Business Sutra: A review

“What business have you even reading, leave alone reviewing this book on Business Management?!” Asked my friend, “shouldn’t you be focusing on your research?” He went on.

Well, for a student who isn’t even remotely likely be into business, who isn’t even remotely inclined towards having one, it would appear weird. But then, I’d say there’s more to it than just teaching business acumen! Through its bringing home to people stories, symbols and rituals from Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythologies, ‘Business Sutra: A very Indian Approach to Management’ other than, of course, establishing to its readers how Indian mythology can help rewrite modern management, especially in the Indian context, teaches one the business that anyone can have to do with, that everyone has to do with–the business called life! Well, of course I had no clue of its leaving me with some lessons on life, when I opted in to review it. The description of it fascinated me to begin with, and left me curious enough to land here! And, it did leave me in good stead! So, curiosity doesn’t always kill, though it did seem so, when I pulled out the ‘big, 437 page fat’, hard bound book, (that looked more like a course reference book!) from the envelope it arrived in!

The author, as much through his illustrations, as through his words, explains that cultural differences have often made the modeling of businesses in India on the western theories of management and governance, and on the concept of corporations a ‘misfit’. This said, the illustrations are dexterously used here, as subtle instruments to bring thoughts, words, beliefs home, which otherwise could have weighed heavy on the much preoccupied minds of today.

True to his word, Pattaniak articulates the beliefs and ideas, (though with a prescription for one to internalize them) leaving each to his own, there on, to search and find the beliefs they want to imbibe and follow. He uses an analogy of a ‘kolam’ or ‘rangoli’ to every idea he puts forth, to a dot, and having presented his readers with them all, he encourages (even urges) them (all) to connect the dots their own way, and form their own pattern.In essence he encourages readers throughout, to open their minds to

Nowhere does he tend to get preachy, not even with his “chew on them as cow chews cud; eventually milk will flow”.

And there are a number of word gems like “Questions teach us, not answers.” and “the loss of possessions reveals who we really are.”  strewn all over the tapestry of the book, as are pointers such as “we fight over (can be read ‘seek’) things and forget thoughts (can be interpreted as ‘knowledge’)”, and that fear and uncertainty lie beneath the urge to be in control.

“As is belief, so is behavior, so is business. This is business sutra, a very Indian approach to management.” sums up the author, for us, leaving to us, the depths we would delve to, with this simply potent sutra. Yes! our beliefs frame our business; be it the business that brings us our bread or the business we call ‘life’.

Quite a good read, in all, and one that would have something new to offer at every revisit/re-read! A book that gently nudges us to open our minds, to grow, to let go and learn, and inspires us to, through numerous tales, yet constantly reminds us to use our discretion, and to keep open our minds…

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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A soldier within and without!

It came back to me out of the blue–in the middle of working on my research paper, and took me by surprise, how vividly I remembered each detail of it, once it came back, and was I abashed, to have put off memories of him and his goodness!

Seems like quite a while ago, though it must be just a few years from now. I boarded the A.P. Express to go to Delhi. With Diwali approaching, and vacation and good weather with that too, the train was brimming with passengers–teeming would do more justice here, actually…yea, literally teeming with passengers, with not even enough space in the sleeper class (that I chose to travel in, in those days), to put a foot without bumping it into something–be it a piece of luggage or another persons shoe/foot.

The journey commenced that morning, with of course, more passengers in our compartment, than the designated number, of which I happened to be the only female passenger. There were a couple of guys in late teens chatting away, on the berth opposite mine. And others too, all busy with however they chose to pass their time.

It was when I woke up after a post lunch nap that I noticed the teenage boys gone, and a couple of men in their place, one of whom seemed to be in something around his late fifties or early sixties. They seemed to be a group of carpenters traveling back home, the teen aged boys and all.

“Does it hurt?” the sudden query drew my attention to the old man.

“Your foot” he added, seeing a question in my eyes.
“No” I said, and buried my face deeper in the book I was reading. He must have noticed me limp on the foot that was still healing from a ligament tear.

“We may not be ‘big’ educated people like you, but we surely do know things, and can be talked to” the old man said to me, a little later, when I put my book down for something.

I’ve never been one to talk to strangers, and I wasn’t going to then either, especially not when I was travelling alone, and when I was already getting conscious of being constantly stared at, by him; of his talking loudly for my benefit, and of his trying to catch my eye and smile at me. I kept my usual ‘train routine’ of reading until I was sleepy, and sleeping until I was hungry, and then back to reading. And all the while I was aware of this old man trying to get my attention. And I continued to ignore his attempts to chat with me.

“Do you want something?” The very quiet young man who had been sitting and reading on his seat on the same ‘lower’ berth as me, asked me, as the train halted at a station.
“No, I’m good” I said, and he went away, off to the platform.

He came back and sat down at his seat, reading, just like me, until the train stopped for another long halt.
“I’m getting down. I’ll get oranges from the vendor at the platform. Don’t buy them from the vendor at the window. His oranges aren’t good” the guy next to me said, and was gone before I could decline the offer. I was surprised, of course, for he had been so quite all day…hardly making his presence felt.
And there he was, shortly, a packet of oranges in hand, and a smile on his face. It was a breather to see someone whose eyes weren’t leching at me when he smiled, or talked or looked at me–more of a breather, for the annoying old man was gone! I thanked and paid this guy, and we settled down in our respective seats with our books.
Oh boy! But was the irritating old man gone?! He was right back after some time–back to his seat, and back to his leching.
“What do you want for dinner?” The guy asked, a ‘meaningful’ look in his eyes. I told him what I wanted, something telling me to play along. (Must have been instinct, I can say looking back now).
It was Itarsi, and soon the lights would be off and the old man’s leching would go to his berth with him, I thought.
Having had dinner, we got back to our books, and the old man’s attempts to make small talk too had subsided, with this guys having stepped in. He did try once or twice to ask me though, what that guy was to me–our relation. And I had left it at his being narrow-minded for thinking I had to have some relation with that guy, to be talking to him. Well, since I didn’t talk to him in spite of all his attempts, he must have got some ideas!

A couple of hours after dinner, when people started settling down for the night, I breathed a sigh of relief, as I saw the old man go, since he had been sitting in his employer’s berth all the while.
But was I in for some surprise! There he was, that old man, a bunch of newspaper in his hand, asking me to hurry up with my pulling out my sheet and stuff from my bag! It was then that his intentions hit home to me! He was to spread his newspapers and lie there in the night, between my berth and his employer’s!

And this meant lying not even an arm’s stretch away from him (mine being a lower berth)!
I wasn’t going to let this happen! And I said so much to them!
“If you can’t adjust even this much, then maybe you should travel in the AC compartments, madam” said his employer, to my disbelief!
“After all he’s not occupying your seat! He’s sleeping in the common space. You have paid only for your seat, not for the passage!”
“I’ve bought his ticket from the TC” he added almost shouting at me by now, when I said he couldn’t encroach on any place there, if he didn’t have a reserved seat.
Wow! He wasn’t shouting at me just like that! He had support from the railway staff!
“What’s going on? Why are you shouting at her? You can’t shout on her just because she is a lady or because you’ve ‘paid’ the TC for an unauthorized ticket!” The quiet guy, who had called it a night already, came down from his upper berth and took the men to task.

“You go sleep on the top berth” he said to me gently, replacing his sheets there with mine, the look in his eyes made me comply.

“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of the luggage” he told me, when he saw me peeping down from up there, every now and then, in the night. Safe up there, from the ‘hands’ of that ugly old man, what came next to me, was he may try stealing from my bags, lying next to them.

It was in the morning that that guy talked to me. Told me that he was recently recruited to be a soldier in the Indian Army, and was to get down at Agra–two stations before mine. Asked me if I would be comfortable travelling by myself there on. Offered to get himself a ticket to Delhi If I wasn’t comfortable, for the old man was going to be right there, up to Delhi!
But since it was day time, and just a matter of two hours, I convinced him I would be fine, and he left with reluctance in his walk and worry in his eyes.
The next two hours were the longest and worst ever, with the old man constantly bickering and taunting me about my talking to that guy just because he was able to read and speak English and for his being young and what not.
That he was trying to talk to me so he could help me cure my limp. That with one ‘pudi’ (a small potent doze wrapped in a piece of paper) which he could give me right then, he could relive me of all my pain.
He even tried to pull away my book and make me listen (and agree) when I wasn’t heeding his offer of the ‘pudi’! That repulsive old man! The pervert! Who winked and leched at me whenever he could catch my eye, and made gestures that would embarrass any decent girl!
And all the while I thanked God profusely, for having sent that soldier, who stood up for me that night in the train. The old man could have gotten down to his evil ways were it not for him! I blessed him time and again, and always will, for being the beautiful person he was! For being my guardian angel!
I’m sure that soldier wouldn’t have got down without taking this man with him, had he seen this extent of his ‘conduct’!

And much as I refused to accept this then, I should have let him come all the way to Delhi.
And, all I can say in my defense about letting off memories of him and his goodness is, that it must have been a play of the psyche to obliterate the bad from which that goodness couldn’t be extracted.

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

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We love him with all our hearts…and salute our soldier, our pride!

“Ahh!” Suddenly there was shooting pain in his head, from having been hit with something heavy and metal, his grip loosening on the cricket bat he had been playing with a couple of minutes ago; hardly out of the shock of just having evaded (by dint of fate/luck) being shot at point blank…and hit hard once again…and again…and the fourth time, when he began falling to the ground, both hands gripping the back of his head, where he was bleeding profusely; the world reeling and blanking out, both at the same time!

“This, for nosing in our matters, and for trying to act smart with us and teaching us how to ‘behave’ with girls” His assailant had been gritting between his teeth–one his best friends, and his immediate neighbour, that is.

The park where he had been playing cricket with his friends had emptied out (of them all) at right at first the gunshot, which he had evaded acting on instinct, in the nook of time, while evading the other two had been sheer will power.
But he had had the disadvantage of having his back to his assailant, and overpowered, he hadn’t been able to prevent the ensuing onslaught! The missed fires had enraged the equally tall and strong assailant, who also was at the position of advantage.

He lay bleeding for some good few minutes, writhing in excruciating pain, while word carried somehow to his home and his older sister came running to his help…his rescue (There being none else at home, at the time)! And, while his assailant, thoroughly scared now, ran off to hide himself and his gun.

It was sheer luck and his family’s love and his grit…and his mother’s mighty faith, of course, that saw him through, with a number of stitches in the three gashes on the back side of his head, and the pain and trauma, of course…and nothing as worse as it could have been.

As he was to recall later, he had asked some of his friends against leering and making cheap, nasty comments/remarks at their classmates and juniors, as they ran at the school’s annual athletics meet. He had insisted with them not to. He had always been one to treat girls respectfully, and look at them as fellow human beings. But this wasn’t so, in the society, the circle he belonged to! And, one must pay a price for holding his own…

Much as they had quietened at that time, not wanting to make a big issue of it, evidently, they hadn’t stopped there!

And, he didn’t stop either…he still respects women and continues to treat them respectfully, and get them their right (place); wisened from his past experience though, he holds caution close to his heart, and watches out for the potential aftermaths. A proud father of two lovely little daughters now, he must!

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

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It’s love because I have Dove!

“Oh not again!” Went my sister, being woken up early morning, to braid my hair.

“I’m not doing this anymore! You’ve got to learn to braid them if you so wanna grow your hair long!” I nodded, dejected.

I practiced the whole day after school, to braid my hair, I could do a good job with the left one, but the right one always came wrong! So, I went to school the next day, with one braid right! Hoping of course, to get my friend to help with the other one, until I could get it right myself. And she helped of course–my best friend that she was…still is! So, she helped that day, and the next, and, I did similar favours for her each day too–I wasn’t the only one! 😀

Hey, let me braid your hair today, came another friend, one the next day. I looked at her, surprised. And she did my braid that day…even insisted on redoing the other one! Was something wrong with her?She took over the ‘responsibility’ and did well at it, until another one wanted to, after a couple of days! It left me puzzled of course, what had gotten into my friends, but I played along; it’s good to have stand bys in case one of them got bored. So, they took turns (chasing ahead of the others to do it).

“Something’s wrong with them!” I said to my best friend, and she smiled.
“Hey, tell me what’s going on here!”
“They love the feel of your hair, of course. What else.” she shrugged “And I thought you’d figure this much out!” she added.

“What?!” I though surprised “it’s just ‘hair’ like everyone else’s.”

My hair grew waist length in a couple of years, and my friends loved playing with the ends of my braids–I’d loved to braid them myself, now, of course.

Time passed, school days got over and we went our own ways, to pursue our studies ahead and take up careers. We met someone or the other once in a while, but that’s it. It was mainly through mails that we kept in touch.
And, then one of them planned a get together, and we met recently, at her place, to relive those old times, more than to catch up. My braids figured into the conversation at one point, and suddenly my ‘bun’ was being frowned at, for I had worn my hair up–I wore it up all the time when I was out.

“To keep it out of the way” I said smiling, to get rid of those ‘looks’, but failed!

“It’s convenient” I offered, as an explanation.

The stare still…some still frowns!

The topic got switched some how, and I sighed with relief.

“Oouchh!” we all heard my friend who had playfully pulled out the stick that held my hair up, and had wound the long black tresses around her hand. Ouch!
“What’s wrong?” They all asked, and I didn’t know where to look, embarrassed, as she made them feel my now prickly hair! Yes, the reason for my wearing it up! The split ends just wouldn’t go, and had made my hair rough and frizzy. So much so, that even the beautician thought it wasn’t a good idea to shorten it, for it would look worse kept open, and couldn’t be tied up for being short!

And then, one fine day, I found my saviour in my mailbox! Dove! A sample that promised rescue from split ends, to begin with. Two washes down the line with this ‘Split End Rescue’ duo (shampoo and conditioner) and do I like it?

“I love it!” Yes, I don’t wear my hair up anymore! “I love the feel of it once again and just can’t stop playing with the ends of my braid!”

“Boy, am I happy? I’m on top of the world with the return of the lost glory…yes, it’s my crowning glory! (flaunts hair ad style!)

“Love it! Love you Dove!”

You’ve got to believe me…or check this out:


Dove Beautiful Ends to your Beautiful Braids! IndiBlogger Contest

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Saba – my entry to the GetPublished contest

This is Saba’s love story in its various shades…its nuances. Saba, a shy girl sought out by Sameer, to be his sweetheart–sought out from the bunch of girls he always found her with, out of the world of her shyness, her near reclusiveness.

Of how Sameer had fallen for her (well, almost) the first time he had set eyes on her–a dimpled smile, an unfathomable depth in her eyes…and a wit (as he was to learn later), a wit that’s fed constantly by intelligence and well-informedness.

And, how there had been no looking back. They had similar likes, almost similar dreams for their careers and their future—dreams that they dreamed together there on, and aspired to fulfill alongside one another.

Yes, this is Saba’s journey through the roller-coaster called life, and Sameer’s…and what we call destiny…and more!

What Makes This Story ‘Real’:
This is no fairytale romance, for it draws deeply from life’s not so smooth ways, that leave people staring agape at times…many a times–shocked, helpless…wondering ‘what next’…what more it would bring in its many folds…a story of love and treachery and betrayal…and yet, love–just the way it happens so often, with people around…it’s what makes us go ‘Ah life!’

An Excerpt:
“God!” Saba so wanted her to stop speaking right then, her sense of foreboding mounting…She was scaring her!
“Saba…” (she was brought back from her thoughts, heart pounding right in her ears, by now) “It is a matter of his life and death…” she trailed off, but only to take a breath and continue “I want you to promise me that you will not keep in touch with him…”

Her heart stopped! It was something else thudding her deaf…” How…how can she say this?!” Saba was shocked! “Hadn’t she said a minute ago, that Sameer meant the world to her!”
“Oh yes! YES! SAMEER IS THE WORLD FOR ME!” she wanted to shout!

“…And I’m, sure you would do anything for his sake” She hadn’t had it yet!
“Would you, Saba?”
“I know I’m asking for too much, but this is the need of the time, my dear…it’s a matter of Sameer’s life and death…no, a matter of keeping Sameer alive.”

This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.

I hope you liked this, and would like to see Saba’s story in print, so you could read it through to the end…Please like it at http://www.indiblogger.in/getpublished/idea/405, to help this happen.

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The lost (crowning) glory

I used to be ‘the girl with the thick long black shiny straight hair right out of a shampoo ad’ for quite some time, that is, until I met and befriended the girl who had seen me wear my hair in a loose plait, adorned at its start, with a half-bloomed crimson rose, at a mutual friend’s wedding. The rose of course, was a beautiful ‘prank’ from a friend, that I retained, on insistence from other friends…that (the rose story and the ad like hair) was way back in the days of my under-graduate studies.

After ‘completing’ my studies, I moved ‘down south’ as most north Indians would put it, referring to some place in one of the four states that make ‘south India’. So, I moved to A.P., having got the kind of job  wanted. Once here, the dry climate/air and the hard water (…and I don’t know what not!) slowly robbed me of my ‘thick long black shiny straight hair‘ right out of a shampoo ad’, big time! Yes, it fell like crazy, until it got reduced to on quarter of its thickness. And, to make things worse as they could be, I no longer had the much so coveted straight hair! It was now (still is, actually) an unruly mass of wavy hair that culminated into something near curls! Boy, did I shock their previous admirer on my visit back up north!

And then began the unending saga of wooing an unruly mass of curls and frizz to their original straight self, that saw many a crazy twists and turns time and again. Initially, when they were just slightly wavy, they would straighten (not to the original texture though) with conditioning post wash, followed by securing a tight bun (top-knot kind) above my head, for a couple of hours. Since it made me look scary, it meant being closed in my room for the period. But I survived the small time span this trick could last! After this came the stage when I would tie the lower ends in knots, so the weight would straighten them. Then the simple knots got replaced with hanging some weight with the help of elastic bands and curlers that would leave the hair ‘in-turned only at the bottom’, and I would be good with it, given that the major length of it would be straight again…Ah! But this didn’t last beyond the first or the second time, since wasn’t a great idea–definitely not worth the effort and the ‘pain’ (pun intended)!

The craziest of such ideas was twisting the ends of my hair around a comb and then ironing them out with a hot clothes iron, down their entire length! Of course my friends helped achieve the feat. We tried ironing the entire length, and even sections…but did it work? …emmm it seemed to, initially, (or so we thought) since we tried this a couple of times…but looking back, “Nah! It didn’t work!” is what I would say!

Well, soon the friends were all bored, and I found it easier to compromise and settle for the texture they seemed to choose for themselves! But! That I did try any and every (well, almost) hair care product that vouched straight hair, is another story!

Today, I have a mane of ‘not so thick’ wavy (edging on frizzy, if not conditioned) waist long hair (I cut the lengths that went up/down/whatever to mid thighs, since it looked very thin when braided). I keep it plaited, or roll it into a bun at the nape of my neck, since either way, it’s texture doesn’t show all that much…oh, and did I say it falls into …err lovely (actually so!) curls, if allowed to dry without being combed…yes, I have been complimented for it a couple of times, recently…And yet, don’t I so so so want my straight hair that I loves so!

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Traditional, but not quite…

Traditional wear not just set in the festive mood, they give it the right flare and leave our spirits soaring high! For, they serve to revive the delicate bond with the culture and the traditions, that lie at the very heart of any festivity. Yes, for some (of us), they bring out, from under the dust of busy schedules, stress, and so on, the gentle strings that tug at our hearts, bringing us back (yes, close) to what we had some somehow, distanced somewhat. And for others, that keep close with the traditional, no matter what, it is a rejuvenation of the spirits, that lay under the burden of being for granted and routine!

Well, this said, no prize for guessing that I’ve chosen the ‘traditional’ as the festive look for SS-the-perfect-festive-lookme, this festive season. All the same, it isn’t the ‘rigidly’ traditional I have selected, as my ‘perfect festive look’ courtesy Shoppers Stop. Ok, so, I’ll let the pictures do the talking (well, most of it), hereon.

Well, lets unfold it bit by bit…So, to begin with, the ethnic look this skirt has, had me decide this is what I want, the moment I set eyes on it!

SS-black-skirt

Yes, like I said, I would dress traditional, but this doesn’t bind me with rigid threads of superstition such as in the choice of colour, or even of it being ‘really Indian’, so…yes a skirt (western) with traditional Kutch-work style detailing near the hem, and of course the hint of colour the string hanging from the waist adds–this and of course, the colour black, stole my heart and took it to the point of decision (for there was another skirt I was kind of debating about)!

And, to go with the beautiful skirt, I chose…

SS-magenta-kurti

Simple, yet elegant, this ‘Indian’ pink kurti, is just the right choice, to add to ‘the look’. The intricate border enhances its plain fabric and the simple cut. And, I love the ‘boat’ neck!

Well, the dress in place, it would be incomplete unless accessorized. So I have this very pretty…mmm, let’s have the picture do the talking here!

The perfectly pretty necklace!

The perfectly pretty necklace!

Given a closer view, the necklace beautifully picks up the colors of the kurti (of its base tone and the border) it is to be worn with, here. It’s a real complement, and of course, a compliment to the ‘dress’!

And…

SS-magenta-earrings

The earrings

Yes, for the earing, I selected this pair, that is a perfect fusion of the ethnic and the western, with the flower and the stem…just what I wanted!

SS-magenta-watchA perfect watch to pick up the colour theme! And there’s this delicate bracelet, so the other hand won’t be…mmm…let’s say, left out.catalogimageservlet

And, this awesome pair of sandals that I simply went head over heels in love with! Yeah, I’m perfectly fine with their low heel.SS-sandals They so pick up the hue of the skirt! Need I say more?!

SS-magenta-clutchAnd just the clutch…not just the colour, but the delicate sequin work and the texture (fabric) make if oh so ‘perfect’ with its ethnic finish, and not so ethnic lines.

Himani-Shoppers-Stop-Ensemble

The ensemble

And, this completes the ‘perfect festive look for me’–traditionally oriented, yet not suffocatingly so…a perfect blend of the ethnic/traditional with the contemporary–yes, the ‘fusion’ look, that ‘s traditional, but not quite…

Well, thanks Shoppers Stop, for letting us indulge…it was a near real experience, and I loved it!

There’s something I would like to add here…I did feel a challenge at times, finding the right kind of things to complete my ensemble. For instance, though I loved the look of the earrings I selected, they could have been, less ‘golden’ to blend more with the colour theme.

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The Krishna Key–A Review

The Krishna Key By Ashwin Sanghi is engaging enough to be called a page turner, at times. The inter-weaving of the oft told Lord Krishna story and the murder ‘mystery’ make it ‘different’–impressive to begin with, too much to take in, at times, for, we’ve all grown up seeing umpteen movies, tele-serials and all that about Krishna, the butter-stealing God ‘of love’, not to mention the illustrated rendering by way of comics and books and narrations! Though the narration holds its own to an extent, being a first person narration.

The exploits of Ravi Mohan Saini and Priya create a some thrill in places, though they keep bringing forth Bollywood style mini plots, pulling it down to that level, especially with episodes like disguising in burqas! Please! There could have been better antics! The platform TC ‘glancing at their tickets and waving them through disinterestedly’ can only be digested only in the name of the all-pervasive ‘lax’ image of the government employees in the country. The spoilers such as the SMS “will proceed with plan tomorrow” give away and steal off some element of the ‘suspense’, that isn’t strong enough anyways, given the seasoning of minds with enough of such stuff courtesy Bollywood!

By the time of the second murder the story line becomes predictable, that the Saini is to steep deeper into the grime of murder accusations of the people mentioned to him by Varshney!

The book does bring forth some insights, such as that of the connection between combining of the seven frequencies of melody into the sound ‘Om’.

The book could have been a real thriller, as intended by the author, as promised by the introduction notes, and as expected by the reader (given all this), had there been less of explanations. The Tamil assistant sending them off ahead arouses suspicion enough that all wasn’t well aboard Radha and their finding Bhojraj dead spoke enough about the Tamil guy…the explanation about it all, later makes it a drag! And did I say, renders is even more ‘Bollywoodish’!

The amount of research that has gone into the book, be it about the mythology, archeology and so on, is quite commendable, as also the state-of-the art of the make and functionality of gadgets, vehicles etc. The author has gone to quite some lengths to furnish information and details for the benefit of the reader, and it shows in the extent of details he delves into, about the exploits and expeditions and researches and findings of the characters. The descriptions and explanations get to be too much at times, and the question answering monotonous.
The illustrations do help many a times…we could have known though, what a ‘lotus enclosed in a circle would look like!

The characters are sketched well, with their fads and fetishes. The book is a good ‘one time’ read, all in all and could have scored better with tightening of the loose ends…and with more attentive editing! Yea…Radhika is called Priya twice on page 301! That’s too glaring an error! Just like Saini being called Priya on page 389, is! There’s countless missing or wrongly used prepositions and other such errors, to begin with!

The only thing the author seems not to have lost is, reveal all his researched facts/stories/whatever, that he goes on to narrate through the characters, and tediously so! Sigh!

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

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Martin L King Jr. to ABBA to Rashmi Bansal…“I have a Dream”

I have a Dream…mmm let’s see…

As I got down to reading the book, story after story came on to me, awe-inspiring as they are…(and much as I wouldn’t want to say it here, I couldn’t just go on with the book cover to cover, like I would with some ‘fiction’! This, for the simple reason that these are no ‘fairy tales’ with angels! These are lives of real people doing great deeds simply because they are all for doing their ‘due’ and more, for the cause of humanity!)…they overwhelm!! And require lesser mortals like me to recharge and get back to grips before we can go on! Well, I took my own time in reading it, so I could do better justice to Rashmi Bansal’s efforts to celebrate the deeds of those that celebrate humanity…and life, in the truest of sense, that can be!

This said, lets look at what the book has in wait, for its readers:

As the back cove says it, it is “the story of 20 idealists who think and act like entrepreneurs” each in the league of their own! And yet, there runs a common thread through it all:“Be the change you want to see in the world.” (as Mahatma Gandhi philosophized.) They all work with all their might, and prove that “change starts with one person, and that person could be someone next door”. They are the people next door who chose to employ their innate humanness and all of their faculties to make a difference to the less endowed! To achieve “ a greater common good” through leaving no stone unturned, in not just thinking, but even ‘acting’ differently…by giving different hues and manifestations to a ‘common’ dream!

While some of them are ‘Rainmakers‘ who ‘Weave the People‘ ‘Rags to Riches‘…’Prodigal Sun‘ ‘Moving Mountains‘ or even heeding ‘The Sound of Silence‘, other are ‘Changemakers‘ who take “a small step towards making it as it should be.” And there are ‘The Spiritual Capitalists‘ that choose to live by the ideal of service, still, “Because they believe purity of purpose and selflessness of spirit can transcend every limitation”…where by, there are the likes of Shreesh Jadhav that hold “up a candle…a light of hope in the darkness of the selfish, me-first world.

After all, not just anyone would come out right and say, (to none other than Rajiv Gandhi,) “if you really want to have a battle then battle on the content of education and how it is to be delivered!” Or proclaim “If I tell you desh mein do hazaar crore ka ghotala ho gaya, it’s just a story. But if I tell you the kachcha road outside your house has been ‘made’ last year, as per municipal records, your blood boils.

They have mights of steel, and wouldn’t (didn’t) take ‘no’ for an answer though they had to lose (lost) even  those/what would matter most in life…the likes Sumita Ghose, who didn’t break down and give up their dream upon losing their spouse at the altar of their cause, but continued by themselves, to make real the cause that took away their spouse! (Sumita’s husband was murdered by ULFA for mobilizing locals to build their own embankments so they wouldn’t be washed away in the tide of corruption, each year!)

Further, excerpts directly from the ‘protagonists’ placed here and there, on grey backdrop, on the top or bottom of some pages, and ‘Advise for young entrepreneurs’ at the end of each ‘story’ makes it an even better (could be read impressive/effective) read.

I guess this is it from me…let Rashmi do the talking here on! 🙂

Btw, this review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free ‘author-signed’ books! 🙂

And yes, thanks BlogAdda and Rashmi Bansal, that I have ‘I have a Dream‘! 🙂

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Chasing Rainbows

Mini lived in a village with her parents. She had lived all of her ten years like any other girl of her age…well, almost! She was a happy child who lived in a world of her own most of the time–except when studying…at times even when she was working at little chores with/for her parents.

During times of her own, Mini liked to chase butterflies and clouds and lying in the grass, she wove dreams around them for hours in a row. Colorful dreams of sailing on clouds, into the depths of the sky, and coming back with rain when her farms were all parched.

On one such journey, while Mini sailed on a cloud, she let the helm loose and let the cloud be, as she soaked in with pleasure, all that was around. She lay basking in the moment, her eyes closed, when a sudden jolt brought her back. Her cloud had struck something, and seemed all aglow. “Oh! it looks like my boat is on fire!” Putting all her senses on alert, she went to check what was ‘wrong’ at the steering end. What met the eye upon reaching there, was beyond fathom! Her cloud had struck the sun head on, and the water they’d been carrying, was dripping all over the ground below! And this end of her cloud was blinding bright and beautiful! Try as she did, she couldn’t move the cloud boat away, and there wasn’t any breeze to help. All she could manage, was to bail out of it on the rope ladder she always kept handy. But it just wasn’t her day, she thought, as her rope gave in mid-way, and she landed on the ground with a thud–on her back. She opened her eyes as soon as she recovered from her daze, and lo! There she saw in the sky, just above her cloud, peeking out of it, a lovely colorful bow!

“Oh! Did I chance upon some magic?” she thought in elation, her smile widening with every passing moment. “I shall call it a rainbow” she smirked, “since this bow comes from the rain.” Just then a fat drop fell on her face, into her eyes, blinding her for a bit. And when she opened her eyes again, it was all gone–the sun, her cloud, and of course, the rainbow! With tears in her eyes Mini looked at the dull, darkening evening sky. Her mother at her side with a bowl of water, asking her to come home with her. “Oh mother! What did you just do!” she despaired. “You just shooed away my cloud and my rainbow!”

“There will be more rainbows” her mother said smiling at her. The words were promising and Mini was her happy self again. Now mini kept in the real world most of the time, waiting for rainbows…but they didn’t happen–not as often as she would like anyways.

She loved the rainy season and walked looking up at the sky, all the time–silently beseeching for a rainbow, asking and directing the laden clouds to go strike the sun, but none adhered. She despaired all the time and soaked herself in work. She stopped looking towards the sky and the clouds and the sun because they weren’t hers anymore. She had disowned them all!

One day, as Mini sat indoors, reading, her mother called her out. She didn’t want to, but had to comply, for, she wouldn’t stop calling her name out!

“Yes moth…” her words trailed off as she stepped out. There was a big rainbow across the sky–bigger and brighter then her lost one! Mini’s happiness knew no bound. She ran towards it with her arms wide open! As if to embrace it. “Yes! You are my rainbow!” she said. “You’ve grown bigger and brighter!” she smiled at it. She reveled in its presence for very long, but then she realized that it was dimming, and beginning to fade at the ends. Not knowing what to do, she ran to her mother, asking her what to do to stop it and keep it. But her mother just said “there will be more rainbows” with a smile. The rainbow faded off and was gone soon.

“Why did it go away mother! Why does it always go away?” she cried. “Why?”

Her mother came forward, took her daughter in her lap and said:

“so many things fade, so many die;
this is how it goes, there’s no why!”

And Mini never despaired again.

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