Sunday 22 May 2016

मान ....

मान ....

पहचान एक छुपी हुई रखती हूँ...,
तूफान छुपे हज़ारों अंदर,बाहर शांत हूँ...!

अपने दोस्त की खुशियाँ को रख के तराजू में...,
 अपनी जान मैं दूसरे पलड़े में रखती हूँ...!

कुछ नहीं माँगा रब सेतो भला क्या माँगू बंदों से...,
शान नवाबों सी ,मुफलिसी में भी मैं आम रखती हूँ...!

ज़मीर को ज़िंदा रख कर, मुर्दों की इस बस्ती में...,
उसूलों का तेरे मैं मान रखती हूँ, ऐ जिंदगी...!!!


Friday 20 May 2016

BOOK REVIEW - “False Ceilings ‘ by Amit Sharma”

BOOK REVIEW - “False Ceilings ‘ by Amit Sharma”

​‘False Ceilings’ is an engaging and complex family saga story vides spread about generations and generations thereafter. It is the story of Shakuntala, a young girl, who has a surreal life despite of some harsh conditions in the beautiful town of pre-Independence Dalhousie when life changes completely because of the twist and turn of events. The story takes you on a wind whirl journey from beginning to end of her life and times, her children, grandchildren and beyond. The story explores India before the era of 1920s and spans to a period in the future till 2050. The tale moves ahead as India undergoes her own period of churning and progression. Indeed everybody will be able to find a part of them in the story, especially the who have a inclination towards history of India.

The story has certain incidents which are or were once a part of everybody's life.  The silly tiffs which curved into larger issues in family. The struggles and the lack of equation between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in turn poisoning the lives of many others on daily basis. The sensitive’ Aaryan’, who gets emotionally scarred from childhood. The enthusiasm of ‘Lipi’. The fate of Kanshi Ram, the suffering of ‘Kusum’, the terror of ‘Radha Devi’, the lack of confidence in ‘Vinod’ who is pulled between a wife and mother, the inefficacy of ‘Manohar’ and not to forget weakening of Shakuntala’s character.The story flows simply and the writing seems to come naturally to the author. The climax was quite interesting with twists and turns as they unfold. For that you need to read this book.

Now my Positive viewpoints:

The positives of the story are the primitiveness in the narration that impressed me. The author narrated the story in a very unique way; it seemed as if he is talking to the readers personally. The author has been successful enough to connect with the readers, I loved it, and I am sure that the target audience will love this book too.

Some suggestive points:

Although the narration of the story is wonderful but at some places the story becomes stagnant. When the story does move; it inches towards the end, to convey just a one line message that sums up the book. I feel the narrative was coming back to the same point after each change of scene without adding much to the story line. Final words:

  Overall if asked I would say this is a good book, perfect accompaniment to your weekend pastime. Overall I would say...this is a good job done by Author (Amit Sharma) … I would give 3 stars to this book.

Tuesday 10 May 2016

BOOK REVIEW - “Review of Getting Things Done ” by David Allen

Getting Things Done (also known as the GTD system) is a task management methodology. Before anyone of you dismiss this book as boring hear this: GTD changed my life about seven years ago when I read David Allen’s book and implemented his system. If you are a geeky isolated person like me and want to have more time to do the things you enjoy–and be able to enjoy them even more because you know you aren’t dropping the ball somewhere else–then indeed this book is meant for you.

Let me draw some light about what the GTD system is and what it could potentially do for you. After all, you aren’t visiting GeekDad to brush up on your task management skills; you are here because you share our passion for all things. Being a nerd is all about being able to spend time over things that truly matters to you. You can only manage to spend time doing this once your professional and personal commitments are met, and it is always easier said than done.

This book gives you an art of stress-free life It helps in getting control and management in your commitments and responsibilities under control. It helps you in being more focused

“Mind like water” is a phrase that David Allen uses often in this book. It means being able to have nothing on your mind except the present. It doesn’t mean you aren’t extremely busy, but it does mean that you no longer stressing out about “that thing.

Don’t stress over the tools and how to get started, just read the book and follow David Allen’s instructions, and in no time you too can be focusing on really important things. In order to know the tricks and bring them into practice grab a copy and unfold the magic.

Now my Positive viewpoints:

The entire book is about positivity and positive attitude towards life.

Some suggestive points:

Although the description of the book is wonderful but at some places it becomes stagnant. If the author has added up some life examples, it would have increased the interest of reader to great extend.

Final words:

  Overall if asked I would say this is a great book in order to change the positive attitude towards life. I would give it 4 stars.

Friday 6 May 2016

Author’s Interview- Questionnaire with Ketan Bhagat author of 'Child/God'

In series of interviews from Indian Literary World  is this month have one more featuring  author from Indian Literary World
Ketan Bhagat author of 'Child/God'

I am like any regular 38 year old MNC executive in Mumbai. Weekdays are about sometimes surviving till the weekend. Life is like a post-paid sim card where you know you are burning far more than your capacity and someday, somewhere you will have to pay a heavy price for it. Yet, for some unforeseen reason you play along.

Weekend is about somehow finishing all the piled up tasks to manage a few hours of solitude and downtime and life now becomes like a prepaid sim card which you try to consume with as much efficiency and balance as you know you have only that much capacity to give.

When I was young, I always thought adult life would be more around thinking hard during weekdays and not thinking at all during weekends. That’s how school life is. Strange, how real life is complete opposite of what it comes across in dreams. 

Questionnaire with Ketan Bhagat 

How did you first get involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?

People sometimes compliment me for my creativity. I, however, think that I am a philosopher hidden inside a stand up comedian. I first got involved in writing during my MBA days in Mumbai. A friend of mine was involved with a music channel and they needed scripts for a show. I cracked a few jokes at the audition and was selected. Helped me make good pocket money. After college, I left Mumbai and also this hobby.

Then years later, Chetan (my elder brother) dabbled into writing and ended up becoming the most popular and successful writer of his times. As Chetan kept climbing the popularity charts, many friends urged me as well to start writing again. But I wasn’t interested and was also scared. After all, my becoming a writer is akin to Abhishek Bachchan and Sohail Khan becoming actors J

Then five years ago I came back to India and somehow became old, bored and thick-skinned enough to look inside me on what would interest me now. That’s when I decided to plunge into writing again.  

What do you find most challenging about your writing?

My biggest challenge is to write something that I am proud of.

Nowadays it is also becoming about meeting expectations of the people. By the grace of God, ‘Child/God’ has garnered loads of appreciation. The flipside is that now people just won’t compare me with Chetan Bhagat but also my own past work.

What do you do when you are not writing?

A regular MNC job and motivational lectures keep my schedule fairly busy. I am also a serious student of the Holy Geeta. Bulk of my non-writing time goes in these three pursuits. 

Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?

Honestly, no idea.

Five years ago, my life was totally different from what it is today. Five years prior to that, my life was totally different from what it was five years ago and what it is now.

That’s the fun and that’s the scary thing about life.

How do you keep coming up with material / content for your story?

By observing my own life and those of people around me. Every person in this world is the protagonist of his story. Just be a willing audience and he would be happy to show you the entire movie J

Though my stories are fictional, they are inspired from real life people and events. The philosophy is also inspired from the Holy Geeta.

Any specific tips you have for new writers who want to make it big in the world of published books?

Nobody in life can plan to become big in anything. You can only aspire and work towards it. I meet successful people from many fields – entrepreneurs, writers, actors, singers, speakers, teachers, students, corporate executives, etc. – and till date I haven’t met anyone who knew how much successful and how much failure awaits us. Try as much as we might, life has a way of overwhelming us.

So do not write to become a celebrity. That is incidental. Write only when you have such a strong urge within that you have no choice but to write to be normal.

What’s the best thing a writer can give to his readers?

A fresh perspective. A writer and a reader have a strange relationship. They are complete strangers who usually never even speak to each other. Yet, a writer through his story can penetrate into the soul of a reader, an area where sometimes even the closest loved ones are not allowed.

A lot of people are interested in writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?

If you want to make money, writing is probably the last thing you should do. You have better chance of becoming a millionaire by visiting casinos than offices of publishers J

What motivates you most in life?

The Holy Geeta.

The majority of the readers tend to take sides due religion and such other considerations.

Nope. The best thing about novels is that there is no censor board. Unless you are a celebrity writer like Salman Rushdie or Chetan Bhagat, you can get away with writing anything on anything.

What is the story behind the name of your book?
‘Child/God’ is a choice of perspective. A newborn baby can be viewed either a tiny, helpless, ignorant infant or as a manifestation of the almighty wise God. The 35 year old protagonist of my story views his 3 month old child as his guru and so refrains from teaching him anything. Rather he tries to learn the meaning of life from the child. His wife, on the other hand, views the same child as someone who needs to be taught the ways of the world. 

What are your views on increasing plagiarism?

It’s just a reflection of today’s mindset where results matter more than the means. Denial of someone’s right isn’t an issue anymore. Not being able to sell is an issue. So much that the one who sells is the star. Not the one who creates!

Three examples:

We live in times where the villains of the movie, for example Batman series in Hollywood and Dhoom series in Bollywood, are much more glamorous, cool and suave than the heroes.

We live in times where we do not know the names of JNU toppers but definitely know the president of their student union who has gone to jail.

We live in times where the biggest salesman of the anti-corruption movement is now a chief minister and much more popular than the actual creator of the movement.

Plagiarism is just the tip of the iceberg! The mindset of decoupling ‘means’ to ‘ends’ is going to produce a lot more innovative crimes in times to come. 

Thursday 5 May 2016


So, for this month  featuring  author from Indian Literary World  is 

Anurag Anand for many famous books Like:- Pillars of Success, 2004, Love on 3 Wheels and more

An MBA in Marketing and HR, my corporate career began in 2002. Since then I have held positions in Marketing with some of the renowned names in Financial Services and FMCG sectors. I am presently heading the Learning & Development vertical for a beverage major in Gurgaon.

Personally, I am a fun-loving person who likes to lead life by the day. Meeting new people and traveling to new geographies is my passion and I am a keen sports enthusiast. While for most of my awake hours I am somewhat of an extrovert, there are times when I prefer my share of quiet and solitude as well.

Questioniare with Anurag Anand 

How did you first get involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?

I have been an imaginative person for as long back as I can remember. Even as a child I would weave stories involving the world and the people surrounding me. However, these stories would usually remain within my head barring some arbitrary entries for publication in my school magazine. I have always been an avid reader and perhaps the stories I read were responsible for planting the bug of writing in my impressionable mind.

However, my first published work (Pillars of Success, 2004) was more an outcome of circumstances than sheer intent. My job took me to a city that was previously alien to me. I had no family there and friends were hard to come by. Most people at work were elder and had a family to account for their weekends, but for me. Thus, it was the need to do something – preferably productive – with my time that got me down to penning my first manuscript. The rest, as they say, is history.  

What do you find most challenging about your writing?

The most challenging part about writing is the perseverance needed to complete a manuscript that one has started working on. Often when I am in the midst of a story, its characters and flow keep playing and refining themselves within my mind. And if for some reason – occupational demands or otherwise – this thread connecting me with the plot snaps, it becomes difficult to re-establish it. Hence, I try and ensure that I devote some time for writing at least 2-3 days in a week to avoid landing up with yet another incomplete manuscript on my hands.   

What do you do when you are not writing?

When I am not writing (or engrossed in office work) I try to spend some quality time with my family, especially my daughter, or I can be found in my bed cuddled up with an interesting read.

Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
In the next six months I don’t expect much to change with respect to my writing. I would probably have written a series of short stories for a Gurgaon based magazine and would probably be immersed in crafting my next novel. Over the next five years I hope to have diversified to other mediums – namely, television and digital media – to tell my stories.

How do you keep coming up with material / content for your story?

The material lies strewn all around us. Each day in our lives we meet characters and settings that are interesting in their own unique way. One simply needs to be more observant so as to be able to draw inspiration from them. 

Any specific tips you have for new writers who want to make it big in the world of published books?

Yes – don’t start writing with the premise of wanting to make it ‘big’. Writing is an art, and as artists it is our duty to approach our work with utmost sincerity and dedication. If you are able to achieve this, you will probably end up with a work that will talk for itself.

What’s the best thing a writer can give to his readers?

A smile, a tear or an angry frown! A piece of writing which is able to elicit an emotional reaction from its readers can be said to have fulfilled its purpose.

A lot of people are interested in writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?

While English writing in India has picked up over the past few years, opening new doors of opportunities for aspiring authors, it has also had severe implications on the commercial aspects of writing. Absolute number of books bought by readers (or sold) has not increased in the same proportion as the number of new titles and authors being introduced. Consequently the same pie (commercially) is being split between many more claimants, making it increasingly difficult for new titles to reach out to a sizeable number of readers. Having said that, there are authors who, competition notwithstanding, are able to differentiate their works and garner a healthy readership base for their books. Hence, to my mind, an author must spend more time in shaping his work than worrying about ways and means to market it. A good book will eventually find its base of readers and rake in the moolah for its author whereas a run of the mill piece will forever struggle to achieve commercial viability.    

What motivates you most in life?

I try and look for motivation in the journey towards achieving a goal rather than the goal itself. Like, in case of writing, I enjoy the process of writing and that is what motivates me to keep going. At a more collective level, it is the smiles I am able to bring about on the faces of those who matter in my life that drives me.

What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your writing?

Unfortunately my day job does not permit me as much time as I would have liked for promoting my books. So, my actions in this regard are largely limited to organizing launch events, some basic PR initiatives and social media communication/ promotions. Beyond this I largely depend on my publishers for marketing my books, especially by way of blog reviews and participation in literary festivals and events.

What was the most challenging moment in your writing content development process and why?

The most challenging moment was when I was working with a renowned Bollywood director towards recreating the story of ‘The Legend of Amrapali’ in a celluloid friendly version. When there are two creative minds working on the same canvas, it can be difficult to find points of convergence on every matter under discussion. Also, as an author of the base story, it was not easy for me to let go of the plot twists or characters that I had so laboriously crafted.

Everyone has a favourite / least favourite poet. Name yours and why?

Every artist puts his heart and soul behind his works and thus it wouldn’t be fair for me to term any of them as my ‘least favourite’. However, my favourite poet would be Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan. His collection of verses – Madhushala – captures the nuances of life in one of the most melodious forms that I have come across. 

Name some of the writers whom you look up to and why?

P G Wodehouse – for his crisp sense of humour, Erle Stanley Gardner – for his sheer tenacity, Franz Kafka – for giving a whole new meaning to morbid hopelessness and Cartoonist Pran – for blessing a whole generation of Indian children with characters like Chacha Chaudhary, Billu and Pinki.     

What is the story behind the name of your book? 

Well, I would urge you to read the book and find out for yourself. However, the one thing I can promise you is that the title (Love on 3 Wheels) has a definite connect with the story line. And if by any chance you are not able to figure it out, please feel free to reach out to me for a complete refund.  

Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?

Text books and poetry. Text books, because of all the hate they draw from those students who are forced to read them, and poetry because of its limited commercial reach. Many of us like reading meaningful couplets – and sharing them on our social media pages too – but when it comes to spending money behind a collection of the same, the numbers decline more sharply than the blade of a sword.

Five adjectives that describe you?

Enterprising, lively, go-getter, romantic, approachable

What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I had first read the book when I was still in middle school – it had taken me a long-long time to run through the thick pile of pages. It was this book that taught me the strength of characterization. As a rule I don’t read a book more than once and I haven’t read Atlas Shrugged again either, but its characters and their images remain fresh in my mind till this day.

Do you get easily provoked by positive / negative comments?

I would be lying if I said that I remain unaffected by the praise or criticism that my writing garners. A spurt of elation or a fit of fury, as the comments might warrant, is but natural. Only, I have been consciously trying to mellow down my reactions and keep away from extremities. 

Do you plan to write more books, as every author dream it is?

Of course, I will continue to write for as long as I enjoy writing.

Are you a judgmental person, do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?

I am instinctively an aggressive person. Thus, my hard wiring is towards clearly aligning myself with one of the warring factions in case of a conflict. However, with time I have begun to realize the futility of it and instead I now try and look at things from a more neutral viewpoint. Perhaps that’s what they call maturity. 

What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?

I love reading crime fiction. However, when it comes to self-help genre I tend to get pretty selective about what I read.

Your Views on increasing plagiarism?

Plagiarism has always existed and I can’t state with certainty if it has increased in the recent past. It is an evil and there’s no debating that. Only, there is a long way to go before we have adequate systems and processes in place to curb it completely. Till then, each one to his own, I guess.