Wednesday, 28 September 2016

An impressive collection (Book Review: Metro Diaries-2 by Namrata)

Title: Metro Diaries - 2
Author: Namrata
Genre: Short Story Collection

Stories that are written from knowing, and at times, observing the people we meet and come across in our rush of surviving in the big cities... Metro Diaries - 2 is a collection of sensitive stories that demonstrate the author's brilliance in expressing emotions.

Metro Diaries - 1 is a collection of love stories. Having read and enjoyed it, I was looking forward to the second in the series. 
I had read that this one dealt with an array of feelings. What I had not expected was the shock of very first story.
The author, Namrata is clearly writing about the darker side of human nature unapologetically, and yet with sensitivity.

With some of the stories of Metro Diaries - 2, the author has unraveled the chaos that is the feelings of the characters of each of the stories. 
The second collection of Metro Diaries touches on various emotions. 

These stories explore love and betrayal, righteousness and revenge, success and regrets, loyalty and deceit, smiles and tears, transsexuality and search for identity, and more.

My two favorites from this collection - two really good tales with a surprising twist - are Love v/s Hate and Veil Thy Love.

The writing of the author describes relationships, emotions, and thoughts with innovative expressions and metaphors.

"beautifully chiseled eyes... they held the power of a thousand sunrises."

"...took to her new home just like milk to sugar."

"It looks like a game of cat and mouse; the bigger hand chasing the smaller one. Anyone stronger... tramples upon the weak ones - that is the rule of the world. There are only two possible reasons behind it, love or hate. When you love someone you want to control everything that person does and hence, sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly you squash them like melons.
While on the other hand in the case of hate, there is no need to specify the reason for walking over someone like that. Hate is a strong reason in itself."

There is a lot of hurt and disillusionment in these stories, but there is hope too. 
The common thread between all the stories of this collection is that they move you, and you can relate to them.

There are even two stories that have identical beginnings. How different can people be? Do we really know anyone?

More often than not, the story is told through the thoughts of the characters. One thought leads to another and through these, a story emerges.
It seems as if one is hearing someone's thoughts and discovering them. The stories are thoughts woven together. 

In author's words:
"Nothing is as mystifying as the human nature and this book is a tribute to it."
"...this collection of stories will make you relook at life in a renewed manner and make you ponder over your definition of it till now."

*  *  *
The italicized text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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About The Book

Give life another chance. Laugh a little longer. let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard - this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now.

Goodreads I Amazon

Quotes from Metro Diaries 2

All the money his parents earned sadly could never buy a moment’s peace for any of them as they kept drifting away like lost constellations into the space. Together they surely were in a way, but light years away in every manner. There was absolutely no connection between them. They just were like every other thing that existed in the universe… the oceans, the sky, the earth, the stars, the sun and the moon. You couldn’t change anything about them even if you didn’t like the way they were. – The Last Kiss (Metro Diaries Part 2)

You are enough in everything and anything you do in this world. Others are here to serve as a distraction so that they reach their goals before yours and become winners. – The Last Kiss (Metro Diaries Part 2)

At times in life we always see what we are being shown and not what lies behind that cloak of disguise. We believe all that comes our way without doubting that there could be a trick or maybe just a hallucination. – Charlatan (Metro Diaries Part 2)

Life they say is a like a jigsaw puzzle and we are all like those pieces trying to find where we fit in. – Labour of Love (Metro Diaries Part 2)

Perhaps she had forgotten the thumb rule for survival here. There is nothing called yours here.  No will, no desire, no dreams, no ambitions….nothing. Not even your name. – The Plummet (Metro Diaries Part 2)

What else do you do when you are a teenager? Life seems to be one long party full of fun and frolic with your best friends all around. You just know your world is full of rainbow colours; sweetness of chocolates filling it and abundant beautiful dresses to doll you up.  Love and relationships take a different meaning altogether now making you look at everything around including yourself in newer light. – Love v/s hate (Metro Diaries Part 2)

I always felt I knew what I wanted in life. But today I realized how wrong I was. I was chasing mirages as the reality kept going away from me and now I am left with nothing in hand – Rags to Riches(Metro Diaries Part 2)

People make memories and then reach a phase where memories make people! – Mou Athena (Metro Diaries Part 2)

About the Author - Namrata

Namrata is A Lost Wanderer who loves traveling the length and breadth of the world. A published author in various anthologies and magazines she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is forever in pursuit of a new country and a new story.

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

All right, no wrong (Book Review: Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right by Varsha Dixit)

Title: Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right
Author: Varsha Dixit
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The cover of Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right is really good - the stance of both Gayatri and Viraj perfectly depicts their characters in the book, the cupcake, and the bling... as I said, really good.

Just as with the title of the book, the author, Varsha Dixit has maintained her trend of having distinctive titles to the chapters.
I found the chapter titles in this book a little less 'desi' but just as interesting.
And as before, I cannot resist mentioning a few really good ones - Country wants to Know, Hyde Turns Jekyll, Hot Dreams and Cold Beer.

Love the quirkiness of Viraj's character - the fact that he chooses to act all nerdy to look like a 'normal' mad scientist, the sparrows that he spends time with, and his wierd beliefs too.

"When I feel there is no more to achieve, no more to know, no more to give, I would rather switch the lights off. It might be interesting to find out if there is something beyond death."
I so don't agree with that. Yet I couldn't help appreciating the analysis behind this thought and admiring the way the author has worded this.

When Gayatri was first introduced in Right Fit Wrong Shoe, and later when we, the readers got to know her a little better in Wrong Means Right End, I could not have imagined being fond of her.

Through Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right, the author introduces us to the 'real' Gayatri. That is, we get to know her better and thus understand why she did all that she did in the previous two books.

I think this is a good time to say that this book would continue to be a really exciting read without having read the previous two. I did choose to read them, though...

Back to Gayatri, despite her emotional issues, she is a badass heroine.

Gayatri and Viraj are fun to read about, with an almost constant smile on the readers' lips.

The couples from the two previous books of 'Right and Wrong Series' form an important part of the plot of this book. As I wrote while reviewing the second book too, the author has made the couples from previous books an important part in the next one. Usually in the case of such sequels, the characters from the previous books just make a fleeting appearance.

The 'Right and Wrong series' has evolved, and evolved well.

This love story of the 'Poor rich girl' and the 'successful poor boy' has many special elements.
Gayatri is not your typical leading lady, just as Viraj is unlike the male counterpart. 

The tussles between the two are a pleasure to read. They are once described as 'Two opponents inside a boxing ring'. Such opposition combined with hot attraction is sure to be readers' delight.
Add to it a love triangle, well-meaning nosy friends, some family drama, and can you ask for anything better. 

This book has the balance of a light romance but with the depth of many other relationships.

For lovers of romance, Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right, in my opinion, is a must read.

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The italicised text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Love is in the air again…this time it’s steamy, bold and manipulative!

Gayatri and Viraj both are products of childhood trauma. Yet they were able to survive, one because of her shrewdness and the other because of his genius. Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right, the final part in the best selling ‘Right and Wrong’ love trilogy is the story of these two damaged souls.

Gayatri Dutta, the poster child for rich spoiled diva is fighting to escape a life of servitude her tyrant father is hell bent on pushing her into. Her past string of failures have her backed against a wall. Lonely and desperate!

Viraj is a con who uses his genius to perpetuate his isolation. His life once of violence and abuse has left him cynical and cold. He shuns the society and its hypocrisies. 

And then Gayatri and Viraj cross paths. She needs him and he despises her.

To Viraj, Gayatri, is the epitome of all that he despises, shallow, manipulative and the kind who uses her beauty as a weapon. Or is she?

Gayatri sees Viraj only as a means to an end. She is sure that Viraj with his nerdy demeanor, owlish glasses and crude behavior will be easy to manipulate and walk over. Only he isn’t!

Grab your copy @

Excerpt from #RWWR
‘I can do this, I can do this, I can...’ Gayatri wound her fingers tightly around her cellphone as she made her way to the cubbyhole Viraj called his office. I did not expect a freaking hug, but a polite ‘how are you’ wouldn’t kill that man. She rapped her knuckles on the door.
Viraj swung the door open. ‘What?’ His brows were furrowed and his lips, pursed.
Gayatri remembered what Nikhil had said to her once. Dr Viraj owns and runs this lab. He was the only one you needed to impress! ‘It’s my first day here!’ Gayatri could hear her voice shake. ‘Could you tell me...
Gayatri scuttled out of Viraj’s way as he leaned out. ‘Find an empty room, do your work there. You are free to leave any time you want. You are free to come or to not come.’ The door shut on her face.
Flabbergasted, Gayatri kept staring at the door. What just happened? She cleared her throat. I should not piss him off anymore. ‘Thank you for this…this job.’ Her voice was as uncertain as the look on her face.
Viraj tugged the door open again. Gayatri flashed a smile at him and opened her mouth to speak but he stopped her short. ‘I don’t like talking. Find a room and stay there.’ He shut the door on her again.
 Asshole! Gayatri fisted her hands and retreated. I can do this! I am doing this! Bigger picture, please! Gayatri paused and peeped inside the first lab that she stumbled upon. The place was quiet except for a low hum of machines. Gayatri pushed the doors open and walked inside the lab. It was empty. ‘Does anyone else work here besides the mad scientist?’ She leaned against one of the steel racks. The door flew open behind her. With a big grin she turned to greet the person coming in. ‘Hi! I’ she froze. It was the mad scientist with a bunch of papers in his hand.
Viraj noticed Gayatri at the same time. A familiar irritation flashed in his eyes. ‘Not this room. Not my lab! Find another room!’ He spoke with cool authority.
‘I was just looking!’ Gayatri smoothed her ponytail trying to mask her nervousness. He had her in knots.
Giving an indifferent shrug, Viraj walked past her. Gayatri got a whiff of his aftershave; it smelled clean and crisp, like water with a twist of lemon. At least he doesn’t stink like his manners! Gayatri stood there quiet and confused.
A loose paper slipped from Viraj’s hand and landed on the floor.
‘You dropped some paper!’ Gayatri said, her voice friendly.
‘Ignore it. Like you, it is not going anywhere.’ Viraj pulled a portable stool and took a seat in front of an electronic panel fixed to a bigger panel.
Gayatri gritted her teeth and grinned with the ferocity of a wild animal that could pounce any moment.
Unknown to her, Viraj gave a similar smile except his was more like the wild animal that had pounced and won.
‘I’ll go and find a room. Thank you!’ Swiveling on her heel, Gayatri headed for the door.
Something stopped herher father’s face and the realization that two weeks ago she had physically fought for herself, and now she had to fight again but with her mind instead of hands. I have to win over Mr Madness. Maybe I could wear a beaker over my head and tattoo the periodic table on my arms!
‘If you are trying to open the door telepathically, let me be the first to tell you it is not working!’ 
Gayatri exhaled noisily. Scathing and sarcastic, what more could a woman ask for? Taking a few calming breaths, she slowly pivoted to face Viraj, specifically his back as he sat hunched fiddling with the panel in front of him.
 ‘I’m sorry if I have offended you somehow. I really need this job. And also, I’m qualified for it. I can show you my degrees. I can really make a difference here.’
Hearing Gayatri’s words and her apologetic tone, something melted inside Viraj...again. But to keep up appearances, he turned rude. ‘I’m busy!’ he barked.
 ‘Please Mr Viraj, give me’ Just then, without warning, someone swung the door open. Gayatri wasn’t prepared for the push. ‘Ouch!’ She toppled. Her desperate hands grabbed the first thing in the vicinitya steel rack. The rack shuddered violently and some of its contents landed on the floor.
‘What the hell!’ Viraj bellowed jumping to his feet.
Gayatri winced. A large electrical component had crashed into her hand ‘The door just opened, pushing me in,’ she said shaking her arm in pain.
 Viraj glared at the door. He instantly lost the frown and his mouth eased at the ends. ‘Oh it’s you! Come inside!’
Huh, Hyde turns Jekyll! Gayatri spun around.
A timid, bespectacled, five-foot-nothing girl, her long hair in a tight braid, clad in a pastel-coloured salwaar kameez, stood at the door. Her skin was smooth and her hands kept tugging at the dupatta around her neck ‘Sorry to interrupt! Dr Kalra wanted to show you some tests he is about to run in lab 2.’ She then glanced at Gayatri. ‘I’m sorry if I hurt you. It was an accident.’
Gayatri was about to speak but Viraj cut her off. ‘She’s fine. Let’s go!’
Viraj went out with the girl, not even sparing a glance at Gayatri.
Astounded, Gayatri watched them leave.

Urghh…the shit-faced scientist actually smiled and that too at that girl! Gayatri kicked the steel rack. It shuddered again! Shoot! Before anything else would fall on her, Gayatri went after the scientist and the simpleton.

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About the author

Varsha Dixit

Varsha Dixit, the bestselling author of four successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman. Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.

You can stalk her @


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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Character Interview (Running to Stand Still by Lauren Rosolino)

Title: Running to Stand Still
Author: Lauren Rosolino
Genre: New Adult Romance

Having read, enjoyed, and reviewed Lauren Rosolino's Running to Stand Still, I felt like I knew the characters. But I still had many questions for them.

Running to Stand Still is the story of Jaime and her family. Her family the very foundation of which got disturbed the night her mother, Amy left them.

Amy didn't get to say much in the book. Her point of view was never really explained. And yet, the author wrote about her in a way that I had a soft corner for her. 

Here are my questions to her and her answers.

Hi, Amy. I know it was not easy for you to leave. The very fact that you made your last evening with your family special, says a lot. Was it worth it, the leaving?

Yes. It took a long time for me to make the decision to leave. I didn't take it lightly. I struggled with it a lot. to this day, I regret that I had to walk away, that I had to hurt the people that I loved so much just so I could breathe again. I'm not proud of the person I am, but no matter how much I tried (and believe me, did I try) I couldn't and can't change who I am. I will always hold on to the memory of that night for as long as I live. I'm not sure if it did more good than harm, but to have had that time with them, that one last little bubble of love and safety, meant the world to me. I carry it with me always.

Somehow I do understand that there was a burning desire in you to be a 'free bird' as Charlie puts it. Did you achieve it?

Yes. Being a vagabond gypsy is one of the few things I am good at.

Are you happy?

As happy as a tortured, musical soul torn in two can be. Which is to say, when I'm playing, singing, performing, I can feel fully myself, fully in my element, transcended from reality and all its heartache. Miserable when I'm not. But the catch-22 is that you can't live in a constant state of playing. You need time to step away from the craft to inspire the music, to infuse the chords and lyrics with breath and life and truth.

Thanks a lot, Amy.
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The protagonist in Running to Stand Still is Amy's daughter, Jaime and I had some questions for her too.

Hello, Jaime. In hindsight, do you think your wanting to leave was only about your mother having left?

We recreate that which we were taught. Or at least that's what 'they' say. And my mother taught me that there was nothing good to be found in staying. Because I believed her, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I created this line in my mind that I could only be happy and free if I left. All because of those words she spoke, they completely derailed me.

Did you ever make a list of what the 'perfect man' would be like? Is Colin like that? I have a feeling that the list would describe Brett more than Colin. Am I wrong?

No, you are not wrong. Not by a long shot. I never physically wrote out a list of attributes I wanted in a man, but there definitely was one in my head, that's for damn sure. And Brett was the epitome of that list: good-looking, put together, successful, thoughtful but not too needy, work-oriented, uncomplicated family life (preferably not much of one at all), and emotionally neat. I didn't want anything too messy.
The funny thing is, that list didn't start to form in my mind until all the shit hit the fan after my mom left and I started to pull my life back together. It was an aspirational list. But if I really think about it, the person I would've wanted if she had never left, the person I wanted before I went off the deep-end... that person is Colin to a T. Sincere, kind, affectionate, rough on the outside, but gentle on the inside. Colin is the kind of person you just want to run to when things are tough because you know that he won't baby you or patronize you (he'll tell you straight up what you need to know), but he will protect you with everything he's got. He's someone you can stand beside and behind when you need to. He's also the person who's not afraid to let you stand in front of him and do the protecting, when necessary.

Do you sing, or play guitar, or something else? Music does seem to run in your family after all :)

God, no. I wish I did. I'm kind of mad at my parents for not making me learn an instrument when I was young. I attempted the piano when I was in high school but it didn't stick. I was also in choir in the seventh grade. In another life, I would be in an all-ladies band, or lead guitarist/vocalist or drums with pink stripes in my hair. But alas, in this life, it has not come to pass (there may be hope yet!). Music is an integral process of my creative process, though. What I love about music, that the written word doesn't do quite as well, is capture the very essence of a moment in time, a feeling, a glimpse of life, with the interplay of melody and lyrics. It's unapologetic about being as emotional and honest as it can possibly be - it just lays it all out there in the open. And we need as much of that as we can get. Music feeds the soul, you know? Music is humanity in essence. We would be dead without it.

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And finally, a question to the author, Lauren Rosolino.

I really want to know more about Jacob. He's such a sensitive person. I would really like to know more about his personal life. Or maybe we can look forward to another book where the focus is on Jacob.

I would love, love, love to write a book with Jacob as the protagonist. I should totally do that. (I'm going to do it.) But for now, this is what I can tell you: (this is taken pretty much verbatime from my post about him on my blog).
Jacob is still an enigma to me.

He was inspired by a bartender I encountered while out for my husband's 25th birthday in downtown Detroit before a Twenty One Pilots concert at the Fox Theatre. The second I saw him behind the bar, I knew he was going to be a character in my book. Here's what I do know about Jacob:

He's a vet. Former Green Beret. 7th Special Forces Group. Area of Responsibility: Mexico, Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean. Stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. He can speak Spanish and several Island dialects.
Plays on men's hockey league. Boxes at gym with Charlie. Does Cross-fit.
Quiet, reserved, a man of few words. Gruff.
Loyal, courteous, patient. Does what's right, what needs to be done. He endures. He is tough, observant. Judgement is one of his skills. He carries a weight from the past. See's the world as broken. And yet, he's a pragmatist. A realist. he accepts that sometimes peace necessitates violence.
Just wants to keep his nose to the ground and stay out of trouble. Wants to go to the gym, work at the bar. 
Greatly values the place he has in the Benson family. Loves them deeply. Would do anything for them. 
As for how he got there in the first place? I have no idea.
I have a sense that he's a Detroit boy. Raised in poverty, an indifferent/hostile environment.
And that's all I have for you for now :)

Thanks a lot, once again...
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Collin was who he was: simple and easy.
                  Me? I was jagged and complex. I wanted everything.
                  And despite how he made me feel—safe—it was clear to me that we’d never work out in the end.
                  That divide between us would always be there.
                  Because I’d never ask him to give up on the things he wanted.
                  And, while I sometimes wished I could be that person, I wasn’t.

Just seven more months. Then Jamie Benson can leave this goodbye town behind her and start her new life in Chicago. She can leave this place of broken glass and cracked sidewalks and rusted fences. This place that holds nothing good. She can leave the ghosts and spinning rooms and shattered promises in her rearview mirror and never look back.
But all the stories she’s been telling herself are threatened when, one night, while tending bar at her father’s hole-in-the-wall dive, she meets Collin—a boy who is good and honest and sincere in a world where everything is harsh and cold and detached. A boy who makes her feel safe.  A boy worth staying for.
Will Jamie be able to untangle the truths from the lies? Or will the sins of the past swallow her whole?

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About the Author - Lauren Rosolino

Author of The Charm Necklace and Running to Stand Still. Writer of stories about finding beauty in brokenness. 
She is a storyteller. Adventuer. Partner. Coffee drinker. Magic believer. Rebel with a gypsy soul. Lover of the woods and books, the woods and walks.
Born and bred in Detroit, Lauren grew up reading Harry Potter, watching Gilmore Girls, listening (and dancing) to a lot of music, and wondering why people do what they do. She graduated from Wayne State University with a BA in Psychology. Lauren lives with her husband, dog, cat, and bunny in Charleston, South Carolina.
To find out more and read her blog, Wonderstruck, visit

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Old Customs Perfectly Explained (Book Review: The Bearded Prince by Rajesh Talwar)

Title: The Bearded Prince
Author: Rajesh Talwar

The Bearded Prince is the story of the beautiful and creative Princess Roopali and her swayamvara.
She is prejudiced against men with beards. 
The author has justified the prejudice, making it sound reasonable.
And then worked on breaking the prejudice with the story.

The Bearded Prince reminded me of the Vikram and Betal stories. There's the grandeur of royalty and emotions that are common to all, a dilemma and a suspense to the reason behind the reason.

Often when narrating a story to kids, one has to clarify certain instances so as to ensure that they don't get an impression of wrong-doing or prejudices from it.
The author, Rajesh Talwar does it for you and with a touch of humour too. 
"Quite often, people assume that princes and princessses are bound to be good looking people, but they are wrong in their assumption. Anyone closely connected with royalty knows that there are ugly princes, short princesses, princes who are scarred, and princesses who lisp. God and nature have not made any special provision for princes and princesses that might make them in any way more appealing or attractive as human beings than the rest of us."

'A Modern Tale Set in Ancient India' is how it is described and rightly so. It's a tale of olden times told in the language of today, explaining things in a way that the readers who don't know of the old stories would understand.
The author makes a point about equality, individuality and respect for ones' family. 

Princess Roopali is someone with whom the present day kids can relate too.
I do think that although grown-ups would enjoy this book, it the younger lot that The Bearded Prince can truly charm.

The Bearded Prince is a simple story. The simplicity itself and the little details, the thoughtful explanations are really good.

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The italicised text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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After much persuasion, Princess Roopali, ‘the beautiful one’, agrees to have a swayamvara. This is an ancient Indian ceremony in which an unmarried girl who has come of age chooses a husband from among several suitors. According to the tradition, at the end of the ceremony, the princess is required to place a marigold garland around the neck of the prince she has decided to marry. She is happy to meet with all the princes who will attend the ceremony, and are keen to be chosen by her. She explains to her parents, the king and queen that she does not, however, wish to meet anyone with a beard. Over the past few years there have been a string of armed robberies by a gang of tough-looking bearded thugs. The princess has come to dislike beards. Her father, the king, explains to her that it would be discourteous for them not to extend an invitation to any eligible prince, but he would be surprised if any of them still sported a beard. Will Princess Roopali find the prince of her dreams? A delightful tale set in Ancient India the story provides a window into an exotic culture and will appeal to children from all age groups – particularly those from the ages of five to one hundred.
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About the Author - Rajesh Talwar

Rajesh Talwar has more than a dozen books to his credit. His fiction includes plays, novels and stories for children. You can read more about him, and view his other books at and At present he lives and works in a tropical island not far from Australia, whose seashores are visited by dolphins, crocodiles as well as the occasional mermaid.

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Varied thoughts, Different Perspective (Book Review: Thousand Unspoken Thoughts by Prerna Khatri)

Title: Thousand Unspoken Thoughts
Author: Prerna Khatri
Genre: Poetry

Prerna Khatri's collection of poems, Thousand Unspoken Thoughts are truly many thoughts entwined. 
These poems talk about varied topics, exploring introspection, love, silence, and more.

Prerna Khatri's poems are usually abstract, but there are others which almost tell a story.
Some are very short (5-6 lines), others run for a couple of pages.
Some poems talk of hope that lift your spirits, others have a lingering darkness that could haunt the reader.

The interesting thing about this is that you have no idea what you will encounter next. The poems go from sweet to passionate to introspective to spiritual to dark to self-congratulatory to inspiring, and even a soldier's voice.

The poems talk about love, finding self, looking within, spiritualism, and more.
There are hope and introspection and darkness.
The darkness was a surprise, I have to say. Surprising, and so well expressed too.

Love, passion, and silence are subjects that recur through this collection. But the perspective is very different from the usual...

"For even the hour and minute needle
Meet only twice a day,
Constant in conflict,
Constant in variation."

The sound of silence is loud in the words of Prerna Khatri. The voice of reason that tells you to enjoy the view, the ride...

"You might got numb, have chills,
At how much you've missed around you.
The silence in the wind,
The silence when you breathe,
The silence when you listen,
Everything's being lost,
In moments of unending speech.
Find that silence.
You'll find life.

It's waiting to be heard."

I enjoyed reading Prerna Khatri's poems. But what really left a mark were the many insights hidden in these verses.

"...the soul gives up faster,
Than its physical being."

There are some emotions I don't agree with, or maybe I should say I don't relate to. Whether I relate to the thoughts or not, I appreciate their expression.

Prerna Khatri's Thousand Unspoken Thoughts is an interesting ride. You journey into the many facets of feelings along the way. Some thoughts astonish you, others make you smile. 
I liked some more than others, but when I was done reading each one of the thoughts, I realised that they have left me in a reflective mood.

"How beautiful would it have been
If the world was blind,
And all that was left was human touch?"

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The italicised text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Thousand Unspoken Thoughts’ Brings Together The Collection Of Poetry Of An Amateur Poet Who Uses Words To See Through The World. Prerna, Though Being An Advocate By Profession Believes That Writing Is Where Her Heart Lies. The Collection Is A Passage Through Her Mind, Where Innumerable Dreams And Aspirations, Are Brought Down To Ink. Her Writing Is Not Confined To Any Age Group; Hence, No Censor Certificate Is Required. Keeping That Thought Aside, She Believes In The Power Of Ink, And Her Poems Stand As Witness. 

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Saturday, 17 September 2016

A touching story of struggle and hope (Book Review: Akash Verma's A Broken Man)

Title: A Broken Man
Author: Akash Verma

A Broken Man is the story of Krishna and Chhavi.

Krishna, the guileless, Dalit boy, who has dreams. He has experienced too many harsh realities of life to be openly ambitious. But he has dreams, and sensitivity, and talent.
"My dreams are like a fire burning inside my heart."

Chhavi, the daughter of a powerful politician, belongs to high caste. She has had a sheltered enough life to naively believe that she can change the world. (This perception of Chhavi is the realist/cynic in me talking.)

A Broken Man starts in the glittering world of Bollywood, soon to go back in time to Lucknow University.

Through the words of Krishna, the author has portrayed the convoluted issues of politics and caste and caste politics with a surprising simplicity.
"It's only here unlike any other place in the world that you are born with two identities - your religion and your caste. You may not have a name, but you will have this identity sticking to you like your shadow. Wherever you may go, it will walk with you, never leave you alone."

A Broken Man is about a world that I know exists, but thankfully not from personal experience. A world that I have had a glimpse of when a certain someone is served tea in a cup that is kept aside and is not to be used by the rest of the 'superior' lot.

I know I am lucky that it is not a world I know. Lucky because this world of discrimination is poison for the one who discriminates and hell for the one who is discriminated against.

Akash Verma writes little details very effectively. A meal at a restaurant, the first experience of holding hands - there is a raw, hesitant tone to the author's expression in such situations. 
His narration is such that I feel I have seen the world of Krishna and Chhavi.

Even a fleetingly mention incident leaves an impact.
"He could never forget what he last saw of his family as they unsuccessfully tried to defeat the mammoth force of the ravaging stream. The sleeve of his younger son's red-coloured check shirt, that he had got stitched for a cousin's wedding the previous year, and the pain in his wife's eyes as she looked at him for the last time before getting pulled down by the gushing water. Was it the fear of death, the pang of separation or the helplessness of being the chosen one to die so wastefully?"

You, as a reader, live them with the characters.

The Hindi poems, which according to the story are from Krishna's pen are brilliant.
Some verses are translated in English too, but I feel that reading them in Hindi gives you a special insight into the thoughts of the writer.
And there are the stories that Chhavi tells, treasures that her grandma has told her. Really good.

The cover of A Broken Man is poignant. The defeated stance of a man imprisoned and all alone, overwhelmed by the chaos all around.

Dirty politics, caste discrimination, impossible relationships, and hope against hope... sounds like a filmy story. It actually is and I mean it in the best way possible.

Akash Verma's A Broken Man is a story of struggle and injustice that moves you. But despite its' title and the heartrending path the story takes, it is also a story of innocent wisdom, beautiful poetry, love, hope, and dreams that come true. 
I am happy I read it.

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The italicized text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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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.

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About the Author - Akash Verma

Akash Verma is an entrepreneur. 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. Akash is currently based out of Gurgaon, India. He is fascinated by Cinema, Literature, History and Travel.

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