Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Minds At Work 2

After the success that First Step Publishing received for Minds @ Work 1 which was a compilation of short stories and poems, First Step Publishing has come up with Minds@Work 2. This time though Minds@Work 2 is a collection of poetry by 25 poets.

In all a collection of 109 poems. selected writers are:

1 Shalini Katyal
2 Sandhita Agarwal
3 Ila Garg
4 Barkha Parikh
5 Sanhita Baruah
6 Rajdeep Kodose
7 Neelam Saxsena Chandra
8 Anjali Khurana
9 Yaseen Anwer
10 Waseem Malla
11 Lovita Morang Polo
12 Aman Jakhar
13 Sadia Khan
14 Rohan Kachalia
15 Nehali Lalwani
16 Ankita Shrivastava
17 Soham Majumdar
18 Prateek Singh
19 Renu Sethi
20 Janaki Nagaraj
21 Vijayeta Tirkey Kataria
22 Meghant Parmar
23 Surbhi Thukral
24 Shewta Kesari
25 Nikhil Chandwani

Received well over 300 entries it was a difficult task for selecting 25 writers and we are sure that these 25 deserve to be a part of Minds@Work 2. Minds@Work 2 is a collection of poets with varied backgrounds and walks of life.

Whereas for Minds @ Work 1 goes selected writers were:

1. Siddhi Aras
2. Aseem Rastogi
3. Ambrish Surve
4. Paulami Dattagupta
5. Yash Gaur
6. Susma Sharma Gurumanyum
7. Pragya Chaturvedi
8. Sugandha Bhandhari
9 Rohit Shetty

Creating national and international records and doing what they do best First Step Publishing is indeed "Paving Ways For New Writers"

Preorders to start soon.


This New Year, rejoice for there’s a story we all have been waiting for. Rejuvenate, for there’s a story that will make you realize the meaning of life. While you lie under the blankets in the chilly nights, this is the book that will keep you wide awake till the wee hours of the morning Yes, I am talking about my debut fiction with Pulkit Gupta, ‘Life and Promises’. Read an account of our Chit-Chat.

Pulkit: Hello everyone. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all the readers.  Let me introduce myself to you people. I am Pulkit Gupta, author of ‘Life and Promises - Story of an IITian turned CA aspirant.’ I am here with my co-author Ila Garg to share our views about Life, its Promises, Challenges, Love, Relationship and New Year Resolutions. Let’s start our discussion about this month which marks the end of a happening year and starting of a hopeful year. Ila, what are you views about December?

Ila: Well according to me it’s the most beautiful time of the year.

Pulkit: What made you say that?

Ila: It’s beautiful because it makes me happy. Perhaps it’s the only month when I find myself smiling for no reason. It’s the time to cherish the memories of the whole year that has passed by and plan the events of the upcoming year. It’s also like a milestone in the journey towards the ultimate destination. A month of festivities, I love to call December - The white month, as it is symbolic of snow for me. I love snow. It’s so magical, beautiful, and resonate peace. December is a full on chilled out moments for me, I love to shop around. The cozy blanket on the winter night, with loads of coffee to sip, and books to read. Just perfect!

Pulkit: Exactly and we can also add the X-factor of Promises to it. Whenever we see the New Year approaching we start making the list of our New Year Resolutions. Trust me 50% of them are nothing but the repeat of previous year list. If you have made any resolution then you should complete them too. I have always believed that life is 20% planning and rest 80% lies in the implementation.

Ila: But Pulkit it is not necessary that everything goes as per your plan?

Pulkit: I completely agree with you on that. But beauty of life lies in its uncertainty. A success without hurdles is nothing. You will get the real taste of success only after you have achieved that after overcoming all the challenges and failures. See, according to me if you get any challenge then it is both an opportunity as well as threat to you. Now it is up to you that you grab that opportunity and emerge as a winner or surrender to that threat. For e.g. maintaining your personal life while doing CA is a tough thing but not impossible. By the way, what does Love means to you and what is the importance of the relationship in one’s life?

Ila: For me, love is no less than a prayer. It is too pure a feeling for me. When I see a happy couple, it makes me happy, I smile and my heart smiles with me. Love is in that sense very powerful. I adore the SRK - Gauri love. My latest icons are Gauhar Khan and Kushal Tandon. Gaushal! :) I find love in the tiniest things around me. I love my pillow, my clothes, my books, I love me. It pains me to see anyone hurt esp. because of me, may be that is what love actually is. I love everyone and everything unless they hurt me or make me hate them. When you start falling for somebody and you can't stop thinking about when you're going to see them again, I love that. In a relationship each person should support the other; they should lift each other up.

Pulkit when we are talking about New Year we should also talk about Christmas and Santa Claus. Have you ever been a Santa for people around you?

Pulkit: What a question! Coincidentally this was the best Christmas for me as I acted as Santa for all my readers. Our book, ‘Life and Promises’ was scheduled to release on New Year’s Eve, but I preponed the release to 24th December, and most of the readers got the book in their hands on 25th  as a Christmas gift. I believe that all of us can act as a Santa and can spread happiness, and this will be the best Christmas gift for people around us.

Ila: Sorry, I couldn’t get you?

Pulkit: See it is not necessary that we should actually give gifts to act as Santa. Even a poor person can be a Santa. Just spend some time with people at Old Age Homes and it will be the best gift for them. They are not hungry for food but love. Play with Children of any Orphanage and it will help you to relax your mind. You will re-live your childhood time with them. Have a chat with a person with whom you are not in talking terms, and you will win his heart.  So, this New Year do something productive and different. What is your New Year Resolution Ila?

Ila: To get my second book published soon *laughs*. On a serious note, I resolve to love myself more, because I truly believe that I deserve that. I would pamper myself, go shopping. And I will want to see the ‘Bestseller’ tag on the second edition of ‘Life and Promises’. Also, I want to fall in love again! And get loads and loads of pictures clicked. Besides that, I really want to laugh like I always did, and party, meet new people. Explore places! In short, I want to go wild and discover the child within.

Pulkit: Any message which you will like to give to the readers?

Ila: Life is too short. Fulfil all your promises. Don’t waste your time in overthinking. Help others whenever you can irrespective of the fact that how they treated you. Trust me, they will adore you. I have always believed in standing for what is right and being fair in all my decisions, I will continue to do that. I hope you all do the same. It’s very important to be assertive and always follow your heart. Never wait for somebody to come and love you, love yourself. I remember the previous Valentine’s days. I used to buy gifts for myself. I have some of them in my almirah, safely tucked in. This always looked weird to my friends but for me, it was very essential. It made me believe that whosoever is my Mr. Right, he is always with me somewhere. It’s very important to focus on yourself before you expect others to focus on you and make you their priority. Also, it’s equally important to love others, and make them feel heavenly. Do things that make you happy once in a while without thinking what others will say. I always do that.

What is your message to them Pulkit?

Pulkit: ‘Live for today and hope for tomorrow.’ You can enjoy success only when you have your loved ones with you. Never ignore your friends and love your parents. Bless You!
We hope that you people must have enjoyed their Chit-Chat. Team of News-O-Holic wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year. Book their copy from:-

Website- http://www.lifeandpromises.com/


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Trapped In Love Again - Book Review

Trapped In Love Again
By Yogesh Achtani
Review By Ila Garg

Trapped In Love Again, a novel by the debutant writer Yogesh Achtani, is published by Mahaveer Publishers. The cover designer Sunill Kaushik, has well portrayed the element of humour and unusualness in the cover. It'll give the readers a slight glimpse of a typical modern day love story. The title is attractive too. Use of bright colors and a funny cover image, add to the reader’s interest. The blurb talks about few people and the turning points in their lives and what all happens in the entire journey with clarity.

The blurb reads as, “Miserable and dejected, Sameer lights up a cigarette despite Arnav's warning about the ill effects of smoking including impotency. He just wants to blow his worries in smoke. 'Who's bothered of impotency when you can't even manage to get a girlfriend?'

Arnav, alias Mac is a 'happy go lucky guy' pursuing his graduation in Pune. Fresh into college, he feels a splurge of energy gushing through him on seeing the free life. With emotions running high, Cupid strikes the very first day of college and for Arnav, it's love at first sight with Sally. Despite hitting off well from day one, their relationship isn't a smooth ride.

Trapped in Love, Arnav finds himself in lurch after being ditched by Sally, and finds succor in his new friends, Sameer, Atul and Ronit. Sameer has a penchant for Sally's friend Aspree but just like Arnav's case, it's a one sided affair. Thus just as him, his new friends too are a bunch of losers in the field of love.

All their attempts to woo their beloveds fail in quick succession. The turning point comes when they embark upon a social service camp to a village under the aegis of NSS.

Now what would be their future plan? Would they continue to woo their beloveds or would they work for a social cause for the village?

Will Arnav's one sided love story continue, or he would be “Trapped in Love, Again”.

Would they be successful in whatever they undertake? Or would their cruel fate follow them everywhere? And most importantly, will they ever find love at all?

Trapped In Love Again, revolves around a young group of boys and girls namely Arnav, Ronit, Sameer, Atul, and Aspree, Smita, Sally. Love strikes on the very first day as if a scene straight from Hindi Masala Movie. Arnav falls for Sally's beauty and from there on a love story starts to gather momentum but with a few speed breakers in the process. As soon as their love had blossomed, it declined with a faster pace. Few misunderstandings lead to an end of their love.

However, not further revealing the plot, I would like to mention that this isn’t a love story purely. It has so many subtle plots woven in it. Apart from romance, it has given a balanced space to fights, misunderstandings, friendship, naughtiness, and the intricacies of teenage group, & ofcourse the desperation to explore the unexplored.

The book has more to it than meets the eye. Initially there is nothing different that Yogesh Achtani offers us in the book. It’s the same old tale with slight twists. But gradually it captures. The first half is a usual college love story but later on the story changes track. Characters, their visualization and the sensitive village matters have been sketched to perfection. Although the second half gets a little too serious, yet it retains the romantic and humorous flavor.

The too many failures of Arnab’s life and dejections, is just one of the reasons you want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Trapped In Love Again. Another reason that would keep you glued to it would be whether he finally could help the villagers or not and gets his true love.

This 240 page book is well written and moves beyond the regular romance novels. The book has a few grammatical errors, punctuations missing and several spelling errors too. Apart from this, it is very entertaining and brings to forth some real life problems too which haunt few parts of our country with a different touch to it. It’s a light read, however the subject is sensitive. At some points it becomes dragging (the conversations, mainly) but at others it is fast paced too. For me it was a quick read, as I completed the novel in some 2 hours.

To find out whether he survives through the incessant sufferings and moves on with his new found friends or not, will he be lucky in his love life despite the rejections and turmoil, how he sets everything right towards the end; you will have to read the novel, Trapped In Love Again.

Ratings: 3.2/5

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Night In Paradise

About A Night In Paradise

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is like a battle; love is the essence of every war... starts on ground level and ends with a lot of cherish-able memories, creating a magnificent PARADISE!!

“Do you think you will go to heaven after death?” Majority of people would answer as, “I hope so” or “I think so” or perhaps “I think I’ve got a good chance”. Not many people would answer this question in negative. But you’re wrong about your perception of heaven. And you’re going to be wrong for a long, long time.

Heaven does not arrive after death. It’s always there, around you, within you, in fact it is everywhere. You just need to have eyes to see and senses to feel the beauty and bliss around you; and that is where you will find your heaven too. Heaven is where True Love dwells. It's a throne with lingering fragrances, angels surrounding it and gracing it with their presence, giving you an everlasting feeling of being loved.

A Night In Paradise is a collection of 12 such heart melting stories from Ila, Neoni, Neha, Radhika, Nehali, Ayesha, Varun, Brinda, Shruti, Kuastubh, Khushi, Ishani, Raj, and Abhinav, who have added different strokes of tales to help you get a glimpse of paradise and take you to one of those Heavenly Nights.


Buy from: Homeshop18

Let us know your Order Number: Facebook Event

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Home Makeover for farewell of the year 2013!

Hi everyone, December is considered as the month of festivities; the most beautiful time of the year. So why not make it more special? All of us find comfort at home when we return from the torturous life at offices and other work places, right? 

So, we occasionally need to turn our home into a more welcoming and cosy place. So, let's see if we can just use some lights and colors to renovate and add life to our already beautiful homes.

If nothing else, it will give a delightful ambiance to our homes and maybe attract some positive vibes.

1) Add lights and colors to your front door - A famous saying goes like 'First impression is the last impression'. Door is the first thing noticed by the visitors. Tying few colorful ribbons or flowers will serve as a good impression. Twinkling lights add a soft glow at night and allow the door and decor to be seen from the street.

2) Lanterns - Arrange a grouping of festive lanterns at your entryway, near windows, for a quick-and-easy decor. Consider using flameless candles as a worry-free alternative to regular lanterns. This will give a cozy ambiance to your home instantly.
Christmas Decorating Ideas: Lanterns

3) Decorate pendant lights - Dress up pendant lights in a kitchen with a garland of flowers. This kitchen allows plenty of room for entertainment. 
Christmas Decorating Ideas: Pendant Lights

4) Use chandeliers - In the living room, chandeliers is a must.

5) Use diyas and candles - The best decor is to use aromatic candles in the lobby area and alternatively keep floating diyas in bowls for a rich exotic look and feel.

6) Add 'Wow Element' with a disco ball - Hang a disco ball from the ceiling to float above the dining table. The bow (used for tying the disco ball), with its long ribbon tendrils, adds the real wow factor.
Christmas Decorating Ideas: Disco Ball

7) Don't forget the staircase - On the staircase, use wax diyas and alternatively you can use silver/gold lights to drape like a garland up the handrail of a staircase, it will add to the welcome aura in the foyer.

8) Wrap up the left pillars and columns - Play up the architecture of your home by accentuating features, like the stately columns flanking a front porch, with spiraling garland and bright twinkling lights.

I hope these handy-tips help in making your homes look perfect for the festive season and also add cheer and positive vibes. Happy decorations!!!

Image Courtesy: Google

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Sweet fly of butterflies...
Whispers of petals…
Hidden smiles…
Fairytale meetings...
Uncertain looks...
Charming gifts...
Warmth of hugs...
Promises of kisses...
Lighting of candles…
Silk touch…
Subtle desires...
Cinnamon scents…
Pulsing of loves…
Timidity forgotten…
Moon's protection…
Fairies' inspiration…
Softness of cotton flowers…
Gentleness lived and no more remembered…
Passion unpredictable strong…
Storm's freedom…
Unconditional joy…
Discover of lives…
Another meet of souls…
Joining of feelings…
Goddess' blessing…