Category Archives: Books

Book Review: The Boys Who Fought by Devdutt Pattanaik

History, they say, is written by the victors. And we live in a world where the lines between history and mythology are fast blurring. Undoubtedly, the works of noted mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik come as a ray of hope in these torrid times.

Already a fan of his works (have read them all), I was keen enough to read ‘The Boys Who Fought’ although the cover clearly said this book is an illustrated version of Mahabharata for the children. In fact, one of the main reasons why I like to read Pattanaik’s books are his illustrations. A simple half=page graphic can convey a thought much easier than a full page of text.

The story of Mahabharata has been told since time immemorial, by various authors. What sets Devdutt Pattanaik apart is his interpretation of the text. Those who have not read ‘Jaya’ must immediately get a copy for themselves. However, this book is largely focused on the feud between Pandavas and Kauravas. And he divided the entire story into six chapters: fight as orphans, fight as refugees, fight as kings, fight as exiles, fight as warriors and fight as hermits.

True to his style, every chapter is full of factoids in grey boxes, catchy illustrations and deep insight into the apparent ‘straight’ storyline. As Devdutt Pattanaik often warns us on Twitter, we must not take mythological texts literally but look for the hidden meaning between the lines. Reading this book surely gives one a new perspective on the giant epic of India.

Devdutt’s books are a treasure trove of learning for anyone who loves mythology. There is a saying in Bengali ‘Ja nei Bharate, ta nei Bharate’ (something which is not mentioned in Mahabharata, does not exist in India). Pattanaik’s interpretation of the book reinforces this old saying even more.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

P.S. This review is part of Flipkart’s Bloggers’ Affiliate Programme

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights


Book Review: Murder in Paharganj by Kulpreet Yadav

Kulpreet Yadav is a writer to watch out for in the thriller genre in India. Having loved his previous work featuring Andy Karan, I was immediately keen to review the book ‘Murder in Paharganj’. The title itself is enticing enough to pick up the book, and the story does not disappoint either.

The novel opens with the murder of a foreign national, Sherry Bing, in a shady hotel in Paharganj.  Vicky Menon, a former reporter who has been fired from his job because of his drinking problems, is called to the crime scene by the hotel owner.

As Vicky gets embroiled in the mystery surrounding the murder, we are also introduced to Jamie, alias Jalaluddin, who is the real murderer. He is absconding in Udaipur, and is advised to escape to Bangkok by his bosses. He must also eliminate Vicky, in order to ensure his own survival.

‘Murder in Paharganj’ has all the elements that make a good crime thriller. The writing is simple, the plot is full of twists and the narrative is pacy. The author ensures that you do not lose interest in the plot midway. However, Kulpreet Yadav could have trimmed it down by at least 50 pages to make the reading more crisp.

The main problem with this book is that it gets predictable as the plot reaches the climax. After the initial excitement reaches a crescendo, the thrill quotient slacks as the pages progress. This becomes more apparent as the book abruptly ends. It seemed the author suddenly woke up one morning and decided to write the final chapter.

The hurried ending and the extra flab apart, ‘Murder in Paharganj’ is a breezy read. A perfect company for a lazy weekend, the book makes for a light read on a long flight, too.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

P.S. This review is part of Flipkart’s Bloggers’ Affiliate Programme


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