Friday, 27 February 2015

Title Is Untitled


Details of the Book
ISBN
9789383701094
Publisher
Hoffen
Number of Pages
142
Interior Pages
Black & White
Binding
Paperback (Perfect Binding)
Availability
In Stock (Print on Demand)  - Know more Here

From the book blurb
To look at things like we’ve never looked at before – we present a unique book of facts blended with fiction to spread more awareness in our society. Facts about various problems in the present urban and rural societies of India are presented wrapped in fiction, like case studies to elaborate them.

Women of our country are often victims to most issues like rape, marital rape, prostitution, child marriage, child trafficking and others. Not to ignore the men who are also victims to women framing them in false cases of impotency and domestic violence. There are eleven chapters presented in this book which deal with different such cases – both men and women – and try to create a little awareness in our educated society.

The first chapter is a classic example of how many women are treated in our country, married off to older men or their own relatives at a very young age, hence deprived of education. Many women like Kamali are sold off in the name of marriage, only to be wronged and raped by their so-called husbands. The next two chapters showcase the myriad lusts and desires of women, only to be avenged later. Cheats and frauds are not gender-biased and this is reflected in ‘Ek Tha Kapoor’. We’d also like to take you back to 1957 in a superb case study of how people were wrongly framed during the freedom movement of India. Many such cases are still pending in the court of law.

The next three chapters provide some humour to the serious reader and let you loosen yourself while you read about relevant issues like Beggary and obtaining fake degrees. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy! Hence the dose of humour for your palate. The last chapter is bound to leave you in tears when you read about Ganga and how she had been trafficked into a brothel like thousands of other teen girls.

The question is – can we do something for them? We can at least be aware of the steps that lead to these sins and spread the awareness. We can try to stop people who sell young girls to brothels. We can stop marital rape in our own homes.

Will we do so? Or just read the book and keep it in the shelf with a sigh?


Author
Santosh Avvannavar: Santosh started his career as a consultant and Soft Skills Trainer. After his college education from NITK, Surathkal, he worked as a researcher at University of Eindhoven, University of Twente, and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was also the Placement President while working at IISC, Bangalore. He has over twenty-five publications of mostly research documents in national and international journals. He has also authored sixteen conference papers and regularly writes articles for a national and worldwide daily paper. He also works as an advisor for different organizations.
He also dabbles in fiction writing and is the author of Adhuri Prem Kahaniya; Dear Wife, Your Husband is not a Superhero, Second Heart and Get a Job WITHOUT an Interview; Be A B.A.; Surrogate Author.
He likes to devote his personal time in writing for a website, namely the Amrita Foundation for HRD.

Kundan Srivastava: Kundan is an engineer by education, Founder of Be In Humanity Foundation, Social Activist, RTI Activist, Columnist, Universal Humanity Awarded (2013), Bihar Pithadhish Purushkaar Awarded (2012). He was born in Raxual, Bihar and is one of Youngest Social Activist from Bihar. Kundan is a Technical Graduate (B-Tech) from Dehradun Institute of Technology, Dehradun and the Top Achievers announced by College Management. He is well known for his role in Social Activist working for humanity cause and crime against Women, RTI Activist and his efforts to bring and awareness the Right to Information (RTI) act. From July 2013, he is a Member of political party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Raghunath Babu Are: B.E., M.Tech (IISc, Bangalore), Sr. Software Engg, over 5+ year of experience as a Software Engineer at Yahoo! and Microsoft India. An alumnus of IISc, Bangalore.

Mohit Goel - Cover page designer: He has done his Master of Design from IIT Delhi, after graduating from DIT Dehradun,which equips him appropriately to both design and develop solutions using technology. He spent his last semester in Sweden as an exchange student. He ardently believes that communication of ideas and information around issues can be circumnavigated using cartooning. He served as cartoonist for 4 years at DIT, Dehradun editorial board. He also did illustrations for national bestseller novel, 'Nothing for you my dear' by Arpit Dugar. Popularly known as Mogo, he looks forward positively to contribute to dreams of Be in Humanity foundation and for this incredible novel.
- See more here


What I think
The title is intriguing. Its lets you to make your own interpretations. The cover page is interesting. The book blurb is elaborate and gives a brief overview of what can be expected from the book.

To begin with, Title is Untitled is a collection of short stories. Each one narrated about various issues that is prevalent in our society. Child marriage, gender bias towards female child, impotency, fake degrees, delay in judicial proceedings and how it affects the innocents who are wrongly framed, child/human trafficking, begging and marital rape.

Each story makes you nod and sigh. They shameless speak about the unspeakable. And, gives mic to discuss the issues that was always shared in hush-hush.

The stories are presented play-like. So, there are more dialogs than descriptions. The language used is simple. The authors have tried to touch upon various issues, thereby being a spark for a burning fire of awareness.

Its requests only one thing:
Contribute to the change. Pledge that you will not tolerate injustice anymore.

So, let’s join our hands and fight for equality.


But
I don’t know why the authors didn’t take about honor killing!?


Should you read it?
A socially responsible and relevant book.
Don’t miss it!


Rating
4.5/5


Thank you
Thanks to the Author for contacting me and sending across this book for review.
All the best for all your future endeavors!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Unusual Incident

Image Courtesy: Friday Fictioneers

C
arrying a backpack, I saw her walking towards the railway track.

I have been staying in the verdant lane since the time I remember. I love the peacefulness and the sound of train disrupting the silence. I specifically adore it when I see children frantically waving at me. I wag back.

Generally, I don’t see any human beings striding along those railway lanes unless there is any breakdown.

But, when I saw her in that pathway, I knew something is wrong. I ran helplessly behind her.

However, she jumped on a running train and lay crushed in front me.

I barked. I howled.

PS: Thanks Rochelle for this wonderful image prompt!

PPS: I am here after a looooooooong time. Really missed you!!!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Dotted Kolam with a Twist!


When standard designs meet creativity…
The result would be mesmerizing!
And, this is a perfect example…
(I hope :P)


PS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Black, Grey & white: No One Is Spared From It



Details of the Book
ISBN
9789383701117
Publisher
Hoffen
Number of Pages
138
Interior Pages
Black & White
Binding
Paperback (Perfect Binding)
Availability
In Stock (Print on Demand) - See more here

From the book blurb
This book gifts its readers five fantastic short stories that has a common aim - to spread awareness about AIDS. It is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against AIDS and show their solidarity for HIV positive people. The book is an eye opener for anyone who wish to see the wave of positive change in society. Everyone including the brave hearts Savita, Chintu, Mithali has the right to live with their head held high without fear of social ostracization. Life does not have to be like this. The time is ripe to act now with one's sense and sensibility. Break the myths. Come, be the change!


Author
Santosh Avvannavar started his career as a consultant and Soft Skills Trainer. After his college education from NITK, Surathkal, he worked as a researcher at University of Eindhoven, University of Twente, and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was also the Placement President while working at IISC, Bangalore. He has over twenty-five publications of mostly research documents in national and international journals. He has also authored sixteen conference papers and regularly writes articles for a national and worldwide daily paper. He also works as an advisor for different organisations. He also dabbles in fiction writing and is the author of Adhuri Prem Kahaniya; Dear Wife, Your Husband is not a Superhero, Second Heart and Get a Job WITHOUT an Interview; Be A B.A.; Surrogate Author; Title is Untitled. He likes to devote his personal time in writing for a website, namely the Amrita Foundation for HRD. He has conducted seminars and training sessions for more than 40,000 people in India and abroad over the last seven years.

Santosh I. Biradar is presently pursuing Bachelor’s in Social Work from J.G.College of Social Work, Bijapur affiliated to Rani Chennamma University. He is also the founder secretary of Chaitanya Organisation, Bijapur. He is also associated with Deshpande Foundation as a lead ambassador. He won ‘Best Reporter’ award in Youth for Development Program’s and ‘Best Education award’ from Deshpande Foundation for providing free computer training to the orphan children. He also volunteered various activities such as Google Inktalks, NSS (A special camp for Leprosy people), and life skills for orphan children. He participated and evolved many school development programs for drop out children as well. - See more here

Short-Stories Overview
§      Shahid –The Martyr
Talks about myths around AIDS.
It made me feel sad that awareness of AIDS/HIV Positive has still not reached the masses.

§      Chintu – The Earth is Round
Talks about how children who get AIDS from their parents are treated heartlessly.
I was wrenched to see how heartlessly a well-educated man could behave towards an AIDS child. More so the child got it from parents, and not by committing own mistakes.

§      A Game of Life, Lust and Death
Elaborates how powerful men try to sexually exploit young girls in the name of fame and money.

§      Highway Sex: A Journey of Hope
Speaks about how the purpose of a girl’s life is considered to be marriage and how the activities of husband can affect her life.

§      Abram and His Prodigal Son
Longest story in the book that speaks about importance of love and understanding. The story has references from the Holy Bible.


What I think
The title says – “Black, Grey & white: No One Is Spared From It” and thus, conveys that a menacing disease like AIDS/HIV Positive can affect anyone; irrespective of their age or gender. The cover page is simple and the book blurb hints the contents of the book.

As promised, the book is a collection of five short stories woven around a common theme - AIDS/HIV Positive. It bravely describes the myths around the disease and how survivors are looked down by the society. We all know that AIDS/HIV Positive is spread through blood. One of the stories talks about a scenario where husband’s callously affects wife.

All the story is written like a play using simple English. While Shahid – The Matyr maintains an element of suspense, A Game of Life, Lust and Death, is sexy and lusty.

Out of the five stories, I liked Chintu – The Earth is Round. I rephrase, it affected me the most.

But, the tagline – “No one is spared from it” could have been placed below the title with a bigger font.


Should you read it?
Contribute to the awareness.
Read it!


Rating
4/5


Thank you
Thanks to the Author for contacting me and sending across this book for review.
All the best for all your future endeavors!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Older & Wiser?!!

With loved ones around
Fun and happiness surround
I am astound!

I am astound!
I am a year older.
If not wiser!

PS: Thanks to Haiku Horizons for the prompt – BirthdayJ


Sunday, 22 February 2015

Confused and Stranded

So many roads
Which one to take?
Right one I seek
Confused I feel
Stranded I am

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Surrogate Author



From the book blurb
Who is Authdas?
I wondered how difficult it is for a woman to be a surrogate mother irrespective of the objective. Writing few books have taught - true Devdas are authors. If authors' adopt similar concept of surrogacy than book can evolve. We have many examples to quote, Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and others that symbolise the surrogacy of continue doing movie irrespective of critics, and box office result. Authdas is Author das!

Plot of Authdas character: I taught if Authdas (booklorn -book sick) as Devdas (lovelorn -love sick), whose love is write a novel, Paro. Authdas needs some inspiration to write Paro and if that inspiration was Chandramukhi, how the story would be?

Story of Surrogate Author: Keeping the above plot, I looked into various movies - few movies that often people continue to enjoy are Devdas, Sholay and DDLJ. Keep those baseline into mind Surrogate Author book was written. The book is inline with Devdas. I assume that people, who love devdas would perhaps relate and link to Authdas. I thank Sanjay Leela Bhansali for giving an visually stunning movie, Devdas.

What does this book provide?
There are two sections: First section has the story of Authdas. It is a drama based on Bollywood movies Devdas, Mohabbatein, Sholay and DDLJ. Second section has some inputs to begin as a writer.

Who should pick this book?
The book is meant for aspiring authors, people who enjoy drama, movies and entertainment.

What is the objective behind the writing?
To encourage aspiring authors and continue to write because they love it. A part of fund will be given to educate a girl child.

Author
Santosh Avvannavar started his career as a consultant and Soft Skills Trainer. After his college education from NITK, Surathkal, he worked as a researcher at University of Eindhoven, University of Twente, and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was also the Placement President while working at IISC, Bangalore. He has over twenty-five publications of mostly research documents in national and international journals. He has also authored sixteen conference papers and regularly writes articles for a national and worldwide daily paper. He also works as an advisor for different organizations.

He also dabbles in fiction writing and is the author of Adhuri Prem Kahaniya; Dear Wife, Your Husband is not a Superhero; Second Heart; Get a Job WITHOUT an Interview and Be a B.A.
He likes to devote his personal time in writing for a blog, namely the Amrita Foundation for HRD (www.amritafoundation.wordpress.com). He has conducted seminars and training sessions for more than 35,000 people in India and abroad over the last seven years.

Shilpa S Patil is a faculty at KSWU, Bijapur. She holds Master's degree in commerce from Karnataka State Women's University, Bijapur and Bachelor's degree in commerce from A.S.Patil college of commerce, Bijapur.
She likes to devote her personal time writing for a blog, namely the Shilpa Goldy and the blog can be read at www.shilpagoldy.wordpress.com


What I think
The title is catchy and very different. The cover page will showcase the difficulties an aspiring author face and the book blurb will surely help you decide that you have to read the book!

Authdas is an engineer by profession/familial force and an aspiring author by passion. His first book named Paro is untouched for ten years because he is sent abroad to pursue education. When he returns back, he decides to continue writing his first book/love – Paro. But, his family disapproves this. The rest of the story speaks about whether Authdas succeeds in publishing his first book, Paro.  

With as less as 50 pages, the book is surely a winner! It is written like a play; scene by scene. The book is an adaptation of Hindi movie Devdas and has done a pretty nice job. I loved the way the author has tweaked the dialogs to fit the given plot.

What I liked the most about the book is its climax! It has a surprise J
And I am not going to reveal that!

In short, the book insists aspiring authors to love their books only as much as a surrogate mother loves her child. Once the book is written and published, it is readers’ and reviewers’ responsibility to read/criticize and contribute towards its fame and growth. The author has to move on and concentrate on writing his next book.

Should you read it?
If you have enjoyed Shahrukh Khan-Aiswarya starrer Devdas directed by Sanjay Leela Bansali, you will surely enjoy this!

So, try this J

Rating
3.5/5

Thank you
Thanks to the Author for contacting me and sending across this book for review.
All the best for all your future endeavors!


Friday, 20 February 2015

Happy Kolam!


A beautiful kolam is a pride.
They adorn the courtyard
And cried out that there are some creative people staying in the house!

When the kolam is something as small and cute as this…
Feeling proud seems perfect!

And I have a confession!
I would have peeked out of the window umpteen times to check the kolam.
And I smiled each of those times.
Sometimes, only happiness matters!


PS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Ramayana - The Game of Life (Shattered Dreams)


From the book blurb
Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the national bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana - The Game of Life.

Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita at the end of Book 1.

Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riveting drama of Rama’s exile. Through tales of Rama’s unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata’s actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita’s courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail.

With Valmiki’s Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitramanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before.


Author
Shubha Vilas, a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, holds a degree in engineering and law with specialization in Patent Law. His leadership seminars are popular with top-level management in corporate houses. He also helps individuals deal with modern-life situations by applying the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and other dharmic traditions


What I think
This is the second book in the Ramayana series penned by Shubha Vilas. Like Valmiki Ramayana which is divided into six parts, this series consists of six books and this one talks about Ayodhya Kanda which extensively narrates old King Dasaratha’s desire to crown Lord Sri Rama, Kaikayi’s crooked wish and the exile that follows. It also talks about Sita’s determination, Lakshmana’s loyalty and Bharatha’s worship alongside Lord Sri Rama’s obedience.

The book’s title fits aptly – The (crooked/uncontrollable) Games of life. The cover page portrays disturbance and mental turbulence. The book blurb crisply conveys what can be expected from the book.

The language used is simple and narrative is lucid. The author has tried his best to maintain the poetic charm that the great epic has while also trying to make it sound as trivial as possible.

What I really liked is the little passages elaborating the takeaways from each major instances in the story. It wisely elaborates the relevance of the same in day-to-day life. These passages remind us that Ramayana is not just a story with religious connections. It emphasizes that Ramayana is a way of life and it teaches the essence of life – what is good and bad – through stories!


But...
The numberings against certain words and the related foot notes, as I had mentioned during the review of earlier book as well, is a sure turn off. It hinders the flow and makes it look more like a reference book than actual-real story!


Should you read it?
You would have heard Ramayana. But, this certainly adds wider perspective. It also lets you understand life and importance of relationships.

Don’t miss it!

Rating
3.5/5

Thank you
I heartily thank the author for contacting me and giving away the book for review. It is a pride and gleeful moment to any blogger!


Mistake

A gal with a fortune at stake
With palatial house built beside a lake
Threw a grand party
And served unlimited whiskey and brandy
When guests overdrunk, she realized her mistake


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

He FIXED the MATCH she fixed him

From the book blurb
Shreya – I'm a highly qualified Delhi girl earning an enviable salary. My parents are having a tough time finding a suitable groom for me. However, recently they have a proposal from this very interesting guy from Mumbai. I almost get mesmerised when he starts talking to me. I think I like him very much.

Kunal – I'm owner of a textile company in Mumbai. My Mom wants me to get married. Again. She has recently suggested a suitable girl from Delhi. What my Mom doesn't know is that I've met Shreya before once in my life and I've been looking for her ever since. I have a vendetta to settle.

The author takes you along on a journey via roads of revenge, agony, remorse, attraction, titillation, tantalization and romance. Do Shreya and Kunal make it, or do they fall prey to their past?


Author
Shikha Kumar has a B - Tech degree in computer science from Bharati Vidyapeeth, Delhi. Professionally, she is a manager with Tata consultancy services. She has traveled to and worked in different countries. She enjoys traveling, reading, writing and watching movies. This is her first attempt to present her writing abilities to the world.


What I think
The cover page is catchy. It has the sketch of well-dressed couple facing opposite directions in a romantic atmosphere. This suggests that the book is about love-hate relationship. The book blurb is crisp and gives a fair idea about what can be expected from the book.

The book begins by presenting a typical scenario in a family with an unmarried daughter. There are discussions about finding a right match for her, her protests and anger. It also describes how her heart melts. The mystery of their past lives makes us anxious.

I loved the fact that Shreya is not typecast and is shown as modern day’s woman who is passionate about her profession and earns at par/more than many men of her age. Her family has a broader outlook too. At the same time, they carry the age-old concerns relating to their daughter’s marriage who is in her late twenties.

Love can make you do stupid things and can make you go crazy. This idea becomes the thread until they get married. However, their lives turns upside down after that. There are several dialogs and it feels like you are watching a television serial!

In movie terms, first half is interesting and second half becomes redundant.


But...
The title is long and misleading. May be because it is World Cup time. I almost thought that this is a story about cricket, match-fixing, love in that backdrop and blah-blah.

The narrative is too elaborate and many times I felt like it is over-explained.

A story becomes predictable and boring. Umpteen dialogs and narrative looks more like a movie script than a book.


Should you read it?
It carries a Mills & Boons kind of charm. I think I am too old for it.
You might not be!


Rating
2.5/5


Thank you
This review is written as a part of Book Review program hosted by The Tales Pensive