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Venus Bytes
A collection of Short Stories by Venu Rao

Book is being released today March 01, 2012 at St. Marks Hotel, Bangalore by
Sri. Basant Kumar Patil

Available at Gangarams, Strand and Axis book stores.

Venus Bytes is a collection of short stories peppered with anecdotes and real life incidents relating to the hospitality industry. With wit and humour and written in a racy style the first time author Mr. Venu Rao's effort is commendable. His vast experience in the hotel industry in India and abroad enables the reader to get a first hand insight into the myriads of happenings in a hotel. His encounters with cobras, elephants, rats are amusingly brought out and the reader is able to relate to these situations. It is a pleasure reading these stories some of which have a twist in the tale that brings out an involuntary smile and a chuckle.

Royal Abode is a story full of pathos with a sad ending. It has truthfully demonstrated the saying that man proposes but God disposes.

In the story of the Guitar Man the incident of singing and dancing at the traffic junction has been interestingly brought out. Did it make headlines the next day? Maybe the concept of 24 hour TV Channels was still a novelty. The ecstasy of little Aabana as the unexpected happy birthday strains coming from Allen's guitar is very touching. Who does not like pleasant surprises?

Shatrange is an Arabic usage for the game of dice-Shatranj. Chaturanga is the Samskrit word for the game that turned the fortunes in Mahabharata and it is ironic that a foreign word should be used to denote a game of Indian origin. Chetna ki DORI- of love and friendship is what life is all about and makes it worthwhile.

I nearly held my breath while reading the Second Chance. When the hunter becomes the hunted who gave up hunting for a green earth in Second Chance is indeed a soul stirring experience. Kumar Shetty must still be thanking his stars that he is able to see the dawn of many wonderful days.

The way the Sheikh spoke English was droll in Just a sign away. The irony of signing a death warrant in one moment and in the next attending to the nitty gritty of a business transaction brings out what responsibility entails the head of the State.
Maharaja's Ruby is mirthful. The dog Ruby aptly named preferred the Merc to the van and traveled in style from the Sandur hills to the plains of Bangalore. This story brings out the idiosyncrasy of dog owners.
In Lambkin's lost, the child in Venu is discernable when he went gaga over a lamb- his African buana or friend in Mombassa and the great sense of loss when it was roasted on the pit and came on a meat platter is poignantly captured.

To witness a young happy go lucky life snuffed out with one slip and the melting of what could be a life long friendship can make one scarred for life. One has to get into the author's shoes to empathize with this experience. The dark ending of this story, the intrigues of life is heartrending.

The last three stories more like a Venus Trilogy fails to hold one's interest. However Venu is at his best when telling the stories centering on true incidents of life. The stories reiterate that he has trawled in the rich waters of the industry and the waves of frothiness that he brings into the stories in indeed refreshing. They give an insight into the challenging world of the hotel industry which seems glamorous but apparently the grass is always greener on the other side.

The cover page design is excellent as also the line drawings that convey what the pages will unfold. This slim book is reader friendly and can be a good travel companion.

Book Review by Githa U Badikillaya.

Book Cover design by Gapu and Anton V