Monday, 15 July 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

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

1777th BLOG POST -->>

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

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

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

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



Friday, 12 July 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

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

1776th BLOG POST -->>

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

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

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

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



Thursday, 11 July 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

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

1775th BLOG POST -->>

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

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

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

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

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

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



Tuesday, 2 July 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Lead with Purpose Like Anand Mahindra by Rajiv Agarwal (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

1774th BLOG POST -->>

Constantly reviewing books makes you aware even about the strategies that the Publishers implement and believe it or not, that impacts the reading experience for good actually. Rupa Publications have initiated a new series named “Management Lessons From The Masters” in which they talk about personalities who have built their brand with their management skills. The first one was on the management lessons by Kumar Mangalam Birla whereas the 2nd book that I have just finished is based on Anand Mahindra, one of my favorite entrepreneurs too. The book is titled “Lead With Purpose Like Anand Mahindra” and written by the same author, Rajiv Agarwal, who is a family business consultant.

The book has around 17 beautiful chapters across 153 pages where each one of them provides us wonderful insight on specific management lessons inspired from the corporate life of Anand Mahindra. I work in an IT company where Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd. is one of our clients and therefore even before reading this book, I was quite aware about Anand Mahindra and his achievements. The book describes his humility along with the successes that he has achieved. How he has enabled the strength in the employees of his company-either at the board level or just a young candidate who has joined in is narrated with examples and results which is really something that one can learn from.

The way Mr. Anand used to hear out his employees’ ideas and boost them take it up without interfering in the project is an amazing read as it really tells about his personality and the reason why Mahindra is so big today. Also, the equation of Anand with Ratan Tata is an entertaining read and how in one of the instances, Anand treated a comment by Tata as a pat on back by elder brother is beautifully highlighted by the author. It teaches a lot. Similarly, for every merger and acquisition, the treatment with the other party by Anand is also mentioned which tells his dynamics and decision-making capabilities.

Along with such instances which are generally common in all the entrepreneurs, the new things that we get to learn is what makes this book a recommendable option for the readers such as how Mahindra encouraged innovation through the concept of Mavericks and Skunkworks. Similarly, the concept of Blue chip conferences, Annual War Room, Roadshow and shadow boards is afresh and something that can really motivate other leaders to follow to understand everyone’s point of view. How Anand Mahindra went against the theory of core competencies and followed Value Chain Theory describes how he manages risks and competencies. Along with the successful points of Mr. Anand Mahindra, author has also discussed how he has also failed in some decisions, mostly in the automobile department. I liked how author has covered many aspects of this personality which I can surely not cover in this short review but reading this book makes you a little better professional, I certainly believe this. The book is also summarized beautifully in the end which serves the purpose of keeping the reader focused towards self-motivation and improvement.

Now, talking about couple of drawbacks: - In the first half of the book, many points are repeated quite some time which bores you as the same point are later on, covered up in a specific chapter based on it. Also, in the initial chapters, as big numbers are continuously discussed, it gives a negative impression that you might dislike the book due to too much technical stuff being discussed. But thankfully, later, nothing as such is faced. Except these few points, I didn’t find any such lacking points in the book which should be pointed out specifically. I give this one 4.25 stars out of 5.



Saturday, 29 June 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

A Man From Mandu by Manoj V Jain (Book Review- 4.75*/5) !!!

1773rd BLOG POST -->>

When you pick up a book to read on a weekend, you are serious about it and want it to be good so that this day which is meant for you doesn’t end up getting wasted. With similar hopes, I picked up Manoj V Jain’s 6th book named “A Man From Mandu” published by Notion Press. After completing this book, I can surely not complain as this is one of the best reads of this year for me. Yes, this is the kind of book you wish to read regularly and curse the author that why did you not write something as beautiful as this. The book is not even 170 pages but the amount of beautiful moments and messages it gives you throughout are surely going to stay with you forever.

Starting specifics about the book, first of all, I would say that the blurb of the book is perfect. Also, this is one of the most unique topics that author has picked up and the kind of justice given to it right from the first page is immensely beautiful. The question always stays with you if the guy is a Guru or a fraudster. The protagonist of the book initially seems to be Tarini and the way it moves down to Dhawal and then his projection as Avishkar Baba is so perfectly woven that you don’t feel isolated with the story and narration even once. The characterization of all the characters are done so deeply and perfectly that you can actually imagine each one of them along with their body languages. I liked how author has written all the scenes keeping it precise and up to the point rather than giving useless detailing of natures and surroundings and then coming down to the point. There are very few Indian authors who are sure about their story that they don’t trap readers into these false set-ups.

The way all the chapters are classified and treated gives this book a sense of an anthology too. Every chapter has a quote in the beginning which is said by Avishkar Baba himself and then the whole chapter is based upon the same quote itself. After finishing every chapter, I read the quote once again and it meant deeper after it. After completing the book, I read those quotes again and I must say, some of them really brought changes in me. Then author has also told short stories in between through Avishkar Baba’s character and those stories are gems and USP of this book. All stories are so distinct from each other and none of them are boring, pretentious or half-baked. Those are the stories you would want to re-read to decipher more positives from it.

The way the timeline of the book shifts from the current set-up to the initial days when Dhawal and Tarini got together gives the book a new dimension altogether. It becomes a Surprise for the reader. Also, the climax of the book is so nicely closed that I was just getting emotional yet happy because the reader in me was delighted to have read such a book which leaves you with so many questions and answers that after finishing the book, I kept on talking with my inner self. The way author has embedded philosophy, spirituality, love and struggles- all into this small story of 170 pages is applaudable and I give this book nothing less than 4.75* out of 5. The book also discusses light insight into how someone is marketed and made a hype among people through social media and other strategies. I think I should now go on to read other 5 books written by Manoj V Jain as he doesn’t seem to be an author whose stories can be missed.

Highly recommended!



Thursday, 27 June 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

How to Finish Everything You Start by Jan Yager (Book Review: 3.25*/5) !!!

1772nd BLOG POST -->>

Reading non-fiction books are a game that I love playing whenever I get time. Though there is excitement in fiction books but the kind of refreshment a non-fiction book provides is amazing. It is because the way it connects with your own life. You don’t need to relate with any character as while reading a non-fiction, you can relate directly with yourself and your life. The book that I have finished reading just now is “How to Finish Everything You Start” written by the author of 46 other books- Jan Yager and published by my favorite non-fiction books’ publisher- Jaico.

The book comes with a tagline- “Habits to Transform your life”. The title of the book is what made me get in awe with it as it is something that all of us are concerned about with our routine. There are so many things that we start but are unable to finish and complete it due to multiple causes. Author has tried here to define all those prospective causes and provide the solution on how we don’t repeat the same mistakes and follow some basic rules to ensure that when we start something new next time, we don’t end up keeping it unfinished. Author has defined FINISH rule which focuses on prioritizing the tasks one by one, ignoring distractions etc. which is really practical and goal-oriented.

The best part about the book is the exercises and actions defined in the end of each chapter and in some cases, between the chapters. These are really something which makes you think upon yourself and the way you have been managing things until now. It regularly keeps striking you how we have not given importance to our multiple tasks with equal importance till now. Overall, the book is written with a very good intent where author has gone into as specific as possible that a chapter is completely dedicated for authors on how to complete a book.

Now, talking about the drawbacks, I felt author just couldn’t give a straight flowchart on how to provide tips and advises to the reader as several times there are references given of a chapter where the rest of the topic has been explained. This makes the reading experience difficult as reader keeps getting such interruptions though this issue in the book is for initial few chapters only. Secondly, I felt there are many more tips and tricks that author could have discussed as I believe whatever has been mentioned is already known to the readers; it’s just that author balanced it with those exercises at the end of the chapters which are definitely unique. Overall, this book is definitely a fine read if you have not read many self-help books as this shall really help with its easy language and short chapters. I give this 3.25* out of 5.



Wednesday, 26 June 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Movie Review: Kabir Singh: Wonderfully Directed, Scripted & Acted! ****

1771st BLOG POST -->>

The love stories in Bollywood are made with such ideal scenarios and characters that it sometimes becomes hard to believe and live with them for 2-3 hours. It is also the reason why many Bollywood love stories fail to connect with audience. YJHD or Aashiqui 2 did well because the male characters in the movie had their own flaws which didn’t allow them to keep their partner or friends completely happy. Kabir Singh has released just this Friday and within 5 days, it has touched 100 crores and as per its trend, people have estimated to be challenging this year’s biggest hit- URI. This movie is also doing well because the character is 100 times more flawless than those characters.

Kabir Singh, the movie, is a story about the character with the same name who is not a cute chocolate boy that everyone idolizes but is a drug addict, alcoholic, womanizer and has anger-management issues. He is humble and soft-spoken with no one in particular. In front of his anger, he gives up even on himself and the one he troubles a lot is no one else but himself. He meets a girl named Preeti in the college and falls in love with her so much that anyone touching or seeing her is subject to be victim of his violence. The first half of the movie is more about how both the characters fall in love with each other whereas 2nd half is more about how the character of Kabir suffers loneliness and separation from his love partner.

The one thing that remains constant throughout 1st and 2nd half is Kabir Singh’s character’s anger and madness. The direction and story-writing of the movie is done so well by Sandeep Vanga that you don’t hate the character but stand with him so that he gets the girl forever as only it can make him little normal and ideal. The way the anger and fury of the character is portrayed throughout the movie is debatable but as I have seen such characters in my life, it is very practical and right on your face. The movie’s screenplay is so beautifully managed that you are with the character and story even when it is almost 3 hours long. Though few actions of the character are surely debatable due to its aggression on the girl he loves and other women as such and similarly, the way girls are portrayed in the movie, but, a movie is not meant to show the ideal world but a story as it is- even if it is imperfect or its characters are not ideal.

The background score has played a very big part in making this movie look more good than it already is. The way both the music- played during aggressive/violent scenes and love scenes are balanced shows the kind of effort put in by the team. The songs are also very soulful and not inserted just for the sake of it but matches with the storyline. The dialogues are powerful and entertaining. The climax of the movie is what makes you come out of the cinema hall smiling which again I believe is the success of the makers that they managed to not bore the audience even when ideal families get involved in the story.

Talking about the performances, it can surely be said now that Shahid Kapoor gives superlative performance whenever his character is aggressive or dark. This has already been seen with Udta Punjab, Kameeney and Haider. But seriously speaking not getting carried away in the moment, this is Shahid Kapoor’s best performance till date for sure. I am expecting him to carry this momentum for his future career. Kiara Advani doesn’t have much to do as she got to display her skills only in 1st half even in which she is silent for most of the parts. She was more expressive in Lust Stories but still, she has given a fine performance. Rest all the supporting actors have supported the movie well, kudos, to the actor who played Kabir Singh’s friend character.

Coming to the character’s portrayal which is being debated across the nation, let me tell you, in the theatre while I was watching the movies, the girls around me were regularly awing and ooooing throughout the movie with their instant reactions such as “Kya Swag hai yaar”, “How cool” etc. during the violent scenes. So, discussing this is senseless as every individual has its own opinion on what’s right or wrong. I give this movie 4 stars out of 5 as even after one day, it is not ready to leave my mind.

Go and watch it.



25 Essentials To Happy Living by Preeti Pathak (Book Preview) !!!

1770th BLOG POST -->>

These days people have started inclining towards Spirituality which is a very good thing. The best option to get near to Spirituality are books related to them. One needs to get a very powerful book on Spirituality to understand it completely and follow it with purity and cleanliness. I recently picked up a book named “25 Essentials To Happy Living” written by Preeti Pathak and published by Vishwakarma Publications.

The book is of around 125 pages with 25 different chapters: - obviously each one of them discussing about specific essentials which which the authoress suggests are important for living happily. The book is great for beginners as authoress have used simple concepts to explain what is needed for us to understand the essence of life and quest to achieve the same to ensure that we find ourselves in the spot as less as possible. The basic purpose of all the 25 chapters is to ensure that the readers understand that living happy is not as tough as we think it is and it all depends upon our perspective towards things. If we get on following few basics and give considerations to things we think are needed to be taken care by others around us, we can achieve happiness very easily.

The book is written in a very simple language which shall make it easy for anyone to finish it within an hour or two. The book has tips on several concerns like stress management, money, anger, criticism, ego, being judgmental, communication, parenting, love, friendship, devotion, possessive nature, freedom, emotions, karma etc. The best part is that in this short book of introducing people with concept on which there is always negligence and ignorance, author has ensured that people would actually start feeling positivity. After every chapter, a quote or section said/written by Paramhansa Yogananda is mentioned which I found as effective as the complete chapters.

Overall, this book is recommended for beginners and practitioners too who are looking out for options which can ease the stress of their life and they can start living happily but are not interested in going through a 300-400 pages full-fledged book.



Tuesday, 25 June 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Is Darkness & Unclarity really bad for your Life?

1769th BLOG POST -->>

People believe in keeping the darkness away from their life. Everyone talks about keeping the negatives away. No one wishes to have tragedy around them. I have always experienced the best learning curves only in the moments when I am headed towards darkness and unclarity. When we are in light, we don’t tend to see the brightness that is making us feel comfortable and confident. We feel that is our state of mind. We feel nothing great is happening to us even if we get some of the great superior experiences or opportunity. The reason is that we have all shiny white around us. How would one feel the presence of that one light which has just created magic suddenly in the extensive brightness?

But when you have darkness all around and you can see nothing except black and there suddenly you find a ray of light coming in towards you, every dimension of your body accepts that light and gives credit for whatever light there is in your life and moment. When my mobile shall always have above 80% battery and someone would give me charger I will never get to understand the importance of a charger. It is only when my battery percentage is below 5% and I won’t be having any charger around me and somehow someone lends me the charger for 15 minutes will I understand what a charger meant to me all my life.

Hence, I believe though our trials and efforts should always be to ensure that we have light and positivity around us but if there isn’t any, we should feel more positive and curious as we know we are in a better state to realize the important things that makes our life rather than concentrating upon wrong factors and thinking them to be our reason of happiness. Your mobile is nothing without a charged battery or charger. Your home is nothing without electricity. Your car is nothing without fuel. Your lifestyle is nothing without money and credit card. Your expensive clothes are nothing without an Iron. You need little challenging moments to understand the above relatability otherwise you shall keep believing in illusions and the day you lose your charger, electricity, fuel, money or an Iron shall you acknowledge their importance and presence in your life by when you shall be in a forever darkness which shall never let you enjoy the moment of light again.

Hence, every time, you see hurdles, obstacles and nothingness in your life understand that it is going to make you learn where the source of light is and how it gets transformed in such a manner that it starts benefiting you who didn’t even know the answer till date. Few people teach us to always walk on the roads which are safe. Never have this attitude if you want to understand and learn why a road is safe or unsafe and then try making the unsafe one safe with your findings on what is lacking for it to become a safe road. There is always an individual who changes the mindset, trend, village and even the world. But that individual needs to be not just an individual but also an enlightened and powered one. And we have already discussed above how the enlightenment can be achieved in day-to-day tough situations from which we wish to run away from. So now is the time to get in to the darkness and learn things rather than celebrating the ever-bright moments of your life and being in your very own cocoon of righteousness which is actually foolishness. Hope this post shall make you understand where I am coming from.



Wednesday, 19 June 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

The Patomskiy Crater by Khemkarann (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

1768th BLOG POST -->>

Well, when you chose a 400-pages book to read, you just pray before starting that it turns out to be good. And more so when you understand nothing by its title, it’s scarier. And when you are also reading the author for the first time, it’s all God’s play now how your long reading session shall end like. Thankfully, I can say that I didn’t have bad experience reading the book titled “The Patomskiy Crater” by the author, Khemkarann. The book is published by The Write Place publication house. The book is all and out a complete thriller and makes it clear within the first few pages itself.

The author must be appreciated for the fact that he had enough guts to give a title to his book which is tough even to pronounce the same but the confidence is quite evident which reflects in the way the story is been written. Right from the 1st page, author has come directly on the point where you realize that the story is going to be a tough read due to the kind of suspense it is going to hold and it does that. I liked how author has chosen to keep the narration for specific group of characters in parallel through different chapters that you feel like you are watching a movie which doesn’t have background music where everyone is walking and chasing and running from someone and is yet scary being noiseless. I liked how author didn’t narrate the whole story in a continuous timeline but chose to bring all the characters together by treating everyone as protagonist in their own timeline of events.

The book is divided into 80 different chapters. Yes, you heard it right. 80 DIFFERENT CHAPTERS and each chapter describes a scene about specific group of characters which makes you know more about what happened with them but in the next chapter you have similar excitement for different group of characters which are discussed and at the end of the chapter, now you want to know what happened with this set of people. This is what makes this book amazing and I would call it the USP of the story-telling of the author.

The way each character is introduced in the first half of the book is amazing. It becomes little difficult to remember each of them as names used are not Indian whereas I am used to reading books with Indian characters but post that, there are no unwanted characters inserted in the book which makes it easier to connect with the characters. Author plays with only those characters who are meant to enrich the story. The good thing which helped in the way the background of the story is developed is author’s background- as the Author is a Mumbaikar but has been staying in UK since last 16 years, the book had flavour of both- though the characters were based in foreign but their emotions were very much Indian.

In the pre-climax and climax, the way the story unfolds when all the characters end up meeting and the game of run and chase ends, makes you jump and sit to know who would end up being the criminal of all. I am glad author ended the book with some facts revealed which actually excites you and makes you believe the story rather than shrugging it off the way it generally happens with Indian-based authors. I am also glad that even though the book was initially about friends, author didn’t waste time in the useless friendship tales and flashbacks.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book, I must say that the book could have been edited and shortened very well by almost 100 pages. Yes. The biggest problem is that the synopsis or blurb, whatever you call it, mentions too much which is then elaborated in book for too long which bores you at times. Also, in between, the run-and-chase becomes too monotonous with nothing much getting revealed but only the same cycle getting repeated. Similarly, I felt that Vin’s father’s role could have been used more to twist the story as he was a key character. Similarly, the mask men are hyped too much even having them on the cover page but they are also too under-utilized in the story. The title of the book gets mentioned in the final part of the book but it could have also been made the centre point of the story right from the beginning.

Saying it all, I would say this is one of the genuine thriller I read which is written with heart. I give this book 4* out of 5.



Monday, 10 June 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Master Your Money, Master Your Life by Abhishek Kumar (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

1767th BLOG POST -->>

As far as my memory goes, I have read around 3-4 books related to how we can manage our money and finances with many tips out there. But the problem with those books was that it explained money and the methods to save it in the way that someone like me who has started earning since last 3-4 years itself shall never be able to comprehend the jargons and what to do exactly to understand whom to believe and whom not to believe. I have finally completed reading a book which has actually satisfied me in terms of suggestions provided. The book is “Master Your Money Master Your Life” by 2nd time author, Abhishek Kumar, and published by Wisdom Tree.

Reading a non-fiction book becomes great when authors try to keep language and narration simple and I must applaud Abhishek for managing to explain such complex terms and topics in as easy language as possible that reading this book has not only been informative but also entertaining and exciting. There are so many advertisements, financial advisors, family agents, family friends who have filled our minds with multiple concepts on how money can be multiplied and saved. Author had a difficult task of going against them and putting up his belief and make sure the reader agrees with it. I must say I agreed on most of things that Author explained in the book though there are few things on which I did disagree too.

Author has divided the book into different segments to take the things ahead gradually so that readers can grasp the same with the pace of the book. Author starts by explaining the concept of Goal-making which we generally find in Management books and with-it author tries to convince us to be serious for mastering our money and monitor it by creating a serious goal for the same. And then the author goes on explaining us how we are made to believe that our life has been simplified with loans that we can take even for our small purchases but derives the conclusion on how we are actually losing money with each loan. Post that, author goes on a long spree to dilute our passion for owning as many credit cards as possible. In fact, author suggests us to not have credit card at all. Well, here I disagreed as author tries giving suggestions that seems to be too over-protective. Anyway, the myths that author busts regularly up till this chapter is really an eye-opener.

The good thing till this chapter in this book is that in the 1st half, author has told us what not to do and what to completely avoid so that we spend less on things which are not necessary. But the problem here is that still, author has not begun speaking on what needs to be done to save and multiply money. Post this, author starts providing us concepts such as Five Funds Funda where he tells us how to distribute our money to assure we are able to secure all kind of requirements in our life which needs money to be fulfilled. Another unique thing that author has described in one of the chapters which is highly important is how you can effectively regulate and build your money if you and your spouse do it together rather than doing it individually. This is what many advisors miss to include while planning our money.

In the last quarter of the book, author concentrates upon the factors such as real estates, mutual funds, ULIP, Insurance etc. and shares his To-Do list and Not-To-Do list. Here also author has tried his best to keep the jargons away and explain as basic terms as possible so that people who know nothing about it can also enjoy the lessons given.

This book is actually a must-read book as the kind of myths that author has dismissed is really commendable and makes us understand a lot of things. I liked the Five Funds Funda concept and I am surely going to follow it as much as possible. The way author has tried explaining the concepts with the help of charts, fictional conversations and examples is effective and impacting. I am glad that author has not thrown much of calculations, percentages and numbers while explaining the same as it becomes highly irritating for the reader to understand the same and get stuck in a concept or on a page.

Now, talking about the drawbacks of the book, as I have already mentioned above, reader will have to wait for the complete 1st half of the book to actually know where the money needs to be kept. Secondly, as I said above for the chapter on Credit-cards, author has completely invalidated it whereas author should have also told us about how it can be used for benefits in control. Similarly, I believe there are many types of Pension Plans and Insurance Plans which author has not detailed the way I was expecting. If we should go towards LIC or other Insurance Companies and their differentiation and comparison isn’t provided. Similarly, author could have suggested some Mobile Apps which could help us in planning our money, buying stocks, investing in mutual funds etc. Similarly, I was expecting strategies from author on how to plan investment which can help us with Income tax. How to manage money even with having children and how to save for their education, marriage and future is not included.

But, overall, considering even these drawbacks, the book is still worthy enough to go through and follow the basic tips that author has suggested. I give this book 4 stars out of 5. Recommended for those who have just started earning and doesn’t know where to keep their money so that they can save it better.



Wednesday, 5 June 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Movie Review: Bharat: A strict Okay-ish movie! ***

1766th BLOG POST -->>

I stay in Navi Mumbai hence even after having some doubt on Salman Khan’s movies I still go to watch them because of the experience I get in the theatre as everyone in the audience is Salman’s die-hard fan as he has a farmhouse nearby in Panvel. I saw the FDFS of Bharat today and it was again a spectacular event seeing small children and Muslim families coming out in new clothes to celebrate Eid by watching the nation’s favorite actor- Salman Khan on the big screen.

Bharat is a great story on paper which narrates a character’s story from 8 years of age to 70 i.e. 1947 to 2010. The other great part of the story is that the character’s name itself is Bharat which is kept on the name of the country. Salman Khan playing the same makes this story sound more powerful. But when the same has been adapted in the movie and projected on the screen, it doesn’t turn out to be as special as it sounds textually; though it is watchable. The 1st half is interesting where it has been shown how the character of Bharat struggles for his survival by working at several places and even risking his life at times as he needs to keep the promise his father had given him before getting separated at the time of partition to protect his family as he is the eldest among siblings.

His 1st meet with other characters such as his friend, Vilayati (Sunil Grover), his 1st love interest- Radha (Disha Patani), his 2nd love interest- Kumud (Katrina Kaif) etc. is interesting and enjoyable. There are small humorous pieces in between which also works fine. But when the story moves to the 2nd half, the repeated display of Bharat’s survival in different kind of jobs becomes boring and monotonous. Then comes the important portion of the movie where Bharat gets a hope of reuniting with his father and sister due to a media-channel’s initiative to unite families from across borders who got separated during partition. This is where it seems the Bajrangi Bhaijaan effect has been applied in the pre-climax which actually makes you weep and shed some tears. But I believe story could have been ended just there but the director and writer stretch it little more to show the current lifestyle of the character, Bharat, at the age of 70 which becomes little too hard to digest.

Talking about the good parts of the movie- the movie starts off well and first half is entertaining and hopeful. The pre-climax emotions are also very well handled and actually works with the audience. The chemistry and love-angle between Salman and Katrina’s character is very nicely projected even though Katrina plays Salman’s boss. The chemistry between Salman and Sunil Grover’s characters where they play childhood friends is also beautifully projected. The dialogues are fine; not much issue with them though none of them will stay with you. Also, the process of getting jobs are also interesting to watch when you are uneducated in our country but want to earn bucks.

The stand-out performance in the movie is delivered by Sunil Grover who has a good length of role and is able to deliver the same strongly and comfortably without any nervousness in spite of sharing the screen with superstars like Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. Another good performance is delivered by Disha Patani who even in her short role impresses just like she did in Dhoni’s biopic. Salman Khan again plays himself in the movie like most of his movies in last decade hence if you are Bhai’s fan, he shall not disappoint you but if you aren’t, then it shall irritate to watch how he plays same kind of body language for all the age-group he is portraying. Even at 70, his make-up and body language are like that of 30 years old which irritates. Katrina Kaif is wonderful in this movie and I am very happy to say this once again after Zero. But same problem with her make-up when she is made to play aged part.

All the other characters are okay in their small roles.

Talking about the drawbacks of the movie:- The 1st thing that disappointed me throughout the movie is over-stretching most of the scenes such as the Circus part of Maut Ka Kuaa, the part in Middle-East when Salman and Grover’s characters start working under the ground in Middle-East and another boring part where some people come to loot their ship – makers have tried to make that segment funny giving references of Amitabh Bachchan but it is really irritating, the pre-climax though it clicks but even that is too long. There are many such scenes which starts eating the patience in the audience in you. The scene of separation between Salman and Jackie Shroff is played so many times that even though I loved that scene in the beginning, later on, I wanted to hit the screen with my shoes whenever it played. Another major setback in the movie is that the story of character is shown along with the development of the nation but there is nothing much that the makers are able to show about India or the character or the co-ordination between both of them. They only end up spoiling the same. Even the sets and ambience of the movie remains to be the same even though the year ranges from 1947 to 2010 which is really disappointing.

Overall, the movie is a one-time watch with all the irritating parts mentioned above. I would give this movie 2.75 starts out of 5 which rounds off to 3 stars which I believe I would still give because of the engaging sections too. But trust me, you can skip this movie from watching it in theatres and wait for it to come on television if you are not a Salman Khan fan.



Wednesday, 15 May 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Yug Purush by Savita Singh (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

1765th BLOG POST -->>

Reading about mythology in not-so-literary and serious manner has become a new cool for me. I remember my father gifting me a book on Mahabharata when I was child and I didn’t pick it up till date just because of its difficult vocabulary. But, since Amish Tripathi has come up with his Shiva trilogy, I have gone crazy about such books on mythology which are written in an easy to go language which believes in sharing the story and tale rather than improving our language. One such powerful book I read on the life of Lord Krishna is “Yug Purush” written by Savita Singh and published by Rupa publications.

To begin with, the cover page and overall aesthetic of the book is very beautiful and serene which compels you to pick it up above any other book. Yug Purush is the complete life story of Lord Krishna who is depicted as a simple human being with extra ordinary powers which made him special. Initially, the book seems to be boring as authoress take some time in building up the story and describing Krishna as we know him. As soon as those incidents begin with which we start feeling the connection with the character of the protagonist, the book becomes interesting. The book gives perspective of Krishna as a King and I had never read the tales which are mentioned about him of those times. It is interesting to read the many kind of decisions that Krishna took as a king for his people and kingdom.

The relationship of Krishna with Pandavas and Kauravas is very nicely portrayed which helps us to understand how he was connected with them and why he was involved throughout the proceedings that took place between the cousins. The way Krishna helped Pandavas before war with the Swayamwars, decision-making incidents, marriage etc. makes the read interesting as I have generally read only about the Bhagavad Geeta part mainly. Later on, the role of Krishna in the war and its arrangement is what makes the experience of reading the 2nd half of the book very thrilling and exciting. There is an adrenaline rush regularly while reading those parts where Krishna is regularly on toes and keeps on changing plans every now and then by right and wrong means to ensure that the righteous party wins the war.

The way even the wrong means of Krishna are discussed makes the book interesting as there is reason given for the same regularly without making you disbelieve in the character of Krishna ever. Even the anger of Krishna on certain incidents is nicely narrated as the way character of Krishna is developed, it becomes difficult to imagine him getting angry, frustrated or irritated but the authoress has played her part well. The ending of the book is also closed with such powerful tone that you just keep on thinking about it even after turning the last page. You just can’t believe this can happen with Krishna. Another thing that I would like to appreciate about authoress is wonderful editing of the book and ensuring it ends in one book itself rather than stretching it for trilogy or 5-book series.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book now: - As the focus of the author is on Krishna, all the other characters are not developed the way he is done hence you can’t connect with anyone else. Sadly, not even with Arjun. Krishna’s multiple marriages are discussed too much in the 1st half. The part when Krishna conversed with Arjun in the middle of the war ground is ended without even giving it a proper chapter hence excluding the Bhagavad Gita section completely. This disappointed me a lot. Also, the spiritual part of Krishna isn’t much explored in the book. Because Krishna is in focus, many important events of Mahabharata is also out of the scope of this book.

Overall, this book is a beautiful read and gives you peaceful feeling post completing the same. I give this book 4 stars out of 5.



Thursday, 9 May 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Sanjay Dutt: One Man, Many Lives by Ram Kamal Mukherjee (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!

1764th BLOG POST -->>

There are few personalities who are so shady in their character that people don’t know if they should talk good about them or bad but one thing is sure they are always a topic whenever their industry is discussed. One such personality is Sanjay Dutt from Bollywood industry who has been in so many controversies all through these years but yet gets sympathy of his fans and people knowing him. Whenever Sanjay Dutt’s life is discussed, it has so many dimensions to it that the topic just doesn’t end in few minutes. Still, Mr. Ram Kamal Mukherjee showed guts in summing up Sanjay Dutt’s life in less than 200 pages in his new book “Sanjay Dutt: One Man, Many Lives”. The movie on Sanjay Dutt that all of us witnessed last year also had the same tag line but this book is little more transparent than the movie.

Mukherjee has not treated this book as a biopic but talks like an editor which makes it interesting as author hasn’t got into useless detailing of his childhood etc. which has nothing to do with a normal reader though it could haven an interest point for a die-hard fan. Author has written the book being very neutral where he talks about both- the good part that Sanjay Dutt brought into the country through his profession and also the bad part he did being an actor and Indian citizen. Just as we saw in the movie, Sanju, here too, author focuses on Sanju Baba’s relationship with his father, Sunil Dutt, majorly. Author talks about Mr. Sunil Dutt as much as he talks about Sanjay Dutt in the book. The love that he had for his son but still he didn’t act as a good father throughout his childhood in order to be strict with him is discussed. Also, how he tried saving Sanjay Dutt from any severe punishment is also described in the book which tells about what a good father he was even without displaying his emotions.

Sanjay Dutt’s personal and professional life is given a glance in this book where almost everything from his drugs to court case to prison days to multiple marriages to his relationship with his sisters- before and after to his concern for his children to his relationships with his colleagues- ups and downs are discussed briefly. You will get many answers about Dutt’s life which certainly media never tells you without keeping bias. Sanjay Dutt’s professional life is also discussed where his trend setting styles, his gangster movies, his flops and hits, his relationship with his co-stars are given some light.

Sanjay Dutt’s relationship with Manyata is one of the USPs of the book as there are many insights about Manyata which shall definitely make you think twice about her commitment towards Dutt as not much is discussed about her in the media. Also, why Sanjay Dutt’s relationship gets on and off with his sisters, Salman Khan, Sanjay Gupta and other people associated with him is nicely narrated in the book. The way author has written or you can say, the way Sanjay Dutt’s life is, everything seems to be a fiction and therefore reading this book never becomes boring.

Author has tried to be as little biased as possible and it shows in the book where he talks everything as it is without trying to give his perspective to the story unlike what Indian media did because of which Sanjay Dutt suffered more than he deserved. Author’s language is very crisp and easy for anyone to go through this book without any concern. I managed to read the book in a single sitting and I was very satisfied with the way book has been handled. Talking about the drawbacks, I still felt that author knew much more but didn’t mention about Dutt. Also, most of the parts in the book are already out in the world through media and magazines and even through the movie- Sanju hence you actually don’t get to know much in 500 bucks that you expected. The images attached of Sanjay Dutt’s life in the book are not much relevant with the chapters.

Overall, this book is a great stuff to read if you have no information about Sanjay Dutt and are keen to know otherwise it can be ignored if you are already updated about his life through media and newspapers. I give this book 3.75* out of 5.