Book Review Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag-Translated by Srinath Perur

It’s all Ghachar Ghochar!! I must confess. I have always resisted books that have been translated. When a book is rewritten as a translation from another language, somewhere the true essence of the story is lost. But here is a book that proved me wrong. Ghachar Ghochar is a fascinating book originally written in Kannada by Vivek Shanbhag and translated into English by Srinath Perur. Different from the currently trending Indian writing in English, in just around 30,000 words, it holds a story that has been so well told. Ghachar Ghochar is seemingly a novella in its truest sense, but

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Three Thousand Stitches By Sudha Murty

The weekend that passed by was quite a boring one, as I spent my time alone at home. The kids had a weekend getaway at a friend’s place, and the spouse was out at work. Having nothing much to do, and not in a frame of mind for a heavy read, I picked up Three Thousand Stitches by Sudha Murty. I had seen the book listed in the non-fiction category in the HT Nelson top 10 list. And, having read Sudha’s earlier books, it seemed to be the perfect read for the lazy weekend. Sudha Murty’s stories have always been inspiring,

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City of Djinns By William Dalrymple #writebravely

“For all its faults we love this city”-  William Dalrymple, City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi I have lived in Delhi for 3 years. Despite, the city being harsh in many a ways, there is something in this city that has won over my heart. The weekend was spent reading William Dalrymple’s “City of Djinns – A year in Delhi”. The book kindled a nostalgic feeling within me, of the days I spent there, my trips to the old city, the cycle rickshaw rides and the people so very unique to this place. Heard of Tughlakabad? Or want to know about

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Book Announcement: The Origin by Dan Brown

The author of The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown, is back again with his new book. Titled, The Origin, it would be the fifth installment in the Robert Langdon series. Primarily set in Spain, the book seems to be, yet again a paradoxical interplay between religion and science. Almost all his books have a similar central plot. And of course, in typical Dan Brown style, expect a whirlwind tour of the beautiful place, all with the Guggenheim Museum and Bilbao city in Northern Spain.  Critics have seldom been kind with Dan Brown’s books, yet it is no denying that his books have been best

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What’s Your Reading Pattern? #writebravely

Like many bibliophiles, beginning every New Year, I set ambitious goals to complete reading a certain number of books by the end of the year. And like many other resolutions, this goal too mostly stays an unaccomplished one. I must confess here, that this could be attributed to my sheer in-consistence in reading pattern. It of course could well be argued that reading requires no specific pattern. Or, for that matter even a goal. Reading must be purely for the joy of it. However, this truly does not hold good for a self-proclaimed book lover such as me. I am

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Radio, I Still Love You!

Not sure if it is due to the holiday season that’s kicking in or, the last showers of the monsoon that’s been trickling down my roof, but I seemed to be overwhelmed with nostalgia since morning. With nothing much to do in the small cantonment town that I live in, I discovered the joys that lay hidden in a simple hand held device. No, it isn’t the mobile phone that I am talking about, but a small black radio it is. Way back in the eighties, most households possessed a television box. Oh well! It sure could be called one,

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Remnants of a Separation by Aanchal Malhotra

Isn’t a book jacket a crucial element, when choosing a book? “Remnants of a Separation” by Aanchal Malhotra boasts of one such book cover- a beautiful integration of title and image. And beyond doubt, it persuaded me to get started on a reading experience. I wasn’t left disappointed. It is a book that speaks volumes on partition, its effects with the passage of time, family ties and loss. Partition as we know it Post- independence from the British Raj, the country was divided into two separate entities- India and Pakistan. A major population exchange happened with over 25 million people

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Birthday and Sibling Jealousy!

It was the big sisters 9th birthday!! As the stream of friends arrived for the party, the gifts piled up one on top of the other, on the table. Sulking by its side was the preschooler sibling. I hadn’t noticed the little one’s presence there, until the air resonated with her squeals all of a sudden. I slowly began calming her down, when between the sobs, she managed to say, “There’s nothing here for me”. Clearly my four year old was feeling put out when her big sister was getting all the attention. Not having much grasp of time, she

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A home in a dozen odd boxes- Life as a Fauji Wife

My entire home could be put into a dozen odd boxes. I live life as a fauji wife, an almost nomadic existence, moving places and making a new home every few years, or sometimes even months!!! For the initial twenty five years of my life, home was Bangalore! Seldom had I moved out of the city, except for short holidays. And then, I was baptized into the Armed Forces fraternity. As the flight took off, soaring high into the sky, I found it difficult to come to terms with the shock and realization that the city of Bangalore would no

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Book Review: A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee

Desire and need, may well seem to be the two sides of the same coin. A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee, explores these complexities through five different characters, in five different circumstances. Reflections of contemporary India, these lives have an unquenchable thirst for a better life, as they push themselves beyond mere existence. Neel Mukherjee’s earlier published books include Past Continuous in India, which won the Crossword Prize. His second book, The Lives of Others (2014) was a shortlist for the Man Booker Prize and won the Encore Prize. A State of Freedom is Neel Mukherjee’s third novel. Sectioned into five parts,

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Book Review: Digital Marketing Insights 2017 By Social Beat

“Consumers are spoilt for choices across multi-devices and multi-channels, thus making sales competitive for marketers. As consumers become more and more digitally sound, marketers constantly feel the need to evolve and source new ways to reach their relevant audience…”–Excerpt from Digital Marketing Insights 2017 The world of digital media It hardly needs to be stressed that digital media has permanently changed the way we live, work and play. From the once simple Orkut to the more evolved news feed of Facebook and YouTube, the digital world in its new avatar has taken the world by storm. My interest in social

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The Paradox of Choice

“The Paradox of Choice”- I may have borrowed the title of this post from the 2004 book by American psychologist Barry Schwartz, where Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can reduce the anxieties of shoppers. To me, this seems so true. With the plethora of choices available today, isn’t it actually getting to be exhausting for us, the consumers? Journey to the center of the paradox My mobile device had been giving me considerable trouble, hence I decided that it indeed was time to scrap it and get myself a new one. So an entire Sunday afternoon was spent surfing

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Filter Coffee and Butter Toast!

A buttered toast and a cup of piping hot filter coffee is all that I require to kick start my day. Having grown up in a typical Tambrahm home, I am habituated to this cuppa coffee every morning. The frothy mixture of hot milk, coffee decoction, and sugar, may seem pretty simple to make. But trust me, when you actually get down to making it, you realize there’s much more to it. We South Indians do fuss about our filter coffee, and could go to great lengths to ensure that the first cup of coffee in the morning is near perfection.

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Indian Weddings and the Joy of Shopping for Outfits

The family was very excited. The news of a cousin getting married reached us and it was an opportunity for us to be a part of the celebration. Indian weddings are surely grand events. Multiple ceremonies, colorful decorations, meeting people, and of course dressing up in fine Indian clothes- weddings in our country is a grand spectacle. With barely a month left for the wedding, we had just about time to get all the outfits in place, and deciding what would be more appropriate for each of the ceremonies. With a full time job, packed schedules and two school going

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Are We Pushing Our Children Hard to Learn too Soon?

Almost all parents love to compare the intellectual prowess of their child to other kids of the same age. I must admit, I have done this too, albeit mentally. Mornings at the bus stop waiting for the school bus, the discussion between moms, almost always drift towards the little achievements, skills and talents of their children.  As a silent spectator, I am often amused to find mothers speak of their child as if he/she is a budding Einstein. Not that I have anything against this, but when a child all of four years old is already being pushed to get

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Book Review Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind By Yuval Noah Harari

“Evolution has made Homo sapiens, like other social mammals, a xenophobic creature. Sapiens instinctively divides humanity into two parts, ‘we’ and ‘they’.” ― Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. I took a considerably long time to finish this book. And there’s just one reason for this- I had to soak in every bit of it, understand every rational that was put forth, and question my very own beliefs and thought processes. The evolution of human history could be one exhilarating topic to write about. The whole subject is large, and a book on it would require a great

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What Are Your Bollywood Memories of the Nineties?

I live in a small town on the Konkan coast of India. The advantage of living in such small places is that you bump into interesting things that were once part of a glorious past. This morning I spent around half an hour at a tiny little photo studio, getting a couple of passport prints developed. As I sat waiting on the stiff wooden stool for the whole transaction to be completed, I got a chance to listen to Bollywood songs that once topped the charts way back in the nineties. Despite the cacophony of the traffic on the street outside,

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Learning a Sport as an Adult

Growing up in the eighties, there weren’t many opportunities to learn a sport by way of private/organized classes. Whatever little sports I was exposed to was in the school I went to. And, my school, concentrated mainly on hockey, cricket, basketball and throw ball. For some strange reason, I seldom took interest in any of these. It could probably be attributed to my poor hand-eye coordination, which is surely of importance in ball games. I distinctly remember trying my hand at throw ball. And each time the ball was swung from across the net, aimed clearly at me, I would

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SEAMO- South Asian Mathematical Olympiad- an Interesting Platform to Expose Young Minds to Maths

We do live in a competitive world, don’t we? And in such a world, do you want to give your child that competitive edge? Then here is an Olympiad with a difference. The SEAMO- SOUTHEAST ASIAN MATHEMATICAL OLYMPIAD- is an interesting platform to expose young minds and identify mathematical talent, by giving creative challenges. The Olympiad provides competition at the highest level, though in a friendly way. SEAMO provides resources for students of various levels to hone their problem-solving skills and to prepare for more challenging competitions in the future. Background of SEAMO SEAMO is a concept originating from Singapore.

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Private Delhi By Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson

The former CIA agent Jack Morgan runs an investigation agency called “Private”. With branches around the globe, the agency, investigates intriguing cases, with utmost discretion. They possess an incredible team of investigators, and boast of the latest technology and forensics to crack cases and get to the perpetrators. Continuing in this series is Private Delhi, by the popular crime fiction writer James Patterson, in collaboration with Ashwin Sanghi.  “Plastic barrels containing dissolved human remains have been found in the basement of a house. But this isn’t just any house; this property belongs to the state government. With information suppressed by

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