Book Review: Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee

This book is a nice decent read!

The Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It’s her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste-based politics. Her path is crossed by two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are going to change her life forever. If it is Aman Sharma who can challenge her ideals, defy her resolves and make her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay Bharti’s sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It’s also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.

Excerpt:

All of them busy cheering their friends and exchanging pleasantries. Optimism was at its peak. She always loved the energy and undying spirit. An announcement was going on for today‟s final dress rehearsal program. Students were advised to segregate according to the degree they were receiving. She proceeded to join the MBBS batch with her friends Priya and Kiran Mala.

MBBS graduates were asked to stand alphabetically. Meera was taking her position when she sensed from the corner of her eye that someone was intensely watching her. Before she knew it, a tall and handsome man, with a whitish complexion, sharp chiseled features and deep dark brown eyes, wearing jeans and sky blue t-shirt was approaching her.

“Can I talk to you for a moment?” He asked her. Meera was perturbed by this sudden intrusion.

“Hi! I am Aman … Dr Aman Sharma, MD Medicine. And I guess you are….” he trailed off.

“I am Meera Mishra. I‟ve just finished my MBBS.” Meera finished the sentence.

“I would like to meet you sometime.” Aman said. There were no preliminary talks, not much introduction, it was simply a command. She, still unable to get a grip over the situation, replied, “I will see.” He then vanished in the crowd as quickly as he had appeared.Her eyes tried to follow him in the auditorium while rehearsal was going on. Aman Sharma had a demeanor, which reflected a kind of aloofness. His face had an arrogant look about it and there was an aura of aristocratic upbringing.

About The Author:

Dr. Madhu Vajpayee,- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.

Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires. When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

The Review:

When a country’s political system starts taking a toll on the lives of innocent people. So much, as to nearly threaten all aspirations, opportunities, rights and even peace from their lives. Their only mistake is being a part of that vicious cycle. But then, from a league of common people only, there are revolutionaries too. Who courage to rebel and fight against the system. Has sacrifice been that easy? Yes. Only when your dream and sacrifice are entwined together, adding will and perseverance to it.

Simran’s Desk…

Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee is a deliberately written book in context to social issue which still persists strongly in the roots of contemporary society and that is – a combination of politics and increase in the number of reservation quota for backward class.

The story revolves around Meera Mishra, a charismatic, intelligent, diligent and courageous doctor, who earns her M.B.B.S degree despite all the odds that her family face in terms of financial condition. Her mother constantly probe her to get married in a well-to do family whereas, her father be there to support her during all her ups and downs. He believes in Meera’s capability and encourages her to apply for post-graduation. Aman Sharma, who is pursuing MD in medicine from the same college admire Meera’s beauty and falls in love with her. He starts contacting her and seek ways to meet but Meera being goal oriented ignore him. Though he is arrogant and demanding but gradually, she starts liking and accepts the way he is. Unfortunately, Meera being hard working and intelligent fails to qualify the post-graduation medical entrance exam whereas, her best friends Priya and Kiran Mala who are comparatively less deserving candidates clear the entrance with the help of reservation quota. Meera is surprised and bewildered thinking what destiny holds for her in future and suddenly, her father gets terribly hit by an attack which paralyzes one side of his body. He is the sole earning member in the family. Meera’s younger brother, Raghav is an average student who aspires to study engineering. He doesn’t qualify entrance for a government engineering college but his mother pesters to get him admitted to a private college instead, that are expensive. In parallel to this, the government and the officials such as Prof. Rajaram, Samir Saxena, Rajesh Kumar and Rahul supports increase in number of reservation quota for their own benefits and agenda of winning votes whereas, on the other side, Aman, his father, Dr. Sanjeev and Dr. Abhay Bharti are against it, as they believe the gap between lower and upper castes has been filled and there is no more need of privilege. Meera, even after scoring well in her M.B.B.S doesn’t get to work in her own college which she should have had got it by default. That’s when she realize, the vicious cycle of politics and the system that runs blindly solely for its own benefits.

Will Meera be able to get a job and continue her studies or would be married off to someone? Will her parents would agree Aman- Meera relationship? Will she be able to arrange funds for family and expense for her brother’s higher education? Will Abhay Bharti and other rebellions get justice or will the vicious cycle would get stronger? Read the book to find it out.

What I liked?

The author has well defined all the characters in the story. She has nicely narrated the story and has put almost every aspect of the situation (reality) very wisely. The story goes on more like a debate which I found interesting. The ending is quite justified and has not been hurried.

What I disliked?

Repetition of dialogues and grammatical/spelling errors were a bit irritating. Other than that, I felt the story lacked surprise element and it was a slow read.

Why should one read this book?

Are you too against the reservation system? Have you too been deprived of opportunities because of the ongoing reservation system? If yes, then it’s a book you can relate yourself and realize how deeply it’s affecting so many dreams and lives.

******

Sarav’s Desk…

First of all, a very big congratulation to Madhu Vajypayee for addressing a social issue that’s in the roots of our society – reservation and the politics involved in it. Keep writing and good luck for your future.

How often we read a book on social issues these days? The answer would be a single digit I guess. This book, Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee, is one of its kinds – a mixture of reservation, privatisation of medical colleges, ugly politics, and the people in power deciding the fate of everything. Just like how it happens in reality. I appreciate Madhu for attempting to write in this genre.

This book had a promising plot, which later got mixed up with too many subplots that diluted the concentration of the book. The first few chapters drew me into the story, made me travel with the characters, only to read a diluted plot. For example, when Meera said YES to Aman, I expected to read a few romantic chapters, but what I offered was a complete let down. When the author wrote about anti-reservation movements, what lacked were the details, the complete setup, and facts to believe it. To be true, I was bit disappointed reading the final few chapters.

The story had its own twists and turns, keeping me hooked till the end, but there was no surprise element. Still, this was a good decent read. I took three hours to complete reading the book and one hour to write this review. If you are against reservation, then read this book to know the ugly politics involved in medicine industry, which the author penned wonderfully.

What I liked?

Only a few people know where to tell and where to show, I believe Madhu has done a decent job in this area. Her impeccable narration is what kept me hooked till the end. The plot and the characters are wonderfully plotted. The quick turn of events, the so-called good-luck factor, are well used in this book. Overall, this is a different decent read!

What I disliked?

Love and romance… the book lacked love and romance in those candid conversations between Meera and Aman, overuse of the words “Reservation” and “Caste”, lack of details or the setup of the subplots, repetition of the dialogues and grammatical errors.

Why should one read this book?

If you are against reservation, then read this book to know the ugly politics involved in medicine industry, which the author wonderfully penned. If you are victim of these ugly politics, for sure you will relate and applaud the author for plotting a decent read!

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Editing: 4/5
Excerpt: 4/5
Book Cover: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Seeking Redemption
Authors: Madhu Vajpayee
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Language: English
Pages: 176
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 199 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
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Follow Author on Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Stars…

Simran, the talented reviewer of our team, gave this book a three-star rating. While Vidhya and I, gave this book a four-star rating, to applaud the author’s brave attempt to write about a social issue that’s in the roots of our society. Keep writing, Madhu!

Seeking Redemption is a decent read! This book is against reservation, highlighting the ugly politics involved in medicine industry, will make you applaud the author for plotting a decent read! A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will keep you hooked till the very end! Highly recommended to all who are against reservation. No second thoughts!

The author has opted for a promotional package and our services. We are glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are from the reviewers heart and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. We have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and we will on FlipKart and Amazon as we felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Book Review: Humbling And Humility by Rian Nejar

This book shakes the prejudices through a grave, touching, and harmonious background story

Buy on Amazon: Paperback | Paperback

The Blurb:

“Humbling and Humility” is an intense, detailed narrative of an Indian-American father and husband’s struggle with betrayal by his spouse and its consequences upon himself and his children.

Including a critical view of state intervention into domestic discord in families in America, the narrative explores this father’s attempts to mitigate harm and accommodate disruptive life changes in non-violent ways, both in his family and in other families in similar predicaments.

In raw and honest discussions, with no pretense of holding back, the author delves into culture and gender differences, and the many challenges immigrants face in America.

Excerpt:
The wagon rolled out of 4th Ave., and I was grateful to see some sunlight through the tiny window. We stopped at a holding facility in another part of the metropolis, where a young, stocky fellow, no more than a year or two above twenty, with a large black patch of what seemed like dead skin on the underside of one of his forearms, joined me in my side of the dog wagon.

He seemed chatty, and given my brief exposure to sunlight, I conversed with him permanent black skin patch through MRSA gathered from unclothed contact with surfaces inside many jail cells he’d been in. MRSA is a bacterial strain highly resistant to treatment. It is quite common in the holding cells and incarceration facilities of the state. He was hospitalized by the state due to the severity of his bacterial infection. They’d managed to stop it, but not before the starkly visible damage. He seemed dismissive of it, but I wasn’t so sure that I would, at my age that was twice his, survive such bacterial infection.

As we were led into the civic center in Dilbut that housed the courts, through back doors into a holding area, I saw the same cop who’d mocked my request for toiletries at the 4th Ave. intake line. This Hispanic member of law enforcement– from his name, Carillo– seemed to enjoy playing sadistically with the emotions of those in the state’s unrelenting grip, presumed innocent or not. His face had all the refinement of a Halloween mask. It was a face not even a mother could love.
who’d mocked my request for toiletries at the 4th Ave. intake line. This Hispanic member of law enforcement– from his name, Carillo– seemed to enjoy playing sadistically with the emotions of those in the state’s unrelenting grip, presumed innocent or not. His face had all the refinement of a Halloween mask. It was a face not even a mother could love.

In time, an officer came in to inform us that a female judge had put in an appearance, and the sadistic cop changed his slant to discussing how she’d been making bail release determinations. It’s rather redundant to indicate that he worked at raising our hopes, with claims that the judge had, just the past week, let many in arraignment leave without bail, right from the courtroom, on their own recognizance. It is also not hard to now see why those arrested and subjugated by law enforcement refer to them as pigs, which I hardly think stands for ‘people in government service,’ though you may again be forgiven for such a gentle assumption.

A short walk, and a climb up a spiral staircase, led us directly and surprisingly into a courtroom. There, we were all gathered in the jury section, some gloriously attired in overalls of white with wide black stripes, and all with handcuffs on. There was only the judge and two cops present in the room. She went through each person’s situation, setting bail at significant amounts for each and every one of us. Some she would not release at all, and had to resign themselves to going back to the holding facilities or to Waspoia’s tent camps.

About The Author:

Rian Nejar is a mid-60’s child from India. He trained and worked as an engineer in India, lived briefly in the Middle East, and arrived in America in the early 90’s. After a Master’s in electrical engineering in America, he worked as an academic instructor, engineer, entrepreneur, and technical writer over the two decades since. Humbling and Humility (HnH) is the first heartfelt written expression of his varied life experiences. He lives in the Southwest United States, and writes on the social and human condition.

The Review:

Humbling and humility is predominantly an account of author’s take on the eastern and western culture.

The reader’s heart

We have always been complaining that the system in India is dormant and takes forever to reach a decision but Humbling and humility tells us a different story; the repercussions of a fast action. In a context of the humiliation of Indian Diplomat Priyavani, author unravels a dirty world where the facilities to the convicts or presumed guilty are menial. Author shocks the reader with the stories of unhygienic cells, which carries bacterial infections to the inmates of the prison. The protagonist ends up in an intervention center as a result of a bogus complaint filed by his wife. In spite of the sufferings from his spouse, the protagonist is the one who is convicted due to the indiscretion of the legal system and bureaucracy. In an unrelenting effort to make sure that the wrongdoer is punished, innocent people are becoming scapegoats. Protagonist is a first generation immigrant from India, who is struggling to adjust himself in the western culture. The dilemma, pain and frustration of the protagonist is conveyed well to the readers. Surprisingly name of the protagonist or his spouse if not mentioned anywhere in the book; or I missed it. While trying to put to light the inconsistency of marital lives in Western culture, author has portrayed a well to do family of his friends John and Parvathy, which shows that it is not an impossible task to inculcate two cultures but as the protagonist’s counsellor in the intervention center says, the Pendulum keep on swaying and at a point where it stops, things will work out. Protagonist’s life takes a turn when more people enter his life.

What I liked?

The language and craft of the story is solid. It is more of a monologue of the protagonists but yes, there are conversations but in a lesser number. Nevertheless, readers would not be bored. Author is absorbed seamless into the protagonist that at some points, I kept on wondering if I am reading an autobiography. Author touched so many topics, which are matters of concern for the protagonist. Through the stories of people whom the protagonists meet at the intervention center, readers are subject to revelations of unexpected happenings in a system that is considered secured, perfect and spotless. Last but not the least, the book is an eye opener about the misuse of Domestic Violence prevention measures. The editing is also done with finesse.

“Punishment for something I’d done, I can accept, but a beating, just because you are angry, is not okay.”

“This pendulum was not only an unstable system; it was, in the hands of a ruthless and single-minded collection of authorities, a hammer of social injustice and repression.”

What I disliked?

While we are half way through the book, the pace drops a little bit but takes momentum once Giddu, Guddy and Monty come to picture. A wave of anti- female feeling could be felt but it could be the protagonist’s perspective. The book cover design is simple when compared to the gravity of the topic.

Why should one read this book?

To know the sugar coated, quasi-perfectionism of a system which we look up to, one should read this book.

******

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 4.5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Excerpt: 5/5
Book Cover: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Humbling and Humility
Author: Rian Nejar
Genre: Fiction
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Anasim Books
Language: English
Pages: 310
Year of Publication: 2014
Price: 933 INR
Buy on Amazon: Paperback | Paperback
Follow on Goodreads:  Book | Author

Stars…

To this enlightening journey of words, I give a four-star rating.

“Humbling and Humility” is a sugar coated, quasi-perfectionism of a system which we look up to, one should read this book. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will keep you hooked till the last page. Highly recommended for all. A must read. No second thoughts!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This book was given to me by author in exchange for an honest review. I am glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a four-star rating on Goodreads as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

About the Reviewer: Rakhi was born in a small town in Kerala. Born and brought up as a quintessential small town girl, she had always been ambitious and goal-oriented. After her masters in Biotechnology and Business Administration, she joined as an HR recruiter in a consulting firm. Her eight-year-old love life blossomed into marriage in 2010 and she joined her husband's family business. Blessed with two children, she is a full time mother and an author. Her passion for literature made her the author of the poetry collection Un-assuaged- The blossoms of my imaginations. She started writing her blog Outset- Rakhi Jayashankar.