A to Z of Healing

About the author: The Author, Ishieta belongs to a Lineage of healers, and in the A to Z Challenge in 2017, took up the theme of A to Z of Healing. Join her as she completes the Alphabets and shares her notes and experiences on 26 Alternative forms of Healing – Beyond the ‘what’ they are, to what we can do with them & what the experience is like. She writes over at www.isheeriashealingcircles.com

Opinion: For centuries, the idea of “healing thoughts” has held sway over the faithful. In recent decades it’s fascinated the followers of all manner of self-help movements, including those whose main purpose seems to be separating the sick from their money. Now, though, a growing body of scientific research suggests that our mind can play an important role in healing our body — or in staying healthy in the first place. In the present eBook, Ishieta brings her critical eye to this fascinating new terrain, sharing healing therapies and their effects on our body. Examples include that hypnotherapy is a highly effective treatment for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But what I personally found most convincing were that Essential oils can also help you relax or sleep, or improve your skin or digestion — their benefits go well beyond a pleasant smell. Essential oils can have a healing effect mentally, physically, and emotionally. Writing a journal is not just about keeping a record of daily events – journal writing provides a unique therapeutic opportunity for facilitating healing and growth. The author of this book guides the reader through developing journal writing to use as a therapeutic tool. Have you ever wondered how can water add quality to our life? Water possesses disease curing properties. By using water therapy many dreadful diseases like breast cancer, kidney stone, asthma etc. can be prevented. Along with Allopathy and homeopathy the new option of water therapy is also available. Water therapy has proved that ‘water is life’ indeed. So if you’ve been sick with illness for any length of time, you’ve probably looked into other ways to heal apart from the advice given by your general practitioner, right? Because let’s face it, doctors don’t have all the answers and most would admit as much. So you scour the internet and bookshelves, looking for that elusive magic pill or at least something to help you regain some semblance of life again, sound familiar? It’s a tough task, especially when there’s so much information out there to sift through. To save you a bit of trouble, I would advise you to read this eBook, regardless of the illness, ailment or disorder you’re currently suffering from.

Cover page: 4/5

Content: 5/5

If you are interested in reading about healing or if my review of this impressed you, I would highly recommend you to download the book here and enjoy it. 

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Fir Milenge

Blurb: Where words meet emotions, in a rhythm, a poem is born. Believe it or not, there’s no dearth in this world of words or rhythm, but emotions are hard to find My heartfelt expectation from this collection is only to re-introduce my readers with some feelings that get lost and forgotten in this emotionless world. Even if one of my poems could remind you of a person or a situation or takes you back to a deep connection, I would consider myself successful as an author. And if that doesn’t happen, we will meet again (fir milenge).

About the author: Prateek Mathur has been active in the blogging world for over 8 years now. The fluidity of language and style is his forte and enjoys dominance in both English and Hindi. Through his blog, Writefully Yours , he has written on a myriad of topics ranging from poetry to political commentary to short stories. His writing has brought him laurels like winning a national level blogging competition and two publications in the international online magazine The Woven Tale Press. His poem “Fir Milenge” has been presented on an American online radio station as well. Prateek is Food Scientist by profession. Prateek is very active on social media and likes to express his views on current affairs on Twitter.

Opinion:  The eBook has 9 poems of exquisitely compulsive metaphorical structured lists of topics, my hand pushing my hair around to expose my brain, wishing the world silent that these words be all.  The poems are based on underlying structure of meaning and purpose that attacks the subconscious. The imagery, the rhythm and the experience powerfully overcomes the inherent cultural barriers of language as the poems are in Hindi, while placing you in the streets and buses among the dogs, cats, and people of a very specific very conflicted place and time. The masses will easily identify and recognize this book, this work as collected poems, rhymed, versed, metered, properly. After finally finishing the book, being  ready as I neared the end of the poetry to react to the content, I could only conclude that the poetic content has impressed me very much.  But that’s what makes it good at examining the larger questions and for what I liked about it, I recommend reading this eBook. The poems are outstanding.

Cover page: 3/5

Content: 4/5

If you are interested in reading poetry or if my review of this impressed you, I would highly recommend you to download the book here and enjoy the experience of poems. 

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INKREDIA – Luwan of Brida

Blurb: Inkredia is a land where humans and nonhumans live together in balance, but without ever facing each other, unless… they must. When seventeen-year-old Luwan finds himself in a grave danger, he has to make a daring choice. The village that kept him safe all these years can’t protect him anymore. Either he can stay and die or he can enter the dangerous world outside and make journey to a city that will keep him and his sister safe. But there is a good chance that this journey itself will kill him. He sets out, but only to find that his peril is far greater than his calculations. He heads into a mysterious new enemy, a band of legendary assassins that are usually sent to bring down men of great power. Luwan is clueless why they are after his head, but they don’t offer him the luxury to find an answer to that question. He’s thrown into a relentless run across a great distance. And, as he travels, he learns about fascinating places in Inkredia, about powerful relics and artifacts and… about the dark side of Inkredia. He faces the great force of Ilmor that gives birth to incredible nonhumans. What is the force of Ilmor? Can Luwan protect his sister against such powerful enemies? Will he find answers to all the mysteries?

About the author: Sarang Mahajan, an avid fan of fantasy/adventure novels is the author of Luwan of Brida, a well appreciated book available in India, USA and UK. The book has caught attention of Indian readers as the first, major authentic fantasy by an Indian writer. A wide traveler, he is also fond of travel photography and travel writing.

Review: Thank you to Author and the book club for sending me the copy of this book to read and review it in my blog. When I first saw the book, the title and book cover generated anxiety to read it quickly. As I realised it is of a fantasy genre, it put me off. This is the genre I avoid but I had to read to write this review. Coming to the book now, Luwan is an herb collector and his parents were members in the council of the Lord. He has a sister named Meg, but Luwan leaves home due to a petty fight. His mother gives him a pendant, with a silver spiral in it and a blank book. His father leaves a letter wishing him to visit Tashkrum and meet Shenoble. Luwan, who earns to survive refuses tax collector to pay. Death is the sole reprimand. Meg comes to his hut to alert and save him. Confused Luwan opens up a book given by his mother. He finds out the solution in form of a riddle and decides to hold up his and his sister’s life. Luwan’s best friend Narjo helps them and they run away from Brida. They are followed by Ghork riders, devil creatures who eat human flesh. The question which comes in the mind is – will the simple villager Luwan manage to run safely? Will they be able to survive from Ghork Riders? What are the dangers ahead? Will they reach their destination? If all this has excited I suggest you can pick this book to read further. The book ends abruptly which makes us know that there is next book coming would be continuation to this present book/story. Despite the easy and simple language and not so boring narration, this book has not impressed me in any way. This book is adorned with a great fantasy and is an ultimate entertainment package if you want adventurous reading else you can skip it.

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The Tree with a Thousand Apples

Blurb: ‘If a criminal was once a saint and a saint was once a criminal, then who is a criminal and who is a saint?’ Inspired by true events, this riveting narrative traces the lives of Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat and Bilal Ahanagar, three childhood friends who grow up in an atmosphere of peace and amity in Srinagar, Kashmir, until the night of 20 January 1990 changes it all. While Deewan is forced to flee from his home, Safeena’s mother becomes ‘collateral damage’ and Bilal has to embrace a wretched life of poverty and fear. The place they called paradise becomes a battleground and their friendship struggles when fate forces them to choose sides against their will.Twenty years later destiny brings them to a crossroads again, when they no longer know what is right and what is wrong. While both compassion and injustice have the power to transform lives, will the three friends now choose to become sinful criminals or pacifist saints? The Tree with a Thousand Apples is a universal story of cultures, belongingness, revenge and atonement. The stylised layered format, fast-paced narration and suspenseful storytelling make for a powerful, gripping read

About the author: Born and brought up in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Sanchit began his career as a part-time copywriter. He went on to co-found his own theatre group, worked as a freelance film screenwriter and as executive producer–fiction for a leading television network. His short stories have been published in several publications and lit festivals, viz Muse India, Indian Ruminations, Contemporary Literary Review India and Tata Lit Live to name a few. He has worked with All India Radio as a talk show host and regularly features in poetry recitals at Prithvi Café, Mumbai. This is his debut novel, the screenplay based on which has been long-listed in Sundance screenwriters’ International lab- US. When not writing, he is usually hanging out with his wife or looking for people to play poker with. He says his works explore his fascination for global cultures, societal structures, vagaries of the world and the human mind, but you know that’s all blah.

Review:  The Tree with a Thousand Apples is stories of different people their belongings and their vengeances. Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat and Bilal Ahanagar grow up in peace in Kashmir. After a dark January night their lives completely change, Deewan flees from his home; Safeena’s mother turns into a ‘collateral damage’ and Bilal becomes poor. Their paradise becomes a battleground. 20 years later destiny brings three friends together. The story of Safeena, Bilal and Deewan pulls the reader into a universe of darkness which makes us question our own principles. The author Sanchit Gupta, has inputs talking to the locals from Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Sopore and Jammu, which created the landscape, the story, the culture and characters. This is author’s debut book. The book is dedicated to Kashmiri youth of 1990s who struggled through the past 26 years. The writing, the description, the scene is so authentic; giving you the right feel of the events happening around you. The story line and pace are so interesting that you cannot put it down until you finish the book. The author definitely has a strong control with words and has managed to write this story in such easy language that it can be enjoyed by all kinds of readers. I liked that this book gives you an honest insight into the story reflecting the stories on both sides of the coin, without being unfair to any side.

 

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Dark Poetry

About the author: The Poet & Published writer, Ishieta is a Healer and Numerologist, and has played with words in verse to dig into the visceral and disturbing area of Darkness within. This is a collection of 26+1 short Poems written as part of the Global A to Z Challenge in April 2017. She writes over at www.isheeriashealingcircles.com
Her other works include A To Z of Healing.

Opinion: Ishieta’s latest book is collection of dark poetry. Her book is a slender volume for a poet’s work.  At around just 30 pages, there is something that I found profoundly consoling about her words. Her poems include the dark confessional secrets which I loved reading. The words offer language to carry us (the reader) through experiences that intimidate to overpower. Perhaps this is why; Poetess Ishieta is so good at writing in original ways about themes such as dancing death, kidnapping and prayers. The quiet grandeur of lines used in many of her poems makes the prospect of being forgotten no longer feel so grim. My personal favorites are – Alive, Ink, Tamarind and Zero. Some poetry books run a straight and narrow path cut with a razor through the plains. Some poetry books have a natural rise and fall like empires, foothills, or the side of a sleeping kitten. Some poetry books are a poet’s spear hand aimed fast for the soft spot at the base of your neck to rip through flesh and stop your breathing. Her poetry book has the flavors of all these. This is a book of unexpected verbs and startling adverbs of poems starting always, significantly, on the right hand page, over, and again, pulling me through from cover to cover, reading the world drift quickly by. This book has a strong sense of self, from the Poetry as introduction to the interspersing of Poems and wordly art. I appreciate the effort to see the book as its own construct which really worked well for me. The death/frozen/victories are all powerful – so many packed so tightly in one volume borders on so many emotions. All of the poems succeed individually in what they were trying to do. I am glad to have read and reviewed this eBook. Wishing lots of success & good luck to the poetess.

Cover Page: 4/5

Content: 4/5

If you are interested in reading poetry or if my review of this impressed you, I would highly recommend you to download the book here and enjoy the experience of poems. 

538 total views, 5 views today

Rafflesia-Banished-Princess

Blurb: The curtains draw up. Lights are dimmed. The musical is about to begin. As the beautiful princess descends on stage, the mythical creatures from her kingdom come alive. Flickers of brilliant colours blaze across as mesmerizing music pulsates from one corner of the theatre to the other. A fairy tale is about to unfold…As young children, we often come across things that stay in our hearts forever. For Appu, it is a fairy tale about a beautiful princess. He lives with her in a world filled with the magical creatures from her kingdom until the real world beckons. A reluctant Appu steps into it as a striking young man and struggles to find his place. What follows is an evocative tale of love and loss, friendship and betrayal, as the story travels through the snow-peaked mountains of Arunachal to the golden deserts of Jaisalmer, the tulip gardens of Holland to the lush greens of Kerala. Does Appu find what he had set out for? The answer lies in Rafflesia — The Banished Princess because in her story, lay his!”

About the author: A B-School graduate, Gautam is a business analyst by profession. Considers the laptop as among his best friends and nurses a secret desire to turn an entrepreneur someday.

Review:  Some stories are so interesting and some on the other hand are boring to death. They sound as if they are preaching philosophies and verses from the texts, despite having a movie type writing approach Rafflesia – The Banished Princess by author Gautam did not appeal to my reading style. The main protagonist of the novel is Appu who has a complete psychic outlook in life. The cover was not much interesting or the blurb but as I had to write this review, I forced myself to read it to complete. It is all about Appu whose is an introvert by his life situations. His friend Rahul is opposite to him who enjoys his life to the fullest. The story is about Appu who is on the way to divorce his wife Jharna. The mental torture and disturbances he goes through is what the rest of the story talks about including giving us the reason why his wife Jharna separated from him within 2 days of the wedding. The book has many characters apart from Appu, Jharna and Rahul, such as Sunaina– the lawyer, Trina – Appu’s mother, Aabir – Appu’s father, Sujata – the linking character to the metaphor and few here and there situated in India and Holland and also Bunty. The plot and theme of the story is so known that there is no scope for suspense or chilling element, this is what made this book a disappointment for me. I did not find anything wonderful in the story though sometimes the writing went complicated. The author stretched the story to a long way making it really bore reading for me as sometimes it turned very slow adding more hours to read it.  If you are someone who wants to test their reading patience, I highly recommend you to pick the book – The Banished Princess. I tested my patience, though not happy with the content/story writing, I passed out successfully reading the length bore book. If this book doesn’t get into your genre, you can skip it.

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Nine Lives by William Dalrymple

A dancer who is worshiped as a part-time god; a female mystic who inhabits a cremation ground, drinking from skulls; a sculptor of Hindu idols who believes he is creating live deities; a Tibetan monk who enrolls in the Indian Army in the hope of returning to his homeland but ends up killing Pakistanis. These are not characters in lurid fiction, but a sample of the devotees William Dalrymple encounters in his absorbing “Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India.”

The nine lives Dalrymple portrays are widely various, and his introduction draws few connections among them. Most belong to, or have found refuge in, a world of mystic extremes. The nun Prasannamati Mataji is a follower of Jainism, an ascetic faith so scrupulous about sparing life that its adherents mask their mouths to avoid swallowing insects. Frequently there are bitter personal stories behind the more extreme renunciations. Manisha Ma Bhairavi, a mystic who worships the demonic goddess Tara, may have epilepsy. She has fled her violent husband and even deserted her children to find refuge among sadhus, wandering holy men, in a Bengali cremation ground. Srikanda Satpathy, a sculptor of Hindu idols, is the last of a 700-year-old dynasty of craftsmen stretching back to the great bronze casters of the Chola empire. This is a religious calling as intense as that of any Byzantine icon painter: Srikanda is making gods. A longstanding victim of change is the old profession of the devadasis, the temple courtesans once honored as divine bearers of fecundity. Early targets of Victorian missionaries and Hindu reformers, they are nowadays often dedicated as children by their impoverished Dalit families. Only one of Dalrymple’s nine lives is lived in Pakistan, but it is a telling one. The Islamic mystic called the Red Fairy — she is huge, dark-skinned and wields a club as she dances — occupies a shrine in the lawless province of Sindh.

The narratives Dalrymple unearths are fascinating and sometimes painfully moving, and he surrounds them with generous knowledge. This is the India we seldom see, populated by obscure people whose lives are made vivid by their eloquent troubles and reckless piety.

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The Wrong Turn

Blurb: 1944, Kohima — a small, sleepy town in northeast India. Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) along with the Japanese, are on the brink of bringing the Empire to its knees and forcing the British out of India. But, inexplicably, the tables turn. The INA’s advance is thwarted and the victory march to Delhi is halted. Seventy years later, the British admit that the Battle of Kohima was the greatest battle they had ever fought. Even more so than the battles of Waterloo and Dunkirk. Was it then that old Indian curse — betrayal? Someone from within Netaji’s own ranks? Were there forces other than the British, waiting in the shadows closer to home, who stood to gain even more from the INA’s defeat? Or was it just love that irrevocably altered the course of India’s destiny? The Wrong Turn: Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji, is a sweeping tale of passion set against the freedom struggle. Debraj, the rakish playboy and scion of a distinguished Calcutta family, and Nishonko, the fiery revolutionary sworn to the cause of the INA, must not only fight their common enemy, but also for the love of Aditi, the rebel with the healing touch. A haunting tale of love, friendship and betrayal of an entire nation, The Wrong Turn veers inexorably towards a poignant redemption.

Review: As I am a huge fan of thrillers, the moment I got in to the story line I could not keep the book down. What a fascinating, spellbinding read it has been for me. I highly appreciate the writing style of the author who attempted a tale full of love, passion, sacrifice, bravery and not to miss out Indian history background. The language was so simple and easy to understand that I highly recommend this book to my bookish friends. The lives of Deb and Nishonko and the INA being entangled through the story was just the factor which made me hook to the book till the end. Though I found some characters little underrated but others were quite logically sketched. Not a huge fan of Indian writing when it comes to thrills and history attached but this book was something different. I have not read author Sanjay Chopra’s earlier books so for me this he is his best book. This book really improves your history and I am sure you don’t know the Indian history completely. This educated me a lot.  What I liked was the part of the tale giving us the nearby’s into what and who could have been liable for the downfall of Subhash Chandra Bose’s INA. Despite being a fictional romantic thriller, I am surprised that it has been so well worked into the research in terms of the historic dealings. For me this has been indeed a page turner destined to be a best seller and then into a movie. It is a wonderful story of disloyalty and unreciprocated love. The usage of Bengali words with that typical Kolkata dialect and emotions, gave the feel of being around the area. I have never been to Kohima but through the book I imagined myself roving about the places which have so much premeditated importance in our freedom fight. Congratulations for writing such a book and I am glad to have read it. I look forward to read more from the authors.

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People Called Ahmedabad

Image courtesy : https://creativeyatra.com

Title – People Called Ahmedabad
Curator – Nisha Nair-Gupta
Publisher – authors UPFRONT
ISBN – 978-1-63587-346-7

Blurb: People Called Ahmedabad is the city’s collective narrative through stories of its people. 55 Stories that assimilate the city, falling serendipitously into compartments to encompass its history. An endeavour that has sifted through the city to bring forth stories about the mujawar at Ahmed Shah’s tomb, the scion of the city’s oldest philanthropic family, a refugee community that now calls the city home, the significant kitli culture, entrepreneurs who have made the economy of the city tick, internet sensations who have revived the love for food among youth, a museum that talks about conflict, a bookseller at the city’s famous ravivari and many more often we take the city we dwell in and the life around us for granted. People Called Ahmedabad is an attempt to pause, listen and reflect. To let the city and its people reveal some untold stories.

About the author: Nisha Nair-Gupta is the founder and principal curator at the People Place Project and the principal architect at Design Variable. With varied work experience as an architect, journalist and being an active participant in public art initiatives, she oscillates between her two interests of design and writing. She has spearheaded People Called Mumbai, the first curatorial and publication venture of the Project and now the second, People Called Ahmedabad.

Review: Having worked and lived in Ahmedabad I am very familiar with this city and happens to be my 2nd home. The book is a anthology of 55 stories written by 17 authors, I would say this book is perfect to know the city and no lesser than an absolute documented on Ahmedabad. This book is definitely different from other books written on cities. My knowledge about Ahmedabad was good enough but after this book it has become vast. The best thing about this book is that it has been penned by 17 different people, giving detailed description of the city. Ahmedabad has more than the IIM. Delicacies ranging from the local Gujarati cuisine to South Indian to Afghani are available in the areas of Kalupur to the new city. Through pages one can sift through words and city to discover mujawar at Ahmedash’s tomb – refugee community member for whom Ahmedabad is home now, to the kitli culture, that boatman on Sabarmati river who saves people, the entrepreneurs and self-employed who contribute to the economy, the bookseller at Ravivari. All these people make us stop, listen to their stories and react. Right from the book cover to the title and to the interesting quotation blurb, this book has already which could impress me and I am glad I did not waste my time reading it. Ahmedabad is so close to my heart. I learned new things through his book such as Gandhi suggested The Wagh Bakri symbol which could relate to common mass people, the light at Teen Darwaza which is lit for Goddess Saraswati is done by a muslim family daily, Das Surti’s khaman in Maninagar ( which is definitely in my list to visit) to many gems of this city. It’s not the geographical limits which make the city but the people who live in this city. Huge congratulations to Nisha Nair Gupta, Founder and Curator of The People Place Project, for documenting the stories of people from across Indian cities. Her first book being on Mumbai city and second on Ahmedabad. 55 characters mentioned in the book, may not be extraordinary but are certainly divergent who would find eternalness through this book.

I got this book for free for review. You can also get the books for free by joining The Readers Cosmos 

The book is available to buy on Amazon.

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Is It Maya ? by Saikat Baksi

Blurb

Maya Mukhija is charming, intelligent and enigmatic.She has all the riches and power of the world. Maya loves to overpower men. She is the arm-candy wife of an ageing media mogul. Maya is not a loser. But one ne morning, Mumbai police knocks the door of her posh apartment and handcuffs her. “You killed Veena, your daughter,” the Police Commissioner declares. “Veena was my sister, not daughter. And I wished her dead. But I never killed her,” Maya Mukhija replies. The hunt begins through the shadowy yesterdays of Maya Mukhija. Love, treachery and a web of lies peel off the dark truth one by one. Who killed Veena? ls it Maya?”

About the author

Saikat Baksi is an author and an artist. His passions include theology, art and the sub-atomic world. He is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification and works in the Sales & Marketing department of an Engineering Multinational. He doesn’t find any conflict among his roles as an executive and an author or an artist. He lives his life the way it comes and writes about it. He paints what he sees around himself and in his own mind. For him, the world is full of painting and stories. He just lays them down on paper and canvas. Over the years, he lived in seven cities and towns spanning from far south of India to the far north. He felt the pulse of each part of the country he lived in. He shares an intense ‘love and hate’ relation with Kolkata, where he grew up. He does not believe in settling anywhere because in his view, settlement is death and motion is life. He currently stays at Anand, Gujarat and cherishes the idyllic charm of the countryside. Other novels by Saikat Baksi Something in your eyes Far beyond the dead end Did you see the joker? Fallen leaf, withered wind…and love.

Review

This book is one of the best thrillers of 2017. While reading it I could find traces of Indrani Mukherjee’s life in this. I love plot full of suspense, twists and turns and this book had them perfectly. It kept me guessing and the writing is impressive. The story revolves around the protagonist Maya who gets arrested and tortured to confess the truth. The writing was so sophisticated with which I was familiar as I have read the author already in the past. While the main events and characters are taken from real case, the writer has added his own spin to the story, making it different. The description, the narration, the simple language has made the book awesome. The story grips you from the start as the police station scene unfolds. As the past and present of Maya is revealed through Maya and Vivek’s points of view, it gets more and more interesting. I strongly suggest this book to all those who love reading racy fast paced thrillers.

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