Fiction, Thriller+Mystery

The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest by Stieg Larsson-Review

The Girl who kicked the hornet’s nest

“The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest” by Stieg Larsson is the third in the Millennium series by the author.

This is starts from where it ended in the second part of the series. It behind with rescuing Lisbeth Salander and Zalanckho her father and bringing her into the hospital. Both of them are involved in conspiracy apart from the government. Anything revealed by them would bring various stakeholders down and affect the reputation of Sweden. Lisbeth is accused of things that she hasn’t committed at all. And people from government agencies like S.I.S and Sapo are trying to cover up the truth revolving around it by suppressing and accusing her. She is not given the basic civil right that she needs to enjoy as a citizen of Sweden.

Finally, she gets a chance with help of Blomkvist and his lawyer sister to fight for justice. His sister fights for her in court. Blomkvist work with the police team to investigate the truth in the case and protect both the victim and the nation

Whether Lisbeth gets the justice that she deserves? Will she be denied her basic freedom and civil rights? Will the culprit punished for their deed? The curiosity to know get answers for this question make this book an amazing read

Opinion and rating

“She wondered why she, who had such difficulty talking about herself with people of flesh and blood, could blithely reveal her most intimate secrets to a bunch of completely unknown freaks in the internet” is amazing quote from the book itself which totally reveals the exact nature of Lisbeth and I love her attitude towards people who are corrupt. She is known to fight for justice in every situation she is put in.

Corruption is the main cause for ruining the reputation of any country and this story just highlight’s precisely.

Journalist and journalism can also place a very important role in being out cases affecting the country and bring about justice. Blomkvist is one such character who has played in bring forth only just justice but also has brought truth to the public.

Women should also be treated as equal and never ever be misinterpreted. They play extremely important to growth of nation as well. Female characters in the book have been protrayed as very strong, equal to their counterparts and achieved whatever they wanted to. Lisbeth Salander, Gianni, and Berger are three character from book which is inspirion for every woman

I would rate the 4/5

Thriller+Mystery

Calling Sehmat-Harinder S. Sikka

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CALLING SEHMAT

 

Calling Sehmat is real life event based Spy thriller written by Harinder S. Sikka. This book is author’s first novel and the second edition is published Penguin Random House India. I came to know about the book through the movie Raazi which was based on it and I totally loved it.

Sehmat born to Muslim father Hidayat Khan and Hindu mother in Kashmir. Hidayat Khan was a true patriot for his home country India and would do anything for his country. But life takes its own unexpected twist and turns and takes it’s own course. He was detected with cancer and was unable to take of his own business as well tasks given to him by Indian Intelligence. He now relies on his daughter Shemat to carry out the tasks he had started out. As a result, she had to give up her college and love of her life and marry the son of the Pakistan general.

She is also a patriot just like her father who puts her life into Jaws of death by venturing into Pakistan. Her training and her intuition that helps her to gather vital information that is necessary and manages to communicate back to India.  Despite the risks involved, she did her job with great ease. She also found information regarding Pakistan plans to attack INS Vikrant. In short, Pakistan was planning to fight underwater and have been targeting Indian Naval. This puts INS into Spot and it is time for them prove their mettle and fight for their country. What happens after this discovery and how it unfolds makes the story a great read

Opinions and Rating:

This is the first book that I have read on spy thriller genre and it was a good and an easy read as well. A story of inspiring, strong women who put herself between jaws of death for India. And she did achieve what she set out to do in Pakistan and saved India from a great tragedy but also added to pride and valor of the country as well

I would rate the 4 on 5

Non-fiction

The Subtle Art of Not giving f*ck

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving Of A F*ck

Mark Manson is an US-based self-help author, blogger and an entrepreneur. His first book as an author is The Subtle Art of Not giving f*ck. To start the book start with talking about the how giving too much importance about various issues can affect or rather affecting our lives. It is important for categorizing and compartmentalize what matters to us, where we are going to live and also the things that do not matter to us. They just make our lives easier and gives us a better understanding and prioritize the issues that we need really care about

The book also covers the values that we need to compartmentalize internally and improvise them. It is important to give our energies and fuck about those which actually matter and not for others. They make our much easier and life is ever learning the process. When we want to achieve success it is important to go through the process that comes along. That we must be ready to face rejection and come over and still strive for what we want.

To lead a very good life and have a standard relationship it is important to have standard values and set boundaries where we can grow and develop a strong support system. Trust, strong set boundaries, moral values are few which play a very important role and are a backbone of any strong marital relationship. Questioning yourself in various situations that our life has to offer and before coming to the conclusion. Assessing our selves from time to time help us grow. Also, it is important to open to others views as well. He also talks about coming to terms with death and that it is inevitable and it is the one thing that is bound to happen with certainty

My Opinions and rating:

The Subtle Art of Not giving f**k by Mark Manson has been the most recommended book in the #bookstagram community in Instagram and also from my avid reading friends. I got this book out of a pure recommendation and amazing reviews. Although I brought this 2 months back I finally read the book. There are points that he has conveyed rightly that are very much necessary for life , but over the course of reading they have become more repetitive

I would rate the book 3.5/5

 

Fiction

To Let- John Galsworthy

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To Let

John Galsworthy a novelist and a playwright known for The Forsyte Saga and its series. To Let is the third part in Forsyte Saga and the first book of John Galsworthy books that I am reading. This book was recommended to read by my dad and I picked it up at the Book Chor’s exhibition in the month of July. This a classic and hence I need to have a dictionary side by side when I read the book though.

The story revolves around the fourth generation of the Forsyte generation, Fleur and Jon. Fluer who is the daughter of Soames and Irene’s son Jon who fall in love and the tragic consequences make a one-line blurb of the story. There exist a family feud within Forsyte family which the Fluer and Jon aren’t aware and the family takes an effort to hide from them as well. Both Fleur and Jon first meet at a bakery and later they again meet in their cousin’s place where they planning to stay for a while. They fell for the first time they met and are inseparable. Meanwhile, their first meeting has created a certain tension in minds of parents and curious question from the kids to know more of the feud

Fluer who is known for her smartness and inquisitiveness did finally find out part of the truth that Jon’s mother and Soames her father were married and divorced. This was devastating and shocking for her an unexpected twist. Jon who is completely devoted to his mother doesn’t even suspect his mother had divorce prior

Fluer is in a confused state and finally deals with it and speaks with Jon. Asking Jon that they should get married as she felt that the past should be buried. She also talks about to her dad about the truth that has been hidden and also the fact that she loves Jon. Meanwhile, Jon also talks about it to his dad regarding this as well. The truth about the feud revealed to Jon through a letter, which not only shocks him and has had a huge impact on his decision. The death of his father also further complicates the issue.

Opinion and Rating:

What happens after makes the rest of the story. A long forgotten and hidden family feud comes to the limelight and it continues to affect the fourth generation. The title “To let” speaks for itself and speaks of the irony of the situation itself. A two relative of the same family who is refusing to let off their past have a great impact in every one life. To learn and venture into a new and bright future it is important to let of what we were holding. Else it does not pave to new thing and we are stuck to where we are and find it difficult and adjust and have a happy life. I would rate the book 3.5/5

Thriller+Mystery

Violets are blue by James patterson

More the read James Patterson books, they are much better than the Women murder club series. The last two books are much better read. They are not as predictable and certainly has the right elements that I look forward to in any thriller novels.

Story:

The investigation mysterious death of two joggers and similar such death that happened different part of the US, bring to notice a certain vampire cult. Alex is part of this mysterious investigation. Micheal and his brother has been the culprit behind these series of murders and have managep to get with it. They have been following the instructions of the sire who heads the vampire cult. Not only have the victims been killed, but the murderer fed on their blood. While the case was getting into skin and unsolvable, Alex is tormented by a mysterious psychopath THE MASTERMIND who has killed almost everyone the former has worked and thus jeopardizing his family’s safety. Who is the sire? What is the reason behind the murders? Who is the MASTERMIND? Why torment Alex? Why kill all those people close to Alex?

I would rate the 4/5

Fiction

Zoya-Danielle Steel

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Zoya

Zoya was written by the author Danielle Steel who is an American author who is known best for her romantic novels.  This is one of few books written by a female author that I have read and I really loved the female protagonist. The story revolves around countess Zoya who had to endure a lot of struggles in her life. Born to a royal family and cousin of the king ruling Russia. Her family fell prey for revolution, killing her entire family leaving her and grandmother alive. A sudden shock to a happy to go 18-year-old girl born and grown in the great comfort of her palace in St Petersburg.  She then moves to Paris with her grandmother and in order to survive she joined her dream ballerina troop and her only skill then was her ballet dancing skills. During the course of her life in paris, she fell in love with an American army soldier double her age. A life of poverty, heartbreak and further loves of loved ones in her family awaited her and made her life even more devasted and miserable. Finally, she married the love of her life Clayton Andrews and moved to New York

Well her drama doesn’t end here. She had entire drama unfolding her 19-year-old girl. What happens to her life? What surprises await her in the city of New York? What struggle does she have to still endure to finally reach where she wants to reach and achieve her dream? All this makes us more exciting read

Opinions and Rating:

I fell in love with the central character Zoya who is strong-headed and full of life. Despite what she had to go through her life and the motivation and her drive to achieve made not help her go up from rags to riches financially and but she was a gem of her person in real life. Her character and poise had an aura that attracted men to her in their life and other counterparts of the same gender. The way that she carried with her and never give up and her attitude towards life is I think women need to learn. She has been an extremely independent woman who loved to achieve and take difficulties in her stride and move on with life

One of my favorite and inspiring quote from the book :

“…But sometimes life made you give up what you loved most. Sometimes there were no compromises or bargains.”

I would rate the book 4/5

 

Thriller+Mystery

Don’t blink – James Patterson

Don’t Blink

Don’t Blink is the second book of James Patterson that I have read and this definitely didn’t disappoint like the first one 17th suspect a women’s murder club series

The story starts with a murder of high profile lawyer Vincent Marcozza who represents the mob Eddie just when Nick was interviewing the infamous football player just a few tables away from the scene. Luckily he had recorded not only the commotion after the murder, before that as well which was great evidence to solve the murder. But there more to the more making Nick realize he was just set up and was part of a plan. One thing led to another and it led him to another rival mob leader. He also approached the lawyer who deals with organized crime for further help. But the lawyer was also murdered, Nick was lucky enough to drive that has the evidence which everyone was after for. Meanwhile everytime Nick got closer, people involved were ready to do anything to prevent him from knowing the truth. He was being followed and his activities were kept track off

This ultimate evidence lead to unexpected to end to the story. The curiosity to know who killed the victim makes the book an ever gripping read. The culprit was from an unexpected side – David Sorren and Lagrange who were a respected lawyer and head of organized crime department

The curiosity as to where the story is leading made my story more enjoyable and gripping read. I loved and totally enjoyed reading this book. I would rate the 4/5

Thriller+Mystery

The Hound of the Baskervilles

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The Hound of the Baskerville

 

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of the crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson. The story set in the backdrop of  Dartmoor in Devon in England’s West Country and tell about the legend of the fearsome and supernatural hound which has been affecting the Baskerville family and killing every one of them till the recent mysterious murder of Sir Charles Baskerville. His death has added made Dr. Mortimer fear more for the last heir of the Baskerville Family Sir Henry Baskerville who is in Canada and made notice of Sir Charles Death. To bring an end of the mystery revolving around the family and prevent Henry also falling a victim for this Sherlock Holmes is brought notice of his death and mystery revolving around the family. Both Sherlock Holmes and Dr.Watson take up to solve this case.

The Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton who have been living in an isolated place in Dartmoor have raised curiosity and further research to find he is a Baskerville family. He has been killing everyone just for the sake of the entire property. Mr. Stapleton has had criminal not only in this case and but various others ways for past 3 to 4 years. How Sherlock clever enough to finally identify him as the culprit and clever enough to prove by using Henry as bait made me hook to book and not put them down until I finish the book

Opinion and Rating:

Every time I read Sherlock Series the author has never failed to impress me. All the more I fall in with Sherlock Holmes and how he solves the cases. They have never failed to arouse my curiosity and always kept me hooked up. In fact, I have kept this book as a reference when I read other books in the same genre and review them. Sherlock Holmes always stand out at the top.

Therefore I would rate the book 4.5/5

Memoirs + Autobiography

Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela

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A Long Walk to Freedom

The initial part of the book talks about his childhood, his upbringing and the struggles that he had to go through to get a proper education and till starts to face the realities of the world. His father was a chief himself kept Mandela’s childhood name as Rolihlahla which meant “Pulling a tree” or a Trouble Maker. He was connected with the Royal Thembu Dynasty. The early death of his father changes the circumstances of his life. He had to complete part of education with the help of his father’s friend who also was a chief. He had his education in the University of Fort Hare and later pursued Law. He shifted to Johnserburg where he was for a law firm where black people were allowed to work. Those days White people were considered superior and black weren’t. Everything was segregated for white and black people. Black or the Africans were considered in the low level i.e Slaves and weren’t considered worthy enough. Even today Racism is not completely eradicated in the world. It exists in some form or other and there are still victims of racism.

The book shifts talk about the life of black people and how they were regarded by white people in South Africa. He talks about the apartheid existence in the country and how he started his involvement started in the politics. The people who inspired him, the struggle of people around him, ignorance of the majority

He got himself in ANC(Africa national Congress) a party established in the year of 1912 with the aim of removal of apartheid, equal respect of African majority and fight against racism. He saw the struggle faced by his people and given the history motivated him to fight for the cause. He grew up and was became a well-known face on a fight against the cause and his fight for the nation spread. A fight like involves a lot of sacrifices and it happens at the expense of personal life. He even went to Jail in Robben Island for almost 30 years. After his release, he continued his fight and achieve d he stood for and this was a start of freedom of people and new directions in for South Africa.

Opinion and rating

A man truly need to look up for. Nelson Mandela stood up for what was right, his principles and moral values. He fought for the removal of apartheid, for Harmony of life among different races. Africans, Indians colored people to be treated as equal with the white and for equal rights. He stood to ground irrespective of the downfall and struggles through the fight. A man who at the cost of his own personal, fought for his people, nation and also played a motivating his people as well. A gem of person and leader who is no more.

I would rate the book 5/5

Some Inspiring Quotes from the book:

They say words have great power. These words convey a lot of things and have had a great impact on me. So I just thought of sharing these quotes as well.

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
“I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”
“Let your courage rise with danger.”
“It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, White and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.
When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”
Thriller+Mystery

Disclosure-Micheal

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John Michael Crichton was an American author, screenwriter, film director and producer best known for his work in the Science fiction, thriller, and medical fiction genres. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and over a dozen have been adapted into films

His literary works are usually within the action genre and heavily feature technology. His novels epitomize the techno-thriller genre of literature, often exploring technology and failures of human interaction with it, especially resulting in catastrophes with biotechnology. Many of his novels have medical or scientific underpinnings, reflecting his medical training and scientific background.

Michael Crichton has been in my “TO BE READ” books for a very long time and finally got hold of one his books. His books were recommended to when I asked for a suggestion for a thriller(One of my favorite genre). I started with the book “Disclosure” a book which deals with Thomas Sander who works for local based developing technological company digicom. The firm is in talks for a merger with another rival company an as a result changes in the restructuring within the firm. These lead to the appointment of Meredith Johnson as Vice President of the APS division which has shocked everyone in the firm. Everyone was expecting or looking forward to Sanders to take her position. Both of them were involved in a relationship 10 years back and she tries to resume by sexual advances towards in a meeting regarding products. This leads to a Sexual Harassment case which is files by Sander when Meredith puts him tight position of a job by filing an internal complaint against him. The evolution of the story post makes the book an amazing read

The theme of the novel is all about sexual harassment. But it definitely not generic one where the woman is harassed by men in power. But it a role reversal case where women in power have abused her position to her benefit and involved in sexual advance not with one but with many men who do not come forward to talk in general. It is typical when a man complains of Sexual harassment because of women to laugh and give a look into it and investigate. But in a vice versa situation, it gets all blown up and investigation happens and is resolved. I think this inequality and imbalance would be resolved one and only if there balance of both gender in top position. The solution is given by Sander’s attorney if and only if that proportion of both women and men given the authority of the power of balanced and in the ratio of 50:50, there will no question of mistreatment, inequality and misuse of power

I would rate the book 3/5

Uncategorized

The Girl Who Played with fire

 

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The Girl Who Played with Fire  is the second novel in the best-selling Millennium series by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson. It was published posthumously in Swedish in 2006 and in English in January 2009.

The Plot:

Lisbeth Salander goes off to a trip for a year and is devoid of contact with anyone she knows. During the trip she fall in love with maths especially fermat’s theorem and starts to study about it more. Given her unique nature it fits.  Her last leg of the trip ended in grenada, which is hit by a tornado. She saves life a young boy she befriends and a woman who is becomes a victim of murder. On her return to stockholm she buy a new flat, changes her lifestyle with her stolen money.  But few days into her return to stockholm she become the suspect for a triple murder.

Dag Svensson a journalist and his girlfriend approaches Millennium  to publish a article as well as book on sex trafficking. Despite a law in place, the law enforcing them and those supporting them where also involved in them. Blomkvist was bring to light so many punks and other who career might get destroyed once exposed.Blomkvist was working with them and had paid the couple a visit to get some material when he found about the murder. This eventually led to investigation and a lot of media attention to the case. A murder weapon was found and fingerprints was matched to Lisbeth Salander who happened to visit the couple,but never a murderer. Also in due of investigation, her guardian was also found dead. The police was working with assumption that Salander was a murderer whereas blomkvist and Armanksy were working with the fact that she wasn’t.  As the investigation  proceeded the latter proved to right and she was not a suspect anymore. Her father Zala has been the mastermind behind the entire operation. The story revolves around solving the mystery and finding a link behind Zala , Bjurman and Salander. Why is always Salander a target for someone else fault?

Opinion and Rating:

An Amazing crime thriller and a must read. This a book which is a combination of both plot based and character story. As I read the sequel of the book, the more i fall in love with the character lisbeth salander and plot. The story intriguing that I am looking forward to read the continuation in the third part as well. I personally feel that it is difficult to such kind of crime thriller which rise our curiosity and hangover after reading.Amazing and unexpected twist and turns out of nowhere,but also makes sense to the story. More of this kind of books need to come. There many thriller where I am just able to understand the plot before finishing

Hence I would rate the book 4.5/5

Uncategorized

Eat Pray Love- Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth M. Gilbert (born July 18, 1969) is an American author, essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist, and memoirist.Eat pray love is her memoir and it her search for everything through Italy, India and finally Indonesia.

She was journalist and a writer by profession, very independent, a wife living a recently bought by her and husband with plans of having children and growing them here. After few years , their marriage was falling apart and eventually divorce. Post divorce she fell in love with david which at the end had break up despite the efforts to stay afloat. Lizy (Elizabeth ) falls in depression. The story is how she from sets herself into a path of self realization and recovers herself.

The book is divided into 3 parts Rome- Pursuit of pleasure, India-Pursuit of Devotion and finally Indonesia- Pursuit of Balance. A women who gave up herself entirely into a relationship, gave her 100% was just expecting love in return, when that failed it led to disastrous end. She tried to conform to herself to norms of women in the society which she also terribly failed at , as she was extremely independent women who didn’t believe in conforming to set of rules.She stood out and was oddity. Virginia Woolf once said”Across the broad continent of a woman’s life falls the shadow of the sword” This route strikes a perfect chord with me. One side of the sword the convention and normal norm that a women follow and get along perfectly with society.No judges us .But at the same time, On the other side of the sword represent the opposite of convention and we do not follow the regular course at all. This might be dangerous, but interested totally worth taking the risk though.

I feel the story is all about a person who has gone through all the struggles has paused for while to analyze herself, find out what she has missed out and ventures to just be with inner self for a year and bring about her lost balance and happiness. She also found a solution that helps her not only to come to depression and self help medication, but also gave a purpose of life, balance, happiness and positive approach to life. SHe chose travelling and yoga that was her passion. How many of us in our lifetime have at least taken a effort to overcome and bring about a balance in life. I think it is important to take this initiative and improve our lives, else what is point of just running with busy live , just to lose our true self.

Uncategorized

Catching the Wolf of Wall Street

Collaborations for book reviews and marketing

I write book reviews for the authors and publications who want their books to be marketed. Also content writers for various blogs

500 INR

jb

Book: Catching the Wolf of Wall Street

Author: Jordan Belfort

Rating of the book: 4.5/5

Review:

Jordan Ross Belfort is an American author, motivational speaker, and former stock broker. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to fraud and related crimes in connection with stock-market manipulation and running a boiler room as part of a penny-stock scam. Belfort spent 22 months in prison as part of an agreement under which he gave testimony against numerous partners and subordinates in his fraud scheme. He published the memoir The wolf of Wall Street, which was adapted into a film and released in 2013.

Catching the Wolf of Wall Street is the sequel to the book The Wolf of Wall Street(review of the book is already posted in the blog) The first book talks about the rise and fall of jordan belfort.  This book in continuance to the first book talks about his life after his fall and his arrest. I would rate the book 4.5/5

The book starts with how he was convinced to enter into cooperation with the government and  prevented from entering into trial. Entering into trial would have had meant jordan belfort would have to spend 30 years in jail. The process through the cooperation till the final judgement day.  A memoir written by the person himself, was hell of a ride. As we read the book, it is written more like a fiction and doesn’t give us a feel that the book is a real life story of the Wolf of the wall street. The brutal honesty  with which the author has written is amazing and reading the sequel has made me fall in love both the books. It is not just a book about of rise and fall of a person, but also send the reader a wonderful message. A man with immense talent in sales which naturally run in his blood  is not used in right direction and is overpowered by greed, money and other perks that come along with it.For a person who would love the world of finance and wall street the book is must and an important read. The book also gives the bad and dark side of the wall street.

Uncategorized

Sapiens-A brief History of Humankind

 

sapiens
Sapiens-A Brief History of Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari  is an Israeli historian and a tenured professor.He is the author of the international bestsellers Sapiens:A Brief History of Humankind(2014) and Homo Deus:A Brief History of Tomorrow(2015). His writings examine concepts of free will, consciousness and definitions of intelligence.

The book starts from the initial stages of revolution i.e cognitive revolution and takes us through agricultural revolution,unification of mankind and finally scientific revolution.The book briefly explains about how Homo sapiens has evolved from being a species of no significance to one of great significance(a god) and become a dominant creature in the world. They had become so dominant that they have become selfish and at the cost of lot of things. We have the cause of not only extinct of other human species such neanderthals, as well as other species of flora and fauna. We have create created the world with our vivid imagination, we created politics, caste,creed, religions and the society that we live in. He talks about that this were created out our imagination and hence fiction. He  also talks about the rise agriculture ,trade and money and how their impact in our life. They discovery of money not only helps us  out to run trade easy, but also helps us build trust among people. Money has become our lifeline and we have grown to anything around the currency we value it more than anything. At the end he concludes with talking of scientific revolution. Apart from Money, science has become part and parcel of life. They have brought in cure for various diseases , increases our life expectancy and thereby increasing the comfort level of life. The basis for the development of science and technology is that we accept that “We do not know the answer for a particular issue” or “there is a better solution”. We are always on look out for answers and not satisfied with what we have around us. He also says that another factor contributed to the scientific revolution-that being innovation brought in by the european elite despite being a small nation with dream of ruling the world. the author easing writes about the existing correlation between science,politics,economy and its impact on growth of nation.

With development of trade, money and scientific development, brought into existence different ideologies such as consumerism,nationalism,  communalism, globalisation , liberalisation and thereby creating a complex ecosystem. They have brought the world more closer than ever like never before and it has had its own complication.

Thus concluding the review with a quote from the book:“Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens have thus been living in a dual reality. On the one hand, the objective reality of rivers, trees and lions; and on the other hand, the imagined reality of gods, nations and corporations. As time went by, the imagined reality became ever more powerful, so that today the very survival of rivers, trees and lions depends on the grace of imagined entities such as the United States and Google.”

I would rate the 4.5/5 and the book is a good addition to my collection of books and a must read.

Uncategorized

17th Suspect-James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

17th-suspect
Book: 17th Suspect

James Brendan Patterson is an American author and philanthropist. Among his works are the Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Maximum Ride, Daniel X, NYPD Red, Witch and Wizard, and Private series, as well as many stand-alone thrillers, non-fiction and romance novels.

Maxine Paetro is an American author who has been published since 1979. Paetro has collaborated with best-selling author James Patterson on the Women’s Murder Club novel series and standalone novels.

17th Suspect is written by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro and also of one of the Murder Club Thriller. The story revolves around those women who strongly follow their instinct no matter what people or how much they put them out. A unpredictable killer is roaming around the city killing homeless people in a very extremely methodical way. This was brought to notice by reluctant women to Lindsay and the murder was happening out of her jurisdiction ,but her instinct wanted to desperately solve the case. But they were out of her control until the murder the women who brought her to notice about the murder was eventually murdered.

On the other hand Yuki a lawyer by profession took up a case which could change the history in the sexual harassment where ideally case of women rape are brought to notice and vice versa was never brought out. This one such case where a Marc was raped and by a women and when this was brought to notice and could change the history. She took in to her hands to fight for it and create an history.

The novel revolves around how these women take it in their hands and how they resolve it.There is phrase which caught my eyes “You win a few, you lose a few. Some are rained out. But you got to dress for all of them”. This line has a deep meaning and it rings well with my thought process well. There are going to be and always be ups and down , success and failures,but it is important to positive, follow our instinct with strong headedness and never fall prey or be victims to when people around us put us down. The women in these book just represented those who are positive, who take a stand for what they think is right, never give up and achieve what they started out. But with respect to storyline, it could have been more thrilling and it was predictable. Therefore i would rate the book 3.5/4

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Review-Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is one of the classic novels written by Jane Austen and published in the year 1813. The book is one of the most loved and fascinated novels of time and will continue to be. This is the second book of Jane austen that I am reading. I thoroughly enjoy the style of writing of the author as well the story. It is one of the renowned books in English Literature and one of the highest sold books.Before I started with Pride and prejudice, I finished reading and reviewing of the book Sense and Sensibility. They strongly talk about the dependence of women on marriage and not just that. With men, mostly how they are valued based their wealth as well status in the society. This reflects the reflection of how society looks upon Women. But also the fact that women is said to be accomplished when they are well versed with singing, Dancing, Painting and as well take of their home or the family,i.e the women should be all rounder to be accomplished.

The story begins with Mr Bennet and his five beautiful daughters,meaning the his wealth can never passed to any of their daughter. Typical isn’t despite being wealthy,due to stereotypical society women can never inherit the property, the men who get or passed on with the wealth. The plot revolves around complex relationship between Mr.Bingley and Jane, Elizabeth and Dr Darcy , how people of complicated and opposite character fall in love with situation. Sometimes unexpected things happen unexpected times. Mr Darcy is person known for his pride, known for interacting with people who belongs to close circle and attitude problem who he not known to him. Darcy interference in Jane’s and Bingley relationship which was main cause for bitter relationship and separation for a meanwhile. Little drama from Lydia who is the youngest of the siblings from Mr.Bennet family who eloped from the family with Wickham and was finally brought back and they were finally married. After the lot of drama and complex relationship,there was a happy and amicable ending. The story  helps us to understand how pride and being prejudiced against people without knowing their true nature can affect relationship and move people become averse towards them.

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Sense And Sensibility- Review

Jane Austen was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism.Her use of biting irony, along with her realism and social commentary, have earned her acclaim among critics and scholars. Her work speaks for her aloud and still does in this century as well. Such a impact her work and her legacy is carried forward with her books generation after generation. Some of her famous work Sense and Sensibility(1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park(1814) and Emma(1816).

So true, her writing strongly reflects the dependence of women on marriage and it was a reflection of their true standing in the society. How sad that it has been a struggle for women from 18th century till how a woman struggles to fight through the society to have a independent life of her own and still it is a struggle for her. A women is often valued based her marriage, her ability to have kids and how many of them

The background of the story is set in London, Sussex and South West England. The story revolves three Dashwood sisters and their mother who lose their husband, move from Norland where they had long established their stay and move to Barton cottage, which belongs to their distant relative. They also have half brother from first marriage of Mr Dashwood.

Henry Dashwood and family were staying with their bachelor Uncle in Norland till eventually the uncle died. The Uncle has passed on the property to Henry who eventually passed off after a year the uncle died and thus property went off to his son from his first marriage who had a son of his own. As a result the The Dashwoods shift to Barton Cottage where the sisters experience through love, betrayal of first love and marriage. Marianne falls in love with Willoughby who she meets during one of her walks. Their first interaction turns to friendship,eventually to love. Eventually a day had come where he had to leave on urgent personal errand. On their trip to london with one of the neighbours Mrs Jennings she come to know that he is engaged to another girl . On the other side with Elinor had also faced the same kind of experience. She had spent good amount of time with Edward the brother of her sister-in-law and thought of him as her future husband,only to know latter that he was in love with one of the Steele sister Lucy. Both who had a happy life now were faced with sorrow of failure of love that they had never faced.

Meanwhile Dashwood sisters meet their brother in london who had come for with his family to london and was staying in mother-in-law place. He was trying to do something to them as brother, but failed. Edwards was going to engaged to someone else from a rich family, but lucy was not aware of this. But eventually he told the truth to his mother Mrs Ferrars that he is love with Lucy Steele and has been engaged to him for 4 years and would lie to marry her. Mrs Ferrars was fine with the relationship nand hence disowned her own son and the estate he was supposed to receive. But with the help of Elinor he was able to secure the house of Colonel Brandon to stay in after the wedding.

The Dashwood sisters then went to cleveland where Marianne fell sick. But with the help of doctor Harry , Mrs Jennings and Mrs Dashwood, she recovered and then the Dashwoods returned back to their home. After settling here, the news of Lucy marriage with Edwards reaches them. But truth was that she had got marriage to Edward’s brother against the wishes of their mother. Meanwhile Edward proposed for marriage to Elinor and with the permission of his mother, they got married and so did Marianne with Colonel Brandon.

This a classic that  has been in  my to be read books for ages,but never got hold of the book. Now that I have, book was amazing and her writing style so captivating. Just being sense and acting to any situation with sensibility is more important than being reactive to it. It help resolves any problem. The books talks of great importance or rather deals with the dependence of women on marriage. I think it is sad that is the situation of  women even now. Despite being not completely dependent on their other half, they are looked upon badly and questioned if they are not married. The mentality of the people have not changed to great extent when compared to other  developments. As for men they judged based on their wealth rather anything else. I would rate the 4.5 on 5 and one best classic and goodreads of all time.

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The Accidental Prime Minister

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The Accidental Prime Minister

Brief the Author: Sanjaya Baru

He was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Media Adviser and chief spokesperson from May 2004 until August 2008. In April 2014, Penguin India published The Accidental Prime Minister Baru’s tell-all memoir about his time at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)

Let’s move on to the book………….

The book starts with the detailing of Manmohan singh as to how he started his career and ideation as why he was appointed as prime minister for 2 duration when the congress party was the ruling party. Manmohan an economics graduate who had returned from cambridge after his graduation , was working in Delhi School of Economics for a while. Then he went to become the secretary to the finance minister and he was encouraged to join the government by one of former student Mr Isher Montex. But as time flew by he became the Finance minister under the PM rule of Narasimha Rao. Manmohan singh was known as man of few words and his work loud enough to prove his talent and work. But there are lot twist and turns that happens in our life that makes that there enough Drama . Once Raul said to Singh when the latter was planning to return to India that “Sometimes in life it is wise to foolish”. But in think it wasn’t a wise decision to be foolish enough to become a puppeteer under the Sonia Gandhi. He is one of the best economist and Finance minister that the country, but not a strong leader who create huge impact among Indian citizens and does not fit the role of PM. First term of rule is credited to be a good one , but they spiraled downwards when they put tight spot in various corruption cases which are still impending in the court.

Sanjaya Baru the author was appointed as media advisor to PM by Manmohan Singh himself and therefore had direct and easy access to the PM. He handled dealing with issuing any statement regarding any issues, Resolving the controversies and thus the end to end process of handling the media and in the process handling the issues internally with the minister where his role played a important part. My understanding till now based on the reading , Manmohan singh was just face of the congress party. Every minister and politician were more concerned with impressing Sonia Gandhi , rather the PM itself. He never had the political authority that he was supposed have and final call for any decision on any policies laid in the hands of Sonia. Singh himself quote once that “He was accidental Prime Minister” which was true. Neither did he have the complete political authority or an extra effort taken to change things better policies. Despite his good work as economist, Finance Minister, and reformist,also known for his integrity was known as puppeteer due to the corruption under UPA-2 government. He was quite,did not respond to the media or did he take effective steps, just stayed away giving a bad impression.

Despite all his shortcoming he put a great fight, made an effort to bring out good policies, tired to prove he was independent and was not under the influence of Sonia. He was open to suggestion of people outside his government apart from his own which helped to improvise and implement them. He always related economic growth with the efficient implementation of foreign policies, making ourselves visible in the worked market and improving the relation with the borders and the trade between the countries as well. He was person behind the Indo-US deal and he had support of sanjaya Baru, Subramanyian and few other who understood the impact of the deal as the PM himself. He also did take initiatives to resolve issues with the Pakistan as well.

During the UPA-2 he lost complete power over anything. He did have the power to select his own cabinet ministers, lost control over the foreign policies, so on and so forth. He was quiet enough and was strong enough to take the measures or implement any policies as in the first term. He let Sonia do the job and made way for Rahul to take the leadership which didn’t happen though. He didn’t have any say in the corruption cases that came up during the period as well. This tarnished the reputation of the government as well himself. He was known for neo-liberal values, great intellect knowledge in foreign policies, economic reforms and great finance minister. He believed in liberalisation and he did bring in during his tenure as FM. Thus an accidental Prime Minister who happened to in wrong place and in right time for Sonia Gandhi

But I must praise the man for his intellect, knowledge that he had. he was probably one of few knowledgeable people that congress had. But due to play of politics he was placed in position that he was misfit for. He was not great leader nor politician, but more of a reformist who would have contributed where he could have efficiently displayed his skills

After reading the book it gave fair idea what went behind in PMO office and so much was revealed, so much politics was going on within political party. “Politics within politics”.Funny isn’t to see a reputed image of person get tarnished in the face of media as well the people of the country because he was an accidental Prime Minister. After reading the book , it gave me good brief of different politics that happens behind of what we see in reality.

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Die Trying- A Jack Reacher Thriller

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James D. “Jim” Grant ,primarily known by his pen name Lee Child, is a British author who writes thriller novels, and is most well-known for his Jack Reacher novel series. The books follow the adventures of a former american military policeman, Jack Reacher,Who wanders the United States.His first novel, killing Floor, won both the Anthony Award, and the Barry Award for Best First Novel. Jack Reacher is a fictional character and the protagonist of a series of books by Le child. After leaving the US Army as a major in its military at age 36, Reacher roams the United States taking odd jobs and investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations

Thriller is one of most favorite genre and this book perfectly read. This is first Jack Reacher thriller I have read and purchased the book in Chennai book fair expo 2018. This is a amazing event every year and I look forward to every year.The author got into plot in the first few chapter of the book. The story starts in California, in a laundry shop when Holly an FBI agent comes out after getting her clothes. As she struggles with the clothes on one hand and Hand clutch on the other, thing fall out of her hand.  Jack notices her struggles and helps her out and it is here these both are held up by 3 people with guns. They were being kidnapped  by them and were escorted to car.  In due course of the journey from there on , they eventually start interacting with each other. Holly is a FBI agent who joined there recently and was working for Wall prior to this for three years. Her father is the head of the US military.  Jack due to history with the military police, he had observational skills and gained initial knowledge of both the kidnappers and as well Holly. He doesn’t reveal about himself much except for the fact he works for a bar. Over the course of the journey, based on her observation and his behavior tone, and because of her military family background she managed get the information out of him about his military experience.  The kidnapping was mainly to get hold of Holly and Jack was not part of the plan. Due to his presence at wrong place and timing with the right person, he was just add-on in the process.

In parallel , agents who worked with the her in FBI have found out she was  missing   secretive steps were taken in this regards and was kept under wraps. McGrath head of FBI California branch, and 2 agents who closely worked with Holly were taken into the case. The agents did their initial ground work by tracking her movements and regular activities which led them to the laundry shop and with the help of  camera they found out that she was kidnapped with 4 people. With the help of the camera in the laundry shop they were able to take picture of the kidnappers. They also tracked the car which was burned down by the kidnappers and murder that was committed by them. They also found  a truck by the lake side and forensics were brought to do further analysis.

Meanwhile one of the kidnappers tries to misbehaves with Holly  when they were put to halt in a horse barn. Despite her heroic act to safe guard, she couldn’t protect herself on her own. Jack who lost his anger and did kill the kidnapper , thereby saving her getting harassed. Next day they moved from the horse barn and were on drive for more than a dtttay and finally reached Montana Milita. Holly was taken to a separate room and was kept away from the drama that happening out with Loder( one of the kidnappers) and Reacher.  Loder was prosecuted the following the next for the big error he committed during the mission. First for involving burn of car, murder of dentist,  kidnapping a person who is not relevant for the purpose i:e Reacher.

On other end, FBI were able to track the movement of Holly. Kidnapper made us of the credit card of the dentist that murdered  in the start of the story when stealing his car, to rent the truck that they were having the final journey to reach Montana and had got the fair idea of the culprit based on the examination of the truck/car they had left before they rented for another truck.  Also murder of the driver,one of the kidnapper was reported to police by the farmers. This led them to the horse barn where both Holly and Reacher had last spent the night giving them rough idea about the murder. The FBI were able to track the three kidnappers and only one they were not able track Jack Reacher. In fact they were able to find the head the militia group who was none other than Beau, his history and philosophy. His father once owned a farm and had taken and loan from the bank. He was unable to pay and bank took his land off , thereby leading to to  bankruptcy and his ultimate death.  But with the help of Johnson they were able to track Reacher’s military background.

The arrangements from FBI and military are done to rescue Holly and at the same time visit the white house to get further help. But in vain, no help  from the president as he was more worried about people at large. In Montana militia, FBI Spy Johnson who is in there for a year was killed brutally and was crucified in a cross. Both Holly and Reacher was given the task of burying him. They tried killing Jack, for the murder of one of the kidnapper and his life was saved by Holly. Finally both of them made an attempt,but in vain and caught up by Frowler. The telephone connection in the militia was removed off by the FBI agent to stop the communication and isolate them. Frowler was investigating for information from Reacher, as the communication went off, but ended up getting killed in the process. A helicopter with 2 men was sent to rescue them and they failed.

But Reacher with the help of FBI agent McGrath, and Garber who was general in the military( also the boss of Reacher) they managed to rescue Holly, but also kill the main lead of the Montana Militia Beau Borker.  Both the agent who worked with Holly and helped McGrath in this case -Borgan and Mileskav were the mole from FBI who secretly passed on the information secretly to the Montana militia group. In return these Agents were receiving huge money in return which even the FBI couldn’t afford to give them as part of their salary. Lastly they also prevent bombing that was to happen in San Francisco, by tracing the Stevie who was riding the truck with the bombs from Montana

  I would say this book is a average read and has put my expectation for the book little down though. The story is revolves around Holly an FBI agent and the main Protagonist Jack Reacher, who are kidnapped for some political reason and how they come out of it with the help of the FBI and military officials. I was excited by how story was taken through in initial part. The middle part of the book, I found it to be boring . The final plot of the story was good enough, but not the best ending that I had in mind. Despite this, I liked the way the story ended when compared to rest of the narrative in the book. I would rate the book 3.5 on 5 and recommend it as one time read.

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The Rise and Fall of Nations

rise and fall of nation

Ruchir Sharma is an investor, and has written widely on global economics and politics. As Chief Global Strategist and head of the Emerging Markets Equity team at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, he manages over $25 billion in assets under management. A long-time columnist for newspapers and magazines around the world, Sharma is the author of The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in a Post-Crisis World (Norton/Allen Lane, June 2016) and Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles.

The Rise and Fall of Nations is my third book in the genre of finance and economics. The book takes us through ten rules of changes in the post crisis world. The factors that play a very important role in growth and development of a nation and prevent any downfall. I feel the author takes through all of these factors with detailed research and facts to make us understand their importance.

People play very important role not only in each other’s life and also contribute to growth of the economy and indirectly /directly the development of the nations. For four years of BC i.e before the crisis of 2008, the world was growing at higher phase and there was boom in the economy. But the situation turned around vice versa post BC and entered a period of AC i.e After the crisis.It is in the AC period the reality stuck the entire world. Hype surrounding globalization has led to a vice versa situation “deglobalization”. He also talk about countries that rapid growth and expected to have such continual growth and saw a rapid decline and also vice. He widely talks about how population growth, availability of talent tool and efficient talent pool have direct impact on the GDP. The impact on decline in population will have direct impact in the labor force and thereby effecting the economic growth. In many countries people entering the workforce is lesser than the population leaving out of workforce. These mainly due reducing fertility rates and early retirement age. Also its observed that many women are restricted from entering the work force as there is at least one rule restricting them from pursuing a career.

Also another way to add the work force and increase the talent pool is by welcoming immigrants. In countries like US, most of the workforce of engineers, tech professionals are represented by the immigrants. Refugee act as major source or addition to the workforce. They also add to the population, and hence impact on economic growth and GDP of any country. The book also talks about how countries can exploit and benefit from immigrants and also to attract more of them entering into their country.

With the advancement in technology, has always contributed to the development of any nation directly or indirectly. But it has also has significant impact on lives of individuals as well. But pros also comes the cons of advancement in technology as well. With advent of robot, and use of it in workplace in place of humans has caused fear of losing jobs and also of robots dominating us. The high density of robot are mostly found in countries like South Korea, Germany, Japan and China, to name a few.

The next factor the author talks about is how political scenario, type of governance, crisis prevailing in any country can also affect the economic growth. The author has given has given a detailed analysis to each point he talks about in the book. It makes understanding of factors, and it’s impact as he not only provides us deeper analysis, but also is support with appropriate data to support his point. He compares political cycle of any country to circle of life, where there are always going to huge growth and also downfall. There is never going to smooth for both economic growth as well the political temperament of any country. In life any crisis moment or downfall bring out best in the personal and him/her more stronger than before. Same applies in crisis in any nation. Any crisis or downfall inn economic growth in any nation, pushes the leaders to bring out the best reforms, cost cutting and bring about the stability in the economic growth. But also it has been observed, more the political leaders stay in power, they become stale and make growth becomes stagnant. He also about the monarchy, autocratic and democratic rule and how countries who fall into the mentioned category of rule have progressed in terms of economic growth. He also takes through the pros and cons of each rule to convey the none of them came be considered to best rule. It is one better over other some aspects and not better various other factors.

I have always heard rich getting richer and poor getting poorer. Living in a country like India, they is wide gap and inequality between wealthy billionaire’s and poor people. But I understood the complete impact of this inequality can impede the growth of any country. There few examples of countries which tried to bring out the balance in these gap, but at the cost of the growth. A country should concentrate on bringing in growth to the country and spreading out the wealth thereby minimizing the gap. But many countries fail to keep balance between the both. Also from the side of businessman it is important not only to create wealth for themselves and but also contribute to the growth of the countries. Achieving growth in business using political ties only benefit the business at the behest of nation’s growth.

Government spending on development of country, level of interference or meddling with the running of government offices and the also how privatization or development of entrepreneurial skill also are some factors which determine either growth or deterioration of the economic growth of the country. One important check to a certain whether the government is overspending is to check percentage of spending in correlation with GDP and how effective has it been in the growth. It is important not to just spend the money, but also to put to use in productive investments that accelerate the growth. For any nation it is also important to encourage the growth of new entrepreneurs, innovative ideas and technology to come up rather than cutting deals with the existing wealthy businessmen based in political benefits

He also takes through how geographic location, trade routes and strategies if adopted and implemented along with the trade policies can help any country grow. Also development of infrastructure facilities like strengthening of trade routes through road, efficient use of port makes is one factor which increases the visibility of any country and more friendly to trade with.

Investing in manufacturing and commodity and its growth as a part of GDP of a country is important for development and economy growth. This investment binge also leads development of other sectors such the road, supply network and other infrastructure facilities of the country. Concentrating on development of services industries may not and will not contribute most to economic growth and GDP of the any country. Only in country like India where service industry like IT has grown to huge extent and contributed to GDP and development other other relevant sectors.But the growth is not significant enough. Hence investment in manufacture sector is a good binge and lead to a strong growth of any country.

Inflation and deflation of prices plays a important role in development of any country and to decide on any investment decision. Inflation has become significant part of our lives and there is has rise in prices of goods and commodities and hence no incidence of deflation at all. The data suggest us that before 1930’s there has no incidence of high inflation that we see today. Both inflation and deflation has been under control and hence have strong economic growth. The general rule is lower is the inflation rate, is good for the growth of any country. But at same there both bad and good side of deflation as well. When the supply is more and demand is less, price reduces and leads deflation and that is not a good sign. Both of them have balance out and should be maintain at appropriate level for the development and accelerate the growth of any nation.

Usually the instinct is the that anything is cheap is good. But not necessarily it needs to be good. There many factors that needs to considered especially with respect to currency and economic growth of any country. The general rule is that cheap currency along with healthy and positive economic growth is always good. It also proves best to invest in those countries. High value in currency, obviously indicates fall of the economy which may due inflation. In many countries, they devaluate the currency rather than letting market to decide the price. This is done to artificially show growth and attract investment. But this is bad signal, despite cheaper price, there are no signs of healthy and stable economic growth. Any bad sign due to impact bad deflation or too much inflation, the locals are first to get the intuition and big players in the economy follow the them

Debt of any country as significant part of country GDP is also not a good sign and leads to fall of a nation. If the rise of debt is 5% for consecutive five years is followed by the slow economic growth and Fall of nation. It is hence important for a country to keep country and take measures to prevent the fall. These can understood by analyzing the current account of any country. If the trade deficit are more, so are the debt. Piling of debt and investing them in places which does not contribute to the development, increase in import of luxurious goods and lesser exports leads lower or no economic growth as well. The another rule is that if banks have deposits upto 80% then they are enough to lend money to borrowers.

The relation between the media and nation is of love and hatred. The more hype the nation gets that the growth of the country is good, then it is a clear indication that the growth is reached the peak and it falling down and vice versa. Most of the headlines published in TIMES is proved wrong in reality. There is no research that goes into or any integrity shown before publishing these headlines. When the economic growth reaches its peak and that is hyped about it as going good and expected even better growth to be posted by the country. But they are on the verge of downfall and they do. When they do downfall, the love for the country turns to hatred and then the existence of the region and country is forgotten about. It is at this time of negligence, the corrective measures are taken to rectify the mistakes and strong economic reforms are brought into leading to stable growth and back into the limelight. The book ends with based on the ten rules that are discussed in the book, the countries to look forward for growth, countries that were developed and have down to average and yet stable enough. Countries like Africa despite the current state and history with corruption, still show hope and signs of recovery and have economic growth if proper measures are taken.

For me as a reader, I felt that as progressed, it draggy and boring enough. Though he has given good enough examples and data to validate his statements, it way too much information too grasp for any person. And this is book i took longest to finish it off(2.5 months). That’s not usual time that I take finish off a book. Hence I would rate the book 3 on 5

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Small incident, Big learnings

Experiences we have in our day to day are good enough to teach us life long lesson and stay with us. They make us what we are and acts guiding light for future as well sometimes. We might think certain instances silly and that we were kiddos or careless in few situations, but give us back lifelong lessons. It’s one such real life that had occurred with a friend of mine from my post-graduation days.

Aditi a friend of mine from college had to gone to Pune after little more than year to attend a engagement of her friend Ananya. She had also gone there to revisit those college days of her’s, but turned out to be a very adventurous trip. She took a 8.40 am indigo flight from Chennai and reached pune around 11. Her friend’s cousin picked her up from the airport along with a relative of Ananya. Aditi was not only excited to one of her favorite city , but also to meet her friend after a 6 long months.

Now begins the adventure in the trip which till now was going around smooth. After refreshing and having lunch, Aditi accompanied her friend Ananya to beauty parlor. When helping her out makeup and dressing, Aditi misplaced her phone. She began a thorough search beginning from parlor and when back to her home and did a search there as well. The host, Ananya parents were also given fair amount of trouble and went to extent of filling a FIR, but just to find out that my friend Ananya was she seated on my mobile. But the rest of the day turned to be great as it was a christian engagement , it was a different experience for her. Also got a wonderful chance to met her other wonderful friends and stress buster after a long day.

After the event I shifted from her home to the guest house to spend rest of the night. Next day woke to exciting new and last of the trip. The day began with the hope to end in the wonderful spirit and with expectation of not having any adventures. The day began at 8:30 am to pleasant and cool weather and she met with Ananya’s friends again. She had a breakfast, a amazing combination of Aloo Paratha, Doha and mango pickle and Curd. She left the place at around 10 am in the morning to her first favorite place-Dagruseth temple a Ganesha temple to offer prasad. After that brought food specialties of pune from Kaka Halwai a famous shop in the city. Later to Ferguson road to further shopping.

But here is the another twist in the peaceful story. Aditi’s mobile lost charge and misplaces the address. So she started back to her guest house, going around the Kirkee and trying find out exact location. But after a desperate attempt, sought the help of people in cantonment area, kirkee and contacted Ananya’s father. With his help,she reached half the right location at 14.30 PM. From there with help of Ananya and her parents, Aditi finally got to her guest house at 15:00 PM

Now the story doesn’t end here, Aditi has a flight at 16:00 PM and she still have done her final packing. But again with help Ananya and her friend she packed and reached the airport at 15:15 PM, just in time before closing the gate in the airport.But help of few generous people , she was able to get through this hurdle as well. But also this is one of these incidents when you think it over or rewind, we feel guilty of how careless we were at the moment. But a great learning lesson which will last for a lifetime. One is to keep the mobile charged, plan properly beforehand ,be more alert and act faster.

P.S: This is based on real life incident and hence names have been changed

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The Crown and The Pinnacle of Scarifice

Ramaswamy Aiyer Krishnamurthy , better known by his pen name Kalki, was a Tamil writer, journalist, poet, critic and Indian independence activist. His writings include over 120 short stories, 10 novellas, 5 novels, 3 historical romances, editorial and political writings and hundreds of film and music reviews.

His other social novels include Thyaga Bhoomi (The land of sacrifice) and Kalvanin Kadali (Bandit’s sweetheart), both of which have been filmed. Thyaga Bhoomi, which has the Salt Satyagraha as its backdrop, dealt with women’s rights and untouchability. Parthiban Kanavu and Sivagamiyin Sapatham give a picture of the great Pallava Age ,whereas Ponniyin Selvan paints the age of the glorious Cholas. Both periods are a mixture of many aspects of the history of Tamil Nadu such as that of religions, literature, art and architecture and also of administration.

Ponniyin Selvan is Tamil historical Novel written by Kalki Krishnamurthy. Written in five volumes, this narrates the story of Arulmozhivarman (later crowned as Rajaraja Chola I), one of the kings of the Chola Dynasty during the 10th and 11th centuries. Kalki finished the novel after nearly three and a half years of writing and he visited Sri Lanka three times to gather information for the novel.

The Story revolves around Aditha Karikalar,the eldest son the great king of Chozha dynasty, Sundara Chozhar. He is been invited by Nandini with the intention of revenge to kodambalur palace.Despite being advised not to accept the invite he still accepted the invite and went to meet her as he wanted to ask for forgiveness from Nandini. Aditha Karikalar takes the advice of his grandfather and blessing before he began his journey. Now Vandiyathevan and Azhwarkadiyan set out on strange task given to them and was on their way to Kadambalur. The city bustling with activity and was decorated beautiful as there high position dignitaries were arriving the palace. But both of them had reached before the guest arrived.

It is in here Kadan Maran’s sister Manimekalai comes onto picture. She is told about Vandiyathevan, his Valor, his character, his achievement. The more she kept hearing, more she fell in love with him. But as the circumstances changes, Kadan Maran talk did changed. They wanted her to get married to Maduranthakan. Now that guest were arriving to the palace she was making sure that everything was arranged and things were kept in right place. The first person expected to come palace was Pazhuvoor Ilaya Rani. She also made sure that the rooms of Aditha Karikalar and his entourage were arranged properly.

Meanwhile, Vandiyathevan took the secret passage that he found and finally ended near the back entrance of Manimekalai. There met her and sought her help to save him from the pandya conspirators. A grand welcome was given on the arrival of aditha Karikalar. Post his arrival, the enchantress nandini makes plans to kill him as revenge for killing the panda king. At the right time she took the right move, made sure Aditha Karikalar came to dungeon of the palace along with Vandiyathevan whose job was to protect and made sure he was killed at the spot. She was clever enough to act fast and ran away from vicinity. Hence the suspect of the murder was Vandiyathevan. Also it ruined the reputation of the clan in Kadambalur palace. On the other hand, the prime Minister of the Chozha clan a anirudhar was plotting to find out mute and dumb women Mundakini Devi and bring her to the king. On other hand Ravidasan and other had planned a plot to kill the king Sundarar Chozha. But eventually with the help of Mundakini Devi his life was saved and also the kingdom.

Periyar Puzhavettarayar finally understood the mistake that he had done by marrying nandini and consequences he has to face. He had broken the promise made by his clan to protect the kingdom and he took his life off due shame and unable to face the world.

Finally Vanathi and Arulmozhi got married, Illaya piratti with Vandiyathevan. Sundarar Chozha recovered from his health and shifted to Golden palace that Aditha Karikalar had build for him. MADURANTHAKAR didn’t become the king as the secret about his identity was revealed, that he was the adopted son and does not have the legal rite ascend the throne. Also it was revealed towards the end that sendhan amudhan was the legal hier and he ascended the throne as Arulmozhi Varma didn’t want to take up the throne. He devoted his entire life to development for the country which he felt would not able to do as king. He achieved what was required through Sendhan Amudhan who was the king

The book takes through or gives a fair idea on history of Chozha dynasty, their lifestyle, the culture, heritage. I felt women were give n great respect and of equal importance even in decision making. People led their lived based on values and principles and never gave up on that.

The book influenced me enough to motivate to learn more about the cultural heritage, temples with architectural importance build by the dynasty. Also the book was amazing and captivating that I didn’t feel like putting book down even once. The amount of research that has into when writing the book by the author is very inspiring. This is a very important traits which I feel missing these in many books. The beauty of the cities such tanjore in their period amazes me. As I visit these places in the recent times, am unable to believe it was once a extremely flourishing in terms of agriculture, richness in monetary term, nature and goodness of the people living then. These is great work in the field of literature and one of the most read book even in the present generation

I would rate the book 5 on 5 in terms

  1. style of writing
  2. research
  3. amount of work and time that has gone into writing of the book.
  4.  Story line
  5.  Influence that it has on readers
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The Girl on the Train

The Girl On The Train
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Paula Hawkins is a Zimbawe-born British author, best known for her best-selling psychological thriller novel The Girl on the Train, Which deals with themes of domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse. Hawkins Sixth Novel Into the Water, was released in 2017. Around 2009, Hawkins began to write romantic comedy fiction under the name Amy Silver, writing four novels including Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista. She did not achieve any commercial breakthrough until she challenged herself to write a darker, more serious story. Her best-selling novel The Girl on the Train(2015), was a complex thriller, with themes of domestic violence, alcohol, and drug abuse.The novel took her six months, writing full-time, to complete, at a time when she was in a difficult financial situation and had to borrow from her father to be able to complete it. The novel was adapted into a film in 2016.

This book revolves around three women Rachel, Meghan and Anna and their narration from individual point of view. The story begins with Rachel a 32 year old women,divorced from her husband Tom. He is now happily married to another women Anna and also has a girl child Eve. Its been 5 years since the separation and She still haven’t recovered ,which has turned to an alcoholic. She has lost her job and in search of another job. She stays along with her friend Cathy who she knew from her college days. She takes her regular train which passes through her old place where stayed with her husband. Also she observes the activities of another couple who stay few blocks away from Tom. They were a perfect couple ,but have never met them in real life.

Megan Hipwell was living few houses away from Tom and Anna’s. She was working in small art gallery, but got gallery got shut down due to the lack of market for art. Then she worked as nanny for while at Anna’s place. But left after 2 or 3 months. She was in a relationship with someone else before marriage and was in a live-in relationship. She had a brother Ben who died in a accident. Megan has not been able to come in terms even though few years have passed. On suggestion from Scott, her husband consulted a psychiatrist, Kamal for whom she eventually developed an attachment and wanted to be in a relationship. She did talk about this to Kamal during one of her visits to him. But he didn’t have the same feelings and was scared that it would effect his practice. He wasn’t American nationalite, a refugee who lived in US for his career. One fine Saturday she goes missing unexpectedly.

Now to introduce another character Anna. She happens to be wife Tom and has girl child Evie. Megan was working there for a while as nanny. Anna lives few blocks away from Megan. She always had issues with ex-wife Rachel as she kept disturbing by trying to contact Tom at odd hours. This was sometimes effecting the family happiness. It is been 5 years since both Tom and Rachel split up. But trouble keeps popping up. On the night when Megan disappeared she saw Rachel in the area, exact reason for presence there was unknown to every one. In fact Rachel had sneaked into Anna’s house through backyard and took over Evie and tried to calm down the crying child. After that incident she was seen passing through Megan’s house.

Rachel had blackout on Saturday night and couldn’t remember anything that happened that day. But when she woke up her stuff were in the hall and house smelled of vomit. When Cathy came back to house, it was unclean and vomit through the entire house. She was frustrated as this had become a regular sight and had given Rachel 4 weeks notice to leave the place. Police also come next morning to enquire about Saturday night which even aggravated the situation. After few days she met with an accident and admitted in hospital and this helped her convince Cathy to let her stay at home . Her mother also was in a initial relationship with someone, but offered to help with some money. She went to the station and with the investigating officer and told them what she remembered that day and also gave them a key information. The other day when travelling on the train she had seen Megan with another person kissing each other in the most intimate way.

She mailed Scott, Megan Husband saying that she information regarding Megan’s case. Meanwhile she was called by the police authorities again and if she identify the person from few photos . Two days later she receives mail from Scott asking her to visit him. She reveal to whatever she witnessed and possibility of Megan in extra-marital relationship. The truth was a shocking revelation to Scott as he loved her the most and it was unexpected out Megan to fall in relationship with someone else. On Friday night both of Megan and Scott had a huge argument. Kamal was arrested as a suspect and investigated for 2 days and released him due lack of any evidence

On further investigation by the police it was found that Megan was in relationship with her Psychiatrist Kamal. On Saturday she visit Kamal house to talk with him and get things clarified. She reveals a secret about her past life that she has never revealed to Scott as well. In her previous relationship, she was majorly involved with drugs ,drinking and hanging around with friends. But eventually there was fallout with them. One fine day, she finds out about her pregnancy, but still carried on to live a carefree life. After the birth of her girl child , he left her out and never returned.

Megan body was found in nearby area buried and given that Kamal is more a suspect and Scott was considered to be a suspect. Rachel visited him again to beg for forgiveness and to assure him that whatever she said was truth. She had to reveal him that she was alcoholic, but at same she didn’t lie about what she had told him.

Now let us to the actual crux of the story. Megan and Kamal weren’t in a relationship. She had called him up to her house to ask her on a advice. She was pregnant and not with Scott, but with the person who she was actually having extra-marital affair. She was having in a relationship with Tom since the time she was working as Nanny to his child. But after she stopped working, there was pause in the relationship. When she tried telling the whole truth to Scott, there was huge argument, following which she went out of the house and never returned. She immediately called Tom to meet and even threatened he doesn’t show up. Eventually he did after attending to scene created by Rachel. Finally she revealed she carrying their baby and she wanted to ensure that he should take part in the growth of the child. But Tom didn’t accept it and requested for abortion as he wasn’t ready for another baby and also that she can never be a good mother. Denial from Megan to abort the baby lead to argument which eventually turned to a fight. Tom, unable to control his anger harassed by hurting her with huge stone on to Megan’s head, leading to death.

Meanwhile Anna found a spare phone in Tom’s Gym bag and found out he has been receiving messages from another women. As a result she had doubts that Tom was in a relationship with Rachel again. As she trying to sort it out and find the truth,Rachel came by her house. She revealed the truth about Megan and Tom’s relationship and revealed that Megan was pregnant when she was killed. Rachel tried to use the trick told to her by Kamal to help her find out the incidents that happened on the day of blackout.

Their whole conversation was overheard by Tom. When questioned he revealed the truth to both of them. When Rachel tried to leave, although after assuring that she will not tell the truth, he tried to assault her and kill her and made sure Anna and Evie were safe in their room. Eventually Tom was killed when she was trying to save herself. When the police came to the scene Anna saved her up by telling she had to do it in to defend herself

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The Killer Sword

 

Kalki-Ponniyin-Selvan-The-Killer-SDL208928350-1-219a2

The killer sword is the third part of Ponniyin Selvan. Ramaswamy Aiyer Krishnamurthy (9 September 1899 – 5 December 1954), better known by his pen name Kalki, was a Tamil writer, journalist, poet, critic and Indian independence activist.He was named after Kalki avatar, the tenth and last avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu. His writings include over 120 short stories, 10 novellas, 5 novels, 3 historical romances, editorial and political writings and hundreds of film and music reviews.

Lets continue from where we left off from the second part of the book.The cyclone continued for another two days.After it ended Pazhuvettarayar along with his queen Nandini finally arrived at Nagaipattinam port which one of the most busiest port in Tamil Nadu those days.Thousands of goods arrived at the port from other lands and thousands of boat used to transport the goods to the shore. At this point Parthiban enters and meets Periya a puzhavettarayar and his wife. He got carried away under the influence of Nandini and causing caution of doubt to Periya puzhavettarayar. He narrated his part of the story to them and gave them updates on the prince. The news was shocking to both Nandini and the Periya puzhavettarayar which after hearing went about to get inspect Parthiban’s ship. In the meanwhile Nandini brought Parthiban under her control, told a lie to him that Illaya Piratti was plotting against the Chozha dynasty and convinced him to do what she wanted to do

Now lets move our shift to the prince whom we left him off in the sea trying to save vandiyathevan and to Poonkuzhali. Both the prince and Vandiyathevan were in her boat as Poonkuzhali rescued them.The prince was trembling with flu that had spread whole Lanka, and was safely taken to Kodikarai. Before going ahead with journey Poonkuzhali over hears the conversation between Rakkammal, Ravidasan and Nandini. Rakkammal met  Nandini and informed her that Ravidasan is waiting for her near the temple.Both the women go ahead to the temple. Nandini and Ravidasan have conversation and this was overheard Poonkuzhali. She is shocked and had to take steps to protect the prince even faster .Hence she runs to the place where she left the boat and just to find out missing and start to running to the secret mandapam in search of them. She was followed by her cousin Sendhan Amudhan. Both met and their conversation was overheard by Ravidasan. The magician came out from his hiding spot and blackmails her to tell truth about the hiding place of the prince and vandiyathevan. But somehow both of them managed to trick the magician who got caught in quick sand. Sendhan Amudhan and Poonkuzhali ran to the place where they had hidden the prince and Vandiyathevan.

Both Vandiyathevan and Sendhan pulled the boat from the hidden spot with the prince.As Poonkuzhali was conversing with each ,they saw Rakkammal and Ravidasan the magician hidden behind the bushes in the canal and watching them.In order to deviate their attention from prince both Poonkuzhali and Vanthiyathevan had to do small act ,to send a false message that the prince was killed by him during the cyclone.After that Poonkuzhali went on the boat with her cousin and Vanthiyathevan also left on horse to continue his journey .After ensuring that Prince and others were safe and have crossed the channel,he left the message that he leaving for Pazhayarai. Poonkuzhali,her cousin and Prince finally reached to Nagaipattinam Choodamani Viharam they could accommodated and proper treatment be given to Arulmozhi given his health condition. Vandiyathevan after a brief in a small village restarted his journey and reached river Mullai and here meets Devaralan who is one of the conspirators working with the magician Ravidasan.

At a distance they saw a palanquin and suddenly few men came out and captured. He finally met with the enchantress Nandini. After a small intense conversation they separated and he was left back in the bank of Mullai where he had the night’s sleep. He woke up the following morning to sight of Kalamuhars and all they said was he was to face a grave danger. He met with Maduranthakan the middle of the forest and was shocked. Kandaradithar was ruling the Chozha dynasty before Sundara Chozhar took over.He was staunch devotee of Shiva and had no interest in the materialistic world and also ruling the kingdom. His wife Sembiyanmadevi was also follower of Shiva and went on spiritualistic tour frequently.Before his death he had instructed his wife to bring up his children also as devotee of Shiva and should have any interest in the throne.So from the time he was child Sembiyanmadevi made sure to instill a deep devotion to Lord Shiva and give up the worldly pleasures.But even since he got married to the daughter of Chinna Pazhuvettarayar,there is sudden spark in him to rule the empire no matter Now she had sent message asking for his son to come to Pazhayarai so that the future course be discussed.

Lets get back to one of my favorite character Vandiyathevan who is in the middle of the forest who woke up in the early morning to the sight of Kalamuhars. They were just standing just standing besides him and he was still and acting to be asleep on purpose.Just after their departure he woke up .Their words “He will soon face grave danger” was still echoing in his eyes.Now a little history of Kalamuhars. They followed the tradition of Kapalikas in all aspects except to the fact they did not offer animal sacrifice.After he woke up ,silently followed Kalamuhars and overheard their conversation.They were taking about Maduranthaka Thevar who could ascend the throne and Arulmozhi who according to everyone is drowned in sea and have updates on his movements .And the other’s time on earth was coming to an end. He immediately left for Pazhayarai to meet with Kundavai and to give the information before any disaster happens.He didn’t want any wrong information to reach the princess.On his way he met with chariot of Maduranthaka Thevar .He used this chance to enter the palace by acting as soothsayer and said there was danger awaiting from him.

Before Sundara Chozhar ascended the throne, the Kingdom was ruled by his uncle Kandaradithar. He and his wife sembiyanmadevi was staunch devotee towards lord Siva and had dedicated their entire lives to the service of lord and build His temples.He did not believe waging war to expand his kingdom to avoid suffering of his people and wanted to establish peace.Hence the kingdom shrank considerably.Hence he didn’t want his son or his children take over the kingdom and wanted them to dedicate their lives to Lord Shiva .Hence he choose the best suited person to take over him ,that is none other than Sundara Chozhar. So for Maduranthakar until he was 20 years listened to his mother and her words were final words for him.But since he got married to the daughter of Chinna Pazhuvettarayar, he convinced and intrigued to ascend the throne of Chozha Dynasty. The Pazhuvettarayar always urged Maduranthakar to convince his mother to agree to it.The entire entrouge of Maduranthakar and Vandiyathevan entered the palace and slowly began to enjoy the festivities in palace.In midst of the festivities he caught the eyes of princess Kundavai. After the end of the festivities Maduranthakar tried to convince his mother,but she was strong enough not to fall for the bait and argued to keep the promise to her husband as long as she is alive. And conveyed her disappointment.

We all know vanathi was kodambalur princess and also close aide of Kundavai. Since arulmozhi has gone to war and the rumors that he had fallen into the Sea during the cyclone night she has fainting a lot. She has been having mood swings, happy as moon and sad as saith rise. On hearing the news the prince has drowned in sea, she has been devastated, fainted and fell into water. This created a commotion and Kundavai, Vandiyathevan and others came around to help her around. Meanwhile there was commotion at the entrance of the palace and this was due to arrival of prime Minister. He had come on behalf of Sundara Chozhar to convince Sembiyamdevi to let his son be crowned as the king,but still stands strong to prove her point. Following which he also had conversation with the princes Kundavai and were discussing matter about Arulmozhi and she was trying not to reveal that prince has been saved and is taken care of in Choolaimani viharam by Buddhist monks. As she was about to leave to prison to bail out Vandiyathevan to set him on further journey, she met with Vanathi. The kodambalur prince was planning to leave to as his uncle was coming from Lanka and would like to visit him and get all updates about Arulmozhi, as she has been deeply worried about him and his well being.

Vandiyathevan began his journey to Kundandhai  with the scroll of prime minister. It was month of Aiypasi and beauty of Chozha Dynasty was even more stunning and amazing to watch as we travel. The fertile land , crops that had grown and he was completely immersed into this beauty and was in completely different dream world.Suddenly,vandiyathevan heard the song and was startled as he looked up and saw Azhwarkadiyan seated on the top most branch of a tree. As both of them were conversing , Vandiyathevan saw a palanquin and belonged to  royal family.  The vaisnavite did not reveal the truth on questioning and asked him to meet at kollidam. He started his journey and went past the palanquin and caught sight of Kodambalur princess.He finally reached the Kudandhai Josier’s house.There he met with Kodambalur princess.She begging him to take her to nagapattinam choodamani Viharam. She wanted to initiate the process of Buddhism. But both the Josier and vandiyathevan convinced her to do opposite.After this both the princess and Vandiyathevan parted ways and went ahead with the journey.

Vandiyathevan was captured and got hold of  by Nandini and other conspirators. On the other side Vanathi was got hold of Kalamuhars as her to reveal the hiding place of Prince Arulmozhi. She tried to be bold but eventually failed to have a strong impact. Then Prime minster came up in a elephant and was forcing her to let the truth about the prince out.And she fainted out there and was finally saved out by Princess.The whole incident was a dream.Now lets move on to Arulmozhi and how well he is doing. He illness has subsided and had met with the head archarya and he got update as to what happened from him.Then he went to meet his beloved sister and Vanathi in Nandi Mandapam to discuss about the next move.After a serious conversation between Kudandhai and Arulmozhi,they shift their focus on Vanathi  and Poonkhuzhali. As Poonkhuzhali was conversing with Prince and Kundavai,they saw vanathi was about to fall into river and was saved by Arulmozhi. The story continues in the next part…………………

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Liar’s Poker

Liar's poker

Michael Monroe Lewis is an American Non-Fiction author and financial journalist. His bestselling books include Liar’s Poker(1989), The New Thing (2000),Money-ball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game(2003), The Blind Side Evolution of a Game (2006), Panic (2008), Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood(2009),The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine(2010),Boomerang: Travels in the travels in the New Third world(2011) and Flash Boys(2014). He has also been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 2009. His most recent book is The Undoing Project

Liar’s Poker is a non-fiction, semi- autobiographical book describing the author’s experiences as a bond salesman on Wall Street during the late 1980’s. Lewis was art history and economics student in reputed and prestigious Princeton university. He wanted to pursue his career in the field of investment banking. He attended the interview with Lehman brothers and didn’t get through it and failed other interviews for the jobs.One fine day he was invited by Queen Mother where his cousin worked for a banquet. He was lucky enough to meet wife of the managing director of Solomon brothers and managed to impress her.

Through an interview was arranged and finally got a job in one most profit making investment banking company Solomon brothers.We never know luck and fate take turn and sometimes in ways that is unexpected.They had 3 months training program before got into their core job and was shocked or taken over the varied behavior of the other trainees and corporate culture of the firm.The trick to survive is to retain your cool even under the pressure and give the best.This benefit the firm as well have growth of the person.The trading floor is on 41st floor of the building where people were always trading and mood of the floor was changing with respect to the changes in the market or any changes that US governments make.It became difficult for a trainee to distinguish between a salesman, trader and manager or manager director.Though salesman takes to investors to buy the bonds,traders took risk in bets that they played with in the market and manager took charge over them.But eventually each one of them irrespective of the role / position they were on 2 phones simultaneously.

The traders never had time to turn and pay attention to the trainees and they were made fun of.They had interaction with all main heads and bond traders of the firm and the hot heads of the company shared their tips to the trainees.Finally the department of equities who were addressing them for the week and the trainees never gave them much of the importance.Though Solomon brothers where one of the 2 or 3 companies who were underwriters for the stock,but within the firm it was the most ignored department and didn’t have much power.Solomon Brothers were mainly involved in Bond trading and sort of the only company that made major business through bond.They were in the beneficial position who could push the customers out.

The equity department head come put to talk about the history of the equities,the process of the company and was in the process of attracting few trainees to their department.They had selected 6 members including Lewis for this,to get to know about the department better. Let’s get back to floor 41 where bond trading was the core activity and lifeline of the company. The salesman has direct contact with institutional investors such as pension funds to whom the bonds are sold. The trader puts the bet over the bond and the salesman sells for that amount. Tradesman were efficient salesman as place bet and convinced the actual people to sell them at a better price. Salesman were better traders as they traded with the investors to sell the bond. Both play interchangeable, but the only difference is to the position and the advantage one has over the other. Traders are more closer to money than over salesman.

Finally the classroom training program was over and the trainers were allocated the respective department. He was bond salesman and was now working from London office. The team who was most notorious and known for bullying everyone around even the senior most person was the mortgage bond department. It was this department that made huge profits and was also avoided by most people for their notorious behavior. They took 6 new trainers into their team. The head of the team was role model in the company and she was taken as example if wanted to convey people to do different and achieve great heights.Wall street is place that brings borrowers of money and lenders together. Until the year 1978,the term borrowers referred to large corporations ,federal,state and local governments. But the fastest growing group was not anyone of them mention above but homeowners.The savings and loan grew and volume of outstanding mortgage loans grew from 55 million dollars in 1950 to 700 million in 1976.In the year 1980 it grew up to 1.2 trillion dollars which surpassed the combined US stock markets .Thrift was the word which was interchangeably used for saving and loans.Every year a skit was performed in Solomon brothers to create awareness among the employees as to how it works. Bob Dall main job in Solomon brothers was working for mortgage department and was also curious about how it works.He brought money at certain rate and sold at higher rate. On certain occasion he was a buyer as well.He has great passion for trading ,although he didn’t have official responsibility for Ginnie Maes, but began trading for him.The whole funda of mortgage bond is the bank gives loan to homeowner and the firm persuades the investors such as insurance company to buy mortgage bonds.The homeowner would pay back money to bank through installment and that money is given back to the bond owner.There is slight risk for default that the loan might not be paid at all.He started establishing a mortgage bond department and first recruit in the firm was Linnie who was working in back department.He started in the firm as postmaster department ,got promoted to clerical post and slowly moved in the trading department. And slowly they brought more resources into the team and Linnie became the head and Dall moved out due to health issues. But the team was mistreated by other team such as corporate and government department and the bonus given to them was lesser . But with change in few policies by the federal government, it changed the fate of mortgage department in Solomon department. Overnight from ignored department they became the most profitable department contributing to around 40% of the firm’s profits. They had the advantage of the fact that Solomon brothers where only one who were dealing with mortgage bond and were had no competitors in the Wall Street. Slowly Lonnie was not involved with the day to day activities and was mostly involved only in taking major decisions of the department.With the increase profits from mortgage department, it also started getting attention of the trainees who joined the firm.Some of the few best and smart traders were Andy stone, Howie Rubin and few others. Howie was considered the next Lewie. But the main disadvantage in Solomon brothers was the compensation benefits that the employee received. They didn’t match with profit got in by the traders which was also a major discouragement.The best traders slowly started getting offers from other firms as well. Simon Howie got a offer from Merrill Lynch, a 3 year contract with pay scale of 1 million per year.Before the Solomon could understand what was happening 2 other smart mortgage traders also left the firm as they received better offers. When Andy Stone got better offer from Merrill Lynch,a 2 year contract with 4 times the current pay scale. The few of them from higher comes tried to convince to not leave and hence Stone didn’t take the offer.But anyway left after few years.

Between 1981 to 1985 the only competition to Solomon brothers was First Boston.But others also slowly advertising that they were also into selling mortgage bonds. As a result of which Ranieri and Co was deteriorating so rapidly and there was so many factors contributing to it and attrition rate of the employees is one of the important factor. The inefficiency in the mortgage bonds was ruined with the establishment of CMO (Collateralize Mortgage Obligation). But it had achieved what Ranieri has hoped to achieve.With the establishment of CMO trading of Mortgage bonds became easier in limitless number of ways.They sliced and diced home mortgages to sold to investors. The terms such IO and PO were frequently used. Usually bond trading was heavily concentrated on the liabilities of the balance sheet, but with the mortgage bonds,the asset side of the sheet was also valued more.

But in Solomon brothers bad times were slowly starting and slowly rift among higher managers were begin to start. Ranieri , Strauss and other were shifted to higher roles so that they could help in increase in efficiency of Management.But the effect was bad and thereby resulting in chucking out Ranieri. Slowly the mortgage department in the firm started falling and many smart traders were in better position in other finance firms. Ranieri also started his own firm Ranieri & Co. On the other hand there were news about Howie doing its round. He had placed wrong bet and hence led to loss in huge millions. After this he left Merrill Lynch and joined First Boston.

Now let’s talk Mike Lewis and how he learnt and grew in the company. He got transferred to London office and he belonged to the Strauss dynasty. He learnt and was under the guidance of the two best traders. One was Alexander who positioned he took over in London and former shifted to the New York office. Also another person was his colleague who gave life lessons as well. The only difference between him and other were that he was just little smarter than others which gave him an edge over others. The main trait with Alexander was that he had the knack of identifying what was profitable and had the guts to take risk. He wasn’t like other salesmen who followed what others did and was afraid to risk. He would call Mike from New York give him a tip suddenly asking him implement them with the investors. These tips were market movements which help him to sell bonds to customers and I reap benefits for him as well.

This help him gain confidence among customers and it reached a point where they would call and want to speak with. Mike asking for suggestions and were to bet. It took 6 months to understand the trick and working of the department. He was initially working for small scale investors, later he was given large scale investors. He and Alexander came with a trick in warrants and entered into agreement with Germany to establish their firm and sell the new type of warrants that they formulated. They took help of the opportunist and took the entire credit to himself. In order to revenge for that Mike and Alexander entered into a deal in Japan and the opportunist was not kept in loop which effected his bonus and promotion. He later left the firm for other job. Despite him and many other traders had done a good job and brought business in billions, they were still paid less in bonus when compared to the work. There were people who did nothing in their current job, they got better bonus. Hence the attrition rate increases and went for a better opportunities. The head trader of British bonds left the firm for better pay and in Goldman sacs and was begged by Solomon Brothers to stay back. But he said screw loyalty and took up the better offer.

Then comes junk bonds into the market.The whole concept of junk bonds was conceived and created a market Milken. He was one who was also helping hand for all those falling bonds as well.Junk bonds are below the investment grade,but at same time the most volatile ones and earn more than the set standard rates or if at loss ,earning much lesser the existing market rates. Perelan was bidding to buy Solomon brothers with the help of Drexel and in fact created a lot of commotion. Lot of traders were leaving the firm and were joining the camp of Drexel and Milken. But Gruedfand entered in a deal with Warren Buffet and thereby prevented Perelan from takeover of the firm. This created another new market Mergers and acquisitions. But Solomon brothers,they rigid and were stuck with just bond trading and not ready to enter the money churning market such junk bonds and M&A.

Later company reached a phase where they were assessing the management of the firm and improving even further. In this process, they involved in the process of removing people out of firm. This news not only spread among Solomon globally and also to outside world. In usual scenario,no one from outside world knows what happens within the firm. Even the profits posted by the firm was worse than the previous years. But yet the bonus/Compensation benefits given were better off this year.Mike Lewis also received a better bonus than expected

The main lesson learnt by me if we have great idea ,strong belief in it ,we can create a history and whole world will remember them.But also important give the freedom to let employee to what they believe in and at same not acting as others do out of fear will help us in a long run. Sustaining your self through ups and downs and coming up through it also important. As employee in investment banking, we have be keen on details and understand the volatility of the market. With experience we transform ourselves from a geek to great achiever in our lives

Fiction

Animal Farm-George Orwell-Review

About the Author:

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism and outspoken support of democratic socialism.

He is best known for the novel Animal Farm and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty Four. His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia, are widely acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature, language, and culture.

Story and opinion:

The quote “All Animals are equal But some animals are more equal than others” from the book best describes what the story is trying to convey. A group of animals in Manor Farm are being treated badly in the hands of their Master Mr. Jones. They are treated as a slave and get nothing back even proper food. The animals are motivated by Old Major white boar talks to them and motivated to fight for their freedom against the humans.

After his death, the intelligent animals among the group plan for a rebellion against the humans. With due luck, Jones has put himself in circumstances making the fight for rebellion struggle easier. But the end of one lead to freedom and new and different circumstances within them. Hierarchy and dictatorship prevailed even among the animals. The pigs and dogs take power over the rest of the animals and they endure what they had when under humans.

Power can addictive and consuming. It is what took those who were leading the pack of animals on the farm. They were ready to do anything to have power. In this addiction for power, the pigs who were ruling over and holding the leadership have become similar to what humans where. The problem that animals suffered under the maters of two humans never changed when they were taken care of by four legs animals

The seven commandments that the animals had were

  1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
  2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
  3. No animal shall wear clothes.
  4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
  5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
  6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
  7. All animals are equal.

The book also talks about the concept of animalism and principle that comprises. The commandments play a very important role in the farm and in the concept of animalism. Few rules were changed by the pigs for their benefit over a period of time. The animals who set these commandments with the aim of not being like humans and leading a life with fairness and equality. But when the reality sunk in they turned to be similar to humans.

I would rate this book 4/5

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Kushwant Singh Train to Pakistan

Kushwant Singh is an Indian politician, author, journalist, lawyer and diplomat. Train to Pakistan is book he was inspired to write based in his experience during the partition.

Mano Majra is a village on the border of India and Pakistan. A small village where both the Sikh and Muslims community live in peace and harmony. It was the year of partition of India and Pakistan and tension I across the border was arising. The Muslims were killing the Hindus moving across the border to India and vice versa. The trains from Lahore to Punjab and vice versa pass through this village. The entries village was shocked with the murder of the money lender Ram Lal who was an Hindi was murdered by dacoit’s. The sudden shock of this incident doesn’t stop here

The train that passed by for the next few days had people who were murdered and burnt . The entire village nearby Mano Majra was also were murdered and pushed into the river which reached the banks of Mano Majra. All this brought in the reality to the village. The Muslim in the village starter to worry for this lives and the entire village was come to terms that the Muslim have to move out for their safety. The consequences of these events on the people of the village and unfolding the story make the read going

Opinion

The first half of the book was boring and dragging. He got to the story after 80 pages or so. Since the story is set in the backdrop of the post Independence and partition it gives the reader the glimpse of the what people went through. It not only involved loss, separation of people and was the main cause for commnunal riots and religious differences. The book also gave us life lessons the change is the only constant and we need to adapt to change