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Showing posts from April, 2017

Book Review - Onaatah of the earth by Paulami Duttagupta

Early on in the narrative, Paulami Duttagupta has to say this about Onaatah, the feisty protagonist of her novel ‘Onaatah of the earth’ (http://www.amazon.in/Onaatah-Earth-Adapted-National-winning/dp/9385854224):
‘ She looked rotten. Her face looked battered. But she didn’t want anybody to see her tears.’
This line pretty much sums up the courage and the grit of the (s)hero of Paulami’s story.
Based on the eponymous Khasi language film that won a National Award in 2016, Paulami’s novel is about a young girl who is subjected to brutal sexual violation after being abducted in a car by a gang of men that ironically includes one of her classmates from college, and who then fights back against archaic patriarchy, against the radical changes in attitude of those she had held close to her heart, and most importantly, against her own inner demons that her traumatic experience had unleashed.
In the early sections of her story, Paulami brilliantly depicts not just the physical sufferings but the em…

Book Review - Breach by Amrita Chowdhury

In my day job, I see my clients, mostly global pharmaceutical majors, call out data security as one of the key drivers for their enterprise information management programs. The topic is more relevant now than ever with clinical trials being conducted across the globe, with varying degrees of data security controls. Trials need to be fast in the face of competition, and blockbuster drugs are short-lived in the face of challenges posed by generics. 

The premise of Breach is something I could instantly relate to. And then what I loved about the book was the way Chowdhury weaves a brilliantly executed conspiracy around what could have easily degenerated into a dry discourse on cyber crime and pharmaceutical procedures. The narrative is fast paced, the language lucid, the characters human.

In the garb of a cyber thriller, Breach is also an emotional story. I lived those few days with the protagonist of the story as he battled the crisis at work with his relationships bearing the brunt. Chowd…

Book Review - Ajaya: Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan

Ajaya: Epic of the Kaurava Clan by Anand Neelakantan published by Platinum Press (Leadstart Publishing) brings a unique perspective to the story of Mahabharata. In his introductory note, Neelakantan sets the premise of his work and is compellingly convincing in his characterization of Suyodhana, more (in)famously referred to as Duryodhana in popular lore, when he draws the reader’s attention to his unwavering determination to fight for his belief, his bravery and his strong personality. Neelakantan calls out incidents such as Suyodhana’s willingness to challenge the prevailing caste system by making Karna the king of Anga; his feelings for Ekalavya; his gallantry in taking on the Pandavas. At the same time, Neelakantan depicts him as a fallible human being, in sharp contrast with his cousins.

Neelakantan’s storytelling is lucid and he creates powerful imagery. Right from the ‘visually rich’ and dramatic entry of Bhishma into the palace of Gandhara to walk away with the princess Gandhar…

Book Review - Thwarted Escape by Lopamudra Banerjee

Finished reading Lopa Banerjee 's book Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant's Wayward Journey (Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thwarted-Escape-Immigra…/…/9352074254) I have to say this was an unparalleled reading experience. And I say this not just because Lopa has the enviable skill of being able to weave images with impeccably chosen words, or, because her writing has the magical prowess of pulling one out of familiar surroundings and transporting one to her world that demands to be explored and cherished - but because, she is an extremely courageous author. As they say, the best way to know an author is to read her / his work. But what I usually get to see are veiled characterizations and tangential references, that feed off an author's personal experiences. What we get to see in Lopa's book, however, is a stark, no-holds-barred depiction of her journey - speckled with moments of ecstasy, of despair, of shame, of anger. This is the gripping story of a journey. The journey …

Book Review - Temple of Illusions by Tilottama Pal

Temple of Illusions by Tilottama Pal (http://www.amazon.in/Temple-Illusions-Collecti…/…/1482873133) Tilottama pens 53 poems on Love - the myriad forms of it, the myriad emotions one associates with it. With her compelling and refreshingly unique style, Tilottama weaves a tapestry of images that linger in our minds long after the last page of the book has been turned. The book is bound to take you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, bringing back memories of days gone by and opening up wounds you thought had healed, the very next moment enticing you with promises of a future adorned by dreams and desires you never knew existed, buried somewhere deep inside, holding a mirror to your present all the while. Sample this - while the book opens with poems like 'Waves' and 'Destination' that tug at your heart-strings with visuals of separation, the very next poem is about gay, unbridled abandon! 'For Me', 'Eyes', 'Tramstop', 'Apparition', …

Book Review - The Sinister Silence by Moitrayee Bhaduri

I finished reading Moitrayee Bhaduri's 'The Sinister Silence' (http://www.amazon.in/Sinister-Silence-Moitrayee/…/9382665552) last night. Sharing your thoughts about a thriller is always difficult as you run the risk of giving away too much. So I will be economical and cautious with my words. Moitrayee, firstly, I love the story you tell in this book. Every time I read a thriller, I look for the story at the core when the obvious elements of tension, suspense and adrenaline rush have been stripped off. And this book scores big time there. There are intriguing subplots that kept me guessing all through. Moitrayee brilliantly portrays the complexity of relationships, the politics and the vested interests we all encounter at work and at home everyday. Moitrayee has an eye for details and while there are a number of characters in this intriguing play, she develops them through their actions and dialogues and sometimes sketches their character graphs with crisp backstories. I als…