- PonderingTwo February 2014 ~ Pondering Two The title of your home page

Friday, 28 February 2014

Author: Priyanka Sinha Jha
Published by: Rupa Publications
Genre: Non Fiction/Self Help
ISBN: 978-81-291-2978-9
No.of Pages: 186
Price: INR 195

Synopsis: Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Vidya Balan, Karan Johar. These celebrities are adored and looked up to by millions who aspire to emulate their success stories. But what is it that separates them, and other Bollywood stars, from the rest? Which is that one trait that makes them stand out, and how can you benefit from knowing it?  In this one of a kind book, the author looks at eleven luminaries from Bollywood, and the attribute that is perhaps most responsible for their success. She details their stories, and what is it about them that made them not just reach the top of their game, but stay there. With pithy observations and inspirational conversations, 'Supertraits of Superstars' will show you how to live life star-size.

Review: We have all seen the Bollywood Superstars on screen enacting with finesse and ease as if it is a cake walk. But a lot of efforts goes into performing an absolute perfect shot that the director needs. This is just what we, as an audience are able to see on the screens through various mediums. But we rarely get to know our Superstars so closely and 'Supertraits of Superstars' is the book that gives us the all the insights to that defining trait of the eleven most distinguished and respected Superstars.

In this book, the author has picked eleven Superstars and in that one defining Supertrait among various other traits that each of them possess and have mastered it. And that is how the chapters are named. For eg: Amitabh Bachchan: Discipline, Aamir Khan: Pursuit of Perection and so on. The book actually is a sort of biography on the above which also includes John Abraham, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Salman Khan apart from the ones mentioned above.

What is it that keeps these Superstars going and always on their toes and how does they handle the ups and downs in their? Is what the book tell us. What is most striking in the book is the ease with which it is written, in simple and lucid language, with proper references, interesting quotes at the start of each chapter, coupled with some interesting anecdotes to share highlighting a particular trait along with a caricature of artist. The author has managed to focus on their early life, struggles, accomplishments and what can we learn or rather should learn and imbibe into our systems. 

Of all the eleven chapters, my personal favourites are on Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Vidya Balan highlighting the trait Discipline, Pursuit of Perfection and Reinvention and will keep on coming back to read again and again.

Overall: A good read for understanding the traits that one really feels one should possess and carry on with it. 

Ratings: 3.5/5

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.
He fumbled with the keys but eventually succeeded in unlocking the door.

It was way past midnight and as expected the lights in the living room were off and it did give him a spooky kind of a feel with a gush of wind blowing past him as he walked past the door, pushing it shut.

For once he wondered whether he was in his own house or not as he walked upwards, towards his bedroom, with sleepy eyes, only to hear some sounds emanating from inside the room.

With his heart heavy and palpitating, praying that she is all alone, he pushed opened the creaky door, slowly, and “Any man, any time has the chance to sweep a woman off her feet and he just needs a right kick, baby”, said his wife with the television switched on.

He dropped his hand bag then and there, switched on the lights, closed his eyes, and thanked God for giving him courage to enter the room and clear the misunderstanding that he had some minutes back as he found her waiting for him in her most seductive avatar ever.

This post is written for Lillie McFerrin Writes - Home of Five Sentence Fiction and the prompt being 'Misunderstanding'.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

She closed her eyes and flirts how I had wished for. She entices me to come closer with all her seductive weapons that she possesses. But I wasn’t too excited. Instead, I felt like choking. I rose towards her but in a swift move she seductively dunks her Oreo into the glass and devours it.

Source: Google Images

This post is written for Write Tribe 55 on Friday 2014 - 2 prompt

Friday, 21 February 2014

For umpteenth time she contemplated 

Her heart and mind at loggerheads
Leaf of insipid romance
Loverly romancer
A doth from the heart
She was too late?
Shudder left
Wide arms
Source: Google Images

This post is written for Write Tribe - Wednesday Prompt 2014 - 7

Write Tribe

‘Are you ready for it, COAS’, asked the Prime Minister.

‘Yes Sir’. Pat came the reply in his trademark hoarse voice.  

‘Very well, then. Let the action begin sharp at 0000 hours’, whispered the PM as they shook hands. The COAS marched back to his base with a renewed sense of vigour and a gleam in his eyes.

Wasting no time, he ordered the movement of the troops.

Politics can make one do things one has never dreamt of. And of course there is money – huge money as a motivational factor.’ He sighed and left a sinister laugh which echoed for minutes inside his closed chamber.

‘A military coup has been attempted and all the national leaders of the ruling and opposition parties are under house arrest including the PM’- read the television headline, the next morning.

Baffled at the turn of events, the PM called the COAS after finding army men with guns, surrounding his government bungalow. ‘What the hell is this? ‘I had asked you to only take the leader of opposition under house arrest and you took the entire country under house arrest? PM blurted out in astonishment.

The COAS replied calmly to his anguish. ‘I don’t understand the language of politics. I only understand the language of money. You offered me 100 crores to take the leader of opposition out whereas the leader of opposition offered me 150 crores to take you out. And mind you it is me who leaked out the secret to the opposition.’

‘I trusted you the most, COAS. What about our talks of being the best buddies, sharing each and every damn thing, be it personal or professional since our college days?

‘The people of India have trusted you the most and hence elected your government to rule this country and you are making a mockery of it’, said the COAS in his most menacing tone his friend has ever heard and went off the line.

The news channels went bonkers with the sudden turn of events highlighting the COAS and his address to the nation, the pros, and cons of a democracy versus a military ruled state and the future of this country.

The following night was the night of reckoning. It came to the intelligence notice a month back about a movement in a terrorist module along the LOC. But when the encrypted code was decoded and studied meticulously the army was left red faced. It was the time to have a final laugh.

The secret attack that the enemy had planned and almost executed to perfection was foiled at the last minute. Fighter jets attacked from the dusk leaving no trace of the enemy.

‘Welcome Ajay’. The PM greeted the COAS with a huge victorious smile on his face as he handed him a drink. ‘So, what next after retirement or should I say after you’re court marshalled ’?

‘Probably your back door strategist.’  He replied with a wide grin on his face. The only solace being,the secret remained within the four corners of the wall.

There is politics anywhere and everywhere and then there are some who rise above politics and greed for the betterment of the nation.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

‘Wow! Look at your hair. It’s glowing, dark, soft, and fluffy’, exclaimed Manali while brushing her fingers through my hair.

I could sense my chest swell with happiness and cheeks widen with a smile upon her statement. ‘It is the God’s gift to have such growth and volume, indicating my happy being’.

‘More than your hair it is me, the reason behind your happy being’, winked Manali.

I smirked and left for shower.

The sound of overflowing bucket brought me back to the reality as I grudgingly counted my hair strands, detached and lying on the wet floor after shampooing.

This post is written for Write Tribe - 100 Words on Saturday 2014 -6, the topic being to write 100 words without thinking.

Write Tribe

Monday, 10 February 2014

Authors: Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee
Published by: Mahaveer Publishers
Genre: Fiction, Horror
ISBN: 9789350880760
No. of pages: 320
Price: INR150

Synopsis: 'The Other Side' is a collection of thirteen tales of the paranormal world; a world that our eyes refuse to see, our ears deny hearing and our senses ignore the feel of. This is a book for someone who is brave enough to take up this invitation to journey through uncharted waters along with the authors, who were inspired by some bizarre experiences to pen down this work, where the lines of reality have been blurred by the footsteps of imagination. 

Each story takes the reader on a tour de force of unadulterated horror and draws upon the deepest tear in the human mind - the fear of the Unknown.

Review: I have never read horror till now and so when I received the opportunity to read and review the book, I grabbed it with both hands. From being publicized a lot, be it online or through book launches, 'The Other Side' has definitely garnered lot of hype around it. And when you have the synopsis like above and 'Hindu' quoting it to be engrossing, surprising which comes to shock you and you are in a vice-like grip then one must be pretty sure that the book has substantial material on offer to the readers. But sadly, it doesn't.

Out of all the thirteen stories that the book has to offer, only one story was able to spook me and give goosebumps and that is 'A Mother's Love'. Rest all the stories are even below mediocre if I may say so. There isn't an iota of spookiness in the stories, forget the unadulterated horror that the synopsis quotes. Though I have to credit them for coming out with thirteen different tales that dares you to visit alone but it simply falls flat. I felt the stories lacked behind in imagination as where there is no imagination there is no horror.

I had planned of writing a short review of all the thirteen stories but after reading the book I felt it will be a monotonous exercise to simply state that the story didn't spook the living day lights of me.

The only positive thing in the book I felt are the quotes before the start of each story and it is nicely proof read making it a bit more interesting to read.

Overall: Yes, one can dare to visit alone even at night and wake up without having nightmarish and spooky dreams. It hardly evokes fear in you.

Ratings: 2.5/5

"This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com"

Friday, 7 February 2014

Author: Shilpa Choudapukar
Published by: Become Shakespeare.com
ISBN: 978-81-928166-5-4
Genre: Fiction
No.of Pages: 115
Price: 149 INR/ 3.99$

Synopsis: The story is about a fiction editor by the name Avantika Mahajan who wants nothing else but to be surrounded by books. Life leads her to Rahul Kalyankar and eventually marrying him. Her life seemed perfect and complete until her world shatters when Rahul asks for a divorce. When life looks pointless and grim for Avantika, Alex Logan enters her life only to change her life completely. Can love happen again in Avantika's life? Can you trust someone again with all your heart after the pain, tears and suffering you sustained? Find it out...

Review: 'It's Never Too Late' is one of those books which is easy to comprehend; the story as well as the characters. I took the opportunity to read the book judging by the blurb and the no. of pages as I had a long train journey ahead of me. But I must say, the story give me the most relaxed company one can ever get. With just over 100 pages, the book can be completed within no time.

The characters of Avantika and Alex are nicely etched showcasing the difference in culture but Love follows no culture. The way in which Alex shows respect, helps, supports Avantika in any which way to come out of her divorce is pretty heart-warming. The way Alex's character portrays maturity is difficult to find in people of today's time. Such is the way the character is etched and it is perfect, without any flaws. Also, not following the customary drama about 'He is not of our caste' is a delightful welcome at a latter part of the book.

The story flows like a warm breeze and as said before can be read at one go. 

The only thing I felt missing in the story is about including some more drama and spice to make it look elaborate, bulky and to garner the wow expression that a romance novel needs. But without any proof reading errors and nice story-line, the book is a nice read.

Overall: A nice read without any over the top characters to accompany you in the journey of Avantika's life. Read if you just want to relax your brain muscles and have a refreshing afternoon.

Rating: 3/5*

This review is for Become Shakespeare.com

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

He took the first sip from the glass of malt which he had prepared and sat on the recliner adjacent to the window.

Aksh, once a teetotaler had turned alcoholic due to the tragic accident involving his wife and his 5 year old kid.

Bereaved and bereft of smile, melancholy had engulfed him as his life had come to a sluggish halt.

Days, nights, dates, months didn’t matter to him as he only awaited the arrival in his huge Mughal style patriarchal house.

Just as he turned his face from the window, Aksh froze when all of a sudden he saw his wife standing in front of him, scars all over her face, asking for some ice.

This five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Frozen' at Lillie McFerrin Writes

Lillie McFerrin Writes

She asked him to relax and started with the breath control exercises that precede hypnosis.

The room went pitch dark as candles flickered, casting different shadows on the wall.

‘Wherever I go, I see you, your presence all over my shoulders. In my sleep you warm me, in my dreams you scare me...

...Our eternal bond of love surpassing the seven seas, to be together in transience.

‘How do I tell her about you, about the bond that we share, about our ceaseless love? How?

The past life regression therapist smiled as she diagnosed the problem and its potential solution.

      "Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there." - Tony Robbins