Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Dreamer - Vivek Jain

          Love does not mean having your mate on your side or does it? Can a guy love a girl in such an unpredictable way that she becomes his soul? Are all these ancient love stories like Romeo and Juliet fake? And if it is not, then can this kind of love happen in today s generation? Vivek is a guy with a slight scientific bent of mind, who always tries to perform experiments related to various fields of science. At a school function, he meets a meets a girl Shruti, who becomes his addiction ... his princess, his angel ...Goddess ... the reason for his existence. He falls in love with her at first sight ... handing over his entire life into her hands... Somehow, Vivek manages to speak to Shruti ... then follows an addiction about her ... a madness that knows no end. To prove his love for her, he designs a telescope to impress her. But four years later, a tragic change of fate enters their life. Shruti turns volte-face and refuses to even recognise or acknowledge Vivek. What is this story all about? Is destiny playing a game with Vivek? Or is Shruti playing a game with him? Or is there another angle? How will this love story end? Will Vivek win over Shruti ... or will it remain an unfulfilled dream forever?


          Another story of a college  guy trying desperately to win the love of his life. The protagonist, Vivek is a stereotypical middle class boy who develops a crush over a pretty-looking girl. The guy does not have the guts to express his love for the girl and is being helped by his friends. The guy goes to various extremes to make her understand his love and the rest of the story follows the usual routine - boy chases girl, friends help boy. The entire story is narrated by Vivek and his various emotions, his frustrations, his joy, his despair and his delight are all well brought out by the author. 

          The book is not only about Vivek's love for Shruthi. It has a lot more and the final few pages, where the story takes a completely different turn is worth mentioning. Though the writing is plain and devoid of vivid descriptions and literary content, it is a good first attempt by the author. However, the character portrayal and development could have been handled a little better. This book can be read in a go and makes a good Sunday afternoon read. 

          Go for this book if you are in need of a light-read or a refresher!

Rating: 1.6/5

Buy the book online:

Friday, 14 November 2014

Sachin Tendulkar - Playing it 'MY' Way!

   I remember that match clearly. I was only 7 years old, but I did have some knowledge and taste for cricket. It was a time when the Australians ruled the cricketing world, ruthlessly dominating and crushing everyone who came in their way. But that day, things were about to change. A batsman named Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar starting hitting the likes of Kasprowickz and Warne to all parts of the ground.(Of course he had played a few scintillating knocks earlier, but that was the first time I saw him play). The Australians were left baffled as Sachin finished with two centuries in that tournament and single-handedly taking India to victory. For me, that was the rise of the batsman, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

    From then on, this man has grown from strength to strength, cunningly adapting and improving his technique to suit the needs. The Indian batting mainly revolved around the four stalwarts for the next decade or so and he played a major role in making India a global threat. A perfect gentleman, his on-field aggression with the bat and his on-field cool demeanor fetched him millions of fans as he became India's proudest possession. You ask any child with a stick playing cricket in a dirty street,"What do you want to become?". The reply was prompt. "I want to become like Sachin". Such was his name and fame that people started considering each and every run that Sachin scores as their own. A happy Sachin, a happy India. Yes, he was India's child born to play cricket. Apart from cricket, Sachin Tendulkar has also left behind a rich legacy that is so hard to find in modern cricket. The so-called 'gentleman game' is rich with sledging and abusing now. But Sachin, considered to be one of the greatest ambassadors of cricket never showed his emotions on the field as he led a perfectly controversy-free career. As Kapil Dev rightly said, "The way he has played cricket over the years, he has inspired a generation to play cricket".

     The whole world knows about his batting prowess as he engraved his name on almost all record books likely to stand the test of time. He stood grounded during his highs and came back strongly during his lows and each time his reply to his critics was with his bat. Though , there was one dream that was constantly denying him - the World Cup. He had never made a secret of his desire for the World Cup. He almost realised his dream in 2003 as he aggregated 673 runs in that tournament. But fate had other plans and he had to content himself with 'Man of the Series' award. But cometh 2011, under the brilliant captaincy of the man with the Midas touch, Sachin touched the World Cup to the excitement and delight of a million fans.

    With the 100th century also coming his way, there was nothing more to achieve and Indian team was in the hands of a bunch of talented youngsters. Sachin  retired from all forms of cricket but the legacy he has left behind, the service he has done to cricket, his charisma will stand tall for the future generations to speak about. His quirky problem with the sight screen, his occasional leg breaks, his boyish smile, his bullet straight drive, his clumsy running will all be missed but Sachin, as a person and a player will keep playing his shots in our hearts forever. SACHI-I-I-I-N.....SACHI-I-I-I-N will keep reverberating in our hearts forever!

  And now, Sachin is back with a bang with his autobiography - Playing it My Way ! Go grab one and relive your childhood!

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) - Suzanne Collins


            The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

        When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.


Suzanne Collins

           A wonderfully written teen fiction story revolving around Katniss Everdeen and her struggle against the tyranny of the Capitol. Panem consists of 13 districts and is ruled by the Capitol that insists on keeping the people in a tight grip. When District 13 protested, the Capitol blew it away and keeps running the footage of the ruins of District 13 as a reminder for all those who might think of starting an uprising. The protest of District 13 also marked the start of the cruel Hunger Games where 2 children from each district fought to death every year.

          Katniss Everdeen finds herself in the arena of the 74th Hunger Games after a series of events. She is just a normal girl who has small aims in life, who hunts illegally to feed her family, who enjoys a quiet time in the woods with her best friend. She adores her little sister Prim and is ready to give her life for her. How such an innocent and normal looking girl fights against all odds in the arena, how she comes to know that the real enemies are not the children in the arena but the Capitol itself form a good and interesting read.

          All the characters are beautifully portrayed and the book itself presents a rollercoaster of emotions in every page. This book is a page-turner in all aspects and I bet you cannot put it down even for dinner. The cruelty metted out to the people by the Capitol makes one's blood boil, the compassion shown by Katniss to Rue makes one shed tears, the life or death situation Peter finds himself in makes one bite his nails and much more. In short, you become one with the book.

       On the downside, there was too much violence and hence the book may bot be appropriate for a few weak-hearted. The plot also slows down a tad in the second half, but only to race to an end at the climax. So, if you are a teen fiction jerk and want some real entertainment and action, this one is for you! And yes, the movie is also out! The Hunger Games. A piece of advice as I always say, watch the movie after reading the book . Happy reading! For information about the second book in the trilogy - 'Catching Fire', click here .

The Hunger Games ( The Hunger Games  #1 ) by Suzanne Collins

Rating: 3.9/5

For information about the second book in the trilogy - 'Catching Fire', click here .

About the author:

      Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.

      While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.

      Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find...? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part series, The Underland Chronicles. Suzanne also has a rhyming picture book illustrated by Mike Lester entitled When Charlie McButton Lost Power.

      She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

      The books she is most successful for in teenage eyes are The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. These books have won several awards, including the GA Peach Award.

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