Book Review - Moustache

Title - Moustache
Author - S Hareesh
English Translation - Jayasree Kalathil
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Harper Perennial, an imprint of Harper Collins Pubishers
ISBN - 978-93-5357-602-8

I am a half mallu. Having said that, I must admit that I never spoke Malayalam at home and I visited my relatives only once in this 40 years. I have visited Kerala, 20 times for various other reasons. I have not seen a Malayalam movie but have watched the actors from Mollywood performing in Tamil movies. Hence there is no surprise that I never had an opportunity to come across a book which is related to Kerala soil(read it as written/penned by Malayalam authors).

When I heard about this book, which became popular for other reasons, I thought I should pick this up and find out as to what exactly was written in the book. I must say that I was overwhelmed. There are few reasons to it:

1. We must not see or approach everything as it is.
2. One should not assign raw meaning to the portrayal - be it with pics or wordings.
3. There are chances of these being misunderstood but one must appreciate author's view point (Please note that these are my personal opinion).
4. Not everything should approached through religious aspects(I need to iterate her that I am Hindu by Birth and Practice and I am NOT paid for this review).

What makes this novel real special?

I always knew that Malayalam authors approach a subject in a different perspective. I witnessed it first hand when I read this novel. I was overwhelmed. Hareesh has approached the delicate subject in a well polished way. The characters lived through each and every page. Though the outline may look simple - "Dalits Vs Upward Caste", the struggle which they have gone through during the British Era couldn't have been captured better than this.

Vavachan, the protagonist plays a beautiful role in this novel which is a mixture of magic, myth and metaphor. Initially, I was not able to follow the story but when I started giving more attention, I could easily relate to the role played by the Moustache. The briefing of the story is already given in the product page as synopsis. Hence I am not going to go deep into it.

The wordings used by the author were a class apart. For instance the reference of Spaceship by a kid named Ponnu in Chapter 2, wherein he questions his father - "is it sailing through the sea in the sky?" is a beautiful imagination which is unique to the author. 

If you wanted to know more about the God's own country, I think this novel would serve as a beautiful reference since Hareesh almost made the scenes appear before us, in real. I could live and feel the beautiful landscapes, tasty dishes like Chemballi(dark skinned perch kallada).

A classic novel which shouldn't be missed....

This book is available on Amazon and on all leading stores, online and offline.

Restaurant Review - Mathsya

Yesterday, I along with my friends Karthik Murali & Shrinidhi Hande visited Mathsya Restaurant, Adyar for dinner.
This is a pure veg restaurant. Being a pure veg myself(only in Saturday), I couldn’t have asked for a better restaurant. This brand hails from Udupi, Karnataka and is known for their delicacies like bisi-bele bath, neer dosa, kadubu & Guliappa to name a few.
We started with a welcome drink - rose milk. Post that we moved on to Tomato soup. My friends felt it was too sweet. For me, it was ok.

Then we ordered a dish made of corn. It was crispy and spicy. Liked the taste very much. Then it was Lotus Stem soaked in Chilli & Lemon. It tasted unique.

Then we ordered Neer Dosa. You shouldn’t miss it if you’re looking for Udupi delicacies apart from bisibeke bath, guliappa & kadubu. Kadubu is usually served in jack fruit leaf but since the leaf is a rarity and it takes time to prepare, we got it in a normal way. So, don’t be disappointed, if you were expecting that style. The taste is intact.

The highlight was the Rocket Masala Dosa. It is a 4 feet Dosa which could easily satisfy the hunger of 4 people. It comes with lot of coconut & mint Chutney, Sambar, potato masala.
We ended our dinner with a sweet lime juice. Shrinidhi alone ordered butter milk.
Highly recommended. Be early because it is jam packed. You may have to wait in the queue before you get your turn but it is worth your time and money.

Book Review - I Am in Love With a Shudh Desi Firangi

Title - I Am in Love With a Shudh Desi Firangi
Author - Dipnanda Bhaduri Roy
Genre - Fiction(Romance)
Publisher - Raindrops Publishers
ISBN - 978-93-88259-51-4

Not all the love stories are the same. Each one has its own appeal. Love is universal and we have seen innumerable stories and movies being made, day in and day out. Sometimes, you may feel bored when you come across a story which is repetitive. This phenomenon is not applicable when it comes to a Love story. This is what has happened in this beautiful book as well.

Firstly, I was impressed with the cover page which is unique and eye-catchy. It is this which evoked interest in me, instantly. I started reading the book as soon as I received the book and immediately fell in love with the book.

What is so special about this book?

This is a love story.
Though this is a love story, this isn't the usual one which you would have come across.
The approach is unique.
The characterization was marvelous.

Though there were no surprises or unexpected twists an turns,the story makes it compelling. It was written so beautifully that you would hardly feel about having spent some time in finished reading it. The story can be explained in just two lines an hence I am not going into it. The way the story flowed from the beginning till the end is like a breeze. Honestly speaking, it was almost like a poetry. I had not come across such a beautiful love story in my recent days.

There was love.
There was an urge.
There was lust but not for physical intimacy.
There was disappointment.

Finally, there was an happy ending.

Read this book today to find out what the protagonist Kattyayini has to go through in order to find her true love in the form of Rudra - who is actually a Firang named Rodney.
This book is available on Amazon

Book Review - Ink On Paper : Stories to set the aura and Poems to tell the story

Title - Ink On Paper : Stories to set the aura and Poems to tell the story
Author - Vishikha
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - NotionPress
ISBN - 978-1-64678-876-4

An excellent collection of short stories by a 13 year old girl. I was amazed by the sheer brilliance of imagination by Vishikha which has come out in the form of the book.The book is unique as one could get to see the world through the eyes of a small girl who has a real big vision. The ability to see things on a macro lens is what that makes these stories appealing.

Some write poems. Some write stories. When you see that each and every one of the 82 stories is a combination of Stories+Poems, you would be left with awe, for sure. The words used in each and every story were so powerful that you feel like living the moment through those characters.

Vishikha has touched upon various aspects of life and has beautifully brought out the emotions which differs with each story. The book would surely serve as an inspiration for the budding talents. If you have a kid at home and he/she is aspiring to become a writer, you can present them with this book which would surely serve as a motivation and a pathway in become one on their own.

Some of the stories exhibit emotions which are usually conceived by the elders. I was really surprised to see the maturity of thoughts which has come out as a free flow through various stories which certainly needs our attention and support.

This book is available on Amazon in the paperback format.

Book Review - Stories For The Innocents

Title - Stories For The Innocents
Author - N.S.Ravi
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - 9788194382027
ISBN - Locksley Hall Publishing LLP

Nuranis Ravi has always showed a great variation when it comes to publishing his stories. It varies from one book to another. With his recent release, he has yet again proved his mettle by weaving the stories which are so natural and appealing.

This book is a collection of 10 stories and each of them has its own appeal quotient. The book begins with a story that talks about the prank show hosted by a radio channel. It then moves to a man from RSS who was conceived in a different notion by the protagonist only to be proved incorrect in the end. Then there is a story which was inspired by the pet, author had in real. This is certainly a painful story which catches the plight of those who lives in a war torn land.

Then there was a story about the ever caring father. There was also a story about a maid who wanted her belongings to be checked before she left the work. There was a driver who was misunderstood by the passenger. Then there is a border love story which talks about the plight of a couple who came from two different religion but decides to embrace a new religion altogether.

The stories makes you ask the following questions:

1. Why?
2. Where?
3. What?
4. How?

to name a few. I am sure that you would have a great read and can be done as a bed time stories as well to your kids, as most of them carries some great morals. Do not miss to pick your copy, today!

This book is available on Amazon

Rangbaaz Phirse - Season 2 on ZEE5

When you get to see the originals based on some real-life incidents, you would certainly be intrigued. This concept has no bounds or boundaries. For instance, an original became an instant hit when it was released on the platform in Tamil Nadu because it connected with the leader, they revered the most. Similarly, when you take up something intriguing which has been the talk of the town, it would invariably get noticed by the viewers.

The first season of Rangbaaz was a super-hit as it was based in Uttar Pradesh whereas the second season is based out of Rajasthan. When I started watching the original, it gave me the same feeling of watching this movie “Gangs of Wasseypur”. I am a keen follower of news especially the ones that are happening in my City, State and in the Country. Hence when I came to know that the second season would be based on the life of Anand Pal Singh, I wanted to find out as to what exactly had happened in his life before it came to an abruptly ended in the name of encounter.

We have seen in many movies ourselves as to what leads to an encounter or how is it staged. This piqued my interest instantly and I started watching it. Trust me, every episode is a GEM in its own way. Each character portrayed in this original had done complete justification. One must note here that the original names were not used due to various implications, but the makers have tried to make this as much interesting and real.

A thriller would always keep us on the edge of the seat. This is what happens with this season as well. When you get to see a different story altogether, this would certainly encourage a quality viewer because in the first place, it is not repetitive and hence there is no question of boredom. Moreover, the star-cast certainly adds more weight to the story. Since the first season has been a tremendous success, I am sure that Rangbaaz Phirse would be even grander and thrilling than ever before.

Remember, the producers of Season 2 are the same as Season 1. So, they know the pulse of the public and would give their best in order to keep us entertained until the end.

If you haven’t watched any of the seasons yet, watch Rangbaaz Phirse Review Online

The promo looks intriguing. I am sure, the season once it is aired, would keep the viewers like us wait impatiently for the subsequent episodes. 

It’s #ResolutionBinge this January 2020 with ZEE5

ZEE5 has never failed to entertain us ever since its inception. The quality of the program they offered made them the market leaders in its segment. They always believed in the content rather than the quantity which has steered them to the position as to where they are now. Having watched a variety of programs in the past, I can certainly say with confidence that they knew the pulse of the viewers without which they couldn’t have been improving themselves in leaps and bounds.

The diversity in the programs being aired across different time segments has kept us captivated for sure. This is not a statement of exaggeration but facts since the TRP never lies which is made possible due to the overwhelming support from the public. The fact that they showed the variety across segments which includes Talk Shows, Live Show, Movies, Soaps, Music etc., has covered almost all the crucial aspects which we wouldn’t want to miss, otherwise. The movies that were aired last year were thoroughly enjoyed by the viewers. When you get to see movies like Simmba, URI, The Accidental Prime Minister, The Tashkent Files etc., what more would you need? This would in fact keep you captivated at your home even during the weekends, isn’t it?

Having done a tremendous job in the year 2019, ZEE5 is not sitting on their laurels. In fact, they wanted to make it even better for the viewers. When you keep improving yourselves year after year, you would end up getting greater patronage. Am I wrong in making this statement? I don’t think so.
Do look at what they did achieve in 2019. Let me tell you that these are mind-blowing figures.

Some of the note-worthy achievements by ZEE5 that I would like to mention here:

  1. Close to 9 Million daily active users
  2. Availability in more than 190 countries
  3. More than 100,000 hours of content with 84+ Originals launched.
  4. Available in 52 languages
  5. 25+ Blockbuster Digital Premieres
  6. More than 30 Prestigious Awards and 30+ global partners
Having said all the above, you might wonder what is in store for us this year. It is January 2020 #ResolutionBinge which is going to wow us.

Usually, channels make a hue and cry when it comes to featuring some unique programs or hit movies. If you have watched ZEE5 in 2019, you would’ve now been convinced fully that you always got to see the latest content – be it Movies or otherwise. So, this time they are planning a January 2020 launch on ZEE5 and I am confident that this would be even more fruitful.

One of the main points I would like to highlight is diversity. They cater to the National and Regional needs. This is evident from the below mentioned consumption according to the language.
  1. Hindi – 57%
  2. Marathi – 14%
  3. Tamil – 10%
  4. Kannada – 7%
  5. Bengali – 5%
  6. Telugu – 4%
  7. Malayalam – 2%
  8. Bhojpuri – 1%
This is what makes them unique and special. There is never a question of problem with the language since you always get to watch the content of your choice on ZEE5.
The platform has A-Listers like Puneet Rajkumar, Arjun Rampal, Dia Mirza, Rakul Preet Singh to name a few and the list would get even bigger in the coming days.
I guess I have spoken enough about the platform and the content. If you are already a subscriber, you would probably know better than me. If not, do subscribe to ZEE5 today.
To give you a hint as to what’s in store for the viewers from ZEE5 New Releases in January 2020, do check here.

Book Review - The Auspicious : The Sealed Academy

Title - The Auspicious ; The Sealed Academy
Author - Shobana Ravi
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - MBooks & BlueOcean Books
ISBN - 978-81-939349-5-1

Shobana Ravi redefined the news reading when she was in a news reader in DD National. She was a known name in this field and had held her position for close to 2 decades. When I heard that she is coming out with a fiction novel, I could not wait but to grab the opportunity to meet her in person and get the autographed book.

The event saw the presence of various luminaries which included MaFoi K Pandiarajan, Hon'ble Minister of Tamilnadu - for Tamil Language, Culture, Archaeology and Museums, Movie Director Gautam Vasudev Menon, Mr B S Raghavan, IAS(Retd), Former Chancellor of ICFAI University and Dr Sudha Seshayyan, Vice Chancellor of Tamilnadu Dr MGR Medical University. The luminaries gave some inspiring and thoughtful speech. This is the first ever novel being published by BlueOcean Books(which is a Odyssey store venture) in association with MBooks.

Coming to the book review. 

I thoroughly loved the thrill quotient of the book. I never thought Shobana Ravi would pen such an interesting and gripping story which would keep you captivated till the end. The writing style was fluid and she has taken a great care in giving importance even to the minute details which would make this book stand apart.

While it begins with Mallika, one of the protagonists being abducted by an unidentified gang, she gets help from an unexpected person. On the other hand, there were two powerful forces in the play - The Sealed Academy(a Good One) and The Nest (a Bad one).

What were they fighting for?

While The Nest deploys "P", a dreaded gangster to get their work done, he himself gets eliminated later.

Who did this?

On the other hand, there was this Baba who was believed to be the avatar of Lord himself. Can HE not stop the inevitable?

The movie takes you across various places and characters which were intricately woven to keep you at the edge of your seats. Some of the sequences would make you feel as if you were there. There was a mix of love, thrill, treachery coupled with spine chilling murders.

Yes. The 230 odd page is only the prequel since the author has planned to come out with a sequel which I am eagerly looking forward to.

This book is available on Amazon and on all leading book stores, offline.

Style Up with Visag & Thapi - Unisex Salon and Spa

Today, I visited Visag & Thapi Salon & Spa on Harrington Road. I opined it would just be another usual spa & salon but I was proven incorrect.
What are their specialties?
Salon & Spa services


Facilities available:
1) Hair Styling
2) Hair Dressing
3) Hair Colouring
4) Shaving
5) Trimming
6) Spa services

They have set up the rooms with perfect dim lights coupled with mild music in the background.
Apart from that, thy have a separate room where you can keep your belongings locked in a safe before changing yourself.
Once the massage is done, you would be directed to the wash room which also has the steam bath facility. Once you’re done with the steam bath, you can take the regular bath - hot/cold water facility available with body wash & shampoo along with shower cap.
I felt like I was inside a 5-Star rated hotel wherein I was pampered by some extremely talented hair stylist & masseurs. If you wanted to know where they derive all these talents from, you need to visit them. I’m sure you would feel great.
Here is the snippet of a service I had received from them:

For detailed information about their services, do visit their website by clicking here

Book Review - Spies, Lies & RedTape

Title - Spies, Lies & RedTape
Author - Amit Bagaria
Genre - Fiction/Thriller(Political)
Publisher - NotionPress
ISBN - 978-1646786190

The first fiction novel from Bagaria will send chills up your spine. All characters are given equal and powerful roles, and they have done justice to it. A thriller you wouldn’t want to miss. This is probably the shortest review I have posted for a book. This is done in order to make sure that the plot is not revealed inadvertently.

This book is available on Amazon