Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And Let There Be Light - Book Review

And Let There Be Light
By Binduu Chopra
Review By Ila Garg

And Let There Be Light, a beautiful novella by the Binduu Chopra is published by Shambhabi Publishers – The Third Eye Imprint. The cover art is attractive and also gives a glimpse into the plot of the novel. It is photographed by Rathish PK and conceptualised and designed by The interesting thing about this cover is that it was selected via a contest. The title is very involving as well. Who doesn’t want a ray of light in this dark, evil world, after all?

First impressions: Good cover, could have been a little better. A nice engaging title. The book size and paper quality could have been better too. Editing is done well, though I did find 2-3 proofreading issues, which can be easily neglected.

The blurb reads as “There is nothing that can hold you down. The limitations are only in the mind, and if the mind is kept open, you will have the freedom to enjoy & celebrate life. The insights shared by Binduu Chopra in her book ‘And Let There Be Light’ can naturally change lives in a simple way. The book on self-development talks about a journey from mundane life to living an awakened life. Various topics like peace, joy, death and wisdom keep the reader engaged and opens the door to embark down a path for inner freedom.

Binduu Chopra, Author – Poetess, Clinical Hypnotherapist & Aura reader calls herself a mind designer. Having travelled extensively within India & in different parts of the world gave her a chance not just to learn about various cultures, but to understand relationships better. She is warm & vivacious. She wants to finally retire with street children.

P.S. When you buy this book, you help a person with psycho-social disability. (Indeed a noble thought, isn’t?)

Coming to the book, I felt it to be an enlightening experience. The depth of insights shared by the author with such a seamless effort engages the readers instantly. It is a book that will be your bible for self – development skills. The author has good writing skills, as she has managed to keep the language crisp and clear which adds to the beauty of the book.

‘Self-discipline’ is the key word to deal with in this book. It will make you feel aware of your own strength and how to bring it to the fore. It begins with a prologue that introduces us to the origin of the idea behind this novella. It also tells us how paying it forward is such a rewarding experience!

Quoting from the book, “I am happy with my life as it is a mirage. I am blessed to hold an empty cup and stretch my hand, for if it was full – I would not seek to quench. I would be called born, but would have lived dead.” The author has definitely made ample efforts to put together so many varied instances that will lead the readers to a whole new perspective. Like no two fingers are same, the route will not appear to be the same to everyone. It all depends on how you take it, which path you choose to tread on.

Life is an endless cycle of beginnings and ends. Do we find answers to all the questions that life raises before us? Are all our prayers answered? Are all our desired fulfilled? These and many such questions are given way here. The leading light of Guru is our prime focus, once we find this light life won’t seem to be harsh. The book is all about finding the ‘Ignition Key’. It will lead you to your self-discovery!

Through her experiences, the author tells us how it is important to love. She also shares episodes on how we should not let hatred reside in our hearts and the necessity to forgive! It talks about an inner journey that will help us to improve ourselves as individuals. The book engages with several topics like pursuit of a Guru, desires, emotions, discovering self, love, forgiveness, freedom, death, discipline, truth, wisdom and inner journey. It’s a struggle to find deeper meanings…

A spiritual quest, it’s an aspiration to transform yourself from the ordinary to become a beacon. It tells us that there is nothing wrong in having desires as long as one is able to conquer the temptations by timely withdrawal. Heart, Mind, Soul, and Intellect should be in harmony to tread on the path of enlightenment!

The 50 page book, divided in 14 chapters and a prologue and introduction is a quick read, recommended as one of the best pick for reading during your travelling time. It will just take an hour of your time. However, the impact that it leaves behind can be long-lasting depending on your interest to change your life for the better. It leaves you with a hope to aspire for happiness, to venture in pursuit of peace…

Binduu Ma’am has done a wonderful job with it. Everyone must read it because life is too short, one must not die unhappy! The affirmations can help in transformation to a great extent. This book is therefore, for all those who seek their inner freedom. It’s like a key to open and come out of the confinements of the doors. Best wishes!

“I continue to grow beautifully on my inside while those wrinkles take care of my outside” – Binduu Chopra

Ratings: 3.75/5

Buying Links: Flipkart | Infibeam

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bad Romance!

"It was anyway a lot better for me to concentrate on my work instead of brooding over a wasted relationship, a maniac boyfriend, a bastard friend and a lover who had cheated on me."

Bad Romance - A book that tells you why you ought to say NO and to not submit into any kind of abuse, whether physical or emotional.

About the Author

A full-time writer, she is the author of 'One In A Million' that got published by Mahaveer Publishers in April 2013 in her final year of Mechanical Engineering at G.L. Bajaj Institute of Technology and Management, Noida. She is an avid reader and a prolific blogger. She loves reading classics and is a diehard Mills and Boons fan. She believes that writing provides solace to her soul and that is why ditched her engineering skills for the mighty pen. She writes for a number of online platforms on a regular basis and loves interacting with people. 

Apart from writing, she loves travelling, reading, listening to music and spending time with friends and family. At present, she resides in Gurgaon and works as a Content Writer with a leading e-commerce group.

You can reach her at:
Twitter handle: @hsrivastava0205


Life is a bitch and I’m one of its victims. I had the perfect life. I was blessed with the perfect boyfriend, a perfect best friend, the perfect set of girlfriends and perfect choice of career. There were some loopholes but then they went beyond my perspective. Overall, I had the kind of life people would ideally like to have but happy times aren’t meant to last forever.

Sometimes we feel that we have figured life but that’s something that is never going to happen. You know why? It’s because it has this habit of kicking us right in the middle of ecstasy. No wonder, it did the same with me.

This is my story, my story of that exploration within, my feelings, my emotions, my thought process, my priorities, my conflicts and my journey into the temptation of love, lust, lies and betrayals. This is the story of Kritika and a man who gave her life another dimension, Tanishq. This is a story of the complexities of relationships and the trap that a simple idea of sensuality, pleasure and euphoria can put you into. This is a story for everyone who has loved, lost and fought for survival and love, together. 

Title: Bad Romance
Publisher: Gargi Publishers
Author: Harshita Srivastava
Edition: Paperback
Language: English
ISBN: 9788192960913

Buying Links: Infibeam | Amazon | Flipkart

Rendezvous with Amrita Suresh :)

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a Hatha yoga teacher, who has also been a faculty handling business presentations for M. Tech students at IIIT, Hyderabad. As of now, I am a busy mom to a still more busy toddler who being two years old is more qualified to be a yoga teacher, since the tiny brat spontaneously teaches everyone the art of deep breathing!

2. Throw some light on your debut book ‘When the Lawyer Falls in Love’.

My first book ‘When a Lawyer falls in love…’ was written when I was fresh out of college and hence has that certain light hearted tone that every college student who has ever bunked class can identify with!

3. What inspired you to write your second book ‘When a Lawyer walks down the aisle’?

Would you believe it, that there is actually a nine year gap between the writing for my two books and there was just so much happening in these nine years that has been reflected in my writing. I went through the whole comical arranged marriage route, yet I was lucky to fall in love with the person I was arranged to meet! The story behind every marriage, I believe is worthy of a book and considering I married a lawyer, this is saying something, isn’t it?!! :P

4. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

My previous book had a male character as it’s protagonist, yet this time, it’s the female lead, Sonali Shah who steals the show. I love reading and have a personal collection of over 1500 books and the character of Sonali is also depicted as this erudite yet talkative lawyer, who would have been fun to hang out with, had she been a real person.

5. How much of the book is realistic?

Okay, so what I’m about to say is going to sound a bit freaky, so brace up. When I was 21 , I enrolled in this program called the ‘Eternity Process’ which is organized by the Art of Living Foundation, Bangalore. This is basically a past life regression therapy where under hypnosis you can experience flashes of your past life and the in between states after death. So in that sense, the idea of the novel came from this fascinatingly unique experience, I had, when I regressed back in time.

6. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Anyone who is remotely interested in the paranormal and wants to lose their fear of ‘ghost’s should read this book. I have to admit, that growing up, I was someone who could be scared easily, yet after reading more than two dozen books on the paranormal, I’ve come to have a fair understanding of this whole phenomena called ‘ghosts’. And as comical as this sounds, yet at some point of time, all of us have had the experience of casting away our physical body. We just don’t remember it, that’s all.

7. How did you come up with the titles of both the books?

I had always thought I would become a lawyer, hence this wish is somewhere reflected in my books.

8. What is the hardest and the easiest thing about writing?

I truly believe, that any art form derives it’s inspiration from something beyond the mind of man. I know, I sound like Sri Aurobindo here, yet it’s true. J.K. Rowling says that the whole concept of Harry Potter was downloaded into her mind like a fully formed idea. That’s what is called inspiration I guess. So getting inspiration to write something can be both the hardest and the easiest thing about writing. That apart , there is also the question of discipline.

9. How long, on average does it take you to write a book?

Like I said, sometimes it’s all about being inspired and then the ideas simply flow. A book can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on how earnest one is.

10. Are your books self-published or traditional?

For every fellow writer out there, here is a humble request. If you have a great idea and fairly good writing skills, just do yourself a favour and self publish. I was quite hung up on the idea of having a traditional publishing house take up my work, only to realize that self publishing is a far more satisfying option, both creatively and financially.

11. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published the other way around?

You know, probably in the time of Jane Austen, one had to be at the mercy of a printer to publish and circulate one’s works, yet today the same idea is plain foolish. Firstly, from the conception to the writing and even the marketing everything is left for the author to do, yet when it comes to the share in profit, now that’s a different story. The lessons I learnt after having my first book published, will stay with me for a lifetime, so my earnest appeal to every gullible first time author is to self publish. Very few publishing houses have the bandwidth to do a whole publicity campaign so when a publisher hardly does any publicity for your book, trust me you are better off self publishing. At least whatever amount you make, after all the hard work, will be yours!

12. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Enid Blyton, since it is said that she wrote almost 6000 to 8000 words a day, which is truly remarkable! Also, Sonam Kapoor the actress is someone whom I envisaged while scripting the character of the feisty lawyer Sonali. I like bubbly people who have an aura of intelligence and Sonam Kapoor is one such person, I feel.

13. Tell us something about your future projects.

My next book is a bit semi autobiographical and for anyone interested in the concept of past life regression, it will be quite a treat!  I did a google search on some of what I saw of rural Bengal during my regression and the results threw up some startling facts, I had absolutely no knowledge of earlier. It was quite eerie actually!

14. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Like I said, self publish, don’t get swayed with the idea of signing a ‘contract’ and as authors it’s important not to be gullible. Publishing is a big business after all!

15. What else do you want your readers to know? Consider here your likes and dislikes, your interests and hobbies, your favourite ways to unwind - whatever comes to mind.

I’m a professional tarot card reader, who has people coming for solutions regarding 160 crore property disputes. I had read over a 100 books during my rather rough pregnancy as a result of which my new born would thoughtfully stare even at the cover of a book as if he were reading it. My mom was diagnosed with fourth stage cancer when my son was 10 weeks old and she passed away 20 days before the release of this book. So in that sense, writing this book has truly been some journey… Yet if you stubbornly hold onto hope even during the roughest weather, the night will give way to dawn. It does.

And now, before we end this session, how about a snippet from the book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:
This appears as part of the book blurb, so that the reader is tempted to get a copy of the 125 rupee book...
“There is someone in the car...!!” Ankur said, his voice thick with terror. Vyas, who would normally scare easily, seemed surprisingly calm. Perhaps, due to his stint abroad, Vyas was somehow familiar with car hijackers. “Listen Ank’s... don’t panic, I’ll just check...” Vyas said.  They were standing a few feet from the car and Vyas a bit hesitantly strode up and peeked into the black Honda city . And sure as day, there was an elderly lady seated inside. For a few seconds, even Vyas was a bit confused and even as he turned to confirm to Ankur the possibility of them being kidnapped by a frail octogenarian, he noticed a rather strange thing. The elderly being seemed to have left the car.

Even as the doors were securely shut. A chill ran down Vyas’s spine. Meanwhile a lot worse things, were happening to Ankur’s spine as the elderly ‘ghost’ made an appearance before him.
“Ankur… Run!!” Vyas almost yelped as he saw the ghostly figure inching towards his best friend from college. Without further encouragement, Ankur simply took to his heels and his pudgy frame ran as fast as his feet could carry him. And even as he ran, Ankur realized that this was by far the best advice ever given to him.
Buying Links: Flipkart