[Book Review] Trade Winds to Meluhha by Vasant Dave


Finally, I had the opportunity to read this novel, which has been long pending, due to one reason or the other and more of my laziness. Since it was an e-book and I do not have any e-book reader that I can carry around, I was not able to concentrate on the novel while reading on my computer. Finally, last week my wife gifted me a smartphone; I quickly decided to read all the pending e-books, and the first to hit the ball was Trade Winds to Meluhha by Vasant Dave. Trade Winds To Meluhha

Trade Winds to Meluhha has been set in 3rd millennium BC, the same time when Indus Valley Civilization or Harappa Civilization flourished in the region extending from Manda in North to Narmada estuary (Daimabad) in South, from Suktagendor (Baluchistan) in the West to Meerut (Alamgirpur in the East. The novel is set in IVC, Babylon, and Bahrain and most of the scenes are set in IVC and Babylon (Babili in novel). The story is about a young man Samasin, a Sumeru (present Iran was known as Sumer), who witnesses a muder and is later charged for that murder. Story revolves around how he had a narrow escape from death and how he travels from Babili (Babylon), via Bahrain (Dilmun), reached Lothal (Lothalur), and traverses most of the IVC (Meluhha) region in search of a man known as Siwa Saqra to give him the last message from the man whose murder he had witnessed. The story talks about his heroics and romance in Meluhha and Babili.

The author has done justice to the prehistoric setting and has taken ample care to use archaeological evidence available for that time while using them in his novel. At the sametime he has taken creative freedom to derive a story that matches the chord with the readers. The Archaeological evidence suggests that there were trade relations between IVC and Mesopotamia as many seals of IVC have been discovered from Mesopotomian sites. Also, the Mesopotamian records from about the same period in which the novel has been set refer to trade relations with “Meluhha”, which is the ancient name of Indus region. The text also speaks about two intermediate trading stations called Dilmun and Makan identified with Bahrain in the Persian Gulf and MakranCoast or Oman respectively. And the author has used these linkages to establish a trading relationship in his novel as well as the title of the novel itself suggests.

It is always difficult to write a historic novel and given to understand that there are many novels based on history especially Indian history available in the market, this novel stands out from the lot. It has been well researched and does justice to the archaeological evidence available in IVC and other cultures of the same period and literary evidence available from Mesopotamia. Written in a lucid style, novel never seems to lose its continuity – the very reason I completed the e-book on my mobile in a week’s time. There were some spelling mistakes and typographical errors, which I think, can be ignored given the quality of story line produced by one of the creative thinkers. I wish to see more of similar creativity by Vasant Dave. Till then waiting for the sequel to the novel that he has promised in the section, “How this Pre-Historic Novel was Written,” an interesting read in itself.

My rating 5/5. Believe me, it will keep you engaged! :) History will never be as interesting as it is presented in this novel.

P.S.:- I had received the book as a gift from Vasantji in Feb 2012, for nothing in return.

[Book Review] East Into Upper East by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala


East Into Upper East is a collection of short stories by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Jhabvala is a Polish born in Germany and married to an Indian architect C S H Jhabvala.

Buy East Into Upper East: Plain Tales from New York and New Delhi from Flipkart.com

I have read only few stories till now from this wonderful book. Most of the stories end when you least expect them to. Most of them end, whether unhappily or not, I do not know, but there is a desire that they should have continued a little further and ended happily. The stories thus end in incompleteness. On second thoughts, that is what life is. It always remains incomplete and desires more, longing and craving infinitely to attain completeness. But it seldom happens rather never. The stories make your realise the how vulnerable a human is and it specially points to one’s own vulnerability.

How much had I hoped that stories must have ended happily. But this is a feature of them all. When the stories close, each one leaves you staring at infinity. I just hope that it gives me energy enough to complete my story!

It is a good book. My rating 4/5.

[Book Review] Web of Deceit by Glenn Meade


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Web of Deceit was the third thriller that I read this week. Again, the sequence of events makes you think forever that what exactly is going to happen next. Glenn Meade mesmerised me with his powerful writing and imagination.

A New York Attorney, Jennifer March’s life was torn apart two years previously when here family was destroyed – her mother killed, brother disabled and father disappeared. Dark secrets in her father’s past make her wonder whether he was responsible for the death of her mother and leaving her brother, Bobby badly disabled.

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[Book Review] Paranoia by Joseph Finder


After Whiteout, I had my hands on Paranoia by Joseph Finder. It is a new degree of novel, which has touched the subject of espionage in the corporate world. Joseph has given me an opportunity to read the second gripping and fantastically written novel. An intriguing novel and a product of great imagination that keeps you engaged until the very end.

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[Book Review] Whiteout by Ken Follet


Whiteout by Ken Follett

  • Author: Ken Follett
  • First Published: 2004
  • Genres: Thriller, Fiction

After a long time I read a fiction and it happened to be my first Ken Follet. It was thriller and what a thriller it was – fantastic, gripping, page turning and un-put-down-able. What is more noteworthy is the way he builds the characters – the ones who you would like to have with you always, the ones who will make your blood boil with rage, the ones who have a soft touch, and ones that are hard enough. In any case, they will all mesmerise you and will not let you put down the book until and unless they have unfold their stories to you and you are part of their story.  Continue reading

[Book Review] The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho


Buy The Alchemist: A Fable About Following

I don’t like self-help books. But on strong recommendation from my wife and others, I gave a chance to myself and read the book. I liked the story and kept reading until I finished it. Few of my friends did not like the book but I would recommend them to read it just like a story and it would be a good read.  I have nothing to say about the story as most of us know about it or it is easily available on internet.