Sunday, 20 August 2017

Pathshala Funwala: English English

#PathshalaFunwala #English


Although our mother-tongue is not English, in my case it is Hindi, but English plays a rather crucial role in our lives. People judge us based on our fluency and accent. And they rate our knowledge and level with the usage of big words. The more you mouth bigger words, the better your English is -no matter if they understand you or not. Yes, this is the current mentality of India and I have faced similar situation.

My mother tells me that she fought our elders to place me and my sister in an English-medium school. She didn't want us to face similar issues she faced when she was growing up. For the record, my mother is a successful gynecologist and she states that lack of proper English caused many hurdles for her. So, yes, she got us in the best English medium school Agra city had to offer. However, the biggest problem was, despite being an English medium, no one spoke in English in our school -not even English teacher. The system failed her and though I knew better English in comparison to other kids in my neighborhood, I failed her. Well, the system failed her. I was too little to understand the importance back then, so I didn't put any efforts in learning good English. I could read and write but my fluency was zero. Problems with us Indians is that, we think in Hindi or our mother-tongue, translate in our minds and blurt English words. And during this translation, we lose our vocabulary, grammar and everything else. I realized this problem when I started giving interviews for colleges.
Even the worst colleges gave preference to fluency in English. Sadly I am not of any any reserved category, so I had to face the harsh reality. Despite passing with flying colors, I failed to get admission in two colleges -it depressed me and gave me a sense of reality. The interview of third college was two months later and it was my preferred college -closer to home and with good placements. I knew my chances were very slim because there were only twenty seats in 'General category' and students from all over India applied to this college. I lost all hopes! How can I get in this college when others wont take me? At this time my mom came to my rescue. She explained me what I had informed her -I failed because of my fluency, so I need to work on it. 

I didn't know what to do, so I found the best available option. I started reading. In a span of two months I read more than fifty English books and two complete -page to page English newspapers daily. And without even knowing the magic happened!

In the interview, as I started answering words came automatically. I didn't even realize. After ten odd minutes I felt a sudden jolt -I still remember that I had abruptly stopped mid-sentence because I had realized that the words coming out of my mouth were in English and they was flawless. Interviewer had asked - 'is everything alright?' and I had smiled, more to myself, and continued.

Yes, I had gotten the admission that day and it was the best day of my new life. I never ignored my English post that.

I am sure, just like me there are many kids out there who want to learn good English and be proud, just like I am. And Nihar Shanti Amla has taken a wonderful initiative of helping children take first step. They even have a toll free number 8055667788 which provides all necessary details. 


I am blogging about Pathshala Funwala by Nihar Shanti Amla Oil in association with BlogAdda

Love and Cheers


Friday, 18 August 2017

Book: The revenge of Gandhi's followers - A Story that Motivates

#BookReviews


Title:  The revenge of Gandhi's followers (LEADER OF MILLIONS Book 1
Author: B P Senapati, Durgesh Nandini Das
Publisher: Blackeyes publication
Pages: 188
Price: Rs. 58 (Kindle Edition)
My Rating: 3.75/5

Blurb:
Nobody is going to remember your mark, people only remember your work. 
Without innovation mark is meaningless, without creativity knowledge has no value, without vision and goal a man is nothing more than a dead body . 
Only human can innovative things, discover something, write a book, and create marvelous paintings. By a business idea can give employment to thousands of employee. Try to create or innovative something, if you get success then it's great. If you become a failure then what's the big deal? 
It's thought of Vijay, he was a man with different thought, he had every symptom of a great man, still he lived with his mediocre dreams to get a job and then marry his childhood sweetheart. After few years of job experience wanted to establish his own business like millions of other, but fate had some different plans. Our corrupt system forced him to enter into the dirty game of politics. He gained power to avenge his antagonists, but being a Gandhian, his strategy was something unusual . . . his revenge wasn't ordinary . . .

Review:
As I came across this title, my first thought was - politics or what? Is it based on Gandhi's life or is it the revenge of Gandhi's murder... however it is none. Though my expectations were different but I was definitely not disappointed with what I read.

Revenge of Gandhi's followers is a thriller that has strong elements of romance to it. It is one of those books that force you to think about the world we live in and motivates you to do something to make it a good place. 

The story revolves around key five characters, Rakesh, Vijay, Priya, Ishita and Rashmi. Rakesh is the narrator of the story and this book is his narration of lives of all five friends, however, it is primarily dedicated to Vijay. Vijay is the key character, who after a brutal incidence decides to clean the system by taking the plunge into it.
His ambition takes him to politics and he takes India on a new route. I don't want to spill the beans here, but he built a rather ambitious system... If it truly happens, well, no one can stop India.

The narration of the plot is very good and engrossing. While reading you can relate to everything that is happening. The characters are well-built too -especially of Vijay's. He is a true hero of the nation.

Overall, I liked the book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a good romance tale with motivation.

Hope you enjoy reading it too.

Lots of Love
 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Have you watched 'Good Witch' TV Show?

#GoodWitch  #TVShows

It says it is a supernatural drama, well with the name being 'Good Witch' but apparently it is not. It is a sweet Rom-Com which just brings smile to face.

Simple yet beautiful, it is show about newly widowed Cassie Nightingale, played by Catherine Bell, and her life and her 'feelings'. When I say feelings I mean she has very strong intuitive sense and she uses it to help all other people in the quiet town Middleton. Her daughter Grace, Bailee Madison, inherits her intuitive sense and discovers her gifts with help of her mother.
The show also revolves around Cassie's developing relationship with her new neighbor Sam, James Denton. Sam is the only doctor in Middleton and it is exciting to see their beautiful chemistry.

The other characters of the show bring about a charm too. The mayor Martha, Bistro owner Steph and few others add life.

Every episode has a beautiful message to convey and after watching all episodes that have been aired, I highly recommend this show to anyone who just wanna watch something simple and adorable.

Do give it a try. Click here for its Wikipedia page.

Lots of love.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Book: Moon in the Sun - A Novel in Poetic Form

#BookReviews


Title:  The Moon in the Sun: A Novel in Poetry of Love, Life, Soul & Wildlife
Author: Sanjay Kumar Singh
Publisher: Notion Press
Pages: 198
Price: Rs. 340
My Rating: 3.75/5

Blurb:
When Narayan Sambhan's world fell apart at a very tender age, the time he spent in the forests that lay ample around his village resuscitated him. No one knew the forests and the tiger better than Narayan Sambhan. But the forests are mercilessly cut down and increasing loneliness invades his life. As he struggles to carry on, a remarkable incident takes place.
The Moon In the Sun is a tale in poetry set in the Himalayan Terai replete with mesmerizing sights, bliss and beauty as also nerve-wracking experiences that the jungles alone can provide and bestow. It is also a touching tale, in poetry, of the wonderful journey that life can be when the soul attempts to break free.

Review:
A story of love, life and freedom, 'The Moon in the Sun' is a beautiful story in form of poetry. It is the first book I have come across in this form and it is rather impressive.
I know how hard it is to write poems - especially finding rhymes... and Sanjay -the author- has done it wonderfully.

The story revolves around Narayan Sambhan and his experiences in the wild. He loves forest and everything that comes with it and when he is hired to spot a tiger, everything changes. Set in Himalayan Terai, you are bound to fall in love with the surroundings.

The cover of the book is interesting and though at random title may seem a bit weird, but it totally makes sense when in context of the book.

The only drawback of the book is that too much poetry can also prove to be a monotonous. I am not an avid poem reader hence reading this book in one stretch was a bit taxing. Had to finish it in multiple sittings. Also, it is way too expensive... It would be better go with kindle version.

My overall rating is 3.75/5 (points added for wondrous Himalayas and poetry). 

You can also grab your copy and share your opinions.

Lots of love

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Book - Twenty Twenty: A Fast Paced Thriller

#BookReviews


Title:  Twenty Twenty: A Race Against Time
Author: Anuraag Srivastava
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Pages: 224
Price: Rs. 110
My Rating: 3.5/5

Blurb:

Life is a fast-paced Twenty20 game and you need to keep playing to win. Abhi and Aditi are siblings who want to realise their dreams in the ever upgrading world. In the midst of all the struggle and success, they get entangled in a strange web. If they are not able to resolve the crisis in twenty days, their very existence can come under threat. In short, they have to hit sixes on every bouncer thrown at them. Not just with the world outside, this ordeal is also a fight with one's own character and principles.
Unwanted situations, unexpected turns, money and sex push them deeper into the web. Manipulations and treachery become the order. The hunter becomes the hunted. A vicious circle of betrayal and debauchery is created. 'Twenty Twenty' is a story of betrayal, deceit and relationships, where a master planner devises games, to get to his own ambitions.

Review:
While reading a thriller, first thing you want it is that it should be fast... Slow and dragged thriller books are real turn-off and 'Twenty-twenty' doesn't disappoint. 

Cover is rather simple, to me it doesn't raise that curiosity that book demands. But yeah, it is decent.

Talking about story, it revolves around siblings, Abhi and Aditi and how they have to come up with twenty lacs in mere twenty days. Everyone knows it is not an easy and simple task and yet they manage it... How? Using tricks, sex and other 'non-ethical' practices of course. The book strongly talks about women and their preferences for physical pleasures. Many say, if men can, then why can't women. It is very well said point and yes, our society is biased. But to me, anyone - be it a man or a woman, indulging with multiple partners is non-justified. And hence, it proved to be a disappointment in the story.

Characters are well narrated, especially of the leads. There are many others and I felt author has done justification to each. Some could have been a elaborated bit more, but as per story, they are perfect.

Overall it is a decent read. It is simple, well narrated book that will keep you on your toes.

My rating - 3.5/5 (a pretty good read)

You can grab your copy below.


Love and Cheers



Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Words Watch #6

#WordsWatch  #HindiShayri


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Chronux - Past, Present and Future

#BookReviews


Title:  Chronux
Author: Sagar Kamath
Publisher: BecomeShakespeare.com
Pages: 462
Price: Rs. 475
My Rating: 3.5/5

Blurb:
During our more ‘Philosophical’ moments…we have all wondered about ‘Time’…its true nature…and its impact on us! But what if?...‘Time’…had similar concerns…about us? For the people of Aruhu, a tiny Himalayan village, deep in India’s ancient past, what begins as a visitation by a mysterious entity, quickly morphs into an inescapable trap…one that has left its imprint on all of human history…and the future! This is a trap that has seduced hundreds through its lure of absolute power, including the Nazis…who mount an epic expedition to unearth the source of God’s power on Earth…only to discover that the cost of absolute power…is also absolute! This is the story ‘Time’ wants to tell us…this is the story of Chronux!

Review:
Time is the most valuable commodity today, if you have time you can conquer anything. And book Chronux has showcased the same. The importance of time...

The book starts with the beautiful mysterious place called 'Aruhu', and how its life changes with the appearance of a strange visitor. People there learn all sorts of things from him and when they are getting used to him, he just vanishes into the thin air. However what he leaves behind are not some simple relics but the most precious items that may turn the tides of time.

The story jumps from one place to another. Author has divided book into multiple episodes and all link wonderfully. The narrator has done a good job while binding them together. Each episode is written in favor of one major incident from history like bombing of Hiroshima-Nagasaki, Hitler, Nazis etc. The way certain events have been described, you tend to feel 'did it really happen this way?'

The linkage of 'past, present and future' is also very impressive. And while reading you can feel the level of research author must have done to make this book a reality. It is commendable.

What I didn't like about the book are two things - firstly its cover. It simply puts the book under 'ordinary' category and doesn't do justice to what pages hold. Maybe for next edition author can choose a better cover. Secondly, the story although is impressive but loses essence from time and again.

Overall, it is a pretty nice read and my rating is 3.5/5

You can grab your copy here.

Love and Cheers

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Interesting Facts #5

#SomeInterestingFacts


Nose prints are used to identify dogs, 

just like humans use fingerprint!





Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Book - Chariots of Mahabharata: A Newer Version



#BookReviews


Title:  Chariots of Mahabharata
Author: Himanshu Rai
Publisher: Invincible Publisher
Pages: 230
Price: Rs. 240
My Rating: 2.5/5

Blurb:
"It is not a story of Mahabharata. It is a story of people, progeny who pulled the story of Mahabharata on their shoulders, to let Dharma win over evil. It is a story of Unknown characters of Mahabharata. Whatever stories we heard of Mahabharata from our ancestor, are they the only ones or are there more facts hidden We have read the Mahabharata in terms of Kauravas and Pandavas. Read about how Draupadi was insulted in an open court. But little do we know about the land of Mohoma. Mohoma, a courtier of King Shantanu's kingdom, whose legacy had a role to play in the Mahabharata war. How his family was cursed, divided in taking sides between the two; Kauravas and Pandavas. But the land of Mohoma is nowhere mentioned in the depths of time. This is the story of that family who went through turmoil because of someone else's war, in the war of their master's rivalry, and how they and the progeny of the two great armies viewed the entire war. After all, were the Pandavas really correct? Were the Kauravas so wrong in what they did?"


Review:
When thinking about mythology most of us question its possibility, isn't it? At least I do, and the first question that always pops in my mind is - 'did this really happen?' Yes, many argue that it did and believe me I have an unwavering faith in God but these stories make me question. They make me question about how can God allow all such ugly things (especially when he was present on Earth back then)? Anyways, I have read many versions of mythologies and Himanshu has brought in a newer one to add.

Talking about plot, it is a spin-off of the old school Mahabharata and have delved into parts which other writers (of previous versions) have chosen to ignore.

Characters are more and less same. However, they have been woven in such fashion that it confuses at times.

To me it is an okay read because of a few points. I couldn't find anything super-exciting. Yes, it is a new version of Mahabharata but it felt like re-invention of wheel. Also the writing style and editing need a lot of changes. Writing needs to be more engaging, currently it is very bland.

Also, the cover is very simple. Given the concept it holds, it could have been much more happening and exciting.

My rating: 2.5/ 5 (An Okay read)

You can grab your copy below:


Love and Cheers


Friday, 2 June 2017

House of Cards S5 is Manipulative and Full of Power Hunger

#HOConZCafe 


When thinking of 'House of Cards' show, the first thing that comes to mind is Politics. Yes the show is about politics but it is also turning into terrorism -no, not the kind that blows up our homes with bombs, but of the kind that creates chaos and menace in a slow and steady fashion.

I have been watching this show for quite some time now and it has always been a kickass show. It always keeps us on our toes and leaves us hanging in anticipation of 'what will happen next?' The way it introduces characters - so many times they are dark and shady, it gives a perfect glimpse of what might be happening in the world that we are totally unaware about. It also dictates how people do foul play, just to get into the seat.

Each season mesmerizes viewers more. And the way people come into power and the way they fall out is most impressive. 

However, what is most impressive is the lead character, Frank Underwood. You hate him so much but you love him at the same time. You want Claire to be with him, yet you want them separated. It is the beauty of these characters that keeps us totally hooked to the show. 

I don’t want to put in spoilers, but election of Donald Trump has put the show even in high gears. While reading about Trump and watching Underwood, you can’t help but consider the similarities both have. I was stumped with similar strategies as well. The minds, the ruthlessness, the intolerance makes this show even more realistic now.

Overall, it is a fascinating and a mind blowing show. And now, the wait is finally over as Season 5 has released and it is impressing the world with each episode. I have watched Episode 1 and it is even more ruthless and terrorizing then ever. If I can say, it is dominating the world with its manipulation and power-hunger. A must watch...

If you have not watched the show yet, I would strongly recommend that you do. And please start with Season 1 and not with Season 5. Well, you can watch Season 5 directly but you might miss out on the charm of how Underwood actually got into power. And if you have watched all 4 seasons, don’t wait up and watch it starting this weekend.

So, set your timetables right because Frank Underwood is coming to India with the television premiere of House Of Cards Season 5 on Saturday, 3rd June, 5 PM onwards, only on Zee Café.

Follow https://www.facebook.com/ZeeCafe for more updates.

I hope you are going to watch it, because I am.


Enjoy.

Love and Cheers


Monday, 29 May 2017

Book: Parrot Under the Pine Tree - A Mental Trip to Kausani

#BookReviews



Title:  Parrot Under the Pine Tree
Author: Surendra Pratap Singh
Publisher: Invincible Publisher
Pages: 252
Price: Rs. 240
My Rating: 3/5

Blurb:
Parrot under the Pine Tree is the powerful expression of love. In the girl's heart; it's subtle, sublime and eternal. But in the boy's heart; it's earthy, insecure and restless. The anxiety brings the two young hearts close. In the clean and tranquil environs of Kausani, Vedanta inadvertently meets Saranga under bizarre circumstances and both fall in love with each other. But Alas! Their happiness doesn't last long. On one fateful night of temptation, the storm that blows up not only consumes his heart and soul, but also shreds that of Saranga into pieces. On insistence of her grandma Saranga agrees to give a second chance to a repentant Vedanta. But misgivings remain in her heart. Will Kausani rework the magic again between the estranged couple?

Review:
Some people are meant to be together, but what they do later is totally up to them - this is the theme of the book.
The story revolves around Vedanta (aka Ved) and Saranga (aka Sara). Ved meets Sara in a small village known as Kausani and immediately falls in love. Things turn out well for them, they get married and are blessed with a beautiful boy, Dhruv. However, their marriage starts to fail and Ved -our so called loving hero- betrays Sara and cheat on her. The story takes a full U-turn from there and focuses on rebuilding their relationship. I wont reveal what happens next...you have to read it yourself. Sshh!

One of the best thing about this book is narration. Author has so wonderfully and vividly portrayed the beauty of Kausani that you feel like you are actually there. 

Characters of Ved and Sare are built well but there are too many side-characters which don't really serve the purpose. They feel like a distraction.

What I didn't like about the book is adultery (yes, it was the core of the story, but it was a turnoff for me). Too many characters kind of irritated me. Also, at times there is so much narration that story starts lacking. I agree narration is well written but it is an overdose.

Overall it is a pretty good read and I would recommend it to every romance reader. 

You can grab your copy at below link:


Love and Cheers

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Book - Karma: A quick ride of Paranormal

#BookReviews


Title:  Karma - The Insta Read
Author: Kevin Missal
Publisher: Kalamos Literary Services
Pages: 88
Price: Rs. 99
My Rating: 3.5/5

Review:
This is my first of two: first Insta Read (and as can be seen on cover, it is also the first of the world 😉) and my first paranormal romance. When Kalamos offered me this book to review, my first question was, 'what is Insta Read'. Well, it is bigger than a pocket book, but smaller than a novella. Which makes it interesting.

Talking about the story, it is pretty interesting and engrossing. From start to end. Perfect thriller and mystery. The end is pretty surprising. It revolves around two characters, Karman and his dead wife, Urvi. What makes it interesting is the fact how all others are linked.

It touches upon the various issues of society like love, betrayal, rape, religion etc. I liked reading the book, but there are a few things I didn't like and could have been improved. To start with, the narration could have been much better. I understand the purpose was to write a quick story, but it shouldn't be at cost of narration. Also the end was a bit abrupt. And, the editing could have been much better. There are no mistakes as such, but writing could have been much polished.

Overall, it is a nice read and I liked it. I hope Kalamos will take care of narration in the next edition.Love and Cheers



Words Watch #5

#WordsWatch  #HindiShayri


वो कहती है, अब तुम निभाते नहीं हो,
मैंने भी कह दिया, अब तुम पहले की तरह चाहते नहीं हो ...!!

Indian Bloggers


P.S.: authored by my father-in-law, who is an excellent hindi shayar. Please do leave your views :)

Monday, 22 May 2017

Interesting Facts #4

#SomeInterestingFacts


Apples are 25% air.



No wonder they make you burp. LOL!


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Book: The Highway Man - 3 power-packed short stories.

#BookReviews

Indian Bloggers
Title:  The Highway Man: Short Stories
Author: J Alchem
Publisher: Kindle Ebook
Pages: 49
Price: Rs. 46
My Rating: 4.5/5

Blurb:

The whole world is upside down. People are walking in the sky with the ground moving above their heads. And the reason is simple; a bestselling author is in love. But why the whole world is inverted? What's so special about this love? Or worse?


A man throws his masculine brain and heart aside and fixes a feminine one there. And the reason is simple; he wants to live the life of his lover, for 24 hours. But why does he want to do that? What's the need?

A man, neatly dressed in a suit, is playing with his bowler hat, on a highway at dawn. And the reason is simple; he needs a lift. But why does he need a lift? What's his purpose?

Review:
This ebook is a very quick read, and believe it or not these 46 pages consist of 3 power-packed short stories.

Let me break down each one for you:
1. Catherine: a brilliantly written story about a best selling author who is in love with his own fictional character. It is a rather quick and well described story. What intrigued me about this story was the end. I loved it.

2. Sidzy; for a day: a simple story of love and passion. It narrates how a man can surprise his woman and repay her for everything by just one loving kind gesture. It is nice, but honestly, I liked this one least (well if I have to compare).

3. The Highway Man: A nice story with sad beginning and happy ending. It is story of loss and tragedy, and is written in way that initially you want to kill the lead for being so selfish. But later you understand his pain. 

Overall it is a very good read and I strongly recommend it everyone. I loved it. And you can grab your copy below:



Love and Cheers

My Books...