Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Book Review "Boots, Belts, Berets"

Book Review: Boots Belts Berets

Author: Tanushree Podder

Publisher: IndiaInk

To start with when I saw this book in library I found the name “Boots Belts Berets” very strange. I didn’t understand what the book wants to talk about. But when I thought hard then word Berets and the cover of the Book which has a picture of very much worn out shoes help me understand that the book has to be about a ‘Uniformed Man’. And when I picked up the book I realized that I guessed it right. This book is about cadets in NDA i.e. National Defense Academy where finest of army officers had been developed. Life of Army men is always been mysterious for civilians. There is some sort of glamour, some mystic powerful aura around them. I am sure every civilian once in his life wanted to join the army. So did I, it is a different story that my physical structure won’t get me in the army for next seven lives.

So I picked up this book I was curious to know what exactly happens in these academies where these Army men are created. Where you enter as innocent / greenhorn boy and comes out as lean, mean, disciplined, respected Man. What do they do with them; to make them so tough fighters? You always knew there is tremendous hard work required for this job even more hard work just to qualify for the job. But I always fail to understand how they manage to survive these tough conditions. I though this is my chance to find all my answers. Frankly speaking I would have preferred if the book was written by a army officer himself like they say from horses mouth. This book is written by a wife of a army officer so it should be lot closer to the horses mouth.

As for the author I never heard of ‘Tanushree Podder’ before. And when I read that she is already penned seventeen odd books, I was surprised and little bit ashamed of my GK. But later I come to know out of these 17 books only two books are novel one is this one and other one called ‘Nurjahan’s Daughter. Remaining books are all on cookery stuff or health instructions or spiritual kind of books. So I feel relived because this is not my kind of books.

Anyways coming to the book itself is about sixteen years boys who decides to join the army and enters the world of National Defense Academy. On their very first step they realized that the world they have entered is not at all like what they thought would be or it is not at all like the life they had been living so far under the shelter of their parents and loved one. Within few days they wants to run away from all this but they couldn’t because for some it is his father’s only dream, for some it is there family ritual to be in army, some wanted to get away from there boring family life, for one he wanted to prove something to his father and for one because this is the most viable option financially available for him and his family.

This book is a tale of a bunch of disparate boys comes together at India’s National Defense Academy (NDA). They find themselves against disciplined system which could get brutal to achieve the desired result. And then there are sadistic seniors like in any other hostel but here they are more atrocious because they have right to humiliate you physically and emotionally as they are seniors and in army you can not disobey a senior. The only consolation they get out of this they will get their chance too when they become seniors. As in any other novel or in stories of friends there is one lover boy, one handsome boy who can charm anyone but does not care, one boringly earnest guy who always warns friends about forthcomings of their wild plans, and one stupid genius who always comes up with stupid plans and always gets subjected to reprimand.

Till this everything is very good. The author had one excellent story line to work with but she failed to develop any of the character. Nor she able to keep the story flowing there are too many unwanted halts. The description of cadet’s activities and drills could have been more graphical which wasn’t there. I won’t say her effort for her only second novel is bad but I couldn’t stop thinking that there was so much more this book could have offered. This may be because I was expecting to be something like the movie ‘Prahar’ enacted by Nana Patekar.

Overall I will give the author full marks for selecting the subject, it is good subject to wite on and also good subject to market the book for publisher too. But if I have to rate this book I can give it 6/10.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Book Review: "Comedy of Errors"

Book Review: The Comedy of Errors

Author: William Shakespeare

Genre: Comic Play

This is one of the first literatures from the great legend “William Shakespeare”. All the work from William Shakespeare is literally a literature. His books are referred in syllabus in schools and colleges all over the world. He is in true sense a king of English literature. There are so many contemporary authors whose work is supposedly inspired by him. Frankly I never read any of his books so when I come across “The comedy of errors” and immediately grab it.

Although the title says it is a book review in this article I am rather expressing the feelings after reading the book. As for the book I had very big expectation from it, it doesn’t turn out that great that may be because of various reasons. First reason could be that the plot wasn’t new for me; there are so many books and movies which are made on same plot. There is movie made in bollywood called “Angoor” which by the way one of my favorite movies. It is brilliantly enacted by Sanjeev Kumar which was based on this play. Of course the director used his creative freedom to plant the story in Indian continent and did that effectively. I read somewhere idea for this play has not been originated from Shakespeare’s mind. He got the idea from some French play. Anyway the point here is the story wasn’t anything I never heard of.

And second thing is plays are always the medium for writers to depict the present political and social conditions. And Shakespeare must have written this book in as early as in 1500. Because of that some of the things are not as relevant or as funny today as they might have been at that time.

The book has story of two twin brothers and there twin slaves. It is a story of lot of coincidences and fun happen because of that. The story starts with a death threat hovering over a old merchant for breaking some silly rules. He tries to win duke’s sympathy by telling him the story how he lost his family i.e. his wife and his two twin sons and there twin slaves. And he brake the rule as he is in search of them. Coincidently one of his lost son and one slave was settled in same city for long time who’s been happily married. Another coincidence happens when other twin brother and slave also visit the city. And there happen lot of kayos which results in slapstick comedy as everyone in the city as well as there family mistook their identity as not only the set of twins has identical faces but they have identical names. So you can imagine now what the situation could be and Shakespeare utilized it to the fullest. And when things were going out of control he wisely ends the confusion and all the members of family reunite. So there is the happy ending for it.

It might not be a best work of Shakespeare but it is very good entertaining book. If I have to rate it I will give it 7/10.