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Jasmine Days By Benyamin: Book Review

WINNER of the JCB PRIZE FOR LITERATURE 2018 An Excerpt I sat again in front of the microphone for my beloved live programme, Rush Hour. It had been three months since I was in the studio. No one had expected me to go live as soon as I returned, or for that matter, even return. Maybe that is why our programme manager, Imthiaz sir, told me, ‘You don’t have to go live if you are not up for it, just record something.’ He was trying to be kind, but it made me sadder. To not go live? Is that why I returned to the studio even though Taya and my chachas told me not to? Is that why I asked the studio to announce my return even when they were hesitant? Does Sameera give in that easily? About the Book Young Radio Jockey Sameera Parvin from Pakistan immigrates to an unnamed city in the Middle East where she tells the story of the Arab Spring of 2011 in Benyamin’s new novel. Sameera moves to an unnamed Middle Eastern city to live with her father and her relatives. She thrives in her job as a radio jock…
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The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: Book Review

About the Book

The Ramayana, one of the world’s greatest epics, is also a tragic love story. In this brilliant retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita’s version. The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity, and honor, it is also about women’s struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men, as Chitra transforms an ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills. While the Ramayana resonates even today, she makes it more relevant than ever, in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say, ‘Enough!’ My Take on the Book “In my kingdom, every man will have a voice, no matter how humble he is,” Sita wants to ask, “Wha…

I Am a Home to Butterflies by J Alchem: Book Review

Blurb This collection of poetry is all about you and me, but I am afraid it will no longer be about 'you and me' once a reader picks it up. It will then be about them only. It will be all about the one they loved like thunder, about the one they struggled hard to keep, about the one who had left them in the middle of their 'forever', about their world shattering into pieces, about them gluing together every piece, and about them falling in love one more time. And if you still think it is about you and me, you haven't loved someone like thunder, yet.
My Take on the Book Poetry? Who doesn’t love them? They are the simplest, yet the most beautiful way to express one’s feeling. Just a few line and people are inspired by it. Just a few sentences and it tells you a complete story. My latest poetry book turned out to be, 'I Am a Home to Butterflies’ by J Alchem, the book is a collection of poetries written about Love, Life, Heartbreaks, Wisdom, Obstacles and more. I read t…

Bestseller by Ahmed Faiyaz: Book Review

About the Book Bestseller, a novel by Ahmed Faiyaz is a story about a 30 something man named Akshay Mathur, an out of work editor of a defunct literary magazine in the UK and a divorcee. He is forced to go to India to help shore up an old publishing house. Having an outstanding credit debt, he wished to pay it off and free himself by saying 'yes' to joining Kalim Publication. The death of Iqbal Kalim- the owner, left him with no choice but to take over the ailing publication house and help it build its value in the competitive publication market. Given an ultimatum by Angus Lee, the new owner of Thomson Lee Books, Akshay has to publish at least five bestsellers in the coming year, failing which the business would be wound up. He must find a way of making a success out of books he would never publish or would never even read. To complicate things further, he has to contend with a motley crew of has-beens and misfits working for the publishing house as well as wannabe writers, de…

Two Leaves and a Bud by M.A Chacko: Book Review

About the Book M. A. Chacko, the author of the book Two Leaves and a Bud shares his rich insights into the lives of the Syrian Christian community of India. Three distinct stories weave their magic in this novel: The first, The Faithful Husband, stars Seby, a true Sunday Christian, who has acquired land from the Malabar Namboodiris and retain the land for his family, using any means. The protagonist of the second book is a young Catholic boy from Kerala, who sets off for greener pastures to earn a living as a construction worker. Chacko fluently discusses the interplay of family, values, society, marriage, dowry, and property on the day-to-day life of the community. The Holiday, the final book in this trilogy, is a day in the life of Raymond, who wanders through old haunts in Goa on his day off. With its leisurely pace and graceful style, The Holiday gently touches ethics, culture, politics, and religion in this multi-cultural tourist hotspots. My Take on the Book Don't get confused wi…

Book Review: A Rural Manifesto by Feroze Varun Gandhi

Before I begin my review, let me notify that this read is an 800+ pages book. Which at first, I thought I will leave this book in my #DNF list. However, as I started skimming through the pages, I was engrossed and hooked to finishing it. The book left me amused by the amount of research the author must have gone through. I am talking about the book- A Rural Manifesto: Realizing India’s Future Through Her Villages by Feroze Varun Gandhi. About the Book Feroze Varun Gandhi, the author of ‘A Rural Manifesto’ is a second-term Member of Parliament, who represented the Pilibhit constituency in 2009, and was elected from the Sultanpur constituency in 2014. He was the youngest ever National Secretary of the BJP from 2008–11, and the youngest ever National General Secretary of the Party from 2011–14. He is a member of its National Executive. In his book, the author talks about the effort to make Indian agriculture globally competitive. Like I have mentioned, the author must have through an unabat…

Shashi Tharoor, Sudha Murty, Ruskin Bond, Soha Ali Khan and Benyamin win big at the 16th Crossword Book Award

In its 16th edition, the prestigious Crossword Book Award in association with Shoppers Stop, Home Stop and Kotak Mahindra Bank witnessed a remarkable literary event, which saw a venerable celebration of Indian writing in English for books published in the year 2017 at the majestic Royal Opera House - Mumbai. As India’s oldest and most respected literary award, the Crossword Book Award encompasses a total of 11 awards in categories such as fiction, non-fiction, children’s, translation in the jury as well as popular categories. Two additional categories - business & management and health & fitness are part of the popular awards alone. The summit of the evening is the Lifetime Achievement Award, instituted in 2016, given to a literary stalwart. Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner and prolific author with a global fan following, was conferred the same, for his exemplary contribution to Indian writing in English. For the first time in the history of Crossword Book …