Half Single Half married by Sharada Kolloru

Half Single Half married by Sharada Kolloru

Half Single Half Married by Sharada Kolluru: a book with a name which wants you to pick it up and read it. Though the cover is very thoughtfully done up, but with no debit to the author, somehow the paper of the book did not impress me.

Now the characters:
Raghunath (Raghu) Shastri, 29, a reasonably good looking man from Sainikpuri Colony, Hyderabad, works as an Accounts Director in an advertising agengy, Tapasya, in Delhi. The only child of his parents, his father is an income tax consultant and his mother, a Carnatic classical singer, who live in Hyderabad. They want him to get married and are very liberal in their views.

Akhil Khanna, 30, works in the same company as a Media Director, is married to Maya, who has her own boutique, Maya’s at Vasant Kunj. He has a passion for BMW ever since he was a little boy. Maya’s sister, Nandini, is a dentist in Mumbai and Maya wants to get her married to Raghu.

Dinesh Patel, 35, is the CMD of the company, a Gujarati who can speak Punjabi better than the natives, is married to Kalpana and they have two kids, Ritika,7 and Vipul, 5. He is a fan of Saif Ali khan, Kal Ho Na Ho, Makki ki roti and Sarson ka saag.

Harini Rao, 28, is the only daughter of a gynaecologist mother and a paediatrician father. She is commerce and accounts lecturer is a college in Hyderabad.

Common friends find them compatible and get them married to each other and Harini shifts to Delhi. She finds a job at the local college. Their relationship is very platonic and friendly as they had decided to keep it so before they got married.

What I liked about the book:
• She has described both Delhi and Hyderabad beautifully.
• The accented English of Raghu’s parents is very genuine.
• Raghu, who I felt was a very frivolous person that I contemplated keeping the book down, turns out to be very understanding.

What I did not like about the book: the adult scenes are too explicit and could have been censored.

Overall, I liked the book and hope you do so too.

Book Source: Bought
Publisher: Good Times Books Pvt Ltd

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The Invitation by Anne Cherian

The Invitation by Anne Cherian

The Invitation by Anne Cherian is about four students, Jayant, France, Vikram and Lali, from four different parts of India and different backgrounds meet at UCLA in the 1980s.

Jayant Bakshi (Jay), son of a rich Delhi businessman, having studied at a Darjeeling boarding school and graduated from St Stephens College, Delhi and goes to do a degree in management much against his father’s wishes who wants him to go to Oxford. Frances Dias, a Goan catholic, from a girls college in Hyderabad, joins Phd in anthropology, meets Jay, they date for two years and then get married much against his parents’ wishes. She does not complete her PhD, studies to become a real estate agent and starts working as one. They have three children Amanda, Lily and Sam.

Lali Chacko is a Jacobite Syrian Christian from Cochin in Kerala, having studied in a girls school and college in Bangalore, studies to be a copywriter. She is married to a non-Indian cardiac surgeon at San Francisco hospital, Jonathan Feinstein. She starts working and advertising and quits it when her only child, Aaron, is growing up. Sixteen years later, starts working as a secretary in the English department of a college. Jonathan is a Jew who has rediscovered Judaism and is spending his free time attending classes or going to the synagogue.

Vikram Jha (Vic) belongs to poor family in Bihar and has studied in IIT on scholarship. After graduating from UCLA, he opens his own software company, VikRAM Computers. He gets married to Priya, a girl chosen by his parents and they have two sons, Nikhil and Nandan. He is a very successful person.

They have their children and they do not know how to deal with them given their children’s’ American outlook and they still being Indian. Jay and Frances cannot understand why, their oldest daughter, Amanda’s grades are dropping. Vikram’s son, Nikhil, has graduated from MIT wants to be a chef. Lali and Jonathan’s son, Aaron, studying at Harvard, wants to take a break for one year.

When Vikram invites his friends to Santa Barbara to the graduation (his son does not want a party), they accept. They feel it would be a reunion of sorts after 25 years. It is time when they are undergoing crisis in their respective marries live, and deep inside, they all have something to hide from each other. When they go for the party, they come closer to their respective spouses and also open up to their friends.

Each character has been described very well, I could actually picturise them and somewhere in each character, I felt there was a part that I could relate to.

Though, the book ends a little abruptly and left me wanting for more. A sequel would be apt and very welcome. But overall, a very interesting book.

Book Source: Bought
Publisher: Hachette India

The Missing Queen by Samhita Arni

The Missing Queen by Samhita Arni

The Missing queen by Samhita Arni is the story set in Ayodhya ten years after Ram returns from Lanka. The setting is modern: Ram and Sita returning from Lanka in a Cadillac, malls, multiplexes, flat screen televisions, Ram doing a live TV interview, Hanuman giving a press Conference.

The book starts with Kaikeyi telling a journalist to do Sita’a story. In the course of finding Sita and doing her story, the journalist meets Ram (when she goes to interview him), Laxman, Angad, Lanka Devi, Hanuman, Urmila, Valmiki, Vibhishana, his only daughter Trijatha Devi, Surupnakha and finally Sita. She gets into trouble but manages to come out of it.

This book is from a different perspective. The washerman’s revelation at the end was quiet a shock to me.

Overall, an enjoyable read.

Book Source: Bought
Publisher: Zubaan/ Penguin/ Viking

Happy Birthday by Meghna Pant

Happy Birthday by Meghna Pant

Happy Birthday by Meghna Pant is a collection of thirteen heartwarming, introspecting, emotional stories which are eye-openers. When I ordered the book, the name suggested that these would be happy stories but they were realities of life, realities we run away from, reality we close our eyes to.

Let me start with the cover – it is beautiful at the first glance but if you look at it very carefully, you realize that the balloons have something printed on them, and these are all related to something or the other in the stories.

Most of the stories are either set in Mumbai or America. The stories are about a father who, for the sake of his only son’s happiness, does not acknowledge the last and only remnant of his childhood, about rich children who feel that, in India, the boundaries we live in must be respected, about parents who keeping their needs aside give in to their children’s happiness. Then there are stories about sacrificing friendship, Sati, two blind friends, and a lady choosing responsibility over love and parental love and affection which the children realize only when it is too late.

A very special book but every story needs about an hour to digest.

Book source: Bought
Publisher: Vintage Books/ Random House India

Falling for a Bollywood Legend by Mahi Jay

Falling for a Bollywood Legend by Mahi Ajy

I crave romantic fiction and have been a fan of mills and boon ever since I was allowed to read them. Funnily, though, my mother would never read them and I would borrow it from her friends. When I started earning, I would actually keep on buying them secretly and hide them in my closet. When I got married and my mother was sorting my books, she called me up and asked frantically, “Whose books are these and what do I do with them?” I replied, “They are mine, please keep them safe, I will take them from you when I come next”.

When I saw that Indian authors are giving it a try, I said “Why not” and started reading them again after a gap of 15 long years. Believe me; they are as good, if not better. Falling for a Bollywood Legend is another Indian Mills and Boon written by Mahi Jay with a little bit of bold flavor added to it.

Aadith Varma is a Bollywood Hero whose next mega budget period romance flick is slated for a Diwali release and his agent tells him that he needs to uplift his image and the only person who can do it is Nina Shah, a PR agent with Guy and Falcon. Aadith and Nina were neighbours in Pune where and he was her elder brother’s friend and she was close to his grandmother. He meets her, she refuses to work for him and is forced by her boss to do so. She gets him good publicity and the movie is a hit.

A nice and well written book.

Book Source: Bought
Publisher: Harlequin India

His Monsoon Bride by Aastha Atray

His Monsoon Bride by Aastha Atray

Two love stories in one. That is what I felt when I finished Aastha Atray’s book His Monsoon Bride.

The first love story is about Mehtab and Amrita.
Mehtab Rathod is a self-made real business tycoon who has his own rags to riches story. He began his life from The Dharavi slums and today, has everything he could want but a family.
Amrita Piramal is the daughter of a rich businessman and a filmstar. She is a born heiress, works as a journalist, supports the cause of the slum dwellers and travels by public transport. Her father’s partner has cheated him and he has to find investors for keeping his business afloat.
Rathod promises to do so if Piramal gets him married to Amrita. Theirs is a marriage of convenience.

The brilliant epilogue of the book is the second love story: Aarushi Rathod and Karan.

A beautifully written book, kept me hooked till I finished it.

Book Source: Bought
Publisher: Harlequin India Private Ltd

A prearranged love by Anusha Vishnampet

A prearranged love by Anusha Vishnampet

A Pre-Arranged love by Anusha Vishnampet is a very cute story. It is about Rekha Ramkumar, working with Flash Advertising & Marketing Solutions. She lives with her mother Sheela in Hyderabad. Her mother wants her to get married and ettle down in life and arranges for her to meet her friend, Sunita’s son, Arjun Kalyan, a software developer at Softech, over a cup of coffee. They meet and the result is disastrous. Rekha and Arjun end up calling each other names.

As luck would have it, her company is selected to make a corporate video and TV and Print Advertisement for his company. And they meet again. They are courteous to each other initially because of the professional relationship and later become friends.

The flow of the story and the storyline is very good. A very beautifully written book.

Book source: Bought
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House