Poonachi or The Story of a Black Goat

Author: Perumal Murugan

Translated By: N. Kalyan Raman

Publisher: Westland Books

Genre: Indian Culture

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Poonachi is a weak, fragile, orphan, black and a miracle baby goat. She doesn’t know her biological mother. A mysterious man one day, hands over Poonachi to an old man and his wife. The couple is poor to feed and nurture her yet; the woman struggles to keep her alive and in the middle of all the hardships, develops a bond with her.

The story further shows Poonachi’s fights against all the odds, her life’s ups and downs, experiences of love and loss, sacrifices, being a miracle and a miracle taking her life.

Miracles and exhibitions were meant for when people were relaxing after a sumptuous meal.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • Initially the book seems like a fable for children, its only later that the reader gets the deep meaning the author aims to deliver.
  • The writer has done a tremendous job at raising some serious and political issues in a subtle manner. Touching themes like gender and racial discrimination, oppression, injustice of government, social hierarchy; keeping animals, Poonachi a goat specifically the center of the book.
  • It presents emotions of an innocent animal that undergoes exploitation by human beings for their own good.
  • The emotion of love between the animals is written with conviction.
  • The essence of being a woman in the form of a goat is nicely captured.
  • Another brilliant point is there is no character sketch of the human characters but that of the animals. That gives a strong feel that you reading about animals, but its way beyond them.
  • Personally, being my first animal take, I got to know much about animal and their emotions. Poonachi’s pregnancy period got me goose bumps.

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There were so many moments she could recall with pleasure. Why then did the mind always blow up and despair over sad events?

Persuasion

Author: Jane Austen

Publisher: Amazon Classic (Kindle Version)

Genre: Classic, Fiction, Romance

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Frederick aka Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot first fell in love when she was nigh teen, but he had no money, and her family objected, persuaded her to refuse him.

You are never sure of a good impression being durable, everbody may sway it. Let those who would be happy be firm.

The Elliot’s are a respected, landowning family at Kellynch, with three daughters. The youngest is married to a wealthy man, Charles Mangrove. The lavish overspend has brought the Elliot’s into a great debt, to which they decide to relocate themselves to a house in Bath, leaving their mansion to well-mannered Navy people.

Prior to moving to Bath with her father and sister, Anne visits her younger sister’s place at Uppercross. Anne finds the Musgrove family absolutely delightful and marvels the bustling household.

A recent and regular visitor at Uppercross is Captain Wentworth, a friend to Mr. Musgrove. Shortly, the Musgrove family and Captain make a trip to Lyme to their friend’s place. There Anne meets a good-looking gentleman, later to be known as Mr. Elliot, one of his cousins.

After Christmas, Anne joins her family in Bath. She is then formally introduced to her cousin, she reacquaints herself with an old school friend who makes her learn a hidden past, and the Crofts arrive with news of two engagement. Anne is overjoyed to know that Captain Wentworth is not promised to Lousia!


NUTs and BOLTs

  • The first half of the book has an autumnal feel, when Anne’s hopes and she herself is disregarded and mistreated by almost everyone around her. Then the slow, gradual return of joy and hope is seen in Anne’s life.
  • The writing is simple and quite. Even the declaration of love is done in a subdued form.
  • Austen has created the pain-in-ass characters with great perception.

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Yes. We certainly do not forget you as soon as you forget us. It is, perhaps, our fate rather than our merit. We cannot help ourselves. We live at home, quite, confined, and our feelings prey upon us. You are forced on exertion. You have always a profession, pursuits, business of some sort or other, to take you back into the world immediately, and continual occupation and change soon weaken impressions.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Author: Gail Honeyman

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre: Contemporary

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


I allow my mind to wonder. I’ve found this to be very effective way of passing time; you take a situation or person and start to imagine nice things that might happen. You can make anything happen, anything at all, inside a daydream.

Eleanor works all week, goes home on a Friday night, heats a pizza, drinks two bottles of vodka and speaks to nobody until Monday morning comes around. Her life is clear, orderly and completely empty. She is thirty, slightly odd, scuttles away from communal enterprises, rarely says a word that isn’t about the matter in hand, and without a home life.

One night, after work, she and a coworker, Raymond whom just she met happen to leave office at the same time. Walking down they see a man in need of an ambulance. This incident ends up tying the three together and, Eleanor earns a friendship, a relation she haven’t experienced in all these thirty years.

Meanwhile she also ends up finding him, the man she is meant to be with. In order to make him notice her, she grows strong, bold, confident and weak at the same time.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • Eleanor has had a tragic past. A past that has left a scar covering half her face. The reader doesn’t find out exactly what happened until the final pages, even though it feels that the answer is about to come on the next page.
  • There are hints that the central relationship will eventually lead to romance, but the book is only about ELEANOR.
  • Eleanor is an off-the-wall character, just enough to be an absolute delight.
  • Eleanor’s behavior is more the result of circumstances that will.
  • Raymond’s friendship and gentle prying inspires the most change in Eleanor – her outlook on life and interaction with people.
  • The author balances the heavy with humor and hope.
  • When things don’t work on plan, everyone is forced to stare down at the truth. To succumb to the reality that everyone has problems and no feeling is insurmountable.

Beauty, from the moment you possess it, is already slipping away, ephemeral. That must be difficult. Always having to prove that there’s more to you, wanting people to see beneath the surface, to be loved for yourself, and not your stunning body, sparkling eyes or thick, lustrous hair.

 

Bestseller

Author: Ahmed Faiyaz

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Genre:

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️.5


Kalim, an ailing Indian publisher business is in a dying situation. Akshay Saxena is sent to India to help shore up the value of Kalim. He finds himself in a job where he has to do the impossible. The new owner wants at least five bestsellers in the coming year, failing which the business would be wound up. To top it, he is given a crew of has-been and misfits working for him.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • The book is about the nauces that goes around while getting a book published.
  • The story shows the backstory of how the books we hold hit the shelves.
  • It’s hard to keep track of the characters as many of them are introduced back to back.
  • The plot is really fast paced. Before the reader can grasp one part, the plot has already moved ahead.
  • The writing is good, that immediately sucks the reader in.
  • Akshay also publishes books written by politicians, actors and businessmen whose books would have been made just by publicity anyway. Roshan Khan is one of the actors’ Akshay works with, and is unnecessarily all over the book. Irritating, heck of a character he is. (i had to mention about this character, because i hated him all throughout the book) 😡

Ghachar Ghochar

Author: Shanbhag Vivek

Publisher: Harpercollins IndiaHarper Perennial

Genre: Psychological Drama, Literary Fiction, Contemporary

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


The story portrays life of a lower middle class family who climbs the ladder of societal status with their new found wealth.

The story begins in a Bangalore coffee shop, where the unnamed narrator unburdens himself to Vincent, the waiter who has been serving him since years. The coffee house is his refuge from the contemporary world.

The family resides in an enclosed inferior, interior space; yet is stuck together, walking like single body across the tightrope of circumstances. Later Chikappa’s, narrator’s uncle, spice company raise the family into the middle-class comfort. With the money that the uncle brings in, the uncle becomes the center around which the family orbits, until the narrator’s wife, Anita comes in. And soon after, everything becomes ‘Ghachar Ghochar’.

On that day I became convinced that it is the words of women that deeply wound other women.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • Within a 100 pages, the author establish an inherently India setting.
  • Unnamed narrator guides the reader into the lives of each character.
  • The narrator’s wife bring in a major twist.
  • The analogs are enthralling and the humor gives warmth to the story.

Words, after all, are nothing by themselves. They burst into meaning only in the minds they’ve entered.

The Night Train at Deoli

Author: Ruskin Bond

Publisher: Penguin India

Genre: Short Stories, India Cultural/Literature

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


The Night Train at Deoli is a compilation of Bond’s work. The tales are set in Mussorie, Dehradun and Shimla, where Ruskin Bond has spent a considerable part of his life. Like all his tales, these also show his love for nature, hills and people living there.

The book begins with the story of a school boy meeting a white sari-clad-stranger woman, and she taking care of him in a very simple gesture. ‘The Photograph’ is a story of where a grandson looks for similarities between the little girl in the photograph, in his hand, and the grandmother’s current state. A revenge murder is planned by a nephew of the aunt in ‘Chachi’s Funeral’. It was expected to be a short murder mystery but the author had something more spectacular on mind. ‘The Man Who was Kipling?’ is a thought provoking story about the Indian writing. ‘The Eyes Have It’ is narrated by a blind man. It is a flirtatious conversation between two train passengers. ‘The Boy Who Broke the Bank’ is a valuable lesson to inefficient employers. ‘The Thief’ is a story of a thief’s conscience aided by the desire to learn. ‘The Kitemaker’ is a story of a kite maker reminiscing his old days of making kites and kite festival. ‘Panther’s Moon’ and ‘The Leopard’ have almost the same plot. ‘Sita and The River’ is a story of young girl who has lived all her life in a secluded island with her grandparents, and how one day a disastrous flood changes her life. ‘Love is a Sad Song’ is a story of a 30 years old man falling in love with a teenage girl. It was the most absurd story of the book. ‘The Night Train at Deoli’ is a story of man seeing a girl on the Deoli platform every time the train passes by, bringing in a urge to meet her. Does he get to meet her?


NUTs and BOLTs

  • The backdrop of every story is capable enough to yearn the reader for a day at that beautiful, mesmerizing place described.
  • Ought to say, a story or two are absurd. The plots for some stories are almost same. There is a lot repetition is terms of description of places.

Done With Her…

Author: Chirasree Bose

Publisher: Envincepub Publishing

Genre: Crime, Thriller

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️


Avesh and Vrijen are childhood friends working in an multinational company in Pune. Everything’s good and easy going until they see Spreeha, a lady carrying mysterious charm and seductive looks, in their office. Avesh is shaken seeing Speerah as she resembles Chanda, the past that Avesh and his friends had buried years ago.

The story ahead shows Avesh and friends trying to stop the threats being received, while Spreeha is working on her hidden agenda with the help of other characters.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • Done With Her is a eighty-six pages book, with big bold text. A single sitting read.
  • The writing and the plot both are dull.
  • The beginning manages to create a sense of suspense, however it becomes repetitive and predictable, dull and boring towards the end.
  • Poor character development.

Book received as a review copy from Writersmelon.