Thursday 24 December 2015

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday 21 December 2015

Uncle, Aunty aur Audience- The "Dilwale"

My definition of Dilwale- Udti hui saree aur lambi si gaadi, or lambi si saree aur udti hui gaadi... 

Let me end this post with some key notes on the movie-
Two 50 somethings dancing, bouncing and romancing on the screen.  Salt on scars (jale par namak) is Varun Dhawan's overacting sprinkled with terrible dialogues like- ab meri bhi shaadi hogi, mera bhi honeymoon hoga. What laurels are you bringing to your father's name!?  Garnished by Kriti Sanon's blundered extra-innocence, all she had to do was to look beautiful.

Ghosshhhh! pardon me SRK and Kajol fans, but this movie crossed the limit of my tolerance. I would repent forever at the moment I decided to watch Dilwale, just because I couldn't get tickets of Bajirao's next n number of shows!

Hum sharif kya hue puri duniya hi badmaash ho gayi- Every fifth contact of mine on Whatsapp had set this as status for a week or so, which apparently happens to be SRK's dialogue spoken at an unrelated point of time in the movie. 

Grandeur of sets, expensive vehicles, overpaid but under-utilized foreign locations, gaudy attires, mediocre plot, nonsensical dialogues, idiotic comedy, a-little-more-than-average music, overacting by every actor, Goa-but-almost-no-beaches- were the only flaws in the movie. Rest of it was hilarious (if anything is left)!

It felt to me like one day those people met over coffee and decided- chalo ek movie banate hai (come on, let's make a movie), and they ended up in this overrated crap. Selling the tickets at high prices and earning huge amount of money is not so astonishing phenomenon. Eventually, they call it a grand success on box office. Dear Rohit Shetty, do you even know they just released a rotten movie on your name...? You must be in coma by now upon knowing how they spoiled your repo...

Someone go and tell the not-so-old Aunty and Uncle (you-know-who), that they have now aged enough to play the roles of Mom-Dad and must quit romancing on the melodious numbers like Gerua. Paying hundreds of bucks and not even gaining a penny's worth of entertainment turned me furious. I wish I could paste a print out of this post outside every box office in my city and rescue the innocent audience from the torture beforehand.

Saturday 19 December 2015

Birthday Special- 2015

I've heard someone recite- "बचपन में लोग पूछते थे - बड़े हो कर क्या बनना है... जवाब अब मिला- फिर से बच्चा बनना है |"

It's almost the end of the day, to be specific- my birthDAY and by the time I hit "Publish", it would be 19th December. It was a fun filled day, mainly owing to ample of wishes that kept pouring in since 12 midnight! I am ecstatic to have such wonderful folks (family, friends, relatives and colleagues) around.

Is your mind buzzing to ask how old did I turn today? Amusingly, my answer is-"an year younger than you..." :) Jokes apart, age is just a number! To temporarily transform my two digit age into a single digit age and to rejuvenate the spirit of childhood in people around me I offered toffees to my colleagues at work. To my surprise, it was received well, and all enjoyed relishing the flavors of the simplest childhood memories.

Later in the day, I was gyrating my thoughts to that period of time when -

our biggest troubles were a broken pencil or a lost eraser,
the harshest punishment we could give to each other was a katti,
we were not supposed to be well-behaved, well-dressed or well-versed,
we were free of the social taboos,
discipline only implied finger-on-your-mouth in the classroom,
butterflies brought sparkle to our eyes,
between day and night was an eminent sunset,
we never had to remind ourselves to keep-the-child-in-us-alive,
messy hair and dirty feet were absolutely fine,
'Chinese whispers' was nothing more but a non-toxic game,
piggy bank was the treasure,
I-am-gonna-tell-your-mom was the scariest sentence,
when moon-followed-our-car...,
ours was a selfless- selfie-less image,
technology didn't take over...

...and the list shall keep flooding.

We didn't realize we were building a pile of memories while we were growing up, and that we are still doing that.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Book Review: The Bestseller She Wrote

I received this book as a part of a Book Review Programme by Blogadda.

First things first! Who says that Indian authors don't write well. The standards of this book match to that of foreign authors. Ravi Subramanian- as his bio states on Goodreads, has been a banker and now a best selling author. For that matter, his stories revolve around the lives of bankers, including this one. This enhances my firm belief that a fiction can never be entirely a fiction, and is eventually real life plus some necessary exaggeration. Had the author been staying in a village, his fiction would have been based on poverty, sustenance, child marriage (a wild guess).

The thickness of the ~400 pages' novel initially scared me, but once I took a dive into it, I couldn't resist ecstasy of reading, credits to the wit of the author. This was an UNPUTDOWNABLE book (as in one of the dialogues!)

About the plot- Its a thriller wherein the protagonist Shreya is the apparent antagonist. Aditya Kapoor has authored several bestselling novels and also is a successful banker, an IIM Bengaluru passout. He leads a near perfect professional and personal life at 40 something, with a high rank banking job, a writing career and a loving wife and son. That's when Shreya steps in their lives as a fresh Management trainee from his alma mater. She is recruited by Aditya and his HR friend Sanjay for his bank. She is a psyco, cold blooded, muti-faceted, extremely attractive, obsessive girl, who is a voracious reader and aspires to become a bestselling author like Aditya, whom she uses to get her dream come true (my discreet biasness right from the first few chapters against her ). She goes to the extent of seducing him with her youth and leading him to an extra marital dalliance, showing no signs of guilt. Sanjay has an important role to play in the whole span of the story. Unfortunately, I can't disclose everything here, since that would be unfair. The rest of the story is about the romance, conspiracy, trust mistrust, lie truth, heartbreak, adultery, fame, suffering and the tables turning at the end of it all. All it lacked is background music!

Looking at the cons of the novel- It is very lengthy, with 392 pages from cover to cover. Shreya and Aditya's romance could have been cut short as per me.

Aspiring writers can relate well to the process of book writing, publishing and marketing covered throughout. The crux of the whole plot is skewed in the last 75 pages, every moment of reading which was breathtaking. Aditya's speech at the end stole the show. An alternate title could have been- "Victory of Good Over Evil", based on the obvious and inevitable happy ending.

The author has spun the story very well, accompanied by rich vocabulary. The cover page reads- SOON TO BE A MOTION PICTURE. I must say this book deserves to be a motion picture, however, it requires some more mirch masala (and cutting short the intimate scenes) in order to expand the audience base.

My verdict- Overall, I would rate it as 4 on 5 stars and recommend it for any of those who are interested in thrillers; have the capacity to read a thick book; are aspiring writers; have the wit to relish smart plots; some scenes on adultery don't bother them and who want to learn to understand the sour facet of the human race.

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?
-Marc and Angel

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Book Review: 99 Thoughts on GANESHA

Upon reading the title, one may assume initially that it is perhaps a compilation of hymns or folklore on Ganesha. Well, not truly. Its far more than that.

The author- Devdutt Patnaik is a mythologist. He has written several other books on Hindu mythology focusing on the rational part of it, with a consolidation of all the relevant information.

Ganesha is who is one of the most celebrated and beloved gods pan India. About him, not much is known to people, except for stories revolving around how he came into existence, and that he is worshiped before doing anything afresh.

In this book, Devdutt Patnaik has penned down an account comprising Ganesha's creation, the rituals associated with him, the literature, symbols, festivals, history, stories, etc.- most of which was not unveiled in so simple manner yet (best to my knowledge). It contains a brief of each of them, leaving the rest to the reader's zeal of exploration.

Even after including such vast fountain on information, this book is a precise, concise and quick read. In general, the chapters not inter-related, can be read from anywhere. Every chapter has wonderful illustrations to provide a better insight into the respective section. Regarding the text- it contains simple vocabulary, meticulously articulated, suited to the contemporary generation who escape from reading huge epics or upanishads.

The best part is that it doesn't aim at cultivating superstition, but seems to based on the available documentation and author's interpretation.

My only apprehension is that, unlike fiction based novels, the reader might not be able to retain and recall all this by reading only once. I rate it 4 on 5 stars. For those who are looking for enlightenment on mythology and are curious about Ganesha, must read this 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. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Saturday 5 December 2015

Book Review: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

This is one good novel by Robin Sharma- the motivational speaker, first published in 1997. This is his first book, after which he has penned down various others in the same genre. He is also a keynote speaker at various seminars.

They say- "Motivation doesn't last daily. Well, neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily." This book is a dosage of motivation to fulfill your dreams and reaching your destiny.

I am sure I am too late in reading this book- one, because this was published when I was a kid; two, because I read other motivational fables prior to this. Owing to both the reasons, much of the wisdom covered here already occurred to me with other texts. Nevertheless, human brain requires frequent revision!

It comes along with preaching, principles and paradigms to be what you are destined to be; to attain your goals; awaken your soul; stay healthy, wealthy and content. I am proud that some of the paradigms are engraved in my mind now. My rating is 3.5!

A few minus points: I believe is that it isn't able to capture consistent attention, especially of a mischievous mind like mine. It doesn't captivate my senses, and I had to compel myself to keep reading. Reasons may be that the story wasn't woven as a definite fiction, but most of it was a conversation. The lessons kept pouring in as answers to Frequently Asked Questions, along with the typically designed terminologies and very little examples. I guess I kept comparing the content with that of others like How to Stop Worrying And Start Living, What Got You Here Won't Get You There, Eat That Frog, The Secret, which are also aimed towards self-improvement.

Nevertheless, the Odyssey is a good read for those who are looking for a life of purpose.

(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. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Friday 4 December 2015

You cannot judge a fish by its ability to fly!

Thursday 3 December 2015

समस्याएं इतनी ताक़तवर
नहीं हो सकती जितना हम
इन्हें मान लेते हैं ,
कभी सुना है,
" अंधेरों ने सुबह ही ना होने दी हो ":)
-Twitter (@anupamkher)

Wednesday 2 December 2015

There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.

Roger Staubach

Monday 30 November 2015


मैंने लोगो को कहते सुना है, हाथों में चूड़ियाँ पहन लो | इसका अर्थ है कि आपमें साहस कि कमी है और चूडि़यां पहनने वाले हाथ कमजोर है | किन्तु मैं इससे सहमत नहीं | एक भिन्न दृष्टिकोण से चूड़ियों पर उल्लेख-

बजती हैं माँ कि चूड़ियाँ,
रसोई में मेरे लिए स्वादिष्ट भोजन पकाने के लिए,
मंदिर की घंटी बजा कर मेरे लिए दुआ का हाथ उठाने के लिए |

बजती है माँ कि चूड़ियाँ,
मुझे थपकी दे कर सुलाने के लिए,
मुझ पर आशीष बरसाने के लिए |

बजती रहे ममता भरी ये चूड़ियाँ ||

बजती है बहन कि चूड़ियाँ,
मुझे सता कर अपने पीछे दौड़ाने के लिए,
मुझ से मीठी नोक-झोंक में कमर पर हाथ रख धौंस जमाने के लिए |

बजती है बहन कि चूड़ियाँ,
मेरे माथे पर चंदन का टीका लगाने के लिए,
मेरे हाथों में राखी सजाने के लिए |

बजती रहे शरारत भरी ये चूड़ियाँ ||

बजती है पत्नी कि चूड़ियाँ,
प्रतीक्षारत हाथो से दरवाज़ा खोलने के लिए,
मुझे आलिंगनबद्ध कर मनुहार जताने के लिए |

बजती है पत्नी कि चूड़ियाँ,
मेरी पसंद के पकवान बनाने के लिए,
मेरे घर आँगन को सँवारने के लिए |

बजती रहे प्रेम भरी ये चूड़ियाँ ||

बजती है बेटी कि चूड़ियाँ,
मेरे घर को अपनी किलकारियों से सजाने के लिए,
नन्हे हाथों से गुड्डे गुड़ियों संग खेलने के लिए |

बजती है बेटी कि चूड़ियाँ,
ससुराल जाते हुए छुप कर आँसू पोंछेने के लिए,
दौड़ते हुए मेरे सीने से लग जाने के लिए |

बजती रहे मासूमियत भरी ये चूड़ियाँ ||

Saturday 28 November 2015

"Don't live the same day 75 times and call it a life."
-Robin Sharma

Book Review: The God of Small Things

Puzzled to see another book review so soon!? Well, a book review always doesn't mean that I have FINISHED the book and that too so quickly. It may even mean that I have given up further reading, but as a ritual I am penning down my views.

I found out this Bestseller and  1997's "Booker Prize" winner book at the start of this month on Goodreads here. With a whooping 7343 reviews and 151237 ratings, this occurred to me as something I can invest upon. I ordered it then, and after eagerly waiting for long (including Diwali vacations), I received it a few days back.

I don't know much about the author- Arundhati Roy, but upon reading some of this book I presume she is a great scholar in English literature. If these many people have read and reviewed the book on the planet, there is no second thought for it to be called a masterpiece.

But for me, I could not bear with the flooding number of characters and holding the dictionary in the other hand to decrypt the powerful vocabulary. The South Christian from around 1960s, was what I could not relate to at all. It gave me gloomy feeling. The story hopped from one character's back story to the other. I tried hard to interpret the vocabulary contextually and to understand the characters' perspectives. Amusingly (and to my embarrassment), as soon as I switched to the consecutive paragraph, the previous one was wiped of from my memory. My patience couldn't survive for more than 52 pages, and I gave up. Not only me, I later heard from some other friends that they are also sailing in the same boat as me! May be one day my intellect would grow up and I would again open up this book to finish upto the last page.

Till then, all I can say is, there is a difference between what is the best and what is suited for you.

(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. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)
If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Friday 27 November 2015

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
-Vincent Lombardi

Tuesday 24 November 2015

To Tweeples and Whatsapp-ians

Dear friends, friends of friends, and to whomsoever-it-is-concerned, you are likely to be fumed upon reading this post, but I don't mind telling what's on my mind. (Excuse me for the same)

The constant itch caused by a bunch of texts and tweets to me could only be healed by having my say on them. FYI, it ain't moral policing.

In the last few days, I had been observing that people puke anything and everything on social media. In other words, they blindly forward all they receive. How funny it was to read that don't watch the movies of Shahrukh and/ or Amir because they expressed their opinion on the intolerance topic? Guys, do you ever use your mind before forwarding mindless messages? I can't stop laughing at this. How many of those who forward all this, actually know what the root issue is all about?

If you are a Software Engineer like me, and you said something that offended me, then would I say that I will refrain from using the part of application that you have coded (in so-called protest)? Well, absolutely not, I would rather reprimand it the other way. If your Mom unwantedly adds some extra salt to your food one day, would you not eat any subsequent meal cooked by her? In the same way, acting is their business, and expressing opinion- an individual choice. A text message said, we have paid 4k crores to make their movies hit..... Astounded by what I read, I thought you didn't donate the money, it was in exchange of the entertainment that you sought. Ain't it? Negativity breeds negativity.

Flowing with the emotions or bluffing on look-I-am-so-conscious, we unabashedly forward it. On one hand you enjoy sending jokes / negative facts about the country, concluding how ill-fated you are to have been born here. On the other, you pretend to be aggressive on such issues, and be epitome of desh-bhakti. 
One such text stating ills of our country in a rather humorous way had a line- "is desh me pizza 30 minute me pahuch jaata hai magar ambulance nahi." I was awestrucked pondering what's the analogy between a pizza and an ambulance. If you are targeting the governance, then best to my understanding, pizza has nothing to do with the government except for taxes. I am not denying the fact, but the way it is shot to despise our country and government's public image. Neither do I understand where this content originates from and who is benifiting by fooling innocent message forwarders!

It is absolutely fine if you disagree on certain things, but remember: whatever you listen / read to is a perspective, not the truth.

Probably you too must have inferred by now that mass communication and media are the strongest means to form public opinion. How wonderfully does masscomm and media manipulate or highlight an entity / event/ person taking them to the zenith or drop them to their doom. They make for a massive machine to brainwash the human mind, or at the least make them think over and over. Ever wondered, where did the award waapsi and beef issues perish after the Bihar elections; why the Maggi-is-unsafe news popped and prevailed right on the time when Ramdev baba was to launch his own healthy-Maggi, and not in the last two decades; why is Indrani's husband Peter's arrest not as much on the news as it was for Indrani? It may be because now no one sees benefit by editing public opinion on these anymore.  Whenever there is big news in the media, look for the one they are trying to take you away from.

And, your job is to use a percent of the 3 pound organ that is present at the top of your body!

Simple as that?

And as, one of the forwarded text on my phone says-
सोच को बदलो सितारे बदल जाएंगे,
नज़र को बदलो नज़ारे बदल जाएंगे।
कश्तियां बदलने की ज़रूरत नहीं,
दिशाओं को बदलो किनारे बदल जाएंगे ।।
(Disclaimer: I am not paid to write this post. It is my personal view, and not intended to hurt/ defame/ derate any person, platform, nation, culture, political party, incidence or event. I do not mean to criticize or hurt either. Forgive me if it does.)

Sunday 22 November 2015

Book Review: The One You Cannot Have

I had been following the author- Preeti Shenoy for a couple of weeks over twitter, blogger and goodreads. That's where I discovered this book of hers, read the reviews and felt like giving it a try. The header of her blog reads- "The only woman in the highest-selling league." This impressed me and instigated the urge to read a book of hers.

I ordered it last Wednesday, and thanks to Amazon, it was delivered on Friday noon. The fragrance of new pages instigated me to start reading it the same day. Whoaaa! with my all efforts I read it continuously and finished it on Saturday midnight (that includes sleeping, brushing and bathing!) Irrespective of my eyes aching and floating with drowsiness due to the hectic week, I have broken all my records of the pace of reading this 275 page book. One big reason is that the plot kept me hooked up to itself, I couldn't resist my curiosity for the next chapter as soon as current one was finished.


It has four main characters namely- Aman, Shruti, Anjali and Rishabh, backed by a few supporting ones who keep coming and going throughout. 

Every chapter is narrated by one character, in first person (of course). This style of writing is distinct and new to me, and I had never contemplated such wonderful style. All the chapters are articulated well, unlike other fiction based novels, here one gets to understand each character's perspective as the story moves on.  The beautiful writing skill helped me design a portrait of each of the characters in my mind, as if I am in their world.  All four of them perfectly entwined. I am still able to imagine their chemistry.


The story runs flawlessly, nothing exaggerated. I could relate well with their story- one because I am of the same age group as the characters; two, because in today's era such stories are very much likely with or around us. The author doesn't tell anything new, but this is one of the best tell tale of contemporary the world's (to be precise, Indian) love-breakup-family-work-relationship-scenario.

The theme is- there is always this one (or more than one) person in the world who you cannot have in your life whatever may be the intensity of your feelings for them.

To summarize, Shruti and Aman are dead serious about their love and want to take it further (this occurs to the reader as flashback at various points in the story). Due to unavoidable family circumstances, Shruti has to move on and marry Rishabh later. Aman goes to US to recover the heart break plus, for his official work. The strings from their past keep aching their minds and hearts. No matter what, they long for each other, but eventually, for each other they are- "the one you cannot have." Shruti's past haunts her married life when her husband comes to know accidentally about her past. In the meantime, Aman returns to India after two long years where he happens to date an acquaintance Anjali and after a few emotional hiccups, sees a life partner in  her and a way to move on in life. And then...then... don't expect me to uncover the epilogue now!

My Advice: 

If you are a teenager who is supposedly fiddling between frequent crushes, refrain from reading this fiction, since you won't be able to feel the maturity of relationships. If you are aged 24- 34, this book shall hopefully be one of the best things in your hand.

My Verdict:

I rate it 4 on 5 stars. If you have even some emotions, and are/ were/ would to be in a relationship(s), this is a good read! Though this was my first book from the author, but surely not the last one.

(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. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)
If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Thursday 19 November 2015

Book Review: What Got You Here Wont Get You There

In the row of reading self help books, I just finished this one which I bought 2 years and 8 months back from now, but never had the courage to pick up then.

I rate this book 3.5 on 5.

This book is from Marshall Goldsmith- an executive coach. And as the back cover of his book reads- "...his one-on-one training comes with a six-figure price tag."

The sub-header of the book title reads-"How Successful People Become Even More Successful!"

This guy trains the upper management of various corporates, not technically but to enhance their leadership and interpersonal skills, promoting them as a better individual- both professionally and personally. In all, he helps them cover up the gaps from being a good professional to a better professional. This books contains a gist of his experience as a coach, his advice, dos and don'ts as a leader. 

The best part of this book is "the 20 workplace habits you need to break" (which I would brief below). However, most of the topics and examples covered in the book are worth and help you grow as a professional. Apart from the 20 habits, the parts that I liked most were about enhancing listening skills, apologizing, showing gratitude, feedback and feedforward. He has also covered various traits of our attitude which hinder us to progress to the next level. I've also written another post- A little less ME, which was inspired by one of the chapters from this book itself. 

The author summarizes 20 of the worst interpersonal habits successful employees exhibit in the workplace:

1) Feeling the need to win too much
2) Adding too much value to a conversation
3) Passing judgment
4) Making destructive comments
5) Starting with "No," "But," or "However"
6) Telling people how smart we are
7) Speaking when angry
8) Negativity, "Let me explain why that won't work"
9) Withholding information
10) Failing to give proper recognition
11) Claiming credit that we don't deserve
12) Making excuses
13) Clinging to the past
14) Playing favorites
15) Refusing to express regret
16) Not listening
17) Failing to express gratitude
18) Punishing the messenger
19) Passing the buck

After identifying your worst one or two bad habits, use the following process to improve your effectiveness:

1) apologize
2) advertise your plan to change
3) listen
4) give thanks
5) follow up monthly for 12-18 months
6) practice feedforward, not feedback: ask for two ideas for future improvement, listen, say thank you, and repeat the process with several other people.

To conclude, this book is for you if you have the thirst to grow as a professional and realize that there are certain traits in you which must be improved upon contructively to help you go up the corporate ladder. Otherwise, do not go for this 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. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)
If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at