Private India : Book Review

So, what makes a good thriller? When it comes to a book, things are different than the movies. Movies, its easy to keep viewer glued to the screen. Help being in form of background score, the camera movements and a lot more. But books, has only one power in them. The word power. So its a tough job to fuel a book thru words that will keep reader immersed in the ongoings. Stuck in the scenarios. Unputdownable-as often said. (very common word I know). Naturally, a tough job. And Ashwin Sanghi, have mastered it. As far whatever works I have read written by him, he definitely scores higher. To be frank, I don't know about James Patterson and this 'Private' series of him. But after reading this, definitely it enticed me to read the series. 

Very well known investigation firm - Private has its own operations in India. Obviously in the commercial hub, maximum city Mumbai houses its headquarter. After solving some key cases including IM induced serial blasts, they are now in big picture. And not just a simple detective agency. So, when they come to know about this murder investigation at an international hotel, Santosh Wagh-the head of organization, knows they are going on a relentless roller coster ride starting from now. And how this ride goes further in a series of killings and surprise revelations. Connections, motives and the secrets, forms the story.

What makes this a really good ride is its pace. I thought I would read some 50-60 pages a day and will complete this by the week. (being 470 pages). But I surprised myself with the reading speed. Despite of my busy schedule, I managed to read 200 pages a day and the book got completed in just three days ! Because, its written so well, in simple language, avoiding fancy phrases. Avoiding unnecessary detailing. And that's how a thriller should be. So fast that there is no point in putting the book down against distractions.

Though, this took toll of the characterization. The book falls flat on that front. Despite of each character having a back story, you can not feel for them and they don't make a lasting impression. They just make a good part of ongoing events. Maybe this was intentional so that it won't mar the thrill. On the other hand, Ashwin Sanghi in his own style, sprinkles mythological elements in the story. Though in a lesser quantity. but effectively he uses this theme. (Don't know how James is attached in project. Did he also co-write the chapter, or he is credited for use of 'Private'?!). Also another thing left me confused about is - unanswered questions. A certain character, who is blamed for the things going on, is left sidelined by the book progresses. And the questions about him, hang right there. otherwise, the description of the city, Mumbai, impresses. The typical elements - smugglers, dance bars, beggars, high profile people, politicians, actors and the police. Everything is weaved in perfectly.

I would rate it as 'should' read for readers who love thrillers. A few hours, well spent reading this. But if you are looking for another Krishna Key, this is not it. This travels a very contemporary genre, but doesn't disappoint. With this, Ashwin Sanghi definitely concretes his position on the must read list.

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Ramayana-The Game of Life: Rise of the Sun Prince : Book Review

Since childhood, I have heard, read and seen stories of epic - Ramayan. One of the two biggest epics of India. Seen - in numerous adaptation by tv, cinema and plays. Heard - through grandparents. And read, the versions best suited for kids. Never have I read extensive, sincere and detailed works on the epic. So whatever I knew about Ramayan, was limited to such sources. Thankfully, this series is going to change it completely. Ramayana : The Game Of Life series by Shubha Vilas, is an extensive effort. Part 1 of the series 'Rise of The Sun Prince' kick starts the experience very well.

Rise.. tells the story of earlier phase of Ramayan. The prelude. Where all the forces in heaven, conspires to let the avatar of Lord Vishnu - Rama, walk over the earth. How the kingdom of Ayodhya gears up to welcome him, how he spends his childhood, boyhood and how he leads to marry Sita. Everything in so much detail, yet as concise as possible. And what is so different about this book? How the writer choose to impart wisdom through footnotes. The nectar from the fruit. Almost all pages are sprinkled by such thoughtful notes. Giving lessons on leadership, life changing aspects, divinity, loyalty and much more. Very swiftly the notes give you the best lessons. Also there, in footnotes, some well researched bits about the ongoing is put. Making each page worthy information to read.

It seems really in depth research is done by the author. Taking clues from Valmiki Ramayan as well as Kamba Ramayan (tales from South India). Amalgmation of the two is done in a way one can't detect it. Moreover, it goes into backstories every now and then. Making one's knowledge about things enriched, things we rarely knew.
Sample -

- How vast the city of Ayodhya was, be it area or the infrastructure. How rich its people are, spiritually or physically.
- Detailed life history of Vishwamitra. How he has this life long fight with Vasistha Rishi.
- How a simple wish of Lakshmiji made Lord Vishnu do incarnation of Rama, and her as Sita.
- How Dasratha has to marry as much as 353 times.
- Rama's age during various important stages of Ramayana. (Did you know he married at the age of  12 !!?)
- How did the island of Lanka originated?
- Origin of many holy rivers.

The writing style is fluid. Never you feel it heavy or giving too much of life lessons. At places Shubha describes ongoings so well, it overwhelms you. For example few scenes that are my favorite - when Luv-Kush tells the story of Ramayan in front of Rama himself. Or the times when Dasratha hears stories about braveness of Rama and the proposal of him marrying Sita. Despite of the fact, everything is writen in past tense, you feel you are watching this in front of your eyes and move with it. My only complaint is how the names are written. With extra 'a' in the end. Rama, Dasaratha, Janaka, Lakshmana. I mean, it doesn't at all look authentic. Otherwise, the book is surely a keeper, so must the series. To tell your kids the tales of one of the greatest person walked on this earth.

This is the first time I am seeing this publishing house - Jaico Books. And am surprised to see such perfect work. Starting from the beautiful covers to the printing quality and the paper quality. Everything is just too good. The footnotes fonts are not too small that it makes a comfortable read. Overall, a worthy job.

I would recommend this work - for you to know how detailed our history is. How not everything is known to us and that needs to be told.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books !