Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Review: My Spiritual Psychology by BK Jayasimha

Title:  My Spiritual Psychology
Author: BK Jayasimha
Publisher: Adhyyan Publications; FIRST edition (2016)

Genre: Psychology

Date:  2017

Price: INR 2016

Pages: 204

Emotional Intelligence is increasingly becoming the corporate buzzword nowadays, with a series of organisations swearing by its so-called benefits; something those of us, on the sidelines of this movement- have been neither convinced entirely of, nor rejected it entirely.  The reason for this is simple – we, the half-convinced people, have many questions of the applicability of EI in a modern corporate with its myriad ground realities; leading us to question the entire concept. Conversely, we are adept enough to understand its usefulness and power!

I have been through an EI training programme around 10-12 years ago. The only memory I have of that programme is that of jumping and/or running around like a rabbit for the better part of two days. My organization must have spent well over 25K in that time’s money on it. What did I learn? In one short, sweet and blunt word – Nothing! That tells me two things – first, the concept is one thing; the content and the delivery another. More importantly, there are things relating to EI that are yet to be addressed, as quite clearly the trainer must have been knowledgeable & qualified. Yet, the result was zero – meaning that EI, as things now stand – has little practical utility in the corporate world!

The current book goes a very long way in addressing the questions that come into the mind of people like me – if you have questions regarding the specifics of the applicability of Emotional Intelligence in the real world in very practical situations-  this is the book for you. At the outset, let me clarify – the ideal target reader for this book is someone who is aware of the concept of EI; by aware, I don’t mean an expert, or a person grounded in psychology. I mean just that – aware. If you have a basic awareness, the current book under review is an ideal choice for you.

The Book
The book – My Spiritual Psychology – uses two concepts; Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence. EI is pretty well known; Spiritual Intellgence relates to Self-Awareness, Values, Vision, Flexibility, Humility, Fundamentals-approach, Positivity and Resilience. {This varies from online articles by around 10-15%, but is essentially what I understand of SI}. And, in doing so, it very successfully bridges the gap between EI and the questions it raises in critics minds. And that is why this book can be rated as a most significant contribution. The reason is that while EI and its various models deal with emotions, they don’t go too deep into the reasons behind these emotions, and the bedrock of values, personality traits etc.

Which brings me to the first question to the author – in the intro on Emotions, the connect between Values and Emotions is absent. Why should this be so? In actuality, it is the Value-Belief matrix system of a person that determines both emotions and actions. A person judges any event or stimulus not on experiences-  but on his or her core value-belief matrix system. Unless EI / SI looks into the fundamentals of Values, Beliefs as well as experiences, it will continue to have strong critics such as self. I look forward to an answer to this Question from the Author as well as the other EI expert I value – Milind Kher Sir, both of whom will receive links to the copies of this review.

 The second question I have for the author arises from this : he has admittedly written a path-breaking book. But why limit its pages, and exclude the most critical examination that this field needs and deserves – examining the “why” aspect of this matter? He could have quite successfully – he clearly has both the vision and the knowledge – explored the deeper linkages between SI and EI; gone into the Why of emotions, Feelings, Integrity, Intuition to make for a fuller book. That is one thing I certainly missed.

One of the best parts of this book is the presentation method it has taken; the way it divides the subject matter into its components, and systematically dissects each component – emotions, feelings etc and goes into the depth in very simple terms, making for both fast reading as well as easy absorption. The compartmentalized approach; the way it segments and explores Thoughts, Emotions, Feelings, Intuition, Integrity, Compassion, Empathy, Trust and Resilience actually enables the reader to evaluate the self, as well as leave a lasting impression on how one can and should look into these aspects in the entire communication paradigm in the real world.
Other equally powerful examples abound – like the examination of the disconnect between values and the work environment & the integrity / honesty aspects as on Pg 88-97; and the potent examination of workplace disconnect on Pg 105-110. These and other such examples are what elevate the book from the mundane to the extraordinary; each deserves a standing ovation! The reason for this ovation is the head-on tackling of these two most significant corporate challenges – employee stress and disconnect due to variance between personal values and on-the-job requirements which lead many to an either-or choice.
The biggest take-away for me was the blunt and straightforward identification of problems associated with EI in the real world, that was a lovely read. It felt great, being vindicated by an expert in this field. An example here – on Page 68, the Author has stunningly and bluntly identified that the normal focus of efforts is on the 10% that is visible, and that employee frustrations arise from the 90% , as quoted in the 3M example or rather case study. There are more such excellent admissions further on in the book, which is what gives the book its extremely unique character, making it one of the finest books I have ever read on Management, as well as on the core subject matter concerned!

Rating: 4/5. Highly recommended read for all interested in this subject, as well as the subject matter experts!

About the Author: Dr. Balakrishna Jayasimha is a certified EQ-i 2.0 Coach, trainer from Multi Health Systems (MHS), has a certification on ‘Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence’, from Case Western Reserve University. Helping people understand their own internal motivators, raise their levels of consciousness and sharpen their emotional intelligence to perform at optimal capacities is what does best. He is a celebrated author with not just articles published in leading Indian dailies and online portals but 4 books to his credit. His latest tome My Spiritual Psychology focuses on the application of Emotional Intelligence in times of personal and professional crisis. 

Grab a copy now!!!

The book review has been written by Vishal Kale. He has an MBA in Marketing with 16 years of experience in Sales, Marketing & Operations across various industries, with end-to-end specialisation in telecom sales and marketing. 

He is an Indian Top Blogger {on ITB Website} for the past 2 years and counting; Nominated in top 5 Political Bloggers by Blogadda in Win-15 & Among the top 200 bloggers worldwide on Invesp. He specialises in deep politico-economic analysis; Books off the beaten track, and a value & fundamentals-based approach towards the Indian Economy, Corporate India - And Especially Indian Colonial History"

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bricks of Blood by Ashraf Engineer

Title:  Bricks of Blood
Author: Ashraf Enginner
Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Genre: Fiction

Date:  2017

Price: INR 100

Pages: 77

This is the story of a commando who takes an early exit from the army upon his fathers death, to fulfill his last wishe of taking care orphans in the home they built. The story begins with a conflict with the local goon turned politician Vasant, who wants to confiscate their home as happens with localities developing into posh areas within Mumbai. 

What then continues is a chase to death between the two where only one shall remain. Who will it be? Well read the book for that.

The writer has infused a love story to make things lighter. Love that comes as a breath of fresh air amongst the race, darkness of real life and fast paced action. As the story swings back and forth between past and present the character, the situations become clearer. 

The language is good, the editing crisp and story extremely fast paced. Coming to the plot, the major lacunae is the fact that, author spends too little time on developing the characters of the story, which only grow in bits and pieces in the mind of reader who has to fix an image from the jig saw puzzle of events throughout the story. This is true for each character. Considering that book is rather short a few additions in doing justice to it would have been ideal. The book is too fast paced, where the reader sometimes is kept wondering again courtesy poor character development.

Good for a fast paced action read on a journey. 

Rating: 2.5/5

About The Author: Ashraf Engineer is a former journalist. For more than 16 years, he worked with some of India’s leading media houses and handled a variety of assignments in their newsrooms. In 2011, he took leave of absence to travel to Kabul, Afghanistan, to train journalists there. Later that year, upon his return to Mumbai, Ashraf moved to the corporate sector as a content and insights specialist, going on to become a consultant in the communication and marketing space. He lives in Mumbai. This book is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

Write to him at He tweets at @AshrafEngineer.

Grab a copy now!!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Exclusive Chapter : Tale of #Kattappa from The Rise of Sivagami: Book 1 of Baahubali Trilogy by Anand Neelakantan

Have you seen the movie Baahubali? Do you love it? I am sure the answer to this question for most of us is "yes". There is a lot of mystery to the story that has left us, the audience stunned, bizarre and wondering. To know the what, why and how of a lot that happened in the movie Anand Neelakantan, India's most loved, my personal favorite and the best selling writer of highly acclaimed books like Asura and Ajaya has now penned the story of the times when it all began. These stories will be published by Westland as a trilogy and today if you are reading this page is your lucky day, for we bring to you here three pages of Chapter 2 from the first book which is on one of the most mysterious characters "Kattappa".  The first three pages were released yesterday by the reputed film maker of the movie series SS Rajamouli here:


And now its time for you to read the next three pages, here are pages 4 to 6: 

I am sure you just want to grab a copy now and read it all: Here it is!

If you wish to read more from this chapter while your copy gets delivered use #RiseOfSivagami and find them. Also there will be an interesting activity at the end when all the pages have been released. Watch this video for more.....