Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Words Watch #8

#WordsWatch  #HindiShayri

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Book: Principles of Success - Take Charge of Your Life


Title:  Principles of Success 
Author: Roopleen
Publisher: Macmillan Publisher
Pages: 160
Price: Rs. 199
My Rating: 3.5/5

Principles of Success Made Easy - 14 easy steps to climb the ladder of success is the culmination of my onerous efforts of writing something simple yet relevant. It is a pragmatic account of the fundamental principles of achieving success by self-help and is the distilled essence of my years of research and understanding of the dynamics of success. This practical manual serves as a step-by-step guide to climb the ladder of success. It gives both an in-depth view and a time-tested approach to succeed and chronicles 14 golden principles of achieving success. The principles are wide-ranging and apply to success in any sphere of life. My own life has been transformed by the principles enshrined in this book. Therefore, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be successful in life and seeks happiness. Principles of Success Made Easy - 14 easy steps to climb the ladder of success would prove to be not only a guidebook for success but also a reservoir and storehouse of strength and motivation. I am sure all my readers would be able to relate to this book, which has been carefully tailored just for them. They would be tempted to read this self-help manual over and over again in order to assimilate its contents and incorporate the principles in their lives. After all, as is said, 'a good book becomes a part of you'.

A step by step guide to take charge of your own life. 
The book is divided in 14 chapters and Roopleen has done a wonderful job in describing each and every aspect of each one in detail. They are beautifully written and they are even divided in sub-sections which makes them more comprehensible.

14 steps mentioned in the book are:

  1. Draft the Blueprint of Your Life
  2. Believe in Yourself
  3. Build Yourself Up
  4. Let Confidence Be Your Hallmark
  5. Never Give Up
  6. Visualizations and Positive Affirmations
  7. The Tripod of Success- Hard Work, Perseverance and Discipline
  8. Identify Your Achilles’ Heel
  9. Skills you Need to Master
  10. Get Tough With Stress
  11. Organize Yourself- Declutter Your Life
  12. Acknowledge and Celebrate Your Success
  13. Be a Winner
  14. The X-Factor
What I really liked about the book is the flow and the quotes used. Each quote is valid and true in real life. They motivate you to do something good in life.

Example - 
"Its not who you are holds you back; Its who you think you are not" - Anonymous
"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goals; The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach" - Benjamin Mays

The book also has important tips in the end of each chapter, which helps reader take important notes.

I really like the cover, it is apt and communicates the motive of the book. 

What, as per me, is lacking is examples and narration. For someone who is well experienced in their field and work, the book will act as a guide. However for younger generation, who need more guidance and support, some relevant examples would have been helpful.

My overall rating to the book is 3.5/5

It is a decent read. Do give it a try.

Lots of Love

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Trying to be Healthy


Staying Healthy and Staying Fit are the two most important things in life. If your body doesn't fuction properly, then there is no use of all the money you earn. You will only spend it later on heavy treatments.

I, for one, is not a diet person. I can't diet and I cannot fast -much to my mum-in-law's distress. Anyways, though I don't fancy eating loads of junk, I still prefer eating a lot! So, what should I do? Is my usual question... and only recently I have found the answer -and it is jolly good and healthy.

I have started following a certain schedule and much to my surprise, I can see some (though not drastic) improvements in my body.

Below is the list:

  1. I am eating every two hours - yes I am... and I am soooo happy! I eat whatever I want and what my heart desires. I am trying to cut down sugar but I am not yet there. Doing this boosts metabolism
  2. My each meal comprise of something that fills me enough for two hours for example some dal-chawal, dal-roti, peanuts, handful of dry fruits and etc.
  3. I eat an apple first thing in the morning (post brushing of course)
  4. Apple usually increases my hunger so after thirty minutes or so, (I give some time for apple to digest) I eat my full lunch
  5. I have started eating daily vitamins (I have some severe deficiencies and adding them give boost to my health)
  6. I don't eat anything sweet with any meal. Any sweet item is eaten empty stomach and as a meal alone
  7. I would like to skip dinners but I am too foody to stop eating dinner. But I do try to eat as early as possible
  8. I drink one tall glass of milk - no sugar
  9. I eat desi items and try to avoid processed and junk food
  10. And, I work-out, though hardly five minutes only. These five minutes are rigorous and just make all my joints move
  11. And I have not cut down on Oils. Instead I have introduced multiple types of oils for example, Sunflower, Mustard, Ghee, Groundnut oils. They build on my taste buds and don't let my body adapt to one oil alone

All above sound very difficult to follow but the thing is, once you are determined, they come in naturally. My husband doesn't follow all of the above, but still he lost a few kgs, because he is forced to do a few at least.

Maybe you too can give it a try and maybe it will help you a bit. I feel that I am #ApneTareekeSeHealthy, how about you?
You can watch below video to be inspired.

I am joining Saffola #ApneTareekeSeHealthy initiative and sharing my ways of being healthy in association with BlogAdda.

Lots of Love

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Grandparent's Day Celebration

#GrandparentsDay  #LoveJatao

Today, September 10th, is the Grandparents day. It is not celebrated well in India but many other countries do. Maybe we should too start celebrating it with full joy, after all, our loving Grandparents also need one day when we can pamper them wholeheartedly.

Unfortunately I don't have my grandparents with me. I lost them all, both maternal and paternal when I was very young. I remember their glimpses but nothing more. And when I see other people cherishing the love showered by their grandparents, I feel a deep void. However this void is kind of filling now, all thanks to my lovely son. Our parents i.e. his grandparents just love and cherish him like a prince, so much more than we do. I don't think that we as his parents could pamper him this much any time. LOL!

So, I would be celebrating this grandparents day not with my grandparents, but my son's. And I am sure it's going to be a blast.

To start with, I have already bought matching T-shirts for them. They all will be dressed alike, yes even grandma has to wear a t-shirt today, she has no excuses what so ever. I will lend her one of my jeggings to go with the t-shirt -she is going to rock the show. 

And my husband has already ordered a custom cake for tonight. Choco-vanilla cake with beautiful words written on top - 'Happy Dadu-Dadi Day'.

We will cut the cake and head out... my in-laws are pure vegetarian. They don't even consume Onion and Garlic. So, I have already placed a custom food order in a five-star restaurant where chef is going to prepare a few delicacies without them. - Yes, we have to place a custom order because no chef prepares food without Onion and Garlic.

Post our dinner, we will come back to desi mithai, my father-in-law just loves them. And we will end our day with a photo shoot.

Our son is very small as of now, not even a year old, so I don't know what gift should be given on this occasion. But my plan is to get a wonderful picture of the trio in matching shirts and get it framed. I don't think anything could be better... 

So yes, this is my plan for tonight. And I hope everyone enjoys it. How do you plan to celebrate? 

Also do check out LoveJatao for more creative ideas in celebrating Grandparents Day and don't forget to watch this awesome video by Parachute Advansed

I look forward to hear from you how would you celebrate Grandparents Day. Do share a selfie with your grandparents on Sept. 10, 2017 on Twitter or Facebook with #LoveJatao@blogadda to win a goodie from Parachute Advansed.

Lots of Love

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Book - Living with Merlin: Beautiful, Serene and Tearful


Title:  Living with Merlin: Coping with grief , living life 
Author: Anita Bakshi
Publisher: Partridge publication
Pages: 230
Price: Rs. 399
My Rating: 4.75/5

The loss of a loved one can leave one helpless and broken. 
Unhappy and lost what does one do to make life meaningful again ? Following the initial disbelief sets in a chain of anger and sorrow , insecurity and pain. I have made an attempt to take one day at a time to cope and to go on . Faith helps and so do some stories . I can only hope that my story can help someone deal with a loss far greater than words can describe.

Some books can make your worst fears come alive... Afraid to say that 'Living with Merlin' is one of those books. Based on true story of author's life, it is a tale of coping with grief and living life again.
When you lose that one person, around whom your life revolves, what will you do? The thought itself is dreadful and very unfortunately author had to endure it. Most people would consider ending the meaningless life that is left behind, but our author didn't do it. Instead she mustered all courage and took 'one day, one second at a time' and lived on.

While reading the book it feels like you are there. The emotions are so beautifully and serenely articulated that you just cannot help yourself but find your cheeks moistening. I started it slow but finished more that 80% of book in one sitting last night -and drank more than two liters of water to dissolve that lump in my throat that was pinching me again and again.

What I liked about the book is the connection it shows between author and her dear late husband. And how she adopts a lovely puppy -Merlin- and tries to fill her void. 

The author says 'she wrote this book as a coping mechanism and she didn't believe that people will read it.' To answer her I would just like to say that 'it's great that you wrote this book and it helped you cope up -it will help many people who suffer through similar fate. And as for readers, people who consider relationships as important, and see meaning in life, they would definitely read it.'
The only down point is the price, it is marked very high in comparison to India's novel market, but what can we say, we can never put right price tag on such emotions.

My rating is 4.75/5 

I strongly recommend the book to everyone.

Lots of Love

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Pathshala Funwala: English English

#PathshalaFunwala #English

Although our mother-tongue is not English, in my case it is Hindi, but English plays a rather crucial role in our lives. People judge us based on our fluency and accent. And they rate our knowledge and level with the usage of big words. The more you mouth bigger words, the better your English is -no matter if they understand you or not. Yes, this is the current mentality of India and I have faced similar situation.

My mother tells me that she fought our elders to place me and my sister in an English-medium school. She didn't want us to face similar issues she faced when she was growing up. For the record, my mother is a successful gynecologist and she states that lack of proper English caused many hurdles for her. So, yes, she got us in the best English medium school Agra city had to offer. However, the biggest problem was, despite being an English medium, no one spoke in English in our school -not even English teacher. The system failed her and though I knew better English in comparison to other kids in my neighborhood, I failed her. Well, the system failed her. I was too little to understand the importance back then, so I didn't put any efforts in learning good English. I could read and write but my fluency was zero. Problems with us Indians is that, we think in Hindi or our mother-tongue, translate in our minds and blurt English words. And during this translation, we lose our vocabulary, grammar and everything else. I realized this problem when I started giving interviews for colleges.
Even the worst colleges gave preference to fluency in English. Sadly I am not of any any reserved category, so I had to face the harsh reality. Despite passing with flying colors, I failed to get admission in two colleges -it depressed me and gave me a sense of reality. The interview of third college was two months later and it was my preferred college -closer to home and with good placements. I knew my chances were very slim because there were only twenty seats in 'General category' and students from all over India applied to this college. I lost all hopes! How can I get in this college when others wont take me? At this time my mom came to my rescue. She explained me what I had informed her -I failed because of my fluency, so I need to work on it. 

I didn't know what to do, so I found the best available option. I started reading. In a span of two months I read more than fifty English books and two complete -page to page English newspapers daily. And without even knowing the magic happened!

In the interview, as I started answering words came automatically. I didn't even realize. After ten odd minutes I felt a sudden jolt -I still remember that I had abruptly stopped mid-sentence because I had realized that the words coming out of my mouth were in English and they was flawless. Interviewer had asked - 'is everything alright?' and I had smiled, more to myself, and continued.

Yes, I had gotten the admission that day and it was the best day of my new life. I never ignored my English post that.

I am sure, just like me there are many kids out there who want to learn good English and be proud, just like I am. And Nihar Shanti Amla has taken a wonderful initiative of helping children take first step. They even have a toll free number 8055667788 which provides all necessary details. 

I am blogging about Pathshala Funwala by Nihar Shanti Amla Oil in association with BlogAdda

Love and Cheers

Friday, 18 August 2017

Book: The revenge of Gandhi's followers - A Story that Motivates


Title:  The revenge of Gandhi's followers (LEADER OF MILLIONS Book 1
Author: B P Senapati, Durgesh Nandini Das
Publisher: Blackeyes publication
Pages: 188
Price: Rs. 58 (Kindle Edition)
My Rating: 3.75/5

Nobody is going to remember your mark, people only remember your work. 
Without innovation mark is meaningless, without creativity knowledge has no value, without vision and goal a man is nothing more than a dead body . 
Only human can innovative things, discover something, write a book, and create marvelous paintings. By a business idea can give employment to thousands of employee. Try to create or innovative something, if you get success then it's great. If you become a failure then what's the big deal? 
It's thought of Vijay, he was a man with different thought, he had every symptom of a great man, still he lived with his mediocre dreams to get a job and then marry his childhood sweetheart. After few years of job experience wanted to establish his own business like millions of other, but fate had some different plans. Our corrupt system forced him to enter into the dirty game of politics. He gained power to avenge his antagonists, but being a Gandhian, his strategy was something unusual . . . his revenge wasn't ordinary . . .

As I came across this title, my first thought was - politics or what? Is it based on Gandhi's life or is it the revenge of Gandhi's murder... however it is none. Though my expectations were different but I was definitely not disappointed with what I read.

Revenge of Gandhi's followers is a thriller that has strong elements of romance to it. It is one of those books that force you to think about the world we live in and motivates you to do something to make it a good place. 

The story revolves around key five characters, Rakesh, Vijay, Priya, Ishita and Rashmi. Rakesh is the narrator of the story and this book is his narration of lives of all five friends, however, it is primarily dedicated to Vijay. Vijay is the key character, who after a brutal incidence decides to clean the system by taking the plunge into it.
His ambition takes him to politics and he takes India on a new route. I don't want to spill the beans here, but he built a rather ambitious system... If it truly happens, well, no one can stop India.

The narration of the plot is very good and engrossing. While reading you can relate to everything that is happening. The characters are well-built too -especially of Vijay's. He is a true hero of the nation.

Overall, I liked the book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a good romance tale with motivation.

Hope you enjoy reading it too.

Lots of Love

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Have you watched 'Good Witch' TV Show?

#GoodWitch  #TVShows

It says it is a supernatural drama, well with the name being 'Good Witch' but apparently it is not. It is a sweet Rom-Com which just brings smile to face.

Simple yet beautiful, it is show about newly widowed Cassie Nightingale, played by Catherine Bell, and her life and her 'feelings'. When I say feelings I mean she has very strong intuitive sense and she uses it to help all other people in the quiet town Middleton. Her daughter Grace, Bailee Madison, inherits her intuitive sense and discovers her gifts with help of her mother.
The show also revolves around Cassie's developing relationship with her new neighbor Sam, James Denton. Sam is the only doctor in Middleton and it is exciting to see their beautiful chemistry.

The other characters of the show bring about a charm too. The mayor Martha, Bistro owner Steph and few others add life.

Every episode has a beautiful message to convey and after watching all episodes that have been aired, I highly recommend this show to anyone who just wanna watch something simple and adorable.

Do give it a try. Click here for its Wikipedia page.

Lots of love.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Book: Moon in the Sun - A Novel in Poetic Form


Title:  The Moon in the Sun: A Novel in Poetry of Love, Life, Soul & Wildlife
Author: Sanjay Kumar Singh
Publisher: Notion Press
Pages: 198
Price: Rs. 340
My Rating: 3.75/5

When Narayan Sambhan's world fell apart at a very tender age, the time he spent in the forests that lay ample around his village resuscitated him. No one knew the forests and the tiger better than Narayan Sambhan. But the forests are mercilessly cut down and increasing loneliness invades his life. As he struggles to carry on, a remarkable incident takes place.
The Moon In the Sun is a tale in poetry set in the Himalayan Terai replete with mesmerizing sights, bliss and beauty as also nerve-wracking experiences that the jungles alone can provide and bestow. It is also a touching tale, in poetry, of the wonderful journey that life can be when the soul attempts to break free.

A story of love, life and freedom, 'The Moon in the Sun' is a beautiful story in form of poetry. It is the first book I have come across in this form and it is rather impressive.
I know how hard it is to write poems - especially finding rhymes... and Sanjay -the author- has done it wonderfully.

The story revolves around Narayan Sambhan and his experiences in the wild. He loves forest and everything that comes with it and when he is hired to spot a tiger, everything changes. Set in Himalayan Terai, you are bound to fall in love with the surroundings.

The cover of the book is interesting and though at random title may seem a bit weird, but it totally makes sense when in context of the book.

The only drawback of the book is that too much poetry can also prove to be a monotonous. I am not an avid poem reader hence reading this book in one stretch was a bit taxing. Had to finish it in multiple sittings. Also, it is way too expensive... It would be better go with kindle version.

My overall rating is 3.75/5 (points added for wondrous Himalayas and poetry). 

You can also grab your copy and share your opinions.

Lots of love

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Book - Twenty Twenty: A Fast Paced Thriller


Title:  Twenty Twenty: A Race Against Time
Author: Anuraag Srivastava
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Pages: 224
Price: Rs. 110
My Rating: 3.5/5


Life is a fast-paced Twenty20 game and you need to keep playing to win. Abhi and Aditi are siblings who want to realise their dreams in the ever upgrading world. In the midst of all the struggle and success, they get entangled in a strange web. If they are not able to resolve the crisis in twenty days, their very existence can come under threat. In short, they have to hit sixes on every bouncer thrown at them. Not just with the world outside, this ordeal is also a fight with one's own character and principles.
Unwanted situations, unexpected turns, money and sex push them deeper into the web. Manipulations and treachery become the order. The hunter becomes the hunted. A vicious circle of betrayal and debauchery is created. 'Twenty Twenty' is a story of betrayal, deceit and relationships, where a master planner devises games, to get to his own ambitions.

While reading a thriller, first thing you want it is that it should be fast... Slow and dragged thriller books are real turn-off and 'Twenty-twenty' doesn't disappoint. 

Cover is rather simple, to me it doesn't raise that curiosity that book demands. But yeah, it is decent.

Talking about story, it revolves around siblings, Abhi and Aditi and how they have to come up with twenty lacs in mere twenty days. Everyone knows it is not an easy and simple task and yet they manage it... How? Using tricks, sex and other 'non-ethical' practices of course. The book strongly talks about women and their preferences for physical pleasures. Many say, if men can, then why can't women. It is very well said point and yes, our society is biased. But to me, anyone - be it a man or a woman, indulging with multiple partners is non-justified. And hence, it proved to be a disappointment in the story.

Characters are well narrated, especially of the leads. There are many others and I felt author has done justification to each. Some could have been a elaborated bit more, but as per story, they are perfect.

Overall it is a decent read. It is simple, well narrated book that will keep you on your toes.

My rating - 3.5/5 (a pretty good read)

You can grab your copy below.

Love and Cheers

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Words Watch #6

#WordsWatch  #HindiShayri

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Chronux - Past, Present and Future


Title:  Chronux
Author: Sagar Kamath
Publisher: BecomeShakespeare.com
Pages: 462
Price: Rs. 475
My Rating: 3.5/5

During our more ‘Philosophical’ moments…we have all wondered about ‘Time’…its true nature…and its impact on us! But what if?...‘Time’…had similar concerns…about us? For the people of Aruhu, a tiny Himalayan village, deep in India’s ancient past, what begins as a visitation by a mysterious entity, quickly morphs into an inescapable trap…one that has left its imprint on all of human history…and the future! This is a trap that has seduced hundreds through its lure of absolute power, including the Nazis…who mount an epic expedition to unearth the source of God’s power on Earth…only to discover that the cost of absolute power…is also absolute! This is the story ‘Time’ wants to tell us…this is the story of Chronux!

Time is the most valuable commodity today, if you have time you can conquer anything. And book Chronux has showcased the same. The importance of time...

The book starts with the beautiful mysterious place called 'Aruhu', and how its life changes with the appearance of a strange visitor. People there learn all sorts of things from him and when they are getting used to him, he just vanishes into the thin air. However what he leaves behind are not some simple relics but the most precious items that may turn the tides of time.

The story jumps from one place to another. Author has divided book into multiple episodes and all link wonderfully. The narrator has done a good job while binding them together. Each episode is written in favor of one major incident from history like bombing of Hiroshima-Nagasaki, Hitler, Nazis etc. The way certain events have been described, you tend to feel 'did it really happen this way?'

The linkage of 'past, present and future' is also very impressive. And while reading you can feel the level of research author must have done to make this book a reality. It is commendable.

What I didn't like about the book are two things - firstly its cover. It simply puts the book under 'ordinary' category and doesn't do justice to what pages hold. Maybe for next edition author can choose a better cover. Secondly, the story although is impressive but loses essence from time and again.

Overall, it is a pretty nice read and my rating is 3.5/5

You can grab your copy here.

Love and Cheers

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Interesting Facts #5


Nose prints are used to identify dogs, 

just like humans use fingerprint!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Book - Chariots of Mahabharata: A Newer Version


Title:  Chariots of Mahabharata
Author: Himanshu Rai
Publisher: Invincible Publisher
Pages: 230
Price: Rs. 240
My Rating: 2.5/5

"It is not a story of Mahabharata. It is a story of people, progeny who pulled the story of Mahabharata on their shoulders, to let Dharma win over evil. It is a story of Unknown characters of Mahabharata. Whatever stories we heard of Mahabharata from our ancestor, are they the only ones or are there more facts hidden We have read the Mahabharata in terms of Kauravas and Pandavas. Read about how Draupadi was insulted in an open court. But little do we know about the land of Mohoma. Mohoma, a courtier of King Shantanu's kingdom, whose legacy had a role to play in the Mahabharata war. How his family was cursed, divided in taking sides between the two; Kauravas and Pandavas. But the land of Mohoma is nowhere mentioned in the depths of time. This is the story of that family who went through turmoil because of someone else's war, in the war of their master's rivalry, and how they and the progeny of the two great armies viewed the entire war. After all, were the Pandavas really correct? Were the Kauravas so wrong in what they did?"

When thinking about mythology most of us question its possibility, isn't it? At least I do, and the first question that always pops in my mind is - 'did this really happen?' Yes, many argue that it did and believe me I have an unwavering faith in God but these stories make me question. They make me question about how can God allow all such ugly things (especially when he was present on Earth back then)? Anyways, I have read many versions of mythologies and Himanshu has brought in a newer one to add.

Talking about plot, it is a spin-off of the old school Mahabharata and have delved into parts which other writers (of previous versions) have chosen to ignore.

Characters are more and less same. However, they have been woven in such fashion that it confuses at times.

To me it is an okay read because of a few points. I couldn't find anything super-exciting. Yes, it is a new version of Mahabharata but it felt like re-invention of wheel. Also the writing style and editing need a lot of changes. Writing needs to be more engaging, currently it is very bland.

Also, the cover is very simple. Given the concept it holds, it could have been much more happening and exciting.

My rating: 2.5/ 5 (An Okay read)

You can grab your copy below:

Love and Cheers

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