Sunday, June 2, 2013

Book Review: The Pink Scarecrow

Book: The Pink Scarecrow
Author: Ankita Srivastava
ISBN: 9789382473138
Publisher: Frog Books
No. of pages: 173
About the author:
                  Ankita Srivastava is a prolific writer who first published her work at the age of seventeen and has, since then, been publishing in both international and national magazines. An avid poet, Ankita is also a poem reader on AIR, a theatre artist, an Army officer with Operation Kargil and Operation Parakarm on her resume, an Air Force Officer’s wife, and a mother of two bright boys. She won the Tanishq Beauty pageant in 2008 and Most Vivacious Woman award at Gladrags Mrs India 2009.She is the first lady security officer of the State Bank of India, New Delhi and was conferred the State Banks Performance in Excellence award in 2012.This multi-faceted and accomplished lady finally gives shape to her dream of writing a novel and takes us into the captivating world of a fascinating romantic suspense in the backdrop of an Army Cantonment and the glitter of the fashion world as she writes her debutant fiction "The Pink Scarecrow.
The Synopsis of the book says:
As Lieutenant Colonel Vishesh looks around for the lady of the evening – whom he presumably offended by committing the misdemeanor of ogling at her, an act in clear contravention of established military courtesies, which could possibly make him lose social accolades earned in his military career spanning many years – with the thought of apologizing to her, he inadvertently enters a vigorous thought burrow where he sees one of the many insignificant passions that had got lost in the journey……that of his very own ‘Pink Scarecrow.’

Unable to fathom the reason for such inopportune reminiscences at the most inappropriate of times and venue, he launches into accomplishing the task he had set before himself for the evening.

He is shocked when he is chosen by the lady as her dance partner, much to the chagrin of his Commanding Officer and so many other fine-looking Army and Air Force officers. Oscillating between visible and invisible infatuations on the dance floor while dancing in close proximity with the dazzling lady, he could smell her perfume and he felt his body heating up.

The clock strikes 12:00…midnight...he holds his breath under his command just to wholly absorb her unruffled breath next to his ears…now craving to be rewarded…he hears her whispering something. As her words descend upon his ears, he freezes in his track.

Read on to find out if at all she thought he had committed an offence or does she make him feel punished for his permanent offence, if there was any !

The review:
                   To start with, a special thanks to Mistha Roy for a good and impressive cover page. At first I found the title to be irrelevant until I came to know about the real pink scarecrow of the book. The choice of title is good which a perfect adjective to describe ‘her’. Though the book has only 173 pages, the full story is clearly written with all needed stuffs. I congratulate Mrs. Ankita Srivastava for writing a novel with different military background. Reading the blurb I thought it would be a usual military story oscillating between war and love. But this book is totally different from the usual. One can learn all the military bearings or rules reading this book which was very new to me. The author has made an effort to let know the readers about the military bearings and responsibilities of the military officers in a neat way. A special note for letting the readers know about the women’s part of work at military that are brave and dedicated towards their service. The descriptions about the lady officers were very clear that I could imagine how they will resemble in their military attire. 
The full story is about a New Year’s Eve party at the military camp which is celebrated every year. The protagonist is in army and the story swings from his present to past. The entire military group enjoys the day with their family and friends. Lieutenant Colonel Vishesh who is the hero here is forced to attend the party by his Commanding officer, Colonel Sameer Chauhan. As Vishesh’s wife and children are out of town he had decided not to be a part of the eve but he is cornered when his officer who is also his friend, philosopher and guide who simply orders him to attend the party. This New Year party is considered very special and all are excited because of the celebrities who are invited to honor the eve. Vishesh who attends the party with no interest is slowly attracted by the guest of the eve who is the grandmags Mrs. India. The discussion or argument about Mrs. India between Sameer and his wife is well written.
The flashback about Vishesh’s college days makes the book interesting. Vishesh – The Casanova part talks about how he was the biggest flirt in the town. Gravita’s character is so perfect with that of an army officer’s daughter. Her fear to talk with a stranger that she also enjoys for the first time addressed beautifully. I found the telephonic conversation between Vishesh and Gravita to be very elaborate but still I enjoyed it. Finally the dance floor shared by Vishesh and the pink scarecrow is brilliantly handled and really is the unexpected part of the book.
To conclude my review, I would say that Mrs. Ankita Srivastava has put a lot of effort in making her first book .I really appreciate for giving a new and unusual story about military background .The use of language is so clear and beautiful. I give 4 out of 5 for this book. Thanks for sending me the review copy, I’m looking forward to read her next book soon and I strongly recommend this book. Wish you all the best Mrs. Ankita Srivastava.

You can buy the books from Flipkart or HS18.


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