Book Review – The Angel’s Share

BOOK REVIEW

TitleThe Angel’s Share

Author: Satyajit Sarna

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN No: 9350293331, 9789350293331, 978-9350293331

Price: INR 250/- (Paperback)

Buy The Angels Share (English): Book

Book Blurb:

Zorawar Chauhan lives two lives. In one, he has the big money corporate law job he used to dream of. To the young lawyer, the world tenders an endless promise of wealth and privilege.

In the other life-  the one in his head-  he is haunted by the ghosts of a past from which he is not yet free. He relives his life on the colourful campus of the National Law School, Bangalore, playing football, getting stoned, getting into trouble and  falling in and out of love. And above all, he remembers the loss of his friend, the charismatic Sasha Kapur.

The Angel’s Share is a story of loss and wisdom – dark, funny and relentlessly honest about youth and ambition.

BOOK REVIEW-

The Angel’s Share is a story with multiple hues; the dominant shade is yellow, the color of sunshine, fun and friendship. The underlying crimson of tragedy and heartbreak seeps into the lives of the young law school students of National Law School, Bangalore. The major part of the story takes place at the law school. The memories of the campus and its surrounding areas stay with Zorawar Chauhan, the main protagonist of the story, and fill his heart with bittersweet emotions intermittently.

The friendship between Zorawar and Sasha Kapur is evident from the way he talks about Sasha, “We simply acknowledged that he was cheerfully insane and loved him for it, a uniquely jagged piece of the puzzle that was our lives.”

The author has presented a scary picture of the students’ lives on campus of the law school; hopefully there is more fiction than fact here. The story is gripping and its characters eclectic and very interesting; Zorawar, Sasha, Malaika, Amlan, Seshadri, Kelkar, Raghav, Kiran and Jennifer, to name a few.

I am aware that it’s a story but the characters are so real and their feelings so accurately and sensitively described that I re-lived their trials and tribulations. I found myself praying for a miracle for sweet Jenni, and also for Zorawar, nobody should live with such a burden of guilt and introspection. I had mixed feelings while reading the book and was left with a dull ache in my heart at the end.

I felt that the language used by Sasha, Zorawar and his friends at times was pretty scandalous. The excessive partying and drinking aside, the core of the book is vulnerable  and sensitive, it envelops your heart in a soft bubble of varying emotions. The angel’s share was not justified; the young law students’ lives were torn apart and some of them couldn’t come to terms with this upheaval.

I give it 3.5 stars.

Book Review – Private India

 Book Details

Title : Private India
Author : Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson
Publishers : Arrow Books
Genre : Fiction ( Crime Thriller)

ISBN: 978-0-099-58639-5
Number of Pages: 470

 

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About the book

In Mumbai, seemingly unconnected people are dying, strangled in a chilling ritual and with strange objects carefully arranged with the corpses.

For Santosh Wagh, Head of Private India, The Mumbai branch of the world’s finest investigation agency; it’s a race against time to stop the killer striking again.

In a city of over thirteen million, he’d have his work cut out at the best of times, but this case has him battling Mumbai’s biggest gang lord and a godman who isn’t all he seems.

And then he discovers there may be an even greater danger facing Private India. Hidden in the shadows is someone who could destroy the whole organization- along with thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens…

Book Review

The idea of reading a murder mystery co-authored by Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson excited me enough to pick up this book, yet I must admit that it wasn’t at all what I had expected it to be. The story meanders about at a slow pace for the first few chapters of the book, picking up speed as it moves into the second half, but there are a few speed breakers along the way making the ride a little bumpy.

What I liked about the story was the twist in the last few chapters and the joining of dots at the end of the story. The characters were not very well defined and they didn’t grow on me, I read their thoughts and actions but didn’t see them in my mind’s eye.

The logic behind the extremely short chapters with their first three words in capital letters eluded me. Even though it is a work of fiction yet the casual manner in which the police let the private agency manage the investigation was difficult to imagine and accept.

The link between all the characters in the story is very neatly explained – a bit too neatly. It looks like the authors were very methodical in their storytelling, but in the process the spontaneity was lost. The large Font size made it easier to read and gave it a clean look.The highlight of the story for me was the scene at the Tower of Silence, great piece of writing.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

 

By Sulekha Rawat

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Memories of Us.

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Precious memories of Us.

I glimpse all around

Bits I stole from time

When we met, you and I.

 

I thought you,

didn’t see me

Mentally filing away

little snatches

Of our conversations

Did not notice

Me picking up

a few breathtaking

And incredible moments

Were unaware of me

Scooping up

lots of caressing smiles.

Didn’t see me

Gather carefully

Some lingering glances

From your mesmerizing eyes

 

But I hope I was wrong

And you did witness it all

Yet let me steal

A bit of you and me

From this world.

 By Sulekha Rawat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review- Where Even the Present is Ancient: Benaras

BOOK REVIEW-

Where Even the Present is Ancient: Benaras

maitreyee's blog tour banner 2By Maitreyee B Chowdhury
Editor: Surojit Mohan Gupta
Genre: Poetry
Sub-genre: Lyrical Poetry
Back Cover Blurb
Where Even the Present is Ancient: Benaras is a book that seeks to tell the little stories that make us who we are. The author believes that Benaras resides in all of us Indians, in some beautiful often unknown way. The author is the Sutradhar, in that she attempts to connect an India that many do not realize exists, in that it is everybody’s story. Radha, Krishna, Ganga, Benaras and Me are all characters in this deluge of poems.

This beautiful book starts with a captivating poem- Benaras: A long-lost poem

“Sometimes Benaras seems like a poem,
A long lost one, at that.”
Just like the fragrance of the Benarasi kaththaa sticks to the author’s self, her vivid imagery creates mesmerizing images which reach out and capture our souls with their beauty and intensity.
“In Benaras,
Every artist merges,
every traveller comes home.”
There can be no better way to put across this sentiment than her own words, I simply fell in love with her lyrical poetry and soaked in each word like a parched desert-traveler.
With every poem the author provides glimpses of Benaras and its people, their lives, rituals and their fears and longings. The traditions associated with the holy Ganga and its relation to Benaras, makes for an interesting and riveting read. The soothing waters of the river Ganga trickle and surge towards our hearts intermittently in an expressive and artistic way. The readers are left trembling in the chill of the night with only the flickering lights of the floating lamps to warm them and dry their dripping garments.
The Linga is a powerful poem-
“Ganga impregnates. The widow and the sinner alike,”
Manikarnika is the culmination of all of lives’ journeys, the final resting place of all.

Maitreyee takes us on a journey with the river Ganga in Benaras and shows us the depth and serenity of the place. The sins we wash off of our bodies pollute the Ganga and they seem to permeate the holy river shamelessly but she absorbs all and absolves us of our wrongdoings. Those who live in Benaras are blessed and revel in its beauty and complexity while the visitors come back feeling complete and bereft at the same time. They lose a part of themselves in the ever flowing Ganga, they leave a bit of their souls behind, in Benaras.

I leave you with these few lines from Maitreyee’s last poem, they sum up her entire collection so evocatively.

“In Benaras,
Everything is a song,
a sad song and a happy song-
But a song in the end.”

I gave this book a rating of 5 star for its poetic beauty, soulful expression, heart-warming emotions, lyrical flow and for making Benaras come alive in my heart and mind.

By Sulekha Rawat

 

 

About the Author- Maitreyee B Chowdhury

MaitreyeeMaitreyee B Chowdhury is a web columnist and creative writer. She is author of Reflections on My India, a book of Indian traditions and spirituality in parts. Maitreyee is also author of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen- Bengali Cinema’s First Couple and Ichhe Holo Tai, a bilingual muti media presentation of poetry. Maitreyee is featured amongst other Indian writers such as Gulzar, Shashi Tharoor and Deepti Naval in an anthology of Indian writers Celebrating India.

 

 

Reunion

Reunion

Ever since that day in the woods,

When he had forced himself on her.

 

She’d created a friend in her mind.

She needed for easing her pain and hurt.

 

Today after 15 long years, they met.

a healing reunion In the psychiatrist’s office.

By Sulekha Rawat

from-15-to-50Linking this to the Fiction Challenge ‘From 15 to 50′

Healthy Salad Recipe

I didn’t know cooking when I got married 26 years ago in 1988, but I have managed to learn how to make the simpler dishes. The ones that need minimum or no cooking time are my absolute favorites :)

Today I made a salad, thanks to the excessive TV watching. Both my son and I love the master-chef Australia series and keep trying to replicate the recipes shown here. This salad is my throw-in-what-you-have-at-home kind of recipe, hope you like it and try making it at home. It is healthy and fresh :)

salad

Healthy Salad

Take one cup chopped cabbage, half a cup cottage cheese, one tomato, one cucumber, 10 to 12 Jalapenos, two plums (optional- I added them for color), salt.

Mix them well and refrigerate for a couple of hours, eat and stay healthy :)

 

By Sulekha Rawat

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RIP Robin Williams

To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.
~Thomas Campbell

A great actor and comedian, Robin Williams is no more with us, to make us smile, laugh and sometimes cry with his sensitive performance. He has left us sad, bewildered and lost. His death was unexpected and sudden, he will be missed by one and all. I loved watching his movies, as did all his fans; he acted in so many wonderful ones. ‘Dead Poets’ Society’ is my all time favorite. He was brilliant in the film, I wanted a teacher like him. He made me laugh in Mrs Doubtfire, and I loved his role in The Birdcage. Flawless in every movie, he was truly a great actor. RIP Robin Williams.

RW

My senryu today is about smiles and tears.

SENRYU

A smile can be sad

Hiding all the pain inside

An unaware world laughs.

By Sulekha Rawat

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On My Bookshelf

Have you heard of the book-spine-poetry? I had written a book-spine poem during the A to Z Challenge.

Today I am going to post something different with the new books on my shelf. I call this the books-fan (the books are spread out like cards and resemble a hand-held fan, I am being creative here :) I had ordered many books but couldn’t find the time to read the majority of them, maybe this poem will remind me to pick the first one and just start reading :)

book fan poem

What did you think of my books-fan? Kindly leave your feedback in the comments section.

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By Sulekha Rawat

Listening

dog2“Why aren’t you listening to me?”

“I tell you to do something but you don’t, I know you don’t listen to me when I speak”.

“Why can’t you just listen to me?”

We hear these complaints all around; in television serials, among friends, colleagues, etc. Why is listening so important to us? What is listening?

Listening is an art, this is an old post on my blog which lists the different kinds of listeners based on their characteristics. Read it to know your type :) If you click on the link then you definitely are the fourth kind of listener, option ‘d’.

The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Let me tell you a true story about listening

A seventy year old woman once told her son about something she had seen in a car, while on the way to the hospital for her annual medical check-up. The ‘thing’ was a huge stuffed dog and by some strange stroke of luck, the car with the dog had stayed in front of her car throughout the 30 minute ride. She liked the cute toy and wished she could have a similar one at home.

dogNow imagine the scene, there were no young children at home who could play with a stuffed toy, no logical reason to bring such a toy home, but for her wish to own one. Her son went to the mall and got her the biggest, cutest stuffed dog he found there. She pretended to scold him for buying the toy and bringing it to her, but the joy on her face gave her away. She hugged her son and then her toy, smiling contentedly. I watched misty-eyed, this beautiful exchange of words and emotions between my mother-in-law and my dear hubby. He had heard her speak of her wishes and had actually listened to her, I was never more proud of him.

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By Sulekha Rawat

Rakshabandhan

 On Rakshabandhan day the sister ties a rakhi (sacred thread) on her brother’s wrist and prays for his safety and long life, the brother in turn vows to protect her always.Rakhi I used to love this festival when I was younger because I used to get money for tying rakhi on my brothers’ wrists. Since I have two brothers, they both used to hand over the 10 rupee notes, which my parents used to give them. In the late sixties and seventies, ten rupees was good money. So come every rakshabandhan, I was richer by 20 bucks.

As I grew older, I learned why we celebrated Rakshabandhan and also realized the significance of the sacred thread which I so uninterestedly used to tie around my brothers’ wrists. I started looking forward to putting a tika on their foreheads and tying the precious rakhi/thread on their wrists, I didn’t care for the money they would hand over to me after the rakhi tying and prayers. I pray for their long life and safety and thank god for giving me such wonderful brothers. Today I am fifty years old and living away from my brothers, as I sit and write this post down I wish I could be with them tomorrow to celebrate rakhi with them. I am so glad my sister is with them and she can tie my rakhis on their wrists too, thank you didi :)

A little prayer for my brothers on the eve of Rakshabandhan-

May god bless you and keep you safe , I wish and pray that our affectionate bond remains forever strong.

SENRYU

Festival of love

Brothers and sisters rejoice

On Rakshabandhan

 By Sulekha Rawat