Euphoria

Tangled limbs
where do they begin
or end?
Cramped space,
encases me,
blissful, blessed,

Love comes
in small packages,
two,
in my case,

Priceless,
these moments clasped
to my bosom,
heart flutters,

Eyes,
glisten, gleeful,
treasured little ones,
Mine.

Advertisements

BOOK REVIEW: HOPE AND SUNSHINE BY DEBASMITA NATH GHOSH

hopeandsunshinePublication Date: June 28th, 2018
Publisher: Power Publishers
Pages: 199, Paperback
Links: Goodreads | Amazon India
Stars: 2.5/5
Source: Review Copy

Blurb: Naina Grover has an imperfectly perfect life, or is it perfectly imperfect? A Punjabi kudi from Delhi working in the city of joy, Kolkata is joined by her crazy cousin, Arjun and his sober friend Aditya to come of age while at a long – distance relationship which seems to be going nowhere. She knows it is a recipe for disaster but should she let go or not? Should she hope for the best? Hope she will be accepted?Hope she can settle down? Hope she can come to terms with a family secret bothering her for years now? Just hope. Keep hoping? And then, Hope welcomes a ray of sunshine. Naina welcomes you to look at life from her perspective. ‘Hop’e On!’


“Goodbyes are for those who love with their eyes because for those who love with heart and soul…there is no separation.”


When the vivacious Naina Grover struggles to balance her long-term relationship with boyfriend, Ved, enter Aditya, flaunting his suaveness and steely greys. How will she handle the pressure of the two men in her life in the city of joy?

Get your hands on Debasmitha’s debut novel – Hope and Sunshine to read more about the crazy life adventures of this dreamy girl.

My Take:

Book Cover:

The author has chosen a simple and chic cover to banner her story and although it might not be very impressive, it is certainly colour coordinated.

Characters:

Naina, Aditya and Ved are the golden trio around whom the story basically revolves. Arjun is the added bonus of a bonehead brother who brings the looney beans of being surrounded by family. Easily, he is that one cousin/best-friend who begs to be strangled and cuddled at the same time.

Naina is pitched as the gorgeous, kohl-eyed and unmatched beauty but we fail to see the description of the character rising to the surface. She could just be any hottie in my head, tall or short, no stress. I don’t know if I find that comforting by novel standards. Contrastingly, Aditya has the irresistible trademark ‘steely greys with a tinge of green’ and a side of the infamous ‘dark past’ which makes the protagonist go weak in the knees. The bland words like hot and handsome don’t do justice to our guy as my imagination begs for more detail to form a complete mental picture. Again, his character construction is so positive that the reader can’t help but root for him from day one which is a flaw and strength in itself because of the prominence of the instant hate for Ved. When these two are viewed from a comparative standpoint, cliched elements like the maturity level of Aditya and the proximity of the relationship between him and Naina play a key role in the development of the story. Ved, on the other hand, has nothing more than the nametag – “Boyfriend“.

Ved introduces a raw and insufferable feeling with his incessant addressing of ‘baby’ and successfully convincing the reader of his destitute nature. He takes little to no interest in what happens in Naina’s life and is hell-bent on shifting the spotlight of their relationship on himself. Through this disconcertingly cheap ritual, he easily becomes the taker and Naina, the giver.

Language and Writing Style:

Colloquialism may entertain the reader when it is rendered in a short dosage. It becomes a problem that cannot be overlooked when transformed into the prose itself. The story appeals to the reader with respect to the writing style as both are symbiotic. That was a major drawback for me as I wasn’t able to concentrate on the content of the book because of the aforementioned flaw. Also, the editing felt incomplete and kept diverting my attention from the story at hand.

Plot:

The simplicity of the overall plot invokes a sense of closeness with the characters as they are in sync with reality. Despite the clichés singing saliently throughout the book, I liked how the characters were relatable and frolicky. Although some loose-ends were hastily tied up in the end, the debut author manages to deliver a heartfelt tale of a girl filled with dreams and sunshine.

Final Note:

Looking for a light read while you travel or slacking at home during the weekend? This book is the perfect pick to just sit back and relax with a mug of cocoa.


Notes:

  • “I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset
  • The blurb is borrowed from Goodreads.

BOOK REVIEW: When love happens by Manish Kumar

51RM7xgo8aL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Publication date: November 6th, 2017
Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors
Pages: 138, Paperback
Links: Goodreads | Amazon India
Stars: 2.5/5
Source: Review Copy

Blurb: True love never dies. It is redefined every time you feel it. When Nish falls in love, little does he know the impact it is going to have on his life. Hailing from conservative backgrounds, love is
nothing less than war with the world for the lover and his beloved. Albeit limited communication, they still dare to dream of a life together. But with the pressure of attaining stability in life, he finds it
impossible to chase his dreams endlessly.
An unassuming man from a modest background, he fights helplessness
and challenges thrown at him by life, only to learn precious life lessons.
His faith in God gives him the strength to move on and find his calling
in writing and poetry. When Love Happens… is a tale of shattered dreams and redemption, of fear and fortitude, and above all, of the indomitable human will.


“If you are no longer important to someone, make yourself precious in your view. Let go.”


The Plot:

‘When love happens’ is Nish’s journey of falling in love and battling against all the obstacles life throws at him and a persistent quest to find peace and harmony.

My take:

The story opens to a window of forbidden love and the gruelling spell it has on Nish’s life. Love works in mysterious ways as he is torn between the million macabre thoughts that might cloud the minds of his family and the fact that he would give anything to be with his childhood love – G. It’s an ongoing war of raging hearts as we get to see the protagonist’s sacrifices and sufferings while he is in this wanton relationship.

The tone of the book goes on to be unidimensional from that point. All sorts of recklessness befall him and if I continue down this path I would end up telling you the plot-twist. But it’s mostly how uncertain life can be and the brutal unfairness of being in love and feel it’s the nastiest sting. Nothing is certain and a dark shadow of incertitude engulfs you in the worst possible manner. The protagonist faces a somewhat similar situation and the tale is of how he surmounts those hindrances.

As a reader, I was disoriented because of how brittle the plot-twists and the character developments proceeded. I think it’s only fair that the previous point is stated as I don’t want to sugar-coat my review with only the good stuff. Next time, maybe tweak the plotline a bit to the liking of the reader and infuse an element of surprise? (Just saying)

Writing style:

Coming to the best part of the book, he nailed the poetry (Shayari) with such precision that it honestly moved me. The author’s métier is poetry and he’s flaunted it in the right spots and serviced a great tenderness to it.

Woh thi koi oas ki bunde ya phir aag ki chingari,
Jala gayi dil mere phir se koi aag,
Mahsoos kar gaye hum kudarat ki is rachna ko…
Ye parwat, ye hawayaen, ye badal, ye jharne, ye panchhi…
Ye dhoon banaya jisne, phir se zinda kar gaya ek sangit…
Utar rha mere dil me phir se chhukar guzar raha koi…

Final note:

If you like any type of romance stories that you’d like to finish in one sitting, then this is your kind of book. No muss, no fuss, just a linear tale impregnated with beautiful poetry/Shayari.


Notes:

  • I was given a copy of the book by writersmelon for an honest and unbiased review.
  • The blurb is borrowed from goodreads.

BOOK REVIEW: Glitter and Gloss by Vibha Batra

661209004Publication date: October 18th, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
Pages: 190, PDF
Links: Goodreads | Amazon India
Stars: 4/5
Blurb:
Misha is a make up artist who, after a series of mishaps and twists and turns, falls madly in love with Akshay who reciprocates her love with ardour. The only hitch in this perfect romance is her prospective sister-in-law who thinks Misha is everything a Bahu shouldn’t be: garrulous, geeky, gawky, gainfully employed (especially the last bit). The questions is will Misha win Didi (and the Kha-Pee Panchayat) over with her Stepford Wife Act? Will she continue to be the poster child for the inherent evils of the Bahu Brigade? Or will she learn to ‘lau’ herself before the whole world and its wife can do the same?


“My only superpower however, is to get into all kinds of shit.”


Plot:

24-year-old Misha( a.k.a Mishkin, Kishmish) is passionate about her job the M.A.C store and aspires to be a bridal make-up artist one day. What will happen when she bumps into the country’s most eligible bachelor with disarming delectable features and not to mention heavily loaded with the green stuff?

My Take:

Misha’s individuality is marked by her overzealousness for her job and she’s easily lovable, funny as hell and relatable as a character. She’s got the kick-ass bestie who says and does what is anticipated and a hunky guy friend who loves her and practically pampers her to death. Not forgetting the eccentric mom dating a hot younger dude and that’s just a given. So yeah, you can check off all the elements pertaining to the crazy factor. Despite all the predictable plot-twists and affable characters, this book took me on a delirious ride and I loved every bit of it. The perfect rom-com which tickles your funny bones in the right spot. As expected, the protagonist’s failed attempts to “fit in” to get her happily ever after escalates things to a point beyond repair. But that’s just one part of this wonderful reading journey and this pick is bound to emanate positive vibes. Encompassing cleverly written humorous details in Hindi and pop culture references which make you nod in acceptance (like I see what you did there and that’s brilliant), the author makes this chic-lit click.

“Mamma’s like Jon Snow. Mamma knows nothin’.”

The leading man is your ultimate dream guy – caring, loving, protective and understanding, well, you know the drill. Remind me to get an ‘Indian’ guy like that in the future or just any guy for that matter. He’s plucked out of the ramp with the looks of a model, a Greek god incarnate and possesses the demeanour of a devilishly delicious Adonis. So yeah, the main man, Akshay Agarwal (a.k.a Akki) is the hottie with a swimmer’s body. Mishkin’s constant sexual comments about the hottie is a laughing riot on its own (my favourite was – loin-warming smile). I couldn’t help but picture Siddharth Malhotra the whole time because he’s definitely my version of an Indian Adonis. He gives you the Edward-y feels as far as the caring department goes for lack of better comparison. Admit it, we all wanted a partner like Edward at one point. Not a vamp specifically, just him as a person never failed to lose appeal. His sister, on the other hand, begs to be hated to infinity and beyond. The incidents that ensue in the coddling and consoling of this character takes up about a quarter of the book as she’s basically a stand-in mom-in-law and a super psychotic control freak (deep breaths).

“I give him my hand. HIs grip is strong and warm and soothing. Just like his voice. My womb positively quivers.”

Writing Style:

The strongest suit of the book and affirmatively it’s saving grace despite an unsatisfactory finale. With all the rampant drama going on, one would expect a drift in regularity or a sudden change in the course of the plot-twist, so, that turned out to be a bummer. However, the protagonist was portrayed to perfection and written with great precision on the thought-process front.

Final Note:

Perky, vivacious and hell of a lot of M.A.C product information that can save lives. I had a great laugh reading this one and you must give it a go. Overall, her writing style and the unimaginable comparisons infused with clever terminology (Hindi and a little bit if Sanskrit, I presume?) makes it a fun read.


Notes:

  • I received a copy (ebook) of this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 
  • The blurb is borrowed from goodreads. 

 

Q&A with Karan Sharma

karan sharmaAfter more than twenty years of working in a highly successful family business and owning a popular brand in the interiors industry, Karan decided it was time to get into self publishing—an idea that came to mind when he saw his son having so much fun reading books. It rekindled a latent passion for writing that he had developed after his college days, leading to his first book. It Happens, along with other books that will come out in due course, will be a testament to his storytelling and creative skills.
Karan has a beautiful family with two young boys, Aakash and Aayansh, and Aarti as his lovely life companion. He is a commerce graduate and a battle-hardened businessman. His other passions include both playing and watching cricket and football, as well as being an avid traveller. Loves cracking and listening to PJs.


“Writing stories is a passion. Making people emote to these stories is priceless.” 


So, I had the pleasure of interviewing this down-to-earth and fun-loving human being! Karan, thank you for being so kind and taking time out to answer some of my questions.

Here’s my review of the book. 


 

What inspired you to write a book based on this genre?

I don’t want to be bound by a specific narrative or genre and follow the famous tag line coined for Apple back in the late 90s…Think Different.
I want to write about unique and different topics. Thus when I decided to work on a love story, I wanted it to be different rather than the usual boy meets girl, followed by some complications etc. In the early 2000s I had developed a big crush on Meg Ryan and I believe if ever there was a contest for the cutest female in the world, she would have won it hands down.

That is when it struck me. What if I ever got the opportunity to be in a long term relationship with Meg Ryan would I let go of it just because she was elder to me ? This became the crux of my story…falling in love with the elder woman….this was the easier part but taking this relationship to its logical conclusion of a marriage was the difficult part especially with the Indian sensibility. This storyline really excited me a lot and hence the book It Happens.

How much of yourself do you put into your characters and were the any of the characters based on people you know?

When you write a book, a lot of things from the real life inspire you. One has to be very observant of things around as you never know when they could be just right for your story. As a writer I feel, the power of observation is extremely important to put logical line of thinking in the stories you write.

The entire story of It Happens when I penned it down the first time 10-12 years back, I imagined myself as the main protagonist i.e Gautam and Roshni as Meg Ryan, the famous Hollywood starlet whom I had a big crush on. All scenarios that Rohit, Gautam’s best friend brought up were all thought with me in the situation personally. If logically I decide not to marry the elder woman, what will be those scenarios and how would they pan out. All the points took a long time to think and debate their sensibility to the situation but it was indeed fun just to find yourself in the situation of reasoning so many doubts.

Every reader of the book has absolutely loved the character of Rohit, the witty, smart ass and suave delhi ka launda. Rohit is the character I wish I was whereas Gautam is the character who I am…strong on the outside but emotional and sensitive on the inside. I guess everyone wishes they are as funny and outspoken like Rohit and hence the fondness to that character.

The character of Gautam in terms of his physical presence as well as his work profile, I picked up from my very close school friend with the same name. He has done very well for himself and is currently a Director in Citibank Asia. He was picked up by Citibank for management training from India and has not looked back thereafter. That’s from where the Singapore part of the story was inspired.

Every character I write definitely has my touch especially when it comes to what I would do or how I would react to different situations…it brings out your goodness as well as the grey shades in your personality.

How did you know that ‘writing’ was your calling and where do you haul the passion from?

I am a big movie and television buff. I have always been fascinated by them and especially by the stories on which the movies are based. For me storyline is the key which holds the attention of the audience be it a reader or a movie watcher.

The film stars may attract you to go watch the movie but your liking of it will completely depend on whether you enjoyed the story or not. Similarly when you pick up a book, the first thing one reads is the blurb. If the concept of the story appeals you, then only the book is picked up.

When I watch movies my first instinct is to give my opinion on the storyline and then comes my take on acting. When you watch some movies, you get a feeling why did the director or producer even bother making it and wasting so much resources….few stories are just rehashed just because the original concept did well and you get a sense of deja vu. It was this instinct of being highly opinionated about stories that finally made me challenge myself to come up with themes which have to be different.

Does the title – ‘It Happens’ have any specific connotative reference and what made you zero in on it?

The original title of the story was kabhi kabhi which related very well to this unique relationship between the younger man and older woman. However when I converted the short story into a book to be published, I wanted it have an all English name. It happens got derived from kabhi kabhi...it is a catchy name and a title which is used as part of everyday conversation without we realising it.

Recall any funny incidents while penning down this book.

Since this was my first book, I was extremely eager to get it published and worked furiously towards completing it. My wife’s cousin Shreya an avid reader herself was the first reader of my book and helped plug in the gaps in the story. After reading the part of Gautam leaving Payal, she felt pretty emotional about her and prodded me to put a conversation between Payal and Gautam to explain the kissing event without which she refused to read ahead. The conversation between them which Gautam related as a flash back to Roshni took me couple of hours to write and was written at 2 am in the night at the Marriott courtyard in Ahmedabad where I was staying while on a business trip.
Shreya read it the next day morning and loved it and the story moved ahead.

Did you ever think about specking the book with a negative ending? How do you think that would have worked out for the leading characters?

There could have been various endings to the book…but I do believe in positive things and that’s what I want to portray through my stories. There is anyways too many negativities in the world we live in. For me ending the book with a smile for the reader and believing in love and destiny was the most apt. I even got feedback from a few readers that my characters were too goody goody as per today’s times which led to less tension and masala. I deliberately wanted to show my characters with the right human values and in a positive light. Such characters also do exist but due to our own pessimism we tend to overlook them.

Running a successful family business and satiating your urge to write, how do you manage to do both? Was there a phase in your life where you had to choose between the two?

Where there is a will, there is a way. Sometimes it is just destiny. Being your own business, it never came down to choosing between them as both are extremely close to my heart and I am equally passionate about both of them. Nowadays, I tend to reserve 1-2 hours for my writing work which seems to be giving me a good balance with my work as well.

Everyone has a tip to get out of a writing slump, what do you suggest?

New and fresh ideas can sometimes come anywhere. Personally, while sitting in an airplane disconnected from the world is the best place to come up with new plots. Recently on a 2 hour plus flight from Lucknow to Mumbai, I came up with the plot for my 4th book. Keep observing things around you and keep noting them down, I am sure you will get to use them sometime or the other in your book. When I am in the middle of writing the book, I am continuously thinking about the story while I am driving, eating etc, so that when I finally sit with my laptop I already know what I am going to write.

Scrawling down plot points or typing them on your phone/laptop, what do you prefer?

For me anything that I remember or observe or have to note goes on my mobile immediately. Most of my notes are on my mobile. Even if I have to speak anywhere or points of a business discussion everything needs to be handy on my phone. Laptop comes into play only when I start writing my book.

Do you surround yourself with specific objects that egg you to write?

I can actually write anywhere…for me table, chair, location is not important…what I need is my laptop and a peaceful environment.

All time favourite authors and books.

John Grisham’s Pelican Brief  was the first book I read of his and still remains my favourite.

Music that you connect to writing.

The music of silence, I mean literally.

Your current read.

The Nice Guy Who Finished First – A Biography of Rahul Dravid

What are your future writing projects?

I am currently working on a romantic thriller which is currently titled What If. I am hoping to release the book by April or May 2018. After this will be a story about the youth of India and how they are looking at transforming the country. 4th one will be a love story but again of a different kind. I am pretty excited with all the storylines and hope that each one of them get a super response as It Happens has received.

 


Hope y’all had fun reading the little chat I had with this bag of talents! To know more about the man himself, do visit his website or you could interact with him on the social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Note: The author blurb and headshot is borrowed from goodreads