Book Review: Love, Peace and Happiness


Title: Love, Peace and Happiness

Author: Rituraj Verma

Publisher: Jufic Books

Price: Rs 145


Every person has some aim in life -be it a big house, a car, marriage, education, whatever – but, what is this all in aid of? What is common to all these aims?

The common factor is the end result of all these aims – a sense of satisfaction and contention – resulting in happiness for the individual. And this is exactly the emotion captured by first-time author Rituraj Verma in his book ‘Love, Peace and Happiness’.

The book comprises of a collection of stories about individuals living their lives, meeting the challenges thrown at them on their journey and discovering something new in the process. The book eerily gives you a sense of déjà vu, of either having had to face a similar situation or hearing of the same from someone else.

Also, something different about the book – there are the alternate endings (to the stories) provided at the author’s website. Especially when you are left feeling like “Nah! I didn’t like the way that ended.”, here is a chance for you to make your own ending.

The stories are thought-provoking and leaves the reader squirming in his or her mind – asking – “What would I have done if I were in the place of the protagonist?”. Because, unlike the usual run-of-the-mill fiction, these are about things that could really happen in life, and situations that many of us have faced.

The first story in the collection – ‘A High Like Heaven‘ – is about a couple taking a leisure trip to the hills – but which quickly becomes shrouded in mystery and myths. The husband becomes obsessed with finding a mythical flower, while the wife tries to pull him back from the quest. Finally, what happens when they find the flower is the climax. The story is a parallel to our modern-day – couples who run after money and promotions with no time for the little pleasures offered by life. Sometimes these people find true happiness, but ofttimes, they don’t.

And another interesting aspect of the book is that the characters’ lives are intertwined in the different stories. For instance, the couple in the first story again appear in another one ‘The Practitioner of Austerity’ – which is another reminder to us mortals – that our lives are all intertwined, and none of us can achieve anything by ourselves. We are in the same river, in different boats, all ultimately moving in the same direction as the river. When some boats hit a snag, some may offer to help, while others go forward without a glance. And sometimes there are obstructions in the river which may affect some of the boats, and which are meant to bring out the best and worst in us. A few boats find a way around the obstruction, some may be stuck.

You cannot read the book in one sitting and finish it off. It requires some effort to go through it, and certainly does not make for light reading material. I am generally a person who finishes books quickly,  and don’t like stories requiring heavy introspection. However, the nature of these stories do not become immediately apparent to the reader. And it took me more than 2 weeks to get through the book because as I finished one story after another, I started feeling a real heaviness in my mind, something I don’t fancy.

So, for those of you out there looking for books to entertain you – please stay away from this one. It will do absolutely nothing for your fun-loving nature, and probably will make you miserable.

And those of you into trying to find the meaning of life, this book will be the perfect cup of tea for you.









Book Review : The Secret of the Nagas

The Secret of the Nagas - Front Cover

The Secret of the Nagas - Front Cover

Title: The Secret of the Nagas

Author: Amish Tripathi

Publisher: Westland Limited

Price: Rs 295

And the story continues. The Secret of the Nagas, the second offering in the Shiva Trilogy, picks up right where The Immortals of Meluha ends.

Shiva, a Tibetan immigrant and the acclaimed ‘Neelakanth‘ of Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi peoples’ legends, continues the battle against Evil, as well as trying to quell the demons within himself.

The story is characterised by a good deal of travelling done by Shiva and his aides throughout the land of India.

Continue reading “Book Review : The Secret of the Nagas”

Discoveries in my Neighbourhood – Books and Malls

CrosswordsThis weekend has been spent in discoveries around my neighbourhood. I have located my favourite place around my home – Crosswords bookstore right behind my home 🙂 I haven’t set foot inside and I already know that it is going to be my favourite place. In addition, I saw them advertising an 80% off sale. Yum Yum:-)

Then, I discovered Total Mall – at 8 minutes’ walking distance from my home. It a cool place if you don’t mind traversing across all the 4 floors just to buy a kilo of green beans. Total MallAll essentials (namely, staple foods, veggies and meat) have been placed at the topmost floors and at the farthest corners, so that you have to wade through all the other stuff before getting to the things you really need (Yes, I am referring to the things you have jotted down in that list and not the things you feel you will need).

You have to start your journey at the Ground floor, take the escalator up to each floor (I looked for the lift but it was broken down), then walk across the floor (in the meantime covering all items on the floor), and continue the process till you reach the floor you actually want (which in my case is usually the top-most floor where they carry the veggies). Shopping CartFor instance, at the floor where they have the greens, the moment you step out of the escalator (they call them ‘Travelators’), you are greeted with the sight and scent of all kinds of baked goods and savouries, and unless you have real good self-control, it is a tad difficult to escape the clutches of the sugar monster. So, they tempt you with lots of the non-essential things and only then do they let you get to the actual things you need.

Actually, the store strategy is excellent – something all marketing guys ought to copy. Using the kind of floor layout described above, they make sure that customers breeze past all the wares at any visit, thus guaranteeing that shopping carts are filled with things that are not in the sacred List.

I know, because it happened to me too. I ended up buying a wall hook, a pack of pens, a writing pad and a memo pad, all because I went past that floor, and felt that I really really needed them.

The Book and The Movie – Eat Pray Love, PS I Love You

P.S. I Love YouRecently, I had a chance to watch 2 moviesP.S. I Love You and the well-acclaimed Eat, Pray, Love.

Around 2 weeks later, I also got my hands on the original books – P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Actually I am still reading Eat, Pray, Love (Liz has just reached Rome now).

To put it in a nutshell, I hated the book version of P.S. I Love You and hated the movie version of Eat, Pray, Love. Continue reading “The Book and The Movie – Eat Pray Love, PS I Love You”