Sunday, 15 September 2019

Book review : Buddha by Osamu Tezuka

Buddha - is a unique take on the subject, Gautam Buddha, by the author.

I picked up the book as I was intrigued by the title. I know about Buddha through school text books and now wanted to know more. As I opened the book and found cartoons drawn all through I was disappointed. I am not a fan of comics now.... actually have never so been.

But I never keep away any book once I pick it. I am a budding authour and I believe I should do justice to every other author. Reading this one was easy given the graphics. It is a manga book.

Manga - the Japanese style of cartoons for kids and adults. This was my first experience with Manga. Though I started it with apprehension, as I read it, I liked it and got engrossed.

It is short, sweet and gripping. I'll definitely give a good amount of credit to the manga artist as well for the expressions drawn. The graphic images speak volumes. The storyline is same as we all know yet little bits of twists and maybe fiction is added on. It makes one wonder what really happened and what's fiction. Well this review is only of the first two books in the series as I have just read them.

It is a critically acclaimed work of Osamu Tezuka and going through the series you'll get the reason why. 

And...I so love the cover. So much thought has been put into the design and detail, how can one not appreciate it.

The best part is, though it is a series no part leaves one with the feeling that it is incomplete.

Overall, I'll rate it 4/5.


Book Blurb :

The classic eight volume graphic novel series from the godfather of the genre an irreverent and humourous rendition of the life and times of Buddha is now available in Box Set. Originated in the 1970s, Buddha is Osamu Tezuka's unparalleled rendition of the life and times of Prince Siddhartha. Tezuka's storytelling genius and consummate skill at visual expression blossom fully as he contextualizes the Buddha's ideas, with an emphasis on action, emotion, humour and conflict as Prince Siddhartha runs away from home, travels across India and questions Hindu practices such as ascetic self-mutilation and caste oppression. Rather than recommend resignation and impassivity, Tezuka's Buddha predicates enlightenment upon recognizing the interconnectedness of life, having compassion for the suffering and ordering one's life sensibly. Furthermore, his approach is slightly irreverent in that it incorporates something that Western commentators often eschew, namely, humour.
The Box Set includes

  • Buddha: Kapilvastu - Vol. 1
  • Buddha: The Four Encounters - Vol. 2
  • Buddha: Devadatta - Vol. 3
  • Buddha: The Forest of Uruvela - Vol. 4
  • Buddha: Deer Park - Vol. 5
  • Buddha: Ananda - Vol. 6
  • Buddha: Prince Ajatasattu - Vol. 7
  • Buddha: Jetavana - Vol. 8

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Book review : In over her head by Leighan Dobbs

Reading, reading and reading, keeps one engaged and at times glued to the same kind of reading. I have been reading since I was introduced to library in school and neighborhood. In school it started with fairytales, moving on to girl fiction and thrillers viz a viz GIRL TALK and Nancy Drew. The senior years saw Sidney Sheldon and Dan Brown and so the list kept moving ahead.

I always maintained that I love romance and fiction but I read all genres. So recently when my Kindle send me a pop-up about a free book - In over her head it clicked the old cells in my mind which loved -  girl talk and I picked up this chick-lit.

In over her head, is the first in the series of corporate chaos by Leighan Dobbs. The book is, literally, sweet and simple.

It is a story of Marly West, a designer, who doesnt look like a designer. She will remind you of the girl next door whom we often ignore. But despite having nothing to gain attention, she does gets the attention of her boss, by her knowledge. 

Marly, being the main character, the story revolves around her. Leighan has written the entire story like a movie sequence. The storyline is enough to tell you things as well as keep room for imagination of the reader. A perfect chick-lit, teenage/young adolescent fiction (if theres a word like this).

Though the ending came way too soon, I guess it is because the author or publisher decided to create it in series it did seem to less to read.

Overall, it made me happy and I want to read the series ahead. I will rate it a 4.5/5

Book Blurb :

Designer Marly West has one reason for taking the job at Draconia Fashions...and it's not to come up with the latest clothing trends. But when she blurts out a good idea in a corporate meeting, she gets exactly what she didn’t want … an opportunity of a lifetime. Too bad taking advantage of it might reveal the secret she desperately needs to keep hidden. 

But it’s too late to get out of it now, and she soon finds that she’s in over her head with a boardroom full of resentful executives, a hot CEO, and a jealous M&M-scarfing assistant who wants to make sure Marly doesn’t succeed.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Book review : Unfolding Dreams By Arun Malik

We all face ups and downs in life. It is easy to motivate others but not oneself. And when one has a strong personality, it gets difficult to have someone who can motivate us. When I get stuck or depressed or frustrated, I take solace in books. Unfolding Dreams - is one such book.

Unfolding Dreams is a collection of inspirational quotes. The quotes are simple and have a starking relevance with the day to day life of any young professional.  As I went through the book, each quote struck a chord. It is like facts made diction. 

The language is simple and clear. The quotes are motivational and apt for todays time and situation. All through my reading I had a smile on my lips and eyes wide with wonder. The quotes are motivational at the same time, each of them, makes one think deeper. It helps get more insight into our lives and situtations. 

I will rate it a 4/5.


Book Blurb :

‘Unfolding Dreams’ is a collection of quotes written by Arun Malik. Known as the master motivator, Arun Malik has filled the book with inspiring quotes on topics as wide as happiness and parenting to interrelated subjects such as success and achievement.
The book has been penned in a clear and concise manner which makes it quite universal. So, whether you are a student or a working professional, you can relate to the words and personalize your relationship with each quotation.

‘Unfolding Dreams’ isn’t meant to be read in a go. The book is written to inspire you and to brighten your life with every sunrise. So, read it slowly, savor every sentence and fight with the worse times to rise above!

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Book review : The Belated Bachelor Party by Ravinder Singh

Interesting title, lively book cover, written by not-one-of-my-favourite authors but then I wanted to read something light and it seemed the universe took the cue and the book was sent to me for an honest review by the publisher - HaperCollins.

Can love happen twice? - by Ravinder Singh was the first book that I read written by him. Those were the days when I was love bitten and crushed by the crush. I did liked the book but not as much to start reading everything that was written by the author. I can was just a one-book-thing.

So when I took The Belated Bachelor Party, I honestly was not very keen but wanted a break.

The books is a story of 4 friends who decide to go on a bachlor party. Now the fun part is, they have been married for years, but never actually had a bachlor party and so - THE BELATED BACHELOR PARTY!!  Hence the book will relate to the hundreds of Indian males who have never had an actual bachlor party...guys...someone really feels for you. Infact, I will give the credit to the author here. The book is about the reunion of four friends and considering how 'men will be men', they want to plan a wild and adventurous reunion, their - THE BELATED BACHLOR PARTY. 

Another reason why Indian males, married males, will relate to it more is because..these friends try to convince their wives and...nah!! I cant reveal more. But there are these parts, where I really liked the author. He has so sensibly mixed fun and sentiments that it touched my heart as a female.

I like movies and have decades of friendship with my friends, so instances, where one can be totally oneself with friends around and especially with friends who know all your deep secrets from school or college days is always heart-touching. I felt like wanting to go on an all-girls-trip soon.

Ofcourse there were parts in the book where I really didnt feel up to keep on reading. This I am saying for the storyline, as it gets very basic and predictable. For me, the sentence creation, the dialogues did went a bit kiddish, given the age of the boys...sorry men. The parts where they discussed some serious issues too seemed out of the flow and abrupt. Though it made me go down the memory lane but it seemed repetitive of things we have read before or seen in movies and was not captivating enough.

Overall, I'll rate it a 2 out 5.

Book Blurb

It's been twelve years since Happy, MP, Raamji and Ravin graduated. Well into their married lives, they realize that none of them had a bachelor party before their weddings. But it's never too late to set things right. They go about planning their belated bachelor party - a Euro trip which, well, ends up becoming the trip of their lifetime. Picture this: It's the middle of the night. The four friends wait to be strip-searched by the border police. They are stuck in the no-man's land between Croatia and Slovenia, without valid visas, but with banned party drugs and a rifle cartridge ... Welcome to one hell of a reunion! Bestselling author Ravinder Singh returns with his friends in a hilarious, moving story of friendship and adventure

For all the married men, who never had an actual bachlor party, I think you'll love reading this and plan something for yourself...I mean these men can be an inspiration...besides I want you to give your wives some break too. Buy this book here : The Belated Bachlor Party

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Book review : Decoding the feronia files By Tanushree Podder and Ajoy Podder

The summer this time was hotter than previous year. Well! the same can be said for winter temperature going down more than the previous year.

We all know the impact population growth, technology advancement has had on mother Earth. Global warming is increasing day-by-day. But did it ever occur to you that it maybe done intentionally?

Climate, weather, the super powers, can man control them?? Imagine if a person or a country develops the means to orchestrate weather as per their liking. It can create havoc!
Decoding the feronia files is a race against weather warfare.

The authors - Tanushree Podder and Ajoy Podder have beautifully woven an intriguing and engaging story line. The language is simple and easy to understand. No doubt it is a unique story and icing on the cake is the amount of detailing the authors have gone into.

No matter which year, which part of the world you are in, the story connects countries and is a beautiful blend of fact and fiction. Infact it often makes one think what is what and what not!

I am just stopping myself from revealing anything further. Go and grab it for yourself I am sure there won't be any regrets.

I'll rate it a 4.5/5.... just a .5 there were a couple of places I wanted to know more about and reasons around. :)

Book BlurbCan weather be controlled? If so, can it be weaponised? The USA set up haarp in 1993 for research on weather modification. Its covert experiments caused unexplained weather changes like cloudbursts, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, leading to massive destruction across the globe. Worldwide outrage finally forced the closure of haarp. But the deadly experiments continued to ravage the world. Around the same time, a secret device is planted by a foreign mountaineering expedition in the Himalayas. It has the potential to change weather patterns in India. A team of Army mountaineers is sent to retrieve the gadget. But, will they be able to retrieve it before the damage is done? Will the intelligence agencies across several countries succeed in nabbing the culprits who are trying to weaponise weather? Decoding the feronia files is a thriller that takes the readers on an international roller-coaster ride to track the scientists carrying out experiments that could unleash a new weapon of mass-destruction—weather.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Book review : Who will cry when you Die? By Robin Sharma

I love to read and I have many friends who are voracious readers. Often in our discussions, one name does make many people go mushy and starry-eyed i.e. Robin Sharma.

My reading has generally been mood based and so I keep picking up different genres and authors mostly on mood, feeling basis.

Who will Cry when you Die? was actually given to me by a colleague. She was all praises for the author and everything that was written, I was already curious to read Robin Sharma so it seemed perfect timing.

Who will Cry when you Die? is a self-help book. The author has used his experiences from life and his workshops to illustrate how to better ourselves.

I know it sounds preachy and many people either don't like to be told what to do or think it is easier said than done. But the point is we all want to be loved and that is the Crux of this book.

Everything requires an effort and so is the case when we want ourselves to be acknowledged or respected. 

The language and layout are simple and easy to understand. It easily caters to the new reader as well as an avid reader. The book does makes us relook at life.

Book Blurb : Do you feel that life is slipping by so fast that you might never get the chance to live with the meaning, happiness and joy you know you deserve? If so, then this very special book by leadership guru Robin S. Sharma, the author whose The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari series has transformed the lives of thousands, will be the guiding light that leads you to a brilliant new way of living. In this easytoread yet wisdomrich manual, Robin S. Sharma offers 101 simple solutions to lifes most complex problems, ranging from a littleknown method for beating stress and worry to a powerful way to enjoy the journey while you create a legacy that lasts.

About Author : Robin Sharma is one of the worlds premier speakers on leadership and personal mastry. He is the chosen leadership mentor for many MNCs. His books are top-rated and always a favourite among everyone.

I will rate it at 5/5.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Book review : The boy who loved by Durjoy Dutta

Has it ever happened with you, that a book just fell into your lap?

It did happen with me and the book is - The boy who loved by Durjoy Dutta. I have never been a fan of the new age Indian writers, barring a couple and so, never picked any of his books to date.

This book in particular was my brothers, which even he didn't read. As we were changing our house and sorting things out this book was handed over to me - keep it or give it away, your choice. As many girls drool over Durjoy Dutta, I decided to give it a shot.

The book is a story of - Raghu Ganguly - a young boy, his life, how he looks at things and people and what he actually wants. He has seen his friend dying and is unable to cope up with it. Part reason been, he didn't help him while he was dying.

As the name goes, it is a love story but nothing like the usual. Though it has the usual romance and struggle, with angry parents around, still it is different.

When I say different I am just trying to mince words and not spoil for people who haven't read it yet but one thing I want to add, because I don't want you to get a wrong idea, is - It is a very depressing read.

I have read a few sad love stories so I can clearly differentiate between sad and depressing.

We all have had that time in our lives when we don't want to live. We think about suicide, we think about ways to die, even set to think how life will unfold for our near ones once we are gone, even try to start planning for them after us...we all have at least for once had these thoughts. I mean comment below if you haven't ever thought this.

While reading the journey of Raghu one does realize this similarity of thoughts. But what doesn't happen is the feeling of empathy with the character Raghu.

The book fails to connect and for me there were some parts where the book actually pushed me away.
For me it seemed like the author specifically was searching and infusing it with sadness.

I will give it a 0/5.

Not suggesting to anyone at all.

Happiness is what we want to spread so Stay happy people.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Book review : The Stupid Somebody By Rohit Dawesar


We have a community of readers, writers and artists in our city called - Kaffeinated Konversations and that is how I met Rohit, Rohit Dawesar, the author of The Stupid Somebody.

Rohit's introduction said that he owns a cafe in the city and is trying to write a book. Whenever we met thereon he used to discuss and share things he is researching on and learning about but never the book.

Rohit and I are poles apart in our reading preferences and writing style. So when Rohit published his book, he did tell me but never forced me to read it. (I even attended the success party after 3months of its release). It was after about 7 months of the release that I thought of giving it a try.

The Stupid Somebody is a romantic fiction set in our current scenario. It talks about the love between Rohit and Sherly and their sometimes good and sometimes struggling life.

Set in a simple background and written in basic style it instantly connects with the reader.

Well, the story is entirely Bollywood style - filmy...with love, parting and a good number of motivational nuggets.

I found the story a bit stretched. It has those certain places which makes one laugh and some insights one could hold onto when one is down. At the same time, too much detailing was unnecessary and leaves nothing to readers imagination.

The most- putting-off-thing for me was excessive use of love names by the main characters for each other, almost hitting the verge of being cheesy. The grammar and editing could have been better put too.

I am not sure but it may appeal more to a teenager recently taking onto reading books than a regular reader.

For friendship and insights I'll rate it a 2.5/5.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

In the end... it is all about what you remember - 2018 Adios

As a year passes by it fills one with mixed emotions. One is happy to begin a new year at the same time sad to see the year gone by. Happy, for new dreams and expectations and sad, for what is left behind unfinished or never done.

 Personally 2018 was not very different from the other years for me -
- I am still working in the same office - I am grateful but always wish for more growth.
- I am still single - hehe - not sad though but I do want to get married.

So it was not a milestone year but yes, there were things and situations which were never on my list but as they say does happen.

January made me realize how blessed I am to have a colleague who has a heart of Gold. I had gone out of station to attend a cousin's wedding and due to work had to return before my family. There been a zero chance of me living at our house alone, my colleague readily accommodated me in her house.

I never had a sleepover since, let's say 2013 so those 5 days with her were amazing. She gave me the house keys to come and  go at my pace, we used to cook together (she used, she never let me bother on about anything actually, a perfect host) it was almost that I was running the house on my own (at least partly :)). And having never lived in a hostel, I loved it.

It is so rightly said, one who has the heart of Gold, can make anyone happy.

February had another cousin's wedding and I am grateful that I crossed 4 states in  4 days. And cherry on the cake, we had a two-day family vacation in Goa.

The first time I went to Goa it was with my friends and I didn't like it much so I was in the same mindset this time as well. But, I was wrong. I had a gala time with there with the entire family. Mind you the family comprised of people older that 50 except me.

But it fills one with so much gratitude and happiness looking at one's mom-dad, uncle-aunty, thoroughly enjoying themselves with no boundations. These were the best days for me. And yes, now I love Goa and want to go there again and again.

It is indeed rightly said, it is the people who make the places, worth to go to.

March was fun meeting friends and partying. And April brought along a sweet proposal along. Though it didn't worked out but the memories are still afresh.

I want to club MAY-JUNE-JULY as the memories are bitter but fresh. I had undergone a surgery and with God's grace and the fantastic efforts of Doctors I am back to the grind. I have shared a part of my experience in my post - Superheroes

My list of Superheroes doesn't just include the doctors but also my parents who stood by me all the time and never let me feel alone or negative and my boss, he never asked me how I was but he never pressurized me for work or taking leaves. Given chance he could have taken my authority and power but he didn't and I respect him for that.

The year just sailed on from August and it was November and Diwali time. Since the last few years I have been enjoying Diwali more and the reason being our annual celebration at office. There are color days, cultural event and a good get-together where everyone comes to know each other better.

December and Secret Santa are now synonymous and for me one amazing and one not so amazing gift I was how the Santa worked this time.

Looking at the year gone by, quite a many memories they are. I haven't elaborated much or else it would have been an even longer post.

15 days into 2019....we have loads of new memories to make. Cheers!

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Beginners guide to organize life - Part 4

Happy New Year!!

The non-stop parties, celebrations, gatherings, events, the onset of new year is always a happy time. And mostly the happy times shake-up our set routines. In order to get back to our routines or better them, we set resolutions.

I did a good number of resolutions this year and a week down to the new year, they are already out and forgotten.

This made me realize one important factor which I haven't spoken about - TIME.

We have been planning our days, sequencing, scheduling as per the lists of wants and needs with deadlines. These deadlines talked about the date not time.

Talking and thinking about time is important because it helps further breaking down of tasks.

By allocating some time to a few tasks everyday one can balance doing more than one thing a day and achieving more by the deadline.

One can either allocate an entire day or a part of the day. This can work wonders if put into consideration before the festival season and in case of India, we do have many festivals sprinkled all round the year. When one considers time-line and work accordingly, one gets free time along with getting the work done.

For me, time-blocking has been a blessing. It removes the feeling of being overwhelmed by accomplishment. It does make one aware of the passing hours and hence it has made me realize the value of wearing a watch more.

My tip of the fortnight is to "watch the watch". Allocate time to everything and move out of it the moment time is up. You can think of it as a game with the stop watch count. If you do it in the stipulated time great! If not, try again tomorrow from where you left. The key is to start.

Do share what works for you.

Every alternate Wednesday is dedicated to stories or instances or learnings that I learn or implement at work. So stay tuned for #WorkWednesdays