18 November 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

Rethinking Money and Capital by Swapnil Pawar (Book Review: 4.25*/5)

2034th BLOG POST

28th Book of 2022

 


I have actually never read books on economics though I have read many books on personal financial management. I recently picked a book named “Rethinking Money and Capital” written by Swapnil Pawar which is of around 365-pages. It also has a tagline which specifies the subject covered in this non-fiction book- “New Economics for QE, Stimulus, Negative Interest, and Cryptocurrencies”. Author has tried his best to explain some concepts in easier language to ensure that every reader reaps benefits out of it. There are some parts which are really easy to understand whereas there are few terms and concepts which are difficult to comprehend. I believe people from economics background would love deep-diving into the concepts that author tried explaining but for a layman like me, the book will be effective only in sections.

 

Author discusses nation’s economy in detail and tries to elaborate on what all aspects impact it – either positively or negatively. Swapnil tries to make us understand how things actually works from a nation or world point of view. The concept of supply and demand is thrown a light upon through which how money is not a resource like other constraints like land and minerals is proven. The role of both- businesses and government is specified in various chapters in order to make us clear about who can drive what and how. I liked the way author explains inflation and factors resulting to it and what remedy can be taken against it.

 

The book talks about the improvement needed in both- developing and emerged economies. The chapter on Savings and Investment is my favourite as it spoke about concepts I knew prior and getting to learn it from an economist’s perspective made it more interesting. It was very new for me to know about how investments are funded and the whole procedure of it. While giving examples or talking about the whole evolution of few theories, the way Pawar explains the whole curve starting from 17th century is interesting to read. It’s like knowing our history from financial aspect too along with reading a throughout economics book.

 

There is a very good example where author tries to explain the value of Rs. 100 currency note against Rs. 100 meal. Reading it made me change my whole perspective towards having money as savings with me or valuables purchased from it. The difference between expenditure policy and fiscal policy is written almost in a way that you’ll feel as if you are reading some research paper on the topic. It’s so apt and resourceful. Author uses the concept of Money multiplier model to help us understand the concept which many financial influencers speak upon i.e. compounding effect of money. Similarly, Swapnil elaborates on what he means by modern money and that’s another new term and perspective I got to read about.

 

The whole loan system and how bank makes money out of it vs how we can look at the credit system from customer point of view is thrown light upon in the last few pages. I really liked the way author has divided even the chapters into sections and further, sections into sub-sections. Within the sub-sections, there are bullet points which makes it evident on the kind of determined knowledge and research author has invested his time in. Overall, this book is great for economics experts but little overwhelming for laymen. I will still give it 4.25* out of 5 for its focused detail on the topic and doing justice with it.


PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE

 

Thanks!

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



18 October 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

How Self-Neglect is being sold on the name of Self-Love...

2033rd BLOG POST


I remember when times changed on social media during the lockdown and people started consuming content nonstop. This led many influencers create contents around depression or self-care because all of us were going through tough times. Many of us were also self-analyzing ourselves. We were trying to change our thought process. We were nullifying few of our assumptions. I was also reading many things on Internet and following what people were actually trying to project through their Youtube videos, reels, posts and blogs. I was personally going through a very heavy phase so I was trying to find some new ways in life to get on with it and see what the inclusion of new philosophy does. As it is said- Class is permanent, Form is Temporary – I realized something on the same lines. All that I had read in the popular self-help books in the last decade turned out to be the truest and real lessons whereas whatever these people on social media were projecting was nothing but click-bait content and life-ruining advices.

 

Social media mainly talked about the logic of Self-love something that we missed when we were indulged in the fast-paced academics or corporate life which is all about completing important stuffs before the deadline. Hence, when we got little time in WFH and when someone asked us to be comfortable with ourselves and love ourselves for what we are, there was no second thinking needed. We liked hearing it so much. In our loneliness, all we wanted to hear was good thing about the only person we were spending time with – Ourselves. Initially, it did help. We stopped worrying about others because anyway, they were not to be seen anywhere around us. We started living the way we wanted. We also became convenient with our lows – such as less finances or bad body shapes etc. We started eating whatever we liked. We started spending time on couch watching series after series and being happy about not missing a single trending content people were talking about online.

 

Eventually, the world started racing again as the virus started getting weak with the help of vaccines or herd-immunity or whatever it was, we started interacting with others – getting out of the home – and realized what we have done to ourselves. We were less healthy – less enthusiastic – less skilled – less progressed – less in relationships and less in almost everything which we would have definitely been better if everything was normal. How did this whole Self-love thing work against us whereas it was meant to make us feel more peaceful, content and satisfied? It happened because we were sold Self-Neglect in the name of Self-Love. There wasn’t a single thing about loving self. It was all about neglecting ourself. Hence, we thought if we are sleeping more, we are loving ourself as we are finding peace and love in it. We were ordering food as it was the only thing ON and were thinking we are providing love to ourself by making the soul feel accomplished by feeding it the taste it was craving for. We were okay with watching OTT, Youtube and Reels as it was giving the dopamine rush all of us feel charged up with.

 

This affected us in almost every way possible – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, progressively etc. We forgot that the real wealth is actually being healthy- exercising more – eating right nutrition – avoiding junk food – sleeping on time – waking up on time – taking the required sunlight or supplements. We forgot that meditation, classical music, yoga will make our mind relaxed and will allow us to take difficult challenges more positively and enthusiastically. We didn’t identify that upskilling ourselves by watching courses online or getting that long pending certification will eventually help us get a better position or job which we will love doing rather than being in touch with the OTT series/movies that everyone was watching and talking about on social media. Resisting from ordering that unwanted mobile, earphone, dress, smartwatch etc. would have made us financially stronger enabling us to spend money on better objectives.

 

All of these are the self-loving elements in our life rather than getting comfortable with our failures, procrastinations, weaknesses. Over that, also hanging them on our head as a crown for the world to see & ask us about it and then retaliating to tell them how it is all okay to not be successful and driven. Self-love is all about taking your care just like you do for your loved ones but do you ever ask your parents to stop doing yoga and eat unhealthily? Do you ever ask your siblings to stop upskilling and learning and be okay with less knowledge and no competition? Do you ever ask your children to stop studying and being okay with those failed marksheets? You want them to do well with the things important at their age. Isn’t it? So how could you believe in these tactics that prescribed not being the best version of yourself is okay? How spending day on your bed if you don’t want to work is self-care? If you need rest, it’s great. But if you want rest, it’s laziness.

 

Try understanding these small differences. It will clear all your doubts. Either with a set goal or a freestyle approach, your agenda should be to create days in your life which will remain memorable for you because of that one great thing you did, you learnt, you achieved or you read. Remember all those days when you were perfectly fine but yet did nothing for your growth. How do you feel about them? Angry on yourself, right? Or just remember the time you spent today watching those short videos – someone dancing, singing, speaking, acting in it. What did it serve you? How do you feel investing time in it which gave nothing in return except few hours wasted of your precious time today? Now, remember all those days when you were sick and rested throughout the day and did nothing. Are you feeling bad about them? Not really, right? Why? Because it needed you to pause, take care of yourself in order to get back to your best life. That’s the difference between self-neglect and self-love.

 

Whatever you can change and improve about yourself, please do. Today is the only day you are living. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Plan for today. Just today. And do all the tasks. That’s how you will create a good life for yourself which will be all about loving yourself and giving yourself priority over everything else. Be with family and friends but understand the limits. Go on vacations to refuel yourself but not because some social media post is making you feel like going somewhere. Stop craving. Start resisting to such temptations. You are powerful. You need to love yourself – but in the right way. In this case, you can’t even tell anyone that you have been toxic to yourself – the word we so easily use for our family, partners and bosses. Isn’t it? Haha! Stay away from such relaxations before you start blaming yourself for everything that’s gone wrong in your life.

 

Thanks!

 

WRITING BUDDHA


17 October 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

The Forgotten Palace and the betrayed prince by Shalini Ranjan (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

2032nd BLOG POST

27th Book of 2022

 


I remember reading Shalini Ranjan’s book named “The Imperfect Deception” just 3 months back. As I had liked how she had balanced the story and most of her thoughts synched up with mine in terms of issues like marriage and parenting, I didn’t take much time in ordering her new book on Kindle named “The Forgotten Palace and the betrayed prince” which released just 2 weeks ago on my birthday- 4th October. This 365-pages book has a tagline - “A time travel romantic fantasy”. Frankly speaking, I get very scared when I see a book mentioning its story based on fantasy-related elements because there have been instances when I could never relate with author’s imagination. Another factor – time-traveling as a concept can be very tough to understand hence, I was again skeptic about how easy it would be for me as a reader to go through this.

 

I must tell you – Shalini’s writing style made both these elements so easy for me that I could very easily read such a long book without getting confused. The treatment given to these complex structures of storytelling and concept tells you about the author’s vision while writing the book. I must also specially mention how beautiful her command over English language is. The way she forms her sentences – the word she uses to define her characters or their expressions – the size of paragraphs – the ease in the conversation between different characters – everything has been articulated very nicely. Both- author and editor should be credited for the same. I could not find typos in the book which is generally not the case with Kindle and self-published books.

 

The character of Priya is given a very proper description that you are able to understand her at every juncture of the story. Her decisions, confusions, stands are not an easy-going thing but the way her character is established makes you empathize with her and you stand besides her throughout the story. Her relationship with her granny, friend Anjali and Simran, Arnav, Satya, Devyani, Mansukh, Siddeshwar, in-laws are dealt very significantly where you are able to comprehend her connection with them well enough. Even though the story is written in a form where you might feel it’s a love triangle which involves Priya, Arnav and Satya but the time-traveling concept makes the reading experience very fresh and distinct.

 

In the 1st half, there’s a confusion as to how the character of Priya time-traveling between two different eras – in 15th Century and 21st century but it eventually becomes crystal clear with the way author starts unveiling things. I started enjoying the unsaid explanations as I wanted to understand if this is really happening or author will give it a psychological disorder turn at the end of the book. Also, the time-traveling aspect makes the love story interesting as you know that the protagonist will have to choose one of the two eras for her future and which one would she go with. And in case she chooses both – how is it going to become a possibility. Author has kept such surprising factors wrapped very strategically and its only in the final pages where everything gets confirmed to you.

 

There are many beautiful philosophical statements included along with the story that will stay with you as a perspective. There are couple of intimate scenes in the book and I must say that they are very sensuously written. You will crave for someone while reading it. Every scene is handled so differently than the other tells about the author’s writing prowess about how she can give the same thing different treatment every time. Shalini also ensures that she covers the new-age romance and its issues very effectively. How exes come back in life and make your current relationship problematic. How it becomes bit difficult for the girl to adjust after marriage with in-laws and new rules and regulations. How the expectations in relationship change after marriage. How loyalty and infidelity are another issue which raises trust issues after which marriage never remains to be the same. How having friends is so important at every step of your life as you need someone in whom you can confide. There are many such guiding factors in the story that will make you feel as if you are also getting to learn about life along with it.

 

The whole 15th century aspect is nicely dealt with – showing a very rich family who are living in palace with all the luxuries lying around them. The whole family politics and issue are structured well. The way Priya gets accommodated in their story while time-traveling and the way the character from the current life is connected with this family is very nicely scripted. I just felt problems with the name of the characters. Most of them start with D and it becomes tough to remember who is who in case you are not reading the book in one or two sittings. I wish if author could have given unique names to make it easy to remember.

 

Overall, this book is a very fresh read and I haven’t read anything like this before. I have become fan of Shalini Ranjan’s writing after this and I must say, she is someone who needs lot of attention and appreciation for her work. Read synopsis of every book written by her and not a single story has an easy-going plot. There’s some out-of-the-world element in every book. I give this particular book 4.5 stars out of 5. Yes- because of great story – and – the way author kept the book a perfect page-turner without a single boring chapter even when the book is 350+ pages. Recommended!


PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE

 

Thanks!

 

WRITING BUDDHA


12 October 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

Krishna Series - The Beginning by Kapil Dabur (Book Review: 3*/5) !!!

2031st BLOG POST

26th Book of 2022

 


There comes a phase when suddenly I start reading books from a specific genre back-to-back co-incidentally. And mostly, this happens with the mythology/religious genre. I read Desai’s Mayabharata, Amish’s War of Lanka and now I completed Kapil Dabur’s “Krishna Series – The Beginning”. Even the next few books I am about to pick up are related to either Ramayan or Mahabharat. Anyway, let’s talk about Kapil’s version of Krishna story – the 278 pages book published by White Falcon publications. To start with, the cover page of the book is very serene and almost poetic displaying the image of Lord Krishna in his blue body playing flute with his closed eyes – The reason I picked it for reading.

 

This book, in particular, speaks about the life story of Kansa and how he turned from being a normal boy to a villainous character briefly. Yes, it’s less about Krishna and more about the evolution of Kansa as a big villain. Author has majorly tried to build a whole set-up to make us understand what kind of great figures Krishna fought in his childhood in unawareness and what kind of devilish-natured people like Kansa he would be fighting in the further parts of this series. There’s involvement of many other characters in the book from different regions of India who are all either ally or enemy with each other. How the message travels between all of them regarding mysterious things happening is nicely conveyed through the story.

 

The book starts slowly in quite a confused manner where it seems author found it difficult in order to how to begin telling this great epic story. He eventually finds the rhythm just before the 1st half of the book where he is able to develop few characters properly such as of Kansa, Vishwamitra, Sulochana, Putna etc. The book takes a good leap in terms of quality when the story of Kansa-Rati begins. I don’t know if it’s as per the epic or author’s creativity but I wasn’t aware of any such tale. Hence, it came out as a surprise and author’s portrayal of both of them meeting for the 1st time, then converting into acquaintance and finally finding romance between them is innocent and beautifully imaginable as a reader. All the other characters developed around them are treated well in this whole section.

 

The story goes into a flashback mode in between where Putna’s tale is been narrated as to how she turned into an ugly-looking person whereas once, she used to be one of the beautiful girls around the kingdom. Reading that story and also how, it impacted the life of Rati was chilling. Vashisht and Vishwamitra’s enmity and competition is also been highlighted every now and then – in the same manner as you can find in Amish’s Ram Chandra series. It’s nice to read the camaraderie and strong personalities that they were for their respective people. The Law of Karmic cycle is given a great prominence in the story and you’ll like its references and examples whenever provided. Similarly, the pre-climax and climax of the book are something where you’ll be excited as a reader because you know something big is about to happen and I liked how author ended the 1st part at the right place which gives you the feeling of fulfillment as well as excitement to read what would happen next.

 

Talking about author’s writing, I must say it’s written in very basic language hence the book can be gifted even to the children of 10 years and above. They’ll be able to understand the story easily. Rewriting an epic consisting of multiple characters and storyline is not an easy task at all. At some places, Kapil does a great job but otherwise, keeps on failing here and there. Like, the book is about Krishna, but he’s one of the least mentioned characters in the book. Even in the scenes where he is doing powerful stuffs, the scenes are not being narrated properly but completed within a page or two. Even his growing-up part has many stories which author has excluded and showed him grow from an infant to a boy so quickly that you feel disappointed as you want to read about him when you pick a book based upon him.

 

Talking about the drawbacks, I would say that the typos and grammatical mistakes in the book pisses off as they are repeated in almost every 5 pages. As I said above, Krishna’s development is not being portrayed descriptively which had a lot of scope to take this to a next level altogether. Similarly, the characterizations of few characters are left for the readers to comprehend. The start of the book is quite slow and scattered – not in an appropriate flow to hold your attention. The story of Krishna and the whole development pre-birth and post-birth is written on a very surface level without digging into the intricacies which could have made avid mythological readers like me find something new in the story.

 

Overall, I rate this book 3 stars out of 5 – and this is recommended strictly for beginners in this genre.


PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE

 

Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA



11 October 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

7 Times when I shared space with MR. AMITABH BACHCHAN

2030th BLOG POST

31st October, 2010

30th January, 2013

9th May, 2013

28th September 2017

26th August, 2019

1st September, 2021

13th August, 2022

Well – you must be thinking what’s special with all these dates mentioned above. These are the dates which motivate me always as I got a chance to share space in some or the other form with none other than Mr. Amitabh Bachchan – one of the few gentlemen in India who needs no introduction at all. He is one of the most celebrated and respected personalities who is a role-model to many including me. Every person who adores him feels he is the biggest fan and no one else can feel the same passion for Big B the way he/she does. Since childhood, I have seen my mother taking his name and telling me how he is her favorite actor since her childhood. I didn’t understand much as in 1990s, Amitabh Bachchan wasn’t seen much for a decade due to his financial issues.

 


For the first time when I actually understood the kind of personality he is was when I watched the trailer of Mohabbatein. Just by seeing him, a 10 years old child understood that this body language and dynamic look must be of none other than Amitabh Bachchan – someone about whom he heard enough from his mother. I got this confirmed when the trailer repeated from her. After some days, while scrolling the new multiple-channels cable plan, we stumbled upon Star Plus and saw him asking questions to a contestant. Both, me and my mother got surprised as to what’s happening here. And then came a promo of the next episode.

 

It was his first television appearance in the show that was to run for more than two decades – KAUN BANEGA CROREPATI – and a show which would give me an opportunity to witness him closely for not once but four times till date. I am still having high expectations from the Universe that I’ll be visiting the KBC sets more often in future and be under the same roof as Mr. Bachchan and get a chance to speak a sentence or two with him like every time. Since then, I ensure that I don’t miss a single episode of KBC and I am glued to the television even now when Mr. Bachchan sits on his seat and make the world move the way he wants it to.

 

31st Oct, 2010 stays special as AB would spend some time replying to his fans on Twitter. I tried my luck and shared my blog link with him – yes, the same blog you are reading right now. I don’t know what transpired in the Universe but out of thousand people tagging him, he took out time, opened and read my blog and replied back to me saying in public that my blog design is better than his. We know how humble he is and this is one instance where he rated a 20-yrs old boy more than him knowing that I was nowhere in the competition in this new field of Blogging in which even he had ventured in. It was his Blog knowing after which I thought of doing something similar in my free time after studying.


30th Jan, 2013 is another great day as I saw Mr. Bachchan for the 1st time in my life at a concert where the last performance was given by him. He sung a song and I must say it felt as if the voice is not of a regular being like us but is echoing somewhere from the clouds. It was a beautiful day but with a pain that I stood quite far away from the stage and couldn’t view him properly. It was just a self-satisfying moment knowing that the figure I saw almost 100 meters away was Mr. Bachchan moving and singing in front of me. I thought that I will have to live with this one experience for life time but as it’s said – Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!

 


On 9th May, 2013, I was preparing for an exam which was to happen in the morning. At around 5 AM, while I was studying, I got an update that he’s online. I again tweeted him asking to wish me for the exam as I had already failed in the subject once so that table can turn for me. Once again, Universe empathized with me and I got an unexpected reply. And I must tell you all – later, I got the confirmation from the University that I passed the exam I had given for the 1st time itself and this 2nd attempt won’t be considered at all. The tables literally got turned and I still credit it to Mr. Bachchan. How, otherwise, is this possible?


And then for all the other 4 dates mentioned of 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022 – it was an opportunity I received to be at the shoot of an episode of KBC. Something I can still not believe that I have been a part of. I feel as if all the images I have when Bachchan sahaab stood near us and got the pictures clicked are false and edited. I still can’t comprehend how in this world I am clicked along with the most productive individual – and more importantly, a man I find inspiring and wish to be like him since I was that child who got in awe of him when he saw him in the movie trailer and then, in the show of KBC wearing amazing suits and walking as if he controls the whole planet. There is something about him that stayed with me. I was 10 and even when I am 33 now, I still find my feelings for him as innocent and pure as it was then. And yes, that 10-year old boy finally got his mother’s dream accomplished of seeing and meeting her favorite superstar not once but 3 times for almost 10 hours in total.

2022

2021

2019

2017

I have met many celebrities – I am in touch with lots of them – but it is still a fanboy moment whenever I get to meet him on KBC sets or you can sense my craziness for him whenever he is the topic of the discussion. He is 80. He still enter running into the KBC set without panting at all. I, at 33, try all my best to not run even for a second. What makes him so energetic, productive, punctual, disciplined, hard-working, humble, talented, healthy even now – the age when most people survive on their pension is a case-study which scientists need to sit and provide us an answer for. Whenever someone asked me in childhood – “What would you like to become after growing up?” – I would say “Amitabh Bachchan”. It was never been referred to his acting profession but the kind of unstoppable and Godly personality that he is.

 


On his 80th Birthday, I just want God to give him the longest and healthiest life possible so that he is around us for inspiring many more generations. I wish he keep on setting examples which will challenge youth like me to give their best whenever they feel that it’s time to give up. His face should keep on emerging in front of everyone whenever they try to keep a benchmark on how much effort one can make in the same 24-hours day. People often ask me how I manage Office, Reading, Reviewing Books, Blogging and still managing my family and personal life. It has all been learnt from this demigod called AMITABH BACHCHAN otherwise I used to be the same cry baby making excuses of not having time to do anything extra. Thanks, SIR, for making me the person I am. I will always be grateful to you. AND… I hope to see and meet you soon – again. Universe, hope you are listening it.

 

Thanks!

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



10 October 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

Do we need Humans or Robots around us? Decide Yourself!

2029th BLOG POST

10th October is dedicated as Mental Health Day for every human being who have or are suffering with any such issues. We generally say that such dedicated days doesn’t make any sense when relationships are concerned such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day etc. because we tend to be with them always – either living together or away. But days such as this needs to be given prominence because it helps the victims get confidence that there are people who care for them. The taboo is still not gone. People like the reels talking about it. Everyone shares the Youtube videos where their favorite actor or Youtuber is talking about their experience. But when someone feels that they’re going through a tough time, they tend to hide it despite knowing that people are aware about it.

 

Why does this happen? Is there a demon sitting within us who is still judgmental about this hence we think that the similar opinion would be thrown upon us? I think there’s some truth to this otherwise there’s nothing which stops a person from sharing about their emotions with others. Unfortunately, there’s some role of the fast-paced life also. Most of us find others busy in job – either traveling for it or trying to meet a deadline or preparing for some future position. We don’t find any human left in anyone than a machine running for career growth. We think that everyone just loves earning, spending and multiplying money and no one has anything to do with human values and feelings anymore.

 

We know that in case we end up speaking about our vulnerabilities, the person would just shrug and leave for getting back to their job. There’s a possibility that they might also start ignoring us as their happening weekends would then will have to be spent in giving us time to get us back on track. This is the main reason why an ambitious me stopped seeing career as everything in life. Yes, we need money to survive and thrive and all of us should sit alone with ourselves and ask innocently and shamelessly regarding how much money do we exactly need every month to lead an okay life with no qualms of being less-rich. When we get that answer, we should then see if we are getting the same or not. Mostly, we would be in the same range or even more than that if we have been reasonable enough while calculating our needs. Once we get the answer to this, career, then, must become one part of our life and not the life itself. And if we are far behind, it’s time to see this positively and work towards upskilling ourselves happily and positively but after reaching the point, slow down again.

 

Many of my friends switch their job and motivate me to get a higher package but I regularly tell them that I need comfort and peace over money any day and I have come to this conclusion – mostly after experiencing Work From Home culture. I just don’t wish to travel to office and slog there for 11-12 hours without getting a chance to even get a nap or restful 5 minutes. I enjoy this phase where I get enough money to sustain my lifestyle – enjoy a bit – and also save some for my future. I have understood the priorities of my life which helps my mental peace be sane. I just can’t afford to lose it for anything – not even money. I like when I wake up with fresh mind and smiling face. I don’t want to lose this space for career, people and growth.

 

All these progress-oriented stuffs will happen and are already happening – but at a pace where I am fine with the speed. I don’t like rushing for anything. I am okay with delayed accomplishments. I am already in my 30s. Situation is different when we are in our late teens and 20s where we have to nourish our skills and get on a path. But now that I know what my path is, I don’t care about the destination. Because I know there’s none. This is just an endless journey. None of us have any goal about which company or what package we will stop at. We will keep running behind more. Hence, being on the right path is important. Which I know I am already walking upon.

 

Hence, it’s time to be little less machines and more humans so that we are able to share our vulnerabilities with others and also understand them better. People should find their environment friendly and personal enough to be assured that they’ll get the care if they ask for it. As we know that posting a job will fetch us Interview calls, posting a picture online will fetch us online engagements, we should have the same confidence about the real life when we need someone to know about our personal problems. But to have that, as Gandhi said, the change should start with self. Change yourself. Slow down. Understand your mind. Know your limits. Push when needed. Pull when required. Give yourself time. Develop good habits. Accept that career is just a means to earn money. Life is beyond it. When you will change, you will help everyone else change around you, gradually, but yes.

 

I am saying this with experience because whenever anyone who knows me find themselves in such a space, I am the first person they send a HII to. Because they know I don’t judge as I have seen enough and gone through mental health problems for two longer phases of my life – well, one is currently going on. They know that if I am not able to help, I will at least hear them completely, keep everything confidential and continue being with them until they are fine again to move ahead with life with ample amount of energy and happiness. I only know of 2-3 people around me who are someone I can ping anytime. We need such people more. Almost everyone of us should be similar. Less judgmental. More Helpful. On this World Mental Health Day, let’s try to evaluate and understand how we can construct our life similarly and be for our own people at home and around the way we are for our bosses at work.

 

Thanks!

 

WRITING BUDDHA


9 October 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

War of Lanka by Amish Tripathi (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

2028th BLOG POST

25th Book of 2022

 


Binge-watching subsequent seasons of your favorite web-series is easy as you can fast-forward the unwanted scenes and complete it within a day. But it is very difficult to finish reading a book which is part of a series as you can’t skip the sentences and have to read everything with utmost concentration and devotion. And it becomes further tough when the book is of almost 475 pages. Yes, I am talking about the latest release of Amish Tripathi’s book named “War of Lanka” which is the 4th book in the Ram Chandra series. For this book, Amish has made his readers wait for more than 3 years hence there has been high expectations from it. I have been lucky enough to be present at the launch of this book and own an author-signed copy of it. The excitement has been such that I completed reading it within 2 days as I couldn’t stop myself from knowing how the things will unfold further in the story.

 


As we know Amish had experimented with the hyperlink concept with the first 3 books where each of them told stories of Ram, Sita and Raavan respectively from their birth till the kidnap of Sita by Raavan. The story finally merges with this book and takes it ahead from there. Amish has utilized the power of creative liberty completely as he has almost rewritten the whole Ramayan in his own version. It was evident in the 1st 3 books and this one just makes you smile at incidents where you expect things to unfold the way you have read/seen them but Amish throws a googly and you are surprised with a completely new take upon the same. I would like to mention few of them: For e.g. Hanuman lifting the mountain for Sanjivani angle has been transformed – the conversation between Sita and Raavan are friendly in Ashok Vatika – Ram Setu being referred as Nala Setu – Vali’s death – Sita’s birth – Ram’s brothers’ involvement in the war, Ram-Sabri meeting etc.

 

Amish has used a very commanding and friendly language to narrate the story as you’ll not have to run for the dictionary – though he ensures you still learn few new words without much trouble. Author has purposely created small sentences so that it becomes easier for readers to navigate while reading - I like how Amish doesn’t care a bit about what Grammar Nazis would say on the way he writes sentences without a proper form and uses punctuation marks as per his convenience. From his writings, it is evident that he cares for reader’s ease rather than impressing the elites. His descriptions are so powerful that he makes you visualize the whole personas and scenes and find yourself in the same era. You’ll even feel that you are the character who is being discussed because of the way Amish provides details – let them be as small or miniscule as possible. It’s almost as if you are blind and someone is narrating the whole movie to you without missing a single second of it.

 

I am glad that Amish has shared the whole list of characters in the beginning which had initially scared me regarding how many times will I have to refer to this page but I must tell you – I didn’t have to do it even once. I am equally impressed with the execution as even if you haven’t read the 1st 3 books, you will still not have to worry much because author, very intelligently, tells all the important details briefly before proceeding ahead with a certain important character/scene. The use of adjectives and adverbs did mesmerize me- Tripathi uses it wonderfully in defining the characters, actions, sequences, locations, monuments, expressions and everything under the sky. One must read this book to learn how to use adjectives/adverbs in our writings/conversations.

 

As we have often heard that our epics are not only about the story but it teaches us many aspects – author ensures that even his version does justice to it. There are good amount of geographical references which will make you feel as if you are traveling to all these places yourself. Even the way geo-political angle is covered helps you understand the challenges of people living there plus how it’s affecting the current situation of the characters. He doesn’t even shy away from quoting references from other cultures and you’ll find important insights/terms discussed from other epics and religious references too. Unlike Mahabharata, Ramayan has always been more about preparation of the war than the war itself and while narrating the same, there are multiple scientific inclusions made which gives us an insight how things weren’t as easy as it sounds. Amish takes enough time to explain how the bridge between Southern India and Lanka was built using science rather than just throwing the stones which starts floating right away.

 

Amish’s magic is using the philosophical aspect to speak about his belief on certain topics which is either everyone’s interest or enough relevant with our contemporary times. Particularly in this book it mostly happens when legendary characters are talking among themselves such as Sita-Raavan, Raavan-Indrajit, Raavan-Kumbhakarna, Vishwamitra-Vashishtha or there’s some flashback being discussed which doesn’t have anything to do with the current timeline but it’s like a good break for the readers to read some philosophy and then get back to the War zone. Haha! Author uses references of surgical strike, corona pandemic, vaccinations and its distribution to the needy outsiders, elitism, nepotism, Sabrimala etc. which helps you relate better.

 

Now talking about the drawbacks- I would start with the length of the book which Amish is gradually increasing with each book. Raavan was of around 375+ pages whereas this one is 100 more pages. Frankly, War of Lanka could have very easily been summed up within 350 pages if author had thought of letting go of few sentences used for over-describing situations or scientific concepts or war strategies. There are few sections which are exhaustive and eventually become boring such as building of Setu, entry into Onguiaahra, setup of Army etc.

 

The main heroes of Ramayan are Ram and Sita, obviously, but unfortunately, you will be surprised to know that there’s very less of both- Ram and Sita in this book. It’s more about the 3 brothers of Ram, Kumbhakarna, Indrajit, Mareech etc. Even Hanuman doesn’t have a great role the way it’s in the Valmini Ramayan. This was quite shocking for me as I believed Amish would portray Ram similar to how he did it with Shiva in the Shiva Trilogy and make us feel about the Larger-than-life presence of him on the planet. But nothing sort of that happens. Also eliminating few great characters or reducing their role gives a sense of incompleteness such as Jamvant, Sugreev, Angad etc. When an author tweaks an epic story like Ramayan, and when he is as popular as Amish Tripathi, we expect the story to be at least 75% as exceptional as the original but it’s not the case here. Even Raavan’s character has been underplayed where unlike the Valmiki’s Ramayan, he is aware that he’ll die right from the 1st day and he’s being extra-sweet with everyone. It is just not relatable at all.

 

Overall, I will still rate Raavan as the best book in the Ram Chandra series but saying that, the way story has been left incomplete in this book post the war of Ramayan, there’s an excitement to know what will Amish bring in the next and the last book of this series. My gut feeling says that it is going to be the best book in this series and also, maybe, Amish’s best work till date. Let’s wait and watch. I give this book 4 stars out of 5 – not great but not average either.


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WRITING BUDDHA 

6 October 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

Mayabharata by Meghnad Desai (Book Review: 2*/5) !!!

2027th BLOG POST

24th Book of 2022


Well, any name of Lord Vishnu or his avatars make me curious and that’s the reason why I have most of the books related to this subject with me. In case I don’t have any, I am on Youtube searching for the videos related to the almighty. This love for the Lord made me pick up Meghnad Desai’s latest book called “Mayabharata” the tagline of which says “The Untold Story behind the Death of Lord Krishna”. The book is published by Rupa Publications in around 145 pages hence it’s a good short mythological read. Every one of us is aware about the story behind Lord Krishna’s final moment when he was resting under a tree and a hunter named Jara unintentionally strikes a bow in his toe which leads to his death. I have read many interpretations of this where few also say that Bali was reborn as Jara to complete the cycle as Lord Rama killed him so the karma had to be balanced.

 

Talking about the concept shared in this book by Meghnad, the whole interpretation is completely distinct from whatever I have read till now. This made me turn the book after completing it and read the back cover which said “the book is the deployment of the author’s imaginative and creative powers” which relieved me as I must say that the whole thing doesn’t sound convincing at all. There’s always a question as to how can such sub-standard conversations and incidents happen after the epic Mahabharata – the tale which has so many nuances that every time you think it’s done, there’s a new layer which raises many new questions and provides you many more insights about life and relationships.

 

Author’s writing style is definitely very easy and beginner-friendly hence you won’t find difficulty in reading this mythological book written with creative liberty. The chapters are also divided interestingly based on characters initially and later deep dives into the respective sub-plots which takes us to the final climax. The book starts with several characters but the one chapter which gave the story a push was the one about Ashwatthama. How he thinks of every pandav as a liar and cheater makes you look at all the five brothers along with Lord Krishna through a very different lens.

 

One of the highlight and main element of the book is conversation between an outsider called Maya and Lord Krishna. The character of Maya is the reason behind the title of the book hence you can comprehend the importance of him in the story. The way Maya questions Lord Krishna and makes him accept that he may have been wrong in the way he dealt with the whole war scenario and the kind of strategies he implemented to make Pandav survive surprises you as a reader as we have never heard Lord Krishna not being able to win a conversation. Though this is an interesting read and a unique version but the whole thing sounds very fictitious because we know how Lord Krishna tackles any conversation or situation and wins it with his tactics.

 

The sexual tension between Draupadi and her husbands is spoken enough. Similarly, Yudhisthira sleeping with all the widow women in order to ensure that the clan doesn’t vanish completely is given a good emphasis upon. On the same note, Lord Krishna’s love-making and intimate moments with his wives and gopis are mentioned in many chapters repeatedly. Frankly speaking, I have never heard or read about Lord Krishna in such a manner and the way author has narrated these segments, it sounds disrespectful and demeaning. I just felt that author doesn’t have any belief in Mahabharat and the whole thing is written just to gain some fame by writing on this topic as nation is interested in Hinduism and its tales these days. This is the 1st book I have read where Lord Krishna looks like the weakest characters of all.

 

Overall, I would say that after a long time, a book has been quite disappointing to me; and particularly, from the mythology genre. I give this one 2 stars out of 5.


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WRITING BUDDHA 



2 October 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

LION - Most Wanted by Douglas Misquita (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

2026th BLOG POST

23rd Book of 2022!

 


When I return back to reading after a long gap, I generally prefer either light-reads or a terrific thriller which can keep me interested and ensure I complete another book within few hours. This made me pick up the latest book released by Douglas Misquita named “Lion Most Wanted” which is the 2nd book in “The Escape Series”. I remember reading another series by Misquita based on a protagonist named Luc Fortesque and I was mind blown with the capacity Douglas has to create a world which he owns like a powerhouse. Lion Most Wanted is another book which will be remembered as one of his best works even if he writes 20 books after this.

 

The story is about Aslan “The Lion” Terzi who has escaped the prison and now, 3-4 different groups are behind him. He has to stay 10 steps ahead from them to survive and be the best in the game. This is how the thriller aspect is carved from this simple plot. You just keep on turning page to know what would happen next. I like how author manages to give appropriate attention to all the characters and groups involved in the story because it’s really difficult to manage. As a reader, you won’t feel that you are being made to run here and there without giving proper detailing of the scene you are reading.

 

The book carries the list of all the characters in the beginning which is a great implementation that I have been complaining from authors who write story comprising of more than 5 important characters. This really helped to navigate through the book as there are chances that we get confused with the names and their relation with the other characters. I am glad Douglas gave immense importance to this. The book is of around 212 pages in spite of having multiple characters and layers to the story which is evidence of how fast-paced and crisp writing it must be. There is not a single weak moment in the book where you’ll find the scene not adding onto the story.

 

The research of the author can be sensed with all the insights he gives about the countries and their status quo. It is not that author has just added few locations to make the story sound complex but if you have been aware about the geo-political scenario, you will be able to relate with the characters used to define the aura of the place. In the end, author also accepts the same that few of his characters and set-up are influenced by some real news happening in the world.

 

The characters are also developed well. Even though I haven’t read the 1st book in the series, I didn’t feel that I am missing out something. I was able to understand the psyche of the characters which even helped me in predicting few twists. Haha! I must also agree that the prediction only got half-right almost all the times as Douglas doesn’t stop putting his creative forces to give story the unexpected turn at the juncture when you least expect it.

 

Overall, this is a short thriller with lots of layers, characters and flavors to it. It might be difficult for someone new in reading to go with the flow but the bibliophiles are going to like it. I give the book 4 stars out of 5.


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WRITING BUDDHA


30 September 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

Why do we need someone to feel Belonged in this world???

2025th BLOG POST


Every time I read “human beings are social animal”, I don’t know why but I just get too frustrated because this is one fact that I know is correct but I don’t want to accept and believe it. I want to create an alternate narrative that it’s not necessary to be with people and surviving with yourself with the same happiness and charm is possible. But Life makes you get closer to few people and gradually they become a habit. Their regular meetings or calls or messages or selfies become a routine and then you realize that you can’t live without their presence anymore. It definitely happens in love but apart from this, it can happen with any relationship you hold. It can be parents, siblings, best friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbors etc. You just don’t understand when a certain conversation brings you closer with a person and then rolling back to your own space becomes difficult.

 

I have been an introvert for most part of my life. I say so because there has been phases when I have been a part of a confident group which made me an interactive person for a brief time but as and when I get back to myself, I find solace in silence. Now, when I look back and realize, I see that every now and then, I always had one or more people in life who have been regularly in touch with me. It has somewhere given me the comfort of living life lonely more easily. Why? Because I know for a matter of fact that I have someone with whom I can share whatever comes into my mind. I can share even an idiotic joke with them without worrying about being judged.

 

I also observe that none of these people but became permanent in life. All came for a specific period and them got lost in this busy life somewhere. But they must surely be part of someone else’s routine now. It’s not that people don’t have time to interact but it’s just that their journey in your life was for a limited number of chapters only. Why the hell does this happen? Why can’t we have a set of people who are always with us? And even after regular such experiences, now, in my early 30s, when I find a new person becoming the one who becomes the most important person to me, knowing that they are here for a brief period of time, I keep denying myself that this time it’s going to be untrue. Unfortunately, the same cycle repeats and I again find myself waking, living and working alone. I have only myself to talk to. Every organ in the body wishes to have a person but mind wants to deny the fact. Why accepting few facts aren’t easy?

 

I then try to go back and connect the dots and find if this cycle repeats only with me or almost everyone. Well, because I don’t know much about others, I definitely get into every such person who was once the most important one for me. I try to remember how the conversations started getting weaker and finally ending on a note where there’s just occasional greetings and nothing more than that. I still can’t fathom if I have been wrong or the person on the other side was. One thing I know is that I have always been available but because I give so much in a relationship, I also expect the same from the other side. When I find that I don’t get the same love and respect, I start getting into a shell and shut myself up completely. And as soon as I disappear, it seems that the person on the other side was just waiting for this to happen to get rid of me.

 

Now, I don’t know how can the same cycle repeat every time. Why don’t I just stop expecting? Why don’t I just confront and not keep things in heart? Why don’t I just complain rather than burying all those issues within and eventually making it a reason for killing the relationship? Who’s wrong- the other person or I? How to get to the root of everything and change myself? How do I ask the other person to understand me to understand what I don’t like rather than me having to tell it verbally? I don’t know but keeping a good relationship with anyone is so tough. And after all of this, I want to just get back to myself but then why the system wants to have a friend in life in any form? WHY? Why can’t things be simple? Why can’t I sit on an endless meditation and be with myself rather than disappointing myself with having another relationship end for me? Do you have the answers? Or you have the same questions like me?

 

SILENCE….

 

WRITING BUDDHA