Underworld

By Catherine Macphail

There is a saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but sometimes there is something in the title and cover of the book that I can’t resist reading it. Luckily these books often turn out to be interesting. This same thing happened when I came across this book in a shop. The cover shows a man standing in a cave which gave a glimpse of some mystery and adventure. It is an adventure in a school outing.

The story begins with a description of a normal day in a school. It describes all the central characters like the bully Axel, Fiona with a sharp tongue, ideal prefix Zeshan, smart yet silent Liam and the chubby ever smiling Angie. At any normal time these people would hardly come togather without any friction which is a major problem to the teacher Mr. Marks. The author has nicely displayed the reason for their dislike for each other which is a result of their secret admiration. The story takes a turn when they go to a school outing in a cave and a landslide occurs while they are inside. They unite inspite of their differences for the ultimate goal survival. The events that follow keep the reader at the edge of their seats. The story nicely shows no one is perfect and everyone has personal problems. Also it is not always the phisically strong is the hero.

The fonts are large which makes the book readable at any place. Infact I got so engrossed that I was unable to leave it even for meals. This book is fine for all age groups above 12. It can be read on a long journey as well as while travelling to and from work. So if you are looking for a nice adventure on a lazy sunday afternoon, this is the choice.

Night train at Deoli and other short stories

By Ruskin #Bond

This is the first time I had read a book by Ruskin Bond. It happened on a long trip to home. The place where the bus stopped for refreshments had a small book store. Since more than four hours of journey was still left so I decided to buy the only book which stood out amidst all the bestsellers. I don’t know whether it was the picture on the cover or the title which prompted me to buy this book.

The book consists of short stories based mostly in #Uttarakhand which is a state in northern part of India. All the stories are events which might have happened with most of us. The beauty lies in the description of the scenary for example in the first story, the description of a #Railway station when a train arrives just brings back my school day trips. Each story connects the central character with a thing like a tree, house, book, etc. Each story just leaves the reader asking for more. I didn’t realize when my journey got over. One gets a beautiful view of the life in hills from the stories. The stories cover a wide range of topics from romance, mystery, child’s play to horror thus keeping the reader engrossed.

This is an amazing book and is definitely a great companion for journeys. Also it contains short stories so people trying to read while travelling to and from work will enjoy reading it. It is also a good book for those planning a trip to Uttarakhand as one gets a glimpse of the life there. All in all its a must read and can be read by people of all ages. While reading this book I realized there could be a story in small events like a wait of few hours in a railway station.

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.