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Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts

Book Review - The Greatest Battle of Culture by Panigrahi Bethi

 


Title - The Greatest Battle of Culture
Author - Panigrahi Bethi
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Notion Press
ISBN - 979-8894753201

This is one of the unique books I have come across till date. This book encapsulates the former civilizations and brought in a unique blend of what had happened during those days. The ones we are discussing here is none other than the Aryan and Dravidian Civilizations.

It all begins with Baguhara, the Harappan Chief who had a beautiu daughter Princess Armita. Initially when Aryans comes to their place, she develops a liking towards Purusha but had to marry Bharadwaja later due to political circumstances. Maharudra is born later for her.

Harappans were friendly who had a great learning and wisdom with a deep understanding of nture and the mysteries of the world whereas Aryans who comes to their place gets overwhelmed by the abundance of riches and the way the civilization was built and developed.

Purusha, even though an Aryan never had any bad intentions. He was accompanied by Ashwin and Varuna. They believed that Aryan and Harappan culture could co-exist creating a more vibrant environment but what happens later destroys the hope and faith.

I was surprised to see a Sanskrit poem in page 49 which had perfectly blended with this novel.

There were other characters like Dabira - Chief Advisor of Baguhara and Rishasad - Baguhara's Military leader. He defeats Chamba who unleashed attack on Aryans. 

Indrasena emerges as a strong Aryan leader and political movements starts shifting.

While all these were happening in the North, Nannay and his followers embark on their journey to the South and settles there. They build a civilization who were called as Dravidians.

The story brings out the intricate details of both the civilizations with a blend of other epics from India which is a great attempt by the author to make the Indians in the West to understand or be aware of some of the greatest thoughts that had been imbibed in our epics. This attempt should be truly appreciated since one should not forget the roots they have come from.

Read this book and refer to your friends and family members especially to those who were born and brought up in the West to understand the greatness of Indian History and its Culture.



This book is available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook formats.

INTERVIEW- VIJAY MEDTIA Author of IN GOD’S COUNTRY, KARWAR

 

Extracts from IN GOD’S COUNTRY, KARWAR.

 

HE told his wife a lie. There was nothing unusual about this for Satish Verma lied often. He usually said he was working late and that he might spend the night at the office. Her reaction was the same, an indifference, a lack of care. The marriage had failed in so many ways, and after nearly twenty years, it was time to make a clean break. He drove out of Karwar and headed north towards Goa. The journey would take over an hour, but he was looking forward to meeting the other woman. 

 

THE Ocean sound is what you hear first, loud all-encompassing waves rolling in from the Arabian Sea. The wind blows and sways the palm trees on the beach, broad leaves rustling to a peaceful rhythm. Birds flock and fight, each one more exotic than the next. Fishermen throw nets from colourful wooden boats. The perfect idle however was brutally disturbed. Life has the cruel capacity to cause pain when least expected.

 

Tell us about your new crime novel, In God’s Country, Karwar, and what inspired you to write it?

The novel is a story of long-lost love, friendship and murder set in the scenic coastal town of Karwar, India. The place is close to Goa, with which readers are more familiar. This is my fourth novel, and my last few were set in Mumbai. When I started to write this novel, I wanted a new setting and location for my story, and I found Karwar to be the perfect setting; a scenic, coastal town facing the Arabian Sea. It would contrast against the murders that take place there. 

Inspector Rock of the Karwar Police investigates the unexpected murders without apparent motive. Running parallel to the investigation will be a love story and how that impacts the story. The main inspiration however for the story were the central characters that formed in my mind, and the location worked as a compliment to the novel.

What is your novel writing process? How long did it take to write the novel? What keeps you motivated throughout?

Every writer has their own writing process. It’s not a formula, and that’s part of the fascination for readers, i.e., how do writers produce novels? I write the first draft by pen and paper. I have always done it this way and it has become my ritual you can say. I prefer the natural flow onto the paper without the laptop constantly interfering with spelling and grammar checks at this early stage. Hemingway and other great writers wrote with pen and paper, and if it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. After a second draft, I type onto the laptop and start to edit. This can take several rounds. It's good for a writer to learn how to edit. There are many tips on the net. A good tip is, ‘less is more.Avoid adjectives and adverbs if possible.’

This novel took the best part of a year to write, trying to find time between work/life commitments. Don’t let anyone tell you writing is easy!

Regards motivation to keep writing, that’s a tough question. You try to do your best and don’t worry too much if the novel will be published or not. I have several unpublished novels.Try to stay in the present and do the best you can. Keep writing regularly, and read other good novelists. If the story is working then that will keep you motivated. If the story is dragging, you need to look at it and change it perhaps.

You explore many themes in your novel, friendship, love and of course the investigation of murders. What did you want your readers to understand through your observations?

Yes, it’s a crime story first and foremost, but I wanted to explore love and friendship. It was a new challenge and I wanted to see how the characters responded to sudden loss, how they coped with the inevitable grieving process, how did they overcome the great challenges. The characters often surprised meYou plan to write one chapter and the character steps in and writes another. The magic of writing always surprises me, and I often wonder who is actually writing the story.

The readers are intelligent enough, my first aim however is for them to enjoy the story, to be entertained, my novels contain humour and intrigue hopefully. I am also showing a mirror to society and I try not to make judgements. That I leave for the readers.

What is your experience of getting published in Mumbai, India?

Very good and positive. My first two novels, The House of Subadar, and The Missing Husband, were published by UK Publishers. 

My third novel, The Lost Woman of Santacruz and my new novel, In God’s Country, Karwar are published in India by my publisher Leadstart. They have worked well with me and have good bookstore distribution in India. The novel received good reviews and media coverage. And we are hoping the same again and more. India is a huge market and my books are gaining attention there. This is something others writers should consider, you don’t have to just submit to UK agents and publishers.

My last novel, The Lost Woman of Santacruz, which introduced Inspector Ajay Shaktawat, has interest from an Indian Film and tv production house, to turn the novel into a film or a ten-part crime drama for OTT platforms. So, this is an exciting development for any writer as you can imagine.

What advice would you give to anyone who is working on their first novel?

Finish the first draft, good or bad.

Try not to re-write before finishing the first draft.

Read good writers in your chosen genre and beyond.

Learn how to edit.

Don’t quit your day job, you will need the money to write.

Write some short stories.

Good luck.

Vijay Medtia is a novelist and short story writer, based in the UK. He visits India regularly for his inspiration. In God’s Country, Karwar, is his fourth novel. His debut novel, The House of Subadar, was published by Arcadia Books, UK in 2007. It was short-listed for the Glenn Dimplex, Literary Prize, Dublin 2008. He has had several short stories published in the UK and India. His recent short story, ‘Master Chef,’ was published by the Singapore based literary magazine Kitaab.org in July 2023. His second novel, The Missing Husband, was published by Crocus Books, UK, 2019 and received good reviews.

His third novel was The Lost Woman of Santacruz, published by Leadstart, India, 2021. Again, it received good reviews from readers and the media. There is interestfrom a TV and film production house in India, to turn The Lost Woman of Santacruz into a film or a ten-part crime drama. 

He likes the quote, ‘There is nothing impossible for him who will try,’ by Alexander the Great. 

IN GOD’S COUNTRY, KARWAR was published  October, 2023. Book available as a paperback and ebookvia amazon.

Website- vijaymedtia .com

Book Review - The Doer

 


Title - The Doer
Author - Rekha Nair
Genre - Spirituality
Publisher - Olympia Publishers
ISBN - 978-1804394953

The book begins with a powerful note - "Everything we do is Spiritual". I couldn't agree more since most of us believe in GOD who is called by different names under different religions. We also believe that there is "Unseen Power" above us which decides our fate and Karma.

The book is divided into 12 chapters namely:

1. Have we forgotten? 

2. What have we forgotten? 

3. What is Love? 

4. What is the nature of the soul? 

5. God is? 

6. Why is freedom important? 

7. What is the relevance of cyclic events and things that exist in pairs? 

8. What is the toughest thing to overcome? 9. What is a choice, and does it exist? 

10. What does connecting mean? 

11. What do you value the most? 

12. You rather experience and know or do you want to know and then experience. Also, why?


Each of these has a powerful message to convey. Author focuses majorly on EGO which she explains beautifully "Act of cosmic energy that determines input and output and NOT the EGO".

Letting go of ego can bring lot of good results. How true are these lines.


Author amphasises on Path laid down by the cosmic force and we all travel in that.

What do you give and what do you get in return?


When there was a mention about handwritten letters, it was a Rewind of the past. “So, anytime a person walks into your life, understand the purpose they are here for”.

A purpose is a purpose. When I read statements like these, I felt I was reading a book which is not only spiritual but also a guide that reiterates aspects that were laid/preached by our ancestors.

Suffering is an indicator that someone’s life is going to change”. - This is a motivating factor and should be used in the right sense as it is intended to be.

Love and freedom are complimentary. If you love, you are free. If you are free, you love” - a statement one needs to be retrospect 

There is an interconnection between each chapter which you will realise when you read this book. These are universal concepts that will apply to one and all irrespective of race, religion, culture and place. 

What is ego?

Often ego is looked upon as the bad guy. If used and tamed properly, ego can be the biggest instrument to show you the depth of who you truly are. Realization is a relative process”. How true this statement is :)

Don’t seek validation which is also a form of divide. Use this at your workplace to see how it transforms your otherwise unpleasure work in a pleasure.

Right and Wrong - both are needed to progress in this strange process called Life. Agree?

Purpose was a thoughtful chapter. 

How life played across various stages of the author and how it shaped her up of what she is today. Though this book is a quick read, the message it conveys and the crux it has will travel with you for life.



This book is available on Amazon

Book Review - The Ideal Entrepreneur : An Idiot's Guide to Building a 300 Crore Company!

 


Title - The Ideal Entrepreneur : An Idiot's Guide to Building a 300 Crore Company!
Author - Rahul Agarwal
Genre - Autobiogaphy
Publisher - Future
ISBN - 978-9351201311


A truly inspiring autobiography whch would ignite the aprk in the minds of the entrepreneurs in the making. Rahul Agarwal had seen the ups and downs before he went on to establish himself as a force to reckon with in the insurance industry.

To start with, what I liked the most is this mention "Story more relatable, more believable and more doable". You could find out where this was used and in what context once you read the book.

The book emphasize on 

1. Team Building
2. Fund Raising
3. Focus
4. Networking 
5. Standrad Operating Procedures aka SOP and
6. Brand Building

There is no surprise that Rahul himself was the Founder of Kokata Chapter of BNI since he believes in Networking and is the pioneer in hosting the launch party in the Insurance sector which saw the presence of many industry stalwarts.

There is a saying/belief that business runs in the blood of Marwaris. Rahul is no exception to this.

Autor has mentioned his family members which includes his parents, wife, kid, siblings, uncle and cousin who stood thick and thin right from the start. 

As an Insurance agent myself(back in 90's), I should appreciate the fact that Rahul has made it to the prestigious MDRT just at the age of 20 in the Country for Max New York Life Insurance. It is not a mean fact to achieve this. His age wasn't a deterent to achieve this which got him the opportunity to be introduced by the then CEO himself among the 3,000+ MDRT's from across the globe. The fact is, there were only 25 of them from India and from Kolkata, he was one among three members who got qualified for this event.

How he achieved this is another interesting story which you can find out by reading the book.

Despite an intelligent student he is with a score of 99.23% in CAT, he could not get the placement in the IIM's he desired but still got offers from 2 IIMs and SPJIMR and he decided to join the later.

How the life in the Corporate works was portrayed vividly by the author where in the presentation he did for a top brass in Wipro did not give any mention nor credits to his name. This was a turning point in his life that made him to decide to venture into the business.

He has also done MFAB - Management of Family Business in Indian School of Business(ISB).

His golden tip to those who wanted to start a business is to float the company as a Private Limited Company.

Author emphasise on a good name and logo for the brand and details the process of how the name Ideal was arrived at and the date of registration - 13.1.2005.

He also goes ahead in saying not to trust anyone blindly and needs to have a back up. An agreement in writing and not oral is desired to avoid any consequences in the future.

There are few prominent names which has found the mention in this brilliant book which includes but not limited to:

a. Amit Agarwal
b. Saroj Sripathi
c. Goutam Dey
d. Ravi Kothari
e. Rahul Mohata
f. Arvind Kajaria( Founder of 123greetings.com)

He also mentions why PR is important for any firm.

There is a full dedicated chapter for BNI (BNI members would love it for sure).

What makes a company successful? This is where ESOPs comes into picture.

There are references of Allan Mullaly of Ford, Narayanamurthy of Infosys. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book since the content was compelling and motivating and would surely recommend this for those who want to venture into business.

I wish Rahul and his team a very best on their vision of achieveing Rs.1,000 crore business by 2025.


This book is available on Amazon