Thursday, October 24, 2013

Baramulla Bomber - Book Review

About the Book
Title: Baramulla Bomber
Author: Clark Prasad
Publisher: Niyogi Books
ISBN: 978-93-81523-97-1
No. of pages: 315
Price: INR 395
Genre: Science Fiction
About the Author
Clark Prasad, alter ego of Suraj Prasad, could be called a mixed citizen. Born in a leap year (year of Rocky, All the President’s Men, Omen, Hera Pheri and Kalicharan) in Lagos, Nigeria he lived most of his life in New Delhi and had his education in Lagos, Delhi, Mangalore and Kozhikode. His family background is from the town where George Orwell, author of 1984 (a dystopian fiction) was born, and where Mahatma Gandhi had re-ignited India’s freedom movement – Motihari.

A pharmacist with a management degree who believes in conspiracy theories, Baramulla Bomber is his first book. His first education o he mysteries of the universe came via Carl Sagan's Cosmos, and since then he never looked back on reading, watching and discussing about the universe. He grew up during the cold war days with BBC radio was one of his mysterious companions as a kid, when his father played the news regularly every day. World War II news and documentaries on CIA-KGB tussle kept him engaged.

As a kid he wanted to be an archaeologist or an astronaut, but fate had its own road and he got involved with Mr. Carbon aka Chemistry. Currently he is a healthcare management consultant, based at Bengaluru, Planet Earth.

Aside of writing, travelling and hiking, he is deeply involved in alumni activities for his Alma Mater.

Clark's favourite authors are Robin Cook, Jeffery Archer, Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth and Tom Clancy. Books like The Odessa File, Patriot Games, Coma, Not a Penny More not a Penny Less, and of course Da Vinci Code are some of his favourites.
The Cover Speaks
A fervid cover with eyes of a man peeping out of the secret gives the book a thrill look.

An Ancient Weapon from the Vedas & Bible
Once Hunted by the Nazis
Powered by the Sound of the Universe

Reborn with the Help of Quantum Physics
Going to be Unleashed onto the World
And Kashmir Holds its Secret
The only way
Multiple intelligence agencies are tracking Mansur Haider, a god-fearing aspiring cricketer from Kashmir. His girlfriend, Aahana Yajurvedi, is trying to locate her missing mountaineering team, which vanished after a mysterious earthquake struck Shaksgam Valley. Investigating Mansur and the Shaksgam Valley incident is Swedish intelligence officer, Adolf Silfverskiold, whose only relationship to God consists of escorting his girlfriend to Church.
To save the world
A dual China-Pakistan battlefront scenario facing the Indian Home Minister, Agastya Rathore, whose ancestors carry a prehistoric secret linked to the stars. He is faced with the challenge of finding a lasting solution to the Kashmir crisis.
Is to challenge one’s faith
Which biblical weapon was tested in Shaksgam valley? Why is Mansur Haider important? Is there a solution to the Kashmir crisis? Can destiny be controlled? Does a cosmic religion exist?

Book Review
Baramulla Bomber is book eka (one) of Svastik Trilogy, a trilogy which looks into the origins of universe, Vedas and the destiny of human race.

More than a billion people are praying for India’s new fast pace bowler Mansur Haider from Kashmir to succeed. One politician is making sure the Indian subcontinent is at peace while another is trying to get forgiveness from his nation. One Swedish intelligence officer is trying to decode a puzzle by a fanatic who is making one last ditch attempt to bring chaos to the world. And all of them are connected to Mansur Haider and Kashmir. As a result a secret will be revealed.

The book absorbs many scientific theories and historical events which are deftly used in the plot throughout the book. This shows the potential of the author and readers look forward for the next two books in trilogy.

With a plot that revolves around Kashmir, Pakistan, China, cricket, ancient secret societies, and espionage? Baramulla Bomber is one heady cocktail that will make for page turning reading and introspection.

In a Nutshell
The author has intensely worked over this thriller and it becomes evident as the story becomes a page turner. With an intense plot, the reader becomes curious to find out what happens next. So grab a copy and find out what is it all about.
My Rating
Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi
This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hiccups - Book Review

About the Book
Title: Hiccups
Author: Harsh Pande
Publisher: Jaico Publishing house
ISBN: 978-81-8495-414-2
No. of pages: 325
Price: INR 199
Genre: Fiction/ Love story
About the Author

Harsh Pande was born and educated at Pune. In spite of suffering from complex orthopedic disorders by birth, which entailed a battle for rehabilitation through several surgeries, he displayed an unusually resilient spirit and a remarkable lust for life. He topped the Maharashtra State Board Examinations both in the 10th and 12th standards while studying at St. Vincent's High School and Junior college. He also represented the West Zone in the popular and televised Bournvita Quiz Contest while at school. He then graduated with a distinction from the prestigious College of Engineering Pune winning a gold medal at the Tata Research Development and Design Centre during his internship.
A successful Computer Engineer, he was selected into one of the leading consulting firms in the world. Through all these years, writing had remained a consistent passion. He wrote actively for the school and college magazines, posted regularly on his widely popular blog and also found time to launch a very mischievous 'Project Breakup' on Facebook. Those who came in contact with him were fascinated by his wit and indomitable cheerful attitude towards life.
Hiccups is his debut novel; the inspiration for which was "an epiphany" he experienced while holidaying in Goa. You can find more about him at
Harsh Pande, sadly, passed away on 23rd April 2012. He was 24 years,3 months and 16 days old.
Harsh used to inspire by saying 
“No one has a monopoly on ideas!”
“You have to experience life before you can express it.”
The Cover Speaks
The book cover is endearing and attracting. A smiling lady in the embrace of a man with colourful "HICCUPS - A love story with a difference" catches one's eyes. The black cover with floating pink hearts gives it a soft touch.

" You came into my life and changed everything... forever. Before you walked into my life, all I did was survive... you made me rediscover what it means to be alive."
Hiccups is a tender love story. It revolves around the life of the protagonist and his struggles  - caring for his mother, paying for his engineering expenses and doing well in his studies.  What happens when he meets a beautiful, witty and intelligent girl with a penchant for the good things in life?

Destiny brings the two of them together under the unlikeliest of circumstances. What follows is a fascinating journey that will change their lives forever.
Book Review
Hiccups is truly a love story with a difference. The most distinguishing factor of the book is that the protagonist and his beloved are given no names throughout the book. Yet there arose no need of calling  the protagonist by any name. See the beauty of the script! 

This entire script depicts how profound knowledge the author held right from G.K. to relationships to the essence of life. 

The boy lost his father at the age of eleven and now is shouldered with the responsibility of her comatose mother. He struggles to pay the hospital bills and his college fees by his academic excellence winning one or the other quiz. At such a quiz called 'Fastermind', he meets a girl who brings life to his dead life. He comes out to be very witty and amusing throughout the quiz. The dialogues woven by the author are superb. She chases him to discover why such an intelligent guy keeps himself isolated from the world, what is his secret lair where he rushes as soon as the classes end? As she finds out the truth, their few days friendship seems to be stabbed by her stupid act. He blames her of spying him. What happens next? Does their friendship resumes or she is cursed with the blot of a spy?

Will the boy ever see his mother again or will he carry the burden of his ill-fate?

Why do the victories feel like defeats?
Why has the joy been replaced by sorrow?
How much longer will fate fill anguish into my story?
Will I ever witness the sunshine of redemption, in all its glory?
Hiccups- a discotheque is the place where story takes turn and read out more to find what happened there. Some of the lines quoted by the protagonist hits the nail. They make you laugh, they make you feel his emotion, they leave you in the awe of his persona. 

The night arrives just to watch her dance,
The moon peeks through the clouds, just to get a glance.
The slushy mushy conversation will sweep you off your feet. The beauty of the lady and collectednesss of the lad weave an aura in the story. Their pranks make way to gags. Their combat leaves you in despair. Their sweet talks keep you engrossed. 

The book shows the battle of a boy through the trauma of losses but his never-say-die spirit will make you impose your faith and reverence in the character. The beauty with brain also keep you hitched to the book. 
My favourite lines from the Hiccups are
"Whenever something unfortunate happens... we should not ask 'Why did this happen?' These questions have no answers. Because it is not our duty to ask questions of God or our Destiny. All we have to do is move on and live our lives. And that life is all about finding out what happens next."
I feel like author has left his soul in the book. He has penned down his understanding of life, relations and destiny in form of a sweet story. All I can say is, "I'm falling short of words to describe how amazing the magic of Hiccups is. Take a bow, Harsh!".

In a Nutshell
The book is a true roller coaster of emotions. From chuckling to laughing to weeping, it endorses human heart in every way. Grab a copy and start reading it. I bet you will remain lost in the hiccup of Hiccups.
My Rating
Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi

The Guardian Angels - Book Review

About the Book
Title: The Guardian Angels
Author: Rohit Gore
Publisher: Grapevine India Publishers
ISBN: 9789381-841280
No. of pages: 328
Price: INR 125
Genre: Fiction/ Love story
About the Author
Rohit Gore is the author of best selling novels 'Circle of three', 'A darker dawn', 'Focus, Sam'.
Rohit  grew up in a number of towns in India. At various times in his childhood, he wanted to be a theatre actor, an architect and a bookshop owner.

After completing his engineering degree, he based himself in Mumbai. An MBA from S P Jain Institute followed and since then he has been working in the IT industry.

He loves sports, specifically the discussing and watching part of it, since the playing days are long gone. He has travelled a lot – a consequence of living in Mumbai and London. His greatest passion is reading and it inspired him to write. He is a frequent contributor to many online writing forums and wishes there were more writing groups.
He currently lives in Pune, a wonderfully vibrant city with his wife Pranita .He has a keen interest in history, especially the history of music and the arts. One of the things he would like to get better at is photography.
The Cover Speaks
I fell in love with the cover at the very first sight. As they say, "Don't judge a book by its cover" but the cover promises an intriguing love story with the tinge of friendship. The back turned girl with wisps of tress falling on her face enclosed inside the silhouette of a man and the yellow hue draws one towards itself. The dust jacket saying "Brilliant and Addictive" prompts one to read the story at a stretch.
The Guardian Angels is the epic and tumultuous story of two star-crossed lovers who weren’t just soul-mates but were also each other’s protectors.
The fates of Adi Mehta and Radha Deodhar are deeply entwined when within days of their first rendezvous they save each other’s lives. Despite their vast sociopolitical differences, they are drawn to each other and to an uncertain future fraught with contrasting ambitions, personas and ideologies.
. . . he is the son of a billionaire, she is the daughter of a socialist.
. . . he is quiet and unassuming, she is a firebrand and spirited.
However, an unexplained phenomena ties them forever – whenever they are in peril, they are each other’s only saviours.
Over the following two decades Adi and Radha live through hope and despair, joy and sadness, and try to decipher their relationship. As the truth of their bond is revealed, they must confront the true nature of love, and ultimately, their destinies.
Book Review
The story is narrated in five intriguing parts.
I- When Adi and Radha were Teenagers
II- When Adi and Radha were in their late teens
III- When Adi and Radha were in their Twenties
IV- When Adi and Radha were in their Thirties.
V- The Present Day
The story kick starts in the 'Bullyzone' of school ground where Adi sees Radha for the first time. They become each others' saviours and come to the rescue of each others' lives. Adi emerges as a promising cricket player getting praises and blessings from legends. He was on the way to become the next Sachin Tendulkar when destiny blows off his only passion and forbids him to held his bat aloft in air again. At this point for the first time he gets to see the motherly side of her business woman mother who leaves aside all her work to look after her.
Adi and Radha always run-in over petty trivial issues and this is how they develop a strong bond. The author has nicely portrayed how their small disputes brings them close. As Adi leaves for US to pursue higher education, Radha stays back and joins Sudha Bapat, a social activist following the footsteps of her father.
The hereditary Huntington's disease in Deodhar family plays a major role in Adi and Radha's relationship. As they grow up, love triangles also appear and story takes an interesting twist. Adi pulls off Mehta group from the puddle while Radha uses the might of her pen in Oorja. Time takes turn and unveils the real motives of Sudha Bapat. Drained of all energy Radha drags herself with Vedant, editor of Oorja . And Adi finds pleasure with Nicole, his collegemate. What happens to these couples? What Huntington's hunts for? What Adi and Radha  are destined for ? Numerous questions popping up gets answered in The Guardian Angel.
The story is put up in Radha's diary alongwith putting light on other characters. I liked the way author has put up the story in form of Radha's ramblings. Lucid flow of words gives life to each character and it seems the entire plot is running right in front of your eyes.
Rohit Gore! You have proved the might of your pen. Kudos!!!
In a Nutshell
I found myself lost in the book as soon as I started reading it. Get yourself a cup of coffee and push yourself in the chair to let the magic unwind. Love, friendship, social rebels, politics, disease, relations will all tie you in a bond with the book.
My Rating
Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi

Monday, October 7, 2013

Never Mind Yaar- Book Review

About the Book
Title: Never Mind Yaar
Author: K. Mathur
Publisher: Southpac Publishers Ltd.
ISBN: 978-0-473-17480-4
No. of pages: 220
Price: INR 350
Genre: Fiction
About the Author
Born and brought up in Mumbai, K.Mathur lives with her family in New Zealand. Mathur showcases her unique perspective into her city’s psyche in Never Mind Yaar. She holds a blogspace at 'Never Mind Yaar'. Her articles on the environment have been published by the "Green Dream Foundation, India".
“I’ve always enjoyed my city except when violence has erupted between communities. On the whole people seem to get along fine. We are proud of our own community but accept that others are proud of theirs. The food we eat, the clothes we wear and the languages and dialects we converse in are diverse and most of us say vive la difference. But there’s a handful in every community who are extremely suspicious of those differences.”
“Why is secularism or a different way of doing things such a threat to these people? This issue has disturbed me since the 1980s when I witnessed communal riots in Mumbai. I felt compelled to talk about it in Never Mind Yaar. But first and foremost, the book is a love story and a story of friendship and fun between three young girls from different backgrounds – Hindu, Parsi and Christian – who meet at college.”
The Cover Speaks
The cover is a bit of bizarre. With watermark of banyan tree, the small cartoon of three friends and a fancy gate of Gyan Shakti college don't make a good combination. Had it been a plain color with small subtitles , it would have been better.
The title is an attitude - our tendency to feel defeated by the scale and nature of certain problems. Rather than meet them head on, we circumvent them with a sigh and a consoling “never mind, yaar”.

When long time friends Binaifer Desai and Louella D’Costa meet Shalini Dayal at Gyan Shakti College, a true friendship that transcends cultural and religious backgrounds is born. Louella is a Christian, Binaifer, a Parsi and Shalini, a Hindu.

The novel’s main plotline surrounds Shalini who has fallen for an impetuous student activist, Bhagu. Where does his desire to help the less fortunate lead him? The challenges are many - Shalini’s tradition bound family, the couple’s youth and inexperience and the travails of life in Mumbai, a city the girls love but know, is fraught with communal tension.
The book has been endorsed by several readers and it's evident from its dust jacket.
"To me the book is a mixture of history, cultural information and a lovely story rolled into one. Unique and compelling."- Sarah, UK
"I read, I related, I loved." - Benifer, Mumbai
"Never Mind Yaar is driven by a strong narrative, a rich cast of characters and a strong sense of place which is intriguing for noth Indian and non-Indian readers."- Graeme Lay, reviewer, NZ
"A page turner." - John McCarthy, Author, NZ.
The author, KayEm has also made a lovely video on the story. You can watch it HERE.
Book Review
College, canteen and friends - three most intriguing words when come together takes you back to your good old days and you find yourself in the best of your time. The book depicts the friendship of three friends- Shalini, Binaifer and Louella and a love scene between Shalini and Bhagu. The mingling of different cultures between the three friends Louella, a Christian, Binaifer, a Parsee and Shalini from a very orthodox Hindu family has been well penned. The author has given a political tinge to the story through Bhagu. The expected indulgence in college fun lacks in the story. It's a slow paced one-time read.
In a Nutshell
Though I found the book a bit verbose but it provides a good read taking you back to your college days and take a dip in your old memories and some lost-forgotten friends.
My Rating
Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi

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