Book Review – Part 1

Been super busy. But, the consolation is that I get time to read during the commute from home to office and vice versa. So, have finished quite a few books in the past few months. So, thought of reviewing some of them.

1. Nehru – The Making Of India, by M.J.Akbar

Very few book do you come around to read will change your whole perception of a grossly misunderstood historical figure. It is even more significant if that individual was the first Prime Minster of your Country.

In one go Jawarharlal Nehru went from being the first PM of independent India to one of the greatest freedom fighters, who gave everything he had to his Country, that he loved dearly and followed values acquired though reason and the basic understanding of the human psyche.

My father never talked of such topics but others around me did and I was thoroughly influenced by part-Right-Wing, part-Ignorant view of Nehru by my peers and elders. After reading this book all that changed, I became more aware of my own History. I became aware of the part of History of my Country that is really relevant to the Country that I call my own and the values it is based on.

The writing of M.J.Akbar is sublime and a joy to read. His anecdotes, irony-filled remarks enrich your understanding of some of the greatest and not-so-great-but-appear-to-be-great beings of that era, but also enriches your language and writing skills.

If you read M.J.Akbar articles and like them, you will love this. If you like to know more about modern India and think your knowledge is insufficient, this is the book for you.

To sum up, you will realize how India’s Constitution is moulded on Nehru’s philosophy and vision, which in turn is partly, but substantially, responsible for everything good that India is today.

4.5/5

Chanakya’s Chant, by Ashwin Sanghi

Well, it was a fun read. But, honestly, I really don’t know or could not make out with certainty how much of the background and circumstances in the story about Chanakya is true.

The book is about two stories, intermittently told, very pacy and intelligently written. One about Chanakya’s path to glory and anothe of a Gangasagar Mishra, from UP, who goes on to become a King Maker in India, much like what Chanakya accomplishes when he installs Chandragupta Maurya to the throne of the Emperor of all of India in some 340 BC, defeating all odds and with some massive brain power. The line between good and evil is very blurry in the story, which is, in a way, nice.

3/5.

Immortals of Meluha, Amish Tripathi

This is one such book which will take you into another World. To be more precise, to ancient India. Well, with some changes, of course.

The book is about Shiva, a tribal-warrior-Chief. Sick of violence among the tribal clans of the area he moves to a Ram Rajya of a city, literally, called Meluha. But, he is drawn upon to fight evil there too in the form of the supposedly notorious Suryavanshis but, in quite a surprise, realizes that the only fault of the Suryavanshis is that they are different, which is symbolic of the divide among Human Beings in the real world; the hate of ‘the other’.

The concept is great. But, the writing is not. I don’t know if it is just me because I found the word ‘Flank’ repeated too many times in the book. Apparently, the word is a hot favourite for the author who uses it in every other chapter.

And, guess what! Karan Johar, the simple-minded fellow, is making a movie out of it with Hrithik Roshan in the lead. I can’t tell you how much perfectly Hrithik Roshan fits into the character of Shiva. While the story is too slow, the fictional characters Tripathi builds up are very powerful and potent; and they stay with you long after you have finished reading the book.

While it was a decent read, the movie based on it has the potential to be really good, that is of course Karan Johar has nothing to with the Direction aspect of the movie, and also the scripting part. Karan, dude, it’s not supposed to be a chick-flick, so better you stay out of it. I hope a good director is roped in.

I almost forgot to mention, this is part of a trilogy. Anxiously waiting to read the second book of the trilogy.

I would give 3/5, purely for the brilliant concept.

Okay, that’s it from me for this post. There a lot of books I’ve read but not reviewed for a variety of reasons. Next time, maybe.

Happy reading.

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Filed under About Anoop, Books and other Interests, Gandhi, Geo-Politics, India's Freedom Struggle

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