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

Why do we celebrate Holi: Holi Festival by Anitha Rathod – Review

I have been reading a few books recently. A few of them were certainly the regular ones you get to read these days – the romantic fiction. However, a few books, luckily, were deliberately picked up from different genres and that saved my reading hours with delight as well as a new experience. Do we ignore something when we become readers? Yes, we all ignore what we did in childhood; do you remember the books you read as a child? Children literature plays a very important role in the life of a grown-up reader. Today, I will be sharing my review of a children’s book – Why do we celebrate Holi? This book has been written by Anitha Rathod, a famous children author from India.

A picture book that perfectly captures the emotions and tradition attached to the Holi festival, a festival of Hindus celebrated by Indians in every part of the world, this will be appreciated by the parents, liked and widely read by the children and also will establish Anitha as an author of children literature on a further pedestal. I could see very connecting images, very aptly written text and also splendidly packed information – why do we celebrate Holi, how we do it and what are the rituals and history associated with it. And this is what I would like to see in a book for children!

Anitha Rathod has wonderfully written many children books in the past as well. However, this one is certainly demanding special attention as it comes when an occasion is nearing – an occasion that we celebrate – Holi. So, what do you think your children would be after they have celebrated Holi and thrown colours on each other? Let them learn more about the festival through this wonderful book and I am sure they will be interested more than ever – in reading books as well as in knowing more about other festivals. So, this picture-book will work in many ways; it will enhance the interest in literature from a tender age and it will also make the readers (children in this case) more and more curious to ask about reasons behind our rituals, festivals and many other things. And that is why many book bloggers in India have praised the book for its usefulness and content.

So, on the basis of my reading experience and also an analysis of the content, I have all praises for this book by Anitha Rathod – I have nothing in my sight that goes against it. I would recommend this to be read by children who are able to decipher and comprehend the English language at a basic level. You can get a copy for your kids from Amazon:

Buy Anitha’s book – click here

review by Chandan for The Book Blog

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

The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart is a short story by one of the greatest writers of all time – Edgar Allan Poe. The short story was originally published in 1843, January. The short story is about a person, and the same person is also the narrator of the story, who is doing his best to make the readers feel that he is perfectly a sane person and in all his senses. However, that is only his fancy and he suffers from an extreme nervousness. And ironically, the narrator shares a story from his past to prove that he is not, and was never, an insane.

The short story is written (deliberately) in an ambiguous style and the names and details of the persons have been kept in the dark. One cannot relate this fiction to a genre which we commonly read. The person who dies and the person who kills are two distinct ones and perhaps the most distinguished ones compared to the general persons in the short stories…

This unnamed person conceives an idea that he cannot move or shake from his place and has gone rigid. He talks about some old man whom he likes except the eyes which he despises and his hatred grows to such an extent that he kills that old man. The killing – the murder – and then the confession of the narrator is the amazing parts of the story and one must read those to fully enjoy that. I won’t like to give details of those events but yes, I would surely love to talk about the art of Edgar Allan Poe and his short story’s ending.

To that end, the narrator goes to the old man’s room every night at 12 am, for seven days. Each night the narrator opens the man’s door and puts in a lantern. After the lantern, the narrator puts his head through the doorway, slowly, and then lightens the lantern so that a small beam of light shines on the old man’s eye. Each night the old man doesn’t open his eye, so the narrator feels that he can’t kill him.

The introduction of the clicking sound which the narrator thinks to be coming from the old man’s heart (who has already been killed and cut by him) clarify the story to a great extent. The Tell-Tale Heart is the heart of the old man who has been murdered without any proper reasons whatsoever! You must read this story to know better and know more. I enjoyed my share…

Review by – Simardeep Kaur

The Portable Chekhov

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

This is exactly what Anton Pavlovich Chekhov did to his stories. He didn’t believe in shining of the moon; he, instead, tried to search its effect on his characters. I was totally unaware of this talent although I had heard of him so much. Recently I just happened to read his short story collection. I was lucky enough to be gifted by someone the book otherwise I would never have laid my hands on such a masterpiece. But I m glad I did or I would have missed such a wonderful piece of literature.

Anton was a writer who as per his contemporaries was assumed to be forgotten after a few decades of his death. But exactly opposite of it happened. His literature kept him alive and he is read till date by students of literature or those who believe in producing class literature. His short stories with modernist outlook are far above excellence. This particular book The Portable Chekhov is a compilation of two plays one major and the other minor and 28 stories along with some of his letters. His stories cover major areas of life and are realistic at the core.

Anton still continues to remain to be one of the best story writers of Russia and also the world. The quotes from his writings are famous and are still in use by modern literary genius. Some of my favourite quotes are:

“Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.”

“If you are afraid of loneliness, don’t marry.”

“Idea for a short story. The shore of a lake, a young girl who’s spent her whole life beside it, a girl like you. She loves the lake the way a seagull does, and she’s happy and free as a seagull. Then a man comes along, sees her and ruins her life because he had nothing better to do. Destroys her like this seagull here.”

Wonderful !!! How well he sums up the reality of life in a light way. Moreover, the way Anton Chekhov describes the things, even the sordid details go on to become happy-handy and going…

His stories are captivating and arresting. His literary stature has made him the greatest influence on modern short story writing. His writings gave voice to the oppressed peasants and their conflict that existed with the landed gentry. Some of his stories like “The Kiss”, “The Darling”, and “In the Ravine” represent his portrayal of the human comedy. The letters convey his aspirations and convictions of life and art. His plays “The Boor” which is his earlier dramatic work and “The Cherry Orchard” which is his last and finest play is also included in this THE PORTABLE LIBRARY.

Yes, I would like to term it as a library for it has all the variety to make it one. Anton Chekhov is alive through his genius still igniting the literary fire in young aspirers. His each and every story is far above in the levels of excellence if even the complete novels of the present day are put up in front. And a work of brilliance needs no ratings or stars so I will just like to stop with a quote on life by the man himself full of hope and positivity.

“Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.”

by – Nidhi Sharma

The Japanese Wife

In a world governed by social networking sites, where people visualise each other’s profiles before falling in love, The story of THE JAPANESE WIFE may sound absurd to the present generation.

The story is a thunderclap to the false concept of love that has overtaken the youth of today. The physical aspect of love is totally ruled out in this story.

The Japanese Wife is about Snehamoy Chakrabarti, a teacher in Shonai, and Miyage, a Japanese woman. They fall in love with each other through pen friendship. He is living with his grandmother who is ill. Their letters gain pace and so much they get involved in their relationship through them that they even write their marital vows and start considering themselves as husband and wife. The physical presence is not considered mandatory for falling in love. The twist to the story comes when Mi is struck with a terminal illness and the girl whom he was about to get married arrives with a son after being divorced. Her physical presence makes them come closer but he gains realisation that he is married and he falls back. This particular phase is heart rendering. Twists and turns further take over but we still can’t overrule the platonic relationship that prevails throughout the story.

The book THE JAPANESE WIFE is actually a collection of 13 stories. Most of which advocate the surreal and the unexpected. There is, for example, the story of a man who comes to India to commit suicide and goes on a journey with a snake charmer’s daughter. The writer Kunal Basu has travelled a lot and that is what we find in his writings..places such as Hong Kong, China, Switzerland, Delhi, Agra and the Sunderbans fill his stories. The characters of his story belong to different places and fall together somehow. His stories in this book are a revelation of expecting the unexpected.

However, for a voracious reader only the main story THE JAPANESE WIFE will be of interest for the other stories fall flat after a few starting pages. Be it the story of the Russian prostitute finding her roots with Kolkata revolutionaries or a honeymoon couple caught in the Tiananmen Square unrest.

Only the main story as per which the book is named has gained popularity so much so that the famous Indian filmmaker Aparna Sen even directed a film on this story. Overall a good read.