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Nasha: From the land of Kamasutra, 2019

Title: Nasha: From the land of Kamasutra

Author: Maya Balsi

Genre: Erotica

Synopsis:

It’s common knowledge that Kamasutra originated from India – the “how-to” guide of how to pleasure each other. Many centuries ago they thought deeply into the subject of erotic love. Though in modern India sex is always a hushed subject, something happens behind the closed doors, something never almost never publicly spoken. What can you expect from a society where now also most marriages are arranged by family, where most people have their first sex after marriage, where so many people never even see the naked bodies of their partners?
There are a plethora of stories to be told from every nook and corner of this big country. Stories around love, lust, frustration, despair, loathing – stories around real man and woman and the complications of life.
Nasha is the first compilation of Maya Balsi`s stories. The stories include are :
Red Earth , Blue Sky, Green Sea
The light I see Through Darkness
Never Deny Me Your Laughter
Have A Nice Journey!
We walked in the woods

My review:

I received a review copy from the author in return for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The last time I read erotica was when I  tried reading Fifty Shades of Gray. Keyword : Tried. And I couldn’t do it. The details were sort of too explicit for me – it’s not that I am uncomfortable reading about sex, but rather the sex in the book made m so. So for quite some time, I stayed away from them. But then, I also came across books by Alexa Riley and Penny Wylder, and I was quite happy.

A few days ago, the author approached me and asked if I would be willing to review her book. Since I have not read any erotica by an Indian before, and since the synopses of the stories seemed quite good, I decided to say yes. I thought I would pick this book up for some leisurely weekend reading but when I read the acknowledgement, I knew I had to dive right in. Sex is surely a paradox in India because like the author says, and is corroborated by statistical data, there is a huge market revolving around it. And with a rapidly growing population, we know it is not cranes that drop off brand new babies into the arms of eager parents.

In the first story, Red earth, Blue Sky, Green Sea, there was a good buildup of the story and it was quite atmospheric. It is about the sexual awakening of two girls, a silent rebellion against society’s rules, norms and the taboos.  Although short, the characters in this story are well fleshed out.

The second story The Light I See Through Darkness, is one told through the point of view of a prostitute. Her helplessness in well shown here and in a few words, the author has described her mental agony. At 42, the protagonist says that she feels and looks like a grandmother, which in itself shows how difficult her life has been. As she scouts for potential customers, we understand that her main aim is to collect enough money for her daughter’s education. There was one remarkable line said here, and I quote, “Little do they know, we are keeping them safe from the clutches of rogues who would do anything to satisfy their lusts”.  This is more of a magical story with a very unexpected, yet nice, ending.

The third story, Never Deny Me Your laughter, aptly showed the restlessness of our modern lives. Apart from the obvious, there are a lot of human emotions and feelings contained in all of these stories.  Very dynamic in its entirety.

The fourth story is Have A Nice Journey. It featured infidelity so I am not sure how comfortable I am with that because cheating is a big NO for me. This was an okay story, and not one that I enjoyed much, unlike the others.

The last story was We Walked in the Woods. This story did focus a bit on mental health, I felt. It was apt in depicting the moral dilemmas we often face because of our own feelings. Pritha is one such person. There is such an underlying connection between sex and the multitude of emotions that come with it. the ending was open-ended and I was thought of various ways it could have ended.

Nasha was a good read overall. I do think that a bit more editing can be done regarding the typing errors, and some grammatical refining. I also did find certain discrepancies. Nonetheless, this is a book I can easily recommend to you all. If you want to explore the erotica genre more, then this is also a book you can pick up.

Verdict:

I rate this book  a 4/5 stars.

About the reviewer:

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

June book haul 2019!

Hey guys! How’s it going? I have been having a great time reading books for the #readingrush challenge and I have already finished 3 books and am halfway into the third. Currently reading King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo for the challenge to read a book with a non-human main character. And I am loving it! How is Leigh Bardugo this good with her words?!!! On the same note, have you seen the Crooked Kingdom collector’s edition? It is so beautiful.

Moving on, in June I acquired 17 new books and they are:

  1. City of Girls
  2. Perfume
  3. The Right Time
  4. The Good Fight
  5. The Duchess
  6. Funny Boy
  7. Dangerous Games
  8. Just Rewards
  9. Unexpected Blessings
  10. Narasimha
  11. Lost and Found
  12. The Intelligence Trap
  13. The Secret of the Palamu Fort
  14. Aurora Rising
  15. What Mina Did
  16. Let’s Hope for the Best
  17. After the Flood

Thanks to all the publishers for sending the review copies to me! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading them!

June Wrap-Up 2019

Hey guys! Hope you are doing well! I have been having terrifically hectic days at my new internship and although it gets cumbersome at times, I just tell myself that this will teach me a lot. Working in a private workspace has been an enlightening experience, as I have only ever worked from home and that has been much more liberal. Nonetheless, I have made some great friends and we have been having a blast.

Anyway, I am back with my June Wrap up! I could read 16 books in June and that was impressive I think, considering that my finals were going on throughout June. I am very proud of myself. Therefore, here are the books I read:

  1. Upon a Burning Throne
  2. Reunited with the Billionaire
  3. The Third Mrs Durst
  4. City of Girls
  5. Circus Folk and Village Freaks
  6. The Right Time
  7. The Good Fight
  8. Swami and Friends
  9. Mated to the Pride
  10. Womb of Fireflies
  11. The Duchess
  12. Dangerous Games
  13. Hunting Prince Dracula
  14. Lost and Found
  15. His Errant Ward
  16. The Intelligence Trap

This was a great month and thanks to all the publishers for sending me these amazing books! I never fail to thank God for these wonderful opportunities.

Also featuring the stone I painted at the Etsy session! Loved attending it and I believe it was the highlight of the month!

Time management and bullet journaling

It is not enough to be busy… the question is: what are we busy about?

-Henry David Thoreau

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Just like every other person, we too get a mere 24 hours a day. How is it then that some people can cover so much work and some just about get up from their bed and have some food? The answer lies in time management.

Being able to manage one’s time is, I think, one of the greatest abilities that a person can possibly cultivate. Time is of the essence, after all. Time is knowledge; knowledge is power. As such, being able to control oneself so as to make the greatest difference possible each day, is truly a wondrous thing. So let me tell you what my take on time management is.

As a student at The Assam Royal Global University, you could say that I already have a really hectic life. Throughout the week – Mondays to Fridays – I get up at 7 and get ready and get on the bus at 8 in the morning. I study and work as much as I can – cover as many things I need to do on the day – and then in the evening, I get off the bus at 6.45 pm and immediately head off to the gym. After an hour’s workout put into my daily schedule, I reach home at around 8.15 pm. This is followed by a bath, dinner and an episode of whatever Netflix show I am currently watching. At 9, I am promptly at my work table where I then start with my studying and assignments and so on. I always believe in doing things on the very day they are allotted and not procrastinating, and perhaps that is why I can currently juggle my academic work as well as my non-academic work. Apart from actually being a full-time university student, I also work in an NGO as a content creator, I have my own reviewing work for my award-winning bookstagram account (@pretty_little_bibliophile), and I also am an admin for the official India Bookstagram page on Instagram and I need to create regular content. So you can imagine how hectic it gets.

As such, I honestly really forget a lot of things, and that is why I maintain my bullet journal. It is the one thing that truly keeps me on track and reminds me of the things I need to do every day. It really helps me plan my days and the best thing is that it is customizable. There is no one way to do it because the aim of maintaining this sort of a journal is to simply make life easier. As such, I really am very dependent on my bullet journal and cannot imagine a life without it.

Lots of love,

Nika!

Please do like and comment and share your views. Also, if you want an in-depth how-to for Bullet journalling, you can check out my latest post by clicking on this link: How To: A Bullet Journalling Guide

The Conqueror, Aditya Iyengar, 2018

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Publishers: Hachette publishers
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Synopsis:
Kingdoms are built by men. Legacies are built by emperors.
It is 1025 AD. The mighty Chola empire that controls much of southern Bharatvarsha is helmed by Emperor Rajendra Chola I – a man as enigmatic as his kingdom is renowned. Known for his might and vision, he has now set his sights upon the southern seas, governed by the powerful Srivijaya empire.
But his victories also bring forth stories of those affected by his ambition. Of an unnamed princess forced to fend for herself among enemies after everything she has ever known is destroyed by the ravaging Chola forces. Of Maharaja Sangrama, captive in an alien land, who is torn between his enmity tempered by an unusual friendship with the elusive Rajendra Chola and his fierce determination to return to his kingdom.
Told through the eyes of a prisoner of war and a princess without a kingdom, The Conqueror is a magnificent narrative – of war and conquest, of loss and death, of kingship and legacy.
My review:
The Conqueror is the second Indian historical book that I have read in August and I am not disappointed. The author has done well in mingling history with romance, friendship, war and the human spirit that rages on even in the face of hardships.
The beginning was quite exciting and reading historical accounts is a favourite pastime of mine and as such, it was a delight. Moreover, even though some bits have been fictionalized, the way the author has tried to bring to life the way of life of these people is commendable. We come to know so much about their daily activities, the parleys between the different ministers, war, and in general the workings of a kingdom.
The plot was well written- from the beginning to the end, the author weaves a lovely tale, the ends of which are comfortably wrapped up towards the end. Nonetheless, I hope for a sequel. The two different point of views provided in the first person are very contrasting, yet so very similar in the situation of both the people as they are displaced from their world. However, felt the story a bit dragging and slow paced towards the middle, but the author again commendably picks it up soon.
The characters are again very diverse and yet very inspiring. Inspiring because they had faced various hardships and had come out only stronger than ever before. It is really nice to read about the indomitable human spirit that refuses to break in the face of adversity. Their developments are also evident- they grow mentally and emotionally to reach the apex of their beings.
The themes of war, hardships, survival, friendship, love, family, and diplomacy abound in this book and provide bittersweet relief to the readers, with completely satisfaction as the story finally ends. This was a really nice read for sure.
Verdict:
The Conqueror was a really good read and fans of historical fiction should definitely give it a read. I rate it a 4/5 stars and truly recommend it to all.

Looking Through a Telescope for Love, Himanshu Goel, 2018

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Publishers: Self-published
Genre: Poetry
Illustrated by: Arushi Gupta
Synopsis:
“I’m just
a little boy
looking through
a telescope
trying to find
love in the sky…..”
Looking through a telescope for love is the second in the poetry collection series A Rational Boy in Love. There is more than one path to love and the rational boy tries to use the tools of science to deal with questions of love he can’t understand.
My Review:
The book is a collection of 50 poems, all about love and its beauty. Divided into four sections- Looking through a telescope for love’, ‘For love’, ‘Daughter of the moon’ and “Runaway star’ this collection is a beautiful and calm read. These short poems are accompanied by some simple and minimalistic illustrations by Arushi Gupta.
The language used is pretty simple and I could hardly find any grammatical errors. Despite this, I found the overall subjects very simple. Written in the modern style of blank prose without rhyme, like Rupi Kaur and Lang Leav’s works, Looking Through a Telescope for Love is a decent read for any reader’s initial forays into modern poetry. The poems also revolved around women and I personally liked that.
Verdict:
I rate this book a 3/5 stars and shall definitely recommend it to others.