Book Review: Monsoon Masala by Sulagna Chaudhury

This book is un-put-down-able!

The Blurb:

Siddharth Chatterjee – Mr Playboy…high flying career, parties, hot girls and loads of booze. Life can’t get better than this or can it?

Akanksha Dutta – Miss Perfectionist, who has fought against all odds and emerged as a winner, who detests the word “relationship” and wants to live life on her own terms only.

Welcome to Monsoon Masala, the whacky love story about the madness and magic in the lives of two individuals, Akanksha and Siddharth. Multiple times they meet, they ditch and they separate. And then, on 8th June 2004, Venus is in transit for the first time since 1882. Astrologers predict that this “celestial once in a lifetime” event will lead to the making of some great love stories. Does it mean something “surreal” for these 2 strong individuals as well?

Excerpt:

To catch a bus I needed to cross the busy junction at Park Street. He promptly came forward and caught my hand saying that he would help me cross the road. I looked at him and said, ”You know Sid, over the last few years, I have been commuting all by myself. I am not a damsel in distress. I can cross my roads. I think I have more than proved my point on this through my life. Not that I want you to feel bad but you didn’t even stand up as a friend when I needed one desperately, right?

So, don’t do all this, it really doesn’t matter. And please don’t hold my hand ever again.

About The Author:

With over 15 years of experience, Sulagna Chaudhury at present works with a reputed MNC as a client services and sales professional.

She is the owner of a contemporary dance group ”Jhankar Beatz” and in her free time doubles as a MC doing a corporate as well as public shows. Here is a multi-faceted career that also encompasses stints as a lecturer and a banker while living her ”radio” passion and ruling as a popular RJ across cities and radio stations for more than a decade.

She is an active blogger who loves penning her thoughts on diverse topics and proudly lives her mantra of ”Life is all about moments… it is you who decides to make it large.” She currently resides in Bangalore, India, with her husband and her 5 year old daughter.

The Review:

Every love story has its own essence and beauty of the feelings that people in it share. Not all of those stories go smooth and like the ones all of us dream about. Many a times it takes years to realize that there is a love…a strong one which persists behind anger, ignorance and million little fights.

According to me, letting go a sincere love is the biggest loss one can have because not all love is true. After reading ‘Monsoon Masala’ I realized it even better.

The Reviewer’s Heart…

Monsoon Masala by Sulagna Chaudhury is a complete set of adventure and drama with much needed masala for its readers to savor. The story revolves around a very beautiful, diligent, talented and intelligent girl, Akanksha Dutta and equally opposite to her, Siddharth Chatterjee (Sid). The story starts with the childhood days of Akanksha, her little anecdotes and about her family. Then comes an interesting twist when Sid’s childhood days begin. Both of them despite having a childhood together what they share is a complete contrast of each other. If it’s Akanksha, you would want to pat on her back for being an ideal child and if it’s Siddharth’s, you would wish to return to your childhood days to make it awesome like his. The Bengali culture has been beautifully described throughout the book.

Since both of them had the same class and the culture it was quite obvious that traits of Sid was compared to Akanksha. The author has well depicted one of the most common traits found in parents, especially in India. Akanksha is an all-rounder. She is good in studies, well mannered, a winner of AIR (All India Radio) singing competition and to add a cherry on the top, a very pretty girl. Whereas, Sid is smart in everything except for studies. He listens none but his heart. In short, he is a spoiled brat, thanks to his dad for fulfilling all his demands. His favorite past time is irritating Akanksha who has an image of a perfectionist; not out of jealousy but revenge because she be there in his ”everything”, an ideal for all to whom he desperately wants to put out of his life. There is a clash for sure; every time they come across each other.

There is an instance when Sid’s family approach Akanksha’s for match making with Sid’s elder brother. Somehow, it seems wrong to Sid. He feels pained with the fact and convince his brother to reject Akanksha. Sid gets a decent job in Gurgaon. With his good performance at workplace he gets a chance to work in abroad. Sid is sure that he is in love with Akanksha. He writes her a long mail; expressing his desire to be with her. On the other side, Akanksha is getting married to Raghav, a highly educated and well settled. There is a big secret about Raghav that can change Akanksha’s life forever.

Will Akanksha read Sid’s mail? Would Raghav be able to cheat Akanksha and make her life a living hell? or Will Akanksha reject Sid’s proposal? Read Monsoon Masala to find it out.

What I liked?

It was interesting to see how tactfully and naturally the author got into the shoes of Sid and Akanksha and connected the dots neatly. Both of their parts were interesting, equally. Each character was well developed, this shows that the author has given a good time for writing each chapter. The book is well edited. Also, I liked the paperback quality.

What I disliked?

At some point of time the pace of the story became too slow and monotonous. Also, I felt that the book cover could have been better. In the end, like always when I try connecting the book title and the story; this time the duo didn’t work together.

Why should one read this book?

For all those who are planning for a light read or looking for a book which opens a door for you to anticipate the next possibility only to read a twist… then it’s a right book to go for.

Rating:
Blurb: 3/5
Description: 3.5/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Editing: 4/5
Excerpt: 3/5
Book Cover: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Book Details:
Title: Monsoon Masala
Author: Sulagna Chaudhury
Genre: Fiction
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Frog Books
Language: English
Pages: 294
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 275 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon

Stars… To this light read with unexpected twists I give a 3.5 star rating.

Monsoon Masala is a light read. Those who firmly believe in love should must read. Love makes you do things you had never thought of. A ★★★½ Book! Recommended to all!

This book was given to me by the Publisher 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 3.5 star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Book Review: Arjun Without A Doubt by Dr. Shinde Sweety

This book weave magic with the sword of words.

The Blurb:

“I knew there was nothing poetic about death. I knew not that the most horrific battles are fought off the battlefield.”

Arjun: The idealist in a non- ideal world; the warrior whose deadliest opponent was his conscience. History forgot his voice, but misquoted his silence.

“My self-esteem originates from me and ends in me. Why does your honor depend on me? Find your own.”

Draupadi: The untamed tigress, the fragrant flame, the unbridled spirit.

“Power does not justify sin. Power is not virtue. Virtue is that which lasts in spite of power.”

Krishn: The enigma whose unique ideology churned the battlefield into a quest for Truth.

The Missile… The Trajectory… The Vision. The trio that makes for the core of Mahabharata. 

This is their saga.

Insightful, visceral and candid

Excerpt:

“Everyone wants to be the best and I don’t mind toiling to ensure my superiority. But the best is always a state of flux, it is a constant endeavor, not a one-time title. I will encounter so many warriors in my lifetime. Each will have his own specialty, finesse and his tutor’s nuances. I have to de-learn, relearn and reinvent myself constantly.

“I am not being self-effacing. I am doing it with a definite purpose. If I get smug, I will stagnate. Why would I do something so cruel to myself?”

I leaned forward,”Let us switch to better topics. The mere mention of Hastinapur makes me gloomy. Duryodhan tried to kill you all so as not to lose Hastinapur. That conflict died without any skirmish and in his favor. Now what is his grief?”

“His grief is that we are still alive.”

“I disagree, Arjun. The feud ended with the division of land. They are in their Hastinapur, we are in our Indraprastha. They are of no consequence anymore.” I gazed from one to another. 

“Your are not merely alive. You are flourishing. Indraprastha does not merely exist. Indraprastha is blindingly prosperous. Inconsequential things have a way of snowballing into vicious problems.” 

Krishn, as always, liked to have the last word.

About The Author:

Dr. Shinde Sweety holds a Doctorate in Medicine, with numerous publications in Indian and International Medical Journals. She is an avid Mahabharata fan and a voracious reader. She loves to day-dream, swim, sketch and learn new languages- currently trying Spanish and Sanskrit. She blogs at “Impractical Dreamer”, where she review books, delves into spirituality and searches for humor in everyday life. She can be contacted at sweetyshinde@hotmail.com

The Review:

For all the Mahabharata lovers- It’s a book that you would cherish getting back to, each time. An enthralling read that will lead you to the wise insights of past, present and future. 

The reader’s heart

I apologize to the author for keeping the review copy for almost six long months. There are so many things I missed out and unfortunately this wonderful book too. Thank you so much Dr. Sweety for being kind and patient with me. Getting back to the review.

Arjun Without A Doubt by Dr. Shinde Sweety, is significantly about three very powerful characters of Mahabharata- Arjun, Krishn and Draupadi. Through this book she has retold the essence of myth and our beliefs attached to it. I appreciate the author for such an excellent and smooth narration. As I started reading, I was moved with the characters right from the very first page. It was beautiful to read from Arjun’s perspective and then Draupadi’s perspective. I especially loved Krishn’s dialogues with light humor and effectiveness; the all time savior. I felt bad for Draupadi for being shared as a common wife among Arjun’s brothers. At the same time I was happy that the love between Arjun and Draupadi didn’t fade but get stronger with each new challenge thrown over. Draupadi, a rare combination of beauty, brain and courage was the most appealing character. For all her life she sacrificed to sacrifice. I was almost in tears reading the reunion part of Draupadi and her sons. There are so many instances in the book that have become close to my heart, I found myself involved and connected it. If someone come and say what’s so hard to tell an old known epic? But wait… this is not just an epic but a work of sheer brilliance. There are some books you read and forget but there are some special books which had kept you hold till the end when you first read them, you feel getting back to them again and again. “Arjun Without a doubt” undoubtedly stands in the latter category.

What I liked?

The author has masterfully worked over the main characters and events with beautiful description. There are many inspiring and awakening quotes in the book. It’s the first time I read a mythological genre and I must say this book has open a way to this particular genre, for me.

* “Don’t underestimate your triumphs. Leave it to the enemy.”

* “Silence too, can be misquoted” 

* “Peace is the first casualty in every ambition.” 

* “I learnt that no matter what names they give you, nothing applies until you wish it to. No insult, no barb yours to bear unless you want it to. Use it, if you want. Make it into a weapon and let it boomerang back to those who uttered it. Just don’t let it overpower your life.”

* “Ask yourself if I’m capable of contradictions, Draupadi.

Some missions succeed only by their spectacular failure. – Krishn”

* “..war doesn’t decide who is right – it just decides who is left.”

What I disliked?

What I disliked in the book was, at a few places I was confused whether the statement was by Draupadi or Arjun. It was a bit irritating to go through the previous lines again but it doesn’t take away the credits for writing a wonderful book.

Why should one read this book?

Whether you are a Mahabharata fan or not, doesn’t matter. I bet you won’t deny in accepting it to be one of the best reads. I won’t say that you “should” read this book. In-spite, I would say, “Must Read It”

******

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

Book Details:
Title: Arjun Without A Doubt
Author: Dr. Shinde Sweety
Genre: Mythology/ Epic/ History
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Frog Books
Language: English
Pages: 306
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 195 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Follow on:  Facebook | Goodreads Author Page

Stars…

To this mesmerizing reading ride full of  wisdom and insight with an exceptionally moving narration; I give a four-star rating.

“Arjun Without A Doubt” will stand up to your expectations with an exceptionally moving narration. Main characters of the story appear so real and alive to have you moved along with themselves. This book weave a magic with the sword of words.. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will keep you mesmerized for a long time. Highly recommended for all. A must read. No second thoughts!

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 and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.