U & I by Abhishek Singh


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Blurb: U&I is the journey of two souls made for each other. It is light hearted true love story with a purpose. It is journey of a damn serious, studious and ambitious boy from a very small village in Uttar Pradesh and happy go lucky girl from the city of Nawabs, Lucknow. It all started when the village boy moved to Lucknow for studies at the age of 14 and was infatuated by a sweet girl with dimples on her cheeks. Infatuation @ 14 Love @ 16 Dating @ 17 Long distance relationship @ 18 Accident & Ambition @ 22 One of the unfortunate things that can happen is Choose between your love and ambition. If you have to choose between love and ambition What would you choose It doesn’t matter where you go in life, What you do or how much you have… What matters is who you have besides you… It’s just about U&I… Welcome to U&I a story of two souls made for each other and let’s celebrate the love and sacrifice that every lovebird goes through in the journey called life.

Review: It is a very simple story which did not convince me. I received this book as a complimentary copy from the publisher for a review. I did not like the story or the writing style of the author. The author has no grip over the plot. Major let down of the story is narration. As I had to write a review, I forced myself to finish the book. I found nothing good in this book to be positive about the story I read. The book is recommended for all those who want some time pass reading of not to so good written love story.

You can buy the book ‘U & I’ Here

The Youngster Who Became A Spy


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Blurb: The book is a thriller, set in the 3rd and 4th Century AD, about a youngster who navigates his way through to the upper echelons of the state’s administration through determination. The newly acquired territory of Kaunse, in the ancient kingdom is at the crossroads of conspiracy. Deepo, a dynamic youngster, who is a typical citizen, rises to the occasion of spying for his beloved kingdom. His effort, skill, dedication, and an uncanny ability to survive and thrive in the utmost inhospitable conditions, save the kingdom from disaster on more than two occasions. The visionary emperor alters the way of thinking of the common man and in the process enriches the entire administrative machinery. The spy, the emperor, or his advisors are unaware about the threats to their kingdom. A certain turn of events over a period, causes uneasiness within the empire. A thrilling training of spies, their tests, a meticulously planned intelligence operation, and chase, and finally the search of the unknown follows.

About the author: “Sanjay B. Tari, after having completed his B.Com and ACA, now works as a Finance Controller at Sharq Investment Company, Kuwait. The author has interest in reading historical books, biographies, autobiographies, philosophical books and fictions. He is also interested in watching different forms of art performances. Writing is an important medium through which one can at a certain level influence the society around. Although fictional, the stories are a source of inspirations for youngsters and/or administrations and the subjects they handle. This subtle message, and inspiring various people and institutions for the benefit of the society as a whole inspired the author to write. He has contributed articles to the, ‘The Chartered Accountant Journal’ and ‘Newsletter of the MMK (Maharashtra Mandal)’. ‘The Youngster who became a Spy’ is his debut novel.”

 Review: I am not a big fan of historical fiction as it needs lots of research and precision and takes into time to get the content read into the mind. I did not like much this present book. The youngster who became a spy is an attempt to keep suspense alive which did not impress me much. The author could not match to keep the demographic and chronological narration to the point usually historical fictional thriller keeps up. I did not like the history nor suspense essence of the story. The author could not incite anxiety in me as the work went towards the ends of the story. If you are in need of a very simple read you can try this book else skip reading and save time.

You can buy the book ‘Youngster Who Became a Spy’ Here

Letters to Her


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Blurb: Karan, a very shy and an average-looking guy, falls in love with an angelic beauty, Ziya. With Ziya as an inspiration in his life, he discovers the writer in himself. Karan writes letters based on his ongoing life and his experiences with Ziya, and he sends each of these letters to her after he completes writing it. Through these letters, he expresses his love for her. Will Ziya fall in love with Karan because of these letters? Will she ever write back a letter to him?

About the author: KETAN KALANTRI is a writer and a filmmaker. He is one of the founder members of the production house, Melting Fire Films, with his friend Tanuj. They have made their first film Footsteps. He has worked on different Ad films. He loves to read, write and travel. He wishes to tell as many stories as he can throughout his life that are relatable, thought-provoking and brings smiles on everyone’s faces.

Review: It was amazing novel written by Ketan Kalantri. A very heart touching story and good piece of literary work. I never got bored while reading; it was sort of addictive as I wanted to only stop when I finish reading it. It took me not more than 1.5 days to complete this book. It is a great love story written so differently that I am looking forward to read more Ketan. Writing is romance is difficult and I am glad author Ketan is skilled writer in this genre and he did it very well. It was so well written as if I felt like everything is happening in front of me like watching a movie. My respect to such a good plot. I am sure if someone is not a believer in love would start to believe after reading the book. What an inspiration and highly recommendable.

You can buy the book ‘Letters to her’ Here

Another Love Story


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Blurb: The hardest day in an Engineering student’s life is not the day he gets his result. It’s the day he gets judged – Placement Day. Everything he has learnt and ignored throughout his four years of being in college comes back one final time to haunt him. But what if he had bigger problems that were linked to it? What if the same thing that helped him get to where he was, was keeping him from getting to where he wanted to go? Long story short, he fell in love.

About the author: After writing his first poem at the age of 14, the author Arjun Premkumar has had a wonderful journey. He began with pieces of writing pertaining just to love and later ventured into other genres. With a flair for entertaining people, he moved into speaking and the response was just as strong as it was for his writing. He is an engineer by qualification and dreams of becoming a writer by profession. He also has this weird affinity to the number three, being born on the third day of the month. Somewhere between his tenth short story and his thirtieth poem, he had this sudden urge to write something bigger. So, he began writing. With all his experience with relationships and heart-breaks, he turned to writing Another Love Story.

Review: Another love story is a journey of a young writer as he describes his college life. The outstanding writing skills describing the conversation and actions around him are worth mentioning.  Author talks about beautiful college life with characters – Vishal, Karthik and Swetha. It talks about their college life and value of true friendship and love. While reading it was easy to know exactly what he (the author) was feeling. His thoughts are flowed well and moved the book along nicely. Arjun’s narrative voice is astonishing. I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.

You can buy the book ‘ Another Love story’ Here

Kaleidoscope Colors of Life – Review


KALEIDOSCOPE – COLOURS OF LIFE 
A LIVING SERIES: BOOK 3
BY
INDERJIT KAUR
 
 
Blurb
“Patience helps you endure all the troubles and issues that bother you. When you reach a stage, where the only remaining option is to release the things that are clinging on to you and pause your life, you feel enlightened and feel the positive impact of the change, and you no longer see yourself a victim of life. 
 
Kaleidoscope – Colours of Life is a of inspiring stories, suggestive poignant thoughts and ideologies that serve as a guide in every stage of life. Interlaced with threads of experiences of life and the lessons learnt from them, the book depicts seven inspiring stories weaved into the magnificent array of a rainbow. Charting the various shades of life, the book further highlights the ups and downs of each of the characters, who are embedded here as a metaphor for a rainbow, in the patio of a plethora of circumstances. 
 
By sharing wisdom, experiences and insights, Kaleidoscope – Colours of Life intends to deliver a message that will inspire and empower the readers to sense happiness and contentment, and help them to navigate life as a truly confident individual.”
 
 
Grab your copy @
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Inderjit Kaur
Inderjit Kaur is an author, motivator with a powerful voice of spreading positive words through her writings. A highly influential blogger and inspirational guide who with her tag line ‘Keep smiling, keep shining’, has brewed up with the original concept of living through her books of A living series.
Review:  This is for the first time I have read Inderjit Kaur and her book Kaleidoscope – Colours of Life is an amazing self help book inspired from the experiences of life. We see lots of stress, suffering and pessimism everywhere around us, 7 stories following the colours of a rainbow – VIBGYOR addressed these issues of our lives in the first part and in the second part inspire us to practise our dreams and live a satisfying life. The stories are attractive and thought provoking, about strength and approaching life with a positive attitude. The author has used daily scenarios and narrated them with those references. The stories have beautiful quote or quotes which are sprinkled within the narrative. A book which been now added to my collection. I found the title, ‘Kaleidoscope – colours of life’ very unique. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s style of writing.

We Promote So That You Can Write 



My Last Love Story – Review


 
About the Book:

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’s, Me Before You, My Last Love Story is a heartbreakingly romantic tale about the complexities of trauma and whether love can right a wrong.

 
I, Simeen Desai, am tired of making lemonade with the lemons life has handed me.
 
Love is meant to heal wounds.
Love was meant to make my world sparkle and spin.
Love has ripped my life apart and shattered my soul. 
 
I love my husband, and he loves me.
But Nirvaan is dying.
I love my husband. I want to make him happy.
But he is asking for the impossible. 
 
I don’t want a baby.
I don’t want to make nice with Zayaan.
I don’t want another chance at another love story. 

 
Book Links:
 
My Review:

This is my second book of Falguni, the first being Soul warrior and the current book turned out to be really different from the first, as this is a fiction and contemporary romance story. The story has lots of lot of emotions attached making it heart warming. There is friendship, love, betrayal, faith and hope in the plot. Author Falguni has handled the emotions throughout the story so well that it balanced nicely till the end. Somewhere I felt the story was hauled a bit and turned boring for me but immediately picked up the fast pace making it turn exciting.  The story has been told from viewpoint of Simeen Desai, as this is her story. Every scene and every moment of her life is narrated so well as if I felt I was experiencing it from my side. If you love reading romantic genre, this book is not to be missed, I highly recommend it.

Read an Excerpt:

Dear Readers, thank you for coming along on the My Last Love Story Blog Tour. Here’s an excerpt to enjoy.
 
ONE
“Love is a dish best served naked.”
As a child, those oft-quoted words of my father would have me rolling my eyes and pretending to gag at what I’d imagined was my parents’ precursor to a certain physical act.
At thirty, I’d long ago realized that getting naked wasn’t a euphemism for sex.
Neither was love.
It wasn’t my father wording the meme just now but my husband. Nirvaan considered himself a great wit, a New Age philosopher. On the best of days, he was, much like Daddy had been. On the worst days, he was my tormentor.
“What do you think, Dr. Archer? Interesting enough tagline for a vlog? What about ‘Baby in a Petri Dish’?” Nirvaan persisted in eliciting a response from the doctor and/or me for his ad hoc comedy, which we’d been ignoring for several minutes now.
I wanted to glare at him, beg him to shut up, or demand that he wait in the doctor’s office like he should’ve done, like a normal husband would have. Khodai knows why he’d insisted on holding my hand through this preliminary checkup. Nothing of import would happen today—if it did at all. But I couldn’t perform any such communication, not with my eyes and mouth squeezed shut while I suffered through a series of uncomfortable twinges along my nether regions.
I lay flat on my back on a spongy clinic bed sheeted with paper already wrinkled and half torn. Legs drawn up and spread apart, my heels dug punishingly into cold iron stirrups to allow my gynecologist’s clever fingers to reach inside my womb and check if everything was A-OK in there. We’d already funneled through the Pap test and stomach and chest checks. Like them, this test, too, was going swell in light of Dr. Archer’s approving happy hums.
“Excellent, Mrs. Desai. All parts are where they should be,” he joked only as a doctor could.
I shuddered out the breath I’d been holding, as the feeling of being stretched left my body. Nirvaan squeezed my hand and planted a smacking kiss on my forehead. I opened my eyes and focused on his beaming upside-down ones. His eyelids barely grew lashes anymore—I’d counted twenty-seven in total just last week—the effect of years of chemotherapy. For a second, my gaze blurred, my heart wavered, and I almost cried.
What are we doing, Nirvaan? What in Khodai’s name were we starting?
Nirvaan stroked my hair, his pitch-black pupils steady and knowing and oh-so stubborn. Then, his face rose to the stark white ceiling, and all I saw was the green-and-blue mesh of his gingham shirt—the overlapping threads, the crisscross weaves, a pattern without end.
Life is what you make it, child. It was another one of my father’s truisms.
Swallowing the questions twirling on my tongue, I refocused my mind on why we were here. I’d promised Nirvaan we’d try for a baby if he agreed to another round of cancer-blasting treatments. I’d bartered for a few more months of my husband’s life. He’d bartered for immortality through our child.
Dr. Archer rolled away from between my legs to the computer station. He snapped off and disposed of the latex gloves. Then, he began typing notes in near-soundless staccato clicks. Though the examination was finished, I knew better than to sit up until he gave me leave. I’d been here before, done this before—two years ago when Nirvaan had been in remission and the idea of having a baby had wormed its way into his head. We’d tried the most basic procedures then, whatever our medical coverage had allowed. We hadn’t been desperate yet to use our own money, which we shouldn’t be touching even now. We needed every penny we had for emergencies and alternative treatments, but try budging my husband once he’d made up his mind.
“I’m a businessman, Simi. I only pour money into a sure thing,” he rebuked when I argued.
I brought my legs together, manufacturing what poise and modesty I could, and pulled the sea-green hospital gown bunched beneath my bottom across my half-naked body. I refused to look at my husband as I wriggled about, positive his expression would be pregnant with irony, if not fully smirking. And kudos to him for not jumping in to help me like I would have.
The tables had turned on us today. For the past five years, it’d been Nirvaan thrashing about on hospital beds, trying in vain to find relief and comfort, modesty or release. Nirvaan had been poked, prodded, sliced, and bled as he battled aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I’d been the stoic spectator, the supportive wife, the incompetent nurse, the ineffectual lover.
And now? What role would I play now?
As always, thinking about our life left me feeling even more naked than I was in the open-fronted robe. I turned my face to the wall, my eyes stinging, as fear and frustration bubbled to the surface. Flesh-toned posters of laughing babies, pregnant mothers, and love-struck fathers hung from the bluish walls. Side by side were the more educative ones of human anatomy, vivisected and whole. The test-tube-like exam room of Monterey Bay Fertility Clinic was decorated in true California beach colors—sea-foam walls, sandy floors, pearl-pink curtains, and furniture—bringing the outdoors in. If the decor was meant to be homey, it wasn’t having such an effect on me. This room, like this town and even this country, was not my natural habitat, and I felt out of my element in it.
I’d lived in California for seven years now, ever since my marriage, and I still didn’t think of it as home, not like Nirvaan did. Home for me was India. And no matter the dark memories it held, home would always be Surat.
“All done.” Dr. Archer pushed the computer trolley away and stood up. “You can get dressed, Mrs. Desai. Take your time. Use whatever supplies you need. We’ll wait for you in my office,” he said, smiling.
Finally, I can cover myself, I thought. Gooseflesh had erupted across my skin due to the near frigid clinic temperatures doctors tortured their patients with—like a patient didn’t have enough to suffer already. Medical facilities maintained cool indoor temperatures to deter inveterate germs from contaminating the premises and so its vast flotilla of equipment didn’t fry. I knew that. But knowing it still didn’t inspire any warm feelings in me for the “throng of professional sadists with a god complex.” I quoted my husband there.
Nirvaan captured my attention with a pat on my head. “See you soon, baby,” he said, following the doctor out of the room.
I scooted off the bed as soon as the door shut behind them. My hair tumbled down my face and shoulders at my jerky movements. I smoothed it back with shaking hands. Long, wavy, and a deep chestnut shade, my hair was my crowning glory, my one and only feature that was lush and arresting. Nirvaan loved my hair. I wasn’t to cut it or even braid it in his presence, and so it often got hopelessly knotted.
I shrugged off the clinic gown, balled it up, and placed it on the bed. I wiped myself again and again with antiseptic wipes, baby wipes, and paper towels until the tissues came away stain-free. I didn’t feel light-headed. I didn’t allow myself to freak. I concentrated on the flow of my breaths and the pounding of my heart until they both slowed to normal.
It was okay. I was not walking out with a gift-wrapped baby in tow. Not today. No reason to freak out.
I reached for my clothes and slipped on my underwear. They were beige with tiny white hearts on them—Victoria’s Secret lingerie Nirvaan had leered and whistled at this morning.
Such a silly man. Typical Nirvaan, I corrected, twisting my lips.
Even after dressing in red-wash jeans and a full-sleeved sweater, I shivered. My womb still felt invaded and odd. As I stepped into my red patent leather pumps, an unused Petri dish sitting on the workstation countertop caught my eye.
The trigger for Nirvaan’s impromptu comedy, perhaps?
Despite major misgivings about the Hitleresque direction my life had taken, humor got the better of me, and I grinned.
Silly, silly Nirvaan. Baby in a Petri dish, indeed.
 
About the Author:
 
 
Falguni Kothari is an internationally bestselling hybrid author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a background in Indian Classical dance. She writes in a variety of genres sewn together by the colorful threads of her South Asian heritage and expat experiences. When not writing or dancing, she fools around on all manner of social media, and loves to connect with her readers. My Last Love Story is her fourth novel.





 
 

 

Giveaway

The Question: If You Could Have the Answer to Only One Question What Would You Ask?


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R. Breuer Stearns

About the author: R. Breuer Stearns is an investor and author. Mr. Stearns graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover (1970), Harvard University (AB, 1974), University of Chicago (MBA, 1977), and DePaul University College of Law (JD, 1979). He rapidly ascended on Wall Street in the 1980’s, serving as Managing Director, Mergers & Acquisitions at Lehman Brothers and Head of Investment Banking (North America) at UBS Securities.  While living in New York, he founded “Terrific Teachers, Inc.,” a foundation dedicated to identifying and rewarding the best of the best of the city’s public high school teachers. Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Stearns launched a private investment bank in the former Soviet Union.  He spent the early 1990’s seeking to marry emerging science, primarily emanating from Russia’s Defense sector, with Western capital.  During this period, Mr. Stearns made a small fortune, albeit from a larger one.  The venture provided a remarkable lesson in hubris, a tremendous reservoir of internal strength, and first-hand source material for Mr. Stearns’ first book, Winning Smart After Losing Big (Encounter Books, Beijing University Press). Subsequently, Mr. Stearns served as Chief Financial Officer of The Dial Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of Columbia/HCA Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of PacifiCare, Inc., President and Chief Operating Officer of Vascular Genetics, Inc., and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Quepasa Corporation (QPSA:Amex). Mr. Stearns is a Founder of VestaPoint Capital LLC, a family of investment funds focused on real estate development.  He lives in Arizona with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and a horse.  He travels extensively and is intensely curious.

Connect with the author:   Website ~ Facebook

The Question

About the book: THE QUESTION invites readers to consider this premise: If you could have the answer to one question, and only one question, what would you ask… and who would try to stop you from asking it? To what extremes would they go? THE QUESTION is a thriller that explores a new way of thinking, a method powerful enough to answer very complex questions . . . perhaps powerful enough to solve the universe’s most fundamental mysteries . . . perhaps powerful enough to resolve religions’ most beguiling unknowns. THE QUESTION is an adventure story . . . fiction that you may wish, may believe, may know, is true. The narrative occurs in the present, with scenes in California, Washington, D.C., Paris, Shanghai, New York, and Afghanistan.  THE QUESTION is ideal reading for anyone who is curious . . . for those who gaze into the cosmos at night and wonder . . . for those who look into the mirror and imagine . . . for those whose hearts beat faster when confronting the unknown . . . for readers who enjoy a fast paced, contemporary thriller that inspires them to think.

Buy the book:   Amazon  ~  Book Depository ~ Barnes & Noble

Book Review: There is something very intriguing about fictional group thinking explored in this book called Unity, in which people think at the same in silence about the same complex question and see the answer simultaneously in their minds. As a thriller, The Question only delivers part of its promise. The beginning is very slow; it felt like the first half was an obstacle course that readers had to sometimes get through while running in mud. The pace is bogged down by the sheer amount of information poured on the reader. This book has a lot of potential but most opportunities to delve into soul-stirring conversations. I feel a book that challenges readers to think deeply about the concept of unity as a means to answers life’s toughest questions could make an important contribution to the betterment of the world.

Guest post Life’s Journey as a Writer by R. Breuer Stearns

Whenever I am asked about life’s journey as a writer, I struggle to find a compelling reason to explain why I write at all. Writing is a long-shot business … certainly unlikely to reward monetarily but for a select few authors … and there are many, many talented writers trying to become one of those select few. Writing is also painfully difficult. Advice abounds regarding the importance of writing every day.  But, writing gibberish every day is not useful and is discouraging to boot. I prefer to write when I am stimulated to write, which explains why some of my concepts are drafted on scraps of paper or by using my iPhone.  Hmmm … writing is financially unrewarding … painful … difficult. Not very encouraging, I admit. But, how about this:  Writing allows you to create a Universe just the way you want to create it. And, writing permits you to transport your readers to that Universe to experience it as a real place, to expose their minds and emotions to your Universe. Write well and you earn your readers’ trust enough to engage with them one-on-one. It boils down to this intimacy, I think, which motivates me to write.

The Jungle Book


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Indian forests are one of the best forests in the world. They are full of trees, shrubs, and animals like bears, wolves, panthers, deer, tigers and snakes and this is where the Jungle book is based. Rudyard Kipling couldn’t have chosen a better place to base a story about a baby lost in a forest.

A baby’s a lost in the forest and instead of being hunted by the dangerous animals out there, he’s found and raised by a family of loving wolves, Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther and Kaa the python. This baby grows up to be a boy named Mowgli. Mowgli spends all his time in the forest playing and hunting with the wolves and the other animals. He also goes through amazing adventures with them.

It’s not always fun to be in the forest and sometimes Mowgli gets into trouble. Once with the mischievous monkeys who kidnap him and then Shere Khan the Tiger who always wants to attack him. This is a great book. Every child should read it, as I’m sure they will enjoy reading it. It will also make you wish that you got lost in the forest and lived and grew up there as it’s so interesting and there are so many things to do.

Rudyard Kipling is a great writer and this book clearly shows his ability to write and his great imagination. The way Mowgli grows up and the way he and the other animals interact with each other is breathtaking. Rudyard learnt a lot about forests when he wrote this book. He included stories and what he imagined was going on in the forest every day, when he lived in India. Some argue that the story was about the politics of that occurred at the time. All that shouldn’t matter anyway, because it’s a great story. We should all be glad that he shared it with us.

False Ceilings


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Blurb: Born in the lush mountains of Dalhousie in 1930, Shakuntala is a pampered child of a wealthy builder. On her wedding night she is gifted a secret to use wisely when the time comes.  From the green valleys of Dalhousie to a village in Punjab reeling under the communal violence of 1947; from the Delhi of 1950s with its intoxicating smell of freedom to the Delhi of 1970s soaked in the hippie culture; from the Delhi of 1984 smelling of burnt tyres to the Delhi of 90s raising its Frankenstein of urbanization, the cancerous secret breathes with her, infects her. It is accidentally passed down, hidden under insecurities and jealousies, locked in its meaninglessness and leaving a trail of ruin.
When her great- grandson accidentally discovers the secret in 2065, he is perplexed by the malice that flowed in his family’s blood. Was it just the secret or his family would have destroyed itself even in its absence? Why was their love never greater than their unsaid expectations from each other.

About the author: Amit Sharma’s first fiction book titled False Ceilings has been published by Lifi Publications. The book launch happened on 12 Jan 2016 in the World Book Fair in Delhi. Amit has been working in a Software Firm since the last ten years. He lives with his family in NCR. His wife is a teacher and they are blessed with a daughter who is in her terrible twos. Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travelers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.

Review:  A family chronicle, in the 1920s to 2060s between inter-linked incidents and characters. The protagonist, Shakuntala, has seen from the freedom struggle, to the partition, to the world wars, to the 1984 riots. The weakness and susceptibility of human hearts and minds is brought out very well by the author. The legacy of mindless fears, insecurities and jealousies among generations has been showcased strongly. Aaryan, to the female characters- Radha Devi, to Shakunthala, to Meena, to Lipi were well written. The author’s description of Delhi in the pre to the post-independence era is worth citing. The simple and steady lives in the hills of Dalhousie are beautifully described and the characters from the various eras connected to it in some way or the other. Aaryan kept me hooked on with his craze for ‘If-Then-Else’ statements. The mystery of the secret passed on between generations through the false ceiling is well-kept. This book was a very motivating and fascinating. I would say False Ceilings has a secret not to be missed. It is not every day that you read a book that keeps you glued without the slightest hint of how the characters are finally going to fit into the puzzle, finally completing it. There are analogous stories and then there are consistent characters. A truly enjoyable read.

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve

You Raise Me Up


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Overview: Aalok Sharma, a 27 year old Chartered Accountant meets the beautiful and vivacious Priyanka Mehra on a flight from New Delhi to Mumbai. They are instantly attracted to each other, though completely opposite in nature. However, something is holding Aalok back. Will this thing throw a spanner in his love story? Or will he be able to overcome his demons?

About the Author: Born on 5th April, 1989, Arjun Hemmady completed his schooling from St. Mary’s ICSE (Mazgaon) and College from RA Podar College of Commerce and Economics. He is pursuing his Chartered Accountancy from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

Review: You Raise Me Up, this book has no twists or surprising things though it was written well. I felt it will work well with the teenagers or young adults. It was definitely not my kind of read. The story depicts the life of the young people in metropolitan cities, with some imaginary and real descriptive. The book bored me with its length. There were no brusque or inspiring dialogues. The plot was very predictable like the other love stories sailing in the market. To me this book id di not create any overwhelming feeling and I did not find it to be a dramatic story that would touch my soul. The pace of the story did not impress me much and for me it went very slow. Some parts of the book requires more editing. It was a difficult read and if you are looking for light reading, you might give this one a shot.

“This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours.  To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com

Encounters


Encounters
Someone’s Always Waiting
by 
Sumana Khan

Blurb 

ENCOUNTERS is a potpourri of five sumptuous stories involving a motley crew of protagonists. Skating along the borders of fantasy and paranormal themes, the stories track incredible and poignant journeys of self-discovery, tracing the cathartic aftermath of fleeting encounters.
Grab your Copy @
You can get this book directly from the Publisher

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sumana was born and raised in Bengaluru, Karnataka, where she went on to graduate with a BSc in Electronics, much to the surprise of her teachers, and relief of her parents. In what can only be described as a quirk of fate, she ended up as an IT consultant – a role she essayed for more than a decade. She then moved to the UK where she quit her job and pursued academic and literary interests. The result of this pursuit has been two Masters, one published book, quite a few manuscript drafts, and above all, being stone-broke perpetually.She currently lives in the UK with her husband and several books.

Review: Encounters by Sumana Khan has five short stories about a forensic scientist who is safe with a strange tourist , a retired accountant, a incense stick salesman and a psychiatrist, who has to examine a girl. Among all the stories, I liked the psychiatrist story, as he starts investigating he realises there is something very uncanny and he understands that he is getting personally involved with his patient, which should never ever happen. Does his patient come back to normalcy? What happens to him? What is the strangeness about the case that he is handling? There is also a tribute which the author pays to mothers, grandmothers and to all the women. Every story was amazingly written. As I am a huge fan of Super-naturals, this book worked well with me. It was just difficult to put it down and I read it one sitting. All the stories are wonderfully written, with complicated details, credible characters and goosebump endings. It is not easy to pick up the favourite. This one is a page turner you should not miss if you are a fan of supernatural tales.

The Rising Sun for Transgender Community


Our social structure and beliefs have stigmatized the society so much that sometimes we tend to follow the suit without giving much thought to it. Think about a transgender and immediately a person, clad in loud clothes and cheap jewelry, begging at the traffic signals or in the train compartments flashes in your mind.

I do not vote for the lowly act of begging or the habit of touching/getting too close to strangers to extract money being adopted by most of the transgender population that usually we have come across, but have we really bothered to analyse why they are forced to behave the way they mostly do?

Majority of the heterosexual population in India feels uncomfortable about this minority population and discriminates against and excludes them from the main stream. Till recent past, they were not allowed to get jobs in the main stream work fields. Even the forms that we have filled innumerable times have only two options against gender column as: MALE & FEMALE. So maybe it is their inner turmoil and centuries of hurt self-respect that prompt them to behave in such manner? Or maybe it is the financial requirement that prompts them to extract money by hook or by crook. They beg because they normally don’t have access to an education system that would impart the knowledge and capability to them and enable them to earn a respectable living.

The same stigma is associated with people who undergo a sex change operation thereby breaking the set rules of the society.

However, the times are changing and a lot of new perceptions and thought processes are finding their way into our much stereotyped way of thinking. The sun is rising for them and showing the first ray of hope, Dr. Manobi Bandopadhyay, a person from the transgender community, has become the first one from the community to head an educational institution. After facing many obstacles and a teaching career of 20 years, Professor Bandopadhyay is the Principal of Krishnanagar Women’s College in Nadia district of West Bengal.

After completing her MA in Bengali, she became the first transgendered person from West Bengal not only to complete a PhD but also to become a faculty when she joined Vivekananda Centenary College in Jhargram as a lecturer in the late 1990s.

Dr Manobi Bandopadhyay underwent a sex change operation after being convinced that she was a woman trapped in a man’s body. While growing up, she was the only son in her family and was known as Somnath. In the year 2003 at the age of 38, after undergoing a series of operations and prolonged hormonal treatment, she became Manabi. Her peers describe her as an able administrator. Dr Bandopadhyay has an adopted son named Debashish.

This is a welcome change in India and the society is embracing people from the community who have either born as transgender or have undergone a sex change  In a landmark ruling in April 2014, the Supreme Court has also recognised transgender people as a third gender.

By,

Shilpi Chaklanobis

About the writer:  She currently heads the Digital Marketing division at an MNC.  Apart from writing, she spends her time devouring books by the dozen. This is her first endeavor as a writer and her writing not only shows promise, but also has a sense of sensitivity that compels you to think about the lives you touch every day.

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Letter to future child


Disclaimer: I am not in a relationship, I am not married and I am not pregnant, nor do I see this ever happening in my near future, unless something magical happens. This is just the end of a lot of personal thoughts I’ve had recently on growing up, being a woman, and caring for another human being.

Dear Future baby,

2 days back it was Mother’s day. I wished my mother and in secret I wished myself on your behalf. You’re in all probability thinking, why I am writing this post to you, despite the fact that you may never come in my life. I’ve met appreciative amount of people who have given me important lessons and here’s some things I’d like to pass on in a cuter version of me.

It is 2016, I am 32. I’m writing this to you as a sort of avowal of the kind of person I’m going to be in your life. The kind of mother, I promise to be some day. Don’t worry, you’ll surely take over this bizarre way of thinking, and I’ll take full responsibility.

I often imagined what it would feel like to carry you in my belly, to experience morning sickness and weight gain you would bring in me and to openly celebrate your messy and awesome entrance into this world.

I have decided on your name, because I don’t want you to be nameless for 4 years like me. I don’t want anyone to fight or quarrel on deciding your name like your grandparents did when I was born. If you are a girl child, you are my Raavi and I would want you to love your name as it is what you will be for the rest of your life. Why Raavi because I want you to be named on R. If you happen to be a boy child, you are Haasil, indeed a reaching for me. Just like your name, I would want you to achieve all your goals and ambitions and be successful in life.

I promise to be a crying shoulder, punching bag, mentor, buddy, coach, and your biggest fan apart from being the world’s best mom to you. When you arrive I will have a new list of things I want to do with you. When you ask me how they built the pyramids I want to be able to tell you, if you ask me about the wonders and mysteries of this world I will be able to tell you about them. For, I want to be your Wikipedia.

I want you to feel proud of having me as your mother. I have done so much in life that you will be the happiest child. Nothing is impossible. Right now I have done a couple of things that fit into this category but I still feel as though there are one or two big moments to come. When you meet me and get to know me I want to be able to look in the mirror and truly believe I know myself. My mood changes vividly from one moment to the next, baby you need to handle my mood swings but I promise I will control them for you. I had to worry a lot about money when I was a kid and growing up as a teenager to an adult I had to sacrifice my studies/dreams for someone else’s future. It was your grandfather’s fault that things happened. I am not promising you but I will try my best, you will never have to worry about money.

I’ve never known love in my life not even from my immediate family. I have never known it to the point where I knew that the man reading my favourite book somewhere in some part of the world would be your father. I fear to tell you, that he may never come in my life. I can’t promise you anything about this man.

My tiny tot I know so many married couples who often think they’ve met the right person, they rush to marry despite parental conflict, force from one of the partners, or whatsoever reasons, have children in speed and then they are knocked with distrust or dullness in the relationship which makes them live a complete loveless and lonely life. It is really difficult for me to continue to exist in a loveless relationship and this is what makes me sometimes anxious about your father.

There was a time when a 32-year-old woman was supposed to have a husband, two kids, a house and a car. When my mother was 32, she already had 2 school going children and I am on the same age where I sit and write to my imaginary baby. Well that time is not now anymore. If at all you arrive I will be waiting to have an amazing life with you.

I promise to always love you, Yours ever loving

Mum

PS: Wish I can have you my child, so that I can take lots of selfies with you in my tummy. The 3rd month, the 6th month, the 9th month, just before delivery, post partum, your 3rd month and so on.

 

‘Bring back the MOM in Supermom’


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मुझको यकीन है सच कहती थीं जो भी अम्मी कहती थीं
जब मेरे बचपन के दिन थे चाँद में परियाँ रहती थीं

The first hand I held while I was taking my first few steps was of my mother. The first word I spoke was Ma. The first spoon of food was fed by my mother. My first day of school was scary but my mom encouraged me to attend school regularly. She taught me how to hold the pencil to write my first alphabets. No wonder my mother has been the best. I am sure however old I grow I don’t think about it I will reach out to her for anything and everything related to my life. It is the support, love of my mother that is the greatest gift which I have received in this lifetime. When I am asked who my hero is, my answer is – Ma, my mother. She has been the greatest inspiration in my life and is the main reason that I am where I am and who I am today.  She has inspired me to show the world that I can still learn from the mistakes I make no matter how bad they were.

Born in Tirupati, she was raised and educated in many towns of Andhra Pradesh and Chennai. Marriage bought her to Delhi where she studied for a while and now resides in Hyderabad; I would like to introduce you to my mother. Her name is Prema and she is 60years and she is the third born out of 6 siblings to her parents. Her looks disproves her age as most people are fooled into thinking that she is 10 years younger, often considered to be my sister. She is a daughter, sister (to 5 of them), wife, mother (of 2 adults), daughter-in-law, sister-in-law (to 14 of them), Aunt (nieces/nephews run around 50), mother–in-law and a grandmother (to 10 children) who is a post graduate and a qualified Interior Designer. Ma has inspired me to be strong and be there for the family from my childhood; now that I am older and more mature I know she was right. She is the one who stood behind me on my positive decisions in life and faced me on the negative ones.

She is a composed woman, loves reading novels and watching TV serials. She likes visiting temples as she finds peace in presence of her god. She is super friendly, she knows everything about me including the tweets I write, about all my friends (online and offline), the books I read and review, the articles I post in the blog. She reads all the pieces I keep scribbling. Ever since I introduced her to Twitter, she has turned famous as many of my followers like her a lot as she comments on their tweets and sometimes gets into a conversation with the young lot. She is the lovely ‘Auntyji’ on Twitter.  She makes the best Yakhni Pulao, Rajma, Mutton fry, Fish curry and Aalu ka parathas.

Just like how #IndiaRunsOnChai, for Ma, Tea is liquid wisdom and it is the truth. She doesn’t like coffee, but she loves her tea which has to be made by me. I don’t like tea and never had a single cup in my life, but I make amazing Masala Chai which has a big fan following. She has limited circle of friends and I often throw, Chai parties inviting her friends at home which makes her feel so happy. Tea sets have been her fixed gifts on Mother’s day or any other occasion.

Anyone who knows my mother knows she’s the most giving person. She’s always happy to help someone if she can. It’s from her that I’ve learned to be a giving person. My mother has shown me how to embrace the present moment. I’ve gone through madcap phases in my life, my mother has always been willing to embrace whatever I happen to be into at the moment, which is a very inspiring quality.

Ma was the only person that believed in my dream to be the best that I could be in writing/journalism. I wanted it more than anything in the world at the time, but had absolutely no promise. I mean really, I was pretty amateur article writer at school level. However she always knew nothing was going to stop me from doing everything I could to make my dream a reality. She promised me she would support, and encourage my efforts. She watched as I slowly but surely progressed in the world of writing. The greatest feeling in the world came when I finally got good enough to where I won prizes for my contribution in various magazines and newspapers. The first thing I did was take her along to Delhi to attend the “Superbrain of India” contest. She was the absolute best company. Her gratitude for every moment we get to spend together, her support in everything I do, every moment to her is a gift. I learned from her that to stick with no matter what the end result, feels so much more satisfying than giving up.

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If you had not supported me in my passion (writing) since I first wanted to become a writer at the age of 13, I would not have won many awards, titles, contests and earned fame as a recognized writer/editor/blogger/book reviewer. I dedicate this post to you Ma. I hope you have all the happiness you deserve and you know this already, but I’ll tell you again: you are always in my heart. I love you to the sky and back.

‘This post has been written in association with Blogchatter and Chaipoint for their Mothers Day Special.”