Sunday, November 28, 2010

Books to Buy this winter

If you are planning to buy some books , here is a good list which is currently my TBL (To Buy List.]

1)Chasing Daylight by Eugene O'Kelly [KPMG CEO's tryst with brain cancer .. ]

2)The very thought of you by Rosy Allison [ Romantic]

3)Arrack In The Afternoon by Mathew Vincent Menacherry[Arrack is a drink]

4)Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna

5)Three cups of Tea : Inspirational 

6)Zeitoun by David Eggers : Adventure novel [A person stays in a Hurricane with his family where others flee, winner of 2010 American book awards.]

7)The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver : Travel story

8)The history of love by Nicole krauss

9)Eat pray love by Elizabeth Gilbert

10)Girls by Lori Lansens

11)The outsider by Albert Camus 

12)Don't ask any old bloke for directions 

13)Snow - Orhan Pramanuk.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Published in 1847 , this book is the only work of Emily Bronte. The book is regarded as one of the classics and stands tall on class. 

This book is rather a violent love story between Heathcliff and Catherine. Heathcliff is an orphan and spends his childhood with Catherine. Though they would hate other externally but there was intense love behind the veil of hate. But sometimes love has to suffer the wrath of society. Catherine though in love could not marry him because he is poor and uneducated and not that worthy a husband. I have picked few beautiful lines from the book where she talks about her love , "It would degrade me to to marry Heathcliff ,now;so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he's handsome,Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning , or frost from fire."   

The story is also of vengeance and many of Heathcliff's action can be categorized as diabolical. He takes a violent path to return back his vengeance.This makes him a mirthless man who becomes the cause of the death of Catherine , the woman he loved. But this strange tale of love does not end here. The tormentor gets tormented all through his life . 

" May you not rest , as long as I am living.You said I killed you - haunt me then."

A treat for people who love Literature, one book which I may confess to be a must read.

Rating: 4.2/5 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We Can pull it Off by Suresh Taneja

There is a lot of literature on corruption , declining moral values and  injustice prevailing in the Indian society. This book being the same in context is written quite differently and also suggests a solution to the problem.

The book starts with an optimistic view of India in the year 2030. A time when India is a superpower , wealthy , prosperous and corruption free. This portrayal though may seem preposterous but would be a dream of every Indian. The story then goes back to contemporary India.The author speaks of the Satyam scam(though many bigger scams have sent down jitters lately), the rotten law and order and  the corrupt politics. A question which seems very legitimate is that it is we who elect such people who do not have any moral values and so we are in many ways responsible for the mess. The illiterates are lured by the politicians for votes and these people irrationally vote for the wrong people.

In such situation 4 people popularly known as the G4 stand up to raise the moral values in the society. They start a youth movement with a strong conviction and a winning strategy. The story speaks about the G4 and their role to make India cleaner and a better place to live.It brings out a very important point that it is the youth who needs to stand up, think differently and take a different cleaner approach to things. They need not only to be leaders but also must prevent their elders from committing immoral acts.

Read the book to know how they managed to change India and let it be an inspiration for us to eradicate corruption from our country.

Rating : 3/5 

Suresh Taneja is a C.A. by profession and is employed in a large listed company as its chief financial officer. This is his first completed work as an author.  

Here is an interview of the author.

  • 1)  We know that it is your debut work.  What made you write the book?

This book is a culmination of several months of introspection. With wide-spread deep rooted corruption all around, I sometimes wondered whether the things would ever improve and what will trigger its eradication. The answer was not easily forthcoming. The discussions with colleagues and acquaintances were rather uninspiring. In one such discussion, a friend even remarked that the corruption is a boon for the businessmen and who wouldn’t like the situation to continue. It made me so depressed that I started giving this topic a serious thinking and then, I stumbled across some ideas.  The next thought was what to do now? I realized that for maximum readership, I need to package the ideas well so that it makes an interesting read. This is when I thought of expressing this idea through a gripping, inspiring and enjoyable story.


    How easy or difficult was it to write the book since you are in an unrelated profession?

Surprisingly, the story telling came naturally to me; in any case, I was fond of writing. The biggest impediment was the paucity of time as my profession is rather demanding and that leaves you with little time.  However, so passionate was I about the project that these problems were easily overcome.  During writing, I realized that due to deep involvement in the project, the judgment of the author at times gets clouded and it becomes difficult for the author to comment on the quality of work and whether it will appeal to the readers.  This is where you need the support of others to give honest and unbiased feedback. 

3.       Having published your work, what are your expectations from the book?

It is clearly neither a commercial venture for me as writing is not my livelihood, nor do I aspire for literary recognition. It is not just a book to me…….it is a medium for me to express my thoughts and ideas and urge others to do so. I would like this book to be widely read, particularly by the youngsters. If the book helps people to introspect their ways, helps generate more ideas and changes their way of life and thinking even by 1%, my set-out objectives would be accomplished.

    What is the most generous compliment you have received for the book?

It came from a reader through email. It said that my dream of India being in a position to help US in 2030 is already beginning to get realized when Obama in his recent visit asked for India’s help in creating jobs in US.

           Can we expect more work from you in future and would your next work also be issue based? 

It has been an amazing experience as an author, right from conceptualization stage to post-publishing. Like a child, you feel elated if your efforts are lauded and you feel downright dejected when criticized.  The entire experience is so addictive that I am already in contemplation of several ideas for the next book.  I plan to come out with at least one book every year. I would write about any topic which excites and motivates me; it could even be pure fiction.

6.       How do you propose to pursue your hobby along with your demanding profession?

It is a tight rope to balance but it possible to pursue with two ‘loves’ of life; third, of course, being my wife!

      What kind of books you like?

I like all kinds of inspiration stories and the stories of achievers who could make it big in life despite all odds.

What is your message to the readers?

Let me share some of my experiences. When I was talking to publishers, a reputed publisher remarked that there are takers only for a book replete with vices and people like shocking and sensational topics. I don’t blame him because he is a businessman.  A few youngsters, after reading the back page cover, wanted to know whether there is a humour in the book.  All I can say is that I have tried to make the book a light read without compromising on the core topic.

The tag line of the book is ‘It is a story of courage, determination, ingenuity and love for the country”. My appeal to the readers is ‘please don the hat of a nationalist while reading the book’ and feel free to point out deficiencies in the book but ……if you find it relevant, please do something, howsoever small it may be, within your control to correct the situation and spread the message. The things are getting out of control, as is evident from the various recent incidents. It is our problem and we will have to solve it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Kolkata, football and life


I have been to Kolkata so many times but have never written about it, so I thought would pen down some thoughts.Every city has its own flavor and that's what makes it difference. So if you are new to a city you must try and appreciate it rather than cursing about the facilities and roads and stuff. 
If you are landing in kolkata in the daytime you will be viewing the beautiful Gangasagar and if u approach by train you will see infinite number of small and green football fields.Football is in the culture here and is one of the many reasons of loving Kolkata. You must have seen the Howrah bridge in pictures  but it is fun to walk on the bridge something which I did this time. If you happen to be early in the morning waiting for a train in Howrah , just step out and come to this historical bridge and get treated by mesmerizing beauty.But you will get the idea about a city only if you walk by the streets. Famous for its almost 200 years old buildings and narrow streets it seems a trip down in the past. It was great to see the trams , rickshaw pullers , chandelier shops and many things which reminds you of a life that was .On different occasions I have been to various streets but this time it was College Street where I went book hunting. In fact  I must confess that it was book hunting and I was lost amongst thousands of books shops.I have never seen book sellers calling you out to come and see a few books. It was complete fun and a lifetime experience.

Food and Fun: If you happen to be here all you need to do is just go to any road side shop and have rasogollas , sweet just like the people here. I have been following this tradition of going to the Tea Junction (at both the City centers) and having the kullarh tea and samosa since many years and this time it was no different.On a different note this place is full of beautiful woman and simply a visual treat in a purer sense.

Football: It's been a few months since I played my last game and the first thing I did today was to wash the dirty studs for evening football today. However the mood for return to game came as a surprise when I got a passage on football in the exam i was writing yesterday.

Sort of screwed up my exam but still life is great and luckily has always been fun.Looking forward to many reunions with friends this month and next. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010


It's surprising to see so many people lost in their own maze.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shubh Dipawali

प : क्या अ कब से मैंने बोला रखा है लड़ी लगाने को , सबके घर जगमगा रहे हैं कल से. चलो जल्दी से लगा दो . देखो जो भी पैसा लगे ले लो पर कुछ अलग दिखाना  चैये मेरा घर दिवाली में .
अ  : ठीक है मेम साहब २०० रूपया लगेगा .
प: छिड़ते हुए , पर बगल में ही तो तुमने १५० में किया है.
अ: पर आपको ही अलग चाहिए था न ?
फिर प ने सोचा की २०० दे ही रही हूँ तो जितना काम हो सके करवा लेती हूँ . फिर प ने अ को दिन भर बहुत तंग किया जब तक की उसे विश्वाश न हुआ की उसके यहाँ का सजावट सबसे अच्छा है.

आज दिवाली है और प फूले न समां रही है . उसका घर सबसे अच्छा लग रहा है और चमचमा रहा है.
अ के लिए यह एक आम दिन है .वोह दिवाली में थोडा ज्यादा कमा लेता है और उसमे से बड़ा हिस्सा वोह आगे के लिए बचा कर रखता है. कल शाम को लौटते वक़्त वोह बस्ती के बच्चों के लिए कुछ मिठाई और पठाके ले आया है. पर सब के घर को सजाने वाले ने खुद के घर के लिए कुछ नहीं किया है. वास्तव में वहाँ बिजली ही नहीं है .

पर शायाद अ को जरूरत नहीं है रोशिनी की . उसके अन्दर का दीपक जल चूका है .

इस दिवाली विज्ञापनों के चकाचोंध से बहार निकल , बाहरी चमक धमक को भुला कर कुछ समय अपने लिए निकालो , मनन में थोडा प्यार जगाओ , घर में दिया तो जलाओ पर अपने अन्दर को अँधेरे में न रखो. कुछ ऐसा करो जो आजतक किसी दिवाली में न किया , चलो बहार निकलो , थोडा प्यार बांटो.

May Your awareness of the inner light be at work now and throughout the coming year.

The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett

This book is about Sabine, who is an assistant to her husband who is a magician. However their marriage is a strange one because her husband is a gay. The very first lines of the book are,"Parsifal is dead. That is the end of the story."
Parsifal all through his life had not spoken to Sabine about his family but somehow in his will he leaves a lot of money for his family.Certain situations lead to Sabine meeting Parsifal's family who live in Nebarska. The book is more about Sabine's discovery of Parsifal's childhood and his parents. She even takes a trip to Nebarska and stays with the family for few days. 
The description about Nebarska is beautiful and most of the time you feel that you are there.  The story is slow paced but still beautiful. However the last 30 pages  came as a shock and the ending seemed inconclusive. Nonetheless the emotional aspect and the strangeness of love makes it quite a good read.
To quote some lines from the book,"He does not say this to Sabine.He mouths the words.He takes her hand and pulls her down the back hall to the edge of the stage.They are standing there together in the dark,side by side, as they have been on any one of a thousand nights before."

Rating: 3.2/5