Saturday, February 13, 2016

COLOR ME RICH by Mohan Deep

Color Me Rich 
Mohan Deep


A sensitive love story of a handsome and talented struggling painter Akash Saigal. What happens when he marries an extremely rich and beautiful artist and art investor Zenobia Taraporevala?

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Prologue ( A teaser)

J J School of Art, Mumbai.
Taking a charcoal pencil, Akash Saigal started drawing the wood-and-stone structure, popularly known as „Kipling Bungalow‟. He was sketching sitting on a bench on which, in another era, K K Hebbar, M F Husain, Syed Haider Raza, Sadanand Bakre, V S Gaitonde, even Dadasaheb Phalke had sat with their sketchbooks, sketching the house where the author of The Jungle Book was born.
Ganpat Gupte appeared along with two of his gang. Gupte was the nephew of a minister, or so he claimed, and had the arrogance that comes with power. 
“Ae Akash, kae karto?”
Akash looked up at the trio and said, “Nothing much. Just a drawing.
“Okay. What is the day today?”
“I should have known.Tere ko blue shirt hai na?”
Akash didn‟t get the connection, but Gupte‟s chamchas laughed knowingly.
The three boys sang in unison, “Monday, blue shirt. Tuesday, black shirt. Wednesday, blue shirt. Thursday black shirt. Friday, blue shirt. Saturday, black shirt. Sunday...laundry!”
If Akash was hurt, he didn‟t show it. He laughed sheepishly and continued sketching the bungalow.
But he would never forget this.

About the Author 

Mohan Deep, is an Indian author, painter and Feng Shui Master. Mohan Deep is the author of ‘The Mystery and Mystique of Madhubala’ (1996), ‘It’s My Life’ (Novel) (1997), ‘Simply Scandalous: Meena Kumari’ (1998), ‘Eurekha!’ – an unauthorized biography of Rekha. (1999), ‘Four Options’ (2000), ‘Feng Shui for the Bold & Beautiful, the Rich and Famous’ (2001) and ‘Nehru and the Tantrik Woman’ (2002). After a sabbatical of a decade, during which he touched upon the lifves of people as a Feng Shui Master, he is back with The Five Foolish Virgins, a book of fiction, to be launched in April 2013. Mohan Deep is arguably the only Indian author to write what is often described as controversial, unauthorized star biographies in India. Columnist-journalist and former editor of 'Illustrated Weekly of India', Khushwant Singh called him 'a truly gifted gossip writer'. “The maverick writer”, like columnist-reviewer-poetess Tara Patel described him has also been called William Goldman of Bollywood’s stars (By Behram Contractor, the Editor of Afternoon Despatch & Courier) (Source) Kitty Kelly of India (By R K Bajaj, the Editor of ‘The Daily’). Interestingly, almost every book he has wrote/penned has invited controversies for its bold content.


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Friday, February 12, 2016

Facing The Music #FlashFiction

Just as Rajat broke into a run he realized that all his last minute of frantic activity had not done him a fat lot of good. In fact as far as he could see, he was in a lot of trouble. He ran as fast as he could, already late by a few minutes, he surly had lost his chance to make a good first impression.  He rushed into the auditorium just as his name was called. “Lucky break,” he thought.

It was finally time to face the music; literally as he turned towards the orchestra and took a deep breath. He had been a jerk last night when he was bragging about his skills and the amazing tenor his voice had. Sitting with a few known and few unknown faces he had just gone a little over the top. He had been upset about a snide remark from one of the hotshot media guys about every one wanting to a singer and trying to ape the maestros. He had done a wager then, "promising never to sing again if the judges did not qualify him for the Music Competition he had come to participate in".


These were his fifteen minutes of fame; last night had brought him here, standing with butterflies in his stomach and clammy palms shaking just a tiny bit. His body felt like jelly in spite of all the exertion he had done yet he stood up taller, looked at the musicians and with a slight nod began to sing. This song would be his famous last words he thought and then there was music all around. There were not thoughts, no self doubt, and no hesitation. Just like a flick of a switch he was far from the madding crowd and it was just the melody and his words as he sang from his heart. His unquiet mind forgotten, the world ignored and harmony all around him.


As he finished his song and slowly opened his eyes to the pin drop silence, the butterflies returned with renewed force, almost causing him physical pain. Then suddenly he heard a clap and saw the judges stand up in tandem.

The clapping continued and echoed of the auditorium walls and he sat down on his knees and embraced the music floating back into his soul.

Written for the Phrase Prompt of #WordyWednesday
Fat lot of good
Famous last words
Face the music
Far from the madding crowd
Fifteen minutes of  fame


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jesper Jinx (Jesper Jinx #1) by Marko Kitti

Jesper seems to get into trouble pretty effortlessly; in fact I think he goes looking for trouble. He is a very naughty boy and is always in the middle of something and trying to do funny things as well.

 This is a story about the adventures this boy Jesper has, as he goes about his day. He finds trouble even where there is none. I think trouble likes to find him. He ensures his sister always know she has a brother who keeps trying to  even the score with her.

For an 11 year old he is quite a handful; making no effort to sober down. This is the first book of the series of books and I think each of them is going to be as delightful as the next. I just hope Jesper does not get totally out of hand, he quit the riot!

The language is simple and quite right for children and flows with the story and makes the narration fun. The illustrations are the only thing I found a bit crude and rough. They made Jesper and everyone else look a bit scruffy, a little smoothening could be done but I am not too sure, this could be a style of drawing I might not be aware of. The pictures do convey the details and story well.

The twist in the plot with the friend with the moustache was so hilarious as was their fluffy white cat. I loved the stories and Jesper’s ingenuity. That boy has a lot of guts.

I look forward to reading more of his adventures and mischief.

 (I received a copy of the book from the author, this is my unbiased review.)

Jesper Jinx 

Jesper Jinx is eleven, and probably the unluckiest person in all of Puffington Hill. Everything he touches seems to end up in sweet disaster. Hence his nickname 'Jinx'.

In this first book of Jesper Jinx's wonderfully wicked adventures you're going to meet Jesper's family and Snowy the Cat.

Also, there's a mysterious new classmate with a moustache. And it's up to Jesper to launch his famous Boredom Breaker.

As Jesper so frequently says, 'What harm would it do to have a little fun?'

Humorous middle grade fiction from author Marko Kitti.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

SANDS OF TIME by Neelam Saxena Chandra

Sands Of Time 
Neelam Saxena Chandra

'SANDS OF TIME' is a collection of twelve interesting stories which bring out the different moods and moments in the lives of women.
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Some Facts About the Author 

NeelamSaxena Chandra, an author of thirty-two books,is a record holder with the Limca Book of Records for being the author with highest number of publications in a year in English and Hindi (2015). She works as Joint Secretary (U.P.S.C.).  She has won award in a poetry contest by American Embassy, Premchand award by Ministry of Railways, Rabindranath Tagore international poetry award, Freedom award by Radio city for her lyrics. She was listed in the Forbes list as one of the most popular seventy eight authors in the country in 2014.

Awarded by eminent poet/lyricist Gulzarji in a Poetry Contest organized by American Society on the topic ‘Poetry for Social Change’.

Received the Rabindranath Tagore International poetry award -2014

Awarded PremchandPuraskar by Ministry of Railways (II prize)

Awarded by Children Book Trust, India in 2009.

Neelam also debuted as a lyricist in Shankar Tucker's composition 'Mere Sajan sun sun' and the song has won the 'Popular Choice' award  in Folk Fusion category in Radio City Freedom Awards.

Neelam is a record holder with Limca Book of records for highest publications in a year in English and Hindi.

Neelam and her daughter hold record for being the first mother-daughter duo to write a poetry book for the book 'Winter Shall Fade' in Limca Book of Records, Miracle World Records and India Book of records.



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We leave you with a wonderful song penned by Neelam Saxena Chandra

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Gauri carefully laid out the samples of fabric, in the order she wanted him to consider them. She knew his choice pretty well but still wanted him to consider all the options. She took care with the samples, designs and lists prepared as she set them down. Everything had to be perfect; just the way she preferred to discuss the project in detail and the Elaborate ideas she had in mind.

Just as she added the final touches to her table and took a final around, a knock sounded on the door. Firm, decisive and not too loud as to jar her ears, she instantly recognized that it was Om and politely replied, ‘Come in’ as she rounded off behind her desk. She wanted to look and feel as professional as possible. Om had the knack of making her restless; he was an Enigma for her even though she knew him from her MBA days. They were never close but moved in the same circles, had a bunch of common friends even met on many social occasions.

This was her first professional assignment with him or rather his Khanna Industries. She cleared her throat and just in time to be swept up by the Energy that was flowing into the room with Om. He was tall, really tall but well built, strong not too muscular but fit and had a killer smile and like always she felt her knees go weak when she faced the same open, genuine smile. Not only his smile but his physical presence both scared and excited her. She always felt unsure of what he wanted from her, as if he was testing her, tried to find her weakness or read her mind.

He was always kind, polite and courteous so she had no reason to feel all of this but it was the unsaid things, his body language that made her wary each time they met. She held the edge of her table and smiled back, wishing him a good afternoon and asking him to sit, she too sat. Immediately she started to tell him that she had prepared a few ideas for the offices he had asked her to furnish and design. He heard her and smiled; confused by the response she stopped and asked, ‘What is it? Did I say something funny?’

His smile widened, she stared in to his eyes and wondered at the endless depths, bright, midnight black and hiding a million secrets. ‘No, but I thought we don’t have to be so formal, you could ask about me first, my day, why rush into work?’
‘I just thought you would not like to waste time, you are a busy man.’ She replied.

‘Not too busy that I cannot ask how you are doing? How is your family, is your dad better now? I may be a big shot but not for the people I care’, he replied.
He cared! She was surprised since she thought he barely registered her when they were in the same room. ‘My parents are fine; dad is much better and should be moving around in a few days, he is going stir crazy sitting at home.’ She replied.

They both laughed at that, she wondered why he was being Extra sweet to her today. Was it because of her work or something else? Then she suddenly stopped laughing and began fiddling with the papers as the totally inappropriate thought came to her mind, was he flirting with her?

Silly idea, she thought and pointed to the samples in front of him. ‘Let’s get to work.’
‘Yeah! Let’s do it.’ He replied and she could still see the smile in his eyes.

This Week: Word Prompt
Write a minimum of 100 words on the prompt.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Madhuri Maitra's EQUINOX #BookReview

This is a story within a story in fact more than a few stories and lives are changed as the book ends. The premise of the book as it outlines the lives of the contestants vying for the prize of a story writing competition. How their lives are changed along with the story they write is what the novel is all about. It is an interesting read, not sudden twists and turns, just a steady pace that keeps the reader interested to know what next?

The language is free flowing and changes to suit the different characters, the diversity of characters, their behavior is all carefully written by the author. All the characters are from different places and the author has explored the nuances of each character so well, as if she herself had experienced it all. The story flows as their lives unfolds during the story.

I found getting impatient at times because the contestants were writing the story very slowly and wished for them to speed up so I could see the results, but life is not easy and so it was in the book. Another thing I had trouble with was following the timeline, maybe a more clear demarcation of the different characters would have helped. Though, it did help understand the contestants motivation and writing style better.

The different places of our diverse country are beautifully explored and even the clich├ęs associated with the towns is well penned. The stories by themselves are unremarkable but all together they merge seamlessly and for the novel. It had no drastic scenes that shake the reader, if you don’t count the one murder and one death!

Still the pace of the book is fast and I turned the pages to find who would be the winner. I must give the author her due as I could not figure out the winner, I had chosen someone else. Overall it is a nice book, a pleasant read with the lives of the contestants keeping me glued to the book.

(I received a copy of the book via The Book Club. The review is my honest opinion. © )



When Indus Publishers announces a short story competition, it affects the lives of the ensemble cast in unexpected ways. A jaded journalist, a bored housewife, a starry-eyed ambitious girl, an army colonel, an impoverished divorcee-all enter the competition for pressing reasons of their own. They emerge with only slightly deeper pockets than they had but far richer in experience. Social issues are explored in an engaging manner, entwined in the lives of the characters-this is indeed the way of life. The novel also promises an enchanting look at the diversity in India; the characters belong to different Indian states and embody the peculiarities of the people of that region. Equinox and its checkered characters step to music of their own; many readers will find that it resonates with their own inner music.

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