I was not an avid reader in my teens. But I chanced upon ‘The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. A friend recommended it to me. The book changed my life. I started feel so positive about everything I came across. I realized later that reading is a very good habit. It helps you de-stress. Stories in different forms ; fiction ; nonfiction ;fantasy; horror; comedy and many more that cannot be classified in the norms of genre send you into a trance and have the power of a tranquilizer to calm you down and see things from a better perspective.
Books are not limited to age-group. Every book irrespective of its subject has abundance of knowledge and no knowledge can be harmful. These books entertain you and enhance your imaginations. While you read the writer’s imagination ; you create your own and enjoy it.
Every time you revisit a book it tells you something new. You decipher the book in a different way at different stages of your life.
I am an ordinary reader and a very passionate writer. I enjoy collecting words. Usually an ordinary reader gets irritated when he comes across a word or passage that has very difficult words that they need to seek in the dictionary to understand
I usually collect such lovely words. These words seem very difficult at first but once you have read the meaning ; they add up to your vocabulary. It is always awesome to have many words up your sleeve for the sheer fun of wordplay.
I purposely use some extremely difficult words while speaking to my daugher and I am glad she adds those words to her vocabulary. Sometimes even in normal life and regular conversations you are short of words. You need a word that means happy but signifies a greater happiness.
I take the opportunity to introduce a few classics that every person should read.These are the books that can help you start your reading experience since they are very easy to understand and analyze. You just need to take out some time on a lazy sunday afternoon and sit by your window and read while you sip your coffee. It is an awesome feeling
Here’s my pick for Top 5 books that everyone needs to read at least once. If you have not read these books you are definitely missing something important.
This is just based on the books I have read so far in my life. I am sure many will not agree with this list. There are many books that may be far more inspiring . These are my recommendations and I promise to keep recommending more and more books as time goes by.
Book : The 3 Mistakes of My Life
Author : Chetan Bhagat
In late-2000, a young boy in Ahmedabad called Govind dreams of having a business. To accommodate his friends Ish and Omi’s passion, they open a cricket shop. Govind’s wants to make money and thinks big. Ish is all about nurturing Ali, the batsman with a rare gift. Omi knows his limited capabilities and just wants to be with his friends. However, nothing comes easy in a turbulent city. To realize their goals, they will have to face it all – religious politics, earthquakes, riots, unacceptable love and above all, their own mistakes. Will they make it? Can an individual’s dreams overcome the nightmares offered by real life? Can we succeed despite a few mistakes?
My Review :
This book is the most underrated gem of Chetan Bhagat. He has written more successful books like “Five Point Someone” and “One night at the call center”. He has also written critically panned books like”One Indian Girl” and “Half Girlfriend”. This book has chetan bhagat at his best.
The story is beautifully narrated and it has some awesome characters. The moments shared by the three best friends will make you nostalgic about your own neighbourhood and best friends.
The Gujarat riots form an essential part of the story and the backbone of the story is Cricket.
I am sure all indians would love reading this.
Book :The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Author : Mitch Albom
A novel that explores the unexpected connections of our lives, and the idea that heaven is more than a place; it’s an answer.
Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?
My Review :
This book makes you realize that you impact lives of many. Many people you do not even know get influenced or are impacted by your actions. It makes for a very pleasant read and brings a smile on your face.The Author spins the tale beautifully from childhood to adolescence ; adolescence to middle age and finally to old age. At every stage the protagonist had impacted someone’s life in a way he did not imagine.
Book : The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author : Oscar Wilde
Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it ﬁrst appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting inﬂuence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.”
This novel explores the theme of immortality and being ageless. It also explores morality. If you had the power to stay young and beautiful forever ; what would you indulge in
The writer quotes “People die of common sense , Dorian One lost moment at a time Life is the moment There is no hereafter So make it burn always With the hardest flame The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield in it”
This books raises many questions and makes you think about your choices. It makes you feel grateful to your youth and the normal course of nature where we age gracefully.
Book : Frankenstein
Author : Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the world’s most famous Gothic novel about eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley’s work is considered to be the world’s first science fiction, with Frankenstein’s monster being a symbol of science gone awry.
This novel explores many themes. The horror lies in your imagination of Frankenstein’s monster. The book is extremely philosophical. We all have a monster within us. We all have diabolical masquerades. We hide our monster and pretend to be very clean and ethical. The monster resurfaces from time to time. We make futile attempts to kill that monster within us. In India it is called Ravana and it is celebrated every year during Dushera. We burn the Ravana and it is a metaphor for burning the evil within us. But Evil resurfaces and resurrects itself from time to time. The monster within us. Thank you Mary Shelley for this cult character and creating a Frankenstein so helpless that we identify with it
Book : The Alchemist
Author : Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
He is my favorite author. I love to read all his books. He writes in very simple language and his soulful writing paves its way into your heart. He connects with you. He tells you about your dreams and waves a magical fable around your quest to achieve your dreams The famous line from this book is “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’ .It is so impactful that it makes you live your dream and believe that the entire universe will help you in realizing your dreams. The most important message in this book is to keep accord with your heart no matter where it takes you. Because the treasure is where there is heart..Our treasures are within us. God is within us.
I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop. I could not see this end. There will so much bloodshed. All humans will face their karma. The destroyer as they call them would end the world as Kalyuga has taken over. He will end this reign of evil.
I am fondly referred to as ‘Narad Muni’. I am extremely diplomatic and I think from both perspectives. But I am extremely loyal and hence I stay biased to my master ‘Lord Vishnu’
I have never questioned the decisions of the Lord. I usually play the mediator between the Evil and the Good .But this was the final stage of the battle between the two sects of the human society.
I was present in human form and I had to again play mediator but deceive the demons into losing the final battle. The Lord worked in mysterious ways and I was not sure about the reason he chose manipulation to win these battles.
My name in this form was Manav. Although I was not a human in anyway; I represented the human race in a time where humanity was in shackles.
The Apocalypse had begun and the Lord had taken the final Avatar to destroy all evil forces. As I was pretending to be on both sides; I was aware of the plans of the Evil too.
Ravana had created an entourage of all defeated in previous battles. He was the one with the intelligence of ten pandits and hence he was the planner of the assassination.
He came with name Ambareesh Ranatunga and he was a trader that had migrated from Sri Lanka to Chennai, India to set up his factory of garments.
He had befriended another rich business tycoon named Yogesh Mathur who would soon be contesting elections to become the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. As I looked into his eyes; I realized that he was Kansa.
They were also being supported by someone named Arjun Mathur who was born as the younger brother of Yogesh Mathur. He was duryodhan who was born with another name but he chose to be called Arjun by everyone who met him.
He was the media baron who ruled Mumbai and filtered all news to report only news that humans should see; so that they lose all hope in humanity.
The Lord was born with the name ‘Mayur’. He was a honest journalist. He covered the crime beat in the most popular newspaper. He was brave and sincere. He was still not aware in this human form that he was the Kalki Avatar. There was a protective shield by Brahma that watched over the lord. His mother Mayraa and his wife Padmini were aware of his mood swings. They had seen him in rage; It was the most furious form of rage that could ever exist. As soon as he would flare his nostrils and grind his teeth; he transformed into something else. He looked menacing with bloodshot red eyes and the only person who could control his rage was padmini.
His best friend and colleague Devdutt accompanied him wherever he went. He would usually drive the car and drop him off. Devdutt was obsessed with White. He would usually wear white clothes with white shoes and he looked extremely handsome. He could carry it off in style. It did not take me much time to realize that Devdutt was the metaphor for the white horse mentioned in the Holy books. He was the Vahaan that liked everything white hence his car too was sparkling clean and white.
I realized that the day had come. The news channels were flashing news about a man that claimed to be GOD. His name was Baba Bhairavnath. When his face flashed on my television screen I realized that he was Kali.
The Kalki Purana states that
Kali is always seen to be holding his genitals in his left hand. His complexion is very black, like black ointment that has been mixed with oil
Kali’s abdomen is like that of a crow, his face is frightening to behold, and his tongue is red and appears to be full of greed. His appearance is very fearful and a bad smell emanates from his body. Kali is very fond of playing chess, drinking wine, enjoying the company of prostitutes, and associating with gold merchants.
The Above description fit this man perfectly. He indeed claimed to have superpowers and he was famous for misbehaving with women. He had raped many women followers but since he had the support of the Chief Minister of the state he continued creating havoc.
An RTI Activist named Ratan had explored the truth behind many mishappenings in Baba’s Ashram. As Ratan walked with the file towards my lord; I realized that this will lead to my worst nightmare. I wanted to delay that so that humankind would introspect and find my lord within themselves. I wanted them to start being human so that they could be saved from this punishment.
But now it was too late. I saw rage in my lord’s eyes as he went through the proofs.
Baba had already committed all the heinous crimes predicted in the Kalki Purana.
This was the time for him to repent. He had to be given the capital punishment and he was going to be slaughtered in broad daylight by my Lord.
As mentioned in Kalki Purana; the pretentious saint had impregnated his own sister and tortured her for many years. She had finally mustered the courage to speak up against him. She knew all about all his crimes and she had been collecting all the evidence while staying in his ashram as a slave.
Ratan was the weapon. The Lord would kill Kali with a weapon named Ratan as per the Kalki Purana. Before that could happen; the lord had to be made aware of his greatness. He had to be enlightened in this human form.
There was a group of people protecting him. There was a group of people out to destroy him. And he was totally unaware of all this.
I decided to talk to my lord. When I reached his office; I had gone with a bag of currency notes. It was handed over to me by Ambareesh Ranatunga and his entourage to stop my lord from unmasking their Baba Bairavnath.
Ratan and Devdutt were present in the office. As I walked in and smiled they recognized me.
Devdutt : (Introducing me) : Mr.Manav Goel, he is the man about town. Everyone in this city of Mumbai knows him. He knows all the celebrities and big business tycoons. He is usually the mediator in all big business deals.
Mayur : So what brings you here
Those words from my Lord sent me into a trance. I wanted to say ‘Narayan’ ‘Narayan’ and sing praises of my Lord. But it would make it very obvious.
Devdutt looked at me expecting me to give up my humanly form at any time and fall at my beloved Lord’s feet.
But instead I chose to play the role I was in. My Lord had written it that way and it had to be performed in that way.
Manav Goel (handing over the bag of cash to devdutt): Let us take a selfie to ensure that the news stays buried. This is five crores.
Mayur :(( snatching the bag from me in rage): We will take the money but we will still expose your Baba. This money is to prevent any further damages as I am sure your baba will soon be acquitted of all charges.
My Lord had outwitted everyone. I realized that he was aware of who he was. I had tears in my eyes when he acknowledged my desire of calling out his name and sing his praises. I cried and shouted ‘Narayan , Narayan’
Every news channel played the story of a Baba that had raped his own sister and tortured her for decades.
There was no one to filter the news since Media Baron Arjun Mathur was found dead on the escalator leading to his office lobby. His tie had gotten stuck in the escalator as he bent down to pick the name card of my Lord that had slipped from his hand.
Business tycoon and Politician Yogesh Mathur suffered the same fate when he faced my Lord and fell off from the Stage during his political rally. My Lord killed him just by looking into his eyes and his death was officially recorded as an accident.
Businessman Ambareesh Ranatunga stood in support of Baba Bairavnath. His supporters burned the town when Baba was arrested. Law and Order could not do much when Baba’s followers turned to streets and burned down shops, busses and Cars. Hundreds of people died on that day.
And then I saw the inevitable. My Lord had come to the realization of who he has
He had come into his original form and a select few people could he see him that way. I was one of the lucky ones. He did not need to do much. Typhoons and thunderstorms stuck the country. He walked towards the two remaining offenders. They had already surrendered to their fate.
His touch could lead to death. He just had to unleash the destroyer in him.
The Devastator was in his full glory and this was the new beginning
© Author : Jitendra Kotai
I present to you my first published e-book on Amazon Kindle
When a long lived dream comes true. The feeling is unexplainable. The butterflies in your stomach make you hysterical.You are apprehensive and scared but at the same time you are also very enthusiastic and exuberant.
It is titled ‘Love is…. ‘
An Individual’s discovery of love through different phases of his life. He loves with all his heart but loses in love on three occasions. He discusses all the scenarios with his current fiancé.
At every stage he realizes that love is not what he thought it was. The dimensions of love change in every love story and then comes the ultimate realization. This is not just love in terms of a couple’s romance. This is love as an amalgamation of all human emotions. This is love as the core of all sensibilities and feelings.
This is the story of ‘Dev Kripalani’ and his three past affairs that he narrates to his fiancé ‘Trishna Shah’ to maintain the transparency in their relationship before they get married.
:“Do you know what is extremely dissapointing? “
“Realizing that everything you ever believed in was utter nonsense”
Amar Bhatnagar was talking to a group of admirers
This was a private coaching centre of science primarily focussing on the study of Cryonics based in Pune.
Cryonics is a science that is regarded with skepticism in the mainstream scientific community
It is the low temperature preservation of people that cannot be sustained by Contemporary medicine with the hope that the restoration of health may be possible in the far future.
The clinically dead people are frozen at temperatures below -196 degrees celsius
This is usually done when a patient is declared legally dead
Niharika was taking keen interest in the topic of research.
Amar Bhatnagar had his own theories and he used scientific metaphors for his own self proclaimed discoveries. Some students believed him in blind faith whereas some questioned his levels of sanity.
“Is it possible to be alive forever ??” he inquired to a very receptive audience
“Immortality has always been fascinating. Fiction has many tales of people who are immortal.But Is it possible to be ageless and alive forever.” He smiled as he said this.
“. If we look at Indian Mythology it has characters that have won over death. It has certain gods and demi-gods who have the boon to be ageless and alive. “
“There are a lot of fictional characters that continue to live on forever like Dorian Gray. He sells his soul to the devil and his life -like painting ages but he does not. “
Seated on the first bench. She always fiddled with her hair when he saw her. She never looked away when he looked lustfully at her.Holding her pen in her mouth and giving an obvious indication of being fascinated by him, Niharika kept staring at the handsome professor
“The Great Epic Ramayana boasts of a Sanjeevani Booti that brings dead people back to life. Is it possible that there could be something like that.
Can humans be immortal ?
A question that has been troubling many people all over the world.”
“Immortality is like a mirage in the desert. It looks like water from a distance but it is actually sand.It is just an image of water due the reflection of the light.it will never quench your thirst “he concluded
The students applauded and he smiled with confidence at fooling them all and luring them into his mad world.
A Few Kilometers away in another city named Mumbai, a girl of a similar age had been killed. The sight was unnatural. No evidence could be found.
Inspector Shahid khan gaped into oblivion.He was a tough cop but he had a very sensitive side to him. He had swollen eyes since he had been drinking a lot recently. He could no longer handle seeing dead bodies and determining the reason behind ghastly murders.
The Crime scene had been doctored and cleaned with finesse. The last person this lady was seen with was her boyfriend..
“ They had been madly in love” said the neighbour
“ I had seen them so often, completely lost in each other” They never realized anybody else’s presence.” She had a tear drop from her eye. Then suddenly she recollected something
“ The Man was from another city in the North, he had recently moved to Mumbai”
“Were they Married ?” Inquired Khan while inspecting something on the wall
“ No, they were just living together. They were going to get married soon” she recollected
The girl had been killed in a very unique way. She had been frozen to her death. The room was full of syringes but fingerprints had been carefully wiped off.
Inspector Shahid Khan then seized the laptop he found in the house. At night while alone in his police station on another sleepless night he started running a software that brings back all erased data onto the laptop.
He got into a shock.it contained various pictures of dead bodies that had been dug from graves. There were videos of experiments made on this dead bodies. Someone was out there who had started believing that he could resurrect dead people.
They chanced upon some more evidence. Another girl killed in another city. She was also killed in a very similar way. There was a formula and some scientific calculations written in a document that explained the whole experiment. The Resurrection process also involved chanting of some mantras and a herb that had been brought especially from a mountain. Our saviour had named it Sanjeevani Booti The Man conducting these experiments was named Dr Amar Bhatnagar in the tapes. He spoke very loudly and in an extremely narcissistic way talked only about himself and his experiments.
Findings in the case revealed
There was a huge freezer that had been bought specifically for these expirements . It was not seen on the crime scene.This freezer had been bought by the girl killed and she had willingly participated in this mad experiment after having consumated her love with the killer.
Further findings revealed that this name was bogus and the degree used was bogus too. The Horrific revelation was that the person conducting these experiments was not qualified to be out in the medical world and conducting such a horrendous research
Meanwhile in Pune
Niharika and Professor Amar Bhatnagar usually worked alone in his laboratory. She loved his passion towards the subject. The flair with which he spoke was intoxicating.
She had taken loans to fund his laboratory and the entire experiment.
He had lured her to giving herself up for experimentation. The experiment was simple. She had to die. After her death Dr Bhatnagar would revive her with his newly learnt science of waking the dead. Niharika had another wish too. Her death wish was the professor. She wanted to make passionate love to him before he killed her. She wanted to die in his arms and she had the unbroken faith that he could resurrect her.
She was totally in awe of him. She believed every word he uttered from his mouth.The experiment he was going to conduct was not Cryonics. This was an experiment to test immortality
He fiddled with the hair on her face and said “ There are two ways of achieving immortality”
The first way is to die and rely on your experienced mentor to bring you back.The Second way is to gain the supernatural powers yourself to awaken from the dead “
He fulfilled her last wish by passionately devouring her body before freezing her to death. But this time something unexpected happened. The Formula did work and he brought her back from the dead. Niharika was revived soon after she died. But she had no memory of that incident. She behaved like someone else. Her tone of voice, her mannerisms and behaviour were totally different.She seemed to not remember the doctor or the experiment at all.
An Excited Amar bhatnagar was enthralled by his victorious
“How far fetched is our imagination ? Something that we imagine today can it be a reality tomorrow? Scientists have been converting our fictional imaginations into reality with their inventions. It is a very optimistic thought that the future beholds better technology and smarter gadgets. Have you ever thought about it in a pessimistic way ?”
“Have you ever imagined that what will happen if the world is taken over by a smart man like me and i become destructive against humanity ?”
He kept talking to her and failed to get her response. “It is my fourth achievement.i have got the Midas touch” he shouted in ecstasy
Inspector Shahid Khan showed the tapes to the senior officers who were taken aback by the abuse someone could possibly give to others in the name of experiments. This man’s insanity knew no bounds.
The tormentor kept his back to the camera throughout the ordeal and hence it was difficult for the police to find him.
Meanwhile in Pune Inspector Rajesh Shirodkar had an ordinary month so far. No crimes were reported to him until a horrendous crime that was soon going to be reported.
A Science lab full of equipment and a girl frozen to death was going to unnerve him
The Girl was identified as Niharika. The Man that killed her had disappeared. There was no evidence left behind apart from a dead body frozen to below -196 degrees
Meanwhile In a Bus En-route from Pune to Ahmedabad . The repeat offender was contemplating another gorgeous lady for his sacrilege . He was glaring at her like a predator eyes his prey.According to him he was doing to this for the greater good
According to him Niharika was still awake and seated right next to him. The Other women he had killed prior to this were also alive in his world. He was living in denial of his experiments that had gone horribly wrong . There was no truth in his theory of reviving people back to life with his combined study of cryonics, Mantras and Sanjeevani Booti,
The Two inspectors had done their thorough research on him zeroed in on him.His laptop had given away all details of his moves and he had been following a predictable pattern.
The Policeman reached before him at the destination and nabbed him as soon as he got down from the bus. He had befriended the pretty damsel during the time spent on the bus and she was lucky enough to be saved from the maniac.
He kept repeating that he had done a favor to mankind by proving the science in Ramayana. He had found a cure to death and Sanjeevani Booti combined with Mantras and Cryonics could revive someone and bring them back from the dead.
Humanity survives on hope and faith. But the faith should be backed by skepticism
Blind following and faith has disastrous results
Religious books and Mythological tales have some magical stories and some unrealistic assumptions about Gods and their superpowers.
These things cannot be linked and such people that mix religion with science are dangerous. Medical science is based on facts. But Applying those metaphors and finding alternate medicine can lead to untimely demise of the subjects of these experiments.
There is no escape from Suffering and Death- Gautam Buddha
I edited and narrated the first story I wrote on my blog in my own voice
A big thank you to all of you for following my blog.
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