8 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Janaka and Ashtavakra by Ashraf Karayath (Book Review: 3*/5) !!!

1863rd BLOG POST


25th Book of 2020!


The spiritual people generally read only the texts from religion. The hardcore readers generally read thrillers, romance, biographies etc. but very rarely do they read books on spirituality. Hence, someone like me who is both into reading and spirituality finds it hard to discuss books that speaks about spirituality. I had got to know about the Ashtavakra Gita while having one such communication with the Founder of my previous organization with whom I had lot of spiritual discussions. Just before that I had also gone through Sandeep Maheshwari's audio available on his Youtube channel in 26 different videos where he speaks with us on Ashtavakra Gita. Since then I was always curious as to how I have never heard about this part from anyone even though Ramayan has been discussed with me by many. I heaved a sigh of relief when I got to know about the book named “Janaka and Ashtavakra” written by the author, Ashraf Karayath, in around 225 pages which is published by Rupa publications.

I started reading the book with great expectations as I was sure I shall get to know about spiritual perspective which I haven’t got to know yet. The book begins talking about Ashtavakra and his background and for the first 50 pages there isn’t much in the book that shall make you excited as the story moves very slow. And then it shifts towards Raja Janaka and his contemporary world during that time as now both the characters have to meet where Ashtavakra wishes to meet his father whom he has never met whereas Raja Janaka is looking out for a figure who can give him all the spiritual knowledge which shall help him get the answers he is looking out for.

The meeting scene of both the characters is very well articulated and it is the scene that is actually the biggest point of the book. How the realization starts dwelling within you right from that scene as it talks about judgement people make just by someone’s physical appearance. Ashtavakra is laughed at in response to which he laughs louder than anyone else and does until everyone is not done laughing. The characterization of both the main characters and all others such as Kushadwaja, Sunayana, Mahosadha etc. are done very well as you are able to understand their state of life and mind clearly. I liked how author is able to also take the story ahead along with the spiritual and philosophical knowledge and conversations that is being discussed in the book.

There are few enlightening sentences and paragraphs which surely makes you think about yourself and the amount of stress and unwanted tension you have been taking which actually shouldn’t have been part of your reality. I liked few of those sections. The last question that Janaka asks Ashtavakra and the response of the same is what gives this book a befitting end. I really liked how the complete war scenario has been inter-related with the spiritual knowledge that Raja Janaka was getting in parallel. It gives us the answer of many such unwanted future that we keep on imagining in our mind. An untold story of what happens just before Sita’s swayamwar is told very extensively in this book which shall help you learn about this part of Ramayan too.

Now talking about the drawback- even though the book has been summed up within 225 pages but still I felt it to be very slow in terms of story as it felt to be stuck at one point for many segments in the book. Even the start of the book is very slow for the 1st 50 pages which gives a negative impact to the reader. Talking about the spirituality and philosophical conversations that I was excited for – it is too less and something that is very basic. I was expecting a lot of depth from it. The Ashtavakra Gita has many such theories and concepts to tell that amazes you which this book doesn’t even give an overview of. Hence, somewhere in between balancing both- the story of Mithila and the spiritual part- author couldn’t do justice to either of them. That is all I have to say. I give the book 3 stars out of 5.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


5 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

A Second Chance by Sudeep Nagarkar (Book Review: 3*/5) !!!

1862nd BLOG POST

24th Book of 2020!


When I had started reading books a decade back, I always loved reading the debutante Indian writers. I don’t know why but I felt that these authors wrote with heart – then and even now. And mostly, all the books I read during those days were love stories and it continued for next 4-5 years after which the next set of writers that came up with their 1st book were on different topics such as mythology, historical fiction or quite in-depth emotions. But there is a kind of emotion which got developed with the first few writers I read and Sudeep Nagarkar is one of them. I had read his 1st book and saw him developing as a Bestselling author with 12 book titles under his name. I have just completed reading his latest release which is his 13th book named “A Second Chance” released just yesterday itself.

The book speaks about the protagonist – Disha majorly who is a girl suffering through mental issues right from her childhood due to her parent’s disturbed relationship, their treatment with her, her bad luck at school etc. She has only thing constant in her life that is her friend – Kajal. Finally, she falls in love with a classmate which just makes her life more miserable and few things happen here and there (not disclosing to avoid spoilers) and she is being made to go through the process of Arranged Marriage. The book starts with her concern regarding Arranged Marriage with which I could relate so much. I believe Sudeep set the right segment to initiate the book with as it talks about the trauma and dilemma every young boy and girl has to go through because of the confusions and panic they have regarding setting up with a stranger for rest of their lives.

The narration of the book is simple and written in Sudeep Nagarkar’s style itself which he has carried right since his 1st book with which the youth and his readers connects with him. This is a book which talks mostly about the school and college-days romance where you might not find something great happening but in the 2nd half of the book when the story moves further and the dilemma of marriage begins is where the characterization of Disha is utilized nicely. I liked how Sudeep has taken the story post-marriage and this is where I found him speaking his thoughts regarding how ideal a married life should be in today’s time. The role of in-laws, how a husband should treat his wife on the first night, how the relationship is grown gradually day-by-day and how there shouldn’t be any secrets between the two in order to keep the bond pure and lively. This is a topic which deserves to be spoken to the new generation.

Rather than being directly preachy, Sudeep has tried to speak things in the thoughts that Disha writes or thinks in the italic font throughout the book. Also, the pre-climax and climax has a proper ending rather than keeping anything open or purposefully sad in order to get empathy from readers for the character who loses out. The characterizations of Raghav, Kajal, Dhruv, his parents and Disha’s parents are also done nicely and you can relate with them. The nice edit of the book as it has been summed up in within 225 pages is another great factor which makes this book a light and short read.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book- I feel that the story could have had more layers and it should have involved more sub-plots and intense conversations – currently, I found it to be quite simple considering that few of Sudeep’s previous books had great layers hence there were certain expectations. The way the book starts- I felt I shall be made familiar with many such youth traumas, but I could not find much after that. There are still few clich├ęs that has been used in defining the emotion of love which I believe could have been narrated in more deepening manner. The character of Kajal should have been used more and involved with the main story. I found the narration to be old-school and was wondering why the author did not write it little more aggressive discussing lot of things youth indulges in these days.

Overall, this is a nice attempt considering the target audience of Sudeep Nagarkar as this story speaks of strengthening the bond of marriage and relationship whereas the new generation these days does not believe in the institution of marriage. This is something for which I would like to appreciate Sudeep’s intention as this shall surely change views of some of the readers at least. I give the book 3 stars out of 5.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


4 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

My experience of following Shrawan Month rituals for the very 1st time...

1861st BLOG POST


Yesterday, the month of Shrawan ended for all of us who follow the Hindu calendar as per Purnima. The folks who follow Amawasya calendar shall be following the religious month of Saawan until 19th August, 2020. The month of Shrawan is an auspicious one where all of us pray in complete devotion of Lord Shiva. When it comes to Lord Shiva – whatever you do for the God is always less hence in the month of Shrawan, we devote ourselves as much as possible in the Lord and pray for his blessings. Lord Shiva is known for his bholapann and forgiving or blessing his devotees. I have always been mesmerized by Lord Shiva’s presence since I saw the idol of the divine in the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur at Uttar Pradesh. I had remembered the idol and its image since childhood and always felt that there is only one God and it is Lord Shiva. It is later when I realized that there are other forms of God too.

Frankly speaking, in the last 30 years, I never followed the month of Shrawan by prohibiting non-vegetarian food and following other small sacrificial activities such as fasting etc. First of all, I always questioned this logic of not eating meat for a month and eating for rest of the 11 months as I believed that God is omnipresent in each and every moment – either it’s a day/month of festival or not. Also there has been another reason that in case you even take the pledge of following the prohibitions and sacrifices but as soon as your friends start enjoying their life who aren’t following the month, you end up breaking your promise with God as you get compromised by their endless requests immediately. According to me, this is a bigger sin than not following at all. Being unaware is okay but being aware and still committing the sin isn’t.

This year as we are working from home, I knew that any such negative energies are away from me so let’s try it out as I am anyway trying to follow as much religious practices as possible since the lockdown began in March 2020. And I am liking the process of learning my religion and following it to the best of my capacity. There is an altogether different feel to it. The temple at home has never given me the kind of feeling as it has given me in last 4-5 months. There have been times when I have ended up crying and weeping while praying to God or reading some mantra or shloka. Such has been the devotion which I hardly remember if I have ever experienced the same. Things with life has not been great in this phase but still – the belief in God stays intact. Now I realize that nothing is in my hands or my parents/friends but the almighty. Hence, the most we can do is to pray and ask him to give us the life which is best for us.

I had abstained myself from eating non-veg, eggs and drinking milk in Shrawan. In this month itself, I also did religious proceedings needed for the festivals and occasions such as Nag Panchami, Raksha Bandhan, Guru Purnima and others. I also fasted on the five Saawan Somwaars (Monday) as it is been done as the day is associated with Lord Shiva. The kind of poojas that I have performed on these Mondays have made me feel so special. I have also read Shiv Chalisa twice- morning and evening – throughout the month. Before this, I never did any kind of rituals or prayed Shiv Linga but this is the first time I learnt about it and performed it on every Monday in this month. I offered water on Shiv Linga daily though. Along with this, there were two Ekadashis that had come in this month- namely, Kamika Ekadashi and Putrada Ekadashi – on which I fasted for both the auspicious days dedicated to Lord Vishnu. I never knew about Mahamrityunjay Mantra but now, I remember it by heart and chant it every time I am aware about my presence and the moment.

Doing all of this makes you realize that you are in hands of a power beyond us and our understanding. I understood that life happens the way it has all been planned by God. I also realized that your scripted life is re-written as per your practices, Karma and Dharma that you are following. In case you are still suffering a lot, may be God is punishing you for some of your past sins. It is still good as that account of yours is getting closed. Once you are being tested by God in such difficult circumstances and you stay as truthful to your Dharma even then, you become one of the favorite devotees of God and great and magical things start happening with you. It is all about beliefs. Now, something has happened internally which makes me believe in everything I read about our God. Earlier, I used to question each and everything. Today, now, when I realize that Shravan has ended, it seems as if I am missing something and I wish if the days continued. But now I am waiting for next auspicious occasion as the next 4-5 months are all going to be festive, so we have multiple opportunities to be as close to God as possible.

I just wished to share my feelings I had after following the rituals of the month dedicated for Lord Shiva and wrote as it came in my heart. Hope my feelings were clear to everyone who read it. I request everyone to not be proud of being an atheist. Have some belief as per your gut feeling but please believe in a power above you.

Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA  


3 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

5 Years of Work Experience.. Does Professionalism means Being Formal?

1860th BLOG POST



Today, I complete 5 years of work experience. When someone says, time just passes by, we generally don’t understand until we feel the same emotions. Something similar is going within me when I realize that it has been almost half a decade since I started my career in IT. It seems that I am yet not established but to say - 5 years have gone by. Working has always been a fright in college days whenever any professor used to make us realize that all this fun shall disappear once the companies shall start coming up for placements or we shall be out for trying our luck.

Luckily, for me, the experience of getting my first job was not that difficult. The first interview call that I received after completing my Post-Graduation was the company that ended up giving me Offer Letter with which I continued until this year. I have also ended up having my first company switch in my 5th year. I have always believed that when you are a part of an organization, I understand that the primary job is always to earn and save money but it is also about the bond that you share with your employer. If you start leaving organizations just after you have learnt things, it is quite a selfish motive. I believe in learning within an organization, growing our skills and then giving back to the organization with our special skills and tact. Until and unless, it is not two-way process, working in any organization doesn’t feel like family.

I agree that organizations are selfish when it comes to laying off etc. but that is not what happens always with us. So let’s not work with a negative mindset. Let’s take things positively and contribute as much as possible. Make something that stays with the organization even after you leave. Your tenure should end but your legacy should stay. Innovate processes. Create useful documents. Establish great team leaders. Build great relationships. Serve your clients and customers as much as possible. Our actions should stay as determined as possible. We shouldn’t wait for any kind of credit or acknowledgement to come in our way. If it comes, its great. If it doesn’t, we shouldn’t worry because we should be assured that whatever we have contributed shall bear its fruits today or after we are gone – but it shall surely benefit people whom you worked with.

I have been lucky to have a great people with me in my first organization who didn’t thrash me when I did mistakes but always pulled me up and asked me to try again and complete the job myself. This also gave me courage to change my profile and come to a better place where my heart was/is. Like always, people helped me tremendously during this movement and the support that was provided shall always stay special to me.

Recently, when I thought of changing my job and I started giving interviews during this phase of Covid pandemic, the way HR and all the respective people who took my interview were so polite to me as they were aware about my tough decision taken during a situation when market is down and there aren’t much jobs in the market. All such compassion shows that when its about professional world, we need not be too formal – if we take things to human level, there can be relationships developed even right from the first call. There were certain issues in my process for which my current company and other companies who were in talks were helping me with which says a lot about how you can also have personal talks with the professional contacts in your first call itself.

I can only say that I have had beautiful experiences in these first 5 years of Work Experience – joining a company as a Fresher – taking responsibilities of something out of my profile and skill sets – developing great relationships with everyone- my seniors, peers and juniors – having spiritual talks with the entrepreneur of the organization – discussing personal issues with the Director of the company – changing my profile – leaving the job during tough times – being jobless for a month – my first few appraisals and promotions – switching the job – having multiple rounds of interview – accepting an offer letter out of many organizations etc. I wish the next 30 years of my work experience – in case I end up being an employee itself and do not initiate anything of my own – gives me many such experience and relationship which shall keep developing my personality each and every day.

May God Bless Me!

Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


2 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Can I call someone a FRIEND today just because they have been my FRIEND yesterday?

1859th BLOG POST



Well, this Friendship Day is all about revelations and realizations. Since so many years, we live within circles – circles of friends – acquaintances – people who claim to be our well-wishers etc. We have so many groups that in few people’s social media updates, I find 5-6 cakes being cut separately where each group has celebrated the birthday and made them feel special. But if purchasing or cutting cake for someone’s birthday would have proved the mettle of someone being your friend, this world would have been full of love which is not so. We are being ditched time and again. Trusting people have become so difficult that you shall never be able to understand with whom you can share everything that is there in your heart and still not be judged. There are rarely any such Friends left in our life. If they are, we can still say that we are lucky. But can you still trust them for your future if they shall remain to be the same forever? Somewhere there is always doubt. This has what Friendship has got reduced to.

I started the post saying “This” Friendship Day because during the lockdown, I have found many of my friends accepting the reality about the people they trusted a lot– sometimes more than their parents – and sometimes more than themselves. Now when they sat at home and thought about their relationships with certain people, they realized that it has always been so formal but coated with fake love and belongingness whereas there is nothing that they miss about them when they are alone in lockdown and actually looking for some company. We never got time to evaluate these friendships in regular days because we were always busy in work, traveling, people and as I said above – multiple friend circles. But now when we realize who are really our friends whom we can go to- oh shit – they are so rare – almost negligible. And if they are there, they are still judgmental at some level. Where to go to and pour our heart out- isn’t it?

I am just quite heartbroken with the way life has moved and come to a stage where I have so less friends with whom I can share everything and expect them to say – “No worries, my friends, mistakes happen and you are no God to not make one”. As soon as I tell someone about my activities which doesn’t set in the moralistic set of society, my friends give me such an expression that I feel like sulking back and getting lost in a world where no one can meet me again ever. Even when I try sharing something with someone- either its about my feelings or my feelings about them or a decision I am going to take, I find some other mutual friend talking to me about the same. This shocks me so much that there is always some kind of One-to-One connection too which should be respected. Yes, we are always friends in group, but because You and I are friends is also because You and I have certain level of Friendship between ourselves before our friendship in the group that we belong in. Respect That!

Who likes breaking friendship or downgrading the status of the same? I never like doing this. There was a time I lived for my friends. I always had my phone besides me while sleeping so that in case any of my friend messages or calls me, I am there to take it up even at late night. I used to literally reply during early morning hours in case someone used to text me. My friends used to be surprised about if I even sleep or not. But I stopped doing this. Now my phone is silent when I sleep or work. I do not like being available for anyone every time. Yes, if I am available, I will do every bit I can for you. But I do not make extra efforts to be available to anyone at any point of time. I have lost the trust. I have lost what I believed to be Friendship which is all about sharing secrets or feelings and expecting things to remain between me and the person.

I want Friendship to remain the best relationship of all always and forever. But the level of our humanitarian ground has stooped so low that it has affected this beautiful word heavily as well. I remember when earlier people used to introduce anyone they knew as their “Friend”. Now, there are apprehensions. At least with me it has been so. Now I introduce anyone as per their status in my life- my college-mate, colleague, neighbour, lives in my society and so on. I never introduce anyone as my friend until and unless my heart doesn’t say that the person has the distinction in my life where I trust him/her to support me in my vulnerable state.

When you are all okay, everyone can call you as their friend. They will even make extra efforts to be with you. But the moment you become vulnerable- mostly in case of mental health issues – these friends start making fun of you. Yes, you do mistake when you are in a state of mind which is not your best- but isn’t that the time when you need your friends the most? What when they leave you or make fun of you or share about your vulnerability to everyone in the circle? How sick you start feeling – isn’t it? I have suffered this even now when I have crossed 30 years of age – just imagine what teenagers or people with weak heart might go through or – are going through.

On this Friendship Day, I would like to say that please respect this relationship called “Friendship” otherwise it shall become very hard to survive. Already people have started disbelieving in siblings, spouses, colleagues, neighbours etc. People still have certain expectations from people they believe to be in this relationship called “Friendship”. Let us keep its sanctity alive. My best wishes to everyone who needs a best or good friend to go through this heavily stressful life.

Happy Friendship Day to everyone.

Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


1 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

The Signet Ring by Kapil Dabur (Book Review: 3.5*/5) !!!

1858th BLOG POST


23rd Book of 2020!

This lockdown has certainly made me a little more religious along with the spiritual belief that I already have in everything that’s happening in nature and around us. This took me towards watching Ramayan and Vishnu Purana that were telecast recently on DD Bharati. Since then, I have started believing in Lord Vishnu like anything and I feel the energy associated with it since then. Hence, when I came to know about this book named “The Signet Ring” which is written by the author, Kapil Dabur, I thought of going through it as generally, the book based on mythology, religion, epic and Gods are thick but this one was a short read of around 170 pages and majorly talked about phenomena of Lord Vishnu.

The book is a thriller and co-incidentally talks about a pandemic that has broken around the world which has been spread by a group not realizing that they are also a part of it and shall suffer later on if it grows. From here, right from the first page, begins the introduction of several characters from this Brotherhood group. Their leader believes himself to be a devotee of Hiranyakashyap and wants to take revenge from Lord Vishnu because as per him, he had fooled Asuras when Amrut was found out during Samudra-Manthan and cheated his ancestors. Later on, we are also introduced to the followers of Lord Vishnu and then the real story begins where a group is in search of things needed to make them powerful which are left by Lord Vishnu’s avatars whereas there is another group who is trying to find out where they would be landing up next based on some clues.

It is not easy to write on the facts based on religion and mythology as generally, these days, authors find it very easy to fictionalize them as per their will, which I believe, has not been done in this book, as every tale of Lord Vishnu that has been described has been almost the same as I have read them while my search for religious knowledge. I liked how all the avatars of the Lord Vishnu are mentioned. Even the names of few characters are kept considering the mythology and its context. The characterization is nicely done and the reaction of each of them as per their personality makes you imagine them as they are.

The way author binds the story running in two different time-zones and connects them is a fine attempt. The locations and several temples etc. that are mentioned adds to the curiosity of the readers as to what secrets are going to unfold there which shall connect us with the tale of God. The few sections and descriptions are really informative and I believe, if someone doesn’t have any idea of Hindu religion, shall get to know meaning of why certain things are the way they are, while reading this book. I am also glad that author has added a philosophical part in the climax which gives the book a nice ending.

Now, talking about the drawbacks, I must say, that, the pandemic part should also have been connected with the tale of Lord Vishnu as that is how the book starts but the thing is closed down somewhere in between. Secondly, I felt that the characters of Dr. Indira and others in the team of Kartik could have also been connected with some mythological characters as it would have added layers to the story. Thirdly, as the book is based on thriller genre, I wished if it had more shocking revelations in between the story which could have given more twists and turns. Lastly, I believe author could have described few more incidents from our religious and mythology books based on Lord Vishnu or his avatars as very few people are aware about Lord Vishnu’s tales specifically.

Overall, this is a fine attempt as a debut book considering that it has been written in just 170 pages itself with a thrilling factor connecting two different stories running in parallel time. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


31 July 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Completed ELEVEN YEARS of BLOGGING

1857th BLOG POST





The very first Blog post that I had written on this platform was way back on the same day in the year 2009. Today, as a Blogger, I have completed 11 years and with it, this platform is also celebrating its 11th Anniversary. Earlier, when people had started calling me “Blogger” in college as I had just started writing, many would say, what does this term even means and what will you achieve being called something like this. It is just a pass time, isn’t it? I didn’t have any answer to give to anyone because even I wasn’t aware what establishment do I have to be called something like “Blogger”. I didn’t have any plans or I didn’t know till when and up to what extent would I continue this platform. As technology has kept on getting better with each blink, I wasn’t even aware in what form Blogging shall be seen after few years or so.

Now, after 11 years, I can see many people calling themselves “Youtuber” and mind you, they are actually mini-celebrities. People are paying high amount of ticket price just to be in an event as them and get a selfie clicked. Unfortunately, I could not grow myself as a “Blogger” up to that extent because I never got much into the technical aspect of the field i.e. SEO management, PR, Collaborations, Guest Posts, Cross commenting, attending Blogger’s meet etc. I was content with writing whatever came in my heart or talk about whatever I read or saw on television or on big screen. I was happy that there are enough people who comment on my blog and email me. These days there are many people on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook too who provide their comments to me in the story I post after publishing my posts. I was always happier with this and never thought of becoming a Social media star as many people have become today. I regret it sometimes but still, I know, I can’t devote myself full-time to this.

The purpose of being an artist or anything that has even an iota of arts into it- is to describe yourself through your piece of work. When this would have become full-time, I would have lost the charm of this platform as this would have become sort of an advertisement website – the way my Instagram profile has turned into. I didn’t want to compromise with this platform at all. Today, whenever I feel, I write – whenever I don’t, I just don’t. There is no compulsion and no one can ever ask me as to why have I started portraying myself in so-and-so way as this might affect their brand. I am quite happy about this. Today, I have a full-time job which pays me for my bills whereas whatever little bit I earn through my Blogging goes into its maintenance. That is all I expect from this- to be an open diary reading which people can understand what I am from within and connect with me on spiritual and mental level.

Recently, I was quite free and thought of going through few of my earlier posts and found my mentality or thoughts regarding few sensitive topics quite on wrong side some 7-11 years ago when I had started posting. That was when I had just come to Mumbai from a small town. This blog, therefore, also shows how someone can go through mental shift and spiritual growth and personality development through the thoughts on the same topic changing year by year towards better or worst.

This portal has given me a lot of memories, hope, friends, acquaintances, opportunities, respect, happiness and a family kind of bond with people I have never met in my life. And I am sure if I continue writing even after other responsibilities of life comes in between, many more experiences shall get added to my life just because I am also called a “Blogger” – which is not my profession – not any identity – but it is something with which you are identified because you do something which connects with people on a public forum. Thanks a lot, to everyone who have supported me on this medium or Facebook, Instagram or our recently developed Youtube Channel. Just stay with me in this journey – walking on which is exciting only because I have people with me since long time. Love you all.

Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


25 July 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Dil Bechara - Not a Movie Review - Just Observations...

1856th BLOG POST



Well, I don’t know how to start writing about this- because this is definitely not going to be a movie review – the way I have been writing every time. “Dil Bechara” is not just a movie anymore as this is the last movie of Sushant Singh Rajput that has been released on Hotstar for everyone- it’s subscribers and non-subscribers as well. Right from the start of the movie when SSR is presented on the screen with one of his self-musing thoughts, there is lump in your throat knowing that this young dynamic boy of 34 years of age is no more and what we are seeing is just his image being projected on screen.

Co-incidentally, a person who died by suicide (if that is how he died as per my knowledge), would have enacted a character in his last movie which also speaks of Life and Death is hardly believable. It looks all planned by God. The movie stars SSR and debutante Sanjana Sanghi playing the role of Manny and Kizie respectively. Kizie is shown right from the first few minutes that she is suffering from thyroid cancer and can lose her life any moment. Manny comes in her life as an irritating boy but with his charms, makes her fall in love with him. She starts living a normal life knowing that she is mortal and going to die soon but now she wishes to fulfil her small dreams.

The first half of the movie is not very special as it is all about two characters coming closer but the 2nd half of the movie is what makes the movie memorable – the way both the characters start fighting for life and take-on death as if they were already and ever-prepared for the same. The pre-climax is just superb with the funeral scene. There are many scenes in which both the actors make you cry with tears in their eyes or the emotions they are going through or with the dialogues they are speaking. There are some definitely beautiful moments shot in Paris where both the character travel to meet their favorite writer/composer - AbhimanyuVeer – the character which is played by Saif Ali Khan.

The background music of the film is nice. The songs aren’t very great. One that stayed with me is “Taarein Ginn”. The film is shot like a Hollywood movie for which cinematographer should be applauded. The dialogues are very beautiful and many of them shall stay with us in the forms of Memes and Movie Quotes for a longer time because they really deserve to be. The supporting star cast in form of Kizie’s parents, Manny’s friends and their doctors have played their part beautifully. The director of the movie, Mukesh Chhabra, who has been a casting director since a very long time, has done a good job in his debut movie. I just felt if the screenplay was little more better as there are many scenes which move from one to another without any flow which makes the movie look like documentary often. Editing should have been concentrated upon. SSR has played his part very well – though, still Chhichhore shall stay to be his best performance for me. Sanjana Sanghi is a very good actor of course and I look forward to see her more.

Overall, there are many references in the movie which connects with what happened with Sushant Singh Rajput in reality because of which you shall really cry a lot in 2nd half and pre-climax. I had tears in my eyes when the movie ended and I saw SSR being given tribute by the makers. In MS Dhoni, I saw him as an actor where someone else was given tribute in the end whereas we never knew that the same actor shall be given tribute for such an unexpected reason so early in his life in a movie. Watching this movie has been very difficult as a movie because it felt like we are watching what was going with someone in his last moments. That’s all I can say while talking about Dil Bechara. Please do watch it for Sushant Singh Rajput- somewhere finding us watching and appreciating his work shall give his soul a relaxation it has been awaiting since his death.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


19 July 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Wuhan 2020 - Vacation Gone Wrong in China by Murtaza Akbar (Book Review: 3.25*/5) !!!

1855th BLOG POST

22nd Book of 2020!


So, almost in every book review that I have written post March 2020, I have somewhere mentioned about lockdown or isolation phase. But I never knew that within this phase itself, I shall get an opportunity to read a book that’s written completely based on Corona pandemics outbreak in China. The title of the book is “Wuhan 2020 - Vacation Gone Wrong in China” and it’s written by Murtaza Akbar in around 150-pages. The author has cleverly created a plot which talks about how a family whose life was very much sorted ended up being in the Wuhan city and got trapped in the outbreak of the pandemic which affected their mental state for the period when they were kept in isolation in a foreign city.

The book is short and I must say that’s a good decision considering that people might not want to read largely about the pandemic as they have already been suffering the same since last 6 months. The book starts like a Travel log where the author describes how the family is going through from one place of China to another based on their itinerary and provides vast description of each and every spot that they are traveling. Later on, in the book, the topic of Coronavirus enters and for some time, the book gets devoted in spreading the information about the disease and the situation in China. So basically, the first half speaks majorly on these two events hence frankly saying, I couldn’t enjoy the story till then.

But then starts the 2nd half of the book and author takes us into a lot of backstories and flashbacks. It is then that the magic happens and you start liking the story and reading it fast and turning pages to know what happened next. Author here discusses how the couple met and got married. Author also talks about how they landed up in China and how important this visit was for them. Even their personal family backdrops are given which is quite interesting. Finally, comes the climax which I believe could have been more unpredictable or dramatic but still, story ends on a good note.

Talking about the characterizations, the characters of Adnan and Angelina is so beautifully crafted and the way they are described makes you imagine them somewhere around you. The intimate scenes between them are also beautifully written without any vulgarity imposed for the sake of selling the book. Similarly, the other supporting characters such as Rizwan are nicely crafted. Author has shared few poetic lines in start and end of the chapter which are thought-provoking many a times. Similarly, the conversation that takes place between the couple in the flashbacks are very beautifully written. The love story part of the book is what majorly impressed me more than the pandemic part.

Now talking about the drawbacks of the book- I must say that author has given too much detailing in the traveling part which actually irks you after a time as it seems you are going through the Wikipedia page of each location. Secondly, there are grammatical and typo errors which I believe author should try avoiding as much as possible as reading on a Kindle device, it is found out immediately. Thirdly, when the story is being sold out as being based on Coronavirus pandemic, I believe there could have been more thriller occurrences which could have made the readers jump out of their couch while reading. Lastly, as the sweet moments of the book is majorly in the flashbacks which takes entry in the 2nd half of the book, it could have been great if author could have brought them in between since start of the book as it could have then made readers go through the traveling description interestingly too.

Overall, the book is a light-read and it is apt for new and early readers to begin their reading journey with or the people who love reading love and romantic stories. I give the book 3.25* out of 5.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


10 July 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Death: An Inside Story by Sadhguru (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

1854th BLOG POST



21st Book of 2020!

Picking up books to read in lockdown phase is quite a choosy task as we wish to read something which is very exciting as we are already sitting at home otherwise we generally tend to read light stuffs such as spiritual, meditational and peaceful pieces as we are already handling enough mess in our routine. Even after knowing this, I picked up the book I had been wanting to read since its release “Death: An Inside Story” by Sadhguru knowing that it could have been depressing. The book also has the tagline that says “A book for all those who shall die”. I have watched many interviews of Sadhguru and whenever people asked him queries on death, rebirths, past lives etc., he would joke on it and move to the next question. I always thought that Sadhguru doesn’t believe in all this but this full-fledged book has come up like a surprise to me hence I was very excited for the same.

Talking about Death, you would think that someone would end up explaining it within 40-50 pages and what else can be more about this thing which happens so suddenly that we don’t even come to know about it. Also, we think that Death is the end so why to think much about it. The most we want is to be healthy while dying. But Sadhguru here takes us to explain something about this one-word phenomena named “Death” in around 375+ pages. That’s huge!

I never believed that Living and Dying are two different experiences spiritually and I thought if we live well, our dying has nothing to do with it and our next life, if there is a thing like that, shall be on the basis of how we lived our previous life. Through this book, I have realized that how we even die and what happens to us immediately before that and even for days after we die, impacts our soul and energies and can be critical for it to survive peacefully post our death even if we have lived spiritually well. Sadhguru handles all the subjects with his humorous and awakening tone which makes It easy for us to go through the book even when few chapters are little heavy or depressing to grasp and digest.

I was amazed with the concepts of multiple karmas, koshas, type of bodies, Vayus, chakras and how death happens in one of the stages in each of these concepts which impacts our energies later on. Sadhguru also doesn’t shy away from talking about concepts such as rebirth, re-incarnations, samadhi, mahasamadhi, ghosts, spirits, suicide, murder, memory after death etc. He also discloses about how his wife and several other close people around him left their bodies just like that on their will. He also talks about how body vanishes just like that for some people who are at the higher level to manage such phenomena.

Jaggi Vasudev also lets us know about multiple other things such as how to identify if the person had a good death or not. How energies can be handled even after death. What rituals need to be performed in order to assure that the person who has died gets dissolved successfully. The great information that is shared is about how the person doesn’t completely die when he breathes his last but stays alive for few hours/days after that and hence can’t be called completely dead till then. Reading all this was very fascinating and knowledgeable. He also ends up talking about his previous lives and if he shall be taking rebirth again or not.

Now talking about few drawbacks- I must say that this book is specifically meant for people who have already read or heard Sadhguru before otherwise understanding his language shall be very challenging. Secondly, most of the times Sadhguru doesn’t go into detailing just for the reason so that people get curious and go to Isha Yoga center or start taking his courses to understand things better. I believe if you are a spiritual person – first of all your book should be free of cost – if not that, at least don’t use it as a brochure for the multiple programmes handled by your foundation. Thirdly, few events that Sadhguru talks about like people leaving their bodies or burning and then vanishing immediately in front of him sounds fake because there’s no proof and we have not heard anyone sharing such events happening in front of them. I understand we are not that spiritually advanced to know if it’s bluff or true but still, things like these should be spoken with proofs or references. Also, I couldn’t agree with many things that he speaks about himself in terms of past life and how he has already lived more than required and he shall not be on the planet again.

Overall, the book is thought-provoking and something that you have not read before- it’s like experiencing death before death. I give the book 4.5 stars out of 5. The book has information that shall really change the way you see Death- for yourself, your family or your closed ones. It shall not be scary anymore. Yes!


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


5 July 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Guru Purnima: Why not to consider your academic teachers as Guru..

1853rd BLOG POST



Guru Purnima was generally seen by me as another Teacher’s day but this year utilizing the lockdown period, I started getting little bit into my religion and I understood the importance of this day and how it is not just Teacher’s Day but something very big and spiritual. I am seeing people on social media thanking their teachers, friends etc. and taking it quite lightly but it is not meant to be taken so casually. If you’ll see, all the religious gurus and major temples in India associate this day as a very important day and schedule big events to pray and honour the Guru who initiated them into meditation and spirituality.

“Gu” means “darkness” or “ignorance” and “Ru” means “removing it” or “moving away from it”. This means that a Guru is someone who takes us away from darkness and towards lightness. Now, the role of a teacher is about giving you lessons about the subjects and it is quite limited. After the scope of that subject, the relationship between a teacher-student is generally restricted. Similarly, it is with relatives and friends too. They only help you with some aspect of life but not more than that. Hence, we can always say that the first proper Guru that we get in our life are our parents. As they help us understand what religion we have taken birth in and gives us an identity. They start helping us understand what God is and who is the God we should pray to. They make us understand the importance of festivals – make us aware about the rituals, good habits, sanskaar and what not.

Parents shall always remain to be our first Gurus in life no matter what- but again- before being our Guru, they are our parents and that remains to be their primary responsibilities in our life. To have a Guru, we can’t just go to anyone who sounds to be more aged or learned and ask him/her to be our Guru. A Guru is someone who helps us understand the meaning of life and what the purpose of Life is. Similarly, they help us understand how the rituals can be transformed into spiritual powers and give us the depth and understanding of life which can help us determine how to take proper decisions and make less mistakes in our journey.

They also go ahead and make us aware about Yoga and Meditation specifically as per our requirement which helps us keep ourselves aligned with our body, mind, soul and energies. They help us in giving Mantras and Shlokas reciting and chanting which we can see positive changes happening in our life. Whenever we get stuck, we go to them and pour everything what has happened with us or where we are stuck. They then rather than giving the results to us in the platter, make us understand the concept of life related with our situations along with religious insights etc. which then help us take the decision wisely by ourselves.

If you and I haven’t been able to find such a Guru yet in our life, we should start making an effort towards that. In case you don’t believe in any human being telling you how to lead life, you can make your religious text or the book that transformed your life as your Guru and revisit it on this day. Or in case we are unable to find such Guru or personality around us, we can also end up having a Guru whom we have never met but someone from their institution is guiding us on their behalf- the way it happens in Isha or Art of Living foundation. But having a Guru in front of whom we are what we are and we take everything from them without any questions or judgments and make it a philosophy of our life is must. The way we have done with our parents- never questioned them why we are named so, why our religion is so or why the puja is done in a certain way at our home. Just accept the person the way he is!

On this Guru Purnima, I bow to my Guru wherever he/she is – hope I find you soon. Till then, Bhagwad Geeta is what I have accepted as my Guru as many teachings in my life has come from it. Also, many other books which have transformed my life.

Happy Guru Purnima for all the selfless and ideal Gurus in this world. Hope you always stay with us to keep spreading positivity and knowledge.

Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


2 July 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Khantastic by Sanjukta Nandy (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!


1852nd BLOG POST 

20th Book of 2020!

Reading books on Bollywood personalities becomes a different experience altogether as we come to know about the stories we are not aware of about the people we have adored on screen. And the motivation in our life comes only after reading the approach of the actors, directors and movie-makers behind the screen on how they worked and prepared for the same. There is no denying that for people who are born after 1980 feels a deep-connect with the Khan trio of Bollywood i.e. Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan. They are someone who came and changed things for Bollywood and movie-lovers who knew nothing except Amitabh Bachchan at that point of time. They shall always have special place in heart for people who love movies. Hence, reading about them is always very exciting.

This book named “Khantastic” written by Sanjukta Nandy claims to be speaking about the untold story of Bollywood’s Trio in the 210 pages. It took me very less time to finish this book for obvious reasons as it was talking about the Superstars I grew up adoring and copying in my school and childhood days. Author has taken due care to make us feel the same we felt when these guys were coming up with their multiple movies in their 1st and 2nd decade respectively which has made them the star they are today. Even today if these Khans fail, they are and shall always be remembered as Success Stories due to what they did in their career’s first twenty years.

Author starts with the background of each of the family and tells how they are connected through the similar kind of roots. Then she discusses their birth story and finally about their childhood days. Each story is unique in itself of all the stars. I personally liked reading about Shahrukh Khan here as his struggles are very less known as he is an outsider and never generally speaks about his early life. Then author discusses how they got into the industry and the challenges faced by them then and how it all changed after they delivered their first hit so superbly. The way how their love stories are discussed is the best segment of the book. SRK-Gauri’s story is in fact so filmy that you would not believe that it’s a true love story at all. Similarly, Aamir-Reena’s story is fascinating in itself. The best part is how author has humorously written about Salman’s ever-changing girlfriends and his dynamics with them post relationship.

The book then discusses about their several films and how they got few roles which were either first discussed with some other actor or with one among them but how then they profited from it by coming in at the last minute and taking up the rejected role. Their biggest success in the 90s are discussed vastly along with their recent successes in the days of 100-200-300 crore clubs. Author also talks about the relationship of three Khans among themselves and how they have survived all the bad days when they didn’t get along and even fought publicly. All the controversies of Salman Khan are briefed without trying to white-wash him – her stance is similar with mentioning controversial events of Shahrukh and Aamir too. I liked author’s daring to pour everything she knew as it is without modifying facts pushing it on sources etc.

I liked how a chapter is almost dedicated to Hrithik Roshan on whose entry in 2000, there were talks and discussions that Khans’ careers would now be immensely affected and the new generation is up there. How it even got connected with the then political conditions was something I wasn’t aware about which author mentions very clearly. Without putting anyone down- Hrithik or the Three Khans, author does a great justice to that chapter.

Talking about the drawbacks, I would say that it is not the author’s fault but because media covers these stars so passionately that almost everything is known to the general public hence there weren’t many stories with her to reveal in this book as a Shock or Surprise hence there’s nothing which can be called as untold stories. Secondly, I felt that many important events from their life has been ignored which could have been given nice presentation in the book. Then, a book which talks about journey of actors must have their filmography in the end for readers to understand their career-graph which is missing. The total count of movies that each star has done should also have been discussed in some manner and their approach towards how many movies they like working on.

Saying it all, this is a light and entertaining book which tells you about the most talked-about Khans in our country. I give this book 3.75 stars out of 5.


Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA 


1 July 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Doctors - Our Last Hope!

1851st BLOG POST



Doctor! A professional that we wish we don’t get involved with. Haha! But, a word that also gives us the only hope. I had never been so much involved with Doctors than I had been in last 1-2 years due to multiple health issues that I suffered and lately my parents. The importance of a doctor is only understood when we meet one otherwise we take it quite casually considering that we can go all our life by ourselves without anyone’s support. In 2017, I had started facing an issue in office where up till lunch I used to be all okay but post lunch, suddenly, I would start facing breathing issues as well as severe headache. And it would make me so dizzy that working after that meant awaiting to die. Finally, one day I became so unwell that unlike my personality, I took an abrupt half-day and left for home. Traveling by local train was an itself a journey towards hell that day.

Someone gave us reference of a doctor who was an ENT specialist and when I went to him, he told me that I am suffering from Sinusitis. He gave me tablets which healed my problem instantly and I believed all is well. But the same thing kept repeating throughout next 3 years until the end of 2019 in the intervals of 2-3 months. Finally, I was referred to another Homeopathic doctor and he gave me assurance that it was treatable within 3-6 months of dosage. And yes, since then, the breathing issue got completely treated and I am enjoying my yoga and meditation experiences again. Now I feel what can I give as gift to both these doctors – the ENT specialist who gave me instant relaxation for 3 years whenever the problem occurred and the Homeopathic doctor who treated its root cause altogether.

Similarly, there was a time when I didn’t feel mentally charged and motivated during my Junior college days post which we consulted a psychologist. It was my 1st experience to sit with a doctor who used to talk about my personal life and mindset. Whenever he talked with me, I would feel that something great is going to happen with me. He gave some tablets which turned out to be so effective that I was able to conquer my mind for some time and move ahead temporarily. Though the problem then got resolved with few gemstones etc. permanently. Or I believe so.

Recently, my father faced trouble with his blood pressure which really scared us as it happened during lockdown when no one among us wanted to go to any hospital in fear of Corona patients and the transmission of the virus. But finally, my father was admitted and I remember, how, hopefully, whenever the doctor came for rounds twice a day, I would stand out of the ICU awaiting to hear good and hopeful news from him. It is then that I realized again how important Doctors are to us. Finally, he improved many factors that caused my father visit hospital and get admitted and now things are back to normal – though my father is on dose.

And what should we say about dentists. Toothache is something which when happens makes us feel like killing anyone who irritates us during that period. Haha! It seems there is nothing that can be more troublesome than a toothache. And in my genes from mother I have received this as gift. Howsoever precautions and care I take, there will be some problem with these 32 guys once in 4-5 months. And though we feel so scared visiting a dentist, but once, you are out of their clinic, even when the tooth and jaw pains after immediate treatment, we still feel satisfied knowing that all shall be fine after few hours and we shall be able to chew and eat whatever we want without pain.

This Doctor Day, I ensured I message all my doctors and wish them the day when we appreciate their work and can let them know how important they are to us. Receiving a response from them feels so great. They are life saviours. In this wake of coronavirus, the only hope that this world have is with doctors. We are getting scared only because we know there are no beds available for corona patients which shall not allow us getting treated by them. Also, along with God, we are also praying and expecting some miracles from doctors in terms of getting vaccination for this at the earliest. Doctors are seen no less than God now and that is how important they are to us. The Last Hope!

I wish all the Doctors and nurses reading this a very Happy Doctor’s Day! Wish you keep spreading your positivity with us whenever we need you.

Thanks.

WRITING BUDDHA