Monday, 30 March 2015

Crossed and Knotted : An Amazing Ride that Takes Great Twists and Turns When One Least Expects

I ventured reading Crossed and Knotted, published by Readomania a few days ago. I had borrowed the book from a good friend, Deepti Menon, whose story is also featured in the book.  I had the book with me for quite long a time and had also read some wonderful stories from it, but couldn't complete. This Saturday, I started to read again from the start. It was 11:30 in the night when I started, after waking up from a deep sleep. But the twists and turns that went by in each chapter were as fresh as it had been when I first read them. I was done with 230 pages and was getting all excited to read what comes next. I just by chance checked my clock and it was 5:30 in the morning. Oh my God, this book kept me so hooked that I didn't notice that I have stayed up this late, I mutter under my breath, and eventually fall asleep.

The next day, I finish reading the last few pages and connect all the dots to see what an amazing novel this has turned out to be.

The Curious Dalliance by Sutapa Basu:

There couldn't have been a more gripping start. The pace was amazing, the story moved on with a full-fledged flow and one wouldn't want to take his/her eyes off the book until he/she has completed the story. This is a story where a Sudip Roy falls in love with Megha, a girl with all her charms, but after marriage, the other side of her is unveiled and her dominance is uncontrollable not only over Sudip but also his parents. What will Sudip do? That's the best part of the story.

The Diary of Joseph Varughese by Ayan Pal:

This is easily one of the best stories in the book, and the connection starts right from here. This story's protagonist is Shivi, the daughter of Sudip Roy. Shivi is a voracious reader, and an avid follower of diaries. One fine day, she finds a peculiar sort of diary, 'The Diary of Joseph Varughese'. Overlooking her friendship with her friend Siya, and love interest James, Shivi is sucked deep within the mysteries of the Diary. What follows next is a series of events that culminate in a spine chilling climax. Especially the last paragraph with its 'Oh my God!' moment. The author has written the story with such flair that this chapter/story turns into a huge plus for the book!

The Web of Life by Sanchita Sen Das:

It is a story about the less-spoken about girl from the previous story, Siya, who has grown into a journalist, who needs to go to Kerala and interview the families/survivors/locals about a flight crash. She at first finds it difficult having sent her husband on a flight, and then manages to get on with her job. As she gets different stories, one particular story about a certain Varu Nagar makes her curiosity rise. And Siya fails to convince her boss to ponder more upon the story. And as years pass by, Siya gives birth to Sian who has a peculiar problem of inability to sit at a place for more than ten minutes, and when he'd be cured of it, the reader is in for a sweet delight. Kudos to the author for coming up with this story!

The Real Fiction of Illiana Braun by Arvind Passey:

When everyone would be wondering what happened to the mysterious case in the previous story, Arvind Passey did not make it late in pondering upon the fact. This story reveals the past life of Illiana Braun. The reader is in for a shock after a revelation, but it also leaves the reader trifle confused as it seems to not get in line with one of the previous stories/chapter. Nevertheless, 'The Real Fiction of Illiana Braun' is definitely a literary piece of writing and makes a great short story material and as for the sequence, it keeps the mystery alive.

Burning Candle by Mithun Mukherjee:

Though the previous story narrates the past life of Illiana Braun and how she ends up in Kochi, it doesn't say anything about how or why she went missing and Mithun Mukherjee takes over the reins from Passey and has done quite a commendable job in dwelling upon this mystery. The story has been written from a first person's perspective, and a journalist called Catherine narrates it. Catherine goes to Kochi for an assignment where she befriends Illiana who was also there for her project. The two ladies mingle with each other quite well. Catherine is shocked when she tells something and along the way, she goes missing, perhaps in search of the truth. The last line is sure to give goose bumps to the reader!

Relics to Ruins by Avanti Sopory:

With the mystery of the missing Illiana Braun ending, Catherine travels all the way to Afghanistan on an assignment only to slowly start losing faith in humanity. There she meets the gutsy Jameela, a bold woman who narrates all the stories to Catherine. And Catherine, shocked by the strength possessed by Jameela, gets her lost faith instilled in her once again. I clapped hands and was all praises for the author as I finished reading the story. A double kudos to the author!

Leap of Faith by Bhaswar Mukherjee:

Bhaswar Mukherjee, a versatile writer he is, doesn't fail to make an indelible impression here too. This story is about a kidnapped girl believed to be dead in the previous story – Ruksana who has actually fled to Kabul with an unlikely accomplice. The story tracks her journey from Kabul to India and transformation into the indomitable Dimpy.

Reclaiming Life by Anupama Jain:

I loved this story. The story starts with a submissive wife Poorni’s chance meeting with her husband’s friend Ashok and his wife Dimpy. What follows is an inspiring tale of a woman’s spirited attempts at reclaiming her life. The last page is the highlight of the story. This one is a treat to the reader's eyes!

The Dragon Lady by Deepti Menon:

I am an ardent follower of Deepti Menon's writings (fan) and she hasn't failed to impress me this time as well. This story is about Kamala Devi, the mother of Pankaj, as the protagonist. The story travels from her early life as a rebellious daughter and moves on to show her shades as a trying-to-be-submissive wife, just so her marriage wouldn't drop off and just after a few days, she tends to show her true colors even as she gives birth to her sons Pankaj and Binoy. The story ends with Pankaj marrying Poorni and the final act of what Kamala does is indeed shocking. Deepti Menon strikes gold yet again with is commendable piece of literature.

For a Speck of a Moment by Amrit Sinha:

I was hoping that someone would write a story on the boy who deserts her mother, and luckily, Amrit wrote it as the very next story and has indeed done a brilliant job. Binoy boards a train to Mumbai to make a living. He stays at Mumbai for two long years and all his efforts in finding his true calling, his dream job, goes in vain.  A shock awaits the readers as the story progresses, and through the journalist friend that he gets after the shocking incident, he'd set up a business at an office and after a steady success, there would be three more branches. And then, he meets this girl called Binita whom he allows to do an internship. Love ensues slowly and steadily and he decides to make a proposal to her in a very fashionable way. But then...

To Ma & Pa, Con Amore by Monnika Nair:

I must admit. This story left me teary-eyed. This story is about a girl called Mona Lisa, who is carefree and a jolly-type. She meets her friend Dimpy who is accompanied by Binoy. Mona Lisa badly wanted a job in the corporate field and Dimpy would suggest just the guy. Yes, Binoy. He gets her a job and she couldn't thank him much. They would often meet up and would be in constant touch at least through texts and phone calls. When the couple eventually fall in love with each other, Mona Lisa is faced with a battle between her heart and mind, that goes onto make her embark upon a life-changing decision.

Look Beyond by Amar Lakshya Pawar:

This is the shortest story in the book, but this story proves to be the pathway for the next two stories. Though quite short, it is effective. Here's were an Aditya Rao dies in a flight crash, thus widowing Meena, his wife and that has been explained in an laudable manner.

Dawn at Dusk by Bhuvaneshwari Shankar:

Remember Sudip Roy? The protagonist of the first story? And Shivi, his daughter? They come into play here, with Meena, Aditya's wife joining in with her daughter Pragya. Meena visits the library where Sudip works as the librarian and the story takes an interesting path which leads to the inevitable end. Bhuvaneshwari has done a great job by setting the story's pace at a rocket speed and the reader would not be able to bat an eye before he/she finishes the story.

The Last Act by Arpita Banerjee:

An apt title and what a fantastic finish! The story involves starts with an ambulance making its way to the hospital. It cuts to the now grown up Pragya fighting a battle within to believe or not to believe a fantastic tale by a watchman of an old property of her parents. Will she be able to fathom the shocking truth about her father? Will the truth lead to an unforgettable ‘last act’ that might surely tear the families apart? The readers would welcome the twist with all heart when they get to know what 'The Last Act' actually is. The author has done a great job in typing the loose ends purposefully left open in the first chapter/story beautifully!

On the whole, the chapters are in a jumbled form that if arranged sequentially and seen, would make a great story altogether. As the book says, the chapters as in itself could be read as a short story and if connected, they together make a strong novel. I can't compare it with any book as it is the first of its kind, but if I could compare it with a movie, I would have to pick the legendary Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. This one is a class apart.

My rating for Crossed and Knotted:


  1. Reading this review has simply evoked more excitement in me :D
    And, I do agree with the title. It has so many unexpected exciting events for the readers.
    A very well written review.

  2. Reading this review has simply evoked more excitement in me :D
    And, I do agree with the title. It has so many unexpected exciting events for the readers.
    A very well written review.

  3. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.