The Activist and the Capitalist by Vibha Batra

unnamedI received Vibha Batra’s The Activist and the Capitalist from the author herself as a review copy. It is the story of Anusha and Jai set in Chennai.

The story:

Jai Khanna, 28, one of the youngest entrepreneurs, became the CEO of VPK group after his grandfather retired. King’s Cross is his first project as CEO and he is passionate about it.

Anusha Iyer, 24, works for the Chennai Chapter of ITACC (Indian Trust for Art and Culture Conservation), an NGO. She joined the NCO after college and has continued to stay in Chennai after her parents moved to Coimbatore following her father’s retirement. Heritage conservation is her passion and so is baking and reading. She puts up a cupcake stall at her old college’s food fair every fortnight.

The story:

Anusha and Jai meet at a beach wedding. They go their separate ways and she continues to be in his mind. Six months later, Jai’s company buys Rasa Vihar, an ancestral property and they plan to build apartments for the rich. Anusha’s NGO is all out saving the heritage of the city and they meet again. This time they are at loggerheads.

He is drawn to her and tries to make amends, and they become friends and then her past and Rasa Vihar come in between them.

My take:

The story has been written in a steady flow and the speed does not slacken throughout the book. The language is simple and the characters are realistic. I loved it when he calls her Miss Firebrand Activist and she calls him Mr Hotshot Capitalist, this made the banter between them very real.

Book Source: Author

Publisher: Indireads

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Cover Reveal: The Activist and the Capitalist by Vibha Batra

COMING SOON FROM INDIREADS

Book Blurb

“I’m not drunk – just a litt-le high.”

On a magical moonlit night, Jai and Anusha meet and fall in love. When they meet again however, they discover that Jai is the crass capitalist developing Rasa Vihar, the heritage building that Anusha and her NGO are fighting to protect. Inevitably they clash, with neither willing to concede to the other. The problem is that although publicly they are enemies, in private, they are wildly attracted to each other. – but when secrets and betrayals enter the equation – things really begin to get out of control.

Will the Activist and the Capitalist ever be able to find common ground?

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The chaos within by Ashima Chalia

Chaos Within_29Jan15The chaos within by Ashima Chalia is one of the books I received as a review copy from Rupa Publications. I would like to thank Richa for the same. It is the story of five college friends who meet at their college reunion and how it changes their lives.

The Blurb:

Designer clothes, swanky cars, unlimited one-night stands, successful careers, loving families and cute children—the Fiasco Five, once the most popular group of friends in St Magnum College, have got what they desired in life. Or so it seems.

An invite to the long-awaited college reunion brings back old memories and a golden opportunity to relive the life that the Fiasco Five once enjoyed. Little do they know that once they reach their alma mater, not only will their past catch them off guard but their lives will no longer be the same. As the friends stare down the barrel of the gun—quite literally—the critical question remains: Is it too late?

The Chaos Within dwells on the most cherished college memories of five best friends and an incident at the college reunion that changes their lives. It is a roller-coaster ride of fun, laughter, hatred and courage that bears testament to the most enduring relationship of all—friendship!

The story:

The book starts with a prologue: Mr Banerjee, the head of administration at Magnum College and incharge of almost everything, is asked by the ‘new age’ vice chancellor to make the upcoming reunion, an activity he has been involved in for sixteen years, a little different. And as he sits down to have a look at the batch in question, he sees that it is the Batch of 2003- the Fiasco Five Batch. Five friends, Krish, Samrat, Kabir, Mahi and Kamakshii are known as the Fiasco Five. They bonded during the ragging session in first year.

Krish, a spoilt rich brat who has had no responsibilities other than his family business which belongs to him after his father’s death, is still the same. Akshi calls him Pretty Boy.

Samrat Dholakia, Dholki, from not so well off family, is now a successful entrepreneur.

Kabir, a rich guy, the only one among the classmates to get a five figure pocket money, is a successful lawyer. Mahi’s best friend, he was also in love with her.

Mahi, the typical girl and everybody in the hostel ran their wardrobe, from the tip to toe to even ear rings, by her, is now married and rich. The only girl whom she could not influence was Kamakshi. She shared an easy camaraderie with Krish who treats her like the sister he never had.

Kamakshii, or Akshii, the tomboy, would rather sweat it out in the playground that be the dainty dainty. She is the glue that has held the group together all those years and knew exactly what they wanted or even needed to hear and how to motivate them, aggravate them and also to pacify them. Akshii and Mahi are not only best friends but long lost sisters.

Ten years later, they meet. Also at the reunion is another friend of theirs with whom they have lost touch in the ten years. And thensomething happens and they get talking  and skeletons come tumbling out of the closet.

My take:

A short and sweet book, only 142 pages long, can be finished in two sittings.  The characters are realistic, people we all tend to meet in life. The language is simple and story is fast paced moving from the present to ten years ago fully in reference with the present context. The book has been written in third person. I loved Mr Banerjee’s Bengali accent. There is romance, drama and suspense.

Book Source: Publisher

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Dream with your eyes open by Ronniew Screwvala

dream-with-your-eyes-open-400x400-imae5fvgzc2a5ydmI was listening to Ronnie Screwvala talk about his debut book, Dream With Your Eyes Open, on the radio and was very impressed and wanted to read it. And when I hear the name Ronnie Screwvala, what comes to my mind is the TV screen with black and white UTV written in capitals and its three coloured line being dragged by three fingers.

As luck would have it, I received a mail from Rupa Publications asking me whether I wanted to review the book, and I agreed. I would like to thank Richa Pathania of Rupa Publications for sending me the book.

In the introduction, he mentions that this book is for everyone: for someone who has ever had an impactful, disruptive product or business idea, been curious about owning your own business, or have already taken the first steps on his entrepreneurial journey; for someone who has been running his own company for the last seven-odd years, and scale, brand and value-creation are some of the crossroads for him; for someone who thinks that his parents or family would freak out if he dared to suggest ditching his professional job to pursue his dreams of owning his own business. He also mentions that this book is also for an experienced professional ready to take the plunge into starting his own business or committed to growing into an effective leader in the company he works for.

The book:

Ronnie Screwvala starts the book by mentioning that he is sharing his career arc in headline form and also that the stories have not been presented in a chronological order. The stories mentioned as illustrations of his entrepreneurial journey are very interesting.

He starts the book with his low middle class childhood when he used to stay with is joint family in a three room apartment in Mumbai and how he along with other children would host programmes for the people in the complex and even sell them tickets which they would buy because their children were participating. He mentions that his first earning at ten years of age started it all. He also mentions how he sold tickets for seats on his balcony to people who wanted to see the filmstars at movie premieres at Novelty Cinema which was next to their apartment complex. And then how he organized a rock concert at eighteen with his friends and went bankrupt. He also talks about the risks taken, his setbacks and failures.

I was impressed at the young boy who ventures into the business world, with two toothbrush machines waiting to be picked up from London, with no company of his own asking for orders from toothbrush companies ready to outsource orders. He also mentions that he never felt shy to ask questions along the way and was prepared for all kinds of answers that he got, learning in the process. He describes his journey from toothbrushes to owning a pro-kabaddi team and the failures that went along with it. He talks about his belief in Plan A and not Plan B and his mantra of Focus, Choices and Empathy.

The last line of the books sums it all, “Just dream your own dream- and when you do it, dream with your eyes open”.

My take:

The book has been written in a story form making it easy to visualize the scenes. Each chapter ends with bullet points summarizing it. What I loved about the book was the questions and answers at the end as an annexure.

A must read for everyone whether you want to be an entrepreneur or not.

Book Source: Rupa Publications

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Cover Reveal: Love Again by Shrruti Patole Clarence & Sumeetha Manikandan


Cover Reveal

Love Again 

by 


Shrruti Patole Clarence & Sumeetha Manikandan

A Double Header Novel


Blurb 


Love, Again is a double header novel published by Half Baked Beans andFablery with two novellas – A Tulip in the Desert by Shrruti Patole Clarence and These Lines of Mehendi by Sumeetha Manikandan.

TULIP IN THE DESERT
SHRRUTI PATOLE CLARENCE
 

A historian in making, Charmaine has settled down in Amsterdam after her father migrated from India when she was very young. Life was picturesque until the final year of Graduation when she elected to specialize in Egyptology. Thereafter from the time she read the book about Cleopatra, revelation after revelation turns her world into a tornado!

Raj, another aspiring Historian, walks into her college and her life like a whirlwind. A simpleton from Delhi, Raj too finds mysteries unfolding before him from the time he enters the college library right through to their educational tour to Egypt.A series of events throws them together at every step of their college life despite Charmaine wanting to maintain a distance from ‘this’ natural charmer.

A twist of fate puts Raj and Charmaine in the most unthinkable situation that finally links back to their ‘revelations’. Raj must face a choice again…A choice of history over his love… or does he have the mettle to change history and create his own?

THESE LINES OF MEHENDI
SUMEETHA MANIKANDAN
 

Beautiful and efficient Lalitha loved to deck up brides for their wedding, though her own marriage was in shambles. When her estranged husband suddenly commits suicide she realizes that things wouldn’t be the same again…

Shrikanth thought that he was a confirmed bachelor but when his mother refused to get herself treated for cancer unless he got married, he had to get a bride in a hurry.She needed a husband in name, to save her career while he needed to marry to please his mother. Will they find love second time around? Will they lower their shields and succumb to a mutual passion?

About 

The Authors

Shrruti Patole Clarence

Shrruti has been a voracious reader since early years and took to composing poems when she was very young. She has worked as an Aviation Manager for over ten years with various airlines, she has been on a sabbatical for her two son’s aged six and one year respectively. She enjoys this welcome break from career, to be able to pursue her passion, writing!

She has to her credit six short stories featuring in different Anthologies; a Hindi poem featuring in Tumbhi’s contest Ehsaas judged by the famous screenwriter Javed Siddiqui.Shrruti is a warm and friendly person who loves music and watching sports when she is not writing.

Stalk her @
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Sumeetha Manikandan
Sumeetha Manikandan is a freelance writer and an author who loves to write and base her plots on the tambrahm community of Mylapore, Chennai. She is the author of ‘The Perfect Groom’ that has been a best selling ebook on the top 50 charts of Amazon India ever since its publication in 2013.
An avid reader, she loves to read across different genres – romance, historical fiction, non-fiction, mystery, fantasy etc. A history buff to the core, she is currently translating Ponniyin Selvan – the evergreen tamil classic epic history by Kalki Krishnamurthy into English.
Married to film maker K.S. Manikandan, Sumeetha lives in Chennai, along with her six year old daughter.
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