Book Review: Maharani by Ruskin Bond

Once again I’m writing a review for a Ruskin Bond book. Something that I should not do. Because I’m a fan, I love whatever Ruskin writes. And this was no exception. Pre-ordered the day I got to know about the book. Read within 36 houts of receiving it. Still, here I am writing, so read if you are interested.

We’ve read about the Queens in Ruskin’s old books. But most of the time they were either creatures of mystery, never coming out of their unreachable Palaces (turned ruins, at times) or just part of third hand stories. But this time, the queen is not so mysterious, not part of some fable, and very much a real person with a real life and real faults.

Ruskin’s writing style is the same, but nature is a little less and story a little more. Other than Maharani, there are accounts of a few more people in his life, but not very long. One of them, of a friendship with a little boy, is lovely.

In the name of shortcoming, I didn’t find many, but I was a little confused with the timeline as it goes up and down a few times. That, however, will most probably make a good reason for me to read the book again. Yes, that’s how fans are.

A word of warning. The book is a little sexually explicit in some places, and is not exactly the thing that you would like to give to a early teen. On the other hand though, teens today are reading so much more, more explicit and much worse, so this one is not really a problem, but then that’s a different issue altogether.

Maharani is actually one of Ruskin’s most multi-faceted book. It’s not just a thriller, or drama, or his nature love, or humor. But a mix of them all. Yes, Maharani is a Cocktail, in Ruskin Bond’s glass, with his own flavors.

I enjoyed this. And if you’re a Bond fan, you will too.

See also: Book Review: Secrets by Ruskin Bond

Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat: Book Review

Chetan Bhagat this time takes one of the most simple and highly used stories — A love triangle. And at the outset, there is nothing special in the story, except that it is written by him.

But then, this does make a difference. Chetan’s novels are known for their quality of engaging a person, and this one does that well, though it may not be as engaging as, say, Five Point Someone. Probably the main reason for that is this one doesn’t go in the same series as Five Point Someone and 2 States, the two of his better novels, which were both autobiographical in nature.

Like all other novels by Bhagat, this one too has a Prologue which keeps you hooked to the story, though this time you know that prologue is continued at the end of the story and not much before that, putting the entire story in the flashback. Interestingly, this time the prologue does is not as thrilling or even mysterious as some of his previous ones, but very few pages into the prologue and it sounds mature in a way.

As for the book, it is quite fast paced in the beginning, but becomes slightly dragged in the second half, that for a Chetan Bhagat book. But as a normal author of Indian Fiction, I think Chetan still maintains his distinction as he keeps the reader hooked throughout. Things happen a little predictably, but not too much.

One good thing about the book is that CB tries to add some serious stuff, in terms of country and society, but has not gone over the top like he did in 3 Mistakes. In fact, mostly he has been quite realistic in the way his characters deal with things.

In short, Revolutions 2020, the first book by Chetan that does not start with a number, is not really a revolution, but if you like his reading, I think you wouldn’t be much disappointed. He has been better that this before, and then I’m pretty sure, he has been worse than this too, and this would probably lie right in the center somewhere.

Chetan Bhagat’s New Book: ‘Revolution 2020: Love. Corruption. Ambition’

Chetan Bhagat: Revolution 2020

So here is a quick look into Chetan Bhagat’s new book, Revolution 2020: Love. Corruption. Ambition. The book is a love triangle with a girl having to choose her love between two guys, one who gives in to the system and goes corrupt, and the other who does not.

The cover of the book can be seen here.

A teaser of the book can be found at the Author’s website:

Update: The price of the book is not Rs 95 like all other CB books, but at Rs 140. You can also pre order the book from Flipkart at Rs 80. (Now Rs 84)

Read the REVIEW of the book HERE.

Susanna’s Seven Husbands: The story behind 7 Khoon Maaf

I hope you must be knowing that Vishal Bharadwaj’s Saat Khoon Maaf is based on Ruskin Bond’s story Susanna’s Seven Husbands. It’s the story of a Female with desires ahead of her time, Susanna’s Seven husbands is written in the well-known style of Ruskin Bond.

Now if you want to read the story, well, maybe we can help you a bit.

The story Susanna’s Seven Husbands is one of the stories in Bond’s book called ‘When Darkness Falls and Other Stories.’ The book can be found in major bookstores as well as online.

You can also buy the book online. Here is a direct link.

Everybody says I can Write

OK. Maybe not everybody, but certainly people around me think I can write. So much so that sometimes even I fall into the trap and start thinking that I can write.

O come on, I hardly can write!

For one, if I could write, I would have written a book by now. For sure.

Yes, I have an uncle who used to make caricatures. At the same time he was a poet too. And then, he started writing. Writing as in, he started writing books for children. First it was mostly stories, with illustrations all around, of course. And then, he got all those suggestions, and ideas, and he started writing non-fiction for children. Oops! Haven’t you heard of that? Well, non-fiction for children here are books that tell children what a bank is, what a post office is, or how a computer works. As I ‘write’ this, I can think of those books as children’s Wikipedia. Easy, Simple, Illustrated, and short. I mean, if you start telling someone how a bank works and what are their benefits to people and government, all those basics, how long would it take? A few pages. He wrote them, and they sold like anything. OK. Not like anything, but when I get to see the books by a Meerut author in Bangalore’s book festivals, he must be selling something.

So, the question is, what has this got to do with my writing? Well, the point I was trying to make is that my uncle writes so many books, my father has been published (my father writes small poems and sometimes stories too, you can also count most of the speeches I gave on Independence days and republic days and Gandhi Jayantis and even my debates during school) and as long as my mother had time to spare, she went on to give talks on AIR. To be very straightforward, I have been given numerous offers to write almost any type of book and I will be published, but…

I can’t write.

I sometimes blog (Should I count those reviews too as blogging? I don’t think so!) and somehow get a few hundred followers everyday for my so called blog where most of the visitors reach only because of my reviews, of albums, songs, and some movies. Even out of the remaining ‘blog’ posts, more than half are half-reports of what-happened-with-me-in-the-city. Rest half (or less than half) are, maybe, some writing.

OK. I guess, to some extent, I can write. But can I, really?

Booker, God and me

I have finished reading more than 75 books till date, maybe something around 90. But there is a huge number of books I started, bought, or borrowed but never reached their end, for different reasons. One of these books was Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things.

For the first time in my life I had heard the name of Booker prize due to this book. Arundhati Roy had made us all proud when she won the Man Booker Prize for her God of Small Things. Though I still don’t know how a woman got a ‘Man’ Booker Prize, I committed all the three names (prize, lady and book) to my memory which helped me solve at least one question in all the general knowledge quizzes for the next one year, and sometimes even after that.

पढ़ना जारी रखें “Booker, God and me”

Books et cetera

Perfect strangers
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
The Gift
Swami – Sharatchandra (H)
Men of Steel – Vir Sanghvi
United States of Europe
True Believer
Elephant Tiger and Cellphone
Inscrutable Americans
HT leadership summit: India: the next global superpower?
Life on a Refrigerator Door
The Wedding
Above Average
Apne Apne Ajnabi – Agyeya (H)
Families at Home – Reeti Gadekar
The Bridge across forever
The Time Machine (abridged)
Nehru – Shashi Tharoor
It’s my life – S Shenoy
The Lost Boy
Message in a Bottle
A Child Called ‘it’
In spite of the Gods
The Kite Runner
A Man named Dave
Delhi is Not Far
By the River Piedra..
Thanks for the memories
Of course I Love You..
Nights in Rodanthe

2 States


Last year, that is 2008, was first such year when I had done some thorough reading. And as a result I finished 25 books in 2008. And then, on the eve of new year, I decided to read 50 books in 2009, a resolution which is still far from complete in November, but I’ve been successful in finishing a big number, 36 till date, which is my biggest number in a year, even though I’m 14 books away from my target. The books that I have finished in this year are listed here.

पढ़ना जारी रखें “Books et cetera”