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


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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Winners of 15th Raymond Crossword Book Awards are here!!!

Highlights...


  • Winners of 15th Raymond Crossword Book Award announced
Dr. Amit Karkhanais and Shobhaa De
  • Lifetime Achievement Award given to Sudha Murthy
     Sudha Murty accepts awards from Dr. Panda
  • Sadhguru wins two popular awards
In its 15th edition, the prestigious Raymond Crossword Book Award Raymond Crossword Book Award in Partnership with WizcraftKotak and RCity as Associate Sponsors witnessed a spectacular literary event. The exceptional and bestselling literary works of the year 2017 were celebrated at the majestic Royal Opera House - Mumbai. 

Raymond Crossword Book Award is the only Literary Award in India for Indian Authors spread across Lifetime Achievement, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s, Translation and Popular Categories . Speaking on the occasion, Maulik Desai, Head Crossword Bookstores said, “For the last 15 years, the Raymond Crossword Book Award has discovered  new and exceptional authors and shared a wealth of literary talents to a wider audience.”

Sudha Murty, Padma Shri (2006) and prolific author in both Kannada and English, was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award for her exemplary contribution to Indian writing in English.

Authors Zuni Chopra, Sanya Runwal, Sudha Murty and Anusha Subramanian

Accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award, veteran author Sudha Murthy said, “ I was surprised when I came to know that I'm getting this award. I thought this is their way of telling me to retire, " she said in jest. 

"I have been writing for 40 years now, but started writing in English only when i was 56 years old. Independent of Narayana Murthy and the company, the one thing that is my own is my writing." 

Handing over the award to Sudha Murty was world’s leading cardiac surgeon Dr. Ramakanta Panda, Mrs. S Raheja, and Dr. Amit Karkhanis.

Presiding over the function, Dr Ramakanta Panda said, " The pen holds the power of discovery and creation within itself. This evening is an ode to this power and I am glad to be here today."

    Sudha Murty with Dr. Amit Karkhanis

Authors Josy Joseph, Radhakrishnan Pillai, Anita Nair,  Harshad Marathe, Ravi Subramanian, Ambi Parmeshwaran, Roopa Pai, Shobhaa De,  Bhawana Somaayaadded gravitas to the evening. 

Bollywood was represented by Karan Johar and actor Pooja Chopra.

    Karan Johar accepts his award for best biography

Following were the awardees in each category

WINNERS: POPULAR AWARD

Fiction: Our Impossible love by Durjoy Datta
Non-fiction: Inner Engineering- a Yogi’s guide to joy by Sadhguru.
Biography: An Unsuitable Boy by Karan Johar and Poonam Saxena
Business and management: The Target by Shantanu Guha Ray
Health and fitness: A Taste of Well-Being: Sadhguru's Insights for Your Gastronomics
Children: The Stormbringer by Archita Mishra

Actor Pooja Chopra and Maulik Desai, Head of Crossword Bookstores announced the popular award in the non-fiction category to Sadguru, for Inner Engineering- a Yogi’s guide to joy. Sadhguru, who couldn't be present, shared in a video message, This award is for the millions of people, who are brave enough;  instead of looking up in hope, they are willing to look inwards and find their own solutions. For their courage, they need an award. This award is for those who are willing to turn inwards. Looking up has caused one kind of distress; and looking out has caused a different level of destruction. Looking inward is the only solution."

Shantanu Guha Rayr receives the award from Bhawana Somaaya and ShainaNC.
The book was also a New York Times and Washington Post bestseller, soon after the launch in September 2016.

Dr.Amit Karkhanis of Dr.Tvacha Clinic and veteran author Shobhaa De announced the best fiction award to Durjoy Dutta.

Karan Johar too was delighted to receive an award for his first book at the hands of head honcho Neel Raheja, "I was initially quite sceptical, whether i want to share such a large part of my life, through this book. I call it a memoir, and not a biography. Im too young at 45 to have a biography written. The idea was not just to have a puff piece,but an honest account of my growing years and the experiences that I've had. Writing this with Poonam Saxena has been therapeutic for me, and Im grateful to her. It was a cathartic experience. It is ok to be unsuitable, and thats what the book is all about."

       Neel raheja with Karan Johar

WINNERS: JURY

Fiction: Harilal and sons by Sujit Saraf.
Non-fiction: A feast of vultures by Josy Joseph
Children: Muezza and Baby Jaan by Anita Nair and Harshad Marathe
Translation: A preface to Man, authored by Subash Chandran and translated by Fathima. EV, Malayalam

Maulik Desai added,“Like all other aspects of our lives, the world of books is also changing. There is a community of young writers and readers today, who prefer fast reads, crime capers and thrillers; while pure literature continues to have a loyal steadfast audience. Our awardees, every year, represent a mix of both.”

Also present at the awards were prominent guests such as Shaina NC, Kinjal Shah, Rashmi Uday Singh, Anupama Chopra and Swati Popat Vats.

Commenting on the evening, Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft Entertainment International Pvt. Ltd said, “We are humbled to be a part of such a prestigious endowment that not only endeavors to bring together the entire literary community but also simultaneously provides a great platform to promote Indian authors and their books. Wizcraft’s partnership with Crossword for the grand 15th edition of Raymond Crossword Book Award this year was indeed a great association that brought forth a unique literary experience like no other.” 

  Bhawana Somaiya, Shobhaa De and Rashmi Uday Singh

Another facet to the event was an interesting panel discussion on “I want to be an Author” with budding teen authors, and publisher Anup Jerajani, moderated by renowned Ms.Anupama Chopra - National award winning film critic and editor of the digital platform Film Companion.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Book Review: Kaavi-Khayalon Se Shabdon Tak by Rahul Yadav

Title: Kaavi-Khayalon Se Shabdon Tak                      
Author: Rahul Yadav
Category: Poetry (Hindi)
Publisher: Notion Press
Price: 120 (Kindle edition)
Pages: 70

Please note: This is a poetry book written in Hindi.

The collection Kavi comprises of a range of poems that is not based on a single theme but is a collective on the topics that touch the poets heart. There are issues like Kashmir, facts and mostly emotions that he has chosen to write on, and I believe for a more emphatic expression of his simplistic thoughts chosen the medium of poetry. As I firmly believe that a poetry book should be on a single theme or divided into sub-sections with different themes, taking the reader in sync with the zone the poet wishes to describe; this changing of topics from one poetry to another comes not as a comfortable one.

Coming to the poetry, all his thoughts are simplistic in nature and expressed in a very simple language. The complexity of the subject matter is brought about however in bluntly stating the illogical or questioning like an innocent child a tradition, which hits the bulls eye of ones emotional being. My most favorite from all the poems in this collection was the first one titled "lafza". Lafza meaning words, words that comprise this poetry, ironically question their existence, invention, utility. The writer gives his signature simplistic examples and puts his questions so easily as if they should be everyone's. These questions when put make you ponder and mull before you go to the next. 

The other set of issues that the poet deals greatly with is "life of a woman". He aces in the understanding of their life, plight and their subdued treatment, that of an inferior sex. His heart wrenching remark ending in "Arushi and Nirbhaya, names a mother would never want for a daughter" is ironically so correct that it numbs the reader. 

A majority of poems are centered around relationships, emotions of love, togetherness and separation. All in all it is a roller coaster ride through the myriad pf poets thoughts, simply and effectively expressed in poetry, a fate prose cannot dare.

RC Rating. 3.5/5 Recommended Read.






Sunday, January 7, 2018

Book Review: Dream Big - Let Your Financial Plan Make Your Dream Come True by Mukesh Jindal and Arunraj VS.

Title:Dream Big - Let Your Financial Plan Make Your Dream Come True                       
Author: Dr. Mukesh Jindal
Category: Self Help (Personal Development)
Publisher: TV 18 Broadcast Ltd.
Price: Rs. 299 (Hardcover & Kindle)
Pages: 233

This book is about how to plan investments. The correct title for it is "ABC of Investment Planning".  I say this because the author begins first with highlighting the importance of financial planning and the advantage of doing so early on. While he does understand that the youth today is lured by the phrase of "living in the moment" made possible by credit cards. He just doesn't underscores the problem but gives a perspective of opposite lives, with and without saving for the future. His realistic approach to the problem at hand of us, the youth not understanding the importance of money and savings clicked the first chord with me. Everything he mentions about the generation today is true to its word. Moving on he begins to explain the future value of the current amount you have in hand and inflation. he does so by giving actual figures and statistics to make the reader understand the repercussions of keep the money as it is in the bank. Amongst my generation, broadly defined as "youth"  the best we know to save is via fixed deposits. However current bank interest rates over fixed deposits are lower than the inflation rates, so even if you have a certain amount with you, if it doesn't grow as fast as the inflation does, your buying power with the same amount of money will reduce in the future. As a result you will need more money in future to buy things on your wishlist or that elusive vacation unless you make it grow faster than the inflation rate. Keeping money not invested or at low interest rates is loosing out on the money. All these facts become clearer and more real with the statistics given in the book.

Having convinced the reader thus, the writer moves to the various avenues on funding. The focus on this book is particularly mutual funds. He begins with the history of their beginning and classifies them as per the type, risk, period, etc. This gives you an in-depth understanding of the topic, especially if you are a novice on the subject of mutual fund investments. He then goes on in detail of each type, the risks, the myths, etc. associated with them. There are also other investment options like insurance,pension schemes, etc. There is a dedicated section on things to consider while building your financial portfolio which summarizes the content above. Also specific sub-interest sections like one for women, senior citizen, child education etc. have additional ideas for these group of individuals. Lastly he delves into planning your legacy which is the major financial responsibility of every individual.

Overall the book is a must for novices to understand financial planning from the beginning. This book will certainly broaden your perspective with knowledge of variety of options, especially the mutual fund sector which the author sort of has a bias (equipped with statistical data certainly) for. It will help you make better and more informed choices when you next talk to your bank or your asset manager, helping you protect and grow your hard earned money, a dream of every individual.

RC Rating: 5/5 A must read! Highly recommended.

  About the Author:

Dr. Mukesh Jindal is Masters in Finance , CFA Charter and Ph.D from Delhi University with Vast Experience in Field of Investment and Finance