Tag Archives: Life

Scammed: Confessions of a Confused Accountant- Book Review


Author: Anonymous
Publisher: Grey Oak/Westland
Price: 175/-
Pages: 175

This book caught my attention especially due to the interesting title and a more interesting the anonymous author. The book is a story of a small but ambitious accountant, Hitesh Patel, in a large audit firm, who gets into the maze of political & corporate sleaze to rise to the stardom as the rising youth icon, and entrepreneur. The story takes dramatic turn with Hitesh where he is finding to firm his feet in the new founded success while trying to find a worthy life partner.

While rising to all the success, Hitesh’s world turns upside down, when he gets trapped in a political turmoil involving his company amidst a corporate scam, a murder and a falling government. A time where all his friends and his well wishers turned their back on him, leaving him to face this all alone. This is story of a boy with middle class values and ambition to fight and survive all this sleaze, his story of finding true friendship and love in life.

The simplicity of the book works very well for the reader and the characterizations are well done. The pace of the story is really fast and the author doesn’t take too much time get to ravel the plot, the events unfold at a pace that the author manages to retain the reader’s interest throughout the story.  The only downside with the book I felt was that it climaxed a bit early, the unravelling of the plot happened a bit too quickly. I was hoping some details and further characterization would be in place to show the strength of the character of the protagonist. Overall the book is a light hearted spicy page turner covering corporate and young middle class ambitions. A very good read for the someone looking to experience the new age Indian literature.

Summary: A good book with new look at the corporate world and the world of sleaze and political funding in corporate. A light and interesting read, must pick up for someone looking for a book to read during travel.

Rating: 7.5/10

PS: I have changed my rating scales from 5 to 10 to ensure I can have better reflection on books which are very close

 

Love, Friends & A Little Chocolate Cake

I think this commercial totally cuts across the human mindset. I could so much relate to the fact that how we can get so involved with our future aspirations that we always forget to indulge and enjoy the present. The fact that aspirations keep on rising and so does our age; sometimes we find that the time has simply passed and we didn’t even had a glimpse of how it.
Recently I celebrated my 30th birthday, which made me realize that it has been a long time since I have been gracing the mother earth with my esteem presence. I feel that I too have been responsible for trying to run the rat race behind the perfect life. It started from the first position in the class to percentages in the board examinations, lead me to fight for an engineering seat and then an MBA degree. When I thought the fight was over it started all over again for the high paying jobs, better designation, buying a car and a house. And after all that it still continues for a better car, second home, exotic vacations, larger pay checks, and still larger egos. I was wondering is it all that my life has been about? Are these the things which define me, me as an individual as a person? Are these the most significant things in my life?
Surprisingly the answer to all the above questions is a big NO, surprisingly these things are which matter the least. If you have made the right choices and been sincere to what you have done in life, sooner or later all these things fall into the place. What make the life different is how you made the people around you feel, and how the people touched you and your life? The fact that you have felt love and friendship in your life; the feeling where you know with or without the “social perks” you would still be loved and cherished for who you are make all the difference in the world.
I can’t help feeling so blessed and lucky to have felt all of the above in these 30 years. On this birthday, Wifee and my friends planned a surprise where they all will come at 12 in the night to wish me. They meticulously planned almost every detail and people re-arranged their schedule to make it at the right time. Now, being one smart a** that I am, I had already got a whiff and was able to predict almost what was being planned by Wifee & the friends. As soon as they all gathered outside the hall, Wifee had left the door unlatched when everybody dashed in startling me while wishing Happy Birthday. It was such an over whelming moment and a very happy one too. Life is not worth without love & friendship surrounding you to make you feel special.
Though I claimed that it was my instincts and eye for detail that I actually was able to guess they were coming. But one thing which I didn’t confess was that more than the instincts and eye for detail it was my longing and faith in them that helped me do it. I was so sure that neither the Wifee nor my friends would let my birthday go by without making me feel special. I guess it was my anticipation of them as a part of my life and my trust in them, which they not only kept but also pushed it higher than I could have thought, that made me sense their plans.
So there was a bash and a lot of fun, and yes I was not surprised as the Wifee and the friends have expected it. But then sometimes not being surprised can be much more rewarding and comforting than anything else in the world. Having a Wife who would love you beyond you can imagine, having friends who can make a dull evening to a bright sunshine. With pleasures like these life is good and then sometimes we add a little extra chocolate cake to it.

When the Legends Passed Away

It is strange that how some people can impact your lives, minds and philosophy without even meeting you. It has been a sad month for me, two legends, Jagjit Singh and Steve Jobs, who had a great impact on me during my growing years, passed away this month.

I have always looked up to Steve Jobs for inspiration based on whatever I read about him. To be honest I became a fan of Steve Jobs only after listening reading the transcript of his famous commencement address in Stanford, and who wouldn’t after hearing the awe inspiring stories of connecting the dots and staying hungry and staying foolish. I think I have tweeted this before but if you haven’t heard or read this address you are missing something in life. You can read the address here or watch it here.

Some of my favourtie quotes from Steve Jobs which would I have inspired me time and again –

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” – Inc. Magazine

“Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?”

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

“And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.”

“Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

“I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building.”

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” – Fortune, Nov. 9, 1998

“If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago.”

The influence of Jagjit Singhji started very early in my life, I guess I was 13 years old. That was the first time I was introduced to the Ghazal Maestro and the music genre called Ghazal. Since that day Ghazals and Jagjit SInghji’s voice owned a part of my soul. A lot of Ghazals sung by him defined my idea of life, love and sacrifices at a very early stage. They also made me experience extreme emotional situations through his ghazals without actually facing them in life. I truly believe that Jagjit Singh and his songs made me a matured and sensible person which I am.

Signing out with lyrics of my favorite Ghazal by Jagjit Singh-

“Baazeecha-ae-atfaal hai duniyaa mere aage, Hota hai shab-e-roz tamaashaa mere aage

Hotaa hai niha gard mein seharaa mere hote, Ghisataa hai jabi Khaak pe dariyaa mere aage

Mat poochh ki kyaa haal hai meraa tere pichhe, Tu dekh ke kyaa rang hai tera mere aage

Imaan mujhe roke hai jo khinche hai mujhe kufr, Kaabaa mere piichhe hai kalisa mere aage

Go haath ko jumbish nahin aankhon mein to dam hai, Rahane do abhi saagar-o-meena mere aage”

RIP Jagjit Singh ji & Steve Jobs, the world will miss both of you legends

It's Time To Tab

I have always wondered that how fast the world has changed around us, a few years ago the words and conversations had an entirely different meaning.  The tablets were something we dreaded when the doctors prescribed them, Galaxy was a collection of Stars, Tab was just a key above caps lock on the keyboard, honeycomb always came from the bees and if anyone told you about Samsung, one might have asked ‘Sam Who ?’

Things have changed now tablets are a form of computers, Samsung is one of the most respected and tech savvy corporations in the world, Galaxy is a series of smart devices, honeycomb is a mobile operating systems now made by the geeks instead of the bees, and Tab has an absolutely new definitions which looks like this-

So as you would be aware that the Galaxy Tab 750 India launch happened yesterday and there is a contest going where one gets to be the Samsung Mobiler. So I am supposed to write a blogpost about the feature that excites me the most, and this is what is the most difficult part. The Tab does has a lot of features all well explained on the Samsung Website here (http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxytab/10.1/feature.html) and to make the matters worse each of them is as exciting as the other. After seeing the launch and viewing the website I was still unable to decide what feature excites me the most. This is when I felt that the feature that excited me about the Tab wasn’t listed anywhere but was in my mind and it was nothing but how well a Tab would seamlessly fit in my normal lifestyle.

I think that is what takes the piece of cake when it comes to Tab, where it effortlessly slips as a part of our lifestyle while adding efficiency and zing to it. So this is how a Galaxy Tab fits in the life of management consultant by the day and a writer by the night.

Day Start-

6:00 AM- Wake up on the Alarm set up in Galaxy Tab, have a look at the time, weather updates right at the home page.
6:30 AM – Mild Cardio with the favorite music playing in the background  on the Galaxy Tab.

7:45 AM- Have breakfast, check the latest news, and updates on twitter, facebook on the Tab. Also keep a track of daily diet and calories taken on the fitness app of Androind on the Galaxy Tab.

8:15 AM- Take the office shuttle/bus while checking emails and reading newspapers on the Galaxy Tab

9:00 AM- Start working while attaching my Galaxy Tab to the keyboard dock.

10:00 AM- Conference call with the client again happening on the Galaxy Tab with the front camera and  a portable high quality 10.1” 149 ppi screen .
 

11:00 AM- Check Emails and update statuses and on various social media platforms on the Galaxy Tab
1:00 PM – Lunch

2:00 PM – Rush for a meeting with the client, carry the final document and presentation in the Tab. Review and give final touches to the presentation using the powerful office features of the Galaxy Tab

5:00 PM- Travel back home, while streaming the highlights of the match or surfing the web on the Galaxy Tab
6:00 PM- Reach home and watch a movie or couple of episodes of FRIENDS on Galaxy Tab in full HD while having a cup of coffee

 

8:00 PM – Dinner

9:00 PM- Retire to bed with your Galaxy Tab with your book in the Readers Hub getting engrossed while you actually turn the pages on the Tab.

10:00 PM- Go to sleep waiting for a brand new day

So for someone like me a gadget like Galaxy Tab fits into my life almost every hour when I am awake and to do that all I need to do is keep this 8.6 mm thick tablet which weighs at 565 grams all the time with me. No wonder for me whatever time of day we talk about “It’ Time To TAB

All Images Sourced from Samsung Galaxy Tab Website

25 Things To Do In Bangalore

Saw this post at Ratzz on things to do in the city you live in. Found it quite interesting, and since that I have lived in a lot of cities I might do it for some which I know well. So here is a list of 25 things to do when you are in Bangalore.

1-      Take a walk on the Brigade Road on a Saturday evening

2-      Eat Masala Dosa at Vidhyarthi Bhavan

3-      Take a stroll across the Lal Bagh

4-      Watch the sunrise over Nandi Hills

5-      Have a ride in the Red Volvo busses

6-      Do some window shopping at UB City Mall

7-      Have a cup of coffee in silver tumblers at Maiyas or MTR

8-      Have a Kingfisher beer  at Dewars’ the oldest bar in the beer capital

9-      Take a drive through electronic city or Whitefield to see the pulse of technology hotspots

10-   Visit the Vidhan Sabha of Karnataka on Sunday evenings or on Public holiday evenings when the lighting is on

11-   Have an authentic Uttar Kannada meal at Kamat Lokaruchi (pref on Mysore Road)

12-   Have a Gobhi(Cauliflower) Manchurian from the street peddler

13-   On a rainy evening get out for drive in cars around 6 in the evening to have a real taste of Bangalore traffic

14-   Take a stroll across the Cubbon Park

15-   Shop for Kaveri Handicrafts or Sandalwood in Majestic

16-   Have a drink at ‘The Thirteenth Floor’ followed by dinner at ‘Ebony’ Retaurant overlooking the skyline of Banglore

17-   Visit Visvesvariya Industrial & Technical Museum

18-   Visit the 16th century Bull Temple

19-   Visit the Blossoms Book Store if you are a book lover

20-   Visit the Rangashankara for a splendid theatrical performances

21-   Have piping hot Idlis at Brahmins

22-   Have a trip to Wonder La amusement park

23-   Have some gourmet cakes and pastries at Sugar & Spice, the patisserie at the Taj Vivanta at Trinity Circle.

24-   Spot some wildlife and animals at Bannerghatta National park

25-   Just take a walk in the evenings reminiscing the weather and if you are lucky there would be mild a drizzle soothing your face anywhere and anytime in Bangalore

Well this from someone who has been here in this city for close to two years, so if you folks have got to add something on Bangalore the comments is an open house.

10 Day You Challenge- Day 3: 8 Fears

So I am back with 8 fears I have; which is a bit tricky because I am not sure that I am actually afraid of that many things or people.

1- God– actually it is not God that I fear, but the fact that I believe that I have to face him after death and justify my actions and their purpose makes me afraid of doing something which I believe I won’t be able to justify to my lord.

2- Death– Though death is an ultimate reality which everyone has to face one day or the other, but the thought of losing my family & close ones to death is very scary.

3- Physical Incapacitation- I have always feared the prospect of taking care of myself physically because either being disabled due to an accident or old age. I have been pretty close to the first one when I met with an accident when I was 12 years old and met a major accident, and the doctor told me that had there been some more complications or injury they would have removed my left hand, the prospect of it though it never happened leaves jitters down my spine.

4- Fear of disappointing people who matter, I have done it before and that too more than once. There is nothing worse than letting down people who put their trust and faith on you and your abilities. I have been lucky to have been blessed with people who love me and put their trust on me and there is always a fear that even by mistake I shouldn’t let down that trust and faith.

5- Fear of Social Gatherings– I am not sure if I fear social gatherings or despise them. But the fact of the matter is if there is a plan to go to a social function I would always find an excuse to excuse myself.

6- Fear of snakes and other venomous animals

7- Fear of missing a flight or train– If I have a flight or a train for a journey, I am always afraid that I might miss the same. As a matter of fact there have been times I have not been able to sleep through the entire night just because I had to catch an early morning flight.

8- Fear of handling small babies– I get very psyched out and avoid holding very small babies. I have a great fear that I might hold the babies incorrectly or might drop them or hurt them. So I always ensure that if there is small baby around I do not hold him or her.

10 Day You Challenge- Day 2: 9 Loves


So day 2 of the 10 day you challenge is to post about 9 loves. Actually when I decided to do this challenge I thought it would be quite simple but as it seems now it wasn’t. I mean there are so many things one loves, and choosing 9 of them is indeed difficult.

1- My Parents, needless to say I am what I am because of them. And how much I love them cannot be described in words.

2- The Wifee since the time we got married ours have been a “give and take” relationship. She generally gives her piece of mind and I seem to be taking it most of the time. Now that I am taking all the pieces of mind (wondering what would happen when she wouldn’t be left with any) and storing them safely in my mind despite all the storage constraints in mine is only because I love her so much.

3- My Friends, now I couldn’t have survived without them. I am lucky to have a very close bunch of friends who I can depend on with my life. I am so thankful to lord, that my paths crossed the way they did and I could collect these pearls of friendship during the journey of my life.

4- My Car – There as in entire post dedicated to my first car. You can read about it here

5- My house– Again there is a post about it if you want to read it in detail here

6- My gadgets, I am a gadget lover I have an Ipod Touch, WII, PSP (recently gifted by Radio Indigo), Home Theatre, Canon Rebel T1i, and the list continues. All of the gadgets are something which I totally love and I can spend hours fiddling with them.

7- Coffee, now my love for coffee has been previous talked about on this blog and some other forums. I actually have a make shift coffee bar at home with an espresso machine, single origin coffees, flavors to enhance coffee and a collection of mugs.

8- My books, the readers of this blog would already know the amount of reading I do and I can assure you that I do not subscribe to a library or a rental service. So for the most part the books I read are purchased and I have a mini library at home. And as with all book lovers I am very possessive about my books.

9- My writing and this blog. All the stuff which I have written in this blog or in my books or outside it, I wrote them because I actually loved writing it. The writing is my way to express and unwind myself. I wouldn’t have been the person I am had it not been for my writing.

So these were the 9 people/things I love. Now on a different note, the narcissist I am it is very difficult not to love myself. So I love myself, for one simple reason I am effin’ awesome. Now those of you planning to debate that please look at the image below, by a “trusted website” who does a facial recognition and matches you to celebrities. I am 53% like George Clooney. So you know I AM AWESOME (readers are requested to conveniently ignore the fact that there is a 55% match with Omar Sharif). So I just need to lose these extra 20 kilos around my waist to become the female magnet what George Clooney is, right people?

10 Day You Challenge- Day 1: 10 Secrets


Preeti started doing this series of tags which is to posts interesting things about her. The idea seems interesting to be on the blog; so I start with 10 secrets (things which the readers of the blog won’t know) about myself-

1- I once disposed off my school test notebooks when I got terrible marks and later claimed to the teacher that the notebooks were stolen. (I was caught 3 months later when one of the neighbors whose empty house I had thrown away the notebooks came to inspect the house and duly returned the notebooks to my parents after spotting the name)

2- I have a sweet tooth; it is very difficult for me to resist something sweet. Some years back when my weight wasn’t a concern I would not even throw away the sweet syrup from the gulabjamuns and rashogollas but rather drink them or have them with bread or chapatti

3- On the same note, I can have almost everything vegetarian with bread, which includes things like chocolate, butter jam, fruits, sugar syrup, lentils, milk, cereals etc. I can eat bread for 7 days a week 3 times a day.

4- I have never been a sportsman or followed any sports religiously until I started working and started playing squash and following cricket, and tennis.

5- I wrote my first poem when I was in class fourth, my class teacher told to my parents that I am good in writing. Though I couldn’t figure out what one can do by writing poems. Thankfully I didn’t choose it as a career given the state of English poetry writers in India and sadly I don’t have a copy of the first poem I wrote.

6- The following sets are in my wish buy list for ages- Calvin & Hobbes, Dilbert and Amar Chitra Katha.

7- I hate watching TV.

8- I created an Online game for my college fest which got some 1 million hits on the day of its launch. The entire experience of designing that game was so close to me that I still quote it as one of the most satisfying experience.

9- I have never touched a drop of liquor till date.

10- I hate people who do not take ownership and responsibility of their work.

Life is What You Make It- Preeti Shenoy

Author: Preeti Shenoy
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Price: 100/-

Life Is What You Make It (LIWYMI) is the latest book by Preeti Shenoy, and I was more than looking forward to it; not only because her last book was a bestseller but also because this was the first time she was moving away from (my perception of) her comfort zone. I have been following her blog since long and her last book was non-fiction 500 word blog-post like articles. So when her new book, LIWYMI was a piece of fiction I desperately wanted to read it and with Blogadda sending the book to me, all I had to do was sit on the couch and read it.

The book is a story of a girl named Ankita, and her life battling with conservative parents, multiple guys who fell in love with her, shifting her entire life from Cochin to Mumbai and on top of it an unknown ailment which was driving her life crazy. The story starts with Ankita’s first step in the adult life starting in the college. The story swiftly moves into her first experience with the love in a long distance relationship and a second with another guy she meets during her college. Her life changes when she gets through her MBA and her entire family shifts to Mumbai, where she attains the high point of her entire life and becomes a super achiever like nobody could keep her spirits down.

This is where the story changes track from the usual college tales, the protagonist, Ankita, gets in the grip of one of the most complicated and unheard of mental condition leading her to quit her visions of a great future and a successful corporate life. The book proceeds to become a tale of struggle to reclaim oneself, a tale of courage while fighting an unknown within, a tale of a survivor. The story keeps you engaged throughout the book while beautifully portraying multiple shades of the personality of a protagonist.

LIWYMI is an easy and pleasant read but what makes it outstanding is the message and intent behind the story which has more depth then usual college tale. The idea of spreading the awareness about a mental/psychological illness and the process of how it is cured makes this book great in real sense. Characterization and narratives are very real and are the strongest point of the book, the reader can relate so well with Ankita and her plight that one feels they the character is known to them since ages. The pace of the book is uneven, where first half of the book is a bit slow and goes in great detail while her time in Mumbai and the period of her illness are pretty fast paces, which keeps it interesting but on the same time leaves the readers with some unanswered questions around the condition and the character.

Overall LIWYMI is a fresh tale with substance, from an Indian Author, without losing the charm of the story. The book ends on a positive note giving a message or optimism and hope in most difficult of circumstances. The book leaves you with a sense of empathy and concern for people suffering from various psychological disorders and makes you aware of the plight a patient of such condition might face.

Summary: A nice realistic tale with substance around psychological ailments. A light but still substantial read. Every bit worthy of the time the reader would spend reading. A must read for people who prefer realistic tales of courage and internal struggle told through fiction.

Rating:  4 / 5

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