Category Archives: Reviews

My Favourite Quotes from Billa 2

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Credits to: chennaionline.com

♣ என் வாழ்க்கையிலேயே ஒவ்வொரு நாளும் ஒவ்வொரு நிமிஷமும், ஏன், ஒவ்வொரு நொடியும் நானா செதுக்குனது டா.

Translated: In my life, every day, every hour, every second was sculpted by myself.

♠மத்தவங்களோட பயம் நம்மளோட பலம்

Translated: Others’ Fear is our Strength.

♥ஆசை இல்ல, பசி…

Translated: It’s not my Desire, but my hunger.

♦என்னோட நண்பனா இருக்கரதுக்கு எந்த தகுதியும் வேண்டாம், ஆணா என் எதிரியா இருக்குதற்கு தகுதி வேண்டும்

Translated: You don’t need any status to be my friend; but to be my enemy, you do.

♣உர்கார்ந்து வேலை வாங்ரவனுக்கும், தன் உயிர பணயம்
வைத்து வேலை செய்ரவனுக்கும் வித்தியாசம் இருக்கு

Translated: There is a difference between the one who sits down and asks others to do work and the one who puts his life into doing the work.

One Night @ the Call Center

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:One_Night_@_Call_Center.jpg

My Rating: ♣♣♣♣

One night at the call center is a story penned by Chetan Bhagat. The story revolves around the characters working in a call center at night. The characters are Shyam, Priyanka, Esha, Vroom, Radhika, Military Uncle and Bakshi (the evil boss). The story is narrated from Shyam’s point of view.

Each of the character are facing problems in their life.

Shyam was earlier attached to Priyanka, but now have broken up. Despite, having feelings for her, he is in a daze when he comes to know, she is getting engaged to a NRI named Ganesh Gupta, a high-flier who works in Microsoft. Apart from this, Shyam seems to have lost all his esteem and self-confidence through the nature of treatment he receives from others and constantly degrading remarks from his evil boss, Bakshi. Bakshi is portrayed as a selfish boss who takes full credit for other work, only concentrating on his own self-improvement but not the call center company (Connexions).

Priyanka is initially happy about her new engagement. However, she is unhappy about her parents’ haste in marrying her the coming month itself. She feels is not yet ready for marriage and mulls over this. Meanwhile, Shyam and Vroom, who are good friends, unveil that Ganesh hid his baldness from Priyanka by showing her some online photos of Ganesh. This further saddens Priyanka.

Esha is an attractive girl, whose dream is to become a model. However, to achieve this, she went to the limits of sleeping with the designer to get the contract. The designer however, cheats her by saying she is an inch shorter than expected, and compromises by offering money. Esha feels deep guilt and hatred over herself for her actions. She is unable to accept herself anymore.

Vroom is a fun-loving guy who has many aspirations. However, he works in the call center, subduing to everyone else, just to earn enough money to keep up with his rich friends and their hobbies. In the midst of the night, Vroom gets to know that Bakshi has taken credit for all the 6 months of hard work, that he and Shyam has put in to develop a customer service website. This angers him greatly, but he is unable to avenge his anger due to fears of losing his job. Meanwhile, he overhears Esha pouring her guilt to her other friends. Vroom who loves Esha, feels sickened after this.

Radhika is already married. She has great trust and love for her husband. She endures all the trouble her mother-in-law gives her and succumbs to the traditional roles that her mother-in-law expects her to do, even preparing the daily milk with crushed almonds for her in the morning when she is rushing for work. Though Radhika, does not complain about this, her mother-in-law is still unhappy and complains all the time to her husband. Later on, Radhika accidentally comes to know that her husband has cheated on her. This greatly shocks and hurts her.

Military Uncle broke up with his son’s family some years ago. When he tries to maintain contact with his grandson by sending some photos, he receives an email from his son, asking him to cut all contact with the family. Military Uncle gets deeply saddened by this.

While all of them have their troubles, something unusual makes them realise the importance and appreciation of the life they are living. Facing some systems error, all the agents are unable to take calls. Vroom decides that they go out to a bar to relieve their stress. While on the return journey, Vroom decides to take a shortcut to reach office quickly and the van ends up crashing into a construction site. The van is left dangling precariously on the edge of a some steel rods above a abyss. When all hope seems lost, they receive a phone call in the no-reception area. The call was from GOD.

The rest of the story follows what happens after God speaks to them and saves them by giving them some tips to escape out of the situation. God makes them stay true to their heart and promise that they will do what they have to do to achieve that.

It was an interesting read, especially the parts after the call from God were particularly inspiring in one way or another. The characters were easy to relate to and thus made much of the reading very comfortable. However, it might seem a little draggy in the initial parts. Overall, it was a good read.

Immortals of Meluha: A Novel by Amish Tripathi

Credits: Wikipedia.org
Credits: Wikipedia.org’

My Rating:

♣♣♣♣

The Immortals of Meluha is the first book of the Shiva Trilogy written by Amish Tripathi, which portrays a fictional story of the revolution led by Lord Shiva. The author has done a great job in accurately incorporating the characters such as Nandi into the story which provides a sense of realism of reading an actual novel on Lord Shiva. In fact, many traditional customs and terms used, such the caste system, adds to the authenticity of the book. It was an enjoyable read, particularly due to the touches of ancient Indian traditions which we still can relate to.

The book has frequent references to the old 4-type caste system.

In this book, it follows the character of Shiva, a Tibetan tribal leader through his destiny. Shiva’s best friend is Veerbhadra. Shiva is the so-called warrior that everyone in a city called Meluha awaits to save them from the troubles they face. For one, the much sacred Saraswati river‘s water flow is dwindling. Shiva moves to Meluha with his tribe, where he thinks his tribe will be able to enjoy a better life and a stop from the frequent battles between his tribe and another. The services rendered to their tribe at Meluha simply overwhelms all of them.

On the first night of stay, everyone from Shiva’s tribe start to experience weird symptoms like profuse sweating and high fever. Soon, the Chief of Medicine, Ayurvati, begins the healing process for all the tribe members. However, unexpectedly, Shiva is completely lacks these symptoms that others are showing and in turn, shows that his throat has turned blue. Upon this shocking news, Ayurvati brings it to the attention of the King of Meluha, Daksha, who declares Shiva as the Neelkanth, the exact warrior’s arrival the city has awaited for decades and even centuries.

Throughout these, Shiva meets Nandi, a Captain, who he becomes very close to. Shiva also meets Princess Sati (aka Parvati), with whom he is attracted to. Shiva realises that Meluhans are the Suryavanshis and their enemies are the Chandravanshis. He is told of the brutal attacks carried out by the Chandravanshis on the innocent people of Meluha, especially the Brahmins, whom refuse to fight back as they practise non-violence. Shiva is also constantly exposed to the scenes of threats, many of which, he strives to save Princess Sati. The violence angers Shiva, who decides to accept the destiny of being the Neelkanth and seeks to take revenge on the Chandravanshis to put a stop to the battles and attacks.

Meanwhile, Shiva is also introduced to the sacred elixir of life, Somras, through which all Meluhans attain lifelong immunity to any diseases, keeping them alive for many years. Their aging stops when they take the exilir, hence, most Meluhans are very youthful. Shiva comes across Brahaspati, the Chief Scientist working at Mount Mandar. They form a close brother-like relationship. Shiva also meet Parvateshwar, the Chief of the Meluhan Army.

Sati slowly begins to reciprocate Shiva’s love and soon they get married. This is after initial hesitations of Sati and the others due to Sati being a vikarma (describes people who are considered to be sinful due to the sins committed in their earlier life). The Vikarma law, considered to be unfair to all becomes abolished by Shiva who is considered above the King in Meluha. Soonafter, Brahaspati is killed in a brutal attack by the Nagas at Mount Mandar, committed by the Nagas who were believed to be affliated with the Chandravanshis. This angers Shiva badly, leading to the declaration of war against Chandravanshis.

The war occurs and the Suryavanshis eventually win the Chandravanshis through their smart techniques, collaboratively formed by Shiva and Parvateshwar, though outnumber more than a ratio of 1:10 to the Chandravanshis. The Chandravanshi King is captured and brought before Shiva. The king then leaves, profoundly shocked by the sight of Shiva and his blue throat. It is then revealed by the King’s daughter that, they too believed earnestly in the legend of the Neelkanth, who will be the saviours of Chandravanshis. Upon hearing this, Shiva is crestfallen and unable to fathom his own actions.

In a distressed state, he then visits the temple dedicated to Lord Ram in Ayodhya, where the Pandit (the priest) counsels him and advises him of the actions he chose and his destiny. The book ends with Shiva rushing to save Princess Sati, waiting outside the temple, from the Naga, who is hidden among the tress behind Sati.

Revolution 2020: A Novel

Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition

Rating:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Revolution2020_Love_Corruption_Ambition.png
Credits to Wikipedia

Revolution 2020 was a particularly interesting read from Chetan Bhagat. In this novel, the timeline spans across 3 main periods, his childhood then on to his teenage years and finally his adulthood in Varanasi. The book starts by introducing Chetan Bhagat as a GOH to a commemorative event, where he gets introduced to Gopal the Director of the University GangaTech. One thing leads to another, and a reluctant Chetan Bhagat sits in for a drink at Gopal’s place. Gopal shows off his big house and his extravagant spending character. However, Gopal after drinking too much collapses. And in the hospital he begins his narration of his life.Gopal’s childhood days are one that an ordinary school student can relate to. Though from a poor family, he has friends Raghav and Aarti who can be considered decently rich. This period mainly focuses on how the friendship blossoms between the trio, while concentrating more on Gopal and Aarti.

Gopal’s teenage years exhibit his profound love for Aarti, mainly understood by his thoughts. However, when Gopal proposes, Aarti refuses to reciprocate his love for her, citing that she is not ready for a relationship yet. Meanwhile, Gopal flunks both his AIEEE and IIT JEE exams. This causes some upset since his good friend Raghav manages to become one of the top scorers in the district. After his father insists that he goes to Kota to join a tuition to mould him well for a 2nd time try in both the exams.

While in Kota, Gopal learns of a shocking relationship between Aarti and Raghav. Moreover, he also fails to get the required ranking to get into the University a 2nd time. Gopal’s father dies soon after, unable to take in his son’s failure again. After this part, Gopal is left to be an orphan. His relatives start pressurising him to sell his ancestral land under dispute for a meagre sum of money. Feeling lost, and unable to think of any solution to move forward in life, Gopal barely drags himself. While searching for a cheap private University, Gopal gets introduced to the MLA, Shukla.

From then, it seems like a turning point in Gopal’s life. He comes under the protective showers of the MLA. Motivated by the money that a private University can reek in, the MLA promises to settle the land dispute and have Gopal to run the private University (named GangaTech) in which he will be a ‘trustee’. Raghav, on the other hand, takes a contrasting route by forsaking his Engineering seat to pursue journalism, which he claims to be his passion.

Soon, Raghav begins publishing the MLA’s wrongdoings which leads to strained ties between Raghav and Gopal after disputes. Meanwhile, Gopal and Aarti get to become closer. After some time and persuasion, it is shown that Aarti is in love with Gopal. MLA Shukla is soon forced to resign after his wrongdoings go viral in Raghav’s newspaper named ‘Revolution 2020’.

But will Gopal eventually win over Aarti? Or will it remain as Raghav and Aarti?

That is the crust of the story. However, be ready for a rollercoaster ride as further twists and turns are revealed in the end.

While it was a good read, it was certainly quite difficult to accept the ending and just reminded me of another story molded from a Bollywood story.

Nevertheless, I am awaiting the next Chetan Bhagat novel excitedly, something that restores the feeling of 5-point someone and 2 states after reading the book!