Showing posts with the label Books

The Chowpatty Cooking Club Book Review - a delicious potpourri!

The Chowpatty Cooking Club is a delightful romp of a novel. It’s the kind of book one would raise in a toast and say, ‘Cheers!’ Set in the tony address of South Bombay’s iconic beachfront, Chowpatty, the story centres around a trio of buddies, Sakina, the story’s raconteur, Zenobia, the Question-Asker and Mehul, the Know-It-All and the parallel friendship between their mothers, Ateka, Freny and Dina respectively. The latter run a Chowpatty Cooking Club, which dishes out weekly snacks with detailed recipes comprising Bohri, Parsi and an unnamed cuisine. The story unfolds in Bombay in the backdrop of the Quit India movement in 1942. Caught up in the patriotic fervour of those times, the kids decide that they, too, must contribute their bit to serve their country. But even as they make plans in between chomping on all the tasty weekly snacks they despair at their mothers who they feel are too immersed in cooking. Little do they know what’s really cooking as author Lubaina Bandukwala dishe

When Blackbirds Fly Book Review - A Requiem to Childhood

It’s quite difficult to write a review of Hannah Lalhlanpuii’s debut novel  When Blackbirds Fly because nothing one says can truly capture the elegiac beauty and the punch in the guts that this slim book packs. It’s a slow burn of a novel allowing the reader to soak in the story while challenging the reader at every step to acknowledge their lack of knowledge, their sense of privilege and assumptions routinely made about the region that forms the locus of the story.

Starcursed book review - A Love Story by Nandini Bajpai set in ancient times

Starcursed by Nandini Bajpai is a surprisingly wonderful read.  Surprising because I wasn't expecting much from this tale of star-crossed lovers. But Bajpai's breezy writing also manages to do more than just tell a love story. She is able to create an entire world solely through her imagination and that's quite a feat – to get the reader invested in her characters and a story set in the twelfth century.

Bena's Summer - A Book for All Times by debut author Shibal Bhartiya

Rarely has a book left me breathless with its command of language and subject. Rarely does a book bring to mind a line of a Hindi film song:   Saara pyaar tumhara…maine bandh liya hai anchal main….All your love have I bound up in my veil… Bena's Summer  is a paean to love  ­ and a grand riposte to our hate-filled times. It’s really a mystery why this cracker of a book has not yet got even a look-in at book awards. It deserves to be feted on every platform for the depth of thought, the riveting word images, the felicity of language, the vivid descriptions of place and time.

History Lesson by Mallika Ravikumar: Of Bravehearts and Revolutionaries - book review

Making history engaging for children is always a challenge. Of Bravehearts & Revolutionaries – Notable Tales from Indian History: Finding Meaning in Our Past written by Mallika Ravikumar with illustrations by Sai Madlik makes a brave attempt at meeting it head-on by backing historical fiction with the actual historical details behind the story.  This is one of those rare books that captures various eras of history, and geographical regions as well as different age groups and strata of society.

Friends Behind Walls book review - Harshikaa Udasi's little novel about Little and Big People

There’s something very delightful about holding a perfectly proportioned book. Harshikaa Udasi’s Friends Behind Walls is one such. Easy to hold whether sitting up or lying down and not too heavy on the wrists overworked with typing on computer keys! There’s also more delight tucked between its pages as it recounts the budding friendship between Innu and Putti. Yes, their actual names are Indrani and Neel, but those don’t really fit them and there is something about the rules of writing dinned into us that the propah names are always cited! This is one book that shows that, really, it was not needed.

Govt. of India Shiksha Puraskar Scheme 2020 Awards for Hindi books

The Central Hindi Directorate, Dept. of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India has announced the annual Shiksha Puraskar Scheme for the year 2020. The five awards of Rs.1,00,000/- each are given to encourage original writings in Hindi in the field of education.

The Lady Who Made it Possible to Read this: Savitribai Phule and I - Book Review

Authored by Sangeeta Mulay and published by Panther’s Paw Publications, Savitribai Phule and I uses the device of letters to introduce the character of Savitribai Phule to readers and to the central protagonist Shabri. Savitribai Phule was the first female teacher who broke caste shackles to open schools for girls from all castes and communities. Reading about her struggle for social reforms helps Shabri, the 'I' in the title to step back from the brink of taking a precipitous step.

Book review of Thatha at School by Richa Jha

There are picture books and there are picture books with surprises. Thatha at School created by Richa Jha and Gautam Benegal and published by Pickle Yolk Books is one such, which directly opens on a special feature for the reader. Very charmingly done, too, referencing the school in the title and leads the reader straight into the story.

Lost and Found in a Mumbai Koliwada book review

Lost and Found  in a Mumbai Koliwada is part of the City Mosaic Series brought out by the People Place Project and published in partnership with Penguin Random House. The series is named so because "each book is a mosaic that will come together to build the collective story of the city we live in."  Lost and Found  in a Mumbai Koliwada  is a collaboration between People Place Project studio, the artist Kripa and the author Vinitha. The stated aim of the series as being "intended to celebrate the city by examining, savouring, reflecting" begins with the intriguing title itself. There are layers to the story, implying a reference to the soul of the city being lost and found as well. The insertion of an article before the place name, a Mumbai Koliwada underlines that the story is about only one such Koliwada. Often, Koliwada is stereotypically referred to as a single, generic location where fisherfolk reside, when in actual fact there are many Koliwadas dotting the

The Piano as an Object of Affection – review of Nandita Basu's graphic novel

Nandita Basu's graphic novel The Piano published by Duckbill, which is now an imprint of Penguin Random House, is a tale of a piano's journey through the sands of time and into the hearts of people whose lives it touches along the way (or doesn't). The cover art and illustrations in the book are also by Basu.