Euphoric Love by Vinoth Indrajith

el.jpgI received the book Euphoric Love by Vinoth Indrajith as review copy from the author and would like to thank him for the same. The story is set in many towns and cities of Tamil Nadu,  India and is the story of Ram and Deepa who meet, separate, meet, separate and meet again with the intention to separate.

The blurb:

This is a story about the love of Ram & Deepa at different stages of their life. As in all love stories, they meet as strangers, fall in love, then weave a complex love-hate relationship with the loved one. Sounds usual, right? But that’s not the end of their story.

Why does Love turn into hate?

Why do we hate the one whom we once loved?

Maybe… we still love them?

Will the love of Ram & Deepa overcome their hatred?

A typical love story, but…

It’s a game of mystery…The Evil tends to hide in darkness. Will The Good unravel the hidden truth behind the darkness?

Euphoric love is a heartwarming love story which gives a feeling of great happiness in love with spine-chilling moments.

Feel the euphoria of love.

The story:

Ram sees Deepa when he is home during the vacations in his final year BE. He follows her around and confesses his love to her, but she is to get married to someone else for the sake of her parents. He takes up a job for the sake of his love and his family.

They meet again at his friend’s wedding and they again get separated. And then he realises his dream as an entrepreneur and still loves her. His friend Manohar is married to Radha and life is good.

And then one day he sees Deepa, who is at his office for an interview, selects her even though she is not qualified for the job. His intention is to make her feel sorry for rejecting him.

But circumstances are such that they are forced to get married as Deepa’s groom runs away. And then……

My take:

It is a love story with a twist. The story has been written in first person at times from Ram’s point of view and at times from Deepa’s point of view. At times it is in third person. There are parts in the story where the author has mentioned, from Author’s view as well. The author has expressed the feelings of both the main characters. Even the secondary characters have important roles to play in the story. The story has all the ingredients: infatuation, love, friendship, jealousy, family values, castism…

A little bit of editing would make the story crisp and more enjoyable.

The language is simple and the narration is detailed. The scenes are described in detail. The twist at the end makes the story racy.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.


Across Seven Seas by Neelmani Bhatia

411N7lMS3gL._SX321_BO1_204_203_200_I received the book Across Seven Seas as a review copy from the author Neelmani Bhatia. Thank you, Ma’am for the book. This book is the story of Anita Bhatt set in the early eighties in Delhi.

The blurb (from Amazon):

The characters in Across Seven Seas find themselves dealing with the challenges of their emotions, needs, and desires within the tapestry of their upbringing, values and the viewpoint of those around them. She thought all white-skinned men were interested only in one-night stand relationships, though proficient yet high handed and autocratic. He considered all Indians to be intrusive, wanting to know of personal details like marital status, salary, preferences immediately after first introduction. Thinking that if he allowed the take-it-easy attitude of most Indians to prevail, he will never get the work finished and head home made him taciturn. His authoritativeness became his tool of getting work done, a dead fiancé made Anita not only live in past but also becomes bitter and an introvert. Reticence was her armor for defense. He became dictatorial and she rebellious. The novel Across Seven Seas is set in the early eighties, when computers were still a novelty in India and mobile phones were unheard of. Love was still being expressed through real roses, and not the virtual cut-and-pasted ones, as is being done these days.

The story:

Anita Bhatt lives with her parents, her brother and his family in Delhi. She works as a personnel manager in a company. Having lost her fiancé in a train accident, she is a lonely person. Her colleague Rohit is like her younger brother and she shares a lot with him.

Until one day, Mr Keith Holroyd, an engineer by profession comes from Sheffield, England to supervise the installation of the machinery Anita’s factory had purchased from his company. He is there to stay for 6 months till the machine is fully established and running to full capacity.

Looks wise he is Prince charming incarnate but he is the villain as far as Anita is concerned mainly because he takes her room and she has to move into Rohit’s office. And In the process of getting back at him, Anita loses her room at home as well.

They are at loggerheads from the first meeting and fight on every small topic and he taunts her. To make matters worse, she has to accompany him to Agra, and then there is the attraction that she feels for him and does he reciprocate? Or is it just a fling on his part?

My take:

A book written in simple English, albeit, a little Victorian. The cover is simple and beautiful. The story has been written in first person from Anita’s point of view. And I could feel Anita narrating it to me. The plot is simple and the romance simmers on the slow burner, just like the biryani.

The characters are well developed and the scenes described in detail. The author has described the places, be it Agra or Connaught Place in Delhi in details.

Enjoyed the simple and slow romance in the fast world.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Book Blitz for Curse: Dragon’s Claim (The Forsaken Series #2) by Ciara Lake

About the Book:

The flame within a dragon warrior’s heart awakens Arianna’s passion as she begins a journey in which she will discover she’s something more than she ever imagined possible.

The realm of the dragons is a world of magic, danger, and mystery. For centuries they’ve been at war with the vampires, but now the two enemies must work together to save all immortals, and the mortals they co-exist with, from an ancient evil. In order to do so, they need the help of the Forsaken, descendants of immortals who were cast out into the human realm, their memories wiped clean of their true heritage.

Clayne MacDagon is a powerful dragon warrior who is sent on a mission to find one of the Forsaken. Although he’s told that this woman is his fated mate, he can’t believe it could possibly be true. Arianna Mergliano possesses both dragon and vampire blood, and Clayne has an intense hatred for anything even remotely related to vampires, the evil beings who were responsible for his beloved twin’s death.

When Arianna meets Clayne, she’s convinced that the man is insane, or maybe he’s a warlock or even the devil himself, but whichever it is, she wants nothing to do with him.

Clayne knows he can’t fail at his mission. And once he meets Arianna he also knows that what he’s been told is true—she is, ironically, his intended mate.

Convincing her to accept him is only the beginning. He has to protect her from those who might want her dead. Together, they must face the shadows and evil that have long plagued the immortal realms and find a way to survive the coming war.

Book Links:
Read an Excerpt:
“Arianna, please come and sit down so I can fix your hair.” Alba waved Arianna over to the chair in front of a long mirror.
“Sorry, I’m excited. Can’t sit down.” Nevertheless, Arianna obeyed Alba’s direction and sat down.
“We must be ready to leave within an hour. It’s quite a drive to the Allegretti summer home. I’m eager to spend time there. It’s beautiful.” Alba flitted around as she brushed then braided Arianna’s long tresses. “I’ve laid your emerald dress out. If you approve, I’ll pack it. I’ve another for you to travel in.” She pointed to the yellow traveling dress.
Arianna looked toward the bed where her garments were laid out in preparation. “Oh, a lovely choice.”
“Yes, it is. I thought it would make a wonderful impression for this afternoon’s luncheon. In the evening, you can wear your scarlet dress. You’ll be breathtaking.”
“Thank you, Alba. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“No thanks is necessary. I’m doing what your mama asked me to do.” Alba smiled. Arianna watched Alba in the mirror as she fussed with her hair, arranging it on top of her head.
“My hair looks wonderful.” Arianna appraised Alba’s handiwork.
“You should think more of things like hairstyles, dresses, and shopping. It’s what wealthy young women are supposed to do. You spend too much time thinking about other people. This event is important. Your papa and Signor Allegretti are depending on it to impress their new associates. Your papa is counting on you to charm them as you always do.” Alba set the carved jewelry box on the dressing table. “Perhaps you should pick some jewels out now so as not to risk taking all with you.”
“Perhaps.” Arianna frowned, her gaze locking on the older woman’s reflection in the mirror. “I feel particularly nervous about this garden party. For some reason I have this uneasiness…no, not really uneasy, I’m not sure what it is, but I’m worried.” Arianna placed her hand over her stomach. It pained her. “I feel something life changing is about to occur.”
“Hush now, Arianna.” Alba patted her arm. “Such talk makes people very nervous, including me. Change can be good.”
“I can’t help it, I feel something momentous will soon happen. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad. I need to be able to speak of things to someone, and the only one I can reveal myself to is you.” Arianna pouted.
“Put these thoughts from your mind and relax. You’re merely nervous about meeting the eligible gentlemen your father invited. I overheard your father say there will be several eligible, well-respected businessmen there. A widower and one who has never been wed are said to be present.”
“Father doesn’t know what an excellent catch is.” Arianna rolled her eyes. “He’s only looking at their wealth.”
“Of course he is, Arianna. It would do you well to understand the way of it. You’d never wed a pauper. You are meant for greater things. Hold still, your hair’s almost done,” Alba instructed.
Arianna handed Alba another pin. The words swirled in her head, a familiar mantra she’d long since gotten tired of.
“There, you’re absolutely exquisite. I want you to look wonderful as soon as you step off the carriage. We’ll refresh you once you’re there. But first impressions, you know.”
“I can’t believe you think wealth’s the only important thing. Not you, Alba. Love’s important. Don’t you think? Isn’t love with physical attraction most important? I know most girls don’t think of this. But I do.”
“I know you think differently in many things, but don’t speak of this to any other. Just remember, love doesn’t pay your bills or buy your lovely silks. Love doesn’t do much, and it may not last.” She motioned for Arianna to stand, then helped her into her dress.
“Papa and Mama loved each other, theirs lasted.”
“Yes, a rarity in itself. If you can tolerate him and he’s wealthy, you’ve the makings of a good husband. Love may come.” Alba stood back, inspected Arianna, and smiled. “You look gorgeous. Let’s get downstairs. The carriage is already parked out front.”
“There will be other females there to charm the gentlemen. They’re much better at being amusing. Sarah’s always so charming and delightful.”
“Yes, but these men are eligible suitors. You’re in need of a husband.”
“I don’t need a husband, at least not yet.”
“Hush, you speak silliness,” Alba scolded as only a beloved servant could do. “You’re a young woman, you need a husband.”
“The other girls need husbands too.”
“Don’t be foolish, you know as well as I, Rafaela’s engaged, Jenna’s being courted by a very appropriate suitor, and Sarah…well, she’s Sarah. You most certainly need a husband. You’re nineteen years old, and getting older every day.”
“You make me sound ancient.” Arianna giggled.
“Someone must take care of you. It won’t be your father forever, he grows older too.”
“Truly, I can take care of myself.”
* * * *
Clayne relaxed against the ornate couch, a drink in his hand. He appraised the home with a quick eye, the luxury of the human’s dwelling spartan compared to the spacious townhouse he’d recently purchased in the heart of Florence. The invitation to the Allegretti home was most advantageous. It allowed him to continue his search without breaking his cover of a rich merchant who recently relocated from Rome to enjoy the art and culture of Florence, the jewel of the Renaissance.
It amused him to interact with these uncomplicated people. Signor Antonio Mergliano had been insistent that Clayne accept the invitation to the garden party, assuring him an entertaining visit. For some reason, Clayne was compelled to accept, he liked the old man.
Clayne shifted. While fortuitous, the invite was a hindrance. He should be searching for a godforsaken female with the mark of the dragon. No doubt the Forsaken bitch was an ugly, cold-hearted, half-breed bloodsucker. His blood boiled at the very notion of a vampire’s offspring.
There’s no fucking way she’ll be my mate. Mother’s prediction is wrong.
Clayne stood up, stretching his legs. Taking a sip of his drink, it cooled his inner heat. He burned with annoyance at having to do the Goddess Amuliana Synvera’s bidding.
His hatred for anything remotely related to vampires ate at him. They were only good for killing, as far as he was concerned. As loyal as he was to his king, this quest made his temper burn. He’d much rather be back in Ejdeha Dragoni having his teeth pulled than searching for this abomination in human form.
Mother’s wrong. How could the fates be so cruel to me?
He sighed into his drink. It had been years since he’d spent so much time among mortals. Only his trips for his king drew him from his seclusion, and the grief still stung at the loss of his beloved sister.
Perhaps he’d find a simple-minded human female to dally with, relieve his frustrations. Dragon females could be so complicated and greedy of his time. Often, human girls pretended to be virtuous, yet he knew better, seeing through their facade immediately. Allegretti’s daughter was one such female, she smelled of many men. Perhaps she’d be willing and eager to sneak off to a secluded place where he could get lost for a bit between her thighs. The thought brought a smile to his face.
About the Author:
Welcome to Ciara Lake’s World. Meet Gorgeous Werewolves, Vampires, Dragons, Mermaids, Wizards, Witches, Mythological Gods and Goddesses, Mere Mortals And More! Fiction has always been a passion of mine. Creating worlds and developing characters is a great way for me to relieve the stress and strain of my everyday world. In fantasy (paranormal) and sci-fi stories, the author has the unique ability to invent wonderfully exotic places and people. I do that in my books. These fantastic genres provide a limitless ability to be creative and inventive. My stories provide an escape into a special world filled with unique and otherworldly things. And there is always a happy ending.
Contact the Author: 



Book Blitz: Matsya by Sundari Venkatraman


Print Length: 38 pages
Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published) 
Publication Date: March 11, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited 
Genre: Mythology, Short Story, Kidlit 
Lord Brahma is highly disturbed when the four vedas are stolen from him the moment he goes to sleep at the end of the kalpa. It’s Asura Hayagriva who’s gotten away with the sacred scriptures.
Lord Vishnu offers to go to the creator’s rescue and takes the guise of Matsya, the fish.
King Satyavrath lands up with a tiny gold fish when he’s offering prayers to the Sun God one morning. Is the fish all that it appears to be?
How can Satyavrath help the fish?
Read more to find out the reason for Lord Vishnu taking the avatar on earth as Matsya. 
*This is a straightforward story of the first avatar of Mahavishnu, retold in simple English just the way it’s written over the ages. The target audience is the youngsters, children, who don’t know all that much about Indian mythology. It’s also for those parents who are keen to read aloud stories to their children and are looking for suitable books on mythology. 

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR

This is the first foray into the mythology genre for the author and also the first book that she’s written for children. 
Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 26 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.
Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 
Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 
Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

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Flawless by Leena Varghese

flawless.jpgI received the book Flawless by Leena Varghese as a review copy from the author and I am thankful to her for the book. The book is all about second chances set in Pondicherry.

The Blurb:

Giana Francois does not nurture fanciful dreams like the young women of her age. Her elopement and broken marriage with Ricky Bartholomew had led to a series of tragic events that changed her life forever. Her reckless behaviour has cut a deep rift in her relationship with her mother.

Now, her two-year old son, Toby, is the centre of her world. Giana works at her mother’s cafe in the beautiful, seaside town of Pondicherry. Her reputation as the bad girl shadows her every step, making her tread with caution. Underneath the placid surface is the terrible guilt of having brought shame to the family.

When Giana meets a brooding stranger, late one night at the cafe, her first reaction is to avoid him. But Max Martineau is not a man to be dismissed as easily. When their paths cross inadvertently, Giana realizes that Max is a kindred spirit. He reflects what she has suppressed for a long time…all that she longs for…But she is afraid to reach out and claim that dream for herself.

To Max, Giana represents sublime grace and companionship. But he refuses to admit that he needs her to be whole again even though he is irresistibly drawn to her. Even as his attachment to Toby and Giana grows deeper, he is fighting a losing battle with the dark memories that rise from his own private hell.

As their friendship blossoms tentatively like a delicate flower in a blizzard, Giana finds a safe harbour in Max. And Max finds peace in her company. However, neither of them acknowledges that they belong together.

Until Giana’s past surfaces to hound her…

Will Max relinquish his past to protect Giana and claim her as his own?

The story:

Georgiana Francois had fallen in love with Ricky Bartholomew, the rock band drummer at a wedding reception, at the young age of 19. She had eloped with him and got married to him only to be deserted by him. Not only this, she had lost her only brother, Michael in a road traffic accident and her father, a week later and her mother had never forgiven her for causing their deaths. In all this Giana had not only lost her old self but also her reputation and the fight. She lives in the constant fear of being shamed with the worst criticism from her mother.

Now, Georgiana is divorced and lives with her two year old son, Toby; her mother, Carol and her younger sister, Annabelle in Pondicherry. She has a catering service which deals with clients having young children. She also helps her mother in her café, Crème Caramel and Coffee, in the bakery and also supervising the staff. She prefers to work behind the scenes.

One late evening, when her mother and sister are out shopping for the café, and the staff had already left for the day, she is sitting in the back office doing her accounts and keeping an eye on Toby who is running around the place, picking and sucking spoons. And there is only one customer in the café, whom the girls have named Table No 5 as he comes and sits on that particular table every day at six in the evening.  And then, Toby goes and topples and entire tray of cups and before she reaches Toby, Table No 5 has already picked him up out of harm’s way.  And it is at that moment that her mother and sister come in and her mother admonishes her for leaving Toby unattended and talking to strangers.

Table No 5 is Maximillian Alexis Martineau, an architect, who is on a project to Pondicherry and has bought the bungalow next to the Francois home, the bungalow that does not look lived in according to Giana. Max is a brooding lonely man who has lost his wife and little son in an accident for which he blames himself.  He spends his time in an emotionally sterile office environment as a deliberate move to remain detached.

Their paths cross and they become friends. But they are both not ready to commit yet and then Ricky comes and has a proposal for her…..

My take:

The cover is beautiful, an instant pick me up. And the story touches somewhere deep.

The language is beautiful and the story just flows. The characters are well etched and their maturity is visible. I loved the conversations between them. The author has described the feelings of both the characters in detail. The scenes have been described beautifully and are believable.

This book is a must read.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.


Nautanki Diaries by Dominic Franks

61rfmalw6mL._SX326_BO1_204_203_200_I received Nautanki Diaries by Dominic Franks as a review copy from the publisher, Rupa Publications and  would like to thank them for the book.

The blurb:

Nautanki Diaries sits comfortably in the travelogue niche, yet in the best traditions of travel writing it does much more than just describe the passing scenery. With candour and a quirky sense of humour, the author carries the reader on a twenty-two-day journey on a cycle from Bengaluru to New Delhi, aiming to reach in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

As a schoolboy, Dominic Franks looked up to his sports coach, Shikaari, as a mentor and inspiration. Shikaari inadvertently planted the seed of a journey that he himself had made in 1982 in his young student’s mind. Eventually, the author decides to use the same sort of ‘doodhwallah’ bicycle and names her Nautanki.

Replete with anecdotes and (un)conventional wisdom gleaned from the conversations he has along the way, Nautanki Diaries is a ‘cycling book’—one that allows the reader to share the intricacies of cycling as a sport, as meditation in motion, and as a craft.

As for Nautanki—she plays her role perfectly, in true heroine style, right till her very last act.

My take:

The book has been written in first person from the author’s point of view. It is a detailed account of the author’s 22- day adventurous journey from Bengaluru, atop his bicycle named Nautanki, to reach New Delhi in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games inspired by his sports coach, Mr H P Shivaprakash, Shikaari as he was famously called by his students, who did it during the 1982 Asian Games.

The author, a doctor by qualification, having worked in the television industry for five years also has a documentary team covering his entire journey on tape. To make things easy, he decides to break his journey into parts.  He goes through different villages and towns, even towns with the name Timbaktu, Peapulli; meets people from different walks of life; sleeps in Pandals; encounters policemen; and even expresses his desire to meet Saina Nehwal when in Hyderabad. He talks about braving the weather, asking people for a place to sleep, having buttermilk from a pink plastic mug, and inventing games to overcome exertion. And his Nautanki accompanies him.

The cover of the book is beautiful, the language is simple and the story just flows. The book is an interesting account of the adventure and has been written very well. Certain parts have been described in such a way that I felt I was watching the scenes unfold right before me. I immensely enjoyed travelling with the author from Bengaluru to Delhi.


Dominic Franks graduated from Bangalore Medical College. His passion for sports led him to give up his career in medicine and join a premier sports channel. In September 2010, he decided to go on a cross-country bicycle journey from Bengaluru to New Delhi to witness the Commonwealth Games. It’s Not About the Cycle—winner of Best Adventure Film at the 2017 Toronto Beaches Film Festival—stars Nautanki, his bicycle, the central character of Nautanki Diaries.

Currently, he is working on producing his first documentary feature about human-animal relationships. When not working to travel, or travelling for work, Franks holes up in Bengaluru where he lives, laughs and loves.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

My First Break Up by Dhruba D Roy

1e2be-mfb_coverI received the book, My First Break Up by Dhruba D Roy as a review copy from BookR3vi3ws. Thank you BookR3vi3ws for the book. This book is the story of Anirudh and Anvi.

The blurb:

“Oh God, why me?”

This is perhaps what we think of when we go through a ‘breakup’.

This story is about Anirudh and Anvi.

Both of them have their own thinking which are not alike.

The story begins with Anirudh meeting with and accident. As he slowly succumbs to the pain, he starts reflecting about his bygone college days where he found his love for music. He loves Anvi dearly who is a long-lost friend of Anirudh.

The story reveals how Anirudh struggles as the hands of reality strikes him down.

The story:

The book begins with Anirudh meeting with an accident and lying injured far away from the motorcycle. As he is lying there, he thinks back to his college days of National Institute of Technology, Surat where he did his Engineering.

Then the flash back begins:

Anirudh Roy, a Bengali boy, grew up in Assam and Meghalaya, Tura to be specific, as his father worked in a bank and got transferred often. He was glad when he got admitted to an Engineering College in Surat as he never wanted to become a doctor. During the vacations, he did not go home and was idling away time in the hostel, when he started learning the guitar from a senior. It was during this time that one of his friends told him about Facebook. Once on Facebook, he is surprised to see the girl he was attracted to when he was in class 2 and had moved to Tura, and who had stopped talking to him when they were in class 4, Anvi Sharma. He sends her a friend request and she accepts and they start communicating with each other. In the meantime, he forms a rock band with his friends and they start doing performances.

He comes to Guwahati during the vacations but cannot meet Avni as she is busy, but they meet when he comes next. And then he shifts to Shillong to the new campus of his college. He confesses his love to her and she…….

My take:

This book has been written from the point of view of Anirudh.

The language is simple and most of the story is in flashback. The narration is such that I felt that the author was sitting and narrating the whole story. The author has described almost everything in such details that I felt that he had actually experienced everything that went on in the story.

I felt that maybe some editing could have made the story crisp.

DISCLAIMER: I received the book as a review copy from BookR3vi3ws in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Rajasthan: A concise history by Rima Hooja

510GYVOnWnL._SX319_BO1_204_203_200_I received Rajasthan: A concise history by Rima Hooja as a review copy from the publisher, Rupa Publications. I would like to thank the publisher for the book.

The blurb:

Rajasthan, also called Rajputana within living memory, is an ancient land with a veritable treasure of oral and written histories. The region has a long history, stretching back to the Old Stone Age and its geography and environment have played a significant role in shaping its many facets—politics, literature, music, art, architecture and a vibrant and living intangible cultural heritage.

Richly illustrated, this book attempts to give you Rajasthan in a nutshell- a political, socio-cultural and economic history in a comprehensive, easy-to-read format. Since history is more than a chronological list of events. Rajasthan: A Concise History has used archival, epigraphic, numismatic, art-history, architectural and archaeology related information to provide a general overview of one of the most colourful states of India.

My take:

History was never my subject, I found it too boring. Maybe when we are in school and a subject is thrust upon us, we don’t have the time to like the subject.

In the book, the author has brought about the history of the most colourful state of India in a simple language. She has written about the story of Rajasthan (I am using the word, story, and not history, as I like addressing it that way) from prehistoric times (500 BC) to the present day Rajasthan, in a 839 page book (the glossary, the bibliography and the detailed index follows). In the book, she has addressed the major political, cultural, socio-economic, artistic and creative facets of the region. The state is a treasure of history. The pictures used in the book give the reader an idea of the various sources of information about the book.

The cover is beautiful, seems to be the road which passes through the Amer Fort in Jaipur. The book is a must read, and I promise you would enjoy your journey to Rajasthan with this book.

DISCLAIMER: I received the book as a review copy from the publisher, Rupa Publications, in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

An Unlikely Chemistry by Dr S. Krishnaswamy

517IeLL8pvLI received An Unlikely Chemistry by Dr S. Krishnaswamy as a review copy from the publisher, Rupa Publications and am thankful to them for the book. The book has a foreword by Dr M.S Swaminathan wherein it is mentioned that the book is the autobiography of the author and the biography of his wife.

The Blurb: 

How can two people survive in a marriage when one of them sees it as an impediment to personal growth?

Well, you keep trying and eventually figure ways of making it work. An Unlikely Chemistry is the story of a couple—a scientist and a filmmaker—who battle personal issues and external challenges, and go on to build a life on their own terms.

The scientist, Mohana, stands up to a crippled system, determined to discover an Ayurvedic drug for cancer. On the threshold of global recognition, she is compelled to abandon her research due to the biases of a system plagued by caste-based reservations.

The filmmaker, Krishnaswamy, provoked by a distorted American documentary on India, vows to make an authentic film on Indian history, heritage and culture. A vow he fulfils with the release of his four-hour film, Indus Valley to Indira Gandhi, distributed by Warner Bros.

Krishnaswamy and Mohana then join hands to weave an illustrious tapestry of over two hundred non-fiction films and a dozen television serials. However, their path is littered with politics, controversies, legal battles and societal prejudices, but their belief in righteousness and spirituality helps them overcome these hurdles.

An Unlikely Chemistry is the remarkable autobiography of a couple—their love and their journey of nearly five decades. Within these pages, there’s also the veritable magic and nostalgia of a bygone era.

My take:

The book has been written in first person from Dr Krisnaswamy’s point of view.  The book has nine chapters followed by nine annexures and bibliography.

In the first chapter, Curtain Raiser, the author mentions that he is writing the biography of the person dearest to him, his wife. He mentions that apart from being husband and wife for forty eight years, they have also been working together for thirty years- she as the producer and he, as the writer- director of a few hundred documentaries and a dozen serials. He also says that his theme in this book is how a woman who was very near her goal of becoming a committed scientist changed track and became a media person not out of her own volition but due to the sociopolitical ethos of India in the 20th century. He says that it is a story of deprivation and disillusionment to start with and the story of struggle leading to success not only in professional terms but often in emotional term.

The second chapter, Before We Met, is about his and Mohana’s background till they met. For both of them, he has mentioned starting from their respective grandparents, their parents and their siblings. He has described both their childhoods, his more detailed than hers. The chapter is ninety pages long with 70 pages dedicated to the author and 20 to his wife.

He talks about the time when Bertrand Russel was his favourite author and his habit of gifting a copy of A Conquest of Happiness to everyone he met. He talks about his relationship with his stepmother, his adventurous visit to Delhi in a car with his brothers and friends to submit papers to RBI as all the trains to Delhi from Chennai were booked. He talks about his trip to New York, his meeting with Prof Erik Barnow that changed several things for him, his status as ‘Special Student’, how magic became his hobby, the ‘oil’ bath and his homecoming. He has written in detail about the process of writing his first book; his using his famous father’s name to get to places where his own name was not working; his writing the column ‘Madras Film Column’ for The Illustrated Weekly; his getting the post of Director, Films Division, which he left; his contract to produce advertising film; his founding Krishnaswamy Associates; the wedding of his siblings; his mother; and how he agreed to marry the girl of his mother’s choice.

About his wife, he mentions that he has to cover only twenty years of her life as against his thirty, hence, the lesser number of pages. He mentions that she was the youngest of ten siblings and how her elder brothers and sisters pampered her; her life in Ranchi, where she was home taught; the family shifting to Hyderabad; her getting enrolled in a Marwari school in there; her linguistic skills; her dance classes; her religious inclination; her dream of becoming a physician; her studies; and then her telling her mother that she wanted to get married for her own security.

The third chapter, Mother’s Choice, is about their wedding; her changing her college and stream; the birth of their children; their moving to their own house; his father’s passing away; his family; his company; Mohana’s registering as a PhD candidate; and his rewriting the script for his dream film.

The fourth chapter, The Myth on my film on Indira Gandhi talks about, his making of the film; the loans and the no-loans; challenges he faced; Warner Brothers agreeing to distribute it; the after effects and the side effects of the film; their first trip to US and how his film was blamed for the emergency in India.

The next chapter, A Non-Political Woman’s Political Biography is about the problems Mohana faced while getting a job; their marital problems; how he managed the quarrels they had; and how Mohana refused a Rajya Sabha seat.

An Ambivalent transition talks about Operation Blue Star 1984; author’s coverage of the crisis at the government’s behest; Mohana’s full time involvement in the creative work; his children and their interests; the court cases- both that he filed and those filed against his company.

Then Y2K talks about the life of the author, Mohana and their children from 1995 to 2005 – the period of joyful celebrations, creative satisfactions and smiles of triumph on one hand and stressful challenges, emotional trauma and tears of agony on the other.

The penultimate chapter, Sojourns in Research is about his study of the impact of ancient India on Southeast Asia. He talks about his visit to five countries- Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; interviewing famous personalities there; his getting the Padma Shri award in 2009 and his independent TV channel.

The final chapter is If the Angel Returned. This is followed by Appendices and Bibliography.

The language is used is simple and flows. The narration is such that I could feel that the author was reading out to me. He has explained terms very specific to India in details for non-Indian readers. Familiar names made it easy to relate to the famous people in the book. A very well written book with beautiful pictures making it more lively.


Dr S. Krishnaswamy is a well-known documentary and television filmmaker. He is a recipient of many coveted awards, including the Padma Shri by the Government of India; Life Time Achievement Award from the US International Film & Video Festival, Los Angeles; Honor Summus Award from the Watumull Foundation, Hawaii, among many other awards. He co-authored the book Indian Film with Erik Barnouw.

DISCLAIMER: I received the book as a review copy from the publisher, Rupa Publications, in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

A Hasty Hookup by Varsha Dixit

41zl7ECPRMLA Hasty Hookup by Varsha Dixit is the first book of the Wallflower Series. This book is the story of Gina Bansal and Ojas Purohit, an estranged couple.

The blurb:

Married to one, engaged to another!

Gina Bansal, twenty-eight, could never in her wildest dreams have imagined this to be her relationship status. It will soon only get murkier as she is determined to divorce one and marry another. Five years ago, a mistake committed in name of love cost Gina her family, friends and everything she held dear. She even had to move countries. But now she is back in India, determined to divorce her cad of a husband. However, she is forgetting that a true cad never fights decent nor fair.

Work and women have kept the reclusive and retired Colonel Ojas Purohit busy. Fate left him scarred, crippled and robbed him of a career that was his passion and his life. For him, fate has a name—Gina Bansal, his estranged wife of five years. And now she is back, wanting a divorce. Ojas is determined to put her through hell before he even gives her a minute of his time, forget a divorce. And this time luck is on his side for his enemy needs him more than he needs her. Or so he thinks.

Will Gina and Ojas survive each other? Will memories of their past complicate their present? Is desire forgotten same as desire dead? And who are these Gina’s BFFs, the Wallflowers? What roles do they play in this Hasty Hookup?

All these answers and more in ‘A Hasty Hookup,’ first book in the Wallflower Series by Varsha Dixit. It is a story full of unexpected twists, wit, sizzling chemistry, cliffhanger ending, mature language and content.

The story:

Gina Bansal was 23 and married for just over a month, when her husband, Ojas, took everything away from her, her love, her family, her self-respect. Though except for her father, no one had broken ties with her, but for her family, she was like a distant relative. Her mother sent her to a distant relative to carry on with her life. She even did not tell her best friends, the Wallflowers.

Now, five years later, Gina is 28 and lives and works in Singapore. Ritesh is her friend in Singapore, she had bumped into him three years ago. She had never discussed her personal details with him but when he asks her to marry her, she tells him that she is married but separated from her husband. She agrees to marry him but for that she has to divorce Ojas.

Gina calls up her lawyer in Bangalore and asks her to get her a divorce by mutual consent. When two weeks later, there is no response from the other party, her lawyer suggests that she goes down to Bangalore and meet her husband and convince him to give her an uncontested divorce. And she decides to take the bull by its horns, meet Ojas and ask him to sign on the divorce papers.

She also decides to ask the Wallflowers for help, but is not sure whether they would help her after what she did? For five years her Wallflowers, her friends, has been her 24X7 besties, soulmates, frenemies, spiritual gurus, and every other relationship out there. So Gina, The Pretty Awkward One sends them a message and they take her back with open arms.

Gina takes a flight back to Bangalore via Delhi. The Fiesty One, Kyra Saigal, now a journalist with a top news syndicate and travelled all over the world and The Duchess, Doyal Barua, now a rich successful, business woman are there to receive her at Delhi. The Shy One, Meher Chaudhary, her BFF, now a doctor, doing her post graduation in orthopaedics is there to receive her at Bangalore.

Meher and Gina go to the Purohit’s residence only to meet Puru, Ojas’s younger brother who tells them that Retired Colonel Ojas Purohit, 35, her estranged husband, has a farmhouse on the outskirts of Pune where he lives with PA, Vinay Dhaliwal and a cook.

Gina comes to the farmhouse and asks Ojas for a divorce which he refuses reminding her that she did not want one five years ago. She pleads.

In the meanwhile, Puru tells Vinay to make sure that Gina stays and Vinay has to keep her there as it is very important to keep them around each other. So Vinay comes up with a plan and tells Ojas to ask her to do something that she would not be able to do and promise to sign the paper only if she does it. And when she fails, she will have to leave….

Ojas feels only anger and rage towards her, because she cost him his friend’s life, his leg and his career. So he asks her to work as his secretary for two weeks and at the end of the two weeks, he would give her a quick divorce.

What happens next……

My take:

This is the first book in the series and is the story of Gina Bansal, The Pretty Awkward One, the Wallflower name allotted to her.

The characters have been portrayed beautifully. Ojas is the real BAD MAN in the book, what with long hair and impeccable clothes. His house is as dark as his mood. Gina is desperate for the divorce. Puru has something up his sleeve and Vinay is the decent one in the book.

The relationship between the girls is excellent. They just took up from where they had left off, five years had no value in this relationship.

The book has so many ingredients, friendship, love, separation, desperation, jealousy. The book is fast paced and I really enjoyed it. The twist in the end left me wanting for more.

Waiting for the next story, to see what holds for Gina and Ojas and also which wallflower would be up next.