October 27, 2015

Book Review: Life & Promises by Pulkit Gupta and Ila Garg

Life & Promises
Author: Pulkit Gupta and Ila Garg
Publisher: Gargi Publishers
Rating: 3.5/5

“Life & Promises” is all about love, hope, trust and success. What happens when the odds turn against you and force you to divert from the usual path? Is it that easy to change the course of life? Well, Life and Promises offers an answer to this question. The story revolves around Rachit, who is a determined and ambitious boy. His life is nearly perfect. But tables are turned when his dad denies permission for him to go to IIT. The reason leaves him aghast and he takes refuge in his never ending thoughts. Eventually, he comes up with the verdict of changing his line and becoming a CA. What causes this sudden switch?

The plot of the story gets further complicated when the protagonist suffers the agony of break-up. The story has a third character too- Khushi. What is her story and what role does she play in Rachit’s life? To unravel the mysteries of the lives of these three youngsters, grab a copy soon!

My opinion
“You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it”. Rachit has been portrayed as a diligent and ambitious boy who, like any other IIT aspirant, burns the midnight oil to get into IIT. The authors have done a wonderful job in sketching the character of Rachit. However, the depiction/ description of Radhika is limited to what she writes in her ‘secret’ diary only. A little more of Radhika would have acted as a cherry on the cake. The narration is simple and lucid. The break in the story left me befuddled (the chapters beginning in an entirely different setting, at a different time, altogether made me helpless to keep up).

The cover of the book is palatable. The title is ambiguous. The climax is what makes the story worth reading.  The last monologue of the protagonist could have been made shorter (just a suggestion). The print quality is nice (Kudos Gargi Publishers). A plus point in the book is the ‘sneak-a-peek’ into the characters and the accompanying sketches.
Overall, a great feat!

There is lack of flow and continuity, mainly because of the division of the story in different parts/settings/time,  thereby failing to hold the attention of readers for long.

Buy this book at:

October 23, 2015

Book Review: Anything to look hot by Jas Kohli

Anything to look hot

Author: Jas Kohli
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Rating: 3.5/5

“People will stare. Make it worth their while”- Harry Winston. ‘Anything to look hot’ serves beauty, glamour and the secrets- hot on the platter. The book is an episode from one phase of the life of a plastic surgeon, when he was at his career peak. Dr. Dhruv is passionate about his job but the knick-knacks of daily life try to make him quit. On one side is his career and on the other side is the temptation of getting involved with the ravishing beauties of the glamour world. Will Dr. Dhruv make his way out successfully and be able to bring the house down? Or will his health issue and other problems surpass his desire to become a successful surgeon?

The book discloses the secrets of those who can do anything to look hot. Grab your copies today!

My opinion
If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful? “Anything to look hot” answers this question perfectly. The book explores the cobweb of celeb world and throws light on what it takes to subsist oneself. Often we, the ordinary people, hold skeptical views on how beautiful these celebrities can be! But somewhere deep inside our subconscious mind we know- all that glitters is not gold! The author has brought forth the strident reality behind all those good looks and the mastermind behind it.

The title of the book, although initially sounded boring, is relevant to the content. The cover could have been better. The print quality and the typesetting are fine. The concept of the book is new and can have mixed reviews. The narration is simple and easy to comprehend.

Some chapters are stretched just for the sake of adding words and simultaneously the use of incomplete sentences makes the reading wobbly. Secondly, the blurb of the book seemed a little off track. Overall, it is indeed great effort by the author!

Best Wishes!

**This is one of the books in which the editing and proofreading has actually been done- kudos Srishti Publishers.

Buy this book at:

October 19, 2015

AdviceAdda: a cut and dried solution to every problem!

“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is- expecting otherwise and thinking that having a problem is a problem”.

Are you looking for an advice on your current relationship? Or are you suffering from any health problem and are hesitant to go to a doctor? Or are you between the horns of dilemma and are unable to choose the right path for your success? Or do you have a problem related to sex and are diffident in talking about it to anyone? Or are you facing any problem related to money, property, beauty, technology, and on and on? Then worry not, for the days of getting cold feet are over!

Presenting before you an online portal that has solutions for everything- AdviceAdda. The people behind this initiative are really on the ball because their panel of experts is not only efficient but also competent enough to deal with every kind of problem, quickly and intelligently. Unlike Quora or any other portal, where the suggestions are given by peers or fellow users (taking into account the fact that majority of answers are not given by professionals), here you can get authentic and FREE advice. Yes, you read it right- the advice is free.

The sedentary lifestyle, lack of social communication, lack of empathy and keeping-to-oneself attitude has forced the people to go up a blind alley. They refrain from disclosing their problems and eventually, with time, they realize that the problems become the bane of their lives. Especially the relationship problems and health issues, are preferred to be discussed behind the doors. But people at AdviceAdda believe that “good walls make good neighbors” and therefore their online portal can help the people to give the low-down about their problems, get a quick response (or solution) and still remain anonymous. Yes, again you read it right- you can ask a query without revealing your identity, keeping your problem under your hat.

But why would you trust my blog or my article, right? And this might even sound boring to you, isn’t it? Then why not try it out for yourself? Click here to get to the home page of the website and discover for yourself, whether or not is this website, a dab hand at solving problems.

Here are some striking features of this people’s aid:

v Easy and free registration
v Solutions at the drop of your hat- real quick and helpful
v Coverage of almost all the aspects/spheres of life- ranging from beauty, lifestyle, health, finance, business, education, career and so on
v More than 65 experts to analyse your problem and help you solve it
v Anonymous querying- reducing the chances of biting your tongue and giving you the opportunity to speak the truth without anyone knowing about you
v Not only does Advice Adda focus on solving the queries of the people, but it also contains a section where the experts put in their thoughts or rather (as I may call) expert opinions in form of articles that can relate to everyone and can come in handy too
v User friendly environment- it is a two-way process Either you can seek solution to your problem or you can join this venture as an expert and help others

All said and done, why wait and crib about your problems when the solution is just one click away? It is true that life is not a bed of roses and it is important to strive for breaking the back of the beast. Not everyone has the confidence to reach out and spill the beans- but yes everyone wants to speak about their problems to someone at least. So many times I have found myself in a situation that was equivalent to a can of worms and I could not think of a right way to get out of it. I used to run to mother for advice. But at times, when I was looking for some professional advice, all I could do was to ignore the problem and move on. But bearing the brunt of that unsolved problem was not easy. I am sure that this might have been the case with most of you. But like every cloud has a silver lining, AdviseAdda is one such silver line.

This is not a promotional activity or publicity stunt but a genuine article that can help you reach the crux of the matter and nip the problem in the bud itself.

So gear up people and spare few minutes to get to know what AdviceAdda is all about and batten down the hatches. 

Cherish life, love often and stay fit for a lot of problems in the world would disappear if we talk to each other instead of talking about each other!

This article is part of the Blog War contest - ‘I’m Influencer’. If you think I have explained AdviceAdda.com in the best way possible in my write-up, Vote for me Here. Or if you want to challenge me in this Blog War Register Here

Book Review: Crumpled Voices 2: Innocence lost

Crumpled Voices 2: Innocence lost

Compiler & Editor: Pulkit Gupta & Ila Garg (respectively)
Publisher: Gargi Publishers
Rating: 3/5

“Innocence lost” is the second part of the “Crumpled Voices” anthology series. Child abuse has always been a clandestine topic that is ignored or neglected. This book makes a successful attempt in helping the people realize the pain that they are inflicting upon children, be it mentally, physically, emotionally, socially or psychologically.

My opinion
The overall concept of the book is nice. The cover is catchy (kudos to Amol Karambe) and the title also suits the purpose.

Eighteen by Naisargi Bhatt: A well crafted poem, with every line perfectly relating to the life of every girl.

Pang of history by Pramit Sarkar: This story brings out the harsh reality of the parents who pressurize their children to excel in academics. The story is perfectly cut and dried.

The lost and found self-respect by Aditi Sahu: This is a startling story where the victim of child abuse is the mother of a small girl. Overall, twisted plot with a tinge of love and trust. Good effort by the author.

The white lily by Supriya Parulekar: The story is one of its kind because the description of ‘monsters’ suits the devils of lust. The story is fast paced and predictable, and highlights the emotions of an innocent mind in a subtle way.

A cry- help me by Sunanda Bhadra: This short story will pierce through your conscience and make your groan inwardly.

The lost dreams by Swathi Shenoy: Although I did not find this story matching the context of the book, the story was a good read.

Live like a fairy by Nikita Nepali: Lucid emotions, clear cut presentation and emotional word flow- good effort by the author.

The shadow by Dr. Sunil Kaushal: The plot of the story is very strong and the narration makes it stronger. The climax was sudden but inspiring. Good plotting and lucid expression.

The guinea pig by Piyush Kaviraj: This story shook me from inside. I had, till now, not known about the use of children in scientific experiments and that too the painful ones. The author has put forward the cruel reality in form of a heart wrenching episode.

The unheard cry by Brinda Tailor: It is rightly said, “A lot of parents will do anything for their kids, except let them be themselves”. This story perfectly describes one such scenario. Where Engineering has become the paramount choice in the educational field, every parent wants their child to become one. But during the process of making one, they lose what they treasure the most. A poignant read!

The loud silence by Shreya Ganguly: This story has been written nicely with subtle element and adequate emotions. The irony of life is such that the emotions of a prostitute are imperceptible to the people. Why? Because she is a prostitute. A well crafted and balanced story.

Tales from a pit deep down by Vaisakh E Hari: No doubt the story is heart touching but the language usage is ambiguous.

A Tryst with Naaz by Leena Ratti: The story runs on a different track and the climax acts as an icing on the cake. The diversion from the general norm of sexual exploitation categorized as the child abuse, grabbed my attention. Good read!

Just a lucky day… or not? by Shikha Kaul: Marvelous feat! Yet again Shikha Kaul has come up with an interesting plot. This is one of the stories I liked the most.

Left to be estranged by Ummul Fazal Fatima Khan: “To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today”. A different approach and perfect amalgamation of emotions of a neglected child.

That shade of vermilion by Tanya Shrivastava: It is not always the emotional turmoil or the child labor that falls under the category of child abuse. Domestic violence is an equal culprit. This story has been written with somber emotions, keeping in mind the truth that lays hidden behind the veil.

There are two stories I liked the most: Just a lucky day… or not? by Shikha Kaul and Left to be estranged by Ummul Fazal Fatima Khan.

Overall Drawbacks
The book lacks proofreading and there are several editing mistakes, which was much unexpected. The grammatical errors are frequent. Page 131, the header of the page is one of the major mistakes in the book. Some of the stories were off the track but the plot was good.

Buy this book at:
                             Review copy: provided by Gargi Publishers                                                                                                                                                                           

October 17, 2015

Book Review: Among the stars by Dhasa Sathyan

Among the stars

Author: DhasaSathyan
Publisher: notionpress.com
Rating: 3.5/5

‘Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal’. ‘Among the stars’ is a collection of short stories that answer several questions that keep popping into our sub conscious mind. These questions are generally related to love, death, memory, escapism, past-present-future, time, distance and relationships. The book showcases the thin thread that separates fantasy with reality. Everything has a theory behind it and to unravel and understand the essence of that theory, it is important to bridge the abyss between the thoughts and conscience. 

Read more at eFiction.

October 16, 2015

Book Review: Chasing Illusions by Utakarsh Jayant


Author: Utakarsh Jayant
Publisher: Frog Books (Leadstart publishing)
Rating: 3.5/5

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? “Chasing Illusions” is the story about a forthright and virtuous person, who is deprived of success. This story depicts the absinthal truth about the struggle of a man, in this treacherous and untrue world. The protagonist, Ajay, began his life on a happy note, using his blood, sweat and tears to achieve success, money and fame. All he wanted was a complacent life and something to live for. Was that too much to ask for? 

Read more at: IWW

October 14, 2015

Book Review: Handshakes and Heartbreaks by Samir Zaidi

Handshakes and heartbreaks

Poet: Samir Zaidi
Genre: Poetry collection
Publishers: Cyberwit.net

It took me more than a month to come up with the review of this poetry anthology, which has a profound meaning. Samir Zaidi has indeed done a wonderful job in putting forth his real life experiences in form of poems. A wise man once said, “Life is about creating your balance not suppressing your good. And not suppressing your bad, for one cannot exist without the other… embrace them equally”. The poet has touched and reflected upon the intricacies of life. The mention of Khadijah and Rusalka adds to the flavor of the book.

Not to forget to mention about the quality of the book- the page quality is splendid but the font size is comparatively smaller. The cover of the book is apt and shady. The title of the book is subtle yet catchy. The artwork in the book acts like the cherry on the cake. The three circles of life, as categorized based on the sins committed, are worth knowing about and pondering. The poems fall into the category of free verse (to add- straight from the heart). The choice and usage of vocabulary is comprehensible.

Books that evoke the appetite to know more, to read more and to explore more are the best bets. This is one such book. The mention of Khadijah and Orpheus itself urged me to look for the words (honestly, I had never heard of them before). The depth associated with these names helped me relate to the poems. With the description of each circle, the readers may be forced to groan inwardly. The intensity of the emotional turmoil and the turn of events has been depicted in form of words and this has been done wonderfully.
This book is a ‘must-have-on-your-bookshelf’ piece as it gives you opportunity to look beyond the horizon and know more about hell.

Buy this book from:

Review copy: provided by Cyberwit.net

October 09, 2015

MOCKTALE: Yo yo Funny (Oops Honey) Singh!!

Dear Yo Yo Funny (Opps Honey) Singh,

I don’t hate you. I am just not necessarily excited about your existence.

Jo bhi maine bola wo main karke dikhaunga
Mere liye duaa karo, Grammy le aaunga
Kasam Bajrang Bali ki
Desi ghee ki boondi, sakarpare batwaaunga

Jis din, jis din
Jis din, jis din
Jis din... main Grammy le aaunga

*** Yeah, why not? As if Eminem, Tupac, Rakim or Biggie are no more in this field, this weirdo has a dream of getting this accolade in his kitty. It is high time that he comes out of his cloud-cuckoo-land and realize the reality.

***Here is a list of small/big facts that make me despise him to the core:

·       All his songs contain five basic elements only: Daaru, Party, Girls, Yo yo and money
·       Lyrically, the songs are nonsense
·       He considers himself God of rap, which definitely he is not. Why? Because he is the same person who can rhyme Saani (not even sunny) with paani
·       His dress sense makes a botch of the outfit as well
·       His songs stink of contempt towards women
·       The confidence with which he challenges other rappers
·       The “swag” element in his name (yo-yo)
·       The last but definitely not the least- the vulgarity of the lyrics reach out to the masses (including small kids)

Possibly 75% of the population will agree that the lyrics offered by Yo yo are wide off the mark. But still his fan following is huge! Duh!

Seriously, who adds a prefix like Yo yo before his name? Can we presume that he might have been a big fan of “Blazing Teens”?

To prove my point, I have some “extraordinary” lines from his hit songs:

Ek kaam kar
Khol locker
Kadd pehe phir lock kar
Phone, rakh leya?
But bhulli ni ohda charger
Hun ek bag taiyar kar
Taiyar kar, kar na!

I am still wondering why Sonakshi agreed to do this video song with him! His rapping is all about advising the girl how to pack her bag before eloping with Yo-Yo. And is this real rap: kar- locker-kar-charger???

Mujhe sab pata hai kon kon mujhse sadte hain
Mere baare me vaahiyaat baatein kartein hai
Peeth piche bhonkein
Saamne mujhse darte hain
Mere aage aake phir kyun paji paji karte hai?”

Dude, if you know this then you must also be knowing why they despise you, right? With the ludicrous and senseless lyrics, he has the guts to challenge the Rap Gods like Eminem…..but definitely he cannot get away with this. Dreaming about Grammy is like biting off more than he can chew. It will take lot of improvisation and calm to break the back of the beast, indeed!

But this is not how everyone perceives his compositions! Where people are busy fiddling while Rome is burning, Yo Yo is constantly adding laurels in his kitty, although they are not sufficient to take him even one step closer to Grammy.

To conclude, I have another set of lines to provoke your conscience and let realization dawn upon you (wink):

Mere daftar daftar daftar ki girl
Karti hai ishaare aksar
Aksar, aksar, aksar, aksar
Mere daftar daftar daftar ki girl
Karti hai ishaare aksar
Aksar, aksar, aksar, aksar
Mere daftar daftar daftar ki girl
Karti hai ishaare aksar baby bas kar, bas kar
Baby bas kar, bas kar


Book Review: Karna's alter ego by Surendra Nath

Karna’s alter ego

Author: Surendra Nath
Publisher: Dream House Publishers
Rating: 4/5

“Fate is inevitable. But it is our actions and the perception that pave our path for success.” Much has been read and talked about the mythological characters. Much has been hypothesized. There are beliefs and there are myths. But what if these beliefs help in materializing the character from mythology? Karna was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, yet he cherished his life. Probably he was the most admirable soul. He faced obstacles at every point of his life and always ended up burying the hatchet and striving to help others. Disowned by his own mother, failed in love, rejected by his Guru, Karna lived a life full of crests and troughs. “Karna’s alter ego” is about Vasu, who desires to be like Karna- strong willed, determined, focused and hardworking. 

Read more at IWW.