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My Book Shelf

Readers's books

A Love Life so Painful
Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai
Those enchanted four and half years
One and a Half Wife
The Bankster
Love You Forever : Only In That Way
Nine Lives
The Mistress of Spices
The Fortune Hunters
I Too Had A Love Story..
Ladies Coupé
The Krishna Key
Mumbaistan: 3 Explosive Crime Thrillers
Of Tattoos and Taboos!
Left from Dhakeshwari
I loved a Street woman
Chanakya's Chant
Dreams in Prussian Blue

Readers Cosmos's favorite books »

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How I Would #ChooseToStartWith New Moto E

A mother is a girls best friend. The person who is most of the times with you as you grow, who teaches you the first words that are uttered from your mouth, the finger that helps you take your first walk is your mother. As a girl grows she needs someone she can share her little joys, the small and sometimes big mistakes, the understanding of her biology as she grows, the feelings of first crush. When the friend is a mother who knows you inside out its a boon. Mother's tend to have an intuitive feeling with their children and so you don't have to describe yourself, she just understands you. So I wish to start a new life with my folks by my side with the new Moto E.

Living alone for your education has been a norm for people from the rural India and so is teh case with me. There is no option for where we belong there are no institutions of higher education. In my case, my town had only education up to std 10.  I wanted to do Science, and so at a tender age of 15, post standard ten I moved out of my house.

The education worked well and 12 years down the lane I am still studying to get the highest degree possible in my field, PhD. It has been a long lonely road. Friends fill up the space but nobody can be your parent, not certainly a mother. In my case, I am happy for what I have achieved but its only partial for what I have lost is the chance to be with my parents, watch my little brother grow and most of all missed my best friend-my mother. These were precious moments that never come back. You may record them as snapshots but you can't live them. The sad part is despite knowing this, I also know that I cannot go back to them to live with them for where I come from, there are no places to employ a scientist. So my happiness was like the crescent moon, it looked beautiful but it was never full. Or so I thought, till the time people of my breed into technology invented what is called as "A Smart Phone".

After Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, the first giant leap in technology was the internet. A combination of two, the smartphone can now achieve what has never been possible before, and the best thing before we invent tele-portation. You may think what might excite me so much about this? But if you are living away from your family, you will definitely understand what video calling from your phone anytime and see your folks, be at a distance from them but still have them there with the webcam on when you cut your birthday cake, find that special someone or need help in deciding a piece of jewelry you want to buy ( I am a girl after all) means to you.

At this stage when me and my brother whose growing up years I have already missed, are both away in different corners of the country, away. When it is a stage where they have spent all their time and attention on us, not being able to maintain their social life for our homework, exams , competitions etc. They feel so alone now. Moms especially being more emotional feels sad mostly and really looks forward to having us. However its just once a year for a week in my case. I have missed her while I try to cook exactly like her, while shopping, or discussing putative dating candidates. We do converse on the phone but its never like being there. 

My mom like most people of her generation, isn't comfortable with technology. It was difficult to convince her to use a mobile phone. Hers is a simple, Nokia 1100, non android phone. So is mine and therefore I choose to start my life by buying two sets  of Moto E for me and her, as we upgrade ourselves and get closer with a smart phone. I choose Moto E, for it has the following features:

1. It is user friendly: For a person like my mother, everything that she operates on has to be easily visible and she shouldn't spend too much time searching for it, else she gets confused. Hence this is the right choice.

2. Size: My mom and me is not a fan of large phones, she needs something small that fits into her purse and for me it should fit the pocket of my jeans. This 4.3 inch phone is the right size for her.

3. Sturdy:  It is a phone that doesn't break upon falling, like its cheaper counterparts.

4. The Brand Value: My best friend is using Moto E . He is extremely happy with Motorolla. We never have faced and hangup issues etc. so far. These are important for people of my mom's age who cannot troubleshoot with the ease we can and so all they need is a hassle free phone. We having seen it with my friends phone, have complete trust in the brand value of Moto, do not have to think of something else when it comes to buying a smart phone.

5. Camera: The phone comes with a 5MP camera, which is a good resolution, that can help her share the moments instantly with me on Whatsapp or Instagram. I can get her great insight on the guys I date especially;), or the jewelry, shoes etc. I chose. 

6. Dual Sim:  This will help her carry both Delhi Sim and the home sim when she visits me, saving us the trouble of misplacing it and buying a new one each time.

7. Value for Money: The first generation Moto E begins from 5999 INR and the second generation at 6999 INR, there can be nothing better than this phone's configuration for this price. 

I am all set to start a new life by connecting with my mom 24X7. Do you miss your mother? Join the bandwagon and #Start A New Life with Moto E.  After all as the Moto E  President COORick Osterloh  believes that "A great smartphone shouldn't be a luxury, it should be a choice for everyone."

Know more about the phone here :

Sunday, March 22, 2015

#Happiness To Me Is...

#Happiness is in essence the feeling we wish to achieve and we work only to have it. However it can be like a ruthless lover leaving you deserted or be a soul mate that lies in your heart and reflected on your lips for eternity. Here are a list of triggers that rekindle my affair with #happiness for me each time we meet:

1. Books:  As you can see this blog is all about books and therefore needless to explain that I love them. I love collecting them and my hostel room is full of them. I am surrounded by them and even on my bed at anytime you will find four of them, lingering, sleeping, relaxing and being read. A hardbound copy, an encyclopedia, banned books and most of all the first print or limited collections of books are the ones that make me happy the moment I see them.

2. Meeting Your Favorite Person:  People inspire and motivate. It’s a very different experience to see your idols right in front of your eyes and share the microcosm with them. The best part is the rare opportunity of asking them questions and getting to interact with them. After moving to Delhi, I have had the pleasure of meeting Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan (my love), Aamir Khan and Steve Waugh, courtesy blogging. While Steve Waugh thought I asked the best question at the cricket conclave and was happy to pose with me for a photogenic shot. Shahrukh Khan enjoyed answering me for about 2 and half minutes, which I have watched again and again since that day for more than hours now. I have also had a great fortune to meet my favourite writers in this city face to face and again interact with them. This ofcourse is the crazy book lover in me talking. I have had a chance to meet in person my most favorite writers like Dan Brown and just yesterday Gulzar Sahab. I also got a chance to get a signed copy from him and am on cloud nine since then. I can’t think of anything but him.

3. Writing:  The day I can write well for me is a happy day. Since I love the written word and critique writers, I am the same may be harsher with my own self. So if I write something that out beats my own expectations make a happy day for me.

4. Children:  I love playing with children and spoiling them. As we grow old they say we grow wiser, however it comes with a great price. Wisdom is nothing but loss of innocence and I better have the later and the former around me. I therefore like surrounding myself with children whose only expectation from you is that you spend time playing with them. Their selfless demands, inquisitive questions and the innocent gestures can take me out of all kinds of stress and depression.

5. Spending Time with Nature:  Inner peace is rare in concrete jungles. All they give you is a bucket full of stress. So what I love doing is just shutting off from the world into nature. Luckily I live and work on a research institute campus, so its lush green canvas with array of colors right in front of my eyes as soon as I step out of the concrete jungle. I also visited Kashmir last year and the beauty of it all is what I think of, disappear into what I imbibed within me in those days. 

6. A Bottle Of Coke:   Happiness to me on a working day is a chilled bottle of Coke. I always have them in my freezer, chilled to kill the stress. On days when my stock ends I am sad and love those friends who present me with one when I just don't have the time. Those who know me always gift me a Coke...a diet Coke to be precise. To know more about coke log on to :

Watch this video and fall in love with "Coke" my favourite drink...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Review: Love Lasts Forever...Only If You Don't Marry Your Love by Vikrant Khanna

Title:  Love Lasts Forever
Author:  Vikrant Khanna
Publisher: Srishti Publishers and Distributors
Date:  2014
Price: Rs. 107
Pages: 256

Can Love really last forever or it is an emotion that reaches an amplitude for a phase and meets an inevitable death? This is the question we often ask as the urban Indian society moves towards the norm of "love marriage". Finding a soul mate is something everyone looks forward to right from their teen age and a lot of dreams and expectations are build around it, thanks to the movies, television and books we  are rosy eyed. However after the rosy phase the relationship goes through a time where one comes to know about the short comings of one's partner, marriage, adjusting within the groom's family (for the girl) etc. This is precisely what this light story by Vikrant Khanna puts a spotlight on. 

Ronit is only eighteen and freshly out of pre-sea training institute and all set to be a sailor falls in love at first sight Aisha, the sister of his batch-mate Priyank. Its mutual, the admiration and the relationship is smooth for seven long years despite the long distance, intermittent meeting and Ronit proposing all along. Aisha being more practical gives in only after she realizes that the relationship has been old enough to take the plunge. She does warn him about the fact that the dynamics change after marriage, there are more fights and practicality takes over romance. Ronit's love and longing for her makes her give in. However as expected there are problems. She is a perfect girlfriend but takes time to adjust to his family, a mother-in-law and what nobody wants, a sister-in-law nagging all the time.

Ronit isn't happy and spends more time away with his friends instead. The pressure of an alien home and being distanced by Ronit puts Aisha into further grief and the relationship is strained. He now longs for more sea voyages then ever before and after a major fight just embarks on the next available opportunity, only to meet a very interesting captain Shekhar, one who has lived an unusual love story and is divorced. So the author cleverly introduces us to a complicated situation of this wise man and as he narrates his story of love for his ex-wife despite being divorced they get hijacked by pirates. This clever tactic of Ronit's building inquisitiveness over the captain's love story which is served in parts, intermittently at the mercy of the pirates wish to allow them to talk. 

Shekhar's story presented in this manner makes the reader just wanting for more and turn the pages till one has read it all. Best part being its unpredictability.

Can the bad time drive sense into Ronit? What is Shekhar's story? Will he be able to revive his relationship with Aisha or will it meet its ugly end? To know, read the book.

The Verdict: The book overall with a light story brings onto canvas the problems every couple in a love marriage face all around. Though most give up to fate this story presents an understanding of life that can make one change perspective. It makes both partners think with the other's perspective on the relationship and think of the greater future by being together over the petty quarrels that like fire can be made bigger either to burn the relationship or being subtly put off with the calm waters of understanding. The USP of the book is Shekhar's story and the perspective on life it brings about. The author's tactic in breaking it into parts by introducing the hijack crisis is a intelligent strategy to have the audience crave for the next bit.

The language is simple, writing and editing crisp and the book makes up for a better read than those romantic stories that born and die on paper, for here is a practical one. The author is definitely someone whose writings I am looking forward to.

Rating:  3.5 stars on 5

About Vikrant Khanna
Vikrant Khanna grew up in Delhi. He studied at the Tagore International School. He has also penned the bestselling book The India I Dream of... and the Facebook Revolution Begins!! and When Life Tricked Me… And Love Kicked Me.He joined the Merchant Navy as a deck officer and later became a Chief Officer. Vikrant eventually completed his masters to become a Captain. He is also a keen guitarist who composes his own songs and is adept at cooking.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Look Up There Is An Inspiration In The Most Common Man

Sometimes you need a long time to recover from a bad phase and so they say "time heals it all". But sometimes you need just a jerk and you realize your sadness and the problems you think are gigantic are basically infinitesimally minute compared to what many others, much younger to you face on a daily basis.

A few weeks ago I with my heart broken over a recent tragedy, a personal loss dragged myself out. It  had to be so, I had no choice. Sunday nights the canteen is closed, so I couldn't sulk and have just whatever was available. It had been a month since I went out. My interactions were minimal and all I was capable of was doing the work mechanically like a robot. I thought of only the loss, the person who was no longer with me. It made me feel alone, sad and without being verbose I could conveniently describe my state as melancholic. I didn't now where I was going. I operated mechanically. Being a person who is incapable of sharing problems with even the closest friends I had to deal with it myself. Find the strength within me to fight and rise above it as I always have so far in my independent existence. However this time the sadness was greater, a loss permanent and so was its effect on my soul, which was shredded into minute pieces, just that you couldn't see them. I knew I was wrong, for I was loosing focus. It okay to be sad but when it continues for too long it can have severe consequences. I tried reviving myself from the situation but all the efforts seemed fake in its wake. I knew I shouldn't be like this but alas! I was. I was scared I would collapse but whatever I tried didn't work. The effect on my work life was greatest. i was less productive, nit working with zest which my peers noticed but not being able to fathom the shadow over the plastic smile covering my face, they pondered and wondered but gave up as I wouldn't explain. 

The creator somewhere in the heavens probably saw it all. A tiny creature with a mammoth sadness and smiled. For that was the day the heavens poured and I saw him. A small child, I do not know whose name. I call him Inspiration. Inspiration had no clothes and lived on the street. He worked a menial job and saved his wages carefully. I know so because right where I was buying my food, he was inquiring how much would it cost to have a filled belly today. What if he had just half the serving, he could save more that day. The shopkeeper had a good heart, he explained to him what was the best deal for his money. He had earned 100 Rs that day, probably more than his daily earnings. He wasn't even then treating himself, for his mind was clouded like the clouds above him that poured, what would he do tomorrow? What if he didn't get work then? After fifteen minutes of haggling he spent forty rupees on dinner for two, probably a dependent. He must be barely 12 years old. And when the lightning struck it was my heart that lit up. Imagine this kid and his life. He struggled every day to just fill his belly and despite of living on borderline poverty he wanted to live. He worked and probably never went to school. He might spend the rest of his life uneducated, in the same place he was born but there was something that drove him. A fire that kept him alive, like Richard Parker kept Pi alive. I had comparatively a very comfortable childhood, my only worry being my studies and getting better grades than others. I had a future and my parents worked each day to ensure that. This child at a tender age of 12 was alone with a responsibility to feed, and when he got his food and left he had a smile. I was sulking for something that was inevitable. People leave the planet all the time. Yes you miss them when they go away, but hasn't everyone got to go away someday including ourselves. So should we waste this limited existence grieving and expecting a solution for a problem where there is none or live it to the fullest? This was my question to myself.

Inspiration taught me to give my best each day and that is what I strive for. The depression does come back but I picture him and his haggling, his smile I the end and keeping safely the 60 rupees he saved that day like a priced possession. My life could have a greater purpose and I realized it when from a child who taught me thee is nothing one cannot fight and there is always someone in greater pain, fighting a bigger monster than you , so just stop self pity and start living. That has been my mantra since then and will be forever. Thank you Inspiration for the accident. helps you find a friend in an alien land. A place where you will find those who will inspire you and help you create a space for yourself. Log on to their site today!!! 

#StartANewLife Of Your Dreams

Starting a new life is not a moment's decision. It is not easy. Human beings have an inherent fear of the unknown which makes them feel scared of situations we haven't faced before. I was no different, in fact more terrified back then, than I am today of a change. I am however happy I took the step that led to the greatest change in my life. Imagine a small town girl, a town really small, equal to one part of Delhi (like Saket), the one which had no internet connection then, no bookshop, today making it to doing research at a United Nations facility, seems like a dream, fairy tale to be realistic. Everything started with that first step, with taking charge to #StartANewLife.

I have been in love with Science since as long as my memory grows. While children played outdoors all the time and had to be forced to study, I loved solving problems, mathematical in nature or otherwise. Looking at the smaller things under the most basic microscope my school had, repairing or rather trying to understand how my dad's audio cassette player always went bad. However the enthusiasm was short lived. It was so because the very small town had no schools that offered standard 11 Science program. 99.9% students therefore joined commerce. Well many didn't really want to take Science because of the phobia towards the subject. However I couldn't think of my life without it. I was sure I would get out of my house to another city. I was afraid as I had never been alone before. there were horrible stories of things that happened to girls who lived alone in the city and my parents read newspapers, unfortunately and so did I. I had to gain strength and not just pose but be truly confident that they can believe I could do it. 

I am basically a self dependent person and a bold child, so my parents didn't doubt on my capability to live alone  but for a girl the world is not a place certainly. So it took a whole lot of convincing them. With that in place I moved to a nearest city called Valsad for my studies. Life was very different there. The kids had different priorities and a very different way of dealing with life. They were more casual and confident than me of course and more forward and care free as well. I was amazed, unsure whom to be friends with. I made a lot of mistakes in understanding and recognizing people. Unlike my last school where being in a small town you knew people right from nursery and your families knew each other well enough to direct you whom to mingle with and whom to not, here everyone was a stranger, smarter than me. The city way of life and its code of conduct, to say something and not mean it was so much out of scope for me. I used to cry at nights sometimes upon initial betrayal by friends. I was so lost and it affected my studies and grades. The teachers here dealt in a different way too. They had no concept of teaching the basics, they wanted answers in the text book language and I wondered why not just see the text book then. I still have these issues with the education system in Gujarat. All this made me just frustrated and my longing for old school, older ways and pals I knew would stand by me increased and so did my tears. 

The first semester result however was a jolt and I realized I had to learn to deal with everything and not let it get to me. Slowly I distanced myself from people and just observed them. I concentrated on studying and getting good marks. It was difficult but I managed decent marks. being an inquisitive student, the one who asks a lot of questions, made me gel with a few teachers and I could fearlessly share with them my innermost true feelings for everything in this place. They in turn gave me practical advises about how it was just a phase and somewhere I made the place my own. 

This continued every two to three years as I went for Bachelors degree program and from there on to another city for Masters and finally the capital for a doctorate. My lab-mates refuse to believe I am a small town girl. I have found myself fall in love with each city and make a place for myself in its heart. I go to them with the pain of leaving the former, only to discover the joys of the later and leave it too teary eyed. I believe Delhi has been the best city I have lived in so far and it has taught me a lot, given me a great exposure and my love for blogging originated here. This blog which has given me a huge alternate identity is all thanks to this city. But this was not the first step. All those sleepless nights, disturbed state of mind and loneliness I fought with when I took the first step out of my home have given me the lessons that help me walk with a stride today. I am happy I took my life in my hands and changed it and could pursue my live for Science till this day. provides you an opportunity to find a place where you put in your roots, to position, strive and grow in new place. It has all types of property solution,s buying and selling options as well as can help you find a hostel to stay in. Have you ever found all that you need in terms of what you call a home, even for a day at one place, on and find it for yourself. 

This amazing video will help you understand better:

#Together: The story of being yourself

#Together the eight letter word means a lot sometimes, an entire lifetime. Being someone who has lived away from family for studying standard 11 onward, till the present times when I pursue my PhD I understand, miss and value it more now than the times I was with my family. Family, your own home, your siblings with whom you fight and your own room where you read till late night mean a lot more when you are away from it. Life has become so hectic that we do not even have the time to miss these things and go back to it frequently.

After the failure of my first hypothesis in the second year of my PhD, all I needed for for the second one to work. I therefore started working on it like a person possessed. I had worked for two years with no returns and the pressure of self more than anyone else was huge. I desperately wanted the project to yield results that would speak of the work. So in the process I forgot everyone and everything, even my mom's birthday and she understood. I was putting my best and that is all they wanted, for they knew that was where my happiness lied, at that point. I hadn't been at home for two years and not allowed anyone to come visit me. Both the events would have only wasted my time. Time that would otherwise was worth spending working, or so I thought. The results were fruitful too, we did get the initial success we needed. However at one point after those two years of work it got stuck. I did a lot of things , but nothing worked. Worked on a lot of suggestions, none worked. I wasn't able to think of a solution. In Science you are the creator, preserver and destroyer. I acted the later. Stress was building up and I couldn't think. I started feeling I wasn't good enough to solve this problem and all the years I spent into this training were a waste. With such negative thoughts clouding my brains, productivity was scarce. I was slowly getting depressed. I don't even remember if I smiled during those days. My best friend then suggested I go home and take a break. I decided to do it and getting holidays were easy as my boss was proud of my no leave record. He happily gave me a week extra when I demanded only a few days. So I packed my bags and went home. 

Mothers always know about the crap in life and the antidote to it. My brother is my antidote to all situations. She was clever, as soon as she knew I was coming and of course all my failed results (as they are the people I bore with what I work on the most), she got my brother to come home for the weekend. Our family hadn't all met at one time for three years since he got into college. We met each other separately and so on. This was therefore a very festive occasion for them. So I reached home, with a sad heart but the food laid out on the lunch table to welcome me forget the work blues and the tiresome 18 hour train journey. They had gone far into cheering me up as I saw my little bro (not so little now) was screaming with joy as he begun teasing me. He would just say nasty things, tease me and run away. We fought for all the food that was made, Shrikhand, Dhokla, Thepla and Undhiyu, even though it was ample. After a great meal and fun, where I had forgotten all about the stress, we began watching all the pictures and video's of things we did when away from home. My parents have the patience of listening to most stories endlessly. Mom however had greater plans, she opened our old family album which had pictures of me and my brother in our growing up years. it was so refreshing just to watch ourselves, the way we were so happy and stress free. The pictures were a great time travel portal which made me believe in myself better. I had come across difficult times before and this was just another challenge, one more to make me better, stronger. 

With that spirit we gathered for tea, followed by some more laughter and fight. We cooked dinner together and watched a Gujarati play which mom deserved at the end of all her efforts. The next day went similarly with lots of fun. My bro left the next day evening and till he was out of sight all we had was fun. It was amazing how fast two days had passed and how fresh I felt when with my family just in two days. The rest of the five days were spent with parents trying to spoil me and cover all the dishes I could stuff into my belly for I live in the hostel and a lot of wok lay ahead. I got back in a week's time (not 15 days though I had them, a work-o-holic you see). I was so fresh when I was back everyone noticed the change in me. Trust me on that. 

I re-looked at the problem I was having with my experiments. Did a lot of reading in the next week and with a fresh perspective after about ten days I had the solution, which I been struggling for, for past two months. Family and #togetherness with family does work wonders, isn't it? serves the same spirit of bringing people together by helping you find, rent, buy that house that brings families together. It also helps you find hostels that would give you friends for life. The site is extremely user friendly and quick. So don't waste time, find the space to nurture your relationship, start a new life with a click here :

Watch this video for details:

Friday, March 13, 2015

#Contest: Win A Copy of "Saga Of Agni: Rise Of The Grey Prince" by Arka Chakrabarti

Hello Readers, hope you are reading amazing books. We bring you a chance to win one more for your collection "Saga Of Agni: Rise Of The Grey Prince" by Arka Chakrabarti.

About The Book: That cursed night at Nisarga had revealed the true reason behind his father's sacrifice and his own dark past. Each revelation now draws Agni into the sublime world of secrets. With Vrish and Guru Sidak by his side, fighting the daggers from the past and winning over the opponents of the present, somewhere deep down, he knows that his journey has just begun.

The other scarred prince walks the ashes of his reality. Haunted by the glimpses of truth the same night, Yani had but one choice-to survive. His unknowing steps, trapped in cruel games of ancient powers had led him to a truth, a truth which shall mould a good man in the clay of misfortune, hate and lust.

Such is the world of Gaya and thus shall be the rise of the Grey prince-the one torn between the darkness of evil and a lone ray of hope.

We have 2 copies of this book up for a grab. All you have to do is:

1. Share the Book's Coverpage (above) on Facebook. - 5 points
(share your links in the comment below)

2. Tweet about the contest on: (you can just copy the following)- 5 points
: Win A Copy of  by  by answering a simple question with 

(please mention your twitter handle in the comments below)

3. Answer the following question in the comments below:- 20 points

 If you were asked to write your own fantasy novel then which mythological character would you have chosen to weave your story around? And why? 

Please Note:
If you are not on twitter, share the books picture on instagram with the hashtag #RiseOfTheGreyPrince and share the links with us.

Terms &Conditions:
  •  This contest is open to Indian residents only
  •  In case of a tie, winners will be decided on the basis of the answer to question 3.
  •  The decision will be made by me and the author Arka Chakrabarti and shall be final. 

The contest ends at 11:59 Pm on Wednesday, 18th March 2015. Hurry!