30 June 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

Yuvi by Makarand Waingankar (Book Review)!!!

881st BLOG POST -->>

   Yuvraj Singh's cancer experience made him write a book "The Test of My Life" which was published by Random House India in the first quarter of this year. The book was loved by everyone. Not only Yuvraj Singh's fans but almost everyone who wanted to know how a beloved Cricketer of the nation recovered from Cancer. The result is that the book ended up being At No. 1 in the Bestseller list for almost 2 weeks. It isn't consistent but the sale are constant. After reading this book, I never thought that I would be needing any other book to know Yuvraj's life that I am unaware of as the book covered almost everything. But recently, reading "Yuvi", a 143-pages biography written by Makarand Waingankar, a man who is mainly known as the person behind bringing Dhoni and Raina in International Cricket, made me realize that only a person who has seen someone can write everything in a real blunt way without caring about what the person and his family would feel. It surprised me more because the way Mr. Makarand has talked about Yograj Singh even after being his friend for decades is something not many would dare.

About the Author
Makarand Waingankar is one of India’s most widely read cricket columnists, best known for blending meticulous research with his own experience of a life lived on the cricket fields of India. Journalist, columnist, researcher, talent-spotter and administrator, he wears a multitude of hats, each of which fits snugly on his head. He launched the Talent Resource Development Wing (TRDW) on behalf of the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) in 2002 and the TRDW has since been responsible for taking many small-town players to the national stage, including current India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In fact, seven such players were part of the 2011 World Cup winning team. Makarand has also been CEO of Baroda Cricket Association and Consultant to Karnataka State Cricket Association’s academy.

Synopsis of the Book
No Indian player has captured the imagination of cricket- lovers in the way that Yuvraj Singh has over the past decade. Fiery batsman, deceptive bowler, flat-out fielder, Yuvraj has been in the news for his remarkable skills with bat and ball, his glamorous lifestyle off the ground and, more recently, for his courageous battle against a life-threatening illness.

In this first-ever account of its kind, veteran cricket administrator and coach Makarand Waingankar, who has known Yuvraj practically since the day he was born, recalls the rise of the young cricketer, his early years, the tremendous highs and depressing lows in his tumultuous career.

With inputs from Yuvrajs parents, his friends, peers and senior players, and written with a rare insight and affection for his subject, this is an eminently readable account of a young cricketers life, from the earliest days to his triumphant crowning as the World Cup champion in 2011.

         Coming to the review, I met Mr. Makarand Waingankar 2 weeks ago. It was a nice 15 minutes chat with him. I thanked him for giving us Dhoni and Raina while he joked to launch me if I am also an aspiring Cricketer. He was a very generous person. He never made me feel that I was just a commoner who came there to experience him. Until then I didn't know that he is also a writer. Only before meeting him, I came to know that he has written a biography on Yuvraj Singh as he got an offer for doing the same. I kept thinking as to why would he write a biography on Yuvi when he has launched some other Cricketers. But I came to know that he is with his father since he wasn't even a Cricketer. Hence he knows all the details behind Yuvraj's rising as a Cricketer who can never be forgotten easily by his fans and Cricket lovers.
        The author has been very blunt while speaking about Yuvraj's failure in Test Cricket. He said it very clear that Yuvraj has not been very serious about his Cricket as he should have been. I also liked his bluntness when he said that Dhoni always preferred Raina even when he wanted Yuvraj in his team. It is not easy to remark a Captain of the country so gustily. And it's more tough when you have launched the same person in the game. The other part which I loved was when the author tells how Yuvraj used to admire Ganguly as a Captain and how even Ganguly liked him very much. But the situation kept demanding Yuvraj's entry in the squad only when Ganguly used to get eliminate from the team due to injury or other reasons. That's something which seems to be so difficult for the 2 persons who love each other but their survival depends on the elimination of the other. 

             This book is more about the treatment that Yograj's father did with Yuvraj while training him for Cricket and the victim that Yuvraj Singh was. Yograj Singh's chapter is the best part about the book. After reading that, one will think that Yograj Singh wasn't that evil and bad as we know he is. But yes, he was and even after reading The Test Of My Life, I had decided that I would never be a strict father to my son. But what made me feel bad was Yuvraj Singh's behavior with his father. What I also didn't like was Shabnam Singh, Yuvraj's mother's hand in increasing the distance between father-son. Hey, sorry. This " I didn't like" parts is about Yuvraj's life and not about the book. Uff!!! The job of reviewing book isn't easy. :-) Even the climax, the way last 4 paragraphs are written will want you to hug the author immediately. :-)

            What I didn't like is- No discussion about Yuvi's relation with his brother, his friends and other teammates. I am happy that author didn't tell about his matches and performances and mainly discussed his personal life but still, there was lot that could have been covered. All the controversies, his girlfriends, his confessions in press conferences etc. I also didn't like the statistics that are presented in the end of the book. That could have been much much better than the way it has been written- in a quite simplistic manner. In all, I would say that if you are reading this, also read The Test Of My Life written by Yuvraj, and vice-versa. Only then you will enjoy reading Yuvraj Singh's life. I would give this biography- 3.5/5

28 June 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

Sachin Born to Bat by Khalid A-H Ansari/Clayton Murzello (Book Review)!!!

880th BLOG POST -->>

   Whenever it comes to Sachin Tendulkar, we are ready to read whatever is been written about him. If its appreciation, we get flowed into it but if it turns out to be criticism, we resolute that we are not going to touch the respective newspaper ever in life as its too negative to handle. Some people define him God while some call him a selfish player. Some says that his centuries has made India win matches while others say that his centuries have cost India matches. Different people have different perspective. There are more than 100 books written on Sachin Tendulkar. I wished to own at least 5 of them. I have 2 of them with me currently. One has been read today- "SACHIN BORN TO BAT" which also has the tagline "The Journey of Cricket's Ultimate Centurion". It's written by Khalid A-H Ansari and edited by Clayton Murzello. Both of these man does not need any introduction but as my job is to review books with my best abilities, here it is -->>

About the Authors

Until his recent retirement, Padma Shri Khalid A-H Ansari was the guiding force of MiD DAY Infomedia Ltd which publishes the newspaper (in two languages from Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Pune), the Inquilab Daily and other publications.

He was publisher of the magazine Sportsweek, which he started in 1968 to champion the cause of Indian sport and sportsmen until 1989, when he took up an assignment abroad. The author of three earlier books, he covered the Kargil war in 1999, the NAM conference in Harare and the CHOGM summit in the Bahamas. He was also a member of the Indian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in 1989 and published the Earth Times, the official paper for the 1994 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. He has the distinction of having covered nine Olympic Games going back to Munich '72 and is a recipient of several honours and awards.

Clayton Murzello is MiD DAY's Group Sports Editor and has been a journalist since 1988. He is a recipient of two Sports Journalists Federation of India (SJFI) awards for excellence in journalism. He has co-authored a book on cricket anecdotes with former Test cricketer Sandeep Patil.

About the Book
Sachin: Born to Bat by veteran journalist Khalid A-H Ansari and edited by Clayton Murzello is a unique ode to contemporary cricket’s finest batsman.

In the words of the author: “This is an attempt to impartially probe the crucial mental, physical and emotional ingredients of a cricketing ‘god’. I have tried to turn the laser on the maestro’s persona - innumerable blemishes and all - to prevent the book from degenerating into a shabaash, wah-wah hagiography. For all his splendiferous achievements, Sachin has also shown that he is a mere mortal with feet of clay - witness his run-ins with authority, cricketing and civil”.

Despatches to MiD DAY, one of Asia’s leading newspapers, from some of the world’s most famous names in cricket writing - Ayaz Memon, Harsha Bhogle, Ian Chappell, Mike Coward, Peter Roebuck and other luminaries - grace the pages of this book.

Tributes from cricket’s most famous personalities including Tendulkar’s Team India teammates and coaches make this publication invaluable in helping cricket enthusiasts understand what makes Sachin the peerless champion he is.

The book also captures critical moments of Tendulkar’s wondrous cricketing career from photographers who have followed him throughout his distinguished career.


          Coming to the book, I would say that what attracted me most about the book was the marketing stunt "The Introduction written by no one other than Sachin Tendulkar himself". I always wanted to read his biography but only the one which he launched himself or wrote in it. A friend of mine informed me last night that he is writing one with a prominent personality. But till then, this book is what I would cherish as a very good experience. All the articles that are included in this book are ordered according to the years when they were written and thus, it gives us what Sachin Tendulkar was being considered by media/journalist at that point of time. The mentions of some of his great centuries in the articles and how they were scored made me realize how much I missed being a non-Cricket fan till 2008. :-( 

            I would like to mention some of my favorite articles out of all that are being included in the book- Sachincredible is the best start that could have been given to this masterpiece. "Marvelous at Manchester" by Harsha Bhogle is another good account of his 1st Test 100. Clayton Murzello's interview and take on Sachin's captaincy is straightforward. The article written by Sourav Ganguly congratulating him for his 100th Test match is wonderful and he says this is 2002 itself,"I will really be surprised if he does not score 100 International Hundreds". Anjali Tendulkar's interview in 2003 is again a sweet contribution in this book. Sachin's interview in 2005 about his injuries is another inspiration piece. Ian Chappell's chapter on Gavaskar and Tendulkar's comparison and similarity is another interesting read. Ian's another article after 2007 WC boiled my blood even today. Idiot. Huh!

            "Act of Will" in Sydnet by Peter Roebuck, I think, is the best among all. Mike Coward's piece is an emotional one but it made me laugh when I saw its date because he was speculating Sachin's retirement from Test Cricket in 2008. Haha! "It's Chennai Yet Again" by Clayton Murzello is an amazing contemporary write-up. My 20 Greatest moments mentioned by Sachin Tendulkar is so lively. Also the interview with Clayton Murzello after 200* is lovely enough to fall in love with it. :-) The way book started getting lighter in the end is a good idea. The Epilogue by Khalid A-H Ansari could have been better. The cover page, I think, should have been better. There are other books on Sachin with better cover page. But the pictures of Sachin within the book is something that you won't find in every book. For that, paying Rs. 450 to get this book is a good investment. In all, I would say 4/5 and a very good book. Do get it if you love Sachin Tendulkar. :-) 

27 June 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

ForGetting the Unforgettable by Abhishek Agrawal (Book Review)!!!

879th BLOG POST -->>

I remember when a long time ago, I read "Sorry for loving you" by Abhishek Agrawal. That was his debut novel. It was quite lengthy and after reading the whole book with lots of concentration and dedication, I felt as if I read a book written by some kid. I gave it 1/5. Whenever I rate a debutante book, I hesitate when the review is bad. But I do because I want the debutante to decide whether he wants to continue writing books or leave it for his own good. After reading this 200-pages book "Forgetting the Unforgettable" by Abhishek Agrawal, his 2nd book, I am seriously very happy to see the improvement in his writing. Though his first book did well and was the first to get the National Bestseller tag for its Publisher but I wasn't satisfied as I found it poor. After reading this, I can understand the amount of improvement the author has worked upon. He seems to be a totally new person. 

This is a heart rending story of the two passionate lovers who sacrificed everything just to lead the life in each others arms forever but their normal life got trapped into topsyturvy leaving the protagonist into an indefinite waiting for his lost love.

Always in your arms I will reside, always with you I want to precis

The story unfolds with a letter which is the only left out treasure of the memory of his beloved who is lost somewhere unknown to him and ends up with the same situation where it begins from.

A Letter which was full of emotions.....
A Letter which was as deep as ocean....
A Letter that strengthen his belief...
A Letter that gave him a reason to live...
A Letter which he used to read daily when he had nothing to share....
A Letter that was his companion when she was not there

Their love and their dream of staying together brought them to Mumbai on the deliberate pretex of their higher studies, but the cruel hands of the fate did not spare even these two innocent souls.

The fate engineers the conspiracy in such a way as she suddenly disappears leaving none to know her whereabouts and he keeps on waiting throughout the life for the day when the death would embrace him or he would embrace his long awaited love either.

Can anyone love someone so madly that he lives his entire life with just A Letter?

About the Author
Abhishek Agrawal started writing from 2010 and his debut Novel Sorry...For Loving You, was Published in 2011 which became the National Bestseller in its maiden year.

As being in the age of his 20 years he was honoured by the Jewel of Agrawal Samaj, for giving his extraordinary performance in the field of writing. He always dreams enormous & has the zeal of concurring the entire era with his words. He wants to share some more stories through his upcoming novels. His aim is to give a message to the society through his Novels. 

         Coming to the review once again, this book is about how one falls in pure love and respects it with his/her pure heart. When love is a two-sided affair, how beautiful it is, is clearly described in each and every sentence written by the author. The italic paragraphs are something for which I would recommend this book for all of you. Though this love story is as simple as other love stories that are being written by Indian authors these days but still this book is quite different because of the treatment that author has done with the word "Love". There's not a single love making scene or a moment describing a sensuous kiss. It's all about the feelings both the protagonists have for each other.

          I liked the way Mumbai is described in the first few pages and later on, when the couple shifts to Mumbai for their Master's, the description and the way they enjoy the city is the best part of this book. A tragic part with the male protagonist is another beautiful piece that made me cry. Though I felt that the relationship of protagonist with that family member should have been described before bringing a whole twist in the book because of that particular incident in the story. Whenever the conversation part came, I felt that author faced difficulty in structuring the sentences. There are many grammatical mistakes which irritates the reader. Another example of mistake is- Spelling of "quiet" is repeatedly spelled as "quite" throughout the book. Such mistakes are general. Rest I would say, prologue and epilogue are also wonderfully written. The cover page of the book is beautiful. Synopsis on the back cover is exciting. In all, I would give this book 3/5. If you believe in love, this book is for you.



The Faith of Manushya!!! (Fiction Story)

878th BLOG POST -->>

   They were born in some jungle. Out of the egg, they came breaking their respective shells and kissed the earth with their two front legs. Their mother and father came near them, touched their shell, their body and face. They got to know that someone in this world exists to take their care. Suddenly, they found themselves among many of their breeds. All of them were of their age, just born. They started playing together and developed friendship. They loved roaming in the jungle together and eating whatever they could get what came under their diet. Even after they had some 50 in their group, these two who were born together never left each other. When one slept, the other slept. When one roamed, the other roamed. When one ate, the other ate. They were like partners. Incidentally, both of them were of opposite sex too. They didn't have knowledge about it but they were attracted towards each other.

             One day a huge personality came over there who looked like the superior of all the creatures on the planet and took all the 50 of them by sacking them in a bag made up of jute. They were kept in the vehicle. All of them got scared as to where were they being taken but they had no other option than getting hurt by every vibration and jump of the rear wheels of the jeep. All of them were quite silent and sweet hence they didn't decide to attack the person in unity. All of them promised that whenever they'll be set free, they'll stay in pairs so that even if they are separated, they'll find themselves with their favorite partner. These two made sure that they are going to be together. Finally, all of them were kept in a very dark place and occasionally, 2-3 of them used to be picked up from the bag and shown to the superior creatures of the planet. Gradually, two by two, in pairs, all of them were taken away by some superiors who were going to be their owners from now.

            These two were taken in the last by someone who made them suffer the vibration once again in their life; for 2 hours. They were kept in a pink kind of a vessel. Both of them enjoyed this environment as they finally got to see the sky and openness or else they always saw darkness. They enjoyed this owner as he always gave them food on time and made it sure that they are bathing, drinking water and eating food. Whenever he used to feel that they are sick, they were even kept in water dissolved with medicines. After 1.5 years, the male among the two expired. No one came to know about the reason but the owner got shattered. The female never ate food the way she did. She never swam in water she used to. Even when owner kept her in medicinal water, she preferred to keep her mouth above the water level. She wanted to tell the owner that she is lonely and she needs a company. 

             After 2 months she recovered from the pain that she went into after tasting the blood of her partner. Even she wanted to die but the owner was quite adamant and made her eat food time to time. One day, a male was placed in her vessel who wasn't as beautiful as her previous partner but seemed to be more active, aggressive and energetic than him. In the first two minutes itself, he scared the shit out of the female and she wanted to be left alone for some time as she didn't want a horny partner as such. The owner understood her plight and kept male in a separate vessel. After this new male who was bought from the same place got a wonderful treatment through perfect diet, open environment, medicinal water etc. He started behaving properly. After two days, while he was sleeping, he was kept in the same vessel as of female's. 

            Female came near him, smelled him from all the four sides and after realizing that he's from the same breed as her, bit him on his legs. He wasn't wild anymore and hence got scared by someone who owned this vessel. He didn't remember how two days ago, he tortured her but now he wanted to come out of the vessel as he knew that female is not going to accept him very soon. Wherever he walked, she followed him. Whatever he ate, she ate before him. But this time, owner didn't do anything. He just kept seeing them. He just didn't want both of them to fight physically. This treatment with the male was obvious as he was new in her premise. Hence the owner and his mother enjoyed this game of the species. But after 12 hours of this running and following, when they got tired, rather than sleeping separately, both of them preferred to sleep together. This indicated that monsoon is the season when these species come together. While they were sleeping together, owner clicked the photo and remembered the male that expired. He just wished and prayed Lord Shiva to bring the female and the male closer as soon as possible and give them a long life unlike the male who left him in a short time. Somewhere in Himalayas, Lord Shiva smiled. :-) 

P.S.: Only the pet-lovers will understand this post. :-)



5 Points To Be Respected in Society!!!

877th BLOG POST -->>

           Whenever it comes to gaining respect in life, people try several things. Some of them go out of their tracks to do something that will make them look different but end up looking horrible and funny while some get successful in their adventure. I have always wanted myself, my parents, my friends, their parents and almost everyone associated to me, directly or indirectly, to be respectful in society. Any time when I see any of them getting disrespected and being made fun of, I feel very sad. I wish that I could do something for them but then I sit back and continue doing my stuffs. Sachin never lost his track to bring Vinod Kambli, his friend on track. Amitabh B didn't lose his position by supporting Amar Singh who was doing wrong at the moment. Hence I think why should I go and keep suggesting my friends to be respectful than doing some funny sorts of thing in life to make fun of themselves; being followers of such personalities. I do issue them free advise for once or twice but I don't have all time in life to suggest them things. But, in my view, there are some basic things which makes us respectful, I would like to discuss them in this post. And yes, they aren't labelled in order.

1. Your Savings: People have a big misconception that the way they spend their money is what makes them popular and respectful in society. They never concentrate on the basic thing that once they'll do this, they'll end up spending so much of their money which could have been saved for the future. What they prefer is to look rich and luxurious among people. But let me tell you all, people respect those who have quite a money in their bank account than the amount of money they spend in their life. The sweeper of my society is respected among the residents because she has 10 lakhs in her bank account that she got after selling her ancestral land. While a family who has 2 cars, a jeep and 2 bikes aren't respected because they are in heavy loans and bank agents keep coming to their house on daily basis. Hence try to save as much as possible than spending. Savings of Rs. 1 can also add up to Rs. 30 at the end of the month which is enough to fill your stomach in extreme hunger and misery. 

2. Your Property: In my society, the people who are on rent are never called upon in the special functions such as marriages, engagements, receptions, anniversaries, birthdays etc because what the flat owners believe is- All these people are here for temporary basis and will leave the society after their agreement of 11 months, so why to waste 1000 rs/plate on their family. Every time a new resident comes, people start inquiring whether he's an owner or is on rental-basis. Once you will come to know that your friend's father has 4 flats, 1 bungalow and 4 plots with 3 shops in different areas, you will start respecting him. Because building a property takes lots of courage and conviction. Not everyone in India has their own flat. But whoever has knows that even in the extreme case of poverty, they will at least have roof over their heads. Hence, save your money as soon as you get job and start investing in properties. And yes, don't count your father's in your account, losers. I'm serious.

3. Your standard of living: Suppose you have lots of money and properties but you don't dress properly, you don't go to good restaurants whenever you go, you don't keep cleanliness at your home etc, people will still reserve themselves from respecting you or thinking highly about you. You yourself tell me- will you prefer to roam around with a rich friend of yours who does not iron his shirt or does not polish his shoes? No. Right? Hence, we should make it sure that even when we are not really rich, we have a good standard of living and etiquette. Even when a classmate of poor background comes and talk to us, in a well-mannered way, and lives properly, we respect him. Isn't it? While the one who is from a middle-class but does not dress/lives properly gets ignored by us. Maintain yourself and your life.

4. Your habits: Here, I am not talking about only those habits that were taught us in schools but it is an overall summation of the virtues we should have in life. If you turn out to be a person who has an abusive mouth, a fighting attitude, argumentative nature, disrespectful accent or you are a liar, thug, fraud, betrayer, criminal, woman-beater etc, people will see you with a very ugly grin even if you are minister of your area or the most powerful person of the society. We have seen several examples in our newspapers from last 7-8 years when we have seen how billionaires have turned out to be fraud and criminals and have lost all the respect they earned in all their lifetime. Hence always make it sure that you aren't involved in some illegal or indecent activity in life. Stay high in regards. And you will see good people approaching you themselves. 

5. Your Friend Circle: Last but the best. Always make it sure that your Friend Circle is awesome. When each and every friend with whom you hang-out, go for trips, sit on weekends are wonderful personalities and capable enough in life, people respect you. It is a powerful fact that every human identifies/knows that a human being always like the company of people like whom he/she wants to be. If I want to be a famous personality, you will find me meeting similar faces. If I want to roam with a girl all around the city, you will find me approaching the couples to be in my community. If I like traveling places, you will find me connecting with those who are regular trekkers and travelers. Hence, always make it sure that not even a single friend of yours is involved in any kind of Cheapiyapa. Because you are going to be judged by the people you even talk with; though its occasional. I have mentioned this point in the end so that this remains in your mind once you log out of Internet and log in the real world. :-)


26 June 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

Romi & Gang by Tushar Raheja (Book Review)!!!

876th BLOG POST -->>

  I remember those days of my come back into reading when I purchased 15 books by Srishti Publication and ended up reading many IITians-turned-authors. Many of them wrote their journey of Engineering in IIT, the best university in India while others wrote love stories, that were unique and quite contemporary. All happened because of Chetan Bhagat's establishment in to the industry. Out of many books, some were really terrific and one of them which I liked a lot was "Anything for you, ma'am". I made many of my friends purchase it too. And all of them thanked me for it. I wanted to read more from the author but I got to know that he changed his genre and wrote something called "Run Romi Run". I was surprised.. No not only because he changed his genre but because no one came to know about his 2nd book in spite of him being a Bestseller with his debut novel itself.

            Finally, I am done reading Tushar Raheja's 3rd book "Romi and Gang". Actually, I am not sure but I, being in this field, have an idea that this isn't his 3rd book but actually, this is his 2nd book itself which is re-released with a new name because the old name and the old marketing thing didn't make the book look a success. A new publication called "Pirates" have re-released his 2nd book "Run Romi Run" with a new name "Romi and Gang". Its a book that's basically would be favorite of children between the age of 8 to 15 as the book is based on Cricket and a passionate boy for it who is himself 13 years old. Though I am reviewing it being a 23 years old boy because only a reviewer can review a book and not a child who's just started reading story books. Agreed? :-) Hence I will be reviewing it considering that the target audience of this book is the age group that I mentioned above. 


Unruly and reckless, thirteen-year-old Romi is the hero of his universe. His great affinity for adventure and the unknown is shared by his gang - the rascal Sukhi, the deadpan Sunny, the naïve Golu and his blood brother, Kim.
When legendary Kim disappears from Mauji, it is left to the four to conquer the maidan with cricket and the world with their wits. Of course, they must prepare for responsibility in between and, one day, go after Kim.
'A piquant tale of chasing your dreams and a reminder that there is some innocence left is everyone. It is a must read for all!' - The Hindu

About the author:-
Tushar's first book was the popular comedy, Anything for you, Ma'am. At the moment, he is a doctoral
candidate at IIT Delhi in the field of Applied Probability.

     Coming to the review, Tushar Raheja has touched a very different genre when compared to what he wrote in his first book. With a new genre, a story that is basically children-based, he has done a pure justice with it. He has kept the purity, innocence and playfulness alive. He has not dragged a childhood love story in that sense being a writer who has written a good love tale in his first book. I still remember the date scene that he wrote, its one of my all-time favorites. :-) But in this book, he has kept Cricket, an unofficial national sport, as the base. That's what we as a teenage kid do most often, right? The Romi and his friend, or better call it "gang", are normal and not someone who go over the board to entertain their readers. Romi is shown as a wonderful cricketer who plays skillful shots as his father was once an aspiring Cricketer. And author has maintained the balance by not narrating the matches where he scores the fastest century or a last-ball-six-and-a-win kind of segments. He has kept all quite realistic.

          Any teenager reading this book will understand how parents guide their children for good, how wonderful teachers are sometimes just with their one-liners, how innocent and caring our grandparents are and how supportive and a well companion our siblings are. Every time a Cricket match is narrated, we want Rumi to play like his idol- Sachin Tendulkar and what he does is, leaves the ground even when umpire signals him Not out because he feels that's what Tendulkar would have done being at his place. Incredible. Enough for children to understand the lesson of faithfulness and truthfulness. This book can be said as a kind of tribute to Sachin Tendulkar because the way he has been talked of is quite devotional. The suspense of Kim throughout keeps the book little out-of-track. The climax could have been done more better. In all, I would say its 3 out of 5. You can gift it to a teenager who loves playing Cricket with his friends. :-) Tushar Raheja, please come up with a new book for a guy of 23 years old too. :-)



25 June 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho (Book Review)!!!

875th BLOG POST -->>

  Everyone knows about the name that Paulo Coelho has in the genre in which he writes. I picked up his first book some 3 years ago- The Alchemist, his most famous book which is been read by 27 million readers worldwide. After reading the book, I was extremely disappointed and I decided not to read him ever again. But his recent book release- Manuscript in Accra made me think about one book- Eleven Minutes written by him that I have in my shelf since 1 year. I thought lets try him once again after 3 years and  remove all the hatred I have for his book. The first half of the book is amazing. I started becoming fan of Paulo Coelho. But right from the 200th page till the last, the book started boring me. And by the end, my plan of purchasing the whole set of Paulo Coelho once again got cancelled. Now, I serious feel that Paulo Coelho is an over-rated author. 

            Initially, the way Maria's story begins, it gives a good treatment to a girl's character, her background, her parents etc. Later on, the way she realizes her puberty and finds the change in herself, even that is mentioned properly. Then the way she migrates to a different city and what happens there initially is also very beautifully written. Few experiences of her does make us realize how tough a life of prostitute is. Even a normal girl who goes through such phases is something that made me think a lot. The philosophical quotes that Paulo Coelho keeps using every now and then is something for which I think I'll have to read his other books too. Otherwise, in terms of story, I would say, its too simple, though feelings are emoted well. The Maria's diary part is also an eye-opener and are very well written. But in all, the book is quite boring in its last 1/3rd part. I would give it 3/5. An average book. 

 About the Book:- 
Eleven Minutes follows Maria, a young prostitute from Brazil, on her journey of sexual awakening and discovery of true love.
Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young girl from a small village in Brazil. She is disillusioned by her failures in love. She moves to Geneva, Switzerland, aspiring to live the life of her dreams - a life filled with fame and fortune. Her dreams are shattered when she is introduced to the harsh realities of life.

One day, a chance encounter with an Arab man earns her a thousand francs for one night. Lured by the prospect of easy money, she ends up becoming a prostitute in a brothel in Geneva’s red-light district. Once there, she quickly learns the ropes and becomes quite successful, not to mention the envy of her colleagues. She shuts the door on love and only has time for the demands made by her body.

Her life is thrown into disarray when she meets a young Swiss painter named Ralf. She falls in love with Ralf, who is completely different from her. Her carnal feelings for Ralf and her true love for him vie for supremacy. She finally decides to move away from Geneva because she sees no future for them. But just before she leaves, she discovers the beautiful blend of sex and true love with Ralf.

Maria’s journey begins with disillusionment. It brings about her sexual awakening and eventually, almost brings her to the point of self-destruction. She sinks to the depths of despair before her phoenix-like rise to self-discovery and the heights of love.

Maria’s story explores the concepts of sex, prostitution, sadomasochism, and true love.

Eleven Minutes was published in 2003. It was originally written in Portuguese, and has been translated into several languages since then.

About The Author

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian novelist and lyricist.

His books include The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Greatest Gift, Brida, The Witch Of Portobello, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, Veronica Decides To Die, The Fifth Mountain, Love Letters From A Prophet, Aleph, and The Winner Stands Alone.

His writing draws heavily from the experiences of his life. His books have sold over a 100 million copies across 150 countries and have been translated into 71 languages. Several of them have been adapted for other media. He encourages readers to share his books over peer-to-peer file sharing networks. He is also the bestselling Portuguese author of all time.

Coelho was born in 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was committed to a mental institution for refusing to follow a traditional path. He enrolled in law school at the behest of his parents only to drop out a year later and become a hippie. He has worked as a songwriter, journalist, actor, and director. He was once arrested as his lyrics were viewed as dangerous and left-wing by the military government in power. In 1986, a journey of over 500 miles on foot along the Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain turned his life around. He eventually gave up his songwriting career to start writing full-time. He was named a Messenger of Peace to the UN in 2007. Coelho has established an organization that helps children and elderly people with financial difficulties. He is married to Cristina Oiticica. The couple spends their time either in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or in Europe.


24 June 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

When I met Mr. Sanjeev Kapoor to fulfill my Mother's Dream!!!

874th BLOG POST -->>

   In my last blog post, I talked about my experience of meeting my idol and the way I met other great personalities and talked to them personally. I would like to thank India Non Fiction Festival for giving me the special opportunity to meet each and every one because not everyone from audience got the chance. The two guys who conducted every thing helped me a lot. Yesterday, I went for the 2nd day of INFF. But this time, I wasn't there for any thing that was associated with me. I went  for my mother. As I have always spoken in my Blog how great a cook my mom is, she has always idolized Mr. Sanjeev Kapoor. She has innumerable amount of books authored by him. She tries every thing that comes under her middle-class budget that Sanjeev Kapoor teaches. 

           Recently, a Facebook friend of mine was featured on Food Food channel where she was teaching Mr. Sanjeev Kapoor her secret recipe. I told my mother that she is my friend. She said to me,"Kya ye ladki mujhe aur achcha khaana banana seekha degi?" The innocence with which my mother said this to me bought tears in my eyes. She, being 46 years old, got ready to learn from a girl of 22 years old. I, somewhere, in my mind, said to myself,"What if my mother could directly learn from Sanjeev Kapoor's classes itself. I even searched for it on Internet but didn't get anything fruitful. The moment I got to know that I am a contest winner and being called upon at the Fest and there's a chance where I can meet Mr. Sanjeev Kapoor, the legend and the Best Chef of India, I got excited. I went to Sai Mandir, thanked God and asked him to make my mother meet him.

           My mother, at the last moment, got sick and was unable to go. I asked her to give me her favorite book that is being authored by Mr. Sanjeev. I promised my mother that once I would be back in the evening, her book will already be touched by her idol. My mother wished me luck and sent me to Worli, a journey that book 2.5 hours to me. When I went in the lobby section where not many are allowed, the volunteers allowed me. I approached sir and asked him to write my mother's name on the book, wish her for her future cooking experiments and give an autograph in Hindi so that my mother can rejoice it more. He did the same. He wished her "Happy Cooking!". He then saw the book nicely and asked me if its the recent one. After that I had 15 minutes of chit-chatting with him where I told him, his wife and his daughter and Miss. Sudha Menon, author, about how ambitious my mother is when it comes to cooking. 

  I told Sanjeev sir that I came all the way just to fulfill her dream of getting her favorite book touched and autographed by him. He complimented me for being a very good son as there are very rare of them left in India. I, even, bluntly said to him,"Sir, I am neither your fan nor I am wanting to become next Ripudaman. I am here just for my mother as she is your fan. I don't even need to get clicked for a photograph just to over act like others indicating that I idolize you. It's my mother and I am a part of her. Hence a picture in which both of us would be sharing the space is going to be the best part of my mother's life." He appreciated me a lot for being so truthful. When we posed for picture, I wasn't smiling. He asked what's the matter. I said,"I have bucktooth which does not look good in pictures". He said,"Have you seen mine on television? Even they aren't good. Let's both of us show our teeth" and the result of it is visible in the image that I have uploaded. Haha! When I came home, my mother saw her name and his signature and the words "Happy Cooking!", she was in tears, hugged and thanked me. I can't describe the moment anymore in words. :-)
   And I also got to meet Mr. Makarand Waingankar, the man who bought MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina into Cricket. He has also bought many other cricketers but these two have been the best out of all that he have introduced. I also had a good conversation with Mr. Clayton, the author of "Sachin born to bat", the book in which Sachin has himself written the introduction. Both of them signed on their respective books that I won in the contests. They were very humble and gave me whole 10 minutes to discuss Cricket with them. Makarand sir said,"If you are interested in Cricket, tell me". I said to him that I am an aspiring writer. He exclaimed,"Ohh! So you hit Sixes and Fours with your pen" And their was a good laughter. After that I also met Mrs. Rashmi Bansal for the 2nd time and she said that I have changed a lot in terms of looks. And yes, in a good sense. Haha! 

         In all, these two days- 21st and 22nd, made me meet Mr. Amish Tripathi, my idol and Mr. Sanjeev Kapoor, my mother's idol. I can't thank 2013 anymore for being the best year of my life. WOW!!!

 Thanks. Keep praying for me.
22 June 2013 | By: Writing Buddha


873rd BLOG POST -->>

With Mr. Amish Tripathi
  It's so wonderful to experience our dream. When the first time we see it, we believe that it will remain to be a dream because it's too big to even imagine ourselves in that position. But with time if we grow serious about it, it develops an anxiety within us which we don't want anymore. We set on our path to achieve our dream until we don't start living it daily. I remember how ignorant I was about this world until the first Blog that I wrote. I was ignorant even after it but by 2010, something clicked within me which said that I have to do and create everything that I have in my mind, soul and desire. Gradually things started coming to me with the help of my hard work. Our idols are the biggest persons for us. They are God. My first idol is Chetan Bhagat whom I got to meet on 13th September, 2011. Then Amitabh Bachchan became one whom I got to experience on 30th January, 2013. Then its Amish Tripathi whom I finally got to meet yesterday, on 21st June, 2013. 

           If only I could have thanked my god, my stars, my fate, my destiny anymore to tell everyone of you in what state I am currently. I went to India Non Fiction fest which is Asia's first ever kind of fest. There are various Fiction Festivals where certain writers come and talk about the revolution in publishing industry but this one was first of its kind where Non-fiction creators came and told about the issues that really matters. I have always loved attending such seminars because it gives a beautiful insight into the matters that really matters. :-) There are many facts that we ourselves don't know about our society and surroundings. These geniuses acquaint us with such facts and real issues. 

          In the morning, I got to meet Ankit Fadia, the most respected ethical hacker of India. I interacted with him about my interest in computers and my weaknesses. In the end, he asked me to follow my passion than trying to jump into Computers if I'm finding it hard. Haha! I also got to meet Mrs. Tavleen Singh whose a renowned author and is also known for writing controversial stuffs. :-) Later on I got to interact with Ajit Ranade who has been a continuous face as an Expert Adviser in Kaun Banega Crorepati. He helped me analyze how weak our system is and how we should calculate all the ratios in our country rather than jumping on conclusions.

You can see my hair and nose with him on the left. :-)
   And finally the moment came for which I was waiting for since the whole day. I got to meet my idol and Superstar author- Mr. Amish Tripathi. I can't tell you the feeling when I realized that the person standing in front of me was him about whom I talk daily with my parents and friends. I approached to introduce myself to him. As soon as I said,"Sir, I am Abhilash Ru...", he interrupted and said,"Blogger Abhilash, right?" I was shocked and I said,"Yes". He said you better introduce yourself with this than with your whole name because that's your brand and I ended up telling him that no brand can touch the stature of Meluha brand. :-) After that we talked for 20 minutes which is 1800 seconds of pure experience of heaven for me. We ended up sharing our phone numbers. I got his autograph on my copy of his book and also on the xerox of the letter that I gave him. I also presented him my published short story in UYE and told him to take the romance nonsense lightly as this is not what I am going to write about in my writing career and he said how beautiful love stories on my Blog are. There was so much interaction that I felt as if I met an old friend of school rather than the Legend-Writer. 2 hours back, I got his SMS where he thanked me for writing a kind letter to him. Some day, I'll scan the xerox of the letter that I have with me and share with all of you. :-)

        Later, I got to meet Mr. Mahesh Bhatt because of the contest that I won. I went over the stage and asked him the question,"Why is Vishesh films making more of sequels that are based on the same old concept than creating something new that it has always done?" to which he replied that business is the main target these days and all is made according to it, basically, and then as creative art. I threw my second question,"Why don't we see you anymore as Director of a movie? Why are you just producing and writing now?" to which he replied that his name is being registered in the history of cinema as someone who made classics and now he wants new directors to conquer the floor with new ideas. Later on he came and got this picture snapped with me. He handed me the signed copy of "Director's Cut", a book based on 50 major film-makers of the modern era. I handed him the letter that I wrote for him and got his autograph on its xerox too just as I did with Amish sir. :-) I would be sharing this letter too, some day.
With Mr. Mahesh Bhatt!!!

      And let me tell you all, while I was on the stage to ask question to this legendary movie maker, I shared the stage with Minissha Lamba, Rahul Bose and Sanjay Ghadvi too. :-) I met so many successful people yesterday that the next 5 years of my life, even if a failure, will not depress me. It will give me a reason to smile and take me back to this day where all the authors were recognizing me, 4 of the people from audience came to me after knowing that I'm the blogger and book reviewer that they have been following from last 2 years or something. Thanks to them for giving me the little footage too among those epitomes of successes. Today is another day when I am called once again for meeting author Makarand Waingankar who has written a successful biography on Sachin Tendulkar. I would be again made to stand on stage and answer a question or two. I would also be getting chance to meet Sanjeev Kapoor who is another legend of India. Let's see how it goes. 

 Thanks a lot. Keep your blessings with me. I need them.

20 June 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

Let's Not Interrupt The Runners If You Feel The Track is Wrong!!!

872nd BLOG POST -->>

       If a question would be asked to all of us,"Is your life complete the way you have chosen to live it?" I am sure almost 99% would say yes. Disagree? You are mistaken. The question isn't asking "do you have all you want from life?". If this would have been the question, people would have told how much poor they are, how much more they want from life, how much struggle they are putting in etc. Here its been asked whether life is complete with the way we have chosen to live it. And because nothing can be more comfortable than the way we chose, we will definitely have to say yes even if we feel that our chosen path lacks the twinkle that the life needs to remain excited through out. Life is a destiny for God who worked upon giving some meaning to this skeleton which is covered with flesh and filled with blood. For us, this is a journey towards Death. Isn't it funny that we travel through so much struggle and pain just to attain our last breathe which leads us to death- a permanent sleep with our soul detached from us. :-)

         According to me, my life is perfect according to me. The way I have chosen is the one I would be choosing again in my next birth. There are some people who say how they are not happy with the life that they have chose etc but I am very happy with the way things have proceeded for me. I wake up early in the morning, I exercise, I go to study computers which I enjoy(until some complexity does not agree to enter my brain), I come home I read novel, newspapers etc. In short, if you will sum up my day most of my time goes only in reading. It occupies 45% of my life. Rest 55% is being taken by college and sleep. But in the period such as this when I enjoy my vacation, reading occupies 75% of my time while 25% is given to sleep. And I find God, heaven, peace, eternity in this hobby of mine. But will I like to see the whole world doing this? 

          There used to be a time when I wanted people to devote themselves in reading. Not because I am in this but because it is recommended by every great person. Even the parents who themselves never read anything in life asks their child to read newspapers and story books initially. Later on, even they stop saying because they know "Like Parents Like Child". I used to tell my friends, my family members and everyone I connected well to read books. I told them that the most practical knowledge we get about our life and this world is by reading books. Some of my friends did start ordering books on Flipkart but they ended up after some time. There were also some who know how entertaining reading books are but still never purchased a book. Seeing this behavior, I thought to shrink rather than expand and cover the world under this beautiful phenomenon.

         I see that some of my friends like tripping and hanging out around, some like meeting their best friend every another day and gossiping, some like getting everywhere in the city with their partners, some like crying over their failed relationships, some like watching all the reality shows that is being telecast on channels, some like spending all their time on Internet doing nothing but buffering videos, chatting with the same classmates with whom they spend their whole day with etc. This is what they have chosen for their life. Even if I'll tie them to a wooden chair with a thick rope, they'll disentangle themselves and run towards doing this stupid things that gives no outcomes but deteriorates the quality of life. Now I have stopped telling them to leave this and that. I have just cut off myself from their way of living and submerged myself into mine. And I am pretty happy with myself.

         With time I have understood that for everyone, their own style of living is the best. Reading book is heaven for me while for some its a total wastage of 100+ rupees. They sometimes tell me that watching a movie in 100+ rupees is entertaining as the whole story is being said in just 3 hours irrespective of a book that takes 2-3 days for them in reading. May God Bless Them and Their Great Thoughts! For many, traveling various locations is a heaven because they feel its God creativity that they are experiencing. True! For some, there's nothing bigger than spending time with your closed ones and talking everything as they are the souls that God have sent for them. Bizarre Perspective! Some like to cry for the same partner again and again because they feel there's no one with whom they can see their life with. Ok fine. This one is completely shit according to me. Huh! This is why I have stopped asking people to live my way because I know, for me, my style is best for them their's. Better live our own and let them live theirs. So let me go to read another book. That's my life. :-)



Johnny Gone Down by Karan Bajaj!!!

871st BLOG POST -->>

   Within two days, I am also done reading Karan Bajaj's 2nd and the last book- Johnny Gone Down. After reading the Keep of the Grass, i was so excited that I just wanted to complete this one. Though I didn't start this immediately. Normally, reading the same author again and again frustrates after a time being hence I read some other novel and then directly headed towards this one. And this break paid off well. I, again, enjoyed Karan Bajaj's writing style and creativity. Undoubtedly, he is the best author whom Indian readers would love to read. The international style that he has adopted does well with the Harper Collins as a publisher. Nice combination! This book released in 2010 after his first novel in 2008 and its 3 years since then, Karan Bajaj has still not come up with the 3rd novel. As he said in an interview, he didn't want to hurry because he'll end up writing the same ideas again and again. Hence I am okay with waiting because I know whenever he'll come, it would be a new stuff. :-)

            Karan Bajaj is the author of Keep Off the Grass, which has been on bestseller lists in India since its release in 2008. The book was a semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Indiaplaza Golden Quill Award, among other honours. Johnny Gone Down is his second novel. Born in 1979 into an Army family, Karan studied in various schools in New Delhi, Shimla, Lucknow, Jabalpur, Assam, Ranchi and Bangalore and regards his interest in backpacking and travel as key writing inspirations. Besides writing, he pursues his Brand Management career with Kraft Foods, New York on the side and was named a ‘Top 40 under 40 US Marketer’ by Advertising Age in 2007.

About the Book :

Nikhil Arya has fallen.

Once, he was an Ivy League scholar with a promising future at NASA; now, at forty, he is broke, homeless,and minutes away from blowing his brains out in a diabolical modern-day joust.

It wasn’t meant to be this way.An innocent vacation turned into an epic intercontinental journey that saw Nikhil become first a genocide survivor, then a Buddhist monk, a drug lord, a homeless accountant, a software mogul and a deadly game fighter. Now, twenty years later, Nikhil aka Johnny is tired of running. With the Colombian mafia on his trail
and his abandoned wife and son ten thousand miles away, he prepares for his final act, aware that he will have lost even if he wins.

Or will he? Is there any greater victory than living a life that knows no limits, a world that has seen no boundaries?

From the bestselling author of Keep Off the Grass comes the once-in-a-lifetime story of an ordinary man fighting an extraordinary destiny. Can he pick up the pieces one last time or will Nikhil, now Johnny, go down for good?
      Coming to the review:- Yes, as I have said, Karan Bajaj has an international touch in his writing style which gives the whole new dimension to his stories. This story is again a very different tale than what I have been reading by Indian writers from a long time. Its kind of a story of a hippie which makes us know about the different segment of life that he has touched. The incarnation of the same person as a genocide survivor, then a Buddhist Monk, 
a drug lord, a homeless accountant, a software mogul and a deadly game fighter is as nourishing as reading many stories in a book. Though I felt that story was kept short to give space to all this segment of the life of the protagonist but its fine as extending this book would not have done justice with the work. 

            The only problem that I felt was of the difficult names of the location that author has used. But still there are many incidents in the book which will take you to some another world and its good how author has ended the story in the climax. It teacher us about life. And yes, I did feel that author used the same ideas as he has in his first book and hence I am happy that he is taking time for writing the third one. :-) In all I would give this book 3.9/5. This book has to be read. Please don't miss it.