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Today's Power Quote

Consider yourself dead that
you have completed your
life up to the present time;
then start living as though
your life has been gifted to
you again.

- Ruskin Bond

For more such power quotes, visit my Quotes Blog click here

Friday, September 25, 2015

A BOOK REVIEW : LIGHT FROM MANY LAMPS

Great lives give great inspiration. If wisdom of ages is properly archived, it would definitely help to succeeding generations. The book 'Light from many Lamps, edited by Lillian Eichler Watson' is a perfect blend of wisdom of East and West. It is a storehouse of inspiring quotes with caricature of world’s renowned personalities.

This book is a result of long labour by Watson in culling out the wisdom of past centuries. As the cover flap truly suggests, it is a book of infinite richness and abiding values.

This book is not meant for casual reading. It is a book which you have to come back and forth from time to time, sometimes to endure your sufferings and some other times to lift your spirits. Reading this prose will change the trajectory of your thought. The starting page itself is a minefield of timeless wisdom into simple questions like "Who is a wise man. In reply, Talmud says that ' He who learns of all men'. The contents of this book broadly divided into interesting chapters like 'Happiness and Enjoyment of living'  click here to read further

GITANJALI - POETRY AT ITS BEST

It is exactly over a century ago in November, 1913, a man with flowing beard and sweeping robes of India brought the first Nobel prize for his masterly work Gitanjali (Song offerings) which is nothing but loose translations of his Bengali poems.

Rabindranath Tagore is a multi-facet personality of 20th century. He is a poet, novelist, playwright, painter, essayist and music composer. He is the first non-European to get the award in literature. His poetry stands apart from mainstream poets of English world of his times. His open minded reasoning is a celebration of human freedom. Humanism and universalism are the underlying threads of all his literary works.

Gitanjali is a culmination of his accumulated wisdom. This child prodigy churned out his first verse when he was 13.

Gitanjali is a timeless classic that centers on man’s inner exploration. It is a spiritual poetry of 103 beautifully weaved verses in orderly fashion. Through his work, Tagore shows the path towards the ultimate freedom. click here to read further

FORGOTTEN CLASSIC

Folk wisdom demands to offer a book review only for new books being published. But sometimes an exception needs to be drawn to some timeless classics.

Dr. Alexis Carrel's book "Man the Unknown' falls under this category. It is a book that delves deep into understanding complex human system. This book is one of the three favorite books of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the former President of India who mentioned this fact in his latest book 'My Journey - Transforming Dreams into Actions (published in 2013). In Dr.Kalam's own words, the book is a description of the human body - how it is an intelligent, integrated system - is explained clearly and brilliantly. He recommends the book for everyone, especially for those whose aim is to study the medical sciences.

Dr. Alexis Carrel is a Nobel laureate in Physiology/ Medicine in 1912. He spent his life promoting spiritualism. When this book was published in 1935, it became best seller instantly because he
cleverly separated the known from the unknown. What he  click here to read further


BOOK REVIEW : THE UNIVERSE INSIDE YOU by BRIAN CLEGG

Book : The Universe inside you
When you update yourself with latest scientific developments, you get a jaw-dropping revelations which slide you into more astonishment. Nobel laureate Max Planck once said that science can't solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve. But that can't stop us from doing scientific research which is taking us to new frontiers.


The book "The Universe inside you' by Brian Clegg is such a minefield of scientific information that would surge your scientific temper. Irrespective of stream you studied in your academics , it is a book that must be read to know more about human body and functioning of brain. Here there should not be an argument that my genre is fiction or something other etc. Some books that provide you basic information should be swallowed like hot peanuts.  click here to read further

BOOK REVIEW : A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING

We have books separately on science and humanities. In fact there is no such division and it is made for our convenience in understanding. Imagine a book is in front of you knitting  everyday science and humanities together as an interesting volume. 

The same happened here. An author caught your imagination and wrote a book  answering  to all haunting questions !

The book is US's National BestSeller. New York Times described it "Destined to become a modern classic of science writing'.

Bill Bryson's book " A short history of nearly everything' is a book which must adorn your personal library as it has a treasure trove of information relevant to current needs.  click here to read further

BOOK REVIEW : THE MAGIC OF REALITY

BOOK REVIEWIf you want to know what the science did so far to humanity, you must read this interesting book. The science here is explained in clearest terms. It is not a simple casual read and you must come back and forth to answer some of the curious questions the children ask us on science.

The book explains in simple prose on space, time and evolution laced with humour and clever thought experiments. You get very straight answers to some of the baffling questions like How old is the Universe ? What causes tsunamis ? What was the first man, or woman ?

Writing a difficult concept in simple prose is not easy and it demands tremendous mental energies. When you write science for common folks, the task becomes tougher. French philosopher Blaise Pascal rightly says that "I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter. It means, to make anything simple, it occupies much time and the benefit is obvious : message goes straight into readers' minds.  click here to read further

FREE E-BOOK ON PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT

Re-Awaken the Giant Within - A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided. — Anthony RobbinsMost of folks in India may not know him but in America if you ask anyone, he/she would  tell his success story.  He is a simple janitor (the guy standing in front of Gate in a big restaurant in cities).  But he rose to the pinnacle of success by  helping people in realizing their potential.

I read his much-acclaimed book ''Awaken the Giant within'' in 2005 which is an interesting discourse on 'personality development.  He offers so many interesting tips to us and one should not have missed to read it.    click here to read further

THIS IS A RIGHT BOOK WITH LOADS OF INSPIRATION !

THIS IS A RIGHT BOOK WITH LOADS OF INSPIRATIONDr. Kalam is an exemplary public figure not only in India but the world over.  Though  he came from a  humble background,  his  ambition to realize dreams brought him  to the level  what  he is today.  click here to read further

MASTER BLASTER's AUTOBIOGRAPHY

SACHIN TENDULKAR BOOKCricket in India is a religion.   A couple of match-fixing controversies did not dull the enthusiasm of Indians on cricket.  Still today the cricketers wield more power and respect  than politicians and  film personalities.

Among the sports fraternity, cricket is simply not a crowd puller but  money mint for oorganizers

November, 6 this year would be etched in the  memory of  Nation ! This Jewel of Bharat (Bharat Ratna) - Sachin Tendulkar released his book " Playing It My Way : My Autobiography " .  The charisma  of this Cricket God helped a record sale of 2 lakh copies and Indian Language Editions of this book is underway.

The book would give a peep into lesser known facts of this great cricketer's  personal life.  click here to read further

TALKING OF JUSTICE

Most people don't know that she is the mother of celebrity Indian writer Vikram Seth. Leila Seth, 84 who retired as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh wrote a book titled  'Talking of Justice'  which was  released last month.


The topic she chose is  raging with controversies especially  after Delhi Gang Rape incident in 2012.  The book is a medium volume of two-hundred plus pages giving  a convincing argument for the rights of women, minorities and other weaker sections/ communities.

CHETAN BHAGAT'S LATEST BOOK : MAKING INDIA AWESOME - A REVIEW

Making India AwesomeChetan Bhagat, better known for his fiction novels,  stands as publisher’s delight.  He  is  special to me. because, he  beleived himself as a writer which led to  his leaving investment banker profession and  settle as writer.  Younger to me but bolder enough with a calibrated approach.   More over his  case is different as  he already earned sufficiently  before he quit the job and and his wife is also a working woman.   Apart from that, he had India's dream education  IIT  with Management degree from IIM.

My case is different to the extent that my wife is housewife and I am not IIT graduate nor  MBA from IIM.  I am a modest commerce graduate of 1990s  with a middle-level position in government.  But the writer is wide awaken in me right now  and the testimony is 390 articles/posts in all my  four blogs.  

I have partly finished his earlier book What Young India Wants and yet to open a page of his fiction Half Girl Friend.   click here to read further

BUILD A LIBRARY OF HEROIC BOOKS

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read. 

               - Mark Twain

The image you are seeing on the left side is my personal library built over a period of 25 years. Perhaps it is in January, 1990 I added my first book to my library when I was in my third year of graduation. Computers were then in nascent stage and were being used mainly for bookkeeping and secretarial works. The internet revolution had still not dawn in.

In fact, the idea to have my personal library was in seed form much before it surfaced  in 1990  when my desire to improve my  language abilities shoot up to unfathomable levels. My argument  to take recourse in books is that they make me feel like intimate friends.

My visits to district and community libraries during childhood days  further strengthened the need to have my private library so that I can read my interesting  stuff at my own pace and time. In my younger days whenever I see librarians,  I cherish their job as they get ample opportunity/time to read all their interesting books.  click here to read further

DISCOVERY OF INDIA

Outlook, India's English  Weekly News Magazine in it's 12th January, 2015 edition chose Jawaharlal Nehru's much acclaimed book " The Discovery of India' as one of the 100 Great Books of the World.  Surprisingly, I have not read it so far.

But, in May, 2014 when I went to old newspaper vendor shop  which I do regularly to buy second-hand books,  this book  was stacked along with some other books and kept in a dusty corner.   I chose a couple of books which include this one and  bought   for a price in kgs.  I did not immediately recognize the importance of this book, but a cursory glance  made me to keep it  in my priority reading list.  Honestly, it's turn is yet  to come until now.          click here to read further

OM SWAMI - THE JOURNEY FROM CORPORATE WALLS TO HIMALAYAS

om swami
The Hindu, India's National Newspaper on 23rd December, 2014 brought out an interesting piece of article captioned " A Monk's take'.  It is a journey of a man from corporate walls to Himalayas in search of Happiness.

In his new life as monk, he is  Om Swami.  He has a dedicated website http://omswami.com/.  Being not satisfied  with the details of his past life,  I tried to  dig deep into his past corporate life, but his website's  "About' page retrieves back with following   about him  :
My achievement is not what I have,
My introduction is not what I do,
It is but who I am.
A nobody.
 click here to read further

MEN OF STEEL - BOOK REVIEW

Men of SteelBeing creative means not to limit your potential with past experience as a bar you set for yourself. The ultimate lesson of creativity is to recognize the need to act upon those strengths/ talents which would put you in next orbit. Day after day when you are on this mindset and start working, the magic happens and success embraces you.

Books factor a lot to stir the creativity in you. That’s why book reading should be nurtured to grow in life. The book I sm going to review in this edition is : Men of Steel. It is a book based on one of the best known journalists Vir Singhvi’s candid conversations with top Indian business leaders. Published by Roli Books in 2007, this book peeps into the unknown areas in the personal lives of India’s best business minds like Ratan Tata, Nandan Nilekani, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Sunil Bharati Mittal, Azim Premji etc.  click here to read further

MY POEM "BLESSED I AM '

Who is the poet ? The person who stands at correct vantage point and able to see life, the world, emotions, relationships and self and the resultant stuff is what we call poetry.

This is a poem, I wrote for myself three years back which was buried in my note book !


Enthralling evening sky !
Sun embodied as a crimson disc is on the western horizon.
Grass under my foot is radiant with greenery.

My heart is dangled with joy by Nature's mystical beauty !
Suddenly pangs of gratitude slide me into reflection. Click here with read further

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A LITTLE BOOK OF LIFE, by RUSKIN BOND : A REVIEW



For long, I dismissed Ruskin Bond as child writer. But I had to change that notion when I came to know his other non-fiction books. Immediately, I did my fire-fighting exercise. I lent all his non-fiction books from my office library and started reading one after another to my utter amazement. He is such a fantastic writer and I repented of my abnormal delay in reading his classics. His language is very simple and the flow goes like a mountain stream.

This book A Little Book of Life was purchased by me on November, 13, 2014. It is a book of timeless quotes Ruskin collected over the years. He also drew his own quotes from the lessons he learnt on life. He says in the introduction that he had a little notebook in which he put down the words of wisdom that he came across in the books he read. What is more inspiring is that he is writing on that notebook for the past 70 years !

He says that he still turn to his little book in order to find words that might cheer him up when he is down in the dumps. The book is provided with few blank pages between sections to add your own quotes, thoughts, observations. He prescribes us to keep this little book on your bedside or on your desk or on the kitchen shelf and turn to it from time to time.

A must read book without any second thought. As far as I remember I read this book in one or two sittings. Now the book is on my study to refer allmost daily to trigger inspiration.

KALAM'S BOOK: TRANSCENDENCE – MY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES WITH PRAMUKH SWAMIJI



Last week, I saw in my local T.V (Telugu) about the inauguration of this great book in Hyderabad and the title of the book immediately pushed me to order it online. Now the book is in my hands and I have to savour its contents.

Dr. Kalam is a great persona with down to earth approach. His books are always like hot peanuts. This Missile Man’s words deeply touch anybody.

Dr Kalam’s encounters with spiritual gurus is not new. When he was deeply upset for not being selected as a fighter pilot in Air Force, it was Swami Sivananda who encouraged him not to let down and achieve something other in life. We all know how he climbed the ladder of success, step-by-step with patriotic fervour.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

DEVDUTT PATTANAIK'S BOOK ''THE SUCCESS SUTRA''


If you want to read anything on Indian Mythology turn to Devdutt Pattanaik.  He is a medical doctor turned leadership consultant.  More than that, he is a prolific writer on Indian Mythology.  His popular work Business Sutra is a course for management graduates at Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India.

For me it seems that Pattanaik is in Sutra-series mode attempting to  narrate all the mythological wisdom in business parlance.

The title of this book The Success Sutra, an Indian approach to wealth is very catchy.  The speciality of Devdutt books is his signature doodles along with prose.

He says that ancient Indians saw business as yagna. When they make offerings to Agni, they exclaim Svaha to please the chosen diety or devata who would give whatever he desires, exclaiming Tathastu.  Svaha is what the Yajaman invests : goods & services.  Tathastu is the return on investment : revenue in the marketplace or salary paid by the employer or even services offered by the empoyee.  

He further says that the Yajna can operate both downstream as well as upstream so the devata can either be the buyer or the seller, the investor or the entrepreneur, the employer or employee, director or doorman.

In this book, he brilliantly correlates Indian philosophy with business world.  He offers five lessons for attaining success and to know those lessons, you must read it ! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

RUSKIN BOND'S POEMS : A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC - BOOK REVIEW

Whenever I visit a bookstore, I don't like to come out with empty hands.  I filter out my choicest books and  gauge their worth carefully for my personal library.

Poetry is of my recent passion.  When I read Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali, I reboot my whole perspective on  poetry.  The power of Gitanjali is such that I wrote a book review on it ( you can read that book review here ).

The Gitanjali also triggered me to write my own poem.  You can read that here.  Then the  journey to read great poetry started.  I read Rumi's poems (translations) and Ghalib's poems which are so inspring.  Recently, when I visited a bookshop on one sultry afternoon, I was literally fed up for my inability to choose a good book.   At last, I find the above book of Ruskin Bond published  Rupa & Co  for a mere Rs.50/-

Ruskin Bond's poetry or you can call light verse instantly make a bond with your inner self.  The magic is his idea is neatly woven into a simple stanza which inspires you.  It is truly a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings as Wordsworth rightly defined the poetry.

The 54 poems in this little volume were written by Ruskin in 2004 and you can read it in one  single sitting. 

Here is the sample :

Build castles in the air
But first, give them foundations.
Hold fast to all your dreams,
Make perfect your creations.

The beauty of these poems is such that it is not simply  reading for once.  You should come again and again to savour not only it's idea but its meter as well.  

This simple and elegant poetry must be  read  by all age-groups ! 

JOIN IN DELHI BOOK CLUB PLEASE !



I was virtually in a cocoon for so many years and not able to  translate some of my ideas into actions.


One such idea which is on the back of my mind for so long is to form a Book Club.  I wish to bind book lovers of a city/ town where I am living,  into an interactive community to act as knowledge groups  so that the benefits are mutual and help to achieve success in life.


Books always take you to next trajectory in terms of knowledge and there is no single instance I heard that  those who read did not fetch any  intrinsic benefit.

I  wish  to create a Book Club in Delhi for sharing  my treasure of books and experience.   I have drawn up a small course for children and other willing people to improve their brain power.   Let me make my idea  more clear !  

I have no financial goals in creating this book club.  My aim is only to expand the knowledge horizon with internet as a medium.

Those who are staying in Delhi and New Delhi and wish to associate with me in this Book Club may submit their contact details by clicking in Contact Me page or mail me at tellmeknoweb@gmail.com.

Based on the response, I would  devise modalities and other required action so that book reading occupies prime space in our daily life.