Keshava, A Magnificent Obsession

Blurb: Everyone associated with Sri Krishna believes that their relationship with the deity is unique, which explains why every gopika felt that the Lord was dancing with her at the Maharaas. This is Sri Krishna’s magic and also His power that He becomes the centre of their existence. He has that effect on not just humans but on everything on the planet—both living and non-living. This book is about Sri Krishna’s relationship with nature; the Peacock, the Kadamba tree, the Flute, the herbal plant Tulsi, the Lotus, His cow Kamadhenu, the Conch and the Peepala tree. All of them believe that Keshava loves them the most, can this be true? Keshava, A Magnificent Obsession is the story of these special bindings, stories of passion, submission, devotion and of uncontainable desire.

About the author: Bhawana Somaaya has been a journalist for almost 40 years. She is a film critic, columnist and author of 14 books and they are a point of reference for students studying cinema at Whistling Woods, Manipal University and now JNU, Delhi. She has served on Advisory Panel of Film Certificate in India and is currently the Entertainment Editor at 92.7 Big FM Radio channel. Somaaya’s Krishna: The God who lived as Man released in 2008. Keshava: A Magnificent Obsession is her second offering to the deity. Somaaya was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2017.

Review: Keshava: A Magnificent Obsession is a affectionate tribute to the much-loved Lord Krishna and everything which is his – flute, the peacock feather, the conch, the lotus, Kamadhenu and the lovely gopikas who adore him. The descriptions are very lyrical in nature which made me a huge fan of the author. This is the first book I have read which is written by Bhawana Somaaya who has successfully grabbed me and also the other readers with her storytelling prowess, weaving a feeling of love and fascination for Lord Krishna. It doesn’t really matter if you believe in this deity or not, as this is an interesting book for both devotees and non-devotees of Krishna and it was an enthralling experience for me to read the associated legends. If you have ever wondered why flute, conch or peacock feather are an integral part of Lord Krishna’s life, you should read this book as the author explains how and when the eight wonders of – peacock, the flute, the conch, the lotus flower, Kamadhenu, the Tulsi plant , Kadamba and the Peepal trees came to be associated with the deity and slowly transformed into an obsession. The narrative of the book is strange introducing the readers to eight special stories of eight wonders of the Lord. The ninth story has Lord Krishna telling us himself why he loves all of them so dearly. This is author’s first writing course of action in the world of Lord Krishna and she has left no stone untouched here. The facts, the mythology, the science has opened up various perspectives for me to know the facts and understand the deity in a better way. I loved her writing. It is very expressive and distressing and very easy for a general inexperienced reader to clutch the content and knowledge. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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Coffee Conversations with Abhishek

Right now, at this very moment, the world of social media is as busy as it’s ever been. To no surprise, the increasingly large volume of posts, tweets, pins and stories brings with it a lot of noise and fun.

In an effort to help others find the real value and connect with those creating it, yours truly Novemberschild has put together a new series on the blog – featuring some of the interesting and famous faces of Social Media who are really my close and very good friends.

This week’s featured interview is ABHISHEK

 

 

In his words – I am a very intelligent, smart guy with timely wisdom. Engineer but born businessman, knows to seize each and every moment of life. Where ever I go, I spread happiness. My teacher once said to me, “anyone who would meet you (even for once), would never forget a glimpse of you” which I think is true. My love for football makes me do all the hard work which the lazy guy in me never does. All I know is there is a very thin and important difference between being carefree and careless (My Motto).

Let’s get into it.

Novemberschild: Which is your favorite alcoholic beverage?

Abhishek: I have no favorite alcoholic beverage. I am more dependent on mood. But as you have asked for it so it’s Chivas Regal. 

Novemberschild: Describe a moment you were so embarrassed you wanted to disappear.

Abhishek:   I am a more of “Besharam” (shameless) types so none have made me want to disappear, but then we all have faced embarrassing moments, I get irritated when I am embarrassed and go silent for a period till I amend it or get a chance to embarrass the person who embarrassed me. Revenge is a karma. 

Novemberschild: Do you think sex is overrated? If yes, why?

Abhishek: Yes, Sex will come naturally if there is a bonding (not necessarily a relationship)

Novemberschild: What’s your favorite way to waste time?

Abhishek: I would love to say irritate people but then it’s easy. Hence, I play play station, music and football.

Novemberschild: What is something that is popular now that annoys you?

Abhishek: Too many writers and bloggers in society. 

Novemberschild: What is the most annoying habit someone can have?

Abhishek: Group video calls and posting screenshots of it.

Novemberschild: How often do you stay up past 3 a.m.?

Abhishek: Weekends and Football nights i.e. I stay awake 4 out of 6 days.

Novemberschild: What do you bring with you everywhere you go?

Abhishek: Not that materialistic, Nothing is mandatory with me.

Novemberschild: Which recent news story is the most interesting?

Abhishek: Any news related to football otherwise it’s all for fun and not interests me to follow for long.

Novemberschild: What is your guilty pleasure?

Abhishek: Salman Khan Movies !!

Stay up to date with Abhishek on Twitter. 

Thank you Abhishek

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Fave Five Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends – Week 4

Sometimes you read a book and you fall in love. There’s a man so dashing, so wonderful, so glamorous that you think about them and take them with you and fantasize about your life with them. If only they were real!

Jay Gatsby, The Great Gatsby 

Jay Gatsby is the ultimate self-made American millionaire, having worked his whole life to become worthy of a single woman — Daisy. After his young love was married to another wealthy man, he made a fortune and threw lavish parties every weekend in an attempt to win her back. And, ultimately, his love for her was so strong that he was willing to take the fault for her hit and run, leading to his demise. A rich devoted book boyfriend? I’ll take him, even if Daisy doesn’t want him!

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

Who has inspired more book boyfriend memes than Mr. Darcy? His aloof nature and initial cruel remarks may make him seem undesirable at first, to both us and to Elizabeth Bennett, but eventually his botched proposal, his saving the day for the Bennetts, and his overall improved behavior prove him to be a ridiculously cute and handsome boyfriend. We, of course, will accept his second proposal, as long as we get to live in his giant mansion and go to dances with him every weekend.

Rhett Butler, Gone with the Wind

Rhett Butler, I do declare, you are a mighty fine book boyfriend. We can daydream about your churlish wit and dashing good looks and fabulously wealthy estate, but what we really like is the fact that you don’t put up with any nonsense. It takes a strong-willed woman to rein in a man like Rhett Butler, and we’re up to the task.

Mark Antony, Antony and Cleopatra

Maybe you thought Romeo from Romeo & Juliet would make a better Shakespearean boyfriend. However, allow me to make the case for Mark Antony. It’s one thing to defy your parents to see a girl when you’re a teenager, but it’s quite another to defy the entire Roman empire so that you can simply extend your stay with your lover. When someone collapses kingdoms for you, that makes them pretty good boyfriend material, right?

Florentino Ariza, Love in the Time of Cholera

He’s the poor boy your father wouldn’t let you date though you were both madly in love with each other. You keep trying to get together, but it just never seems to work out. Finally, you get married to another, but Florentino says he will wait. And wait he does. Even when he can’t control his lusts, he controls his heart. And, decades later, when your husband finally dies — he’s there waiting for you. Finally you can be together, right? The smooth, seductive lover from your youth literally waited years and years just for a chance to win your heart. Who can beat that?

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20 Questions With My Best Half

Hey everyone!
Thought I’d do a fun life post today, this time Mr S joins me.  I’ve wanted to do a post with him for he is my bestest friend, my confidante, my partner in crime, my punching bag, my teddy bear and the most important Man I love the most – my best half, my soulmate.
I thought I’d do the whole “20 questions” game as I’ve seen a few other people do similar posts and they turned out quite cute and funny, bearing in mind me and Mr S have been together for 3 months so lets hope we will sail through these questions about each other!
I took some random ones off of a few different questions sites I found to mix it up a bit and make it a bit more exciting than the general “whats my favorite drink” stuff, so I hope you enjoy reading and possibly getting to know me/us a bit better if he gets these answers right, which I’d like to hope he does… Also hoping nothing too embarrassing or weird will surface, hah!
Here we go…
1. If I could change only one thing in my life, what would that be and why?
Mr S- Past
Ms R – Procrastination
2. In a regular day, what do I find myself thinking about the most?
Mr S- Sex
Ms R – Sales target
3. If you could write a song about my life, what type of music would you use?
Mr S- English Music
Ms R – Old Hindi bollywood music 
4.  If I could eat one meal for the rest of my life what would it be?
Mr S- Biryani
Ms R –Dalia
5. What do I feel is my greatest accomplishment in life so far? 
Mr S- To have me as your boyfriend 
Ms R – Job at Hutch
6. In what settings am I the happiest / most comfortable?
Mr S- When you are with people who know you well. 
Ms R – Enjoying your drink and listening to old Hindi music. 
7. Name three things which I would want to us to do together as a couple?
Mr S- Travelling, Working in the gym and attending weddings 
Ms R – Travelling, experimenting new cuisine every week and working out in Gym
8.  If I had three wishes that would come true, what would they be?
Mr S- Own a magazine, books to turn best sellers and erase negativity from life 
Ms R – own a high end SUV, holiday abroad and hike in the present salary 
9. What is my favorite thing about you?
Mr S- You communicate very clearly irrespective of the situation 
Ms R – Self made independent man from a young age 
10. What major regret do I have so far in my life?
Mr S- Not passing 10th board with good marks 
Ms R – Not taking studies seriously 
11. What would be my ideal romantic date?
Mr S- Dinner at an expensive restaurant 
Ms R – Watch TV at home, drink, dinner – being indoors 
12. What are my favorite things to spend money on?
Mr S- Clothes, clothes and clothes 
Ms R – Whiskey, whiskey and whiskey 
13. What are a couple of things that you appreciate about our relationship and why do these things seem significant?
Mr S- We communicate openly it helps and has helped us to grow close 
Ms R – Transparency, there are no secrets 
14. In what situations do I feel most afraid or insecure?
Mr S- Closed surroundings 
Ms R – Financial crisis 
15.   What is something I’d like to do that I have not done before? 
Mr S- Riding a two wheeler 
Ms R – Scuba diving 
16.  What country would I like to visit the most that I haven’t visited yet?
Mr S- France
Ms R – Ireland 
17. Which family member do I most admire?
Mr S- None
Ms R – Father
18. At what age would I like to get married/have kids?
Mr S- By 36 get married 
Ms R – Both by 40
19. Who are my best friends? 
Mr S- Masoom, Kartik, Abhishek and me 
Ms R – Abhijeet and Rahul
20. Name 3 things that I get excited about?
Mr S- Blogs, Books and shopping 
Ms R – Politics, seeing you and when I discover something interesting and new. 

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Clarity is the Only Spirituality

Blurb: Do dogmas, doctrines, beliefs, prayers, pilgrimages, and religious practices of any kind really take us anywhere? Do they help us change our inner selves and embark on a spiritual journey? Can we really change anything at all about the world outside of us unless we try and change our inner selves? Genuine spirituality is the quest for Truth, the eternal verities, and not the search for peace and happiness. That serious quest entails, above all, discovering the truth about oneself, warts and all. But how many of us are ready to face the facts and see ourselves exactly as we are in the mirror of awareness? In a variety of essays ranging from a discussion about the benefits of sexual abstinence to contemplating death, Clarity is the Only Spirituality negotiates through the landscape created by the waywardness of the human mind. Written in a simple and lucid style, the book approaches controversial questions in the sphere of spirituality with a certain freshness that will stimulate the psyche and force one to rethink and relearn.

About the author: Susunaga Weeraperuma, who lives in the quietness of a medieval village called Les Arcs-sur-Argens in the south of France, devotes his time to hatha yoga, pranayama, organic gardening, creative writing, reading and meditation. He is a pacifist, a vegetarian, an animal rights activist, a connoisseur of art, a classical music buff and a traveller. This prolific author’s wide variety of publications range from entertaining short stories and novels to in-depth studies of religion, Buddhist philosophy, J. Krishnamurti’s teachings and meditation. Of late, he has been writing books of essays, like the present one, that are self-searching in character.

Review: I’ve recently encountered two different drive-by bashings. You know, you’re cruising along the highway of life, pretty much minding your own business, wishing others all the best and wham! Someone comes unglued-all over you. There is no way to merge with muddy water and not muddy your water too. I encourage you to test this: get a glass of clean water, then put only two drops of muddy water into it. Now drink it. We all know you didn’t drink the water. We all know why. If you are tempted to trot out “a lotus flower blooms in muddy water” chant, let me point out you are misunderstanding. If you have a strong practice, you know the importance of the Spiritual Principle of Clarity. The current read – Clarity is the Only Spirituality is divided into eighteen chapters about the importance of communication, religious tolerance, forgiveness, giving, societal activities, utilizing time, books and solitude, stress, chastity, and death. Each chapter describes author’s experiences with the main subject. It is an unconventional book in that terms and can be considered as a motivational book and little bit of self help. The author has spent a lot of time travelling various countries and as he is settled down in France now, it has references to the culture of France. The book will make you think that ultimately it is your work and vision which leads you to your goal and nothing more or less. The author has closely followed J. Krishnamurti, and you can find references to him in this book. It is not for everyone and it is not a light read, which makes its reach limited.

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Castles in the Air by Sangeet Sharma

About the Book:

Publisher: Rumour Book India
Edition: First edition (2017)
ISBN: 978-1945563850
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 234
Price: 299/-

Laughter is said to be the best elixir and the book is a satire on architecture written by one who knows the bricks and concrete of the profession by heart.

The author, an architect himself, delves into the journey of a professional practice. The book is witty with acerbic humor.

Word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page, every scene unfolds like a screenplay, leaving the reader amazed with the brutalities of life in architecture, and life itself.
Book Links:
Reviews for the Book:

 

 

 

 

About the Author:
Sangeet Sharma is a practicing architect in Chandigarh. He is a partner in SD Sharma & Associates, a well-known firm of the region founded by his father Ar. SD Sharma, an eminent Architect. Widely acknowledged and awarded Ar. Sangeet Sharma commands an undisputed international reputation in profession. Carrying forward the legacy and vocabulary established by his father he is fascinated by geometrical forms.
By looking at every drawn line as built spaces he follows a certain rationale to his reflective practice. His buildings are based on sustainable applications.
He is a multifaceted personality. He is a poet, Architectural critic, writer, artist and author. He has authored Architecture, Life and Me, published by Rupa and Co., a memoir that takes an all-round view of the profession.
Contact the Author:

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