Thursday, October 30, 2014

God is a Gamer - A book review

God is a Gamer - A book review

Being a member of the Blogadda book review club I've been fortunate to be in the receiving end of several best seller novels one of which includes James Patterson & Ashwin Sanghvi's Private India .The most recent addition to this list was the best selling novel "God is a Gamer" from the Master story teller of India, Ravi Subramanian
Having read almost all his novels, you cant resist becoming a huge fan of this Indian novelist. Being a banker himself, he started with an explosive novel “If God was a banker” that talked about India’s banking industry and the several back channel deals and corporate fiascos that take place inside Mumbai’s banks. The banking genre being very fresh to the Indian fiction scene was a sure shot success and became a overnight best seller across all markets.
The novel was followed by two other intriguing novels , The Bankster and the Incredible Banker. The latest being God is a Gamer . 
God is a gamer looked to be a runaway success and it sure as well didn’t disappoint me . Right from page one to the final it was an intriguing thriller talking in detail about all banking evils, including credit card scam, ATM Frauds, password stealing , phishing attacks and so on
The book also talks in parallel about the next generation social media, and the rise of online gaming right inside a social media platform and what companies do to adapt themselves while trying to survive the onslaught of change. For someone who loves reading upon corporate politics and technology corporate frauds, this book was a double delight and took just a couple of days to finish it .What’s more interesting about the novel than the average thriller is its relevancy and how much information one can gain reading about rise in social gaming era in Facebook with concepts like Farmville Saga, Candy Crush, Town Saga etc.

The book , despite being a banking thriller and tries to solve some gruesome murders, mainly talks about a currency revolution which is happening all over the world , in the form of Bitcoins. Touted to be India’s first Bitcoin thriller, it gives a reader a complete info on this new type of currency that is causing a major frenzy in the banking sectors. Having no centralized system or regulator, Bitcoin was a currency invented by a Japanese guy that initially started off as a Bartered digital currency which could be traded to buy products online and slowly started to become a full-fledged digital currency being accepted by many popular sites for buying things. Bitcoins became a government as well as a Banker’s nightmare having no way of tracking the currency exchange nor could it challenge the fact that a private individual do not have the right to create his/her own currency
The story revolves around many countries including US and India and Bitcoins being used to fund many high profile heists and murders and the police tracing every bit of clue to find the killers and the motive behind the same
I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun for any of the readers and really encourage everyone to pick up a copy and read it as soon as possible

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Diwali over the years

Diwali over the years

Before I begin my post, let me wish my fellow readers A Happy Diwali in advance
Diwali is always a special function for every Indian, wherever he's in the planet. A festival that can offer unlimited bundles of joy to every person, celebrating with friends, families and loved ones.
A festival of lights and sounds, with cities being decorated in a grandeur way and lights lit up all the way to the roof .People coming out in large numbers , way early in the morning and start bursting crackers and distributing sweets and proceed to temples for a special worships
However the very same festival has seen its change over the years to be seen as an entirely different thing. What was once a festival of lights and crackers is now a holiday for Bollywood and Kollywood to celebrate its new releases and people turning out in large nos for the movie halls to worship their cine stars instead of actual gods
Back in my school days , Diwali in Chennai was almost like a 2 day function with streets lined up with cracker shops in almost every neighborhood selling every type of cracker from “Lakshmi vedis” to “Kuruvis” ,”Atom Bombs” , “Hydrogen bombs” , “Double shot cracker” and those innumerable “Bomb Rockets”  . The prices too were very reasonable and almost every family purchased for nearly 2000-5000 , with some rich families going the extra mile by buying the 100,000 wala for nearly 25,000 Rs
The day began quite early in the morning , at around 4 AM where one used to take a Oil Head bath , worship the gods with a special Pooja ,wear new clothes and then proceed to burst crackers till late afternoon taking small breaks only to splurge on those extensive sweets and savouries, Gulab Jamun being a definite inclusion
The house was filled with all relatives from different cities who somehow managed to take the previous days off and arrive in time to celebrate Diwali with the entire family as a whole. The house literally looked like a mess with the kids running around , the women extremely busy in the kitchens making tons of sweets and Snacks . Post which the sweets were then distributed to the neighbours in exchange for even better sweets from them. TV’s were hardly switched on as the 2-3 popular channels would just show some relatively new movie and a temple pooja with a old man’s discourse about life’s principles
The whole day meant about being with the entire family as one and talking about each other’s lives and enjoying it together. The nightfall brought about the second round of bursting crackers with the rockets now coming in and brightly lighting up the sky

However with the mobile era, things have changed drastically . Today ,what Diwali means to me is one among the following things :
1)       Diwali means Online E-Commerce sales, where  Flipkart/Amazon/Snapdeal/Jabong offers massive online discounts for electronics, shoes and clothes .Remember the #BigBillionDay ?
2)      Release of a new  film by our favorite hero and watching it first day first show with its massive celebrations outside the theater with fireworks and garlands
3)      Innumerable new movie releases in TV and interviews of Popular Bollywood stars in all channels back to back
4)      Cracker Bursting as a Sampler , being it Diwali day  and not incessant bursting
5)      Sweets bought in popular sweet shops than taking efforts to make it at home and redistribute them
6)      Relatives wishing their families over a FB message or a skype call than actually making plans to go visit them and spend time
7)      Wake up late being a holiday ,wear new clothes and again go shopping hunting for better deals in stores for Diwali sale

However this Diwali , I'd like to make it a lot more special and wish to celebrate the way it should really be .
That means more time with family , burst crackers ,have a Pepsi,  help family members decorate the house and genuinely meeting people face to face, spend time and wishing them a Happy Diwali !

Do check out Pepsi Ghar Wali Diwali and celebrate Diwali to the fullest

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Health is wealth indeed!

Health is wealth indeed!

In a fast moving environment and lifestyle such as ours, the key goal is to make money and more of it as much as possible. We never stop to consider what we sacrifice in pursuit of that . We spend countless hours in offices and at work to monetize our efforts as much as possible in order to lead a very wealthy lifestyle. But what should be of paramount importance is the notion to lead a healthy lifestyle than a wealthy one
There have been several instances where I have seen people skip breakfast or lunch in order to attend that important meeting or complete work before the client presentation. The same goes for our kids as well, where the schools apply way too much pressure on them to attain high marks in exams and never for once stress on the importance of eating a balanced diet at regular intervals.
Peer pressure, School Pressure, Parental Pressure , Tuition pressure and most of all exam pressure can literally make any student go nuts . In this relentless battle to be one step ahead of the next student, every child goes through a hardship every single day , be it a weekday or a weekend ! Amidst all these chaos and hectic schedules, they pretty much gobble anything that they can find and never have enough time to have a proper meal or much less breakfast.

The stories of lunchboxes being returned home with exactly how it is packed tells us one too many stories on children foregoing lunch hours to spend it on writing records or studying for next hour tests . Same goes for breakfast, where children rush to the bus stops without completing their breakfast before the school van leaves

I happened to know during my school days ,a student who used to be extremely good in studies and was very studious and hardworking in achieving his goals. He studied in a very reputed school, probably one of the top most ranked schools in the country. Being a top ranked school, the school applied insurmountable pressure in their students, where those who didn’t average above the 80% mark was constantly terminated .

The kid in order to be at the top spent even more hours than one can possibly spend for studies foregoing almost everything in life, be it friends, family or even food . He hardly touched food and simply ate spoonful’s of food which his mom gave whenever she could possibly see him

The exams approached and he even more crazy hours burning the midnight oil in order to attain a centum in all subjects. On the exam day , as like any other days , he skipped breakfast and went straight to the exam . After sleeping for just over two hours the previous day and having just a coffee before the exam , the guy within minutes of the examination fainted

They took him to the hospital where the doctor said , the kid had become very anaemic ,was running a high temperature and  had almost no strength in body and prone to any disease . What could have been the most highlight of his career turned out to be a disaster ,where he obviously failed the exam and also had to miss the next one after being hospitalized and wasted an entire year to sit and reappear again for the board exams.
His career also took a nosedive from that point and even the following year, due to the second attempt, had to settle for a lesser known college which gave him little or rather no opportunities to progress further
The whole episode could have been avoided if he simply concentrated more on the food and had a good intake of all minerals, nutrients and vitamins in a balanced diet. Or even simpler, if he had a regular intake of Dabur Chyawanprash, which has anti-oxidant properties and helps to strengthen your body's internal defence mechanism - the immune system - thereby protecting you from day to day infections such as cough, cold and also has more than 40 other natural ingredients to maintain a balanced diet        

The ingredients help the immune system by providing the following benefits: Anti stress, Antioxidants, Providing strength,General Health, Improves memory, and a rejuvenator

Do read about Dabur Chyawanprash here :