Why is Chidanand Rajghatta’s Book Kamala Harris: Phenomenal Woman a Must Read?

Kamala Devi Harris or simply Kamala Harris was a name that rang in almost every household in India right from the moment the elections were announced in the United States. Forget that she won, even before that the Indian subcontinent saw a magnitude of social media mentions involving her Indian Origin.


The journey to becoming the Vice President of one of the Supreme powers in the World being an immigrant is not an easy feat. The struggles, the path that held challenges all shaped her personality as a daughter of recent immigrants and becoming a woman of higher authority in the United States.


Donning multiple hats, taking care of the family and being a rigid Vice President Kamala Harris manages the role quite remarkably. Her path to winning the election was not an easy one especially with her coming from a non-traditional background.
The phenomenal woman that she is, her story is truly inspirational to all women out there letting them know that they can be bold, fearless and ambitious.


In her own words as she says,


‘We not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon … We are bold, fearless, and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome; that we will rise up.’


This was part of her inauguration night address. These are not just words from speech but a positive affirmation that every woman can not only dream but can also do wonders. We will rise up should be the daily mantra that would work and make miracles in every life.


The biography describes her struggles on her path to success, the challenges she faced to see her rise on a Land that was not her native. The book Kamala Harris: Phenomenal Woman describes her Indian and Jamaican connect, but a deeper introspection in her Indian relativity. Being a woman of colour her ascent to occupy one of the highest positions has been explained with attention to all details involving her expedition to become a superwoman.

Why is this book by Chidanand Rajghatta a must read?

Lessons to learn from her Biography

  • Kamala’s single-minded focus and determination is a lesson to all women that they can be independent when it comes to carving their career path. Kamala not only secured admission to UC Berkley but was also capable of taking care of her studying expenses.
  • Her unshakeable confidence and zeal were proven when she owned the stage upon her winning the elections. Her speech wherein she mentioned that Women sacrificed so much for equality, liberty and justice when they are overlooked but in fact, they are the backbone of the democracy.
  • The United States had a surrogate to the President which was not seen in all these years. Joe Biden chose to make her an equal powerhouse with authority and importance by his own design and his consent. His confidence in her depicted her importance to him. It isn’t easy to achieve that. And for the First time the TIMES magazine which published the person of the year as only the President, in 2020 published the picture of the Vice president alongside the President. Such a prestigious moment to celebrate.
  • The White house communications can now never be seen without Kamala’s name or comments in each dispatch depicting her influence which is seen significantly.
  • Breaking what has long been a male preserve, Kamala went first and followed up with remarks at the Pentagon during Biden’s first foreign policy speech.
  • Kamala is clearly seen wading into foreign policy deeply with Biden’s guidance and can be evident to the world when she spoke with the Canadian and the French Presidents in her first outreach with foreign leaders. This was considered as an exclusive domain of the President until Kamala changed that she could do it too.
  • Leadership came to her as easily, and once she said, ‘Lawyers have a profound ability and responsibility to be a voice for the vulnerable and the voiceless.’” Which was the reason she chose to pursue a legal career.
  • Her decision to become the prosecutor rather than the defender raised many eyebrows including that of her mother’s. It became a much sterner test than passing her bar exam for her to convince the family and friends that her decision was wise.
  • ‘I knew quite well that equal justice was an aspiration, I knew that the force of the law was applied unevenly, sometimes by design. But I also knew that what was wrong with the system didn’t need to be an immutable fact. And I wanted to be part of changing that,’ she writes. ‘When activists came marching and banging on the doors, I wanted to be on the other side to let them in.’ Her reading about brave prosecutors opened her eyes to possibilities of working from the inside. She gained a lot of courage to fight from within and help people too.


The book quotes a lot of life instances that can serve to be a sense of inspiration that to make a change one always does not need to be on the opponent’s end but could also fight from within. One needn’t be quiet just because it is a male preserve but can serve to be the change and show that women aren’t incapable.

Why reading books is important? How to read mindfully?

Reading books take you to another world. It’s a noisy world out there and I tell you reading a book is one kind of meditation. A turn of a page can make your brain network calm and free you from the chatter that you’re currently present in. It helps boost dopamine making you empathize over people, providing ways to socialize and broaden our perspectives.


The power of reading helps in healing trauma, virtually transport you to another world or even help you build new qualities. There is no better teacher than a good book. Books can be an escape from the reality, the mundane day to day demands in front of us. All avid readers would agree with me that reading books is self-medicating and it is no surprise that reading books offer many more benefits.


A survey by the NPD revealed that the book sales went up in 2020, increasing print volumes much higher post 2004. While this was the trend it was also noticed that they were buying more but took much more time to complete because they were doing it slowly. The reason being they were distracted.


The mind doesn’t stay calm, holding a book in hand and screaming out ‘can’t you see I’m busy’ would show that you are not completely into reading. The lack of concentration in turn made it harder for them to proceed with reading. The anxiety in us that makes the brain constantly scan for threats around is becoming a roadblock to the reading. It releases stress hormones that is consuming more energy that people find it hard to concentrate on reading.


Here is how you can practice mindful reading. These habits will ensure that reading benefits you.


Begin with a short read


Our brain loves it and releases happy hormones when it is given a reward. And finishing a book that you started with is definitely rewarding that your brain wants to continue doing it. So pick up a short engaging read that you can finish sooner.

Meditate before reading


Reading needs a calm mind for it to happen naturally. Sit down and clear your mind away from thoughts. Close your eyes and do a deep breathe or even meditate with a prayer.

Reading to relevancy


Sometimes reading about what’s happening around you or what’s happening with you an make you stay glued. It will make you more attentive to what you read. Reading fiction, memoire also helps in making you show empathy on others.

Familiarity


Uncertain times can be handled when you return to something familiar that gives you solace. There are two types of readers: One who wants to keep reading to discover and learn about new things, and one who rereads just to comfort themselves and give them stability.

Read first thing in the morning


It is a great thing to start the day with. It can in putting your phone away and spend more energy on reading.


Put your phone away


Phones are a main distraction especially when it comes to reading. Give it to someone who wouldn’t give in for your please or in another room. The best would be even kept it in another floor.


Make it a habit


Relax yourselves in a comfortable spot, make yourself a hot cup of chocolate or your favorite beverage and try reading at the same time every day.

Read like a child


Read under the blanket, under the bed or a cozy corner like how we used to when we were kids. It gives a whole new perspective to the reading habit.

Stop reading if you cannot concentrate


Life has uncertainties that make you stress and let reading not be one. So, whenever you feel like that thought creeping in put down your book.


Listen to audiobooks


During solitary times it is comforting to hear a voice is your mind that is not yours. GO for an audiobook if you cannot read yourself and let the narrator take the stage while you relax.


Be prepared for the next.


Once you finish a book or you are almost going to complete it, keep another one ready so that you will continue to read. Do not give a long pause.


Here are reasons why reading can be a therapy. It’s called bibliotherapy.

  • Sometimes stories can hold deeper meanings in us than the real situations we live in.
  • Rekindling the interest in reading can make you feel connected and alive.
  • Switching of the stress buttons, giving yourself some me-time and helping you relieve from stress.
  • It will make you feel that you are not alone and there are people going through similar situations.
  • It gives you a sense of creativity and even make you start writing probably a journal which might further help to understand what you are going through.

I hope these benefits will definitely give you that positive push to get back to reading. But a reading challenge can even push you further to make it more interesting when you have a goal set for the number of books that you look forward to complete. I am taking part in blogchatter’s #TBRChallenge and aimed at completing 30 books this year. If you would want to know more and like to participate you could check here and sign up.

Review of Active parenting

BLURB:

What do you want your child to be?
There is no one way to raise a child. Each child is unique and can vary in so many ways in abilities and behaviour from others in their group. Ramgopal Vallath, indebted to his own parents for an upbringing that has helped him overcome great challenges and difficulties, set out to meet numerous parents to work out some common guidelines that could help groom a child. This book is the result. As with his previous bestselling book, From Ouch to Oops, this too is bound to reach out and move its readers, and leave lessons of lasting use in what is one of the most important tasks a parent undertakes: raising a child to be a healthy, resilient, positive adult.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Ramgopal Vallath, better known as RamG Vallath, is an IITian, a tech company co-founder, a much sought-after motivational speaker and the author of the best-selling autobiography From Ouch to Oops. He has inspired over 50,000 children with his talks and his life story is a chapter in one of the eighth-class textbooks for CBSE students. As a keynote speaker, RamG has addressed over one lakh people across the globe and helped them become more resilient, more positive, happier and more successful.

REVIEW:


Parenting being one of the niches I blog about doesn’t mean I know A-Z of everything that relates to parenting. I’m sure that the author would also agree to this. Because for us parents, each day is a learning and there is a lesson to look back, introspect and gain something from what happens each day.
This learning I would say wouldn’t always be something that I would smile and be proud of because there are days that would kill you with guilt and self-doubt. What I write might work for 9/10 kids but not one. Why? Because each child is different and they need a different way to handle and to be taken care of.

Being a mom of two I can confidently say that I’m not using the same way of parenting to my younger son in comparison to how I raised my daughter. A matter of three years and boom there is a lot of changes in how children react or what they expect. What do I do? Continue to do what I knew? No, I find new ways to see what suits better for me and son.
This is exactly what the Author conveys in the book. Not every child fall into the same group. The book showcase techniques to approach and values to be instilled in children. The best gift that I’d say we can give our children would be values that are to be taught which would help them at any point in their life.
Though I spent very little time with my Grandparents, there are specific nuances that I learnt or should I say life lessons to how to deal or how to decide now. I can even use them at a later point of time in my life. These I’d say are the values that are passed on. They cannot be outdated. People just come up with new ways to instil the values that we know of earlier. I don’t think there is anything wrong because in the end the value is taught.

As I read through, I saw myself at few places

“That is what great parents do-they live on for centuries after their physical selves depart, through the thoughts and values that they have bequeathed to their children. Their influence is boundless across generations”. As I mentioned above, I’m grateful for the very little time that I spent for lifetime of knowledge.

Befriend but with firm boundaries – The less you say no, the more free-spirited your kids will be.

Telling by showing- The values children display are often a reflection of the values that parents demonstrate. 

The real-life experiences that the author has shared from his and his circle of friends will definitely make you nod your head, or smile or at least question yourself like’ isn’t that me?’ Only when you know examples from real life it makes it much clearer to understand what is being conveyed or what must be observed and taken as a lesson.

Just mentioning that these are techniques, these are values are only going to be giving you a theory which would land you in a dilemma. But here the author makes it easier for you.
The key points section at the end of each chapter is a bonus. With a 200+ page book, the author will definitely lead you to the right direction when it comes to parenting. The language used is simple and much easier to comprehend.

Takeaways in bullets about what you can expect after reading the book

SHARP technique that proves effective parenting.
5 approaches to look in parenting
Fundamental principles children should be taught
Values to be instilled in children

I’d definitely recommend this book as a gift we parents can get ourselves and also to fellow parents.

Review of Young blood

BLURB:


Bored roommates use a planchette to contact a legendary ghost that haunts Pune University. Will she answer?
Is the abandoned Khairatabad Science College in Hyderabad really haunted? A gang of students break inside to investigate.
Nirav and Pavi love each other . . . most of the time. Will exploring a forbidden place inside IIT Kharagpur bring them closer?
From strange sightings to urban legends, from haunted buildings to not-so-friendly ghosts, colleges in India have their fair share of spine-tingling tales, be it Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, St. Bede’s College in Shimla or Delhi University. Young Blood is a collection of ten tales that reimagine college urban legends and true first-person accounts, that promises to terrify even die-hard fans of horror.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chandrima Das has a B.Tech in Computer Science from NIT Durgapur and an MBA from IIM Calcutta. After a decade-long career in management consulting, she followed her passion for writing. Her digital debut The Talking Dead was a bestseller in the horror category. She’s performed live at storytelling events with Tall Tales and Kommune, and was published in The Best Of Tall Tales. 

MY REVIEW:


I enjoy horror as a genre in both watching movies and reading books. Though many would disagree that horror books do not give you the same vibe when you read them as much as you watch movies in that genre. But individuals differ and its all in the reader’s mind I would say.


So, when I knew there was this chance to review the book, I knew I should definitely not miss the chance of reading book in my favourite genre. The blurb intrigued me further because not long enough my husband and I were discussing about planchette and was coincidentally mentioned in the blurb as well.
The book has ten stories from different institutions across the country and involves the various tales that haunt the campuses. The stories gave me chills at certain points. I wantedly chose to read them at nights so that it adds to the thrill and the author sure didn’t disappoint me.

Each story sets a different stage and addresses a social issue pertaining to the modern age. I loved the way how the author connected the tale and the social issues. The nature of how each story was narrated is one of the biggest pluses that does not let you keep the book down once you start reading.


The author through her writing makes you feel that you are in the tale experiencing the horrific events when you are just right there on your bed reading the book. That is a win-win for any author to make the reader transport to the bookish world.


The stories and the notes at the end made a well-connected read. I’d suggest not to read notes at last but as and when you finish a story for a much greater reading experience.

The book is a must read for those who love horror and who would want to try the genre too.

Buy the book here.

This book review is part of blogchatter’s bookchatter.

Two must read picture books for kids this November

With kids having vacations during thanksgiving we often look out for a long of options to keep them engaged. Though we do have a lot of options to keep them engaged in terms of activities like craft or painting.

But reading books can be done to keep them involved and transport them to the world of imagination. How many of us read to kids before they sleep? If you haven’t done I’d urge you to start doing it and see the wonderful changes it promotes in children.

Here are two books I’d recommend reading this season.

The boy who breathed under water by Izzy Reez


A young boy lies down on his bed gazing around his room. As we know young minds are curious a thought crawled into his little busy mind.

He wanted to know how would it be if he has super powers. But he wasn’t sure which one he’d wanted. So decided to give a try to check out some and then finalize. A mysterious genie comes out just like making the whole situation magical.

He suggests tryouts of powers so that he can finalise the one the boy chooses after a time of one week. The boy decides to try out as many as he can like being invisible, being able to lift up things, being able to breathe underwater, being able to fly, being able to control with his mind, turning into animals.

Though he had imagined having these powers they came with their own disadvantages. By the end of the week he felt that there wasn’t one he chose to decide upon.

The genie appeared and gave him a valuable life lesson that as a kid him playing and pretending would be lot more fun than to have magical super powers. The boy understood the reality and immediately chose to live the moment cuddling the cat.

The book sends out a lovely message to young readers to enjoy the life at the moment. Also helps understand to be happy with whatever we have, because something that we long for and get could have their disadvantages.Having magical powers can seem fascinating but not more than their playful attitude and curious little minds that finds an idea of play and pretending.

The illustrations wonderfully support the text and makes it much more engaging.

The kind who didn’t like snow by Jocelyn Porter and Michael S Kane


Who doesn’t love snow?? Those tiny white flakes bring in a lot of joy cause it’s the season of celebration. But here is a King who dislikes snow. The book brings out a lovely little story of why the King Mark hated snow and how the wizard Bertram Ebenezer Rufus
Togtangle shortly called Bert made the King love snow.

Bert and his friend Broderick a bookworm had a lot of fun. Bert was friendly and helped children and people in the village. Broderick was living in Berts book of spells. He’d always wanted to read from the book nd one day he did and he turns into a big squish green bookworm.

Bert doesn’t have space to accommodate Broderick so he asks the King and he readily agrees to make Broderick the Royal Librarian and gives him place to stay in the library.

One fine day it starts snowing and King Mark gets really annoyed. Bert uses his magic spell but it makes situation worse what does he do later to make the King love snow? Read the book to know what he does.

A short read but definitely a fun one. The illustrations are bright colourful and definitely promising for young readers to keep them glued.

Loved the conversations especially the ones between Broderick and Bert. The book definitely sounds an awesome plot for pretend play.

What I loved

This story is dedicated to the volunteers of Hospital
Radio Plymouth who broadcast musical messages of love
to patients, families and friends whether it’s snowing or sunny.
Nothing stops HRP broadcasting every day of the year.

Review of the secret keeper of Jaipur

The secret keeper of Jaipur
The secret keeper of Jaipur

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Alka Joshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Henna Artist. Born in India and raised in the United States since the age of nine, she has a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. She lives in Pacific Grove, California, with her husband. This is her second novel.

BLURB:


Will the secret-keeper of Jaipur reveal what has remained buried for so long?
It is the spring of 1969. Lakshmi, now married to Dr Jay Kumar, is working at the Shimla community clinic. Malik has finished his private school education. At twenty, he has just met a young tribal woman, Nimmi, when he leaves to begin an apprenticeship at the Jaipur Palace. The royals’ latest project: a state-of-the-art cinema.
Malik soon finds that not much has changed as he navigates the Pink City of his childhood. Power and money still move seamlessly among the wealthy, and favors flow from Jaipur’s royal palace, but only if certain secrets remain buried. When the cinema’s balcony tragically collapses on opening night, blame is placed where it is convenient. Malik suspects something far darker and sets out to uncover the truth. As a young street urchin, he always knew to keep his own counsel; it’s a lesson that still serves him well. But it is only when Lakshmi, the real keeper of Jaipur’s secrets, intervenes, that things can truly right themselves

Review

A delicious engaging and a book that can get you glued is how I’d like to describe ‘ The secret keeper of jaipur’. First things first when I got my hands on this book in exchange for an honest review I was drowning in guilt because I knew this was a sequel and I hadn’t read the first book though it had great reviews. But I’d totally love to let out that the author had set the book as a standalone so it doesn’t matter if you didn’t read the first book she’s given all that you need to know who’s who. How cool is that?

Mmmm..Yes finally I had to give in to my guilt which is why it took me a long time to come up with this review. I took the plunge to read ‘The Henna artist’ and then get back to this book.

A fine transition to the second book and the perfect sequel I’d call it , I was happy that we encounter Lakshmi again here. Whoa boy, I did love how her character was sketched then and now here.

The natural healer , Lakshmi as how she is known gets married to Dr.Jay. Her helperMalik the one we all would definitely adore is all grown up and completes his education all set to step on foot to embark his journey into career. The mother and son encounter an acquaintance who is Nimmi a tribal woman, a widow and a mother of two children. She gathers flowers from Himalayan foothills and sells them . He falls in love with Nimmi, , Lakshmi is initially unhappy about the choice made by her son ,

He is sent as an apprentice to the facilities firm in Rajasthan. The cinema hall of, th the Royals is all set to open for the launch wherein a tragedy strikes on the D day, the balcony collapses and kills two people. Malik finds that the incident is due to poor quality materials used in construction and also uncovers political connections.

His mother Lakshmi on the other hand uncovers gold smuggling and knowing the dangers that would surround her close members she decides to deal it herself. Malik being in the center of the scandal becomes the keeper of secrets.

How do they get out of all this ?

The author known for her descriptive writing does not fail to create the visual imageries be it the foothills of himalayas or the sandy deserts. But what stands out to me in both books is how she portrayed Lakshmi.

That teeny tiny bit of romance between Malik and Nimmi which makes you think is it there or no..But yes can sense that but its sweet.

I’m really awaiting the release of the sequel that I surely know is going to supercede the two books.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with VoxBox and Journey Matters.

Review of Faith and the beloved

Faith and the beloved
Faith and the beloved

BLURB:

Naithy Cherozil is a rich and successful business woman from Mumbai who marries the young and handsome model Tony D’Souza after the death of her spouse. Little does she know that the ideal sex slave of her husband is the sleeper cell of a terror outfit. Events in her life take unforeseen turns as the male Mata Hari is activated.Prem Rollands is a ‘Kalari’ exponent and a brilliant student whose world revolves around his brother Arun. Things go awry when the police kill Arun under mysterious circumstances. Prem kills the inspector in retribution and is on the run. He is on the lookout to find the dark secrets leading to Arun’s death. Prem must avenge those who have plotted to kill his brother.Eighteen year old Alice Cherozil knows more about computers and mystery games than a girl of her age. Her life falls apart when her mother is hospitalised and in a coma. She is playing the ultimate mystery game of her life as the web of secrets surrounding two precious diamonds and her stepfather threaten to destroy her family. She overcomes the moral dilemma to kill her stepfather. Alice must outwit the underworld and stay ahead of all to save her mother’s life or the guilt of her failure will haunt her forever.As the lives of Naithy, Prem and Alice cross each other they must retain their faith and protect their beloved ones, even at the cost of their own lives.

A master piece from the Best-selling and Award -winning author of Men and Dreams int he Dhauladhar .A riveting saga of love, lust, betrayal, intrigue and revenge.

Review

Set in a contemporary mood style the novel is a fast paced thriller. The second from the author of Men and Dreams in The Dhauladhar . Based on the idea of keeping faith and notion of being one’s loved person, the novel has all elements like love, suspense, thriller, violence encompassed within it.

The opening where Alice Cherozil holds a knife remembering a passage from the bible is where it all starts. A gory and a deep intensive description about how she first contemplates and then proceeds with a firm determination wherein she ends up murdering her step-father Tony Dsouza.

How Tony becomes her step-father is altogether a different story wherein her mother Naithy who loses her husband as one of the victim’s of the Mumbai terror attack. She marries Tony, a model and ended up becoming him sex slave. Thereafter she slips into coma post an accident.

There is yet another story plot simultaneous wherein two brothers(Arun and Prem) who fled with money raping Naithy. Arun on the other hand is killed by the police for which Prem seeks revenge and is waiting upon a chance to avenge his brother’s death.

An action packed sequence follows as Alice does not foresee a lot things when she charted the plan to murder , Tony. But she finally managed to kill him and runs away. Prem looks to kill both Alice and Naithy and God it makes you wonder for a second why on earth all this is happening.

The plot narrows down to some underworld connections which seemingly makes it appear like a British political drama which will all the more leave you gaping and roll the eye balls on multiple occasions. Trust me I don’t remember the number of times I did that.

Even though I found the novel gripping and the plot to be intriguing I needed a break at times, just because everything was going overboard for me. Too many storylines which seem to run parallel and lot of motives which underlie bringing into picture more characters seeking revenge for one another.

I still couldn’t decipher myself as to who I should be putting forth as the protagonist because there were a lot many characters that seemed important at the spur of the moment and then vanished.

The book does have some loose ends but that does not stop you from finishing it. I found the language a bit difficult and it being in the second person narrative , took me time to comprehend what was happening. But applaud to the descriptive nature of writing style.

The book cover is well designed with a blood drop dripping from heart shaped diamond kind of giving you a hint of what can be expected.

Click here to buy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kochery C. Shibu is a retired naval officer. A graduate from the National Defence Academy he has held several important posts in the Indian Navy. Post his retirement he has executed hydroelectric projects in the Cauvery river basin in Karnataka, Beas river basin in Himachal and lately Teesta river basin in Sikkim. He holds a postgraduate degree in Defence Studies from Chennai University, and MA in English Literature from Pune University. Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is his debut novel. The technical content of the novel, namely the setting up of a hydro-project is drawn from his experience in these projects since 2005, as are many of the characters inspired from those whom he encountered at the project site. Kochery C. Shibu was born in Kochi and now lives in Bangalore with his wife and daughter.

This review is part of blogchatter’s bookchatter.

Review of the dance of the snow tractors

The dance of the snow tractors
The dance of the snow tractors

Children always have their own way of retelling events. Their ways of explaining or telling you about an event will have the magic of imagination play a major part.

Their way of looking and interpreting things is actually a lot more different than what we adults do. The innocence combined with the imagery really makes it an interesting experience listening to them.

This book is one such by Siena who describes winter in her city and the events that take place up there.

Named after a beautiful city in Italy, Siena is the author and the teller of the wonderful tale. She lives in the city of Ottawa, Canada.

Winters according to her can be fun making snow man, figurines and sipping a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows. But it cannot be the same for her neighbors.

The piling up of snow makes it difficult for them to lead life so they make efforts to clear them up. Siena also watches the drive ways being cleared up for easy commuting. All this from the comfort of her porch and the lovely cup of hot chocolate made by her mother.

The city graders and snow blowers work to clear off the drive ways and this is being imagined by Siena as a dance by the snow tractors. Their motion of zooming in and out to pull out the piles of snow from her point of view appears as a dance sequence. So doesn’t this do justice to what I just told you.

Children have their own way of retelling what they see. Let’s enjoy the wonderful tales they have for us to hear.

The illustrations are lovely and match up to the imagination of what Siena tries to tell us. Kudos to Shannon Wilvers.

I also would like to appreciate the thought of dedicating the book to the front line workers of the covid-19 era.

Review of written in the stars

Written in the stars
Written in the stars


Blurb

When all her efforts at political maneuvering, sucking up and even doing her job fail to land her that elusive promotion, Sitara decides it’s time to use the new marketing head Abhimanyu’s obsession with his horoscope to her advantage.Soon, she’s rescheduling meetings, pitching ideas and picking launch dates based on his horoscope. Except, Sitara is so focused on manipulating Abhimanyu with the career section of his horoscope that she doesn’t pay attention to the personal section. Hilarity ensues when these star-crossed signals result in Abhimanyu pursuing Sitara romantically, without realizing that the ‘signs’ are engineered coincidences in her quest to get promoted.

Soon, Sitara is faced with choosing what she really wants-a career progression or true love. She must chart her own course even if what she has in mind may not be what the stars ordained. Written in the Stars is a romantic comedy about life, love and whether the biggest things in life are the choices you make or what destiny has in store for you.

My review

Romcom is usually a genre that doesn’t interest me when it comes to reading books. I love watching movies in that genre but not books. The reason being I find them to be too cliched and kind of like too good to be true instances.

But I’ve read Divya’s other two books and when I came to know that her recent release was a romcom I wanted to give a try. Trust me that maybe if she writes more in the same genre I might also think of changing my opinions about reading that genre.

The book according to me was the kind I could finish in one go. One because the plot was intriguing, loved the characterisation and three was the mixture of elements that Divya added to keep the reader engaged.

The dialogues are penned quirky and definitely would leave you with a stomach hurts feel when you actually imagine the scene visually. I would attribute this specifically to the one’s that belong to Abhimanyu.

He is one character who will make you fall head over heels in love. Sitara the heroine is a go better. Her character portrayal is as such she is someone who will see that she gets what she wants.

The way astrology has been brought into this plot and how it’s handled sure is commendable. No sentiments hurt but it sure plays a crucial role in making Sitara manipulate by choosing dates favourable for Abhimanyu. I mean how cool is that huh!..

So does she get what she wants in her career? That definitely needs one to read the book to see where she lands.

The language as in her previous books is pretty simple and easier to comprehend. And totally no blah blah romantic dialogues that are unbelievable, Thank god.

Also love the cover design that equally portrays what should you be expecting when you read the book.

Author bio

Divya, often called ‘ baal ki dukaan’, struggled with unruly, thick, curly hair for over two decades before she realized her hair looks best when it’s left uncombed! She loves using her curls to hold the numerous pens, pencils and paintbrushes she needs while she’s writing, doodling or working. She gets her best creative ides when she’s hanging upside down, doing anti-gravity yoga. If you’re in Bangalore, you might spot her (and her distinctive curls!) with her husband Vivek. Their quest to eat bizarre foods from around the world features in her first book, Dare Eat That. Follow her at: http://www.divyaanand.in

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Review of The Misters Kuru – a return to Mahabharata


Blurb

The Pandavas are back!

Draupadi, Amba and Kunti are well settled in their modern-day Kalyug in New Delhi. So, imagine their surprise when, completely out of the blue, Yudhishtra, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva – the Pandava brothers – drop into their world from the heavens. What follows is even more laughter and tears as new battles are fought, old fires are rekindled, and the men find their place in the modern world. If you thought the women had the adventure of a lifetime in Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas, the men from the Mahabharata will certainly give them a run for their money. One thing is certain – by the end of their visit, nothing will ever be the same again.

My review

I grew up listening to mythological stories from both sets of grandparents. The two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata took time immemorial to complete. I would await story time to know what next.

The characters fascinated me and I never felt bored if the stories were retold how many ever times they were. The curriculum followed in my school also had moral values as one of the subjects which took deep dive into the epics but in a much more engaging way.

So my interest in mythology went on to continue. I would love to read books that either were a retelling or a book that has a different point of view. So I could say mythology was one of my favorite genres.

The author’s previous work Ms. Draupadi Kuru, definitely was made many heads turn back. Not because the story was a retelling but the conceptualization of the author and the characters she sketched to suit the current scenario.

So when I knew that the sequel is releasing, I knew I definitely had to give it a read. Draupadi, amba and Kunti descending on Earth, setting their wrongs as right, adapting to the modern life in Kalyug, the then Indraprastha.

Love how Draupadi as a character screamed boldness and loud. The Pandavas deciding to come down and bring back Draupadi is the outline. But will they be able to and how do they do is the plot on which the script is centered.

The earth and the mortal life doesn’t seem the same way as it was thousand years back. Do the Pandavas adjust to the current scenario. Do they keep up their virtue?

I loved the fact that the author did not deviate from characters and their natural traits. Just a weave of modern life situations like fashion shows, cricket, talk shows, vibrators (yes yes you heard me right) and fitted jeans definitely add in a lot of interesting scenarios in the subject.

Arjuna and his ball, nakul and his looks taking him to modeling are definitely interesting twists to the original portrayal.

Life is not as easy when they were down here. They have shocks waiting to startle them, do they handle it well? Will they convince Draupadi to hey back? Not to forget the gossip king Narad Muni being a cook who prepares inedible food.

Who would have thought that he would now hold a ladle? What does Draupadi question Arjuna? Does he have the answers? I leave it to you to read the rest.

In love with the authors writing style of keeping it simple and precise. Not to be told as an exact retelling but a current scenario adaptation of an epic is definitely a good sign.

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Love love love the caricature on the cover design. Draupadi being depicted as the modern day Goddess definitely lifts the expectations.

Misters Kuru: A Return to Mahabharata

About the author

Trisha Das is the author of The Mahabharata Re-imagined, The Art of the Television Interview and the internationally acclaimed How to Write a Documentary Script. She has written and directed over forty documentaries in her filmmaking career. Trisha has also won an Indian National Film Award (2005) and was UGA’s ‘International Artist of the year’ (2003).

This review is part of Blogchatters Book review program bookchatter.