Saturday 30 January 2021

Intimate Sonnets : A Poem

Intimate sonnets
we savour
with magical metaphors
& daydreams
in our sunrise eyes
reflect starshine.

My kiss
will find you
over & over
as the velvet silence
You are mine.


Images: pinterest

Blue Wings : A Poem

My lips, stone hard
poisoned electric blue
wings, Each kiss, a shard
of unholy breath, from you

Your words hold chaos
fake & untrue
I sense only loss,
no present or future with you

Neither regard 
nor respect you brew
On my guard
I am, from you

📷 pinterest 

Wednesday 27 January 2021

Book review of ‘How About A Sin Tonight’ by Novoneel Chakraborty

This is my seventh read of 2021 and second book of this author. It is similar to the earlier read Half-Torn Hearts in most aspects of narration and story-telling acumen. However it is different in that the characterisation involves multiple layers and flashbacks in a back and forth narrative, to take the story forward.


There are multiple key characters whose lives intertwine with one another at different points in their lives. The build-up of suspense is good, because the flashbacks unpeel the characters and storyline, layer by layer. The characterisation delves into intricacies of film-making and challenges of the actors, especially their mental thought flows.

Spoiler Alert: I found a minor character an interesting  case study, because she has no qualms whatsoever, in stealthily reading highly personal love letters of her current acquaintance. More curious is the fact that he doesn’t seem to mind, and then actually ends up with her.


The story brilliantly chalks out the lives of multiple ambitious people whose love-lives entangle with their professional pursuits, leaving behind varied degrees of heartaches, betrayals, recoups, violence and death. It is a study of different facets of human character that try to balance career ambitions with matters of the heart.

The curious part is how most of them end up sleeping with one or the other, in some twist or turn of heart, mind or simply a casual acquaintance. One wonders at this 'filminess' of the film industry, as depicted by the story.


The narrative is interesting because it delves into the minds of all the key characters and gives us a clear perspective of each of them. It is a curious mix of fantastic quotes, as part of the dialogues and also some parts which are a blasé narration of events. Some dialogues are a wee bit too long in a few places, but offer a more detailed insight into the thinking of the characters.

The language is also a mixture of brilliant paragraphs as well as passable lines. Some parts of the story narration include phrases such as ‘ ...she fucked her brains out...’ which make us wonder if better linguistic choices could have been employed, while conceding that this is the perhaps the everyday language of the average English-speaking masses.

Some italicised portions, especially the series of letters are rather long, running into a dozen pages or so, which might be a little hard on the eyes of readers.


Overall, an interesting read. Rating the book 3.8/5.

If you find my review useful, do follow my blog for more.

Happy reading, readers.


Book Review of ‘Marriages Are Made in Kitchen’ by Tanvi Sinha

My sixth book of 2021 and third read of Tanvi’s is very different from the last ones, Dance to My Tunes and The Invisible Victim. The story and premise vary greatly, in the sense that it is a domestic theme of food, that encompasses the challenges presented by the Covid lockdown.


Medhavi and Akash are convincing as the warring couple while the characters of their parents seem realistic, like typical Indian parents who support their offspring, while wanting the best for them. They act as perfect elements that take the story forward. The twist in the tale comes in the form of advice from a friend, but I’d not like to offer any spoilers.


The story is gripping, keeping us wondering whether the inevitable entanglements in the marriage are ironed out or not. Medhavi’s thinking seems fair enough, acknowledging and echoing the thoughts of many a working woman. Does the cooking chore in the kitchen change the relationship or not? Read the book to find out.

I’d have liked the story more, had Akash learned to cook in the end, as a life skill and not just a typical Indian gender equation.


Tanvi’s narrative is short, simple and straightforward. The storyline is slick, well-edited and to the point. It is an easy read, even for people who do not read much.


I rate the book 4.2 out of 5. It is a short and convenient read that can be comfortably finished in less than a couple of hours, at most.

Do follow my blog for more reviews and some poetry as well.

Happy reading, readers.


Monday 25 January 2021

Book Review of 'My Father's Girlfriend' by Jagadish Nadanalli

My fifth read of 2021 is a different book, a new theme - not one, but two love stories, with a difference. The title is self explanatory, and the cover page promises a journey into the past decades of music, moju and masti - fun and frolic.


The best part of the characterisation is the depiction of the love-hate relationship between the father and son. The father's manipulative moves and the son's knowing annoyance are endearing to read about. An Indian son's typical thinking and behaviour is captured realistically. 

The respective girlfriends offer the elements of some suspense and ample romance. 


The language is simple and free-flowing. Some of sentences are structured in the mannerism of Indian dialects, especially  act as a reminder of the Kannada language structure. (for those who know the language). The interesting touches of Korean swear words give it a new feel. The publishers could have edited it a little more prudently in some places.


The story is the strongest point of the book: Love with its complications across two different generations and the search for a long lost  girlfriend, along with the current lovers, leading to some discoveries. It is a simple, yet complicated tale of relationships.


Overall, a light, fun, time-pass read that is wholesome and enjoyable. I rate it 4.1 out of 5. 

Did you like my review? Follow my blog for more.

Happy reading, readers!


Book Review of 'Half Torn Hearts' by Novoneel Chakraborty

This is my fourth read of 2021 as well as the first one by this author, and I wasn't disappointed. The title, cover page and blurb were intriguing enough to entice readers to pick it up. 


It is essentially a love story but the plot twists and its treatment offer the difference. The most endearing parts are those where the childhood of the characters are showcased in all their innocence and their growing up process adds on to their later lives. 

The essential theme is sacrifice for love. There are a few surprise relents interesting into it and the end supports the underlying motif.


What is commendable is how the whole story is woven around only three characters - Raisa, Nirmaan and Afsana - in a compelling manner. The angst and challenges of all three of them, are interwoven convincingly into the story. The etching of each character is deep, detailed and engrossing.

Shanay, although deemed important, is largely a prop, to let us into the lives of the three main protagonists. He does take some precedence towards the end and acts as a fool to Nirmaan's character.

The irony of an academically brilliant guy being rather dumb in the matters of the heart is not lost on the reader. Nirmaan is just too blind to see the truth - the hazy line between friendship and love. I liked the depiction of the pure soul-sister kind of friendship between Raisa and Affu. 

Afsana's behaviour doesn't ring completely true, especially towards the second half of the story. Why would a girl supposedly so deeply in love with a man for more than a decade jump into bed with such extreme nonchalance, with another man? It seems like a forced addition, solely to include a steamy scene into the story. 


The structure of the book is different. It is split into numerous books that depict different time frames. What is interesting is the way flashbacks are narrated as numerous voice notes, to take the story forward. 

It does make readers wonder if it is quite so easy to make/listen to the sheer number of voice notes that the book claims the characters work with.

My one grouse is the lack of translation for the pages of poetry that are part of the chapters. Also, the poems are in Hindi font as well, to facilitate Hindi readers. While they may add on an emotional charm to the narrative or storyline, they do take away the experience of unhindered reading for non-Hindi readers, especially if they do not comprehend the poems.


Overall, a good read. I rate it 4.3 out of 5.

Did you find my review useful? Do follow my blog for more.

Happy reading, readers!


Book Review of 'The Perfect Murder' by Ruskin Bond.

My third read of 2021 promised to be a thrilling, goosebumps-ride all the way. I got a good dose of the anticipated thrill, and then some. Compiled by none other than one of the best storytellers of all time, Ruskin Bond has picked the very best of murder stories, to take us on a journey reminiscent of Agatha Christie's genius.

The Stories

Eight stories by some of the best thriller authors take readers on a breathless ride. Stacy Aumonier's A Perfect Murder is woven in brilliance. I'd already read the second story multiple times: The Red-Headed League by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but didn't hesitate to relive the lines again. 

However, not surprisingly, I loved the one penned by Ruskin Bond himself, He Said it with Arsenic most of all. Typical of the author, the autobiographical element leaves us breathless by the climax. 
Spolier alert: I do not know if the story is mere fiction, (I hope it is!) but being an ardent fan of the master story-teller, I thanked my stars for the author's sharp instincts and astute capacity to steer clear of a horrible death, especially so early on in his writing career. 

The other stories are good as well, but the one that is sure to leave large goosebumps on one's skin is The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes. Each moment of mounting danger and revelation, renders the suspense unbearable. 

The last one by none other than the master of horror, Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado leaves us snapping the book shut with a long-drawn breath to recoup, as is typical of all his writes. 


Overall, a must-read for all thriller lovers. I rate it 4.8/5. After all, this is a compilation by the best of the best.

Did you like my review? Click on the Follow button on my blog, for more. 

Happy reading, readers.


Sunday 24 January 2021

Bedecked : A Poem

The flame
is dying slowly
as dancing dusk 
whispers soirees 
of past joys.

Your offering
of powdered love,
scant & meagre
leaves me 
in velvet silence
of dissembled
in transient shadows
of tomorrow.

And yet,
bedecked in hope
I still await



Friday 22 January 2021

Book Review of ‘Off The Pages’ by Indranil Mukherjee

My second read of 2021 is different from a lot of others in multiple aspects. For one, it is the first ever meta-fictional novel I’ve read. It is also the only novel that reads like the work of an English author. This is the best book amongst my Indian fiction reads since a long time.

Also, this is my second read of author Indranil Mukherjee, the first one being The Station Master, which was an excellent read. Off the Pages surprised me immensely because while it has the same high grade vocabulary, it is completely unidentical to The Station Master in many respects, especially the narrative style.


The characters are multilayered, literally. The protagonist is author Dev Narayan, whose charming personalities come to life, forgive the pun, on the pages. Tej is the almost complete James Bond, except that the suave charm that wins women with nonchalant ease is missing. Tej is the deliciously intriguing, hyper-amazing, surreal action hero, larger than life, but with his own set of foibles. Moozie is a complete charmer amongst the ladies and the other characters complement these main ones. Gomes, the villain is a fabulous spoof of the supposedly menacing antagonists, leaving us in splits at every other turn of the page.  

It takes time for us to get used to the idea of characters jumping off the book onto real life, but once we do, there is no looking back. Everything falls into place smoothly, and the way the characters explain away their very existence and situations in the book is convincing.

After all, what is fiction but an extension of real life?


The story is a compelling juxtaposition of action, humour and adventure, with ample doses suspense and thrill rolled into it: a complete all-rounder. Dev the author finds himself face-to- face with his key fictional character, one fine day. The additional thrill occurs when his literary genres mingle to cause a series of complications arising from his own storytelling prowess.  Thus, we find sub-plots within the main plots that add a new dimension to the storyline.


Alert readers will lose count of the number of guffaws that would escape them while turning the pages. There are umpteen subtle and not-so-subtle parodies of not just the characters but also the genres, predominantly the Mills and Boon type of romances that used to be the rage (and still continues to be so) amidst a section of readers. The fakeness/silliness of ‘perfect’ characters in countless love stories takes a gentle tap on the wrist throughout his unique style of narration. This is not limited to romances alone, but extends to the run-of-the-mill action dramas where the ominous villain is overly menacing.

Spoiler alert: The parts where Gomes tries to destroy his enemies is comical to the core, although the nature of his attack is extremely serious. Also, the sequences where Dev ‘overpowers’ Ranjan Rowdy despite no prowess or propensity towards violence, is hilarious. The parts where Dev narrates ‘poetry’ and some dialogues with Inspector 'Fataak' will tear readers apart with laughter.

However, the most noticeable aspect of the book is the style of narration. The flawless , top-notch vocabulary may easily be passed off as an Englishman’s work, merely if the Indian names and locales are replaced with those of England. It is rare to find work with zero grammatical errors or typos. The author has pulled off all these with finesse and verve.

The only nitpicking grouse that I can perhaps point out is that some readers looking for an extremely easy-going narrative, or those who are unaccustomed to reading English classics with high-end vocabulary, may find it a wee bit tedious to get through. For serious readers who love good work (especially those such as Wodehouse), this book is sure to be an absolute delight.

Conclusion and Rating

I rate the book a 4.7 out of 5. Plus points are for brilliant vocabulary and flawless editing.

Indranil Mukherjee is an underrated author. While we invariably come across a few errors, even in most top publishers' books (despite the efforts of editing teams), this novel is worth lauding for its rare flawlessly edited narrative. All regular readers know that novels by Indian authors with excellent vocabulary and zero errors are scarce. OTP is definitely a must-read, especially if you enjoy ‘Wodehousian’ genre of literature.

Was my review enlightening? Do follow my blog for more similar insights.

Happy reading, readers!




Tuesday 19 January 2021

Confidence : A Quote

Road to Peace : A Poem

On road to peace
barefeet painted pink
beyond bonfire stars 
burning pretense
of powdered love

She strode at ease
sporting transformed ink
soiree of scars
dissembled existence
of untimely love


Sunday 17 January 2021

The Blue Phoenix - Chethana Ramesh

My debut novel, The Blue Phoenix was published on Vijayadashami Day, on the 25th of October, 2020. However, it was advertised by me only mid-November, after I was able to procure a copy of the book for myself. I wanted to ensure that the book was what it claimed to be, before I began to make an announcement from the rooftops.

I then got busy signing, packing and mailing a few copies to my friends who demanded signed copies. Readers began to call and send messages, gushing about how they loved my book. My journey felt complete.

It's more endearing when the readers notice and enjoy the story, narration, structure, vocabulary, flow and a whole lot of other nuances that go into penning a novel. Most readers loved the characterisations, especially the protagonist's Neela.

I did not consider any of these facets when I wrote it. All I wanted to do was tell the story brewing in my head, in the best possible manner. It worked. 

Few of my readers are aware that my novel was selected as a finalist in the Litmart of the Bangalore Literature Festival 2015, as one of the top ten from more than 2000 entries. Six years after I penned it, I was finally willing to let my baby out into the world in 2020.

What is my novel, The Blue Phoenix all about?

Here's the blurb to give you a gist of what it's all about:

What happens when a feminist falls in love with a narcissist? Neela’s love for her colleague makes her a victim of ruthless corporate politics, leaving her shattered with psychological and financial devastation. While her specially-abled friend attempts to win her affections amidst dangerous midnight adventures, an extraordinary turn of events changes her life forever. 

Will Neela find true love while grappling with emotional turmoil? Or will the cut-throat corporate world ruin her hopes of a successful life and a happy home?

Replete with cultural nuances of the vibrant city of Bangalore, the tale encompasses a gripping journey of betrayal, manipulation, motherhood and love.

Do buy my novel and let me know your thoughts on it. Hope you all enjoy my work.

Here are the Amazon links to grab a copy for yourself or gift it to a loved one. 

Don't forget to let me know your feelings, thoughts and impressions after you read it. Also, do post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter...everywhere if you loved the book as much my readers  did until now.

Thank you all, readers. Happy reading!

The Blue Phoenix : Happy New Year

Wishing all my readers a healthy, fabulous, fruitful & prosperous New Year! And wish you all awesome new journeys of success and peace in your lives too!  

Here are the Amazon links to grab a copy of my novel for yourself, or gift it to a loved one. 

Don't forget to let me know your feelings, thoughts and impressions after you read it. Also, do post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter...everywhere if you loved the book as much my readers  did until now.

Thank you all, readers. Happy reading!

Saturday 16 January 2021

Book Review of 'Wings of Fire' by APJ Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari

Happy New Year, readers! 

'Wings of Fire' is my first read of the year 2021. 

I had saved this book for the New Year. From what I’d read and heard of it, I wanted to commence the year with the inspiration it offered. And I was inspired, beyond measure.

Many reviews have already been penned about the book and its contents. I choose to focus only on the aspects that I found unique or endearing.

The man and his Gratitude.

One will surely lose count of the number of people Dr Kalam has remembered to thank, mention and acknowledge in his autobiography. It is not confined only to his teachers, but extends to all the important people he interacted with, worked with or was influenced by. We live in a world where most people heap the efforts of others onto their own bandwagon of achievements with easy nonchalance and lack of guilt. And here is a man like Kalam who influenced millions of people across the globe and yet, lists out every key individual he dealt with by name and designation. This is the kind of gratitude that only one in a million may possess.

The man and his Simplicity

When Dr Kalam recounts how his room was the same humble dwelling, albeit in a different location, even after he became the Director at DRDO, one wonders what fabric he was made of. His humble breakfast of idlis, chutney and buttermilk makes one wonder at his lack of desire for the finer things of life. It is beyond inspiring to read the story of a man who began with such humble beginnings in Rameshwaram and went on to scale the greatest heights of scientific technology.

The man and his Genius

Most people claim to be influenced by a host of self-help books that teach people how to become rich, content, famous, happy or enlightened in life. I have never been a fan of such self-professed gurus preaching to the world, about how to live and grow. But reading Dr Kalam’s story teaches us all this and then some.

It is a mark of Dr Kalam's genius that allows the world to read about the functioning of the defence organization – one of the most secretive aspects of the nation – without compromising on any facet of its security. Further, highly complex algorithms of the working of the scientific community, in a completely simplified language that can be assimilated by the common man. Only someone like Dr Kalam could simplify even rocket science to a common reader’s level of comprehension.

Each quote by Dr Kalam is a gem of gold. He touches upon leadership, teamwork, ambition, hard-work, sharing, caring, commitment, responsibility, focus…the list is perpetual, the learning immense.

‘Wings of Fire’ teaches us how ambition can be completely devoid of material greed; how being wealthy has nothing to do with money; how contentment is independent of possessions; how fame is earned through relentless hard work and unselfish motives and how enlightenment is gained through craving for lifelong learning from all sources.

The man and his Pride in India

Few people can instil a sense of patriotism like Dr Kalam does. He shows us that Indians can achieve a lot more than they are ever given credit for. His comments on the brain drain of India is bang-on and hard-hitting. No Indian can help being filled with a sense of pride for the motherland, as her journey of achievement, to becoming a missile-capable nation with Agni and Prithvi unleashes in the pages.

The man and his Resilience

It is heart-rending to read about the failures the teams encountered. But Dr Kalam’s resilience in the face of misfortune, worse the mockery of the media and negative forces within India and across the world is a story of empowerment in adversity.

The man and his Family

It is thrilling to read about how Dr Kalam is distressed to miss his niece’s wedding and ends up on a helicopter flight to catch the train that takes him to the venue. His angst at losing his parents and brother-in-law is palpable.

His complete dedication to his work allows us a semblance of comprehension, as to why he remained a bachelor till the end of his days.

Conclusion and Rating

Dr Kalam acknowledges Arun Tiwari’s role in bringing the book out to readers. The praise is completely justified. Tiwari has undoubtedly put in more than his share of work to compile the life story of the greatest scientists of India and juxtaposed it with the growth of India as a missile superpower.

Worth a complete five-star rating, to say that this book is a must-read is an understatement.

It sure gave wings to my inspiration, and the year has begun on an excellent note for me.

If you found my review useful, follow my blog for more. There are many more reviews to come.

Happy reading, readers!





Thursday 7 January 2021

Brash Sensation : A Poem

Velvet streams flow
in brash temptation
Dripping ice & snow
in scarlet sensation.

Unleashes the pledge
of unbottled flirtation
Fruits of knowledge
in ripe revelation.

An elegant enigma awaits
intense intoxication.


Image: Pinterest

Tuesday 5 January 2021

Life's Prism : A Quote Poem

The envy of 'friends'
manifests itself 
as veiled sarcasm. 

The envy of enemies 
manifests itself 
in malicious criticism.

Avoid both & focus 
on the beauty
of colours in Life's prism.


Monday 4 January 2021

Imbibe Positivity : Quote

Some people are adept 
at grafting their character
& personality onto you.
Be aware of whether 
you allow the positive, 
or the negative traits to 
get implanted onto your 
own persona. Just
remember: The 
negative grafts 
are easier to 
imbibe than 
positive ones.

Imbibe the beautiful, 
stay positive,
stay happy!

~ Life 

Photo: Chethana Ramesh

Sunday 3 January 2021

Caged : A Poem

Lost in the crowd
a mage soul 
stays caged up
within herself,
in delinquent dreams
of bygone eras,
while life gleams by 
in killer rhythm,
corroding consciousnes
of granulated hours.


Image: flickr, Adam Bird Photography.