The Obvious Truth That is Hidden by Chethana – Book Review

I am very fond of self-help books. They occupy a large chunk of space on my bookshelf. The Obvious Truth that is Hidden by Chethana is an addition to my collection. It is a small book, yet brimful with life-changing thoughts, ideas and events. But, before I tell you more about this book and how did I find this book, let me explain to you first why I love reading self-help and motivational books more. Whenever melancholy embraces me in its warmth and hopelessness puts its hand on my eyes and obscures my vision, I instantly take out a self-help book or buy a new one and lose myself in its inspiration and hopefulness. These books are non-toxic and free medicine that gives me immediate relief. And this was the reason I picked up The Obvious Truth that is Hidden by Chethana. It changed my mood and filled me with new hopes and freshness and clear roads that were blocked by despair, fear and anxiety.

This title is a testimony to Chethana’s struggles, resistance, the spirit to fight things back and a hopeful vision that things would change for good (in the coming days). And her personal experiences have been turned into ideas, suggestions and opinions that would help the readers to learn more about their lives and the lives of those around them. This is a self-help book that actually helps you out. It does not dictate; it suggests and guides and questions and answers.

There are many things revealed in the book with the help of relevant, ancient, old and contemporary examples. The marshmallow example, the Krishna-Yashoda example, and many more like these are there in the book that will help the readers understand why patience and faith in life are essential, impatient and hurried people often lose more than they weigh during the analysis. The author has been vivid, scientific, rational and also religious and spiritual during her treatment of ideas and scenarios in the book. The Obvious Truth That is Hidden by Chethana is a book that takes into consideration different arguments and offers the readers a perspective that they can reject or accept or continue thinking more about. The book does not, in any way, harass or chide the readers for their knowledge or temperament. It acts friendly all the way to the end.

The explanation of mantras is there. The importance of Hindu practices is there. The way with or without Mantras is also there. The author, as I have reiterated many times, is friendly in her approach. She shares her experience and thoughts. She suggests and does not force her opinions or ideas. You have to pick the best ones that suit you. Also, the author has been very kind to reveal her sources of information whether it’s Wikipedia or any book or any philosopher of the bygone era. You will find the original sources of Chethana’s information wherever applicable.

An interesting book with something or everything for those who want to embark on a journey to know the internal being. It is a short, random and spontaneous collection of ideas and thoughts. You can read it and learn more. You can read it in pieces and learn even more. Yes, there might be a few instances where you might want more order and a systematic approach. Otherwise, the book is nicely written and for the first-time writer, it’s nothing short of an achievement.

You can get a copy from Amazon India and read the book now.

Buy a copy today – click here to go to Amazon 

 

Review by Nidhi for The Book Blog

Ponder Awhile by Mohit Misra – Review

Ponder Awhile by Mohit Misra… Well, the poet is just suggesting we all must give some minutes to ponder. What? Ponder about what? That you will know this once you start reading this poetry collection. I read this book almost a week ago. As its title suggests, I actually immersed myself in the pool of thoughts to Ponder Awhile before I could write something about this book. This book left an ever-lasting impression on me. Mohit Misra’s short poems profess a narrative far beyond what actually exists on the page. His poems are like gravel thrown into a pool, ripples radiating outwards indefinitely, stirring everything they touch. It shook my soul. To an extent, it changed the way I perceive and think about things. This is one of those books that allows you to flit and fly from page to page; sink into the folds or fly back into your chair or bed. Mohit’s words were so soothing and constantly echoing in my ears even after a week.

The poems in this collection are not related as such. However, when you read them, you will find a strong correlation between them. They look into the little things or issues of life of common people and present unique perspectives for you. For instance, we all strive to know the meaning of life and see(k) the truth; we all deal with confusion and reasons; we all have our definitions of God; love, friendship and relationships are the most important and inseparable parts of our lives; some days are like winning and some days are losing and so on. Mohit has covered all these aspects and combined them with his own experience which will provide you new insight to look into our lives.

Nevertheless, the subjects that the poems deal with are not only about being poetic. Mohit Misra, the author of Ponder Awhile, comes from a very unique religious background and turned out to be an atheist as life moved on for him. However, realisation and awakening came to him slowly. He experienced many things over many years. And this poetry collection is a result of the same – his experiences and his realisations. You may observe that the poems are very personal in nature. At the same time, we can all see glimpses of very common events, episodes, examples, experiences and emotions in those poems. That’s the beauty of this poetry collection.

Also, the poet has dealt with many spiritual and universal concepts in his poetry collection. He discusses religious messages, spiritual messages, secular messages, messages of light and so on. Mohit has tried his best to present to the world a thesis of peace, brotherhood, harmony and selfless living. He has chosen the lyrical form of the couplet to convey these thoughts and the form and the themes of the poems complement each other.

The height, depth, and expansive views these poems carry are impossible, to sum up here. They are simple and beautiful, dark and bright, contradictory and valid. And there are so many great lines in this poem. So quotable. It is extremely easy to read these poems. They are deep so far beyond my real understanding that I could study them for the rest of my life. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for real meaning in their lives and to anyone who is sick and tired of the usual thing. Grab a copy today and read these poems. Enjoy! Seek! All the best!

Click here to get a copy of this book from Amazon India

 

Review by Abhinandan for The Book Blog

Maya, the blindfolded: her mistake? She trusted him by Prasad Bag – Book Review

Maya – the name signifies so much for so many people in India. However, here, we are discussing Prasad Bag’s debut novel Maya, the blindfolded… her mistake? She trusted him. The novel has a very unique title and it signifies very much the essence of the novel. It unfolds the mystery that awaits the readers… but not all of it. Prasad Bag’s writing has the prowess of keeping the readers’ interest intact except on occasions where you can feel it all going a little slow. Overall, the novel does demand critical scrutiny and that is what I am doing in this book review for The Book Blog.

The novel opens with a normal scenario. Readers meet a woman who is working for a reputed company that helps other companies encrypt their data. Maya, the protagonist, is good at her work. She has friends at work. She has someone who is not her friend (and not foe as well). Mrs Pinto – is someone who is always looking for opportunities to play down Maya for any reason.

Maya lives in the neighbourhood of an old widowed lady. In her influence, she starts believing that she sees ghosts and can talk to them. Bhagat, the ghost of a person who claims to be the landlord or the owner of the property, starts appearing around Maya and making her life miserable. This ghost angle plays a big role in the progress of the storyline. Readers will find horror elements playing a major role in the novel’s overall appeal. The author has managed to maintain the interference of the horror in the main murder mystery at a very moderate level that does not take away the thriller element.

The main murder mystery that the novel deals with is when Mrs Pinto is murdered by someone inside the office premises. The blame comes on Maya because she was present there when it supposedly happened. When all these episodes fall down on Maya, she also loses her memory because of an accident. So, the novel records not only the struggle of a young woman against her hallucinations or real interactions with ghosts but also her recovery from a situation in life where she almost lost everything! The novel can also be interpreted from this angle if someone cares to do it.

What happens in the novel? What is the reality of the ghost episodes? Why does the ghost of Mrs Pinto appear near Maya if Maya is her killer? The novel has built some interesting and exciting episodes of supernatural and thriller that readers will enjoy.

Critically, the novel goes one or two steps further from the usual thriller episodes we have been reading for a few years. Prasad Bag has walked beyond the conventional set-up of such novels and he has tried to offer something new to the readers with an amalgamation of imagination, realism, magical realism, horror, thriller and mystery. The language complements the contemporary set-up of the novel’s scenes and also keeps the novel within the reading range of teenagers, youths, and people who want to enjoy fiction rather than understand the nuances and critical aspects of it.

Buy the novel from Amazon India – click here to go to the Amazon buying page

Review by Saurabh for The Book Blog

The Mystery Mountains by Aurijit Ganguli – Book Review

The Mystery Mountains by Aurijit Ganguli is a mysterious book, different from the common murder mystery novels. It is not a murder mystery, first of all. And secondly, it is a book that is fiction from its face, but its core contains the elements of a non-fiction book. Why did I say so? To present a detailed and authentic version, authors of non-fiction books go over the selected subjects with a fine-tooth comb before they write and publish their books. The theme demands so. However, do you know any author who does painstaking research for a fictional work? I guess the name of Ashwin Sanghi should come to your mind if you read Indian English fiction regularly! However, make room for one more name in this category of authors from India, Aurijit Ganguli. He has done quality research before his first book came, The Shambala Sutras. He has done the same before his second, the most recent, publication – The Mystery Mountains. Though the comparison between Ashwin Sanghi and Aurijit Ganguli might appear a bit bland to many who observe Indian English fiction, you should read Aurijit’s novels first. You will, then, surely agree with the enthusiasm.

The book has four prominent characters who drive the story and make it move forward at a steady pace to the end. The author has given them vivid backgrounds. Lisa is a chef, Arjun is a botanist and Marcos and Miguel are anthropologists and archaeologist. Where Arjun and Lisa are in their thirties, Miguel is a retired professor and Marcos happened to be his younger brother and still working with the University of Sydney, Australia. Each of them is thorough in their disciplines and together they make a perfect team to resolve a mystery designed for them. This vividity of characters brings distinct perspectives throughout the story. It is more like a movie where oddly paired characters are put together by the director and scriptwriters to offer the audience something new, different and entertaining. And, eventually, this combination of characters breaks the monotony that might create a hurdle in your exciting journey. I am sure, it wouldn’t be difficult for you to get along with Lisa, Arjuna, Miguel and Marcos as they are simple, knowledgeable and goal-oriented like many of us.

It is not one or two things in the novel that make it exciting. Aurijit Ganguli has discussed many things in this book that are usually uncommon because of lack of attention. I am glad that the author has genuinely thought about them and presented them before for us. You won’t be prying to know what happens with a character or two at the end like you might have done while reading contemporary thriller fiction. Here, The Mystery Mountains offers the readers a chance to know the antediluvian tribe living in the distant landscape, far from the city life. The novel also provides the readers with an opportunity to think about our existence from a few different perspectives that we could seldom have worked out on our own… well, that is why the world needs novelists from time to time! The storyline takes the readers to meet ‘Uros or Uru’ from the region of Lake Titicaca near Puno. Marcos and Miguel are descendants of this tribe. As we move in the story, the author has introduced some different and unique species of plants (at least I have heard about them for the first time) to give it an angle of Botany as Arjun is a botanist. The further layers of the novel reveal the Neanderthals, an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans. Besides this, it talks about people with higher consciousness and Vaman Avtaar of Lord Vishnu. The book also draws the lines of connection between Indian history, mythology, and religious beliefs with the same in other parts of the world. With this, the author has involved the spiritual perspectives in the book in a manner that’s not conventional. Last but not the least, anthropology and archaeology are at the centre of the storyline.

Lastly, The Mystery Mountains draws its inspiration from high values of Mythology, Theology and Ecology. The author’s writing style, composition and narration style take a rather classical approach in describing every possible detail. The language is simple, coupled with a writing style that every reader can understand and enjoy. He believes readers should not only connect with the characters but with the context and content too. Although simple in style, the intriguing plot and sub-plots of the novel challenge readers to figure out ‘what it is’ and ‘how it is, using the clues the author drops in frequently before the story ends.

Moreover, the book tries not only to engage readers with the help of an intriguing story but also to connect them to the times they could not live in the past. Aurijit offers the readers a tour into the past through this book. It is amazingly awesome. I will recommend this book to the readers who seriously want to enjoy an excellent fiction book that offers entertainment and information together.

You can get a copy of this novel from Amazon India by clicking the link below.

Get a copy – Amazon India (click here)

 

Review by Devendra for The Book Blog

Seema Seth offers her thoughts on love – Some Love Only Once: The drone story for young audience

Some Love Only Once is a distinct book from all the other books of contemporary literature. I haven’t read this kind of book before. Trust me, reading this book was a sheer pleasure. This is unique. There are no chapters. There are no parts. There are no sections. There is no antagonist, so no planning and plotting. And as such there are no heroes and heroines. The book just flows irrespective of anything and makes a memorable ending. Now you may be curious to know what this book is and to who it is targeted?

Fact: The book has less than ten pages. (Surprised? Read on.)

As the title of the book suggests, this book falls into the romantic genre. If we try to interpret the title, it broadly portrays two perspectives. Firstly, it points out the love that is prisoned in the cage of the poor or cheap mentality of a couple. In spite of being Free, it is not been given enough freedom to fly in the boundless sky. And thus, it is limited to physical intimacy or pleasure. Secondly, if we observe more closely, then we will realise that it talks about pure love. The love that happens only once in a lifetime. And when we allow love, we feel calm, we feel serene. It fills us with clarity. It completes two souls who embrace love. How do you see it, I leave it to you.

The story of the book starts off with the birth of honey bees in a hive. It pictures the beginning and culmination of the lives of male honey bees (the drones). But, in its womb hidden an important lesson of life. The story indirectly tries to put forth the issue of Fleeting Love or Love that changes over time. This issue has become really big and seeks the attention of people. It is apparent that today’s youth are unable to emotionally and mentally settle in their life. They are in search of love that is unconditional. They are struggling hard for it. And in their hunt for true love, they sometimes become so vulnerable that they give mere attraction the name of love. And once the newness of this relationship wears off, love starts to change.

In the times when we are seeing a huge overflow of love stories with no heads and toes in the market, this book by reputed author Seema Seth speaks volumes. She hasn’t spoken anything about anyone or anything in particular. She has just narrated a love story in a very unique style and readers will surely interpret the message correctly – I do believe so. And let me also put it forth to the readers of The Book Blog that Seema’s book is not only for a young audience but for anyone who wants to read something peculiar, once in a time and meaningful. Reading this book will not take more than a few minutes of your busy life. However, the way this book has been written makes all the difference and the message that it delivers makes it totally worth the time you invest in reading it.

Buy the book from Amazon – get a copy here

 

Opinion piece by the blog team, The Book Blog

Before you criticise Chetan Bhagat (again) for his writing style or lack of literary qualities, think – the thought

Slandering Chetan Bhagat is one thing everyone loves to do. This act does not come out of merit. Criticising someone on facts is an ideal thing to do. Many do it. However, slandering someone without knowing the work is a job that tells how frustrated some people are!

I am not defending Chetan Bhagat. I am not defending his poor writings. I am not telling people should read him. This article intends to hold a mirror to those ready with daggers without knowing the hole to dig. Yes, Chetan Bhagat is a novelist who works on the same framework. However, have you read any of his works? Have you ever tried to discover why does he do so?

Traditional readers and book reviewers in India, in general, are always against anything that Chetan writes. They do have the right to do it. However, what is the reason behind Chetan Bhagat working on the same themes time and again? Many research scholars have tried to bring different aspects behind Chetan’s fictional craft. Some papers explore the wide range of social issues that the author fuses with local themes in his novels. Why do research scholars bother to work on an author whom the world belittles?

Chetan Bhagat rose to fame on the horizon of Indian English literature unexpectedly. While there may be debates on this phenomenon, no one can deny it happened. His novels are shallow, without literary richness, and one-time-read. However, if you get into the depths of the themes of Chetan’s novels, it will be a surprising discovery. This author has tried to portray the issues that the population of the time faces day in and day out. Relationships, love, friendship, job, frustration, dreams, heartbreak, break-up, hook-up, one-night stand, sex, movies, politics and governments – things that synchronise with the thoughts of today’s generation feature in the works of Chetan Bhagat. Traditional authors, conventional critics, and intelligent book reviewers may dislike these things. However, readers do love reading Bhagat’s novels. And that is why he is immensely successful today!

Yes, you can find faults in his style. He writes with an intention to keep his works bereaved of literary riches. He brings drops language to a level that we can call sordid. His novels are dry and singular. And there are other things that we can hold against the novelist. However, one has to substantiate these arguments with evidence. If you do that, you are a critic of repute. If you do that because others did so, you are not a critic in good faith!

We should not forget one more point about the novels of Chetan Bhagat. His writing style (simple, otherwise) has created the space for authors who write anything they like. Writers like Nikita Singh, Durjoy Datta, Ravinder Singh, and many others have followed the tracks made by Chetan Bhagat on his way to success. No one can deny it!

At last, before we tend to criticise someone, we should ideally look for all the possible ways to substantiate the criticism. Otherwise, we become a part of the gathering, knowing nothing about anything and pretending to know everything!

All the best!

 

by Alka for The Book Blog