17 October, 2016

7 Bollywood Actresses who Dare Defy Aunties

Shaadi can WAIT! The next time your parents, relatives or neighbours come prodding you about getting married since you’re at ‘that age’, put forward the stories of these 7 Bollywood actresses who are kicking ass in their career!

1. Priyanka Chopra (34)
This young woman is a trailblazer! From winning the Miss World Crown, proving her mettle in Bollywood, singing with international artistes, and packing few punches in an American show plus, plus, plus starring in Baywatch! This girl has got guts, passion and glory – all this on her own!

2. Tabu (44)

She’s one of those women who combine unique beauty with pure raw talent – that’s a lethal combination right there! With 2 National Awards, 6 Filmfare Awards, and a Padma Shri, Tabu is one woman because of who your parents and relatives won’t have anything to counter-attack your point.

3. Nimrat Kaur (32)

What can you say about this talented woman that hasn’t already been said? From The Lunchbox to Airlift, to Homeland – this lady carries herself gracefully and with a dignified air in all her roles! Hats off to her paving her own success path!

5. Sushmita Sen (40)

Sushmita is more than ‘just’ a Bollywood actress. She encompasses a variety of roles that she follows with intense fervor. Winning the Miss Universe title (the first Indian to do so) was only the start. Adopting Renee at the young age of 25, adopting Alisah few years later, immersing herself in child welfare and education of the girl child, Sushmita is an example of courage and strong will amidst the countless aunties harping on marriage – give them a dose of Sushmita’s story and watch them back off.

6. Kangana Ranaut (30)

She is a refreshing person in the tumultuous Bollywood industry. Her bold, frank, honest views and daredevil approach marks her as one of a kind. From Gangster, Fashion, Queen to Tanu Weds Manu, Kangana holds her own easily. With 3 National Awards and 4 Filmfare Awards, Kangana is a great epitome of a woman who believes in herself and who slays any naysayer in her way. Take that annoying neighbours!

7. Deepika Padukone (30)

Yeah fine, so what if she’s dating, the lissome lady pursues her career with fierce devotion.  While many think that ‘Om Shaanti Om’ was her debut, in reality, it was the Kanadda film ‘Aishwarya’ that marked Deepika’s entry into movie-dom. This darling of the masses is soon to be seen in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage! How amazing is that!

So there you go. Dare anyone now pester you about marriage, if they do, well, you’re well armoured to strike down their arguments.

If you feel you need more ammunition, head over to follo.in for some in-depth updates about your Bollywood celebrities. You can also catch up with them on:

Go forth and defy those pesky aunties!

30 December, 2015

Book Review - The Bestseller She Wrote

There’s no two ways about this book. It is an intriguing read from start to finish. With characters that are so achingly real and situations that you’ve heard from gossip vines – this novel covers it all in a careful and thoughtful way.

IMO: The Bestseller 'He' Wrote ;)

Master storyteller Ravi Subramanian weaves his story around the concept of love with all its finesse and flaws that makes for a rich read. Loving two people at the same time and falling in love after marriage are the two main concepts at the center of this novel. Love, lust, betrayal, manipulation and hunger for power – Ravi Subramanian handles these elements with gentleness and a firmness that engulfs you, keeping you turning those pages fervently.

What's the story about?
The story follows the explosive happenings when bestselling author Aditya Kapoor and ambitious Shreya Kaushik meet. Riding high on his success as a top novelist, highly secure in his corporate job, a proud husband to the perfect wife Maya and father to an adorable son Aryan, and a strong bond with his childhood friend Sanjay, Aditya Kapoor had it all. He’s the kind of person you envy and yet respect at the same time.

Shreya Kaushik is passionate and ruthless. It is a lethal yet alluring combination that could lead to utter devastation or powerful rise. Being Shreya, she does both. An academically brilliant student with a spectacular future in front of her, Shreya goes after what she wants driven by a ravenous hunger, consuming anything that can lead her there the fastest. Her friend Sunaina is grounded and tries to keep Shreya’s flights of fancy in check. Shreya is the kind of person you would love to hate but her charm would not allow you to do that.

Aditya and Shreya get off to a combustive start – and that sets the tone for what is to follow. While they begin as loggerheads at each other, Shreya turns into an overnight fan of Aditya’s works and is determined to realize her dream of being a bestselling author through his mentoring. Aditya consciously strays from his stable marriage to a lovely woman; Shreya’s youthfulness, freshness and vibrancy are an irresistible force that catapults him into a vicious situation from which there seems no way out.

His dalliance with Shreya causes him to lose hold over his professional and personal life. In the midst of this, Aditya senses a vendetta against him by someone. How well do you really know your friends and family? This is a question that hangs invisibly in front of Aditya as he races against time to uncover the crafty mastermind set against him.

How's the book?
This book has an exciting pace, thrilling developments and a nail-biting climax! There are small fun elements that the author has placed, one of my favourite being (spoiler alert) a character, Ramesh Karia being a play of words of Mumbai's ex-Commissioner of Police ‘Rakesh Maria’ – just exchange the ‘M’ in Ramesh and ‘K’ in Karia with each other ;) Read the story for more such nuggets. The only one point that I would have liked to read more about was Aditya's relationship with his family and son especially. This tender relationship wasn't explored much and I missed the warmth that could have been here.

What's on the cover?
The cover is somber mustard yellow with a female and male profile facing away from each other, an open book in between them. Love, betrayal, redemption are printed stating the outline of the novel. A statement of the book soon transcending on to the movie screen too makes it on the front cover. The back cover narrates about the novel along with a few testimonials.

About the author

Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bengaluru, has spent two decades working his way up the ladder of power in the amazinglyexciting and adrenaline-pumping world of global banks in India. For Ravi, The Bestseller She Wrote, marks the beginning of a new chapter in his writing. A significant departure from his usual fare, this is Ravi’s first book on romantic intrigue. (courtesy BlogAdda)

This is the first time I read a novel by Mr. Ravi Subramanian and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Need to scout around for his other books now.

Now for the technical stuff:
  • Publisher: Westland Publications
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9385152386
  • ISBN-13: 978-9385152382
  • Pages : 392
  • Cover: Mustard Yellow
Personal Overall Rating: 9.7/10

If you like a fusion of romance/thriller/drama then this is the book for you. It will keep you hooked and engaged throughout. Perfect for those rainy days or for reading snuggled under a blanket, with hot tea on a cold winter's day.

You can get your own copy at Amazon or Flipkart.

I would like to thank BlogAdda and Mr. Ravi Subramanian for sending the autographed copy of this wonderful book.
Here’s a trailer of the story for you:

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!

Venice :)

12 November, 2015

Book Review : Khel - The Writings

I've always loved to curl up with a spooky movie or a chilling book. So I was all thrills when BlogAdda gave the chance to review Vishal Goswami’s horror book Khel – The Writings. I won’t give much away, just the necessary details.

Dare to play with Evil!

What’s it about?
Khel – The Writings turns something as innocuous as a deck of cards into a paranormal entity. The playing cards form the crux of the whole story. In this book, fictional Bhramdev, a hill station near Mumbai, is a pleasant location except for the dubious Haveli that everyone fears due to its dark history and mysterious occurrences.

Enter investigative journalist Sanya Sharma, a widow, also mourning the recent loss of her daughter in a fire. Surviving with a son and barely getting through life with the help of alcohol interspersed with psychiatric help, she is given a chance to investigate mysterious deaths that took place in the Haveli. It’s her last straw to hold on to for redemption – but at what cost?

Sanya partners with Bhramdev’s local police inspector Kabir to unravel the secrets and mysteries linked not just to the deaths she was asked to investigate but also the horrifying events that seem to follow her wherever she goes. Is there more to the Haveli than the local rumours? And was its Nawab and his family involved in something no one knew? These and more questions haunt Sanya ever since she immerses herself in the case.

Can Sanya turn the cards of fate around? Or do they trump an ace? Will the eerie writing on the cards come true for Sanya? Or can she defeat it at its own game?

What I thought about it:
PACE: Like I said before, a good horror story gives me an adrenaline rush. This one didn't really get me pumping except towards the latter half of the book. I found it a bit slow in the beginning, maybe the author wanted to set it before launching into the thrill factor, but a little more speed at the start would have piqued my interest a bit more.

STORY: I loved the concept of the writing on the cards. Really felt like it signified the cards dealing out your fate kinda story line which fit well. After reading and watching several ghost/paranormal stories before, I couldn't help feeling that there were strong influences of ‘The Grudge’, ‘The Ring’, and ‘The Conjuring’. Don’t worry, it’s not in major parts, just here and there. The story has a good element of intrigue and suspense, especially near the end. The script could have been made tighter for a more gripping read.

CHARACTERS: The protagonist, Sanya Sharma’s character tackles the supernatural events better than her real life crisis. She comes across as a warm, receptive and charming person were it not for her personal setbacks. She never gives up though on this unnerving case and follows it right to the end. Sanya exudes a contradictory sense of brittleness and toughness, uncertainty and determination, depression and steely will, making her an immensely human character which is great!

Kabir as the local police inspector could have been sketched into a more than just a sidekick role. His character held a lot of potential that was sadly untapped. He makes his mark as a stable guide and companion to Sanya as she explores the damned Haveli.

LANGUAGE: The book has been written in a simple and modern style. It’s easy to read with not too much unnecessary vocabulary. Two to three more proof-reads would have ensured a well written book. Minor spelling mistakes, usage of SMS language (e.g: Coz) and punctuation errors, coupled with a series of 3-5 sentences starting with same word drew down the excitement needed for such a book/story.

HORROR FACTOR: I would have to say, maybe a 6.5/10. Some parts were predictable and somehow the spookiness didn't quite come through. Again, the last part makes up for it. Now don’t you go reading the last part first!

COVER: The front cover sports a purple hued castle (Haveli), an ace of spades with a skull, and a blank eyed-red lipped spectre. The book’s title is written in blood red and white, with a horror-specific font.

The back cover also has a purple background with the gist of the story encapsulated.

About the author: Vishal Goswami is a MBA – Finance graduate from USA. He is passionate about reading and writing. This is the first time I read his writing and liked the simple and thoughtful way he penned down the novel.

Number of pages: 146 – I finished it in one sitting. The easy language and the adequate number of pages make for a quick read.

Genre: Thriller / Horror

Cost: INR 145 | $6

Published by: Frog Books

Personal Overall Rating: 7/10

If you’re looking to read a book to keep you occupied on a journey or if you want to take your mind off something for sometime, Khel – The Writings is a good book that serves both purposes well. If you’re looking to get spooked out of your bones, then this may fall short of matching up to your expectations - depending on how sensitive you are to horror. ;)

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Venice :)