May 31, 2012

Book Review: Love Happens Only Once...Agreed :)

I would spend a lot of time on flipkart, wondering which books to buy. Love Happens Only is just life had caught my attention a lot of times, but somehow I never got around to ordering it. On the second day of my exams, I decided to get the book anyway. I thought in the days which would follow after the tiresome examination, I could always pass time by reading. ^_^ And it turned out be an added bonus that I loved every minute of the story.

It starts off from where most teenagers find their stories,the end of school and the beginning of college. That is always the threshold for us, isn't it? The time when we're busy discovering ourselves, when the first person who touches us deeply becomes our one and only love. The protagonist of this book, Rishi, is no exception. 

He knows that he is a flirt and that doesn't stop him from being a jerk. In fact, he is all set for challenges, and his wild ways in the initial pages of the book, had me in splits. Reality check comes in the form of rejection from the only girl he'd truly loved. What follows is his journey to forget this girl, to completely lose himself in his studies and try to rise above every situation. From helping his friend travel halfway across the country, to helping another rob his landlord, the fun never seems to stop for this guy. 

But one day the fun stops, and he is forced to rethink about his own choices. And someone helps him out. Someone, the reader had clearly not expected to be of any use initially. The book manages to spring a huge surprise and bring a smile to the readers' faces. 

It took me two days to finish the book (mostly because I had spent a good part of the day watching Castle), but it proved to be the two most entertaining days of my life. I've never had more fun reading such a cute love story... 

Another thing worth mention is, how well the author knows the opposite sex :P He captured all their minute details so well... ^_^ Especially pleasing was when he mentions how a woman loves to be loved, and adores to be adored. I hope to see another such pleasing, well written story from this author soon. 

P.S. - This book is worth your every paisa. So stop wondering about it, and go buy it NOW!!! :) Trust me, you won't be disappointed.... 

May 12, 2012

Book Review: Six Acres And A Third

Chha Mana Atha Guntha (Oriya) by Fakir Mohan Senapati

This book belongs to my reading list this year. I'd never thought that something tagged as a 'text book' would give me immense pleasure. I could connect with the characters, I felt their pain, I laughed at the ridiculousness of it all, I chuckled at the narrator's mischievous comments and most of all I finished the book in two days. Granted, I did that more out of obligation, but when you enjoy a book, you don't really care about the time. All you care about is finishing it off as soon as possible.

Six Acres has an unreliable narrator. Those of you who are familiar with Notes On A Scandal would know what is meant by that term. Just like the narrator there couldn't be entirely trusted, neither can you trust the narrator here. Written in the third person, the narrator's voice is going to have you in fits - fits of laughter, of disbelief, and fits of sighing at the fates of the characters.

The vivacious Champa is a heroine like no other, and the hilarious references to Sanskrit slokas would have you in splits. Of course, the story takes an altogether serious turn towards the end. However, it isn't till the end that the grim realities come to the surface to grip us firmly and remind us of the problems one faced during colonialism.

History springs to life in front of our eyes through the work of Fakir Mohan Senapati. He creates a village like no other and we are able to feel the emotions of the characters mentioned in the novel.It is impossible to review this book, without giving away the main plot. (Though some critics argue, that there never was a plot, in the first place.)

If you're in the mood for history with a satirical twist to it, this just might be your cup of tea. Sit back, relax and read this book. Soon you'd understand the mystery behind the novel being named, Six Acres and A Third.

Book Review: "Take One More Chance" ~ Really DO!!!

Remember that I'd mentioned I'd be writing book reviews for whatever books took my fancy, some days back? Well, we found our first book :)

Take One More Chance is about man hunting and arranged marriages, challenging the age old societal norms of a girl having to get married as soon as she turns twenty six.

This book caught my fancy quite awhile back in flipkart. But I had placed an order for it just this past week. It finally arrived parceled yesterday, and I happily began reading the book, not expecting it to be what I can tag it as: a complete laugh riot.

From the beginning to the very end, I didn't put the book down till I knew the conclusion drawn by this extremely talented sixteen year old: Shirya Garg. I know this review is a little late in coming since her book came out in the markets, last March. And it's May 2012 already. I'm actually quite surprised that her book didn't catch my notice before!

The leading pair of Take One More Chance, Naina Kashyap and Aditya Khanna are evenly matched. Right from their sarcastic comments, to their petty fights, to their misunderstandings - you are convinced thoroughly, that opposites do attract. One can feel the crackling Chemistry shared between the two, and Shriya manages to fool you, by adding twists, you hadn't predicted.

Though the ending is predictable, the course of the novel is a journey in itself. From the starting point, Naina strikes one as an individual with twisted sense of humor. Aditya plays his part well, turning up at places you would and wouldn't predict.

The other minor characters too are very vividly described, and one can see the whole drama unfold before their eyes.

The gist of the story is that Naina Kashyap has been order to find herself a suitable boy to settle down with. She begins to go out on dates (as per her best friend, Vandana's wishes) and manages to create hilarious situations everywhere she goes!

When I was reading this book, I was painfully reminded of a song by Stacie Orrico, and I couldn't help smiling to myself:

My Mister Right's probably hanging round my window pane,
While I look through only watching the rain.

And in order to understand what the hell those two lines are supposed to mean, I suggest you get yourself a copy of that book. You wouldn't be disappointed.

P.S. - Yes, there are a couple of grammatical errors, but I don't agree with the reviews which claim the author was completely inspired by Jab We Met. True, there are certain glancing references to the movie and the film's protagonist shares his name with this novel's protagonist. Other than that, I fail to see how the situations have been lifted from the movie. Please enlighten me. :)

May 8, 2012

Some Thoughts About Books

Aristotle in his Poetics had said that a child learns by imitation. I guess that holds true for every aspect of our lives. We everyone around us seem to enjoy reading, we would be tempted to pick up a book every once in awhile. Quite frankly reading habits are encouraged. No child would take up a book on his own, if he doesn't see his parents reading him bed time stories or telling him tales. For my own part, Thakurmar Jhuli (collected Bengali folktales) was a great part of my life when I was younger. My grandmother would tell us the stories. Sadly, she passed away when I was five. I don't think she knew I wanted to be a writer someday, for I came to that decision when I was six years old.

The point of this blog post is not about my career wishes but about books and reading habits as a whole. Really good books are very hard to come by, and even when you do come by them, you are disappointed to learn it didn't do that well in the market. Or it never really gained the popular momentum.

So I thought, besides scribbling things, related to writing, a lone poem, or a stray thought, I would like to give you feedback on some of the books which are generally given amiss. And no - these books won't be the new releases. It might be from my syllabus, it might be out of my syllabus. It could date back to 200 BC, or it could have the foresight into the future. I really don't know.

I'm quite thankful that I pursued Comparative Literature. Because without the help of this subject, I would've lost out on a lot lovely and wonderful books. Because of our unconventional take on literature, we get to learn more.

To all those who believe we study superficially...all I can is, well - 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.'