All those moments in life that leave an impression, leave you in deep thought,and contemplation.
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If you have ever fallen victim to the system, been humiliated, felt helpless… this book is for you.
Varun, a NRI software engineer, loves Alisha. Salman , CEO of Coffee Moments, loves Mahi. Raghav, a virtuous politician, loves Neha. Aditya, an altruist businessman, is married to Prachi. Destiny invites them to step out of their comfort zones and fight the devil that holds their country captive.
Will they choose country over love, comfort and success? Will they enter the Chakravyuh, intricately laid down to ensure their destruction? Will they come out of it alive and win back our lost pride?
Buckle up for a roller-coaster ride into the lives of these four young men who are out to change the system which could not be changed in the last 70 years of independence. A story fraught with romance and patriotism. Also pick this book if you are a patriot and do not believe that ‘is desh ka kuch nahin ho sakta.’ If you do, all the more reason to read it!
I thank the author for sending me a copy of the book in return of an honest review. I must confess here, that I did judge the book by its cover, and didn’t expect the plot to interest me so much. And I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was amazed by the brilliancy of the plot that engaged me so easily and heightened my curiosity in bursts through quick and sudden turn of events. I do applaud the writer and the team for bringing forward a book so relevant to our times.
The book deals with all the problems our country currently faces – corruption, poverty, terrorism, naxalites, the Olympics, the taxation, the almost deplorable educational and legal scene, etc. This work of fiction has our country’s facts and general knowledge for public awareness at its core. One will learn a lot from the novel, from Contempt of the Court to the life and cleanliness in Singapore, from the political campaigns and elections to the Indian army. Remember what you felt while watching the Anil Kapur starrer movie Nayak? You will feel the similar kind of euphoria and pride while taking on the journey with the four protagonists.
The prologue is a big winner- it will pique the interest of even the most unlikeliest reader, or the non-reader. The Independence Day terrorist scene propels you directly to the climax of the tale. You just can’t NOT read further.
Aditya worked in an NGO that had ‘clean and green Varanasi’ as one of its main objectives. He uses his engineering knowledge and saves the day by helping prevent any disaster in their Chemical manufacturing factory where chlorine leaks occurs accidentally. This instantly wins you over. Raghav has plans to revamp the education system of the state, especially the primary education. He plans to do something through the country’s political scene by influencing the education ministry. Salman lives with his foster parents in the chawl, whom he loves dearly. His winning streak is when he blatantly opposes the campaigning MLA for his falsely laid promises. Varun works in a software company but is not satisfied in his job. He is a part of an NGO Kalpvruksh, questions the legal system of the country where the poor prisoners’ files are never brought up, while the rich are roaming out free. ‘What is stopping our government, the Law Ministry from creating new posts against the shortfall of judges in our system, and ensuring that none of the existing posts remain vacant?’ Winning streak, indeed!
Fast forward a few years, the four heroes are working shoulder by shoulder with Dr. Sabbarwals, as the core team and cabinet. There’s many more twists and turns- temple funds misutilization, controversies and media coverage, a terrorists scene, my favorite Olympics episode, and many more. A very interesting and riveting read.
Characters are likable, well portrayed through back stories, childhood settings and their own vision. The supporting characters are from different walks of life, add greatly to the story-line. The narrative is good, easy to read and follow. It connects India in a very real sense, from one end to the other, length and breadth. I liked the euphemism used in the names of political parties –Bharatiya Janhit Dal and Naya Bharat Dal.
Any passionate countryman would love this book.
My Rating : 4/5 stars.
About the author:
Sumit Agarwal is an IIT-K graduate who is now managing a group of chemical manufacturing industries in Kanpur. He is also a music composer, lyricist, singer and writer. He runs an NGO, Prerna, which is dedicated to the development of a stronger India. He can be reached at:
Empress Ki is the most elaborate, gripping, and thrilling series I have watched this year. And at 51 episodes, it is the longest Korean drama series I have ever watched. Even though the number seems daunting and too much, it’s worth it all. If you like period dramas, you won’t want to give this one a miss.
It was in 2016 that I first read about Empress Ki, the historical drama that had garnered much praise and accolades from the audience and critics alike. Most Korean dramas are just 16 or 20 episodes long. So 51 seemed never-ending to me then. It wasn’t until 2017 that I decided to at least try the first episode. And I was hooked. But owing to the various circumstances I didn’t continue watching it. It was just last month that I remembered this epic story and watched it to completion within just a few days. Believe it or not, midway through it, I was almost literally pulling my hair out, in anticipation of what would happen next.
I would have given this magnum opus 10/10 had it stopp…
I have always been the one to leave first. Be it luck or circumstance, it has always been this way. Some of the times it has been my decision to venture out of my comfort zone first before all my peers decide to do the same and I am left behind, alone in the old world. The decisions are out of fear of being left alone, most of the times. Or is it self-preservation instead?
I am a person who takes time to adapt, make new friends, get accustomed to new surroundings- an unlikely one to leave first- yet I do. You might think me selfish, but I am just afraid, and I decide to take care of myself first. Some might see this as a major risk-taking attitude, but I mostly see it as fleeing before the 'desertion' hits me instead. Now that's a strong word indeed. I am always in search of safe ground, always so insecure and calculating my moves lest I end up being alone on the island.
Paranoiac. Several things bother me at once. What if my peers get on with their lives leaving me behi…
July has been a special month for me. Not just because it is my birthday month, but because many new beginnings, many fresh starts, and many turning points of my life have happened in July. It's mid of the year when I have looked back at what the year was like for the first six months and have anticipated and dreamt about the coming six months. Goals and resolutions are reviewed in July.
These initial days of college are all about fun, making interactions, creating friendships and increasing your network. It's less on course works and assignments. So we are trying to take full advantage of it. I have made a few friends at the hostel too, most of them are my juniors, with a huge age gap. But the good news is none of us can feel this gap. We visited the Forest Research Institute this weekend. It was a good trip. I stopped at almost every tree to take a snap and posed at every corner of the museum clicking selfies. Too much beauty in a single place. Beauty overloaded. The view of t…
"When the ego dies, the soul awakes." - Mahatma Gandhi
Why do you have such a huge ego? You cannot wear your family's name on your sleeve as an identity forever. The world wouldn't see you through the eyes of your parents who have pampered you so much for the better part of your life. Here in the real world, you will get what you give. Respect begets respect. Selfishness begets selfishness. Hate begets hate. And your 'i don't care', 'i don't give a damn', 'i am paying money for that', 'i will do as I please' attitude will give you the same.
Respect is earned. Agreed. But you should give it first to earn it back. The other person should and must be respected by default despite his class, caste, job and family background, until and unless he proves unworthy of it with time. I stand strongly by this belief.
There can be no excuse for disregard. The way you speak to me about people tells me the way you might be speaking about me t…
Odia is my mother
tongue but I had never really focussed on Odia novels, given that I love
reading. Of late I realised that I should explore the culture and language of
my native land, and see for myself whether it suits my reading sensibilities. I
read “Jagyaseni” by Pratibha Ray a few years back, over a span of several
months. It is a retelling of Mahabharata from Draupadi’s perspective, which
brings about her inner turmoils, confusions, decisions, desires and dreams,
really well. It was the first Odia novel I ever read. Three days back, I
completed reading my second novel in Odia, coincidentally it is by the same
author. “Punyatoya” - literally it means the river, or ‘as pure as the river’.
It is also the name of a revered river in Indian mythology. The book has been
translated into Hindi with the same title, with the tagline “the story of a
village girl Meghi”. Other translated versions are in Marathi and Malayalam. The story follows a
young girl named Barsha, dearly called Meghi at…
Horse riding was no cake walk for me.
I feigned ignorance for months about the rule for Princesses to learn to tackle a beast like that. For weeks I would hide somewhere innocently when it was time for the lessons. The experts appointed for this task left their posts within weeks. Hah! I would make each one leave. It’s a war now, between my father - The King and me.
One morning I spotted a rather young man near the stables. The maids were gossiping how handsome he was. Some whispered he was a year or two senior to me. Huh! He must have just graduated then. Father is appointing amateurs now, I see. Had I not been home-schooled, I would have known school life for myself.
I chose the haystacks in the courtyard of the servants’ quarters to hide that day, much pleased with my choice. The sky was beautiful and so were the house-sparrows. Just as I admired my surroundings, a head popped in front of me from nowhere.
“So here you are. You’re late for your classes. Let’s go now,” he pulled …
One Friday evening, as I was feeling a bit lonely and homesick with nothing much to do, not even strolling on the terrace viewing the ever so beautiful mountains since it was raining hard- thus it also contributing to my gloomy mood, I decided to watch Before Sunrise. Yes, once again. A first for me. I rarely re-watch a movie. Yearning for a light-hearted yet meaningful conversation this was the best choice I had. My hostel mates were out in the city and all the people I called up were busy. Luck by chance. Thanks to the superb uninterrupted internet connection I had a great 1 hour 40 minutes that evening.
"Experiencing the otherworldly. When morning comes, we would all turn into pumpkins."
Even though it sounds like a cliche today, unplanned trips, adventures in life, serendipity and providence are romantic. Before Sunrise has all of these, when strangers indulge in light conversations, grow intrigued about each other's lives, and spend time in each other's company …