Category Archives: Book Review

What Can we learn from the West? A speech by Narayan Murthy

Picked up a book….A Better India…A Better world….by NR Narayan Murthy….it is a collection of his speeches he had given in different occasions…..This was a speech he gave at Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial Lecture in New Delhi…just writing a quick synopsis…..for each point….we can debate both ways…but his perspective was quite interesting…you views on what you think of these points are welcome!

1)      Indians always put self and family interest before that of the community

It is easier to give bribe to a police officer in India than in western countries. People litter the street but keep their house clean

2)      We have an apathy in addressing community matters

We as individuals see a problem but don’t do anything about it..cause it is someone else’s problem…eg Milan Subway gets flooded evey year….but it is the politician’s problem to solve the issue….Westerners are more proactive in solving societal problems

3)      Indians have an intellectual arrogance

We boast and gloat over our past..and think we are a superior race

4)      There is an overall lack of accountability….

 In the west..whatever your position you are accountable for what you do..In India the more important you are, the less answerable you are …our politicians are a good example for this!

5)      There is no dignity of labor

We look down on people doing menial jobs…whereas unlike in the west even the most menial job is looked at as important

6)      Indians become intimate without becoming friendly:

Westerner can be friendly but yet not be intimate…..they will not ask you personal questions…..and yet be friendly… Ask for favors from strangers without hesitation

7)      Let personal relations interfere with professional dealings

Relations are given higher priority that merit in our country..

8)      We are the most thin skinned society in the world…get offended by nothing

We see insults where none are meant….

9)      Punctuality is not a virtue

Indian standard time…we all follow that don’t we…

10)   Independent thinking is normally not encouraged; Y

You are not suppose to think differently from your elders and bosses..This is by and large true…..things are changing slowly…

11)   Contractual agreements are often dishonored

Highest number for students default on their loan contracts…time contract for customer are not met…

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Two States by Chetan Bhagat

Super Cool Book….a must read…….made me laugh out loud…..made me smile to myself……brought tears to my eyes…now not too many books have done that..!!

The Book is is four parts major parts….

Ahemdabad: Boy meets Girl….

Aanaya….the hottest girl in the IIMA….who 13 IIT boys have proposed to in the first week at collegeand Krish……who Aanaya somehow felt can be a ‘friend’ also so much falls in love with her but does not want to be the 14th one to be heartbroken…

After regular complications….things fall in place!

Chennai:  Boy meets girls parents….

And takes 6 months to convince them…!! Crazy…Hoe did he have the patience! The cutest scene( yeah he writes so well that it feels like a movie!) is the one where he proposes…..wont tell you much about it to keep the suspense…..but I had tears in my eyes…I was so touched! The book is worth reading for this one little scene!

After regular and irregular complications….things fall in place!

Delhi: Girl meets boys parents…..

Now this part could have been handled better….the girl manages to impress the boys parents….but how she does it could have been better. Since it is written by a man..The boy comes looking oh so sweet in this part of the book also…

After regular and irregular complications….things fall in place!

Goa: Boys parents  meet girls parents meet….

After regular and irregular complications….THINGS FALL apart!

What a tragedy…..after all the effort…it is all over…..

Delhi: Chennai: Dehi: Chennai:

Finally things work out…yeah it had to be a book with a happy ending….thank god for that……!!

Overall a very very nice read…everything is a little exaggerated….but then that is what makes it fun! I liked the way the father and son relationship is depicted in the book…that too got me to tears at some places!  As for the laughs they are all over the book…..his wedding is so funny….poor thing!

It is like a super hit  bollywood movie…it has it all….the romance… the suspense…the drama…the comedy….full paisa vasool!

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On the Way to the Wedding By Julia Quinn

It’s about love…about romance…about ‘moments’ when you realize…feel… this is Love….the protagonists fall in LOVE by just looking at the person….they hear music… something inside them flutters….( all bullshit na!! but does that really happen….umm..think about maybe it does!) and then they see someone else…and the same damn thing happens again…they are confused!! Finally they meet someone….who makes their toes tingle…flutter deep inside….they feel the excitement…..and yet they feel comfortable…like they have known the person all their life…is this LOVE!

Is love….the tingle…the excitement and the comfort all felt together for the same person….!!??!!

So have you had any of those ‘moments’? The book makes you think…..reflect…..go back in time….try to recollect your ‘moment’ and wonder….. Excitement indicates infatuation/attraction….Comfort is with friendship…..LOVE has to be a combination of the two…Does this perfect combo exist….I hope it does …somewhere out there…in the real world..

The book is set in a time when there were Dukes, Lords, Dutchees. Erls….social order….Balls…etc….a time very far from our current time….but the feelings are the same! The last part of the narrative is very very  filmy…..actully the whole book is filmy but the last part is full of twists…..boy finally after much confusion realizes that this is the girl for him….the girl agrees after much ado…..normally that would be the end of the story…..but Lo behold….the story has just began…there are twists….and turns….and twists again….eveytime you think it is done….there is another twist! Even though you know deep inside this is one of those books that HAVE to have a happy ending…you are still intrigued to see what is going to happen next….

The book kept me awake 2 nights till I finished it……so I guess it was gripping and not bad… but I guess I like cliché filmy love stories….so read it at your own discretion….!

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that thing called LOVE by Tuhin Sinha

The tag line of the book says….An Unusual Love Story and it indeed is unusual…unexpected…and about convoluted lives of the protagonists……no one is really really happy ….even in the end…
I normally don’t like books with sad endings….and at the end of this one was not really happy neither was it sad…..it was just and ending which denoted life goes on……
It’s about a guy who is engaged to some girl his parents want him to get married to…but falls in love with a married lady with a kiddo….it is a mess…..and not only the life of the main protagonist mayak is a mess….everyone around him also has messy confused lives….
Overall the book is very engaging….it is set in Mumbai….you can picture the Moccha…the Juhu Circle…the Juhu beach…..as you read about it….but not sure what I am feeling reading it…it is not a ‘feel good’ book for sure….its is almost disturbing….

PS:(22nd September): I have been thinking about it wondering what about the book disturbed me….I think it was because it is about TOXIC relationships..

TOXIC relationships are those relationships that are doomed….you cant live with it….you cant live without it…you know it is bad for you…but yet you are so addicted to it..you need a major detox routine to get out of it…and yet it is so easy to get back into it….back into the downward spiral….towards destruction……its sad……:-(

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Rosie Meadows Regrets by Cathrine Alliot

This was one of the books I had picked from the goa beaches…. in my last to last trip we picked up 5 books from the beach…obviously left back by the firangs and sold by the local Thelewala’s for pittance of just something like 50 bucks per book….and there were good quality original books!
Anyways I finally got around to reading this one and it was quite a cute chick lit..
Incidentally this book is also a girl whose husband dies….just like the earlier book I read…PS I love you…..but their reaction is diametrically different!
Rosie hated her husband….and she is super gald that he is dead!!
The book is extremely filmy or actually soap operaish……there is love…marriage ..divorce…..extramarial affairs… murder of the husband…..there is confusion on who killed the husband….ther sister- in Law…the father-in- law…the wife!??
Basically Rosie gets married to the wrong guy…..has a baby boy in the marriage…she is all set to divorce him….she wishes he was dead cause he would cause a grief for the custody of the child and….poof he dies!
The book is about Rosie’s topsy-turvey life….and how she overcomes the twists….and falls in love again!! This is attraction on first sight….then something happens to her eveytime she talks to him…basically she finds her soulmate…! The guy she falls head over heels in love with…..is married for the second time with 3 kids…….so there are twists and turns…..but all works out well in the end…
The concept of getting married…getting divorced…my kids…your kids and our kids kind of stuff is not very relatable in our context and maybe that is why it does not seem very realistic…
Overall too many twists for it to be seems relatable… …but a nice filmy entertaining book with a Happy Ending!!

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The Fountain Head…By Ayn Rand

EVERYONE I know said they like this book…..but NO ONE could tell me what they liked about the book…!
Well just for the record I HATED the book….I though it did not make much sense….it is 680 pages of convoluted nonsense…..now everyone who I cribbed about the book to while reading it told me why don’t you just drop it…..why take the trouble to read it if you are hating it so much…..well my answer to them was that let me just see how bad it gets….and since everyone who have supposedly completed reading the book has liked it there must be something about it….and and went on to read the entire 680 pages…!
The book has 4 characters and each of them is weirder that the others…its like a competition…who can be more arbid senseless and weird and at the end of 680 pages….the competition is tough….one is worse than the other…
1.Peter Keating- this guy is plain stupid…..god knows why he does not marry Cathreine the girl who is loves….
2.Howard Roark – This guy is kind of interesting…but very extreme….there is nothing in the 680 pages about his background..and why is is what he is…
3.Dominique– She is the weirdest of them all……no sorry…there is stiff competition among the four for the title of the weirdest…..but this chick is the pits….she is supposedly in love with Howard Roark….sleeps with him…but also does everything possible to destroy him! WTH!!??
4.Ellsworth Tooley– This guy was the pits…he has some stupid trip in life which says he can control the world….he writes….and he believes that he has the capability to generate public opinion…and the lousiest plays/ books/buildings are given rave review and people who don’t like it are made to feel stupid…

Well overall…..stupid senseless book….with maybe very few concepts somewhere in between made sense…..but since everyone says it is a wonderful book..people who don’t like it a afraid to say don’t like it for the fear or sounding stupid and out of the crowd……but I am not going to do that…I am going to say exactly what I think about the book….lets see if there are other who agree with me…but were just scared to say anything bad about the legendary Fountain Head by Ayn Rand!
Ps: The book is also about individual against collective….so following those principle…I am that individual who says I HATE THE BOOK….when everyone around me talk about how much they loved it!

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Some books I have read…

Now my book reviews have been the most booring blogs according to my readers…..but you know what….they do get me quite a few new hits on my blog….ya they don’t get me too many comments but I am hoping that will change!

But despite all the feedback I have got on my book blogs….i still want to write about the books I have read….the reason for that is that it is nice to write a summary of the book you have read….it helps you to remember it ….and I think for people who like to read…it also acts like a recommendation… ! Actually come to think of it….almost all the people who have told me they don’t like my book review post  are people who I know don’t like to read!!

So people…this post is for all you guys and girls out there who like to read….this is what I have been reading the last few days

Q&A / Slum Dog Millionaire By Vikas Swaroop

Well…interesting book…infact I think I liked it better than the movie….but I guess that is always the care…I personally like the book better in case of almost all books that have been adapted into movies…like the harry Potter series!

One thing that the author good have done differently…and which has been done very well in the movie is that the question could be asked first and then the entire story about how the protagonist happened to know the answer should have followed! The book is divided into one chapter per question and the entire chapter talks about some incidents in this life and then the question is popped up at the end of the chapter….

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Six Suspects- Vikas Swaroop

I personally did not like the book too much….I guess that is because it was hyped too much for me…my bro read it before me….another friend had read and told me it was really nice…..but I found it pretty over the top and unrealistic….it was very very filmy….not a book I would highly recommend to anyone…..but I guess maybe it is not too bad….and I just started reading it with very high expectations!

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If God was a Banker – Ravi Subramanium

Really enjoy the book…started reading at at 12 pm on a weekday night…..and stayed up all night finished the book by 4 in the morn and then went to sleep!!

The book is two people….Swami and Sundeep and their corporate life in a MNC bank in India….Swamy is a  very good boy….and his character reminded me of someone in my current team at work….so maybe that is why I enjoyed the book even more….

Sundeep is a kaamena in the book…thank god I don’t know someone like him in real life!!

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So happy reading and commenting!! Tell me if you have read any of these books…tell me what you think of them….would love to hear from you! I peronally love Indian authors….what about u?

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