Monday, January 25, 2016

Book Review: Life is What You Make It by Preeti Shenoy

Life is What You Make It
This is the second book of Preeti Shenoy that I am reading. The first was "The One You Cannot Have". One of my friends suggested that I must read Life is What You Make It.

I am glad I read it.

It's a work of fiction, but it's very real. (Maybe because, as the author herself says, "... it's based on some real-life experiences".)

Ankita, the central character, could be any one of us. Many things that happen in her personal life -- as she moves from an undergraduate course in Kerala to a very coveted Management course in a Mumbai institute -- can happen to anyone of us, albeit in different forms, proportions and intensities.

The book tells us that successes and failures are ephemeral. It's the way we deal with them that finally matters. As the title aptly says: life is what you make it.

The book is inspirational: it is about a fight, not with people but with emotions, with intangible elements, difficult-to-understand perceptions and feelings. Physical scars and injuries are visible; but the hurt that is caused to one's emotions and mind are difficult to understand: not just for others but for the person who is suffering too.

Preeti has a very simple writing style. The story-telling form of narrative makes her work easy to read. The little twists and surprises keep the reader engrossed even while she delves deep into commonplace thought processes, simple as they may seem but could have very defining repercussions.

I won't introduce spoilers here. Pick up the book and read.

Life is What You Make It by Preeti Shenoy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
View all my reviews

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Book Review - Connect The Dots by Rashmi Bansal

Connect The Dots
The book is a compilation of thumbnail sketches of 20 entrepreneurs who made it big though they didn't have MBAs or degrees from branded institutions. It also drives home the point that you don't need big degrees to make it big. All that you need is perseverance, hard work and commitment. It's inspirational, especially for people who are dreaming big and aiming high.

Two stars because 1) There are words and long sentences in Hindi for which there are no translations. They look out of place. 2) For each person featured, the heading appears twice, one for the rather longish summary and then again for the biographical write-up. 3) Since these are real-life stories of real persons, the author could have added photographs of people and their establishments. That would have made it more more appealing.

Connect The Dots by Rashmi Bansal -- My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Friday, January 1, 2016

An odd beginning to the New Year

The squabbling between Arvind Kejriwal and BJP leaders over the presumed link between yesterday’s strike by some bureaucrats and the odd-even rule that kicked in today, is a depressing testimony to the way we do politics. It makes one feel that any well-intentioned initiative in this country is under the constant threat of disintegrating into chaos and ultimate failure.

The odd-even rule - that restricts plying of odd and even numbered vehicles to odd and even days - is by no means an innovative idea. It has been tried out in many cities of the world. The only point of interest here should have been how well Delhi’ites adapted to the new regulations; if there were any violators..

On the contrary, all the talk yesterday and today morning was Kejriwal’s allegations that the strike by IAS officers was instigated the BJP to ensure that the odd-even plan failed; and BJP hitting back saying the odd-even plan was bound to fail and Kejriwal was just preparing a ruse to save himself.

The way we have dealt with an important policy decision that has huge ramifications on environment and thereby on our health, in no way portents a promising start to the new year. If AAP and BJP are going to squabble on every important decision, the country’s capital doesn’t have much hope.