Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Perfect Groom By Sumeetha Manikandan


The Perfect Groom by Sumeetha Manikandan




The Blurb

Very little has gone right in Nithya’s young life. So, when a proposal from a young, handsome NRI comes along, her mother jumps at the opportunity and packs her daughter off to the US with her perfect groom.

Nithya seems to have settled in with Ashok, ostensibly happy, if as yet childless, in her new life. When an old flame comes back into her life, however, the cracks in her perfect marriage begin to show…

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Sumeetha Manikandan


Review

There are stories and then there are Stories. Every story should have a storyline which touches one's soul, a reader can resonate and end of the day does two things. Go to sleep with a smile and dreams of Salmaan Khan or contemplate about the biggest question in the universe. What if? What if I was Nithya? What if I was the NRI housewife who had to go through all that she is going through. What if my life is a series of unnatural events. I shiver to think what I will do  under such circumstances.

Sumeetha Manikandan in her introduction to this short novella and in some of the interviews I have read about her has made it clear that this story is a take off from a real life incident. First of all Hats off to whoever Nithya is. She deserves the respect of every married woman.

Nithya belongs to a middle class family. She, along with her sister and mother, is under the ‘care’ of their Uncle. Her biggest bone of contention with her Uncle, is that they have kept her mom as a glorified servant of the house and both Nithya and her sis would have had to follow the same path had not a relative taken up the expenses of their education. But all her education is swept aside, when she is forced to marry an NRI who wanted a docile Indian wife. 

Sumeetha weaves the story around the couple, giving her readers just the right amount of glimpses of what Nithya’s married life was like. We see her unhappiness, her loneliness and her desire for companionship. The question is why. Why was her husband Ashok an utter cad?

Then enters Vasu, Her childhood friend with whom her marriage was almost fixed. Vasu who had suffered the same way as she had under the ‘generous’ nature of their uncle. They had a common past that binds them together. What they had not expected was the smoldering passion, which was never there before, to suddenly erupt between them. On one hand Nithya is bound by tradition and marriage and on the other hand, her heart finally starts beating with the love she had for so long craved. Where will this journey of Nithya end?

What I liked ….

Such a short story packed with such a big social issue. Nithya’s journey to discover her own self is very beautifully etched. Sumeetha has done a wonderful job in introducing her readers to the beautiful Mylapore. She lets us peak into the Tamil Culture of India with such minute details that I really felt I was walking on the streets of Kumbokonam. From Mylapore to California, the journey we see through Nithya’eyes is commendable. 

The strong female protagonist is another plus point of this story. Nithya is not a cry baby waiting for the hero to save her. She is not a paragon of virtue who faints every time her harmones remind her that she is also a woman with desires. Her being  a strong woman, taking care of her mom and sis is both her strength and poison. Her reason to lead the life that Ashok forces her to lead. 

Rating



Reasoning 

1. The story takes  few turns of pages to get to you. But when it does, it makes you want to keep on turning the pages.

2. For a person, not well versed with the Tamil culture, it will be a bit intimidating to be fed so many Tamil words in a go. Maybe if explanations were on the same page or weaved into the sentences, it would have been better. But then this topic is a sure debate with many writers. Writers from all over the world, especially India are still trying to understand what is the best way to weave a colloquial language into a story. 




Meet the author



The Author's Thoughts

An author and a freelance writer, Sumeetha Manikandan has been writing for many years now. After working in dotcom companies, like Sulekha for over a decade, she started freelancing from home. 

Her debut novella, 'The Perfect Groom' was initially written in a script format, which was later converted into a novella for Indireads. The Perfect Groom touches a taboo subject that is most often shrouded in secret whispers and exclamations in the tambrahm community. Inspired by a real anecdote, 'The Perfect Groom' is in parts the true story of a girl who rose above myriad challenges to make her own way in life.
     
  
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Monday, May 26, 2014

An Interview with a beautiful soul....Sanober Khan




Turquoise Silence by Sanober Khan


A disclaimer: This book is a part of a blog tour conducted by The Book Club and all the reviews are done in exchange of a copy of the book from the publisher or author. No monetary trasaction takes place.







The Blurb
The book is a collection of free verse poems that encapsulate the poet's most heartfelt emotions about life. They speak of moments that sweep our breath away, of beauty that bewitches the heart, of people, memories, sights, sounds and smells that awaken a sense of wonder and wistfulness. With rich metaphors and eloquently flowing imagery, the poet's love for the simple things in life unfolds in different moods and tones, ultimately ending up in words felt, cherished, concieved and written... in turquoise silence

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sanober


Our Little Chat ....




I am not a poet. But Sanober Khan's words has touched by heart. I don't review poetry. I revere them. How can I tell a poet that her silence spoke something else to me? How do I ask a poet why did the winds and clouds speak to her and not to me? Every writer has a poet hidden within her or him.. some have tapped their inner poet and some just take pleasure in the words of others. 

I fall in the latter category. I have read her poetry. I won't deny that. But review I won't. I love her silence. The way a simple trip spoke volumes to her while the same trip will mean journey, packing, irritablity and pics for me. Her silence engulfed me in such a bondage that a deep routed love I had for poetry has agian come to surface. Do read on .. pssst.. a cuppa is enough to inspire her... :( and here I am brewing coffee after coffee after coffee..... 

Meet the Beautiful Soul behind some beautiful words.

1. Welcome to the Blog tour Sanober. What is the story behind Sanober Khan writing poetry?


Thank you! My story is quite simple. I started writing poetry in my teenage years. I can’t say how exactly it came to me, I wasn’t even much of a reader back then, but I had all these words and images jostling around in my head that I knew I had to let out. I’d go crazy if I didn’t. I guess that is how it begins for any writer, with a sudden urge to express yourself, to capture a thought or feeling in your own special way. So I started posting my stuff on various online sites, received some praise and criticism, got inspired by so many different poets and their writing styles and then there was no looking back from there. 

2. How do you get your inspirations?  Had to ask this...:)

From so many things, they need not be anything grand. Sometimes, it’s a cup of coffee that tickles my fancy, other times it’s my dad’s laugh, or a rainy afternoon, sometimes a memory from my childhood, or some beautiful line I read somewhere. And then it’s like, the whole poem is already in my head, like a readymade garment and all I have to do is wear it. Reading other’s poetry inspires me a lot, especially in times when I don’t feel like writing at all. It has definitely influenced my writing style in all these years. 

Sometimes it doesn’t even matter what the source of inspiration is, as long as I have a thought or a single line in my head that resonates deeply with me. The rest of the poem just falls in place in then. 


3. Of all the emotions, which emotion is the most motivating for you?

Nostalgia, definitely, which I believe is one of the most powerful emotions. I find that I am nostalgic about almost everything in life, be it beautiful or sad, present or past. I am most motivated when I’m in a bit of a melancholic mood, and I love lingering in it for as long as I can. It is said that poetry feeds on misery, but it’s not always true. Sad can be beautiful too. 


4. I read your poems. Very soulful. In one poetry I understand you went for a trip with your family and wrote the poem. I went to hundreds such trips and nothing happened. What clicks at that instant for you to pick up your pen?

You will be surprised to know that I am rarely moved to words when I’m ‘in the moment’.  I’m so busy soaking in the sights and smells that there is no time or space for anything else to drift in. I wait and wait, but the words come long after the moment is gone, like when I’m brushing my teeth or doing something utterly mundane. It’s the memory of the moment that does it for me. 



5. Who is your favorite poet? If you have to choose one line for his or her poetry, can you share it with us?

I have so many favorite poets, my current favorite is Rolf Jacobsen, and I absolutely adore this line from his poem “Moon and Apple” – “For the Earth itself is a blossom, she says,
on the star tree,
pale with luminous
ocean leaves.”

6. If you close your eyes, does silence really speak to you or is it romantism that makes you search for such soulful topics?

Sometimes the silences are eloquent, and sometimes they have nothing to say. I love romanticizing the everyday things in life, for me, it is the essence of poetry. It evokes a sense of mystery and beauty in a way nothing else can. 

7. What is the favorite part of the day for Sanober? Can we have two lines in honor of it?

It has got to be the night, without a doubt. Serene nights with a full moon. When the rest of the world is winding down, I feel like I’m coming to life. Almost every poem I have ever written, it has been in the dark hours. Here is a little verse:
“ in between the gentle
haunting of the moon, and trembling of the shores
the night pulls my face in close,
and never lets go”
                                          
The Book Club wishes you the very best. Such pure form of poetry deserves all the adulations.

Regards
Rubina

Meet The Poet

Writing poetry is a very different, mystical experience. There is no plot, no storyline, no characters…just a stage set for you and your own deepest self. When I wrote my first poem six years ago, I never imagined it would someday become such an important aspect of my life.

 I have always loved poetry for the creative freedom it offers, the minimal rules, its ability to elevate even the most ordinary moments. At the end of each poem I write, it feels as though I have not just evolved in my style, but also as a person.  My work first appeared in Cyberwit’s international journal, the Taj Mahal Review, which paved the way for me to getting two books published.

I have long been inspired by poets like Khalil Gibran, Rumi, Rabindranath Tagore ,Rolf Jacobsen, E.E Cummings, and John Keats. A voracious reader myself, I enjoy reading poetry and novels from around the globe. 
     
  
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Spotlight:The Evolution of Gods by Dr. Ajay Kansal

 The Evolution of Gods

The Evolution of Gods by Dr. Ajay Kansal

The Scientific Origin of Divinity and Religions



 The Evolution of Gods
Book Details:
Title and Author: The Evolution of Gods: The Scientific Origin of Divinity and Religions by Dr. Ajay Kansal

Print Length: 214 Pages

Publication Date: August 2012

Language: English

Genre: Non-Fiction, Religion and Spirituality, Scientific Study, Atheism




Blurb:

Is there really a God out there, or is it something that human created so we could have something or someone to fear in cases where we go wrong? 


Did gods create humanity or did humans create gods?


Human interest in the origin of humankind has been documented throughout the recorded history. Did some divine power create the first couple? Religious scriptures the world over aver that one or the other god gave birth to humans, but science has not yet identified any supernatural power that created and governed human beings. Did primeval humans come up with the idea of gods to help them cope with their fears? Could it bethat they attributed natural phenomena — unfathomable and frightening to them — to the working of invisible gods? 


The Evolution of Gods uses modern science to explain why, when and how religions and gods became the desirable explanations of the inexplicable events. It describes anthropological and historical facts about the evolution of religions and gods, in a simple and straightforward manner, to assert that human imagination created gods, and not the other way around.

The book begins with the epoch when the human race came into being, between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago. Around 100,000 years ago, humans invented language and began to discuss and analyze each happening aroundthem. Whatever they could not comprehend, their priest attributed to some unseen power. At one point in time, we do not know exactly when it happened, humankind began an activity called worship. Humans began to worship each seen or unseen power, which was beyond their control, but could either harm or help them. They believed that worship protected them and sought the blessings of that power. Priests all over the world invented almost identical methods of worship, such as folding their hands, bowing, kneeling, flower offering, prayers and sacrifices. 

For example, anthropologists have drawn that ancient humans had largely inadequate protection against cold; their survival largely deepened upon available sunlight—something beyond their control. In that scenario, solar worship was a logical outcome. In a similar manner, the humans found thunder and lightning inexplicable and frightening. Gradually, they began to worship the sky as god. There is enough historical evidence to assert that the ancestors of Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians and Muslims, before their religions came into practice, worshipped the sun and the sky. Thus, history demonstrates that whenever humankind faced a new challenge, priests invented a more useful deity and consigned the older one to oblivion. 

For example, around three thousand years ago, cultivation provided several facilities to humans that paved the way for a population explosion. At the same time, farming exposed people to pets, rodents, mosquitoes, houseflies and parasites. All these factors together gave rise to altogether new diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis, typhoid and plague. Apart from these diseases, population explosion also gave rise to social diseases such as poverty, inequality, injustice, crime and exploitation. All these together forced people to lead a miserable life no better than hell. 

Around this time, a few geniuses such as the Buddha, Moses and Jesus discovered the causes and remedies of human sufferings. For example, Moses suggested ten morals, sacrifices and prayers to protect people from their miseries. The contemporary priests transcribed prayers, rituals, myths, allegories and morals preached by these prophets after their death. The Holy Scriptures, such as the Vedas and the Bible were the compilations of such writings. These books advised worship, sacrifices, magic or morals to eradicate human miseries. The Suffering masses had no option but to follow those advices. These scriptures fashioned the organized religions of today. 


Let us think for a moment why there are many religions and there is only one science on the Earth. There is one concrete reason behind this irony; about one thing or concept there is 
only one truth but there can be many lies. This book is an effort to 
light a candle in the darkest corner of human consciousness.


 The Evolution of Gods


Readers' verdicts on the book on Amazon & Flipkart

"This book was one of my first reads and am glad that I read it.........this book teaches you to become a human being and not a Hindu or Muslim or christian or whatever....in my opinion this book should be included in the syllabus of schools so that children know the real meaning of the term"God".......a must read....I recommend this book to each and every human being on the earth!....double thumbs up!!" ~Pragya on Flipkart

"The book should be there in every Indian household. For in spite of scientific advancement, learned people still believe in "karma" and "God" theories." ~Kantilal on Flipkart

"Well written, well researched, and loaded with interesting facts. " ~Joseph Hunter on Amazon

"This book changed my age-old convictions" ~Abhishek on Amazon


Buying Links:
Amazon.com: PaperbackKindle Ebook
Amazon.in: Paperback | Kindle Ebook
Flipkart.com: Paperback | EBook




About the Author:

Ajay Kansal is a professor and consultant pathologist. It was during his medical practice that he encountered human suffering in a big way that made him question the concept of Gods and drove him to write this book.

The Evolution of Gods is his first book and the only book written by an Indian author on the concept of the existence of God which talks of all religions and is not based on any one particular form of it. His next work is a romance which is currently in progress.
Follow The Author:

                                     Twitter | Goodreads | Website | Facebook 



Giveaway #1:
    a Rafflecopter giveaway






    Giveaway #2:
    • 10 copies of the book The Evolution of Gods up for grabs on Goodreads.
    • Giveaway open internationally.
    https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/90811-the-evolution-of-gods-the-scientific-origin-of-divinity-and-religions



    Tour Organizer:




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    Saturday, May 17, 2014

    Spotlight: Turquoise Silence by Sanober Khan




    Turquoise Silence by Sanober Khan


    A disclaimer: This book is a part of a blog tour conducted by The Book Club and all the reviews are done in exchange of a copy of the book from the publisher or author. No monetary trasaction takes place.





    The Blurb
    The book is a collection of free verse poems that encapsulate the poet's most heartfelt emotions about life. They speak of moments that sweep our breath away, of beauty that bewitches the heart, of people, memories, sights, sounds and smells that awaken a sense of wonder and wistfulness. With rich metaphors and eloquently flowing imagery, the poet's love for the simple things in life unfolds in different moods and tones, ultimately ending up in words felt, cherished, concieved and written... in turquoise silence

    Buy @
               
    Watch it
    sanober





    Meet the Poet

    Writing poetry is a very different, mystical experience. There is no plot, no storyline, no characters…just a stage set for you and your own deepest self. When I wrote my first poem six years ago, I never imagined it would someday become such an important aspect of my life.

     I have always loved poetry for the creative freedom it offers, the minimal rules, its ability to elevate even the most ordinary moments. At the end of each poem I write, it feels as though I have not just evolved in my style, but also as a person.  My work first appeared in Cyberwit’s international journal, the Taj Mahal Review, which paved the way for me to getting two books published.

    I have long been inspired by poets like Khalil Gibran, Rumi, Rabindranath Tagore ,Rolf Jacobsen, E.E Cummings, and John Keats. A voracious reader myself, I enjoy reading poetry and novels from around the globe. 
         
      
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    Kingdom Come by Aarti V. Raman





    Blurb

    How do you kill a man with no Achilles heel? You cut off his foot Tom Jones. 

    Set against the serene beauty of Kashmir, Ladakh and Tibet, Kingdom Come is a gripping story of death and loss, vengeance and retribution, love and life. Krivi Iyer is an embittered former spy and bomb defusal expert with only one regret. That he couldn't catch The Woodpecker, a dangerous, mentally unstable bomber who ended his partner's family. He has a second chance to go after his arch enemy with the arrival of Ziya Maarten, the manager of 'Goonj Business Enterprises' in Srinagar, Kashmir, who is alleged to be The Woodpecker's sister. Except, Ziya is a beautiful distraction and not a terrorist's sister. When a tragedy in London tears Ziya's life apart, she can only rely on Krivi to give her the absolution and vengeance she needs to move on. Between training to be an anti-terrorist squad member and finding The Woodpecker, Ziya uncovers the secrets of Krivi's tormented past. But will two tortured souls find the courage to love?

    Buy@

    Review

    Kirvi ( uff! ) is a hunk who is trained by the military, burning with revenge, and man of many secrets. He arrives at the Goonj Estates and gets the job of a manager. But of course, our hero has an ulterior motive. Does it involve Ziya in any way?

    Ziya Maarten. After finishing her tenure at the London School of Business, she comes out of it it wealthier. In Knowledge and friendship.  It is her friendship with the gorgeous  Noor Saiyed which lands her in Kashmir at the Goonj Estate, where she finds what she has always missed in her life. Family, friends and love.

    The Relationships....

    As with any relationship cloaked under hidden truths,the attraction between Ziya and Kirvi too undergoes many ups and downs. Kirvi is on a mission. But how is it related to Ziya who is an orphan? The attraction between them is very palpable, very very hot. The chemistry between them oozes sensuality. But this story has more to offer. Lives haunted by terrorism,  relationships destroyed due to the debris of terrorism. It also gives us a peep on how the character of a terrorist came into being.

    The wheels that keep the story moving in the direction where the reader can't even think of going are also the characters besides the main protagonists.

    Nooriya or Noor Saiyed, her bubbly nature is a pleasure to read even though I shed a few tears for her.
    Sam,a Major in the army. Totally in love with Nooriya. An eternal kinda love.

    Woodpecker, will make you forget Mokambo or Shakkal.Mr.Joshua of Lethal Weapon or Norman Stanfield in Leon. This guy gives me the creeps. A  real dastardly character I have come across after a long time.

    (This is not the exams of my English paper which demands characterizations to be done :) but, this story is such that without the mention of these chars, it won’t be a complete picture).

    What I liked.....

    1) The story line. Clean ,clear, driven. I wanted to reach the end. No, make it ...I needed to reach the end. The twists (I found 3 actually),will make you sit up,  just as you reach your comfort zone.

    2) The characters. Perfect hero with the right amount of weakness. Strong female character- not the damsel in distress kind, but a fighter who is ready to walk at par with any man in combat to protect her loved ones, to avenge her loved ones. A villain,  whom you will love to hate.

    Aarti has done a fabulous job weaving the characters together. Each character leaves a mark, even if  they have a small part to play. Her authority over the English vocabulary is evident even though I feel she has compromised in some places with the grammar to keep the voice young and trendy.

    She creates a vivid picture of few of the heaven on earth places- Kashmir, Ladakh....each etched beautifully. The best part has been her research on the bombings and the military lifestyle. The scene that has truly left a mark on me-to the extend that I had to keep my kindle down a few times is the scene between Ziya and Woodpecker. I felt a bile rising in my mouth and I did shed a few tears. This young author sure knows how to pull her punches.

    Rating

    Reasoning
    1) I love Nooriya. How could I not?  She has been described so many times. Even in the scenes with Kirvi, her beauty has been gushed about.  And since she is not the main protagonist,  it went a bit overboard.

    2) Ziya's military training. Even if the author has justified it, it is too, for a lack of a better word, Bollywoodish. (taken from my own inventory of non existing words.:))

    3) Mosquito Repellent.... :) Why? That is for you to find out after reading Kingdom Come.

    Will I recommend this book to my readers....

    Definitely. The story has a unique voice.A young and fresh voice.  It captures the fear of terrorism,  hatred for terrorism and above all salutations to the brave souls fighting against terrorism. The best part is that it shows terrorism as a global evil against which every human being has to stand against. Kudos Aarti V. Raman.


    About The Author 

    Aarti always wanted to be either a lawyer. Or a writer. So she tossed a coin and picked writer. Or rather, it picked her. Since then, she has valiantly struggled to put words to paper and bring characters and stories alive that make people sigh and laugh and enjoy every moment of. She has studied Journalism from Mumbai University, Creative Writing at Deakin, and considers herself a student of life. Her three favorite words are, Happy-Ever-After. She has written one romantic thriller already "White Knight" under Aarti V and has a historical series "The Lords of Devil Manor" debuting in June 2014. You can talk to her on www.facebook.com/aarti.v.raman, and kingdomcomethebook@gmail.com


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    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    Future Past and other short stories by Subrat Sahoo



                   Future Past and other short stories              by 
    Subrat Sahoo

    The Blurb

    The future isn't what it used to be...Expect the unexpected... because for mankind, the future and the past may hold no meaning...Welcome to a fascinating collection of sci-fi short stories that will spark your imagination. Each story is unique and the outcome unexpected. Many are the hazards hiding in the heart of hyperspace In An Outside. In this sci-fi twister you have to figure out where you stand literally.Contrary to popular quote, there is no second chance for a candidate here, in Never A Next. The near future? It is singular, and it is in the past. In the title story Future Past, grammar takes a back seat, and so does what is known. When you achieve super specialization, you tend to forget two plus two. Simple Physics is amazingly simple. In fact it is so simple that it will definitely not work the second time! Whose image is it? Mastering God grants the license. And look! Just who's got a Reprieve? A chequers game: man versus time. What really happened in The Story of the Greatest Event That Never Happened? Go on... dare your imagination...

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    Review


    Subrat Sahoo has let his imagination run wild while etching galaxies, battling ships, hovering 'cars', robots and interplanetary race . Future Past is a collection of ten short stories, each ending with a cliffhanger situation. Each story is unique and I will be very frank here that some worked and some did not.(for me).

    My favorite was ‘Never a Next'. It starts with a man's combat against a few fighters. I didn't anticipate the end and it was quite a jaw dropping moment for me. 

    Even 'Rites of Passage'is a cute love story. And since I am a sucker of love stories, it can't be overlooked. But the ending was too vague. 

    And that is the problem with some of the stories. The endings. To keep up the twist the author has kept the margin of vagueness a tad more than necessary. 

    The grammar and the language of the stories are impeccable and that itself,makes it a easy read. The author's love and knowledge of this genre is evident in each of the stories. In all of them, he has brought out the futuristic world and some of the scenes are such that every human will want them in the future. :)

    There is a poem, also in this collection. 'Mastering God'. It has a beautiful message that God created Man and Man created

    Robots.  At the end who repented more. :)

    Rating


    Reasoning

    Some of the stories are too vague. In a shot sci-fi fiction the biggest challenge is that the author shouldn't sound like a science teacher. Though the author has really maintained that in most of the stories, but in one or two it has come out just like my Physics teacher teaching me about force fields. She couldn't teach me then and I can't understand it now. Specially in ‘Simple Physics’.So, my bad entirely.  :)
    Will I recommend this book to my readers? 

    A must have for all Star Trek fans. You can almost imagine Captain Kirk sitting in his famous deck chair shouting orders to the members of starship.  :)





    Sunday, May 11, 2014

    The Revenge of Kaivalya by Sumana Khan



    The Revenge of Kaivalya by Sumana Khan





    The Blurb

    Deep within the womb-like forests of the Western Ghats, an entity manifests itself at the malevolent moment when the ocean rises to devour hundreds of thousands. Kencha, an unwitting witness to Its birth, is soon found dead – his body branded with a strange message written in HaLegannada, an ancient version of modern Kannada. Even as Dhruv Kaveriappa, Chief Conservator of Forests - Hassan division investigates Kencha’s death, he senses an unseen danger in the forests of Kukke, Bisle and Sakleshpura. Animals drop dead; plants wither away and just as he feared, the forest claims its first victim. Shivaranjini, on vacation in Sakleshpura, suffers a devastating tonic-clonic seizure moments after she returns from a visit to the forest. Soon, she begins to exhibit a bizarre personality disorder. Perhaps there is an outbreak of an unknown rabies-like disease? Or, as ridiculous as it seems, could it be a case of tantric witchcraft? 

    The truth unfolds in a dizzying maelstrom of events - a truth far too terrifying to comprehend

    Buy @
               
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    Review

    The Revenge of Kaivalya is one difficult book to review. Not because I don’t resonate with the story. I do. But it does not follow a linear story line. The Author keeps the reader busy following the plot changes, the POV shifts and small incidents forming the framework of the main event. Sumana Khan keeps us on our toes with this story.:)

    I had heard great reviews about this book. Few of my friends even said that this book should not be read in the dark. It is a horror story in a true sense. I mocked at them. Put the kids to bed and under the warm glow of a 40watt bulb started my Kindle. 

    The story is of Kaivalya. A young orphan from the pages of history who comes to haunt our world due to a curse. For whom she comes is a mystery, but it does affect the lives of many. A forest officer – who loses a friend and whose life was thrown in the path of the wrath of Kaivalya since his newfound love, Tara held a piece of this mystery. One innocent couple whose wife is possessed by Kaivalya to seek her revenge. Why the wife is chosen is again a mystery or was it a random act of a deranged spirit? A young boy kidnapped and he somehow forms the link to this mystery. Many lives haunted, many lives destroyed. Parallel to this story is the story of a kidnapper, a psychopath. Strangely, a good psychopath :D.(I like him) There are many roads travelled in this story to reach a certain point. A point which starts from the beginning of the pages, creates  a few nail biting moments and a few curses thrown when the story takes another tangent. A very difficult thing to do, but Sumana has managed to do this with a great flourish. ( I need to get a manicure done after reading this story btw. :) )

    What I liked
    1) The gripping tale was interwoven in a very interesting way. If you start this book, you wouldn’t want to keep it down.

    2) Few shivers. Very difficult to create without the sound effects. (Fluffy, my little Pomeranian, helped. As soon as Kaivalya levitated.. he let out a chilling cry in the middle of the night. He never does that. (My heartbeat went through some major rhythm changes.:)

    3) Research very well done. Being a Karnataka history student myself, I understand the digging Sumana had to do for this. (Though not one page of this story can be called a history lesson, which often many such stories end up as, but the history formed the backdrop of the story which answered many of the whys and hows.)

    4) I wanted to know why the burning smell was there. I wanted to know why her eyes were depicted like that and I wanted to know who she really was after. A 300 page book becomes an easy read when so many ‘wants’ pushes you forward to reach the end.

    5) The places and the food described in this story is very authentic. Felt damn homesick :( The Dosa’s with butter on top and filter coffee… JP Nagar and Malleshwaram were nostalgic moments.Thanks for those Sumana. 

    Rating

    Reasoning

    1. Too many characters. Was difficult to keep up with all of them. Specially when the story was going in different directions after every two pages. But … in the end, all the characters had a role to play. So, if I found it difficult to keep up, Sumana much have had quite a juggle to make each character believable and walking towards the common goal.

    2. Why Kaivalya was born like that. I wish I knew. For that is a nagging question that is buzzing around me and though it does not change the story in any way… I still would want to know a why. Well, I am a curious soul. :)

    3. The ending. I cannot say much regarding this, but only one thing. God helps those who help themselves would have been something I would have related more to as a reader. (This is only for the author’s eyes :D for those who haven’t read this book won’t understand why I am suddenly preaching here. Psst… I am speaking in a code language which only those who have read the book will understand. 

    Would I recommend this book : Definitely. In fact, I insist! Especially, if you want to have a cold whisper of breath at the nape of your neck, a sudden spurt of goose bumps on your arm and the sound of cricket suddenly stops outside in your garden, invoking an eerie stillness… Read it.

    A word of caution: Don’t cook while reading this book. The burning smell will scare you! Giving it in writing so that you cannot say I did not warn you. Come-on Bravehearts… pick it up and do share your thoughts so that I don’t feel that I am the only chicken whimpering in fright here.



    Meet the author


    The Author's Thoughts

    In the early stages of my manuscript, I knew the title of my novel had to be the name of the principal character. And it could not be just any name. It had to fit into the storyline - from a time perspective, as well as setting the atmosphere. It had to sound ancient and also define the character. Tall order!

    As I read up on the history of Vijayanagara, I hoped to come across a good, strong name...but history, largely, is about men and their wars and conquests. I hoped to select a name from our puranas. But nothing clicked. What about our stotras? Maybe the lalitha sahasranama? Or ashtalakshmi stotra? One evening I sat mulling on 'Kausalya'...thanks to the most famous line 'Kausalya supraja Rama purva sandhya pravarthathe' from the Suprabhata :) I went to bed with that line in my head.

    The next morning, somehow, ‘Kausalya’ had transformed to ‘Kaivalya’. I did not remember coming across the name in any of my previous research. Curious, I looked up what ‘Kaivalya’ stood for. And was fascinated.   Read More ........
         
      
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