Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sorting Out Sid - A Book Review

I came across this picture from Google Images a few days back and it sent me into peals of laughter. My hubby's comment "spideman's shaadi ke side effects" further sent me into clutching my tummy and rolling over with laughter. 

Jokes apart, marriage is a huge commitment and it is happily-ever-after only if both the parties work towards it. Like Mignon Mclaughlin says 'A successful marriage requires falling in love many times and always with the same person'. 

I love Yashodhara's style of writing. Her blog and later her debut book Just Married Please Excuse showed us her tongue-in-cheek humour. Her latest offering Sorting Out Sid takes her writing skills a notch higher as she effortlessly blends humour into staid and monotonous situations. She highlights today's relationships with panache.

Sid the hero of the story is a happy-go lucky chap; who at the onset appears to have it all. A flourishing career, a happy marriage and a set of cool friends whom he hangs out with regularly - the world sees him as truly blessed. But all is not well as there are a lot of chinks in his armor. His marriage of 15 long years is going nowhere, his work where he gets promoted as the youngest V.P. offers him no respite as he is surrounded by a boss who appears a moron. His life gets a breather when he meets a charming divorcee named Neha through a close friend, with whom he has a few initial fracas. First impression is surely not the last impression vis-a-vis Neha!

I could relate to Sid as he dons on various masks while dealing with people/situations; so out comes the witty office Sid, party Sid etc. Don't we all, at some point of time in our life, resort to such disguises to get through difficult but unavoidable moments? Sid's conversations with his soul mate Brownie gives a glimpse of the solitariness and emptiness within him. Another character that caught my attention was the cheerful albeit intrusive and overbearing pal Aditi. There is a mention of something more to their relationship but she is a rock of support. 

The book is a breezy refreshing read and is laced with dry humour and self deprecating yet light moments. It never goes into a preachy mode;  rather it is something that we all can relate to or probably know someone like the characters in this story. The message of Work-in –progress was profound, implying that we all have our quirks and idiosyncrasies but as long as there is an urge to learn and unlearn we are sorted for life.

Yays & Nays :-

Yays to :-

  • Lucid narrative and extremely relatable characters.
  • A fun take on the reality of a person's life.
  • Sensitivity rules supreme as the protagonist goes through a variety of situations and emotions with an innate goodness.
  • An over-bearing father, an ever-doting mom, hectic work schedule, faltering relations, personal issues etc are dealt with by a well rounded balance of seriousness, mirth and laughter.
  • Absolutely rocking cover!
Nays to :-

  • Mandira’s character was given a weak deal. The author could have delved more in to what her issues really were; probably some couples are never meant to be but still 15 years is a long period of time to get away without some serious talking over.
  • The book could have done with a more slick editing. While page 71 talks about 15 years of togetherness, page 113 puts it as a 10 year companionship.
Final Word :-

A light n breezy read of real life situations.

Author    :   Yashodhara Lal
ISBN        :  9789350296912
Price       :  INR 250/-
Publisher :  Harper Collins
Category  : Fiction 
Recommendation : Double Thumbs Up !

P.S. - Thank you Yashodara for the book, my Hubby finished the book in 3 days flat with a smirk on his face and compared me with Sid :( especially for the emotional tantrums.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Prisoner Jailor Prime Minister - A Book Review

Elections are around the corner and the country is gearing up for a change at the grass roots. People are no longer divided between the privileged party and the saffron supremacy. They are willing to experiment and bring to power those who work towards bringing about a visible change. Have you seen the latest advertisement doing the rounds on TV - elections are indeed the biggest talent show and only the truly talented ought to be elected to run the country. With such high stakes it is not surprising that the game of politics played by the parties gets a high voltage adrenaline rush!

I once read a pertinent quote by Plato ~

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by inferiors"

Like any other informed Indian, I take an active interest in what our keepers of democracy are up to. It is but natural that I am much inclined towards political thrillers and the works of many authors like Jeffry Archer, David Baldacci and the likes on the edgy political set up keeps me hooked. 

The blurb of the book Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister intrigued me very much as one such political thriller and I must say that the book was truly an edgy read throughout, though not an in depth political thriller. 

Siddhartha Tagore, the protagonist of the book becomes the resident of 7 RCR in the year 2016/2017. He occupies the highest echelons of the democracy by virtue of his strong opinions and tough stands on hard core issues. That he is a truly gifted musician and considered as 'The Mozart Man' adds to his charming personality. Like they say that there is a thin line between genius and insanity, Siddhartha has his own personal demons to tackle and it is in those instances we get a touching glimpse of his persona.

The love of his life Ruby as he fondly calls is the wind beneath his wings and an inspiration to many of his compositions. Her character as well as the others like her dad, mom and even her twin sister have been very well etched. The book mostly a first person narrative through the eyes of the protagonist, traverses the life of Siddhartha from his days in Harvard to his days as the Prime Minister of India. Set in the backdrop of terrorism and attempts at nuclear warfare, the book highlights the current topical scenario to the core. Seamless weaving of the past and present without losing the plot is yet another highlight for which the author has to be given due credit. Once I started reading, I hardly put the book down and there was a palpable sense of excitement in my heart. At one point of time I secretly hoped that Sid turns out OK at the end; such was the connect! 

Another thing which drew me to the protagonist are his radical ideas to tackle threats. Hope we have such a person at the helm who is ready to take the bull by the horns! In politics, there is always an opposition and in this story too the role is very well essayed by Rukmani Devi. Her no nonsense behaviour as well as her passionate urge to bring about a change is well portrayed. I had guessed the great reveal that comes at the end of the book but it does not take away the gripping drama.

However I would have loved a little more political struggle. No way the book is a total political thriller; the personal drama and battles downs the political fracas of India which the book could have brought out.

Before I give my yays and nays, I have to talk about the author. Tabrik C the debutante author has managed to capture the readers with his fine narrative skills. That he is a perfumer and a political enthusiast/observer is obvious.  What I liked most is that his writing skills has the emotional connect. Looking forward to many more of his books. 

Yay to :-

  • Gripping page turner
  • Intense emotional connect with the reader
  • The book provokes the reader to think about the choices and the power to exercise his vote for the right candidate.
  • Loved the moody cover.
Nay to :-
  • Tad Predictable 
  • Not a hardcore political/power struggle as I expected it to be
  • The revenge drama was not top-notch 

Final Word:-

“Sometimes one man must fight for what he feels is right, even against the majority. Something that is wrong does not change to right just because the majority approves it, ignores it, or the government says it is right. It is still wrong.” 

― Kenneth Eade, An Involuntary Spy

The book has its moments and stands out for its brilliant display of emotions. That the book sends across a positive note and a hope filled future is laudable. Despite the fact that it is more of personal struggle of the protagonist rather than his political struggle, the book is edgy to the core.

Author    :   Tabrik C
ISBN        :  9789350096703
Price       :  INR 350/-
Publisher :  Hachette Publications
Category  : Fiction 

Recommendation : Double Thumbs Up !

Thank you blogadda . This review is part of the Book Review Program of blog adda. Participate now to get free books !