Agniputr - When Agni First Spoke : Book Review

So, when I first heard about this book, I thought it to be from my favorite genre : Mytho-thriller. But no, it wasn't. Then, I read the summary, oh, a contemporary thriller, no, it wasn't. I started reading it, I thought its a horror one. No, it wasn't. Surprise surprice, it is about the least favorite subject of mine. Science! That too, quantum science. And finally, while putting down the book as I finished it, Oh my gosh ! I can't believe physics can be so interesting ! 

Vadhan's Agniputr (Son of Fire) is the book I am talking about. Its a story about an unknown force and how it has got so much power, enough to destroy whole world, or enough to create altogether a new world ! Leading the story are Sheila the 'sci-fi' scientist and Surya the 'hifi' lawyer. Indeed, the pair is amusing and entertaining while they are together. The writer keeps the mood pretty light while they are in the scene. Similarly, when there is a mention of the power, the 'Sutram', the feeling of spook, the uncomfortable feeling of being scared in dark even at night, comes naturally. That indeed, is sign of perfecting the words. Full marks to the writer for that. 

The plot starts in 1940s but soon comes back to present. Writing style is fluid, which won't let you go check your phone notifications. Surprisingly, while the story progresses, the characters starts giving you dose of lightweight humor. A welcome relief indeed in otherwise 'getting tense' mood. I won't reveal any more characters or the storyline further. But will say, this is worth reading if you love thrillers and even paranormal things, it will be added bonus. Oh, and as the title already has given it - waiting for the sequel. 

4/5 from me ! 

Oh, and here's the trailer of the book. You can buy it from here .

Kaafiron Ki Namaaz : Movie Review

Three years back, when I heard the soundtrack of this film, I didn't know that actually watching this film, would be such an experience ! It certainly is not an easy film to watch. It jolts you from inside, it makes you think, ponder over many issues which are (and will be) a part of any society, any country, despite the fact however advanced and 'civilized' it becomes. Where feeble issues and brittle slogans and jingoism has place while the pandemonium behind their back, hits deaf ears.

Set in Kashmir, the first 10 minutes takes you on a whirlwind of expressions and happenings. This is not your usual 'beautiful valley' Kashmir. Neither it is 'just another terrorism wala movie' Kashmir. The haunting shots of empty streets and a stunning and equally depressing aerial shot of the lake will still not make you ready for whats coming next. Further most of the film is set in just one room [and a bathroom] this is something most unique I have ever seen. A court martialed army man, his friend and a musician- a tea vendor and a writer. The three confessing their most personal secrets on a rainy Christmas eve that leads to those shocking revelations and layers of lives and lies we all are living in.

While the trailer was launched, it got me intrigued how, how a movie can be shot in just one place. With just a few characters. Of course there are a few movies with such setup. But still, it is not an easy job to make people glued at screens with such limitations. Here, DOP A.Vasanth does wonders with his games with light and shadow, aided by Jyoti Sankar Bhattacharya's art direction. This brainchild of Ram Ramesh Sharma, writer and director, gets perfect team for this dark tale. Perfection is in casting as well where (Late) Chandrahas Tiwari, Alok Chaturvedi and Megh Varn Pant, soaked in their characters, strip themselves on screen by opening pages and pages of their own book of dark secrets. In the end you get to experience something never before on screen. Despite of such perfection on all fronts, Music of Advait Nemlekar leaves its own impression on you. While Sawaalon Ki God Mein starts off the film on a curious note, Jhalkiyaan shakes you by the time it reaches on its climax (uniquely done, again, with animation) and mysterious Yeh Raat Monalisa adds yet another layer of darkness.

Its really unfortunate that our censor board still haven't grown up, or say has gone back to bygone era, that such movies are proposed to be shredded in order to get public release. May be, because it shows us the mirror, we are scared to see how ugly we look to ourselves. Thank you and Kudos to Producer Bhargav Saikia, for taking this revolutionary step to release this film, that already has seen many festivals worldwide, for everyone. Way to go ! Here's to more such awesomeness, called Cinema.
My rating : 4 / 5.
Here is the link to watch the film : Youtube.
P.S. Bold language used, and some sensitive arguments. If you are easily offended, you are warned. 

Ramayana : The Game of Life Book 3 - Stolen Hope | Book Review

After reading first two books in the series, I was eagerly waiting for next part in this series. Written by Shubha Vilas, The Game Of Life series is a something that made me want to read whole series together. Depsite of the fact that I have, we have read numerous versions of the epic-Ramayana. As the reviews of last two books states, this too has its own strength in terms of wisdom put in footnotes. Making it different, than just being just a 'tale'.

Stolen Hope starts and ends in the exile period of Rama. How things take turns when they face demons never seen before. How they meet sages waiting for just a glance of their beloved Rama. How the delicate princes and queen Sita spend their lives in simplest manner.

Some reviews point out to excessive use of adjectives. But I see it as a valuable addition. As our original texts of ancient times, are full of such phrases. Comparing a simple thing with beautiful words. Translating them and putting them in this modern version, is commendable effort by the author. We can only imagine the vast vocabulary of our ancestors.

Combining various versions of Ramayana, we get to know some really interesting tales hidden in the large canvas of stories. Example - the story, how and why 'Sitaphal' arrived on earth and why it is in-edible for monkeys. Was 'Lakshman-rekha' really there to protect Sita or was it just another addition over the time? Why Ravana restricted himself and didn't impose Sita to be his wife? And an interesting twist why and how Sati became Sita and the twist ended up as a painful end.

Though there are glitches this time in the book in terms of mistakes so common that could have been avoided with proper proof reading. Like use of 'his' in place of 'he' and so on. Hope this would be corrected in next edition. The cover too, is underwhelming. Out of three books till now, the second book had best cover design.

In the present times, when every other author is turning to mythological tales and twisting it as their own will, The Game of Life series, is a welcome change in this scenario. A series we should preserve as a keepsake so that the original story don't get lost in many imaginative versions. Thank you Shubha Vilas for this effort.