Rafflesia: The Banished Princess – Book Review

Hello all!

Today I am back with a book review. Yes! Another one that I managed to end up recently.

The book up for review is titled Rafflesia: The Banished Princess by Gautam. The book is provided by Arudhaa Club in exchange for a genuine review.

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Blurb:

The curtains draw up. The lights are dimmed. The musical is about to begin. As the beautiful princess descends on stage, the mythical creatures from her kingdom come alive. Flickers of brilliant colours blaze across as mesmerizing music pulsates from one corner of the theatre to the other. A fairy tale is about to unfold…

As young children, we often come across things that stay in our hearts forever. For Appu, it is a fairy tale about the beautiful princess. He lives with her in a world filled with the magical creatures from her kingdom until the real world beckons. A reluctant Appu steps into it as a striking young man and struggles to find his place.

What follows is an evocative tale of love and loss, friendship and betrayal, as the story travels through the snow-peaked mountains of Arunachal to the golden deserts of Jaisalmer, the tulip gardens of Holland to the lush greens of Kerala. Does Appu find what he had set out for? The answer lies in Rafflesia – The Banished Princess . . . because in her story, lay his!

Review:

Well, honestly speaking ( or rather writing! ) it was the blurb and the cover that made me pick this book for reading. The cover and the blurb made me think that it was some Oriental-Indian linked story. With words like magic, kingdom and princess, I believed it would be a story of a common man and his muse, though fictitious. I guess it has to do with the kind of books I love, like ‘If you could see me now’ by Cecelia Ahern.

But that’s exactly what the book, isn’t!

Rafflesia: The Banished Princess is the story, the journey of life of Appu. The story moves along the incidents, the people, the ups and downs, the goods and bads that happen in Appu’s life. His home, his parents, his friendships with the neighbourhood children, his best friend Rahul, his work and his marriage – it is all about the life of a young man. His life which isn’t as simple as he is.

Appu isn’t one tall, dark, handsome and all manly kind of protagonist. He is a simple, soft spoken, caring, helping, supportive kind of a man. Someone who may not strike you with his looks but will leave an impact with his simplicity and his character. He is probably just another man we see struggling with his inner demons and the incessant demands of the society. And all he looks for is love and peace. A little happiness and companionship. Things seem to be all on the rocky side for Appu till he gets a job in Holland. Just when all seem good, he goes ahead and makes matters worse for himself – he gets married. The way he manages to come out of those things each and every time, the way he faces things silently but firmly forms the story.

The other very impressive character in the novel is Rahul. His life is so closely woven with Appu’s that you feel for both the characters. A moment comes when it becomes difficult to take sides and say who is right and who is wrong. His life hasn’t been as easy as he shows it to be. It’s just like ‘you never know what’s going on in the other person’s life unless you are in his shoes’. Rahul is the best friend Appu has, but both of them are so guarded about their pains and troubles that they don’t even share it with each other. It makes you know that even the best of friends have their own deeply hidden secrets which they wouldn’t share.

As the story moves ahead, you meet many different people, all those who have some role to play in Appu’s life. They come, they connect, they teach or share somethings and some moments with him and then they leave. They leave with a lasting impression on the reader as well as Appu.

Coming to the point of my opinion on this book. Though I was misguided by the blurb and the cover, I decided to read it till the end. Not that I was disappointed, but I wasn’t too pleased either. The innumerable characters that keep coming in and going, kind of distract you from the main story. The 396 pages of the novel actually might make you skeptical. I was overwhelmed in the beginning too. But to carry on with the story and follow the events, you’d have to skip through some pages which describe everything with too much detail. Sometimes the writer should leave a few things for the reader’s imagination.

I would give this book a 4/5.

The story line and the plot are major reason for the score. The language was smooth and impressive. The author has indeed done a commendable job in maintaining the tempo of the story. The fluctuating of time and events are well managed through the course of the story. On the whole, a good one time read if you have ample time at your disposal and want to read a simple story with a deep underlying message.

You can order this book here on Amazon.in

So that’s it! I hope to be back soon. Maybe a poem. Maybe a short story. Or maybe just another review! 😉

Lots of love and best wishes for all!

Syeda

Busy days ahead. . . 

Hello everyone,

So after a long long time things have slowed done in life. Do check out the post and the website for more information. The last days for submission has been extended so do send in your entries soon! 

And this one I wrote for Father’s Day, which I wanted to share with you…

Do drop down a comment and let me know what you think about it!

Lots of love

SyedaFR


Oh life, go slow!

Hello people!

How is everyone doing out there? I hope it’s all good at your sides. 

At my side, just a bit troubled by life, a little happy, a little to celebrate and a little to regret! The last few days have been too busy for me. And the maximum impact of disturbances has been on my blog and my writing. 

With Ramadan’s advent things go on a different track. Maybe as time passes and things start falling back into places, I will be able to get back to my precious world here! 

Upon that seems like I have developed writer’s block!! So awaiting the creativity to strike and my muse to make me write. Do share how’s all going around you.

Lots of love.

Syeda

37+ Grace Marks by Vishal Anand – Book Review

Hello everyone…

Long time since I made a post on my blog here, right? I know but couldn’t help it. My exams started on June 1st and I had prepared little. So spent most of my time studying, hope my result comes out good.

I am back today with the review of a book I had managed to finish last night. Took me quite long for I was reading it quite slowly! The book to be reviewed by me today is 37+ GRACE MARKS by VISHAL ANAND.

The book is provided by Arudhaa Club in exchange for a genuine review.

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Blurb: 

What happens when you fall in love at first sight? That too in college, which is supposed to be the best time of one’s life. But is it the best place to find love too?

Viraj falls head over heels in love with his classmate Nimisha, who could make boys on campus go crazy. While his friends Punit and Sahil just want to have fun – despite poor mark-sheets, grace marks to pass, and other everyday adventures – Viraj wants more from his life and love.

Life has led Viraj to the edge of a cliff. He has a choice to make – to forget everything and jump, or fight.

What brought him here? An unrequited love, encounters with law, or the dilemma of grace marks? Where does Viraj’s story eventually end?

Welcome to 37 + Grace Marks, Viraj’s journey to discover that there is more to life than marks.

Review:

The story is of a young college going guy, Viraj, whose life seems all set as he joins an engineering college (I don’t get it! Why do most of the stories have the setting of an engineering college? Don’t others go to college too?) Anyway, things change for him when he falls in love, at first sight with a confident, pretty girl named Nimisha.

Life isn’t a bed of roses is what Viraj learns slowly as his semesters pass and things go awry between Viraj and Nimisha. Examinations, friends, seniors, professors and all the other details of college life are part of the story.

The plot has become quite redundant these days with nearly every other writer using the Engineering college backdrop. The struggles of a college student and the falling in and out of love, has been narrated in this book. The story starts quite slowly and as it starts interesting you, it rushes towards the end.

On the whole, if you are looking for a light read, you could give this book a chance. It is a simple story of simple, real people and could be the events of someone you could relate to.

So, that’s about the book!! You can order it here on Amazon.

Keep reading, keep smiling!

Love,

Syeda

Love is in your arms! – Short story

Seeing him run towards me, filled my heart with abundant happiness. I was heaving having run around the block looking for someone I knew, some face that would look known. In this city of unknown, I was filled with a strange fear. Every passing man seemed to be like a demon lurking in the darkness, waiting to pounce on me. Waiting for the bait to fall in his clutch.

I had come miles away from home to meet him. Not to come so close and get lost in this labyrinth. He had told me that he would come to pick me up. The more he delayed coming, the more my heart thudded aloud in the cage of bones. I had come to tell him the truth. The little fact of my life. The fact that I had long hidden within my heart. I didn’t know what he was going to say, what his feelings and thoughts were, but I had to tell him. I just had to tell him!

A car screeched at the opposite side of the road, I pulled my black jacket around the body tightly. I shut my eyes fearing a blood-splattered sidewalk. With a shriek I covered my ears with the cold palms. I stood there, afraid to move or even see or hear the things happening around. There was a eerie silence that prevailed. I didn’t want to witness a horrific accident while I was already struggling as a lost foreigner in one corner of the city. 

As silent moments passed I heard footsteps. They were getting closer and I felt they were approaching me. Someone was running towards me from across the road. When I opened my eyes, I saw him coming towards me!

There was worry across his face and a fear looming in his eyes. Seeing him my eyes got filled with tears. Finally he was here. He was always there at the right time, whenever I had needed him, at school, at college, at dates with some boy he disapproved of and even today! Even with the worry on his face, he looked all the more amazing. He is one handsome man I have ever met in my life. While I did date some really good looking men, I never saw him as I did today. They say rightly, you value something or someone only when it moves away from you!

His black shirt stuck to his body, which he had paired with a pair of black jeans. He had a passionate love for that color. His eyes were filled with feelings of concern and apprehension. His nose had a tinge of pink, which usually tinted his nose and cheeks when he had cold or was trying hard not to cry. His square shaped face with his well trimmed stubble was illuminated under the moonlight. His broad shoulders moved as he rushed. Every nerve that emerged and hardened under that skin was visible to me today. Why had I been so blind! I thought removing my palms off my ears.

Reaching close to me, he stopped at an arm’s length. Breathing heavily he spoke, “Are…. You…. All…right?” 

I nodded my head.

“What…are…you…doing…here? Why…didn’t… You…call…earlier?” he spoke one word at a time.

I just smiled at him. He stopped talking and looked at me. In a few moments of silence he had steadied his breath while I felt breathless standing so close to him. Waiting for an opportunity to tell him that what I had come so far to tell.

Suddenly his arms rose and held my hands. Instantly, he pulled me closer. “I was afraid when you said you were here! You shouldn’t have stepped out of the airport.”

“I wanted to surprise you! But guess that was a bad idea!” I giggled. Trying to control my laughter, I pulled my right hand off his grip and tucked a loose strand behind my ear.

Just then his hands cupped my face. “This wasn’t a surprise, Amanda! This was horrible. A terrible idea! You have any idea how I managed to drive that damn car without running over someone and avoiding myself from getting hit! I don’t know how many traffic signals I broke. The moment you said you were here, I was so happy but when you said that you left the airport in the middle of the night and there was no one with you, it drove me mad. How could you be so irresponsible? My heart…. I…. You….. You have no idea, right?”

He stopped midway.

“I have no idea of? What Rick?” I asked him.

He took a deep breath and his grip on my face turned soft. 

“I was scared. Scared of losing you. I can never think of existence on this earth without you Amanda. I just can’t….because….because….” A lone tear fell from his right eye.

“Because?” I looked at him. My heart was beating with a strange pain and blood gushing around with unknown speed. 

 He looked into my eyes and said, “Because, I have always loved you! Always have and always will.” 

As he said those beautiful words, he pulled away his hands and turned back. I saw his hand rise and knew he was wiping away that little tear. His shoulders rose and fell as he tried to control his breathing and the turbulent feelings. I knew he was trying to gain control on his emotions.

My body shook with a new joy, a new feeling of peace. Tears fell down my eyes and my heart skipped a beat. My lips split and stretched themselves involuntarily into a smile. I took a little step and got rid of the distance between us. I put my hand on his shoulder. He turned. His eyes red with new tears in them, his lips quivered as he struggled for words. Raising my right hand I wiped his tears, and stroked his cheek. He tried to look here and there and then finally his eyes met mine.

“And you never told me?”

He didn’t say anything. His head lowered down as though he had something wrong.

“Rick. You want to know what brought me here? You want to know what it was that I came here for?”

He wiped his pink nose and said,”Yeah! You had said you’d want to buy your wedding dress from Paris. So I guess that’s what you are here for!”

I smiled and realized how he remembered a little wish I had shared with him, years ago after watching some wedding gowns catalogue.

“No! How can I buy a wedding dress when I haven’t got a bridegroom?”

She took a breath and knew, she had to tell him, tell him now!

“Yeah! I broke up with Kevin and realized everything was just another mistake. When I announced my engagement with him six months ago I didn’t know I was being so naive. It just didn’t feel right. A few days later you left me there and came here to Paris. And then I knew what was wrong. I was wrong. I was so foolish that I didn’t know what my heart wanted. There was no way, I could keep that engagement when my feelings were for someone else. And those feelings I realized after I saw him go. Those feelings I accepted when he had gotten away from me. That love I valued when I had been separated from it, from him! And I came to tell that person, that man, that love of mine, that I love him. I love him a lot!”

His eyes questioned me, though I felt it was all clear for him. 

“I came to tell you, Rick, that I…love… you!” I spoke each word slowly so that he would have no more doubts.

Never had I seen someone cry with happiness like I saw Rick that day! He pulled me into his arms and hugged me tightly. I could hear his heartbeat as he stroked my hair with one hand and held me by my waist with the other. I felt safe. I felt loved. I could feel the love in his heart. I could feel love in those strong arms of his. I had got my little heaven of love, right there, in the arms of the man I loved! 
After a long time wrote a little story! Couldn’t come back with something other than love! 😅 Hope you guys liked it! 

Lots of love to all!

Syeda