Free for download only on 4th and 5th March 2020

Thursday, 20 December 2018

The Secrets of Ghostwriting - Spotlight

The Secrets of Ghostwriting  by D. R Downer
  A guide that will tell you everything there is to know about the big, bad, mysterious, and often misunderstood world of Ghostwriting.
Grab your copy from 
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Other books in this series
Why Go Indie? 6 Reasons for Self-Publishing  Vol 1
by Devika Fernando
Walking on the Indie Path Vol 2
Can be presently found in her blog
by Rubina Ramesh
The Art of Ghostwriting Vol 3
by D. R. Downer
Publishing Your Book on Amazon KDP Vol 4
by Sundari Venkatraman
Fears and Doubts of a Writer Vol 5
By Reshma Ranjan
Boosting Book's Sales with a Riveting Blurb! Vol 6 
By Ruchi Singh

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Mis-fit Parents in Faulkner's Select Texts - Book Review

In today’s age of aggressive book marketing, it takes tremendous courage to pen a book like Mis-fit Parents in Faulkner’s Select Texts. Noel Polk says, “He [William Faulkner] remains elusive for us, even with umpteen volume-length biographies, several volumes of letters, and more than a zillion essays that explore various aspects of his life in his works and out of them” (“Was Not Was Not” 19). It is in light of these observations that book like Mis-fit Parents in Faulkner’s Select Texts assumes tremendous importance.

This is not for the first time that Faulkner’s writings are critically analyzed. But the overall trend of Faulknerian criticism encompasses such broad areas as race, class, gender, realism, modernism, post-modernism, feminism, post-structuralism, rhetorical and ideological theories and cultural studies. But Mis-fit Parents in Faulkner’s Select Texts discusses family relationships in his work. There is also a close proximity among Faulkner’s fictional parents and his biological parents, Maud and Murry Falkner. This makes the book even interesting.

The writing is lucid and engaging. In today’s era of Internet parenting has turned challenging. And Mis-fit Parents in Faulkner’s Select Texts will definitely help the parents in raising their children. This book is highly recommended.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

The Death Wish - Book Review

The Death WishThe Death Wish by Sourabh Mukherjee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Death Wish is a short story written by Sourabh Mukherjee. The protagonist of the story is an old man called Abani. Abani is a self-made man. With humble beginnings, Abani has had his share of struggles. Now that he is well settled in his life, he wishes to have a nice retired life. But the conversation between his son and daughter-in-law which he overhears changes everything.

The author brings to life the vagaries of old age, though they are predictable. Abani’s rags to riches story is interesting. The tussle between life and death is also brought up well. The story is well edited and can happen in anyone’s house. Further the optimistic ending is cherry on the cake. If and only if it was a little better. Yet The Death Wish is surely a one time read.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 29 November 2018

A Special Day - Book Review

A Special DayA Special Day by Sourabh Mukherjee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Special Day is a short story written by Sourabh Mukherjee. I am a lover of short stories and A Special Day is a very well written story. This is the story of Mike and his father David.
Alzheimer, memory loss has been used in many stories. The same is adopted in this emotional story. The story though predictable succeeds in building high emotions in a short period. It strikes a chord with your heart and you feel for the characters. That is the success of the author. The writing is simple and lucid. A Special Day by Sourabh Mukherjee is hence highly recommended.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Curse - Book Review

The Curse is a wonderful suspense story. With his grandfather’s death Gyanendra, the protagonist discovers that he has been bestowed with a unique talent that of foreseeing events especially those relating to deaths and accidents. But the dreams are hazy, like pieces of jigsaw puzzle. Gyanendra joins all the dots to uncover many crimes and culprit behind it. The story has an angle of Saint and his curse as well.

I must say that this book is very well written. A suspense story has to always be page turner and on this count The Curse succeeds. I liked the way the author weaves the Gyanendra’s world, both real and that of his dreams. I also liked the way the secrets are unravelled. Joining the dots was no mean task. It had to be both coherent and believable. Here to the author gets full marks. This makes The Curse a highly enjoyable read. Recommended for all lovers of suspense stories.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

What is an Indian

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘Ghalib it is just a good though to pamper oneself.’ Quotes Tarundeep Singh in his new book What is an Indian, while referring to independence. Are we really independent, is what he wants to ask. Indians and Americans he says are only concerned with race and financial status. But owing to the caste, religion, linguistic and many other diversities he says the Indian is more confused than the American. He says despite all the feminism, an Indian woman is still not accorded equality of status and opportunity which she deserves.

Tarundeep quotes many famous personalities from Vivekananda to Hitler. And then offers his crisp take on the situation. This style makes the book which otherwise would have been a boring work, crisp and page turner. Every citizen of the country wants his nation to excel in all spheres of activity. This makes the book relatable. The author critically analyzes all the problems the nation is facing. The book will surely motivate you to strive hard in your profession in order to make India number one. Here it is worth mentioning the inspiration behind the book. It was Tarundeep’s friend in the army who said, ‘We don’t want every Indian in defence as of now. Just take the economy to next level. We will do the rest.’ This sums it all. What is an Indian is a must read for all Indians.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Thriller Story : Motor cycle, sports and race help school fight criminals.

There are very few book on the Indian Book shelves which are written for the young adults. And then we complain that the younger generation doesn’t read. Fortunately, Thriller Story : Motor cycle, sports and race help school fight criminals fills that gap.
Harsh, is studying in tenth standard. He is more interested in sports and outdoor activities than studies. One day after a match of soccer he befriends a new boy. His name is Nikhil and friends call him Nickel. At Nickel’s house he meets Tidy. The suspense begins when the security camera in the school gets stolen. The school is bombarded with applications under the Right to Information Act. All the queries pertain to the installation of the camera. Amidst all this Harsh has a brush the local hooligans. Are all these incidents which appear distorted connected. To join the dots you will have to read Thriller Story : Motor cycle, sports and race help school fight criminals.

The author deserves accolades for getting into the psyche of a school going boy. He etches the school going protagonist dexterously. One cannot help but relate the incidents to his/her school days. Such is the writing prowess of the author. The language is simple and lucid and as stated earlier the writing is relatable. For this reason Thriller Story : Motor cycle, sports and race help school fight criminals is worth reading.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Tarikshir - Book Review

Set in the royal Rajasthan Tarikshir is an intriguing murder mystery. Devangarh is a small princely state that is staging a fight against the shrewd British. But then with a twist in the tale the King of Devangarh is found dead. And the young crown prince Rudra Pratap Chauhan is to ascend the throne. But how can the tiny army of Devangarh match the well equipped, well organized army of the Britishers? And then there is a serial killer in the kingdom. As Rudra tries to find out the killers of his father, he stumbles upon a can of worms, that is going to change his life.

Extremely well written Tarikshir is a fast paced thriller. The language is lucid, free of errors and the descriptions are so vivid that at times they are gory. The suspense and the thrill builds up with every page and you are fixed to your seat. The book is a nail biting thriller that will give you an adrenaline rush. If you are lover of thrillers, this is the book that you should lay your hands upon.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

The Alpha Yeti - Book Review

There are some stories that keep you riveted to your seats. The Alpha Yeti is one such book. The story is set in Karya Kunj, which a small village at the foot of a mountain range called Nirmalya. The village is remote and lacks basic facilities. But the worst is still to come. The White Giants who were only a myth by then surface out of the blue. Their presence is felt only through a loud sound. Four mountaineers do encounter the White Giant. Will the White Giant leave them unharmed? Will the White Giant kill the villagers or would it be the other way round? Who is the White Giant and what is the mystery surrounding it? To find answers to all these questions you will have to read The Alpha Yeti.

What I liked the most about the book is its realistic setting. We are oblivious to the fact that there are many villages where there is still no electricity, no potable water and no medical facilities. Such villages exist even today, but we have closed our eyes to it. The book highlights the plight of these villagers. After mooring the story into realistic setting, it unfurls the adventure. The action scenes are very well written and the suspense will give you goosebumps. The Alpha Yeti is a book not to be missed.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

The Invincible Weapon - Book Review

Sowmya Putta make a dashing debut with The Invincible Weapon. This is the story of Abhi, the prince of Vaishali, who is slogging at the ashram of Gavistha. His hard-work is not only to earn knowledge, but also to win the invincible weapon.

The book gave me a nice feel of reading Harry Potter in an Indian gurukul setting. The book transported me to my childhood. There are ample scenes were every person will be able to see his childhood. This speaks volumes about the writing prowess of Sowmya.

The writing is clean, free of any errors. The story is penned in a simple, lucid language. It sucks into the magical charm of its world and you wish to never come out of it. When we complain that our children don’t read, it is time to ponder whether we provide them with stories in the Indian setting, stories which they can relate to. Sowmya’s book fills this void. It is for this reason that The Invincible Weapon is highly recommended.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Man Is A "Thought": Scientific and Theological Journey To Space Of Thoughts - Book Review

Tarun Deep Singh is a gifted author. Writing a book like Man Is A "Thought": Scientific and Theological Journey To Space Of Thoughts is a herculean task. So many scientific theories, understanding them and co-linking them with theological beliefs, is something that has been never tried. But Tarun Deep Singh does it with a panache. With his simple, lucid language he unravels one theory after another. He tries to find out if thoughts, behaviour and existence can be studied within the realms of science. And for this attempt of his, the author deserves accolades.

The book studies interesting aspects of human and artificial intelligence. It tells us why artificial intelligence can never manage to think like humans do. At the same time he tells us what prevents the human mind from reaching the highest levels of intelligence.
According to the author it is a new beginning for mankind, and it reaches at point where he says:
"Man is an oscillation of an image of thought in Real Time Space."

Man Is A "Thought": Scientific and Theological Journey To Space Of Thoughts is disruptive thinking at its best. Much has been written about this topic by westerners. But with an Indian author at the helm, you get to read writing that is not stereotyped and of course a writing that stems from first hand experiences. If you wish to read something new, something fresh this book is a must read for you.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Once Again at the Airport - Book Reviews

As I skimmed through the initial pages of Rishikesh Joshi’s Once Again at the Airport the first emotion that surged through me was of envy. I was jealous. This man got to travel so much in the air that he penned a whole book about it.

Once Again at the Airport is a breezy short read. It is full of anecdotes and true experiences that the author literally had in the air. Rishikesh’s witty observations will leave you in splits. He has a way to discern the light veined humour buried under the din of our mundane lives. So he shows us the potholes in the air.

The book contains nuggets of information for the lesser mortals who don’t get to travel by air as often as that of the author. So we come to know about how flight times have increased in the new millennium instead of getting reduced. We get to know the difference between an itinerary and a ticket. The book offers some practical tips to secure a seat next to the air hostess.

My current mood is to read humour, particular those written by Indian authors. Once Again at the Airport definitely managed to tickle my funny-bone.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

The Heartfulness Way - Book Review

Daaji alias Kamlesh D. Patel is the fourth and current spiritual guide in the Heartfulness tradition. Joshua Pollock is a heartfulness trainer from United States. The Heartfulness Way is a conversation between these two that elucidates various Heartfulness practices.

Heartfulness meditation consists of four elements—relaxation, meditation, cleaning, and prayer—and illuminates the ancient, defining feature of yogic transmission (or pranahuti), the utilization of divine energy for spiritual growth and transformation. Using the method, detailed practices, tips, and practical philosophy offered in this book, you’ll reach new levels of attainment and learn to live a life more deeply connected to the values of the Heartfulness way—with acceptance, humility, compassion, empathy, and love.

I have practiced Heartfulness meditation and can confidently say that this simple practice works like wonders. Unfortunately I cannot say the same about the book. It is boring, offers nothing new. You can easily skip the book and opt for the real experience of Heartfulness meditation directly.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Tides Don't Cross - Book Review

It is hard to believe that Tides Don't Cross is the debut novel of Simar Malhotra. Right from the first page, she ensures that you are hooked to the story. Without wasting any time, she creates her characters which are true to life and believable. It is the writer's success that you feel with and for the characters. It is because of her writing prowess that this story which offers nothing new is endearing and entertaining.

I really liked lines like 'widow's don't die when their husbands die. Instead, their husbands live through them; they're kept alive through their wives.'

Of all the characters Rukmani comes across as the weakest. Ironically she is supposed to be confident and courageous. But her jumping into the river, makes her fake and artificial. The climax is scrambled up. Yet, Tides Don't Cross is a wonderful reading experience which satiates you.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Bodyguard - Book Review

We have seen men guarding women, but in Ruchi Singh’s Bodyguard it is the other way round. Here Esha a former army personnel is guarding millionaire Vikramaditya. I liked the way Ruchi makes her statement by empowering her heroine. It makes the otherwise poor girl falls for the rich man tale interesting. Also not to forget the suspense element which is so cleverly weaved into the narrative.

The characters are well etched. The writing is lucid and free flowing. Romance lovers will not be disappointed with the sizzling chemistry between the lead pair. There are lots of romance book in the market. But it is the twists in Bodyguard that sets it apart from the rest.

You may not be a big fan of mushy writings, but Bodyguard doesn’t disappoint for sure. Isn’t it a good reason to read the book.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Groomnapped - Book Review

Sundari Venkatraman is a prolific writer and a constant source of inspiration. I have always loved her writing.

Groomnapped has all the essential Sundari Venkatraman elements. The words flow freely and there is not even a dull moment in the book. Her fans will definitely enjoy the throbbing romance between Ameya and Surekha. As a romantic writer she may not disappoint with Groomnapped. But when it comes to the issue of grooms being kidnapped in Bihar, I felt she has totally belittled the issue. At least she should have titled the book something else. Groomnapped builds a certain set of expectations with regard to the theme of the book, which unfortunately are left unfulfilled. When women are to be respected, men deserve some respect too. I didn’t like the way the author made fun of Mishra’s looks. His character flaws are revealed only at a later stage.
Yet, if you are a Sundari Venkatraman fan, you will enjoy the book.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

A Girl A Stolen Camera and a Borrowed Bike - Book Review

A Girl A Stolen Camera and a Borrowed Bike The Tale of a Journey, is a title that is both odd and intriguing. However I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by reading this debut work of Nikhil Singh Shaurya. Though he calls it a novel, it is not a novel, not even a novella. It is a slim book which at the most can be called novelette.

But the author presents a nice and entertaining story. He creates multiple characters with back stories at ease. The story takes you on a nice journey of the Himalayan mountains. It has an element of surprise too. The language is lucid and except for one place there are no typographical errors. Quite a feat for a first timer.

At the same time it doesn’t mean that the book is flawless. The author utterly falls flat while getting in to the skin of a woman’s psyche in the first half. The heroine a medical student comes across as a woman who wants to lose her virginity on a Goan holiday to any Tom, Dick and Harry. This is hard to digest, particularly when she has been seeing a senior for some time. The author ought to have researched more to write in the tone of the girl.

Yet I am impressed. I liked the book. It is a breezy, quick read. No harm in laying your hands on this book. You will enjoy it despite all its flaws.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Krishna Rajya - Book Review

We all know that Lord Krishna has been an astute politician and a seasoned statesman. But this role of his has never been appreciated and fully explored. Prafull Goradia and Jaganniwas Iyer have filled this void through their book – Krishna Rajya.

We all have heard of Ram Rajya, the state of utopia. But Krishna Rajya? How could there be any Krishna Rajya when Krishna was not even a king. According the authors very little political science has been distilled from India’s long and abundant history. Is Arthshastra the only ancient text which speaks about economy and political science. Absolutely no. The author duo has taken great pains to present a concept like Krishna Rajya which is daringly novel. It is neither preachy, nor eulogy. It is contemporary and modern thesis on political science visa-vis the ancient Indian culture. According to the authors Mahabharata is a historical document. The places mentioned therein are verified. It diligently records all the major events in Krishna’s life. Even the earliest scriptures like Shatapatha Brahmana, Chanayoga upanishad, Aitreya Aryanaka and the Nirukta mention Krishna.

The most interesting aspect of the book is that it is a comparative study. So alongside Krishna we have chapters on Plato, Otto van Bismarck, Abraham Lincoln and Saradar Vallabhai Patel. Thanks to the book. It liberates Krishna from the mythological rasleelas and makes him stand along the tall order of political thinkers. Krishna Rajya is a great contribution to the writings on political science across the world and should not be missed.

Friday, 22 June 2018

A Cage of Desires - Book Review

Shuchi Singh Kalra’s A Cage of Desires is an offspring of Shashi Deshpande’s marriage to Mills & Boons. Renu is a housewife trapped in a loveless marriage. One day a young dashing tenant enters her house and her life is turned upside down. She finds all the love that was missing from her life standing at the threshold of her gate. Will she step out and embrace it? To know answers to these questions you will have to read Shuchi Singh Kalra’s A Cage of Desires.

The book underlines that women, like men, are sexual beings too. They too have desires of their own. At the same time it shows the perils of seeking sex outside the marriage. The characters are real, laced with a tinge of fantasy which all us crave for. The last quarter of the book is full of twists and turns. They are entertaining for sure. But they rob the story from the realistic plane in which the other part is set. The author succeeds in riveting the readers to their seats. The book contains some beautiful lines. I reproduce them.

That’s the thing about truth – it doesn’t flinch, it doesn’t falter, it sears and burns. And the truth singed her heart, scarring it in places she never even realized existed.

Truth and lies are like oil and water. You can shake them up all you want, but they will never mix.

There’s a kind of love that makes you go down on one knee, and there’s the kind that brings you down on both. You don’t need the latter, because no matter what you do, you cannot make anyone love you back.

I may push you off the cliff but I’ll still break your fall because I may have the strength but I do not have the heart to destroy you.

While Mills & Boons heroines are spineless bimbettes, Renu is a brave woman, but not a super-heroine. She is some one like all of us, with her own positives and weaknesses. What I didn’t like about the book is too much of sex scenes. Yet I enjoyed A Cage of Desires. Shuchi you have earned an admirer.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Trust Me Not - Book Review

Trust Me Not by Ankita Verma Datta is the story of Reeva Rai. Reeva is the rising star in the corporate industry. She has a boy friend who is the most eligible bachelor in the country. But then she is faced with a dilemma. Beneath the corporate belly lies tale of exploitation. Governments are managed, poor are uprooted and rendered homeless. Will Reeva survive this cut throat industry? To know this you will have to read Trust Me Not by Ankita Verma Dutta.

The problem with Trust Me Not is that its cover and blurb promise it to be a thriller, but the first half of the book reads like a mills & boons novel. The language is good and error free. The novel shines in the second half, but fails miserably to hook the reader in the first, the way any good thriller should. If you don’t Trust Me Not, enter at your own risk.

Monday, 21 May 2018

A Selfie a day keeps forgetfulness away

The slanting morning rays were entering in the drawing room through the eastern facing window. It was a Monday and I was in a rush to get ready. That was when Niva, my daughter crawled up to my feet. She held to my calves. She wanted me to pick her up. A smile opened on my face and I lifted my darling daughter. She caressed my face with her hand. Her touch was so soft, so true, devoid of any selfish motives. I was thoroughly drenched in the love which she showered on me. Unconsciously my eyes fell on the wrist watch. It was quarter past eight. I had to go to office. I tried to persuade the apple of my eye. 'Father has to go the office. He will return in the evening with toys, fruits and lot of goodies for his babies.' I told her. She jerked her head and disapproved the idea of her father putting her down. The moment I lifted her by her shoulders, she began to cry and she was back to her joyful self when her head rested against my chest and her bum comfortably ensconced on my elbow. 'You wont allow your father to go to office, will you?' I asked her. 'No.' She said. That was the first time she had used the word no. I was elated but torn between the desire to enjoy some more company of cynosure of my eyes and the possible repercussions of my reaching office late.

'Okay shall we take a selfie?' I asked her.
'Safee, safee.' She babbled.
I took out the phone and took our selfie. She was too happy to see her in the photograph. I put her down with my mobile phone in her hands. She sat there with the mobile phone in her hand, admiring her round face like a moon.

This picture remains special. Whenever Niva sees it, she comes running to me and hugs me tightly. Clinging to my legs she says Baba and I pick her up and hold her tightly to my chest. Wriggling and loosening my grip she says 'Safee. Safee.' I try to capture this moment in my heart, for these moments of innocence will not last permanent. Today I am her world, but tomorrow she will go out to create her own world. Though she will love me, the time we will spend together will shrink. Over a period of time I may even forget her babbles and little moments of joy which we shared. Her first smile, her first baby step and so many other first things. But thanks to selfies, now I have repository of memories, which I will dig out when I grow old and have nothing else to do and when Niva is busy finding her own little sky, carving an identity of her own.

The debate whether we should allow our children to use mobile phone is endless. When we were children it was about television, now it is about mobile phones. But the fact remains that you cannot keep children away from mobile phones. They can be informative too. Everything in moderation is ok. 

Moreover no one can deny that taking pictures is fun. Now the Mobiistar phone’s front, dual Selfie camera that captures a 120° wide-angle shot. This Selfie experience is going to surely change the way we perceive selfies. Now we can have multiple people and locations in a single frame. Every one gets his/her own space and yet we are together. 120 degree shot is for sure no less than 180 degrees and will cover huge expanse of area, be it foliage of trees or an intricately carved temple, nothing can be missed from the frame, including your good self of course. So what are you waiting for? Grab your Mobiistar phone now.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

To Hell and Back - Book Review

Anurag Anand's To Hell and Back comes with a tag-line Not all Tragedies are Orchestrated by Fate. The book opens with Namrata and Akash taking the road. A white SUV blocks their road. Its occupants kill Akash, leaving Namrata untouched. Akash was a cofounder of a start up and his death caused by a road rage makes newspaper headlines. Was it really a tragedy or something sinister. After all not all tragedies are orchestrated by fate.

Anurag crafts two women characters whose lives are poles apart. Namrata is a young, independent woman who can even walk out of a marriage when she finds it is not working. Renu on the other hand is a demure housewife living in a village with outdated code of conduct for women. Girl child needless to say is unwelcome there. Yet she tries to catch the scratches of happiness that come her way. Describing her thought process the author says, 'But then each moment of victory deserved to be savoured, untouched by the fears and uncertainties of tomorrow, and this Renu had learnt to do very well.'

Describing the unhappy marital status of Namrata, the author says 'It is relationships are like rubber bands. Each time they are stretched beyond their acceptable boundaries, the boundaries redefine themselves to accommodate the breach. And just like a rubber band doesn't need much to be stretched to lengths it has previously withstood, the degree of incivility a relationship can take is also defined by what it has been through previously. Once you disrespect your partner in a particular way, the next time you will probably end up doing the same, in a greater magnitude, and possibly on a much feebler pretext, once you begin flinging cuss words at each other, the abusing becomes a veritable constituent of your relationship. Until the relationship, just like the rubber band, can bear no more and snaps.' What an astute observation of marital relationships.

And then their lives intersect for the good. The story takes a very different turn from here. Though the author has woven believable characters, I felt that Namrata overcame the agony of gang rape too soon. Also Akash's past deserved a little more mention. Yet To Hell and Back is lucid and holds promise for sure. Do read this book.

The Temple Bar Woman - Book Review

On the cover page of the Temple Bar Woman there is a micro review by Tosh Greenslade, an Australian actor. He says read this book now before it becomes the next blockbuster movie. Now something like this is bound to raise expectations. The book when read against this background was disappointing for sure. But that doesn't mean that the book isn't a decent read. It is story of Radha a school teacher. She is raped by a politician's son and sold into a brothel. A few twists and turns later Radha realizes that she and the brothel-keeper have a common enemy. Radha hatches a plan and succeeds in seeking revenge.

The writing is good. The language is simple and free-flowing. But the story is quite incredulous. It is hard to believe that a teacher like Radha will meekly submit to her fate and agree to entertain her clients. Rakshit is the good Samaritan here. But only to make him meet Radha, the author makes him visit brothels. He selects Radha and goes to her chamber to bed her. Thereafter when Radha arrives in his house and stays there for years together they make love only once and don't even mention it thereafter. Radha's political acceleration is too hard to digest. Also Vikram not identifying Radha is unbelievable.

It is for these flaws that the chances of the book being a blockbuster are very slim. Such tall claims rob away all the good things that the book holds. Read the Temple Bar Woman at your own risk.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Mango People in Banana Republic - Book Review

There are some people and books with whom you fall in love in first sight and there are even fewer which live up to the expectations. Mango People in Banana Republic by Vishak Shakti is one of such books.

As I read the acknowledgments on the opening page I knew I had many things in common with the author liking for Arundhati Roy, Deepak Chopra, Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, S N Goenka, Swami Dayananda.

Mango People in Banana Republic is the story of Ravi who is depressed with the corporate life and politics skirting around it. The story takes him to village where farmers are starving and committing suicides, Maoist jungles and Ashrams in Rishikesh.

The writing is simple, lucid and superb. The pace is great. The scenes are riveting, though not linear. I really liked reading about the lives of Ravi, Devang and Anand. This novel is both dark and spiritual. Though I found the reference to chakras and Rama slightly out of context, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is about both India and Bharat, the haves and have nots and the struggles, of course on different footings of both these classes. Mango People in Banana Republic is a highly recommended book.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

#DefinitelyPTE Going abroad was never so easy

Going abroad for education is a lofty dream which every young mind cherishes. But unfortunately there are many hurdles in achieving this dream

Studying abroad is mostly expensive and students from the middle class and underprevileged backgrounds most often are unable to study abroad because of the exorbitant expenses. Even banks are unwilling to extend loan if the student wants to study out of India.

Fake Universities
Many universities abroad are not recognized in India. Many universities have a bad name in the job market. Many courses, like Medicine require a person to pass an eligibility test conducted by the Indian authorities and the passing rate in such examination is minimal. So another hurdle which the student community faces is how to separate the grain from the shaff, how to select a proper university to study.

Entrance Examination
Every university has a different entrance examination and applying for each of them is quite a task. The syllabus, the pronounciation everything is different and there is dearth of coaching in this space.

Though now you can easily apply for passport online, once you visit the centre often the experience is that you will have to run for some document, some xerox copy, some print out, which the authorities want and you don't have. Plus the ordeal doesn't end there. You will have to undergo police verification. The less said about it is, the better it is.

I have heard numerous horror stories about getting visas. Again each country has a different rule. In the light of terrorist activities even governments are becoming extra cautious while granting visas. This is affecting students too.

Home sickness
Many students are too eager to go abroad but when the time to leave actually comes they don't want to go. Also many suffer from bouts of home sickness once they land in foreign countries.

However when it comes to English Test I would say that the students have nothing to worry. Thanks to PTE Academic which is the world’s leading computer-based test of English for study abroad and immigration. Typically, PTE Academic results are available within five business days. PTE is a three hour test divided into different sections to test your Speaking Reading, Writing,and Listening skills. The entire test is computer based. So no need to tensed about speaking to a stranger in person.
It is approved by the Australian and New Zealand governments for visa applications and accepted by thousands of institutions in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland, including Harvard, Yale and INSEAD. So PTE Academic has made access to higher education abroad easy.

The best part is you can take the test any time any where. For PTE Academic works for 360 days a year and has 200 centres world wide. You also get access to preparation course and free sample questions to help you with preparation of the test. Check out PTE Preparation Course for further details. So thanks to PTE Academic now our VISA wooes are over.


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Why I love the world

Humans have always been inquisitive about knowing foreign lands. This itch to travel, to know the world is much more than sheer curiosity. We all humans are made of the same flesh and blood and it would be no surprise that we are drawn towards each other. The world is a family and that is the reason why I love the world.
I have travelled many places and my kitty of travel stories is filled with umpteen anecdotes where persons who weren't of my race, religion or nationality, who spoke a language different from mine, held a set of beliefs which I didn't share, went out of their ways to help me. Locating my hotel, a tourist spot which was hidden some where behind numerous alleys, these friends really helped me. The smiles on their faces were genuine, the warmth which they radiated stood in my heart forever, telling me that the world is a nice place to live. Strangers from the far foreign lands have now become close pals, with whom I share the ups and downs of my life. 

Can you imagine what the world would have been if the two Fs were absent – F for food and F for friends. Well I have already spoken about friends. Food is a very important, rather most important reason of my survival. I am a sport to try new gourmets. I love the world because it offers such delicious, mouthwatering recipes which I first devour with my eyes and than tongue.
I like the world because whenever the din of my everyday life leaves me bogged and heavy, I can leave it all behind and travel to another corner of the world. Travel lifts our spirits for we leave everything behind. 

Friday, 23 March 2018

One Minute Super Dad - Book Review

Many books have been written on parenting for young mothers, but when it comes to young dads the book shelves are almost empty. One Minute Super Dad Dr.Prashant Jinal fills this void. Being a young father in today's modern age I can certainly say that parenting is no longer a woman's job. One Minute Super Dad will definitely serve as a guide, as a manual for inexperienced fathers.

The book opens with alarming statistics showing how young children are affected with spectrum of mental health disorders. By citing it the author underlines that today's father have a challenging role to play.

Today's fathers are no longer the dictators that they used to be a generation back. Yet it is equally true that there exists a communication gap between the father and children. The book equips you with a variety of open ended questions whereby this communication gap could be bridged. It also shares a number of techniques, both heard and unheard which would help in better bonding. The author uses a language which is both simple yet riveting. He quotes various research findings and it is indeed the author's success that you don't yawn while reading them. This book addresses a welcome change in the parenting responsibilities on the Indian scene. Hence it should be lapped up.