Sunday, April 24, 2016

Book Review :: ‘An Autograph For Anjali’ by Sundari Venkatraman

Note: This review is part of ‘The Book Club’ blog tours.

Genre: Romance/ Suspense
Jayant Mathur is found murdered in his bed, shot at point-blank range with his own revolver. Though she’s extremely disturbed by his death, Jayant’s wife Anjali is way more upset about something else. Who stands to gain by killing the multi-millionaire businessman?

Parth Bhardwaj is a friend and neighbour of the Mathurs. Parth is an author who goes by a pseudonym. He appears more than a friend to Anjali; while he’s also on good terms with her son Arjun who lives and studies in the UK. What role does he play in Anjali’s life? Jayant’s relatives are curious to know.

Jayant’s brother-in-law Rana is convinced that Parth and Anjali are the murderers. But Inspector Phadke has his own doubts about this theory. In comes Samrat, the private detective who appears as quiet as a mouse. Will he be able to find the murderer?

Will Anjali find happiness and peace?

My Review:
The new offering from the romance author Sundari Venkatraman’s desk goes a little into the ‘suspense’ category with the murder of a character in the opening chapter. Though it creates intrigue and thrill, it is more of a romance; my favorite genre. 

I have read most of Sundari’s books and unlike others this one deals with romance in the second innings of the protagonist’s life. The story forces us to think about patriarchal attitude of our society towards homemakers and encourages to break free of the imaginary chains.

The industrialist Jayant Mathur is murdered in his bed with his own gun. No fingerprints or clues are left behind. Anjali, his wife, doesn’t shed a single tear and sits stoically waiting for their nineteen year old son to arrive. Meanwhile her friend Parth Bharadwaj handles the police, media and relatives. Police and relatives suspect Anjali and Parth. The story goes into flashback from here onwards.

Anjali is searching for her identity after her teenage son goes abroad for higher studies. She completely breaks down when her husband openly flaunts his affairs. During this period she meets Parth and her life begins to come on track. The romance between the two sizzles with the right chemistry. Very few stories explore the love and passion between forty+ protagonists, so AAFA comes as a refreshing tale.

Anjali’s characterization is near perfect as a wife of a rich businessman and one who suffers due to empty nest syndrome. I loved Parth’s don’t-give-a-damn attitude too. He is a true hero who holds Anjali’s hand and brings out the best in her. Arjun is a little unbelievable for a nineteen year old with respect to the maturity he had shown and easy acceptance of her mother’s relationship with Parth. But I accept him as an exception.

The murder suspense is secondary to the romance, and as the story elements are revealed the readers can easily guess the perpetrator of the crime. We also meet another of Sundari’s character from her novel ‘The Runaway Bridegroom’, the investigator Samrat. It is always very reassuring to read about a known character.

All in all ‘An Autograph For Anjali’ is a nice, breezy read and makes you think about fighting for one's rights.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Book Review:: ‘A Thousand Unspoken Words’ by Paulami Duttagupta

Note: This review is part of 'The Book Club' blog tour.

Genre: Romance/ Literary
Publisher: Readomania Publications
A hero, a person who displays great courage for the greater good, can also fall. But what happens to a fallen hero? A Thousand Unspoken Words is the unique journey of a hero who falls. 

The champion of the underdogs, the writer who uses the nom de plume Musafir is famous in Kolkata. His incisive criticism of the injustices around him earn him many enemies but he holds his ideals above all else. Scathing attacks at his books and a night of hide and seek from political goons leads Musafir unto a path he never liked, faraway from his ideals. He runs away and chooses the comforts of money over the travails of following one’s ideals. The hero falls. 

But Tilottama, passionate fan’s hopes don’t. When he comes back after many years, emotions, love and lust take charge and an affair brews. Will she bring back her hero? Will he rise again? Or will the thousand untold words, the many stories of the ideal writer be lost forever?

My Review:
Don’t we all love to have a ‘hero’ in our life? 

But isn’t expecting a mere mortal to exhibit exemplary qualities endlessly without any slack a bit too much? The novel beautifully presents this very aspect of humanity - the story of a fallen hero, who is also a human being.

‘A Thousand Unspoken Words’ explores the complex minds of a highly talented writer and his biggest admirer, who also becomes his nemesis. The novel also brings forth the issue which plagues humans the most—inability to accept the realities of life. 

For the protagonist Tilottama ‘Musafir’, the anonymous writer is a hero, who is fighting for the rights of the oppressed and innocent people. On a rainy night in Calcutta she meets a man running for his life and provides much needed sanctuary to him. Later she comes to know that he was the one whom she had put on her heart’s pedestal.

Musafir had to pay dearly for the crusade he had started with the might of his pen. His printing press is destroyed, he had to flee from his hometown and his father dies. Fearing for his life, he was not even allowed to come for his father’s last rites by his mother. The pressures and practicality of life forces him to become something else, and he falls in Tilottama’s eyes.

‘A Thousand Unspoken Words’ is the story of their struggles, love, expectations, and acceptance. The author has expertly dealt with the imperfections or natural human failings of both the protagonists. The characterization is near perfect and the end is beautiful. The story lingers in the mind and forces one to acknowledge that even heroes are humans and we should make peace with their weaknesses.

Highly recommended read.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Alphabet D - Vocabulary of Generation Y2K

Okay, so this alphabet turned out to be ‘duh’, couldn’t find many words starting with ‘D

Why say that, this or though when you could say dat, dis or doe? Yup, that’s right!

Exclamation used to comment on a foolish or stupid action, especially one’s own.

Following two are old and well known, but still popular

Drool worthy
Extremely attractive or desirable. 

Split the cost


DOC - Drug of choice
DBD - Don't Be Dumb
DBEYR - Don't Believe Everything You Read
DD - Due Diligence
DDD - Drop Dead Gorgeous
DENIAL - Don't Even Notice I Am Lying
DF - Dear Friend
DH - Dear Husband
DIKU - Do I Know You?
DILLIGAS - Do I Look Like I Give A Sh**

Alphabet C - Vocabulary of Generation Y2K

Okay, so coming to the third letter of the month. I found many words with C which was not the case for letters A and B. There are some even I could relate to and this is super exciting.

This word is used to describe someone who acts outside of the social norms or seems to have stalker tendencies.

Very excited or full of energy or may be awesome :D

This means 'Cash' in their lingo (not 'cheese', mind you)

Combination words

Calm down and relax. (This even I use at times)

Another version:

Chilling combined with relaxing

And the abbreviations - (Parents do take note)

CD9 - Parents around/Code 9
CID - Acid (Drug) or Consider It Done or Crying In Disgrace
CU46 - See you for sex
CT - Can't Talk -or- Can't Text
CWOT - Complete Waste Of Time
CUL - See You Later
CX - Cancelled
CYT - See You Tomorrow

Monday, April 4, 2016

Book Review:: ‘Color Me Rich’ by Mohan Deep

Note: This review is part of 'The Book Club' blog tour.
A sensitive love story of a handsome and talented struggling painter Akash Saigal. What happens when he marries an extremely rich and beautiful artist and art investor Zenobia Taraporevala?

My Review: 
‘Color Me Rich’ is a story about the perils of mis-placed love, undeserving ambitions, jealousy and self-preservation. Its a fast paced novella with narration which switches between past and present.

Akash Saigal is a painter trying to get a foot-hold in the extremely competitive world of creative field. He lives in Mumbai, amongst affectionate neighbors and creative friends; Pran who is an aspiring actor and Suma who is an upcoming ghazal singer. 

He comes across beautiful Zenobia who is also a budding painter and an art collector. Daughter of a rich industrialist, she has everything one needs in life. They are attracted to each other and marry. As it happens between two people who have different expectations in life, trouble starts brewing between them and takes a tragic twist.

The narration is simple and fluent. Author has done complete justice to switching between the timelines. I loved Akash and Pran’s characterization. Apart from these two, none of the other characters are fully explored. I wished Suma, who is a pivotal part should have been given more attention. 

The story starts perfectly with the right sub-plots which invokes intrigue and anticipation, but somewhere in between those threads are abandoned, leaving me unsatisfied as a reader. There is one things which is an absolute no, no for me in fiction; giving names to characters who do not have any role in the story. There are a few editing issues too.

All in all, a short, interesting read.

Alphabet B - Vocabulary of Generation Y2K

Means: The love of your life or anyone special, who comes ‘Before Anyone Else’, or babe/baby. Pronounced as the first syllable in the word ‘Baby’
Usage: "Love you bae."

Means: A plain, unoriginal person.
Usage: "Um, why would we wear this? Only basic b*tches wear that."

Earlier 'busted' meant when someone was caught, doing something they shouldn’t. For example: If a security guard saw someone shoplifting and nabbed him/her, he/she would be simply 'busted'.
The meaning of 'Busted' has changed these days. Now if someone is called busted, it means they are ugly. Not a flattering figure of speech.

Means: Hungover from alcohol

Combination words

BROMANCE: A close but non-sexual relationship between two men.

BRO-TOX: Men getting botox

Some abbreviations:

B4N - Bye For Now
BF4L - Best Friends For Life
BBB - Bye Bye Babe -or- Boring Beyond Belief
BBL - Be Back Later
BEG - Big Evil Grin
BI5 - Back In Five (minutes)
BMW - B*tch, Moan, Whine
BNDN - Been Nowhere Done Nothing 
BTDT - Been There Done That
BWL - Bursting With Laughter
BZ - Busy

Hope you liked today's words... feel free to add words with alphabet 'B' used by current generation in the comment section below. I would love to know about them.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Alphabet A - Vocabulary of Generation Y2K

We are quite familiar with this word, used by most of the young people and even I am guilty of using it for anything and anyone specially on social media.

According to the Oxford dictionary the definition of ‘awesome’ is:

Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe:
‘the awesome power of the atomic bomb’

informal Extremely good; excellent:
‘the band is truly awesome!’

Earlier awesome was used for something which really inspired awe and was used very rarely. But these days it is used as a common word replacing 'very nice' or 'very good'. 

In my opinion there are two reasons for this; one, it sounds quite happening (believe me, even I feel it) and secondly, it adds a flavor of encouragement and exclamation to 'very good' or 'very nice'.

Another variation which has come very recently related to ’awesome’ is

AWESOMITY  - The highest state of awesome

Now that awesome is so much in use that another level of awesome is required to express awe. :D

Combination Word


Affluential is a mix of Affluent and Influence and it used in case - Having both money and power or influence.

Some of the interesting abbreviations:

A3 - Anywhere, Any time, Any place
AAT - And Another Thing, At All Times
ABC - American Born Chinese
ABD - Already Been Done
ADED - All Day Every Day
AHEM - *Clearing Throat*
AIIC - As If I Care
AMG - Ah, My God
AML - All My Love

Hope you liked today's words... feel free to add more 'A' words used by current generation in the comment section below. I would love to hear them.