30 November 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

An Interview with Terin Miller, author of Kashi!!!

988th BLOG POST -->>

An Interview with the Award-winning and respected author- Terin Miller who has recently published "Kashi" released by Author's Empire.

1. Hello Mr. Terin, what is your feeling after being an author now? What’s your perspective about life now after achieving a rare flagship in your life?

I am thrilled to finally be published by someone else, who enjoyed my writing and believes others will as well. But my life for the most part hasn’t changed that much. As a good friend of mine, the writer Loren D. Estleman, told me years ago when he was having some sudden success: “I still have to stand in line at the Post Office.”

My perspective about life has grown, too, I think. I now firmly believe people should follow their dreams, no matter how unlikely the outcome may seem.  Not long before being discovered by my publisher Mr. Kunal Marathe, CEO of Author’s Empire,  a friend had sort of scoffed at my still-unfulfilled dream of being published, and suggested “if it hasn’t happened yet…” I’m at a stage in my life where I’ve already had one relatively successful career. But writing novels and short stories and occasional essays is what I really have wanted to do since I graduated high school. 

2. When you saw your first novel for sale on E-commerce websites and placed at a bookstore for the first time, what kind of thoughts dominated your mind?

Well, being a journalist for more than 30 years, I have seen my name in print often enough without being charged to now be more concerned what I wrote is not too drastically changed, and to hope besides me and my relatives (who are no longer around), someone somewhere will read what I wrote and if not be moved by it, at least enjoy reading it and recommend it to others. My greatest joy will be if ever I see someone reading a novel of mine and see their face change with the emotions that I hope to convey. That, to me, would be a major achievement as a writer.

3. Before we head towards discussing your book, we would like to know in spite of being an author, what do you exactly do? And do you wish to continue with the job or come into full-time writing?

As I mentioned, I am a journalist. I’ve been everything from a police reporter to a foreign correspondent (in two countries). Currently, and for most of the past decade, I’ve been an editor of other reporters’ work. While I enjoy it for the most part, the former reporter in me is often wishing to have been the one to cover or write the story.  But I once told a friend the great thing about being a writer or a reporter is that you never, really, ever have to retire unless you want to.  I still feel young enough to have something to contribute to both journalism and writing. In other words, I probably will need more time for my ego to deflate—or my books to become popular enough to support me and my family--before you find me working on motorcycles or fishing and camping any time other than on weekends…

4. What is your latest book- Kashi all about? And from where did this idea occur to you?

Kashi is about what happens when a group of young people encounter and emulate, to a certain extent, another group of young people. It is about the consequences of entering relationships from your own perspective without having the sensitivity or awareness of the perspective and beliefs of the other person.  And, ultimately, it is about the potential consequences of rebelling against a more seemingly repressive moral or religious code, without fully understanding the risks rebellion entails, or the risks and consequences to unintended victims or prior relationships.

The idea came to me first when I was a young Hindi student at Benares Hindu University. I was living with a group of people essentially my age, non-Indians, who were also language students . Some at the time tried hard to blend in, without actually investigating the society’s rules. And I witnessed some young Indians wanting to emulate us, particularly the freedoms of behavior we seemed to take for granted.

5. How much long did it take to write this book from the moment you started developing the story to start writing it till completing it finally with editing and all?

Well, as I noted, I first started thinking about it in India as a young language student.  I’d say I pretty much thought I had it done, after digging the idea out of a stack of others that I started years ago, when I first self-published it, about two years before Mr. Kunal Marathe discovered it. And I am grateful to his editing and helpful suggestions, as I believe the Author’s Empire published version far superior to my self-published version.

6. Indian Publishing is too hard to deal with, was it easy for you to get a Publisher or did u wait for a long time to get your work published?

I certainly have not experienced Indian Publishing being “hard to deal with.” For that, I credit Author’s Empire. I have experienced publishing in the United States, and found it extremely difficult. Mr. Kunal Marathe contacted me. In the U.S., to get a publisher to even look at your idea, you first in most cases need a literary agent. I’ve had two—the first, actually, is the person who convinced me to try and write a novel when I had just graduated high school. He spoiled me, in the sense that he always preferred to see and read a completed novel more than just consider an idea or a premise. These days, it seems, even literary agents want your “concept” summed up in one line, or the equivalent of the much-written-about “30-second elevator pitch” of movie writers, now called a “query,” before they’ll even consider representing you.  I guess the thought is if your “concept” is too complicated, readers won’t be interested and therefore no one wants to waste time on it. Imagine, as I do, Ernest Hemingway or William Faulkner having to “pitch” to a literary agent: “But what’s it about?” “It’s about an old man who hasn’t caught a fish for 80 days.” Or “It’s about a bear hunt.” Or, for the modern method, “It’s Titanic meets Moby Dick!” or “It’s Grizzly Man meets Kujo!”

7. What are the Promotional strategies that you and your publisher have applied to promote/market your book?

I really don’t know. I am delighted that Author’s Empire has taken promoting and marketing my book into its own hands. In the United States, more and more, it seems most publishers do not want to have to promote a writer’s work. And that leaves it to the writer, which is very little different from publishing the thing yourself. I am available for interviews, such as this, and even willing to Skype with book clubs, or to happily go to book signings and panels. 

8. What exactly is your target from your Books- 1. Getting most copies sold out, 2. Getting the love of readers or 3. You just wrote it because you wanted to write a book once in your life, hence you have no targets?

My target for my books is to have people read them, and hopefully for someone to get something out of it, to remember it, to maybe recommend it to their friends. If that means getting the love of readers first, and then getting most copies sold out, so be it. If all you want to do is write a book once in your life, I say do it. And don’t worry about how or if it ever gets read. 

9. By when are you coming up with your next novel? And if possible, do give us an idea about what it would be.

Well, Author’s Empire I believe has plans for my next novel. When I wrote Kashi, I already was working on an idea for a sequel using the same character as narrator—John Colson. I won’t give you the title right now, in case it changes, but rest assured, another is coming. It is a “thriller,” though, a little later in John Colson’s personal history. And its subject is really the manipulation of relatively good hearted people who find themselves unwittingly part of a political game played by nations. And it takes place in India. Oh, and Colson has become the narrator in a third book, making Kashi really the start of a trilogy. The third book is sort of filling in some of the missing pieces of Colson’s background in India—why the country is so significant to him--and brings his character pretty much up-to-date.

10. In the end, tell us in 5-7 lines, what speech will you give if you win a Major Award for the Best Indian Author for your books?

Well, first of all, I’d thank whoever gave me such an award but note I don’t believe I’m qualified for it. I am not an Indian Author. I am an American author who happens to have written about India. I am an American author who still stands upon hearing “Janaganamana,” though I need a kick in the head to recall all the words. I am an American author who spent many of his “formative” years in India, and who always has and always will love India—seeing it for the first time when I was 3 ½ years old. But I also believe, as the great Rabindranath Tagore did, that literature—human stories—should know and recognize no borders. I look forward to the day when authors receive awards for being authors, regardless of their country of origin, or current residence, and when readers come to recognize that, while certain cultural aspects are inherent in writing, as they are in experience, some stories—that try in some way to describe the human condition—are universal. 


987th BLOG POST -->>

          It has been a long time since I have been thinking of doing something for students, specifically, students. I have never been an academic student and hence, I have continuous failed in helping any of my classmates, friends or any person who needed help when it came to studies. But as soon as I entered MCA 2nd year, I thought that being a student, helping student and knowing their nerves would be much easier than being an employee of a company and then trying to be a helping medium to students. Since then my mind started working as faster as possible and I came up with a result some 3-4 weeks ago. I didn't want people to judge me for it hence I didn't disclose it to anyone that I am doing something for my own batch-mates of MCA Semester 3. I wanted to at least execute some part of my dream, a new dream, and then come up with the name of its initial executor. 

            I opened a new blog named "Last Minute Study" and started uploading the important questions that has been coming up years after years in Mumbai University's papers. I then started providing notes some 2 weeks ago. Pupils, with a hope of getting help, started joining the venture and now, I am 520 members strong. I am sure that with time I am going to help much more students than what I have myself estimated at the moment. This semester, it took a lot of time in thinking and planning about how I have to take this forward but from next semester, it's going to be a big task for me to study before anyone and upload notes so that students can find help in the LAST MINUTE STUDY notes that I am providing on the blog site- www.lastminutestudy.blogspot.in. I asked my dear friend- SUNILL KAUSHIK who is a great designer to design a logo for me and he did. I have shared it above with all of you. Need everyone's blessing for something that I never thought I would be the initiator. :-) 


28 November 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

कहानी "एक मुलाकात-ज़िंदगी से..." का एक अंश! उफ्फ़ ये जज़्बात Coming soon!

986th BLOG POST -->>

          I hope everyone of you remember my first published work that released this year in February- Uff Ye Emotions. I don't know whether it did reasonably well or not but people say that it did. The best option for me is to believe them. :-)

             Mr. Vinit Bansal, the editor of this book, thought of bringing out the Hindi version of this book which wasn't planned initially. After the book got popular, he thought of taking it to another level and making it available for Hindi readers too. It's my honour to share the two paragraphs that Mr. Vinit sent me as a sample out of the 5000 words story that I wrote in the original English version. I know the Hindi version looks better but don't forget, if there would have been an English version of it, this could have never got birth. Haha! I know my insecurity is quite visible. Whoever worked in the translation should be applauded for his work. A terrific job done. 

           Here are the two paragraphs for all of you. Comments needed.

Abhilash Ruhela की कहानी "एक मुलाकात-ज़िंदगी से..." का एक अंश
#उफ्फ़ ये जज़्बात Coming soon!

"उसने लाचार नजरों से मेरी तरफ देखा। कोई गलती ना होने पर भी वह सिर्फ एक लड़की होने की सजा भुगत रही थी और उसके पास खड़े इंसान-नुमा गिद्ध भूखी नजरों से उसे ताक रहे थे। मैने आव देखा न ताव… खड़ा होकर उसके करीब गया, उसका हाथ पकड़ा और उसे अपनी तरफ खींच लिया। अब मैं उसके बहुत पास खड़ा था और उसकी पीठ गाड़ी के दरवाजे के पास लगे डिवाइडर से सटी थी। उसे बचाने के लिए मैने अपने दोनों हाथों को उसके दोनों तरफ के डिवाइडर पर रख दिया ताकि कोई भी उसे छूने ना सके। वो सभी लड़के जो कुछ मिनट पहले अकेला देखकर उसे घूर रहे थे, अचानक से इधर-उधर देखने लगे। उन्होंने शायद सोचा भी नहीं था कि गाड़ी में कोई उसे जानने वाला होगा। जैसे ही किसी स्टेशन पर ट्रेन रूकती, लोग उतरते-चढ़ते, हम एक-दूसरे के और भी करीब आ जाते... वह हर बार कोशिश करती कि मेरी तरफ न देखे, लेकिन हम दोनो के बीच की नाममात्र की दूरी उसे ऐसा करने ना देती। तीन साल पहले की छुअन का अहसास अचानक जैसे फिर से ज़िंदा हो गया था। और कब हम दोनों एक-दूसरे की आंखों में आंखें डालकर बीते दिनों की यादों में अपना अक्स ढूंढने लगे, हमें पता ही नही चला"

‘सच्चा प्यार कभी नहीं मरता’। हां कभी-कभी दूरियां बीच में आ जाती हैं और कुछ गलतफहमियां भी। लेकिन अगर प्यार सच्चा हो तो कोई भी दूरी, चाहे वो कितने ही वक्त के लिए ही क्यों ना हो, रिश्तों के उस अहसास को खत्म नहीं कर सकती जो दो दिल एक-दूसरे के लिए महसूस करते हैं।

  Please say that the English version written by me was better. Please. No? Ok. Bye! See you with Uff Ye Jazbaat. :-)


27 November 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

OOPS! I fell in for DON's daughter by Piyush Naik (Book Review-1.5*/5)!!!

985th BLOG POST -->>

   This is my 2nd novel within 24 hours. This is a warm up session that I had for 3 days so that as soon as my exam ends on 12th December which is going to start after 5 days from now, I can start reading novels back to back without feeling myself as a starter. Generally what happens is- I read the first two novels slowly because of losing the habit of reading. I pick up only after I get a wonderful page-turner. I don't know what am I going to write in the paper that's on 2nd December but let's see what God has kept in store for me. :-) Well, the novel that I completed just now is "Oops! I fell in for DON's daughter". It is written by a debutante- Piyush Naik. It's published by Diamond Books. Diamond Books is known for publishing those books which gets rejected by almost every Indian publisher. And the story that they publish are generally the childish teenage love stories. It's actually not meant for anyone who's above 17 years old. If someone like me is reading it, you can say, I am totally out of my head.

He's smart. He's good looking. He's witty.
His charm attracts girls. 
He's Piyansh Nigam (Piya)
She's intelligent. She's gorgeous. She's humorous. 
Her beauty makes boys propose her. 
She's Ashwinya Murthy (Ash)
Both Sixteen. 10th graders. But don't know each other.
Reason different schools, 
But one day,
Piya sees Ash and falls in love with her at first sight. 
'Love at first sight is Dangerous'
Ash doesn't know Piya existbut if Piya gets Ash, then he would not exist coz she's DON's daughter.

His friends suggested him to find someone else. He knows he's in queue. 
But still Piya wants Ash. He loves her a lot.
'Teen is the age of beginning of emotions and end of innocence'
Will emotions end innocence? Will he woo her? Even if he gets hertheir relationship will survive? Or he'll find someone else? Will he be a ray of light in the dark of her life? Was it love or just another crush?

A lot of questions an unusual pair an unusual story of crush, friendship, love, mistakes, teenage and Oops!

About the Author
Piyush Naik at just 18 has written his debut novel. He has done his schooling from Dyanmata High School, Amravati. And. Has did his Junior college from M.I.T. junior college, Pune. Currently he is preparing to crack the entrance of the brand of Engineering. 

When he was of 10 he heard the line A pen is mightier than a sword and when he turned 15 he decided to use that weapon as his passion. Just the difference was that his weapon was not a pen but was MS word.

       Well, what should I review in this book. Even if I would not have read it, I could have told you what the story comprises of. I don't find any mistake of authors when I read books on the same topic again and again and written almost in the same way. I think there should be a Censor Board kind of a thing which should check what books are out for release and restrict the ones written on the same lines of college/school teenage romance. It's actually enough now. Piyush Naik is 18 years old and I didn't expect anything better from him. At this age, one finds fame and recognition fascinating. Bollywood is a long way and seeing simple novels written all around, one gets a motivational push from conscious mind to write a novel. It happens and gets published. Someone like me who works in this field gets his hand on these books and wastes his few hours on it. 

          I don't want to discourage a young author like him. I was 19 when I started writing blog and I used to get almost the same kind of criticism as this blog post that I am writing for Mr. Piyush. That helped me to improve myself from there. Even now there's a big room for improvement and I am always open for suggestions. I just want Piyush to do the same with the kind of criticism he must be getting from the better critics. I found his narration and language very weak. Even if the same story could have been written in a better language, the book could have been in a totally different shape. The book is not even edited or proof-read, it seems. Practicals is written as particles. Quiet is written as Quite. And so on. There's no twist and turn in the story. As the title suggests, you feel that the book would be full of chases between the protagonist and his girlfriend's father and his men. But the book has nothing to do with its title. Similarly, the protagonist Piyansh is called Piya in the book for most of the times which confuses you if its a girl or a boy. Similarly, there's a character Mamma. Every time I read it, it seemed as if a mother is been referred but alas, even that's not the case. Summarizing, I would say that only the people below 18 years of age should entertain this book else you will be disappointed like me. I give it 1 but for the author gutting to write at the age of 18, I give it .5 more i.e. 1.5/5. 


5 years since 26/11 but are we safe today?

984th BLOG POST -->>

     Yesterday when Hindustan Times came at home, I rushed to get it. The only reason for my curiosity was to read about the survivors or the family members of those killed in the attacks of 26/11. It was too traumatizing in 2009 to read the paper that came on the first anniversary of the attack because victims were still in the pain and unable to forget the moment. For the last 365 days, they were thinking only about the 72 hours that changed their life drastically. It was too sad to read about those few people who were been covered by the newspapers. But as the years kept passing, Kasab got hanged, the day he was prosecuted etc, newspaper got back to those people and it was nice to know that in spite of remembering the event as fresh as it happened just yesterday, these people learnt to live life with it. They moved on. Like a Mumbaikar's spirit, they got back to work without crying over their past which the nation saw with pain.

           26/11 is a day that's been remembered as a day of terrorism in all over India. People were shocked for those 72 hours as to how can an attack as big as this happen in one of the biggest 5 star restaurant of India. Recently when I went to Hotel Trident, the same restaurant which also got attacked the same day and had my first experience of a 5 star restaurant visit, I was surprised to see the checking. I was been asked 10 times why am I entering inside and am I being officially invited or not. Then while my bag was getting scanned, they found something made up of iron and humiliatingly, I had to take out my geometric compass box that I have since 3rd standard. Yes, there's something nostalgic to it that I have not replaced it with new compass boxes or pouch that people carry these days. They saw it, made faces that someone having this is been called for such a big function to this restaurant. Well, at that point of time, the only thing that came to my mind was "How did those terrorists enter such well-secured building then?"

            And that's a slap to us, citizens of India. If such prominent places that are been visited by celebrities and elite group regularly isn't well secured and the nation's biggest terrorism takes place here, then how much are we general people safe who stays in cheap restaurants with no security, travel by local trains which are not covered with any CCTV cameras, we live in societies with an ordinary person as a Security Guard with no arms and ammunition? Somewhere down the line, while watching the live telecast of attacks as such, we get scared even while walking towards the shop that's at 10 meters from home imagining a bomb exploding besides us. Our nation is developing in various fields and doing well and hoisting its flag everywhere around the world but there are some basics that are to be considered seriously and before anything else. 

            We are rich enough to provide security to every region of our nation. CCTV cameras can be installed everywhere around the major cities and rushy roads. As soon as a suspicious person gets visible on the display screen, our Security Guards should hold him, check and only release after getting satisfied that there's nothing wrong with him. The way Americans do- they don't even shy from checking our President of India and Bollywood Superstar. Such should be the determination of our Nation's security. Today, I enter malls and movie cinemas and I find Security Guard just acting to check our baggage. Even he smiles and says,"Jaiye sir" and we smilingly get inside thinking that "Bach gaye yaar. Nahi toh chain kholo, check karwao. Time bach gaya". But we never think at that particular moment what if the person behind us is carrying a bomb in his bag. Even that would remain unchecked and I may lose life some minutes later. This is how we, as a society, are resisting ourselves from being in the shield of safety.

             Coming back to 26/11, I would just say that I feel it's a big political plan that brought this event into execution otherwise tell me, every now and then, the elite group and big celebrities and legends stay or visit these hotels in Mumbai. But on the day of attack, not even a single celebrity was at the spot. None of them faced the bullet of Kasab and company. Doesn't it seems as if some top-level employee of Taj informed all of them to stay away from coming to the Hotel on that particular day? I have a big doubt. I still feel that everything was well-planned and informed. I visited CST station too on the same day when I went to Trident Hotel. It does not have any security check still. Anything can be easily installed in India. There are walking machines but there's no one concerned whether its switched on or off. We got a lesson but we didn't learn anything from it. Terrorists know that the match with Indian citizens is a one-sided match which only they are going to win each time they come on the field. Hence they are silent currently but they can erupt anytime and destroy us like past. The way they tried in Bihar some days ago. With this, my condolences to everyone who have lost their close ones in terrorist attacks. Hope our Government will work upon it very soon. 



Kashi by Terin Miller (Book Review- 3.4*/5)!!!

983rd BLOG POST -->>

     5 days ago, I read a book "Dinner Date" written by Ishaan Lalit published by Author's Empire. It was quite an entertaining genre. Just after that I picked up another book by the same publisher "Kashi" written by Terin Miller. I am astonished with the fact that a new publisher like AE has guts to publish books of different genres unlike other publishers who release only one genre i.e. love stories based in Engineering colleges. Starting with this book that I read, Kashi, I would say that the cover page is beautifully done. A woman posing in red saree while its showering over her. Traditional building that ensembles fort in the background. A wonderful attraction that will lead in any reader to pick up the book. I always believe that a book is judged by its cover page no matter what. It is a fact and will remain to be. Haha! Wrong but true! Before starting the review, let's see what's the book about.

Kashi is a tale of clashes of cultures, relationship experiments and religious and moral differences in the holiest of Hindu cities, just at the time Indias second generation of independence comes to adulthood in the form of Sumita Meetha Sharma.

Meetha Sharma, educated, attractive, worldly, the daughter of a wealthy import-export businessman in the nascent new Indian middle-class, desires to be like her American and other expatriate friends. She chafes at old world ideas of behavior and conformity and longs to be seen as an equal in society. But her desires have consequences she doesnt fully realize, especially for the traditional Hindu musician to whom she was promised when she was 13.

A story of a generation of Indians unlike any that has come before themborn in a free and independent country, a country only granted its freedom after much effort and sacrifice by their forebears, a country only granted the opportunity to rise in the world as its former colonial status fades into history.

First self-published in the United States as From Where The Rivers Come, Kashi won in the category of Multicultural Fiction in the Best Books 2010 contest, sponsored by USA Book News.

It has also received honorable mention recognition in Writers Digest 2010 International Self-Published Book Awards, the 2010 Paris Book Festival and Beach Book Festival in the fiction category and the 2009 New York Festival, the London Book Festival and New England Book Festival.
   Coming to the review, I must say that the book has an Indian smell into it even when its written by an American Author- Terin Miller. Generally, when you will read an Indian based story written by a Non-Indian, you will find only the poor segment of India being discussed. They will either talk about the poverty, slums or crowded Mumbai Local. This book does not treat India as a country that's dealing with crisis and under-development. It depicts the traditional smell and purity that India and Indians have. The character of Meetha Sharma impressed me more than the protagonist got impressed. :-) Other characters, too, supported the story well. I loved the way Kashi, Benaras, Lucknow and other cities are discussed in the book. The emotions and background of each character is continuously discussed that brings a special effect to the story.

      Let's come to few drawbacks- I felt that the book has more conversation and less description of what's happening. It's story that excites not conversation. I also felt that the author kept the things short rather than discussing it in detail with us. The cost of the book i.e. Rs. 175 is certainly too much. It should not have been more than Rs. 125. I am happy that a different story is out in the market by one of the publishers that generally publishes debutante and as we are quite aware that Indian debutante are only interested in writing their college stories and teenage romances. I give this book 3.4 out of 5. It can be surely read if you love reading foreign speakers speaking about India. 


Information Technology Project Management by Jack Marchewka (Book Review- 4.25/5)!!!

982nd BLOG POST -->>

 Well, it's not every time that I read the whole book that's in my syllabus of MCA course but this time I almost did it with one of my subject named "Software Project Management". People find it tough because of it being a theoretical concept. I find such subjects little easy because I love reading and I get a lot to read in such subjects. I don't like subjects which forces me to mug up something just because it can't be talked of in any other way. In the 3rd semester of MCA, that I am currently in, I have SPM as a subject which is my favorite. We were asked to refer Jack T. Marchewka's book and hence I read his "Information Technology Project Management"'s 2nd edition. The book is published by Wiley-India Edition unlike other books that are published by Tata McGraw Hill of MCA syllabus. After reading the book, I am quite confident that I'll clear the examination by writing something. That's the specialty of his writing and explaining things. 

About The Author:-
Jack T. Marchewka is an associate professor, the Barsema Professor of Management Information Systems, and the director of the Business Information Technology Transfer Center (BITTC) at Northern Illinois University. He received his Ph.D. from Georgia State University's department of Computer Information Systems in 1994 and was a former faculty member at Kennesaw State University. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Marchewka was a vice president of MIS for a healthcare company in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Marchewka has taught a number of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has been a guest lecturer at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands. His current research interest include IT project management, electronic commerce, knowledge management, and organizational security and business continuity. His articles have appeared in journals such as Information Resources Management Journal, Information Technology & People, Journal of International Information Management, and Journal of Informatics Education and Research.

About The Book:-
This text fits a quickly emerging course in the IT curriculum- project management for IT. The focus is on addressing the issues that arise with software projects in industry- the costs, complexities and risks associated with IT projects, even as IT becomes more reliable, faster and less expensive. These risks are alleviated by effective use of project management techniques, and this book addresses those issues and the techniques used to solve them.

Key Features:-

  • Incorporates PMI's PMBOK (Project Mgt Body of Knowledge)
  • "Integrated Approach" to pedagogy will provide help for students to understand the big picture and the critical details
  • Hands-on, integrated case assignments
  • A knowledge management component which will provide a repository on the web for students' experiences and "lessons learned."

Table Of Contents:-

  • Preface
  • About the Author
  • The Nature of Information Technology Projects
  • Conceptualizing and Initiating the IT Project
  • Developing the Project Charter and Baseline Project Plan
  • The Human Side of Project Management
  • Defining and Managing Project Scope
  • The Work Breakdown Structure and Project Estimation
  • The Project Schedule and Budget
  • Managing Project Risk
  • Project Communication, Tracking, and Reporting
  • IT Project Quality Management
  • Managing Organizational Change, Resistance, and Conflict
  • Project Implementation, Closure, and Evaluation
  • Appendix A: An Introduction to Function Point Analysis
  • Index

             Coming to the review, I would start talking chapter-wise. The first chapter which introduces us to software and its development isn't written in an easy language the way other chapters of the book is written. Business Case is beautifully explained in the 2nd chapter. Coming to the third chapter based on Project Charter, you would again get depressed as even that's not explained as nicely as I expected. 4th Chapter rocks with a wonderful elaboration of Organization and Project Manager. 5th Chapter again bounced above my head. Chapter 6th and 7th are another disappointment. Chapter 8 explains Risk Management and its processes in the best way that was possible. Chapter 10th could have been hard to explain the quality management and six sigmas kind of thing but author has managed it very well.

           11th Chapter is again a hard thing to break for the readers. Even that's not wonderfully done. Chapter 12th rocked because of Outsourcing. I enjoyed reading this part the most. I gave presentation on this topic in my class too. Leadership and ethics is wonderfully explained in Chapter 13th- Leadership and Ethics. Chapter 14th, the last chapter of the book, explains Project Implementation and Administrative closure, the last phase of the Software Project Development. And with it, a wonderful book that explains almost all the important topics in a very easy language with labelled diagrams ends on a good note. For my classmates, I have also made notes of this book. Now you can estimate well how much in love I am with this book. Jack Marchewka, you rock. I give this book 4.25/5.


26 November 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

25th Marriage Anniversary of my Parents!!!

981st BLOG POST -->>

    On 23rd November, 2013, 3 days ago, my dear parents celebrated their 25th Marriage Anniversary. The day I had been waiting from a long time. I wanted my parents to feel special about the day and life. I was so superstitious and sensitive about the event which I organized that I didn't even write this blog at 12 AM on 23rd like I do every time. I didn't want anyone's wrong words to affect my dream of giving my parents the widest smile of their life. I was earning with lots of effort in the part time job that I do since last few months to make my parents feel special and top of the world. There were 2-3 families who were insisting my parents to celebrate the day grandly but my parents kept refusing because of a crisis my family currently is in. I wanted to overcome the unexpected crisis that's part of our life currently and beat it. I did the same. I asked all the super three families that were insisting to organize the party themselves if we aren't interested. But I surprised all of them when I announced that I have already booked a restaurant, decided the menu and I am calling them just to invite at the event. They were very surprised and happy to see that a child that was born in front of them is capable enough to organize such a big celebration himself. All because of their blessings for me in all these years that something like this has been possible. :-)

   My parents play a prominent part in my life. Everyone's parents do something special for their child but not many parents guide their child in the right way to make their dream successful of making their child "Laakhon mein ek". Well, even I am not laakhon mein ek but my parents have managed me very well. I feel that they have taught me wonderfully as to what right path in life is. I never do blunders and small mistakes. Because they have taught me to control myself. Whatever negativity they had in life or whatever limitations they faced, they have made sure that their child does not get restricted because of same reasons. They have carved my life in such an appropriate manner that even I feel surprised to live such a decent life which is almost stress-less and tension-less. I usually don't compare myself or my life with anyone's but when I compare my life with what I had in school and what I have now, I can imagine my parent's contribution to it. It is because of them that I have been able to work upon my dreams since last 4 years since I joined BCA+MCA and also started Blogging. Otherwise life before it was nothing beyond average. They have brought me up with a message that I am made for something special. That has always motivated me.

 The petty values that other parents feel that their child would learn himself thinks wrong. My parents always had themselves on toes just because they wanted to teach me every small and big thing of life and about life. The best thing that they have taught me is to respect every penny that I earn. The second best that they taught me is to never be greedy by seeing at someone's wealth. They always taught me to give treat to my friend as soon as I get a treat. They always made sure that I don't ask for money to anyone. And for that, one has to save his money. So automatically I understood the logic. Every time I see a wealthy and rich guy, I never feel that I should loot him in the name of relationship. Instead I wish and hope that I would be like him one day. It has affected such that I have never ever demanded party from anyone for anything. I always believe that a person should keep his money and success with himself because it's in moment of failure that these money and success gives a mean of survival.

  Whatever goodness I have in me is because of my parent's ambition for me. Whatever defect and incompleteness I have in me is because of my ignorance, laziness, block of mind and unwillingness to learn fast. I can never ignore a single request and order of my parents. I can sacrifice any happiness of my life for a smile on their faces. For me, no one comes even at a distance of 1/100th part of my parents. No one has done even that closer to what they have done to me. When someone says that I am a wonderful person, I directly give its credit to my parents rather than boasting 100 more things about me though I don't have qualities more than two in me. On the 25th Anniversary of my parents, I gifted them a customized table calendar designed by me as a common gift, Sony's 16.1 Megapixel camera to my father and Samsung Microwave Oven to my mother. Also hosted a party ceremony at one of the best restaurants of my town. The whole event right from cake cutting to eating at restaurant was held as exactly as I planned it hence I was as happy as anyone could have been. I wish my parents a wonderful life ahead and promise them that I will try my best to always give them the smile that they strongly deserve in life. 


23 November 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

Dinner Date by Ishaan Lalit (Book Review- 2.75/5)!!!

980th BLOG POST -->>

     This is the 2nd book that I am reading from the new emerging publisher- Author's Empire. I have not yet checked their distribution but if next time I would be going to Crossword or Landmark store in Mumbai, I would be checking if their 2-3 titles are present or not. After that, whichever book I would be reviewing of their, I would mention if as a new publication, they are ready to cover the country or focusing only in their zone like Mahaveer Publication generally does. That's the only issue I have with new publications that they don't distribute the book well and depend only on Online pre-ordering and ordering. Let's see what Author's Empire does in future. 

             Well, for now, after Chakra by Ritu Lalit, I have read book of her son, Ishaan Lalit, that's also published by the same, AE Publication, named "Dinner Date". Ishaan Lalit is basically known for writing Sci-fi novel which is popular only in the small section of readers and hence this book could have given him a wonderful image as its from the commercial fiction genre. Though I felt that the book was nice but there's lot of improvement that could have been suggested by the people who read it in developing stage. And its quite evident that the writer's purpose of writing this book was something different- Because some critic challenged him in his review that he writes sci-fi only because he can't write anything else, he tried his hands on this. And he passes with 50% marks, I would say. 

About the Author:-
Ishaan Lalit is a seasoned author with three books already in the market. His unusual plots and the pace of his books have gathered much appreciation. His first book ‘The Bracelet’ gathered good reviews from both HT City and Pioneer. His second book Hexagon, won The Best Science Fiction Award at the Indian Literary Awards. Ishaan Lalit is also an aviator and adventurer. His third book Dinner Date is one of the most highly anticipated books of 2013. He has travelled many countries and that shows in his writing as his books mix multiple cultures and personalities seamlessly. He currently resides in Delhi - NCR but is often out of the country looking for new material to write about.

Sam Thomas, today he is a charming, well-dressed, successful lawyer, but he was not always so. He was a goofy, clueless, awkward young man. The first time a beautiful girl kissed him, he ran away screaming, which led to the rumours that he was gay. When he tried to put the rumours to sleep, he only ended up getting into worse trouble and got beaten up by the schools gymnastics team. Dinner Date is the story of one evening, when Sam recounts his story and tells of how he and his friends, Ram and Rohit, go from one fiasco to another in their law school, from almost getting expelled to meeting his estranged godfather, to falling in love with the Deans daughter. The trio fumbles through all the obstacles comically. Dinner Date is a love caper, set amidst moot courts, law school, politics and family secrets.

        Coming to the author I would say:- Yes, he has written a book that can be read one time but the people who are already a fan of this genre may feel disappointed because it offers nothing new. The writing style is wonderful with easy language and funny scenarios being discussed in the story every now and then. That's the best part about the author. He does not like to keep the story simple. And the only story that one loves to read is the one with twists and turns. Everything in the book seems to be incomplete, that's the only problem with the author that I have. He should have carved the story more deeply and tried to create more branches out of the main plot. But what we get to witness is the main plot discussed repeatedly in the book. But still, cutting short all the pros and cons, I would say that the writing style is readable. 

        Initially, when the concept of Godfather is brought up in the book, I said to myself,"Is this really happening?" but as the story progressed and the role of Alex kept getting better, I enjoyed every part of it. I also loved the interaction between Godfather, Sam and his parents. The family values are beautifully portrayed. Aditi is one character I would love to convert into real life person. She is too interesting to be with. What a character! For this, I would like to thank author. Haha! The court session in the beginning when Sam and his friend had to prove themselves to stay in college is one wonderful part of the book. His equation with Ravi Ahuja is also interesting to read. I wanted the friendship to be shown with more power between the three friends but its kept very low profile. Whatever! The changing attitude of Sam after a while and then coming back into aukaat is also a good modification done in the plot. In all, I would say that the book is fine read when you are in journey. But I won't recommend you the book being a die-hard reader. Cover page is beautiful, no doubt. Well done, Amol Karambe. 


20 November 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

A Middle-class boy in the 5-Star Hotel Trident!!!

979th BLOG POST -->>       

I, sitting in brown shirt being shown on Aaj Tak!!!
  You all must have read my recent Blog where I reported Salaam Sachin event that I got to attend. Well, that wasn't the way I would have written if they would have left me to write it in my own way. I couldn't share my personal experiences there because I had to behave like an Online Reporter. Who knew that these roles come with the tag of being a Blogger! Strange! The Salaam Sachin event was organized by the India Today Group to pay tribute to Mr. Sachin Tendulkar on his retirement and thank him for the 24 years of entertainment and pride that he has provided us. The show was telecast live on Headlines Today and Aaj Tak. Well, knowing me, you all must be surprised that how this common man landed up at an event which is been organized at such a big platform and has celebrities like Abhishek Bachchan, Suresh Raina, Brian Lara, Ajit Tendulkar, Anjali Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Gavaskar, Mohd. Azharuddin, Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis, Rameez Raja, Sania Mirza, Sushil Kumar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Bishan Singh Bedi, Kiran More, Rajiv Shukla, Gulshan Grover, Raza Murad, Javagal Srinath, Prahlad Kakkar, Boria Mazumdar, Sweta Singh, Vikrant Gupta, Nilim Dutta, Keli Purie etc. 

             Now when I say that I got to see and meet these celebrities, I don't say it casually. It's like a dream come true. Well, who had dreamed something like this 3 years ago? I never knew that a stage would come in life where I would be continuously invited to the events where numerous celebrities are present on stage in front of me and even among audience around me. Well, before getting to this let me start it from the moment I started getting goosebumps. Never ever before this experience had I entered a 5 star restaurant. This year itself I promised one of my friend that I shall show by entering into a 5 star and eating something. But I didn't know that I would get an invitation itself and that too in one of the Best 5 5-star restaurant of Mumbai that's located at Nariman Point which can be said as the hub of Bollywood. Trident Hotel! Oh My God! That was itself an achievement for me. Leave the meeting-and-greeting-celebrity part. Well, let me tell you before starting the next paragraph- I was shown multiple times on television sitting in the audience. I am uploading a pic or two with the post so that you can see the snapshot of it.

            After I entered the Hotel and I got to see the interior, my legs lost its confidence and got slow. They had never walked in an area that looked so grand and elegant. Somehow I reached the venue and at the entry when they asked me who am I and I said "I am a Blogger. Abhilash Ruhela. Being invited here for reporting". And the smart girl with waxed legs and red-lipstick with black-frame specs on her face said,"ABR, right?" and I corrected her,"ARB". She then said with the best smile I have ever experienced at the distance of 1.5 feet from my eyes,"Oh sure sir. You can get in". Just after this moment of getting identified by a totally beautiful stranger, I went and sat on the most last table in the hall which looked nothing less than the drawing room of the big-budget 1990s movie. I saw the stage, the cameras installed everywhere around and smart journalists, all whom I see on televisions, walking here and there in their suits and coats. Some how, I started feeling inferior and low.

            I started feeling that I would be thrown out of this venue after few minutes for violating the rules of entering into an event of this kind. I felt that one had to wear rich cloths, have rich look, amazing accent and posing attitude whenever camera starts focusing at us. I felt as if everyone was looking at me though people were busy in their own world. Somehow the function began and I started breathing as the lights turned off and only the stage shined. And then I realized that people here haven't come to observe and disrespect me but the whole focus is on the man who have created the history- Sachin Tendulkar. A documentary played where the whole 24 years were shown in a beautiful summary to us. After some minutes, Ajit Tendulkar got up on stage to speak with the journalist sitting with him, Boria Mazumdar, who is writing the official autobiography of Sachin Tendulkar. Wow! What a lucky man he is! And I was bowled over. As the session kept progressing, I started shifting my table and got ahead. After some time, I was sitting in the very first row. 

            Seeing the celebrities around me I wanted to get along with them, talk with them, tell them how big a fan I am and get a snap of me so that I can always feel the heat in me whenever I would see those picture. But then I noticed the people sitting around me, all of them were Crorepatis and they were themselves a celebrity in their own way. These celebrities and Cricket stars are daily things for them. They didn't feel any heat in experiencing the legends around them. And because of these sophisticated class, even I had to behave decently. Just being around people of this upper-rich class develops your personality and builds etiquette even when no one taught you before. After some time, I saw the photographers sitting just below me. They were the most wonderful talent in the whole hall. They had wonderful and big cameras in their hands which I have never seen in anyone's hands before. They were regularly taking snaps of the celebrities in every pose and each photo that they took were such a master class that I felt like laughing over my friends who have "My Photography" album in their FB account just because they have a  DSLR camera and knows a function through which they can add their name's watermark on every picture that they click. As if having their name on our picture will make us a celebrity among our another circle of friends that a photographer of Dabboo Ratnani level has clicked my pic. Haha! A long way to go my self-proclaimed photographer friends. 

             I was so impressed by their work that for rest of the time I preferred to sit with them rather than those suited-booted public who carried a fake smile throughout the event. Everyone is fake in that community. There is such a race of brand and attitude that they have forgotten that they are as much human beings as those living in Dharavis. Everyone had a bit of arrogance on their face because they have achieved enough money to pay bill of their air-conditioners all their life. Later on when lunch, coffee, cocktail and dinner were provided, I just thanked God for blessing me 5-star food for free. :-) Now who dreams this? I just dreamed and wished of earning enough so that I can afford food at this restaurant all my life. But when did I dream about having food here for free as a guest? Never! Out of say, 20 dishes, I didn't understand what 16 of them were even after reading their names. May be, the middle class does not have access to few vegetables still. 

          At last, I met Abhishek Bachchan. Somehow I collected all my guts and asked him to shake hands with me. After that, I asked him,"Do we get the same feel when we shake hands with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan?" He laughed and said,"Buddy, you hug me". And then I hugged Abhishek Bachchan. Now, do you think that I am writing this paragraph as if its a normal thing for me? Oh come on. I am not from that fake class of people to show off here that I am made up for all this. All this is a complimentary benefit that God is giving me for treating life as the biggest jewelry that he has granted me with. After the whole show when I was returning back to home by local train, I was thinking how much effort is needed to be in the elite class that I experienced for whole 11 hours on the day, 12th November, 2013. For the whole journey of 1.30 hours of Local, I was thinking and planning my life for next 10 years so that I would be there with them after a decade or two. :-) Let's see. But I would like to thank all of you for wishing best and praying selflessly for me because of which I get to experience such beautiful things in life. I know you are as much happy as me. :-) 

 Love you.


A Child within us misses its originality :-(

978th BLOG POST -->>

   Last week, India celebrated Children's day. It is one of the most controversial days in my home. My mother used to forcibly make me wish her Mother's Day when I was kid. Even when there was no Twitter and Facebook, I knew that Mother's Day has to be celebrated every day and not just once :-) but still mummy used to ask me to wish her. I never used brain then. But from last 3 years, I make her wish me on 14th November on Children's Day. Every time I ask her do that, she says that it is just birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru and nothing else to which I have to reply that even on Mother's Day, there would be something as unrelated thing as this but when it's already a culture at home, it has to be followed. :-) Children's day makes me remember those days at school when we were asked to wear white kurta and pyjama and come to school with a rose in hand because Mr. Nehru loved it. If they would have asked to do the same today, I would have taken Rahul Gandhi's effigy and asked all my classmates to kick it. Maa ki! Congress! Huh!

            Shouldn't we relocate Children's Day on Atal B. Vajpayee's birthday than Nehru's at least now after seeing what kind of generation he has produced and gone? Well, let's leave the politics behind. I have already ceased talking about it. My friends know it very well my love for children. Every time I go to mall or garden with them, they find that I have lost somewhere. When they search me, they find that I am around some child and loving him or just looking at him because I am scared that his smart mommy won't like me getting closer to her sweet kid. :-) There are certain attributes that I love in children. If you will observe a small child, you will find that he would be wanting to do every second thing that he finds people around him doing. He wants to learn every thing that people around him does. I remember a small kid I had as my neighbour when I was in Nashik. Once, he saw me picking up 10 kg packet of Atta. He came and started trying to pick it up and insisted for 1 hour. His face turned red but he didn't accept defeat. At last, we found him sleeping on the packet itself. He kept trying until he slept on it after getting tired. That's what we lose after growing up. 

         Similarly, you will observe that a child is ready to go into anyone's arm without judging the person initially. Only when a child is in bad mood that he ignores everyone and wants to put his head down on his mother's shoulder. Even in the evening, a child is ready to play around with any child that he finds. He does not judge anyone initially. A child runs away particularly from the person who beats, troubles and irritates him. That's the only reason why a child ignores someone. But after growing when a child turns into you and me, he judges everyone by his caste, religion, language, mother tongue, financial status, color, complexion, education, success etc. If all of us turn into a child even today, we will find ourselves jumping and twisting ourselves in fun and joy just as the child in our neighborhood does.

            That child when gets beaten by mother or father does get angry at them but at the same time, he screams "mummy.. mummy.." continuously while crying. He knows that even when my parents aren't allowing me to do things that I want to do, they are the ones who will also wipe my tears at the time of pain and disappointment. But now, after growing up, we neither celebrate our birthdays with parent nor we discuss our problems with them. We prefer talking and partying with our friends who are a temporary part(except few) of life rather than parents even when our experiences say that it's our parents who pulled us out of the mud when all our friends surrendered to help. How ignorant we have turned in all these years. The child that we were was such a perfect person. If we would have continued to be the same, we would have been a perfect legend today beating right from Abdul Kalam to Sachin Tendulkar. 

            A child falls uncountable times while walking but does not stops walking or trying for it. He wants to himself walking and running the same way as his father or mother. A child does not get satisfied with his milk if he sees that his parents are sipping tea. He wants to have what his parents are having. He always wants to do what bigger people do around him. He does not settle for worst or even mediocre. He wants the best. But with time, he grows up and stops learning, trying, dreaming and slogging. And with it, the excitement of childhood that he had diminishes away and what remains with him is an egoistic body and heartless soul. That kid loves to pick up coin from floor of the house and keep it safely so that no one takes it away from him. After years, he spends the same money without counting it on his friends who use him for fun and entertainment. That child who loved to cut cake bought by parents on birthday stops even celebrating birthday with parents and goes with friend and expects cake from them. This is how we grew up and lost a beautiful soul that we had in us. In this month of Children's Day, let's try to get back to that child and let's put effort to retrieve all our wonderful attributes back to our personality. :-)