Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review-Rukhsat by Sujit Banerjee


RUKHSAT THE DEPARTURE 
BY 
SUJIT BANERJEE
Blurb 
Where a story stops, another one begins. The thing with them is, they never walk alone. They always walk with a group of friends. Each reaches its own climax. Then with a final gasp of mortality and despair, fade away. No, they never die, they multiply. To the extent that the original gets lost and new ones are born. Over and over again. Yes, they get lost. No, they never die. They live on, permanently etched in the book of time. And from there, we borrow them and bring them alive. Again. And again. Here are twenty six of them, some standing alone and some chatting up with their long lost friends. When they depart, they leave a lingering fragrance of nostalgia and curiosity. What happened then?

Twenty-six alphabets, twenty-six names, and twenty-six short stories. Each exploring one unique emotion, taking you into the dark recess of the mind. Some frothy and most of them dark. Most standing alone and some facing a mirror, where the same story comes alive in two different ways, through two different protagonist . Meet myriad characters - from the single-minded prostitute to the man on the railways station bereft of any memory; a woman desperate for a biological child to a dead man's trial. Meet a jealous lover with a twisted brain and a gay man's memory of a one-night encounter. Meet twenty-six such characters arrested and sentenced for life inside the pages of a book. Each one leaving an indelible mark on your soul.

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Meet the Cast 

Abhimanyu – In the Beginning

I felt the poison of anger raging around me, inside me, pulsating like an entity; anger at the one who betrayed and the one who took advantage of this betrayal. The anger of not being able to stop both. Then the flash of knife and the flowing blood, shimmering in the flames of the torches inside the chamber. Screams followed by hushed voices; bodies being dragged down a flight of stairs. The sound of digging and burying. Later, ruins all around as empires fell and one intrigue chased another through time while swords sliced and arrows whiz past, seeking hearts. Who was I and what was all this about? Why were most of the images that flitted through my head always dark and tinged with red? Rarely, very rarely were they warm and loving. So rarely were they, ever like the sun shining on a cold and shivering memory.

My Honest Review

I received this book from The Book Club for writing an honest review.

26 alphabets, 26 names, 26 short stories…

WOW….Hats off to Sujit Banerjee for thinking of such unique theme for the April A to Z Blog challenge and then getting it complied into a book.

            Each alphabet gave rise to a name. Each name gave rise to a title and each title to a story. Each story is unique like its name, as if each name is a story itself. Each story is linked with previous one is one way or other. As if each character in the story is continuing with his/her version of an incident. Each protagonist is putting forth his/her point of view as seen through their eyes.

            Rukshat, The Departure – as the title of the book suggests, each character at end of story has to depart with something close to his/her heart; something from their character, something from their soul.

            Some stories touches a chord in your heart and makes you feel sorry while some leave you guessing, but not happy, as Rukshat of anyone or anything always makes a person sad. Departure of a child or parent or a friend or a lover or any person who is close to heart is not which one wishes to experience. But as it is said each and every thing which arrives has already a time fixed for its departure. Whatever comes has to go after it's time is over.

            Loved the way Sujit Banerjee has woven short stories interlinked with each other. It makes you feel, you are reading a novel and not short stories. You feel instant connection when you read stories with real life incidences.


            So, if you want to so some serious soul searching kind of reading, Rukshat is one. 


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Born to Bengali parents in Lucknow, I grew up in Patna where I finished my post-graduation in Psychology and ended up becoming a tour operator instead of a Psychologist! Which was 
good since a Bengali born in UP and reared in Bihar does not make a great Psychologist! Am I now glad to be in tourism? It has taken me all over the world including places you would have never heard of. Eh? How about Tlacotalpan? It’s in Mexico.

Destiny had other plans as well so I became a reluctant healer. A crazy Shaman in Mexico set the ball rolling and it has rolled all the way to Delhi. Today I both heal as well as read Tarot cards. My wife thinks I am mad. My friends think I am weird. I guess I am both. 

My first story was published in a magazine when I was seventeen. The Editor made such a hash of it that I stopped sending out my stories but I continued writing. Then I broke my heart and started writing poems; first in Hindi and then in English. All personal collection. They still remain personal. I do shudder when I read some of them! Then the short stories came back and written over two years - now is a collection.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Spotlight- A Dog Eat Dog-Food World by C Suresh


A Dog Eat Dog-Food World 
by 
C. Suresh
A Fablery Publications 





Blurb 

A hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management, which explicitly denies resemblance to any actual history, and which will be horrified if some semblance be found. ‘A dog eat dog-food world’ is the story of a man who discovered that the path of life is strewn with treadmills and, if you get on one by mistake, you could keep running all your life to stay in the same place. The story of how just minding your own business can lead to unexpected consequences, guided by the ‘invisible hand’ of long dead economists. Anything you learn from the book – be it the basics of marketing management or a satirical view of Society – you do at your own risk.

The tale only dogs the doings of Spike Fortune who only sought to feed dogs and Jerry Fortune who, being fortuneless, gets dragged helter-skelter by his uncle Spike’s careening pursuit of commercial success; Spike’s rival Tom Rich, who is unwillingly dragged into upstaging Spike and tries to do it by teasing the palates of cats, helped by the bumbling efforts of his nephew, Jasper Rich who would rather be chasing girls than chasing cats.




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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Fiction has been an addiction but the need to make a living took Suresh through Chemical Engineering and a PGDM at IIM-Bangalore and, from thence, to a long 16 year stint in the area of finance with specific expertise in fertilizer subsidies and a further two years as consulting expert in the same area. That, in his words, about sums up the boring part of his life, except for the people he was privileged to meet.

Otherwise, he can be described as a mess of contradictions – a bookworm but avid trekker; alone but never lonely; enjoys solitude but loves company; lazy but a perfectionist, the litany is endless. Trekking, which side-tracked him from the writing for which he quit his job, is a major passion and he does, at least, one trek in the Himalayas every year in addition to numerous local treks.

He reignited his passion for writing with a fairly popular blog www.jambudweepam.blogspot.in. The blog has been rated among the Top 5 humour blogs in India, twice in succession - in 2014 and 2015 - by BlogAdda, and has also been listed third among the Top Humour Blogs by Baggout.

He also has a short story published in a collection “Uff Ye Emotions” and has edited and written a novelette in an ebook anthology “Sirens spell danger”

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Skills in today's world

          In today’s competitive world, you need skills to make it to the top. Everyone wants to be at the topmost level of the pyramid. But what does it take to be at the top - Sheer luck or skill and determination?

          I would say if you have the skill and determination, luck will always smile at you. But normal education doesn’t provide us the necessary skill training, or prepare us to face the real competitive world. But now-a-days people are recognizing the need of special training to groom the kids from a young age so that when they face the real world they are ready to face the challenges with a brave heart.  Recognizing a child’s strength and weakness, providing him/her with support and encouragement helps the child to grow up in a confident person.

          So Mrs. Rashmi Praveen, an MBA and a Private Banker by profession was highly inspired to pursue Training as a profession due to her association with Landmark Education that made a profound difference to her life both personally and professionally. She was determined to design programs for children that equip them with different skills, methodologies and technologies to achieve breakthroughs in real life situations. Below is the profile of Simply Hire Resourses (I) Pvt Ltd, (SHRI) an organization which offers Life skill programs based on holistic learning methodologies right from Toddlers, to teenagers and Corporates. The company is tied up with various schools, colleges and corporate houses across Bangalore and spreading its wings across India soon.

          For More information click on
          Website link : http://shrindia.com/
          Facebook page link : https://www.facebook.com/shrindia2008/

Below is information about the organization profile :

SIMPLY HIRE RESOURCES INDIA PVT. LTD.

Simply Hire Resources (I) Pvt. Ltd., started in the year 2008, has established itself as one of the preferred partners for recruitment and training programs across different industries. The accolades and awards that the company has won in the recent past, is a testimony to the quality and excellence of its service delivery.

The company has been highly successful in imparting training programs for children, young adults and corporate employees, as a result of investing thoroughly in valuable human resources in its research and development team, thereby building a team of people with rich experience in the field of training and development.  


SHRI believes in upgrading itself with skills required in today’s ever changing world and has employed experiential learning methodologies across all its programs. The company offers a comprehensive school program “ARISE” that focuses on all co-scholastic requirements of a growing child. The program has been designed to provide value-based education, life skills, soft skills and academic skills that enhance the learning abilities of children while equipping them to handle real life situations. Alongside, the company provides counseling support to schools.

For college students, the company offers Personality development programs, training programs which enhances their Soft Skills, makes them efficient in their Communication and creates awareness among students about the importance of “Brand Me”. The structured program “AKME”, and “FASTRACK”, prepares students to face the challenges of the corporate world, while testing their aptitude through certified tests.

In today’s fast moving era, demands of the corporate world are ever changing. SHRI has incorporated training programs for companies across industries and are well equipped to bring about a transformation among employees thereby enhancing productivity over a period of time. The company has been successfully implementing its yearlong program-“ACE” and conducts short duration workshops based on the needs of the company. Our Communication Skills program has been highly successful in bridging the gap and building great working relationships among employees at companies.

The company is soon launching a career counseling tool for high school students and also its counselling wing. Also, the company has started conducting workshops for general public.

As part of its CSR initiative, SHRI conducts Public Awareness Programs, Road Safety Programs and various Civic Awareness Programs etc,.
Mrs. Rashmi Praveen receiving award

With Swamiji



SHRI has been awarded for its “Innovation in Training Programs by KSMBOA”, an association of SME business owners.

SHRI was one of the finalists among 19000 aspirants in the all India competition held by Economic Times in association with CIIE and Department of Science and Technology.(ET Power of Ideas, 2015)

Recently, SHRI has won the “Future of India award, 2016” organized by 1000 Petals in association with CNBC. Also, the company’s Chief Executive Mrs.Rashmi Praveen has won the “Woman Entrepreneur of the year” award for the year 2016.

The company’s R&D Head, Mrs. Farida Rizwan is a counselor and psychotherapist who use her experience in the field to create life-skills training programs based on real life challenges faced by people. She is winner of several blogging contests and has been recognized for her work by NGOs like RT90, Indian Society of Health Administrators Sahaya Hastha and many more. Her articles as well as articles about her have been published in daily newspapers like Asian Age, Times of India, Indian Express etc. Her video on her Cancer Survival Journey got her 7th and 8th position in a Selfie Contests organized in 2014 and 2015 by HCG.    She regularly blogs at www.chaptersfrommylife.com which has more than 2 million hits and shares her take on life through her quotes on https://www.facebook.com/FaridaQuotes/.

Farida Rizwan


Our Vision

Our Vision is to impart VALUE based education across different facets of society and create a totally TRANSFORMED WORLD for our future generation

Our Promise

  • Qualified and reliable workforce with certification in skill-based training
  • An efficient and innovative Research & Development Team
  • A disciplined approach towards implementation of programs thereby ensuring quality of service delivery
  • Highly effective experiential learning methodologies for training
  • Skilled and experienced training personnel






Spotlight-I Don't Wear Sunscreen by Kavipriya Moorthy


Book Blitz


I Don't Wear Sunscrean
by
Kavipriya Moorthy




Blurb

For Laksha, life is a gift wrapped in red ribbon. But that's all shattered when she falls for a misogamist. His ambivalence and vacillation always keeps her at bay, turning her into a neurotic. She gets betrayed by the most credible, loses her job, feels devastated and dejected as incidents crowd upon her corrupting her naiveté.

Enigmas unfold revealing every glitch. Who will clear her blurred skies? What invigorates her career and life? Will she ever forgive her beloved? And how will Laksha survive?

The story also revolves around her rapport with Pallavi, a childhood friend and the relationship she has with her silver-tongued mom. Focusing on how experiences change perception of little things, this contemporary tale gives a better meaning to friendships, relationships, solitude, pain, compassion and success.

More often than not, Life drags you down to the adversities and thrusts outward to shine. It is your grit that truly matters when you reach rock bottom, and left with no choice other than to pick yourself up and leap forward, however arduous it may be!


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About the Author



Kavipriya Moorthy is based out of Chennai, India. She is an avid reader, writer and blogger who blogs at http://kavipriyamoorthy.wordpress.com She scored an MBA degree and worked in IT organizations before; she just answered her call for passion and started off with polishing her writing skills. She is known for being broad minded and is established as a high morale person with a sweet family and good bunch of friends supporting her writing spirit. I don’t wear sunscreen is her debut in the literary world.


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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spotlight-With you I Dance By Aarti V Raman


Book Blitz


With You I Dance
by
Aarti V Raman



Blurb

Meera Sagar had everything—the perfect job as a principal ballerina (for a prestigious New York ballet company) and a man who loved her as much as she loved him. But tragedy struck on the night
before her biggest performance, forcing her to do the one thing she never wanted to do—come back home. To Mumbai.

Now, a year later, Meera is still trying to pick up the pieces, while fending off marriage proposals from her well-meaning but traditional Gujarati family, and figure life out all over again. By starting a ballet school in Mumbai. But she has two problems. One, she doesn’t know anything about running a business. And two, she can’t dance. Not anymore.

Enter . . .
Abeer Goswami. Hotshot junior partner at a South Bombay law firm and a man nursing a broken heart. When he meets Meera again, the woman who left him, he tries his hardest to be her friend, to help her . . . and not let the past get in the way.

And then . . .
There is the sexy Zoya Sehgal. Meera’s only friend in the city and the woman Abeer is currently seeing. They say triangles have pointy edges, for a reason. Will Meera find a new dream in her ballet school? Can Abeer and Meera find their way back to each other again? And, most important, has Meera danced for the last time?

With you I dance is a warm, funny, at times heart-rending, love story of second chances, true love, and finding yourself when your dearest dream has vanished.


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About the Author



Aarti V Raman is an established novelist in the romantic thriller genre (White Knight, Kingdom Come) with her third book, a contemporary romance titled “With You I Dance” out soon with Fingerprint Publishing.

29 years old, she graduated from Mumbai University in 2007 with a degree in Mass Media focused on Journalism, which provided her the perfect background for conducting sound research on any project. She then went on to study Creative and Professional Writing at Deakin University in Melbourne for post-graduation in 2008. It was there that she learned to hone her craft and lifelong ambition of writing romances that had strong characters and stronger stories that remained etched in the reader's minds.

While waiting for her big break, Aarti pursued commercial writing and gained a vast amount of knowledge (from fishing tackle to soft toys) that she claims have helped her with molding better stories. Her first novel "White Knight" was published by Leadstart in 2012 and gave her the impetus to continue writing. In 2013, her work was excerpted in the Tamil Edition of Mills and Boon novels. And in 2014, her short story "Post-Coital Cigarette" was chosen to be part of the Rupa Romance Anthology "An Atlas of Love" curated by bestselling author Anuja Chauhan.

Her latest novel "Kingdom Come" (Harlequin MIRA) has enjoyed a brief stay at the bestseller lists in Amazon India. Her work is represented by Red Ink Literary Agency, Delhi. And very recently, she was a speaker and panellist at the Goa Arts and Literary Fest 2014, Vth Edition.

She is currently expanding her skill set to include copy editing, content marketing, and creative writing workshop that help her explore the wonderful world of words in various forms.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spotlight-A Thousand Unspoken Words by Paulami Duttagupta


A Thousand Unspoken Words 
by 
Paulami Duttagupta
A Readomania Publications 

Blurb 

A hero, a person who displays great courage for the greater good, can also fall. But what happens to a fallen hero? A Thousand Unspoken Words is the unique journey of a hero who falls.

The champion of the underdogs, the writer who uses the nom de plume Musafir is famous in Kolkata. His incisive criticism of the injustices around him earn him many enemies but he holds his ideals above all else. Scathing attacks at his books and a night of hide and seek from political goons leads Musafir unto a path he never liked, faraway from his ideals. He runs away and chooses the comforts of money over the travails of following one’s ideals. The hero falls.

But Tilottama, passionate fan’s hopes don’t. When he comes back after many years, emotions, love and lust take charge and an affair brews. Will she bring back her hero? Will he rise again? Or will the thousand untold words, the many stories of the ideal writer be lost forever?




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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Paulami DuttaGupta is a novelist and screen writer. She shuttles between Kolkata and Shillong. She has worked as a radio artist, copy writer, journalist and a television analyst at various stages of her life, having been associated with AIR Shillong, The Times of India—Guwahati Shillong Plus, ETV Bangla, The Shillong Times, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath.As an author, her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and literary magazines. A Thousand Unspoken Words is her fourth book. Paulami also writes on politics, social issues and cinema. Her articles have appeared in Swarajya, The Forthright and NElive.

Paulami is associated with cinema and her first film, Ri-Homeland of Uncertainty received the National Award for the Best Khasi Film. Her second film Onaatah—Of the Earth is at post production stage and will release in 2016. She is currently working on her third screenplay. A short film tentatively titled ‘Patjhar’ is also in the pipeline.

Paulami is a complete foodie and is almost obsessed with watching one film every day. She also loves reading—political and social commentaries are her favourite genre. Literature classics and books on cricket are also a part of her library, apart from a huge collection of romances. Jane Austen’s fictional character Mr. Darcy is her lifelong companion. She is an ardent fan of Rahul Dravid and has been following all news about him for almost twenty years now.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Review-The Reengineers by Indu Muralidharan



The Reengineers
by 
Indu Muralidharan
A Harper Collins Pulications



Blurb 

Chinmay Narayan is plotting to kill himself. He is a misfit at school, his parents are about to divorce and the love of his life doesn’t know he exists. It seems pointless to go on with such a dysfunctional life. But before he gets anywhere with that plan, Chinmay and his friends, Anu and Sabi, stumble into the eerie world of Conchpore through a portal in Uncle RK’s library.

They find themselves in The Seeker’s School, where you can buy spiritual courses that will bring you enlightenment. While the seekers seem unaware that there is anything amiss, Chinmay and his friends stumble upon a strange and sinister plot that the teachers and students are caught up in. The three youngsters suddenly find themselves in danger, and their only hope is the charismatic Siddharth, an old student of the school who has come to visit. Chinmay discovers that Siddharth is seeking catharsis from his dark past by writing a book—a book with Chinmay as the protagonist. He realizes that his own story is a mirror image of Siddharth’s, which leads to a moment of reckoning for him: can he become the author of his own life?

Set in Madras in the early nineties, The Reengineers dispels the boundaries between fiction and reality to tell a tale that is as much a coming-of-age story as it is an inspiring narrative of self-empowerment and spiritual growth. 

My Honest Review

          I have always heard of “Engineers” but never “Reengineers”. Yes; the title of Indu Muralidharan caught my eye and made me curious. Initially I thought the story might revolve around some engineer/IIT kid. But when I started to read the book, I was surprised. As I continued reading I was held in awe.

          The Reengineers deals with the most important issue which in news now-a-days, which many fail to disclose/discuss and/or seek help; the dreaded D-word: Depression.

          Yes, depression is faced by many people in the world around due to various reasons, one being stress, as all are busy trying to win the cat-race.

          Chinmay Narayan is a teenage boy, who is planning to commit suicide once he finishes his board exams. He is a topper in school but his parents are on verge of getting a divorce and they are least bother how their divorce is affecting their only child. His parents are always at loggerheads with each other, rebuke him and constantly monitor his activities which leaves Chinmay feel suffocated and depressed. The girl for whom he has feelings doesn’t even know he exists.

          Even though he has two close friends Anurag aka Anu and Sabarmati aka Sabi, he is unable to share his problems with them. Doesn’t it sound like a typical teenage story? But as the story progresses comes the real twist.

          Liked the way Indu has weaved the story, is really mind-blowing. The book is a must read by everyone. The best part which I loved was when Chinmay pep-talks Siddharth who suffers from a bout of depression due to the crisis and when his help was needed the most; is the part which I appreciated most.

          Though a fictional story, many people would relate to Chinmay’s dilemma; wherein he is burdened with his parent’s ambition and frustration and they have no idea what their kids might be going through.

          Nice book written by Indu Muralidharan, though little slow paced but definitely an interesting and thoughtful read.  





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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

I am a writer from Chennai, India. To me, reading and writing are means by which I try to comprehend the meaning of life and reality. My first novel The Reengineers (HarperCollins, 2015) is a metafictional exploration of the meaning of the self, examined through the relationship between an author and the character of his novel. I am working on two other novels at the moment, both centred around the healing power of fiction and its significance in 'real' life.

I live in London, balancing a full time day job with writing and studying a part-time Master's Course in Creative Writing at The University of Oxford.

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