Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Why I say NO to Book Reviews!

There is a very big reason why I say No to Book Reviews these days. I have a big list of books which I have to review and I have decided to review those books in 2018. I will wind up my reviews as soon as possible. Some of them I have read but I have not updated the reviews. Before taking any review I will make sure I have completed major part of this book list. This year had been a roller coaster ride for me. I moved to Canada and as a result reading and book reviewing slowed down. But don't think that I won't read the books. Some of the books are in India and my parents are sending me 2 books each every month so that I can start reading them. Here is a list of books and if you think that your book is missing please make me aware of this. For now the book review requests are closed. They are open only for Canadian authors after March 2018.

Pending Book Reviews List

Indian Books
International Books
·        East of Suez by Alice Perrin
·        A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi
·        A Road Not Travelled by J Alchem
·        The Peppered Moth by Margaret Drabble
·        Pishacha by Neil D Silva
·        Bloody Sisters by Jane Corry
·        Plot Engine by Ganga Bharani
·        Sleeping the Ground by Peter Robinson
·        Thankyou Love by Ayush Gupta
·        The Last Girl by Nadira Murad
·        Scarlet Nights by Mayur Patel
·        The Origin by Dan Brown
·        Rafflesia by Gautam
·        Need to Know by Karen Cleveland
·        A Storyteller’s Tale by Omar Ahmad
·        Brand Identity Breakthrough by Gregory V. Diel
·        The Garden of Love by Anuj Kumar
·        Travel as Transformation by Gregory V. Diel
·        Symphonies of Love by Bernard D’ Sa
·        The Road Ever After by Moira Young
·        My Wife’s Diary by Deepanshu Saini
·        A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo
·        Everyone Has a Story by Savi Sharma
·        Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
·        Wicked Temptations by Riti Prasad
·        Barking Madness by Ryan Hill
·        From the Closet of Heart by Sonia Kapoor
·        Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton
·        Twirled November by Krishna K Verma
·        Elm Street by Scott Douglas Vaughan
·        You are the Best Wife by Ajay K Pandey
·        End of the World The Beginning by Nesly Clerge
·        Waterboarding by Bragadeesh Prasanna
·        High Season by Chezzy Patel
·        Ruthless by MV Kasi
·        Non Heir by Rachel E Carter
·        The Secret Wishlist by Preeti Shenoy
·        Palm Beach Deadly Generic by Tom Turner
·        Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
·        Noel by Gage Irving
·        The Man Who Became Khali by Vinit K Bansal
·        The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
·        The Jasmine Bloom by Rajat Narula
·        How to Stop Worrying ans Start Living by Dale Carnege
·        Against All Rules by Summerita Rhyne
·        Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
·        Cuddle and Clash by Reetwika Bannerjee
·        Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostovosky
·        Grow Up Messy by Paromita Goswami
·        Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill


Thursday, 29 December 2016

Major Shoutout for the Movie Dangal

To be honest, I am not a movie freak and I have no idea how to write a movie review but here I am giving it a try because I just can't stop my thoughts. They are hovering over my mind and it won't get settled unless until I update something about it.

Well, I recently watched Dangal and I am totally spell bound by this movie. This movie is powerful that it can surely lift your thoughts and makes you feel nostalgic towards your country, sports and your family especially. After watching this movie, I hugged my dad. I thanked him for showing me this movie and above all, for being my support at every step. Some stories are exceptional and this story is one such.

Movie : Dangal
Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Producer: Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, Siddharth Roy Kapur
Music Director: Pritam Chakraborty

The movie is about a former National Champion, Mahavir Singh Phogat who trained his daughters Geeta and Babita to follow in his steps and become world champions. Further, this movie is about humour, wit, tricks, family love and sports.

The star cast is amazing in itself. We are just familar with Aamir Khan, our Mr. Perfectionist who plays the role of Mahavir. Sakshi Tanwar plays a cameo but her role is much loved. Further, Young Geeta and Babita is played by Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar while the elder ones is played by Fatima Sana Sheikh and Sanya Malhotra. One must appreciate this unique star cast. The shooting is mostly seen in Harayana, Patiala and some International locations. The characters are realistic and their is no superficiality in it.

Not only this, the songs are interesting and can make you laugh and cry at the same time. There are two songs in this movie : Hanikarak Bapu is the song that makes you laugh your heart out. The lyrics are totally relatable. Whereas Dhaakad is also loved and give you a lot of inspirational vibes.

I noticed a different thing in the theatre. When the National Anthem began, everyone stood there in order to respect our country.I feel so proud to be there and I just can't express how amazing I felt. Yes, we have that love for our country. Yes, no matter how much we criticise our country, we still love it. We still get emotional when we see our National Flag raised, doesn't matter if its a movie. Today I can proudly say that Movies do bring change. This is one of tthe best movie of 2016. 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Harry POtter in Convent!

Harry Potter is one of the favourite characters we guys are obsessed with. Although I have not read much of those Dumbledore , Hermaine, Harry Potter but I have an idea about it. When I was in 6th std, I saw a book in my classmate's hand. It was some Harry POtter book as I really don't remember the part. She always had this book and was so obsessed to it that she never used to lend it to anybody.

One day, I went to her and I ended up asking her about the book and the reason of her obsession. She told me that she was in love with Harry POtter. LOve in 6th std is hard to digest, when we had no idea what goddam love was.I was completely clueless. I proceeded and asked her the reason. She told me Harry POtter was the new trend and if you want to be cool just buy this Harry POtter book. She further said that this book is really interesting and you should read it. She got that book on her birthday as it was expensive at that time. She thought that somene would steal her book so she decided to keep it to herself and she told me that she had read the book 4 times already. I was taken aback by her revealation. I started calling her 'HArry POtter LOver' from that day.

She always prayed that one day we study this Harry POtter in our syallabus. Today, I am missing her alot because I want to tell her that, her wish is being granted but now she can't go back to that stage and study all that. By now, you guys might have guessed, from where I am coming. I heard this buzz a few days ago but due to exams couldn't update it. I am realy happy about it but sad at the same, like why we were not given this chance.

To add more, I have heard it that not only Harry POtter but also stories of Agatha Christie would be there. I was like, AGATHA CHRISTIE? Are you kidding me?  Woah! I can only say, LUcky you, JUniors! I just can't wait for all this to happen in my Alma Mater. Finally, students would love it as well they would enjoy it.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Convent Diaries : Thankyou Neena Maam!

Convent has a special corner in my heart and when it comes to teachers, they are like angels for me who always welcome their students with open arms. We have been taught that teachers are our second parents. Although they don't give us birth yet they give us the moral values that makes you survive in this rat race. Today is 2 October, Mahatama Gandhi's birthday and many people have written about him because of the contributions he made. But in this post, I would write about a person whose contributions I have seen and the way she has incorporated those moral values is impeccable. Its her birthday today and I don't want to wish her by saying a simple Happy Birthday on her Facebook wall. I want to make the day special for her by writing this post. That is why I have entitled my post "Thankyou Neena Maam".
Neena Maam ( My Dream Teacher)
I left Convent almost 5 years ago( correct me if I am wrong), but I can still feel the essence of a Jospehite in me. Even today I remember all those memories clearly and the major part of those memories include Neena maam. She is a fighter,be it her health issues or handling school related issues. She has been a role model for many and I am one of them.
I have a dreamy incident to share. When Neena maam left the school as she got retired I was so sad as I wanted to be taught by her. I felt I had lost her and the chance to see her. I had always seen her during assembalies and her speeches were always inspiring. She always had a paper in her hand and she talked with facts followed by her past experiences. But when I reached my tenth standard, our English Teacher had left the school and that time our Principal, Sr. Sophy asked her to join back Convent. Bingo! That was the happiest moment of my life. I shared this incident with her once and she smiled. 
I was an average student with not so good English and today, I am writing about all those incidents that has added new meaning in my life. I remembered her teachings, her values and those past experiences. She once narrated about her student who had called her when she was in her English class. She said that she miss Neena Maam and it was so hilarious. Maam said, I was really angry at the student as she was calling her in her English lecture only.
Neena maam always asked me use 'Yes' instead of 'Yeah'. I used a lot of 'Yeah' as it had become so common with me. She never liked it when we used that sms language. She said that this was a big insult to English. I use that language sometimes but I always make a point that when I message her or write about her, I never use that language.
In my memory lane, I can recall one incident that changed my life. Once I was sick and I told her that I couldn't complete the work because I was unwell and her words echo me even today. I didn't understand that time but now when I think of those times, I cherish them even today and yes, I am implying it now. She said :
Surbhi, mark my words today, " Never let your health come in between your goals."
Today I would say maam, yes, I didnt let my sorrows, injuries, health come in between, what I am today is because of this line.
Above all, I love your smile and when you  joined Facebook, trust me, I was really happy. At times I was so shattered but your status and your enlightening thoughts in the St. Joseph's Convent group just gave me so much strength. I felt that you can sense it when your students need you. It feels really special when you praise me. When you flashed the news about my book 'Turning Point of Life', I was on cloud 9. 
In my concluding lines, I want to add that Maam,I fulfilled my promise.. I told you that I would write about Convent and yes, I did it in form of a short story. Wish you a very Happy Birthday maam.. May you keep inspiring us always! Love you alot Maam..:D
"Josephites are incomplete without Neena Maam."
This is Surbhi Sareen signing off.. will be back with more such stories about My Alma Mater and people related to it..Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Freedom- An Obligation


Freedom means to do anything with full liberty without any hesitation or interference. We, with a great authority proclaim that we are free to do anything with our own will. But is it really so? Are we really free or are we trying to hide something behind the curtain of liberalism. Yes, today we seem to be free but the truth is that we have become the slaves. But now the question arises whose slaves have we become today?  Either we accept it or not but the truth is that today we have become the slaves of our desires. These desires are that much strong that they have made our volition so weak. Whatever we are striving for today is just to quench the thirst of our endless desires .But it is an irony that the more we strive the more they increase and one day these endless desires of one are buried with him beneath the soil and these desires just move on to make anyone else, their victim. We run a never winning race behind our yearnings.We yearn a lot but get very less of it as it is said that

“Kis Kadar gulam hai Zindagi is chah Ki
  Pta hai manZil maut hai fir bhi chahte jaa rhi hai”

Our desires are just like shadows in the Sun. We can see them, chase them but we can never achieve them .When we try to move toward them they move forward. This is very strange that in this reckless race of fulfilling his desires, how a man sacrifices his mental peace. However, when he says that he is extremely happy, this word seems to be an oxymoron because extreme happiness arises from one’s mind and if his mind is not in a subtle state then how can he say that he is extremely happy .Actually the fact is that our longings for external things are engulfing our inner notions and they are making us puppets of our mind .Willingly or unwillingly we rather than becoming the masters of ourselves, are becoming the slaves of our wants. This is why today we seem to be free externally but eternally we are still captivated by our own wishes which are absolutely worthless. But is there any solution of this problem? Can we save ourselves from this evil which is just like an epidemic, not just engulfing the man but also the mankind too?

As its said,"Behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining" and for this particular problem too there is a very simple but effective solution. We can get rid of this problem by just stop running outside and start moving inside. Because a person is satisfied from inside he does not need any mundane thing to make him feel satisfied. Same thing  proclaim our scriptures also that if a man has quenched the thirst of his soul, he would never run outside to find any kind of external pleasure as they would mean nothing for him. He should be satisfied about what he has rather than just being guilty about what he does not. Rather than competing with outsiders he should try to fight hi inner turmoil. Because if he is balanced from inside only then he can handle the external affairs positively otherwise he would always be in a state of discontentment and it would always keep costing him a lot whether he is in his thick or thin.  He should always try to make his mind free of these wants and wishes and once he has broken the shackles of these  things from his mind and soul, no doubt he would feel a great relief and start making his life better than it was ever before.

About the Guest
Well, it is the first guest post and it is written by my dear friend, Prince Lubana. He works as a volunteer in an NGO. He plays Tabla, sings hymns and gazals. He promotes spiritualism and aims to make the society peaceful. He even performs in street plays that spread awareness against drug addiction and many such diseases. Currently, he is pursuing Honours School in English and loves to write about spiritualism and life related issues.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Book Review of Anything to Look Hot by Jas Kohli

Mostly doctors are seen writing books regarding their field in a very doctorial form but here I came across one such writer who is not only a doctor by profession but an amazing writer too. Anything to look Hot by Jas Kohli is my first ever book that I am going to review which is related to medical field. Well, this book talks about Plastic Surgery, its types and yes, this book doesn't bore you despite of its medical terms, which seems to be its strongest point.

Cover-The cover has a girl who looks extremely stunning and an injection could be noticed on her lips. This givesus an idea about the book. The color scheme is simple and sober.

Title- The title ' Anything to look Hot' clearly tells us that it is related to beautifying a person.

Setting- The novel is set in many places like Delhi, Mumbai, Chicago and eastern parts of India. The descriptions of these places are remarkable. For instance:
"The next morning, I set off on my scooter, whipped by gusts of the loo, Delhi's hot wind."
"True to its name, it has the splendid view of the Lake Michigan."
Plot- The plot is very captivating as it is the story of Dr. Dhruv, who happens to be a plastic surgeon and  admires astronomy. The story is all about the way he deals with his profession. Further, he is seen in love with Dr. Nandani who is also a plastic surgeon but soon shifts to paediatrics. Their love is completed when they get married and after sometime they have a baby girl, Saloni. The secrets of Plastic surgery are clearly depicted in this piece of work. The author binds us till the end.

Theme- There are variety of themes in the novel. The main theme is abour Plastic Surgery. It is crystal clear from the events that stars can go to any extend to look beautiful. For example; The plastic surgery of Shagun's breasts on the novel and many more incidents.

We even witness a theme of doctor- patient relationship.It further has two justifications; The surgery of a child where he dies leads to havoc which is created by the members of the family. Then the other surgeries of stars where they completely surrender themselves to the doctor.

The next theme is of Guru- Shishya. These days we don't have such bond between a mentor and a student but this novel has given glimpses of long lost relationship. The bond between Dr. Vidhur and Dhruv is much appreciated. he even confesses that he considers him as his GURU. Even he resoects Dr. Palmer and his generousity.

The other theme is of love between Dhruv and Nandani. They have a strong bond and that is they survived even after staying at different places for a couple of years. The essence of faith and love is the key feature in their marriage. This even saved their relation from breaking when Dhruv got maliciously attracted by the titlated Lavika.

Last but not the least, we also witness a beautiful father- son relationship where a son fulfils his fathers long hidden desire to be an actor. This makes him an ideal son.

Characterisation- The author is a craftsman in crafting his characters. The delineation of Dhruv;s character is splendid. he surpasses all the roles be it of a surgeon, chief, son, husband, father. The authot has made an ordinary man extraordinary that he seems so heroic. On the other hand, the female counterpart, Nandani, is shown beautiful and through her the culture of East India is shown which is often ignored. The way she points out this fact and question, it actually moves the readers and forces them tothink that why not actors from East are popular?

Style- The author has used simple, telegraphic and condensed language. It has correct blending of simple, compound and complex sentences. Although lots of medical terms and jargons can be noticed yet it doesn't feel out of touch with the work. The novel has no figures of speech yet the writing seems elegant. The descriptions are vivid.

Celebration Point- The novel is devoid of any errors which acually made me smile.

Others' Reviews- https://geetaavij.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/book-review-anything-to-look-hot/

Availability- The Book is available on amazon, kindle, goodreads and other apps and stores.

About the Author

Jas Kohli

Monday, 21 March 2016

Book Review of Heart of Bullets

Heart of Bullets by Nikhil Kushwaha is a patriotic as well as a love story. The novel reaches the soul of the readers and has depth in it. The poetic diction of the book makes is loveable.

Cover- It is crystal clear from the cover of the book that novel is related to patriotism as it has a soldier and a girl with some helicopters in the background followed by a trilcolor title.

Title- The title clearly demarcates the theme of the novel which is patriotism. Hence, Heart of Bullets is apt.

Plot- The plot is well built. It is the story of two friends, Arpan and Sam, their selfless friendship, their love, Shradha and about their love for their nation. They were true patriots who were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their country. The plot was gripping till the end and the sudden twist and turns makes it enthralling.

Theme- The main theme is of patriotism. Arpan and Sam are soldiers who can do anything for the pride of their country. Further, friendship is the other theme that has great significance. Arpan, Sam and Shradha are true who remains together till the end. But Arpan ends up playing the true friend indeed. The other theme is of love. the love between Shradha and Sam is so strong that even misunderstandings couldn't break their relation. Though we notice, one sided love of Arpan yet Sharadha was always in love with Sam.

Characterisation- The characters are artisctically protrayed. Arpan's character is round which undergoes a drastic change at the end of the story. Sam's character makes us smile and lament while  Shradha is the main protagonist of the novel who is beautifully described. While the other characters also play a vital role in the progression of the story.

Style- The author has used variety of sentences. The novel is the first person narrative. The use of poetic language makes it impeccable. But at places the grammatical errors can be noticed but that doesn't outweighs the quality of the novel.

Others Reviewshttps://webookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/book-review-heart-of-bullets-by-nikhil-kushwaha/


ABout the Author

Nikhil Kushwaha, an engineer, poet and a novelist, has already entertained his readers in his first book Six Teen Mistakes. A Ranchi boy, schooling from Bishops School and Kendriya Vidyalaya, is a graduate from NIST Berhampur, as an electrical engineer. Being author by chance and a full time author now, he says that it is not necessary to have experience, degree or talent to be an author, but whats required, is a story, passion and some patience. Believing in realism, his novels are based on what he witnesses around the people he knows, the things he has experienced and a story he wants the world to tell.