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May 17, 2014

Book Review - 160 : An Affair to Remember





Author : Harkeerat Anand
Publisher : Srishti Publisher & Distributors

Filled with cheesy motivational posters, computer workstations crammed side by side, dumb bosses / blonde's and bored employees looking for a career change - ABCDEF Corp., a software giant, rankles with a sameness of a suffocating software giants existence. Until one man and his best friend take things into their hands. What follows is a series of misadventures, flushing both men down a pink-caked urinal of self-destruction. Set in a city that once was, in an IT giant that once was, the two men journey through a cobweb of friendship, ambition, embezzlement, crime and most importantly, love. Will they survive ABCDEF Corp.? More so, will ABCDEF Corp. survive them?

If writing witty one liners and cracking LOL jokes was all about writing a book, this one would have been a winner all the way. Unfortunately, there is little plot movement in this which takes away the sheen from much fun you will obtain from the jokes and the one tone narrative structure will take away the joy from what could have been a compact little book on vagaries of corporate life.


There are multiple scenes which will make you smile - the appraisal meeting of the lead protagonist, the onsite manager visit or even the police interrogation scene when the CNG kit of the boss's car causes a minor blip. But as the narrative goes forward, the jokes dry up, becomes repetitive and in the end, there are too many diversions to end the story which does little justice to either the characters or their initial motivations.

I also couldn't understand the author's fascination with urine. Every second page, there is one reference and by the end of the book, you are completely grossed by it. The Mumbai fables and constant references seems forced and even the old vs new life seems monotonous after a while. The author does make some pertinent points regarding simple vs complex life (comparing 1990s with 2010s for example) but all this humour is weighed down in the end by lack of coherent plot.

I am going with 2/5 for Harkeerat Anand's 'An affair to remember'. It could have been a decent book but is flawed because the author relies more on tone of the characters rather than characters. An opportunity lost.

May 15, 2014

Quick Notes on 'The Love Diet'



Author : Shonali Sabherwal
Publisher : Ebury Press / Random House India

Rating : 2 / 5

In The Love Diet, Shonali Sabherwal, India’s leading and only Macrobiotic Nutritionist presents a refreshing approach to eating by sharing: Food secrets that can make you caring, loving and giving; Tips to enhance sexual appetite in men and women; Magical food and lifestyle factors needed for better sex and and love between the sexes; How to reach a place of love 24 x7 with the food and lifestyle you have; The Love Diet is your "go-to book" for advice and solutions on how to feel happy, healthy and full of love.

It is a unique book in a way to designed to cultivate and improve health and vitality for a happy blissful life full of love on all levels. It serves as an overall guide to healthier and happier life choices that can make you caring, loving and giving. It also provides recipes, insights and tips on effective workouts and how one can attain overall balance, both in your life through healthy eating.

I must admit reading books based on cooking or dieting is not my cup of tea and after reading this book, my views hasn't changed much. Don't get me wrong, it is a book written by an expert, launched by famous Bollywood celebrities and marketed extensively. But solely going by my low expectations, i still found it to be verbose, overwritten and took little solace in getting something out of it as an health benefit.

Problem here is that the material is too dense for a common person. It is written in jargon filled way suitable only for people who is extensively into training/dieting about their food habits. Multiple times during the book reading, i failed to connect the dots. I even found the complex relationships between sex and food way over the top and LOL variety.  There are no clear examples based on a certain point and at times the non-fiction narrative completely loses the point and delves into personal relationships of the writer.

I am sure there will be people who will benefit more by reading this. Solely going by my reading expectations and experience, i found it to be a slog. Try it, if it suits your reading sensibilities, you may find it quite appealing.

May 4, 2014

IPL Fan report for ESPNcricinfo


Here is the link for the Fan report i wrote for ESNPcricinfo for the 3 May match between Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals played at Firoshah Kotla in Delhi. Feedback welcome!