'Meghna' by Sundari Venkatraman

About the Book:

Title: Meghna
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
Publisher: Flaming Sun
Language: English
No. of pages: 173
Year of Publication: 2014
Buy from Amazon.in (Kindle Edition)

The young and dashing Rahul Sinha lives in England with his parents, Shyam and Rajni. He is an only son of the rich banker. Rahul is totally attached to his father but does not care for his mother. Read the book to find out why….
Rahul is exulted with his efforts at work paying off and plans a holiday with his best friend Sanjay Srivastav who lives in Mumbai with his wife Reema, kids Sanya and Rehaan and most importantly, his sister, Meghna. Rahul recalls meeting Meghna just before they parted six years ago.
Meghna works for a website and also teaches modern dance as she loves it. She’s thrown for a toss when Rahul comes visiting. She had thought he had forgotten them.
But how could Rahul do that? Sanjay’s his best friend and Rahul had always treated their home as his own. Sanjay’s mother had been more of a mother to Rahul than his own. Rahul had stayed away after moving to England or so Meghna believes.
Thus begins the story between Rahul and Meghna, the teasing, the flirting, the anger, the tears… …will they find love?

About the Author:

Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the 'lived happily ever after' syndrome as Sundari grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. Soon, into her teens, she switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine.

Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. Then came the writing - a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent - thanks to her Grandpa - she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History and Geography.

When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school's office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That's when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head - all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That's how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape.

With the advent of self-publishing, Sundari is the proud author of three books as on today.

My Views

I received the e-book for review from the author who is a friend of a good friend of mine, hence naturally my expectation levels increased. On her blog the author says - "The book comes with a WARNING: This book has been written only for the purpose of Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment! If you are looking to learn something or improve your lives after reading this work, then this book is not for you. I am not trying to get into competition with the Author Biggies of this world. I wrote this simply for the fun and joy of it. One thing I can promise the reader though: Well proof-read, perfect language that I feel is very important for every book that's written in any tongue."

Indeed the language is perfect, story neatly woven, proof-reading is a good, there are a couple of typos though. When I started reading, the first few chapters could not hold my attention much that obviously does not mean it is not well-written. It is hard for me to imagine a kiss on the lips of a sixteen year old to be innocent as mentioned by the author. Other than this one thing - The story is interesting.

Simple, not involving too many characters. I like how the characters are described and each one has a role to play in the story. The story is well-narrated and the language is good. Like any other Indian author I have read so far, even this author uses a few Hindi phrases in the book, however, they do not seem to be out of place. I guess, that is how it is supposed to be - the Indian touch. First love stays with you, always. And when that first love kisses you on the lips when you are sixteen, it leaves a permanent mark on your mind. And when that first love vanishes only to reappear after a gap of 6 years you do not know what to expect from the other person, however, as far as you are concerned, each and every sense acknowledges the presence of that person and repeatedly tells you that you are madly in love with the person. To expect love in return in obvious. I have mentioned earlier that the first few chapters could not hold my attention, the reason for it is that the attraction between Meghna and Rahul seems to be more about lust rather than love.

My first love returning after a gap of six years, my actions and reactions would have been different - but then, considering what the author says on her blog, I wonder whether it is appropriate for me to put myself into the shoes of Meghna. We all do that, don't we? We try to put ourselves into the character's shoes. At least I do, it helps me to visualize and live the story rather than just read it. HOWEVER, when I went deeper into the story, I started liking it. The chemistry, the under-current, the self-restraint, the emotions - everything is so very well described by the author.

Overall, it was an easy and interesting read.


Cover - Good
Title - Protagonist Specific
Pricing - seems appropriate
Quality - ebook
Fonts - good for reading at nights
Characters - well-defined
Narration - well-narrated
Language - good Flow - good
Description - the description / blurb is good but could have been written better.
Story-line - Simple, mushy love story
Reader's Expectations - I would say the readers should read without any expectations
Overall rating of the book - 7/10

This review has also been published on Half Baked Voices : Blog of Half Baked Beans Publishing

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