Book Review - Split Second

Title - Split Second
Author - A B Chakravorty
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Frog Books(a Leadstartcorp Company)
ISBN - 978-93-84027-56-8

A novel that would keep you guessing till the end. The protagonist Dev Kashyap had a troubled childhood since he witnesses the death of his mother and had believed to some extent that she was murdered by his father but wasn't completely sure. However, he grew up under the care of his grandparents and was successful in his studies which eventually saw his getting into one of the world's leading ad agency company. His room mate Rakshit worked for Google. Dev always thought Rakshit was a physics maverick who took pride in calling himself as the student of Physics genius Dr.Krori.

Dev had a relationship with Trishila during his college but they couldn't enter into marital relationship. She gets married to another person.

Did this trouble him?

He was lucky to find his lost love in Mahi whom he had crush during his college years despite being in relationship with Trishila. He also adored movie actress Julie but when he got to see the news of her demise on the newspaper and television channels, he started feeling guilty since he knew that he either directly or indirectly involved in her killing.

Was he a murderer?

On the other hand, he gets an appointment to meet a Psychiatrist named Dr.Anitha who could not draw out much from the narrations given by Dev. She consults her mentor Dr.Kirmani who stumbles upon an imminent truth.

What was it?

Did Dev commit the murder?
Is he responsible for it?
Did he live two lives?
Did he move from one world to another?
Did he have a split personality?

Read this novel to unveil what exactly had happened during that fateful day and who was he responsible for the death of Julie.

The story has got all the strings attached in a neat proposition without compromising on the quality and pace. I would rate the story 4 on a scale of 5.

The book is available on Amazon

Book Review - Digital Marketing Insights 2018

Title - Digital Marketing Insights 2018
Author - Multiple authors of/from Social Beat
Genre - Digital Marketing
Publisher - Notion Press
ISBN - 978-1-64324-314-6

A very well researched book that shows the in and out of Digital Marketing. Social Beat is known for its penchant towards ROI driven digital marketing which provides the ultimate value to the brands. The book brings out years of experience by the staffs of the company who have been nominated and/or been the recipient of various awards in their respective field(read it as Digital Marketing).

The book begins with an interesting note on "Did You Know". It then shift its gear to "Digital Marketing Trends 2018". This is where I was totally bowled out since the authors have included the real time case studies citing how a well known builder has generated a record Rs.190 crore on sales via Facebook. The chapter also discusses in detail about how You Tube can be leveraged effectively to generate more leads which in turn would result in revenue generation.

There are many facts which even an experienced digital marketer wouldn't know. These were well documented in this book. 

The next chapter is "Marketing Mix Insights" which deals in detail as to one would consider shifting from Print Media to Digital Media.

Then comes "Sector Specific Solutions" which deals in detail about how FMCG,Finance,Real Estate and eCommerce business can use the digital marketing effectively.

"Social Media Marketing Insights" is a boon for beginners since it would make you understand the nuances and how one could start using various features on social media sites effectively which include Facebook Live Video, Instagram stories and Ads, Pinterest, LinkedIN for marketing, Brand Marketing via Snapchat.

The book doesn't end here. It also covers advertising, UX and Web Design, Content Marketing and SEO, Videos and App Marketing.

I an conclude saying that if you would want to learn all about Digital Media Marketing, you can go for this book without giving a second thought. This would not make you an expert since this is something which only an experience in the field can make you achieve but would enable you to become one in the due course....

The book is available on Amazon

Book Review - Don't Startup

Title - Don't Startup
Author - Karthik Kumar
Genre - Self Help
Publisher - Notion Press
ISBN - 978-1-64429-186-3

Startup is a common term these days but this wasn't the case some fifteen years back, at least in India. This is when Karthik Kumar along with his friend Sunil thought about one. Unlike others, they dreamt of something unique - a Startup which would concentrate on Stage Shows, Standup Comedy among others. This was unique for sure in the early 2000.

Through this book, he has not only talked about the journey which saw "Evam" which was founded by these revolutionary minds filed for bankruptcy couple of times but had also listed out in detail as to what had worked for them which has saw them comeback more stronger and dynamic than ever.

The book is divided into three acts(Remember, Karthik is a theatre artist and he has written screenplay for several stories/dramas) which I would say is unique. The book also has takeouts and a simple exercise at the end of each chapter within these acts.

We would have read about various elf help books and to be frank, this is the first time, I have come across a book which not only talks in detail about a startup but had also outlined as to what worked for the brand Evam. The foundation on which this was built was rock solid which has braved many uncertainties.

I would surely consider recommending this book because this contrary to its title would help any aspirant to begin a Startup(which is the sole aim of the author as well) as it talks about Time, Money, HR, Culture, Conscience, Toxic Funding, Decision Making, Success and Failure, Innovation, Dilemmas and Investor among others.

Each chapter has been well explained making it very much qualified to be termed as a management book as well. Should you need to Startup something or have something in your mind and do not know who to approach or how to take it further, "Don't Startup" is the book you need to read for sure....

The book is available on Amazon

Book Review - Hungry Gods

Title - Hungry Gods
Author - Richa Lakera
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Rupa Publications
ISBN - 978-9353040796

The book "Hungry Gods" evoked my interest in the very beginning with its cover page since it is the same pic which has been used by Kamal Hassan's "Uttama Villain" movie. 

The title yet again needs to understood in its own concept. It is "Hungry" and not "Angry". What would a beast which is in great hunger do? Hunt its prey. 

We can also say that a beast which has been inflicted with a wound may also carry the same mindset.

This is what happens in the story. The story brings forth what a reel star goes through in his/her real life. Having a mix of lust, love, envy, relationships given in a equal mix, the story revolves around characters that would keep you guessing as to who the real culprit is, till the end.

The story begins with a gruesome rape of a woman.

Who was she?
Who committed this crime?
Did she have the redemption against this barbaric act?

Then there is this huge pharmaceutical company named Medici which manufactured medicines and tried to sell it at a much higher price than the generic medicine. In order to achieve this, they hire Superstar Neville. 

Dinesh Thackray, the director who was in the process of doing the commercials with Neville for Medici gets killed, no one could figure out as to why and how was he killed. Was he pushed out of his office window or did he jump all by himself in which case, it wouldn't be a murder. On the other hand, his daughter Rathi hated his to the core. Was she the culprit?

She was seeing Superstar Valentine. She had to face a challenge from Kimmy White who was also obsessed with Valentine. Kimmy was none other than the spouse of Thackray. 

Ranganathan, lawyer of Medici keeps warning Valentine of his action as it may lead to the termination of the contract. He too had his own secrets so as Dorab Silva, the cop who was investigating the death of Thackray.

The story revolves around Este - a prostitute, the superstar who eventually gets kidnapped(there was a dark secret behind his stardom and why was he kidnapped and by whom also forms he integral part of the story).

The crime committed in the past comes back to haunt those who were involved in it, directly or indirectly making them pay for their sins. 

The book revolves around the glamorous movie industry before taking us to the cops, a drug manufacturing company among others. I felt the story had a slight shade of story line from couple of kollywood movies which went on to become a hit when they were released. 

With regards to my experience in reading this novel, I must honestly admit that I found it a bit difficult to follow the story and the pace in few places. I can correspond this to the movies of Kamal Hassan since he releases movies for class and not for mass. In that sense, the book is a perfect read but otherwise, I would say it is not recommended for beginners or those who would want to seek the help of a dictionary.The flow of the story, as mentioned above, was good and would keep you guessing as to who the real culprit was. 

This book would keep you captivated till the end.

My rating for the book would be 4 out of 5.

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

Author Coverage - Evam Karthik

Post the event of book launch which you can read here, I also had a chance to pose few questions to Evam Karthik and this is what he has to say. These lines were more or less reproduced,in the exact way as was told to the interviewer.

1) What prompted you to write a book?

I think we had lot of learning phase at the Evam. Lot of learning from the mistakes we made and lot of wisdom were passed on by the people who were kind enough to advice us. Being the first generation entrepreneurs, we did not have a ready support system by then. To document all of that, the mistakes we made and the wisdom we got and to pass it on all of that part of the journey. This has prompted me to write this book which would serve as a support system or start up manual for the first generation entrepreneurs.

2) How different is this book from other ones which belong to this genre?

Most books on the startup space talks about the mechanics of starting up,skills required and details like funding  etc., I believe that I am talking about the emotional aspect. The challenge is that the personality requires and the emotional challenges that one would face at the time of setting up a start-up. Indian entrepreneurs face a lot of resistance since the society is not tuned to support startup ventures. It is more tuned to supporting in getting a job and settle. My book essentially addresses this 

3) What is the message you’re looking to drive forth with this book?

Message is simple. Start something. Starting is one of the most beautiful things you could do in life as it will change you and change the world around you. If you believe there should be a change in the world, you need to be that change to be able to effect the change in the world. So be the change you want to be, you want to see in the world.

4) How much of time did you spend in penning this book & did you feel bored while writing this book?

There were lot of pressure in writing the book since I had to meet the deadline and also be thorough about what I am sharing  and not feel like that I have left anything in that sense. I approached it with rigor to get the book written before the deadline and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I broke it down as a task and was able to meet the deadlines. I today feel like that I have said everything that I wanted to say in this book as such.

5) Will there be a sequel/prequel to this book?

Sequel/Prequel will depend upon what young people want to hear about tomorrow. The book is a good cue to learn about what they like and what they want to know more about. There could be a prequel to the book, if ongoing support system is required for young startup towards setting up one or to remain in the startup space.

6) If this book becomes a big hit (something similar to Harry Potter but not in that genre necessarily), will you take up writing as full time profession?

I am always been a writer in various avatars since it is a  full time profession since stand up comedy requires one. Its just that I am writing the book for the first time. It is the essential truth of the craft at which I operate in(laughs). I am a full time writer in a sense at all point of time

7) Who is your idol in literature? 

I don't believe that I have a idol in literature. However, I was greatly influenced by Ayn Rand, the author of The Fountainhead which made me to saw it as "To live a life being able to serve the world through your skill and through your craft and to be able to pursue your ideal and in that ideal, to be able to serve a world in a certain sense".

Standup comic Evam Karthik releases his debut book with Notion Press at Six Degrees, Sathyam

Karthik Kumar launched his debut book Don’t Startup at Six Degrees, Sathyam on 7th September 2018. A person with many avatars (actor, standup comic, thespian, writer), Karthik sees Evam as his most successful and meaningful endeavour. He has penned and released a book on entrepreneurship, using his journey with Evam as a reference. With Kiran Reddy (CEO, Sathyam), Raunaq Mangottil (Co-founder, Fully Filmy), Naveen Valsakumar (CEO, Notion Press) and Alexander Zachariah (MD, Rubecon Communications) in a panel discussion about their journeys, up and downs as entrepreneurs, this launch planted many seeds of thought and knowledge. The author also read out some interesting excerpts from his book, giving the attendees an idea of what to expect from the book. At the end of the launch, Karthik thanked everyone and concluded saying that, ‘to see Don’t Startup become a book with the blessings of many, helps me bookend a phase of Evam’s and my life with significance.’
Evam, a successful organization with businesses in theatre performance, Standup Comedy, Behavioural Corporate Training, Children’s Education, Brand Activation Using Theatre, Digital Storytelling and Performing Arts and Artist Management is celebrating 15 years of successful entrepreneurship in the business in art space this year. Karthik Kumar of Evam’s name and fame visits the struggles and challenges the organization faced, in his book, Don’t Startup. He recounts the journey of Evam through an entrepreneurial lens, showing hopeful and current entrepreneurs what really happens when someone starts up. The book deals with emotional intelligence and how that affects every important decision in the entrepreneurial journey. When asked why he decided to write this book now, Karthik replied, ‘the wisdom that I wish I had had when I started my journey as an entrepreneur is what this book – all the knowledge became shared with me and those gained first hand.’
The book is currently available on Amazon, Flipkart and bookstores across India.
Please find attached the press release along with photographs.

Image -1 (L-R) Karthik Kumar alongside Kiran Reddy (CEO of Sathyam Cinemas),Naveen Valsakumar (CEO of Notion Press),Alexander Zachariah (MD of Rubecon Communication) and Raunaq Mangottil (Co-founder of Fully Filmy) at the book launch event.
Image -2  Karthik Kumar during the launch of his debut book 'Don't Startup'
Image -3 Karthik Kumar - Author Coverage

Do read about the Author Coverage by clicking here

Flame Test on Mother Sparsh Water Wipes

Last month, I wrote about Mother Sparsh Water Wipes on my blog wherein I have described in great detail as to what makes it unique and various reasons as to why I have considered using them on priority compared to other brands.

This month, I have planned to go further more deep into my selection to justify it. Yes. I had decided to do a Flame Test on Mother Sparsh Water Wipes.

What is a Flame Test?
It is nothing but a simple process of burning your wipes to find out its authenticity. This would help you find as to which brand has the polyester mixed on the wipes and most importantly, you can avoid them rather than using it on your baby which needs utmost care. This is a simple test which can be done at home without having to spend anything.

Why Flame Test?
The Flame Test would let you know whether the wipes you are using are made of genuine cotton or whether it contains polyester.

Things you need:
Mother Sparsh Water Wipes, Candle and a Match box.

How do you conduct this test?
Light the candle. Ensure the fan is switched off and you are in a closed room. Keep your kids/pets away while you are doing this test. Do it in the close supervision of an adult and do not do the test near any electrical circuits or inflammable things to ensure that you are safe and not endangering yourself.

Once the candle is lit, take the baby wipes. Dry it a bit so that it is easier to burn. As you know that Mother Sparsh baby wipes are 98% water, it wouldn’t burn at all, if it wasn’t allowed to dry.
Now, hold the corner of the wipes and burn it. That’s it.

My Findings:

I found that the wipes burned completely leaving only the ashes. There is hardly any residue left. This proved beyond any doubt that the product had 100% genuine plant fabric and cotton. Presence of Polyester would have left a residue and hard lumps which wasn’t the case here.

Next is the perfume. While the wipes were burning, I did not find any bad odor or the odor of plastic being burnt which has also confirmed beyond doubt that the product has a major mix of polyester which is usually derived from plastic waste which is being chemically formulated and made into wipes. I only felt that the odor was nothing but that of a burnt cloth. This has clarified my doubt that the product is free from polyester.

The presence of polyester on a fabric is certainly not recommended especially for the babies since their skin is sensitive and this could create rashes easily. Like they have rightly mentioned on the pack, the product is 98% water based which is as good as cotton and water, 100% biodegradable, I do not see any reason as to why mothers shouldn’t be using this for their baby since the product is plant based with natural fabric and is friendly to their tender skin.

Now that I am convinced by doing the flame test, it is high time, you too did the same to ensure that you are using the safest product to protect your baby. Please do share your findings with the young mothers in and around you including your family and friends because I am sure that not everyone would have been made aware of this simple test which ensures the genuineness of the product and its claim.

You can check about this awesome product here and also order the Polyester Free Baby Wipes online  

Book Review - How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West

Title - How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West
Author - Kim Staflund
Genre - Self Help
Publisher - Polished Publishing Group(PPG)

What an excellent book this is.... There are hundreds and thousands of aspirants who wants to publish a book in their name but do not know as to how to go about it. You would find the answer for all your queries in this book.

Kim, who has an experience of over 25 years in this field has made it easier the entire process which otherwise would have taken a toll on your time and money. The book explains in great detail as to how you can write and release you own eBook in 6 weeks. The book also draws a comparison between the benefits of publishing an eBook as against the physical book.

Many of us would have got deceived by Print on Demand option which would have seemed cheaper initially but it is not the case, if one has to order above 100+ copies at a time. What if the order will be around 10,000+ copies? Which option is better? The book has the answer to it.

One may not find time to write or format. Kim briefs about how can one write a book over a period of 6 weeks. The book also describes in detail about hiring a ghost writer, how to format the books, proof readers, advantage and disadvantage of hiring a beta reader among many.

I found this book irresistible :-)

The book is available on Amazon