Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Author Interview of The Curse of Brahma

Book Blurb

The man who became a Brahmarishi...
The curse that banished him to the hell of hells...
And the revenge that threatens to destroy the three worlds...

When Lord Brahma, the God of Creation, banishes his star pupil from Swarglok in a fit of rage, he does not foresee that his decision will alter the fate of the three worlds. Mortally wounded, and anguished at Brahma's unfair punishment, his pupil struggles to survive in TamastamahPrabha, the hell of hells. In time, he becomes the Dark Lord, the most feared figure in PataalLok, who swears to destroy Brahma.

The power of the Dark Lord soon begins to make its presence felt in the mortal world. Vasudev, the brave prince of Bateshwar, becomes the hunter of Asura assassins; his closest friend, Kansa, almost dies while trying to save his sister from a group of deadly monsters; and the most valiant kings in Mrityulok turn over to the dark side, driven by forces beyond their control.

Only one person threatens the Dark Lord's well-laid plans - Devki, the beautiful princess of Madhuvan, who is destined to give birth to the warrior Krishna.

Will the Dark Lord allow Krishna - the person who has been prophesied to destroy him - to be born?
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Author Interview

1.     What inspired you to write the book?

I took a sabbatical from my banking career in 2004, I started reading whatever material I could find on Krishna, including Vedic texts that date back thousands of years. I happened to be very close to the subject of Krishna from a very early age. As I grew older and read more about Krishna, I realized there was far more to him than we made it out to be. I had resolved early on to research this.
And I realized that the story of Krishna as we know it could well be a myth....that the actual story might in fact have been so terrifying that history was compelled to hide the truth. After all, when we are talking of time dating back thousands of years, who can be certain where fact ends, and fiction begins.

2.     When did you realise that you want to write a book?

There are a multitude of stories hidden away in the recesses of my mind. And when an idea gets hold of me, it is like being driven by an ague. You can’t sleep, you can’t think of anything else. You have to write. And writing provides succour and peace.
The experience of seeing your characters come to life on paper is the biggest high. Creating a story where none existed before, is another.

3.     Who helped you in writing the book and please say about their contributions?

There are too many people to thank and it would take up a lot of space if I were to do that. Friends, business partners, journalists and several more people who read the first draft of the book and helped with suggestions.
Chiefly, I would like to thank my wife, Komal who read every chapter of the book as soon as I completed writing the same. And who gave immensely helpful inputs. She was my worst critic and my biggest support. The days I was writing the book – I would have gone completely maniacal if she wasn’t holding the fort at home and at office, enabling me to focus single-mindedly on writing.

4.     How is your book going to inspire the readers?

Mythology itself is immensely inspiring. It lets you know what we as a nation and as a people have been capable of. And that motivates us to yet again endeavour to achieve past glory. Secondly, it gives sound rooting to younger people who may not have been privy to a lot of things about the nation’s culture and practises; things that have been hidden under the dust of thousands of years, and which has the potential to inspire our new generation.
And finally, by posing questions that may be philosophical and compel people to ask themselves what is Evil and what is Good. And to try and recognize that good in even the most evil of people. And being cognizant that the line dividing the two is very thin and that the balance could tilt either way if one s not careful.

5.     If you are given the chance to change one thing in your book what would it be?

Haha. I would perhaps explain the shlokas a little more.

6.     How do you find time to write and which part of the day is best for writing for you?
Time can never be found. One has to create time if one really wants ot do something. If I haven’t written for a couple of days at a  stretch, I make sure that I stay up the third night and make up for those two days. And if one is really passionate about writing, they will not feel they have lost anything in the bargain. Even a  sleepless night, spent in writing will serve to energize!

7.     Which books have inspired you the most, in the journey of writing this book?

For as far back as I can remember, I have been an avid reader. I read on an average 100 books a year and I think it has been this way for as long as I can recall. My favorite authors are Charles Dickens, Thomas, Hardy, RohintonMistry,, Hemingway, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, George Eliot, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Prem Chand. The list is endless.
You become what you read! So I guess my personality to an extent has been shaped by what I have read. And somehow that finds its way into what I write too.

8.     What is the best advice, you would give for writers who are trying to write a book?

Writing is personal. One shouldn’t give or take advice on it. If however, you would want me to share a few things I have picked up on the way, I could do that.  The decision to follow it lies with the other person.
If you are writing nonfiction, select a subject where you are the expert. If it is fiction that you want to focus on, write about what you are passionate about. Don’t emulate the writing style of other authors Develop your own brand of writing and your own expression. There’s a greater chance of being recognized that way. And finally, don’t wait for the perfect moment to start writing. The perfect moment seldom happens. Make time to write. Use the weekend or the flight time or any other time you can make use of. But start writing!

9.     What are your hobbies?

I love to read. That means I read at least 3 -4 books a week. If I can’t find time to read during the day, I will create time to read during a car ride to the office or back home, or even in the loo J
And if that is not enough, I will stay up and read till I have finished my reading quota for the week.
Music is another source of immense joy. I listen to Ghazals from old maestros and my varied taste in music allows me to listen even to stuff my teen aged daughter finds interesting.
Apart from that, taking time out to vacation at a mountain resort or at the beach is very thrilling.

10.  What can we expect from you in the future?

Pichai – The future of Google (with Hachette) – releasing Dec 2015
Click (with Hachette) releasing in April 2016
The Rise of the Yadavas (Vol 2 in the Krishna Trilogy) – releasing in April 2016

About the Author

Jagmohan Bhanver is rated amongst the Top 20 Executive Coaches by the GCF (Global Coaching Federation) & is the best-selling author of four books.

Executive Coach & Leadership Mentor to CEOs

Jagmohan is rated amongst the Top 20 Executive coaches in the world. He is referred to as the “Mentor’s Mentor” in corporate circles and has mentored Industry leaders, celebrity entrepreneurs, media people and CEO’s at leading org

anizations. In the International speakers circuit, he is rated among the most powerful speakers in Asia and one of the most popular Asian speakers across the globe by the Worldwide Speaker’s Bureau.
His latest paper on “leaders as super motivators” has been finding takers in various corporate houses globally and has also been introduced in top B-schools as part of management lessons for executive MBA’s.

Educationist & Public service
Jagmohan is the winner of the Indian Achiever’s Award for Excellence in Education in 2009. He was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Shiromani Award for outstanding individual achievements and distinguished services to the nation. Subsequently, he was also the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award. He is also the recipient of the Shiksha Bharati Award.
Internationally bestselling author
Jagmohan’s first book (self help genre) titled "Get Happy Now" was on the best selling lists of most countries and on the Top ten list of leading bookstores in India. His second book, titled "Think your way to Millions" which is on the subject of Behavioral Finance was nominated for the best non-fiction award by Hutch-Crossword in India. This is one of the few books on behavioral finance. His third book was titled “Nadella – The Changing Face of Microsoft.” This book was published by Hachette, the largest publishers in the world. Jagmohan’s latest book is part of a three-volume trilogy on Krishna and is considered as the most awaited book in 2015. It is titled, “The Curse of Brahma.”

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Support My School

Support My School
In this world of infinite possibilities, you are born to make a difference and to leave a legacy. To create wonderful ideas, to imagine, believe on them, implement it and make world a better place to live in. An endeavour to create a win-win condition and put a smile to every face, you come across.

The only way to harness this unlimited power and to create a difference you need to be educated. The very first step is going to school.

Coca- Cola India NDTV and other NGO partners are on a mission to revitalise 1,000 schools in the country and to create awareness on the importance of education and to provide basic amenities for children in schools.
Coca- Cola India & NDTV launched Support My School in association with the UN-Habitat, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in 2011. It undertakes the following core activities:

• Provision of improved access to water

• Appropriate sanitation facility for girls and boys

• Improvement in the overall school infrastructure and environment

• Provision for sports and recreation facilities and

• Recharging groundwater through rainwater harvesting

The campaign has been able to improve the enrolment in schools from 6.95% (2013-14) to 14.77% (2014-15). The education system in rural areas of India is facing a lot of issues. Here are some issues that needs to be taken care of

Ø    The teachers in the government schools are asked to do various kinds of jobs apart from teaching. Like joining voting polls during elections, helping the government in National Population Registration, cooking mid- day meals. So, there isn’t enough time to spare to teach children, which isn’t a case in private schools.

Ø    The teachers are then asked to finish the syllabus in schools within a stipulated time period apart from doing the above mentioned work, which is why they don’t give their very best in teaching the children.

Ø    Lack of proper training and not being well versed with the advanced technology is leaving them to teach children the old fashioned way.

Ø    Many teachers aren’t paid well in Government schools, which again don’t motivate them to teach.

Ø    The parents who send their children to government schools aren’t well educated and live on a, hand to mouth income, which prevents them to invest on their child’s education. A survey reports in 2009, 55.6% children going to schools had mothers who have never been to schools as opposed to 40.8% children in private schools.

Ø    The Anti Child Labour programme is implemented but it doesn’t seem to impact a majority of India’s population. Children are still working at various under-construction sites and restaurants.

There are many small and big problems that can be added to the above list, which will only continue to grow, if we continue complaining and not take a step towards solving each problem one at a time.

The most important step we can take to ensure that every child is given proper education is to start with their parents. The parents should be taught or given a proper guidance on why they should send their children to school.
This will help the campaign give the much needed boost for a perfect launch.

Once the children reach schools, during the final years of study they should be guided by counselors who can guide the students according to their strengths on what they should study or which career they should pursue.

Education should enhance the creativity of the children, thereby making them capable enough to take their own decisions. Sports should be given priority along with the studies and other extra-curricular activities. This will help in all round development of the students.
Coca- Cola NDTV & NGOs campaign is an incredible step in fulfilling the dream of educating children and giving them a platform to launch their careers. I wish the campaign all the good luck in their mission and thanks for giving me an opportunity to be part of it in spread awareness about education.

Share a hug

Rajesh: Hi, Mohan let’s go for a cricket match.

Mohan: No, I don’t think it’s possible. Dad will scold.

Rajesh: Is it? Say him that, you are coming to my house to study. And we can go from my house to play.

Mohan: Good idea, meet you in an hour.

This is what friendship is all about to find a way out of nowhere and to create memories, rather than regretting about the opportunities missed. It’s all about creating memories and how we help a friend in need when he needs us the most.
Friendship is not what is taught in school, but if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship you haven’t learned anything.

Friendship is an alliance, an unbreakable alliance and an asset that stays with us till the very end of life and that we should celebrate responsibly.   

The visit into an unknown territory on bicycles, keeping secrets, telling lies for a friend, breaking the rules, late night hangouts, racing on highways, parties,  are all part of friends and is what describes friendship.

Friends share a very important part of everyone’s life, but with the passage of time they get far away from each other and get involved in their own life and jobs. The only way now of getting in touch is via WhatsApp or social networking sites.

The real celebrations begin when you meet them in person after a very long time and all those memories take a turn around and are played in a flashback. It is a moment that makes you feel, that you should never have, left them at the first place.

The hugs and laugh that follow are the true moments to treasure. It was what we had missed since a long time and now when we have all those, we want to cherish those valuable moments forever.

One such friend is Arati, with whom I have shared most of my secrets, got angry and also consoled each other and cherished each other’s company. In short "Arati" is the best friend I ever had.

If I have to describe Friendship, I can just say one simple thing “26 Alphabets of English isn't enough to describe friendship.”

Disclaimer: This blog is intended for audience above 25 years.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Book Review of Umbilical Cord

About the book

"Here comes a compilation of 40 short stories by Meena R Chandawarkar and Santosh Avvannavar that uses The Umbilical Cord as a metaphor to bring social awareness and intends to draw the reader’s attention towards the society. The stories in this book revolve around love, forgiveness, empathy etc. as society is a cobweb of relationships. There is something for everyone in this book. Read on to find out which ‘cord’ is closer to your heart, as the Umbilical Cord is an attachment that remains forever…the name says it all…"

My Review:

The stories will heal and rejuvenate your soul. The stories connect to you, keeping you engaged with the characters till you finish reading the stories. The pages seem to turn automatically; with you being completely immersed in the voyage, the stories lead you to. The circumstances depicted in the book seem as if it has happened with you or will happen in near future. It makes you rethink about your life all over again and how you could have averted some situations along with changing the outcome of it.

The author has done a wonderful job in carving out the stories and putting it together. I would sincerely recommend everyone to read the book. It’s a 4 stars for me.

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