The Glass House

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image010Author – Chanchal Sanyal

Rating – 4/5 stars

Number of Pages – 184

Publisher – Rupa Publisher

The glass house is a story of a couple looking for their nest in the capital city, Delhi. But, home ownership becomes a herculean task for them and a test of their relationship. It is a story of a middle-class couple fighting for survival and looking for happiness with a long-term dream to have their house in an urban land, Gurgaon.

A college professor is on the lookout for a dream home for him and his designer wife Roshni. They are a yuppie couple living in the busiest, noisiest, most modern and smog-encrusted city of Delhi, rich in history and politics. They were planning and saving for this house from long. They have finally achieved their dream of buying their own apartment in a coming builder complex in Gurgaon. The problem begins when the project stopped abruptly and that becomes a trying time of their otherwise happy marriage. Their dream of having their home sooner looks like will take a while longer than they thought.

The story involves characters other than the protagonist couple that brings twists in the tale and challenges for the couple. The intrusive and influential landlord and his over-friendly son, builder, staffroom politics and a beautiful college colleague interweaved with themes of infidelity and suspicion.

The Glass House is an urban story showing many facets of life. The story is good and refreshing. The plot is different, relatable and well developed. The writing style is brilliant and impressive. It’s an emotionally charged gripping story that fascinates readers. A testing life of an urban working couple of Delhi struggling with daily challenges and finding a house of their dreams. The cities many moods and characters swinging their life in between somewhere. An enjoyable read.

Author Bio

Chanchal Sanyal is an entrepreneur in the live events and activation space of the advertising industry, currently based in Gurgaon. He has been at various times – sometimes concurrently – college lecturer, itinerant traveler, advertising professional, business owner and now, writer.

A resident of Delhi, he has seen the city grow, evolve, mutate and spawn a Noida and a Gurgaon in hastily contracted marriages with its neighbouring states. The city and its people are of endless fascination to him.

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‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

tinytale #46 ‘I am Tired’

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I am tired. I am tired of thinking of what and why. I am tired of thinking, what will happen tomorrow. I am tired of thinking over the past. I am tired of thinking what the people would say. I am tired of thinking, how am I looking. Am I not looking pretty? Will they make fun of me? I am tired of thinking over the things that do not matter. I am tired of thinking to make everyone happy. I am tired of pleasing them.

I do not want to think and live in now. I want to bury past and let the future decide its course. I do not want to care about what people would say and leave them alone. I want to be the person I always wanted to be. The person has a life and life celebrates having me. I want to be me.

Padmavat

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image001Author – Purushottam Agarwal

Illustrator – Devdutt Pattanaik

Rating – 4/5 stars

Number of Pages – 202

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic tale of love recently sparked interests for the scholars and historians. In this recent one year, a number of books have been published on the Rani Padmavati and her tale of love with her lover and husband Raja Ratansen and turbulence in the hands of Alauddin Khilji who wanted to possess her for her beauty.

The reason to turn the old pages of books and understand the epic tale of love by Jayasi ‘Padmavat’ is that the movie recently made based on his poem. The poem was originally written in Awadhi not widely used now. The book Padmavat is an attempt to understand the truth and myth behind the tale. The author Purushottam Agrawal has been successful in narrating and translating the Awadhi poem into English for the readers and making it simple. This also gives a fair chance to the readers to decide right and wrong of the claim and protest by the Rajput Samaj on the dignity and pride of Rani Padmavati.

Jayasi’s Padmavat was a tale of timeless love and beauty and is fictionally born out of an imaginative mind. I think the protestors misunderstood the poem and that it is fictional and nothing to do with the history. I think they were lazy and quick to come to a conclusion. They might not have created such a havoc if took time to understand and read Jayasi’s Padmavat. A much-needed book after the recent controversy over the movie. A must read for every reader. The book has beautiful illustrations making reading a pleasure.

Bio

Purushottam Agrawal is a New Delhi based writer and literary historian. He works on Bhakti, spirituality without religion, and India’s organic early modernity which, he argues, was halted in its tracks by colonization. His works draws upon sources in Hindi, English, Sanskrit, Urdu, Braj and Awadhi.

His books on Kabir, Akath Kahani Prem Ki: Kabir ki Kavita aur Unka Samay (2009) is considered a contemporary classic and won the first Rajkamal Kriti Samman. He is well-known public intellectual, lending his voice to newspaper and television debates. He is a contributing editor at The Quint.

Devdutt Pattanaik writes and lectures on the relevance of mythology in modern times. He is the author of My Gita and My Hanuman Chalisa. He is also an illustrator, something that is often overlooked.

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‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

tinytale #45 ‘Angel’

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She runs in the house with her little legs, giggling. She hides behind the shelf, under the bed and no one could catch her. Her small eyes are curious to meet the world. She put her tiny hands on her mouth to hide the laughter escaped. But couldn’t stop the anklets on her legs announcing every one of her presence on every step she takes.

Her laughter is brighter than the first rays of the sun. The music of her anklets is melodies than the voice of the cuckoo. She is magical. She has magic in her that makes everything looks beautiful. Every soul she touches comes to life and could not help smiling with her.

She’s an angel comes to earth bringing happiness and light in the lives. She comes to earth to spread smiles on the lips.

Great Textpectations

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image015Author – Ruchi Vadehra

Rating – 4/5 stars

Number of Pages – 236

Publisher – Rupa Publications

‘Great Textpectations’ is a story of new age romance and heartbreaks. The new age love starts with texting and ends on blocking the number. The virtual love and virtual relationships are the base of this story. It is easy to be connected all the time, crediting technology and not physically present with him or her. Based on ‘text is the new talk’, this book talks about relationships without baggage.

Amaya, thirty-five, single and ready to mingle wants a boy who could understand her and her field of work. One who could understand giving space in relationship and respect who she is. She is a lover of words. She met a boy while playing Scrabble online, and that’s how their story started. Starting from a casual talk and ended becoming friends and exchanging numbers, this relationship goes offline and they decided to meet. What happens to the virtual relationship when they meet in the real world?

The metro city and metro culture are in the backdrop of the story. In the cities where life is too fast to keep the balance, relationships are becoming more and more fragile. Lust overpower the magic of love, changing equations of the new age relationships and romance in the fast-paced life where dreams and ambitions take the front seat and relations sits in the back seat.

The story is interesting and of a new age. It surely appeals to the texting generation who believes in keeping the world in their pocket and everything at just a click away. The story is relatable. The characters are sorted and clear. Relationships have changed in the last decades and this book talks about the changed mindsets. A story of modern love.

Author Bio

Ruchi Vadehra belongs to a family of writers from both sides of parentage. Writing is, thus, homecoming to her. She began with conceptualising and co-editing a neighbourhood community newsletter which inspired her to take forward her zest for words, people and travel, through fiction.

Ruchi lives with her husband, two children and family in New Delhi. Great Textpectations is her first book.

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‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

Winning like Sachin

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image003.jpgAuthor – Devendra Prabhdesai

Rating – 4/5 stars

Number of Pages – 114

Publisher – Rupa Publication

‘Winning like Sachin’ unravels the attributes that make Sachin what he is – an inspiration for generations. He is looked upon as a role model. A man who achieved a lot more than professional success. He is an inspiration for not only the new coming cricketers but the one who wants to achieve big in his life. His ideas and principles never let him give up after failures but give him the strength to get up again. His never give up spirit and dedication towards the sport make him one of the greatest cricketers of the world.

He was a team player and always worked in the interest of the team, that makes him a great leader who put his team before himself. Such qualities and many more make the person he is – the legend. This book is written aiming to break-down some of the qualities from the life of a man who rose to become God of cricket in India.

Sachin Tendulkar’s life is a great example to learn what a simple man can do with determination and dedication to his passion. He devoted the greater part of his life to cricket and worked only what is in favor of the game and his team. His team was always above his centuries, his personal records. He played for the team and never to make a personal record.

The book is a great initiative to learn from his life and also a good book for his fans and followers. His life is an inspiration for everyone. His commitment to excellence yielded success. An institution himself there is a lot one can learn from his life.

A learning experience, inspiring and helpful short read.

Author Bio

In a career spanning nineteen years, Devendra Prabhudesai has worked across sectors and handled a wide range of responsibilities – from working with the police to rehabilitate victims of crime, to executing some of the biggest cricketing events organized in India in recent times. An author, screenwriter and anchor, he was also the Manager for Media Relations and Corporate Affairs at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from January 2008 to July 2015.

Devendra lives in Mumbai with his wife, Anuradha, and children, Abhimanyu and Ira.

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‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

tinytale #44 ‘You are Beautiful’

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In a Jungle, all the animals lived in peace, but one elephant remained sad. Everyone made fun of his large body, dark and thick skin. He did everything to look beautiful and starved to lose weight and fell ill.

Dr. Tiger understood the illness, the moment he saw the elephant, ‘look what you have done to you! Don’t try to become something else you are not. Everyone has his purpose. You cannot run as fast as I can and I cannot be as strong as you are. You are made with a difference to make a difference. Don’t torture yourself to fit in the crowd. You are not here to please anyone. You are not here to serve others. You are beautiful the way you are.’

From that day on elephant walked on his music and stopped giving a damn about what people say about him, laugh or make fun.

Tales of Man Singh

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51gdgU3ebTLAuthor – Kenneth Anderson

Rating – 5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 272

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Man Singh is a story of a man whom circumstances made a thief, murderer, and a dacoit. It is a tale of fate that took an ugly turn left a simple village farmer son with no other option than to break the law and took refuge in the jungle. Once was a law-abiding man, now a lawbreaker.

No one wanted to be a murderer and run for rest of his life, death was looming on his head. This book by Kenneth Anderson is a story of one such man who had no other choice than to take the path he never wanted to.

The book has incidents of his life and encounters with the outer world that left an impact on the lives unknowingly that made him a King of the poor and riches dreaded him. He was not only the King of the dacoits but also of poor, took his name with great regard. He was loved, respected and worshiped by the oppressed in the hands of the riches. He was a brother/son to them. Man Singh was an angel for those people sent by the God himself in their life. The law protectors of four states sought him, the villagers and almsperson who think of him as one of their own, supported him. Man Singh and his gang of dacoits never harmed anyone without a reason.

This is one adventures tale of Rajah Man Singh, the undisputed king of dacoits. A thrilling and chilling inside account of his life, expeditions, killings, and mercy, he only granted to innocent and poor and who had nothing to do with him. He was fierce, cruel, cunning, sly, clever and brave with the heart of a lion. A runner from the law, dutiful son, and well-wisher of the poor such was the Rajah Man Singh.

It’s a fascinating story of a man and how cruel sometimes the fate played its card who made a common man a dacoit. It was a pleasure reading the life of Man Singh had so many shades. And time and again, no one could stand or win with time.

Author Bio

Kenneth Anderson (1910-74) was a hunter, nature enthusiast and an adventure-seeker. His love for the denizens of the jungle led to some of the best literature on wildlife and his books are acclaimed as classics. He wrote about eight books and sixty-short stories which recount many of his real-life adventures and hunting exploits in the jungles of South India.

Anderson belonged to a Scottish family settled in India for six generations. He spent most of his life in Bengaluru, where he was employed with an aeronautics company. His invaluable contributions to the shikar literature in India continues to inspire scores of wildlife lovers.

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‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

Black Beauty

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image001Author – Anna Sewell

Rating – 5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 270

Publisher – Rupa Publications

I have never read anything like this before. This is truly the most exciting and emotional read. This book is addictive and remarkably good. I have read animal stories before but no story talked about the treatment of the animals. After reading this, I become more sympathetic to animals. I just do not have enough words to explain what the book exactly is. The book touches the heart and I would definitely like to read it again.

Black Beauty is the first major animal story in children’s literature and the only book by Anna Sewell, released just before her death. The book is aiming to talk about the treatment of horses and other animals with care. It talks about the cruelty and hardships faced by the Black Beauty; a well-bred horse and other horses he met and his various masters. Anna observed that in the name of fashion the animals endured cruelty and Anna wanted to raise a voice against such behavior. She wanted the owners/caretakers to be more sympathetic and treat their horses and other animals with respect.

The story is of a well-bred horse, Black Beauty who tells his story. He opens a different world for the readers. The book remains a classic for the young and old. This is truly a timeless story loved by all. The way author written, is exceptional. Anna wanted to induce kindness in the treatment of animals, considering them also a living being. Animals too feel hurt and suffer, and should be treated with great care. I am sure this book definitely help in changing the way you look at animals and be more sensitive. This is truly a great book and must read. You do not need to think twice to pick this book.

Author Bio

Anna Sewell was born on 30 March 1820 in Great Yarmouth, County Norfolk, England to Mary Wright Sewell and Isaac Sewell. One day, while returning home from school, Anna fell and hurt her ankles badly. Her condition worsened and did not allow her to stand or walk for longer periods. Anna, who had been an active child, now travelled to health spas to help cure her ankle injuries but she found little respite. When she was at home, Anna took to travelling about in a chaise pulled by a pony.

While in her fifties, Sewell first thought of writing a book about horses. Black Beauty was published shortly before Sewell’s death in 1878. But it was enough that she saw the change that her book had brought in regarding the treatment of the horses everywhere.

‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

Heidi

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image003 (2)Author – Johanna Spyri

Rating – 5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 215

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Heidi as the name and the cover of the book suggests is a story of a small girl called Heidi. When you read the story, you find Heidi is not about just a girl. It is a story of an angel sent by the God in the life of the characters of the story called Heidi.

The story narrates the displeasure and delight of the girl who is so little to understand the life but understand the sorrows of the people and wanted to get them rid of all the grief. She shares their pain and makes them happy again. She brings a smile to the life of the people with her sweet talk and little efforts. She finds happiness seeing others happy.

Heidi has a heart of a little girl. She cries easily and holds the people come in her life dear to the heart. They are special to her, everyone. She never forgets.

Once I started, the book I could not put it down. It’s impossible for you too. Heidi is a girl you feel attached to within minutes of the start of the book. She is indeed a special girl who brings a smile to your lips and makes you cry with her. I liked the other characters of Clara, grandfather, grandmother, and others.

Heidi is a happy story. It brings happy tears to your eyes and makes you smile. You unconsciously become a part of the life of the Heidi and share her griefs and joys. It is a story that speaks about the joy of giving and helping those in need. It is a story of having faith in the Almighty and hope of better things they send in your life, as God never forgets you.

You won’t find a better story than this one to share the joy of reading with your family and friends.

Author Bio

Johanna Louise Heusser, the fourth child of Meta Schweizer and Johan Jakob Heusser was born on 12 June 1827 in the village of Herzil, nestled in the Swiss Alps. She went to school and was also tutored at home. Later, in Zurich, she studied language and piano. In 1852, she married lawyer Bernhard Spyri with whom she had a son. After marriage, the couple moved into a home overlooking the lake in Zurich where she wrote her first novel, A Leaf on Vrony’s Grove, which was published in 1871.

Heidi was published in 1880. Spyri received much acclaim for the book, though she already published many short stories for children and adults. During her later years, she busied herself raising a niece, doing charity work and writing more stories.

Johanna Spyri died on 7 July 1901 in Zurich, where she is interred in the family plot.

‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’