Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: Love, Peace & Happiness

Love, Peace & Happiness: What more can you want?
Stories surround us. Stories about people like us who make difficult and often complex choices that sometimes astound us. You must have come across some people in your own life who closely resemble the characters in these stories. Maybe you have gone through trying moments in your life too.

For instance, have you ever been bugged enough with your partner to want to leave? Have you ever had to choose between love and money? Have you ever had to compete with your partner? Have you ever felt that your family weighs you down when it comes to choosing your partner?

At times like these, haven't you wished that things happened differently and that you could change how they ended?

Now you will control how the stories in this book end.

Each story centers on the life of an urban middle class character caught in a set of circumstances beyond his or her control. A Hindu girl living in with a Muslim boy is suddenly in the glare of global media in a reality TV show, a divorced cynical man faces the prospect of committing himself to a prostitute, a highly talented small town girl must choose between life and death. All must resolve the conflicts within their beliefs.

Read the way the stories end in the book, but if you don't agree with the ending, visit the website for alternate endings.

If you don't like the way the stories end there either, write your own, and if your ending is selected, see it print in the next print run with your name in the acknowledgement.

Hoping to change the world, one story at a time...

About the author:
Rituraj Verma

Rituraj Verma started his career as a mechanical engineer having cleared the IIT JEE as a fluke. He pushed his luck further and by another fluke, managed to get into Tulane University, New Orleans, for this MBA. Naturally, he switched tracks to FMCG, sales, retail, real estate, and then finally, consulting. He met his wife, Smriti, at the Indian Railways Staff College in Baroda and has always claimed that she was the lucky one, which of course, is often debated in the family.

His true calling, however, seems to be writing, and this book is an act of subconscious expression, amalgamating real life stories with fantasy in a liberating manner.

In his adventurous moments at home, he enjoys being referee to his son and daughter  Sometimes, he manages to sound tuneful when he is playing the electric guitar, though some neighbors disagree. When he is not playing the guitar, he is usually playing with his own hair on this head.

First of all, this isn't an easy book to review. Cause it's not a straight forward novel with a plot. Neither it's a collection of short stories. It's something of it's own, a collection of inter-related short stories!

The book is a collection of nine short stories, which are all related in a way. The author tries to bring out all kinds of beliefs through the various characters in the stories, and put them through various real life situations; their reactions, justifications and outcomes of these familiar real life situations is what is worth reading in this book.
Through the various characters in these short stories, various ways of thinking is portrayed to which you can relate to among your friends, relatives or even yourself.
All this, with strong characterization and flawless way of writing from the author makes this book worth a read. This book is sure to touch you in some way or the other, bringing back old memories. If not, you are sure to learn something from this book, something very personal, which is going to be with your for the rest of your life. This book is not an easy read, not at all. Each story is short enough to be completed in a couple of minutes, but what's nice is that it leaves a deep impact on you, and makes you think about the various beliefs of these characters and introspect yourself. I think this experience is the main USP of the book.

What more? The author never tries to force you to the end of the stories, you can always go to the website, and come up with your own ending!

Rating: 3.5/5

Book: Love, Peace & Happiness: What more can you want?
Author: Rituraj Verma
ISBN: 9789381836347
Publisher: Jufic Books
Pages: 223
Genre: Fiction
Language: English