Book Review: The Code Of Manavas

Book: The Code Of Manavas
Author: Arpit Bakshi
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Rupa Publication


Code of Manavas

Code Of Manavas

Mythological stories were products of rich imaginations of ancient writers who mixed reality and fantasy so well that now ages later we wonder how much of it happened, how much is real history and what all is fantasy? Did asuras really exist? Did some men really have supernatural powers that today we consider them gods? Are Ramayan and Mahabharat just epic stories or there is some truth in the events?

Mythology hence can be interpreted to one’s fertile imagination and stories added to various events from original ones.

A 21st century person would naturally add science fiction to mythology. And that is what Arpit Bakshi has attempted with his book “The Code Of Manavas”.

The book begins many years later when seemingly the world as we know has changed drastically and is inhabited by new species of Homo sapiens called ‘manavas’. The story tells of a crisis on earth and its imminent annihilation and the new age ‘Krishna’ trying to find another habitable planet for the existing species. Another group of people who supposedly exist from ancient age in small numbers live on other end of the land mass. The interaction between the two group of people is governed by  a code of conduct. This code of manavas guides everyone to not interfere in each other’s existence. However the impending doom requires both groups to work together as one force against the saboteurs and natural forces.

The author has embarked on the story very ambitiously in creating a time period which is much ahead in future. The story has few portions dedicated to the ancient mythology woven into the narrative. Then there is the mention of  magnetic trains and thought controlled computers and data. There is also ‘Kansa’  and ‘Jarasandh’ as enemies in new avatar. There is a mysterious sabotage. Then the new planet which new age Krishna is seeking is being created from scratch by inducing life, creating dinosaurs and what not.

While the story tries various angles …sometimes modern sometimes reminiscent of ancient era but it didn’t feel binding. The story did not create an impressive narrative for me. Just by giving the names like ‘bhoomidium’ to an imaginary element which is being pumped in the humans and nature to make them immortal and free of diseases and a few other terms loosely thrown in the story. A story set in millions of year ahead of present day should have had so much more science fiction instead of half of it retelling the ancient story in not very flattering way. The author’s imagination falls short. The teleportation and magnetic trains is an imagination which I grew up on. I was expecting more.

The author has put everything in one book…romance, science fiction, mythology and which has left me unimpressed. But if a light read is your idea of story, go ahead and enjoy.

Also on Goodreads

Alma Femilift For Women’s Intimate Health

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Women are the backbone of their homes and the society whether any one acknowledges this fact or not. Whether she is working outside or whether she is a homemaker, it is a woman who keeps the social fabric alive.

However with almost most domestic chores falling on women’s shoulders, they tend to take all kinds of stress and relegate their health to later with family and its requirement topping the list of priorities. And often its the women’s health that remains least talked about. Attention to emotional or mental and physical well being of women gets overlooked.

Physically a woman’s body undergoes lot more wear and tear over the years due to child birth or hormonal changes, lack of enough exercise or mental stress and of course age. When it comes to intimate wellness of a woman, there is a kind of stigma attached to health issues. And it doesn’t help either with women shying away from talking about it and getting timely appropriate help.

Childbirth and age cause maximum stress on muscular tissues of women’s body.  Unless women are very mindful of healthy living practices, eating and exercising, the muscular stress may lead to vaginal laxity that causes decreased satisfaction in intimacy with partner, stress urinary incontinence that leads to urine leakages and /or vaginal dryness.

Alma Femilift steps in here to solve such wellness issues of women for a better feminine life.

Alma Femilift

Alma Femilift

In an introductory talk by Dr Bharati Dhorepatil that I had the opportunity to attend, many doubts were laid to rest.

Dr Bharati Dhorepatil

Dr Bharati Dhorepatil

Femilift that uses laser technology to treat various issues, is a quick solution that is painless, minimally invasive and with quick recovery. It is a process that is conducted in an out patient  setting which means no operating, no anesthesia or admission to recuperate in hospital wards.

According to the doctor “it is a short procedure that takes hardly as much time as it takes for a visit to beauty parlour”. 

  • The procedure is well suited for women in initial stages or mild to moderate vaginal laxity or incontinence.

If left untreated it may require surgical treatment. 

A few benefits of Alma Femilift:

• Fast, homogeneous treatments
• Minimally invasive
• Outpatient treatment CO2 technology which is clinically proven
• Optimal For collagen remodeling
• Safe, easy & effective
• Immediate results
• Hygienic, single use probe

In this age and era, women need not be shy in either talking about their needs and desires or intimate health which may affect their sexual satisfaction and every day life. They need not suffer for long before getting the problem solved surgically. They can in utmost privacy talk to their doctor and get the Femilift procedure done in minutes.

The procedure is completed in three sittings and certain precautions after the procedure need to be adhered to for the specific duration that the doctor might advise. Read for more information on Femilift here.

So here is to more freedom of choice and a better feminine life…more power to women.


  • The introductory talk was conducted by Shree Hospital to promote Alma Femilift.
  • The author is not a doctor and is not trained to offer expert advice on medical procedures or health issues
  • The author has not taken the treatment and can not advice on side effects if any. 
  • It is the reader’s responsibility to check with their Gynecologist about the pros and cons or necessity of the procedure. 
  • This post was created to create awareness about possible facilities for wellness of women.

Vikramaditya Veergatha Book III: Vengeance Of Indra

Book: Vengeance Of Indra
Author: Shatrujeet Nath
Genre: Mythological Fiction
Publication: Jaico Books

The third in series Vikramaditya Veergatha is Vengeance of Indra by Shatrujeet Nath.

(Also read reviews of Book I and Book II)

With Vikramditya’s challenges becoming more and more difficult in every story, one wonders whether the human king will emerge unscathed and victorious? The third book has more devastation in store both to Vikramaditya’s personal relationships and to his city and empire.

The devas and asuras join hands to maximize destruction on valiant king and his councilmen. But besides the physical devastation that the combined forces unleash, it is the emotional hurt that they seek in the third book. The new allies who otherwise do not see eye to eye hope to wreck the king’s support system by driving a wedge in relationships, to break the king’s heart, to turn his most trusted friends into enemy. From spells to lies to sowing doubts, the enemy leaves no trick to obtain Halahal. Defeated again and again Indra seeks vengeance and comes up with a devious plan by planting a enemy within the palace.

The king however still aims to stay true to his promise of protecting Halahal even at the cost of his loved ones and leaves no stone unturned to seek out new alliances in fighting the wars of land and ‘dharma’.

The great thing about this story is that though the first three books seem to bring only more problems for the king but nowhere is it repeated. It doesn’t get dull. New challenges, new enemies and new conspiracies keep the reader turning the pages.

Honestly I am waiting for the concluding Book IV in hope to see the king emerge victorious and all evil defeated.

So go on and read the VIKRAMADITYA VEERGATHA.

Vikramaditya Veergatha Book II: The Conspiracy At Meru

Book: The Conspiracy At Meru
Author: Shatrujeet Nath
Genre: Mythological Fiction
Publisher: Jaico Books
Conspiracy At Meru

Conspiracy At Meru

If you have read first book of the series Vikramaditya Veergatha, The Guardians Of Halahala  you will want to know more about what happened next.

Honestly I couldn’t wait to start the second book instead of posting the review of previous book first.

This actually sums up what I think of the story but I will be little more elaborate on this.

Thwarted by Vikramaditya and his nine councilmen, Devlok and Indra are thirsting for revenge and plotting more ways to lay hands on Halahala.  While Vikramaditya is busy defending his and his allies borders from Sakas and Hun invaders, the Asuras and their teacher scheme to cast a spell for destruction of the council and the human king .

Another character, Indra’s son comes in play. The young deva seeks appreciation from his father and independently unleashes havoc on Ujjaini which is already fighting for survival on all fronts.

With chaos reining on his beloved city and his council divided, Vikramaditya is neck deep in trouble. The only thing that keeps him go on is the knowledge that Halahal is safe from troublemakers.

The second book in series continues to engage. I kept turning pages in anticipation . The pace of narrative does not slacken throughout the story. At times I wanted to jump right in the story and help the king fight all the evil.

This mytho-fiction is a gripping tale that keeps you returning for more.

Vikramaditya Veergatha Book I: The Guardians Of Halahal

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Book: Guardians Of Halahala
Author: Shatrujeet Nath
Genre: Mythological Fiction
Publishers: Jaico Books

Guardians of halahala

Stories from mythology have always intrigued me. Every story has been interpreted and presented in various versions by different authors.

The name ‘Vikramaditya’ always reminds me of television series ‘Vikram aur Betaal’ that I watched as a kid….I am sure many of you would still remember the sing song title music of the series like I do!!

When the first book of series ‘Vikramaditya Veergatha’ by Shatrujeetnath arrived at my doorstep, I had  faith that it would not disappoint me because I had liked the other book ‘Karachi Deception’ by the same author!

Weaving mythology with liberal dose of fantasy by his own admission, the author retells the story of ‘samudra manthan‘ between devas and asuras and the resulting fight for the products the churning of ocean brings forth.

Of the many things emerging from the ocean, one is ‘Halahal’ that is consumed by Lord Shiva to protect all living things from destruction. However a part of it is stolen  and preserved in a hilt of dagger by one of the asuras. This little portion is potent enough to be used as weapon and the devas and asuras are clamoring to get a hold of it. Lord Shiva turns to human king known for honoring promises and justice to protect the halahala from the gods and demons.

The story meanders through challenges that Vikramaditya and his council of nine people endure to protect not only the dagger given for safe keeping by Lord Shiva but also the boundaries of the entire Sindhuvarta and its allies from enemies across the border.

The first book of the series Vikamaditya Veergatha tests the courage and mettle of Vikramaditya and his nine councilors. The twists in story and conspiracies and high action, all make story a riveting read. With gripping plot, the book makes you want to read more and more.

By the time I finished reading the first part I was restless and already wanted to read the book II.

If mytho-fiction mixed with thick plot is your kind of story then ‘Guardians of Halahala’ is for you.

Book Review: Tides Don’t Cross

Book: Tides Don’t Cross
Author: Simar Malhotra
Publishers: Rupa Publications
Genre: Fiction

Tides Don't Cross

Tides Don’t Cross

Occasionally you come across characters in stories that seem like you know that person. They seem believable and sometimes they resonate with your own self. Tides Don’t Cross falls in that category where the two sisters Meera and Rukmini seem like real people.

It has been a while since I read a love story. Some which I did read did not much click with my liking though those were not bad stories.

Mrinalini and Rukmini, the two sisters are as different as chalk and cheese. Mrinalini, the docile one heeds everything her overbearing mother commands and decides for her while Rukmini is the rebel. Mrinalini or Meera even agrees to marry someone on her mother’s insistence quashing a budding romance with her colleague in her heart. She adjusts her life according to the man she marries and gradually loses all her individuality. No one including her husband tries to gauge her heart, her aspirations, her choices…

Rukmini on other hand does everything which annoys their mother. She questions everything and is a hot headed person who doesn’t cow down to anything she doesn’t believe in. She falls in love with a Muslim boy, Ayan, an ace swimmer, in Paris. The bliss lasts as long as the separate ambitions do not clash. But the pain of separation and love lasts in a corner of her heart.

Ayan, a national team aspirant  finds his dreams quashed due to a shoulder injury. A perfect gentleman, he contemplates making good use of his knowledge and give back to society.

Few years down the line, Meera suddenly finds herself a widow and her struggles with bringing up her son, take her to a new house. The shy girl gradually opens up to the friendly neighbor and swimming coach of her son. She comes to rely on him and starts enjoying his company. Little by little her lost confidence and desire to live takes shape again.

The story weaves the lives of Meera, Rukmini and Ayan through various events. No where however there is slackening in the narrative. Each character is well crafted and plays important role in the story. The story flows so naturally that I did not want to put it down and enjoyed reading it late in night.

The twists in the story will keep the readers engaged no doubt. The story ends logically and with no unnecessary drama.

A well written book that I liked quite a lot.

Also at :


Book Review: Busting Cliches

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Book: Busting Cliches
Author: Mahevash Shaikh
Genre: Self Help
Publication: APK Publishers
Busting Cliches

Busting Cliches

Everyday most of us refer to some situation with oft used phrases. Most times we believe we have used it in the correct sense…it gives us a sense of know-all and we gloat on our knowledge of English language and our ability to describe a certain situation.

But what if I tell you that most of the very commonly used cliches are usually little off the mark of what they actually mean?

Here is a young author Mahevash Shaikh with her debut handbook who busts the misunderstood versions of twenty such phrases.

The size and shape of book itself busts the preconceived notion of a book…at least it broke my preconceived idea of a book. Honestly when the book arrived I was little miffed because it had a look of a pocket book or a cook-book. But later as I read through, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the size was purposely meant to break that cliche?

Each phrase mentioned in the book has its originally intended meaning, the misunderstood version, reference of that phrase in popular songs, a caricature and byte size explanation of what to make of it. There are snippets of comments and quotes by some popular names of the world for each phrase.

The book opens withLook Before You Leap as the first cliche to be busted. It seems that that the common understanding of this phrase is to be cautious all the time. However what it really implies is that before we take a decision, we must weigh all the pros and cons. Like Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook says “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

Another phrase that left me thinking was One good turn deserves another’. Most time we expect reciprocation of a good gesture or act and feel miffed and disappointed if that doesn’t happen. And here is what the basic fault lies in understanding this phrase. The real meaning of the phrase is the other way round. It implies that when someone does a favor, we must return it with graciousness when the need arises. But pinning hopes on return of favor takes away the meaning of generosity. What the educator and leadership consultant says is absolutely true: “If expecting something in return is your reason for giving, you really are not giving! If you receive something in returnfor your gift, that is a bonus and not repayment of a debt.” 

There are more such every day phrases in the book which have been construed in different context than they were supposed to. The book ends on a positive note emphasizing how our thoughts are influenced by what we think and choose to believe.  A very different book from what I usually read, this one is a light-hearted nudge without being too much preachy.


Book Review: Men And Dreams In Dhauladhar

Book: Men And Dreams In The Dhauladhar
Author: Kochery C Shibu
Genre: Fiction
Publication: Niyogi books

Men and dreams: Book review

I am back with new book review. It has been some time since I last read and reviewed a book. But I was on self-imposed sabbatical as I couldn’t find interesting books to read!

Men and Dreams seemed interesting from the blurb on the back cover.

The story is about three people very different to each other who end up at a dam construction project site high up in the Himalayas, more precisely the Dhauladhar Range. Nanda, an engineer from Kerala is running away from warring communities who are baying for his blood in revenge. He leaves his family and goes in hiding as a supervisor on the dam site. Rekha is a trained and accomplished Kathak dancer who gives up her medical profession to follow her passion of dance. She dreams of finding a man who would spark love and longing in her. On a trip to Vaishnodevi temple in kashmir her group is attacked by a group of terrorists. One of the terrrorists ends up instead protecting her from harm’s way. Khusru, is from a small village Deran in Himalayas who falls in wrong hands and ends up being trained as a terrorist and is supposed to help execute the plan of blowing up the dam site. Khusru despite becoming a terrorist despises hurting women. He foils the plan of other terrorist in the group by saving Rekha from their clutches and misguiding them leading to their capture by army. Khusru and the girl fall in a wild passionate love and escape to dam site to stay in hiding.

The story goes on to describe the life of the three along with all men and women at the construction site. While the challenges of the life in hills with changing weather, the infighting between laborers, the changing lifestyle of locals make the backdrop of the story, the story revolves around the three people; their fears, aspirations, interactions and their dreams of a brighter tomorrow. And while the men and women at the construction site strive to achieve their dreams the majestic Dhauladhar watches over the twists in tale.

The story though well conceived and written, dwells too much, for my comfort, on technical side of dam construction. I for one did not want to read so much about ‘fore bay’ or ‘gulle’ etc.

The background of each character was interesting though and built up the story of how they all reached at same destination. I would have liked to read their interaction more. The end seemed little abrupt as everything happens suddenly. The part about intelligence agency tracking the movement of terrorist is too short and doesn’t build up the anticipation enough.

The story ends in interesting way. While some dreams are crushed but some are met and for those characters of the story all ends well.

In all, story doesn’t disappoint but it could have been shorter. I liked the idea of the story but skipped some part when it became a little too much about the construction and less about people.

Read and decide for yourself.

Also read on Amazon and GoodReads .

खतों के सिलसिले


वो दिन भी क्या खूब हुआ करते थे
खतों में दोस्तों से रूबरू हुआ करते थे
खत भी हमारे अजीब ही होते थे
लड़कपन के ऊलजलूल ख्वाबों से सजते थे
यूँ ही हंसा जाते थे, तमाम बातें कह जाते थे
कभी शिकायतें कर जाते तो
कभी शेखी बघारने का तरीका तो
कभी छुट्टियों में मिलने की तरकीब बन जाते थे
महीने भर की कहानी सुना जाते थे तो
सालगिरह पर तमाम बधाई दे जाते थे
वो बंद लिफाफे बेक़रार कर जाते थे
अब सब अपनी उलझनों में मशगूल हैं
खतों के सिलसिले लगते फ़िज़ूल हैं
अब डाकिये दस्तक देते नहीं
चिट्ठियों के पुलिंदे लाते नहीं
अब बातें पुरानी हो जाती हैं
उन्हें बांटने की बेसब्री हम दिखते नहीं
अब हम मिलने  के मंसूबे बनाते नहीं

वो मेरा भगवान नहीं 

वो मेरा भगवान नहीं 
जो नन्ही कली का कुचलना 
यूँ ही गुमसुम देखता है 
वो मेरा भगवान् नहीं 
जो बीभत्स दुःकर्मियों  
यूँ ही हाथ बांधे रक्षा करता है 
वो मेरा भगवान नहीं 
यूँ ही जो अधर्म में आँखे मूंदे सोता है 
कैसा इश्वर है 
जो खोखले नारों में जीता है?
जो बेमतलब प्रथाओं में रमता है?
जो निरीह कन्या की पुकार 
को नहीं सुनता है? 
कहाँ है वो इश्वर 
अधर्म मिटाने को जिसने 
हर युग में जन्म लेने 
का किया था प्रण 
कहाँ है वो इश्वर 
जिसने अत्याचार से रक्षा 
का दिया था वचन?
ऐसा अँधा बहरा गूंगा और अपाहिज 
वो मेरा भगवान् नहीं