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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Ranga half-pants - book review

Ranga half-pants is an endearing novel by Suman Kumar. It is the story of a boy studying in ninth standard. He is the only boy in his class who wears half-pants. All other boys have shifted to full pants. Ranga is bullied for being the only one in half-pants. He lacks the courage and strength to fight it out with the bully Joel, who leaves no opportunity of beating him verbally as well as physically. Ranga has a love interest too. She is studying in his class. But the bully Joel is getting closer to her. Ranga pesters his parents to buy him full pants. But they have their own financial constraints. His father hasn’t received his salary for more than three months. His mother’s mangalsutra is pawned. Redeeming it gets priority over Ranga’s half-pants. Plus there is a parallel track of Prasad who is a rowdy. He wants to come clean for the purpose of his love Tabasssum. Ranga gains both full pants and courage to fight with the nasty bully. But how? For this you will have to read the brilliant novel Ranga half-pants.

The Indian literary scene is full of mushy romances set in college campuses, where the characters hang out in polished malls and eat at multinational food outlets. Amidst this Ranga Half-pants comes across as a fresh breeze. It is a story set in a small town in Andhra pradesh. It carries the smell of the earth from the eighties. How significant are full pants for a boy, only the boy who has been through all the comments with regard to his wearing half-pants knows. Had it been like today where all young and old, men and women roam in half-pants, even when they are visiting the temples, things would have been easier for Ranga and boys like him.

The author creates a unique mix of characters. He recreates the atmosphere in a Brahmin family to the hilt. His father saying education is the only asset which Brahmins have. He linking things that Ranga wants to his performance in exams. The author gets it all correct. He articulates Ranga’s pain, anger and despair brilliantly. Ranga an adolescent boy shaving his face and limbs is relatable too. Many of us have done that when we were adolescents eager to step into manhood. The novel has many such nostalgic moments.

Then come the stereotyped characters like Prasad, Gaja and even Ranga’s love Kaivalya. But the author blends the real and not so real characters very adroitly. The result is a poignant tale of an underdog. The writing is simple, crisp and riveting. Almost every character apart from Ranga’s parents and Kaivalya hurls abuses. But I am no Pahlaj Nihalani or Censor Board to ask for cuts. Come on they are characters and they speak their own language.

This coming of age novel entertains you and at places even makes your eyes moist. You feel for Ranga and you enjoy his journey. The novel is flawless. It is very well written. Ranga half-pants gets full marks from me.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Whistling Schoolboy and other stories of school life - book review

Ruskin Bond’s books are all about innocence, poignancy, hills and some intrigue. Even the whistling school boy and other stories of school life is no exception to it.

The book is divided into two parts. The first set of stories is titled school days with Ruskin while the other is called School days, rule days. I really liked the story Our Great Escape. It is about friendship and partition. It looks at the loss which is caused to Ruskin by the partition of the country. The Four Feathers shows how considerate even the school going boys are, though their over-enthusiasm to help others may cause some problems. I really liked Here Comes Mr Oliver. The story elaborates the relationship between the stern teacher and his equally stern pet very well. The Whistling Schoolboy brings the intrigue in the hills. Every hill station has its own set of ghost stories. No wonder some of them even find mention in these stories. I had read Remember this Day in another collection. This is a poignant tale of the last day which Ruskin spent with his father. The School among the pines is about the children in the hills who have to walk through leopard infested jungles to reach the school. It articulates the conflict surrounding Tehri Dam in a simple language which children can understand. While writing about the joy of reading books, Bond says reading was always a minority hobby. According to him more young people read books and even aspire to be writers in today's age. This was unheard of during his times. So he refutes the claim that the reading habit has dropped amongst the younger generation of today.

Ruskin bond is never outdated. He never disappoints. I really liked this book even though I found a mistake on page 71 in the following line, ‘If two people are thrown together for a long time, they can became either close friends or sworn enemies.’

Friday, 24 June 2016

Rukhsat the Departure - book review

Rukhsat the departure by Sujit Banerjee indeed departs from all the known story telling styles. Rukhsat is about twenty-six names beginning with each of the alphabets and the story of each of those characters. We read one story and move to another. The same character meets us in some other story with a different name and at a different point of time. He doesn’t necessarily make his relationship with his alter ego clear. Just a few streaks here and there and you will have to connect the dots by yourself.

The writing is disturbing. There is throbbing pain in the story of every character. The writer deserves accolades for eliciting pain in a story (if there is any) which progresses in a non-linear fashion.

Rukhsat the departure is an experiment. It doesn’t always succeed. The ends remain raw and a lot is left for the imagination. Yet there are certain places where it does score inspite of the unconventional style of story telling. This book should be lapped by all those readers who wish something new should happen on the literary scene. The unconnected but overlapping characters do succeed in giving you a high at some places and this is the reason why you cannot miss Rukhsat the departure.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Parenting in the age of sex-posure - book review

Rupa publications’ Parenting series is indeed a commendable effort. Every book in the series touches an important aspect of raising the children in today’s challenging times. With Parenting in the age of sex-posure the Dr. Vanita Dubey touches the sensitive topic of sex and sexuality in the lives of children.

In the first chapter the biological underpinnings she discusses what is puberty. She also tells us about the pubertal changes in girls and boys and reasons for delayed puberty. She advises us that as parents we should give factual information relating to puberty in as detailed manner I which the child wants. It gives the child a sense of comfort and confidence.

The second chapter touching genitals : What is normal and what is not?, is about masturbation in children. Yes children to masturbate, but its different from that in adolescents and children. The author states that children often ask parents why their genitals look different from that of the opposite sex. According to her the best answer is to tell that boys and girls are different, but neither sex is better than the other.

The chapter different expressions of gender and sexuality deals with how to accept the sexuality of your children and raise them. The author says that as parents first we must educate ourselves and eliminate our biases and then help our child to to develop and integrate his/ her sexual identity.

Chapter four is about the pitfalls and perils of the internet. The author states that monitor your child’s online activity, ask for his/her password and occasionally check their accounts. Restrict their usage of the internet.

Hypersexuality and body image concerns are addressed in the fifth chapter. This chapter states how media creates constant pressure on both boys and girls to fit in a particular body shape and size. This can lead several disorders amongst the children.

The chapter child sexual abuse tells us what constitutes sexual abuse. Even forcing extremely rigid rules on child’s dress, whether it be very revealing or very modest constitutes child abuse. It tells us that we should teach our children as to what is good touch and bad touch. Even when we are hugging or kissing our own children, we should ask their permission. This instills the thought in them that no one can touch them without their permission. When it comes to child abuse, even boys are abused and it has a long term negative impact on the children.

The last two chapters what parents can do and investing in a future free of sexual violence offer practical tips to safeguard our children from the potential harm.

What I liked about the book is that it doesn’t look at sex and sexuality from a limited perspective. It successfully touches all aspects of sex and sexuality. Thus she says that research has shown that just being exposed to sexualized media images on a consistent basis also contributes to body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, low self-esteem, feeling depressed and physical health problems in high school girls.

She further says that parents should be encouraged to let the girls get dirty. Let them wear out the knees in their clothes and get dirt under their nails. Let them take apart their toys and find out how how they work. Don’t let your concern about their politeness or cleanliness get in the way of their delight in exploring the world around them. And don’t let your feal of seeing them fail stop them from finding their own solutions.

Discuss the stereotypes in fairy tale movies/books with your children. Why should the fair tale princess have to be so pretty or thin or fair? Or why should she need be rescued by a prince? Why can’t she solve her problems herself? Or why is a Barbie doll’s figure so thin? Are real people like her? And so on.

As parents we shape the sexuality of our children to a great extent. It is our responsibility to protect them and at the same time break all the gender stereotypes which the media is constantly bombarding. This book will be surely of great help in this endeavour.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

What I didn't expect when I was expecting - book review

I know many parents who wanted to have a second child but stopped at the first. The reason – they were too exhausted in raising their first child. That is the reason why Tina Trikha’s What I Didn’t Expect When I was Expecting is special. Tina is mother of three children and she is a working woman too. What I Didn’t Expect When I was Expecting documents her journey of parenting three children.

What I like about the parenting books of present times is their honesty. They do not portray some idealistic picture which will raise the bar for the reader parents, create tremendous pressure on them and the resultant disappointments. So the author honestly writes that with her first child she felt that the bonding, the attachment between them was missing. She was unhappy about it. Her mother asked her to wait until the child began responding and indeed within a few months the bond was established. Now to write things so honestly you require guts.

She also writes about toilet training and diaper usage. All her three children were born in the US and she relocated to India when her children had grown up to understand that they were moving to another country. She writes that Indian parents toilet train their kids early and she had difficulty in getting diapers in India for her son who had crossed two years. She also writes about the anxieties associated with the relocation. She was worried if her kids would have difficulties in adjusting in India.

One of her child’s classmate loses both his parents in the Mumbai terror attack. She writes about her experience of breaking the news to her kindergarten going child. Her child asks her if he too would lose his parents like his friend. I had goosebumps while reading this section of the book.

The author writes about resuming work, finding the right nanny and shopping with children. I liked the scheme devised by her to prevent her daughter from getting body piercing. She writes about travelling with kids and how birthday parties in India are no less than the fat Indian weddings.

While writing about the pressure which the social media puts on the parents, she writes, ‘We are also a generation of mothers that seeks external validation of our efforts. The wide-eyed excitement and joy shown by our children at the lopsided homemade birthday cake is not enough for us. So we put ourselves for judgments in the courts of social media. We post pictures, tell our stories, share our fears and insecurities, and then wait patiently, or rather refresh the screens repeatedly, for comments from our friends and fellow moms. We crave their approval and their declaration of us being good mothers.’

While writing about the guilt associated with parenting she says guilt has a middle name. It’s called Motherhood. She documents her feelings when for the first time her child said that he hated her and also clarified that he certainly meant what he had said.

About being a successful tiger mom she says, ‘being a successful tiger mom means having the patience to explain the underlying concepts of numbers and their operations in maths to your child. It means having the discipline to sit with your child while they slowly and painfully practise their piano pieces on regular basis. It means having the openness to learn new ways of teaching your child by unlearning what you know and then relearning it so you can coach them.’

I liked the book for it honestly documents the parenting journey. Every child is different. Yet there are certain things which we can learn from the experience of the author of raising three children.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Battles and Warriors - Book Review

Battles and Warriors is another gem from Rupa Books in the Exploring India series. It documents five major battles which took place in India – Alexander v. Porus, Ashoka v. the Kingdom of Kalinga, Rajendra Chola v. the Kingdom of Srivijaya, Babur v. Ibrahim Lodhi and Siraj-ud-Daula v. The East India Company.

The first question which cropped in my mind was that why should my child learn about battles. Fortunately the very talented author Subhadra Sen Gupta answered my question in the introduction. She says that soldiers, horses, elephants and even people who get caught in the middle of a conflict, all pay with their lives so that he men in power can gain even more power and wealth. Whatever the reasons for a battle, there is always someone who pays a price and that is the way it has been since ancient times.

The author starts by telling us that India was the only country which used just a horse to conquer a kingdom. Here she is speaking about the Ashwamedha yagya. Most of us know about this yagya. But what we don’t know is that once the land grabbing job was over the poor horse was sacrificed in another yagya. With many such interesting nuggets of the past the author adds to our knowledge and at the same time entertains us too.

I feel that the battle between Rajendra Chola and the Kingdom of Srivijaya is the highlight of the book. Hardly anyone knows about it. I had heard of the Chola kings but not about their battle with Srivijaya which is in present day Indonesia. While narrating the stories of other battles she gives details like rules of the war, weaponry used in the war and the personality traits of the warriors which includes their weaknesses and idiosyncrasies as well. The colourful illustrations by Tapas Guha enhance the reading experience. This is a book which you cannot miss.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Kings and Queens - Book Review

The first thought which I had after reading Kings and Queens by Subhadra Sen Gupta was that if history books were so interesting, I would have done better in history while I was in school. Kings and Queens is about two Kings Chandragupta Maurya and Krishnadeva Raya and two Queens Razia Sultan and Nurjahan.

The book sets forth the lives of each of these historic personalities in an objective manner. This is not just a story book for children. All the historic references are quoted at the apt places. The book not only tells us about the lives of these great men and women, but it also sheds light on the social scenario which prevailed during their lifetimes. It tells us about how men and women dressed at those times. It tells us about architecture of those times. It tells us about currencies and farmans and also visits by foreigners.

The language of the book is simple yet riveting. It succeeds in keeping you engrossed in the lives of these historic personalities. Needless to say it educates you as well. The little nuggets which come at the end of each chapter are interesting too. The colourful illustrations by Tapas Guha deserve a special mention too. Each chapter gives a list of reference books for further reading. I am sure after reading this book, every reader will want to know more about the lives of these men and women. So this list of references will be of great help.

To conclude Kings and Queens is a book which will be liked by both the young and the old. I eagerly look forward to other books in this Exploring India series.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Parenting in the age of anxiety - book review

Childhood is bliss or that is what they say. Gone are the days when childhood days were considered to be the best days of a person’s life. The truth is our children are ridden with anxieties. Those may be unreal for an adult, but they do eat up the children. Parenting in the age of anxiety by Dr. Zirak Marker acknowledges this. It is one of the best books in the parenting series published by Rupa publications.

The author begins by sharing his own childhood experience and telling us how anxiety entered their home with his mother’s illness. In the very words of the author “Apprehensions or fears about the unknown leads to anxiety. There could be endless triggering factors. It may be the child’s first day in the school, birth of a sibling, parent returning to a job, daycare centres, fear of certain people or situations, a movie or a particular character in a show, intolerance of certain sounds, smells, places, visual stimuli, textures, unpleasant situations with a peer or a friend or news about wars, terrorism, global warming, natural calamities and disasters.”

As parents the writer asks us to be supportive, caring, understanding and non-judgmental, while trying to understand what children are really feeling and what the triggering factors for the onset of anxiety may be.

The chapter unreal expectations deals with academic stress and pressures. The author warns us we are not perfect and no one is perfect. There is no perfect child, no perfect parent and no perfect parenting rules. He says there is almost always a hidden beauty and innocence in the imperfections our children possess.

In the chapter why me, bullying and peer pressure is dealt with. It tries to analyze the psychology of a bully. The author tells us to to make the child feel safer and tell him that you will take the matter forward and do exactly as the child wants you to do. The author warns us that an impulsive or emotional reaction may be detrimental to the child.

The chapter coping with a difference deals with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactive disorder. The author tells us the signs to look for with regard to the learning disabilities.

Caregivers anxiety is a chapter devoted to the borderline personality disorders. Teenage anxiety to fit into the group is dealt in the chapter Dear diary, teenage crises, eating disorders, experimentation and self harm. Sexuality, abuse and anxiety is the topic of chapter six. According to the author children who have been subjected to abuse and their families, need intensive professional psychological and psychiatric intervention with therapy and counselling.

Death of either parent creates stress on the child. The chapter dear doctor discusses this issue in a very poignant manner. Adoption and single parenting find a mention in the chapter happy birthday. There is a chapter devoted to fatherhood as well.

What I liked about the book is that it doesn’t waste time in quoting research findings and footnotes. It hits you directly. The case studies come in the form of letters. The emotional outbursts in the letters can even sensitize a stone hearted person. We parents too were children at some point of time. This book will take us on our journey to childhood again. We will meet our anxieties again. Unfortunately our parents never realized that we had anxieties too. Hope we don’t repeat the mistake with our children. That is why this book is a must read.

1000 kilograms of Goa - book review

1000 kilograms of Goa is a story of five friends (Thank God not three, we are relieved). Ifti, Bhavesh, Pratik and his sister Priya come down to Goa for a holiday. The fifth one Ashwin is a Goan. They are not here just to enjoy serene beaches, drinks and get stoned. They are in search of a treasure which was buried in a village in Goa centuries ago. The treasure is 1000 kilograms of Gold. Ifti has a Russian girlfriend. Contrary to the advice given by other friends to keep the secret of the treasure only between themselves, Ifti shares it with Maya.

Now even Maya is in the game. She helps the guys to get closer to the treasure. The treasure is unveiled. Yegor Loban is a Russian Mafia operating in Goa. He is into prostitution, drug dealing and all other illegal businesses in Goa. He asserts his claim over the treasure. The friends are having a difficult time with Yegor. Hence they decide to hand over the entire treasure to him. But there is one man who wants them to bury the treasure at the very spot from where it was unearthed. He is Menezes. According to him there is a curse associated with the treasure. In whose hands the treasure will ultimately go? To know this you will have to read 1000 kilograms of Goa.

1000 kilograms of Goa marks the fantastic debut of Rohan Govekar. He weaves the lively Goan landscape with great ease. His writing is simple and easy to relate. He traps the social jovial nature of Goans very well. Even minor characters like Pedro are sketched very well. He brings before us the real Goa and real people not just beaches and blondes getting a tan. So there is Ashwin and his conservative middle class parents who want him to settle down at the earliest. The story has many twists which I am sure will surprise and entertain the readers. Though the suspense around Ifti’s wife appeared to be predictable.

Though at one place believe is typed as be live and spaces between the words are missing at couple of places, I liked the book. It brings us a fresh story in a fresh setting with real people. You will 1000 % enjoy this trip to Goa.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Steve Jobs life by design - book review

Steve Jobs a life by design is an interesting read for sure. It captures the magical, poignant and very human moments in Steve Jobs’s life very well. This book is based on the address given by Steve Jobs on 11th June 2005 at Stanford University’s 114th commencement.

The book tells us how he was born to parents both of whom were academicians. They had put him up for adoption. Their only condition was that the adoptive parents must ensure that their son goes to college and completes his education. The first set of parents refused to adopt him, for they wanted a daughter. The second set of parents not only adopted him but also kept their promise of sending Steve Jobs to college, in spite of their not so good financial condition. Steve Jobs never completed his college is a different story. The book very nicely pictures the human side of Steve Jobs. His contempt towards his biological father. His love and friendship with his biological sister, all make the book interesting. The book also speaks about his relationship with his wife and children, including his first daughter which was born out of his relationship with another woman before marriage and whom he did not acknowledge for some time.

The book also narrates the story of Steve Jobs’s foray into computers, including apple. His professional ups and downs at apple. How he was not appointed a CEO only because he was considered to be too young and how the experienced CEO who was appointed in his place simply blew away the company for he knew little about the computers. Steve Jobs was too attached to his job at apple. Yet, when he stepped out of it, he started a loss making venture called pixar. But after almost a decade his patience paid with the success of toystory. The book articulates how he returned to apple again. The book states about Jobs’ visit to India and the strong influence which Japanese philosophy and work culture had upon him.

The book turns poignant when Steve Jobs suffers from cancer and becomes immobile. Jobs did not have a very long life Yet, his life was a truly well lived life. This book will help you in knowing Steve Jobs better. His life is truly inspiring. This book is highly recommended.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Six degrees - book review

In September 2014 blogadda conducted a game of blogs. Five characters and their descriptions were given to bloggers who were divided into thirty teams. The teams were to weave stories around the given characters. Six degrees is a compilation of the three winning stories. The stories -the awakening, entangled lives and missing- a journey within all belong to different genres and are unique.

I liked the awakening for its brilliant use of characters. All the characters get equal footage. The characters are well etched. The connection between the characters is well established. When it comes to utilization of the characters provided, this story stands out. The suspense builds up right from the first chapter. The story keeps you hooked. However towards the end it lands into Dan Brown’s territory and becomes a little insipid.

The second story entangled lives is a murder mystery. The maid servant at Dutta’s house is killed. By a strange stroke of coincidence all the characters land up at the Dutta residence at the time of murder. As a result all of them are suspected murderers. How the cop finds out the real culprit is an interesting tale to read. The story changes tones in many chapters. That affects the reading experience adversely. For example the cop Java has all his soliloquies in English. But in chapter 29, he suddenly speaks to himself in Marathi, that too incorrect Marathi. However the end of the story is absolutely brilliant. It is something different and unexpected.

We have read about the aliens and we have read murder mysteries. But missing- a journey within is really a different story. The story moves back and forward. However this appears to be unintended. The flash backs should have been gelled well. The story of missing Roohi, after a few chapters becomes the story of missing Cyrus. Some raw ends like about which Roohi was Dr. Phadnis talking about, why Cyrus wrote mission Roohi on a card are the things which are left to the reader’s imagination. Unfortunately no any clues are given for guessing the same. I would have loved if the writers had elaborated it. But still this story of a gay man is something different.

All the three stories are riveting reads. Once you lay your hands upon them, you will not put down the book until you have finished the story. But the book is poorly edited, which mars the reading experience. Line spacing between many words is missing. Apostrophe is typed as > instead of ‘. Even in conversations and is typed as &. I wish these mistakes could have been avoided. Yet I loved the book.

The publishers say that the readers will have to work out as to why the book is named six degrees. Though the blurb says that the teams were provided with five characters, when you count Aryan there are six characters common in all the stories. I guess it is because of these six characters which are common to all the stories, the book is named six degrees. 
This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Friday, 3 June 2016

Datsun redi-GO

Datsun redi-GO is sleek and appealing. This n Datsun’s newest kid on the block is made in India made for India car. It is India’s first Urban-cross car. It is a car which takes the best features of a crossover. It just doesn’t stop at that it mixes them with all the significant attributes of the urban hatchback. It is roomy. I am six feet tall, so the height of the car matters the most to me. Fortunately Datsun redi-GO is tall unlike its other competitors. One of the major attractions of Datsun redi-GO is the mileage it offers 25.7 km per litre. Can you believe it? I would like to test it for this feature.

Well driving cars in Indian cities is nothing but a nightmare. But is there any other alternative? The answer is obviously no. Why is driving the car so difficult in India. Well there are many reasons. The first and foremost is that people do not follow traffic rules. Anything will come from any side and jump into the middle of the road. It may be a two-wheeler, another car coming in the wrong direction, a cycling kid or even a cow or a dog. Plus there are no lanes reserved for driving. There are no footpaths for pedestrians. Even if there are footpaths they are either encroached or the squalor upon it forces the pedestrians to walk on the roads. So driving on Indian roads is very difficult.

This the reason if given a chance I would like to test drive Datsun redi-GO on one of the most congested cities in the world – Varanasi. As stated earlier while driving on the Indian roads you can not take your foot away from the brakes. I would like to test how efficiently the brakes of Datsun redi-GO apply. This is one of the features which is most important while driving, particularly while driving on the Indian streets.

The second feature which I would like to test would be gear shift. When you are driving on the heavily congested streets of Varanasi, you will require to frequently change the gears. I would like to see the ease with which the gears shift. Does the engine make loud noise, is the gear shift smooth are some of my concerns, which I would like to put to test. Again Varanasi is not just about the congested streets. It has a highway as well. So I would like to test Datsun redi-GO on the highway to see how is the gear transition when the car is running in speed on the highway.

Power steering is a blessing. I would like to test this feature on the streets of Varanasi where it is very difficult to drive. You will have to maneuverer amidst the parked vehicles, humans, cows and God knows what more. Power steering is easy at the same time it is very sensitive. So I would like to test this feature as well. I am sure given the lineage of Datsun redi-GO it will not disappoint me.

Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross - Datsun redi-GO - the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback.

Fire on the mountain - book review

Fire on the mountain by Anita Desai is story of three lives Nanda Kaul, her great-granddaughter Raka and her childhood friend Ila Das. Nanda Kaul is living alone in the hills of Kasauli. Raka is recovering from an illness. Hence she is dispatched to Kasauli to stay with Nanda. Nanda is unhappy with the intrusion in her lonely life. Raka arrives at Kasauli. But like Nanda she too stays aloof. She is more happy climbing the mountains and touching the ferns. Then one day childhood friend of Nanda, Ila comes to visit her for tea. Ila is a garrulous lady. She has a piercing voice and is very much unlike Nanda. She is living the life of penury and has to work hard despite the old age to make money.

The author takes time to build the plot. The story moves ahead very slowly. In the beginning it is too boring. The descriptions drag and drag. Then Raka arrives on the scene. Her relationship with Nanda is nothing like expected. This is where the author scores as a writer. You keep on wondering as to why Nanda doesn’t draw her great-granddaughter closer, make her sit on her lap and kiss her cheek. The answer is that Nanda is like that and so is Raka. Ila is a character which is both hilarious and poignant. Like Raka she too adds lot of colours to this story.

The story is subtly woven. The backdrop of the hills is beautiful. Though the start bored me, after finishing the novel, it gave me a satisfaction of reading something sumptuous. I absolutely loved the book.

Kundalini - an untold story Book Review

Kundalini an untold story is another gem from Om Swami and Jaico Books. The book is about the enigmatic Kundalini. Om Swami is very practical in his approach towards Kundalini. He says that awakening of Kundalini begins with complete acceptance of who you are so that you may be at ease with yourself. He says when knots are formed with a muscle spasm, you just let it be; you massage it tenderly and it goes away. Similarly, when you gently massage your soul, it starts to relax, you begin to be at perfect ease with yourself, with how, what, who and where you are on the journey of life – this is the beginning of Kundalini awakening.

The language of the author is contemporary and easy to relate. While speaking about abstinence he says it is something like going offline for a period of time so you can concentrate better on what you have to do.

Much has been said and written about Kundalini. But all those were fascinating tales, which made you wonder if they were true. Like all other Om Swami’s books, his honesty is palpable even in this book. When speaking of his experiences about Kundalini awakening he says I was tired because I had tried everything I could think of and yet I wasn’t any better than when I first started. He also admits that contrary to the popular beliefs he did not feel any vibrations or sensations in his body.

This book lifts the veil of Kundalini and introduces the lay reader to the Kundalini. However the distance between the lower three chakras is much lesser than what the authors mentions. It also offers practical guide to meditate. You feel calm and serene after reading the book. This book is highly recommended.