27 October 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

The Accursed God: The Lost Epic by Vivek Dutta Mishra (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

 1881st BLOG POST


39th Book of 2020!



 

I have read many books on Mahabharat- the biggest epic in the Universe and I must say that reading it always makes you think about a lot of things – right and wrong – in the epic itself and also about your actions in your life as there are many situations in this epic where you can corelate with your situations. Every book that I have read till date about Mahabharata always started from the birth of Pandu and Dhritarashtra or Pandavas and Kauravas. This is the first time where I got my hands upon a book named “The Accursed God: The Lost Epic” which is written on the character of none other than Bhishma.

 

Frankly speaking, I never knew about Bhishma much except that he was respected by all as I always read about the final War where other characters are dominant. This book speaks about Bhishma’s journey even right before his birth which gives us terrific insights about what all happens long before the war of Mahabharat takes place. This book also talks about how the seeds were planted long back which kept on developing roots of hatred across generations which finally made the world suffer the biggest War of all times. I didn’t even know about Bhisma being the accursed God and how he got the boon of choosing when to die which this book has made me know very well now.

 

The book is written by Vivek Dutta and I must say that the research that the author has gone through to ensure that the book covers several small details which plays prominent part in the epic is worth-applaudable. I don’t think that there are many documents available to know about Bhishma or Devbrata which speaks volume about the efforts that has been put into giving shape to this book.

 

Speaking about few segments specifically which really made me become one with this book:- the first thing that shall always stay with me is the battle between Bhishma and Parshuram- the way it has been narrated makes you imagine as if the same is happening in front of your eyes and you realize the power of the clash between the titans. Another scene that author does justice is with the character of Amba which tells a lot about how powerful women were even in those days.

 

The book finally comes into action when the character of Chitrangad becomes king and starts dominating the things which makes even Bhishma take oath which surprises everyone- even this scene has been handled very well by the author. The few initial conversations between Shri Krishna and Bhisma are mesmerizing as knowing and reading about Shri Krishna is always enjoyable. The last chapters which tells about how Mathura is conquered by Pandu which irritates kings from other regions is again a great read which gives the book a nice closure. Along with this, I am also glad about how author has been able to include the tale of other regions such as Anga, Yaksha, Gorkha, Magadh, Gandhar, Mathura, Apar Kunti etc. and their respective kings and generations.

 

Now, talking about the drawbacks- when a book is written about a story or epic which consists of more than 10 characters and speaking about this one, it has lot many characters- the first thing I expect is a family chart on the 1st page for the ease of readers to recollect when they read book in breaks. Secondly, when the plot has battle between different regions etc., then the ancient Indian map shall also need to be the part of the book. Both these factors are missing from the book. I believe author has not given nice backdrop on Pandu and Dhritarashtra’s childhood days as you find them grown up quite soon. Similarly, a great character Amba is not discussed after a while at all.

 

I also feel as this is just first part of a big series, I believe the book should have been edited well as I believe author has gone into details even in those segments where it wasn’t needed that kind of elaboration. The book could have been easily 100-150 pages less as a book of 400-500 pages is tough for a reader to go through. Also, somewhere, I wanted the book to end with another conversation between Bhishma and Shree Krishna but I missed it. The book also consists of typos as even the names of characters are spelled differently at many instances.

 

Except the above few points, overall, this book is a great read in terms of knowing the character of Bhishma and how characters played with each other due to which the dynamics got built around them which led to certain scenarios later on in next generations which led to the War of Mahabharat. I give this book 4 stars out of 5.


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Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



26 October 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Past Dwellers by Samridh Seth (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!

1880th BLOG POST


38th Book of 2020



 

I have read two thrillers – psychological and romantic back to back after which I needed a non-fiction book to open my perspective again. It happens when you read too much of fiction you start behaving like those characters sometimes hence it’s necessary to get back to reality as soon as possible. And what a nice light motivating and self-help book I landed upon- the book is named “Past Dwellers” written by a first-time author, Samridh Seth, who has just touched 20 years of age. A tagline also goes along with the title of the book that says “Change your mindset to change your life”. The cover page is very attractive with neurons working in a human brain over a white cover page with the title of the book shining in the black font.

 

This 110-pages book is a short self-help book which you can complete within 1 to 1.5 hours. It is divided into short chapters of around 3-4 pages along with diagrammatical representations which makes it interesting for the readers as we get a chance to get into the author’s mind completely. Samridh has used his own past experiences in order to share with us how he was wrong at that point of time and what he learnt from it. He also shares several real-life examples and also quotes wordings of some popular personalities in order to prove his points. You will acknowledge everything the author says. There are many mature statements in the book which really moved me even when the author is just 20 years old and me having experience of reading so many books in this genre.

 

Author talks on various topics such as humility, importance of time management, trying various activities to be prepared to get into any of them in bad times, money management, stock marketing, dreams, goals, body management – working-out, meditation – working on the mind, friendships etc. I liked the approach of the author the way he has used references and metaphors to make his concepts interesting and distinct such as Palm trees, pyramid etc. One can talk on any topic that Seth has included in the book for 100 pages but he stays focused on the topic by only mentioning worthy sentences and ensuring that he covers the most within 3-4 pages itself.

 

Samridh has written this book in a very easy language which can be read and understood by a school-going kid as well as an adult. Another USP is that every age-group shall be able to learn something out of the book irrespective of the author’s age. I also liked the flow of the chapters where author didn’t spend much time in talking about himself or his experiences but immediately moved on to the topic. You can easily finish this book within a sitting itself. There are many quotes that you would want to keep with you which can definitely motivate you.

 

Now, talking about the drawbacks- the first one is the pricing of the book which is around 345 INR. I doubt if many readers can afford a 100-page book for such a big amount. Secondly, I felt that author cut-short many topics where there could have been more elaboration or explanation. For e.g. Author talks about managing mind but how it needs to be done is not helped with. There are many such instances.

 

Overall, this is a fine and positive read. I give this book 3.75* out of 5. Such an experienced writing from the author at this young age was really a surprise for me.


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Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



22 October 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

You Never Know by Akash Verma (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

1879th BLOG POST


37th Book of 2020!

 



Reading books back to back by the same author sometimes can be an excellent or worst experience. It also depends on the sequence in which you pick up the books. I am just done reading Akash Verma’s “You Never Know” whereas I had completed one of his other books 2 days back itself. This 216-pages book is published by Penguin and hence I had little more expectations than usual. And I am glad that I really loved the story and so much that I woke up till 2 AM last night after a hectic day at office just because I couldn’t keep the book aside. And luckily, this book was far better than the book of Verma I read before this.

 

You Never Know” is a romantic thriller and I must say it completely does justice to the genre. I liked how the author keeps the balance of everything – the family life, the extra-marital affair, the thrilling part, the sexual scenes, the professional discussion etc. that each of them is put in the right amount in the book. I must also applaud the editing team as well for this. In 216 pages, writing a story with 3 prominent characters and able to do justice to all of them along with the thrilling aspect of the story is done very crisply and up-to-the-mark. Not even once did I feel that any sentence has been framed out of the context.

 

The narration can’t be called fast-paced but it’s at a pace where you feel convenient but still, there’s a feeling that you are on a roller-coaster ride. Author has used 3 people who speak in their own voices- the protagonist, Dhruv, his extra-marital girlfriend- Anuradha and her ex-bf, Sid. It is so very well done that you relate to all of them and can feel the genuineness and darkness in each of them. You don’t know if what they are doing or what they did was actually wrong or the societal morality makes one feels so. I also liked the romance part of the book where Dhruv and Anuradha simultaneously displays their emotions from man and woman point of view considering that one of them is already married. This dilemma is very well played by the author throughout the book.

 

The way author plays with timelines and brings some old characters back into the tale is done so seamlessly that you don’t feel that you are moving back and forth with the timeline. I liked how author just didn’t mention few things from a high-level point of view but went deeper into it. For e.g. the marketing team’s job where they have to give a demo to crack a client, the pressure one feels after being promoted, the curiosity for the 1st task given in a new job irrespective of your previous experiences, the guilt when one is in extra-marital affair, the toughness of building a start-up in India where you have to get funds from others, the parent’s view regarding their child who unlike their peer are questing to be an entrepreneur than a corporate employee etc. Many such factors are beautifully discussed and handled.

 

Now talking about the drawbacks of the book- Well, to be frank, the last book of Akash that I completed 2 days back was been rated 3.25* by me which disappointed me as I have earlier rated him as high as 4.5*. But this time he has again delivered well up to his best capabilities hence there isn’t much that I have to say. I only have to make an observation that when author moved back to the timeline he mentioned the year whereas when in the next chapter, he again comes to the current time, it isn’t mentioned which I think should be mentioned. Though it’s self-explanatory after reading but still. Again, I feel that the thrilling part needs to be little more tough with great twists and turns which is again missing though I still believe that the book is a great page-turner where you want to know what happens next and as well as in the end.

 

Overall, this is a very well-written book and it can be read by anyone- beginners or people deeply into reading. I give this book an excellent 4.5* out of 5. Though this book is complete in its own sense but the sequel of the same is about to release in early 2021 for which I am equally excited to know what more happens with these characters. Well done, Akash!


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Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



20 October 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

The Best Friend by Akash Verma (Book Review: 3.25*/5) !!!

1878th BLOG POST


36th Book of 2020!

 


Akash Verma has been in the literary space since last 10 years. Out of the 5 books that he has written till date, I had read the 2 of them long back and really liked his writing skills. This made me purchase another book written by him in the Amazon e-book sales named “The Best Friend” which I have ended up reading within a day. The 184-pages book is the first by the author which has been published in the Kindle edition only. The book is based on a thriller concept which involves the story of two friends – Nakul and Samir – a secret that binds them together and changes their lives forever – and then a Murder which brings them back together after 30 years.


The plot chosen by the author is a great premise on which a promising thriller can be designed. Akash does the same but rather than keeping the book purely on an investigation-based format, he is keener to tell us the story in his own old ways than keeping the book focused on the murder and bringing with it- multiple twists and turns. Author takes the two timelines – the childhood of both the main characters and their present life after 30 years simultaneously. It becomes confusing initially but later on, you start enjoying both the plots. The real aggravation to the plot of the story begins with the introduction of the character- Sandhya. The way she has been handled gives a boom to the story that was needed as it becomes boring after sometime knowing about the regular life of Nakul and his daughter- Anna.

 

Author talks about many factors in this book which needs to be understood between the lines. How the psychic of a child gets affected for life with just one event of bullying in school that it never leaves him/her even after they are in their adulthood. Author has portrayed this very well through the story which is a very critical topic that needs to be spoken about. Akash also concentrates upon how friendship is a two-way handshake and one shouldn’t end up stooping down for a one-sided friendship - rather move on.

 

Verma also tries to establish the lifestyle of a single father and how parenting becomes difficult without the support of both the partners. How a married woman has to suffer for her husband’s past is also conveyed very appropriately which is what gives this book a high point at many junctions. Author has spoken in different voices throughout the story which makes it easy for us to understand the perspective of everyone. It has also made the story exciting along with making us realize how each and every character is flawed but yet genuine.

 

Now talking about the drawbacks of the book – I felt that the childhood part becomes very boring after a while due to the same thing happening in every chapter – Samir trying to get closer to Nakul whereas Nakul using him only for his selfish means. Also, why Nakul does so is never explained. Secondly, I felt that the relationship between Nakul and his daughter Anna could have been written with little more charm where there are jokes and friendly bonding between the two but what father actually feels when the child talks immaturely isn’t described in the way I was expecting.

 

Thirdly, the author couldn’t create the thrilling moments whenever he reveals any secret or brings some twist and turns. It has been done quite plainly. Similar goes for pre-climax when the truth is out. As a story, this book does fine and makes you smile and even feel lump in your throat but as a thriller, it couldn’t achieve the jackpot that it should have with the kind of plot it was based upon. I give this book 3.25* out of 5.


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Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



18 October 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

A Hundred Little Flames by Preeti Shenoy (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

 1877th BLOG POST -->>

35th Book of 2020!

 

There are few books about which you are so excited that you get them as soon as they release but never pick them up thinking that you will read them when there should be an ambience as such around you. I think it is just “reader” thing that makes you think weird arrangements like this. Haha! I finally managed to complete Preeti Shenoy’s “A Hundred Little Flames” which released, well, in 2017, by Westland publication in around 360 pages. Yes, it’s a long book and shall take time for one to finish it after picking up but I must say, it is surely an eventful one even when through the synopsis, the premise of the book looks quite dull.

 

I have always respected Preeti Shenoy as someone who expresses women’s emotions perfectly with her books and I always like knowing the other person’s perspective hence I started liking and reading more of her novels. But this book is very different from all the other books she has written – this is majorly about men as protagonist- either it’s Ayan or his grandfather – author goes through their personality so deep that the character formation does wonder to their representation in the book. At any point of time, I didn’t feel that the book is fiction just because the kind of development with characters and their respective flashbacks that author has worked upon. It only keeps going upwards in an upward trend – with each page you will find their characters more mature and powerful than before. That’s the speciality of this book. Even the supporting characters are so involved in the story.

 

Another thing I would like to point out is the ambience of the locality in which the authoress has based her story in. This story needed a serene place rather than a metro set-up and author has done full justice by basing the tale in a village set-up at Kerala. Even the story shifts out from there, it reaches Pondicherry which is again beautifully described. Even when I haven’t travelled to those places, I could imagine the whole nature, climate, sunrise, sunset, delicacies, food, locale people etc. just through the writer’s words. The research has been terrific and it shows in every scene.

 

Preeti has been a next-level philosophical in this book against all the books she wrote before this one. The conversation between both- grandfather and grandson brings many moments where one of the characters are getting enlightened about handling an aspect of life which they had not thought of it the way other character presented. Somewhere, you shall definitely look within and think of your relationships and the depth into them after reading the diary entries of the grandfather – Gopal Shanker.

 

The chemistry between him and Rohini is so beautifully described that I just couldn’t fall in love with it. I wish to believe that it’s true. With that, author also puts light on how the love has been looked upon by the previous generations and the current one where we make into bed without even knowing each other well with minimum emotional exchange. The aesthetics maintained by the authoress while describing those diary entries and the relationship of these two characters are just excellent.

 

Similarly, author also puts light on many other social elements through this book – how a youth suffers when peers are performing well whereas they end up being jobless or how the people in villages accept us wholeheartedly against the people in cities where we have to prove ourselves with our status or how people end up putting their parents in mental asylum or old-age houses just for their lust of owning their property or how parents don’t care about their children’s emotions anymore for their lust of power. Author has also spoken in depth on mental health issues and how fragile a person becomes when dealing with it. Preeti has also spoken about in her previous and latest works but it remains to be a major part in this story too.

 

Talking about the drawbacks – I wished if the climax was little happier than the way it ended. Also, I felt that the pre-climax and climax was abruptly ended – author had chance to make it a beautiful end to the relationship. There are few mistakes in the Date-stamps mentioned in the diary entries – which is avoidable. I also felt that there could have been a good closure on Ayan’s relationship with Shivani – I didn’t feel it as justified. And – the synopsis of the book doesn’t do justice to the beauty of this book which I feel author should have written with more depth and story elements.

 

Overall, this is a very beautiful book which you would love reading if you have been missing someone or looking for understanding relationships and people more. You will also start looking at old-age people differently after reading this. I am seriously missing my grandfather after reading this book. Well done, Preeti Shenoy! I rate this book 4.5* out of 5. It deserves to be read and re-read.


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Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



10 October 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

World Mental Health Day:- My Experience of fighting with DEPRESSION

 1876th BLOG POST


Today is a very important day. The day about which people don’t feel like talking about or don’t even care some times. I am talking about “World Mental Health Day” which is being celebrated today. Well, it’s not exactly celebrating but more about creating awareness about Mental Health which is given the least importance out of all the health issues that our body suffers. In my first half of life, I wasn’t aware if anything of this sort exists. It was just about being happy or sad which simply meant – if you are doing good in studies and your parents are proud of you – you stay happy whereas if your academic results aren’t as expected, you end up being sad. This was just the basic human reactions. This is what I believed.

 

Now, when I try to recall, I remember there were few classmates who always stayed in a zone where I never saw them smile and their personality was such that they always remained to be someone with whom no one befriended with. I feel so worse now that no one among us understood them. And hence, Mental Health Day is an important day when we should talk about our experiences if we had any or if not, then the experience of someone we know who went through it. So, after I did my 10th and moved out of my protective home for my Junior college, things started changing for me. I was just unable to concentrate on academics. I didn’t meet my childhood friends much after a while. Later, I stopped attending classes. But all of this also happened because I was in a very toxic environment.

 

Later, when my father came to know about my bunking of classes, I was brought back to home in between the academic year. I finally realized that I have screwed things up. And because before that I stayed in a Colony environment where you are in a race with the classmates who stayed in the same colony in terms of who scored what rank and secured what percentage, I felt that losing a year is such a horrific performance. How will I face the world? I suddenly started feeling worthless. I just started imagining what my parents must be thinking of me – the only child and even he failed in the only job he needs to do- study.

 

After this incident, my personality changed completely. I, who was always very naughty and mischievous, went into my cocoon. I didn’t want to come out of my room whenever anyone came at my home. I stopped being in touch with my childhood friends and all the acquaintances that I had developed a little bit of relationship with. I stopped watching movies and listening songs. I started having different kind of suicidal thoughts. I always felt that the world is not meant for me as someone can’t fail and lose so much. I used to cry for no reasons at times. I tried to build myself again by doing some Computer classes but unfortunately, nothing could bring me up.

 

And this continued for next 2 years…

 

I also went to a psychiatrist – I had multiple sessions. I goofed up even there. I was given a tablet to relax in night so that I could have proper sleep whereas another tablet to stay alert throughout the day. I don’t know what I heard when doctor prescribed but I started taking them the other way around which made the case more vulnerable – I started staying up whole night overthinking and crying for no reason and then when the time came to attend college, I would start feeling sleepy. Post that, I tried various things to get out of this zone- wearing clothes of only one colour, wearing gems, going to several temples, chanting mantras etc. but it didn’t work out. But the only positive thing was that I accepted that things were wrong with me because I was myself missing my old version as it was such a fun character whereas this one was so gloomy.

 

And then I landed upon a book named “Who will cry when you die” by Robin Sharma which opened a different perspective and horizon of life for me. I, then, started self-improvement and adopting things that the book suggested and I immediately found myself enough motivated that nothing could stop me from doing whatever I planned for the day. There was still a depressive worm inside me which took another 6 months to completely leave me. These 3 years always stays to be the learning year for me as I can see all the versions of myself during the phase- the most vulnerable self and later, the fighter who beat that zone and moved out.

 

It’s not that I changed like magic and never went back to that phase. You never get the key to be away from depression forever after fighting against it once. It can hit you every time in a new way and you have to deal with it. The same happened again since last year and I think I am still fighting it. Unfortunately, again lockdown happened and I became all alone to fight against it but I think things are on my way currently.

 

These days we use the word “Depression” just like that for anything that does not go our way. As soon as we feel anything that’s not happiness or satisfaction, we term it “Depression”. And that is why Mental health is losing its importance because everyone starts calling themselves depressed for small reasons hence the person who is actually suffering with it doesn’t get the attention he needs to fight with it. On this very day, as I have tried and managed to speak about my days, I want all of you reading this to share as and whenever this happens to you. Being mentally weak doesn’t mean that you are psycho. It only means that either you are facing it due to medical reasons or because you have lost the spirit to live. This is treatable and curable. You just need to accept it and try different things – you will finally get that one reason which shall start throwing depression away from your life. My best wishes are with everyone who is fighting with this. I am sure you will win.

 

Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



8 October 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Dozen Pebbles Washed Ashore by Life by Aura Bhattacharjee (Book Review: 3*/5)

1875th BLOG POST 


34th Book of 2020..

 

Well, recently I have ended up reading couple of anthologies so this time I thought of reading something which isn’t the usual stuff and talks about something that is really motivated towards some commonalities in all the stories. Hence, I picked up Aura Bhattacharjee’s “Dozen Pebbles Washed Ashore by Life” which comprises of 12 different stories – all talking mainly about women and their lifestyles and thoughts. All of us know the kind of sacrifices a woman makes to keep everyone happy around her and hence reading about how a woman feels herself of this is always a curiosity.

 

An anthology makes sense if all the stories are somewhere tied up with each other otherwise it just looks like compilation of several unrelated stuffs bought together just for the sake of publishing a book. Authoress have kept a good care of this and all the story somewhere seems connected – either by the warmth that all of them carry or the set-up in which they are scripted. Though the stories are short of around 7-9 pages – still, they have so much to say and deliver that you shall be able to relate it with your life or situations that you have been in.

 

Aura has used very simple language while writing this book which makes its target audience wider – it can be read by anyone right from an 8 years old kid to 80 years old grandma. I appreciate how authoress hasn’t used any kind of abusive or sexual elements to make the story exciting but kept things natural and sober which makes it a light read. I liked how even with short stories authoress has managed to make her characters powerful and relatable. It’s tough to develop the characters in short stories due to which readers don’t generally pick it up but I am glad Aura has shown how it can still be done. I liked how she has written stories as both - a third person and first person as it has helped in giving diversity to the narration of each story.

 

In the 3rd story itself, the mention of Mumbai made me happier as I have been living here for more than a decade now and the set-up of monsoon made it more nostalgic – the way the protagonist is fighting with it after a bad day – but watching a passenger with smile and steadiness even with a larger difficulty in life than her gives a life lesson to both- the protagonist and the readers. “The Vows” is about a divorced lady, a mother of 15 years old daughter finding the beauty of relationship with a new man in her life who appreciates her flaws as much as her good qualities.

 

“Didis” is another insightful chapter which conveys a beautiful message so aptly about how the housemaids deal with their life and its challenges – which is generally ignored by us but it is what white-collared ladies talk in their presentations while discussing Women empowerment in big conference halls. “Chicago” is very nicely written. The whole chapter seems like a cold breeze that you love to feel and experience. The way the city, its winter and the friendly people are defined makes you want to be at the protagonist’s place to be there once on a small trip. “Krishnokoli” is another deep chapter where the protagonist realizes how travelling can develop perspective which wasn’t an angle in which she looked at her lifestyle before. She immediately takes decision which shall make her life easier once she returns back to her workaholic and social life.

 

Now, talking about the drawbacks- I must say the grammar and typos are let-down for this book as you definitely don’t expect that in anthologies where taking care of these elements is very easy. There are few stories which doesn’t deliver great message nor the stories leave any kind of mark hence it would have been great if all the stories would have been strengthened by the author.

 

Overall, this is a fine attempt and I give it 3 stars out of 5.


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Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



A Wall Street View of Rural India by Sujit Sahgal (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

 1874th BLOG POST


33rd Book of 2020

 

Every time, we talk about developing India, we end up discussing about the life of farmers and the state of agriculture in India. All of us are aware that for a population of 140 crores to be able to have food on their plate, agriculture remains to be the backbone of the nation. Knowing all of these, how many of us are aware about how farmers are struggling with their lifestyles and what process are followed by them to make the crops and produce reach us, the common people? We know nothing and hence when I got to know about this book titled “A Wall Street View of Rural India” written by Sujit Sahgal, I picked it up as the tagline on the cover page “A Banker’s Diary of a Decade of Road Trips” and the artwork attracted me. The synopsis gave more insights about these 180-pages book which is published by Olympia Publication.

 

Sujit Sahgal’s book is divided into 5 different sections where author talks about several aspects of a farmer’s life in the rural economy: 1. Earning & Spending Power, 2. Borrowing & Leverage, 3. Infrastructure, Market Structure and Supply chain, 4. Social aspect and Women empowerment and 5. Demographic of agriculture in future.

 

The author has personally travelled around many villages in India with some key experts and has ended up taking 300-400 interviews and everything that has been mentioned is not from the data collected from different sources but what has been observed personally. Author gives us a disclaimer that what the farmers and the people belonging to the ecosystem has said in the interviews might not be true as they must have hidden something or said something in extreme out of fear or hope. But still, after going through all the challenges of the farmers in the book, I feel that most of it seems to be the ground-level concerns for now.

 

As we know, when we talk about economy, there are many jargons which doesn’t let us get much into the topic and therefore, it becomes very crucial for the authors to ensure that either it is explained well or not used in the book. Here, Sahgal has not used much of the terms and wherever he did, he gave explanation for the same which made reading the book enjoyable and easy. Author starts the book with how MSP is set-up and how much a farmer earns and what is his spending power. From here, we get to know how earning a decent amount of money is still a challenge even after several reforms and how savings are still not part of a farmer’s lifestyle as all that comes get spent in food and basics.

 

Further, author talks about the culture of Borrowing among the farmer community which is so prominent that many farmers rely upon the same. The chapters also throw light upon the debt under which farmers go either by will or by the schemes where even the down-payment for purchasing tractor can be paid on instalments. Author discusses the features of KCC – its pros and cons and how farmers misuse it knowing that their debt and loan shall be repaid by political parties during election times. The aspect of Jan-Dhan yojna is also discussed widely.

 

Author also discusses about the APMC model which was brought into place in 1970s and how it is effective as well as the drawbacks and challenges of it. Later, author focuses on how E-nam system is better than APMC considering the payment is immediate and things are more transparent here. I personally liked reading the 4th section which discusses about how children of farmers are actually focusing on studying and getting a white-collared job rather than getting into the same domain as they are well aware about the financial crunches their upper generations have seen. How Beti Padhao movement has ended up having more girls in school than boys is a positive news. Even the wives of farmers are working as heads now – even though with little guidance from their husband but are keen to be on the position.

 

In the last section, author discusses about what would be the demographics in agriculture and farming industry in the future as all the children of farmers are now educating themselves for getting to city for a white-collared job – but it’s good to read that there are many who have felt so much stressed out in the urban lifestyle that they are getting back to agriculture. Also, how the agriculture would change with the advent of Internet and technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robots etc. is nice to learn.

 

Overall, reading this book is like knowing an overview of how farming happens in India and the process of how it reaches finally to the end consumers. The book is written in simple language which makes it easy to understand. I am glad author haven’t gone much into depth otherwise it must have become difficult to go through the whole book.

 

Now, talking about the drawbacks- Firstly, there are many instances where a paragraph has ended after two pages which really makes it difficult to read. Author should have used more bullets and pointers rather than writing his findings in form of paragraphs only. Also, diagrammatical representations would have made many data findings easier to understand. I was expecting insights on farmer suicides etc. but that part is completely ignored in this book. As this book is based on author’s personal experiences of traveling across villages, the pictures of those would have also added charm to this insightful and informative book. Though, in the last chapter of “Conclusion”, author has given some 3-4 pointers as to what improvements is needed – I was expecting many solutions across chapters from authors for the challenges discussed.

 

I would give this book 4 stars out of 5 for its genuine efforts and the kind of insights it provides to us as we get to know what our farmers are going through.


PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE

 

Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



7 October 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Secret Admirer by Deepesh Junwal (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

 1873rd BLOG POST


32nd Book of 2020!

 

There are few books which are written on topics that can trigger various kind of emotions within you which makes it very difficult for you as a reader to grasp the whole book in a single sitting. This made me read the latest book written by author, Deepesh Junwal, named “Secret Admirer” which is of around 180 pages published by Xpress Publishing house in several sittings to ensure that I can grasp the story. The book also comes with a tagline which says “A Satan exists in every Introvert” with which I don’t agree completely as “Satan” is a very big negative word to associate with all the human beings falling in this personality type.

 

The writing style of Deepesh is simple and straight-forward which makes it easy for you to go through the story without worrying about the vocabulary and its meaning. The way author has planned the narration of the story is excellent as we are taken through two different time frames with completely different set of characters except the protagonist who remains to be common in both of them. I liked the transition while reading as otherwise if the story would have continued in a linear format, it would have become boring in either of the halves of the book. The concept of Diary notes is nicely embedded in the plot which makes the read exciting.

 

The characterization of the protagonist, Ankit, is defined very well. Right from the 1st page, it is his opinions, perspective, charm, introvert-ness, love, behaviour, thoughts and activities that keeps you engaged with the book. Up to some extent, you also empathize with him and then you start supporting him even when he starts indulging in criminal activities. It is not easy to write around such character but Junwal has managed well. Other than him, the characterization of ACP Abhinav is also nicely written as you are able to connect even with him up to certain extent and you like the way he takes up the case. His backdrop makes reading even about him interesting where the protagonist is not the part of the chapter.

 

Author has very nicely woven the tales of Mahabharata in the story which makes it more informative, interesting and exciting. Someone like me who enjoys mythology and epic and believes in God shall enjoy reading this section. Again, along with the tales, the way it has been connected with the crime scenes makes it more effective and powerful part of the book. I really enjoyed this segment and I also believe this theme is the USP of the book.

 

There’s a chapter in which what a rape victim has to go through is narrated and reading that was so chilling that I almost stopped feeling my legs. Author has narrated it very well using a poem which makes it so effective that you are able to feel what a victim ends up suffering in such heinous crimes they are unfortunately met with.

 

Talking about the drawbacks of the book – The grammar in the writing is not very strong due to which author couldn’t do justice to few emotions of the protagonist in the Diary sections. As the book has crime as one of its main plot, the story could have also been written in the thriller format which could have given it a completely different dimension. Thirdly, I feel we get to know very less from Bhoomi’s perspective about how she is considering things which could have also been added as another aspect. Lastly, the cover page of the book could have been designed more nicely as currently, it might not fetch a reader’s attention.

 

Overall, this book is a very nice one-time light read which shall still make you shiver as the protagonist is quite similar to that of the movie Raman Raghav. I give this book 4 stars out of 5. Give it a chance!


PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE

 

Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



5 October 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

One Arranged Murder by Chetan Bhagat (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!

 1872nd BLOG POST


31st Book of 2020!

 


When it comes to Chetan Bhagat’s new releases, I have to leave everything else I have planned to read and get onto his book. I started enjoying reading as habit when I picked up his books 10 years back and since then I have always waited for his books though after first four books, I couldn’t find the same Chetan Bhagat charm in his rest of the books but still, there is still that teenage in me which loves reading him. I am just done reading his latest book- “One Arranged Murder” which released on 28th September 2020. This is the 2nd thriller by CB after just his previous work named “The Girl in Room 105”.

 

Chetan Bhagat’s writing style remains to be the same where he ensures that you don’t have to go to dictionary at all. He writes not to teach you English but just to tell the stories he feels like writing for the people not very good in language or just getting into the habit of reading. As the book is thriller, it needs a different kind of narration – somewhere I feel CB is not excellent but still manages to keep you intriguing to know who the killer is. I read this book in just two sittings so you can imagine the excitement level that his narration is able to keep.

 

I liked how the murder happens in the first two chapters itself. Chetan also introduces almost all the characters within the initial chapters itself which makes you guess whom among them must be the murderer of Saurabh’s fiancĂ©e -  Mostly, after the statements of all the family members are listed back to back. Keshav, as the first voice of the book, tries to decode the case from his perspective keeping us aware of his outdoing which takes the story further very interestingly. As always, CB just doesn’t let the book be all about the thrill of murder with multiple twists and turns but embeds his favorite elements of love, sex, friendship, emotions, humour, drugs, alcohols, one-night stand etc. too.

 

All the chapters – the way they end with an open ending of a scene where the conversation is in half-stage between the characters is nicely done as rest of the scene is left for you to imagine. I liked this a lot. The one thing that I noticed even in the previous book of Bhagat is the way he has started collaborating with brands and the way he inserts them in the story this time is wonderful – in the previous book, it looked forced. This time, you will find a lot of mentions of Uber, UberEats, Oyo Rooms, Amazon, Porsche, Chayos etc. You will also find the messages that CB wants to put across such as commuting by metro over car, the corruption in police dept. where the cases are closed by framing anyone as killer or mentioning a murder as suicide altogether etc.

 

Now, talking about the drawbacks- As this is a crime thriller, when the murderer is finally revealed, though CB has made the set-up wonderfully which works up to an extent, but the name doesn’t make you jump off but you are like – Ohh, Okay so this is it! This is something Bhagat needs to work on if he is thinking of writing more thrillers. Secondly, there are still few grammatical errors in the book – I don’t know why it gets skipped in editing when I’m sure Chetan Bhagat and Westlands must be having best resources at work. The protagonist of the book, Keshav, who is telling the story in first voice mentions the elders directly by their name which I found bit odd and disrespectful. There is a section in the book where the transfer of funds is discussed which is later not given any explanation which I found quite surprising as many pages are spent on it earlier. The fat-shaming done throughout the book becomes disgusting later on but I don’t know why author continues with it in almost every chapter. The interrogation part with the family by police – which is mentioned in the first half of the book is so basic that you just can’t digest the simplicity of it.

 

Overall, this is a light thriller which new readers who are not much into thrillers shall enjoy. The people into crime thrillers shall find this an okay-ish attempt. I give this book 3.75* out of 5. It can be given a try.


Purchase the book HERE

 

Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



27 September 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Afsaane by Ameya Bondre (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

1871st BLOG POST


 30th Book of 2020!


I have generally stopped reading short stories and poetry books but I am glad I tried one recently which didn’t disappoint me. The book is titled as “Afsaane” written by Ameya Bondre consisting of 11 short stories. It is published by Bluerose Publications in around 190 pages. The book is very interesting with each story giving a totally different dimension to the situation through human emotions which doesn’t stay balanced at few crucial points of one’s life. The author’s writing style represents the Indian-ness which makes it easy to relate with the stories. Even when one of the story shows a character migrating to a foreign land, author keeps his narrating and story-telling style similar to other stories without getting influenced by the set-up of the location.

 

All the stories have a basic premise on which author has scripted this whole book i.e. Human emotions. How, in a relationship or in difficult circumstances, each person behaves differently is what has been highlighted in the stories which shall also make you nostalgic as you shall end up remembering vulnerable incidents from your life. Author has used very simple language to tell all his stories without trying to be nazi by introducing unwanted tough vocabulary. He has only played with his characters which tells about how much time he must have taken to draft each one of them. Most of his stories are based on the life of a couple -where either they are in love, hatred, involved in relationship with no commitment, betrayal, extra-marital affairs, trial of reinvesting in the relationship etc.


Talking about the few stories that impressed me- “Distance”- the very first chapter is nicely written about the final day of a couple when they are heading for separation. How Ameya has used nature as a form of teacher in this story is a nice example of philosophy embedded in the storyline. “Dreams” is also written in a very unique style which sends the message of how an Indian woman has to sacrifice her dreams for family and has to await their permission for every dream she wants to fulfil post marriage.

 

“Blinkers On” was an eye-opener for me as I didn’t know that few couples have to face challenge from the family itself when they take decision of adopting a baby. The conversation of boy with his parents for the same tells a lot about our society even in this era. “Trapped” is a very unique narration as author uses a non-living thing as a character which speaks in first voice about how a human being gets addicted with it and is unable to stop even when life is about to change for good.

 

“A Healthy Home” tells us about the rural India and how a mother has no information about how to feed the baby post-birth which always keeps her worried regarding why her baby is not consuming food. Author also gives insight about the human behaviour where a mother is told about what shall be good for her baby but still she is resistant about it. “Long Lost” is a very nice closure to the book which is a very beautiful story about a couple who meets years after breaking-up in a different country altogether. The awkwardness of both the characters are very well represented.

 

Overall, all the stories in the book give you a good feeling. No story confuses you with its timeline or difficult narration. Yes, I would say, in few stories the beginning is little complicated but I think that is purposefully done by author for readers to concentrate to understand the scenario of the story. Few stories have potential of being in a full-fledged novel. I would give this book 4 stars out of 5. This book is not like other short story compilations where you get to read simple love stories. If you are a short story lover, go for this one.


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Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 


3 September 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

The Hungry Cow by Sandeep Kumar Rana (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

1870th BLOG POST

29th Book of 2020!


There are times when you want to read a short book in between of your long reads for refreshment and you just expect a short good story from this book and not some kind of “Moral of the Story” as generally, authors write short books just for telling the story without any mission behind it. But the one I picked up last evening surprised me with its content- The book is named “The Hungry Cow” and is written by Sandeep Kumar Rana. Sandeep has written this book based on the Haryana Police’s initiative called “Mission Stray Cattle”. The book can be a very great influencer as it talks about how we, as human beings, treat animals with no empathy and just to ensure that we get as much benefits out of them without worrying about their emotional and health conditions.

The book is of around 1.5-2 hours read which is written in a very simple language with an equally easy narration. The great part about the book is that it can be read even by an eight years old kid or someone who is aged as well - as it speaks about the concern that has resonated all of us once in our life – how badly we treat animals. When I was a kid, I had no empathy towards animal until I saw a kid loving and caressing a puppy after it got hurt by some vehicle. It changed my mindset completely towards animal and since then I have never thrown stones towards them or kicked them out of frustration. In fact, I have started thinking as to how I shouldn’t end up causing them any kind of trouble. This book just brings the same emotions to you right from its first chapter.

I was amazed as to how even in such a small story, author has been able to add multiple characters such as the protagonist – 11-year-old Raju, his father – Gopal, Qasim – Raju’s friend, Rehman – Qasim’s father and the veterinary doctor along with many other policemen and people with authority. The USP of the book is the character of Gaura Maan – who is a cow domesticated by Gopal with a unique quality of talking like us. This makes us understand how a Cow sees human beings and why they are being referred as “Mother” by Hindus. She is capable of telling stories and discussing life with Raju as he loves her like a real mother unlike his father who just wants milk from her for selling and doing business without even worrying about how she will eat and have proper diet required for an animal.

The book portrays how human being has classified itself as a superior creature and all the other beings into a classification of “Animals” who are only supposed to provide human beings comfort without human beings doing anything for them. How we let cows and other animals eat stray and garbage which leads into hurting them as they end up eating sharp items like blades etc. and we don’t even blink an eye towards them. How important a Cow is for the religious people following Hinduism is also portrayed in one of the chapters. How cow vigilantes are only behind creating ruckus but aren’t actually caring for the cows is also portrayed in one of the chapters which discusses the current scenario of cow lynching. How a Muslim family supports a Hindu family in ensuring the cow can be saved tells us that at the end we are brethren and there is nothing to fight about it. The book makes you emotional at many occurrences and through cow, it lets you understand the plight of all the animals around us.

Now, talking about the drawbacks – the only complaint I have is that the book is very short which is actually good as many children will end up reading it and getting influenced for good but this story had potential for more considering the cow being a character who can talk which could have conveyed a lot many things about religion, spirituality and human’s attitude towards cows and how they think about us in any scenario. I wish if this could have been a full-fledged novel.

Overall, this is a great book for kids and youngsters and gives a strong and essential message. I give the book 4 stars out of 5.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA