Sunday, 29 September 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Infin-eight by Prajeet Budhale (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

1792nd BLOG POST -->>



As I have always said, I love reading non-fiction books and generally during weekends, reading non-fiction is a different game al-together as I get proper place in my bedroom to concentrate on the mentioned points and make great notes of the same to be referred all lifelong even after finishing the book. This weekend, I picked up the book named “Infin-eight” written by Prajeet Budhale. This book is published by Fingerprint Publication in around 225 pages and also has a tagline which says, “Eight principles for infinite professional success”. The red cover page of the book with no overwhelming design gives this book a fresh and sincere look which makes you pick it up and give it a try.

The book discusses about eight principles which can give you INFINITE success in your professional world and career. The non-fiction in self-help genre generally speaks on overall behavioural transformation which helps you basically with your personal life only, but this book is focused on making your professional life brighter with each passing day. The way author has divided chapters where each one of them talks specifically about a principle gives you ample amount of time to concentrate upon the same and follow it. With each chapter, you can feel that the book is going to a different level and you shall also have to up your concentration to receive the bigger message with each chapter.

When I started reading the 1st chapter and found that there are sections in between which is asking few questions and also has left out spaces for us to scribble our answers, I thought this is just another book which is trying to be interactive with its mediocre messages but when I witnessed how author makes us revisit our answers, learn and evaluate ourselves through them and rewrite them if possible, It actually takes you into a brainstorming session where you are talking and arguing about yourself with yourself for yourself. Such an incredible way of teaching us basic things which we miss out in our daily life due to the illusion we create that things are stressful and end up staying the same.

The diagrammatical representation made after each chapter to make us understand where the principle lies against us is very useful and that one image itself gives us the clarity on how we need to process ourselves further for the progress of our career. I shall not reveal the principles but just giving an overview, I would say author helps us understand who we are, what our potentials are and what is the natural skill/talent we have. Then author structures on how we can develop with the help of setting our goal and then being able to get close to it through different methodologies like building great relationships and how we can convert best of them into interdependent partnerships etc. In the last segment, author also tells how we should be tracking our progress and keep an open and positive mind towards the daily situation that is thrown upon us by life.

Overall, this is a to-the-point book. Talking about few drawbacks, I would say that there should have been more examples with each chapter as it would have made it more pleasurable for readers to go ahead with chapters along with case studies and examples. Author could have also highlighted the main quotes from the book which we can just go-through while re-reading this book in order to refresh the important points of each chapter. Except these few observations, this is definitely a book which you would not just read and keep aside after achieving temporary motivation but go through its exercises regularly to experience its impact in your professional life regularly. I give this attempt 4 stars out of 5.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


Tuesday, 24 September 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

The Dev Anand Story by Dr. Govind Sharma (Book Review: 3*/5) !!!

1791st BLOG POST -->>


There are few authors whom you see in a certain image as per the kind of books that they write. One such author whose journey as a writer I have experienced myself since his 1st book is Dr. Govind Sharma IAS Retd. I have read only his fiction books before his recent book that is a non-fictional attempt- a biography on the life of Bollywood Superstar, Dev Anand. The title of the book is “The Dev Anand Story” published by Notion Press in around 150 pages and is very different from all the books author has written till date.

Author calls himself a big fan of Dev Anand which inspired him to write this biography. The book is divided into 11 chapters where author starts with his early life and initial years in Mumbai. Then author directly jumps to the start of his career and the way he gets successful and how girls started giving their hearts to him and went crazy for him. One of his movies, “Guide” is discussed in a complete chapter dedicated to the movie and I must say, it deserves when the book is about Dev Anand and the 1st movie we remember whenever his name comes out is this.

Author talks about both good and bad phase in the film career of Dev Anand and stays unbiased completely. It is definitely not written like a fan where even his failures are talked as successes. This is something that makes this book credible. Author discusses actor’s relationship with different directors and film studios and how he himself started a Production house but still continued working with few other studios. Little about his relationship with his wife is also discussed on how he met her, worked together in a movie and then married each other.

Another great point is that author discusses Dev Anand’s two brothers- Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand as much as he talks about Dev Anand which is a good decision as it has made this biography more interesting to understand the career graph of all the 3 brothers. I, personally, didn’t know about Dev Anand’s other two brothers and I only got to know through this book. In fact, a chapter is dedicated to Vijay Anand.

I liked the research by the author that he made on the actor without being someone who worked with him very closely or being from a journalism background. As I am just 30 years old hence knowing nothing about the era of Dev Anand which I have only heard here and there in Award functions, this book was a great opportunity to know about him and his movies which did well. I even made the To-Be-Watched list of his movies while reading the book as some movies are very vividly described by the author.

Now talking about the drawbacks:- The major problem with this book is that being a biography you get to know very less about Dev Anand as a person, the timelines in his life, the way he approached certain things, how he managed his routine with continuous work etc. Author majorly focuses only on his movies which also makes the book monotonous after a point of time as chapter after chapter, there is no change in gear and book continues talking in the same manner throughout. Secondly, there should have been uncountable quotes mentioned in the book as said by Dev Anand but there are very few of them that also mainly picked up directly from his autobiography. Author should have tried to pick these from newspapers, interviews etc. Last point- The cover page of the book could have been too dynamic considering the charming personality and looks of Dev Anand but it seems from the cover page that the book is more about Sharmila Tagore than Dev Anand.

Overall, this is a feel-good book and a great attempt if you want to know about Dev Anand’s movies. I have given following ratings to the last 3 books I read of Dr. Govind Sharma- 3.75*, 3.25* and 2.75* respectively. This book gets 3 stars out of 5 from my side. I wished little more from the biography as per my experience with this genre otherwise the book is a fine read.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


Monday, 23 September 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

The Speaking Stone by Ratnadip Acharya (Book Review- 4.25*/5) !!!

1790th BLOG POST -->>



Whenever I find that a book needs my attention and not just casual reading, I keep it aside to be read either on weekends or whenever I shall get a quiet time from my schedule at a stretch so that I could complete atleast 100 pages in every sitting. Since two-weeks, I picked up Ratnadip Acharya’s 3rd book titled ”The Speaking Stone” multiple times while traveling to office in the Mumbai local but whenever I got a gap of a day or two, I couldn’t remember what happened even in the last page that I read hence I scheduled it for the Sunday of 22nd September and I completed 200 pages in a day and 100 pages today in 3 hours while waiting for my turn in the clinic.

Ratnadip is one author whom I have always respected for the topic he chooses to write his book upon because it always comes with philosophical tales and wordings which makes you self-introspect and understand the deeper meaning of life. This time with this book Ratnadip has written a completely different book than what he has written till date and I must say though I didn’t expect much with this topic, the story kept me hooked with it which made it possible to complete around 300 pages so easily in just two days. The narration of the story is bit slow but keeps you interested in what would happen next as the book involved two different timelines- one of 1900 era whereas the 2nd one based in 2016-17.

Like every other historical fiction where the book becomes very complicated with its innumerable characters and confusing timelines, Ratnadip has tried his best in this book to keep things as simple as possible. Though his book can’t be called a philosophical attempt this time but it is of the genre which blends suspense, mystery, history, fantasy, thriller into a great fiction story which is again inspired somewhere from a true story. I liked how author choses the idea of exploring North-eastern part of India as it automatically gives reader a sense of adventuring into a new path altogether.

I really liked how author was able to connect both the stories together in the last 1/3rd part of the book. It really becomes interesting by the end to know what exactly the truth behind the stone is that the protagonist takes too seriously which even involves us somewhere in the journey. I liked the chemistry that author develops between the characters- in both the eras. I liked how even in the modern set-up where love is in the air between the two characters still author doesn’t lose the focus from the story and doesn’t purposely insert intimate scenes. And- special mention how well Parul is described in the book. I am in love with this character. Also, each characterization in both the era is done so perfectly that you can imagine the story while reading in front of your eyes in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali kind of set-up.

Talking about the drawbacks, I would say the initial pages should have started with some bang that could have directly drowned the reader in the story rather than the gradual set-up which has been used which takes time to develop interest in the tale. Also, some more editing was needed with 50-60 less pages as it really becomes too predictable and slow at times. One static complain that I have with author is that the Cover Page of all his books aren’t interesting- though we say a book isn’t judged by its cover but such good stories and writing needs a good cover page for the readers to notice it.

Except these little things, I would say, with each book, Ratnadip Acharya is getting better. I rated his 1st book 3 stars, the 2nd book 3.75* and I would definitely give this book 4.25* out of 5 for the kind of suspense and mystery author keeps throughout the book. Kudos!

Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 

Sunday, 15 September 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Kisholoy Roy:- "Writing block to me is a myth" (Interview)

1789th BLOG POST -->>



Hi Dr.Kisholoy, we would like to know how you got into the Writing space? How did it all start?
It was always there within me but then as individuals we often discover certain creative instincts within us a little late in our lives. It especially happens when there is no one in your immediate family who is pursuing a similar field as a profession or as an amateur. Actually i discovered the writer within me sometime during my college days. I started with writing short stories. Then i started experimenting with other genres as time went by.

What gives you motivation to write book after book in different genres?
A THOUGHT. Yes a thought that strikes my mind and when that thought stays with me for sometime and it keeps troubling me night and day like a pestering kid; that serves as the fodder for my next book.

How do you take time from your schedule for writing and what challenges do you face with schedule?
I have my workshops on marketing management to conduct and also various consulting and teaching activities but then it’s the temptation to tell a story that matters. When that temptation crosses a certain threshold limit, i somehow happen to find time for writing a book at any point of the day.

Tell us something on your love for your Cricket as we know you are from Bengal and you want or not, your default settings are set to Sports.
I have been an avid observer of the game since 1985 when our house got its first colour television set. However my love for the game acquired quantum leaps during the Sourav Ganguly era. Here was someone who was initially an underdog but then he moulded himself according to circumstances and set such high standards of sportsmanship, that it was worth emulating for many in different other walks of life. To a certain extent, yes that ‘Bengal’ connection that you mentioned can be counted as one of the reasons.



How difficult it was to write book on Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni named “Czars of the East”?
Honestly speaking it was both easy and difficult. Easy because among all the players whom i have been following in the last 20 years of Indian cricket, these were the two icons whom i have really admired for their approach, conviction and their ability to set trends and hence knew a lot about them. But then the irony was when i started my research for the book, i found that both Ganguly and Dhoni had so much to tell through their respective careers that it would be next to impossible to accommodate two full fledged biographies in one book which was my ‘big idea’ for the book.

Also tell us something about the motivation behind writing a complete book on just a Test match between India vs Australia. And why that match particularly?
Oh that Test match! It was and will remain an unforgettable episode in Indian cricket. The Test match at the Eden in March 2001 was not just a test match that was unbelievably won by India at the end but was more of a trigger for things to come. It was the trendsetter for a more potent Indian cricket team. A team that was super confident wherever it went and had no inhibitions to display their attitude and prowess against any opposition.

Which according to you is the turnaround ODI match for India? And if we are going to witness a book on that from you?
The NatWest trophy final in 2002 undoubtedly. What a match. It was another episode where the Indian team under the able leadership of Sourav Ganguly raised from the rubbles like to the proverbial phoenix and dominated the game.
Well a book on that game? Perhaps not!

Do you ever face Writing Block which we keep on hearing so much or is it just a myth according to you?
Writing block to me is a myth. See as a writer we are all first social creatures and hence often we are preoccupied with fulfilling our priorities in life. Sometimes that effort leaves you with very little time for any creative pursuit and you are unable to concentrate on the relevant and required thought process but then that to me is not a ‘block’.

What are your future plans on writing? Which book are you currently writing or planning to write?
Presently i have ideas about two fictions that will serve as light-hearted and entertaining read
primarily. They will focus on various unexplored perspectives of love. The book development process is on.
Any feedback on how tough it is to get published in India as we have seen almost all your books are self-published?
See, primarily i am an author of books on case studies in management and books on marketing management. Initially i published text books with various publishers in India but the royalty that they offered was ridiculously low which made me decide on going my own way or rather the self published route. Getting a publisher in India who will be offering you the end of year royalty based on merit of the book is a next to impossible task. After all when you author a book with all your efforts, you do not want to do charity but earn out of your efforts and hence going the indie way is and should be the practice.

Any words for the budding writers and the readers who wait for your book.
My advise for budding writers is whether you go by the traditional route of publishing or the indie route, focus on the content. Do not come up with trash since there is already so much in the market. Content and its presentation are two main areas that budding writers should focus on and as for readers they should be wise and conscious enough to spot the right sort of books to read.




Wednesday, 11 September 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

The Mistake by Bishwanath Singh (Book Preview) !!!

1788th BLOG POST -->>


After reading two books back to back on Cricket, it was time to pick up something else other than the intense stories that I read which made me pick up the book by the debutante author, Bishwanath Singh, named “The Mistake”. The book has a tagline “a true love story” and is published by Notion Press in around 140 pages. So, this time I won’t be reviewing this book but just be telling you about the book what it is actually based on. Reading the book, I got the feeling that this is quite an autobiographical account of the author himself and you can feel it in few sentences the way they are written. You can understand that author is talking about himself.

If you have been into the college and enjoyed your days by bunking classes, being ragged and then ragged your juniors, got punished for multiple things, dreamed about getting into relationship with a beautiful girl, did everything for friendship you could have done etc. then this book is going to be a nostalgic experience for you.

Author talks about the college life of the protagonist and the wish with which he comes to the college and how he falls in love with a girl- also keeps telling her about his feelings but she never reacts positively. And then there comes a time when having her in his life becomes an impossibility and what happens when they meet each other again after some time. The book also discusses in detail the fun and enjoyment the protagonist does with his friends and how they do things and fall into trouble for no reason at all.

This is a light-read which you can read between heavy books or when you want just casual reading. I completed this book within 2.5 hours. This book is like one of those novels which got published between 2008-2015 where most of them were based on college life, friends, boyfriend-girlfriend relationship etc. I am not saying if the book is good or bad, I wish to know your views this time. Hence, please buy this book, read it and let me know if you feel the author is better version of Chetan Bhagat or not as the book written falls in the same genre. 😊


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


Saturday, 7 September 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

Czars of the East by Dr. Kisholoy Roy (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!

1787th BLOG POST -->>


There are times when you get influenced by one author or genre particularly and you start reading books of the author or genre back to back. This is what has happened with me when it is about books written by Dr. Kisholoy Roy on the genre of Cricket. I recently completed the book written by him with the title “Czars of the East” which is around 90 pages and talks about two Indian Cricketers who ended up becoming Captain of Indian Cricket Team and transformed the game the way it was never played before- Sourav Ganguly known as “Dada” and Mahendra Singh Dhoni known as “Mahi”.

It is great to find a book which is a dedicated tribute to these two artists who played Cricket and led the team not only like an extraordinary sports player but as a painter who draws sketches line by line gradually giving it the shape of a complete portrait. The book covers the 1st half discussing about Dada and the 2nd half about Mahi.

The book is divided into different chapters on both the players in a specified format such as The Formative Years (where the author discusses on how they got interested in Cricket and entered the game), Marriage and After (about how they found and met with their better half, got married and little life after that), On Top of the Game (this is where author discusses about their best innings which made them into legends and helped Indian team win difficult matches), Brand Endorsements (how much they earn with their brand collaborations and how popular they are with brands and marketing guys), Miscellaneously Yours (this is where the awards and accolades they have won are discussed along with a summary on their Cricketing life), Statistically Yours (the whole statistics are mentioned in the tabular format the way it is in all the biographies/autobiographies of sportsmen) followed by a Picture Gallery dedicated to each of these two czars of Indian cricket.

I liked how author has been able to collate their whole life together in the book considering that he is not a Sports journalist or Manager of these Superstar players. The research and observation that he must have carried out for this book tells the hard efforts of the author behind this compilation. The language used in making their life understandable to us along with their leadership, management and innovative qualities is very easy to understand and what helps you to complete this book in a single sitting of around 1.5-2 hours. The similarities between both the players are also mentioned in the initial chapter of the book which is very interesting to read. This is not a critical account on these players hence if you are fan of these two players, you shall enjoy the chapters more as author has literally treated them like Czars in the book as mentioned in the title.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book, I would say author should have also included the controversies these players were involved in and his take on them if he felt they were right or wrong. Similarly, I personally felt that very little summarization has been given on their Cricketing life which a Cricket lover for me doesn’t get satisfied with- we like reading detailed account on such personalities, insights etc. Also, there’s a small suggestion I would say and not a drawback- author could have also added quotes said by these players in their match-closing ceremonies as Captain gets to speak in every match and sometimes they end up giving very wonderful insights on leadership, motivation, management etc. and the testimonials spoken by other contemporary players on these stars which gives more prominence to these personalities as this book can also be picked by a reader who is not of this century at all hence he/she would seek validation how big/average/small these players were 50-100 years back.

Overall, this is a very feel-good book on these two loved stars of India- Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni and if you have been following Cricket from last 10-20 years, you will enjoy reading about these modern-day Cricket transformers. I give this book 3.75* out of 5.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


Wednesday, 4 September 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

11.03.2001 - 15.03.2001 : A Tale of Turnaround by Dr. Kisholoy Roy (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!

1786th BLOG POST -->>


Just after watching India’s stupendous performance against West Indies in the recent series, I wanted to read something short on Cricket which made me pick up the book by Dr. Kisholoy Roy named “11.03.2001 - 15.03.2001 : A Tale of Turnaround”. The book is of around 90 pages and I got its e-book version which I finished in just 80 minutes. I should say that author has shown enough guts by dedicating a whole book on just one Cricket Test match. Dr. Kisholoy seems to be Cricket enthusiast just like every 2nd person in our country which is very much evident in the way he has covered this Test match between India and Australia played in the year 2001 which is still remembered by commentators every time there’s a challenging 2nd innings going on.

The book covers the 2nd Test match in the Australia Tour of India which was played in the Eden Gardens stadium from 11th to 15th March, 2001. This was the Test match in which Australia asked India to immediately bat for the 2nd time after their first innings as Indian team couldn’t reach the score needed to avoid follow-on. And this is when the history got created where VVS Laxman played a knock of 281 along with Rahul Dravid who scored 180 runs. They batted together for one complete day and stayed not-out at the end of the day and got out only the next day ensuring that India was safe. Along with them, Harbhajan Singh excelled with his performance by taking total of 13 wickets in both the innings and assured that India won the match rather than settling for draw.

Kisholoy has very beautifully narrated the match which made me imagine the whole play in front of me. I have seen it sometimes back in Highlights and I could relate with whatever author mentioned in this book. Author’s love for the Sports is very much visible the way author has also conveyed his emotions in start of each chapter which describes each day of this 5-day Test match. Right from the Note in which author talks about the change in mindset that this match brought in the way Indian Cricket Team played matches against renowned and champions teams- in and out of India. The way Indian team even continued their form in the 3rd Test match is covered at the end of the book to describe the importance of the phenomenon that took place in this particular match.

I am glad that author has talked even about the approaches of Captains of both the teams in the match and how Steve Waugh lost it all in over-confidence as Australia was continuously winning Test matches against every country during that time. I was missing the Scoreboard of the matches in between the chapters which I am glad author added in the end of the book but it could have been great if it could have been mentioned at the end of each chapter.

Talking about the drawbacks now- I believe author could have inserted more passion and aggression with much minute details to make this read more interesting and energetic. Also, author could have discussed the immediate history of each important player before this Test match so that readers could understand if they were performing as they were already in-form or the will to win this match and do something special was the key behind their performances. Other than this, I have no other issues with this book and after reading this one, I must say Kisholoy’s way of writing Cricket is almost at par with other great Sports journalist and he should write 300-400 pages on Cricket and describe his experience and view point about Indian Cricket and its evolution through his books. I give this book 3.75* out of 5.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA