Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Can A Girl And A Boy Be Just Friends? Author Samrit Shahi (Book Review)

Book details

Title – Can A Girl And A Boy Be Just Friends?
Author – Sumrit Shahi   
Genre – Fiction
Publisher – Rupa Publications Pvt. Ltd.
No of pages – 235

Main characters – Aaryan, Boza Corbi, Ishita, Tanie, Sumer

Supporting characters – Shazia, Karan, Kabir, Batra. Rehaan

Book Blurb
He knows everything about her, right from her favorite books to her favorite bra. She knows everything about him, right from his favorite soccer club to his favorite x rated websites. He will complete her English homework, even at three in the night. She will arrange an Armani suit for him, even if it calls for flirting with ugly guys. He has her picture in his wallet. She has his number on speed dial. They discuss everything from periods to play station. They have tasted alcohol and then thrown up...together. They have bunked countless tuitions... together. They can’t live without each other. YET They don't love each other. They are JUST FRIENDS...

My Review
After a long time, I read something light-hearted, refreshing and wittiest  read that also gave me a nostalgic feel about school life. 

Just Friends is a story about Aaryan and his best friend Boza Corbi. It also revolves around Tanie and Sumer. Author Sumrit Shahi has done a fabulous job by jotting down a simple yet breezy story with some of the funniest incidences in between the pages of it. 

From the first page of the story to till the end of this book, I found a lot of funny incidents described in a light-hearted manner with easy dialogues. Dialogues like “She laughed, I laughed, problem solved” you could easily relate yourself as a teenager with such dialogues. 

Further, in 232 pages author effortlessly tells two different stories about two different individuals. The characters are usually from the high class family background and so are their manners dealing with relationships. 

The first story is about Aaryan, a seventeen-year-old with lots of ex-girlfriends and a popular guy in a boarding school of Gurgaon. He falls in love with Ishita, a student from Singapore. He meets her at MUN. He tries hard to impress her. At first, she doesn’t show any interest but eventually gives in. However, she realizes that the long distance relationship wouldn’t work for them and tries to distance herself from him. Aaryan is devastated with her behavior and soon falls in depression. On the other hand, his best friend, Boza keeps him encouraged for his love to Ishita. Boza is secretly in love with Aaryan but she never shows it. She would go to any extent to keep him happy by sacrificing her own happiness. They both are really close friends. 

It is Aaryan to discover whether they are just friends or more than that.

The second story is about Tanie and Sumer (though I bet you wouldn’t enjoy this part of the story). He is her new neighbor. They soon become best of friends. She is madly in love with Rehaan whereas Sumer shares a long distance relationship with Liaka. 

Unfortunately, neither Sumer’s relationship with Liaka works out nor does Tanie’s. When Tanie is heart-broken, Sumer does everything possible to keep her happy. Sumer starts loving Tanie but she is unsure about her feelings for him. 

It’s interesting to know how the author has effortlessly managed to weave two different stories in a single novel packed with a lot of rhymed lines, short poems and funny one-liners. The novel has a lot of funny incidents with the sexual overtone that makes a book not suitable for all age groups.
Two friends and their relationships isn’t a new formula but the author has certainly made the plot interesting and fun to read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, especially author impressed me with his unmistakable humor. 

Who wouldn’t enjoy serious stories all the time? 

Author has justified each role with his simplistic manner of writing. By the time you read 5-6 pages you know all the characters very well. A teenage love story yet extremely unique from the ones you’ve read in the past!

The Best Part
Simple plot backed by wittiest one-liners, incidents, breezy poems and rhymed paragraphs. 

The No-So Good Part 

The writing style
Author’s writing style is very easy, relatable to the common audience and free-flowing. I simply enjoyed the writing style and I couldn’t resist myself from noticing and making a list of them. Below are some of the paragraphs and dialogues that you shouldn’t miss:

“When the auditorium is dark,
The audience will bark.” 

“Damn Kabir, damn Boza, damn Shazia – they all could wait. I had just offered her the bait.”

“I pressed Sumer’s bell, I mean his doorbell and seconds later Aarti aunty opened the door.”

“He rubbed his hairy thigh and asked, ‘Why?’ He got up and started walking towards the kitchen. ‘Will you have something?’

A fan and a rope. ‘Nothing,’ I said.”

“You… you sleepster,” I shouted into the phone. It was just 1.30 a.m. and this guy wanted to sleep when his best friend was about to weep.”

          “Damsels and dramatics go hand in hand.”

“Listen Sumber, I am not fucking mad that I have been calling you like a fucking… a fucking… a fucking….’

‘Chocolate,’ Megha added from behind and I repeated without thinking what I was saying. ‘Sorry,’ Megha held her ears as I shot her a dirty look.”

The book cover & the title
The title is very apt given the plot of the novel. The book cover isn’t enticing but works. 

My rating 5/5
I strongly recommend this book for all the adults who were once a teenager. A quick, humorous read for sure! 

About the author 

Author Samrit Shahi
Sumrit Shahi, a twenty-four-years-old, is one of the youngest bestselling authors in the country. He wrote his first novel at the age of seventeen which became a bestseller, followed by his other novels, Never Kiss Your Best Friend and A Lot Like Love… A Li’l Like Chocolate. 

Sumrit is also a screenwriter and has written for six-youth based shows including Sadda Haq: My Life, My Choice on Channel V India. He has won many awards and has been listed Top 30 under 30 young achievers in the country by Hindustan Times, terming him as a ‘Writing Rockstar Of The Young.’

To follow this brilliant young author, visit: Facebook | Twitter


Buy this wittiest read here, Amazon | Flipkart

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Get Your Hands on India’s First Comic book on Brand Management by Neil George

The world’s first brand management comic book, ‘Building the Perfect Beast – What Really Happens in Brand Management’, released today. Created and produced by NeilGeorge, the 150+-page book with more than 400 anime based illustrations captures the triumphs and the challenges of interns in the marketing and communications industry. 

Here is something new that's informative, fun and, frankly, not so heavy for all you budding entrepreneurs. If you are looking to be the next start-up pro in the scene, we suggest you give this comic book a read. Titled Building the Perfect Beast – What Really Happens in Brand Management, the plot centers around 10 typical protagonists from the world of brand marketing in a London-based headquarters of a global consumer goods firm. 

Published by Power Publishers and Omnikarma Productions, the 150+-page book with more than 400 anime-based illustrations captures the triumphs and the challenges of interns in the marketing and communications industry.
Based on author Neil George’s years of providing career advice to his peers, the comic book also draws on real-life events that transpired during his 20+ years tenure in marketing consumer goods across the world. As such, it touches on the highs and lows of everyday life in such a career, including the death of a colleague.

Before the start of each chapter, the author’s past and current colleagues share short but useful insights from their time in brand management, the book has already sent many hapless interns in the marketing and communications industry into a tizzy.

Building the Perfect Beast – What Really Happens in Brand Management
The plot centers around 10 typical protagonists from the world of brand marketing in a London based headquarters of a global Consumer Goods’ firm. The eclectic mix consists of five new marketing interns, one tough boss, a superhero-like VP as well as background characters in the form of friends and colleagues.

The author started this book as an idea for a coffee table book to help provide career guidance and advice to interns wanting to join the FMCG industry. A lot. ‘Building the Perfect Beast – What REALLY happens in brand management’ captures the life of 5 interns, their boss and colleagues in Year 1 of joining a big multinational consumer goods’ company. Each chapter covers topics like media, research, R&D, advertising development, HR, the dynamics of sales vs. marketing etc. Readers will be taken on a fantasy trip into the exciting world of consumer goods.

This Holy Grail for all business aficionados as well as seasoned veterans comes in two editions: the Global Student Edition in paperback with 146 pages as well as hardbound Deluxe Platinum Limited Edition of 160 pages. You can pick it up from a leading bookstore near you or simply log on to Amazon or Flipkart to snag a copy at Rs 2,500.

Neil George is the Managing Director of Nivea,India.

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