Monday, 22 October 2018

The Heartfulness Way by Kamlesh D Patel (Daaji) : a review

Mediation has seen a lot of variants over the years. Some believe in the power of meditation while some don't. And it's completely fine if they have their own idea on this topic which isn't really clear to the human mind yet. There are thousands of books in the market speaking of the power of the meditative mind but none seem motivational enough. What if you get to read one such book written by a spiritual 'master’ and his 'disciple’ where they take you through the journey? The Heartfulness way by Kamlesh D Patel (Daaji) and Joshua Pollock is one such book.

About the book- If you knew that was a practical way to transcend suffering and fly into the sky of hope and contentment, would you be interested? That is exactly what heartfulness offers -  transforming us from the inside out so that we see the world in a new way, without the filters of our limitations.

To begin with, in the midst of all the books available in the market this one particular book attracted me for a few reasons. The first reason was the cover of the book. How I love the beautiful and enriching book cover that the book has. To top it off, it is basically a paperback with a book jacket and it feels so good to hold. Teamed up with cream colored pages, this book is everything I like in a book put together. Next, the blurb and the tagline of the book that says, “Heart based meditations for spiritual transformation” made me pick this one up.

I can today safely say that I found this book when I needed this book the most. I wouldn't have had the depth of understanding what the book has to say if I didn't read this book at the time I read it. The book takes off from the time Joshua sits and talks to Daaji regarding mediation and everything associated with it. Dare I say, through Joshua I felt that my questions were also answered. Throughout the book as the two co-authors of the book talk and discuss about everything related to meditation, the book also teaches the readers on how to meditate.

All the myths associated with meditation are busted and one reading of the book in itself is enriching for the soul. By the time you reach the conclusion of the book, you know what you're stepping for. Coming to the cons of the book I have to say a few words. For starters, like I already mentioned, this book caught me at the right time. I believe that when we pick up a book based on such a topic, it should come naturally to us and no matter what situation we're in or what we're going through, the book should connect to us.

The only flaw of this book can be the fact that it is for the serious crowd written in layman's language. I would've loved it had the book been written in a more quirky shade. The second half of the book, specially. That apart, everything about this book is wonderful. To me, this one takes back a 4 on 5 and I am looking forward to taking the Heartfulness Way...

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Amidst the Whirlwind by Sayan Banerjee: a review

In the midst of all the light and extreme breathtaking books that you might read on a daily basis, this sparkling debut by Sayan Banerjee titled Amidst the Whirlwind is something that will take you aback. To begin with, the cover dutifully done in black enhances the whole feel of the book which makes it all the more tempting to pick it up. The back cover says a lot about the book but don't just keep it at that. Read on to find out…

About the book- Trapped in the labyrinth of the 21st century, this novella is an expression of the underlying conflict of the social, emotional, and the carnal turmoil of the narrator. Surfing through the waves of morality, immorality, helplessness, the narrator with journalism as his surfboard takes us through an enthralling, nail biting and emotional roller-coaster ride that is bound to raise the heartbeat of the audience just a bit more. The whirlwind inside our minds confront us every now and then and we are trying to cope with our existential crisis. The embedded emotions, realisations and the conflict that the narrator experiences is an apt metaphor of the current modern world…

Having got the opportunity to read this book before it's release (and yes, it's released now) this book made me sit and think. The book is set in Kolkata and that made me relate to the book even more. I loved the way the blurb itself caught my eyes enough to pick this one book. The way the blurb has been written carefully showcases the writing style of the journalist that the author is.
Starting with the characters of the book, I loved the way the author has sketched the characters. The graph of every character was properly shown and that is commendable for a debut author. The story is free flowing and never looks clumsy. While reading the story, as it isn't with many authors these days, you as a reader could very well imagine the scenario and feel as if you're a part of what's going on in the book. My favorite character has to be Manni!

For the cons of the book I would like to mention the fact that after reading the blurb I had huge expectations out of the author. And I would have to mention that I was a tad bit disappointed with the writing style dripping a notch. Grammatical errors and a few errors here and there set aside, the book was overall a worthy read. Once the book got over I really wanted to know what happens next and that's very important for any author I believe. Since it is a novella, I felt that it should've been a bit more crisp. All that said, this one book is worth the read and it takes aalot to give in such a bold attempt at first go. Commending the writer on the same, I would give it 3.5 out of 5. 

Thursday, 11 October 2018

The Best Couple Ever by Novoneel Chakraborty: a review

With the announcement of the 10th anniversary edition of his debut book, bestselling writer Novoneel Chakraborty also announced his 12th book The Best Couple Ever. Just after the announcement of the book, his readers were baffled as the book mentions three couples (with names typical Novoneel style) contending to the be the Best Couple Ever. This, along with the blurb of the book couldn't have been a better story…

About the book- Do you flaunt your happy moments in the form of filtered photographs on Facebook, Instagram, etc.? Do you and your partner set relationship goals for others on social media? Do you make people jealous of the perfect life you are living? Do you portray yourself as a forever-happy person to your social media followers? Do you think you are a cyber-world aspiration? If no, then chill. If yes, then congrats! You are their next target.

Chakraborty himself is extremely active on social media about his books and his shows and his travel and everything in between. So, what made him write this book? A quick chat with the author revealed it was the strong social message it carries. Novoneel has the power to push me down the cliff and hold me up. That is a reason why I cannot stop myself from starting to read his books the very moment I hold it in my hands for the first time. This book, after all these years, was no different.

The cover of the book was what attracted me to begin with. The answer to the book is there in the cover itself. When I met the characters for the first time, I couldn't help but fall for them. Imagine an over ambitious woman who lives by the money of her husband. Oh wait. Or live in partners? You're already imagining? Let me help you fuel your imagination more. A super wonderful woman and her super wonderful husband. You want more? Imagine the best couple ever. That's Dhriti, Satyam, Kashvi, Parth, Sanisha and Adhik!

And they are not the only ones. In one of the most character books that has been written by the author, this one falls clean and sturdy. From the first page to the last, I couldn't help but keep reading the book even though I was using an extremely new bookmark which I had kept specifically for this one. My favorite of his characters out of this book? He asks. Of course Kshay. I beam! And he knows and only smirks at my answer. The typical Novoneel smirk.

The story revolves around these 3 couples and there's one hidden mystery in the book. The book has it all. Murder. Sex. Thrill. Mystery. Love. Divided into two parts, the second part actually is something that the author has written for the first time. And as for a first attempt, this is brilliant. I would want the author to write more like the second part of the book. The seamless transition of one story to another and how these three stories merge at one deserves a standing ovation. In also a very typical Novoneel way, he leads on to make the readers think something while the end is something completely different. I love how the author controls the minds of his readers. A feat not many can achieve.  

“One of those things you say!” - you might tell me after reading this review (and trust me! God! You NEED to read this book NOW to find out what I mean by the above line). Ashwamedha has been a role model throughout the book and by the end of the book you'll also consider him as one. One of the best parts about the book is that by the end of the book, Novoneel explains why the book was written and what the book actually means. This doesn't mean you'll read the last page first.

Having read and reviewed all his previous 11 books till date, after reading this I realized that this was what I was talking about all these years. This book is the reason why I adore his writing style and everything in his books but have always refrained from giving full marks. This one has everything I've always wanted from a Novoneel book and I will be so discriminating if I hold back the full marks now. This one's to a mind blowing book, a wonderful plot and stupendofantabulousticallyfantastic characters. This one's 5 on 5!