Review of Paradise Lost and Regained

Title : Paradise Lost and Regained

Author : Ratnadip Acharya

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Blurb : Whispered the forest & its trees, ‘Little deer, tell us your story again.’
Smiled I & asked, ‘What will you gain hearing it time & again?’
Replied the forest at once, ‘It is not just a story of a deer,
but of we all—forest, earth, sky, trees, wind and river.
It is a testimony to trust, love, hope & courage
that we will all remember for ages.’
With a smile, again I began to narrate my story,
which breathed my love, fear, success, failure & glory.
It spanned from my birth in the forest to human captivity,
from where I escaped to explore life’s other possibility.
Everywhere and every moment I received help from Nature,
& it taught me to experience life from closer.
I learnt that the other name of life is Mystery,
and that it is beautiful with all its unknown twists and unpredictability.
Once I finished my narration, the forest was throbbing with life,
there prevailed only peace, silence & joy, and no strife.
‘Name your story,’ breathed the forest and every living entity it contained.
Thought I for a while and replied…
‘Paradise Lost & Regained.’

My view : The title Paradise Lost and Regained doesn’t unfold so much about the story which book carries. The title is singing a simple message that the heaven is lost and it is attained back. After reading the title questions like why the heaven is lost? How it is regained? And who is the heaven here? may be ignited in reader’s mind as it happened with me. But as the story is rolled every question’s answer is illuminated and clearly visible. The cover of the story is captivating showing a deer looking upwards to her companions i.e. the starts, the moon and the bird.

The story is about a female deer whose life is full of adventures or I would say she fills her life with adventures. The female deer spins a yarn about her life that how she is welcomed on the earth in the forest, what she had faced, what she had learnt and what she wants to achieve in her life. She witnessed so many events that no other deer has seen or noticed yet. When she is telling about all that she had gone through to the herd of deer to which she once belong, she found that they doesn’t found any interest in her adventurous trip and lessons. By this neither she is hurt nor she collected sadness around her, she simply accepts what they feel and left to live her life with joy again as the way she was doing earlier.

A message is residing in every chapter and most of the time the messages are so true and touchy that it will reminisce the moments related to your life. All the messages will provide a poke to the reader’s mind to sail the reading voyage ahead. There are so many messages in the book which I jotted down, a few of them which are really worthy are-
To live life a joyful and blissful life you have to learn to do something happily and consciously. It is called “Let Go”.

Actual growing up means learning to accept both the pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow happily on your way to life.
Never allow an emotion to overpower you that may drag you down to a pitiable state.
The less is the doubt within you the more is the life and its celebration.
Perform the task you are assigned with love, diligence and affection.
Whatever life brings welcome it. Let your soul stand and composed before a million universe.
Apart from the above messages there are so many messages which are submerged in book and you can feel it once you will start reading the book.

At the end of the story the reader can simply locate that the heaven is the forest which is the home of all the animals. And the deer wants to go back to his home. The whole story depicts about the phases of life. The way author has mentioned about the environment of the forest is attractive. The narration of the story is laudable and the short messages which are captured in the book are boost ups for charging the reader’s mind. The story holds a moderate writing style.

Portraying such kind of stories requires more knowledge and skills. Scrutinizing the things and then whelming them in the book is a bit difficult task and making them magnetic to hold the reader’s mind is more or less like a mountain walk. The author had maintained this attention seeking quality in his book and locked me up from the beginning till the end of the story.

I couldn’t catch any downfall in the whole book. And I could say it was a book full of good thoughts and lessons.

An inspiring story having bunch of lessons about life. I would recommend it to everyone out there.

Rating : 5/5

Reviewer : Megha Biloniya

Review of Around the World in 80 days

Title : Around The World In Eighty Days

 

Author : Jules Verne

 

Cover photo of around the world in eighty days by Jules Verne

“Around The World in Eighty Days” is a part of classic literature written by Jules Verne and was published in 1873. The title sings that the story is about the journey of world in 80 days.

 

In the beginning of the story the protagonist named Phileas Fogg hires a servant named Passepartout. Fogg is the member of the Reform club and often visits the club. He has many friends over there including engineers and bankers. One day while having a conversation with his friends he founds that the bank has been robbed.

 

Fogg is talking about travelling around the world with his friends and he bets to travel around the world in 80 days. The sum money for the bet is 20,000 pounds. He says that he has gone through the estimate that was published in the Daily Telegraph. This is as follows –

 

London to Suez (rail and steamboats)              :  7 Days

Suez to Bombay (steamer)                                  :  13 Days

Bombay to Calcutta (rail)                                     :  3 Days

Calcutta to Hong Kong (steamer)                       :  13 Days

Hong Kong to Yakohama (steamer)                   :  6 Days

Yakohama to San Francisco (steamer)              :  22 Days

San Francisco to New York (rail)                         :  7 Days

New York to London (steamer and rail)             :  9 Days

 

This news is spread everywhere through the club, then through the papers (The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily News, Standard, Morning Post).

 

The story becomes more interesting when Fogg starts his journey from London on a steamer Mongolia to Suez.  He travels to Hong Kong on Ragoon steamer. For going to Yakohama he needs to catch Carnatic steamer but he misses that. He then goes to Shanghai on Tankadere steamer and catches another steamer to reach Yakohama. Then he travels from Yakohama to San Francisco in General Grant steamer. In the end he continues his journey to Liverpool in Henrietto steamer.

 

Amidst all this he faces several peaks and valleys in his journey. He saves a woman from being suttee causing him a delay in his journey and for this he is also been arrested. He has lost his servant while travelling to Yakohama because of the trick played by sleuth named Fix who is following them all the way as he thinks Mr. Fogg to be the robber. Fix also arrests Fogg. But when Fix discovers that he is innocent he is going under self- condemnation and leaves Mr. Fogg bidding him sorry.

 

Mr. Fogg reaches London but he is doleful to know that he has lost as he was one day late. But later wards he comes to know from Passepartout that they were travelling towards the sun and hence they diminished one day and they were not late. So Fogg has won the bet. At last he marries the woman named Aouda whom he saved.

 

The whole plot of the story is dependent on the different parts of the world. The story is awesome and I was deeply engaged in the story till the end. The author has very neatly narrated the story providing a smooth flow to the story. The writing style is simple and is easy to grab by a neophyte.

 

For me the story is like a roller coaster ride among travelling the journey and little events that play throughout the journey.  All the chapters unfold the story very gracefully. A story feeding the experience of travelling late in 1863.  A journey by various conveyance i.e. the railways, the carriages, the yachts, the trading vessels, the sledges and the elephant.

 

I didn’t found any downfalls in the whole story. According to me it was up to the snuff. Penning down such kind of stories requires so much skill in those past years. Author had put on his efforts to glean all the information flawless so as to pen down a story on the beam.

 

An interesting and adventurous read.

 

Rating : 5/5

 

Reviewer : Megha Biloniya

Review of Rapescars

Title : RAPESCARS

 

Author : Gaurav Sharma

 

Cover photo of Rapescars by Gaurav Sharma

 

Rape is the case which melts your heart and make you feel lament when you hear the mountain of the pain a girl bears. The girl who has gone through such a trauma will have to face so many complications and botheration in her life. The scratches, lacerations and claw marks are not made only on the body of the victim but also on the soul of the victim which are not healed easily as regular wounds can be healed by applying ointments.

 

The title of book finely suggests what the book is about i.e. RAPE a sensitive theme which is taken as a fun game by the cruel boys who wants to fulfill their hunger. The cover of the book is depicting the state of a girl who is in trauma and her eyes are narrating the agony which she is holding on.

 

As the blurb of the book goes: A girl is raped! Her parents insist to report. Police tries to scuttle the case. Her father’s influence works!  Doctor, the fourth man, sees her bare. The defense lawyer encounters with obnoxious questions. As if, she had inveigled the innocent boys. As if, she’s the one accused and her violators are seeking justices against her. She feels and experiences being raped in public again. Her lawyer manages to seek conviction! Akriti wins the case but refuses culprit to have imprisonment.

Why does she do this?

What does she decide then?

Is this the decision of ‘her’ or ‘raped mind’?

RAPESCARS is the voice of a rape survivor who thrives to stand against the violation of her persona.

 

To trust someone is one thing but to let ourselves bury in that trust is miserable. In the story the protagonist named Akriti trust her beloved and what she gets in return is a bouquet full of sorrow, pain, upheaval, injury and stress. She had been gang raped by her own lover and his two friends. Although she collects up the courage in her and fought against him. As a result she proves her innocence and makes that culprit feel regret for all that he has done.

 

A girl’s condition after facing such a disaster in life is torpid. She keeps herself detached from her friends, neighbors , family and all the worldly desires. She needs to face the society with the eyes full of doubts and hatred when she had been raped by her own lover. Every now and then while she may be walking outside her home she is hit by a new taunt and questions regarding her character.

 

The storyline is common. A boy raping his beloved with his friends hurting her sentiments and leaving her in pain is a common theme. The first half of the story goes around on all common situations that generally happen and one may have heard of, but as the second half starts I got quite interested and curious  to know what will happen next. The second half is copacetic as the situations mentioned in the story completely changes the culprit from a sinner to survivor. I really liked the second half of the story.

 

The author had successfully portrayed his thoughts maintaining a good impact on reader’s mind. The descriptions of all the events are in connection and the story doesn’t rolls on unnecessary facts. I was latched on to the story till the end and completed in forthwith.

 

The plot of the story is good and one can easily grab the author’s feeling and his intentions regarding rape cases. He had finely described the intentions of the story and what a girl faces when such a dreadful episode is played in her life. The writing style is simple, it will be easy for a neophyte to go through. One can easily complete the book in 3 hours.

 

A nice read depicting the value of a woman. The message which I learnt as a girl –“You can win over a situation in which you are being demolish, all you need is valor and fearlessness to speak around the world” .I would recommend it to every young boy and girl.

 

Rating : 4/5

 

Reviewer : Megha Biloniya

The Gandhian adventures of Raj and Iqbal

Cover photo of the Gandhian Adventures

 Title : The Gandhian Adventures of  Raj and Iqbal

 

Author : Zubin J. Shroff

The Gandhian Adventures

“The Gandhian adventures of Raj and Iqbal”, sounds something like a detective-adventurous book, but it isn’t. This is the story of two brothers and their journey to pursuit truth, the truth as what could control the rise in the price of onions. Let’s sneak out what it has in its store for readers.

 

As the blurb of the book goes:

“Meet Raj Kumar Reddy and his brother in life,Iqbal Ali and Mohammad Khan. They are Gandhians. Peace-lovers. Truth-seekers. At least in intention if not in action.

 

Means what? As Iqbal puts it.” How can we say we are pursuing truth if we do nothing but drink tea and go to office and eat dinner and love our families? If we say pursuit, then we must pursue.”

 

And so, when the price of onions increases by hundreds of percent, they set about pursuing the truth. After all, an onion problem is not a small problem in India. Governments have fallen because of onion problem. And these are just the facts. The rumours are worse, much worse.

 

They say that the 1947 partition between India and Pakistan was thirty-five percent due to onion problem. Current border disputes with China are minimum eighty percent related to onion problem. After all, China is the number one producer of Onion and India is number two. Onion requires land for cultivation, and therefore any land dispute is almost definitely related to the desire to move ahead in the onion rankings!

 

Shamelessly trivializing everything from Indo-Pak relations and terrorisms to food-shortage and foreign-policy, The Gandhian Adventures of Raj and Iqbal is a quirky, desi satire about friendship and patriotism in the Indian subcontinent. ”

 

At first, I was not sure that this story would fall in my liking category. The protagonists of the story, Raj and Iqbal, the brothers of life, has already told in the beginning of the story what all they are going to do throughout. In beginning, I was confused as where it is heading, I mean does the story really have some significance, and my time spending on the book would be worth?

 

The only thing I was curious about is, how it would end, as in other story books I have the habit of predicting the next happenings, but this time I simply couldn’t. While reading the book, many a times a thought stuck my mind, how can one write a novel on increase in the price of onions.

 

About the narration fashion of the author, simple in nature, but superfluous description at some places can be avoided. Absence of ambiguity in the writing style makes it easy to go with the story, although the story at times seems complex (which is not true), because if a reader sees such a simple topic, his/her expectations rises , as there must be something unique attached to it, or the pinch of humour would be there for sure. Yes, author has poured humour into the story, but the storyline is nothing so captivating.

 

The first hundred pages is somewhat gathering attention, keeping this hope alive, that something different would pop up so, but in vain. The threshold of excitement gets on decreasing as the story proceeds ahead. The good side of the book, if not the complete story, but some chapters or some scenes are really humorous will make you feel enjoyed during the journey.

 

 Rating : 3/5

 

Reviewer : Shweta Kesari 

Review of What she says What he meant

Title: What She says what he meant

Author : Aamir Khursheed, Richa Sharma

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Blurb of the book: After 2 years of school completion when school friends sit for fun, playing, ‘Truth & Dare’, the unexpected happens. The epitome of Friendship and Love could not have taken any other worst path. The friend could never be so ingenious and the lover could never be so heartfelt deeply in love. Still, the crowd hears the story of laughs, love, lust changing into cries and yells. As a Beast of Lust, Vivaan ends up losing his best friends and love. Can Angad, his best friend save the relations?? Hear from a girl, ‘What SHE says?’ about a boy’s life, ‘What HE meant?’

Review:Through the title one could easily guess that the story is about confusion arose between a ‘he’ and a ‘she’.Cover picture is fine and to some extent complimenting well to the title.Blurb is precise and cleverly says what it has in store for the readers.The story starts with a get-together of school friends which reveals the confusion that took place during their school life. From there on it keeps on telling about some events of friendships,love,lust and some more.At some places I felt connected to the story through some relevant events narrated by the author with a mediocre writing style.The plot is good but it could be presented in a better way in order to make readers feel comfortable while going through it.

The story lacks the power to serve something new to the readers,although a good story for the novice and proves to be a light read.The story is coated with a simple writing fashion,a moderate writing style, a novice reader would feel quite comfortable to go with.Starting of the book was good but not magical that could bind readers completely to the book, then after some time it slightly holds readers in its arms and then at the end it again looses its charm.I was expecting end to be more humorous and something that could make readers flow with it.But,altogether it was a nice read, with some ups and downs, some twists and turns in the presence of dark and light and shadow.

Rating: 3.5/5

Reviewer: Shweta Kesari

Review of Bhendi Bazaar

Title : Bhendi Bazaar

Author: Vish Dhamija

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‘Bhendi Bazaar’, a crime fiction book which covers the story of three girls turning into prostitutes and a tale holding the suspense of a serial killer who targets escorts and binds the thread of suspense. The title of the book astutely insinuates what would be the story about. If you’ve already read Vish Dhamija’s first book then this book will force you to read it after going through its blurb.

As the back cover says:
”1982 Three teenage girls planning a flight from the Soviet Union to the West end up being sold in Mumbai’s red-light area instead.

The murderers start a quarter of century later.

The victims are all men. All of them tricks, waiting for trysts with high-class escorts. DCP Rita Ferreira is quick to recognize the serial-killer strain; the media isn’t far behind. The news sends shockwaves through the city. The first serial killer in living memory of Mumbai is out on the streets.

As Rita grapples to establish the killer’s pattern through Bhendi Bazaar, the killer gives her 24 hours to stop the next murder. Can she do that before she becomes the next victim?”

Author’s prowess lies in giving birth to witty and clever plots along with a quality narrating fashion. His storytelling art and amount of humor he involves in his tales make the book a complete package giving readers a fruitful tale. Both of his books serve the proper amount of taste reader wishes to have when he/she starts to read it.

The juxtaposing of the past and present events is bewitching. The timing of the arrival of the events is perfect and the way author has portrayed each of them goes well with the climax. Point-to-point description of each of the event grips the attention of the reader throughout and maintains the flow of the story. Author has created zigzag edges to reach to every next node, and the suspense every next node reveals makes the reader fall more in the trap . Till the end of the story, the suspense has been created cleverly and one couldn’t guess what would come next.

The only glitch I had with this book is that the story at some places goes out of sync. At very rare places, I felt that the story travels out of the track which deters my attention, then again after some time it regains its posture and comes to its place.

A gripping tale which offers you a suspenseful ride, an entertaining journey which keeps you glued to it till you unfold the hidden pages and discover the end. If you are a mystery lover and love to read suspenseful tales, then you could blindly choose this book. Also if you liked Vish’s debut book, ’Nothing Last Forever’, then this book won’t disappoint you.

A crime thriller suited up to enthrall you!

Rating:4.5 /5

Reviewer : Shweta Kesari

 

Interview of Olivier Lafont

In a conversation with a multitalented personality : an author, model,actor and scriptwriter

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People admire your work and know you as a director,producer,model,screenplay writer,television actor.But,they also want to know who Olivier Lafont is from your point of view.

Mainly I consider myself an artist. Everything I do comes from a desire to have and make art in my life.

Share the most fascinating story of your childhood.

The most fascinating story of my childhood was the paradigm shift when it dawned on me I wanted to be a writer. I had just read Lloyd Alexander’s ‘The Chronicles of Prydain’ and when I emerged from those books I was a different person. I went from a person who loved to read stories to a person who wanted to write stories. Nothing is more fascinating than getting that spectacular insight into who you really are and what you really want.

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Who would you like to work with, if you ever get a chance to work as a lead-actor in a Bollywood film?

I’d like to work with Shekhar Kapur, with Raju Hirani again, with Imtiaz Ali.

You are, beyond a shadow of doubt,a multi-talented personality,your fans are eager to know how these shining stones came out of you?

That’s very kind of you to say… Generally I follow my interests, which happen to be varied and mostly revolve around the craft of storytelling. For me acting and writing are two facets of this same craft. As for the work I do, I think you put out what you take in – i.e. the art I make is a reflection of the art I imbibe and keep around me.

Olivier and Warrior

Your debut book is based on Indian mythology,have you started working on the next series or would you like to start something from scratch?

Right now I’m totally focussed on ‘Warrior’, I’m not thinking about what’s coming after.

Why did you choose Indian Mythology, why not something else?

I wanted to write an Indian story, a story with elements of the heroic fantasy I like. In fact the first incarnation of ‘Warrior’ was a feature film script I wrote more than a dozen years ago. The Mahabharata was particularly inspiring for the story. I find Indian mythology to be so thematically rich, the stories can be read at so many levels.

Have you ever faced writer block?

No, I haven’t. People talk about it a lot, but it’s something I’ve never experienced.

On which project you are working these days and what it is all about?

It’s all ‘Warrior’ these days.

Who is your inspirational model in the following areas :

I like and appreciate the work of many artists.
Writing : Recently I was really impressed by Mark Lawrence’s ‘The Broken Empire’ trilogy.
Acting : Many actors and actresses. Hugh Jackman, Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Chastain, Javier Bardem, Amitabh Bachchan, Catherine Deneuve, Daniel Auteuil…

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According to you, what is the real spice of life?

For me it’s truth. Nothing is more fun, freeing, intimate, inspiring, and profound as truth.

Having worked in many movies, which character of yours do you like the most?

I recently acted in a Hollywood film ‘The Baby Sellers’, where I played one of those wonderful doctors who volunteer to help people in less affluent parts of the world. In the film my character, a paediatrician, realises that the local clinic he volunteers at is a front for child trafficking. Normally a peaceful and kind character, his reaction of almost uncontrollable fury shows how deeply he believes in taking care of and helping and loving people in need. He stands out as a beacon of kindness and humanity in a difficult world, which was a gratifying experience.

With whom would you like to share your new success with?

My wife, who’s truly the most intelligent and perceptive person I’ve ever met. Aside from handling all aspects of marketing for ‘Warrior’, she’s also an amazing source of inspiration. She also moonlights as my muse.

It’s been very wonderful talking to you.Hope you too enjoyed this session.Your final words for your peers,fans and my blog.

It’s been a pleasure. I wish your blog every success, and I hope people enjoy ‘Warrior’!

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WARRIOR cover

‘WARRIOR’ BOOK TRAILER LINK
http://youtu.be/qDLMISZAzME

FACEBOOK PAGE
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Olivier-Lafont/625633327480645?ref=hl

TWITTER
https://mobile.twitter.com/OliLafont

‘WARRIOR’ FLIPKART LINK
http://www.flipkart.com/warrior-english/p/itme24kymkuzdmde?pid=9780143423638&otracker=from-search&srno=t_2&query=olivier+lafont+warrior&ref=d9f61780-7609-4ab2-9a15-078d4edb982e

‘WARRIOR’ AMAZON LINK
http://www.amazon.in/Warrior-Olivier-Lafont/dp/0143423630/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1417183321&sr=8-1&keywords=olivier+lafont+warrior

For reviews or interviews please contact: shwetakesari165@gmail.com