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JANUARY 2021

STORIZEN Thriller?

Mystery?

MASTERING THE ART OF

WRITING SUSPENSE Exclusive Feature on PAGE 8

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Suspense?


Now Available on:Â


Cover Story Mastering The Art Of Writing Suspense

Brand Partners Aleph Book Company Bloomsbury India

Book Reviews Swapna Peri

Editors Pria Raiyani Saurabh Chawla

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EDITOR'S NOTE

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COVER STORY Mastering the Art of Writing Suspense

- Hachette India

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- Pria 16

HOT OFF THE PRESS Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ memoir Unfinished

HOT OFF THE PRESS Keep Sharp by Dr Sanjay Gupta

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HOT OFF THE PRESS How We Know What We Know by Shruthi Rao

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HOT OFF THE PRESS The Population Myth by S.Y. Quraishi - HarperCollins India

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HOT OFF THE PRESS 100 Greatest Stories for Yound Children - Hachette India

HOT OFF THE PRESS The Banker who crushed his diamonds by Furquan Moharkan - Penguin India

- Penguin India

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HOT OFF THE PRESS Cages by Aabid Surti - Penguin India

- Hachette India

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HOT OFF THE PRESS Social Chemistry by Professor Marissa King - Hachette India

- Penguin India

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HOT OFF THE PRESS 50 Greatest Stories for Older Children

HOT OFF THE PRESS The Bawla Murder Case by Dhaval Kulkarni - HarperCollins India

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE Hope is the way to live - Stuti Gogia

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE God Helps? - Jay Vikram


WHAT'S INSIDE 38

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE

66

The Inextinguishable Pyre Part 2

Sugarbread by Balli Kaur Jaswal

- Monisha Raman

- Swapna Peri

STORIZEN EXCLUSIVE

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Role of Plot In A Narrative - Madhulika Ra Chauhan

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BOOK EXCERPT

- Swapna Peri

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STORIZEN POETRY An Umbrella of Hope

- Raza Mir

- Vidya Shankar

BOOK REVIEW

- Himani Gupta BOOK REVIEW One Step Short To The Moon by Pratik Shelke - Ishan Agrawal

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BOOK REVIEW Shall We Tango, Charlie by Chetna Lumb Bedi

Murder At The Mushaira

The Belvoirbrooke Haunting by Abhirup Dhar

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BOOK REVIEW

BOOK REVIEW Xianqui by Raghu Srinivasan - Swapna Peri

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STORIZEN POETRY Hope is a Person - Madhumathi H


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from the editor

T

calling all writers!

DO YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF STORIZEN FAMILY? You can also be a contributor. Mail us your entries at talktous@storizen.com. Your smart ideas and inputs help us create our informative issues.

he year 2020 has taught us a lot in all the avenues of life, be it health or wealth. We all have learned an important lesson that health is wealth! Having sailed through the year, we thank the Almighty for giving us the resilience and hope! A lot has happened behind the scenes and we look forward to exploring new avenues this year! As readers, we love to explore stories around different genres including suspense, thriller, and mystery. Then we got curious to learn the way they are written and rules to be followed. We are glad to share the Feature Story on the Topic - "Mastering the Art of Writing Suspense" with you all and hope that it will help you, as a writer understand the main differences among them. For the book lovers out there, we have curated a list of upcoming releases for you to keep your reading senses busy this month. Do check them out! How to write a plot of a story? Checkout the Storizen Exclusive column by Madhulika Ra Chauhan who shares her expert tips on "Role of Plot in a Narrative". We truly hope you enjoy this issue and spread the love by liking, commenting, and sharing. Before signing off, we believe that you all are safe and sound and taking all the necessary precautions in these unprecedented times! Happy Reading!

editor@storizen.com Saurabh Chawla, Editor in Chief


COVER STORY

MASTERING THE ART OF WRITING SUSPENSE A Storizen Exclusive Feature Suspense is a genre that is gaining a lot of popularity. People love reading suspense. The goosebumps, racy heart, being curious all the time, writing the perfect suspense story that is a page-turner is an art

by Pria Suspense is about leaving your readers breathless, stressed, intrigued, wondering what's and why's happening and what's going to happen next? First of all, before you start writing your suspense story, it is important to know what is suspense. There is a lot of confusion among people and they mix it with Thriller and Mystery. We will try to explain the difference between them in the 8

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best possible way. Suspense vs. Mystery The difference between suspense and mystery is about focus. In a mystery, the main focus of the story is on the crime. The crime usually happens early in the story. Also, the story is centered around the hero's pursuit of the villain. In suspense, on the other hand, the villain is in pursuit of the hero. The hero is to figure out who wants them JANUARY 2021


Photo by Viktor Paris

Suspense is about leaving your readers breathless, stressed, intrigued, wondering what's and why's happening and what's going to happen next?


COVER STORY out of the way and why. Then he has to figure out the means of stopping it.

the hero has to discover who the villain is and figure out why is he behind him.

In a mystery, the event has already happened. In suspense, the event(s) is about to happen. The reader is left with anticipation as the reader tries to discover what and why.

When it comes to scope, the thriller is driven by a large scale threat involving the fate of the world as we know it.

Suspense vs. Thriller There is a difference between suspense and thriller in terms of pacing and scope. The stories involving thrillers are usually fastpaced with a little letup from tension. Suspense novels, on the other hand, can follow any pace. Another difference between suspense and thriller is awareness. In thrillers, the hero often knows the villain, whereas, in the suspense,

Suspense on the other hand is driven by endangering on the individual level - the hero. It is more intimate. The scope of suspense can be bigger than an individual but unmatchable to that of a thriller. Now as we have discussed the differences between Suspense, Thriller, and Mystery, now we will share the essential elements of writing the perfect suspense story or novel.

When it comes to scope, the thriller is driven by a large scale threat involving the fate of the world as we know it. 10

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COVER STORY Setting up the mood Whatever the story is, the mood needs to be set. Suspense stories are based on a dark moody ambiance. If you are writing a story other than suspense, then you must set up an environment of tension, right up front. Suspense is built by creating an atmosphere slowly. Readers need to get acquainted with the characters, especially the hero before you let fly with the plot points. Using time to an advantage The suspense can be build using time.

Photo by Jaanus Jagomag

Make the time work against the hero or the protagonist and work in favor of the bad guy or the antagonist.

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Every minute you shortchange the protagonist is another kick the reader gets while reading the story. Keeping the stakes high As we discussed in the differences between suspense and thriller, this doesn't have to STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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COVER STORY

be saving the world from annihilation. The point here is to make sure that the event of a crisis is devastating to the protagonist's world and the hero must be willing to prevent it from happening at any cost. The crisis should be such that the readers should empathize with the protagonist or the hero. The readers should be aware of the stakes. The readers should have something to worry about and they can't agonize about something they aren't aware of. Here's another differentiating point when it comes to comparing suspense and mystery.

The reader knows a lot, almost everything, and even more than the protagonist himself. With this alignment of the reader with you using know it, the reader can get engaged in the story, guiding the protagonist, "No, don't open that door!" Dilemma does the trick Suspense and dilemma go hand in hand. The antagonist can create a dilemma by throwing difficult situations and the protagonist. Those things should be so much difficult that the decision or reaction of the protagonist should be hard and must seemingly be a lose-lose situation for the protagonist. An example might include taking a tough decision to do something the protagonist has never done before, like murdering someone.

The readers should have something to worry about and they can't agonize about something they aren't aware of.

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COVER STORY

The antagonist will usually cross the line without giving it a second thought. On the other hand, the protagonist is presented with the challenge of protecting his morals or promises. The dilemma needs time to be solved and during this time, tension is building. Being Unpredictable As life is unpredictable, can give you a surprise at any time, make the lives of the characters, including the antagonist's life, unpredictable. Make the protagonist the winner sometimes, while antagonist the other times. Make nothing smooth sailing for the characters. this makes the story relatable to the reader and they tend to engage with it. Also, don't let only the protagonist and the antagonist play with each other, let the external forces create havoc in their lives too. For example, the lover or friend of the JANUARY 2021

the protagonist can betray him or some gang member of the antagonist may be creating hurdles in his life, washing away all of his efforts to destroy the protagonist. Both the main characters, the antagonist and the protagonist have to be quick-witted as the story progresses and reaches the climax. Consistent Conflicts Pile up the problems for the protagonist. Don't let the hero take a sigh of relief. The moment is on the verge of solving one issue, give him another. The hero has to be stretched wafer-thin. The protagonist needs to keep solving the problems thrown at him by the antagonist, It's a necessity to keep the ball rolling in a suspense novel. The protagonist should be preventing everything from crashing. The pressure needs STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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COVER STORY to be such that it stretches out all the skills and strength to the breaking point in order to save the day. Whatever the case may be, the reader should be left feeling helpless in the story! Subscribe to Storizen to learn more about your favorite authors and to receive tips on writing and marketing your books combined in a single package – Storizen Magazine personally in your inbox! Follow @storizenmag on Instagram Connect with us on facebook.com/Storizenmag Follow us on twitter.com/storizenmag Follow us on Issuu and never miss another issue from us!

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About Pria - Young mesmerizing freelance blogger, social enthusiast, an economics graduate from Jharkhand University with Master in Child Psychology. She is hardworking yet crazy, a passionate reader, an ardent music fanatic, an avid caffeine lover, and a maniacal animal lover too. She has been a part of numerous anthologies, articles, and write-ups for newspapers and magazines which are multi-linguistic. She has also written screenplays for YouTube series.

pria@storizen.com

JANUARY 2021


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HOTthe OFFpress From her dual-continent twentyyear-long career as an actor and producer to her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, from losing her beloved father to cancer to marrying Nick Jonas, Priyanka Chopra Jonas's story will inspire a generation around the world to gather their courage, embrace their ambition, and commit to the hard work of following their dreams.

Unfinished takes readers from Priyanka's childhood in India, where she was raised by her grandparents and her parents-two army doctors committed not only to their children but to their careers and to philanthropy-before being sent away to boarding school at an early age; through her formative teenage years in the US living with extended family in the Midwest (Cedar Rapids and Indianapolis), Queens, and suburban Boston, where she endured bouts of racism; to her return to India, where she unexpectedly won the national and global beauty pageants (Miss India and Miss World) that launched her acting career. 16

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HOTthe OFFpress An exciting new science-driven guide to protecting your mind from decline.

Throughout our lives, we are always looking for ways to keep our minds sharp and effortlessly productive. In this book, globetrotting neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers insights from top scientists all over the world, whose cutting edge research can help you heighten and protect brain function and maintain cognitive health at any age. Keep Sharp debunks common myths about aging and cognitive decline, explores whether there's a 'best' diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and explains whether it's healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed or to engage in more social interaction. JANUARY 2021

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HOW WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW: Fascinating Stories of Discovery and Invention

Why did pirates covet maps more than gold? Does Mars sometimes slip into reverse gear? Can trees reveal the secrets of the past?

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STORIZEN EVENTS

Shruthi Rao studied to be an energy engineer and worked as a software professional until her storygobbling-monster-daughter pulled out the writer lurking inside her. She writes for both adults and children and is a freelance editor. She loves books, science, trees, desserts, hikes, and the internet.

ABOUT THE BOOK There are millions of facts that we know about the world that the earth is round, that birds migrate, and that dinosaurs once roamed the planet. But how do we know what we know? Regaling us with tales of remarkable men and women who didn't rest until they got the answers they sought, Shruthi Rao chronicles the stories behind the discoveries and inventions we take for granted today. This book, in fifty marvelous accounts, tells us of the sense of mystery and wonder that propel scientists to find solutions to the puzzling problems of the world around us.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Shruthi Rao studied to be an energy engineer and worked as a software professional until her story-gobblingmonster-daughter pulled out the writer lurking inside her. She writes for both adults and children and is a freelance editor. She loves books, science, trees, desserts, hikes, and the internet.

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THE POPULATION MYTH Islam, Family Planning and Politics in India

The first book to evaluate India’s demographics from a religious perspective, to bust myths of a skew towards any particular religion.

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STORIZEN EVENTS

Bharat Bambawale has spent thirty-six years in marketing and advertising, eighteen of which were as a global executive with marketing communications companies Lowe & Partners (formerly Lintas) and J. Walter Thompson (now Wunderman Thompson).

ABOUT THE BOOK The Population Myth reveals how the right-wing spin to population data has given rise to myths about the 'Muslim rate of growth', often used to stoke majoritarian fears of a demographic skew. The author, S.Y. Quraishi, uses facts to demolish these and demonstrates how a planned population is in the interest of all communities. The book delves into the Quran and the Hadith to show how Islam might have been one of the first religions in the world to actually advocate smaller families, which is why several Islamic nations today have population policies in place. This busts the other myth - that Muslims shun family planning on religious grounds.

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Based on impeccable research, this is an important book from a credible voice about the politicization of demographics in India today.

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HOTthe OFFpress The most-loved tales, by the best storytellers ever!

A bear who loves honey, a mischievous little bunny, a mean giant who turns nice, nimble deer and mice, a magical man who helps, genies and elves, friends who’ve got your back, clucks, and quacks, a throne with secret powers, a pot that cooks for hours, eggs of gold, courtiers bold, a tail on fire, a really bad liar, wishing trees and, of course, princesses and peas… These are only a few of the things you will read about in this super collection of favorite stories. And, within its covers, this book has a hundred tales – by Beatrix Potter and Enid Blyton, Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, R.K. Narayan and Oscar Wilde, among others – besides a pick of the top ones from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Panchatantra, the Jatakas, the Kathasaritasagara and other classics... 22

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HOTthe OFFpress The most remembered tales, by the best storytellers ever!

Oh, the writers you will read – from the full-of-surprises O. Henry to the ever-popular Enid Blyton, from the super-imaginative H.G. Wells to the adventurous Rudyard Kipling, from heart-tuggingMunshi Premchand to tongue-in-cheek Sukumar Ray, and a whole lot of other unforgettable authors… Ah, the places they will take you – from a densely thicketed cantonment in eastern India to a battlefield in ancient Greece, from mysterious islands to the depths of the ocean, and from thundering rivers to chilly pine forests, and a host of thrilling landscapes… JANUARY 2021

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HOTtheOFF press

Conventional wisdom would have us believe that it is the size of your network that matters: how many people do you know? We're told to mix, mingle, and connect.

With new understanding, this book can help readers to see how they can harness the power of their networks in their personal relationships, at work, and to create a better world.


STORIZEN EVENTS Conventional wisdom would have us believe that it is the size of your network that matters: how many people do you know? We're told to mix, mingle, and connect. But social science research suggests otherwise. The quality and structure of our relationships have a far greater impact on our personal and professional lives. Our relationships with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and collaborators are by far our greatest asset. Yet, most people leave them to chance. In this ground-breaking study, Marissa King, Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Yale, argues that there are strategic ways in which we can alter our relationships for a happier and more fulfilling life. With a new understanding, this book can help readers to see how they can harness the power of their networks in their personal relationships, at work, and to create a better world.

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Marissa King is a Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the Yale School of Management, where she developed and teaches a popular course entitled Managing Strategic Networks.

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HOTtheOFF press Cages touch upon the themes of patriarchy, gendered violence, sisterhood, and the validity of a woman's sexual desires.

Set at the gritty intersection of the world of prostitution in Kamathipura, the Bombay underworld and Bollywood in the 1970s.


STORIZEN EVENTS Set at the gritty intersection of the world of prostitution in Kamathipura, the Bombay underworld, and Bollywood in the 1970s, Cages is inspired by the true story of Kumud, a sex worker who dared to own her sexuality and play by her rules. A fastpaced tale of a woman who was not ashamed of her occupation, it is honest in its portrayal of the persistent cruelties-small and significant-faced by sex workers and celebrates the power they have to triumph over it. Cages touch upon the themes of patriarchy, gendered violence, sisterhood, and the validity of a woman's sexual desires. Even fifty years after it was first written, it makes you realize that some things don't change as long as predatory men are around, women will have to fight to retain control over their bodies, their identities, and their ability to say no.

Bombay's red-light district, Kamathipura, led to his research for Cages. Aalif Surti, Aabid Surti's son, is a producer and the translator of Sufi.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Aabid Surti is a painter, writer, cartoonist, journalist, environmentalist, playwright, and screenwriter. He received the National Award in 1993 for one of his books. In 1976, Surti was commissioned by a magazine editor to do a cover story about life in JANUARY 2021

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HOTthe OFFpress Furquan Moharkan takes you right to the start of Rana Kapoor's career as a banker, charting his meteoric rise, his mercurial personality, the lavish lifestyle and the unravelling of it all. Kapoor's story runs parallel with that of the fourth largest private bank in India. In what feels like a story straight from a financial thriller, The Banker Who Crushed His Diamonds uncovers the rot deep within YES Bank's glittering success story. It serves as much as a cautionary tale as it exposes the chink in India's armour against financial chaos.

On 28 September 2018, after announcing that he was going to step down as the managing director of YES Bank, Rana Kapoor had claimed: 'Diamonds are forever. My promoter shares of YES Bank are invaluable to me.'However, in a span of just fourteen months, Kapoor did a complete U-turn. He sold his entire stake in the bank, even as the shares continued to get hammered by investors. Rana Kapoor and Ashok Kapur had founded YES Bank in 2004. On 5 March 2020, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) took control of it in an attempt to avoid the collapse of the bank, which had an excessive amount of bad loans. .What led to one of the biggest banking failures in Indian history? Who is Rana Kapoor and, more importantly, what role did he play in the rise and fall of YES Bank? 28

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HOTthe OFFpress On 12 January 1925, twentyfive-year-old Abdul Kader Bawla, one of the richest men in colonial Bombay and a corporator in the Bombay Municipal Corporation, was murdered on Malabar Hill while out for an evening drive with his mistress, Mumtaz Begum.

Investigations by the Bombay police revealed a link between the crime and the princely state of Indore. The subsequent controversy led to the abdication of Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar III, the ruler of Indore, to avoid an inquiry. A century later, the sensational murder case continues to be a milestone in the history of the Mumbai police. JANUARY 2021

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HOPE IS THE WAY TO LIVE

STUTI GOGIA


What is one thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word hope? Let me share mine, I always picture the two leaves that pop in from a concrete floor where there is slight sand/soil. Yes, that’s HOPE for me. Years back I was going through a depressive face where everything felt so Dark and Gloomy, I had nothing to look forward to but one day I saw that picture which I explained above and that was the Universe way of giving me Sign that, no matter how dejected is the situation there is always something to be hopeful for and that’s what altered my life. Hope is the way to a better and happier life. Hope is the ray of light when you are passing through a Dark Tunnel. Hope keeps you moving when you are in midst of a struggle or challenge.

you because you have the strongest sword. Hope gives birth to Joy, Happiness, Smiles, and Courage. Keep it ALIVE Always and Forever. Once your brain is wired to be hopeful and grateful there is no way any obstacle can stop you from being Victorious.

Stuti is a Software Engineer by profession and a writer by nature. She realized her love for writing while blogging for her own page. Her work has also been appreciated by Quora users. She is God's true evangelist and her work speaks volumes about it @stutigogia

Hope is that one ray of sunshine that you see when Dusk is about to end. Hope will always keep you moving when you will face a wall that seems impossible to climb. So, when Life throws Lemon at you, just add a Flavor of HOPE, make Margarita out of it, sit back and relax and now you know there is nothing that can defeat JANUARY 2021

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GOD HELPS? BY JAY VIKRAM


There once lived a woman called Rupa. She lived with her family beside a dump yard. There was a tree in front of the dump yard. It was a big tree on the footpath beside the main road, left by the mercy of city municipality while they cleared the rest of the jungle and built buildings, roads, and footpath around it. By birth, Rupa and her family belonged to a community that was given the opportunity, with no other option, of cleaning the dirt and sweeping the litter of society. But Rupa’s husband somehow got a job in a public school and worked as a school bus conductor. The couple was looked up in their community as somebody who could be something more than a sweeper. But one day Rupa’s husband came home early. He was drunk. He was never drunk in the daytime before. It was the first time but not the last. Her husband had lost his job. Rupa cried at his loss. At their loss. Her husband slapped her and asked her to stop crying. She ran out of the house and went crying at the tree. She never asked him why he lost the job but she asked God why he did this to them. An old mendicant passing by saw Rupa crying. He came close to her and put his hand on her head. JANUARY 2021

She turned around and saw the monk offering her a banana. As she took the banana the mendicant walked away saying, “Don’t worry child, God will help!” “Which god should I pray to?” she asked. Listening to her innocence the mendicant took out an old damaged idol of ‘Kali’ from his old bag and gave it to her. “you have to pour milk on the statue while chanting Gayatri mantra and light an oil lamp in front of it at every dusk and dawn,” the priestess said. “Until when should I do it?” asked Rupa, “until you have problems,” said the mendicant. “But keep it in a clean place,” he continued. From that morning she started her rituals as told by the mendicant. At every dusk and dawn, in those two peak rush hours, people passing by the main road in their cars or on their foot looked at Rupa pouring milk and lighting a small oil lamp in front of her little idol and praying under the big tree at the main road. Some laughed and some just observed her everyday passing by the tree. When Rupa came home her child asked for milk but she had none. In the

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evening the family asked how the cooking oil is finished but she said nothing. In her deep belief, she sacrificed the milk and the oil on the statue every dusk and dawn. A month passed but her depressed drunk husband couldn’t get a job. But one day Rupa’s four-year-old child fell sick. Helpless once again she didn’t know what to do. She had no help, no money. Her husband hit her again out of his frustration and she ran to the tree. As she fell over her idol crying, she saw a few coins and currency notes near it. The money had just appeared near the idol. She wiped her tears and thanked her statue and took her child to a local doctor. With that money, she paid the doctor fees and bought some medicine for her child. ‘’The child is not being properly fed,’’ said the doctor. “Okay,” said Rupa. “Feed him some milk, it is a complete diet for a four-year-old!” yelled the doctor. But Rupa didn’t listen and went on pouring milk on the statue with her sister every dusk and dawn. A few months passed but her husband didn’t get any job. All other men in the family were working as janitors 34

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and sweepers but he did not want to do that as he was once a bus conductor! So, he drank the whole day and slept the whole night. Rupa somehow worked with the little money her little idol provided her. For Rupa, it was a miracle but her husband understood that this was the money of people who wanted to pay gratitude to God. One day, some thought struck him. The next morning her husband bought a bigger and better idol of ‘Kali’ and placed it under the tree. “Where is my idol?” Rupa asked her husband. “Where it belongs! In the dump yard” said her husband. “But that was my God. It saved us, it provided for us all this time,” she said. “There is no God! There are no miracles,” he replied. From that morning the same rituals were performed on a bigger and a better idol. Soon, the money doubled as the other souls started stopping by to pray in despair. “But until when I have to do it,” asks Rupa. “Until we have problems,” yells Rupa’s husband. “But problems will always be there,” says Rupa. JANUARY 2021


“Then you will pray for all your life!” yells her husband. Rupa doesn’t question her husband but Rupa wonders what happened to her once hard-working happy go, lucky husband. However, her belief is only getting stronger in God. It was yet another dawn. Rupa went to pray to her idol and perform her daily ‘holy’ ritual. A few government officials arrived with a JCB. A public toilet had to be built next to the tree on the main road. As the contractor arrived, the officers discussed the plan. As the officers left, the construction of the public toilet began. From that day Rupa had to keep an extra eye on her idol and the money collected around it. But the contractor had something else in mind. To save money on trained laborers, the contractor offered jobs to a few men of Rupa’s family and her neighbors. Five men from the family and neighbor agreed and went to do the job offered, but Rupa’s husband denied it. The wound of losing a job and getting humiliated in public was still fresh in his memories. He chose to sit idle, drink, and think about life. But behind Rupa’s back, he was working. He influenced the five men to bring some construction material to build walls around the idol under the tree. In the day, they worked on JANUARY 2021

the public toilet and at night they helped Rupa’s husband to build a wall around the idol under the tree. A few mornings later, Rupa and her husband celebrated the brand-new brick room built around her idol. But the government officials came to know of the discrepancy and decided to bring down the temple and the tree to teach them a lesson. The next dawn, they arrived at the tree and prepared for demolition. But as the JCB bulldozer moved forward, Rupa stood in front of the walls and declined to step away. In no time, a rampant crowd of sweepers emerged around the idol. The officials had to stop but they will be back again. It's only the government that can steal. A lawyer passing by the premise saw the crowd through his car window and told what he saw to his real estate client the same evening. “We had our eyes on that zone for a long time,” said the real estate client. The lawyer fought the case for the Community to keep their temple. “It’s not about the land! Rather it’s about the belief and customs of common people of the country!” claimed the lawyer.

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The lawyer won the case, got famous, and the real estate firm now buys houses of those naïve poor class plebeians at cheap rates and sells them at a higher price. But Roopa and her family are safe as they are going to keep the temple running. The temple in front of a dump yard. The temple next to a public toilet. The idol has grown up in size. It is now a life-size statue of Kali. Being built on the main road, the temple gets a lot of attention from all the rush hour passing from dusk to dawn. She also receives funds from private business firms to put their advertisement on the walls. No man from her family or her neighbor goes out to sweep the roads and clean the filth of the city anymore. Now they all join Rupa’s husband and drink merrily all day and gamble all night. Recently, her son got curious and stole some whiskey from his father. The neighbor women of Rupa keep the temple clean and make sure the milk is poured on the statue and oil lamps are lit every dusk and dawn. Rupa handles the keys to the gate of her small little temple. To add to the stunt, Rupa’s husband added a word to the temple’s name. Now it is called an “Ancient Kali temple” that fulfills all wishes of Rupa.

Jay Vikram is an author who writes poems and novels based on his research on realism and philosophy of action (karma). He has also authored research and technical articles. Thus, as a professional researcher, he spends his passion for researching anthropology, and natural theology. His writing style is witty and aims to tantalize the subconscious through strings of humor.

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JANUARY 2021


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THE INEXTINGUISHABLE

PYRE (PART 2) M O N I S H A

R A M A N


‘That must be another spirit approaching,’ Kalai, the wise one speaks. ‘Jyothi, it could be Dhana,’ Meenu seems anxious. ‘No. When it is him, I would know.’ Their conversation then moves to the bond I shared with Dhana. They speak of our connection. I hear someone mention ‘pure’. Yes; it was immaculate. It was platonic. Our love was sacred. Some invisible, muffled channel in the cosmos connected my thoughts to his mind. We became one. One entity bearing a male half and a female half, but the same conscience; like Arthanareeswarar, the half-male, half-female deity who lives in the heart of our Tamil land. The howl of the wind gets intense; it lashes the branches with a vengeance. At a distance, a perturbed infant hollers. The gust gets stronger and in a flash, like the sudden flare of the lightning, there is another woman by our side. Her sobs get loud and bawl noisy enough to tear the human eardrums. We leave her alone. We have seen this happen. In a few hours, when the moon is bright above, she narrates her tale. She wails and whimpers as she JANUARY 2021

speaks of the one man she truly loved. ‘I did not want to die. I was persistent in putting up a brave fight,’ she recollects. ‘He may belong to another caste, but he has a job at the public sector energy plant. Our the plan was to marry as soon as I found a teaching job.’ ‘You should have left home after graduation.’ Kalai intervenes. ‘He was against it. Moreover, he did not want to hurt my family. He was going to approach the the traditional way along with his parents.’ ‘What have they done to him?’ Meenu is quick to ask. ‘He is away on an official tour. Will they harm him?’ ‘They may. They may not.’ Kalai answers. ‘Jyothi’s Dhana was hit and buried in her field where nobody would suspect.’ Meenu recollects. ‘But…. Law?’ the newbie whimpers. There is a collective round of laughter. She is embarrassed. STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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‘I trusted my family. I never thought….’ ‘We all trusted them too. Not once, even in the wildest of our dreams did we assume that our fathers and uncles would dare to kill us for their honour.’ Meenu’s voice carries the long-suppressed anger. ‘No. We made a mistake. We did not surrender. We should have pretended to surrender.’ I tell them. ‘All right women. Whatever unsuppressed desire is holding you all back, make sure you go seek ways to fulfil it. We should leave here soon.’ Rajathi Amma announces in her commanding voice. There is a collective cry of disapproval. ‘We have to leave. There is a whole new world beyond this one.’ She tries to spread some optimism. ‘I have to find someone.’ I am the first to leave the conversation. The search why cannot I find one human in whom I can confide? I stay within the confined space, waiting for a trustworthy person. Dhana could be here anytime and we would take the last journey together.

newbie joins. ‘So, are you the woman who was impregnated?’ ‘Yes and No. Yes, that woman is me. No, I do not carry his child.’ ‘What!’ she gasps. I tell her that contrary to her belief, I did not kill myself unable to withstand the disgrace. He did not disappear for the fear of being killed. Dhana has not even brushed his fingers on me. He was a victor of my heart; just that. I tell her that our death was a well-planned stage play. I mention that I could douse all of them with fuel and light the same match that they threw on me. Like Kannagi, the chaste woman from a Tamil epic, I could have burnt this entire village with its delusional decision-makers to carry his child in my womb. But, I did not hold his seed in me. ‘Akka, is the face of honor so brutal that it incites a father to kill a child?’ she breaks the silence of the dark. ‘I had this bewilderment too. But you will soon learn to accept.’

‘Akka, please take me along.’ The 40

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‘My name is Amari. None of you had asked.’ She responds. ‘It means perpetuity,’ I smile. ‘Yes, except it is not true. They drugged my food and hung me on the rafters of the ceiling.’ ‘Oh. They burnt me alive.’ ‘You said that already and I can see that.’ There is silence. ‘We are all perpetual in a sense, Amari. Our desires, our vengeance and our love will stay eternal. And along with it, we will too.’ I hold back from mentioning curse. With the midsummer cool air gently stoking the flames, my charred body gets heated. I feel the flush again; I feel alive. We both wait for just one person to convey the brazen truth of honour killing and most importantly the legitimacy of my virginity.

A freelance content editor by profession, Monisha finds solace in words. She is a borderline compulsive reader. Her essays have been published by New Asian Writing, The Curious Reader, Kitaab, and Women's Web and is forthcoming by Feminism in India. Her works of fiction have been published by The Punch Magazine, Phenomenal Literature (Vol.4 No.1), Active Muse, and Jotted. She is passionate about traveling and considers coffee the elixir of life. Her anthology of interconnected short stories is now complete. She lives in Chennai, South India, and blogs at behindthewoodendoor.wordpress.com .

Like the desire that we leave behind, hope is also infinite. Who knew there is hope in the air? (Continued from the Part 1 published in the December 2020 Issue)

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Role of Plot in a Madhulika Ra Chauhan Narrative


In literature, the term plot is used to describe the events that make up a story or the main part of a story. These events relate to each other in a pattern or a sequence. The structure of a novel depends on the organization of events in the plot of the story. Every story is made up of both events and characters. A story happens because a pattern is interrupted. Much like a moving object is forced to either turn its way or twist by means of diversions on the path, so does the story – moves through the various variations in the plot. The plot is what happens in a story. However, a plot is not a simple sequence of events. · A strong plot is centered on one moment or perhaps an interruption of a pattern, a turning point, or an action—that raises a dramatic question, which must be answered throughout the course of the story. · Every element of the plot— each scene, each line—exists in service of answering that JANUARY 2021

question. There are countless plot devices that can strengthen and reinforce the main story. 7 Types of Plots The nature of the dramatic question informs the plot and what kind of story it will be. Are the characters threatened by something external or internal? What genre will the story be?

1.Tragedy - In a tragedy, your main character should undergo a major change of fortune — almost always from good to bad, happy to sad. Tragic characters inherently must suffer. 2. Comedy - In comedy, even though your characters have defects, their defects should never wind up being painful or destructive. Comic characters make it through unscathed. Wit rules. 3. Hero’s Journey - In a “hero’s journey,” the hero of a story must undergo two things: recognition and reversal of a situation. Something ought to happen from the outside that inspires the hero in a way STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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that he/she didn’t realize before, forcing him to undertake a quest to solve the situation. 4. Rags to Riches - A la Cinderella. The classic fairy tale follows a simple rags-to-riches plot: the protagonist is downtrodden, impoverished, or otherwise struggling, and through a series of events-either magical, like in the case of Harry Potter, or more realistic, like in Great Expectations--achieves success. This type of plot often features a happy ending. 5. Rebirth - The rebirth style of the plot follows a character’s transformation from bad to good. The character will frequently have a tragic past that informs their current negative view of life, however, a series of events (usually set in motion by the protagonist or a narrator) will help them see the light. The transformation of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, or the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.

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6. Overcoming the Monster Also known as the good versus evil plot, this type of story features a protagonist (good) fighting an antagonist (evil). The protagonist can be a singular character or a group united in their mission. The antagonist is generally a big, bad evil (like Darth Vader in Star Wars) who continuously throws obstacles in the protagonist’s way—until the final battle. 7. Voyage and Return - This plot is a simple point A to point B and back to point A plot. The protagonist sets off on a journey, only to return to his or her starting point having gained wisdom and experience (and sometimes treasure too). Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is a beloved contemporary illustration of this plot. Some outlines of the Plot show the flow of the story as it moves from exposition to conflict and then on to the resolution.

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1. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and her sisters are young, unmarried, poor women in England. An eligible bachelor moves into the neighborhood and falls for Elizabeth's sister Jane. His friend Mr. Darcy also falls for Elizabeth, but he fights against it and wounds her pride. The conflict is resolved when Elizabeth realizes her true feelings and agrees to marry Mr. Darcy. 2. In The Hunger Games, Katniss must represent her district in the games after she takes the place of her younger sister. She and the boy representative from her district, Peeta, must fight young representatives from other districts. The conflict is finally resolved when, in a climactic moment, Katniss and Peeta decide to kill themselves rather than kill each other. Those behind the games halt the games and declare them both the winners. 3. In Charlotte's Web, Wilbur is saved from death by Fern, but then he is sent to live at her uncle's farm, where the plan is that he will one day be butchered. Charlotte, a spider, helps to save Wilbur's life by writing words about him in her web. He wins the county fair and is saved, but Charlotte passes away. JANUARY 2021

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No matter how and what format one decides to write, a plot helps to frame a skeleton on which to flesh the story. Good luck plotting yours.

Madhulika Ra Chauhan is a digital marketeer by day and a passionate writer by night. She lives in China with her super curious son and an ever busy husband. Her articles have appeared in Ezine, FWD Media and DailyO

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BOOK EXCERPT

Mirza Reminiscent of The Name of the Rose, this is a cracking murder mystery, literary novel, and perhaps the finest work of historical fiction in twenty-first-century Indian literature. Excerpt is taken from Murder At The Mushaira by Raza Mir


BOOK EXCERPT

This was a bit fishy. Two guests, possibly two love affairs. Young love between Zainab and this Siraj was quite understandable, but who was this friend of Zainab’s, a Muslim woman married to a Hindu, and possibly in a relationship with another? Mirza’s head swam with confusion. He set the matter aside for later examination and continued, turning to the final duo among the five, Ramji and Ghouse. ฀These two he barely knew, his acquaintance being limited to nodding to them during his occasional visits to the haveli. ‘Both of you were at the gate, I suppose?’ ‘Ramji is the gateman. He is in charge of security. I supervise all the male cleaning staff and gardeners,’ said Ghouse. It could well have been Ramji speaking, Mirza though, he was finding it hard to distinguish between them. As he thought that, he immediately felt guilty. People of my social station always look at these people as if through a veil, rendering their features inexact and their personalities homogeneous. He looked closely at them and something dropped into place, an old instinct. JANUARY 2021

Initially, he had found both of them identical, youths of indeterminate age that their reticence made even more difficult to guess. This restraint was not just verbal but corporeal. ฀ere was a way in which they were able to efface their bodies and meld into the background, more prop than a person. But Mirza now knew better. He made out that while Ghouse did seem to be a bit of a simpleton, Ramji was anything but. Under his near emaciated singlet-wearing exterior was a sharp mind, the kind that was fully attuned to the power dynamics around him, keeping an efficient ledger of the comings, goings, and happenings around him, making astute judgments about human character. Mirza recalled an occasion when he had been called to Agra by a relative to look into a case involving the theft of livestock. His third cousin was a master shepherd who had introduced a new breed of Balangir sheep from East India to the Gangetic plain. But of late, the best rams in his prized

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BOOK EXCERPT

the flock was going missing at an alarming rate. The police and the guards he deployed were clueless about what was going on. Within days of his arrival, Mirza had solved the case. He informed his cousin that the rustler was the local distiller, whose employees made off with the animals at dusk. ฀e sheep would be herded back to their pens after a whole day of grazing along a path on which there was a sharp bend. Here, the thieves had carved out a near-invisible detour that was difficult to make out in the dark; they spirited the rams away one at a time, picking out those that were most valuable. ฀e distiller paid the robbers in alcohol; the stolen sheep were sold to his suppliers of date wine from Rajasthan, making the entire operation seamless and profitable. The solving of that case had not only cemented Mirza’s reputation as a detective but also marked him as a man of great tact and wisdom. He had informed his cousin that the distiller was stealing the sheep as payback for a family feud that was three generations old. He had suggested that the matter would be solved permanently if the parties resorted to compromise rather than involving the authorities and had 50

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offered to mediate. A week later, a small tract of land had changed hands, a marriage had been negotiated between the two families, and not only did the thieving stop, but Mirza’s cousin had gained access to a valuable market for his sheep in Ajmer and Pushkar. Mirza had always been coy when

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BOOK EXCERPT

asked how he had solved the case. Everyone had commended him on how swiftly he had understood the mechanics of shepherding, grazing terrain, and livestock markets, but the reality was that he knew none of that. He had used nothing more than an astute observation of the dramatis personae and had worked on one suspect until he spilled the details of the operation. One of the younger employees of his cousin had the same blank but the intelligent look he had seen in Ramji. During the course of the investigation, he had been beaten up by the policemen, who knew no other mode of inquiry than torture. When he had not confessed, they had ruled him out as a suspect. He had gone back to work, showing no animus towards his employer for the treatment meted out to him. Mirza had patiently worn the young man down, first by explaining to him that if the police cracked the case before him, everyone involved would be in far greater trouble. He had then offered inducement, earnestly promising to safeguard his informant’s identity, and ensuring JANUARY 2021

that he would emerge more prosperous after his cooperation. ฀e young man had decided to trust him. After negotiating the compromise between his cousin and the distiller, Mirza had ensured that his informant was appointed the agent of the new sheep-trading business, making good on his promise and rewarding his informant’s trust. He had never betrayed the young man’s confidence. Could he do something similar with Ramji? Based on his Agra experience and his general understanding of human nature, Mirza could have staked his reputation on three things. First, Ramji knew something critical. He was aware of and had perhaps participated in something crucial last night, something germane to the murder. Second, he would never tell if coerced. It is simply not in the interest of the smarter members of the labor class to be informers of the elite, and the absence of fear in Ramji’s face said that he had been prepared for the worst form of questioning and not flinched. ฀e third sense that Mirza had was a lot more ambiguous, but oddly enough, the thing he felt most STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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BOOK EXCERPT

confident about. It was a strange feeling, but he knew instinctively that whatever scheme the young servant was complicit in, he appeared to be acting in good faith. He decided not to force the matter. In time, Ramji might trust him.

persona, a different vocabulary. Intensify the dance, bang the drums harder. For the tavern-drinkers come before the ambassadors of virtue.

‘Boys, I’d rather not waste time asking you questions when time is of the essence. Off you go, before any soldiers return. Here.’ He counted off five rupees from Umrao’s pouch and put them in Kallu’s hand. ‘One for each, all right?’ Ah, Umrao, if you knew how I spent your money, you would think a few times before berating me as a godless lush! As if on cue, Kirorimal made a hasty appearance just as the servants were scurrying off.‘฀They are here, uncle! ฀e people from the mosque!’ Sending the servants off in the other direction, Mirza hastened up the steps, composing himself for another fight. ฀is would require a different

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STORIZEN REVIEW

A HORROR STORY WITH A CRISPY NARRATION

Some genres are best left without spilling the beans. Find out more about the spinechilling haunting from the author of Amazon's bestselling book ‘Hold That Breath’ and master storyteller of ‘Stories Are Magical’ and ‘Once Again… With Love!’... Reviewed by Himani Gupta

I am not very fond of ghost stories, but Abhirup is one such writer whose writing skills interest me as a reader. He had improved every time which had impressed me. His stories look to me so real that I get connected with the characters and get involved with the stories so much. The title of his third book is incredibly unique and different. The cover of the book attracts you to purchase the book and read it. The narration was very crisp that I got involved with Jamisha so much that it scared me a lot when the incidents were happening with her. Till now I fear Darjeeling and imagination of the


STORIZEN REVIEW

BOOK REVIEW

incidents making me scared and chilling my spine. Each character in the story was well characterized and explained by the author. The blurb of the book itself is very captivating and catching the eyes of the reader to read the whole story and I was literally hooked to the book. II was so connected with the couple that each incident of the story happening in the book appeared to me real and I was so scared of it. A well-scripted story that should be made as a short film for Netflix lovers. The ghost in someone’s body was impressive and Scary at the same time. Beautiful Darjeeling’s tea estate was nicely described. I would love to read more stories from the Author. Keep writing and all the best. And for all the readers do read this book. Happy reading! Vijyant Thapar

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The Book

A Must Read

1990. Darjeeling. Young married couple, Nihith and Jemisha come to live in Belvoirbrooke Tea Estate, founded in 1865, amidst the snow-capped mountains, lush greenery, and magnificent rolling countryside.

A horror story with crisp narration and thrilling and chilling scenario making you scared deep down. A must-read book for everyone who loves to read the horror genre.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW My Final Verdict A horror story with crisp narration and thrilling and chilling scenario making you scared deep down. A mustread book for everyone who loves to read the horror genre.

Rating Final Rating: 5/5

In her own words: I am Himani Gupta, By profession, I am an HR Manager working in Bengaluru. Reading is my hobby which led me to write reviews for my readers. I have read and reviewed numerous books so far. Rohit is my favorite writer as far as writing is concerned and I wait for his books to read. If you wish to get your book reviewed, do feel free to contact me.

@himanigoyal21

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STORIZEN REVIEW

GOD ALWAYS HAS BETTER PLANS FOR US The way the author has shown the courage to pen down his own bitter-sweet life experiences is exemplary. Reviewed by Ishan Agrawal

Being an engineer myself, I am always in lookout for things which in some way or the other can present my own life. When I came across this novel, all those yesteryears of slogging day and night for an overhyped exam started floating around my eyes. I dint waste a second before picking this up and I am glad I did. The story starts from the point when a young lad, Pratik Shelke is preparing for his high school exams and harbouring dreams of being into the most coveted college one day. He decides to shift to Hyderabad to put in maximum efforts and being able to give his best shot but as they say,


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BOOK REVIEW

everything we wish isn’t always granted. Destiny has something else in store for him. He falls in love, with a girl named Sachi and while preparing for one of the most difficult entrance exams around the world (IIT), any kind of distraction is considered a sin, and having some love interest while pursuing something big can literally hamper your goals unless you are an extraordinary smart soul. Pratik soon starts finding himself in a shell and it took him no time to make a transition from an enthusiastic, charming individual to a gloomy, despaired one who just wants to get rid of his own life. He becomes a pale shadow of his former self.

Vijyant Thapar

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The Book

A Must Read

In the epilogue, he leaves such an inspiring message to the people struggling with mental issues, which shows how concerned and an empathetic individual he himself is.

Pratik soon starts finding himself in a shell and it took him no time to make a transition from an enthusiastic, charming individual to a gloomy, despaired one who just wants to get rid of his own life.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW My Final Verdict The most essential learning, I got from this book is, God always has better plans for us.“Man ka ho toh accha, na ho toh zyaadaa chcha kyunki phir wo ishwar ke man ka hota hai, aur ishwar aapka hamesha achcha chahega

Hailing from the land of sages, Rishikesh, having spent all 27 years of his life there and finally getting settled in the Pink City, Jaipur in Dec 2019, Ishan has seen it all. A software engineer by degree, an Aptitude and GD/PI Trainer by the day, and a voracious reader and reviewer by the night, Ishan seamlessly juggles between his training and reading schedule.

@Ishan14Agrawal

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An Exciting GeoPolitical Thriller Reviewed by Swapna Peri


STORIZEN REVIEW

BOOK REVIEW

A page-turner is an inappropriate word to describe the excitement a reader gets once completing the book. This thriller opens with a bang of the current time span and oscillates with historical references. The story takes a world tour to many countries where the readers meet new characters. The story is inherently crafted with military action sequences and thrilling spy adventures. The unbiased portrayal of women in uniform stands as one of the highlights. There is science, there is action, there is evilness, there is adult material involved, there is emotion and there is a duty! With many sub-plots that happen in many terrains of the land, this book by Raghu Srinivasan happens to be the second book and is a great treat to the readers who love action and fast thrillers. What to expect from the story? Expect a spy thriller set in many countries. Expect an action-packed espionage story. Expect an interesting undercover operation story that deals with cross border politics, bio-wars, and terrain fights. Expect a story that refers to ancient and forgotten history and heritage in every land the story travels to. JANUARY 2021

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What to Expect Expect a spy thriller set in many countries. Expect an action-packed espionage story. Expect an interesting undercover operation story that deals with cross border politics, biowars and terrain fights. Expect a story that refers to ancient and forgotten history and heritage in every land the story travels to.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

How entertaining is the book Now that the US presidential election 2020 and the Capitol Hill's recent events have a great reference when reading this book. Also, the mere diplomatic fight against China's country is definitely an engaging read. There is a mystery, it is a thriller, there is espionage, and there is an emotion. Final Verdict Gear-up your sleeves to read the most exciting GeoPolitical thriller from an Indian Author!

Swapna worked as SAP Consultant for 10 years in Major IT companies. Reading has always been her passion and occasional painting her hobby. She decided to quit her job, look after the family and pursue her hobby of reading and painting in a larger way. Thus, her big leap into book reviewing has paved a way and has been successful to date. Reading challenges interest her a lot and visiting book fairs is her favorite thing. She believes that there is no good back or bad book, but only books. Writing unbiased reviews is her strength and she is appreciated by fellow reviewers and readers for the same. An anthology of musings with her paintings is her pending dream!

Rating Final Rating: 4/5

@swapna.peri @sappy_dreamz_unlimited @swapna508

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AÂ Sensitive Story Reviewed by Swapna Peri


STORIZEN REVIEW In real life, the characters deal with every human emotion. Be it happiness, sadness, disappointments, or disagreements; there are life-changing sequences written so realistically that the readers cannot stop lauding the author's writing.

BOOK REVIEW

The book is about life. It is about a young girl living in a land where her mother protects her dreams. Pin or Parveen, her deeds are insulated by her mother from the evil and tormenting realities of life. Though the plot looks complicated, it is quite engaging. What to expect from the story? This book, Sugarbread by Balli Kaur Jaswal, is a stunning story of ten-year-old Pin (Parveen), who lives and grows up in Singapore in the early 90s. Hers is a simple life with her friends, football, and a happy childhood with her parents. Right from the start, the story and mention of food go hand in hand. This is one of the interesting aspects of Jaswal's writing. Who can read? I recommend the book for those readers who are readers of serious fiction. The book will interest those readers who like cross-border issues and nationalities related circumstances. How good are the characters? The book's characters are so realistic that a reader might find his or her reflection in the characters. Like in JANUARY 2021

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About the story This book, Sugarbread by Balli Kaur Jaswal, is a stunning story of ten-year-old Pin (Parveen), who lives and grows up in Singapore in the early 90s. Who can Read I recommend the book for those readers who are the readers of serious fiction. The book will interest those readers who like crossborder issues and nationalities related circumstances.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

How entertaining is the book The book is set up in the 90s era in the country of Singapore. The story is narrated from the perspective of a child which makes the read more interesting. This novel is written in a sensitive tone which has layers of raw emotions of love and empathy. The story also has so much description of food in every chapter. The mention of food and emotions go hand in hand in the book. As the book is about a Sikh family, there is also a lot of mention about religion and religious Gurus. I found this mention a little difficult to interpret as I cannot relate to the Sigh religion concepts. The readers who concur with these thoughts will find the book good.

Swapna worked as SAP Consultant for 10 years in Major IT companies. Reading has always been her passion and occasional painting her hobby. She decided to quit her job, look after the family and pursue her hobby of reading and painting in a larger way. Thus, her big leap into book reviewing has paved a way and has been successful to date. Reading challenges interest her a lot and visiting book fairs is her favorite thing. She believes that there is no good back or bad book, but only books. Writing unbiased reviews is her strength and she is appreciated by fellow reviewers and readers for the same. An anthology of musings with her paintings is her pending dream!

@swapna.peri @sappy_dreamz_unlimited

Rating Final Rating: 3/5

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@swapna508

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A Story That is Quite Captivating & Entertaining The pain is always glorified to seek sympathy. Reviewed by Swapna Peri

The story, its craft and intention is woven in an interesting tale

This book by Chetna is a definite page-turner for many reasons. The Author's writing skills in the book are very engaging. The story has the right amounts of valor, humor, power and femininity. The character of Ahana Lamba is fascinating and intense.

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About the book The book is the story of a girl and her life which is eventful and straightforward. After her parents' demise, Ahana Lamba is raised by her Uncle and his wife. Her life in the U.K is freestyled, bold, and courageous.

A Must Read The first and foremost reason to call this book an entertainer is because the protagonist is a woman. Though there are books that showcase women as the central leads, a tragic past or emotional turmoil is the reason shown.


BOOK REVIEW

STORIZEN REVIEW

Apart from many good things, the most important thing in the story that drew my attention was the female protagonist's courage. There are equal amounts of feelings like pride, bravery, adventure, love, and empathy shown by the characters. A love story or a family story always need not be about proposals and weddings but also a duty towards the country and exciting encounters. This book has all this! So why do you still wait? Go and grab your copy! What to expect from the story? The book is the story of a girl and her life which is eventful and straightforward. After her parents' demise, Ahana Lamba is raised by her Uncle and his wife. Her life in the U.K is freestyled, bold, and courageous. Her friendship with Dana who has a similar background makes Ahana more connected to Dana. Together they undertake the laborious training and lead the special squad teams. There is so much action, adventure, and emotion.

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Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

My Final Verdict Quite captivating entertaining.

and

Rating Book Title: 4/5 Book Cover: 4/5 Inside the book: 4/5 Characters: 4/5 Narration: 4/5 Language & Grammar: 4/5 Final Rating: 4/5

Swapna worked as SAP Consultant for 10 years in Major IT companies. Reading has always been her passion and occasional painting her hobby. She decided to quit her job, look after the family and pursue her hobby of reading and painting in a larger way. Thus, her big leap into book reviewing has paved a way and has been successful to date. Reading challenges interest her a lot and visiting book fairs is her favorite thing. She believes that there is no good back or bad book, but only books. Writing unbiased reviews is her strength and she is appreciated by fellow reviewers and readers for the same. An anthology of musings with her paintings is her pending dream!

@swapna.peri @sappy_dreamz_unlimited @swapna508

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STORIZEN POETRY

An Umbrella of Hope by Vidya Shankar That I should, in the midst of pressing work In the kitchen, find myself drifting towards the window Of my third floor apartment Not knowing what was pulling me there, Only to see spread out before me The grey bleakness of a rain-splattered outside, Yet not giving in to disappointment But anticipating a miracle, in the trust That I wouldn’t be where I was without reason. That I should find myself there At that particular window At that particular extent in time was nothing but serendipity — For, within moments, there came upon the scene A rainbow in the rain Like a splash of refreshing coolness On a bleary weary summer day— It was a lady, or was it a man? I couldn’t say for sure, But whoever it was, had walked out there From nowhere, holding A vibrant multi-coloured umbrella over their head, Waiting... Is that how hope appears? I wondered.

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STORIZEN POETRY

I was, however, not destined to witness The end of the story, for, from my kitchen The pressure cooker called out to me I went back to the mundane Thanking the Universe for a revelation Of patience, of protection, in color In my otherwise monochromatic scheme of life.

Vidya Shankar is a widely published Indian poet, writer, editor, yoga practitioner, mindful mandala artist, a “book� with the Human Library, and an English teacher. She is the author of two poetry books The Flautist of Brindaranyam, in collaboration with her photographer husband, Shankar Ramakrishnan, and The Rise of Yogamaya. A recipient of literary awards and recognitions, Vidya is the chief admin of the Facebook group KavyaAdisakrit and one of the editors of KavyaAdisakrit, an imprint of Adisakrit Publishing House. She is also a member of the poetry group India Poetry Circle, or IPC.

@shanvidwinsalways @vidya.shankar.author

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Hope, Is A Person... by Madhumathi H. You are my solitude-wafting sun-kissed street The canopy of luminous emerald branches Peace in the golden dusk painting shadow art... You are the Thozhi, the Saheli I love to walk with, holding hands, forgetting time Giggling, and sometimes Allowing the gurgling tears in my heart To be heard by you You are the soul, I can apologize to For all my insensible insensitive acts Disarmed, raw, with blemishes and stains Yet Be hugged in forgiveness, after facing The necessary cudgel and tight slaps, that chisel me You are, all my seasons My words, whispers, screams, and silences You trick fears and teach them to be elusive You Are my anchor, never letting me down... You breathe permanence into transient hope

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You are my nest cradle and shoulder A healing lullaby, when chaos abounds You are my home... You are the one I at times take for granted Let me now reassure, you are deeply loved... And Once in a while We need to say all the above To the person, we see in the mirror and smile.

A bilingual poet-writer(Tamil, English), Madhumathi is an ardent lover of Nature, Poetry, Photography, and Music. Her poems are published in Anthologies of The Poetry Society(India), Chennai Poetry Circle, IPC, Amaravati Poetic Prism, and in ezines UGC approved Muse India, International Writer’s Journal, Storizen, Our Poetry Archives, Positive Vibes, and Science Shore. Besides Poetry, Madhumathi writes on Mental health, to create awareness and break the stigma, strongly believing in the therapeutic and transformational power of words. Contact: madhumathi.poetry@gmail.com

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