5 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

A Second Chance by Sudeep Nagarkar (Book Review: 3*/5) !!!

1862nd BLOG POST

24th Book of 2020!

When I had started reading books a decade back, I always loved reading the debutante Indian writers. I don’t know why but I felt that these authors wrote with heart – then and even now. And mostly, all the books I read during those days were love stories and it continued for next 4-5 years after which the next set of writers that came up with their 1st book were on different topics such as mythology, historical fiction or quite in-depth emotions. But there is a kind of emotion which got developed with the first few writers I read and Sudeep Nagarkar is one of them. I had read his 1st book and saw him developing as a Bestselling author with 12 book titles under his name. I have just completed reading his latest release which is his 13th book named “A Second Chance” released just yesterday itself.

The book speaks about the protagonist – Disha majorly who is a girl suffering through mental issues right from her childhood due to her parent’s disturbed relationship, their treatment with her, her bad luck at school etc. She has only thing constant in her life that is her friend – Kajal. Finally, she falls in love with a classmate which just makes her life more miserable and few things happen here and there (not disclosing to avoid spoilers) and she is being made to go through the process of Arranged Marriage. The book starts with her concern regarding Arranged Marriage with which I could relate so much. I believe Sudeep set the right segment to initiate the book with as it talks about the trauma and dilemma every young boy and girl has to go through because of the confusions and panic they have regarding setting up with a stranger for rest of their lives.

The narration of the book is simple and written in Sudeep Nagarkar’s style itself which he has carried right since his 1st book with which the youth and his readers connects with him. This is a book which talks mostly about the school and college-days romance where you might not find something great happening but in the 2nd half of the book when the story moves further and the dilemma of marriage begins is where the characterization of Disha is utilized nicely. I liked how Sudeep has taken the story post-marriage and this is where I found him speaking his thoughts regarding how ideal a married life should be in today’s time. The role of in-laws, how a husband should treat his wife on the first night, how the relationship is grown gradually day-by-day and how there shouldn’t be any secrets between the two in order to keep the bond pure and lively. This is a topic which deserves to be spoken to the new generation.

Rather than being directly preachy, Sudeep has tried to speak things in the thoughts that Disha writes or thinks in the italic font throughout the book. Also, the pre-climax and climax has a proper ending rather than keeping anything open or purposefully sad in order to get empathy from readers for the character who loses out. The characterizations of Raghav, Kajal, Dhruv, his parents and Disha’s parents are also done nicely and you can relate with them. The nice edit of the book as it has been summed up in within 225 pages is another great factor which makes this book a light and short read.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book- I feel that the story could have had more layers and it should have involved more sub-plots and intense conversations – currently, I found it to be quite simple considering that few of Sudeep’s previous books had great layers hence there were certain expectations. The way the book starts- I felt I shall be made familiar with many such youth traumas, but I could not find much after that. There are still few clich├ęs that has been used in defining the emotion of love which I believe could have been narrated in more deepening manner. The character of Kajal should have been used more and involved with the main story. I found the narration to be old-school and was wondering why the author did not write it little more aggressive discussing lot of things youth indulges in these days.

Overall, this is a nice attempt considering the target audience of Sudeep Nagarkar as this story speaks of strengthening the bond of marriage and relationship whereas the new generation these days does not believe in the institution of marriage. This is something for which I would like to appreciate Sudeep’s intention as this shall surely change views of some of the readers at least. I give the book 3 stars out of 5.



4 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

My experience of following Shrawan Month rituals for the very 1st time...

1861st BLOG POST

Yesterday, the month of Shrawan ended for all of us who follow the Hindu calendar as per Purnima. The folks who follow Amawasya calendar shall be following the religious month of Saawan until 19th August, 2020. The month of Shrawan is an auspicious one where all of us pray in complete devotion of Lord Shiva. When it comes to Lord Shiva – whatever you do for the God is always less hence in the month of Shrawan, we devote ourselves as much as possible in the Lord and pray for his blessings. Lord Shiva is known for his bholapann and forgiving or blessing his devotees. I have always been mesmerized by Lord Shiva’s presence since I saw the idol of the divine in the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur at Uttar Pradesh. I had remembered the idol and its image since childhood and always felt that there is only one God and it is Lord Shiva. It is later when I realized that there are other forms of God too.

Frankly speaking, in the last 30 years, I never followed the month of Shrawan by prohibiting non-vegetarian food and following other small sacrificial activities such as fasting etc. First of all, I always questioned this logic of not eating meat for a month and eating for rest of the 11 months as I believed that God is omnipresent in each and every moment – either it’s a day/month of festival or not. Also there has been another reason that in case you even take the pledge of following the prohibitions and sacrifices but as soon as your friends start enjoying their life who aren’t following the month, you end up breaking your promise with God as you get compromised by their endless requests immediately. According to me, this is a bigger sin than not following at all. Being unaware is okay but being aware and still committing the sin isn’t.

This year as we are working from home, I knew that any such negative energies are away from me so let’s try it out as I am anyway trying to follow as much religious practices as possible since the lockdown began in March 2020. And I am liking the process of learning my religion and following it to the best of my capacity. There is an altogether different feel to it. The temple at home has never given me the kind of feeling as it has given me in last 4-5 months. There have been times when I have ended up crying and weeping while praying to God or reading some mantra or shloka. Such has been the devotion which I hardly remember if I have ever experienced the same. Things with life has not been great in this phase but still – the belief in God stays intact. Now I realize that nothing is in my hands or my parents/friends but the almighty. Hence, the most we can do is to pray and ask him to give us the life which is best for us.

I had abstained myself from eating non-veg, eggs and drinking milk in Shrawan. In this month itself, I also did religious proceedings needed for the festivals and occasions such as Nag Panchami, Raksha Bandhan, Guru Purnima and others. I also fasted on the five Saawan Somwaars (Monday) as it is been done as the day is associated with Lord Shiva. The kind of poojas that I have performed on these Mondays have made me feel so special. I have also read Shiv Chalisa twice- morning and evening – throughout the month. Before this, I never did any kind of rituals or prayed Shiv Linga but this is the first time I learnt about it and performed it on every Monday in this month. I offered water on Shiv Linga daily though. Along with this, there were two Ekadashis that had come in this month- namely, Kamika Ekadashi and Putrada Ekadashi – on which I fasted for both the auspicious days dedicated to Lord Vishnu. I never knew about Mahamrityunjay Mantra but now, I remember it by heart and chant it every time I am aware about my presence and the moment.

Doing all of this makes you realize that you are in hands of a power beyond us and our understanding. I understood that life happens the way it has all been planned by God. I also realized that your scripted life is re-written as per your practices, Karma and Dharma that you are following. In case you are still suffering a lot, may be God is punishing you for some of your past sins. It is still good as that account of yours is getting closed. Once you are being tested by God in such difficult circumstances and you stay as truthful to your Dharma even then, you become one of the favorite devotees of God and great and magical things start happening with you. It is all about beliefs. Now, something has happened internally which makes me believe in everything I read about our God. Earlier, I used to question each and everything. Today, now, when I realize that Shravan has ended, it seems as if I am missing something and I wish if the days continued. But now I am waiting for next auspicious occasion as the next 4-5 months are all going to be festive, so we have multiple opportunities to be as close to God as possible.

I just wished to share my feelings I had after following the rituals of the month dedicated for Lord Shiva and wrote as it came in my heart. Hope my feelings were clear to everyone who read it. I request everyone to not be proud of being an atheist. Have some belief as per your gut feeling but please believe in a power above you.



3 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

5 Years of Work Experience.. Does Professionalism means Being Formal?

1860th BLOG POST

Today, I complete 5 years of work experience. When someone says, time just passes by, we generally don’t understand until we feel the same emotions. Something similar is going within me when I realize that it has been almost half a decade since I started my career in IT. It seems that I am yet not established but to say - 5 years have gone by. Working has always been a fright in college days whenever any professor used to make us realize that all this fun shall disappear once the companies shall start coming up for placements or we shall be out for trying our luck.

Luckily, for me, the experience of getting my first job was not that difficult. The first interview call that I received after completing my Post-Graduation was the company that ended up giving me Offer Letter with which I continued until this year. I have also ended up having my first company switch in my 5th year. I have always believed that when you are a part of an organization, I understand that the primary job is always to earn and save money but it is also about the bond that you share with your employer. If you start leaving organizations just after you have learnt things, it is quite a selfish motive. I believe in learning within an organization, growing our skills and then giving back to the organization with our special skills and tact. Until and unless, it is not two-way process, working in any organization doesn’t feel like family.

I agree that organizations are selfish when it comes to laying off etc. but that is not what happens always with us. So let’s not work with a negative mindset. Let’s take things positively and contribute as much as possible. Make something that stays with the organization even after you leave. Your tenure should end but your legacy should stay. Innovate processes. Create useful documents. Establish great team leaders. Build great relationships. Serve your clients and customers as much as possible. Our actions should stay as determined as possible. We shouldn’t wait for any kind of credit or acknowledgement to come in our way. If it comes, its great. If it doesn’t, we shouldn’t worry because we should be assured that whatever we have contributed shall bear its fruits today or after we are gone – but it shall surely benefit people whom you worked with.

I have been lucky to have a great people with me in my first organization who didn’t thrash me when I did mistakes but always pulled me up and asked me to try again and complete the job myself. This also gave me courage to change my profile and come to a better place where my heart was/is. Like always, people helped me tremendously during this movement and the support that was provided shall always stay special to me.

Recently, when I thought of changing my job and I started giving interviews during this phase of Covid pandemic, the way HR and all the respective people who took my interview were so polite to me as they were aware about my tough decision taken during a situation when market is down and there aren’t much jobs in the market. All such compassion shows that when its about professional world, we need not be too formal – if we take things to human level, there can be relationships developed even right from the first call. There were certain issues in my process for which my current company and other companies who were in talks were helping me with which says a lot about how you can also have personal talks with the professional contacts in your first call itself.

I can only say that I have had beautiful experiences in these first 5 years of Work Experience – joining a company as a Fresher – taking responsibilities of something out of my profile and skill sets – developing great relationships with everyone- my seniors, peers and juniors – having spiritual talks with the entrepreneur of the organization – discussing personal issues with the Director of the company – changing my profile – leaving the job during tough times – being jobless for a month – my first few appraisals and promotions – switching the job – having multiple rounds of interview – accepting an offer letter out of many organizations etc. I wish the next 30 years of my work experience – in case I end up being an employee itself and do not initiate anything of my own – gives me many such experience and relationship which shall keep developing my personality each and every day.

May God Bless Me!