Monday, March 18, 2013

The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi!!!




              I am done with two things- 1. Reading the 2nd book of Shiva Trilogy: The Secret of the Nagas and watching the video of Amish Tripathi's speech at Conclave 2013. What a speech. This man is so much clear with his thoughts that even after cross-questioning him for 100 times, you will fail but his determination towards God and magnificence will continue to shine as crisp and clear as before. From last one week, since Mahashivratri, I am completed reading the first two books written by him and also watching all the interviews and speeches by this man on Internet and I can say that I am falling into a zone where you can't call me a FAN of Amish Tripathi but a kind of devotee. I have got an author after Chetan Bhagat whose way of living is what I would like to inherit in me. Failure does not affect them because they are clear with the purpose they are here with. As the The Secret of the Nagas have been read, it's time to review it and not the author's life. :-)

 Synopsis:
Today, He is a God.
4000 years ago, He was just a man.
The hunt is on. The sinister Naga warrior has killed his friend Brahaspati and now stalks his wife Sati. Shiva, the Tibetan immigrant who is the prophesied destroyer of evil, will not rest till he finds his demonic adversary. His vengeance and the path to evil will lead him to the door of the Nagas, the serpent people. Of that he is certain.
The evidence of the malevolent rise of evil is everywhere. A kingdom is dying as it is held to ransom for a miracle drug. A crown prince is murdered. The Vasudevs – Shiva’s philosopher guides – betray his unquestioning faith as they take the aid of the dark side. Even the perfect empire, Meluha is riddled with a terrible secret in Maika, the city of births. Unknown to Shiva, a master puppeteer is playing a grand game.
In a journey that will take him across the length and breadth of ancient India, Shiva searches for the truth in a land of deadly mysteries – only to find that nothing is what it seems.
Fierce battles will be fought. Surprising alliances will be forged. Unbelievable secrets will be revealed in this second book of the Shiva Trilogy, the sequel to the #1 national bestseller, The Immortals of Meluha.

             As I said in my last review itself, Amish Tripathi has a very unique style to present his sentences and theories which has many dimensions. It has all collaborated into one- Love, devotion, philosophy, mythology, legacy, history etc. If you have been an ardent reader, you will easily get the messages, direct and indirect, that Amish tries to give out whenever he makes his characters talk and converse with each other. Every time he writes in italic, you realize the weight in the words that are been put together in that customized font. I could have said that the book must have been shorter by few pages but I can not because every sentence has some meaning. Though its not necessary that we can understand the purpose of all but we will with time. This is what this most talked author- Amish Tripathi has in himself. Blissful writer.

             Coming to this book, obviously I would say that The Immortals of Meluha is wonderful and better than this one but still, The Secret of the Nagas is no less. I just didn't find first half as happening as the last book because I am already introduced to Lord Shiva in the last book itself. The new book could have been started with lots of happening. Though it has been tried but it failed, at least, for me. But from the chapter- The Battle of Madhumati, from where you can say that the second half of the book begins, the real book/story starts. I loved the whole scenario of Shiva's fight with promising Parshurama. Then the way he gets to know about Neelkanth. Ok, I would like to point one more good thing- the way Shiva is also referred as Mahadev and Neelkanth at times keeps the reader intrigued as monotonous Shiva-Shiva-Shiva can also irritate.

               Then, Sati's own journey towards finding Kali and Ganesh is a surprising element. The way Nagas has been shown, purely villainous, it creates interest to wait to read what Shiva's reaction would be. Then Daksha's past and his doings, his wife's past etc related to Nagas is an interesting part. Shiva's hatred for Ganesh is also described balance-fully  In all, The Secret of the Nagas is a promising sequel of the epic book- The Immortals of Meluha. The third and the last book of this Trilogy- "The Oath of the Vayuputras" will be given to me by tomorrow, as it is of 600 pages, it will take some time but I am unable to resist myself to read it. This is the time when I am loving to be in the world that I can never see. While reading this book, you will imagine all the scenarios not only in a normal visualized version but in a 3D version. :-) This is the kind of description that Mr. Amish has given throughout the book. Kudos. 

 Thanks.
 ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi!!!




            There are some books that need no introduction. They are just already declared EPIC and no one needs a review to purchase and read them. These books are just meant for discussion as no one tries to pull it down as its almost everyone's favorite. And an amazing scenario happens when its by an author who's the First Timer. A debutante getting such success and acclaim assures that even if the book will not be an EPIC kind of a tale, it will at least end up being an averagely written book. After Chetan Bhagat, people kept on talking about who's the next. Many authors came, turned Bestsellers but no one bought the kind of revolution that Chetan Bhagat bought with his first book following other 5. And finally, 2 years back, we witnessed another Revolution through the first book of SHIVA TRILOGY written by AMISH TRIPATHI. Being a debut book of his, it got into Bestsellers in its first week itself. The mystery is yet to be solved that who told Indian audience that this first timer has written a tale that will touch hearts. :-) But whatever, Kudos to you Mr. Amish.

              Synopsis: Shiva, one of the chief Hindu deities, is portrayed in an entirely different light in Amish Tripathi's debut novel, The Immortals of Meluha. The first book of The Shiva Trilogy, The Immortals of Meluha charts Shiva's journey from the mountains with his Tibetan tribesmen to the kingdom of Meluha, which is occupied by the Suryavanshis, a race of people who are descendants of Lord Ram and live along the banks of the River Saraswati.
      When an episode involving the preserving drug somras leaves his throat blue, Shiva is hailed as the 'Mahadev' according to an ancient prophecy, the man who'll lead the Suryavanshis to victory against the Chandravanshis. Caught in the middle of a tense conflict, Shiva must now make some quick decisions to save Meluha from the wrath of the evil Chandravanshis and their twisted and disfigured assassins, The Nagas.
        Will Shiva be able to rise to the occasion and save the clan of the Suryavanshis?
        Why does the Princess Sati shy away from speaking to him every single time?
        Who are the Nagas, and why are they assisting the Chandravanshis?
        Set in 1990 B.C., the book takes readers on an imaginative and exciting journey through Amish's world. 

           Amish Tripathi does have the flick of writing. He knows how to build a story using the mythological characters and how to merge two stories together. It is not that he has just tried it for the sake of doing something that is uncommon in the writing industry. Few months ago, I read Ashwin Sanghi's The Krishna Key. This book has the same smell. The way Amish Tripathi has brought- Mythology, philosophy, history and Geography together is what most writers can only dream of. He made his protagonist so huge that its hard to believe that its a fiction story. You want to believe each and every sentence of the book.

           All the characters in the book are beautifully described. Not one of the major characters can be said to be left incomplete or un-happening. Everyone has their role pretty good in the story. Shiva is someone whom I have become so fond of that I am happy this book has come as a Trilogy that I will get to read more about him in The Secret of The Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras. Parvateshwar and Nandi are my favorite characters after the Shiva. Then imagining Sati is another good part about the book. It's always lovely to imagine love interest of the protagonist while reading a book. :-) Then, Daksha is wonderfully described. Anandmayi is one character I am still unsure about. I didn't enjoy her part in the pre-climax. It could have been skipped.

          The first action scenarios in the initial pages of the book is wonderful to start with. Then the way he migrates to Meluha. Later the Somras part and its explanation is interesting. Then the entrance of Sati and description of Shiva's dance and then their marriage, later on, is a treat. Once when people start calling Shiva their God and savoir, and the way Shiva react to them by smiling to himself, are laughable moments in the book. Even you get an urge to see the blue-colored neck of this Neelkanth. Then Parvateshwar's hatred for him is beautifully portrayed. I liked all the contradictions that were shown between the two. Later on, just before the war when Shiva tells everyone that there's a Mahadev in all and asks them to exclaim,"Har Har Mahadev", it is another good-to-imagine part. 

        These are very few parts about which I have talked otherwise I would say that the book is a good One time read. Actually, it can be read many a times but I ask all to read it at least one. Missing this one would be a mistake. And as Karan Johar has already purchased the rights of this book and Hrithik is been said to play Shiva, I must really say that do read it before the movie comes. Because this book is too grand to even imagine. I don't know how can someone build a set that can look as huge as what is being defined in the book. I don't want to speak any negative points about the book because I didn't feel irritated while reading any part. I just didn't want the Climax to be incomplete in such a way even though it is to be continued later in the 2nd book. I was enjoying the tale of warriors, their laws, values, morale, evilness etc. I want all of you to read the Trilogy in a sequence by giving yourself time of 7-10 days. :-) The SHIVA TRILOGY 1 is 400 pages of POWER.
 Thanks.

 ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank!!!



            I am done reading Anne Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl". This book has been published with various titles and in almost 60 different languages in all over the world. Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who hid herself with her family during the World War II wrote a diary which was found later on from the spot and handed over to her father. Later it was decided that the book should get published as people need to know what Jewish suffered. Unfortunately, Anne Frank wasn't alive when her book got released and the world read her words which she wrote in her moments of privacy. This is the first time when I have read something that is related to World War II hence I had great expectations from the book. But unfortunately, all the hopes of reading something that is epic has been shattered as I didn't find the book interesting. Many of you might say that I am heartless as I am unable to understand the plight of the girl and her likes who hid themselves for month just to save themselves but then, I wasn't reading this book to sympathize with someone. I was reading it to learn about some accounts and events during World War II and what I got to read is a diary of an average teen girl who talked much about her emotions than the situation her country went through during 1942-44. 

            During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, Anne Frank received a diary as one of her presents on her 13th birthday. She began to write in it on June 14, 1942, two days later, and twenty two days before going into hiding with her father Otto, mother Edith, older sister Margot, and another family, Hermann van Pels, his wife Auguste, and their teenage son Peter. The group went into hiding in the sealed-off upper rooms of the annex of her father's office building in Amsterdam. The rooms were concealed behind a hidden door. Mrs. van Pels' dentist, Fritz Pfeffer, joined them four months later. In the published version, names were changed: the van Pels are known as the Van Daans and Fritz Pfeffer as Mr. Dussel. With the assistance of a group of Otto Frank's trusted colleagues, they remained hidden for two years and one month.

             Anne described to "Kitty", as she addressed her diary, her close relationship with her father, her lack of daughterly love for her mother, with whom she felt she had nothing in common, and her admiration for her sister's intelligence and sweet nature. She did not much like the others initially, particularly Auguste van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer (the latter shared her room). She was at first unimpressed by the quiet Peter; she herself was something of a chatterbox (a source of irritation to some of the others). As time went on, however, she and Peter became very close, though she remained uncertain in what direction their relationship would develop.
They were betrayed in August 1944, which resulted in their deportation to Nazi concentration camps. Of the group of eight, only Otto Frank survived the war. Anne died in Bergen-Belsen from typhus in early March, about two weeks before the prisoners were liberated by British troops in April 1945.

               Coming to my take, I would say that if you really want to read something related to the same event, try some other book but definitely not this one. I am still surprised as to how this book is seen as one of the bests of 20th century. Whatever, what I found in the book was nothing but a normal teen girl writing her experiences on daily, weekly and sometimes on monthly basis. It has almost everything that we feel when we our teenagers- the avoidance by one of our parents, the less understanding with parents, little jealousy with siblings, a crush on guy-next-door and a doubt whether we are straight, bisexual or homosexual. Then, after talking about all these experiences, the diary-writer also tells some of her experiences related to the World War but seriously speaking, its not a bit interesting or something that can hold you back to complete this book in a sitting. It took me 3 days to complete because every time I picked it up, I wanted to keep it back in the half way as there's nothing that attracted me towards it. 

 That's all.
 Thanks.

 ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Someone Like You by Durjoy Datta and Nikita Singh!!!




            It has been a long time since I have read a book. A week or two. Even when I have my Unit Test exams tomorrow, I read Durjoy Datta/Nikita Singh's "Someone Like You". There's something interesting about these writers. The way Akshay Kumar lines up his movies at the period of 3-4 months consistently, Durjoy Datta and Nikita Singh do not fail to publish a new book every 4-5 months. Their fans would be the most satisfying fans in this country as they get to read their favorite author every time they just start missing them. :-) There's something interesting about this book too. It is not the way all the books of Durjoy Datta has published. First of all, this book is not by his own venture- Grapevine Publication but by Penguin India. He has just made his brand name more bigger. This book does not have a very shiny cover page like every book of his. This book is also missing a tag line that every title of his book carries. And the way both the authors have promoted this book is different than the way they do. And as I am done reading this book, they have also changed their writing style by leaps and bounds. 

            Someone Like You is the story of Niharika Singh. A girl who never thought that she is beautiful until she was in school. She didn't exist for boys and other entities whom every girls want to get an attention from. Then her sister- Simran does a whole make-over which helps Niharika to realize that she is as beautiful as every another girl whom she feels is beautiful than her. She goes to a totally new city for her college. There she meets 3 different boys- Tanmay, Karthik and Akshat. Tanmay ends up being her best friend. Karthik ends up being a mysterious guy in her life about whom she always remain confused. Akshat turns out to be her sister- Simran's ex because of which she finds weird to date him. Pia turns out to be her room-mate and lately, she also becomes her only friend in this new campus. Tanmay starts falling for Pia. Pia also starts liking him in spite of being in a long-distance relationship with Vishal. But, does the book ends with love sagas of all these characters? No!!! It has much more in it. At least 10 times more than what I have described above. I can not talk about them as I don't want any spoilers in this review. Do read the book to enjoy one of the best works in this genre of fiction.

               Coming to both the authors first, I must say that Durjoy Datta is finally changing his writing style with every book and delivering something which I always wanted from him rather than the same sex saga that he used to write. His last book "Till the Last Breath" turned out to be one of my favorites and with this one, he has just matured enough. I am just excited for his next book now. As I, myself, blamed him for over-excessive use of sex in his books, his last book didn't have much of it and this one does not have the word itself, as per my memory. I am too happy to witness this change. And as usual the selection and choice of words that the writer implements in his writing is magical. Just for that, he remains to be my favorite. Coming to Nikita Singh, I didn't like her previous works much but with this one, I can easily say that she has learned quite sooner. I hope she keeps this magic alive and write such character-based stories than sex-related ones. Both of you have already given that kind of book in bulk to us (:-)), now its time to give us such soulful books like "Someone Like You".

              I, generally, write the best scenes that I fall in love with while reading a book. But with this book, it's hard for me to categorize some events than others and term only them as my favorites. Right from the first word till the last, I was intrigued in the story like anything. It's good that people trusted this book and just on the pre-ordering basis, it entered the Bestseller's chart at No. 3 below Amish's Shiva Trilogy. Initially, the way Niharika gives her introduction is lovely. Even Simran is described lovingly. I fell in love with both the sisters initially itself. :-) Then the entrance of boys in Niharika's life is shown neatly without any illogical quotients as it normally happens with love stories. But this book is not just a love story. It is a purely character-based story where each person has a totally new personality, background, thoughts and approach towards life. How they end up being in a single plot is what makes a reader like me excited to turn pages. 

              Later, the hospital scene gave me thousands of goosebumps. The climax is as beautiful and balanced as the whole book is. The entrance of Pia in the book gives a push to the story in the first half. I.. I... I.... actually can't point such incidents anymore. The whole book is perfect. The second half is something I never guessed that the intense level would be such. Someone has said it right- Don't judge a book by its cover page. I would ask all of you to purchase it and keep it with yourself. Whenever you feel low, just pick this book up and you would lose all your tension and frustration. But this book also sends a message across that not everyone can be trusted without much experience and reason nor we should blame someone without knowing all the facts-hidden and obvious. We may never know the gray shades of some, blacks of some and whites of some. I don't know if I should even rate this book but undoubtedly, this is better than most of the book that I have read. I give it 4.75/5. Yes. Believe me. Purchase it right now. And yes, the only drawback that I can point is, no humor-filled one liners. :-(
 Thanks.

  ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU 

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