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A Love Life so Painful
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Love You Forever : Only In That Way
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I Too Had A Love Story..
Ladies Coupé
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Of Tattoos and Taboos!
Left from Dhakeshwari
I loved a Street woman
Chanakya's Chant
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Monday, December 18, 2017

Book Review: Happiness Is All We Want by Ashutosh Mishra

Title: Happiness Is All We Want                       
Author: Ashutosh Mishra
Category: Self Help
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
Price: Rs. 260/195.3 (Kindle)
Pages: 216

As far as the title of this book goes it is what life is all about "the pursuit of Happiness". It is indeed all we want. We run after creating happiness for ourselves and our loved ones, in every act of ours. In this race we often keep the subject who matters the most, the recipient of this happiness "our being". I say being because it is both the body and the mind. Our minds are constantly restless in struggle to be the best and our body the last priority. I speak not about people here but myself as well, for the last decade I have been my last priority and successful career my first. This process that started a decade ago now shows alarms as my stamina is nowhere near what it originally was leading to declining productivity. The remedy to this , I stated seeking in literature and that is when I pounced upon this book. 

I have read and am trying to now incorporate many self help books, so I would like to here highlight what the writer has done in creating it and how to use it best. So the most critical part of this book is that it is written by practice. The problems he underlines are very true in Indian context, so I could relate to them very easily. Though most of them are true everywhere, life mostly is a race and we are over-stressed as a young generation more than any before us has been. These examples are so related either to myself or people I know that I started rushing through pages for solutions. This brings me to the most important way in which to read this book is to make pointers. The writer has given some tips at the end of every chapter, which is like the mantra you should remember, making a list of these and slowly including them as priorities in your schedule and life will be more productive. He also goes into intricate details of how we behave. Say we always believe "I will get up in the morning and exercise", this never happens, not for the laziness to exercise, that may come later but the impossibility of waking up early kills it all. He therefore discusses how to watch these hindrances and gives useful tips in avoiding them. Like making exercise a habit first and then fine tuning on the time at which it is done. I found this watchfulness in particular extremely helpful.

The book also has advanced solutions to problems for those who want to go all ahead with it, like Reiki. However to those with work commitments like me I think starting with the most basic ones and going one step at the time with the list becomes helpful. All in all this book certainly helps you achieve that healthy mind and body, rendering you fit to enjoy the success you work so hard for.

RC Rating: 4/5.

    About the Author:

Ashutosh is an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur and a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Delhi. In his corporate career of sixteen years, he has been a senior banker with global banks like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and is currently with ANZ Bank. With gruelling work schedule and plenty of business travel, he was fortunate to realise the importance of health and wellbeing early on. He learnt and practiced many tools and techniques for his own wellbeing while balancing the demands of a high profile career and a lovely family. Based on his experiences over last couple of decades, he has developed a framework for comprehensive wellness with a fresh perspective.

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Book Review: The Search Of The Myth by Prithviraj Desai

Title: The Search Of The Myth                       
Author: Prithviraj naik Desai
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Notion Press
Price: Rs. 299/120 (Kindle)
Pages: 256

The story begins with June's grandfather Mr. Heinrich giving her an envelope with clues to a long lost treasure, on his death bed. She doesn't understand the meaning of it all as it all happens while she grieves his loss. However the presence of another man Mr. Kvoski, who claims to be her grandfathers friend appears in the scene claiming the envelope to be his. June smells something is fishy and upon going through her grandfathers emails discovers something fishy. She also discovers a man from India named Shiva her grandfather communicated with and resolves to solve the mystery. What begins next is a chase and a journey based on clues to find the message her dying grandfather conveyed. Will they find it?

The story has a very convincing plot and reasonably good clues. It is a trend these days in Indian writing courtesy the success of Dan Brown and Ashwin Sanghi's books to write about a treasure/secret emerging from clues. The writer does a decent job at setting the plot, incorporating riddles and different places.  It also has a flavor of romance, deceit and relationships. However the greatest turn off since page one is the writing style. The writer needs to tremendously work on it because the book makes an extremely unpleasant read even for the unseasoned reader. It makes me question the entire team involved in publishing this book if they ever paid attention to the way it was written while editing or proof reading. Being on selection board of publishing houses, my verdict would have been to not publish it in the first place, simply because a book isn't written in this manner to say the least. 

Hoping that this review helps the writer improve.

RC Rating: 1/5

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias

Title: The Devil's Prayer                          
Author: Luke Gracias
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Australian eBook Publisher
Price: Rs. 295/236 (Kindle)
Pages: 294

The Devil’s Prayer, written by Luke Gracias, is a book set in Europe, around the theme of Religious Fiction – of which there have been exemplary books in the past decade or so. This is yet another in that line – and is sufficiently different from the standard template for it to an eminently readable book. The setting of the book, the overall storyline, the trends and the writing style are all  quite engaging, at times fascinating, making for a book that is a good one overall. 
If you value a good surprise, stop reading at this point. Anything I write in plot section of the review will reveal too much; it is that kind of a book. Let it be a surprise – and go directly to the short Analysis Section of this review. I mean that.You can at best read this first paragraph. The story starts with the Suicide of a Nun at a Convent in Spain. A woman in Australia recognizes the Nun as her mother – and visits Spain, setting off a chain of events that lead from nation to nation, and murder to gory murder.  A chain of events involving a heady concoction of a tragedy, unbridled anger, and deep intrigue of the sinister variety.
The Nun leaves something for her daughter – which opens a pandora’s box, so to speak, setting off a chain of events that threaten apocalypse almost. It opens a chapter of the Nun’s life to the daughter, and the harsh history she had; and her mistake. What is the connection of a suicide to a series of murders? What was this mistake? And why did the Nun commit suicide in the first place? Why are people hunting the daughter of this Nun? What did this Nun leave her daughter, that carries so much import that it places her life in danger? Read the book, please.
First, the negative. I am an Indian; the setting of this book is totally alien to me. The backdrop – of Christianity and Western Thoughts on Religion, is also alien – given that this topic deals with the more complex or, shall we say lesser-known aspects of these two. That made connecting with the content a small challenge. Unlike Dan Brown, whose themes were on better known aspects, this book deals with things not fully known to me at least. The book I can compare it with is Inferno, which was also based on little known aspects, making full appreciation hard.
Second, connected with the first, is that the premise seems unbelievable. That could be due to my cultural proclivities, so take it with a pinch of salt. While that does not take away from the positives of this book; it did make the establishment of a deep connect with the plot, the story slightly challenging for me. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, I didn’t like; there was plenty I did like – but there was nothing that I connected to. This might seem a minor point – but from the readers’ viewpoint it is mission-critical. This connect differentiates between a good book and a book that is one of a kind, a great book.
Now, the positive. The plot is well-developed, rapid and fast paced – in fact, you will be tempted to skip pages to see how it turns out, but the pace draws you in. This racy pace has been maintained right from the first page to the last page, which is a feat of tremendous skill. The plot, as I said above, is well-developed, and flows logically, with no needless side-tours and examinations. The author has remained fixated on the core story, which is a big plus.
Next, the character development. This is adequate – which is to say, to maintain the pace, the level of development of the characters is just good enough. Since this is a multi-part series, some characters, including the main character has been left under-developed – which seems to be done on purpose. Developing her here would have spoiled the pace – which is the USP of this book. The only  character that stays with you after you shut the book is this one – the under developed Siobhan, which is excellent – it will ensure I wait for the next part! The story also climaxes at a most unopportune point, leaving you angry for leaving out the most vital part! So, all in all a fast paced, well developed thriller.
RC Rating: 3.5/5.
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Vishal Kale has an MBA in Marketing with 16 years of experience in Sales, Marketing & Operations across various industries, with end-to-end specialisation in telecom sales and marketing. 

He is an Indian Top Blogger {on ITB Website} for the past 2 years and counting; Nominated in top 5 Political Bloggers by Blogadda in Win-15 & Among the top 200 bloggers worldwide on Invesp. He specialises in deep politico-economic analysis; Books off the beaten track, and a value & fundamentals-based approach towards the Indian Economy, Corporate India - And Especially Indian Colonial History"