Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Book Review: How to Be a Likeable Bigot



Book Name - How to Be a Likeable Bigot
Author - Naomi Datta
Publication year - 2019
Pages - 216
Genre - Sarcasm

The book is a collection of essays on vivid topics like workplace, parenthood, technology etc. The satire and humor in the book is exemplary. The essays are highly relatable, neither too lengthy nor too small. The author presents a very witty and bold outlook to something we are or that we come across on a daily basis. What occurs to almost all of us, and is a part and parcel of our existence, generally goes unnoticed. This has been beautifully thought over and captured by the author. This book brings the extra ordinary out of the ordinary!

It is very evident how the amount of patience and iterations on the content eventually got bundled up in the pages of this book. Naomi seems like well read and well referenced author. Lot of knowledge and exposure can only result in such quality content. At the same time, the reader also has to have knowledge to understand the content.

Unlike usual indian authors, Naomi came up with a distinct thought process. She has used good verbiage and vocabulary. The sketches before every chapter are creative and self sufficient to convey the crux of the what you are about to read.

For someone who cannot focus and read through a thick book containing a single story, this book is a right option with separate essays. Each of them are independent of one another and can be read in any order.

The genre is very much relatable to me, not only because each of the chapters is close to my existence, but also because I too write a lot of satirical blog posts on the contemporary world. I also closely observe the regular phenomena and draw my inferences into such satirical write ups. I was actually reading the lines loudly in my mind, with all the pauses and expressions, which made me enjoy this even more!

The content is crisp. You would never be bored of it. Overall it is a refreshing read.

I rate this book 3.5 on 5. I recommend this for those who appreciate and understand satire. Not everyone enjoys being made fun of. This book is not meant for those who read only fiction or philosophy. Consider this as a series of blog posts compiled carefully and presented in a light hearted way.

Thanks to Blogadda for approaching me to review the book.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at bookreviews@mansiladha.com

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Life as 30

CAUTION: The content hereafter may damage your optimism, sanity and immaturity.

Today I proudly and successfully complete 3 decades of my life.

I have reached an age where ideally I should not be too excited about my birthday and consider confining myself to my home, avoid birthday wish calls. I must get rid of answering the recurring question on my birthday plans and not to succumb to the pressure of celebrating the day like other homo sapiens !
But it's okay to think adversely and find my ways to be happy :)


I have also reached an age for which they advertise the anti-ageing creams, and when I end up to a beauty store next time, I must apparently pick up an Olay total effects cream, and hair color may be... Despite this, I still get marriage proposals or get called Santoor Mom.

Much has happened and a much is yet to happen. My identity is a married-engineer-working-mom-part-time-writer. Given all my experiences with this planet so far, I have enough Grandma stories to tell to my unborn grandchildren.

My body is ageing, hair fading, dark circles darkening and mental cache filling. I no more "cross the bridges when I come over them". I have to be prepared for that may come over to me.

"पहले मैं होशियार थी इसलिए दुनिया बदलने चली थी, अब मैं समझदार हूँ इसलिए ख़ुद को बदल रही हूँ"

I am permanently unimpressed by a lot of stuff and unaffected by a lot of occurrences. Advices pour in from all directions, but now my brain knows what to absorb and what to reflect.

One bitter truth of life that I learnt is your friends may not stay with you forever, your family shall. The teenage fantasy of "friendships forever" is a forgotten dream now! One gets back to the family over a course of time.


When we were kids, a broken pencil and a lost eraser were enough to call it a bad day. While growing up, life threw challenges called exams and peer pressure. Once you overcome this, you are made to believe that getting into a good Alma mater will make your life better, and that it is the last problem that you shall have on the earth. False. Getting a job happened to be the next great struggle. Next, fight for high packages and better jobs had to be the real and final challenge by the time you turned 25. When thats fixed, a distant cousin's wedding (who later got divorced), had to result into sleepless nights for your parents and eventually happiness-less days for you. Well, looked like marriage was the ultimate solution to all your problems, but then came the demand of having an offspring because you MUST have one, for all obvious reasons. Ahaa, that doesn't bring an end to the life's challenges, but is the advent of it. Every age and phase of life has its own challenges and fun. 30 years are enough to know and learn this.

Despite the ups and downs, leveraging each moment you are breathing and being thankful for all that you have, is the key to a beautiful life.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Mommyness


Sometimes you look into the mirror and don't recognise the person you see. The tired body, stooping shoulders, greasy hair and a drained mind; the paling skin due to receding harmones and dark circles due to infinite  hours of nursing at nights. Sometimes you feel like you are the only one awake in the world at those odd hours in the night. And then you soothe yourself by saying that there are millions of other moms across the world sailing in the same boat.

There was a time when I was the youngest amongst my team mates in the office, a free bird. I could party anytime, work for long hours and go back home, eat and dive into my books! I often awed at moms around me and wondered on why they were always in a rush, puzzled and weary. I questioned in my mind as to why they left office early, does a child really require that much of maintenance and attention!? I never knew the battles they had already fought even before reaching the workplace in the morning, and that so many others were awaiting them for the later part of the day.

Realising that a tiny human is entirely dependant on you for everything, makes you feel burdened and overwhelmed at the same time, all the time. Holding your pee, you have to be on your toes to provide for the little person, who seems to be growing so slow. There is always a bunch of laundry to be swirled and splashed. The empty tins of baby food asking to be refilled and the stack of soiled diapers waiting to be recycled! The same question that you have to ask yourself every day for the rest of your life is what to cook for dinner. The monotony of life seldom leads to the thought of absconding to my old life, the carefree one. 

They say, "it takes a village to bring up a child" But there ain't always one! Enormous pressure is put on the parents while we try to make up for what entire communities used to provide. Advices keep pouring in. They tend to judge you on why your child is at the care centre and why you do not nurse your baby that often, why is the baby leaner compared to other children of his age and how he could have been plumpier if the quality of your milk was better! You are being held accountable for all that is not happening and all that is happening! And they brutally push you into a guilt ride.

With my child beside me, I open Facebook and see how my girl gang is out on a holiday and how others are out for an adventure trip which I had never been for long. How from being a voracious reader and movie buff , I've turned into someone arranging baby laundry, surfing for baby poop color indications, exploring recipes for a healthy baby and shopping for economic diapers!

"Turn your face to the sun and shadow falls behind you".

A plumpy child is not always a healthy one, but an active one is. Working mom is never a vamp, she is quarreling with the world each day for the baby's bright future. A daycare baby is not to be sympathethized but congratulated for being independent way before his peers.

All my dismay vanishes when I see the little one grinning at me after a tiring day at work, when the baby chirps mummma and phahhapaa (Papa) unexpectedly, when he crawls towards me and smiles for no reason, when he grows a new tooth or makes a new sound, when he clings to me tightly and makes me feel he is elated on me being around him and that he prioritises me over anyone else. All becomes worth it. He will not be a baby forever, and the innocence would fade gradually. The joy that he brings to us is second to none.  My house feels full when he is around. I am sure he too shall be proud of his parents when he grows up.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Book Review: City of Nine Gates



Book Title: City Of Nine Gates
Author:  Pankaj Rajput
Edition Language: English
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 308


Firstly, a big thanks to Blogadda for sending across the book to me for review.

To begin with, the first thing I loved about the book is the quality of pages and the appealing bright cover.

This book written by Pankaj Rajput is a work of fiction which efficiently merges mythology with philosophy and modernism with spirituality. It is a perfect treat for the mind and a great source of motivation for the conscience. Its a spiritual tale taking you to a dream world.

With meticulous usage of language, following the contemporary style of verbiage and simple dialogues, this book gets a plus. I specially adore the names of the characters like Gyan, Niyati, Vishwas, Buddhi, Manas etc. Unlike commonly used names in other Indian fictions like Raj, Rahul, these names suit well to the intent of the book.

The book takes you to another universe while you are reading it. It keeps you holding throughout. It is like a fairy tale, plotted well. The sequence of events is nice. It feels like the reader is watching a movie!

The protagonist of the book is a millionaire named Gyan, who is an atheist. He is a a naive and young man who after a journey through city of nine gates transforms into a man who is aware of his potential, and above all of himself.

Gyan is an archaeology enthusiast, joins his friend and team in the excavation of a hidden city. On a secret trip to the ruins, Gyan finds the wisest sages at the city entrance and the history of this discovered city from the sages. While he was being awarded the entrepreneur of the year, he ended up reaching to the city of nine gates, following an explosion on the stage itself. I don't want to be a spoiler, so leaving the rest for the reader to experience!

The content of the book clearly depicts that the author has done extensive research and iterations of the content to create the ultimate piece of work that he has done. The Sanskrit glossary at the end is also a helpful reference.

Although I like most of the aspects of this book, but I would have had a better reading experience if the spelling mistakes at certain pages could have been proofread and rectified. I hope this will be fixed in subsequent editions.

I rate this book 4 on 5 and recommend it for all the youngsters who are looking for spiritual and motivational treat for their mind.


(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book.)


If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at bookreviews@mansiladha.com.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Divit's World at Eight Months


Mom is feeding me some paste with something she calls as purple spoon. Yakk, this doesn't taste great. These big people need to understand my choice. By now I know that feeding time means learning A,B,C,D and Johnny Johnny Yes Papa. And of course, the dog says bhaau bhauu and cat says meoww meoww. The thirsty crow is thirsty everyday, and slow and steady tortoise wins the race daily. I smile on hearing all this, because that makes you people happy and think that I am eating well. Oops! I turned my head towards that big illuminated object on the wall and leaked the paste out of my mouth, to my side. Look at Mumma's eyes, she seems angry... Never mind, all I have to do is smile or cry, either ways, I win!

They call me "Divit". I think that's my name, just like Mumma Daddy's names are Mumma and Daddy.

Mumma and Daddy go to a place called office.These people are talking about their day. I can't make sounds like they do. All I can do is say hummmmm, ummmmaa, bubububu, ahaaaan (clearing the throat), unngeee, giiiiiii, ammaaa, tattattata and so much more.

This world and its objects sound interesting. Those strange things that my tongue touches these days hurt me sometime. But they help me produce new sounds. And I want to chew everything with them. I want to chew my toys, and the bedsheet, and Mumma Daddy's dresses and tresses, the TV remote, my hands and even my feet! How can you really know something if you haven't put it in your mouth!

I am so curious to know how this world works. I want to see and touch and taste and hear everything.

Yesterday I went outside with Mumma and Daddy. There was so much light.There were so many big people. So many things running, some small, some big. Big people were sitting on those running things. Those things were making noise also. There were some big people who were walking like Mumma and Daddy with two feet. I have got 2 extra feet unlike them. I like walking, I mean crawling with those. I also try to stand and walk like these people. But when I try to hold the sofa and stand, I fall down. It hurts on my head and I cry. Mumma Daddy rush to me, lift me and take me to the window to show light and big people. I open my eyes wide to see them. It is wonderful!

Nowadays, Mumma and Daddy play a weird game with me, they hide behind the wall and appear again. They believe I am giggling back because it pleased me. Nah!


At my daycare, Atharv also has 4 feet like me, but Ahaan, Ayub, Amairaah, Kiara, Faaz and the aunties have 2 feet! They are different.

Few days back, something was running out of my nosy all the time. That thing came in my mouth also, it was so tasty. Mummy Daddy were wiping it with some soft soft thing.

Mumma Daddy are taking me into the room where we sleep. I hate sleeping, why do we have to sleep. Mumma and Daddy are saying "Good Night Divit". Oh no, please please Daddy don't pat on my side, please don't sing that lullaby Mumma. It will make me sleep. I have an idea, if I cry I can stay awake for little long. They soothed me. I am turning now, I like to sleep on my tummy. They are patting me again, Oh no, please I want to play. Zzzzzzzz I am not sleeping. No mosquitoe net please... No...zzzzzzz. khrrrrrrrrrrr...

2 hours later.

They are still sleeping, I slept enough. Time to scream the house down. They are awake now, whooppiiee. I am the Boss of the house!