for this. 3) The author used caps locks here and there to show the emotion, but I am against this. He should have picked right words to showcase the emotions

My opinion: Good not great, a gentle read that will take one back to their good old days.

To the author: Time to indulge with good books. Read more, it’s time to step from your comfort zone and explore other genres and authors except for CB and DD.

Grab a copy of the novel here –  amazon

I See You – Book Review

I See You is Aindrila Roy’s debut novel. I have read her excerpts and having known her for quite some time, I know she is entering the literature industry with a bang and yes, she did it. I am still hindering and quivering and am writing this review right away so please excuse the spoilers.

The novel is a horror genre book, and this is my first horror read. There are movies not as scary as it seems to be, background score and music they bang make it scarier. So I picked the book with a nebulous idea on how a read can scare me? Trust me, I lost my wits. I couldn’t shut my eyes as the story is running in my mind, and the story terrified me to bits.

The story is a revenge of a girl. What she does to him? How she quenches her thirst for vengeance ? Who came for help and what happened to them? – is the story that will shake your core.

First Impression – The Title “I See You” and the smoky cover doesn’t scare you at its first pick, but once you’re done reading am sure it will scare you when you walk past your bookshelf. An Apt title and the best cover, I loved the blurb though I picked a dictionary to understand. Blame my vocabulary!

Overall Impression – Andy (that’s how I call her) just nailed it. She wanted to scare her readers, and she has done it with ease. Impeccable work, the narrative pulls you to the edge of the seat and tortures you to complete the read disturbing your day to day life. The first message I sent her when I was through 30% is ‘I hate you‘ that’s how she scared me.

What did I love about the book? – ‘Everything, every little thing.’ I loved the crispy dialogues. When the person over phone asks “am I clear” the other responds “Crystal” – can it be any better? Very crispy, neat, meaty and right. Needless to mention the awesome editing by Neil and Varun of Pen Paper Coffee.

Ratings: 5/5

Wow Factors: 1) As mentioned before, the dialogues and phrases, few samples below: (Am Sorry Andy, I loved these, bang me later for these spoilers!)

The icy tentacles of terror grasped his heart, squeezing it inch by inch, robbing his breath in the process

It was enough to tilt Liam’s world on its axis

“… was his bed, covered with a rumpled sheet and a blanket laying bunched at the foot.”

2) Vocabulary and choice of words: Impeccable! It was a treat to read, I should thank a fellow reviewer Komal who pointed out the sophisticated words throughout and hence, I picked a Kindle version to ensure that it eases my search. Few words like “Raspy, papery, girth, eke, nymph” were picture perfect. It added enough flavor that the world she built and the story demanded it all. Justice was done to be precise.

3) She fit in the pieces of puzzles in the right place. There comes a point where Lily’s action pins doubt, but then the author has cleverly inserted a leaflet to elaborate her character in advance. A clear and concise detailing that map of what each person would do and what their character is. Special kudos! I loved this trick. Way to go Andy!

Frown Factors: 1) The story is so interesting that few words that were way out of the league for me to understand made me frown and feel aargh. Example: Perfunctory, harrumphed, sinewy, olfactory and there are words for which Kindle threw up stating “No meaning found.”

2) The chapter “Fateful Encounter” ends with an astonishing element, which could have waited until the next chapter that would have hammered the reader’s skull. The actions following the broken-egg surprise element were skimmed. If another edition rolls out, I  request the author to screw the nuts of this chapter.

3) The ending was a rush – I felt suffocated. All of it was answered in here. It felt like someone read the book till 90% and questioned why these happened for which the last chapter was used as an answer paper. It could have been a bit slow, but maybe, it would have resulted in a looser story. The author knows it better!

My opinion: I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The best read of my recent times. I didn’t sleep last night and answered every screech I heard given the impact.

Thoughts: Stephen King’s quotation says, “There are books full of great writing that don’t have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story. Don’t be like the book snobs who won’t do that. Read sometimes for the words – the language. Don’t be like the play-it-safer that won’t do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book” – I treasure this book. Period.

To the author: Best entry Andy, I loved the read. Expecting a lot more from you! Sheer work of 7 years paid off well. As I know that you started off as a romantic flick and over the days it turned sinister. I would like to see a thorough romantic novel from you.

Grab a copy of the novel here – Kindle version or Paperback – India