someday ill be in company of all....

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book review: The saint , the surfer and the CEO by Robin Sharma

Title:The saint, the surfer and the CEO
Author: Robin Sharma
Publisher:Hay House India
Pages: 224
Price: Rs 295
Genre: Visionary/ Inspirational/metaphysical/Indian writers
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Personal

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Buy The saint the surfer and the CEO from

Robin Sharma  has adopted the age old technique of conveying a message through stories like how our grandmothers used to do..I'm really not much onto self help book but this one takes your through the fictional tale that makes it readable..Jack Valentine is really going rough, nothing seem to work well for him, his job going through difficult time, he financially broke, his love life too seem to taken on a wrong path, she has left him for good to beat it all he is met with an accident..At the hospital he meets a dying patient, Cal..Cal is Jack's estranged father.. Cal Valentine  and his mother were separated when he was a kid and Cal  never returned until now..After the magical meeting with Cal, Jack's life is transformed forever..
Cal leaves Jack with a special gift, a letter and three first class airlines tickets with maps to Rome, Hawaii and New York..He is advised by his father to meet three masters and find answer to three questions..Has he lived wisely,loved well,and finally served greatly? that too in three months.T.Hence he sets on to journey to meet The saint, the surfer and the CEO.
First Jack meets the saint , Father Mike priest in a cathedral at Rome..Jack stays there for four weeks, he is given a personal journal to make entries . Here he is taught about destiny, authenticity and integrity, he is showed to access his true power getting to his spirit, he learns that being a spiritual man has nothing to do with religion but its all about being an authentic human being..
His next place Hawaii he steps onto the most beautiful beach on earth to meet Moe Jackson, a hearty guy with toothy grin, living in a thatched hut with a garden by the beach he helps Jack to open up his heart so that he can then open up to life and all its delight, in other words Moe becomes his personal coach of heart..Moe lives his life, moment to moment, dedicating his life in a state of continuous grace.. He tries to be alive to everything that unfolds for him ,in short he doesn't let his yesterdays take up much of his todays..Jack also learns that this simple surfer was the founder of one of the world's top advertising company..Jack also learns that miracle is nothing but more to a shift of mind that help you see things in a new way..Jack learns to follows his heart..
Finally he meets Tess Welch, CEO of a brokerage firm in New York..She becomes his career, leadership and life-legacy coach...She teaches him how to live a life that matters: how to shift from simply striving for success to creating lasting significance, how to manifest one's heart's desires in the physical dimension while building fulfillment in one's psychic dimension; and how to realize ones potential in career and grow into greatness..Jack is taught on the importance of value creation and the main aim of  business on how to serve selflessly..Jack learns that life is all about choices and one should choose how to live to have a better life..

Father Mike, a saint of sorts in a way he viewed and conducted his noble life, Moe Jackson, a cool dude who stays loose to the moments of his world while Tess Welch, CEO carries a charismatic persona that radiates..From each person he learns the three most important ingredient of life to lead a balanced life..The plot moves pretty fast that makes reading enjoyable , there were few quotes that I loved..simple language that carries deeper meaning to meaningful and essential part of life..Jack from a confused soul makes a markable transformation into a confident and happy soul, though there were few loose ends, I liked the novel on the whole..

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Book Review: Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Author: Rudyard Kipling
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 289
Price: Rs 99
Genre: Classic/ fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Buy Kim from

Born in India and growing into early manhood, Kim wants to play the "great game" of imperialism. He is also spiritually bound to the lama, an old ascetic priest. As the two men become fired by a quest that takes them across the country, Kim tries to reconcile these opposing impulses. A celebration of their friendship in an often hostile environment, Kim captures at once the opulence of India's exotic landscape and the uneasy presence of the British Raj.

The east and west beautifully blends in Kipling's novel Kim..The novel opens up with Kim an Irish decent orphaned boy in his early teens in the street of Lahore brought up by opium keeper contemplating...He is famously known as Friend of all world..He happens to meet  Tibetian Lama who has come in search of a mystic river supposedly source of enlightening. Kim joins him as his chela or servant he also carries a confidential file to Colonel Creighton to a place called Umballa..After handing over the file Kim overhears about a  possible war,pretending to be a prophet he predicts an upcoming war.By his pleasing manners and charm he makes good connections who in turn help them both by means of shelter and food. Every problem Kim tackles with  his wit and humor solving  issues and making friends at the end of it..Be it the farmer or the widow who he meets later in the journey..
They set on the grand trunk road. during this travel he is enthralled by various people from different culture and places and is completely spell bound by their acquaintance..By further turn of events Kim is detained much to the dismay of Kim in the Irish regiment where his father served as a color sergeant  while Lama set on the journey on his own upon his quest of mystic river...Kim receives a letter from the Lama informing him that he would be sponsored for his education at the St.Xavier, a catholic school meant for white..Kim is very unhappy about it and he wishes to get back to Mahbub Ali but when Ali too seconds  Lama's offer he has no option but to join the school..Kim finds no energy at the school but eagerly awaits his summer vacation, choosing to assist Ali who is a spy..Kim soon proves to be an asset to this kind of job with his way to get to anything around him..He is taken under the wings of Lurgan sahin , and he also continues his education at the school, but he finds much deeper connection to this kind of job..Once disguised as a monk he is struck by his first identity crisis of who he really is!!Will he get over it?? Would he ever get another chance to meet The Lama?? What would happen to Kim read on to find out...

The novel is an action packed feat that doesn't sprints its way but moves slowly and steadily..Kim's encounters with the Babu and everyone he comes across is a real treat to read on...I expected more skeptic tone on India and the people, but it seemed like Kipling really loved India and its culture which made it good to read  , though it had the racist tone,still overall  done well..The book starts as a travelogue which turns in to a spy thriller half way that again turns into a spiritual search of one's existence and transformation..The book also brings the essence of 19th century India under the British Raj through the crowded streets , market places, catholic schools and military regiments..The descriptions are brilliant that makes you want read more..Though this book is in the genre of children's literature I don't know how far the targeted audience can come to appreciate the theme in the first go...Have fun reading..

Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Review: Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh

Title: Train to Pakistan
Author: Khushwant Singh
Publisher:Time books International
Price :Rs 75
Genre:Historic fiction
Rating:4 out of 5
Source: Personal

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In spite of the partition rift all over the country, Mano Majra seems to be aloof from all of it..Muslims,Hindus and Sikhs still live in harmony..On the banks of Sutlej and the border village of Indo-Pak, it seems to be a strange exception to the events ..Like all good things are short lived, a train makes it entry to the village   throwing away the peace and tranquility of the place forever...

Hukum Chand, Juggut Singh and Iqbal are the prime characters of the novel..Hukum Singh is the village magistrate who has his share of shrewdness yet not being vile, Juggust is kind of a local gangster well built and often imprisoned for petty crimes, while Iqbal a communist social worker travels the rural area in the hope of  bringing up an uprising.. Juggut Singh is in love with Nooran the local Mullah's daughter..Ram Lal is killed by local dacoit gang but Juggut is  arrested as a suspect and put along , Iqbal..While Iqbal's thoughts and ideologies are influenced by his education he had abroad goes through his turns of slow transformation, while Juggust realises that he can never lead a normal life in his village with the kind of persona he has been carried..Both their mental thoughts weave a larger thoughts extending far exploring more human vantage of social and religious state of post Independent India....

The echoism created by the brutual actions of people belonging to all religion upon each other that ruined the harmonious state of the country in many ways is put bluntly in all its rawness.. While the murder of Ram Lal the village's money lender by the dacoit marks the beginning of problems the real booster is the train that  carries bodies of the dead Sikhs turns the village into a war ground between that of  Muslim-Sikh chain events that propels various turns in the novel..The three characters come together during the testing time that serve as an acid test for their  faith, integrity and tolerance for other community, culture and religion...

The book ironically portrays the evil that India's partition created ..In spite of winning the freedom the country put at stake things that should have been clearly avoided on amicable means whose consequence is felt even today among both the countries living as arch rivals...Nobody is blamed in the book but it explores on how innocent people's lives were thrown apart without no reason..Keeping that in mind Singh made the magistrate to order  the village Muslims to leave India is as a disturbing one that makes one think on how people of that time would have felt leaving their home and place  like refugees for the fear of life one fine day...What I liked was Singh has tried to bring the local pulse during the partition... People  were subjected to n number of trauma for  no faults of theirs blood massacre is all through in terms of  rape, murder and loot..The haunting memories are brought alive with Singh's detailing..Juggut's dialogue make a mark most of the times..Plot is played  to derail the train that carries Muslim to Pakistan , Chand overhears it and let Juggut and Iqbal to rescue the people but Juggut is passed out..The end is quite dramatic and the name of the person who saves so many lives at the cost of his own is not revealed..

Religious conflicts, personal gain, social reforms are the points that Singh has tried to scout through his novel...You will be not be completely mesmerized by Singh's writing, yet the book proves to be a mentally spurring one that will make you think on many things about those hard times.

Book Review: The white company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Title:The white company
Author: Sir Arhur Conan Doyle
Publisher: Rohan Book Company
Price: Rs 50
Genre: Historic fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Personal

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Buy The white company from

I had abandoned this  book way back in my school days as I was tired of checking dictionary and bit irritated asking for my parents help with certain words and sentences..Now back home for a short vacation somehow this book attracted my attention, with its old tattered pages this classic invited me into its magical world and oh boy was I captivated!!! you bet ...Though I still needed some help with certain words it was a real treat..
For a man who was famous for his iconic Sherlock Holmes this one seemed way apart from it...
The story is set during the 14th century , beginning of the century was marked with  the church's power in decline and Muslims driving the crusaders, Templar to France, even the climate in Europe was difficult with continuous rains, Edward and his famous battle of Crecy all happens during this labyrinthine era...Knights and battles only made this century very interesting that was the inspiration for the author..
The novel revolves around the life and decisions of Alleyne Edricson who was protectively brought up in an abbey receiving his education as per his father's will..In order to make his final decision on ascetic life over a social life, he enters the outside world warily which also happens as per his deceased father's will....
Swiftly he is appalled by the reality of life.. But his honest, genuine and sincere approach finds him good friends like that of  John Hordle and Sam Aylward who become his true companion..They  associate with Sir Nigel travel to France to take over the command of the white company...All these was written during the context of Edward's campaign to seize power..In this story its black prince on the drive to annex  Peter of Castile and to the throne of the kingdom of Castile..Their zealous preparation of Sir Nigel's army through Spain and finally on the battle field at France sets the book full on with action and energy...
Military ploy in medieval times brought together with the essence of bravery, compassion and benevolence make it good pick to read on...The passage has beautiful description of the medieval times that captivated me..Alleyne's confrontation of people belonging to different walks of life only strengthen and gives greater depth to his perspective...Through all this do not miss the light of romance of Alleyne's with Lady Maude that Doyle has painted in a gentle expression..The plot is interesting and intriguing with few pleasing moments with all its charm...Every character right from the innocent Alleyne to Aylward to the wicked Buttesthorn stay in your mind even after you are done with the book...Though the language might slow down your reading pace with French and very lengthy passages, you ll only enjoy the book for sure...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer..It's a chance to share the news...A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received  and share news about what it is coming up on the blog  for the week ahead.

Off late I'm onto Victorian classic .Some of my favorite authors being Bronte sisters, Dickens, Elizebeth Gaskell, Kipling and who could forget Austen.... Though I haven't read much of Eliot and Hardy I plan to explore authors I haven't read and their lesser known works..

Here are the last week's blog post..

The Professor by Charlotte Bronte
Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
East Lynne by Ellen Wood

Good week everyone!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Book Review: East Lynne by Ellen Wood

Title:East Lynne
Author: Ellen Wood
Source: Online
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Buy East Lynne from

When the aristocratic Lady Isabel abandons her husband and children for her wicked seducer, more is at stake than moral retribution.

The novel opens up in a beautiful village in a haughty old mansion where William Vane is caught up in debts so much that he is forced to sell the same..Archibald Carlyle is the buyer, lets him live in it but he dies ridden with grief and mental trauma....His only beautiful daughter Lady Isabel is the protagonist of the novel who is left by herself, she is proposed by the well mannered, well respected Carlyle , meanwhile is attracted to the charming rake Francis Levison , but eventually accepts the marriage offer of Carlyle expecting to fall in love with him...Initially the life seems happy and steady and they also have children together but with Carlyle's older sisters  Cornelia Carlyle entry things start falling apart..She interferes in the household decisions leaving Isabel no space, she also takes things in her hand as the head of the family,demeaning Isabel's position...To make things worse she is left all by herself in a sea side house to recover from ill health..But there as an unexpected event, the utterly attractive Levision re-enters in her life alluring her and  fateful coincidences make it appear as though her much devoted husband having an affair with Barbara Hare, while the reality is that Carlyle is helping Barbara's innocent brother Richard get away from murder ...In haste Isabel  abandons her husband and children for Levison..Oh yes a bad decision , which she eventually realizes but is unable to do a thing ..True to a rake Levision deserts Isabel unmarried with a child...Ridden over by remorse and regret  she decides to get back to her children..Again fate plays in her life she is exposed to a train accident in which her child and her assistant die, her face is disfigured while her identity is mixed up, Lady Isabel is reported dead..In a false identity she returns her home to her children to find Barbara Hare as Carlyle's wife and the mother of her children..Isabel takes up the job of a governess, now she has to go by Carlyle's words as orders as a maid address her children as her master and miss..Things unfold in her home where she lived all her life with her father and later with her husband and children in a different way..To her everything remains the same with a difference that someone else is playing her role and she is completely helpless of it...  She has no one to blame about it but her self..Joyce one of the maid discovers  the eyes behind the glasses and the real face layered inside the now disfigured one and predictably she never reveals it to anyone..None realizes the truth until her last breath...What would Carlyle do well read on..

Debts, death, illness are found throughout the book as a matter of fact..The novel looks closely into the life of a woman falling into disgrace...The book holds the Victorian essence in a different cocktail version. Melodrama, murder, mystery makes it a good choice for a sensational novel...Isabel's character has both its share of depth and shallowness...Barbara hare who is clearly in love with Carlyle by the twist of fate find her love in him as Isabel leaves ...Carlyle though kind hearted and hard working somehow fails to care for his wife Isabel somehow fails to makes his mark at many place.. Cornelia is aptly placed with her share of wickedness and jealousy while Levison catalyses Lady Isabel's downfall finally abandoning her...

Wood has written a story where the characters and the story has layers and best suitable for a lengthy conversation with friends...One can discuss in length about  the social environment of Victorian period regarding  bigamy, divorce, deceit, wealth, health and malady in general... The plot is highly engaging but you may not be impressed with Wood's style of writing... If you are romantic about the Victorian writing East Lynne is a wonderful choice that stands different from the otherwise best work of those period..

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book Review:Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov

Title: Oblomov
Author: Ivan Goncharov
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Buy Oblomov from

Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, is a young and guileless nobleman who would prefer to daydream in bed than face the world and its demands. Famously, over a hundred pages pass before Oblomov leaves his bed, and an entire chapter is dedicated to one of his idle dreams of his idyllic past. Eventually, he does leave his bed, and even falls rapturously in love with the beautiful Olga, but the romance is doomed by his laziness. His industrious friend Stoltz urges him to attend to his deteriorating finances, and bails him out when pernicious lords take advantage of him. The name "Oblomov" has become synonymous in Russian with laziness, and Lenin repeatedly used him as an example of the type of people who must be purged from Russian life. However, though Goncharov certainly presents Oblomov as foolish and naive, he also is deeply sympathetic to his simple-hearted and gentle character--a tragicomic Russian brother to Melville's Bartleby.

Oblomov lives a life of lethargy, a life of impassivity in early thirties he is tired like a man in sixties...Living far away from his estate in St.Petersburg in an apartment, he is an epitome of apathy and indifference... Throughout the book we see him busy doing nothing, contemplating on futile things and spends his days changing his positions on his couch, he doesn't even go out of his apartment for a change, he is happy the way he is.....He lives on the income from his estate which he is least bothered..There are serfs who take care of things and while he is away enjoying his free time..Till the end he remains faithful to that trait, very uncharacteristic of a hero ..I wouldn't say he is a heap of negative qualities , but he hasn't any good either..He is not  a person who come in the regular shade of black and white but who flirts through the line of grey irritatingly unmoved...

He owns a large estate with hundreds of peasants yet you can see no nobility in his traits.. His favorite place in the world is his couch to which he stays attached through pages after pages...Even when he is suppose to  move from his current apartment so that this could be renovated, rather looking in for alternative he procrastinates , even when there are issues in his estate that needs his immediate attention , he worries but does nothing to deal with it...This kind of attitude is spread throughout his activities, his only interest seems to be on eating extravagant food and imbibing on all the tasty delicacy ...Its because of Stoltz his only friend  his life seems to move ahead in a right way...The wave seems to take a different turn as a young, beautiful Olga makes her entry in the novel..When I almost thought that the novel is all set to take a turn into a romantic phase wherein  Oblomov starts to act rather just worry and procrastinate , he gets back to his old self reminding us of the saying that old habits die hard..Not even a young spirited, attractive lady could bring any change in him...Through everything Oblomov's obmolovshchina stands tall...Agafya a widow who doesn't ha  mind Oblomov's indiffererance marries him eventually..But Olga married the much likable Stoltz who likes her and loves her intensely doing everything right as a husband...Oblomov's relationship with his orderly Zakhtar is pretty amusing too, through their conversation and occasional arguments their affection for each other is evident..The book also explores about Oblomov's childhood ,growing up age in estate with all luxury surrounded by riches and how social reform brought about a change in them, we get to know the basis of Oblomov's  thought processing through all this, while Stoltz carves his place in the world through his hard work, knowledge and education.. Oblomov thinks about his friend's flourishing business he feels sorry that he has to travel so often all the time for work,while on the other hand Stolz  is unable to digest how Oblomov can spend his days and night on his couch doing nothing...

The book is a beautiful piece of with satire being at its best, be it the mockery upon the aristocracy or sarcasm you have every bit of it with humor and wit that makes you to come to like the book over a lot many..Its not the characters in the novel that makes it special but the narration where the voice of the author is heard throughout.. The plot moves with a steady pace in spite of not having any catalyzing factors and in spite of having uninspiring, dull, indifferent , prosaic protagonist there the story inspired me to read on, not even once I felt like abandoning the book..I usually like the lead character steadily grows up for good, at the least I like them to be creative and intense, but Oblomov is none of it nor he is villainous and that's why you remember him for most ...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Review : The Professor by Charlotte Bronte

Title:The Professor
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Buy The professor from


This year my goal is to read lesser known books my favorite authors and their works which I haven't read so far..And I'm starting with Bronte as Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books ever, "The Professor" being her first book which  got published only after death as it was consistently rejected by the publishers ..You get to  feel the Bronte magic many a times , still Professor stands different in its own terms...

Unlike her other works the protagonist is a man named William Crimsworth who has a clear mind and heart of his own ..he wishes to live by his wish rather going in for the pursuit of easy wealth and luxury..His mother dies during child birth and his maternal uncle reluctantly take care of his education, after graduation he chooses not to marry his wealthy cousin much to the dismay of his relatives and thus is left to himself ..He tries to find a family in his older brother who gives him a job as a clerk in his mill , he treats him rudely, jealousy always clouds his mind that reflects in his actions..Mr. Hundsen one of his brother's acquaintance feels the pulse and worth of William steers way turning events and thus William loses his job that sets him free..He is recommended for a better job in Belgium as a teacher or "professor" in M.Pelet's school which is all boy's school in Brussels and also as a English teacher  in a girls school..Though he handles things brilliantly at the Boy's school commanding the respect of student, in the girls school things take a different turn as he staggers his way yet gaining an upper hand...Slowly and steadily he sets his life defining order that he starts to enjoy well..He comes in contact with Zoraide Reuter headmistress of the girls school, a much older lady, she tries to allure him manipulating him through her sweet words pretending care on him..Though initially he is struck by her charm and even desires to take her as his wife after spending an evening with her which had been calculatingly planned by her, but soon he realizes her true color and stays away from her charm and vile..Meanwhile William happens to meet a shy, demure student turned teacher Frances Henri..She teaches the students sewing and other needlework while taking up English class with William like other students..William is taken aback by her flawless English recital and her humbleness..Seeing a greater potential in her, he spends more time with her after classes tutoring her and engaging in healthy arguments and criticism that both find very enlightening...Now how would you like a story when there are no villain or vamp..Ms Reuter slips into the slot with her jealousy, she plays her cards well and fires Frances from her job and removes every trace of her from the school..Predictably William goes haywire searching for her in every possible away...He receives a letter from Frances that has a payment for his English classes and thanking him  for his kindness and thoughtfulness but leaves no address to reach back ( I guess that was very Victorian )...He quits his job as he learns about the marriage of Ms.Reuter and decides to move on with his will power and  his ability rather than any with any help from a third person..Okay now what happens to his love story?? well read on to know about it...

But for Bronte's style of writing that adds life and beauty to events things would have been dull and plain..Frances adds life and colour to William's otherwise plain life, which is quite infectious..Being Bronte's first novel I was really looking forward to this one and it came out with mixed feelings for me...The moments when Frances William come together you can feel Bronte at her best also when William stands firm  determined to face life ahead on his own terms, but I don't know why the book didn't sweep me off my feet like Jane Eyre...But all in all its a wonderful read if not brilliant...
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