Thursday, 21 January 2016

Book Review : Heart of Bullets by Nikhil Kushwaha

Book- Heart of Bullets
Author- Nikhil Kushwaha
Genre- Fiction
Publisher- Petals Publishers
Two army men, best buddies since a decade, working together as a team. It’s a story of Arpan and Sam. Both officers excel in what they do. Sam has an exit plan from every trouble they get into. Right from the start Sam has been the need of Arpan. They love each other a lot.
It’s a story of friendship and the want of doing something for each other. Shradha and Soni are the two leading ladies of the story, playing a very crucial role in this extra-ordinary tale of courage, love and friendship.
How are these girls related to the guys? What happens when Sam is at the verge of losing? Will the void in between them turns into a dark valley? Will they be able to keep aside their heart for their country?
It’s not another phrase which is used in the book and that is a great thing. Heart of bullets, it make sense when you are reading the closing chapters. It’s literary and highly apt for the book. And also it not allows you to know the real meaning hidden in its syllables.
The cover is nice and subtle. It perfectly briefs the story and also hide the real gestures. The images are made clear before your reading.
There are not many characters in the story. I was hoping for many characters and stories inter-related in one way or the other. But nothing like that happened. But still, the protagonists were easy to catch up with. They were made clear from the very start. But some characters changed their traits which was a surprise and something unexpected.
The narration was not strong enough. As the story moves in first person, I found many loose ends. I wished it was in third person so that the flashback that was shown in the story made more sense.
The story starts at a normal pace. The life of an army man crosses your eyes. Arpan is back at home. And it’s so touching to see how their family habituates with all that happen to our heroes on the border. Duty calls and he is back to his workplace.
The heavy scenario makes you patriotic for some moments. Terrorist, blood, death and survival boil your blood and leave goose-bumps all over. You can easily imagine in your head how tense the situations might have been, when someone close to the characters get hurts. Author’s words were gripping enough to make you cry and feel sympathetic at someone's loss. Extra points for that.
Arpan gets into a situation where he starts narrating how his friend Sam used to be back in school days. The tale shifts from heavy cries to a soft road. Arpan and Sam were the back-benchers and they never intended to join army, at least in their school days. Then something happened, something sweet. Arpan and Sam fell in love (not with each other). Love blossoms their life at different tangents.
Author has successfully allowed the reader to peep in the past. Leaving some soft corner for some people. The book has a grip which doesn't allow you to yawn. The story is not one sided and things appear natural that way. It didn’t seem that author made up situations, it appear that they just came. The story gets better and better as the twists and turns arrive. No story is that easy, no love is that straight and no sacrifice is that painless. And that’s what you witness ahead.
The closing chapters have something in them which not allow you to stop. There are some tones of rich hue that hold you to the extreme ends. Every chapter has something new. Every chapter’s name tries to show dominance but it doesn’t succeed. It’s the story, the matter of the chapter, which comes out as a hero, making everything else step back.
There were some bumps, some hindrances but the richness in the story covered everything, specially the end, which teaches a lot, if someone is in mood to grasp.
· “...where sun seems as cool as moon.”
· “No mater hail, storm or rain, wounds, fever or pain, he has to walk, and has to walk for miles.”
· “Although in deathbed, there isn’t a sign of fear in his eyes, instead, he looks calm and satisfied.”
· “Some friends are made for some reason; some for some season, but true ones are there for every season, without any reason.”
· “Sometimes we don’t value a moment till the time it becomes a memory.”
· “Relationships have a starting date, ending date but love doesn’t. Love starts and stays forever.
· “A life without love is a night without moon and a life with love is a winter’s afternoon.”
[I had to exclude some wonderful lines, just because there were so many. Good job author.]
Firstly, special mentions to all the poems that delights your heart from the very start. The verses are very sweet and radiant. They will soothe your heart if your soul is in pain due to a character’s sorrow and will tickle you if you are reading something breathtaking. Secondly, the quotes which come in between from time to time, they were just mind-blowing.
Also, there were some chapters (18, 19 and 26) which surely needed some extra time, because the happenings were very touching.
There were editing errors, big and small ones. Many adjectives and words were used again and again; surely a synonym could have been used, for making the sentence quirkier. Also, there were many chapters which started with long explanations which didn’t go with the story directly. The avoidance of such paragraphs wouldn’t have cost anything.
If there weren’t any filmy scenes in the book, it would have seemed a fresh tale for sure.
If you like reading mixed genres, you will definitely like this book. It’s a must read for those who have lost faith in friendship or love.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Book Review : The 3 U-turns of My Life by Jitendra Gianchandani

Book- The 3 U-Turns of My Life
Author- Jitendra Gianchandani
Genre- Fiction
Publisher- Srishti Publishers

Story of three friends with different goals. Two of them are constantly fighting for dominance. Manav and Deepak have two different tracks for their lives. Urvashi is close to both of them and in the earlier days she bridges the gap between these not so close friends.
Life starts twisting and things start haunting the trio. They are adjusting with their new professions and lives. The tale becomes quite complicated when the doomsday arrives. Their patience, loyalty and friendship are checked.
What happens when there are some unsaid feelings in air? Will the tale ends up being a happy one? Will they fail in friendship test? Or will they pass with excellence?
The title sounds familiar and thus you form a mind-set. You can know what you are going to read after knowing the name of the book.
There is nothing radiant about the cover of book. It’s simple and non-reflecting. But yes it’s not bleak as well. Simplicity is not bad, in this case.
There are enough amount of characters in the story to treat you well. But the protagonists are not showcased with excellence. There were times when things didn’t make sense at all and characters just appear for the sake of filling the stage in your head. The antagonists are not showing their villainous traits properly and it seems they don’t play their part well.
The narration is in first person and it is quite sober and natural. It makes the read easy. But due to extra soberness the extra-ordinary factor couldn’t be brought up. It could have been strong without any doubt.
The story starts with very normal relationship mess between two friends, Manav and Deepak. They both are highly explicit in what they need in their lives. The story moves really slowly and you not read anything new till the middle of the novel. The first u-turn was very simple but it touches you. The way the hustle-bustle settles is quite surprising but the answer to your queries are delivered at the end, leaving a smile on your face.
The story then quickly takes a leap and the three friends go on different paths. But fate brings them back again and that is where things start falling apart. It takes quite a long time for the author to reveal the second u-turn in Manav’s life. It annoys you to wait so much. But as you move ahead with the story, things become quite predictable.
As the end approaches, the third u-turn becomes clear to you as well. And that is not a good sign because since the start the novel was predictable and the trend didn’t change even in the end. The novel started with a very loose strand and same happened in the end.
Epilogues at the end answer all your queries which you might have not got in your mind. There are a lot of people with very small appearance in the chapters that you almost forget who was playing what part. When everyone is happy in the end, things quite naturally seems perfect, though your brain isn’t saying the same story.
· “Travelling is not a cost, it’s an investment.”
· “...when husbands and wives are together, they squabble but when they are apart, they miss each other a lot.”
· “You forget the world around you when you are in the arms of your sweetheart.”
The main turn on of the book is the end. The way things wrap up and how the sentiments are weaved to showcase a proper ending. The story has a motivating factor, spiritually and that makes it a little relatable.
There are a lot of editing errors. The phrases and words are used twice at a lot of places. The story is loose and seems already heard. There are extra explanations at places where it is not required and quick showdown at places where more information is needed. There is a lot of emphasizing on CA’s and MBA’s. Though it was an important part but still so much presence of these two abbreviations irritates and hinders your reading. The starting is quite boring and the story seems to be old and typically Hindi movie type.
If you are at the initial levels of reading then you can give it a try.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Book Review : The Shadow of the Dark Soul by Sukhmani Gandhi

Book- The Shadow of the Dark Soul
Author- Sukhmani Gandhi
Genre- Fiction
Publisher- Cypher Publishers

Zayesha is moved by the current hot topic of Nirbhaya case. Being a journalist she is on her toes to submit her research. Despite of all the efforts, she can’t set her mind. Things doesn’t seem right to her. The profession she is in makes her feel responsible towards everything, which she is going to present.
What reference does shadow of dark soul has? How does it relate to Zayesha’s life? Will she be able to see beyond the natural wavelength?

You don’t need to over-think after seeing the title. You won’t get any hints that as to what it relates to. It is an apt title without any second options. An intelligent one to relate some images beyond.

We have balanced characters, without any extra spice. The story revolves around Zayesha. There are some supporting characters that move around her. The main lead gets to reveal all the information. And it doesn’t seem bad or conflicting.

Zayesha do all the honours of narration. It is not that gripping. It seems the fluency loses control after a certain point of time and it’s just the story which holds things intact. There is no breakpoint anywhere, making it a smooth ride.

Sukhmani Gandhi has stood beyond the present race tracks. There are not much writers who break their egg and shine with freshness. The shadow of the dark soul has something very vivid to say. The story starts with the very famous Nirbhaya case. Zayesha is in-charge and there is where the things start evolving.
She researches and her mind conflict between the right and the wrong.
The love story gives you a break from all the heavy things. The care Armaan has for his love, the way they respect each other. Everything is very casual yet scintillates your mind, with its preciseness and compactness.
The message of Nirbhaya is not all the story has. The vision is way beyond. Zayesha gets a shake after interacting with the real life survivors. Seeing and experiencing are two different things. And that’s what helped Zayesha to know what it really meant. The book surprises you at every corner. It is not any other feminised blabbering tale. It has more delicacies from different fragile bubbles, made up by the society.
Everything wraps up in the Epilogue. Zayesha gets what she desires in some other form. The whole motive of the book is achieved, that change is within. You need to be fearless to accept what you are ignoring with opened eyes.

· “It's not that there is a need of women like me. Actually we don’t need men like them.”
· “Despite years of growing up, love could make one a child.”
· “...the shadow of the dark soul is one that scares you of your own existence.”
· “I could see change when I saw my daughter.”

The book itself is a big turn on. Everything in the book touches you. Let it be the story, or the characters. The story is new and refreshing. There are lot of places where you could miss a beat. The best part is the Epilogue. Who could have thought that the main cause of trouble for Zayesha, would give her such a strong feeling of completeness. Very well thought.

There are a lot of errors in the book, which hinder the reading from time to time. The start of the book is also very lengthy. Its omission wouldn't have spoiled anything much. 

This book is meant for every gender. It is a must read for all those who care for the deteriorating environment.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Book Review : Second Spring by Sandhya Jane

Book- Second Spring
Author- Sandhya Jane
Genre- Fiction Romance

Avantika, in her late thirty’s, doing exceptionally well in her professional and personal life. The monster headed boss and a very warm single mother of Aarav. Things were always her way, either at home or office.
Things never bothered her because she was exhausted due to work and responsibilities. The story is never complete without a man to sway the wind. Rohan, a new chapter in Avantika’s life make things smooth and harsh in her life, during different phases.
She felt nice when he was around, she was forgetting her past. But then things aren’t set up the way we want. What happens when things didn’t work? What happens when spirituality hit the nerves of Avantika? What happened when she quit being a boss? Will things get right for the protagonist Rohan and Avantika?

Second spring doesn’t let you peep in the story wholly. The title is an intelligent cover up and there should be no guessing before you start. It was well thought off.

Like the title, same goes for the cover, subtle colours, soothing your eyes. Not allowing you to know the kind of story you are going to read, the emotions you are going to experience. But yes, if you think deep, you can know what it means after you step in.

Characters and Narration-
The book doesn’t lack appropriate number of characters. But you can see only some over-powering ones, throughout. It can be taken as the holding of minor characters or the enhancement of main leads. There is a very special notion that is followed in the novel. The narration is done by both Rohan and Avantika. It was something new, not followed much (as far as I have read).
Through this kind of narration you are able to look in the inner self of characters from their own point of view and also from the other individual’s sight. This helps in understanding the characters well, without any hopes and roads for something else coming in your mind, apart from the book. The narration and characters are strongly inter-related and it comes out phenomenally.

Second spring is the story of Avantika and Rohan. The characters are very clear as they explain themselves, one by one. We get a lot of information right from the start about how their lives work and what role everything plays. The major characters are introduced well, without any extra clicks of queries.
Part one deals with the love story of the leads. Avantika, who had seen hardships in her life since her younger days, finds some bliss in the form of Rohan. Being from different heritages, there is an unseen distance between them. When Avantika is pouring her heart out, it seems she has a deep pool of emotions behind her tough and energetic smile. Her feelings, expressions, fear and happiness brings a smile on your face and sometimes some drops in your eyes.
The personal life of Avantika and Rohan are opened from time to time, creating excitement. It makes you understand them well, step by step. Every love story has a high point when the love confession is made. And this story has a healing confession, followed by some barbaric outburst. The end of part one leaves you in tears. If you can imagine things well then you would love it for sure.
Part two is a sudden change in things. The atmosphere, the places and the situations, everything seems new. The only drawback this part has is the negligence of Rohan’s character in early stages. It makes you form a very strong opinion about the characters. And it didn’t wash off till the end. It might be good or bad, according to personal whims.
The poem in the concluding chapter gives you a feeling of warmth. It seems you are reading the whole book again in a new and delicate way. There are some surprises waiting in the end. They cross your eyes one after the other, making it hard to leave the book. Every chapter has something new. The end is remarkable, completely unexpected and it makes your reading experience delightful.

·  “...home cooked food, was rarer than a blue moon.”
· “This was again the old school thought of his priorities over my needs.”
· “Life comes with no guarantee who knows whether the next day’s sun will dawn at all!”
· “The vacuum was still there and moreover, he was still there as a part of me.”
· “It was wonderful to be cared for by a person who had seen so much of the world.”

The narration is surely the best part in the story. It compliments the tale well and doesn’t bore you. The perfect balance between the portions given to a character for narration, commendable. It is a perfect way to start and end some heart wrenching ideas that a reader gets while reading.

The story was not unique enough to catch your eyes. It is a normal tale with some heart touching incidences, nothing extra-ordinary. The start of the story is also not up to the mark. There are some extra explanations which could have been omitted easily.

If you are a normal romantic novel fan then you can give it a try. Also, if a strong narration makes you attentive then Second Spring could be definitely an option for you.

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