Monday, October 24

Book Review : Agniputr by Vadhan

Even before I start reviewing, take a look at this book trailer. 



Wow! When did they launch this? Makes me want to read the book all over again... AND wait with fingers crossed for a movie being made basis this alluring introduction!

Bloomsbury books sent me a copy of this engaging novel a few weeks ago, and it is only in the past week that I could finally get started with reading it. Once I started, it was a challenge to put the book down, and I kept waiting to get back to the pages any free moment I got. My rating for this one: 4.5 on 5. 

So what's the book about? Well, quantum physics for one, that I can make neither head nor tail of, and maybe that snatched the half star away from the rating. But it also describes and connects some engrossing characters that lend their heart to the story and manage to steal the reader's in turn. 

The start is marvellous and midway, the book picks up amazing pace. In the 1940s, something evil called the Sutram is created and it is desired by a tantrik with an even more evil heart to become the master of the universe. There is a conspiracy and betrayal in the Surya family which leads to the death of one loved Surya who before he breathes his last, manages to limit the power of the Sutram. Over the years, the Sutram is contained in a hall, deep under the ground, but it destroys all that comes on its surface. Not surprisingly then, the perilous hall is proclaimed out of bounds for all villagers and others.

Time passes, and the Sutram is gathering more energy. Soon it will reveal itself and destroy the universe. It is ripe to be harnessed. By who? The same tantrik who was biding his time. He uses some political pawns and devotees as his means to the end, but he is not prepared to be thwarted by Raghuram Surya, lawyer and heir of the Surya family and his companion Sheila, a quantum physicist. How Poti, SRK, Pichi Rathaya, Kant, P. Eshwar, SRK and Valaneni play their parts is an interesting read. What is even more thrilling, are the horror scenes, where bodies are strung and suspended in mid air, a precursor of the fate of Gudem.

I, in particular, loved Raghu for his intelligence, humor and confidence. His philandering ways also lend charm to his ultimate affection for Sheila, who has a past and personality of her own. Poti's fierce loyalty and Tirupati Balaji's presence won't fail to impress you and the steady build up of excitement will ooze out of the pages. Once the discussion on atoms and quarks starts, I found myself a little lost and impatient to move on, but it will be entertaining for a sci-fi geek, I presume. Full points to the author for trying something different, but not my cup of tea. This, thankfully, did not mar my experience of the climax which was a tad predictable, yet memorable. I would have preferred the end either to be slightly different and not as benevolent as it is, or maybe more utopian than possible. 

The words come to life and the characters stay etched on your mind, and that's the true victory of this book. The style, vocabulary and plots are above par, and in my opinion, this book is way more enticing for the audiences than Ashwin Sanghi's creations, on the same lines as Amish and Vish Dhamija. Such a heartening feeling, to see Indian writers making their way up the literary ladder. 

Kudos, Vadhan and Bloomsbury. Thank you for this gift and experience. 





Grab your copy :-) 

Cheerio!
Princess       



Thursday, October 13

Two Month Update... and Apologies

Absolutely abominable. From once a month, I've dipped to a new low of not having written to you fellas in over 2 months. Apologies. Sincere ones. 

It's been a crazy time. I guess God wanted me to feel not-so-listless anymore (!) akin what I said in my last post.  

So, what have I been up to?!! Loads. 

I'm now a certified Fierce facilitator, and there are less than 20 of them in India alone. Fierce Conversations is a book, philosophy and tool by Susan Scott which talks about how can make our lives, careers, relationships more fruitful and enriching by engaging in meaningful conversations with people about topics that need to be spoken about. What's more, I am going to be training all the leads in Hitachi Consulting India on this wonderful program so that they can make the organization more powerful and the culture more rewarding. Targets are huge, and the payoff is going to be phenomenal. 

But what is also exciting, is that I was sent to London for the training and I had a great week working and another lovely one roaming around the magical city. With no set agenda, I went around the streets and experienced the grandeur of the Land of Harry Potter. Be it the Buckingham Palace, or the Big Ben, right from the ArcelorMittal Orbit to Old Spitalfields and Covent Garden. My office is bang opposite the Tower of London, and I whizzed around on the tube from Moorgate to Greenwich to Knightsbridge. I ate duck and pigeon at the Canteen in Royal Festival Hall, and I loved the Victorian Sponge and Jude ice creams in salted caramel and chocolate flavors. I purchased at Primark and M&S when I roamed Trafalgar Square and I enjoyed the bustle at Camden Market where I dug hungrily into Poppies' Fish and Chips. The Thames was a delight rendered prettier by the opening of the Tower Bridge. My lifelong dream came true when I visited Platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Cross, and I was thrilled to see I was not the only one (or the oldest one) nuts about Pottermania. It was truly a trip to treasure. 

And yet, I missed home. 

I have always been a little envious of my friends and colleagues who went abroad and chose to settle there, now having been there for all of 2 weeks, I think India is home and I am happy to be back. As much as I love traveling, my wanderlust does not permit me to move bag and baggage to another land. My husband is ecstatic about this discovery!

Life otherwise has been super packed, too. Be it reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on the plane, and now moving on to Vadhan's Agniputr. Both of which are stupendous. Or movies that I and the hubby watched full throttle: Dhoni, Pink and Tutak Tutak Tutiya. All of which were not bad. Dhoni was the most paisa vasool, great acting and inspirational story. Pink is overrated, same old plot in a new package with Big B to sell it to you, open letters and all fakeness included. TTT was something that we just bumped into, since we had a free night without the bub. Time pass film with lots of humor and not too much brain. The only disappointment was Chang's, my favorite Chinese restaurant in Viman Nagar, that seems to have hit rock bottom in terms of flavor, service as well as cost. 

Aarush is growing up into an amazing rockstar, what with his nonstop chatter and action. It is rare to see that boy sit or sleep, and his cheerful smile and soothing voice allure the young and old alike. The kid's got vocabulary, affection and intelligence that could shame some adults I know, and it's a pleasure to be his mom, even if I occasionally find myself getting really livid with the tiny monster.

Personally and professionally, life has become quite stable and fulfilling. The calm after so many endless storms. Thank Heavens it's time to sit and relax for a while. I wish I could dedicate some more time to writing, though. I am getting stuck in the mundane even as my heart yearns to publish at least one book in my lifetime.

Let's see when that will happen....

Until then, 

Cheerio!
Anuja