22 Apr 2016

The Girl On The Train ~ Book Review

I read The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins after a bit of procrastination, and found it was brilliant!

The Girl On The Train - a gripping and intriguing story of 3 women and how their lives got entangled in a mystery.

I read this book in my Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. Before I started reading, I got a sneak peek of its sample. As it has repetitive scenes from the same train journey to and fro, I got tired and decided not to continue. This book was a bad choice, I thought. It was left untouched for more than a month. You bought it, cos you wanted to read. So better continue, my mind echoed. I resumed the book, only expecting this train journey was going to be a boring one but the track changed, so was my view on the book. Once I got the grip, the book turned out to be one hell of a journey that I did not want to end sooner. It came as a surprise and kept me hooked till the end. 

As the story opens, we first meet the main narrator - Rachel, the girl on the train, who is miserable, wrecked and a total drunk, longing for a so called perfect life with her Ex. She boards the same commuter train every morning from Ashbury to London. The train stops at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. Evidently, that was where she lived once with her Ex and she has memories associated with that neighborhood. As she glimpses out of the train window, she sees a couple in one of the houses every day. Now, bored and desperate, Rachel starts to observe them. She calls them 'Jess and Jason’. She delights herself with the fantasy of watching that couple living a pleasant life. And then one day, she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s more than enough to change her course of life. She finds herself caught up in a mystery and got a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Then comes Megan. She is apparently, Jess in Rachel's view. Megan is married to Scott aka Jason. As the plot thickens, we get to know her better. The main story revolves around what happens with Megan.

There's Anna, who lives in the same street of Megan. She’s the wife of Rachel's ex husband Tom and they have a kid. She is paranoid with Rachel's bombarding behavior.

I was literally traveling with these 3 women, each with their own flaws and intricacies. I enjoy reading different perspectives in stories and so, Paula Hawkins's storytelling style allows me to see through these three characters. The story travels between past and present and it helps me to see things clearly.

This is the author’s first thriller and her writing is excellent. Well paced, neatly structured story line made me glued to the book as much as Rachel's addiction to her drinks. The flow was superb. If I've to say a thing that confused me, they are the dates. I had to turn the pages back to reassure the dates but then I loved this timeline.

One night drunk Rachel returns home bleeding and she remembers nothing what happened to her and how she got injured. With her blackout, she couldn't recollect the memory. As she tries to find out what happened that particular night, eventually that leads her to the mystery and she becomes much more than just the girl on the train.

Blackouts happen, and it isn't just a matter of being a bit hazy about getting home from the club or forgetting what it was that was so funny when you were chatting in the pub. It's different. Total black; hours lost never to be retrieved. ~  Excerpt from The Girl On The Train.

The author superbly interlinked Rachel's subconscious memory and her imagination. The progress, of Rachel discovering the truth behind her blackout, takes time but it is slow enough to enthrall the readers.

The plot is convincing and no loose ends. The character building and their relationships were complex. Nobody is reliable and their life, messy. It was interesting to see such flawed characters in the lead. With such unreliable narrators, particularly Rachel, this is a spectacular read. 

Basically, there’s a mystery to be solved and it's thrilling to figure out the truth. My mind constantly works when I read any thriller by guessing the twist and most of them fall right in place, but this book did not let me guess, not even once, not until I almost finished, which I believe is the strength of a good thriller.

The Girl On The Train is a terrific book which has every right element for a mind blowing psychological thriller. It is definitely worth the read.

Altogether, it is a compelling story that keeps you arrested throughout. Perfect book to read on a journey.

Grab this book in Amazon.in.


19 Apr 2016

Jus' Kidding..! ~ #3

Do tell me how you enjoyed the comic strip. :)

17 Apr 2016

The Promise

‘Appa, take me with you’, I begged.
Promised to come back soon, he dropped me off
at the house where the other girls lived.
Sometimes, I did miss him.
Mostly, I had no time.
Work kept me busy, day and night.
Still, I waited with hope.
Men come and men go,
But he never did.

12 Apr 2016

Jus' Kidding..! ~ #2

Enjoy the comic strip and do leave your comments. If not, remember there’s a rat waiting to nibble your cable. Hehe!
Oh, Jus’ Kidding..! ;-)

10 Apr 2016

Early Morning At Jenny’s

The soup is getting ready, the name board blinks
The dog barking outside, the kitchen door creaks,
I relish a mouthful of Cinnamon Apple doughnut,
He enters the cafe while the jukebox plays my favorite song,
I hum along, it’s early in the morning at Jenny's.

The smoke fills the room, the light flickers,
I look at him taking the corner seat,
The guy in his formals, every girl would dream of
Sipping the water with lemon, he surfs the menu.
The chef yells, it's early in the morning at Jenny's.

The waitress in her stained pink dress,
Her fingernails painted patchy and lumpy blue,
She is kinda pretty but looking a mess,
Carries the plate of steak and stew
She serves, it’s early in the morning at Jenny's.

The door screeches, and the cop walks in,
Trying to look cool, he waves at the waitress.
His pot belly bulging out of his pants,
As he gulps down a glass of beer,
He burps, it’s early in the morning at Jenny's.

The shabby fellow looks like a con
Just finishes his meal and counting his change
Bagel and coffee costs fifty bucks
Fishing his torn wallet to pay the bill
He frowns, it's early in the morning at Jenny's.

Dusky skin, clean shaven look,
That handsome guy walks right past me
And feeds the jukebox with his coins
He is, I think, a good match for the pretty waitress,
The dog barks, it's early in the morning at Jenny's.

I sip the black coffee, glaring at my plate
The doughnut screams at me madly,
'You should watch your size, your tummy is growing
All the fat settling down there. Can't you just see?’
I snub, it’s early in the morning at Jenny's.

The guy eating his piping hot steak,
The waitress keeps filling the cop's mug,
The shabby fellow still shuffling his coins
I take another mouthful of doughnut and watch
The cop yawns, it's early in the morning at Jenny's.

The cop orders for the take away but never bothers to pay.
As I wipe the sticky apple sauce at the corner of my lips,
The handsome guy stands right in front of me grinning,
Frozen like wood, I stare at him for a sec, then swipe his card
And smile, it's early in the morning at Jenny's.

The cop shows his crooked teeth at me,
'Hey Jenny, this is too good', raising his half eaten sandwich.
The board blinks, the jukebox continues to play,
The door bell clinks, a new customer walks in.
It's early in the morning at Jenny's.

I fancy observing people and the place.

Prompt : Waitress Watch & Wood - This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

8 Apr 2016

She : Ekla Cholo Re ~ Book Review

I read the book She: Ekla Cholo Re by Dr. Shayan Haq and Santosh Avvannavar, during my visit to the dentist couple of days ago. I finished reading and writing this review, while I was waiting for my turn. It is a short book that it only took me less than half an hour to finish.

She is the story of a transgender who talks about the problems she faced in her life and how she overcame it to meet her real self.

The story is set in the backdrop of 1990 Calcutta, She is a story about finding one’s own identity in spite of all odds. The story spins around the life of Kusum, a brave heart whose identity is often untitled and blurred; it does not belong anywhere, definitely not under the ‘he’ or ‘she’ bracket, thanks to our social conditioning. This book is all about discovering Kusum's undying passion for her love, and aspirations.

Jodi tor dak sune keu na ashe,
Tobe ekla cholo,
Ekla chalo,
Ekla chalo re,
Ekla chalo re.

If no one answers your call,
Then walk along,
Be not afraid, walk alone my friend.

These lines from Tagore’s ‘Ekla Cholo Re’ song urges Kusum to continue despite the fear of abandonment from others. The song not only is an inspiration to her but also to us.

A young boy who was abandoned by his family and friends because of his gender sensitivity but with the support of his well wishers, he transformed into a beautiful and dignified, Kusum.

This book talks about Kusum's fair share of complications in finding her true identity and how basically the society sees such people as disgrace. The book portrayed love, friendship, failure and success of Kusum.

The story was actually the conversation between Kusum and a stranger who gave her lift on a highway. On the whole, it was like Kusum talking to us. She opens up about the mistreatment she received from the society and how she overcame all the hurdles to become what she is. However, I felt the friendship between that stranger and Kusum happened too fast and so, it was not very convincing.

We should appreciate the authors to have chosen a topic often seen as taboo for the plot and to have brought out the emotion well.

About Authors - Dr. Shayan Haq is a Medical Doctor and Cosmetologist by profession and Santosh Avvannavar is an Advisor for different organisations who dabbles in fiction writing. He also authored few other books.

The writing was simple and the book is neither too short nor dragging. We all know how the community see people who has difficulty in fitting in such no male no female category. Mainly, the book insists on the importance of equal rights to everyone irrespective of their gender.

It is a straightforward story. Straight from the heart and the ending came in a heartwarming tone.

Thank you Santosh, for sending me this book.

We should be proud of who we are irrespective of what others think of us. What's in a name? What's in a gender? It only matters what we are and what we do!

'She' is enlightening and inspiring.

Grab this book at Amazon.in.

5 Apr 2016

Jus' Kidding..! ~ #1

Welcome to the comic strip from A Rat’s Nibble!

Meet The Blogger

Meet The Analyst

From today, you’ll get to see some fun between this Witty Rat and the Kitty Cat. I'm gonna seriously try working with this duo.

Enjoy the strip and do leave your feedback. If not, you'll get a rat's bite. Bwahaha!!

Oh, Jus' Kidding..! ;-)

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