December 23, 2012

Book Review: Once upon the tracks of Mumbai by Rishi Vohra

Once upon the tracks of Mumbai does not fall into the usual genre of books which I pick up to read. The author asked me if I would like to do a review, and I thought why not... its been eons since I read something romantic to say.

The setting is Mumbai, small, crammed & crowded spaces, families living in any space available and a government quarters is where the protagonist lives. From the onset, one does realize that there is a medical condition which is being described and as the book draws to a close you do come to your conclusion on why the events in the book takes place as it does. As you read on, you would come across many details which have been drawn from real life India and how they attribute and gel into the story the author has weaved.

Characters have been laid out methodically and as you read you see the stereotypes which have also been given a role to play. The college crowd, the ones who skip college, the Indian husband and wife scenes, it is something which will certainly appear to the masses and also where many will have drawn parallels to their own lives. The author has done a good job in diversifying characters building on the different cultures which are present in Mumbai.

When I read the first few pages, I thought the language was good and it did not have the simple tones of a metro read, but as I moved ahead, I saw that the author had toned down the language, maybe to express feelings easier understood by many in a language which would be understood by them also. So, apart from the first 20 pages, the book is very simple and straight forward to read. And, this in turn makes it a quick read also.

The book proves to be entertaining, fast paced and as said before, with many instances which you might draw from real life incidents which has occurred in India over the years. It does give one a deja vu sense with such incidents and also Slumdog Millionaire which was aired so many times in the past years on television. I believe that this is the book which will appeal to the masses, it has been written about the masses and it comes out at a time when women and the problems/discrimination that the gender faces has reached its peak. It is sure to strike a chord with many. 

December 20, 2012

Book Review: Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi

On finishing the Immortals of Meluha, I was set on reading The Secret of the Nagas also as soon as possible. In fact after being through about two-thirds of  Immortals of Meluha, I was so interested in the story line  that I ordered the second part while reading the Part 1 of the trilogy. And now I am looking forward to the third part to complete the saga. I think it would be interesting to see how he will be incorporating the Vayuputras in this battle against the evil. There is so much one has heard about mythology, and here we are taken to a completely different age where our beliefs are completely contrary to the ways of the times.

One of the main criticism which I have read in various reviews is that the language suddenly has become laboured and it does not seem natural. As I started reading the book looking for all these difficult words, I must say, I did not find any words difficult nor did I think that the words seemed to be injected into the text. They did not seem to be not needed in the context or out of place.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and how he opened the doors to the Naga world. How prejudice is faced by many and one could see the analogies which could be drawn in today's world too. The breadth and length of India he has covered in his pages are also worth mentioning, and his descriptions of the Sundarbans and the dangers which lurk in their depths are very commendable. I must add that without reading the first part, one can not understand this and will be a completely wasteful experience. It is truly a sequel and must be read as one.

And, this is my 400th post! I can not believe that I have come such a long way from the early 2007 when I started this blog.

December 19, 2012

[CONTEST] Winners Announced !

I would like to take the pleasure of announcing the winners of the Contest which I had conducted in November on my blog for the Four Fountain Spa.

All participants had to answer the the statement

What do you think - Healthy makes you Wealthy or Wealthy makes you Healthy

The winners will be receiving spa vouchers from Four Fountain Spa.

CONGRATULATIONS to the two winners of this contest.

1. Rani: She wins a Full body massage voucher.

She blogs at and has been a follower of my blog since quite awhile.

Her answer to the question was:
Healthy definitely makes one wealthy as the old saying goes, health is wealth! 
Health is more than just physical wellbeing. To me, health is all about a balance. Physical, emotional, mental, they are all interlinked. I wouldn’t call a physically fit man with a stressful job, healthy. Neither would a woman be termed healthy if she was eating well, working out but having little sleep at nights. Someone else could be wealthy for that matter, with a well paying job, but if he was having difficult relationships that was converting to stress, at the end of the day, he’d only be wealthy, not healthy.
True wealth is an assimilation of many things. The primary contributor is health. Health could be looked at as a culmination of all things in balance- a good, nutritious diet, a illness-free body, a tension-free mind, regular and peaceful sleep and nourishing relationships. That is when we are healthy in the true sense. That, and a well paying job would be the icing on the cake! :)
2. Pooja: She wins a partial body massage voucher.

Her answer was:
We live in a super-fast age. The Internet has shrunk the world dramatically and people are connected 24×7. Multitasking is the order of the day as we struggle to fulfill our responsibilities to everyone in our lives. In this melee, too often we forget to spare time for ourselves.The stress levels continue to build up until one day a major collapse may make us aware that in all this frenzied activity, we have forgotten to take care of one important thing - our health. As we spend days shuttling between hospital and home, subjecting our body to one test after another trying to find out what has gone wrong, we are forced to remember that Health is indeed Wealth. la vraie richesse, c'est la santé .... :)
The winners will be intimated on the next steps to receive the vouchers over email from a representative from Four Fountain Spa.

Happy Spoiling yourself :)

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December 5, 2012

Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi

Being a huge fan of historic fiction, when I came upon this title I was sure this was going to be on my to-read list. I finally got down to reading it only recently after the second in the series was also released.

A fictionalized account of a God was not something I was expecting, though I did know it was called the Shiva Trilogy. On starting the book, I was drawn in by the setting and how the whole scenario was different from what you would expect in the God times. The thought which was put into creating the setting was real nice. In fact it gave me a feeling similar to when I read the very first book in the Harry Potter series.

Through the chapters, the story unfolds beautifully and Shiva is seen to be a man who has been deemed God through superstition, and a man who is constantly trying to live up to expectations. The concept of their society and how they kept crime and violence at bay was interesting, even though it does not do justice.

One of the flaws which I felt on reading the book was that some details were just merely grazed upon and I felt that it was not done justice. The description of the Nagas and their method of operation, I felt that this was not described to its full potential. It might be because he was saving it for the next books in the series. I have to read them to find out. Another aspect which I felt was not dealt with well, was the war in itself. It was not clearly described and personally, I had to re-read to get the flow right.

Nevertheless, the story was captivating and the characters were varying which had me hooked. I liked how he created some smaller characters within the army who had different equations with him and how these relationships drive history.

A good read, though not something which you would say is a literary take, will surely keep you rooted in the story till the last page.