Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the national bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana – The Game of Life. What is the second book about: Drama of Rama’s exile. First of all my apologies to blogadda and Author Shubha Vilas for the delay in this review. The book took a while to be read. And moreover, I was reading another book when ‘Shattered Dreams’ arrived and could not get to it immediately. But what a delight it has been! The book is an absolute must read for all Ram premis and anyone who is interested to know the Ramayana in complete detail. The amount of research that has gone in to the game of the life series must have been pleasantly excruciating for the author, no doubt. It is absolutely important that the first book in the series be read before the second one because the premise is so strongly built in his first book ‘The Rise of Sun Prince’. What is the purpose of reading an epic if there is nothing that we are going to take away from it and apply to our everyday lives? Ramayana is story of Rama; the uttama purusha. Why read the epic if we can’t decipher the importance of it and take life lessons from it? Shubha Vilas only makes it easy for us through his thorough foot notes. This book is for the new India. Character portrayal is at its absolute best. The openings chapters gives an insight in to the ikshvaku dynasty, how king dashratha came to be called thus and the transformation of dasagriva to ravana. All of us have read about keikeyi and her boons and how she is manipulated to use it for her own son; bharatha. But very few people are aware of the promise made by King Dasharatha to Keikeiyi’s father. One really needs to read the book to go in to full and complete detail. Ram’s forgiving nature is put forward beautifully wherein he treats Kaikeyi the same way even if her approach towards him as changed. This is called the state wherein happiness and sorrows do not matter and a person behaves in the same way at all circumstances. One of the most interesting part of the book and a lesser known anecdote is that of the crow jayanta and how he is punished by Lord Rama through his Brahmastra; nevertheless every touch of Lord Rama can only bring goodness and jayanta flies away wiser than he was after he is blinded. The book has everything: the love of dasharatha and kaushalya for their son, lord rama; the ideal son, husband, brother, king and citizen, sita mai’s devotion, lakshmana’s dedication, bharata’s magnanimousness, kaikeyi’s desperateness, manthara’s cunningness, the goodness of sages and the love of thousands of citizens of Ayodhya for their king and most importantly the author’s journey in his spiritual pursuit. Do read this book for it is worth every single word in it! Ramayana is indeed a way of life, a way of principles and a way of realizing the inner self. Rating: 3.5/5
The Game of Life – Part 1: Rise of the Sun Prince
Ramayana: The Game of Life (Book 1), one of the world’s great literary masterpieces, skillfully retold for modern audiences. Epics like the Ramayana have been recounted infinite times. Is there a need for another chronicle in the presence of so many? How is this one different? And is it relevant to our ever-changing modern lives?
Yes, there is a need, yes this is different and yes, it is relevant. This new series of books, each following one khand of the Ramayana, decodes the eternal wisdom of that poetic scripture through gripping narrative and thought-provoking instruction. In the time-honored custom of spreading wisdom through tales, every fascinating story in the epic is retold here and every character unfolded to captivate your heart and open your mind to lifes deepest questions.
The narrative closely follows Valmikis Ramayana, gently weaving in folk tales as well as the beautiful analogies of the Kamba Ramayana. The first of this six-volume series, Rise of the Sun Prince, takes you through the divine story of Lord Rama from His birth up to His marriage. Through these pages are revealed the tales of Dasarathas leadership, Vishwamitras quest for power and the intriguing story of a little-known stone maiden. Ramayana: The Game of Life has all of this and much more – food for contemporary thought drawn from an enduring masterpiece.
What works for this book is the absolute simple treatment the book has received. Usually Mythology books tend to be heavy on the text but this one has gotten a different approach and is certainly a major plus point for someone who is reading Ramayana for the first time
I have read many different versions of the Ramayana and in particular i would like to mention the Illustrated version by C. Rajagopalachari. The book delves in to descriptions in a simple language and gives you an overview of the epic
For someone like me who has read vastly on Ramayana and Mahabharat, there was very little new information and yes Ahalya is quiet popular and not a little-known stone maiden. The story of sage Viswamitra and Sage Vasistha is the very foundation of Ramayana.
I appreciate the book despite having received no new information, for the wisdom that it provides in the footnotes. As somebody who seeks philosophy while reading any scriptures or mythology texts, this was a boon in disguise. Hindus treat mythology as a foundation for leading a life by Dharma and ideals. while an individual reads such epics, he perceives the aspects in the book in a certain manner that his mind allows to. This book provided a range of such perceptions by the author and was indeed a delight to read, ponder over and apply in our lives. Apart from helping us being better individuals, it is also an amazing source for some management lessons that are most often read and repeated but hardly applied.
This one deserves a patient read and many a introspections.
You might also notice the capitalization of H used in He/His while referring to Lord Rama and that showcases the reverence the author has towards the Uttama Purusha, the lord himself. I bow to thee.
I am looking forward to the next part in this series.
will make an excellent read for beginners, the amount of detailing and the simplicity of it is encouraging. For those who want to revisit the fable, this one will again work for you. Amazing footnotes for leading a life of principles. If you are seeking the inner meaning of life, this books gives you a lot to think about.
Ramayana is indeed a way of life, a way of principles and a way of realizing the inner self.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
― Benjamin Franklin
If I would ever get a chance to pursue a specialization from UK, I would go for an MBA from the London Business School. Before, I would even explain why London Business School is an institute of my choice; I would like to just add that the UK is an excellent destination for a world-class education.
- Hub of world class universities
- Great Exposure
- Produces the most employable professionals
- Confluence of culture
- The experience
- The museums
- Culture and Literature
Why I want to pursue an MBA?
There is no dearth of institutes in India offering an MBA, including the IIMs. However the approach to education is completely different in this side of the world; with a major focus on theory rather than a practical outlook.
I want to pursue an MBA to enhance my career and shit to new industries and roles. This would be a big step in my career advancement plan.
Why London Business School?
London Business School has a reputation of making professionals better. They create global leaders. It would also be a culturally enriching experience to learn and grow with students from various nationalities. I also truly believe that pursuing an MBA from London Business School will help me hone my skills and equip me with the latest knowledge required to meet up with the ever changing global economic scenario.
Knowledge is truly great and the UK is a great place to build your knowledge! Visit
This post is a part of the Knowledge is Great contest by Indiblogger http://www.indiblogger.in/topic.php?topic=98
Book: Shoes of the Dead
Author: Kota Neelima
No. of Pages: 285
First of all, this is an extremely well researched and a well written book. The title is beguiling and the sepia toned cover image only tells you how serious this one is going to be. And oh did I love the hard cover?
Kota Neelima gives you a reality check in to the world of farmers and gives you a perspective of their lives. It also gives you an insight in to the intersection of politics, economics and social justice. The characterization is simply stunning and you could not have asked for more: the central character Gangiri Bhadra, who is fighting for the injustices decreed upon the farmers; Nazar Prabhakar, the journalist who wants to make a difference; Keyur Kashinath, the politician by inheritance; the just collector, the kind and generous doctor, the rapacious money lender and so many others. Every character is nothing short of an intricate art design. (The Editor’s character also needs a mention here. One should just read this book to know exactly what I am talking about). We don’t see such characterization in Indian Fiction books.
The author tells us that the book is based on the stories of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. The book is essentially a story of how a particular farmer suicides and this leads to a series of events that is going to threaten the career of an ambitious yet arrogant politician. The book gives you a perspective on how these things happen and essentially how the rural-urban setup works. Though the beginning is slightly boring the book picks up pace within a few chapters and the climax is so heart-wrenching that you would be left thinking about the book for two days. Gangiri is fighting a system; a system that decides whether a widow is eligible to receive compensation for her husband’s suicide. He tactfully becomes a part of the committee that decides the fate and researches every member of the committee. How he brings each of the committee members to vote in the farmer’s favor is the essential crux. But what is the price that he has to pay to fight this terrible situation of money lenders with personal and political agendas combined with a young politician who is out to prove a point? Read and find out!
The climax is also promising in that one man can bring about a change in the system. But do we have such Gangiri amongst us? Do we have the courage to face the system at a personal cost? Do we have a Keyur Kashinath amongst us who willingly steps down after the turn of events? How many suicides will it take for the government to act? How many suicides will it take for the common man to rise and revolt the situation? How many such ‘Shoes of the Dead’ needs to be written and publicized so there is awareness about this impending crisis of modern India?
What I dint like about the book was many of the plots within the book were left hanging dry. For Example: the past life of Nazar Prabhakar, the apparently budding romance between Nazar and the wife of the industrialist etc. But this is much better left to the reader’s imagination than desperately trying to tie loose ends, as has been the case in many books. It also keeps the focus on the grim topic.
It is an engrossing read for sure! 5 on 5 to Kota Neelima for writing this gem of a piece.
Book: Salvation of a Saint
Author: Keigo Higashino
Number of pages: 330
Price: Rs. 350
Yoshitaka, who was about to leave his marriage and his wife, is poisoned by arsenic-laced coffee and dies. His wife, Ayane, is the logical suspect—except that she was hundreds of miles away when he was murdered. The lead detective, Tokyo Police Detective Kusanagi, is immediately smitten with her and refuses to believe that she could have had anything to do with the crime. His assistant, Kaoru Utsumi, however, is convinced Ayane is guilty. While Utsumi’s instincts tell her one thing, the facts of the case are another matter. So she does what her boss has done for years when stymied—she calls upon Professor Manabu Yukawa.
But even the brilliant mind of Dr. Yukawa has trouble with this one, and he must somehow find a way to solve an impossible murder and capture a very real, very deadly murderer.
Salvation of a Saint is Keigo Higashino at his mind-bending best, pitting emotion against fact in a beautifully plotted crime novel filled with twists and reverses that will astonish and surprise even the most attentive and jaded of readers.
From the author of the internationally bestselling, award-winning “The Devotion of Suspect X” comes the latest novel featuring “Detective Galileo”. I had received that book from Blogadda last year and you can find the review here
We are all too familiar with Higashino’s plot by now. The killer is revealed in the first two chapters itself and the reader knows for a fact that the killer is and still Higashino can keep us hooked for 350 pages.
Yoshitaka Mashiba wants to get married and the only reason to that is he wants to have kids. He signs a one year marriage deal with Ayane, at the end of which if she doesn’t get pregnant, they divorce.
Ayane takes off to Sapparo to meet her parents, hundreds of miles away from where Yoshitaka is found dead next morning.
The author reveals the killer to us but how exactly does she manage to kill her husband by poisoning his coffee?? That’s what the entire story is. It keeps you hooked. The detectives end up hitting many dead ends but pick up clues from each to finally nail the killer with evidence. This time around, Kusanagi is all set to unravel the mystery himself without seeking the help of his friend-professor-scientist Yukawa Gallileo. But Gallileo comes in with his own magic meets science touch. The author has also introduced a new feisty detective, Ustumi, who is sharp and a lateral thinker.
The imagination of the author is brilliant.
The climax seemed too forced with the author desperately trying to tie the loose strings. When you eventually find out how the killer killed her husband, you are left feeling dumb that one could sell you this with phrases like ‘Yes, this is a perfect crime’. The book does feel dragging in parts and the reader might just want to skip some chapters and proceed.
Depsite all this ‘Salvation of a Saint’ is anything unlike what I have read before and it is nice to see the author establish his own style and be consistent with it. I am looking forward to more of his translated works.
Readers who prefer narratives focusing on plot rather than character will enjoy this book.
Author: Mukul Deva
Number of pages: 298
Price: Rs. 250
Mukul Deva’s RIP comes in perfect timing when the nation is rocked with too many scams and scandals and the public agitated. The book’s storyline is based on the current nation’s scenario.
There is no doubt about the thriller quotient. Though the beginning is slightly slow and predictable, the book picks up speed and leaves you turning the pages.
Each of the character has been deeply etched and adds a lot of depth to the storyline. While one may enjoy this as a one time read, this is not a kind of a thriller that you cannot get off your head for a few days after you have finished it.
The story line is strikingly similar to a Tamil Movie made in 2002 called ‘Ramana’. Whether the author has taken inspiration from the movie is not very clear.
Anyways coming back to the book, Colonel Krishna Athawalen and his team take it upon themselves to cleanse the system of corruption and inefficiency. The book begins with 3 murders in a row and even as the nation recovers from the shock, the K Team sends a message which gives clues to the next targets. The K team call themselves as RIP to tbe media, Resurgent Indian Patriots. The team called so as all of their names being with K.
These events send the Home Minister to frenzy and he appoints Mr. Bhagat to find out who leads the K Team and more importantly to guess who their next target would be. Meanwhile there is a CBI team led by Vinod Bedi who is also on his toes to capture the K team alive. The rest of the book depicts how the K Team sends a very strong message to the nation. Whether they would be able to achieve this successfully is the essence of the book. There are other elements of the book, Colonel Krishna Athawale’s past and Captain Bhagat’s past that adds a personal touch to the proceedings. There is a little bit of romance and emotions, but largely a fast paced action cum thriller book. The climax of the book is just too good to be true. But the cat and mouse chase just before the climax has been brought out so well by the author, that you can literally imagine it in your head.
Get this book and give it a read as the book is fitting only in the current scenario. This one is not the kind you would cherish on your bookshelf but would rather enjoy it as a one time read.
PS: A sincere and an honest effort from Mr. Deva. Kudos!
Book: The Bankster
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Number of pages: 358
Price: Rs. 250
The Wall Street Journal refers to Ravi Subramanian as the John Grisham of Banking. I am a great fan of John Grisham and have read many of his works but his style can sometimes get too dragging. And hence I was slightly apprehensive when I picked this one from Blogadda’s reviews. But boy, was I surprised?
The Bankster makes for a thoroughly interesting and a fast paced read. The book never loses its pace and the twists and turns are intelligently interspersed at perfect timings and intervals. The beginning is brilliant and the narration is as simple as it gets for the reader. You would also find it surprising that the climax of the book is not justified for the kind of the beginning the story gets. It’s like watching a movie with a brilliant opening and a rather dull climax which just leaves you wanting for more. The story, though slightly predictable has its own share of surprises.
The characterization is remarkable and it helps that one of the most important characters in the book, Karan Punjabi makes an entry only in the second half.
It is impossible to review the book without giving away the plot. The book has a series of events unfolding in Mumbai, Vienna, Kerala and Angola. How all these events are related to each other is the actual essence of the book.When Karan Panjabi, press reporter and ex-banker, digs deeper, he realizes that he has stumbled upon a global conspiracy with far reaching ramifications a secret that could not only destroy the bank but also cast a shadow on the entire nation. With only thirty-six hours at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and uncover the truth.
The three events seem to run parallel and could have been entwined in a better fashion. The plot that runs in Kerala is slightly dragging and makes you want to turn the pages. The best part of the book is the author’s description of Retail Banking and its Day to Day functions. It never gets boring!
(One very interesting thing in the book is a major café outlet has a key role to play in the story. I was just slightly curious to know whether this was a marketing imitative like the kind of in film marketing we have in movies?? But then I came across an article where the author has explained that he got the inspiration for the book from that outlet.)
With a few cuts here and there, this could well be a blockbuster Bollywood movie.
Go read this one, it’s nothing short of a ROLLER COASTER ride.
Meanwhile, let me go and check Ravi Subramaniam’s previous books
P.S: The Wall Street Journal got it wrong!
To know more about the author, head to:
Author: Upendra Namburi
Number of pages: 372
This one was a complete surprise. I was a tad bit apprehensive when this book came up in Blogadda’s review program. But I had gone ahead and applied for a review and I am glad I did so.
First and foremost, read this book!
It has been ages since I read a riveting corporate thriller. The genre has not been much experimented by Indian Authors and it is indeed heartening that Upendra Namburi has pulled this off his hat.
The book has you hooked from Page 1. It starts on a merry note with Congratulatory emails running back and forth! And then starts the chaos and the author has done a brilliant job of keeping up at it till the very end. I was slightly disappointed when I saw the timeline based narration (which has become quite common these days) but it has worked very well for Namburi.
The reader can relate easily with the main character, Ravi Shastry who knows that the shit is going to hit the fan soon but has no idea how to avoid coming to the streets. The book offers everything that is possible in a corporate thriller; sexual harassment, HR Manipulation, a boss who wants to save his own ass, forgery, internal audits etc etc. The book also has his moments of Humor and has been entwined so well within the story. You would have come across situations like this in your own office and you might have met most of the characters. The protagonist’s wife’s character has been etched out so well and realistic. All characters are distinctive and well thought out. Kudos
‘31’ is a riveting and a must read, if corporate thrillers are your genre. I am not willing to give away more on the plot as one really has to sit down and read this one!
The writing is elegant and keeps the story fast paced till the last page! The best part of the book is the twitter dose from an anonymous insider who keeps giving snippets to the reader and adds a different charm to the narration. Very well done indeed.
The ending is the icing on the cake. We have seen many thrillers where the climax spoils the entire book but this one has got the formula right!
Go get this book and finish it one go!
Mr. Upendra Namburi, we are definitely waiting for the next one!
Book: The Krishna Key
Publisher: Westland Ltd
Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Having read Ashwin Sanghi’s ‘The Chanakya Chant’ in one sitting from cover to cover, I was expecting a roller coaster ride with ‘The Krishna Key’. However the fast pace set by the author is dampened by a heavy dose of history and unwanted facts.
It is extremely evident that the author has meticulously put together a voluminous research manual and has wanted to include every possible aspect in the book!
The book starts on a very promising note, introducing a strange character called ‘Taraak Vakil’ who believes himself to be the tenth avatar of Lord Krishna. However the character loses importance through the course of the book. Another character Mataji alias Priya is a complete surprise package.
The one factor I totally loved about the book is the Mahabharata and the Kurukshetra War as narrated by Lord Krishna himself and makes for a very interesting read though it gives no connect to the actual story running in parallel. This is totally contrary to what we have seen in Chanakya’s Chant where the two stories blend together so beautifully.
The actual dose of history is extremely enlightening though it is a complete dampener to the pace of the story. Of course, the comparison to a certain Dan Brown book is unavoidable though Ashwin Sanghi brings his own charm and style to the book. Ashwin Sanghi has established a different genre of combining history and fiction and running two stories parallely in a novel. His writing is unique and simple and makes you turn the pages.
Coming back to the Krishna Key, Sanghi explores the myth of Kalki through a tale of murder and an ensuing chase that travels back and forth in time from Vrindavan and Mathura to a classroom in St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, across lifetimes. The characterization is not very Ashwin Sanghi types and could have been way better. It is just that you would expect more out of someone like Sanghi. This was a tad disappointing
The climax of the book was numd and too abrupt. And of course one could not ignore the obvious errors in the book. Anybody would notice a character mix up!
Give this one a read!
PS: I would like to read the Mahabarata, authored by Ashwin Sanghi. Please to take note J
One was born with the Midas touch. The other was born deaf.
One was the winner his father wanted. The other was the black sheep.
One was loved by all. The other was a loner.
One loved life. The other yearned for death.
Two brothers. Two lives.
Saurav Sethi, teenage prodigy and future tennis star in the making, watches his elder brother Raj fight a losing battle in life. But father Akshay Sethi turns a blind eye, letting his elder son spiral into the depths of depression.Saurav challenges destiny and prepares to give Raj a life he deserves, but will his life-changing decision see Raj’s seemingly impossible dream of running the marathon in the 1980 Olympics come to life? Or will it completely devastate the family to a point of no return? Set against a turbulent time during the cold war between the US and the USSR, the Sethi brothers embark on a roller coaster ride that will push their courage and grit beyond all known limits.
Wings of Silence revolves around two brothers and their destiny. Saurav Sethi, the younger one is naturally good at academics and sports and a sort of demi god. He is the star of the family and his dad, Akshay Sethi, an ex-Air Force officer adores him and leaves no stone unturned in making his son’s career as a tennis player. On the other hand there is Saurav Sethi, who is born deaf and dumb and faces way too many challenges. The Dad ignores him, he gets bullied at school, gets beaten up in the streets and his stronger younger brothers turns a blind eye. And one day, Saurav gets to read his elder brother’s mind through his Diary and takes it upon himself to make his brother achieve his dream of winning an Olympic marathon. Frankly the very dream itself seemed so ridiculous and out of place in the book, but well.The story though predictable has its own charm and some unexpected twists. The plot is good but it spans out in the most obvious fashion. The character portrayal is clichéd and some of the characters are out of place, especially Shalini. There are way too many unnecessary turns the book takes and it only irks a reader. Despite all the shortcomings, the book makes for an interesting and smooth read.If you are tired and want to read something light and gripping, go for it.