Are You A Book Addict?


  1. You have a book bucket list.  It never really gets shorter, only longer.
  2. There are books in every room of your home.
  3. There is no such thing as a partially used or unused book gift card in your possession.
  4. You’ve tweeted a #shelfie.
  5. You read a book based on someone’s recommendation
  6. You facepalm when someone announces they liked Twilight.
  7. Exploring bookstores is a must.
  8. Hunger poses an irritating interruption during a reading binge.
  9. When people come to you for book suggestions you can match a book to their interest and personality.
  10. Your version of a gossip magazine is a biography.
  11. You feel compelled to tell everyone about the book you are reading
  12. You splurge more on books than on clothes/shoes.

What are you going to do with that?


For anyone embarking on their studies in Literature, History or Management, they more than likely are faced with the question: What are you going to do with that?  People ask me why I chose Management and I answer “I didn’t decide to love it, I just did.  In the same way I didn’t decide to love chocolate, I just tasted it and enjoyed it.”  Now I research, write the subject well.

But the question: What are you going to do with that?  Teach? underscores something I find problematic in the attitude towards the profession of teaching.  It is as though teaching were the last and only option.  Or, more dramatically, the bottom of the career possibility totem poll.  I am not endorsing this view but merely pointing it out. Indeed, sometimes the term “teach” comes out with disdain, as if it were useless or not important.  If someone were studying Biology, for example, would the same attitude accompany: What are you going to do?  Be a physician?

With the wave of discussion regarding education hitting the headlines I would like for us to consider the way in which we view the profession of teaching.  How can we as a nation argue for better schools yet keep this sort of common question as a reaction to a student’s declaration of a major in the Humanities?  It is not the only possible career path, but for someone who does want to be a teacher they should not be subjected to the idea that “teaching” and “doing” are different things.  Or, that “teaching” is the equivalent of not being able to find something else.  If we want our students, our children, to get the best education, then respect for teaching as a valuable professional choice needs to be on par with that.

 

Thirty One (31)


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I don’t have any problem with letting out my age, they say women must not say her age, I find this crap. I am proud to be a member of the thirties club. I turned 31 yesterday, it felt normal. It was constant background babble in my mind but nothing unexpected happened on the day I turned 31. There was a quite no celebration at home and some thoughts on my part but by and large, it was like any other day I have had.

Although, to be honest, turning 31 has induced some changes. But these changes had been in the making for some months before I turned 31 actually. I feel grown up. The most important difference that there is less urgency in life. Earlier, everything was urgent for me. I had to urgently achieve something, urgently be somewhere or fulfill a goal. Now, I have perspective. Some things are still urgent, like caring for parents but self related goals can be given time. I have more patience and I have a long term outlook on life. If there is something I want and it happens, then well. I will be okay otherwise too.

Happy Birthday to Me


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Today is 12th November, my birthday.  Today I celebrate ME! The birth of me! The person I have grown to be! The person I will become! The sister, daughter, friend, I am! And the wife and mother I will be someday (fingers crossed)! I celebrate me today!

God, thank you for this beautiful day. Please try to make it perfect in every way. This day is very special to me. For this is the day I was born you see. I was placed on earth for a purpose I know. I feel so blessed to be healthy, happy, and surrounded by those that I love. Life is such a great gift and I appreciate and enjoy every minute of it.

I hope to be able to celebrate at least a hundred more times in my HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Now I am going to go and enjoy MY SPECIAL DAY!

My dear friend, blog follower, reader, tweeple, fellow human on this planet, if you read this post and if you’ve ever enjoyed any of my other posts, please wish me a very happy birthday. I am open for wishes.

60minutes


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About the author: Upendra Namburi is a sales and marketing professional who has contributed to leading newspapers and online publications. He is on the passionate voyage of writing the numbers triumvirate of novels titled 31, 60 and 8. His debut novel 31, was a bestseller and also on the long list for the Tata First Book award. His second book titled ’60 minutes’ is a unique story that spans a pulsating 60 minutes. He has contributed to Indian and International publications on a wide array of subjects. He is an evolving blogger, ardent dreamer and passionate writer. He resides in Gurgaon, India

Blurb: Agastya, the Chief Marketing Officer of one of the biggest FMCG companies, is ready for the biggest product launch of his career. But things soon spin out of control. In 60 minutes he must do everything he can to save his job and marriage. Maithili is both beautiful and intelligent, but she has never had much luck with love. When Agastya almost crushes her spirit by taking things too far, she must avenge herself. She has only 60 minutes to turn his life upside down. Sailesh doesn’t have an academic temperament suited to corporate rivalry and subterfuge. He has no choice but to retaliate when someone crosses the line. In 60 minutes he must destroy his enemy. A lot is at stake: high profile jobs, reputations, relationships, and marriages. Who is going to come out on top and who will falter? The action unfolds in 60 minutes and leaves readers glued to their seats.

Review: If I had not been asked to write a review of this book, I would not have continued reading more than the first chapter of this book but apart from a review, I was asked to write 15 best lines ( according to me) from the book so it was a forceful read. A glitzy occupation, status, relationships and marriages are at stake in this story. The book has no story at all. The story moves from the past to the recent past to the present and back to the past, hence the confusion. apart from corporate politics and the share market, the story has Unnecessary sex in a very bad manner, with blaring, biting, pushing and thrashing activities, which was disturbing enough as every woman puts up with this nonsense enthusiastically, I really wonder why? The story is supposed to be about rivalry between Sailesh and Agastya, but their stories are miserable enough to put down the book. At 360 odd pages, this book was a drag. The book says “Racy” on its cover but the book was lengthy and boring to death. The book did not to be a page turner for me. The story is set in Mumbai, with a lot of masala, too many characters which made it chaotic and rushy. The book was a major let down.

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Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God


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Blurb: The three-thousand-year-old epic Ramayana chronicles Lord Rama’s physical voyage from one end of the Indian subcontinent to the other and his spiritual voyage from Man to God. In Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God, anthropologist and journalist Jonah Blank gives a new perspective to this Hindu classic — retelling the ancient tale while following the course of Rama’s journey through present-day India and Sri Lanka. Ultimately, Blank’s journey — like that of Lord Rama — evolves into a quest: to understand the chimerical essence of India itself, in all its overwhelming beauty and paradox.

About the author: Jonah Blank is an American author, journalist and foreign policy expert, specializing in the culture, history and affairs of the Indian subcontinent.Blank has traveled extensively across India and Pakistan, and learned the ancient language of Sanskrit, as well as the languages Hindi, Gujarati and Urdu. He has also extensive knowledge and experience of the traditions and teachings of Hinduism, Islam and other religions in Asia. Blank used the Boren Fellowship to work with the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, primarily based in the Indian city of Bombay. He was the first anthropologist to work with this usually conservative community, publishing his work in Mullahs on the Mainframe.

Review: The book is a journey all the way through India’s culture, history, myths, religion, art, sociology and psychology with Ramayana as a mirror in which modern India is reflected, the author has explained the concept of India. India is a vast and complex subject beyond any single book and perspective, this book provides a vision of it that reveals some deep truths about that country and its people. This is a perfect book for who never visited India anytime in their life. The substance is enlightening and fascinating without being educational. Writer’s writing style is concise, humorous and suitably distressing. The book has few interesting questions whether Hinduism is fatalistic faith or action one? The encounters of the author have a lot of elements such as travel writing, history, interviews with people of Indian society. He has used Ramayana as a guide a lot on Indian philosophy and religion, directing on Hinduism and its meaning. I liked that he tried to be as unprejudiced towards the theme of the book. It is one of the kind of terrific blend of a travel book & mythology. I would advise that anyone wanting to know about India and also who knows about India to read this book.

31 things I like


Today I read a post from someone where he had mentioned about 51 things that he is happy about. And I thought what a great idea it is. I have been known to have many dislikes. I will do 31 things because today is 31st October.

So, here is the list.

  1. I have some really good friends, who can help me when I need them.
  2. I like to read a lot.
  3. I have a nice straight hair.
  4. I laugh out really loud.
  5. I find joy in stuff like good food, a beautiful scenery, nice walk, good conversation.
  6. I like all colours.
  7. I am a liberal
  8. I have enthusiasm and passion to do something of value.
  9. I have a nice handwriting.
  10. I can use and understand sarcastic humour.
  11. I am becoming more and more confident in presenting myself to others.
  12. I have a willingness to learn and improve.
  13. I can be kind and non judgmental with people.
  14. I can learn some stuff pretty quickly.
  15. I never give up.
  16. I know that I can improve and I try to.
  17. I really pay attention to someone who is talking to me. This is something I find that a lot of people do not do.
  18. My health and fitness are top priority.
  19. My body has been through hell and back, yet somehow it stays strong. I love my body for that.
  20. I’m thoughtful and old-fashioned
  21. I’m quite fond of my energy. It helps me get things done and makes me feel really confident and determined to get things done.
  22. Being a music lover, having good and soulful taste in music.
  23. Not being into drugs and smoking, and alcohol.
  24. How loving I am (no one wants it at the moment, so I’ll love myself until they do!).
  25. My MASSIVE smile!
  26. My desire to be covered in tattoos!
  27. The fact that I have found a soul mate in my best friend.
  28. My perfectionism (sometimes!)
  29. My obsession with reality shows.
  30. My obsession with things that I find beautiful.
  31. My white teeth

Okay, so that came about and it’s a good list. What say?? I should do more positive lists. Perhaps that will make me more positive and remind me that what the important things in life are.

7 Secrets of the Goddess


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Blurb: Lakshmi massages Vishnu’s feet. Is this male domination? Kali stands on Shiva’s chest. Is this female domination? Shiva is half a woman. Is this gender quality? Why then is Shakti never half a man? Taken literally, stories, symbols and rituals of Hindu mythology have much to say about gender relationships. Taken symbolically, they reveal many more things about humanity and nature. Which is the correct reading?

About the Author: Devdutt Pattanaik is a doctor who worked in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry for many years. Throughout his life, he has also been deeply interested in Hindu mythology, the epics, Puranas and the many legends and divine tales. after almost fifteen years in the healthcare industry, he switched his career and started writing about Hindu mythology and using the Hindu scriptures to teach lessons in business management. His books include Myth=Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology, The Pregnant King, The 7 Secret Series, Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata, An Identity Card for Krishna,Business Sutra: A Very Indian Approach to Management, Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana and Shikhandi: And Other Tales They Don’t Tell You.

Review: Off late I have been reading so much of thrillers/mysteries that 7 secrets of the Goddess turned out to be one of the unusual books I read. The book is about mythology, highlighting various female gods worshiped by Hindu community with one from Greek mythology.  The book looks like a history textbook and gives the same feeling of educational read than fictional. I liked books which has pictures in it which correlates or helps us to visualize the explanations given. Despite being 300 pages book, I liked the shape and size of it. The book covered the following goddess:

  1. Gaia (a Greek Goddess)
  2. Kali,
  3. Gauri,
  4. Durga,
  5. Lakshmi,
  6. Saraswati and
  7. Vitthai

By reading the book I learned many interesting and informative truth about the goddess, stories behind various practices and rituals that exist today and also gave me a right view point about Women gods in particular and women. I believe this is fourth book of the author but for me I never read Devdutt Pattanaik book’s earlier, first for me.  I liked the fact that lot of research was done for getting the material and it’s presented in a way that is easily consumed by a general reader. The book is full of facts gathered from our past, present which will help us in our future. In 7 Secrets of Goddess, the author has nicely written on topics which are highly misapprehended today or incorrectly answered all the time. Few of my personal questions which have been unreciprocated since years have been answered through this book. We all have seen image of Lord Vishnu, resting on a coil of a serpent. The author tells us how this depiction indicates the stopgap nature of all. The book doesn’t just have one explanation but has many which talks about interesting analysis, goddess, and importance of women, symbols – which our forefathers designed, its meaning, its purpose and its use in our lives. I really liked the book despite it gives me a feeling of school book, but the information in it is of highest order of knowledge. Every page is researched well to unlock the secrets and symbols left by our ancestors for us to understand. If only we understood it, the world would surely be better place for every one of us to live and endure

 This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers.Participate now to get free books!

Fraudster


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Blurb: There are people who will do anything to silence the ones who come in their way, those who will stop at nothing, including murder. A young banker is found dead a day after she deposes before a commission investigating large-scale financial fraud… A doyen of corporate India falls to his death from his south Bombay flat… A high-security server room of a multinational accounting firm is hacked and the hackers aren’t looking for just company secrets… Illicit finance, high-stakes crime and vicious manipulation come together in this story of corruption, greed and treachery among corporate India’s black sheep. Arresting, fast-paced and written by an insider from the corporate world, Fraudster will keep you on your toes till the very end.

About the author: RV Raman has a career spanning three decades and four continents, RV Raman advised several banks, financial institutions and corp orates on various matters. He has now turned to writing fiction set in corporate India, based on his insights and observations. Having moved away from full-time roles, he now teaches business strategy at an IIM, mentors young entrepreneurs, advises select clients and writes. Tired of extensive physical travel around the world, he now prefers less punishing mental excursions into fictional worlds of his own creation. He lives in Chennai. Fraudster is his first corporate thriller.

Review: Immediately after finishing Ravi Subramanian’s God is a Gamer, I read Fraudster and I could not make out who is a better writer – Ravi Subramanian or R V Raman. Both of them have proved to be one of the most genuine thriller writers (English) India has ever produced. Fraudster is a crime thriller that takes place in the corporate circles, a  large scale financial fraud gets exposed and a commission is set up to look into it. Properties valued at 4 or 5 times higher their actual value and loans have been disbursed with these overvalued assets as collateral. One of the bankers, who gets removed in front of the commission is killed after a supposed accident and is followed by suicide of a highly respected man of Corporate India makes for a fast paced story. The author’s background in finance has helped him in terms of being authentic and in general one does not need to have any in-depth knowledge of financial terms to be able to follow the plot. It makes for a very absorbing reading, and certainly not disappointing. For me Fraudster turned out to be insight into the voracity, the deceit lurking inside the hallways of Corporate India, highlighting bribery. The plot is tight and realistic. The author has done a praiseworthy job in the characterization of Kamini, the sharp Inspector Ranade, Ashok, mystifying Kunal and courageous Varsha. One can easily relate to each one of them. The scenes, the circumstances are well drawn. One can envisage them as the story steps forward. The book did not give me a feel of being a debut of R V Raman as I could understand the author knows what he is writing about. He knows how to use the characters strengths and weakness in a proper way. He has successfully simplified the story/terms/words in a trouble-free way so that the reader can understand the story effortlessly. A very realistic and appealing mystery that is a must read for all mystery lovers.

God is a Gamer


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Blurb: Aditya runs a gaming company that is struggling to break even. A banker slips off a high rise building, plunging to her death. The finance minister has made some promises that he is finding hard to keep. The LTTE has unleashed terror in America that sends the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai. Enter Varun, part time drug dealer and full time genius. He turns around the gaming company before disaster strikes. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into the shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal transactions—drugs, sex and money. God Is a Gamer culminates in a stunning climax where money means nothing, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

About the author: Ravi Subramanian is a banker by profession and his books are set in the fast paced world of banking, corporate fraud, corporate rivalries, boardroom meeting, espionage and the likes. From ‘If God was a Banker’ to ‘Bankerupt’, Ravi has made quite a name for himself. And now he comes up with the first ever bitcoin thriller.

Review: God is a Gamer is the first book I read written by Ravi Subramanian. After reading this, I will now read his previous works too.  I was super thrilled to receive autographed copy of the book for review. I am a huge fan of thriller genre and it is unstoppable for me to keep down the book till I finish it and the same thing happened with this present book. It took my few hours of day and night to read it. If you love reading thrillers, this book is a must read book and apart from that the usage of simple language and narration of scenes makes it an easy read. The story begins with the introduction of bitcoins, a digital currency introduced by Santoshi Nakamoto, followed by Gillian’s (American politician) murder which gets connected with phishing scandal in New York International Bank. Back in New York International Bank’s branch in Mumbai, the C.E.O gets promoted as a chairperson who dies after slipping from the rooftop of a building in the middle of a party. A small gaming company, owner Aditya Rao turns very famous after a genius called Varun, joins them and turns its fortunes around. The story is a roller coaster ride with many surprises and shocks. In the end, the identity of Santoshi Nakamoto gets revealed, but there remains suspense regarding the mastermind behind it and reasons of the mastermind. I liked the cover of the book. There were no printing errors or spelling mistakes. The story flows easily from America to India, it doesn’t confuse the reader. Book is entertaining but has factual errors about the 2 factor authentication used in online fund transfer and Samsung being a Korean company not Japanese as mentioned. For first time readers, please read the other novels by Ravi to understand his writings better. This book doesn’t let you keep it aside unless you get to know what happens later and you finish totally. Present story focuses on cyber crime and banking which has now become a matter of great concern all over the world. The novel is a thriller for the new generation and a book with loads of information on the good and bad sides of electronic media and plastic money to the older generation of readers. All the best part of this novel is only towards the end of the pages. The primary builds up and suspense might get tiresome but it all becomes worthwhile once the explanation assembly begins. Please do not read the last pages as that’s where all the fun is determined. Wish the book could have been extra edited to rationalize the plot at convinced places but I think the author planned the disorder so that patient readers would get through all the pages to find the real delight of the story.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers.Participate now to get free books!

A healthy child makes a happy home


I am sure everyone must have seen the advertisement in the TV of a leading antiseptic soap; child does not have to wash his hands with a disinfectant in order to secure healthy life. Viruses keep on developing newer and newer strains to counter disinfectants, no soap or medicines can keep them away from attacking children. Often medication tends to reduce immunity, the more you medicate the child, the more likely he/she is to fall sick again, and with the result that he will require further medication. a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grain wheat, beans, legumes, are rich in anti-oxidants and are excellent for increasing child’s immunity. It is our responsibility to give our children a strong foundation through breastfeeding, great nutrition, a lively, healthy family life, and a mostly non-toxic environment. Today more and more parents are realizing that the key to a healthy child is a strong immune system. All children are constantly exposed to bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites but this doesn’t mean they will get sick. A strong immune system provides a child with the natural defences to fight off diseases.

Love and attention boosts immunity in children. Children who grow up in a loving environment feel more secure and happy. If a child is not happy and healthy, that home cannot be happy too.  Make sure to share a hug, nurse, touch and kiss your children. Laughter and positive strengthens immunity. The more children laugh and enjoy life, the better their immune function. Stressful situations and unhappiness deplete the immune system and lower a child’s resistance to disease. Create a stable home environment with daily routines. Eating meals together is extremely important to help your child to feel secure, safe and part of the family. Go for walks in the parks where the child run, jump and climb. Allow them to run barefoot on the grass. Nature is an excellent immune stimulator and being exposed in a happy, healthy way does wonders to all aspects of child’s life.

I am the 80’s child, who despite having a healthy childhood often fell sick. I was brought up on an incredibly healthy diet: no sugar till I was 1, breastfed for 2years, diet of vegetables, no MSG, no additives. My mother used mostly the well tried home remedies as first aid whenever I fell sick.  I took daily supplements of vitamins. I had an outdoor lifestyle; I grew up playing a lot, climbing trees, jumping terraces and cycling. I danced twice a week, drank plenty of water. As healthy as my lifestyle seemed, I contracted mumps, cough, tonsillitis, and chickenpox. I’m glad my parents gave me and my brother gave us such a great diet, but it just didn’t stop me getting childhood illnesses. When the 90’s began and education and activities took more on both of us (my brother and myself), we were introduced to Chyawanprash an ayurvedic dietary supplement mixture of herbs infused with amla fruit and sesame oil. With regular intake of Chyawanprash, I was kept away from many diseases such as breathing, digestive, skin, blood pressure problems. Not just this but Chyawanprash with its antiviral and antibacterial qualities increased my immune system alleviating respiratory disorders. Chyawanprash is very safe and people of all ages can take it for promoting health, wellbeing and longevity. Children as young as three years old can take it, wish when I was a kid I had started taking it. It is also advisable to have lifestyle changes in your daily life to get the best benefits of chyawanprash.

 This post is a part of Happy Hours activity by Indiblogger in connection with Dabur chyawanprash.

Link: https://www.liveveda.com/daburchyawanprash/.

Random Lists


So I am bored, a bit free and with a desire to write. This led me to create 4 lists about myself.

1. Five Bad Things about myself

  • I hold grudges. I do not forgive easily. I just plain don’t like some people
  • I only have 1 good friend that I tell everything to
  • I get too nervous about little things
  • I don’t open up as much as I think I do
  • I have the worst acne in the world!

2. Five Good Things about myself

  • Capacity to be genuinely happy
  • Open mindedness
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Positivity towards life
  • Passion and Enthusiasm

3. Five things I would do even if I am not paid for it – ever

  • Read, Explore and Understand things to expand my knowledge about the world and beyond
  • Try to spread knowledge by writing
  • Dance
  • Create something new, something beautiful, something artistic
  • Do something I believe is for greater good or should have been done and no one else is willing to do it!

4. Five things I would NEVER do even if I were being paid a million bucks for it – ever

  • Become a man
  • Hurt someone physically
  • Hurt myself physically
  • Forgive some people who have hurt me a lot emotionally
  • Turn vegetarian

Entrepreneurs/Ship


I often wonder and am astonished to realize that the word ‘entrepreneur’ in this day and age has come to mean very narrowly, as a person who is starting a new business/corporation primarily in technology or industry. Aren’t scientists, doctors, chemists, artists, explorers are all entrepreneurs. They may/may not be coming up with novel ideas of money but what they are essentially doing is – taking risk and owning up the consequences for creating something better than what exists today, which according to me is the true spirit of entrepreneurship. This thought because I am doing my Doctorate in Management Science and my thesis topic is Entrepreneurship.