Desi Blend of Demi-Gods

Desi Blend of Demi-Gods

I am a total Christopher Doyle fan. So is my daughter. When the Pataala Prophecy was heralded I definitely prebooked it.

The book arrived and I was looking for something to do with opening of the anathapadmanabha temple at Kerala. Well it had nothing to do with it.

My daughter read it first and told me, not Christopher Doyle at all, it is Percy Jackson, Harry potter and red pyramid series blended with Indian mythology.

Her analysis was bang on.

For some reason the book begins with Napoleon in the desert. He does not tell us how many books are there in the series. Shukra the Asura-Guru has returned he seeks something and is unstoppable, the child to stop is born and Shukra seeks the destruction of the child.  The prophecy talks of a child who stops Shukra, the scion of the chandravanshi’s the descendents of Yayati. Each of the descendent is guided by a guru. Right out of the Red Pyramid series of the Osiris the king and the magician guide.

Dementor like floating zombies. The tapping of the boulders of Panna forest reserve to enter the Gandharva loka, like the tapping the wall to enter the diagon alley in Harry potter. A gurukul where maharishis are trained in occult and Sadh’s or sadharan who equivalent to Rowling’s muggles. We do not have oracles making prophecies but Saptarishi’s making one. The saptarishi constellation is fixed with the North Star Dhruv, the name of the leader of the rishi. There are seven teenagers who are to save the world, like the saptarishi, the Prophecy of seven from the Percy Jackson series.

“Shukra is after me,” sounds like “Voldamort is after me.”

The book carries ample references to the stories from the puranas.  There is a reference to Brahmabasha, or the Devabhasha as a language older than Sanskrit. The mantras used however are from the later Sanskrit period and definitely not the vedamantras which are dedicated to the elements of the nature.

Some very interesting observations like everyone are suspicious of what they do not understand. The soul transition described in page 218 is very beautiful.

Overall an interesting book the language being very good, I somehow have a gut feeling the child of the prophecy is Maya the later blooming daughter of the leader of the sect Maharishi Dhruv, this rings the DaVinci code feeling. That would definitely be an interesting move.

The concepts of telepathy, astral travel are used.

I am looking forward to reading the other books of this series.  A great book to gift a young adult. The concept is intriguing, language is good. The extensive referral articles and books at the end allow the reader to carry on his or her own further reading.

Author: Christopher Doyle

Publisher:    Westland publication

ISBN 9789386850478

Quest club is the club created by Christopher Doyle to make his readers part of his journey click here to join the quest club, and click here to buy your copy of the book.

Prescription for success

Prescription for success

And so can you

Author           Dr.Roopleen

Publisher      power publisher

ISBN               978-93-86526-78-6

Cover design            inkbugdesigns.

The book claims to the stories behind the lives of a few successful doctors. Their journey’s and what guided them and what drove them along the way despite challenges.

“And so you can” somehow came across as oh! These people were not meant to succeed, yet they did. Which implies, that you are entitled so you can.The result was I started reading the book with reservations.

The format of the book is very medical college case presentation like, the history of the person where he came from and what was the challenges.etc. The narrative concludes with advice to the medical student and takes away for anyone who is looking to do something with their life.

Some interesting takeaways were

  • Dr.Virendra Sarwal—being a doctor is about hard work and perseverance.
  • Dr.Khurana clarity and dedication is important.
  • Dr.Lingam Vijaya be a team worker and be focused.
  • Dr.Muralidhar Pai believes in your self and do not give up.
  • Dr.Krishna follow your passion and your stay in integrity.
  • Dr.Jyothirmayi Biswas trust your intuition, put in hard work and keep updating.
  • Dr.Barnali Das play on your strengths and work with dedication.
  • Dr.Mahipal.S. Sachdev tap your potential, take the risk and go the extra mile. (This person’s contribution is definitely worth a read, more than that it. It is worth internalizing. He has honestly shared the good, bad and ugly of the medical profession.)
  • Dr.Praveen R.Murthy hard work is the prescription. Challenges appear to take you to the next level.
  • Dr.Anita Panda dream big, stay true have faith in God
  • Dr.Jas Kohli another contributor who spoke horse sense. He has brought forth the most salient factors, like connecting and empathizing with the patient. Don’t let the naysayers bother you. Be financial literate.
  • Dr.Dhanashree Ratra nothing beats competency, your patient is not a case but a person who needs help and you happen to have the required help, be ethical.
  • Dr.Sarbjit singh check what is making you choose medicine as a career, put your priorities in place, stay ethical.
  • Dr.Vidushi Sharma be flexible and adaptable. Listen to everyone but do what you think is right. Chart your own path.
  • Dr.Vinaya R.Murthy is more practical in what he shares. He lists the requirements for an doctor in contemporary scenario
    • Competence
    • Empathy
    • Communication skills
    • Commitment and perseverance
    • Business skills
    • Additional skills which are not part of medical curriculum.
      • Finance,
      • Hospital management
      • Insurance
    • Dr.Sundaram Natarajan to achieve something it is all about the mindset.

The book is an interesting read for people who are starting out on any career. It instills a confidence that is possible to stay back in the country, innovate and achieve.

Looking the people who have been interviewed, they are achievers no doubt. Most of them ophthalmologist, but conspicuously missing were the legends from the medical field. Who were truly challenged.

  • Dr.T.M.A Pai the founder of the Manipal hospital who was a quite family practitioner, from there he built the entire Manipal empire of today.
  • Dr.Hansda Shekhar  from Jharkand in his mid thirties, had face prejudice as a student because he was tribal, and prejudice when he went back to serve in home town because he was prescribing contemporary medicine. He has penned his experiences as a book which is amazing.
  • Dr.H.V.Hande who is now retired but started out as a general family practitioner  in Chennai, today  he was the health minister during MGR’s regime. The good doctor has also transliterated kamba Ramayana and now working on the Vedas. His modest practise has now morphed into the multispeciality Hande Hospital
  • Devi Shetty of Narayana Hridayalaya who has made cardiac surgery affordable to so many people.

Then there are names from the field of ophthalmology that are conspicuous by their absences.

  • Govindappa Venkatswamy of the Aravind hospital Madurai.
  • Gullapalli.N.Rao founder Dr.L.V.Prasad eye hospital.
  • Srinivasa Rao P.N. he was the person who started the ophthalmology department in KMC Manipal. If you are an ophthalmology student you definitely would have heard of him he is a legend, who had expertise in seven branches of ophthalmology. He was the man who took ophthalmology to rural Karnataka and Kerala performed surgeries in make shift OT’s
  • Babu Rajendran of Vijaya eye hospital Chennai who created technical innovations for surgery.

Over all a fairly good book, you can buy it on Amazon here.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!




Trailing the Hero’s Trials

Trailing the Hero’s Trials

The vengeance of Indra

Book 3        Vikramaditya Veeragatha.

Author        Shatrujeet Nath

Publisher    Jaico

ISBN            97893868675

Like I mentioned before book 2 and book 3 came together. The books were so absorbing that I read it one goes without bothering to make noting for blog. The only reigning thought was that it was to be a trilogy, however to put the entire story across he would need at least two more books. Well Shatrujeet promises a four book series. Though my own assessment he will require to make it a veeragatha with six volumes.

The Hellfire and the Halahala two things that the Asura and devas have always hankered after, but to no avail. How it must gall them to see both in the possession of the human being. I am not in the least bit surprised that Shukra Acharya and Indra set aside their differences to plot Vikramaditya’s downfall.

The 2nd book ends with

  • Kalidasa leaving Avanti.
  • Yaksha’s targeting Vishaka.
  • Shukra Acharya and the Deva’s put their differences aside to face the common enemy Vikramaditya and his nine pearls, not to mention the powerful, abundant federation of Sindhavarta.

The book reveals the various challenges in the space of Samrat Vikramaditya. For Shukra Acharya the preceptor of the Asura’s has found a way to break the council of nine that safe guard the Halahala. The devas and asura’s have worked a truce to fight the Guardians of Halahala. Then there are subplots of Vikramaditya’s sister scheming to have her son crowned King, she seeks the Samrat’s approval for it. Her son Ghatakarapara however has been kidnapped. Then there is Vararuchi who is dealing with constant rejection from Queen Mother Upashruti. The nine pearls fall out for various reasons.

There are some allusions that come across like the story of Vararuchi being belittled by the Queen mother is very similar to the story of Dhruva, the introduction of Urvashi as Pralopi’s maid seems like a hint towards the more famous episode of Vikramorvashi. Vikramorvashiyam was a play written by Kalidasa on the Romance of Vikramaditya and Urvashi.

As the book progresses the nine pearls accept their uniqueness this kind of  strengthens it.

The author makes some very interesting observations

  • When is refereeing to the skill of Ghatakarpara create stuff, he refers to the ability to visualize to precision before creating something.
  • He talks of the Huns entering the Sindhuvarta since they were facing drought and Sindhuvarta was the land of plenty
  • The mother oracle talks of the Danavas in the danka-aranya who were ousted by asuras.

    vegeance of indra
    Buy on Amazon

As the book ends, the mother oracle warns that the sun is on the wane and great eclipse is on its way to devour the sun. The Huns are out to get the ghoul master who is also the keeper of the Halahala. Indra the King of Devas reveals a secret that is devastating to Queen Mother Upashruthi and Vikramaditya.

Vengeance is a cage, Forgiveness is Freedom ~ as Shankubala realizes and Jayanta is yet to realize.

The series are really interesting, and am looking forward for the next book. I only hope Shatrujeet will not succumb to the temptation of overloading the book 4.

Buy on amazon

Assembling the Ingredients to Brew a conspiracy

Assembling the Ingredients to Brew a conspiracy

The Conspiracy at Meru


Author        Shatrujeet Nath

Publisher    Jaico Books.

ISBN          978-81-8495-887-4

Genre                   mytho-fantasy

Way back in Nov’201 7 I reviewed the first of Shatrujeet Nath’s trilogy the Vikramaditya Veeragata. He has now converted it to a series of four books.

The first book the Guardians of the Halahala ended with the Devas trying to bully vikramaditya. I remember being annoyed with the He-man presentation of the first book. The image of Shukracharya was fine, but the castles looked like the backdrop of the last air bender movie.

The first book was racy, and an interesting weave of mythology, history and imagination. Unfortunately the time lapse between the first and second book made the second book rather cumbersome to follow.

The second book lays the terrain for the story, different characters and their back stories make it to the forefront.

Many story tellers have created romantic back stories for Kalidasa before he became Kalidasa; Shatrujeet has his Kalidasa dealing with memory loss. Of course he has images flashing by that disturb him.

Vararuchi takes on the role of Vikramaditya’s older brother, the relationship and story is built along the lines of Dhruva, and Uttanapada.

There is a very interesting sentence that the mother oracle says,

“go where you need to be and not where you want to be.”

Vikramaditya is associated with the throne and the Vetal, interestingly Shatrujeet has Vetala Bhatta as the Raja-Guru while the Vetala is renamed as Ghoulmaster.

Some minor irritants in the book are the use of the word “Maghadans” for the people of Magadha; the people of Magadha are called Maghadi. The book one referred to Vikramaditya going to the borderland, to connect with the Ghoul master, but there is no follow up here.

What I like about Shatrujeet’s writing is the ability to create a visual, yet allowing my imagination to play out, like the mythical beast Vyayla awakened by the Asura (it can only be woken by a person with both Deva and Asura blood) reminded me of a silvery hydra, while “Ahi” who is woken by Jayanta again of Deva and Asura lineage reminds me of the deep sea monsters of Greek Mythology.

If he introduced the border land in the first book, Shatrujeet talks of thought harnessing in the second. Where Vetala Bhatta and Shukracharya mutual break into each others thought.

The nine gems of Vikramaditya are given nine powers, Amarasimha turns into a man lion, Kshapanaka can emit poison arrows, Shankubala can transport herself to different places, and Vetala Bhatta can create an energy shield.

Other interesting concepts the author brings about, is the existence of Danava’s. Normally Danava, Asura, rakshasa are all used interchangeably to represent various demonic forces. Shatrujeet has identified them as forest spirits who gave refuge to the asura’s. The Asura eventually ousted them, remodelled the forest, dug the earth for minerals and caused devastation.

To be honest the book 2 was tedious, there were too many characters and it did not really flow, the change of location was rather abrupt.  Once I could get the ends together, reading became easier. Though I really spent more time in getting through this book as compared to my normal reading. The book is definitely worth the effort.

Victory is temporary the Battle is Eternal

To buy the book on amazon click here.Thankfully I read the third book right away.




Its Madras Mind You

Its Madras Mind You

madras on my mindMadras on my mind… is an anthology of stories with Madras definitely on the Mind. When I saw this book at the GALF I toyed about picking it. After I met the couple who put this together I had to pick it up.

The book is a collection of short stories by different authors of varied age. Each seeing Madras through their own experiences.

Before the tide and the Tsunami, there was a bustling city with Moore Market, the Spencer circle. The Higginbottoms, the Marina beach, the Valluvarkottam, the mami’s, and music. The book brought back those memories to me. Each story awakening a memory to bring back a part of my childhood. Each author also brings a unique language and flow of their thoughts. Though the southern dry humour and the candour dominates the writing.

Some writer’s observation just stood out and made me read the book all over again. Like Juluri Vamsee talking about actress Jamuna her journey from Andhra to Madras, someone acts his mother’s role, while his own mother acted as some child-actor’s mother.

Anirudh Sengupta talking about American-Indian becoming Miss India though I am not clear if he was speaking about an ABCD or if he was referring to the indigenous people of USA. Anyway that is his trip; he brought back the IIT campus to me, the deers and the archway to the ultimate destination that I never made to.

Chitra Viraraghavan uses a term “mood out-an” again something that is so typically southern we seem to add an “a” and the entire intonation and the demeanour of the sentence changes from a formal one to peer bonding.

Kalpana Komal in her Rendungattan by the way the word had totally slipped out from my vocabulary with my grandmother who passed away in 1997, she brought back the shared pet peeves of the mami’s. She also brought back memories of a very middle class moralistic approach and of course we as teenagers having visions of the aunty in sleeveless blouse having an orgy with any masculine gender… as we listened to Paati and Pakkaveedu-mami gossiping about her. Kalpana’s observation that her mother used scolding as an expression of love brought back the incessantly reprimanding mothers.

G.Sampath’s short story from Triplicane to Taramani takes you through Madras in a very different way.

Anuja Chandramouli in her  Appalling Lack of vice and spice in Chennai city, is pulls a string as its protagonist sits on the fence, of wanting the adventure but her upbringing stopping her stepping into one. the was wistful young person wanting to rebel but is conditioned to conform, she does not judge the people who do, she just wears blinkers to the existence of the vice and spice so that she remains quiet and nice.

The Rice and Fall of Royal Ramana Rao to become a movie producer, was quite interesting. House of powders by Sanobar Sultana talks of two things that I totally connect to “ra ra venu gopabala’ and the “rasam” somewhere her observation that her wearing a hijaab brought a shift in relationships did make me sigh. Hope we shall overcome that someday.

The experience of human behaviour in the last story by P.Balasubramanian was touching too.

After reading the authors here is my wish list for further reading.

icon GALF chitra-krishna (1)
Chitra Viraraghavan,and Krishna Shastri Devunapalli @GALF
  1. Chitra Viraraghavan –Delhi Tata hoping to gift it to my nieces and nephews.
  2. Dilip Kumar – The Tamil Story : Through the Times, Through the tides.
  3. Krishna Shastri Devulapalli: The sentimental spy.
  4. Sampat : How to make enemies and offend people.
  5. Juluri Vamsee: The mythologist
    1. Saraswati’s Intelligence.
    2. Rearming Hinduism.

Madras on my mind ISBN 978-93-5177-572-0 published by Harper Collins.




How many books did you read in 2017 it depends on what kind of books you are talking about. The once written on sheets of skin or paper or tablets of wood or ivory, are talking about written or printed or blank sheets bound together between a front and back cover?  Are we talking about a literary composition ?.

Of course there is the Book!! The best seller of the millennium. You may choose to call it the Bible.

Books are amazing, there is a total available knowledge and experience that can be  brought on a task or problem and we could try every trick the book prescribes. Then there are books  that contain information and analysis within, people run their business by those books.

The more scary one when you are brought to book. I get an image of a panel in front one behind, being bound and sentenced!  And the bookmakers book. There are books and books, and so little time.

Now I need to think about how many books I read…

I have amused myself, educated myself through the years, I am a voracious reader and I also read a wide spectrum from tinkle, to Tolstoy. Mythology, folklore are quite a favourite of mine. Not to mention anecdotal collections, historical investigations from authors like Aroon Raman or Christopher Doyle. Fantasies however did not catch my fancy much. Though the Harry Potter series are not bad.

Of late I my reading tastes have turned eclectic, I seem to be reading lot of Hay House books. Eat Pray and love  being an all time favorite.

Last time I received a book for review and I was kind of apologetic about it on the train, it was a love story,surprisingly a fellow passenger asked me if he could buy it off me, another ordered the book on line. What I learnt from that each book, irrespective of the genre the publisher places it on, there is a reader. Every book appeals to something in a reader, if a book fails to do so, what I like and what you like in a book would definitely be different.

Through 2017 I have travelled extensively it simply translates to I have read extensively. As for the books of 2017 let’s go through the books I read… at Kitabi Kida.

An interesting book for people who liked  Unreal Elections and P.G.Wodehouse is Madras On My Mind.


Off to Coffeeway Galaxy

Off to Coffeeway Galaxy

When I received  the book the Mahabharata code, the sci-fi look of the cover did seem interesting.

The book based on Mahabharata narrated in first person, by the protagonist NR  or rather Narayan Rao, an astronomer with NASA based originally from Bangalore. He and few other members are part of a NASA mission to  visit a mysterious planet from where they receive signals.  On reaching there instead of Jadoo like creäture they meet a man with long flowing beard called vyasa his vision is to recreate the Mahabharata over again, to gain the faith of the primitive civilization of the planet.

The recreation is verbatim, and NR  realizes his son Krishna was to be Lord Krishna.

The narrative stays true to the original, though intercepted with cricket and technology, with foot notes in italic to give an impression of hallucinations of a comatose man. there are some  intrusion allusions used like, NR’s wife is a computer engineer who channelized her skill to create technology to transform their son to Lord Krishna.

At a point there is a suggestion that Krishna is 2 people and not one. the episode of Yashoda seeing the universe in Krishna’s mouth was because Krishna had cholate in his mouth , Yashoda the mother from the primitive planet mistook it for mud. The winning of Draupadi happens  through biometric and of course the wonder of Karna clearing the biometrics arises. In the Kunti- Pandu story Pandu is given “Nirbaya Shots” to make him impotence, which is the way of the primitive planet to prevent rape,. The author does need to do research her.

The polyandry of Draupadi was planned by Vyasa. Somewhere there is a passage of being Hindu, which I have forgotten.   The Ganga-Shantanu episode is presented as a prenuptial agreement, I wonder why the Shantanu-Sathyavati prenuptial were not brought up.

Out of the blue the book shifts to modern India, Leh area, the protagonist falls sick, then the army steps in with medical care… at the end of the reading I am still confused and the loose ends are many.

By the way the mysterious planet is in the coffeeway galaxy…

Maybe I am old school and I prefer Krishna Udayashankara’s, Shashi Tharoor, Sharat Komarraju, and DevduttPattnaik’s rendering of the Mahabharat, in the exact order of the authors listed.

The book would be potent as an audio book with right vocal variety for many of the writings lends itself to subtext or the meta-story than the visible story line. Again this is a very personal take.

People who are into reading as they travel should pick this book up, it will give them enough to visualize, and ponder. This is not skim in an hour book.

pick your book here The Mahabharata code

Author: Karthik K.B.Rao


ISBN 98-93-5206-8883