Review of Almost There But Yet Not Arrived

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Title: Almost There But Yet Not Arrived

Author: Sandeep Mishra

Right from our early years, we try to gauge success by the amount of laurels one holds or in terms of large sums of money. This book revolves around the life of a boy, Shashi, who aspires to be a winner in everything he does. The story showcases certain phases of protagonist’s life which involves various twists and turns. It serves you a simple tale laced with elements like humor, love, friendship in it.

As the back cover says:

Almost a school topper…
Almost an IITian…
Almost married my girlfriend…
Can life be worse?

As far as our country is concerned, majority of students intend to get enrolled themselves in IIT’s and IIM’s. But do they all manage to make it? Of course not. The author presents you a story of such a boy who always considered himself to be a failure as he missed his goals by a whisker. The story commences from Shashi’s childhood days, where he was always being taught about the significance of studying and scoring well, by his father. Subsequently, his teenage years were also spent in fulfilling his dad’s dreams and expectations. And for that, he immersed himself in studies and gave up all his hobbies and interests. The book then takes you to his adolescence, where achievements and applause became a major issue in his college days.

Every time when he used to strive to be on the top, he just couldn’t make it and end up blaming himself. The book deals with how this urge to become successful affects Shashi’s life.

What happens with Shashi’s life during such unfavorable conditions?
What happens with his dad’s opinions and ideas about success? Will they change? Or would Shashi continue to judge himself on the basis of how the world sees him?
Would he be able to arrive at his final destination?
What would he end up becoming – A looser or winner; you need to check it out!

The book is a riveting account of typical teenager who confronts perplexing situations, moments of anxiety, frustration along with a spark to excel. The other characters such as Shashi’s father, Vishal and Archie are described in an interesting way as they play influential roles in the story which make it more compelling. The blurb clearly indicates the theme of the book, though, the cover could be more appealing. The language is simple but the the humorous phrases enhanced the storyline.

The author is able to bring out the correct interpretation of victory. The story very well links to the present scenario of the world where almost everybody is actually racing for success without being aware of his/her capabilities and dreams. This book basically talks about a healthy life i.e. a combination of financial stability along with happiness and freedom of choice.

It was a fast read for me. I could establish a correspondence with the set of events mentioned in the story. Especially, the elucidation of an Engineering college, juvenile conversations, fun during childhood were relatable. I liked the realistic approach of storytelling that’s been adopted by the author. I loved the ending of the book where the author’s idea is to make readers discern a difference between an individual’s desires and society’s preconceived notions.

Eventually, the author conveys a powerful message to readers i.e. to trust your heart and embrace the journey.

I would like to recommend it to everyone out there who’s looking for a simple yet relatable story that represents common state of affairs in life.

Rating : 4.5/5

Reviewer : Shivani Chauhan

Review of Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll

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Title : Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Author : Swayam Ganguly

“Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Swayam Ganguly is an enthralling story about three young men, finding their ways to fulfill their deepest desires, in spite of all the complications and hitches. The book is an amazing demonstration of the present scenario where life largely revolves around love, music and films. It is a quick, fun and an engaging story which is narrated in an extremely riveting way.

The beginning of the story is based on how train journeys in India are enjoyable with unfamiliar people who can later turn out to be very good friends. Three men travelling to Kolkata, get to know each other during their trip and later destiny choose to bring them together. Sunil, graduated from FTII, wants to direct great movies in Bengali film industry, whereas Sameer, a NRI, returning to his hometown is also in a search of a perfect partner, and Dipsy, who wants to pursue his career in music. With different aspirations, they seek to achieve the lofty heights of success in the respective fields.

As we all know that, difficulties prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. These three gentlemen, with divergent objectives, face a couple of setbacks in life. As in, Dipsy’s life had always been affected by the differences between him and his father. And after being rusticated from his college, his life was already messed up! Sunil finds it tough to maintain his long distance relationship with Tanya. Moreover, he had to face some harsh realities of Tollywood. As a matter of chance, Sameer falls for a matchmaker.

The book is basically divided into three parts; BOOK-I deals with the meeting of the characters, BOOK-II depicts what all they encounter to reach to their destination and BOOK-III eventually divulges the final outcome of the story.

But will these three manage to overcome the hindrances that life has to offer to them? Will they make up to their agendas and be successful in achieving emotional stability? Will they be able to sort out certain issues of family and love? And most importantly how these three would be brought in conjunction by fate? Well, not revealing much of the story, but one would be really anxious to know the climax of the story.

As the author belongs to Bengal, he exhibited several anecdotes about the place, crowd, and its culture. The characters are inspired by the common people, hence, helps you to easily be engrossed in the lives of the three chief protagonists. Besides, the side characters have been wonderfully depicted. Each one plays a significant part in the story.

The twists and turns mentioned in the book are also relatable. To follow our passion, is what we heed in this era. The youthful energy, if channelized into right directions can do wonders. And this is greatly presented in the book.

The title and the cover of the book are very appealing. Both grabbed my attention towards them. They are perfectly apt for the storyline. Even, the perfect heading of all the chapters are attractive that will add on to your excitement and curiosity. The tale is based on real-life situations with a pinch of humor make it more captivating. Some of the one-liners that are introduced in the story are hilarious. The author adopted a simple yet vivacious style of writing.

The insights of Baul movement and tradition clearly show author’s deep research and knowledge. Furthermore, elucidation of music bands, singers, film directors, actors makes the story interesting.
I find it an absorbing book. I completely enjoyed each and every fragment. Instantly, I got connected with the youth’s state of mind, emotions, stumbling blocks, fantasy, relationships, friendship and family. The different stories of different people just get transformed after a simple rendezvous on a train which also turns to be a long-lasting bond.

All in all, it is a humorous, delightful, vibrant and touching story.
A light read that would ease you and definitely cheer you up!
Eagerly waiting the next one from the author!

Rating : 5/5

Reviewer : Shivani Chauhan

Review of Burning Sapphires

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Title : Burning Sapphires

Author : Suresh K Goswami

“Burning Sapphires” by Suresh K Goswami is an intense story of Gulab Sahib, a Kashmiri girl who works selflessly for the people around her in order to build a secure, intellectual and a better place to live in. The book has a great storyline which is inspiring and conveys a strong message to mankind.

As the blurb says that it is a story which takes you to one of the most aesthetic locations in the world, Kashmir. The story commences with a seven year old girl, Shahzadi Gulab Sahib, strolling around the fields in her village, recollecting the days spent with her father and thinking about her ruthless step-father. And all of a sudden, a group of intruders make an instant attack on Gulab sahib. This particular incident leaves her in amazement when she met the leader of the mercenaries who assured her to be back in ten years to tie a knot with her.

With this dramatic opening, her life changed and the story reveals some unanticipated events which are narrated in forty chapters. The story consists of several anecdotes about Gulab Sahib’s school days, her family, friends, village and its inhabitants and much more. The entire journey of this girl included numerous struggles which eventually bring out a charismatic, sharp-witted, loving and caring woman. Moreover, the story unfolds scenes of the terror stricken valley, Kashmir. Be it the horrific exodus of people from their homeland or the consequences that were faced by Gulab Sahib and her family or anything else.. every portion of the book describes some sort of reality based facts of Kashmir and its residents.

The author portrayed two shades in the book. The foremost part covers the misery and distress of people, while the second part delineates the brighter side i.e. courage and determination. A wonderful combination of reality and fiction enrich the storyline.

The main highlight of the book is Gulab’s character. Despite of all the troubles, heartbreaks, she did much to ameliorate living standards of the community and ultimately creates more desirable environment. Her character is a sheer example of bravery, compassion and persistence. As one gets involved with the book, a reader would find it more captivating.

It was a fast read for me. The author made a successful effort in delivering the story as the language is simple and one could clearly visualize the sequences. The sections of landscapes, mountain ranges, waterscapes all are vividly presented in the book. The title instills a sense of curiosity in reader’s mind and is absolutely appropriate for the story. However, the cover page could be more attractive but a powerful theme of the book makes us overlook the shortcomings.

I like the book for its encouragement and enthusiasm. Certainly, the story is different but it is stuffed with feelings, adventures and lot more. The author has put-forward some significant issues prevailing in our society. The book enlightens the readers and basically deals with a thought i.e. –

“Whatever you do, you need courage. There are always difficulties arising that may dishearten you. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

Those who want to be entertained with a dramatic, original and passionate story, this is a nice one time read for you people!

Rating : 4.2/5

Reviewer : Shivani Chauhan