He loved how the demons in his head gathered around calmly when her thoughts crossed his mind. She had walked right into the darkest corners of his head. They had had unending conversations, snuggled with the black velvet wrapped around them. He loved her cause she became one with his darkness and made it her own.
Her thoughts were like a heady cocktail of emotions for him. She overpowered his senses yet he felt in control. She took him high in passion and left him low in despair. He was ecstatic in her presence and unbearably anguished when she was gone. She made him restless, yet she was where he found tranquillity.
She walked to work like everyday. The feeling that some one was watching was stronger than most days. She wrapped her arms around tightly, holding herself together. Just as she looked behind to make sure she was alone, the wind whooshed passed suddenly, playing with her hair, whispering like it had a secret to tell.
Author: Kiran Manral
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
Source: Personal Copy
“Once Upon a Crush” is a story of twenty-nine year old free-spirited, Rayna De. Things aren’t going her way, a runaway friend is bunking with her, she has a boss who is a Satan reincarnate, her thirties are running towards her with all their might and to add to it, her love life is non existent. When Devan Ahuja enters the workplace, Rayna quickly falls head over heels for him. She tries telling herself otherwise, all in vain. Responses from the office hunk who has a model-turned-actress for a girlfriend are hot and cold at the same time, it confuses Rayna further. Meanwhile. he parents put in front of her, a Sid Bose, all with a fat pay pack and three bedroom house. The choices that she makes the story take interesting turns.
The author has described each character with a funny twist. Be it the overly dramatic friend Pixie or the highly irritating colleague Mathur, the boss Aparajita or the crush himself. You empathise with Rayna, a girl coming to the city of dreams from Kolkata. Its simple yet vivid at the same time. Kiran has added a new spice to an old recipe, making it very interesting.
Kiran Manral is an Indian writer, blogger, media consultant and the founder of India Helps, a volunteer network which works with disaster victims. She has also worked with several publishing houses as a features writer and journalist. A self-professed school gate mom, she lives in Mumbai with her family. This is her second book after ‘The Reluctant Detective’.
I picked up the book because I love the way Kiran Manral writes. Simplicity in writing makes it an easy on the eyes read. This one qualifies as a perfect Bollywood pot boiler. Its a nice light read. The pretty cover gets it placed in the chick lit section, but just like crushes aren’t gender biased, the book isn’t either!
Author: Devdutt Pattanaik
Source: Personal Copy
Ramayana is one of the two mythological Indian epics that have been told and retold over the years. It is the story of Rama, the son of King Dasharatha. He was the heir to his kingdom, an empire. Yet, due to the malice prevalent in the palace, the Prince was exiled for fourteen years. The Ramayana is all about obeying the rules and laws of Dharma, even at the cost of personal loss and unhappiness. She plays a prominent role in the epic, but is a very quiet and restrained character. Her abandons her in the end because of the persistent gossip among his subjects about Sita’s fidelity. Sita remains quiet, does not lose her composure, and does not vocally demand retribution. Sita’s silence is not the silence of the weak. It is the silence of the ascetic, who knows the truth, and so is patient. She knows her husband loves her, and she is indispensable to him. Moreover, she knows she is the Goddess who makes him the God, the woman who makes him the whole man.
The book explores the enigma of Sita and explains her real strength of character. “The journey to discover Sita makes you realize that the Ramayana is not a book, as most people assume, but a vast tradition manifesting itself in written, oral and visual traditions. And for some reason, children of India have been kept away from it. Yes, we are told of the Valmiki Ramayana, but we are not told that there are several versions of this original story itself a northern version, a southern version, an eastern version, which have barely a third of the verses common between them. Then there are Sanskrit plays written by dramatists like Bhasa and Bhavabhuti where Ram is a great hero, not necessarily God. Then we find Ramayanas of the Jains, the Buddhists as well as from South East Asia, which retell the same story but with a very different emotion. From the tenth century onwards we find the Ramayana in each and every Indian language, written by several authors, in different scripts, with different styles, all deeply immersed in bhakti. It is through these regional narratives, not the Sanskrit ones really, that ideas related to love, valour, fidelity and wisdom spread to every corner of India.” says Devdutt Pattanaik in an exclusive article for Flipkart
Devdutt Pattanaik is a doctor who became a writer. Other books by this author include Business Sutra: A Very Indian Approach to Management, 7 Secrets of Vishnu, Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata, The Book of Ram, and Hanuman’s Ramayan.
Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana is a brilliant read. The illustrations add character to it. It makes you rethink the pre-set social norms of right and wrong. Devdutt is a master story teller. With this book he gives detailed insights about stories that have been told for ages. Yet again he effortlessly manages to makes you fall in love with mythology.