Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book Review- The Great Short Stories- Guy de Maupassant

Author: Guy de Maupassant
ISBN-13: 978-81-7992-834-9
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Number of pages: 264
Genre: Fiction
Language: English

Price: Rs.195 (Got a review copy from publishers)

About the book
The collection The Great Short Stories Guy de Maupassant reflects his remarkable diversity, with stories that vary in theme and tone, and range from tragedy and satire to comedy and farce. With a simplicity of style that masks complex philosophy, Maupassant can illuminate an entire code of values by means of a few telling details. He exposes the brutality of war and the hypocrisy it spawns, and depicts the petty limitations, the dissimulations and the vanities inherent at different levels of society. His stories are linked by a trenchant irony and by a preoccupation with the frailty of human nature and the futility of so many lives.

About the Author
Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was born on August 5, 1850 in a Norman chateau of Miromesnil, northern France. Under Flaubert’s tutelage, the young Maupassant underwent a strict course of training in the craft of literature, at the same time as he was earning his living in the civil service. He was considered insane in 1891 and died two years later, a month short of his 43rd birthday, on July 6, 1893.
Guy de Maupassant penned his own epitaph: “I have coveted everything and taken pleasure in nothing.” He is buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris.

Shimanti says
The best remedy to dispel boredom and depression that, more often than not, creep into our befuddled existence is a refreshing short story. The collection of “The Great Short Stories” by Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant  by Jaico Publishing House is a truly delectable possession. Besides containing  some of the choicest stories, the book also includes Maupassant’s  first ever published story Boule de Suif  , which is often considered to be his masterpiece. However, I did come across some typographical errors without which the read would have been an exceedingly pleasant one.
The style of Maupassant is an intricate amalgamation of elegance and naivety. He faithfully brings alive the cultures and predominant colours of his settings. Considered to be the father of modern short story, Maupassant’s compositions form an assorted lot. The anthology commences with the brilliant story of Mademoiselle Pearl where the true identity of the protagonist is revealed through the narration of another principal character whereby the readers are transported to a Romantic world of mystery and passion.

While the stories like Madame Husson’s ‘Rosier’ , The Piece of String and Two Little Soldiers  exhibit tales of unspoken emotions, stifled by the fetters of civilised society, the ones like The Olive Orchard plunge the reader into doleful retrospection and strike a dominant chord. Despite using lucid language, Maupassant manages to charm his readers with his dexterous handling of characters and situations. We, as readers, are never disappointed by the denouement of his stories which are crafted with impeccable sincerity and justness.

Reviewed by Shimanti Mitra for Dreams and Drama :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Grape Harvest Feast, Kolkata

It was less than a week since I came from my trip to the winery in Baramati, Pune that I received another call from team gingerclaps inviting me and three other bloggers to the Grape Harvest Feast to be organised at Splash, Swissotel at City Centre 2, Kolkata. I was more than delighted to go for these events always turn out to be a great opportunity to meet other city bloggers and members from the United Spirits team apart from being really fun. Shikha and Dolon had already reached and were busy sipping away when Aniesha and I reached the rooftop of Swissotel. The infinity pool and the beautifully decorated cabanas looked spectacular as people chatted away under the sun.

Food by Swissotel
The food platter by Swissotel had a range of grilled meat, fish, steaks, pasta and much more.

That is Shikha, Dolon, Me and Aniesha
We got to meet Rinkie Mazumder to escort us and Peter Mitter whom we had met at previous events to give us company and suggest us the types of wines we should pair with the food. What made the afternoon even better was the live music played by a Kolkata based band called Neel and the Lightbulbs.

The Four Seasons Cabana

The Four Seasons cabana stood out from the rest with the beautiful balloons that hung from above shaped like bunches of green and black grapes.

Aniesha and I were really tempted to join in the grape stomping session but unfortunately, we weren't appropriately dressed for it. 

Live band and the other cabanas
The other brands apart from Four Seasons wines who participated in the feast were Sula, Jacob's Creek, Antares and Nine Hills amongst others.

Thanks to the entire team of gingerclaps, Sumath, Rinkie and Mr. Peter for a really lovely afternoon.

Till next,

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Introducing: Green Rock!

Finally! We have an online store in India which sells Harry Potter themed merchandise! I mean *coughs* fan-art merchandise in general. (But, really, you cannot blame me for being happiest about the Harry Potter part.) 

Greek Rock is India's first fan-art merchandise store based on TV series, movies and games. The website was launched in October last year, in New Delhi. Their products (all within a fairly reasonable price range) include T-shirts, posters, beer mugs, coasters, and notebooks- to name a few. 

I came across a contest conducted by the site on Facebook, encouraging people to come up with catchy names for a T shirt. I was lucky to win the contest and can now call myself the proud owner of the Hogwarts Alumni T- shirt (worth Rs. 499/-) in this charming color:

The store has several exciting T shirts from various "fan-doms", such as Dexter, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory. And unlike most stores online, they send you the actual size you ask for. :P The awesome quotes shared on Facebook are enough to make one realize how good the captions on the Green Rock products would be! 

To check out their Facebook page, click here

To visit the website, log on to Green Rock Store.

For queries, you can get in touch with these customer friendly people at:

Green Rock will not disappoint you! Happy Shopping!