Category Archives: Motivation

One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat #bookreview

One Indian Girl

You got to give it to Chetan, for once there is a semblance of the characters and not much melodrama which we found in his earlier works or atleast thats what I thought so. To be fair I have read all his works even the non fiction he wrote. His work as a screenplay writer is very much in display as much as he has worked on the characters.

The story is that of Radhika who is working in a financial MNC and is rising up the ladder and ofcourse in those times of her life going from the Indianess to being the global woman that she becomes, this is a story which is narrated in the first person.

I loved the character and its doesnt seem like Radhika is a girl in the way she approaches life and also makes it liek she is living her life on her own terms. I am sure there are many Radhikas in here and probably you do know some.

The story is a well knit one, you dont have to keep tab. It opens in Goa and ends in Goa in a matter of some 48 hours and the past sprikled in measures and doesnt take much time to finish it. I finished it in one go over six hours. You don’t have to probably think about what is ahead sometimes its so predictable.

One thing which is presented well is the feminist approach and the author takes a middle path when the character in Brijesh who is supposed to marry Radhika says its more good to be human first.

I think the author has taken pains to define the feminist in the protagonist which I think was unnecessary. So too are the explicit scenes of love making which ideally could have been avoided. It looked like it has been planted.

On the other side I also wonder how a male feels when he is ditched, thats for another day.

But like I said this is a nice presentation and going by Chetan’s way of teaching English in his conversational style this is a nice book to read.

A fast paced love story gone wrong in the corporate corridors and a great deal on woman’s perspective of how she thinks and feels. I would give it a 3.5 stars on 5.

The characterisation of all the players in this book are worthwhile and you can easily relate to some characters you have come across.

Senthilkumar

Friendships are for life… Yaroon Ki Baraat!

Three idiots

Three Idiots 😛 L to R: GopaKumar, Me & Karthikeyan

It’s been long years of friendship, say we have known each other for over 30 years and except for a brief period in between we have always been in touch. When we look back, it has not been the one of the best goody type besties we are known for, but what we know of each other is the fact that we respect each other for what each one is, as an individual, probably that makes this relationship more special.

We talk about the people in our lives and also about those who missed out on that. Quite often we share the same empathy when it comes to people and their issues and how we can help.

We were a generation which sang this song Mustafa Mustafa…

We have been through tough times, some real tough times literally in terms of personal (esp mine) and professional life. And through that we could take in what is the best and come out trumps and even today those are the moments that we relish simply because we didn’t have control over what was happening but yes we stood our ground to do what we intended and only what we love to do.

An ideal situation which presented before us to say: times do change. A tea stall / bakery that we used to frequent and a part time office place in our not so good days is now replaced by a big apartment, a telling fact that times do change and we should not lose hope. Being together in testing times perhaps is the most important thing for us. Probably that event taught us that change is the only constant.

The careers changed for better and now we are entrepreneurs (so I think) and professionals in a way. The practical aspect of running a business and the way how it affects your looking at life is also another lesson we both learnt in different spheres and contexts.

I know friendship across ages has defined only one thing for sure- being trustworthy and reliable and more so to be frank if you ask me. Those traits make or break a relationship. Standing by you is a phrase you will understand when the worst happens and there are people standing beside you inspite of all things broken around you.

kuselanThis would have been a slice of life for every one in the world. There is a beautiful and a successful movie in Malayalam titled – Kadhaparayumbol starring veteran actor Mamooty and the most versatile Srinivasan in lead roles. Perhaps the untold story there is that Mamooty donning a super star role as Ashokan has his friend in his memories ever so long. That he decides to bare his past to the audience is the climax that makes people teary eyed making it must watch movie. So moved was the Superstar Rajnikanth that he wanted it remade in Tamil which unfortunately bombed at the box office.

It might not be that the friendship is a toast or talk of the town but the richness lies in it being simple or in its simplicity sometimes. And that you can be taken for granted inspite of years that go by even without being in contact.

Wedding...L to R: Me, Gopa & Suresh

Now I am waiting to watch the stories of friendship that made the silver screens much larger than life and people longed to see the duos winning every time in reel and in real. ZEE TV’s Yaaron Ki Baraat looks promising to give us some real stories probably we have never heard before on friendship. The Show will celebrate friendship through a test and fun way and I can easily imagine how its gonna be on screen. Quite possible for the fact that we have taken friendship for granted.

PS: The two pictures at the dining hall are years apart but the common factor to it is having the lunch after the show is over. 🙂

My #ChotteKadam for a healthy heart with Saffolalife

I started my career as a copywriter and one day my senior told me we work from the head up – think. Sometimes, it’s been so true not even having to even get up while the coffee comes to your table.

The work style has changed since then, but the age has got the better of me. The place where I work now has two wonderful human beings and they believe that doing exercise is an assault on nature.

Coimbatore Marathon

So the last year we actually enrolled to run the Coimbatore Marathon and successfully did the 5KM run. This year we missed the deadline with each one at the different places.

But last few days have been a revealing process, I have been to hospital for different reason to visit people and also sometimes on occasions like slight fever not to mention the panic about even the normal fever that grips these days.

I have noticed I have put in a lot of weight literally some 4 kgs from the last time. It might be an easy joke to say round is also a shape. But it has some very dark secret inside that shape. And that shape isn’t for the likes of the heart!

Whenever, I promise to wake up at the time that the alarm goes, the promise goes for a toss. Then one day I realised that its not going to work. So get to work the way we can in small measures, yes that can ofcourse not be compensated the way you hit a treadmill, but yes calories counts a lot and if you can stop that it is a #ChotteKadam for sure.

Some of the #ChotteKadams now in practice

1. No Chai shop visits.
2. Eat only home food, I have been doing this maximum time possible.
3. Walk short distances whenever possible.
4. Make black chai at office.
5. Oily food to be avoided.
6. Opt for low cholesterol food.

So it’s true when they wrote a journey of thousand miles starts with a small steps. But those small steps need to be sure ones and steadily we can go about having them made into real results.

Some more things which can be more positive about healthy life will be to be associated with people who care for their health both physical and mental. So check out friends who are health conscious and be around them I am sure thats gonna be infectitous in many ways.

There are some more easy and chotta kadams that can make you hale and hearty. Get a fitness band, you know what you are doing with your fitness, it gives you an estimate of how much physical activity you undertake in basic ways as in steps and distance covered. Increase them by a few steps or few metres distance to make it count.

There are lots of bands that don’t cost so much even an MI Band would do to start off. Probably if you decide to be on a serious note go for GOQii with a subscription that gives you an access to a personal coach. That makes it really committed simply because someone is watching over you.

Ok heres the last but one effective morale bossting stuff I have come across, so how many days of an activity becomes a habit, scientifically they say if you can do it over 38 days you can continue to do it forever.

I usually say make it count as day 1 everyday and it will last a year!

As for being happy, let me tell you something its your birth right and no one can take it away from you.

So here’s to the #ChottaKadam that you want to take.

I am joining the Saffolalife #ChhoteKadam initiative in association withBlogAdda and follow these small steps for a healthy heart.

Best Sports biopic in Bollywood

I know this week saw MS Dhoni the Untold story release. It might be nice to sit and watch the movie with Sushant Singh donning the lead role and doing the batting with a flourish like only MS Dhoni can do.

Travel back some days if you remember the flying Sikh, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and the way Farhan Akthar transformed himself to get to the speed Milkha Singh did. It’s not that easy as donning a regular role for any other kind of movie. These characters are about grit and determination and getting to the role in the finesse that can be seen physically tough and emote the way as a sports man would be a great stuff.

The likes of Mary Kom and Milka Singh is a great inspiration for biopics, and this trend should continue so that many generation to come can have a look at how these greats contributed to the sports.

Also some bio pics like Azhar could have been handled better in my view. The Dhoni becoming a raging success is an attribute to the man himself.

But what of those sweat and training of the likes of Priyanka who did the Mary Kom part or Sushant Singh Rajput who did Dhoni or Farhan Akthar who did Bhaag Milka Bhaag.

It needs the same strength and tensile ability to bring life to those characters which would be lifeless without the intensity that comes to ghe fore in a real sport. That perhaps is the challenge that these actors come upto. Farhan Akthar’s role as Milka Singh will remain one of the best performances in his career as an ode to the man who missed the medal.

Coming back to Sushant Singh here, he really would have loved being a cricketer after the movie it can easily be judged not  as to how he has evolved as an actor but as a cricketer. I would bet if he can be bought over in a an IPL he would be an easy target from some of the best teams.

Imagine getting into Captain cools shoes, you will know what I am talking about. Probably getting to terms in executing a helicopter shot would perhaps been one of the biggest challenge that’s so Dhonisque.

The success of biopics is the ability to get the audience inspired and it need not be all the time at the movie but even if there is a 1% inspiration that counts because we don’t know how it will playout in an individuals life.

As regards the physical regimen it makes it all the more alluring and that’s one component that’s a lifetime for a sportsman but a year or so for the actor. Here read this story of Sushant Singh and  have a look at this video!

Faster, Smarter, Higher – Managing your career by Utkarsh Rai Book Review

faster-smarter-higher-managing-your-career-400x400-imaegbqs2rxytptr

  • Language: English
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Rupa Publications India
  • ISBN: 9788129137500, 812913750X
  • Edition: 2016
  • Pages: 199

A career crisis is a phase everyone goes through at some point in time of their life. The earlier one gets it, it makes you better to anticipate somethings for yourself. In this book the author Utkarsh Rai takes us through some of the most mind boggling times when we should have had the real experience of being faster, smarter and think higher.

The author has made the book into 8 parts and each one is a testament on how you can manage different sets of values and sometimes people.

  1. Managing Self
  2. Managing your Manager
  3. Managing your Team
  4. Managing your Peers
  5. Managing your Managers Boss
  6. Managing Managers Peers
  7. Managing Others
  8. Managing the Acrobatics of the future.

The book provides ample insights in giving us the solutions in the form of What can you do? Quite often it’s this question that needs to be answered and that’s how it is done.

The book quotes extensively from the experience and situations which we may come across and this holds very true in case of people to people interaction we may come across in the daily routine.

I think this is an encapsulation in a very fine format which young budding managers need to learn a bit especially about managing their managers and their peers, this I think is a very new way to look at the career prospects and the people influencing the same.

The quotes which accompany the chapters are very thought provoking and mostly application driven and has the ability to propel you to achieve what you want in your career. In hindsight when I look back I feel things could have been different if I had read something like this before early in my career and it could have really made a difference.

I think this book is a go to guide for you whenever you need to go back and check and how you need to work on the situations that you come across. It’s more about people and how we manage them to get the best out of them.

It’s a fast read in a sense but will hold your thoughts for a while and sometimes you might take time to digest and flip through to the next page.

Another aspect is the simple straight talking language that is akin to speaking straight to you, making you comfortable and talking to you in a way that makes it easy to understand and help ourselves.

Pick this book and this will be an immense help for yourself and will turn to be a go to guide for times to come.

This review is a part of Flipkart Sponsored Book review program. To pick up your copy of this book just click here

Senthilkumar

Silent Valley – the reservoir of everything pristine…

This has been on the list and not that am a heavy traveller but I take the road leading to Silent valley whenever I am driving through the Palakkad Mannarghat Road. That has made me look through where I want to go.

This coupled with tales from friends have always had me in charm especially the way, the place is still intact or so they claim and I just want to witness the serenity and the overflowing green wetness they describe in just walking through the forest or getting your toes wet with small rivers across the valley.

Imagine this picture and I am sure you can imagine what I was trying to convey..

FOREST_BY_NIHAL_JABIN

Pic Courtesy By NIHAL JABINOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31595034

This is a no-mans’ land literally making it one of the most green spaces in the country with little to zero human imprint. The flora and fauna of the place are rich and some of them are in the list of endangered species.

It is one of the best case studies of human intervention and human might to conserve the forest and will remain so for times to come.

I would like to trek those accessible areas and places where we can just be the self. I am sure this place has the affinity to make you change the perception of life. Being in the midst of nature in a way that you cannot imagine.

It would be a great trip in the lap of nature and immerse yourself with the surroundings. I think this would be the real nirvana for a traveller who can see himself in the nature around him.

Imagining, I can actually feel the warmth flowing out of the wetness of the water and the music flowing through the rustle of the wind and brushing of the clothing against those green shrubs and twining climbers on the trees.

So its like I should get on this before I make the next trip on the Palakkad road which will not just be seeing the Silent Valley on the direction board but all the way ending up there in the lap of mother nature.

Ofcourse you need to check when you could visit and the ecosystem there is fragile as a glass you hold on a tight rope walk. But kudos to the project and people behind making this a one of a kind.

As a mythology fan this place has a Mahabharatha connect too. Well its the place where Panchali or Draupadi as we know her was in exile in the last year of their exile.

I am hoping to see the Macaque an endangered species, some antelope / deers and more of fauna and flora only at the Silent valley.

Pic Courtesy: http://www.nikhilchandra.in

I am sure this will happen sometime soon.

I am blogging about my dreams and passions for the Club Mahindra#DreamTrails activity at BlogAdda. You can get a Club Mahindra Membership to own your holidays!

Senthilkumar

The search for Indias Most Loved CEO

CEO

CEOs are of different varieties and what better way to recognise them than with a apt title of the India’s Most Loved CEO! There is a sense of excitement and a sense of pride when you see him across the table. A role model refined in a way that you always try to emulate him. All that and more happens. But now it’s time to express those emotions and unleash your love/respect for the CEO in a way make it memorable for both of you. There’s a hunt now for India’s Most Loved CEO. And you just need to nominate your most loved CEO and with real reasons ofcourse why you consider him or why your organisation considers him as the Most Loved one!

But hey wait am clueless as much as you are who this is going to be. Again who is the one, who gets to be the Most loved CEO. Answers to these questions will be there at http://www.indiasmostlovedceo.com/

So it’s time to log in http://www.indiasmostlovedceo.com/ and guess who is India’s most loved CEO. Lot of prizes await you, you could end up with a Moto G or Flipkart vouchers. Just not only that you could be featured on the website – your moment of fame beckons you.

That man in shining armour at the most important time in your life! That could be the best description of the most loved CEO. Now time to spread the word and participate in the process as they unveil them in a few days to go. You could share a bit on your CEO so the world joins in celebrating him.

On the other side am anxious, as much as you are to know how he is going to be selected and will that be a poll or nominations and more. It’s time to watch out and wait for the curtain to go up in 4 days and find out who is India’s Most Loved CEO.

Now what are you waiting go check out and see who is the one and only #IndiasmostlovedCEO…

As for nominations it’s not just the CEO that every company has, he is the CEO in real sense! Time now to go guess who that is!!!

Senthilkumar

Can there be India’s most loved CEO ????

indiasmostlovedceoThe word CEO evokes a myriad of emotions for me, and there is pretty good reasons for the same. And when there’s a contest for IndiasmostlovedCEO, it makes for some real action both online and offline, to get the drift continue reading.

CEO make or break things for an organisation, he is more than a leader, manager and sometimes a friend rolled into one. I know you must have felt that right. And personally there are many people who have had a role in making me understand who is a CEO and what is he made of? There were some who taught me, some who directed me and some compassionate ones, you get a mix of all. There are impacts and there are just small overtures in dealing with people.

But then we need to ask can we ever have a contest, and if there is one how do we decide who’s the most loved one at that!

Who could be the most loved CEO ever? Everyone has different answers and can those thoughts meet and could we have someone rock the place as the #IndiasMostLovedCEO. This brings to mind lot of names, suggestion in particular like that of NR Narayanamurthy or APJ Abdul Kalam.

I have had a CEO who blazed a racing track, no guesses though. There are times when you can talk to him and get an answer for some question you thought don’t have answers! It’s like he has answers for everything!

So would your CEO qualify for the best or the most loved one? Would you be nominating the person who made a difference in your life and how exactly are they going to be ranked or chosen. This is for real and I just can’t wait to see that unravel as we go in the days to come…

Sometime I do feel if there could be most loved CEO. That’s an irony if he is able to keep folks happy and the board members happy, but could that be possible, may be yes or no.

As we debate this, lets check this out and see for yourself how CEOs have shaped careers, personal lives and destiny of a lot of people. Go straight here http://www.indiasmostlovedceo.com/ Check out and join in the race, nominate your CEO, and chances are you will be walking away with goodies and more importantly you would be noticed by your most loved CEO.

Senthilkumar

Ramayana The Game of Life – Stolen Hope by Shubha Vilas #bookreview

cover page with back page_stolen hope

 

Publisher Jaico Books
ISBN-10 8184958242
Edition 1
Publication Year 2016
Language English
ISBN-13 9788184958249
Binding Paperback

This is indeed a great pleasure personally for me to be reviewing the book. As usual the book is replete with lot of insights in ways of stories from all the versions and make for a great read.

The best part is we get to see a lot of folk tales also very well embedded and weaved in to the story and the rhythm of the story goes one step notch more with those inclusions.

On the other side its reflection of our way of getting our life organised in a way that is harmonic with ourselves, the family , the society and more so the nature around us.

This is the third in the series of Ramayana – Game of Life by Shubha Vilas, a retelling of the epic with life lessons that it gives in every page that you read through. Continuing his work of getting the meaning out of the words to get them close to reality, the author gives an insight into how the epics actually gives a taste of the real life.

The reading of this Series had evoked a great interest into the original works of Ramayana – Valmiki Ramayan, Tulsi Ramayana, the tamil original Kamba Ramayana etc. The gathering of stories and the life lessons that it offers to us in real time is what Shubha Vilas brings to the table in a easy to underst

and and appreciate format with references in case you want to look up.

In fact on a personal level I have been lucky to be reviewing these books and I am sure this is a part of the design if I may call it that. This is a must read and I am sure this will help us understand life and its mystical nature and also make us more proactive individual than a reactive individual that we are.

Stories can be just stories just that, but here the author elevates the story to a life transformation mode for those who seek it, and Ramayana and the story of Lord Ram is in full glow and the way his relationship to Lakshmana, Sita and his brothers are all so beautifully  engraved in words for us to enjoy.

The world out there is a bit of deception the maya at work. The way we look at it and how we react makes our life success or failure. Life is about relationships, those relationships that are sometimes ephemeral to the core and yet we need to preserve the aura and work to keep it live.

Even in business relationship we tend to have the loyalties and ethics close to the heart and work it accordingly. It is also a test of managing our conflicts within and come to solutions.

Inner Peace is guaranteed for sure. Pick this up and unravel the Ramayana in a new way, the easy to digest way and also help yourself with some tips to implement the learnings on the go.

Thanks to the author for sending me a nice autographed copy with a message. Will cherish them Shubha ji.

Go here to order this book : Flipkart | Amazon

Senthilkumar

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri #bookreview

In_other_words

 

BOOK DETAILS
Publisher Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN-10 0670088897
Imprint Hamish Hamilton
Number of Pages 224 Pages
Publication Year 2016
Language English
ISBN-13 9780670088898
Binding Hardcover

A translation by Ann Goldstein of the original Italian work by Jhumpa Lahiri.

One of the most personal relationship books I have ever come across, simply the best since it outlines the way the relationship is taken forward, quite a few times it looks as if this is the way love works, may be courtship too.

It’s the growing of the bonds between the seeker and the one which is sought perhaps, here its the language which is being learnt by the author, the language is Italian!

It is quite a revelation at a very personal level for the author the way Italian language grasps her attention and how she wants to live the language like no other. It becomes all the more interesting that Italian has never been a part of her upbringing in a way as to experience this kind of approach to language.

Over the years she feels an intimate connection as if this was the call the soul has been waiting for. The way she takes it up learning and the travails and travels in literary world is an nice journey that she takes the readers with.

And when you know this is a translated masterpiece, it makes it all the more alluring and when you read the explanation I think she has put the right perspective. And when we complete the book we know what she meant and she meant every word of it. Probably that is the relationship that she has been nurturing with the language.

There is an air of romance in the way the language is treated as a person, trying to know him or her, the fulfilment of having achieved the goal of possessing the other person or seeing yourself in the other.

Kudos to the translator, we can feel that the justice has been done the way the book progresses in short but sure steps, sometimes looking back to stories that will augment the theory that she holds forth, and sometimes stop to listen to the inner rumblings and sometimes to the practical difficulty in getting to know the perfect grammar and the translator has the pulse and does an excellent job of giving us the feel.

Its a nice book and well its a non fiction and that makes it a must read title. If you are interested in literature this will surely give you an idea of how language can be looked at as an extension of you.

Pick it up in case you see it at the book store or click here.

This was a part of Flipkart Book Review Program! Thanks Flipkart for the book.

Senthilkumar R