Wednesday, October 21, 2015

You & Me

Modern world has made our life relaxed with many facilities, amenities and technologies. But has it given us true peace and happiness? If we look around carefully then we would find that actually these modern world and its flaws has made human being alone. Social media has connected us with whole world. City, state, country are no more barriers. But don’t you guys feel that actually it has widened the gaps between the families living together?

Instead of discussing lives of others let me focus on mine as my own family also suffers from the same issue. As soon as all the members are gathered at evening, we have our dinner. Till it everything is great but as soon as dinner gets over, all of us get engrossed in our smart phones and laptops. Instead of discussing whole day’s activities, we used to get involved in our smartphones. Not only on weekdays but also on weekends, it became the schedule for us. We would be together, on same sofa, in same room, in same house but virtually we were so away. Busy in chatting or playing games became our schedule. We were together physically but not mentally. Sometimes this thing affected me, especially when we would say something but other would not pay any heed to it. This thing irritated us the most. We decided that we would not allow this kind of thing anymore. Both of us had decided that we would remove this obstacle between the Real Togetherness. Both of us firmly believed that being physically together was not the real one but being mentally together was the real togetherness. We decided to spend our leisure time and weekends in company of each other and nature.

We just shifted to Pune and unlike our flat in Delhi, this one is surrounded by greenery and a farm-facing balcony. As weekends approached, we just dumped our phones and laptops in cupboard and shifted to balcony with mugs of tea and bean bags. We spent the whole day enjoying clouded weather, watching different birds and recognizing different types of plants and trees. We were so engrossed in watching plants, holding our hands that we didn’t realise that we had spent almost half of the day. We were about to withdraw from our balcony but something caught his attention and he exclaimed,” Sonal, look. There is a cat with its kittens. They are so cute.” We clicked pictures of them. Yeah, yeah only for the pictures, we got the phone out of cupboard. As soon as we clicked pictures we put it back.

 During these nature oriented weekends we also planted Mango tree and it started blooming in one or two weeks.

Now we have got rid of our habit of using phone and have focused developing the greenery around our flat and working together in garden has made us realize the real meaning of Real Togetherness. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review of Paradise Lost & Regained by Ratnadip Acharya

About Author:

A NIT Jamshedpur graduate, Ratnadip lives in Mumbai where he works as an Electrical Engineer. He contributed many inspirational stories in different collections of Chicken Soup for the Soul. His first novel, Life is Always Aimless…unless You Love it was published in December 2012 and was received well by the readers across the country.

Storyline: 3.5/5

A little deer and its journey from her mother’s womb to self-realization.  

Writing Style: 3/5

From storyline one would get confused. Can this much simple idea be turned into a wonderful novel? You would surely say yes, if you have read Ratnadip Acharya’s ‘Paradise Lost & Regained.

This work by Ratnadip reminded me of Jatakkathas and Panchtantra kathas from ancient Indian literature, where we had animals as characters. They preached about life’s valuable truths and philosophy. Same is the case with Paradise Lost & Regained. A life from its beginning, right form the womb of mother is presented through view of a Deer. Her experiences in world. Her departure from her mother due to mother’s death is the most agonizing part of the novel. Her sole wanderings come to end when she is captured by zoo authorities. From here her journey becomes most beautiful one in form of learning.

Very few have the skill of storytelling and I must say writer has got skill of storytelling and the power to mesmerize reader with his writing. The very beginning of novel is so captivating. A child’s views on separating from its mother’s body are quite fascinating and it can be great read for women who are expecting.

Overall whole work is perfect with no confusions, no loose ends but in some parts it seems little bit stretched. Writer can surely improve on it. The story goes well where he just telling a story, it become stretchy when he starts preaching it so writer needs to focus on it.  

My overall rating for this work is 3.5/5.

Genre: Fiction
Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing pvt ltd.
Language: English

Monday, October 19, 2015

Review of Diabolical by Supriya Parulekar

About Author:

Supriya Parulekar is a published fiction author with five books. She likes experimenting with different genres and you will find something dark and mysterious in her. She has worked as a script editor for TV18, History channel.

Storyline: 3.5/5

Soniya is a superstar and queen of million hearts. She has everything fame, love, money, popularity, beauty. Everything. But as philosophy says no one is perfectly happy in this world and same is the case with Soniya. She is psychiatric patient. She suffers from depression and roots of this depression lies in her childhood. With greedy mother and loving sister Tania, will Sonia be able to survive in this ruthless world? What would be her fate? 

Writing Style: 4/5

This my first experience of reading Supriya Parulekar and this very work has made me admirer of Supriya’s writing style. A storyline which seems inspired from Bollywood but as soon as you open the book, it is already written for a friend who gave up. This very line however gives idea of the story. Along with unique story writer has poured life into it with help of awesome writing style. Now a days it has become kind of trend to use hard vocabulary to impress the readers but it has reverse effect. Instead of using it Supriya is much focused on entertaining her readers. With life like characters, which we will find around us as depression is becoming major and common issue now a days. One would find patients of depression moving around us and the difficulties they face is also mostly known to us.

Character of Tania, sister of Soniya is the life of story. Though she is younger, she has guts to save her sister from this rude world and her greedy mother. Relations are portrayed so realistically in this work. How parents’ abandoning can be harmful for children’s present, future and sometimes whole life. One or two incidents could be given more importance. Meher’s mystery could be more clearly. Her character could be given some justice as it is left to reader’s imagination power to imagine about Maher’s future and whereabouts.

Apart from depression, child abuse is second major issue which is discussed in this work and it penetrates our heart to see how destructive it can be. It does not destroy only childhood but whole life of a child. As the child grows up, he dreads the society and people around it. Through character of Soniya, Supriya has presented this heart wrenching fact very well.
Waiting for more and more works to read from Supriya. From this work one can easily predict the awesome future of the writer.

My overall rating for this work is 4/5.

Genre: Fiction
Paperback: 195 pages
Publisher: Gargi Publishers.
Language: English

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Review of Crumpled Voices 2 – Innocence Lost

Writing Style: 3.5/5

Crumpled Voices 2 – Innocence Lost is a collection of short-stories written by different writers on the burning issue of child abuse. Child abuse does not mean only physical but also a psychological abuse. The 17 stories from this book are based on various kind of child abuse. Be it child marriage, child labour, physical exploitation, mental torture and more.

Reading anthologies is quite fun and his fun doubles up when they are written by different authors. Crumpled Voices-2 is same kind of work of fiction. There are 17 stories and as they are written by different writers few of them have got uniqueness in it and few of them are reread.

Here is the list of the stories I liked.

The Lost and Found Self-respect is a story which depicts child abuse and very beautiful relationship of husband and wife with lots of trust and understanding. Writer has put all the emotions together very precisely and she has succeeded in creating a wonderful piece.

The White Lily is a story which would bring tears to eyes if you are really soft at heart. This is the second work I have read of the writer and once again she has made me fall in love with her writing style. The helplessness one feels when exploited by near ones is presented perfectly by writer.

The Shadow is powerful story of an abused girl who later on grows up to be mother of a daughter whom she saves from the same devil. Heart-touching story which will leave its impact on your mind.

The Guinea Pig is a story which gonna make you horrified at the use of small children in scientific experiments.

The Loud Silence is heart wrenching story of a prostitute who unwillingly sells her body. She wants small happiness from her life but god has planned something else for her.

Just a lucky day… or not? Is also a good one but its end could be more specified. The story revolves around belief of karma. As you sow so shall you reap.

Left to be estranged is magnificent story with the issue which many of us have faced at some point in our life and the importance of elder siblings.

That Shade of Vermillion is a story which will make you cry and tremble in your chair. The horrible tradition of child marriage and use of girl for benefits is described in this story.

Other works are also good and noticeable yet above mentioned stories are more effective as per my opinion.  good stories are not made of just good vocabulary but it also needs to have a different story-line.    

My overall rating for this work is 3.5/5.

Genre: Fiction
Paperback: 145 pages
Publisher: Gargi Publications.
Language: English

Review of The Arithmetic of Breasts and other stories by Rochelle Potkar

About Author:
Rochelle Potkar is a writer and poet. Her stories have appeared in several Indian and international publications. She lives in Mumbai. Her next book, Dreams of Déjà vu, is a speculative novel.

Writing Style: 3.5/5

Every form of literature has its own charm and way of presentation of life. Short story is considered a slice from life of the character. In novels we get to know about the character in detail directly from his birth or particular age till his death or his achievement of goal of his life. It is little bit easy for writer of novel to leave kind of impression about the character on mind of reader as he has got enough room. For me, writer of short story has got much task to do as in single incident of character’s life he has to present whole self of character. And I must say Rochelle Potkar has done her best in presenting a slice from characters’ life.

The Arithmetic of Breasts and other stories is a collection of wonderful stories depicting the hidden chambers and less discussed realms of human life. The basic of human life is discussed in these stories. Humans sexual desires, his curiosity for this forbidden fruit and the hidden self which comes on surface rarely.

First story The Arithmetic of Breasts is story of Narain and Munika. It seems lust to reader at first is transformed in love.

Second story The Room with a sea-view is an intriguing story. As title suggests love is an ocean. Ocean which is unmeasurable and unexplored. No one till this date has been able to get idea of ocean completely or love can we say? 

Sky park where we get to know about Jackie who loves Nic.

Dr. Love is a story of a lovelorn doctor who is cosmetic surgeon and how he tries to get back his lost love in form of a patient.

The scent of a conscience is story of two different person who have one common fact and its lust. Desire to get completed. Feelings of characters are portrayed so beautifully in story.

A place they call scary is heart wrenching and satiric story of Devdasi tradition. Devi or human, woman is supposed to suffer in every form.

Our Lovers is a superb story of what one craves and the other dreads the same.

The troll on page no. 16 is humorous story describing our hidden curiosity for others’ personal problems.

What men want is story of ever-changing mentality and desires of men.

All the stories have scent of variance in it but one or two of them is less affecting. Writing style has got a depth which lives impression on reader’s mind. Few of them will leave you thoughtful. Loved Rochelle’s writing style and wish to read many more works from her in future.  

My overall rating for this work is 3.5/5.

Genre: Fiction
Paperback: 100 pages
Publisher: 20Notebooks Press.
Language: English