Book Review: Heartquake

The only mistake of an IAS officer is that he is an IAS officer

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Book Title: Heartquake

Author: K. Vijayakarthikeyan

Publisher: Rupa Publication India

ISBN-10: 9353335329

ISBN-13: 978-9353335328

Format: Paperback

Pages: 160

Blurb: Once upon a time there was a city plagued by greed, corruption and mysterious deaths… A patriotic IAS officer, Vikram, decides to expose a corrupt and powerful minister, Rudra Pratap Rana (aka RPR), during the latter’s visit to the IAS training academy. The video of Vikram asking the minister some highly embarrassing questions in front of a packed auditorium goes viral. Instead of having Vikram suspended from service, a vengeful RPR unleashes violence on the officer’s family, and to continue the torture, RPR gets Vikram posted as the sub-divisional magistrate in Laxmipur—the politician’s backyard. As soon as Vikram joins duty, RPR resumes his vengeance. However, a new drama unfolds when a large number of people start dying of heart attacks across Laxmipur. As Vikram tries to unravel these mysterious deaths with the help of Veda, a cardiologist, and Raghu, a police officer, extreme panic grips the city, which soon leads to riots and pandemonium. Vikram is left with no other choice but to risk his life to get to the bottom of this mind-numbing situation. Join Vikram in this fast-paced thriller as he fights to save Laxmipur from HEARTQUAKE.

My rating: 4/5

Review: The book is a short read which I managed to finish in half a day. I have been waiting to read such plots, which have less storyboarding and take you straight to the scenes and climax. This is the second book which I have read by the author and I am delighted to be a part of a book review program where you get to read more and more from budding writers.

The plot has been picturized in the small city Laxmipur, where there is the political influence of a goon is high that the power of a bureaucrat. In the beginning of the plot, I was a bit misled by the concept of Vikram convincing on one of his friends to stay in the academy. As the plot progressed I realized that the story would be revolving around Vikram and his career. I have hated the character RPR for all the reasons, where his men hit Vikram’s father and harm his sister. The plot is similar to the scenario prevailing in India, where there is always dirty political agenda involved. In the plot, it has been mentioned that the only mistake of an IAS officer is that …he is an IAS officer. I was disheartened by these lines, have we stooped so low that people have lost faith even in an elite class job in the government sector. Well, not deviating from the plot… I would also like to mention the immense use of biology in creating the plot. The concept of Hydra has been common in Indian fiction, I believe, which is not something different. I liked the way the author has done complete justice to the title. However, I am not sure if he did justice to the character of Veda in the plot. Towards, the end of the plot I believed she just disappeared like a bubble breaking the romantic quotient. To read more about what happened to RPR and the random outbreak by Hydra grab your copies.

Thank you Vinfluencers for the review copy. 🙂

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Hustle-Bustle to Lansdowne

In the woods we return to reason and faith

I wonder did I ever pronounce the name – Lansdowne correctly ever. Last month, we decided to road trip from Delhi to this paradise. Scaling through a series of nightmare ranging from tyre puncture to battery dead situations. Well, we finally made it to the hill station in Uttarakhand, driving through scenic National Highways and state roadways. Waking up to the sunshine in the land of Garhwal Rifle regiment. With the holiday season on, we had few difficulties in finding the right place for our stay. Well, we managed a homestay with a cozy Army family serving us piping hot sandwiches, maggie and amazingly brewed tea.

We started off our day by relaxing at the homestay as the afternoon was pretty hot to venture out. Thanks to the climate change that hill stations have scorching high mercury levels. In the evening, we headed to the most famous Bhulla Tal, which is a lake side with boating facilities available. We took a wrong turn and did a bit of hiking to reach to this lake. We also stopped by the Army Public School to quench our thirst. From Bhulla Tal, we headed to the sunset view point – Tip-n-Top view point. The place was thronged by visitors of all age groups, thanks to the summer vacations. We drove all the way up passing by the Military Area of Lansdowne. The place will leave you in aww… how well the Indian Army has organized the place into a full-fledged place with great roads to drive and organized adjoining areas with multiple check posts. The return journey from the sunset point added to the scenic beauty of the place as we drove down hill, with the rest sun at the one side and evening twilight arising on the other. The best part about the day here at Lansdowne was the star lit sky, which you can rarely witness in cities nowadays. Star gazing at the terrace of our homestay was the best part from my trip, where we slept under the blanket of zillion stars…. Northern Star shone the brightest. 

The next day we headed to the Garhwali Museum and Army Museum. Photography is not allowed in the Army Museum for security reasons. Army Museum, which is also known as Darwan Singh Sanghralaya, is located next to the War Memorial and Parade ground. We were lucky enough to witness the marching army jawans in the parade ground. However, the tourists are not allowed to stand and shoot the parade from the museum area. The museum had some of the great collection of weapons, medals and pictures depicting the role of Garhwal Rifles in the Indian Army. I haven’t been more proud than being at this place during my vacation. We wrapped our day at Lansdowne as we had to drive down to Rishikesh for another adventure. However, if you are looking for a fun-filled trip to Lansdowne, you can also cover Jim Corbett National Park which is around 65 kms from Lansdowne or you can head to Rishikesh/Haridwar which is around 110 kms. 

Book Review- Narasimha

Words are hollow

Book Title: Narasimha – The Mahaavatar Triology

Author: Kevin Missal

Publisher: Harper Collins India

ISBN: 935357076X (ISBN13: 9789353570767)

Format: Paperback

Pages: 320

Blurb: Narasimha, once a brave soldier, has left the war and lies low as a physician in a village. But a familiar face from his past seeks his help to stop the tyranny of the blind usurper – Andhaka. If Narasimha refuses, the world might just end. What will he do? And why did he leave the war in the first place? Prahlad, the interim king of Kashyapuri, is torn between the ideals of his unrighteous father and his love for Lord Vishnu. Whom will he choose? Hiranyakashyap, the ruler of the Asura Empire, wants to avenge his wife. To do that, he must go through the Trials and get the ultimate weapon – the Brahmshastra. But the Trials have sent so many others to their death. Can Hiranyakashyap survive? Welcome to the reimagining of the fourth Avatar of Lord Vishnu by the bestselling author, Kevin Missal.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Review: I was associated with Harper Collins IN for the cover reveal of the book. The cover actually fascinated me to purchase this book as a part of review program. Off late, I have been in love with mythological fiction for the matter of fact that there is lot of things which have misguided us in the name of mythology. Well, this story is another one to the club where the story revolves around the main characters- Prahlad, Narasimha and Hiranyakashyap. Every character has a story to tell just like the real life story characters. The book has completely done justice to the clans which remain buried in the history and are merely just plain characters. The heroism of each character has been well-described by the author in the Book 1 coming of this series. I loved the war rendition done in the chapters, announced the arrival of enemy troops, describing the cavalry and talking about the heart of battle. There are characters such as Dhriti, Holika and Narada- Guru who add more spice to this mythological fiction. The author has planted the plot in such as way that the readers would remain glued to the plot. As this book is just a part of the trilogy, it is expected to keep the readers guessing about the end. There are questions that would not allow you to rest. “Can Hiranyakashyap survive?” “Who would be the rule of Kashyapuri?” “Will Narasimha fight another battle?” “Why is Indra playing that plot?” Innumerable questions to have you glued to the book till the last page. I hope everyone enjoys the book as much as I did.

“Faith strengthens us and makes us believe”

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Book Review: Designing Destiny

Life is all about acceptances

Book Title: Designing Destiny

Author: Kamlesh D. Patel (Goodreads Author)

ISBN: 9387894533 (ISBN13: 9789387894532)

Publication: Westland Publication

Format: Paperback

Pages: 234

My Rating: 4.5/5

Review: This is my second book by the author and I am completely mesmerized by the way author has portrayed real life problems and provided its solutions through the powerful key of “Meditation”. The process of Meditation has been elaborately discussed in the book. There are ways to indulge into meditation and bring transformation in our lives. The book has discussed almost all the problems associated with a human being. There are conflicts which we fight everyday within ourselves, a battle within is the toughest battle that we have to fight for the survival. The mind has been the most powerful unit controlling an individual. The author has described the problems and elaborately explained the solution with the help of daily life examples. The book has references from Ashtavakra Gita and Bible. Destiny and how true is the designing of destiny has been discussed by the author. The three major principles of destiny are the key to enlightenment.

“The first principle of destiny is that we can only change it in the present”

The book also discusses relationship, love, behavior at workplace/home, and other major areas. How you can help yourself with the power of meditation to control your mind, it has been one of the common queries at the self-help seminars. The chapters also discuss about sleep patterns, breathing, rhythm, lunar cycles and fasting.

“Meditation is the mother of constant remembrance”

The transmission in life can be achieved by bringing in changes as described in the book. However, there are masterclasses available at the Heartfulness centres. There is also an application called “HeartsApp” and the author has provided an email for contacting further with any queries on transmission and meditation- info@heartfulness.org.

Some lines from the book:

“We create it (destiny) for ourselves by our everyday thoughts”

“Consciousness has a moving threshold”

“A pure mind finds its direction within because it is centred”

“Life is all about acceptance”

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Thank you WritersMelon for the review copy.

Book Review- Are You Kidding Me?

Book Title: Are You Kidding Me?

Author: Anirbas Das

ISBN-10: 9387022587

ISBN-13: 978-9387022584

Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors

Format: Paperback

Pages: 216

Blurb: Are you kiddin’ me. Is a collection of humorous stories, with a medley of emotions and anecdotes from our everyday lives. From the aspirations of a wannabe entrepreneur, to the fate of the student who thinks he knows more than his teachers; from a young management Trainee in love with his bosses daughter to the out of body experience of an urban man. Each story has been carefully crafted to brighten up your day. The stories are unique, each with a subtle underlying message for the discerning reader wanting to read between the lines and find that elusive deeper meaning. These hilarious stories will not only entertain, but also inspire and motivate you to love more, live better and laugh louder. And yes, there is a deliciously wicked twist in each tale. 
Ps: don’t Miss the footnotes.

My Rating: 4/5

Review: Earlier I was expecting the book to be a story head with continuity, however at the second chapter I realized that now we are talking about humor split in to different stories. The book is a collection of short stories with humor adding the spice to these stories. The language is quite simple for readers of every age group. The book has tried to cover the major focus point, rather stages of our life from our lives ranging from adolescence to youth to an adult. I personally like the story- Bossy affair, as it highlighted the struggle of a corporate employee, who is stuck between a boss who refuses to grant you your own earned leaves, crazy clients, a high-paid girlfriend and pressure to cope up to the salary of your better half. The struggle is real, where you miss important moments of your life to the deadlines which won’t even pay off a good appraisal point later. As your boss is the one who has already decided who gets more marks for licking asses. The second story which was a favorite was – Snorefest where snoring has been personified by the author. The struggle that each one of us have had once in their lifetime with people snoring during your train journeys. Yes, sleeping in train is such an integral part of Indian Railways life.

Points to remember as mentioned by the author

  1. Have a stand-by dream in case
  2. Always have cotton plugs handy when travelling in train
  3. Keep the mobile phone charged all the time
  4. Never trust the train attendant.

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Thank you Writers Melon for the review copy

Book Review- Wild Card 2

Every dream was worth fighting for

Book Title: Wild Card 2

Author: Asfiya Rahman

Publisher: Half Baked Beans

ISBN-10: 9384315826

ISBN-13: 978-9384315825

ASIN: B07RRPTJ56

Format: Paperback

Blurb: Tahira Rizvi was a young tennis player who got the opportunity of her life when she was invited to be part of Karan Mehrotra’s successful attempt at Wimbledon. Back from Wimbledon she wants to make one last attempt at building a career for herself as a professional tennis player. But there are just too many questions. Has she left it too late? Will she get the support she needs from her friends and family? More importantly, will she get the opportunity she needs to prove that she can turn things around? And what about Vikram? He may say he is in love with her but can they have a future together? What do you do if both opportunity and romance are knocking on the same door? Who will you let in first? Will Tahira be able to move from the stands of Wimbledon to the courts of Wimbledon? And if she does, what is the price she will pay?

My Rating: 3.5/5

Review: The book is a sequel of book 1 -wild card about a famous tennis player, Karan Mehrotra. The love story of Karan and Riya was the highlight of the book one. The story took turn when the Riya passed away and Karan was left with their daughter Roshni. The wild card and Tahira Rizvi helped Karan in getting back to Wimbledon and winning the championship. The wild card 2 plot revolves around the same characters- Karan, Tahira, Vikram and Roshni. The story revolves around the chemistry between Vikram and Tahira. The characters have been well-framed in the story. The innocence of Roshni added a different charm to the plot. The plot is more about the character Tahira who has belongs to a middle-class family where parents are too skeptical about the future goals of their child. The parents from middle-class family never want their children to divert from academics and take their hobby as a full-time career option. The same was the condition of Tahira when she had shown her desire for tennis as a career. Her parents were less supportive about the fact, however the involvement of Karan as a coach changed the dynamics altogether. On the other hand, the relationship between Vikram and Tahira continue to suffer a dilemma. Vikram was engrossed in love and jealousy whereas Tahira still had to figure out alot of things in her life. The second wild card entry in the Wimbledon changed Tahira’s life, all thanks to Karan who wants to thank Tahira for the last he received a wild card. I wasn’t very much happy how the story of Tahira and Vikram took turn, and why was Tahira not a stronger character at the end of the story. To know more grab your copy now.


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Thank you Half Baked Beans for the review copy

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Snakes in the Meadows

They say love can make miracles happen, that love is, in itself, a miracle

Book Title: Snakes in the Meadows

Author: Ayaz Kohli (Goodreads Author)

Publication: Rupa Publications India

ISBN: 9353333601 (ISBN13: 9789353333607)

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288

Blurb: Jammu and Kashmir, 1987. In the hilly village of pathri Aali, where legends appear true, Aslam and ashwar, two young lovers, dream of marriage and of good things of life. But that is not to be. Unable to cope, Aslam leaves pathri Aali forever. Years later, as men migrate to Saudi Arabia for employment, pathri Aali is populated mostly by women and children. Soon they realize the mujahedeen, who guise themselves as their liberators, are the worst perpetrators, and misery seems inescapable. Ashwar refuses to be cowed down by this reign of terror and is determined not to let it devastate the once-peaceful village. The only one she can Bank on is aslam—and she calls out to him across the distance of time and space, to return and live up to the legends of their village. Snakes in the meadows is a saga of the onset of militancy, and the suffering and the resilience of pir panjal—the ‘and’ of Jammu and Kashmir.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Review: The story has been plotted in the beautiful valley of Jammu and Kashmir, in a most pristine villages- Pathri Aali. The people of the village are the major characters for the plot. The story revolves around the every day struggle of the villagers and militants in the valley. The scenes from Jammu and Kashmir plotted in the 1987 seems no different from the current scenario prevailing in the valley. The militants are still dwelling in the houses of innocent villagers, who are inquired by the officers of the Indian Army. The story revolves around how a common boy Haji Mir, who became a hero fighting militants and died a cruel death by hands of these mujaheddins. The plot has tried to focus on the role of women in the villages, fighting for their honor and respect in the eyes of villagers and their husband. Saudi Arabia has been a part of the plot where most of the villagers migrate in terms of money and better livelihood for their families dwelling in Pathri Aali. The plot however disturbed me to a great extent, where people lost faith in the Indian Army and joined jihad. The concept of jihad and a free Kashmir still prevails is deeply saddening. The mention of Kashmir as India-Occupied Kashmir has been disturbing, we can’t change the nomenclature unfortunately. The death of Haji Mir and Avdal is the most disheartening one is the plot. The author has thrown light on the actual misery faced by children and women in the valley. The women have also been thrashed mercilessly by the militants. Is that what Islam has preached I would have asked if given a chance? I loved the way author has shown the pristine beauty of valley, bridge tapped by the fauji boots and silenced by the bullets of the militants. I still grief the deaths in the valley by the cruel mujaheddins. I still have that hatred fuming reading about Colonel Dharam Pal Singh. However, the Indian Army has and will always stand by the people of the valley, if they really want to led a peaceful life away from these militant indulges. We need more characters like Ashwar, Aslam, Lal Jaan and Haji Mir to help the people in trouble, help them me bold enough to fire a bullet and seek justice.

“Some flowers are to be seen, not touched”

“Marriage is never an individual’s choice. It is an arrangement to strengthen the communal bonds”

“One should not cry over a martyr’s grave”

“We, the soldiers of the Indian Army, live and die for our country. Our country and our pride means the same thing to us.”

“Sab kahan kucch lala-o-gul mein numaya ho gayein,

Khaak mein kya surtein hongi ke pinha ho gayein”

Thank you for the review copy – bookscharming

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