Friday, 15 March 2019

Killing Time in Delhi - Book Review

Killing Time in DelhiKilling Time in Delhi by Ravi Shankar Etteth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Killing Time in Delhi by Ravi Shankar Etteth lives is set in Lutyens Delhi. The characters are a murky lot, each overloaded with the eccentric characteristics. Charlie Seth's mistress dies of a cocaine overdose and with her death all troubles begin for Charlie.

The trouble with Killing Time in Delhi is that it lives in its own world. It doesn't bother much about finding a connect with the reader. Characters come and go, leaving readers confused. The same is true of the events in the book. Though the reviewers are praising the novel for its pace, I found the pace to be slow. Unnecessary descriptions using complex sentences and words out of vogue have a repelling effect on the reader.

So it is up to you whether to kill your time in reading Killing Time in Delhi or not.

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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The Light Catcher - Book Review

The Light Catcher  by Sameer ChopraThe Light Catcher by Sameer Chopra by Sameer Chopra
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sameer Chopra crafts interesting characters in his debut novel The Light Catcher. We have read about the cut throat competition in the corporate world earlier. What makes The Light Catcher different from other books is it brilliant characterization. So we have Purab the protagonist who finds soon that the corporate world is not his cup of tea.

On the contrary his love interest Rati is born for the corporate life, she takes to it like fish takes to water. The attraction between these two is the masterstroke of the writer. It keeps you glued to the story, eager to know what happens next.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The events in the life of the protagonist are easy to relate to. We feel for the protagonist and that I think is the success of the author. There are very few books that succeed in painting realistic picture of the things and The Light Catcher is definitely one of them. Don't miss this one.

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Thursday, 7 March 2019

Don't be harsh on yourself

Years come and go. But 2018 was a very important year in my life. My mantra for the year was not to be harsh on myself. I reaped the benefits of this attitude.

Maintaining a daily journal has been a part of many of my new year resolutions. My cupboard is full of diaries, with a few entries for the month of January. All the following months were blank. In latter years I used those diaries, but just as notebooks. I wrote besides the years which were now a part of the past. At the beginning of the 2018 I again resolved to maintain a journal. But this time there was a change in my attitude. Here is an entry from my journal dated 9th January 2018.

Another year, another diary. Like you all I have many diaries of the years gone by, meticulously written for some days and then the pages were all blank. I utilized those pages after a few years, only as pages of a notebook and not a diary.
But this time around there is change in my outlook. I am relaxed. I am composed. I am not going to be harsh on myself. It is alright if I don’t write for a few days. It is fine if what I write is crap and doesn’t sell. I like the way I am. Believe me this has lifted tonnes off weight (of expectations and self pity) from my chest.

With this attitude I maintained the journal. I didn’t write everyday. There are many pages blank in the diary. But still I wrote far more than what I had written in all these years. I received an acceptance from myself. It sounds so weird but it is true. We don’t accept ourselves the way we are. We keep on finding our own faults and demeaning ourselves.

Here is another entry from my diary
6th February 2018
So much of protocol, rules of behaviour and etiquettes taught to me by my parents and teachers, some times directly, some times indirectly. I followed them scrupulously. But today I realize the burly pressure and tension that it built within me. In retrospect I feel that I should have been more flexible, for these etiquettes are for us and not the other way round.
You can do your best while staying relaxed. Moreover no matter how much you go by the book, there is no guarantee that the to her person will be pleased by your behaviour. There is no assurance that the outcomes will be as expected by you either. So what’s the point in being steadfast with regard to anything? Why not stay relaxed and do your best.
Hence forth no worrying about manners and etiquettes.

When I stopped exerting unwanted mental pressure on myself a wonderful thing happened. Things started falling place on their own. I became more productive. My relationships, including the one which I have with myself, improved. I became relaxed. Hope that you too stop being harsh on yourself.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

The Sameness in a Consistent Change - Book Review

The Sameness in a Consistent ChangeThe Sameness in a Consistent Change by Sujay Malik
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Sameness in a Consistent Change is a book by Sujay Malik. I had read the earlier book of the author which was a collection of short stories. The number of pages, the name of the book gives a general impression that this too is a collection of short stories. But actually it is a single story.

This is the story of a young chap Ramanuj who sees his father die for want of resources. At the same time Pallavi, the daughter of a politician's secretary, gets proper treatment at the cost of Ramanuj's father. The story deals with their emotions, their feelings and their regrets.

The writing is good, but the wafer thin storyline could have been developed into a more interesting story. Nevertheless, this is one time read for sure.

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Thursday, 7 February 2019

Peshwa II - Book Review

Ram Sivasankaran's first installment of Peshwa held tremendous promise. The second installment 

was awaited for Mastani was to arrive in it. I must say that Peshwa II doesn't disappoint for sure.

Ram does an excellent job of weaving parallels which go well with the main track. The writing is clean and tidy. The length could have been curtailed a bit. Yet no complaints. Writing a book of this grandeur is no child's play. Mastani comes across as a woman with a spine and not a courtesan.

 The book gives you the satisfaction of reading both a historical thriller and romance. The book is highly recommended.  

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Nine - Book Review

Emperor Ashoka has left his secrets with a coterie on nine who have passed them on from one generation to another. Those esoteric secrets are closely guarded by a small group even today. Sweta Samota dexterously weaves the magical world of Nine. Ila is the Robert Langdon of this mystery novel where codes are to be deciphered for the powerful. There are sudden disappearances of the scientists and Ila is wanted by the Intelligence too. The plot is nothing new, yet the book is a page turner. It is sumptuous thriller for sure. And then there is a love story too. The writing is sharp. You feel for the characters and can't simply wait to know what happens next. But there are multiple layers and numerous characters both from the past and the present that add to the richness of the narrative. The narrative is fast paced which is a must for any thriller. Sweta brings out myriad emotions amidst this otherwise mystery novel. She needs to be congratulated for brilliantly marrying romance to mystery. If you enjoy thrillers go for it. You wont repent reading this one. 

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Distress to De-stress - Book Review

'Our childhoods were so carefree. Even toddlers today speak of being stressed.' I heard my friend say. No one can deny that young and old, rich and poor all are feeling stress of today's competitive world. Stress cannot be eliminated but it can be well managed. Distress to De-stress is a book by Vikas Kakwani which will help you in managing stress.

The author discusses the causes of stress. He very aptly states the role of individual, family, friends, schools in building stress. He doesn't stop by simply discussing causes of stress. He introduces quick, effective solutions by which you can manage your stress. He explains Japanese techniques like Kanban to reduce stress. One two ka four rule for meetings is going to be very effective when put in actual use. In order to reduce stress, he asks to delete your facebook account and whatsapp by asking why do you need them in the first place. I don't know how many of us will follow this tip.

To sum up this book will help you reduce stress in all walks of your life be it finances, relationships or work. Highly recommended. You wont repent reading this one.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Daffodil - Bookblitz

Daffodil by Shree

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 534 KB
  • Print Length: 83 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07KDDS452

Ranking on 

Daffodil is a story of an ordinary girl who was compelled to lead an extraordinary life right from her childhood. Contrary to the meaning of her name, the flower which blooms in the spring, Daffodil had to brave squalls and struggle in retribution. Happiness came to her life only to obliterate it mercilessly. She witnessed darkness like nobody did but she persistently followed the light at the end of the tunnel. The tempest could not wither her roots ̶ she surfed through the ebb and flow of her life with robustness and proved her life to be worthwhile. Daffodil's story is all about how she survived beyond the season of blooming amidst deaths, crimes, corruption, prison, and vengeance.

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR

Shree from Houston, TX, is an IT Pro turned author / poetess since 2015. Her works include short stories collection 'Secret Expressions: Two Stories', novella 'Silent Invaders', which has entered the quarter finals of Screencraft Cinematic Story (for Hollywood) Contest 2017, and Bengali poetry book 'Onuronon', released in International Kolkata Book Fair 2018. Her latest release is a novel titled 'Daffodil: Blooming Beyond the Season'. Shree is a contributing author of 'Flock-The Journey', 'Different Strokes', '50 Shades of Women' and 'Petals of Love'. Her upcoming anthology is 'Muffled Moans - Unleashed', where she has contributed two of her poems. She is a regular writer on several writing platforms, portals and magazines. She also works as a freelance writer / editor.

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Saturday, 12 January 2019

Life on the Edge - book review

Life on the Edge is a mix mash of romance and the compromises that ordinary mortals have to make in mundane lives. It captures the travails of a middle class (failed)marriage very well. It tells how every day life becomes hell when you marry the wrong person, just because he is from your caste, community and your parents have approved it.

What I liked about the book is that it is extremely well written. The writing is simple, clear and error free. The plot resembles that of a movie in the eighties. So children's fees remain unpaid because of poverty, there are no good clothes to wear and scooters are bought on EMI. However as we reach the melodramatic climax this eastman colour story from the eighties takes a leap and enters the uncensored Netflix era. The ending is too bold when compared with the set up that the author creates. But at the same time the behaviour of the protagonist appears justified in the given circumstances of the case

The book is very different from the kind of books that are sold in the market today. It isn't a college romance, it isn't a clone of Da Vinci Code and not a book sold solely on marketing. It is something different. It is a one time read for sure.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

The Smart Home Revolution

As a child I loved listening to the tales from the Arabian Nights. One of my favourites was Alibaba and the forty thieves. I stood at the door of my house with an elan and said ‘Khul Ja Sim Sim’ numerous times. It was my dream that one day the door would open with my oral command. And indeed one day the door opened. Not because of any magic but because my house was now a smart home. Smart homes, smart watches, smart lights have become a part of our day today lives.
I have a five years old daughter whom I leave alone at home when I go to work. Of course there is a very loving caretaker who babysits her. ‘You will know how a parent feels only when you become one.’ My mother would say all the time. Today when I have become a parent I perfectly agree with her. Whether it is minor cold or cough my heart starts beating faster when anything is wrong with her. So when I see from my office that she is no longer playing in water, sleeping peacefully and not coughing, I feel that smart cameras are a boon for today’s working parents. I can control the smart camera with my phone. With the camera placed at the centre of the house I could rotate it 360 degrees and monitor all the activities at home. Given the number of crime news that are highlighted in the news, I feel that smart cameras offer effective protection. Prevention after all is better than cure.
When I purchased my first smart wearable, a smart watch the only words that came out of my mouth were incredulous. How can a watch have so many functions. It offered me a weather forecast. It told me my heart rate. It told me the number of steps I took when I walked and ran, and the number of calories that I burnt. With the internal storage I could add my favourite songs into the watch and listen to them when I went out for a stroll. Being a watch, there are alarm, stopwatch settings as well. Can you believe it when I say that the smart watch even tracked my sleep. I could easily change the watch faces, which are displays. The watch faces are extremely attractive. Further I could even add my own pictures as watch face. Wow, could I have asked for more? The watch is charged by placing it on the dock. Thus it is very easy to use. Wait there are some more stunning features to be discussed. I get all my mobile phone alerts on my smart watch. So if I have kept my phone in my pocket, bag or left it at home, I still have access to it.
Ten years back no one would have imagined that our lives would be so intrinsically linked with our mobile phones. Be it banking or gas cylinder booking you require a mobile phone. If mobile phones are the present, smart home, smart lights, smart wearable, smart camera and all other smart devices are the future. The earlier you switch to these smart devices the better it is for you.
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