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A Hundred Little Flames Paperback – 14 Nov 2017
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A Hundred Little Flames is an out of the box story for many reasons. I particularly liked the way characters strengthen page after page. The letters in the prose add a great substance and the entire setting of the story is described beautifully, be it Kerala or Pondicherry. The people, weather, landscape, local delicacies and every little detail mentioned shows the amount of research that has gone into the making of the plot. Just reading about them made me want to visit these places and meet those people. Many a times we end up reading a book because it was recommended by someone we know or there are many people talking about it, but I pre-ordered this one knowing the amount of delight the author puts into her writing which is wonderfully contagious and thus serves the purpose. I had a teeny weeny issue with the number and sequence of letters that filled up the last part of the book and the sudden turn of events in the end which seemed like a deliberate climax. More importantly I like the way the story tries to convey a very important message, to look at relationships beyond what we think they are. There is more to an individual than how they are related to us. This was such a great learning lesson. --ByRaksha Bhaton 22 November 2017
It is a very good book and the content reflects the real situation. I wish all students or children living away from grand parents should definitely read this book. It consists of a love story that I have not imagined in my life. Such a pure and heart touching story which is very different from all contemporary love stories, filled with romance and lust. I'm myself studying away from home, felt an urge to visit my grandparents while reading the book --By Tejasree on 27 November 2017
An emotional book. Also depicts the difference of love of yester years with current. A generic read.... wants to integrate present generation of thought with the old one and minimizing generation gap. Every one will love the the character Gopal Shanker and the noble lady Rohini. An emotional touch --By Partha pratim bose on 10 January 2018
About the Author
Preeti Shenoy is among the highest selling authors in India and has been featured on the Forbes India long-list of the most influential celebrities.
'India Today 'has named her as being unique for being the only woman in the best-selling league. In the past she has written for various publications such as the 'Times of India' and 'Reader’s Digest'. She currently writes a regular column in 'The Financial Chronicle'.
She has given several talks in many educational institutions including the IITs and IIMs. She is also an artist specializing in portraiture. Her other interests are travel, photography and yoga.
From the Publisher
Excerpt from the book – A Hundred Little Flames
Shivani and Ayan now had a nice little chat going back and forth. It was more than two weeks that they had been doing this. She would reply to his queries within minutes of receiving his messages. He would do the same. He learnt that she was applying for a job as a senior features editor at an architectural magazine, as one of her areas of interest was interior design. She shared pictures of a friend’s house that she had designed. It was chic and contemporary, and Ayan liked how she had done the house up. She sent more photos of a store that she had designed. He wanted to see the place where she lived. She sent him pictures of her flat which she had styled with beautiful colours and modern furniture. Her flat overlooked an empty field where donkeys grazed.
‘Donkeys, in Pune?’ he had typed.
‘Haha. They keep increasing,’ she typed back.
He sent her pictures of Thekke Madom and she admired the natural beauty of the place. She wanted more pictures. Ayan began looking for photos to click, so he could share them with her.
One day his grandfather noticed him clicking photos and typing away on his phone.
‘Ummm ummm … sending messages to your girlfriend, are you?’ he asked.
‘Isn’t she the same friend who you stayed over for, when you went to meet her?’
‘I didn’t meet her alone, muttacha! There were other people too.’ But he didn’t meet his grandfather’s eyes when he said that.
The fact was that he looked forward to his phone buzzing these days. Shivani and he were gradually developing a very good friendship over text messages. They sent each other interesting things that they came across during their day.
One evening, when Ayan returned from football, grubby and drenched in sweat, he was surprised to see a car coming up the driveway to Thekke Madom. He wondered who it could be. Velu had certainly not announced any visitors, nor had his grandfather mentioned anything.
The car stopped and the door opened. Ayan stood there, wide-eyed, gaping.
Getting out of the car was his father.
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You will cherish reading this book, with such an elegant language.
The best part was translating the non-English words underneath every time, guess how many authors understand this way of ease to readers a whole lot thanks for that.
A small note ;) , I can’t wait for your next release
When Jairaj (Ayan’s father) comes to know of this he is frustrated and sends Ayan to live with his muttacha (grandfather) in a small village in Kerala who has just met with an accident and has fractured his leg. He soon discovers that the village is a sleepy, idyllic place and doesn’t even have internet connection.
But this is not it; to make matters worse Ayan’s father makes a sudden visit to his village and takes his father (Gopal Shanker) for a check-up to the hospital. But returns alone no one knows what happens to Gopal Shanker and where he is? This is when Ayan sets on a mission to find Gopal Shanker and Ayan comes to know the harsh reality of life and the greed that exists even in families.
To know more read A Hundred Little Flames
The book shows us the condition in which the elderly are living in the present days, how they are left to look after themselves or are left in the old age home. The characters are real and relatable. The places have been described in great detail that we feel as if we are there walking through the paddy fields in Kerala or taking a walk on the streets in Pondicherry. Overall it is a very nice book wherein we are introduced with the family bond, the betrayal and greed that somehow exists in every family to some extent and how Ayan overcomes all this and builds a unbreakable bond with his grandfather and the relationship that people in the villages share with each other in comparison to the city life where people have no time to even talk to each other.
My Favorite lines from the book:
‘There’s no ‘Can I’. There is only ‘I will’.
‘Many a times, things have a way of sorting themselves out. We just need to be patient,’
‘He is the kingfisher. He hunts fish. He waits, sitting very still for his prey. Once he spots it, he swoops down and takes off with it. So fast, so sharp. No distractions. He knows what he wants and goes after it. Then he gets it. You should be like that in life,’
‘Friendship in my times meant, you knew everything about each other. And you would support each other, no matter what.’
“We all try too hard to do the right thing and stay in control. Once in a way, we should just let go and see where it takes us. “
‘Once a flame is lit, it can burn brightly and divide into a hundred little flames—or it can die down. Just like the connections we form.’
‘Everything happens in good time’
‘It is the smallest things that take up the largest space in our hearts.'
‘What lies behind us and what lies before are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’
‘Sometimes, when you run a race and you are nearing the finish, you feel you have used up the very last reserve of strength within you, and you cannot go on anymore. Then suddenly the finish line looms large. You decide to complete the race. You give it all you have got. You dig deep into yourself, and an extra burst of energy which you never knew was within you, opens up from depths which you didn’t know you had. You run with all your might, complete the race successfully and collapse—to rest and recover.’
'The obstacles life throws in our paths, makes us grow.'
‘The ocean reminds us of how fragile life is, how small and insignificant our problems are.’
‘The beautiful thing about friendship is understanding the other person’s needs and to find happiness in whatever makes them happy.’
‘The mind is like a monkey and we have to control it. The heart is a wild stallion. It gallops where it wants to go.’
‘It is important to not chase somebody. If they want to be in touch with you, they will find a way. Just because you keep calling someone, it does not mean they will respond to you.’
‘The secret of staying young forever is to drown yourself in work that recharges you.’
‘Finer things in life take time.’
‘True Love or True Friendship – People go through their entire lives searching for this, and never finding it.’
‘Life is full of surprises. We do things which we never thought we would.’
‘Life doesn’t let you choose.’
My Ratings: 5/5
Everyday (after the attempt) is very bad for me. But, i choose this book to read as MOST OF BOOKS OF PREETi MA'AM describe THE PAIN OF MENTAL, PSYCOLOGICAL iLLNESS. And it helped me to divert my thought of SUiCiDE. Finally i am meeting a Doctor for ma thoughts.
This book helped me so much for :
Diverting ma thought of suicide,
Seeing LiFE from new VEiW,
Inspiration to write again ma diary,
Do what i want to in ma life,
And so many things that i just can't describe with words.
Please, Ma'am keep writing...
This may be a usual story but it is certainly a story with a difference which will make it to stand among other stories and I can also say that if this story is made as a movie - preferably in Malayalam, it will be a sure HIT.
The story shows two contrasting worlds - one that of a every busy and mechanical city life and one that of a serene life of the countryside. The protagonist of the story are not one but three of them. Gopal Shanker, the grandfather of another protagonist Ayan Shanker and Rohini.
The book shows the difference between what goes on in making wrong assumptions. It also emphasises a point strongly that two people can be good friends for life and that friendship can become love or vice-versa which need not have to always end up in sex or marriage.
The journey which Ayan takes from Pune to Thekke Madom(his grandfather's house) in Poongavanam village in Kerala was captured so beautifully by the author and so as the characters associated in the entire story which made me cry literally in few places and I can bet that this story will either make cry or move your heart for sure.
Indulge in it now as once you start reading it, you will lose yourself in this amazing journey.
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