Review ~ ‘A House For Mr Misra’

Winter and exams make the worst combination ever. And to make the situation even more dreadful, I have been blessed with early morning shift. I thought what’s the point of stressing over something when we can’t change it? So I decided to read a book with light subject and good humor & someone suggested me ‘A House for Mr Misra’ by Jaishree Misra. “This book better help me calm down”, I told my myself. And truly, this book has done justice to my expectations.

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The book revolves around the narrator and her husband Mr. M who returned to their motherland after living in London for so many years. Mr. M was excited to see his dream of having a beach house coming true while his wife was struggling hard to adjust with her husband’s decision. Mr. M bought a broken down yellow house on the outskirts of Trivandrum from a fish broker and dreamt of transforming it into a beautiful beach house. While describing the plot narrator said, “..the plot was right next to a sandy beach, albeit strewn at the moment with dried seaweed and all manner of human detritus from solitary rubber chappals to empty Sprite bottles. And the Laccadive sea (the romantic name dredged up by Mr. M when I paled at the sound of Indian Ocean) lay sparkling less than fifty yards away.” During some more inspection it was found that the house had electricity connection but no water connection, and to make things worse the house was in a legal dispute! Not only the dispute, there were problems lined up for Misra duo; which included getting permission for construction, dealing with a corrupt builder, managing stubborn workers, understanding CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone), threat calls, poisonous snakes etc. But nothing could break the spirit of Mr. M who was adamant to build his dream house by the sea.

I never went to Kerala but this book gave me a vivid idea of the place. The Misra couple had their own problems related to the house construction, still the narrator provided a bunch of information about Malayali way of life. The book also throws limelight to some facts about Trivandrum like lack of proper garbage disposal system and the story behind it, Kudumbashree scheme started in 1998 to generate employment & education opportunities for poor women, Nokku Kooli – a right claimed all local head-load workers’ unions to unload any material being delivered on their patch, frequent strikes & processions which made the capital festooned with flags. In the book the author has used humor in a good way, I didn’t get a overdose of it still I enjoyed with my favourite part being the conversation between the man in TMC’s A&E Dept. and the narrator. 😀

No complications, simple daily life problems expressed with the perfect amount of humor, be it overly packed up public transport, unhygienic bed sheet in hospital or clueless waiter in restaurants. Nice book to lighten up your head. Go through this one and you won’t be disappointed. Do share your thoughts in comments section. 🙂

Love, phoenixX ❤

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Review ~ ‘Murder in Paharganj’

Crime thrillers have always enticed me. Reading a crime thriller makes me forget everything. My hand refuses to let go of the book and my inner self keeps telling me to finish it as soon as possible to resume my normal routine. Solving puzzles, unraveling mysteries, exploring restricted places – Oh how I wish to become a private investigator. 😦 Although in this book a crime reporter is seen investigating a murder case, which is the prime reason I went for this particular book as I wanted to know how a reporter functions and deals with all the troubles thrown at him when he turns into a detective.

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Sherry Bing, a white Israeli woman, is found dead in Le Yogi Deluxe Hotel on a cold January morning by the night receptionist Raju Arora. Terrified, Raju calls up his friend and also a crime reporter Vicks Menon. Vicks has just lost his job for his alcoholism and is looking for a breaking news to get it back. He finds nothing suspicious except for a bus ticket from Udaipur to Delhi for one person. Vicks decides to go to the root of this case as he sees this as a chance to get his job back and also win back his love Tonya. As Vicks digs deeper, he gets to know this case is way more than just a foreigner being murdered on Indian soil. The murderer wanted to extract some important thing from Sherry. But what? While chasing the prime suspect of the murder, Vicks becomes the scapegoat with Delhi police and Israeli Embassy both on his tail. Vicks keeps updating his boss of his previous company who in turn sends him money to go on with his investigation. Vicks seeks Tonya’s help to untangle the mystery and to get a clear profile of the murderer. The prime suspect keeps fleeing from city to city and Vicks keeps following him inspite of knowing the high possibility of him being killed. He finds groundbreaking truth related to Iran-Israel rivalry. For Vicks Menon there is no turning back, he wants to finish the chase which he started once. Will he get any further help? Will he be able to catch the murderer? Will he get back Tonya? All the answers lie in the book. 😉

I loved the way author Kulpreet Yadav kept the story amazing but putting in the right amount of spices. It deals with sensitive topics related to chemical weapons and innocent people held as prisoners. While innocent lives are lost in a blink, the masterminds remain untouched. This fast-paced thriller will keep you glued to it’s pages unless you find all the answers you seek. I really enjoyed reading it and wouldn’t mind reading it all over again. Definitely not a one-time-read type of book to me. If you love thrillers this book is an absolute treat for you. Do read it and share your views in comments section below. 🙂

Love, phoenixX ❤

Review ~ ‘Second Chance’

Since childhood we’ve been hearing things about heaven & hell. Like, if we commit any sin, God will punish us in hell but if we choose the path of honesty & truth, God will reward us in heaven. Being kids we used to get frightened hearing about being tossed in a hot pan in hell, so we did as mom said ( at least most of the time 😛 ). Now the point is, does heaven and hell truly exist? As we grew up we understood we can’t just accept anything and everything we hear without proper evidence. But the problem is only a dead person can witness heaven or hell. Duh! That’s why our curious minds keep searching for answers through books or various articles available on internet. Some of the answers are satisfying while some of them sound crazy. Recently I was reading ‘Second Chance’ by Dr. Sandeep Jatwa and I found it a good one regarding this topic.

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The story revolves around a 38 years old successful businessman Shekhar Kapoor. – the chairman of Aerowalk, a leading shoe company. Basically he’s a rich spoilt brat who took over his father’s business when his father Balraj Kapoor became paralyzed. After losing his mother at a young age, the grief left a deep wound in Shekhar’s heart who still blames his father for his mother’s accident & keeps himself busy with office work, women & alcohol. Despite of being at the top of business world, his rudeness and arrogance has got him negative remarks always. Shekhar thinks with all his money he can buy anything and anyone. Baffled by the sudden cryptic warning messages and phone call from ‘City of  Justice’ Shekhar almost loses his mind. A car accident changes Shekhar’s perspective towards life as now he has to pay back for all his misdeeds. He finds himself helpless despite of being a billionaire, only then he understands money is worthless, what matters is the blessings of people whom we love and whom we choose to help. Shekhar is both astound and relieved to get a second chance to correct all his mistakes. Will he use this precious second chance to change his fate or he’ll keep on living his previous lifestyle? – this is the biggest question now.

The book is well written although I think the climax could have been more thrilling and exciting. It’s an one-time read but yeah you can’t miss reading this one. The description of heaven and hell gave me goosebumps! The workplace scenario is quite relatable. Kailash who gets demoted for unknown reasons despite of being a hardworking employee, Manish who climbs up the promotion ladder by impressing the boss sending him women, Hrishita who gets promotion by pleasing the boss in bed, the security guard who is scolded everyday for not wearing his cap properly. Woah! This sounds less of a office and more of a pressure cooker.

I liked reading ‘Second Chance’ and the subject it deals with. Money can come and go, but love & blessings stay with us until we die. What I loved the most and also which I believe, is the last lines of the book – “No money can give you contentment and happiness. Do what your heart wants and what you will get would be priceless.” 🙂

Love, phoenixX ❤

 

Review ~ ‘Bombay Fever’

As a kid, I didn’t like to go to school at all, so I used weapons like ‘feeling feverish’, ‘stomach hurts’ to skip school. And whenever mom seemed suspicious I started to cough to emphasize how sick I was. I believe most of you did same. But trust me, after reading this book you’ll never want to use words like ‘fever’or ‘cough’ for yourself even in your wildest dreams.

Yes! This is how much Sidin Vadukut’s new book ‘Bombay Fever’ is going to leave it’s mark on your mind just like it did to me. This fast paced medical thriller deals with a killer outbreak of a strange fever, how it changes the course of life in Mumbai and affects everyone from common people to Government officials.

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Kanimozhi Balasingham, a Sri Lankan native and Swiss citizen, unfortunately ends up transferring a deadly bacteria to Hormazd Patel. Kanimozhi meets her end at the courtyard of a Hindu temple in Geneva, while one of the eye witness of her ‘meltdown’ (as the final stage of Bombay fever is being called) Hormazd unintentionally ends up carrying this bacteria to Mumbai & also gives it immeasurably more potent mutant form by using wrong medication. From Geneva to India, the bacteria takes 3 months to gain it’s deadliest form creating an outbreak. The deadly bacteria kills it’s host mercilessly and then finds another host to continue it’s killing spree. Amod Patil becomes the first victim of this deadly disease in India. What starts from cough & mild fever, ends with horrible ‘meltdown’. Government is alarmed about the situation but is reluctant to give any official statement as scientists and doctors are unable to recognize the disease which is taking lives of hundreds of people. Mumbai comes under complete lockdown. Hospitals run out of space with increasing number of patients, angry mob attacks chemist shops for drugs to save their family, death rates are skyhigh, people travelling to other cities from Mumbai are being stopped by protesters, moreover, PM gets a taste of highly secretive Beta Protocol. Bombay Fever creates an absolute havoc!

The cure was found, to know who did it and how, you need to go through this book. Trust me this Bombay Fever is way too monstrous in the book than I managed to put up here in my blog. This book also teaches us how proper hygiene can save our lives, why we must wash our hands and face whenever our skin touches something dirty or weird. Not all bacteria will be friendly enough to give you a few sneezes, some of them can be life-threatening as well. Although this book is a good read, I really hope not only my city or my country, but also the world never faces such a grave crisis.

Love, phoenixX ❤

Review ~ ‘The Demon Hunter of Chottanikkara’

Change is always good and we must go through changes to keep ourselves stress-free, so this time I tried reading a supernatural thriller – ‘The Demon Hunter of Chottanikkara’ by S. V. Sujatha. I’m glad that I went through this book which gave mythology a whole new look. Based on Chottanikkara, a small village in Kerala, S. V. Sujatha narrates a horrifying story of demons.  This book gives us the perfect definition of ‘Demon’. We might think demons are myth, they don’t exist, but this book argues with those thoughts of us.

What are demons? Nasty looking blood-sucking creatures? No! Demon is within each of us. Some of us fight with it & conquer it, while some succumb to temptation, greed or lust, feeding our inner demon more and making it more powerful. S. V. Sujatha presents such a horrifying tale wrapped in a mythological outlook which gave me goosebumps. In this book different types of demons are mentioned ; brahmarakshasas (former priests who have become demons after committing horrid sins), kollivaipei (they have torches of fire in place of mouth), mohini pisaacha (seduces the prey by taking the form of a beautiful girl and sucks his breath out), vethalaam (clings to the back of the victims making them suffer), jalpisaacha (stays in unused water & waits for someone to jump in so that it can possess them), pretha (feeds on the bodies of half-burnt corpses & covered with hyena like fur). Inspite of all these deadly demons lurking outside the village, the people of Chottanikkara sleeps in peace as their protector Devi is always around. Devi, a young girl, raised by former bandit Kannappa & trained by mighty Parasurama, is the demon hunter of Chottanikkara who slays all the demons along with her pet lion Ugra and keeps her village safe. Devi also helps the possessed ones to get back to normal life by performing exorcism. Kannappa thinks she’s a gift of God. Villagers worship her like a Goddess & calls her ‘Amme’.

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Devi takes care of all the blood-thirsty demons while people of Chottanikkara stays peacefully. But all hell breaks loose on the arrival of a new demon called Yakshi. The Yakshi not only sucks out blood like other demons, it devours the flesh and all the organs of it’s prey & hides all the bones. For the first time Devi is taken aback when her iron weapons do not harm the Yakshi like any other demon. The ruthless monster is immune to all the weapons Devi has. The Yakshi is on killing spree while Devi, unable to stop it, tries to know more about it from Parasurama. He advises her to find the past of Yakshi in order to kill it. Devi meets two girls Miricha and Ela inside the jungle & feels strange connection. While following the trails of past Devi finds so many unknown truths which shakes her world completely. She has got life-changing decisions to take. Will she be able to stop Yakshi and save her villagers?

To know the answer you better read the book, I don’t want to spoil your soaring curiosity. The book also deals with some issues like domestic violence & child abuse. Our world needs more bravehearts like Devi. I was so excited reading this book that I almost skipped my meals. 😛 Do share your feedback once you read the book. 🙂

Love, phoenixX ❤

 

Review ~ ‘A Life of Adventure and Delight’

Wow! Just finished reading Akhil Sharma’s ‘A Life of Adventure and Delight’. A deadly combo of eight tender and darkly comic stories which will leave you awestruck. Eight stories with eight different protagonists dealing with eight different problems. We all can relate at least to one of these eight stories, based on the lives of common people, some of these stories bring out the bitter truth of today’s life, while some of them will inspire you.

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These stories won’t make you think that life is a fairy tale where happily ever after exists, rather these stories will give you a reality check making you more thoughtful. One can discover the true meaning of life.

Gopal, a divorcee, tries to woo his pretty neighbour Mrs. Shaw by reading women’s magazines. Being tired of his loneliness Gopal seeks solace in the company of Mrs. Shaw.

Ajay’s world turns upside down when his brother Birju becomes brain dead after an unfortunate accident. While his parents struggle to deal with this, Ajay does every possible thing to bring back his brother as well as his happy family.

The protagonist becomes awestruck after seeing the massive transformation of his cousin Manshu, whom he hated. The way Manshu takes care of a sick woman makes the protagonist change his heart about Manshu.

Anita wakes up one-day surprisingly falling in love with her husband Rajinder like never before. It is shown an arranged marriage is never loveless as we may think.

Gautama struggles hard to keep his sexual longing aside and lead a normal life. His liking towards Nirmala takes a different turn as the time passes by.

Prasad Kumar makes every possible effort to ensure further success of his elder son Arun. While Arun’s mother Indira can’t put up with the modern approach of Arun’s newly-wed wife Namrita.

Lakshman is finding it hard to stop the growing rift between his father and his drunkard mother. He is devastated to find about his father’s affair and misses his old joyous mother after she’s sent to detox.

Pavan falls for Betsy, his beautiful office colleague, and tries to figure out if she’s the one for him. But when he finds out his fate it’s too late.

All the stories also deliver social messages as well, from dowry system to alcohol addiction, this book deals with so many social issues. The strongest message was that how the bond shared my a couple can deeply affect their child. The protagonists teach us how to create meaningful relationships in a darkly comical way. While I loved the last story the most, the sixth story failed to impress me. Maybe the presence of so many characters created a congestion thus making the story unnecessarily exaggerated. This is solely my opinion, you may find the story interesting. Over-all a beautiful book that gives some amazing life lessons making us more aware about the society we live in. Excited to read another Akhil Sharma book soon.

Love, phoenixX ❤

Review ~ ‘Looking For The Rainbow’

Monsoon has finally arrived in India. I just love watching rain from my window & have ice cream or some snacks. I was never fond of tea & stopped having coffee after reading a stupid article about how caffeine can be a harmful addiction causing health issues. This is how my love for reading created a permanent rift between me and my coffee. Although I have coffee occasionally, twice or thrice a year maybe. Sigh!

Anyways forget it! Monsoon always fuels by bibliophile nature by turning me into a couch potato during weekends. I prefer to indulge into good books than partying or going for shopping during weekends. Last weekend I picked one of my favourite Ruskin Bond’s ‘Looking For The Rainbow’ & loved every bit of it. 😍

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‘Looking For The Rainbow’ took me back to my school days, as I kept finishing a chapter, flashback of my childhood days started to peak through my memory lanes. As the subtitle “my years with daddy” suggests, this book depicts Ruskin Bond’s memorable days with his father Mr. Aubrey Bond. His parents got separated and a stepfather was about to enter his life when he decided to stay with his father in Delhi. While world was in middle of a war, this little kid was fighting a war inside, with so many unanswered questions regarding his parents. He tried to suppress those by helping his dad with his rare stamp collection & spending time with him after work. He learnt so many things from his dad at a young age, like checking shoes before wearing it, boiling eggs, organising the stamp collection. Ruskin’s father took care of him so efficiently despite of his busy schedule. He took his kid to movies, restaurants or short trips whenever he got a little free time. He was seen giving wise advice to his son when he asked Ruskin not to reply to a mockery & to ignore it. Their strong bond became stronger when his father was hospitalized & Ruskin missed his presence more than anything.

Ruskin trusted his father and agreed to join school in Shimla. He undoubtedly missed his life with his father but also made a lot of friends there. Letters and parcels from his father is what kept Ruskin reminding that his father is his only family. Few incidents of Shimla was too funny, but my favourite one is that weird soup made by Ruskin with strawberry jam in it which caused indigestion to all those who had it. 😁

No matter how much Ruskin wanted to, he couldn’t live a longer time with his dear father. A father loves his children more than anything, but he’s unable to show it most of the time. We can feel his importance only when he isn’t around, guiding us, giving us advice, helping us clearing mess, protecting us, encouraging us, inspiring us. A good read indeed. A refreshing book which helps to relax, keeps your mind calm and remember good old days. And also it’ll make you understand your father better, thus making the bond you two share stronger than ever.

Love, phoenixX ❤