July 30, 2015

Book Review: S.O.A.R by Abir Mukherjee

S.O.A.R (Success over adversity reigns)

Author: Abir Mukherjee
Publisher: Frog Books, Leadstart Publishing
Rating: 4/5

About the Author
Abir Mukherjee was born and brought up in Bardhaman, a small town of West Bengal. He is currently based in U.S.A having completed more than 8 years as an IT Professional. He has completed his B.E. in computer science and engineering in 2005 and started working in different software MNCs. ‘S.O.A.R’ is his second novel. Blackbuck Publication has published his first novel, ‘As Life Has No Undo’.
He loves to sketch and write in his spare time. He writes to entertain people, not to teach them how to live life, how to be successful in life or any other philosophical lessons.

‘S.O.A.R’ is a tale about life, love, and friendship. The plot revolves around Adhyayan and his two other friends, Uday and Rajasekaran. The three friends struggle in their lives and finally end up starting a new venture that has not been implemented and thought about. Yes, there is a risk, but the trio decides to give it a shot and convert all the odds in their favor. SOAR is the journey of these three friends. It is a journey filled with love, trust, hope, dreams, relationships, and friendship. The present jobs bulldoze the three friends into entering into a business proposal that has never been experimented before. Call it the callous Indian market or the capricious destiny, the success of any new business cannot be determined. Adhyayan, Uday and Rajasekaran experience the same plight. They face initial investment problems and then undergo blamestorming. But eventually they get down to brass tacks and try to solve the complications in their lives. Not only do they suffer at the hands of the Indian market, but they also suffer at the personal front. The plot targets some of the social issues, still prevalent in the society. Will the three friends be able to successfully snatch the victory from the jaws of death or will destiny mold their lives in a way which none of them can imagine?

Grab your copies to know more!

My opinion
To know what life is worth, you have to risk it once in a while. S.O.A.R is one such journey where the lives of three friends, is put at stake and their friendship is tested. No one can play with destiny. But when there is a strong will and determination, then everything is possible. The author has done a commendable job in portraying the characters of the story. The cover of the book is mesmerizing. However, the title is not catchy. The language is lucid and proofreading is fine. The blurb is, however, too descriptive. It spills the beans before the reader and this reduces the suspense factor.

The best part of the story is that the descriptions are not overstretched and a constant pace is maintained. The dialog delivery is done beautifully such that the reader is able to visualize the scenes in his/ her subconscious mind. The book is a quick read and has all the essential elements that make it a good one.

Overall, good effort by the author.

Best wishes!

There are some punctuation mistakes. The title could have been better.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                 First published in IWW (Link: IWW)                                                                                                                                                              

First few days here and I have started liking this place!

“I feel like I have a new life and I'm going to take full advantage of it.”

I moved to Bangalore 20 days back. Unlike what I already knew about Bangalore, there were many new things that I didn’t know about. When you walk on the streets, the ambience smells of Gajra flowers. Probably, people like to wear ‘gajra’ a lot and no doubt it looks magnificent. This city nowhere resembles an IT city. Owing to the numerous traffic jams, the roads, the chaos on the streets and the accommodations, the “IT fame” is just a myth. Time and again you can spot people talking in a non-lucid language and the only thing that reaches to your eardrum clearly, is ‘ille’. The vegetable vendors count in Telegu. Even the beggars speak English. You can spot foreigners frequently. But the strange thing that I noticed was that these people do not seem to mingle with Indians. Instead they prefer being in their own merry world, with their fellow mates. The traffic is horrendous as you have to keep looking left-right-left-right while crossing the road. Probably the “Banglorians” do not know how to use a ‘horn’.

But even then I am falling in love with this city. May be because of the weather or 24*7 electricity provision, or may be because I get to explore new things and new people. Adjusting here is not a cakewalk and will definitely take time. With my partner-in-crime off to work, I have nothing more to do than to read books, write articles and review content. Guilty pleasure? Hell yes!


What is the publishing industry like in India?

 “We read to know we're not alone.”
                                                 William Nicholson, Shadowlands

The reading scenario in India is vivid. The population comprises of people who are voracious readers or people who occasionally read to pass the time. Overall, the count of readers is big. But language, here, play a dominant role. Hindi, being the mother tongue of India, is the preferred language. However, due to the soaring culture of bilingual abilities, there is a class of people, who cherry picks the best English best sellers and drowns themselves in the world of literature.

There are different strokes for different folks and thus, the Indian literature is diversified, comprising of various genres ranging from fiction to non-fiction to Sci-fi to horror, and many more. There are numerous libraries and bookstores that provide a lavish collection of books to select from. The news of the release of any new book spreads like a wildfire. And the most read works belong to the authors like Paulo Coelho, Dan Brown, Cecelia Ahern, Nicholas Sparks and others.
I personally feel that the urge to read books began with the conversion of the book into a movie. For an instance, while most of the young people already knew about the Harry Potter series by Rowling, there was still a category of people who did not know anything about the books. But after watching the first part, the information probably passed on through the word of mouth and people became eager to buy and read all the books.
None-the-less Indians have not restricted themselves to reading only. Several Indian authors have come up roses and have established themselves in the Publishing Industry. There are numerous publication houses now. This success is a result of past efforts which actually began post-independence when the government decided to boycott the outlanders and allow the foreign companies to stay with not more than 49%. This paved path for the Indian authors and there was confident growth for the Indian books. The next big breakthrough was during the 1960s when NCERT entered the world of publication with their debutant textbooks. They snatched the lucrative business from the hands of private publication houses and established itself as the most benefitted government publishing house. This, indeed, marked the beginning of the setting up of the longshots like Kali, penguin, Tulika, Tara, and many more. These publication houses provided for the general readers.

But there is always a second side of the coin too. Where the publication industry is achieving great heights, in terms of numerous publication houses emerging, the Indian market is still the largest market that imports English books, leaving a very tiny space for the publishers within the country.

July 29, 2015

Book Review: 1st Job and 10 mistakes by Uttam Kumar

1st job and 10 mistakes
Author: Uttam Kumar
Publisher: Author’s Ink Publications
Rating: 3.5/5

All our life we study, we grow, we learn, we get a job, we earn and in the midst of all this, we forget to live. Work is important but working efficiently and in a smart manner is what is the need of the hour. Unlike every other dream, the dream of getting your first job is an avowed intent. It takes blood, sweat and tears to successfully pass through this phase. “1st job and 10 mistakes” is a prized book that offers an insight into the work field. Along with financial freedom, comes the risk of unreasonable financial decisions and this is the point when correct advice is much needed. This book is not a novel/novella. Instead, it is more like a user manual to lead a life in an ivory tower. The book highlights the do’s and the don’ts when you accomplish the dream of getting your first job.

Grab your copies to know about the ten mistakes that can make you face the music and how to avoid them.

My opinion
“Your dream job does not exist. You must create it.”  And this book is a guide to buckle down and aim for success. “1st Job and 10 mistakes” by Uttam Kumar is more like a user manual and contains top ten points that need to be kept in mind when handling the very first job. Ignorance can be harmful and this has been efficiently proved by the author. The cover of the book is a little sloppy. Since the content is professional, a more sober and subtle cover design would have been apt. The title of the book is perfect. However, the blurb is insufficient.

The author has done a commendable job in describing the mistakes, chapter wise and thereby explaining the relevant terms with the help of examples. The language is simple and enables even a parishioner to understand every word.

Overall, a must read for all the youths who are ready to unmask their talent to the world and earn success. Good effort by the author!

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(Review copy sent by Author Paradise)

July 27, 2015

Book Review: The Maut-e-maticians by Nikhil Uprety

The maut-e-maticians

Author: Nikhil Uprety
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Rating: 4/5

About the Author
Nikhil Uprety is currently working as an Asst. Prof. in a private University in Solan. Writing has always been his obsession and it is more than a hobby for him. Inspired by murder mysteries of all times, he has always longed to write one and “ The Maut-e-maticians” is his successful debut novella.
He has corporate experience of 8 years with top MNC in Mumbai. Apart from being an expert in the field of ‘Sales’, he also writes poetry (Hindi) and has contributed in three anthologies in past one year.

“The Maut-e-maticians” is a suspenseful thriller novella. The plot of the novella revolves around a series of murders that happen in the Rising Star Institute of Engineering and Technology. The only key to solving the mysterious murders is the geometrical clues left by the killer. The cops beat their brains out to solve this puzzle, but all their efforts fail. The strangest part is that only the faculties of the mathematics department face the brutal assassination. ACP Abhijeet is in charge of the case and he, along with his team, try hard to decode what seems like Chinese arithmetic. Will the killer be identified before it is too late? How are the murders interrelated?
Grab the book to know more!

My opinion
“The less you reveal, the more people can wonder.” “The Maut-e-matician” is a fast paced novella with a spoonful of mystery, a spoonful of excitement, a spoonful of trauma and a spoonful of amazement, making it a complete thriller package. The cover of the book is apt. The language is expressive and lucid. The author has done a wonderful job in portraying every character. Nowhere in the story does the reader feel bored.
The character of ACP Abhijeet has been portrayed as an energetic and firm cop with balanced intelligence and smartness. The sequence of events is perfect. How the ACP comes to grips with his inability to solve the mystery, has been described finely.
Overall, a page turner novella with reverent imagining and intense and vivid storyline.
Grab your copy soon!

There are some typos and proofreading errors. The character of Mitali could have been described a little more.

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Book Review: Hidden husband by Shikha Kaul

Author: Shikha Kaul
Publisher: Gargi Publishers
Rating: 4/5

About the Author
Shikha Kaul is an Indian author, born and brought up in Punjab. She holds the degree of Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. Her passion for writing and penning down her thoughts has enabled her to transform her imagination into her first debut novella. Her debut fiction novel, “Hidden Husband”, is a love story with a hint of realities that strike the day to day life of everyone. The book hits the bull in the eye by pointing out  stereotypes and the other biased thoughts of the Indian society that form the foundation of discrimination against women.
The author hopes to come up with one novel every year for as many years as she can. With the plethora of ideas that her mind is eager to offer, she wishes her readers “Happy Reading”.

“Hidden Husband” revolves around a Punjabi girl, Aisha and a Bihari boy, Raghav. They fall in love, make promises and decide to get married. But only if life was that easy! The societal stereotypes intervene in their dream world and tear it apart. Even though Aisha’s parents agree with her decision to marry Raghav, the groom’s party is at loggerheads over Raghav’s decision. They show their resentment in a fit of pique. The tables are turned when Sameer barges into Aisha’s life and drowns her in the whirlpool of mixed emotions, confusion and a state of indecision. The elemental question that remains is will Aisha be able to get married to Raghav and overcome the shackles of society? What influence will Sameer have in her life? Will destiny play its game and destroy lives?
Grab this book to know more!

My opinion
“Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one” –John Keats
When cupid strikes, the fear factor diminishes. Same happens with Aisha and Raghav. Their love blooms in such a way that they decide to fight against all odds but when the world sleeps, destiny plans the next move to take. The author has done a great job writing this novella. The story is fast paced but time and again the long descriptions can take off the attention of the readers. Somewhere the cover has been defined with broad strokes which may/may not act as a negative. The character of the protagonist has been crafted well. The language is simple and expressive. The proofreading and editing are foolproof.
The plot is gripping and takes the readers through a jaunt filled with love, fun, excitement, and pleasure. The author has successfully targeted the vicious societal norms that have sabotaged the ability of humans to think logically. The reader is forced to complete Aisha’s journey and unveil the hidden secrets that are linked to her.
Overall, ‘Hidden Husband’ is a guilty pleasure. Grab this book if you believe in destiny, if you have ever fallen in love or if you love reading!
Best wishes to the author!

The book contains descriptions of places/ things/ people that are too long. The characters of Raghav, Sameer and Piyali could have been elaborated a little more.

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July 15, 2015

Book Review: Urban Love by Akshay Chitre

Publisher: notionpress
Rating: 3.5/5

About the Author
Akshay Chitre is a management expert. He is from the prestigious Bombay Scottish School. Unlike the other management enthusiasts, he preferred to indulge in his own venture and not go into the corporate. He started his own restaurant at the age of 23. He has been on TV shows like Network 18 and CNBC. He writes to make people think. “Urban love” is his debut novella that hit the stores in 2015.

Life is a bitch! Yes, this is true. When everything is going on pretty well and things seem to fall in place, the sudden change of events will, altogether, turn the tables. “Urban Love” is a tale revolving around three girls (in their late twenties) and their lives (personal, professional, social, love and what not). The protagonist is a strong and determined girl, Priya, who never refrains herself from calling a spade a spade. The story is about her friendship with two other girls, Anusha and Meghna, both from different walks of life, having a completely varied outlook for life. Where on one hand Meghna is jovial and ebullient, Anusha is one ideal daughter who is brought to heels by her overpowering and dominant father. The book details the kind of life “Mumbaikars” prefer to live and the aftereffects of such lifestyle. These three girls become soulmates (what they call themselves) and try to be there for each other. They fall in love, get out from it, suffer in the hands of abhorrent societal norms and strive to survive all of it. But life often throws you down in the dumps. The three friends separate. Not only do they start hating each other but they also can’t withstand each other’s sight. The wheels of the story move further and the plot describes about how these “soulmates” try and bury the hatchet, coming out stronger on the life front.

Grab this book to know more!

My opinion
“When God pushes you to the edge of difficulty there are two things that can happen- either he will catch you or he will give you wings to fly”. It solely depends upon us how we mould our actions and behaviour and make life worth living. This novella has been set up in the city of dreams- Mumbai. The most striking feature of this book is that it is all about women but has been written and crafted by a male author. The characters have been concocted very well. There is a perfect balance between all of them.  The cover of the book ideal and apt. However, the title does not quite blend with the plot. The narration is good. The emotions have been expressed clearly and the language used by the author is simple yet very effective. The storyline moves sequentially, answering all the questions and doubts, at the right time. Last but not the least, this is a story with an intriguing climax.

Overall, a good read!

The plot is not so refreshing. There are several grammatical and proofreading errors. Also, the character of Jai could have been described a little more.

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July 09, 2015

Are you the biggest Cricket fan? Stay connected to the game with UC Browser

What is the one occasion that binds all the Indians together? Which the one sport that witnesses true spirits of unity? Yes, the answer is Cricket! Right from the very first ball of the over till the last ball, every person, who either belongs directly or indirectly to cricket, is a bundle of nerves. Not only the players but also the fans are equally tensed and simultaneously enthusiastic about the game. Cricket resides in every Indian’s heart and mind. People are all ears to the commentary, even if they have more important stuff to do. Be it the college going students, the working people, the businessmen, or the people in the Government services, watching cricket is everybody’s avowed intent.

But  what can be more aggravating than a slow internet connection? I agree that TV is the best choice for watching sports, for obvious reasons. But what if you are in the midst of an urgent task and the match is on fire? How would you feel if you realize that Yuvraj is repeating the history by hitting consecutive sixes, with two balls remaining to end the over and your office has no TV or a projector screen? The only thing that can satisfy your urge to watch the game, is the uninterrupted internet access. But what if, time and again, the buffering circle comes up, pausing the live streaming and putting you in a black mood? Probably, the worst feeling ever! But hang on- what if there is something you can do about this?

Yes, UC Browser is the right choice. You can ‘Surf it all, surf it fast’ with this browser. This is an Android based browser that provides fast surfing experience- right from surfing, searching, downloading, streaming, gaming, shopping, social networking and what not! The feature of supporting simultaneous downloads with a lucid and synchronized download manager acts like icing on the cake. Some of the other features include incognito browsing (to protect your privacy), intuitive management of the tabs, theme customization availability, night mode for more comfort and video controlling via gestures.

To add on to the services that this browser provides, the new integration of UC Cricket further assuages the appetite for Cricket by providing everything in one app. The all-in-one Cricket application caters to your interest by providing live score updates, information about the upcoming matches, guessing games and the results. There is also the provision of a notification feature (real time) that continues to run in the background and keeps you updated at all times. The comment section provides the fans an opportunity to interact with each other and share the joys of the spring. (To know more, click http://www.ucweb.com/English/UCbrowser/cricket.html).

Gone are the days, when the chances of blowing a fuse were high. With smooth and faster updates, uninterrupted game, flawless live streaming and easy installation via playstore, UC Browser serves everybody’s interests, in the best possible way.

Probably, now you understand why Yuvraj prefers this browser over others. When he is not on the field, he keeps himself updated via UC Browser. So what are you waiting for? Don’t waste a minute and download UC Browser from the following download link: http://www.ucweb.com/.

Watch the video for more information:

Book Review: Her Resurrection by Soumyadeep Koley

HER resurrection
Author: Soumyadeep Koley
Publisher: Gargi Publishers
Rating: 3.5/5

About the Author
Soumyadeep Koley is a writer, poet, women’s rights activist and a photographer. He holds Honors degree in Chemistry, from the reputed Scottish Church College (Kolkata). He has worked with Jason Jayology Jeremias, the Founder and Artistic Director of Price of Silence, which employs performing arts to bring the global struggle for women’s rights to life. The author can be reached at:

“Her Resurrection” is a book dedicated to all the women who fall weak in the knees when life knocks them down. It revolves around the strong and determined character “Maya”, whose life becomes ball and chain- with too many obstacles preventing her from achieving what she aims for. The theme of the book is prostitution, which is going to hell in a handicraft. The animosity, the exclusion and the negative outlook of the society towards the women who are forced to enter this phase of life, is beyond redemption. The story highlights the prevalence of several issues like undesirability of having a girl child, virginity being the sole substantial thing for any woman, over dominance of males, domestic violence and biased education. The story begins with Maya’s horrendous childhood, with an alcoholic and belligerent father and a submissive but loving mother. Following the series of eerie and tenacious events (like the death of her father,  the imprisonment of her mother and herself being gang raped), life turns sour for Maya. The book reveals the harsh reality of the world, where nobody can be trusted, nothing can be predicted, only the silver lining can be seen and aimed for!
Welcome to the perilous world, where everyone is a beast, wearing a cloak of kindness and empathy. Grab this book to face the real truth about the society and get inspired to snatch success even from the jaws of death.

My opinion
“Sometimes the road of the life takes an unexpected turn and you have no choice but to follow it to end up in the place you are supposed to be.” The saying fits best with the plot of this story. The characters are strong, the emotions are lucid. The cover of the book is mesmerizing (Credit to Ammol Karambe). The title is self explanatory. But the plot is about something we have heard and read before (that too several times). The events are sequential and have been narrated perfectly. The plot has necessary twists and turns.
The author has successfully highlighted the issues that hamper the growth and survival of women. We know that women go through the wars but is ‘ending one’s life’, the only option left to surpass the pain and hatred towards oneself? The novella has something more to say on this. ‘Suicide is permanent’ but problems are temporary. Indeed, yes! All it takes, is a strong soul and will power to fight and stand for oneself, fight against all odds and bring the house down.
Good effort by the author. Best wishes!

The plot of the story is predictable to a large extent. There is nothing refreshing because prostitution has always been the topic of choice for many. There is lack of proofreading and time and again grammatical errors can be spotted. The descriptions of people/things/surroundings is overly done, which breaks the flow of reading the story.

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July 05, 2015

Book Review: Love, Again by Shrruti Patole Clarence and Sumeetha Manikandan


Author (s): Shrruti Patole Clarence and Sumeetha Manikandan
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Rating: 3.5/5

“Love, again” is for the die-hard romantics. The blurb is self explanatory. The book is different from the other novellas, in a way that it provides twice the pleasure and happiness of reading romantic fiction. This is because there are two heart warming stories in the book. The first tale, “These lines of mehendi”, revolves around Lalitha, who is adaptive, conscientious but a victim of her own fate. After going through a collapsed marriage and the sudden demise of her husband and she learns to live within her means. She runs a beauty parlour to provide for herself. But when her aunt Padma tries to coax her to enter into a “marriage of convenience” with Shrikant, she gives in, because it is equivalent to a port in any storm. Unable to argue the toss, she remarries. On the other hand, is Shrikant, who was left at the altar just a month before his wedding. Owing to the heat of the situation and the constant emotional turmoil, Shrikant wants a “marriage of convenience”, wherein there will be no expectations, no commitments and no physical or emotional touch in the relationship. Will Lalitha and Shrikant find their love, again? Read on, to know more!

The second tale, “A tulip in the desert”, is a tale set on the foreign grounds (Amsterdam). With a flavour of Egyptian History, the story revolves around Charmaine, who is independent, smart and iron willed. Charmaine dives into the world of Cleopatra and the other events of Egyptian history though she reads history for the very first time. And then destiny plays its role and Raj barges into her life. Does cupid strike Charmaine’s heart? How does Raj manage to choose between his love and the history? Read on, to know more!

My opinion
“Love, again” is a delightful read. The cover is picturesque, with all the dreamy colors and the title is self explanatory. The first story, “These lines of mehendi”, has been beautifully crafted but is predictable to a large extent. The narration is lucid, the expressions and dialogues give life to the characters. Lalitha is the protagonist opposite to Shrikant and both the characters balance each other pretty well. The content is grammatically correct. The author has successfully portrayed a character of a strong woman, whose husband, in some way, cuts the ground from under her feet, but still she learns to survive on her own. Overall, a delightful story!
The second story, “A tulip in the desert”, is different in the way that it includes the flavor of Egyptian history too. The author has done sufficient research on Cleopatra and the twists and turn of events in the story keep the reader’s attention intact. The descriptions are picturesque and the plot has adventure mixed with strong emotions. This is one filmic story which leaves the readers wanting for more (A hint for the author to try converting this into a full fledged novella). The author has created a perfect balance between the personalities of the protagonists making it, altogether, an interesting read.
Kudos to both the authors!

The major drawback in this book is the presence of ambiguous sentences which force the reader to read them twice or thrice to understand what is being said. One can encounter typing errors and proofreading errors time and again.

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