The Highway Man by J. Alchem Review. 

​Author: J. Alchem

Publication date: 12th May, 2017

Length: 68 Pages

What is it about? 

The whole world is upside down. People are walking in the sky with the ground moving above their heads. And the reason is simple; a bestselling author is in love. But why the whole world is inverted? What’s so special about this love? Or worse?

A man throws his masculine brain and heart aside and fixes a feminine one there. And the reason is simple; he wants to live the life of his lover, for 24 hours. But why does he want to do that? What’s the need?

A man, neatly dressed in a suit, is playing with his bowler hat, on a highway at dawn. And the reason is simple; he needs a lift. But why does he need a lift? What’s his purpose?


LazyScoop Review:
The Highway man is a collection of beautiful, and amazing stories. Beautiful because the writer has written it in an enticing way. The language, the words, overall naration flows smoothly. I liked the variety of tales, each one is of a different genre. First one is intriguing, and unexpected Twist. Second one, Is Romantic and the Third one is Philosophical. 
The book has three short stories titled Catherine, Sidzy for a day, and The Highway Man which is also the title of the book. Read on to know what I think about each of the story. 


Catherine
:

 This is a story of Dr.Rusenvelt, Who encounters a mysterious case one day about his favourite author. What happens when a Writer falls in love with a fictional character of his own book? The narration of the story is smooth and flowy and has a shocking climax to it. I really loved the concept of this story.

Sidzy, for a day: 

This is a perfect romantic story about Jihan and Sidzy. They both are characters which anyone on this planet would love to have in their life. Sidzy is a charming girl who doesn’t take the love shown on her for granted, especially because of her past. Jihaan is a man, who knows how to care and love his girl. It’s a story which surely will touch the romantic chords of the readers.

The Highway Man

This story is full of twists. A man who lost his wife, his son who hasn’t been able to come out of trauma. Until, a man comes in their life to change it completely. I am not going to say the protagonist’s name, that’s also a twist here. This definitely is the best story among the three, its emotional and engaging. Its sprinkled with some philosophy as well, which would definitely stay with you after you finish the book. 

LazyScoop Verdict:

Overall The Highway man is an interesting book with engaging stories written with heartfelt emotions. Read it if you like reading short stories and want to have a quick one hour read. 

Ratings:


Cover
: 4/5 Stars


Plot of all stories: 
4/5 stars


Narrative
: 4/5 Stars


Characters
– 3.5/5 Stars


Entertainment
: 3.5/5 Stars


Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


The Highway Man, recommended by LazyScoop if you want to read Short Stories with twists! 


You can buy this ebook by clicking on this link at just Rs. 49/-

The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal Review. 

Author: Sumit Agarwal

Genre: Contemporary Political Thriller

Pages: 306

Publishers: Rupa Publications India

This book had released few months ago and has been the talk of the literary world since then. It’s reached the Amazon Best Sellers list in a very short time. All the book reviewers are showering praises on it and so I was really curious to know what this book is all about. I got the chance to read it. Read on to know what I think! 

Blurb:

Have you ever fallen victim to the system? Felt humiliated and helpless? Have you fought back? 

Meet four such patriots: Varun, an NRI software engineer; Salman, CEO of Coffee Moments; Raghav, a virtuous politician and Aditya, an altruistic businessman. 

Fate brings these four lives together at a crossroads, pushing these unlikely heroes out of their comfort zones to fight a seemingly unstoppable evil force which wants to hold our country captive. The four companions, who have always had each other’s back, will now come face-to-face with the biggest challenge of their lives—a labyrinthine plot rife with perilous twists and wicked turns. With the nation’s future at stake, will they be able to destroy the Chakravyuh intricately laid down by the enemies of India? Will they come out of it alive? 

A story about friendship, faith and courage, replete with romance and patriotism, The Four Patriots is a racy, contemporary thriller sure to give you goose bumps. Pick this book if you do not believe ‘is desh ka kuch nahin ho sakta’; and if you think all is not lost, this is a must-read!



What is it about? 

The four patriots is the thrilling Journey of four individuals who are disappointed with the current Indian Political scenario and are challenged by various incidents to take things in their hands and change it. They have to face many obstacles from various powerful and selfish people who think about themselves more than their country. Will the Four Patriots succeed in changing the system? Will they be able to tackle the conspiracies against them? 

 

LazyScoop Review:

‘The four patriots immediately grasps your attention from the first chapter itself. The introduction of all characters is not limited to their traits, each character has depth and there are various such situations they come across which triggers their motivation to get into the corrupt political system and change it. I liked how the prologue ends on a cliffhanger point which makes you keep reading to reach the end and know the suspense about one of the protagonist getting shot. But by whom? Why? Does he die? 
Characterization is one of the key elements in this book. Each character has been well defined, their backstories justify their behaviour perfectly. E.g Salman’s badass character is really fun to read about. You get emotionally connected with Raghav after his backstory is revealed. Varun Panga Pandey’s boldness and Aditya’s smartness also impressed me. Though my most favourite character is Salman. He’s bold and believes in tit for tat, many readers would easily relate to his character. 

As far as the story is concerned, it’s compelling! And the doses of twists and turns are unpredictable and move at a very good pace, sure to keep you at the edge and hooked on to the book. 

One of the best dialogues in this book is ‘Dekhna nahi, Karna hai.’ and that actually pretty much sums up the real message behind this book. 

What I didn’t like: 

I didn’t like how Varun and Alisha’s story concludes. I felt Varun was totally wrong for stopping his wife from working and yet he doesn’t seem to be genuinely sorry about it later. There should’ve been incidences where he realizes his mistake. 

LazyScoop Verdict:

I don’t know why but there was a thrilling background score playing in my mind as I kept reading this book. Shows how successful it was to engage me in the narration. 

There are many whistle worthy dialogues and moments in the book too. E.g ‘Ise Prasad Chahiye’ moment, every time the character salman says this dialogue, you jolt up with excitement! ( Is it wierd to whistle with excitement while reading a book? )
Another commendable thing about this book is how the Author has given solution to various national problems which seem practical. It shows how much intelligent the author is and how much research he has done before writing this book. Who could’ve better reviewed the book than Late Mr. Om puri who says it to be- “Thrilling to the core. A must-read.” Kudos to Author Sumit Agarwal, though this being his debut book, he has written it in a way at par with many seasoned Authors. 

Overall The Four Patriots is a thrilling and inspiring story of Patriotism which is not just limited to facebook comments and cricket, Friendship and Romance. The message and the characters stay in your mind even after you finish reading it. 

The Four Patriots, Absolutely recommended by LazyScoop!



Cover: 5/5 Stars

Plot: 5/5 stars

Narrative Style: 4.5/5 stars

Characterization: 5/5 Stars

Entertainment: 4.5/5 Stars

LazyScoop Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 

You can buy this book from this link, for a discounted price of Rs. 65/- Hurry! 

Graveyard Shift Anthology Book Review. 

Today I am going to review the latest release by Half Baked Beans Publishing, ‘Graveyard Shift’ by Manish Mahajan. It’s an Anthology of short stories and as the name suggests the genre is Horror. 

Author: Manish Mahajan

Publishers: Half Baked Beans

Price: 149/- 

Number of pages- 182

Blurb:

At around midnight, I woke up suddenly. A strange sound was coming from nowhere outside in the passage. I sat up dazed. The curtains were a little ajar letting the moonlight to streak in. I got up to investigate where that noise was coming from. The passageway was almost dark, just a single lamp was left switched on for the night. The sound seemed to be coming from one of the rooms. That was strange, I thought, as there was no one else staying on this floor. All of a sudden, something moved behind me. Turning around I got the shock of my life. Some distance away, in that dreary passageway, stood a figure dressed in flowing white robes, staring hard at me.


LazyScoop Review:

Manish Mahajan’s Graveyard Shift is a a complete package of horror and spooky stories to horrify and at the same time amaze you. Each story has been well written and have uncertain twists which mystifies the reader. It comprises of 7 Short Stories and one Poem which successfully scare you. Lets have a look at what I think about each story:

The Appointment:

It’s a horrifying poem with a scary plot. It’s about a friend who is dead but has his appointment scheduled to meet the poet. Does he come back from the dead to meet him? 

Honey, ‘m back!

The first short story from the book starts with a normal tone but later turns into a scary revenge drama. This story is horrifying but seems a little bit unbelievable. But the description of the resort before each scene began did scare me.

Tales in the Train:

An overnight train, and five passengers sharing their personal encounter with ghosts and spirits. This is one of my favorites because it begins with a predictable bollywood style plot but ends with a confounding twist. Also the information about chudails: Pichal peri etc doubles up your curiosity to know more about what the story is going to bring further. 


A Night in the Hastings’s House:

A team of 10 people from the organisation ‘Ghost Hunters Of India’ go to Warren Hasting’s erstwhile Bungalow in Alipore, Kolkata to conduct their paranormal investigation when suddenly things go horribly wrong. I felt this story had the most unique plot and it had a suspense factor which you’ll know when you read the book. The information about who warren Hasting was and some historical information makes the story more believable.


A doll named Wendy: 

How can there be horror story and no mention of one of the most haunted places on earth? Yes, I am talking about Bhangarh Fort. I had read the blurb on the index page and was very keen to read this story. And it lived to my expectation. Its a story about Tara who loves her doll wendy, Saloni a small girl picks up that same doll from Bhangarh, but how come the doll reached there? And what frightening incidents happen between Tara and Saloni for their possessiveness for the doll? Read this book and find out. I enjoyed it, this short story kept me at the edge, and I couldn’t stop but finish it in one go. 

The last wish: 

This story was again horrifying and the narration was written in first person due to which it was even more scarier because we connect with the character and experience the same eeriness which he does in this story. I liked how the main character’s dialogues and narration was written. The whole concept was mysterious, scary and fun to read. Especially the last mirror entering concept was new. ( Not giving any spoilers here!)

The Apartment on the Tenth Floor:

This story is about Ravi and Gaurav, two best friends. How one day Ravi encounters a murder in the opposite building and how his life is gradually changed upside down. Moreover, he sees it eveyday! What’s the mystery behind it? This would be my most favourite story from the book. Because this one is not only scary but has emotional elements too. It is also informative about what crossover means, what does cold room and strange rotten smell indicate, etc Though this is a short story, the writer has not tried to jump from one scene to another. Each incident is well outlined and narrated. 

Betal Pachisi:

Although I knew the basic storyline, I liked how the author has written it from King Vikramaditya’s point of view. As if it’s him narrating the incident. And the details about the encounter with Aghori was indeed scary. 

LazyScoop Verdict:

Overall Graveyard shift is high on entertainment. The author has not only written frightening stories, but also added facts and information about dead world which multiplies the impact of the tales. It gave me sleepless nights. Get your hands on this book if you are fan of the horror genre, and even if you’re not, this book is so good, it will make you one. 

Graveyard Shift Anthology, recommended by LazyScoop!

3.5/ 5 Stars.


You can order the book by clicking here on this link.

Happy Reading. And Happy World Book Day! We readers celebrate it daily with our books. 😉 

Love,

Pratik Jadhav

Turning 24!

Life is interesting, With each passing year it brings with it some wonderful experiences, some of which are experienced for the first time. And those experiences bring along with it some confusion as well as excitement! Here’s my friend Artee Malave, sharing in her own words, an incident which made a flood of questions and thoughts flow in her mind! Some questions every girl turning 24 has to face.

Yes, Turning 24 and preparing myself for the question “Beta, Shaadi kab kar rahi ho?”

Few days back I was having coffee while relaxing on my favourite  swing in the balcony & I heard my mom chatting with some random relative on phone. As soon as she hung up the phone, she ran to me and said “Guess what?” with a huge smile on her face. Seeing the blank expression on my face, she decided to finally tell me that “Mujhe(by that I mean me :D) rishta aaya hai.” For her it was moment of celebration & for me the coffee had suddenly started tasting more bitter! A little bit in trauma, those last words of mom kept repeating in my brain and that sudden realisation of growing up made me feel sick.

Mom later on was busy with her daily chores, I was still in the balcony trying to recover from the incident that has just happened. There were so many thoughts going on in my brain:

Oh my god! Marriage? What about my career!! I don’t even have my dream job yet…I will need few more years to settle down…I have never thought about the kind of guy I want to marry!

Deciding your life partner is a tough task. (I have been through some tough situations like deciding whether Oreo is better or Hide n Seek 😄 ). Lame jokes apart, being born and brought up with a family who gave me enough freedom, will I get the same freedom after marriage? Will I get to meet my friends after marriage too? Will he be okay with my male friends? Will he understand that my career is the most important thing in my life? Will he give me my space? Will he be able to handle my crazy mood swings? Will he understand that I can start dancing absolutely for no reason? ( this one was irrelevant, But I do start dancing when I am bored :D) And the questions poping up in my brain never stopped.

The girl who has been single for 23 years is always a bit confused about the kind of life partner she want, Whether she wants to be with a guy who is introvert or she wants to be with a guy who is extrovert, Whether a guy who stays calm in every situation or is super excited all the time. And, deciding this while offering a plate of samosa is the most difficult thing of all ( i.e Arrange marriage). Arrange marriage has always managed to scare the shit out of me. Everytime the people I know have got married, I always ask them how did they decide that this guy is the one, eveytime I got answers like “it just clicks” ( I wonder whether she married a human or a computer mouse) or “you just have this feeling that he is the one” (still searching …what exactly she meant.)

For me it was scary because I don’t understand how do people get married to the guy who they are not in love with!! Elder’s always say “U will eventually fall in love.” & I always argue “what if we don’t eventually fall in love?”, “what if we start hating each other?”, “what if he is not as interesting as I thought?” I never really got the answer for this questions. May be that’s why the divorce rate is increasing at such high pace. Back to the question, Meeting someone once (or may be twice or thrice) is not sufficient to decide whether you are going to spend rest of the life with this guy!! I know there are various articles on such topics “if guy has this 10 qualities marry him” but does this all really help? not to me atleast. This articles are based on generalisations but every person is different from other. And, my question remains still unanswered.

Evertime you come up with questions relating to Arrange marriage, people out there always suggest you to marry a guy who is rich or has his own flat. Really is having enough money sufficient to decide if He is the one? I always thought it in a different way, I think you should look for things that are going to stay permanent like his behaviour, the way he treats you, the sets of discipline he follows in his life because money is a temporary factor, its very important to know what kind of human being he is!!

Finally I would like to say Marry a guy Who learns with you, trusts you, encourages you and Respects you!!

P.S: –

Please don’t ask me where and how to find such a guy because I am still searching…

Keep Searching,

Artee Malave

UNNS- The Captivation by Sapan Saxena Review. 

What is it about? 

UNNS- The Captivation is a story of Atharva Rathod and Meher Qasim who in their adolescence, fall in love with each other. Their relationship and chemistry are blooming until Meher’s mom finds out about them. Atharva’s world collapses as Meher due to her parents ends the relationship and moves on. But, it’s not that easy for Atharva who just can’t believe that she’s not in love with him anymore. After school, she leaves for Germany and Atharva is left to deal alone with his true feelings. 

15 Years later, Atharva coincidentally encounters her while he is on a secret mission. Memories become alive again, will Meher understand his feelings at least now? But that’s not where the story ends. There are a lot of twists and turns as the story progresses. Will the destiny unite them? Will Atharva be successful in his secret mission? Unns is a mind blowing Story of True Love, Loyalty, Betrayal and Fate. 

 

LazyScoop Review:



Writer Sapan Saxena has woven a beautiful story with enough doses of twists and thrills. I was glued to the book right after the first page because the Teenage romance has been written in a way, that it seems genuine. And when the story shifts from romance to a thrilling drama, you just can’t stop turning the pages. I didn’t want this book to end because I got connected to the character of Atharva and fell in love with Meher myself. And I think that’s a huge success for the Author. 

I thought the story would become predictable in the end but the climax proved me wrong. Last three chapters especially, made me emotional. And the climax of the book amazed me. Sapan Saxena ends the story on the most exquisite note possible!

Another element of the story is it’s pace, it doesn’t allow the reader to be bored. Chapters are not dragged and romance has not just been put for the sake of it. The names of the chapter are kept on 7 Stages of Love in Urdu viz. Hub, Unns, Ishq, Aqeedat, Ibaadat, Junoon and Maut along with Seasons- Basant, Herbst and Winter. And how Atharva and Meher go through these stages is beautifully described in the story. And what these stages mean, you’ll get to know when you read the book. 

If a movie is made out of this book, it would surely be a Blockbuster! (And I hope they make one.)

This book definitely deserves to be on the list of National Bestsellers and I hope each one of you does yourself a favour and buys this gem, because you’ll enjoy the Adolescent love story, twists and thrills, thoroughly! This book has surprised me, as I wasn’t expecting it to be this good. 

UNNS-The Captivation by Sapan Saxena, absolutely recommended by LazyScoop. 

Rating- 4.5/5 Stars

You can buy this book from Amazon with free delivery, hurry up! 

‘The 365 Days’ by Nikhil Ramteke Book Review. 

Hello guys!

Today I’ll be reviewing ‘365 Days’ by Author Nikhil Ramteke.

So before we begin, Here’s the Synopsis from the back of the book cover:

​’This is a story that falls through the crevices of pitiless anonymity, yet miraculously waits to be told. 

Shijukutty, a Malayali fisherman, leaves his tiny hamlet of abject poverty in the coastal village of Vizhinjam on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, that picturesque vignette of searing beauty on the south-western coast of India. Shiju, like millions of other Malayalis, seeks his destiny in Dubai, that gleaming global hub of fortune on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. What unfolds is a stirring story of distilled hardship, exploitation, identity, and friendship, and the heartbreaking choices Shiju is often forced to make. So what he sees is not what he experiences when he lands in a world of glimmering towers, fast-paced life, and unabashed opulence. For what he was not prepared for was the dark underbelly of Dubai beyond the shimmering mirage. 
Shiju’s life is no more the same. But he holds his ground, drawing on ancient instincts of his seafaring ancestry. As things settle down around him, he is inexorably pulled into the canyon of recession… Will Shiju be able to hold on to his dreams? Will he able to pull out himself from the whirlpool? Will he survive against all odds? Will he redeem himself? Nikhil Ramteke unfolds an extraordinary saga about Indian expatriates, their struggles, their alienation, and their dreams. The 365 Days is more than a story of a year in Shijukutty’s life.’

What’s it exactly about?

The 365 days is a story of a fisherman named Shijukutty, who gets inspired by many malyalis from his tiny village Vizhinjam in Thiruvanthapuram, who have become successful and rich by working in Dubai. Thus chasing his dreams, he leaves his wife and son behind for the Hub of fortune, believing that even he will meet his bright kismet.

But much to his disappointment, his dreams gradually get shattered, but not his will. He finds out that behind the glittering city lies a deep dark side which he wasn’t aware of. It’s his journey of making his dreams come true. But what happens when he is faced with challenges? Will those struggles make him quit? A lot can happen in a year, the 356 days is an account of Shijukutty’s one whole life changing year. Find it out by reading it. 


My opinion:

The 365 days by Nikhil Ramteke, is one of the most versatile stories I’ve read in the recent times. It doesn’t follow the quintessential way of writing. The narrative is intriguing and unfolds minor details with perfection. It goes back and forth and keeps you glued to it till the last page. Though this is a fictional account, but Author Nikhil Ramteke has written in a way that it feels like its his story. And that’s not just because he writes in first person, it’s because he makes the characters come alive by making us feel the emotions and things the main character- Shijukutty, has been going through, emotionally as well as mentally. 

  This story will inspire you, it will make you emotional (Not in a melodramatic way), also it will make you realise that challenges are part of life, it’s how we face them, that matters. 

You’ll connect with the character Shiju, you’ll feel his feelings, and the message which you get after you complete reading it, stays with you. 

So, The 365 Days by Nikhil Ramteke, absolutely recommended by LazyScoop. 
LazyScoop Verdict:-

To the plot- 4/5 Stars. 

Narrative- 4/5 Stars

Story- 3.5/5 Stars

Cover page- 3.5/5 Stars.

Overall Rating– 4.5/Stars

This is a book you won’t regret buying, and after you complete it, the story will stay with you making you ponder about life and dreams. 

You can buy this must read book by hitting this Amazon link at a discounted price of Rs. 138/- 

Happy Reading! And Happy Holi in Advance. 
Love,

Pratik Jadhav

Why so sexist? 

We can’t neglect the sexism which exists in the society today. Judging people based on their gender is one of the most distasteful and lame things you can do. No, not everyone does it. But there are many. Most of them are uneducated or have been raised with such pathetic thinking such as girls can do this, boys can do that…and so on. 

You may find many articles about feminism and ways of tackling sexism towards women. However, even men face such sexism and yet hardly people talk about it. For eg- From an early age men are told not to cry. “Crying is a trait of women.”

So today I thought about writing on this sensitive topic, which I don’t expect every person to understand. Only a few sensible people would agree upon that.

We human beings go through a number of emotions every day, some of them are sadness, anger, happiness, love etc and each of this emotion needs to be expressed properly to avoid emotional and mental instability, irrespective if you are a Girl, Boy or a Transgender

Anger is associated with sadness. When a person is hurt, he feels sad, and this emotion comes out with crying. When you tell a kid, he should not cry and be a man(because of your lame sexist thinking), every time the kid feels sad, instead of crying he curbs that emotion, and that emotion comes out in the form of Anger. Because emotions always come out, if not in present, in future for sure. And thus it continues forever, As the kid grows up he becomes more and more short tempered, he avoids crying, and even he starts believing that crying is a sign of weakness. He becomes short tempered because he can’t express his sadness the way it was meant to be- i.e crying. I am not talking about crying for every other small stuff, but yeah, if a boy cries for small reasons, even then he can’t be told to be a MAN. Because being a man has nothing to do with crying. Go and consult a physician if you are in doubt.  

Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, etc we all have seen them cry, in the news reports on tv. 

Sanjay Dutt cried in the media when talking about his jail term. 

Salman Khan cried at Rajat Bharjatya’s funeral. He couldn’t hide his tears at Om Puri’s Funeral too.

Aamir has cried in every Satyamev Jayate episode, even the news channel played his videos of wiping tears during Bajrangi Bhaijaan premier. 

So is any of them less of a man? Go and ask their respective wives and kids. 
It’s not just me who thinks so. There are many who share similar thinking as mine. I found these brilliant pictures uploaded by facebook page- Inspirational Quotes. I saved all of them. I request you to read each one of them. 

” Men don’t love, they lust.”

“PINK? You are wearing pink! Sheeh. Ladki hai kya?”

“Gossiping is so girly!!”

“Be a man! Stop crying like a girl.”

“Mard ko darrd nahi hota?”

Not feeling pain is a dangerous disorder, called as Congenital insensitivity. If you are marrd, bang your head on a wall, if you don’t feel any pain, you are pretty much suffering from this disorder.

“A man should always pay for women.”

Why? Women don’t earn? Women are equally stable mentally, socially, financially as men are! 

“All men are the same.”

You see? All men have different body structures. Different faces. Different minds. Different upbringing. 

If all men are the same, why aren’t all men rich like Anil Ambani? Or why are they not terrorists like Osama? Coz every person is different, whether its a male or a female. 

And finally, the most important thing, there are too many perverts out there in the world. Men who stare women with lusty eyes, pass on cheap comments, harass them, etc. but it is also a fact that all men are not the same.
There are men who respect women, who are not afraid to show their emotions, who know that men, women and transgenders are Equal
So please, if you see someone in your family or friends repeating those male-female sexist clichés, mock them! Hope this article impacts the message it wants to convey on to your minds. Don’t be afraid to convey it to the sexists you see around. Thank you. 

Love,

Pratik Jadhav