Book Review – Don’s Wife by Vinod Pande

Don’s Wife is the debut novel of Director-turned-Author Vinod Pande of Ek Baar Phir, Yeh Nazdeekiyan and Sins fame. The movies were far ahead of their time and stirred up many Hornets’ nests so I was expecting nothing less from the book. I wasn’t disappointed. This is a story of love as well as crime, revenge as well as retribution, a tale of hope and honor and tragedies.

Kamini belongs to a middle class family but falls in love with Harsh who is the son of a much feared and respected underworld don. When Kamini’s parents disagree to the match, she is won over by her father-in-law with his selfless love and cute antics. Their fate takes a disastrous turn when The Don is murdered and Harsh has to step in his shoes and flee the country, leaving behind Kamini with a newborn. Disillusioned by Harsh’s numerous affairs, Kamini starts on her chosen path of social service and politics and carves her own niche among the people. Loneliness gets the better of her though and she falls in love with her bodyguard – Jayant. Will she chose Harsh or Jayant? Will Harsh come to know of her affair? Who murdered her? Pick up the book to find answers to these questions, dear reader.

Great characters make a great book. Kamini is strong, affectionate, lively as well as levelheaded but she goes out stealthily in the night for a rendezvous with her lover. Harsh loves the scholarly life as much as he does the one of a don. Even though he loves Kamini, he still sleeps around. Jayant is loyal and rational, but falls in love with his benefactor’s wife. All the characters in this book have shades of grey as happens in real life too. The book unfolds just like a movie and has very strong visualizations in some places. This story is not high and dry; lots of emotions in this one. There are passionate lovemaking as well as action-packed crime scenes as there are scenes that force you to think.

Editing would have made this book great. Imagine while reading a thought provoking scene you suddenly come across Dr, ‘Jackyll’ and Mr. Hyde! Or when the bodyguard is introduced as an officer from the Indian Navy ‘SEALS’! I couldn’t help but guffaw. Poor editing certainly takes away from the pleasure of reading and I hope Mr. Pande will hire a good editor for the second edition of this book as well as for his next effort. After all, editing makes good writing great. Even though the start of the book is pacey and intriguing, it loses out somewhat towards the middle due to a lot of backstory ‘dump’.

I did enjoy the book and my best wishes with Mr. Pande for Don’s wife.

The Blurb
Lethality of beauty and inner radiance brutally felled, after several dastardly attempts on her life in different cities of the world, Kamini, the firebrand leader of the emerging new party, the icon of the youth, the idol of the world of glitter and glamour, the revered social reformer, the enigmatic wife of the dreaded underworld Don Harsh Jadhav, assassinated by unidentified gunmen at the unlikeliest of places, right at the front door in the porch of her own house. With mere two mortal shots, death had snatched her from life and what a life! She could launch a million ships, both with her beauty and her exceptional brilliance. A fulsome life but a born rebel. Defiantly left all this to marry a man she loved, a man, she was to learn rather late in the day, was the son of one of the most feared mobsters in the country. A woman who went beyond, beyond the societal mores in her passionate relationships. Then, then the world did not remain the same. A saga began. A saga of revenge and hope, of aspirations and betrayals, of human tragedies and triumphs. A story of tall men and even taller women where heroes are not only heroes and villains are not only villains. Story of Kamini, more powerful in death than even in life
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Meet the Author
Vinod Pande is a producer, writer, editor and award winning director whose body of work includes films such as Ek Baar Phir (1979), Yeh Nazdikeeyan (1982) and Sins (2005) among many others. He has also made popular TV shows such as Airhostess (1985-86) and Reporter (1992-97). He worked as programming head for Sahara TV (1997-2000). “The Don’s Wife” marks his debut as a published author. 


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Book Review – The Malhotra Bride by Sundari Venkatraman

The Malhotra Bride

Title : The Malhotra Bride
Author : Sundari Venkatraman
Publisher: Flaming Sun; 2 edition (February 11, 2014)

The Malhotra Bride is Author Sundari Venkatraman’s second novel, the first being Double Jeopardy. With this novel the author has forayed into the self-publishing world and I wish her lots of luck and hope she’ll sell lots of copies.

Suneeta is a beautiful and lively girl who wants to chase her dreams of becoming an interior designer so when her parents ‘fix’ her marriage with the most eligible bachelor in town – Akshay Malhotra of the Malhotra Garments, she hatches a plan to get rid of the prospective groom. Even though Akshay is quite smitten by Suneeta and is ready to allow her the freedom she desires, she doesn’t relent and sends Akshay packing. But when she comes to know that her very strict parents are planning to hold a ‘swayamvar’ for her, she hesitatingly signs a ‘contract’ with Akshay to be his bride. Whether she becomes the Malhotra Bride or not is for you to read and find out my dear readers.

The novella was a light and breezy read and I finished it in a single sitting of 3-4 hours. Yes, that’s how engaging and interesting the story is! I couldn’t keep the book down and was compelled by Suneeta and Akshay to turn page after page. The first thing that attracts me to a book are the characters and I found beautifully sketched-out and real characters in this one. Starting with the strict Gokul Rishi to the understanding Grandpa Ratan to The Malhotras, all were interesting as well as believable. I think, of all the characters in this novella, Grandpa Ratan (or dadaji as he is fondly called), steals the show! Sundari has a strong voice and it comes across in the narration. The plot is full of unexpected twists and this makes the book un-putdownable. I did wish though that the conflict were more intense. The ‘contract’ was not used to it’s full potential. I wondered to myself what if both sets of parents had found out about it? And then, what if Grandpa Ratan had found out about it? It would have made the climax more nail-biting. But well, that’s just me and the author has done a fab job with the book so no, this doesn’t take anything away from the book.

I would recommend this book as a quick weekend read to all Romance lovers of the world. Yes, the world because some of the rituals described in the book are very visual and I’m sure everyone will enjoy them.

New Book – Love’s Labor by Andy Paula

Love’s Labor by Andy Paula

The Blurb

Piali Roy has run away from home and the two stubborn men who love her. One is her beloved Baba; a rigid traditionalist, he refuses to accept anyone from outside her caste and community. And then there is Sathya, the unsuitable outsider. He loves her truly, madly, deeply and has even called off his marriage for her sake. Neither man will budge, and the small town of Jampot, where everyone knows everything, is not big enough for the two of them.

Away from their unreasonable demands, Piali strives to find peace in the mountains. But within six months, her lover tracks her down. Once again, she betrays the one by trusting the other.

Will her labor in the name of love be in vain, or will love transcend all differences?
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     The Book Club Presents Andy Paula’s Love’s Labour 

Meet the Author

Andy Paula is a corporate trainer by profession and a writer by vocation. After the innumerable essays, poems, articles, editorials, congratulations & condolence letters she wrote for herself and others refused to satiate her writer’s Self, she finally put herself seriously to the task and wrote Love’s Labor,a romance novella that is now on Goodreads. 

To know more about the versatile author click here.

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