Saturday, 19 April 2014 | By: AbhiLaSH RuHeLa

2 States by Chetan Bhagat (Book Review-4.9*/5)!!!

1070th BLOG POST -->>

        If there is one author who really makes aspiring authors of India dream and look up to in terms of success and fame achieved, it's none other than CHETAN BHAGAT. Though Amish Tripathi is killing these days but still, there's some thing about Chetan Bhagat which will always remain immortal- his naturalness and laymen-friendly language used in the books. He uses very less characters in his book but still makes it look as a Blockbuster movie playing in front of our eyes. I became his fan in 2009 and till date, the coolness that I find in his book is still missing in the books I read by other authors. His brother, Ketan Bhagat, with his debut novel, Complete/Convenient almost reached the mark that his celebrity brother is known for. But still, Chetan Bhagat is a legend and will remain to be in the world of Indian book-selling history. 

           I am just done reading "2 States" for the second time; I read it last time when it came out in 2009. Whenever I go to watch any of the movies adapted by an Indian author's book, I make sure that I read it again just before watching the movie to judge how the adaptation has been done than finding out how entertaining the movie is. It was great to read film's opening day success as I was turning the pages of the book to finish it as soon as possible so that I can watch the movie on its 2nd day. :-) 2 States is a very unique story where the author discusses inter-community marriages in modern India. And it's true. The dilemma still exists among old generation if their children should chose their own life partners and if yes, then if they should be from the same community or any. 
   What I loved about 2 States is its natural sense of humour. The book made me laugh just as 5 Point Someone did. And therefore, it's obvious why these two books are always named as CB's BEST. The narration is so fluid and straight that you will never find yourself lost at any point of time. The characters are so well-build up that even when a far-off relative is discussed, you feel as if he is your own mama or chacha. What the author has done with the characters of protagonists' parents is what makes this book really special. It contains more about parents of Krish and Ananya than they themselves. That's what makes this book unique and something that stays with you for a long time. You find your own parents taunting and screaming at you whenever the parents in this book does the same. :-)

           Book starts with the campus life and how the two people came together. It's wonderful to observe the transformation that takes place in the character of Ananya in the whole book. The way corporate life is discussed also made me laugh with the character of Bala and his similar bossy attitude that he keeps giving to Krish. I loved the entrance of Krish's mother in the convocation ceremony when she taunts how the Madrasis have an eye upon Punjabi boys by giving examples of Hema Malini and Sridevi. The tension between the father and son is also written and explained quite well throughout the book. But I loved the way climax took place. The most powerful scene in the book is when Krish goes back in flashback and tells about his physical attack on his father by him. There's a moment when Ananya says "Fuck off" to Krrish in the second half of second half (Well!). That scene has been the most humorous to me including all the dialogue parts between the respective protagonist's parents. :-)

          If you will ask me to mention some drawback- I would say there is none except the chapter being stretched more than enough while describing the Duke's wedding scene. That's all. Else, I loved how CB mentions some funny behavior and traits of both the communities. I loved the way he spoke almost everything he had in his mind because it could have played against him if someone would have taken this book seriously. It's estimated that almost 2 crore people have read 2 STATES. What star would I give to a book that's already been read by almost everyone and that too when the movie of it has also been released today. But for me, it is 4.9/5. 

Friday, 18 April 2014 | By: AbhiLaSH RuHeLa

The Celestial Hunt by Devikumar Ramalingam (Book Review-2.5*/5)!!!

1069th BLOG POST -->>

       This has been my first e-book ever. I am done reading 88 pages "The Celestial Hunt" by Devikumar Ramalingam published by Bookode Publishers. I loved the way the book is written as a novella than a full-fledged novel as it has very few plots, twists and tales to talk about. I love the way story is initialized telling about the spicy relationship between the teacher, Jaidev and student, Koushik. It interests you. Also how a book brings both the protagonists closer is something that makes you alert as you want to know what the book and the reality behind it would be. 

           Author, Devikumar, aged 28, has chosen a very good theme to write his book upon. His freshness is seen as the book is good in some parts while it struggles at some. He has good story to tell but the narration is weaker some times. The start is very good considering even the first half. There are lots of loopholes in the second. The major drawback that I felt was the switch over from one scene to the another. It's too straight and blunt. It should have been pacy and soft. As soon as you are into the flow of the story, suddenly you are moved out of it and put into some different world and plot. By the time you get adjusted to it, you are again into something else. 

           Leaving this pothole aside, I have loved the way characters are been used in the story. I also liked the use of locations in the book. The theme is very hard and difficult to write but the way author has attempted it is great. I also felt that if paragraphs would have been smaller, it would have been little more catchy. What happens with Viraaj, Harsith, Claudius in the time machine and the space they move into is exciting to read. The past behind the book and the mention of Indrajit and the whole plots around him and Jaidev is the best part of the book. Edwin and Rebecca's part are also treated well. 

          In short, I would say that the book is good in parts while falls at some. I will rate it 2.5/5. But I believe the author can show improvement with his next work. He has ability to pick up risky stories and tell.

Author Bio: 
Engineering graduate from Alagappa Engineering College, Anna University. 
Software Engineer, Tata Consultancy Services, Chennai since December 2007. 

It has been my ambition to write short stories and novels which convey powerful messages to the society. "The Celestial Hunt" is my debut novel and this focuses on liberating people from corruption, communalism & poverty. 

I had published this novel in March 2010 (hard copy) and did a complete makeover retaining the core theme and published as an ebook on January 2014.
Blended with science fiction, spirituality, history & philosophy,  I hope the novel offers a  fascinating experience to the readers with captivating plots till the last line.

 Thanks a lot.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 | By: AbhiLaSH RuHeLa

Mistress of the Throne by Ruchir Gupta (Book Review-4.75*/5)

1068th BLOG POST -->>

 It has been a long time since I read a book by Srishti Publication. Hence, I decided to pick this latest book by them- "Mistress of the Throne" which also has the tagline "The Mughal Intrigues". It's written by the debutante- Ruchir Gupta. Book is based in 16th century at the time when Mughals were ruling India under the reign of Shah Jahan and the time when Aurangzeb was developing as a fierce ruler. After reading lots of historical fiction based on Hinduism, it was time to try one based on Mughals and Islam. Frankly speaking, this book deserves success because it is been written perfectly and makes it quite easy to understand how things conceived even when unfamiliar characters are been talked of. You will lot of answers that you have regarding the questions related to Taj Mahal, Mumtaz, Shah Jahan and specially Aurangzeb. 

            Though the protagonist of this book is Jahanara, it seems as if the hero of the book is Aurangzeb. Kudos to author for the kind of research he has done on the characters who do not have much mentions in the history of Mughals. He based this book on Jahanara, one of the unsaid player in the Mughal empire. I never ever heard about her but after reading this book, I will always name her whenever Mughal empire will be discussed. We tend to believe that Mughals were very aggressive, pitiless and cruel but Mumtaz Mahal, Jahanara, Dara and the initial phase of Aurangzeb- the way their participation is narrated, it seems as if there were many who didn't want blood at all. 

            The demise of Mumtaz Mahal is one of the best parts of this book. It made me weep for a long time even after the chapter was completed. The way her death affected Shah Jahan, Jahanara, Aurangzeb and Dara was a wonderful piece to read. The differences and the way different personality shapes us in the face of Aurangzeb and Dara is what this book strongly owns. The attitude of Shah Jahan towards Aurangzeb which makes the latter aggressive, extremist Muslim is well defined in this book. It tells us what's the main reason behind Aurangzeb's personality and killing attitude towards Non-Muslim. Jahanara's soft corner towards Aurangzeb is a very unique angle given to the story.

           The whole making of Taj Mahal is narrated through out the book which makes you understand what has been the situations around the city of Agra and Delhi when the structure was in formation. I also liked the mention of Bibi Ka Maqbara made by Aurangzeb and the way Jahanara discusses the flaws in it; also in the Aurangzeb's placing of Shah Jahan's body in the Taj Mahal. Nur Jahan's first interaction with Jahanara and provoking him for the relationship is also a very good scenario in the book. All the letters that are mentioned plays their part heavily in the story. The way climax is written and the story is ended makes the book a perfect composition. The idea of describing the Mughal family's hierarchy initially and the name of all the characters with their relations in the family is good. Also "AFTERWORD" in the end is nice as I wanted to know from author if the story is real or fiction, and if fiction, then how much. He states that almost everything is real except few scenes where he had to insert his own fictitious content to describe the intensity of moment. I will give this book 4.75 out of 5. Surely read it.