Book Review - T21 in Downs Lane

Title - T21 in Downs Lane
Author - Utpal Kant Mishra
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - The WritePlace
ISBN - 978-9-38728-235-3

A book that has brought out the woes of people suffering from T21 Down Syndrome in a subtle way. A genuine effort has been made by the author to highlight the issues in the form of a story, which certainly needs an applause and appreciation.

The story revolves around Jay who is down with T21 Down Syndrome. When he gets interviewed by Aashima, a journalist, things starts getting bigger and clearer for her(and also for the readers). Fortunately, Jay had loving parents Sid and Ayesha who stood thick and thin with him and despite knowing about the trouble, they never wanted to abort him.

What happens in the end is the actual story.

Though this is a fiction, I felt like I had seen a character living in front of my eyes. Most of us would have seen Paa(movie) or many of us would have had friends who are suffering from this syndrome. All they need is empathy and not the sympathy because the story sends a strong message that they could able to carry out their works on their own. It is high time that we stopped calling them Retards and ridiculing them.

More than 100 references has been sought by the author which shows how well the subject has been researched. The effects, limitations, cost and all other relevant details relating to this has been given in detail in the end.

I would conclude my review by saying that this book is worth the read and the efforts of the author is very much evident in the story line coupled with real time information.

The book is available on Amazon

Book Review - Elephants In The Room

Title - Elephants In The Room
Author - Suraj Laxminarayanan
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - The Write Place
ISBN - 978-9-38728-242-1

This is one of the novel that would give you the real feeling of reading one. Yes. The novel is a real exhaustive one which runs for almost 600 pages and would surely delight the readers who are in the habit of reading the lengthy ones. To me, this novel would surely fit to be made into a kollywood movie as the story has got all the essence, a feature film would require.

Author has taken great care in describing the series on events in a real elaborate way. To me, I felt like watching a movie as the story reminded of various movies like Chennaiyil Oru Naal, Thoongavanam to name a few since these stories were fast paced and is set to be completed in a day.

I particularly liked the narration of Chennai and its surroundings and also the usage of slang/Tamil words with appropriate translations which has added more glamour to the story. 

What would elephants do, if they are confined in a room?

You need to think to get the answer.

By the way, the story revolves around not 1 or 2 but 3 gangs. When the 1st gang which comprises of Nari, Vel, Ashok, Shankar, Assam plans to rob a bank, despite being petty thieves, they weren't sure as to how the events would unfold. They tried a day light robbery by mugging Sid who was on his way home. When the D-Day has arrived, things turns awry when this gang finds another gang with much advanced weapons, who had also come to rob the bank. These robbers find abother gang as well.

Did the robbery take place as planned?

Had all the 3 gangs came with a same motive?

Was this plan foiled by the cops?

You must read this 4 part story to find out more about the story. Like I said this is a real good story which shouldn't be missed.

You can buy the book on Amazon (both Paperback and eBook) and also on Crossword Stores.

Book Review - The Slut Chronicles:Betrayed

Title - The Slut Chronicles:Betrayed
Author - Kritika Sharma
Genre - Fiction(Adult)
Publisher - Kalamos Literary Services
ISBN - 9789387780026

A story which takes you to the dark past of a famed actress. The story is a real gripping one as it portrays the difficulty, a lady actress has to gone through to become rich and famous. While we get to see only the illusionary image of glam and sham, we wouldn't know their past, which most of the times is filled with so much of sadness and dirt.

Ishana, the protagonist of the story has played a subtle role by defining what the real meaning of a SLUT is. While she became famous as an actress, she opens up her dark past to a journo. It is to be noted that she had never revealed this to any and she started liking him as he resembled her younger brother.

Just like any one else, Ishana had a small family with a caring father and a good brother. Her mother was always abusive scolding and beating her which made her yearn for the love which she got from her neighbor. However she faced the stark but the dark truth of life from Dev & Kunal.

Fortunately for her, she had couple of friends who stood behind her thick and thin - Shiva and Sarv. Shiva is a girl. Sarv is a guy. They never took undeue advantage of their friend Ishana who was simple, elegant and beautiful but had always warned her prior to she getting entangled in complicated relationships.

The story has an unexpected end. I liked the way the story was written as it brought out the misery of an actress making me go back to the #MeToo Campaign which was popular sometime back which was also based on this theme, more or less.

The book is available on Amazon

Book Review - Finding Your G-Spot

Author - Geetika Saigal
Genre - Self Help/Motivational
Publisher - Invincible Publishers
ISBN - 978-9387328686

A self help book from a person who has seen the heights in her own field is what makes this special. We have been flooded with the various books offering an advice at a huge premium wouldn't make sense when you read this book as things were given outright without beating around the bush.

The perspective of a woman always differs and I found the thoughts really refreshing as it offered a unique perspective. My dad use to say most of the times(or always) "Life is short. Make it sweet". I thought I came to the conclusion after reading this book, yet another time.

There were lot of DIfY's in this book which would help you self evaluate. There is no right or wrongs answers in those. Hence you need not have to worry of going wrong and even if you did, you need not have to worry because only when you make a mistake or fail, you would learn to win/succeed or most importantly "To Fight".

It is the fighting nature which is missing and we fear for unwanted things rather than fearing for the ones which would help you succeed in life. 

What I also liked the most from the book were the mention of Quotes and few Poems here and there. There were also some letters(self written) that were given as an example. Leaving aside ego and treating your spouse as an equal partner coupled with lot of other things in this book would surely make it an interesting read for you. 

The book is available on Amazon

Book Review - An Arranged Love

Title - An Arranged Love
Author - Rev Thomas Scarborough
Genre - True Story
Publisher - Jacaranda Press
ISBN - 9781983600562

Is arranged marriage a thing of the past? It certainly is, to a greater extent in the West but not in Asian countries, especially in India. It came a real surprise for me when I got this book. I was very much intrigued by the title, as it said,"An Arranged Love". Would this not evoke your interest especially when you live in a country whose culture is very much surrounded by this?

The book is a real story where the characters are none other than the author and his wives. When I say this in plural, you might very well think as to what is happening. I was deeply saddened when I read and came to know about the tragedy that had struck Thomas's life when he lost his beloved wife Mirjam's with whom he was married for 28 years. The separation isn't easy an it cannot be replaced easily since the question here is a life and not a material thing.

Unexpectedly, Mirjam who hailed from Switzerland had named Ester as Thomas's better half once she has gone for good and it was really surprising for me when I came to know that this was the tradition at least until some 200 years back in the England. You read it right. Author who was born to English-German parents had highlighted this tradition and was taken aback when his ailing wife had made her intentions clear.

However, after her demise, Thomas had to move on. He started giving a thought about Mirjam's advice and the rest of the book talks in great detail about how he got married to Ester who hailed from Africa and what were the difficulties he had to face being a White and how the racial discrimination which still exists had taken a toll even on him for being supportive to the dark skinned people.

Being a Congregational Minister, he had to tackle lot of things in a sophisticated manner which he did it with grace and how he was ably supported by Ester who later on became his better-half. The book gains more attention since it had a rich collection of pics(in black and white) which added more value to the story. If you are thinking about getting a color version, it is available too and so as the e-Book. 

I feel that this book must be read by all across the globe as it gives importance on family life, bonding, love and affection that is beyond culture, race, religion and customs.

The book is available on Amazon

Book Review - The Blue Moon Day

Title - The Blue Moon Day
Author - Santhosh Sivaraj
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Invincible Publishers and Marketeers
ISBN - 978-93-87328-76-1

A book with a difference. Though I write reviews for books, I would rarely recommend the readers to buy them and this book is surely in that list. Writing a story is an art and it needs dedication apart from forming the concept and presenting it in the readable form. Though there are editors and proof readers who could make the latter part of my mention, a possible one, it is the core which plays a vital role in the success of any story.

Santhosh would surely make you smile, cry, motivate with his 5 short stories in this extraordinary book. I was deeply moved by each and every one of them as it gave a different dimension and approach in the so called journey of life.

Each story was unique and had a different concept but had struck the chord in a perfect way. Having read few thousands of books till date, these stories did not fail to amaze me. I wouldn't have been that much impressed if one or two out of the five stories were good but when you find the entire book to have such an awesome story line, you would not stop thinking about it for sure. This isn't a flattery but when you read the book, you would understand and agree with my views.

The characters aren't unique as it revolves around common people like us. While one was a job aspirant, another one could not appreciate what life had given to him succumbing to work. The other one was a drunkard though he was a good person at heart whereas another story features two old people and how they meet each other which changes their life forever.

I liked this book a lot and now I am expecting/hoping for Santhosh to release his next set of stories....

The book is available on Amazon

Some Very Dignified Disclosures

Title - Some Very Dignified Disclosures
Author - Anumita Sharma
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Pratishthaa Films & Media
ISBN - 978-93-87849-06-8

A well imagined story with an exhaustive story lineup. The book is divided into 32 chapters. The book talks about emotions as to how one would feel especially when he or she is alone. The protagonist is an imaginative character who has done complete justification to the character assigned.

Honestly speaking, it is really difficult to pen down a story capturing all the essentials of a human life without leaving aside a single emotion which would be a real jackpot for those who love a family related story line.

While what happens to Roli, the protagonist as she has witnessed her own father killing her mother, in the future is one of the most interesting plot, she comes across lot of events in her life which includes a priest who constructs his house with the items he gathered from the streets.

The story has also captured the love life of the Roli and how she fells in love with her man after being consoled by the wives of her landlord. If you are a lover of a fast paced stories or a thriller buff, you may not be liking this but having said that, if you appreciate a good story, this is something you wouldn't want to miss it.

The book is available on Amazon

Book Review - Pi Agency

Title - Pi Agency
Author - Neelabh Pratap Singh
Genre - Thriller Fiction
Publisher - Cosmos Prints
ISBN - 978-93-5311-006-2

A compelling thriller yet again by Neelabh. His first book "Resurrection of Evil" was a best seller and I am sure this would also go on to become one.

I was intrigued with the title, to start with. This wasn't a usual title which has kindled my interest t start reading it as soon as I received it. I would not mention the reason behind the title because it is for you to buy the book to find out yourselves :-)

The story revolves around the protagonist Rashmi Purohit who runs a detective agency ably assisted by her assistants Akshay and Diksha. They weren't a big agency until one day, a wealthy businessman reaches out to them to help him with an investigation.

Rashmi takes this up. While she was about to unveil the real culprits, she gets attacked. Her life was at stake. But her fighting spirits never let her down. To her surprise or rather a shock, she finds the culprit with the businessman,Brijesh Arya who has deployed her for the job.

What does the culprit has to do with Brijesh?

Is Brijesh masterminding these activities?

Then comes the other twist. The investigation leads to a more complicated web. Author has effectively used TOR,Bitcoins in this novel where it makes the investigations even more complete.

Did Rashmi succeed in unveiling all these?

What were these investigations all about?

Who was behind this?

Read this fast paced thriller to find out more. If you were expecting the usual ending, you are wrong. Yes. The ending reveals the mastermind who you wouldn't have predicted and even if you think you did, you would be proved wrong in the end which is the beauty of this story.

The book is available on Amazon

artykite - For the Literary Lovers

Literature is class. We all would have come across this during the school days. Some who had the passion would have gone further to pursue their dream course on literature whereas others would have ventured into other streams.

I am sure each one of us would have few friends among them who would die for this. Though we may not remember all the poems or the classics, we could immediately connect to some of the classics like Iliad, Odyssey, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Daffodils to name a few.

It would be really nice to recall them especially when we meet that "Special Friend" who is very much crazy about these but had long forgotten them. I was casually browsing the internet when I wanted to gift something special to a good friend of mine who loved literature and stumbled upon artykite

I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with the very first sight of the website. It couldn't get unique than this.

What do they offer?

The site offers Decor Lamps, Posters, Jhola Bags( for those who keep travelling), Mugs, Notebook Diaries and Greeting Cards. Take a look at the site and you would really agree that those were unique for sure.

I bought some of them. Take a look at what I have got:

As you could see, each and every product is unique. While Rabindranath Tagore Poster was done with matte finish, Kabir's Poster was done with glossy finish. Rumi's is a greeting card.

You might ask what one could do with these?

The uses are many.

1. These can be pasted on cupboard or wall.
2. They can be laminated and kept.
3. Can be used as a Greeting Card.
4. The Blog Book can be used to make a note relating to your blog. Its time we kept a dedicated note for a blog. What say?

The products are reasonably priced.

Artykite fuses pop art, poetry and literature to create funky literary merchandise. The aesthetically designed products add poetic vibe to your monotonous routine.

This would be a unique way to show your love. These gifts would make a difference and would surely make your friend smile and remember you, forever.

Book Review - Prime Time Crime

Title - Prime Time Crime
Author - Vrushali Telang
Genre - Crime Fiction
Publisher - Vishwakarma Publications
ISBN - 978-93-86455-52-9

Bollywood Actor Kajol has mentioned that this is a "Compelling, Sensational and unstoppable... A must read!" which is pretty apt. I began reading this novel last night and I finished it in one stretch. The story revolves around two characters namely Ritika and A.T.

Author has captured the essence of love, aspirations, ambitions without compromising on the twists and turns. Ritika was an aspiring journalist who wanted to make it BIG in her field. Having chosen the crime reporting, she was waiting for her big break. She then gets one. Yes. The golden chance of meeting the sharp shooter A.T. happens and then there was no turning back.

A.T. worked for Khalif Ahmed. They were pitted against a rival gang headed by Usman Ali. There was another threat - Mohan Raswe.

What happens to these gangsters?

Who is Mohan Raswe and what role did he play in the story?

There were other characters which included Babban Mistry, ACP Pathak and Munawar.

The story is set up with such a pace that by the time you finish reading the story, you would surely feel like you have watched a movie. The end was something which I did not expect honestly but it stamps the real intention of the protagonist. I would second the wordings of Kajol - "The story is Compelling & Sensational"

The book is available on Amazon.

Win With Fantasy Sports

Do you love cricket?

If your answer is YES, which I can say it confidently that it would be(since India is one of the largest market in the World), Fantasy Sports is the right place for you.

It has a whopping 3 crore+ users. Yes. You read it right.  staggering 2% of total population of India is using this.Is this isn't a huge number to start with?

The site is optimized for both - Desktop & Mobile. You can use it without any hassles. All you need to go is to ign Up to begin with.

As you could see from the above, the LogIn is a simplified process. You can login with your FB or Google credentials. Please note that the app wouldn't post anything on your behalf on FB without your consent.

Once you have logged in, you will have to create the team.

When you look at the above screen, you will get to see how the entire process works. It is relatively simple. The team can be selected according to the available credits. The credit that is assigned to a team is 100. You will have to select the team by spending those many points. Take a look at my team selection below:

If you look at the above pic, you can see that I did complete selecting 11 players by spending 98 points which is pretty much less than the assigned credits. Once this is done, it is time to select Captain and Vice-Captain who command 2X and 1.5X the points based on their performance.

Now comes the crucial part of it. You can join the contests by paying a subscription. The amount differs according to the stakes on offer.

The subscription starts from as low as Rs.15 and goes upto Rs.2,999 but the winnings at stake are huge when it comes to the bigger subscription. Usually, you would get to see many teams participating for the slot making the winnings real less but here, you get to participate only with few teams. The game is always based on probability. You either win or lose.

If you lose, you lose the subscription but on the other hand, if you win, you get to take home not only your subscription but also the winning share getting added to it.

You can pay directly to join the contest or add money to your wallet and the amount gets deducted from it.

By the way, it is not only Cricket you could play but also Soccer. With World Cup coming up within a fortnight, this is the right time to venture into this to support your team both online and offline. After all, if your team wins, you get double delight of experiencing the win and also some cool bucks added to your wallet.

Interesting? Head over to ->  https://www.dream11.com/

Book Review - Dream Big

Title - Dream Big
Authors - Dr Mukesh Jindal & Arunraj VS
Genre - Finance / Self Help
Publisher - TV18 Broadcast Ltd
ISBN - 978-938406164-7

When I purchased this book, I never knew that I would be taken onto a  journey of my lifetime with regards to money & investments. When I say money, it is a real wider aspect since anything and everything can be done with the help of the money these days. While we all work hard to earn, there are lot of aspects that goes into saving.

I wouldn't say I am a "Saving Wizard" but atleast I thought that I am one until I started reading this book. This isn't a MAGIC but when you finish reading it, you would surely become a Magician where you would know as to how to control your finances - especially with regards to the outflow.

Firstly, I liked the quality of the book which is hardbound and the paper quality was equally good. This has been complemented with the Red & White coloring scheme which looked appealing to me. To top it up, the book also features some cool pictographs that adds more value to the content.

The book in itself is real vast but has broken down the complexities of finances into smaller areas/parameters. We would be seeing a lot of people talking about inflation but they are the ones who may not necessarily be knowing a to how to beat it because if they did, they wouldn't be cribbing about it. The value of compounding growth and to ascertain the future value of the money has been clearly explained.

Then comes the darling of the investors - Mutual Funds and Equity Funds. Many are averse to this and we always have the notion that these are risky. While the latter is true to some extent, authors have described it beautifully as to how SIP could work wonders for the investors and they have also busted the myths with regards to MF's. 

Then comes the Equity Funds where you would get to know more about ELSS, Sector and Thematic Funds and how Equity Funds fare better compared with Real Estate. The book doesn't end here but it goes deep into these by giving information on Debt Funds, Types of Debt Funds and how they are better compared to FD's.

How many of us are aware about Dynamic Asset Allocation?

Do you know the difference between Balanced Funds and Monthly Income Plans?

Do you know about NAV and how to read Mutual Fund Offer documents?

The answer to all the questions raised above lies in the book.

If you think you are done, you need to relax a bit because we completed only half of the vast subject(at least in this book).

You get to know more in detail about Insurance, Types of Insurance, comparison between ULIP and Endowment Policy, Health & Term Insurance to name a few. 

Other investment options like PPF, NPS, NSC has also been discussed in this book.

The key investment strategies like risk profiling, asset allocation, portfolio review and re-balancing, tax implication on investments(subject to change every year) along with Financial Planning were given in great detail in this book.

To put it simply, you don't have to seek the help of a wealth advisor or a professional but to some extent you can do it on your own when it comes to investment but the authors also in the end has talked about the importance of having a Certified Financial Advisor(CFA). The book is a treasure trove and shouldn't be missed.

This book review is a part of "The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours, for details log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in"