Archive for April, 2014

Review: The Exiled Prince (Book I) – A Novel by Ravi

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by admin 1 Comment

Refreshing Mythological Fiction


Here comes a mythological novel that is different, refreshing and keeps you hooked from the word go.The divinity of Rama has been orchestrated by several writers, but what I found most refreshing, endearing and engrossing in Ravi Venugopal’s The Exiled Prince was the humanity of the God, who has been revered since eons.Exiled Prince Cover - Copy

Ravi enthralls readers with breathtaking descriptions of how Rama, using celestial weapons, annihilates the demon queen Tataka, Ravana’s grandmother — and the way he neutralizes the invincible sage Parasurama by absorbing the universal energy of the very ‘shimmering metallic bow’ that the valiant sage throws at Rama, challenging him to ‘wield it and fight me if you can.’ But what I found most fascinating and moving was Ravi’s description of a sorrowful Rama’s parting with his father Dasaratha, the King of Ayodhya, when as a young prince he is sent on a 14-year exile by his stepmother Kaikeyi, whom Ravi has portrayed as strikingly different from the stereotypes that we have read about, so far.

The other human aspects of Rama, like his love for his gentle yet powerful wife Sita and his devoted brother Lakshman, has been depicted with master strokes by Ravi. The author has scored a literary coup of sorts by making Rama the narrator of the story. And along with Rama’s Godliness, we are also treated to his endearing sense of humour. In one scene, Rama even describes how Sita’s snoring keeps him tossing with sleeplessness the whole night in the forest.

Another highlight of the novel is Ravi’s beautiful description of the education and rigorous training of Rama and Lakshman in the art of warfare by the prince’s Guru Brahmarishi Vishwamitra; it is an exercise befitting the son of King Dasaratha, for Rama was none other than the manifestation of the Universal Lord Himself. While Brahmarishi Vishwamitra’s ostensible purpose for training Rama is to help him to terminate gruesome demons like Tataka and her sons, the real reason for arming the heir to Ayodhya with supernatural and divine powers is to find and protect the Crystal of Creation, with part of the souls of Lord Shiva and Narayana suspended within it.

The Crystal, the single most powerful weapon with the power to construct, annihilate and recreate the universe, which had remained hidden somewhere deep within the Himalayan ranges for millennia has gone missing!

The focus of the plot is Rama’s perilous journey to find the Crystal before it falls into demonic hands. But none of the sages or gurus, as well as Rama seems to have a clue where the Crystal is and how it looks may be mere conjecture.Verdict Exiled Prince

In his tale, Ravi seeks to answer a question that has never been asked: Who was Rama really? What was his real purpose? Is he the real immortal?

This is Book I, of what I understand is a trilogy. I keenly await the sequels and feel confident that Ravi will retain his simple, lucid and fascinating style of writing.

But I do hope that in the sequels, Ravi and the book editors ensure that the occasional clichés and redundant words that have crept into the book are eliminated. This is a minor issue, and I otherwise recommend the book as a must read!

- Oswald Pereira is the author of the best-selling novels The Newsroom Mafia and Revenge of the Naked Princess

Review: Opening Night – A Novel by Diksha Basu

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Basu’s book has some gems of good writing and insights into Bollywood’s murky world of auditions, casting couches and debauchery. Basu does make a valiant effort to write a serious, first-hand account of the perils of navigating the ‘labyrinthine lanes of Mumbai and Bollywood’. She succeeds in some parts of the book; in other parts, she fails.

Beautiful World

Posted on: April 5th, 2014 by admin No Comments

By Oswald Pereira

The world is full of lovely, loving, beautiful people. Don’t let a miniscule minority of so-called bad persons spoil the party. Let us not shun the party poopers, but invite them to join the party. When we learnt to type, we use to bang away ‘Let all good men of the world unite and come to the aid of the party.’ Let’s make this typing lesson a slogan in our lives.

If we look at the positives, we will realise that the world is a good place to live in. So good, almost perfect is the world. The sun shines every day, the moon lights up the darkness of the night and the stars have been shining for ever in the skies. No doubt, we have ups and downs in our lives and we often talk of our bad luck. But if we count our blessings, we will realise how lucky we really are.
UploadHappyThe-Search-for-Happiness-Part-I-C-1024x524 - Copy

Negligible Evil
I don’t deny that there is evil around and there are so-called bad persons. But they are in a miniscule minority, barely a fraction of the good people. We often think that the might and power of evil is stronger than the good. That happens when we cloud our outlook with negativity. But it is in the law of nature that good always triumphs over evil, in the end. You just need to have faith in yourself and your near and dear ones and the world around you. (more…)