Color Me Rich: A Book Club Review

Sometimes, I wonder if my blog will forget me too if I forget it for so many days? But sadly my reason this time has been very valid. I have been going through the “being-sick” phase where the disease after disease (nothing major, but a litany of minor diseases) followed me. Today was the day when I entered my own kitchen after a month. I was in shock myself when I saw the dates unchanged in my kitchen calendar. So, let me wave a tentative hello.

The good thing about being sick is that I have read A LOT. And this indeed calls for capitalization. I could not concentrate on writing(half the time wasn’t allowed to even touch the laptop after office) but reading was my solace along with the pen and paper. So, I have a lot to talk about. And I will like to start this as quickly as possible.

I will start with the review of the books pending with me. The first in the list is the book I got from Book Club– Color Me Rich. I am more than a month late in this (sigh!).

 

Color Me Rich 

by 

Mohan Deep 
Blurb 
A sensitive love story of a handsome and talented struggling painter Akash Saigal. What happens when he marries an extremely rich and beautiful artist and art investor Zenobia Taraporevala?
What grabbed my attention in the book was the author and the colourful portfolio the author has. You can read all about it in the About the Author section. But I was indeed interested in the story. Another thing which captured me was the news article on which the story was based. My father has a habit of discussing news over phone or at home (random news) and a dead body of an artist has been found. My father had told me that artists are crazy, and I should cure my artistic craziness. (I believe all fathers are like this, no?) So when I heard that the story has been compared to that case, I did want to know what the book is going to talk about.
I read the book in single sitting. It’s a thin book and a very fast paced one. I did like the book and enjoyed it.
Things I liked
  1. Mix of the languages: This should be read as warning as well. But I loved that the story had the touch of local language. More than that, I liked that author did not distract the readers by explaining the meaning of each and everything. This might have been the complaint of many readers, but I loved that author embraced the localness of the book. I am not against the descriptions, but it irritates me to no end when I have to read the meaning of the words and sentences when it can be plainly guessed from the context. I hate this in other non-Indian language usage as well.
  2. Storyline: The way the story has been written is quite gripping. I did not feel like keeping the book while reading it, and that explains the engaging nature of the story for me.
Things I did not like
  1. Character Development: The author gave a lot of attention to the context and the little details, but he forgot to develop the characters. The pacing was so fast that I could hardly associate with the character. There is a character in the story of Suma. I wanted to love her, empathize with her, but I did not feel anything for her. Same goes for the main characters of the story. I wished to spend some more time with them and to get acquainted with them in a better manner.
  2.  Chemistry: This point is associated with the past point, but I did not enjoy the chemistry between the characters. The motive is dependent upon the characters’ chemistry– their love and hatred. But I was not able to tune in with the chemistry of the characters.

Overall Opinion

Despite all the faults, the book is entertaining in nature. It is a perfect one time read with the right pacing and the right thickness. And the book does not try to imitate the Western world but is happy in its own Indian-ness.  The book gets three stars from my side.

Three Stars

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mohan Deep, is an Indian author, painter and Feng Shui Master. Mohan Deep is the author of ‘The Mystery and Mystique of Madhubala’ (1996), ‘It’s My Life’ (Novel) (1997), ‘Simply Scandalous: Meena Kumari’ (1998), ‘Eurekha!’ – an unauthorized biography of Rekha. (1999), ‘Four Options’ (2000), ‘Feng Shui for the Bold & Beautiful, the Rich and Famous’ (2001) and ‘Nehru and the Tantrik Woman’ (2002). After a sabbatical of a decade, during which he touched upon the lives of people as a Feng Shui Master, he was back with The Five Foolish Virgins( 2013). Mohan Deep is arguably the only Indian author to write what is often described as controversial, unauthorized star biographies in India. Columnist-journalist and former editor of ‘Illustrated Weekly of India’, Khushwant Singh called him ‘a truly gifted gossip writer’. “The maverick writer”, like columnist-reviewer-poetess.
Tara Patel described him has also been called William Goldman of Bollywood’s stars (By Behram Contractor, the Editor of Afternoon Despatch & Courier) (Source) Kitty Kelly of India (By R K Bajaj, the Editor of ‘The Daily’). Interestingly, almost every book he has wrote/penned has invited controversies for its bold content.

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Breach- A Book Club Book Review

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When this book was put for review, I was told that this is the book by the woman who leads Mills & Boons in India. Of course, since I live under the rock, I had never heard about the author Amrita Chaudhary. The only reason I picked up the book was I wanted to know was how a famous publisher writes and why was the whole Indian reading community knew about her except me (I already told the reason for this. I live under the rock! :P) And the book didn’t disappoint me. I planned to read one hour daily, but once I started reading, I was so engrossed in the book that I couldn’t keep it down. I finally rested my eyes  when I finally finished the book i.e. after five and a half hour of reading.

Book Summary

Breach is about the cyber security crime. It starts with Acel which is ready to file the patent for cancer-curing drug in the market. The data and all the details are taking place under the observant eye of Uday Veer in India. But everything goes haywire when some data gets corrupted and the whole Indian team is blamed for their ineptness. The book is about the search for the culprit through the maze of masked online identities. Introduced are a range of characters from teenagers to the local goons who are either the party to cyber crime or victim to cyber crime.

What I liked

1) The Intricacy of the Cyber Crime: That was the first thing that pulled me. I am an engineer but I am not tech savvy in the field of software or hardware or internet general. My knowledge is pretty basic when it comes to the online things. That’s why I enjoyed reading all the things that were shown. I am not sure how much of that can really happen (I do think that most of it can happen!) but it was interesting and a bit fearing to read about all the cyber crime thing.

2) Characters : I think this was the strongest part of the book for me. There were quite a number of characters in the story, but none of them was painted white or black. They were neither good, nor bad. I actually sympathized with all the villains and shook my head at some stupidity of the heroes.

3) Teenagers: The teenager characters of Raghu and Madhu deserve a special mention here. I absolutely adored their story. I don’t have any reasons for it, but these two were my favorite characters in the story.

What I Disliked

1) Small Errors: The book was quite well-edited but still I found some small errors in it. I would not have mentioned these anywhere else, but this is a publisher-written book. At least this book should have been error-free, although I wonder if there really are error-free books.

2) Too many characters in the beginning: There were just too many characters introduced in the story in the initial chapters. This made the beginning a bit slow, but the story finally caught the pace in the middle.

Overall Summary: It was an interesting book. I usually don’t enjoy thrillers too much, but this book was fun. A good read after a long time.

My Rating:

Four Stars

Meet the Author

Amrita Verma Chowdhury is the author of Faking It, an art crime thriller about fake modern and contemporary Indian art.
She holds engineering degrees from IIT Kanpur and UC Berkeley, where she was a Jane Lewis Fellow, and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon (Tepper Business School). Her work as an engineer in Silicon Valley led to seven US patents for semi-conductor fabrication – something to show for those bad-haired days. She has done Strategy Consulting and Board Effectiveness work in the US and Australia and has spent long nights fitting five-syllable words inside two-by-two squares. She has worked in the rarefied bastions of Ivy League education bringing together ideas and people. She currently works in publishing.
She lives in Mumbai with her husband Sumit, their two children Shoumik and Aishani, and an assortment of pets including a cocker spaniel, a guinea pig and two turtles. She loves travelling, baking cupcakes with her daughter and hearing from her readers.
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