Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Broken Man - Book Review

A Broken Man
By Akash Verma
Review By Ila Garg

A Broken Man, a novel by Akash Verma, is published by Srishti Publishers. The cover shows a psychedelic man who seem depressed as his head lies low. The cover has a very simple feel to it which makes it highly attractive as it is clutter-free.

Akash Verma is a management graduate and the co-founder of an Advertising Venture. He has worked across the leading companies in the FMCG and media sector. He has a deep interest in music, history and travel. His work has taken him across the country and he finds this experience very relevant while giving shape to his stories. He has published two bestsellers till now, namely It Happened That Night and Three Times Loser. Akash is currently based out of Gurgaon, India. He is fascinated by Cinema, Literature, History and Travel.

A Broken Man is his third book.

The blurb reads as, “Take a deep breath before you are born here, my child!
You take birth in a land where I struggled; gave it my sweat and blood. A land that I thought belonged to me… unbridled, uncompromising.
Krishna is a Dalit boy from Bihar who struggles to overthrow the chains that hold him back. Chhavi is a high caste Brahman girl fighting for the rights of others, propagating equality in a politically charged Lucknow University campus. After Krishna saves Chhavi from getting torched during a protest against reservation, love slowly blossoms, only to be ruthlessly crushed by a society that thrives on divisions of caste and religion. From student politics in Lucknow to the interiors of Bihar, from the corridors of power to the glitz of media and the film industry in Mumbai.
A Broken Man is the quest of a deprived Krishna to redeem hope from despair, love from separation and success out of repeated failures. From the bestselling author of It Happened That Night and Three Times Loser, this is a story that reinforces our faith in what love can accomplish as it pushes us to achieve the impossible, making us tap our true inner potential.”

A story is about a Dalit boy, Krishna and fairly exposes the challenges faced by him in the course of his life. Krishna, the protagonist of the story falls in love with a Brahmin girl, Chhavi. She is an activist in college and daughter of a local politician. Thus, trouble brews up as anticipated.

The story moves smoothly and deals with matters of love and faith. Because of his low caste, Krishna often gets insulted and lives under undue pressure of getting selected for a government job. It could have helped him and his family come out of the poverty.

The author has sketched both the characters—Krishna and Chhavi—beautifully. The poems in the book seem quite realistic and successfully portray deep and intricate emotions. The language is simple and easy to comprehend. Nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. It’s so well-written that once you pick up, you cannot keep it down without finishing it off. I found it quite engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author.

How Krishna tackled with the problems of poverty and how he bore the innumerable insults, how He met Chhavi and fell in love with her, will he be able to get the reciprocation of his love for her, will Krishna and Chhavi be able to have a ‘together forever’ are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in A Broken Man.

Further, this 240 page book is good enough to expose the double standards of society we live in, the caste differences that still continue to exist in our mind sets. It’s a light read and overall a compelling book.

Ratings: 4/5

Buying Links: Amazon | Infibeam | Shimply | Flipkart

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tamanna - Book Review

By Tejeshwar Singh
Review By Ila Garg

Tamanna, a novel by Tejeshwar Singh, is published by FingerPrint Publication. The cover shows a girl who seems to have an independent streak. It speaks volumes about the plot of the book and manages to attract the readers. The sub-title ‘a true story of forbidden love’ does raise several questions in the mind of a prospective reader.

Tejeshwar Singh is a multi talented person, who runs a software consultancy firm in the heart throb of the country - Delhi. A little late in acknowledging his yearning for creative writing, he confidently pursues his passion now. He has had a keen interest in the mysteries and the truths about relationships and the human emotions associated with them. Tamanna is his attempt to portray what lay in his sub conscious mind. It is not just a book but an emotional journey of a man who fell in love twice!

Tamanna is the second book by Tejeshwar Singh, the first being I’ve had enough… God, which was published by Rupa in 2009.

The blurb reads as, “True love is like a permanent state of madness, one that makes us end up doing things we always thought ourselves incapable of.
The same happened with Delhi-based Arjun Singh. As a teenager, he made fun of romantic movies and love songs. Even when he got married, he only gradually fell in love with his wife—their love was mature and pure and had none of the madness that love stories are made of.
But his story only begins here . . .
One day at a party, he meets Tamanna, who looks breath-taking beside her overweight and pompous husband. Her arrival turns Arjun’s life around. He does everything love-struck teenagers are known to do—from writing poetry and letters to checking his phone every few minutes. He pines, he sings, he cries, he obsesses, he hyperventilates, he regrets, he scolds himself, he broods, he dreams, and he loves—truly and helplessly.
And as time passes, the gradual revelation of Tamanna’s maturity, her thoughtfulness, and her witty personality leave Arjun completely awestruck. But his is not a usual love story, for he is married, and so is she.
Heart-breaking and inspired by the author’s life story, Tamanna is a journey through a man’s heart, exploring, as it does, how it is possible to love more than one person at the same time, and how love heeds no reason and no boundaries.”

So what exactly happens when a married man comes face to face with a wonderful woman in all respects? Well, Tamanna is a story reflecting this side of encounter – a forbidden arena – a love that is a taboo in our society!

A married man and a doting father, Arjun meets this crazy, fun to be with, amazing woman, Tamanna at a dinner party and instantly falls for her. The author has given real details of this forbidden love and how Arjun dealt with these emotions and turmoil, how he curbed them. Tamanna too is a married woman with a child. Dinners between both the families and some friends become a regular affair soon. His friends persuade him that it’s only lust but gradually Arjun realises that it’s pure love. It’s almost like a confession!

The story moves in a flow and nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. It’s so well-written that once you pick up, you cannot keep it down without finishing it off. I found it quite engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author. It seems a real account, in fact. The language is easy to comprehend. However, some parts seem repetitive marring the reader-interest.

How Arjun met Tamanna, how he discovered his true feelings for her, how he tried confessing his love for her, was he able to tell her about his feelings, did his wife find out about this forbidden love, will Tamanna understand if Arjun comes out clean in front of her are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Tamanna. Another reason that would keep you glued to this book would be the fact that the blurb states the book is inspired by author’s life.

Further, this 240 page book is good enough to expose the different set of emotions that a married man goes through when tangled in a situation like this. What makes it stands out is the realistic approach that the author took in narrating the entire episode. However, the characterization could have been better; it looks very stagnant. It’s a light read and overall a compelling book.

Ratings: 3.5/5

Buying Links: Flipkart | Infibeam

Sunday, June 26, 2016

From Where I See - Book Review

From Where I See
By Ajay Yadav
Review By Ila Garg

From Where I See, a novel by Ajay Yadav, is published by Lifi Publications Pvt. Ltd. The cover shows two sides of a tree – one is full of leaves and other is leafless. Just as the title speaks about perspectives, the cover design reflects that very beautifully. It speaks volumes about the plot of the book and manages to attract the readers. The book from the cover and title seems to be all about one’s opinion, the way one sees life and things around oneself.

The blurb reads as, “Ajay meets his childhood friend Shruti on a social network site. He finds her to be struggling with intrapersonal, interpersonal, inter-social and inter-religious conflicts. Eventually the conflicts killed her. Police could solve the case but will it prevent hundreds of Shrutis from getting killed? How long will we aim ‘who’ killed, more important is to find out ‘what’ killed. Till we don’t address this issue and work on it, many Shrutis will keep on getting killed. We need to cure the disease not only the symptoms.
This book is an effort of the author to find the root cause and probable remedies of these conflicts, exploration of hundreds of pertinent questions like “why in one religion it becomes so easy to get volunteers to blow themselves and others for the sake of religion? Does the religion divides or unites? Have the immature and wrong interpretation of female emancipation the reason for 13 times rise in divorce rates in last 5 years?
It’s not only a book; it’s the path to revolution, it’s a journey towards Utopian world. If you are open minded, have courage to accept truth and have a desire to change the world; then be the part of change. Let’s take our first step to build a road to the Utopian Dream.”

Like already unveiled by the cover, the book has characters that give in their real perspectives about issues of real concern. The book is therefore laced with instances of realism and precisely, this is one reason why readers will find themselves hooked to the book despite its length.

The story is about two childhood friends Ajay and Shruti—two childhood friends. Opening on the scene where Shruti is found dead and speculations are on, the book essentially is centered on Ajay. The plot is very different from regular chicklets. In fact, the genre is very different from the ones floating in the market.

Shruti’s dead body creates a lot of stir. It is believed to be a case of suicide and not murder. Investigation begun with immediacy. Ajay is confronted by the police regarding the case, and thus the main plot begins. The story is mainly about Ajay’s childhood and adulthood, how his perceptions change over the time, and then emerges an eye-opening discussion on topics that we all come across but choose to turn a blind eye to—religion, history, women emancipation, etc. In a nutshell, the story is quite relevant in our present lives and also makes us realise how some decisions if taken correctly in the past would have benefited the humanity at large. The story also moves ahead to talk about the measures that we can take today to make the future better.

Nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect as the book brings to light some very crucial topics. People who take interest in such subjects will find it engaging. The subjects are tackled beautifully by the skillful author.

The detailed insight into the controversial subjects like religion and history add to the USP of the book. Also the language is easy to comprehend. Though there are some serious editing flaws in the book which were a major put off!

Further, this 400 page book is good enough to exposes a lot of debatable topics. However, it tends to get boring at places and treating the book as fiction seemed a little wrong as the topics dealt with are real problems.

Ratings: 3/5

Buying Links: Infibeam | Shimply | Flipkart | Amazon

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Let the Game Begin - Book Review

Let the Game Begin
By Sandeep Sharma
Review By Ila Garg

Let the Game Begin, a novel by Sandeep Sharma, is published by Inspire India Publishers. The cover is impressive and at the same time, quite appealing. It speaks volumes about the plot of the book and manages to attract the readers. In India, the game of chess has been of great importance since ages, after all. The title too sounds good. It instantly made me turn to the back cover of the book to glance at the blurb.

Sandeep Sharma made his debut in the writing industry with Hey Dad! Meet my mom, the book which is still a hot topic of discussion amongst readers. He is currently working on his start-up venture named ‘Author Paradise’ that works for the benefit of Authors to provide them well-organised online and offline publicity. By profession, he is a civil engineer who graduated from JSS Academy of Technical Education, Noida.

He is very passionate about writing and has been writing short stories for his personal blog for six years and they were published various times. He is deeply passionate about reading and writing and mostly prefers subjects which provide an insight into issues concerning contemporary Indian social reality. Other genres that he is fond of are travel writing, thriller and crime fiction.

Let the Game Begin is his second book.

The blurb reads as, “Two kingdoms, Chaturanga and Sarprakt, separated by a mystic mountain range are at war with each other since ages. Chaturanga, ruled by King Viratha, is soon bestowed with a dynamic heir, and the whole kingdom is drowned in rituals and festivity. On the other side, Sarprakt is executing a cruel conspiracy. King Viratha, crippled by the conspiracy, urges the mysterious man of the mountain to devise a method to recreate the conspiracy and that gave birth to 'The Game of Chess'.

Serial killings shock the nation as the police are rendered clueless. The killer leaves behind a trail of chess pieces with a strange message. Random people are murdered. Connoisseurs of different fields - History, Chess and the Security forces - have united as the next intended victim is the most powerful person of the country. How is Chess involved in the whole scenario? How will they find a man who died 4000 years ago? Can a person defy the laws of nature? Does history really repeat itself? Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ”

Intriguing, isn’t it?

From Hey dad! Meet my mom to Let the Game Begin, the author hasn’t disappointed his readers.

The 170 page book is laced with historical mysticism. It talks about the history of Chaturanga, the kingdom where the game of chess finds its origin. The rest of the story then unveils how chess became the central reason for the gory history, bloodshed and the destruction of various other kingdoms.

This is the story that makes you believe in karma philosophy—that our previous births do carry forward—our previous deeds do make us pay for! This is also a story of revenge. Without revealing much of the plot, I would just say that the story is quite intriguing and enthralling as the revenge angle comes into play.

4000 years is almost unthinkable time period, but in view of a soul burning in vengeance—it is still not that long! Hence, the son of a lovable father dies only to return and take his revenge—paint the kingdoms in blood.

This story surely has the caliber to be expanded in a series of novels penetrating deep into the unknown world of history, the dark alleys which need to see the light NOW!

The story moves in a flow and nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. People who enjoy thriller and mystery will find it engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author.

The detailed account of the game of chess and the two empires sharing a history of revenge becomes the crux of the novel and also the USP. The language is easy to comprehend. There were some editing and proofreading flaws, but they can be ignored in the light of a good plot.

How the game of chess originated, how it became the reason for bloodshed and destruction, why were the two empires seeking revenge are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Let the Game Begin.

Sandeep has a long way to go! Let’s wish him good luck till his next book comes to take us further into the plot!

Ratings: 4/5

Buying Link: Amazon