May 30, 2012

Another Chance by Ahmed Faiyaz (Book Review)

Title: Another Chance
Author: Ahmed Faiyaz
 First Published on: 2010 in India by Grey Oak Publishers
ISBN: 978-93-81626-02-3
Pages: 210
Price: 195/-
Rating: 2.5/5

Love has been the true hidden agonist in the novels from the decades, which amalgamates the theme and the characters to develop and to give a form of a successful storyline. My recent read Another Chance is a novel where the protagonist's love-life keeps on giving another chance to several relationships in search of true love.

The story is about Ruheen Oberoi, a nubile gorgeous girl, lives life in a carefree way and the love affairs she confronts with as time progresses. There are Varun Shetty, Vishal Chaturvedi, Aditya Sharma and Rohan Aluwalia with whom Ruheen had relationships and all these characters keep on popping out in intervals throughout the novel. Though apart from all the ups and downs, Ruheen’s relationship with Aditya Sharma ultimately announces the dictum that true love does exist.

Aditya Sharma and Ruheen met in college in Mumbai. Then they got separated. Then again they bumped into each after few years when Aditya had a good career and Ruheen was concealing from her first marriage with Rohan in Amsterdam. They started to cohabite life together again. They gave the relationship another chance to make it successful which was weaved only with the language of love. But again dark clouds shattered their life when they lost their first unborn child. Misunderstanding and emotional imbalances create a distance in their life when Ruheen decided to estrange again. But Aditya's faith in Love ended the novel by convincing Ruheen to give another chance to their relationship.  

It is a fully passionate love story of the modern age where marriage is not the true bonding but the heart that bonds two souls. It’s a 'roller coaster' ride of emotions that upheaves the novel till end. The relationships showed here are very easy to get in to and very fragile to break in a moment too. There is one crazy guy Vishal Chaturvedi, ex-boyfriend of Ruheen, for whose deadly threaten Ruheen gets to get separated from Aditya. There is Rohan who has married Ruheen only for her fortunes. There is one Malika who has almost taken Aditya in her seducement when Aditya is deep into relationship with Ruheen. Then there is Varun Shetty, Ruheen's frist adulterous boyfriend whom she meets after 11 years and almost ready to tie up knots when her relationship With Aditya is resulting very low in rate. But it is Varun who incited Ruheen’s thought to give Aditya another Chance. And as always happens - everybody lives happily ever after, Including Varun the shattered heart, got a girl at the end. 

This novel is getting filmed in June 2012. And I bet, What an entertainer movie script needs it has all the elements in it, like- actions, love letters, passionate love story, several picturesque spots like Simla, Amsterdam, Mumbai, etc. To be honest I didn't have the tenacity to read the novel line by line as I found it quiet boring and nagging with the same sequel emotions. Though to praise the author, the author has a well narrated storyline and portraits the characters with a very skilled and minute detail.  I would like mention one more thing that raised confusion in my mind. The author has used few Bengali words. Among them I am not able to find out the meaning of – “Subho Aprohano” (Page: 182). Does he want to mean “Shubho Aporanho”(Good Afternoon)!!!

This novel is Ahmed Faiyaz's second novel. His first novel is Love, Life and all that Jazz. He was born in Bangalore. He is a management consultant by profession and works for Health Authority of the Government of Dubai in a Strategic Planning and Execution role. He lives in Dubai with his wife. He acquired a Chartered Accountant's Degree and also an MBA degree. He writes about his writing:"Writing is not about making money for me nor am I considering a career switch. It's much more than that. It's something that is self- fulfilling. I aim and hope to write the kind of stories I enjoy reading and hopefully what you enjoy too. "
This review can be read HERE too.

May 21, 2012

Chocolate Titbit

Arguments do hold the truth, mainly if it’s about migration. My 5 years of USA stay did spoil my cooking habit, the shopping habit and of course the conveniences of getting and making things done in a second.  After coming to India my biggest project started to interior my home. That took almost 9 months to complete it. In between I had to venture out for those fashion foods that used to give a tinge to our taste buds in USA. Though to my surprise, most of the ingredients are available now a day in Indian markets. The hyperlink markets are accumulating a good collection of foreign goods and foods. Only the difference is, you can indulge on buying them once in a month or so, as the prices are too high to coddle. But again if there is will, there is way. Many Indian food companies are now producing the products that is not only easily available in the markets but at an affordable price too. Anyway it took a long time to get the acquaintances of the manifested upholds of the habitant.

After settling in India one major change I face in my life that I step in the kitchen occasionally. Life without maids and cooks are unimaginable here, mainly in Kolkata. And I took the full advantage of pampering myself with this indulgence. Therefore my cooking habit becomes more fashionable with those fancy dishes that the cook can't provide. As my daughter is growing, her tastes are changing too. I have to offer her new kind of food every time. Her full of vigor and energy to learn and see how mummy is cooking a dish makes me more energetic to step more often in the kitchen recently. So again "Mummy ka Magic" starts to offer new recipes to boost the appetite of the family in a nouveau way.

This Chocolate Titbit is very easy and takes very little time to make. It is a very tempting and tasty quick bite; a best devouring dish to indulge oneself in a chocolaty pungent snack.

Chocolate: 1 cup (grated)
Cream: 1 cup
Thin Arrowroot  Biscuits: 1 cup (powdered)
Butter: ¼ cup (melted)
1. Mix the powdered biscuits with butter well. Take a small muffin cake pan. Grease it with light butter or you can use small foil cups also. Put the biscuit mixture and make bowl shape by pressing your finger in it.
2. You can refrigerate it for an hour or bake it for 5mnts on 170 degree C.
3. Heat the cream on gas and put the chocolates in it. Stir continuously till the chocolate gets melted. Make the ganache semi thick. Then pour it, into the muffin cups slowly.
4. Refrigerate for an hour or so. Serve and enjoy.

May 19, 2012

One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Book Review)

Title: One Amazing Thing
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
First Published on: 2009 in Voice by Hyperion in USA
ISBN: 9780670084524
Pages: 208
Price:  450/-
Rating: 4/5

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, surely needs no introduction, as she is one of those Indian-English writers who provokes the Diasporic Literature to reach its zenith. Every time I read her novels, I delve deep in the ocean of her amazing story selections - simple, common but unique in true sense; which keeps one mesmerized with its ravishing writing skills. She blooms the sentiments of the off-shore Indians and their diasporic emotional values. Every time she lands up with a new thought, a new set of characters, with a new story. But among all facts, her novels have one common touch of the very Indianness.

My recent read, One Amazing Thing, is in the true sense a novel which recollects and brings out the amazing part of the characters life or rather I should say - a confrontation with the inner 'I'.  

The outline of the story is too simple to tell - 9 people got stuck in an Indian Visa office in America after a severe earthquake took place. The suffering and confinement in between the debris, where water leakage is taking everything under water by inches and insufficient food and water, have created a suffocated mental suffering for the victims who are also engaged in self infringement. In this deadening situation, Uma Sinha and Cameron played the roles of the catalysts to set a light in the victims’ life to get rid of their fear of death for the time being. It was Uma's idea to engage the characters in the amazing story telling assiduity. In this dreadful moment, the characters get a relief by telling each other the amazing stories of their lives. The 9 characters are as follows -

1. Uma Sinha an Indian young college going student in America.
2. Cameron- an African-American ex-soldier in his fifties.
3 & 4. V.K.S. Mangalam and Malathi Ramaswamy, the two visa officers.
5 & 6. Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett .
7. Tariq, a young Muslim galvanized his heart against the Americans.
8 & 9. Jiang a Chinese grandmother and her granddaughter Lily.

All the characters have transmigrated to America from the different parts of the world, but they have one destination to travel that is to India. Their Stories also tell the reasons of their India visit apart from Mr.Mangalam and Malathi. Apart from the turbulence of the earthquake and the survival strategies that the people are trying every moment to be safe, the novel mainly holds the 9 stories from the characters' which help the novel to develop. At the first glance the stories seem the simple incident of their life. But those stories mainly are the hidden achievements or their self confessions that the truth of their consciousness really focus on. What I felt the stories are simply nothing but the confrontation with their Inner ‘I’, at the moment of facing death so close, they were able to see their heart also, that they like to share or confess before their death. Each story of one’s life tells the whole life story of the person. It’s a confession that they want to get relieved of the burden. The darkness of the fear of death opens the gates of their heart to the unknown people whom they never know whether they will meet again in future or not.

I loved reading the novel, but all the nine stories didn't hold the same likeness to me. I liked Jiang’s and Malathi's stories most. Tarique's story focuses on the racial conflict what the American based Muslims really face. The other stories are simple realizations in the attire of incidents. I found the novel little bit boring, but a nice read though.

 This review is also published HERE.