Book Review : The Price You Pay

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

Blurb view:

An ambitious rookie reporter, a veteran news editor with a secret, a trigger-happy policeman, a sensational kidnapping: The Price You Pay is the story of Delhi, told through the eyes of the journalists who frame it, and the outsiders who claim it.

When Abhishek Dutta joins the Express as a trainee journalist, he has no idea how his life is about to change. Assigned to the crime beat by chief reporter Amir Akhtar, Abhishek encounters a motley cast of characters: DCP Uday Kumar, the ‘Dirty Harry’ of Delhi Police; ACP Crime Branch Mayank Sharma, who becomes a close friend; Samir Saxena, channel head of News Today, who mentors Abhishek’s move from print to electronic journalism; and dreaded gangster Babloo Shankar, who runs the Delhi mafia from exile. As he rides his beginner’s luck to unearth one sensational scoop after the other, Abhishek will soon discover that in the dog-eat-dog world of crime and politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies; it is every man for himself.

With a plot that twists and turns like the inner lanes of the city, Somnath Batabyal’s debut novel takes you into the dark underbelly of India, where common lives are mere pawns of deadly power games and where corruption lies at the very core.

Review:

Winter has arrived, mostly or at least lurking at the door here. All you need is a fast pacy thriller to cuddle under blankets with coffee. I was looking for a good desi thriller on investigative journalism and Somnath Batabyal seems to have launched a great one for his debut. Investigative journalism, or what we commonly term as ‘crime reporting’ is a tough job. It sounds easy and looks good to people like us, the daily readers who follow a newspaper crime colmn or turn on some news channel for that handsome reporter.

We have been brought up on thrillers and mafia books based radically in Mumbai with pioneer books like Shantaram and Sacred Games. I for one, would love to read more about gangsters and journalists based in the other metros like Delhi and Calcutta. These cities are stereotyped with softer labels but they have very active mafia operations with key activites like kidnapping and extortion.

Continue reading

Citius, Altius, Fortius

Image Courtesy: Indiblogger

Image Courtesy: Indiblogger

Health and immunity are the keywords in life when we speculate about ourselves and especially, our children. Immunity, besides being genetic, mostly depends on what we eat, where we live, the air we breathe and the habits we acquire. It is a known fact that while we are being technologically advanced with each decade, even each day, the biosphere where we reside is deteriorating at a faster rate than we know of. I was born in the late 20th century, in a more polluted environment than my parents were born decades earlier. Since the ’90s, global warming and massive pollution have poisoned the world for children these days. Most of us are cognizant of the fact that India ranks quite high in being one of the most polluted countries in the world. Frankly, do we even need any index to prove so? Each of us can feel and are compelled to breathe in the malicious air every time we step out of our homes. Immunity is heavily dependent on pollution, among other factors. It is upto us to adopt correct measures and build a healthy and immune India for the future generations.  Let’s take a look at what we can do:

Image Source: 123rf.com

Image Source: 123rf.com

What is Immunity?

A sneak peak into the coveted word used very often these days – the immune system in our body is made up of a complex network of cells, tissues and organs which work together to protect us against germs and harmful organisms. When a foreign body like antigen enters the body, these cells get together to build antibodies, which are specialized proteins to attack the invaders. These antibodies actually remember their antagonistic antigens and fight them every time. Humans have 3 types of immunity – innate (the one we are born with), adaptive (the one we develop while growing up) and passive (temporarily provided by external factors like breast milk or medicines).

Continue reading

Author Interview : Aniesha Brahma

This one’s for all young readers and for the ones who love romance. Who doesn’t like to read a novel romance novel? A good debut is something to cherish for, especially when it comes from a (then) college student.

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

Brief blurb:

Eight years ago, she was the teenager he would use to get out of boring parties. But now, he is stunned to see her grown up.

He decides to delay his marriage by getting into a false engagement with her. Then he falls in love with someone else and she forces him to move on. He comes back to her, but she’s determined not to take him back…

Join Tanveer ‘Veer’ Bhattacharya and Larissa ‘Jasmine’ Chakraborty as they embark on a journey which questions relationships, friendships and makes one wonder… how long would it take for love to eventually find a way?

Here’s Aniesha Brahma, the author of The Secret Proposal live and candid for you. Read my review of the book here.

———————–

Conversation:

  1. Image Courtesy: Author

    Image Courtesy: Author

    Welcome, Aniesha. It’s a pleasure having you here for a little chat.

Thank you, Priyanka di. 🙂  I’ve been looking forward to this interview!

  1. How does it feel being a published author at a not-so-ripe age of 22?

I signed the contract when I was 22. I turned 23 by the time the book hit the markets and it was a little overwhelming….all through my MA days, I wanted to be published before I passed out of University. I drove almost anyone who was close to me during those days up the wall…with my endless talk about the book. As for how I feel…it feels really good. But I know I still have miles to go.

  1. What made you write about Tanveer and Larissa? Who are they in real life? Why did you particularly choose them for your book?

Tanveer is based partly on my friend’s childhood crush and mine too. They’re different people. We sat and swapped stories about childhood crushes…I was impressed she had a crush for eight long years and yet did nothing about it. My crush too provided the background for Tanveer…but his character was based on someone I’d seen from close quarters. Someone who has loved taking me for a ride on every single opportunity he got.

Continue reading

Where Do You Go, My Lovely?

Image Source: AirAsia.com

Image Source: AirAsia.com

Strange as it may sound, I haven’t yet visited a single Asian city outside India. During my childhood, about two decades ago, Asia wasn’t a very glamorous hub of holiday destinations mostly due to the political unrest in quite a few countries. The ’90s actually witnessed the boom in economy and astronomical growth of inconspicuous countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. They built skyscrapers, created records with a few of them, renovated their river banks, embellished their capital cities with a lot of things to attract rest of the world. Since the new millennium, one of these cities has been alluring me with all the past, present and future it can promise of. I’ll keep it easy for you, my dream destination has been Bangkok for the last decade.

While it was very much a foreign country and considered exotic back when I was in school, the last five years have ensured extremely budget airfares for all of us. Air Asia, currently the world’s best low cost airline is hosting the ‘World’s Best Online Travel Fair‘ where we get to pick our dream destinations at cheapest prices. This is a very opportune moment for me to write about Bangkok as I am planning a trip there about next year. Air Asia seems to be my best bet as the return fare from my home city Calcutta to and from Bangkok is actually lower than a domestic trip to Pune! It looks quite feasible and promises to add a zing to my tour planner. Let me share my Bangkok itinerary with you readers.

Continue reading

Book Review : The Storm in my Mind…

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

Blurb View:

“When Aryan Roy stepped into college life to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a successful engineer, little did he know that he was in for a journey of a lifetime, Anushka and Kaira turn his sojourn into a memorable one – in both good and not-so-good senses.”

The Storm in my Mind… is a collective narrative of events, habits, stereotypes and idiosyncrasies revolving around the contemporary society of Kolkata. It is a story of love as much as it is of hatred, passion, friendship, trust, misunderstandings, nostalgia and love for his city. It is the story of Aryan, his Kolkata and his mellowing heart that makes confessions of the times he has seen.

Review:

The cover. Oh, yes. It instills nostalgia into misty-eyed Calcuttans. I had, like a seasoned Bengali reader, expected helluva book from a fellow Calcuttan (or Kolkatan as they call themselves these days). But, I’m royally disappointed yet again.

Ayaan Basu had promised in the book promotions that it is going to be a great one involving the city. The first doubt which crept into me was the volume of the book. It appeared quite lean to be classified into an engaging read. But who knows, the times they-are-a-changin’ and it could well have been interesting. I braced myself up for a journey with Aryan Roy, the  protagonist, through a phase in his life. It became stressful after a few pages as the writing is quite incoherent. The sweet bonding between consecutive sentences and paragraphs is missing. It seems as if Aryan was captivated and asked to blurt out few details about his high school and college days.

Continue reading

Book Review : The Vague Woman’s Handbook

Blurb View: 

Image Source: Self

Image Source: Self

At twenty-two, Sharmila Chatterjee has just married her sweetheart of a few years, Abhimanyu Mishra, a somewhat eccentric if handsome, twenty-three-and-a-half-year-old with obscure academic interests and a small fellowship that never arrives in time. They start a household in a tiny rented flat, fending for themselves in the big, bad and very snooty world of south Delhi, with penny-pinching landlords, some romance, and a lot of anxiety.

At fifty-two, Indira Sen is not sure just how she meandered to where she finds herself now. A senior government officer and single mother, she lives with her daughter and three opinionated old people in a rambling house, drives a battered car, and has a history of credit-card-induced-shopaholism. 

The Vague Woman’s Handbook is a story told with equal parts of humour, hysteria ad tenderness, about the sparkling friendship between two women as they hurtle through life and its mini-crises while trading secrets in the art of survival.

Review:

There are a few books which attract you in the first few pages, the words take you under their wings, make a comfortable nest for you to snuggle in and read away. I wasn’t sure if this book was a chick-lit by the cover and blurb, something told me it will be better than that. It did make my journey much better, though. I was transported into a world of vague women whom we encounter closely in our daily lives.

Who are vague women and why did the author write a handbook about them? These women often reside inside us, for a brief period or for a lifetime. They are absent-minded, geographically and directionally challenged, emotional and stubborn people. Now that pretty much sums up nearly most of us. Being somewhat vague myself, I started enjoying the author’s perspectives on the protagonists. The book is about two women, Mil and Indira, as briefed in the blurb. They are like chalk and cheese in their appearances and lifestyles, and yet they share a lot of similar traits which allow them to bond with each other.

Continue reading

Book Review : The Secret Proposal

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

Blurb View:

Eight years ago, she was the teenager he would use to get out of boring parties. But now, he is stunned to see her grown up.

He decides to delay his marriage by getting into a false engagement with her. Then he falls in love with someone else and she forces him to move on. He comes back to her, but she’s determined not to take him back. Will she ever get over her unrequited love for him?

Would a grand gesture from him make her believe otherwise?

And how do you know that your knight in shining armour has been standing right next to you?

Join Tanveer ‘Veer’ Bhattacharya and Larissa ‘Jasmine’ Chakraborty as they embark on a journey which questions relationships, friendships and makes one wonder… how long would it take for love to eventually find a way?

Review:

To be very honest, what attracted me to this novel is definitely not the cover, which seemed pretty teenage at first look. Ah well, its a fairy tale, which then justifies the dreamy cover. What lured me was the unusual fusion of the protagonist names. Surely, very few people in my generation are called Tanveer Bhattacharya or Larissa Chakraborty. A quick look at the author bio revealed her student status and I was interested to know about the Veers and Jasmines of the second decade into this millennium.

The story begins interestingly as the blurb promises. Tanveer and Larissa meet after eight years and rediscover their so-called acquaintance. It is a complex story, then. Both the protagonists fall in and out of love with each other. The characterization is easy, though the situation might seem complex to some of the readers.

Continue reading