Book Review, Indian authors

The Rise of Sivagami: Book 1 of Baahubali – Before the Beginning by Anand Neelakantan

‘Why did Kattappa kill Baahubai?’, the most asked question in these 2 years, only begins 911wBYUAMAL.__BG0,0,0,0_FMpng_AC_UL320_SR208,320_
to gauge the wide public interest in the Baahubali franchise. While the answer to this question might evade us till the end April this year, when Baahubali 2 -The Conclusion releases, clues to it might be hidden in plain sight within the pages of The Rise of Sivagami, written by Anand Neelakantan. SS Rajamouli and Anand Neelakantan were well ahead of their game in marketing Baahubali franchise and the book by releasing Chapter 2: Kattappa ahead of the book release to pique interest. The book was up for pre-ordering on Amazon and it hit the stands on 15th of March, 2107. I caught hold of a digital copy from the Kindle store on the D-day.

The very first few pages into the book told me that it will need more than my Anand-Neelakantancursory attention. All the main characters are listed with their brief description before the story begins. This gives you an insight into what is in store for you. It also gives you a sense of the magnitude of the plot. This fictional political drama focuses on Sivagami’s story. How from young orphan she turned into the powerful bureaucrat she seems in the first movie of the franchise. The characters seem well thought out and by the end of the book you see a lot of them evolve into full bloom. The plot twists and turns tend to shock at times and sometimes get predictable. But, this book only starts to lay a ground for the plot twists and turns that could be possible in a story of this magnitude.

Anand Neelakantan had announced his arrival with his book Asura: The Tale of the Vanquished. And, in true Anand Neelakantan style, there are no black and white characters here either; every character has a gray shade, with the exception of Kattappa and Mahadeva. But, Neelakantan, a fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series himself, assures us that the plot will only thicken as the series proceeds.

Verdict: If you have enjoyed Baahubali, the movie and the mini-series on Amazon Prime, then you are definitely going to love and enjoy it. This book serves in thickening the plot and getting you further immersed into the world of Mahishmati. 

 

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Book Review, Indian authors

An Unsuitable Boy

I’ve always loved Karan Johar movies in an eye and brain candy sort of a way. He an-unsuitable-boy-by-karan-johar-book-review-buy-onlinecreates this rich, exuberant, extravagant and seemingly spotless world to place his
stories that more often than not they feel like desi fairy tales.They always have the same ol’ paeans of love to sing, but they are entertaining in a strangely comforting way. I let myself have a Karan Johar candy every once in a while each one I’ve liked or one reason or the other. Koffee with Karan is another of my favorites from his work. So, I had made up my mind to read his autobiography. But, even before I could set hands on the book I saw quite a few strategically placed excerpt and articles based on the book here and there. These articles readily prompted discussions based on the books and all this was clearly working to spike our interest about the book. That’s the brilliance of Karan Johar, the media mogul.The book caught its first hype with the talk of whether in this book Karan would reveal what the entire world has been speculating about his sexual orientation. I found an excerpt from the book somewhere on the internet where he refuses to talk about the hot topic while full well engaging in the discussion to keep the public voyeurism at its peak. I found an excerpt about his fallout with Kajol, about his relationship with Shahrukh Khan and also about how he was miffed with Kareena Kapoor for asking equal pay as Shahrukh Khan. All these excerpts put the book right at the spot, feeding into public voyeurism; a smart marketing strategy if you ask me!

The book caught its first hype with the talk of whether in this book Karan would reveal what the entire world has been speculating about his sexual orientation. I found an excerpt from the book somewhere on the internet where he refuses to talk about the hot topic while full well engaging in the discussion to keep the public voyeurism at its peak. I found an excerpt about his fallout with Kajol, about his relationship with Shahrukh Khan and also about how he was miffed with Kareena Kapoor for asking equal pay as Shahrukh Khan. All these excerpts put the book right at the spot, feeding into public voyeurism; a very smart marketing strategy if you ask me!

The real reason, I think, why he wrote this book lies in these lines, though-

I’m not taken seriously by the industry nor by the audience beyond a point. I don’t know why. Maybe, I’m a victim of my own image.

I strongly feel this book ventures out to clear a lot of air around the image Karan Johar projects. Starting from the title of the book, for which he has given no explanation anywhere, I think Karan Johar is dying to scream out those three words the world perceives of him. This book is his emotional catharsis, his therapy, as he defines it. Through the book he has tried to clear some emotional clutter in order to make way for what he believes to be his “best decade.”

With this book, Karan Johar gives us a guided tour of his life, work, and goals. He speaks at length about his relationships, his creative process, and his personal growth on all levels. Although self-admittedly Karan Johar has been one of the most publicly accessible and ‘out-there’ filmmaker with this book he attempts to open the doors to his life further wide. But, make no mistake as you get to see only so far as he wants you to see. So, if you want to read the book for the quintessential Bollywood gossip of who is/was/will be with whom or to absolutely know if he is gay then you are barking the wrong tree. But, if you want to know what drives Karan Johar and how, or even who did he cheat on the Rapid Fire round on Koffee with Karan, then go ahead and grab a copy.

 

Rating : 3/5

Verdict: For anyone who belongs to the media fraternity or is interested in an insight into the movie industry this is a guide on how nepotism works and rules. If you are a fan of the works of Karan Johar, which I am, this book is worth your while. But, since I’m not sure it’s worth the price I would suggest you grab yourself a copy on a sale or from your library if you will.

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