Story Reveal: Rukhsat The Departure By Sujit Banerjee

Rukhsat The Departure By Sujit Banerjee

Book Details:
Title: Rukhsat The Departure
Authors: Sujit Banerjee
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Frog Books
Language: English
Pages: 260
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 250 INR
Buy Paperback: Order on Amazon
Follow on: Book on Goodreads
Follow Author on Sujit B on Goodreads

The Blurb:

Twenty-six alphabets, twenty-six names, and twenty-six short stories. Each exploring one unique emotion, taking you into the dark recess of the mind. Some frothy and most of them dark. Most standing alone and some facing a mirror, where the same story comes alive in two different ways, through two different protagonist . Meet myriad characters – from the single-minded prostitute to the man on the railways station bereft of any memory; a woman desperate for a biological child to a dead man’s trial. Meet a jealous lover with a twisted brain and a gay man’s memory of a one-night encounter. Meet twenty-six such characters arrested and sentenced for life inside the pages of a book. Each one leaving an indelible mark on your soul.

Story Reveal:

Excited to read the book? Order it now on Amazon

Read the review here and his interview here

Book Review: Going Underground by L. N. Denison

This book is un-put-down-able!

The Blurb:

The year is 2044. A decree is put into effect that brings about a new era—a revived holocaust against mixed-lineage humans. Being of non-pure blood, Jen Cole has been forced to live under the oppressive government’s radar.

Myron Cutter, Jen’s professed nemesis, one day requests an uneasy alliance with Jen to support conspiracy theorist and rabble-rouser, Oscar Saracen. Incarceration is only the beginning of Jen’s problems when she’s caught conspiring against the government, while Myron is sent to military training by his powerful father as punishment for his part in her deception.

Yet when Jen ends up in the same labour camp as Oscar Saracen, escape becomes palpable as serendipity reunites her with Myron, and hope looms on the horizon. As Jen uncovers treasonous plans, she heads underground—the only safe place for her now, and where she can continue her pursuit of the dark truths enveloping the world she once knew.

Packed with political turbulence and a chilling existence, Going Underground is a hauntingly thrilling journey of a troupe of misfits in a fight to win back their freedoms. December 31, 2046, would be a day to remember. The new Independence Day. But who will win the battle?

Excerpt:

The reason for Lavinia’s hatred towards Jen was unjustified. It wasn’t Jen’s fault that Lavinia had been chased out of her own village, or that she had been ostracised by her family for having a child out of wedlock. When it was brought to light that the father of the child was English, Lavinia was given two choices: she could face the consequences of her actions, or leave the serenity of her village. Lavinia preferred the latter to what was planned for her had she stayed.

Punishments for sinful acts were almost archaic in nature; the sin that Lavinia had committed was punishable by stoning. She preferred to take her chances onthe outside, living in filth and degradation, rather than facing the prospect of a painful death at the hands of people she had thought loved her.

Her brother drove Lavinia as far as North London and left her there with her luggage in one hand and two-year-old Jen in the other. After an agonising journey to the heart of London, they finally made their home under Waterloo Bridge, a temporary stopgap until Lavinia could find work and somewhere a little more suitable to live.

From the moment of their arrival, life would become one big struggle. As the war between England and Scotland escalated, so did the English government’s need to rid itself of the minority groups: namely, people such as Lavinia and the others under the bridge—non-pure bloods, as they were known. Social standing meant nothing, as the people under the bridge had proved. Each one had, at some point, been an integral part of society—at least two had been members.

Parliament before the witch-hunts began, forcing them into hiding. Lists of known non-pure bloods had been posted in all the patrol stations across the Southeast, and one by one they were rounded up and placed into labour camps. There were five such camps, all situated dangerously close to the main battle areas along the North-South divide. Lavinia could count herself lucky—nobody, apart from the people under the bridge, knew that she or Jen existed. So, for a while, they were safe from harm. Lavinia had to learn how not to be so Scottish, trying desperately hard to pick up the English dialect and rid herself of her broad accent. This was a necessity before she could even consider going to look for work. She practised every chance she had, and with anyone who would listen to her.

About The Author:

I’m 44 years of age and live in rural Kent, where I have been for the last 25 years. I have been writing this novel on and off for the past 15 years, I now have something that I can be proud of. It has been tweaked many times over, and it is now where I want it to be. I generally write for fun, poetry and short stories. It is something that I enjoy doing. I am currently writing a post-apocalyptic piece, called Cavers, which is penned for release the middle of next year. That is my ultimate goal.

The Review:

The scenario these days is strange, unforeseen and unheard of. Notwithstanding the proud proclamation of being civilized, developed and sophisticated, we still brood the hatred, repugnance and discrimination about class, creed, race. If we don’t put an end to this insanity, years apart we would be in ground zero, back to point one. Authoress tried to, say, foresee, what will happen after 29 years. The book is an adult fantasy.

The Reader’s Heart…

From now onwards, I would not say that I am not much into fantasy since I have been reading quite a lot of fantasy books lately and Going Underground nailed me. The story revolves around Myron and Jen. The ups and downs in their relation, right from the enemity, to friendship, fights and finally love is an undercurrent of the story. Due to the circumstances, they are dragged into the labor camps arranged by the government to put down the impure blood and the protestors. The cruelties in the camp will make anyone cringe with fear, pain, and repugnance. Finally the join hands with Oscar Saracen, and fight the double standards of the government. Will they succeed?

What I liked?

Authoress has adapted a tight narrative style, which keep up with the storyline. With the right meter of words and imagery, authoress succeeded in engaging the readers till the end of the book. Not even for a second we feel that what we read is fiction. The story has been pulled off with utmost conviction. Lately, I was quite disturbed about an unnecessary surge of erotica in almost all the story with a tinge of romance. But, Going Undeground proves that erotica is not needed to convey the depth of a relation. Thank You Layla for showing a platonic love and a fact that she showed it as that happens in 2044 proves that there are still chances for pure love in future as well. The atrocities in the labor camp remined me of what I read about the way fighters were treated during freedom struggle, emergency, world war and situations alike.

Characters are all crafted well, with required importance to each character at each point of time.

What I disliked?

Even if with a tinge of reality that happened in the past, the cruelties in the labor camp became over the top towards the end, which made the readers tired of the sufferings of the protagonists. Yes, this has happened earlier but it is difficult to even read through.

Why should one read this book?

Do you think that the cast, creed, and race discrimination would surface and engulf us in the future? Do you think that Science would bite us back like a Frankenstein Monster? Do you feel a surge of adrenaline seeing the political double standards? Moreover, Do you love Adult Fantasy? Then you should read this.

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

Book Details:
Title: Going Underground
Author: L. N. Denison
Type: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Createspace
Language: English
Pages: 390
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 0.99 $
Buy on Amazon
Follow on: Goodreads
Follow Author on Twitter | Goodreads

Stars… For this exciting work of fantasy, I would give four stars. Thank you Layla for making me a lover of Adult Fantasy.

Going Underground is an exciting read. It made me a lover of Adult Fantasy. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book! Recommended to all. No second thoughts!

The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and Amazon as I felt nothing less or more than that would be fair.

Book Review: The Bestseller She Wrote By Ravi Subramanian

This book is un-put-down-able!

The Blurb:

He was a bestseller She wanted him to make her one.

Paperback king, Aditya Kapoor life is straight out of a modern man’s fantasy. His literary stardom is perfectly balanced by a loving wife and a spectacular career.

With everything he touches turning to gold, Aditya is on a winning streak.

Shreya Kaushik is a student with a heart full of ambition. Young, beautiful and reckless, Shreya speaks her mind and obsessively chases after what she wants. And what she wants is to be a bestselling author.

What happens when their worlds collide? Is it possible to love two people at the same time? Can real ambition come in the way of blind passion? Can trust once broken, be regained?

Master storyteller Ravi Subramanian, delves into the glitzy world of bestsellers and uncovers a risky dalliance between a superstar novelist and his alluring protege.

The Bestseller She Wrote is a combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption.

Excerpt:

The whole auditorium resonated with applause. Aditya Kapoor, who had been standing in one corner of the stage, walked up to the podium. Holding the stem of the mic, he pulled it closer to his mouth. The emcee who had been using the microphone earlier was a good ten inches shorter than Aditya’s six-foot-something frame. He cleared his throat, an act which he had rehearsed a number of times in the past and spoke into the microphone: ‘Good Evening.’

His deep baritone could make many a woman go weak in the knees. ‘It feels good to be back after fifteen years,’ Aditya carried on. There was an awed silence in the auditorium. ‘Isn’t it surprising that IIM Bengaluru has never invited me to talk about my professional exploits, something for which this institute trained me, prepared me? Instead, you have given me the honour and privilege of speaking to all of you about what I have achieved by pursuing my passion, my dreams.’

He paused and looked around the room. ‘I am here to speak not about what I have achieved, but about what I have enjoyed. Someone once said, “Find what makes you happy and go for it with all your heart. It will be hard, but I promise it will be worth it.” The fact that I am standing here in front of all of you, talking about my exploits, only goes to show that it is, in fact,’ and he again paused and looked around the room, ‘. . . that it is, in fact, truly worth every single minute that I spent pursuing my dream.’

Aditya continued, ‘When I began writing in 2008, it was for my own self. I became a writer, not only to tell a story but to broaden my own perspective. I don’t know whether readers took away any message from my books or not, but for me, writing was a process which left me intellectually enhanced. It transformed my personality completely.’

There was another round of applause.

A confident orator, Aditya went on to talk about his books, the writing process and getting published. The audience listened to him in rapt attention as he talked about his experiences and how he was able to differentiate himself in a crowded marketplace.

‘Every author puts in a fair bit of effort when he or she writes a book. But not everyone markets it well. Remember the easiest part about writing a book is . . . writing the book. The hard work starts once the book is written. The task of marketing the book and bringing the product to the reader is . . .’

‘Product? Rubbish!’ someone in the gathering exclaimed. The voice was loud enough for at least a few in the room to have heard it. Aditya heard it too. Stopping for just a brief moment, he glanced around before moving on. He had been in such situations before. The person who had made that remark was in the minority and could be ignored.

‘Marketing the book and bringing the product to the reader is a very critical task in the entire product life cycle. If you don’t get the product into the buyers’ consideration subset, how will he or she buy it? Isn’t that what they teach you in your two years at management school? In my case, the book is the product and the readers are our consumers.’

‘Balls!’ This time the voice was louder. It sounded out like a whipcrack. ‘It’s a book for god’s sake, not a product.’

Aditya stopped as heads turned. The sound had come from the right hand corner of the auditorium. If anyone had missed it the first time, they were sure to have heard it now.

From where the sound had emanated, stood two young girls. One of them looked quite embarrassed, which was enough for Aditya to confirm that it was the other one who had spoken.

‘Sorry?’ he questioned, upset at being rudely interrupted. ‘What was that?’ The girl had been a bit too loud. Maybe she didn’t realise it, but now, for him, it was a matter of his fragile male pride.

Neither of the girls responded to Aditya’s question. After what seemed like thirty seconds of uncomfortable silence, the girl who had made the comment stood up. All eyes were on her, including those of the outraged academics sitting in the front row.

‘Pardon me, Mr Kapoor, but a book is not a product,’ she spoke up. Despite her ostensible apology for her impropriety, she didn’t need any coaxing to stand up and speak. ‘A book is an expression of an author’s creativity. Do not demean it by calling it a “product”. We respect you as a good writer, as a successful professional and as a senior from our campus, but that does not mean that anything goes.’

A few whispers went up in the auditorium, gradually escalating into chatter.

‘Young lady,’ Aditya began, the quiver in his voice quite apparent. Camouflaging his thoughts had never been his strength. His face had gone red with anger. He was not going to be shown up by a young kid.

‘You are correct, but only partly. A book is not a product when an author is writing it. At that moment it is a dream. It is the purpose of existence for the author. But the moment you put a price tag on it and place it on a shelf in a bookstore, it becomes a product.’

He looked at the others in the audience and after an intentional pause, added, ‘Otherwise why even bother to sell it? Give it away for free.’

The Review:

I wish I had not written this review…

The Reviewer’s Heart…

“The Bestseller She Wrote”, failed to impress me, especially after the huge expectations I have from the author after reading his previous works. The first impression after reading the blurb was, this book is going to be a good read, but the very thought changed after reading the first chapter. The next few chapters clearly conveyed that Aditya is going to fall for Shreya, despite being a married man and having a lovely son. It did not surprise me, when Aditya kissed Shreya, or Shreya invited Aditya for a “steamy” romance. Well the romance did not appear steamy to me, it was more of a let down.

The chat conversation between the two, the way Shreya played along in the middle chapters were good. The worst part of the book was to make Aditya’s wife suffer from the dreadful disease Ebola and getting cured with the help of Canadian Vaccine. I wonder from when vaccines started curing diseases! Though the climax was bit delayed, still I loved the way the author wrote it.

The story had its own twists and turns, keeping me hooked till the end, but there was no surprise element, at least to me. This book is a quick read. I took three hours to complete the book and one hour to write this review. If you are looking for a quick decent read, then read this book to enjoy the character “Shreya”, whom the author created powerfully.

What I liked?

It was “Shreya” who drove me into the story and kept me hooked till the end. The chat conversation between Aditya and Shreya, the way Shreya played along in the middle chapters, particularly the chapters when she really made Aditya go mad for her, impressed me.

When I read TOI’s prompt from the author, I liked it, and it suited the story well.

What I disliked?

The reader’s heart would tell the story!

Why should one read this book?

If you are looking for a quick decent read, then read this book to enjoy the character “Shreya”, whom the author created powerfully. This book is a perfect script for a Bollywood Movie!

Rating:
Blurb: 3/5
Description: 3/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Editing: 4/5
Excerpt: 2/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3/5

Book Details:
Title: The Bestseller She Wrote
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Westland
Language: English
Pages: 391
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 295 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Follow on: Facebook | Goodreads
Follow Author on Facebook | Goodreads

Stars… To this not so thrilling read, I give a three-star rating.

The Bestseller She Wrote is a quick read. Perfect Bollywood Material! If you are interested to know the publishing industry and its background with a bit of romance, you are welcome to read this book. A ☆ ☆ ☆ Book! Recommended to all. No second thoughts!

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books! The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a three-star rating on Goodreads, Amazon and FlipKart as I felt nothing less or more than that would be fair.

A Conversation With Sujit Banerjee

BLW: Let’s welcome the new and sensational Indian author Sujit Banerjee to Book Lovers World. Born to Bengali parents in Lucknow, he grew up in Patna where he finished his post-graduation in Psychology and ended up becoming a tour operator instead of a Psychologist. He is glad to be in tourism. It had taken him all over the world including places people would have never heard of. We’re sure, have you heard about Tlacotalpan? It is a popular place in Mexico. Destiny had other plans as well for him to become a reluctant healer. A crazy Shaman in Mexico set the ball rolling and it has rolled all the way to Delhi. Today he both heals as well as read Tarot cards. His wife thinks he is mad. His friends think he is weird. He says he is the combination of both. His first story was published in a magazine when he was seventeen. Thereafter he wrote poems in English and Hindi, which he says that’s his personal collection, and will remain personal. Then again he started writing short stories and it’s a collection now – ‘Rukhsat The Departure’ published by Leadstart Publishing, and is among the top selling books on Amazon.

Sujit Banerjee: Thanks for such generous introduction! It’s great to be here at Book Lovers World.

BLW: Firstly, congratulations on the getting published your debut book “Rukhsat The Departure”. Tell us a little about yourself.

I love to travel and Himalayas call me over and over again

Sujit Banerjee: You have said it all, already! Well – I just turned 55 and it feels good! It has been a tremendous journey – as a healer, as a tourism professional tour operator and now as a writer. I do believe that I always had the gift of words and initially they wove themselves into poems but now… I love to travel and Himalayas call me over and over again. I love photography and nothing makes me happier than to be on the move with my camera in my hand!

BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book Rukhsat The Departure, what it means to you, and how did you conceive the idea of writing a collection of twenty six short stories alphabetically? How long did it take to write this book?

Sujit Banerjee: Rukhsat just happened; initially I would scribble the outline of a story and take time to flesh the plot out. In general I am a miser with words and hence they started to get over fast with most of them between 3 to 4 pages. Once I had over ten of them in hand I realised it was getting to be a collection and it just struck me – 26 alphabets and 26 stories! Since each story had an independent character – 26 names was the obvious choice. Then started the long and laborious journey of finishing 26 stories which took me over 3 years to complete!

BLW: Rukhsat The Departure is a collection of twenty-six stories… No people, with well-developed characters. We would like to know the homework you did to write this book.

Sujit Banerjee: A lot of it was easy as I had either had experiences that I wanted to write about or I had heard stirring stories of other – those that had engraved themselves on my mind. Yes, still ran short of the magical numbers to few – very few in fact – were created out of thin air – you will recognise them as you go along! Not much homework as you can see but yes – a lot of patience and effort to polish each one into a gem that contained all kind of human emotion and actions you can think of.

BLW: Tell us your favourite protagonist from the book, and do you have any character inspired from your real life?

Sujit Banerjee: There are three actually and even now I cannot make up my mind which one I am closest to. Hemakshi fighting the fact that she will not have a biological child; Yasmeen Bibi dealing with the world of three “talaks” and Zayan – the last one of a condemned man – what goes through his head as he prepares himself for the inevitable.

BLW: What were your biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

Sujit Banerjee: The biggest learning was of how no one wants to touch a new author – specially known brands. I don’t know if they even read a manuscript at all and how one person can decide what the world would like to read. Had it not been for the initiative of Leadstart Publishing the stories would have gone untold. The next thing was the amount of time the process consumes from editing to going for final print. A new author can never imagine what goes behind the whole process. We all (new authors) dream that once they finish a book – it will become a bestseller in a months’ time! How far removed is the truth. Lastly, the realisation that nothing works better than being an active participating in promoting your own book and how social media plays a very big role in the process.

BLW: What inspired you to write this book?

Sujit Banerjee: The powerful stories – real life – that I came across. As I heard them, I lived each one of them in my own mind and a time came when I thought I HAVE to share them to get them off my mind and the best way was writing them and sharing with others. The rest of it you already know.

BLW: Did visiting countries help you write this book?

Sujit Banerjee: Not really unless you count the fact that visiting different societies and experiencing various culture did open up my horizon; was was taboo became a reality; what was unheard of here in India – was common out there. That did make a difference.

BLW: What was your biggest learning from writing this book?

Sujit Banerjee: Patience – the art of letting go and flowing with the tide. Writers’ block is a reality and I guess each author has to go through it and deal with it in their own ways. In my case my friends helped out – holding me back – forcing me to let go and then float with time.

BLW: Rukhsat The Departure is a collection of short stories. Would you be sticking to one preferred style and genre in future?

Sujit Banerjee: Right now I am just soaking it in… who knows what will come out next! Maybe a historical story of a courtesan?!!

BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?

Sujit Banerjee: In bed – on my mobile phone!

BLW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Sujit Banerjee: I wanted to be a salesman!!! I wanted to work for an established company and sell soaps, oil etc. all over the country – travelling and visiting places no one even heard of.

BLW: What are your inspirations in life?

Sujit Banerjee: The innate beauty of people around me! How each one has an unique story to tell but they don’t know how and to whom. I was lucky that I could relate to people quickly and give them the confidence to share their experiences.

BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?

Sujit Banerjee: Not so much as books as much as writers; the Bengali writer Balai Chand Mukhopadhyay – more popular as Banaphool, O Henry and Jeffery Archer (his Twist in The Tale). Lastly and not the least – Gulzar Saheb has had a tremendous impact on me to the extent that he changed the way I think in life.

BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?

Sujit Banerjee: Maybe a year from now I will start thinking! My wife insists it should be a murder mystery.

BLW: What other secret skills do you have?

Sujit Banerjee: I think the gift of words as the biggest gift I have that even helps me sell my country as a destination to foreigners.

BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. We know you enjoy reading books. What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.

Sujit Banerjee: Absolutely – I have my own library with hundreds of books – almost all read and few waiting for their turn. Angela’s Ashes haunted me; The Little Prince made me dream; The Storytellers Tale introduced me to the world of Dastangoi; In Arabian Nights by Tahir Shah I found my angels and demons. Finally – last but not the least – The Kite Runner that tore me up into bits and pieces.

BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?

Sujit Banerjee: Be honest; ask yourself if what you write – others would like to read; avoid heartbreaks by deluding yourself that other must like what you do. Have a good story to tell; don’t just write to publish and become famous. Recognise your weaknesses and strengths; work on the first and use the later to the hilt. Take feedback and don’t get hurt if they don’t match your own expectation. In the world of book you have to be excellent – not just good. And be patient – don’t rush your work – take breaks, enjoy the other things in life, get away from it and come back again. Enjoy what you are writing and leave the rest to God and publishers!

BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!

Sujit Banerjee: Travelling is the best way to get to know the gift God has given to us as EARTH. The second best way is by reading.

Thank you so much for your time, Sujit. It’s our pleasure to chat with you… We’re super excited! And to the readers stay back for more. We’re going to interview the lead characters of the book Rukhsat The Departure, Meera, Aman and Abhay in a short while. We hope you will like reading the response. Stay Tuned!