Book Review: Smashed by Arul Sirpy

You know what they say about 'Never judge a book by it's cover.' Even though the cover of this book looks simple, the plot of the book is not. It's about three boys, a tea shop, a crow, a politician and some other people; revealing anything beyond that would amount to revealing the story so I'm stopping here.

The plot unfolds slowly, in bits and pieces, introducing a lot of characters in the first few chapters (which initially creates a confusion). But in the later part of the book the plot thickens, bridging the gaps and ends up neatly without any loose ends. Kudos to the author.

The best parts about the books are generous doses of dry humor reminding me of Wodehouse's books, brilliant descriptions of Chennai, and mouth watering descriptions of food. Having stayed in Chennai for a while, I could relate to some places. And the book left me nostalgic. If I really have to complain, I'd only say there were too many characters and coincidences. It's brilliant that the author tied them all up neatly in the end.

Pick it up, you won't regret it! The humor is so good it's hard to believe this is the debut book of the author. My husband looked at me weirdly as I burst out laughing at some parts. The book is long, but is a page-turner and kept me hooked till the end. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who loves reading humor.

My rating 4/5.

When Only Love Remains : Afterthoughts

I have an annoying habit of feeling characters of a book as real. After reading a book, they stay with me for a long time even after finishing the book. Usually some thought or character in the book influences me in a strong way. In this series titled ‘After thoughts’ I'm trying to include the afterthoughts after reading books.

In this book “When only love remains” by Durjoy Datta, the author wrote an awesome passage “Over these conversations with herself, she has realized why people believe in a soul. It’s because they have to for they have no other choice. It’s hard to bear that all the conversations, all the memories you had with your parents, with your sisters, with the person you loved were burnt or buried, snuffed out of life.”

Is soul just a concept we invented so that we could move on easily? Yes, it’s true, letting go of a person is never easy. It’s hard to believe that they’re not missing us the way we’re missing them or that they’ve moved on while we’re still stuck on earth. The idea that they’re still around us, invisible, and feeling the same pain we’re feeling is a most comfortable thought. I’d rather believe in a soul than believe that a person is just a pile of ashes after death. Kudos to the author, for expressing it so beautifully. 

Book Review: When Only Love Remains by Durjoy Datta

"When only love remains" by Durjoy Datta is a haunting story of love between a singer and a flight attendant. I call it 'haunting' because it deals with two deep issues: love and death.

The story starts off at a very slow pace. In fact I had to force myself to read the first half of the book. But, in the next half, the story picked up pace to have a beautiful end—an end almost too good to be true. Even though tears welled up in my eyes a few times throughout the book, even though the book was written beautifully with every character fleshed out, I still couldn’t believe that kind of love exists. It’s too good to be true.

Coming to the story, it’s about a boy (he’s twenty-one) called Devrat, who drops out from engineering to become a singer, and a girl called Avanti. Avanti accidentally stumbles into Devrat’s facebook profile and nurses a secret crush on him. One day, during one of her flight trips to Kolkata, she attends his live performance at a bar and there they talk to each other for the first time. After that first meeting, the story progresses at a rapid pace, with both of them falling in love with each other. Devrat delivers cheesy, ‘cute’ lines, and Avanti calls him her puppy (which irritated me to no end) and both of them have unnatural, deep conversations. Fate intervenes in the form of an accident on their anniversary. I don’t want to reveal further details in case I give the story away.

It’s a regular bittersweet story, but it’s not the plot but lines that is beautiful. Her love for him is so true that it makes you ache from inside. I only hope the story makes sense to eighteen-year-olds in love. I feel I’m already too old for a story like this.