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Book review

Three in a row – book review

I can proudly and quite unashamedly proclaim that I’m a sucker for chick-lit and romance (er, novels, that is).

A friend was leaving on vacation, and very sweetly offered me two of her novels, that I grabbed outright.

So first, I read ‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks. I was not expecting much more than a light and refreshing read, and I have to say it proved to be more than that. It was a typically quick read, replete with romance and emotions, suspense and drama. All in all, quite an enjoyable book. Leaves one wanting to either fall in love, or envelope someone special in a bear-hug, and never let go.

****Spoiler alert**** I wonder if this Bollywood movie was made AFTER or BEFORE the book was released?!!!

Rating: 3/5

Then I grabbed ‘A Walk to Remember‘. I was expecting to see the same amount of mush in this book, but very interestingly, I found a lot of humour instead. (Now, if I’m a sucker for romance, then I’m an even bigger sucker for humour :-)) The author does warn you in the prologue. He says, the book will first make you laugh, then cry. I wholly agree. You will have more than a few laughs in the first half of the book, and even the second half, despite being sad, is extremely sweet. The book reminds one of the innocence and freshness of youth 🙂

Rating: 3.5/5 (enjoyed the humour)

And yesterday, I happened to get another book from the library. I had reserved ‘Atlas Shrugged‘ after reading a FB message by Rakesh (and loads of comments from our usual comment monsters :lol:) and I THOUGHT I was going to collect this book, but happened to bring home ‘Dear John’ instead.

Now, I confess felt very slightly bored, at the beginning of the book. However, it rapidly picked up pace, and I found myself, wanting to finish it before the day ended. And I did 🙂 (Kind courtesy: Little brat who very sweetly decided to keep himself occupied with winding his microphone around his hands and legs!!!!)

The synopsis of the book certainly does not do justice to the plot. This is not the usual ‘love story’.

For one, the characters in the book have been etched so beautifully, that you feel their love, their anxiety and their pain. They are very real.

Secondly, it gives one a glimpse into the ugly face of War, and how troops deputed in war zones actually spend their life. One actually ponders about the futility of it all.

And third, the book is not just about the love between a man and a woman, but also about the delicate relationship between a father and son. I loved the way this was brought out, in a very subtle and tender way.

To me, the character that stands out the MOST, is one that is mentioned neither on the back-cover nor the website. It is that of the Father of the protagonist. He is a simple, good man, who lives his life exactly the same way each day, but is a terrible social misfit. The father suffers from autism, and the way he reaches out to his son, in his own unique manner, twists and wrings your heart!!

Every character is true to life, and in those couple of hours spent on reading the book, one actually understands WHY each character takes the decisions he/she does, and how it seems both logical yet sad.

You must read the book, to FEEL what this is about.

I loved it, and I think it has made me more understanding of how a developmental problem can affect the lives of the person and his/her family and loved ones.

A note of caution : .This is a heart-wrenching book. It left me incredibly sad and dejected, wondering why life cannot be more simple. So, please save this for a long weekend, where you can recover and bounce back to your happy self 🙂 before the week begins again.

Rating: 4/5 (Exquisite characterisation)

Something I found to be a common undercurrent in all three books, was the almost naive, but constant emphasis on ‘true and ever-lasting love‘ (assuming, there is such a thing!).

I also liked the fact that the author managed to keep the ‘hero’ and ‘heroine’ from not jumping into bed, at the drop of a hat (or anything else for that matter). I understand that can be quite a put-off for a Mills & Boon fan 😈 😆 but it made ‘love‘ seem more special. Old-fashioned, perhaps. But ‘sacred‘ nevertheless.

As for the language and quality of writing, I was not expecting much, being ‘romance’ and ‘chick-lit’ and all. And neither am I into reading ‘difficult’ books (aka, I can’t understand them 😛 I’d much rather read a simple easily understandable sentence, rather than a paragraph full of words that contain 4 or more syllables! 😆 So yes, the language was simple, engrossing, and made all the books an entertaining read.

I just happened to find this link on Youtube.

So, if any of you happen to be die-hard romantics, do grab a copy and a bunch of tissues.

Happy Sunday, folks.

Categories
Humour Incidents

My dead grandPaa (part-fiction, part-rant)

Every time I see the Promos for the film ‘Paa‘, I think of how strange it would be if my Grandfather were alive. For some unknown reason, Auro reminds me of the GrandPaa I never had. He died before I was even born.

[Pic courtesy Sulekha dot com]

My only memory of him are fragments of a story I’d heard somewhere, sometime (from my Grandmother, perhaps). That he was on the battlefield, and was severely hurt, along with a friend. And whilst they lay there to die, he felt thirsty, and managed somehow, to find a bottle of water. Just as he was about to take a sip, his friend motioned for some. And this gentleman thought for a second, and then selflessly gave away his water to the friend. And that was the final self-sacrificial of Mr.Raman. (Mr.Raman was my grandfather, as you might have smartly guessed by now).

So that was my impression of this stately looking gentleman.  Talking of looks, he was dashing! One look at his wedding photographs, and I had this huge crush. ‘Handsome’ would be an understatement.

A few years ago, on a visit to our ancestral village (called Poondi), we had an unforgettable taste of life in the early century (this century, ofcourse. Don’t ask me if it is the 20th or 21st or 22nd century.. am always confused about this logic – apart from many other things, that is).

The entire village was made up of just a few streets. Rows and rows of neatly built houses. Each with a frontyard, cool bench along the wall (to sit and chew paan, perhaps), thatched roof, tiny skylit hall inside, and even tinier bedrooms and bathroom.

At that impressionable age, this only proved to etch my dead GrandPaa’s image deeper in my heart.

So the last time I had a fight with my Mummy, and she said ‘How did you turn out like this? Look at your dad…such a gentleman. And you?!!”, I replied with a quick ‘And you like this? Your Daddy was so noble and you are so immature even at this age!’.

Ofcourse she didn’t take it well. I had to all but hide under the sheets like a trembling coward.

‘Whadya mean NOBLE?’, she thundered.

‘Um…(gasp)…I mean…he ..he..fought in the war!’

‘Which war?’ she boomed.

‘…Uh.. the world war? I dunno! You should know, you were his daughter!’

To my utter surprise, she did not get furious at me at all. Instead she burst out laughing!

I gaped in silence, and in a short while she had tears in her eyes, and her face was red.

‘Mummy…are you Ok?’

‘Do you know how your Grandfather died?’ she answered with a question.

‘Y..ye.yes… in war?’ (I didn’t want her to know that I knew the touching story of his sacrifice).

She again burst out laughing. Her whole body was shaking now, and tears were still streaming down her eyes.

‘He died of heart attack!’, she replied when she could control her laughter for a moment.

‘Heart attack?’, I ventured. ‘Not thirst – on the battle field?’

‘Thirst?!! The only thirst he knew was Whiskey! And what battle field are you obsessed with? He was in merchant navy! Didn’t ever see a battle. Took early retirement, couldn’t control his drinking habit. And one day, he just died of a heart attack, leaving us to fend for ourselves.’

I had just lost a battle of belief. I retreated, hurt.

Never again will I talk of my dead grandPaa. May his soul RIP.

[Edited title from ‘Fictional rant’ to ‘Part fiction part rant’]