PANORAMA : A Collection of Short Stories


PANORAMA – By Shilpi Chaklanobis

“PANORAMA: A Collection of Short Stories” – written by  Shilpi Chaklanobis is a collection of short stories, justifying the book title to its core. The book consists of around 15 short stories covering almost each and every aspect of human relationship and bonding like mother – daughter, father – daughter, teacher – student , husband-wife, owner – domestic help/pet, lovers, friendship. Not only it is panoramic with respect to the human relationship, it also touches different aspects of society through each story – poverty , corruption, our patriarchal society etc. The stories have been written in different backgrounds ranging between different cities in India and abroad. The author has very beautifully picked up how the characters will behave and call each other in those backgrounds.

I have enjoyed reading this book. What I loved about the book was the simple yet matured language used by the author. The writing style was fresh and very much like a seasoned writer. Although this was author’s debut novel but the way she has written, I was overwhelmed. She has done justice to each and every character. The stories were really nice, hard to pick a favorite but if I have to I will go with The Thirst. Every story had a message in it for the reader. She has no where tried to spoon feed the reader with what should happen next but the reader is left to think and decide the future. The core issues  like poverty , corruption have been addressed so beautifully yet making a significant effect on the reader. Although the book comes in the genre of fiction but the stories were very close to real life and can be very well related to the present world. At the end of the book it seemed that in the world , all these stories may be happening somewhere in real.

What could have been better in the book may be : was to do away with few editing errors in the book and the last story – The Sealed Wish had a too long beginning focusing on the way Martha was curious about the sealed urn. I wanted to read more on how Martha actually found the secret of urn in little detail.

This is a light read book for any generation of reader. I will eagerly wait for the next part of “Panorama”.

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6 Degrees – Game of Blogs


6 Degrees – Game of Blogs is a product of an unique concept done by Blogadda. The bloggers were told to form team of around ten members each and spin a story around the same characters- Sekhar, Tara, Roohi, Jennifer, Cyrus, and Aryan Ahuja living in the same city – Mumbai. Well, its not only the names of the character that’s same across the book but their background remains the same throughout:

  1. Sekhar : a house husband and freelance writer without much of work these days;
  2. Tara : Sekhar’s wife and a highly successful professional in a media house
  3. Roohi: Sekhar and Tara ‘s 9 year old girl
  4. Jennifer : a happy go girl with her Nikon camera
  5. Cyrus: a law student
  6. Aryan Ahuja : Sekhar and Tara’s neighbour

After many rounds, three teams were selected as winners by renowned authors and 6 degrees was published. The stories which made to the final entry into the book were :

  1. The Awakening – a science fiction
  2. Entangled Life – a murder mystery
  3. Missing – A Journey Within – a thriller

I am purposefully refraining myself from giving any kind of gist for the stories. This may ruin the charm and secret or suspense factor of the stories for the book readers.

With respect to my opinion or review of this book, I simply enjoyed reading all the three short stories. Although fiction but hard to believe that how the same characters can lead entirely different lifestyle in each story. The stories were written with utmost perfection in its details, well-paced and very well can be related to our real life. The language used in the stories was simple yet chiseled and clearly looks like coming from a batch of seasoned writers. Well I remember, while reading the first story, I felt a blue eye starting at me from side. I had to close my book and look around. The story was so engrossing! Reading the stories were surely a delight.

To be honest, I did not hurry up at all in finishing the book. Since the characters were same in all the three stories , I thought of taking a break to sink in with the previous story and then jump on to the next so as to avoid any kind of comparison. However, I felt that each story being so unique in itself, it cannot be compared and will surely be unjust to do so. The characters are given their due justice in each story. The connection between the characters were well drawn , the stories were well knitted.

The second thing which I loved about the stories were that these were not at all any age specific or gender specific. Can be enjoyed by anyone at anytime. The book being a collection of short stories is ideal for a short and easy read.

So I will recommend my readers to please read this book of unique concept and do let me know, if you also felt the blue eye staring at you or if you also thought Mr. Java was a mean man and a jerk, like I did !!! 🙂

I am looking forward for the second volume of 6 degrees were I can get some new stories around these characters. I hope to see them soon! Moreover, I would like to congratulate all the teams on their win and Blogadda for initiating such innovative concepts and taking creativity to a new level.

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

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“You Raise Me Up” by Arjun Hemmady – A book about hope and destiny !


“You Raise Me Up” by Arjun Hemmady is about Aalok Sharma, a 27 year old Chartered Accountant. Aalok is an introvert person who lives in Mumbai and leads a very simple life. He has his own aspirations in life but his actions are controlled by women surrounding him – his mother, twin sister Isha, Tanvi and Priyanka. This romantic fiction makes you believe in serendipity. Whatever happens in our life happens for a reason and if we fail at times we need to ‘Raise Up’ is the motto of the book.

The story begins when Aalok is returning from Moscow to Mumbai via Delhi. He choose to take a flight from Delhi to Mumbai instead of overnight Rajdhani train just to make sure he can take rest over the weekend and have an energetic start from next week. Well as the destiny conspires he meets Priyanka in flight, a Dehradun born girl who lives in Delhi and works in legal department of Mahindra and Mahindra. This is where conversation begins between them. As rightly said the opposite attracts, same happens here as the story unfolds. The first part of the book is about how a closeness grows between Priyanka and Aalok but something is holding Aalok back whereas Priyanka is quite open about her love through her gestures. In the second part the reader is taken ten (10) years back where Aalok is staying with his parents and twin sister Isha. He meets their family friends Tanvi who comes to Mumbai to have her internship in KPMG as a part of CA education. Aalok looks upto her, as he had failed his PCA exams four times whereas Tanvi was an ace. Their friendship grows and then the twist comes. I will not reveal Part 3 of the book where actual climax is and the curiosity of the reader grows to the highest level.

Things that I liked: (a) The book is written in simple English and easy to read. This is a good read for younger generation or anyone who is looking for a light read or simple story. (b) Close to modern living and circumstances. (c) Although I have read many love stories before but this book had an interesting plot. I loved Part II of the book where grip of the story grows stronger and the way curiosity grows in the Part III as what will Aalok do now. (d) The book gives a motto not to lose hope and raise up every time you fail and sometimes we need to leave things on the destiny to decide.

Things that I did not like were, story was losing the grip sometimes and hence becoming very predictable. Secondly, conversations were dragged too much sometimes.

Overall a nice read over the weekend and I enjoyed the fact that the book could keep me away from all the screens till I finished it. I will advise my blog readers to hold on your reading till the end, you will get curious, to know what Aalok did finally!

I feel honored to receive a copy of the book signed by author himself. Would like to thank Blogadda for selecting me to review this book. I wish Arjun a very good luck with his book – “You Raise Me Up” and his future endeavours.

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

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The Bestseller She Wrote : Book Review


My Copy Of  “The Bestseller She Wrote” from Blogaada

This was my first book of Ravi Subramanian. Before starting with the book, I thought it will be like any other new generation novel, very much like the character Shreya in the beginning! Fortunately, I was completely wrong. The moment I started reading the book, I got glued to it and could not put it down. Mr. Ravi Subramanian, your book was surely “UNPUTDOWNABLE”! There was a kind of addiction till I completed with the entire story. Although a book of approximately 400 pages but it is a very quick read because of the story and language used by the author.

The plot primarily revolves around Aditya, a mid-aged banker cum bestseller author who has a wife (Maya), a six-year old son (Aryan) and a lover (Shreya). The story grows when a happy family man Aditya falls in love with Shreya and betrays his wife Maya and son Aryan. Shreya on the other hand is only ambitious of getting her book published and be in the list of bestseller author. How the life of each character intersect each other and rolls up and down in the storyline is very interesting!

I am not a much of fiction lover but this story was so close to a modern living that anyone can relate to and believe that this is very much possible in today’s time. Further some incidents from the life of real time bestseller authors like Chetan Bhagat makes the character of Aditya more real and creates an element of fun as well.

Things that I liked about the book were: a) The way the author has built up each character in the book and their conversations, it seems the plot was going in front of me and I can see it, I can feel it! b) Secondly, the book is written in very simple language which made the story more real and enjoyable; c) The twist and turn in the story were given at suitable pace. The moment the reader starts making a prediction, there is a turn! I simply loved it. d) The story is so well knit that even a smaller incident is connected to something big in the end. Like the handwritten editing of the manuscript by Shreya initially was a negligible incident but later when she used it for her advantage was an awesome come back in this thriller. Similarly, scribbling on the book and how Aditya connect all the dots in the plot from the hint etc. e) The author has done a brilliant work in bringing out the fact that how a common situation can be perceived differently by two person. The debate between whether a book is a product and has to be marketed like a commodity or a book is a matter of personal interest was a nice read.

However there were few things that I did not like while reading the book like a) the brand name of each and everything the characters are eating or wearing or somehow related in their daily life. The way they do things made it clear that they have an elite lifestyle. Such unnecessary detail kills the story. b) I wanted to know something more about Maya and Aryan who mattered the most to Aditya and eventually to me as well.

By the end of the story, I was in love with the book! It was a great read over the weekend. I will recommend this book to my fellow readers as well and to those who are yet to try the new budding Indian authors.

I would also like to thank Blogadda to give me the opportunity to read and review this book.

PS : I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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Ramayana – The Game of Life : Shattered Dreams (Book 2)

My Book Copy From Blogadda

My Book Copy From Blogadda

Most of us are well versed with the epic of Ramayana. I thought of re-reading this epic from Shubha Vilas’s point of view. Shubha Vilas is a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker who holds a degree in engineering and law. This book is Part 2,  a sequel of Rise of the Sun Prince , where the author begins from the exile of Rama from Ayodhya. I have not read Part 1 of the series yet but : A) I did not find any difficulty in reading Part 2 ; B) I will surely read Part 1 now.

The most desirable thing about the book was inspite of knowing the entire story and what will happen next the author was able to hold my interest till the end of the book. The conversation between the characters were written so nicely as if I could hear them speaking before me. The most interesting conversation was between Manthra and Queen Kaikeyi when Manthra poured her venomous thoughts in Kaikeyi’s mind and that’s where the epic takes a u-turn. Had Kaikeyi was not influnced by the humpbacked Manthra the series of events which followed later would have never taken place.

Secondly, what distinguishes this book from other narration of epics is the author’s illustrations in the form of footnotes and drawing a relation between the lives of those mythological characters and a common man of today. The author went beyond and compared human feelings with objects and described how we should handle our day today life. For example: When Manthra suggests Kaikeyi to sit in isolation and weep to hover the mind of King Dasratha and then ask for the boons, the author describes that in a conversation or in our thinking process our surrounding plays a major role. He explains why a bar or pub is dark or dim lighted to tune our mind accordingly. He describes anger as a flower vase thrown on someone where the vase will break and the person will get hurt. Such small and real life experiences given by the author provokes us to live a positive life. However at some points I felt that instead of author spoon feeding a thought into us, the reader should have been left free to think and analyse.

Re-reading of this epic made me come across many small tales within which I had not heard before or had forgotten. For example : why was King Dasarath named so ? How did Ravan got his name ? From where did Puspak Viman came ? Thanks to the author for telling us so many stories once again.

Well there were few parts which I did not like much. According to author King Dasratha was both happy and jealous when he announced Rama’s coronation news to his subjects and they took Rama’s name in unison as their next King. According to me King Dasratha was a man of intellect and a loving father who could not have been jealous of his own son under any circumstances. Then at another point author describes the beauty of Rama and writes girls are crazy for him. I personally found this very demeaning  for a character of Rama for whom we have respect and worship him. Instead the girls or women may be ‘mesmerised’ of Rama’s beauty would have been a better depiction.

Overall the book was a good read and a recap of the old epic in today’s time when we are slowly forgetting the values we have been taught in our childhood. Lastly, I would like to thank Blogadda for giving me this copy of the book to read and review. It was surely an enriching experience for me.

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

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