April 29, 2012

A Monsoon Of Music by Mitra Phukan (Book Review)

Title: A Monsoon Of Music
Author: Mitra Phukan
ISBN : 978-9-381-01700-5
Price: 450/-

"A Monsoon Of Music" made my mind refreshed, after the couple of books what I read before. My first read on 'Musical Fiction', what I shall call it, as the novel is entirely based on the world of music mainly highlighting the Hindustan Classical music tradition. The minute detail of the musical heritage and the keen observance of how the musical world may look from inside, are literarily appreciated and a good read for the novices like me, who have a very little knowledge about how a musical professional world might look like. With the backdrop of the classical music, the writer skillfully develops the main story which can be defined as a twofold triangle love story. A generation gap has been highlighted but love doesn't know the language of age. Love is evergreen from generation to generation, from decade after decade.

What always looks perfect is not perfect at all. And that the story unfolds when the darker secrets of the life of the characters reveal slowly. Nomita the main protagonist, is a Hindustani vocal artist who lives in small town named Tamulbari and aspires very little to get famed over the top. Her Guruma is a renowned Hindustani classical vocalist and married to another famous Hindustani classical vocalist. Both look like their pair is made in heaven. Both look gorgeous and serene. The simplicity in them never blows the air of their illustriousness. On the other hand Nomita who dwells in the life between the two world one through her guruma, what she entirely wants to believe to be meant for her and the other world what she sees through her childhood best friend Rahul's eyes where Hindustan classical music is replaced by the contemporary light weighted music. When she is in rahul's world she loves to taste the new rhythm and to tap her feet with it, the jovial life of her friend makes her to feel a new kind of ecstatic amalgamation which leaves her aspiring classical world far behind. Nomita's two world dilemmas became more constrict when her alliance suddenly get fixed with ambitious sitarist Kaushik Kashyapa, a globe-trotting superstar in the Hindustani Classical music world. The thought that two people with same ambition and from same field, makes life more easy to live like, confronted with the famous notion that two opposite poles attract more than anything and make things better than ever. Nomita tried utmost to accept the world of Kaushik Kashyapa where she also belongs to. But Rahul's world and Rahul's thought always comes in front as a path blocker. Still she is totally unaware of the fact that she is in love with Rahul. She tries hard to love Kaushik Kashyap. On the other hand Rahul the IT guy also never showed in his sense that he is madly love with Nomita. His maturity and respect to the family make him a perfect human being and the most admiring character of the novel.

Here the two fold triangle relationships start where Guruma reveals the truth to Nomita that she is deeply in love with her friend Deepak Rathor, an Industrialist, before her marriage whose world is totally different from her world. And the relationship what she is keeping with her husband is the most non perfect relationship hovering around. There is no love in the relationship but a kind of respect that they have for each other. The rumor about her and Deepak Rathor is true. She finds the solace of love in Deepak Rathor. This revelation of the truth of Guruma put a light on the second fold of triangle relationship, which is also telling the same story more or less of the Guruma's. Nomita's heart opens where she finds only one name is written that is of Rahul.

Let me keep the rest untold to hold back the suspense of the novel.

This is a good read for me as I told earlier. One will get a thorough knowledge of what a classical musical world may look like. On the same stream it also shows the darker side of this world what often we the people from the common world are missing out. Mitra Phukan being an Assamese vocalist of the Hindustani classical music tradition, a writer, music critic and also a columnist , has given circumstantially the accurate detail of the ragas, the musical instruments, the musicians gestures during the performance, everything what is really knowledgeable to the people belongs to the nonmusical world. At the same time the story set up and the character portrayals need to be apprised.

[This review has been published HERE & HERE.]

April 22, 2012

The Vague Woman's Handbook by Devapriya Roy (Book Review)

Title:The Vague Woman's Handbook
Author: Devapriya Roy
ISBN: 978-93-5029-032-3
Price: 199/-
Pages:343
Published recently The vague woman's handbook by Devapriya Roy, didn't take much time to take a place in the favourite place of my bookshelf. Story of two women, intertwined by the bonding of friendship and sisterhood, portrayed in simple terms the daily flares of live and the struggles of living.  The debut novel of Devapriya just won the heart and kept a mesmerizing trance as you start the book and couldn't leave  till it gets end. The language subtly woven in the beautiful imageries. The novel surely proved to be ranked with highest points.
The novel carries no extraordinary or very interesting story but the two simple outlines of how two love birds married in the mid of their academic session , seeking solace to live life with comfort and the bonding between two women who find a breathing space in the form of sisterhood  who come together in their professional world.
As the title suggests the novel reflects the two vague women Sharmila Chatterjee aka mil, ages 22 and Indrani sen in her fifties. The book portraits  a perfect companionship where the two complements each other. The age of Indrani sometimes nod down its head in front of the confidence and boldness of mil where as the mother like indrani never forgot to support mil in her low time and to console her with experienced guidance. Apart  from these two women characters, one character that is worth to mention is  Abhimanyu, mil's husband. The balanced, idealistic, caring  romantic guy is  the gem of the novel, whose character portrayal will definitely win the heart of the readers.

[Note: This review can also be read HERE and HERE]

April 17, 2012

Tea for Two and a piece of Cake by Preeti Shenoy (Book Review)

"Tea for Two and a piece of Cake", written by Preeti Shenoy, is a kind of novel that can't be left in between. The simple language and the continuity of the plot simply marveled the reader to dig deep in the story and get mingled with the characters.
Nisha, a common plumpish girl doomed by her fate from her childhood when her mother died and father became an island, though stays with her, hard to reach. Her father allotted a nanny for her but she also left her forever when she was just 13. She brought up herself in a lone world without any friends, until she got a job in a travel agency and tasted a world where you can laugh and cry with her friends. Circumstances changed when suddenly her fate smiled on her and she met her prince charming from the suave world, just like what happens in the fairytales. Time kept on moving, dragging her to the life what she aspired only in her dreams. She got married, become blessed with two kids, but suddenly the black clouds started to darken her life when her husband seeks for a divorce and Nisha to live life with self respect and dignity, left her husband's home at once with her kids. Battle starts then when she started to face the scarcity of money. And then only like an angel, her old friend turned out and showed her the path to earn money. Nisha got a self identity, a financial independence and love again knocked her door in the attire of her friend. The novel ends with the common note - all's well, end's well.
It is a story of a common girl, how she faces the ups and downs in her life. It is a story of lust for life, lust for love and lust for sex. It is a story of a woman's search for an identity when fate closes all the doors of life. Though after finishing the book, one could feel that it is a fairytale like story where the only difference is, the sins of life are projected thoroughly. The sins, what the society would name it, when we have sex before marriage, extra marital affairs, woman falling for a boy younger than her, divorce etc. The writer very skillfully focused on the human relationships, a relationship between husband and wife how breakups often created without anybodies knowledge. Preeti Shenoy has successfully achieved to create a wonderful passionate common story where she unfolded the common human desires and dreams.

[Note: Recently I have started a separate blog to store my reviews and articles as for handy reference to the professional world. So now onwards both blogs will deliver the same article with a link together.]