Done with Her – Chirasree Bose – Review

Quick Tour – “It’s like slipping into a den of secrets without knowing a hoot of it. As a reader, Chirasree Bose takes you into the room of half-slept thoughts until you are finally Done with Her!”

Chirasree Bose’s debut novel, a crime mystery and a dark romance as she describes her work, Done With Her, is, in fact, a novella having very few pages. However, the novel is having many twists that would make a reader very engaged with the novel. The very first thing I liked about this novel is the narrative – it has an angle for every character, almost. It begins with Spreeha’s narrative as she is on the bed with her ‘husband’, making love. The narrative just flows – written in the first person per person, the readers get to know the details of events as the central protagonists in the particular chapters perceive. We have characters in limited numbers who form the ‘major’ bucket – Spreeha, Vrijen, Avesh, and Dheeraj. There are other characters as well who play the roles of subordinate ones.

After the narrative, the second thing that I love about this novella is its plot. Chirasree has worked wonderfully on the plot of her very debut piece of fiction. The story moves in a quite frenzy mode and we get to know ‘truths’ bit by bit, layer by layer. We, as the curious readers of the book, come to know of Chanda and her brutal ‘murder’ by a few characters in the novel. We are revealed about someone’s lust overpowering someone and a compromise just to take revenge on someone’s murder. In very few pages of this mysterious novella, the readers are given their proper due by the author.

Language is persuasive and compulsive. Because of the first person narrative, it feels like the chapter-protagonist is narrating just before the readers and the story becomes alive. A negative aura is spread throughout the novel and that’s the USP of this work by Chirasree Bose. She has worked quite well on her plot, narrative and also the momentum that she builds in her work.

I would recommend this work to the readers who want to read something quick but adventurous and happening unlike something bulky but loathsome and unmoving. The author has done pretty well and we can count on her words… Almost, being honest, I was taken aback by the rapidly shifting narrative in each of the chapters (22 in number). This was quite a deal!

About the drawbacks in this work, I will say not many. Yes, there are the moments you wish could be better otherwise. However, that’s the case with every next work we read. We like something and pass on a few. It can be clumsy for casual readers to get in sync with the narrative’s flow after reading the first few chapters. However, once they are connected to it, the book will become just amazing to read on and get to the depth of the secret and unfold the riddles to find out what lies beneath the shrouds of mysteries.

Get a copy of this novel from Amazon Kindle: (opens in new tab)

Click here to buy Chirasree’s novel – Amazon India

review by Akhilesh

Janardhan Talbot Vol I – Review

Let me be brief in the beginning. Janardhan Talbot by Mohan Timmaraju is a novel that wonderfully takes the readers back to the 19th century when the British were trying to take over Indian states one by one. It is sharp, strongly narrated and written with full conviction. The novelist, in his 80s, did not leave any room for the readers to feel bored. It is engaging; it is fast; it is meant to be read by readers of every age group.

Janardhan Talbot (Vol I) is a novel by Mohan Timmaraju that is set in pre-Independent India and is based on the life of a fictional Janardhan from south India. He has a friend named Jonathan Talbot, a British officer’s son. When he dies in an accident, Janardhan assumes the identity of Jonathan Talbot and gets himself on a ship of the English. He is easily accepted as ‘one of them’ because of his looks and his British accent. And then begins the journey of Janardhan Talbot – to cities, to countries and to continents – learning, teaching, loving, leaving…

Divided into 19 chapters, the novel explores the pre-Independence India and the life of a youth who tries to explore the British land and live a life that is embellished with dignity and pride – he wants, in short, to become a British. In his teens, Janardhan killed two English soldiers and ran away from his hometown. He begins studies among the English citizens and befriends Jonathan Talbot and his family. He is a fine young man with command over the English language and he is often mistaken to be a Britisher rather than an Indian.

The language used by Mohan Timmaraju is that of an experienced person sharing his story with the readers. It perfectly suits the narrative with details of places and period – such as December 1839 – Madras, India. The first volume of Janardhan Talbot begins in 1839-40 and ends in 1850. This volume sets the tone for the next volume – Janardhan Talbot, Volume II. In this novel, major themes discussed are the treatment of British towards the Indian people in India or anywhere else (mainly England). Janardhan faces racism at many public places in India just because he is an Indian. Indians are treated unfairly almost on every occasion.

On the critical side, Mohan Timmaraju has tried to establish the sincere Indian’s state in his debut novel. The protagonist Janardhan is a man of words and he loves Manga whole-heartedly. His casual encounters with Rena Ford, Shami, Sophia, and Jennifer cannot shake his love for Manga. So, as the traditional Indian man would do – remain a one-woman man!

Other themes in the novel are Janardhan Rao’s thirst for wealth, dignity and a life of luxury. Still, he remains a man of soft heart and helps everyone in need. His character has been towered very high but a major dilemma remains throughout the narrative – why? Why did Janardhan become Jonathan Talbot? His country, India, was being looted and robbed by the British and he keeps enjoying the luxuries of being a British? These questions might be answered once you read the novel completely and understand the state of mind of Janardhan Rao – a protagonist created by Mohan Timmaraju out of his childhood stories and imagination and his sense of the history of Indian freedom struggle.

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review by Sidhartha for The Book Blog

Greed, Lust, Addiction by Ravi Dabral – Review

The novel Greed, Lust, Addiction by Ravi Dabral is a fiction package that delivers things in a proper proportion to the readers without getting them bored or letting them feel a situation of unbalanced circumstances. The characters are more or less realistic. Vijay drives the story far enough and that’s why the introduction of Suraj in a new form becomes easy for the novelist. The theme is broadly connected to the real issues that we face as common citizens in the present times – corruption, well-being, how-tos and also the larger pursuits in life.

Are material demands not a part of our life? The answer is yes. However, are the material demands only a part of our life? The answer is no and this is what the novelist, in his debut fiction, has taken up as the core issue. Suraj is constantly pricked by his family members, his wife especially, for things of luxury and more and more money. Suraj tries to convey to them about the excesses in their demands but all in vain. On the other side of the wall, his ongoing investigation against the corrupts in politics, police and the civil society as an investigative journalist lands him in a trouble. He is believed to have died in a car crash but only to reappear as a Swami later in the story. Vijay, his younger brother, becomes a police inspector and tries to settle him in the company of corrupts – titles of the chapters in this novel are amazingly designed to reflect the tone of the content.

Greed, Lust, Addiction draws a contrast between the direct competitors – love and lust, greed and satisfaction, good politics vs bad politics, humanity vs inhumanity and so on. Author, as he hails from Uttarakhand, has also given space to the practice of Yoga, Saints, Saadhus and spirituality. The novel has come up nicely and it will certainly be an entertainer, a thriller and also a serious contemporary fiction with hints to create a better society. The idea that the author has discussed in this novel might not be new but the dealing is certainly different – the Sanyasi that the protagonist of this novel meets in Rishikesh is a learned as well as a practical man. He agrees to Suraj making a political party because he knows that country can be governed by the democratic system only.

I have enjoyed reading this novel! I believe that it will be liked by the readers of different age groups as it has something for all of us – the youths, the grown-ups, the learned and the spiritual. You can get a copy of this novel by visiting the link to Amazon shared below:

Buy Ravi’s novel – click here

review by Sima for The Book Blog

Mumtaz and Taj Mahal – Review

Author Pravin Anand’s book, his third one, Mumtaz and Taj Mahal is a title that’s self-explanatory and we can expect bits of history or a complete historical package. However, perhaps the author knew how to keep his readers guessing and in between, how to deliver a stunning novel with historical facts to a certain extent and degree that it does not become colourless. This skill of Pravin Anand, I will have to mention and admire because his writing proved me wrong with my guessing. Nonetheless, there are some low-points about his writing that I will be mentioning here as well. So, let’s get into the novel – Mumtaz and Taj Mahal.

High Points:
The story itself is the very high point of this novel. What else can be better than writing about the lady and her love who are associated with the monument of love called Taj Mahal? Pravin’s work becomes just another testimony to the love story of Mumtaz and Shahjahan. However, he has begun his story in a rather different way and a little dose of history is there. He played it cleverly and did not push the readers into a kind of nonfictional handling of history. He has painted the facts with a bit of fancy here and that makes the story curious, compulsive and also further interesting.

Keeping the levels of readership in his mind, he has also played safe in terms of language and his narrative. He could have built it up to a level that would complement the historical fiction – a rather sophisticated language and a better narrative (what does better mean? just complicating the readers’ mind with the use of volcanic words?) that would suffice the ego of reading historical fiction. Well, he rather went for a simple tone and a straightforward narrative with a motto of tell-the-tale. And this is what makes the novel a better read and a better accessible and comprehensive piece of fiction which invites the readers from different age groups and different levels of readership alike.

Low Points:
Pravin Anand’s third novel, Mumtaz and Taj Mahal, takes a shift from his general writing approach – romance and love. His previous two novels, Mars, Love and Break Up and I Love You More Than Anyone Else can be understood to be romantic fiction soothing the interests of youths. However, his latest novel is something that is written with a high expectation among the readers and the ones who are accustomed to reading novels with standard higher than usual might get disappointed. This has to do with the plot of the novel which goes almost hand-in-hand with what the intellectual readers already know. Pravin could have further dramatised the love story when he had done at times. Giving history a better rob to cover its mundane would have been better and it could come up in the form of embellished language and a layered narrative.

So, is Mumtaz and Taj Mahal worth reading? I will say yes! You can read this novel if your intention is to entertain yourself with a fiction. However, if you are expecting this novel to deliver you a higher form of aesthetics just because it deals with a historical landmark, you might find yourself disappointed.

Get a copy of Mumtaz and Taj Mahal – Click here

review by Rupesh for The Book Blog

Despite Stolen Dreams – Review

Seeds of Terrorism have split all over the land of the heaven on Earth. Kashmir is buzzing high with terrorism. It’s a burning issue everywhere and all the 365 days of a calendar year. Jihad and human bombs and young minds led astray are common in each and every household there (the general view says so). That heavenly part of India is occupied by Satans and devils turning it into a hell. The plight of that state is really heartrending.

Anita Krishan, the author of the book, has brought to life one such story of a Kashmiri family. This family tries to escape a house arrest by a group of terrorists. They succeed to earn their freedom and leap to Delhi to start afresh. Meanwhile, the servant of the family who was involved in holding them hostage falls victim to an encounter with Indian Army. The author in her tale has tried skillfully to bring out all the emotional upheavals to connect to the people who are really suffering at the hands of this terrorism.

The novel Despite Stolen Dreams is a lengthy enough fiction compared to the modern-day jargon mostly written by youths of the day who just know how to narrate the love stories and fuse it with some erotica to keep the youth readers indulged. Anita Krishan, on the other hand, is an author who is persisting with her class in every novel she writes. She has written the current one as a succession to her previous novel Tears of Jhelum. The story of Wali and his family continues in this one and it moves to Delhi and there, everything falls in line for Wali gradually and eventually, he sets himself up with the length and breadth of the Delhi wonderland. His emotional excursion with Kashmira Singh lands him in some of the memorable moments of life and he understands that human beings are human beings and they all bleed red.

Terrorism is subdued in the novel and you will read some of the most emotional episodes in it… Anita knows the art of fiction and her plot and theme and imagery (in the language) are wonderful! Despite Stolen Dreams excels the contemporary novels and offers much more than what you usually get these days.

As the writer herself terms Kashmir as fool’s paradise, she carefully brings out the term through incidents. I myself can connect to the story at a personal level because I had a classmate who joined the class in mid-session as her house in her hometown Srinagar was burnt to ashes. I had seen her family struggle with every little thing. Such brilliant minds succumb to loss of homeland and other pressure and stress. Hope people realise before it turns into a PARADISE LOST.

You can read the novel yourself and understand it. You can have a copy of it by visiting the Amazon India link below:

Anita Krishan’s Despite Stolen Dreams on Amazon

review by Nidhi Sharma

Uske Hisse ka Pyar

Love has no definition. As many relations are formed in this world, those many forms of love shine like stars in the sky of this mortal world. This book ‘ Uske Hisse ka Pyar’ by Ashish Dalal brings to life a few of these love forms. This book of short stories is filled with love in various of its manifests and celebrate each of the kinds it depicts. All the stories showcase a form of love which goes either recognised or fights for the need for recognition. Ashish Dalal has wonderfully portrayed the emotions which can be identified in the day to day life of us and we can easily associate with his stories because we often come across such things in the real life.

The sacrificing love of a mother as in ‘Devki’ and the undying love of a daughter for her parents as in ‘Apna Beta’ are some of the touching issues which author Ashish Dalal raises in his book Uske Hisse Ka Pyar. The book has 17 beautiful short stories and when we move ahead, we find the unfaithful, destroying love as in ‘Antim Sanskar’ or a love affair which has lost all relationships for acquiring one love form as in ‘Sambandh’ all of these are just a glimpse of what is packed in these wonderful short stories.

The story with the title same as of the book Uske Hisse Ka Pyar will surely touch your hearts. Madhavi and Palak, both try to understand each other and Prashant also does his best to manage the things to their best… Ashish Dalal has wonderfully captured the emotions of a child and that of a woman and he has very well justified the story.

All the stories carry in themselves the whole world of relations around which this so-called race of humanity survives. These relationships form the essence of human life. The journey that we undertake from selfless to selfish love filled with bitter sweet experiences teaches us lessons and asks many questions.

The predominant flavour of selfless love of females is clearly evident in all the stories. Be it a mother, a wife, a daughter, sister or daughter in law, their supreme love is highlighted by the author. The composition though not entirely new keeps us hooked till the end of the story and the readers feel the urge to go to the second one as soon as the first one gets over.

In his debut, Ashish Dalal has succeeded! He has managed to keep the readers involved in this short story collection which offers 17 beautiful and real short stories. You can finish the book in one go because the book is written in very simple and day-to-day Hindi. Praised by many critics writing in Hindi, the book is a MUST READ! I am sure the author will keep contributing to the world of Hindi literature like the same… get your copies of Uske Hisse Ka Pyar from the Amazon link below:

Uske Hisse Ka Pyar on Amazon India

by Nidhi Sharma