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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

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Book Review: Little Maryam By Hamid Baig

Title: Little Maryam
Author: Hamid Baig
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Notion Press
Price: 225
 Pages: 285

Snapshot- A Nobel Prize winner, Saadiq in(famous) for his sour temper and indulgence with women is on his way to India when an American Journalist, Anne catches hold of him hoping to dig the story that could shoot up her career. On the tumultuous plane ride Anne finds out that behind the mysterious demeanor of Saadiq is a story of struggle and heartbreak. Why was Saadiq going to India after almost 20 years? Was his journey going to end the way he expected?

Detailed Review - The prodigy from a poor household falls in love with Maryam who is 6 years younger than him and the daughter of the rich employer of his father. The story initially revolves around their childhood, teenage and early adulthood, obsession and preoccupation with each other when a twist of events lands Saadiq in jail. While he is there his father dies, the love of his life is married- basically all his world is destroyed. When he gets out, the prodigy he was, he easily makes his way through colleges then Harvard then goes on to win the Nobel Prize. It’s been 20 years and one day he gets a call from India about Marayam. This marks the beginning of another journey. What awaits him? Will he find his hearts desires or will life play another game with him?
To begin with the positives, the story is written in a simple language, not too difficult to understand and the author hasn't used exaggerated vocabulary anywhere. Also a lot of jargon is avoided, which appeals to the masses, as even though the protagonist is a Nobel Prize winner, the author doesn't bore you with intensive or needless science stuff.
The ups and downs of the story, its extremes, the good and the bad happenings with the central characters seem more Bollywood in nature than closer to real life. The suspense building in this genre is the most critical element of the book. However, a very patterned writing makes a reader anticipate the next part of the plot 50 pages in advance, which kind of takes away the essence of the process. The entire attempt to create a larger than life protagonist is never a great idea for a book.
There are very visible editorial errors, especially in the latter half of the book. It seems as if the last 100 pages were published without edition. The publishers could have done better justice to the writing by getting the editing correct.

RC Rating- 2/5. For a light, Bollywood movie kind of read.

About the author: Hamid runs a market research company which provides customer insights to big names in the industry. He is an avid reader who enjoys traveling, food and reading. He lives in New Delhi with his wife and 2 kids.

Grab a copy here:

Book Reviewed by Shreya Chauhan: Shreya is a literature student. She is an avid reader and gorges on Romantic poetry. Gothic fiction really intrigues her, so does Greek. She likes reading more than writing and believe words have the power to kill if used (in) appropriately.

Monday, July 2, 2018

An Astrologer Goes Candid...(Author Interview - Tanuj Lalchandani)

We recently reviewed Tanuj Lalchandani's beautiful attempt at making us understand our zodiac signs. The aesthetics of his book would make even a non-believer pick it up and then there would be no going back, until one has read it all. This intrigued us to understand journey of the person who makes astrology accessible, modern and beautiful. We therefore bring to you the man behind this mission, himself, Tanuj Lalchandani, as he tells us about the making of "him" and the pleasant and not so pleasant aspects of this profession since then.

Q. What was the first instance that attracted you to Astrology?
A:  I stumbled upon the world of astrology at a very young age. A chance meeting with my Guru, Late Shri Subhash Chand Gupta ji, led me to explore this field. He was the one who suggested that I should take up astrology as a career and started by giving me few books on the subject. From then on, there has been no looking back.

Q. What was your journey like from there to becoming a successful one?
A:  I started by making personality analysis and reading palms of my friends and family. This is a field where you grow only with practice. Once I was confident of my skills, I started doing it professionally. I started small and grew with word of mouth. My clients have been my biggest source of publicity. They started recommending me to their friends and families due to the accurate predictions and simple remedies. The chain is still growing and I have a long way to go before I truly consider myself successful.

Q. Is the belief in astrology changing with the changing times? What are the subtleties of these changes?
A:  I get to meet people who do not believe in astrology but you don’t have to believe in it for it to work. Whether you believe in it or not is unimportant. Some of these firm non-believers have started following my remedies when I could accurately tell about some past events which nobody knew about. As the society is changing, individual beliefs and attitudes also undergo various changes. It is difficult to generalize as there are believers and non-believers in every time period. This is the era of instant knowledge. To prove his/her mettle in this era, an astrologer needs to be accurate.

Q. What are the good and bad things about being an astrologer?
A:   There are few people who exploit the profession and suggest expensive poojas or gemstones when cheaper and more effective remedies exist. Due to them, people start feeling that astrology is a hoax. Also, people believe that astrology can solve all your life problems. Astrology can only help in reducing the negative impact of planets. The choices still lie with the individual. Suppose a person has a good time, it depends on him/her to utilize it well. If he/she does not take any effort, the benefits of the good time cannot be enjoyed. Another negative maybe that listening to people’s problems can lead to negativity. However, I keep myself happy and upbeat all the time.

The best thing about being an astrologer is the respect and satisfaction. Of course, I get paid for helping my clients but I am also very happy that I am honest with them.

Q. What made you decide to get into writing on the subject?
A: Writing a book was always a dream and a goal which I had set very early in my life. When I felt that the time was right, I went ahead with it.

Q. Your book “Treasure Trove of Zodiacs” is as good a visual delight as the knowledge it imparts, what made you come up with the concept of a picture book and how did you achieve it?
A: Pictures and colours have always attracted me. I knew I would never go for a book which looks boring. I had clarity in my mind about how I wanted the book to look and thankfully, it has turned out exactly as I had envisioned it. I coordinated with the book designer, Ankita Singh, and after some revisions, we were able to achieve the desired result.

Q. How do you manage your time between your profession and writing?
A: I love my work. It is very important for me that I enjoy it. When you do something that you love, it does not feel like a burden. Also, the book was a long cherished dream. I dedicated few days in a week to the book while I worked in the remaining days. Whenever I travelled, the book was the focus and I worked on it.

Q. How do you think can this book be helpful to the youth today?
A: The book is a fun way to get to know yourself and your near and dear ones. It helps you know their basic temperament and helps you deal with them in a better manner.

Q. Tell us a little about your upcoming books?
A: My next book is titled “Spiritual Karma”. It is an attempt to understand the various Indian Gods and Goddesses and how to worship them. The book combines spirituality and astrology. With this book, I attempt to present simple remedies which are either to be performed daily or just once a year. These simple remedial measures can help a person in leading a more peaceful and fulfilling life. Such remedies help in strengthening our karma and getting rid of karmic debts and sins. This book not only focusses on improving karma but also encourages us to focus on the positivity around us. We are surrounded by a lot of positive energy and by focusing on it, we can get the best out of it. It will help one to become a calmer and more peaceful person with a golden aura. It will encourage one to forgive and forget and move ahead on the path to success. With good karma and a positive attitude, one succeeds in all spheres of life.

After this, I plan to come out with two other books, one on Vaastu and the other on Love Signs.

Q. A message for your readers….
A: I would only like to say that one must always engage in good deeds. Some of the most effective remedies include feeding someone. This not only helps someone in need but also gives you inner satisfaction.

Be positive. God rewards you in ways which you never imagined.

With this we thank Tanuj and wish him great luck in his endeavours ahead, hoping to read more of his work soon.