‘Playground’-Premchand

Basics of the book
Author  Original-Premchand-Translated by-Manju Jain [retired as professor from the dept of English , University of Delhi]
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-0-143-10211-3
Price [INR] 550/-
Pages 631
Main Plot Set against the backdrop of colonial India-a grim account of a poor blind man’s struggle against the forceful acquisition of his ancestral land by feudal landlords, opportunists and ruthless capitalists.
No. of Characters 7 leads
Tone of writing Simple [though it totally give a feel of ‘translated’ stuff]
My take on the book
Do I recommend No.
Reasons being >The plot sure is captivating and one would want to read ahead to know what happens next. However the translation of the original story [in Hindi] doesn’t come out so well or better put doesn’t give the same feel and punch as the original text does.[have checked the original copy too after reading this one]>Manju Jain, I think, has done quite a good job in putting the entire Hindi text into English and have tried her best to retain the original tone and essence of the plot, but, while reading in between pages you get a feel time and again that no matter how good a translator, the original stuff always is best to pick up!>Like for instance the name of the story in Hindi is ‘Rangbhoomi’ which in English has been put as ‘Playground’. Though there is a deeper meaning to the word used but still it doesn’t spell the same importance as the former one in the first place.
On the other hand >As I said above the plot and the backdrop against which it is set is appealing and leaves the reader with lot of information of how the colonial India functioned.>A tint of religion and its beliefs is also spread across people in the story and you also get a glimpse of poetry by some characters and their selfless sacrifices in the service of the nation.>Quiet dramatic and makes you wonder and think.

>You get to peep in the lives of villagers and know about their unity and diversity.How easily they can be fooled and how quickly they are to gather up and even go to the extent of killing to fight for each other.

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‘Words Can Describe’-Abi Grant

Quick Data

Author: Abi Grant

ISBN: 978-0-3350-51835-2

Price: . 285 INR

Abi Grant is a successful young television sketch show writer. One night she is attacked in her London flat, while she is sleeping, by a complete stranger-who had waited for her to come home from the theatre.

The attack-an attempted rape-was violent and terrifying. But Abi manages to fight back and escapes from her home and goes upstairs to her landlady.

Post this incident the nameless man-who broke into her home via a window-is not to be arrested for next 12 years. In this long duration Abi’s life collapses around her. She goes through a lot of ups and downs of life as well as the emotional trauma haunts her every now and then.It’s not the same again for her to sleep alone in her own house feeling safe and sleeping sound !

How does she copes up with all this ? What happens to the rapist? Does he get identified? Does Abi get justice?

The book is a piece by piece record of Abi’s life after this attack. A memoir of a sexual assault. What she goes through mentally, physically and financially. Though the novel’s storyline is intriguing and the quote on the book from ‘Coleen Nolen’ says “This is a book every woman should read”.  I personally felt that the book loses  its grip going forward. Slowly in the middle of the consequences Abi stops writing her story instead starts writing about the factors creating rape-culture, some digs at second wave-feminism et al. presenting unnecessary incidences which actually dilute the main plot. She also manages to write some humour in between the serious plot which sometimes is irrelevant to the mood.

Not that I don’t recommend reading this book. Just that it disappoints through the middle of it. Like you know there are books in which you can skip few chapters and still you can connect to the story line without even feeling that you’ve missed something important. That applies to this one. So don’t keep any high hopes.

It’s a onetime read- Words Can Describe is helpful for victims and survivors-who will feel less alone.It also provides a set of guidelines about how to cope up with the trauma without feeling guilty about being attacked and what to do or not to do. Of course it depends on case to case basis but it can be taken as a suggestive write-up for dealing with the trauma and stress and get back to normal life yet again.

My rating for this book is 3/5

‘Tuesdays With Morrie’-Mitch Albom

Quick Data

Author: Mitch Albom

ISBN: 978-0-7515-2737-7

Price: 225 INR

Website:http://mitchalbom.com/

After reading Albom’s ‘5 people you meet in heaven‘ I was sure that I wanted to read more of him and hence this is my second read of the same author.

Mitch Albom is a very successful sports writer journalist who is busy..very busy in his life and travels like the speed of lightning..he has no time to even pause and think about himself..He running short on time due to which his love life also suffers but he has no idea what to do to bring it back to normal…

Mitch’s life changes gears only when he sees Morrie,his old professor,on a certain television program and remembers that when he graduated he had promised his old professor that he would stay in touch with him..he also gets to know that Morrie is soon going to die with a disease called ALS [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis]…that is when he decides to visit the professor..after 16 years..once there he realizes how much he has missed Morrie and that he would want to meet him often now till he is alive. They settle down on an arrangement that they’ll meet every Tuesday and Morrie will teach Mitch 1 lesson of life every time they meet.

There are 14 Tuesdays,that they could manage to meet until Morrie dies…These are presented in the book in a very crisp manner with life’s important lessons in 192 pages.

The book is philosophically toned and very ‘positive-attitude’ oriented book. It teaches of a lot of those things which you might already know but would not have seen from different perspective..It talks about very basic human emotions and realities of life like love,touch,tears,death,family,people etc.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a 1997 non-fiction novel by American writer Mitch Albom. The story was later adapted by Thomas Rickman into a movie of the same name, directed by Mick Jackson….

I also watched the movie and I cried…it does that to you !

My rating for the book is 4/5

‘The 5 people you meet in heaven’-Book review

The latest book that I finished reading is Mitch Albom’s The 5 people you meet in heaven‘. The book was picked by me just like that. Had not heard about it and not read the name ever. But something about the title steered me to buy it. I’m glad I listened to my heart.

The book is amazing and totally a ‘must read’.The author has presented the concept of birth,life,death and afterlife in a very decent,easy and clear manner.There are 5 lessons that the author wants the readers to take from this whole mystery called Life Cycle.

I’ve tried to put them in nut-shell-
  • There is a strong reason behind being born and dying.
  • You are living because someone else died in place of you.
  • We are not strangers.All of us are connected some or the other way.We only realize this at different stages of life.
  • Love is beyond life and death.Ageless,Deathless,Illimitable,everlasting…forever !
  • You might be very good at heart but you do injustice unknowingly. And you will have to undo it.