Books

Waves in the Sky (Canaries #1) : Book Review

Author: Rakhi Jayashankar

Waves in the Sky (Canaries #1)

Book Blurb:

Time maneuvered their lives through unforeseen circumstances. The canaries- Charu, Ananya, Neha, Avantika,Raihana and Yami- the heart and soul of Naivedya, run by Ms.Malini. They played together, studied together, stayed together, under the shades of their mother banyan, till they fell apart. Little did they know that they would be centrifuged by the Waves in the Sky. Hanging on to their mother banyan, they held their wings together and fought the storm.
A mind boggling tale of six headstrong girls, thirty years of their life, their mother banyan-Ms.Malini and a mystery.
A thrilling mysterious contemporary fiction.

My Review:

How many times have we seen books and movies that glorify the male friendships…so much so that now we even have a name for it..the Bro Code..But rarely we have a book that is a true ode to the female friendships. Which was why when Rakhi asked me to go through and edit the book, i agreed wholeheartedly.

Waves in the sky is based on the lives of 6 girls and it is kind of an ode to their friendship. Like all friendships, theirs too is tested in different ways, and it was interesting to read how these girls fought through.

What is different about this book, is that each and every female character is quite different and yet, each has their own individual strengths.

Also, even though this book is predominantly female charactered, the romance element is not there! It has become quite an irritating stereotype these days..you want to cater to girls, you doll out irritatingly same-as-other mushy gushy romance..I wonder how many such copies are sold?

Well, anyways..back to the review..of all the characters..my favorite character was that of the canaries’ teacher Ms. Malini. I liked her as even though her story was at the background, her strength of the spirit shone through. The things that she does in the book truly makes one respect her character.

This is a very fast paced book, so those who likes stories in Indian setting with the aforementioned pace should go through it.

 

 

 

Books, Feminism

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 16: Favourite Female Character

The first female character that comes to my mind when I hear this is Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games Series.

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Undoubtedly many other names also came up on second thoughts, but what makes Ms. Everdeen stand out in my mind is that unlike many other books where even if there is a strong female character, there is always an equally strong, or stronger male character in the story line.

Katniss is, without a doubt, a wonderful character on so many levels. Just like the entire series, the pleasure of reading the series was exemplified manifolds because of the fantastic gender roles in the book, I wrote a post about Hunger Games and Gender Stereotypes, you can check it out here.

You can check out my book reviews for the series by clicking on the name of the book:

Hunger Games

Catching Fire

Mockingjay

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Books

Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana

Author: Devdutt Pattanaik

Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana

Book Blurb:

The chariot stopped far from the city in the middle of the forest.

Sita alighted, eager to walk amongst the trees. The charioteer, Lakshman, remained seated. Sensing he had something to say, Sita paused. Lakshman finally spoke, eyes to the ground, ‘Your husband, my elder brother, Ram, king of Ayodhya, wants you to know that the streets are full of gossip. Your reputation is in question. The rules are clear on this: a king’s wife should be above all doubt. The scion of the Raghu clan, therefore, ​has ordered you to stay away from his person and his palace and his city. You are free to go wherever else you please. But you may not reveal to anyone you were once Ram’s queen.’

Sita watched Lakshman’s nostrils flare. She felt his embarrassment and his rage. She wanted to reach out and reassure him, but she restrained herself.

‘You feel your Ram has abandoned his Sita, don’t you?’ she asked gently. ‘But he has not. He cannot. He is God; he abandons no one.

And I am Goddess; I cannot be abandoned by anyone.’

A mystified Lakshman returned to Ayodhya, while Sita smiled in the forest, and unbound her hair.

My Review:

While this book is no Palace of Illusions in terms of narrating the feminist viewpoint in mythology, Devdutt Pattanaik’s Sita provides an account Ramayana and how it evolved through time along with various backstories that we might not be aware of.

Devdutt Pattanaik does manage to provide an unbiased account of the entire epic. But, when the book is named “Sita” and not Ramayana…one expects a bit more.

While the way the author manages to explain the difference between varna and jati…how in earlier times, people were categorized based on their occupation, which then turned into rigid caste based society was quite impressive, I felt that even the attempts to show Sita as a strong, independent women who faces everything that comes to her…did not quite cover up for the wrong that Ram did to her, which was lacking in a way in this retelling. Just because she is accepting the injustice…or even understanding the motive behind it…does not make the injustice justified in any way. I mean does an “ideal king” and more importantly a “maryada purushottam” (a man who lives by the rules)..throw someone (forget his own wife..just about any human) who is innocent to go in exile..because people are “talking”. An ideal king needs to follow rules with his brain..you can’t have a king who does not think about the implied meanings and gives out punishment based on “people are talking”.

The book did contain some interesting and informative back stories, like that of Shanta and Sita’s childhood. Excellent research has been put into this book. If you go into it expecting Ramayana…instead of Sita’s viewpoint of Ramayana…it would be better..

Buy Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of Ramayana

Books

Full Moons Many More: Book Review

Author: Subramoniam Rangaswami

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Book Blurb:

FULL MOONS MANY MORE (A surgeon’s exploration of the meaning of healing) HEALING ! Magic word for a stunning phenomenon! Biology’s prodigious endowment to life! Nature’s enduring gift to all living beings! How do we heal our wounds most of the time? And, why do we fail sometimes? In his book Full moons many more Subramoniam Rangaswami explores the many facets of healing – from its catastrophic breakdown to the most unexpected and miraculous expression – in several real-life stories narrated with style, humor and almost mystical fervor. Sure to keep the reader spellbound. How does the ‘uncertain art’ of Medicine wrestle with the staggering complexities of the three and a half billion year-old phenomenon? We learn from uncle Sankaran in the story (who has seen a thousand full moons!) that in the final analysis, it is our efforts to bring ‘cosmic wisdom’ in perfect alignment with ‘local fitness’ that help complete our journey of healing.

My REVIEW:

This book came at the most perfect time.My left leg’s ligament had a tear, and when this book came to me, I had just gone through the operation, and was on my way to recovery with help of physiotherapy sessions. So, I could relate to this story on so many levels.

This is a story on how sometimes, even with the best doctors, even the most routine operations can go wrong.

What I got out of this story was along with the medications it is also the patient’s outlook and overall attitude towards healing also matters a lot.

Since this book went into too much details on some of the topics, being a commerce students, it went straight above my head. I feel, that people who have studied science, or are in some way connected to it would be able to grasp it better.

My favorite part of the book was when author compared Sir Aurobindo’s works with healing and sciences.

The ending of the book, gave a very realistic and a holistic feeling to the entire story line. It feels strange to use “story line” word for this, as it went into so much depth that it felt like I was reading more of a non fiction than a fiction.

An excellent read for those who are interested in medical sciences or healing. I really enjoyed reading this book, after a long time, found a book that was challenging to read!