Saturday, July 30, 2016

Crossword Bookstore brings Potter Mania to India!!!


Are you a Potterhead? Are you someone who still waits for a letter from Hogwarts? Are you eagerly waiting for more Harry Potter stuff since the last book?



Well your wait is over! Harry Potter and the Cursed child releases on 31st July 2016! Whats more, this time India wont lag behind as Crossoword bookstore has a lot of fun activities and Cos-play planned up. To begin with the exciting menu at the store only for the non-muggles fans are: Butter Beer, Witch hat- cupcakes, Lightning scar cookies and yummy  Hot Chocolate.      



There’s also to be a Hogwarts Castle selfie-wall. Catch a glimpse of it here:



Bookworms you can also participate in the Harry Potter Quiz Contest, Costume Party, and get designs from tattoo. Here is the entire schedule of events for Crossword Kemps Corner, Mumbai:


If you are sadly not in these cities but in Delhi like me, then too you can head to any Crossword store in Delhi - and get flat 20% discount on the new book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as well as the old titles. 

So what are you waiting for? Its time to put on that robe and complete your Harry Potter collection today!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lets Map A City Via Its Life - The People With Nisha Nair Gupta

How do you know about a city? You map it on the atlas, perhaps read about it in encyclopedia, history books or travelogues,if you really fall in love with it you may visit it for a few days and look at the popular places and explore some local cuisine if you are a foodie. And that's that. But take a moment to think harder "is this truly knowing a city?"


                              image courtesy: traveltraingle.com

Go a step further now and think about the very city you live in. Whether you were born here or migrated for education or job, how much and how closely have you known it? That tea seller whose stall you frequent every day for the kick of a cutting-chai, do you think his view of the city is the same as yours?

One person thought differently and she started mapping a city via what really makes it one "its people". There is so much more to city than just the standing architectural giants or mouth-watering delicacies. Their lives join to make its history and its tomorrow. A city is like a giant organism made from all of us that live in it; it eats, sleeps and has a feel of its own, its own charm and its own troubles. This is how Nisha Nair Gupta created the idea of "The People Place Project" which is as you would have gathered by now knowing a place through the lives of its people.






In 2014 she created a team of 10 architectural interns at Design Variable Architecture Studio who visited various corners of their city "Mumbai"and brought out stories of varied lives at all locales from malls to railway stations, forgotten temples to office lobbies, underground cafes to living rooms of homes. Being a migrant city the conversations began with the question-‘How did you come to Mumbai?’ followed by the story of various things falling into place to finally calling it home. 55 best stories from this exercise have now been selected into making of the book called "People Called Mumbai".  The stories are those of a variety of people each a unique hero/heroine on their own, like a photographer at Juhu Chowpatty who doubles up as a life guard, a businessman dealing with beads in Bhuleshwar who came to the city to fulfill his dreams, a stranded tourist now riding horse carriages, a Bollywood ‘duplicate’, a migrant who runs the city’s only Tibetian restaurant, an artist on the pavements of Kalaghoda, a Japanese Buddhist monk, Jiniben – relaxing on a cot at Kumbharwada, a social activist of unusual sorts operating at a mela near Nariman point or a Brazilian martial art expert. 




The curiosity to look at a city closely now grows and they wish to map the life of Ahmedabad, Shillong, Kochi and Dubai. It being a greater task they now have decided to go for crowd funding with Wishberry. This is also an exciting opportunity for us, the people whose stories they tell to be a part of the project. The amount you pledge will be used for curating the stories, managing the team, getting it published and distributed. The precise statistics are shown in the figure below:



Whats more? unlike the crowdfunding projects you have funded so far your contribution is not just one time bank transfer but the team will send you postcards, book copies, bookmarks and other cool stationary along with acknowledging your contribution in the resulting books. You can begin by donating as least as INR 51 (much less than your movie tickets) and join the project here: 

So be a part of this amazing project today and know a just not a city but its life. To know more about the project and its team log on to : http://www.thepeopleplaceproject.com/



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Game of Thrones.....The History

Do you love watching Game of Thrones? I am sure that is why you clicked to read this post. Have you also read the books? Well if you did, great but if you haven't and still you need to know the story of the seven kingdoms since the beginning of times; then behold, there is series of two videos made by HoddynEdge. Their Youtube only tells you that it is a variety channel and they cover a lot of cool stuff including a lot of Game of Thrones(GOT). So here it is, represented as animation, the story from the beginning:

Part 1



Part 2



Even if you have read the books, these events that make the history of Game Of Thrones come in between as flashbacks, when a character recalls the old happenings. The books too do not begin from the beginning. So if you
 want to know it all the way the story flows from the beginning with decent visuals, these are a great set of videos. They are accurate and detailed.

Do tell us what do you think about them?

Also if you have more cool videos around Game of Thrones please let us know in the comments section below. Enjoy while you favorite characters are still alive ;)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Book Review: The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told by Arunava Sinha

Title: The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told

Author: Compiled and Translated by Arunava Sinha

Publisher: Aleph

Genre: Fiction

Date:  2016

Price: Rs.499

Pages: 305


Bengal is the land of greatest writers, since centuries. It is a land where even the mundane is addressed from a philosophical perspective and becomes interesting because of the lively writing. In India, short stories are abundant and we have grown up with the fond memories of an elder mostly grandmothers and fathers narrating them. We have learnt from the smallest to the greatest lessons from theand therefore these stories stay with us forever. No matter how many great novels one has read the joy of reading short story collection is different, special. The precise reason I picked up this book was for my love of these little, emphatic stories from the best writers. The preface of the book unravels the translator cum writer Arunava Sinha's hunger being abated by these stories, which tells one how deeply his heart and soul are linked to the. For translation isn't an easy job. 

As you begin reading the book the first few stories are the universally popular The Kabuliwallah by Rabindranath Tagore, The Music Room by Tarashankar Bandhopadhyay and the satire Einstein and Indubala by my favourite Bibhutibhushan Bandhopadhyay. These stories can be read and re-read. I am sure the original Bengali versions must be amazing but for those like me who do not posses the knowledge of knowing the language, most of these translations in different collections, translated by different writers is also a treat. Arunava's translation is really appealing and binding. The writer has chosen to include stories of humor, satire, dark fiction and heart breaking reality all in this one book. All of these in someway highlight human nature in one way or another. I loved the fact that each story also had a different writing style along with the genre and it is challenging to not include your component into translating somebody's work, to preserve the style, the essence, the tone and the story post-mortem was the best in this regard. 

Overall there is something for everyone in the book as it cannot fall into one single genre. Its like eating a little froa huge spread the soul who loves exploring would definitely love it.

Rating: 4.5/5 . Highly recommended.

About The Author: Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and non-fiction into English. Over thirty of his translations have been published so far. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), he has also won the Muse India award for translation for When the Time Is Right (2012) and been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction prize (2009) for his translation of Chowringhee. Besides India, his translations have been published in the UK and US in English and in several European and Asian countries through further translation. He was born and grew up in Kolkata and lives and writes in New Delhi.

Grab a copy now: http://www.amazon.in/Greatest-Bengali-Stories-Ever-Told/dp/9382277749




Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Permission to love

Without words I hear you,
I can feel the screams of your soul,
Your sorrows speak to me through your eyes,
The little moisture in the corner are tears that wish to fall,
I see you like that so much these days,
I wish to take it away,
if only you would let me be the one.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Book Review: The Sialkot Saga by Ashwin Sanghi

Title: The Sialkot Saga
Author: AshwinSanghi
Publisher: Westland 
Genre: Fiction
Date:  2016
Price: Rs.350
Pages: 558

The story begins with a captive narrative of the last train leaving Sialkot in Pakistan, to its other half India when the line of division on a peace of paper, etched on lands, stretches upon people's hearts, the Indo-Pak partition. Perhaps this is the only connection of the book to Sialkot which features only here and in the end. It is certainly the lack of a better title that the book gets its name from something of minor essence in a 558 page story, which despite efforts goes on a downhill slope from here.

It to moves on a track featuring the making of two business tycoons Aravind Bagadia and Arbaaz Sheikh. Both of them rookies, with Aravind being the clean one on paper but doing not so clean business of just buying and selling businesses, while Arbaaz makes it big in the Mumbai underworld. The story travels back and forth in time like the Chanakya's Chant strategy, just that the ancient era is limited to a very few pages describing a secret being passed not in lineage but by merit from one of the greatest monarchs and killers in history, emperor Ashoka.  The author tries to make an attempt to make the book really interesting with the tricks and tiffs of thug business development mostly by Aravind and the killing strategies by Arbaaz. As the story moves Arbaaz whose murdering strategies are so far the reason for one to be glued onto the book suddenly becomes a business man and the tricks of the two men double up in outbeating each other and the readers interests dips with each chapter.

The book is also laced with episodes of love, lust, betrayal, mistresses, Bollywood and popular characters and events that India went through from time to time only to try and increase the readers interest which one becomes resistant to with time. There is nothing unpredictable or exciting after the initial few pages and one just hopes it being an Ashwin Sanghi book there might be something, atleast that is what made me go on to read it till the end. Although unlike his last fiction story - The Krishna Key which was heavily inspired (being politically correct) by Dan Brown's plots, this one is original; however the flavor is bland.

The trickery of business afterall is boring after a point. The secret being talked about is like the chunk of garnishing, the last saving grace for the book. Upon reaching the end of the book after an exhausting journey a reader finds that the ancient preserved secret is also gross summation and too much extrapolation of ancient Ayurveda  with every small research that gets published everyday in Science but take decades to be useful to humans, if at all they are successful in clinical trials. There is in summation nothing to get excited about. 

Rating: 3/5. An average book compared to what Ashwin has delivered brilliantly with Chanakyas Chant. Read it only if you are a hard core Ashwin Sanghi fan who would read his every written word, else its a complete waste of time. 

About The Author: Ashwin Sanghi is an Indian writer and entrepreneur. He has also written several books such as Chanakya’s Chant and The Krishna Key. He is also known by his pseudonym: Shawn Haigins.
A graduate of the Yale School of Management and St. Xavier’s College, he has since been awarded several acclaims for his work.He currently lives in Mumbai with his loving family.





Friday, June 3, 2016

Redi Go- Fun Freedom Confidence

As far as technology is concerned Japan is one of the leading players. Their products stand as a mark of amalgamation of technology and durability. Therefore when a new car is launched which fits y idea of size, comfort and budget I can easily vouch for DATSUN - rediGo. 

I have loved the car overall but to su it up, here are its key, irresistible features that draw me towards it:

1. Design:  A man's first impression sometimes is by the car he drives. On these lines, its critical that your car looks as smart as you are. The DATSUN-redi_GO is a non bulky car and that is very important these days in metro cities. A larger car only means more tie would be spent evading traffic. The car has a sexy design both on the outside as well as inside. It is sleek and yet has a sporty, steely, racer car look that makes you just set and fix your gaze upon it. The hint of silver on the sides accentuates its robust feel. 

The Stylish Exterior




                                                                 The Feel of Steel


The look is not just limited to the outside, inside its plush seats are made of sports fabric and have a comfortable and spacious arrangement for the entire family.

                                                            The Plush Interiors

2. Computerized Display and Superior Air Conditioning: The computerized digital display allows one to fine tune the speeds and keep a fir check on the amount of fuel consumed well in advance. One can also modulate the indicators to from average to maximum performance levels depending upon the terrain one is riding in.

                                                                 Digital Display


                                                 Performance Control Ability

The other problem with all cars is their air conditioning is really not that great. It takes half an hour for the interiors to cool, by which one has already reached ones destination. Considering this car has a turbo 89 CC compressor we expect better, faster and longer cooling in the car, especially in Indian summers which is the utmost need.

3. Protection: The rate at which accidents happen sometimes one is at risk because of other people’s rash driving as well. Therefore the more dearer your life is to you, the safer a car one has to choose. Considering this into account this car has various features that gives it shock absorbers at multiple check points ensuring safety for both the driver and the occupants. Firstly there is an entire crash protecting shell. There is an energy absorbing steering and airbag and force absorbing bolster support. Also performance augmented brakes ensure safe brakes at shorter distance. 

                                               Energy Absorbing Steering and Airbag

                                                       Crash Protection Shell 

If I have to  test the car I would love to do it in Bangaluru traffic. Coming to reason why does anybody buy a small car? For it to be safe and wrap around you , plus you can squeeze in between the spaces. The worst traffic in any metro city in India is found in Bengaluru. The distance of bare few kilometers takes hours to be covered. One is simply exhausted by driving through it, ore than what one is over a demanding day at work. Therefore if it is really size meets comfort one should be able to drive it through Bengaluru traffic, the litmus test for the car. 
  
In conclusion, it all redi-GO is all about "Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross - Datsun redi-GO - the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback."