Short Stories with a difference

Friday, 26 July 2019

Marrying Happiness - Book Review

Never question the tough times instead look for the ways to overcome them through your efforts.

The book Marrying Happiness opens with such a beautiful quote. The very first quote in the book rejuvenates the soul tired from everyday din. The book holds a promise from the first page itself and keeps it up with the following content. This is commendable.

I really liked the following quotes from the book.
If you lose a bit initially to win big later, that's not a loss. Similarly, tough times are a pre indicator of big wins ahead.
Life is very unforgiving for any pain that we cause to others. In a way we harm ourselves by harming others.
Everybody's life is balanced mix of good and bad times. The only thing we need to realize is that all of us don't get good and bad times together.

There comes a situation in life where we get struck in whirlpool of emotions. We feel hopeless and see no ray of hope. The author tells us how to deal with such situations in the following words.
Don't stay stuck in turmoil forever. Instead strive continuously to turn around your situation. No situation can be bigger than your resolve.
 
Another quote says,
If you have fallen down, don't despair. Once you get up, nobody would even remember that you were down once, unless you keep reminding it to yourself. 
 
This book is a treasure house of wisdom. I really admire the way the author has precisely summarized the wisdom of life. They say a wise man is one who learns from other's experiences. This book is not just a book. It is a training to lead a good, successful life. Everyone should read this book not once but many times.


The Very Best Quotes of Arun Malik - Book Review


What can words do? In response to the said question I would ask what word's cannot do? Words can lift the spirits of a battered soul, they can instill a new lease of life in the withered body and it can sharpen the intellect with no limits. I realized the power of words when I read The Very Best Quotes of Arun Malik.

I really liked the following quote from the book.
You don’t live a day to make a living but you make a living to live a day.
Speaking of perseverance the author says
Always give people a second chance to prove themselves, for world’s greatest folks, almost all of them failed massively in their first attempts.
Being novice at something means it is your first time at trying. It doesn’t mean that you have any less courage or talent than those who are considered experts.

We all receive set backs in life. We don't know what to do in such situations. The following quote will offer solution in such cases.
When down in the dumps, it takes a herculean effort to take the first step which is all, how you overcome your mental block. Rest of the journey the natural forces of the universe guide you. So in all you have to take just one step, the support for rest of the journey comes from unknown sources.

We repent many things in life. But the past cannot be mended. The following quote says the same.
If you delving too much in the past, you are letting opportunities in the present pass by you.

In today's materialistic age such quotes, such subtle arrangement of words and the rich and profound meaning implanted in them are rarity. I congratulate the author for penning such a wonderful collection which will motivate many generations to come.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Courting Happiness - Book Review

Arun Malik has a way with words. He knows how to use them aptly to rekindle dormant dreams, to clean all the cobwebs that din of the daily life creates and to give that much needed little push when you are about to give up.

Courting Happiness is another collection of magical quotes by him. The author precisely knows how to summarize the wisdom of life into tiny capsules. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book.

I don’t have any regrets about my past as I am making a future very different from it.

Why waste efforts on bringing other people down. If you pull yourself up, then they will be down to you anyways.

The following quote illustrates if you constantly hanker for approval from others you will never be happy.
You can’t have a huge number of people liking you without a few hating you as well.

Speaking of gifts the author says, If you want to thank someone. Just lift their spirits by positive words. It will have much long lasting effect as compared to your gifts.

The author's words will ignite the passion in you, enlarge your dreams and even realize them. I feel every person should read this book daily. The book is highly recommended.



Winning Over Life - Book Review

I have read many motivational books. But Winning Over Life stands out not only for its simplicity but also the profound impact which it had on me.

No one can deny that we get affected by what others are doing. The author offers a solution to such situations in the following words
You can’t achieve peace of mind if you keep wondering about what others do. Composure comes from what you have done.

If only I had not done that mistake, we say most of the times. But the author has a different take when he says
Don’t worry about making mistakes while growing up. If you don’t do it now, then you will do it when you are grown up which shall prove to be expensive.

Losing and winning are part of the game. You can't always be a winner. Nor can you be a loser all the time. This is what the author says in the following words.
Losing and winning are complementary. Abundance of one leads to another.

Arun Malik is a man of wisdom. The book is replete with such great quotes. The author motivates us with words which instill courage to fly high in the sky. At the same time his words also impart knowledge to keep us grounded. If we pick one quote from the book each day and mull over it, our life is bound to change for the good. Isn't it a good reason to read the book.


Unfolding dreams - book review

Some books are to be skimmed, some read and those few which contain words of wisdom have to be engraved permanently on our hearts. Unfolding dreams is one of such few books.

'Don't be afraid of your fears. Most of them don't have any basis. But they hinder your growth and progress.' Says the author in one of his quotes.

'Great men stay balanced even when they are going downhill in life. They know eventually they will get back to the summit.' is another quote which I have liked from the book.

We all have our share of joys and sorrows in life. But unfortunately it is those bad experiences, sad moments that cling to us. Telling us how to deal with such situations, the author says, 'Forget the bad experiences with people and try remembering only the good ones. It will lighten the load on your mind. Hence rest of the journey will seem much easier.'

The author gives a word of caution in the following quote, 'Corporate smiles and handshakes are directly proportional to pay package one gets. The fatness of the package determines the wideness and firmness of the handshake.'

The writing is simple and refreshing. Such words with deep meaning are sure to have a deep impact on the minds. The words in the book are not mere, mundane words. They are the essence of living which the author has distilled through years of experience and learning. The book has an attractive layout that enhances the reading experiences. Colourful borders and attractive fonts make the book beautiful. This book is certainly worth reading.


Saturday, 20 July 2019

You can Make it Big - Book Review

Words are not just cluster of alphabets. If used rightly they hold tremendous powers to transform lives. Arun Malik's You can Make it Big puts this power of words to maximum use, of course for the good.

I liked the following quotes from the book
Always pursue achievements which are important for you instead of those which you think are important for the world. Chances are,once you achieve them, they will become
important for world too.

Keep your self-confidence intact despite failures. Failures are temporary, but if selfconfidence is permanent then success will eventually come to you.

No one can suppress talent for long. The world has a good tradition of recognizing talent in whatever form it comes.

Writing such lines which carry the gist of life is not a child's play. I congratulate the author for taking up such a Herculean task and succeeding in it. This book is a result of hard work and experience. All of us should benefit from the author's insights about life. If you are a student, I am sure even if you read just one page daily from the book your career will scale to new heights. This book holds such a tremendous power. Isn't that a good reason to read the book.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Inviting Abundance - Book Review


'It is really difficult to decipher the spirit of life into sentences, especially quotations,' says Arun Malik, author of Inviting Abundance. After reading the book I can say that he has certainly succeeded in discerning the true nature of life. This is a book of quotes which will serve as affirmations to invite abundance in your life.

I really liked the following quotes from the book.
Your chances of success multiply if you try new ways of doing things.

Giving up is very easy but then, easier things give lesser returns.

Why shouldn’t I look forward to remaining years of my life? I have just started enjoying now.

Why cry over lost opportunities? You can invite as many as you want now.

With every loss you are reducing your chances of failing it again in the future. Isn’t it taking you closer to success eventually?

Some books are to be just read, some are to pondered over and assimilated into our lives. This book falls into the second category. The language is simple. A small quote can do what hundreds of books can't. After reading the book you will feel reinvigorated. You will be inspired to start your efforts afresh and reach your goals. Isn't it a good reason to buy the book.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

The Reflections - Book Review


The Reflections is not just a collection of quotes. It is a powerhouse of motivation, wisdom and insight.

The book is divided into four sections - Appreciating others, Words and Language, Grooming Young minds and Parenting, and General Quotes. I simply loved the followed quotes from the book.
A child when seeking your attention as a parent simply wants appreciation.

We humans have an innate hunger for being appreciated. Those who satiate this hunger always stay back in our good memories

Appreciation has the power to turn underdogs into super performers if done consistently over a period of time.

Many people lose track of their lives as there is lack of appreciation in their immediate environment. So, appreciation is vital in realizing our true potential.

Before you expect appreciation from others, you should take pride in your achievements. Only this way, appreciation received will reinforce your belief.

Words should always be chosen based on the audience’s background and the overall context.
Don’t speak for few minutes when you are angry. You may be simply venting your anger but someone’s life may take turn for the worse due to your words.

If one generation works hard and becomes learned and educated, the next generation’s learning grows manifold.

Love your children despite all their imperfections as they belong to you. You will find that slowly all their imperfections become less significant to their perfections.

However, I have some reservations about a few quotes like the following
Never hesitate to object people from using harsh words, however big they may be in position relative to you. You will be doing your own good and won’t let people trample you with their feet.


I am impressed with the book. This book is the best gift that you can give to your loved ones.

Monday, 15 July 2019

The Legends of a Start Up Guy - Book Review


We all hear the rags to riches stories of entrepreneurs. We secretly hanker to become part of such inspirational tales. But while it sounds very easy to the ears, one is baffled where to start with. To end our confusion, Prachi Garg has come up with her new book The Legends of a Startup Guy.

The book explains all the phases in the life of an entrepreneur from the scratch. So even if you are not knowing anything about entrepreneurship, the book will hold your hand and guide you through the entire journey which otherwise may be arduous.

What I liked about the book is the way it incorporates deities like Ganesh, Laxmi and Parvati into the narrative. It not only makes the book interesting but also easy to understand. 
 
Yes there are few chapters which drag and the book could have been better. Yet given the dearth of business books written by Indian authors, The Legends of a Startup Guy must be welcomed.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Silver Hair Sins - Book Review

Saumick Pal's novel Silver Hair Sins is India's first visual fiction, which means more than half of the novel is narrated by photographs. That by itself is an experiment, isn't it?Silver Hair Sins is an intriguing title. What could that mean, one wonders. But as you reach the climax of the novel, you realize how justified it is.

I have read many science fictions but this one certainly stands apart. We have seen the conflict between Artificial Intelligence and humanity. But we have never read or seen any science fiction where Artificial Intelligence comes to the rescue of humanity. Silver Hair Sins is set in the future. Human beings are fighting with one another, bringing their very existence into peril. Artificial Intelligence comes to their rescue. This is an interesting premise.

The language of the author is lucid. He keeps you glued to your seats by weaving an interesting tale. The photographs justify the story and carry it forward. This is a must read book. Don't miss it.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Skin deep - Book Review


Skin DeepSkin Deep by Ajay Monga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ajay Monga's Skin Deep is a nice, entertaining read. It is the story of the women who are the face of the glamour world, and the men who exploit them and run the show business. The story begins with a beauty pageant. While the reader gets an impression that this story is about the contest the result of which will be declared at the climax, we get to know who wins the crown petty soon.

This is story of four friends too. Like all friends they fight and make up. Most importantly they stand together for a cause. The book contains some beautiful lines like
You use the latest iPhone to be with the times, but what about changing your outdated mentality? The latest technology suits your needs, so you parade it around like an emblem of your modernity. But where it really matters – like giving freedom to your daughters or treating them equally – you behave like a cave man. Your kind exists in all communities, riding the horse of orthodoxy to trample on women and instil fear in their minds. You will commit atrocious acts just to make sure patriarchy prevails, not only today but forever.

The book has some mistakes to. For example the following line on page 11.
He had to dies so he died.

Yet the book is a decent read. This story is different from those which we have seen in Madhur Bhandarkar's movies, which are penned by the same author. Hence, this book has to be on your book shelves.

View all my reviews

Friday, 5 July 2019

Free Bird Part 13


Read the previous part here
There are some people, some situations which scare the ghost out of the most courageous persons. Most of the times these are matters of the heart. That day Sneha casually ambled to receive the phone. Most of the times it was her father who received the calls on the landline. Sneha had pestered him to get a mobile phone. But his logic was that since he hardly ventured out of the house, the landline served his purpose. It was he who attended all the calls on the landline. But as luck would have it Sneha was passing through the drawing room when the phone rang and she picked the phone.

'Hello.' The caller said. There were butterflies in Sneha's stomach and her legs felt jittery on hearing his voice. Catching hold of the armrest of the sofa she slumped into it.
'Sneha, I know it is you.' The caller said.
'I will call Papa.' She said not knowing what to say.
'No, I want to speak to you. Read the feature on you. Congratulations, you have come a long way.' Raj said.
'I thought... you had forgotten me.'
'I may forget to breath Sneha, but I can never forget you.' He said.
Sneha felt a strange sensation course through her body. She wanted to ask him to fl doywn to India from Australia to meet her. She wanted to share her joys with him. She wanted to tell him how much she had missed her. She wanted to fight with him and ask him as to why he hadn't bothered to keep in touch with her. In spite of her greivances now she was content that he cared for her. That he was keeping track of her activities and wished to congratulate her.
'How did you come to know about it? She asked, not knowing how to start the conversation after so many years.
'Someone sent me the clipping as an attachment.'
'Who?' She asked.
'Well I have my well placed resources.' He laughed.
'Where were you? Why didn't you call me all these years.'
'Was a little busy.'
Sneha wanted to retort by saying that he had time to wish her father on his birthday but no time to call her. But the next sentence that he uttered made her melt.

'There are so many things which I want to tell you. Will tell you once we meet.' So Raj was eager to meet her. Sneha forgot that he had not kept in touch with her for years. She forgot that when she had called him a few times, he had avoided her. He had expressed his desire to meet her and Sneha had forgiven him once and for all.
'When are you coming?' She asked.
'Very soon, to taste your pickles.' He said.
Gaining a little composure she said, 'I can send a jar to Australia.'
'But I wish to have it from your hands.' He said.

Sneha blushed. That's when her father entered the room. 'Whom are you talking to beta?' He enquired. 'Papa, it's Raj.' Sneha said. Then she told Raj that she had some urgent work to attend and hung up. Later that day Sneha got angry at herself. She had always disapproved those spineless girls who were tongue tied in front of their boyfriends and agreed to all that they said. But today she too had replicated their behaviour. Does love that to a person? Sneha didn't know. She resolved, the next time Raj called her, she would tell him how he had wronged her, how he had played with her emotions and how much heartache he had caused to her.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Free Bird Part 12


Read the previous part here
It was not that Sneha received encouragement from all quarters. She received some opposition too. As it often happens the fiercest opposition came from her own relatives. They scrunched their noses when they heard of Pa's pickles. 'Such an educated girl and what she is doing, seasoning pickles in the garage. If she wanted to do the same, why did she waste her father's money and her time in college education.' Some said. 'She is a bold and daring girl. She should have joined the police or military force. Her valour would have been put to some good use.' 'Business? Do you know nine of the ten newly started businesses shut down in the first year itself.'

The relatives made it a point to stop Sneha on the road and lecture her. Those who otherwise didn't even bother to call her, phoned her and discouraged her from her plans. Their sermons ended with lines like, 'We have seen more world than you child. We are your well wishers. We care for you. That is the reason why we are telling you this.'

Given the kind of woman Sneha was, she was not going to give up so easily. Neither was she going to listen to her distractors and stop her pickle business which at that time was still in a nascent stage. But she was a little shaken up for sure. That night sensing her troubles, her father had said, 'Remember my child, every new work goes through three stages - ridicule, opposition and acceptance. Every success is like a child birth and you have to bear the labour pains.' Sneha nodded her head and worked extra hard to make her business a success. She was very particular of the quality of the products. The quantity of spices that went into the pickles was handled by her personally and no one knew in what proportions she mixed it. This was a trade secret which she closely guarded. She met various stores, offered them free samples, lured them by offering extra commissions and won them over. Soon Pa's business was going to places. There were hoardings displayed in the main market and in front of the busy railway station. Half page advertisements were booked in the newspapers. 'This is the age of marketing and we cannot shy away from it only to save money. In the long run the returns will be multi-fold.' Rupa had said and Sneha realized that now Rupa had indeed become an entrepreneur to the core, and was making some sensible talk. This is what happens when you venture out into the real world.

Sneha's business was flourishing. She had become a celebrity in the town. A journalist had come to write a feature on her. 'You are an intelligent, educated woman. Why did you decide to venture into pickle business.' Meera, the journalist of New Times of India switched on the voice recorder and asked Sneha.
'Sometimes in life you take some decisions on an impulse, and those turn out to be the best decisions of your life.' Sneha replied.

The journalist had some other questions inter alia regarding Sneha's future plans, her message to the youth. When the interview was over Meera switched off the voice recorder. Sipping her tea she asked Sneha. 'Now that the interview is over, tell me the truth. How did the pickle thing come to your mind.'

'Believe me Meera, I meant what I said in response to your question. It just happened. I just listened to my heart.' Unconvinced Meera nibbled with the biscuits.

The demand for Pa's pickles was roaring and Sneha had her team struggled to meet the ever increasing demand. Sneha's work force had expanded from two to ten. Now that the venture was successful, Rupa had gathered both courage and confidence to tell her mother that she was a part of Pa's pickles and intended to quit her job at the electricity office and join the business fulltime. Surprisingly now Mrs. Sharma had no qualms about her daughter stepping into the world of business. She had read the featured article in the newspaper about Sneha and secretly wished that one day her daughter too will make it big like her. Success turns your critics into your fans and Mrs. Sharma was one such convert. She called Sneha over the lunch, congratulated her and told her that Rupa was privileged to have a friend like her. 'If you require any help from me, I am just a call away. You are just like Rupa to me.' Mrs. Sharma had said. Sneha smirked. Nothing succeeds like success.
Read the next part here

Free Bird Part 11


Read the previous part here


 There were wafts of ground spices emanating from the garage. Sneha and her two helpers were having a busy time - raw mangoes were cut, oil crackled into the wok, spices were added, samples were tasted and finally packed into the plastic containers with the name Pa's pickles on it.


When Sneha had asked her father to suggest a name for her business, he had suggested mother's pickle. He couldn't complete a sentence without reference to Sneha's late mother. Even Sneha had liked that name. But there was another pickle in the market with the same name. So Sneha came up with a new name Pa's pickles. It sounded trendy, served her tribute to her father and certainly stole some good will of mother's pickle. Strange, but shoppers couldn't easily differentiate between mother's pickles and Pa's pickle, and Sneha's business was soaring.

'We can't work like this. We will have to get automated.' Sneha said. Her two helpers didn't understand what she said and they continued with their work. The following week when the mixing and packing machine arrived in the garage the helpers looked at it in awe. They had never seen anything like that.

Sneha was so immersed in the activities of her business that she hardly got the time to chat with her father. Sometimes she felt terribly guilty for not giving him time. But before she could ponder over the said thought for longer, some or other issue relating to her business would crop up and she would be busy handling it. Running your own business is not an easy task. Sneha had realized it once she had plunged into it.

Rupa, unknown to her mother was a dormant partner in the enterprise. She had invested some money into it and was leaving no stone unturned to make the pickle business a success. She would daily post status updates on her whatsapp which carried her pictures with the pickle bottle in different angles. For the first time in her life, Rupa was doing something which she felt was right and not meekly following the commands of her mother. The fact that she was hiding her role in the business surprisingly added to her excitement. When she received her share in the profit in the first month itself her joy knew no bounds. 'Yeah, we have become successful entrepreneurs.' She had said. She had planned to buy a nice saree for her mother from the said amount. She asked Sneha as to what she was going to do with her money. Sneha had told her that she was going to plough back the money into the business. On being asked why, Sneha told her about the additions she planned to make to the existing business. Hearing her elaborately drawn plans Rupa was super impressed. She too decided to reinvest the profits into the business. She laughed at the fact how much she was moored into the 9 to 5 job mentality which made her spend all the money which she got as a salary immediately. 'Not that I have become an entrepreneur I should act like one too. I release my mental patterns of salaried job mentality.' She said and patted on her head as if she was turning off some switch in the head. 
Read the next part here