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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

                                                                                      



                                          
                                          Date Published: 10 August, 2014

Publisher: Bluejay Books Pvt. Ltd.
Pages: 200
Source: Review copy provided by Purba Chakraborty

Format: Paperback





Goodreads Synopsis



She is a successful author, a loving wife and the world's best mom. Her doctor husband dotes on her, her teenage daughter idolizes her and her readers yearn for her writing. Shouldn't all that respect and love make her happy? Yet, she is devoid of inner peace. In the wee hours of the night, her slumber is disturbed by horrifying nightmares. All her harmony is abducted and lost amidst the bunch of hidden letters kept in her cupboard. Those letters were written long back by her cousin, presently a patient at a mental asylum in Kolkata. Haunted by her inner demons and tired by the long-time secrecy, she decides to put end to her misery by surrendering to her husband and daughter, The Hidden Letters. . . Will she lose her husbands love and daughters respect? Can she forgive herself for her own selfishness which rendered her cousin's fate malignant?

 Find out more about the book on Goodreads:

Buy the book from Amazon:



My Review



“Men are governed by lines of intellect – Women: by curves of emotion.”
~James Joyce

I was minding my own business, looking for my next read on Goodreads, when I found out about Purba Chakraborty’s book, ‘The Hidden Letters’. I was looking for a book on strong woman characters and a great story on women’s emotions. The Hidden Letters fit my both criteria. The title and the blurb of the book was undoubtedly the most intriguing one I have ever read! The cover of this wonderful book was just perfect! I just couldn’t help but contact Purba and ask for a review copy of her book. Purba Chakraborty was kind enough to send me a review copy of her book. I really appreciate that.


The story of the book is probably the most unique and simple one I have ever read. The story of how a woman has to play various roles – a mother, a wife, a partner, a professional writer – was beautifully captured by Purba. Her story has shed light on different shades of a women and how women cruses through all of them. Her story is about an inspiring woman who is a successful writer, a good wife and a best mother. But the best mother and best wife isn’t perfect. She has taken a few decisions in the past, which she knows if revealed, will destroy her family. The revelation of these decisions will probably lead to loosing the respect of her daughter and love of her husband. Purba not only deals with the decisions her protagonist takes but also explains beautifully the reason behind them. Purba captures the different shades of women just so perfectly!   


One must admit that the lead character of Anaya is strong and powerful one. But, Anaya is not only as strong as a mountain but also as gentle and loving as a river. Purba has done a great job shedding light on different shades of women, in this case Ananya. The character of Anaya is my personal favorite!


The language of the novel is impressive but at the same I must mention here that lack of spaces between words, usage of wrong words in few places turned me off. I felt a little more comfortable in latter half of the book than first part of the book. As an aspiring author, and considering Purba’s second novel, she has done a great job. Her flow of sentences in second part of the book was so smooth that I just couldn’t put the book down! This book is definitely a page turner!  


One of the most interesting feature of this book was the titles of all chapters somehow gave me a hint of what is about to happen. This could have gone two ways – acted as a spoiler or a slight hint. I must admit that in my case, I felt that few titles of the chapters were spoilers and few acted as slight hints of what was about to come. But, I must also mention here that in no way the story was predictable. The story has few twists and turns and unpredictable ones considering we always expect good things to happen.


I also noticed that the length of all the chapters was almost similar and this trend was seen throughout the book. I reason why I could finish the book in just one sitting was probably the flow of the language and the universality of length of the chapters.


Anaya is a successful author, a loving wife and the world's best mother. But why is that she is devoid of a peaceful sleep at night? Why would a perfect mother fear losing respect and love of her family? What is the reason behind her horrifying nightmares? What wrongs she has done in the past which haunts her present?


Read ‘The Hidden Letters’ by Purba Chakraborty to find out…


I rate this wonderful book a 3 out of 5 for an excellent story and insights into a woman’s heart. I recommend this book to every man and woman to truly understand what it means to be a woman with many shades. This book is definitely an insightful one for everyone to view women in a completely different light. A must read!


Huge thanks to Purba Chakraborty for the review copy! I really appreciate that.



~RP
Friday, 24 April 2015




Date Published: 8 March, 2015
Publisher: Romour Books India
Pages: 158
Source: Review copy provided by Siddhartha Garg

Format: Ebook (PDF)



Goodreads Synopsis 


Child abuse, one of the many problems that persist in India today, is arguably the filthiest. Of late, we have heard of instances of children being exploited but the most gruesome abuse is child sex abuse. The Silent Scream takes up this issue which people normally turn a blind eye towards. Through the subtlety quoted instances mentioned in this narrative non-fiction we are exposed to the disturbing lives of child predators and their innocent, young unassuming victims. The Silent Scream is a ready guide to create awareness about this rampantly growing evil with the aim of sensitising the general public on the ways in which sex abusers operate. A humble effort is also being made to counsel the victims and carry forward the war against this menace so that other innocent souls are saved. 


Find out more about the book on Goodreads:

Buy the book from Amazon:




My Review


When India and the rest of the world is mourning and burning on the issue, and when everyone is merely voicing their discontent, one man, Siddhartha Garg, set out to write a book about it and guide India and the world through heart and soul of the problem and going one step further gave solutions. 'The Silent Scream' written by Siddhartha Garg deals with one of the most important problems of our society – Child sexual abuse.


A few days ago, I found out about the book through Facebook and I was convinced that this book is the ‘need of the hour’ as soon as I read the blurb of the book on Goodreads. I contacted the author of the book and asked if I could read and review his book. Siddhartha Garg was kind enough to lend me the review copy. I really want to thank him for his generosity.


The book is basically a case study where Siddhartha Garg first presents us a real life story of Harshita. This story fast paced, gripping and gives us in depth analysis of the problem. He has gone deeper into the psychological aspect of the perpetrator, the victim and the stigma associated with it and has done an excellent job at it. The book is also a fabulous guide which deals with the child sexual abuse head on. He gives us the guide to the perpetrators, signs of danger, Do’s for parents and children and most importantly helplines.


The Language of the book varies considering the contents of the book. Harshita’s story and ten stories from the book are told in simple language and are fast paced. Siddhartha Garg, the master of storytelling, hooked me to the story so much that I finished the entire book in one sitting!  Besides the stories, the rest of the part is a guide to children, parents and most importantly the victims of child sexual abuse. This part of the book follows simple and yet professional language.


Probably the most insightful and helpful feature of this book is an interview with Child Expert Ms. Sneha Bhatia. This is the part of the book which sheds the light on child sexual abuse, stigma associated with it and methods of dealing with the problem. This is a must read for every child, parents and victims. Apart from that, I also felt that Harshita’s story from the perpetrator's point of view was truly amazing.


Although the book is well researched, somewhere along the line I felt that there could have been more in depth research, sound logical arguments against the child sexual abuse and stigma associated with it. Considering the contents of the book, author first tried to put the emotional arguments through the case study of Harshita and ten other short case studies followed by few logical arguments. I felt that when the author did an excellent job in the former, he fell flat on the latter.


I rate this book a 3 out of 5 for dealing with the gravest problem our society is facing. His approach to deal with the problem head on and his guidance for parents, kids and victims, well researched and thorough, is probably the reason why this book is a must read for everyone. I recommend this eye opening book to every individual in India and abroad.


Huge thanks to Siddhartha Garg for the review copy. I really appreciate it.



~RP
Monday, 13 April 2015




Date Published: March 3, 2015


Publisher: Self-published at Smashwords

Pages: 292
Source: Review copy provided by Devika Fernando

Format: Kindle edition




Goodreads Synopsis


Some people are destined to meet.

It sure feels that way when Sri Lankan tour guide Sepalika meets Daniel. The mysterious tourist from Ireland steals his way into her heart and makes her question everything her life is built upon. Instant attraction turns to love – but does he feel the same? And what about the secret she’s hiding from him?

Follow the two on their quest for a happy ending amid the beauty and wonders of the tropical island paradise of Sri Lanka.
 



My Review


The story line of the novel is probably the simplest yet the most complicated one I have ever read. Sepalika, a tour guide in Sri Lanka, falls in love with a foreigner, Daniel, on her tour over the course of time. What started off from mere curiosity ends up in pristine love for Daniel. She struggles with her ethics and moral values for a while but in the end fails to hold herself back. Her history lessons to Daniel have the same effect on Daniel. His curiosity towards history and culture of Sri Lanka attracts him towards Sepalika. Does he feel the same, she wonders. And what about the secret she’s hiding from him? This book reminded me of one of the quotes by Rumi, 


“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
How blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.” 
~Rumi, The Illuminated Rumi


I really enjoyed reading this novel not only because of the story but also the language. Language of Devika Fernando’s novel, Saved in Sri Lanka, is simple and pleasant to read. It gave me pleasant experience throughout the novel. The metaphors used in the book made me fall in love! If at all I fell in love with Daniel just as Sepalika did, Devika’s metaphors is to be blamed for that.


When it comes to romance of two history geeks in Sri Lanka, you’re surely be given a lot of history lessons. Have you ever been to Sri Lanka? Have you ever been to sandy beaches and seen the beautiful temples of Sri Lanka? No? Well, Devika’s novel, Saved in Sri Lanka, will guide you throughout the island nation. One of the best parts of the novel was history lessons by Sepalika to Daniel.  For a history lover, this book is a treasure!


One of the most fascinating things about this book is conversations which are the very foundation of a romantic novel. Devika has done a great job at Sepalika and Daniel’s conversations which varied from Sri Lankan culture to love and arranged marriage debates. Every author, directly or indirectly, sometimes, goes in so much deeper inside a character that he/she confesses or puts forward their opinions on social, political, religious and economic issues. In addition to the beautiful history lessons, some insights into the social, political, economical and religious issues concerning Sri Lanka were indeed provided by Devika Fernando which made the conversations between Sepalika and Daniel more interesting.


The only thing I didn’t like about the book was that Daniel, male lead character, felt alien or a stranger to me even after finishing the novel. Somewhere along the line, even after finishing the novel, I couldn’t possibly understand why Daniel would do what he did. His actions and suddenness of the same lead to confusion. But, on the other hand, I also understand the reason behind it – Devika’s novel demanded a foreigner and so she gave us one. The narration from Sepalika’s point of view was the need of the novel and she did an excellent job at it. The magic of falling in love with someone over the course of time out of love and attraction is captured perfectly by Devika Fernando in Saved in Sri Lanka. Apart from a few spelling mistakes and one place, where Daniel was mentioned as David, the rest of the book was just a perfect romance novel!

UPDATE: The spelling mistakes and other mistakes have now been corrected! 

Does Daniel feel the same the way Sepalika does? And what about the secret she’s hiding from him?


To find out, read Saved in Sri Lanka by Devika Fernando…

Buy the ebook here: 
Amazon: http://tiny.cc/tvv0wx
Flipkarthttp://tiny.cc/eyv0wx


I rate this wonderful book a 3.5 out of 5 mostly for the history lessons and fascinating romance between Sepalika and Daniel. I recommend this book to every romantic novel lover, to the generation which falls for lust rather than love, to the history lovers and to the island lovers. This is a must read for all the Indians who wish to see the beauty of the island nation through the eyes of a Sri Lankan. This is a book not to be missed at any cost!


Huge thanks to Devika Fernando for the review copy! I really appreciate it.


Note: I sincerely apologize to Devika Fernando for the delay in reviewing this wonderful book. But, I believe that a book such as this one deserves a book review which does justice to it. For that exact reason, the delay was caused in the reviewing this book.


~RP
Sunday, 12 April 2015


I’m a social animal and I need internet just as much as I need food, shelter and clothes. But, most importantly, I need good friends in my life. So when I’m not eating grass or lying around half naked being lazy on my bed, I’m in touch with my friends. I love reading books and writing poems which almost always gets me in trouble at home. I’m pretty sure my parents think I’ll probably be a good show piece at a museum or fit in perfectly in a zoo.

So anyways, a couple of days ago, I was browsing through my Goodreads and Facebook account, and I found out that one of my friends, who sings wonderfully, had posted a collage picture on Facebook and, as soon as I saw it, I knew somewhere deep inside me, I was ‘feeling’ it. I had to follow that ‘feeling’ or else it would be lost in the wilderness forever.


I told ‘her’ (you heard it right! It’s a girl!) right away that I need to write a poem which suits her personality, as depicted in the collage picture. She was excited and so was I. She threw in a bucket of cool water on my head (Not really!) and gave me a permission to kick start my creative mind or whatever I have ‘up there’. I prefer to call my creative mind, cuckoo! Don’t ask!


As soon as I finished writing, I pinged and asked her whether she’s ready for it. She was. I told her not to share the poem with anybody and she agreed. A few minutes later, she was reading this:


“You smile on a summer day,
As if, to capture the heart of the day.
You pout in the darkness of the night,
As if, to capture the soul of the night.
Your hair – soft, dark and brown,
Make the chirping crickets fall prey.
Your eyes – beautiful, seductive and sexy,
Stir the heart of the ocean in a way.
Your mole – black and gracious,
Wards off all the evil away.

You, Princess,
The beauty of the night,
And,
The beauty of the day,
With your presence on this planet,
Sends the nature in the trance, always… ”

~RP


And, then there was silence; silence so loud that our neighbors came out on the streets in numbers and called police to file a complaint. I’m kidding! They called the post office! While she was reading the poem I wrote for her, my heart was pounding and I felt like my heart beats were actually drum beats used in a secret ritual of a secret society. Too much of Dan Brown, I assume.


When she finished reading the poem, at first, she couldn’t believe it. She was so overwhelmed that all she could say was, Rishi, I’m smiling! She was so excited that she even asked me whether she can show this poem to her best friends. I agreed, hoping they too would like it. I was happy that she was happy!


A collage of pictures it was which forced me on a journey to a distant unknown island in an unknown world which led to a cute smile on my cute friend. Following instincts, or heart to be precise, may sometime lead to the most beautiful memories which will never be forgotten.


This is my story. Where’s yours?


I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.”


~RP



Saturday, 11 April 2015






Date Published: December 22, 2014

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

Pages: 85

Format: Paperback




Goodreads Synopsis



The protagonist is about to turn forty, belongs to a rich and affluent family, lives a luxurious life but feels discontented because he believes that the world is ruled by fake moral values and suffocating bondages. He leaves everything and migrates to Kolkata to live a creative and meaningful life. He goes through many funny experiences in Kolkata in his quest to know what the real meaning of life is. He meets Debolina, an upscale prostitute, who loves to listen to his poems while making love. She tells him about many truths of life and finally he has the panacea for his confusions and doubts.





My Review


What would you call a rich man in his forty who leaves his family, job and career only to live a creative and meaningful life in Kolkata? Impractical? A dreamer? But, Sanjay Chitranshi in his book, ‘Poetic Penetrations’, asks, is it sin to dream?


Well, Sanjay Chitranshi’s protagonist not only does leave everything behind – his job, family and life – but also shifts to Kolkata and lives among unknown people to pursue a creative and meaningful life. As soon as I finished reading the book, I could come up with only one sentence which sums up the essence of this entire book – this is one such book which will cut across your heart and make you bleed.


And here’s why:


Story of Poetic Penetrations is probably the most unique one I have ever read. As soon as I read the blurb of the book, I knew I had to get my hands on it for two reasons: the book is set in Kolkata and, second, it is about the meaning of life. And, Sanjay Chitranshi didn’t disappoint me. His story deals with many incidences from Kolkata and paints a perfect picture of the city. His story has humor, emotions, thoughts on different issues and everything else which makes it a perfect story. When it comes to the meaning of life, at least according to me, happiness comes into the picture. In his book Sanjay perfectly deals with loneliness, happiness and in the end, the meaning of life.


Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the book is the language. Sanjay Chitranshi, an alumnus of IIT Roorkee, has done magic with his simple language in just 80 pages what rest of the authors couldn’t in more than 300 plus page books. His poetic language penetrates the walls of the prejudiced and imperfect world questioning the very foundation of our existence – happiness, morality and meaning of life – and leaves its readers flabbergasted. Apart from few type mistakes, which hardly hindered my reading, Sanjay’s language is to be noted by new and emerging authors.  


Probably the most unique feature of this book is spontaneous thoughts of author running spontaneously, yet smoothly and steadily, throughout the book. His narration in the first person, moves throughout the book flawlessly like a river flows through mountains; patiently and unhindered. The book’s narration kind of reminded me of James Joyce’s work.


His subtle yet effective way of directly dealing with social issues – from prostitution, publishing industry, education system to the meaning of life – makes the book, a must read! And for that reason, Sanjay’s book, ‘Poetic Penetrations’, reminded me of one of the quotes on books by Franz Kafka.


“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.”



This is one such book for me!


Will Sanjay Chintranshi’s protagonist find happiness among the unknown people? Will he find someone to share his loneliness with? Will he ever find true meaning of his life? 


Well, I suggest you to read Poetic Penetrations by Sanjay Chitranshi and find out…


I rate this book a 4 out of 5 for beautiful language, dealing with social issues directly and spontaneity of thoughts. This book is recommended to all those who love reading books based in Kolkata. Language and social issues deal with in the book makes it a read for ‘young rebellious generation’. This is a book not to be missed at any cost!


As an author, book reviewer, poet and reader, I sincerely request Sanjay sir for a sequel! I look forward to reading the sequel of ‘Poetic Penetrations’.


Note: I sincerely apologize to Sanjay Chitranshi for the delay in reviewing this wonderful book. But, I believe that a book such as this one deserves a book review which does justice to it. For that exact reason, the delay was caused in the reviewing this book.



~RP
Saturday, 4 April 2015





Date Published: March 16, 2015


Publisher: Patridge Publishing

Pages180
Source: Review copy provided by Nikitha Hingad

Format: Ebook (PDF)





Goodreads Synopsis


Just like the title suggests Philia and Sophia is a compilation of poems and writings on love and wisdom. The compilation consists of of well-crafted poems written in diamat, haiku, sonnet and free style of poetry. Philia is a set of heart touching poems with ubiquitous themes like proposal, betrayal and memories. Sophia on the other hand leaves reader with a message, a moral and inspiration for better living. Sophia makes reader really think and Philia makes reader feel. Philia and Sophia intend to touch the heart, soul and stir deep thoughts.




My Review




“Tell no one what you are.
Just show them who you are.
Action speaks louder than words.
Pens are mightier than swords.”

~Nikitha Hingad



Nikitha Hingad’s poetry book, Philia and Sophia, is a collection of breathtaking poems and writings on love and wisdom and she has indeed proven that pens are mightier than swords. Her book caught my attention when I read the blurb of the book on Goodreads and, as soon as I did, I knew I was going to have the time of my life reading it.


As a poetry lover, I love picking up books or poems from various authors from various parts of the world. When I found out about the book Philia and Sophia, I decided to contact Nikitha Hingad Ma’am right away. As soon as I got my hands on Ebook through Nikitha ma’am, I observed that the book is divided into two parts: Philia and Sophia. Philia is a collection of poems and writings on various aspects of love and related emotions such as betrayal, heartbreaks, longing, proposal etc., whereas, Sophia is a collection of poems and writings on wisdom, morals, inspiration. In the introductory pages, Nikitha ma’am explains beautifully what the word ‘Philia’ means and to quote her,

Philia is the lover in me, in you, in everyone.


In the introductory pages, Nikitha ma’am also explains in mysterious way, what the word ‘Sophia’ means and to quote her,

“Sophia is a mysterious woman whose thoughts are wise.”


To speak of the language of the poems and writings in the book, I really enjoyed reading her poems for the simplicity of the language and the depth of wisdom. Her poems and writings travelled deep beneath the sea using the simplest language I have ever read and left me enthralled. Her words, simple and subtle, pierced through my heart and soul and touched the very core or the center of my existence.


Titles of the poems are something not everyone will focus on but I always find something hidden in the darkest of caves. I observed that many of the poetries don’t really give out what they are truly about from the title and that lead to surpassing my expectations by the time I finished reading them. A preconceived notion or expectation which comes with a title is taken away by Nikitha ma’am in few poems and writings and by doing that she has exceeded my expectations in unimaginable ways.


For the very reasons mentioned above, I really enjoyed reading almost all of the poems from the book. But, to point a few favorites, I would say, ‘Love’, ‘Departed’, ‘Hugs & Kisses’, ‘Chosen one’, ‘Self esteem’, ‘ Negative emotions’, ‘Hands’, ‘Life’, ‘Pens are mightier than swords’, ‘Beyond religion’, ‘The art of living’ and fear.


One of the most fascinating and unique feature of this book is Nikitha Hingad has herself illustrated few poems. You would never expect a poet to be such a beautiful sketch artist and vice-versa. But, Nikitha Hingad is the exception. Her illustrations, simple and graceful, were very touching and deep and left a lifelong impression on me. They did in fact help me understand her writings better as she mentions she intended to do in the Preface of the book. If you ask me, the illustration before the poem ‘Departed’ and ‘Hugs and Kisses’, ‘I walk alone’ are my personal favorites.


I rate this wonderful collection of poems and writings 3.5 out of 5. This book is a recommended to all the poetry lovers who wish to enjoy a collection of poetries on various subjects. Original sketches in between the poems are unique and make the book more interesting to read. There’s definitely a lot to learn from this book and so I recommend it to all the amateur poetry readers and writers. To all the readers, who are not truly poetry lovers or afraid whether they will understand poems or not, I must recommend this book for its simple language and deeper meaning.


I’m truly thankful to Nikitha Hingad ma’am for giving me the opportunity to read and review this wonderful collection of poems and writings, Philia and Sophia.


~RP