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Book Review – Destination Kakori – By Smita Dhruv

Around 22 years before India got her freedom, few young boys in their early twenties challanged the mighty British empire and sacrificed their lives for the independence of India. The Kakori train robbery took place on 9 August 1925 during the Indian Independence movement against the British Raj.
The robbery was conceived by Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan and was executed by these two along with Rajendra Lahiri, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sachindra Bakshi, Keshab Chakravarty, Manmathnath Gupta, Mukundi Lal, Murari Lal Gupta and Banwari Lal.
On 9 August 1925, the Number 8 Down train travelling from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow. It is believed that they looted this train because it was supposedly carrying the money bags which allegedly belonged to the Indians and was being transferred to the British government treasury. They looted only those money bags ( ₹ 8000) from the guards’ cabin.

Smita Dhruv

Ms. Smita Dhruv has weaved an engrossing fiction around this brave act of young sons of India who were totally committed to the freedom of their motherland. Though we know of only few leaders who fought for our beloved country’s freedom, there are many more Indians who had fought for India’s freedom but their names are no where to be seen. “Who are these hundered and thousands of people?” This thought used to disturb Smita a lot and became the basis of this amazing book. Freedom neither happened in a day nor was the result of efforts of few handful of leaders.

Smita created a fiction which is based on not so known incidence of “Kakori Conspiracy”. But it really shook the mighty British empire. This book shows the trying times which was faced by families when their young children revolted against their own parents to join independence struggle and how their families suffer emotionally and financially.

The story started in the backdrop of cancellation of Non-Cooperative movement by Gandhiji which has disillusioned the youth of country who had participated enthusiastically and made it a successfull movement. The main characters of the story are – Banvari and his brother Satish, close friend Mukund Pandey and Leena (sister of Banvari and Satish), who was married to Mukund in the later part of the story. Some representation is given to Britishers too, which shares the view point of Britishers. The story is in the form of narrations by each of the characters and strongly shares the emotions, anger and struggles of each one of them.

In our history books, we were taught about the sequence and the major event but what this book has brought is the humane side of common man who had contributed to India’s freedom struggle. This book has brought the common Indian to the centre stage. As one goes through the book, one feels to be part of the history. I felt as if I am walking along with the characters as they walk through their life. Many a times, I had goosebumps and tears while going through the struggles of their families who were suffereings but still supporting their children in their fight against British Empire. Leena, the only major woman character in the story represents the role of women in freedom struggle while maintaining their family responsibilities. Author is able to paint a very realistic picture by sharing the social ethics, frustrations, struggle and strong will of the committed Indians of those times. It is a successful attempt to revive the shining moments of the valours of brave Indian freedom fighters who were not given enough credit. The book has successfully portrayed the mental agony, dillemma, financial and survival issues of the freedom fighters and their families.

Smita has done lot of research and met with the families of many freedom fighters to listen to their memories and experiences. This is the reason, she has been able to bring authenticity to the story and transported readers back into those times.

This book is a must read book for our young generation to know the sacrifices of our people in getting freedom which they are enjoying now , the price being paid for it and value their struggle.

Highly recomended to read. You can buy this book from below links.

Amazon Online Gatha


Book Review – Unspoken: A Bouquet of Short Stories


Unspoken is a collection of seven short stories of colorful moments of life. You can immediately relate to the happenings in the story. It appears that you are part of it. The stories are quite captivating in a simplistic way. The writer has avoided unnecessary detailing and focussed mainly on the plot of the story. In a way, the stories are crisp and do not have unwanted details to distract the mind from the main issue.An easy read, these short stories  are clear and are heart touching. They are of various themes like, love, friendships, relationships, life.

Each story is weaved through simple life’s happenings in a natural flow and as one goes through, it feels like being a character there in. The fervour of each story is contemporary and she has touched many emotions and situations which one sees around us in society. More so, they are not run of the mill kind but present a fresh perspective on the situation. 

The stories do not just leave you after reading, they will stay with you. The open ended finishing leaves much to think about. The seven stories leave an impression on the reader’s mind as they all explore human relationships with a fresh and contemporary perspective. Whether it’s about long distance relationships or exploring one’s own sexuality or accepting the children’s choices, the book covers it all.  The stories bring about a lingering question and end with a meaning and resolution. They appear to be real and as if they happened in our life around us. 

In short, these are an excellent bundle of stories.  The book is written in a simple, lucid writing style and it is highly recommended. The writer is young and her fresh views are seen in in her writings. Wishing Sadhna Wadhwa  good luck and looking forward to more !








Blogchatter A2Z 2021, BOOK REVIEWS, top post on indiblogger

B for Book Review – Neena Aunty

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I have very recently joined Blogchatter community. While surfing through the website, I stopped on “Book Review” and the title “Neena Aunty” caught my attention, Neena being my only sister 😋. I offered to do it’s review. I received the book just a few days back.


It’s written by Anukrti Upadhyay. This is the first Hindi novel by Anukrti is set in contemporary times. Technically, since the book is in Hindi, it’s review should also be In Hindi, but just as Neena Aunty broke every written rule , I also thought of breaking the rule and am writing the review of the Hindi novel in English. I guess, it’s a kind of cool stuff.

As the title suggests , the main protagonist Neena is a nonconfirmist woman throughout her life. Through her, the author has created a strong character who is vocal and strong enough to speak out her mind and has the guts to take a decision and abide by it. A woman who is in complete command and control about herself. I fell in love with Neena Aunty, and mind you, I am not a teenager who is looking for some role model.. I am a contemporary of Neena Aunty and can relate a lot with her. 🙂 

Story : 

At the onset, the details about Neena Aunty’s garden in her big bunglow in some hilly small town had set the tone. The character of Neena Aunty has been brought to life through the eyes and experiences of her niece Sudipta. She has never followed the normal path but had followed her heart. One thing, which she has emphasized off and on is that one must identify the problem and solve it to the best possible way available under the situation. Here I would like to mention an instance – Her father was a very successful lawyer and very strict too. The daughters in the family were told to go to college in saris only. But Neena found it very difficult to walk in a sari. She found out a simple solution. She wore the saree on salwar kameez and as soon as she comes to college, she used to keep the sari in bag and be in college in salwar kamiz, which was usually worn by other girls in the college. Her father came to know about this and Neena was summoned. She coolly put her point of view – You told to go to college in a sari but not to wear sari in college.  Also, it’s difficult to play badminton in sari. Through intricatly woven story, Neena Aunty is the epitome of a new imancipated woman. Thus she became the favourite aunt of  next generation of the family .

The sequence of the last conversation  with her mom is also worth mentioning and oozes out the 

The language is easy to understand and the storyline is captivating. It took me only two long sittings to finish this 112 page novel as I was not able to leave it. 

Lessons :

 The conversations between next generation of the family and Neena Aunty are great learnings for the new generation. One major take away for all the children from this novel is that no one knows their moms. If she has been there at the centre of the household without thinking about herself, do not undermine her sacrifices and capabilities. She has kept her dreams at the backburner to support every one in the family. Treat her as an individual. Renew your relationship with your parents . Treat them as individuals. 

You can buy the book by clicking on the following link – 

Paper back –

Kindle – 


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This book – “JASMINE BUILD ON SHIFTING SAND” is the story of self discovery of a young girl named Jasmine.

In the beginning, the realistic description about the travel to Kedarnath and the author’s conversation with his spiritual Guru Ma captivates the reader to the beauty of the travel, place and the divine relationship he had with his Guru Ma. Guru Ma Krishnanandgiri was a great influence on the author’s life. He has shared his valuable personal spiritual experiences too through this story. 

The Story – 

This is the journey of the self discovery of a young and academically brilliant collegiate who was about to embark on her professional journey but life has played a googly and introduced her to the world of fashion, which was new to her. The story is weaved through her failures, efforts, wrongs, agonies, jealousies  and finally rising above all negativities of life till she achieves her goals. 

Through the story of the protagonist Jasmine, the author has tried to share his life’s learnings about the deep relation between the universe, individual’s dreams, aims, action and manifestation of dream. The challenge is in staying focussed. 

Through the ups and downs in Jasmin’s life, the author has also demonstrated the importance of mentors and positive people in life and the life changing influence they have in one’s growth as an individual. The struggles of Jasmine and her way of handling them may resonate with many and guide others to remain positive and not be bogged down by circumstances. 

The Lessons – 

One will need a strong and sustained willpower to keep passion and driving force intact to reach the targets. The book reminds us to connect our dreams to the universe and see how the universe helps wholeheartedly when one becomes one with the action to achieve one’s goals. This is so much in sink with Shahrukh Khan’s popular film dialogue – अगर किसी चीज़ को दिल से चाहो तो पूरी कायनात तुम्हे उससे मिलाने मे लग जाती है। 

Importance of being a team player, a team leader’s quality and being a lifelong learner are virtues to be successful in life. 

One unexpected takeaway is to know about how much effort and thoughts  go into creating an advertisement. We generally look at the fashion industry as a glamorous and fun place. It’s much more than this. 

The easy to understand language and elaborate explanation made it an engrossing reading.

A must read for someone who is looking for self development and practical inputs. Set in the modern times, it will resonate with young and old alike.