August 25, 2015

Book Review: Siamese, if you please by Jenn DiCamillo

Siamese, If you please

Author: Jenn DiCamillo
Genre: Children book

Area A: Text
The text has been organized in simple sentences. ‘Imagery’ has been opted as the literary tool and it will definitely cater to the interest of the little children. The way the different cats have been described will compel the children to form an image in their minds and relate with the story better. Each page ends on a ‘curious’ note and the child will be tempted to read further.

Area B: Illustrations
The cover of the book neatly presents the main conflict of the plot. The Siamese cat illustrated on the cover page gives an idea about how Siamese look like. The primary medium used in illustrations is drawing. However, clearer illustrations would have been better. The drawing of Anna has been repeated throughout a majority of the illustrations and this can help the children to understand her emotional switching and the change in mood and tempo of the story.

Area C: Characterization
The main character of the story is Anna and the most dominant trait that can be identified is her innocence and her desire to get a kitten. She lets her mother choose and does not grumble at any point of time. The author of the book has brought in the positivity of the character, which will, in turn, help in shaping up the minds of the young readers. Like every other child, Anna wants a kitten. At a young age, everyone wants a pet. This story about finding the right pet ant bringing it home will definitely interest the children.

Overall, an interesting book for the children!

August 24, 2015

Book Review: Just six evenings by Tanmay Dubey

Just six evenings

Author: Tanmay Dubey
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Rating: 4/5

What is it that differentiates love from lust? Perhaps the answer lies within us. “Just six evenings” is about the time that changed Atul’s life, leaving him off guard. But the unpredictable destiny is such a bitch! It turns back again, retraces the same path and brings back the reminiscence bump. Atul has already been through the consequences of his actions and now he is forced to come face to face with the most dreaded situations. This story is about how the circumstances can force a person to divert from the right path and start the wrong journey. It is about how easily lust can ruin love. 

“Just six evenings” is a story about how twelve evenings changed the course of life of our protagonist. The novella is not all about love, but it outlines the filthy underbelly of the corporate world too. There is politics, fraud, love, lust, money, success and failure. Altogether, this is a rollercoaster ride where the reader is left wanting for more. Will destiny help Atul get back his love? Or will the urge to soar higher and higher override the good that resides in his soul?
Grab your copies to know more and realize the importance of destiny’s role in shaping one’s life.

My opinion
“That line between love and lust was thin as a whisper.” “Just six evenings” is a pot boiler with all the essential ingredients of love, trust, betrayal, lust, money, sacrifice, realization, frauds and destiny. The keywords are self sufficient to describe what the novella is all about. The cover of the book and the title are matched perfectly. The plus point is the twist and turn of plot. The way the “six evenings” return in Atul’s life is the turning point because it is then when Atul gets a second bite at the cherry. The author has successfully maintained the suspense but as the reader draws closer to the end of the book, the plot becomes very much predictable.
The part where Atul’s professional life has been described, is boring. Probably, the marketing stuff and the project information befuddled me a lot. However, the characterization of the protagonist has been done nicely.

The narration is lucid and the dialogs are short and crisp. The printing quality is superb and the storyline is engaging.

Overall, a good book with which the readers can relate themselves.

Best wishes to the author!

The climax could have been a little somber because it is not necessary that every novel ends on a happy note.

Buy this book at:

First published in IWW

August 23, 2015

Book Review: A minute to Death by Ganga Bharani

A minute to death

Author: Ganga Bharani
Publisher: Half Baked Beans Publishers
Rating: 3.5/5

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live”. It is not always necessary that anxiety or depression consumes your desire to live. There have been many instances where passion overrides the capability of thinking logically and the end results are disastrous. “A minute to death” by Ganga Bharani is one such story that takes the readers through a whirlpool of emotions ranging from passion, happiness, love to obsession, distress and eventually death. This novella is a mysterious tale about Rohan and Riya, who are deeply and irrevocably in love with each other. Rohan is a devoted policeman, who abides by word of mouth and places his work on the topmost pedestal. Opposite him is Riya, who is an aspiring writer and has an obsession of getting published. Where Rohan is keen on solving the murder mysteries and preventing the crimes, Riya has bee in her bonnet already. Her avowed intent is to become a successful author and she coaxes Rohan to include her in any of the cases. But the scene turns dirty when a series of murders happen and Rohan is unaware of what is in store for him. 

August 18, 2015

Gustoso Desi White Sauce Pasta

It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. That’s what human life is all about- enjoying things! The other day, while browsing through the Indi blogger Website, I came across “Blog your way to Italy” and my foodie stomach started sending out signals that clearly urged me to participate in that contest. The best part was that “Del Monte” was sponsoring it. I have always loved and relished Del Monte’s taste and the quality of its products and here I was getting a chance to experiment by putting in my uncanny ideas into action. I was so happy that I could not wait to tell my husband. Being a foodie himself and a hardcore Punjabi, he immediately agreed to participate. We waited for the week to get over and started with our project on the weekend.

Here is the “Gustoso Desi White Sauce Pasta” recipe:

**Please use clean utensils while cooking because “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.

Ingredients needed (Ingredienti necessari)- for three servings

w   Chopped onion (1-2)
w   Garlic paste
w   Chopped coriander leaves
w   Frozen corn (Half bowl)
w   Frozen Peas (Half bowl)
w   Chopped capsicum (1)
w   Grated cheese (1-2 slices)
w   Oregano (2-3 tbsp)
w   Spices- salt, Jeera powder, chilli powder, Garam Masala, Coriander powder (according to taste)
w   Refined oil (2 tbsp) or butter
w   Del Monte Pasta (250 gm) for three servings


1.   Take two tablespoons of refined oil or butter and add to the pan. Keep the flame or temperature in the case of induction, low.

2.   Add chopped onion and sauté till it becomes golden brown. Now add garlic paste, followed by all the veggies- frozen corn, chopped capsicum and frozen peas. Mix all the ingredients properly.

3.   Add a pinch of salt to the mixture and cook for two to three minutes.

4.   Now add boiled pasta and mix well.

5.   Add oregano and mix. Normally oregano is used for garnishing but this is where the essence of this ingredient is tested. I have tried adding oregano while cooking and trust me, the taste is altogether different.

6.   Cook the pasta such that there are no lumps and the ingredients do not stick to the base. In case they do, add half a cup of water and mix well.

7.   Add spices according to taste and keep stirring for another five minutes.

8.   Garnish with freshly cut coriander leaves and grated cheese. To enhance taste, you can also add butter cubes while the pasta is in the pan.

                                         E la pasta è pronta!

“Action will remove the doubt that theory cannot” and hence here is the video showing the list of ingredients and the detailed- step by step procedure of cooking the yummilicious pasta- Gustoso Desi White Sauce Pasta recipe video.

**If your taste buds crave for red sauce or tomato, then a few twists and turns can convert this very recipe into the “Gustoso Desi Red Sauce Pasta”. All you need is a paste of tomatoes (2) and garlic (one unit), red chilli and tomato ketchup. Along with the ingredients mentioned above, add these ingredients and serve yourselves!

Book Review: I will not regret losing you by Abhishek Agrawal

I will not regret losing you

Author: Abhishek Agrawal
Publisher: Red Ink Publications
Rating: 3.5/5


“Make sure the person you’re willing to take a bullet for isn’t the one behind the gun”. “I will not regret losing you” is a novella about friendship, love, trust, betrayal, coping skills and all about dreams. The story revolves around Aratya, a strong, determined and conscientious protagonist, who is struck by cupid’s arrow. But the odds do not seem to be in his favor as the relationship soon fades away, throwing the reigns into the dumping zone of the brain. Aratya tries to get a grip on himself by finding solace with his new friends and he succeeds to some extent until his destiny decides to play with his emotions once again. He meets Riyankaa and their friendship blossoms. The only hurdle is the emotional turmoil of Riyankaa. She carries the torch for Aratya but his deep wounds in the heart refuse to heal.

It is then when the tables are turned and Riyankaa meets with an accident, leaving Aratya down in the dumps. He reaches out to his friends for help. Will his friends act as the pillars of strength and support him or will he be left all alone?

To read more click here.

August 17, 2015

MOCKTALE- Bahubali- The extraordinary hero!!!

How does it feel when the entire world keeps on talking about something that you have not yet seen or heard? Yes, you feel as if you have missed something vital and you start looking for a chance to accomplish the new goal. The same has been happening with me since last month. I have been feeling like a fish out of water whenever there are discussions about “Bahubali”. And finally I got the chance to watch it yesterday.

Seriously- what is wrong with people? How can they boast about this movie? I was put into black mood immediately after I finished this movie.  It is not that I have the habit of biting someone’s head off but I have reasons to justify my opinion. This movie is said to be the most expensive movie ever made in Bollywood and I am still wondering what did the directors invest their money in?

Caution: Please read further only if you think you can tolerate criticism for “Bahubali”.

v The opening scene shows Sivagmi saving the baby by holding the baby on her palm (yes, it is her palm) and keeping the hand upright. Simultaneously the water keeps overflowing and probably she is supposed to be dead. But guess what! Perhaps the phenomena of Rigor Mortis or Muscle contraction starts happening in her body and that helps her  keep hand stiff and hold on to the baby.

v The next scene was copied from The Dark Knight Rises. When Shiva tries to jump across from one mountain to another, it is shown that he has been trying that for quite some time. Now try to remember the scene from TDKR, where Christian Bale tries to escape from the prison (okay I agree it is not exactly the same but it reminded me of that very scene).

v The next scene was the one copied from “The Mask”. “Smoking!!!” The hero (Jim Carrey/ Prabhas) gets a mask from out of nowhere and he becomes obsessed with it. The only difference here is that Shiva imagines Tammannahaaa (God! Why are there so many repetitive letters?) just by looking at the mask (Wow!!!).

v Needless to say, the next absurd scene is when Shiva tries to follow Tamaammaannaaa and successfully reaches the top of the mountain. (Wow!!!)

v How did the rope come right in the middle of a waterfall? And How was it possible to get hold of it? (I am still beating my brain out on this!)

v Okay, as if copying “The Mask” was not enough, these people copied “Tarzen” too. How come Shiva has the abilities far beyond those of ordinary humans. He uses branches and hanging vines to swing at great speed, a skill acquired among the anthropoid apes. (Wow!!!)

v Shiva is shown “so much obsessed” with Tammaannaanna that he follows her God knows what- reflection, imagination, hallucination… I mean really his level of imagination is far beyond that present in the normal humans! (Wow!!!)

v The epic scene where he shoots an arrow and the arrow passes right through the trunk and gets stuck on the other side- BRAVO!!! What I can think of is that Shiva was carrying the kit of making a bow and arrow, a rope and tattoo marker and a cylinder containing snake and what not with him. If yes, how could he climb from one peak to another with so much weight? If no, how did he arrange these things? (Again Wow!!!)

v Why on Earth is the hero so happy?

v This movie exposes the viewers to the extreme limit of “Tharkipana”. (Wow!!!)

v “Underwater drawing”- that is something innovative! (Wow!!!)

v The scene where Bhallala fights the bull, it reminds me of Singham’s double fist punch (Devgan's  patent violated!) (Wow!!!)

v Tammanahanna - overacting ki dukan! Why on Earth does she walk like a robot? Robocop Tammy eh?

v When Tammanannma constantly shoots arrows at Shiva, the brilliance of the hero is shown. Amidst all the chaos, he gets time to set up the trap for his girl. (Wow!!!)

v Is he wearing a purple lipstick? (Wow!!! So pretty!!!)

v “Tum ladki ho, main ladka hu”- first of all, hame to pata hi nahi tha. Second of all, “Maine Pyar Kiya”- copied!

v What did the makers want to show through the scene where a flower falls in the hands? (Hmmmm….still thinking!!)

v Devasena is shown saying “Mera beta ayega” time and again, which reminds  me of “Mere Karan Arjun Ayenge”. Therefore, Karan Arjun copied!!

v “Desi chloroform” epic fail!!!

v Probably, Shiva is a Ghost Rider! Wondering why? Don’t you recall the scene where the tree is put on fire, not to forget- automatically, when Shiva enters the scene?

v Jaya Bachhan- Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham- Shahrukh’s arrival- cliché- reused! (Wow!!!)

v This one is hilarious! When Shiva prevents the “Murty” of Bhallala from falling, it is clearly evident that there is no tension in the rope. Dude come on! How can you put pressure and pull the rope without tension? (Not wow!!! This is sick!!!)

v During the flashback scene when the two “Yuvrajs” are asked to give commands/ instructions to their “Prajas”, how did the two of them managed to get to that spot in the pool, which was surrounded by water on all sides, without getting wet? (I am expecting a Wow answer)

That’s all folks! There are more uncanny scenes/ scenarios in the movie but my fingers need rest and my mind needs to scan something more logical.  

To conclude, I did not like the movie. Infact, “Kick” was far more logical than this one. Bollywood definitely needs to promote and approve some logical scripts. But that won’t be possible now! Why? Because Gajendra Chauhan is the new head!!!

Signing off!! Ciao!

August 12, 2015

Book Review: Logicops by Vaibhav Mukim


Author: Vaibhav Mukim
Publisher: Frog Books (Leadstart Publishing)
Rating: 3/5

‘You can have brilliant ideas but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere’. Communication is the answer to this. Through ‘Logicops’ the author has successfully demonstrated the importance of communication, the only different and unique thing being that the plot of the story is based on logical communication. This book is a sci-fi thriller, where a group of policemen solve the crimes using logical communication as one’s best bet. 

But is solving crimes that easy? Probably not! Because the kind of murders that happen, leave everyone lose their marbles. Will the cops use the strategy of communicating through the walls or over long distances to their advantage? Will the culprit be caught?

Grab this book to tie all the loose ends together!

My opinion
With the advancement in the field of technology, the techniques are also evolving. With this book, the author shows the importance and relevance of ‘logical communication’ in solving the mysteries. The narration is lucid, the dialogs are short but precise. The cover of the book is apt. There are no major syntactical errors.

The blurb is interesting. But somewhere the reader loses the connection with the plot. Initially the story runs at a manageable pace but suddenly there is a switch in the scene as well as the characters, and that leaves the reader befuddled. The character sketch of all the characters is limited but that is fine as long as the plot is gripping.

However, the whole approach of logical communication and solving cases is inadmissible. If anybody thinks this kind of strategy will solve the cases then that person is probably living in a cloud-cuckoo land. Logical communication in ‘Logicops’ is equivalent to ability to read body gestures and predict what is going on in the other person’s head. I did not find the concept palatable.

Nonetheless, good effort by the author. Best wishes!

The plot of the story is not as delicious as it should be. Yes, the concept is one that has never been heard before, but it is something that we all are capable of doing to a certain extent.

Buy this book at:
Link: Amazon India 

First published in IWW.