Punjabi puttar meets Mylapore minnal in this romantic novel.
Author Chetan Bhagat's observations of the minutae of everyday Indian life is astoundingPunjabi puttar meets Mylapore minnal in this romantic novel.
Author Chetan Bhagat's observations of the minutae of everyday Indian life is astounding - with the reference to shaving blades on window sills, distempered house walls etc.
As the story progresses, one could feel the protagonist's agony in reconciling their families differences. Rings true, and the dialogs are spot on. May be all Indian parents read from the same script? :) (Okay, not from personal experience, but I have seen my friends go through the drama!)
The humor is tongue-in-cheek, and very offensive (if you choose to be offended) - it had me in splits in multiple places. Overall, the writing is bland, though.
Good for a plane ride from Chennai to Chandigarh....more
I'll eat my words about the "fable approach" to self-help books - in this specific case!
The One Minute Manager has survived all these years - and it iI'll eat my words about the "fable approach" to self-help books - in this specific case!
The One Minute Manager has survived all these years - and it is not without merit.
The narrative style is one where the author tells you something, and then tells you what he just told you about. This reinforces the points discussed immensely.
Very briefly, the "three secrets" discussed in the book are - Set clear goals - Praise your team - Reprimand your team and there are "rules" as to how, and when to do this. Basic stuff, and budding managers would do good remembering these.
The last quote in the book is memorable, because it summarizes the entire book in a few words - Goals Begin Behaviors, Consequences Maintain Behaviors.
The book is a very short read between an hour or two. And it is time well-spent....more
A lot irritated by the narration, but not the content.
May be it is my prejudice - I find the "fable" approach to self-help books tedious to read. TheA lot irritated by the narration, but not the content.
May be it is my prejudice - I find the "fable" approach to self-help books tedious to read. The last one I read, that took a similar approach, was Gung Ho! by Ken Blanchard, and came off thinking that the whole book was silly. The Monk Who... came highly recommended, and hence I plunged in.
The book starts off on a promising note - hot-shot lawyer has a heart-attack in court, right after winning a big case. What happens next?
Here's what happens - India - Himalayas - Yogi - "a lot of finding myself" - Mystical land - Mystical procedures (apparently even the Pareto technique!) - "share these with others" - another bad fable, within this already bad fable. You can fill in the blanks with that info.
And oh, throw in really really really (big emphasis on that third really) bad jokes as part of the "conversation".
Not to sound overly negative, there were things that hit home for me.
Summarizing them below - 1. Take care of yourself first. If you can't do even that, how can you take care of others / work? 2. Maintain strict discipline in training your body, and your mind. 3. Setting aside some "quiet time" on a daily basis. 4. Goal setting - committing to a goal publicly, so that you hold yourselves accountable in front of your peers. 5. Reflect on what you did good / bad the previous day, and make points for improvement on a daily basis. 6. Get your priorities right - not a lot of people on their death-bed wishing that they had spent more time at work.
This book could have been a LOT BETTER had the author dropped the "fable approach", and just presented his ideas in a straight-forward manner. I like Robin Sharma's The Greatness Guide (Book 2) better than this one, for this reason.
Skip it, if you can resist the folks giving over-the-top reviews for this book....more
What if Lord Shiva is not a God, but a tribal chief that lived in present day Tibet, 2000 years before ChristThis book moves at a breath-taking pace!
What if Lord Shiva is not a God, but a tribal chief that lived in present day Tibet, 2000 years before Christ? What if Parvati is not a Goddess, but a princess that Shiva woos? What if Nandi is not a bull, but a bull of a man? What if indeed did happen, but to a "mortal" Shiva? That, is the premise of this book.
Think the Matrix trilogy - now delete Neo, and insert Shiva :) (Okay, that was a stretch, but you get the idea.)
A tribal chief (Shiva) is asked to come to the aid of the Suryavanshi nation (Meluha), whose princess (Parvati) he ends up marrying (not before lots of romance!), against the Chandravanshi nation (Swadeepa). Needless to say, he kicks ass!
Some of the issues discussed in this story have parallels in our times - immigration, universal health-care, non-proliferation, terrorism etc. Juxtaposed with characters named Daksha, and Veerabhadra - they sound amusing, but does make you think - what if? What if there was a "super race" that had already faced, and solved these problems, and now those solutions are just lost to time?
The story reads like a mainstream Indian movie - fights, and romance abound. The sequence of events when Shiva, and Parvati meet for the first time, is a joy to read (akin to Vanthiyathevan, and Kundavai, meeting in Ponniyin Selvan).
It is a fantastic read, and the author weaves in the reasons behind a lot of the Hindu culture / traditions as part of the story. Not an irrefutable or a scholarly resource, but informative never-the-less.
I am waiting for books two and three in this trilogy. Google for the "Shiva trilogy" for more information....more
In this second book, partly personal correspondence between Feynman, and family, and partly about Feynman's involvement in the Challenger disaster - wIn this second book, partly personal correspondence between Feynman, and family, and partly about Feynman's involvement in the Challenger disaster - we get a closer look at this curious character.
While not quite as entertaining as SYJ, this book is a must read for Feynman's observations about how projects are executed in a large organization.
He dissects how NASA works, and is very focussed on getting to the facts leading to the shuttle disaster.
His findings on this subject (how large organizations work) are lessons one can hardly ignore. - Management trying / promising to do the impossible, ignoring sound engineering judgement - The organization on the whole turning a blind-eye to a persistent problem - Only encouraging good news
The Appendix in this book, which is (almost) the same as the one presented to President Reagan on the Challenger disaster, is a must read. Feynman remains true to his philosophy of presenting both the pluses, and minuses of a scientific inquiry, in this Appendix. The hoops that he had to jump through to get this published in the Roger's Commission Report is a story in itself!
If you ever find yourself heading a committee investigating a mishap - you'd do well to adhere to Feynman's methodology here....more
The book is a first person account of Feynman's adventures in life, err...Physics - doubt if he ever saw the distinction! The wrRe-reading this one :)
The book is a first person account of Feynman's adventures in life, err...Physics - doubt if he ever saw the distinction! The writing style is breezy, and feels as if he is in the room with you narrating these incidents. You can just feel his zest for all things Physics while reading!
The lessons to be learned from this book are enormous. One could create an Engineering 101 course with the problems that he discusses in this book. Don't bother solving them - it is the thought process that matters - true to what Fenyman believed. Most of all, the biggest lesson here is that people are most enthusiastic, when they do what they love.
Stories that I enjoyed - - Trying to invent mathematical notation, and then figuring out why it would never work in practice. - Owning upto mistakes with the S pipe problem, and the biology experiment to see if all life was made of same matter. - Giving a lecture with Einstein, Pauli, and von Neumann in the room!!! - Asking for the map of a cat! (instead of a zoological chart!) - Asking for cream, AND lemon in tea! ("Surely you are joking Mr. Feynman!"). This dislike for all pretentious niceties is evident throughout the book. - Making up his mind about staying in Caltech, and refusing an offer that could not be refused from Cornell.
The human-side of Feynman comes out in the stories dealing with the show he puts up in his sister's school, and mourning his wife's death, a month after the devastating incident.
His talk about why "science education" in Brazil is lacking is equally applicable to India, and elsewhere in the Third World.
All said, the book is a fantastic read - the foreword says it all "It is amazing that so many wonderful things can happen in one life!"
I was asked to "grow up" when I said that Pride and Prejudice was mmm...err...slow. I am not changing my opinion on that, but here are my thoughts, noI was asked to "grow up" when I said that Pride and Prejudice was mmm...err...slow. I am not changing my opinion on that, but here are my thoughts, now that I have finished reading the book.
Here is what I liked about the book - strong protagonists - Elizabeth, and Mr. Darcy. A strong suite of supplementary characters - whose lives principally influence the protagonists'. Not a single character is superfluous.
The plot, is readily identifiable to this Indian reader (The story, after all, is about love, and marriage!). What I mean is - given the social hierarchy one infers from this book - the characters' actions are very predictable.
The dialogues between the characters are lively.
Can any affection be greater than Jane, and Elizabeth's towards each other? Can any one man be as confused as Mr. Darcy in stopping his friend from marrying Jane, and yet loving Elizabeth, with disregard to the very reasons he asked his friend to not marry Jane? Can any father be as biting, and yet aloof as Mr. Bennet? I know not.
And now, here is the problem I had with the book. My own folly - reading it after a work of non-fiction with "straight" language. I had to slow down, considerably, to enjoy what I was reading. It required a different mind-set altogether. Also had some difficulty with the way the characters addressed each other - Mrs. Bennet addressing her husband as "Mr. Bennet", Jane being referred to a Miss Bennet, but Elizabeth being referred to as Ms. Elizabeth.
My book was a reprint of the original edition. May be one with some up-front commentary on the times, and people's customs, in which this story takes place, would have helped me enjoy it more.
In short, it is a wonderfully written book. Can you please point those cross-hairs elsewhere? :)...more