Friday, October 18, 2013

Emotional Fool - Book Review

Emotional Fool
By Selva Ganapathy
Review By Ila Garg

Emotional Fool is a book by the debutant writer Selva Ganpathy is published by Notion Press which is a self-publishing firm. The cover of the book is designed by Preeta Suresh. The cover and title are appealing. The cover is an image and a mirror image of a joker, which in combination with the title indicates at the emotional aspect of the novel. It signifies sadness and mockery of love, maybe!

The blurb reads as, ‘The protagonist, Selva narrates his life story - His childhood, his upbringing, friends, travels, college life, career and Priya. The story revolves around Priya, his best friend and confidante who he eventually falls in love with & attempts to court. His sensitive nature leads him to take actions that are a typical & abnormal for people around him. What happens when he continues to let his heart rule his head?’

It is short, precise, to the point and gives the readers a glimpse into the story of the book Emotional Fool. The book is a reflection of the author’s own experiences of life. He has penned down his own good, bad, and indifferent experiences that he went through. The long lasting effect of them can be felt in his words.

The protagonist of the story is Selva himself, and he narrates a tale of his journey of finding his first job from IIT Delhi, his friends, his active work for AID New Delhi and then his own drastic family problems. It also gives a deeper insight into the love and support he got from people around him which helped him to form a certain outlook towards the future. It further moves to his attempts to woo a girl he got attracted to on social networking medium which fails and then finally he comes across Priya.

The 132 page book comprises of 8 chapters, and a prologue. The reason that made this book readable for me is perhaps the innocence with which the author has written about his own life. He has made no attempt to hide anything and spoken about the incidents which occurred with honesty.

He has boldly claimed in his book that the story is not fictional; it is his own story which is a less treaded step too. The straight forward and simple narration makes it reader friendly but the grammatical flaws become an eyesore. Few spelling mistakes further made me despise the book towards the end. It took me around an hour to finish it off. It ends of a hopeful note.

The too many dilemmas of Selva’s life is just one of the reasons you want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Emotional Fool. To find out whether Selva gets a decent reply from the girl he tries to woo through social networking or not, whether Priya and he get along well or not, their friendship blossoms or shatters; you will have to read the book which Selva Ganpathy claims to be a blook (where a personal blog is reformatted into a book), Emotional Fool.

Ratings: 2.5/5

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In conversation with an Architect!

Your name and age? 

Ar. Anubhav Goyal D.O.B. 11/02/1986


Ar. Anubhav Goyal received his Bachelor’s Degree from Aayojan school of Architecture, Jaipur and Masters in Urban Planning from MNIT, Jaipur. Also did P.G.P.M. from NICMAR, Pune. He also worked in Holland (Rotterdam) for half a year to experience architecture globally.

He has been responsible for the design, engineering and implementation of a wide variety of projects. He has also been taking guest lectures at private architectural institutes and NITs. 
1. Why did you choose to become an architect? How and where did your career in architecture begin?

It was a very natural choice. Several teachers and friends of our family noted that I seemed to have interests that included both science and art. The project-based nature of the profession makes everyday new and different – with new projects and new challenges. Also I chose it because it’s a very creative profession, plus the fact that you could have something that you’ve designed realised in real life. As time progressed, I began to be intrigued by how buildings could affect the way we live, our mood and behaviour. We spend most of our lives in buildings – through architecture you can influence the way people live their lives for the better.

I began working in a local architecture firm during my architectural education and gained a first-hand perspective on the practice of architecture. Second major opportunity I got while working at 24H Architecture BV in Holland where I learned designing/ analytical and professional approach to architecture.

After returning from Holland, I found myself looking for the next professional challenge, and the idea of starting a new practice appealed to me. Since then, I enjoyed the four years of independent practice in designing various projects. 

2. What is an average day in your life like? Take us through it.

I spend around 40 hours per week on my workstation for designing and developing ideas/ concepts for my projects. The work activities involve discussions with colleagues and interns on varied projects to achieve a design output as per owner’s requirements. I also like to spend few hours on sites and sometimes taking guest lecture for students of architecture. 

3. What has been the most memorable or exciting event in your career?

The rewards are many indeed. There is great satisfaction as a project comes to fruition – knowing it will have a positive effect on the lives of many people.

Architecture responds to our human condition in many, many ways. It is about people – from its purpose, to its process, and its products. Without the needs, relationships, and appreciation of people there would be no rewards in the practice of architecture. Simply stated, the great reward in the practice of architecture is our participation in the transformation of the world, for the better, for others.

4. What is the Indian architectural industry like - in terms of pay, people and lifestyle - can you give students an idea of what to expect?

Architects create design, and in co-ordination with engineers, they endeavour to make the drawings a reality. Both these fields should operate in tandem but can never replace each other. Unfortunately, more and more engineers are now trying to perform the work of an architect. A pathetic situation has come about wherein architects are not being given a free hand. 

An architect is a creator. One cannot put a price tag on his creative energy. 

Right now, the real estate market is in a slump, so the ratio of architects to job opportunities is uneven. 

Students should be prepared for a low income when they graduate. You don’t make a lot of money out of it, not until later. It’s not as well-paid as everyone thinks – not for the hours you do. Secondly, be prepared to work hard and play hard. It’s a very social career and very social at university – you form a very close-knit group of people simply through being in the studio all day. Also, get experience whenever you can, like on a construction site, or in an office, and read books, visit buildings – just really throw yourself into it.

5. What in your opinion, makes an exceptional architect? What quality should he or she possess?

Architects must get engaged in the needs of the larger community rather than esoteric few. An architect must be aware of all the parameters of planning and adhere to the planning rules and regulations laid down by the authorities. He should co-ordinate with other professionals, like the contractors, engineers, decorators etc, in order to complete the structure. In this field, practical experience is very important. 

I personally feel that an architect must be given complete autonomy in his field of designing. Anybody who employs an architect should brief him about his needs and financial constraints, and it is the architect's responsibility to fulfil the needs of the employer and design within the stipulated fee.

6. What are the challenges, if any, faced by architects today?

The architect’s role changes throughout the course of the project. At the outset the primary role of the architect is to assist the owner in envisioning the possibilities for the future of their built environment. Then each project requires decisions to be made which eliminate some of the possibilities, and the owner rightly depends on the advice of the architect in this narrowing of the options. Then the architect brings all the necessary engineers and other design experts into the project and coordinates their aspects of design work. The architect brings together all of the project requirements and the design efforts of multiple engineers into a cohesive, integrated whole. All of this occurs under the guidance of the architect who guides the project, ensuring that the final design meets the requirements and goals set forth in the early stages of the design process.

7. Do you have any criticism about the average buildings you find in India today?

I have a real appreciation of buildings that A) utilize authentic materials, and B) serve a public, communal, or ritual purpose.

8. What is architecture school like -- or at least how was yours – could you describe it a little for students interested in joining? Is entrance very difficult (high cut off marks)?

Architecture can be defined as the science of building. It is both an art and a science and combines art and technology to create monuments. Architecture is a profession, which has been practised from times immemorial. Architecture, as a profession, has thrived in India for centuries and all the magnificent monuments are testimonials. 

As a curriculum in colleges, it started sometime during the British rule, with the establishment of JJ School of Arts in Mumbai, which offered a diploma in architecture. Many years later, the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi was started, and by 1957, there were around seven to eight colleges in the country. Other colleges like REC Trichy, started offering architecture as a course of study in the 1960s. Gradually, many of the self-financed, private colleges began offering the subject. Right now, there are around 100 schools in India, with Maharashtra topping the list with 30 schools. Karnataka comes second with more than 18 schools. Premier institutions in the country are IIT Kharagpur, School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi, JJ School of Architecture in Mumbai, JN Technological University of Hyderabad, Anna University, Chennai and REC Trichy.

The entrance exam (NATA) for architecture is not very difficult to clear. All it requires is an aptitude towards art and creativity. 

9. Which architects have inspired you? Can you name some buildings in India and outside that have inspired you?

I am in love with Frank Lloyd Wright. Modern architecture is incredible. Howard Roarke from Ayn Rand's Novel ‘The Fountainhead’ would have been my crush if he was real.

The Parthenon [Athens], Hagia Sophia [the Byzantine church that later became a mosque in Istanbul], the Chrysler Building [New York City], Grand Central Terminal [New York City], and Amiens Cathedral [Amiens, France].

10. Beauty and art is subjective and trends are always changing. But what is your personal idea of *good architecture*?

Simplicity. Making complex programs and requirements appear simple is incredibly difficult and at its essence, that is why I appreciate modern architecture as much as I do.

You can contact him at: Facebook:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Played A Game With Life - Book Review


I played a game with Life
By S. Richardson
Review By Ila Garg

I Played A Game With Life, a novel by the debutant writer S. Richardson is published by Parlance Publishers Pvt. Ltd. The cover designer Jimmy Eric, has well portrayed life in the cover. The front representing day and the brightness while the back contrasting it and depicting night, darkness. The moment I saw the cover, I knew I have to read this. The title is intriguing equally, tempting me further to own this book. So when Richardson sent this book to me for reviewing, I was glad.

The blurb reads as, “Will one young man’s hurts, disappointments and pressures lift him up to greatness or will he submit to mediocrity?
Sam, a typical guy, living life happy and carefree, but has an ambition that far exceeds what a normal Chennai boy can aspire to. Encountering ‘Life’ itself in a dream, he’s convinced into playing a game with it. A game that ends when Life's travails get so hard that Sam is pushed to tears.
A girl enters Sam’s life when he least expects it. The moment he sets eyes on her he knows she’s going to play hard to get. Sparks do indeed fly and before long the two find themselves in a world of romance.
Though Sam’s attitude about living life is to be happy and cool, he finds all of that being tested. Circumstances push him into a world of discomfort, guilt, heartbreak and confusions.
Amidst such emotional turmoil, he manages to grip on to hope and still enjoys life. One event after another pushes him to an edge.
Does Sam find a way to win the game? Or will he spiral into what so many people who've given up the fight have fallen into? You simply need to be part of his life to find out.”

As I read through the novel I played a game with Life, I could actually feel as if I am watching a movie. It has a great potential. The story moves on a comfortable pace, easy language ensures that readers will not find in difficult to read.

Prologue of the novel is written with a clear vision, enhancing the interest of the readers. And this interest is maintained well till the end.

Initially there is nothing different that Richardson offers us in the book. It’s the same old tale with slight twists. But gradually it captures. The Hindi words used could have been a little crisper. The flow of words was good yet the incidents and character introductions were a little fragmented.

The story revolves around the main protagonist, Sam his never ending woes with his family, his newly found love Amritha, an uber cool super rich girl, his friend Harish & his girlfriend Preethi and some relatives and his professional life which is in a terrible mess as no one is in favour of him becoming a Hollywood Actor. A person with big dreams and ambitions to fulfil finds himself at crossroads when his father doesn't supports him in the cause and his struggle to set things right becomes a tough task. Some sparkling revelations later on turns his life upside down and then people around him set out to make life easier for Sam, especially his best friend. It's a story about lost hopes, fading ambitions, silence of an innocent soul, intense love for a girl and in the end the price he pays for each and everything. But somehow it’s worth it.

This 245 page book contains 46 chapters. Well written yet dragging at some points. Readers might find the end too predictable. At some phases, I felt the story is going way too beyond reality. It was more of a melodrama created for the readers to enjoy.

The too many insecurities in Sam’s love life is just one of the reasons you want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens in I Played A Game With Life. Another reason that would keep you glued to it would be to discover if he actually wins the game with life or not.

To find out whether he survives the absence of his ex-girlfriend and moves on with Amritha or not, will he be lucky in his career despite the turmoil, how he sets everything right towards the end; you will have to read the novel, I Played a Game with Life.

Ratings: 3.2/5

Sunday, October 6, 2013

In Conversation with Dayal Madan :)

Born in a small town of Nainital District, currently residing in New Delhi, he is twenty two, and currently single. He graduated from Dehradun Institute of Technology, and currently works in finance domain. He founded 'Rhythm Books' along with a friend Gurinder Arora. Besides writing novel, he loves to play poker and write raps too.

Here he lets his readers know a little more about himself and his journey as a writer:

1. Tell us something about your book?

Millionaire, is a story of crazy love, expectations, sacrifice, passion towards your goal, and above all, the commitment and emotion. The story talks about aspirations and ambition towards your goal. People usually ask me if it’s something related to business, finance and all. But it’s not; it’s a puppy college love story of Dev Arora and Visha Kapoor, a tale of two lovers who begin their journey of togetherness. It’s true that life doesn't guarantee you happiness without any sorrow; all it matters is rising above it. Millionaire talks about those ups and downs in life and the commitment towards your love and the passion to be a millionaire.

2. 'Rhythm Books' is a new publishing house, how did you come up with this concept?

Talking about two years back, I considered myself the last person to write something, or even read any book. But things changed gradually when someone suggested me some books to read. To be honest, I started to write just to impress that person, and slowly and slowly, it became my hobby. The idea of 'Rhythm Books' came to my mind when my first draft got rejected from three publishers; although it’s true that my first draft was pathetic. So when I started up with my second draft, I made up my mind that I would be going to do everything by myself, no matter how much painful it may be. On the same day, I called my cousin (and my business partner) Gurinder Arora and told him about the plan. 

And believe me, it feels great to work as a driving force behind 'Rhythm books'. We only follow one simple plan, no outsourcing. We write, we edit, we typeset, we design cover, and we make trailer videos. In fact, if we had enough funds, we could have bought a printing press also.

3. What inspired you to write this book ‘Millionaire’ and publish it through 'Rhythm Books'?

Well, nobody inspired me to write a book. As mentioned earlier, it started as a show-off, and slowly turned as a hobby, and will remain a hobby. And 'Rhythm Books' is just a beginning, I have a lot of venture ideas piled up in my mind.

4. What do you think is your biggest strength when it comes to writing?

It’s patience. Writing something requires a lot of patience. There may come time when you sit idle in front of your computer screen thinking what to write, or how to start. And at the next moment, you shut down your system and start doing something else. Writing is something in which you’ll always miss the deadlines. And once you get struck at something, it may take days to come out of it. It’s true that it takes only a small idea to start writing something, but it takes a hell lot of patience to complete it.

5. Share some of your interesting memories you lived while writing this book?

I barely had any time when I started up with Millionaire. I was fully occupied with my day job, and during weekends, I was at my native town resting on the couch in front of the TV. The only free time I had was when I was travelling. My work place was at a distance of two hours, so I used to utilize that time imagining characters and writing chapters on my phone. More than eighty percent of the book has been written on my phone during travelling, and the rest twenty percent is taken from my previous draft. So it was a nice experience for me hiding my phone screen from the people who kept on staring at it.

6. What are your views on co-authoring? Would you like to co-author your future work with someone? If yes, then who?

One plus one is surely not eleven, but is greater than two. Every person has a different perspective, so combining different views and working as one can lead to a great product. Plus, it helps marketing. So I believe co-authoring a book can overshadow your weakness with someone else’s strength. And I'm not picky about people. If given a chance, I would love to work with practically anyone on a book as far as he/she is willing to accept my weird concepts.

7. Some words for the budding writers who might be penning down their debut books. 

A friend of mine once said to me, ‘if there’s a book that you want to read but hasn't been written yet, then you should write it.’ So I would like to pass these words to all the budding writers. Everyone has a story and anyone can be a writer, all we need is to push our limits.

8. What are some things you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like to listen and write raps. I'm a great fan of Eminem, not only because of his songs, but also because of his struggle in his early life. It was only because of his passion and sacrifices he dealt that he’s now considered as the king of hip-hop. It reminds me of the fact that nothing is impossible once we decide to do anything.

Apart from it, I like to watch sitcoms, especially ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’, I like to drive (although not in Delhi’s traffic), I like to try new things to eat, I like to work, I like to think and most importantly, I like to sleep.

9. How do you envision your book will impact your readers?

Millionaire is a story of love and passion. People who have been in love can easily relate the story to themselves. The book’s primary motive is to entertain people, and I believe I may server its purpose. But there are many incidents from which readers can take inspiration, say it loyalty and commitment. The message Millionaire tries to give to its readers is that, where there is a will there may not be a way, but it’s you who has to find the way.

10. What is your least favourite part of the writing process?

It’s editing. The book is edited by us only, and it was a painful task. We used to be awake till late to find errors in the book and correct them, and once a chapter was checked and corrected completely, we used to celebrate making noises and banging walls. Still, it took us a month to completely finish the process. Although when the book was printed, we found few more errors; see nobody is perfect. We could've hired a professional editor to do the same, but then, it would have hindered out learning capabilities. Here at 'Rhythm books', we follow no outsourcing and learning is fun rule. Project Rhythm does not intend to make money out of it, but to enhance our capabilities and grasp as much as we can. 


Billions of people, with zillions of dreams. Dreams that say I want to be rich, I want to see my favourite car in the garage of my beach-house, I want to have everything I want. Its true that money cant buy happiness, cause it is happiness. But do dreams really turn into reality? Can an ordinary life be deciphered to extra-ordinary?
Bank balance of hundreds of millions, colossal apartment, resplendent black car, and retirement in the early twenties; he had everything. But it all appeared void to him. He was incomplete without his first and very last vish. The happiness couldn't buy him his vish. Can love be ever so strong that it can overshadow all the luxuries? Is the love he lost ever coming back? What about the promises he made? When he had nothing, he wanted everything. When he had everything, he felt nothing. He was Dev Arora, a multi-millionaire.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Millionaire - Book Review

By Dayal Madan
Review By Ila Garg

Millionaire, a beautiful novel by the debutant Dayal Madan is published by Rhythm Books Publication. It’s a self-publishing firm largely and Dayal Madan happens to be the co-founder. I also browsed through the official book trailer on youtube which was made with a lot of creativity. This is the first book by this publication house and the way it is presented to the readers is noticeable. Both the publication house and the book, Millionaire, seem to be promising!

The blurb reads as “Billions of people, with zillions of dreams. Dreams that say I want to be rich, I want to see my favorite car in the garage of my beach-house, I want to have everything I want. It’s true that money can’t buy happiness, ‘cause it is happiness. But do dreams really turn into reality? Can an ordinary life be deciphered to extra-ordinary?Bank balance of hundreds of millions, colossal apartment, resplendent black car, and retirement in the early twenties; he had everything. But it all appeared void to him. He was incomplete without his first and very last vish. The happiness couldn't buy him his vish. Can love be ever so strong that it can overshadow all the luxuries? Is the love he lost ever coming back? What about the promises he made? When he had nothing, he wanted everything. When he had everything, he felt nothing. He was Dev Arora, a multi-millionaire.”

The title Millionaire indicates the book must be about monetary aspects, a corporate world, precisely all about money. But the cover of the book gives a slightly clearer picture. It shows three distorted hearts with Euros, Pounds, Dollars, Rupees, & LOVE.

The story is written in romance genre. I was amazed while reading it as I thought a guy will never be able to pen down the depth of emotions with such a seamless effort, but Dayal Madan proved me wrong. He did a wonderful job with emotions in his book, Milionaire.

Initial story was more or less repetitive and thus predictable. The story revolves around the central character Dev Arora, who has some ambitions and aspirations pre-set for him. He then fell in love with Visha Kapoor, the girl who changed his life completely and then suddenly vanished completely from his life. He was all aloof and then time made him realise his aim to be a millionaire.

But gradually the story started taking twists and turns.

The story in a nutshell, is about sufferings, hurt, undying love, achieving success, be a millionaire, commitment, and many more such themes. The madness of Dev in his love story is a main crux of the book.

The 3-4 poems in the book are well-written and add to the beauty of emotions. The author has good narrative skills. The 203 page book takes you along with it and makes you realise that every love story is not an easy affair. The story is meaningful and the main reason that I loved this book is the dedication of Dev towards Visha. The story had a filmi touch, I almost felt as if I am watching a Hindi flick.

Dayal Madan managed to keep the reader’s interest maintained throughout! The pace of the story is smooth too. The language is easy to comprehend and there would be no difficulty in understanding the plot of the novel. It is an inspirational tale of love adding to its USP.

The too many turmoil of Dev’s love life is just one of the reasons you want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Millionaire. To find out whether he survives the absence of Visha in his life, will he be lucky in love, who is Naina, will Naina be able to replace Visha in Dev’s life, happiness in just money or love is essential too; you will have to read the novel, Millionaire.

For a debut writer, Dayal Madan has given a good start to his career. The story line and absence of Visha without any concrete reason kept me glued till the end. Some of the dialogues in the book were actually so touching and close to my heart that I eventually ended up taking snapshots and whatsapping them to a friend of mine. Kudos to the writer for writing such an emotional tale… I recommend this book to all the love birds.

Ratings: 3.7/5