The Roof Beneath Their Feet: Book Review

Author: Geetanjali Shree

Translator: Rahul Soni

Book Summary:

Roofs are meant for wild things. They are meant for romance and play. A place to dry pickles and grains while exchanging gossip about quiet caresses.But above all, they are realms of freedom.

This is the story of Chachcho and Lalna and their much- talked-about friendship. Chachcho lives with her frigid husband in Laburnum House, a cluster of a hundred or more houses that share a common roof. She leads a lonely life until she takes in Lalna, who’s been dumped by her husband. Their closeness makes many uncomfortable.

Then suddenly one day, Lalna has to leave, to return only after Chachcho’s passing. There are rumours and there is gossip in the neighbourhood while Chachcho’s nephew tries to piece together his memories of the two women, one of whom is his mother. The truth he is searching for could destroy him forever, but to not find out is no longer an option.

A beautifully crafted story with many twists and turns, The Roof Beneath Their Feet is easily one of the best contemporary Hindi novels you  have read in a long time.

My Review:

This is a story of two women, stuck beneath the harsh scrutiny of the society (which sees what it wants to see) and are able to retain their friendship.

While reading, it felt like I was in someone’s dream. The sentences were loosely woven and present and past intermingled  with ease.

A complex storyline was presented in a light, breezy way.

We have seen a ton of stories which features ‘bromance’, but this was one of the very few stories by Indian author that focuses on a strong friendship between two women against all odds.

I loved the way society’s perceptions were portrayed. When “they” see Chachcho and Lalna on the terrace, how they conveniently see Lalna “with a man”. It is evident by the rumours about Lalna, and the facts that are presented by her, that the society will see only what it wants to see, you could either cover up and become invisible or you could be true to yourself.

I thank Readers Cosmos for picking me as a winner for the Giveaway 🙂

We should all be feminists: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at TEDx Euston

I thank a wonderful friend and a fellow blogger, Elena Truskova (from anotherindianwinter.tumblr.com), for sharing this video with me. This speech resonated with me on so many levels.

About the speaker:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a renowned Nigerian novelist was born in Nigeria in 1977. She grew up in the university town of Nsukka, Enugu State where she attended primary and secondary schools, and briefly studied Medicine and Pharmacy. She then moved to the United States to attend college, graduating summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State University with a major in Communication and a minor in Political Science. She holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a Masters degree in African Studies from Yale University. She was a 2005-2006 Hodder Fellow at Princeton, where she taught introductory fiction.

Chimamanda is the author of Half of a Yellow Sun (book review here), which won the 2007 Orange Prize For Fiction; and Purple Hibiscus, which won the 2005 Best First Book Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the 2004 Debut Fiction Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. In 2009, her collection of short stories, The Thing around Your Neck was published. She was named one of the twenty most important fiction writers today under 40 years old by The New Yorker and was recently the guest speaker at the 2012 annual commonwealth lecture. She featured in the April 2012 edition of Time Magazine, celebrated as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She currently divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

The Almond Tree: Book Review

Author: Michelle Cohen Corasanti

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Book Blurb:

Against a background torn from the pages of today’s headlines, The Almond Tree, by Michelle Cohen Corasanti, recasts the Palestinians in Israel and Gaza, a people frequently in the news, but often misrepresented and deeply misunderstood. This stunning debut conveys a universal story of human courage and perseverance. Comparable to Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, this novel delivers an inspirational story of unfathomable pain and an incredible perseverance. Gifted with a mind that continues to impress the elders in his village, Ahmad Hamid struggles with knowing that he can do nothing to save his friends and family. Living on occupied land, his entire village operates in fear of losing their homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, they fear losing each other. On Ahmad’s twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality. With his father imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions confiscated, and his siblings quickly succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ahmad begins an inspiring journey using his intellect to save his poor and dying family. In doing so he reclaims a love for others that was lost through a childhood rife with violence and loss, and discovers a new hope for the future. The Almond Tree humanizes a culture and brings characters from a distant land to life. “Arguably the most important book of the year” Dream Crazy Book Reviews “The story is spell-binding with universal appeal and has potential of becoming an international best-seller and can do for Palestinians what The Kite Runner did for Afghanis” The Daily Star

My Review:

If there was one word to describe this book I’d say: Hope.

Ahmad Sinai, born in a middle class family, dips into extreme poverty and then goes up to live a luxurious life, all  because of his education and thoughts.

It is interesting to note that how two brothers, brought up in almost the similar times, fasted almost same treatment, and one because a firm believer of peace and was open-minded and choose love, while the other choose hatred and closed mindedness. One saw just the positives, other the negatives. A good example of how to view life and the troubles.

I have seen  a few friends having to agree to an arranged marriage when they have barely even met the person, so I could  relate to Ahmad’s emotions when he agreed to marry Yasmeen “just so that they (his parents) expected him to”.

This book had me gripped from the first word to the last. I really do hope Ms. Corasanti writes another book, waiting for it!!

The character I loved was of Ahmad’s Father. He was the one who realised the value of education. He tried to stay positive even when he was wronged, he supported Ahmad’s decision to marry ” the enemy” and gave him his blessings “to marry for love”, shows you that a person does not have to be educated or living in a city to be open-minded.

This book was by far, one of the best books I have come across.

If you like books, read it, you would like it. Heck, if you do not like books, give this one a try, maybe you will start loving reading!

Rating: 5 out of 5, you know what, no,my math was weak anyway, I give this one a 10 out of 5.

I thank The Readicts for hosting the giveaway and choosing me to be the one you sent this fab book! 🙂

Baramulla Bomber: Book Review

Baramulla_Bomber_thumbBook Cover Description:

An Ancient Weapon from the Vedas & Bible

Once Hunted by the Nazis

Powered by the Sound of the Universe

Reborn with the Help of Quantum Physics

Going to be Unleashed onto the World

And Kashmir Holds its Secret

Multiple intelligence agencies are tracking Mansur Haider, a god-fearing aspiring cricketer from Kashmir. His girlfriend, Aahana Yajurvedi, is trying to locate her missing mountaineering team, which vanished after a mysterious earthquake struck Shaksgam Valley. Investigating Mansur and the Shaksgam Valley incident is Swedish intelligence officer, Adolf Silfverskiold, whose only relationship to God consists of escorting his girlfriend to Church.

A dual China-Pakistan battlefront scenario facing the Indian Home Minister, Agastya Rathore, whose ancestors carry a prehistoric secret linked to the stars. He is faced with the challenge of finding a lasting solution to the Kashmir crisis.

Which biblical weapon was tested in Shaksgam valley? Why is Mansur Haider important? Is there a solution to the Kashmir crisis? Can destiny be controlled? Does a cosmic religion exist?

My Thoughts:

The first thing that attracted me to pick up this book was its cover. The green eyes, the intensity, the intrigue that was portrayed so beautifully. The other point was that it promised the reader a “Quantum Physics meets Bible and Vedas in Background of Kashmir and Cricket”, I must confess I picked it up to see how on earth can someone mix all this up?

First few pages in, you know that the Clark Prasad knows what he is writing about. The amount of research that he must have put in is seen quite clearly. I have yet to come across an Indian origin book, which has this much research as a backing. Impressed.

During some of the pages, I felt I was reading Dan Brown!

The story is extremely fast paced and moves across different time lines, it indeed is the thriller it promised itself to be!

Coming to the cons, the book needed a bit more editing, to amalgamate the research MORE with the story line.

If you like thrillers, cricket, politics or you are interested in wars, this book will strike a chord with you.

Buy the book from:

Flipkart.com

Amazon.in

Amazon.com (For International Readers)

(I thank Suraj Clark Prasad and Readers Cosmos for sending me this book for review)