12 November, 2016

Book Review - Graffiti by Joanie Pariera

'Art' of life, anyone?
Graffiti stands by its name. This modern novel is mainly narrated through Vipin. It is through him that we get to meet the other characters like Rene, Agni, Kunal, Upasana and Mark with each of their lives alike to graffiti.

You may identify yourself with the characters and the happenings in their lives. From coping with grief over a dead loved on, heartbreak, marital disharmony, and chasing love, you are sure to find bits of yourself within these pages.

What's the Story about?

The story’s center is held by the omnipresent Pournami, Vipin’s wife who dies in a car accident. Vipin mourns her death and fumbles his way through moving past this phase. He’s lost, disoriented and no longer sure about himself. Then he meets Rene with whom he shares a strangely common experience.

Rene serves at this juncture of Vipin’s life as someone who fills his void easily. However, Rene is just out of a relationship that knocked the wind of her. She herself has lost love, albeit in a different way. Drop dead gorgeous, smart, and funny, Rene has no dearth of suitors but with her heart on the mend, Rene doesn’t seem to want any new relationship.

Upasana and Rene are almost joined at the hip. They share everything – it’s the typical girl bond. Upi is married to Hari but their marriage seems to be going rapidly downhill. Upi seems more focused on her career than on her marriage.

Enter Mark who experiences love at first sight and employs all his resources to be with the woman he loves. Mark is your smart, handsome, kind, gentle, successful man – but this time none of that seems to be working in his favour with the woman in question.

The story follows Vipin, Rene, Upi and Mark’s trysts with life’s challenges and quirks. Does Vipin finally accept his wife’s death and find himself again? Does Rene push aside her fears of falling in love again? Does Upi choose her career or save her marriage? And does Mark end up with the woman he loves?

How's the book?

The novel is interesting enough though I felt it stretched a bit. Crisper editing would have made it an easier and better read. Some of the dialogues came across as pretentious and lacked a smooth flow. It took time for me to adjust to the alternating character’s stories every now and then which slowed down my reading. The book has a few humorous moments but not any laugh out loud ones, just a mild chuckle or two. 

Overall, a fairly good book to read when you feel lazy and don’t want to do anything.

Title: Graffiti
Author: Joanie Pariera
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Edition/Year: First Edition 2013
Format: Kindle e-book
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 346
Source: Writersmelon.com
Personal Rating: 2.5 / 5
Available on: Amazon.

About the Author: 
Joanie Pariera (Pen Name) has apparently been thinking about writing fiction since the time she learned to say the word ‘pencil’. It came to be, that that was the first word her parents taught her to say. According to them, she then made up her own word for it just to see them squirm.

She likes to think she is a master of many things, including making up words. To start with she has two master’s degrees. She cooks, keeps house, codes and programs, and until recently used to write specifications for Information Systems for a living. 

Having traveled extensively, she has self-assimilated the cultural nuances of various unsuspecting anthropological groups and stealthily continues to put down her impressions in her writing.

To learn more about her, visit her webpage – http://joaniepariera.com/.

Note: I received a copy of this book from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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 :)