Posts Tagged 'Ahmed Faiyaz'

Down the Road Hyderabad Launch

Down the Road was launched on Saturday at Hyderabad. I had been a nervous wreck during the launch of Urban Shots, thankfully on Saturday I was much calmer (looks like experience counts here too :) ).

Unveiling the book 'Down the Road'

Kunal & Ahmed

The launch was fun, had a few interesting conversations with the people attending. And I had my first chat with a reporter. Talked with a lady from Indian Express, and she asked me a lot of questions. I saw the article on the Indian Express website and even though my name has been printed incorrectly, I’ve been quoted extensively. Feels good :D

The post-launch dinner session with friends was a perfect end. The book “Down the Road” is about the good old school/college days and I was able to relive the exact same emotions thanks to a mini-reunion with friends from alma-mater (courtesy the book launch). Had such an awesome dinner at our favourite dhaba – Needs that when people asked me about the launch I replied with the number of Alu-Parathas and Lassi we had.

That is the power of any campus – you forget everything else. Hope this book does the same with the readers. And hope this book too becomes a bestseller :)

Buy ‘Down the Road’ from Flipkart

Book Review: Another Chance – Ahmed Faiyaz

I was reading Bishwanath Ghosh’s blog, and he had written a very interesting thing – “It is love that gives birth to every single emotion under the sun,” and I could not help but agree. It indeed is a very powerful emotion that drives people to madness, and doing crazy things that would not be otherwise considered sane. That madness has been caught on screen multiple times, but on the pages of a book by an Indian author, that emotion has rarely been portrayed. In his book, “Another ChanceAhmed Faiyaz tries to capture that madness as he pens the story of Ruheen, Aditya and Varun. The love-stuck madness, those feelings have been shown well by the author.

The protagonist of ‘Another Chance’ is Ruheen – a girl who tends to gain the attention of people not suited for her, and she realizes her follies only after being in a relationship. Trying to find a port in stormy seas of life, she meets Aditya – a college friend and soon they are in a relationship. Personal and professional pressures force them to break up, and Ruheen finds solace with Varun – a childhood buddy. Her interactions with them both, and her relationships with them form the story.

The book is a light read. It had a taut plot, and it rarely slacked, if at all – it moves from Mumbai to Amsterdam to Shimla seamlessly. I enjoyed Ahmed’s business writing (whenever he describes the work done by Aditya and others) a lot, at times I felt he should be penning a novel where the plot is based on business, or a corporate thriller :) Coming back to ‘Another Chance’, Ahmed has tried to set a mood for each scene by mentioning the music being played, and describing the surroundings.

What I found a bit distracting in the book was that a bit too many pubs, cafes, and tourist spots were mentioned. It sometimes took the focus away from the story, and I felt I am reading a travel book. Leave alone outsiders, a normal Mumbaikar or a local from Amsterdam may not know of some places mentioned in the book. In my opinion while those things did add credence to the story especially the feel-good parts, but many times (mostly in case of tense scenes) they diverted the reader from the actual emotions being expressed.

Coming to characters, at the end of book Aditya seemed to me as if he was treading the fine line between simply mad in love and going crazy, while I felt the author was trying to portray forlorn, and heart-broken. But without a doubt the depiction of all the characters is done very well – especially Ruheen and Aditya. The story flows lucidly, and it rarely leaves its grip on the reader.

On the whole ‘Another Chance’ is an enjoyable read, a perfect accompaniment for a lazy weekend.

Another Chance on Flipkart, and on Indiaplaza.

Addendum: This is a author requested review.
Ahmed Faiyaz is also a co-author of ‘Urban Shots‘, and both the books – ‘Urban Shots‘ and ‘Another Chance’ released simultaneously from the Grey Oak stable.

Urban Shots Hyderabad Launch

I had always wanted to attend a book launch, but circumstances never allowed me to attend one. Who knew that the first book launch I would attend would be where I am on the dais to launch my own book! Urban Shots was launched yesterday at Crossword Book Store by three of the authors – Ahmed Faiyaz, Vrinda Baliga, and me.

Unveiling of the books "Urban Shots" and "Another Chance" by (L->R) Vinay Varma, Vrinda Baliga, Kunal Dhabalia, Ahmed Faiyaz

Once the two books (other being Another Chance by Ahmed Faiyaz) were unveiled, we talked about the books, each authors’ writing styles, our inspirations for writing, and how each of us approached writing. Vinay Varma moderated the discussion.

I was very nervous for the initial few minutes on the stage, but once you start talking about something you love, something you really enjoy – the butterflies in your stomach stop flitting about and sit down to listen what you have to say. I spoke about my stories, how I develop them and answered a few questions thrown at me by the audience.

Discussion about the books, contemporary Indian writing, and the Q&A session

After the discussion, I met many interesting people and had an interesting talk with most of them. And then there were the book signings :) Felt really weird signing Urban Shots. And the pen felt like an alien in my hand – for me writing has stopped being about pen and paper, and it has started being about the keyboard now.

Signing "Urban Shots".

Thanks to everybody who came to the event, and made it memorable! Without a doubt, one of the best evenings of my life :)

And I’ve to say this – nothing beats the feeling you get when you see your name in print; or maybe there is something better – you are lying in bed reading a book, just about to nod off, and the last thing you read is a story written by yourself :)

Buy Urban Shots from Flipkart

Buy Urban Shots from IndiaPlaza.in

Book Review: Love, Life And All That Jazz – Ahmed Faiyaz

There used to be a time when you would find books by Jeffery Archer, Arthur Hailey, John Grisham strewn around my room. Even today you would find those books in my room, but now there has been a major overhaul in the look and feel of the bookshelf. Now I have two shelves dedicated to Indian authors; it is far more enjoyable to read a book, when you don’t have to rush to the computer and figure out where in God’s name is Tennessee, or is Ford County a real place or to find the actual meaning of a phrase/slang that is common in US and is akin to Greek in India.

I encountered yet another book by an Indian author: Love, Life And All That Jazz by Ahmed Faiyaz and thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is simple – the book follows the life of four friends over a period of 5-6 years. The struggles they face in life, their hook-ups and break-ups, their work and their families. The author has described each protagonist so well, that you feel – I know this guy, and you start empathizing for him/her. You curse the protagonist when he/she makes a bad decision, and you feel good when the protagonist finally makes a sane choice.

While reading the book, at many times I felt that the author has lived this life and is writing about it. Or at least his close friends have been through similar circumstances, and they are the inspiration for many of the characters he has sketched.

My major grouse with the book was that the story skipped ahead by 2-3 months to a year with each chapter – and that kept breaking the momentum you develop while reading. I had to go back and always check what was the date for the previous chapter and what is the date for current chapter and would try to pick the scattered threads of the thoughts again.

On the whole the book is a very enjoyable read, a perfect way to pass time on a lazy weekend, or a very good company on a boring train journey.

Addendum: I am reviewing the book on the request of the author Ahmed himself. Kudos to him for writing a book and getting it published; and double kudos to him for donating all proceeds from the sale of the book to charity.


Meet the Blogger…

I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

I can be contacted at kunalblogs[at]gmail[dot]com.

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