Book Review | Based on Lies: Unhinged by Debarshi Kanjilal

Book Cover: Based on Lies

Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Format:  Kindle
Language: English 

It’s been two years since the Based on Lies: Crimes of Love had released. I remember writing about it (the review for which is available on this blog) within days of reading the novella. The first installment of the Based on Lies saga ended on a cliffhanger and left many its readers like me curious. The second part of the book, which is now finally out, released in May 2020, doesn’t waste much time in antiques and hits the ground running right from the start.

The second part, Based on Lies: Unhinged, which is basically the climax of the novella, starts with conversations between Anurag and his therapist. And through these series conversations, the readers get a little sneak-peek into the backstories of the characters, which was one of the elements missing in the first part. How did Anurag and Aditi meet? The books answers it in a precise manner.

Film Review | Maska : Sweet and Nostalgic

Poster of Maska

I have a thing for movies with happy endings. That is precisely the reason why, growing up, I have always loved Bollywood films. Because I knew, no matter what happens during the film, at the end the good will prevail over evil, sanity will win over insanity, peace will triumph over disharmony, and everything will be all right.

While I have developed a taste for various other genres, styles, and treatments in films, the ones with happy endings still hold a special place in my heart. 

That pretty much answers why I loved Maska, despite the film not-so-encouraging reviews. Broadly speaking, I loved the film for its simplicity and innocence.   


The film, Maska, which is a Netflix original, opens with Diana, played convincingly by cheerful and bubbly Manisha Koirala, who runs an Irani Café named Café Rustom, wants her son, Rumi, played by Prit Kamani, to take over the family business after completing his college. However, Rumi has other career plans and is not interested to take over the responsibly of the café and suggests selling the café instead. The mother, of course, isn’t convinced and that is the conflict on which the film rests on. 

Book Review: Controversially Yours by Shoaib Akhtar

Cover: Controversially Yours | Picture credit: Amazon

The book, Controversially Yours, an autobiography of one of Pakistan’s legendary fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, co-written by Anshu Dogra, released in 2011 which instantly created a stir in the media because its controversial contents, is a fascinating read. 

And if you have been a fan of the Rawalpindi Express ever since he started playing international cricket, this book will intrigue you even more.

I remember picking up this book one evening from a bookstore in Bangalore, in 2014, when I visited the garden city for work. I was due to travel to Kolkata in the next couple of days. I had booked a train ticket, which meant I had to be on the road for twenty-eight hours at least. So, like I always do, I decided to carry a book along with me. If not anything else, it could at least help kill the boredom of travelling alone in a train.

Film Review | Dwitiyo Purush by Srijit Mukherji

Dwitiyo Purush poster | P.C. SVF
Mounting a film like Dwitiyo Purush, a sequel of one of the most successful movies in the previous decade, Baishe Srabon, released in 2011, is never easy. While one must remain true to the cinematic universe of the previous film and ensure you are careful with all minute details regarding timelines and character sketches, it also comes with enormous burden of audience expectation. Comparisons are bound to happen and as a writer you must keep that in mind. 

By now, we, the movie going audience in Bengal, can safely say that Srijit Mukherji looks at home when he's making thrillers. I personally believe he understands the genre better than most of writers/directors we currently have in India today.

However, at the very outset, I must let the cat out of the bag: Dwitiyo Purush is by no means a perfect piece of art. Though there was no dearth of eventful moments in the film, given the number of murders that happen during its run time, I got a feeling the plot was dragging itself towards the all-important climax, and until that time, the characters simply existed and went on with their lives. The last thirty minutes is when the film comes alive. And, it feels almost deliberate from the part of the director to keep it that way before the big reveal happens in the climax.

Book Review | Democracy's XI: The Great Indian Cricket Story by Rajdeep Sardesai

Front Cover : Democracy's XI
Genre: Biography 
Hardcover: 371 pages
Language: English 

I was one of the people who was present at the Calcutta Club on November 2017 for the Kolkata-launch of the Democracy’s XI, The Great Indian Cricketing History, written by Rajdeep Sardesai. Besides the author, who is also a renowned journalist based out of Delhi, the other two people present at the event were former India captain, Sourav Ganguly and the famous cricket historian, Boria Majumder, who was also the moderator for the evening. It was a memorable 2-hour in which a lot of cricket stories related to various players including Sourav and his teammates were shared.

One of the things you can look to do at a book launch event is to get your personal copy signed by the author. I, being no exception, got my copy signed by Rajdeep Sardesai at the end of the event. However, I didn’t read the book straightaway. It was there, lying around on the shelf for some time before I could get to it finally after a few months.

The book, as the cover pretty much gives away what it is all about, is a collection of short biographies about eleven Indian cricketers who, according to the writer, made a mark during their tenure as a player and changed the course of cricketing history in India.