Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020 by Sabarna Roy.

The ‘Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020’ is a compilation of various themes – short and easy to read.

I liked Sabarna Roy’s unbiased and unapologetically uncommon views and personal opinions on books, the concepts they presented, various physiological and psychological conditions of humans and many more topics which he has effortlessly talked about. His writing style is definitely noteworthy and has driven me to read Anna Karenina – it’s a classic and I’m not fond of those would be such an understatement – yet, here I am picking up Anna Karenina as my next read. Sabarna Roy has talked about the characters from Lolita and Anna Karenina with so much depth and understanding. His concise way of writing and the ease with which these topics have been briefed reflects the vastness of his knowledge.

I really like how the Author keeps his writing simple, uncomplicated and to the point.

The bits and pieces of conversations, letters and poems, all compiled together as ‘Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020’ gives the reader a lot to think about. Everything seemed so personal and beautiful in this book.

Elephant by Natalie Rodriguez.

Elephant by Natalie Rodriguez.

This was quite a confusing read from the very beginning. It continuously swaps between past and present and it took me few pages to get a grasp over the flow. It definitely requires undivided attention to understand the underlying concept of this heavy plot and the deep rooted trauma in Matty’s character. The plot is as complex as the human mind itself.

The intricate and vivid imagery of each one of Matty’s thought made me very uncomfortable. This sneak peak into a teenager’s private thoughts, stress and anxiety, troubles and fear – thinking about it still makes me shudder. Because the very thought of seeing someone in so much discomfort in his own body, his very private self – is scary. And the saddest part is a lot of people go through this. They face their inner demons every day, every moment. The thought of living with troubled thoughts makes my mind hammer hard. It’s heartbreaking to think what people go through. It’s hidden in the mind, it’s not physical – it’s tricky.

He had the three greatest friends and a grandmother who loved him. And the way everything happening with Matty affected them – it was upsetting. They all loved him and cared for him. I applaud how the Author has given equal importance to each character and presented a very raw picture of each emotion they go through. I loved the little details of Matty and Jamie getting attracted to each other.

Mental health is very important. It’s not a scar that you see on someone’s body and know that they aren’t well. It’s not something onto which you’ll apply an ointment and provide fast aid to make someone feel better. It’s inside of a human mind. You can do nothing except being considerate, kind, empathetic and non-judgmental.

This is a very important book. Even though a bit confusing in the beginning, the writing style is good. The suspense throughout the book will play with your concentration. This won’t teach you lessons. It’ll grab your attention and push you into a little boy’s mind – for you to experience whatever he’s feeling.

#elephant #mentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawareness #bookreview #booksofinstagram #bookstagramindia

Mandu by Malathi Ramachandran.

#Mandu by Malathi Ramachandran.

“Overwhelmingly painful. Poignant yet beautiful.”

My heart swells with all the love Baz and Roopmati had for each other. As time passes, the realisation – of Baz and Roopmati’s pure love and affection for each other, their innocence, their tragic end, Sadiya and Roopmati’s friendship and mutual devotion, young Hiba’s longing to feel beautiful and desired, Jana Begum’s destructive and cruel actions to apparently save her daughter – dawns upon me, and the intense emotions seeps into my very being making it unbearable to stop the vivid imaginations brought out by the Author’s brilliant writing. So overwhelmingly poignant yet beautiful, Baz and Roopmati’s story holds a special place in my heart.

A being of music and art, Baz inherited the throne of Malwa alongwith his brothers’ resent and envy, and a young wife who barely understood his needs and feelings. Practically no one to call his own, Baz was thirsty for companionship. Stumbling upon Roopmati near the banks of the Narmada was the miracle he had been waiting for since a long, long time.

I applaud how the Author has tried to include everyone’s side of the story. This is when it’s hard to detest the antagonist or completely sympathise with the protagonist. This is also when you learn to understand everyone and their version of the story.

The characters have been intricately developed and each of them mark their firm existence in this story.

While I’m completely swooning over Baz-Roopmati’s love story, Baz’s lack of responsibility towards his Kingdom and subjects, bothered me. Everybody is entitled to fall in love, enjoy their lives, but they also have an obligation towards the title they hold. Easier said than done, huh ?

Power of One by Devpal Gupta.

The Power of One by Devpal Gupta is such a beautiful book. It talks about our core values, shows how important it is to value ourselves and our principles and not succumb to irrelevant opinions from others.

I loved how he took little snippets from his life and described how everything he has learned till date has it’s roots embedded in his heart.

He described this really familiar instance that I’m sure must have happened with a lot of us. The Author is really into cricket and was a pretty good batsman himself. In this one match, he had to sacrifice his wicket so that the team could win the match. He did a great job and his teammates were immensely proud of him. But that wasn’t the case with his father. His father was angry and ended up humiliating him in front of everyone. He was hurt and in pain. But what he did next was inspiring. He channelled that pain and whatever discrimination he had faced in his life in becoming the better version of himself. So much better that he would never have to explain himself ever again and his actions would speak for him whenever required.

He focuses on not just being successful but also developing virtues like  growing with our core values, never to compromise our morale and conscience to achieve something or for momentary pleasure. He explains how important it is to have self-confidence.

He shows how important it is to utilise our time and live in the moment, because it could very well be our last moment. He shows how giving is important and fulfilling, how we should treat everyone with respect, be trustworthy and hardworking.

It’s just a short, 50 page read and the fact that I still got so much to talk about this book shows how good it is !

Unsacked : Survival Guide to Layoffs during COVID-19.

#QOTD – What/who has been your biggest support during this pandemic ? Are you okay or is something bothering you ? Would you like to talk about it ? Let’s connect over Instagram DMs !

https://www.instagram.com/biblio.bing?r=nametag – That’s me. Click on the image to get directed to my instagram page.


#Unsacked – Survival Guide to Layoffs during COVID-19 by @shreya_kejriwal.

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring” – George Santayana


This is a really hard time for every single person. Each of us are getting affected in different ways, but certainly the tremor of this pandemic is being felt more by some people as compared to others.

Apart from being affected by this deadly disease, people are losing their jobs.
Imagine a middle class family’s sole earning member losing his job. Not a very rare sight these days. Let’s not even get started about BPL and APL people. Their condition is precarious.

The amount of stress, pressure, anger, guilt, resentment, helplessness and the unfathomable impending doom of surviving and facing the society – this one sentence can cause anyone to panic – just image the condition of people going through this.

This book ‘Unsacked – Survival Guide to Layoffs during COVID-19’, talks about the minute and undeniable parts of being sacked or laid off. This book undoubtedly does a great job at grasping the current scenario and providing positivity to people in dire need of some support.Because we can beat this situation with love, kindness, support and huge amount of empathy.

But, at certain points the chapters kind of feel repetitive and a bit mundane. I appreciate how the Author has focused on the importance of healthy mental and emotional state, saving up for unpredictable circumstances.

“Remember, relinquishing your job in these times has little to do with you as a performer and more to do with the financial management of the company and the economic situation of the country in general.”

#indianeconomy #indianfinance #economy #finance #financialfreedom #laidoff #sacked #unsacked #covid19 #coronavirus #bookreview #bookstagramindia #flatlayindia #flatlay

Pokhran


 
I started reading pokhran because I thought there are many secrets that are buried within those sandy deserts of Rajasthan. I always empathised with the nuclear attack survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so when I got to know about this particular book I was really inquisitive.

The first part of the book takes you on the journey of the nuclear tests that were conducted in Pokhran in order to prove India as a nuclear superpower but also shows the other side of the coin ,i.e, the aftermath of the triumph. It will let you wonder whether that was the reality of the place or if it was neatly woven as a story to grab your attention. But no wonder the story loses its charm in a very gradual manner as it takes numerous twists and turns which I thought were particularly irrelevant. Because of the incredible opening I genuinely hoped the book to continue the same saga throughout. But the medieval journey was definitely not upto the mark. I thought atleast the ending would patch the shortcomings of the central journey, but even that wasn’t the case. The ending was also a bit abrupt and not satisfactory. Overall, the book had an incredible start to the journey but it might dampen your spirits while ending.

Parallels by V.S. Sury.

“The phenomena and events which occur (incessantly) in Nature are countless. But on careful observation, we can notice that some forms of common threads run across different platforms or fields.
These fascinating parallels can be found amidst the world of human affairs also, apart from the natural, scientific laws and theories.”

Parallels by V.S. Sury has diverse topics. So diverse that you’ll pick any chapter and you’ll have various analysis of one word. This book is just so full of information and knowledge that it could have easily been a 5 star read for me. But, no, it failed my expectations.

I love learning about different things. But there should be a methodology to that, or a sequence of any kind. Suppose you’re teaching someone how to use Facebook, you don’t directly start talking about how to share posts, now do you ? You’ve to teach them about Facebook, why it’s used, what all you can do and then comes sharing a post, much later !

The issue with this book was it did talk about pretty amazing concepts, but it would just start anywhere and then jump off to somewhere else. For sometime, I thought this is might be a different kind of writing style fit for this topic, but as I progressed I started feeling as if there’s no connection, no thread and smoothness – different concepts realted to one word without any proper beginning or ending.

I still kept reading and it just felt like a burden, because I tried really hard but I couldn’t retain a single thing, everything was so random and fast that it didn’t give a proper time or information to sink in whatever was written.


At one point, I was seriously annoyed because there was a whole lot of facts and concepts I could have learned, such brilliant were the topics, but the skill to present those topics was so haphazard/unpolished that any layman would be exhausted just figuring out what’s going on in the book.

This post seems like less of a review and more of a rant because I am annoyed. I spent time with this book and neither did I learn/retain anything nor did I enjoy it. And, I’m exhausted ! Idk some people might find it good, may be this is for people who already possess knowledge about the topics discussed in the book, but it just didn’t work for me.

Rating – 2/5

Amazon Purchase Link : https://www.amazon.in/dp/1648508855/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_WPejFbEKYEZVX

Better Than Sex by Atima Mankotia.

“Life was a thing in motion and change was inevitable. Her shallow roots blown away by the breeze of wedlock needed to germinate elsewhere, deeper and stronger.”
Better than Sex is a book that holds a whole lifetime of emotions. The Author has done an absolutely great job at bringing out and portraying sentiments of every individual and every bond.
To begin with, I love how the role of a woman as a mother, wife, daughter-in-law and daughter has been beautifully written; the tough choices they make, the responsibility and duty to hold a family together, to be selfless all the time. Each day, a sacrifice is made, big or small.

Meenu’s new life was waiting for her at Chandigarh, and the bus ride to her new home was one hell of a journey ! Hours on the road from Delhi to Chandigarh witnessed a bride’s puzzled thoughts, desperate for an answer to her questions against the age old tradition of adopting another family as soon as she’s married. Meenu’s helplessness and inability to be excited on getting married and going to her husband’s home, made her question everything that was happening. The best part about this marriage-vidai scene is it wasn’t limited to all happy-go-lucky albeit an emotional send off. It showed everything that every bride goes through, but never says out loud.

It was entertaining throughout the book. The excitement and party mood, family secrets, past lives, tangled relationship, kept the interest in the story going. Although I didn’t like few parts when they were explained repeatedly or dragged for more few more scenes than required, it was a very fun read.

#GuestPost The Busyness Age

Book – The Busyness Age

Author – Rajesh Seshadri

Review by – https://instagram.com/vishakha_goplani?igshid=1uvlt8xdkvas2

The Busyness Age is one of that self-help book which tells us to focus on productivity, creativity and most importantly promotes “business” world to venture into.
Seriously, it’s easy to start any business but to keep it sustained that is highly important. We should give preference to your productivity. Time management and focus on less procrastinating can help much. Personally, procrastinate is my bad habit, but after reading this book I could understand its smooth narrative. It was more like conversion than lectures.
I would recommend it all who want to venture into business.

I rate it 4/5🌟

Feni Daze

Book – Feni Daze
Author – Matthew Vincet Menacherry
Pages – 346

Feni Daze. The title itself is so intriguing that I had to pick this book up. Scenes swapping between the past and present life of our protagonist Victor, portraying the hardship he went through as a kid and it’s aftereffect was painful. The writing style is such that it makes you enjoy and absorb all that is happening in the story. I love how deeply Victor’s character is crafted, his battles and turmoils so realistic. In fact, all the characters were well developed. There was actually a lot going on, scene after scene, subplots, which isn’t exactly messy but a bit too much was going layer after layer. Set in various locations, the description about these places was right on point. The narration was good, especially because the way it makes the readers feel about the story and the characters.

Rating – 4/5