Thursday, December 28, 2017

Book Review - Kartikeya The Destroyer's Son by Anuja Chandramouli

We have heard many stories about Ganesha, but stories of his brother Kartikeya were limited. I was always curious about Kartikeya so this book was enlightening for me.

Book Blurb
Unravel the puzzle that is the mysterious and misunderstood son of Mahadeva.
Kartikeya was born from the flames of a desperate need, an ardent desire and an utmost devastation. In him was distilled the terrible powers of Mahadeva, at its fiercest and most deadly. Although he fought many wars and slew many tyrants, his gifts to humanity have always been those of mercy, compassion and love. What makes this possible?
For Kartikeya, there have always been more questions than answers. Did he really walk away from his family over a piece of fruit? What about the women in his life—was he the ravisher he is at times accused of being, or the protector of women? Was he the violent warrior who revelled in bloodlust, or a gentle family man? What was his relationship with his more popular sibling, Ganesha?
Anuja Chandramouli weaves together myth, imagination and folklore while looking to answer these questions and recreates for modern readers the story of one of the most enigmatic gods—Kartikeya.
The Kartikeya is the first son of the destroyer Shiva and the goddess Parvati. He was also chief commander of Deva's army. The purpose of Kartikeya's birth was to kill Asura king who has taken charge of heaven and to restore the place of Indra as king of heaven. Kartikeya was a benevolent warrior and a generous soul. The handsome God was also popular amongst the female and every female irrespective of race loved him.

To my surprise, in this book the antagonist was the God of heaven Indra, whose character was shown as greedy and hungry for power. Also, the story of the birth of Ganesh was quite unexpected as I know a bit different version of the story. The book has some adult content so you can't read this book to kids.

I liked this book throughout only the end was a bit odd for me. But overall it was quite enlightening, spiritual and good read.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Characters - 4/5
  4. Concept - 3.5/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

True Characters of Ponniyin Selvan

One of many fascinating aspects that have captured the imagination of its readers for decades is the fact that 80% of characters in Ponniyin Selvan are real people. These individuals have found a place in history and their names are etched in stone. Their actions and subsequent life has been recorded for posterity.

The epic story of Ponniyin Selvan occurs during a period of turmoil during the last years of Emperor Sundara Chola’s reign. Their actions during this brief period of time, defines them for a lifetime and that makes this epic more interesting to read.

As we follow their characters through their life, their motivations, desires and ambitions, many of their actions become apparent.

Raja Raja Cholan aka Arul Mozhi Varman

Figure 2 - Emperor Raja Rajan's Statue

The man, who lent his name to this epic story, is one of the iconic kings of the Chola dynasty. He reigned the Chola Kingdom from 985 AD – 1014 AD. During his period, he captured Sri Lanka, Malabar Coast and Maldives Island and annexed and integrated them with his expanding Kingdom. He also built the massive Brihadeeshwarar Temple in Thanjavur (a UNESCO heritage temple today), one of the largest in India. Raja Rajan’s reign was also known for his able administration and the massive literary project of collecting the Tamil poems of Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar into one compilation called Thirumurai. This ensured the survival of many obscure literature composed by these Saint-poets. Devout, intelligent, astute and yet stern Raja Raja Cholan was unlike any other Chola King in his dynasty.

In Ponniyin Selvan, he is just a 19-year-old Prince young in years and Kalki very astutely shows us the many influences that help shape him into the Emperor that he becomes in the later years.

Princess Kundavai
Figure 3 Venkundra Kottathu Nalloor Naattin Rajarajapuram - A temple built by Princess Kundavai

Figure 4 Inscription that names Princess Kundavai

The older and wiser sister of Raja Raja Cholan was the one who inspired him to achieve greatness. She mentored him when he was young and more importantly she brought up her nephew Emperor Rajendra Cholan, Raja Rajan’s son whose reign was known as the golden period of Chola dynasty and rightly so.

In Ponniyin Selvan, Kundavai is not a demure heroine. She is a political player, wise, intelligent beyond her years. Her determination not marry and leave her kingdom comes through early on in the novel. But one young warrior manages to change her mind and captures her heart…

Vandiya Devan
No. Vandiya Devan is not an imaginary character. He was indeed the Bana Prince who married Kundavai. You will find the inscription that attests this fact at Brahadeeshwara Temple, Thanjavur.

Figure 5 Inscriptiosn that name Vandiya Devan in Brihadeeshwara Temple

Historically not much is known about him. Many acts point to him as belonging to the Chalukya clan. The plausibility of that is high because after Kundavai’s marriage to him, Raja Rajan went ahead and forged a much closer alliance with the Chalukyas by giving his own daughter’s hand in marriage to Prince Vimaladhithan.

What’s even more fascinating is the fact that Kalki originally intended Vandiya Devan to be the second hero of the novel but he became larger than life and overshadowed Emperor Raja Rajan himself in the story. That’s what makes Ponniyin Selvan the epic that it is.

Princess Vanathi
The Kudanthai astrologer was bang on when he predicted that her husband would become the king of kings and her son an emperor. She marries Arul Mozhi and bears the greatest King of Chola dynasty ever.

Queen Sembiyanmadevi
This dowager queen is renowned for the staggering amount of endowments that she gave to the temples in Chola Empire. Known as one of the most powerful queens of Chola empire, her contribution to the preservation of temples is immense.
Figure 6 - Sembiyan madevi's statue

Prince Madhuranthakan
The Illustrious son of Queen Sembiyanmadevi and the cousin of Emperor Sundara Chola, Uttama Chola ascends the throne after his demise. He was known as an upstanding and ardent devotee of Shiva. His patronage to Shiva temples is immense and it was he who codified temple patterns, epigraphy, art and instituted the upkeep of administrative records, much of which has survived to this date.

Anbil Anirudhar
One of the leading ministers of Sundara Chola’s administration we learn about him through the famous ‘anbil plates’ that lists his ancestors and that of Sundara Chola’s while attesting to his importance in the court. History attests to the fact that he served three kings subsequently as a minister.
Figure 7 - Copper Plates that names the ancestory of Anirudhar and also of Sundara Chola

Ravidasan & Soman Sambavan
These were not some random names picked up by Kalki. They were in fact high-ranking officials in Sundara Chola’s court and they find mention in the Thiruvalangadu copper plates as the conspirators behind the Crown Prince’s untimely death. They are also mentioned in the inscriptions found in Chola temple of Udaiyarkudi as being banished from the Kingdom for their involvement in Aditya Karikalan’s murder. Many historians have since theorized that since the brothers Ravidasan and Soman Sambavan were Brahmins by caste, the capital punishment couldn’t be given to them so they were instead banished along with their families.
Figure 8 - Inscriptiosn from Udaiyarkudi temple that proclaims the punishment for Ravidasan

Mandakini Devi
Mandakini Devi also known as ‘Oomai Rani’ is the deaf and mute woman who is the mother of twins Nandini and Madhuranthakan. In Ponniyin Selvan, she saves Prince Arul Mozhi’s life many times over and loves him like her own son. Kalki has certainly given his imagination a free rein when it comes to her yet there is a temple in Thanjavur built by Emperor Raja Rajan and he named it Singala Nachiyar Kovil. We know not whether she was a real character but the fact that the king built this temple certainly sparked Kalki’s imagination for good.

Figure 9 - Singala Nachiyar Temple

Sadly, a host of other characters like Nandini, Poonghuzhali, Azhwarkadiyan, Periya Pazhuvetarayar are all imaginary but they are no less fascinating if not more.
The fact that all these characters have appeared in inscriptions is a continuous source of interest for the readers and I guess that’s one of the reasons why we keep reading this epic novel again and again.

Book can be found at - Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

If you have missed our review of this book check out here - Review Link

Awaken The Power of Insight - A Book on Mental Wellness

Some of the problems we face in life are truly hard to solve with our normal way of thinking alone. Sometimes the answer we’re looking for is right there in our own heads, sitting and waiting to be plucked, but then life’s distractions, various barriers, and our own egos make it impossible for us to know what it is. Project Bodi: Awaken the Power of Insight by Hosein Kouros-Mehr is more than just some future tech science fiction novel. This book, divided into three parts, challenges successful individuals to look within their own minds for solutions to help the world in whatever way they can while achieving wonders at the same time.

In 2025, Shiv Patel became Google’s CEO. Four years later, he aims to do what Google couldn’t do yet and that is to replace the smartphone entirely. Google Vision smartglasses, if Project Bodi proves to be a success, will be the next big technological gadget, and a revolutionary one at that. He has Dr. Bethany Andrews, who quickly rose to the ranks of Vice President of Google and became the head of the company’s Artificial Intelligence department, at the helm of Project Bodi. For Beth to pull this off, she has to make some readjustments to her team because one of her team members is not being productive. What makes matters worse is Project Bodi’s short deadline.

A company like Google obviously has to rely on people who can come up with new and groundbreaking ideas so that it can stay ahead of everybody else in the tech development world. Throughout the story line, Shiv composes and edits a document to help his employees. “He wanted to help foster their innovation and unleash their mind’s full potential as Google employees”. Ironically, composing this document turns out to be for a reason much bigger than the company. “Shiv was tapping into the key mental health problem of modern society and using ancient healing methods to offer a solution.”

Shiv’s wife had passed away of pancreatic cancer and he has two daughters named Tara and Malia. Malia, the older sister, has gotten into trouble at school and her grades are falling. She is also constantly on her smartphone. As Shiv reflects, the youth are “a distracted generation that” spend “their entire lives on their smartphones, constantly obsessing about social media and not able to focus on anything else”. I liked Shiv because he runs a mega company and his thoughts are only filled with ways to help people become less distracted and more clear minded so that they can receive valuable insights from their subconscious minds. Portrayed as a man who lives by the traits of “compassion, devotion, and innovation”, the author truly makes Shiv a man to admire.

Austin, a programmer that had gotten a job at Google straight out of graduation, only cares about music festivals, electronic dance music, the stock market, and doing drugs. At work, he’s not doing good. Beth knows that he is a genius, but she has no choice but to have him demoted. The author makes readers see how easily Austin gets distracted from making any progress at work. Hitting rock bottom is inevitable for him. Mindzone, a Google app with some bald guy teaching Austin mindfulness exercises so that he can become aware of his distractions, might just be the solution that saves him. Watching him rise again into his genius self was heavenly, but fascinatingly, his battle with distractions return in a different form: his own ego.

What I like about the author’s writing the most is that he made me experience the kind of atmosphere that I think Google employees of today must experience on a daily basis. There is this scene in which Shiv Patel looks down at the Golden Gate Bridge and I swear I’m standing in his shoes and looking through his eyes, also feeling the “wave of energy” that came over him. An atmosphere of limitless possibilities and technological wonder, I think.

I also liked the tension every time Dr. Bethany Andrews had to attend a committee meeting to update the Google big suits on the progress of Project Bodi. The author adds pressure to the whole project because Shiv wants to see results, Beth struggles with making the smartglasses work with eye tracking, and Austin has his own battle to fight before he can make any game changing breakthroughs.

Google, the real one, has made the lives of anyone who owns a smartphone a lot more easier and manageable. In this book, the company’s utilities include everything from ways to diagnose sickness, personal A.I.s, and an app to help you clear your mind. In this slightly more advanced technological age, people still face the problems they’ve always faced. In this scenario, we see someone who uses his position of being at the top of the biggest tech company in the world do what he can to change what he believes needs changing. I didn’t like this part about the book. I loved it.

For me, the whole 2029 deal seems unnecessary. If the author wanted to, he could’ve set this novel in our date and time and it would still have worked. Why? Because like today, there are people in this book who are addicted to almost all the same social media websites that people are addicted to today. Apart from a few futuristic Google features, the knowledge that we get that Google Glass and self steering cars were flops, the fall of Amazon, and Google’s being at the top of the ladder, there’s little to set 2029 apart from 2017.

Everyone who considers themselves major tech geeks will be hooked right from the start because a few pages in and your neurons are firing all over the place about what the future might have in store for us when it comes to innovative technology. The author tackles wonderful world issues in absolute need of tackling and he offers incontestable solutions for those issues that I believe would absolutely solve all of them if it were to be implemented. There is no denying that this book will make readers see the true power of insight, courtesy of their very own minds.

Book can be found at Amazon 

Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

If you would like to check our review - Project Bodi - Review Link 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Readers Decide Why "Karna's Celestial Armor" Should Be Available To All

Karna's Celestial Armor is a mythological thriller. We all know that in Mahabharata, Karna had, on his body, his Kavach-Kundal (set of armor and earrings) which rendered him invincible in battle against any foe. God Indra tricked Karna and took away the divine set. So, in the final battle Arjuna killed Karna.

That’s the back-story. After that, what did Indra do with the all-powerful Kavach-Kundal? Did he hide it somewhere? What if someone can find it today? That’s what this novel is about. 

Vasu, from the present time, sets off to find the set. The spirit of Karna guides him through the search. Indra always knew someone would come looking for it. So, he used all his ingenuity to hide it in most impossible of places. That makes Vasu’s task so much more challenging. And he is not the only one who is interested in this quest. There are others trailing him.

The quest leads Vasu to the Himalayas where he comes across a friendly guide named Chhetri, who helps him in mountaineering. Later, he finds a Yeti who is believed to be holding an ancient treasure, possibly the Kavach-Kundal. After considerable battle of wits, he manages to get only a small part of the armor. With a clue from the Yeti, Vasu heads south to Rameshwaram, where he gets to know that a great scientist has already found another piece of the armor. Unknown to Vasu, he is not the only one who is interested in the armor. Soon enough, the scientist is kidnapped by a gang. It turns out that the gang leader is none other than Chhetri. Vasu joins hands with the police in a covert operation and rescues the scientist. 

The next leg of his mission takes Vasu to Dwarka on the west coast. He traces out a sunken city off the Gujarat coast, where he locates the back-plate of the armor. But the gang has followed him there too. Now Vasu has to find the final and the most important component, the breastplate. He reaches the famous Sun Temple at Konark on the east coast. The 760-year-old ruins of the exquisitely carved monument intrigue Vasu – Why was there never a deity in such a majestic temple? Why no worship ever began in the shrine? Why was it not restored after it collapsed? Did the king construct the temple to bury a secret treasure?

Chhetri is back; he tempts Vasu with a box full of gold, lure of power and physical pleasures. Does Vasu fall to the temptation? Does he locate the Kavach-Kundal?

There is nothing in the story for which it should be banned. If they did not ban Dan Brown’s DA VINCI CODE why should Karna’s Celestial Armor be banned? 

Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Our review for this book can be found at Review Link

Mythological Book Review - Bharat The Man Who Built a Nation

"Vishwamitra" & "Parshuram" by Vineet Agrawal are still on my wishlist. Before I can lay my hands on these two Vineet came up with Bharat - The Man Who Built a Nation. I got my hands on Bharat on my birthday. I was glad as it was the only gift I received (apart from my wife's of course) Talking about the first impression, compared to previous books by Vineet cover of Bharat is far better.

Book blurb
After Vishwamitra and the Legend of Parshu-Raam, comes the epic saga of the king of Bharatvarsh! The kingdoms of Nabhi-varsh lie scattered in the wake of Parshu-Raam's assault on corrupt Kshatriyas. While evil has been wiped out from the land, the important task of nation-building remains. In the forest of Naimish-Aranya, the stunned king of Hastinapur watches a young boy play with lion cubs. Who is this fearless child? How does his destiny entwine with that of this ancient kingdom? Will he be able to bring order to the nation and defend it against the invaders lining up at its borders? Reimagined brilliantly, this novel tells the story of the son of Dushyant and Shakuntala, the grandson of Brahmarishi Vishwamitra, the man who changed the destiny of our country and gave it a brand new name-Bharat! Praise for the Legend of Parshu-Raam!
The story is divided into three or I would say two & half parts. The first part covers how Bharat's parent met each other, how they fall in love & how they got separated. I think all Indians knew about the love story of Shakuntala & Dushyant. This part depicts his epic love story. Next (half) part is about Sarvadaman's (aka Bharat's) upbringing. It is short in length but deep in meaning. Specially few conversation between Vishwamitra & Sarvadaman becoming Bharat. How he conquered Gandhar to Kamapura, Himalaya to Kanyakumari. It shows how he subdued (as per meaning of his name) foreign barbaric invaders. 

These stories we have heard or watched many times so what is new in this book. The first & foremost, the author's narration style & story building. I liked the way author has driven story & character of Bharat. Second at various places author has nicely shown the deep meaning of our Sanskrit shloka or rituals. I liked following
  • Saptapadi - Marriage Vows
  • Verse given after above marriage vows
  • 10 gurus from nature - Vishwamitra's teaching to Sarvadaman 
Though the pace was fast, except end I didn't find the author was rushing towards the end. War strategies shown at the end was really interesting. If the author has shown more of it I would have given one more star. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover 4/5
  2. Title 3.5/5
  3. Characters - 3.5/5
  4. Concent - 3.5/5
  5. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Monday, December 25, 2017

HL- Kashmir, and the loss of beautiful childhoods

This goes long back. Nearly a decade before I wrote the first word of The Tree with a Thousand Apples, I was a student who happened to read an article on the then ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Lebanon. I couldn’t understand much of world politics back then, but what I could not forget was that the article was written from the point of view of a ten year old boy. This boy had just lost his home, his town and his family, even though he was not a part of Hamas and he was not an Israeli. He was a Lebanese, the place which was not on either side of the conflict. I found that very peculiar.

Irrespective of how I felt, the boy had lost what he had lost. I too was a boy back then, and how would I have felt if I had lost my family and my home at that age? There won’t be any more birthday parties for him, he won’t play with the neighborhood kids when the evenings dawned, he won’t be caught cheating during exams. No, it was not just an attack on his home. What that boy had truly lost was his childhood. He would have wanted to ask questions, but from whom? He must have forged an enemy in his heart, a nameless one. Yet, even though I could read and witness that, maybe I could not really understand it very well. Maybe because as someone who had seen a very comfortable childhood, what could I have known about the pain of losing one?

It was when I was in Kashmir, the heaven on earth, that the anonymous boy from the article came alive on the streets. I could see mute and stoic boys and girls who wanted to laugh and cry, I could hear things they wanted to say but kept hidden behind their little concealed smiles, just as the one in that photograph. Children of army men who went to school every day fearing whether the bus they travelled in would be blown up, children of civilians who couldn’t play cricket without knowing if their playground may become a battleground soon, children of Kashmiri Pandits languishing in camps of Jammu who seemed to have forgotten how Kahwa is made. Children who had lost their childhood, who were not on either side of the conflict, yet had grown to choose one. A side where all of them were right and all of them were wrong. I could see that the Lebanese boy in that article and his nameless enemy too were no one but the same children.

The Tree with a Thousand Apples is the story of three such children who don’t just exist in Kashmir, they live with us and around us. They don’t yet know the world they are in and all they want is for us to find them. They know that if we don’t give them a home today, there will be another boy in the future sometime, who too would lose his childhood. They don’t want to tell us any of their grand stories because they have none. All they want us to know is that their childhoods long for a birthday party and neighborhood games, that they are just three children who were asked questions they didn’t know the answers to—they are just children like us…

Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews of other authors can be found at GoodReads

If you have missed the review of this book by you check out here -

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Of Gods And Their Goddesses

Most of us are aware of the Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva trinity. The purpose of this trinity has been iterated to us over generations, describing Brahma as the creator, Vishnu as the preserver and Shiva as the destroyer. Most of us also know that Brahma's partner is Saraswati, Vishnu’s Lakshmi and Shiva’s Shakti. But we may not necessarily be conscious of the significance and implication of the seats held by respective Gods and Goddesses. Mythology I think imputes a deeper connotation than what is apparent. 

Scriptures tell us that this trinity is tasked with clear roles. In today’s parlance, they were tasked with pivotal roles within the humungous organisation of this universe. In this organisation, Brahma’s role is like a Chief Innovation Officer and a Chief Product Officer rolled in one. He runs something like a cosmic R&D unit dabbling in science, technology and data to produce lines and lines of flora, fauna and what not.

Vishnu is the COO, responsible for Operations and People Management. He affirms policies, principles, processes and good practices but he is also in-charge of inculcating camaraderie based on values and beliefs. Being responsible for the culture of this cosmic organisation, every now and then Vishnu leaves his corner office to live among his people to institute the right from wrong. Illustrious handbook of life titled Bhagwad Geeta has been one of his hallmarks.

Shiva's role is to look at things from an outsider's perspective or to view things from the top of Kailasa lest the organisation is degraded with time or negligence. While a lot depends on the quality of produce and their progression in the market but Shiva’s role is to set the controls. He is the Chief Strategy Officer who stays detached and keeps the books of life clean through internal controls and audits. Every product finishes the PLC at some point or the other. And when it does, it exits the marketplace or it must transform. Shiva's job is also to stay centred in all situations and execute dispassionate and judicious exits.

So where do the Goddesses feature in all this? Again, our scriptures are brimming with stories to corroborate this bit but to cover it briefly - 'wisdom' personified by Saraswati enables 'creation' by Brahma; 'wealth' incarnate Lakshmi enables 'sustenance' by Vishnu, and the epitome of 'influence' Shakti enables ‘destruction’ by Shiva. The association between Gods and Goddesses is one of a doer and an enabler. God is the doer or the one who acts on things and Goddess is the enabler or a life-force or the material strength attached to a God.

There is a stunning yet unspoken rationale behind these relationships and the mystery unfolds only when you question the norm. Let’s just switch their seats and pair them differently. Just for academic purposes of course! Now sit back and observe this magnum. What if Saraswati didn’t espouse Brahma but Shakti did? Whilst this is unthinkable as the tales tell that Shakti was Brahma’s granddaughter, we are only painting the consequences this seat-swap could have brought in! If Shakti enabled Brahma’s creations, the process of creation would have been supported by sheer influence. We can well imagine what power can do to the imagination in the absence of discretion, which comes with knowledge and wisdom. 

And what if Lakshmi didn’t live with Vishnu and Shakti or Saraswati did? The process of sustenance wouldn’t have been enabled by wealth but by wisdom or influence. No amount of intellect or power would make the ball roll unless there is fitting involvement of economics.

What if Shakti didn't court Shiva and Lakshmi did? The process of cleansing the world would have been enabled by capital and would not have been governed by influence. An exit of any kind is always influenced or affected without entertaining any preferences. Even though we would like to choose when and how to die (if we can’t select not to!?), imagine what that exercise of choice with the muscle of commerce would really result in! 

These trinities are the finest illustrations to emulate for businesses and individuals alike. The right person in the right role accompanied by right enabling resources makes the organisation work seamlessly. At an individual level - as long as one identifies his or her skills, exploits one’s proficiencies and subscribes to a precise cause either by leading it or by enabling it, one is positively contributing. 

The one who functions from deep within is a God or Goddess. The question is do we have it in us to invoke one?

This article was first published by Business World

This article has been contributed by Priyanka Sharma Kaintura, author of the book ‘My Jiffies’. Priyanka is a perpetual observer and explorer. She deciphers and narrates the varied nuances of society, love, relationships and mythology. To read her other writings go to

Link to "My Jiffies" review by our team - Review Link

Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at Goodreads

Friday, December 22, 2017

What "Equations of a being" means to Ashutosh Gupta

Today we have Ashutosh Gupta the author of "Equations of a being" to discuss the importance of "Equations of a Being" in his life.

Over a span of seven years, writing has helped me forage for my sincerity and genuineness. In writing alone, I have found them all concentrated. This seven years of continuity is the only thing which holds the equations of my existential hues. ‘Equations of a Being’ is a raw and a fervent reflection of this continuity.

Since the day I started writing, I have never been infatuated with the escalations of creativity which come so casually and with so much certitude while romanticizing with inanimate things. A metaphor getting tied to another metaphor so intricately, has seldom given me a joy to reminisce. My writing was born out of the vagueness of things that were intangible and yet were animate, both within and without. I have never chased this vagueness using a rush of creativity but either a rush of madness or a rush of sanity. The vagueness of the crumbling humanhood is something I have chased the most, and I desire to chase it further, maybe all my life. In 'Equations of a being', readers will find the footprints of this eternal chase.

The idea behind the book rests on the joy of revisiting and rediscovering. The idea occurred to me when I read the analects of Confucius. The way that book realigned my thoughts every time I went through it, yet affecting me cumulatively, certainly reflected the purpose of literature which I had envisaged.

The primary role of a thinker is to lay down different interpretations of emotions. It’s like gradually unfolding a paper, where every fold represents an interpretation. Within this unfolding lies a strange assurance of getting closer to truth. However, realism is beyond those folds of paper, and thereby is beyond any unfolding. It is a blatantly expressed confession, with no filters in between. This book is a blend of these abstract ideas of truth and realism. There are thought pieces in this book which reflect those intermittent pauses of interpretations, and there are thought pieces which reflect those straight-out confessions. By turning the pages of the book, readers will go through the stretches of such interpretations and such realism.

Our intellect is bounded by the times we live in, but what good our expressions can do if they cannot depict the standards and anomalies of contemporary times. Our emotions are bounded by the conundrums of nature, but without them, what else will carry the palpability of human spirit across ages. Our imagination is boundless, but without this boundlessness, what else will stimulate and provoke the faculties of posterity. I believe that writing cannot serve any absolute purpose if it gives any of these human attributes a miss. This book is a literary manifestation of this belief of mine.

Being forever fettered by one's musings with none of them being about oneself, has an endearing ambiguity of an unparalleled nature. Much of my life has been spent in impersonal musings, which has sustained the very architecture of my life. In the matters of love though, I have ended up enduring extreme tiredness. Whenever I have strolled along the edges of love, my need for its great truth and my want for its great passion have collided and collapsed. Through this book I have tried to tell the story of this need and this want, and maybe have unintentionally reflected upon the choice that I have already made.

Connecting the fundamental existence of a man and a woman, a sanguine thread not soaked with the passion or romance, tradition or orthodoxy, does exist between them. But can such a thread be visible and touchable for men and women standing on two separate ends of contemporary Feminism, and firing one outlandish expression after another? I have foraged for that thread among men and women through this book.

All in all, I have shared a tremendous world within me, by sharing 'Equations of a Being', knowing well enough that this world was incomplete and maybe was on the verge of completeness. The honor of achieving that completeness should be and has been left for the devourers of literature.

Book can be found at - Amazon and Flipkart 
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Book Review - Earth to Centauri - The First Journey - Captain Anara - Antariksh 1

I saw this book on Goodreads giveaway and instantly open the details. I like the way blurb was presented. I found reviews and blurb interesting & original enough to venture into the book. As the book is self-published & cost of the paperback is high, I have to buy Kindle version otherwise I would have loved to keep this book in my precious book collection. It is available in Hindi & English both language. 

Book Blurb
An alien signal has been received on Earth but what does it mean? Why and who has used an archaic code to send the message? Spaceship Antariksh lead by Captain Anara is on the way to the origin of the signal. She is prepared for a mission of exploration in the first journey from Earth into interstellar space, to make contact with beings from another planet. 

But when her ship is outgunned in an attack she and her crew must find ways to counter the threat even when she discovers that someone on her crew has been keeping secrets from her. When they finally approach their destination 4.2 lightyears away, it turns out there are even more mysteries to be uncovered ... the truth is stranger than anything they ever imagined!

Will a thrilling chase across interstellar chase reveal the secrets or will the crew of Antariksh face death and destruction in face of unsurmountable odds?
The story started with response message received on Earth from our neighbor galaxy, Proxima Centauri in earlier 2090. The response was received to the initial messages & probes we sent in earlier 1980-1990. The earth was a peaceful planet by that time & receiver of the message, India, has proven its strength in space exploration. The world has already established a colony on earth & Jupiter's moons. Missions to the farthest planet of our solar system were normal. Sublight speed spaceships were already developed. Scientists did a splendid job by making an FTL speed spaceship to reach the point or (I would say) the origin of the response signal. But things were never meant to go normally. As adventure started, captain Anara, our main protagonist, found multiple issues. Read the book to know more.

I liked the way plot was developed along the story. The author has revealed enough things at a time to maintain interest. Though some review mentioned "Good Mix of Star Trek and Star Wars", I think the author has created his own plot. As the author has created a space-based futuristic story, concepts of speed & interstellar understanding may look similar. But I can see author's own research, knowledge & conceptualization in originality. Though plot developed steadily, I found minor rush towards the end, Overall it was a fantastic ride.

I was shocked to know that author has not contacted publishers yes. If he would have done it I could have got a physical copy of the book. I haven't read Indian author's work in this domain. And the work of this level can easily attract good readership. 

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Title - 4/5
  3. Characters - 4/5
  4. Concept - 4/5
  5. Overall - 4.5/5
Book Link - Hindi Version & English Version
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads



Blog Archive