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Saturday 16 November 2013

Tsomgo/Changu Lake - Sikkim | For Saturday Snapshot #PicturePost

Tsomgo/Changu Lake, Sikkim, India
Tsomgo/Changu Lake, Sikkim
Tsomgo/Changu Lake is a glacial lake situated at a height of 12400 feet.  It is about 40 km away from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. On our visit to Tsomgo/Changu Lake, we were quite lucky to find snow there. The views were absolutely breathtaking, as you can see in the pictures below.

Tsomgo/Changu Lake is revered by the local people. In the local Bhutia dialect, the name Tsomg is said to be made of two words - 'Tso' which means "lake" and 'Mgo' meaning "head" which literally translates to the meaning "source of the lake".

Steep mountains surround the lake and these mountains are covered with snow during the winter season. When summer arrives, the snow melts and it becomes the source of this lake. I am posting from of my favourite pictures from our Tsongmo Lake visit for this week's Saturday Snapshot.

Saturday 9 November 2013

Flowers are the Music of the Ground

Linking it to Saturday Snapshot.

Saturday Snapshot is the brain child by Alyce of At Home With Books. It is currently being hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mummy Reads. It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda's site.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Arjuna – Saga of a Pandava Warrior Prince by Anuja Chadramouli - A Book Review

Arjuna – Saga of a Pandava Warrior Prince by Anuja Chadramouli - A Book Review
Arjuna – Saga of a Pandava Warrior Prince
by Anuja Chadramouli #BookReview
I am back again, with a review of yet another book from the mythology genre - Arjuna – Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince – by Anuja Chadramouli. If you follow book reviews by on this blog, then you would know that I love books based on the Indian Mythology. That’s why whenever I have the opportunity to read such books, I don’t let that go. I received this book from Leadstart Publishing along with 'Asura' for an unbiased review. You can read my review of Asura by Anand Neelakantan here.

Quoted from the blurb:

Arjuna is the immortal tale of one of India's greatest heroes. These pages retell in riveting detail the story of the Pandava Warrior-Prince who has captured the imagination of millions across centuries. This is the intense and human story of his loves, friendship, ambitions, weaknesses and follies, as well as his untimely death and revival, his stint as a eunuch, and the innermost reaches of his thoughts. 

Told in a refreshingly modern and humorous style and set against the staggering backdrop of the Mahabharata. Arjuna’s story appeals equally to the average, discerning reader and the scholar. It spans the epic journey from before his birth, when omens foretold his greatness, across the fabled, wondrous landscape that was his life.

Monday 14 October 2013

Asura – Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan - A Book Review

Asura – Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan - A Book Review
Asura – Tale of the Vanquished
by Anand Neelakantan  #BookReview
Asura – Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan is a very different book on the Indian mythological epic, Ramayana. To put in simple words, it is a radical take on our conventional Ramayana. Read it with an open mind and you will be able to appreciate the author’s view.

We have all heard the epic tale of Ramayana. My earliest memories of it are of the Ramayana serial by Ramananda Sagar, which was telecast on Doordarshan. I was a kid then but even then, I knew that Rama was the hero and Ravana was evil personified. This belief is deeply rooted in us Indians. That is why when I read this book Asura by Anand Neelakantan; it took me a while to absorb what I read. 

The blurb of the book best describes what the book is all about.

The epic tale of victory and defeat...

The story of the Ramayana had been told innumerable times. The enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ravana, the evil demon of darkness, is known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victor that lives on. The voice of the vanquished remains lost in silence.

But what if Ravana and his people had a different story to tell? The story of the Ravanayana has never been told. Asura is the epic tale of the vanquished Asura people, a story that has been cherished by the oppressed castes of India for 3000 years. Until now, no Asura has dared to tell the tale. But perhaps the time has come for the dead and the defeated to speak. 

Thursday 10 October 2013

Never Mind Yaar by K. Mathur - A Book Review

Never Mind Yaar by K. Mathur - A Book Review
Never Mind Yaar by K. Mathur
The title is an attitude - our tendency to feel defeated by the scale and nature of certain problems. Rather than meet them head on, we circumvent them with a sigh and a consoling “never mind, yaar”.

When long time friends Binaifer Desai and Louella D’Costa meet Shalini Dayal at Gyan Shakti College, a true friendship that transcends cultural and religious backgrounds is born. Louella is a Christian, Binaifer, a Parsi and Shalini, a Hindu.

The novel’s main plot line surrounds Shalini who has fallen for an impetuous student activist, Bhagu. Where does his desire to help the less fortunate lead him? The challenges are many - Shalini’s tradition bound family, the couple’s youth and inexperience and the travails of life in Mumbai, a city the girls love but know, is fraught with communal tension.

Monday 7 October 2013

English Bites by Manish Gupta - A Book Review

English Bites by Manish Gupta - A Book Review
English Bites by Manish Gupta 
English Bites by Manish Gupta is an ideal book for anyone who is intrigued by the English language. It will definitely satiate your curiosity and will help you to improve your English vocabulary. Through this book the author regales about his tumultuous journey of conquering the English language.

When look and see have similar meanings, how can overlook and oversee be opposites?

If you decide to be bad forever, you decide to be bad for good!

How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell the next day?

They are head over heels in love. That’s nice, but don’t we do almost everything head over heels?

Were you scratching your head over these? Well, I thought you would to do so.

Now tell me the longest English word you know. Yes, you can scratch your head as much as you like!

Okay. I will give you a hint. It has to be at least 35 letters long. Yes, you heard me right, at least 35 letters and no, you cannot go to Google.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Winner of the Vegetarian Library Collection Cookbook Giveaway is....

Time flies fast..

Really fast..

I mean it..

I know I am irritating you with unnecessary text before announcing the winner of the cookbook giveaway hosted here. But, I hope you will read this before you scroll down.

This was the first cookbook giveaway I hosted on this blog and it has been a great experience. Although, I didn't spend much time publicizing the giveaway (I know I should have dedicated a little more time to it), but I received a decent 59 valid entries for the same. I thank everyone who took their time and participated in the event.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Michhami Dukkadam

Today is the auspicious occasion of Jain Samvatsari. On this auspicious occasion, I ask for your forgiveness if I have hurt you knowingly or unknowingly by words or action, “Micchami Dukkadam”


“I grant forgiveness to all living beings,
All living beings grant me forgiveness.
My friendship is with all living beings,
My enmity is totally nonexistent.”

Michhami Dukkadam

Thursday 5 September 2013

Mango Yoghurt Delight Recipe - A New Take on Aamarakhand | Mango Recipes

Mango Yogurt Delight Recipe - A New Take on Aamarakhand | Mango Yoghurt Trifle Recipe
Mango Yogurt Delight #Recipe
Mango Yogurt Delight is my innovative take on amarakhand. Amarakhand is a mango flavoured yoghurt prepared in many regions of India when the king of fruits - mango is in season. But, the mango yoghurt delight is somewhat different from the regular mango yoghurt as you can see in the pictures. Layers of flavoured yoghurt and mango puree make for stylish looking dessert and can easily be a part of any party dessert menu.

My younger sister who is enjoying her time at home is quite excited about trying new recipes these days. I was in my mom's place for a few days some time back and she pestered me to teach her something new. So, you see I had to play my part of being an elder sister. But, she made my task even easier. She told me exactly what she wanted to learn and one of her requests was learning how to make Aamarakhand. My mom had bought a large local mango and set a good quantity of yoghurt to set the stage.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Land of the Seven Rivers by Sanjeev Sanyal - A Book Review

Land of the Seven Rivers by Sanjeev Sanyal #BookReview

I have been reading this book - Land of the Seven Rivers by Sanjeev Sanyal for the last two weeks. I went slow, read a few pages at a time. This is the sort of book that needs slow reading. I am not saying it is a heavy read, but I would definitely say that it is brimming with information about events on the various events in the history of India that eventually had a geographical significance. Hence, one should take their time to grasp and understand it. I should apologize to Think WhyNot Group, who send me the review copy of this book on behalf of the author, for taking more than the due time to read and review this book.

India has been known throughout the history as the land of seven rivers. The tagline of the book says - "A Brief History of India's Geography". That itself is intriguing. Indians have bad memories of the partition which resulted in the creation of our country along with our neighbours. Various regions of the country are still under territorial dispute with the neighbouring countries. Major ethnic groups are asking for division and creation of states for themselves. Hence, a knowledge of India's historical geography is a must for all Indians.

The blurb asks interesting questions.

Did ancient India witness the great flood? Why did Buddha give his first sermon in Sarnath? How did Europeans map India?

It is very possible that these questions never crossed our minds, but they are sure to ignite your curiosity once you come across them. The author delves deep into our history to find answers about our geographical history. He talks about Indus Valley Civilization, the Mauryan empire, various dynasties that ruled the country, the British rule, partition, and much more. He also talks about the battle of Kurukshetra. The geographical history of our country is very much entwined with the political history and hence, one cannot segregate events into a particular category. The political events in history always had a geographical consequence and the author dwells on them to understand its significance. He also dwells on the tectonic movements of the earth's land that has over the ages changed the geography of the world.

The book is full of interesting takes on the geographical changes that finally shaped India's destiny. You will feel enlightened once you have read it. Having said that I must add that the information in this book can be overwhelming at times. If you, like me, were never very strong in the subjects of history and geography, then you might have to re-read parts of the book in order to understand it properly.

About the Author: A Rhodes Scholar, an Eisenhower Fellow, Sanjeev Sanyal is a global strategist in India's largest banks. He juggles between India and Singapore for work. He was named Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum. His first book, The Indian Renaissance: India's Rise After a Thousand Years of Decline was published by Penguin in 2008.

Find this book interesting? You can buy it here:

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Nutella Swirl Cupcake Recipe | How to Bake Nutella Swirl Cupcake | Eggless Baking

Nutella Swirl Cupcake Recipe | How to Bake Nutella Swirl Cupcake
Nutella Swirl Cupcake #Recipe

Nutella Swirl Cupcakes comes with the deliciousness of Nutella. Just a dollop of Nutella into plain cupcakes takes it to a whole new level in terms of taste and look. Today's recipe - Nutella Swirl Cupcake is one of the results of my little sis' baking adventures. She loves baking and she does a really good job at it.

I can't believe it is almost going to be a month since I blogged last on this space. I have received emails and messages from friends and readers as to why this space has been void for such a long time.I don't know myself, but it looks like I am going through a severe case of blogger's block.

Even today one of my younger sister's experiments in the kitchen is rescuing this space from the long silence. This month, I have spent a good amount of time away from my kitchen and now I am enjoying a couple of days at my mom's place. I am so glad that my little sis' creation has come to my rescue just when I needed it.

Friday 26 July 2013

Eggless Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe | How to Bake Eggless Lemon Drizzle Cake | Eggfree Bakes

Eggless Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe | How to bake eggless lemon drizzle cake
Eggless Lemon Drizzle Cake #Recipe
My search for Eggless Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe ended when I found this one. Soft, fluffy, lemony, tangy... All these adjective would very well define this yummy lemon drizzle cake. 

I tried it from my recently purchased cookbook. A lemon cake has been on my to try list for a long time and in fact, I have tried a couple of recipes. But, the results were not all that satisfactory. So, when I saw this recipe in Sanjeev Kapoor's Vegetarian Library Collection, I grabbed the opportunity to bake it. I baked half of the original recipe and also modified the recipe a bit. Overall, I am very happy with the results.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Go Green ~ For Saturday Snapshot

Go Green - Lush Green Gulmohar Trees
Go Green
With the rains in, the surroundings have become greener! This picture is more than a month old. The grass has also taken a nice green colour now.

Saturday Snapshot is the brainchild by Alyce of At Home With Books. It is currently being hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mummy Reads. It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda's site.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ Flaunting my Bookmarks

Flipkark Bookmarks - Quirky, Silly, Stylish
Flaunting my Bookmarks
I know this post is for Wordless Wednesday, but I can't help writing a few words here. Today, I am flaunting my bookmarks for which I must thank Flipkart. I have bought books from Flipkart several times and with every book comes a lovely, funny and silly yet, stylish bookmark. On the reverse is a quirky message. Here is one of my favorite written on the brown bookmark (with the eyes) shown above:

Flipkark Bookmarks - Quirky, Silly, Stylish
"Important reasons to use silly bookmarks"

Been reading for two days straight? Do not despair! Cut and string your new one-size-fits-all eye relaxer for instant rejuvenation. Works best under artificial light.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

Linking it to Wordless Wednesday

Friday 12 July 2013

Food Carnival and a Cookbook giveaway – Vegetarian Library Collection by Sanjeev Kapoor

If you are a food blogger, I am sure you would love cookbooks. I too love them and have my own mini collection. However, the number of dishes I have cooked referring them is altogether a different story. Very often, I will take all of them out, flip the pages, and bookmark quite a number of recipes. The books go back to their place and I forget about the recipes. There are times when I take inspiration from the recipes I read and come up with something on my own. But, rarely do I follow a recipe to the T.

Still, I perk up at the thought of cookbooks and I know I can never have enough of them. Recently, I bought the Vegetarian Library Collection by Sanjeev Kapoor. It is a collection of 5 books and covers all food courses. From Drinks, Soups, Snacks, Starters, Main Course, Rice, Bread, Pickles, Sweets and Desserts, this collection has it all. Any food enthusiast will love the book.

So, for the first time on Jyoti’s Pages, I am hosting a giveaway and a Food Carnival. I will be giving away the Vegetarian Library Collection by Sanjeev Kapoor to a randomly chosen winner.
Food Carnival and a Cookbook giveaway – Vegetarian Library Collection by Sanjeev Kapoor
Vegetarian Library Collection by Sanjeev Kapoor

How to enter Vegetarian Library Collection by Sanjeev Kapoor giveaway

Leave a comment on this post and follow Jyoti’s Pages.

You can increase your chances of winning the giveaway by doing, one or more of the following. 

Leave a comment once you did so.

Win Sanjeev Kapoor’s Vegetarian Library Collection. Enter the #cookbook #giveaway on #JyotisPages @JyotiBabel

If you are already liked Jyoti’s Pages on Facebook, are following on Twitter and Pinterest or have subscribed to the RSS feed, just leave a comment letting me know and I will count your entries!

This giveaway is open to all. You don't have to be a blogger to win the cookbook. But, I can ship the book to addresses in India only.
The giveaway starts today and will end on 15th September 2013 and a winner will be randomly picked and announced on 16th September.

The rules for the "Food Carnival" event are simple: 
  • Blog about a recipe. It can be any course of the meal. The choice is yours and link back your post to this page. Only new entries are allowed. No archived entries, please. 
  • The event runs from 15th July to 15th September. 
  • The recipes should be vegetarian and egg free. 
  • You don’t have to send a recipe entry to enter the giveaway. However, each entry will count for the giveaway and will increase the probability of winning. 
  • Submit your entries at with the subject - Food Carnival
So, what are you waiting for... Get set go!

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

Saturday 6 July 2013

Capturing the Waterfall ( Fast and Slow Shutter Speed ) ~ Mahabaleshwar for Saturday Snapshot

This week for Saturday Snapshot I am sharing pictures of a waterfall, from our recent trip to Mahabaleshwar, a small hill station in the state of Maharashtra, India

I was trying to play with different shutter speeds and loved how the camera took two different pictures of the same thing!

Mahabaleshwer Waterfall shot on fast shutter speed thereby freezing the motion of water
Fast shutter speed froze the motion of the water
Mahabaleshwer Waterfall shot on slow shutter speed thereby smoothening the motion of water
Slow shutter speed giving a smooth texture to the falling water
Enjoy the pictures for now and I will catch up with you later, with more pictures and details.

Saturday Snapshot is the brainchild by Alyce of At Home With Books. It is currently being hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mummy Reads. It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda's site.

Thursday 4 July 2013

My Stroke of Luck by Vijay Santhanam - A Book Review

My Stroke of Luck by Vijay Santhanam | A Book Review
My Stroke of Luck by Vijay Santhanam #BookReview
My Stroke of Luck by Vijay Santhanam is an inspirational book based on the author's real life. It shows us how despite all the adversities life throws at us, we can emerge victorious if we have the will to do so.

The tagline of this book My Stroke of Luck by Vijay Santhanam is something that catches the attention of the reader at the first look. It says -Alphabet to Author - One man's inspiring journey - from adversity to triumph. I had applied for this book on blogadda to review but had no idea what it was all about. Only when I flipped the book to read the blurb, I realized it is not a fictional piece of a story but the author's real story. In the book, the author narrates his triumphant journey of recovering from a stroke. Yes, this is what the stroke in the title of the book signifies.

The writer has given good details about his life in general to set the context of the book. At the age of 41, he was at the peak of his health and the stroke hit him hard when he least expected it. He has given details of to what extent it affected him, how he fought against it and how eventually he took the charge of his life again.

Friday 28 June 2013

Eggless Cherry Cake Recipe | How to Bake Eggless Cherry Cake | Eggless Cakes

Eggless Cherry Cake #Recipe
I made this eggless cherry cake for a trip recently and it was such a hit. Since I have not been blogging actively for a while, I thought why not break the silence with this delicious eggless cherry cake. The cherry here are the glaced cherries, and not the actual fruit.

Knock knock! Is any one there?

I would not be surprised if this space is deserted after irregular, intermittent posts and long absence. I guess I have confessed before, I am not really good at managing work, home and blogging. This threesome role takes a toll on me and of course, blogging takes a back seat. Despite my best intentions, I have not been able to blog much of late. Only the book reviews with dead lines have made it here past couple of months and that has somehow manage to keep the blog going for a while. I don't know why cooking, taking pictures and blogging about it seems like a huge task. Has anyone here passed through such a phase? I sincerely hope I am not alone.

I will not make promises here about coming back with a bang because I know not when I might disappear again. So, for all those who still care to listen, I am here, alive and well. A recent trip to a beautiful hill station has energized me and hence I am seen tracing my steps back to this space. While I share some pictures from the trip soon here, this trip also reminds me of my baking plans I had before the trip.

I wanted to bake this simple vanilla cake with condensed milk and soda for our journey and at the last moment I realized, certain vital ingredients were missing. No butter, no vanilla and no aerated drink. Well, worry not. I substituted ingredients and surprisingly the cake came out good and DH liked it better than the original one. And it was praises praises all the way!

Saturday 8 June 2013

Shoes of the Dead by Kota Neelima

"None of us can match the powers we challenge. It is an unequal fight, but we have the dead on our side."

We have often heard about crop failures, how it affects the farmers and how so many of them, think it better to end their life rather than live a life burdened by debt. Such news had made the head lines some time back, when the suicide toll of farmers in the Vidharva region of Maharashtra had reached alarmingly high numbers. To write a novel on such a sensitive topic is a tremendous task, because the subject is not just social, it is political as well. The author, Kota Neelima who works as Political Editor with a prominent newspaper has done full justice to the topic in her latest book- Shoes of the Dead.

Crushed by successive crop failures and the burden of debt, Sudhakar Bhadra kills himself. The powerful district committee of Mityala routinely dismisses the suicide and refuses compensation to his widow. Gangiri, his brother, makes it his life’s mission to bring justice to the dead by influencing the committee to validate similar farmer suicides.

Keyur Kashinath of the Democratic Party—first-time member of Parliament from Mityala, and son of Vaishnav Kashinath, the party’s general secretary—is the heir to his father’s power in Delhi politics. He faces his first crisis; every suicide in his constituency certified by the committee as debt-related is a blot on the party’s image, and his competence.

The brilliant farmer battles his inheritance of despair, the arrogant politician fights for the power he has received as legacy. Their two worlds collide in a conflict that pushes both to the limits of morality from where there is no turning back. At stake is the truth about ‘inherited’ democratic power. And at the end, there can only be one winner.

Passionate and startlingly insightful, Shoes of the Dead is a chilling parable of modern-day India.

Very often when one read a political novel based on real incidents and when the subject is as heavy as this one, the readers often feel bogged down. But, that is not the case with this book. As Gangiri fights for a cause, the readers heart goes out for him. There is a ray of hope. We hope against hope, that maybe things will change for the better at some point.

"There were many such farmers, different names, same fate. As Gangiri heard the stories, he once again found himself wanting something that was denied to him, something he could not have. Justice."

If you have a keen interest in the politics you can even deduce who is who for some characters in the novel. The book is unsettling at times, at times you might feel you are having quite an easy life and that can fill you with guilt. It takes a great deal to write a book on such a sensitive issue with such aplomb. The writing style is crisp and lucid. The characters are real and they will stay with you for a long time. The book will keep you interested till the very end.

Read this book to understand how politics plays with the life of the farmers when they are alive and even after they are dead.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program. for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books! Thank you Blog adda for giving me the opportunity.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

Friday 31 May 2013

The Forest of Stories by Ashok K. Banker

I had received a review copy of 'The Seeds of War' by Ashok Banker - the second book of the much awaited Mahabharata series from blogadda. Ever since, I had read it, I had been meaning to read the first book of the series, The Forest of Stories and finally I bought myself a copy.

Here is the blurb from the book:

The Forest of Stories, Book One in Ashok Banker's long-awaited 'MBA' Series, takes us deep into the haunted jungle of Naimishavan. Here, at the ashram of Kulapati Shaunaka, a dusty traveler arrives with sad tidings: Maharishi Krishna Dweipayana Vyasa has passed on. Yet the great collator of the Vedas has left behind a fabulous legacy, the epic narrative poem called Mahabharata. At the urging of the ashramites, the traveler Suta begins to recite the great composition, starting with the incredible creation myths and tales of god and giants, snake-mothers and gargantuan eagles. And as the night wears on and the tale grows darker, he senses the presence of countless ghostly beings in the shadows beyond the flickering oil-lamps, the restless souls of the many millions butchered in the climactic war that ended the great tale itself, gathering now to hear the epic saga that led eventually to their destruction and the decimation of the Kuru Bharata race.

The author has tried to stick to the original ancient version of Mahabharata. How ever, as the blurb says, it is just the beginning of the narrative. Of all the mythology books I have read, I found this one a bit slow and heavy. Not that it was boring, but because as the narrator was decimating so much information in all the tales that build towards the great epic, after a while it was becoming a bit difficult to keep all the names and event in mind. It is written in the typical Banker style but, I wish the narration was a bit more coherent as my mind would often wander off and I had to re-read some parts of the book to establish the connection. How ever, it does not mean, you should not pick this book. It all depends on your level of interest in the great epic. Having read the second book of the series, I can say it only gets better.

I would give it a 3/5 star.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers

Sunday 19 May 2013

Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

It has been a while since, I read a crime fiction novel. In fact a long while since I can't even remember what was the last one I read. That's why when I saw 'Salvation of a Saint' by Keigo Higashino up for review at blogadda, I didn't even apply to review it at first. But, later when I came across great reviews from fellow bloggers, I was lured to read the book.

And I am glad I read it.

It is a first class crime fiction novel. If you are put off by blood and violence in crime fiction books, then you need not worry, as this book is not so much about crimes but about solving the mystery of crime committed. The author's style of unfolding the facts is unique. In fact, after reading the first couple of chapters, you will know who is the victim and who the possible suspect is. Yet, the book will keep you glued till the very end. There is not a single moment. It is indeed a great achievement for the author to keep the readers riveted even after revealing some fundamental facts about the mystery.

The plot revolves around a murder. The victim has died of poisoning while his wife Ayane is away. All circumstances and clues points towards the wife. But, there is a problem in establishing it. How could she have committed the murder when she was hundred of miles away.

As the Tokyo police detective Kusanagi delves into the past of the deceased, he picks up on an seemingly unrelated sequence of events. In the process, he also develops a soft corner for the prime suspect - Ayane. With his judgement clouded, will he be able to work on the case objectively and solve it. Is it reasonable for her assistant to seek the help of an old friend to solve the crime? Or is it possible that a perfect crime has been committed?

It will take a genius to unravel the complicated web of deceit and it takes a genius to write such an amazing and riveting book. It will definitely keep you hooked and reading through the night. Highly recommended.

I have heard that the first book by the author, Devotion of Suspect X is even better. Can't wait to lay my hand on it.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program. for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books! Thank you Blog adda for giving me the opportunity.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

Saturday 4 May 2013

Belur Math ~ For Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books. It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Alyce’s site.

This picture was taken on my recent rather hurried trip to Kolkata. One day we visited Belur Math in the morning and it was a nice experience. While Kolkata can easily be associated with crowds, traffic and hustle bustle of life; it is a city that never stops, Belur Math is quiet and tranquil. Just the kind of place you would go for a morning walk to kick start your day. The main temple stands tall in the center of the premise, but the only thing is taking pictures is prohibited! I had clicked some pictures away from the main premise. This is one of them.

If you plan to go to Kolkata Belur Math should be a must visit place on your list. To know more about it and catch a glimpse of it please check this link.

Thank you for stopping by!Cheers!

Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi

Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi

The blurb says:

The year is 340 BC. A hunted, haunted Brahmin youth vows revenge for the gruesome murder of his beloved father. Cold, calculating, cruel and armed with a complete absence of accepted morals, he becomes the most powerful political strategist in Bharat and succeeds in uniting a ragged country against the invasion of the army of that demigod, Alexander the Great. Pitting the weak edges of both forces against each other, he pulls off a wicked and astonishing victory and succeeds in installing Chandragupta on the throne of the mighty Mauryan empire.

History knows him as the brilliant strategist Chanakya.

Satisfied—and a little bored—by his success as a kingmaker, through the simple summoning of his gifted mind, he recedes into the shadows to write his Arthashastra, the ‘science of wealth’. But history, which exults in repeating itself, revives Chanakya two and a half millennia later, in the avatar of Gangasagar Mishra, a Brahmin teacher in small town India who becomes puppeteer to a host of ambitious individuals—including a certain slum child who grows up into a beautiful and powerful woman.

Modern India happens to be just as riven as ancient Bharat by class hatred, corruption and divisive politics and this landscape is Gangasagar’s feasting ground. Can this wily pandit—who preys on greed, venality and sexual deviance—bring about another miracle of a united India? Will Chanakya’s chant work again?

I had read this book quite some time back and a review of the same has been long due. I had great expectations from this book but, somehow I feel that it didn't really live up to my expectations. And that is not without reasons. The blurb is alluring, the plot is good but the narration falters. The Chanakya part is reasonably fine, but I couldn't relate even a bit to the character of Gangasagar. Many incidents and events in the book are exaggerated. I didn't get the motivation behind Gangasagar's actions. To top that, just like in a hero in Bollywood movie he does whatever he likes and gets away with it every time. I also didn't like the way Chandni's character is portrayed.

The book could have been better edited and could be reduced by some 100 odd pages. The author has tried to draw parallels between today's politics and that of ancient times and has succeeded to some extent. This book is fine if you are looking for a casual read. The story is quite predictable so, you won't have to strain your brain much. But, if you are looking for a classic political thriller, there are better options. Decide for yourself.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Can Love Happen Twice by Ravinder Singh

Anyone who has read 'I Too Had A Love Story' by Ravinder Singh and was touched by it, would definitely pick up the author's second book - Can Love Happen Twice. We all have some expectations from an author whose work we appreciated. But, many a times all those hopes fall flat when the author's work doesn't meet our expectations. Let me tell you why I say so.

Here, I can't help but draw a comparison between the two books of the author.The first book was based on a true story, the author's own love story. Not that the writing style of the book was great, but the story touched the heart of many, for its simplicity and honesty. For all the author had been through in his life, the readers felt empathy for him. In the second book - Can love happen twice, which is a work of the author's imagination, he has tried to sell the old-stale-love-story in a new packaging.

Plot is simple. Boy is lonely and trying to live with his past. He goes abroad for work. Sees an Indian girl. Falls for her. Love happens. Boy is back to India. Trouble starts. Suddenly, career is more important for the girl and she breaks up with him. Boy is broken and gets mental. He runs to the street and meets an accident and hence, ends up in a rehabilitation home.

And guess who is telling us this story? His three friends reads his unfinished book on a radio show!


The problems doesn't end with the plot, the characters are also very poorly sketched. The character of Simar is irritating, melodramatic and irrational. She is nothing like the character of Khushi of 'I Too Had A Love Story'. The love portrayed between Ravin and Simar is more of an infatuation which fades with time. To top all this, the author keeps bragging about being a best selling author through out the book. Looks like the success of his debut novel has got into his head. If he thinks that he can sell any crap for a love story, then he is wrong. This book doesn't work for me.

If you have read the author's first book and liked it then, please don't pick up this one. It will ruin your empathy for the author. I don't think I am going to read any more of his work. That is, if he decides to write another book.

You can surely give this one a miss.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers.

Sunday 28 April 2013

Business Sutra by Devdutt Pattanaik

‘As is belief, so is behavior, so is business. This is business sutra, a very Indian approach to management.’

This line captures the very essence of the book.

Devdutt Pattanaik's latest book, Business Sutra - A very Indian approach to management, combines Indian mythology and business and makes the reader delve into a business approach that is very Indian. The author argues that despite its veneer of objectivity, modern management is rooted in Western beliefs. Hence, the approach is goal-oriented, obsessed with objectives, milestones, and targets. By contrast, Business Sutra is gaze-oriented. Great value is placed on the practice of darshan: how we see the world and our relationship with Lakshmi, goddess of wealth.

The blurb says:

Business Sutra uses stories, symbols and rituals drawn from Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology to understand a wide variety of business situations that range from running a successful tea stall to nurturing talent in a large multinational corporation. At the heart of the book is a compelling premise: if we believe that wealth needs to be chased, the workplace becomes a rana-bhoomi—a battleground of investors, regulators, employers, employees, vendors, competitors and customers; if we believe that wealth needs to be attracted, the workplace becomes a ranga-bhoomi—a playground where everyone is happy.

Brilliantly argued, original and thoroughly accessible, Business Sutra presents a radical and nuanced approach to management, business and leadership in a diverse, fast- changing, and increasingly polarized world.

The book is divided into three sections: 'Introduction', 'From Goal to Gaze' and finally 'Business Sutra'. I found the first two sections a bit cumbersome. But once you are through it, you get into the flow of the book. The author's writing style is detailed, crisp and there are no loose ends. The content of the book is well complimented by illustrations and drawings. The book is not the kind that can be rushed upon; instead, it should be read slowly - a few sutras at a time. I seriously thought that 10 days given by blogadda, to read and review this book were not enough. In fact, I want to re read this book at my own pace sometime soon. The beauty of the book is that, you don't have to read the book in any chronological order. You can start with any sutra and there will definitely be something to learn from it.

The author has not only explained each and every sutra, but has also dwelled on how they are valid in the current business scenario. It is a very well researched and well written book. You don't have to be from a business background to read and understand this book. The author's writing style is simple, lucid and easily understandable. While reading this book, you will be able to relate to a lot of scenarios presented in the book. In fact, the way you see business and life will change.

If you love to read book based on mythology, you can't miss this one. It needs a bit of patience to read it but, it is well worth it.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program. for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books! Thank you Blog adda for giving me the opportunity.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

Saturday 6 April 2013

Karla Caves ~ Saturday Snapshot

This week for Saturday Snapshot I am sharing a few pictures of Karla Caves, Lonavala. I will elaborate on them later, for now enjoy the pictures of these ancient carvings.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books. It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Alyce’s site.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers.

Friday 5 April 2013

Blog Updates, Rants and a Picture

I have been trying to keep this blog going with picture posts for the past few days. Needless to say, days have been busy and then will be so in coming days as well. In all the hustle bustle of life, I really find it difficult to squeeze time for blogging. It's not that I don't want to, but it seems like I am not very efficient in managing my time. But, things need to change now.

And for that, I have laid some rules for myself.

I have decided to blog more often, even if it is just a picture post. I will put up updates about what I am reading, any new books I have bought. I will interact more often on my Facebook page, on twitter and will try spending some time on Pinterest and try out recipes and stuffs I have pinned on Pinterest. I know that is easier said than done. But, I have to do it. Seriously!

On the reading front, I have read 'The Oath of Vayuputras' by Amish Tripathi. Review will be up soon.

To make things interesting for my readers, I am going to announce an event here soon. And it will come with some prizes too.. So, stay tuned.

And before, I end my short post, I want to share another sunset picture. I had posted one recently

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!
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