Book Review : My Clingy Girlfriend

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Image Courtesy: Flipkart

Image Courtesy: Flipkart

What is a clingy girlfriend?

A clingy girlfriend will go through your phone.

She will destroy the contact numbers of every other girl on your phone.

She will delete your Facebook profile.

And will give you forty-five missed calls in the sixty minutes you put your phone on silent for an office presentation.

A clingy girlfriend will say

Carry two sets of fully charged mobile batteries so you can be in touch with me. Always.

In my dream, you were flirting with some other girl and then ended up in bed. Dreams are a manifestation of some act that is carried out in daily life. Are you cheating on me?

You have issues. You need to get therapy. Are you cheating on me?

And the worst one – why aren’t we married yet?

Obrokranti Banerjee’s girlfriend ticks all of these and more. Caught between wanting to break up and the fear that he’ll never find another girlfriend if he does, Obrokranti finds himself doing things he never imagined – watching Shah Rukh Khan movies, having to fast with her on karva chauth and perhaps worst of all, having his girlfriend join him on a boys night out!

Bestselling author Madhuri Banerjee brings to you an uproariously howlarious account of a simple Bengali boy in Mumbai who copes, mopes and hopes to find logic and reasoning with his clingy girlfriend. It’s writing Madhuri’s never done before and promises to change her name if you don’t laugh at least five times while reading this book!

You know you have one too. This is your story. My Clingy Girlfriend.

Review:

A bestselling author. A Bengali protagonist. A man’s story written by a woman. These unique features made me read ‘My Clingy Girlfriend’ and write this review. While the book seemed interesting in its concept and presentation, somehow the narration failed to attract me. I haven’t read Madhuri before, though I’ve heard a lot about her books.

In this one there’s a story, yes. Obrokanti Banerjee is our man and his life is dissected in this book, well, mostly his love life. Narrating in first person, Madhuri gets into details of Obro’s life, his obnoxious Punjabi live-in girlfriend Radha, his obscure colleague Menon and other morons in his office. His life is almost doomed with a clingy girlfriend, someone who defines the very concept of clingy and is nearly abominable. She keeps track of every minute in Obro’s life, with frequent calls surpassing the man’s irritation level. She controls every move of her boyfriend, including whom he should talk, meet, or call.

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Book Review : She Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

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Image Courtesy: Goodreads

Image Courtesy: Goodreads

Zoella didn’t know whether she was devastatingly happy or happily devastated.
Zoella’s been in love with Fardeen Malik, her best friend’s gorgeous older brother, since she was ten, but he’s always seen her as a ‘good girl’—not his type—and he can barely remember her name. Besides, he’s engaged to a gorgeous leggy socialite, someone from the same rarefied social strata as the imposing Malik family. In short, Zoella has no chance with him.
Until a brutal accident leaves Fardeen scarred and disfigured, that is. Suddenly bereft of a fiancée, Fardeen is bitterly caustic, a shell of the man he used to be, a beast that has broken out of the fairy tale world he once lived in. And a twist of fate lands him his very own beauty—Zoella.
This man, however, is a far cry from the Fardeen of her dreams. Stripped of her illusions, Zoella creates her own twist in the fairy tale, beating him at his own game.
Order now and read this modern, unusual interpretation of the old-age fairy tale, in which Zeenat explores the themes of love, longing and arranged-marriages.

Review:

The more I read English Literature from Pakistan, the more it entices me. There’s a distinct flavour of oneness in some aspects and much alien-ness in others. Overall, it’s a delectable platter of culture, language, food and customs served in a very stylish and realistic way by these new age authors. Having read an author from Pakistan before, I was looking forward to Zeenat Mahal’s book.

If you ask why romance, I’d say because they’re deft at it. Zeenat has written a story that hovers beautifully around romance and stronger emotions. Though Zoella and Fardeen know each other since childhood, economic and societal difference keep them apart for a long time. Strange situations bring them together and sparks flow for a brief period. Then begins a saga of misunderstandings and tension between the two. It’s a prolonged story and at some time, it gets a little dragged. Fardeen’s fiery self is too much to tackle at times. Zoella’s transformation is also stunning.

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Book Review : The Guitar Girl

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The Guitar Girl_Cover_Kindle

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Sixteen year old Rhea Shah never thought that she would find herself falling for her brother’s best friend, Joy Fernandez, when they come home from college. Because she never thought that the dork who used to go to school with them would suddenly reinvent himself in college.

The only people she’s able to talk to about her absurd crush, are her best friends, Sophie and Arjav. Both of whom at first encourage, and then almost blackmail, Rhea to confess her feelings, which leaves the poor girl more muddled than ever!

Plagued with upcoming Board Examinations along with her friends’ suggestions, Rhea finds it difficult to concentrate, because she’s fallen for Joy, hook, line and sinker. In an attempt to vent to her feelings, she begins a blog, where she publishes all her songs and poems, dedicated to Joy, keeping her identity a secret.

But things do not go quite how she planned when a certain blogger named J. Fern begins to read her blog, and wishes to work with her…

Will Rhea ever confess her feelings to Joy? And will Joy find out the real identity of The Guitar Girl?

Review:

How many times have you revisited childhood reading a book and felt familiar? Aniesha takes us to that precious time of our lives where each one of us has had crushes and infatuations, knowingly or otherwise, for people they know or just random strangers, at school or in their neighbourhood. We’ve all tried to ignore them, or fallen hopelessly in love, discussed them with our best friends or siblings, and hoped for more, some day.

The Guitar Girl is Rhea Shah, who has a pesky elder brother and his handsome college friend Joy Fernandez who she falls for when she’s sixteen. Yes, such things happen mostly at sixteen. Joy was a dorky senior in school who turned hot in college and stunned his best friend’s little sister. We also meet Rhea’s best friends – Sophie and Arjav – who turn a couple later.  There are ample teen elements in the story, love, maths, economics, homework, study sessions and love again. Young love is tender and Aniesha explores it quite deftly.

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Book Review : The Accidental Wife

TheAccidentalWife-ebook

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From the author of Inconvenient Relations Simi K Rao! If you enjoyed Inconvenient Relations, you’ll love The Accidental Wife, a new contemporary romance from Simi K. Rao. Some accidents are meant to happen… Dr. Rihaan Mehta is a brilliant young neurosurgeon who has no inclination for love or marriage. According to him wives and girlfriends are annoying accessories that one can do without. But when his mother dangles the sword over his head in classic Bollywood style, he succumbs, and sets out in search of a bride who would fit his ‘requirements’. But can Rihaan deal with what he gets instead? Scroll up to buy The Accidental Wife now to experience this contemporary romance with a multicultural twist.

Review:

Snow in New York, some love and hate romance, an intelligent Indian couple and a twist in the story. If you’re familiar with or like any of these, you’ll like the book too. Simi K. Rao seems to weave her novels effortlessly, if you follow her books closely. I’ve read her earlier one, and liked it much, which made me pick up this one with much anticipation.

Simi chooses her characters carefully – while Rihaan is a typical New Yorker, Naina is our strong urban feisty lady. When they meet, sparks fly and they fly to New York together after a series of incidents and mishaps. They are married accidentally but what transpires between them is beyond explanation. They debate whether it’s really love or only biology, as per Rihaan, the neurosurgeon. Naina has a past, is a teacher and clicks photos to bring about a change.  Continue reading

Book Review : When She Smiled

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Roy is a fifteen year old Bengali who has spent the last ten years of his life growing up in Shimla, India. While his family is completely academically oriented, he wants something more. Finally he meets Akanksha in school, who turns his world upside down with her gorgeous looks and mind boggling smile. As fate would have it, she joins his tuition, and thus begins the torrid year of puppy love, romance, heartbreak, tragedy, and self discovery. Set among the scenic Shivalik hills of Shimla when mobile phones and internet were non-existent, this is a story of how an average young teenager comes to terms with his destiny.

Review: 

Since I grew up in the nineties, much like Ritoban Chakrabarti, I’m nostalgic about that mobile phone and internet-free era. So I didn’t hesitate to grab the opportunity of accepting an ARC. When you are approached by a young enthusiastic and confident author, it doesn’t take much to be convinced.

However (and I hate to use this word), Ritoban disappointed me with his fare. The story is simple, set in a beautiful landscape, and yet the nuances have been squandered. What matters for a novel is the beginning and the climax. Ritoban has nailed the latter but the former wasn’t very impressive.

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Book Review : Fade Into Red

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Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

Ayra always wanted to be an Art Historian. She saw herself flitting between galleries, talking Michelangelo and Dali with glamorous ease. At twenty–nine, life has decided to make her an underpaid investment banker juggling an eccentric family, a fading career and a long–distance relationship that is becoming a light-year one. On a monsoon day in June, she is suddenly sent packing from Mumbai to Tuscany to buy a vineyard for a star client. What should have been a four day trip turns into a two week treasure hunt that finds her in the middle of midnight wine deals, dodgy vintners, rolling Tuscan hills, a soap opera family and one playboy millionaire who is looking to taste more than just the wine. Towards the end she finds that the road to true happiness is almost as elusive as that perfect glass of Chianti.

Review:

Being a wine lover not only helps you gulp down good wine, in my case it helped pick up a good book. A book isn’t much different from good wine, both help in rousing your senses to finer capacities. The blurb attracted me to the mystic land of vineyards, vintners, Chianti and all romanticism that is Italian.

Just like wine lovers swear by Chianti, book lovers swear by good language. Even before the plot and situations, Reshma K Barshikar’s words caught my attention. Free flowing, smooth and rich like a good wine. Scooping up much of her own experiences of touring Italy, Reshma has put up a beautiful backdrop for her protagonist Ayra. I’m glad that she broke away the myth of investment bankers being boring and losers (as portrayed in all Bolly flicks). Ayra is pretty, intelligent, smart and she wanted to be an Art Historian. Now we all know why people crave to do something and end up doing something else instead. Ayra is engaged to her fiancé Kartik. The idiosyncrasies and ambiance of a Chennai household is depicted wonderfully by the author.

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Back to the Future

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

He was waiting very patiently at the new terminal of Kolkata Airport. Though he looked patient, he was trembling from inside. It’s been ten years he saw her. And when he had, they were only in high school. Together. Now that’s a term unfamiliar to him since long. He’s been single, committed, married, divorced, complicated and much more in all these years.

He knew she always loved him. ‘Always’ though, began when they were entering their teens. Lectures in classroom were interrupted by tiny scribbles passed via friends. He enjoyed the attention, liked her eagerness to sit beside him in Mathematics class, was glad to help her with Economics problems. But, he didn’t love her. Not like the way she did. Crossing the eternal friend vs lover hurdle, they never had a relationship as such.

Much water passed under the bridge, she went away to study. Hurt, perhaps. In fact, he was certain she felt hurt. He went on in life, got married. She kept tabs on him from a distance. She still loved him. Why, that she failed to understand yet. Men came and went away from her, but none were like him. She remembered the way he looked in high school, sporting a light stubble, pretending to be all mature and grown up. She liked him that way too.

Things have changed now. She heard from friends that he was divorced. She wanted to see him again. Not ‘see him’ seriously, just see him once, the way friends do. She had applied for a job in Kolkata and got it too. Now came the chance to see him. And he agreed too. Who knew he still remembered her, considered her a friend.

She landed. As he had anticipated, she looked beautiful. She was, anyway. He wondered why he never fell in love with her while others did. His heart was fluttering. Is that something only to happen with women? She arrived at the lounge. Her eyes took a few moments to locate him. He still sported a stubble, no, a beard in fact.

She noticed that he looked tired. And a little old, exhausted, heckled. She decided to ask him to shave, and get rid of not only the beard, but the past. The same bitter past that had aged him beyond his years.

They might get together. They mightn’t. But she’d make sure he steps out of the past and lives. Again.

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This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

I was tagged by R and I’m tagging Maria, Manjit and Manjulika in this post. Please acknowledge the tags and mention that I had tagged you in this post.

Book Review : Love Kills

Image Courtesy: Flipkart

Image Courtesy: Flipkart

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Meet Johnny W – Will, not Walker – named thus by his alcoholic father who died under mysterious circumstances. Johnny is the founder of Thy Will, a dead diction centre for the rich and the famous and the fiance of Mira Kermani, daughter of the richest man in town. His questionable methods aside, Johnny’s commitment to ridding his patients of alcohol and drug abuse is beyond doubt. How ironic then that Mira is found dead in her apartment from an overdose of morphine. But why is Officer Ray convinced that Johnny is the killer? Johnny’s assistant Sera, who secretly love him and his half-brother Zac are working hard to protect him from the officer. Or are they? Could Aunt Adele’s hunger for what was rightfully her sons inheritance have driven her to murder? Or is the murderer an unhappy patient? From the author of the disturbing and controversial Jacob Hills, an unputdownable story of crime and passion in the hill station town of Monele.

Review:

I had wanted to read Ismita Tandon since she’s one of the few women authors penning thrillers with love as the core theme. As the title suggests, this is a tale of love and death. Literally. It is intriguing whether love blooms on dead bodies or death comes riding in a love carriage. Meet the riders in this carriage Johnny, Mira, Sera, Zac, Adele and Officer Ray.

Set in a beautiful  and obscure hill station called Monele near Ooty, ‘Thy Will’ is an alcohol rehabilitation center run by Johnny Will. He prescribes things to his patients that are not strictly legal in a rehab. The idea is pretty unique in its own way. Johnny and Zac, half brothers and cousins have a dark and grimy past that is trapped in the vestiges of Thy Will. Zac’s mother and Johnny’s aunt Adele is a pretty but wasted lady torn in the dilemma of raising a child out of the wedlock.

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Book Review : Uff Ye Emotions – 2

Image Courtesy: Flipkart

Image Courtesy: Flipkart

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Like the lyrics of an old song which keeps repeating themselves in our mind or a fever dormant in the blood or an importunate lover impossible to get rid of, the memories of love or love itself keeps returning in our lives again and again at the oddest of times and the strangest of places. Randomly, beautifully, haphazardly or passionately, love lives up again for it has been waiting for you, waiting for this union, waiting to merge with you at last. So, keeping the trend alive and after the roaring success of our novice, Uff Ye Emotions, we are back once again with Uff Ye Emotions 2. With Love, comes many emotions some of them being pain, betrayal, hatred, hope and friendship. We fall in and out of love time and again, but we can never be tired of it because it is one of the only few aspects of life we can’t keep ourselves away from, isn’t it?

Review:

An anthology on love. Presumably the most common genre in the Indian literary world right now. Each such anthology needs extraordinary stories to stand out among the readers. The more I browse through such anthologies, the more mediocre they get. The original Uff Ye Emotions was probably very popular, though I confess not having read it. Part 2 gave me the impression of a badly filmed sequel.

Going by the usual drill with anthologies, I’m bound to dissect each story separately as they are all ingredients that make (or break) the dish.

1. The Client (Vinit K. Bansal) – A story with a predictable climax. The kind that makes you feel i’ve-read-this-somewhere-already, and it did get boring towards the end. Considering its the editor’s story, I didn’t expect grammatical and typographical errors, but they were galore.  Not impressive at all.

2. Moksha (Kunal Marathe) –  A better story among the others, with a good climax, tacitly written.

3. When Destiny Strikes! (Mahi Singla) – Another predictable story with errors. Not entirely badly written though, marred down by typos.

4. The Woman Who Waited (Shalini Katyal) – Shalini, I would say, has a flair in writing. But she chose a boring plot for this one. There’s way too much mush and emotion in the story which dilutes its essence. Climax is not bad.

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Book Review : Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai

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Image Courtesy: Flipkart

Image Courtesy: Flipkart

Autistic. Schizophrenic. Psychotic… 

They use these words to describe Babloo the doctors, his family, his teachers everyone except Vandana. She treats him the way he wants the world to see him. 

Mumbai the city that defines his ultimate desires. Will it allow him the love and normalcy he so craves?

Vandana yearns for a soul mate to rescue her from the confines of the Railway Colony they all live in. Is she looking in the right place?

Rail Man a fearless, real-life hero who succeeds in doing all that Babloo secretly wishes to do is Babloo his inspiration or is it the other way around?

A random twist of fate on Mumbais endless, serpent-like, jangling local train tracks ties all these characters together in a complex weave of love, heartbreak, and courage. 

Babloo draws the reader into his fascinating, heart-rending journey through the twisted, choked lanes of Mumbai, into an open space where he can finally exhale, be born again.

Review:

Babloo Srivastav is not your usual colony guy. Bandra Railway colony, that is. He wakes up with the vibrations of the first train in the morning and explores the railway tracks which are his own. He feels more at ease with the tracks and trains than his kin and kith. He doesn’t have any friends but is devoted to his lady love, Vandana. There are mysteries in his life that he isn’t much aware of.

Sounds good enough for a thriller?

The book cover and blurb suggests a love story, probably a one between Babloo and Vandana. But I would surely label the book as a thriller, not a romance. The adventures of Babloo are more important than his obsequious love story. He struggles to find a meaning to his caprices and is guided by an inner voice. Compared to his younger and efficient brother, he’s nothing, really. And yet his steely resolve and demeanour is frightening even to his parents. I can’t reveal the story here, but it is about Babloo turning into a different person altogether to prove himself to his lady.

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