Book Review - Past Dwellers : Change your mindset to change your life


Title - Past Dwellers : Change your mindset to change your life
Author - Samridh Seth
Genre - Personal Development & Self Help(Non-Fiction)
Publisher - authors upfront
Cover Design - Neena Gupta
ISBN - 978-9-38728-081-6

I was really amazed when I finished reading the book. You may even feel intimidated but when I say this, you would agree after reading the book yourself since the content is such. The book is less than 100 pages but it is a power packed one. Surprisingly, author is his twenties but that doesn't mean he couldn't write one.

These are the chapters in this beautiful book.

1. Past Dwellers
2. Is it Really that bad?
3. Palm Trees
4. The Pyramid Scheme
5. The Club Above the Clouds
6. The Dark Horse
7. Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It...
8. An Elephant has Two Sets of Teeth
9. Aim for the Stars, You Might Reach Space
10. Don't Fly too Close to the Sun
11. Tomorrow Never Comes
12. Making it Rain
13. Hunt or Be Hunted
14. Being Good
15. The Rise of the Phoenix
116. The Awakening!

Now I am going to discuss about some of these chapters, not in that particular order, as to why I find this book irresistible.

Author discusses in great detail as to why the time is important and why no one shouldn't consider missing it. Though we may have been iterated and reiterated about this in the past and even at the present moment, the usage of carious examples in this book makes it unique.

He speaks about the concept of using the Hour Glass to put for the point. Each chapter carries a beautiful illustration which complements it perfectly. After speaking about the time, he starts speaking about Palm Trees and gives various information about how Palm Tree brave the odds and what we could infer from it.

I liked one of the chapters in particular where he discusses about the Pyramid Structure. The concept of 30:30:30:10 where you get to spend your time with Less, Equal, More Intellectual and Yourself is simply splendid. I would certainly give an applause for this concept.

Then there are many aspects he covers including the reference from Bhagavad Gita, Social Media, Efforts, Humility and Respect, Quick Money, Loving Yourself, Change, Perseverance to name a few. Again, I would like to mention about two more aspects which deeply moved me. In one of the chapters, he talks about the importance of being "Jack of All Trades instead of being a King/Master of One" in the present context and the reasons he gave for that certainly justifies his view point. 

Last but not the least, his reference to two contradicting titles - "Tomorrow Never Comes" and "Be Paranoid and Stay Calm" has more logical explanations to make us agree to his view point.

This book is certainly one of its kind. I liked the way author has presented the content and the flow of it making it a real interesting read.

This book is available on Amazon

Book Review - MAKING IT BIG : The Inspiring Story of Nepal's First Billionaire in His Own Words


Title -MAKING IT BIG : The Inspiring Story of Nepal's First Billionaire in His Own Words
Author - Binod Chaudhary
Genre - Autobiography
Cover Photography - Kishor Kayastha
Cover Composition - Neeraj Nath
Publisher - Penguin India
ISBN - 978-0-143-42603-5

A real inspiring autobiography which details the life journey of an humble entrepreneur in his own words where he explains candidly as to how he made himself a billionaire. This is a 400 odd page book but trust me, it gives the insights of what a "shrewd" businessman should be. They say "Castles aren't built overnight" and unlike in a movie, where the hero becomes a multi billionaire in just over a song, Binod Chaudhary, the first billionaire from Nepal took few decades to become one and he is going strong by leaps and bounds with no looking back.

The book is divided into 4 parts namely:
1. Birth
2. The Ascent
3. Rebirth and
4. My Business Mantras

The book begins with his horrific experience in Chile where he get caught in a massive earthquake which almost looked like a perfect thriller story, but in this case, was a real one. The book details out the differential kind of treatment, the Marwari communities received in Nepal. He also points out subtly the inner caste differences when author tried to get married to the girl who he loved the most. Though he succeeded in claiming her hand, the trouble he had to go through were cumbersome.

Strangely, I felt a lot of connect with the book. One of them being, my parents never wanted to send me  the boarding school though they used that as a weapon whenever I quarreled with my sibling. On the other hand, author, who had 3 sons sent each of them to the best boarding school in India which has helped them in becoming what they are today looking after the family businesses in Nepal, Singapore and Dubai.

There are lot of takeaways from this book which ranges from managerial to psychological. You would also clearly understand that becoming a tycoon is no easy job and you have to brave the tides along the way as you may tend to get disturbed through various quarters/directions which includes politics.

Also, to become a successful businessman, one has to be good in negotiations and also to grab the right opportunities at the right time apart from diversifying the business which is what he did which saw him transform his garment business to other verticals which includes Automobile, Banking, Beverages, Cigarettes, Discotheque, Food, Hotels, Malls and School among others.

His affinity towards cars and relationship with various world leaders and his spiritual guru apart from taking a plunge in politics were explained in great detail in this book.

What attracted me the most was his transformation of watching "Taj Palace Hotel" in Mumbai to becoming a partner of the Taj Asia and staying in the suite in the same hotel and recollecting the past would go a long way in inspiring today's striving entrepreneurs and young minds to become successful.

Even though this book was released in 2016, I had the opportunity only to grab it 5 years later but I have no regrets since I believe in " It is better late than never". 

I am sure you would have heard about the "Wai Wai" noodles. This iconic brand is owned by him.

This book is available on Amazon

Book Review - Meeting Yama


Title - Meeting Yama
Author - Manoj V Jain
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Notion Press
ISBN - 978-1-63633-548-3

A title like this would certainly grab the attention of the readers. I was no exception. I got intrigued by it and picked up a copy for myself. What is this book all about?

This is a fictional story with the mix of legends and myths that would make you retrospect about your understanding about Life and most importantly, the Death. The cover page was really apt for the title. I have read some of the previous works of the author and was sure that even this book would be completely different just like his previous ones. I was correct.

Initially, I thought it would be a suspense/crime thriller. I was proved wrong. The flow of the write up was done in such a way that you would not feel the boredom and you would finish it in one go.

There are three protagonists in this book namely:

Surya and

Each had their own problems in their life. This varied from death of a close relative, miscarriage of a child, illness. Though they were successful otherwise, these events continued to haunt them that they decided to take a trip to Varanasi.

Why Varanasi?

They also get to meet each other over there and the story continues.

Did they get to learn or got to know the answers for their questions in Varanasi?

There are few things which makes this novel stand out. What are those?

On the first half, it talks about various events that makes our life which includes marital relationship, love, misunderstandings, struggles etc, These were captured in great detail which would make you feel as if you are watching it in real. On the second half, I felt, it is about "Self-Realisation" wherein each and every protagonist who had varied assumptions about the place they visit comes across few events which make them realize the truth behind certain notions which is not only logical but also retrospective.

Read this unputdownable novel to find out more. This story has lot of takeaways and I am sure, you would appreciate the message which author had tried to put across...

This book is available on Amazon

Jumboking: Indian Railways launches its 1st food truck at Pune railway station


'Jumboking', one of India’s most trusted QSR brands has opened it's food truck at the Pune railway station premises. The brands’ interesting and varied choice of menu suits all tastes. Passengers can choose from the best of combo deals, burgers, fries, wraps, coke and thick shakes. Also, the JK super saver combo and JK loaded sides are a must have.


Dheeraj Gupta, founder of Jumboking says, “ the vision of the IRSDC and Indian Railways has always been to serve the passengers.  Indian Railway Stations Development Cooperation Ltd. (IRSDC) has been at the forefront of transforming the landscape of Indian Railways. Going further, we hope to be of service to the IRSDC, which promises to be an integral force in launching many more unique initiatives and services for  the improved satisfaction of the passengers.”


Sanjeev Lohia, Managing Director and CEO, IRSDC said, " We are proud of what IRSDC has achieved so far in Facility management segment.We have launched some of the firsts in Indian Railways like ‘Air to Water kiosk‘at Secunderabad railway station, Fit India Squat kiosk’ & ‘Digital Cloak Room’ at Anand Vihar station in New Delhi. Going further, we are committed to work for passenger satisfaction and offer them best of amenities at affordable prices. We are also working steadfastly towards station re/development i.e. building rail malls across the country. With the support of MoR, we shall achieve our mission in near future."

About Jumboking

Jumboking is India’s largest chain of homegrown Quick Service Restaurants, incepted on 23rd August 2001 by Dheeraj Gupta. This asset-light company is one of the pioneers in franchising in India.

Jumboking is a favourite on-the-go eating option in Mumbai, among college students and young working professionals, with 115+ outlets in Mumbai, New Bombay, Thane & Pune. In 2019, Lucknow became a new market for the company.

The company leverages technology to propel its customer facing and internal control systems, and has delivery tie-ups with Swiggy and Zomato to service out -of-store orders.

Webpage: https://www.jumboking.co.in  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JumbokingIndia/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jumboking_india/

Gain Knowledge and Win assured Coursera Codes worth US$800 with IBM’s Digital Developer Conference


IBM has been conducting the Digital Developer Conference on a regular basis. Those who has taken part in their previous year’s activities or those who are regular in their #CallForCode campaign or those who follow their social media pages would know this for sure.

Cloud was the theme for last year and for this year, it is Data and AI (Artificial Intelligence). For a software programmer/developer, this event is like a ritual since this sees the participation from all over the country with bright minds trying to compete with each other, in their respective domain.

I was lucky to be a participant of The Hindu Businessline and The Weather Company (an IBM Company) conference on how the weather impacts the business and how does AI help them to overcome the shortfalls and unexpected events. This event saw the participation from industry stalwarts which included DR R S Sodhi, Chairman of Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) which owns the brand Amul and Mr P C Musthafa, CEO and Co-Founder of ID fresh foods. The discussion gave some great insights on how these major brands being in the Dairy and Fresh Foods industry which are highly perishable and with lesser shelf life overcome the hurdles with the help of AI. Mr Musthafa said that they have the data of the past 10 years wherein they know as to how many packs of their brand would be sold in a particular shop on a particular day. This helps them to avoid wastage/returns. Their returns are pegged at just 2% in Bengaluru. This shows how AI helps them in leveraging the data.

The above example was given just to give a bigger picture as to how the technology could be put to great use. Now that we have the Digital Developer Conference coming up on 24th November, 2020, there is no better time or better platform to showcase your skills in this field. This would not only help you to bring it to reality, the ideas you have conceived which could help the community in a much bigger and better way.

You may ask, “What’s in it for me”?

This is where, it gets even more interesting. To start with, you could get a Date & AI Essentials badge. All you need to do is to visit the site and perform these steps:

· Successful completion of a face-to-face Data & AI Essentials workshop delivered by the IBM Client Developer Advocate team, which includes hands-on labs.

· OR

·  Take the online course Data & AI Essentials Workshop offered on Cognitive Class.

· Complete and pass the badge quiz on Cognitive Class. (Note: The quiz link is made available at the end of the face-to-face class or at the end of the online course).

Post this, flaunt the badge on your website/cv and on your social media channels.

You may keep browsing the site for more info or come back without fail on the 24th of November 2020 when the actual conference happens. Attend it and post completing the conference, you are entitled for a FREE Course on Coursera worth US$800. Can it get any better than this? The courses can be redeemed anytime until March 30,2021. These are the following courses on offer which you can avail.

IBM AI Enterprise Workflow Specialization
IBM Machine Learning Professional Certificate
IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
Advanced Data Science with IBM Specialization

This isn’t over yet. The event will see eminent speakers and product specialists which includes:

1.       Aaron Baughman

2.       Bill Higgins

3.       Dale Davis

4.       David Bartram-Shaw

5.       David Carew

6.       Don Scott

7.       Fernando Perez

8.       Francesca Rossi

9.       Greg Bramble among others. Well, the list is real long (almost 35 speakers in total).

      Do you know?

      You can even host a watch party of this conference and watch it along with your friends.

      There is a short video for you to watch to get to know more about this prestigious event.


Most importantly, for the developers, these sessions are made available On-Demand at launch. There is also a competition with Prize Money of US$5000 for Call for Code Spot Challenge on Wildfires. Ge your team together. Register for the Conference and be ready to take the world by storm, with your coding.

My Publishing Experience with the BookMedia Publishing Company


I have had always lived under the impression that writing a book is enough. I would be getting media attention and will find my book in any random book store of India. But the reality is way different than dreams. And authors are no exception to this. Immediate fame and instant bestsellers – all these feats are real – but it happens only with a handful of authors in a decade or so. The last two authors who got this feat in the last decade in India are, I think everyone knows them, Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi.

The list is fairly long enough to do some research on this topic i.e. how to become a national bestseller author. Well, I did some terrific research and found out that those who are writing books/novels consistently are now giving tough competition to Chetan Bhagat books. For example Preeti Shenoy, Durjoy Datta, Nikita Singh, Ravinder Singh, Ajay Pandey, and some more names.

Consistent authors with remarkable success are igniting hopes in millions of struggling and new and aspiring authors like me. So, the point is not to lose hope and keep writing good books.

So the journey began! I wrote a book! A fiction–novel. I prepared synopsis and blurb for the back cover. Also wrote an author bio. Polished first 3 chapters. Next, I made a list of traditional publishers of India. I sent them email, with valid attachments. It’s a history now. I never got reply and I couldn’t find a literary agent as well. As an author, I felt I am too lonely to get published via a right and traditional method.

Another side of the publishing industry is seeking best and trustable self-publishing companies. As soon as I Googled best self-publishing companies in India, I got to see only sponsored company names like Notion Press, White Falcon Publishing, Blue Rose Publishers, and a few more. I browsed their websites, one by one. Their offered packages were higher for my set budget. I emailed them but did not get proper response. But one thing was common, all these companies asked me to take their premium package for a gamut of facilities and good sales record. I took my time and did some research on each one of them. I found something startling – these companies were not marketing their books properly. I could hardly find blog reviews or coverage on Goodreads or Quora. On the name of book marketing, I found some coming soon/released now book posters and teasers on YouTube. I was not convinced. I tried Pothi…but their paper quality was too bad…they just printed books on bond paper, in addition to that they offered around 5 rupees royalty on a book priced at INR 150.

I made a list of self-publishing companies in India and browsed their websites and social media accounts. Checked some reviews on Google. All these companies were forcing me to opt for premium packages. I gave up on these big names. My next search option was Quora. I did extensive research and stumbled upon BookMedia Publishing Company, to my surprise it has many offices in India. I checked some of the books published by them have substantial social media coverage with relevant #hashtags and blog reviews were cool.

From the website, I got the number. I called and explained my motive. Immediately, I got response on WhatsApp. I chose to pick up a starter package due to my budget constraint. They had no problem, rather encouraged me to take that. First thing I realized that they are here for longer duration and are not greedy. My basic concern with them was book marketing support and publishing assistance. They happily provided me the following things:

·         Cover design and typesetting with ISBN number.

·         They provided two rounds of copy editing.

·         My royalty was set 80 percent. So, on a Kindle when my book was priced as 100. Amazon took 30 rupees. From the 70 rupees, I got my royalty as 56 INR. It was fair enough.

·         For the book marketing, they did cover my book on Amazon, Goodreads, Instagram, Book Review Blogs, Press Release and Author Interview on a news portal website, with YouTube teaser video. In addition, they did promote my book on more than 50 Facebook groups with relevant keywords. My book had healthy sales.

·         Their distribution is great! I never saw my book getting out of stock on Amazon. Whenever my friends ordered, they get it on time. It means they maintain a strong inventory of books.

I personally liked their response or TAT (turn around time).

Overall, I fairly had a good time with BookMedia publishing company. Now I am about to finish my next book and will go with them once again. Anyone looking for an honest publishing deal can definitely pick them up. You can know more about them at their website: https://bookmedia.co/

Author Focus - Abhishek Ghosh of The Paradise Conflict


1.    What motivates you to write?


a.    To tell a good story when the lead characters are having a need, along with the obstacles and conflict the character is about to face. Try to solve the obstacles gives me the motivation to write by infusing character arcs to the main characters.


2.    How did you feel after publishing your books?

a.    Great. It feels awesome, having published my book.


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

a.    Sei Samay by Sunil Gangopadhay

b.    1984 by George Orwell

c.    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

d.    Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

e.    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier


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


a.    Yes. While writing the story, I didn’t have any title in my mind. But after finishing it, I had few names in my mind but decided on the title, “The Paradise Conflict”

b.    The story is about finding the lost Paradise by the Rebels and they are facing the obstacles by the Civil Imperial Regime. The conflict between the Rebels and the Civil Imperial Regime, the core conflict in the story. Thus, the title, “The Paradise Conflict”


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

a.    Not exactly. I had my inspiration from the real world issues around the world and took a step further in the future.

b.    For example, 2019 Amazon Rainforest, Water crisis in the developing and the underdeveloped countries, excessive mining in the mountain areas.


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

a.    I have taken inspiration from few notable books in terms of structuring the protagonists and the antagonists from the books, 1984 by George Orwell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell.


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

a.    Structuring the story in a proper manner in three act structure.

                                          i.    Introducing the main characters, the world building

                                        ii.    The conflict in the main story and the obstacles

                                       iii.    Resolution to the situation by keeping the characters facing the obastacles

b.    Character arcs to the main characters.

c.    Maintaining continuity to the story

d.    Telling the story with the necessary plot points


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

a.    I always have the tendency to tell a story by introducing the character with a complexity and having an arc in three parts.

b.    For example, Mitra was a bounty hunter of Imperial Regime and he is being paid for it. He hates the rebels and also he does not like the atrocities done by the Civil Imperial Regime.

c.    Judy, who is a rebel spy, she killed Jaina to cover her tracks initially, so that the investigation can go on a different. She has a heart to save the world, she feels for the people, yet she had the complexity and the dilemma in her mind.


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

a.    Read more. Understand the writing structure. I am still learning how to tell a better story.

b.    I have written few short stories, with non-linear structures.

c.    Experiment with the writing


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

a.    I am a huge film buff too. For writing the action scenes in the book, I have read the scripts of few blockbuster and indie movies to write the hand to hand combat and chase sequences.


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

a.    Most probably, I will write a sequel to my current book.

b.    My next book will a corporate espionage thriller, a gritty and grounded thriller with minimal action. More on investigation and character drama.


12. What other profession excites you the most?

a.    Travelling

b.    Photography


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

a.    Readers are always, always shall be the lifeline of a writer.


14. 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?

a.    I write at a stretch. I took six months to complete the First draft of The Paradise Conflict. Two months for the second Draft. Final draft took another six months, after discussions with my editor about the changes and additions.


15. Traditional or Self-Publishing? Why?

a.    Self- Publishing. Because of the facilities provided in the package regarding the copyright.


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

a.       Till now the reviews and the feedback by the reviewers are extremely good. Let’s see, how it fares well in terms of sales.


You can check the review of the book here

Book Review - Misplaced Heads


Title - Misplaced Heads
Author - Jayanthi Sankar
Genre - Fiction(Classic)
Publisher -Zero Degree Publishing
ISBN - 978-93-90053-03-2

This is the second book I am reading from the same author. Jayanthi Sankar's previous book "Dangling Gandhi" received positive reviews since it was a collection of short stories which spoke in detail about various aspects that is prevailing in the society. You can read the review of that book by clicking the link here

Jayanthi Sankar was born in India and has been living in Singapore since 1990. She has received few awards and also been a panelist in various literature festivals. 

To start with, I was thoroughly impressed by the outer cover of this book. This cover would give you a hint about the content that this beautiful book holds within. If you could notice it deeply, you could see an image of a lady dancer among the clouds overlooking Tanjore Brihadeeswarar temple which is also an UNECO Site. The reflection of it in the waters makes it even more appealing. We cannot discount it as just a cover but rather it can be construed as an art.

This is a huge book and the story runs for a good 489 pages. The book is divided into 20 chapters. Some of the main characters in the book includes but not limited to 

Poorna(The Protagonist)
Grace DeSouza etc.,

The book shows a great variation of the reality by taking us back to the period of 1st Century B.C, Early Medieval Era and bring us again to the present day. There was a detailed mention about the classical dance namely Bharatanatyam and also Odissi(to some extent).

The book also gives us great insights about the plight of "Devadasis" during the Sangam/Medieval Era. The kind of emotions they would have gone through since they devoted their lives only to The Almighty apart from concentrating purely in spreading the Art(read it as Dance) couldn't have been explained any better.

For those who have read the likes of renowned classical authors like Kalki would see some kind of resemblance in this book as well. This is a slow paced novel but would still appeal to you. If you are not the one who likes this genre or appreciate the beauty of essence captured through the magical words, I would not recommend it. I am sure this is the kind of book which an actual book reviewer would have been waiting to lay their hands upon for a while. 

I would also be equally delighted if this book is translated into Tamil because this would be really loved by your mom and granny. The book shows the variation of how the lives were back then and in the present where the mindset of the people has widened due to the invention and innovation of science  and technology but the femininity has always been kept intact and preserved by the Indian women.

The beauty of love and relationship captured in this book through the life of Poorna, her beautiful interaction with Raghu which turns out to be beautiful relationship more than that of friendship, her love for Art/Culture, her troubled childhood, failed marriage, friendship, love received from her foster mother, determination to promote the art makes this book a real special one.

In simple words, this book is a treasure and needs to find its place in each and every bookshelf.

This book is available online and offline in leading stores.

Book Review - The Paradise Conflict


Title - The Paradise Lost
Author - Abhishek Ghosh
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Novel Nuggets Publishers

The story is set to happen in the Ghost City. Does it ring a bell? If you are attentive or read my mind correct, "Racoon City' should have hit on your mind but don't worry. This isn't the same. The story is set to happen in this city and there were two major factions, who were eventually at loggerheads namely Imperials and Rebels.

As you would have guessed it correct, Imperials were the ruling class and their way of suppression is resisted fiercely by Rebels. There is another faction called Neutral which as per their name remains neural in their stance.

Few major characters in this novel includes Mitra - bounty Hunter of Civil Imperial regime. Son of Krishna, Captain Preston, Captain Kingsley, Admiral Arjun, Stella - w/o Admiral Arjun, Neil and Sheila - kids of Arjun & Stella, Gayatri - the rebel leader, Pramnik, Richa, Shankar, Ahmed, Mary, Toshiro - all of them are rebels, Judy - a close aide of Mitra, Shafiq among others.

While Admiral Arjun always made Mitra to believe that the rebels had killed his father which made him a lethal hunter of rebels, Gayatri, the rebel leader on the other hand had a secret which was concealed by Arjun.

What was the secret that was concealed?

The rebels were actually in search of a utopian place called 'Paradise" since the place where they lived was full of chaos with no water availability. This kind of made me to recollect the movie "Mad Max: Fury Road" but yes, this story is yet again different.

This story is has few twists and turns. Author has done a good job by keeping the flow of the story intact which would keep you captivated till the end. Narrations were done in detail which captures the essence of a place - here it is Paradise.

This story is India's answer to those who love fantasy/fiction with a confluence of action and suspense.

This book is available on Amazon in eBook and Paperback format.