A sweet love story of Kabir and Kia, this novella by Abhinav Kashyap gives an essence of how a married couple, living under the same roof and distant with time, come close and transform their relationship during the pandemic.
Pandemic brought tough times, especially the lockdown. When the news of lockdown broke suddenly, people went helter-skelter. There was a state of commotion. Everybody thought initially they would be shattered, their jobs and so many other things which become the livelihood and life support for families were at stake. A second chance with love in Corona sums up these feelings precisely through protagonists, Kabir and Kia and how they make the best of this time.
The story is about the duo who hardly could spend their sweet time together, since right after their honeymoon, due to the busy work schedule of husband. They now had all the time for themselves, thanks to the lockdown. During this period, they rediscover themselves and keep aside the adversity to rekindle the spark in their married life. It’s worth a read.
The book is a light hearted, bed time kind of an emotional read. Written somewhat in an informal and casual language, this 13 page book is a ‘take a break’ sort of writing. The climax of the book ends on a positive and a happy note conveying the underlying message, life does give a second chance, only if you know how to turn an adversity into an opportunity.
I congratulate the author, Abhinav Khashyap on his first book and hope there are many more to come. Best wishes!
Let me know in comments if you liked the book review.
Life is a big quest. If you start finding the reasons for everything, you may just end up losing your sanity. There are many sages who advice not to dig into the past.
Contrary to which, this refreshing book with two novellas present a gripping family drama of two men who are on their respective expeditions to validate some life events and bitter truths they explore later in their lives.
Why I found this book riveting and worth writing a review is because it comes with a strong message of coming to terms with past mistakes and not running from them. The sense of satisfaction one gets in exploring the unexplored and mending mistake knows no bounds and the book passes the message mightily. Once you face your biggest fears and accept the truth, you have nothing to hide or run away from. You can live peacefully in utter joy. Makes so much sense to me.
Sudha Murty needs no introduction. Her writing is simple yet intriguing. Even in her simplicity of words she gracefully weaves a plot within a plot. A simple story unveils an unexpected ending leaving you in absolute bewilderment.
Adding a new favourite author in my list hereafter. I’ll be reading more of her books and have decided to make a collection of her novels. Hope you like the book as much as I do. #bookreview
Robin Sharma, a renowned author and one of my favorites, who never fail to fascinate with his charming narrative, unique story-line and of course a life-transforming message. He doesn’t hide behind some twisty titles. His book titles are as straightforward as his description. I find it very appealing as that makes me confident, as a reader, whether or not the book entices me. The 5 AM Club was one such book which drew my attention amid hoards of books in a local bookstore.
I bought The 5 AM Club first thing as the lockdown regulations were slightly eased out. The last few months during the lockdown were difficult. Precisely because of the routine that was completely disturbed as stay at home was a new thing and we were all getting accustomed to it; still are. And I must confess this book really helped me to a great extent. I’ll tell you how as we move forward. In the meantime, I would like to say you need to own this book to make a significant difference in your life. Own this book to “Own your morning and elevate your life.” and bring it to practice. Easier said than done! You bet I tried hard and still trying, going through a difficult time in adapting to the things mentioned in this book. It’s not only about waking up at 5AM, it’s much more.
In the process of trying hard, I’ve faced mood swings; felt happy in the first half of the day and agitated and sleep deprived in the second. I have felt bloated with energy and enthusiasm of seeing the morning sun one day, and also felt fatigued the other day. However, despite the crankiness and exasperation, as days pass by, I feel a happier and content person. One must know, The 5 AM Club is not about the morning routine, it’s about a total transformation of how you live your life. The way you live each day comprise the way you live your life. Any good change in your day automatically results in an improved and enhanced life. You are sure to see a better version of you and this is certainly no magic or shortcut. That’s what makes this book all the more practical and logical. Nowhere does it suggest depriving yourself of anything, even a seven and half hours of sleep each night is recommended which is a fair deal. Isn’t it? Do not just go by speculations, feelings or hearsay. Robin Sharma has meticulously backed every single fact with scientific reasoning and thorough research. This is another interesting aspect of the book that will leave you in awe, driving you to be a better version of yourself. In this book, Robin Sharma has methodically put forth the 20/20/20 Formula, the 10 tactics of lifelong genius and the Twin Cycle of elite performance. You would not know the beauty of these, if you do not read through and also start bringing them to practice.
The 5 AM Club is not a preachy book with life-transforming messages. The entire book is intricately weaved around the four main characters. It’s interesting to read how the lives of these four strangers are intertwined together from the beginning till the end. You would find similarities in their lives and struggles. After a couple of chapters, you would feel deeply engrossed in the setup and characters. Robin Sharma has made a perfect concoction of emotions, drama, inspirational journey and practical theories and examples.
“Often a bad example teaches us more about who we wish to become than a good one can ever provide”—The book has many such relatable lines that would leave you to think and relate to any bad experience that disappointed you initially, but later turned to be in your favour. “Your excuses are seducers, your fears are liars and your doubts are thieves.”—So do not let any of these deter you. It’s not going to be an easy road as earlier mentioned. You would want to ditch the idea of The 5AM Club every single morning, but only a consistent effort will lead to a beautiful change and a better you, a better us and a better society in large. Encourage as many people around as possible to be the change. This book is not to be shelved, but passed onto younger generations who are gullible enough to adapt to things easily. Let The 5AM Club be the new generations’ bible while we learn to adapt to it now, because it is never too late. Otherwise, as the book says, “Too many among us die at thirty and our buried at eighty.”—a powerful line to awaken your soul and rouse you. It continues to say, “If you sense your life’s a mess right now, this is simply because your fears are just a little stronger than your faith. With practice, you can turn down the volume of the voice of your scared self. And increase the tone of your most triumphant side.” Thus, practice and consistency is the key!
Leave your comments below, letting me know what you think about of the book review. Was it helpful? Also, if you have read the book or willing to read, do share your thoughts.
In The Spy, Paulo Coelho shares an intriguing set of incidents related to Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” MacLeod, popularly known by the stage name Mata Hari. She was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan. She was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I.
The beauty of this book by Coelho is that it revolves around a real character with real incidents with a touch of fiction. Little did I know about Mata Hari before I got my hands onto this book. Perhaps that was one reason to stay glued to the book other than the captivating style of writing the author possess. The story begins drawing an imagery of a strong and independent woman and of course not on a very positive connotation, “Her only crime was to be an independent woman.” This gives a subtle underlying message of a woman who has lived on her own terms and has not been treated well by the society. The first few paragraphs in it unfold the challenges Mata Hari had faced from being penniless when she arrived in Paris to being an affluent dancer within a few months. A couple of pages in the book only talk about the luxury items she used to carry in her suitcases while she used to travel from one part of the country to another for her dance shows. She was as bewitching a courtesan as she was a dancer and ‘the era’s richest and most powerful men’ dreamed about her and some of them also made up to her.
Various events in her life unfold and have been presented in an exceptionally dramatic and fascinating manner, so much so that I could not stop myself from going over and beyond the book to know more about Mata Hari. And, to also probably relate how much of what Paulo Coelho has written is her real life and how much of it is a fiction. Paulo Coelho in his usual style has managed to generate curiosity around the protagonist and score brownie points for revealing a character not many know in today’s world. The lady dancer was having the best days of her life, breaking the conventions, setting her own rules, raging popularity, getting attention from all influential men until she had to pay a hefty price.
The scene moves to World War I, when the country was only suspicious about each other’s activities, Mata Hari’s lifestyle came to question. She was arrested on accusation charges of espionage. The story moves in the form of letter exchanges between the protagonist and her lawyer. She was alleged to be a spy agent for France and Germany. Part of the story also traverses through her thoughts between writing letters and waiting for the final verdict. She discloses various events of her life from being sexually abused by her school principle to receiving materialist favors against sex to her other encounters with men and eventually self-realization of how wasteful her life had been.
She has been projected to be guilty of the choices she made and her heart full of remorse and repentance except considering working as a spy when she says, “I am a woman who was born at the wrong time and nothing can be done to fix this. I don’t know if the future will remember me, but if it does, may it never see me as a victim, but as someone who moved forward with courage, fearlessly paying the price she had to pay.”
Somewhere the book lacked the charm of a typical Paulo Coelho book, mainly because unlike his other books, there was no takeaway for the reader. Despite portraying a strong renowned character, the feeling of content and joy to know such a character was somehow missing. Had it not been for the love of author I enjoy reading, I would not have picked up this book. I’m sure it impacts differently to different people as those who would have known about her history and grew in Holland, Paris hearing about her in stories would be able to relate better. While I did my petty research to do a comparative study on the amount of fiction and reality that’s been presented in The Spy, I came across an exciting piece on National Geographic, exclusively on Mata Hari if you may wish to read more about her (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/magazine/2017/11-12/mata-hari-history-killing/).
I had mentioned in one of my Instagram posts, “Life is about constantly working on yourself.” Further to this, the excellent book by author Edward de Bono, explains the necessity of going over and beyond competition to sustain and win in the global marketplace. Edward de Bono, the author of this book encapsulates the need to move beyond old competitive strategies. In a world, where everyone’s constantly thinking of going ahead of their competition, it is time to focus more on creating/ manufacturing value that goes a long way i.e. competing with yourself.
The book is for individuals, who are competitive, creative and always strive to go over and beyond, especially when it comes to strategic thinking. We anxiously watch and focus on what others are doing, and often forget to translate our own thoughts and to work towards value creation. Competition is just a bottom line to any business and is a traditional way of looking at things. What’s more important in today’s time of global connectivity and marketplace is to unleash the vast potential of ‘integrated values’ that revolves around any business. A deep study, research, knowledge and understanding of any business is important to be in the competition. However, reinventing ways to go beyond competition by exploiting and leveraging strategies and values, around the product or service you aim at, makes all the difference.
What I loved about the book is, it’s published in 1993 and each word stands true to this day. Bono talks about preparing for the time when there’s a slump in the economy. He also mentions how it is important to stand out if one deploys serious creativity, concept design and R&D and elaborates on the application of each one of these. Although the book speaks more from the business mindset, it is yet well relatable to any profession you are in. I could relate to it from being a marketing & branding professional to also as an entrepreneur.
It will inspire you to go beyond not just average but beat the best of the bests through quality, creativity and giving serious value for anything. The book does not say that the competition is wrong; it just tells you how to think beyond the competition. In other words, to be extraordinary, it’s important to beat the ordinary by providing unexpected products and services. You can’t just replicate business to be in the global marketplace because if you do so, you’ll never be able to create a monopoly. Monopoly is the art of ‘Sur/Petition’. It is the art of breaking the rules by unleashing the value propositions to stay ahead of the game. Being the best or producing the best is not enough in today’s competitive world. Sur/Petition is the need of the hour because value backed with strong strategy, concept and R&D can never go wrong.
Bono explains every aspect of the behavior in a world of competition to the aspects that fall under sur/petition and how the two are different. With thorough experience and life examples, he has done an incredible job in writing this book for generations to come. There’s lot to learn and follow. The initial few chapters would make you feel; you know things already because we have been in the competition state always. Do not stop there. The second half of the book brings you the interesting ways to stay ahead of competition through sur/petition. Go on, read this book and leave in comments how you felt about the book. Please like and share if you found this review useful and follow me on my social media.