Book Blitz: Transit Lounge by Sunil Mishra

About the Book:

“Transit Lounge” is a contemporary book consisting of short incidents, observations and reflections while travelling to 30 countries across six different continents during the last 15 years.

The book is a personal account of travels to places in Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

It was interesting to observe all these different cultures and people from an Indian perspective. The book is a compilation of small incidents and events during such travels; it includes losing an air ticket, dealing with difficult custom officials or getting mugged in a prime location in a foreign country.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Snippets from Sunil’s travel:

I remember visiting Croatia some time in 2005. It is a small but very beautiful country in Eastern Europe. It could be a must see place for people who enjoy the nature’s beauty.

Plitvice lake that I visited consists of multiple lakes surrounded by mountain and a good amount of plantation. It covers a large trekking area covering the lakes, mountains and the trees.

The lakes are interspersed with numerous waterfalls that make it a great natural sight. The color of the lakes change based on the sunlight, amount of minerals and vegetation around it. Some of these sights are picture perfect in true sense.

Invader in one country is a hero in another.
This statue of Henry Havelock at Trafalgar Square, London reads :-
To Major General Sir Henry Havelock KCB and his brave companions in arms during the campaign in India 1857. “Soldiers! Your labours, your privations, your sufferings and your valour, will not be forgotten by a grateful country.” H. Havelock

About the Author:

Sunil is a software professional with over two decades of experience in the field of banking technology. Currently he is working with Infosys and has earlier worked with McKinsey, Accenture and I-flex solutions. As part of work he travelled to more than 30 countries across six continents. This constituted the basis of his current book.

Sunil is an MBA from IIM-Lucknow and holds a B.Tech from IIT(ISM), Dhanbad. He completed his schooling in Bokaro Steel City.

Contact the Author:
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Book Review: What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes

About the Book:

What Jennifer Knows

A vital member of her Surrey community, Jennifer Jacobs is dedicated to her job as a dance therapist, helping children with special needs to express themselves through movement. Wife of a successful though reclusive sculptor, Gerald, she is known for having a deep sense of empathy, making her a trusted confidante. So when two very different friends, Freya and Abi, both share information with her that at first seems to be an awkward coincidence, she doesn’t tell them. But as the weeks roll by, the link revealed between the two women begins to escalate into a full-blown moral dilemma – and also brings to the surface a painful memory Jennifer believed she had long since forgotten. What is the right thing to do? Should she speak out or is the truth better left unsaid?

My Thoughts:

 An interesting read overall, this book has its set of ups and downs. There are many things that will appeal to the reader and a few which may deter them. But persevering on will ensure that the reader comes away satisfied by the reading experience. On some level, it is a little daunting to read about Jennifer and Gerald, who seem to be role models for the perfect life and couple. However, as we progress through the story, we come to know that not everything is as perfect as it seems.

Jennifer struggles with her relationship with her daughter as well as her friendships with Freya and Abi. The main question of morality comes down to whether a friend should share the truth about something they know or withhold it and wait. There is never a right answer or reaction to this and each can have different ends. A trial of relationships, both on the personal front as well as with friends raises a dilemma in Jennifer’s mind which forms the crux of this story. The author’s style of writing is simple and flows well.

The supporting characters are nice and developed to some extent. I believe that there could have been more depth added to the story and the characters, making it a bit more complex. However, on the whole the story works. It is a decent read and a different kind of plot that ultimately forces the reader to think about certain moral ideas.

In Conversation with Temba Magorimbo

I have had the pleasure of interacting with Temba Magorimbo, the author of Lake of My Heart and many other books. The links to his novels are at the end of the post. I will be posting my review for the book soon. I can relate to the setting of the book having had the pleasure of living in Africa (Zambia and Malawi) for a small part of my life! Here is what Temba has to say:

  • What/who inspired you to start writing?

I remember around the 1978-79s when Rhodesia was in transition during and after the civil war which had black nationalists against the Ian Smith led Rhodesians. I used to listen to radio stories on air both at school and at home. School had radio lessons for grades 1 to 7 whereupon teachers moved from one class to another giving other radio sets which worked on batteries. I listened to those stories attentively. I tried first to write radio stories copying the heroes and villains which were read in series. The in 1980 I went to secondary school (high School) where I was introduced to the library. It was different from junior/primary school were books were available in several classroom promoting reading culture but without the presence of a real library. There I delved into series authors with a good following amongst us newbies like Franklin W. Dixon [the Hardy Boys], Carolyn Keene [Nancy Drew], Captain W.E. Jones [Bigglesworth], Enid Blyton [Famous Five] among other books which encouraged me to write. I then tried writing crime series complete with fictious cities on beaches and the sea. Zimbabwe is a landlocked country so it’s difficult to describe a stroll on a beach when we don’t have sea fronts.

  • Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in Rhodesia in a city called Gwelo [now Zimbabwe and Gweru]. My father was a police constable in the British South Africa Police based in Gwelo. I went to junior school for a term in 1973 at Bumburwi Primary School in Old Mkoba thence I moved to Senga Primary in Senga when the family relocated from Mkoba Police Camp to Senga where I finished my junior school in 1979. I did my secondary (high) school for two weeks at Nashville [multi-racial and middle density school] before being booted out for lack of payment of fees. There was a library at Nashville High but boy, two weeks was not enough for me. I moved to a cheaper school within the same high density I belonged to, Ascot Secondary until 1983. I am currently working for the government of Zimbabwe in Chitungwiza.

  • What is your favourite genre?

Contemporary Romance

  • Which is your favourite book?

I don’t have favourites but the last book I wrote should be Butterscotch [meet me in Alberta] by that distinction it should be the favourite, for now at least.

  • Who is your favourite author?

 I like our Zimbabwean brother, Shimmer Chinodya who wrote novels like Farai’s Girls and Dew in the Morning because those motivated me especially the last. He did explain in one television interview that Zimbabweans would rather buy beef than but a novel. That was a hard but true bow.

  • What are your hobbies?

Church, reading and writing, listening to good music and watching television especially if there is English or Barclays sponsored English soccer.

  • Perfect holiday destination?

Why not arriving by air in Nairobi, Kenya enroute to a 2 or 3-day climb to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in good weather with a lot of bananas, roast wild game meat and drinks on the way. Do you think I would lose or gain weight either way up or down the mountain?

  • Describe a perfect writing day.

There must be good weather, not hot or too cold, light wind and there must be electricity. You people take running water and electricity for granted. Here it’s a national slogan of diesel and petrol generators, they just cut us off. Without power, I can’t use the desktop that I use when writing fiction. Then I need to have had a good night’s sleep after a hearty supper with no arguments before or after. We don’t want those arguments in our fiction do we? There is nothing as sleep inducing as a blank computer screen. Then internet should be fine, on line and in speed. Because when you are researching why Bombay isn’t in Pakistan you don’t need spend five minutes on the internet for that.

  • Which is the best part of writing a story?

Finishing a story is the best because all you will be doing is change here and there, delete a word and add several or delete an entire paragraph in order to produce the hook after the book is finished. At times you will be checking facts against too much fiction. Like for instance international standards remain as there are in fiction or real life.

  • How much inspiration do you draw on from real life experiences, with respect to plot, characters etc.?

Real life only comes in when you need use research. There is no need to re-invent the wheel in fiction. The readers known Pythagoras’s Theorem if you write about it or the Decision Tree in Mathematics, make sure you know what you are doing. Characters come from the mind and observation never from real people. I don’t see a beefy neighbour then describe a character who is a drunkard and as beefy as my neighbour. I want all my royalties, not some of them ending up paying compensation next door.

  • Who among the characters you created do you like the most and why?

In the book Off The Eagle’s Claws I like Mark Rainger because even though he is in his late 30s he still believes in love. He fought on the losing side in the Rhodesian civil war yet he remains rooted to the country where his fellow Caucasians are getting loud mouthed by every upstart politician. He remains loving the bush, which hid him from the guerillas at the same time providing a home away from home for the same guerillas he in turn was hunting or vice versa. He continues loving a woman who is married until fate gives him an opportunity to try the hot seat.

  • How much do you relate to the characters or incidents in your story?

I don’t put myself into the character or do I put personal incidents because all my eleven or so books with eight published would be autobiographies. I have learnt to be moderate when writing, not too happy or too sad lest you allow your personal feeling to intrude too much into the stories.

  • What kind of impact do your stories have on you?

To me the stories are real and breathing fire.

Book Links:’s-Claws/dp/1499345453