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Book Review - The Greatest Battle of Culture by Panigrahi Bethi

 


Title - The Greatest Battle of Culture
Author - Panigrahi Bethi
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Notion Press
ISBN - 979-8894753201

This is one of the unique books I have come across till date. This book encapsulates the former civilizations and brought in a unique blend of what had happened during those days. The ones we are discussing here is none other than the Aryan and Dravidian Civilizations.

It all begins with Baguhara, the Harappan Chief who had a beautiu daughter Princess Armita. Initially when Aryans comes to their place, she develops a liking towards Purusha but had to marry Bharadwaja later due to political circumstances. Maharudra is born later for her.

Harappans were friendly who had a great learning and wisdom with a deep understanding of nture and the mysteries of the world whereas Aryans who comes to their place gets overwhelmed by the abundance of riches and the way the civilization was built and developed.

Purusha, even though an Aryan never had any bad intentions. He was accompanied by Ashwin and Varuna. They believed that Aryan and Harappan culture could co-exist creating a more vibrant environment but what happens later destroys the hope and faith.

I was surprised to see a Sanskrit poem in page 49 which had perfectly blended with this novel.

There were other characters like Dabira - Chief Advisor of Baguhara and Rishasad - Baguhara's Military leader. He defeats Chamba who unleashed attack on Aryans. 

Indrasena emerges as a strong Aryan leader and political movements starts shifting.

While all these were happening in the North, Nannay and his followers embark on their journey to the South and settles there. They build a civilization who were called as Dravidians.

The story brings out the intricate details of both the civilizations with a blend of other epics from India which is a great attempt by the author to make the Indians in the West to understand or be aware of some of the greatest thoughts that had been imbibed in our epics. This attempt should be truly appreciated since one should not forget the roots they have come from.

Read this book and refer to your friends and family members especially to those who were born and brought up in the West to understand the greatness of Indian History and its Culture.



This book is available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook formats.

7 Books to Revitalize Your Mental Health and Peace

 


When dealing with mental health, one of the best things you can do is talk to someone about it. It can be your friends, family or a therapist. Another modality that can help is books. Here are a few to get you started.

 

1. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before by Dr Julie Smith

Filled with secrets from a therapist's toolkit, this is a must-have handbook for optimizing your mental health. Dr Julie's simple but expert advice and powerful coping techniques will help you stay resilient no matter what life throws your way. Addresses everyday issues facing us all and offers practical solutions to change your life.

 

2. Unf*ck Yourself by Gary John Bishop

Helps you to break free from societal expectations and discover your authentic self, offering actionable strategies to live a more fulfilling and genuine life. It’s designed to give you an authentic leg up, one that feels genuine and right for you, and can propel you to new levels of greatness.

 

3. The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt

Explores the rise of anxiety and mental health challenges among young people in today’s society, delving into the cultural, social, and technological factors contributing to this phenomenon and offering insights for understanding and addressing it.

 

4. The Peace Approach by Alok Tripathi:

The Peace Approach offers a refreshing perspective on personal growth and inner peace. Tripathi’scompilation of 31 life lessons acts as a guidebook for those seeking lasting happiness in a chaotic world.

 

5. The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van derKolk:

Examines the profound impact of trauma on the body and mind, providing a comprehensive understanding of how trauma manifests physically and psychologically and offering strategies for healing and recovery.

 

6. Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Candid and insightful exploration of therapy from both the therapist’s and the patient’s perspectives. It weaves together personal anecdotes and professional insights to illuminate the transformative power of human connection and self-discovery through the therapeutic process.

 

7. The Mountain is You by Brianna Wiest

This is a book about self-sabotage. Why we do it, when we do it, and how to stop doing it—for good. Coexisting but conflicting needs create self-sabotaging behaviors. It lets you uncover the power within and conquer self-sabotage.

 

Comment which book you’d read first to revitalize your mental health and peace?

INTERVIEW- VIJAY MEDTIA Author of IN GOD’S COUNTRY, KARWAR

 

Extracts from IN GOD’S COUNTRY, KARWAR.

 

HE told his wife a lie. There was nothing unusual about this for Satish Verma lied often. He usually said he was working late and that he might spend the night at the office. Her reaction was the same, an indifference, a lack of care. The marriage had failed in so many ways, and after nearly twenty years, it was time to make a clean break. He drove out of Karwar and headed north towards Goa. The journey would take over an hour, but he was looking forward to meeting the other woman. 

 

THE Ocean sound is what you hear first, loud all-encompassing waves rolling in from the Arabian Sea. The wind blows and sways the palm trees on the beach, broad leaves rustling to a peaceful rhythm. Birds flock and fight, each one more exotic than the next. Fishermen throw nets from colourful wooden boats. The perfect idle however was brutally disturbed. Life has the cruel capacity to cause pain when least expected.

 

Tell us about your new crime novel, In God’s Country, Karwar, and what inspired you to write it?

The novel is a story of long-lost love, friendship and murder set in the scenic coastal town of Karwar, India. The place is close to Goa, with which readers are more familiar. This is my fourth novel, and my last few were set in Mumbai. When I started to write this novel, I wanted a new setting and location for my story, and I found Karwar to be the perfect setting; a scenic, coastal town facing the Arabian Sea. It would contrast against the murders that take place there. 

Inspector Rock of the Karwar Police investigates the unexpected murders without apparent motive. Running parallel to the investigation will be a love story and how that impacts the story. The main inspiration however for the story were the central characters that formed in my mind, and the location worked as a compliment to the novel.

What is your novel writing process? How long did it take to write the novel? What keeps you motivated throughout?

Every writer has their own writing process. It’s not a formula, and that’s part of the fascination for readers, i.e., how do writers produce novels? I write the first draft by pen and paper. I have always done it this way and it has become my ritual you can say. I prefer the natural flow onto the paper without the laptop constantly interfering with spelling and grammar checks at this early stage. Hemingway and other great writers wrote with pen and paper, and if it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. After a second draft, I type onto the laptop and start to edit. This can take several rounds. It's good for a writer to learn how to edit. There are many tips on the net. A good tip is, ‘less is more.Avoid adjectives and adverbs if possible.’

This novel took the best part of a year to write, trying to find time between work/life commitments. Don’t let anyone tell you writing is easy!

Regards motivation to keep writing, that’s a tough question. You try to do your best and don’t worry too much if the novel will be published or not. I have several unpublished novels.Try to stay in the present and do the best you can. Keep writing regularly, and read other good novelists. If the story is working then that will keep you motivated. If the story is dragging, you need to look at it and change it perhaps.

You explore many themes in your novel, friendship, love and of course the investigation of murders. What did you want your readers to understand through your observations?

Yes, it’s a crime story first and foremost, but I wanted to explore love and friendship. It was a new challenge and I wanted to see how the characters responded to sudden loss, how they coped with the inevitable grieving process, how did they overcome the great challenges. The characters often surprised meYou plan to write one chapter and the character steps in and writes another. The magic of writing always surprises me, and I often wonder who is actually writing the story.

The readers are intelligent enough, my first aim however is for them to enjoy the story, to be entertained, my novels contain humour and intrigue hopefully. I am also showing a mirror to society and I try not to make judgements. That I leave for the readers.

What is your experience of getting published in Mumbai, India?

Very good and positive. My first two novels, The House of Subadar, and The Missing Husband, were published by UK Publishers. 

My third novel, The Lost Woman of Santacruz and my new novel, In God’s Country, Karwar are published in India by my publisher Leadstart. They have worked well with me and have good bookstore distribution in India. The novel received good reviews and media coverage. And we are hoping the same again and more. India is a huge market and my books are gaining attention there. This is something others writers should consider, you don’t have to just submit to UK agents and publishers.

My last novel, The Lost Woman of Santacruz, which introduced Inspector Ajay Shaktawat, has interest from an Indian Film and tv production house, to turn the novel into a film or a ten-part crime drama for OTT platforms. So, this is an exciting development for any writer as you can imagine.

What advice would you give to anyone who is working on their first novel?

Finish the first draft, good or bad.

Try not to re-write before finishing the first draft.

Read good writers in your chosen genre and beyond.

Learn how to edit.

Don’t quit your day job, you will need the money to write.

Write some short stories.

Good luck.

Vijay Medtia is a novelist and short story writer, based in the UK. He visits India regularly for his inspiration. In God’s Country, Karwar, is his fourth novel. His debut novel, The House of Subadar, was published by Arcadia Books, UK in 2007. It was short-listed for the Glenn Dimplex, Literary Prize, Dublin 2008. He has had several short stories published in the UK and India. His recent short story, ‘Master Chef,’ was published by the Singapore based literary magazine Kitaab.org in July 2023. His second novel, The Missing Husband, was published by Crocus Books, UK, 2019 and received good reviews.

His third novel was The Lost Woman of Santacruz, published by Leadstart, India, 2021. Again, it received good reviews from readers and the media. There is interestfrom a TV and film production house in India, to turn The Lost Woman of Santacruz into a film or a ten-part crime drama. 

He likes the quote, ‘There is nothing impossible for him who will try,’ by Alexander the Great. 

IN GOD’S COUNTRY, KARWAR was published  October, 2023. Book available as a paperback and ebookvia amazon.

Website- vijaymedtia .com

Book Review - The Doer

 


Title - The Doer
Author - Rekha Nair
Genre - Spirituality
Publisher - Olympia Publishers
ISBN - 978-1804394953

The book begins with a powerful note - "Everything we do is Spiritual". I couldn't agree more since most of us believe in GOD who is called by different names under different religions. We also believe that there is "Unseen Power" above us which decides our fate and Karma.

The book is divided into 12 chapters namely:

1. Have we forgotten? 

2. What have we forgotten? 

3. What is Love? 

4. What is the nature of the soul? 

5. God is? 

6. Why is freedom important? 

7. What is the relevance of cyclic events and things that exist in pairs? 

8. What is the toughest thing to overcome? 9. What is a choice, and does it exist? 

10. What does connecting mean? 

11. What do you value the most? 

12. You rather experience and know or do you want to know and then experience. Also, why?


Each of these has a powerful message to convey. Author focuses majorly on EGO which she explains beautifully "Act of cosmic energy that determines input and output and NOT the EGO".

Letting go of ego can bring lot of good results. How true are these lines.


Author amphasises on Path laid down by the cosmic force and we all travel in that.

What do you give and what do you get in return?


When there was a mention about handwritten letters, it was a Rewind of the past. “So, anytime a person walks into your life, understand the purpose they are here for”.

A purpose is a purpose. When I read statements like these, I felt I was reading a book which is not only spiritual but also a guide that reiterates aspects that were laid/preached by our ancestors.

Suffering is an indicator that someone’s life is going to change”. - This is a motivating factor and should be used in the right sense as it is intended to be.

Love and freedom are complimentary. If you love, you are free. If you are free, you love” - a statement one needs to be retrospect 

There is an interconnection between each chapter which you will realise when you read this book. These are universal concepts that will apply to one and all irrespective of race, religion, culture and place. 

What is ego?

Often ego is looked upon as the bad guy. If used and tamed properly, ego can be the biggest instrument to show you the depth of who you truly are. Realization is a relative process”. How true this statement is :)

Don’t seek validation which is also a form of divide. Use this at your workplace to see how it transforms your otherwise unpleasure work in a pleasure.

Right and Wrong - both are needed to progress in this strange process called Life. Agree?

Purpose was a thoughtful chapter. 

How life played across various stages of the author and how it shaped her up of what she is today. Though this book is a quick read, the message it conveys and the crux it has will travel with you for life.



This book is available on Amazon

Revamped menu at MKC at The Westin




Madras Kitchen Company at Westin, Chennai has revamped its menu. Right from the interiors to menu card to dishes, everything wears a new look.


I had been there today with my family and had a good time with regards to food. Staffs were courteous, as always. Ambiance was perfect with LIVE Music.


Newspaper themed Blinds and Menu Card


Variety of options for Veg & Non-Veg


In-House Bar


Must try dishes:


Starters:

Millet Salad

Paanagam


Veg

Jackfruit Cornetto

Skewers of Thai Red Curry flavoured Baby Corn 🌽 

Dakshin Combo - Podi Idli, Sambar Vada served in tiff in box with coconut chutney and ghee


Non-Veg

Crab Cornetto

Malaysian Sambal Chicken Wings

Manathakkali mutton Varuval, Coin Parotta & Appalapoo

Sindha Mani Kari Kattu Soru, Chinna Vengaya Pachadi, More Milagai & Vadam

Kari Satti Soru, Mutta Thokku, Mutton Varuval & Era Perattal 


Drinks:

Cold Pressed Juicery - Orange 

Inji Malli Martini (alcohol)

Annaci, Pineapple (alcohol)


Desserts:

Gulkhand Kunafe with Vanilla Ice Cream

Coorg Coffee Tiramisu, Baileys Macerated Savoriodi & Berries


What more do we need? #TheWestinChennai #Velachery #MKC #RevampedMenu

 

National Creators Award - an event to remember

 

Where should I begin?


It still looks like a dream for me that I was there. Yes. I'm speaking about the #NationalCreatorsAward which is the first of its kind in the world. This is an initiative by @mygovin which is doing lot of innovative things in various fields.


I had applied and completely forgotten about it. Few days ago, I received a call from the landline wherein the caller says he is calling from the office of Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Railways, MEITY & Communications checking for my availability of the program which was due on Friday & I needed to be present on Thursday in New Delhi. I immediately agreed. That same day, I received an official communication from IRCTC asking for my details. I had filled it up. Applied for off in my office and on Wednesday, I received ex my flight ticket details. Flight was on Thu noon from Chennai Domestic Airport.


I reached airport well before the designated time and met my friend who is an IB officer there. After having a hot cup of coffee, I proceeded for check-in and boarding. I landed in Delhi around 5:30PM and at the exit entrance, I was welcomed by the IRCTC team who was co-ordination with others and arranging accommodation. I was given an accommodation at The Alpino Hotel which was bang on the main road - Mahipalpur which is just 2.5kms from the airport. Room was super good. In the mean time, I met few creators CA Shubham Maloo, Sandeep of Telugu Travel Vlogger, Mitesh Patel of MeetPoser, Cooknjoy among others.


Tasty dinner was arranged in the hotel. After venturing out for an hour with CA Shubham, I returned to my room and retired to bed since we were told breakfast will be served next day early morning. I was given a call at 4AM mentioning breakfast will be served at 5AM and bus will arrive by 6AM. After having tasty breakfast at 5, we boarded the bus which took us to Bharat Mandapam inside Pragati Maidan. In the bus, I also met Neha and Ishita Sharma.


We followed the protocol as advised since the event will see the presence of PM himself. After collecting the pass at the entrance which took some time, I proceeded to the Plenary Hall. Since I was one of the first to enter, I sat just behind VVIP/HODs row. 


PM entered the hall at around 10:15PM and one could feel his aura and the electrifying presence. He was given a roaring welcome. After settling, PM distributed award to the winners including beerbiceps, aiyyoshraddha, technicalguruji , curlytales and others. His presence of mind was amazing as he kept us captivated until he was there for little over an hour.


We were dropped back at hotel post the event and I had to rush up since my return flight was booked at 5:15. In the flight, I had also met couple of educators - An HOD from Dept of Geography and The Principal of an arts & science college. I landed in the airport at 8PM. 


Felt truly blessed and my heartfelt thanks to the GOI, IRCTC and all the officials who made this event a memorable one for few hundreds of creators.