Sunday, 28 August 2016

Gurgaon's "Majnu Drive" - Something for women safety

#RandomThoughts #WomenInIndia

I came across a news last night and I was immensely happy and impressed, not because I like to go
out at night etc. but because it is high time that women should start feeling safe in their own country and police out there is doing something about it.

The condition of women is horrible and you don't need to pick up a newspaper to know it. All you need to do is to step out if you are a female or -if you are a male - ask a female in your family. There are hardly any places in India where one can feel safe and I speak from a lot of personal experiences.

What I am glad to see is that at least Gurgaon police did something different. I am not sure about any such drives in any other city so I can't comment there. 

Gurgaon police led a drive this weekend where they placed women police officer in plain clothes on streets of Gurgaon and addressed the rising issue of women abuse and eve-teasing.

The drive is called "Majnu drive" where over 50 men were arrested and put in special 'majnu cells' for making inappropriate comments, gestures or more at women. 50 men arrested on 1 street in 2 hours is too much and clearly states the current condition.

I also read that this drive was also conducted in December 2015 where more than 250 men were placed under arrest. Did that improve the condition of streets or mind-set of men who step out in order to do such offensive things - I don't think so. But if such drives are conducted regularly it would at least instill a fear, a doubt that maybe there is someone who can cause them some consequences.

I really wish and hope that such drives are more frequent and spread across India so that all over India women feel safe and they can step out whenever they want and not just when 'society allows them'

I hope you agree with me.

News article here.

Love and Cheers

Monday, 22 August 2016

Book - Her Resurrection - Be ready to take an emotional rollercoater ride

#HerResurrection   #BookReviews

Read Review Policy Here

Title: Her Resurrection
Author: Soumyadeep Koley
Publisher: Gargi Publishers
Pages: 260
Price: Rs. 199
My Rating: 3.5/5

So begins Maya’s story in the picturesque countryside of Maharashtra, where she grows up amidst cruelty and domestic violence, being an unwanted girl-child. Yet, like a lonesome beacon beset by sinister wilderness, she pursues her dreams of reaching the stars with her tiny wings. One night, a twist of fate triggers a series of incidents, when she loses everything she had—even her virginity.

Severely traumatized after her father’s death, her mother’s imprisonment, and her own gang-rape, Maya finds herself all alone in the streets of Mumbai, with wolves lurking around for raw flesh. She’s weary, but not wary. She has no sense of the fate that awaits her. What follows, would change her life forever, as also yours, as her heart wrenching, yet inspiring story echoes through time.

‘Her Resurrection’ bravely paints an appalling picture of the society. Heartbreaking, hopeful and immensely healing at the same time, this emotional rollercoaster through dreams, tragedy and triumph is a moving tribute to womankind. Are you ready to embark on a transformational journey with Maya?

It's a scary world out there and it is clearly evident in this book.
What made me pick up this book was the title - 'Her Resurrection' clearly indicates what to expect out of the book and the blurb defines it very well too. We all have heard the condition of women in India, but reading it in such detail is whole other story. Also the cover is different, you look at it and for a moment you feel, 'Whao, that's intense'

The story revolves around Maya who struggles her way in Mumbai. You  name the violence and she has endured it but unlike many others she finds her way out and resurrects in a new form. It is a very intriguing and soul-touching story. It gives you chills at various instances but you would not dare put the book down. And although the topic is common these days and situations are little too predictable, you tend to be mesmerised in the words and Maya's world. 

The author, being a guy, has done a wonderful job in putting himself in shoes of women while writing the story. I liked the command and the flow.

The characters are well drafted, however, I feel the lack of relationship definition between Maya and her mother. This could have been written a bit more to bring more taste.

Overall, it was beautiful read, it's just that it had a few drawbacks. To start with it was kind of predictable, but we can ignore that as the story has its own charm. There were some grammar and editing issues which are visible here and there, and lastly, some descriptions were too detailed. With so much details one tends to lose focus.

However, all in all, I liked the book and would recommend it to everyone who would like to read on women issues and something different from romance.

My rating: 3.5/5. You can grab your copy here..

Hope the review helps.

The review copy of this book was shared with me by Cyclops Literary Services

Love and Cheers

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Book - Hill Billy: Take a trip down your childhood and hills


Title: Hill Billy
Author: Shivdutta Sharma
Publisher: Yogi Impressions
Pages: 206
Price: Rs. 202
My Rating: 3.5/5

A mango ensures the birth of a son…
Ghosts hoot and cackle in a forest…
A tiger strikes terror in the heart of a village…
A boy experiences the first stirrings of desire…

On trips back to his hometown, memories appear, cling, and then fade away like the mist in the Himalayan foothills. Tracing the pangs and pleasures of growing up during the time of missionary schools, wind-up gramophones, hand-pulled designer rickshaws, maharanis in their imitation castles, busty film stars of the black-and-white era – a lone, all-brown boy in an all-white American school comes to grips with his coming of age.

Fast-paced and furiously funny, The Hill Billy zips up the otherwise tranquil, languid, laid-back life in a hill station that hasn’t quite got over the hangover of its British past.

The debut work of an author who has spent a big chunk of his life coining advertising slogans and jingles – The Hill Billy runs riot with its take-off on school teachers, hunters, swamis, dairy farmers, and nosy neighbours. In the process, it takes a somewhat whacky, irreverent and cynical view of the characters who love, laugh and come alive through its crackling narrative.

Hill Billy is the second book I have read of Shivdutta Sharma and I am not disappointed.
To me it is nothing like what my childhood was, but it is rather entertaining to read from someone else's perspective.

The story revolves around the time of India's Independence. When a boy is born out of a mango - we consider it pure superstition these days (well in some of us at least), I found it utterly hilarious. As if a mango can turn the chromosome factor, haha. Anyways,  it is written in those old superstitious days and it totally makes sense. And the story continues in conjunction with the adventures of the boy and his family. How they move to India, how various incidences take place and he grows up.

The characters are rather interesting and will mostly remind you of your own aunts, uncles, grand-mom especially. Many women can also relate to their own mother-in-laws ;). The way certain characters are written, it is simply hilarious. You cannot help but feel how silly sometimes relatives behave and maybe laugh on some of your real life characters as well.

What struck me most is the way the time during Independence is written. Esp when Gandhiji was murdered. The way it is written gives you a glimpse into the grief that our nation felt - though us, today's generation, most of us literally don't care about what happened then. But it is worth praising.

Overall, it is a nice read and would make you want to go back to your childhood and play again and enjoy with those lost (in touch) cousins.

My rating for the book is 3.5/5.

You should grab a copy here if you would like to go down the memory lane too.

The review copy was sent to me by Anuj Kumar, Kalamos Literary Services.

Love and Cheers

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Book - Soft Target: A thought provoking novel with key message for Life


Title: Soft Target
Author: Kalyan Nanda
Publisher: Notion Press
Pages: 212
Price: Rs. 249
My Rating: 3/5

Is God good? Or is He a manipulative villain who plays with the lives of his creations in the name of karma? As far as Mohan Mishra is concerned, God is a villain. Mohan is God's soft target, for He 'blesses' him with a strange mental problem and kills his support system when he needed it the most. The Soft Target is the story of a boy's journey into manhood, as he takes on God with his mental prowess, defeating Him at every stage, thus making God his soft target. Supported by great friends and a loving wife, Mohan fights an epic battle against the murderous society, the conniving legal system and ultimately God himself, with remarkable courage and spirit.

While reading blurb, soft target seems like an interesting book and believe me it is.
Firstly Kudos to the author for coming up with a story that revolves around a man who has such strange and rare mental problem. Mohan, the protagonist of the book is a genius - a literal genius, but suffers from mental issues. Sounds ironic but it is true (I don't want to spoil author's suspense here so please read the book to know about it :D). The story basically revolves around his life from boyhood to manhood and his struggles and his challenges with God - who apparently is the villain of the story. 

What I liked about the book is the ultimate message it is trying to convey. Mohan, from whom everything has been taken, uses three tools of life to achieve great heights i.e. Hope, Knowledge, Guts. The story motivates readers to follow their dreams and always have hope. It motivates one to attain enough knowledge to reach the goal and finally, motivates one to have enough guts to see it through.

The other characters of the story, Samidha, Brij, Nikhil and Revathy. Their story is nicely gelled together with Mohan's and at times you feel you are not getting enough of them.

Another thing that I really liked about the book is the explanation of certain things, like life, hope and song - 'Hotel California'. Read it, I am sure you will like it too.

What I didn't like about the book is its predictability. To me it was highly predictable at times and ruined the fun. There were some grammatical errors but one can ignore them. Also, it is like the only book which actually has abusive language in some places. I have read books where people drop f-bomb (my upcoming novel too has it) but to have Hindi ones is rare. I believe author believed it to be integral part of story line but sorry to say I didn't find it appealing, instead I found them distracting.
Another thing I didn't like was the parallel story line. It goes one from beginning and pops up every now and then. To me it ruined the flow and could have been better. Yes, it was very important for the ultimate climax but still!
Talking about climax (and few other scenes), it is very - very depressing. I know all novels don't have to be happy ending but this one got very depressing. I made a mistake and read whole book one a weekend and it led to a bleak Sunday evening - so head's up.

My rating to the book is 3/5 primarily for the good script, unique thoughts and motivation.

I hope you enjoy the book too.

You can grab the copy here.

The review copy of this book was shared with by Cyclops Literary Services.

Love and Cheers.