Monday, January 20, 2020

My To-Read List of 10 Books For This Winter

Books are among the best companions in life. I truly believe in this. In fact, I have experienced it for years. There is a book for every mood, time, and season. Good books are always constructive. Every time I read a good book, there is an incremental impact on my belief and trust. Life is always a mix. That is a default setting done in everybody's life. It has all the colors to enjoy. Even the way a person looks at each color of life and interprets it varies from person to person. Each individual is unique in that regard. The same happens with books. Even if we all read the same book, the way of interpreting it will vary uniquely. That is the beauty of the mind. And we all try to use it in our best possible ways.

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Well, I have a habit of selecting a few books well in advance of a season. The same formula applies for a month, week, and day. So, when the winter was about to start, I had to finalize my to-read list for the next few months. For winter, my choice of books includes that give me a little warmth that is very much needed. Something that warms not only my heart but also my emotions and soul. For that purpose, I don't mind reading an old book again that I am sure will fulfill my this particular inner demand. So, here are the 10 books that I arranged and added to my to-read list for this winter:

  1. Einstein: A Life of Genius (The True Story of Albert Einstein) by Alexander Kennedy: We all know a lot about Einstein and his great achievements. Yet this book has a lot of interesting stuff about this great man that is not known or known with lesser clarity.
  2. The Science of Story Selling: How to Win the Hearts & Minds of Your Prospects for Profit and Purpose by Gideon For-mukwai: If you are able to sell your story, you can achieve success in selling anything in this world. Succeeding in selling your story is the biggest art. That comes with the art of speaking. This book teaches some basics in that aspect that is worth understanding. You can check it here.
  3. The Real Food Version Cookbook: Over 100 Quick & Easy American Favorite Dishes, Recipes for kids(minimally processed, free of common allergens)Delicious, ... & healthy, Tasty, Quickly, Easy Recipes by Efrat Petel: The recipes are simple yet the preparations are sumptuous. Tasty food doesn't mean a lot of ingredients and spices. It all depends on many factors. At times in the name of the tasty food, we compromise with many other aspects of food like health and nutrition. This book (check here) helps in understanding the meaning and value of real food rather than tasty food, fast food, easy food, and so many other misguiding philosophies.
  4. Zen: Come to Peace - A Buddhist Meditation Guide to Find Your Inner Peace, Happiness, and Zen through Mindfulness (zen, zen Cho, zen Buddhism, zen habits, ... zen tutorial, zen meditation, zen guide) by Will Harris: This is a fantastic book on the subject that is quite close to my heart. I loved thoroughly reading every page of this book that you can check here.
  5. How To Live In The Now: Achieve Awareness, Growth and Inner Peace in Your Life (Personal Empowerment Book 1) by Neville Berkowitz: Most of us are not able to do away with our past and that impacts heavily on our today and tomorrow. that is quite serious as it may completely turn the course of our life. that is why it is important to read this book (check here) by everyone to understand the power of living in now. and once you understand that then it becomes important to learn the HOW part.
  6. You Deserve Better: Success In Real-Life Negotiations by Yossi Maaravi: You Deserve Better: Success in real-life negotiations by Yossi Maarav has 12 interesting chapters in just a little more than 200 pages (find it here). There are four important gateways in between at relevant junctures. Don't miss those. Rather the whole book is necessarily a not-to-miss for every aspirant in life and profession. Whatever you aspire to achieve with whatever goals you have, this book is a must to get the right direction and a positive fighting spirit to move on.
  7. The Broken Wings by Kahlil Gibran: This book can be termed as an autobiography of the first and last love of Kahlil Gibran the great philosopher who met a girl named Selma Keremy at Beirut, Lebanon. This was love at first sight. Selma is a young beautiful girl of Beirut who is as still as a Pond, as deep as an Ocean, as lively as Life. The story starts when Kahlil is just 18 and finishes when he is 23. (Link)
  8. Meeting Shiva: Falling and Rising in Love in the Indian Himalayas by Tiziana Stupia: Meeting Shiva: Falling and Rising in Love in the Indian Himalayas by Tiziana Stupia (here is the link) is a journey of life. It is a journey in many ways – a journey to find your real self, a journey in search of truth, a journey to find out the real meaning of love, a journey to find out the real purpose of life, a journey beyond the journey. It is, in fact, an autobiography presented in a very realistic and touching way. A lot of truth is revealed in this – about God and God worshipers. The book in a way is quite inspiring while taking you through all ups and downs of life.
  9. The Kennedy Half-Dollar by Mahree Moyle: The Kennedy Half Dollar is more than a life story written by Mahree Moyle. It depicts the pain of life, memoir, autobiography, self-realization of the truth of life, and beyond. Mahree Moyle is a powerful writer, well-proven in her debut novel The Kennedy Half Dollar published by iUniverse Inc., Bloomington, United States. Right from the cover to story narration, this book strongly hooks you engrossingly from page one till you reach up to the end of the story. While reading this book, you get engaged in the story so as to become a part of it making you feel as if you are witnessing whatever happens in it, right in front of you. That is what happens if the story is written from the heart. You not only feel the pain suffered by the main character of this story, but you also witness a heinous crime while traveling through this journey. (Book link).
  10. Living with Merlin: Coping with grief, living life by Anita Bakshi: Living With Merlin by Anita Bakshi is a book of spelling out the hardest grief of her life. I will call it a book of consolidation. A consolidation that is essential when all of a sudden something unexpected occurs in life. It is like assessing the balance sheet of your life after a tsunami. Meeting your soulmate doesn't happen in everybody's life. And spending the sweetest phase of your life with your soulmate is a blessing. That too when everything is going well in all aspects. And then when the biggest jerk of your life snatches your soulmate away from you, forever, brings a big disaster. A disaster where nothing looks good in life. When you have to drag every moment of your life in a forceful manner. Where nothing looks good. And you are not able to cope up with that sudden void or blank in life. (Link).
This article is a part of #SwBlogTrain hosted by StyleWhack. Enjoy this beautiful train of blogs specially curated for this Winter season. Next, we have, Sundeep and Bedabrata taking us on Things to do in Delhi Winters. Stay tuned for this ultimate train of beautiful articles.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

NH 24 - A Well Crafted Debut by Nitin Yadav

People in journalism know Nitin Yadav quite well. After a successful career in journalism, Nitin decided to diversify his writing skills in publishing a story a few years back. Reading a story from a journalist will always be a little different from the story from a writer with no exposure in journalism. The former will always produce crispier, straightforward, and more realistic stories connecting more closely with society and an individual. That same kind of touch you will find Nitin's first book “NH 24” that was recently launched at the International Book Fair 2020 in New Delhi. The book was unveiled by Rajul Tewari, Geeta Singh, Naveen Choudhary, and Nitin Yadav. Though it is a work of fiction, when it comes from a journalist, there is supposed to be a lot of real-life portion in it. The book is published by Authors Pride Publishers Pvt Ltd.

The reading session at the launch of NH24 was fabulous giving the key insights on the theme of the book and the intensity with which it has been plotted by the author. Besides that, there was a panel discussion where the author, publisher, and the moderator had an intriguing discussion. The story of NH24 is about a young man who encounters and serious road accident and is struggling with life in the hospital. It is there that the protagonist recalls all the important moments of his life. Those moments also include the darker side of his life lying there untold and unspoken for years in his subconscious mind. NH 24 touches those crucial moments very delicately and softly not to hurt but to heal the wounded soul of Rahul, the protagonist. The book something that we all feel but are mostly afraid to touch.

Author Nitin Yadav says, "I have tried to bring actual and undeclared truth of the society in simple language and hope that the readers will like the same."

Sana-di-ge Delhi Is a Great Dining Experience @sanadige #SanadigeDelhi

Sana-di-ge is not merely a restaurant. It's a unique culture to experience. It's, in fact, a soul of Indian traditions in food. I find this place elite and exclusive. Especially, in coastal food, there is nothing like dining at Sana-di-ge. Every dish has a unique set of masalas and other ingredients. Where every masala and ingredients are sourced from the best of their origins keeping adherence to processes and procedures intact for sure. In case, a particular masala doesn't reach in time and is not available in the kitchen, the particular dish or dishes needing that masala will not be prepared with any substitutes procured from a local resource. That is the level of discipline to ensure extreme quality, taste, and genuinty in the dishes and food. That is a great level of commitment towards its customers and guests.

Not only the food, but it's also the unique culture and experience that is more than delightful. Visiting Sana-di-ge is a combination of luxury and rich experience. Let me highlight the key features of some classic and traditional drinks here that are prepared with utmost care and perfection. The first one is Sambharam. It is entirely different. Basically, it is all time Kerala's spicy buttermilk that is tampered with fresh coriander, turmeric, ginger, and curry leaves. Yedded Punchi Panaka is one of the best drinks. It is a perfect blend of black pepper, jaggery, water, and tamarind. So, actually, it is a sweet, spicy, and tangy drink. Punar Puli is made of kokum, water, and sugar. The word itself means kokum in the local language. Kokum is used traditionally in many south Indian curries as an alternative to tamarind. Kokum hails from the family of mango stream.

Sol Kadi is a fabulous drink. It is made with coconut milk, dried kokum fruit, spices, finally tempered with roasted garlic. Elaneeru Shunti Nimbehannu is another classic drink that is a combination of fresh tender coconut water, pressed ginger, and lime. After these fabulous drinks, let us relish some fabulous starters. Kori Ghee Roast is a pan tossed chicken with byagdi chili, clarified butter, and original spices from Mangalore. Butter Pepper Garlic Prawn is something I never miss whenever I visit here. It is uniquely prepared that makes its taste fabulous. It is batter fried prawn cooked with butter, pepper, and garlic. Malvani Mutton masala was so delicious that I finished it in no time. It is mutton cooked with ginger, onion, and a unique set of the spice mix. In veg, Kalimirchi Lotus Stem is one of the best dishes.

Lotus stem is deep-fried and then tossed with black pepper, onion, and garlic. Now, comes the best of all. It is Kaju Sanadige, one of the signature dishes here. Whole cashew nuts are fried along with coconut slices that are further tossed with crushed pepper with a finishing touch with curry leaves. In the main course section, Malabar Stew is fantastic. It is a fresh mix of vegetables with coconut milk and curry leaves. Allepey Meen Manga Curry is a real treat for fish lovers like me. It is fish cooked with raw mango slices further cooked in coconut gravy. Kori Kundapuri is one of the best chicken dishes that have chicken cooked in coconut gravy. Pundi goes well with Kori Kundapuri. Pundi, actually, is a steamed rice ball mixed with semolina (Rawa) and grated coconut.

Neer Dosa, as the name suggests, is a very soft and ultra-thin pancake made with rice. When I visit and dine at Sana-di-ge I don't forget to order Kerala Paratha. If I don't order that, it will be a big mistake that I can't afford to make. Kerala Paratha is nothing but Malabar Paratha, a multilayer pan-fried paratha made with flour and ghee. The same goes true for Mangalorean Appam that is a flat and soft pancake made with fermented rice batter. It is also quite soft and thin. Nei Choru is a memorable rice dish made with rice tossed in pure ghee, cashew nuts, onion, and curry leaves. Among desserts, I preferred Elaneer Payasam and Ragi Mani. Ragi Mani is a finger millet pudding that is a superb delicacy from the Kannadiga heartland. The presentation of Elaneer Payasam is excellent. So is its taste.

It is another signature dish at Sana-di-ge. It is made with fresh coconut milk and Tender coconut pulp. I ended this fabulous journey with Dakshin filter kaapi.

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#coastalfood #food #restaurant #Mangalore #Mangaluru #Mangaloreanfood #sanadige #goldfinch #goldfinchhotels #SanadigeDelhi #authenticfood

@sanadige @goldfinchhotelsandresorts @goldfinchhotels 

Meghna Gulzar On Deepika Padukone's JNU Visit: Absurd Statement

Meghna Gulzar seems to be worried about the collection of her recent movie Chhapaak starring Deepika Padukone in the lead role. Deepika Padukone is playing the character of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid victim in real life. Laxmi very bravely and gracefully fought back with the grave situation. The same is depicted in the movie. Now, everything was going fine and the projected collection was pretty high until Deepika Padukone's JNU visit recently. The projected earning figures have got shattered as many sections of the society are hitting back on her such action by boycotting the movie and appealing others to do so. Does it actually matter if a refined actress goes and joins some anti-social and anti-national elements for an evening? She did it just for the sake of some stir on social media and popularity. But, isn't it a cheap irresponsible act?

In my opinion, people look at any actor or actress as a role model when they see him or her as a great character in real life and a strong personality. Deepika Padukone visited JNU and just stood there silently. This was a pretty awkward act, in my opinion. What was her purpose? To support JNU activists and their denial of accepting VC, management, administration, and rules & regulations? If she had guts to visit there, what stopped her to say a few words to make the purpose of her visit clear? Is it not funny that she is playing a strong character in the movie while this is something quite dubious? If a large section of society is not taking it positively, there is a good reason behind it. People are not fooled. It matters, whom they like and the real character and ethics of that person.

What is indigestible is the concept of the movie and the concept of the no-age-bar students demonstrating at JNU are completely opposite to each other. The movie comes out with a strong social message for women. Even Deepika Padukone is not a fool. Meghna Gulzar is trying to rub off her this act by requesting to see her talent in the movie and this act in real life separately. Basically, she has feared the negative impact on the movie. And it should happen actually. What is Deepika was coming to the sets of this movie while it was under production with some unwanted notorious characters not acceptable to the society? Would Meghna Gulzar have accepted that?

Sunday, January 05, 2020

A new definition to corporate bigotry: Book Review @nowme_datta

The story of How To Be A Likeable Bigot: A Handbook For The Savvy Survivor is a very unique kind of irresistible creativity coming from Naomi Datta. Once started reading, I couldn't drop it until I reached its last page and finished reading it. I could very easily correlate it with my years spent in the corporate world and the bigots who used to have a tough time in smooth sailing. I think every such a person in the corporate who craves for a respectful survival without contributing much to his job must immediately grab this book. The story has all kinds of motivation, encouragement, tips, and tricks to achieve heights in the field. For others, it would be a good time to understand the bigots and their philosophy of cunning survival in their respective corporate world.

The writing style of the author is fabulous. It's a rare combination of wittiness in the writing style and wisdom presented in such a creation with a lot of juice consisting of humor and the harsh reality of the dirty side of the corporate world. In fact, it's an indirect blunt satire on the people in the corporate world who in reality do nothing yet achieve a good amount of praise from their bosses and betterment in their careers.

What I liked most is the crispness and clarity in the author's writing in presenting reality in a very different way. There's a lot in the book as a takeaway for its readers. Firstly, it's a good combination of humor, wits, and realities of the corporate world. A one of its own kind of book that I can read again and have the same amount of fun. That is the beauty of this book. This book, in fact, comes out with making bigotry an art to win games in a corporate and gain recognition despite keeping yourself away from delving into any kind of seriousness towards your job and job requirements.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Ujda Chaman - One of the Best Quirky And Witty Movies of 2019

This clearly shows the downside of media. Look at the ratings for this movie Ujda Chaman given by the media like India Today, Times of India, NDTV, Filmibeat, and News18 to name a few. All these have given a low rating (below 3). I doubt if any of these esteemed reviewers from these so-called renowned publications really watched this movie. Another doubt I have about these people is if their respective family members actually agree to the low rating give by them to this movie. This kind of reviewers rate just for the sake of gaining attention and popularity. Another reason could be they were not thrown a cocktail party that allures them to give unreasonably high ratings to many movies. These are all biased and unreal reviews in my opinion. All their language used for the review is old and repetitive. Do they really deserve to review?


Now, look at the other end. The ratings of Ujda Chaman are pretty high on IMDB, Google, BookMyShow, etc. given by the actual moviegoers who watched, liked, and rated the movie. All these real reviews' collective rating is 4 or above. Who will you believe? The former print media reviewers who I doubt if actually even watched the movie. Or the latter real people like you and me who watched Ujda Chaman with their families enjoyed it thoroughly and rated it genuinely. I loved the movie for many reasons. It's well scripted. The actors have done an excellent job especially Manvi Gagroo in her lead role as Apsara Batra. Sunny Singh as Chaman Kohli was no less in delivering his part as the lead opposite to Manvi. Both have done a tremendously good job. Ujda Chaman, I feel, should be shown in every school and college.

The movie Ujda Chaman, in my opinion, is one of the best quirky and witty movies of 2019 with a great message to the youth of our country. In fact, it has a great message for everyone. It's is a fun-filled movie. A must watch. I would rate it 4.5 out of 5. I feel, nowadays, people pay more attention and give more weightage to genuine reviews than those published on print media.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

हिंदी कविता चलो! एक बार फिर दिखाता हूँ समुन्दर में बूँद नहीं बूँद में समुन्दर बन कर

चलो बैठते हैं बैठ जाते हैं
बैठ ही जाते हैं
चलने को तो ज़माने में बहुत कुछ है
वक़्त भी है
हवा है।

नफरत है
तल्खियां हैं
गुस्ताखियां हैं
गुस्सा है
तुम में मुझ में बढ़ती दूरियां हैं
तन्हाइयां हैं
आक्रोश है
रुसवाईआं हैं
बढ़ती हुई दवाइयां हैं।

बैठे बैठे
बैठे ही रह गए
चलना भूल गए
कुछ बचे खुचे ख्वाब
पुरानी जीर्ण  यादों के
घने जालों में
असहाय और लाचार से
झूल गए।

मगर ठहरना ज़रा
इन मायूस बुझी आँखों में
एक चमक दिखती है कहीं
इस जूझते दीये में
बुझती आग की आब से
रौशनी दिखती है कहीं
चलो! एक बार फिर
दिखाता हूँ
समुन्दर में बूँद नहीं
बूँद में समुन्दर बन कर
अब तुम ठहरो
मैं चलता हूँ।

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