Short Stories with a difference

Friday, 31 May 2019

Once Upon A Story - Book Review

Once upon a Story is a collection of terribly tiny tales penned by the author duo Shrilekha Joshi and Snehal Joshi. The book makes a bad impression in the opening. While the book is titled Once upon a Story, the dedication page refers to it as Once upon a Time. What a blunder!

But being an author I know how difficult it is to pen micro stories. I really loved a few of them. Of all the stories I liked the Strangers in the Night most. The stories do hold potential, all that they require is a good editor.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Asoka - The Buddhist Emperor of India


Asoka has been a popular figure. He has been the central character of many books, films and TV dramas. But they ranged from fiction to fantasy and came with a disclaimer that they didn't portray the historical facts accurately. So the real Asoka though a popular character in literature and films remained illusive.

This void has been filled by Vincent A. Smith's book Asoka – the Buddhist Emperor of India. I am yet to read a work on Asoka as scholarly as this book. The book is the result of the in depth study of monuments, edicts and inscriptions left by Asoka. For the first time I came to know that the real name of Asoka was Asokvardhan. He continued to be a ruler even after he accepted the Buddhist faith and strived hard to spread the word of Dhamma. Interestingly even during his tenure he couldn't ban the slaughter of animals completely, and the ban was restricted only to the holy days of the year.

The author opines that contrary to the popular belief Mahendra was Asoka's brother and not his son. From the name Sanghmitra, according to the author, it is highly unlikely that Asoka had a daughter by that name. Also he refutes the theory of Asoka having slain ninety-nine of his brothers to accede to the throne. The author narrates how modern day Patna stands on the edicts of Asoka, thereby making its excavation impossible.

This book is a must read. My only grievance is that the pictures of Asoka's edicts and inscriptions should have been incorporated in the book. Don't miss this book if you love history and arts.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Sanjay Dutt One Man, Many Lives - Book Review

Sanjay Dutt One Man, Many Lives by Ram Kamal Mukherjee claims to have told uncut, untold and uncensored story of Sanjay Dutt. This description in the inner blurb drew me towards the book.

But unfortunately except for another version as to why did Madhuri Dixit break with Sanjay Dutt we don't get to learn anything new. Whatever is written in the book we have already known through tabloids and gossip magazines. We know how Manyata reigned his finances and also chose the people who should be around Sanjay. We know her awkward relationship with Trishala. We know how his family kept away from his marriage to Manyata. We know his fling with Tina Munim. We know his friendship with Sanjay Gupta and Mahesh Manjrekar and their alleged underworld link up. Even the photographs in the book offer nothing new and unseen.


Now if you have not read anything till date about Sanju Baba. This book may help you.