The complete Adventures of Feluda – volume 2

The complete Adventures of Feluda – volume 2
By Satyajit Ray

This week I finally got to read this book which has been lying on the shelf from a long time. From the time I had watched “Sonar Kella”, I had planned to read this book but somehow kept on delaying it. This is a collection of 19 mystery stories solved by detective Pradosh Mitter alias Feluda. The prime characters are Pradosh Mitter(Feluda), Tapesh (Topshe) and Lalmohan babu(Jatayu). Feluda is a sleuth and is observant about every minute detail. At the same time Jatayu is his complete opposite but their contrast nature make the stories more interesting. The comments by Topshe add the cherry on the cake.

All the stories are written as first person with the author as Topshe who is Feluda’s cousin. The stories cover wide range of topics and places in India. Some stories are based out of India(HongKong and London) as well. The clients range from magicians, doctors, pychiatrists, kings, actors, lawyers, etc. Each mystery reveals a thorough study by the author in each of these professions. Special attention has been paid to the characterization of each person from their dress to the way they hold the tea cup. The jokes of Jatayu provide a much needed comic element to the stories which is rare in detective stories. One also gets a feel of the old Kolkata from the description of the various places. Also a lot of information has been provided about each location like the terracotta temples of Dubrajpur in “Robertson’s Ruby” or the sunrise of Khilanmarg in “Peril in Paradise”.

Satyajit Ray successfully creates the same enthusiasm through his writing as he did with his movies. Once you start reading a story you cannot get up unless you complete it making it a must read for all mystery lovers. As it is a collection of stories it is most recommended for those travelling to work. This is also a stress buster after a hard day’s work.

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anything for you, ma’am

anything for you, ma’am

By Tushar Raheja

A long weekend, cold winter nights and short days, these are the perfect ingredients for a laidback weekend with books. Also one is in a festive mood since it is MakarSankrath or Uttarayan. Hence this week I read “anything for you, ma’am’. This is an out-an-out comic book with all the elements of a masala movie. The story revolves around Tejas Narula, a clever guy and an engineering student from IIT, Delhi (Northern part of India). He falls in love with a girl called Shreya who stays in Chennai (Southern part of India). As in a typical love story, Shreya’s father comes to know about their affair and is against it. As a result they are unable to meet even once a year. Also Shreya is unable to make her yearly trip to Delhi because of a wedding of her cousin. At this point Tejas creates an entire plan to meet Shreya during the Industrial visit of his college.

The plan requires the approval of Professor P.P.Sidhu and Tejas doesn’t take is subject seriously. To add to his woes he unknowingly gets involved in a mischief played by students on Sidhu. Now his struggle is not only to meet Shreya but to complete his engineering project so as to win the heart of his professor. Thus follows a series of events where Tejas gets screwed and then comes out because of his quick thinking. He is helped by his friends Bajrang, Pritish, Rishabh and his siblings.

The author successfully creates a colourful description of the various seasons in Delhi and their effect on the lives of the people. His close association with his cousins give a sneak preview of how we Indians remain close to our relatives inspite of being in nuclear families. His chance meeting with Rajit, an x-IITian reveals the brotherhood which IITians share with each other. Also the parties in hoster campus takes one back to his/her college days. The comraderie of his friends makes one nostalgic as it brings back the memories of school and college friends.Last but not the least the elaborate description of his long distance affair with Shreya, which consists of late night phone calls, emails, etc is the most beautiful part of the story. The best part is everytime Tejas gets into a problem he doesn’t give up and finds a way to come out of it. His optimism is revealed in the way he is able to associate each of his problems with one or other hindi movie.

This is a recommended read for everyone whether they are working on in college particularly for those in a long distance relationship. It will definitely an easy way to unwind after a long and stressful day. On a winter night, tucked in a blanked this book is the best companion. The story tends to get slow in the middle but finally catches up after a few pages. One would definitely feel entertained after reading this book.

Joker in the Pack

Joker in the Pack

 By Neeraj Pahlajani and Ritesh Sharma

 At the inset this appears to be another story by IIM alumni but as one proceeds the story seems to grow through the reader. The story revolves around Shekhar Verma, a middle class average boy, who struggles to make a career for himself. Through the life of Shekhar the author very subtly represents the beliefs of the Indian family where a child would be a hero only if he does well in studies or a teaching mother would be preferable as she would assist in household income and due to fixed school timings would also perform the mandatory duties of the ideal ‘bahu’.

 The hype created by the computer boom is visible in the way everyone wished to get into a computer science course irrespective of the details of the college or course shelling out big money without guarantee of future. The trauma students go through when they realize the validity of their course. The only way most of them find a solution is do an MBA. The way students manage their studies and CAT preparation reminds us of our college days. To add to all this there is the romance between Shekhar and Anoushka and their ambition to get into IIM and IIT respectively. The story takes a turn when Shekhar gets into IIM Bangaluru. Here he finds himself most ordinary. The IIM part is an excellent package of the story including the studies, projects, events, friends, comraderie and finally the campus placements. What follows from here is a series of events where Shekhar manages to bring himself among the top.

 Somewhere, somehow most of us have experienced what Shekhar goes through. The satirical representation of the problems is the key that holds the reader’s attention. There is a brilliant representation of the life at IIM. This is an excellent book for all those people who want to read in bus or train after a long days work. The language is simple and tactful.