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A Love Life so Painful
Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai
Those enchanted four and half years
One and a Half Wife
The Bankster
Love You Forever : Only In That Way
Nine Lives
The Mistress of Spices
The Fortune Hunters
I Too Had A Love Story..
Ladies Coupé
The Krishna Key
Mumbaistan: 3 Explosive Crime Thrillers
Of Tattoos and Taboos!
Left from Dhakeshwari
I loved a Street woman
Chanakya's Chant
Dreams in Prussian Blue

Readers Cosmos's favorite books »

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lets Map A City Via Its Life - The People With Nisha Nair Gupta

How do you know about a city? You map it on the atlas, perhaps read about it in encyclopedia, history books or travelogues,if you really fall in love with it you may visit it for a few days and look at the popular places and explore some local cuisine if you are a foodie. And that's that. But take a moment to think harder "is this truly knowing a city?"

                              image courtesy:

Go a step further now and think about the very city you live in. Whether you were born here or migrated for education or job, how much and how closely have you known it? That tea seller whose stall you frequent every day for the kick of a cutting-chai, do you think his view of the city is the same as yours?

One person thought differently and she started mapping a city via what really makes it one "its people". There is so much more to city than just the standing architectural giants or mouth-watering delicacies. Their lives join to make its history and its tomorrow. A city is like a giant organism made from all of us that live in it; it eats, sleeps and has a feel of its own, its own charm and its own troubles. This is how Nisha Nair Gupta created the idea of "The People Place Project" which is as you would have gathered by now knowing a place through the lives of its people.

In 2014 she created a team of 10 architectural interns at Design Variable Architecture Studio who visited various corners of their city "Mumbai"and brought out stories of varied lives at all locales from malls to railway stations, forgotten temples to office lobbies, underground cafes to living rooms of homes. Being a migrant city the conversations began with the question-‘How did you come to Mumbai?’ followed by the story of various things falling into place to finally calling it home. 55 best stories from this exercise have now been selected into making of the book called "People Called Mumbai".  The stories are those of a variety of people each a unique hero/heroine on their own, like a photographer at Juhu Chowpatty who doubles up as a life guard, a businessman dealing with beads in Bhuleshwar who came to the city to fulfill his dreams, a stranded tourist now riding horse carriages, a Bollywood ‘duplicate’, a migrant who runs the city’s only Tibetian restaurant, an artist on the pavements of Kalaghoda, a Japanese Buddhist monk, Jiniben – relaxing on a cot at Kumbharwada, a social activist of unusual sorts operating at a mela near Nariman point or a Brazilian martial art expert. 

The curiosity to look at a city closely now grows and they wish to map the life of Ahmedabad, Shillong, Kochi and Dubai. It being a greater task they now have decided to go for crowd funding with Wishberry. This is also an exciting opportunity for us, the people whose stories they tell to be a part of the project. The amount you pledge will be used for curating the stories, managing the team, getting it published and distributed. The precise statistics are shown in the figure below:

Whats more? unlike the crowdfunding projects you have funded so far your contribution is not just one time bank transfer but the team will send you postcards, book copies, bookmarks and other cool stationary along with acknowledging your contribution in the resulting books. You can begin by donating as least as INR 51 (much less than your movie tickets) and join the project here: 

So be a part of this amazing project today and know a just not a city but its life. To know more about the project and its team log on to :

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Game of Thrones.....The History

Do you love watching Game of Thrones? I am sure that is why you clicked to read this post. Have you also read the books? Well if you did, great but if you haven't and still you need to know the story of the seven kingdoms since the beginning of times; then behold, there is series of two videos made by HoddynEdge. Their Youtube only tells you that it is a variety channel and they cover a lot of cool stuff including a lot of Game of Thrones(GOT). So here it is, represented as animation, the story from the beginning:

Part 1

Part 2

Even if you have read the books, these events that make the history of Game Of Thrones come in between as flashbacks, when a character recalls the old happenings. The books too do not begin from the beginning. So if you
 want to know it all the way the story flows from the beginning with decent visuals, these are a great set of videos. They are accurate and detailed.

Do tell us what do you think about them?

Also if you have more cool videos around Game of Thrones please let us know in the comments section below. Enjoy while you favorite characters are still alive ;)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Book Review: The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told by Arunava Sinha

Title: The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told

Author: Compiled and Translated by Arunava Sinha

Publisher: Aleph

Genre: Fiction

Date:  2016

Price: Rs.499

Pages: 305

Bengal is the land of greatest writers, since centuries. It is a land where even the mundane is addressed from a philosophical perspective and becomes interesting because of the lively writing. In India, short stories are abundant and we have grown up with the fond memories of an elder mostly grandmothers and fathers narrating them. We have learnt from the smallest to the greatest lessons from theand therefore these stories stay with us forever. No matter how many great novels one has read the joy of reading short story collection is different, special. The precise reason I picked up this book was for my love of these little, emphatic stories from the best writers. The preface of the book unravels the translator cum writer Arunava Sinha's hunger being abated by these stories, which tells one how deeply his heart and soul are linked to the. For translation isn't an easy job. 

As you begin reading the book the first few stories are the universally popular The Kabuliwallah by Rabindranath Tagore, The Music Room by Tarashankar Bandhopadhyay and the satire Einstein and Indubala by my favourite Bibhutibhushan Bandhopadhyay. These stories can be read and re-read. I am sure the original Bengali versions must be amazing but for those like me who do not posses the knowledge of knowing the language, most of these translations in different collections, translated by different writers is also a treat. Arunava's translation is really appealing and binding. The writer has chosen to include stories of humor, satire, dark fiction and heart breaking reality all in this one book. All of these in someway highlight human nature in one way or another. I loved the fact that each story also had a different writing style along with the genre and it is challenging to not include your component into translating somebody's work, to preserve the style, the essence, the tone and the story post-mortem was the best in this regard. 

Overall there is something for everyone in the book as it cannot fall into one single genre. Its like eating a little froa huge spread the soul who loves exploring would definitely love it.

Rating: 4.5/5 . Highly recommended.

About The Author: Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and non-fiction into English. Over thirty of his translations have been published so far. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), he has also won the Muse India award for translation for When the Time Is Right (2012) and been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction prize (2009) for his translation of Chowringhee. Besides India, his translations have been published in the UK and US in English and in several European and Asian countries through further translation. He was born and grew up in Kolkata and lives and writes in New Delhi.

Grab a copy now:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Permission to love

Without words I hear you,
I can feel the screams of your soul,
Your sorrows speak to me through your eyes,
The little moisture in the corner are tears that wish to fall,
I see you like that so much these days,
I wish to take it away,
if only you would let me be the one.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Book Review: The Sialkot Saga by Ashwin Sanghi

Title: The Sialkot Saga
Author: AshwinSanghi
Publisher: Westland 
Genre: Fiction
Date:  2016
Price: Rs.350
Pages: 558

The story begins with a captive narrative of the last train leaving Sialkot in Pakistan, to its other half India when the line of division on a peace of paper, etched on lands, stretches upon people's hearts, the Indo-Pak partition. Perhaps this is the only connection of the book to Sialkot which features only here and in the end. It is certainly the lack of a better title that the book gets its name from something of minor essence in a 558 page story, which despite efforts goes on a downhill slope from here.

It to moves on a track featuring the making of two business tycoons Aravind Bagadia and Arbaaz Sheikh. Both of them rookies, with Aravind being the clean one on paper but doing not so clean business of just buying and selling businesses, while Arbaaz makes it big in the Mumbai underworld. The story travels back and forth in time like the Chanakya's Chant strategy, just that the ancient era is limited to a very few pages describing a secret being passed not in lineage but by merit from one of the greatest monarchs and killers in history, emperor Ashoka.  The author tries to make an attempt to make the book really interesting with the tricks and tiffs of thug business development mostly by Aravind and the killing strategies by Arbaaz. As the story moves Arbaaz whose murdering strategies are so far the reason for one to be glued onto the book suddenly becomes a business man and the tricks of the two men double up in outbeating each other and the readers interests dips with each chapter.

The book is also laced with episodes of love, lust, betrayal, mistresses, Bollywood and popular characters and events that India went through from time to time only to try and increase the readers interest which one becomes resistant to with time. There is nothing unpredictable or exciting after the initial few pages and one just hopes it being an Ashwin Sanghi book there might be something, atleast that is what made me go on to read it till the end. Although unlike his last fiction story - The Krishna Key which was heavily inspired (being politically correct) by Dan Brown's plots, this one is original; however the flavor is bland.

The trickery of business afterall is boring after a point. The secret being talked about is like the chunk of garnishing, the last saving grace for the book. Upon reaching the end of the book after an exhausting journey a reader finds that the ancient preserved secret is also gross summation and too much extrapolation of ancient Ayurveda  with every small research that gets published everyday in Science but take decades to be useful to humans, if at all they are successful in clinical trials. There is in summation nothing to get excited about. 

Rating: 3/5. An average book compared to what Ashwin has delivered brilliantly with Chanakyas Chant. Read it only if you are a hard core Ashwin Sanghi fan who would read his every written word, else its a complete waste of time. 

About The Author: Ashwin Sanghi is an Indian writer and entrepreneur. He has also written several books such as Chanakya’s Chant and The Krishna Key. He is also known by his pseudonym: Shawn Haigins.
A graduate of the Yale School of Management and St. Xavier’s College, he has since been awarded several acclaims for his work.He currently lives in Mumbai with his loving family.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Redi Go- Fun Freedom Confidence

As far as technology is concerned Japan is one of the leading players. Their products stand as a mark of amalgamation of technology and durability. Therefore when a new car is launched which fits y idea of size, comfort and budget I can easily vouch for DATSUN - rediGo. 

I have loved the car overall but to su it up, here are its key, irresistible features that draw me towards it:

1. Design:  A man's first impression sometimes is by the car he drives. On these lines, its critical that your car looks as smart as you are. The DATSUN-redi_GO is a non bulky car and that is very important these days in metro cities. A larger car only means more tie would be spent evading traffic. The car has a sexy design both on the outside as well as inside. It is sleek and yet has a sporty, steely, racer car look that makes you just set and fix your gaze upon it. The hint of silver on the sides accentuates its robust feel. 

The Stylish Exterior

                                                                 The Feel of Steel

The look is not just limited to the outside, inside its plush seats are made of sports fabric and have a comfortable and spacious arrangement for the entire family.

                                                            The Plush Interiors

2. Computerized Display and Superior Air Conditioning: The computerized digital display allows one to fine tune the speeds and keep a fir check on the amount of fuel consumed well in advance. One can also modulate the indicators to from average to maximum performance levels depending upon the terrain one is riding in.

                                                                 Digital Display

                                                 Performance Control Ability

The other problem with all cars is their air conditioning is really not that great. It takes half an hour for the interiors to cool, by which one has already reached ones destination. Considering this car has a turbo 89 CC compressor we expect better, faster and longer cooling in the car, especially in Indian summers which is the utmost need.

3. Protection: The rate at which accidents happen sometimes one is at risk because of other people’s rash driving as well. Therefore the more dearer your life is to you, the safer a car one has to choose. Considering this into account this car has various features that gives it shock absorbers at multiple check points ensuring safety for both the driver and the occupants. Firstly there is an entire crash protecting shell. There is an energy absorbing steering and airbag and force absorbing bolster support. Also performance augmented brakes ensure safe brakes at shorter distance. 

                                               Energy Absorbing Steering and Airbag

                                                       Crash Protection Shell 

If I have to  test the car I would love to do it in Bangaluru traffic. Coming to reason why does anybody buy a small car? For it to be safe and wrap around you , plus you can squeeze in between the spaces. The worst traffic in any metro city in India is found in Bengaluru. The distance of bare few kilometers takes hours to be covered. One is simply exhausted by driving through it, ore than what one is over a demanding day at work. Therefore if it is really size meets comfort one should be able to drive it through Bengaluru traffic, the litmus test for the car. 
In conclusion, it all redi-GO is all about "Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross - Datsun redi-GO - the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback."

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Author Interview: Shuchi Singh Kalra

In the current times when India lies in a struggle between its orthodox treatment of women and their struggle to break all chains, a young writer Shuchi Singh Kalra has taken a pen - her ammunition to portray a character who is plus sized. Despite defying the traditional norms of beauty she is confident of herself as she faces the big bad world everyday which is ready to point a finger on her shortcomings every chance they get. We wanted to know the person who could paint such a powerful and much needed change in how women and especially an Indian woman is portrayed, which is not just being a doll, but being herself. So here is the author Shuchi Singh Kalra with us today, talking about herself, the idea of an outlier character taking centre-stage, feminism and much more....

Q: How would you describe yourself as a person?
A: Why do you have to ask the toughest questions right in the beginning of the interview! :P. 

I think I can best be described as a mildly complex person. I live in my head most of the time where all the awesome magical things happen. I love being by myself, amidst nature, travelling, reading, dreaming crazy things and generally drifting. In the real world, I am a businesswoman, an author, a wife and a mother who tries to look and behave normal for the most part.

Q: What does writing mean to you and how does it affect your everyday life?
A: Writing is central to my life, as it is both my passion and my profession. It also takes up a huge chunk of my identity because after my family, this is the only thing I can truly call my own.

Q: Are you a full time writer? (If not, how do you manage day job and writing)?
A: I am a full time writer and a part time author. Most of my work hours go into handling projects at my writing firm, Pixie Dust Writing Studio. When I can spare some time, I write books. I write to take a take a break from writing, although each experience is vastly different from the other.

Q: How did the book “I am Big, So what!” take shape?
A: I have always felt that plus-sized girls have been severely underrepresented in Indian mainstream fiction. There are so many books from western authors that have plus-sized heroines but that space is severely lacking in India. It’s high time the plump girl breaks out of the stereotypical role of a friend, sister or comic relief, and takes over as the main lead – with a strong personality of her own and dreams to boot. Through Roli, I also wanted to explore and bring forth the social and emotional challenges that a person of that size might typically go through, and how it would impact their confidence and self-worth. 

Q: Is it auto biographical or were you trying to address any incident that happened in or around you?
A: Well, I think every book an author writes is autobiographical to an extent.  Roli’s story isn’t my own and I wasn’t really trying to address a cause or a theme while writing the book – that got woven in on its own. Many scenes in the book are inspired from real-life incidents and some are imaginary too.  Like I said, I have tried to get into the head of the protagonist and convey her anger, insecurity, hurt and pain that comes from being someone who doesn’t fit into the society’s ideal of beauty and is constantly under pressure to change herself in order to fit in. Roli’s journey is about finding herself, and blossoming from an awkward teen to a confident, self-assured woman. Of course she has her moments of self-doubt but she also has the inner strength to tide over it and hold her own despite all odds.

Q: Are you a Feminist?
A: Okay, I’m going to rant a little bit here. It is unfortunate that the word ‘feminism’ has come to have such negative connotations these days. Feminism to me means freedom and equality for everyone and I will always stand for that. However, at the same time, when you seek equality, you have to be ready to let go of the privileges too – that means no reservation, quotas or special seats.

Blaming patriarchy is fine but if you look closely, women are the worst perpetrators of patriarchal concepts, and you can see that in almost every traditional household. I also have a serious problem with women who limit the idea of feminism to the freedom to smoke, drink, wear skimpy clothes, have free sex and fling about used sanitary pads to prove a point. On the other hand, there are many women making a mark in different fields who are leading by example. Scientists, politicians, sportspersons, actors, entrepreneurs, authors – there are women who have fought their way through the same system and lived up to their aspirations. These are the ones who truly embody strength and empowerment, and these are the ones we need to emulate.

Q: What is your stand on “Women being celebrated for their looks”?
A: It is natural to celebrate and appreciate beauty but it shouldn’t be the only measure of a person’s worth. I find the whole obsession around physical appearances rather disturbing because people are so much more than their looks. We live in a society that is so hung up on slimness, fairness, height and other physical attributes that we sometimes fall short of appreciating other qualities in a person, such as talent, humor, kindness, intelligence and a lot more. I also think that it is unfair to confine the idea of beauty into such narrow definitions – every man or woman deserves to feel good about themselves, just the way they are.

Q: What to you is an ideal world for a woman?
A: I don’t think there can ever be an ideal world – for anyone. A world can only be as ideal as the people living in it. That said, we still have a miles to cover with respect to gender equality, women’s rights and more importantly, women’s safety. The only way to make the world more women-friendly is to bring up our children better - both boys and girls. Women too, need to stop playing the victim – it doesn’t serve any purpose and only makes us weaker. Stand up for yourself and display your strength where necessary, be it physical, emotional or intellectual. I call it “doing the Durga”.

Q: What is your opinion on the lead female characters in our movies, TV and books? Do you think writing can change anything? How?
A: I don’t follow television much, but the profile of the lead female character has indeed come a long way in books and movies. Writers are not shy to create strong, independent female characters who are not apologetic about their identities, ambitions and desires.  I believe that stories do leave a lasting impact on the collective psyche of the society. By being willing to write honestly and fearlessly about taboos and unconventional themes, writers can help change the mainstream narrative about a certain issue. The change might be small or slow, but it happens nevertheless. 

Q: How do you get past writers block?
A: I usually work on multiple projects at any given time, so if I get stuck on one, I quickly move on to the other. That helps reboot the mind and brings in fresh ideas and perspectives.

Q: What is your experience like of being a published writer in the current Indian scenario? What is good and bad?
A: I love every bit about being a published writer. Yes, the competition is very tough, with everyone and their distant cousins coming out with a book these days, but good books always find their readers. I wish authors didn’t have to put in so much time and energy into marketing their books, both online and offline but I guess it is a necessary process. I do enjoy marketing to an extent but it takes away the time and focus, which could have been used towards writing.

Q: If you could change one thing about your life or yourself what would that be?
A: I am grateful for all that I have and I wouldn’t want to change anything about my life as such. At an individual level, I could do with some improvement, such as learning to tame my mind and be less of a slacker.

Q: Advise for budding writers….
A: Read a lot and write a lot. Don’t jump the gun – write sincerely and get that manuscript in order first. Pitching, editing, publishing and marketing all come later. Getting a book published is an agonizingly slow process, so don’t lose patience and hope. Just keep going at it and keep writing.

Q: A few lines for The Readers Cosmos...
A: I have been following TRC for a long time now and I want to congratulate you for publishing such exhaustive reviews and interesting features. Everything that a book lover would want  - you have it all under one roof. I would also like to thank you for encouraging new authors and providing them with a credible platform to talk about their work. Wish you more success (and traffic) in the future! 

We thank Shuchi for time and honest answers and wish her good luck in her writing career.

Book Review: The Suicide Diary by Hari Prasad

Title: The Suicide Diary
Author: Hari Prasad
Publisher: Lifi Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Genre: Fiction
Date:  2015
Price: Rs.250
Pages: 258

As an continues to be the slave of his own needs and desires, ones that are only fueled by achievements , any get bogged down by the vicissitudes of the way the world operates. A lot of our stories now-a-days therefore revolve around the rules of the an made concrete jungle and its definition of success. However it is still a jungle and the predator thrives on the prey, though not literally but yet aggressive enough to drive the prey to a saturation point. There are various side effects to this disorder, one you saw was a man metamorphosing into a boring person played effectively by Ranbir Kapoor in the film aptly entitled Tamasha - meaning a scene/play. The other end point where it can lead to is the story written by Hari Prasad.

When I read the book blurb I was sure it was a melancholic story of some person, caught in the 21st century routine when his soul belonged to another era and his rants leading upto suicide, but my assumption vanished in the first paragraph where the lead character describes his condition, something like writing a suicide note. The writing was poetry. It invoked the departed souls of literary geniuses like Holmes, it was an avid readers Suicide diary, hence it had to be laced with the greatest philosophies and poetry of all times. The entire tone of the book is set in this melancholic - poetic mode of expression, which makes the reader not just understand but feel each scratch on the characters soul. 

His characters are poetic and their descriptions inspired by the protagonists favorite works.
His vision, actions, psychotic nature all comes alive powerfully like a painting in those pages drawn only with the style in which the author strings his words.

They say a good book is that where you feel sadness when it ends, I felt more for this one. Not just the characters but ore than that the writing. This is certainly the most mature and beautiful peace of work fro a very young writer and one of the best books I have ever read and reviewed.

If you miss this one you are missing a good work of literature in your lifetime!

Rating: 4.5/5. I would read everything the writer ever scribbled on a peace of paper, he is certainly one that shall win accolades for this nation . Don't think just click the buy now link.