Sunday, September 21, 2014

3 Friends. 3 Books. 1 Plug.

I feel like the Amar Singh and Baba Siddiqui of the Indian literature space with three friends coming up with their books at the same time. Although I have read only 1.5 of these, but having being an avid reader of their blogs and 140 character quips on Twitter I can confidently vouch for these works of fiction and trivia. 

1. Arnab Ray's 'Yatrik' 

One of the most well established names in the Indian blogging scene for over a decade now, Yatrik is Arnab's third book in five years. I got to know Arnab, much better known as Greatbong, through his immensely popular blog - Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind, and count him as one of my closest friends and more importantly favourite writers. His first book was a collection of short, hilarious stories based on the India of the '90s, while his second book was an Indian horror story that charted a new path for that genre of writing in Indian English. Yatrik is right up his alley mixing some sensational concepts with human relationships and emotions, a subject that he has dealt with much dexterity in many of his blog posts and his previous book - The Mine. I was fortunate to have read many early versions of the book over the last few years, and definitely feel it's an interesting story told in an engaging manner. As long as you don't go in with the expectation of the usual Greatbong style of humour, or any humour almost, you're in for a treat of a story.

Available (from Oct-1-2014) at 
Physical version: Amazon India (Rs. 221 + Free Shipping) & Flipkart (Rs. 260 + Rs. 40 shipping )
Kindle version: Coming Soon

2. Diptakirti Chaudhuri's 'Bollybook'

This guy loves Bollywood and trivia as much as I want to love Bollywood and trivia. Again, have known him through his blog - Calcutta Chomosome and his very active Twitter stream, and online merged with offline in a delectable dinner at Delhi Darbaar, CP. This is also his third book, after a beginner's and intermediate's guide to cricket during the 2011 World Cup and that second book - Kitnay Aadmi Thay (KAT) which made me a fan for zindagi, aur uske baad bhi. I haven't even read Bollybook, but have heard it has parts of KAT and a lot more. I can just tell you this much, if you have a passing interest in Bollywood and trivia, then I challenge you to find a better way to spend a few hundred rupees than this book. I just placed my order on the Kindle while writing this post, and can already think of quite a few friends who're getting this on their birthday's over the new few months.

Available at -
Physical version: Amazon India (Rs. 370 + Free Shipping), Flipkart (Rs. 374), Amazon USA ($62.78)
Kindle version: Amazon India (Rs. 370), Amazon USA ($6.69)

3. Parth Pandya's 'r2i dreams: For here or to go?'

Parth is yet another quizzer extraordinaire, lover of Bollywood, cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, the quintessential Indian, living abroad. We were acquainted through some quizzes held in Microsoft's Seattle campus and the one spectacular Bollywood quiz conducted by him where my wife & I managed to make it to the finals from a written round of over 50 teams. I have read some of his pieces through his blog and Facebook posts and this one post - "Why I Hate Helium?" convinced me to buy his book whenever he came up with one. Parth has a conversational, casual style peppered with vivid details and descriptions laced with some Hrishikesh Mukherjee brand of humour. He also conducted an interesting study on the term R2i (Return to India) on his Facebook timeline, triggering grieving comments from friends.  

Available at -
Physical version: Amazon India (Rs. 769), Amazon USA ($10.44), Pothi (Rs. 286 + Shipping)
Kindle version: Amazon USA ($7.99)
Also available on Kindle Unlimited.

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