Wednesday, October 30, 2013


she guards secrets
deep within her pristine soul
fencing her sorrows

This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem -Fence.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


her heart sank
as she rummaged through his shirt
scent of betrayal

This Haiku is shared with Haiku Hearts - Rummage.

The Story of Nike - Review

Did you know, the original name of Nike was Blue Ribbon Sports? The first 5 pairs of the company's shoes were imported from Japan? Phil Knight was just 24 years old when he launched the athletic shoe company, Nike, a company that would shortly become a front-runner on a fast track. Named after the Greek goddess of victory, today Nike is the world's No. 1 shoe and apparel company. We bring you the story about the origins, leaders, growth and products of Nike, a paragon of technological innovation in the market for sports-inspired products and services. Jaico's Creative Companies Series explores how today's great companies operate and inspires young readers to become the entrepreneurs and businessmen of tomorrow.

Jaico Young Readers Series does what it is intended to do – inspire and motivate. The Creative Companies category of books deal with success stories that have revolutionized the world, defining new boundaries and revising the old parameters. One such success story is that of Nike.

We have all heard of Nike, surely. Nike is the market leader in shoe and sports apparel, surpassing its competitors by a big margin. Even the merger of Adidas and Reebok haven’t manage to usurp its Number One position. What exactly is the secret of its success? Is it purely luck, or is it a well-planned concoction of immaculate planning and strategics  Aaron Frisch brings forward 'The Story of Nike', the company, the brand, the success saga.

Surely, Nike wasn't born with the Big Bang, and it definitely underwent all the stages of inception, development and growth. It all started when a twenty four year old sports enthusiast, Phil Knight, dreamt of manufacturing and selling quality shoes at a lesser price. Interestingly, Nike was initially named as Blue Ribbon, and later, with the passage of time, it was re-named after the Greek Goddess of Victory.

Nike’s first order of five pairs of shoes were imported from Japan. Knight joined hands with Bill Bowerman , his former track coach at the University of Oregon, and together they dreamt of making this company big. While Bowerman promoted the shoes to college athletes, Knight did everything else. Their combined effort ensured that Nike kissed the heights of success continuously at a stretch over a period of several years.

However, life comes with its fair share of problems and worries, and thus was the case with Nike. There were several hurdles on the way, some legal, and some societal, but Nike stood firm as a rock, owing to its great management and leadership. Here was a brand that was born out of sheer will power and determination, and its co-founders left no stone unturned to make sure that it remained in the Number One spot.

The book is filled with interesting snippets and anecdotes, which cover several important milestones in the journey of this brand. It’s always good to know how to achieve success. Though there is no secret and sure shot formula to be triumphant, the constant urge to do better, and to rise above the defined standards, is what turns out to be the difference between the winner and the runner-up.

Aaron Frisch does a great job in collating the facts and presenting them in a manner that is both fascinating and stimulating. The language is crisp, and the chapters are clearly framed. Illustrations add life to the chapter, and you swim fluently with the flow.

This book is a quick read, and provides you food for thought. It ignites your passion, and the desire to achieve something bigger in life. Isn't that what we all aim for? This book can serve as the catalyst, if you read it with the desire to emulate what successful people have done. Read it, and live your life the way you want it to be.

Today I read the story of Nike. Who knows, tomorrow the world might be reading your success story.

Title: The Story of Nike
Author: Aaron Frisch
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction
No. of Pages: 72
Price: Rs 99
My Rating: 4/5

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chapter Eleven - Review

Feeling suffocated within the confines of Udaipur, his past and inconsequential job, Virendra Vikram Singh aspires to be a part of an MNC. However, with dreams having a nasty habit of going haywire, the day he joins his dream company, it files for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy. First of its kind, Chapter Eleven is a bold and honest portrayal of corporate sleaze, dejection, love and self-discovery.

About the Author
His debut novel Flight of the Hilsa was received exceptionally well by the readers and critics alike. No wonder, in no time it went on to become a national best-seller. Amit Shankar, an advertising professional, has worked with some of the biggest advertising agencies, spearheading the communication for global brands. As a Copywriter and Creative Director, he has bagged some of the biggest advertising awards.

You know what a heart is, right? It is an organ that pumps blood and provides us with life. It is vital to our existence, well-being, and survival. Perhaps, it serves as the most crucial part in the human machinery.

Now, moving out of the biological mode, a heart is what nourishes our feelings, emotions and sentiments. We are drawn towards everything that is close to our hearts, as we consider it to be a closet of purity, an inner reflection of our soul. 'Chapter Eleven' by Amit Shankar defines just that. It is a heart-warming tale of an honest man, fighting against the corrupt corporate world around him, which takes you on a ride of soul searching and self – identification. This tale touches you deep, deep within your heart, enticing your shadow, in such a way that you cannot avoid falling in love with it.

In short, this story travels from heart to heart, the former belonging to the author, the latter possessed by the readers.

The plot revolves around VVS, or Virendra Vikram Singh, a Rajput bana from Udaipur, who leaves his seemingly inconsequential job, and his family, in Udaipur and shifts to Gurgaon as soon as he is offered a high paying position in a reputed MNC. He is ecstatic, and thankful to the almighty for having fulfilling his dream of being a part of the slick corporate industry. However, the day he joins, his company files for Chapter 11, which in simple layman term, can be reworded as ‘Bankruptcy.’

The glass façade cracks and the dark truth about corporate sleaze and deception starts tumbling out to flood VVS’s conscience. Soon, he realizes that the shining and fake glitter of corporate world isn't a place for honesty. This leads him to a path of self-realization and retrospection, and changes the person within him.

This is a book that MUST be read by all corporate people (and yes, MUST is typed in bold). This is a book about ethics and work culture, and a story that delves with different shades of the trade. Moreover, this is not a tale of just a single man - VVS, rather it deals with million other people who have often found themselves to be a victim of corporate betrayal and treachery.

The story starts as a light read, with dosages of humor  and it instantly grabs hold of your attention. How VVS manages to adjust to the brighter city - Gurgaon, and his initial experiences in the big MNC will make you smile, and at times, laugh. However, halfway down the book, and the tone shifts towards a graver and more serious perspective of corporate workflow. Though this change of scenario was necessary, keeping in mind the subject that this book deals with, I felt that it dragged the story a bit. Perhaps, for someone with a none-corporate background, those portions might be a bit heavy to flow along with.

However, the last few chapters, and the twist, totally blew me over, and that’s what prompted me to mark this book as a MUST read in one of the paragraphs above. Do pick up a copy, and Amit Shankar’s brilliant storytelling will surely strike a chord with you.

After all, something that can blend with your heart, will always grant you fulfillment.

Title: Chapter Eleven
Author: Amit Shankar
Publisher: Vitasta Publishing
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction, Corporate
No. of Pages: 370
Price: Rs 245
My Rating: 4/5

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Aisle Be Damned - Review

Swaying hips, praying lips and flying tips!
A Hilarious Take on just about Everything Associated with Air Travel.
Getting seamlessly upgraded to Business Class.
The hows and whys of micromanaging the pilots.
Action plans to counter the airlines Technical Snag routine.
Sure shot strategies for winning the affections of flight attendants.
Awesome icebreakers to start conversations with attractive co-passengers.
How smart executives deal with the Walk of Shame to the economy section.
How a water bottle dramatically improves flight safety.
Breezing through immigration and customs, always making your flight connections and a whole lot more
Rest assured, your flying experience will never be the same again!

About the Author
Rishi Piparaiya is an over-worked and over-traveled corporate executive based in the skies, 38,000 feet over India.

I would have written this review last night itself, but then I thought, “Hey, why not give it another read?” And thus, ignoring the tick-tock of the clock, inviting me to sleep as per my daily routine, and ignoring the fact that I would emerge as a dumb sleepy head in the team meeting in my office the following day, I picked up the book yet again. Let time be damned; and also the aisle.

‘Aisle Be Damned’ by Rishi Piparaiya is nothing that you thought it to be, and everything that you never guessed it would be. It is fun, humorous, unique, and oh-so-different. Add to that the interesting anecdote and snippets, coupled with a narrative that’s compelling and witty, and you have a winner all the way.

‘Aisle Be Damned’ is a book about Air Travel, yes those pocket books that you see in stores, guiding you with the basics and technicalities of flying, but in a rather non-sermonic and highly interesting manner. Rishi divides the book into several chapters, dealing with different phases of Air Travel. It all starts with your arrival at the airport, and guides you hilariously on the subsequent steps. Rishi tells you about the best boarding strategy, whether to opt for the window seat or the aisle seat, how to conduct yourself (and others) in the flight, and how to land perfectly (no, you don’t have to steer the plane though).

The chapters again are subdivided into different segments, which serves deliciously, adding diverse flavors to the book. It is like a brilliant assortment of dishes that entice you, lure you into its delicacy, and the finesse with which it has been presented. Of course, you would love to taste each item in the dish separately, enjoying the unique flavors. The taste buds justify your selection, and you find the items on the plate irresistible. Same is the case with this book. Once you go through the first chapter, you cannot stop. It’s like that brilliant chocolate cake that will make you hungry for more, and more.

Rishi Piparaiya uses his vast knowledge of air travel, and he does a great job in penning everything that can be associated with flights. His funny interpretations at times drive you into fits of laughter, and at other times into a curling smile, and it does guarantee you a pleasant time.

To be honest, I was initially apprehensive about laying my hands on a copy of this book. I am not a frequent flier, and thus wasn't sure if it would do me any good. Now, to all of you reading this post, do not go by the theme of this book. Sure, it is based on air travel, but the joy you would derive from reading this is not dependent on your flying status. Even if you have never traveled to the skies, and trust me when I say this, you should pick it up for a quick and light read, perhaps after a stressful day at work, or at a time when you are in need of laughter. This book will serve the purpose, and more.

What next Rishi? Perhaps, a similarly interesting piece on Train Travel.

Title: Aisle Be Damned
Author: Rishi Piparaiya
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Humor
No. of Pages: 216
Price: Rs 250
My Rating: 4/5

Tender Flakes

tender flakes
knock on misty window
grandma's kitchen
cooling the broth of winter
ah, the aroma of seasons

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


how the poor soul wished
to have grown grey with age
and not with grief

This Haiku is shared with Haiku Heights - Grey.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Halloween Night

Halloween night --
the fisherman
dressed as a scarecrow
                         (Garry Gay)

My Continuation -

Halloween night --
the fisherman
dressed as a scarecrow
sails across the tidal waves
to catch the moon in his nets

This Tan Renga is shared with Carpe Diem - Halloween Night.

Classic Tales from Mystic India - Review

Stories of  Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha and Krishna and from the Ramayana and Mahabharata

King Kubera was the greediest man in the world. Hated and feared by many, he schemed to win the love of the beautiful goddess Parvati... but learned an important lesson when he invited her elephant-headed son Ganesha to lunch one day...

THUS GOES ONE OF THE MANY DELIGHTFUL TALES in this decidedly grown-up book of traditional Indian stories, retold for the modern reader. Author Kamla K. Kapur’s connection to these ago-old stories is the reverent yet individualistic kind we might expect from someone whose introduction is of her hometown, where naked, dreadlocked holy men speed about on motorbikes.

To collect these stories, Kapur relied on ancient sacred texts, modern scholarship and chance encounters with interesting people who just happened to know a really good one about the time that Vishnu sank into the ocean, was incarnated as a pig, and had a really wonderful time.

Like myths around the world, these are teaching stories that offer both a window into a fascinating culture that has existed for thousands of years, and a code for living that can be applied to the modern world. Whether you read these engaging tales for the monkey gods, talking toads and beautiful maidens in distress... or for an Eastern viewpoint on the eternal questions surrounding love, friendship, faith, happiness and war, this is a book that bears repeated reading and is a fine addition to any collection.

About the Author

Kamla K. Kapur is well know in her native India as a poet and playwright. She was born and and raised in India, and studied in both India and the USA. She has written for The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and India Today.

India is a land of stories. You have all sort of kings and queens, their historical exploits and sagas; numerous Gods and Goddesses, each defined by their mighty deeds, demons and rakshasas who have met their end in the hands of goods; great men and women who have achieved supernatural feats; and two of the most widely known epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata. It’s impossible not to grow up listening to such tales from your grandparents and parents. That’s how most of our childhoods are framed, and we adore these mythological heroes.

Kamla K. Kapur’s 'Classic Tales from Mystic India' helped me relive my childhood, as I traveled back into time, reading the age-old stories that never fail to fascinate. The heroic grandeur of Shiva, the calm poise of Vishnu, the mystical halo of Brahma, the bravery of Ganesha, the vast knowledge of Krishna and the ever enticing characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata – Kamla K. Kapur provides a mesmerizing concoction of tales that you would definitely love to read, and relish.

The book is divided into several parts, each dealing with stories related to a particular character. You start with Vishnu, and then gradually progress to tales of Brahma, Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha and Krishna. The last two sections are dedicated to Ramayana and Mahabharata.

I wouldn't pick out a particular favorite among the stories. Rather, I would honestly admit that all the tales are perfectly narrated. Mythological tales have always been my favorite, and thus I enjoyed reading each one of them. Add to that the brilliant story telling by the author, and you have a book that you would like to read over and over again.

The authenticity of Gods and Goddesses, and the other Heroes in Hindu mythology have always been debated. We do not know if the Gods really existed, and if yes, whether all the stories that we have read about them are true or not. We do not know if the great epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata – were historical events that happened in reality. We hardly get to read about them in History, and even if we do, there is no mention of the dates or other evidences that can vouch for their authenticity. However, we do have to agree that the stories surrounding these epics and mythologies are always tempting, and whether you believe them to be true or not, there is no way you can stay away from the charm of these accounts.

Do not go by my words, as my taste of books may be different from yours. However, do pick up a copy of this book to savor the beauty of Kamla K. Kapur’s narration. Her choice of words is immaculate, and she does a good job of re-telling the traditional stories that fit the fancy of modern readers. The stories are crisp and short, and full of wisdom and knowledge. This is a quick read, and augurs well for a train journey (that’s what I did). Revive the magic of our ancient legend, and soak in the depths of the beautiful mythological chronicles that define our county, India.

Title: Classic Tales from Mystic India
Author: Kamla K. Kapur
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Religion and Philosophy
No. of Pages: 160
Price: Rs 225
My Rating: 4/5

Friday, October 18, 2013

Stories Of Love

stories of love
sketched in autumn leaves
wind sweeps the heart

wind sweeps the heart
leaves wither, fall and paint
world with colors

world with colors
canvas of smiles and tears
stories of love

This Haiku is shared with

"Books Are Like Food, Enjoy Each One Of Them."

Sneha Mehta is the author of the hugely popular books, 21 Things Every Girl Should Know and Change Your Life.

Majors in psychology, she teaches a very simple and effective healing therapy called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), all across the country.

As a life coach, Sneha’s unique diagnostic abilities have helped many people in their dwindling careers, fears, health and relationships. Because of her deep knowledge of the mind body connection, Sneha is a highly sought after teacher, who helps put all the parts of the life puzzles in a simple and logical manner. She explains the link between the conscious and subconscious mind and how dreams can be manifested effortlessly.

Apart from being a keynote speaker on various issues, taking corporate sessions and self empowerment workshops, Sneha is also available for personal consultations. Visit to know more.
For love and hate mails, contact Sneha directly at

To read the full review of Change Your Life, click here.

Congratulations Sneha on the publication of ‘Change Your Life’. It was really insightful, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I, along with the readers, would surely like to know more about you and your books.
In case you find any question offensive, you can choose not to answer it. I apologize in advance for such instances.

Let’s start with how it all began. What really prompted you to take up the pen and write books?

Just to kill boredom. I do realize that not everyone who gets bored can come up with a book. But to me, it was the only thing I knew and I just did that. I was meant to do MBA but for some reason that didn't happen. I also have this urge to give and share. I guess, my books fulfill my giving needs. 

You started with a bang with “21 things Every Girl Should Know”, and followed it up with another delightful read “Change Your Life.” What types of books do you follow and love to read?

I can’t stand romantic fiction. I mean, there is more to life than just getting the love of your life.  For how long can you read ’my girlfriend is very pretty’ or ‘my boyfriend is very caring’. I read non fiction, mostly.  It’s informative and more need based. Guess, I have come out of the ‘time pass’ phase.  Religion, spirituality and biographies are something I duck myself in.

You met several inspirational people while writing ‘Change Your Life.’ How was the entire journey – right from the inception of the idea for this book till the time it was published?

Super fun! I had all my dreams fulfilled. The tarot card reader, Bindu Maira that I covered told me of my past (in details) and the astrologer Bejan daruwalla told me that I am about to shift in my new house, when we are ACTUALLY shifting.  I cried like a baby during the past life regression and had all my myths busted about God and religion while doing the Brahma Kumaris Course. One thing that I still laugh by is how confidently people asked me to cover Nirmal Baba and Aasaraam Bapu.  Thanks God, I went by my intuition and a rational mind.

You are also a therapist healing people using Emotional Freedom Technique. Tell us something about it.

Yes, EFT is an energy healing technique that cures pains and migraines within minutes, quite often. Our body has certain energy points through which the life force (or prana shakti) flows. When there is a blockage in these energy points, we feel stressed and depressed. Through EFT, these energy points are tapped and brought in balance while thinking about a problem that is bothering a person.  Properly done, EFT balances the disturbances in the energy system and thus reduces the emotional and physical pain, until it zeroes down. It’s a very simple technique that can be learned even by children. Best part is, it’s quick, gentle, super effective and thoroughly safe. When the energy system of the body gets blocked, we start feeling dull, dowdy, and depressed. In short, our tendency to feel bad increases. This is evident in the day to day life that we live in. For example, most people don't need to confront a catastrophic natural disaster—an earthquake, a volcano, or a tsunami—to feel bad. For some, even small triggers do the trick. There are people who can mourn for days if they are not being invited to a particular party. The good news is, with EFT, the energy blockages can be tapped and restructured. Many conditions that are otherwise termed ‘incurable’ by doctors have been permanently cured by EFT. Visit to know more.

Tell us about your childhood, and your family.

My father is into business and Mom is a housewife. I have a younger brother who is studying Applied Mathematics and we are based in Udaipur. I was super good at studies but soon understood the futility of formal education. I think I would have learned more if I had the guts to be a school dropout. Back then, I didn't even understand what I was going through. I chose Commerce while I should have opted for psychology. I don’t get shares, stocks and balance sheet. It’s boring!

Who is/are your role model(s)?

My mom remains my inspiration, no doubt!  I read books that have sold crore copies only to realize that they are not saying any different from what I hear at home, day in and day out. My family is 200% dependent on her and I can’t be at peace if I have had her upset on anything.

Message to aspiring writers: Just write. When I did my first book, I didn't even know how many words can make a book. I was just out of graduation and all I knew was that I want to do a book. The message is simple – hang in there. Write to published authors and well read people. Seek their opinion. Don’t stick to ego, have an open mind and try to figure out if others are right. One problem that I often notice is that most newbie authors concentrate too much on vocab and grammar. Of course, basic grammar needs to be correct but you need to concentrate more on the content. Content is king. Does what you are writing has a market? Can your concept create a whole new market? Understand that a publishing house is a business at the end of the day, it may be an intellectual business but it’s still a business. They vouch for concepts that can sell and they have highly skilled editors who can easily correct your grammar. My own books have seen more red by editors than any of my course books in school and mind you, I was amongst the toppers. The first book always takes time. Give it the time it deserves because after that you will be so deft in writing that you’ll never get to live that confusion and learning period ever again.

If you are told to write a sequel to ‘Change Your Life’, which other eminent personalities would you like to meet?

Umm..not really sure on this. I have not just covered the personalities but their healing therapies too and those that matter have already been covered. But I might do an interview thing with other spiritual personalities. Deepak chopra, mata Amritananmayi and Jaggi Guru Vasudev are a few people I would like to feature.  If I do something of this sort, ever again, I would also like to bridge the gap between realism and magic. For example, I have always heard of people who can bend a spoon just with the intention. Would like to meet people of this category.

What do you do when you are not writing or working? How do you unwind yourself?

I call random people (uncles and aunties) and tell them that I want to marry their son. I also love to dance so I sometimes just close the room and start dancing.  And when my brother is around, I have no idea how time passes. We spend the whole day laughing, either at each other or collectively at others. 

When are we going to see a third book from you? What will it be about?

Whenever people ask me the same I tell them I am a human and it takes time to write since my books are highly researched ones. Writing romantic fiction is easy that way. You can make your characters do what YOU want. I am not sure whether I can do a fiction again. I tried but it just doesn't get any hold of me.  And nonfiction, nonfiction takes time. Not as easy as laying eggs! I am not sure whether I’ll do a book in immediate future. At the present moment, I feel too empty to plunge on anything. I have recently started taking Emotional Freedom Technique workshops for colleges, corporate and clubs and would love to continue doing so. I think it’s my time to meet the world and come out of the cocooned life that I have been living for quite some time. 

Finally, what would be your message to the readers?

Books are like food, enjoy each one of them. Relish every taste. Don’t confine yourself to a niche. Open yourself to all kinds of books – romantic, nonfiction, spirituality, religion, erotic. If you read about sex, try to understand spirituality as well. If you read about spirituality, read about sex as well. The world is interrelated after all. 

Thanks a lot Sneha for your time. Wishing you the best for the present and future.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


fear not the spark
'cause they ignite the passion
as stones strike together
arousing the fire
do not douse the flames
they are here to stay
burn to the brim
sail afloat in your ocean of dreams

This Poem is shared with 

Monday, October 14, 2013


of teachers past

crossroads of life
time passes by

This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - Along The Way.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Cosmic Clues - Review

Sonia Samarth couldn't have predicted it. It had only been a day, but her first advertisement had drawn dozens of responses. In the bustling city of Pune, with its winding alleys and exotic customs, Sonia has launched a brand new business – private investigation guided by Hindu astrology. Her unique brand of investigation might raise eyebrows but before long, she seems to have found her niche.

When a cat leads Sonia to her very first investigation, she uses astrology to unmask the killer. Suddenly, clients begin streaming in – a persistent, handsome TV personality; a terrified bride-to-be; a missing husband with suicidal tendencies. These cases initially seem like isolated experiences, but Sonia soon finds that they are bound by an invisible thread. Very soon she will have to look closely at her own stars: a notorious international criminal has just crossed Sonia’s path – and he has his own plans for her future!

About The Author
Manjiri Prabhu lives in Pune, India. She’s been a  filmmaker and television producer for several years and a writer of two romances, two mystery novels and a non-fiction book on Hindi films. She is currently putting the finishing touches on The Astral Alibi – the next book in the Stellar Investigation series.

Whenever I think of a Detective Series, the one name that instantly flashes in my mind is ‘Sherlock Holmes’. I think harder, and smile at the thought of Agatha Christie’s brilliant characters – Miss Marple and Poirot. I knock my brain a bit more, and instantly the adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray come calling to me.

Reading good detective fictions are always a pleasure. You can laze around on your bed, tucked under a warm blanket, in a frosty rainy evening, imagining yourself to be one of the characters in the stories. A crime is committed, and your intuition targets the suspects, as you start forming your own personal opinions regarding the mystery. This is true for all good detective stories, and quite gladly enough, this works quite well with ‘The Cosmic Clues.’

‘The Cosmic Clues’ by Manjiri Prabhu brings forward India’s First Astro Detective (yes, that’s highlighted on the cover). I have read and heard of detectives solving cases through careful observation and precise deduction, but never by reading horoscopes. That’s exactly what Sonia Samarth does, and does it pretty well. Sonia, along with her able assistant Jatin, runs Stellar Investigations, a detective agency, where they combine investigation with a study of horoscopes of the people involved. Isn't it unique?

It’s the distinctive plot that initially grabbed my attention, and I couldn't wait to read about the cases that they solve using astrology. The book narrates the progression of Sonia, from a nobody to a house hold name who has a penchant to crack open mysteries with her unique reading of horoscopes. Though this is what makes the book different from others, it also makes it vulnerable.

Not everyone can read horoscopes, and thus find it intriguing. A lot many people do believe in it, and trust the words of the astrologers. Isn't that the reason why most of us glance through the horoscope section in the morning dailies?

Sonia uses her power to deduct human characteristics through horoscopes to solve cases. It all looks great initially, but as she begins to unearth the modus-operandi and identifies the criminals all-too-perfectly, the conclusions of subsequent cases appear to be mere formalities. Her reading of planetary positions is often difficult to comprehend for a layman, and me being one, with completely no clue about horoscopes, ‘Cosmic Clues’ does leave me clueless at times.

However, Manjiri Prabhu provides us with a book that can keep us engaged and urge us to read further. I liked the cases, and though often I found them solved too easily with the means of horoscopes, I honestly admit that I wouldn't mind picking up the next book in the series. There is a compelling lucidity in the language, something that you can read and find soothing. The smooth flow and the clever link between the different chapters also add to the fluency of the book. And yes, I enjoyed the conversations between Sonia and Jatin - light-hearted and humorous.

If you too want to have a go at this book, enticed by its attractive cover and blurb, do pick up a copy. It’s definitely a one-time read. It doesn't disappoint, rather Manjiri Prabhu does a real good job with the genre. However, a bit more of ground research by the detectives to solve the cases (and not merely through the reading of horoscopes) could have made me rate the book higher.

Nevertheless, there is always a next chance, and am really looking forward to ‘The Astral Alibi’ – the sequel.

Title: The Cosmic Clues
Author: Manjiri Prabhu
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genres: Fiction, Detective, Mystery
No. of Pages: 324
Price: Rs 299
My Rating: 3/5

Saturday, October 12, 2013


is that a rabbit
or an elephant running
drawing shapes in clouds

This Haiku is shared with Haiku Heights - Clouds.


long lost friends
relive memories of youth
over warm tea

This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - Tea.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013


those ivory dolls
adorn our brightened drawing rooms
post killing forests

This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - Ivory.

Sunday, October 06, 2013


he should have
but he refused
smiling away the pain
that threatened to leap
out with his tears
those salty streams
that wound across your cheeks
and flatten the heart

8.3, they said
just a number, perhaps
(when the earth shook, violently)

he laughed
at the golden wreck
he once called

scales measure the quake
but never the ache

This Poem is shared with Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Spying In High Heels - Review

High Crime meets High Fashion+J52
L. A. Shoe Designer, Maddie Springer, lives her life by three rules: Fashion. Fashion. Fashion.
But when she stumbles upon the work of a brutal killer, her life takes an unexpected turn from Manolos to murder. And things only get worse when her boyfriend disappears along with $20 million in embezzled funds and her every move is suddenly under scrutiny by the LAPDs sexiest cop. 
With the help of her post menopausal bridezilla of a mother, a 300 pound psychic and one seriously oversexed best friend, Maddie finds herself stepping out of her stilettos and onto the trail of a murderer. But can she catch a killer before the killer catches up to her.

About the Author
Gemma Halliday, author of the High Heels Mysteries, has received numerous awards, including a Golden Heart, a National Readers Choice award and three RITA nominations, as well as hitting both the New York Times and the USA Today bestseller list. She currently lives in San Francisco Bay Area where she is hard at work on several new projects including more books in the Maddie Springer Stories.

What made me pick up this book?

First of all, the title – “Spying in High Heels” – sounds cool and different, like a female version of James Bond, spying and hunting down criminals, Charlie’s Angels type. Secondly, the tagline resonates of a promising plot “High Crime meets High Fashion”, something that reminded me of Sidney Sheldon books (I so loved them). Finally, the genre did it for me – Mystery Fictions, how I love reading them!

And am so glad I decided to give it a read.

‘cause it was the very first line that mesmerized me, and glued me to the pages. “I am late” – yes, that’s how the first chapter opens, and before you think that the protagonist is probably late for some party or an invitation, comes the subsequent lines. She is late late, and so she, Maddie Springer, believes that she must be pregnant with her boyfriend’s Richard’s child.

Not something too worrying if the child belongs to the man you love, right? But what if the same man suddenly disappears one fine day, leaving no traces behind, wouldn't that be unnerving? You bet? Well, I agree, but not as scary as you knowing that your boyfriend, the father of your would-be-child (if in fact the late late was really a result of pregnancy) is running away from law, and is a prime suspect of two cold blooded murders.

Now, this certainly makes it one hell of a fascinating read. Maddie is a shoe designer (for kids) and is crazy about fashion. However, life takes a complete flip when the above happens to her, and she, stuck between loyalty towards her boyfriend, Richard, and the doubt that keeps creeping in her mind regarding his dishonesty, knows not what to do. However, she puts up a brave front, and with the help of Ramirez (read: LAPD’s sexiest cop), she decides to find out the truth. What happens next is an exciting joy ride of deception, infidelity, deceit … and finally the much awaited revelation.

The author, Gemma Halliday, does a great job in bringing about the twists whenever you think that you have nailed the killer. No buddy, you don’t get it so easy, and the sharp pace of the book ensures that you don’t give it up either. Such is the beauty of her storytelling that even with several subplots, you don’t find the flow slacking. You are always there, attached to the words, quickly gobbling through the chapters and solving the whodunit.

Ask me what I loved the most about this book, and I would reply – “Dialogues.” Yes, they are as crisp and witty as it can get, specially the conversations that happen between Maddie and Ramirez. The high intensity of passion notwithstanding, Maddie tries her best to be cold to the prying detective, and fails time and again. That’s what makes it sweet, and spicy.

The other characters complete the story – Dana, Maddie’s best friend, Maddie’s Mom who is all set to get married, Mrs. Rosenblatt, the No – Neck guy, and Sasha. They all add the fun quotient to the book, and that’s why you do not miss the main action when the subplots comprising these characters come up. You will love each and every word of this book, trust me.

If you are a fashion lover, or a mystery lover, or even if you are none of these, do pick up this copy. You wouldn't really mind being a spy in high heels with Maddie and Ramirez.

Title: Spying In High Heels
Author: Gemma Halliday
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
No. of Pages: 260
Price: ₹ 299
My Rating: 4/5

Vision Quest

bright torch
shines over cloudy gravels
sun shows the path

sun shows the path
through honey covered dewdrops
sweet promises

sweet promises
resonates with my dreams
a vision quest

This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - Vision Quest.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Road To The Clouds

Today we tread along
The road to the clouds
That speak of rain, and
Joyous bliss, encased in
Honey droplets, that kiss
Our lips, caress our tongues

A nest I would make
From twigs that grow
On the pathway green
Now dark with thunder
Oh, where are the lights?

The barren trees
Witness the change
Silently, mute.

A naive slave
I am tonight
commanded by your passion
I rise and fall

And with each passing breath
That road to the clouds
Take me home

This Poem is shared with The Mag - Mag 88.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari - Review

Julian Mantle’s world was always limited to his work, material possession and money. However, his life takes a complete U turn when he is suddenly traumatized with a heart attack. Realization dawns on him and he decides to alter the course of his life. It is then that he decides to give up everything and entail a spiritual journey to the Himalayas in India in search of a more meaningful life.

From the sages of the Sivana in the Himalayas he garners some newfound knowledge and philosophies, which goes on to change his life forever. When he comes back from his spiritual journey from the Himalayas there is a discernible change in him. He narrates his experience to his fellow colleague John and that is how the entire story and experience of Julian Mantle is related to us.

The narratives of the spiritual journey that Julian Mantle undertakes take us on a ride to a profound and different perception of life. The book bestows on us the key to living a great, meaningful, healthy and happy life. We are educated on the Seven Virtues of Enlightened learning, which comprises of the need to master the mind, to follow one’s purpose, to live with discipline, to practice Kaizen, to respect time, to embrace the present and to selflessly serve others.

The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari was an immediate success. It became an International Bestseller with more than three million copies sold worldwide. The book has been translated into a number of foreign languages to reach out to a larger audience.

About the Author
Robin Sharma is an author and lawyer. He has to his credit a number of books; The Leader Who Had No Title, Who Will Cry When You Die: Life Lessons From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, The Saint, The Surfer, And The CEO: A Remarkable Story About Living Your Heart's Desires, Megaliving!, Family Wisdom From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, and Discover Your Destiny With The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.

Born in Canada in the year 1965, Robin Sharma is the Founder, Chief Visionary Officer and CEO of a global consultancy firm, Sharma Leadership International Inc. The company’s clients include GE, FedEx, Harvard Business School, Nike, and many Fortune 500 companies.

He was awarded with the Brand Laureate Brand Personality Award in 2009 and Golden Gavel award in 2011. Robin Sharma did his graduation in law and graduated from Dalhousie University School of Law. He frequents many countries as a speaker. His books have been translated to seventy languages and sold in sixty countries.

‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ – and why would he do so?

The answer is simple. You don’t need a Ferrari to gain contentment and satisfaction in life. You don’t need money to attain peace and fulfillment, nor do you require material riches to feel blessed.

Instead you need to know yourself better, identify the purpose of your life, set a goal, and travel towards it, basking in the glory of the present moment; ‘cause time is priceless, and you need to utilize it properly to gain the most out of it.

This is what Robin Sharma teaches you. Through the words of the protagonist Julian Mantle, Robin, the author, acts as the perfect guide to live a rich and fulfilled life of bliss and harmony.

Julian Mantle is a successful litigation lawyer who has everything going for him. Money and fame are more than his companions, and ideally, it would seem that his life is a real success story. However, his constant hard work also leads to stress, when suddenly, all of a sudden, in the midst of a courtroom trial, he collapses, owing to a massive heart attack. This serves as a wake-up call for Julian, and he leaves behind his career to find out the true value of life.

Julian moves to India and his search leads him to the Great Sages of Sivana, who live high in the Himalayas. He is lead and guided by inspirational teachers like Yogi Krishnan and Yogi Raman, and starts living a life of simplicity, truth, and beauty. He learns to let go of his attachments with the worldly possessions, and focuses on what his soul speaks.

Robin Sharma portrays this transformation superbly, and shows us the way in which we too can live our life with bliss and serenity. Though the characters are supposed to be fictional, we know that they are not so. In fact, Julian Mantle is very much among us. He is you, me, and all the people surrounding us.

Robin imparts wisdom that can really help us to move ahead in life in a positive manner. He talks of skills and techniques that one should follow in order to practice bright living. The best part of this book is that it explains these methodologies in a very simplified manner, and the procedures can be easily followed by any person. The concept is unique, and though it might sound too simple, it does have the power to transform your life.

If you are confused, or worried, or anxious, or happy, or sad, or angry, then this book is for you. It can help you balance your life, and motivate you to bring the much needed change in your dimensions. Basically, this book should be read by one and all. The anecdotes that Julian comes up with from time to time are insightful, and helps you understand the teachings further.

Do not wait. This is just the book you need to read, adopt, adapt, and re-live your life in the best possible manner. Go, and grab a copy for yourself, and also for your loved ones. This is one book you should not give a miss.

Title: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Author: Robin Sharma
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2003
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Self - Help
No. of Pages: 216
Price: ₹ 199
My Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


eclipsed by fate
she sings songs with the moon
lost birds fly home

This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - Eclipse.