August 04, 2011


Title :Delayed Monsoon
Author : Chitralekha Paul
Publisher: Cedar Books - Pustak Mahal (2011)

About The Book

After a prolonged dry spell, dark clouds loom over the horizon. The rain drops hit the parched earth with a vengeance…..the aroma of soaked mud fills the air. A sense of rejuvenation spreads around, as new life springs out, transforming the barren landscape into a thriving oasis. Abhilasha, the mother of a grown up girl felt the same when she finally meets the love she had longed for. A union in the most unusual of circumstances and in the most unusual of places –the internet. Abhilasha was caught in a dilemma whether to listen to her mind or to follow the beats of her heart.
       But this conflict served as an impetus which pushed her to a new height. Going through an emotional roller-coaster, finally she reached a stage where her passion turned into compassion, the most powerful form of love, where all conflicts appear trivial, finding their way into a harmonious homogeneity. In this new scenario none of her loved ones was left behind. A strong conviction bonded and inspired everyone to undertake life’s journey where the rough edges were smoothened by the healing touch of love.    
        A story woven around the life of an Air Force officer’s wife with a glimpse into what goes on behind the closed gates, guarded by vigilant men in uniform. An insight into the life of Abhilasha and her dilemmas, the seemingly ordinary incidents but  which are interwoven into a complex puzzle that she must solve.



We have 4 copies of this novel to be given away.
This giveaway will consist of two questions in all.

Time for Question 2

Fill in the blank  "Her loneliness draws her towards the ..........." 

To locate the answer, read the book review given below.

Send your Full Name & Answer to

Contest begins Aug 15, 10am & ends on Aug 18, 10am

BOOK REVIEW (Courtesy -  Tribune India)

THE way to a woman’s heart is, well, through her heart. You can shower her with gifts, get her the moon and do all that you can think of and more and still be nowhere close to her heart. This eternal mystery has a simpler solution. Listen to her, hold her hand, lend her your shoulder to cry on and love her and truly mean it. It will probably win you more brownie points than all the riches in the world put together. 

Delayed Monsoon is the debut novel of Chitralekha, wife of an ex-Air Force officer. Her academic particulars are impressive; she holds a Post-graduate degree in Philosophy and has also done her LLB from Calcutta University. She has also taught at various educational institutions before pursuing Law. She is a member of Supreme Court Bar Association and practices in Delhi. Her foray into writing is another feather in her cap. Her writing is simple and but not devoid of depth.

Abhilasha, the central character of Delayed Monsoon, is a very real person, just like you and me or at least someone we know. Her life is plain and ordinary but the choices that she makes are not. She rises above the mundane, follows her heart and finds peace. For some her sense of loyalty may seem skewed but life is not black and white, it encompasses the various shades in between with aplomb. Her loneliness draws her towards the internet, a medium she had known nothing about previously. It is there that she finds companionship. Though it seems an unlikely place, she strikes up friendships that mean something in her otherwise empty life. She learns to deal with the fleeting nature of certain relationships. It also teaches her that there is no point in brooding over things that can’t be undone. She finds love in all its variants and cherishes it.

The book gives one an insight into the life of an Air Force officer. It is not for those who shy away from change; nor for those who hanker for stability. On one hand there is the romanticism of new places and newer avenues opening up with each posting, but on the other hand it also means leaving behind good friends and shaking up a routine. In Abhilasha’s story, spanning three generations, there is but one constant – the bonding of mother and daughter. When people are faced with dire circumstances there are always choices to be made. The choices that you make define you. You can let the negativity drown you or you can emerge a winner by channelling all you have and turning it into a success. Abhilasha takes the road she feels makes her life easier and worthwhile. She has a spirit that is not easily defeated and finds her hope in the happiness of others.

The author tells her story without judging Abhilasha for the choices she makes and doesn’t necessarily defend her. She keeps her characters rooted in reality; neither singing paeans for Abhilasha nor painting the husband as a totally negative character. The only thing that grates is the inclusion of many sub-plots that seem out-of-sync. At times it feels more like reading a blog.

Correct Answer for Question 2 is Internet


Time for Question 1

Who was the friendly looking guy with a warm smile?

To locate the answer, read the excerpt from the book given below.

Send your Full Name & Answer to

Contest begins Aug 04, 11pm & ends on Aug 08, 11pm

It was altogether a different story now. Abhilasha started coming out of
the cold aloofness which had become her second nature, while for Arvind,
it was like ‘fiddle found a melody’. He was in love with his life again.
With their growing intimacy, came the desire to meet each other. And at last
it materialised when they fixed a date for meeting. The long awaited day
came. A sleepless night of nervous apprehension, culminated at dawn, as
Abhilasha could no longer lie down. While there was much excitement at the
prospect of meeting him but the possibility of a probable mismatch between
the real Arvind and the virtual one, loomed large on her mind, making her
feel nervous.

She dressed up in a casual yet elegant way. Bugged by middle age
syndrome, Abhilasha took extra care to look attractive. She started off
from home well in time. Reaching his place, she paused for a while, before
pressing the door bell. Her heart pounded against her ribs and sweat beads
appeared on her forehead, even in that cold winter morning. She could hear
some foot steps approaching the door from the opposite side, which were
followed by a metallic sound, as the latch was lifted off the catch. The
tension was unbearable now, as she saw the door opening slowly. And
there he was! A friendly looking guy with a warm smile. He was not exactly
handsome but still looked pleasant.
“Abhilasha ?” the man enquired.
“Yes," she nodded.
“Hi …this is Arvind,” he extended his hand for a handshake.

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Correct Answer for Question 1 is Arvind