The Story of what happened and what appeared to happen

A good mystery novel localizes the awesome force of the real death outside the book, winds it tightly in a plot.

Book Name: The Satapur Moonstone
Author: Sujata Massey

Plot

The second in Perveen Mistry series, this story revolves around a mythical kingdom in British India who lost two of its rulers in the past year and half with the present crown Prince being just 10 years old – the kingdom needs a lawyer who can counsel on what can be done further.

The royal ladies are in a dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer’s counsel is required. Since they practice Purdah (The practice in certain Muslim and Hindu societies of screening women from men or strangers, especially by means of a curtain). Our heroine, Perveen Mistry Esquire is set to the palace on behalf of British Government to counsel the two Maharanis – Dowager queen and her daughter-in-law regarding the education of the Crown Prince. What she discovers next and how she solves a mysterious murder forms the whole story.

Rating: 4/5

Review

The first book The Widows of Malabar Hill was one of my best reads, so I was eager to read this second entry in the Perveen Mistry series. She became my favorite heroine. The first half of the book does a great job of bringing the Satara mountains in India to life during 1922.

We have been taught about the freedom movement throughout and know very little about how the lives were, the social hierarchy and princely states. I thoroughly appreciate Ms. Massey’s ability to educate me while entertaining me. Her books are beautifully written and evocative, depicting settings in ways that make me want to enter them. You see not only Britain’s colonialism in India but also the caste system and the different religions. Ms. Massey does a really good job of showing a lot through Perveen’s travels and interactions.

The rich details and descriptions of everything from the culture, the environment, the food, clothing, buildings, people, etc. made me feel like I was in another time and place and while reading. I pictured the surroundings, heard the creatures, and tasted the food in my imagination.

Though there were no big surprises in the story, there is a nice suspense as the final scenes unfolded, I found myself quite anxious for the safety of Perveen and the young prince and princess, and their mother! However, I could see the series becoming formulaic.

Things I liked

  • Undoubtedly, Perveen Mistry and the way she investigates
  • The compelling and fast-paced storyline
  • Detailing how British India was and The Imperial rule
  • How secular Indians were before Independence

Things I felt there can be improvements

  • Too many characters and names to remember
  • You know Perveen will save the day – so there is no real sense of suspense or drama
  • My Verdict

    Highly Recommended – especially for those interested in gentle mysteries and historical fiction featuring strong women characters.

Little Miss Rule Breaker

Book Name: The Rule Breakers
Author: Preeti Shenoy

There are two kinds of people in this world—those who follow the rules and those who do not think twice about breaking them.

Plot

This book revolves around the protagonist Veda. Set in the picturesque town called Joshimath during the 90’s, it describes in detail about the struggles of a woman.

Veda, like many people during their teens has high aspirations in her career. Hailing from a very small town, she wants to become a professor in a city. She has 5 siblings and her family is quite orthodox. Their economical condition isn’t so well either. However she being the eldest among 5 children, her strict father has different plans and get her married.

She then moves to Pune and rest of the book explains her struggles coping with new life, new family and especially her relationship with her husband.

Review

I loved the book cover. It is a Heart-touching story which deals with Siblings Bond, Societal Issues, Love, Friendship, Marriage, Relationship Goals, Hard work, and Education with interesting twists and turns.

It takes us back to the year 1990’s where the only medium of communication is through letters. Loved the exchange of letters between sisters Veda and Vidya.

Well researched everything about the Rules, the events happenings in year 90’s, NGO organizations, Printing Press, Rural areas and historical places.

Inspiring words of wisdom on how to deal with life to crave one’s own path motivates the readers.

She describes the life situations which a woman goes through in her life in reality and how society does expect women to conform to certain norms.

Though I felt it is dragging in between, the book grips the readers with all the emotions. You can experience happy, sad, tragic, emotional, magical, laughter, mystery, thrill, suspense, and shocking moments within you while reading the book.

Rating: 4/5

Highlights

Characters in the book are well portrayed which makes you feel connected to them and give us a strong message. The author beautifully describes the below mentioned points throughout the story. Even though, the plot is set during the 90’s, I feel some of the points are valid even today.

  • The head of the family decides the fate of other family members and decisions taken by women or children are not taken into consideration. They have to keep quiet and blindly follow whatever the so-called Head decides.
  • Girl child education is still not taken as much importance in many parts of India as narrated in the story.
  • Marriages are still fixed or arranged as per the wishes of the elders & the marriage bureaus.
  • Freedom to choose a life partner or a career is still considered as a sin to many girls in Indian society. In order to show ‘respect’ to elders, girls have to follow the societal rules till the end.
  • Many people still marry for the society even though they know their sexuality.

With LGBTI now legal in India, I wonder how many years (or generations) it will take for a society as a whole to accept same sex marriages.
Will you be a Rule Breaker or a Rule Follower in your life? Find out more about it by reading this book.

The Significance of Hindu festivals

Isn’t it exciting that we are almost done with 2016 and a new beginning is awaiting for us all?
In few hours we are stepping into the last quarter of the year. I love this part of the year because of back to back festivals, celebrations, holidays and happiness I would be surrounded by. This is the time to wear new clothes, get dolled up, meet family & friends and the important thing – eat like there is no tomorrow.

My love for festivals began during my childhood because my dad never missed an opportunity to celebrate every single festival. He used to compel my sisters and I to dress up traditionally and made us participated in puja along with him. He used to be very patient in explaining the significance of each festival. He used to narrate them in stories.

My favorite of all is Diwali. Though Ganesh Chaturthi is the beginning of joyous festive season, it is Dussehra Navratri that spice up the feel. We Indians have many cultures and many regional festival throughout the year but Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra Navratri and Diwali is what almost every indian look for.

I am writing this now as today is Mahalaya Amavasya. The official beginning of the very auspicious Devi Navratri starts from tomorrow. It is celebrated differently in different parts of the country. This festival is acquainted with many stories, the famous ones being Goddess Durga killed the Rakshas Mahishasura and Lord Rama killed Ravana. The moral of the above story is Good always win over evil.

We have a strong inspiring culture where we made a woman goddess and offer prayers. We gave her the super most position. On the other hand, it disturbs me to read about women being harrassed in the country almost everyday. I ask myself everyday why this is happening and try to find a reason behind it. I believe, its all in the mindset of a person. I should also mention that there is a small positive step towards change is being taken and hopefully our future generation might arise with a different but beautiful mindset where a person is being respected as a human being not by gender stereotyping.

Anyways, this is the time to keep our worries aside and enjoy the festival with lots of joy. Enjoy the beginning of 10 auspicious days. Pray for everyone, celebrate, dress up and enjoy all the homemade festive specials.

Water Wars – Cauvery Issue

Its been 4+ years I came to Bengaluru and was amazed by the hospitality. People here were very welcoming and tried to communicate in the common tongue to make things easier. The swalpa adjust maadi attitude of Kannadigas in Bengaluru won many hearts. I believe this was the opinion about Namma Bengaluru for a lot of non-localities here, until recently.

Violence was outburst and there is a curfew for 3 days in the ever calm city. Irony, isn’t it?

The Cauvery water dispute has managed to once again open the faultlines between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu: two states that are otherwise closely integrated with each other socially, culturally and economically (remember Chennai floods)!

This is more than a century old dispute but I believe it was never serious as how the situation today is. I saw numerous posts blaming political parties from both states. There is no enough water in Karnataka’s Cauvery reservoir due to very less rainfall this year and hence Kannadigas are not ready to release water. For the same reason, Tamilians on the other hand need more water for the agriculture.  Honestly, are we supposed to blame them or ourselves for ruining the environment?

The trees were being cut to widen roads, lay railway lanes, build offices and residences. I recently came across an article which says cutting down of trees to lay down a railway track that is unnecessary for Kodagu (Coorg). Also, the number of trees that were chopped in the Cauvery catchment area are record high and hence less rainfall this year.

I would like to give a small piece of suggestion to all the protesters out there from both states (the so-called Heroes). A common man, irrespective of being a Kannadiga or a Tamilian has nothing to do with this. Please stop troubling them and concentrate on the timber mafia (if you can) who are responsible for massive destruction of trees in Cauvery basin.

Before we blame anyone, we consider this situation as the trailer of future water wars. Let us do something before things completely go out of our hands. Save environment, it saves us!

 

 

 

In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take!

I explored almost all possible verticals in social media but not blogging. There was always a fear in me and lack of confidence that I cannot write, until today – I decided to write.

This is the beginning of a blog where opinions matter, feelings count and anyone can share their thoughts and express their concerns. This blog page is not restricted to a single topic with me being crazy about everything and anything. One thing I can promise through my blog is Entertainment (no pun intended)…Stay Tuned!!

P.S: This blog is strictly about my views on something. Anything unparliamentary and indecency is strictly not encouraged.