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!