Surpanakha

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About the Book:

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Educated, young, no-nonsense bearing, able administrator—these are the qualities that won Sesha the loyalties of the people after three years of rule as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. An allegation that he was the mastermind behind the murder of 73 Kannadigas threatens to bring him down but he is miraculously saved in the 11th hour. Even before he can relish his victory, Sesha is slapped with the charge of sexually offending a young nurse. This time round, the case is strong and his supporters are uncertain. Worse, his teenage daughter calls him ‘vile’ and walks out of the house. While Mythili, his wife promises her full support, her secretive activities—undertaken with the help of a retired cop—is a cause of concern for Sesha. Will Zarina, the human-rights activist, succeed in bringing him down? What about the insinuations of a celebrity lawyer that he is casteist and antiminorities? When the young nurse is found dead, the case becomes even more complex. Who is innocent? Who is guilty? And who is the mastermind?

Buy Links:

Links for downloading e-books: Amazon India | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Links for ordering paperbacks: Amazon India | Flipkart

About the Author:

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Hariharan Iyer is a finance professional based in Dar es Salaam. Not content with just a rewarding corporate job, he took to writing a couple of years back. He blogged on media and current affairs for a year at valadyviews.blogspot.com before hitting on the idea for this novel. An idea so powerful that it convinced the accountant in him that he could put together not just a balance sheet but an intriguing political thriller as well. He has definite views on politics, NGOs and media ethics and has tried to package them in the form of an interesting novel. Hariharan lives with his wife in Dar es Salaam while his two sons are pursuing their ambitions in India.

Contact Hariharan: Facebook | Twitter | Blog

Review: When I first heard about this book, the title Surpanakha intrigued me that I immediately signed up to review it. As I got the book in my hand, I read it immediately to know the connection of the story with the title. The blurb was interesting but as though I read through the pages, I found it boring and lengthy and it did not manage to make me stay to read the full book. I stopped it in between for a break and started to read it from the page I left it last after 3days as I could not sink in the story easily. But suddenly as I started to read, my interest grew with the story and the main turn around came in when the Kannadiga story takes a pause and the sexual harassment pops up in the course. I liked the way, author has written the characters. You can find them to be good, bad, weak, strong, right, wrong and many more within the same time frame. What I liked in this book is that the author has been able to successfully create an impression of belief and reality through the story that while reading I felt I was one among the characters in it. It did not make me feel made up. There is Seshadri/Sesha, the Chief minister, Mythili (his wife), Zareena, Indrani, Catherine, Sadagopan, the teenager Vaishali, every one has their own mark left upon the reader. Once the book took its pace, I did not find it boring but it was not super fast like a bullet train but interesting read. I took a week’s time to complete as I had left it unread in between for few days. I personally would recommend this to other readers. Not spilling any beans on the title and its reference in the story, interested to know please take your copy now to read it.

Giveaway:
– Amazon Gift Card worth $12 or 750INR
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Wrong Means Right End

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Blurb: Wrong Means Right End tells the tale of Sneha, a single mother who is working hard to earn a living to support herself and her young son. Her focus solely lies on making their ends meet and she has lost interest in love or dating. Sneha’s best friend Nandini is now happily married to Aditya, an industrialist. Nandini’s concern for Sneha makes her act as a matchmaker, who wants to fill her life with love and happiness. Sneha’s regular pace of life is disturbed when Nikhil, a man with whom she shares an unpleasant past, enters in her life. He is haughty and Sneha will go to any extent to keep her distance from him. If these problems weren’t enough, another troublemaker, Gayathri, enters the picture to create havoc. Gayathri is Aditya’s ex girlfriend who still likes him and is trying her best to jeopardize Nandini and Aditya’s relationship. The only person that could help Sneha in stopping Gayatri is Nikhil. Considering their hatred for each other, will Sneha approach Nikhil for saving Nandini and Aditya’s marriage?

About the author: An Indian author, Varsha Dixit is a resident of the United States, where she lives with her family. She has pursued a bachelor’s degree in arts, with a specialization in political science and has completed a diploma in mass communication. Varsha has also completed several film editing courses from Los Angeles and has worked in the Indian television industry. A huge fan of crime fiction and murder mysteries, she wanted to write a book on similar lines. However, owing to her sensitive nature, Varsha ended up writing a romantic story as her debut novel. The books authored by her are Right Fit Wrong Shoe and Xcess Baggage.

Review: Varsha Dixit’s sequel to her debut novel, Right Fit Wrong Shoe, has all ingredients whipped in a good mix which contain zesty female protogonist, tall dark handsome who falls in love with the girl, the girl’s best friend and relationship complications. The book’s protagonist, Sneha, is a divorced single mother, who with the help of her best friend, is able to move past her unhappy marriage and raises her son in Mumbai. Her matchmaker friend keeps trying to set her up, but with little success. A string of incidents later, Sneha meets a man from her past who she despises, but gradually comes to love. Though the book’s theme is not new, the characters and incidents make it a page-turner. The book is has lots of slang. The characters deeply written to keep the story intriguing. Some sub-plots in the later half, are lengthy. The book has some glaring grammatical and editorial errors which are a huge turn off. Many of the situations and characters are so cliched that you get a feeling of deja vu more than once. Like Nikhil’s ex-wife (uncovered by Sneha) is a drug addict, Sneha’s son suddenly starts calling Nikhil Dad, as opposed to ‘Nik’ and the likes you know. You may like this book if you are a Chick-Lit genre fan. As for me, just a one-time read. But these flaws aside, the book is an interesting read and has many heartening moments.

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A – ‘ANTAGONISTS’

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He, she, or it—human antagonists are more satisfying than machines or non-humans. He stands against the protagonist, actively works against him, determined that your main character not succeed in his endeavours. The antagonist not only works to undermine the lead and keep him from achieving his goals, but the antagonist actively works to achieve his own goals, which may parallel the lead’s or be the opposite in every measure. I am fascinated by Antagonists in literature and in films. Not only do Lex Luthor, Dracula and the Red Skull run unconstrained by conventional morality, they exist outside the limits of reality itself. Their evil, even at its most realistic, retains a touch of the unreal. A hero only appears as heroic as the challenge he or she must overcome. Great heroes require great antagonists. Without them, Batman has nobody to hit and Superman’s a flying rescue worker searching for people to save from wrecks and natural disasters. Without these super antagonists, the world’s finest heroes seem like overpowered brutes nabbing thugs unworthy of them. Through myths, legends and lore across time, we have needed heroes who rise to the occasion, overcome great odds and take down giants. Our need to challenge the unknown has driven the human race to cover the globe. This powerful curiosity makes us wonder about everything that baffles us, including the world’s worst fiends. Knowledge is power, or at least feels like it. Learning more about Ted Bundy and the Unabomber helps us feel less vulnerable to others who’d commit similar deeds. When gritty details repulse us, exploring evil through the filter of fiction can help us contemplate humanity’s worst without turning away or dwelling almost voyeuristically on real human tragedy. Even when the fiction is about improbable people doing impossible things, the story’s fantastic nature reassures us that this cannot happen — and therefore we don’t have to turn away.

Love them or hate them, Antagonists provide some of the most memorable characters in Literature.

Lord Voldermort – Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Key quote: “He disappeared after leaving school … traveled far and wide … sank so deeply into the Dark Arts, consorted with the very worst of our kind, underwent so many magical transformations that when he resurfaced he was barely recognisable.”

The Grand Witch – The Witches by Roald Dahl

Key quote: “My orders are that every single child in the country shall be rrrubbed out, sqvashed, sqvirted, sqvitted and ffrrritered before I come here again in vun year’s time. Do I make myself clear?”

Sauron –The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Key quote: “But Sauron was not of mortal flesh, and though he was robbed now of that shape in which had wrought so great an evil, so that he could never again appear fair to the eyes of Men”

Iago –  Othello by William Shakespeare

Key quote: “So will I turn her virtue into pitch, And out of her own goodness make the net That shall enmesh them all.”

Fagin – Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Key quote: “he looked less like a man than some hideous phantom”

Mephistopholes – Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

Key quote: “I am a servant to great Lucifer.”

Aaron the Moor – Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

Key quote: “Oft have I digged up dead men from their graves, and set them upright at their dear friends’ door.”

Judge Holden– Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Key quote: “The judge tilted his great head. The man who believes that the secrets of this world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life.”

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