Friday, 25 September 2015

Story 2: #SachchiAdvice

My Engineering was over, at last. I was placed through campus in Infosys. I had never stayed away from home. Everyone told me, don’t go, except Ma. When the time to move away came, my mom was emotional, but she never refrained me from going.

I wanted to experience a new city, a new environment. And she understood it well. I was always a pampered kid. For a change, I wanted to fight my battle, leave the circle of love and care and try build my own identity.

I knew I would have to do my laundry, my food – all on my own. To be honest, I hadn’t ever washed my clothes nor cooked. Maggi was all I could cook. But it was time now to explore.

Mysore was where my training centre was. A beautiful place - but away from home. I felt homesick initially and whenever I would call home, mom would encourage me.

My father asked her, “How can you let him go? You are his mother, aren’t you attached to him?”

She replied, “Yes, he is my child. But natural, I am attached to him greatly, but I don’t want to stop him from flying. Being away from home will teach him many a things we cannot teach him, if we bind him in the four walls here."

Life kept me busy during my training tenure. Hectic life - a life where you learn to become self reliant teaches you many things.

A new city teaches you to adapt. Given my background, I was spoon fed all the time. This experience taught me to become self dependent. No dear one to help me out with things, it was unusual in the beginning.

I met new people, made new friends, learnt a lot from them. The training centre in Mysore is among the top 3 in the world. I gained knowledge, not just application wise, but practical knowledge too.

Most importantly, staying away from home with limited finances teaches you to manage and save money. It is an art. It has made me more responsible! My mother was right, she had a vision of what staying away from home would do to me. She helped me take this bold step of pursuing my dreams.

I am definitely a better person than I was before leaving home. However beautiful, nothing can replace home, but yes, some things are better learnt when you are alone. 'Time is the best teacher, if you’re willing to learn', my mother says.

Staying away from home has given me the exposure I needed and opened doors of great opportunities. The pressure keeps you rooted to your goal, distractions are at bay and your confidence grows.

Staying away from my loved ones brought me closer to God. I started praying often and thanking God for a wonderful family!

This bold step has changed my life for good – made me more confident, optimist and I feel glad I took the leap of faith. It worked in my favor.

My mother has given me the most honest and true advice, “Always follow your heart and let it take you where it wants. Miracles are explored and you grow as an individual. Stay positive.”

She is My Only Mentor (MOM)! I feel blessed and I am grateful to her #SachchiAdvice that has shaped my life so well!

Her #SachchiAdvice made a difference in my life, truly. "Follow your dreams."

P.S: “I am participating in the #SachchiAdvice Contest by MaxLife in Association with BlogAdda.”

Story 1: #SachchiAdvice

There are crucial times in our lives, when we need a guiding force to help us make a correct choice in life, whose #SachchiAdvice shapes up our lives for the better. These little advices trust turn out to blessings that make us who we are. One such awesome soul was her father for little Ruhi!


Ruhi considered herself unique. She loved ballet dancing. Her father brought her the loveliest pair of shoes. She called them ‘magic’ shoes. She was a victim of polio. But she went to her ballet learning classes daily – dedicatedly.

Her teacher was very fond of her. Ruhi considered ballet dancing her religion. It was her passion.

Soon a tournament was to be held. She was hopeful to be selected.

Her father always told her, ‘You are a miracle, my child. You make me feel so proud, Ruhi! You are no less than anybdy. Pursue your passion and I will always support you. Do not ever compromise on your dreams for the fear of what people will say!’

She was her teacher’s favorite. Seeing her abilities, her teacher chose her for the tournament.

Ruhi was an ordinary girl with big dreams. She wanted to be the best ballet dancer. And there was no stopping her. Her dad brought the best crutches for her.

Despite being polio struck, she never gave up. She is my cousin’s friend. I got to speak to her recently when I came across her undying spirit.

I asked her about her future plans. ‘I want to be a dance teacher. When people look at me, they feel I am abnormal. I want to break that mindset.’

‘I feel I am no less than anyone. Why should I compromise on my dreams because I am bounded by these crutches?’ she questioned me back.

In that moment I felt silly for all my timid complaints from life. Talking to her made me feel so positive about life!

‘I breathed a huge sigh of relief when my doctors allowed me for this tournament. I love pushing myself hard each time,’ she continued.

‘By each passing day, I become stronger and stronger than I was the day before. Nothing is impossible if you don’t give up!’

I was overwhelmed at this girl’s confidence. I decided to attend her show and give her a standing ovation. She was a hero herself. Such people should be celebrated.

The D day arrived. The stage was set.

Ruhi gave her best. She was the star performer.

Her father’s eyes filled with tears of joy as she received a standing ovation from the audience.

‘She is my miracle baby,’ he exclaimed!

Ruhi was called on stage to share her story. She went up the dias confidently with the help of her crutches, yet effortlessly without anyone’s help. She was an utterly strong girl.

‘Hello everyone. I have been showered with the ‘Star Performer’ for today’s performance. I feel extremely honored and privileged. But maybe, not all are. I take this platform as an opportunity to address the pain of polio struck people who are considered abnormal and not allowed to chase their dreams. I am extremely thankful to my father for having the faith in my capabilities. But my dear friends, we need more people like my father. I dedicate this trophy to my father, who accompanies me at every tournament or performance of mine! These are the people who we call friends, family and mentors. For me, my father makes up for all. He is a solution to all my problems. His #SachchiAdvice has truly made  a difference in my life. This one is for you Papa!’ She ended as the audience had wet eyes.

P.S: “I am participating in the #SachchiAdvice Contest by MaxLife in Association with BlogAdda.”

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Book Review #47 : Made in India by Biddu

ISIN: 978-8172239237
Genre: Nonfiction/ Autobiography
Publishers: Harper Collins
Price: Rs. 399/-

As a child, Biddu dreamt of going west and making it big as a composer. At the age of sixteen, he formed a band and started playing in a cafe in Bangalore, his home town, At eighteen, he was part of a popular act at Trinca’s, a nightclub in Calcutta devoted to food, wine and music, At nineteen, he had college students in Bombay dancing to his music.

In his early twenties, he left the country and ended up hitchhiking across the Middle East before arriving in London with only the clothes on his back and his trusty guitar. What followed were years of hardship and struggle but also great music and gathering fame. From the nine million selling “Kung Fu Fighting” to the iconic youth anthem of “Made in India” and the numerous hits in between. Biddu’s music made him a household name in India and elsewhere.

In this first public account of all that came his way: the people, the events, the music tours and companies Biddu writes with a gripping sense of humor about his remarkable journey with its fairy tale ending. Charming, witty, and entirely likable, Biddu is a man you are going to enjoy getting to know.

I don’t read much of auto-biographies because after a point, I feel, the person self-victimizes or becomes narcissistic. However, this book completely changed my opinion!

This book is exactly what people would want to read. The author neither preaches nor blames. He talks in a breezy narration. He shares the story with you like how you talk to your best friend about it. That’s what makes the book a worthy one.

In today's times when I talk to debut authors and listen to their share of stories where they never got parental support in pursuing a career of  their choice in this as an author I always feel that this is an age old story which somehow never ends. Though I would also like to add here that there are some parents who are willingly allowing their children to take some risks but at the end of the day all that they want is betterment of their child.

He talks about his hardships and the way he has carved a niche for himself in a complete alien land where he landed up with nothing but just his guitar for company. And that really needs guts. It means a lot to witness his trials and tribulations, something that not many people know about. We all know about his international fame and the repute he has managed to built for himself. What we all conveniently forget is the hardships he faced to reach this zenith. 

He proves it to us through his book that every success story has a past filled with hard work and determination. Some of the most amazing incidents revealed by him left me with a smile. It has a very breezy narration for that matter where after some point you start feeling like a close friend of Biddu who has had the honor of listening to the story by the author himself. It warms up your heart and makes you feel proud that someone like that was not very long ago someone like you. He just made a different choice and look where he is today, making the whole world dance to his tunes and let the world know what it takes to be Made in India!

A colourful larger than life character in his sixties who has the gift of the gab and is liberal with his similes and metaphors and puns, and one who sometimes tends to overuse them is the first impression one gets of veteran musician Biddu.

Very less are fortunate to convert their passion into their profession, Biddu is lucky he persuade his carrier in music. I liked the title Made in India Adventure of a lifetime; here adventure of lifetime is very symbolic we find how an ordinary guy with great passion converted his life into a celebrity. At the time of 70’s when parents doesn’t allow their child to make their carrier as a musician or singer, Biddu gone against all odd to make his dream come true.

In last chapter he mentions why he has given the title of the book as Made in India, its given because of his best selling album in India where he composed for Alesha Chinai, also Biddu says that no matter wherever he is in the world he still loves his motherland India. 

I highly recommend this book, it’s an excellent read. An easy, fun read! Overall a superbly written book - high on emotions with right doses of practical wisdom. Recommended for people who enjoy biographies. Biddu is someone you really enjoy knowing up, close and personal.

P.S: I received the book for review from The Readdicts

Saturday, 12 September 2015

True Calling

At her book launch, someone asked her, "Hey, you write Romance, why? Just because it sells?"

She replied, "No, I write about love, because it gives me a hope, a satisfaction. Our lives are so crowded. Love between two people gets lost in it. Between what is said and what is not said, most of the love is lost."

Quick came the counter question, "So you write idealistic love stories to create a fairyland for yourself?"

She replied calmly, "No, I write idealistic love stories to save love. I craft stories with words cradled in love. I write love in pages so that if someone reads them, they may discover hope of finding love. I love to write Romance because I can inflict some small part of emotion onto those that I don't believe feel enough. Yes, writing cheesy romance is eloping from the present, but that is my true calling and I will forever chase it."

And they got their answers.

This is in response to Indispire, edition 82:

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Book Review #46 : Arcane Rhapsodies

Author: Navya Jain
Publisher: Authorspress
Publication Year: 2015
Pages: 94

The ability to write a story in poetical form is art not many people are blessed with. Arcane Rhapsodies is magic created by Navya Jain. She left her job to pursue creative writing and poetry. She does a fantastic job at poetry!

This was the first time I read a book that contains stories written in poetic form. The cover of the book generates a mystic feel that enhances curiosity in the reader. This book is an amazing scripture that spins a beautiful tale. It is quite unique!

Arcane Rhapsodies revolves around the famous playwright Henry, who while seeking inspiration for his poetry, travels back and forth in time and weaves together some well known and some anonymous myths, folklore and legends. Henry explores the dark and the light, seen and unseen and even the imaginary and realistic aspects of life, and you follow him through this thrilling journey. The various stories that form a part of the book are in fact that different experiences Henry has through this journey and from which he gets the inspiration for his verses.

Navya proves her writing calibre with Arcane Rhapsodies. Her use of a refined and easy language enables the reader to connect with the various stories, though you might find few words difficult to understand. At the same time she maintains the flow and graceful charm of poetic expression.

What really impressed me the most is that Navya has taken the efforts of providing a summary of each story at the end making it possible for readers to understand their origin and context.

Overall, I totally enjoyed the innovative manner in which Navya Jain has presented some of the most amazing folktales from around the world! She has retold  some very engaging myths, legends and folklore from around the world.

The flowing, charming, bubbling lines of rhyming poetry that have added so much beauty to each tale. I could almost imagine the tales being unfolded on a stage as the verses played in the background.

I totally enjoyed this book.  This is a really innovative way to present the stories from around the world.

A lovely attempt, Navya! Interesting, innovative and a lyrical way to tell tales of times and eras gone.

My rating : 4.8/5

In short: Arcane Rhapsodies is a poetry book that weaves together some known and some unknown folklore, myths and legends from around the world. It is best described as a collection of stories in verses. As you go verse by verse, you will begin to understand that not all is as it seems. Sometimes there is more than meets the eye. The poems will surely fuel your imagination as you embark on an adventure that is bound to leave you thrilled.

About the Author: Navya is an ardent student of her passions- creative writing and poetry. After having completed her management education, she worked as an HR Manager in an MNC for two years and three months after which she decided to pursue other avenues. She dreams to pen many more poems and finish her long pending novels while she works her way into the management education industry. Among her other dreams is to pursue a doctoral programme in management. In her spare time, Navya likes to cook up more stories and work on her poetry blog: Alternatively, she can be found researching for her stories or spending time with her family and friends or researching for the very many management papers and articles that she aspires to write.

P.S: The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.