Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review: I am Papa

Author:  Pranav Bhattacharya
Format: papaerback
Language: English
Pages: 246

Price: 150 (cheaper on internet retailers)
Publishers: Expression publishing

“It is burden of being a father- retirement never seems blissful!”- quoting a papa I know of. The cover of the book-“I am PAPA” gives you a half profile of an old man- you might begin to wonder- a half face profile?—I guess it is meant to bring out the ordinary feature of any senior citizen, any father, any retired man and anyone who harbors more acumen that what meets the eye. And Prof. Arya is one such a man. Like all other senior academics he thought retired would be blissful- a span of life that would be void of running about, attending classes, and carrying out the burden of a man in service.

And troubles are known to come to your home unannounced-the youngest son of the house goes missing. It is a question of decision- a test of self criticism- for a man who had lived half of his life demeaning the boy, considering him nothing better than a day dreamer- where he should go on, how should he take action and  look for the bemused prodigal. The story is about a father’s journey from one place to the other, a journey where he meets people from all walks of life, rubs shoulders with sadhus who can cross all limits of indecency. He encounters social figures living under the belly of metro cities, flies off to unknown destinations with pimps and human traffickers so as to say. The plot will, in short never give you a reason to stop at one place. A book that carries the essence of movies like “a Wednesday”, “sarhansh”- it is easy to follow the shadow of a man who is in search of his son, and it is equally painful to become a by stander to watch panic stricken faces of the older son and the grieving mother. Help comes for places least expected- think of a high profile prostitute joining the search party- a foreign small time news channel making a show stopper out of a humble teacher. Yes, it does sound like ‘Ripley’s believe it or not”- but as a part of a racy story- all the twists and turns fall in place one after the other.

I believe something should be kept incomplete- just like the story of Karina and Mel. They clandestine relation even if pictured out in reality would stop at a dead end. Otherwise- the story should go on and find its own way in the form of a sequel- we need to know what happens to Prof. Arya, how well does Sunil understand the strange way of his father’s sacrifice and adoration? And we need to know how the Saffron clad brigade of the now exterminated Big Man retaliates?!

About the author:

Pranav Bhattacharya is a Banker by profession.  An engineer by initial training, he went to business school at the University of Texas at Dallas for an MBA. He lived and worked in the US for 10 years, before he moved back to India, to become a part of her success story.

Pranav has been married for almost a decade, and lives in Pune with his wife and 2 children.

He presently works for a Financial services provider in Pune.

Further details:


contact author at:        Mob number : 9552561011


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review: The Long Road

Author: Dr. Vivek Banerjee
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 176

Price: Rs. 150.00
Publishers: Cedar books ( Pustak Mahal)

Yes! Every one falls in love, or let’s just say it” oh Gosh, we tend to fall up and down that bumpy road marked with roses and hearts:. Now, why bumpy? Yank your head- bumpy because, roses have got thorns and if the heart is involved you got to have heart breaks and heart aches. Yes, as I said, people from all walks of life have the right to fall in love. We have engineers drowning in the sea for it, we have lawyers quitting their logical senses- and getting “dillogical”. Just, when I learnt about Dr. Vivek Banerjee’s “The Long Road”- I had the following thoughts cropping up.

  1. 1.    Good- now doctors are head logging with IITians and writing love novels

  2. 2.    Wow- doesn’t seem a racy less rehearsed plot.

  3. 3.    OK well- got pairs to judge marriage, love and relationships

  4. 4.    Oh well- seems like I am saved from getting into the shadows of Mr. “I”.

  5. 5.    A Doc writing could also mean medical terms gnawing at me, (cold shivers) “Do I need to check medical tomes now!!

The days were saved but for point number five. The oldies would remember the song, “ajib dastaan hai yeh”- Raj Kumar and forever white saree clad Meena Kumari. The 'Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi'- silent adoration and the rest. I wanted to draw your attention to it simply because there the medical terminologies were missing, by God’s grace!
And if we are not looking at point 5 but the rest- I should say- “HMM, now I know why The Long Road- was the shortest way to the heart.”

Innocence is the right chord to make the readers at home with the book and simplicity is the ever burning torch that serves as the guide through the mazes of the mind. The words long Road, seems tell you that to understand the mutual ways of human adjustment, to survive through the thinning lines of relationships, you need to go through methods- the road is never the same for each one of us- yet the emotions overlap.

The tale smoothly swirls around Hina and Ranjiv-perhaps more so around Rahul and Sarika. Where one couple is still trying to understand the reasons behind what makes them stay together- falling in and out of love marks their journey: the other pair is more into adjusting through life, giving up on little things yet even one of them do feel the pang of inner mind. The idea of the Lion getting his super share is lost in between, when a man lives by the rules his wife makes for him.  
The chemistry between Hina and Ranjiv are perhaps present in the plot to reveal the nuances of the real society, whereas the other couple delineates experimentation- pushing the laws at the brink and forcing variations that might snap off ties any moment.

I would suggest readers to consider “The long Road” quite akin to the one each one of them is walking on. The reading style afterall does project required maturity to address relationship issues.

My Rating: 4/5

About the Author:-

A pediatrician by profession, Vivek Banerjee lives in Saharanpur with his parents, obstetrician wife and two children. The pressures of his profession leave him with little leisure but he still finds time for his varied interests. An avid traveller, he has covered the length and breadth of the country in real life and the rest of the world in his imagination.  A voracious reader, music lover, self-confessed geek and an amateur ornithologist, he would rather walk the road less travelled, given the time and opportunity. A Bengali by birth, he has grown up in various towns of North India and studied in many different schools and colleges. He started writing on Rediff blogs where he is known as Ben and went on to write this novel. He has also authored many short stories as a preparation for writing this novel.
Further Details:

 Online links to buy books:- Can be bought from major online portals.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review: Love at First Sight and Other Stories

Author:  Deepak Karamungikar
Format: papaerback 
Language: English
Pages: 136
Price: 100/-
Publishers: A S Arts

Deepak considers “”love at first sight & other stories” as a memorable selection of his very own choicest blog posts that have been a apart of his “Stochastic Chronology”. The blog that claimed the attention of several online blog readers ran from February 2009 and ended in July 2010. With applause streaming in from all corners, the man behind the show had to preserve some of the eye catches in the form of a book. It is a great initiative- to write a book for the sake of keeping art alive, so as to say.

Penning down poems is easy, for if you have the thought running inside you, if you have the power to assemble the prodigal words, scribbling in out becomes a piece of cake with a cherry as a topping- with assorted pouring out?- voila! That’s like a creamy punch! The same unfortunately cannot be said for novels, shorter- novellas- shorter- short stories (keeping aside 55 flash fiction –the newest Twenty-twenty member of the fiction world. Looking for mystery, illusion, intrigue, fun and conceit- Deepak assembles all of it in each of his masterpieces. You have characters turning into ghostly apparitions, gamble hub frequenters avenging each other. Elite socialites living starry existence and as readers, you can just marvel at it with awe.  Having said this, at one point of time, they end up revealing their murky façade. Foolery and champagne follow in abundance, until you reach the remote nooks of civilization, where New Yorkers end up throwing their life at stakes of belle apparitions, and serial killers throttle beauties in confusion.

“Love at first sight”- comprises of unique selections like “Love at first sight”, “The Gambler”, “The Prince of Vijaypur”, “The Third Life”, “Summer of 1999”, “The Painter”, “The Fling”, “The Disorder”, “The Rebel” and “Alighted Doves”.

I would say, it is a good pick, the cover will make you think, but the stories will keep you rooted off your mind. Please don’t expect vampires and mermaids peeping from the pages, it is simply about real folks living among us, it is not a growing up series of shorts- if you are trying to learn how to sum up a story line in a couple of pages- BookMark “Love at first Sight”- for your book shelves. 

About The Author:

(This was taken directly from the author's website, on the request of the author.)

"I'm Deepak Karamungikar. I was born and brought up in Hyderabad, India where I now live with my parents, wife Bhavana and daughter Akshata. I like Pink Floyd, The Doors and Led Zeppelin in that order. I'm an MBA by accident and a writer by choice. I like narrating stories and hope to capture the reader's imagination with every sentence I write. Other passions include Al Pacino, Ram Gopal Varma, food, beverages, gossiping and humor."

Further Details:

Email id:   
Twitter: @deepak_narrates 

my ratings: 3.75/5

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Truly, Madly, Deeply- Book Review

Author:Faraaz Kazi
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 303

Price: Rs. 175.00
Publishers: Cedar books

Love stories do not die in India; they are born in full vigor like those saplings around the patriarchal/matriarchal tree we find in our village gardens. And again some of them travel away with luring planters and others become prodigal sons. The ones who are prodigal could be recognized from their experimental attributes- but don’t give up hope- for the sons of the soil remain rooted – just like Faraaz Kazi’s debut novel- “Truly Madly Deeply”. So what if the once lovely dovely heart throb of the class Rahul, has to settle off shores, turning into a stone man eventually, beating away bullies who dare to touch his notebook filled with a milieu of love scribbles,  in his very heart- only one name remains craved out- “Seema”.

With no intention to tell the readers, the story in brief (for we all know, the real age old non changing love story formula), I would like to draw focus upon other things. The prime eye catchers of the novel are the pages devoted to poems. Don’t think, simply because I write poems myself, I will start speaking about poems at length. Poems pour in romance and the emotions coming in package along with it- lifting the narrative above many of the other contemporary novels- flooding the markets and perhaps even clogging the readers’ pipe lines in the name of experimentation. Remember those prodigal saplings!

Kazi’s “Truly Madly Deeply” remains truly attuned to the Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones so-unlike Savage Garden lyrics, until the last paragraphs of the novel. The wounds on the heart made by a failed affair pays no heed to the friends’ sugar coated words for the scar remains behind reminding the owner of  the face of his lost beloved. The story conveys the gradual growth and the falling apart/snapping apart sinews of two teen hearts- like their pioneers Romeo Juliet, Leila Majnu- so on and so forth.

For a change you can cast aside your Mills and Boons- and get into this new age bookish Bollywood representations of loving till the end of life and moving on when no hope remains. Faaraz creates the aura, the appeal, and ornaments his words-that will keep away rampant readers. This book might be dealing with the commonest of all things-yet this not a pulp fiction. A story of living through, surviving through separation with the supports of poetic verses and the changing time piece… Now, am I recalling Katherine Mansfield’s evergreen story “The Fly’- time healing syndrome does much- the rest is yet another story.

About The author:

Faraaz Kazi is currently pursuing his post-graduate studies in management in Mumbai. He is a certified soft-skills trainer and runs his own academy in the same field. He completed his creative writing from XIC and obtained a diploma in freelance journalism from the British Institutes. He is fondly referred to as ‘The Young Marketer’ and operates a revolutionary blog with the same name and writes for major media houses on the same subject. He is a fellow member of the esteemed ‘Film Writers Association of India’. 

Further Details:

FB profile- FaraazSKazi
Twitter- FaruKazi
Fan page of the book- TMDbyFaraazKaazi
Author blog-
Official website-
Reach him at-

Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Review: Chanaya's Chant

Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Format: papaerback/handbound
Language: English
Pages: 468
Price: RS.195
Publishers: Westland
 When did the last time I felt complete after reading a book- well! It was “Midnight’s Children”, it was “A hundred years of solitude”, it was “The great Indian novel” and it was “Chanakya’s Chant”. I was hunting for books that would give me a chance to experience parallel plots running through the very veins of the book. The sheer shift from present to the past in the very first chapter was what I was looking for. And more than “Rozzabal Line” the author’s “Chanakya’s chant” succeeded in quenching that thirst of a wandering soul. The spine thrilling chants-“Adi Shakti, Namo namah; sarab shakti, namo namah;prithum bhagvati, namo namah; kundalini mata shakti; mata shakti, namo namah’- will stay with you even after you have dived into the early years of the making of Sanghi’s modern day Kautilya Pandit Gangasagar Mishra.

The novel salutes a saint more known for his cunning ways to avenge his father’s death and for his “arthashastra”- that can be placed only beside other masterpieces like Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. But Sanghi’s Chanakya is a man of flesh and blood- whose chants will feel the air and drive you back to those ancient days, when India was nothing but a group of fighting kingdoms; whose kings were carousing in wine and womanly pleasure and whose ministers would run the states much with the interest for filling up their own coffers. Intriguing he must be, but never so enchantingly overpowering- Sanghi makes impressive arrangements to make Chanakya more enigmatic by bringing in his present day reincarnation- Pandit Gangasagar Mishra.

If Chanakya is the cunning ever scheming Mishra of the fictional India, then modern day reincarnation of the much favored Chandragupta Maurya is none other than protégée Chandini Gupta. Both the masters aim to see their disciplines at the highest seat of power. Through calculated deceit, shrewd manipulation of the goon power, and proper utilization of the erstwhile “divide and rule” they achieve their dreams- even if it means to sacrifice their personal desires, interest and passions. A master can live in a thatched hut or a murky lane of an industrial belt in dusty Kanpur seat. But his focus remains on the throne of Magadha and the seat of the Prime Minister of India simultaneously.

Sanghi creates the dungeons of the ancient world with equal dexterity as he builds up the political character of his white clad fictional figures. This book is recommended to those who had a history of hating HISTORY, to those who would love to read indianized Frederick Forsyth, and even to those who are ready to stay hooked to books from the first page to the last full stop.

My personal reviews:

Honestly speaking, ROZABAL LINE brought connections with MR. Brown, only because both, MR. Sanghi and MR. Brown, wrote on the same topic. I think, if we put out the patriotic clique, and just say weaving a tale with three parallel plots and building a story out of the whole historical contest should call for standing ovation, I don't think I am saying too much. Chanakya's Chant did the same, we do...n't need to bring out controversial novels, we need original novels and if we still believe that history repeats itself- then the two novels are righteous followers of the same. Have recommended and gifted friends this book- and told them..."you don't need to look to west to understand how stories with parallel narratives are born, you can read Ashwin's two books and also Gao Xingjian's 'Soul Mountain" to learn more about it.

My ratings:5/5
This review is a part of the
 Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!