Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Little does Emma know that this man is going to turn her fate around and make her life more difficult. When she sees him walk into her office the following Monday, she cannot quite believe her fate. More over this gentleman, Jack Harper, has not forgotten a word she has said and this leaves her more embarrassed. The chemistry between Jack and Emma slowly starts picking up and eventually they fall in love. Their relationship is put at stake when Jack breaks Emma's trust by revealing every single one of them on National Television. Now Emma is fuming and wants revenge. Emma can do nothing about this, she knows none of Jack's secrets except one. Will she get her revenge? What happens to Jack and Emma? Will Emma succeed in her career with Panther Corporation (Which was co-founder by Jack)?
The story was very enjoyable, though (I would say) Undomestic goddess made me set high grounds for the author. Sophie Kinsella's stand alone novel, makes you get 'gripped' by her sense of humor and lucid writing, The story does not take any unexpected turn, and is very down to earth. It is a chick lit and the author throws a lot of 'girl words' (if I may say so) which sets the ambiance just right. The secret about Jack, I wouldn't have guessed it right but I think that, it just created unwanted drama. Never the less it was a very entertaining novel, apt for a light read.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
First time mom Mira steps out of the hospital with her baby son, aglow with confidence that her aspirations for Supermom-dom will be fulfilled. After all, she's attended all the pre-natal sessions, armed herself with postnatal planning, read all the books, and - most crucially - has the benefit of advice from expert Yummy Mummy, Rhea.
Mira realises quickly though, that the road to being a model mommy is not that smooth: her baby seems to think sleep is overrated, her boss has decided to show her the door, her pregnancy fat is staying steadfastly on, and - having threatened to beat up the one woman who could get her son into the coveted play school Teddy Foot prints - plans for her first-born are already going away
Will she ever gain entry into the kingdom of chic moms? will she ever be able to successfully juggle a baby and work? and will she every shed those twenty extra kilos? A funny yet tender peek into the pleasures and pitfalls of becoming a first-time mother, Bringing Up Vasu is a true coming-of-age read.
The book was everything that a new parent goes through. It was like reeling back in time and witnessing everything that happened to us as a parent during that first year. The author has meticulously brought out the difficulties, especially when fate takes it turn and things do not happen as expected. She rightly mentions that the a new parent does not mention these hardship to a non parent, discusses only the feeding and health to the other parents and clearly forgets about these basic process after a few years (as an old parent). The chapters were short and each of the episodes has been rightly classified with respect to the age
It was right down hilarious and I was literally laughing aloud, leaving my son to steal suspicious glances (sometimes he would also ask what was so funny. The thing is I cannot explain that I was reading mostly about him, atleast not now). The authors display of variety of emotions to become a supermom was down to earth. I mean, each parent (esp. mothers) tries real hard to strike a balance between home and work and some fail to do so. She explains those parts of self will and energy when she makes unsuccessful attempts to juggle home and work. The dramas with sleep deprivation and weight loss were never the less funny and true too. (I mean look at me now.. err.. may be all the moms I know too..).
But there never seem to be any heated argument between Anand and Mira, which was not quite right (or atleast given my experience). The episode of getting the child into preschool was a bit long. But it is true that these days schools need students who are trained at home. I was shocked when I learnt from the first interview at a school that my son was expected to sit in a place, play within the play area, say when he needs to go to the restroom, should not cry over seperation anxiety (you get the picture). Parul Sharma has etched every drama of her life into this funny and uplifting novel that most parents can relate to.
One excerpt from the book, which was my practical experience too
you are also a very light sleeper. The slightest sound, the merest touch, even the hint of a sudden movement in a five mile radius and you are up, looking aroundwith bright eyes to check what is going on, where and how, specially at two in the morning.The downside is, I feel, a person who is not a parent cannot understand or appreciate the details of the book. But if you can relate to how our parents would have brought us up, you will get the picture. But mostly this book celebrates motherhood and its caring and loving nature. I am now waiting to read the next book by this author, by the water cooler
Thursday, November 17, 2011
On the eve of the monsoons, in a remote Indian village, Kavita gives birth to Asha. But in a culture that favours sons, the only way for Kavita to save her newborn daughter's life is to give her away. It is a decision that will haunt her and her husband for the rest of their lives, even after the arrival of their cherished son. Halfway around the globe, Somer, an American doctor, decides to adopt a child after making the wrenching discovery that she will never have one of her own. When she and her husband Krishnan see a photo of baby Asha from a Mumbai orphanage, they are overwhelmed with emotion for her. Somer knows life will change with the adoption, but is convinced that the love they already feel will overcome all obstacles. Interweaving the stories of Kavita, Somer, and Asha, "Secret Daughter" poignantly explores issues of culture and belonging. Moving between two worlds and two families, one struggling to survive in the fetid slums of Mumbai, the other grappling to forge a cohesive family despite their diverging cultural identities, this powerful debut novel marks the arrival of a fresh talent poised for great success.
The story starts with a heart wrenching incident of female infanticide. Though the incident is gory and depressing, it gets you hooked then and there. You don't have to be a mother to understand the motherhood that flows throughout the story as an energy. The two families, the author portrays are different on their economic background, but yet their lives are affected by the same child which is the seed of this story. I experienced a lot of emotions as I kept reading. The author gives the other side of India, which beyond its prosperity and developments, brings the bitter truth about the slums and rural parts, the difference between the genders, the narrow minded men (like those who rape, and harass women who pass through crowd) and other social problems that still persists among us. These are some few things which we banish to the back of our brains and when read comes back with a pang of guilt and anger.
The emotions of each motherhood, is true and heartfelt. Some characters which I had drawn quick conclusions are proved wrong in the end (The story never takes an expected turn). Though we hope for the mother and daughter union, the author does not bring about it just the way we wanted it. She is so creative and talented. I cannot express how much I enjoyed reading this novel and getting to know India and its people for who they are. She has used powerful words that convey the meaning sharp, "Mother India does not love all her children equally". The author has handled this heavy subject with ease and precision and we too do not get overwhelmed at any point of the book. All in all she appreciates and celebrates motherhood who toil, sacrifice and endure with all the energy to make us who we are today.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
The story is set within the confined walls of the Visa Office operating out of the basement of the Indian Consulate. It is just the imaginations that spree out of this office, through the story that pan out the character's life. The story starts with around 9 people waiting at the Visa office to get their Indian Visa. The mild innocent tremors masks itself with the drilling work going on in the pavement. The author gives us glimpses of each character's lives and then the inevitable strikes. A powerful earthquake brings upon the wrath of the building. Most of the building collapses and these 9 of them are stuck at the basement with all the debris on the other side of their room. The aftermath of the earthquake registers shock and wounds, but Cameron, the sergeant takes total control of the situation. After much debate and rebellion, the group starts giving to Cameron's way and though with much friction they form a group, looking out for each other. One thirds of the book, discusses much of the character introduction, the earth quake and its after shock. Only after that something relating to the Title of the book begins
The suggestion by Uma, to tell stories about one amazing thing to keep them occupied brings upon much change and hope to the crowd. The first to volunteer is grandma Jiang who has hurt her arm very badly. She was the victim of the Indo-Chinese war and arrived to the USA to start afresh. She had been heartbroken and was living around dead till she realized that she loved her husband than the love who chose to break up. The lines had been so beautiful that I cannot resist quoting them
We can change completely and not recognize it. We think terrible events have made us into stone. But love slips in like a chisel--and suddenly it is an ax, breaking us into pieces from the inside
The one beautiful thing that happened in her life was the love that she did not know was growing inside her. She had been separated from her family, married off in a day to a total stranger, and sent off to live in a foreign land. But she was returning to India, retired, to live in the land of her youth
The next was Mr Pritchett, he too had a very burdening story of abandoned childhood and poverty. He yearns for his mother's love but she is too busy working, to make the ends meet. He finally finds a cat which makes him believe in love. But when the cat dies, he is left with a world that is crashing. Though he recovers from the pain and hurt, the one amazing thing would be this small cat which had shown him the true colors of love and loyalty
The stories continue with all the other remaining 7 of them, but the narration about the above two characters give you an idea. The amazing thing that happened to them, has been life altering. The author has narrated the stories of these characters along with the drama that happens in the building. The reader is left hoping that these characters are rescued. The author makes an ending by leaving the rest to our imagination, but hints that rescue is on their way. A well told story with well formed characters, each giving an inevitable reason for their visit to India. At the end we find the One Amazing Thing about the incident is the way how the group stands together to battle the darkness and make their hopes rise.