BOOK REVIEW: INDELIBERATE DELIBERATIONS BY SHIVANSH UMATT

idPublication date: December 11th, 2017
Publisher: Maple Press
Pages: 66, Paperback
Links: Goodreads | Amazon India
Stars: 3/5
Source: Review Copy

Blurb: Indeliberate Deliberations is a collection of heartfelt poems, twenty in total on various themes.The book is divided into four broad themes – Latency, Abyss, Frost and Froth and Gory Musings. The poems borrow the recently popular art of free verse poetry, with no fixed structure. They express emotions, deal with heartbreaks, reminisce in the nature, or dance with the tunes of silent cacophonies. Composed within a short time frame of one year, you will surely relate to this tiny collection of short poems.


“Your tiny heart was pounding and

Your large bones were drumming

Against your coarse skin and

Your texture felt like rubble and

Your lungs puffed out air like

they’ve been waiting for so long.”


 

‘Indeliberate Deliberations’ is classified into four parts with respective themes: Latency, Abyss, Frost and Froth and Gory Musings. The writing style adapted in this book is basically free-verse poetry and one cannot help but picture the poet slamming it on stage (Slam Poetry form). The combination of powerful words and pertinent imagery transports compassion and empathy through your bones till the very end.

My Take:

Under the theme – Abyss, there are five poems, namely, Flowery Grave, Bereavement, Incurable, Black is Beautiful and Ignorance. The central idea of the theme inculcated in these poems revolves around unfulfilled desires, yearnings of the soul, loss and hopelessness. The poet has cleverly contrived to incorporate vivid imagery and brilliant use of pin-pricking metaphors. Admirably, he brings the reader to their knees, sympathizing with the rupture of every feeling. The key elements that magnanimously contribute to the poems are technical devices like repetition and enjambments.

LatencyMisidentification, Scraps of Poetry, Hollow Memory and Mosaic

Again, you can see excellent use of writing techniques and he’s put the tools of the trade to optimal use. But too much wordiness can be the downfall of a poem. However, one could spot the ingenious classification of senses in connection with the poem – Scraps of Poetry. A similar technique can be found in Hollow Memory where he plays on the elemental connections. Although I couldn’t help but notice references like ‘Colors of the Wind’ from the famous Pocahontas song, there seems to be a steady rhythm of reflection and refinement in these poems.

Frost and Froth Changing Colors, Breathlessness, River of Love, Callings of the Night, Learnings, Hyperbole, Silence and Turmoil

The poems under this theme are a play on nature’s beauty in synchronization with human emotions, scrutiny, suffocation, frosty relationships and pain. There are many references to darkness, the coldness of the soul, loneliness and maybe a hint of supernatural elements. Some radiate positivity through the battle cry – carpe diem, while the others lean toward a volley of rambling emotions. The poet could’ve avoided the overuse of blunt and cliched metaphors in certain places to add more precision to his poetry.

Gory MusingsUnforgivable, I’m Not A Poet and Equivocal Truth

I found the poems to be physically explorative with vivid imagery but not gory in the literal sense. The only flaw was the unidimensional pattern of telling a story through the poetry. However, the collective vibes of angst, frustration and denial add vibrancy to the poems.

Final Note:

There’s an abundance of talent in this sixteen-year-old who has penned down some bafflingly astounding poetry and he has a long way to go. Honestly, I’m hoping to read more of his poetry and witness the evolution of his writing style.

 


Notes:

  • I was given a copy of the book by The Book Planet PR for an honest and unbiased review.
  • The blurb is borrowed from Goodreads.
Advertisements

BOOK REVIEW: THE 365 DAYS BY NIKHIL RAMTEKE

the365days

Publication date: December 20th, 2016
Publisher: Write India Publishers
Pages: 178, Paperback
Links: Goodreads | Amazon India
Stars: 4/5

This is a story that falls through the crevices of pitiless anonymity, yet miraculously waits to be told.

Shijukutty, a Malayali fisherman, leaves his tiny hamlet of abject poverty in the coastal village of Vizhinjam on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, that picturesque vignette of searing beauty on the south-western coast of India.

Shiju, like millions of other Malayalis, seeks his destiny in Dubai, that gleaming global hub of fortune on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. What unfolds is a stirring story of distilled hardship, exploitation, identity, and friendship, and the heart-breaking choices Shiju is often forced to make.

So what he sees is not what he experiences when he lands in a world of glimmering towers, fast-paced life, and unabashed opulence. For what he was not prepared for was the dark underbelly of Dubai beyond the shimmering mirage.

Shiju’s life is no more the same. But he holds his ground, drawing on ancient instincts of his seafaring ancestry. As things settle down around him, he is inexorably pulled into the canyon of recession…

Will Shiju be able to hold on to his dreams? Will he able to pull out himself from the whirlpool? Will he survive against all odds? Will he redeem himself?

The 365 Days weaves a captivating tale about the countless Indians and other South-East Asian migrant labourers, who, in seeking to forge their destinies on that gleaming promontory of dreams, end up colliding with forces beyond their reckoning.

Nikhil Ramteke unfolds an extraordinary saga about Indian expatriates, their struggles, their alienation, and their dreams. The 365 Days is more than a story of a year in Shijukutty’s life.


“Memories were of the essence at the Camp where we lived from vignette to vignette.”


Plot:

The protagonist, Shijukutti is sucked into the glamorous mirage of Dubai. Fortified with nothing but dreams and hopes, he banks on securing a future for his family. Thus, the son of the sea takes a monolithic leap into the desert entrapment. He lands in an insensate labour accommodation camp, tethered to an iron-clad employment contract and submerges in drastic living conditions with six thousand others who suffer a similar fate. After getting conned by his own kith, he snakes through the venomous ordeals that will reshape his future forever.

My take:

The characters echo formidable tales and I got to live a piece of their lives through the author’s words. There was clarity in the display and depiction of emotions. In all likelihood, the poor are pitilessly scammed while the rich are handed a whiplash. It is tyranny infused with slavery.

The trauma and terror of the characters were deeply seeded into my brain. Sketched out with a reality so striking and intimate, the characters managed to sing their feelings with ease. An effortless intrusion into my heart and leeching out blood until there wasn’t a drop left. The venomous truth of the labourers in the Camp mirrored that of the deranged prison inmates. The word that constantly erupts throughout the book, it constricts your lungs, burns your eyes, ushering the tears with ease. Consider it welcoming!

The cover girl poster for Dubai will always be the scintillating sky-scrapers on the Sheikh Zayed Road, the ethnic scented souqs and the vivacious malls. This dreary side of the city is on the outskirts and it is frightening. And the chaos is contained professionally as the authority prevails with an iron fist. As the workers are transported from the living quarters to the workplace, they are (forgotten) lambs taken to the slaughterhouse. Nothing is worse than leaving behind familiarity. The simple pleasures of life, the warmth of the flesh of their kin, the scent of their partners, everything.

All the characters were insufferable (especially Jabbar Chettah) and special in their own way. The bond Shiju forms with Thavamani is a tear-jerker. And the former’s witty thoughts added the much-needed satire in the book.

Writing style:

The author had cleverly instilled a metaphorical approach in the book, balancing the elements of water and earth. He draws a stark contrast between the tossing and engulfing waves to the drudges and constricting grains of the desert (What the sea gives, the sand takes away!). Although the poetic rhythm of the lines remained intact throughout the material, there was a distinct overload of facts.

“Every night I would go to bed daydreaming. The morning after, in the light of reality and logic, everything would seem meaningless. Life was predictable and mechanical. Life was a handful of sand.”

Final note:

Everyone’s dreadful fears were elucidated generously. The story was armed with beautifully described emotions and relatable thought processes of the characters and will keep you glued to it until the very end.


My little anecdote:

Dubai, the city of dreams, succumbed to the insuperable glitterati. Growing up in ‘Dream City’ was thought to be a privilege. The begrudging kin in our native country assumed we sprawled in a bed of cash. Nope, it was not a cake-walk like they imagine it (for a certain section of the expatriates). I can safely say that my dad bled out sweat to support our family and we survived with the measly pleasures enchanting our lives. The struggle is very real and those with the jingling pockets got away with it all. They are the party-goers, spendthrifts, cutlery clinkers at the Michelin star restaurants, admirers of the smooth skin of belly dancers and much more.

My mom always told me that the life of a labourer was miserable as he slaved away for the prosperity of his family. Abandoning the love, comforts of his home, family and intimate relations with his beloved. The sacrifice oozes out in the form of sweat and blood. And the repercussions of their inconceivable decision adversely alter their lives (forever). I picked this book from Amazon.in because it reminded me of my second home (Dubai).

“The salt and the brine of the sea are magically therapeutic. So I shall heal.” 


Note: The blurb is borrowed from Goodreads. 

BLOG TOUR: EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO LOVE BY GAGAN MADAN

Everyone Has A Right To Love

By Gagan Madan

Life is too busy but it’s also too easy, if you look closer.

Love is too complicated but it’s also too clear, if you feel deeper.

Sometimes laughter is too difficult but a small smile can give us a lot of happiness.

 

Today we all are too busy to prove ourselves and to excel. We have no time for love and we hide our emotions and affection.

 

We always choose our priorities and we will always find time for things that we feel are important and those things which give us happiness. When we love someone, we start to care because love is a priority and not an option in life.

 

You also have a right to love, so keep loving, stay happy.


 

Amazon

Flipkart

Gagan Madan is a simple and young author from a small town of Madhya Pradesh, who stepped into the world of literature with his first book Unfinished Friendship, which was received well by people. He is a self loving introvert and loves to writes on common people and their unique lives.

As a student he never liked studies and reading, but at twenty one he started his journey as a writer and he is now acknowledged as a youth role model. He prefers silence to talking.

 


 

Join ‘The Book Planet Pr’ Bloggers Team

Find ‘The Book Planet PR’ On Instagram

Visit Us On Our Website

 

Book Review: Adventures in Farland by Moshank Relia

AIF_FinalCoverPublication date: October 19th, 2017
Publisher: Rumour Books India
Pages: 104, Ebook (PDF)
LinksGoodreads | Amazon India
Stars: 3/5
Source: Review Copy

Mira Rawat has heard tales of Farland all her life from her mother, who has described the magical place of gnomes, fairies, mermaids and animals, and especially its wondrous festival, the New Moon Party. Now, Mira has been informed by a man named Bushy that she has been invited by Princess Harmonica to attend the party. Bushy also uses a spell to turn her two friends, the mischievous and vexing boys, Bira and Vira, into rats so that they will not disturb the other party guests with their constant fighting and misbehaviour. At midnight, Mira, with Bira and Vira snuggled in her pocket, climbs Gunhill and is picked up by the pilot Starhead and flown in his plane to the party. However, the flight is cut short by a terrible wind, and Starhead is forced to land his plane near the Lost Forest. There, Mira discovers that Farland is in great jeopardy. Another Farland resident, Windman, has been generating great windstorms to prevent the Queen of Witches from reaching Dragon Hill. She intends to release the Dragon of Underhill, chained in its den beneath Dragon Hill, so that Farland will be burned and completely destroyed.


“Sunday is a fun day.”


Adventures in Farland is an endearing and whimsical tale of Mira Rawat and her boisterous twin buddies Vira and Bira. When Bushy, the messenger from Princess Harmonica extends an invitation to the New Moon Party in Farland, Mira can’t turn down the enticing offer. She ventures on a journey to the enchanting place buzzing with gnomes, fairies, mermaids, princesses, witches and queens.

Oozing with magical vibes and a reflection of Alice in Wonderland and The Adventures of Wishing Chair, this book swoops you back to your childhood days when your heart ached for nothing but a pure adventure. My personal favourite was the witch with the elixir apple to awaken the Dragon of Underhill (Way to go, girl). Although her evil plan fizzled out as she didn’t secure her ultimate weapon, she did go down swinging (and I loved every bit of it). And I almost forgot ‘The Laughing Village’ where the Policeman was adorable with the laughter pauses and broken sentences. I would feel positively at home if cast into it. The illustrations were on point, entrancing and beautiful, giving a certain finality to the fairy tale.

However, from an adult’s standpoint, you can’t help but see the flaws in the basic construction of the characters. Mira is the embodiment of beauty and bravery in this story, whereas Vira and Bira are trashed a bit for their naughtiness and sporting bellies. And their immeasurable craving for chocolates is entirely understandable. But I would’ve loved a crime-fighting trio instead of Mira taking away the cake in the end. The unfairness to the two characters nagged me a little because of their futile presence in Mira’s pockets as rats! If it’s any consolation, they got a redemption track of becoming well-behaved boys.

To sum up, this book is sweet and concise. A definite fun pick and I got a chance to rejuvenate the child in me, thanks to Book Planet PR.

adventures in farland.jpg


Notes: 

  • I received an ebook (pdf version) from the The Book Planet PR and my review is honest and unprejudiced.
  • The blurb is borrowed from goodreads.

Q&A with Sudha Kuruganti

sudha

Sudha Kuruganti has been writing since she was a kid of thirteen, first starting out by writing fanfiction of questionable quality. She’s now working on a novel. She loves books, anime, coffee, chocolate, manga, Beatles music, and dogs. Not necessarily in that order. When she’s not writing, Sudha works nine-to-five at a multinational organization in Gurgaon, India, dealing with corporate communications. In her spare time, she loves reading, working on various DIY projects, trying out new cake recipes and blogging.

After a nerve-wracking wait of three weeks, here I am, posting this exciting and mellow Q&A with Sudha Kuruganti, author of her debut novel Dark Things Between the Shadow and the Soul: Fractured Fairy Tales from Indian Mythology. She’s a super-cool person and I feel blessed to have read her incredible book and fan-fiction on her blog. Totally made me feel at ease and she freaking watches SUPERNATURAL! (NEED I SAY MORE?)

Let’s dive right into it then, shall we? (Here’s my review of the book.)

How did you conceive the idea of writing contemporary short stories based on Indian Mythology and what did it take to materialize into the book you’ve published today?

The book had its roots in Supernatural, a TV show that I enjoy watching. One of the pivotal episodes in the fifth (and final season to the story arc) depicted Indian gods in modern day USA—and while I enjoyed seeing gods I knew on screen, the ending for their story disappointed me.

I wanted to see more of that—figures from Indian mythology in modern settings, age-old gods and demi-gods dealing with a life where just one little twist had made things different for them. The idea of mythology fanfiction fascinated me.

I started out by writing a story a week, based on a set of fantasy writing prompts from a writing website. I posted the stories on my blog every Friday, and soon I had built an audience. At the end of the year, I decided to collect the best stories into an anthology. When I started out, I didn’t realise how much work it would take to self-publish—and do it well!

The title – Dark things between the shadow and the soul: Fractured Fairy Tales from Indian Mythology is quite intriguing. What made it click? 

The title is from one of my favourite poems, Sonnet XVII from One Hundred Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda. The original line is from a translation by Stephen Tapscott, “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved/in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

I think it captured the essence of the book—something that’s not easily defined, a sense of mystery lurking between the known and unknowable. Given that the genre of the book is so fluid—mystery, thriller, paranormal, horror, romance—all based on Indian mythology, I felt it just fit.

What kind of research did you indulge in to write this book? 

I’ll admit that I didn’t do too much research! I tried hard not to fit the mythology to my stories, I wanted the story to flow naturally and not seem like a force-fit.

I’ve always loved stories from mythology, so I know quite a bit about Indian mythology to start out with. When it came to getting a story ready for each week, I would let the writing prompts sit around for a week, which is when inspiration would strike. It would all flow very organically, from inspiration to idea to a link to Indian mythology.

Dark Things is a retelling of the age-old stories from Indian myths and epics with a modern–day twist. Do any of the characters bear similarities to people in real life? 

Not even a little bit. Some of the stories feature gods and goddesses in the modern day world, but some also just twist the well-known myths themselves with one tiny change from the original—what if a hero from the mythology we’ve grown up with was really secretly evil? How would a legend from mythology have played out if it had happened in real life, with human beings? These were the questions I tried to answer with characters I made up for the book—none of the stories have any relation to anybody or anything in real life.

Plunging into the writing/publishing world can be an experience filled with mixed emotions. How did you handle it all since this is your very first book?

I’ve always wanted to have a book with my name on it—and since I live half of my life online, I thought I’d take the plunge and self-publish. It’s not as easy as it looks! There are so many things to get right—editing, cover design, formatting—and then, of course, sales and marketing, which isn’t a piece of cake when you’re on a shoestring budget. I’ll be honest, there is a sense of disappointment when your first book doesn’t do as well as you hope it will, because everyone wants to be an E. L. James or a Hugh Howey!

Then of course there’s that immense sense of pride at finally getting the book out into the world where it can go out and become part of someone else’s life—like it has yours! It’s a wonderful feeling when one gets good reviews—it’s great to know that something I created made someone smile and made them happy.

Juggling your blog and writing projects, how’s that like?  

Not easy! There are days when I come home from work and can’t write a single word. About anything. There are months and months when my blog languishes in the doldrums with no new posts. (Like right now. Eeep.)

And then there are days when words just flow from my mind to my fingers to the screen and I can’t write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. The challenge is to make sure that there are more of the latter than the former.

Your preferred mode of writing first drafts. 

With a first draft I just write exactly as I hear the words in my head. I try not to stop the flow of the words when they come. When it’s all down on paper, as it were, that’s when I need to go back and edit, rewrite, redo and fix any errors that jump out at me on the first read.

How do you cope with writer’s block? 

Not very well, I’m afraid. One of my fan-fics has been left unfinished for a long time now, and it took a similarly long time for me to get started on the rewrites of my novel. When I’m in the block, it’s like I’m struggling to walk through wet sand. Every word is a struggle, every sentence a battle. But you have to keep going. Whether it’s a month later, or a year later, you have to start writing again. And one day it will come naturally again.

Some of your all-time favourite authors and books. 

I love all the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett, but my favourite is Nightwatch, because I love Sam Vimes as a character. Another favourite is Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Coming to the others, there are too many to list—childhood favourites and books I can read again and again, like Daddy Long Legs, Anne of Green Gables, TickTock and more.

What do you do in your downtime?  

Read. Write fanfic. Watch a lot of TV. Read a lot of manga and watch a lot of anime.

What’s your current read? 

There’s a book of Rumi poetry that I’m currently working my way through. It’s beautiful imagery, but it takes some time because the words need to percolate in my head so I can really get what the poet is trying to say.

Are you working on anything right now? 

I’m currently working on my first novel—a paranormal thriller about an ordinary girl caught in a deadly situation. Here’s a short synopsis:

When Bhavani first hears someone knocking from inside her mirror, she thinks she’s lost her mind. Trapped in an unbearable home life, stuck in a dead-end job; she’s sure the pressure has finally caught up with her. But the being from the mirror promises to set her life right, and Bhavani thinks to herself: what has she got to lose?
And at first, everything’s perfect.

As time goes by, though, it becomes clear that Bhavani’s reflection isn’t what it seems. It has needs of its own—and some of them are decidedly bloodthirsty.

You can read more here: http://coffee-clouds.com/upcoming-novel/
~


That’s it folks, thanks for sticking around! You can check out more of Sudha’s work here. Follow and interact her on the social media pages: Facebook and Twitter

Note: The author blurb is borrowed from Goodreads