Book Review: Doppelgänger

There are some books that, when writing about, leave one kind of wordless. They might be extremely good, hardly giving a need to write about them; or extremely bad, making it impossible to find something to admire. The third kind would be those books that tick the right boxes in the right amount, leaving me mesmerized. A collection of stories,

Read more

Book Review: I am Big So What!?

As soon as I noticed the title of this book, I knew it will be fun. In a society like ours where body shaming is a regular practice and marriage is the only testimonial for a good girl; Shuchi Singh Kalra‘s I am Big So What shows a girl who fights against all odds and succeeds in vindicating an independent woman’s concept

Read more

Book Review: Sutak

An endearing novel of self-discovery, Sutak is a thoughtful look at the way in which flawed human beings are wrong – and right. This story is about two sisters and their ever intertwining lives. Lalitha and Vinodini though appear like two different species at a glance have more in common than they ever cared to acknowledge. They are like two

Read more

Book Review: My Days In The Underworld

Agni Sreedhar’s bio on wikipedia reads as former gangster, writer, critic and artist. His book Daadagiriya Dinagalu (Kannada), winner of Karnataka State Sahitya Akademi Award, has been translated into My Days In The Underworld – Rise of the Bangalore Mafia. The translation, by Sreedhar himself, stays colloquial and the tone of the book is naturally street side. What an exciting

Read more

Book Review: Just Married, Please Excuse

When I was offered this book for review, I almost grabbed it – for two reasons. The first reason obviously was the quirky title and the ‘V versus Y’ on the cover page, which I thought was a really funny way to denote a marriage. The second was the warning sign, Caution: Marriage Ahead in the summary. I had not really

Read more

Book Review: The Illicit Happiness of Other People

This book had me at the get go. From the opening scene, I read, in a trance like state – most likely under one of the very neuroses Manu Joseph researched to write the book. An unconventional mystery about a father trying to find out why his cartoonist son committed suicide set in the Madras of the 90’s, the book

Read more

Book Review: The Last Soul Children

The most of the memories a person makes is during his childhood, especially during his school life. The book I had been reading for a week – The Last Soul Children by Aman Chougle is a perfect picture of childhood memories depicted through various short episodes that are stitched together in order to create a thread of recollections. The book

Read more

Book Review: The Accidental Prime Minister

I finally finished the book that has had tongues wagging from South Block to South India and also, possibly contributed maybe ten odd incremental seats to the NDA. Baru begins the book by justifying his reasons for writing the book (i.e. showing Manmohan in a better light than the internet jokes circulated about him), using the example of foreign civil

Read more

Book Review: Primal Woman

Sunil Gangopadhyay was one of the most prolific writers in Bangla. His books, over the decades, have enriched the readers and reached new heights of popularity. He is my favourite author, of course, having read almost all his novels since they came in periodical magazines with a lot of suspense between a week’s separation. Not only novels, Sunil Gangopadhyay was

Read more

Book Review: The Middleman

Men, authors, books come and go and yet our country remains filled with angst ridden youth. Sankar’s Middleman is a Bengali novel translated to English and even though it chronicles the life of an unemployed young man in 1970’s Calcutta (as it was called then), it could well have been set in 2014 in any of our country’s cities. Somnath

Read more

Book Review: Edge of Desire

When I discovered The Edge of Desire by Tuhin A. Sinha, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The blurb sounded promising and the reviews gave a positive feedback. But, the thing about Indian writing is that I could never feel connected to it. Some books just work out fine for me, while others lead to utter disappointment. So it is

Read more

Book Review: Corners of a Straight Line

Love is indeed visible in ‘the Corners of a Straight Line’ Life can never be lived while travelling on a straight line, it is indeed the corners that shapes our destiny and our character at large. “I never wanted a straight line to epitomize my life, I preferred corners” Corners of a Straight Line opens the essence of life and love

Read more

Book Review: The Dowry Bride

The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal focuses on the life of a wife in an orthodox milieu of Indian society. The story in this book shows that a wife in a traditional Indian society is generally given a secondary place. This results into losing all notions of her independence, her individuality, stature and strength. The story revolves around Megha who gets

Read more

Book Review: Kismetwali and Other Stories

Kismetwali is a collection of short stories, woven around the –walas and –walis that we are so used to in India. Just to set the context right, we are not talking about the Parsis such as Shenaz Treasurywala, or my good friend Perseus Patrawala or his wife Pinaaz Pagdiwaala. We are talking more about the chaiwala, taxiwala, malishwali, kaamwali, phoolwali

Read more

Book Review: The Death and Afterlife of Mahatma Gandhi

“What has, however, clearly happened in my case is the discovery that in all probability there is a vital defect in my technique of the working of non-violence. There was no real appreciation of non-violence in the thirty years’ struggle against British Raj. Therefore, the peace that masses maintained during that struggle of a generation with exemplary patience, had not

Read more

Book Review: The Sales Room

The Sales Room is as attached to its title as inseparably as a bee is to honey. The plot revolves around sales, sales and nothing but salesmen. These are a specific kind of people who, as the writer says,  are interested in keeping their economies ticking.  This is an innocent satire about a software start-up which  seems to be undergoing

Read more

Book Review: Teresa’s Man and Other Stories From Goa

Damodar Mauzo is a Sahitya Akademi awardee, and a highly respected figure in Konkani Literature. And so, picking this book as one I really wanted to read and review was a no-brainer. “Short stories do not say this happened and this happened and this happened. They are a microcosm and a magnification rather than a linear progression.” ― Isobelle Carmody

Read more

Book Review: The Full Moon Bride

Author Shobhan Bantwal, summarizes in this book what so many Indian American youngsters go through, especially when it comes to striking a balance between the freedom they have, and the need to follow tradition. The Full Moon Bride is a fun-filled, pacy read about Siya Giri, who is a virgin hitting the big three-oh, and her experience with the Indian

Read more

inKonversation: Nagendra Murti on Debuting With A Mind Thriller and More…

Born in Bengaluru, India and a Master of Software Engineering from Brandeis University, Waltham, USA, Nagendra Murti is a technologist and a customer advocate by profession. He is also an avid bird-watcher, photographer and wildlife enthusiast. His constant gripe is the disappearing lakes of Bengaluru due to chaotic urbanization and is looking for avenues to help with that cause. When time

Read more

Book Review: Digital DNA

At some point in time we all have Googled our own names to find what results would the search yield. Of course, it depends on who you really are — a celebrity or a nobody, but for an average internet user the most common type of results would be their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, LinkedIn and countless other social networking

Read more

Book Review: Losing My Religion

Losing my  Religion is  a roller-coaster ride — that of exhilaration and dismay, hope and despair, enthusiasm and disappointment. It says the story of life itself. How  an individual faces the ups and downs of life and emerges a winner!  An oft-told  story, you would say. Perhaps, but not in the way in which it is  narrated…there is an inspiring vitality

Read more

Book Review: The Radiance of Ashes

While reading this book, I came across a line that I feel best suits the feeling about this book – ‘All Nations are full of sad stories, especially our nation India’. Even with the common surname Mistry you would never think that the author is anyway related to the much celebrated Rohinton Mistry. Though they share similar literary capabilities, they

Read more

Book Review: No Man’s Land

“Land – you can’t burn it like money. You can’t melt it like Gold. You can only buy it, sell it, snatch it, grab it. Titles change, governments change, times change but land stays where it is unmoved and sterile. That is its beauty” – Nilesh Shrivastava, Author, No Man’s Land This is a story of a dysfunctional Indian family

Read more

Book Review: Carnival

I am personally not an ardent fan of Short story genre as I haven’t read much of this genre. It’s not that I don’t like short stories as such but it never occurred to me to try this type of literature as I found myself more inclined and glued to the longer version of the game. So when I got

Read more

Book Review: Savita – The Tragedy That Shook A Nation

What should I tell about a young woman named Savita Halappanavar that she was smart, beautiful and vivacious; that she was a doctor by profession and loved to dance; that she was ever vibrant in personality and had a diamond smile; that she was recently married and was expecting her first child; that her womb had along-with the fetus, some

Read more

Book Review: The Yogic Manager

The art of yoga, is the way to good living, as we all know. Combining yoga with the principles of management, is quite novel and unique to say the least. The book draws inspiration from the epic, The Mahabharata, especially the gem within that epic, The Bhagavad Gita, which is the series of conversational pieces between Lord Krishna and Prince Arjuna/ Dhananjaya. In the Foreword of The Yogic Manager:

Read more

Book Review: Smart Phones Dumb People?

Information technology and exploration of its hallowed portals are the mantras of the present perfect. There are both pros and cons of getting high–tech. The ordinary mobile phones have got upgraded to smart phones. But given the fact that we have gone more tech-savvy with each passing day, Smart Phones Dumb People? – Using 21st Century Tools To Address 19th

Read more

Book Review: The Invitation

When I first read the blurb of this book, I expected an emotional drama filled with behavioral and emotional theatrics displayed when a group of individuals, especially those that have migrated to the promised land of generation ‘X’ meet after a decade! I was expecting chapters filled with the display of wealth and success by the main protagonists in true immigrant

Read more

Book Review: Faraway Music

There are books which engage us for a short time and some which touch our hearts. Sreemoyee Piu Kundu’s novel lingers on in our hearts even after we have finished reading the book. It is lyrical and very very feminine. Though not a feminist statement, it does reveal an underlying feminine consciousness.
A piercing insight into human emotions, Faraway Music is a wonderful debut creative endeavour.

Read more

Book Review: Complete/ Convenient

Part of Debut Indian Writers Challenge 2013 The fact that the author’s name rhymes with Chetan Bhagat, is not a coincidence. Ketan Bhagat, is in-fact the younger brother of an author who has redefined our reading habits and has proved that best-selling books can also be made into box-office film hits, in an Indian context. As Ketan Bhagat writes, in his

Read more

Book Review: Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Part of Debut Indian Writers Challenge 2013 Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll explores a different track of life far removed from the preconceived ideas of society. The novel seeks to link the present and the past talking about the changing outlook of the young generation on love, films and music and how they rediscover their inherent cultural values through personal trials

Read more

Book Review: The Virgins

Somethings are change makers, like some people. They can be movies, conversations, books…anything. Even fiction. Yes the make belief can challenge beliefs. This book did it for me. Call me ignorant but being the avid shiva believer Varanasi has, in my mind, remained a city of temples, tourists and tantricks. The Virgins made the city real for me. It put forth on the 318 odd pages a city like any other Indian city, with real people and relatable problems. Siddharth Tripathi in his debut as a novelist presents rare maturity in Indian English writing and a cast that is as entertaining as it is enticing.

Read more

Book Review: The Caretaker

Through the story of captain Ranjit Singh, Ahmad showcases one man, at two places – thousands of miles apart, in two situations – set years apart, yet connected like those thin threads of cheese that refuse to break, stretch as much as you may. A word-potrait of emotions with some intriguing secrets and revelations infused in the storyline is what, I would call The Caretaker is about.

Read more

Book Review: Life..Love..Kumbh

Part of Debut Indian Writers Challenge 2013, South Asian Challenge 2013 and Reading Challenge 2013: First Reads What is the most exotic thing you know about Kumbh Mela in India. Answer in the form below. The most e.x.o.t.i.c. answer makes you the Reader-Winner of July 2013 and gets the laughter riot book The President’s Coming by Anuvab Pal home delivered at your place. A

Read more

What Is Important In Fiction Is That It Has Internal Logic: Amandeep Sandhu

Roll of Honour is without doubt one of the best books read and reviewed on The Tales Pensieve so far and a journey into the mind of the wordsmith behind the book was yet another wonderful experience. In again one of the best interviews here, Amandeep Sandhu gets inKonversation about capturing the stories in our lives, peeling yourself to write and some

Read more

Book Review: Roll of Honour

Part of South Asian Challenge 2013 and Reading Challenge 2013: First Reads This review is honoured to be on the author’s website. I had earlier interviewed Amandeep and his answers were the major push behind me wanting to read the book. I was born at the end of 1983 in Bhopal. Two major events happened in Bhopal around my formative, childhood years

Read more