Thursday, 16 March 2017

Book Review: Mrs. Funnybones



This book is written by renowned actress Twinkle Khanna. After digging her luck in diverse fields, she began writing. I am a fan of her newspaper column that comes every Sunday in Times of India, and also her scintillating tweets.

I would always admire her for her 
unconventional sense of humor, presence of mind and stark comments. Also, having traveled many roads of life including acting, interior design and, of course, writing, she carries a distinct identity and charm of her own.

This book is about her day-to-day life experiences in a funny manner.



Although, I was expecting a lot more from her debut novel. It seems more like a collection of her newspaper articles. When you spend some money to buy a book, you do not expect it to contain the stuff that a corner of a 5 bucks newspaper has! You are investing time as well as money not to know her autobiography, and that to, not actual autobiography but certain regular events from here and there from which one derives no conclusion.

With 235 pages including a lot of blank pages, text size 12 and 1.5 size line spacing, broad margins, even the slowest reader on the planet can finish this book in no time.

Not everyone wants to be enlightened by how she struggles as a mother, her baby wants to use her hello kitty potty seat in FLIGHT, or that she gets captured by paparazzi often, or that her son has got a girlfriend at eleven or the MIL jokes with her female friends or how much the family travels abroad in FLIGHTS.

Nevertheless, coming to some good points, the book is humorous, you smile and laugh from time to time and feel light when reading it. This is a quick read and hence, it may help you to overcome reader's block, if any. The sarcasm and composition of sentences is quirky.

My rating for this book is 2.5 on 5 and I recommend it to those who are are willing to pass their time on a train journey or a flight.


(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing this review.)


If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at bookreviews@mansiladha.com.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Book Review: Band, Baaja, Boys



This a book by author Rachna Singh is a light hearted comedy.

The plot is set in Allahabad. And hence, the humour. Rachna singh has brought up the core and basic aspects of the residents as her characters and translated that into humour. The characters are relatable and very usual.

The story is about Binny Bajpai - 20 year old daughter of hosiery shop owner Brajesh Bajpai and homemaker Kumud Bajpai. Binny is busy making boyfriends and spending her father's money as the only child. Meanwhile, Kumud and Brajesh are keen on getting the best groom for her from the available options. They are juggling between readily available Mr. Chaubey's son and sparsely available Mr. Dubey's son. Raja is the one sided lover of the heartthrob Binny. Rahul is Binny's lover and a politician's spoiled son. This hullabaloo gives you chuckles and giggles throughout, keeps you gripped to what happens next. (I want to control myself from being a spoiler by providing the details).

Rachna brings alive her characters who are easily identifiable and close to real life, no exaggeration. Use of Hinglish is quite funny.

If you are looking for a deep story and a witty plot, this one is not for you. It is predictable at times but a cute filmy tale. But if you are looking for a stress buster and a lot of laughter this is your cup of tea.

I applaud the observation and comic interpretation of fellow Indians (esp. from Allahabad) by the author especially when she herself was swinging between life and death (cancer treatment). It's easy to make people cry, but difficult to make them laugh, and that's what Rachna has excelled at.

I rate the book 3 on 5 and recommend it to those who want to go over a quick and light read combined with doses of fun.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing this review.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at bookreviews@mansiladha.com.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Book Review: The Kite Runner




The Kite Runner, an international Bestseller, came to me as a birthday gift, and it is like none other. It is authored by Khaled Hosseni and is his debut novel. I read the 10th anniversary edition, little late indeed!

Khaled Hosseni is an Afghanistan born author, settled in the United States.

Still running my hands on the embossed letters of the book cover, which read "The Kite Runner", my mind riding back on the intelligent portrayal of the grim realities of the contemporary Afghanistan. I am assuming that this story is largely inspired from reality and has something to do with author's real life incidences. If not, I would call it exemplary and intense imagination.

The plot is set in Afghanistan, Pakistan and some in America. It is about two children -Amir and Hassan who are grow up together. Then it turns towards the brutalities of French and Taliban. Amir comes back to Pakistan and then Afghanistan only to find extremities in the country. There are a lot of twists and turns, a lot of thrill and suspense on what shall happen forth. You can hardly predict a subsequent incidence. You keep getting surprised throughout. You will feel as if you are soaked in the agony and pain of the characters. You can feel yourself to be present there and witnessing the incidences. The story telling is excellent. Minute details are covered well. Characters come in and go and come back in when you are anticipating them the least.

It's difficult to put the book down even when you are half asleep. Exactly when you feel that you can predict what is happening next, a twist pops in.

I wonder how I could take so much time to finish this book and still never get bored of it. It kept me hooked to itself, at the end of every chapter I had been tempted to read another one.

Some interesting lines from the book-
"For you, a thousand times over."

"Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors."

"...attention shifted to him like sunflowers turning to the sun."

"Every woman needed a husband, even if he did silence the song in her."

This book is for those who are fond of beautifully tragic fiction . However, it's not just about that. But yes, there is nothing HAPPY in this. You may feel gloomy at times. It might feel lengthy since a lot of details are covered, which could have been omitted.

I rate it 4 on 5 and recommend for all the fiction lovers who like surprises at all the stages and ready to read a not so happy-go-lucky plot.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing this review.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at bookreviews@mansiladha.com.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Pyarelal aur Premwati ki Navratri a.k.a Valentine Week



So we are in the middle of the Valentine's festival. The first one to intimate about this was the bombardment of Valentine's jokes and memes on Whatsapp. Of these the best was- wo kya kisi ko rose denge,  zindagi jinki roz le rahi hai.

Although it's for "couples" (in double quotes), but this is an occasion where feminism dominates. It's an attack on the pocket of THE men, especially, teenagers! Sincere homages to Mr. Pyarelal who is vulnerable to the year's second big financial crisis apart from Premwati's birthday! Because every sweetu, jaanu, shona, babu has to repay their debt of being called so.

Pondering on how and when did it all begin? Long back, there was no lovey dovey genre of Valentine's day, but now it is. And not only this, it brought along with it a whole week comprising of Rose day, Chocolate day, Teddy day, Hug day and a few more. Of them, the most cost effective one for the cupid-struck Pyarelal is Rose day (barring the mention of uncensored K*** day and Jaadu-ki-jhappi day for obvious reasons).

Imagine if they start having a converse series of days for the loote-hue-aashiqs (the abandoned lovers) like romeo day, thappad day, daaru day, friend-zoned day, girlfriend-bani-bhabhi day etc. You never know!

Are the ladies out there giving me the look of the sajish-karti-hui TV serial MIL!? Sorry, but no sorry. For the guys, teddies, chocolates and roses are not the sole expressions of love to the fair gender, may be catalysts.

If you come across a gift shop, the whole interior these days is in red, the so-called colour of love. If you are in school, you have to be doubly sure your family remains uninformed of how you used the pocket money this month! Or you are gone.

Yesterday the devotee in me felt like stepping into a flower shop outside a temple to get flowers for offering to god . To my surprise, even they were running short of flowers. Dear god, it's off season for you, please wait!

Thanks to Bollywood movies for making this phony, cheesy, highly romanticised and commercial expression of feelings, compressed into a single day's celebration. By the way, Kaun kehta hai pyaar ek baar hota hai tumhe jitni baar dekho utni baar hota hai. True?

Friday, 6 January 2017

Bengaluru's Road Riddle


Helmets helmets everywhere, nobody is going anywhere...

According to a statistics published by a leading daily, Bengaluru has over 60 lakh registered vehicles. That is, one vehicle for every two people. Adding to this are transport vehicles, office cabs, office buses, 6600+ city buses (best to my knowledge). 

There is a common factor that binds all the Bengalurians, and that is traffic, and complaints about traffic. I am one of them (expressed the experience on From Baby to Bhabhi here)

Complaining is easy! Blaming the authorities and government is easier! Cooperating with the inevitable is the easiest! I believe in Dale Carnegie's quote from How to Stop Worrying And Start Living - "It is so, it can't be otherwise." Therefore, keeping frustration aside, I am presenting my humorous perspective on the bumper-to-bumper traffic of the city. And yes, this post occurred to my mind while I was struggling to cross an ever-red traffic signal one fine day.


1) In Bengaluru, distance, unlike other parts of India, is not measured in minutes but real kilometers v/s the number of vehicles on the road. In other parts of India, you say "Bhai 10 min ka raasta hai. Abhi aata hun." On the contrary, here you say, "Bhai 2 kilometer ka distance hai, kabhi na kabhi to pahuch hi jaaunga." Moreover, you will always miss the Vicco Turmeric advertisement at the start of a movie.

2) You can never be the first person on a traffic signal. Apparently, you are always so far from the signal that you can't make out whether it is red or green. You miss the count of how many times it changed the colour.

3) If you drive a two-wheeler, you can vroom vroom only on the zones that four wheeler or heavy vehicles leave for you. No lane is dedicated to you and hence, you are as free as a bird. If a car driver keeps safe distance, two wheelers slip in between, thinking the driver gave them way!

4) "Helmet aapki suraksha ke liye hai"- people here understand well. If not, the traffic police will suck even the last penny from your pocket as fine. FYI, no credit cards or paytm is accepted!

5) Slow and steady wins the race. Remember the childhood tale of rabbit and tortoise. Here the pedestrian is the tortoise who reaches earlier than any of your luxury bike or car. While the rabbit is still perspiring to see the signal turn green, the pedestrian has effortlessly went across. 

6) Blowing horn does imply only one thing - "Hands Up! I am overtaking you" In rest of the India, you blow horn to request the preceding vehicle for side. But here the poor guy has no side to give side.  

7) There is no rush hour and empty roads are a myth. Oh, you think you are clever to skip the peak rush hour. Sorry but no sorry, the peak hours start early morning and end at night.

8)  Coal tar for your car. They construct roads only with coal tar, no cement at all. Bengaluru's rains and infinite number of road users do not allow the roads to live long. But yes, the repair work is appreciable. They repair the roads overnight.

9) Mini heart attacks come in the form of cabs and buses. When they pass from nearby keeping hairline distance, you feel like buying a helicopter on EMI, or getting a life insurance.

10) You don't always need to accelerate your bike. Using your foot to make it a bullock cart is recommended. Avoid stepping on others' feet while you do that. Pro tip- Get branded shoes.

Best luck for your next tide, oops! ride.

(Disclaimer: This post does not intend to harm, defame, or hurt the sentiments of any person, gender, religion, political party, news channel, religious belief, god or to whomsoever it may concern. I sincerely apologize in advance if it is so.)