Thursday, 5 April 2018

Book: Road to Cherry Hills: A Motivating Story


Title:  Road to Cherry Hills
Author: Sohini Bagchi
Publisher: LiFi Publications
Pages: 176
Price: Rs. 225 
My Rating: 3.5/5

Road to Cherry Hills takes us into the world of Rimjhim, as she walks down the memory lane to her campus days where she meets Ankit, falls head over heels for him and thought her life has changed forever. Of course it did, but in the most unexpected ways, as she soon finds her life taking a completely different turn. Rimjhim, now a single mother and a successful professional, moves on to fight her own battle. She didn't need special power to do so, but a strong willpower to overcome difficult times. That willpower which we all have but we are only one step away to realise it. The story narrates her trials and tribulations, her dilemmas and achievements, her darkest fears and her deepest desires as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery.

As I started reading through the initial pages of the book, I was mesmerized by the natural beauty of Cherry Hills as it is so beautifully depicted by the author. The initial pages made me wish for a vacation... [sigh!]

The story revolves around Rimjhim's life and how she coped up with every situation. It is a motivational story showcasing how life threw so many issues at Rimjhim and how she stayed motivated and found her footing.  While reading you tend to wonder 'does so many bad things happen to one good person?' - answer obviously is yes and not just in a story but also in real lives.

It is a beautiful story and so well-narrated that you feel and endure everything with Rimjhim and feel depressed at times. Hence it is not for people who only like to read happy-happy stuff :)

Talking about characters, Rimjhim's character is built overtime and while reading you learn all about her. However for all other side characters, a bit of background and additional narration is required. As a reader I could not relate to anyone except for Rimjhim.

What I found lacking in the story is Rimjhim's relation with her daughter. The birth of her daughter was a pivotal point and their relationship should have been explored more.

The climax of the book is just as per expectation. 'What goes around, comes around' is a popular phrase and it was kind of expected to happen. To some people it is 'way too optimistic' but I believe in Karma and it is well depicted here.

Overall I liked the book and my rating for it is 3.5/5

Do give it a try.

Lots of love

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Meet Sohini Bagchi - An Author cum Journalist cum Blogger


  • Hi Sohini, please tell us something about yourself.

First of all, thanks for giving me the opportunity to feature in your blog. I am Sohini, a journalist, blogger and author of ‘Road to Cherry Hills’, a contemporary adult fiction.

I was born and brought up in Kolkata. I have always enjoyed writing and reading story books. As a child, I liked making up stories and writing them on my personal diaries. I remember how in my high school, I was so rejoiced to get selected to write for one of the leading newspapers in the city, The Statesman for its school supplement. It was a great learning experience at that tender age that motivated me to become a journalist.

Later, I pursued my masters in media and communication studies from Manipal Institute of Communication in Karnataka. I also received the National Human Rights Promotion Award for my work on Child labour in 2003.

I’ve worked with several media organizations including Hindustan Times, Times of India and IDG Media. Currently I work as Chief Editor with a leading tech media firm in Bangalore. I love to mentor young minds in the field of writing and communication. I’ve traveled to various countries and exotic places. Traveling, I believe is a great way to learn and excel. During my spare time, I love to read, listen to music and practice Karate and Yoga. More than anything, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially with my son Kush.

  • You have recently published ‘Road to Cherry Hills’, please tell us something about it.

‘Road to Cherry Hills’ is a contemporary adult fiction. It revolves around the story of a young woman, Rimjhim, as she walks down the memory lane of her college campus, and recalls how her love life began in the lively educational town and just when everything seemed perfect, life took a shocking U-turn, leaving Rimjhim distraught as she had to fight her own battle. In her journey of life, she runs into different people, meets with new experiences, and explores new places, and in the process starts to bring bigger changes towards communities and the society. The book spans over a decade, includes different characters with shades of black, white and grey - who play a part in Rimjhim’s journey of self-discovery. In other words, it narrates the challenging and inspirational story of Rimjhim and her tryst with life.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

There are so many inspirations when I look around; so many things we learn, or experience from people, books and the world around us - some keep inspiring us and help us to move ahead in life with greater zeal. At some point in time, it becomes important to reflect on those experiences. To me, the best way to do so is through written words. I must have wanted to write books since I was a child and unknowingly followed my dream. My parents always encouraged me to do what I liked to do. My mother is a writer. Her simple yet powerful style of writing also motivates me to keep writing. All these inspired me to write my debut novel.

  • What do you like more – writing your stories or working in your profession?

Unlike many people, I’d been fortunate to turn my passion into profession. I am an editor and my job involves writing on people and their businesses. Even though that’s different from writing a fiction, end of day, you tell stories about people to your readers – their success, challenges and aspirations and so on. While working on my debut novel and in the process of getting the book published, I learnt a lot of things. Writing to me is like breathing. It gives me a voice, a sense to my life and connects me with people and ‘myself’ better.

  • What kind of books do you read? Any favourite authors/books?

I love reading different kinds of book to indulge my curiosity and never really restricted myself to a particular genre. I read both non-fiction and literary fiction. I’m fond of autobiographies, memoirs, science fiction, horror, historical fiction, mythology, technology, and many more. Likewise, books on cinema, as well as economic and social issues equally appeal to me.

Well, it is really difficult to single out a few favourites from the troves of books I’ve read [smiles] – there are actually so many - from Shakespeare to Tagore, from Tolstoy to George Orwell, from Jane Austen to Enid Blyton, from H.G Wells to JK Rowling and from O’Henry to Ruskin Bond [the list is endless] – they all inspire me right from my growing up years. My mother Shampa Bagchi is a published author of several books and I enjoy reading her books too, along with other contemporary writers.

  • What were the key challenges that you face while you write?

There’s so much to write, but so little time. With so many details to attend in our day to day life - both at the workplace and personal life, I sometimes delay writing for a ‘better time’. However, the truth is that the ‘better time’ will just not come unless you make that happen. So, since my college days, I have Friday nights to myself – that’s my dedicated writing window, and I look forward to it every week. Also, for new authors like me, finding a good publisher is certainly a challenge. I also came across some fake ones. As for me, my manuscript was rejected twice till a found a very supportive and detail-oriented publisher who took a lot of interest in the story and my book.

  • Which phase of book you hate most? Writing, Editing, Marketing, or something else?

Writing and editing [and even rewriting] are things I enjoy, as that’s been my domain, while, marketing and promotional activities are gradual processes for which I rely a lot on my publisher LiFi Publications, who has been very kind. There’s nothing that I hated in particular in the journey of writing my book and getting it published. Every phase is like a learning experience and I still have a long way to go.

  • Are there any words of wisdom that you would like to share with new authors?

New authors, especially millennials are smart [and very focused] hence I have nothing much to say, except that I would gladly quote Steve Jobs' famous saying which I too believe: the best way to learn more and achieve more  is to ‘Stay hungry… stay foolish’. I also add to that ‘Stay humble’. By following our heart, our intuition, and dreams, we can attain greater heights.  

  • Any other projects you are working on? Yes, what are they?

I have started working on a collection of short stories and I hope to complete the book by the end of this year. There’s also another novel in the pipeline, which may take some time. I also intend to update my blog more regularly.

  • Lastly, if you have to describe your book in few lines, how will you do it?

Road to Cherry Hills can be described as an inspiring story of a strong willed woman. In my book, the main female protagonist appears as the girl next door, but under circumstances, she turns out as a strong, independent woman who struggles to beat the odds against her and moves ahead in life. She is also sentimental and passionate. While writing the book, I felt connected to Rimjhim and believe many of you can identify with her joys, sorrow, passion and aspiration.

Hope you enjoyed reading about Sohini and her book 'Road to Cherry Hills'. Do grab a copy of her book from Amazon today.

Lots of Love

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Book - Imperfect Misfits: A Tale of Love and Friendship


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers
Title:  Imperfect Misfits
Author: Devanshi Sharma
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Pages: 208
Price: Rs. 88 
My Rating: 2.5/5

Tiasha: I am very annoyed.
Aakaash: That’s your job, Tiasha. Good that you are doing it well.
Tiasha: And I am very serious.
Aakaash: When are you not!
Tiasha: Argh! I hate you, Aakaash. 
Aakaash: Thank God for small mercies! 
Just like a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes the sizzling chocolate brownie delicious, these best friends complimented each other. A chef by passion, Tiasha jumps and waves through her professional choices, while Aakaash, the witty stand-up comedian, knows exactly what he wants.
He was the tranquility which refugees crave to stay in and she was the refugee, who wanted to wander and explore. Imperfect Misfits is a story of perfect misfits, food, frolic, emotions and their endless imperfections.
The question is, will their friendship survive through this wavy journey of love?

Imperfect Misfits, as the name suggests is a story of two people who entirely different yet suitable for each other. This book is a story of Tiasha and Aakaash. They are best friends, who (like so many boy-girl bffs) are in love with each other. They are opposite ends of a pole, yet they are together. This is a story of love and friendship, and how things turn upside down when two come together.

What I liked about the book is its story. Thinking about plot, it is rather common but the way it has been narrated, in conjunction with so many anecdotes, makes it different and enjoyable.

Characters of the story are built and described very well. Few chapters and you are already hooked to them.

What I didn't like about the book is the author narration in between. All throughout I wondered what was the purpose of them... they only disrupted the flow and to be honest, irritated me! I had to skip them throughout.

Another aspect I didn't like was at times story was too dragged. And I had to put it down for sometime and then continue. The flow was fine but it could have been fast-paced.

Overall it is an okay read. My rating for it is 2.5/5

Lots of love

Thursday, 22 March 2018

#CuttingPaani - Why we should save Water and How?


Image result for save waterI get most agitated when someone wastes water... 'Paani hi to hai' is what I hear when I complain. But what people don't understand is that water is a very precious and expensive commodity just like electricity, gas and everything else. Just because we don't pay for water (most of us) doesn't mean we have the authority to waste it.

Why do I feel so much about water? Well to be honest, we don't learn importance of something until we lose it completely. And a few years ago, the water supply to our society was hampered and there was no water. For one whole day there was no water (drinking or cleaning) and due to road construction, no water tank could reach us. It was a nightmare. We survived more than 20 hours on some stored water and bottled water. And that was the day I realized the importance of this so-called 'free' commodity. 

Image result for save waterThere are various ways through which I conserve and save water. I have mentioned them below:
1. Taking bath using bucket - this helps reduce water consumption significantly. In shower, we unknowingly waste a lot of water
2. Storing RO wastage water and using it for cleaning and washing clothes - Using RO is a necessity everywhere now. But every 1 cup of purified water results in 4 cups of wasted water. So, storing it and using it is a big-big water conservation
3. Left over water - Many times water is left in drinking glass or gets stale stored in water bottle. Where many people throw it away, I don't. I water my plants with it. It is a great way to use the excessive water and my dear plants also get healthy and purified water. - yes we should not be taking excessive water in glasses and wasting it. But like said, it is very difficult to control other people...!

Also the society my house is, it has an excellent water conservation method. They store every day used water, clean it and then supply it for flushing toilets. Sometimes the filters don't work and we get exceptionally dirty water (big issues during those days) but normally, it is a great idea as water is recycled and used again.

I am writing this post to be a part of the #cuttingpani, an initiative by Livpure. I pledge to conserve more water, do you?

Follow link to know more.

Lots of love


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