Monthly Archives: December 2011

Book Launch Of “Two Fates: The Story Of My Divorce”, By Judy Balan

Book Launch Of Two Fates: The Story Of My Divorce, By Judy Balan

 

As I walked in to Landmark for the book launch and reading session of Judy Balan’s debut novel – Two Fates: The Story Of My Divorce, I looked around to see if I could spot her. Amidst the crowd she easily passed off as a kid…alright a teenager! Yes, you read me right. A teenager. A young, chirpy one (and I’m tempted to add bubbly too) at that. Her smile, definitely infectious…and her book – oh! So lovable!!!

 

The session had an equally excited young moderator interacting with Judy. Answering the volley of questions with ease, Judy let us on some fun facts too. “This is more of a parody on Two States: The Story Of My Marriage, by Chetan Bhagat,” she confessed. 

 

“Yes, I’m divorced but this is not my story at all. The story of my divorce would turn out like one of Stephen King’s novels!” she laughed.

 

Taking digs at the typical character traits of some of the South Indian aunties she has come across in real life, Judy spoke about her experience of penning the novel and how things somewhat fell in place within a short frame. “It feels like a Cinderella moment, honestly.”

 

Judy read out about a page or two from her book. And I believe no one spaced out. In fact, I am sure, people who heard her read out the passage must’ve run to get themselves a copy of the book. The staccato writing style, I noticed, is one major factor that brings alive the fun that the auhtor intends to present to her readers.

After the interactive bit, she signed a few copies for the eager audience and of course smiled for the shutterbugs. 

  

Thankfully I had enough time to interview her, which you all will read soon. But for now, let me confess, I had a great time at the launch interacting with this fun spirited cherub. And her book is a must read for everyone!

 

P.S – there is no compulsion in wrapping up the book within two hours, really. Though many have done it.

(*Pic of Judy Balan by Siddhesh Kabe)

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Book Review of “Love’s Journey” by Rashmi Singh

Love’s Journey

By Rashmi Singh

 

In this world, where nothing works, faith and hope keeps us moving. This forms the crux of Rashmi Sing’s debut novel- Love’s Journey.
An endearing journey of a girl seeking love, Love’s Journey shows the struggle that Jennifer Sebastian undergoes to attain the love and affection she truly deserves.
Jennifer Sebastian loses her family to a communal riot at a tender age of fifteen. Facing hardships and orphanages to end up in Mumbai was not the kind of life she had expected or deserved. But once in Mumbai, working as an “extra” in Bollywood, Jenni lives in poverty, with her infant son, making all compromises in life that she could to give him a decent living.
The author seamlessly knits the emotions and hardships faced by Jenni who is trying to make a place for herself in a city of big bad wolves.
Jenni is mothering an illegitimate child, stuck in a web of lust, fear, poverty, corruption, greed and the endless upheavals one could imagine. Life’s miseries do come to an end but not easily. Crushing some dreams, braving some realities, facing the evil, only to provide a decent life to her child, Jenni decides to walk the path of compromises (with her body) and what happens thereafter is what makes the story a readable one.
The tale projects the true colors of life. And each color with its varied hues. Faith, distrust, anger, love, lust, sex, emotions and so many emotions blend seamlessly to spin a yarn of a capturing tale that engrosses you till the very end.
Living in the slums, bearing lewd remarks and lusty advances, living a dark depressing life, Jenni eventually gets her place in the sun, professionally as well as in her personal life.
Readers would at a point connect with the characters, esp. Jenni. Her innocence, her naivety, her strengths, her fears…her love, all make her one of the most loveable of all characters.
People in and around her life portray real (dark) streaks- Jay Kumar, Shambhu Vasan, Shantanu Arora, Deepak, etc. Kudos to the author for bringing out such finer traits.

Just a few hiccups:
The writing has a certain flow but at places, I feel, I could’ve been edited or written more crisply.
Stressing on certain details (one too many times) doesn’t make it any more important.
Bits and parts of the tale seemed very predictable.

But overall, it was an entertaining and enjoyable read.

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Book Review of “Prey by the Ganges” by Hemant Kumar

Prey By The Ganges

By Hemant Kumar

A gripping tale of friendship, resistance, endurance, power, corruption, and the courage to beat it all, Prey By The Ganges is the debut attempt of Hemant Kumar. And what a debut!

This clearly is among the most captivating books I’ve read in a long time.

Set around the Independence era, the book offers a very real and earthy image of India (esp. Bihar) back then.

This book certainly has it all. From a very invigorating book cover, to the heart-felt and wondrous acknowledgement that got me hooked to the author’s narrative skill, to the story of course.

The taut and gripping plot makes this book “unputdownable”! So, the story opens with the gruesome death of Ravi, Vaidya Shambhu Nanadan’s best friend (in fact the only friend) near the banks of the holy Ganges. Shambhu, accompanied by a very loyal and trust-worthy servant Hariya see Ravi brutally beaten by dacoits. Ravi breathes his last in Shambu’s lap.

The story traces their backgrounds and the reason of Ravi, Shambhu and Hariya being near the river on a full-moon night. Shambhu sets out to complete Ravi’s initial set plan, and to seek answers from the murderer and yes, to avenge the death of his friend. You witness the story of the feudal lords – the two brothers – Thakur Gajanan Singh of Narainpur and Thakur Suraj Singh of Janak Ganj, who thrive on power and lust and emotions that rule the head not the heart; the glamorous thakurain catching the fancy of most men; the mystery of the diamond…and oh so much more!

I do not plan on giving out any details. It is for you to pick up and read and find out. With its language so rich and lucid that it makes you read without a break; a plot so thick that it engulfs you in its depth; suspense and thrill so mesmerizing that keep you at the edge of your seat as you turn the pages; and the characters so real that one could almost see them around you; the book delivers the satisfaction (of reading a thriller) to the tee!

It was a pleasure reading this book. And I, for one, look forward to the sequel.

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