Friday, 31 October 2014

The Secret of A Healthy Forever!

      Vacations were coming to an end but the fun wasn't over yet. I was still in a happy mood due to the Madikeri trip we were going on the next day. Dad had suddenly made plans about a family trip and I was happy to be spending next few days enjoying amidst the mountains in Madikeri. I and my brother were busy packing our bags when mom called him. "I need you to go to the market and get a bottle of Dabur Chyawanprash soon" she said. It was a little late and my brother was in no mood to go out just for a bottle of chyawanprash. But my mom was insisting that he go. Winter was fast approaching and Madikeri is known for its chilly weather. She was not ready to take any risk. Seeing a fight begin between the two, I jumped in and agreed to go with my brother.

       We were on our way to the super market when my brother started speaking again. "I don't understand why she makes such a big deal out of it! What happens if we don't take it for a week?" he scoffed. It made me recall the incident. I was in high school and trimester exam systems were there at that time. I had been the topper successively in the first two trimesters but during the third trimester I fell sick. I got jaundice and couldn't attend the last trimester. I was promoted to the next class due to my grades in the previous two exams but I couldn't keep up that performance anymore. I used to fall sick a lot and due to that my grades went down. My immunity had become very weak. Everyone at home was worried about my health. They were all affected from my sickness. Happiness was lacking in our life. 

       One day my mom was called by my science teacher for a meeting. The teacher was fond of me and thus had called mom to discuss about the reason behind my irregularity. When mom told her about my health, she suggested I take Dabur Chyawanprash everyday. I didn't understand why she was suggesting it to me. I had taken so many tablets in the past one year. If that didn't work, how would this? I was skeptical. She smiled when voiced my opinion. "Chyawanprash, a time-tested, age-old formulation has a number of herbs like Amla, known to be one of the best antioxidants, Giloy, known to have immuno-modulatory properties, and has more than 40 other natural ingredients. I am sure you understand the scientific value behind this, don't you?" she asked me. I was thoroughly impressed with what she said. I came home and looked up on internet for more information. I was satisfied with what I read. That evening we went to the super market and bought a bottle of Dabur Chyawanprash. Since that day, it had become a daily habit to take a spoon of Dabur Chyawanprash. My health also improved a lot and my grades went up again. Happiness was restored in our lives.

       When I finished narrating this story to my brother, he was surprised. "What did you read on the website that impressed you so much as to buy it the same day?" he asked curiously. I took my cell and typed the website address that I knew so well - and gave it to my brother to read. He started reading aloud. "Dabur Chyawanprash has anti-oxidant properties and helps to strengthen your body's internal defence mechanism thereby protecting you from day to day infections such as cough, cold etc." He became silent as he continued reading the rest. I knew his interest was piqued. He finished reading it within few minutes and handed my mobile back to me. "You still say it is just a bottle of Chyawanprash?" I asked him while we were standing at the billing counter. "When did I ever say so? It is The precious bottle of Dabur Chyawanprash, a must have for everyone. With it comes 3x Immunity!" he said. I smiled as we started walking back towards home.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

God Is A Gamer - Book Review

Title: God Is A Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Publisher: Penguin Books India
ISBN: 9780143421399
Number of Pages: 310
Price: 299 [INR]
Genre: Thriller

Blurb on the Book:

What happens when you cross Gamer, Banker, Politician and Terrorist with virtual money?

From the bestselling author of 'If God was a Banker' comes the first ever bitcoin thriller. God is a Gamer is a world where money means nothing, martyrs are villians, predators are prey, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

Moving from Washington's Congress to Delhi's finance ministry, the beaches of Goa to the corporate boardrooms of Mumbai, this is Ravi Subramanian's most gripping novel yet.

My Review:

The story starts with the cold blooded assassination of US senator Gillian Tan in Washington. Agent Adrian Scott of FBI is assigned this case and everyone including him clueless as to how the bulletproof car was blown up. Seemingly unrelated events start happening in different parts of the world. Virtual money called bitcoins are used for online transactions. An online company dealing with drugs and illegal activities is extensively using bitcoins to handle their business. FBI is clueless as to who are the owners of this company. A phishing scam in Mumbai leads to loss of crores of rupees to NYIB, the suicide of Malavika, the ex- CEO of NYIB all which seem unrelated in the beginning will start coinciding as the story progresses. 

Initially, it was a little hard for me to keep up with the proceedings. The story is slow paced but one has to understand the workings of financial organization to get a hang of what is going on. The author has provided the readers with enough details whenever necessary, so as to keep the readers engaged without letting them lose interest. Once the story reaches the second half, that is when it becomes even more thrilling. As the different events get connected and the FBI and CBI start connecting the dots, you just cannot put the book down.

When the culprit is announced by the agents in the end, it will leave you shocked because it is exactly what you wouldn't have expected. But even more shocking is the twist in the end; yes, there is one more twist in the end! Well, I can't say much without spoiling the suspense. All I can say is, go pick up the book and find out yourself! You will enjoy reading it.

Some of the lines from the book that I liked:

  • Success is not always measured in terms of dollars earned or turnover. It is measured in terms of the difference you have made to the people around you.
  • Even if you have to quit, it's important to quit on a high. That's when the world will respect you.
  • If you live, you get to fight your battle another day.
  • When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance.
  • Reputation has no insurance.
  • The problem with theorizing on the basis of incomplete facts is that we end up twisting the facts to suit the theory. We should be doing it the other way around.
All in all, the book is a great read. The narration and language are perfect. It will keep readers engaged till the end. I will recommend it for all mystery lovers.

PS: This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Time for Prompts!

       When I first started blogging, I had no idea about writing for prompts. I just used to scribble down things that came to my mind. But when I did get to know about writing for prompts, blogging became a lot more interesting. I learnt to write fiction posts and poems! All thanks to the wonderful prompts. So today I would like to share with you people a few prompts that I love.

1. 3 Word Wednesday: Every Wednesday, they give you three words and their meanings too. All you have to do is write a post including these three words. It can be anything - fiction, non-fiction, haiku or poetry. This is the first prompt site that I came across.

2. Write Tribe: The one most of us know and love to be a part of. An excellent platform for improving your writing skills and interact with other bloggers. The tips provided are just awesome.

3. Five Sentence Fiction: Just five sentence is what you need to write. You will be amazed by the wide range of posts that are linked here based on the same word. If you are looking for a quick write, go for this.

4. Poetry Jam: If you are someone who loves to write poems, then hop over to this site. You will be provided a word every week on which you have to write a poem.

5. Write Over Weekend: These weekend prompts by BlogAdda used to be my favorite and I wrote every week without miss. But it's been so many days since I wrote for it. Maybe I will write sometime soon.

6. 30 Letter Series: I love the 30 letter series weekly challenge Nibha is hosting. Even in this electronic era, the idea of writing letters is something that excites me a lot.

       So these are some of the prompts that I like to write for. Is there any good prompt site that I have missed? Do let me know :)

PS: Linking this post to Write Tribe's Link Posts - Rediscovering Your Blogging Groove - Day 4.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Trouble has a new name - Book Review

Title: Trouble has a new name
Author: Adite Banerjie
Publisher: Harlequin India Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN: 978-93-5106-513-5
Number of Pages: 187
Price: 150 [INR]
Genre: Romance

Blurb on the Book:

Will you pretend to be my fiance for the next few days?

Recently single model Rayna Dutt does not feel like flying to her friend's big fat Indian wedding. But she does - and when a mix-up with room allocation forces her to share a luxury villa on Emarald Isle with the gorgeous owner of the hotel Neel Arora, best man at the wedding, things begin to look up.

Until Rayna's ex turns up with a new girl on his arm!

Hitting the panic button, Rayna searches for a solution. Surely Neel wouldn't mind being her fake fiance...? In an instant the attraction theyshare is at fever-pitch, but when scandal comes calling Rayna soon finds herself in more trouble than she can handle!

My Review:

I was a fan of Adite's writing after I read her first book - The Indian Tycoon's Marriage Deal. So I naturally had great expectations from this book and I must say Adite didn't disappoint me.

The story begins with Rayna flying to Andaman Islands to attend her best friend's wedding despite her not so happy personal life. She didn't want to ditch Milee on her big day. And so on the way to the Islands, Rayna meets Neel, towards whom she feels an instant attraction. 

The story progresses with Rayna and Neel fighting this pull they feel towards each other while they try to maintain the facade of their fake relationship. The gossips of Agra group, Rayna's ex Sid attending the marriage with his new girl friend, the shoot on the Islands are all bits that spice up the story. Amidst all this, will Rayna and Neel ever realize their love for each other or will they just part ways after Milee's marriage? Read the book and find out. 

Adite has set up a perfect ambience for a romantic story - The exquisite Island, the Indian wedding, celebrities, the relatives, the media people and amidst all this are two people who love each other. I loved Adite's narration and her attention to details. She loves Bollywood a lot and her stories reflect this love.

All in all, the book makes a very good read. If you love Bollywood or if you love romantic stories, then I would suggest you go for this book.

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

PS: Linking this post to Write Tribe's Write a Review - Rediscovering Your Blogging Groove - Day 3

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Sunday, 12 October 2014

How to handle Stress?

       Stress has become a integral part of our life these days. People of every age group go through stress. Stress isn't a totally bad thing considering how some people can perform better under stress. But too much of anything is bad. Likewise too much of stress can lead to disaster. It fuels anger and in the heat of anger, we end up hurting our dear ones. Stress is the one to blame for this. 

      Though we can't avoid stress completely, there are things we can do to minimize the effects of this stress. Here are a few things that I do when I am stressed:

  • Listen to music. Music is a remedy for everything. It is a magic that works wonders. Listening to something soothing will always calm you down.
  • Look outside and enjoy the beauty of nature. The greenery, the little bird on the window sill or the dew drops, all these little things can divert your mind.
  • Close your eyes and take deep breathes. It is said that when we take deep breathes, more oxygen is supplied to brain and this can help us relax.
  • Talk to your favorite person, maybe a friend or your parents or your partner. Talk to anyone whose company you love. Talking to them can make you forget your worries and lift your mood like anything.
  • Do something you love. It maybe writing or painting or even dancing. These things can break your stress and make you happy.
  • Take a break! Whatever is stressing you, take a break from it and enjoy life's pleasures. Maybe go for a movie or take a nap. You will feel refreshed and ready to face the challenge again by next day.
  • And if you have the patience, go for Yoga. It really helps a lot in improving our lifestyle and reducing stress.

      These are the few things that I do to handle stress at times. What are your ways of handling stress?

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Different Types of Lecturers

       I had once written a post about the Different Types of Students in a Class. While there are so many types of students, there are also different types of lecturers that you come across in your college life. Some inspire you, some motivate you while some make you want to scream at the top of your voice! Trust me, I have seen the latter too! So here is a list of different types of lecturers you are sure to find in almost every college

1. The Role Model: 

      There is at least one lecturer like this that you come across in your life time. They inspire you to achieve something great in your life. Their teaching is secondary but the motivation they give, it is something that has the potential to change your life style. 

2. The Wise One:

      This is someone who is very knowledgeable. There is at least one wise lecturer in the whole college to whom every one else looks up to. They are the ultimate problem solvers for students and teachers alike. In case of any difficulty or complication, you know whom to contact. They are like the life line of the college.

3. The Morose One:

       Or popularly called 'Khadoos' by students these days. These are the kind of lecturers whom you definitely should avoid clashing with. They possess the supreme ability of turning your happiest day into a gloomy one. Just few minutes of talking with them can leave your spirits deflated for the rest of the day. They will leave you wanting to scream at everyone who talk to you that day. Compassion is something that is missing in their dictionary!

4. The Crush Worthy One:

      There are few lecturers whom students just love. No matter how they teach, students are always present in their classes. Students attend their class just to look at them for an hour without any disturbance. Such is their charm. Yes, there are some crush worthy lecturers like this.

5. Uneasy Person:

       They are the lecturers who know a lot but fail to express. They get tensed when they have to face a class room full of students and end up stammering and giving the impression that they know nothing. But if you ever contact them personally to get doubts solved, you will find that they know a lot.

6. Cocksure Person:

       They are the exact opposite of uneasy persons. They know little but they act like they know everything. Whatever they say becomes final; no doubts or questions what-so-ever are entertained. Asking a doubt to them in front of whole class is assured to get you a very lengthy assignment.

7. Cordial Person:

       There is always that lecturer who is very sweet towards students. Speaking to them will make you happy. They are like friends to students and they understand students' problems well. They are usually the junior lecturers who have just finished their degree and have entered the teaching profession.

8. Nosy Person

       Any gossip in the campus, these lecturers will be the first to know. Not only do they keep close eye on every details of students, but they find great pleasure in spreading this knowledge with other lecturers.

9. The Drilling Machine:

        There is always a lecturer whose class every student despise. Even the clock seems to be on hibernation during their class! Sleep is inevitable but you have no other option than to sit there and fight sleep because these are most commonly the Morose Ones! You just can't afford to be noted by them!

10. Irregular One:

       These are students' favorite lecturers. Students don't have to bunk their classes because they themselves are irregular and rarely engage classes. 

       These are some kind of lecturers that we commonly find. But in the end, no matter which category they belong to, they are our lecturers and we get to learn something from them. Maybe curricular or maybe some important lesson for life, they all teach us something. It is just our choice whether we will learn it or ignore it.

       Do you have any more types to add to this list? Let me know ;)

PS: To my lecturers who read this (in case!), this is purely a fictional post and any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental!! :D I am not to blame for the coincidence.

Linking this post to Write Tribe's Write a List - Rediscovering Your Blogging Groove - Day 1.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Lucifer's Lungi - Book Review

Title: Lucifer's Lungi 

Author: Nitin Sawant
Publisher: Fablery
ISBN: 978-81-928937-0-9
Number of Pages: 111
Price: 120 [INR]

Blurb on the Book:

An atheist city-slicker unleashed on a medieval holy village...

A simpleton village priest's boy who blindly worships and guards a pantheon of Gods and Their traditions...

Strange things happen when their worlds collide!

This is a tale of that turmoil on a lonely night in a jungle, when the ghosts you never knew till a few hours ago are let loose on the ghosts that you always carried within, unknowingly.

Welcome to the unholy clash of beliefs, fears and frailties with unknown Gods and demons. A clash that will test your convictions. A clash that will rabidly claw and unmask your subconscious, leaving you naked and paralyzed in front of your demons - in a climax that is as ambiguous as it is certain...

Welcome to the madness of 'Lucifer's Lungi'... where What-You-See-Is-NOT-What-You-Get...

My Review:

I was curious about the story line when I saw the title of the book. While it intrigued me, it gave away nothing about what it holds in store for the readers. It took me 2 hours to complete the book and I must say, it was a very satisfying read.

The protagonist of this book is a software professional who is bored with his mundane life. While trying ways to break free from the monotonous life, he develops a habit of going on weekend trips to new places and thus enjoying the break from his routine at office. On one such trips he ends up in a small village, where the stay becomes no less than an adventure.

While the modern world is embracing science and scientific reasons behind every phenomenon, there are still places where religious myths exist. They are so deep rooted in people's mind that even if you try to correct them, they will never accept the truth. 'Lucifer's Lungi' is about one such incident.

Though short, the story is packed with humor. I loved how the confusion of the protagonist is portrayed clearly, especially when the his mind struggles between accepting the modern thoughts and bracing the myths. It is rightly said that when fear clouds one's mind, their reasoning and judgement turn out weak. 

The narration is crisp and vivid. I felt like I was taking the journey with the protagonist through the jungle. I was experiencing his fears and his confusion. The story leaves you questioning the beliefs you have been believing in blindly all your life. Though the story gets a little boring in some places, the ending makes up for it. It was so gripping that I could feel the tension build up in me as the story was coming to an end. All in all an interesting read.

I'll end this review with my favorite quote from the book:

There's more to fear in the wild, than just wild animals. FEAR YOUR IMAGINATION!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Meet the Publisher 

Fablery Publications is a contemporary publishing start-up based in Bangalore. At Fablery, our focus is on bringing out books that are more in tune with the current reading habits. Our present portfolio includes a psycho-thriller novella “Lucifer’s Lungi”, two graphic novels “Subbu’s Code” and “Ka Kaa” to be launched at Bangalore Comic Con, along with a book adaptation of a National Award winning movie “Ri” and an anthology of historical fiction “Once Upon A Time”.

You can stalk Fablery@

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Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)