Game of Blogs by Six Degrees: Book Review

One should always remember that every book that one holds in his hands have a few stories attached to it. Some of these are stories of passion, while some books speak volumes about their protagonist. This blog-post is about the review of one such collaborative effort from 30 of the finest of the storytellers across India , who came together to weave 3 fantastic stories as a part of this book published by Leadstart and bloagadda.com.

Sometime in 2014, these 30 creativity masters were given 5 fictional characters and their descriptions with an objective to write a fictional story revolving around these characters. After 3 rounds of brainstorming and twists and turns, the three stories of Game of Blogs came to an end.

Characters:

Shekhar Dutta – The freelancing writer dad  who stays in Mumbai.

Tara Dutta – Shekhar’s wife who is a media professional.

Roohi Dutta – Shekhar and Tara’s little daughter.

Jennifer Joseph –  Christian photographer settled in Kochi.

Cyrus Daruwala – The law student staying in Delhi.

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Story 1: The Awakening

An amalgam of science,mysticism and fiction, this story written by  Team “By Lines” is about alien invasion of the planet Earth and its connection with Dutta family. Not only the story is fast paced and engrossing, the way it keeps the suspense unrevealed  makes it a fabulous read. The writers have succeeded in keeping the readers glued till the very end. As the story progresses, new mysteries keep on happening which ultimately links as a major potential threat to human species. So who will save the earth from ozone depletion ? Will there be a divine intervention ?  Read the book to know..

Story 2: Entangled Lives

This murder mystery is the most expressive among the three stories. Fabulous work “Team Potliwale Baba” The murder of Dutta family’s maid in their house raises a suspicion on everyone present at home during the time of the incident including the two strangers. What could be the purpose of such a painful death ? What did that poor lady do to deserve such an end ?  Who among them could possibly have a motive to kill her ? The title of the story truly depicts how all these lives  are indeed entangled.
Story 3: Missing – A Journey Within
A different perspective and an unique style of narration. Some path-breaking work by team Tete-a-Ten. As one can judge from the title itself, this story is about someone who goes missing. When suddenly one day, the apple of the eye for Dutta family- their beloved  daughter “Roohi” goes missing, the parents realize how are going to live now, after-all she was their everything. It narrated the story of their perplexing search while exploring homosexuality and the social stigma associated with it. This story is undoubtedly one of the best narrative and did proper justice to the characters and plot. Kudos Team Tete-a-Ten.
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Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5
Price: Rs. 349
Pages: 422
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Six degrees is a result how collaboration can truly breed creativity in the modern world of connected living.
This review is a part of the biggest  Book Review Program  for  Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Share The Load : Let’s make odd, even

When the national capital of India could adopt the Odd Even rule and execute it so perfectly that Delhi slides down from its dubious distinction of from being most polluted city in less than a month, how far can Indian households stay behind ?

Kudos to Ariel and Blogadda for blowing the whistle of change to where it matters the most, an average Indian’s home. #LaundryGoesOddEven is an initiative to share the mundane work of a daily household equally by both the genders with its primary focus on Laundry. I was really moved when I first saw the TV commercial of a dad visiting her daughter’s family to realize how gender inequality exists even amidst the most educated and elite classes of society and no-one ever stands to change it. Here is the link, in-case you haven’t seen the eye-opening video yet:

And to my surprise, I saw the chance on Blogadda’s homepage to take forward this unique initiative by involving my own family to the cause and hence after my walk home from office 2 days back, I asked my father to help mom in the daily laundry work that she has proudly done for so so many years on her own.

It felt good, as in real-real good to speak to my father on this issue, at the same time he was both assuring and pleased to hear those words from me. A part of him was so happy that I had such a mature thought, all thanks to Blogadda for the much needed push. He has indeed spoken about this practice of odd even laundry days to his morning walk buddies and motivated them to start as well. Here is a picture of him doing the morning ritual :

I would conclude this blog-post with the hope that this trend of sharing the work and the message of gender equality (both at work and home) reaches the masses and it kindles a revolution of support and equality among men and women in all segments of life. #LongLiveOddEven
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‘I am taking part in the #LaundryGoesOddEven Challenge by Ariel India at BlogAdda.’

The Refreshing start to Morning: Colgate 360 (Product Review)

Wake up in the morning they said, you won’t be a dull boy they said. Ahh… wish in adult life as well people remain morning wakers. Most people I know, still prefer to wake up  at noon after-all. I guess a brand finally understood the need of such people and developed a morning inspiration for these late bloomers.

A day started with laziness would for sure affect performance in rest of your day’s work , making it indeed a dull day. Whereas mornings which begin with fresh mood carry a positive vibe within throughout the day.

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Let me take pleasure in introducing you to the world of effortless brushing with Colgate 360° Charcoal gold. This one of its kind innovative product by Colgate comes with 17 times slimmer tip bristles. Super smoothly sliding between the teeth and gum-line, it kills germs at God-Speed. And that is not just germs, but those hidden bacteria as well. Now, it is something bound to make you feel fresh, far more than your average mundane  brushing experience.

It was after this experience with one of its kind toothbrush in the hugely static category of nearly no innovation for decades, Colgate have launched a product which is sure to make many adults fall in love with brushing twice a day again.

Do visit https://www.facebook.com/ColgateIndia to stay updated for even more Golden mornings!

 

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Book Review: The Bestseller She Wrote

Ravi Subramanian’s 8 book, “The Bestseller She Wrote” makes up for a decent read if are on the look for a relaxed, chilled out reading material. It took me a week to finish the 390 page narration, devoting 2-3 dedicated hours to it. It is soon going to be a bollywood motion picture as well, that’s what the cover says at least. Hope these Bollywood folks don’t take the essence of the book away while filming those intimate scenes between the protagonists, which seem to be the major selling point of this novel.The plot of this story is a romantic intrigue mixed with the desire of getting famous by a newbie in the field of Book Writing, which is different than his past books, most of which were centered around banking industry.

The plot is a bit predictable midway through the book but then it becomes somewhat thrilling again and ends with Aditya Kapoor sorting his life around, clearing all the mess which Shreya dragged him into. The story roams around IIM-B, placement season, fight for the Chancellor’s Gold Medal, relationships – both legit and illegit, it’s impact on Aditya’s career and then ebola affecting the wife of the banker turned author and his realization of the mistake made. The Pace at which the book moves is quick and the language used is written keeping in mind the standard of Indian readers. Ravi’s experience in book writing is pretty much evident by how well he has used some of the marketing gimmicks within the book. I must say that way a lesson is sales for me as well. Provided my only takeaway from this fictional story of love, betrayal and redemption.

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Receiving a signed copy from an author is the best experience for any book lover and when someone receive it for free because of the association with Blogadda.com it is an icing on the cake. Cover of the book is really amazing and I am sure much thought has been put on the same.

Quoting from the epilogue “He was a bestseller.  She wanted him to make her one. Paperback king, Aditya Kapoor life is straight out of a modern man’s fantasy. His literary stardom is perfectly balanced by a loving wife and a spectacular career. With everything he touches turning to gold, Aditya is on a winning streak. Shreya Kaushik is a student with a heart full of ambition. Young, beautiful and reckless, Shreya speaks her mind and obsessively chases after what she wants. And what she wants is to be a bestselling author. What happens when their worlds collide? Is it possible to love two people at the same time? Can real ambition come in the way of blind passion? Can trust once broken, be regained? Master storyteller Ravi Subramanian, delves into the glitzy world of bestsellers and uncovers a risky dalliance between a superstar novelist and his alluring protege. The Bestseller She Wrote is a combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption. “

 

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Pages: 390

Cost: Rs. 295/-

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!!!

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# I am too tired of doing nothing. Bench days😦😦

#Someone please give me a job. Desperate for a switch now !!!

#BNLF was amazing. Had great animated discussions with Preeti Shenoy and Kanan Gill.

#No promises for New Year. Just a note to self: Travel to more cities. Mumbai and Goa are awesome.

# If you are reading this and we haven’t spoken in quite sometime, drop in a comment/whatsapp/fb msg, would love to reconnect.

#Video of the Day: It’s always now. Do watch it.

#Tchao !!!

Pune: The Perfect Blend of Design, Drive and Connection

It’s war. The Zonal War. And when it’s war, you stand up for where you belong to, for the city which gave you shelter at night, enriched your body from its food and provided you opportunities to grow and prosper.

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When it’s clear what side you are on, half the battle is already won. In this war among the zones, I choose to stand for the 101st largest city in the world, the cultural capital of Maharashtra and fastest growing city of Asia-Pacific region: Pune.

 Pune is the perfect blend of modernity and the age-old rich culture and tradition.Fondly called as the Oxford of the East, the city takes pride in its enriched and evolved educational facilities with 400+ colleges and thousands of students flying in every year. It has majorly Marathi culture, which lays emphasis on education, arts and crafts, music, and theater. This place has fostered a holistic development for its inhabitants by retaining the traditional values of the great Peshwas while imbibing the modernistic cosmopolitan influence of Mumbai. Pune is indeed the perfect mix of Design, Drive and Connection that one can ask for in a city.

Design:

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From some of the finest architecturally designed IT parks to the age old temples and monuments, the element of design is so much evident in the city that one at times pauses to reflect upon its beauty and magnificence.

Attractions like rock-cut Pataleshwar cave temple, Aga Khan Palace, Shaniwarwada and Sinhagad fort speak volumes about the legacy of the inhabitants that city have had in the last century. Shivaji maharaj had designed several forts along the periphery of the city in such a way so as to keep guard from the top while making it impossible for the enemy to even touch the beauty the city boasts about.

Great architects like B.V.Doshi, Achyut Kanvinde, and Christopher Charles Benninger have made this city their home contributing heavily to its marvels. Modern master pieces in Pune include the IUCAA by Correa and a number of campuses by Benninger, including his studio complex called India House. His award winning campuses include the Mahindra United World College of India, the YMCA Campsite at Mulshi, the Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies, and Suzlon One Earth. Design of the public gardens such as the Kamala Nehru Park, Sambhaji Park Shahu Udyan, Peshwe Park, Saras Baug, Empress Garden, Taljai Hills, and Bund Garden is comparable to some of its counterparts in Europe and West.

Drive:

What more should one say about the city  which has the highest number of 2-wheelers in the World. The city is  known for its traffic density in India, still the entire city is accessible with a maximum time span of an hour. Pune Airport is an international Airport at Lohegaon, operated by the Airports Authority of India. It shares its runways with the neighbouring Indian Air Force base.

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation is responsible for the design and construction of a New Pune International Airport. With the construction of this new International Airport, Pune city will be connected to many important international destinations such as London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

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The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, India’s first six-lane high-speed expressway, was built in 2002, and has reduced travel time between Pune and Mumbai to almost two hours. This expressway drives the flow of modernization into the old-school city.

The Pune Metro system has been proposed and is being planned in consultation with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited, the corporation which built and operates the Delhi Metro. It will be a combination of elevated and underground sections, with initial routes being planned between Pimpri-Swargate and Vanaz-Ramwadi.This multi-faceted transportation system drives the city and keeps it alive be it during Ganesh Utsav or Eid.

Connect:

The city bonds over fine food with international sports and world-class theater artists performing and making the lives of the localities more fulfilling and enriched.

The Pune International Marathon is an annual Marathon conducted in Pune. The 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games were held in Pune.

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From Cricket to Football, badminton to Tennis, Pune has its name in all major sports. With streets like FC road and up-society places like Koregaon Park, one is never in dearth of spots for partying. Penthouze, Club Miami, High Spirits Cafe, Cafe 1730, Area 51, Hard Rock Cafe are just a few name of the places which remain alive and thriving till midnight. Pune International Film Festival is also very well known all over the world.

Amid so much fun and a majority of youth crowd, the number of ways people connect with the city is countless and many of them fall in love with it so much that they make it their permanent residence.

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This post is a part of #madeofgreat zonal war campaign.

Do visit : http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

Travel Lite, Stay Easy : Stayzilla – Making Room for New

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       Easier said than done right ?

“Experience is far more valuable than money could ever be”.

This saying has stayed true for ages now. For a culture, which has its ancient texts quoting “Athithi Devo Bhavo” how could they not value all what travel adds to the depth of a person. But this modern day life struggles, doesn’t let it happen. People have forgotten what it is like to have Visitors. How to open their houses up for all those who matter and not think about the cost. As people from smaller cities have moved in metros, this concept of having guests has gone awry.

This led to the evolution of a completely new concept : Travel with your buddies, have days of your lives but find your own place to crash at the end of the day. While you remain busy making forever lasting memories, what you shouldn’t worry about is searching a place for the good night sleep. To the rescue rises from the plethora of android applications, an app with exquisiteness blended with some great UI design and a database of all the comfy spots of the city: StayZilla !!!stayzilla2

StayZilla was introduced to me through the IndiBlogger’s initiative: BNLF, and I haven’t been able to get over with this unique one of its kind service. Stayzilla is essentially a one stop solution for all your stay needs. Be it the interactive design of application’s interface or be it the chat option of speaking to the customer care with no need to dial any numbers or waiting for raised incidents for resolution, the application stays class apart from all its Competitors. Apart from that, stayzilla also provides the option to list out your property for rent to visitors. Here are some screenshots :

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As and when you download the Stayzilla app, you have to register on it. Registering with Facebook is the easiest possible way. With a niche strategy of focusing only on ‘stays, Stayzilla offers over 35,000 ‘Stays’ across 4000+ cities in India. This is a database that surpasses anything else what other similar startups are trying to achieve. Here is a video to conclude:

#Together : A story of optimism and collaborative journey

There is no such power as the power of a good friend’s support on your side. To feel loved, to feel reciprocated is probably the highest of all motivation to get even the most difficult job done. Housing knows the difficulty of sustaining motivation for everyday of the week, some days in our life we do need a pat on the back, a little bit of support from a friend or family to keep the spirit up and to keep marching forward.

Any company founded on the basis of such an ideology is bound to reach great horizons.It is these relations that we develop and the bonding we foster which remains as an accumulated sum of our being of existence. No matter how tough are the circumstances, how critical the situation turns out to be there are always some people we can fall back upon. These stories of #togetherness and collaboration goes a long way forward and helps us achieve the invincible goal.

To be together at times requires you to make the decision which is not best for the individual but for the team. A team after all goes far ahead and far longer than the individual.

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I still remember the time I was left with no choice but to move to Pune for my first job. It was never a choice possible for me as an individual but when I found a few of my friends also left at the same threshold of choice, that was our moment of #togetherness. It was as if the moment has seized us, we were all together in the journey of start of our careers in a city 2500 miles from home. We were just like a family away from home. None of us knew about the challenges that lied ahead of us but we were ready for all that was in front of us, as a group, as a team. It was that spirit of #togetherness and the company of friends that reignited the hope of a better life in our situation of crisis.

We had to search for a flat/pg so that all us friends could be together, a cook for our meals and other basic survival needs. Courtesy housing.com, at least the search for accommodation was never a worry, un-matching food tastes definitely was a matter of concern for quite some time till we learned to respect each other’s food preferences. The few outings we had came as a rescue to our monotonous routines and further strengthened the bond. The skills, projects, offices changed but what remained constant was the bond we developed over those cups of coffee, the stories that we shared at dinner remain refreshed in our hearts. Those days at beaches or after office parties at restro-bars take away all our sadness and problems.

Being #together comes with a sense of attachment with the feelings of others. A sense of pride in their victory and a pinch of sour in detachment. In all, it is a journey to cherish while it lasts.

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Do Visit: http://www.housing.com

Look Up: A Tale of Optimism where everything seems falling apart

HOUSING.COM - LOOK UP STORIES

There are some days we feel shaken, broken and lost in a world where everyone’s running from one goal to another, changing cities and earning fatter pay checks. Days when we don’t want to run any more, rather just sit down and look up at all what we have accomplished while running the rat race, to take a breath and enjoy the piece of pie we have been so busy chasing.

This post is about optimism, this post is about hope. This post is about a world filled with positivity. As elusive as it may seem, optimism can be found all around – in the laughter of children, in the excitement on your pet’s face when you get back after a long day, and in the smile of your loved ones when you go back home after months of being away.

 I’ll tell you one such story of optimism and sheer positivity amidst crisis. A story of happiness found in an endless spark of possibilities. The story of a north-Indian friend who straight from college was one day told to join a multinational firm with joining in Chennai.The small town boy unaware of worldly logics and troubles of moving to a city 3000 miles away from home just packed a bag of daily wears, took the Chennai express. Little did he knew, that a lot of adventure was written for his future journey.

It was when he got down at the Chennai Station, he realized that Tamil was the local tongue in the city of Rajnikant and not Hindi. Welcome to Chennai read the autos, but no one cared to took him to the destination, all thanks to the language gap. But it was just the beginning of troubles for him till the time he realized that he has lost his mobile ( with all the necessary contacts) on his device. 

To move to the city from the station premises and to get a shelter for the night was his only concern at the moment. Unable to reach out to any one who could have helped him in such a situation he was tensed, rather more worried as sunlight began to fade. He decided to take a walk dragging the 10 kg bag without letting the hope of a comfortable stay fade away and what took his spirit up was the Housing.com billboard across the road. 

He quickly searched for a cyber cafe and logged into his life saviour website. Sun had almost went down, drenched in sweat some from the humidity and rest from fear, he searched for any pg worth staying in. Courtesy the endless possibilities that housing offers, he ended up finding a decent stay location nearby and that too in quite a reasonable amount. He called up the contact number provided from a local PCO and explained his situation to the guy on other side. 

As they say all good things come in small packages, so was his help. A little boy of about 12 ( son of the owner) came near the cyber cafe,  and took him to the pg where he took the shelter and offered him some food – Rassam and Chawal, which was definitely his most delightful meal till today.

Where there’s a hope, there are endless possibilities.

Do Visit : https://housing.com/lookup