Book Reviews of some priceless books..!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Koyal Dark Mango Sweet...!

Before suspending my Lib Membership for few weeks, I decided to vist YA Section yet again and was so happy upon spotting yet another bestseller by "Kasmira Sheth". The book "Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet" is a first-person narrative of a smart Gujarati girl living in the most eventful Indian City - Mumbai. The book describes Mumbai life in quite a vivid manner and it sure is a ready reckoner illustrating Indian Culture and tradition. The story revolves around Jeeta - a 16 year old exceptionally smart girl who lives in a small apartment in Mumbai with her family. I particularly liked her conversations with her mother(almost each one of them made me smile) spc. when she keeps challenging her mother with old beliefs and customs. The story outlines many events which are such a common place occurence in any Indian Family. Kashmira really describes things / occasions in such a simple language - as a reader you certainyl feel immersed in the story. Both her books have left quite an impression in my mind for sure. The book describes the anxieties and tough times that parents go throuh while trying to find a match for their daughters. The concept of "Arranged Marriages" has been in practice since centuries in India and the story does touch upon key areas that one (unmarried guy/gal) must consider before marriage. I am sure that this story would get an instant admiration from young adults since in a way the story talks about Generation Gap, Women Empowerment, Career Focus and Choices for the Young - thru the protagonist Jeeta.

I wish to write so many inferences I derived from this amazing book but since I am seriously short of time right now - all I would say is that if you get a chance pls do grab a copy of this fascinating tale of friendship, relationship, bonds and true love ! Here's an Interview from the author herself. N'joy & have a nice evening ahead.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Blue Jasmine....!

I visited the local Public Library yesterday and asked for some Indian Author's bestseller. Without a doubt Bertha (the amazingly energetic librarian who loves talking about her Grand-Children) directed me over to YA Section. As I was walking past book shelves, I spotted a catchy title "Blue Jasmine". Sounds interesting - I said to myself ! A quick glance on the back cover intrigued me instantly. The author Kashmira Sheth earned a Paul Zindel First Novel for this book and I couldn't resist myself from reading the book right away. Well, 'Blue Jasmine' is basically a narrative on cultural differences & the experiences of Seema Trivedi - a young girl who moves to America as an immigrant at young age.Heading for the land of opportunities (as her Dad termed) was not so easy for the 12 year old Seema since that meant separation from all her friends and her beloved Grand Parents. While her father enjoyed his job and a batter pay, transition for this girl from India to Iowa was quite an experience - as the author illustrates in this beautiful book. The way author has carved out small cultural differences is simply brilliant ! For ex. Seema's teacher at school doesn't understand why she refers $1,000,000 as 10 Lakh than a Million or why is 'Swastika' - the symbol of Good Luck hated in US. Because of heavy accent and shyness, her classmates make fun of her, she faces many troubles making friends and realizes what differentiates a good friend from not so good ones. The inquisitive Seema keeps asking her mother for explanations for tons of questions she has about Why things are eccentric in US.

The story takes many emotional turns and besides Seema is centred around two more characters : her cousin
-Raju and her (poor) Indian Classmate-Mukta. Both Seema and Raju are very attached but physical separation makes them each other so much specially on occasions like Rakhi and Kite Festival. Likewise Seema is quite attached to Mukta who always reverred Seema back in school; Mukta handed her a handkerchief with a 'Blue Jasmine' (and thus the Title) carved on it when Seems was leaving India. This Blue Jasmine keeps reminding Seema of Mukta and their correspondence through letters is quite interesting ! However, due to a personal emergency Seema has to rush to India and we now see a matured smarter Seema. We certainly recommend this book - the characters in this book are so lifelike and we bet all immigrants can find a near instant connection !

While you hunt for a copy of this book - here's the first chapter from the book itself:) Enjoy !

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Little Engine that could...!

(Photo Credit - Wikipedia)
While revisiting the blogger settings today, I realized that it has bee ages since we posted any Book Review here. And before I come up with a dozen explanations trying to reinforce the false notion that I or my partner were very busy saving the world , launching rockets or gearing up for the next Olympics - I quickly grabbed a Comic Book from a peer's desk. And to my utter surprise - it was quite a nice read.

"The Little Engine that could...!" is basically a tale of a little engine that owing to its sheer optimism is able to achieve the seemingly tough task. Here's what happens in the story - there's this heavy train full of toys and food and together they try to climb a hill. Unfortunately the engine breaks down and that's when all the toys seek help from the trains of varying sizes and strength that pass by. However, they all refuse to provide help for various reasons ranging from we can't do it to Why should we do it ! Discouraged, the toys spot a little blue engine with so-so strength and ask for assistance. This brave little engine agrees to help when the toys tell him that its very vital for them to reach Hill Top and he is their last hope ! I love this part 'coz I remember back as kids - most of us were bold enough to take up every challenging tasks and pulling it to to finish line / success with solid self belief and practical application of ideas. Surprisingly its only when we grow up - we say "Naaah, we can't !" or "That's too tough !" etc. Think about it as you spot the next challenge your life showers you with - we are sure you might give it your best shot !

this incredible little engine puts himself in front of this heavy train and succeeds in pulling the train over the mountain while repeating its motto: "I-think-I-can....Chugg Chugg Chugg Chugg...I-think-I-can...Chugg Chugg Chugg Chugg...I-think-I-can !". The book truly is amazingly inspiring and Wikipedia rightly mentions this book as a metaphor for the American Dream. The story has evolved since the book was first released and there's a very nice animation film made on the plot too. That said - we are all charged up after Labor Day Weekend and as we grab a good bestseller from Library today - we wish you all Good Luck for your upcoming endeavors and yes....

We think you can....We know you can...!
~ Chinmay & Tanya
We love feedback!}