The Obvious Truth That is Hidden by Chethana – Book Review

I am very fond of self-help books. They occupy a large chunk of space on my bookshelf. The Obvious Truth that is Hidden by Chethana is an addition to my collection. It is a small book, yet brimful with life-changing thoughts, ideas and events. But, before I tell you more about this book and how did I find this book, let me explain to you first why I love reading self-help and motivational books more. Whenever melancholy embraces me in its warmth and hopelessness puts its hand on my eyes and obscures my vision, I instantly take out a self-help book or buy a new one and lose myself in its inspiration and hopefulness. These books are non-toxic and free medicine that gives me immediate relief. And this was the reason I picked up The Obvious Truth that is Hidden by Chethana. It changed my mood and filled me with new hopes and freshness and clear roads that were blocked by despair, fear and anxiety.

This title is a testimony to Chethana’s struggles, resistance, the spirit to fight things back and a hopeful vision that things would change for good (in the coming days). And her personal experiences have been turned into ideas, suggestions and opinions that would help the readers to learn more about their lives and the lives of those around them. This is a self-help book that actually helps you out. It does not dictate; it suggests and guides and questions and answers.

There are many things revealed in the book with the help of relevant, ancient, old and contemporary examples. The marshmallow example, the Krishna-Yashoda example, and many more like these are there in the book that will help the readers understand why patience and faith in life are essential, impatient and hurried people often lose more than they weigh during the analysis. The author has been vivid, scientific, rational and also religious and spiritual during her treatment of ideas and scenarios in the book. The Obvious Truth That is Hidden by Chethana is a book that takes into consideration different arguments and offers the readers a perspective that they can reject or accept or continue thinking more about. The book does not, in any way, harass or chide the readers for their knowledge or temperament. It acts friendly all the way to the end.

The explanation of mantras is there. The importance of Hindu practices is there. The way with or without Mantras is also there. The author, as I have reiterated many times, is friendly in her approach. She shares her experience and thoughts. She suggests and does not force her opinions or ideas. You have to pick the best ones that suit you. Also, the author has been very kind to reveal her sources of information whether it’s Wikipedia or any book or any philosopher of the bygone era. You will find the original sources of Chethana’s information wherever applicable.

An interesting book with something or everything for those who want to embark on a journey to know the internal being. It is a short, random and spontaneous collection of ideas and thoughts. You can read it and learn more. You can read it in pieces and learn even more. Yes, there might be a few instances where you might want more order and a systematic approach. Otherwise, the book is nicely written and for the first-time writer, it’s nothing short of an achievement.

You can get a copy from Amazon India and read the book now.

Buy a copy today – click here to go to Amazon 

 

Review by Nidhi for The Book Blog

Ponder Awhile by Mohit Misra – Review

Ponder Awhile by Mohit Misra… Well, the poet is just suggesting we all must give some minutes to ponder. What? Ponder about what? That you will know this once you start reading this poetry collection. I read this book almost a week ago. As its title suggests, I actually immersed myself in the pool of thoughts to Ponder Awhile before I could write something about this book. This book left an ever-lasting impression on me. Mohit Misra’s short poems profess a narrative far beyond what actually exists on the page. His poems are like gravel thrown into a pool, ripples radiating outwards indefinitely, stirring everything they touch. It shook my soul. To an extent, it changed the way I perceive and think about things. This is one of those books that allows you to flit and fly from page to page; sink into the folds or fly back into your chair or bed. Mohit’s words were so soothing and constantly echoing in my ears even after a week.

The poems in this collection are not related as such. However, when you read them, you will find a strong correlation between them. They look into the little things or issues of life of common people and present unique perspectives for you. For instance, we all strive to know the meaning of life and see(k) the truth; we all deal with confusion and reasons; we all have our definitions of God; love, friendship and relationships are the most important and inseparable parts of our lives; some days are like winning and some days are losing and so on. Mohit has covered all these aspects and combined them with his own experience which will provide you new insight to look into our lives.

Nevertheless, the subjects that the poems deal with are not only about being poetic. Mohit Misra, the author of Ponder Awhile, comes from a very unique religious background and turned out to be an atheist as life moved on for him. However, realisation and awakening came to him slowly. He experienced many things over many years. And this poetry collection is a result of the same – his experiences and his realisations. You may observe that the poems are very personal in nature. At the same time, we can all see glimpses of very common events, episodes, examples, experiences and emotions in those poems. That’s the beauty of this poetry collection.

Also, the poet has dealt with many spiritual and universal concepts in his poetry collection. He discusses religious messages, spiritual messages, secular messages, messages of light and so on. Mohit has tried his best to present to the world a thesis of peace, brotherhood, harmony and selfless living. He has chosen the lyrical form of the couplet to convey these thoughts and the form and the themes of the poems complement each other.

The height, depth, and expansive views these poems carry are impossible, to sum up here. They are simple and beautiful, dark and bright, contradictory and valid. And there are so many great lines in this poem. So quotable. It is extremely easy to read these poems. They are deep so far beyond my real understanding that I could study them for the rest of my life. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for real meaning in their lives and to anyone who is sick and tired of the usual thing. Grab a copy today and read these poems. Enjoy! Seek! All the best!

Click here to get a copy of this book from Amazon India

 

Review by Abhinandan for The Book Blog

Dewdrop and Banyan Tree by Ramachandran Rajasekharan – Book review

Poetry is the sweetness that can turn your summers into pleasant memories. It can also render the pleasant heatwave that may surround your winter bed with a lovely atmosphere. In short, what I mean by these enthusiastic analogies is that poetry is charming. Poetry has the power to make you feel happy and jolly, doesn’t matter what mood you have been in before. Poetry is powerful. I enjoy reading poetry more than anything else. It has many reasons. The first and the most important is that you don’t have to spend too much time understanding the plot, the characters and keeping in mind all the major episodes as you do while reading a novel. While you read poetry, you can simply continue reading, admiring, appreciating and getting pleased by what you read.

I have recently read Dewdrop and Banyan Tree, a poetry collection written by Ramachandran Rajasekharan. The poet is almost on the verge of his retirement from his professional life. He has started writing poetry too late in his life. However, once you start reading his poetry collection, you will forget everything else about the poet and his life. His poems are persuasive and compelling. The way he introduces his ideas and brings his imageries into play takes the readers into the past and guides them into envisioning the future of mankind… everything about Ramachandran Rajasekharan’s poetry collection is mature and exciting. No reader, I guess, will have to say anything about the poet’s first poetry collection other than the style of his poetry and its beauty.

There are 50 poems in this collection. There is a poem having the same title as the poetry collection itself. Dewdrop and Banyan Tree. That poem is about the meaningfulness of life and how we can ensure our days are spent making others happy and smile. Sweet, short and having the strength to persuade anyone… it has been the style of the poet throughout the collection. Ramachandran Rajasekharan has written in simple words. He did not opt for difficult words and too cryptic a style of writing as many other poets in their beginning may have opted for. And yet, you will find that the poet has been at the top of his prowess. I cannot say flawless because there are, at times, many things that recur in this book. You will find the same theme in several poems, at times. However, it might not be a parameter to judge a poet’s works. What a poet thinks and what he writes is entirely his domain.

There are a few poems that are inspired by the poet’s parents. You will find the very first poem which is inspired by the poet’s mother’s work. There are a few more such poems in the collection. This shows how sensitive is the poet toward the art form we call poetry. It is a sweet gesture as well. To comment on the poetic relevance of this collection, it is certainly way better than anyone in his debut poetry collection could have done. Ramachandran Rajasekharan offers his thoughts in a style that is not new but worked in a newly devised way, bringing newness to the age-old themes of life, spirituality and philosophy. The simplicity and straightforwardness of the poet have decorated the entire length of this poetry collection. You will find it.

You can get this poetry collection in Kindle or Paperback format from Amazon India. Click the link below to buy the book:

Get a copy – click here for the Amazon India book page

 

Review by Puja for The Book Blog

Vanisha Uppal: an author on the way to her life goals – opinion

An author becomes successful in terms of popularity or critical appreciation. Both these things go on to build the reputation of the author in the future and in the present as well. New authors have to struggle these days because fame does not come to them very easily. Nevertheless, if they are into serious writing and they mean business, the literary business, critics and serious readers do accept their claim and honour them with the appreciation that they deserve. This stands true with Vanisha Uppal, the author of On The Way, her debut book. Though the book is newly-launched and it has not done that magic in the market yet, it is our duty that we honour the seriousness of her writing and apprise the readers with the same.

On The Way has been appreciated by readers on Goodreads and critics on their platforms and blogs. There is no doubt that every one of them appreciates what Vanisha Uppal, the author, has done in terms of her writing, the objective, the vision, the philosophy and the ultimate test of a writer – connection with the readers and their predicament. On The Way, the book, does not make any reader feel left alone. It is for everyone because it deals with our daily issues, goals, successes and failures. The book, though categorised as spiritual non-fiction as well, does not talk about spirituality in direct terms. Readers will have to encounter the life stories of Vanisha Uppal and big-little episodes of her life with her grandparents, friends, employers and students, teachers etc. They will have to extract their messages and interpretation from those episodes, offered as articles, and that’s a very easy thing to do – let me assure you all.

The author’s strength lies in her capacity to connect with her readers. She offer’s book’s content in a way that reflects various conditions that we usually find ourselves in. For example, we might be happy, sad, tense or worried. We may be anxious about some results to come, some answers that we don’t have, some problems that we want to solve. We may be joyous because of our income, when someone says yes when we get out of some sword-hanging trouble and so on… the author has managed to cultivate all these human situations in her articles and shared her experiences about the same. How did she react to some trouble? How did she react to solve a problem? How did she put her trust in God? How did she get help from the act of mediation? What does she think of questions that are not answerable in simple terms?

Vanisha Uppal’s writing goes beyond the simple connotation of spiritual or motivational writing. She tries to simplify the concepts that have otherwise been lionised by many authors who believe in making a mockery of their readers by using high-end words and sentences that are unclear. You might find a few mistakes here and there in the lines by Vanisha in terms of grammar or punctuation. However, you will never find an attempt to download the wit of her readers and that makes her a readable, likeable and ‘simple’ author!

We have to wait for more of her books to come out and then only we will be able to assess her literature on an overall and more holistic foundation. However, with whatever is available right now, Vanisha Stands out as a prodigy turned on late and she has to prove her worth only in terms of a prolonged literary stint. Otherwise, the ones who will read her will find it easy to connect with her writing not because she is a genius, but only because she is a simple person offering her honest opinions about things we all feel and experience.

 

By Anand for The Book Blog

Sri Aurobindo – a master in prose writing, Hinduism and Spiritual works by him

Sri Aurobindo’s literary works made him immortal. His thoughts don’t only get carried by his Ashram but also by his words. He was a poet, a prose writer, a master speaker, a great person and a great Indian who strived not only for political gains (like many did during the freedom movement) but for the general wellbeing of Indians and anyone who wanted freedom from the slavery of mind as well. However, Sri Aurobindo’s poetry does not come as close as his prose writing’s excellence. Aurobindo’s prose mostly encircles Indian ethos, Hindu philosophy, Sanatan spirituality, Upnishads, Vedas, Hindu epics and well-being in general terms. And, mark it, his prose is excellent!

The Life Divine forms the core of his works of greatness. It thrives along with the works of the great Hindu religious body of works, inspires people to achieve greatness offered to them, contemplates the core ideals of spiritual evolution and suggests many ways to evolve and develop. However, don’t let this giant work dwarf your perception of other great prose works that Sri Aurobindo has produced. His work on Upnishads, Vedas, Mahabharata and Gita, Hindu spiritual schools and other subjects have been magnificent. For example, his work on Upnishads makes life easy for many readers who want to dive deep into the world of the Upnishads but cannot comprehend the grandeur of the language. They can easily take advantage of the commentary offered by Sri Aurobindo.

The Renaissance in India with A Defence of Indian Culture is equally important and a must-read for all those who want to understand the ideas that Aurobindo extends in order to teach the world the lessons that India can offer. And the most interesting thing about the works by Aurobindo is that you can read all of those for free on the official website of Sri Aurobindo Ashram… isn’t that great, readers?

The importance of his works, prose or poetry, his valuable contribution to the Indian conscious post and pre-independence, his rich interpretations of the Indian philosophy and his role in bringing the best of the Hindu spirituality to the world will always be up for appreciation by his readers and admirers as well as the general people who want to understand these concepts by the virtue of the great body of works explaining the same. Aurobindo will always be known as a prolific writer and those who possess the prowess to evaluate literature critically will know how great a prose writer he was.

 

By Guddu for The Book Blog

The Realm Beyond The Mind by Meeta J Gupta – Book Review

Introduction:
This novel, The Realm Beyond The Mind, by Meeta J Gupta is a fine example of serious fiction writing by able, thoughtful and motivated young Indian novelists who want to offer something serious and something for the long run rather than simple entertainment that most of the authors choose to provide to the readers. The Realm Beyond The Mind is spiritual, serious, literary rich and also a complete contemporary fiction with the right elements in the right proportion. Readers who read it just for the sake of stories will also be entertained and those who read it to find out the hidden elements and the symbolic meanings will also find many things in the novel to enjoy and to think further. The novel has an ideal length – a full-length novel that doesn’t protract itself to loosen its grip on the readers.

Content, Themes & Analysis:
Meeta J Gupta, the novelist, has tried to do something new… something that very few novelists try to do. She has embedded symbolism and hidden meanings in the storyline of her novel so that a normal story, or the surface story, casually reaches its significant conclusion and beneath the surface layer, there is a hidden layer that can be interpreted according to the personal or subjective ideas of the readers. The major characters are Meru, who is the leading lady protagonist, Darsh, a doubter in the beginning who doubts the grand scheme of things and Vaid Moti Lal, his grandfather who is a staunch believer and practitioner of Ayurveda and thus known as Vaid (Vaidya). Other characters appear frequently or less frequently according to the needs of the plot. Dr Wick is a modern-day scientist, doctor and businessman who wants to create a medicine that can cure nuclear radiation exposition. However, his ideas are rather evil in design and he wants his medicine to be launched even without appropriate clinical trials. On the other hand, Vaid Moti Lal can cure any disease with his Ayurvedic knowledge and he does not boast about it. The general storyline will show you this story developing into an eye-opening experience for Darsh who, in the beginning, does not approve of his grandfather’s idea to do public service with Ayurveda.

The novel will also involve the readers on many levels. They will not only find out the contrasts between ancient and the new, modern and the forgotten, good and the bad, welfare and greed… and so on. Moreover, the characters will also be very quick to get along with the readers and they (the characters) rather become types for a set of people – those who think freely, those who think all as a universal whole, those who believe that the world is about connecting with one another and realising that we are all one… The novel has many chapters and all of them are designed in a very metaphorical way opening the eyes of the readers to something new, something beyond every day discourses and something that we discuss but not very much because we don’t have any straight line to follow. This novel, by Meeta J Gupta, will give the readers a place to start and a line to follow with subjective conclusions to be drawn…

In the end:
I would recommend this novel to readers who want to read serious stuff, symbolic stuff and fiction with a multi-layered storyline and post-text ideas to remember, discuss and discern. Meeta has succeeded in producing a novel that will not only provide the readers with a contemporary novel’s entertainment but also a typical, timeless, and traditional reading pleasure. The novel has been written in very simple but effective language and it perfectly matches the theme and the plot of the work. Any reader who understands basic English can read the work… however, a little more than average introduction with philosophical ideas and ancient India would help very much in enjoying the work to its full effect.

 

You can get the novel from Amazon India by clicking the link below:

Buy the novel by Meeta – click here to get from Amazon India 

 

Review by Rupesh for The Book Blog