25 April 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

The Stories We Tell by Devdutt Pattanaik (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

2005th BLOG POST

10th Book of 2022


Discussing Indian mythology has become my new favorite thing. To discuss, you also need to know about it which has made me incline towards mythology books. There are only few authors who write on this in non-fiction genre trying to state facts as it is without shying. One such author is Devdutt Pattanaik who has become quite popular for retelling mythology from different perspective. He also faces certain criticisms for diluting some facts but it is inevitable to get through this because the topic is sensitive and some people genuinely get hurt if they don’t find things written the way they know about it. I am just done reading Pattanaik’s latest book released by Aleph named “The Stories We Tell” having a tagline that says “Mythology to make sense of modern lives”.


This 212-pages book discusses 72 different topics/tales which speaks about different kinds of mythology not only associated with Indian culture but other cultures and establishments too. Devdutt tries to widen our vision about how some stories are retold in different texts and cultures with the names of every culture’s respective Gods or Kings. The similarities between these stories were really surprising as the cultures are widely separated by the geography yet they speak almost the same thing. I kept on getting astonished in terms of how stories pass not only from one generation to another but even from one culture to another.


There are tales not only from Ramayan and Mahabharat but other vedas and puranas too. This really makes this book unique because the kind of stories and characters we get to know are generally not spoken about in other mythology books. It initially became really overwhelming for me to understand which character belongs to which phase of mythology but it makes you surf Internet to better your knowledge base. It actually helped me understand many different aspects of our Indian culture. There are few chapters which closes with moral or question or author’s perspective on the tale. In any case, it makes you think and realize what did the whole thing mean and that’s the magic the book does with you.


There are few pointers that stayed with me which I would like to mention as bullets below:

-          Author tells how Vishnu’s avatars are shared on social media which relates with the Human evolution theory but Devdutt gives it new outlook based on the caste system which I really found interesting.

-          Different versions of Kartikeya’s birth tells us of India’s diverse and complex layers in its culture.

-          The chapter on “Two Epics One Theme” tells us many similarities between Ramayan and Mahabharat which is surprising. Author also discusses few differences to give the complete view of it.

-          Surpanakha’s chapter was interesting for me as we only know about her from the moment she finds Ram in the jungle but here we get to know about her history before that incident which was a new learning for me.

-          Author clarifies the difference between Asuras and Rakshasas in one of the chapters which I believe is very necessary for people to know because generally we categorize them as the same kind of people.

-          “Hara and Hari” tells us the difference in personalities of Shiva and Vishnu yet author discusses how they are portrayed completely different in their images.

-          I never knew about Goddess Lakshmi’s sister, Alakshmi and even a Diwali ritual dedicated to her made me feel quite ignorant. Haha!

-          Another chapter on prominence of Numbers in our history and vedas is nicely described using which author also explains why he stopped at 72nd tale in this book.

-          The relevance of few animals such as Fish or Horse is dedicated a chapter which makes us understand why we often keep seeing or hearing about them in almost every mythological tale.

-          The difference in versions even in Abrahamic culture is catchy to read because people often say that Hinduism has multiple references whereas other religions doesn’t.


These are just few takeaways from the book otherwise there are many points which you would like to learn and keep in your mind so that you can have enough insights about our stories and culture. I wish I had a great memory to store a wonderful book like this in my brain forever. The chapters are short which makes it easy for you to read 4-5 of them every day and consume them slowly. As Devdutt has put it in his previous books, I would have loved to have him make us understand these stories through some hierarchical diagrams or images because few chapters had so many characters and their relationships explained that I would lose the link again and again.


Except that, this book is a good company to have while traveling or before sleeping every day. I give this one 4.5 stars out of 5. A very knowledgeable and well-researched piece of work.






21 April 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

Zero Day by S. Hussain Zaidi (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

2004th BLOG POST

9th Book of 2022


S. Hussain Zaidi is a phenomenal author and I have always loved reading his work. He made me fan with his book- Dongri to Dubai and after reading “Headley and I”, I just got addicted to the world that he creates in his books. From non-fiction to fiction, he knows how to handle the words so that his readers won’t get disappointed by him. I have just completed his latest book named “Zero Day” which is published by HarperCollins in around 210 pages. This is a fiction story about how a cybercrime stops Mumbai’s traffic which leads to chaos and immediate action for the Police as well as Cybercrime department. The police officer Mirza and his colleagues – Vikrant and Deo start investigation regarding how this got possible for someone to execute in the Maximum City. Immediately, another such activity takes place again which reveals the severity of the situation. From here onwards, the race begins which takes you into the world of crime, terrorism and cyber-attacks.


It is very common for writers to write stories on murder or terrorism but it’s very gutsy from Zaidi to write a fiction account of what extreme can happen with cybercrime which we generally hear about in modern podcasts and tech channels. It is not very easy to frame whole story which is based upon this and yet keep it enough exciting for the readers to enjoy the cat-and-mouse game. I liked how author has kept things light for readers to understand as such topics can become pain to comprehend which could have become the major reason of people putting this book aside in between. Hussain has explained the complex terminologies such as DDoS attacks, cybercrime, Internet bots, dark web etc. in a simple manner even for someone from a non-IT background to get the theme.


Developing the characters in the most utopian way is an art for S. Hussain Zaidi and he proves it so wonderfully in both the worlds- non-fiction and fiction. Right from Mirza’s character to his colleagues and sub-ordinates, the way he handles the equation and chemistry between them makes you fall in love with their department even when Police department is something you can never fall in love with. Haha! Similarly, the way he brings in the angle of CM and his person being in the team for the investigation is handled so comically that there are many instances which makes you laugh. The dialogues are very nicely written because even in the tense situations, the way sarcasm for each other makes you smile keeps your interest in the story as well as these not-so-important but funny conversations intact.  


Every chapter is like a small episode similar to the modern-day web-series format. Not a single chapter is written just for extending the plot but it brings the narration to the next level which increases your curiosity about what happens next. The way even the anonymous criminal is handled in the first half of the book is exciting as you don’t get bored of his repetitive acts. The twists and turns come at the right spot. Even the pre-climax and climax takes the plot towards another parallel story but the way all of it come together in the end makes it a fun experience. I liked the editing by the author and the crisp story-telling prowess that even with such complex concept, author completes the whole narration in just about 210 pages which is a very positive sign. Even the beginners can start their reading journey right from the thriller genre without worrying about how tough it would get for them.


I give this book 4.25* out of 5.






18 April 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

Lies Look Like Love by Bijaya Kumar Mishra (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

2003rd BLOG POST

8th Book of 2022

It is always fun to read a book from a new author or publisher. It was time to read Bijaya Kumar Mishra’s Lies Look Like Love which is published by Invincible publication in around 222 pages. It is a short story which can be completed within a single sitting. I must tell you that not only because of its length but the way story is narrated keeping the suspense intact, you want to just keep turning the pages. I was surprised that I didn’t hear about Bijaya before picking this book as he deserves more accolades for the kind of storytelling prowess he has. The book’s title sounds like a tongue twister initially but after reading the story, I understood why it has been named so. The story justifies the name of the book very perfectly.


The story is about how a widower named Maya is living with her sisters in a big villa when one man named Ravi appears asking to stay there on rent. He is denied initially by her but then he is allowed to stay in the outhouse. Gradually, he starts getting close to Maya, her caretakers as well as her sisters who look almost similar. Suddenly, he realizes some unusual activities happening in the villa which makes him learn about many facts about this family. He is now confused if he should continue staying there because of his new blossomed love for Maya or leave it. At the same time, Maya is also hiding things from him but doesn’t want him to go away. This whole psycho-analysis part makes the story very interesting.


I liked how author was able to develop chemistry between both the main characters – Maya and Ravi within few chapters itself. The treatment of both these individuals is done very seamlessly which has helped this book get its purpose fulfilled. I liked how author was able to execute different transitions in their relationship as they went through whole ups and downs of being together – initial awkwardness, closeness, distrust, coming together, revelation of secret and lot more. Along with this, Bijaya also assures that Maya’s sisters are introduced at the right time and the kind of word author has done to ensure that their psychology of mind reaches us is commendable. Handling a topic which is still a taboo in our society has been dealt with maturity.


I liked how the chapters are cleverly planned where each of them holds you so firmly that you get excited about the next one. Author manages to keep twists and turns come around at the right time which doubles your excitement to know what happens next. Writing a thriller is not very easy and when there are certain secrets post revelation of which it becomes more difficult to keep the interest of the readers alive, Mishra has managed to keep his narration enough strong to not let the story go down.


Overall, this is a light thriller with deep characters. Author’s words will make you imagine the whole villa and every scene in your own way and make you feel that the whole thing is happening in front of you. I would give this book 4.25 stars out of 5. I am really excited to read more work from Bijaya now and already waiting to read his next.






15 April 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

RISING: 30 WOMEN WHO CHANGED INDIA by Kiran Manral (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

2002nd BLOG POST

7th Book of 2022

I have known Kiran Manral as a celebrated author since a long time but I couldn’t get a chance to read any of her work. Finally, in the month of March 2022, on the occasion of Women’s Day, her latest book released named “Rising: 30 Women Who Changed India” which speaks about 30 different women who changed the mindset, stereotypes and gave a new definition on what an Indian women or girl can do and achieve. I generally don’t like reading a book for a long time as I want to move to the next as soon as possible but here, I read story of one woman per day on an average and dedicated the whole month of March to this book which speaks about these inspiring personalities.


Kiran Manral has very perfectly chosen the women who comes from all walks of life such as entertainment, movies, sports, entrepreneurship, government job, judiciary system, educational, science, rural panchayat etc. Another great attempt is in considering such personalities whom we haven’t heard about before or who aren’t that popular even after they achieved something incredible through their legacy for the Indian girls. Every personality has been dedicated a chapter of around 5-10 pages and its like a small summary of their life just to ensure that you are introduced and know about them here onwards. I was quite ashamed of myself for not even knowing names of many of them even though they have initiated something not many could dare even after 75 years of independence today.


The book speaks about how women are generally stereotyped and they have to break multiple shackles to achieve something that men can do without any question towards them. Author manages to let us know that the gender equality that we talk about today and which I believe we have almost achieved in many ways have been possible due to few of such women who didn’t think only about themselves but about the whole system as well as other females around them. They didn’t let their dreams and aspirations die just because no other women had attempted it before them or the society considered it wrong for them. They achieved the unbelievable by managing themselves even when they had to go against family, spouse, society or system at times. There are many ladies who have gone through divorces in these stories and you can understand the challenge they had to endure during those times when it would have been such a setback to manage everything from family to work alone.


The book starts with the politicians such as Sushma Swaraj and Sheila Dikshit and also discusses about multiple film personalities such as Lata Mangeshkar, M. S. Subbulakshmi, Madhuri Dikshit, Rekha, Ekta Kapoor, Aparna Sen etc later in the chapters. Author also gives enough prominence to Sport personalities where women from different sports are discussed such as Karnam Malleshwari, Hima Das, P. T. Usha, P. V. Sindhu, Mary Kom etc. I personally loved reading about them as I could relate with Sports very easily and many of their achievements happened in my notice so it was like getting the whole thing replayed again in my mind.


Then Kiran also gets into the characters who have accomplished the zenith in completely special fields such as knowing about Tessy Thomas being the Missile Woman of India made me feel ashamed that I didn’t know that we even have someone who has achieved this title. We only know about APJ Abdul Kalam as Missile Man but we also have a woman who have achieved the same. I am pretty sure that 99% of Indians don’t know about her. The book speaks about entrepreneur, Kiran Mazumdar – Shaw, who is an inspiration for so many women. I liked reading about how she managed to survive against all ups and downs. We get to know about Shakuntala Devi and her struggles after she got famous for her fast-processing brain which could calculate tough mathematical computations within seconds. I felt personal happiness in reading about Menaka Guruswamy who helped the whole LGBTQ community by fighting for them in court and removing the long-awaited section 377 imposed on them. She further says that now she wants to legalize same-sex marriage in India on which she is working day-and-night. Such people are meant to be celebrated in our country. There are many other personalities who are discussed in this book – not all of them can be discussed in this short review.


Now talking about the drawbacks – I must say that few women are not discussed in terms of their struggles but author could only manage to tell us about the way their career progressed. An example – the chapter on Madhuri Dikshit and P. T. Usha manages to talk only about what happened when in their career rather than what it took for them to do it. Secondly, I believe few personalities are added just for managing to get the book picked by the reader such as Madhuri Dikshit and Rekha. I don’t think they are among the list of women who changed India in any way. There are many better than them who could have been covered. Thirdly, you won’t find pictures of any woman listed in the book, not even in Black and White. It would have been great if Kiran could have managed to have their pictures so we could have known them little better.


Overall, this book deserves its place in your bookshelf. It is really exciting to know about how few women have worked upon to take India to the level it is today. I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5 – for its intention and versatility.






11 April 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

Gearing Up for Hopefully Next Millennium Post...

 2001st BLOG POST

So, the euphoria of completing 2000 blog posts has finally subsided. I had announced a Book giveaway on Instagram for which three winners have been announced today. They’ll be getting Gunjan Porwal’s latest book- “Ashwatthama vs Parshurama” for being the best participant of the 2000th Blog Post giveaway. I just love hosting such beautiful attempts on social media which makes me meet new people as they join my space to win the prize. This is how my personal Book Club is increasing and I find it so surprising that due to blogging and such initiatives, I have so many people I know in different cities of India. If in case I ever decide that I need to meet everyone I know through this platform, it’ll take a lifetime to do just this. May God provide me the energy I need to keep writing so that blogging never stops and I continue getting connected with all great souls I didn’t meet yet.


Finally, it’s time to restart with the same passion and this particular piece is the beginning towards another century or another millennium post. I have the same butterflies in my stomach thinking about how this platform will slowly reach its 21st, 22nd, 23rd century and so on and we will finally be seeing the 3000th entry here. I know it is going to take long but it’s the journey that matters and not the final outcome. Because after the outcome - begins another journey. These are just landmarks where you have to install your flag and move ahead. There is no scope of getting satisfied with whatever has been done till now. There is no intention of getting slow. Though there’s always a concern that other things in life – personal and professional may impact the passionate fingers to move in this direction to write a blog post every 3rd day but I think when something is decided, it can fail only if you want. Nothing else can fail something which has become one of your primary habits in life.


I am often asked what motivates me to keep writing. Why is it that I haven’t stopped doing something I must have started out of curiosity at the age of 20. I have always believed that having a hobby or side income or anything with your primary motive – either studies or job keeps the balance in life almost perfect or ideal. Like for example, the day when I had posted my 2000th blog post, I had a very terrible day at office. I was being scolded for something which wasn’t even solely my responsibility. I wasn’t feeling great. But because I had an important day at Blog, I was receiving so many emails and personal messages and comments on Blog that it kept me occupied and happy as well. Next day when I punched for office, everything that happened a day before was out of my mind and I begun with a new spirit of giving my best. This is how having two affairs at the same time helps in this case. Haha!


As I had mentioned in the previous post, I am almost looking forward to writing 100 more posts in this calendar year itself. I hope so that I get enough content and ideas to share. I never write to impress but express and that is how I am going to continue further too. Though I always respect the views and feedback I keep getting from all of you but I adopt only those which I feel suits me and my style completely. Being a bibliophile, you can’t expect me to write about fashion. Hope I am making sense. Haha! The flavour and topic of my writing will remain to be the same because internally, the thoughts are almost and always the same because I lead my life in quite non-exploratory way. I like keeping things simple and similar. I don’t like clutter or too-many-experiments. I don’t know if this is right or wrong but this is the way it works for me and I am okay to continue like this. Hope all of you also remain to be the way you are otherwise you might run away finding the space boring. Hehe!


On this note, I would like to thank all of you once again and here starts another lap which is going to be a long and special one – my heart says so.



4 April 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

2000* BLOGS in 4631 Days with Lakhs of You!!!

2000th Blog Post

Well.. Well.. Well.. So, I am finally writing this – My 2000th Blog Post!!!

I remember once when I had almost made Blogging a habit, I would think if I would ever reach the numbers such as 2k, 3k, 4k post because I knew that 1k was almost near and I would get there easily. Today, when 2k is happening, I am just numb. I don’t know what to write – what to express- what to feel – it gives me absolute happiness and pleasure that there is something – SOMETHING for which I dedicated most of my life towards – without thinking about anything in return. I never worried about the engagements, likes, reactions, publicity, opportunities or even any kind of monetary gains. I just wanted to live with writing being a big part of it.


Many of you might think that someone who has written so much could have easily written 8-10 novels rather than blogging and could have immortalized his presence with books which shall have always floated somewhere in bookstores in the world for my lifetime and even beyond it. I can understand your doubt and concern behind why I dedicate such amount of writing towards blogs and not on something more powerful and impactful as books. It was always a goal to write a Book since I started blogging but I believe reading has made me feel inferior in terms of my writing skills. Every time, I think I am game for writing a book now, I end up reading a phenomenal one which makes me think if I can’t write the best book I have ever read, it means it still needs work. This has let more than a decade pass without me writing a single word for the book.


But no worries – until and unless my Blog is creating an impact – in either turning non-readers into readers, non-writers into writers, atheist into believer, non-spiritual into spiritual – I think this Blog is enough for me. Even the reactions and love I get from people or few messages which says that my personal posts inspire them in some way, the Blogger within me feels enlightened and content. For a private and introvert person like me, it takes a lot to speak on something related to me or my mindset or the insights I feel about life. The only thing that empowers me to keep going is the way people respond to it.


Some consider me as brother – some as friend – some as son just because they feel a very strong connection with what I express which makes me enough excited to keep talking about such subjects. Every time I write – I feel very nervous because there’s a stage fear within me and even though I have hosted or been part of many stage events, I have still not gathered the inner courage. Hence, every time, I am on my Blog writing space, I write with a mindset that I am talking to myself. And that’s how the genuine and legit expression that I feel within my heart comes out unfiltered. I hope it stays the same forever.


I have invested almost 13 years for 2000 Blog Posts to happen i.e. 4631 days where every blog has arrived at an average of 2.31 days. Though I am always humble about whatever this Blog has helped me in achieving or experiencing in life but there’s only one thing that I am proud of which is this Consistency of maintaining a Post in every 3 days for such a long enough time. 3 educational degrees and 7 years of work experience has happened during the period I have blogged but nothing has been able to come in way of letting it break the rhythm with which I continue this part of my beautiful life. I always feel calm and homely whenever I work on my Blog posts. Even if there’s some stress, worries or tensions going on personally or professionally, the general tendency is to move away from Blogging and everything which happens regularly – but eventually, when I get back to writing, I find my mind filled with this and nothing else. Hence, I have always considered and called Writing as a therapy for myself. I don’t need any Doctor till I have this space to talk with myself and with all of you.


This space has given me a platform to spread knowledge about Indian authors and I have helped more than 700 books reach as many new readers as possible. Later, this helped me understand that even though I continue here, it’s important to be expressive on Instagram too which is the new way of communication hence I entered the space with beautiful book pictures and captions extracted from my blog. After some time, people became little more expressive and now it demanded me to be on camera so I started reading book quotes in short videos as well as giving the same book reviews on Youtube in long-video format. I also translate my blogs into a video by speaking about its philosophy on camera. This has finally made few people recognize me by face as I generally don’t publish personal pictures here. Though, both my Instagram and Youtube aren’t doing very great because I couldn’t find the consistency there as I could manage here. Hence, my attraction and love always stay here but saying this, I will still try creating content for those Social media platforms too. Let’s see how far it takes us in this journey with my limited or say, no knowledge of social media algorithms.


I often see people replicating my blogging or bookstagramming style which makes me happy that maybe someone who didn’t know what to do with their free time have got a purpose. I also find them closing their space as soon as it had got started which as I said above, makes me proud of my journey where life and situations couldn’t deter my spirits to remain here and do what I love. Hence, it is said – Do what you like rather than copying someone. Like, I can’t do Instagram the way great Content Creators do there. At times, it’s good to be a Viewer than being a low-grade first copy of someone. The reason why I don’t jump & shake my legs in the videos. Haha! On the occasion of this 20th century, I promise myself that I’ll reach my 21st century blog post in 2022 itself. Let’s make this year more special. Also, very soon I would be having a new Logo for this space- Writing Buddha which shall reflect everywhere – in my posts, Instagram, Videos etc. It’ll help this platform have an identity in the form of a small icon/image and help me take my initiatives to better places which will help in impacting the subjects I speak about.


Finally, thanking everyone of you who read every blog post and wait for it like a true well-wisher. Also, the kind of comments and emails you send me after reading transforms my days whenever I am down. Similarly, few close people who have my contact number send WhatsApp or Instagram message letting me know what they feel about my latest blog. All of this is like accumulating a lot of wealth. I can’t imagine how I would have been without this Blog and all of you in this journey. Also thanking some aggressive people who abuse me whenever they end up finding a new book review when they anticipate a personal post. Haha! I will surely work upon the frequency of personal posts for sure. I know I write less about my thoughts but I think I’ll have to create ratio of 1:1 with respect to Personal Post and Book Review to satisfy all the diverse readers I have. Wish I am here for another decade too and write my 3000th Blog Post with the same zeal as I am writing this. All I need is your wishes and immense support the way it has been since all these 13 years. Love you, guys!