Friday, 31 March 2017

Words Watch #2

#WordsWatch  #HindiShayri

बहुत मुश्किल से सीखा है ख़ुश रहना, तुम्हारे बिन, 
 अब सुना है, ये बात भी तुम्हें परेशान करती है...!!

P.S.: authored by my father-in-law, who is an excellent hindi shayar. Please do leave your views :)

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Kids Book: Moral Stories That Enlighten - Everyday stories for kids


Title:  Kids Book: Moral Stories That Enlighten
Author: Nishant Joshi
Publisher: Self
Pages: 73
Price: Rs. 49
My Rating: 3.5/5


This book is a collection of 31 moral stories which are unique and will appeal to you whether you are a child or a grown up or an elder. Each story ends with a powerful message which may be interpreted differently by different people and will definitely help you expand the horizons of your mind.

If we look at the present scenario, there is a climate of war that has engulfed our planet, women are not safe and poor people are generally deprived of their rights. All these problems arise because our morals are not intact.

This book serves as a solution to this problem as it guides us on the correct path by enlightening us with age old morals interlaced with new age stories. I hope you will be able to imbibe the morals and most importantly apply them in your day to day life.

After reading romance, thrill, crime (well almost all genres) reading a kids' book was rather refreshing. It contains almost all types of moral stories which  are very important for kids to know.

What I liked is how they are small and simple giving wise message in the end.

What I didn't like was the usage of random big words that need immediate look-up. Given its a children's book, they are not needed. We don't need little ones to jump on such vocab so soon.

What is missing is pictures. Pictures engage kids. I hope author will add images in next one.

The stories are:
1.The Two Flags
2.A Snail In The Forest
3.The Two Slippers
4.The Two Teeth
5.The Two Billionaires
6.How Vishnu Demolished Parashurama’s Ego
7.Equality Or Liberty
8.How A Man Taught Young Kids The Importance Of Charity
9.The Two Knives
10.The Components Of Computer
11.The Kind Man And The Sefish Man
12.The Cat And The Dog
13.My Flipkart Gift
14.The Lotus And The Rose
15.The Two Clocks
16.A Tale Of Two Mosquitoes
17.The Two Brothers
18.The Apple And The Mango
19.The Big Mango Tree And The Small Mango Plant
20.The Two Friends
21.The Two Families
22.God And The Demon
23.The Four Pillows
24.The Passionate Friend
25.The Colour Story
26.The Shopkeeper And The Billionaire
27.The Mighty Lion
28.From Ignorance To Enlightenment
29.Intelligence Is A Subset Of Wisdom
30.The Two Frogs
31.The Toffee And The Wrapper

My overall rating 3.5/5. Grab it from Amazon and let your kids learn some moral stories.

Love and Cheers.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Words Watch #1

#WordsWatch  #HindiShayri

सुना है तुम्हारी एक निगाह से क़त्ल होते है लोग...
एक नज़र हमें भी देख लो ... अब यह ज़िन्दगी अच्छी नहीं लगती !!

P.S.: authored by my father-in-law, who is an excellent hindi shayar. Please do leave your views :)

Friday, 24 March 2017

Interesting Facts #1


People who are lying to you 

tend to look up 

and to the left (their left)

~Sharing as read... but looks like a useful tip...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Monday, 20 March 2017

Book - Demons in my Mind: A Dark Story unveiling Criminal Psychology

Indian Bloggers

Title: Demons in My Mind (When Mind Becomes Your Biggest Enemy) 
Author: Aashish Gupta

Publisher: Notion Press
Pages: 330
Price: Rs. 349
My Rating: 3.5/5

Dakshesh, an old man in Sirubari village suffering from cancer, wishes to be released from the excruciating pain. He requests the villagers to take him to the three monks. They are all intrigued by the legend of the mystical three monks. No one has seen them but only heard stories of miraculous healing they offered. 

Knowing that the sick man's death is imminent, the villagers leave him alone near the Pashupatinath temple hoping that the three monks, if they exist, would embrace him on the holy land. The old man wakes up to the sight of the three monks, but only to know that they are no saints but notorious criminals. 

What they tell Dakshesh in his last few breaths, shakes his entire perception of humanity and its sins

Demons in My Mind: When Mind Becomes Your Biggest Enemy, the title does full justice to the book and cover is rather gripping but blurb isn't. It does not expresses how dark (and in my case depressing)  the book actually is.

Author has touched a very dark and borderline dangerous topic. The book deals with criminal psychology that will leave you flabbergasted. It really makes you wonder what must go on in the mind of a human being when he commits certain heinous crimes. Unfortunately I started reading it at 2 am and believe me I am regretting it as I found it very disturbing. (Which is a positive point for author's storytelling skills...)

The whole plot looks very simple but it is not. It starts with one simple story but splits into multiple, i.e. individual stories of each monk - A good son who turned into a murderer, a painter who turned into a rapist and a lover who turned into a torturer. The plot is well written and it grips you instantly. 

The characters are well narrated and while reading you can actually visualize the characters and feel their pain.

I found stories very sad and exceptionally depressing hence I had to stop reading in mid-which has literally happened for the first time.

The story I completely read was of the 'murderer'. What got to me was how, in his mind and hallucinations, he believed he was being merciful when he murders his loving parents... It made the statement 'no one knows what goes on in a person's mind' very much alive.

As for the rest, couldn't get to end of second one... let alone get on third. But the extent I read it, I found the book rather good. If you can stand reading about how fear, pain, depression grips people in committing heinous crimes than you should read it definitely, but if you are like me, then I strongly recommend against it. This book is going to haunt me for a while.

The only thing that I found missing in the book is the description of 'why' i.e., why they turned psychotic? Why a good son turned a murderer. Yes he had demons in his mind but there is always a lingering 'why'.

My rating to the book 3.5/5. Hope you enjoy it.

The book can be bought here...

Love and Cheers

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Book - Twirled November: A Romance that is exceptionally dragged


Title: Twirled November
Author: Krishna K Verma
Publisher: Inked Company
Pages: 154
Price: Rs. 175
My Rating: 1.5/5

Krish got attracted to 'Avantika' from the first day he saw her. They were very happy in their life. Suddenly the girl that Krish wanted to accompany him on his journey back home reappears as Avantika's cousin 'Kanak'. He started getting attracted to her. Avantika got to know about them and now she has to choose between her own happiness and the Kanak's. The fate was questioning their relationship. Harry and Smriti tried their hell out to make them understand but all in vain. Is it their Love? Or it was just an attraction? Or it's obsession?... The answer lies within them...

When we look at the cover the first thought that comes to mind is 'wow'... the blurb is also decent, but the book is whole other story.
The plot of the book is rather basic and all twists are mentioned in the blurb itself, which is kind of turn off. It is given that Krish and Avantika fall in love, have perfect story but then a third wheel enters i.e. Kanak. Harry and Smriti, their best friends' try to sort things out but all is in vain. We can safely assume the story has happy ending so of course in the end everything gets sorted and Krish and Avantika are together forever.

The characters of leads i.e. Krish and Avantika are decently defined but others not so much. I feel author could have done justice to Harry and Smriti's character more... 

The mushy love between Krish and Avantika is cute at first but it reaches it peak very soon and makes you wonder 'who does this all day long?', doesn't love mature overtime? Well, who am I to comment, maybe some people really do the same... 

Overall the book is less than average mainly because of following reasons:
Story is exceptionally dragged and it could have done much better in half pages only. I mean seriously, every second of Krish's life is mentioned in the book, for example "It was already 9 o' clock and I was staggering to find my toothbrush. I brushed my teeth and was awakened now." or "As I turned the shower head on, the warm water slowly cascaded down the whole of my being and started warming my elongated limbs. I grabbed the soap dispenser and pour dime-size into my palms lathering it onto my hair. The suds bubbled up all around my hands and head. Then after a good hot shower I grabbed my towel and wrapped it around my body and came out of shower to finally dress up and made myself omelet and bread toast for my breakfast."
While reading I was like, 'Okay, we know... but isn't it a bit too much?'

I read few other reviews and it is safe to say 'ebook is much better in comparison to paperback editing'. There are some grammatical and typing errors in the book and it needs some serious edits. The very first paragraph of the book has spell mistake, 'leaves' is spelled as 'eaves'. Also, there is a place where name of Avantika is spelled wrong, and I am like 'really!'. 
What I found hilarious was 'pole dance' was spelled as 'poll dance' - ironic given it is election season... 

There are a few dumb things in the book as well. For example, it is not okay to use words 'shit' or 'crap' but it is fine to use 'asshole' - hilarious!

Overall I couldn't find it much appealing though I finished it in one sitting - had to read because I have this compulsion to finish what I started. However I believe I could have read something better. Sigh!

My rating for the book 1.5/5. I do feel bad for a fellow author but this is my honest review... 

PS, received this book from a literary agent for review.

Love and Cheers

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Book - The Flame of Anahata - Romantic Thriller that's worth a Read


Title: The Flame of Anahata
Author: Saranya Umakanthan
Publisher: General Press
Pages: 235
Price: Rs. 125
My Rating: 4/5

"They turned to see his tears of love wiping away her blood of agony..."
Diya throws Suraj's proposal back in his face, leaving him broken-hearted. Why would she do so when she loved him desperately?
Suraj finds his Guruji unconscious beside a cave clutching the warrior Indrajith's diary. His heart-rending love story then unfolds. Being trapped in a web of emotions, Indrajith endured the pain of his lost love, hurting himself and trampled Deepali's hope for his adopted brother... Who was he?
Sealed for centuries and holding the Mann-Parivarthana astra, the cave is besieged by evil now. But all attempts to unlock it go futile. Faced with baffling hints, Suraj's intelligence is sorely tested. What is the potent power required to break through that Paanch-Dost-Gupha?
Will the fire of love ever flicker in the hearts of Diya and Suraj?

A romantic thriller that's worth reading.

Understanding love is very difficult, and holding on to it is even more challenging. As can be understood from the blurb, Indarjeet faces the same in his life...

The story is written in two folds, past and present and it is very interesting to see how they both intertwine. The era changes with chapter but the demarcation is very clear and one does not gets confused. There is mystery, thrill and romance - which makes it worth reading.

The book is second part of 'Comeback Warrior Trilogy' and although I did not read first part, I did not feel like I am missing something - which is a good thing and bad. Good because you don't need to depend on first book to get on second, bad because what is the point of having a triology when there is no link. Anyways, this one is good and maybe I will up first part as well.

Talking about characters, all are well written and well linked. Author has a done a good job in defining characters from both eras.

Overall it is a pretty good read. Although what I couldn't understand is the cover. The cover holds picture of a girl, however there is no significant relation to the story. My first thought was the girl is 'Anahata' but that's not the case. Anahata has much deeper meaning in the story.

My rating to the book is 4/5.

Hope you like the book too.

You can grab your copy here:

Love and Cheers

Friday, 10 March 2017

The Fun in Space


Colgate did it again. Last time they came up with Sea adventure and this time they have come up with 'Space adventure' and both times my Dwij (my sister's kid, FYI) simply loved them... In this post I am not going to write any gyaan (like I did in previous Colgate post), instead I am going to narrate how he enjoyed the adventure.

Talk about coincidence, the day before I received the packs Dwij was talking about how he wants to be an astronaut and visit all the cool planets in the universe. And the Colgate space adventure pack simply delighted him.

When I showed him the packs he instantly named all the characters. To start with the male astronaut is Dwij, 4 years old and female astronaut is his friend Gauri (whom he calls Gori, LOL). Much to my happiness he was able to recognize all the planets instantly and loved to learn about comets and other interesting things given in the packs. It took us sometime to set up all the characters but the moment we did he fired up with stories. Below are a few stories he cooked up.

Dwij and his adventure
Dwij: "Gori and I are going to Neptune..."
Me" "Why do you want to go there?"
Dwij: "Because it is faaaar away and I want to see entire Solar system"
Me: "But it is very cold there... and why not to Pluto?"
Dwij: "Arre mausi, I will take mota sweater no... and don't worry I will bring Pluto for  you." (Pluto for him is mickey mouse's dog, LOL"

Spider Man to the rescue
Dwij: "We have landed on Neptune but aliens have attacked us... Aaahhhhhhhhhh.......... Run........... 
They have taken Gori, I will fight them. Oh my Gun doesn't work... Help! Help!"
Me: "Did anyone came for help?"
Dwij: "Yes spider man..." 
(You can see spider man fighting off aliens in the photograph)


Planning next mission
Me: "Spider man saved Gauri, what do you both do now?"
Dwij: "We fly in the space and have tails" (i.e. him referring to the photograph of the 2 astronauts roaming in the space attached to the cable)
Me: "It is a cable pagal, how can you develop tails?"
Dwij: "Aliens gave them to us. They bit us. Now we can fly and go to any planet"
Me: "Oh Ok. Which is the next planet you want to go to?"
Dwij: "Mercury"
Me: "Its too hot on mercury betu. You will burn..."
Dwij: "No mausi, I will take AC with me. It will be cool" 
Me: rolling on floor laughing at his cute innocence.

Above were a few small, simple but innocent and interesting conversations I had with a four year old and there were many more...

I thank Colgate for sending me those packs using which I had a memorable evening with my nephew. I hope you buy the pack too and have same with your dear kids as well.

I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalstories at BlogAdda in association with Colgate.

Love and Cheers