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Thursday, December 11, 2014

AkshayaPatra - The Inexhaustible Food Vessel

 

Akshayapatra (Sanskrit: अक्षयपात्र) meaning "inexhaustible vessel", is an object from Hindu theology. It was a wonderful vessel given to Yudhishthira by the Lord Surya, which held a never-failing supply of food to the Pandavas every day.


That's Mythology !!


In the modern world, Akshaya Patra is an initiative to feed children.

Here are 2 videos that you should see ... both are mind-blowing in their own ways ... 



Monday, December 01, 2014

An almost Missed Life

It is absolutely rare that I make a back-to-back blog post but the time and situation kind of demanded it.

 

I just made a post few minutes ago related to yet another interesting activity by BlogAdda.com and told my wife about it. She read it and told me something that I had never known before. Something related to the stubble and the unshaven look.

 

I still can't stop laughing but still managing to write this … So here goes the story.

 

As mentioned in the earlier post, I shave alternate days and you can imagine that the end of Day 2 is the worst. It was on such a fateful 'day2' that I got a call from Dad asking me to come to a CCD (café coffee day) … straight from office.
 
The reason was simple. An integral part of the arranged marriage process is the 'boy meet girl' and my father being slightly modern, preferred the informal setting of a café/restaurant where the 'boy-n-girl' could take another table and talk. So here I was, with a day2 stubble and a call from my dad to reach the place within the next 45 minutes.

 

I met the girl and talked and decided to meet again and then again and finally decided to say Yes. And we have been happily married since then and have a cute little daughter.

 

Well, so that's what happened several years ago. What happened just a few minutes back was … after my wife read the blog post I made for the Gillette activity, she told me something about that 'first meeting' day.

 

She told me that when she saw me approaching the table at CCD that day for the first time … and looked at me (with the day2 stubble) … her very first thoughts were ….

 

"Oh My GOD !! I have come to meet HIM? He, who would come so casually (read – unshaven) for an important life-changing meeting as this … will he be serious (or sensible) in life"

 

Yes … those were literally the exact words that rang in her head. She has kind-of 'rejected' for I had miserably failed in the 'first impressions' test. It was my way of speaking and making her comfortable while talking to her at the 'separate table' and the overall gentle personality … which ultimately managed to chang her opinion and she later said YES. But had it not been for my charm, we wouldn't be together now ...  

 

WOW. The stubble might have actually cost me not just an Europe trip but also my life-partner !! Scary !!  Isn't it …

 

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

The (Missed) Europe Trip

 

Life is strange and so is the human body. And of course, the same can be said about fate and luck.

Whats with this whole body hair thing? And let's suppose that there is some biological need for all that hair, why facial hair?? And let's assume that even that is required, what's with the world's (in fact humanity's) preference for the clean shaven look. There are times when I felt that it was a well planned marketing illusion created by razor companies.

But then I have seen myself in the mirror when I have been unshaven for 3-4 days  (ya, just 3-4 days) and I did not like wee bit of myself. The clean shaven look is definitely 'neat' besides maybe sexy or professional.

I generally shave alternate days and then occasionally it just happens that I miss or forget or am too much of a hurry to shave on the third day and I end up with quite a stubble! Don't like it but haven't got around to using an electric shaver (if I had, I would have kept one in my office bag always)

This alternate day shaving also has its problems … cos the week has even number of days. It is not as if I would end up with a shave every Sunday and often it is simply difficult to know whats gonna come up in office.

This was a long time ago … I had gone to the office and it was unfortunately a '3rd day' where I missed the regular shave and ended up with a stubble in office. My manager saw me in office, shook his head and remarked 'you missed a chance' and walked off. I did not get head-or-tail of what was going on and I did not see him for the rest of the day. I did not wonder about his strange reaction …

The next day, the real story came out when talking to a colleague of mine. A senior manager from our overseas office had come visiting our office the previous day and had requested one of our team members from my manager to go along with him for an important / critical / deal-closing meeting with one of our top clients. My manager had my name in mind since I had experience on the subject matter at hand and would have been best suited for the meeting. BUT, the stubble on my face (which he said was 'unprofessional' and 'un-presentable') discouraged him and he sent my colleague for the presentation (who was good but I was the best on that subject).

Well, it was definitely a chance missed to impress our senior manager as well as the client but I did not really realize what I had missed until the end of the year. My colleague who went along gained the client confidence (and also that of our senior manager) and he got the responsibility of that project. Although a small project, it involved meeting the senior members from the client organization … who were spread across 6 different countries in Europe !! !

That's what the missed-shave cost me … a freaking Euro-Trip !!

 And there are times when i feel the stubble on my chin, look out of the window into distant horizon and think about the 'missed' Europe trip !!
This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette  ((a brand I have been absolutely loyal to, ever since i used the Gillette Sensor Excel <twin blade>. I have not used any other brand of razor for the past 20 year  ...))

 

The rules are pretty simple and straightforward: You need to write a post of 300 words or more on the topics mentioned below. Tag your friends too at the end of the post. There's lots of goodies in store, including an Apple iPad, a MotoG phone and gift vouchers aplenty. 

 

Open your hearts and write about the impact that a stubble or lack of it, has had on the life.

Here are the themes for your blog post-

 

  • (Missed) Opportunities – Stories or instances where you missed out on an opportunity because of a ungroomed look. (Like I did above)
  • Luck or Confidence? Will you leave your fate in the hands of destiny or will you step up and say yes to a well- groomed face to be at your best everyday? #WillYouShave?

 

Ladies, you have a say in this too! Write a blog post about the men in your life on the following themes.

  • An instance when a stubble came in the way of a man's chance to make a good impression.
  • An instance when a well groomed look ensured that they struck gold on an opportunity given to them.

 

I am extending an invitation to my fellow-bloggers (tagging them) to write their own story on #WillYouShave … (Don't forget to mention in your post that I tagged you J )

 

The (clean-shaven) Gentlemen - Roshan, Nirav, Tushar, Shoumik, Shwetabh

 
And the lovely Ladies – SharuSneha Sri

 

 

Book Review: The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly





Book: The Great Zoo of China

Author: Matthew Reilly

No. of Pages: 500

Genre: Fiction, Action Thriller, Suspense

Publisher:  Pan Macmillan Australia



Matthew Reilly (MR) is back in his elements with a bigger-than-before and stranger-than-before action thriller.

MR does it again ... In style - At a grander scale - With dizzying visuals and absolutely high-octane fast-paced unbelievable-but-believable action-suspense – and as an MR fan; I loved every minute of the fun-tastic roller-coaster ride that MR creates in the Zoo.

There are sentences which would never make sense in any other author's novel but in MR's high-octane mind-numbing action thrillers; they seem perfectly OK. How else do you explain a reader being OK with a line like "Oh My God! The dragons are throwing cars at me" and that is just about the 'tip of the iceberg' since there are MUCH LARGER things getting thrown by MUCH LARGER dragons in the story which only gets bigger by the moment.

MR has introduced a new set of characters in this story … which I hope will appear again in future. CJ is a hard nut to crack and a multi-layered character (just like Scarecrow or Jack West Jr) and it will be good to see her again along with her brother.

The Great Zoo of China is actually a wrong title … as is said in the story itself, it is a temporary branding for the 'The Great Dragon Zoo of China". MR has taken a mythical creature and brought them back to life (just as the Dino's were brought to life in Jurassic Park). He does a swell job of it and continues to amaze the reader at every step of the story. The scale of this novel is simply HUGE as compared to anything MR has written before and at times, you take a pause and wish you were watching a Hollywood rendition of the book (and I really do hope this one gets converted) 

The story builds the suspense for the readers since they not only suspect that the story will only get bigger and bigger (and wondering how could it get any bigger); MR keeps throwing in suggestions of an impending suspense.

MR has gone larger than life and if a movie gets made out of this movie (and i would love to see it) ; it would be a combination of India Jones meets Jurassic Park meets Godzilla meets Jason Bourne (and you can add your own action thriller here) ....

An absolute un-put-down-able!!

The book actually has different cover designs for different regions and all of them are pretty interesting. All 3 of them follow completely different themes and even schemes and it's a delight to see how the publishers perceive their audience (country/region wise) and interpret their preferences.



I have been an MR fan ever since my best friend Shraddha made me buy his first novel CONTEST. After that, I have read all his works (except Troll Mountain). I am now eagerly waiting for his next Jack West Jr. novel … It has been quite some time since the last one.

Note to MR: At the end of the Dragon Zoo story, CJ moved to Australian outbacks … which is where Jack West Jr also resides. My best friend and I feel that CJ and Jack coming together will be a formidable team … as formidable as Scarecrow and Mother. And yeah, that will only help you take your novels to the next level of Big Bad Adventure!!!

I would readily recommend this book to anyone with even a mild sense of adventure (it will be like an espresso shot to their adventurous streak). The book is available on Amazon.in and the Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) introduced by Google is also around the corner (10th to 12th December) with some amazing GOSF deals. . In addition, you will find some really good offers on books (and other things too) at cuponation

Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 3.5 / 5

Writing Style: 4.5 / 5

Characters:     4.0 / 5

Story / Plot:     4.0 / 5

Climax:            4.5 / 5

Overall:           4.0 / 5   

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Book Review: God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian


 

 



Book: God is a Gamer

Author: Ravi Subramanian

No. of Pages: 314

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

Publisher: Penguin Books India

 

BlogAdda does it again; sends me an author-signed copy of a novel that was a delight to read. It is always a delight to receive an author-signed copies and I can imagine the joy-ful pain the wrist the authors might be undergoing to actually sign a large number of books. Just yesterday, I saw an FB post by an author who signed a 1000 copies of his latest book.

I have read several of Ravi's novels and I have always found them enjoyable. He has his style of writing. Short chapter, events spread across seemingly unconnected characters (and you, as a reader, keep searching the connections, with enough amount of suspense built into the writing … all coming together to make the novel a nice racy and pacy read.

I have written about an earlier novel of his … that it could be made into a Bollywood movie. I would say that again for God is a Gamer … maybe I could even stretch it a bit and say that it could even serve as a plot for a Hollywood movie. Pretty awesome I would say !!

There are times when you find it difficult to hold all the different threads of the story in your head. But eventually Ravi ties them all together (a few were tied in unconvincingly though) and alls well that ends well. The clincher is the climax where you are not only surprised but shocked!!

The multiple threads are pretty interesting ... Bitcoins, drug trade, ATM heist, money laundering, politics, banking, gaming world and Facebook integration/partnership, various relationships and characters .... it does get complex at times. But you just to be patient and try and hold all the threads in your head … as they converge in the end.

While the situations and plot lines are complex, even the characters in Ravi's story are complex individuals who are not easy to read and form opinion about or make judgment. They have their demons and their complex personalities along with their own motivations and hidden agenda. They are driven by greed, revenge, desire … making them do things with far-reaching consequences.    

Ravi's style of writing in short chapters and leaving some-parts explicitly hidden ... like a conversation or referring to something as an 'object' or talking about a person without revealing his/her name in the chapter. its an interesting instrument to use ... often irritating but nevertheless I enjoyed it ....

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

 

Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 3.5 / 5

Writing Style: 4.0 / 5

Characters:     4.0 / 5

Story / Plot:     4.0 / 5

Climax:            4.5 / 5

Overall:           4.0 / 5   

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The INKy experience

 

First Things First … What exactly is the INK Conference and what is INK Live?

The INK Conference is an annual conference that aims to fuel innovation and foster knowledge by bringing together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers on a global stage. The ideas that these speakers put forth are shared with the world, inspiring thought, conversation, and ultimately action.

(source: http://www.inktalks.com/conferences)

INK Live is a unique and stimulating experience to witness a real-time telecast of the INK conference live and uncut. The experience is designed for students and young professionals, and is very affordable. The event hosts interactive workshops, speaker interactions, inspiring and engaging discussions, and other fun-filled learning activities with peers. For speaker interactions, selected speakers are brought to the INK Live venue for face-to-face interaction with the attendees.

The workshops are designed to be fun-filled, conducted by professionals and subject matter experts on interesting topics. Past conferences included workshops from MIT Media Lab, Nokia Research, Autodesk, Levis, and many others. The event is created to stimulate, educate and inspire the leaders of tomorrow, in a setting that fosters creativity, it encourages you to explore new ideas and is built around surprising experiences designed to inspire the youth.

The 3rd edition of INK Live will be held in Mumbai, from October 31st – November 2nd, 2014.

(source: http://www.inktalks.com/conferences/inklive2014)

Now let's talk about how I ended up getting INK'ed

Well, Thanks to BlogAdda.com, I not only came to know about INK but also got a chance to attend the event. Along with some fellow bloggers, I got a chance to attend the INK Live (missed the chance to make it for INK Conference but a dear friend, Dr. Roshan made it).

TED event was also during the same weekend and so was the Tata Literature Fest … and since I was returning from Kuwait after 3 weeks, my family was also expecting me to spend some time at home. So it was a touch call and I was just hoping that I would be able to attend the entire event.

The date coincided with my return from Kuwait so I wasn't very sure but still wanted to give it a shot. I landed around 7 in the morning of 31st October feeling all groggy and zombie'ish after an over-night flight (and I don't sleep well in flights). Came home, took a short nap and reached the venue. I knew I was late and only hoped that I would be allowed entry. I had heard that they won't allow late entrants. Thankfully I made it to the venue before the deadline of 11 AM.

Also, my phone went bonkers that day so I was not able to communicate with fellow bloggers using twitter or take any pictures of the event. I felt handicapped. Add to that the sleep-deprived groggy and drowsy feeling … I was beginning to think I should have passed on this opportunity to another blogger.

I have been to a couple of events in this genre but nothing prepared me for the security arrangements at the venue. I wasn't very sure if the security was for the event in specific or for the venue in general. We were anyway given guidelines in advance discouraging us from photographing the venue.

The event turned out to be part intellectual and part entertainment – a nice balance, I would say. It was like a TED Talk event plus some entertainment.  

Singers Shantanu and Monali set the tone of the conference while Usha Uthup made the energy levels hit the roof. Other performances at the event were by Dharavi Rocks, Bickram Ghosh

Ramesh Rao's talk about the "dance of the heart" was a very interesting one and it reminded me of something that I had read a long time ago, 'Successful people usually walk faster than the others'. The dance of the heart talk centered around the variability of the heart rate. It was interesting to hear the insights and inferences. Personally, I always thought heart rate varies with mood, thought process and general state of mind, but this talk definitely gave a different dimension to it. Somewhere in the talk, the inference was that the secret to success was linked to prayers and social interactions (and meditation too).

There were many other talks and all of them were good, but the 'dance of heart' will kind of remain in my heart for a long time to come.

The talk by the sisters from the Green School of Bali was very impactful. Their initiative - 'Bye Bye Plastic Bags' – is something we all should learn from. Something the kids said is what will forever remain in my heart (now that I am a father of a 6 month old daughter) - "Kids maybe 25% of the present. But they are 100% of the future!"

Shashwat Ratan sent out a strong message about the state of education in the country where knowledge is gained by not utilized. The practical utilization and application of acquired knowledge is what is sorely needed in our education system. Shashwat's talk was not negative; he was actually talking of the examples of application of knowledge resulting in some real good innovations.  

Preeti Shroff talked about Cultural Quotient which gains currency in a world where we end up interacting with people from different countries as part of our work life or when we travel to other countries or relocate for work etc. We live in a highly connected world and the term 'global village' is more relevant now than ever before.

The talk by Ben Nelson was an interesting one but I got into conversation with another attendee on the very interesting topic of books and missed it.

A distinctive feature of INK live was the workshops for the participants. Every INK Live participant was given an opportunity to take part in two workshops. I wanted to participate but knew that I had to spend some time at home too (else my family would ask me to shift to a hotel and return when the event is over). You can find the details of the workshops on the INK Live website http://www.inktalks.com/conferences/inklive2014/program)

Workshops

'Design Differently, Design Anywhere' by Autodesk

'Street Art and Visual Storytelling' with Shilo Shiv Suleman

'Crowdfunding 101' by Wishberry

'The Art of Origami' with Rajvardhan Kadam

'How to create your brand on social media?' by Dell

Since I could not attend the workshops, I talked to some of the fellow bloggers who did and got some key highlights and take-aways from from them.

Crowdfunding is not a long-term solution to funding a business (although there might be a few cases). It is simply to collect enough funds to start up, launch the product or service and get some paying customers in place. Now, with a running engine which serves as a proof of concept, you approach the 'investors', 'VC' etc for the actual large size funding to boost you into the big league. An interesting thing the blogger told me was the Indian Government does not allow you to raise funds through crowdfunding 'online'. You may only do this offline. This somehow did not make sense to me. I will probably have to find out more about this aspect.

The people who attended Origami session were also very impressed. They said that their takeaway from the session was much more than Origami. It gave them a different way of thing, a different perspective of things.

Overall, the event was pretty insightful and some fun too. I would have enjoyed more and gained more had I been more attentive and less distracted. I just hope to be far more attentive and active in INK events of 2015
Thanks to BlogAdda.com once again for the opportunity ...

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Quikr Experience and iPad buy


It all began with BlogAdda … like so many other things in my life this year. J

I read about the Quikr initiative on BlogAdda's blog and after some 'quick' consideration, decided to participate. Not that I was planning to buy something from Quikr, but the activity gave me the idea of picking up a second hand tablet for home use – wife, mom, dad – etc could use it for viewing photos or video chat while I am away from home for work etc. So, I filled the form and nominated myself for the Quikr experience. Once I received the confirmation email, I put down my search parameters in place; even before opening Quikr.

1. Want to buy a second hand 'working' tablet

2. Budget – 5000 to 8000 – since the utility of this tablet will be very limited, did not want to spend too much on it

3. Explore Kindle Fire – dunno why but Kindle Fire has fascinated me. I already had the plain vanilla earliest version kindle for reading and wanted to explore their tablet but not ready to buy it off-the-virtual-shelf yet. So this opportunity gave me hope on this front too.

So I sat one fine weekend with Quikr in mind and went to Quikr.com for the ancient 'classified' experience. Come to think of it, classified columns have been around for ages. A site like Quikr simple creates an online platform for posting your 'classified ad'. What makes it better than the simple classified is the additional features they can offer (and it is all for FREE). You can add photos to your ad and add as much details as possible without worrying about the 'cost'. As a prospective buyer, Quikr does a good job at adding value to the simple classified.

Search is at the core and then comes the 'filtering' of the search results to show the most relevant ones. Search should help me narrow down my choices so that I don't have to write to or contact hundreds of emails or phone-calls or whatsapp messages to the sellers. I only reach out to the ones that meet my requirement.

Well, let's come back to my Quikr experience.

The home page of Quikr is pretty simple in design offering you a search box at the top and a listing of the categories in which items are being transacted. I tinkered around with a couple of categories and then finally used the search bar at the top. There was one point at which it asked me to filter or set my location so that sitting here in Mumbai, I don't have to face the onslaught of search results from across India.

Here are a couple of links … these are kind of step by step pages that I saw after filtering …

http://mumbai.quikr.com/Tablets/w18238047                                                         Listing of all tablets

http://mumbai.quikr.com/Amazon/Tablets/w18238047?l=Brand_name                 Selected Amazon

http://www.quikr.com/kindle-fire-all/kindle-fire/z0?sx=true                                    All over the country

http://mumbai.quikr.com/kindle-fire-all/kindle-fire/x31                                          Mumbai only

The last page is where I was focused on Kindle Fire in Mumbai !! Here are some screenshots showing the search results ...


 





 
 
Looking at my 3 parameters and giving priority to Number 3; I directly searched for 'Kindle Fire'. It showed the search results which I sorted in the order of their price and realized that in the 5K to 7K range, there were some real good tablets for sale.

After opening a lot of these offerings in different tabs, I zeroed in on several of them and started writing one liner emails to the sellers about their final price, how long have they used the tablet and general condition along with technical details like which model and how long does it last on single charge?

There is this interesting feature for 'Save Ad' so that I don't have to keep track of the items and links while I search for other options.

Out of the many emails I sent through 'Quikr'; I got a couple of responses and after exchanging a couple of emails, I struck a deal for the Kindle Fire HDX at a very good price. The entire discussion happened online through email and interestingly, we both found out from each other that while we exchanged those emails, I was on a business trip in Kuwait and he was in Bahrain. We realized this only when we started talking handover place and time.

 

I asked my brother to meet the seller and collect the tablet and pay for it. Both the seller and buyer were happy. From the seller's point of view, he posted the ad on 14th October and I had already sent him the email on 18th and by 21st the product in his hand was to be replaced by hard cash - wonderful for him. Similarly, I got the product at my home from search to use in 4 days flat ,,, and that too at a bargain price J So this makes Quikr a very effective tool !!

This was a fantastic deal for me and I was extremely pleased with myself and thanked my star for making me part of the BlogAdda and Quikr activity.

Well, Alls well that ends well but when it doesn't end which it should, all you can say is 'Picture abhi baaki hain mere dost" …

So here is what happened, (kahani main twist / twist in the tale) – Just before the exchange, the seller wrote to me saying that a student had contacted him and was desperate for the Kindle Fire. The seller felt that his need was 'greater' than mine and so he wanted to give the product to him rather than me.

I was crestfallen and it was like a lightning bolt out of the blue … well that's overly dramatic but almost true. I told him that I appreciate his thought process and I might have done the same. I agreed that the student's need was probably greater than mine (he is non-earning person while I am earning and can afford to buy a new one too).

So I was back to square one. !!

And I looked at the other responses for my kindle. Nothing looked quite attractive. So I started looking for other tablets but realized that in the 5K to 10K range, it was not worth buying a second hand tablet for limited use when a new one would come in similar price range or by extending it to 15K/

So that was when it struck me … the iPad idea. How about looking for an old iPad in the low price range. We have had a Samsung and a Blackberry tablet in the house but never an iPad and I was also reminded of an iPad cover that I had purchased in 2010-2011 in anticipation of buying an iPad (which never happened). So I decided to pick up an iPad for the cover lying at home.

So, once again, I started the search with iPad as keyword and then sorting on price.

http://mumbai.quikr.com/ipad-all/ipad/x31?sx=true – This was the link which listed all the iPads available

Turned out that there were many first generation iPads being sold for less than 15K … some were less than 10K too and those were the ones I sent out emails to. Got a couple of responses and finally zeroed in one.




Struck the deal and asked my brother to contact the seller on phone and fix up a meeting time. Did not want another 'student twist' to the iPad story. While interacting with the seller on whatsapp (after exchanging emails), I asked for some pics of the iPad too. The condition looked good in the photos at least.

My bro went and met the seller, tested the iPad a bit and was satisfied with the condition of the tablet. It had very few scratches etc indicating careful usage. The iPad was exchanged for 6000 bucks and I think it was a fair deal. Even in this case, the individual had posted the ad on 19th oct and he managed to get cash by 23rd ... pretty much within 5 days. Not bad !!


I asked him to send me some pics and he sent me not only the pics of the iPad but also of my entire family using the iPad (himself, my wife, my parents and even my 5 month old daughter). Those pictures made the entire exercise worthwhile - Priceless. Here are some of those pics.

 










     

So that was my Quikr experience which has left me with 2 things:

1. An iPad in my house (more specifically – 1st generation iPad for 6000 bucks)

2. A slightly greater confidence on an online classified platform like Quikr. I think I will use it again. (This time I have a portable hard-disk in mind and maybe even a cycle for my daughter or maybe even Books too … I realize that my list is going long and my wife and my mom will not like this … hehe)

 

Also, while I have my appreciation and praise for the Quikr team, here is some feedback too (on things that hindered or spoiled my experience)

1. I can see a list of all the ads to which I have sent an enquiry. I can see the products page but cant see the message that I had sent. This needs some working on to make it more user friendly.

2. There is definitely scope of improvement on Search front. While, there are some filters but this needs a bit of tightening and fine-tuning. The search within search needs to be strengthened.

3. A unique thing I noticed when I searched for iPhone was that the search results also showed a host of 'korean' iPhones … I was not interested in these 'copies' and they only became a nuisance for me. When people post ads, there should be a category or a radio button to indicate this. Also, not sure how feasible, but the Quikr team might consider putting in some effort for cleaning up their listings using some manual effort as well as algorithms.

4. Search filters sometimes did not work … most commonly, they kept returning non-image results even when filtered out. I think some users have put in some fake/blank images to circumvent the filter so Quikr should consider some algorithmic check on this too.  

Random Trivia – the ipad I bought did not have a picture in the ad. So while having a picture in the ad is good, don't disregard the ones without 
     

Well, with the bouquets and brickbats both done with, let me end this post with the link to the latest Quikr Ad/Promotion video by the now famous AIB gang (All India Bakchod – If you haven't heard about them till now, go to their YouTube channel and Subscribe to it right away. I am big FAN and you will like it too).

 

Also, head to Quikr.com to find what you are looking for … (except a life partner and Nirvana and eternal happiness of course)
FYI - This blog post is part of the Quikr.com activity by BlogAdda.com

Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Review: www.MarryAGhost.com by Abhimanyu Jha

 

 

Book: www.MarryAGhost.com

Author: Abhimanyu Jha

No. of Pages: 250

Genre: Fiction

Publisher:  Shrishti Publications

 

|| spoiler alert ||
Not really a spoiler spoiler but but I might reveal things in the review that might act as a spoiler. In fact, it may postively discourage you from reading this book.  
Let me tell you one thing … the last 3 words of the book spoilt my reading experience of the book; so much so – I deducted a star just because of that. The book was indeed a nice read and I almost gave it 3 stars while reading it … but the 3 words at the end of the book literally pissed me off and the result is one star off the review.

It was a well written book and i wish the author did not climax the book the way he did. It is never a good feeling to leave a book unfinished ... and the author managed to give me that feeling in spite of reading till the last page.

On the brighter side, I actually enjoyed reading the book. It was enjoyable to read the interaction of the lovely beautiful ghost and the living man ... and how they gradually fell for each other ... knowing very well, that it was not the right or logical thing to do. But then love is blind … although in this case, the earlier invisible girl gradually becomes visible to the guy because of his love and belief in her. She is actually in search of her own 'Hrithik' but slowly begins to fall for the one guy who is helping her in the search.

The story is sort of like the Ajay-Kajol starrer "Pyar to Hona Hi Tha" where Ajay helps Kajol get his boy-friend back ... only for Kajol to realise she has fallen for Ajay instead.

The book was predictable in that sense but still written in a manner one could enjoy. I loved reading the conversations both of them would have. Their own frustrations and teasing each other; it almost gets mushy-mushy at some point.   

There is a small but interesting cast of characters who seem to have their own secrets and mysteries which I presume will come out and be reveled in sequel(s).

If only the author had 'completed' the book and not left it hanging with "To Be Continued" at the end. That was seriously the worst part of the book. The author managed to almost negate the entire joy of reading that book by those 3 magical words. I hated the author for doing that to me … for wasting my time that went into reading 250 pages. I will be tempted to check his book's last page first the next time around.

I don't mind reading trilogies – but there is a logical closure to each book and you are not just left hanging in the middle of no-where. I wish I had not known about this (incompleteness) – I would not have picked it up for review. I would have rather preferred to read the books together.

I hate to wait for the next Matthew Reilly book in the 7-6-5 series of Captain Jack West Jr. I hated to wait for the individual episodes of Shiva Trilogy. On the other end, it was OK to wait for the next harry potter story since each one had a start and end of its own and you were not left hanging.

So all in all, it was indeed a good book though I can't bring myself to recommend it to you at this stage. Let the sequel come out. Let the trilogy / series end and then pick all of them up together.

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Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 3.0 / 5

Writing Style: 4.0 / 5

Characters:     4.0 / 5

Story / Plot:     4.0 / 5

Climax:            0.0 / 5

Overall:           2.0 / 5   

Note – The low overall rating is because of the 'zero' I give to the climax. The book is good otherwise.