Sunday 2 August 2015

Review of Not Totally Unbelievable

Name of the Book – Not Totally Unbelievable
Author – Vibhuti Bhandarkar
Publisher – Frog Books
Price – Rs. 95

The last 2 months have just passed me by; with my son on vacation , I hardly had any time to read and write. I missed that, but in the process made so many new memories with him that I can’t complain. Motherhood is the best thing to have happened to me  and I am sure Vibhuti would agree  since she has two kids of her own!!

The author of “Not Totally Unbelieveable” and I connected through Facebook. As time went by we exchanged numbers and connected through Whatsapp too….This is Vibhuti’s first published collection of stories for young adults and I must say it is an interesting read…One of the few books that I finished in one sitting…Below is the detailed review.

Blurb -

Lin delves into her knowledge of the magical powers of the Tisane to solve the problem that her elder sister Liu is facing at The Lingnan Tea House. Dereck has accidentally slipped into a seemingly unending black hole while trekking in the Black Forests of Germany. His whole life flashes before his eyes as he travels down the dark tunnel. Once out in broad daylight, he is surprised to be alive and shocked to find himself in India. One evening a teenager looks up from the book she is reading and finds a phantom staring her in the face, floating between her mother's white roses, just a few steps away from her. On another day Daddy's bike journey once again very mysteriously comes to a similar end like always, almost like a decree from God. From Meera, a young teenager, life seems to have always turned a deaf ear towards her. One day she finally decides to step off into oblivion. She goes unheard. 'Not Totally Unbelievable' is a collection of 10 short stories narrating the extra-ordinary experiences in the lives of the seemingly most ordinary people from the Occident, Orient and India. These pieces of fiction are essentially true stories that will compel one to believe in the mysterious, magical powers and forces around us, within us. 

What I feel -

This book was a welcome break for me; it was actually like a breath of fresh air on a hot summer day. Reading the novel  Aarushi was making me very emotional, every line was tugging at my heart strings and there I see Vibhuti’s book in my mailbox and jump at the chance of reading something that will divert my mind.

When I began the book I just stared at the words and marveled at the use of language - Simple and appropriate, the book had my attention! All  the 10 stories in the book appealed to me, but I especially liked - At the Lingnan Tea House, Trekking through time, A little thing called love, Ninny and The Wordsmith.

At the Lingnan Tea House - I liked the author’s use of narration, description and dialoges. The way she has described the love between the two sisters – Lin and Liu and the way they  look out for each other is done very subtly, but is so strong that you can feel it in the narrative. I actually felt I was sitting there at the Lingnam Tea House sipping tea!

Trekking through time - This story shocked me. I never expected the ending to be like that! Here I am making up my own story about Dereck and all of a sudden it all goes up in flames….Interesting ending. You have to read it to know what I am talking about.

A little thing called love - This story just pulled at my heart strings and a few tears escaped my eyes It may be a simple story that has been told many times before, but the way the author has handled he subject is nice….the little details showing disappointment, heartache, concern and love are well written.

Ninny - I love the jab at the Educational system. Being a teacher, I know how harmful words can be and how they can discourage and demotivate a child. Ninny’s feelings, his belief in himself, the support from his family, his inquisitive mind and the way he rises above it all is well described in this story. If you are looking for a story with a message…this is one!

The Wordsmith Suma has dreams and I like the way she works towards making them come true. I like her sense of observation, the way she deals with the devil in her head and yes, I loved the ending. I just wasn’t expecting something like that!

The author, Vibhuti Bhandarkar does have a unique style of writing, along with a good understanding of the English language.4 years have passed since she wrote this book and I am sure that she has now honed her skills further and is ready to share her new book with the world. Keep on writing Vibhuti…You are blessed with the wonderful gift of weaving interesting and heart touching stories!


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