A Broken Man

Title - A Broken Man
Author - Akash Verma
Genre - Fiction
Publishers - Srishti Publishers and Distributors
ISBN - 978-93-82665-69-4

Have you ever imagined that there is a untold sorrow and misery on the renowned lyricist and writer - KK? The story opens with KK travelling in a luxury sedan to a upscale apartment. While the entire world celebrated his success, he was still reeling with melancholy.

He had a flashback. The flashback had a beautiful and unadulterated love in the name of Chhavi. KK hailed from Bihar and belonged to a lower caste while Chhavi's father was none other than Pandit Radhey Shankar Mishra who held an important position in Lok Shakthi Party.

Krishna(KK) and Chhavi were in college then and initially KK was pitted against Chhavi who was promoting LWSI to dethrone Gope who was backed by Bharatiya Samaj Party(BSP) in the local elections. An event turns the hostile Krishna to become close to Chhavi and they both fall in love with each other.

Destiny had a different version which made them separate but what happens in the end is a heart warming one. Though one would have come across a story with an ending like this, I liked this story in particular for the way in which it was written. I would not be surprised to see this as a movie with slight changes in the story.

The book is available on Amazon,

Roger Federer - The Legend

Pic Credit - USA Today

Roger Federer, the Swiss National created the history yesterday by winning his 18th SLAM when he defeated Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open Finals,2017.

Why is it so important and what makes it special?

Here are some of the anecdotes.

1) After Ken Roswell who had won Australian Open in 1972 at the age of 37, Roger Federer is the second oldest to lift a trophy at the age of 35 Years, 5 months and 21 days old. 

2) Federer became the first man in tennis to win 5 titles at 3 different slams. The other two being US Open and Wimbledon.

3) Federer became the first man in tennis to cross USD100 Mn in prize money earnings. He has amassed USD 102,530,825 as on date (30/1/17). This is exclusive of his brand endorsements and deals which is worth few hundred million dollars.

4) This is the 100th match which Roger Federer has played in Australian Open.

5) Federer will move from World No.17 to World No.14

6) His close friend and another tennis legend from his country - Stan Wawrinka who is also his Davis Cup Partner is currently placed at World No.4

7) Federer did win French Open only once in the year 2009 which had eluded him ever since his debut and has eluded him after 2009 till date.

8) This is the first time that Roger Federer has played 5 set matches thrice in a Grand Slam.

9) Federer equalled another feat which was achieved by another tennis legend Pete Sampras as he too did win a major when he was placed at World No.17 by winning the 2002 US Open. He is also the lowest ranked to win a major since it was won by Gaston Gaudio in 2004 when he claimed the French Open being placed at World No.44

10) Federer trails 3-6 on one to one with Nadal with Nadal claiming the victory when they met prior to this in the 2007 Wimbledon Finals.

11) Federer has another distinction too. He is a father of couple of twins. He has a twin daughters and twin sons.

12) He is the only professional player in tennis who has won US Open for five successive times.

13) Federer has also played Wimbledon Finals for ten times.

14) He was named Laureus World Sportsman of the year for four successive years from the years 2005 to 2008.

15) Federer also holds a South African citizenship since his mother is a South African National.

16) Federer is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

17) Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg are his tennis role models.

18) In 2007, he became the first living Swiss personality to be featured on a stamp, holding the Wimbledon Trophy.

19) There is a street in Halle which is named after Federer. It is Roger Federer Alley.

20) Roger Federer has never retired from a match.

Hail the Legend. Let us wish him all the goodness and I personally wish to see him win few more slams prior to his retirement :-)

Those were the days

Title - Those were the days
Author - N.S.Ravi
Genre - Non Fiction
Publications - Frog Books
ISBN - 978-93-52013-05-0

This book is surely one of its kind. Unlike other non-fiction, this book would very much appeal to you as a reader because the author has captured the real essence of our past. I was born in 1980 and hence I could relate most of the contents being mentioned in the book, if not all.

The author has literally covered all the day to day aspects which we have used and that seen a drastic change over a period of time which ranges from Buses, Rickshaws, Autos, Bicycles, Scooters, Cars, Post, Telephones, Mobiles, Teachers, Schools, Pens, Pencils, Ball Pens, Radios, Televisions, Music Systems. Calculators, Typewriters, Magazines, Comics, Novels, DL among lot of other thing.

I still remember getting my first landline connection with the recommendation letter from the then M.P. and also could recollect going to school in rickshaw. As clearly mentioned by the author, those days the name of the school did not matter much but the distance. My school was hardly few hundred metres away from my residence and we treated taking tuition as something which is meant only for average/poor students.

I could also remember getting the first mobile phone for my dad. It use to cost Rs.16 per minute for an outgoing call and Rs.8 per minute for an incoming call. It was still considered a great rate those days because it was initially pegged at Rs.64 and Rs.32 which was later brought down to Rs.32 and Rs.16 for outgoing and incoming calls. The only thing author did miss was the mention of the PAGER. I would have given it a miss as well as this technology was there only for 2 years to a greater extent before it was taken away by the mobile phones.

How I would forget mentioning about my first ever expensive pen - Parker which I bought it saving from my pocket money that was fr the frst time given to me when I went to college. It was just Rs.100 per month back then and the first ever Parker Pen I got was priced at Rs.225. I still preserve the bill and the pen till date and yes, I started collecting pens from then which has now grown to enormous and envious collection ranging from all leading brands like Parker, Sheaffer, Pierre Cardin, Mont Blanc, Tommy Hilfiger, Waterman, Lamy to name a few ranging from few hundreds to few thousands of rupees worth.

Author did mention about the guides. As a kid, we were also prescribed a book called Konar which almost had a near monopoly for Tamil Textbooks. I would say Konar, in fact had much better explanation than the real textbooks were available those days.

I was also overwhelmed about the mention of the letter in the book because as a kid, I too had lot of penpals from various countries and it was during the early 2000, I did still write letters and use to get letters from abroad literally every day. I still preserve those letters and how will I not mention about my stamp collection which started as a habit when I was 10 years old and though I did part away with huge collection when I was in late 20's, I still manage to hold a good collection.

Gone are the days when we use to watch movie only once in a day. Similarly the programs like Chitrahaar and DD news can never be forgotten, My first television was a black and white TV with doors to close and open followed by a color TV by Bharat and later on shifted to Videocon for few years and presently with Sony. I still remember renting VCP/VCR during the annual holidays as my uncle ran a video cassette hiring shop and it use to be fun.

My dad had Lambretta for few years before shifting his loyalty to Kinetic Honda which served for almost a decade before we settled with Honda Activa i. We also had a Premier Fiat which was used be elite those days.

Coming to magazines, I use to read Gokulam(English and Tamil), Champak, Chandamama, Balamitra, Ambulimama, Poonthalir

After reading the book, I realised as to how much patient we were in adopting to modern technology without having to complain about any inconveniences back in those days as we were programmed to live with it and I so wish to see the present generation to live up with the same kind of patience which would lead them to greater heights.

An awesome read. I basked on my past and would like to thank the author for helping me go past rejoicing my childhood and the beautiful memories associated with it.

I would end up saying that this book will be a great read for those who were born after 1960 but not limiting to the present generation who would surely want to take a glimpse at what exactly had happened a few decades ago making the present day, a most advanced and a sophisticated one.

The book is available on Amazon

The Bogus Read

Title - The Bogus Read
Author - Divyamaan
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Frog Books
ISBN - 978-93-52017-44-7

This is the first time ever I laughed right from the beginning of the book till the end. The book is an excellent attempt by Divyamaan where he has used his imagination to bring out the utmost irony that is prevailing in various sectors like Politics, International Relations to name a few.

The story revolves around the group of friends Ravi,Param,Rohit,Prakhar and Karan who gave more importance to Counter Strike(CS) game rather than their studies. Despite their not so good attempt in exam preparations, they were surprised to see their names being featured in Top 10 when one of the semester results were announced.

On the other hand, the Indian Army which included Major Das, Brigadier Suryakant, Colonel Chauhan and Mehta were worried about the impending threat of take over of Indian Territories by Pakistan Army.

Surprisingly The Times of Bharat never carried this news and gave a small column only on their 30th page of some 120 odd page edition which was full of advertisements and the students group that were mentioned above took a vow to unveil the secret behind it. This leads to unveiling of various secrets and they eventually got the invite to meet Mr.N or Mr.Nation who was placed about PM and The President. Who is Mr.N?

The Indian Army gets the first victory by deploying DM007 method. What it is?

The book should be read as it is without giving importance or attachment to names being mentioned in the book which would make you understand the real irony. I must say it is really difficult for anyone to pen such a hilarious story without compromising on facts and quality and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

The book is available on Amazon

William Dalrymple & Anita Anand fascinate listeners during interactive session at Crossword Bookstores

It is not everyday that a venerable historian of William Dalrymple’s ilk and erudition is available for an interaction.

Naturally, Crossword Bookstores at Kemps Corner was buzzing with excited fans on Tuesday evening who had come to interact with acclaimed writer William Dalrymple and BBC journalist Anita Anand on their latest book Kohinoor: The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond published by juggernaut books

In their talk Dalrymple and Anand spoke about their new discoveries around the diamond and bust many of the myths and legends surrounding the world’s most ‘infamous’ diamond. 

We realized that the Kohinoor story is about passion, nationalism and pride and very little about facts, historical evidence and proof. That's why we decided to write a book that will not take sides on this debate but excavate the facts,” said Dalrymple.

"The irony is that we have the hardest substance in the world which is surrounded by insubstantial nonsense. We therefore laid out what we think are the true facts of the case," he added.

During the session, readers asked many interesting questions to both the authors. 

One of the readers asked Anita Anand about the diamond being cut into two halves to which Anita had to say, ”one theory is that in those days they had a very fast spinning wheel to grind off the facets and the bits were burnt off. There are also people who claim to have chips from the diamond." 

“Here's a story that readers can never have enough of! It's a heady mix of controversy, exaggeration, and mystery. Very excited to host William and Anita, for our readers, at Crossword," said Kinjal Shah, CEO Crossword Bookstores.

About the book

Kohinoor: The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond unearths fascinating new information and is a gripping historical saga of loot, murder, torture, deceit and colonial greed. Using previously untranslated Sanskrit, Persian and Urdu sources, and the discoveries of modern gemologists, William Dalrymple and Anita Anand blow away the legends to reveal the Kohinoor’s true history – stranger, and more violent, than any fiction.

The story sweeps from the century the Kohinoor spent embedded in the Mughals’ fabulous Peacock Throne to the months it spent hidden in a prison cell in a remote Afghan fort; from the years it languished unrecognised on a mullah’s desk, used as a paperweight, through to the torture chamber where a Persian prince was crowned in molten lead in an attempt to extract the truth about the gem’s hiding place. Once worn on Ranjit Singh’s turban, Duleep Singh’s armband and Queen Victoria’s crown, it is now locked in the Tower of London, where it continues to arouse passions as India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran all demand its return.

About Crossword Bookstores

Crossword Bookstores Ltd. is a chain of bookstores in India based in Mumbai. Crossword has stores in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Cochin, Coimbatore, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Indore, Kota, Lucknow, Nagpur, Raipur, Siliguri, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Nagpur, Thane, Udaipur, Nasik, Vadodara, Vapi, Vijayawada, Pune, Surat, Durgapur, Mangalore and Ahmedabad. The most recent outlets opened in Ranchi, Calicut.

About Juggernaut

Set up in 2015 by Chiki Sarkar and Durga Raghunath, Juggernaut Books aims to create a world-class Indian publishing company that gives authors both a digital and physical platform. Its authors include Arundhati Roy, William Dalrymple, Prashant Kishor, Twinkle Khanna, Sunny Leone, Rujuta Diwekar, Husain Haqqani, Svetlana Alexievich, Rajdeep Sardesai, Rajat Gupta, Kanhaiya Kumar, Sourav Ganguly and Pankaj Mishra.

With over 300,000 downloads on the iOS and Android apps, Juggernaut titles are also available on www.juggernaut.in and web browsers globally. Its print books are available in bookstores across India.  

The Unpredictable Heart

Title - The Unpredictable Heart
Author - Moksh
Publisher - Partridge,A Penguin Random House Company
ISBN - 978-1-4828-5756-6
Genre - Fiction

This is a simple story but with  great emotional connect. Moksh has made me travel to my past. When I say this, I am sure that even you would be travelling to your past for sure to rewind your memories.

Mrinav is the protagonist and despite being surrounded by some good friends, he always had this complex of not looking great. He falls in love with few girls in the so called journey of life but never emerges successful.

He was almost about to lose his hope when he finds some one special. Who is this person and how she had come into his life is the story. Moksh has used events that would sound so realistic and it seems that this is an actual combination of reel and real life incidents. The book has surely made me connect with my past which I would say is the real success of the story.

The book is available on Amazon.

Crossword Bookstores presents William Dalrymple and Anita Anand on 24th January in Mumbai

Crossword Bookstore presents an opportunity to meet bestselling writer and historian William Dalrymple and Anita Anand, co-authors of  Kohinoor: The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond. 


About the book: 

 The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond unearths fascinating new information and is a gripping historical saga of loot, murder, torture, deceit and colonial greed. Using previously untranslated Sanskrit, Persian and Urdu sources, and the discoveries of modern gemologists, William Dalrymple and Anita Anand blow away the legends to reveal the Kohinoor’s true history – stranger, and more violent, than any fiction. 

The story sweeps from the century the Kohinoor spent embedded in the Mughals’ fabulous Peacock Throne to the months it spent hidden in a prison cell in a remote Afghan fort; from the years it languished unrecognized on a mullah’s desk, used as a paperweight, through to the torture chamber where a Persian prince was crowned in molten lead in an attempt to extract the truth about the gem’s hiding place. Once worn on Ranjit Singh’s turban, Duleep Singh’s armband and Queen Victoria’s crown, it is now locked in the Tower of London, where it continues to arouse passions as India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran all demand its return.

About authors: 

 William Dalrymple 
is an acclaimed historian and bestselling author whose books include City of Djinns, White Mughals, The Last Mughal, Nine Lives and Return of a King. His many awards include the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Wolfson Prize for History, the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the Hemingway Prize, the Kapuscinski Prize, the Asia House Award for Asian Literature and the Vodafone/Crossword Award for non-fiction.

 Anita Anand 
has been a radio and television journalist in Britain for over twenty years, presenting major programmes on BBC. Her first book, Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary, is a highly-acclaimed biography of the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, last ruler of Punjab, who was forced to hand over the Koh-i-Noor to the British after they annexed his kingdom in 1849.



Image Credit - Google

Jallikattu as it is popularly called is a traditional sport of Tamilnadu. This has been in practice or few hundreds of years. The actual name of the sport is "Sallikattu" where Salli or Sallikaasu were the pennies and Kattu is a bag or pouch. The bag which contains these pennies were tied on the horns of the bull and the person who stops the raging bull can claim this bag as a reward. 

The game has been followed in the nearby States in different names. Even in Tamilnadu it is played in another name called "Manju Virattu". The references to this sport has found a mention in ancient Tamil Epics. 

Jallikattu is not the sport that inflict or has the intention to inflict wound either to the Bull or the Human Beings who are involved in the sport. Even until recently, it became a nation wide issue when protesters staged their demands across entire Tamilnadu and most prominently from Marina Beach,Chennai - I was not aware of why this sport was given so much importance.

Alanganallur is the place which is renowned worldwide for this sport and travellers even from overseas use to frequent to witness the sheer grit and determination showed by the youngsters who tried to exhibit their skills in stopping the bulls. These bulls will start running from a specially designed place called "Vaadivaasal" and it will run up to a certain distance within which it needs to be stopped.

Owing to the popularity, sallikaasu bags were removed from the horns of the bulls. Instead, sponsors and those who raised the bulls started announcing various prizes for those who successfully stopped their bulls which range from bicycle, cupboards, cots and at times even cash prize.

What makes this sport special?

There are few things which makes this sport special. Unlike in Spain, where the bull is tamed, here the bull is respected equivalent to GOD. There are strict rules and procedures being followed to ensure no bull is harmed. Even the slightest harm inflicted on bull is seen with great fear as the people believe that it unleash the wrath of God's over their village. So there is no question of harming the bull.

Secondly, the bulls were well fed and unlike unverified reports that these bulls will be given liquor in order to increase their anger and rage, even the participants were ensured that they were not under the influence of alcohol at the time of entering the arena.

There are also rules that the bull has to be stopped within 30 metres or 3 jumps or 3 attempts by a single person and that he can stop it only by holding its humps/horns and not any other part of the bull. Unverified reports claims that these bulls will be stopped by holding their tail which is incorrect.

Prior permission from various authorities of the district must be obtained who would ensure that the safety parameters of all the aspects were met.So there is no question of violation on safety parameters whatsoever.

These bulls which remain undefeated or unstopped were given great respect in the village and those who raised it would also be accorded the same respect. 

The sport has witnessed few loss of lives especially human lives from time to time owing to various reasons but as mentioned by few eminent, a sport cannot be banned just because it is dangerous and if that is the case, almost all the sports being played in the world needs to be banned as we have witnessed deaths in all sports irrespective of place, culture which I need not have to mention it here as I am sure that as a reader, you yourself is aware of the same :-)

The Rich Labourer

Title - The Rich Labourer
Authors - Parthajeet Sarma and Sibani Sarma
Publication - iDream
ISBN - 9781542333771
Genre - Fiction

Have you ever wondered whether you could teach management through a present day story? I have not read one until recently and never thought that it would be possible until I stumbled upon The Rich Labourer.

The book revolves around few characters like Ravi,Riya, Vinod, Jagdish,Nikita, Seema,Rohit,Ramesh, Saee and had beautifully placed forth in front of us as to how  project idea can be conceived and implemented. The team decides to venture into a project of creating a self-sustained housing model which they code name it as "Powerhouse

Whether they managed to successfully built one is the story.

I can say this is something similar to a management book which implies the importance of a unique concept called The 3P Method where

P - Probe, Ponder and Prove

What has to be done during these stages has been well explained via a story involving the characters mentioned above. The authors had mentioned that this is the first version of the book and have invited suggestions too but I honestly feel, if we go with the concept as such, the book is perfectly worded and would not require any further additions unless a new concept needs to be imbibed into it.

The concept mentioned in the book can be applied in real life in most of the aspects. When there was a mention of how the cost can be saved in BPO, I could easily connect myself with the scenario as I had worked myself in a BPO for close to 8 years and had seen in person as to how changing the cubicle structure, flooring, colour scheme and replacing old monitors with swanky new ones had a drastic effect in the performance of the employees. I am sure, as a reader, you too would surely be able to make the connect with your life scenarios too.

The book is available on Amazon

Bringing the Rainbow

Bringing the Rainbow is not just an autobiography. It is the legacy that was build over a period spanning more than five decades by the leader in sanitary-ware products in India Mr. R. K. Somany.

When I read the book, I could clearly understand that business runs in their blood. Having the Marwari background, this is no surprise. Mr Somany begins the book with how his grandfather Mr. Ram Prasad starts off from Chiwara despite having thriving money lending business to make it even bigger. Little did he knew by then that he would be setting a business empire.

Born as 9th kid among 11 on 10th November, 1937 Mr Somany lost his father when he was just 7. His elder brother Mr. Hiralall and his wife Kamla Bhabi became his foster parents. He fondly recollects an incident which happened in school which made him not to compromise what he thought was right. This came in handy later when he took the helm of managing HSIL (Hindustan Sanitaryware India Limited). He also became the first in the Somany clan to graduate.

He is nearing 80 and even now he puts in 16-18 hours of work which is incredible. He is very much strict about punctuality and time management apart from being specific on compliance. He started his venture with R B Rhodda where he learnt how to deal with various arms and levels of the Government which came in handy later. His driving license, which got cancelled as he was only 14 and his recollection of license no are amazing. This taught him "Never breach the law". He also believed that "To be successful, one has to be in the thick of the action".

When the HSIL was proposed to be setup, he recollects the testing time where he had to

* Deal with land owners who were expecting a huge compensation and how the help of then Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Partap Singh Kairon made a difference.
* Troubles he faced with getting import license for the machinery to be procured to be processed in Delhi.
* Public Issue clearance from Controller of Capital Issues.
* Plan Approval from Directorate General of Technical Development.

To look after the business, he had to shift to Delhi leaving his joint family and to live in a nuclear family set-up.

In order to be on par with the ever changing world, he even bought a Technical Directory to understand technical terms which shows his ever willingness to learn.

Mr Somany is a visionary because when he witnessed that the sanitaryware sold in India were made of earthenware and he decided to introduce Vitreous Chinese which was superior in quality with greater durability. I can attribute this quality to Shiv Khera's famous quote "Winners don't do different things. They do things differently"

With limited production capacity of 60 units a day, the company grew to produce 600-1000 units a day thereby leading to reduction in rate which saw the rates being slashed to almost 57%.

Mr Somany never believed in black-marketing and imposed a rule that none of his company products would be sold more than MRP. As he learnt the trade, he was involved in day to day operations. Once when a kiln got repaired, he entered it in spite of temperature inside it being 120 degrees Celsius and he later said that he did not want to enforce others when they were not willing to commit.

The selection of dealership was again something he took great care of. This was never given to all who has applied but were done after going through rigorous selection process. He went to the market himself to understand the supply chain. He recollects his very first office being set up in the plant itself with asbestos roof with no fan and air-conditioner. As they say "Success never comes easy but comes with sweat and hard work", the group now owns 8 factories in India and 1 in U.K.

He is also real proud of the fact that the company never missed paying dividend and in fact missed only once in its 55 years of history and commanding close to 40% share in the Indian Market was not achieved overnight. He has read the mindset of consumers from time to time and this is what made him to introduce Queo which is based out of U.K and has signed Jacqueline Fernandes as its Brand Ambassador. On the other hand, HSIL has roped in Shah Rukh Khan as its Brand Ambassador. The group also launched its own water purifier brand, Moonbow, recently.

He has also invested so much in Research and development which made HSIL's R&D, only one in the sanitary ware industry recognized by the Department of Science and Technology. What makes Mr. R. K. Somany a humble person is he admits the fact openly that "I do not have information for all" and quoting Jack Welch here "Secret of his success lay in strategy of surrounding himself with people much smarter than himself".

What makes any one taken by great surprise is that he never accepts any recommendation for any post in his companies. An important insight that he has shared is a noteworthy point to be noted - "Top management does not have any time out; It's a full time assignment where only the most committed succeed".

He has admired few business leaders like J.R.D.TATA, G.D.Birla, Ratan N Tata, N R Narayanamurthy from India. The list includes Jack Welch and Warren Buffet from overseas. When coming to non-business leaders the list includes but not limited to Mahatma Gandhi, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Nelson Mandela and Swami Vivekananda.

About the author:

Rajendra Kumar Somany, Chairman & Managing Director of India’s largest sanitaryware manufacturing company HSIL Limited (formerly Hindustan Sanitaryware & Industries Ltd) with multi-sectoral presence is a person who was a born leader with combination of vision and positive energy that has made difference in the millions of lives.

The spirit of entrepreneurship was ingrained very early in his life which, culminated with the commencement of HSIL’s first Greenfield ceramic plant in Bahadurgarh in 1963. He was instrumental in bringing vitreous china technology to India thus ushering in a new chapter in the sanitaryware industry.

His ceaseless innovation for sustainable market dominance over the years reflects in HSIL continuing to be a leading player in the market. A respected personality in the field of sanitaryware, he was conferred the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ awards, from, Washroom & beyond, a reputed publication and India Plumbing Association (IPA), in recognition of his influence on society & industry. In 2013, the World Confederation of Business honored him with the ‘World Leader Businessperson’ recognition.

Apart from building HSIL Limited, Mr. R K Somany was instrumental in assisting the Indian Standards Institution (ISI), now known as Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), to develop quality standards for the sanitaryware industry. He is also associated with Rotary Club, FICCI, PHDCCI and The Jaycees.

He has also held several respected positions with esteemed organisations;

President of The Associated Chambers of Commerce (ASSOCHAM);
President of PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry, to name a few.
At present, he is the Executive Committee Member of Green Building Council & Chairman of India Plumbing Skill Council (IPSC).

The life of Mr R.K.Somany was not a smooth one, a path that was filled with roses but with thorns and stones which he has crossed successfully without compromising on quality and standards of his vision which still reflects in his products. An innovative person he is, he stood well beyond the time by then and even till date.

The book is not just another autobiography but culmination of his hard earned experience coupled with never give up attitude which would in many ways help the present generation as a guideline as to what one needs to perceive in order to achieve greater heights.

The book, Bringing The Rainbow – The Hindware Story is published by Rupa Publications and can be ordered either from Amazon or Flipkart.

The God Factor - For Success and Contentment

Title - The God Factor - For Success and Contentment
Author - Nitin Srivastava
Publisher - Pothi
ISBN-13 - 978-1632271419

The book is a simple guide as to how one can live a contended life. Author has explained it nicely with good examples as to what makes a person really happy. It is not money or fame that makes one live a real happy life. Then what it is which makes a person happy?

We live in the world of illusion - MAYA. How to come out of it? Read this 70 page book which will make you understand the simple basics. A real good attempt by the author.

10 amazing facts you probably didn’t know about Sydney

Did you know that Sydney's Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, almost didn't come to be? Or that the locals refer to the Harbour Bridge as 'Coat hanger' thanks to its shape? How many metros offer you the chance to get up close and personal with nature? Sydney dishes out surprises at every corner making the marathon flight to the Land Down Under totally worth it. Here are 10 surprising facts about Sydney you probably didn’t know…

1) On top of the world- The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the largest and tallest steel arch-bridge in the World. No small feat considering it was built in the 1930's! Today the bridge carries eight traffic lanes, two rail tracks, a walkway and a bicycle path… As well as a set of stairs to the centre of the arc! At the summit, there's no sound save for the howling of the wind, and you are greeted by 360 degree views of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

2) A walk to remember -Sydney is a city set in the wild. Locals have a deep reverence for nature, protecting and preserving the flora and fauna, which is why Sydney is known for her nature trails. There's something to suit every fitness level, and the views are always stunning. Take the coastal route and stroll from one beach to another. Or opt for an adventurous bush-walk. With routes clearly marked online, all you have to do is put on your sneakers and get going.

3) Sydney's festival of lights -It's not Diwali. It's Vivid. And it's about lights, music and ideas. Held annually in the May-June period, Vivid Sydney is when you get to see the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge bathed in lights; lights shaped like koalas lurking in trees inside parks; illuminated bulbs that you can step on when walking toward the beach… Just when you thought the city couldn't get prettier, Vivid makes Sydney sparkle!

4) Be a beach bum –Try your hand at surfing, diving, kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, or a jet-boat ride. You can even head to a Manly's Sea Life Sanctuary for shark diving. With over 100 beaches in and around the city, there is no aquatic adventure you can’t experience. Sydney's beaches also have a creative side. Time your visit with the annual art festival Sculpture by the Sea, and you'll be mesmerised by the Bondi-Tamarama stretch as it transforms into the World's biggest open-air sculpture gallery.

5) Eat that –The gastronomic scene changes seasonally, but going local always remains in vogue. The result - you can eat out and still stay healthy. Sign up for food tours which showcase Sydney's favourite eateries. Walk through the Rocks market with its many food stalls. Or treat yourself at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Fancy some kangaroo meat? Head to the Australian Heritage Hotel in the city-centre to try some.

6) Shop till you drop - Sydney's shopping scene ranges from bustling bazaars to extravagant malls. Paddy's market is where you go if you're looking for bargains. Or head to Westfield on Pitt Street Mall to find all the biggest names in the fashion world.

7) Game on - Tendulkar's been here, so have Dhoni, Kohli and other cricket legends. The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has seen more than its fair share of action. Sign up for a tour and you'll be taken behind-the-scenes and into the stadium. Look out for your favourite cricketer's initials etched into the dressing room’s wooden desks or cupboards. Until you meet him, this is as close as you can get.

8) Go the extra isle: Sydney's picture-perfect harbour comes with eight gem-like isles. The most famous is Cockatoo island, a 10-minute ferry-ride from the city. Try camping, or a glamping adventure. To spice things up, there are tours with treasure hunts. With maps and clues you will be walking through the island, alongside stretches of blue, and often stumbling onto hidden coves. A day spent like that is a real treasure.

9) Run for the hills - The Blue Mountains, an-hour-and half by road from Sydney, is filled with eucalyptus trees which exhale a fine bluish mist making the mountains appear coloured. They are also rich in aboriginal legends. There are several hiking paths in the mountains, along which you may come across age-old aboriginal carvings on the rocks. The natural beauty itself looks like art - a cloud of mist around you as you cross over little streams, spot shrubs peeking under rocks, while tall trees stand atop peaks. It seems too good to be true. But there it is, at the edge of Sydney.

10) The Opera show - The Opera House wasn't built by an Australian, but a Danish architect named Jorn Utzon whose design won the competition held in the ‘50s to pick the best form for the iconic structure. Today, a guided tour reveals the 14 year journey of the Opera House, from design to completion, and the tragic story of how Utzon never returned to Sydney to see his masterpiece complete. Ironically, today, no trip to Sydney is complete without visiting 'one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings'.

Monthly Meet - Jan 2017 - Lions Club of Chennai Centennial Heroes

The first monthly meet of Lions Club of Chennai Centennial Heroes for the year 2017 took place yesterday - 11th January at Ln Jayaraman's residence in Shanthi Colony,Chennai.

The program began with Lions Prayer and Flag Salutation.

The President, Secretary and Treasurer presided the meeting. A minute silence for observed for the Treasurer's Father who passed away recently.

Few points were discussed in the meeting after the speech by The President, Secretary followed by the Accounts Report by the Treasurer.

The points includes:

1. Each One Get One - Getting more Lion Members to the club to strengthen so that projects can be done without any burden on the finances. To start with, the target has been set to 30.

2. Collection of pending dues from the members which would help in paying the District and International Dues.

3. Opening of Bank Account which would be operated jointly by PST and the same would be followed in the years which means no single person can operate the account. this would give more transparency and control over the finances.

4. To have minimum of 10 registrations for Lions Centennial Celebrations due on 26th Jan 2017.

5. To do various projects from time to time.

The members who were present in the meeting had agreed to the resolutions passed and other details regarding minutes and quorum were discussed.

As pointed out by Ln Dr Luder Seth, we have agreed to make use of his services to create General Awareness on our Health for the members to start with in the next meeting and also to execute a project on the same in the future.

Since The President will be away in the US from Jan 18th for a month and a half, arrangements have been made where the First VP - Ln Krishna Bai would preside the meeting. We missed Ln Jayaraman and his better half as they were away in Dubai during the time of the meeting.

Lions Club Preparatory Meeting for Centennial Celebrations

The preparatory meeting for Lions Club Centennial Celebrations was held yesterday. It gives me great pleasure in covering the insights here. The event is for DC's, RC's and PST's

Where DC stands for District Chairperson
RC stands for Regional Chairperson and
PST stands for President, Secretary and Treasurer.

I was asked to attend the event by the President of my club - Centennial Heroes by Lion K Baskar. Thank You so much sir for this opportunity as I witnessed the sheer brilliance and grandeur of a meeting which is actually a preparatory meeting.

When and Where?
Hotel Savera on 10/1/17 from 7PM at Samavesh Hall.

We took a mandatory selfie prior to the commencement of the event.

We were greeted with light music to start with.

The event saw the who's who of Chennai which included PMJF Lion L K Syed Ahmed, PMJF Ln T.A.S.Ramamurthy who both were past District Governors and the presiding members of the present term 2016-17 which included

PMJF Ln Er TM Gunaraja - District Governor
PMJF Ln Dr K S Babai - First VDG
PMJF Ln A Ghulam Hussain - Second VDG
MJF Ln C S Balamurugan - CS
MJF Ln B Vijayakumar - CT
PMJF Ln M S Velu - CA among others.

Also present were Ln B N Venkatasubramanian - Goveronor Secretariat(Admin), Ln R Santhalakshmi - ZC among others.

It was felicitations finally and all the dignitaries had revealed the invite.

Points that were discussed:

1. To make all the 6500 Lions coming under District 324 A1 to attend the Centennial Celebrations which is scheduled on 26th Jan 2017 at Chennai Trade Centre, Nandambakam from 4PM to 9PM

2. The entry fee for the same has been fixed at a nominal amount of Rs.600 which includes High Tea and Dinner apart from witnessing non-stop entertainment. The program would be host by professional Emcees.

3. The function is set to witness high profile dignitaries which includes the likes of Mr M S Swaminathan, Dr Shantha of Adyar Cancer Institute and few IAS/IPS officers and industrialists.

4. Permission has been obtained from Corporation to erect banners in and around the locality of PST's to make the general public aware since even the public can attend this celebrations.

5. Centennial Diary is also getting printed which will have few hundreds of pages and would be bigger than the District Directory and to keep the charges at minimum, members are requested to source advertisement from the known sources as this is a prestigious issue and would be reaching out to Lions directly.

6. Followed by this, Centennial Marathon has been planned on 29th Jan and the event can be booked online via various sites like EventJini, BookMyShow etc to name a few and the cost for the registration is fixed at Rs.700 and the participant would get breakfast along with Tee, Sling Bag, Badge etc to name a few.

7. More such celebrations and events have been planned throughout the year and the District is seeking our support to make it a Grand Success!!

As they said, "Together, We will make a Difference"

Join Lionism and Bring A Change to the Society.