Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Review - When She Smiled


Mrityunjoy Roy is a fifteen year old Bengali who has spent the last ten years of his life growing up in Shimla. While his family is academically oriented, he wants something more.

Finally he meets Akanksha in school, who turns his world upside down with her gorgeous looks and mind boggling smile.

As fate would have it, she joins his tuition, and thus begins the torrid year of puppy love, romance, heartbreak, tragedy, and self-discovery. Set among the scenic Shivalik hills of Shimla when mobile phones and internet were non-existent, this is a story of how an average young teenager comes to terms with his destiny.

About author

Ritoban Chakrabarti is an entrepreneur, Internet Marketer, Author, Avid Movie Buff and Producer. Ritoban is an entrepreneur who ran an internet marketing company for five years, before trying his hand at writing. His first novel, When She Smiled, is a coming-of-age fiction released in December 2014. He is an avid traveller, and believes in a life without boundaries.


The book starts with the teenager’s description about his current day and few of his past experiences, which few might find it bit slow-paced. His description of the 1st day of school where he has returned after a gap of 2 years, his giving tough time to his mom, his bonding with his siblings, etc touches a cord, as all have gone through that phase. Like all academically oriented parents, who want their kids to excel in academics like them while kids want to do something different, Mrityunjoy Roy, the protagonist struggles to meet up his parents expectations and also lead life of his own.

Akanksha, the most beautiful girl, he has ever laid eyes on enters his life and he is captivated by her beauty and dimpled smile. His life turns topsy-turvy as he tries all possible ways to impress her.

What I liked most is the simple way the book describes a teenager life, his emotions, his struggles, his grief, his confusion, in other words all the emotions that usually creates turmoil in a regular teenager’s life. This story is set in era where having a car or eating in hotel was a luxury, where internet and mobiles were not existent, where kids from rich and wealthy families were given pocket money and where importance was given to academics rather than extra-curricular activities. The ending of story, especially was what I liked the most, as it is different from all the usual ‘love stories’ and that justifies the title of the book “When she Smiled”.

What I initially didn't like was the first few pages, which appeared to be bit slow-paced. But otherwise the book is a good read, which takes us back to era where life was not that mechanical, where technology has not taken precedence over humans, where family values were important.

Book name: When She Smiled
Author: Ritoban Chakrabarti
Total number of pages: 217
Cost: Rs 215
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
ISBN No 978-93-84878-25-2

Published By: Notion Press

Where we can buy the book from

When She Smiled now available on all major online stores:

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

E-book or Paperback - which one you prefer?

Kindle or Paperbacks?

Last year when I won Tornado book giveaway, my long forgotten passion raised its head & claimed my attention, reading which was my favorite hobby, had somewhat got laid back while attending daily chores of my life. 

My hands were itching to write about this topic as that was the 1st time I was introduced to e-books and I wanted to share my experience.

I fell in love with books, ever since I can remember. I loved the smell of new books, its crisp printed pages, it's hard bound or colorful cover. Ask any book lover why and what they love and you’ll see a twinkle in their eyes while describing their 1st love.

Don't we all do it?

In the days when technology was not that advanced, people used to satisfy their thirst for knowledge, their hunger of reading, by reading books – hard backs, paperbacks, journals etc. adorned their bookshelves. They displayed their treasure with pride to their friends and fellow book lovers. They used to take care of their collections as prized possessions.

For a book lover or a voracious reader, a room full of books was like a jackpot; various authors, various genres, various shapes and size, some bought at a throw away price at some sale, some bought by waiting in queue for hours before its release… those were the days and those were the life we lived.

My Treasure 
But now, with the advent of new technologies, slowly people are moving from paperbacks to e-books. Gone were the days when you needed a big room or space to store your 1000 books. In today’s scenario, 1000s of books can be stored in a laptop or kindle. You need not carry all the bulk in your backpack while on move. 1 laptop or kindle is all you need, which is light in weight and can easily fit in your purse or bag.

Easy to carry-Kindle

But I would like to ask all book-lovers 1 question…

Personally which one do you prefer e-book or paperback?

When I asked this question to some of my friends the answer I got was – we like the old fashioned way of reading; Paperback anytime and all-time favorite of everyone.

Though e-books are easy to carry and store, it can't be replaced or compared to the feel 1 gets while reading a book. You don’t get the satisfaction of reading, while sprawling on your bed or sofa, the folding of the right-hand corner of the page to bookmark or getting the various colorful bookmarkers when you don’t want to spoil the crisp pages of your new book, exchange of books with your friends etc. etc. These little moments of joy or satisfaction are missed while reading an e-book.

Even though I have now read few e-books I just don’t get the satisfaction of having read a book. The joy of having read a book or of having completed an e-book is missing.

After having read this some will label me as old fashioned, but I know many will agreed with me.

Though carrying an e-book might be a convenient option for a person on move but I love to carry a book, no matter even if am able to carry only 1 on a month long tour, I love my paperbacks.

So, if given an option - e-books or paper back, which one would, all bookworms choose? Protection Status

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Journey from OR to AND

Often we women are stereotyped in one or other form of labels. She is either just a housewife or a daughter or mother… what about her own identity??? What about her other qualities??? Why should a daughter forego her duties towards her parents after her marriage? A working women is always labeled as a working women, inspite of the fact that she manages her home AND her work. A work from home women is never taken seriously as she works from home, as she never ventures out. A woman can be a daughter AND a mom AND a chocolatier AND a blogger AND lots more of other roles. Why stereotype women in only 1 role???

Gillette along with Blogadda introduced a activity called #UseyourAnd which truly inspires women to break free from the stereotype casting of the labels and proudly showcase their identity using And.

I was always used of being labeled just as my parent’s daughter. After marriage, so-and-so’s wife or daughter-in-law. After my daughter was born, I was labeled as her mom. I was tired being labeled or referred as Prerna’s mom, or Rajesh’s wife or Ravi and Saroj’s daughter. It was like I don’t have my own identity. That’s when I was introduced to the blogging world by my best friend. And I decided to be a blogger, just so that I can express myself as and how I like.

It is always little difficult to take a stand, as in our country after marriage a girl always has to follow the duties of a daughter-in-law and forget all her relations and friends and ties before her marriage. When I started to write, I was always reprimand that I am neglecting my kid and I need to choose either to be a mom OR a blogger. Why is that it's always we women who has to choose from either of the roles? Finally one fine day, I woke from my deep slumber and told myself, to take hold of my life’s steering and don the labels of my life with pride.

So I proudly say I am a daughter AND a Mom AND a blogger AND freelance content writer.

Letting others take control of our life is easy but taking back that control is really tough.

The icing on cake was, few days back when my parents had gone to our native place for some work, one of my college professor chanced to meet them. He was the one who came upto them and asked “Aren’t you Aparna’s parents? I am her chemistry professor. She was one of my best and brightest student”. For next half hour he just enquired about how his once favorite student is faring in life. That really made my day memorable and my parents proud.

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“. Protection Status

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