Thursday, December 22, 2016

Big Bazaar Kids Carnival 2016


At the end of any year, I always look forward to a lot of get-to-gethers, weddings, fests, shopping sprees and meets. But unlike every year, this year we had to struggle with the burden of demonetization and are reeling under its effects. Yet the year end still has a silver lining for me. It did not dampen the celebrations much as I would've thought it would.

So when I was invited by the good folks at Big Bazaar to be a part of the Mommy Bloggers meet I was elated. Usually blogger meets are all about the blogger, but this one was with a difference, my little one was invited too! My kiddo and I were invited to the exclusive launch of the Big Bazaar Kids Carnival 2016, a fun initiative by BB Kiddie Club.

The lovely Emcee welcoming all mommy bloggers & kids to Big Bazaar Kids Carnival 2016
My kiddo and I were warmly welcomed by the BB team. After a round of introductions, all kiddos were encouraged to participate in some fun and games. Moms were not left behind, as there were fun games for us as well! The zest and the enthusiasm was infectious when we witnessed the staff of the Malad store cheering for the moms. Though the winners were rewarded a sweet token of chocolates, the fun we had was one to cherish.

Checking out the latest in fashion for kids

Toys section: Kids love this section, but is a danger zone for parents!

A group capture of all the mommy bloggers and their kids present at the event.


We were made aware of the exclusive benefits of being a #BBKiddieClub member.

The Big Bazaar Kiddie Club is a novel idea which aims at providing a platform for 3 to 15 year olds to pursue their passion and showcase their talent whilst having fun. This Club offers these kids an exclusive card which entitles them to accumulate points when they shop at Big Bazaar and also by participating in the events held.



The key highlight of this carnival would be that kids to stand a chance at being featured in the Chhota Bheem TVC! And all they need to do is take a selfie at any of their stores!
There will also be Stores will have a dedicated area to engage kids and will follow a theme that ranges from superheroes to a jungle setup.

Isn't it a win-win situation for parents, when they can shop at ease as their kids are engrossed in the various fun and engaging activities held by one of the leading retail chains in India?

So head to their store right away! This carnival will be held at Big Bazaar stores across the country from December 10, 2016 to January 8, 2017.

The event concluded with some mouth-watering refreshments for the kids and their mommies as well as a loaded goodie bag full of toys for all ages! What a fun day it was!







Sunday, November 27, 2016

Book Review: Graffiti by Joanie Pareria

Book Title: Graffiti 
Author: Joanie Pariera
Publishing House: Author House
Available format(s): ebook 
Genre: Fiction, Comedy, Drama



I picked up Graffiti through Book Review program on Writersmelon.com. Graffiti showcases a medley of human emotions, from bereavement to elation. It is a fine depiction of the central characters, which are Rene, Vipin, Pournami, Upi (Upasna), Mark and Agni. Narrated in first person, the story takes place simultaneously across Denver, Bangalore and Mumbai. 

Off late I've been reading a lot of ebooks on my kindle app, particularly for the convenience it offers over a paperback. So, I had instantly applied for this one thinking the same. However, I couldn't finish this book at one go, and it did take me longer than usual to read it entirely. But having said that, it mustn't daunt a reader to pick this one up.

Joanie takes the story of each character and describes it well. In my opinion, the initial pace of the book is slow but it does keep a read engaged to a certain extent. However, certain place the story seem to dawdle a bit. She has depicted the pain and the emotions of losing a loved one - one's spouse - somewhat realistically. Most of the chapters are peppered with some playful banter and awkward hilarity that is charming. 

The author has aptly tag-lined Graffiti to be a sensual, tragic, sexomedy; which readily I agree. All in all a good, emotional read.

About the Author:

Joanie Pariera (Pen Name), has apparently been thinking about writing fiction since the time she learned to say the word ‘pencil’. It came to be, that that was the first word her parents taught her to say. According to them, she then made up her own word for it just to see them squirm. 

She likes to think she is a master of many things, including making up words. To start with she has two master’s degrees. She cooks, keeps house, codes and programs, and until recently used to write specifications for Information Systems for a living. Having travelled extensively, she has self-assimilated the cultural nuances of various unsuspecting anthropological groups and stealthily continues to put down her impressions in her writing. 



Book Review: Skyfire by Aroon Raman

Book Title: Skyfire
Author: Aroon Raman
Publishing House: Pan Macmillan India
Available format(s): ebook and paperback
Genre: Fiction; Thriller
Pages: 256




Blurb: 
May 2012. India is hit by a series of freak weather disturbances and startling epidemics that threaten to bring the country to its knees. At the same time, children are disappearing from the slums in the capital and nobody seems to care. Stumbling upon these strange and seemingly unrelated incidents, journalist Chandrasekhar, historian Meenakshi Pirzada and intelligence operative Syed Ali Hassan start upon a trail that leads them into the drawing rooms of Delhi's glittering high society before reaching a terrifying climax in Bhutan, where they come face-to-face with a force of unspeakable power and evil.


My Review:

One word: Unputdownable. I am so glad to have picked this book up. Though the initial pace of the book is slow, it catches up as the author describes the fine details of each of the freak weather disturbances and unusual natural occurances. The character sketches of the main protagonists, the trio of Chandrashekhar, Meenakshi Pirzada and Syed Ali Hassan have also been defined very well, each of them have a key role in the plot. 

Overall, a pacy and a racy read, not a single dull moment! Now I'm compelled to read the first two of his books as well.




This is review is a part of the Flipkart book review program; I've recieved the book in exchange of an honest, unbiased review. I thank Flipkart for shortlisting me for to review this book.

Monday, October 17, 2016

How to raise kids in a digital era


The rise of social media and the access to it has baffled many generations. Although it is deemed a good thing to have technology play a key role in connecting people, there's also a flip side to it.

Here to explain how kids can get affected by excessive and unrestricted use of social media is Arti Tuteja, a certified hypnotherapist. In a guest post on my blog, Arti explains how parents can take some steps to prevent the ill-effects of social media.



How to raise kids in a digital era

Social media and growing segments of technology are literally unstoppable. Even the tech giants are not keeping any stone unturned to do their best in the field - we mean Facebook, Google, and Twitter. However, raising a generation or our own children can get tricky in such times.
Noticeably, technology has overtaken a significant part of parents and children’s lives. Parents are equally involved with the social media trend as the kids are, leaving very less time to enjoy together. The old generation grew playing with toys or cartoon characters; whereas the current generation is growing up with latest gadgets.

Excessive use of social media can also affect children’s. According to a study, 15% of teens say they were the target of online cruelty. 55% of teens have given out personal information to someone they don‘t know, including photos and physical descriptions. The outcome of such action is not only dangerous but can also fill them with anxiety and fear.

However, there's always a specific role to be played which can bring the change when followed. As parents, we need to understand this basic and significant point, "children follow examples, not advice." Remember, if your kid has been taught only in school, your kid is illiterate. 
As a hypnotherapist, I have attended many kids facing hard times alone, because of unavailability of their parents. Or when they are unable to open up with their parents, which is very important for their development.

So here, I am sharing some tips which you can follow to raise your kid, without losing the balance between technology and true essence of childhood in this digital era. 

1. Prioritize digital time and real communication:
We need to prioritize the web and digital time off, it's very necessary for both parents and children. Agreed, our children's can attain a lot of knowledge or we can learn new things to stay in flow with the trend, however, "real communication is important for every relationship".  Create a social media wall. Always try to make time for your child, where you can share genuine time and develop the basic guidelines of a human being.
On the flip side, you also need to create a distance from social media. As mentioned, your child will follow your example.

2. Deal calmly with your child:
Let's face the fact. Even after trying our best to keep our child guarded against unsolicited information about sexuality, pornography etc., it will reach them at some point of time. Irrespective of age or gender, try to deal with them calmly. Help them to learn the right side of the coin - sexuality or pornography. If they can learn the right information from you, why would they go to anybody else?

3. Saving children from information overload
The internet is a place where you can question anything, and you will receive an answer. Courtesy goes to the search engines. But there’s much information which is not required for a 9-year-old kid. That's where you play the tough role; you have to teach them how to choose what is important, authentic and required. For e.g., when we go to shopping with kids, they want everything they find attractive. But considering their needs we don't buy all of them. Similarly, teach them what they need, not what they want.

4. Give them personal attention:
Juggled up between our professional and personal life, a lot of times we end up paying very less attention to our kids. But learn this, no matter what, kids will always enjoy the personal attention of parents as compared to playing with gadgets.

5. Teach them the importance of physical health and postures:
Emphasize the importance of physical health and posture, to your kids. Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. It is as important as eating right, exercising, getting a good night's sleep and avoiding potentially harmful substances like alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.


Also, kids involved in physical activities have a better chance of avoiding problems related to obesity. Children that are active physically are more likely to make wise dietary and health choices in adult life.

About the author:
Arti Tuteja is a world renowned hypnotherapist and NLP (Nuero 'linguistic' Programming) and EFT Coach in The Change Associates in Dubai, where she deals with client’s concerns or inner conflicts ranging from anxiety, panic attack, bingeing, thumb sucking, fears, self-confidence, study improvement, smoking, weight management just to name a few.

She can be reached at www.artituteja.com


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Book Review: Stories of Work, Life and the Balance in Between by Tomson Robert


Book Title: Stories of Work, Life and the Balance in Between
Author: Tomson Robert
Publishing House: The Write Place
Available format(s): ebook and paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction


Blurb:

Are you stuck in a job you don’t love? Are you made to do flunky work in office? Do you struggle to balance work and life? Do you want to quit your job and start a business of your own? Do you wonder about the meaning of love and life? If these questions apply to you, then this book is for you. This book is a collection of 10 contemporary short stories based on the corporate world and life in general. Although these stories are a work of fiction, they capture real life situations and dilemmas that I have seen and faced. Each story is aimed to leave the reader with a message. I believe these can help you answer the above questions. If not, I have tried my best to keep the stories as humorous and entertaining as possible.

My Review:

Yet again, I thank the good folks at writersmelon.com for sending me this ebook for review. This book entails the author, Tomson Robert's fictional accounts of his corporate life and his personal life. Through 10 contemporary short and crisp stories, the situations one usually faces in work life are highlighted through various perspectives - the boss, the employee, etc. I found it entertaining and a quick read to be completed in a single sitting (1 hour max) as it is about 70 pages long. My favourite story from the lot is 'How You Became A Horrible Boss'. All the stories are generously sprinkled with humour and make it a light read.


About the author: 
Management Consultant by day and amateur author by night. Husband to a beautiful wife, father to an adorable baby girl and raised (along with a smart younger brother) by loving parents in God’s Own Country (a.k.a Kerala, India). Currently living in Dubai and working for a consulting firm.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review - Corpokshetra by Deepak Kaul



Book Title: Corpokshetra - Mahabharata in the MBA Yug
Author: Deepak Kaul
Publishing House: Westland Ltd. & Bloody Good Book
Available formats: ebook & Paperback 

Corpokshetra ebook book
The amusing book cover. Image source: amazon.in


Blurb:

The Pandavas have returned home after 13 years of exile. And they are demanding their stake in Hastinapur Inc. But the Kauravas, led by the haughty Duryodhana, aren’t ready to give them a penny. The battle lines are drawn, only this war is in the present-day Kurukshetra - the corporate boardroom.
As the Kauravas and the Pandavas don their sharpest suits, Krishna - the wily Consultant - strategies for peace. This is a humorous, modern take on the Mahabharata (with due apologies to Rishi Ved Vyas). An epic story retold for the MBA generation.



Thanks to Writersmelon.com, I recently got my hands on Corpokshetra by Deepak Kaul. This book is a modern corporate twist to the tale of epic proportions - The Mahabharata. As rightly described, it is retelling of the Mahabharata for the MBA generation.

It is the story of all the beloved and celebrated characters, but in a corporate boardroom. Where Lord Krishna is running a successful international CSR consultancy. Kansa is the CEO of Mathura Corp and Lord Indra is the chairman of Govardhan limited. When Kauravas are back from their exile they demand a stake in Hastinapur Inc. Instead of the battlefield, here the battle is in the boardroom with wit and politics as the weapons.

Unlike in every corporate, the top bosses call the shots when the going goes tough. With all characters in place, the story starts a board meeting. (Guess what they also hangout at Starbucks!)
A well described story, Corpokshetra incorporates and merges all the corporate elements effortlessly. 

For a reader like me who always gets confused between characters of the original tale and has lesser knowledge of the nitty gritties, found this book a recap of the original tale, but with a twist of course. Interspersed with wit and humour, it makes for a quick and easy read.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Book Review: The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias


eBook: The Devil's Prayer
Author: Luke Gracias
Pages: 294
Genre: Thriller
Price: Rs. 189.58 (Amazon.in Kindle Edition)
Publisher: Australian eBook Publisher (18 February 2016)



The Devil's Prayer ebook
The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias

Blurb: 

A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognises that nun as her mother, Denise Russo, who disappeared six years ago. 
In search of answers, Siobhan travels to the isolated convent where her mother once lived. Here she discovers Denise’s final confession, a book that details a heinous betrayal that left her crippled and mute, and Denise’s subsequent deal with the Devil to take revenge. In the desperate bargain Denise made with the Prince of Darkness, she wagered Siobhan’s soul. 


As Siobhan discovers the fate of her soul, she learns that hidden within the pages of her mother’s confession is part of The Devil’s Prayer, an ancient text with the power to unleash apocalyptic horrors. 
And now her mother’s enemies know Siobhan has it. 
Can Siobhan escape an order of extremist monks determined to get the Prayer back? Can she save the world from its own destruction? 

My Review:

Needless to say the name of the book itself is intriguing. With a stellar start of a nun allegedly committing suicide, this book becomes unputdownable and captivating from the word go. The book is cleverly divided into four parts with each part seamlessly connecting the next. 

One can read the first three parts in quick succession; I found it difficult to tear away from the book (sacrificed some sleep in the process). The fourth section deals with a lot of research and details pertaining to religious history where the author has done a lot of his homework well and with supporting proof. It is here that I lost some interest, a tad too much history had me waiting for the cliffhanger. Eventually, I did finish reading it and boy, it has me waiting for the second part.(I really hope he writes it.)

I totally recommend this book to lovers of supernatural fiction. All I can say is, Mr Luke Gracias is certainly a Dan Brown in the making. Goosebumps guaranteed!



Disclaimer: I've received this ebook from Writersmelon.com in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Are your ready-to-go in a Datsun redi-GO?

I’ve owned a two-wheeler (scooter) for long now. Though I use it less often than before, a two-wheeler has limitations over a four-wheeler. Limitations include: seating only two passengers, inconvenience riding in the monsoons, luggage space constraints, to name a few. One of the main reasons why my loved ones constantly caution me when I ride a bike is for the safety.

A two-wheeler may not provide the safety to the driver from a head-on collision or an accident. Not to sound pessimistic here, but having lived in a metropolis where for road rage incidents and road accidents are on the rise, women are recommended to purchase a hatchback meant for the city to drive safe. 

The other reason is for traffic. It cannot be stressed enough how the levels of traffic in a locale of a city plays a crucial role in the decision making process of taking the car for a spin or not.

And whilst contemplating the many options available in four-wheelers, particularly cars, I chanced upon this brand new car that symbolises Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross - Datsun redi-GO - the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback.
Datsun India has launched India’s first-ever urban cross car to cater to the current generation who are ‘always on the go’. Using the best of Japanese technology, Datsun has designed redi-GO car with a host of features; three of the following appeal to me the most to take this car for a spin:

1. Best-in-class Ground Clearance:
A much needed feature when you’re wading driving through water-logged streets full of puddles the size of Moon carters. With 185 mm ground clearance, smoothly sail over the craters like a moon rover.

2. Small Turning Radius:
If I have not stressed on the craziness of Mumbai’s traffic, let me highlight it more. There is barely any space for manoeuvring a car in neck-deep traffic. Moreover, this feature will be gold for parking in a tight spot. Datsun redi-GO promises to make a full turn-around with just a 4.7-metre turning radius.

3. Superior Air-Conditioning:
This may be seen as a trivial point to many, but with humidity levels that touch close to 90%, Mumbai certainly becomes hot during the peak summer months – April and May. Datsun redi-GO has air-conditioning that is optimized for the Indian weather conditions – which can be totally unpredictable.

Testing The Datsun redi-GO

The ultimate test of the Datsun redi-GO would undoubtedly be at the bustling metropolis of Mumbai. And that too in the upcoming monsoon season. Any Mumbaikar driving a car in Mumbai would know how traffic-clogged streets can become in the monsoon. I wish to test driving this car out in Andheri suburbs of Mumbai with a sole intention to check whether it is ideal for traffic city drive. I want to know whether a novice driver like me can safely reach home after being met with puddles, cacophony of the traffic-clogged streets with no or little room for manoeuvring.  

For a city-slicker like me, if the Datsun redi-Go promises to get me out of the peak rush hour traffic with smooth manoeuvring abilities; get me in and out of a tight parking spot and help me be safe and secure at all times, it will certainly help me beat the urban driving blues.


Monday, May 2, 2016

What's in your cup?

Of all the innovative ways of marketing content, there are some that stay in one's memory longer.

To cite an example, I still remember how innovatively a hand sanitizer company advertised their message by tying up with bhel puri wallahs. They served their message in the paper used by bhel puri wallahs which drove home the point of the importance of keeping ones hand clean after eating food.

Such and more innovative means not only effectively drives the message to the end users but also is recalled effectively in the long run. Just like I did :)
Thus it is imperative to break the clutter in marketing your products or services and stand out from the crowd.

Precisely what gingercup.com does!
Through innovative paper cup advertising and flyer advertising they make sure your brand stands out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Book Review: The Honest Season


Book Title: The Honest Season
Author: Kota Neelima
Pages: 376
Genre: Political Fiction
Price: Rs. 206 (Amazon.in)
Publisher: Random House India





Blurb: 

Sikander Bansi, an unlikely political heir in Delhi, secretly records politicians in Parliament as they haggle to become cabinet ministers, bag defense contracts, dodge criminal charges and collect corporate largesse. Among them is a rising leader of the People’s Party, Nalan Malik, whose success has come through unscrupulous means. When Sikander suddenly disappears, Mira Mouli, a newspaper journalist with an unusual gift of knowing people’s thoughts, receives the controversial Parliament tapes along with clues to find him. She is attracted to Sikander’s principles and is wary of Nalan’s deceit. But her powers of knowing tell her a different story, one that she can unravel only at the cost of her life. From the bestselling author of Shoes of the Dead, this is disturbing political fiction that reveals why Parliament functions behind gates closed to the public.

About the Author:

Kota Neelima has been a journalist for over twenty years, covering politics in New Delhi, India. She is Senior Research Fellow, South Asia Studies at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced international Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC. Her recent academic research in India on perception seeks to develop a structure based on rural and urban voter choices .Her previous books include the bestselling Shoes of the Dead and Death of a Moneylender, among others. Also a well-known painter, Neelima’s works are a part of several collections in India and abroad, including the Museum of Sacred Art, Belgium.


My Review:

It would be an extremely rare case that I would pick up a book on politics. But the word fiction added to it certainly drew some intrigue. And boy, I'm glad I picked it up. Right from page one, the author does not let you put this book down. She has orchestrated the plot so beautifully, I thoroughly enjoyed all the twists and turns. Kota Neelima has a impeccable hold of the language and the subject matter that she is an expert in. Each page shows the amount of research that has gone into writing the book, and not leaving any loose strings. I would readily recommend this book to those who are uninterested in Politics as I am, because this is nothing short of a best-seller!

Disclaimer: I've received this book from Writersmelon.com in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

5 key things to know about IndiPR.com


Influencer marketing is the latest buzzword riding the wave of content marketing. With brands now targeting influencers in the relevant product and service categories to create engagement that will eventually lead to sales, this trend seems here to stay.

Keeping this in mind, the pioneers of an systemic Indian Blogging Network have recently launched a system to automatically cherry pick the relevant influencers for a brand's campaign. This system is called IndiPR.com and is the brainchild of Indiblogger. Simply put, IndiPR acts as a content marketing platform for a brand's press releases.




Promising? Some reading and analysis of IndiPR's website and press release has made me highlight the salient features of this content marketing platform.


All it takes is one press release.

Since a press release is a bonafide public document stating clearly giving out all the information about the product or service, business or campaign to one and all, so one really cannot go wrong with it. It is a There are no 'relevant campaign information will be shared with shortlisted influencers' sort of declaration. It is all plain and simple and out there in the open. So bloggers will get to view and know what the campaign is all about and then apply for it if it is relevant to them.


Start with a free trial

At first you need not pay. You can use a one-time free trial to test the waters. A free trial allows you to get up to 5 blogposts. All you need to do is upload your press release after registering with IndiPR. And then after 72 hours, volia! Post 72 hours, relevant publishers/bloggers have utilized information from the press release, websites and other sources to create an article/ blogpost about the campaign. IndiPR estimates a 75% publishing rate on an average. Which means out of 10 at least 7 to 10 publishers/bloggers will publish the article on their blogs.

ETA: 72 hours 

All the magic happens in just 72 hours. The 72 hour clock starts ticking the moment the press release is out in the public. A steam-lined process flow makes it simple for anyone to understand. Within 12 hours of the press release being published, it is open to all to apply for the project. In the next 12 hours, the AITE automatically shortlists bloggers/publishers according to certain parameters like the relevance of the project to the publisher's blog theme and more. The blogger is notified as soon as possible, and can choose to accept or reject the project. If accepted, the remaining time can be utilized by the blogger to compose and publish the article on their blog and submit the blog link.
There are 5 stages to a blogger's application -( source: https://www.indiblogger.in/indione-faqs.php)
  • 1: Applied – In this stage, a request for publishing of a press release will be sent out as an email. You can apply to only one campaign at a time. So choose the one that best suits the content of your blog. The application process will be open for 12 hours from the time the project is posted on IndiPR.com.
  • 2: Shortlisted - AITE will automatically shortlist the best candidates for the project and if selected, you will receive an email with the subject line “Shortlisted - ”.
  • 3: Accept/Decline – In this stage, you have to accept or decline this project within 24 hours from the time the project is posted on IndiPR.com. If you reject this project, it will be passed on to the next publisher in the queue. Although a project could be passed on down the queue, the timelines will not change as the project has to be completed with 72 hours from the time the project is posted on IndiPR.com.
  • 4: Completed – Once you have ‘Accepted the project’, it cannot be declined. You will have to submit the article within a total of 72 hours from the time the project is posted on IndiPR.com. Once your status shows “Completed”, you will be able to apply for other projects. Please note that Businesses will rate your IndiPR articles on a scale of 1 – 5 and that these ratings will be by AITE.
  • 5: Paid – Payment will be made within 14 business days of the project being posted on IndiPR.com.



Fairness and Transparency

One thing that affiliate marketing and influencer marketing platforms lack is the transparency in the process of shortlisting. When there is manual shortlisting process involved, there are bound to be certain biases or certain errors in judgement. But with AITE in place one can be rest assured that an automated software make no judgement biases, no matter how many cookies you offer him.
And understanding the history of IndiBlogger, they have always maintain a fair stance and have more often than not been transparent about their processes. It is my belief, that they will continue to do so with IndiPR as well.
Brands can also rate a Blogger anonymously, using the following parameters (picked from: https://www.indipr.com/faqs)

  • 1 Star – Never Again - You will never see this publisher ever again
  • 2 Star – Acceptable - This publisher will be given a very low priority for future campaigns created from your account and feedback will be sent to the publisher.
  • 3 Star – Nice - This Publisher will be considered as an average individual and will only be given priority if the slots for your project haven’t been fulfilled.
  • 4 Star – Highly Usable - This Publisher will be considered above average and will be given a higher probability of being accepted when you come up with a similar project.
  • 5 Star – VIP - This publisher will be given top priority for your future campaigns with similar projects.

Win-win situation 

The real potential of a serious blogger is now slowly being realized as brands tie up with them for paid assignments. However, there are many bloggers who also want to take up paid projects at their leisure and whim. This platform can cater to all since all projects are time intensive. If its a paid project, the blogger would be remunerated withing 14 working days from the publishing date of the press release. And of course, the brand gets their article published on the desired number of blogs, thereby attaining their content marketing goal.

Post the launch, Renie Ravin, the Founder and CEO of IndiBlogger, said, “We believe that this system will help Influencers with fresh and new content on their site every day. In a way, you could be writing about the next Google without even realising its immense potential.” 

So what do you think of this brand new content marketing platform: Promising?
Yay or Nay?







Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Book Review: Ramayana The Game of Life - Stolen Hope


Book Title: Ramayana The Game of Life - Stolen Hope
Author: Shubha Vilas
Pages: 312
Genre: Mythology 
Price: (Paperback): INR 299
Publisher: Jaico Publishing

I was elated when I was directly contacted by the author Shubha Vilas to read and review 'Ramayana - The Game of Life - Stolen Hope' early in January this year after reading and reviewing the previous book in the 'The Game of Life' series. Pleased that this book landed in my lap just as soon as I took up the #HTBrunchBookChallenge 2016 for the first time ever. And it helps the criterion of the Brunch Book Challenge of having to read at least 3 books surrounding Indian context.

But perhaps the main reason for me to read the books - even though it is definitely not my favourite genre of reading - is that I haven't been lucky enough to know the entire story of Ramayana from my grandparents or parents. That somehow motivated me to read this book.




A beautiful note from the Author Shubha Vilas


About the Author: 

Shubha Vilas, a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, holds a degree in engineering and law with a specialization in patent law. 

He has just launched his first book, Ramayana - The Game of Life Book 1 which is a modern rendition of the Ramayana with practical life lessons. 

His leadership seminars are popular with top-level management in corporate houses. He addresses their crucial needs through thought- provoking seminars on themes such as ‘Secrets of Lasting Relationships’, ‘Soul Curry to Stop Worry’ and ‘Work–Life Balance’ to name a few.

He believes that a good teacher, no matter how knowledgeable, always sees the process of learning and teaching simultaneously as an inherent aspect of personal and spiritual growth.

Shubha Vilas periodically interacts with the youth in premier institutes across the country, inspiring them to live a life based on deeper human values. Close to his heart is his role as a guide and teacher to school children, teaching foundation values through masterful storytelling.

He also helps individuals apply the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana and other dharmic traditions in dealing with modern- day life situations.

Source: LinkedIn.com


What I liked about this book:

You need not have to read the previous books to understand the overall story of Ramayana. 

This book helps you reflect on the teachings of Ramayana and apply it to your day to day life. This book not only narrates the story of Ramayana, but is packed with the interpretation of wisdom from the popular epic.


What I did not like about this book:

This book comes across as a mythological book, but is actually is a pleasing read. A lot to takeaway. I felt the length of this book is a mighty constraint for hardcore fiction readers like me who want their readings to be that hooks them, understandably this genre is not one.



Why you should read this book:


There are literally many nuggets of wisdom packed into this book. It took me a lot of time to read and review this book as mythology is really not my cup of tea, my I'm glad that I determinedly finished reading it.


Disclosure: I have received the author signed copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 

Book Review: Life Mantras


Book Title: Life Mantras
Author:'Saharasri' Subrata Roy Sahara
Pages: 298
Genre: Memoir
Price: Rs. 160 (Flipkart)
Publisher: Rupa Books
Image Source: amazon.in
About the Author:

Subrata Roy Sahara (born 1948) popularly known as 'Saharasri', is one of the most successful, bold, vociferous and talked-about figures of corporate India. When he laid the foundation of Sahara India Pariwar in 1978 with a capital of `2,000 (about $32) and three workers, who would have imagined his company's meteoric rise to a worth of `1,80,000 crore (about $27 billion) within a span of thirty-seven years! A teacher, guide and a proud guardian to his over 1.2 million fellow workers, he ascribes his success to his philosophy of 'Collective Materialism' which means continuous collective growth for collective sharing and caring. Renowned institutions like Harvard School of Business, USA; the Indian Institutes of Technology; the Indian Institutes of Management; and Banaras Hindu University have invited him to address their faculty and students, besides which, a host of awards have been bestowed on him that include the 'Indian Business Icon of the Year' at the Powerbrands Hall of Fame Awards in London; the Doctor of Business (honoris causa) by the University of East London; and the highest honorary degree, 'D. Litt.' by the Lalit Narayan Mithila University, Bihar for his contributions in various fields.

At first glance of the book, the cover is not very appealing, rather it is just pleasant to look at.
Perhaps my only reason for picking this book up for a read, is wanting to know the pysche of the renowned Subrata Roy Sahara and how he built his empire -The Sahara Group - keeping the current soup he's in aside for a while. 
However, contrary to my expectation, this book is not an autobiography, but certainly unravels some life lessons that we have long forgotten.

This book can be said to be a reminder on how to progress with life with certain 'mantras' to make it into a fulfilling one. It speaks to you about the meaning of life, about happiness and positivity, just what an optimist like me would like to hear. It is certainly something that anyone in general can relate to. You might too.

On the flip-side, some bits in the book may get rather preachy. And some bits made me lose interest for a while. 

All in all a good book if you are looking to reinforce and pump in some motivation and positive thoughts back into your life pick up Life Mantras.









Monday, March 7, 2016

Book Review: Raakshas


Book Title: Raakshas: India's No.1 Serial Killer
Author: Piyush Jha
Pages:  242
Genre: Thriller
Price:   Flipkart: INR | Amazon: INR 192
Publisher:  Westland Ltd


One look at the cover of the book and you'll know what it's all about. But the question I asked was, 'do serial killers really exist in India?' or is it purely a work of Indian fiction writers in a bid to mimic the West? The 'Soon to be a motion picture' had me interested.

Intrigued, I picked up a copy in lieu of Writersmelon book review program. And once it landed in my lap, I could not put it down.
The author of this book is Piyush Jha,a noted filmmaker in Bollywood, who is not new at writing books. 

The blurb:

What made him a serial killer?Was he born with homicidal tendencies?Did a harrowing childhood render him criminally insane?The questions haunt, Additional Commissioner of Police, Maithili Prasad as she discovers the horrific murders across Mumbai. As she spearheads the greatest manhunt in Mumbai’s history, she’s determined to contain the reign of terror unleashed by the ruthless serial killer. But before that she must grapple with her personal demons that surface to plague her with self-doubt.Just as it seems that Maithili has begun to understand the deep-rooted resentment that drives the serial killer, he turns around and makes her the object of his revenge. Will she emerge unscathed from this ordeal?

The first few chapters had me hooked with the entire description bordering on graphic details. Sinister yet gripping, is not for the faint hearted. One begins to question, whether serial killers are born so or is it the environment they are in or conditioning they get make them so? 

Initially, the chapters highlighted the story of the main protagonist interspersed with chapters on the history of Maithili Prasad. I had thought initially that it is the author narrating the story, but in fact the author weaves the story together from the point of view of  Maithili. 

Through and through the language used is good, and so is the flow of narration. I felt somehow the pace of the book dips halfway through. But overall, I feel Piyush Jha has done a remarkable job in storytelling and touches the right emotions of the reader.

At the end of the book, is a special section dedicated to Serial Killers in India - which answered my initial question.

I recommend this book to those want a real slice of a thriller.
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