All posts filed under: Books

Books that have inspired me.

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5 Best ‘Work From Home’ Cafes in South Delhi.

Let’s face it, working from home isn’t easy. Waking up early in the morning can be injurious to your daily schedule. Getting distracted by social media is necessary to keep your sanity. You can be eating breakfast at dinner time, and supper during lunch. The least you deserve is a handful of cafes that understand your lifestyle. Since bidding goodbye to corporate life in sunny Singapore and moving to Delhi, I’ve been on a quest to find cafes with easy all-day access to good food, a lightening fast internet connection, and the option to interact with a friendly staff.

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200th Post Special: Travel books Giveaway!

I’m surrounded by the jungles of Jim Corbett as I write this, my 200th post. This trip to India’s oldest Tiger Reserve is as special as today’s post; this is my first ever travel blogging trip, with the awesome social media folks at Club Mahindra. And I owe it to you, for reading my blog & keeping me company while I travel! So I’m going to thank you, and celebrate these two momentous occasions by giving away my copies of two of these 4 unlikely travel books to inspire you to travel.

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4 Unlikely Travel Books to Inspire You to Travel.

I’ve just put down a book by Vikram Seth and picked up another written by the son of Tenzing Norgay (yeah, the first man ever to climb Everest). Claire, a fellow travel blogger recently wrote about a love-hate relationship with travel blogs. I think I’m developing the same with all these travelogues I’m reading. I’m trying to convince myself that if I can’t go, atleast I can read, but that is little consolation.

The Tempest – Singapore Act

Kudos to Sam Mendes & the traveling cast of The Bridge Project. Singapore is one of the 7 cities to be stricken by The Tempest. If you are or were ever into Shakespeare, watch it! Watch it for creative, insightful direction by Sam Mendes (of the American Beauty fame). Watch it for a mind-blowing performance by Ron Cephas Jones as Caliban. Watch it for Prospero’s ardor, Miranda’s innocence, Ariel’s fragility, Trinculo’s humor, Gonzalo’s frailness. Watch it for the love of theatre. In exploring the Shakespearean themes of betrayal, love, power, wisdom, sacrifice, forgiveness & magic, The Bridge Project team did every bit of justice (and more) to the written version of the play. The actors breathe life into the characters with oodles of imagination & emotions, backed by stunning sets, and an apt selection of sounds & music. “These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air, And, like the baseless fabric of vision, The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe …

Many Lives, Many Masters

Whether or not you believe in science, this is one book that’s bound to give you food for thought. Penned by a psychiatrist, Dr Brian Weiss, Many masters, many lives is what he claims to be the true story of one of his patients. Catherine, a young girl troubled by inexplicable phobias, seeks his help, and when typical psychiatric treatments don’t bare results, he resorts to the rarely used practice of hypnosis. What follows is plain bizarre. In her hypnotic state, Catherine appears to visit her past lives, reincarnations of herself in varied geographical locations and time periods. Often, Catherine reaches an in-between stage, where she’s dead but not reincarnated yet, and she communicates to the doctor the messages of highly evolved spirits (called the Masters), including personal details from his own life. I know it sounds like the plot of some psychological thriller, and as I re-read it, even the highly predictable story-line of a horror Hindi movie. But that’s the beauty of it – what you believe is completely your choice. At one point, …

Keep Off The grass

I finally found, read and loved a book that hasn’t been extensively reviewed (yet) on the blogosphere! If you aren’t already enticed by the title, get a load of this: an Indian investment banker on Wall Street, born and brought up in the US, decides to quit his million dollar job to go to India to find his roots. He enrolls himself at IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Bangalore, and what ensues is a hillarious chase of answers, grades and weed.  Obviously, the IIM turns out to be completely different from typical B-schools in the US and elsewhere. Samrat Ratan, the protagonist, once a Yale valedictorian and a big-shot banker, is pitted against the super-brained IITians from the country, only to discover that mediocrity has its own virtues. His constant struggle between his American upbringing and Indian roots initially finds no solace in the rat-race of grades and jobs, until he realizes that relationships are what really matter.  In his quest for happiness, Samrat meets Sarkar and Vinod, the former an incredibly smart guy with …

The Diary Of A Young Girl

I am probably among the last people on the planet to have read Anne Frank’s diary, and given that, this review is probably very redundant. I am doing it nonetheless because it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Anne Frank’s was one of the Jewish families that went into hiding during Hitler’s reign. Her diary is a day-to-day account of life in hiding, written between the ages of 13 and 15. Even though it was never intended for public readership, it makes for a smooth storyline and an extremely engaging one at that. It re-emphasizes, time and again, the futility of war.  Anne Frank was 13 when she started writing her diary and I’m 21, and yet, I can relate to everything she writes about growing up in a world where adulthood is defined by age and not maturity of thought. “We’re all alive, but we don’t know why or what for; we’re all searching for happiness; we’re all leading lives that are different and yet the same… People who …

The Time Traveler’s Wife

If you could defy time and visit snippets of your past and future as your current self, would you? It’s not exactly a choice for Henry DeTamble, the protagonist of The Time Traveler’s Wife. Henry’s genetic condition makes him vanish involuntarily from the present, and lands him into his past or future, unaware, in only his birthday suit. His time-travel episodes are filled with adventure, lies and heartache, because even though he can defy time, he can’t change it. Henry DeTamble: “How does it feel? I feels exactly like one of those dreams in which you suddenly realize that you have to take a test you haven’t studied for and you aren’t wearing any clothes. And you’ve left your wallet at home. When I am out there, in time, I am inverted, changed into a desperate version of myself. I become a thief, a vagrant, an animal who runs and hides. I startle old women and amaze children. I am a trick, an illusion of the highest order, so incredible that I am actually true.” …

Teacher Man

Frank McCourt has given a new dimension to teaching in this non-fictional account. He writes about teaching and learning and teaching to learn and learning to teach. McCourt’s journey is rooted in Ireland, from where he seeks to rise in the minds and hearts of the students in New York’s public schools, through his unconventional, inspiring approach to teaching. As he explores his own identity, he accepts that teachers don’t have all the answers, and that is only human. His creative writing class reads and sings cooking recipes, his English class discusses Little Bo Peep! Even when we don’t relate to the Irish life or the NY adolescents, we end up becoming a part of the Teacher Man phenomenon. The racy, decryptable writing makes you belong in McCourt’s classes. His humble, inquisitive approach to teaching makes you want to learn, as though it comes from choice and not force. Great teaching, great writing and very inspirational. If you’re a student, it will give you a new perspective on learning. If you’re a teacher, you’ll want …

The Arabic Language

Arabic has long fascinated culture-seekers and artists from the west. The language is reminiscent of an ancient setting, and has a crude, poetic aura about it. Despite all the unconventional stuff I fancy myself doing, I never thought I’d be learning Arabic someday! It’s an absolutely brilliant language, though the non-artist in me can barely do justice to the creative strokes of the Arabic alphabet. I learnt my first few today (alif, baa, wow…), together with some introductory greetings (sobah-ul-khair, masaa-un-nuur) so often heard and ignored in hindi movies. Here are some interesting facts about the Arabic lingo: Arabic is written and read from right to left. In fact, books and newspapers are binded on the right, unlike conventional reading material. Check out the front cover of my Arabic textbook and notice the right-binding. All letters are connected when writing in Arabic. Unlike English, this does not vary by handwriting. For example, in print like this, the English letters are all disjointed. In Arabic, even in print, these letters are connected. There are a few …