Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Winds of Hastinapur- At a Glance

Winds of Hastinapur is a Mythological novel that deals with an idiosyncratic concept. Sharath Komarraju, the author has not taken up that old saga of Kauravas and Pandavas in fact, he has made it the base and has told the saga that very few knew but not much was mentioned.  It is the first part of the series. It talks about the start of Hastinapur. To be more precise, it illustrates about those ladies who were the pillars behind it and gave their sacrifices for the growth of the empire.

Cover : The cover of the book is really eye catching and will allure your mind to read it instantly. The cover has a fascinating color scheme.

Title: I believe nothing could have better then this title. It gives solace to your mind. So, the title 
 The Winds of Hastinapur' is really captivating.

Plot:  As stated before, it is a tale about the sacrifices of the women during the reign of Shantanu, the king of Hastinapur. The women talked in this book are Ganga and Satyavati. Ganga is the lady of the river  who  is cursed and sent on Earth, whereas, Satyavati happens to be the stepmother of the eighth son of Ganga who is popularly known as Bhishma.

Structure: The book is divided into two parts. It can be said that it has separate segments which can also be known as Novellas as they stand out separately. The first part deals with Ganga, the river maiden, who lives in Meru and her life their. Further, it delineates about her curse and the way she struggles in her life.
On the other hand, the next part deals with Satyavati who is a Fisher girl. This segment talks about her decision and the way she handles King Shantanu and the abandoned son of Ganga. This part also gives way to the other part of the series which The Rise of Hastinapur.

Themes: There major theme I noticed is of Sacrifice. It is not easy to sacrifice her own sons like Ganga did. It needs guts and lots of courage. Even Kali sacrificed her attraction towards Bhishma and married Shantanu. Though at times she regretted this decision yet it was all the game of fate and everything was pre- decided by the astrologers.

The other theme depicted in this book is trust. Ganga and Shantanu  were happy in their lives. But when Shantanu lost his patience Ganga's trust was broken so this way, this theme is highlighted though in not a grand way.

Characterization: Sharath has beautifully shown the character portrayal of the two ladies and even the King Shantanu. He has amazingly shown the royal blood, Shantanu, his attributes and his strature. Whereas Ganga is shown as a delicate, beautiful, caring and loving maiden. And even Kali shows traces of delicacy, beauty.

Style: The language used in the novellas is poetic and has complexity in it. It is simple at times and times it becomes complex. The variety of sentences makes it interesting. The descriptions are really mesmerising and soothing. Further the third person narration blended with first person makes it special.

My Observation:  I really loved the descriptions and they were simply fabulous. The character portrayal was an icing on the cake. To add more, the themes are pretty impressive. There were some syntactical errors which acted like a hastle otherwise, it is a great book. I would like my readers to read it because these days we are getting disconnected to our roots and this book will surely re- ignite that connection.

Availability: The book is available on amazon, flipkart, kindle and many other sites.

About the author: http://sharathkomarraju.com/

Sunday, 24 January 2016

An Epoch MAking Novella By Sukhmani GAndhi

The Shadow of the Dark Soul is really an Epoch making Novella written by a young aspiring author, Sukhmani Gandhi. The way she has woven this tale with her mind boggling thoughts is impeccable.

Cover: The cover of the novella is really intriguing which makes the reader want to read the book.

Title: The title is unique and nobody would have come up with such a title none other than the author which shows her deep thought process and her imaginative quality. It highlights the theme of the novella and it really keeps us connected to the story.

Plot: The plot is simple with a touch of complexity. It talks about the protagonist, Zayesha who happens to be a Journalist by profession and is working on the project of Nirbhaya case. The series of events that takes place in her life during that case. Further, it talks about a community named The Shadow of the Dark Soul, and the way Zayesha gets affected by it is all about the story. The sudden twists and turns in the tale proves the readers wrong with their notions and that's the point where this author wins. So kuddos for such a conceptual plot.

Style: The story is written in first person narrative and is full of personal as well impersonal descriptions. Not only this, the sentence structure follows a variety of sentences ranging from simple to complex to compound sentences. The language is lucid and has brevity in it. To add more, it has beautiful punch lines which keeps you captivating.

Characterization: The author has beautifully played with her characters. They looked like puppets in her hands. Zayesha, the protagonist is a mixture of emotions who is practical, emotional, helpful, social, loving, understanding, caring. On the other hand, Mrs. Chandelier is sweet, simple, motivating and the way these two characters interact is really admirable.
Sukhmani has done justice with both her major and minor characters.

Theme: A work is incomplete without a theme and this small novella of 80 pages has varied range of themes. The main theme is Rape. As we all know about the Nirbhaya Case, the way she was brutally raped and left to die. The research highlights this segment. It makes us really pitiful, angry and sad at the same time.

The other theme is of lesbianism. It is a minor theme though yet it has a great significance. It is the way a girl feels for the other one. It highlights Zayesha's views about her own friend who has recently found her preferences and the way she deals with her.

The major highlighted theme that appears in the middle of the story is about the survival After such mishappening. It talks those people who have been victims to such rapes or acid attacks and the way they lead their lives in a dark place but all they need is care, love but not sympathy. At such a place they are equal and nobody can judge them.

My views: I was really moved by this piece. It is a small piece of 80 pages which has said so much and left me great thoughts. I even had a discussion with the author after reading the novella. She told me how she was deeply affected by this Nirbhaya incident and she thought of this concept ' Shadow of the Dark Soul' and started working on it and published it as a tribute to her. I personally loved the dedication. Then the unique that leaves with questions and at the same time gives peace to your mind. The end is really motivating. I won't reveal this end and the message. I found few errors but this doesn't affect the powerful thought she has put up. I would strongly recommend to those readers who can take up such sensitive issues. Trust me, you will really get to know something different.

Availability: You can buy this from amazon, kindle and even download an e- book.

About the Author:

Sukhmani identifies herself as a woman of substance and change . She is pursuing her graduation in philosophy from Lady Shri Ram College for Women and has recently published her debut novel ‘The Shadow of the Dark Soul’ in 2015 which is a sincere dedication to Jyoti Singh Pandey( Nirbhaya). She was previously published in ‘We are Not Alone’, an anthology published in association with Mood Indigo in 2014.Her views on the word 'Freedom' and "Through the eyes of a writer"were a part of Unbound and Resugram which are e-magazines in 2015. She also secured the third position in a comepition organized by Rising Literia that reflected her views on the topic 'Freedom Mask' and were published in e-Fiction India in 2015. Her article was titled at "Pinjara" was a part of Bunkpages: notebooks that inspire in their january edition. She is currently doing internship as a columnist at bunkpages and is working as an assistant editor at e-Fiction India. Her other trysts with the written word can be seen on her blog ‘www.sukhmanigandhi.wordpress.com

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

First Call, First Love

‘Its over Ella’,said John.

She was numb on hearing this.She was devastated and here she did just the wrong thing.Begged him to stay.Promised him to be a better girlfriend.Asked him why.Pleaded.Covered herself with a snot and humility.Had she not done this,she could have saved her dignity.But John was gone and he left her for some other girl.
She was in trauma but soon she had realized John was not meant for her.She opened up Facebook just to divert her mind.
A new friend request!
"Who can be it?"
The profile picture was of a handsome guy with a well built body and the profile name was Steve Jones.She checked the mutual friends.Guess whose name appeared,John Smith.She accepted the request without much thinking.
Conversation started:

Steve:I heard about your breakup with John

Ella:So you thought its a good chance to flatter a heart broken girl!

Steve: don't take me wrong ,I didn't mean that way. I just want you to know that you are saved from a monster and he never deserve you. I heard you people talking on the phone but he hardly listen to you and he always kept it aside. He cheated you from the day 1 you went into relation. Its good that you guys are not together.

Ella:what??? That bastard! I wish I could slap him.Well he has got his beating and he ll suffer one day. I don't hate him because "people are not wrong, only the situations are". But he is a good person in the end. Its over and I don't want to talk about it. Do  you have any other topic to talk about?

Steve: Ella you are a strong girl and I know you ll overcome this. Let me tell you one thing, you are really sweet who knows the value of relations. I have come across your pics, your smile is killer and you look stunning.

Ella: Well,these things wont impress me and don't even try on me. I hate it now. It feels like every guy just want to flirt with girls.

Steve:I just said the truth and this is no flattery. I know you are really hurt. That's alright. I am sorry if I reminded you of John.

Ella logged out.

She was already upset and this man was confusing her so much. She liked the way Steve interacted but the fact that he was John’s friend was not letting her believe his words. She could not sleep that night. Was it her breakup or Steve’s entry?? She herself wasn't aware of it. 
Next day she send him message.

Ella: Sorry I was not okay yesterday and I just took out all my anger on you. I can’t forget what your  friend did to me and now I can't think of trusting anybody. Its not him to whom I curse, I curse myself because I said to his proposal and its all my fault. I can’t forgive myself now.

After five minutes the reply came.

Steve:I know very well what you are going through. It happens with people. When my heart was broken by some girl, I moved on and she was one of your friend only.

Ella:my friend??who??

Steve: Linda

Ella: Oh!Sorry to here this.

They both chat for sometime and then they exchanged their numbers. But it had being a week since they were friends on facebook and nobody had called each other yet.
It was late afternoon. Ella was chilling in her room. She was feeling low and depressed. She thought of calling her best friend, Suzanne but her number was busy and then she ended up dialing Steve's number.She had cut the phone five times and then called again the sixth time. It was ringing and the person picked up the call.
"Hello!!Is it Steve??"
Yes Ella.

She smiled and suddenly her heart skipped a beat. Steve had a heavy manly voice and it just amazed Ella. It was exactly the same voice that she had dreamt  about her Prince Charming.
John and Ella were couple in name. They hardly interacted with each other. But Ella had some dreams about her Mr.Perfect whom she called her "Prince Charming". John never matched her Mr.Perfect list.
Well, this guy Steve had become special in her life so soon.They started their conversation on phone. She loved talking to him whole day on phone and even Steve liked that. He used to wait for Ella’s call and they talked for hours and hours.They came closer.

Ella told him about her family,friends and her problems which were big like mountains. Steve was a good listener and he always used to advised her to embrace the things. Whenever she had a fight with her parents Steve always said that,'Ella,your parents owe you and you should not feel bad when they scold you as you belong to them and they have the right to say anything to you..just embrace the things darling.’ Even Steve told her about him. He told her that he was not a body builder 2 years back. He was an ignorant guy who was very fat.People used to hate talking to him but soon he realized something and he changed himself completely.He did workout and what he was in front of her was the transformed man. After hearing this, Ella started respecting him.
Ella soon had developed feelings for him but at the same time she never wanted to lose him.  She went to Paris for  2 days and there she switched off her cell,deactivated her id. During that time she missed Steve badly but she wanted to put restrictions on herself. She had to switch on her cell because of some reason. She got a call from an unknown number,she picked up and guess who was it? It was Steve. He said he had missed her. On hearing this, her heart wanted to dance. 
Soon she controlled and said.' I was busy Steve and I want to go away from everybody.'
Steve said,’Ok! But don't go away from me’.

She was happy to hear that but she wanted to test him. She said that they would not talk on phone or text each other.They both tried for one whole day. 

The next day Steve called her and said,
"Its hard for me to live without talking to you whole day"

"Even I can't live without talking to you"

He asked her the reason for her behavior and then she told that that John had called her and said she could easily be carried away  by good talks. He even said that she was committed to  him( Steve) .
"forget him", that was all he said.

Ella couldn't tell him that how much she loved him.One fine day,her parents came to know about the calls as the bill almost had hit their heads. It was triple then the normal bill and she was just 15. She decided to lessen the talks but couldn't live without talking to him. She thought of managing her friend's spare phone to talk so she got her number.

For the first time they were talking late night on phone. She called him from that new number and told him everything that had happened. He was shocked to here that.

He then asked,"Why are you doing this? Why are you cheating them just for a friend?

Ella got numb at that moment. She wanted to tell him how much she had loved him but she stopped herself and said that she liked talking to him. 

Steve confessed,‘I like talking to you and now you have become an important part of my life.I can't tell you how madly I wait for your call or message.When you don't message I get worried for you.I don't know what is it but something is there which I have never felt in my life not even when I was with Linda.Your absence kills me Ella and I don’t mind me saying that I have started caring for you. I fear for you when you are depressed. I want you to smile every time as I can't see tears in your eyes.’

On the other side of phone Ella was filled with tears and now she couldn't control herself and confessed,
"Steve, I feel the same for you and without any fear  I can say that   I have started loving you now.John completely broke me but you healed my pain and now I am completely addicted to you and I can't live without you.’

Both confessed their love on phone and they are the happiest couple till date. Its all about finding the right person and being with him. Love is another name of care. So you just need to find the correct man.

Author's Note: I wrote this piece in 2013,  I was an amateur writer by then so I have kept it that way because I want you to see that teen writer who made mistakes, who was mad about romantic stories and on this New Year, I want you guys to meet that girl who started writing under the pen name, Raga on booksie.com.