Book Review - The "y" Boyfriend : Life doesn't end at x


Title - The "y" Boyfriend : Life doesn't end at x
Author - Atul Kumar
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - MyBooks
ISBN - 978-8194-8-32362

Life isn't easy for a divorcee irrespective of who it is. This is even more cumbersome when the affected is a woman. This story revolves around two characters - Shreya & Rahul, both of them are divorcees. The turbulent mindset and the situation they go through especially when they are going through a divorce is captured really well in this novel.

While Aashna was in a long distance relationship with Rehan, she was in dilemma as to how would the long distance relationship works. This is where Rahul, father of Aashna comes into picture and starts describing about how he and her mother Shreya had actually met which in itself was a long distance relationship which eventually fructified.

Aashna was actually shocked to hear the story of her parents. Though they were divorcees in their life, what made them to take that decision and how eventually they had met their soul partner online is described in a vivid manner.

The characterization and the way story progresses would make anyone shed tears. The kind of humiliation which Rahul has to go through for no fault of his and Shreya being manhandled by her ex husband shows how these are rampant in our country and how most of them are hidden but does not come to the limelight.

The meeting of Shreya and Rahul is an interesting aspect. The story revolves around long distance relationship since Rahul was in Dubai and Shreya is in Delhi.

How and where did they meet?
Did the long distance relationship work in this case?

This book is certainly one of its kind since it spoke in great detail about lot of aspects including long distance relationships, divorce, remarriage and the troubles which a couple of soul has to go through to seal an everlasting relationship.

The book is certainly an eye-opener since it gives you the microscopic analysis of the testing times some of the genuine people has to go through for no fault of theirs and should bring about a change in a miniscule in the society, if not a complete changeover... A women empowerment story is what I would say....

This book is available on Amazon

Launch of Amma Samayal - another initiative by Celebrity Chef Dr Vinoth Kumar

A new venture has announced its arrival and with a bang this morning.

Renowned Chef Dr Vinoth Kumar has launched Amma Samayal

What is special about this?

There are quite a few. First and foremost, it is the brainchild of Chef Dr Vinoth and this was inaugurated by Celebrity Chef Mrs Mallika Bardinath and Paati Vaithiyam

The event also witnessed the presence of Mallika Angela, Ghun Jain, Instagrammers Regional Foodie and Chennai Foodie among others.

The idea of this venture are listed below:

1. Finest Chefs
2. Hygienic Kitchen
3. Affordable Cost
4. Home made feel food

They serve delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner. While breakfast and lunch are on Takeaway concept as of now, Dinner will also have dine-in option. Since they have good amount of space, people who walk in can sit under the tree, enjoy the nature and have their food.

I tasted Rava Kesari, Idli, Pongal, Vada, Coconut & Hot Chutneys, Sambar, Podi Dosai, Muffins and Donuts.

I was thoroughly impressed with the taste and the quality.

They have a cart like structure wherein you could get your favourite dosas prepared hot and served.

They also have eggless option for muffins/cupcakes and donuts.

Location is given on the description.

Try it. You will fall in love with it.

Empower and Enrich your knowledge with IBM


Image Credit - IBM

IBM is one of the few companies in this world which engages in empowering the knowledge of its end users. They are constantly innovating thereby adapting themselves to the ever-changing world. They invest heavily in the technology which includes the likes of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Block Chain, Machine Learning (ML), Data Science to name a few.

Why is this so important?

Technology has been the frontrunner across various sectors wherein it has helped not just the company which is deploying it but the entire Nation/World to reap the benefits that is arising out of it.

Consider the following examples:

1.    Constructing a building with the help of 3-D Print technology. This has enhanced the speed and the capability of the engineers. The output is more accurate and appealing

2.    Weather Forecasting. Unlike earlier, countries were able to predict the weather and its aftermath more accurately. This helps in averting major disaster by making the nation equipped with all the requirements to combat the storm/floods.

These are just couple of examples which flashed in my mind as soon as I thought about the usage of technology which augments the human life and behavior.

There is a famous saying “Change is Constant”. Since companies like IBM are in the Technology space, it comes to them naturally where they invest heavily on it. By doing this, they not only help themselves but the World as a whole.  Speaking about technology and its uses, I am sure you would have come across their famous “Call for Code” campaign which sees some of the brightest minds from across the globe competing actively to prove their mettle and see them bagging the coveted title along with the cash prize of USD5,000. The theme for each year gets changed as per that particular year’s requirement and this year, the winner who bet on AI Farming has bagged the title. You could see more about this by clicking here

The ideas that were incubated found its light through this campaign which otherwise would have remained a dream. When you get a platform which only recognises your idea but also help you in achieving it, will you not be taking the first step to move towards it? Technology is playing a vital role wherein the developer could come out with most sustainable and actionable solutions for a greater support to the mankind.

Having discussed about all the above, we should also look into some ground level reality. Not all could afford to undertake courses to sharpen their skills due to their financial commitments or otherwise. To make this process simpler and affordable to all, IBM is also offering FREE Courses.

YES. You read it right!

They are offering courses on:

  • 1.    Cloud
  • 2.    Data Science Foundation
  • 3.    Python for Data Science
  • 4.    Deep Learning
  • 5.    Setting Up Your Own Chatbot
  • 6. Introduction to Containers, Kubernetes and Open Shift

Doesn’t this sound interesting to you? If yes, all you need to do it to enroll yourselves by heading over to this website

IF you ask, why you need to do this and what is in it for you, consider these pointers.

  • a.     These courses are offered absolutely FREE of cost.
  • b.    These are self-paced courses which means you can progress at your own pace.
  • c.     Certification from IBM which is recognized globally.
  • d.    Empower yourself with the practical knowledge.
  • e.     Implement them and make your dream become a reality.

When there is such an opportunity available right in front of you, would you think twice to grab it? You do not get something of great value for FREE but when there is one, you need to grab it before it is gone. Do you agree with me?

Spend your holidays in a  productive way by enhancing your skills with these beautifully curated courses.

All you need to invest is just one important aspect – Your T-I-M-E.

Author Focus - Amit Sati(Author of "Lo-Fi + Mashups: A Journey of Continuance")


1.What motivates you to write?

For me writing is all about documenting my thoughts collected by interacting with others and myself. A compelling incident or discussion with people around me or a news article or something like that could really motivate me to write it down. I am still new into professional writing, so things are still edgy and that looks pretty reasonable to me.


2. How did you feel after publishing your books?

After publishing my first book, it would be difficult to simply say I am happy. It felt like many emotions rushing across my mind for days. I was excited and happy, but more stressed about the fate of that book, scared about reviews, and a bit relieved that finally I published a book.  


3. What are some of your favourite novels and authors?

I think Franz Kafka and Albert Camus are my favourite authors these days. The writing style of Kafka is so striking and moving that it takes a long time just processing the content. Camus’ objective writing style, which leads to the philosophy of Absurdism is still refreshing and fulfilling, even though he wrote almost half century ago.      


4. What inspired you to write the books(in general)? Any tales to tell…

I must thank Covid-19 outbreak if it comes to my actual inspiration to complete my first book. There has been so much time staying at home that my casual writing was propelled and in just few months my Google notes app was filled with poems. At that moment, I realised, I should get these published to clean up my notes app.


5. What was your biggest learning experience throughout the writing process?

It’s a bit easy to write than to talk about it. At times, it becomes difficult to explain few emotions to people around us but easy to write it down.


6. Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?

Still too early to say anything.


7. Any future books that you would like to discuss now?

I have already started working on my second book, it’s a fiction. It revolves around the life of a war refugee woman. The book will talk about her emotional journey to survive everyday in a new city all alone. There are emotional, ethical and physical challenges that she has to fight every day.


8.Do you write the story at a stretch or you take your time to complete it? If you take a longer time, wouldn’t you be forgetting the story? How do you tackle it?

I don’t write at a stretch for sure. But yes, I try to finish the part that I am think about in a stretch. Because I still haven’t written a story as such so, I can take the liberty of writing in bits and pieces.


9.How is the response so far for the book?

To be very frank, not a lot of people has purchased my first book. It’s only friends and family that I was able to convince to read my book. Everyone looks impressed, most of them would be shy to really criticize. Mostly people are happily surprised that I actually wrote a book. I will wait for the book to reach the wider audience and find out more about how people feel about it in coming days.

PR - Launching of FRUITS Portal - an initiative of e-Governance Department


Chennai, 22nd December 2020: A function was organized on 22 December 202 , wherein the “FRUITS”(Farmer Registration and Unified Beneficiary Information System) Portal, a project of e-Governance, Government of Karnataka was inaugurated.


Delivering the key note address, Ms. A. Manimekhalai, Executive Director, Canara Bank, observed that Karnataka State Government has always been in the forefront of technical initiatives to improve the ease of Banking as can be seen from the various initiatives like BHOOMI Package, Debt Waiver Portal and currently, the FRUITS Portal.  The FRUITS Portal is integrated to the BHOOMI Package of the Karnataka State for fetching and validating the land details.  One other important facility of this Portal is online creation of charge by which visit of farmers to Sub-Registrar Office is avoided. She thanked the Karnataka State Government and NABARD for identifying our Bank for launching the pilot project and assured that they will take all necessary steps to make the Project, a success.


Speaking on the occasion, Sri Rajeev Chawla, Additional Chief Secretary, e-Governance, Government of Karnataka informed that this is the latest initiative from the Government of Karnataka to bring all the farmers in the State with land and other details to a single Portal.  In this Portal, all the farmers will be registered and given a FID Number.  Using this number, the Financial Institutions and Lending Institutions can access the land details of the farmers as well as their borrowings and take a quick decision on lending to the farmers depending on their requirements.  It is hoped that Bankers will find this initiative, a very useful one.  He also lauded Canara Bank for agreeing to take up the Project on a pilot basis.   Once the same is found successful, all other Financial Institutions will be brought on to the Portal so that at one place, all the data pertaining to the loans of the farmers will be available.


Sri Niraj Verma, Chief General Manager & Head of Karnataka Regional Office, NABARD informed that NABARD is always in the forefront to enable improvements in the living standards of farmers by taking initiatives in various fronts such as providing refinance at cheaper rates to Societies and RRBs etc.  He also informed that FRUITS Portal is the first of its kind in the country wherein the land and other details of all the farmers in the State are being captured and he hoped that this Project should serve as a role model to other States in the country.  Karnataka, being the IT Hub of the country, always had tech-enabled initiatives and this FRUITS Portal is one such proposal from the Government.  He also appreciated Canara Bank for accepting the pilot Project and hoped that soon all financial institutions will be onboarded to the Portal so as to have a single data source of the farmers. He thanked Department of e-Governance, Government of Karnataka for spearheading this initiative.


The gathering was welcomed by Dr K U Viswanathan, General Manager, NABARD and vote of thanks was proposed by Sri K.R. Badrinath, Deputy General Manager, Canara Bank.


About Canara Bank:

Widely known for customer centricity, Canara Bank was founded by Shri Ammembal Subba Rao Pai, a great visionary and philanthropist, in July 1906, at Mangaluru, then a small port town in Karnataka. Canara Bank is the fourth-largest public sector bank in the country after its amalgamation with Syndicate


Bank in April 2020. At present, it is functioning with 10,498 Branches, and 13,023 ATMs throughout. The Bank has gone through various phases of its growth trajectory over the hundred years of its existence. The growth of Canara Bank was phenomenal, especially after nationalization in the year 1969, attaining the status of a national level player in terms of geographical reach and clientele segments. In June 2006, the Bank completed a century of operation in the Indian banking industry. The eventful journey of the Bank has been characterized by several memorable milestones. Today, Canara Bank occupies a premier position in the comity of Indian banks.

PR - Store, Save & Share in India, says Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, launches Digiboxx - India's first indigenous Digital Asset Management platform


Chennai, 22.12.2020: DigiBoxx is India’s first digital management provider. I am very glad on how this offering has evolved from a mere concept, just an idea to an actual product which will greatly benefit Indian citizens as well as private and government institutions, when it comes to providing digital storage and asset management services. The development of DigiBoxx, in many ways is a testimony to kind of impact the tech start-ups in India are making and kind of role they should play in enabling to make rapid technological advances in the post COVID era. I am very happy to know that DigiBoxx offers digital file storage and organization by providing an easy secured way to store data, all on an Indian digital storage cloud. The development of DigiBoxx is also in line with a mandate of storing data within the country and therefore ensure data sovereignty and security. We have been working with the private sector to develop cutting-edge security products which would enable our country to lead in the post COVID era. Working with the private sector, we were able to develop several products which address themes ranging from financial inclusions to making higher education accessible to all. Therefore, I am indeed very proud when I see young technopreneurs taking the lead and working towards solidifying India’s future as the product, artificial intelligence and technology lab of the world. With over 600 million connections, India is the largest consumer broadband in the world. 500 million + are using smart phones.  India is world’s highest data usage for smart phone at an average 9.8 GB per month and the number is set to nearly double by 2024.  Not to forget the availability of mobile data at cheapest cost. There lies an opportunity to proliferate the citizens and ensure that the government services reach the last mile. In fact a lot of e-governance initiatives throughout the country have been deployed as cloud services at digital India programme and this is the growing need for cloud services in order to significantly improve infrastructural bottle lines.  The pandemic has further boosted the need for a robust and ubiquitous digital asset management services in India in the same way as monetization boosted digital payment. 


Ladies and gentlemen, we will present here  today’s  testimony to the fact that NITI Aayog and the Government have been an active participant in enabling innovations and developing new frontier solutions.  NITI Aayog, along with AWS has launched the frontier technologies, cloud innovation centre, a public-private partnership which would address societal challenges through digital innovations. At the same time, the government’s vision of cloud 2022  is aimed at making India a global hub for cloud storage, management and computing. To the team at DigiBoxx, we, at the Government of India, are indeed very proud of what you’ve been able to achieve. Start-ups such as yours will provide the boost for India to take the lead of post COVID era which will be driven by transformational technology solutions.  I would also urge people as well as institutions to try DigiBoxx, India’s fully homegrown data storage and asset management service. This prouduct is a great achievement for our country and entrepreneurs and we must not only support DigiBoxx but also search innovations which are unique to India and are driven by young and promising technology leaders. I would once again like to congratulate the DigiBoxx team and wish them all the best and all the success for their product. I am sure that the people will avail your service and give your product a try. I look forward to more innovative solutions from you and all the other start-ups of the country. We are all here to provide you all the support, assistance and hand-holding.  Thank you very much.

Book Review - Shall we Tango, Charlie?


Title - Shall we Tango,Charlie?
Author - Chetna Lumb Bedi
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - FingerPrint!
ISBN - 978-93-9009-305-2

There are only very few books out of hundreds and thousands out there which celebrates womanhood and portray the character as a protagonist. This title is one such and unlike others, the subject that was handled in this beautiful novel is about the lives of the women who chose an unlikely profession – to be in the Indian Air Force.

This story discusses in great detail about the pressure and other unlikely circumstances which the women has to go through in the job which begins with vigorous training and how they brave it and overcome. I loved the way the story had flowed from the beginning till the end which shows the two faces of a woman – Soft and Hard nature.

Soft nature when it comes to personal/family affairs and Hard nature when it comes to handling the challenges in the work front. This book carries the spirit of hopes, love, affection, determination and all other characters which flows naturally through the lead character Ahana Lamba.

Ahana Lamba gets selected along with Dana Dixit, Priya Shetty and few others to be inducted as a Garud Commando in the IAF (Indian Air Force). Though she considered Dana as her arch nemesis, they soon become good friends and complement each other when the training was imparted. Priya Shetty on the other hand was a soft-spoken girl whose grit was brought out by Ahana and Dana.

Ahana had lost her parents and was raised by her Uncle Ranjeet and Aunt Shashi in the U.K. She has a carefree attitude and is an expert in Krav Maga and other Martial Arts. Dana too had lost her father and her uncle considered her  as a disgrace since he never thought that she could make it to the military force (since her entire lineage served the Indian Military in various capacities).

When they were getting trained up in BTI, Wing Commander James Matthews tries to act smart but he gets it back royally from Ahana.

What did she do?

Ahana was suppose to become the first ever female Garud Commando but chooses to extend her training at GRTC for another 40 weeks.

Why did she choose to extend it?

Wing Commander Tej Randhawa was heading GRTC and Ahana gets trained by Flight Lieutenant Suri who was nick named Maverick by Ahana. This 40 weeks of extended training with each of the 10 training – in Desert, Jungle, High Altitude, Paratrooping and others were such an intimidating task to clear.

Did Ahana clear these vigorous training modules?

It was really interesting to read the face-off between Latif Squad headed by Dana and Katre Squad headed by Ahana. Which squad emerged victorious?

While everything was going fine, Ahana meets Aamir Hussein under an unusual circumstance. He and his girlfriend Miriam become close to her. There was some hidden secret behind Aamir.

What was it?

Like I mentioned earlier, this book has the right proposition of all that is required for a novel and will have you captivated from the beginning till the end. I would surely recommend this novel.

This book is available on Amazon in paperback format.

Author Focus - Kanika Singhal(Author of " Rage Of The Immortals : The Caretakers")


1.What motivates you to write? 

I write because it is fun. I enjoy the process of creating scenes and dialogues in my head and then putting them down in writing. I enjoy coming back to old pieces and re-reading them, editing them, making them better, or deleting them altogether. I enjoy reading a twist, even when it is my own writing so I know what's coming. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, a chapter already in my head and I know that if I don't write it immediately, it will be gone by morning. Having said that, a lot of writing involves spade-work, the fillers and the connections between chapters, which are not as much fun, but still need doing. You do it because until you do, the story is not complete for sharing with others. Details that you take for granted in your head, still need to be put to paper for others to enjoy your work as much as you do. 


2. How did you feel after publishing your books?

Before publishing, I had honestly thought that my work is over. I can wrap up this book and just focus on the next. I can already hear seasoned authors laughing! Post-publishing has been a lot of work as well. It was surprising that people don't automatically come to know of your book, don't automatically trust you enough to read your work. Looking back, it should have been obvious! It has been a learning curve and I am thankful to all the people who took the time to explain the nitty-gritties to me. 


3. What are some of your favourite novels and authors?

Terry Pratchett is my all time favourite! Jeffrey Archer, JK Rowling are authors I grew up with. Bankim Chandra and Devkinandan Khatri are authors I read in my childhood but I still remember how I felt reading some of those stories. I specially liked Devkinandan Khatri-ji's style of always keeping the reader in suspense. I feel if I can write even half as well as any of these, I will consider myself a success as a writer.


4. Is there a specific reason for naming your novel?

Yes, I am so glad you asked. There is a dual reason for the name of the book. The first is that the book revolves around the enmity between two immortals, and how everyone else just becomes pawns in  their games. The second is that the book introduces Emotions as sentient beings, and Rage is one of the main characters. 


5. Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or the hills?

I wish! No, I write whenever I can get a few minutes to myself. I write on my phone, a few sentences at a time usually. Longer blocks of writing need to be arranged around my day-job and my kids. I can either write or binge-watch a series. Sometimes I choose one, sometimes the other. That's why this book has taken almost four years to complete!


6. What was your biggest learning experience throughout the writing process?

That you can't wait for the stars to align. You can't wait till the conditions are just right to put down that first sentence, to tell your story.

The second is that your story grows with you as a person, so something you write today might seem silly by the time you end. Your language also grows better, stronger. That's why I can't emphasize the importance of self-editing and getting the assistance of a professional editor, enough. Those can make or break your work. Also, you should have good beta-readers who can give you an honest opinion on what works and what does not.


7. Any best piece of writing advice that you would like to share with new or struggling writers?

I am myself new, still at the stage of seeking advice. I would not presume to give others any, except to keep on writing, keep polishing old pieces, keep learning.


8. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?

I think one thing that usually surprises people is that I am quite an introvert, and avoid talking to people, specially strangers. It takes a lot of mentally kicking myself to make me summon the guts to reach out to people. I also have a major fear of public speaking, and every meeting, every presentation in my day-job is an exercise in overcoming that fear. 

That's a recurring theme in my book as well - my characters struggle against innate shortcomings and strive to be better, like Cifer who struggles against his anger, Kara who struggles against her inner demons and Atom who struggles to balance the opposing aspects of his personality.


9. Any future books that you would like to discuss now?

I am working on the next book in this series. I am calling it "Hell Freezes Over" and it picks up from "Rage of the Immortals'.

10. What other profession excites you the most?

I really like my day-job a lot. I am a business analyst and that is something I quite enjoy doing.


11. Any special mention about your reader (be it with reviews/feedback or anything else)

Yes! Please read the book and let me know what you think - Do you like it? What parts do you like best? Was there anything that especially resonated with you, or you found especially interesting?

My instagram is rage.of.the.immortals

My facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/RageOfTheImmortals

I am on twitter as https://twitter.com/KanikaSinghal_


12. Do you write the story at a stretch or you take your time to complete it? If you take a longer time, wouldn’t you be forgetting the story? How do you tackle it?

I took quite long, specifically 4 years from start to finish. I had to work around my day-job and daily responsibilities, but I wrote small bits at a time to finish the book. You are right, there is a risk of forgetting the story, and that's why I had to spend a lot of time re-reading the book at interim stages so ensure the coherence of the book.


13. Traditional or Self-Publishing? Why?

I self-published, mostly because I was so glad to have finished the book and so eager to get it off my hands so that I could start on the next one.


14. How is the response so far for the book?

The response has been great! People who have read the book have been reaching out to me to tell me how much they enjoyed it. It gives me great pleasure to hear their thoughts and their praise for something I have worked on for so long. It took me 4 years to build this book, but now the four years seem quite well spent!

PR - First Ever Applied Theatre Conference in India Grabbed International Attention


Applied Theatre is a creative process which can be used in diverse sectors with different kinds of stakeholders such as schools, Government & Non-Government Organizations, Businesses, Social and Community Development etc. To explore the practices and potentials in India Applied Theatre India Foundation organized India’s first ever virtual conference on ‘Role of Applied Theatre in Indian Society’ which took place on 12th and 13th December 2020. The conference was supported by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi.


The conference was inaugurated by the hands of Shri Dinesh Patnaik, Director General, ICCR and in the presence of Dr. Swaroop Sampat – Rawal and Shri Kaustubh Bankapure, Director, Applied Theatre India Foundation. Shri Kaustubh said, ‘The purpose of Applied Theatre is to make people aware about their real issues and help them explore the best possible way to deal with it. Applied Theatre is gaining importance worldwide because it deals with a tremendous amount of hope and possibility of exploration to deal with issues in a very positive way. It’s a high time now that Applied Theatre should be introduced as a mainstream area of study supported by solid research by the practitioners and the virtual conference is the first step towards formalizing the Applied Theatre study in India.’


Shri Patnaik said, ‘This is a new concept and this needs more elaboration. I am happy to see that we are getting together through this conference to see how Applied Theatre touches all of us in our everyday life. We will continue to do this kind of conferences in future also.’ Dr. Swaroop Sampat – Rawal from Mumbai delivered a key note speech on ‘The Magic of Drama in Education’ and Dr. Sanjoy Ganguly from Janasanskriti, Kolkata delivered a valedictory speech on ‘Theatre, an Art of Creating Connection’.


Ravi Ramswamy, Radhika Jain, Srividya Srinivas (Bangalore), Manasee Mahajan, Mahrukh Bharucha, Vaibhav Lokur (Pune), Dr. Nilesh Parekh and Ms. Priyal Shah, Dakxin Bajarange (Ahmedabad), Saket Raje (Mumbai), Dr. Selina Busby (London), Abhishek Goswami (Jaipur) and Dr. Sarah Saddler (USA) participated virtually and presented their research papers in this conference. These papers discussed various Applied Theatre subjects such as theatre in education, theatre of the oppressed, playback theatre, special education need, National Education Policy, Theatre in Corporate and storytelling. The conference were attended by more than 15,000 viewers from India, UK, USA, Brazil, Germany and Australia.


Kaustubh Bankapure added further, ‘The conference presentations are available on Applied Theatre India Foundation’s YouTube channel and all the research papers will be available in the form of an E-book which will be available for free.’



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