Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Book Reivew: The six symbols of ink by Meliza Merlinde

Book: The Six Symbols of Ink

Author: Meliza Merlinde

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy

Publisher: Olympia Publishers

Pages: 306


Living in a world governed by cruelty and persecution, where the Ink Mark symbol is the law and where kindness and love have long been forgotten, Ashley has always believed that her symbol is faulty, that she is not worthy. However, she discovers that, far from being faulty, her Ink Mark actually identifies her as one of the Four; the special ones who will fulfil the ancient prophecy and rid the world of its inhumanity.

But can an ordinary girl like Ashley possibly live up to this expectation? Who are the other three and where can they be found?
This is the beginning of a quest where demons, giants and the true wickedness of mankind are interwoven with friendship, loyalty and faith. Which ones will triumph...?


The six symbols of ink is a story of revenge, friendship, love and dark magical aura. The book is a great piece of fantasy which can transport you to a different world in just 300 pages. There are elements of violence in it also some gross incidents but what is fantasy if it can’t tickle your imagination beyond extremities.

The starting of the book was a big turn off for me. That is the point where most of the readers can feel a little off because there were a lot of missing information. I had to google twice to see if I am really reading the first book in the series. There was a lot of information without any explanation and lot of action without any reason. I thought there was a need of one more chapter in the starting to get the readers used to of the world the author was designing.

But when we pass that phase the book is amazingly interesting and fast paced. I struggled for around 40 pages but after that the book became a page turner. I was really excited with the two way story that was happening. It gave me a break from the present things and made my brain churn with the things moving towards the bigger picture. What I loved about the book were the aspects it touched. It takes you to an unbelievable world where anything is possible.

I loved how there were different elements layered in the story. There was flirting, there were wars, fights, creatures, giants and what not. I love stories where there are alliances and groups that work together towards the big show.

If I talk about the characters then I loved Zhila and Corlias. These two always showed what was expected from them. I don’t like characters who change their traits with the moving story. And these two were the same throughout the book. From the minor characters I loved the king and the queen. They were for a very little time but they left an impact on me. It felt they were from a parallel world which is dark and weird. I think they could have been given a bit more part in the story here and there; taking in account the role they play in the book is vast and important.

I didn’t like Ashley that much because she was growing as a character and there were a lot of flaws if one looks in the bigger picture also there was a huge gap between her history and my understanding. Maybe she grows in a better way in the next book but for this one I didn’t enjoy her character much.

Also the relationships that the characters shared was a bit dicey. It felt like it was not well thought of. They were arranged in the cubicles where they could fit in. there was a lack of dimension I believe. Apart from this there were only some editing flaws which hampered the reading a little bit.

If I see the bigger picture then this was a great fantasy world which I was introduced to. There was everything which I expect in a fantasy novel. There were plot holes, big one sometimes, mainly in the background setting and execution but overall it was a good fiction fantasy. It can entertain you without any doubts. And I am really anticipating the end. I think the series is worth a try.

About the author:

Meliza van der Linde grew up in the affluent, multi-ethnic society of South Africa, the variety of cultures, languages, and religions has shaped Meliza's passion for writing. Seeing the struggles of a Third World Country and its people striving to accept the different culture has always been an ember to her fire.

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Sunday, 3 December 2017

Book Review: Marcle and the Pondan Land by Arus Stream

Title: Marcle and the Pondan Land

Author: Arus Stream

Pages: 206

Publisher: Olympia Publishers

Genre: Fantasy/Children's/Adventure


The book as the name and the cover suggests is a perfect children’s read with a lot of colors, surprises, beautiful friendship and everlasting love. Marcle and the Pondan Land is a very refreshing, easy and light read which can be completed in a single sitting.

The story revolves around a boy named Marcle and his sibling Dani. There school life, there friends and how entangled a small detail in our daily lives can be.

Important thing in this story is the mannerism and small lessons that are hidden in the book. So if you are looking for a book for your kid in order to teach them something; this book can do wonders. Without spoiling much I can give a few hints about the good things which are around every corner of the book. Like the way school life of these kids are projected, the way they behave around their household and how they treat friends. Everything is shown very nicely and can be a good learning extravaganza for your little ones.

Somethings were really off track too, like usage of few phrases again and again, minor editing mistakes, these were the outer and small problems. But the bigger problem was that the main aspect of the story “Pondan Land” wasn’t shown in its full form. It could have really elevated the story beyond any extremities. The unique characters could have been used more, there stories could have been incorporated but still whatever was used it was in a nice way to entertain readers of targeted age group.

Things I adored the most was the ending and the starting. There was way too much to know and grasp. The middle was just like a bridge between the two ends. Also I loved the illustrations, the color scheme, the spacing between the lines. These things are important if your target audience are children. This made the book a super comfy read.

Summing up- Marcle and the Pondan Land was a fun read, perfect for kids, away from hidden meanings. If you are an adult it can be good after a heavy and dark read which might have threw you in a reading slump.

About the book:

The adventure story of Marcle Brave Marshall is set in the land of the birthday cake ornaments, a place called Pondan Land. The story begins when a cake decoration is kidnapped by the queen of darkness, Dark Berry and her henchmen, Cone Black and Giant Belly Rush, who want to destroy and take over Pondan Land. The ornament stolen was the one that Marcle's younger brother, Danish, had chosen for his birthday, so Marcle sets out to find and free the ornament from the clutches of the evil Dark Berry. Will he succeed to find and destroy Dark Berry and save Pondan Land?

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Monday, 2 October 2017


Ridhi Drolia


Love comes in different forms. But in all its forms, it comes with various challenges. Only those who can combat those challenges are true lovers. 

The Untold Story is the tale of Vihaan and Riaa. Vihaan falls for Riaa’s charms at first sight and brings to her life crazy adventures and madness. They soon emerge as two hearts with one soul and their intimate fantasies begin to unravel in exotic places. 

Their bond experience more downs than ups. These unexpected twists and turns bring Vihaan and Riaa closer and their romantic tale turn into one of lifetime bonding. 

The story takes a drastic turn after the lovely couple is blessed with a baby boy. It should be a joyous moment, but instead, haunting memories of Vihaan’s own childhood break out as a fresh wound in his mind. 

Read the novel to know what could make a father unhappy in the happiest moment of his life and how he combats his fear. 

Caution: The story is totally addictive and may arouse your sexual urge.


Watch video of The Untold Story

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About the author

Ridhi Drolia

In the author's own words:

"The passion of writing is deep rooted in my blood. 

After completing my Global Business Management certification from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, I joined hands with a few of my friends to start my first venture. 

Post my stint with the venture, I engaged myself in my lovely family life and now I present to you the author in me."

   Stalk her @    


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Monday, 28 August 2017

Book Review : Quarter Life Crisis by Anshuk Attri

Book: Quarter Life Crisis

Author: Anshuk Attri

Publisher: Maple Press

Price: 225

Pages: 304


I am Prachur, a twenty-three year old guy from Shimla and I want to tell you my story. I don’t claim that my life is particularly worth reading, especially the first twentyone years. But things did become interesting by the time I came to finish my degree in engineering. At the time I was like every other guy of my age — pretentious and clueless about my future. I loathed the very idea of a mundane job. I felt that my lack of clarity about my future was my biggest problem. Imagine what I felt when I found out that Neera, my girlfriend, was pregnant! Quarter life Crisis is the story of my coming of age and my quest for happiness.


Quarter Life crisis is a book that was held together by some strong and powerful voices of characters. The story is nothing different from other romances in market but it has a subtle hint of maturity which sometimes even good books lack. I don’t read much of romance because they all end in the same alley but then sometimes what is the harm in visiting old paths just to reminiscence some fade touch of giddiness and blush.

The book has a very mediocre setting but in a good way. The best part is the way everything sums up to make this book. The topics are touchy mind you but there is no hint of vulgarity which people these days take as literature and put in their books. There was just a story in this, just a simply nicely woven story. And that is why reading experience was good though not best.

The blurb and cover doesn’t go hand in hand. On one hand the blurb attracts you but then when you complete the book and think about the title and the cover of the book you feel foolish for expecting something different and getting something else.

I loved the setting of the book, the background setting, and the areas where the story is set but at some points it is way too much. And I also felt at some points that there was no need of dragging the story this much. The book could have been wrapped in fewer words, in fewer settings but then author needed to engage the readers for a bit longer which made me yawn at certain points, which is indeed not a good sign.

Overall, the book was a good, light and not very fast read for me. The characters were great; the setting was nice, the story was mature but also seems heard at certain points. I can recommend this book to those who are in light reading but if you are searching for a different story this book is not for you.

About the author:

Anshuk is a twenty-six year old aspiring author with a postgraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Technical University of Catalonia, Spain. Inspired by the works of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, George Orwell and Seneca, he hopes to find his place in the world of literature as a professional writer.

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Friday, 25 August 2017

Interview : Kamesh Ramakrishna Author of The Last Kaurava a Novel

In Conversation with Kamesh Ramakrishna

1.       Why do you think mythology was the one for you?

As a child, mythology was fantasy that made me feel strong and good. When I was bullied, in school or in the neighbourhood, fantasizing created alternative worlds where the oppression did not exist.[1] Imagining the stories and imagining what I would have done if I had been there was both therapy and training to empathize.

2.       Mahabharata attracts a lot of authors these days. Why do you think this happens? Why it attracted you?

The Mahabharata is not only rich in stories, it is rich in characters. A character has a life of its own and that makes it easy to use. In addition the Mahabharata supplies the plot plan and all the writer has to do is fill it in!

Why did it attract me?  Definitely the flexibility of the plot! Also, the Mahabharata gives karmic reasons for so many characters that it is amusing to imagine modifications.
3.       Who are your favorite characters from Mahabharata? Are there some characters on whom you focused more on your book?

I have no favorites!
This book is about Devavrata/Bhishma and focuses on the parts of his life that the Mahabharata neglects to say anything.

4.       I was wondering what exactly the cover of your book means? I couldn’t decode the real sense from it. If you would like to tell more about it and its reference with the book?

NOTE: I think that the cover should be replaced for the planned re-launching, so the comments below are probably irrelevant.

The cover shows a stylized flower, possibly a lotus, burning. I wanted it to hint that this is a novel about a war. Also, the lotus is a symbol for India, for the sub-continent that the mythology calls “Jambu-dvipa”, the Continent/Island of the Jambul.

How did I come up with this cover? Leadstart’s cover designer came up with a number of cover, but I did not like any of them.  Because of the ways in which I’ve re-framed the epic, the traditional portrayals of Mahabharata characters do not work. The idea of Bhishma in my book is not an old man with a long beard! My book does not have 11 armies consisting of over 1 lac horses and elephants, and 20 lac humans. The warriors in my book do not wear golden armor, carry long swords by their side, have composite longbows. They are not helped by the gods or other magical beings, nor do they have super-weapons.

So, it was very hard for the designer to come up with something.  But, in one of the designs he had a secondary motif of the flaming flower. I liked the motif and we experimented with how to use it and add a person. But there was simply no way to show any of my characters. So we went with just the motif.

5.       Mahabharata is a very fragile yet very strong tale. How you dealt with it in the long run?

I would disagree – the Mahabharata is not fragile at all. Generally speaking it is a perennially fresh story. The weak points are, frankly, interpolations and they are there because this epic was modified to carry messages and theories. The Bhagavad-Gita is completely unnecessary for the epic, especially since other places in the Mahabharata (Shantiparvan) give different advice on how to rule and take responsibility for actions. Making Krishna into an avatar of God is unnecessary and some ancient manuscripts do not make him God – none of the things he does requires his god-hood to sustain the story.
I am still working on novels based on the life of other characters that would fit with the narrative in the first book. Maybe 4 novels.

6.       What can readers expect from this book? What is the x-factor for freshness in this tale? What does your book have which can make people distinguish it among the rest of the pile?

My book replaces a mythic world with a realistic one. That will make people think about the reality of India’s history, whether archaeological discoveries support or describe events that could be the source of the myth or of parts of the myth.
The x-factor for reader who knows the Mahabharata is the focus on Bhishma and what his life was like and what he really thought when he died.

How to distinguish it from the rest:
The story is set in the Bronze-Age India of 2000 B.C.E.. There are no gods, goddesses, miracles, or other magical events or actions or objects. The technology is restricted to what could have been available around 2000 B.C.E.. Technical and Scientific Knowledge is also restricted to what we know was known at that time.

7.       What is in store after “The Last Kaurava”? What will be the next venture?

I am working on “The Last Matriarchs”, the story of Kunti and Draupadi.

If by “next venture” you mean some other novel – I am working on
a) Something entirely different, or
b) A story with Ashvatthama as a main character set in modern-day India, or
c) A collection of stories from the Mahabharata focusing on the psychology of the main characters.

8.       Do you prefer reading mythology or you are open to all genres? Who all your favorite writers, your favorite books and genres?

I read many different kinds of books. For a long period from the age of 13 to about 45 I read a LOT of science fiction – good, bad, mediocre, whatever – Asimov, Clark, Niven, Pournelle, van Vogt, Ellison, …  I’ve read Georgette Heyer and I’ve read Gore Vidal; I’ve read folk stories from all over the world; I’ve read modern novels and I’ve read Henry Fielding’s “The History of Tom Jones, a foundling”. I don’t think of my reading as genre-driven anymore, though “history” is probably a key component.

My favorite authors have changed with time, so I am going to sample from different times of my life: Gore Vidal, Robert Graves, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Yukio Mishima, Jack London, Roberto Calasso, Marvin Harris, George Gamow, Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, Imre Lakatos, U.R. Anantha Murthy, R.K. Narayanan, A.K. Ramanujam, Thomas Mann, Enid Blyton, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, … Some of these authors didn’t even write fiction…

My favorite books – I don’t think in these terms but here are five … Gore Vidal’s “Creation”, Robert Graves’ “Julian”, Calasso’s “Ka”, Asimov’s “Foundation, books 1, 2, 3”, Mishima’s “Spring Snow”, Ramanujam’s “Folk Tales”, Russell’s “Why I am not a Christian”, Lakatos’ “Proofs and Refutations”, …
Oops, it’s more than 5…

9.       How was your journey with the book? From writing to publishing it, what all hindered the path and what made it smooth?

The path to publishing the first book has been a long and meandering. I first conceived of a novel based on the idea that the Mahabharata (The Great War) was a result of the Sarasvati drying up around 1900 BCE, during the height of what is called the Indus Valley Civilization, and the evolution of Hindu “Dharma” from that. That was 1991. I wanted to select episodes and modify them to reflect the proposed historical event, but the more I worked at it, the more it became clear that the background had to be built up and when I tried that the project became huge.

In 1992, I contacted A.K.Ramanujam and made a fool of myself because I knew very little about him (other than that he had written an anthology of folk stories). He was very kind. He read my summary and agreed to read the whole thing and told me to call back in a few weeks. I then read other books by him and freaked out – he was a giant of Indian literature and I had called him like he was my next-door neighbor. I did not have the courage to call him back, and when I finally did a year later, I found out that he had just passed away. I can only look back in horror & embarrassment.

In 1993, I mentioned this project to a close friend and he was excited – he suggested that I should make it an “Internet book”, publish a page with the background and one episode and invite the world to add episodes. He even had a prologue to a story he had written (It was much better written than mine) that he said he would add.  I could not see my way to doing this – maybe I should have.
In 1996 I showed my stuff to a well-known Indian writer. To be fair, he read it. His response was that I would never finish the project as it was conceived. He was right. That version was unwritable and perhaps unreadable.

Life went on and I stopped working actively on the book. I tried many different approaches to re-starting it, but failed. There was no story.
I gave up and wrote two papers on the idea and published in a Canadian journal and an Indian journal. Nobody read them, as far as I know.
I tried writing other novels, just to keep in practice. As a result, I have a number of unfinished novels sitting in my To Do list.
I started up again in about 2010. The project was still hopeless.
Then in 2013 I came up with the idea of writing just the life of Bhishma, since he was such a critical character in my concept. The first draft was finished in about 6 months, I worked with two editors for about 12-18 months and the book, The Last Kaurava a novel, was published in November 2015 by Leadstart.

What hindered? I was the biggest obstacle. I had/have terrible work habits – I only survived in the computer software job market because I was better at problem-solving than most people. I’ve pulled a rabbit put of a hat at the last minute a number of times. None of this helped me with writing this book.

What made it smooth? My family’s support, without a doubt. I credit the writing workshops I went to over many years in New York and Boston – they did not help me with this book (they had no Indian background), but the exercise of writing for an audience that gave critical feedback improved my writing. But I also credit the first editor (Jayashree Anand)  I worked with – I have never believed that an editor could help me, but her detailed feedback was truly fantastic. It helped me re-doing the first draft into a novel that could be sent to publishers.

10.   Any part of the book which:

a.       You want to change.
I removed the frame story from the version published in Nov. 2015. I also moved some of the discussions from the main text to an Appendix. The resulting story moves a bit faster.
b.      You find the best.
I like the opening chapter.
c.       You can re-read till death.
Don’t want to do that!
d.      You memorize by heart.
I will not do that – I will colour my other writing.

11.   I have noticed in all my reading experience that people have played with the story of Mahabharata. Young authors mend the truths sometimes. What have you done to avoid this?

I do not avoid it at all! I want to change anything that has magic, gods, anachronisms, etc..
-          My Bronze-Age story will not have a boy breaking a window by throwing a stone.
-          My story will not have steel long-swords which only came with the invention of steel!
-          There will be no gods, goddesses, rishis with magic powers, rakshasas, yakshas, apsaras, etc.
-          There will be no beautiful palaces built of gold and silver.
-          Characters will have jobs…

12.   Why the word “LAST”?

Devavrata’s step-brothers died without children and Satyavati asks her son, the Vyaasa (who is writing the story) to father children for them. So, Pandu and Dhritarashtra are the Vyaasa’s children! Not descendants of Kuru, at least not by birth. In my story, Devavrata has a son, Shikhandin (not true in the original). So, Shikhandin is a Kaurava. Bhishma and Shikhandin are the last Kauravas and the story begins with Shikhandin dead.

13.   Share your favorite quotes from the book?

I am trying to avoid remembering such writing details.

14.   Should the readers come with fresh mind to your novel or they can have some pre-conceived notions after reading the title?

Yes, absolutely! But if you come with preconceptions, be prepared to see them broken.

15.   Would you like to pass on a message to your readers before they try your book?

This is a relaxed book that will make you contemplate. Any fighting is brief and people do not fire arrows until their arms are tired. If you know the Mahabharata, you will find that just reading the first page will challenge the original in many, many places!

About the book:

"“I am Amba.” The voice rang in Devavrat’s ear like a forgotten melody. ... Ancient memories from lost time veered in and out of focus. The memories came with flooding questions. How could it be Amba? What was she doing, here and now? ...I must see her. He tried to turn. The stub of an arrow, sticking under his left shoulder, made him pause with every move, however slight.

Devavrat Bhishma is dying, wounded. He tells Yudhishthira the story of how the Kurus established Hastinapur as a trading outpost on the frontier of Panchnad. The river Sarasvati dried up creating a crisis for Panchnad as cities were abandoned and immigrants poured into Hastinapur looking for safety and support. The Kurus under Devavrat address the crisis with social policy. The success comes at a cost to Devavrat’s personal life. Devavrat’s narration becomes part of the epic poem of the Great War. The story survives, memorised as oral history by the Kavi Sangha, the guild of bards. A thousand years later, the story is written down by Vyaasa, the head of the Kavi Sangha, with help from many others.

“No Indian ever hears the [epics] for the first time ... It requires great courage, therefore to re-imagine [the Great War] as the author has done. He captures the reader’s attention from the start, with a sense of theatre, making the characters tangible and even more complex than in the original.
.…The book … conveys the high tension of the immediate.

S. Anandalakshmy, Ph.D.
Bala Mandir Research Foundation
Former Director
Lady Irwin College, Delhi"

About the author:

"Kamesh Ramakrishna grew up in Bombay (now Mumbai) and completed his undergraduate studies at IIT-Kanpur. He went on to obtain a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, specialising in Artificial Intelligence. He worked as a professor and a software engineer; received some patents; was software architect for some foundational products; was CTO for a startup; and in recent years, has been a consulting software architect. For over twenty years, Kamesh has been an avid student of history, archaeology, science and philosophy and the interconnection between these disciplines. Kamesh has published the core ideas underlying this novel in two reviewed journals - The Trumpeter (Canada) and The Indian Journal of Eco criticism. Kamesh lives with his family in Massachusetts."

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Friday, 7 July 2017

Book Review: Half Pants Full Pants by Anand Suspi

Book: Half Pants, Full Pants: Real-Life Tales from Shimoga

Author: Anand Suspi 

Genre: Short stories

Publisher: Hector Beverages India Private Limited

Pages: 221

Price: 195


Half Pants, Full Pants is a collection of real-life stories of growing up in Shimoga. An ode to innocence and mischief, these stories are guaranteed to set off a journey back in time.


Short stories are always better when you don’t know what to read next. Half pants, full pants is a great book with some very simple and some very intricate tales which revolves around the lives of characters that are as real as air. This book contains true accounts from a small place Shimoga that you can find really touching and remarkable.

I loved the former stories more then the latter ones because they had an unmatchable charm in them. You can't put the book down no matter what. Every story takes you down the lane, make you remember the old days when you did all those things in your childhood. You smile without being conscious enough.

The good thing is that the author didn’t waver from his theme and stick to what was expected from the book. And the real life tales thing made everything much more better and warming.

Every character was special in the book, it is hard to pick one. There was so much in everyone that things were elevated beyond normalcy.

The cover and the title also makes you smile. Every single thing of the book is crafted in such a way that you become nostalgic. The good thing is the variation, it was everywhere in the book.

All in all the book was a great, quick and easy read. It had a everything which a grown up needs in this running world, to have a break and relish some moments of happiness.

Check out the spotlight of the book for more details Spotlight

About the author:

Anand Suspi has been an advertising writer for the past 20 years. He has spent a large part of his career in Lowe Lintas. He lives in Gurgaon and runs his own ad agency, AndAnd.

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Book Review: The Indus Challenge By R. Durgadoss

Book: The Indus Challenge

Author: R. Durgadoss

Genre: Fiction (Mythology/History)

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Pages: 324

Price: 250


Bharat is in chaos. While the kingdoms fight each other, Alexander’s forces gather for the assault, their leader lured by tales of supernatural weapons and the elixir of immortality. Only one man can save the subcontinent from domination by the Greeks: the young Chandragupta Maurya, trained under the aegis of the ‘dark Brahmin’, Chanakya.
When an ancient seal is found, sharing the secrets of the brahmastra, the redoubtable weapon of the Mahabharata, it is up to Rudra, young commander of the Mauryan Nava Yuva Sena and lifelong friend and confidante of Chandragupta, to decode it. Along with his fellow commandos and with the able guidance of his guru, Rudra embarks on a quest that takes him from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the seas of Rameshwaram, hunting the clues that will lead him to the brahmastra. On the way, he meets the Chiranjivis, ancient beings tasked with divine duties and learns the secrets behind his own birth and his mysterious powers.
But Rudra must be careful, for not all enemies were dispersed with the death of the mighty Alexander. Treachery lurks in the home and when Rudra is framed for the attempted murder of his sovereign, he must pull every trick at his disposal to reveal the enemy and save his kingdom from plunging, once more, into bloodshed and chaos.
A historical, mythological adventure story, The Indus Challenge is sure to appeal to readers interested in the storied past of India and the legends woven into its soil.


The Indus Challenge is not like every other mythological book. It has much more turns, much more stories hidden beneath the whole concept. There is not just one aspect to it, there are different faces, different phases at every other turn.

The story is normal, but with different angles. I have never read a book of such subject-matter. I was hoping to find something different from the book but great new deals of things were served.

The problem arrived in the never-ending narration of events. I was just so distracted from so many flashbacks that it became hard after some time to go on like that. The author though maintained a good bridge between the past and present still it was not working in the bigger picture.

I liked the tale of Queen Helena because I knew about her very less. Her side of the tale was intriguing. I loved all the proceedings, her anger, her frustration, everything about her was great.

Also I loved reading about Chanakaya, his presence, his magnificence is all laid out in proper forms. He is shown as sharp and witty guru, which is expected from him. The whole episode of the little adventure Rudra and Chanakaya go on is really nerve-wrecking. There are a lot of puzzles, lot of places and lot of situations.

Best part of all this was the group that was formed, the puzzles, the violations, the hindrances and the different tactics involved at every step.

The book was full of details, stories and suspense. It really lived up to the expectations if one forgets the long and boring narrations by different characters. The book was much better towards the ending. The middle was so okayish that it brought the level of the book down.

It is that sort of  a book which will make you want to read the next phase of Rudra’s and Chankaya’s life. Though I didn’t read the first book in the series but still it didn’t feel like I have missed that much.

Check the spotlight of the book for more details about the book Spotlight

About the author:

R. Durgadoss (his associates call him Dr DD) is an entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, writer and coach. He holds a PhD in Corporate Finance. He has a career spanning more than three decades with leading multinational institutions of high repute.
He has a deep-rooted passion for Indian mythology, history and philosophy. Since his childhood he has been able to attract a number of followers with his mesmerizing storytelling abilities. Wherever history is a mystery, he fills gaps with his creative spin.

Having held his audience spellbound with powerful storytelling during his lectures in international forums, he thought it was time to focus on a series of fiction in the historical/mythological genre. The Indus Challenge is the second book in this series.

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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Book Review: Rafflesia: The Banished Princess by Gautam

Book: Rafflesia: The Banished Princess

Author: Gautam

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing

Price: 395

Pages: 397


"Rafflesia: The Banished Princess"
The curtains draw up. Lights are dimmed. The musical is about to begin. As the beautiful princess descends on stage, the mythical creatures from her kingdom come alive. Flickers of brilliant colors
blaze across as mesmerizing music pulsates from one corner of the theatre to the other. A fairy tale is about to unfold…

As young children, we often come across things that stay in our hearts forever. For Appu, it is a fairy tale about a beautiful princess. He lives with her in a world filled with the magical creatures from her kingdom until the real world beckons. A reluctant Appu steps into it as a striking young man and struggles to find his place.

What follows is an evocative tale of love and loss, friendship and betrayal, as the story travels through the snow-peaked mountains of Arunachal to the golden deserts of Jaisalmer, the tulip gardens of
Holland to the lush greens of Kerala. Does Appu find what he had set out for? The answer lies in Rafflesia — The Banished Princess because in her story, lay his!"


The book Rafflesia is a very well knitted tale, surrounding a bunch of people who have a very different side, very peculiar way of behaving in the book, which makes the book a really enjoyable treat. From the very start the book travels in two dimensions.

Well, the trend of playing with flashbacks is so much in trend that it didn’t came as a surprise. The author managed both the scenarios with perfection and everything was complementing the larger picture in the long run.

I particularly enjoyed the flashback more than the present world because it had a lot of sincerity and pieces that were so innocent and emotional that it was so easy to connect with them. I always waited for the bigger Appu to vanish and smaller version of him to appear and tickle me everywhere with his little doings.

The characters in the book were of great range and I enjoyed them beyond any limits. I loved Appu, I adored Rahul, and I loved their mothers and their fathers. It was a great family saga written in a very simplistic manner which kept the pace moving with ease. Not at one point I felt bored but yes the book was extended without any specific need.

Also I felt that there was a need to decipher the meanings of the phrases used in a foreign language in brackets or at the end of the book because due to that the connectivity was broken and that is one reason why I sometimes wanted to skip the narration that dealt with the life of a grown up Appu.

Good part about the book is that it is relatable. It is easy to wear Appu’s shoes if you are an Indian kid. The appearance of such part is really enjoyable. The book tells you how Indian kids are so unique, they have a very different way to deal with things or rather they are brought up that way.

The hardship, the turmoil’s, the people accompanying the shy and reserved Appu is really delightful. If and only if some parts were trimmed while editing, some phrases were re-told so that they became understandable, the book could have reached the zenith.

Still it is a great read with right amounts of everything. The good thing is that it can attract any reader irrespective of her or his choices.

Image result for rafflesia the banished princess

About the author:

A B-School graduate, Gautam is a business analyst by profession. Considers the laptop as among his best friends and nurses a secret desire to turn an entrepreneur someday.

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Spotlight: Half pants full pants by Anand Suspi

Anand Suspi


Half Pants Full Pants is a sort of childhood autobiography set in Shimoga of the 70s and 80s. Given the era and milieu that he grew up in, it carries a flavor similar to that of Malgudi Days. All the characters in the book are real and most of them are still in Shimoga, of course now in their mid-40s. Quite a few are from prominent families and are now active and important members of Shimoga. The book vividly captures the real childhood adventures of this generation of people in Shimoga. It’s a glorious reminiscence as well as a tribute to this wonderful town.

R. Balki says

“After Malgudi Days, I could never imagine that someone could create a childhood classic for adults to regain their innocence even for a few hours. Suspi’s tales would have made R K Narayan smile. Oh! That beautiful Kannadiga gene!”

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About the author

An advertising writer for over 20 years, he started with Mudra, Mumbai in 1995 and subsequently spent a large part of his career in Lowe Lintas working under Balki. He was the Creative Head of Lowe Delhi between 2007 and 2010. Currently, he lives in Gurgaon and is the co-founder of an ad agency called AndAnd Brand Partners.

Half Pants Full Pants is his first book, a sort of childhood autobiography set in Shimoga of the 70s and 80s. Given the era and milieu that he grew up in, it carries a flavor similar to that of Malgudi Days. The notable difference would be that every story is real and the characters are all in their mid-40s now, often reminiscing about the gloriousness of their growing up years.

Featured in New Indian Express

The Hindu

Times of India

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