Book Review Treat: The perfect drug by Chaitanya Saini

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The perfect drug by chaitanya saini is a uniquely crafted story of ananya, an intelligent guy aiming for admission in a prestigious college. He finally gets a seat at St. Stephen’s college in Delhi, which sets a pathway not only pursuing his dream but a lot of hardwork and twists and turns along the way.

The book follows a very unique format and it’s own terminology which manages to create a very intimate connect with the reader. The book progresses in the way a cell becomes a baby to an adult, over the years. This progression is linked to the Spiritual journey of an aware and willing individual.
On the outset, this is a very usual story of a guy studying in a prestigious college and dealing with the heavy pressure and daily rigmarole. Moving ahead, he starts questioning the system which doesn’t see beyond materialistic capacity of a person.
However on closer inspection we find that this book presents very valid and deep philosophical questions which have the potential to not only improve the life we’re living but even remarkably change the system that keeps us bind in a cage.
The contents are hence arranged in such a manner that follows the Spiritual awakening of the reader, through the protagonist Ananya. When we’re completely engrossed in the system, our level of consciousness is equivalent to the physical shape of a Zygote, which progresses to Embryo, then to fetus moving ahead to development of genitilia (which marks our individuality and identity in the society).
Ananya is on the quest to making a perfect drug which according to him would help to beat the demon outside. But can a heightened state of consciousness be actually attained by some artificial means? The key ingredient (his intuitive power) which enables Ananya to challenge a desolate system is compromised once there is overdependence of this “Perfect Drug”.
This book has a very spiritual, soul searching edge to it which manages to question very valid shortcomings of the society. Overall I would rate this book 4/5 for the way it handles a serious theme and mixes it well, making it a perfect, valuable read for the average college going reader.
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Book Review Treat: Rafflesia the Banished Princes by Gautam

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Rafflesia the Banished Princes by Gautam is a story of love in varied forms. True essence of love is sharing, caring, believing and forgiving. It is also letting go of when holding on to gets difficult. The central character Apoorva or sweetly called Appu has a loving relationship with his parents, his friend Rahul and his parents, his neighbors, colleagues, and any person he came in contact with. His wife who ultimately deserts him because of her selfish interest bears no ill will against him.
The title of the book appears as motif several times in the story as well as in the life of the protagonist as a symbol of Hope and light at the end of the tunnel but serves as a contrast to the real life of Appu.
A good sensible story which goes back and forth in the life of Appu

Book Review Treat: 37+ Grace Marks by Vishal Anand

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It appears that Vishal Anand was inspired by Chetan Bhagat’s 5.0 Someone since the setting of both the stories are prestigious engineering institutes where the students get admission after much slogging in achieving academic excellence in schools and preparation for entrance examination in there institutions.  The students are motivated to get admission in these institutes primarily to fulfil the heightened ambitions of the parents or their own ambitions caused due to peer pressure.  However, soon after getting in, they lose academic interest and find pleasure in wine and women.

In this story, the protagonist while lost in the pleasures in the company of friends, gets enamored by the beautiful classmate Nimisha brooding over whom, loses opportunity to excel in studies and barely manages to scrap to next semesters with the help of grace marks.

Spurned by the girl, he tries to focus onto other girls, but by then he clearly understands that he is actually in love with the girl Nimisha but there is no way to win the heart of the girl.

His association with Muthu meanwhile helps him to realize his goal for achieving excellence even  though it  is too late.  He makes an attempt on his life but is saved by the timely call of his father who expresses his love and faith in him.

Heroic qualities is heightened thereafter and he makes up for the loss for the lost opportunities and regains the trust and faith of his lost love interest, Nimisha.

Even though the plot is clichéd, yet the characterization is good.  The story ends with a positive vibe without being preachy.  The language is simple but sustained interest to the last.

 Overall a good read.

 

Book Review Treat: “Demons in My Mind: When Mind Becomes Your Biggest Enemy” by Ashish Gupta

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Demons in My Mind: When Mind Becomes Your Biggest Enemy” by Ashish Gupta is a novel which can easily cut through the clutter of contemporary authors flooding the market with light-fluffy stuff. It’s a good, intellectual as well as an interesting read which challenges the reader and brings forth some very pertinent questions in a quite entertaining way. The book deals with heavy questions of criminal psychology and how a criminal should be viewed and treated in a society.

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This book is very well written. It is divided into various sub plots, all woven very intricately and flowing in a sequence so it can provide enough suspense and build up to the reader.

The main protagonist, Dakshesh is shown to be at the last stage of cancer nearing a painful death. To be relieved of this malady, this pain, he asks his comrades to take him to three powerful mystics who seem to be the only ray of hope for an escape from this dreary end. The story seems to be going on a spiritual turn just when the twists are brought in, rather very cleverly, and these three are shown to be in real hardened criminals. They narrate their stories to Dakshesh and how they came to a fork in the road in their lives  on meeting Alia, a homeless girl, when they made the decision to leave their dark pasts behind and move to a better path.

These three monks bring with them a lot of variety as all three belong to three different religions- Rizwaan, a Muslim; Murli, a Hindu and Joseph, a Christian. The issues they dealt with are also different and each equally dark in their own ways. One was a murderer, the other a rapist and the third, a lover turned torturer. The differences brought out with so much dexterity point to the fact that crime in fact has no religion, and religion rarely does determine the path a person takes. It is more often the circumstances, the struggles and state of mind of the person embarking on the dark and dangerous path of crime.

The author manages to highlight very important factors that bring a person to such a path: the control of mind over a person or a person over their mind? Once you enter the dark path is there ever really an escape? Hallucinations and misjudgements or clarity and cutting through illusions: which does a person choose and where does the choice lead him to?

Though no one could relieve Dakshesh of his physical pain, yet, listening to their stories relieves him of hid mental and emotional agony as the nature of their minds makes him come face to face with nature of his own mind and the issues plaguing a society at large.

Overall, this is a very well written, fast paced novel. Though the plot seems simple, in reality it is not as there are so many sub plots interwoven beautifully, adding a very unique touch to the story. The plot is very unique and interesting to read, and the author must be commended for developing it so well.

Book Review Treat: ANOTHER TALE OF TWO CITIES BY EZHUTH AANI

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The book is basically a historical treatise set up in the 15th century pertaining to twin cities of Combodia: Angor Wat and Ankor Thom.  The concern of preserving the culture and sovereignty of these kingdoms was predominant in the minds of the two dedicated princes Mahendra and Adithya who set up on an arduous journey from China, Srilanka, India and Middle East to seek Military support in the form of Arms  ammunition, army, modern technological method of warfare and also technology for management of drought and water resources.
The foreword by the author sets the tempo of the novel.  A great civilization of Khmer empire which lasted for more than 600 years faces annihilation due to ravages of war, religious intrusion and natural disorders due to disastrous climatic changes.  How much of these are pre-emptive? How much could have been avoided? And how much can be retrieved .  What is the impact of these happenings upon the life of the citizens?  HOw do they cope up?
The story starts with an interesting narrative of the travels of young Adithya the king’s envoy to meet Vajragnani, a mystic in order to save Angkor’s empire On the way he meets his daughter Mandagini. She arrests him and then takes him to Vajragnani, her father. He gives him knowledge and a statue of Buddha. Then he sends him on his way alongwith Mandagini. They both fall in love and part ways with heavy hearts. Adithya embarks on a journey to  Srilanka and India and meet the King and The Emperor and could also manage to get their promise of being helped at the time of need/requirement.
In another part of the story, Mahendra goes to China  and learns the technical knowhow of  technogical aspects of modern warfare,  He returns to Cambodia in the absence of Adithya and inadvertently wins the hands of Maddagini.  This development though upsets Adithya to the core, yet he does not fail to fulfil his duty towards his country.
The story is excellently woven with philosophical inputs by the author which are very apt in the given situations.  However, some historical facts have been repeated often which could have been avoided.
The author has also done  extensive research into the history of the these counties and kingdom, the rise and fall of empires, the rise and influence of Buddhism  on the political situation of these countries.
The cover  designed by Ajitabha Bose depicting a temple against the backdrop of red setting sun sets the tempo of the novel

Book Review Treat: UNNS- The Captivation by Sapan Saxena

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A very good attempt of an emotional saga which was thrilling to the end.
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The journey of the protagonist, Atharva Rathod through the stages of love is akin to the journey of Philips in Somerset Maughan’s ‘ Of Human Bondage’.
Like Philips, Atharva’s conviction in his love towards Meher transcends the repeated betrayals by her.  However, the perseverance of Atharva brings out the reciprocative action on her part.
The early  romance  at the school level between Atharva and Rathod is quite commonplace and yet, that it could have been a sustainable factor in shaping up the plot in an espionage saga was wonderful,
Another interesting factor of the story was that even though the protagonists were of different religious background i.e., Atharva was Hindu and Meher was Muslim, yet the religious barrier was not the cause of their separation. In fact, there has been no role-play of Artharva’s parent in this matter.  The objection of Meher’s parents to the continuance of this relationship was more on ground of practical incompatibility as they wanted her to pursue her career rather than getting stuck up in an unproductive relationship. On these grounds even Meher’s short-lived romantic feelings got evaporated as she chose to write-off Atharva so completely.
The quick turn of events  sustained the interest in the story
AN OVERALL GOOD READ.
RATING 4/5

Book Review Treat: The Color of love by Jagdish Joghee

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The Color of love by Jagdish Joghee questions the rejection of love between two people in the society on the basis of non-consequential factors like caste, creed, racist views. The equation of how these limited views affect innocent emotions between two loving people and how separation changes them forever, only for the worse.

How people divide on the name of religion and more similar imaginary barriers, while hopeful and innocent youth break out of those false barriers to unite in love is questioned.

The story is about Sarfaraz and Meghna, and how hard he tries to break all the barriers to reach up to the one person he truly loves. The title is kept Colors of Love because we see Sarfaraz’s character growing and changing with his love, and when he is separated from that one true thing that made him complete, his personality and vivacity change a lot too.

Also, the book explores the discrimination Muslims face in the city of Combatore and how Sarfaraz suffered at the hands of this racist mindset both in society and also his personal relationships.

The author has done a good job in bringing out these emotions, and also in questioning the mindset that plagues the society. What was very encouraging to see was, that Sarfaraz could rise up from his difficulties and make a good living. Despite his father thinking of him otherwise, he managed to make his parents proud and give them the life they deserved.

A very strong, smart and encouraging character is brought out in Sarfaraz’s mother, who probably is the reason behind his fighting spirit. Nadia Begum, like any other woman in that society was looked down upon by her husband and her views never mattered. However when it came to practical matters and matters of survival, she had a very sharp brain, even more so than her husband. She was a cheerful lady who was very open minded in the matters of relationship as well, and Sarfaraz could easily share his relationship voes with her. She was a woman neither bound by religion, gender or society- and it is this spark which inspired Sarfaraz to find his holding in a chaotic world.

The narration style is very interesting, however the dialogues between Sarfaraz and Rameez (his best friend) are written in a very novice manner, which takes away from the reading experience.

Lastly, I would say the author manages to raise very important cultural and religious issues plaguing the society. Also, the different shades of love, emotions, relationships, friendships and choices are explored very well, which makes this novel a valuable reading experience.

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