Monthly Archives: July 2017

When you forget

I fell in love with its cover design when I first saw it and had been planning on reading A Forgotten Affair by Kanchana Banerjee for a long time. Finally, I’m doing just that. Here’s a bit from the book for Teaser Tuesday – the brain child of Should Be Reading.

Do watch out for the review.

aforgottenaffair

‘I’ve forgotten everything…… maybe that has happened for a reason,’ she said. ‘Maybe I needed to forget it all, so that I could see something else clearly. Sometimes… sometimes you need to forget everything to recognise what matters most.’

 

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If you fancy joining in, here’s how…
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
• Share the title and author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

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Jugnu – A Review

Title: Jugnu
Author: Ruchi Singh

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Jugnu by Ruchi Singh reminded me what absolute joy a well-written romance can be. Yet, to call this one just a romance would a bit of an injustice. While a love story is central to the narrative there is lots more to enjoy and savour.

The story

Out on parole Zayd Abbas Rizvi heads off to Kasuali with his laptop for some peace and quiet. The plan is to keep to himself and avoid trouble of any kind. He finds lodging at a guest house run by the petite, ghost-chasing, sad-eyed Ashima, mom to a delightful three year old. Soon enough he forms bonds not just with Ashima but also with other residents of the guest house. And then quite unavoidably, he gets embroiled in their affairs even as he tries to figure out the truth about Ashima’s husband.

My Review

To begin with I loved the setting of the book – the quiet, picturesque hill town of Kasuali. I find the setting matters to me… a lot – it  predisposes me to like or dislike a book and here it is just perfect for what the author has in store.

Like I mentioned, Jugnu isn’t just a love story. It is also the tale of two individuals with each of their stories so well written that you would want to reach out for a prequel, or maybe two. I would have liked to know the Ashima before she met Zayd, her life with Rohit and also the Zayd in his earlier life, his troubled childhood, his life with his girlfriend and his prison experiences. However, all we get are intriguing mentions that leave us asking for more.

Other than the protagonists, there are a host of other characters, each lovingly crafted, each likeable and/or relatable.

What I liked best about the book was that unlike most new age romance novels with their insta-love tracks, the love story here builds slowly and steadily. Stilted conversations move on to shared silences and from there to a gradual appreciation of each other – from indifference, to friendship to love. That is perhaps what made it believable. And of course there also was just the barest touch of romantic magic. The love story retains its charm without taking away from the intensity of either of the protagonists’ previous relationships – that couldn’t have been easy to write.

Beyond the characters there are enough twists and turns in this well-woven story to keep you happily turning the pages.

Endnote: This one is a refreshing wholesome romance perfect for a rainy day. I say pick it up.

Disclaimer: I was given a kindle copy of the book by the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

An unlikely friendship #Teaser Tuesday 7

Joining in for Teaser Tuesday after a long time, hosted by Should Be Reading. Here’s an excerpt from my current read Jugnu by Ruchi Singh. I’m almost done with the book and it’s proving to be a good one. I hope to have a review up before the weekend. Do drop by for a read.

jugnu

Can’t we talk?” he said after a couple of minutes of staring at the twinkling lights in the village. An urge to talk to a living being who was not a fellow prisoner or a sneering guard took him by surprise.

 

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If you fancy joining in, here’s how…
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
• Share the title and author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Books and Memories

reading childhood

Books and reading formed a huge part of my childhood and for that I shall always be grateful. I had no clue then, that my stolen moments with this favourite hobby would one day offer me a second chance at a career.

To our extreme good fortune our father was friends with the owner of Universal , the biggest bookshop of the city back then. So we would get brand new books on loan, to be read and returned. I lost myself in those large glossy pages or the super glamorous pop-up books. I had one of Goldilocks that I haven’t been able to get over even now. Reading them once always left me wanting more. I didn’t want to let them go. I wanted to keep them with me forever.

Perhaps that’s where the itch to buy and own books was born.

Between our school and home lay the poshest market of the city with our dream bookstore. Hobby Corner. Nope, this wasn’t the one that belonged to our father’s friend but another one that sold books and then bought them back, at a small discount.

So some days (and I hope the children never ever read this bit) we’d sneak off the school bus mid-way, my sister and I, and we’d go to this book shop and indulge ourselves. Those days we didn’t have helpers in the bus to keep an eye on us so it must have been easier. Even so, this was a rare treat because we hardly ever had any money – even the two or three rupees that we would have had to pay up. Besides, there was also the issue of getting back home without the bus (for which we had a pass) and that also meant money for private transport. We managed it on some very lucky days and our parents never knew.

Long summer holidays were painful because with no access to the school library we were left bookless. Lending libraries were a dream in our city back then. Once we heard of one close by and I jumped and joined it only to find it was one of those that only stocked books on subjects like ‘meditation’ and ‘finding the true meaning of life’. I have nothing against all of that, but it most definitely wasn’t what my young teen self was looking for dreaming as it was of Heathcliff and Rhet Butler and the like.

I never did develop a taste for non-fiction.

In hindsight, I remain grateful for each of those childhood memories. Books and reading became that much more precious. Each time the Amazon delivery person knocks at my door even today, I get a happy thrill. While I constantly bemoan the lack of space in the house, I never want to part with my books, nor put them away in cartons, as the Husband once suggested. *Shudder*.

What are your earliest reading memories?

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Linking up with Amrita for #ThankfulThursdays.

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And also with  with Tina’s Mommynificent for the Booknificent Link-Up
Booknificent-Thursdays

The Call of the Wind

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‘Mama may I roll down my window, please?’
‘No don’t.’
‘Why?’

Saba sighed. After a not-particularly-good day at work she really could do without this. This is the worst part of parenting, she thought to herself, this having to always always explain yourself.

Seher’s ‘Why’ still hung in the air waiting for her response.

‘Because,’ said Saba trying to summon all her patience, ‘it’s dusty and noisy and hot.’

‘But it isn’t. Look ma how the trees are swaying. It’s breezy. And there aren’t so many vehicles, pretty please?’

And this, was the second worst bit –  a No was never really a No till it was said over and over and over again. She felt a headache coming on. Thank goodness it is Friday evening.

She had got back from work looking forward to a quiet weekend, to putting her feet up and settling down with a hot cup of tea. That’s when the children had reminded her of the ‘promised’ treat to that new restaurant.

That would rank as the third worst thing – that kids never let you forget the promises you make them. It was a whole different thing, however when it came to promises that they made you, she reflected.

And so she had had a quick shower trying to wash off the day’s frustrations, had pulled on a tee and a skirt and here they were some 15 kms out of the city with Seher sitting beside her and Kabir in the back seat. She hoped the google lady knew where she was taking them as traffic thinned. She had considered calling off the treat but the dread of the children’s protests had made her drop the idea. Besides, a promise was a promise.

With Aarib away on a month-long assignment and she being taken up with this new project at work, the children had been left pretty much to their own selves. She realised she had missed spending time with them – their earnest conversations, silly antics and their banter.

If only it had been any other day.

Oh well thought she. It is as it is.

‘Maaa.. pleeease, may I?’ asked Seher yet again, her voice taking on a definite whine. Her nine-year-old was persistent if anything.

‘It isn’t even hot’, piped in four-year-old Kabir, ‘It’s starting to dribble’.

‘It’s drizzle dufus’, corrected the older one scornfully, ‘It’s starting to drizzle.’

‘Look na ma, it is drizzling’, she exclaimed pointing to the tiny droplets on the windshield going from a whiny irritated tween to an innocent animated child in the space of a moment.

‘Oh alright,’ said she reaching out to switch off the car air conditioner. Sometimes it was just easier to give in.

As the windows went down, fresh cool breeze rushed in pushing out the artificial cold inside the car and spraying the three of them with a fine mist of rain. Saba gasped in surprise while Seher and Kabir squealed for joy.

The wind tugged at Saba’s hair, tangling her short curly mop, smoothing out the knots of tension that seemed to have become part of her of late. She stuck her head out of the window letting the wind push her hair off her face, feeling lighter and happier than she had in a while.

Suddenly it didn’t seem imperative for them to reach the restaurant soon. Before she knew it she was braking the car, guiding it to a bend in the road and stopping. And then, on a whim, she opened the door and stepped out, followed by two very startled and delighted children. Saba smiled as they turned their faces up to the sky and ran around the car flapping their arms like wings, undeterred by the drizzle. The breeze whipped her skirt around her ankles and tugged insistently at her stole. She took a deep breath inhaling the petrichor, revelling in the promise of more rain.

For one small moment her thoughts drifted to wet car seats and even wetter children. And then they were all swept away as Saba gave herself up to the call of the wind.

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Written for the prompt ‘The Call of the Wind’ for Day 7, the last day of the second edition of the fortnight-long #Bar-a-thon.

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