Friday, May 20, 2016

Blog Tour: FALSE CEILINGS by Amit Sharma



Disclaimer: I received an author-signed paperback of this book via The Book Club in return for my honest review.

The story takes off in the middle with Aaryan, in the year 2001. He’s a college professor and seems a bit off his rocker. From here we are taken to 2060 and a very old Lipi. Cut to 2062 and Sunny. Lipi is dead now.

After the above glimpses, we get to read the story of Shakunthala (yeah, the one on the book blurb). Shakunthala is the pampered child of builder Kanshi Ram and his wife Kusum in Dalhousie. Here again, the story begins with her death and goes back to her birth; back and forth; back and forth.

Some of the descriptions, especially of Dalhousie – the landscape, the sunsets, the market place at different periods in time – were picturesque. I so loved the words that painted such powerful visuals.

Many generations follow, beginning in 1930 and ending in 2062. The author has attempted to retain a thread of mystery throughout to keep the reader hooked to the “curse”.

But in that attempt, the characters get mixed up in the reader’s mind.

Like there’s Aaryan. I read about his “mother” and his “father”; his “grandmother” and his “grandfather”. It’s truly difficult to follow a story where the characters have no names. In actuality, they do. But I perceive that the author has attempted to keep all these mysterious. Believe me, navigating through the book, with so many characters criss-crossing, while trying to understand who’s who, it wasn’t easy.

I was determined to know what the curse was. That’s what kept me going. The author has used high class English. I was happy to see many not-so-commonly used words in the book. But the basics such as a, an, the and words like for, at, in, upon, about, with, etc were completely askew. Most sentences were incorrectly formed.

Another thing that threw me off was the inherent negativity in each character, the air of hopelessness throughout the book, till the last couple of pages, when the “curse” is finally revealed. 

I will go with three stars for this book. A good attempt by a first time author. With the right editor, it could have been a really great book.


Born in the lush mountains of Dalhousie in 1930, Shakuntala is a pampered child of a wealthy builder. On her wedding night she is gifted a secret to use wisely when the time comes. 

From the green valleys of Dalhousie to a village in Punjab reeling under the communal violence of 1947; from the Delhi of 1950s with its intoxicating smell of freedom to the Delhi of 1970s soaked in the hippie culture; from the Delhi of 1984 smelling of burnt tyres to the Delhi of 90s raising its Frankenstein of urbanization, the cancerous secret breathes with her, infects her. It is accidentally passed down, hidden under insecurities and jealousies, locked in its meaninglessness and leaving a trail of ruin. 

When her great- grandson accidentally discovers the secret in 2065, he is perplexed by the malice that flowed in his family's blood. Was it just the secret or his family would have destroyed itself even in its absence? Why was their love never greater than their unsaid expectations from each other? 

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Amit Sharma

Amit Sharma's first fiction book titled False Ceilings has been published by Lifi Publications. The book launch happened on 12 Jan 2016 in the World Book Fair in Delhi. 

Amit has been working in a Software Firm since the last ten years. He lives with his family in NCR. His wife is a teacher and they are blessed with a daughter who is in her terrible twos. 

Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travelers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.

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