Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions

Title: Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions Knitted-Tales-by-Rubina-Ramesh
Author: Rubina Ramesh
ASIN: B01M6UV0DK
Number of Pages: 89
Price [INR]: 120 (Kindle)
Genre: Fiction

What forces an innocent girl to become a sex symbol? Her desires? Or cruel fate?
Is a lifetime enough—for avenging a betrayal? How do you hide secrets that never stopped haunting you?

Can vengeance and secrets of your past devastate your present? How can long-buried crimes of yours suddenly raise their head? Can sinning be saving?
Is your spouse your soulmate? What if they never understood your feelings? Can you still live with them?

Lastly, does life give only two options? Live or die? What if there is a third?

In her anthology, Knitted Tales: A collection of emotions, Rubina Ramesh tries to find answers to these questions that are often from the heart and yet make the mind ponder over the solution. Or is it the other way round? Either way, Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.

Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions, is Rubina Ramesh’s debut collection of twelve short stories. Every story in this anthology is packed with a  quiet power, richly drawn characters and compelling explorations of human emotions in typical and unusual situations.

One of the things I appreciate about short story collections is the variety that they innately offer and that is especially true in Knitted Tales. Not only are circumstances and scenarios presented in this collection wildly different from each other, there is also a great diversity in the backgrounds of the characters around which the stories center. So there’s murder, reincarnation, drama, racism, mythology, unrequited love, social issues and even every day life. All the stories are artfully crafted to evoke myriad of emotions and feelings.

It is indeed impressive that Rubina has succeeded in fleshing out details and plot into the parameters of short fiction. The characters are well drawn and come alive and stay with you just as if they were developed in a full-length novel.

Another interesting aspect of Knitted Tales is that all stories were successful in catching me off guard. There were such impressive plot twists that I just didn’t see them coming.

I liked the author’s diverse voice and style of expression in each story. The language is simple and smart which made me breeze through the 89 pages that make this collection.

You may indulge in this collection of short stories all in one sitting or savor one at a time. The reading experience would be enjoyable either way. If you do not regularly read short fiction and are curious to explore, Knitted Tales is a good place to start.

Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions is a wonderful collection of stand-out stories and it would be impossible to pick a favorite from this collection.

Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions is highly recommended.

WithCircleWhite (1)

Facebook | Website | Blog Tours | Twitter | Pinterest | Linkedin

His Drunken Wife

Title: His Drunken Wife31180564
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
ASIN: B01KCXSMMM
Number of Pages: 101
Price [INR]: 120 (Kindle)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

His Drunken Wife is the ninth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman and is the Book#2 in the 5-novella series Marriages Made in India.

The characters of this book were part of Sundari’s  earlier novella, The Runaway Bridegroom. In His Drunken Wife, Mr. Perfect Abhimanyu falls in love with Shikha , the rebel. It’s love at first sight for him while for Shikha, Abhimanyu doesn’t figure on her list anywhere.

When Shikha gets to know that Abhimanyu is rich enough for her, she accepts his marriage proposal. But it’s all one sided love. And it’s all from Abhimanyu’s side while Shikha continues to act rash and randy. She is addicted to alcohol and continues to drink unabashedly even on their weeding party.

And then Abhimanyu sets out on a honeymoon to Thailand with his drunken wife…

I was amazed to read His Drunken Wife for this book is so different from Sundari’s regular stories. The story did not have the regular sweet, strong and virtuous heroine. Shikha, the main protagonist is bold, quick-tempered, headstrong and has all the traits that made me dislike her. It took me a while to warm up to her. I wondered what made the charming, rich and intelligent Abhimanyu to marry her. But when love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be ignored. As bedfellows go, there couldn’t be a less compatible pair, but they had some amazing sizzling chemistry going on between them.

I liked how the characters developed as the story progresses. Shikha’s devil-may-care attitude and alcoholism is understandable once her past is known. The husband who cooks for his wife and who is patient and understanding too, ooh, it’s not at all difficult to fall in love with Abhimanyu. The writing is crisp and lean as always. The pace of the story is fast which makes His Drunken Wife a quick read.

Check out His Drunken Wife for a quick sizzling read.

WithCircleWhite (1)

Facebook | Website | Blog Tours | Twitter | Pinterest | Linkedin

Dawn at Dusk

Title: Dawn at Dusk 32931077
Author: Gaurav Sharma
Publisher: Petals Publishers
ISBN: 978-93-85440-30-4
Number of Pages: 184
Price [INR] : 175
Genre: Fiction

Yet to go through an ordeal, the millionaire scion Aradhaya is much cossetted only-son of Talukdars. Suddenly, his life gets upended when he loses his parents and is deceived by the girl he marries. In his attempt to overcome, he falls for Sambhavi, who is a renowned writer and professor, because he sees her as the shadow of his mother.

Sambhavi lays her condition. Aradhaya gives up too soon. Distraught, he leaves his house in search of peace and starts a life of a recluse among the people with little means and ambitions until his love for Sambhavi guides and inspires him to do something extraordinary. What does he do? What course does his life take? Does Sambhavi accept him? Let’s hear Aradhaya’s story…

Dawn at Dusk is Gaurav’s third book, the first two being Love @ Air Force and Rapescars. I have read both these books and quite liked them. When I picked up Dawn at Dusk, my expectations were high.

Dawn at Dusk has an unconventional story of a millionaire Aradhaya who falls in love with Sambhavi, an award winning writer, social worker and lecturer. Meera, Sambhavi’s adopted daughter is in love with Aradhaya as well. Sambhavi who is 13 years senior to Aradhaya, wants him to earn his love for her. To prove himself, Aradhaya takes up a project to empower and uplift the lives of people in a small hilly village. Does that help him unite with the love of his life? Well, you will have to read the book to know that.

But here’s what I think of this story. I liked the plot of this unusual story. There’s something novel to look forward to. The classroom conversations between Aradhaya and Sambhavi are pretty profound and give you a lot to ponder on. The discussions on spectrum of silence, the difference between love and lust, love and sex, emotions and writing are interesting and insightful. The dialogues between characters are realistic and lively and they help build the characters and advance the story smoothly.

The first part of the story which is about Aradhaya and Sambhavi’s love, life and loss makes for a captivating reading. The second part which deals with Aradhaya’s move to Shyamal Taal where he works on an entertainment park is a bit sluggish. It deals with the details of the development of the park and has no mention of Sambhavi or Meera. This part of the story did not impress me. Aradhaya’s vision to do something for the people is a noble thought but he makes it come true with his father’s money. That does not prove his worth, in fact his contribution to the project is not inspiring enough and this is when Sambhavi  had told him, “Presently your identity is not your first name but your surname. The esteem that Talukdars enjoy is the fruition of your father’s hard work. What have you done in life? Do you want to reap what he sowed or want to do something that would be yours and only yours attainment?” Also the ending seems to be a bit hurried.

It is interesting to see how the author’s writing has evolved over a period of three books. That’s awe-inspiring and truly commendable.

Pick up Dawn at Dusk for some unconventional and thought provoking reading.

We Will Meet Again…

Title: We Will Meet Again… We Will Meet Again
Author: Tarang Sinha
ASIN: B01M8FUTK6
Number of Pages: 161
Price [INR]: 90 (Kindle)
Genre: Fiction

We Will Meet Again is the story of Paridhi, a mass media student in Delhi. Life for Paridhi is all about course assignments, lost pen drives and urgent submissions. Harried and running against an unexpected deadline, she bumps into Abhigyan, a young, good-looking, wealthy young man – every girl’s dream. This meeting however isn’t one bit romantic. She meets him again at her best friend’s wedding. While he is clearly falling for her she is rude and angry and rebuffs him all the way. However, Abhigyan is not one to give up easily. Can Paridhi really trust Abhigyan? Will a blissful breeze of love ever kiss her heart?

We Will Meet Again, is a realistic story with believable characters. Paridhi and Abhigyan start off on a wrong foot. As their paths meet again, Abhigyan finds himself falling in love with Paridhi, while Paridhi because of her past baggage stays distant and aloof. Abhigyan is accepted by her family but Paridhi finds it hard to trust him. Destiny binds them together but all is not well between them.

I believe that if the characters and/or the story bring out a strong emotional response from me as a reader, the author has succeeded in her/his efforts. In this debut novel by Tarang, I found Paridhi a bit annoying. She was self-absorbed, stubborn and unlikable for most part of the book. Abhigyan on the other hand was smart, strong and attractive in his actions as he focused on caring for Paridhi and her family and I quite liked his character.

I believe that a bit of conflict is needed in a story, but if in a romance one has to trudge through a lot of relationship angst until closer to the end, then it’s a bit of a dampener for me. I wonder, if it would have made a difference in the story if it was known why Abhigyan fell in love with Paridhi when she thwarted all his attempts to woo her.

I loved the relationship Paridhi shared with her sister. The descriptions of her hostel life, room mates and her home in Kanpur are slice of real life. The writing in the book is simple and honest. The pace of the story is just right to keep the reader involved in the story.

We Will Meet Again, is a light breezy ‘enemies’ to lovers story. Pick it up for it’s an enjoyable read.

With You I Dance

Title: With You I Dance 29914450
Author: Aarti V Raman
Publisher: Fingerprint! Lite
ISBN: 978-81-7599-352-5
Number of Pages: 224
Price [INR] : 250
Genre: Fiction

Meera has it all – a job she loves as ballerina at a prestigious ballet company in New York City and a man who loves her as much as she loves him. On the biggest night of her life, she butchers her performance and that forces her to run away from everything she loved. She comes back home at Mumbai.

A year later, as she is still licking her wounds, trying to reject marriage proposals from well placed Gujarati boys she figures out that she needs to open a ballet school of her own.

But she has two issues at hand. (A) She has no idea of running a business and (B) She is not able to dance anymore.

Meera’s path is crossed once again by Abeer whom she had loved and left without a word. Abeer is now a hotshot junior partner in a law firm. Despite left in lurch by Meera earlier, heart broken Abeer like a true friend helps her in every possible way.

Meera’s only friend in the city, Zoya helps her set her business but apparently she is in a relationship with Abeer. Will Meera find a new dream in her ballet school? Can Abeer and Meera find their way back to each other again?

With You I Dance by Aarti V Raman is all about second chances in love and in life. In this book, Aarti charts Meera’s journey as she weaves her way through struggles and pain to mend her broken heart and soul.

What I liked about this story is its characters. They are all convincing and relatable as they all have their flaws and fears. Meera’s character has flaws, quirks, and baggage that real people possess. The author has fleshed out her character beautifully. I loved Abeer. He is so sorted and mature for his age. The no-nonsense Zoya and funny Bullet caught my interest too. What I also liked about With You I Dance is how these characters evolved during the course of the story. The little character defects, flaws and fears are overcome and thus making them a better and stronger people having faced the great difficulties within the story line.

The dialogues have a natural rhythm to it, and at no point feel forced or contrived and that makes the story shine a bit more brightly. With its easy pace and and compelling storyline, I found With You I Dance immensely difficult to put it down. I finished reading it at one go and that speaks a lot about the book.

With You I Dance  has it all. There’s passion, beautiful romance, humor and wit, action and drama and all so realistic. It also comes with a great message that while it’s true that you may not get it right the first time, but when you do get a second chance, and the universe smiles at you,destiny lends a hand and fate brings you together again. Do not mess it up!!

With You I Dance  is a recommended read.

Linking this to…

NaBloPoMo_Badge_2016

Sick of Being Healthy

Title: Sick of Being Healthy Sick of Being Healthy
Author: Monisha K Gumber
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
ISBN: 978-93-52017-23-2
Number of Pages: 160
Price [INR] : 225
Genre: Fiction

Sick of Being Healthy is a contemporary YA novel about a teenager, Tara who is not too happy about her chubby looks. She believes that if she was skinnier, she’d be happier – not just with her body but with her life in general. She is desperate to get the guy of her dreams, and in that process gets into trouble that not only cost her friendships, her peace of mind but even her life!

I picked this book after reading the blurb but when I saw the book with illustrations on almost every page, I wasn’t sure whether this book would be my thing. The book reminded me of Gerenimo Stilton (which has coloured illustrations) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (with black and white illustrations ) which my son read till a year ago. And I was so wrong.  I mean just because I am no longer a kid or a teen, it does not mean that I don’t like pictures anymore!!

The story is written in an effortlessly engaging style and brings to light the issues and troubles faced by the teens. The book talks about parental pressure to get perfect grades, one sided love affairs, self esteem issues, body image issues, diets and weight loss, peer pressure, cyber affairs, sex education among other things. Since the book has first-person narrative, we get to know all of Tara’s  thoughts and feelings, troubles and issues from her perspective. And the author is spot on in capturing all that! The dynamics between the family members and that between friends is pretty realistic and that draws you completely in.

The illustrations and sketches are pretty neat and add to the fun quotient of the story! In fact these pictures and illustrations are an integral part of the novel.

Scan

The language is simple and lucid throughout, and makes for  smooth reading without proofreading errors.

Sick of Being Healthy  is an interesting read dealing frankly with serious issues in a sensitive and a fun way. It’s a short story which can be read not only by teenagers but their parents as well as it highlights issues without being over-bearing and preachy. Check it out!

Fighting for Tara

Title: Fighting for Tara 30653456
Author: Sunanda J. Chatterjee
ASIN: B01H9BS428
Number of Pages: 310
Price [INR]: 149 (Kindle)
Genre: Fiction

I had read great reviews about Fighting for Tara and that evoked my curiosity. And the cover sealed the deal for me. Yes, sometimes I judge a book by its cover.

Fighting for Tara sucked me in fast, and kept me interested right from page one! It’s a story of a 13-year old child bride, Hansa and her daughter Tara. Hansa is left alone with her few months old daughter after the death of her old husband. Her brother-in-law wants to marry her and wants her to get rid of little Tara as he has no use for a baby girl. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.

As Hansa runs from one place to another to save herself and her daughter, she meets danger at every step. The instinct to survive compels her to tell a lie and that lie changes her world. An American couple adopt not only little Tara but Hansa too and thus starts their new journey from a small village in Rajasthan to Pleasanton in America.

Life sails smoothly for Hansa for 7 years and then she finds herself Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’ Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth?  How far will a mother go to save her child?

Fighting for Tara is a story of grit and determination of a teenage girl who fights all odds. It’s a story that explores the depth of love and motherhood, friendships and relationships, religious beliefs and practices.

Sunanda J. Chatterjee tells the story of Hansa and Tara with language and characters that break out of the page… very realistic and vivid. And she shares a story that explores the depth of love and motherhood, friendships and relationships, religious beliefs. The writing is clean, crisp, stunningly vivid and flooded me with a bucket load of emotion. There were moments when my heart was in my mouth and I was stricken with fear for Hansa and Tara. There are heart-breaking and sad moments as well as instances that warmed my heart.

I  was not aware of the religious group called Jehovah Witnesses. Reading about their beliefs and practices was interesting. The court room scene was masterful, and on edge, it was a demonstration of courtroom drama at its finest.

While the initial chapters were pretty gripping, the story became a bit dramatic for my taste. But nevertheless, it kept me interested till the very end.

Fighting for Tara is a beautifully woven tale of love and relationships and also of hope and faith.  I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.

WithCircleWhite (1)

Facebook | Website | Blog Tours | Twitter | Pinterest | Linkedin

The Smitten Husband

Title: The Smitten Husband The Smitten Husband
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
ASIN: B01I5FRJCI
Number of Pages: 104
Price [INR]: 120 (Kindle)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The Smitten Husband is the eighth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman and is the Book#1 in the 5-novella series Marriages Made in India.

Sundari’s  earlier novella, The Runaway Bridegroom is about a Maheshwari family and has the love story of their daughter Chanda. The Smitten Husband is the love story of the eldest Maheshwari son, Ram.

Ram is a successful jewellery designer in Jaipur and lives with his parents and younger brothers. His parents try to arrange his marriage with the help of their family astrologer. Sapna, the eldest daughter of a poor priest in Pushkar near Ajmer.

One look into Sapna’s grey eyes and Ram is lost.  But Sapna who is a diehard romantic is unable to see the prince of her dreams in Ram. Being from a poor family, she has no choice but to go along with the tide when the Maheshwaris offer to bear all expenses of the wedding.

Sapna, who is fiercely independent puts forth a condition, after the wedding. Will the smitten husband agree to it?

The Smitten Husband is a breezy romance with some social messages. It brings to light the mental tug of war when the two families have a wide social divide and the dilemma of arranged marriage vs love marriages. The story gives a strong message about not compromising on one’s dreams and aspirations. 

The story is simple and flows effortlessly. The characters have different shades and that makes them pretty real. Ram is an obedient son and agrees to go for an traditional arranged marriage but is modern and sensitive enough to understand Sapna’s frame of mind. Sapna is from a small town but knows her mind.

The pace of the story is fast and I liked the way the story unfolded. The chemistry between the two was explosive and the passionate scenes were sizzling hot. There is also a healthy dose of humor and engaging dialogues.

The only issue I have with The Smitten Husband is that it has no twists, pivots and turns to complicate the story. There’s no, “Oh! Shit… What now?’” moments in this novella. The story unfolds in a predictable way. Nevertheless, The Smitten Husband will leave you with a lingering smile.

The Smitten Husband makes for a light breezy romance which I finished reading in less than an hour. Go for it, if you looking for a quick entertaining romance.

WithCircleWhite (1)
Facebook
| Website | Blog Tours | Twitter | Pinterest | Linkedin

She Walks, She Leads

 

Title: She Walks, She Leads – Women Who Inspire India She Walks, She Leads
Author: Gunjan Jain
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
ISBN: 978-0-670-08885-0
Number of Pages: 556
Price [INR] : 799
Genre: Non-Fiction

The climb to the top in any field can be pretty tough – for anyone. But for women, this journey to the topmost positions of power and influence can be all the more challenging.

Today, we see women achieving success in every sphere of life and in some aspects they are more successful than men. While, we may recognize these women for their success and celebrate their achievements too, but how many of us know their sacrifices, the hurdles they crossed, and the battles they continue to fight and what it takes to reach where they are today. And She Walks, She Leads, does just that!

She Walks, She Leads, is an anthology of biographies of 24 women who are pioneers in their field. These are the women who overcame the barriers of patriarchy, broke the stereotypes, moved out of their comfort zones to make life meaningful not only for themselves but for others too and took the road less traveled and made it big.

The 24 women featured in the book are from various fields and are listed in six categories …

  • Altruism and Other Interests : Nita Ambani, Parmeshwar Godrej, Sudha Murty, Yasmeen Premji and Rajshree Birla
  • Corporate, Banking and Law : Indra Nooyi, Zia Mody, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Swati Piramal, Chanda Kochhar, Naina Lal Kidwai and Anu Aga
  • Fashion, Arts & Empowerment : Anamika Khanna, Ritu Kumar and Jyotsna Darda
  • Media : Shobhana Bhartia and Indu Jain
  • Sports : Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom
  • Entertainment : Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Shabana Azmi and Mira Nair

Though we may know a bit about these successful women through their media mentions, but through her extensive interviews with these 24 pioneering women, Gunjan has shared with us all aspects of their journey. She Walks, She Leads not only celebrates the accomplishments of these women, but also gives us a peek into their childhood and its fond memories,  family and relationships, their aspirations and passion, leadership and philanthropy, along with the ups and downs of their journey. We also get to know that apart from their talent and skills, what is it that makes them best in their chosen field and how do they manage donning so many hats successfully and comfortably.

The author has also interviewed the spouses, family  and friends of these 24 women. As many as 130 contributors shared personal stories, insights and their perspective of these women.

All the life stories of these super achievers make for a very fascinating and an inspiring read.

As one reads the conversations of the author with these successful women, we realize that each one’s story is unique with its own set of triumphs and tribulations, but there are some success values that are common to all of them. Gunjan has listed these life lessons and success mantras as…

  • Swim against the tide
  • Get out of your comfort zone
  • Stay positive
  • Never be complacent
  • Be an eternal student
  • Mentor and be mentored
  • Cultivate a social conscience
  • Strike a balance

She Walks, She Leads, also has coloured and black & white photographs of all the women from their different phases of life, which adds to the charm of this book. The 550 page hardbound book has an attractive cover.  The writing in the book is simple and the extensive research done by the author is commendable.

She Walks, She Leads, is a perfect bedside table book to learn life and leadership lessons and seek inspiration from these legends of our times.  A recommended read!

The Calling

Title: The Calling – Unleash Your True Self The Calling
Author: Priya Kumar
Publisher: Books That Inspire
ISBN: 978-93-5258-970-8
Number of Pages: 150
Price [INR] : 299
Genre: Self Help / Motivation

Stuck in the daily grind of life… doing the same old stuff, day after day… the feeling of disillusionment, frustration and self doubt…Do these depict the story of your life? If your answer is a yes, then this book is for you!

The Calling is story of Arjun, a Marketing Head of a company who is busy chasing organizational goals but with a lot of pent-up frustration inside him.  His personal life is on the rocks too with a divorce knocking his door.

A sadhu saves him from a frightening near death experience and tells him to stop running and follow the dream that he had abandoned. The sadhu tells him to unravel a purple thread tied to a tree behind the Hemkund Sahib and redeem his Karma. Overwhelmed with the accident and the sadhu’s words, Arjun starts on his spiritual journey to the Hemkund Sahib. Accompanying him in this challenging expedition is porter Chandu and his donkeys. This journey is not an easy one, as at every turn the mountains holds secrets and tests that urge Arjun to evolve into the person he had denied to be – himself. Pretences, falsities, confusions and untruths fall apart as Arjun is forced to confront the mess he had created in his life.

Arjun’s journey started off as an opportunity to escape reality, but it turned out to be an opportunity to escape from the dwindling spiral of self-created misery. It is a journey that transforms him forever and is the one that turns his life around too.

The Calling is a story that most of us can relate to, for most of us are corporate executives busy chasing goals, living life in the fast lane and having an unhealthy work-life balance. The Calling is a wake-up call to abandon the rat race and find the purpose of your life.

The Calling is an incredibly well written book and engaging from the very beginning. The book is a gold mine of profound philosophical thoughts and words of wisdom. These wise words and thoughts are presented in simple words and do not sound preachy at any point of time and are an inherent part of the story.

Some of the wise words that made me think and ponder on are…

  • When two people disagree, they both stay there. None of them go anywhere by virtue of that disagreement. And in going nowhere, they become a liability in that relationship.
  • Sometimes we are so annoyed with people close to us that we don’t heed them at the times they are correct. We continually hold their idiosyncrasies against them and deprive ourselves of the value that they could add to our lives.
  • If someone occupies your space, he or she occupies it for a reason. And that reason must serve you, him or her and the world at large.
  • The world will change. But why did you change by becoming frustrated with the world’s doing what it is supposed to do – change? Let the world change, but don’t let your state of positivity change.
  • When I asked him how long it would take to get there, he answered, “It depends upon the purpose of your journey.”
  • To sit in your space and your world and do nothing in it is a disgrace to the intelligence that you are bestowed with. It is a disgrace to the spiritual force that is inherent to you. Your role in the world is to take charge, to take responsibility for your role in your environment and of what happens in it.

The Calling is truly an invigorating, stimulating, and a mind-expanding read. And that it has a good deal of light humour adds to its appeal. This is a book for everyone as with its wise words, it will not only help to ponder on life and the direction in which it is going  but also to look within and also to find out one’s true calling in life.

The Calling is totally worth your time. Do check it out.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...