Friday, March 30, 2018

Life and Death in One Breath by Sadhguru (Book Review: 3*/5) !!!

Reading and knowing about spirituality and spiritual world is an adventure in itself. For people who believe in spiritualism, knowing about it in deep is their only goal. I am definitely one of them and that’s the reason the most books that I have in my book shelf currently belongs to the same genre. And the one author whom I believe blindly when it comes to this topic is none other than Sadhguru aka. Jaggi Vasudeva. The way he talks about spirituality by making the difficult concepts easy, no other author has still been able to do as per my experience.

I just ended up reading one of his many books named “Life and Death in One Breath” which is again published by Jaico who believes in publishing mostly of this genre. The book is very well designed and the way it is written in the form of questions and answers serve the purpose of the seekers. Every possible question on the topic of life and death has been considered and Sadhguru’s answers to many of them are apt. Sadhguru talks on different topics in this book like how one can live life to the fullest, how should one avoid creating a false identity and then living the whole life with it, how can one transform oneself from being ordinary to extraordinary, how effective or ineffective the whole trap of dream is and lastly, Sadhguru discusses death in detail which is the best climax that the book could have.

Frankly speaking, this is the least rated book of Sadhguru as per my judgment. Sadhguru’s books are wonderful because they speak the complex topics in a very simple language making it easy for the ordinary person to understand the same. But talking about this one, Sadhguru has spoken about the topics in a language which will be understandable only to the people who are well-versed in the genre of spirituality and must be following it regularly with certain devotion. It is very hard to understand what Sadhguru is exactly trying to speak because the complex topics are not normalized and presented in a simplistic manner. Anyone who will start studying spirituality with this book is surely going to run away. Hence, I rate this book as 3* out of 5.



Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Mastery Manual by Robin Sharma (Book Review: 4.9*/5) !!!

Robin Sharma is one person whose book I read like I am going through some Bible. Each and every word in his book is a quote. You will want to note each and every sentence of his in your journal. Every page is a magic and you will not be able to stop yourself reading the book until the last page is not turned. Today I completed another book of his named “The Mastery Manual” which released in the year 2015 and with this very book, I am done reading all the books by the author and I can say the amount of changes that he has been able to bring into my life, no other living entity has ever been able to.

The Mastery Manual has Robin Sharma written all over it. 36 small chapters discussing about different areas of your life which needs improvement and refinement. Each chapter written in a manner which needs to read one each day. Every chapter has guidelines about the few tips that you need to follow to bring a magnetic change in your life which changes your approach towards living. Every chapter asks you to answer few questions in your journal and then try understanding what you actually wish from your life.

Once again, Sharma has given tips and advices that we wait for someone to tell us and inspire us in such a manner that we start following rituals right from the next day itself. I believe that Sharma’s writings can bring even a person in his grave stand up and live his life all over again to correct all the time that he wasted in useless activities. The Mastery Manual is a very inspirational, motivational, self-helping and a guiding book. Once you will complete reading it, you will want to read it once again to absorb all the words of the author so that it stays with you all your life. The only drawback of the book is that Robin has repeated many sentences and paragraphs again and again without realizing that all the chapters are being bonded into a single book itself. That is the only thing which stops from this book from being almost a perfect self-help book. I give it 4.9 stars out of 5. MUST-READ.



Monday, March 26, 2018

Bringing the Rainbow by R.K. Somany (Book Review: 2.75*/5) !!!

Knowing about entrepreneurs and creative persons is always my passion which can never be overcome by any other interest. And that is the reason why I have always subscribed myself to reading books based on biographies and autobiographies. The reason I love reading about such personalities is that they share such instances and secrets about themselves and their style of working which helps us in imbibing the same qualities and grow up in our career and personal life. After reading about the life of Mr. Deendayal Upadhyaya, I picked up the book written by Mr. R. K. Somany on his own life titled “Bringing the Rainbow” with the tagline of “The Hindware Story”.

Who is not aware of the brand name “Hindware” in India? And who would not want to know about the man behind its creation and success. Reading about Somany has been an interesting experience where he is quite frank about things and does not try hiding details even when it has been about disputes among the family. The way he has been vocal about things which could have also been eliminated from the book tells about his honesty and truthfulness. He starts the book by describing about his earlier generations and how their struggle helped him and his brothers to set up their businesses. He also tells us about the tragic death of his two wives and also shares the contribution of his third wife and how he has been able to move on even after such tragic occurrences in his life.

He frankly discusses about what his children are up to and what he expects from them. The only drawback of the book is that though he discusses quite interesting details about his company and how it is still ruling even after decades, he gives very less insight into his style of management and the small and effective decisions that he has taken over time which has developed the brand which will stay as an example for decades. Somany has also been clear in appreciating other business leaders whom he admires along with the superstar SRK who has been brand ambassador of his products. Overall, the book is a delighting read except that readers wish to know more about the development of the company and how he dared to take steps which is uncommon for a common man. There is very less to get inspired and motivated. I give this book 2.75* out of 5.



Sunday, March 25, 2018

Super Foods for Awesome Memory by Shipra Khanna (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

People generally pick up books on recipe who are not a cook themselves which are based on weight loss tips. That’s India’s biggest problem of the urban-based people doing desk jobs. But I picked up a book on recipe which is based on how the reader can improve their memory power and eat something that is mind-soothing considering that I am unable to remember anything. Haha! The book is written by a well-known female chef Shipra Khanna named “Super Foods for Awesome Memory”. The cover-page of the book and the printing quality is amazing. It is after a long time I am finding a book which seems to be quite passionate for the purpose with which it is written.

Shipra Khanna has nicely organized this book where she talks about different ingredients one by one. In each chapter, she firsts tells us the health benefits of the ingredient she is focusing upon. She also lets us know the origin of the same and what it is used for. She also manages to tell us the different forms in which it is available. After describing the ingredient, she shares 4-5 recipes using that ingredient as the core and thus defining how the meal is going to be important for the eater. At the end of the chapter, she shares “food for thought” where she discusses one general tip which relates with her own experience about how we can casually involve this ingredient in our regular lifestyle.

The ingredients discussed in this book are as follows: Salmon, poultry, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, beetroot, coconut oil, blueberry, bone broth, broccoli, celery, green leafy vegetables, walnuts, rosemary, almonds, egg yolk and dark chocolate. This book can be followed basically by people belonging in the upper middle class and upper class only considering that the ingredients and recipe discussed will cost heavily and can’t be included in the regular diets of people who can’t afford the same. Another drawback of the book is that not all recipe is supported with an image for reference which makes the whole process of preparing the same a dangerous exploration. Otherwise, this book shares many such facts which we weren’t aware of and next time, we enter the super market, seeing the ingredients discussed in this book, we are going to look them differently. I give this book 4* out of 5.



Friday, March 23, 2018

Khwaabon Ka Safar by Mahesh Bhatt (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!

Bollywood or say, Hindi Film Industry is something that has kept people of India united since its introduction. For any movie lover, knowing about its history and how the world of cinema progressed in all these years is the most exciting part. I have always tried searching good books on Bollywood but rarely do I find any. I recently picked up a book based upon the popular television show called “Khwaabon Ka Safar” with the same title written by Mahesh Bhatt. And when someone as prominent as him talks about the history of film studios, you have to read it no matter what.

The book discusses how the film studio formed in India pre-independence and post-independence and how they contributed in the progression of the Indian cinema’s well-being. It lets us know how World War 2 effected all the film studios in existence because of fund and investment issues. The book talks about the cinema changing right from silent movies to talking movies and how it generated more movie makers in our country. The way each and every studio is talked about by concentrating on their brand and value factor along with the reasons why it started falling down without being biased towards it- is the real USP of the book.

The book talks about the studios such as Prabhat Film company, New Theatres studio, Bombay Talkies, Rajkamal Kalamandir, Filmistan Studio, Mehboob Studio, Rajshri production, R. K. Studios, Navketan films, Bimay Roy productions, Guru Dutt films, B.R. Films and Filmalaya studio. The contribution of all the studios and how they launched various artists who went on becoming the legends later on is very well described. The book is nicely researched which helps us understand the contemporary times and the challenges faced by the proprietors and founders of each studio. The language used in the book is easy which helps you finish it in one sitting without getting confused in difficult words and sentences. I give this book 3.75* out of 5.



Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Unmet Needs of Entrepreneurship by S. Parthasarathy (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

I am just done reading a business book after completing a very intense spiritual book and the shift that my mind has taken is beyond explainable. Haha! Business books are known to be boring and meant only for the management people who do not have any life and always indulge themselves in books that are based upon how to be a good entrepreneur or manager and run the business. But not every business book is boring. I am just done reading S. Parthasarathy’s “Unmet Needs of Entrepreneurship” which also comes with a tagline saying “Why entrepreneurs do what they do”.

The book begins in an obvious protocol discussing about the goals, vision, mission etc. which made me remember my MBA books and it wasn’t much different from academic stuff. But as the book progressed, with chapters, author started talking with us in his own language and formulas which sounds logical. Author does not shy away from speaking the same thing in different manner to make you understand the point which actually makes this book readable and something which will make you learn something after you turn its last page.

Author has used easy English to explain his points rather than throwing random jargons to confuse the reader. I liked how author compared and managed to explain the met and unmet needs of an entrepreneur. My personal favorite chapter is where the author discusses the entrepreneur’s dilemma of being a pioneer or a follower. Also, the point discussed about entrepreneurs having empathy for his/her team is well projected. This book needs to be read by every person who wishes to be a good manager, leader or entrepreneur at best. I will give this book 4.25* out of 5.



Monday, March 19, 2018

Home at Last by Sarada Chiruvolu (Book Review: 3*/5) !!!

Reading spirituality is a fun that you will not experience in any other books if you are interested and curious about the subject. These days the only genre I crave for is spiritualism. I am just done reading another book on the same subject titled “Home At Last” written by the authoress “Sarada Chiruvolu”. The book also has the tagline of “A Journey to Higher Consciousness”. Sarada, the authoress, has taken us on the path of attaining the highest consciousness by narrating her own experience of how she began turning towards spirituality to how she met her teacher who helped her explore the way towards enlightenment and finally how she was able to reach the zenith of this whole course.

The book is published in a very high quality by Amaryllis publication with shiny pages and colourful photographs. The only drawback of the same is that the weight of the book is so heavy that it almost becomes difficult to read it by holding in one hand or while traveling. You can only read it by keeping on the table at your home. Sarada has very nicely taken the readers on the path of meditation and its effect by giving her own examples and sharing her experiences up to whatever depth was possible. I liked the way she started the book by sharing with us the day directly when she attained the finale and saw what is believed to be meeting with God in you. 

And later on, the way she took on the journey gradually also enables the readers to understand what she is preparing us for. The best part about the book is that no where she is trying to enforce her ideologies upon readers. Her language is also simple which makes it easy for readers to comprehend what she means to say even when she talks about the experiences which only a spiritual person can understand. Talking about the drawback of the book, I must say it is very boring. Yes! Authoress covers her whole experience in a single flow itself in a monotonous voice without giving any examples which are described in a little light and different way which can help reader to get refreshed in between. 

Even though the book is of only 190 pages, it took me more than one week to complete it just because it becomes difficult to read it more than 20 pages in one go. Authoress should read more books on spirituality and meditation to understand how to write on such topics by keeping the things light and not too serious as she has done in her first attempt. Overall, the book is quite different from other spiritual books as very less enlightened people discuss what exactly is experienced with meditation etc. and how it changes their mindset. I give this book 3* out of 5. 



Sunday, March 11, 2018

Emotion and Relationships by Sadhguru (Book Review- 4*/5) !!!

Talking about modern spiritual gurus, Sadhguru a.k.a Jaggi Vasudev has always fascinated me. The way he shares his wisdom and shows us our true colours, no other person is capable of doing it. I make it sure that I regularly follow his videos and read his posts regularly on Internet. I also manage to read a book of his slowly page by page on daily basis and complete one every 2-3 months. This time, I have managed to complete his latest book published by Jaico Publication named “Emotion and Relationships”. This is basically two books merged into one biding where the first part talks about Emotion being the juice of life and the second book talks about Relationships and discusses if it is a bond or bondage. 

Once again, Sadhguru speaks of things that we think about only from above without diving deep and knowing about the concepts. He has cleared many concepts in this book with his easy language which is easy to grasp and understand. The book is written in the form of Questions-and-Answers where his followers/disciples are asking him questions and he is giving answers to them through his spiritual perspective which is very interesting for the readers to know as his answers are not just straight statements but comes with wonderful and interesting explanations. 

The best part about the Sadhguru’s approach in giving answers is that he also adds humour in between which keeps your focus concentrated on each and every sentence of the book rather than getting distracted because of monotonous voice. I have personally liked the book on Relationships as it really discusses the basic problem we, Indians, are having in our day-to-day life and give nice solutions which if followed will really give us new dimension of thinking about our relations. In the book of Emotion, the “Isha Kriya” is discussed in the end which is quite powerful yoga tool to be followed. Overall, this book is a nice light read by Sadhguru and I give it 4* out of 5.



Deendayal Upadhyaya by Shiv Shakti Nath Bakshi (Book Review- 3.5*/5) !!!

There are very few personalities in the world of Indian politics who can be respected. And reading and knowing about such politicians or ministers is always a great experience. I am just done reading the book written by Shiv Shakti Nath Bakshi on the life of “Deendayal Upadhyaya” titled on the name of the personality himself with a tag line “Life of an ideologue politician”. Since BJP has come into power, many people have come to know about RSS and its history but still people want to know how did BJP form and come into power since all these decades. Pt. Deendayal being one of the pillars in the formation of the party had a wonderful journey as the politician who never gave away his principles for winning an election.

Generally, the biographies are written in very tough language but this book is written in a very simplistic manner which can be understood by any reader who knows English language. The author did not know much about Panditji which is quite evident from each and every chapter but the way he has gathered the information is worth-applaudable. The research put behind this book is very clear from every paragraph. The way all the lectures, columns, speeches, interviews are compiled to gather the timeline and fact about Pt. Deendayal’s personality is excellent for which author should be mentioned highly. 

This book cannot be called as biography of Panditji as it mainly focuses on how RSS turned into the biggest political party- Bhartiya Janta Party today. Whatever contribution Pt. Deendayal had during this process in mentioned as and whenever possible but there is no focus specifically on the timelines of his life. Also, author is quite biased towards the personality and the political party which is quite observable as he has never discussed about the negative points of Pt. Deendayal or BJP and only spoken highly of them. This book will be loved by BJP followers more than anyone else. Also, this book must be read by all the young and aspiring politicians as it teaches how to be a politician without breaking the principles and integrity of your country. I give this 3.5* out of 5. 



Happiness Is All We Want! by Ashutosh Mishra (Book Review- 4.5*/5) !!!

There are several books written on spirituality, body and mind separately whereas you will rarely find a book talking on all the aspects together. Ashutosh Mishra’s “Happiness Is All We Want” is one such book I have come across which provides you wonderful solutions to achieve happiness. I have been a big Robin Sharma’s fan because of which I generally do not like self-help book written by any other author but after reading Mishra’s first book, I can claim that his intentions are visible in each and every word written in the book. You can feel the good soul behind the book and thus, you ill enjoy reading it.

Reading this book has been a wonderful experience and thus, I read only 10 pages per day in the morning which actually made it very easy for me to pass rest of my stressful day by applying the ideas provided by the author. The best thing about Ashutosh’s approach is that he not only discusses the issue but provides solution to it and also shares some experience of his or his acquaintance who was suffering through the same patch but recovered by applying the suggested tips. 

The book is nicely divided into three parts- Mental, physical and spiritual well-being and each of them provides some specific points which is summarized in the end of the book which you can refer every week and check mark if you are following the same or not. Every author is able to provide better solutions on any one part of the three mentioned above but Ashutosh Mishra is one of those authors who have been able to write about all the three topics equally good and effective. 

The book provides the reader enough motivation to stop reading in between itself and first accomplish all the tasks that have been kept behind due to procrastination. I have personally liked the last session of spirituality more because I was searching for solutions and the book has been able to provide the same. My suggestion to all the readers picking up this book would be to read it slowly rather than completing it in one sitting. This book is meant to be absorbed rather than keeping it in shelf. I give this one 4.5* out of 5. 



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