Sunday, September 29, 2013

Trust: A New Beginning ( Book Review )

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Trust: A New Beginning by Cristiane Serruya

'If' is a word that life doesn't consider.
And that's exactly why we should be asking 'why not' instead of 'what if'.

The first of the Trust Trilogy, this is more than just a story. It's a journey worth embarking upon with Sophia, the central character of the story. It's the story of a woman with an indomitable spirit, a woman of substance. What else can one call a lady who inspite of losing her husband at a young age, tends to her little daughter Gabriela ( the 'cuteness' element of the story)without breaking down to the pressures of the world.She is young, beautiful,intelligent and has the world at her feet. And yet there is a dark side. She is an awesome driver but she has taken lessons in driving away to safety incase of an emergency. The reasons are untold and makes the reader wonder what could possibly be wrong with a luxurious life like that.

Then there is Ethan Ashford, whose love is displayed in the form of wealth to his beloved.

Enter Alistair Connor- the reason why Sophia slept peacefully without that nightmare that shuddered her a tad too often. Ofcourse there is more to him than just that.( Grab the book!)

The descriptions of the characters are penned down so well by the author that the reader can experience the turmoils of their minds with almost the same intensity as that of the characters.

Here are people who are so sophisticated and rich and yet are busy fighting the demons of their mind. The intense and picturesque tale leaves the reader eagerly waiting for part2 which is what I exactly have in my lap at the moment!

P.S. I came to know about many new brands.. ;)

P.P.S : Trust#1 is free to borrow in Amazon Lending Library, including India. This is the link: http://amzn.to/1hpKpUZ

- Divya Nambiar

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Look Stunning At Any Size ( Book Review )

Look Stunning At Any SizeLook Stunning At Any Size by Parimita Chakravorty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Look Stunning at any size ( By Parimita Chakravorty)

Publishers: V&S PUBLISHERS(www.vspublishers.com)
Cost: ₹495/-
Pages: 172

For all those who think that this is just another self-help book that would not help more than gathering dust in a corner of your bookshelf, then think again!

This is one style guide which every woman should have in her wardrobe along with the many other make-up kits she wishes to buy and stock up on. True to what the author says, it has something for every woman. Instead of preaching, it helps you to find out for yourself, the best things that would suit you according to your bone structure, face type and skin tone.

The illustrations help to make things simpler and clearer.

Instead of wasting big money on a dress that you would never wear but are purchasing just because it looked good on the mannequin - this will stop from now!

After reading it, one can be assured that whatever she picks up, she will definitely get an opportunity to wear it and flaunt it. She will surely grab eyeballs! ;)

-Divya Nambiar

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Poetic Expressions Vol. V ( Book Review )

Poetic Expressions Vol. VPoetic Expressions Vol. V by Carl McKever
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Poetic Expressions Vol. V
By: Carl McKever
It’s a new season, it’s a new day!

With the opening lines of the book (in the preface itself) you get a happy feeling. Sit with a cup of coffee, if not, you surely would desire one somewhere in-between the reading session that you would embark upon.

Fourteen short stories and three poems await the reader. But before that, it’s the hard-bound cover that attracts you towards it. The feel of holding an amazing book.. Not too heavy, nor too light… Just perfect to carry and even read it on your way to somewhere, it’s worth a read!

‘Vague’, ‘The Masses’, ‘Living in the Moment’, ‘Ambition’ remain my personal favourites.
I really feel that ‘Magnolias’ should have been stretched a little more. It felt a little bit incomplete- the beautiful city, a talented woman, an appreciating young teen, an irked mom of a teenager- a perfect combination for an interesting story with a memory left behind, ever so profound! I look forward to it dear Carl …

It’s really been an inspiration as well as encouragement. I feel lucky to have been amongst the lucky ones to lay my hands on this book.

Until we meet again, shake a hand and stay blessed. 

Thanks Carl. God bless you!

Divya Nambiar, India


View all my reviews

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Business Parables ( Book Review )

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Business Parables by Venugopal Gupta


It is a perfect handbook for any individual or team venturing into the field of business of any kind.
It not just provides you with the 'Why' of something being better than the other but also the 'How' of it and that too with interesting stories which make the concepts more easier to grasp and makes it stay in the mind of the reader for a long time.
With five sections namely-
The Failed Class
A Dream Come True
The Third Capital
The Opportunity Lost
The Forgotten Crime

each section is a deep analysis of how certain things work in a business, certain things don't. Capitalism works, free markets are good for the growth of a country like India, creating value is sometimes more important than gaining profits and 'proper' ethics should become the backbone when one is venturing out there into the world of Business.

A very well explanatory book, it's like attending a beautiful, knowledgeable seminar. Well-written, thoroughly engaging and definitely worth a read!

-Divya Nambiar


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shades of Shadow ( Book Review )

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Shades of Shadow by Pushpam Singh

When the author states on the cover itself that it is a 'Poetic Journey' it might not really reveal what awaits you. Turn a few pages and you are already on that journey..

The language transports you altogether to a different world which is usually known as non-existing but then the author does make you feel safe there, amidst a world where the squirrels and all other animals are in peace, the tree blooms, the lake is so clear that one's reflection can be surreal!

The poems inside that take the story forward need an applause!

The flowery descriptions might sometimes deviate one from the main plot. It might not interest the ones who aren't deeply into poetry.

All in all.. it has content worth treasuring.

-Divya Nambiar



Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Bow Wow Club ( Book Review )

The Bow Wow ClubThe Bow Wow Club by Nicola May
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

THE BOW WOW CLUB by Nicola May

“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
― Kahlil Gibran

True to every word, this book emphasizes on the fact that when cupid strikes, it does blindly. But then it's upon us who we consider to be 'the one'. Of course destiny plays a great role in bringing two people together, making them walk on a single path.. and sometimes it's the same destiny that takes you apart from the one we thought to be our chosen one!

The Bow Wow Club- it makes you smile, it makes you cry, it makes you laugh hard and it makes you think! It's the perfect book to sit with and soak into on that day when all you want to do is to have the time of your life.. by going on a journey with Ruby :)

Be it Michael, Ruby, Fi, James, Simon, Jimmy, Barnes.. each character deserves a place in your heart.. in fact you do allot a little corner of your heart to them.

Ruby... Could actually empathize with her situation thanks to the way Nicola May describes every aspect of her emotions, the turbulence of her mind, the oh-so-sad-yet-so-wonderful journey that she embarks upon!

Hats off to you dear author for such amazing descriptions, for such a beautiful characterization and for giving hope to every not so happy soul out there.

It never drags, it's subtle, joyous and so subtly makes the reader sit back and adore the beauty of life in all it's bittersweet glory! :)


Divya Nambiar

View all my reviews

Friday, September 13, 2013

1..2..3..4 Get on the Bollywood Floor!

It's that time of the year again when Ganeshotsav is being celebrated all over India, especially in the state of Maharashtra with Mumbai being one of the hotspots to witness Ganesha Pandals in every nook and corner. What surprised me was that there was hardly a two foot wide space and there sat two Ganesha idols, one in-front of the other - as majestically as it could! But then one would ask how can one come to know that there is an idol kept there. There you go! It was not the not-so-humble decoration that made me notice it but the speaker kept outside that was blaring out Bollywood music. The song? Lungi Dance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kWLyInyjOE

For all those who would now ask-'Why Bollywood songs instead of devotional songs?'- there are no real answers, just more things to know!

Amused and then back to my own web of thoughts, I walked ahead further, only to witness many more such pandals with blaring music. The cherry on the cake was when I heard a devotional song set to the tunes of 'Aa ante'(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8u3d5VkvYU) No I am not kidding! 

That's when it actually struck me that Bollywood songs are indeed very popular. How and why else would it be blaring through loudspeakers outside Ganesha Pandals is beyond my cognizance.

It reminds me of a message that I received a few days back on my phone - 

" I met a Foreigner and he asked me the literal meaning of the song- 
Balam pichkari jo tune mujhe maari
Toh seedhi saadhi chori sharaabi ho gayi
Jeans pehen ke jo tune maara thumka
Toh lattu padosan ki bhabhi ho gayi.
I sheepishly had to say the following-
Dear beloved person, when you assaulted me with a stream of water from a liquid projectile launcher, an ostensibly normal and balanced female became alcoholic.
When you wore denim and oscillated your pelvic girdle in one direction, the adjoining resident's sister-in-law began showing symptoms of an obsession-driven psychological disorder.
The foreigner fainted! "

If we get into the details of the lyrics of some latest Bollywood songs, the inferences can often leave us gasping for breath. My mother is the best example whose dialogue I would like to quote here- "Humare zamaane ke gaane suno, kya rangeen matlabe hua karte the, aur ab dekho- coconut mein lassi milate hai bas!" ( Listen to the songs of our olden times, they had colourful, beautiful meaning. Nowadays they are busy mixing Lassi in Coconut- again a part of the lyrics of one of the Bollywood songs!)

But then these very songs become a rage too. Can we disagree on this fact when we unknowingly start tapping our foot to songs like Munni Badnaam Hui, Lungi Dance, Fevicol Se, Badtameez Dil, Ghagra and so on? 

These songs have become the pulse of the times we belong to. Knowingly or unknowingly we start flowing with the tunes, the beats, the rhythm and tend to oversee the lyrics because WE LOVE THE SONG!

Another reason for this might be something like what my grandmother says- "Itna shor hai ki kya gaa rahe hai yahi nahi samaj aata" ( There is so much of noise that the lyrics just can't be understood)

I somehow belong simultaneously to two generations I guess, because just as much as I love listening to 'Badtameez Dil'(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7k_U1ZXybo), I love listening to 'Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai, aaj phir marne ka iraada hai'(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbnLll2b0B8) too.

Big Little Book of Whispers ( Book Review )

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Big Little Book of Whispers by Robert S.Cosmar

'The strange thing about beliefs is, they limit in some way who you think you are.
Beliefs put you in a box and label you. They cause you to doubt that you are anything more than what you believe.
The heart limits nothing and,in time, it helps you realize, through awareness, that you deserve everything, because you ARE everything.
Your beliefs and doubts only stood in the way of that realization.'

These are just a few lines from a treasure-trove of beautiful lines that makes one stop and introspect.

When one is ready to look into his/ her self, that's when the universe conspires to let us know, by all means, about what we need to know.
And during such a mission, I was lucky enough to have got an opportunity to read this book.

The author states that there is no particular way to read this book. You can turn through the pages from the beginning or open any page and you are assured that it will be something worth ruminating upon in the mind.

Just one minor glitch that I found was this- The short insights could have been grouped under sections so that when a person is feeling a certain way, he/she could straightaway open that page which instantly can make one feel so much better! :)

Thank you Robert !

- Divya Nambiar

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Modern Man: A philosophical divagation about the evil banality of daily acts ( Book Review )

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was good that time when 'he' had time.
The man was the 'Wise' without knowing who he was.

The above two lines just won't leave me. ' The Modern Man' by Cristiane Serruya speaks so much in just 19 pages!

What seems like a breeze at first, slowly becomes the silence before the storm and then- lo and behold! It shatters the very stable foundation of the belief that a man possesses- of the power, strength and capability he thinks he has.

In a mind-numbing revelation, Cristiane brings forth the ultimate miseries of 'The Modern Man' or The Modern 'Lost' Man. It's an eye-opener of sorts. It finally makes one believe about the eventual uselessness of trying to conquer the entire world without giving a moment of thought to one's instincts.

"Instincts"- It is something that one often pushes down to one's train of thoughts and feelings. But not anymore please. Make your instincts your guide. Go out, change the world. Just make sure that you remain true to yourself in the process!

Powerful writing, Cristiane! Hats off to you!

P.S. There is a strong reason why it was awarded the highest grade and Honors at the Law School, in November 1988! :) . The reason? Read it to know it !

- Divya Nambiar