Blog Tour: Surpanakha by Hariharan Iyer

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About the Book:

Educated, young, no-nonsense bearing, able administrator—these are the qualities that won Sesha the loyalties of the people after three years of rule as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. An allegation that he was the mastermind behind the murder of 73 Kannadigas threatens to bring him down but he is miraculously saved in the 11th hour.

Even before he can relish his victory, Sesha is slapped with the charge of sexually offending a young nurse. This time round, the case is strong and his supporters are uncertain. Worse, his teenage daughter calls him ‘vile’ and walks out of the house. While Mythili, his wife promises her full support, her secretive activities—undertaken with the help of a retired cop—is a cause of concern for Sesha.

Will Zarina, the human-rights activist, succeed in bringing him down? What about the insinuations of a celebrity lawyer that he is casteist and antiminorities? When the young nurse is found dead, the case becomes even more complex. Who is innocent? Who is guilty? And who is the mastermind?


 Buy Links:

Links for downloading e-books: Amazon India | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Links for ordering paperbacks: Amazon India | Flipkart


Surpanakha Slides


 Excerpt :

A dim yellow light in the background enabled the viewers to get a silhouette of the girl. Perhaps there was a fan beyond the camera frame that ruffled her curly hair mildly, and her hand moved involuntarily to put it back in order. The yellow line over the edges of her shoulder and arms implied a somewhat plump figure. She was wearing a sleeveless top or kurta.

“Sesha had never stared at me like that. In fact, I doubt whether he had noticed me properly at all. He would enter the room and I would walk out. There was never a chance. But then, that night was perhaps different. He had always seen me in churidar-kurta. That night since I had gone to sleep, I was wearing a nightgown…a sleeveless one.

“He asked if I could serve him dinner. The cook had left. She generally left for her home on Saturday evenings and returned the next night. I agreed. He returned to the dining table after changing. I had laid out the dinner. He then took out a bottle of red wine and poured two glasses. That was a surprise. I had never seen him taking alcohol. Perhaps his wife’s accident and her long illness had disturbed him emotionally. He offered me a glass. I hesitated. But he insisted. So as not to offend him, I took the glass and sipped the drink.” She seemed to move uncomfortably in her chair.

Catherine volunteered, “You don’t need to describe it further if you don’t want to. I know how painful it would be.”

The girl took a long breath and replied, “Hmm…I’ll talk. Painful indeed. But I’ve braved it over the last two years. Jesus has made me strong. After clearing the table, I was returning to my room. Intuitively, I felt he was following me. I was scared to look back. I paced faster towards the room. But a couple of feet before my room, I felt he was too close to me. I turned back to object. Since he was too close, he fell over me. He propped me against the wall and before I could realise what was happening, he kissed me on my lips…”

Her voice choked. Catherine extended a glass of water and the girl’s hand extended from the hazy dark background. The fingers that wrapped the glass, which was outside the darkened area, were white and the nails were well manicured. She sipped the water, cleared her throat and resumed.

“He walked me to the next room and sat me on the bed. He knelt down before me, held my face in his hands and said that I looked beautiful. I was benumbed by the suddenness of his advance. He ran his fingers over my forehead, my eyes and cheeks and then through the neck down to…the whole thing was inappropriate. An affront. I realised he was exploiting my numbness. Anger surged in me. I pushed him aside, jumped out of the bed and ran to my room. I closed the door behind me and slouched against it. My whole body shivered. Unable to sleep, scared that he might forcefully enter the room again, I sat against the door and remained awake the whole night.”

Catherine handed the girl another glass of water.


Character Sketch:

Sesha:

Mergers, acquisitions, valuation, EBIDTA-multiple—these were the words in his vocabulary till he met Ramanamurthy, the ailing Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York in 2007. A meeting that would change the course of his life from that of a successful investment banker to the most controversial Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

When Ramanamurthy offered him the job of an advisor, no one took offence. When he inducted Sesha in his cabinet, there were a few murmurs. But when he chose Sesha as his successor, all hell broke loose.

There was a silent revolt against him in the party. He was not in the race at all. He had all the disqualifications: Brahmin; no political experience; no support from the party; too young.

Media too did not take his entry lightly. For them, he was an outsider. To make matters worse, he did not even make an attempt to befriend them. He did not throw lavish late night parties nor did he shower state courtesies on them. He was very different from the Dravidian politicians the media had been used to. He was too young compared to all his predecessors; he wore smart casuals instead of the typical white full-sleeved shirt and dhoti that were the trademark of Tamil Nadu politicians; he was not an atheist with a particular dislike only for Hindu Gods as had become fashionable among Dravidian politicians. As a result, the more charitable among the journalists felt he was indifferent while others concluded that he was downright arrogant.

But then the people of Tamil Nadu did not have any preconceptions. They judged him by his achievements. And he had no dearth of achievements—better roads, 24×7 power, water for every village, improved health facilities…

Soon he becomes the darling of the masses. And continues to be so. Till the Cauvery water dispute blows up.

Karnataka defies a court verdict and stops releasing water. His wife Mythili meets with a serious accident and undergoes a major surgery when mindless retaliatory violence in Chennai leaves 73 Kannadigas working in a chain of Udupi restaurants dead.

Zarina, who was a witness to the killing of a group of Kannadigas, charges him with complicity in the massacre. After a protracted legal battle, the court declares him innocent. But before he could heave a sigh of relief…

A sexual harassment charge surfaces.

A nurse who took care of Mythili two years ago alleges molestation by Sesha. Zarina fights her case. Media teams up with her. His own supporters desert him. The chorus for his resignation gets louder. Evidence against him piles up.

He is isolated.

Will he ever be able to prove his innocence? Who is with him this time?

Teaser Sesha1

 


 

About The Author:

Image4Hariharan Iyer is a finance professional based in Dar es Salaam. Not content with just a rewarding corporate job, he took to writing a couple of years back. He blogged on media and current affairs for a year at valadyviews.blogspot.com before hitting on the idea for this novel. An idea so powerful that it convinced the accountant in him that he could put together not just a balance sheet but an intriguing political thriller as well.He has definite views on politics, NGOs and media ethics and has tried to package them in the form of an interesting novel.

Hariharan lives with his wife in Dar es Salaam while his two sons are pursuing their ambitions in India.


Contact Hariharan:

Facebook | Twitter | Blog


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Book Review: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

“’I hate you’ she said to me one afternoon. ‘I really, really hate you.’ Call me sensitive, couldn’t help but take it personally.”

4137My Rating: *2.5 Stars*

I tell you what, how about you give a brief look at the book jacket. You see that review by OBSERVER?

It states: ‘A humorist par excellence, he can make Woody Allen appear ham-tongued, Oscar Wilde a drag’

Well, that statement that you just read is a joke, a bad joke! I lost faith in humanity after reading this book because of that statement.

Seriously you compared a guy, who I didn’t know exist with Woody Allen and Oscar Wilde? Well good! But then you called both of these amazing people ham-tongued and a drag? Are you shitting me? And compared them with this person? Why oh why?

Okay I’m not gonna exaggerate, the book is just fine, but why did I read this book? Ya, because I wanted to read some humorous stuff. Total waste of time and I was expecting it to be hilarious, but it wasn’t. That is it!

I really don’t care about David Sedaris. I really don’t. What I read in this book is a story of a self-indulgent, pretentious white male, ghh!!!

Okay so hi there! you are a book lover? you want to read a good book? something humorous? do you have a whole lot of time? or you don’t have?

Whatever be your reason don’t read this, total waste. I won’t recommend this book.

If you literally want to read some fun stuff, if you want a good laugh and want some good dosage of humor. Then please go read Oscar Wilde and Woody Allen, I assure you they will make you laugh, they’ll tell you something fun. And you’ll actually enjoy.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: One Day by David Nicholls

“So – whatever happened to you?’
‘Life. Life happened.”

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My Rating: *3 Stars*

When did I read this book? hmm…3 years back first semester break, the time when I was 18. I remember I had nothing good to do and then I decided to buy, guess what? , some romance novels.

So I got this book, one Julie James book(which was awesome) and few mills & boon(when I sent the pictures of what all I bought one of my friend literally asked me after seeing those mills and boon books “Why did you buy condoms?”, I know *sigh*). Don’t judge I was feeling lonely and hormonal.

Back to this book.

If you want to smile, laugh, cry, cringe, sigh or just plain sit on a roller-coaster of emotions, then read this book.

Okay few things I really loved, few things not so much.

Well, not my favorite book but then the story is rare and entertaining.

The best part of this book? Emma, yes the female lead. She was nerdy(and I love nerdy people), funny(in a weird way), down-to-earth and amazing person.

Dexter? I didn’t like him at first. I don’t like bad guys and he was seriously not a nice guy. So, it took me some time to actually like him and then came the end. I hated him for most of the part.

The book in itself is cheesy and then Dexter made it corny. This is not true love thing because I have no idea how can people live with such denial, and lies for so many years. It’s kinda degrading.

Well the guy in this book, remind me of someone I know and seriously I can’t understand these people. I don’t know what they get out of cheating on so many people.

Cheesy? Because again a story, where the guy is totally fucked up and then he realize that the girl who was there all along is “The One” and then he turn himself into this amazing loving person(Ya that story) and they end up together.

“You can live your whole life not realizing that what you’re looking for is right in front of you.”

The end.

I didn’t like this book very much because I totally detest this kind of man.So, I’m biased here.

I won’t recommend this book, you can read it if you want(you can definitely read, don’t listen to me. I’m getting old) . Yes, you can totally watch the movie, One Day (It’s better).

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Why did I add this picture? because well two beautiful people. Duh!

Update:

This song totally reminds of this book, so here it is, “Say You Love Me” by Jessie Ware

Music Nook: Ten Thousand Years Won’t Save Your Life by Hammock

I forgot to post Saturday music post. This song that I’m sharing today is by Hammock. They are amazing. I listen to this song often, mostly when I go out for walks at night and that is daily (yes I’m bragging that I go on walks at night because that is awesome.)

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I love this song, totally what I call music for soul. It’s a beautiful track. I hope you also enjoy it.

Song: Ten Thousand Years Won’t Save Your Life

Album: Departure Songs

Artist: Hammock

So here it is “Ten Thousand Years Won’t Save Your Life by Hammock:

You can know more about hammock by clicking on the links down below, btw enjoy!

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YouTube . Wikipedia

Book Review : Effortless( Thoughtless #2) by S.C. Stephens

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My Rating : *3 Stars*

You can read review of the first book of this series here : Thoughtless(Thoughtless #1)

Synopsis:

After being caught in the middle of a love triangle that led to a devastating betrayal, Kiera pledged to learn from the mistakes she made. She was determined to never again inflict that kind of pain on anyone, especially the soulful, talented man who held her heart. But life offers new challenges for every relationship, and when Kiera’s love is put to the ultimate test, will it survive? Love is easy; trust is hard.

Review:

In Effortless now that Denny is out of the picture, Kiera and Kellan continue their journey together.

This is the book, which made me read the first book and then the whole series.

This book is better than the first one, Kiera is bit grown up now, she learned her lesson( very difficult person).

I really enjoyed Kellan in the first book, and I enjoyed him in this book as well. It is good to catch up with D-Bags, they are great (I really hate the band name). And also they are making it big this time, at least their journey to make their band big, starts here in this book.

I liked those phone calls from Denny, that showed he still care, even after what happened with him.

But again…Kiera and Kellan are in the position in which Kiera and Denny were in last book…

As they say “Love is easy, trust is hard.”

Okay I should stop here, if I say anything further it’s going to be a spoiler!

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* To know more details about this book and to know the hell I’m talking about check my review of Thoughtless(Thoughtless #1)

Book Review : Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde

“In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

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My Rating : *4 Stars*

Reading Oscar Wilde book means life is perfect. He’s my favorite  and guess what he never disappoint, I mean never!

I enjoyed this play, Oscar Wilde’s plays are worth reading, they are thought provoking , witty and have well crafted characters and wonderfully written dialogues, which I think everyone can enjoy.

Oscar Wilde is a genius and his wit’s never bore me and every time I read his books I enjoy them very profoundly. My favorite being “The Importance of Being Earnest ” and “The Picture of Dorian Grey “. However every book that I read written by him becomes my favorite. I’m not kidding!

Reading Oscar Wilde is always amazing. That being said, I suggest you to read his books, if you haven’t and let me tell you’re missing something brilliant here.

This play is about a good woman(ya) and is a social comedy. This play pokes fun of the social expectations. Hypocrisy in this play is an important component and lies an important tool to avoid conflicts. It’s a moral play about immoral people.

4 stars because I could not connect to all the characters, as they were so many and I don’t like too many characters in a book, but that is my problem.

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Some quotes from the book:

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

“It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.”

“I talk so trivially about life because I think that life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it.”

“What is a cynic?…A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

“Ideals are dangerous things. Realities are better. They wound, but they’re better.”

And I loved this one:

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

By the way you can watch the play here: