I was on a reading marathon over the last week and loved every bit of it. Read 2 books … Gently Falls the Bakula by Sudha Murthy and The Red Carpet by Lavanya Sankaran and re-read the others.

A brief review from my side. Would love to hear your views about the books if you have read them 🙂

They are so captivating that I enjoyed them as much even as I re-read them:

Palace of Illusions

Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Thanks to my sister who told me she was reading it and I so wanted to embark on the journey with her again.It was nice reading the book and discussing our views about the same parallely. For those who have not read the book, it is Mahabharata as narrated by an all-time important female character in Indian history, Draupadi. As the unwanted daughter, the wife of 5, the Mother who never got to shower all the love she wanted to on her sons … as she went to the forest, lived in exile with her husbands like a devoted wife, the tangy DIL to her spicy MIL and a woman who cannot grow over the love she has for Karna, I love the way Chitra Banerjee has handled it all. As most of the reviewers have said even before, the best part of the book for me was her relationship with Krishna. It seems so close to heart, more because its more in terms of friendship and not about Krishna as the Supreme God all through!

P.S I Love You

Author: Cecelia Ahern

I just went up to the bookshelf to pick up a book after I was done with POI and surprisingly, none of them caught my attention and only this one did. So, I read it all over again. Its about a young woman has just lost her husband and struggles with her everyday life as the love of her life is gone. She keeps herself away from all social life and goes about doing nothing. She learns that her husband has left her 10 letters.She is only allowed to read one letter a month and each one comes with instructions about what she has to do.All the while she realizes that even though he is gone, he is still with her in spirit and she must go on with her life. I love this book for the bond the girl friends share and for it speaks about how life goes on or rather how we need to carry on in life, inspite of all the happenings around. And most of all, I think it tells us that with all the much-needed support we get from our near and dear ones, it all boils down to something within us finally. With all the motivation around, we need to keep the spirit within us alive to get going.

The Twentieth Wife

Author:Indu Sundareshan

I read this book again because I have ordered the sequel ‘Feast of Roses‘ and so wanted to read the first one again. One from the historical romantic genre, the book tells the story of Mehrunnisa, the aunt of Mumtaz Mahal and known to the Indian history as Nur Jahan. The author makes the Mughal era setting come alive in front of the reader .. rich and exotic! The story traces the journey of Mehrunnisa, who does not want to be a powerless woman like many around and nourishes the youthful desire to be Prince Salim’s wife. Blessed with beauty, charm and a magical destiny, she makes her way into the heart of Akbar’s favourite wife Ruqayya, which takes her face to face with Salim and it is love at first sight. More drama unfolds as she gets married to a soldie Ali Quli, a marriage which sees more of infidelities by her husband, miscarriages and not anything better. Finally, true love prevails and she weds Salim in a royal ceremony, thus making her dream come true. Indu Sundareshan has become one of my most favourite authors with this book.

Now, for the first-time reads:

Gently Falls the Bakula

Author:Sudha Murthy

The story of Shrimati and Shrikant, classmates who come first and second in the state board exams respectively and neighbours who fall in love and their love story is sheltered by a Bakula tree which stands in between their houses. They fight all odds, a feud between their families from times unknown and get married to each other. While Shrikant goes on stepping up the ladder of success in the IT world after his IIT degree, Shrimati gives up all her ambitions and starts leading a life as his shadow, managing the house and all his needs. Ambition and self-interest take the place of love and understanding in their marriage and Shrimati realizes that she needs to come out of this cocoon and do something which interests her and ‘live’ her life in the real sense. Reality dawns on her that her duties as a wife had drawn curtains over her individual interests and goals. Thus, she begins the passionate journey in search of her ultimate joys. A simple story about relationships and the value of spending time with your loved ones and things which stand above money and fame.

The Red Carpet

Author:Lavanya Sankaran

I bought this book mainly because it is set in Bengaluru 😛 For one who is away from home and misses her city oh so often, there can’t be anything better. This is a collection of short stories throwing light on the changing times and ways of thinking, the clash between the spirited youngsters and their orthodox families, the generation gap well evident in Bengaluru, the transition that the city has been witness to. She brings to life the old and new worlds prevailing in the city.

A mother who is looking for a ‘know-all’ DIL while her son, who is deliberating over an arranged marriage wants someone who can get along well with his friends and live life to the fullest; a daughter who wants to pursue her academic interests while her Mom wants her to settle down; an old man who is interested in what goes on in each household in the neighbourhood and is surprised whenever he sees an young couple hugging and bidding each other good-bye when they leave to work, their way of dressing; a driver who is worried about the meeting between his family and his madam, who in the first place expressed her interest in the same as he feels that her way of dressing and habits are treated differently in their neighbourhood, two co-existing but never overlapping classes of the society; how a girl gets over haunting thoughts of her father’s suicide while battling the inequality @ work and with many such stories revolving around daily life, the author throws in a nice combination of wit and wisdom. The language may be a little vulgar @  places, but overall has a nice and pleasant feel to it.

Currently reading Monsoon Diary and loving every bit of it 🙂