"There is a road from the eye to heart that does not go through the intellect."

*Our souls connected when our eyes met*

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Book Review : Open-Eyed Meditations

Open-Eyed Meditations

Author: Shubha Vilas

Publisher: Fingerprint! Belief Publishing

Pages: 280; Price: Rs 250

The summary of the book says;
“Open-eyed Meditations is a beautiful compilation of thoughts wherein
each meditation takes you on a journey to the past, bringing a secret
herb to heal a problem of the present.
A true distillation of ancient wisdom tips for modern lives, this
unique self-help book uses the wisdom of the Ramayana and the
Mahabharata to solve your everyday problems.
Beyond the storyline, something deeper is waiting to be discovered
from these ancient texts. This book is an attempt to uncover
the hidden layer of wealth that is cleverly packaged within the
commonly known storylines.”

When I received the book, I looked at the lovely cover and the little message inked on the first page of the book. I personally feel that this little gesture on the author’s part was really touching. The title says meditation while your eyes are open. It is quite true. The moment you open the book and look through the index, you will be pleasantly surprised to see little chapters are bundled together to form this book. The chapter titles in themselves are so interesting. I have read two books from this author already and I enjoy how he gives us examples from the ancient texts of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The author has truly put his teaching and wisdom in the book.

The word meditating means “focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.” One wonders that how can that be done with the eyes open. When you read the book you will know exactly how it is done.

We face lots of challenges in our life and we are left with question marks. It is said that one can solve the problems of other person’s life but when it comes to their own life, it becomes tricky as well as difficult. But fear not because when you get your hands on this book, it will act as your guide to difficult times. The words which you read in each chapter will make sense with the situations and challenges you face.

The writer has an inspirational writing style. The way he puts up the pieces of his work together is very reader friendly and easy to understand. The most useful and handy part of the book is that whenever you read the whole chapter, you will know the gist of it when you read the summary at the end. The summary makes it easy to interpret the whole chapter.

It delves into all the topics of life, right from relationships, workplace, talent, decisions, transformation, envy and a lot of other spheres. All of it cannot really be summed up in one line which you will know when you read this book.

I felt really relieved after leafing through every page and felt like a burden was lifted off one by one. I recommend that everybody who is having crisis in their life or facing some kind of sadness should definitely read this book. And otherwise as well you should give it a chance, you will not be disappointed. 

This review is a part of the biggest <a href="http://blog.blogadda.com/2011/05/04/indian-bloggers-book-reviews" target="_blank"> Book Review Program </a> for <a href="http://www.blogadda.com" target="_blank">Indian Bloggers.</a> Participate now to get free books!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Book Review:Ramayana - The Game of Life : Stolen Hope

Title: Ramayana-The Game of Life: Stolen Hope
Author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House (2016)
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Pages : 307
Price: 299

Once again I got a chance to read mythology because of Blogadda and the author Shubha Vilas. To be honest he is the only person I have read till date for mythology, otherwise during childhood I had sufficed with the tele serials featuring mythology.

Not my favourite genre but I would say I am beginning to develop a taste for it. Thanks to blogadda I had read the previous novel Ramayana - The Game of Life: The Shattered Dreams by Shubha Vilas.

And after reading that I read the first part, well I was just making sure that I go through the whole thing. So when the opportunity for reviewing the third book in the series came up I was very excited. For the people who haven’t gone through the first two books the author has been thoughtful and provided the summary for the respective books before the actual starting of the book.

The book starts with Ram, Sita and Lakshmana, well into their exile at the Dandakaranya forest. They proceed inside the forest with unfolding of mesmerizing history about the forest told by different sages. They move to Panchavati in tranquil and peace. They had decided to spend their last year of exile in the beautiful forest of Panchvati. But as fate has it, in the last year of their exile, they encounter the demon Surpanakha. Surpanakha plays a very vital role in the Ramayana. She is the reason and the pivot to the impending war and the destruction of the demon king Ravana. The book goes on about till the point where Sita is abducted by Ravana.

As I write the summarized plot I see that this is not a spoiler for the book because the true essence of the book is enveloped with the enriching footnotes by the author.

As promised in the summary it was true to its word simplifying the epic tale of Ramayana and merging it with life lessons beautifully. It has been well researched as like the other two past series. The footnotes as always are the highlight of the book and the short tales in every chapter are cherry on the top. The title is true to the books content. And the division of the chapters seem smooth for reading without making a break in the scenes.

After reading this book I would say I have learned many things about life and in general along with Ramayana. Its worth a read like the previous books and I would rate it three out of five stars.

About the Author:
Shubha Vilas, an otherworldly seeker and a motivational speaker, holds a degree in Engineering and law with specialization in Patent Law. His leadership classes are well known with top-level administration in corporate houses. He likewise offers people some assistance with applying so as to deal with present day life circumstances the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and other dharma customs.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Book review: The bestseller she wrote

Title: The bestseller she wrote
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Publisher: Westland

Binding: Paperback  
Pages: 391
Language: English 

The title holds the essence of the whole story and very accurately presented. The book starts on a very light note and for first couple of pages you may feel like It is going to be the same usual romantic story. But once the plot is set and the characters have been introduced to you is when the fun starts.

A renowned author and banker in National Bank by profession Aditya who has all the good looks and charms to impress his readers as well as the others coming in contact with him. He is called as a speaker back to his management institute, Indian Institute Of Management -Bengaluru where he gets in an argument with a student Shreya who is the second lead of the book. Shreya is enthusiastic, intelligent, voracious reader and next in line for Chairman’s gold medal in her institute. Their argument leads them to contact each other later on and then starts a story which ends up changing Aditya’s life. 

There is a steady build up in the story. The plot is weaved with utmost care. The characters are introduced quite well. The history and present being narrated with the introduction of the character gives you quite a nice knowledge about him/her. The main leads Aditya and Shreya grab the spotlight in the story and at times it shifts to Aditya’s wife Maya. Maya is currently teaching twelfth graders in DAIS and also taking up social initiatives there. Sanjay who is Aditya’s friend, Diana a co-worker come competitor of Aditya’s, Sunaina who is best-friend of Shreya are the other prominent characters who are present throughout.

Some pages later we find Aditya spots Shreya at his book event organised by EasyLib in Bengaluru where she informs that she had let go her first day of campus placements to be in his event. The game starts and Aditya is impressed. The rendezvous starts once she gets placed at National Bank because of Aditya. As the summary says from that point starts the “combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption”.

The adulterous relationship of Aditya with Shreya rains havoc on his married life. Shreya still wants Aditya in her life and her first book to be the best. At the end it is very aptly defined that the one book written by Shreya is a bestseller and the only one she writes. 

At some points one may feel there is an overdose of brand names, place names, writer names and celebrity names. But all in all it has that conviction which will make you read it till the end. The thriller as it is opens up at the ending. Grab a copy as soon as possible. And do read to find out Does Maya give him a second chance after the revelation? Does Aditya’s life change for good or for bad? Does betrayal costs everyone and everything in Aditya’s life?

Thank you Blogadda for another beautiful book and that too an author signed copy.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review:Ramayana - The Game of Life : The Shattered Dreams


Ramayana - The Game of Life : The Shattered Dreams

Author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
First edition (23 January 2015)



I am happy to be chosen by blogadda to review this book. Yet again a first of a kind read by me. I don’t read mythology. This being my first book in that genre I took a keen interest in it. The book’s summary was as follows:
Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riveting drama of Rama’s exile. Through tales of Rama’s unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata’s actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita’s courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail.
With Valmiki’s Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitramanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before.

This book is the second book in the series after Rise of the Sun Prince, one which I have not read.  Almost everyone has heard the story and most of us have read it or watched Ramayana on television. But this book turned out to be innovative and introspective.

Shattered Dreams describes the time when Dasharatha wanted to crown Rama as king of Ayodhya. Unfolding the journey of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana leaving Chitrakoot for Dandakaranya forest. Kaikeyi chooses to redeem her two boons and Bharata pays for his mother's sinful behaviour in this captivating story. The opening chapters also takes one to journey of past. The past when the Ikshvaku dynasty had a King named Nemi, who later on named Dashratha. How a person got transformed from Dasagriva to Ravana. How Ravana got encounter with the god of death - Yama himself. The author has put down Raavan’s thought pretty well inside the book.

I assumed it would be the same as witnessed earlier but I found out something more. A thorough research has been done to pen down this book. It is filled with tales and anecdotes which are probably not heard or unknown to us. Like Jayanta's shameful act and Manthara's reason for revenge were not known to me.

It provides deep insights on how human relationships work out and how they might also fail. Like the relationship between a father and son, two brothers, husband and wife, mother and son are all explained very well.  It speaks of values and virtues that if followed can make us a better human being.

The emotions and character description inside the story was wonderfully done. It was as if a old story being read out in a new way. Shubha Vilas did total justice while describing the scenarios right from the beginning till the end. The narration done is seamless.The language is simple and easy to read through. The additional footnote feature was a new thing for me so I enjoyed that as well. The virtues followed by Rama and his honesty were evident throughout the book. The only thing that I did not find quite to my liking is that it is slow paced.

I would say it is good to read it at least once. And I would rate it 3 out of 5.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!