100 never-ending, over long, tiring, immensely boring, overstretched days of unimpressive, cliche ridden, overtly melodramatic, nausea inducing, terribly artless, uninspiringly acted, unimaginatively scripted, cluelessly directed, horribly messy, totally creepy, repetitive, inconsistent, snail-paced, sloppy, mushy, cheesy, cringe worthy, love.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Friday, March 13, 2015
I would begin with the best of the three. Black, Grey and White has an intriguing title and a pretty great cover. The book, co-written by Santosh Avvannavar and Santosh I Biradar, claims to be written for the purpose of spreading awareness on AIDS, thereby creating an opportunity for public to unite in fighting against it. The title alludes to three ages of human life- young, middle and old, and that nobody is spared by this menace. The book contains five fictional stories, the base of which are obviously true accounts. The first story Shahid- The Martyr, is about the spread of myths and superstitions in society related to curing of AIDS and how innocents fall prey for it. The second story Chintu; The Earth Is Round is about the plight of innocent orphan kids affected by AIDS, due to their parents and the outlook of society towards them. A Game of Life, Lust and Death is about a model who uses her disease to exact revenge on the sex racket who spoiled her sister. Highway Sex a story about rampant spread of AIDS through highway drivers and the effect on their families. Last story Abram & His Prodigal Son is a take on the biblical story into modern times.
The second book Title is Untitled, co-authored by Santosh Avvannavar, Kundan Srivastava and Raghunath Babu Are, takes on some important social issues plaguing our society- rape, trafficking, child marriage and such. The unusual title of the book has a reason- it points out how the victims always lose their titles and eventually becomes untitled entities. Compared to the first book, the premise of the stories and their tone has good variation in this volume. It has eleven stories, each one pinpointing one social evil. Each of the stories work as case studies and provides some insight for the reader.
Third book Surrogate Author, co-authored by Santosh Avvannavar and Shilpa Patil, is intended as a satire. It is a parody of the classic romance Devdas. It is the story of Authdas, an aspiring writer struggling to complete his first book Paru. His failure, caused due to the pressure for pursuing a career in Engineering, exerted by his parents,
results in heartbreak and his meeting with poet- prostitute Chandramukhi. Surrogate Author is thankfully a very short book, just 30 pages, though even in its shortness it is drag. It terribly fails to convey anything worthy to the readers who invests their time on it and in turn adds to their confusion.
I liked the first two books for their intention- a very noble one indeed, of making readers aware of several evils in society. But in general, I feel they deserved much better writing. I am afraid to say that I did not like the playbook like conversational structure in them that fails totally in building premise and character to the stories. A regular story structure could be much more effective, as is seen in the story about Chintu. Severe grammatical and spelling errors hampers the reading pleasure. Also playing spoilsport is several repetitions- of words, phrases, total sentences and even situations in the narratives. These books are to be edited seriously..!
I appreciate the intention behind the books- it is a commendable effort. But for it to be effective and worthwhile, I feel some serious correction work is due. Because only good intentions never make classics.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Some time back I had reviewed the first installment of Ramayana retold by Shubha Vilas, Rise of the Sun Prince, which ended in the royal wedding of Sri Rama. The author had send me a review copy of book 2, Shattered Dreams. The book continue the story of Rama from where the author left us in book one. Now, this was one part of Ramayana that I never felt inclined to read due to the family story and heavy dose of emotions and sentimentality between characters. I am never a Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham person being more a fan of the Gadar thing that follows it. May be that was why I delayed reading the book for some time.
Dasaratha had a terrible dream one night. He infers that his past is catching up and it is time to retire. Logically, Rama, the elder prince is announced as successor. The whole kingdom rejoices in King's decision because everyone loves Rama due to his virtues and are sure he will excel in his role as emperor. But Manthara, the maid of second and the King's most beloved queen Kaikeyi, successfully manipulate the queen to force Dasaratha to change the decision. Kaikeyi, siting an old promise by the King makes him to send Rama to exile for fourteen years and give the throne to Bharatha, her son who is currently staying with her father.
Chaos follows in the kingdom, but Rama, being a noble son, gets ready to obey his father and move to the forest. What follows is his interactions with his dear ones, his mother, wife and brother, where he convince them about the correctness of his decision. His brother Lakshmana and wife Sita accompany him to jungle. Dasaratha, overcome with grief dies a sad death. When Bharatha hear the news he is immensely sad. He follow Rama and request him to return back. Unable to do that, he returns with the sandals of Rama inorder to throne them and rule the kingdom as a mere representative of them. Parallel to this story, the ascent of Ravana is also told.
As I told in the review of the last book, it is written with the intention of being a guide to the reader, for using the principles of Sri Rama in their lives to tackle situations that present unique dilemmas, to inspire readers to follow the right path and not depending on the convenient one. The bonus is that the story is narrated beautifully. Shubh Vilas manages to convey the emotional gravity of the story to the readers effectively. The characterisation adds to the narrative and we are able to feel in sync with even the minor characters.
To summarize, Shattered Dreams is in every way a superior follow up, and a useful one too, to the first part of the book.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Aadujeevitham (Goat Days) by Benyamin was a sensational début. What I loved about it was the rather simple narration devoid of any gimmick. The plot had borderline elements of a fantasy, yet the narration was footed in reality. Manjaveyil maranangal (Deaths in Yellow Sunlight), his another bestseller that I just read, stands totally opposite. It follows a non-linear structure, is pretty fast paced and almost surreal in narration.
A man living in the distant island of Diego Garcia sends an email to Benyamin. Christy Anthrapper always wanted to write a novel in Malayalam. His ancestors used to be the rulers of the island. He happens to witness the murder of his old classmate Senthil in broad daylight and later finds that all evidences of the murder are removed from records. He sets on a journey to find the truth and lands in Kerala only to find out deeper secrets waiting him there. He has written his life story and each chapter is hidden with different major characters of the novel. To find out what happened to Christy Anthrapper, Benyamin has to get hold of each chapters from them and find the clues.
I loved the complexity of the story. Benyamin succeeded in writing a thriller of a plot with several characters who leaves an impression in reader's minds.