A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

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Okay, believe me, all of 2015 books would not be chick-lits. It’s only a coincidence that the first two are. In fact, I am coming across really, really good books from different genres. Big yay to that!

About this book, let me just say a simple thing. Irrespective of how Indian television serial-istic the title sounds, I loved this one! And I’ll go ahead and say that many of you may like it. Unless, of course, you completely despise love stories. This is not the kind of books where I can say that even if you hate love stories, this will make you a convert. It is a sappy, over-sentimental love story but as far as I am concerned, it’s not the kinds which can make you cringe. I read some reviews about the book after completing it and everyone seemed to love the female protagonist. I did not feel any particular love towards her, though I have to agree it was a cute character (if that makes sense). However, I loved the male protagonist through and through! Now anyone who has read the book will totally judge me for liking him because he was like those typical hot as hell and still nice and pure at heart guys which are only there in books (or movies)! But, hey, even if he was fictional, he deserves a mention. 😀 I also liked the fact that most of the side characters were given good enough footage. I love it when side characters have some importance. Some of the things were super cliched but I managed fine with that because I was enjoying the story and the melodrama way too much anyway.

My favorite part of the book has to be the subplot of child marriages in Rajasthan. I think that truly made this story special for me.

I am a little scared of the fact that my opinion may make you think highly of this novel and it may not live up to your expectations. I know that such super mushy love stories are not liked by many. This might very well be true if you happen to read this but I loved it. To think of that I chanced upon it’s eBook accidentally! 🙂

Oh, and, yes, it will make for a good Bollywood movie for sure, in true DDLJ style.

‘Arranged Love’ by Parul A. Mittal

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I came across this while randomly browsing books (and knick-knacks) in Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place, Delhi. I picked it up mostly because of the cover and it being a chick-lit. I read some 20 pages before I had to leave the store. It was a fairly easy read and I am up for such racy fiction most times, so I thought of downloading & completing it after few days. Yes, I should read more, umm, intelligent stuff. This year, maybe?

So, this was the 22nd book in 2014 but got completed in 2015. First book of 2015.

I think it’s fairly easy to say how I feel about this book. It’s a nice, easy read with romance and humor and I enjoyed it for that. However, it is very predictable, especially if you read the backside of the cover and I don’t think that chick-lit always is or has to be predictable, it can be a good piece of literature for sure while being relaxing. Additionally, there are a lot of sexual jokes that were very unnecessary. I mean, to me, it seemed like trying too hard. I always hate that. Most of those jokes i found unfunny.

I should also mention that the ending depended on a certain twist, while I would have rather liked if that twist wasn’t there and then the protagonist had to decide whom she wants to marry. However, that’s not so much of a problem. That’s just different people wanting different things. Also, I really, really liked the love story of a side character. It was just beautiful, the innocent, pure kinds, the ones we call perfect? Apparently, it is taken from another of the author’s novels – Heartbreaks & Dreams!:The Girls @IIT – which was a national bestseller.

I am also in awe of the fact that the author is an IIT-Delhi graduate (a place from where females are usually less in number) and has a Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Michigan (!!!!!!). I thought I would just mention that.

Overall, it’s the kind of books you can read on a short flight or train journey for a nice, easy read but do not expect much in terms of plot.

Four things.

Maggie from The Novel Orange and Nishita di from Nishita’s Rants & Raves did a really fun tag on their blogs, the ‘four things’ tag. I thought I’ll do it too because it sounded so cool (and I had answers in my mind when I was reading the posts 😛 ). So, here I go with my 4 things:

Four Things People Call Me Other Than My Real Name

  1. Shishtu (called my Best Friend)
  2. TT (called by my cousins as it is easier to say T-T than say Srish-ty)
  3. Krish (called by some friends, it’s the name of a really annoying superhero character from a Bollywood movie)
  4. Srish (called by anyone randomly, it’s funny how I don’t like this name a lot but it is actually the name of the blog)

Four Places I Have Been 

  1. Lots of places in Rajasthan, India which are considered must visit (read Jodhpur, Jaisalmer etc)
  2. Kashmir, India
  3. Bangalore, India
  4. Makati, Philippines

Four Things I Do Not Eat 

  1. Meat (If I start again, I’ll be able to manage only chicken)
  2. Seafood
  3. I did not use to eat bananas since around class 5 but I started liking them since sometime back
  4. Umm, flowers? I know people who like chewing roses.

Four Things I Am Always Saying 

  1. sun! (it’s a Hindi word that means listen)
  2. yo mama so fat (when I have nothing better to say 😛 )
  3. hahahaha
  4. matlab? (it’s a Hindi word that means ‘as in?’, i am always asking people to explain :P)

Four Places I Have Lived 

  1. Kaithal, Haryana, India
  2. Delhi-NCR
  3. Technically, I have lived in only two places but I can say Churu, Rajasthan for having experienced it from close
  4. Does living for a week count? Then Bangalore/Philippines

Four Things I Am Looking Forward To in the Next Year 

  1. Living up my first year in the B-school I am awaiting results of (hopefully :/, pray for me, you guys, I’ll know by next week)
  2. Being able to bake a good whole wheat bread
  3. Positive results in few things I am worried about
  4. Success of my loved ones

Four Movies I Have Watched More Than Once 

  1. Hum Aapke Hain Koun (Bollywood)
  2. Chhoti Si Baat (Bollywood, one of my all time favorites)
  3. 10 things I hate about you (Hollywood)
  4. Hum Saath Saath Hain (Bollywood)

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now 

  1. Varanasi, India
  2. Okay, this place whose name I keep forgetting, let me Google. I can’t find it, it’s this really beautiful hill station in probably Canada whose name starts with B (probably). Anyone?
  3. Eating my heart out in Kolkata, India with my favorite people
  4. Having the time of my life in Shimla, India. I love that place beyond limits, I don’t care how commercialized it has become!

Four Books I Recommend 

  1. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  3. Nobody can Love You More by Mayank Austen Soofi
  4. All stories/novels by Munshi Premchand

Four Television Shows I Watch 

  1. Sarabhai versus Sarabhai
  2. F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. I don’t follow any, but I watch many randomly. Heck, I don’t even follow Game of Thrones religiously.

Four Jobs I Have Had 

  1. I interned at this NGO where they were collating healthcare related and hospital data from all across India. It was boring and a little scary but we were some friends together, so we had a ton of fun! 😀
  2. My first job, where I am working right now. I am in Consulting, working with KPMG, India. I still remember telling way before our campus placement season that I wish KPMG picks me. They did, but I did not get to work in the domain I wanted to. So, yes, I am thankful but still can’t wait to quit. 😛 😀
  3. A couple of other internships but I can’t think of a JOB job.
  4. I read in Nishita Di’s post that she worked as a sales person in a bookstore. If it is not perfection, its few steps closer to that, I am sure. :’)

That will be it. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged. 🙂

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Say hello to the last book that I read in 2014! Finally. Well, I did start yet another one but I finished it in 2015, so we will count it as the first one in 2015. 😀

I and classics in English language generally don’t go very well, but I end up buying them anyway, so might as well read them. That is how this happened.

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However, I am glad that it did. I really liked the Great Gatsby. The fact that in the movie the protagonist is played by DiCaprio makes you  me imagine Gatsby as him helps too. ❤ I haven’t watched the movie though.

It is essentially a sad love story and that’s about it. I really can’t point at what exactly made me like this, but I did like it. It grew upon me as I proceeded, it wasn’t enjoyable since the beginning. It is kind of predictable too but only the bigger picture is predictable, not exactly everything.

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This book opinion is kind of weird and haywire because I really don’t know what to say about this book. I liked it, it was nice but I am not sure what made it a classic really. I also don’t know what made me like it. I never do a recommendation thing when sharing book opinions because to each, his own, but I try to say what I feel about the book and what kind of people may like it. However, with this one, I don’t know. It’s a sad love story, so, you can decide for yourself. 🙂

Growing Up by Devika Rangachari

As I keep mentioning here & there, I haven’t read most of the cult favorites, not even as a child. However, I chanced upon some of the novels that I really, really loved and continue to love.

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My junior school library had a lot of books from Children Book Trust (CBT) publications and one of the authors associated with the publication was Devika Rangachari. I have read her short stories collections as well as three of the children’s novels – 1) Company for Manisha, 2) When Amma Went Away & 3) Growing Up. I love all three of them to bits. In fact, I have read the second one probably in my late teens or after reaching adulthood, I bought it alongside when I found a copy of ‘Growing Up’ somewhere (I don’t remember where I bought it from, but I am so lucky to have found it after school ended). I am searching for a copy of ‘Company for Manisha’ everywhere and I think I should just go visit the CBT library someday to look for it, now that I live in Delhi.

All three of them are based on more or less the same theme. How kids grow and improve after entering their teens, learning from their mistakes and all. I am not sure if they would be liked by today’s kids considering how fast they are becoming mature and all grown-up these days, you know what I mean?

‘Growing Up’ is also on the same theme. Story of two young girls, how their friendship gets affected by other elements, how teens do things to fit in with their peer group and how they should rather realize to stand their ground and be affirmative as opposed to gullible. Seriously, how many of us realized that in the teen years itself? 😀 Or, rather, have we realized it yet? 😀 Yep, not so realistic but, I don’t know, I just love to read her stories for some reason. Have any of my Indian friends read any of these? 🙂

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PS: One more book to go from 2014 and I’ll be done with this self-imposed torture. However, I realized that there are now five books to go for 2015 before I come to my currently reading, guess I would never be writing about the same one that I am reading at the moment. What the..!

The Guide by Sir R K Narayan

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Am I ever going to get done with posting about books from last year? It seems like a never-ending thing. Please bear with me if you see back to back book opinions here after this. :/

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This is the 19th book that I read as part of this challenge and, honestly, I am way too confused about how I felt about it. I think I’ll just write my thought process, point by point?

1. I can totally see why this was made into a mainstream Bollywood movie. It is very, very filmy and even today a movie can be made using this as the story and it’ll fit into today’s time. *Tiny spoiler alert* Falling in love with someone who is totally off-limits, then doing things you never thought you would and making it big in life like you never imagined and then come crashing down without knowing what to do next is a good enough filmy theme, wouldn’t you agree?

2. As far as I am concerned, this book felt very dragged in almost half of the initial pages, but I was determined to not give up on this and eventually it became a page turner for me.

3. It is good, the story is quite larger than life but at the same time, the human emotions on which this story is built are something that can be felt by anyone of us. So, even though the story is larger than life, people can relate to the different characters, especially the main ones.

4. I haven’t been able to understand why it appears in every list of awesome books by Indian authors. Really? Is it that amazing? What am I missing here?

5. I have mentioned it in my favorite books of 2014 but now I am not so sure. I am glad that I read it. actually went through a rush of emotions towards the end but I am still not sure if it’s a must read for everyone.  It’s like you will feel good about reading it but even if you don’t, I do not think that you are missing out on something big.

That’s pretty much it. Was it too confusing?

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