The Bestseller She Wrote: Book Review

Sunday, December 27, 2015
Title: The Bestseller She Wrote
Author:  Ravi Subramanian
Genre: Romantic
Price: Rs 295 (You can buy from Flipkart here)
Number of pages: 292
Publisher: Westland Ltd.
ISBN-10: 9385152386
ISBN-13: 978-9385152382


The Blurb:
Paperback king, Aditya Kapoor’s life is straight out of a modern man’s fantasy. His literary stardom is perfectly balanced by a loving wife and a spectacular career. With everything he touches turning to gold, Aditya is on a winning streak. Shreya Kaushik is a student with a heart full of ambition. Young, beautiful, and reckless, Shreya speaks her mind and obsessively chases after what she wants. And what she wants is to be a bestselling author. What happens when their worlds collide? Is it possible to love two people at the same time? Can real ambition come in the way of blind passion? Can trust once broken, be regained? Master storyteller Ravi Subramanian, delves into the glitzy world of bestsellers and uncovers a risky dalliance between a superstar novelist and his alluring protégé. The Bestseller She Wrote is a combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption.

About the Author:
Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bengaluru, has spent two decades working his way up the ladder of power in the amazingly exciting and adrenaline-pumping world of global banks in India. For Ravi, The Bestseller She Wrote, marks the beginning of a new chapter in his writing. A significant departure from his usual fare, this is Ravi’s first book on romantic intrigue. If God was a Banker won him the Golden Quill readers choice award in 2008. He also won the Economist Crossword Book Award for The Incredible Banker in 2012.  "The Bankster", released in 2012 won him the Crossword Book Award in 2013. In 2014 he won the Raymond Crossword book award for Bankerupt. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Dharini, and daughter, Anusha. (Quoted from his website)


My Review:
I have been a fan of Ravi Subramanian's writing ever since God was a Banker. This is his third book which I have read since God was a Banker, the reviews of other two can be found here: Link. He has been rightly called as the John Grisham of Banking by The Wall Street Journal, however, this book is a slight departure towards the romantic genre. He has touched upon the issue of infidelity and its aftermath. This book also talks about the business of publishing books, starting from the draft manuscript to the final launch covering all aspects of marketing! 

The plot of the story is interesting - the well-known author-banker Aditya Kapoor who is happily married falls for Shreya who wants to be a best-selling author just like him. Initially, I thought it will be a run-of-the-mill story and had already made up my mind against it. However, when I actually got to reading it, I was impressed by the twist in the story. The plot thickens with the build-up for the climax and I could actually guess some part of the climax (being a Sherlock fan I am!). The climax is the most interesting part of the story and does not disappoint you. 

The pace of the story is adequate and does not let you lose interest. I finished the book in just one day with intermittent breaks. The characters are portrayed beautifully and justice has been done to each one of them! They are strong-willed, independent and ambitious and easily relatable to! The climax witnesses a really nice take on adultery being a choice, not a mistake! The journey of the protagonist throughout the story has been portrayed brilliantly. 

Some parts of the story were a drag and could have been edited out as I just skipped some and didn't lose any story!

My Rating: 3 out of 5.
Who will like it: Thriller and romance lovers

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Programfor Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!
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Bajirao Mastani: Movie Review

Sunday, December 20, 2015
Source: News Mobile
So, there was a big dilemma which every hindi movie lover faced this week - which movie to watch? Having just one free day, the confusion grew between Bajirao Mastani and Dilwale. Being a democratic family, we voted and Bajirao Mastani won! Well, it turned out to be a really good decision.

Source: Indian Express
The Story:
Bajirao Mastani is a story of a Maratha Peshwa, Shreemant Bajirao Balaji Bhat, portrayed by Ranveer Singh, who served to the fifth Chhatrapati  Shahu Raje Bhosle of the Maratha Empire from 1720 till 1740. He was married to Kashibai portrayed by Priyanka Chopra. He meets Mastani, born in Bundela Rajput clan to Maharaja Chhatrasal, portrayed by Deepika Padukone and falls in love with her. Bajirao was an excellent warrior and fought 41 battles and never lost in any of them. He is credited with expanding the Maratha Empire in the Northern part of India. The movie beautifully shows Bajirao's journey as a Peshwa and as a guy in love.

Source: In.com
My Review:
The movie is based on a real-life historical journey of a Maratha Peshwa with slight modifications to history. Yet the way Sanjay Leela Bhansali has directed the story is brilliant. His way of story-telling is unique that you'll not feel disconnected for even a second. All the three main characters and the family members have been well portrayed. To bring out hatred against a character or love for a character is a director's art! Also, the larger-than-life set-up, the amazing dialogues, the royal clothes -it's all just adds up to form the epic!


Source: Wikipedia
Ranveer has acquired a marathi accent for the movie and it seems real. He has delivered one of the best performances of his career in this movie and done extreme justice to the character of Bajirao. From his entry in the movie to the end of the film, he just kept me in awe! He has joined the list of my most favorite actors! :D Deepika has played the character of a strong willed woman who is an outstanding warrior along with a great dancer! Deepika has become my favorite nowadays. I do not remember a recent film of hers in which I didn't like her. I might not have liked the movie, but she always wins my heart! She has looked gorgeous throughout the film! She has danced wonderfully in "Deewani Mastani" and also stands out in "Pinga". I never took my eyes off her! Well for Priyanka, I really liked her in Dil Dhadakne Do and Quantico, but this movie, I just didn't like her. Maybe it was the character or just her, I couldn't decide that. Deepika and Ranveer overshadowed Priyanka in Bajirao Mastani! 

Just like Bajirao-Mastani, Ranveer-Deepika's jodi just melts your heart! Love them together! :D :D

My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
My favourite Character: Mastani
My favourite Song: Deewani Mastani
Who will like this movie? Anyone who likes to see intense movies!


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Vermicelli: Sugar Free Recipe!

Monday, November 30, 2015

माँ ने संडे को नाश्ता बंनाने की जिम्मेदारी मुझ पर डाल रखी है। नाश्ते की मेज पर पोहे और सैंडविचेस के साथ कुछ मीठा हो जाये तो क्या बात है। हर बार एक नयी चीज़ बनाना बहुत बड़ा टास्क होता है। इस संडे जब सब नाश्ते की मेज़ पर बैठे तो ख़ुशी से छोटी बहिन बोली "दीदी आज तो ये नई तरह की सेवइयां है। हर बार माँ दूध वाली सेवइयां ही बना देती थी।" आज मैंने सोचा कुछ नया बनाया जाये पर खाने में मीठा ज्यादा आजकल कोई पसंद नही करता। स्वास्थ्य की दृष्टि से भी मीठा ज्यादा लेना हितकारी नही होता। मै स्वीट डिश तो बनाती हूँ पर अब मै आम शुगर की जगह शुगर फ्री नैचुरा को प्रयोग करती हूँ। आज आप लोगों के साथ भी मीठी सेवइयां बनाने की रेसीपी शेयर कर रही हूँ।


सामग्री :-बोम्बिनो सेवइयां एक कटोरी
              घी दो बड़ी चम्मच
              बादाम ,किशमिश,नारियल ,काजू  आदि ड्राई फ्रूट इच्छानुसार
              पानी दो कटोरी
              शुगर फ्री नैचुरा दो छोटी चम्मच



विधि :-कड़ाही में दो चम्मच देसी घी डाल कर गर्म करें।


घी गर्म होने पर उसमे एक कटोरी बोम्बिनो सेवइयां डाल कर भूरा होने तक भून लें।



भून जाने पर उसमे दो कटोरी पानी डाल कर उबलने दें। एक उबाल आ जाने पर आँच धीमी करके ढक्कन से ढक दें।



थोड़ी देर मै चैक करले जिस प्रकार चावल को चैक करते है कि वो गले की नहीं सेवइया गल गयीहै या नही। यदि सेवइयां गल गयी हो तो गैस बंद कर दे व् अंत मे दो चम्मच शुगर फ्री नैचुरा ऊपर से फैला कर डाल दें। उसे मिक्स करके एक मिनट के लिए ढक दें।



अंत मे डोंगे मे सेवईयां डाल कर  ऊपर से ड्राई फ्रूट छिड़क कर गर्म गर्म सर्व करें।




लीजिये तैयार है स्वादिष्ट व स्वास्थ्य वर्धक सेवइयां खिलाइये सबको व  वाहवाही लूटें।
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McCain Party!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

उस दिन अचानक से मेरी  छोटी  बहन ने फ़ोन करके बोला की वो अपनी कुछ सहेलियों को घर ल रही है। अब सब कॉलेज से थक कर आ रही थी तो भूख तो लगी होगी। मुझे समझ ही नही आ रहा था की एकदम से झट पैट क्या बना दू? उसे तो कह दिया की देखती हूँ पर सोच में पड़ गयी कि क्या करूँ ? यूँ तो आजकल ऐसे अचानक आये तूफानी ऑर्डर के लिए मै अपने फ्रिज में McCain के टिक्की और नगेट्स वगेरह रखती हूँ पर देखा एक ही पैकेट था Mccain chilli garlic potato bites का। ये तो कम होंगे ये सोच कर मेने इन potato bites को नए रूप मैं बनाने की तैयारी में लग गयी की चलो कुछ डिफरेंट हो जाये।

जब बच्चियाँ आई तो मेने चाय के साथ बिस्कुट ,नमकीन ,मठ्ठी अचार के मसाले के साथ और potato bites सर्व किये जो उन्हें बहुत पसंद आये। आइये आपको भी बताती हूँ की मेने Mccain chilli garlic potato bites के मैंनै डिश कैसे बनाई।

सामग्री :-McCain Chilli Garlic Potato Bites का एक पैकेट
                २ बड़े प्याज(लम्बे टुकड़ों में कटे हुए )
                 २ शिमला मिर्च (पतली लम्बी कटी हुई )
                 २ चम्मच टोमेटो सॉस
                 २ चम्मच सोया सॉस
                  २ चम्मच ग्रीन चिली सॉस
                  नमक ,मिर्च ,अजवाइन (स्वादानुसार)
                 रिफाइंड तलने के लिए वमसाला बनाने के लिए।


विधि ;- कड़ाही में रिफाइंड डाल कर bites को फ्रीजर से निकाल कर सीधे कड़ाही मे डाल कर फ्राई कर के रख लें।


अब दूसरी कड़ाही में ४ चम्मच रिफाइंड डाल लें गर्म होने पर अजवाइन उसमे डालें फिर उसमे प्याज डाल कर हल्का सा भूने फिर इसमें शिमला मिर्च डाल कर थोड़ा सा भून लें। भुनी सब्जियों में नमक ,मिर्च ,सॉस ,चिली सॉस व सोया सॉस डाल कर मिक्स करें।



इस तैयार मसाले में फ्राई किये हुए नगेट्स डाल कर मिक्स कर लें। फिर गर्म गर्म नगेट्स  को डोंगे में डाल कर सर्व करें।


लीजिये McCain के Chilli Garlic Potato Bites की नै डिश तैयार है पूरे परिवार के साथ एन्जॉय करिये व वाह वाही लीजिये।


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Togetherness!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


The definition and feeling of togetherness has changed over the past years- get-together at lunches have been changed to hangout at skype, waking up your friend at 2 in the night to tell the gossip about your crush has been changed to a whatsapp message, our happiness is counted by the number of likes, our sorrows depicted in facebook statuses! The human touch has just vanished from our day to day interactions. Our family dinners is in front of a TV with stolen glances at the mobile phones. We are eating something new, yay, this deserves to be on instagram! I'm on vacation so I definitely need to check-in at FB! The beautiful view of the scenery is captured not in your heart but in the lens of your camera, and instead of appreciating what's in front of us, we spend all the time in getting that perfect shot! 

Okay, I agree that lives of grown ups is hard. You have so much work and responsibilities that you remain busy all day, but that doesn't mean you will be cut off from your friends, so this life on digital platform and social media is very important! But what about kids? Atleast in our childhood, we went out to play. We fought with other kids for our turn in game, we fell, we got up - at least what we had was real! A X-BOX/PS game cannot be the same thing! it will have more animations than real life, you will have more super powers, but the interaction with "friends" would be only very minimal. 

Having a large number of friends on facebook doesn't count for having togetherness. The reason these social platforms were made was to interact with people more, not less. Real togetherness was meeting with friends in person, having an actual chat, spending time with family while gossiping about the world, knowing your neighbours, having a chat with the aunty that lives across the street, having home cooked food, taking into account the feelings and emotions of everyone else and basically swicthing off your phone while having a get together so that you give your 100% attention to the person in front of you! Real togetherness takes into account human touch - something which is lacking in our lives these days! Social media life is important but not 24x7 - you need to log off sometime and have a real laugh instead of an LoL!

Kissan has created a beautiful ad about the "real togetherness" which shows how a small effort of an elderly uncle changes the whole dynamics of the society - it brought everyone together! So this diwali, instead of sending whatsapp messages, go visit your old friends and family and spend quality time together! and hey do remember to leave your phone in your car! ;)

I once wrote a few lines, which seem apt to me for this situation!

I have stood atop the mountain
and swam away from shore.
Yet the place I desire the most
couldn't hold me anymore.

'Coz I got the freedom I wanted
and the wings I craved for.
Now the only thing remaining
is a string back to shore.


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Dancing to the tunes of MaxFresh!

Saturday, August 22, 2015
This is the time of the year when the college is always a happy place as the fests are just around the corner. I have been so excited the whole time as this time I will participate and definitely win the Solo Dance competition in our fest. I have been practising my performance for weeks -always adding a new step, removing another step. I was so nervous that I couldn't be satisfied a all. I rehearsed and re-rehearsed till all the energy left my body! Phew! :(

Finally, the week came and the fest started. It was my first fest in college life and I was super excited. The first day of the fest was super awesome and I attended all the events, competitions, activities, everything. At night, we had a concert in which Allu Arjun was the main performer. We danced and cheered. I recorded his whole performance and secretly decided that I will incorporate one or two of his steps in my performance. So, the next morning I woke up early and started rehearsing his steps so that I could include his steps! but alas, he dances like a dream and I just wasn't able t do it with the same finish as him. I kept trying in frustration and suddenly fell on the stage with a thud! I got back up, brushed myself off and was about to start again when a shooting pain started in my right foot. I called my friend and she took me to the doctor! I got a fracture and he plastered my foot! 

And so, with a thud went my dream to dance in my college fest! It broke my heart and all my dreams were shattered on the floor right in front of me! How could I be so stupid that I could actually think of dancing like Allu Arjun! Anyway, I was so sad that I couldn't perform but now I will not be able to attend the rest of the fest as well as the Doctor prescribed bed-rest for a week! 

While I was sulking in my hostel room, my phone beeped. I checked and one of my friends had sent me a video of his dance to cheer me up! He was dancing with Colgate MaxFresh (as Allu Arjun promotes Colgate MaxFresh!) Hahaha! I was so happy to see I have such caring friends! They even managed to get a wheelchair for me to be able to go and see the Solo Dance Competition!

Here's the video of my friend's solo dance with Colgate MaxFresh to Taazgi ka Dhamaka Tune:



Next year, I will definitely take part and in this one year, I will learn all of Arjun's steps and much more! Till next fest! :D

I am dancing for #MaxFreshMove activity at BlogAdda. If you are not blogging, you can join me by participating in this #MaxFreshMove facebook activity.
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White Sauce Pasta: Easy-to-cook Recipe

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Have you ever had to cook for yourself when the only thing you knew how to cook was now banned in your country? I had to! The other day I came back from work too late in the evening to find out that my mom had gone out for some work. I called her and she told me she will be back in some time and she was extremely hungry. So now, i had to cook something for both myself and my mom! My expectations of reaching home to a lavish dinner had just crashed. Alas! I finally sat down to check my options available. I couldn't cook Dal-Sabzi-Roti due to many reasons - the top of the list being I'm a lazy person! After sweating over it for some time and checking every drawer to find some ready-to-eat meals, I found a pack of Delmonte Pasta Gourmet Pasta Spirali. All my troubles vanished in thin air. I jumped with joy and started cooking my favourite dish in the world - A white Sauce Pasta! I haven't cooked white sauce pasta before but I knew I loved it a lot. And I was sure I knew my flavours right! :P So, this has been cooked majorly on my gut instinct and a lot of failed attempts! (and a major help from memories of my mother cooking macroni in my childhood :P) Hope you like it. I have presented here a step-by-step instructions along with pictures for your help.

Here's the important information. Make sure you have all the ingredients before hand. 


White Sauce Pasta Recipe:
Servings: 2 people
Preparation time: 7 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Equipment needed: Strainer, Pan, Spatula

Ingredients:
For Sauce
Maida: 2 tablespoons
Home-made Butter/ white butter: 1 tablespoon (heaped)
Milk: 1/2 cup

For Pasta
Delmonte Pasta Gourmet Pasta Spirali: 2 cup
Oil: 2 tablespoon
Onion: 2 small
Capsicum: 1 small
Garlic Cloves: 2-4 (finely chopped)
Ajwain/ Carom seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
Black Pepper: To taste
Salt: To taste

 

Recipe:
1. Keep a pan on simmer. Add 4-5 cups of water, one teaspoon oil and half teaspoon salt. Put the stove on high and let the water boil. After the water has boiled, add 2 cups of Delmonte Pasta Gourmet Pasta Spirali in it.


 2. After one boil, put the stove on simmer for 5 minutes. Let it cook properly so that it becomes soft. You can test that by trying to break a piece with bare hands. 


3. Take it off the stove and through a strainer. Wash out with cold water.




4. For sauce, take another pan and put the stove on simmer. Add home-made butter to it and let it melt completely.


5. Add maida to the butter. Saute it for 2-3 minutes. It will form a thick paste. Clear out the lumps.


6. Add milk to the paste. Keep stirring till the milk has completely mixed with the paste. It will become like a thick sauce, Take it off the stove. The white sauce is ready. Keep it aside.





7. Take another pan. Add oil to it and put on high stove. Add ajwain/carom seeds to it.




8. Add onions to the pan and saute them for some time till the color changes slightly.


9. Add finely chopped garlic cloves to the pan.




10. When the color of the onos turn to light pink, add chopped capsicum to the pan.


11. Saute on sim for 5 minutes.




12. Add white sauce (prepared earlier) to this pan. Mix the white sauce evenly with the onion-capsicum mixture.



13.  Add black pepper and salt to this and Mix properly. Add the cooled pasta to this mixture and let it cook for sometime on simmer for 2-5 minutes.






14. Take it off the stove and serve hot with chilli flakes and oregano.




Do try out the recipe and let me know if you liked it. Also, if you have tried any variations, do let me know you experience! Keep Cooking, Keep Chilling!
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