The Hunt For Kohinoor : Book Review

To be frank, have never been a fan of thrillers in backdrop of political boundaries. Have always ignored such plots. But, now I think the view is getting changed after reading this brilliantly paced thriller by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar. Her latest - The Hunt For Kohinoor, is such superb amalgamation of a political plot and history lessons, aided with thrilling 96 hours journey of the female protagonist - Mehrunisa.

Being the second book in 'Mehrunisa Trilogy', I was quite apprehensive on reading the second part without reading the first one. But thankfully, there aren't any continuing storyline that can make you clueless. The only connecting dots between the two parts are its characters. Rock solid spies - Harry, RP and Raghav. And the art lover and restorer - Mehrunisa who can switfly turn her side as a spy and still continue to connect the present world with a Renaissance mural or even a Mughal painting. And still, she is a woman, and know her boundaries and has her own fears and limits. Very well written the character is. As she is not out and out a daredevil which would lead one to start believing it as a 'fiction'. And the spy team - RP, Raghav and the 'Snow leopard'. Each one gets a perfect caricature by the writer's pen. That you can imagine the exact person what writer had in her mind.

Extreme detailing doesn't end with the characters alone. The backdrop of Afghanistan, FATA, POK, Pakistan and places around - are given in so much details that it leaves you stunned. Add to that, the political history, the games that USA, Russia and Pakistan played on playground of Afghanistan. How and who got the benefits of those. And how India is thrown in the picture with what connection. Everything looks so well researched and that makes the journey more authentic. You feel transported to those sandy deserts of Afghanistan, those killer peaks of Hindu Kush and even those dark, cruel caves.

The pace - is essence of the tale. It is not easy to hold reader's attention in a book, especially. And when you promise a tale that is going to last only 96 hours, that too in first few pages. You have to bind the reader to the ongoings. And this tough part is done with sharp finesse.Though at places, nearing to finale, I felt too much detailing of few new characters, did mar the pace for a while. But that again, after reading further pages, you feel it was the necessary devil. Another complaint is how everything falls conveniently in place while finding the cryptic clues. Or may be, because this is not a 'mystery' but a thriller. May be, its just me.

Unputdownable - the word is used n'times. But this one surely is. Because of its pace. Because how it takes you on a ride that goes from cliffs to caves, barren deserts to chilling peaks, museums to terror camps. Would certainly recommend this.

Don't be surprised it this gets converted into a film. My vote to play Mehrunisa goes to Bipasha (of course, as a 'fit' spy, who else suits?) or Deepika (remember her 'art restorer' role?).

Tags : hunt for kohinoor book review, manreet sodhi, book reviews, kohinoor secret, mehrunisa trilogy, priynka chopra

Valentine's Day Playlist : Pritam Chakraborty

The hit machine - as we know him better. Improvising year after year. Shedding all those blames of plagiarism (which I hardly do care about). Pritam - churns most perfect tunes when it comes to make songs of love. And here, are some of my favorites. In chronological order. Please share yours too in the comments. 

Older playlists here : Vishal Bhardwaj                          Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

1) Phir le aaya dil - Barfi : The Ghazal'ish track with unimaginable arrangements in background. Add Arijit's voice and Kirkire's words. The song takes your senses in another world. Truly, gem of a song.

2) Tum Se Hi-Jab We Met : This had always been on top whenever I made favorite Pritam songs list. (and then, Barfi came). Shahid-Kareena's chemistry, brilliant picturization and Mohit's voice. The song is just perfect in all senses.

3) Raabta-Agent Vinod : Numerous 'reprise' versions. And still, you won't skip even one. This, minimal track is just so gorgeous - be it the singers (Shreya, Hamsika, Arijit, Joi, Aditi) or the words (Amitabh Bhattacharya), you can't help but fall in love.

4) Tera hone laga hoon-Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani : A shallow movie, and a pop song. Yet, sounds fresh anytime I hear it. (not to mention my love for Atif ;)) Alisha and Atif pefects the duet despite that bit annoying 'angrezi' phrases by Neeraj.

5) O Meri Jaan-Life in a Metro : Not a single track in this album that is not 'awesome'. Tough to choose one from it. But this, again for its words (Sandeep Shrivastava), makes it in this list. And the chords, the way it moves rocks its way to peak. Love, totally. 

6) Tum mile-Tum Mile : Another album where picking up a single mushy track, is crime. The album is all time favorite. (forget the dreadful movie). This one, again with various 'reprise' version, stays in heart. Upbeat version by Neeraj or soulful by Javed or, rock one by Shafaqat, this touches heart.

7) Yeh dooriyaan-Love Aaj Kal : Prelude whistle that gets stuck in your head. And Mohit Chauhan singing for Pritam. Nothing gets better than that. Irshad's words gets best tune that keeps the pain alive, for long.

8) Bin Tere-Woh Lamhe : Underrated song for an underrated film. Have never heard Jawed Ahmed before this (and not after this too). Just love how Sayeed Qadri's poetry gets peak in second stanza 'Tere saath jiye jo pal....'.

9) Jaane kya chahe mann-Pyaar Ke Side Effects : Wonder why there is no other Pritam song in this template. Zubeen was introduced in Hindi by him, but no other song came out after this one. Pritam used Garg's variations at right places, even the concluding piece with sarangi. Longing feel, can't get better than this. Whattay !

10) Tumhi ho bandhu-Cocktail : And nothing gets better than this when we talk about upbeat and peppy yet different. Kavita Seth in different avatar with Neeraj. The track you can't ignore, sure to make even your heart-dance.

And the list doesn't end there. Given record of Pritam, giving hits after hits, many of them the mushy mushy tracks. Here are some more that are not in top ten, but still, my favorites.

Kya karoon-Barfi
I love you-Bodyguard
Pee loon-OUATIM
Bheegi Si Bhaagi Si-Raajneeti
Tu hi haqeeqat & Dil Ibadat - Tum Mile
Teri ore-Singh is King
Kahin Na-Kismat Konnection
Zara sa - Jannat
Lamha Lamha-Gangster
Baatein Kuch Anakahee Si, In Dinon-Life in a metro
Aaj Din Chadheya-Love Aaj Kal

Tags : Valentines day songs list, valentine's day songs, love songs, pritam best of pritam, pritam's hit songs list