Category Archives: fiction.

Chaiwallah…


indibloggerThe tower of silence

Author: Phiroshaw Jamsetjee Chevalier “Chaiwala”

Publisher  Harper Collins

ISBN978-93-5029-637-0

Being house bound with the rains, this monsoons seem to herald the beautiful narrative writers, who allow the readers to create their visuals, first Belinda, then Jessica Now Phiroshaw JamsetJee Chevalier

I would like to be in an old musty library with a chaiwallah vendor outside, the rains to get 100% of this book, I am at 95, sitting at my window, hurdled, sipping the green tea and feeling the rain breeze.

The book to me, presented two quests, first of Gyan Prakash, in the quest of Phiroshaw Jamsetjee Chevalier ‘Chaiwala’ where we get the glimpse of dying Parsi community trying to maintain its uniqueness, the underlying resignation, none of which is ever presented in Hindi movie that is supposed to be Parsi centric.  Once the quest is complete Gyan Prakash presents the novel.

The book is a thriller, must have been very contemporary in the era when it was written. Today it appears quaint. A pune which is long gone and Bombay in its dying days, the book takes us to the colonial India.

indiblogger sexton blakeThe protagonist a Parsi Vigilante Beram, is out to avenge the violation of the communities privacy by a photographer, and Sexton Blake is out to outwit him. Disguise, intrigues, plots and counter plots the book is interesting. For Sexton Blake the favourite detective from yesteryear this is a come back with one his greatest challenges yet.

The writer Mr.Chaiwala, being a Parsi himself reveals, the community in its internal form a community of faith, purity, borderline fanaticism, and morbidly private. The thriller moves from Britain to Burma, the other Indian communities like the Hindu’s and Muslims are mentioned in passing, referring to a background of Gandhi a movement only fixes the chronological dates without otherwise contributing to the story line.

Over all an interesting read.

Mr.Gyan Prakash looking forward to a novel that shares your quest for The Chaiwala.harpar collins

About the author: Phiroshaw Jamsetjee Chevalier Chaiwala—please go through Mr. Gyan Prakash’s manuscript, Mr. Gyan Prakash is a historian of Princeton University who stumbled on part of the this unpublished manuscript in the British library, he then diligently scourged through the libraries’ and archives of Mumbai and the Parsi community to bring forth this publication.

book review–Belinda’s chronicles..


the cry of the kingfisherBelinda’s chronicles..

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
― J.D. SalingerThe Catcher in the Rye

Haa! J.D.Salinger, I can do this, to Belinda’s book.

The cry of the Kingfisher

Author Belinda Viegas

Publisher Goa 1556

ISBN 978-93-80739-13-7

Being the excellent storyteller that she is, Belinda  carries us through  a journey of thoughts, fears, and insecurities, of three women, from different social milieu of goa. Battling their demons, and slaying their insecurities.

What I really like about the book, is the reflective flow that is the undercurrent, there are no villains, no saviours, but the characters themselves.  Despite the tremendous scope for dramatizing the author has restrained allowing the reader to be a non judgemental observer.

Donna the destiny’s darling, yet craving for acceptance. Succorina the unwanted changeling, Mayola  who emerges from the shadow of a more aggressive extrovert sister. Their parts entwine, they grow, explore and accept themselves through a journey of self discovery.

Dr,Belinda ViegasBelinda has applied her experience as a psychiatrist honestly and courageously without dramatizing excessively. Woven her memories of Nairobi, Germany, and the very adventure driven life she has had.

About the author: A psychiatrist whose alma mater is St,Johns Bangalore, she spent her childhood at Nairobi, after marriage a stint in germany and Australia. Now based in Goa, she juggles, Psychiatry, motherhood, cycling, sailing, trekking and writing. Belinda is also a trained Mountaineer.

Coffee, Bhajji’s Rains and Afterlife.


afterlife

Author: Jessica Falerio

Publishers Rupa and co,

The author takes us through the familiar scenario of family gatherings, affectionate teasing. Family gossip which is nothing but oral history of the family. Some Ghostly encounters opening up discussions on paranormal. How everyone or someone who everyone knows has an identical or parallel experience.

Every day simple language, yet elegant.

Rains , coffee, bhajjas, and the book afterlife, you could be in your family gossip session. There are small surprises like a priest and exorcism,  an affair between a priest and a  Portuguese aristocrat resulting  the Fonseca family tree, a menacing shadow presence.

Something that causes a jolt like it happens at all family gatherings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: the debut of Jessica Falerio, an MA in creative writing from Kingston University UK. She is a nomad and writes on travel between her articles for The Times of India, Crest edition.

A REQUEST TO THE AUTHOR Can we have full romance of Raoul, and Clarinda with Tomas and the Inquisition in the subplot?

TOKE-TOKE-CHOKE


ISBN 978-93-5029-340-9toke

Author:   Jugal Mody

Publishers a joint  venture of India Today, and Harper Collins Publishers India.

the book is about Lord Vishnu showing up one morning, when the protagonist ..Nikhil—also known as double battery is stoned. He asks him to rescue the world from being invaded by maggot zombies. On this hero’s journey( sorry Joseph Campbell must be turning in his grave.) he gets to romance his dream girl colleague and even kiss her! Then there are two side kicks, a mentor crow all who are stoned. Two Japanese girls who speak the Delhi, impression of Japanese accented English.

For the first time I actually was reluctant to pick a book after going through the first chapter.

initially it came across as a gay romance.  Of course the entire book I realize is documentation of images viewed in pot induced hallucinations.  Shiva and Vishnu make them selves visible only to people who are stoned. Methinks, our man Mody belongs to the Nagapanth of pot users.

If you survive till page 132 you get to figure out toke  is  connected to the weed/drug/pot or in generally getting stoned. At page 140 a romantic Garuda debuts, in page 160 if I am not mistaken the super villain of the book scott something or the other debut’s  the only interesting statement of the entire book emerges here.

Civilization is defined by its flaw.

Next there is a random, Tarzan, and a Maggot demon king making an entry. A pathetic attempt of pun with Hindu’s finding the cow holy because it is Bo Vine or Boys of Vishnu.

If I did follow the story right there was a computer game involved in all this. But chances are I am wrong.

The USP of the book, is it

  • Uses unnecessary foul language
  • Is written in a marijuana haze
  • It glorifies and justifies use of weeds/grass/pots/drugs.
  • Vindicates chetan Bhagat.

This of course is my take. There might be other fringe who would call this an intellectual extravagance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jugal Mody, handled media for Filmfare  and Tehlka, prior to which he worked in gaming. This is his debut novel.

Sign of the cross


Sign of the cross

Author Chris Kuzneski.

Genre:  thriller, Christian mythology

Publisher

ISBN

 

An interesting fictional thriller, narrated in a comfortable pace.  The author takes us through the Christian lore, and the politically savvy Roman Empire. He has used the available roman historic factors and academic debates to weave a thriller from Boston to Beijing, from Denmark to Libya while the action is cantered at the intersection in the catacombs of Orvieto. Where an archaeologist uncovers an ancient scroll dating back two thousand years. A scroll that holds the key to a dark and treacherous secret that could rock the very foundation of the church.

Chris Kuzneski focuses on story, action and history with a vague hint of romance making the book very interesting. Glad I discovered a new author in my favourite genre.

About the author.           Chris Kuzneski is a New York Times best selling American author. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages and have been published in more than 40 countries. Born sept.2nd 1969, in Indiana is the alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh.               Catch him on http://www.chriskuzneski.com

Intro of Your Life


 

 

If I am writing my autobiography what would my opening sentence be? On July 29 2010 Plinky wanted the first chapter of my autobiography and this is what I wrote. http://www.plinky.com/answers/100507 .

I had a great disdain for autobiography and considered it as the ultimate self indulgence of an egoist. Then I learnt about autobiographies which I documented for another Plinky prompt http://parwatisingari.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/spiritual-journal/

Every writing has to be rewritten so maybe I should rework the opening line and maybe something brilliant and exotic, but the story is mine, like all my life, the autobiography would be travelogue of a meandering gypsy.

I can’t hand you a map either.

The best opening that i could pen would be a message delivered to me by three strangers all women, at different points of my life. The Last one being yesterday.

“I have a message for you, I talk to God, and God wants you to know You are his special baby, and he loves you unconditionally, he has a plan for you just flow.”

Gabriel came down for this annunciation, or was it first of the fates? Would be the ideal opening whatsayyou??

Powered by Plinky

 

Asura Tale of the Vanquished


Author:    Anand NeelakantanImage

Publisher:   platinum Press.

ISBN: 978-93-817577-05-2

First time author Anand Neelakantan, treads the murky waters of telling the tale of the Ravana, here neither Rama nor Ravana are heroes, Ravana is the protagonist.

The book is a fiction based on the stock characters from Ramayana. The tale is narrated through the Ravana and Bhadra an asura who is positioned as the darker side of Ravana. Ravana is a wannabe idealistic hero, but in Anand’s tale he is neither the personification of evil as pictured by Tulsidas nor he is the well-educated non-Aryan leader of the Jain and Buddhist tales, neither is the heroic uddata nayaka of southern folklore, Ravana here appears as a whining, looser.

The story is well presented, and the book is quite difficult to put down. The last three chapters do drag a bit.

Over all a good book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anand Neelakantan is first time author. Growing up in the temple surroundings at Kerala Ramayana fascinated Anand more so the anti-hero Ravana and his magical land. An Engineer with Indian Oil corporation  lives at Bangalore with his wife Aparna daughter Ananya and son Abhinav.