Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fearless In Opposition by P. Chidambaram (Book Review: 2*/5) !!!

As far as I memory works, I have never read a book written by any active politician. And I believe this has been my best decision ever after reading P. Chidambaram’s “Fearless In Opposition”. The book also has the tagline which says “Power and Accountability”. I had a belief that a politician decides to write a book only when he takes a conscious decision of speaking truth irrespective of either it’s in his favor or not. But after reading Chidambaram’s version of how the current NDA government is working and operating the nation, it seems as if our country is only doing worst each and every hour and there’s nothing good or encouraging happening. This is such a one-sided and disappointing book that you will never want to vote such a discouraging party again in power which has nothing good to say about the current government.

Chidambaram has discussed different sectors and topics such as Nation and Nationalism where he talks about caste discrimination, dalit rights, how current government tags people as anti-nationalist as per their criterions; how this government is disconnected from people where he talks again about Dalit righ, fake encounters in the Ishrat Jahan case etc.; he also talks on the topic of Jammu and Kashmir widely in 6 articles; misgovernance, failures of policies, the state of the economy, union budget of 2016-17, foreign policy and finally in the last section about demonetisation.

This book is a collection of all the columns and articles written by Chidambaram in the date range around 2016. Chidambaram has given statistics and graphs wherever he managed to show that his party did well against the current party but wherever there was a scope of the current government doing well than them, he just passed generic statements again showing the current government in the bad light. And this is continuously being done throughout the book and in each column. Whenever there is growth in percentage in any performance against his own government, he has not shied away from terming the growth as “only” or “just”. Trust me, after completing this book, you will feel as if you are living in the worst country possible. He has not even appreciated the government for terrorist attack control if not for anything but mentioned loopholes even there. If you are anti-BJP government and familiar with economic terminologies, go for it. I give this book only 2 stars out of 5.



Winning Like Saina by Jatin Gupta (Book Review: 4.25*/5)

Cricket has always charmed the Indian sports' fans which has irked the ardent sports lover who believed that with the support of Indian fans, the Indian players playing other sports than Cricket can also perform equally or better than our Cricket team. But Cricket never allowed the Indians to concentrate on any other sports. Such has been the unawareness that multiple biopics are being made on previous and even current generation's players to help people know about the contribution made by Indian athletes. One such player who performed very well in a sport other than Cricket is Saina Nehwal. Badminton has got famous in India only after the feats she started achieving on International level. It is because of her that many Indian supporters switch on their television sets and post on Social media whenever there is a match of P V Sindhu or Srikanth Kidambi. 

I am just done reading the book written by Jatin Gupta on Saina Nehwal's routine and work culture named "Winning Like Saina" which also has the tagline, "Think & Succeed like Nehwal". The author has very well structured this book in as less as 121 pages and ensured that you get enough motivated with the way Saina Nehwal reached from nowhere to World No. 1 in International rankings. Author has divided the chapters as per each of her traits which can be followed by the professionals, management students and generally, by everyone. It is not easy to write a book on a sportsperson without following the timeline yet managing to cover all the major aspects of his/her career. Jatin has been able to do the same with this book.

The good part about the book is that rather than talking and discussing only about Saina Nehwal, author has not shied away from giving examples of other prominent and successful personalities. In this series of Rupa publication where a sportsman is picked up and using his/her reference, readers are told about how they can also win like them, Saina Nehwal is treated as a very great example in her book as there are encouraging quotes from her family members, coaches, her relationship is explained very vastly with her coaches who have been a great part in her success etc. Overall, this is a power-packed book for inspiration. I give this one 4.25* out of 5. 



Thursday, July 5, 2018

In a Cult of Their Own: Bollywood Beyond Box Office by Amborish Roychoudhury (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

There are few movies that are always talked of even if they have been one of the biggest duds of their time and then there are movies which are actually good in terms of cinema and scripts but could not become successful because of either being ahead of times or releasing with no promotion or inappropriate timing. Such movies are known as “cult” and being discussed among movie buffs. Similarly, there are few books which are of the same kind but definitely this book named “In a cult of their own: Bollywood beyond box office” written by Amborish Roychoudhury is not in the same category but is actually one of the most unique books I have ever read. There are many books based on Bollywood which speaks about certain movies, songs or factors in Bollywood chapterwise but they bore the readers like hell making them leave it in between. But this book is definitely one of the best written books on Bollywood.

Amborish has picked up few movies of his choice from all the time range and discussed why there are being considered cult and what prominence or uselessness each of these movies possessed. Haha! Amborish’s style of describing the worst and illogical scenes of the movies is what makes this book interesting, humorous, laughable, funny and your favorite. The research work gone in knowing the whole background under which the movie was planned to how the casting was done and what challenges did the directors and makers face is completely visible in all the chapters. Author has ensured that the readers should know the mindset of the makers while they were filming these movies so that it becomes easier to understand how and why these movies got made the way they are.

The interviews taken by the author with few prominent personalities being involved in the movies discussed in the book are nicely presented in quotes between the chapters which gives you great insight about movie-making and the challenges that these creative people face in terms of schedule, star cast, making, deadlines, dates etc. My personal favorite chapters are on the following movies: - Mera Naam Joker, Silsila, Andaz Apna Apna, Gunda, RGV ki Aag and Deshdrohi. If you want to enjoy light humor and know the secrets behind these cults, read this book immediately. I give this one 4.25* out of 5.



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