November 20 2015

Khel the writings

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Blurb: The abandoned Haveli in Brahmdev, a hill station near Mumbai, is known amongst the local population to be haunted. People keep away from it. A group of youngsters decide to explore it and what follows is a horrifying reality they do not live to relate. Sanya Sharma is an investigative journalist, with a shattered life and a grieving past. Having lost her husband and little daughter within a span of six months, her once perfect life is a distant dream. Depressed, unable to concentrate on work and barely paying attention to her ten-year-old son, she takes help in alcohol and regular visits to her psychiatrist. Her last chance at redemption in a case of mysterious deaths on small hill station. What follows is a series of mysterious, eerie and horrifying events that Sanya cannot understand and finally with the help of a local police inspector turned friend, it draws upon her that the Haunted Haveli is not just small town hocus-pocus but a reality that had turned on her. The evil that she encounters slowly affects everything around her and she knows that it will finally consume her. But why? What were the deep, dark secrets of the Haveli’s past? What was the Nawab family’s past? Who is the old woman haunting her? What are the cards and what is the card game? How is such a horrifying situation merely a game and how is she to play it? Why do the writings on the cards come true and people die? She has to find a way to save herself and her son from the evil and the game of cards that makes everything come true. People around her are dying one by one making her wonder why she is spared. Will she play the final KHEL – The Writings – or will it be the evil that will end the game?

About the author: Vishal Goswami is a MBA-Finance graduate from Boston, U.S.A and is passionate about reading and writing in all its forms, whether fiction or non-fiction and also all other genres. He is active on Twitter as “[email protected],” tweeting about more contemporary topics and new movie analysis and ratings.

Review: Horror tales are terrifying for a specific reason. With some of our most famous horror stories—ones that follow knife-wielding masked madmen, houses that consume humans, scorned clairvoyant teens, children or adults—the victim, even in death, retains control of his or her own mind. KHEL-THE WRITINGS is a beast to power through, but it’s a fresh take on horror tales. Three cheers to the author of this book Vishal Goswami for attempting to write a frighteningly creepy and terrorising writings in the name of KHEL-THE WRITINGS. I am an avid reader of mystery, thriller and horror genre and this book correctly came in that category. I can never stay away from horror. The first few pages in horror genre really has the calibre to make or break the story and fortunately, author Vishal Goswami has successfully managed to amazingly captivate the reader as the next pages were not put down by me and it urged me to read further. Vishal Goswami could actually generate the thought WHAT IS NEXT in the reader’s mind. KHEL-THE WRITINGS is one of those books which even you read will haunt you and force you to think about what the author wrote. This is from my heart, I recoomend this book to everyone to read at least once if you like reading good fiction and for those who prefer horror genre, this can be re-read many times. Vishal Goswami’s writing style is very elaborate that while reading, it enables the reader to visualise every sentence and makes you have those goosebumps on your body and it has even raised the hair in few pages. I would like if this book is adapted into movie by the Hindi film industry. Readers who have had no experience with fearsome reading should definitely read this book once to experience it. The The haveli and the narrative kept me trapped in to the story till the end. Every line, every page was exciting and horrifying. KHEL-THE WRITINGS is spine chilling, super entertaining with dramatic events and meticulous description. Kudos to author Vishal Goswami.

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November 18 2015

Chasing Illusions

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About the author: Utakarsh Jayant, 24, is an engineer, from DCE, now pursuing MBA from MDI, Gurgaon. After his graduation he started working with ‘Bristlecon ‘ in Noida. He worked here for three years and used to travel all the way to Noida from Dwarka. He utilized his travelling time in weaving the story. Besides, writing and academics, Utakarsh is a diehard football fan. His favourite football club is Chelsea. He even went to Rio de Janeiro to watch world cup. He is also managing his own blog -http://ersth.blogspot.in/since last five years.

Review: Utakarsh has recently created a buzz by publishing his first book ‘Chasing Illusions.’ The book is the story of an honest, but befuddled young man’s growth in the hazy real-estate sector of Delhi. Set against the backdrop of the rapidly changing social and economic scenario in villages of the National Capital Region during the early 2000’s. It relates about his struggle under the omnipresent shadow of corruption, deceit, and swindling at various levels of politics and society in developing India. It speaks of his ultimate metamorphosis into an unscrupulous, cheating, and bullying goon, blind to right or wrong. The author Utakarsh has definitely made an impression in my mind, though it took me 2months to read his book. The writer has beautifully explored the various relations which the protagonist shares with people around him. Though the author is a debutant, he has managed well to keep the reader glued to the story. Despite it is a fiction story, the author has written hard hitting realities in it. It was a new change to read a book based on real estate business. The story goes like Ajay lives with his parents in Bagbola. Confused about what to do in life, he falls in love with his neighbor’s girl. To give direction to his confused son, Ajay’s father pleads his friend Ramu Kaka to let Ajay work under him in his real estate business. After working sometime, Ajay finds interest in this field but soon realises that Ramu Kaka was indulged in fraudulent activities. Time passes, he moves ahead in his life with his own business as a real estate agent. Will he be able to live an honest life or the evil of greed will take him under its shadow? Read, the book Chasing Illusions to know what happens with Ajay and his journey as a real-estate agent. If you want to read something different, this book is a must. Goodluck to Utakarsh for his next book.

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November 16 2015

SHE: Ekla Cholo Re

SHE Ekla Cholo Re by Santosh Avvannavar & Dr. Shayan Haq

Blurb

Set in the backdrop of 1990 Calcutta, She is a story about finding one’s own identity in spite of all odds. The story spins around the life of Kusum, a brave heart whose identity is often untitled and blurred; it does not belong anywhere, definitely not under the ‘he’ or ‘she’ bracket, thanks to our social conditioning. Will she be successful in her mission? Find out in She, an utterly absorbing read that derives inspiration from Tagore’s “Ekla Cholo Re” song, which urges everyone to move on despite the fear of abandonment from others.

About the Authors

Dr. Shayan Haq: Shayan is a medical doctor and cosmetologist by profession working at Bijapur, Karnataka. He is born at Gaya, Bihar and spent his quality time at West Bengal and Bihar before he moved for higher education. In his free time he loves to drive, read, watch and discuss on movies, and a gadget freak.

Santosh Avvannavar: Santosh started his career as a consultant and Soft Skills Trainer. After his college education from NITK, Surathkal, he worked as a researcher at University of Eindhoven, University of Twente, and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was also the Placement President while working at IISC, Bangalore. He has over twenty-five publications of mostly research documents in national and international journals. He has also authored sixteen conference papers and regularly writes articles for a national and worldwide daily paper. He also works as an advisor for different organisations. He also dabbles in fiction writing and is the author of Adhuri Prem Kahaniya; Dear Wife, Your Husband is not a Superhero, Second Heart and Get a Job WITHOUT an Interview; Be A B.A.; Surrogate Author; Title is Untitled; Black, Grey and White; The Departing Point; God’s Table and Umbilical Cord. He likes to devote his personal time in writing for a website, namely the Amrita Foundation for HRD (www.amritafoundation.wordpress.com). He has conducted seminars and training sessions for more than 45,000 people in India and abroad over the last seven years.

Review

 The book begins with Rabindranath Tagore’s song ‘Jodi Tor Dak Shune Keu Na Ase Tobe Ekla Cholo Re’ which translates to If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone and this suits well to the story’s main character Kusum, who lives life in her own terms defying the rules of the society and she meets Dr. Rajendra, a professor when shares her story with him and reveals that she is a transgender. During their conversation, Kusum narrates to Dr. Rajendra the psychological effects, exploitation and the attitude of family/society towards her and many other Kusums who exist in this world. I appreciate Santosh’s writing, as he picks up those themes which are taboo in our society. Kudos to him. The topic of transgender is rarely talked about in open. The character of the protagonist Kusum is well written. The total unpredictable classical ending was the surprise read of this book. I highly recommend to others, not just this book but Santosh’s previous books too.

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxeRP0heBbQ&w=320&h=266]
(The video embedded above is the official book trailer)

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November 4 2015

35 and Sexless in Ahmedabad

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About the author: Robin David is The Times of India’s resident editor in Chandigarh. He previously worked with the newspaper in Ahmedabad, the city that forms the backdrop of this novel. He belongs to its small Bene Israel Jewish community. His first book, City of Fear, an account of how the 2002 Gujarat riots affected him and his mother, noted writer Esther David, was shortlisted for the Vodafone Crossword Book Award 2007 in the English non-fiction category.

Blurb: Anant, a thirty-five-year-old small-time photographer in Ahmedabad, has a recurring nightmare. In it, a three-legged bitch is chained to his ankle, slowing his step and dragging angrily behind him. Try as he might, he is neither able to free himself of the mongrel in the dream nor the dream itself. What does the dog signify? Raashee, his one-time lover who now exists only in online chat windows? Or Diane Arbus, the legendary 1960s’ photographer whose groundbreaking ideas have no takers in Ahmedabad? Or his father, with whom he has a strained relationship? When psychologists and Google fail him, Anant embarks on a Kafkaesque journey through the city to find the answers that elude him. 35 and Sexless in Ahmedabad is a darkly comic story about a lonely man’s quest for real connections in times of virtual connectivity – a misfit artist’s alienation in a conservative city, here Ahmedabad but could be any other. But the most hopeless of situations often have simple solutions. As Anant discovers, his three-legged dog is actually a profound problem with a surprisingly primal answer.

Review: ‘35 and Sexless in Ahmedabad ‘ is story of Anant a struggling photographer living in Ahmedabad tormented by a female dog. Anant named it – ‘ Tripod ‘ as she had legs and three legs symbolised Diane Arbus – a photographer, Raashee – beloved cum friend and his father with whom he had tough relationship – three different people who bothered him. ‘ 35’ in name of the book talks about age of Anant while ‘ Sexless in Ahmedabad ‘ defines Raashee who lived in New Zealand with her husband and called him at peculiar hours when she was usually drunk defines her sexless life. The story gives interesting sketches of Anant’s life, his loneliness and his sex craving. The language of book is simple and narrative is in flow with the pace of the story. It’s interesting how author easily switches between real and imagination of Anant’s mind. In the story I had few favourites reads such as Anant’s flirting with Japanese lady, erroneously called a proctologist instead of psychologist and his conversation with Mrs Patel when he gave up his job as a photographer of Children International Association. It is a very light and pleasing read. The texture is squashy and a bit obvious. In addition, the author made a stylistic multipart narrative, which looked great, typical of many writers who use descriptions, multifarious language, regular monologues, and many anonymous characters. The author has an engaging and compelling writing skill, and carefully digged into the psychology of the characters, delineation particularly the advises and hesitations, thoughts and conduct of life. I found sexual references at some places in the story as inappropriate. Those engrossed in photography would learn a lot about it from this book.

Publisher: HarperCollins • Published: May 2015 • ISBN-13: 978-9350298459 • Language: English • Binding: Paperback • Pages: 224

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