Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Book Review - God is a Gamer

Book Review : ‘God is a Gamer’ by Shri. Ravi Subramanian

Name of Book : God is a Gamer
The Author: Shri. Ravi Subramanian
Date of release : September 12, 2014
Published by : Penguin Books India
No. of Pages: 310
Genre: Thriller
Book Price: Rs. 299
Binding : Paperback

About the Author:
 Shri. Ravi Subramanian is described as the ‘John Grisham of banking’, by the Wall Street Journal. The author is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and is currently the head of a leading financial institution. Till date the author has five bestselling commercial novels to his credit.  Shri. Ravi Subramanian  has won the Crossword book award for The BANKSTER in 2012. Being a banker the author has a unique insight into the industry he writes about and a flair for spinning intricate plots that keep readers on the edge of their seats  The authors first novel - If God was a Banker has won the 2008 Golden Quill Readers Choice Award and  recently, ‘The Incredible Banker’ has won the 2011 Economist-Crossword Book Award in the ‘Popular’ category.

About the Book:
If God was a Banker (2007), Devil in Pinstripes (2009), The Incredible Banker (2011), The Bankster (2012), Bankerupt (2013) and now the - ‘God is a Gamer’, The latest book by Shri. Ravi Subramanian, released on September 12, 2014. I became a huge fan of his books when I first read If God was a Banker, and to my surprise, I completed it in a day. Similarly, when I got  this book, I finished it in a day.  In my opinion, this is his best book till date I have read. In his earlier novels the author has dealt with banking and education. However, this time it looks into the cyber crime with banking which has become a matter of great concern all over the world. The novel is a thriller for the new generation and a book with loads of information on the good and bad sides of electronic media and plastic money to the older generation of readers.

About the Story:
Aditya is an entrepreneur, running his own gaming company. The arrival of a part-time drug dealer and full-time genius named Varun turns Aditya’s struggling company’s fortunes around. However, things are not as they seem. A banker slips from the rooftop of a high-rise building and falls to his death. A finance minister with his heart on his sleeve discovers that he has made some promises which will cost him far too much. An explosion in Washington D.C. leads the FBI to a chase in Mumbai. The investigators begin to plummet down a world where bitcoins are the only meaningful form of currency. Here, everything is governed by the Dark Net, a group of nefarious websites dealing with illegal transactions. In this world, God is a Gamer, martyrs are villains, the hunters become the hunted and the ancient Greeks teach the secrets of assassination. In this new novel, nothing is what it seems.

The author has woven an excellent  master plot that will keep you engaged till the end. The various characters he has created have equally important role to play.  The basic plot is strong and the sub-plots help in strengthening it.

The book – God is a Gamer’ is well written by the author. The chapters are short and hence keep the readers engrossed. Throughout the story, the reader will guessing and wondering as to what is going to happen next. The author thus manages to keep the suspense till the end when the entire plot unravels in a brilliant ending. In my opinion the author has really done a great job. The story is an excellent plot for a Bollywood movie of todays genre.

This review is a part of the biggest <a href="http://blog.blogadda.com/2011/05/04/indian-bloggers-book-reviews" target="_blank"> Book Review Program </a> for <a href="http://www.blogadda.com" target="_blank">Indian Bloggers.</a> Participate now to get free books!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

गणेश प्रतीष्टापनेसाठी मुहूर्त व गणेश पूजा कृती

गणेश उस्तव हा सण आपल्या प्रत्येकाच्या घरात आपण आनंदाने साजरा करतो. भाग्यालीखीत परिवारातर्फे गणेश उस्तवाच्या आपणा सर्वांना हार्दिक शुभेच्छा !

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qtD-6FTtVpg/Tl_HwdWBZiI/AAAAAAAABMI/WIZthRhx3DY/s1600/IMG01831-20110901-2315.jpgगणेश मूर्ती कशी असावी ?
एकदंती, चार हात असलेली पाश व अंकुश हि दोन आयुधे हाती असलेली, दर्शन घेणार्याला प्रसन्न मुद्रेने आशीर्वाद देणारी, लाल वर्णाची, लंबोदर, सुपासारखे मोठे कान असलेली, केशरी रंगाच्या गंधाचा सर्वांगाला लेप असलेली अशा पद्धतीची गणेश मूर्ती असावी. घरातील पूजेसाठी ९ ते १० इंच उंची असलेली आसनस्थ, व्यवस्थित मांडी घातलेली किंवा एक पाय उभा व एक पाय मांडी घातल्या प्रमाणे दुमडलेला अशी गणेश मूर्ती असावी.

गणेश प्रतीष्टापनेसाठी मुहूर्त -
भाद्रपद शुद्ध चतुर्थी मध्यानकाळाला ज्या दिवशी असेल तो दिवस गणेश स्थापनेचा असतो, प्रतीष्टपणा म्हणजे आपण आणलेली शाडूमातीची मूर्ती पूजना साठी सजीव करणे. गणेश चतुर्थी शुक्रवार दिनांक २९/०८/२०१४ रोजी आहे. या दिवशी प्रातःकाल पासून मध्यान्ह पर्यंत म्हणजेच दुपारी ०१:३० पर्यंत गणेशाची प्रतीष्टापना करावी.

गुरुवारी सूर्यास्तापूर्वी घरात वाजत गाजत गणेश मूर्ती आणावी, गणेशावर नवीन वस्त्र घालून घरात आणावे. घरात ज्या ठिकाणी प्राण प्रतीष्टापना करणार आहोत, तेथे गणेशास झाकून ठेवावे.

खालील प्रमाणे गणेश प्रतिष्ठापना करावी -
१) चतुर्थी दिवशी पहाटे उठून स्नान करून आई, वडील, गुरु जणांना नमस्कार करावा.
२) त्यानंतर घरातील देवांची पूजा करून गणेशाची प्रतीष्टापना करावी. " ओम गं गणपतेय नम: " म्हणत पूजा करावी." वक्रतुंड महाकाय " हा श्लोक म्हणत ध्यान करावे. दुर्वा तुपात बुडवून गणपतीच्या सर्व अंगास लावावी.
३) त्यानंतर गणेशाच्या हृदयस्थानी बोट ठेऊन २१ वेळा ओमकार जप करावा. दुर्वा पाण्यात बुडवून गणेशाच्या हात,मुख व पायाला लावाव्यात. नंतर पंचामृताने व पाण्याने हाच विधी करावा.
४) दुर्वा, अक्षदा , कुंकू गणेशाच्या मस्तकावर ठेवावे. उदबत्ती, धूप व दीपाने गणेशास ओवाळावे. पंचामृताचा नैवेद्य दाखवावा. नंतर गणेशाच्या डोक्यावरच्या अक्षदा काढून डोक्यावर पाणी शिंपडून अभिषेक करावा.
५) या नंतर गणेशास तांबडे किंवा भगवे वस्त्र, जानवे घालावे. केवडा,अत्तर, गंध,चंदन लावावे.
६) जास्वंदीची फुले तसेच २१ प्रकारच्या पत्री वाहाव्यात. गूळखोबरे यांचा नैवेद्य दाखवावा.
७) तसेच फळे व विडा गणेशा समोर ठेऊन संकल्प करावा.
८) नंतर गणेशाची आरती व मंत्र पुष्पांजली म्हणून पूजा पूर्ण करावी.
९) व सर्वात शेवटी मनातली इच्छा गणेशास बोलावी.

सूचना :-
नामस्मरण = या १० दिवसात रोज नियमित पणे ठरलेल्या वेळी अथर्व शीर्षाचा पाठ म्हणावा, व मनातील इच्छा बोलाव्यात त्या पूर्ण होण्यास व गणेशाची कृपा प्राप्त होण्यास मदत होईल. तसेच " ओम गं गणपतेय नम: " हा मंत्र रोज कायम म्हणावा !

Thursday, 31 July 2014

बासरीच्या आख्यायिका

बासरी तयार करण्यासाठी लागणारा बांबू हा तिथी पाहून तोडतात. पंचमी, सप्तमी, अष्टमी, नवमी, दशमी या तिथींना बांबू तोडला तर त्याला हमखास कीड लागते, असं बासरी तयार करणारे सांगतात.  त्याचं कारण म्हणजे या तिथींमध्ये शेवटी 'मी' येतो. याच 'मी'पणाच्या अहंकारातून कार्यनाश होतो आणि बासरी टिकत नाही, असा समज आहे.
कृष्णाचं आवडतं वाद्य बासरी. एकदा कृष्णाच्या सगळ्या सख्या, गोपी बासरीवर चिडल्या आणि म्हणाल्या,आम्ही त्या कृष्णाची एवढी स्तुती करतो, त्याच्या आजूबाजूला वावरतो,पण तो आम्हाला साधा भावही देत नाही. तू तर एवढी साधी; ना रूप ना काही.पण तो तुला सतत ओठांशी धरून असतो. तू अशी काय जादू केली आहेस त्याच्यावर? 
बासरी हसली आणि म्हणाली, 'तुम्ही माझ्यासारख्या व्हा,मग कृष्ण तुम्हालाही जवळ घेईल.'
अर्थ न कळून गोपींनी बासरीकडे पाहिलं. 
बासरी पुढे म्हणाली, 'मी अगदी सरळ आहे; ना एखादी गाठ, ना एखादं वळण. मी पोकळ आहे. त्या पोकळीतून माझ्यातला अहंकार गळून पडलाय. माझ्या अंगावरच्या सहा भोकांतून काम, क्रोध, लोभ, मोह, मद, मत्सर हे रिपू मी काढून टाकले आहेत.  मला स्वत:चा आवाजही नाही. माझ्या सख्यानं फुंकर मारली तरच मी बोलते. तो जशी फुंकर मारतो तशी मी बोलते.' 
गोपी निरुत्तर झाल्या.तेव्हापासून त्या बासरीवर रुसून आहेत.
म्हणूनच असेल कदाचित, पण आज आपल्याकडे एकही स्त्री बासरीवादक नाही………..!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Ayurvedic Doha..

आयुर्वेदिक दोहे

दही मथें माखन मिले, 
केसर संग मिलाय, 
होठों पर लेपित करें, 
रंग गुलाबी आय..

बहती यदि जो नाक हो, 
बहुत बुरा हो हाल, 
यूकेलिप्टिस तेल लें, 
सूंघें डाल रुमाल..

अजवाइन को पीसिये , 
गाढ़ा लेप लगाय, 
चर्म रोग सब दूर हो, 
तन कंचन बन जाय..

अजवाइन को पीस लें , 
नीबू संग मिलाय, 
फोड़ा-फुंसी दूर हों, 
सभी बला टल जाय..

अजवाइन-गुड़ खाइए, 
तभी बने कुछ काम, 
पित्त रोग में लाभ हो, 
पायेंगे आराम..

ठण्ड लगे जब आपको, 
सर्दी से बेहाल, 
नीबू मधु के साथ में, 
अदरक पियें उबाल..

अदरक का रस लीजिए. 
मधु लेवें समभाग, 
नियमित सेवन जब करें, 
सर्दी जाए भाग..

रोटी मक्के की भली, 
खा लें यदि भरपूर, 
बेहतर लीवर आपका, 
टी० बी० भी हो दूर..

गाजर रस संग आँवला, 
बीस औ चालिस ग्राम, 
रक्तचाप हिरदय सही, 
पायें सब आराम..
शहद आंवला जूस हो, 
मिश्री सब दस ग्राम, 
बीस ग्राम घी साथ में, 
यौवन स्थिर काम..
चिंतित होता क्यों भला, 
देख बुढ़ापा रोय, 
चौलाई पालक भली, 
यौवन स्थिर होय..
लाल टमाटर लीजिए, 
खीरा सहित सनेह, 
जूस करेला साथ हो, 
दूर रहे मधुमेह..
प्रातः संध्या पीजिए, 
खाली पेट सनेह, 
जामुन-गुठली पीसिये, 
नहीं रहे मधुमेह..
सात पत्र लें नीम के, 
खाली पेट चबाय, 
दूर करे मधुमेह को, 
सब कुछ मन को भाय..
सात फूल ले लीजिए, 
सुन्दर सदाबहार, 
दूर करे मधुमेह को, 
जीवन में हो प्यार..
तुलसीदल दस लीजिए, 
उठकर प्रातःकाल, 
सेहत सुधरे आपकी, 
तन-मन मालामाल..
थोड़ा सा गुड़ लीजिए, 
दूर रहें सब रोग, 
अधिक कभी मत खाइए, 
चाहे मोहनभोग.
अजवाइन और हींग लें, 
लहसुन तेल पकाय, 
मालिश जोड़ों की करें, 
दर्द दूर हो जाय..
करे खून में वृद्धि, 
उदर व्याधियाँ दूर हों, 
जीवन में हो सिद्धि..
दस्त अगर आने लगें, 
चिंतित दीखे माथ, 
दालचीनि का पाउडर, 
लें पानी के साथ..
मुँह में बदबू हो अगर, 
दालचीनि मुख डाल, 
बने सुगन्धित मुख, महक, 
दूर होय तत्काल..
कंचन काया को कभी, 
पित्त अगर दे कष्ट, 
घृतकुमारि संग आँवला, 
करे उसे भी नष्ट..
बीस मिली रस आँवला, 
पांच ग्राम मधु संग, 
सुबह शाम में चाटिये, 
बढ़े ज्योति सब दंग..
बीस मिली रस आँवला, 
हल्दी हो एक ग्राम, 
सर्दी कफ तकलीफ में, 
फ़ौरन हो आराम..
नीबू बेसन जल शहद , 
मिश्रित लेप लगाय, 
चेहरा सुन्दर तब बने, 
बेहतर यही उपाय..
मधु का सेवन जो करे, 
सुख पावेगा सोय, 
कंठ सुरीला साथ में , 
वाणी मधुरिम होय.
पीता थोड़ी छाछ जो, 
भोजन करके रोज, 
नहीं जरूरत वैद्य की, 
चेहरे पर हो ओज..
ठण्ड अगर लग जाय जो 
नहीं बने कुछ काम, 
नियमित पी लें गुनगुना, 
पानी दे आराम..
कफ से पीड़ित हो अगर, 
खाँसी बहुत सताय, 
अजवाइन की भाप लें, 
कफ तब बाहर आय..
अजवाइन लें छाछ संग, 
मात्रा पाँच गिराम, 
कीट पेट के नष्ट हों, 
जल्दी हो आराम..
छाछ हींग सेंधा नमक,
दूर करे सब रोग, जीरा 
उसमें डालकर, 
पियें सदा यह भोग..।

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A Memorable Road Trip

My Credit Cards, Hotel reservations, Sunglasses, dry snacks...Oh how can I forget my Road Map... The list was running into pages as I was getting ready for an exciting road trip to Kolhapur for taking the blessings of goddess Mahalaxmi. This was for first time in our life that my sister Neela and I were planning for an adventurous road trip. All thanks to the movie Zindagi na Milegi Dobara. We were very excited about the road trip, the lure of the open roads filled with greenery, the rains and most importantly, the promising getaway from our routine lives of packing lunch boxes for our kids and grandchildren. 

On the day of our trip, Neela arrived with a huge hand-bag. 

'What all is there in this huge bag?' I asked her. 

Nothing dear, just some snacks and empty bags for shopping, she replied.

I smiled. Till then our driver also arrived. First, I checked my petrol tank, it was full. We boarded in my car and the much awaited road trip began. We prayed to Ganpati Bappa for a safe journey. Both of us were very excited.

It was raining lightly; the streets of Mumbai were wet. Our car was filled with the freshness of Godrej Aer air freshener. Being a Saturday morning, we were enjoying the rains on the relatively empty roads of Mumbai. I then realized that the air freshener was on the verge of getting over. So I asked my driver to stop the car near a shopping mall to buy some more Godrej Aer Air Freshener and other articles. We entered the Air freshener section. There was a pretty pregnant sales-girl who showed us the Godrej Aer Car Air Freshners like Godrej Aer Petal Crush Pink, Cool Surf Blue etc.. I picked up Petal Crush Pinkas it would render a unique fragrance to my car. The sales girl thanked me for shopping. Being curious, I asked her, "Which month?” she said, "Sixth month." "Bye take care," I said. We then left the mall and boarded into car again. 

"Did you observe that pregnant Sales Girl? I am sure she is going to deliver a baby girl." Neela told me. "But how can you be so sure about that? I questioned.

"You didn't observe her carefully Nandini. Have you seen her face, she was looking so fresh. Even her baby bump was not visible near the front but was visible from the back. So she is definitely going to deliver a baby girl. I can bet on it." Neela was very excited. 

She continued, "You know, but my daughter-in-law is going to deliver a baby boy. I am very confident about that. This is her first time and I want a grandson."

Again I questioned, "How can you be so sure that your daughter-in-law will deliver a baby boy?"

Neela continued, "My daughter-in-law, Sonali is always tired. She is not able to do household work like she used to do." 

I said, "It’s okay Neela, she is pregnant, how can you expect her to do house hold work?"

Neela continued, “And you know, her baby bump is clearly visible from the front, but you will not be able to make out that she is pregnant from the back. Also, she always has craving for sweets. If you crave for sweets, then the chances of baby being a boy are very high". Neela was very excited about her discovery.

We realized that we have crossed Mumbai and were amidst a lot of greenery. We asked the driver to take through Pen village, as we wanted to have the delicious "Potato Vada" of Pen village. We stopped near a small restaurant and ordered "Potato Vada" and Coffee for breakfast. The Vadas reminded us of our childhood days when we used to savor Batata Vada with our parents while going to our native. We relished the vadas in the company of a mild rainfall. 

After Batata Vada break, we boarded the car again and realized that there was some bad odor in the car. I realized that my driver was smoking in the car. 

'Kya aap smoke kar rahey the?'I asked the driver. 

"Sorry Madam, galati ho gayi. I will not smoke again," the driver replied. I could notice some tension on his face. So did not say much to him. 

I opened my car windows and there was a lady selling Sonchafa flowers (Plumeria). We bought some flower and the car was filled with the pleasant fragrance of Sonchafa it refreshed us again.  I wish Godrej could come up with such a pleasant fragrance of Sonchafa.

Our car was moving on the roads near Khandala and Lonavala. The roads were filled with number of waterfalls. People were getting wet under the waterfalls. We asked driver to halt. The road was full of gushing waterfalls and greenery. The climate was pleasant. There were dazzling lakes and a very breathtaking view. We started capturing the greenery in our camera. We again boarded the car and continued with our journey. We captured lots of scenes in our cameras and our hearts. Since the mud was wet, we could experience a cool Muddy fragrance of rain which was very pleasing. I wish Godrej could come up with such a pleasant fragrance of first rains.
Our car was moving fast. We then stopped at Wai for our Lunch break. We indulged into Village delicacies like Zunka Bhakar and Thecha with raw onion & green chillies. It was heaven for us. We invited our driver also for lunch, but he refused saying that he may feel sleepy during driving. He continued smoking sitting under a tree for a while. I observed that he was a bit stressed.
After having the delicacies, we started with our road trip towards Kolhapur via Satara. My driver’s phone was ringing in between. I asked him not to talk on the phone while driving.
Again the mobile rang, but this time it was my sister Neela’s mobile. It was my nephew’s call. She sounded very tense but then calmed down. 

“Please keep me posted and take care. We will return at the earliest.” said Neela and she disconnected the phone. 

“What happened? Anything serious?” I asked Neela. 

“Nothing serious as such, but Sonali has been admitted to the hospital now. But Neil assured that there is nothing to worry. Sonali may deliver the baby any time. So we need to rush back to Mumbai then.” Neela said.

“But her Expected Due Date is after 15 days, hope everything is fine?” I asked her. 

“Hey, this is one of the symptoms of delivering a baby boy.  When there is a baby boy, the delivery is before the EDD and if it’s a baby girl, then it is after the EDD. I can bet with you now, Sonali will deliver a baby boy.  Thank god, nobody in the family has delivered a baby girl yet. I am going to call my sister-in-law first once Sonali delivers a baby boy. I want to prove her wrong, who predicted grand-daughter for me.” Neela was very excited.

Again my driver’s mobile rang. But this time, he stopped the car, went outside and was talking to someone. On returning he asked me,”Madam, I wanted to make a small request.”

“Tell me, what happened?” I asked him.

“Madam, my sister is standing on the road with her children, but not getting any bus since past one hour.  Can we give her a lift?  Her home is on our way. She has to visit a hospital, which is only 7-8 kilometers from her house. If you don’t mind, I will give her a lift till the hospital.” He asked me.

“No problem,” I told him as it was a question of only half an hour.

After some time, I saw a girl in her early 20s standing with her two daughters on the road. My driver stopped the car. She entered our car and was trying to fit her two daughters in front seat.
“Please send the children to back seats, there is ample space here.” I told my driver. His sister smiled at me and asked her daughters to go and sit on the back seats.  The two little girls were very cute. 

“Baby, what is your name”, I asked those cute little girls.

“I am Manu and she is Babu”, the little girl replied. 

“Her name is Manali and the younger one is Madhuri” my driver replied. But his sister was quiet. She was not talking to us. To break the ice, I asked her “How old are your daughters?”
“The elder one is 4 and the younger one is 3 years old” she said. This time I observed her face. She was looking very weak and pale. 

The journey continued, and our driver stopped the car near the hospital. His sister got down along with her daughters. I gave some chocolates to her daughters. Our driver gave some money to her and we continued our journey.

“Who has been admitted to the hospital?” I asked my driver.

“My sister herself is going to be admitted.” He replied.

“What happened to her? And her husband has not accompanied her to hospital? I asked him.
He was reluctant to disclose anything to me. But me and my sister bombarded him with lots of questions. 

“She is 18 or 19 weeks pregnant and going for an abortion in this hospital. Her husband or in-laws will not accompany her as they are very busy and most importantly there is a baby girl in her womb. Since she already has two daughters, they want only a Baby Boy” Driver was telling us with lot of pain.

“Oh my god, this is so cruel. We are living in the 21st century. One should not differentiate between a baby boy or girl. Both are equal in today’s world.” I replied.

“Madam, we are poor people and she already has two daughters. The girls will marry and go to their in-laws place, but we can depend on our sons during old age. My sister got a strict warning from her in-laws for a son this time” said my driver.

Now Neela got annoyed. “You should take her in-laws to the court. How can they behave so irrationally with your sister? And most importantly, determination of sex of foeticide is banned in India. You should file a case against that clinic where they are doing this illegal act. And most importantly your sister should never go to such clinic for determining the sex of unborn child”
“My sister’s mother-in-law is very knowledgeable like you Madam, she also can find out whether there is a baby boy or girl in a mother’s womb. This time she realized that there is baby girl in my sister’s womb and asked her to get it confirmed and aborted.” Driver replied to Neela.

It was a virtual slap on our face. Neela realized that she was talking about gender equality, but wanted a grandson. We both didn’t utter a single word thereafter. I realized that giving gyaan to someone was easy, but when it comes to self, we act in an opposite manner.  This time I remembered Saint Tukaram’s Abhang, “Bole taisa chaale, tyachi vandavi paoole” (You should respect that person who speaks and acts in the same manner)

We were heading towards Kolhapur. Both of us were looking at the view outside. There were sugarcane fields on both the sides. But it was looking sad. Then Neela’s phone rang. She smiled and disconnected the phone.

“Sonali delivered a baby boy and both are safe” she said. 

“Great, Congratulations, should we return back to Mumbai immediately?” I asked Neela. 

“No I want to take Mahalakshmi’s darshan as it’s not very far from here.” She said. I found that there was no excitement on Neela’s face, even though she was looking very happy.

We were now experiencing the stunning beauty of Kolhapur, with its flowing rivers and rivulets. The ancient monuments were carrying their age with elegance.

We reached Kolhapur near Mahalaxmi’s temple. It was evening time. Neela bought sweets and ‘Oti;’ of Saree & Coconut for goddess Mahalaxmi. There was a small ‘Gurhal’ near Mandir, where we had Sugar cane juice. Then our car headed towards the Mahalaxmi Mandir.

Since Neela had to follow “Soyar” of child’s birth for 10 days she asked me to go inside the temple and perform pooja. While entering the temple, she called me back.

“Nandini, can you pray for a granddaughter for me?” she asked me. I smiled and went inside Goddess Mahalaxmi’s temple. However, I changed Neela’s prayer a bit. 

“Hey Goddess Mahalaxmi, next time Neela and me both want to come along with our granddaughters for your Darshan.” I prayed.
We boarded our car for a return journey immediately. The journey was truly very memorable as it changed our mind sets.

This is my entry for the contest  Inspire a fragrance organized by IndiBlogger for Godrej Aer.  Please visit http://www.godrejaer.com