Birthdays – Are you still excited?

When we were child, we used to be so excited on our birthdays and even a week before, planning would start. It was that one day when we could get rid of your school uniform, celebrate the day giving away chocolates to friends and teachers. Once we are back from school, a birthday party awaits with a cake and gaming with friends. Best part of it was, nobody can scold you on that day. Our elders believed that it was that one day of the year where we should live the fullest.

As we grow up, in between setting up our goals & priorities and to have the best job, we somehow lose touch with ourselves. We don’t give time for such little things which used to make us happy. Long work hours on weekdays & weekends to cope up with sleep. As Monday hits, we are back to in the race and start clocking hours day by day. Our life is then controlled by time rather than we living out life how we want to.

Coming back to our topic of birthdays – I would be entering my 40s on 20th March. I am still excited for my birthday and I still live this day as I used to since I was 14. I start announcing over social media about my birthday and all the excitement. Crazy, isn’t it? By the way, you can go to my Instagram story and have a look. Actually I don’t want anyone to miss the most important day. My son is like, how can someone be so over excited. But then this is how I am. I love to celebrate the day, I came in this world.

Some people think it’s a day less from the life we have but I would like to put it in this way: A day less – yes, but lived the year to the fullest and that is what I like to celebrate. I would like to write a new chapter of my life and to live it more passionately, enjoying every day, every moment more than what I did last year

It’s just another day however it takes me for a ride through all the 25 years past to present. I would like to cherish this day and would give a shout out to everyone to take control of their lives, Live the life how they want to and get that SMILE back. We still have our 14-year old self somewhere within. Bring it out.

Enjoy the day, Enjoy the life – I am going to.. Are you? 🙂

Book Review: Jasmine Builds on Shifting Sands: A Self-Help Fiction

Author: Sanjay DesaiRating: 4 / 5


About the Author: Sanjay is an entrepreneur, an ex-banker, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, and a Chartered Accountant. During his successful career, Sanjay has been integrating the essence of a parallel spiritual journey with his material pursuits. He has now set out to share the ways and means of seamlessly traversing through the material and spiritual world, thereby enriching each journey.


First Impressions: Self help books are one of the genres’ I have liked to read. First impression was that this book would be nothing less than what I had read earlier. The name of the book made me think that this could be something to do with Jasmine – The Flower and some tips to get the learnings out of it. 🙂

Until I read the blurb where Jasmine is the protagonist. So this self-help has a story in it as well. I was intrigued to read it as soon as I get my hands on it.


Summary: After Robin Sharma, Sanjay is the author who could successfully mix Self-Help with a fictitious story. Also he has imbibed the 4 micro learnings at the right time of the storyline. You can access this by scanning the QR Code giving on the page.

  1. How to manage Social Media distractions for success
  2. Learn to decode Failure with Jasmine
  3. How to manifest your dreams
  4. Consciousness Integrated Lifestyle

The story has two different situations – one of the author and his spiritual guru and another- story of Jasmine. Prologue starts with author narrating his visit Kedarnath to meet his spiritual guru Ma Krishnanandgiri. He has exquisitely described each minute details of the trip starting from the trek, surroundings, shops, temple, views and all. So good it is, that you are transported to the back drop of Kedarnath. His visit to Kedarnath is important as he wants to find answers to his questions on manifesting the world. Prologue consists of the conversation between the author and the guru which I enjoyed to read and epilogue ends with the author taking the learnings from the story and conversation

The book is divided into 19 chapters that consists story of Jasmine, who is a topper in academics and later gets into modelling, fashion industry. The story starts with Jasmine and friends at the inter college competition where their college has won all awards except Fashion Show. Jasmine is then selected to perform and luckily they win the competition, giving an extra edge to Jasmine who never thought of modelling. Later she wins Miss Mumbai title and gets into fashion industry with the help of her mentor Shaheen Jaiswal who is one of the prominent names there. First half of the story revolves around Jasmines ups and downs in modelling career. Ends with her frustration and lost focus till Bala enters her life. Second half of the story revolves around Jasmine and Bala, a legendary fashion photographer who is tasked to get Jasmine back on her path to success. Bala outlines few rules for Jasmine to start with as he is a believer in manifestation. They start working together on an assignment.

Does this help Jasmine? Will she be able to attain success?

Answers to the above forms the rest of the story. I loved reading it in a one go. However the learnings are something you can go through/focus later as well.


My Favourite Part of the book: I loved to read prologue and epilogue – The conversation between the author and his guru. Secondly, I was impressed with the micro learning put in after few chapters relating to how can you overcome the mistakes done by protagonist – Jasmine. One of my favourite quotes:

When you FOCUS on something with a sustained WILL of required STRENGTH, you can stay absorbed enough to MANIFEST 


My Opinion: One of the good books I have read with a mix of fiction+SelpHelp after Robin Sharma. Learning with story is always much better than just putting the learning tools together. Few framework explained through images and diagrams are quite good. Author is able to pull this quite well. Also he has been crisp and clear while writing to-the-point scenes and not over describing it. #MustRead


My RecommendationsI liked this book and will also go through the micro learnings. One of them I have completed, is quite good. A good read and also can be used later for self help lessons as well. I recommend reading it and is a good book to be part of your book shelf.

Quirky Friendship

It been long now and thought of writing something for one of the best friends.

There is a quote from a Hindi Movie of late 80s: ‘Ek ladka aur ek ladki kabhi dost nai hote’ (A boy and a girl cant be just friends)

Some say it does not exists some define it as love. And I say: It does exist where a boy and a girl CAN BE – Just Friends and not only that, Bestest of the Friends – BESTIES. Yes it is love, Love as Friends same as when you say I Love You Mom and that exists.

It’s a connection between two people, a strong bond. That happens with someone when you can relate yourself in that person. The way you like the things, the similarities between both of them. When you like to share each and everything whether its happiness or sorrow.

The understanding between both:

When you need to leave the other person alone and when you need to just keep on calling or messaging till (s)he replies…

When (s)he doesn’t leave you even when you shout on them during your bad moods. The one who tolerates you and still doesn’t leave your side till you calm down. Leaves you all smiling making you forget what happened at the first place…

When (s)he knows the just right time when you need them and the phone rings…

When you humming the tunes to a song and (s)he pitches in with the lyrics of that song and completes it…

Why this blog? cause I have one of a kind-crazy-lovable-always making me smile-can’t stop talking-doesn’t listen up- type of a ‘BESTIE’

Such is the friendship we share, quirky it is..!!!

And dare to someone who calls her or me BESTIE in front of us, It’s only what we can call each other and no one else – Like a copyright..!!!

We met by chance and became friends. Our destiny is keeping us close to each other making our friendship grow more..

YOU ARE A FRIEND FOR LIFETIME

Book Review: Irrationally Passionate

Author: Jason Kothari | Rating: 4.5 / 5


About the Author: Jason Kothari – a B.S. graduate from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is also a member of YPO – Young President’s Organization. Being CEO of major Organization, he led the company’s to a transformational journey.


First Impressions: Irrationally Passionate, this book, is one the genre I have not read since long. And the title itself makes you pick this book, if you have love towards reading autobiographies. Then the tag line: My Turnaround from Rebel to Entrepreneur, made me curious to know more about Jason and his journey.


Summary: The story starts with a brief interaction of Jason when he was eight years old and his first negotiation. Further in the book he has shared his experiences and learnings which can be imbibed in our life journey to make it better. He has put down his experiences into 11 learnings of his life:

  1. Be True to Your Roots, Embrace Your Passion
  2. Mistakes Can Be a Gift
  3. Limits Are Illusions
  4. Caption a Rowboat Before a Ship, a Ship before a Fleet
  5. Money Isn’t a Goal, It’s a Byproduct
  6. Life and Business Aren’t Linear
  7. Push Yourself Harder than You Do Others
  8. Harness the Power of Focus
  9. Nothing Worthwhile Comes Easy
  10. Not Every Seed Is Meant to Bloom a Forest
  11. Resilience Is Essential

Jason has put this learnings explaining his experiences and journey he went through. From an eight year old kid who did his first negotiation to a successful entrepreneur. From a rebellious kid without any goal to quitting drinking, smoking and crafting his own path to achieve his dream. Facing racism, getting into fights, not good at the grades initially but then how he comes through that tough phase of life. The passion he carries is so evident in his writing. You can feel it while you are reading through the book.


My Favourite Part of the book: His love for comics. In every chapter he relates his life and experiences to a super hero or his favourite character from the comics. How has that changed his life. One of my favourite quotes:

Stop waiting for the planets to align and sprinkle your dreams down from heaven. It won’t happen. Nothing works if you don’t

Each chapter provides you with a learning and relates quite well with the title of the chapters. 


My Opinion: One of the good books, I have read on Autobiography with a crisp and clear storyline. Authentic writing from the heart and gives you the feel while reading the same. You won’t feel like putting it down for sometime and read it later. #MustRead

My RecommendationsA good read and also can be used later for self help lessons that will motivate you, for sure. I recommend reading it and is a good book to be part of your book shelf.

Love, Friendship, etc..

Aarav and Ankita had a clash one more time. She expected him to message her when he was in town and he felt she would understand like always. Little did he knew that she felt hurt every time knowing from his social media statuses that he was in town. But this time she was really pissed off and annoyed. When he asked her to meet instantly, she denied. The unexpected happened and they both stopped talking.

Ego in the friendship is the worst enemy for the best friends as well as are the expectations.

After few weeks, one fine Sunday evening she messaged him and they got talking. At the end of conversation once again they decided to meet next weekend and sort things out between them. After 15 days of making a plan they decided to meet the next weekend and both wished to meet the same day however the day passed and they let it be.

But universe had a different plan and as its said universe always conspires to make it happen. Due to his father’s sudden illness, he had to rush to the town, the Saturday night. He messaged her that he’s coming but more than excitement she was worried and stressed. His father’s illness improved the next morning and got back to somewhat normal.

She decided to surprise him instead of killing time and sleeping in afternoon. Somehow she put her Sunday laziness away and decided to step out and meet him at the hospital.


At the hospital … 

It was a typical hospital with the guards throwing around weight but she behaved as if she didn’t notice what they asked and stepped into the lift. The room was on the 4th floor. She reached room and knocked the door.

He opened door and was happily surprised to see her. It was dark with lights off and Aarav’s father was sleeping. They hugged each other and then sat on the side lounge lazily, giggling in the dim lights of the room. It was a long time that they had met each other. All the differences had eloped instantly, looking in each other eyes.

If it wasn’t have been a hospital, probably the romantic lighting could have helped ease out the stress between them however both were conscious enough. They talked for an hour and still it seemed like she had just came in. She returned home but somewhere in her heart she felt that there was a lot he wanted to share but didn’t. Maybe due to the situation or may be he wanted to first ease out the stress. Let’s see how it unfolds and what’s there in the box for them.

To be continued..!!!

Life: A beautiful hell.. Keep Living

Life, as I titled, IS a beautiful hell. Atleast I feel so.

Last few months had been quite challenging for me. Hospital, doctors, drips at home, office work, etc. At one point in time, I felt that – This is not what I want in Life but still it hits right in the centre, giving no time to re-think about the difficulties and trouble you are going through. You get into a mode where you are doing everything required in the 24hrs of a day, but not a single minute for your self. I have been an avid reader and reading has taken a back seat. I have a reading challenge on Goodreads.com of 40 books this year and I had completed only six. I tried taking out time to write and learn, but couldn’t get that through as well. It felt like I am being controlled, tied up with the ropes of duties and responsibilities. A daily mundane routine: Wake up – Work – Home – Sleep. There was nothing that used to come up in mind. Nothing about my passion, my dreams, my personal agenda.

This went on for around 3-4months when I saw a tweet (Oct 20, 2019) by my favorite author Ms. Madhuri Baneerjee: Happiness isn’t based on incidents, things that you get, goals you achieve. Happiness is a state of mind, a constant mood, a lifestyle. I thought for a while and re-read the tweet, it ignited a thought process within. I had accepted the ongoing difficulties and problems as my life rather than putting life above all. Later after 10days (Oct 31, 2019) I saw another tweet from her: Most of the times we go for the safe idea, the secure job, the back up plan rather than follow our dreams, take a chance or give in to anything risky. Sometimes we need to follow our heart to feel complete. The universe will assist us if we make up our mind. When I read that tweet, I let it go all. Last 2 days, I just followed my heart and focused on solutions, whatever way I could.

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Just Relax

 

 

Took a time off for a weekend. Just read, write and relax. Today I promised myself that I will give time to self and for sure will make it count

 

 

Coffee

 

 

 

You don’t know what’s going to happen 
next but still you plan for future 
(frankly speaking, whatever I have gone 
through, I don’t).

 

 

Let the life bring as many challenges as it can.

The best you can do is face it with a smile.

Rather focusing on the problems, focus on the solutions.

What has happened has happened, it’s time to correct it.

I have learned it a hard way and you can as well.

Hope this continues… Will write more and soon also keep on reading atleast 1hour in a day..!!!

Book Review: City of Nine Gates

Author: Pankaj Rajput | Rating: 4/5


First Impression: The name itself created a curiosity within me to pick the book for my next read. ‘City of Nine Gates’ – it instates so many thoughts that what could be the storyline, would it be a thriller, mythological or a suspense one. 

The blurb – this is the first book I have read with the smallest blurb and that too does not reveal what you can expect from the story. First 2 lines when you read, it seems that it something to do with SelfHelp and then the next line mentions about God and Sages. 


Summary: First time I have read such a book which creates a curiosity and keep the reader tagged to the book till the end. The story starts at a fort where archeologist are reviewing the structure. The protagonist – Gyan find something suspicious while reviewing the photos of the fort. Later he comes to know the history behind the fort and a temple buried underground the fort known as City of Nine Gates. He meets the Sages there and gets an understanding about the 5000year old fort. His curiosity leads him to the history of the city buried underneath which leads him to start his journey to reveal the history behind the fort and the city. The story moves further when he meets the sages and an unusual activity leads him to the early days of the city where the city needs to be saved to ensure it does not lose its importance. During the journey multiple things unfold around the city that leads him to the actual meaning of – ‘City of Nine Gates’. The story is more of self realisation. I would have loved to provide more details around the story but I refrain doing the same as it will reveal the actual meaning of the protagonist and his journey.


My Favorite part of the book: The language, meaning of the names used for the each person who meets the protagonist – Gyan and the revelation of the clues (in Sanskrit). I loved the way Author has been able to take the reader to the journey of a person on self realisation.


My Opinion: A good read, needs a clear understanding while you read on. You might also want to link it to your life and the way it is described, explained.

How to read More!

Nice Article for people who want to Read but could not start the habit..!!!

Bookworm In Mumbai

Some time back, my uncle commented about my astonishing ability to devour books, and wanting to imbibe the habit, asked me how to go about reading more and staying motivated.

In my previous post, I talked about why I read and what the benefits of reading are. If you are convinced of that, the next step is to figure out how do you intend to go about it.

adult blur books close up Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A couple of questions to be asked:

Type: Do you like reading books, or magazines/journals//newspapers, etc.?

It doesn’t matter what kind of material you want to read, whatever yo like is            perfectly fine, you don’t have to read what others are reading.

Format: Do you prefer reading online/on devices or reading printed material?

Again, it doesn’t matter whether you read electronic or print versions. Everyone has their own preferences and there are…

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Something New, Something Challenging

Finally back on the blog with lots to share. Was off the blog since April (Long time) 🙂 After a long struggle, got a job in one of the best organisations to work for (Dream come true). Life has changed in a month. I am working to cope up with the expectations I need to live up to the organisational goals. Working in a team was never a problem, however when you know that the team under you is there since a year or more, you need to work out a strategy to connect with them and also learn. This becomes one of the challenges you need to overcome and also ensure the team is ready to accept you.

When you have a tenured team reporting into you, you need to align and connect with them taking into consideration that they know more than you. I would like to share what I did to get an acceptance and be part of the team.

  1. One on One meetings: This helps you to know team members better and is one of the best used ‘Ice Breaker’ strategy. Initially the team might not open up, however you need to make them feel secure and let them know that you are there for them, with them as a Shield.
  2. Working Environment: They are so tied up in the day to day activities, due to which they don’t have time to look around and understand: ‘Whats in for me’. As a leader you have to show them and let them achieve.
  3. Recognition: Third and the most important one is, RECOGNITION. When one of the team member receives appreciation or achieve the target, Appreciate him/her in public. This motivates them and as well other team members.
  4. Performance Review: This is one of the meetings which any team member is worried of. What would my supervisor tell me? Did I meet the expectations? etc. As a leader make sure you ease them during the review. Rather than telling them their weakness, tell them what and how they need to improve. Also that you are always there for any guidance/suggestions they require.

It’s been a month now and I am already loving my work and people around. Hope that I meet the organisational goals and expectations.

Do let me know your experiences as well in the comments and also what you feel of the above points. Anything you would like to add? 🙂

Book Review: A Hundred Little Flames

Author: Preeti Shenoy | Rating: 5 / 5


First Impressions: I just love reading Preeti’s books. She details out everything so nicely, it’s like you are living the book while you read. The story majorly revolves around a 26-year-old – Ayan and his ‘Muttachan’ (grandfather) – Gopal Shankar. In between the story, there are other characters as well who play an important role to take the story forward however more of it, is a relationship between the two and what Ayan learns on Love, Life & Friendship. The book is divided in four parts / 40 chapters. Preeti has brilliantly described the places. I feel she is the best when it come on writing the descriptions of cities, location, sunsets, sunrises, etc. All have been wonderful.

The front cover clearly describes what you are going to find in the book. It is one of the IMG_1752scenes described in the book when Ayan is talking to his Grandfather and searching over the internet on his Laptop. Picture of the ‘Thekke Madom’, an ancestral home, where Gopal Shankar lives with lush green trees and verandah. Choice of colors is classy not too vibrant and not too pale, I liked it.

The back cover blurbs are interesting and you can’t wait to start reading the book immediately. However it does not give away the entire story (there’s LOT more than just this) and that keeps you intrigued and wanting to complete reading the book.


Summary: The story starts with Ayan attending an office party in some pub in Pune and at the same time, Gopal Shankar has a fall, 1000kms away in Kerala. Everything is going well with Ayan when he has been told by HR that he will have to resign and leave immediately. His father is not happy with him and asks him to stay with his grandfather for some time there and also keep looking for job. Initially, Ayan is not happy to move but then looking at nothing to do in Pune, he goes to Kerala. He starts loving the life there when suddenly his father visits Kerala and does something (can’t tell, do read the book)  which takes away all the respect Ayan had for him. Gopal Shankar used to write diaries during his young/not very old age which he refers to Ayan and ask him to read. Further the story revolves around the Past and current life of Gopal Shankar and Ayan. How Ayan connects the dots & helps his Grandfather and how he learns on what is Life, Love & Friendship.


My Favorite Part of the book: I loved the snippets from the dairy of Gopal Shankar. They have been written so well. You would love reading them and the letters written by Gopal Shankar and Rohini – Just Awesome. Above everything in the book, the descriptions written by Preeti explaining about ‘Thekke Madom’, Pondicherry, River Creek, Temples. All are just ‘Wow’.


My Opinion: It’s a wonderful read with everything required in a story – Love, Life, Relationships, Family & above all Friendship. Strong storyline, characters, places exquisitely described. Atleast I could not keep it down without completing to read chapter by chapter. #MustRead.

My Recommendations: I have read all her books and each book is in itself a ‘Masterpiece’ including this one as well. Everytime I think what can be better than this book and then, releases a new book of Preeti. This is one of the best works of Preeti Shenoy. #Waiting for #LoveALittleStronger releasing on 27-Apr-2018.