Normally Ravi Subramanian’s books are thrillers that are steeped in the world of finance and technology both being beyond my humble understanding I usually enjoy the narrative and the connectivity of his writing.
The book feels like a mind map written with various events that occurred since the Modi Sarkar came in.
When we were young my mother taught us to play word scramble, it was something like today’s mind map where we just put all the alphabets in a circle and work the various permutations and combinations. Reading the book, “Don’t tell the Governor ” reminded me of the game.
If at the stroke of midnight on August 15th 1947 India had a tryst with destiny at the stroke of midnight November 8th 2014 India began her tryst with the greatest Financial event of modern India… the demonetization..
The story opens somewhere on the India Nepal border where a car crashes and cops are not sent to Goa like a bollywood movie but they recover cash. The trail then gets lost.
Though the cursory disclaimer is very much there the signposts are too obvious to miss.
Shilpa shetty wins Big Brother/Big boss in UK, her romance with Raj Kundra and their eventual marriage.
Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksey, and other financial advisors getting away with financial frauds and being financial fugitives.
Raghuram Rajan’s a man with academic background is handpicked to head RBI.
Of course demonetization .
Like I said the mandatory disclaimer is on, and we have Pallavi something or the other who wins big survivor in London, she is wooed by Vicky Malhotra till she marries him. Vicky Malhotra the smart business man, is beyond shady deals, he partners in IPL teams, diamonds, the early online portal mybestdeal.com and whatnot. Pallavi is also vulnerable to Vicky Malhotra since she has just dealt with racism in the Big survivor house. Her boyfriend who is a top Hindi movie hero gilts her to marry her best friend.
Pallavi also becomes the muse of Harvard professor Aditya Kesavan who is handpicked by the new PM and FM to become the RBI chief. He was being given the job, and the job is to make sure that he does not rock the boat that the PM and FM are carefully navigating .
Then there are political and international financial fixers like Mehul Modi, and Danish Khosla. Who partner with PM and FM in manipulating the shady deals. The new RBI governor despite his academic brilliance is gullible on the field.
The upright previous RBI Governor is sent as the Governor of his home state as he does not toe the line of the FM and PM.
The book moves forward through the manipulation of the political fixers Danish Khosla and Mehul Modi. The supposedly illicit affair of Aditya Kesavan and Pallavi.
The book ends with the not so gracious removal of Aditya Kesavan so that the PM can bring in a governor who is their man. Pallavi, Vicky, Mehul and Kangana(Pallavi’s) sister abscond to the Caribbean’s, the financial offenders are forgotten. The demonetization is swept under the carpet.
The PM and FM come out smelling of Roses though behind the mask they know that Danish Khosla the alleged fraudster actually is working for the PM… the PM tells the FM don’t tell the governor this.
The book made me read of lot of financial terms, and understand the implication of lot financial activities taken up the government, some good, some bad and some ugly.
Jason Kothari… well who on earth was he I wondered but the title was interesting, the mug shot on the cover page showed the face that resembled a senior I had a minor crush on.(I was all of eight years old and he was my pediatrician.) the title was quite intriguing but the synopsis assured me that it was not a college romance. As I was already looking for a change in my habitual reading books I thought it was a good option.
Though having to buy the book did not seem very reassuring. The passing thought was the guy is definitely ensuring a sale so he has some authority on business. Yes I know a medic’s point of view.
The book arrived and the cover page had a blurb by Karan Johar, my heart really sank. Then there was this whole list of former CEO of: housing.com, FreeCharge, Valiant Entertainment, Snapdeal. The epilogue contained a line about how someone told him he should write a book as it would help a lot of people she said it from the space where she had learnt a lot from Jason, the nasty-bit in me said, OMG the guy is definitely going to be full of himself.
In any case as I read the book, I realized I owed Mr. Kothari an apology. It’s good that the book is written, it is as much about life turnabout as it is about bringing about a business turnabout. To quote the author, “life and learning are interconnected.”
Jason’s parents must have definitely made him learn up “do re me,” for he begins with the first ever deal he made, at Agra a chess board for Rs.30/- I was amused, probably because I could connect to another kid who invested Rs.70/- for jaljeera and returned with 700/Rs.
Jason walks us through his life, it is a fairy tale, because he tells us demons do exist but they can be overcome. Over 11 chapters, he shares his life learning’s, though I observed it only in the 4th.
He talks about going on from nice boy in Hong Kong to someone who almost got wasted in USA. The journey through getting fit, that is body mind and soul.
He pegs the beginning of his reclaiming life to a conversation where his mother asks him, “does your girlfriend go to all the parties you go to?’ how the comic book heroes influenced him and his friend ship with his eventual business partner.
from his experience Jason talks about being
true to your roots, where you come from because that is where your values and strengths come from.
Mistakes can be a gift, because that is where your learning happens.
Limits are illusions and usually placed by others, here he discusses the importance of researching, particularly when starting a start up one cannot really afford to hire help, then knowing how to handle challenges becomes an asset. It’s interesting that he shares his dedication to getting fit by joining martial arts training, he talks about meeting world champions, he shares their learning but he does not go into the saga that drove him there. Just a fleeting mention that he was physically ill.
Captain a rowboat, before a ship a ship before a fleet, being tossed right into a massive challenge Jason discovers the power of meticulous research and planning.
Money isn’t the goal, it’s a by-product. When Jason discusses a reunion where his Wharton peers are working companies like Goldman Sacs he was just trying to revive Valiant Comics the feeling he expresses was something I could quite empathize with it happens to many of us, who have a quiet family practice while we meet with our peers who walked in universities or more glamorous hospitals. This where he actually begins to reflect on his core values and strengths when he says money isn’t a goal it is a by product, the goal is solving the problems, developing endurance, evolving and giving customer the service they want.
His introduction to Walter Black and understanding that being a CEO to people older and more experienced, he had to be collaborative and not authoritative.
As I went through the book, each of the experience that he shared reminded me of the hero’s cycle. In the business venture of reviving Valiant Entertainment the copyright and trademark or intellectual property patent whatever you may choose to call it, plays the villain. When it come to a hint of romance in the narrative, cancer plays the villain. But again Jason does not dwell too much on it he does move on quite fast.
He often reflects on Jainwas philosophy and Buddhist philosophy, this particular one that he shared appears in the Viveka Chudamani too, that is not getting attached to the product created, but enjoying the process the day you stop enjoying the process it is time to move on.
There is again very personal family moment when his father asks him, “if he is really willing to take on the responsibility of being a husband and father for it meant putting wife and kids before you.”
Then there are great some very practical thoughts, like:
I’m looking forward to the rush of freedom that falls when money hits the back account.
The deal is done only when the wire reaches your account.
When Jason talks about whether to take over housing.com or not he introduces us to Suvir Sujan, Masayoshi Son and this is a very interesting insight that he shares about the spark of joy in Masa’s face when he is talking business turnabouts. Jason here talks about the need to push ourselves harder than we push others because we need to understand the challenge and how to address it. He also discusses stock options and equity and the eye-candy it is.
As Jason discusses the power of hiring the right people, building a team and ensuring team work, he does not talk about soft sop HR workshops or training’s, he is talking about good old across the table talk with all sincerity. He does not talk 300 people board room talk he talks town-hall model with 30 people in a group. According to Jason, being a CEO is kind of being a politician of a small village.
There are also some unpleasant facts that he brings forth, that leadership is not winning a popularity contest, or nothing worthwhile comes easy. The most profound observation that he makes is
Everything in life goes in cycles. Balance is not about intensity, it is about commitment it about cutting out the irrelevant.
Like Jason’s teacher told him Do not pray for an easy life pray to endure a difficult one.
At the end of the day, if you ask me what is the story there is none in the traditional sense… its Jason sharing his journey is inner world reflects in his outer. The writing style is refreshingly direct and simple with no jargon or street language. Yes the language is elegant. I immensely enjoyed the book, and I’m glad I have two copies I plan to gift one to the library in my co-working space. What I disliked was the blurbs by Karan Johar and Amish Tripathi, but those are personal prejudices . Thankfully there is none from Chetan Bhagat
The book is an excellent read for people at crossroads in their lives just as much as it is for entrepreneur
I have already prescribed it to couple of my patients, and I’m donating a copy to my co-working space.
Dr. Durgesh Bailoor promised us a racy thriller based on the forensic dentistry work he has been doing.
Based on his previous work I was expecting a book along the lines of his lecture on Oral Submucous fibrosis. Know the pattern…
Etiology, demographics, physiology, psychology, evidence conclusion kind of stuff. But this was different, though I did feel at times this was written to for the galleries and why not. he was not definitely writing a textbook.
The dental mental mysteries documents three cases where forensic dentistry evidence was used.
Child abuse where Snyder’s tests and bone healing is used to detect the possible crime. This story also introduces, us to the forensic expert Dr.Bailoor. His past muse, future muse and muse-in-waiting, the Doctors feisty mother, his work environment as an faculty of Oral medicine and radiology.
The second is about an insurance fraud that pans across continents. The trail moves along Kasargod, Mangalore, Udupi, Karwar, and Goa. a poor fisher-girl, working her way up from the local factory, to the middle east back to Mangalore, udupi, karwar and goa. Her befriending wealthy men, and defrauding them until law catches up on her. A dubious lawyer, a susceptible banker, a frustrated businessman, a voyeuristic photographer all thrown in between. the perpetrators and captured through the dental records of one of the perpetrators. Like the dog that did not bark, the records did not match. Dr. Bailoor uses the sex and age technique used in forensic dentistry, though he does not describe the test he does make a mention of it.
of course the doctor’s romantic life blooms, his police officer muse becomes his wife.
The third should have ideally been called “Gloria’s Glorious return” for the good doctor’s wife is posted to Bangalore on duty and his ex-girlfriend arrives from Australia, of course the wife returns too, who said only canine’s were territorial. Between the three of them, they track down a psychopath who was into ritualistic killing during the full moon. Here the forensic odontology technique of translating the bite marks is used.
There is a huge element of familiarity in the locations used in the books it makes is enjoyable, at the same time it takes away the sense of exotic. The essence of the hospital and working there are hands on however a little more research on the Canara Catholics would have added zing to the book, for there spaces and lacunae of inconsistency there.
The characters of Dr.Sujatha the colleague, Mohammed Kharoushi the insurance investigator are quite real and like-able. However the Greek fencer of stolen goods Papnopolous, I think has been part of Agatha Christie’s and Uderzo’s narratives.
About the author:
Dr.Durgesh Bailoor, is a full time professor of OMDR. Currently based in the US of A Dr.Bailoor has been nomadic, he worked in Oman, Trinidad-Tobago. He is an Alumnus of University Of Bombay and worked in Bhopal, Ahmadabad, jaipur, Mangalore and Manipal. He has also authored texts on
Fundamentals of Oral Medicine and Radiology.
Management of medically compromised dental patients.
Playing house house is something that we have all done. Beautiful play cookery and crockery in plastic, steel, or wood.
What is interesting about this book is the author takes through the world of Sunheri and her friends who never had a home of their own nor toys. Even these are broken odd end that the children collect in the place where they live. they designate it a role with their imagination and hopes. Creating joy a lovely world of make believe that is far removed from their reality which jolts them on and off.
Receiving broken toys and hand me down in exchange for work done while actual cash would have got them simple thrills of life tea and pakoras does tug the heart. What I liked about the book is the way is sensitizes without being morbid.
Pictures by Habib Ali are nice and clean. The detailing does not distract the reader. The book is available in 9 languages, English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telgu, Bengali, Malayalam, Gujrathi, Marathi.
Author Meghaa Aggarwal. Debut’s as an author after working with Tulika since 2014. She is totally inspired by the magic of everyday life particularly through the eyes of a child.
.The Con man book by Surender Mohan Pathak is a thriller
Publishers Westland publications.
The book belongs to a series of crime journalist called Sunil Chakravarthy. Who is the crime reporter for a popular newspaper called Blast in a second tier city in UP. The town is up beat enough to have resto-bars, and youth clubs.
The story begins with Ramkant Malhotra the owner of Youth club bringing a pretty girl Kiara Sobti asking for help, she was conned by Aditya Khurana an NRI investment banker who had returned to town. But when Sunil goes to talk to the person he is found dead. Then the fabric begins to weave. Cops confiscate the mobile of the dead person and find 6 names on the frequent caller list, Kiara, Toral, Kavya, Devayani and Prakash Raj. The story then meanders like a Perry Mason with the first three women being conned while Devayani is the next prey.
Aditya Khurana it turns out is a conman who lived in a local middle class housing society and Prakash Raj is his partner. Aditya’s wife Jyothi does a pick-a-boo. Then we have Nidhi who works at a jewellers shop who happens to be Prakash Raj’s extra marital affair. Prakash Raj himself being a high flying gambler. Though the character of Dimple Saxena as Nidhi’s roommate is interesting has all the signs of being conned, I would have made her the murderer. Another red herring appears in the form of Toral’s brother who works in the same hotel as the victim.
Lestrade of the series is the cop Prabhu Dayal of course there are rookie journalists, and cops a few henchmen of a loan shark all thrown into the cauldron.
the book gets weighed down voluminous dialogues. The original case being often forgotten. Westland could do well in insisting on editing the book. The book reads like the Hindi version was run through a google translator, at times I suspected toogle.
The book is best read in the original language Hindi.
About the author: Surendra Mohan Pathak is India’s highest selling crime writer. He has 298 novels to his credit. He has individual series for the protagonists he has created, like Sunil series for the crime journalist, Sudhir series dedicated to a private investigator Sudhir Kohli, Jeet series featuring a petty thief who takes to crime after a heartbreak. Finally the Vimal series where the protagonist Sardaar Surendra Singh is a gangster with a conscience.
The talk discussed the books by Mr.Thakur, particular his biographies on Nitesh Kumar and Laloo Prasad Yadav. The focus was of course his newest book, “The brothers Bihari” he called it the Bihari’s take on Bihar its politicians and politics. The two giants of Bihar, Laloo Yadav and Nitish Kumar. Chalk and cheese.
Laloo Yadav the muse of Thakur’s Subaltern Saheb and the making of Laloo Yadav, populist but tainted. Nitish Kumar the muse of Thakur’s Praise for single Man:The life and Times of Nitish Kumar of Bihar which by the author’s own confession was not truly his.
Mr.Thakur talked of the times when the men were young and complimented each other, gradually drifted and today they stand as foes. Taking turns to lead the waltz of Bihar’s destiny.
He was talking of the ground realities of liquor ban which has only added to creating a new career for the young of bihar, bootlegging. The liquor ban in Bihar has made it lucrative for youngsters to deliver liquor bottles clandestinely which brings them an income of 1500-3000Rs/day. People step over to Jhumri Telaiya for their drink.
As Mr.Thakur has spent a large spans of time at Kashmir, the conversation had to go there. He says the average Kashmiri is as courteous as ever, but fear has vanished from the valley, military vehicles no longer inspire awe or terror. Just resignation.
He was sharing the insight of a senior Kashmiri writer,(I forgotten his name) who felt what is happening to Kashmiri is it has got walled with only opening left. The opening is to the south, while the orientation of Kashmir is inclined towards central Asia.
Through the interaction, Mr.Thakur gave us a ring of sincerity and passion. It was not just about the Saga of the despair of Bihar or Kashmir, it is the saga of what the dream of 1947 stroke of midnight has crumbled to. We seem to have lost the understanding that to disagree does not mean non- acceptance. To voice a contrary opinion is not being anti-national.
Thakur’s conversation was not funny, it was terrifying. Some insights that stayed with me
Kashmiriyat has left Kashmir… does that sound familiar Goankarpon has left Goa. We are all becoming “Indian”
We want Kashmir but not Kashmiri’s.
Kashmir is currently hurt that the mothers sing wedding songs at their sons funeral as there are no more weddings.
It is time for us to sit up and read the subtexts and understand what we allowed ourselves to become, very far from where we were to go.
The official conversation between Bihari Brothers Sankarshan Thakur and Dr.Pushkar Launch event Patrakar.
In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle applauds the 1890s short stories featuring an early female detective
The name Catherine Louisa Pirkis is relatively unknown now, but Pirkis left two legacies of interest. The first arose out of her animal charity work: with her husband, Pirkis was one of the founders of the National Canine Defence League in 1891. This is undoubtedly a worthwhile legacy in itself, but it’s the second legacy of C. L. Pirkis which concerns us here: her small but nonetheless notable contribution to detective fiction.
In 1893, C. L. Pirkis (1841-1910) wrote a series of short stories featuring a character who has been dubbed ‘the female Sherlock Holmes’, the lady detective Loveday Brooke. It was an opportune, if not out-and-out opportunistic, time to create a new fictional detective: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had just killed off his popular sleuth Sherlock Holmes
I have always been a HarvanshRai Bachchan fan. I had quite enjoyed the soul curry by Amitabh Bachchan. When Women’s Web invited me for the book release and I could not make I was rather disappointed.
Unfortunately I never read Ms.Bachchan-Nanda’s column. If I did I probably would have been more cautious.
Is like trying on the hat to emerge as a celebrity in her own right. It was modelling, well that seemed to fall flat, now the book and a clothes line. Hope she has better luck with the clothes line, than she has with cleaning the dirty linen of the residents of Paradise Towers.
Published by Harper Collins I assumed there would be a reasonable level of quality. Well the language was decent I shall not deny it.
Like the synopsis said the book is about the residence of Paradise Towers an apartment building in central Mumbai. In fairness Ms.Bachchan-Nanda tries to be inclusive both of the genre of story and the characters.
The story opens with the fastidious Mrs. Kapoor conversing with her mother. The Nosy Mrs.Mody who peeks into people’s life with a pair of binoculars. There is the gossipy Mrs.Kapoor her Muslim friend. A voyeuristic Mrs.Mody. To this community come an NRI Punjabi family with teenage kids. There is a shy girl next door. With this fabric like true Indian tail wanting to please all
The wannabe romance is taken care of by the Romance between Laila and her Hindu boyfriend. But all is set right by the two of them eloping and the parents accepting the couple in the true Hindi movie style.
Teen romance between the shy girl next door I have forgotten her name, and the NRI boy.
A thriller when the domestically abused Mrs. Rangnekar is revealed to be ferrying counterfeit notes.
A wannabe murder mystery in solving how did Mrs.Mody die mystery.
Paradise Towers does not allow the reader into the community because the author has not introduced us to her characters; I neither know Mrs. Kapoors first name nor her friends.
However there is an interesting observation that Ms.Bachchan-Nanda makes “police in uniform is noticed, but a lift man in the same uniform remains unnoticed.”
The blurbs Mr.Karan Johar and Priyanka Khanna are rather misleading. Hope Ms.Bachchan-Nanda has more success in her next outing. I have to redeem myself.
The International Centre Goa has periodic book releases and conversations with the authors. I love attending these lectures, Ranjit Hosakotti and Nandita Haksar being few authors that I love reading. So when the invite came I jumped at it.
Though the conversation made feel that the much traveled Lady was trying to whip up a Thali
Nandita Haksar has a tag line to it, recipes for love, hate and friendship. The book is a collection of essays on her Pan Indian life and her life as the daughter of a diplomat patronized by the Nehruvian regime also speaks through.
The first essay on the meat eating kashmiri Brahmins, she refers to them as downstairs Kashmir where Kashmiriyat was diluted with the merging of Delhi culture into it. Some things that struck me in the essay was.
Kashmiri Pandits are meat eating but did not eat garlic and onion.
Mangoes were not indigenous to Kashmir, so there are no mango recipes.
Also when people dine to together some smells could cause problems.
Nandita talks of the gradual erosion of the elegant UP influenced Delhi culture by the invasive loud Punjabi culture. One interesting observation she makes is eating various cuisines may be adventurous and accommodative but it also comes with a sense of rootlessness.t Nandita presents the meat eating Kashmiri Brahmins as a unique existence, of course Kashmiri Pandits are unique, Maharashtrian Brahmins particularly the Puneri Brahmins are quite often meat eating.
Some recipe’s to look up,
In page 131 she makes an observation that fat says, ‘screw you!”
In another place Nandita talks of her grandmother who told her grandfather, that he has married to her and not his mother, this changed his behaviour he began respecting her more. Interesting maybe some of us should try this on the men we married.
In page 158 she compares the Naga style of parenting with the Pan-Indian Urban parenting. Her observation is that Naga children are made to be useful contributory members of the society by the time they are 8-9 while Urban Indians do not allow their children to become adults for as long as they can.
In a conversation with her friend Ulka she observes that our inability to appreciate the other is more about our own limitations.
The book documents the changing culture of the subcontinent through the eyes of a much travelled person, her travel is both through geography and her who identity. Her journey at through feminism is to the human rights in Nagaland is very interesting.
There are few recipes in the book, though personally I think it was dinning that seem to dominate. In her final chapter she does question the random tourism growth in Goa the 5 star boom, causing a fish famine. She also comments on the vanishing frogs as their food has diminished with increased pesticide uses.
Over all an interesting book, serious issues have been put across through musings and observations, Nandita does not really pronounce a judgement.
On a personal note I should thank her for the Menu card on page 78 it kind of resolved a challenge for me.
A very interesting book for everyone who wants to know a little more about life, living and indian culture. Maybe I shall gift this book to all my NRI nieces and nephew’s.
Though through the book one question kept bothering me, why equate Hinduism to Brahmanism, also why portray brahmanical culture as inhuman? Isn’t it like saying all muslims are terrorists.
When I received the mail from Kalyani with a request to review her book. I accepted as I had an over dose of mythology genre.
Title: Bend Your Knees and Do Your Best.
Author Kalyani .B.V.
Once in a while we come across an author who makes you want to pick the phone simply because the book could have a conversation between likeminded friends, which was what happened as I read the book. I could not put it down.
The whacky sense of humour, the candid presentation of situation it was amazing. There was so much I could empathize with like the way she arrives to “the God of Randomness.” Her staple of Amar Chitra Katha. Her usage of Raag Inkaar.
She has an Asura partner in Hiranya, it reminded me of My Ravana. The book traces the journey of nearly having a breakdown IT professional, I shall not go more than that, the book is definitely worth a pick.
The way she presents the interpersonal relationship in a board room, she actually writes it as, “Sastri’s presence contaminates Maggie and makes her more mad.” Kalyani I love you.
I like the ditty she uses,
My name is pooja, java ki mein raani…LOL
Just as you get comfortable with the humour, and you are smiling, the author throws an emotional volcano which most of us in our 40’s and 50’s can definitely empathize with. Maybe the emotional exhaustion of the protagonist who is also called Kalyani vibes with a phase that I am just emerging out off. The support system of the Hiranya an Asura, (Ravana in my case,) the prosaic voice of aunt …I have forgotten the name but the grounding connect in her life, the mysterious psychic connect who sends her messages. It is all intriguing.
Kalyani presents a very subtle presence of a supportive universe, with interesting observations like the universe is trying to resolve the conflicts of 7 billion individuals, and a little help might be required. Or looking at the universe as a partner.
There is this bit where Kalyani decides to get healthy and the epiphany she has on the treadmill, is that it was all about running to stay in the same place, which she finds is very similar to a career in the IT. At a point in the narrative she talks about data tracking and analysing is like accepting a God was keeping track of our good and bad deeds.
Another very down to earth observation she makes, is auto drivers and maids are really more privileged as they can get to choose their assignments.
Towards the end of the book she goes house hunting. Which is hilarious and I could empathize with that too. Her observation of one property, lush green view till political will protects…LOL. As she takes us through the real estate jargon I am reminded of Asterix’s and Mansion of Gods.
Somewhere she finds a soul twin in Dubai, again amazing. Her insights to life and contemporary lifestyles are so hands on and practical,
Like in page 364 she talks about how fear rules us right from the age of 15.
In page 383 she gives the panacea for all recoverees– which is one day at time. This was exactly what I did when I was recovering from burns, and am doing now as I am care giving my husband who is recovering from a threatened stroke.
I also agree with Kalyani’s mom self pity is not constitutional.
The icing on the cake was the way she used facebook status to declare a situation. What really struck a chord was her epiphany on being chained to her work.
The most amazing epiphany of it all Grihastashram is about finding ways of staying in the ecosystem long after you are tired of it!!
I enjoyed the book so much that I handed to my 20yr old niece who is hanging on it, she keeps telling me, “I cannot imagine a 40+ person having this kind of humour. The book felt like a conversation between me and my friends.”
Right at the fag end of the book she shares an experience in Japan which makes her realize that life is all about bending your knees and doing your best.
Thank you Kalyani B.V. for giving me the honour of reviewing your book.