13 January 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

BARABANKI: The Professor, the Pandit and the Policeman by Anuj Tiwari (Book Review: 3.5*/5) !!!

2047th BLOG POST

3rd Book of 2023


It is almost 1.25 decade since I am reading books. There are few authors whom I am reading right since their 1st book and seeing their progression with content and subjects with each book. One of them is definitely Anuj Tiwari who has just released his 5th book named “Barabanki”. It is published in around 185-pages by Rupa publications. The book also has a tagline which says “The Professor, the Pandit and the Policeman”. The story basically revolves around these three characters in a thrilling concept where right in the beginning of the book, a student dies in mysterious condition at the Indian Engineering college located in Lucknow. And from here begins investigation which revolves around these and many other important characters named Raghav and Jayanti. This is the 1st time Anuj has attempted a thriller and I am glad he experimented at the right time.


The book is nicely sectioned into different chapters which makes our experience easier as you can easily pace your reading accordingly. Author has not complicated the story by making it switch into different timelines or going through unwanted narration – as it’s generally done in the thriller books. As obvious from the 185-pages length, the writing is crisp and focuses on the main plot. The location of Barabanki and the whole aesthetics around it and Lucknow is wonderfully utilized. Though there could have been a lot being done with the locale but still, author manages to make you understand people belonging from the region. The use of religious topics in conversation between characters makes you interested in how it is going to be related with the situation the characters are in.


The characterization and the small romantic angle between Raghav and Jayanti are very beautifully handled – which I believe is author’s strength point too. Anuj has been quite vocal about the religious angle in the book for which I must applaud him for not talking in whispering voice but spoke what needed to be spoken. There are many such instances where you can relate the sub-plots with many things which we hear in news everyday from the region of Uttar Pradesh. Hence, the book sounds realistic.


Now talking about the thrilling aspect, I must say how the three different cases are interlinked together is really interesting. The backstory of Jayanti’s father really adds up flavour to the story. The camaraderie between Awasthi and Naveen is superb and hilarious. There are many places which will make you giggle. Author’s research on how police department and legal sections work in our country is commendable. Unfortunately, you guess the culprit too soon in this thriller which takes away the charm of the climax. It only leaves for you to understand how exactly things took place but you already know the mastermind behind them. That’s the only thing I wish author could have worked more or the editor from the publishing side could have helped in reframing the narration of the story.


Overall, this is a light thriller and you can enjoy it while traveling or if you are new to the genre. I give the book a fine attempt 3.5 stars out of 5. Author has also given a clue in the end that there might be 2nd part of this story releasing soon. So let’s see how story further unfolds.






10 January 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

When you are ignored after a previous great experience...

2046th BLOG POST 

Have you ever observed that you watch a movie and love it as if it’s the best movie of the decade. You ask your family members or friends to watch it and while watching 2nd time, you realize it wasn’t that good at all. Similarly, you travel to a location and feel it’s the most beautiful place of the world. When you again go back to that place either the very next weekend or even after years, you just don’t feel the same cinematic experience. You get confused if the place has changed over the period or you are a changed person now. I always thought that this happens only with movies or places but never knew that this can also happen with people. No, I understand that it happens and it’s obvious to happen in relationship which is going in the wrong direction but if everyone involved still shares the same emotions for each other, how can you still feel indifferent?


I had this experience when I met few people and it was a great time with them. It seemed that I didn’t receive the same kind of affection since long which I felt with them. I even wrote about that experience in my journal as a lifetime experience kind-of-a-thing. Eventually, it happened that I again met the same loved ones but I felt something was missing. Even though I tried doing everything possible to ensure that I am wrong but that feeling kept triggering and troubling me. I was surprised that why am I not being acknowledged in the same way as it happened earlier. I was feeling like an outsider even when there was surely some amount of attention and love still being given – though considerably less than the previous meet.


Now, there wasn’t any hard-feelings. There wasn’t even any arguments or distances that must have occurred within the same time-frame. Hence, the question still runs in my mind and I am trying to find answer for the same. God has unfortunately given us this Mind which has its job to still analyze things even if we aren’t matured for it. But whatever it is – I would still go ahead with my assumptions and say it so that you can let me know if you feel the same or I am over-thinking the matter.


Sometimes, you over-expose yourself. You become too available or open. You must have got an image of being someone busy or important – the layer which gets shredded off when you spend time with someone without thinking of anything because you are enjoying the bond you share. Few people take this as a respect and treat you well every other time when you meet them because they understand that you are sacrificing something from your routine or life to be with them. Inversely, for few people, it becomes a reality check if this person is actually that busy or important to be treated like one. They end up taking you granted. Too granted! Too hell of a granted! Hence, when you again make out time to meet them, you see them being busy in their own stuff, life or that damn instrument called mobile.


And the crazy thing is that between these two meetings, you are being treated wonderfully through calls, texts and chats which makes you plan this meeting. I think this is a new phenomenon which must be given some terminology where people make physical person sitting in front of them offline to speak with those who are online on that device and when those people on device comes physically in front, you make the one who was earlier in front of you available online on that hell-of-a-device. Basically, the person available to you in person have no importance. Until and unless, you are someone who can be shown love and attachment through the mobile, it’s a comfort game for some.


So, when you meet for the first time after a long gap, you tend to get attention and love. But after that, if you expect to get the same experience, you are on the way to disappoint yourself badly. I personally don’t know how it happens because it has been a culture in my home that every time there’s a guest – for an hour or even 7 days, you have to keep every non-mandatory stuffs aside which can be managed later and be completely with them. We never watch TV if we have guests at home. We don’t even let them watch their favorite programme. Haha! And that has been adopted by me so culturally as a system that even if I am meeting someone, I won’t take my mobile out of my pocket until we are about to part and have to get that selfie done. Unfortunately, it seems very few people has such kind of values left these days. I still adore people who are completely attentive with you while both of you are talking but these are rare species left now.


Anyway, major dilemma arises regarding what, as an individual, would you do now? Will you give a benefit of doubt and meet them for the 3rd time and see if the 2nd meeting was just a co-incidentally bad experience? I don’t know. Maybe, here, comes the game of ego. If you manage that well, you will certainly be there and try giving the relationship a chance. In case, you have problem with feeling avoided or insulted or ignored and you take that seriously, then, I believe the relationship will either die slowly or will continue running on low steam as a formality from both the ends until the person who ignored you realizes when things went wrong between both of you.


Well, I know this post is confusing as it has a question, an answer, a question for you, an answer expected from you. All – not for me – but what would you do when something similar happens with a very important relationship you share with someone. Think! Or if you have already gone through this cycle, let me know what did you do in the future. According to me, you should wait for the other person to realize what went wrong that you disappeared from their life. Well – I am done with this rant!





6 January 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

The Lost World by Pranay Bhalerao (Book Review: 3.5*/5) !!!

2045th BLOG POST 

2nd Book of 2023


Last month, I had read Pranay Bhalerao’s latest release named “The Protectors of Kavaach” which is Book 1 of a trilogy that he is working upon. I loved his narration and thought of giving chance to his earlier works and got his “The Lost World” duology purchased from Amazon. I just completed reading the first book named “The Lost World” which is of around 210-odd pages. I found some similarities in terms of how Pranay crafts a story – basically where he loves playing with two different timelines and leaving some commonalities in both of them which merges the characters and situations. This book is majorly based in the aesthetics of forestation where a tribe is being discussed which is evil for the modern man but has done nothing wrong as such.


While reading the story, every time you read about the tribe section, you find yourself sitting between the forest amidst tall trees. This is how beautifully author has created his world around the theme. The book has lot of characters and the way they have been given specific detailing helps you understand their persona well. I have a problem with the way characters are named that some names sound similar. On the same lines, even the name of the protagonist- Apoorav is hard to read every time you are reading the book loudly. These are just small concerns but makes a big impact in the reading experience. Otherwise, the characterization is good and the way they think and behave being from different set-ups is nicely described. You are able to distinguish the black and white characters easily. Similarly, you are able to identify when a character turns grey and changes sides.


The story keeps running in two timelines- 1980 and 2001. Author is able to convey the difference between how the world has changed within two decades itself. The whole gangster scenario of 1980 with the character of Vishnu has been nicely described where they want to rule each and every person around them. I just wish if author could have not named the villain as Vishnu. Well, am I getting too sensitive these days? Ok, let’s move on. 😐 The impact of the kind of damage tribe had to suffer in 1980 gets refreshed when a new set of challenges arise again in 2001 and they are confused if they should trust Apoorav or not- an outsider who has got stuck with them having blur memory of his past.


Without being preachy, Pranay has been able to talk upon the topics of how the original ecosystem of the planet is being disturbed for the greed of modernization. How human beings have turned selfish to think only about themselves is demonstrated at many instances. The depletion of forestation and the internal fight that keeps happening with the people staying there or nearby with the institutions or powerful gangs is narrated throughout the story. How the innocence of tribal people is demonstrated as devilish to serve the selfish purposes makes you feel so bad for these people living in their own world without causing trouble to the world outside. The benefits of Ayurveda etc. is also given prominence through conversations between the characters.


The chapters are kept short which makes it easy for you to travel back and forth in the timeline. The language is easy which makes the book a good pick for beginners who wishes to read a simple book but with a thrilling story. The pre-climax and climax are nicely written which is also quite difficult to grasp due to its fast-paced narration but author’s intention to give you adrenaline rush before ending the book to keep your excitement up for the Book 2 is evident. I somehow felt that I was watching a South-Indian movie in the way the characters and the conversations among them are defined. The whole forest section made me imagine it in the cinematic representation as displayed in Kantara and Push movie. This made the story little more exciting for me. Haha!


Now, talking about the drawbacks – I must say that the story is narrated just like a story without giving any depth to any character. Few characters such as Apoorav, Naina and Ramtirtha could have been given good depth. The romantic angle of the book could have had few very interesting chapters as a man from tribal world falls in love with a girl from the modern world. It is completely left unexplored. Similarly, there was so many human emotions which could have been given prominence while describing how a character reflects upon a difficult situation as there were many opportunities in the twists-and-turns of this story. But I think author didn’t think from this perspective at all and remained focused only upon how the story needs to move ahead.


Overall, this is a good read. I give the book 3.5 stars out of 5. I am going to read the next book in this duology very soon to know what eventually happens with the characters.






4 January 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

Rewinding 2022... Welcoming 2023...

2044th BLOG POST

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year 2023. I know I have been late but it’s still the 1st week, guys, I hope this shall be considered. Haha! There were too many things to wrap up and I wanted to write only when I felt physically and mentally fit after a roller-coaster ride I had in December- where I worked a lot professionally because I had a 9-days trip planned + had to read and review 8 books because I was falling short of the Yearly target of 36 Books + just after the trip, attended this amazing New Year party which broke every muscle in my body. Last 3 days have gone in fixing those tissues again. Haha! Also, attending office after traveling becomes very tiresome. Well, lot of excuses has been given and I hope I am forgiven by now.


2022 is finally a thing of past and I am so happy about it. Everyone who are close to me know how many times I must have told them that I am carrying a baggage since 2021 and I don’t want to take it with me in 2023. I need everything to end in 2022 itself. Thankfully, I am out of the major issue in my life which was taking toll on my mental health and have already screwed my sleeping pattern. But hopefully, the last trip that I had with my parents was meant to get out of that zone and I feel I am far better and highly motivated now.


It seems I have almost found my lost self again and the boy still wants to work a lot, achieve a lot, hustle a lot, earn a lot, save a lot, love a lot and well, also die soon because he doesn’t want to be in this body anymore. The soul has been realized and it is wanting to get free of this body which has its own destiny that keeps giving scar to this beautiful soul which doesn’t want anyone’s downfall or bad ever. Sorry, I went into a darker space here.


So, as I said, days have been tough right since 2020 for me and only I know how I have survived last 3 years. One thing that I would want life is to give only one bad year at a time and not 3 consecutive years in a package anymore. Haha! I am tough but not enough tougher. Pushing myself towards happiness – well, the right word would be Survival has been a very painful experience. For most of the people, I have been living a fake life and I don’t know what would they think of me whenever they’ll understand what I have gone through. But let it happen when it’ll happen. It shall be another experience to learn how people perceive you after knowing how much you have hidden about yourself from them.


Any year can’t be complete without both- Ups and Downs. It’s just that you might not have been able to enjoy every moment completely because of that one big unwanted baggage on your head but there has surely been some key events in 2022 for which the year will also be remembered more than everything else. I would like to share few of them with you in no specific order:

  • Won a free Kindle device from an Instagram giveaway by entrepreneur, Karan Bajaj. Since then, reading e-books have become an integral part of my bibliophilic journey.
  • Got possession of the biggest asset I have purchased till date.
  • Attended 1st Cricket match in a stadium and witnessed my idol, Virat Kohli, play live in front of me.
  • Travelled by Local train after almost 27 months – I don’t think it will ever take this amount of time for me to be away from lifeline of this city.
  • Attended Zakir Khan's stand-up special- Tathastu and got one thing checked off from my Bucket-List of watching him perform live. Now, the show is available for all to watch on Amazon Prime.
  • Travelled twice to Delhi for an official visit but met many friends and family members – some even after 17 years. Just Imagine!
  • Met all my younger cousins this year – WooHoo! A big thing for a Single-child like me.
  • Surprised my sister on her birthday by being at her place 1000 kms far without telling her. Her expressions will stay with me until I live.
  • Met all my immediate relatives and few – not-immediate but favorite ones too. Something I generally don’t plan and aspire for. But the experience was beautiful due to the tough phase I was going through.
  • Got my Udemy course completion done on Product Management – something which was pending at my end since an year.
  • Got promoted at office to Associate Product Manager – again something I didn’t plan but definitely worked in the similar direction and got the unexpected result.
  • Got my father's successful knee surgery done. It is definitely a happy moment every time I see him walking kilometers without pain. God must always bless parents with good health.
  • Attended KBC shoot for the 4th time and witnessed the greatest Mr. Amitabh Bachchan perform live. It is always a life-changing experience watching him so closely.
  • Travelled in Rajdhani for the 1st time while returning from one of the official trips. Train journeys are not always so luxurious. Jinko pata hai unko pata hai!
  • Attended Amish Tripathi's book launch of War of Lanka. It’s a beautiful feeling to be meeting your favorite author and getting inspired for my own blogging journey.
  • Met few celebrities such as Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kemmu, Aditi Govitrikar, Manini Mishra, Bhavna Roy, Reeta RM Gupta etc.
  • Attended my Dadiji's barsi (first death anniversary ritual) – again something I would have otherwise missed due to life’s extreme schedule.
  • Started cycling after more than 15 years and it feels good riding a vehicle – not with the help of an engine but your physical force.
  • Had the only annual family trip at Ratnagiri for a week – something I have already mentioned in the beginning of the post for seeking your forgiveness. Anyway, this has been very refreshing and you must know by now, I love beaches any day.
  • Didn’t miss a single Ekadashi fasting ritual
  • Had my 1st outdoor DJ party for New Year eve. I danced like a crazy maniac for 4 hours continuously just because I wanted to release myself of all the bad memories of 2022. I think purpose has mostly been served.


For 2023, I have definitely planned few very particularly challenging goals because life was in a stagnant phase for last 3 years. The above list might look contradictory to this statement but it all drills down to how you feel mentally- and I wasn’t much sound there. Now, I think I am – a bit stronger – a bit motivated – a bit purpose-driven. I will definitely want to keep things personal as of now and would share with you as and when I achieve these tough goals because I have to minimize the gap of whatever I have lost in these 34 months. But I am sure with your wishes and blessings, everything will happen successfully. Last year, I had written only 57 Blog Posts – the lowest in my 13+ years blogging journey but hopefully, 2023 will almost have more than double of this number. Again- your motivation will be required.


So, this was all I wanted to talk on the occasion of new year. I would be waiting for your emails now to know yours. 😊





3 January 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

An Imperishable Promise by Sarathi Sabyasachi Sahoo (Book Review:3.25*/5) !!!

2043rd BLOG POST

1st Book of 2023


Well, it feels sad to see the Reading counter set to 1 after finishing another book. It’s a new year and the resolution stands to be the same to read 36 books by the end of it. Thankfully, the very 1st book has got finished within the first two days of the year itself giving some positive vibes aready. I am done reading Sarathi Sabyasachi Sahoo’s 2nd book named “An Imperishable Promise” which also comes with a tagline- “If Afterlife Is True, Will You Still Come To Me?”. Initially, I thought that the book must be a simple romantic tale comprising of falling in love and then getting apart and eventually coming together after realizing the vacuum in each other’s life but thankfully, author tried implementing a new concept about what happens when one among the two lovers dies. Does the love also end with it or as we call people in love – soulmates – are their souls till connected with each other?


In the start of the book, author has given tribute to Siddharth Shukla who expired suddenly which was a shock to the nation. It seems that the story also got its seed from the same where Sarathi must have thought what happens to the love story a young person is involved in which ends up being incomplete. The book is of just 150-odd pages so it will not take much time to finish. I could read it in a single evening itself. The 1st half is all about how people initially get infatuated to a person and ask help from a friend to ensure that they are able to initiate some conversation with that beautiful personality. Here, there is a small twist that happens where the match happens between two completely different personalities. But love takes them ahead and their bond just keeps getting better each day. Finally, one of them doesn’t survive a road accident. From here starts, the main concept around which this book has been created.


The writing style of author is quite simple hence everyone who are in their college or just want to get into reading can start with this book easily. The characters are defined and discussed properly which helps you imagine their persona and relate with them easily. The book has also been kept very upto-the-point which helps it in not getting stretched unnecessarily. There are no over-descriptions or unwanted narrations. Author has also ensured that the book is written without any sensuous scenes which will make it easy for you to gift it to your younger siblings or family members.


The best part of the book is the pre-climax when a twist arises which changes the whole set-up of what you were reading until then. I must applaud author for thinking something unique out of this plot and giving it a thrilling touch rather than keeping it simple. Author also tries to send a message across regarding how deeply we get attached with people and can’t move on even after their death. The book speaks about how it can become a disadvantage not only to our mental health but also to the spirit of the soul which has left the body. It is quite deep but I hope readers will be able to reach the conclusion or moral of the story and implement it in their life itself.


Now, talking about the drawbacks, I must say that the command over the language seemed to be an issue with the author as every sentence seems to be a translation from a regional language to English. Also, author keeps the conversation or body language of his characters quite limited or negligible due to which there is no emotion felt while they are crying, sad, laughing or even dying. It’s just a plain read-up at times. Secondly, I must say that there was a great scope of bringing many spiritual and philosophical theories in the 2nd half of the book and make it more informative as well but it seems author went ahead with whatever he could think rather than building more upon it by researching on this topic a lot more.


Overall, this book is good for beginners. Co-incidentally, a new year has begun and you can start your reading resolution with this book. I give it 3.25 stars out of 5.