Monday, 15 July 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

I Keep Thinking I’m You by Thomas George Santhinagar (Book Review: 1.5*/5) !!!

1777th BLOG POST -->>

I am always skeptic before picking a collection of short stories or a book by an author I have never heard about. This time I picked up a book which had both these factors named “I Keep Thinking I’m You” written by Thomas George Santhinagar. The book is around 125 pages and published by Rupa Publications. The book is based on the concept of all the following keywords I am going to write next:- black humour, irony, satire, sarcasm, spirituality, allegory etc. The book is a collection of 22 short stories which tries doing justice to the blurb of the book.

I won’t say that all the stories are fascinating or mind-boggling but some of them surely are. What I found special was which I have never read in my reading experience is how Jesus is being used as a concept in some of the stories. It was very new for me. Some stories definitely have those black humour, satire and irony elements in them which makes you smile cunningly at the portrayal of few characters associated with it which makes the chapters interesting. Few chapters are kept emotional which also connect with you in terms of story but not in terms of deep emotions that it wants to touch you with.

I would like to mention few stories out here- The main chapter which is titled same as book is the story on relationship between grandpa-grandson and how a shadow brings change in his parents is the best read in the book. In another story, how fire keeps on disturbing a soul is narrated and its quite chilling to read its climax. The story of Rachel on how she is controlled by a Satan gives good insight on this concept. The chapter named “Robbery” is quite entertaining as it has a touch of Robinhood in its concept. Mesmeric Advertisement- is a nice satirical comment on the modern society. Bindi is one amazing chapter with emotional touch to it. “Quite Near, Yet Quite Far” is the best write-up by the author and with a thrilling ending does justice to the story in the climax. Choosing “Under a Vow” as the closing chapter of the book is a nice decision.

Author has used simple and easy language with good vocabulary to narrate his stories but I would say, many of these stories are not understandable and I couldn’t understand the thought process behind those chapters. Similarly, few chapters are so nicely written but their climax is so cold that you don’t connect with the author. The spiritual chapters doesn’t feel like its genre at all. The biggest problem with this book is that it could not connect with you. May be because author has chosen the concepts which are not so regular with us hence we are unable to comprehend what it being tried to be spoken but overall, the book is very under whelming and confusing at times. I will give this book 1.5 stars out of 5 only.



Friday, 12 July 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Movie Review: Mard ko Dard Nahi Hota: Funny but not great! **

1776th BLOG POST -->>

I remember watching an interview of Radhika Madan and had thought I would never watch her movie because I found her being too bubbly for no reasons. But when I heard about the movie, Mard ko dard nahi hota, from so many people on social media I thought of watching it on the digital platform. Surprisingly, the movie is also the 1st movie for Bhagyasree’s son, Abhimanyu Dassani. The movie has a feel of Hollywood flick, Deadpool, throughout as it carries the same logic where the protagonist of the movie does stuffs by thinking aloud and regularly sharing with you rather than being as if he is meant to do all these superlative stunts.

The story is about this boy who has a disease where he can’t feel physical pain. With this his childhood is portrayed in most of the first half of the movie. It is very interesting to watch those segments as the chemistry of him with his father and grandfather is amazing. His father wants him to behave normal whereas his grandfather wants him to behave special and do things he feels like doing. He watches a lot of movie in his childhood and becomes fan of Mani (played by Gulshan Devaiah) who his specialist in martial arts. Growing up, he sees dream of becoming one like him and as soon as he gets chance, mostly in the 2nd half of the movie, he does too many things in some of which he wins whereas in some of which he falls flat and gets himself and his childhood crush, Supri along with his grandfather (played by Mahesh Manjrekar) trapped.

Frankly speaking, there is not much in the plot of the movie but basically thrives and survives on the references it regularly gives of other classical movies and those thinking-aloud slow-motion stunts and action segments of the protagonist. These scenes are even a tribute to those movies but also a sarcasm and parody of those cliché storylines. I felt that the movie is too ambitious because of which writer /director- Vasan Bala has ended up delivering a not-so-very-good edited movie. There are many segments which are unnecessary and mainly just after interval, you actually start getting bored. Talking about performances, everyone has done well but no one except Radhika Madan and Gulshan Devaiah could enter my heart.

I also believe that a very powerful storyline with a great purpose to the theme could have turned fortunes for this movie but alas, except critics, it is sure that audiences didn’t love it as much as makers and critics must have wanted. Even the concept of not feeling pain is not encashed properly. The climax is amazing and makes you smile while getting out of the movie but doesn’t stay with you for a long time. Overall, I found this movie bit below average and I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted. I give this one 2* out of 5.



Thursday, 11 July 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Shine Bright by Rashmi Bansal (Book Review- 4.75*/5) !!!

1775th BLOG POST -->>

There are few authors who are not writing books just for the sake of their interest or earning royalty but their will to spread motivation and leadership among the old and new generations is something which is doing a very great job for the nation and the world. These authors are equivalent to renowned teachers. One such author whose books I always look forward is Rashmi Bansal since I read her first one- Stay Hungry Stay Foolish. I am just done reading her latest release named “Shine Bright” published by Westland Publishers. The cover page of the book is very distinct as even though the title of the book contains words like “Shine” and “Bright”, the theme of the cover page is dark black with a shining diamond in between.

The book is not about the entrepreneurs who are leading a start-up or a Corporate brand, generally, about whom Rashmi writes, but, about intrapreneurs- the one who is an employee by designation but a CEO by the stature of the work they have done for their organization. I liked this concept and with the stories that Rashmi has selected for the book to share with us are different from each other and inspires you like anything. I, being in the managerial side of things in my organization, could feel how I can change the world around me without considering that it’s my CEO, Director or MD’s job.

The book is divided into three different segments with story of two-three intrapreneurs in each segment:- Srishti- stories where the intrapreneurs are such that they are no less than co-Creators, Drishti- where the Organization was old and stable and then comes an intrapreneur who show the people how the change and transform can be brought and the last segment, Sewa- the intrapreneurs from Governmental departments where bringing any kind of change individually is considered impossible.

I liked the kind of personalities that Rashmi Bansal has considered in the book known-unknown but belonging to leading Corporates/Organizations who discovered their own potential with time and did something which led to the Introduction of new product/vertical in the company or in a case or two- launch of a new company in the country itself. I will talk about the personalities who motivated me through this book- Pawan Goenka- how he with multiple challenges including his cancer-stricken wife ended up giving Mahindra Auto a success like Scorpio, even the small piece on how his wife, Mamta Goenka, fought against cancer is mind-blowing; Manu Jain- how he from being an Entrepreneur shifted to being an intrapreneur in a company which didn’t even have an imprint in India and now, Xiaomi, is leading Smartphone sales in India; Vineet Gautam- how he kept on changing his jobs and interests to finally landing up in a space through which his brands are our favorites now- Vero Moda, Jacks & Jones etc.; the formula of A>>R defined by Nitin Paranjpe through which he was able to open 5,00,000 outlets of HUL within an year when the organization generally did 10-15,000 per year. His service to Taj staff post 26/11 is another great piece in the book; Chitra Gupta- The last chapter is about her and what a way to end the book- so emotional and inspiring, how she being just a normal teacher ended up being some phenomena is- well, I am speechless now.

Rashmi Bansal uses very easy language to narrate these stories to us. I liked how she keeps the format static for all the stories. Her writing style is quite perfect for biographies and even through these small stories of 40-50 pages on each personality, she manages to engage her readers. Her narration is so perfect that it feels we are listening to a fiction story and sometimes it’s only in the end when you realize this was a true account. I liked the words directly from these personalities’ mouth in the end of each short biography. It was great knowing their advice to the young managers like me.

Now talking about the drawback, yes, the book has One- author has talked majorly about the work done by these personalities and not how these personalities prepared for it, their schedule or what they believe in etc. Major part in the book goes in explaining the success of the brand that they worked for rather than the small stuffs that we like reading about these personalities. Except this one thing, the book is a masterpiece and something that needs to be read about everyone getting into the world of job and corporate and who are already working and believe that nothing can be changed until Top Management asks for. I give this book 4.75* out of 5. Yes, indeed recommended!