Stories from Saratchandra

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image016.jpgAuthor – Saratchandra Chattopadhyay

Translation – Anindita Mukhopadhyay

Rating – 4/5 stars

Number of Pages – 195

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Saratchandra is one of the most prominent Bengali novelist and short story writers of twentieth-century India. He has a number of stories to his credit written in Bengali language and many of them adapted in movies and plays. This book brings some of his stories translated into English for the readers unknown to Bengali. Most of his work deals with the lifestyle, tragedy and struggle of the village people and the contemporary social practices that prevailed in Bengal of that time. The stories are as old as nearly hundred years.

The stories come from the everyday life of a common man and underprivileged and deprived class of the society. The stories come from rural India. The stories in this book prominently focused on the untouchability, exploitation of the poor by the rich class and the men in power.

This collection has twelve widely acclaimed short stories of the author. The stories ranged from childhood memories of notoriety, a teenage love story which breaks the barrier of the social caste system, a lonely mother, a helpless farmer and other stories showing the facets of society. The ambiance of stories is based on older Bengal of the early twentieth century.

The stories run at a slow pace and take time to build the character. Sometimes I felt the characters lost the track but it was only the time story formulate. They are written in the same manner the stories had written by other writers of that time. You need to be a little patient and read the story till the end to fell in the delight of his writing.

Translation of hard reality, casteism, presenting a vivid picture of rural Bengal.

Bio

Saratchandra Chattopadhyay (1876-1938) was one of the most prolific novelists and short story writers from Bengal in the early twentieth century. Among his novels, his most notable works include Baikunther Will, Pather Dabi, Devdas and Srikanta: stories such as ‘Mejdidi’ and ‘Mohesh’ rank among the most loved. Saratchandra’s powerful portrayals of human, economic and social distress, colonialism, middle-class lives and the rural world are still widely read, translated and have been adapted into films.

Anindita Mukhopadhyay teaches History at the University of Hyderabad and was formerly fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. She completed her graduation from Presidency College, Calcutta University, Kolkata, her Masters and M.Phil. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and her Doctoral dissertation from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She has translated Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Sesher Kobita’ – The Last Poem (2007) and authored Behind the Mask: The Cultural Definition of the Legal Subject (2013).

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

The Accident

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38504261Author – Shree Janani

Rating – 4/5 stars

Number of Pages – 12

ASIN – B079RB1QSC

Format – ebook

The Accident is a story about an accident which changed the life of two people. In the eyes of the law, the accident happened by the ignorance of the driver and killed a person along with the lady driving the car.

A married man runs out of the house for a run after a bitter argument with his wife to calm himself before bringing the topic again and convince his wife for that matter. A middle-aged woman went out in a rush after reaching no conclusion of a decision she made with her husband. The fate brings both of them on the same spot and met the same destiny.

The Accident is a short story of twelve pages. It is a short thriller which ends on a cliffhanger and leaves you wanting more. I love the plot of the story, it is brilliant. The story completes a full circle and ends where it starts. It is a story of four individuals collided by fate.

The story has more to say. An element of suspense with an unexpected ending. Best for a quick read. A good, engaging and enthralling read.

Author Bio

Shree Janani is a simple human with curly hairs. She is an engineer by education and profession and a writer by vocation. She is a proud bibliophile and love to write and read and sometimes bake cakes. Music is her other love and gives insane pleasure. She aspires to be a good human. You can connect with her at Goodreads, Twitter@shreejanani. Website – iwritehere.wordpress.com

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

The Fisher Queen’s Dynasty

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36641687.jpgAuthor – Kavita Kane

Rating – 5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 400

Publisher – Westland Books

Kavita Kane is known for her unique writing style and uncovering the lesser known female characters of the Indian mythology. These women characters are strong but never had come to light. Kavita introducing them to her readers and giving them a chance to decide their role in the tales widely read. She is a bestselling author and her every book has female characters comes from epic tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana.

The Fisher Queens Dynasty is a story of Satyavati, Kali, Matsygandha, the queen of Hastinapur. The girl had gone through so much in her life right through her birth and lived a life of abundance. She is determined to win what is hers: the throne of Hastinapur. This girl has only one aim in life is, to rule, at whatever cost it demands. She is unapologetic, heartless, sly and determined.

The story is not only about Satyavati, it offers more for her readers. It also brought to light, the character of Bhism in a wider perspective and equally given space to develop his character. The girl and her sky ambitions give way to the war of Kurukshetra. In this tale of desire, she loses herself in winning the throne. She is hurt, scorned, cheated and disdained.

I had a love and hate relationship with Satyavati. She is wicked and mean but she has a different side too. She is a daughter, a mother, a wife and a queen. This book will change the way you had read or seen the longest epic of the world, Mahabharata. The language is lucid and storytelling is engaging. I read her writing before; I had no doubt for her writing style. A remarkable and piercing tale of a woman.

Author Bio

Kavita Kane is the bestselling author of four books, all based on Indian mythology: Karna’s Wife (2013), Sita’s Sister (2014), Menaka’s choice (2015) and Lanka’s Princess (2016). A senior journalist with a career of over two decades, she quit her job to write books. With a post-graduate degree in English Literature and Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Pune, the only skill she has, she confesses, is writing.

Born in Mumbai, with a childhood spent largely in Patna and Delhi, she lives in Pune with her mariner husband Prakash, two daughters, Kimaya and Amiya, two dogs, Beau and Chic, and the uncurious cat Cotton.

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

Khwaabon Ka Safar

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image005.jpgBased on popular Television Show on EPIC Channel

Rating – 4/5 stars

Number of Pages – 231

Publisher – Rupa Publications

The book is a short encyclopedia of the film industry of India. The stories, the directors, the banners and the people behind the camera that shaped and brings the trend of Bollywood formula films that still works. The films that are still remembered as cinema classics, the films that give an identity to the Indian film industry on international stage, the films that give big names such as Guru Dutt, Durga Khote, all are coming together in this book.

Based on the popular television show by the same title on one of the leading entertainment platform, EPIC Television Channel. Khwaabon Ka Safar with Mahesh Bhatt takes you on a journey to visit the Bollywood’s landmark film studios which gives the cinema a new height not only in the country but created a stage to showcase the stories in the international film festivals. They created some of the masterpieces that draw the attention of the world cinema to Bollywood and brings with it some early partnerships with best filmmakers.

The show is the attempt to keep the history of cinema alive and revisit some of the early days of the foundation of the cinema. The book is for all the film fanatics. It brings back the golden past of the Indian cinema offering stories of Bollywood’s top thirteen studios beginning with Prabhat Film Company (1929) which later made into the Film and Television Institute on India (FTII) and concluding with Filmayala (1958) which gives romantic comedies to the cinema.

A great endearing read introduces you to some of the lost pages of cinema.

The show must go on.

Bio

Launched in November 2014, EPIC Television Channel is India’s leading factual entertainment platform. An India-centric content-driven destination, EPIC has been bestowed with several accolades, including the prestigious 12 PromaxBDA Award across various categories as well as the Indian Television Academy Award for the show ‘Stories by Rabindranath Tagore’. Famed for its inaugural history and focus on mythology, EPIC has recently elevated its brand proposition and now showcases a wide array of original content across various genres.

EPIC has an extensive catalogue of original programming and a reputation for excellence in premium factual content that celebrates, explores, discovers and inspires India through untold stories, facts and possibilities – a channel which tells the story of the people, for the people and by the people of India.

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

tinytale #40 ‘You Only Live Once’

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Are you the person you were yesterday?

No.

Then why are you carrying the time that has long gone on your shoulders? You are only delaying the time long lost.

A lot had happened in the times called yesterday. A time that shaped you and made the person you are today. You should thank yesterday for making you a better version. No?

Yesterday, a gift given to you. You wanted it or not, no one asked. Today is the time yet again to challenge the fate and write your destiny. Tomorrow is the time that never comes.

In life, you always have a yesterday to mourn on your mistakes and regret on your misdeeds and a today to born again and live. Forget tomorrow, you got no control over it.

Learn. Live. Move on.

Do not wake up every morning. Born.

Devi: The Goddesses of India

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41ghR7rNGyL.jpgAuthor – John Stratton Hawley and Donna Marie Wulff

Rating – 5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 366

Publisher – Aleph Book Co. (Rupa Publications)

Hindu religion believes in worshiping Devi: the symbol of strength. There is not one but many goddesses, people believe and worship. Devi is a mother goddess. Mother is always considered greater than the God and a counterpart of God on earth. Devi is considered as a mother and goddess, a savior of life and protects from evil.

Devi is a book for scholars, students of literature, religious studies and Hindu studies. This is not for general readers. It is not a story book but a research on Hindu goddesses of India. It is a valuable edition in terms of knowledge and insight the faith and customs of worshipping the goddesses which are the embodiment of vigor and change. Goddesses give an identity to women who are Saraswati: the goddess of knowledge and Kali: the fearless goddess.

The book was first released in 1997 and released in India by Aleph book Co. recently. The book has everything one needs to know about Hindu religion, goddess worship and many more.

An extraordinary and powerful read for beginners of Hindu and religious studies allowing them to soak in the extensive fieldwork, combining the texts of research of scholars who have been working in the field on the identity, existence, and influence on the minds of their worshipers.

What is the significance of the practice of worshipping Hindu goddesses where on one side the culture is known to be dominated by male gender? This extraordinary book explores twelve different Hindu goddesses worshiped in various parts of the country and known by different names, and fondly called by their worshipers as Devi, the great goddess.

Author Bio

John Stratton Hawley is Claire Two Professor of Religion, Barnard College, Columbia University. He is the author of A Storm of Songs: India and the Idea of the Bhakti Movement and, with Kenneth Bryant, of Sur’s Ocean: Poems from the Early Tradition. He is the co-editor, with Vasudha Narayana, of The Life of Hinduism.

Donna M. Wulff is Professor Emerita of Religious Studies, Brown University, where she founded and directed the South Asian Concentration Program. Her publication includes Drama as a Mode of Religious Realization-a book on the Sanskrit plays of Rupa Gosvami-as well as articles on Sanskrit aesthetic theory, the religious significance of sound and music in India, and Hindu nationalism. She is working on a book-length study of a modern Bengali form of religious performance, padavali Kirtan. She was the co-editor, with John Stratton Hawley, of The Divine Consort: Radha and the Goddesses of India.

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

Rasia: The Dance of Desire

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37538771.jpgAuthor – Koral Dasgupta

Rating – 5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 252

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Rasia is a story of dance, passion and obsession. A man passionate about his craft of dancing. A wife, a student and a perfect partner. A made for each other couple. A stubborn and obsessed girl. A Bharatnatyam show in Manhattan which brings them all on one stage.

The story revolves around dance and passion. Raj Shekhar Subramaniam keeping his unhappy and unfortunate past behind and giving his dream a bigger picture trying to run ahead of time. He wants to shadow his past with the clinquant future so no one questions his past and he will have nothing to regret. His passion for Bharatanatyam is uncompromising.

The story captivates you as soon you get in the forty-fifty pages in the book. The characters of Raj Shekhar Subramaniam and Vatsala Pandit are mysterious and interesting. I like the way the author explores the characters and give them space to come forward and speak the readers directly. The characters communicate with you and open their heart to peek in.

The character of Mansi is simple and well sorted. She has nothing to hide. She is at peace with her life and happy to see her husband grow and support his passion for Bharatnatyam. She is an obedient student and a perfect partner for life and dance.

The story is perfect and worked well for me. A journey of a self-made man behind whose lie the contribution of two women. One who supported him and stands as a rock and other challenged him to perform on stage with her. Find out who is a better partner with him on stage.

A story of the dance of desire. An excellent story, well articulated and superbly narrated. The story speaks perfection.

Author Bio

Koral Dasgupta’s stories appear randomly through her books, academic lectures, speeches, columns and paintings. A literary movement founded by her, www.tellmeyourstory.in, hosts short stories and poems written by people across age, professions and geographies.

As a professor of Marketing, Communications and Creative Writing, she conducts workshops and talks at educational and corporate floors. She also consults with the corporate in marketing communication and content space. She is an advisory member with CBFC Mumbai.

 Rasia: The Dance of Desire is her third book.

You can reach her on Twitter or Instagram @Rasia_thebook.

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

tinytale #39 ‘Dear Tears’

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Tears. They came unannounced. I don’t like to cry in front of the people because they are biased. They think I want their attention. But, my tears fall even when no one is looking. I wonder whose attention I was looking in the darkest corner of my room.

Dear Tears,

Don’t come out. They take you wrong. The wetness of my eyes is a mud hole for them. They will mock you and certainly, I do not like to watch them making fun of my deepest emotions you lay bare in front of them. I feel naked and harassed.

Dear You,

My tears are my unspoken words not for everyone to listen. You can spare yourself getting bothered. My tears are my priceless asset. I feel more human when I cry. I have all the right to feel the way I feel.

I Tagged Her in my Heart

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36421200.jpgAuthor – Anuj Tiwari

Rating – 3/5 stars

Number of Pages – 250

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Friendship; the older it gets the stronger it becomes. Friendship is just like an old wine. But, only a few get lucky to have friends for life or forever. An unbreakable bond with no said rules still it is most cherished and celebrated and supposedly the best time of life.

I Tagged Her in my Heart is a story of a friendship of four friends, Arjun, Adrika, Anushka and Ved. They are not best of friends. They are a lifeline for each other. When one is in pain everyone felt the same. When one succeeds, everyone felt over the moon. They are tied in an unbreakable bond with unsaid terms of being with each other till the life ends, no matter what. They follow every rule like a religion.

They met in the college and become friends and partner in pain and happiness. Arjun dreams to be an author and Adrika bagged the best job. Everything is going the way it should be but life is not always the same. What happens in their life and how they will struggle to cope with the situations is rest of the story.

The story is based on friendship, love and betrayal. How some relations bring you the darkness and only give pain and how some relations help you come out of the same. The story has a message to never give up on your dreams and look at the brighter side of the life. Every dream is worth taking a risk and you never know what you are destined for. Go and get your dreams. It is never too late, everything happens for a reason and at the right time.

A light and simple read targeted to the new age readers.

Author Bio

A TEDx speaker and marketing consultant settled in Mumbai, Anuj Tiwari was brought up on the bushing streets of Bareilly. Instead of getting a ‘modern education’, Tiwari studied in a Sanskrit-medium school where there were no English books. He started building dreams of being able to read in English: however, he kept those dreams to himself in the fear of being mocked at.

Tiwari is now the bestselling author of the three books. He sold his books on the streets of Mumbai and has been listed as one of the top ten most influential authors in India in 2016.

I Tagged Her in My Heart is Anuj Tiwari’s most personal creation, inspired by his own life.

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

 

Her Master Key

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37533139.jpgAuthor – Shruti Johri

Rating – 4/5 stars

Number of Pages – 172

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Usually, we read stories based in big metropolitan cities, big corporate buildings but very few stories have been written that entered into the hotel lobby or peek into the hotel rooms. Every room tells a different story of the occupants. Her Master Key tells the stories of the people coming from around the globe in search of a luxury and pleasant stay and of the staffers’ work in the hotel making their stay memorable.

This is a story of Gauri, a housekeeper at a leading five-star hotel in India. She tells her story in ‘Her Master Key’ and what really goes on in the plush world of luxury hotels in India. It is not easy to survive in the service industry with long working hours and bearing the fury of the changing moods of the guest of the hotel. Gauri managed that all with a perfect work-life balance.

Gauri has come into contact with the varied guests stay in the hotel and encounters some of the bizarre accounts during her career. She tells you what secrets lay behind ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the doorknob. Not everything we see is true. Eyes do lie, sometimes.

The plot is unique which makes it more desirable to read. If you are looking for a light and different plot story, pick this book. Gauri’s story has many stories comprising in one book and every story opens the door to a different world. An eye-opener, entertaining, insightful and thought-provoking read. The language is simple and connects to the readers.

Join Gauri and walk in the hotel lobbies supervising the work and working with her team to make your stay pleasurable. She will take you on a journey you will never forget.

Author Bio

Shruti Johri has published newspaper columns, blogs and short stories. She is among the top ten winning writers at The Times of India – #TOIWriteIndia.

This is her first book.

She is an instructional designer, trainer and researcher by profession. Her career started with hotels where she gained most of her work and life skills.

Shruti is married and has two daughters.

Follow Shruti on:

Twitter @shruti_johri

Facebook: www.facebook.com/shrutijohri

http://www.shrutijohri.com

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