There are college romances, thrillers,  crime episodes and so much more.  However, rarely do writers attempt to weave a story around addiction, be it of any kind. The reality remains that there are various kinds of addiction that have gripped the society and more than the addict reaching out for help,  people near and around him/her need to keep a close watch on how far the addiction might take the patient.

This story revolves around Siddharth, the things he is addicted to and how this addiction takes over him completely. A guy, who would come across as a regular young college or working person and seemingly harmless actually has a side to his personality that only he's aware of.  And while trying to get rid of the addictions, he only delves deeper in its folds further ruining himself and his life. As a reader progresses with the story,  they get hints from the writer, subtle and easily overlooked, of what our protagonist is actually going through or suffering from. And slowly as the end approaches, the reality breaks through and pieces together.

The plot is relatively fresher than the other novels flooding the markets currently. This one is more like a psychological thriller once you complete it. In fact, so much that you read in one chapter starts making sense as the next chapter approaches. The characters seem real and kind of those people you meet in your day to day life,  nothing different or extraordinary, yet with something brewing inside each of them.

However, the essence of the novel is addiction and the failure to diagnose the extent it may affect someone's life and personality. The writer has done justice to this and the story line brings this out rather beautifully. No threads are left loose and each character blends in with the plot.

Overall, it makes for a good read, fast and refreshing, leaving an imprint in your mind long after you've finished reading it!
Some books have the ability to convey a lot more than just the plot or story and they do that in a rather implicit manner. As you read along, the story not only involves you but your mind also begins making comparisons between the characters and people you know in real life. The Coffee and the Cola is one such rare book.

The story is that of Rahul and is journey of finding a companion. He meets Radha, a young ambitious girl with a head as well as a few responsibilities on her shoulder, through a matrimonial website. Finding each other compatible, the two begin meeting regularly and gradually decide to marry each other. However, their engagement is delayed for quite a few reasons which creates a rift between them. And in comes Nora, a fun and jovial person, who brings in the colors and vivacity that were missing in Rahul's life. Just as the two are getting along comfortably with each other, Radha makes a comeback and Rahul finds himself in a fix. While not wanting to hurt either, he ends up doing exactly that.

The plot of this novel might sound that of a regular romantic triangle, it is the storytelling that is compelling and the indepth character analysis that pulls you in. Radha portrays the strong and addictive coffee that grown on you with every sip, while Nora is a cola, with its quirk and effervescence that leaves you thrilled and chilled. The way the characters are revealed, layer by layer, you, as the reader, can relate more to them and would even begin drawing inferences from real life people around you. You would even begin categorizing the women around as coffee or cola, depending on your perception and experience with them.

I'd not say that the story is exceptional, but the way of story telling is truly different and not another run-of-the-mill type. It engrosses you from the word go and keeps you hooked till the very end. I read this book in one go within 3 hours and still am connecting dots in the story. For, you see, not every detail is told there, there are plenty that the reader would connect for themselves.

A fun and light read with an amazing narration, it's hard to believe that this is the author's first novel. A perfect debut, it has something for every age group.

Go for it, is my verdict :)
There are very few who have attempted the genre of combining a bygone era with fiction and even fewer who have been able to hold the fort there. The Dawn at Dusk is one such story which attempts to combine the two and takes the reader to the 8th century when casteism had begun wreaking havoc on the society.

Shatvari is a beautiful brahmin girl who has everything going for her. While training in classical music, she imparts knowledge to a shudra boy, who begins harbouring special feelings for her. However, her alliance is fixed to another brahmin boy who is also her teacher's son. While life flows beautifully, there's a tragic twist that turns her life upside down. Even before she can grapple with what happened, the society conspires against her and throw her into the shamshans where chandaals reside. Thus begins her quest for revenge, a journey in which her son is included, albeit unwillingly.

In a parallel storyline, the Yaduvanshis and the Raghuvanshis are gearing to gain more kingdoms under their control. Their methods include unwarranted attacks as well as deceit. To avenge the wrongs done to his kingdom and people and save them from future attacks, the young Nishaad king Neel goes to the enemy state to know their weak points. However, destiny has other plans and the two kingdoms join hands against the enemies. Meanwhile, there are other characters interwoven in these two parallel stories who eventually come together as the story unfolds towards the climax. The bits and pieces are put together while Shatvari remains devoted to her cause of avenging the wrongs that the society leashed on her and her son.

This is an extremely complex tale of social agitation that brought about unrest among the suppressed. Every character has a unique aspect and contribution to the story, without which the entire puzzle would remain unsolved. The background is deep set in the 8th century and lends more realism to this story. It is the ease and flow of words by the author that make this complex tale interesting and read-worthy.

A tale told well, this is a good read for those looking for something different from the regular romances and love stories. While set in a different era, the stories and its characters keep you engrossed as you turn the pages. Pick it up if you're looking for something different.