Book Review - Vanara : The Legend Of Baali,Sugreeva and Tara

Title - Vanara : The Legenf of Baali, Sugreeva and Tara
Author - Anand Neelakantan
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Penguin India
ISBN - 978-0-143-44283-7

History is boring most of the times. It can however be made interesting. This is possible only when it is conveyed in the form of a story. Of course, there are few exceptions to this which includes our two major epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata. We would have seen it in the form of tele-serial or movie for n number of times.

I had the opportunity to read Anand Neelakantan's "VANARA". Author needs no introduction since he is known for his famed "Baahubali" story. He is certainly a Master Storyteller and the book made me realize it through each and every page.

We have seen history glorifying the winners or those who emerged triumphant and has mostly portrayed the losers in a negative way. This book is one of the exceptions where the author has glorified the legendary character "Baali". We must have read or known about the character of the protagonist and also his brother, Sugreeva. The way, the characters were used in this novel, made me realize that, not all who gets projected as good, weren't good and not all the bad, are actually bad.

What did I like the most from this novel?

Though this is a story which most of us know, the way the story has been retold makes it an interesting read. This book made me refresh my memories which includes the curse of Ahalya, pathini of Sage Gautama who said that Sugreeva would be the cause of death of Baali. The book isn't an exaggerated version but a realistic one which makes you keep hoked to it from the beginning till the end.

I also had few learning points from this book. The term "Vanara" is actually the combination of Vana and Nara . Indira is not the name of the person but the Title and many have adorned it.

I liked the way, author has described each and every thing in minute detail. I would like to quote couple of lines which caught my attention among many.

" An ant came to enquire and sniffed the lone rice grain that had fallen on the sand"

"Suddenly the cow pen felt empty. The lone cow in it continued to chew cud. Flies buzzed around"

The book revolves around the three major characters and how Sugreeva who loved Tara even before his brother could get married to her tried stalking her at each and every instance. The narration of the events would leave you in awe, for sure.

The book has touched upon all the events which includes:

1. Building the Kishkinda
2. How Baali almost slained Sambati
3. How Baali slained Dundhubi
4. How Baali defeats Ravana
5. Capture of Sugreeva and Ravana by Karthya Veerarjuna and how Parasuram slains him.
6. Rishi Matanga' curse on Baali
7. How Baali gets trapped while he went chasing Mayavi and the sequences thereafter.

This book is not speaking about anything which is not known to us but the way it speaks/portrays would make you to read, over and over again as it is unique and has been written in a natural/realistic way. Grab your copy today.

This book is available on Amazon,Flipkart and in all leading book stores, Online & Offline.

#UKAlumniAwards in Chennai

For the first time since its inception, Chennai witnessed the #UKAlumniAwards #StudyUK event yesterday(15th March) which was held in Taj Connemara. The event began at 6 PM.

The event was all about recognizing the best of the talents who were educated in the U.K. and have made a significant contribution in their respective fields.

The event was kick started by Janaka Pushpanathan, Director - British Council,South India.'

There were 9 Awardees in total from 3 categories. 1 winner and 2 runners-up in each category. There were 139 applications in total. The categories on which the awards were given are listed below:

1. Social Impact
2. Professional Achievement and
3. Entrepreneurship

Before the event could begin, there was a discussion on the above mentioned topics and we witnessed participation by

1. Nandini
2. Vijay Krishna
3. Jayashree Venkatesan and
4. Prakash K

The discussion was moderated by Rakesh Gidwani.

To begin with, Rakesh addressed the audience mentioning that there are 260 million students in the Indian education system with 60% in employable position. 

Prakash said "Content is the King. Context needs to be set right". He went ahead to add that the reimagination should start happening from school. He also said that getting the job isn't a problem but getting ready to be employed is.He also quoted as to how once the most revered jobs like CA/HR/Clerical Jobs are being replaced by AI.AI stands for Artificial Intelligence.

Jayashree spoke about how even in the World Bank, people are speaking about the future of work.She touched upon

1. Adult Learning Opportunity Creation
2. Soft Skills and
3. Digital Inclusion

Nandini who later performed with her sister spoke about education and employability.

Vijay Krishna said that he do not see our country with 1.3 billion population but a country with 1.3 billion minds. He opined that communication is the key. He lauded U.K. who is leading in humanity and social sciences which could be used as a cross border between India and the U.K.

Before the discussion could end, we were asked to post our questions via Mentee, a platform where one could post questions, unanimously. There were 23 questions asked and the panel answered most of them which were relevant to the topic/discussion. 

This was followed by a brilliant speech by the Chief Guest of the day Shri.Jayesh Ranjan,IAS who is the Principal Secretary to Telangana Govt (Industries and Commerce). He spoke about job creation and how Telangana being one of the newly formed State with just 3% population produces 10% of total engineers across India, each year. He also surprised us with the fact that Telangana is the only State which teaches Samsung's proprietary software called "Tizen" in their colleges.

Post his speech, couple of short videos were played which showed how students found it really interesting to be educated in the U.K. It was surprising to see Dr.Satya who got couple of Masters and a PhD in the U.K.

It was entertainment time later with Dr Lalitha and Mrs Nandini who performed adding fusion to the Indian music. The percussion was handled by Mr Sridhar.

Mr. Pilmore Bedford, Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai for the British Govt, gave an enthralling speech touching upon various aspects as to how and why U.K. has been the most sought after nation for the Indian students when it comes to education. He quoted "4 out of Top 10 Colleges namely Oxford, Cambridge,Imperial College, University College are from the U.K."

Finally, it was time for Awards.

The Award for Social Impact was bagged by Rupal Ganesh Kulkarni whereas Dr Abhijit Mitra won the award in the Professional Achievements category. Shiv Dhawan won the award in the Entrepreneurship category. Sitting and witnessing the event, I predicted all the three awardees correctly, as soon as I saw the short videos being played for each and everyone.

The vote of thanks speech was equally brilliant.

My friend and I took a selfie as a remembrance before we proceeded for our dinner, post the event.

INTERESTING FACTS - U.K. saw an increase of 32% among the Indian students opting for it as their destination compared to the previous year. British educational institution has so far produced 107 Nobel winners.

The author attended the event on special invitation from the British Council.

#BuildSmart with IBM

When I received an invite to attend the #IBMDevDay at #Taj #Yeshwantpur, I did not think twice to accept it. I along with my friend Rajesh, had immediately booked our tickets to attend the event.

Shown above it the venue where the event was held all through the day - 14th March,2019

I was surprised when I reached the venue. Yes, there were few hundreds of programmers from various parts of the country had already reached the venue and it was buzzing with activities in various hubs that has been set up.This made me realize the magnanimity of the event.

I was instantly attracted to the Cafe Kiosk which was set up inline with the theme for the day.

There were kiosks set up for various applications/services and all of them had lot of takers. These kiosks were handled by the respective specialists from the IBM.

Our LIVE Tweets were displayed on the board shown above. Please note that some kiosks may wore a deserted look because the pics for those were clicked during the break time.

We all were called inside the hall/auditorium and the event began with a fun and frolic exercise. Once we were all set, the main event began.

As you could see from the above pics, the event had the highest of the dignitaries attending it which includes Ms Ginni Rometty, Chairman/President & CEO of IBM,Priya Mallya- Country Lead,Development Eco System,IBM, Sriram Raghavan - VP,IBM Research, Willie Tejada, GM & Chief Developer Advocate,IBM.

The panel moderated by Ginni Rometty had Gautam Khanna, VP & Global Head - Modernisation Practice of Infosys, Dr Lata Iyer, Global Head - Digital Engineering Services and Technology of Royal Bank of Scotland(RBS) and Julian Gordon, VP-Asia Pacific,Hyperledger from Linux Foundation.

Few short videos were played, in between the panel discussion sessions which were informative, innovative and touching.

Ginni Romettey,Chairman/President & CEO of IBM talked about 3 principles

1. Give back.
2. Open Governance and
3. Enable and Engage with wider eco-system.

Willie Tejada,GM & Chief Developer advocate,IBM gave lot of interesting information to the gathering.

Bob Lord,SVP-Cognitive Applications,IBM noted that there was no #CodePattern couple of years back. It is very easy to use. There are hundreds of cases available to be deployed on #AI, #Cloud, #BlockChain etc

Shradha Sharma of YourStory started speaking to the audience by mentioning in the very beginning that she is not a techie. She talked about how stories and PPT had made the life worse. She also spoke about how the country was built on stories forgetting the actual creators.

KS Viswanathan from NASSCOM said "Developer now is solving business problem and NOT the coder. Digital transformation has completely changed today's scenario. There are multiple ways available to solve a problem".

The hashtag for the event was #IBMDevDay #BuildSmart

There were lot of things that was discussed during the event. This includes:

1. Cloud
2. AI
3. Block Chain
4. IoT
5. Quantum Computing among others.

Though we may have had a different notion about the capability of the above mentioned services, we were dumbstruck when we were given all the information in detail which has even helped rebuild the devastated Nepal, after the massive earthquakes, it was hit with. Rebuilding homes is made possible by just spending 20 to 30% o the actual cost. It is to be noted here that more than 5 million homes were lost in natural disasters and calamities in the past decade or so. There is no technology which could stop natural disasters but can help in predicting it in advance and be prepared to face the same.

Once the main session was over, where lot of discussion took place which has kept the audience captivated till it got over, we were given a break. Post that, participants were asked to enter the halls that were now segregated into above mentioned 4 topics. I chose to enter the hall which was discussing about Cloud.

This session was handled by Girish Dhanakshirur.

Post this, we were given lunch break. After our lunch, we were joined by few other bloggers and SME's for a closed room panel discussion session which saw the presence of Pradeep Balakrishnan, Malathi, Omi Swati Gandhi, Neha Sobti. It was a good one hour session where we all got to ask questions and got the answers from the experts/officials from IBM, direct.

The event ended with a brilliant band performance from LAGORI.

What were the takeaways from the event?

1. IBM is the global leader in Cloud Services.
2. IBM is investing heavily across various verticals.
3. IBM has conducted more than 300 events last year alone across various geographies.
4. IBM is working together with RedHat even after the acquisition. They both complement each other since they are the ones who have institutionalized Open Source.
5. Open Source isn't FREE. They are Safe and Secure.
6. IBM offers Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud.
7. IBM Cloud Platform can be used by the users who couldn't afford find relevant tools for distributed application.
8. IBM would be more than happy to associate in community participation.
9. Mumbai Stock Exchange runs on IBM Cloud.
10. Rashtrapati Bhavan has deployed IoT.
11. IBM welcomes developers to contribute to Code Patterns.
12. IBM is involved in Academic Initiative where it is collaborating with Schools and Tier 2 & Tier 3 colleges to set up Centre of Excellence inside their campus. The sign up can be done online for FREE. 
13. IBM offers "Call For Code" program for students/developers. This is basically targeted towards students who are below 18 years of age.
14. IBM has launched "India Developer Champions" to spotlight developers behind the Code in India.
15. The prize money for "Call For Code" contest which is exclusively announced for India is US$200,000. In global level, out of 100,000 participants, almost 50% came from India.
16. Only 20% of business uses Cloud with the remaining 80% to be tapped.
17. Centre Of Excellence has been set up in Bengaluru by NASSCOM in association with IBM.
18. AI-ML is free program as of now. 
19. Under #DevelopeChampion program, only 25 from few million will be selected. They would travel across India and Abroad to attend various programs.
20. IBM donated US$1 billion to Linux 20 years back.
21. IBM believes in building a smarter future not just for few of us but for all of us.

Couple of important links you must visit ->

Remember, IBM is listening!!

Book Review - Anuj Tikku Launches his third book Travelthon Tales

After a successful launch of first 2 books, famous Bollywood actor Anuj Tikku has announced the launch of his third book – Travelthon Tales. 

Travelling is the best way to learn and grow in life but it is also important to be observant as well as aware of your surroundings. Watch the view as your journey unfolds along the vast roads, mountains and peaks. Under the sea, a world unexplored opens up – all blue and colorful, neon and bright, the world beneath the sea is a true delight. I enjoy this rush of the unknown and the unconquered. This is what it is. A perilous plane – a journey almost to the divine.

The temples and the faith, the jungles and the savannahs, the mountains and the vast terrains with canyons – it is all one when you see life through the eyes of a traveller. Travelthon Tales are my personal travel tales as I move along this life of freedom, wisdom, adventure and mayhem. The tales will be enlightening with morals, values, wisdom and teachings as I march forward in my quest to travel the world in search of peace, meanings, answers, and, most of all, joy.

Anuj Tikku says “I am happy to announce the launch of my third book under my own publishing banner Tikku's Travelthon and the name of the book is Travelthon Tales. This is a collection of 13 short stories of mine asI travel to unique places and worlds as a travel blogger with my blog www.tikkustravelthon.in [1].

I dedicate this book to my Mother Rekha Tikku and ask for herblessings from the heavens above. I pray that you enjoy the book andshare my adventure with the world around.”

 The stories are from different countriesand carry a message and philosophical insights that will both yoursoul of all its aches and pains.There are stories from the forest,cemeteries and ashram’s. You will be enthralled by them as they willtransport you to the country where they were written. Each giving you a new perspective of life and throwing light on the wonder that is the world.

Book Review - Natural Solutions For Cancer

Title - Natural Solutions For Cancer
Author - Sudhir Ahluwalia
Genre - Healthy Living & Wellness
Publisher - Self Published
ISBN - 978-9388712439

Health is Wealth, they say. This book talks about the most important factor in a human's life in a very precise manner. I have not read science after completing my 10th standard. However, this book has rekindled my interest on Botany(Plants and Herbs) as it has captured the essence of our day to day in a crispy way.

What makes this book interesting?

This book talks about various herbs and its medicinal use in a detailed way. This is supported by appropriate pictures. Author has taken great pain in collating all the details in one place by way of a book. I would rather call this an "Encyclopedia" since it very much deserves the title and I even thought "Why not this book be adapted as one of the syllabus in the studies of Alternate Medicine?"

The book is divided into two parts namely

1. Fundamental Principles and
2. Select Herbs Used in Cancer

Author through his experience of having served as an Indian Forest Service officer, had gathered all the details for each and every topic and has presented in such a way that you would want to read them all in one go but it is easier said than done. The reason being, to grasp all the contents in the book, to some extent, you need to read the book over a period of at least a week, if not more.

The herbs were given a clear description which includes its botanical name, place of origin, how and where it grows, various uses etc to name a few. Some herbs were used for various purposes and though author did touch upon them, he made it a point that he has not diverted from the main concept "Solutions For Cancer"

The book talks in great detail about Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM), comparison between Herbal versus Modern Medicine, Herbal Formulations and Supplements,Nutrition and Food, Detoxification, Aromatherapy and Massage in Part 1.

Part 2 talks about the usage of herbs in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. The book also has covered few Yogasanas since the Ayurveda basically comprises of this which has been forgotten and it is almost treated as a separate entity.

I would like to highlight few points that I made a note of, among some 1,000+ information that has been given in this book:

1. Tibetan Medicine aka Rigpa has elements drawn from both Indian and TCM.
2. Chinese Medicine has 8 branches namely meditation, exercise, diet,  acupuncture, cosmology, feng shui, bodywork and herbal medicine.
3.Things we use in our day to day life like Turmeric, Red Chili, Cloves, Ginger, Fennel, Fenugreek, Black Cumin, Kokum contains chemicals that prevent Cancer.
4. Tea and Tea components including a cup of Ginger Tea(daily) are effective in fighting Cancer.
5. Four Tantras of Tibetan Medicine - The Root Tantra, The Explanatory Tantra, The Oral Instruction Tantra and The Last/Subsequent Tantra.
6. Tibetan Medicine has 4 types of therapies - Diet, Behavior, Medicine and External Therapies.
7. Surgery is no longer used in Tibetan Medicine.
8. The Men Tse Khang school of Tibetan Medicine in Dharamsala,India, offers five-year courses in Tibetan Medicine.Men means Medicine Tse means Astrolofy and Khang means House which is known as "House of Medicine and Astrology".
9. TCM has five key organs - Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lungs and Kidney. These are aka Zang Organs. The FU organs includes Gall Bladder, Stomach Bladder, Large Intestine and Small Intestine.
10. TCM has two concepts - Yin and Yang. Yin is dark, cold, passive or female aspect. Yang is the active, bright, hot and male aspect

I am stopping here because the notes I have made would run into pages. 

Author has given a clear warning in the very beginning that though herbs are mostly not dangerous, it needs to be taken or administered only after consulting with a specialist. Author has also clearly mentioned that this book must be used only for reference purposes.

My take on the book - It is a MUST READ and if you love Ayurveda/Alternate Medicine, this book would surely help you in all aspects related to Cancer.

This book is available on Amazon in both Paperback and eBook formats.

Book Review - Surviving Stress

Title - Surviving Stress
Author - Dr Vidhu Bhatnagar
Genre - Self Help/Personality Development
Publisher - Educreation Publishing
ISBN - 978-1-5457-0820-0

Stress is a common factor and the other day, I was surprised to see this word being used by a 10 year old kid. Though the technology has developed to a greater extent, this has not showed any significant improvement in bringing down the stress but infact has fueled it to grow further.


We have been engrossed in our gadgets these days. Human touch is lost. We hardly get time to mingle with fellow human beings. When there is no human interaction, we may end up building more stress than ever. This factor has been effectively captured in this book.

The book is divided into two parts namely:

1. Surviving Stress
2. Rediscover the awesome you

While part 1 has 43 chapters, Part 2 has 25 chapters.

It is worth to be noted here that the author, who is a physician, had also undergone stress during the earlier stages(some 15 years back or so) before she found out a way herself to overcome that, successfully. The same has been captured in a vivid manner which makes it a real good read.

We all love to hear stories. Author has just used this tactic to talk about the most important aspect which is affecting our present day to day life. The reconciliation of various incidents that has happened in her life from time to time and how she battled it all by herself to see the light in the end of the tunnel would serve as a motivating factor for the readers as well.

Though I liked the entire book, I would like to highlight few chapters that captured my immediate attention.

In Part 1, I loved the following chapters:

1. Life is a Journey
2. Lessons of Life
3. Power of Prayers
4. SMILE; It makes you look good
5. Be Alive
6. Know your Strength
7. Know your weakness
8. Travel; Find new grounds

In Part 2,

1. Oops, I am a GIRL
2. Jump like a BOY
3. I am Awesome because...
4. Shadow Self
5. Empty your vessel
6. Write your own story: Be the HERO
7. To revise is to remember

I would recommend you to read those book as well and if you have read it already, you could connect well with this book too.

Surviving Stress isn't rocket science. It is all about you and it is high time you discovered it...

This book is available on Amazon

Book Review - The Light Catcher

Title - The Light Catcher
Author - Sameer Chopra
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Amazon KDP

If words could bring out the emotions vividly, this book certainly qualifies for it. This novel is about a story of the protagonist who wanted to pursue his dreams - His dreams of catching the light. The story stamps the authority over the passion and if you put up your action to chase your dream, you certainly can achieve it. The story though is a fiction, would go a long way in inspiring the like minded people who has quit the so called "Dream Jobs" in order to pursue their own dreams and all it needs is their hard work and dedication and nothing else.

Despite being a Science graduate, Purab Kohli aka Purab who is the protagonist of the story does his MBA from a leading B-School and lands up the job in Indian Banking Corporation(IBC) as MT(Management Trainee) along with few others like Rati, Trisha, Rahul and Ishika. The story points out the stark reality of what happens in the so called Corporate World which is full of favoritism and treachery. I could very well relate myself to it as I witnessed most of the events mentioned in the story first hand as I myself has worked in a leading MNC bank for 8 years before quitting it to pursue my own dreams.

Though Purab was getting paid handsome, his heart did not get contended with the money. He wanted to pursue his dream - of being a photographer. Again, this is also very much related to my own story a bit (though I did not want to become one but my dad was a professional photographer just like Purab's father before calling it quits).

He also finds solace in the hands of Rati initially who started loving him. When things were going smooth, Rati starts avoiding Purab.

What made her to do this?
Did Purab reconcile with her?
Did he achieve his dream?

All these have been beautifully captured with great narration and splendid sequence of events in this novel. 

I would like to quote a few lines as an excerpt from this novel which I liked the most:

"I mean, the camera always records what is real. It doesn't lie; it doesn't manipulate unless you explicitly want it to"

"And while faces may deceive, the camera does not lie. He can see it that her happiness has shrunk over the years"

"Well you did make a mistake Rati and I will make you realize it someday"

This book despite of being a debut novel by the author has got all the elements in place which is beautifully spun and can make even the iron hearts, melt...

This book is available in Amazon in both Paperback and eBook formats.

Book Review - How to get Published in INDIA

Title - How to get Published in INDIA
Author - Meghna Pant
Genre - Self Help
Publisher - Bloomsbury India
ISBN - 978-93-88271-06-6

If you are struggling to reach out to someone to help you in making the cut in the literary world, the answer lies in front of you – in the form of a book.

What makes this book special?
This book is certainly special for the fact that it is the first comprehensive one written specifically for the purpose of helping the aspiring authors to become a published author.

This book is divided into 4 chapters which includes:

1.       Writing
2.       Publishing
3.       Marketing and
4.       Essays

Each chapter is explained in great detail. Meghna has ensured that no instructions were left unexplained. She has included almost everything which includes how to develop a plot, building the characters, editing hacks, structuring the book, formatting the manuscript, Title, finances in the first chapter, among others.

The book then starts focusing on writing a synopsis, query letter, finding an agent, finding a publisher(explained in detail about traditional and self publishing with their nuances), what one could expect in a publishing contract,designing a book cover, publishing poetry/short story/non-fiction and how to handle a rejection in the second chapter.

The third chapter was about marketing which explains in detail about how you can go about promoting and marketing your book through social media, via PR, best marketing tools and getting book reviews.

What makes this book unique?

There is always a difference between being Special and Unique. This book is qualified for both the terms. The presence of work by some of the renowned authors like Jeffrey Archer, Durjoy Dutta, Ashwin Sanghi, Amish Tripathi, Ravi Subramanian, Preeti Shenoy, Rashmi Bansal, Shobha De which brings out the secret of their success and what made them click would make you feel really confident and when you are learning from the experts who have come up the hard way braving the odds, you don’t have to think twice before taking a plunge.

I can say it with 100% confidence that as of today(Feb 2019), this book is the best available resource in the market which would hold good for at least a decade, if not more…

This book is available on Flipkart & Amazon and on leading stores, offline.

Book Review - The Four Pillars : A Game Of Love

Title - The Four Pillars : A Game Of Love
Author - Ushasree V
Genre - Fiction(Romance)
Publisher - KDP(Amazon Kindle)

This novel revolves around 4 main characters – Urmila(Urmi),Jaitra(Jai),Anuj and Bhoomi(narrator of the story). Set in the early 90’s, this story would make you remember the nostalgia of those days. I must appreciate the author for not being even the minute details like using the PCO since the mobile did not made its cut(not even the pagers).

Urmi was the senior who was a real beauty and she saves Bhoomi from being ragged and that is how they get to introduced to each other. They soon become good friends. They also get their circle expanded to include Jai and Anuj.

The story revolves around the beautiful theme of friendship until things become complicated due to some misunderstandings. Naren and Dashis comes into the picture. Dashis is believed to have committed some sin in the past and he pays for it dearly.

Urmi liked Jai. Anuj liked Urmi. Jai liked Bhoomi. Please note that this should not be misunderstood as LOVE.

Bhoomi sets her goal to become a civil servant. Jai becomes one.

The way the preparation phase of civil services that was being explained deserves an applause because this could be related only by those who had atleast given an attempt once, if not clearing it. The concept of History being explained by Bhoomi to her friends made me rewind back by memories by 5 years where I was reminded of its significance by my tutor who despite of having a B.E. background, took up history to teach the civil service aspirants.

Things gets different when an incident separates Bhoomi from Urmi.

What was that incident?

What made things worse?

Did the friends reconcile forgetting their differences?

Read the novel to find out the answers

This book is available on Amazon in eBook format.

Book Review - The Last Avatar : Age of Kalki I

Title - The Last Avatar : Age of Kalki I
Author - Vishwas Mudagal
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Harper Collins India
ISBN - 978-93-5302-466-6

This is a novel which would be close to my heart as it has the fusion of myth and technology. Firstly, I was impressed with the cover - which shows the mighty Hanuman, the Vanara God in a Sci-Fi format. Hats off to the creative team who has designed this. The cover page has evoked interest as sn as I saw it. Then the title - "The Last Avatar : Age of Kalki I". As per the Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu is believed to come back to Earth in the form called "Kalki" when there is a spurt in the misdeeds, treachery, corruption, scam and other unwanted things.

Coming to the story. The story revolves around the protagonist Neel who is also known as Kalki. He heads the Astra Group which manufactures some out of the world technological equipment which were way ahead of his period.  He was also known to have mastered so many arts which makes him near invincible. This is proved when he gets captured by the Chinese Intelligence Agency wherein despite of being tortured for weeks and being injected with truth serum, he never utters a word. He also seems to have recovered three times faster than a normal human being when he was being hit.

Is he the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu?

The author has touched upon geo-political situation and has introduced a terrifying character called Master Zar who runs the terror outfit called Invisible Hand and has weaved a story as to how it join hands with few others to bring the world to their knees.

There was another major incident which happens in India where the entire Parliament gets blown up which kills all the MP's in one go including the Prime Minister and Ajay Pradhan becomes the Head of Indian High Command(IHC) which along with Army General and Head of Navy and Air Force along with the IAS officers starts administering the Country.

General Jian revolts against his father Wang and leads a coup to capture the power. He wanted to capture Shen and Nushen who were known as Homo Supernus who is believed to have some super powers.

Were they Humans or Aliens?

Then there was this secret place called Shambala which is believed to be protecting the scriptures of God which were safe guarded by Rudras.

The story revolves around various places and characters and there was a flashback for Neel which was not a good one to recall/remember for him. 

What I liked the most are the final two chapters.

Yes. Neel challenges the mighty Chinese Army all by himself in the border and when India was about to surrender its border, something unexpected happens.

What was it?

The climax (which isn't the end of the novel) is surreal and it would make anyone who reads it to wait eagerly for the release of the sequel. I am no exception.

This book is available on FlipkartAmazon on both Paperback and eBook formats.

Cook it tasty with Kitchen D'Lite

Cooking is an art. One has to exercise her/his skills in making the food taste delicious. This would become a humongous task especially when you have a food critic at home. While culinary skills forms a major role in making or breaking the final outcome, equal importance should be given to the ingredients as well. This is where the so called masala powder comes into the picture. India is known for its usage of traditional masala powder in its cuisine. Though some of them differ from State to State, there are few which are used uniformly across the country.

These powders enhances the taste of the final output and also makes them presentable in terms of appearance. I had the opportunity to try some of the powders from Kitchen D'lite which includes:

1. Tomato Powder
2. Garlic Powder
3. Red Onion Powder
4. Ginger Powder
5. Green Chilli Powder

Each one was unique in its own aspect. I used them across various food preparation and I must say that I was not disappointed.

There are few reasons as to why I would recommend this:

1. They are natural and safe.
2. They are easily soluble in water without leaving any clumps.
3. They have a longer shelf life(if stored properly).
4. They make cooking easy since you can substitute these powders in the place of the actual vegetables wherein you can save some time since you need not have to cut/chop them.
5. Taste does not differ and infact gives you the perfect finish.

How did I use them?

I used Tomato Powder while preparing Indian Soup(Rasam) and it tasted really good.

I used ginger powder while preparing Pongal since I myself use to segregate ginger when it was used in the preparation. Now that it is the form of powder, I don't have the option to do it. 

I used Green Chilli Powder(in very limited quantity) while making bread sandwich.

I used Garlic Powder while preparing Idli Podi. The taste was surreal.

I used Onion Powder while preparing Chutney.

Since these powder has multiple uses, they can be used day in and day out in our kitchen for making various cuisine. It is time that we tasted the real goodness that comes in a sealed pack.

You too can get these products and know about their wide range by clicking here

Book Review - V.Q.E

Title - V.Q.E
Author - Dr Vivek Gumaste
Genre - Memoir
Publisher - Notion Press
ISBN - 978-1-64467-978-4

When I first saw the title of the book, I wondered what does V.Q.E denote though I had a hint about the content after going through the cover which said “The tale of an Indian physician in the United Kingdom of the 1980’s

Before I could begin writing about the book, I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with the Preface and Prologue. I usually do not care to write much about this but the content in these two sections kindled the interest within me to finish reading the book in no time.

The content of the book can be put up in a single line as was mentioned in the quotes. The experience of Dr Vivek Gumaste who had graduated from one of the top medical institute (JIPMER) in the country was nothing less to be compared with an adventurer or explorer who was set to travel to an unknown land keeping only the education and work experience as his defense.

I was glad in a way that I saw some similarities with the author. Yes. I did work for a UK based bank for 8 years and not even once in those 8 years, had I worked on our Independence Day (August 15th). The sense of patriotism was very much evident in the writing of the author which brought out the reality of the so called “Developed Nation” during the 1980’s. The Country was riddled with racism and when he himself was a victim on couple of occasion, what more could stand as a testimony to it?
The book has been divided into Three Parts with 24 chapters in total. Though this is a memoir, author begs to differ. By all means, his thoughts are justified as well.

What I liked in this book is the way, the events were narrated which is nothing less than a fiction making it a real interesting one. It gives a vivid picture as to how favoritism ruled the appointments even in the incumbent field of medicine where only the Knowledge and Experience should have played a vital role. He also outlined the difficulties he faced with regards to food, culture, climate and customs. Lot of critical events have been vividly described and what I must appreciate in this book is the inclusion of intricate details which shows that the author possesses a great memory power considering the fact that this book was written almost after 30 years.

His struggle did yield him the desired results in the end but in order to achieve that, he has to undergo so many rigorous procedures braving his life, at times. Since I worked for a UK based company and was in the customer service department, I could clearly connect the difficulties an Indian would have faced in the initial stages especially when it comes to understanding their language and dialect.

There are two things I would like to mention among many learning points for me in this book.

1   1. Dr Vivek Gumaste set his foot in the U.K. in July,1980 and I was just a month old by then, to be precise.

2    2. We usually call the nurse as “Sister” which is reality is designated only for the “Head Nurse” and not for everyone.

Read this book which would open up new thoughts removing your doubts over how even a successful doctor has had to undergo so much in their life before they reach the place, where they are today…

This book is available on Amazon

Book Review - How I Survive Vizmom

Title - How I Survive Vizmom
Author - Dr Vidhu Bhatnagar
Genre - Self Help / Personality Development
Publisher - Notion Press
ISBN - 978-1-64429-887-9

Have you ever wondered as to what this life has to offer?
Are you the one who has been complaining constantly about LIFE?
Do you think that the LIFE is not treating you properly?
Most importantly, "ARE YOU A WORKING WOMAN?"

If your answer is YES(especially for the last question), this book is certainly for you. The author of this book is a renowned Neuroanesthesiologist who herself had faced lot of events/incidents in her life which has made her to pen this book.

The book was written so well that almost every chapter in this book has a mention of her own personal experience. This doesn't mean, it is her own and may differ from person to person. While this is true to some extent, the basic ideology behind this book is to ensure that none of the working women feel that she has been left alone or she has to carry all the burden over her shoulder(unless she is a Single Mother with young kids).

The book is a real interesting read since each of the 77 chapters does not stretch beyond 3 pages. The content is given in short and crisp manner which makes it really appealing. It is not possible for me to talk about all the 77 chapters as I may end up giving more information than required. Hence, I would like to highlight some of the topics which caught my attention, the moment I read. This includes but not limited to:

1. Be Positive
2. Ask for help from willing workers
3. Voice Out Expectations
4. Prioritize
5. Talk, Express, Share
6. Accept Compliments
7. Avoid Negativity
8. Stay Healthy
9. Know Your Weakness
10. Forgive Yourself
11. Be True to Yourself
12. Introspect
13. Be Content
14. Stand Your Ground
15. Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

By now, you would have got a fair idea as to what this book could offer. Yes. It covers almost all the major aspects in one's life in a subtle manner and though this was mainly about the constraints of a working woman, even I felt that many of the points mentioned here are applicable to me as well, since I have also come across some of them in my life. As it is rightly said in this book "Expression and Sharing is not only about problems, disappointments and complaints but more so about love, happiness, joy and respect".

This book would serve as a perfect guide in your personality development (and can also help in a greater extent to have a happy and contended family)as it is in a DIY(Do It Yourself) format since no one can own up your life, commitments and trouble but YOU...

This book is available on Amazon and Flipkart