Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: Until death do us part by Dr Madhvi Karol


“Untill Death do Us Part” by Julia Dutta

It is a book on a bold subject that deals with female sexuality. Unapologetic, Julia Dutta fearlessly traverses the murky waters hiding within its womb many situations that are kept under wraps for fear of social ostracizing. She writes without inhibitions exploring various relationships which are normally talked about only in hushed tones. Protagonists in most her stories push the boundaries till they break free.

A few stories deal with sexual encounters between adults and children and the coping mechanism they devise to overcome their guilt besides the usual reaction of Indian adult psyche to push every unpleasant situation under the carpet. In few stories people accept what should not be accepted, and in others the characters fight tooth 
and nail to be accepted socially.

The author has not minced words. Her expressions draw you straightaway into the intricacies of relationships and their eventual outcome. The book is a bold attempt to lay bare passions with impassioned clarity. The wisdom gained through years shine through in later stories, the last one dealing with meditation and vipassna.

It is a well edited book. I loved the language and flow of stories. They draw you instantly into their woven web. Do read it.


Please note:
The Kindle for PC reader program is a legitimate application offered by Amazon. It's OK for people to use it to download and read books offered under the KDP free promotion program.

You can download Kindle for PC by going to Google search and writing: Free Kindle download for PC. Then wait for the next free Kindle download of the book which will be announce by me, Julia Dutta

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Roll of Honour by Amandeep Sandhu

Front facing: The author with his books

Clearly there are three issues that make up the 242 pages of Amandeep Sandhu’s second book, Roll of Honour.

The first is the life of Appu, the protagonist in his last year in an army school in Jassabad, Punjab. Albeit a little surprised at the level of sexual abuse that goes on among the boys at an army school, the bullying of juniors by senior boys, if one has been a boarding school product, like I have, you realise that there is one thing or the other that does plague a boarding school, especially when the lights go out and the students find their freedom to go wild. But in the light of the goings on outside the school and in Punjab at large at that point, one wonders if the violence expressed inside the school, is not compounded by the disturbance outside.

Secondly, the book is set in the year is 1984. It is a year marked for state sponsored carnage against the Sikhs by the then late Indira Gandhi’s Government. The monk turned Leader, Bhindranwale fighting for the right for a separate state, Khalisthan, for Sikhs is killed and has now has become a martyr. His movement gathers youth and old alike towards the issue of a separate state. Just at that time, Operation Blue Star happens causing a tremendous uproar in the country. The Sikhs rise in rebellion, deeply hurt at the desecration of their place of worship, The Golden Temple at Amritsar. Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards. All hell breaks loose. Thousands of Sikhs are killed across Punjab and Delhi, indeed the entire country, in what can only be termed as the most inhuman acts of state sponsored terrorism on the innocent.  In this background, our protagonist relates the gory incidents that take place to his friends at school and outside. Yet, his desire to leave school is not entertained by his father, who is battling to keep his son away from home, where a schizophrenic mother, could ruin his sons’ prospect of doing anything worthwhile in life, that being join the army. The dramatic sequence of events is related, the text shifting from the present to the past and back to the present.

Be that as it may, clearly, and most importantly, there is a deeper and denser meaning that emerges from the reading of this book, that being, the underlining, loud voice that literally shouts out to the reader revealing an insight into the relation between violence and sex. Freud stares out of the pages smoking a thoughtful pipe, his eye brows perched high on his forehead, a knowing smirk on his mouth, pointing facts one can’t turn one’s face away from –

(a)    Give a man freedom to have sex, he may never be violent.
(b)   Allow him to love and be loved, by whomever, without any gender bias and he may never resort to violence.
(c)    Take sex away from him, restrict it, and subvert it, the force of the suppression will well up as violence.
(d)   Both sex and violence is about power, they are two sides of the same coin.
(e)   Throughout the book, the power play of both spread their fangs on each page.
(f)     For the reader with an interest in Freudian interpretations of sex, one longs for what Sudhir Kakkar, our renowned Psychoanalyst, from Delhi would say about this book.

Is the author listening?

Publisher: Rupa Publications India Pvt. Ltd
7/16, Ansari Road, Daryagang
New Delhi  110002
Author: Amandeep Sandhu
Price: Rs 206
Pages: 242

Read more:

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

FREE! FREE! FREE! on 7th and 8th February!

My book will be featured as part of KDP promotional days on February 7th and 8th (Thursday and Friday) US times.

DOWNLOAD FREE Until Death do us part:
Click on Link for Kindle Version:

What is Until deathdo us part about?

Until death do us part is a collection of stories which is pitched on this conviction that, no matter what the situation is, every person has something to take away even from the worst situation. In fact, as it has proved in the past, the worst is often the springboard of success.
It does not matter what social background they are from, and what support system they have with them, most so called victims, survive and do well in their lives. Until death do us part reiterates the fact and places the power where it belongs, to the protagonist of each story, who are women, placed in India. These stories are of love, in its different colours and images, which break the cast of how we, as a society have grown or learnt to understand the meaning of love. Or NOT love. It challenges us to look at human interaction and circumstances in a different light and forces us to believe that after all, as women, we are the Directors of our lives and hence, we will in one way or the other, make the best of our past and present.

The struggle to find one’s own identity as a woman, breaking out of a mould and series of expectations, has long been a difficult one to tread. Yet, women, across the globe have done it. In India, the social pressures are far greater to conform and there are ways and means by which society and family makes it mandatory to conform. Or get cast out.

The struggle, in the subcontinent has been therefore at two levels – one, to become aware of one’s own separate identity, and two, to see the actualization of it. The process has not been less fraught with problems especially that in many cases it might have turned out to be a lone battle. Yet, for those who took up the sword to severe the old ties with age old thoughts and practices, have gone ahead, not looking back at what they have left behind. For those, who on the way, laid back to return to the security of an identity bestowed by society and family, it has been a choice. The importance lies there – choice – the will to take our destiny in our hands. Whether this way or that.

Hence, it is possible to say that the victim story is long over. No matter what the situation is, every person has something to take away at every stage, where the only constant is choice, right from birth to death.

Read about Srividya, in Until death do us part, and many others in this collection, who executed this choice every time. Also in the manner the stories are arranged, the toughest situations are gradually overcome to finally settle on One, the last story, where the wandering self finally comes home to itself.