December 31, 2015

Book Review: It doesn't hurt to be nice by Amisha Sethi

It doesn’t hurt to be nice

Author: Amisha Sethi
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Rating: 3/5

Confucius has correctly said- Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. It is the greed and the desire to have more that make the humans answer for their deeds. Happiness is not in achieving big things but it can be found in every little thing that happens around you. ‘It doesn’t hurt to be nice’ is a sincere attempt by Amisha Sethi, to throw light on the delicate and hidden threads that hold the life together. It is these threads that need to be cherished and nourished so that they become stronger with each passing day. This book is not a story. Instead, it is a book full of real-life experiences that aim in helping us all to identify the significant happiness and be contended with what we have. Join Kiara in her journey of life!

Grab this book to read something different.

My opinion
Unlike the other fiction novellas, where there are mushy love tales and everything ends in the cloud cuckoo land, this book offers different and enriching content. The book has a personal, emotional, humorous as well as spiritual touch. But the lingering question is how does this book fall into the category of fiction? There is no story. Instead, the book puts forward experiences of the protagonist.

The title of the book is fine. The blurb is a little baffling. It could have been made shorter and more precise. The Illustrations and the quotes are fabulous (not forgetting to mention that I loved the sketches). The font (style and size) is perfect. But the blend of experience and facts/views explained in the Upanishads/ Vedas is not up to the mark because time and again the mind is made to chop and change the final opinion.

Another offbeat thing that I found, was the use of fictional character named Kiara. The very first thing the readers opt for reading in the book, is either the blurb or the author biography. Once you read the author bio in this book, it is clearly evident that Kiara is the authoress herself. This might not be a problem for majority. But somewhere in the sub conscious mind, the usage of different name kept haunting my mind.

But the book definitely reaches out to your mind and heart because you are forced to think twice about how you would have reacted, had you been in Kiara’s situation. The content might be a turn off for non-philosophy lovers but it can blow away the cobwebs for the lovers of spiritual being and self-exploration.

Best wishes to the author!

There are some editing mistakes (wrong use of prepositions, tenses and punctuation).

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Review copy: Provided by Author Paradise

Book Review: The Happiness Code by Suvasish Mukhopadhyay

The happiness code

Author: Suvasish Mukhopadhyay
Publisher: Peacock books
Rating: 3/5

“Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things”- Frank A. Clark.
‘The happiness code’ serves all the possible key combinations required to unlock the door to happiness- hot on the platter. The book puts forward 107 codes or rather opens up the corked bottle and lets out the Genie who can grant happiness. 

Read more here.

December 28, 2015

Book Review: Glittering shadows by Manish Ranjan

Glittering Shadows

Poet: Manish Ranjan
Genre: Poetry collection

‘Glittering shadows’ is a rhythmic and lyrical journey of the poet, on the path of love. This is not just a book but a dedication to all those who never give up and still have the spark that kindles hope in their hearts. The book is divided into three sections: Love and be loved, reflections of life and womanhood and her crisis. Away with the fairies, the poet imagines himself in a dreamland afar. A dreamland where there is peace and love, hope and loyalty and there is no place for hatred and narcissism. The poems have a subtle feeling attached to them and it reflects in the words used.

Readers can spot almost all rhyme schemes here- aabb, abab, free verse, etc. The use of figures of speech make the content likable. However, the poems are quite lengthy and for readers, who do not delve into profound poetry, this book might be a big turn off. For Literature enthusiasts, this is a good option as they can get a chance to explore the vocabulary (not forgetting to mention that the vocabulary used, is splendid).

Somehow, the title of the book seems off track. Secondly, the poet talks about love in the beginning. So, the other two sections are not coherent with the flow of the book. ‘Love and the ocean’ needs a special mention here because of its magnificence and poet’s outlook on love and beyond. Apart from this, ‘The Battlefield’ is another jewel in the book. The dedication is honest and the amalgamation of love in this poem, acts like a cherry on the cake.

Overall, a subtle read and profound work of literature!

Best wishes to the poet/author!

Buy the book from:

Review copy: provided by the poet

Book Review: Mrs. Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna

Mrs. Funnybones

Author: Twinkle Khanna
Publisher: Penguin Publishers
Rating: 3/5

‘The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only…to support the ultimate career’. With ‘Mrs. Funnybones’, our very loved columnist and actress, Twinkle Khanna, has made a debut in the world of writing. No doubt this book has wit and humor in it, it also relates to the daily happenings of a working wife. Just because you are a celebrity, it is not compulsory that life treats you fair and is a mere cakewalk.

Read more here.

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December 24, 2015

Book Review: Unanswered by Kunal Narayan Uniyal

Unanswered: When all is answered

Poet: Kunal Narayan Uniyal
Genre: Poetry collection
Publishers: Samaya Sakshaya

‘Unanswered’ is a lilting journey of the poet. This book is not just a poetry collection, but it offers profound insight into the life experiences of the poet. You might or you might not be able to figure out the underlying meaning/ answers associated with every new poem or anecdote because unlike other poetry collections, the poet has not used broad strokes to portray any emotion or feeling. But does this count as a negative? No. This book demands solitude and ardor for getting a glimpse of what is hidden behind the veil of woven words.

To begin with, the very first poem in the book is ‘You and I’, in which the poet is requesting Lord Krishna to meet him in a state that is not only humane but simple. The poem has been written in a liberal and religious tone. Next up, is an anecdote on the life of a Yogi and the poem following it, acts as the cherry on the cake. The poet has maintained sufficient balance between the inclusion of poems and short excerpts. Some of the poems that really have the potential to affect the readers are: Mysteries, Not what I wanted and Walk alone.

Coming to the technical aspect of the book, the font is legible but the size is larger than it should have been. I especially liked the indentation/alignment of the content section which is few and far between. The placing of header at the end of every page, along with the page number, is appealing. The cover of the book could have been made better. The title is not apt. If the book talks about answering all the buried questions, then the title misleads the readers. Also the punchline- ‘When all is answered’, is contrary to the title. Other than this, I do not like the fact that this book lacks a blurb. Even if it is a poetry book, it should have been accompanied by a blurb at the back because blurbs are essential in reinforcing the decision of buying or not buying the book. 

The use of vocabulary and language is splendid. Although I also felt that for not-so-avid-readers, the language will be comparatively difficult to comprehend. The poet’s selection of words to describe the emotional turmoil, is remarkable. All the poems have been written in free verse and that adds a personal touch to them. For those who are aware of our mythological history, the book is relatable. Even for the new readers, there is something new to know about, in every poem.

Overall, a subtle read and profound work of literature!

Best wishes to the poet/author!

Review copy: provided by the poet

December 23, 2015

Book Review: Guruji's Ashram by Sunil Sinha

Guruji’s Ashram

Author: Sunil Sinha
Publisher: Frog Books (Leadstart publishing)
Rating: 3/5

Burning the midnight oil to snatch success from the jaws of death, is what everyone does. But during the whole process what are the chances that the personality of the individual would change too? Tapas has cherry picked opportunities for himself and is living a comfortable life by earning well and looking for better prospects. He even intends on marrying the girl he loves. But the odds do not seem to be in his favor! That’s when the Guruji comes into the picture and helps him by calling the shots.

With the help of the teachings of Guruji, Tapas finds a new path and starts treading on it. He makes business by sharing the ideas that he has learnt. With his modest beginning, he sets foot in the world of meditation, yoga and Bhagwad Gita and succeeds in setting up his own Ashram, which is no less than any blue chip company.  But yet again, the tables are turned and the plot transforms into a murder mystery. Who was murdered? Who was the murderer? To get all the answers, you need to enter Guruji’s Ashram and figure out yourself.

Grab your copy to know more!

My opinion
“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” ‘Guruji’s Ashram’ is one such story about greed and how it destroys life of individuals. The plot setting is apt. The cover would have been more appealing if more colors were used. The title is appropriate. The blurb is catchy and draws attention of the readers towards what is in store for them in the book.

The author has done a commendable job in maintaining the balance between the roles of all the characters and portraying their lives precisely. The font size, font style, indentation is perfect. But language disguises thought and thus, poor linguistic skills are the reason why this book blows up in the face of the readers. On the very first page itself there are so many mistakes- punctuation errors, wrong sentence formation and much more.

No doubt the plot is a refreshing one. There are twists and turns every now and then but the inclusion of intimate scenes spoils the fun. It should be understood that Indian Literature is not limited to erotic literature only. Some books can actually turn out to be the best sellers without even amalgamating intimate scenes. Other than this, the repetition of same sequence of events, time and again, breaks the flow of reading.

The characters of Minakshi, Rashmi and Tapas have been crafted very well. It can be said that the book satisfies the reading curiosity to a large extent by maintaining interest till the end.

Overall, a good effort by the author!

Best wishes!

The major drawback in the book is the lack of proofreading and presence of several grammatical errors that makes the content ambiguous. The sentences are too long and some of the chapters have been included unnecessarily.

Buy this book at:

Review Copy: provided by the author

December 21, 2015

Book Review: Postcards from memory by Samir Satan

Postcards from memory

Poet: Samir Satan
Genre: Poetry collection
Publishers: FirstStep Publishing

‘Postcards from memory’ is a lyrical journey of an individual and his precious moments. With this poetry/ collection, the poet has thrown light on various phases of life of an individual. The book is an attempt to capture the intangible moments one experiences and cherish them in form of words. The poems have been categorized under ten major headings, covering all aspects of life- temptations, morning, love, life, lost moments, death, perception and much more. Writing down what your heart feels at the moment, is always the right choice, for when you read it later, it definitely feels like your memory has sent you postcards. And the poet successfully fulfills this motive through this work of literature.

Coming to the technicalities of the writing, the poems are easy and short. The main style followed in majority of the poems, is free verse. ‘She goes’, ‘Coffee’ and ‘Wild child’ are three poems that I could actually relate with. Coffee is something that is an inevitable part of majority of the people. The poet has brought out the intricate details of the feelings and emotions felt while savoring the aroma of this drink. ’She goes’ portrays the raw frenzied emotions of someone who is waiting desperately. And last but not the least, ‘Wild Child’ is a showcase of free will and dreams. However, some of the poems are more like stories, summarized in one-liners and put as poems. Secondly, the typesetting and the font used is not apt. The standard Arial or Bookman Antiqua style would have been better.

Overall, a light read and enjoyable work of literature!
Best wishes to the poet!

Review copy: provided by FirstStep Publishing

MOCKTALE: DILWALE: Clash of Cars- A She(i)tty version!

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?” and probably Rohit Shetty strongly believes in this, for his newbie ‘DILWALE’ is one such attempt that is unfathomable. The focal points of the movie are ‘cars’, ‘Sanjay Mishra’, a younger brother named ‘Veer’ (we have already met one in All the Best) and ‘Jhonny Lever’.

The title of the movie is misleading because nowhere do we get any idea about how relevant and apt is the title. Presenting before you, a mix of favourable and second rate checklist that will indeed, help you decide your opinion for the movie.

  • The initial hype about the rekindling of the chemistry between SRK and KAJOL is a total fail. Trust me, Kajol is getting on in years (for those who still think that she is the same ‘mere khwabo me jo aaye’ girl). During the first part of the movie, when Kaali and Meera meet and fall in love, the all mushy and dreamy love tale gets spoiled, majorly due to the use of high- pitched voice by Kajol every now and then (puberphonia, eh? But that is more common in males!) and secondly because of Kajol looks like a mutton dressed as lamb. No doubt the costumes are great, but she doesn’t look that young (You got my point, right? No? Well, who cares!)
  • Why is the movie named ‘Dilwale’? (Someone please justify the title)
  • Is it necessary that if you are the ‘King’ then your adhaar card has to be made?
  • The special ‘Rohit Shetty Clash of Cars’ effect, which was absolutely unnecessary and a total waste of money
  • The wastage of clothes…. Who wears such long skirts and evening gowns, when standing on water (reminds me, how can one run on water) or on a crashed plane? Infact, where did she find a room to get dressed to the nines?
  • Relating to the above point, how did SRK and Kajol reach the center of the icebergs (in the sea?)?
  • Why is the ‘saree ka palla’ so long?
  • ‘Sautela bhai, bache’ cliché! (Patented concept of Shetty)
  • Bromance and Womance- Wow! Rohit Shetty patent continuing from Golmaal to Golmaal Returns to Golmaal 3 to All the best to Bol Bacchann!!
  • When asked, Raghav told the truth without hemming and hawing. Had Kajol asked him earlier about the story behind the death of her ‘don’ father, the duration of the movie would have been lesser.
  • Mission Impossible 2- car rotation- eyecontact- COPIED!
  • How I met your mother- 5 minute date scene- COPIED!
  • Probably, SRK loves doing movies which have a big leap. Baazigar had a leap of 15 years, Karan Arjun had a leap of 20 years, Om Shanti Om had a leap of around 20 years and now Dilwale. (Oops! Dilwale had 15 years, 4 months and 10 days. Wow!)
  • SRK’s ‘aaaaaeeeeeeeee’ and the open arms cliché.

DILWALE is more like a vacation with lavish and posh cars that get blown up every now and then. It is not a movie but a travel brochure. You can watch it to know and search for several mesmerizing places (Obviously, Bulgaria is the main one!).

Anyway, the movie is a serious blow-up in the face of SRK and Kajol fans. Shetty comes up with such crazy ideas-he must definitely have bats in the belfry! But if you decide to keep your grey cells in your pocket and then watch this masterpiece, then you might like it for the music is great (Kudos Arijit Singh for Janam Janam) and the cinematography is breathtaking. Kriti and Dhawan have done justice to their roles. But as it is already being pointed out, the roles of ‘Oscar bhai’, ‘King’ and ‘Mani bhai’ were not required.

Dilwale cannot be put into the category of an entertainer because the only factor responsible for its eminence is the comeback of the most romantic B- world pair! In the end, it’s all about different folks having different strokes!

November 18, 2015

Book Review: Live-in with a ghost by Kritika Sharma

Live-in with a ghost
Author: Kritika Sharma
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Rating: 3/5

Love is a sublime feeling that is intangible and can be felt and expressed. Probably ‘Live-in with a ghost’ also tries to prove this point. This story is one such mushy (clichéd) love tale that makes you behave like a dog with two tails. The story is about Jia and Jay, who fall in love during their out-of-body experience. Although both have extremely different personalities, they fall in love instantly. ‘Live-in with a ghost’ is an emotional journey of a human and a ghost. But the lingering question is- what if Jai forgets his love when he wakes up?
To know more click here.

Review copy: Courtesy HBB

Book Review: The great journey of discoveries by Eknoor Singh & Saksham Singhal

The Great Journey of Discoveries

Author: Eknoor Singh and Saksham Singhal
Rating: 3/5

Doesn’t it feel good to be lost in the right direction? Yes? Well, the children of today are always on the ball and have that urgent urge of unveiling the mysteries that lie before them. ‘The great journey of discoveries’ is one such journey of a ten year old kid, who decides, against all odds, to give his imagination, wings. He sets out on an adventurous journey. The theme of the story is the discovery of the ‘Obvious facts’ that were not so obvious or rather unknown to mankind then.

This is a children’s book that will suit the interest of the young kids. Grab your copies today to enjoy this expedition filled with fun, thrill, emotions and adventure.

My Opinion
It is really nice to see children penning down stories and poems that reflect the innocence and sincerity. The author duo has done a wonderful job in making the story interesting by not only making the narration expressive but also including the illustrations. Probably every child will love reading this book.

Coming to the technicalities of the book- the cover of the book is colorful and comical. The story goes in a flow and the presence of frequent rhyming words, makes it interesting. The title is suitable. The typeset, font (size, color) and the layout, is catchy. The presence of innocent punches will definitely make children laugh.

However, there are several grammatical and syntactical errors like wrong use of tenses, missing words, punctuation errors. The text is baffling and repetitive. The sentence formation is wrong (even in the blurb- which is more of author biography than the plot summary). The proofreading and editing is not refined and this can act as a negative factor if this is book is used for enforcing reading habit in the kids.

Overall, a great effort by the author duo (the wonder kids)! Best Wishes!

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Book Review: The story: inspiring the youth by Anuj Kumar

The Story- inspiring the youth

Author: Anuj Kumar
Rating: 2.5/5

‘You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it’. ‘The story’ is Atul’s story and throws light on the struggles he has faced or faces and how he chooses perseverance over giving up. Life is ironical. When you least expect, the happiness knocks your door and when you think that all the odds are in your favor, tables are suddenly turned, leaving you helpless and hopeless. This book is an inspirational journey, detailing about the essence of the family relations and the true meaning of success.

Dreaming about success is like having a bee in one’s bonnet and it takes effort and support, together, to reach the apex. The story is not that simple. Atul has a complicated life. But life is not a bed of roses, for temptations can lead you to a wrong path. How does Atul cope with the temptations? Does he achieve what he desires?

To know the answers, grab this book.

 My Opinion
‘He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce’. It is very important in life to stay focused and do nothing by halves. ‘The story’ is a simple story about the journey towards success. The title of the book is short and simple. The cover of the book is mesmerizing and the blurb is perfect. The typesetting and the font type used, is fine.

The narration is lucid and the dialogues are expressive. Even though the chapter numbers have not been included as the part of the book, the naming of the chapters does the trick. The flow of the story is fine. The proofreading is awful, with wrong punctuation and wrong tenses. Time and again one can come across ambiguous sentences which disrupt the flow of reading. Even the blurb has not been edited properly as there are spacing errors. There is a major blunder in the book related to the use of apostrophe- confusion between you’re and your.

However, the plot of the story is relatable and touches the heart. It is true that ‘opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell’ and it is also true that ‘about the only time losing if more fun than winning is when you are fighting temptation’. The story successfully portrays the strained relationship of father-son, bond between brother-sister and the selfless love of the mother.

Overall, good effort by the author. Best Wishes!

Buy this book at:

November 17, 2015

Types of people you meet during Diwali shopping

By October, the Diwali virus is already in our systems. It takes less than a month, for the virus to multiply and show its true colors and that’s when the desire to shop and buy the whole market, is evoked. But I personally think that shopping in metropolitan cities is altogether a different experience as compared to the shopping done in smaller cities. Don’t you agree?

For an instance, if you roam in the streets of Delhi, the Delhites won’t miss a single chance to show-off their composed self. But that does not happen in the cities like Lucknow or Bareilly. Here, three days before the D-day, the traffic is stopped and only pedestrians are allowed in the main market area. Also, every corner of the city is lit up so brightly that even the sun might think twice of showing up the next day. But people here, reside in fool’s paradise, for the electricity cut off is the major problem. And once the electricity bids goodbye, without prior notice, the whole city turns pitch black for few seconds.

Anyhow, the enthusiasm of people is not interrupted even then, for you can spot millions of people walking up and down the road (God knows for what!). This Diwali, during my shopping spree, while my mother was busy buying the necessary essentials for the ‘Pooja’, I focussed my sincere attention on the types of people that can be found on such occasion. Here goes the list:

The side-kick aunty: This lady has a persistent problem with her leg. If she stops at any shop and if you happen to stand next to her, then beware, for (intentionally or unintentionally) her leg will move up and kick you. If you think you can push her back, then I am sorry, you can’t because you lack the skills.

The fake accent girl:Bhaiya yeh kitthe ka hai”, “Bhaiya main especially Delhi se aayi hu ye lene”, etc- If you hear these lines from someone standing close by, don’t waste your time in stretching your neck and trying to have a look at the ‘smart face’ because this is the one, the one with the fake accent, who can go any limits to bend over backwards and end up with the best bargain.

The aimless walkers: This category of people can be seen walking in front of you, at a speed which will definitely indicate that they have some very important business. But you are made to jump out of your skin, when, while returning on the same or different road, you can spot the same group, walking faster than you (probably tending to some other business). Eventually, after spotting them for one more time you realize that they just prefer going for a night walk rather than the morning one!

The wildchild: This child has a packet of ‘aalubum’ in his pocket and the sudden adrenaline rush forces him to burst that bomb every now and then, irrespective of the surroundings or the people walking close by.

The push-everybody aunty: This lady never misses any chance to push aside the people around and be the first one in everything. It seems like there is a Rugby match going on and she is the hooker (don’t get me wrong, I am referring to the forward in Rugby) wanting to defeat everyone who comes in her way.

This is definitely not it. You can find more types of people but still the celebration of the festivities would be incomplete without this fun, right?

If you have met weird people too, then share in the comments!

Happy reading!

Book Review: King of hearts by Prassant Kevin

King of hearts

Author: Prassant Kevin
Publisher: Bookmozo Publishers
Rating: 2.5/5

‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.’ ‘King of hearts’ proves this right. This is a heart melting story of two best friends, who buckle down to get their dreams fulfilled. The protagonist of the story is Ayan, who is a writer by passion and is struggling in the world of literature. Amidst the dog-eat-dog attitude of the fellow competitors, Ayan works his fingers to the bone to survive. His stars change when his literary work is done and dusted and luck shines bright on him. His flair for words lures the readers, so much so, that they go gaga for him. ‘King of hearts’ is a quest of Ayan to find his lost friendship with Misha, a quest to rekindle the candle of love, a quest to prove the worth and to rule the hearts of millions. But wait, there is more in store for you, for this story is not that simple as it sounds.

Grab this book to know more about the lives of Ayan and Misha!

My opinion
‘King of hearts’ has a good plot with limited characters and appropriate characterization. The cover of the book seems messed up. The introductory lines could have been changed in order to make the title page attractive. The title of the book is fine. The font used for the blurb is crummy because it is not at all readable. Same is the problem with the other content printed on the back page.

Coming to the content of the book, the typesetting and editing is awful. Again, the font type is not appropriate (Book Antiqua, 12 would have been better). The alignment or rather the pattern followed for writing the title of the chapters, is not in coherence because some chapters have a title (the font size is again a problem here) and some don’t.
The setting and the narration is fine but the wrong use of tense and the presence of frequent grammatical and other syntactical errors make the text ambiguous. The use of ‘hairs’ and the short forms like 'coz', do not fail to annoy me more. At some places, the text is incomprehensible because of the mix-up with the genders of the characters.

Overall, with this book the author has set his foot in the door and there is still a long way to go. Best wishes!

Buy this book at:

Review copy: Coutesy Author Paradise