Looking for Love?

August 31, 2013

Short Notes on A BLUE BALL and why not to think about it?

[This review is done in association with the "The Reader Cosmos" Book review program]

Author : Malti Bhojwani
Publisher : OM Books International

Rating : 3 / 5

I must confess i am not a great fan of self-help books but still have been reading it over the years in the hope that i will come across some worthy books in this genre. If at all, they do provide a bit of motivation and inspiration in an otherwise routine life.

The author has divided the book into various chapters in such a way that it provides a particular theory, different point of view, examples to illustrate those points and relevant exercises to practically implement those theories. What impressed me the most that the author was not shy in divulging her personal life and most of the pertinent points/examples are actually drawn out from her life, which at times have been difficult and full of hardships.

Malti Bhojwani is the founder of Multi Coaching International, a professional certified life Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF), NIP practitioner (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and an author. She coaches using her empathetic enquiry that leads her clients to personal empowerment, fulfilled goals and consistent success. Being a life-long learner, she is also mastering Ontological Coaching with Newfield Network to hone her skills, as she still considers herself only a 'white-belter' in the field of personal transformation.

The author says right at the beginning that this book is as light as you think and as deep as it can be. I kinda agree with it. The symbolism of a blue ball can be related to anything negative in life and how we tend to focus more on them and not the positives. The narrative is full of the spirituality shrouded in life and provides utmost satisfaction when you overcome the obstacles. There is a certain calmness in her writing which rubs off on you as a person while reading it.

There are repetitions at various places, more so in explaining the same theory from different angles and could have been shorter by around 40 pages. I found the exercises a bit uninteresting and tend to skip those. In short, if you are looking for a self help book to motivate and just get a kick start again in life, not a bad way to spend time reading this one!

August 28, 2013

Book Review - 131 : Fire in the Rain

Author : Surendra Mohanty

Publisher : Future books

A serial killer is on the loose. He surfaces in one metropolis after another, leaving behind a trail of murders. He masquerades as respectable citizens in different cities – a naval officer in Mumbai and Hyderabad, a film director’s brother in Kolkata, restaurateur in Bangalore, racehorse buff in Pune – and targets single working women. ACP Kale is desperate to catch the elusive killer before he strikes again, but he has no clue except that the killer invariably strikes on an ominous day – Friday the thirteenth, and hires luxury cars to date his victims. One of his quarries, the beautiful Richa finally tames him.

It is difficult to build any excitement for a novel when through its blurb, foreword and preface; the story and climax has already been revealed. It even more criminal to do so in a serial killer thriller novel. It becomes extremely difficult to muster any courage to build suspense since you are aware exactly how this is going to end. You just wait and see how it will happen.

Book being self published is full of spelling and grammatical errors and if not for genuine noble intentions of the author and some precise research work done on serial killers, this book would have been a complete disaster. Coming off a horrible book cover, the novel maintains a brisk pace and takes the reader through various cities while committing crimes. But we never seem to catch hold of the motivations of the killer nor the sense of urgency with which ACP kale approach the criminals. It sets off on a repetitive mood on every 13th and comes off as completely contrived.

There are multiple loopholes in the narrative and revealing them will spoil the fun (if any!) of reading this book - how conveniently police moves at each location, how even being in different city at times Kale orders other police departments, how easily suspect lists are reduced to just two persons and most importantly, the motive of the murders is so amateurish, you got to demand money for time invested in this book.

The only saving grace was how author builds up the psychological profile of the killer with the help of a friend who helps ACP kale after every murder. There is some decent research being put in by the author to profile the criminal mind of a serial killer and in the end, are the best bits of an otherwise, disappointing novel.

I am going with 2/5 for Surendra Mohanty's 'Fire in the Rain'. More character development, slower pace to solve cases and building up intrigue are they key stones for a serial killer novel. The author touches them but only a superficial level. Hope things can be improved in the next edition.

August 27, 2013

Book Review - 130 : Here Sat a Keymaker

Author : Makarand Lohire
Publisher : Srishti Publishers & Distributors

Here Sat a Key Maker...Of Friendship, Love, Hate and Men grapples with different characters from various strata of society and attempts to provide a realistic version of their complicated lives. It is the story of Javed, Shashank and Preity whose simple lives are provided impetus by poverty, love and ambition. Set against the background of Mumbai, can a poor boy dream of a life with his love? Does the lure of the money drive one to betray one's own? Will fate be kind enough to fulfill their wishes? 

Problem is the narrative is hardly seamless and the Hinglish tone adopted by the author along with cheesy lines is gyrating on the nerves. There is hardly any character development and most of the dialogues have a laboured feel towards it. The author makes a sincere effort in providing a real setting for these characters to flourish but their intentions most of the time is confusing as the story progresses and their motivations flounders.

Story of a key-maker excited me initially but it was soon fizzled out because the tone is preachy and immature. On top of it, instead of going for a straight narrative, the author over uses flashback device that it loses its novelty and the end will leave you confounded completely. Only thing which you can appreciate after reading the book is the sincerity with which author has attempted this one.

I am going with 1.5/5 for Makarand Lohire's 'Here sat a Key Maker'. Even if low brow mass fiction is your style, there are still very little chance you will like this book.

August 18, 2013

Notes on 'Kaleidoscope - Different Strokes for Different Folks'

Author : Multiple
Publisher : Parlance Publications

Rating : 2.5/5

Kaleidoscope is a collection of 25 award winning short stories, selected out of numerous stories received in the online contest organized by SpringTide. Given the short turn around time between conducting the competition and publishing the book (around three weeks in May this year), the production quality of the book has been of low standard with numerous spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes leaving the editing work literally to drains.

The Hunter by Vivek Banerjee, best story amongst all those submitted for the competition provides a climax which very few of us can claim to predict during the course of the story.‘The House'. By Deboshree Bhattacharjee provides an emotional core to the story while 'Tale of the knitting Yarn' by Nabanita Dhar provide a predictable but melodramatic plot to a long distance relationship. 

'Happy puppet' by Bhavya Kuashik spins a story around Angelman Syndrome giving us a story fill of irony and fate. Prasanna Rao’s ‘The Hike to the Temple’ takes the horror genre but hardly provides any scary moments. Half way through the story you can guess the climax and even the atmospherics, an essential part of building a story in this genre leaves a lot to be desired.

'The white dress' by Garima Nowal is sweet, sensitive romantic tale with a twist in the end which keeps you engrossed by its rare maturity. 'The Last Date' by Sarvana Kumar Murugan brings the effective melancholy to the short story but does not invest effectively into the climax as a result of which the feeling of the tragedy appears contrived.

Towards the end of the book, many stories have been fit in just because they are different but rarely do they impress you either with their writing or narrative style. The stories are short and crisp but poor editing at various instances mar the fun of enjoying the book further. A one time read in its present form.