Sunday, 21 December 2014

The escaped dreams by Jaasindah R Mir- a review

The picture of a sweet girl in a sepia background, holding a photo-frame in her hands and her forlorn lost and lonely eyes adorns the cover of the debut book of Jaasindah R Mir, The escaped moments. Yes, I was confused and didn’t know what to make out of the cover once I had the book in my hands. I had spent a lot of time in thinking about the cover and I am sure that the cover is such that it will be in the mind for a long time. When I turned to read the blurb of the book, here is what was in stock for me…

According to the blurb- Aatirah Rohail Kazi, a fifteen-year-old small town girl of Kahsmir, has only seen the grey shades of childhood since her mother died. There are a lot of things Aatirah hates about her life: her cruel step-mother, her dad and her moronic step brother. For the past five years Aatirah has hidden her troubles from everyone. It’s only when she finds Mysha at a social networking site, she confides into her. But now things are getting complicated: Mysha wants Aatirah to solve a complex love triangle between Mysha, Sahir and Tamanna. To top it all off, Aatirah has taken to smoking out of stress. Would Aatirah be successful at grabbing the freedom of her heart by opening up to a distant person or does the desire of having a friend to confide into have a bigger price to pay?

Social Networking ever since its beginning has been the cause of many things good and bad for a person. When some people just intend to have fun there, some people make friends there and who knows? Maybe they become their only friends for a life! Through this book, Jaasindah has brought in view the aspects of social networking. When one girl takes it to be their confidante, you might never know who exactly is on the other side of the computer and what the real intention is.

Coming to the characters, I would say that the character of Aatirah had a very earthly feeling with it. Any fifteen year old girl having problems in with her dark childhood might relate to the vulnerability that the character has. Coming to Sahir, Mysha and Tamanna, I would say that their characters also can make an impact on the readers making them think of their ‘once upon a time’ friends on social networking times.

The way the descriptions have been made, is very proper and you can actually transport yourself to the place of the characters of the book and feel Kashmir from your heart. That is something most people are not capable of doing. The character descriptions, place descriptions have been wonderfully done making the readers want more. Thought the main characters of the book were quite numbered, the side characters at times might confuse the readers.


For the negative parts of the book, I must say that there were grammatical errors of the book.  The thought behind the story was nice, narrating style even better but I felt that somewhere at some point, it could’ve been better. For the end, I thought that the ‘something new’ ‘something else’ thirst was there. The prologue was nice and so was the epilogue. I loved the lines used in the poem at the end of the book. A promising writer, a nice work in place of a debut and I wish to read more from the writer in the future. For me, it is 3.5 out of 5.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Rise Above your fear..!






“Fear is a fact and one has to take risks in life to succeed.”

I totally agree to the line stated above. Fear is surely a fact that exists and one has to take risks in life to be able to succeed the mission and rise above the fears. Fears can be of different things, different people depending on the person. Some might fear stray dogs, for some might fear something big but life doesn’t stop. You cannot stop going to a road that leads to your destination because your fear is more dominant in it. Overcoming the fear is something that everyone should do to succeed in life. For me, I fear so many things, some things really silly while some where threatening. But there is one fear I had overcome while on a vacation with my family.

Hill stations, I love them. Once, on a vacation with my family I had visited this lesser known hill station. Steep narrow lanes through the mountains led our way to the destination. It was night by the time we reached our hotel. Having nothing much to do, sitting by the bonfire we spent the whole night, never knowing what the next day morning had in stock for us.

Mornings at hill stations are quite serene if we can call it so… Beautiful, enriching, lively. It is something that one can die for. So enticing that one can stare at it for hours at a stretch. But I had lots of things to do that day so I didn’t have the time to sit and stare at the morning passing by. We had to move to our sightseeing.

After a whole day of sightseeing we finally went to a place that was mostly like a fountain. Rocks, pebbles and water. After one point, all I could see was water running down the mountain and I knew, if anyone slips, he/she would be dead and the chances of finding the body were weak. Very weak.

I am a kind of person who loves clicking pictures and capturing moments. That day, on a photography spree I went ahead on two three rocks to click pictures, and through the cam lens, saw the whole view. Suddenly, I heard panic. As I looked back, there were so many people pointing at one direction and shouting ‘save him’

I tried going back to my original place, and was going to slip once or twice while going. Somehow I managed to go back to my place. I ran to the place where people were standing to get a better view of knowing what was happening. As soon as I saw a boy, in his early teens struggling to hold a rock to save on his life, I ran to the safety department of the spot.


Life savers came and pulled the boy back to the rock, thus saving his life. His parents, who were howling till then, sobbed hugging their
son back. Kissed him. And hugged him as if it was the end of the world. Everyone had tears in their eyes. And that day, I overcame one great fear I had… The fear of losing a beloved! Because then I knew, when it’s not the time, no one can take anyone away from a person, every one conspires to keep them together.!


PS- This post is a part of https://www.facebook.com/mountaindewindia

Monday, 8 December 2014

Dancing with Demons by Nidhie Sharma: a review

A boxing ring in the background with a wonder blue color in it, a guy and a girl walking down a rain drenched lane; the cover of Nidhie Sharma’s debut novel Dancing with Demons has it all. What makes the cover more interesting is the ‘Soon to be made into a Bollywood film’ tag on its cover. The even better part? The tagline that says- ‘Can you love yourself without forgiving yourself?’

According to the blurb- Karan Pratap Singh is on the brink of winning the Amateur Boxing Championship, when in a moment, he loses it all. His fall from glory seems fuelled by ruthless arrogance and an out-of-control anger management problem. That, however, is just symptomatic of a deeper issue. Buried under layers of his fractured subconscious lies a childhood secret he cannot come to terms with. Sonia Kapoor is a beautiful, volatile young woman with a secret that torments her at night but a secret that she feels no guilt for. When fate throws Karan and Sonia together in Mumbai, their personal demons and pasts collide and stir up trouble in their fragile and uncertain present. But, is redemption possible without forgiveness? Dancing with Demons is a fast-paced action drama of love, loss and resurrection.

Just as I complete writing down the blurb, I cannot ignore the awesome silhouette of a guy in the back cover staring back at me. And I know for sure just then, Karan Pratap Singh is going to be my man throughout the book. Just in cue, as I started this book, I get bowled over by Karan. The descriptions used in the book were enough for letting the readers brood over their imaginations for putting their best mind forward.

The book starts with an intense boxing scene. To be frank, I was not much into the boxing thing, neither did I like the sport, but this book made me like boxing like never before. The ongoing in the fight were written so minutely that I must bow down to the authoress for researching on it so well. As I was reading about Karan and his journey, I was wondering where Sonia will come into the scene.

And when she does, she actually blows away the mind. The lives of both Karan and Sonia have been well described. Though the authoress has tried her level best in keeping some scenes in suspense but one could at least guess a part of those scenes at a few places. The story, in itself is very new to look at because there aren’t many novels these days having a combat sport as its main essence.

The intricacies of the sport have been described very well inside the book. The narrating style of the story has been flowing very nicely, giving it a very realistic touch. This is one story which I would like to compliment by saying that this book is actually written to be made to a film. Talking of films, I guess Arjun Rampal or Neil Nitin Mukesh might perfectly fit in the book! I would’ve liked the book more if there were a few more scenes related to Karan and Sonia together and if a few errors weren’t there. Apart from that, it’s a 4 on 5 for me.


PS- waiting for the film adaptation soon!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Life in a rectangle by Sujit Sanyal: a review

Life in a rectangle or rather LIAR as the author refers to it, is a wonderful narrative penned down by Sujit Sanyal- it's author. Going down the lane of memories is something most people love doing but penning them down so beautifully is something, only a powerful author like Mr.Sanyal can do. A hardbound book with bold colors and wonderful pages made me fall for the book at first glance. And more so, I believe the title gives its much needed feel. A non-fiction I felt at first, this book is one worth read book as one turns the pages.

According to the blurb- Author Sujit Sanyal rambles down the memory lane in his candid memoir and narrates some revealing, some intriguing and other wacky stories about the advertising world from his Clarion days, his first agency, which he joined as a trainee and whose Kolkata branch he later went on to head.

I can very well say that this one of the best non-fiction memoir I have read till date. A memoir on Mr.Sanyal’s time in the advertising world is filled with accounts old and new. Any reader could connect to every word written there even if they do not know the abc of advertising. Being a Bengali and that too based in Kolkata, the places, the names of people and a few Bengali words used in the book gives me this feeling of home-coming which very few books have given me till date.

Apart from that, I felt that the narrating style Mr.Sanyal has chosen gives the reader a very perfect and smooth flow to go on with. The chapter divisions were short and crisp and that would make the book an even easier read. The author had the talent of keeping the readers gripped into the novel and I want to congratulate the author for doing so. Mr.Sanyal has chosen very wisely about what all to include in the book and what not and have given a dose of everything in the book.

The tenure of the author from being an employee to the head of the company was a ride too nice. Numerous kinds of people were involved and the fact being this one real life memoir gave in itself a feeling of nostalgia. The people of that time seem to actually live in front of your eyes once you read the book. The characters come alive in the book and that is one affect that the author keeps for a long time.


Inspite of all these interesting facts, lesser known things and a wonderful writing style I think that the book is not meant for every age of people to read. The teenagers might not like the book owing to the topic it has been written upon but on the other hand the people a bit elder to them might relish this book with an evening tea in hand, being nostalgic at the days they had left back and moved on in life. 

The book is not only about advertising, it is about much more and the all in all feel of the book adds to the charm of it. I would like to congratulate the author for writing such a wonderful book and would wait for many others to come specially something targeted to the fiction loving audience. For me, the book is a 4.5 out of 5.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Submissions for Read Fingers!

For the people of today's 'literary' world, being known and being published is one of the biggest goals in life. For all those who are reading this now and having the same wish, here is a wonder opportunity for you all...

Dear Friends,


This is to announce the launch of Read Fingers, a platform for writers, publishers, readers from India and around the world.



In its first edition, Read Fingers are inviting writers to submit their work in following topics : Season of Love, Personal/Political, Crime Fiction, and Poetry. Translations from other languages into English will also be considered. We accept excerpts from longer pieces, such as chapters from a novel, provided it stands alone as a complete work, we will not publish incomplete stories.



The Preferred word count can variable though; prose pieces have an upper limit of 6,000 words.



Deadline: December 31, 2014.



Email your submissions to info@readfingers.com, with ‘RF Submissions’ in the subject line.





Ensure the following and you can get published:



  • You may submit up to three pieces of work at a time, under different genres. 
  • Please ensure that the work you send us is free of spelling errors, typographical errors, grammatical errors or syntactical errors. 
  • All submissions must be original and previously unpublished. 
  • Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis (not clear), and the date of online publication is the sole discretion of the editorial board.



We are a penniless start-up, so we don’t pay. We promise to discontinue this practice as soon as we can. So we request you to be with us till then and enjoy the journey.




For more information, visit www.readfingers.com


I am sure this opportunity will bring out the best in you! Awaiting your amazing writeups! 


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Travelling Light by Suma Varughese: a review

The first thing that attracted me towards the book and which I am sure will attract all readers is the color used in the cover, the flawless color and the title of the book. More than the title I felt the sub-title caught my eye and stayed in my heart for a long time and then I knew that no matter what I had to read the book. The presentation of the book was wonderfully done which left me spellbound for a long time. A book on spirituality is something that we do not find much in these days and with this book in the market I am sure readers are going to have a great time. Suma Varughese’s Travelling Light surely is a wonder read.

Before starting with the review of the book, I want to say a few words on Suma Varughese, the authoress. Well, to be frank I am a fan of the Life Positive magazine and have always been a follower of the magazine so when I got the chance to review the book, I couldn’t have been happier. A wonderful writer who writes on incidents based on her own life gives this book a magic touch. Spirituality has surely found a new meaning in her writings and one can’t stop himself/herself from being spiritually uplifted.

The book, in a greater division has been divided into three aspects. Three very important aspects of a person’s life Self, Reflections and Society. Quoting a ling from each would be very difficult so I would better proceed with just telling what I felt. To be frank, I read the book when was going through a low phase and this book has surely given me the upliftment I felt was necessary at that moment. Through every column I am sure every reader could correlate themselves and understand what the authoress has tried to tell them and that is an achievement of its own.

For the flaws, I would say that a few errors here and there were spotted throughout the book, which due to the flawless writing style could be overlooked. Apart from that, I felt that a bit more descriptions could’ve made this book a wonder book. Since it is in a book form, a bit details and a tad more improvement in the way of writing could’ve taken it to a whole new level altogether. I would like to tell all he readers out there that once you are done with the book, I am sure you are going to subscribe to the magazine and become a regular follower. For me, as of now, the book is 4.25 out of 5 waiting for more.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Mouse Charmers by Anuradha Goyal: a review

Being a student of commerce and understanding the nitty-gritties of it, Anuradha Goyal’s business genre book surely helped me a lot in understanding the market and its conditions. The cover particularly attracted me to the most. The Mouse Charmers, digital pioneers of India- the title along with the tagline surely adds to the magnetism the book has. The blurb, however garnered more interest from me than the cover.

According to the blurb- The advent of internet has been a significant game changer of our generation. Mouse charmers are a new breed of entrepreneurs in emerging India powered by the internet and the opportunities that it offers to create new markets and to cater to old markets in new ways. Some of them have already achieved success where they can be called iconic and inspiring while others have powerful ideas that put them on the same path. Anuradha Goyal tells the stories of digital pioneers like Flipkart, Zomato, MakeMyTrip, ImagesBazaar, ImdiBlogger; how they started out, the innovations and technologies involved, their business models, and unique marketing strategies. Inspiring and useful, the mouse charmers is an essential guide for aspiring entrepreneurs.

For the beginning I thought it to be another normal business genre book giving only basic views on topics but what I liked about this one is that the authoress has tried her best to go deep under every site, every topic and give her readers a wonderful insight on a particular topic. Commerce-Content-Connectors are the three tiers of every online site and the authoress has very cleverly divided them and given a few subcategories or rather detailed examples under each one of them.

Coming to commerce, the authoress has wonderfully explained to her readers the very concept of e-commerce, giving examples of Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, BigBasket and CaratLane which usually are the top most sites of e-commerce in India and more. The authoress has gone to give a detailed analysis of every site along with sub-categories and new add-on features of all of them which actually act as an eye-opener.

For content, the authoress chose Zomato, Games2win, ImagesBazaar and Chai with Lakshmi. These are the sites we normally visit whenever we need to garner knowledge about something. Zomato for food, Games2Win for games, ImagesBazaar for images and the last for wonderful and inspirational webisodes (web episodes). The details of when they were created, keeping what in mind, what happened after that and everything is given in a very organized way.

Last, but not the least for Connectors; the authoress has chosen Shaadi, Rang De, CommonFloor, IndiBlogger which are mostly connecting sites for likeminded people of different sets of people. While Shaadi talks about matrimonial sites, IndiBlogger is mostly a hub of bloggers from across the globe. All the details given in them are mainly the reason the book is a wonder of its own.

Given all the plus points about the book, I would’ve liked it even more if a few more sites have been provided in them. This book is also written in a very wonderful language and I will suggest this book for research purposes. The illustrations given in the book makes it easy for every reader to make out what the authoress is trying to say and that adds to the credibility of the book! For me, it is 4.5 out of 5. Waiting to read more from the authoress!


PS- The book is a review copy from IndiBlogger!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

He said She said by Angad Singh Saluja & Priyanka Bharadwaj: a review

In a very subtle vermillion color background, a ‘he’ and a ‘she’ sitting, having drinks and talking! Well I guess nothing could have been better as the cover of Angad Singh Saluja and Priyanka Bhardwaj’s poetry book He Said She Said. Now I guess you can understand why I mentioned ‘he’ and ‘she’ instead of using any other pronoun for it. The first look of the book has been really good (Yes, I am badly in love with poetry of any form) and so I had huge expectations from this book.

The book is divided into two vast portions. One- poetry by he (Angad Singh Saluja) and Two- poetry by she (Priyanka Bhardwaj) and that concept have made this book all the more interesting. Starting with poetry by he, I must say that he has a wonderful way of explaining what he feels. Covering a variety of topics in his poems, he has also used different types of styles to write each of his poems and this adds to the essence of the poems.

There were a few poems which were too good and few, which in comparison were not that good but were good enough in their way. He has used certain metaphors in his writing and it feels good while reading it. I just wish his poems were written in a better way which could’ve brought life to the book.
Quoting a few words from his poem-

“A promise made
An expression stated
A journey started
An enigma solved
A love lived
You and Me”

Now coming to her poetry, on contrary I must say that I practically loved her poetry. I could feel life in all her works. To point out a specific one which I liked the most would be pointless because I loved all of them. She has used very refined poetry skills in her writing and it seems professional to the readers. The touch of real life in her poems has made them stand out from the crowd.

Unlike he, she has used a very similar type of style in writing most of her poems that at times can make it a bit repetitive. A few words have been used in many consecutive poems which again might feel a continuation of the others. Apart from that, I really liked the way she has written all her feelings out. The ‘feel good’ factor remains and that is a plus point for the book. Would’ve loved it more if there were a few other styles of written poetries.

Quoting a few words from her poem-
“In your asking for blue, but wanting red,
In your love said and unsaid,
I reside…”


For me, this wonderful collection deserves 4 out of 5. But I surely would want to read more from both he and she!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Marry me, Stranger by Novoneel Chakraborty: a review

What happens when you get hold of a Novoneel Chakraborty novel and knowing the fact that it is a trilogy start reading it? Yes, you guessed it right! All you can do is fall in love with the book. Marry me, Stranger. Book 1 of ‘the stranger trilogy’! In a blue majority colored background, the cover surely is something that can grab the eyes of the passerby’s.  And when you have the book in your hand, I am sure the first thing that will cross your mind will be finishing the book just then. Trust me, I did just that.

The blurb says- HE HAS NO VOICE, NO FACE, NO NAME, NO IDENTITY. BUT HE HAS AN INTENTION. I’m Rivanah Bannerjee, a young and independent girl living alone in Mumbai. My parents love me, my boyfriend adores me, and I have a great job. But here’s the thing: my life is in danger. Someone’s been following me around, watching my every move, trying to get control over my life. At first I thought it was a silly prank to gain my attention. My roomie suggested he must be a secret admirer. Is he? What he doesn’t know is the police have set a trap to nab him. Soon I’ll know if it’s simply a lover’s obsession or there is more to it. BTW, I call him Stranger.

After reading the blurb, I expected this to be a normal novel of a stalker. But knowing that the author always has something more to say with his writings, I decided on keeping my mind blank before starting the book. And truth be told, when I started the book; my mind went blank ‘literally’ and no word escaped my mouth for a few moments. As I turned the pages, the rush in my veins was actually taking over the better part of me. The feeling of ‘what happens next?’ took me over.

The flawless narrating style of the author left no stones unturned while describing every scene in the book. And the best part? One could very well relate the story to their lives. The book has a feeling ‘gift-wrapped’ with it which can give any reader the thrill of being looked at by the stranger. Quoting from the book- “You don’t know me. You can only fall in love with the illusion of me. And illusions are fragile. Illusions are breakable. Illusions are dangerous”

The characters of the book have been very well attended to. I say attended to, because every character gets the limelight they deserve. Similar to all his books, this book also has a very strong female protagonist and applause again for the wonderful names the author has chosen for every character. The best part about the book I felt was that whatever character the author has drawn from the book and whatever doubt any reader might have with those characters gets answered before Book 1 ends. Talking about the end, the end will leave every reader with a heavy heart wanting to read more.

The book, I shall put it as an unputdownable one because it grips you from the first page till the last. The words, the feelings, the characters, everything was etched in a wonderful way that surely can make anyone fall weak in their knees for the characters. Coming to the hitches, I felt there were one-two printing errors in the book. Apart from which, I felt that the author could’ve used more suspense in the book (well, that’s maybe my fault! Coming from the author, everyone is sure to want more) Keeping all these things in mind and desperately waiting for the two other books to come, I would like to rate the book 4.5 out of 5.

My feelings would sound incomplete if I don’t include one line in this- “Marry me, Stranger!”

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A Tug of War by Yashika Nayyar: a review

Tug of war, ever played? It’s a very simple game. Two or more people holds two ends of a rope and each of them have to pull the rope their side. The first one who manages to pull the other one out of the middle mark is the winner. Simple isn’t it? Now, do you know that life plays a tug of war with us too? Yashika Nayyar, in her debut book A Tug of War has portrayed exactly that in a wonderful way.


The intricate portrayal of life through words is surely a very tough job to do but the authoress has done a very well job in doing so. First of all, when I held the book in my hands I didn’t have any kind of expectations from the book. Then when I started the book, I took it to be a novel. But as I kept on flipping the pages I could understand what actually the book is about. Not a fiction, not a non-fiction. This book is about life.


Divided into 5 vast divisions telling a story each in them along with a few subdivisions in them, this book is surely one worth reading. I particularly liked the way the authoress has been so straightforward in taking up such a topic to write in for her debut novel when she could’ve easily chosen a tried and tested genre of today’s’ market. The characters of the different stories are very realistic and give in a very real effect to the readers.


Coming to the hitches of the book, I want to say that I felt that the book could’ve been written in an even better way. The narration was smooth but a different version of narrative could’ve made this book stronger than it already is. There were a few grammatical errors here and there which made this book a bit slow to read at places. Apart from all these hitches, I would’ve loved a vaster version of the book.



For a debut book choosing such a topic was a very bold decision and I give a thumbs up to the authoress for penning down such a wonderful book. Such a thought enriching book is hard to find and I am sure this book can teach a lot to its readers about life and more. For me, this book would be a 3.5 out of 5 waiting for more to come from the authoress on this topic and on many more.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Lost in Pattaya by Kishore Modak: a review

A picture of a girl in a very subtle colored background. The title ‘Lost in Pattaya’ and the blurb mixed together makes this book a must-read! Apart from all the mentioned attributes, I also think that the quality of the book has made this book an eye catcher. In the bookstores, though the color of the book might not catch the eye much but the name surely will and the book does not disappoint.


According to the blurb- It is every dad’s nightmare his little girl goes missing. For Palash, the sorrow compounds from the incessant replaying of the critical minutes when his ‘Daddy-eye’ faltered, distracted by his own weakness of substance abuse. The loss and the ensuing search sends him spiraling into a divorce and the loss of a steady corporate job. Scouring for his little girl in the brothels of Pattaya he is ensnared in the web of mafia that runs sex trade of Thailand. When he eventually finds her, will he be able to build back a wasted lifetime, or, is it too late for rescue, for him and his child?

Pattaya, as we all know is the base camp for all of Thailand’s sex trade and prostitution rackets. Starting from Child sex to everything one could think of. The people out there are infamous for all this. The book highlights it as a whole. Not only the negative side but also the positive side of it. And after that, one could very well understand what can a father feel when his daughter is lost in the streets of Pattaya.


Coming to the characters, I can complement the writer for the characters he has chosen and the way they had been described. Palash, Li Ya, Fang Wei, Miho, Thuy Binh and the characters of the doctor, Georgy etc have been very well described, maintained and kept till the end.
 The traits of the characters have been well preserved and every character has been given utmost importance in the storyline. My favorite was Thuy Binh maybe because I could connect to that character the best.


Though the unique names of the characters might sound odd in the tongue at the beginning making it a difficult read but slowly the tongue gets accustomed to the names. Coming to the narrating style, I personally loved the abstract way the story has been narrated. The narrating style reminds me of very selected prize winning writers and I believe that it is the writers’ talent that makes the readers remind them so.


For the story, I would say that this story has been very well thought of bringing with it a bolt of fresh air to the readers. The pain, anguish, fleet everything has been well described off and the book has all the qualities to be a wonderful read. How painful losing someone can be has been written in a very seamless way. Losing-Separation-Near to death experiences and getting lost again-Finding and losing again-Rebuilding and regenerating. This book has everything weaved into one. The whole process of child trafficking, prostitution gives the readers a very new feel and a nice insight on the world.


The second half kept me totally engrossed in the book and the end made me ponder onto it for a long time but compared to that, the beginning was a very low one. This is one of those books which have to be held on to a certain level in the beginning to cherish the book till the end. And the book doesn’t disappoint at all. Apart from all the plus points, I wish the book could capture the readers from the beginning and that would’ve made this book simply perfect. Thanking the author for such an amazing work of fiction, I give this book 4.5 out of 5.


Thursday, 13 November 2014

An affair to remember by Harkeerat Anand: a review

In the colors of a wide range, the abstract features of the characters in the cover would only make sense to the readers once they are done with the book. Harkeerat Anand’s debut book An Affair to Remember is surely one of those books which gives you the most unexpected thing as you turn the pages of the book.


According to the blurb- Filled with cheesy motivational posters, computer workstations crammed side by side, dumb bosses/blondes and bored employees looking for a career change- ABCDEF Corp., a software giant, rankles with a sameness of a suffocating software giant’s existence. Until one man and his best friend take things into their hands. What follows is a series of misadventures, flushing both men down a pink-caked urinal of self destruction. Set in a city that once was, in an IT giant that once was, the two men journey through a cobweb of friendship, ambition, embezzlement, crime and most importantly, love. Will they survive ABCDEF Corp.? More so, will ABCDEF Corp. survive them? Peppy, wild and bitterly sarcastic, An Affair to Remember! Is a modern-day retelling of a decades-old classic.

When I talk about the first impression I had when I held the book I must tell you that I didn’t have that high expectations. After reading the blurb, I felt that this book can be the old food in a different platter and the beginning scenes actually made me feel that my instinct was right. The first half of the book was very common, showing the life of two friends and their lives.


The characterizations, according to me were done very nicely. It gave the readers a feel of realism and that is needed in every story. The situations the characters go through and their mind frame at certain time frames are very nicely described. Though I felt there were very abstract ‘not much needed’ characters, nonetheless it went on to be clear at a later phase.


Coming to the story, well; it’s tough to describe. The first two parts of the story were ‘normal’ and too peppy and wild which might leave the readers with an urge to ‘not-read’ the book. But to those readers who keep holding the book and reading it, I can guarantee that they are in for a special surprise as the book nears its end.


The readers might feel that the book has been written in abstracts as it seems that it has been written in bits and parts starting and ending all so suddenly. As we get towards the middle of the book, there is a sudden rush between the characters and that gears the readers up for a treat. As the end comes, the climax to be specific, the readers are left awestruck. The authoress leaves subtle hints throughout the book but it’s only at the end that we understand what we have missed.



The flaws of the book were a few. The descriptions could’ve been written in a better way. The first part could’ve been written in a more engaging way giving more hints that has already been given about what the end is going to be. Apart from that, there were a few grammatical errors also.


 Some characters came and went without any such role and things like this might be a flaw for the book. For me, I would like to rate it 3.25 out of 5 with an applause for attempting such a type of story.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A healthy child makes a happy home

I kept on thinking and thinking. I didn’t know which incident I shall write about. I didn’t know how to write about it. And then finally I got a chance. Indi Blogger Happy Hours has given me a chance of coming out of the confines of my confidante and expressing my feelings to the whole world. The feelings of holding a new born baby in my arms, the feeling of seeing the baby grow up to be a fine gentleman. The baby I am talking about here is the son of my cousin sister, my nephew! To be frank, he is the first kiddo of our family after me and we have a huge age difference. More of a son-figure to me, he is one gem of my life.


His birth brought with himself loads of memories, loads of love, laughter, happiness. One of the most loved, pampered boy he is. Whenever he comes around, all we see is laughter, fun going around. One bolt of fresh air he is. Ultra talkative, he can’t even sit quietly for a sec at one place. Such a boy he is. He is learning to write, going to school and he always has a bunch of stories to tell to everyone around him.

Even the quietest of the quiet lot of kids become notorious when he is around. When he goes back home from our place, his laughter echoes through the corridor of the rooms. Our mostly quiet home again becomes quiet. One day, he was scolded a lot for being notorious when a serious discussion was going on and tears welled up in his eyes; and witnessing that scene everyone had wet eyes. Our gem was upset.

One day, he scratched me hard and I shouted in pain. I didn’t scold him but all people around me scolded him a lot for scratching me, he started crying and guess what? All his demand was that he wanted to come to me. I was quite upset that day because of people scolding him and I closed the door of my room and was sitting alone. Suddenly I felt someone tugging at my feet, I realized it was him with a plate of food (he was only 2years old then). I pulled him up to the bed. All he did was he took the food and tried feeding me. Trust me, as I type this today, around 2years have passed of that incident, but I still have tears in my eyes. I had hugged him tight that day.

Once I heard that he was not well. For time constraints, I couldn’t go and meet him but when after few days he came to my place with my sister and I saw him; he looked really sick. He had fever. He had gone thin. The laughter and smiles that used to be there when he came were no longer that day. I tried cracking jokes, playing with him but all I was getting was frail attempts from his end. I couldn’t see him like that anymore. All the smiles were gone, all the laughter had vanished. I cried to sleep that night.

A few days had passed when my mom called up my sister to know about their whereabouts and I could hear him shouting my name from there. We all were so relieved. Next time when he came to my place, everything was back to normal. Everything was just as it always was and I couldn’t have been much happier.

This incident and a few more of them make me think and feel yet again that yes, a healthy child surely makes a happy home!



Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Red Seeps by Sadia Riaz Sehole: a review

‘Droplets of Doubt, Destiny and Devotion in verse’ are the words that would catch your eyes at first glance of Sadia Riaz Sehole’s debut book Red Seeps! Well yes, you guessed it correctly! A poetry book it surely is. An Oyster resting on sand with a beautiful pearl inside it defines how tenderly the poetess has framed the book, writing each word with utmost precision and love.

When you open the book I am sure you are in for surprises. Normally, it is not common to read the acknowledgement section of the book but before reading the actual book, I would suggest you all to read the foreword, acknowledgement to have the feeling of the book from the beginning. When I first picked the book, I had very less expectations. I didn’t know what to expect from the book but when I flipped through the pages, I knew, I am reading the perfect book.

For a poem lover like me, it was a complete surprise package. The best part about the book that I liked too much were the pictures and paintings added in the book with every poem. Every verse seemed soothing to the ears. I have a habit of reading poems aloud whenever I read them to feel the essence and this book was something that I can read and re-read many times.

I would like to appreciate the poetess for not choosing a single style to write on. The poems ranged from a four line one to a two page one. Ranging from different varieties and different styles, the poetess has made this book feel like the work of a professional writers work. I would also like to clap for the illustrator because the illustrations were mesmerizing and it added up to the best parts of the book as a whole.

Coming to the poems, I felt that the titles to every poem have been well thought of, giving the poems a very artistic feel. Apart from that, the words used in the poems were also given a very deep thought of. No unnecessary words, no stretching of parts. Precise, sober and heart touching poems. To point out the flaws, I might say that out of the many, a few could’ve been written in a better way. 

Moreover, the cover could’ve been done in an even better way as the illustrations inside the book has been.

There were many poems which caught my heart. But I would like to quote the poetess here with a poem of hers…

“Every path that I tread
Leads back to you.
Yet I must walk on
For you are the journey, too!”

Expecting and waiting for more and more books from the poetess! Wishing the poetess huge luck for her upcoming endeavors. This book deserves 4.5 out of 5.


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Bucket list of a Traveloholic by Sarika Pandit: a review

Sarika Pandit in her debut travelogue ‘Bucket List of a Traveloholic’ has surely made a mark in this world of writing. In the era of fiction and different genres of it hitting the market, Sarika has taken the road less travelled by choosing Travel as her genre in the first book. With a quirky cover picture, this book is sure to catch the attention of the readers.

According to the blurb- While B-School batch mates are busy scrambling for top jobs and grades, a restless Sarika dreams of putting on her running shoes and having all the pages of her passport stamped by the age of thirty. What follows is a frenzied quest of not just collecting stamps but ticking off items off her ever-expanding bucket list: From learning the local language in Spain to an alcohol trail through Greece; from a tryst with Shakespeare and Jane Austen in the United Kingdom to an encounter with the Vampire in Romania; from straddling the border of two countries in the Middle East to a road trip through Morocco to the Sahara; each experience bringing her a little closer to reaching that final destination on her passport. A journey of falling in love with globetrotting- this one promises to be one of the best roller-coaster reading experiences you will have this year.

Agreeing with the blurb I have to say that this book is surely a roller-coaster reading experience. And after reading the book I so feel like getting my passport stamped all the way. I loved the way the writer has narrated her incidents and the pictures along with the writings of all the places gives this book a very real feeling! One feels like he/she is in the book while reading it!

The prologue and the fact that these are real life incidents narrated in the book gives it a worth read tag. I specifically liked the way the titles of the chapters have been given in a very to the point way which tells the readers which country is famous for what and that surely makes the readers read the accounts with utmost interest.

Starting from Spain, to Egypt-UK-Khajuraho-Florence-Greece and more finally till Croatia bringing out the essence of all the places makes this book a must read. The accounts of all the places of how the authoress went from a place to the other, doing different stuff and visiting different places are sure to catch the readers’ eyes.


These special moments in the book with the authoress’s pictures along with the must visit places makes this a very interesting read. Along with all the plus points of the book, I found a few flaws. A few wouldn’t be a good word cause the flaws were very less. I felt that there could’ve been more descriptions to a few and less descriptions to another few. I also felt that certain chapters failed to keep the interest to that much level like the other chapters have kept. Apart from that, I wanted to read more of the travel accounts but sure to the end of the book I wanted to travel and that’s it! For me, the book is 4 out of 5.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

S.T.A.L.K.E.D. by Girvani Dhyani: a review

In the shadow of a young woman lies a man! Well, that might sound strange but in a blue-white and black backdrop, that is exactly what the cover of Girvani Dhyani’s debut book S.T.A.L.K.E.D has in store for us. Of the genre Thriller, the cover artist has done a great job of ‘spooking’ the readers and making them read the blurb and then the book in one go.

According to the blurb- Tara Bakshi, a young lawyer with a difficult boss. No matter how hard she works, how many all-nighters she pulls, he is never satisfied. When she starts work on the top-secret assignment, project Emerald, Tara discovers that someone has been tampering with the files and her boss asks her to find the culprit. As time ticks and Tara uncovers one evidence after another, someone starts stalking her every move. He shadows her on the street, in the parking lot, in her own bedroom; nowhere is she safe from his prying gaze. The only clue she has to his identity is a Zippo lighter with a serpent carved on it. As events turn darker with back-to-back murders, Tara teeters on the verge of a collapse. What does the killer want from her? Is he hiding behind a familiar face? Even as her life turns into a whirling nightmare that pulls her into its web, Tara must discover the truth before he strikes again… A riveting thriller that will keep you guessing till the end.

I loved the way the blurb has been presented to the readers. It gives a very ‘spooky’ sensation to the readers making the readers start the book as soon as they lay their hands on it. The book has been divided in two parts – You are not alone and Leave me alone! Depicting the state of the protagonists’ mind to the readers.

For me, presentation matters quite as much and the way the spilled blood and sword have been used in the book has been very interesting to see and it has enhanced the whole story to a new level. I guess, to a certain extent (for the readers who read the author bio before reading the book) the author bio also helps in readers grabbing the book.

The first scene of the book where Tara Bakshi is being intimidated by her boss has been described in a very life-like way making the readers wonder what is going to happen next. It has been described in a very realistic backdrop resulting in readers liking the book and understanding even the characters of the book.

Coming to the characters, I liked the way the authoress has described the characters of the book from Tara to the Boss, also Riya, Aryana, Sailesh, Suzy and Bannerjee everyone in the book has been well researched of and well thought of. The execution of the characters has been done in a very effortless way. Coming to the storyline, I found the storyline to be a very subtle mix of mystery and thrill making it a very perfect thriller to read.


The idea was very new for me and I enjoyed the book thoroughly. As for the flaws are concerned, I felt the story needed a bit more thrill and that in a few parts of the story there was something amiss. That something would’ve made the story simply perfect! For the end, I felt that it has been picturized very well but still a different end could’ve made this book unputdownable. For me, I would like to rate the book 4.25 out of 5.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Raja & the giant donut by Prashant Pinge: a review

A soothing yellow color in the cover, three dogs and loads of donuts!! I am sure the book looks ‘oh! So tasty’ and yes, Prashant Pinge’s book Raja and the Giant Donut is a very tasty book. And if any doubts cloud your mind, the blurb confirms the taste of ‘A scrumptious cream-filled canine adventure…..’


On the back cover- Raja, a golden brown stray mongrel, leads a carefree existence in Shivaji Park, spending his days lying under shady trees and chasing tennis balls. His friend Pakya, a white and black mongrel, happens to be the most feared dog on this side of the park. But, poor Pakya secretly pines for Bianca, a beautiful Golden Retriever, who only has eyes for Hero, a smooth-talking mongrel with a red scarf round his neck. Tiger Godhlekar aka Gattu, an abandoned Labrador who is perpetually hungry, completes the trio. Prashant Pinge’s engaging and heartwarming story, depicts the journey of three ordinary stray dogs from Shivaji Park in Mumbai to Sambhaji Park in Pune. Their reasons for undertaking the journey are different, but they are united by their friendship and a common dream, as they confront seemingly insurmountable odds. While the story charts their quest for the giant donut, it also highlights how the dogs overcome their own shortcomings, support each other and register personal victories along the way.


The moment I started reading the book, I had felt a pang of excitement in my heart because I was more than excited to read what the book is going to offer me. And I can very well say that the book didn’t disappoint me at all. The easy to hold format of the book with wonderful animations to support the story throughout gave this book a wonder touch.


I would like to congratulate the illustrator of the book because without the illustrations, the story wouldn’t have been what it is. To all children, such stories are a friend while eating, at bedtime etc and their mothers surely need more stories to tell. This story, I am sure will be of huge help for both mothers and children.

It is also written in a very easy to relate language that even kids can read it, understand it and have fun with it. Coming to the characters, I believe that the characters used in the story of Raja, Pakya and Gattu along with the ever so coming and going side character enhances the flavor of the story giving it a wonder touch.


It has been well thought of and even better executed. Everyone will have a series of expressions written all over their faces while reading the book turning from ‘aww’ to ‘oh no!’ till ‘yess!!’ and that, I believe makes a writer, a successful one. The ending to the story surely makes its way to the hearts of the readers. The glossary at the end of the book helps a lot and an interesting thing I saw in the book is that the recipe of the main ingredient of the book- ‘donut’ is also written after the story finishes.



The story has wonderful adventure and the fact that dogs have been shown as humans having feelings make this book a huge hit among the children. As for the mistakes are concerned, I felt that the adventure and the twists could’ve been a bit more with even better descriptions and that would’ve made this book a wonder to read. All in all, I really liked the book and I would like to give it 4.25 out of 5.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian: a review

God is very well a Gamer and with Ravi Subramanian’s latest book coming to the stands of all bookstores (virtual and physical) this book is surely going to create a buzz among readers of the genre. Best known for writing mostly about the banking business, the writer, with this book has brought into view a Bitcoin thriller. The cover of the book with the colors used and the texture of the title give in itself how grand this book is going to be. And with such a tagline used “Is Revenge a Crime?” I am sure the book is going to catch eyeballs.

According to the back cover- What happen when you cross gamer, banker, politician and terrorist with virtual money? From the bestselling author of If God was a Banker comes the first ever Bitcoin thriller. God is a Gamer is a world where money means nothing, martyrs are villains, predators are prey, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems. Moving from Washington’s Congress to Delhi’s finance ministry, the beaches of Goa to the corporate boardrooms of Mumbai, this is Ravi Subramanian’s most gripping novel yet.

Yes, I would totally agree with the fact that this book is surely one gripping novel. For the laymen who don’t know the meaning of Bitcoin then this book is something that you must read! Don’t worry, you need not Google the word to know what it means cause the book in itself has given in a total view of what a Bitcoin is and how it works. Throughout the book, the use of words and terms of real places and of organizations gives the book its much needed realistic feel.

Coming to the characters, I felt that the characterization was good but still the author has used a very wide range of characters from different aspects of life which might take the readers off track at certain places. But since most of the characters were important to the plot, at some point or the other, the readers get a wind of the characters. There have been parts of the story, where I had to actually sit and think who was a character if the character has been jumped off from one scene to another.

As far as the story goes, I would call it a very nice mix of flavors from different viewpoints of life. The ‘most widely known’ topics of the era now are all covered in a fictionalized tale spun by the author and is presented to us in a very new way. Gaming-Politics-Banking-Terrorism all are linked together in a very nice way. And I am sure, just like the other thrillers this one would also force the readers to put their thinking caps on and they would be eager to solve the mystery.

Coming to a few flaws of the story, I felt the start was a bit slow (to say the least) and it could’ve been written in a better way. Apart from that; the end was something that could’ve been predicted since a long time! The author had left clues throughout the book and any smart reader can very well catch those clues and solve the case, sit back and see the fictional characters laying it out in front of them. At the end, since it was very predictable, I felt that a change was expected.

For Ravi Subramanian fans, this book is surely one of the best and will make its mark on the readers for a long time! A very wonderful job done by the author. All the questions have been answered in the end about the title and the sub-title and that will leave the readers satisfied while closing the book. And howsoever the end was, it will keep the readers entertained. For me, the book was 4.25 out of 5 hoping to read more such awesome books from the writer!




PS- This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Friday, 31 October 2014

WordBite and Vanya's Notebook Book Giveaway #2| Operation Mom | by Reenita Malhotra Hora

Operation Mom! What is the first thing that comes in mind when you get to hear these words? No no! It’s not Operating Mom or something like that. It’s a simple story of a 21st century teenage Ali Zafar Groupie daughter trying to get her mom a man and a ‘life’… Seems Interesting, isn’t it? For more insight on it, here’s the blurb for you-

When you try to set your mom’s life right. Be prepared to have your own turned upside down. Seventeen-year-old Ila Isham has serious problems. There’s the angst of being an Ali Zafar groupie, for one. Then there are the extra layers of fat she owes to her Punjabi roots. Add to this, parents who have separated; an enthusiastic best friend whose idea of variety is dating three guys at the same time; and her mom’s best friend, Aunty Maleeka, whose good intentions and savvy ways throw up more problems than solutions- and Ila’s got her hands quite full. When her mother flips out over her plans to stalk Ali Zafar, Ila decides she has had enough and sets out to create a few distractions to keep her mom busy. With a little help from BFF Deepali, Aunty Maleeka and Dev of the inviting chocolate-pool eyes, Ila will have to brave everything from Lagaan.com and OKCupid profiles to meeting handlebar-moustache colonels and middle-aged psychos, as she tries to set up the perfect parent trap for her unsuspecting mother.

Eager? Eager to read it? Hands itching to get hold of the book? Guess what? Here is an opportunity! We, in association with The WordBite are giving away copies of this book to some of you lucky readers! But before that, let’s play a game! Rules are mentioned below and trust me, it’s not that tough! Just a few steps… ready? Here we goooooo……

1.      Ok! To Begin with, you got to like The WordBite’s official FaceBook page HERE!

2.      With that done, please do not forget to follow Vanya’s Notebook at our twitter handle @vanya4all HERE!

3.      And now the real game begins—All you got to do is tweet your first thoughts on the book with the hashtag #OperationMom and tag @vanya4all in it!

Trust me, the people with the best answers would be chosen personally by the authoress and they would receive a copy of the book with a Personalized message from the author for them!

And yes! Do not forget to post your review once you are done with the book!

For any queries, please comment on this post and we will get back to you!

You have time to post your tweets till 4th of November'2014! Hurry up!!


Pssssstttttt—For all you guys who are still unsure, don’t think much An interview of the authoress, a review of the book and a few words on the book are somewhere out there in the blog, just keep scrolling down!! J


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

"I think that no matter who you are, the greatest thing you have to offer to the world is your stories." - says Reenita Malhotra Hora in a heartwarming chat with Vanya's Notebook...


For the umpteenth time when I read the name of the book, I was confused! Operation Mom! I didn’t know what to expect. Then I switched to the author bio, when I read that I knew that the book is going to rock and trust me or not, what I experienced was much more than rocking! Reenita Malhotra Hora had made me fall in love with her writing style and the book once I read it and more often than not, I just knew that I had to know the inside story of the novel! Guess what? I succeeded! Here is a wonderful talk into books, Operation Mom and much more…
PS- Do not forget to buy the book!

Vanya’s Notebook- After all these years for you having been a part of the literary industry, I want to take the pleasure of welcoming you to the world of fiction!! How has the journey been for you?

Reenita—That's a loaded question! 
It has been a great rise but not an easy one by any means. Although my Young Adult crossover story, Operation Mom – How I got my Mother a Life and a Man is my debut novel, it isn't actually the first I wrote. In fact the yet-to-be-published, The Chronicles of Arya is actually the first piece of fiction I wrote. To say I found it challenging on every level is putting it mildly. Hail from a non-fiction/journalistic background, it was a major challenge to “get out of the box” and relax into a creative flow that is so badly needed in fiction. Up until then all of my writing had been extremely structured – there is a certain 'uptight' nature that befits journalism. It took me forever to break that mold and let loose.
Not to mention that initially, I was writing to a Western audience. Subsequently, I decided to direct my focus to Indian readers. But the bigger problem was that typical of first-time-novelists, I fell in love with every character. I found myself staunchly defending their existence in critique groups rather than be open to 'killing my darlings' to really bring the story to life.

Vanya’s Notebook- Your author bio says that you are the ‘Hora family concierge and fish taco connoisseur’ why is that? Any special moment you want to share with us regarding these two titles given to you?

Reenita— Yes indeed, rather than 'mother', 'parent', 'wife' or any other typically befitting title, the  most accurate has been 'Hora family concierge.' We are a small family with a large attitude. Everyone of us, my husband - Neeraj, my daughter -Ilya, my son - AryaVir and our dog – Dumbledore, has a unique personal agenda and when it comes to deciding who gets priority, it's always a question of “My way or hit the highway!” Just as the concierge is the caretaker of an apartment building complex or the guy at the hotel front desk who shows guests around and makes theater reservations, my job is to organize the Horas without dampening their egos! School stuff, family travel, work, social activities, logistics...if I started getting into the intricacies of what that means for each one of us, I'd be writing pages. What's interesting to note though is the origin of the word concierge. It's French - probably based on Latin conserves ‘fellow slave.’ Go figure!
As for the title of 'Fish Taco Connoisseur,' your question reminds me that my tagline is dated because since I crafted that one, I have turned one hundred percent vegetarian. In my days of living in California, I would often long for home. However that was easier said than done, the journey to India was long and not financially viable on a whim. So when we discovered Mexico, it was like chocolate for my soul. Crossing the border from Southern California  you'd suddenly feel like you were back home – with the way the people looked, how they spoke, their attitude, the way they hung their clothes to dry outside on a clothesline. It was in Ixtapa sometime in the early 2000s that I discovered my love for fish tacos. I have been a die-hard addict ever since, well until I recently turned veg. I don't plan to ever go back to being no-veg but I will say that the thought of fish tacos has the power to bring about a certain conditioned reflex.

Vanya’s Notebook- Having your book in hand, and after reading it I had a few    questions. To begin with, what was the thought you put in the book while writing it? I mean, did it come out of your mind all so suddenly or was it any journalism related assignment which made you think of it?

Reenita— No journalism related assignment at all. The story of Operation Mom just flowed because I was in a girly mood and focused on creating memorable characters whose quirks and flaws really defined their unique personalities. 
            I wrote the book over the course of a summer. Luckily I was alone for the most part that summer as in my kids were abroad in summer camp, chaperoned by their father.  I was working the morning shift at RTHK Radio 3 and that left me with the afternoons to write. I had huge amounts of fun writing the book and because I was so in love with the obuse-ness of the characters, the story came together very easily.
            The characters and settings are heavily inspired by my own life scenes so people who know me are always looking to relate a particular character to one of my family members or friends. And while there is plenty overlap with things that have been, as a fiction writer you have the luxury of twisting situations and characters into what you want them to be. It's a great way to immortalize those you walk you always wanted to take down the wild side or seek revenge on those who left you in the lurch somehow.

Vanya’s Notebook- I really liked the way you have written your book. It’s a very ‘girlish’ and a very perky language. Was it to add the ‘oomph’ factor to your book or was it the way you write?

Reenita— When I embarked on a mission to write a novel about being a teen in Mumbai, I thought, how hard could it be? But it was. My nephew was quick to remind me that my lingo was out of date and my teen references out of context. Then followed a crash course in contemporary Mumbai slang. Between that and a slew of my own young adult experiences, the story unfolded.
            When it comes to humor, I honestly believe that we do not have enough of it in our daily experience. And Indian writing in general also lacks humor. So that is certainly a matter of writing style that I continue to explore – although it is not as if to say that everything I write is humorous. Pervious to Operation Mom, I had written a series of first person stories for the South China Morning Post's Family Post tabloid. They were a wry, sarcastic look at the drama of my family members. I got a lot of great feedback from readers which is why I decided to write Operation Mom in a similar style but in the mindset of the young female adult i.e. “perky and girlish” as you say.

Vanya’s Notebook- I have been really happy to see that you do not stick to one genre and have experimented with quite a few. I mean, your books were Forever Young, Inner Beauty and Ayurveda after which Operation Mom came into being. Is there any specific reason to that or just like that?

Reenita— Truth be told my first books about Ayurveda came into being because of my job as an Ayurvedic clinician and business owner at the time. That's when I discovered...or more accurately, re-discovered...my love for writing but decided that I was type-cast. No publisher thought that I could write about anything but Ayurveda. But I always knew I wanted to write fiction so finally took the plunge. And other non-fiction genres too.  Yes, I do have interests beyond Ayurveda that I would like to share with readers.

Vanya’s Notebook- For your readers, I would like to request you to sum up the book Operation Mom in a few words.

Reenita— Operation Mom is the story of a Mumbai teen's quest to get her single mother dating
again. Now typically it's the mothers who are looking to set up their daughters and not the other way around, and certainly not through the online world. To top that, we traditionally, we look to get girls 'married' rather than 'dating.'
            In many ways I myself identify with the plight of Ila and her mom, Veena, but the wild and wanton Aunty Maleeka is heavily inspired by a crazy school mate of mine. She and Deepali, her younger reincarnation, buck the trends of the traditional Punjabi 'isms' that I have dealt with throughout my life and in many ways they are who Veena and Ila live vicariously through. Truth is, I think we all need a bit of Aunty Maleeka or Deepali in our lives!
            In many ways, the story is about bucking trends. I intentionally wanted to break some norms because I think that as a society we could be a little less uptight and might do well with a dose of 'taking ourselves less seriously.' Thing is if you are the mother of a daughter, or the daughter or a mother, at some level you are going to identify. And when it comes to the guys, they have all seen these crazy but dominant female flit in and out of their lives.

Vanya’s Notebook- George Michael of Wham!! I mean, seriously? You did that?

Reenita— Yes, 100% full disclosure! Anyone who knew me in my teenage years can attest to how overly infatuated I was with George Michael.  I mean to some extent that goes for every woman in my generation, anywhere in the world, but I was definitely part of the elite club of the super-obsessed. It actually got my own mother extremely worried because that's when it first hit her that I was a Type A, obsessive personality and in her books, that could possibly lead to a host of problems later in life.
            I stalked George in my teenage years – in an age where there was no such thing as the internet or social media.  That he was gay was of course completely immaterial back then – I barely even understood what that meant. If my buddies pointed out that there was no way he could possibly be biologically interested in me even if I somehow carried through my zany notion of meeting him (which I did), I took it as a personal affront.


            
The anecdote has made its way into Operation Mom (as fiction of course) and while George Michael may not define pop culture in the 21st century, I figure we could re-launch him into stardom by casting him as himself in the movie version. After all, we have an entire audience of eighties women who have spent days idling away to the tune of his hit ballad, Careless Whisper, once upon a not-so-long-ago!
            For fun, I have attached a picture of myself as a teen with George Micahel. That it got published in the Mumbai midday brought me something akin to teen fame. Of course my husband says that in looking at it, it's anyone's guess as to which one of the two is Reenita and which is George Michael!

Vanya’s Notebook- What about your future works? Something new or sticking to the safe genre of romance and chick lit?

Reenita— Is romance and chick lit really a 'safe' genre? That suggestion in itself makes me want to say “something new” :)  A friend of mine recently admonished me for switching and changing genres. “You have to stick to one or you'll never make your mark,” she insisted. Her words still haunt me but then as I tell everyone, there is nobody in the world I can rely on to entertain me but myself. And the entertainment is not going to come from just one genre.
            There is a lot I want to explore and say to the world. And a bunch of narrative voices to explore it with so, no I will definitely not stock to one genre. To better answer your question, here's what I have coming out in the next year:  a finance book  Money-Smart: The Indian Woman's Guide to Building Wealth and also a fantasy-fiction story for young teens called The Chronicles of Arya. Then I will work on an Ayurvedic diet/cookbook because I am such a firm believer in the notion of 'you are what you eat.' Once I am done with that, I will be ready to get back to fiction.

Vanya’s Notebook- You must have got many reviews and criticisms about the book. Did any affect you much? Which one, according to you was the best? And which one, the most critic one?

Reenita— Oh this is difficult. When you read great reviews of your book, you are just so happy to know that the reader is enjoying it!
            There was one review by Shubham Kumar on Flipkart that really delighted me. He called it “top-notch intellect” and said Albeit it’s a female oriented book but it holds good entertainment value for both the genders.” I was particularly happy about this because even though it is female-centric, I know that a lot of male readers will enjoy it because they will identify these characters with females from their life.
            Shubham also said “I feel that Operation Mom is a top rated season of a famous TV show. It’s finely divided into different episodes, with each one taking the story further. It never felt like I was reading a book. It was more of watching a TV program that would be telecasted on weekends.” Once you’re into the story, you feel like you’ve known the characters for quite some time. Whatever they say, whatever they do, is completely justified.”
            More and more, people reject reading in favor of TV. I know how I love binge-watching my favorite TV shows. How great is it then to bring people a book that make them feel like they are watching their favorite TV show instead!
            In terms of criticism, I was a little disappointed with one that mentioned that the content matter was a little “unorthodox” for schools. This is exactly what I mean about our uptight nature of our society and why people need to address and accept life as it happens...ideally served up with a dash of humor.

Vanya’s Notebook- Sorry to have bored you so much. As you can see, I speak a lot. So, not to further bore the readers with much of my talking, I would like to ask you to say a few words for my blog and of course, for your readers.


Reenita— I think that no matter who you are, the greatest thing you’ll have to offer to the world is your stories. We all have terrific stories submerged within the depths of our sub consciousness but that journey of discovery can be made only if you acquiesce to the currents of your sub consciousness and see where they take you, rather than fighting against them to stay ashore where life is safe because you've seen it before. But sometimes, it can be hard to dig in discover those stories, much less bring them to conscious realms and then disburse them to the rest of the world.
            This is probably why I take my role as a story-teller very seriously. Whether it is through my books or radio shows or public appearances, I filter those untold stories, not just the ones that originate from me but the ones that come from you too...the readers, the listeners, the players. So I encourage you to please stay in touch and bring me your stories too in any way that you would like. My website: Www.reenita.com or email me at reenita@reenita.com.

It was indeed a mind blowing experience talking to Reenita Malhotra Hora! Hope you loved reading it as well. We wish her loads of luck of her future endeavors! And if you want to know more about what I think of the book, do keep flipping the pages of Vanya’s Notebook, a review of the book and an article regarding the same is down there!