Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Life by Brett Lee!!!



           The only thing for which I, as an emotional Indian remember about Brett Lee is how he blocked Sachin Tendulkar in his way in the last Test series we had with Australia when Sachin was running between the wickets and got run out. Once again the dream got shattered- A dream to see Sachin scoring 100th 100 in the then match. All Indians abused Brett Lee on Social Networking sites and said that he did it intentionally. In an interview, Lee made it evident that it was a mistake that happened unintentionally. And what I have said above is too injustice to do with a player like Brett Lee. I also remember him for many balls that he has bowled with a speed that is unbeatable. The only person who has been able to give tough competition to him has been Shoaib Akhtar- who surpassed 161 Km/hr speed which still remains unconquerable for Brett Lee. You would be thinking as of why am I talking about Brett Lee in a specially dedicated post even when there's no match going around that would have made him an inspiration of mine. :-) Actually, I am done reading his Autobiography- "My Life" that is released by Random House in India.

             Now, as I have completed reading this 405 pages autobiography, I must say that the book is not really inspirational or motivational but just an experience- Experience of living a life of a fast bowler in the game of Cricket during the beautiful tenure of reading this book. Every time we read and focus only about batsmen but very few of us really concentrate on the life of a bowler except Ashish Nehra. Bwahahaha. :-) But reading Brett Lee's autobiography has been a wonderful odyssey as he has been one bowler who has stunned everyone with his express speed of bowling. There has been few fast bowlers like Shoaib Akhtar, Dale Steyn, Zaheer Khan who we have seen recently but Brett Lee is quite different from them. Yes, he is. Not just because I have read his autobiography and turned into a fan. :-)

              Book starts with the foreword by Allan Border that is a very light read. Then, the first chapter about how a photographer tried to climb the building through balcony in Brett Lee's room just for an interview/click is interesting to read. Through the very first chapter, Brett Lee tells how he still feels unbelievable that he is one of the celebrities. After the story of a cricketer begins, the injuries that are told about in the initial chapters frustrates you; and imagining the condition of the cricketer who has potential but still can't play because of an injury is too disheartening and a feeling of helplessness. First tryst with Steve Waugh is an amazing read as Lee tells how he didn't give his T-shirt to him just because he challenged Lee to play nicely and be a part of the team to win it himself. WOW. Sachin Tendulkar's detailed mention as one of the two batsmen including Brian Lara bought smile on my face. Aapla Sachin!!! :-) 

              A Cricketer is being seen as a role model by many youths and children. Lee clarifies in a part of the book about his strong and weak points to make it clear about why he can be seen as a role model and why he can't be. The sledging that he makes against batsmen is the most interesting chapters throughout the book. Haha. His initial perception about Graeme Smith is another funny part to read as he has openly told how much he hated him. :-) A match where Shane Warne got out at 99 is another humor-filled chapter when it should have been a depressing one. The way Lee celebrated as he's charging a machine is also described by Lee as to how it happened. Steve Waugh scoring century when critics targeted him is described very emotionally in the book. The description of India and why Brett Lee loved the country so much in many pages exactly in the middle of the book was another proud moment for me to read, being an Indian. :-) I respect Lee for giving the only country- India such a description in his autobiography. He has not even done this for Australia in the book. :-) The letter of a girl in the end of the description made me cry. The controversy of Harbhajan-Symond is talked very sensibly and maturely in the book as it's not easy to vindicate such an event in writing form. 

             The entrance of IPL in the international Cricket is also described by Lee in the book in a very detailed manner. I liked reading it. His break up with his wife is another emotional read in the book while his love for his son-Preston is also clearly visible from the kind of sentences he has formed to dictate it. :-) The reason why he retired from Test is also written in a detailed emotional form. I didn't like what happened with him. All the moments when he didn't like Ricky Ponting has also been narrated. This actually surprised me. It's not an easy thing to do. And the best part of the book is when he tells how he was waiting for Sourav Ganguly to declare the match but later he thought the captain is waiting for Sachin to touch 250 but when he saw that the match is being declared before him scoring 250, he saw that his bowling figures has crossed 200, hence, embarrassing him. Hahaha. If not for anything, read the book for this part. :-) Else, there are many other events that I can't subject here in the review as 

              Else, the book is 50% interesting and 50% stretched. I personally feel that this autobiography could have been completed in just 200-250 pages. 405 pages is too much. Plus, Random House selling it for Rs. 500 is another drawback. They should come down by 50% at least. PLEASE. Otherwise, this autobiography will go unnoticed. I would recommend this book to all just for a reason that you shall come to know about the perspective with which a Fast bowler plays on the field as all of us know what a batsman feel. 
  Thanks.

   ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Average Indian Male by Cyrus Broacha!!!



             Completed reading the first Non-fictional book by Random House publication. And it is- "The Average Indian Male" by Cyrus Broacha. I am still in surprise as to what did I expect from the book before thinking of reading it. All of us have seen this guy entertaining us as VJ many a times on several music channels. His "Bakra" show has been one of the most popular comical shows. Then we also saw this guy in Jhalak Dikhlaja where he danced less but made us laugh more with the spontaneous humor-filled sentences and PJs. When I came to know that he is up with a book, I was surprised. Seeing the cover page of the book, I was sure that this guy has tried something very comical and laughable.. and after completing this book, I can say that yes, the book had sequences where it bought smile on my face but there wasn't many Laugh out loud moments, which I was expecting. 

             The 75% of the book(which Cyrus has named as Book 1) consists of several letters that he claims to have received it from some victims of average Indian males, to which Cyrus has answered in his own style. Reading these questions and answers are a fun part. While reading the question itself you start smiling by imagining the answer that Cyrus would give. And once you start reading his reply to the question, the fun goes to a new level in the same way as rocket goes after the launch. You find yourself in a different world of humour and PJs while reading the answer and as soon as it ends and a new question is introduced, you come back to earth to get ready for another ride. But after a point, these question and answer session becomes monotonous thus, boring. And it is the right time at which the Book 2 has been introduced in the last 25% that has kept me intrigued till the end. 

             Book 2 is quite different from the Book 1. It has some general topics on which Cyrus has penned down his strange views. And by "strange" you can imagine what kind of views. :-) The book is written in a South Mumbai students' accent or you can say, Delhi's elite university student's accent. Thus, there are few sentences that has gone over my head. Also some jokes seemed to be funny but I didn't understand them because of less general knowledge than Cyrus. For enjoying this book to the fullest, you need to understand many terms and who's who before reading, and that is obviously impossible. "Dhoom 4" is the first chapter that came after a long time in the book that finally made me laugh as I wanted to or expected to after knowing that the book is penned by Cyrus. 106th page is too sensible where Cyrus tells why Indian males stand so close to a stranger. I found his explanation too genuine. Being an Indian, I felt proud while reading "Aap aise queue ho". Else, book proves that Cyrus has neatly observed all the Indian males, residing in all the zones of India. :-) I will rate this attempt of Cyrus, 3/5. An average.

  Thanks.

  ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU

That's the way we met by Sudeep Nagarkar!!!



            As per my short term memory, what I remember is that I have read just one book by Random House Publication before the one that I have completed just now. The first one being Preeti Shenoy's "Tea for two and a piece of cake" and the second one that I have completed just now is Sudeep Nagarkar's "That's the way we met". Co-incidentally both the authors got their first book published by Srishti Publication while they moved to Random House for their 2nd book after getting merited as Bestsellers for their First fiction attempt. It is indeed a pleasure to read someone's book whom you know personally. But it is also a disappointment when their work does not touch the mark that you expected them to. Sudeep Nagarkar got fame through his first book that turned out to be a Bestseller- "Few Things Left Unsaid". It is a simple love story. Then, after 10 months of the book release, he released the sequel of the book- "That's the way we met" with a tagline- "...kya life hogi set?" 

             TTWWM is the story of Aditya and Riya- the same protagonist of FTLU. Their story heads ahead with more love and passion than before. The scuffle that they went through and the break up that both of them struggled with, gave them an insight of how much they need each other and how endless their love for each other is. Aditya's friend- Mohit falls in love with Sonam, who turns out to be a good friend of Riya. And from here, the two couples start roaming and hanging-out together. They go on for a trip to Delhi, Manali and other regions in North India. These people based in Mumbai finds peace in that space of India as they are out from the rush for which Mumbai is known for. But after coming back from the trip, lots of change and twists take place in the love drama of Aditya and Riya. To know the dramatics that took place in their affair, Go Get the Book.

             Sudeep Nagarkar has surely improved in the language and narration. I did find lots of difference in his writing when compared to his first novel. He has matured as a writer. But there's still lots of room for the improvement. But I don't even criticize him for this. Because as he has dedicated both his book to his true love whom he has lost and still searching for, he has written both the manuscripts just for her. It is just by chance that he turned into a bestseller as love story readers accepted him. According to this, Sudeep N has written something of which his lost love will be very proud of if she'll find Sudeep's book in the bookstores. :-)

           Coming to the story of the book, it is very simple. After Few Things Left Unsaid, I was expecting a lot from the sequel but it turned out to be similar to the first one. The only change that I have found is- this time the author has tried to explore the different regions of India rather than keeping the base of the story in a city. Firstly, reading about the different areas of Mumbai gave me many nostalgic feeling as I am residing here from last 3 years. Secondly, mentions of Delhi's landmarks, areas and metro train can make a Mumbaikar head towards Railway station and book a Tatkal ticket for Delhi and Manali. :-) Else, the plot of the story is too simple for tharkis like me. :-) The love-making and romantic sequences are narrated in the same manner as other writers writing love stories(pulp fiction) in India does. The climax of the book is quite different else the whole book can only make you imagine more of Delhi, Manali and its environment than the love story and the chemistry between Aditya and Riya. I gave 3/5 to FTLU. To this, I would give 2.5 as this is not as good as FTLU is. Else, the Chapter names are interesting and cover page is exciting. Mr. Sudeep, please come up with something different than a Love story in your 3rd attempt.

   Thanks.

  ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ignited Minds by APJ Abdul Kalam!!!



             We always see India through the eyes of media channels, newspapers and other such mediums. But there are very few people who give us the real image of what our India is. I am talking about the people who have contributed to the nation. The person who has done something for the country is capable of speaking about the country. You and me, have done nothing but like commenting on each and every thing. One such person, who is unlike us, have bought the change in the country is APJ Abdul Kalam, our former President. The questions that we ask to our current Prime Minister, never gets answered as our PM loves to keep his lips sealed rather than moving them for speaking something. But, I am too pleased and happy that a person like APJ Abdul Kalam keeps on answering all those questions through his books which gets published time to time whenever the youth starts getting impatient about their concern for the nation. I have read one such book that Abdul Kalam published in 2002- "Ignited Minds". The book also has a tagline- "unleashing the power within India". 

             In this book, Kalam has kept on focusing on the bestial power that we have within India. He tells us how there are several people in our country itself who can bring a lot of change to the nation but they'll have to get ignited. Ignited for the benefit of the nation. Ignited for the improvement of not their own self, but for the whole group they are working with. Ignited to prove the world that we are competitive. Ignited for working with the people who are ambitious like them. Ignited for working with the people from different field, because then a new creativity is launched which bring changes. Similarly, Abdul Kalam has told us how we can ignite our minds as it's already ignited, we just need to start doing for the nation now rather than for ourselves. :-)

              Initially in the book, the way Abdul Kalam has started giving the speech on values and motivation generates interest of turning pages as fast as we can. :-) Interaction with different students from different colleges, regions and religions is indeed a special part of the book as Kalam has mentioned some of the unique questions asked by them and also the answers that he gave. The chapter on who our Role model should be can make our stupid youths realize that it's not Salman Khan who need to be modeled but some great visionaries. "Visionary Teachers and Scientists" chapter gives a brief note of how some teachers of Kalam made him learn good morals and values that has helped him reach to where he is. And the works of scientists who were his colleagues is described wonderfully to make us understand how they strove for bringing some positive change in country's situation. The messages that Kalam's teachers and scientists gave him can change the whole perspective of our own life. Those messages should be compacted as quotes and released separately, seriously. 

              Kalam has made it sure that we also understand the power of meeting different people of different kind from different regions through traveling can make us realize how small we are, and how more do we need to moot ourselves up. In the same context, the spiritual messages that he mentioned in the book that were given to him by different spiritual leaders and saints are again another masterpieces of this book. How God and Spirit is being ignored in today's institute is discussed. "Patriotism beyond Politics and Religions"- the name of the chapter itself says how necessary this talk is. So let's not speak about this. :-) The secrets to success that Azim Premji, Narayan Murthy, Amul's founder and other entrepreneurs gave is a solid reason why one should read this book, bot once but again and again. The example of true events and personal experiences of Kalam in the book gives a special effect while reading as we keep on imagining Kalam visiting people and thus, inspiring them. The summary after every chapter is also a good idea to give the whole context of the chapter in few lines. The last two chapters including Epilogue is enormously beautiful. The book ends on a very motivational and intellectual note. 

             I would still rate Kalam's "Wings of Fire" and "Turning Points" above this- "Ignited Minds" but still this book is no less. Please get this one too. APJ Abdul Kalam is the writer, what more review do you need to get it confirmed that you are spending money on the right product? :-) And thanks to Yusuf who gave this book to me for reading even when I didn't have any idea that he has a book by Kalam with him. :-)

  Thanks.

 ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU

Sunday, August 19, 2012

TURNING POINTS by A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM!!!



            Do you remember the epic scene from the movie NAYAK where Amrish Puri asks Anil Kapoor-the reporter to be Chief Minister of the state for a day? The wicked smile on Amrish Puri's face, the profuse amount of sweat accumulating on Anil Kapoor's forehead, the thunderous reaction of the audience... Everything of that scene is epic and it goes a level higher as soon as Anil Kapoor agrees to his challenge. The scene swap the emotions. Anil Kapoor starts smiling, nefariously. Amrish Puri starts sweating, profusely. And audience starts clapping and rejoicing, excitingly. And the rest movie shows how Anil Kapoor lived life of a Chief Minister for 24 hours, successfully. Similarly, today for 7 hours, I lived life of President of India. Yes!!! Through APJ KALAM AZAD's "Turning Points". :-) The book is written in such a sweet and simple manner, yet inspiring and encouraging that you feel as if you are sitting in the seat of President of India and performing each and every activity. Reading this book is an extra-ordinary experience. Unforgettable!!! 

             "Turning Points" is sequel to APJ Kalam Azad's autobiography- "Wings of Fire". Wings of Fire was about his journey as a scientist while Turning Points is his journey from the day he swore in as President till May 2012. This book has a tagline "A Journey Through Challenges- The inspiring sequel to Wings of Fire". But the way Mr. Kalam has described each and every scenario that came in his path never let me believe that any of those things were challenges for him. He has stated very appropriately that he never feared while announcing or claiming any thing as he wasn't a politician. He never was concerned about which party is in Parliament. His motive was development, improvement, Vision 2020. And hence reading Kalam's journey as a President is interesting and one of its experience as there's no talk of politics in it. Just the welfare of nation, state and Parliament. 

             Every page makes you feel that you are yourself A President and it's you who is ordering and suggesting others in place of Mr. Kalam. In the first half of the book, how Kalam as President tried to make use of Internet in Parliament and Governance is the best part. How he started getting all his files in Digital format to get the access even when he would be traveling was interesting to read. How he tried to execute E-Governance is another exciting thing to read. The chapter where 7 Turning Points in Kalam's life are stated is another interesting read. "Learning from Others" chapter is the most fruitful chapter in terms of human values and learning. The PURA mission for villages and villagers is the best execution by Kalam during his Presidency. Video-conferencing initiation is another big revolution that took place because of Kalam's lead and power. Love for his Presidential residency- Rashtrapati Bhavan can be clearly seen in his writing. The way he tried to proliferate the essence and serenity of the Bhavan is too nostalgic. The schedule of his life in May 2012, that is mentioned in one of the End Chapters says so much. He is no more a President but still his involvement in inspiring the nation is no less, even at the dithering age. The controversial decisions that he used to take as a President is something that I got most excited while reading the book. Even I am still thinking of why no Governmental party came forward to take the Parliament for those 3 days. :-) The interview in the end of the book is another masterpiece from the book which shows how visioned Mr. Kalam was/is. 

            The book is written in a very simple English. I didn't get a feeling that it's the best President of India who has written the book. Because one assumes that a persona like Mr. Kalam shall always use a high level language to describe and mention each and every thing. The best thing is- Mr. Kalam has not let any secret or security rationale to come out through this book that was accessible only to him as PoI. He has very cleverly recorded each and every thing keeping in mind what to speak and not to. He has also mentioned how Anna Hazare's movement is not very good but also right according to the performance of the Parliament. And many more might arise. Haha. Every factor and point that Kalam has mentioned in the book for improvement in any sector of India is so valid and knowledgeable. The way Kalam tried to implement his ideas in every sector of India during his tenure tells how versatile this man is in knowledge and wit. I would just ask all of you to get this book. It is very different from Wings of Fire. In this, Kalam sir has tried to let us know what really he is. In Wings of Fire, he has just made us feel that every other person in his life was better than him. But in this, he lets us know why is he THE ABDUL KALAM. :-) Please read this book. PLEASE. 

  Thanks.

  ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU

Friday, August 17, 2012

What Young India Wants by Chetan Bhagat!!!




             The whole Indian movie viewers are mad about Record-breaking actor-Salman Khan's latest flick. Similarly, Indian readers are still busy in browsing, ordering and buying Chetan Bhagat's latest book "What Young India Wants". This is the first non-fictional attempt by the most famous Fiction-book author of India. Chetan Bhagat needs no introduction. Either he is in everyone's heart for his books or for 3 Idiots or as a punching bag for the so-called "intellectuals" or as someone who tries speaking on every possible topic and create awareness. Chetan Bhagat is surely the most entertaining author if not the best in India. With 5 bestselling novels, out of which two are being released as Bollywood movies and other 3 in process, Chetan Bhagat is one author whom everyone waits for. Even his fake haters who try to pose as intellectuals by abusing him on Social sites. I don't know why Chetan Bhagat didn't promote this book in the same way as he did with Revolution 2020. May be he is still nervous if people will accept him as a Non-fictional author talking about India in a very simplistic, easy language and parlance. 

              "What Young India Wants" is the collection of Chetan Bhagat's essays, speeches, columns and articles. Some are fresh pieces too. The book tries to ask us many questions. It asks us about what exactly do we want from our country. It asks what exactly are we doing for our nation being a citizen of it. It asks us what we really know about our country and how much effort we put in for knowing. How attached are we and how concerned are we as Indians. How capable are we and why still are we helpless. While answering and clarifying the jumbled situations of some of these questions, Chetan Bhagat gives some value and moral oriented solutions in his own unique style without targeting anyone. He has made it sure that he will not blame politicians every time in the book as this is what everyone does. He tries to give solutions by keeping politicians away from it. 

             The best part about "What Young India Wants" is that Chetan Bhagat has not tried to pose as an intellectual. He has remained what he is- Our favorite light-story writer- CHETAN BHAGAT whom we love for his humour and wit. He has maintained that throughout the book. The book is written in a language that it seems as if we are reading a fictional content itself. In many sentences, you'll find the essence of Chetan Bhagat's previous 5 books hence making you smile weirdly in loneliness. :-) The only part that I felt as an insecurity of the author was the initial pages where he tells his journey as an individual and as well as how he developed as an Indian. THAT I found little unwanted and meaningless. He should have avoided that. Being conscious because of some haters who never stop barking is what a debutante should do, not someone who is known in world as Most selling Indian Author. 

               Chetan Bhagat starts the book by talking about THE SOCIETY. He talks about Bhopal Gas Tragedy, German bakery blast, Airline crisis, various scams like CWG, 2G, IPL etc, terrorism and other national issues. He has tried to give solutions. Some are sensible while some are just mere articles which should be read and forgotten. :-) Then as the novel progresses, Chetan Bhagat starts talking about we, THE YOUTHS. How we can change the scenario around us if we take a resolution. This part is the best part of the book as I related with every sentence being the youth of the nation. "Spark" is an awesome chapter. Too motivating and life-changing. The chapter in which Chetan Bhagat tells why we should have good command over English language is too sensible. The letter to Bapu is exactly what every Indian talks in regard of Mahatma Gandhi's approach towards India and how we have let his idealistic down. "Where's my Nobel prize?" is one another masterpiece of the book. Lerds and Nerds description in a chapter made me laugh out loud. :-) The initial paragraph of the chapter in which Engineers are being joked off by terming them as Touchy Feely makes you excited for Chetan Bhagat's next as you find him back in form as Revolution 2020 was a disappointment. :-) In the end, "The Cut-offs" chapter is a very good eye-opener for the children as well as parents. 

             Examples given by the author makes the chapter more interesting. As everything is related in a very simple language, you might feel that it's you who have written the whole book. With every page, the book keeps on getting interesting. The quotes before the initialization of every chapter is a cool idea by the author. The chapters would have got more effect if Chetan Bhagat would have added statistics too. Else, I would love to see Chetan Bhagat writing fiction books every 2 years as he does with the series of "What Young India Wants" releasing every year. Yes!!! This is one writer whom youth definitely picks up. And hence they'll come to know about some facts of India if not all. I will recommend this book to all. This one is meant for reading once, for sure. This is not a very intense book about nation, but a very light read which will make you know about many factors that India is suffering with. GO FOR IT!!!

   Thanks.

   ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU

              

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