Durand’s Curse

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91pPr7rpIyL.jpgAuthor – Rajiv Dogra

Rating – 5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 264

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Durand’s Curse as the name suggest is a book on the history of Afghanistan. The tale comes from the heartland of Pathans and tells a riveting story of a line drawn across the Pathan heart. The land that painted blood and witnessed many wars.

Durand line is the line dividing Afghanistan and Pakistan drawn more than a century ago. On the morning of 12 November 1893, ‘the strongest man from Europe’, the then foreign secretary of India and ‘Iron Amir of Afghanistan’, a cruel ruler wrote history. It was to be believed that British officer Sir Mortimer Durand fooled Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman or he believed British too much that he gifted away much of southern Afghanistan to the British Empire, he was finding tiresome.

Rajiv Dogra, bestselling author of Where Borders Bleed, written on India-Pakistan relationships brings you an untold story of the Durand line long buried in a fascinating book telling the truth to the world has not known so far. The lucidly written book is a result of deep research. The book is not only a good read for the readers of history but also for the students. It is a detailed account of the land. I appreciate the efforts; the author has made to bring such a comprehensive book for the readers.

The book accounts the life, trouble, wars, tragedies and injustice on the face of the people and the country that give way to the Afghan anger to fight for the land belonged to them and was taken away forcibly. Read to know the history of misfortunes of Afghanistan and the cursed line drawn on sand.

Author Bio

Rajiv Dogra is a writer, television commentator and artist. A career foreign service officer, he was India’s Ambassador to Italy and Romania, the permanent representative to the United Nations Agencies in Rome and the last Consul General in Karachi.

An active public speaker, Rajiv Dogra is one of India’s foremost commentators on foreign policy and strategic affairs and is noted for his considered and assertive views. He is the bestselling author of Where Borders Bleed, regarded as one of the most authoritative books on India-Pakistan relations.

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

 

Mahatma on the Pitch

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51QJIAgy3ZL.jpgAuthor – Kausik Bandyopadhyay

Rating – 5/5 stars

Number of pages – 160

Publisher – Rupa Publishers

Gandhi, the man who created history. The greatest Indian icon and flag bearer of the Indian national movement of freedom. The world has known him as a man who forced British Raj with a weapon of non-violence to leave the country was new to the world. His principles are still alive and followed around the world. Many foundations have been working in this area of spreading his messages of non-violence to teach the people of the united world to live in peace and harmony on our shared planet.

‘Too many people are experimenting with war and violence. We need more people experimenting with peace and non-violence.’

Margaret Hepworth, May 2014

Founder/Director of The Gandhi Experiment

Mahatma on the Pitch is a book shows a different side of the Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The game of cricket is a religion in India. Can anyone think that Gandhi had any relationship with cricket? The game ruling the hearts of the twenty-first-century India. Did Gandhi or his ideas make any impact on the game at the high tide of the national movement? The book tries to find the answers to these quirky questions.

Why should you read this book? The subject is not new. You will find hundreds of books written on Gandhi by best biographers around the world. This book tries to explore a different side of a man whose connection with cricket seems as remote as Gandhi’s tryst with cricket. It is hard to cross in mind of any relationship between the two. The author is one of that curious mind tried to find the answer to the same. Read to know more about the relation between cricket and the Gandhi. It is one of its kinds you do not get to read every day.

Author Bio

Kausik Bandyopadhyay teaches History at West Bengal State University, Barasat, Kolkata. Formerly a fellow of the International Olympic Museum, Lausanne (2010), and the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata (2006-2009 and 2013-2015), he is also the Editor of Soccer and Society.

Bandyopadhyay has authored and edited several books. His most recent works include Sport, Culture and Nation (2012), Perspective from Indian Football and South Asian Cricket (2015); Bangladesh Playing: Sport, Culture, Nation (2012); and Scoring Off the Field: Football Culture in Bengal, 1911-80 (2011).

Here is a book on Gandhian Principles The Gandhi Experiment

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

tinytale #36 ‘New Again’

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A drop of water fell on my arm taken me by surprise. I look up and sky growl. I don’t find a reason to get angry. I can’t question.

I resume walking my path with wobbly legs to nowhere. Everything ends where I began.

No, it’s not an end but I am not sure am I standing at the door of a new beginning or is this dead end. I have to continue walking to find the answer and answer lie within me. It comes when you are ready.

Sky growls again. I ignored and keep walking. Few steps down the lane and sky started pouring drenching me from head to toe in crystalline liquid washes away the dirt of my mind.

Each drop is scrubbing my soul and making me new again. I think I got my answer. It’s a time to embark on a new journey.

Excellence – The Amitabh Bachchan Way

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51RKDKhoMWL.jpgAuthor – Virender Kapoor

Rating – 3.5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 150

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Excellene – The Amitabh Bachchan Way is written to inspire people from the life of megastar fondly known as Big B. Over the career of nearly fifty years in the film industry, he has his share of ups and setbacks but he didn’t stop. He rises again from the ashes like a phoenix. The book teaches some of the lessons one can learn from the life of ‘Superstar of the Millennium’.

It is not a biography, not a memoir. It is a short account of his life and the incidents that made him what he is today. The bad give him strength to get back on his feet and the good one make him more humble. He is one of the only film celebrities who is respected and admired by everyone around the globe. Some of his personality traits you can follow to achieve excellence in your life – determination, punctuality, perseverance, humility, professionalism – that makes him an institution in himself.

Many books have already been written on him and many things have said. What this book has new to serve you on a platter is this does not tell you his life story. This book inspires you to learn and follow some of the traits of his life to gain excellence. Excellence does not come in a day or month; it is a process and a lifelong learning.

If you follow Amitabh Bachchan closely then you will find many anecdotes mentioned in this book are either from the books written on him or his media interactions or public appearances or interviews. This book aims to inspire and thus author Virendra Kapoor analyses each and every trait of Mr. Bachchan.

Author Bio

Virender Kapoor is a thinker, an educationist and an inspirational guru. An alumnus of IIT Bombay and the former director of a prestigious management institute under the Symbiosis umbrella, he founded the Management Institute of Leadership and Excellence (MILE), Pune. His books on emotional intelligence, passion quotient, military principles, leadership, jugaad, work-life balance and self-help have been translated into several regional and foreign languages. Additionally, he regularly contributes to many prestigious magazines and dailies.

To know more about him, log on to www.virenderkapoor.com or email him at virenderkapoor21@yahoo.com

Buy this Book Here: Amazon

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

Let’s Have Coffee

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91wFD4K0gRLAuthor – Parul A. Mittal

Rating – 3.5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 240

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Do you believe in quick and fun relationships or in a foreverwala love? In the age of quick messaging and dating apps, do you expect to find someone who believes in long-lasting relationships? You have more friends in the virtual world than in real life. When ‘I Love You’ is mere worlds void of any emotion, you think you can find someone would give a new meaning to your life with love? This story is trying to find answers to these questions.

Let’s have Coffee by Parul A. Mittal is a story of new age and big city lovers juggling many lives simultaneously. Our generation wants everything on a single click. We are holding the world in our palms. Are relationships also moved ahead with the time? Are those gone days when love was meant to last forever and not a one night stand?

Meha, working as an assistant wedding planner met Samir, a handsome wedding photographer at her ex-boyfriend’s wedding. Samir revels that the bride happens to be his ex. They feel a strong connection. Meha left him after an unfortunate finding of Samir that he is only using her for his book. They move on with their respective lives and never try to cross the path of other.

After five years they met again through a project she is working on for his girlfriend planning a proposal for him. Will she find her foreverwala love in a world where relationships can be as brief as the messages we send to each other?

Recommended for romance readers. The story is like crunchy wafer wrapped in a chocolate. The author draws an interesting sketch of the life of the lovers of a new age. She tries to untangle love and relationships in today’s digital world. It’s witty and romantic. I find it little filmy. The story has lots of drama you find in Bollywood romantic movie. Let’s have Coffee is a sexy story.

Author Bio

Parul A. Mittal is the author of the national bestseller, Heartbreaks & Dreams! The Girls @IIT. Her second book, Arranged Love, captured the hearts of Indian youth.

Born and brought up in Delhi, Parul did her schooling at Lady Irwin School, New Delhi, and Navrachna School, Baroda. She did her BTech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi in 1995, followed by Masters in Computer Science from UMich, Ann Arbor. The author has worked for various corporate-Hughes, IBM Research, Nextag and Yatra-for over thirteen years. She co-founded an online parenting website called RivoKids.

You can read more about her at www.parulmittal.com

Her fan page www.facebook.com/parulmittalbooks

Email – parulmittal@gmail.com

Buy This Book Here: Amazon

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

 

 

tinytale #35 ‘A Celebration of Death’

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There is no celebration of death only mourning. When someone close to us dies we feel sad and a part of our heart empty. We will never be able to see and talk to that person again. She/he is gone for forever. It’s hurting. Isn’t it?

Then why I am talking about celebrating death when from inside we are broken and wounded. We do not mourn on death we mourn the loss of life.

A celebration of death is correlated to the celebration of life. If you have never celebrated your life, you missed the only chance to celebrate death. The time we have on this planet is now.

Celebrate life every day. Be thankful, for giving you one more day. A day full of hope, endless opportunities and millions of smiles. A day you will never have again.

Celebrate life and life celebrates having you.

The Greatest Urdu stories ever told

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61EeGg+E3oL.jpgSelected and Translated – Muhammad Umar Memon

Rating – 5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 372

Publisher – Aleph Book Co.

The greatest Urdu stories ever told is one of the finest and rare short story collections I have ever read. The twenty-five stories in this collection include the work of twenty-five writers of Urdu like Munshi Premchand, Naiyer Masud, Khalida Asghar, Saadat Hasan Manto, Rajinder Singh Bedi and others. Every story in the anthology illustrates one or the other facet of life like death, fear, desire and poverty.

The short fiction is often underrated because of its short length. It is a common notion that short fiction requires less effort from the writer in comparison to the fiction written at length. However, I don’t agree. The short fiction gives the equal pleasure to its reader as much as a long fiction and requires equal discipline. If you don’t agree with me then you should give this book a chance and I am sure it will change your perspective and also introduce you to some of the finest and greatest short stories you have ever read of Urdu.

The stories are unique and exceptional and the fine translations by Muhammad Umar Memon make the experience of reading pleasurable. I don’t know the Urdu language so it is my golden opportunity to read the stories in the language I understand. The twenty-five stories are the finest short fiction of Urdu literature.

The book is one of those you will cherish reading and would like to re-read the stories. It is one of those rare gems of literature you don’t want to miss having in your vast collection of books adorning your bookshelf. This is undeniably a must read.

Author Bio

Muhammad Umar Memon is a professor emeritus of Urdu literature and Islamic studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a critic, short story writer and translator. He was editor of the Annual of Urdu Studies (1993-2004). He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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

 

tinytale #34 ‘Bad Writing’

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Really?

A bad writing?

I didn’t know that something like this exists in the world of words till I read it somewhere. I think a story takes its own course and chooses the path that leads to its end. You just need to have a little patience and let your story take the shape. You can edit it later anyways.

Yes, there is always a room for improvement. Who and what doesn’t have a room for improvement. But, the bad writing really does exist? I am not sure.

A piece of work could have been written immaturely. When I had written something for the first time it wasn’t good but it wasn’t bad either because it was my first attempt and you shouldn’t disregard your first baby step.

If you think my immature writing is a bad writing. Sorry, I don’t agree with you. I am a lifelong learner.

Juni Dagger: Murders in Meraupatnam

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81KJMNHaLCL.jpgAuthor – Arjun Chandra Kathpalia

Rating – 3.5/5 stars

Number of Pages – 160

Publisher – Rupa Publications

A crime mystery. A detective story. A devious plan. A celebrated but foodie detective. A port town Meraupatnam. A story with an equal measure of comedy and surprise.

Juni Dagger: Murders in Maraupatnam by Arjun Chandra Kathpalia is a murder mystery. Port town Meraupatnam seemed to be a quiet French country town, very different from rest of the Indian subcontinent. The peace of this beautiful little coastal town was disturbed when one by one mysteriously the residents of the posh Dormeth lane were getting killed by unidentified snipers. The mayor left with no choice than to call a celebrated detective Juni Dagger to solve the mystery and get a hold on the brain behind the murders.

The story is an interesting tale of crime and murders and a detective who loves food. Food is always in his mind. He eats to think. He eats to celebrate. He eats to explore new culinary joints. He eats just like that. He doesn’t need a reason to eat but he finds a way to settle the bill and escaped smartly.

Juni is canny, smart and foodie and does things at his own pace. He doesn’t follow any rule except the rule he sat not to betray or disrespect the food. He is good at what he does and he must find the mastermind of all the killings because now he is the next target of Veron; a mysterious man. His assistants, Monroe; a French man and Cameron; a Ninja girl aids him in joining the piece of the mystery and solving the puzzle.

A perfect murder mystery with a generous side of comedy.

Author Bio

Sixteen-year-old Arjun Chandra Kathpalia is an accomplished piano player and a photographer from Delhi. His photographs have been featured in online photography magazines. He is also a gamer, a computer buff, a graphics designer and a gourmand. This is his first novel. You can connect with him at:

Facebook: Arjun Kathpalia

Instagram: @arjun.kathpalia

Twitter: @arjunckatz

Buy this Book Here: Amazon

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

Just Friends?

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81ReLSwbADL.jpgAuthor – Sumrit Shahi

Rating – 3/5 stars

Number of Pages – 235

Publisher – Rupa Publications

The greatest and strongest of relations is the bond of friendship. Just friends is a story to celebrate this relation. Well, you not only get one but two stories of the bond of friendship in one book.

This is a story of Aaryan and Boza; they are best friends. They can’t live without each other. They need each other more than they need food to survive. They are partners in crime. They talk about everything and all the time. Yet, they don’t love each other.

This is a story of Sumer and Tanie; they are best friends. He cares for her more than he cares for anything in this world and can do anything to see a smile on her face. She can’t imagine a life without him and trusted him blindly. Yet, they don’t love each other.

This is a tale of two best friends who navigate their way through their teenage years figuring out if they are just best friends or more than that. What they have between them is more than a friendship and little less than a love. Will they ever figure out the thing they share or will remain just friends?

The plot of the story is good but the narration could have been better. It was really a tiring read. The cover of the book is attractive and the blurb is intriguing but doesn’t go with the writing style of the story. It’s a light read. If you are looking for a light-hearted, young-adult, teenage romance, one-time read, you can give this a chance but do not expect too much and I don’t promise you anything. Because I can’t say I am fully satisfied with the book.

Author Bio

Sumrit Shahi is one of the youngest bestselling authors in the country. He wrote his first novel, Just Friends, at the age of seventeen which became a bestseller, followed by other successful novels, Never Kiss Your Best Friend and Can a Girl and a Boy be….. Just Friends?

Sumrit is also a screenwriter and has written for six youth-based shows, including Sadda Haq: My Life, My Choice on Channel V India which won the Youth Show (Fiction) category at the Zee Gold Awards in 2014 and at the Indian Telly Awards in 2014 and 2015.

In 2015, Sumrit was chosen by Hindustan Times in the list of Top 30 Under 30 young achievers in the country, terming him as a ‘writing rockstar of the young’.

Buy this Book Here: Amazon

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