Storizen Magazine April 2023 | Kiran Manral

Page 1


Celebrating 5 Years of Storizen!

Kiran Manral

Exploring the Depths of Imagination

The author is back with a new novel on time and existence, All Those Who Wander

Exclusive story on page 6

FOLLOW US ON : HASHTAG: #STORIZENMAGAZINE To read Storizen on the web, visit Follow Storizen on Instagram @storizenmag. CLICK HERE TO READ NOW! BOOKMARKED Storizen Magazine March 2023 Books we are loving this month Exclusive Digital Issue For more columns and features, scan below

Cover Story

Exploring the Depths of

Imagination: Kiran Manral

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Bloomsbury India

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Pan Macmillan India

Penguin India

Roli Books

Rupa Publications

Westland Books

Swapna Peri

Kiran K. Adharapuram

Saurabh Chawla


Pria Raiyani

Saurabh Chawla

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Book Reviews

Editor's Note, p5

Cover Story, p6

Exploring the Depths of Imagination: Kiran Manral hot off the press, p10

articles/short stories/poetry

Divine Revelation - Abhrekha Jain Sahlot, p12

Return From Mars - Sreelekha Chatterjee, p14

The Art of First Impressions: How Book Covers Influence Sales and Reader Perceptions - Saurabh Chawla, p18

Lessons from a Mango Tree - Vidya Shankar, p26

Painting Nightmares Pink - Neelakshi Banerjee, p27

Monthly Horoscope: May 2023 - Himani Goyal, p28

book reviews (by Swapna Peri, Saurabh Chawla & Kiran Adharapuram)

How Women Work: Fitting in and Standing out in Asia by Aarti Kelshikar, p20

India that is Progressive by Dilip Kumar Jha, p20

Can The Mind Be Quiet by Jiddu Krishnamurti, p21

Coorg Stories and Essays by C.P. Belliappa, p21

Guruji: Life and Spirituality by Dr. Chhabilendra Roul, p22

Haunted Places Of India by Riksundar Banerjee, p22

Made in India: 75 Years of Business and Enterprise by Amitabh Kant, p23

RBI Governors by Gokul Rathi, p23

The Panchatantra by Meena Arora Nayak, p24

The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology by Thich Nhat Hanh, p24

Transforming the Steel Frame: Promise and Paradox of Civil Service Reform by Vinod Rai, p25

Who Gets Elected: How and Why by Pradeep Gupta, p25


all writers! from the editor


You can also be a contributor Mail us your entries at Your smart ideas and inputs help us create our informative issues.

he true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words ” William Gass has said it right We here at Storizen encourage and are inspired by the golden words of our authors and contributors!

Have you ever wondered what you could do if you had the power of going back in time? There have several theories, several books have been written on this subject and various movies have been made.

After learning about the movies and reading various books, we still believe

one book is quite different We are super delighted to feature on the cover this month, Kiran Manral We will explore the depths of her imagination and in a candid conversation with Storizen, she discusses her inspiration for the book, her writing process, and the message she hopes readers will take away Check out the feature story on page 6 inside

Do you also buy books because of how beautiful the cover of the book is? Do check out the article The Art of First Impressions: How Book Covers Influence Sales and Reader Perceptions inside If you are an author, you will get to know the ins and outs of designing that perfect book cover.

This month's theme is "Revelations," and we have received an incredible range of works from our talented contributors that explore the idea of discovering truths both personal and universal.

From poetry that explores the hidden emotions and desires of the human heart, to fiction that reveals the unexpected twists and turns of life, to essays that challenge our assumptions and broaden our perspectives, this issue is packed with thought-provoking content that will stay with you long after you finish reading

Our book review section offers a range of perspectives on the latest releases in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry Our reviewers delve into the themes, characters, and writing styles of each book, giving you a glimpse into the author's world and helping you discover your next favorite read

We are proud to be a platform for emerging writers as well as established ones, and this issue features works from a diverse range of voices that reflect the richness and complexity of our world We hope that this edition of Storizen Magazine will inspire you to reflect on your own revelations and discoveries and to appreciate the power of storytelling to illuminate the hidden corners of our lives.

As always, we would like to extend our gratitude to our contributors for entrusting us with their work, and to our readers for their continued support. We invite you to join us on this literary journey, and we look forward to sharing more stories with you in the future.

A Storizen Exclusive Feature
Exploring the Depths of Imagination Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral is a well-known author in India, having written several fiction and non-fiction books. Her latest work, 'All Those Who Wander,' explores the themes of time, existence, and emotional healing through multiple stories and characters from different timelines In this interview, Manral discusses her inspiration for the book, her writing process, and the message she hopes readers will take away

The Inspiration Behind 'All Those Who Wander'

Manral's inspiration for 'All Those Who Wander' came from the many what-ifs and regrets we all carry throughout our lives. She wanted to explore the idea of going back in time to warn our younger selves and change the course of our lives. From there, the story evolved to include multiple timelines and perspectives, coexisting in the same space and time

She says, “What if one had taken this path instead of that, what if one had bumped into this person when one did, what if one knew that the route one was taking was dangerous and would lead us to an accident, the possibilities branch out to an entire network of possible optional lives.”

Exploring Time and Existence

As someone who has always been fascinated by the concept of time and existence, Manral wanted to incorporate these themes into her writing. She has explored questions about what constitutes time, the possibilities of looped time and multiverses, and how we can journey back and forth through time. Manral's interest in these topics is reflected in the thoughtprovoking concepts and ideas presented in 'All Those Who Wander.'

She explained further, “I don’t think I am unique in this, many others before me, and after me, will continue to ask these questions, to wonder about the questions we yet have no answers to, to probe about all the facets that seemingly define our existence on earth, a boundary of finite life and finite living that we have not yet made our peace with seeing how experiments to extend human life span continue across research laboratories around the world.”

Overcoming Writing Challenges

Manral has faced the same challenges that many writers encounter, including finding uninterrupted writing time, balancing domestic responsibilities, and earning a living from writing Despite these challenges, Manral has

I don’t really think about balancing anything. I don’t think my books are really balancing anything, they’re just telling stories and sometimes they’re funny, at others they’re dark and grim.
-Kiran Manral

continued to write through it all, refusing to give up on her passion. She emphasizes the importance of perseverance and discipline in the writing process.

“To get what I do take seriously, to be allowed undisturbed writing time without constantly being intruded upon by domesticity, to have my work earn enough so I can say I make a living from my writing books How do I overcome these? I don’t I just write through it all ”

Advice for Aspiring Writers

When asked about advice for aspiring writers who want to experiment with different genres and writing styles, Manral encourages them to go right ahead. She believes that experimentation is key to finding one's true voice, but also advises against imitation. Manral speaks from her own experience, having struggled to find her own voice after being heavily influenced by P G Wodehouse She also emphasizes the importance of reading widely and constantly honing one's craft

The Message Behind 'All Those Who Wander'

For Manral, the message of 'All Those Who Wander' is that we must embrace the lives we are living and the lessons we learn along the way. The novel explores themes of emotional healing, mother-daughter relationships, and paranormal activities, but ultimately encourages readers to live their lives with honesty and vulnerability. Manral hopes that readers will come away from the book with a greater appreciation for the journey of life and the importance of living in the present moment

Influences and Comparisons

'All Those Who Wander' has been compared to the Oscar 2023-winning film 'Everything Everywhere All at Once ' But Kiran said that it


was not the case She said, “Well, this book was in the writing for four years then two years with my publisher, so this particular movie was definitely not an influence because I hadn’t even heard about it until it became an Oscar contender.” When asked about her influences, Manral cites her admiration for P. G. Wodehouse, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams. However, she also emphasizes the importance of finding one's own voice and style as a writer Manral encourages aspiring writers to read widely and draw inspiration from a variety of sources, while also developing their own unique voice and style Upcoming Projects Currently, Manral is working on two commissioned non-fiction books, which are consuming all of her time Once she's done with these projects, she hopes to return to writing fiction. Manral has written four noir books and hopes to continue experimenting with different genres and writing styles in the future.

(As told to Pria)

About Pria - Young mesmerizing freelance blogger, social enthusiast, and an economics graduate from Jharkhand University with a Master's in Child Psychology She is hardworking yet crazy, a passionate reader, an ardent music fanatic, an avid caffeine lover, and a maniacal animal lover too

She has been a part of numerous anthologies, articles, and write-ups for newspapers and magazines which are multi-linguistic She has also written screenplays for YouTube series.



HOT OFFthe press

Time Shelter is on The International Booker Prize 2023 shortlist!

In Time Shelter, an enigmatic flâneur named Gaustine opens a 'clinic for the past' that offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer's sufferers: each floor reproduces a decade in minute detail, transporting patients back in time.

Filled with clever criminals, second chances, and wry and witty women, Parini Shroff’s The Bandit Queens is a razor-sharp debut of humor and heart that readers won’t soon forget.


HOT OFFthe press

Through these histories of reform, Mitta establishes that untouchability is merely the best- known aspect of varna, an elusive purity-based hierarchy that affects the freedoms of all. With groundbreaking discoveries and incisive insight, Caste Pride is at once moving, enlightening and transformative.

In 1987, a heroin addict murdered an Emmy Award-winning choreographer in Manhattan. A wealthy LA surgeon and his teenage son were targeted. In 1991, an out-of-work redneck flew to London with cyanide to poison three members of a male exotic dance troupe.



“To love without condition, to talk without intention, to give without reason, care without expectation, that's the spirit of true love”

This month's theme is Revelation which means something to uncover or unveil, a kind of blow-byblow and an eye opener, enlightenment

I always believed that days are numbered, and we should make each day count However, life is not always the way we want Some things happen when we least expect them and change our lives upside down and these things are not always negative but the ones you wanted all your life but did not anticipate at that point in time or perhaps not prepared to face

A few months back, I faced the same situation, where I felt that divine revelation and its genuine love with a sincere interest in my happiness and well-being Suddenly, from my normal ongoing life, I was in a fairytale supremely good situation Divine revelation is all about God unveiling himself to us so that we can come into a relationship with him and know love, and serve him to enter eternal beatitude Although His propensity to love is so great that he desires to interact with countless living beings simultaneously. He can do so without neglecting even one of them.

God has planned a beautiful life for us, even amidst all the many uncertainties in the world today and in its broader meaning, revelation is divine guidance or inspiration; it is the communication of truth and knowledge from God Faith is the believing response to divine revelation

Faith in God and His power, love, and enablement give perspective This faith shapes my judgment and my expectations It changes the way I see things and the value I put on things like ease, convenience, and comfort. The choices that we make in our lives will decide and impact our future

“Calmness, gentleness, silence, self-restraint and purity: these are the disciplines of the mind.” –Lord Krishna

Meet Abhrekha Jain Sahlot, the name is a derivative of her parent’s name (Abhay & Rekha) She is full of life, energy, and enthusiasm A gold medalist computer engineer she has been working with top MNCs for over 13 years now.

Blessed with an incredibly supportive family, their Husband Tushar Sahlot stands behind her as the strongest pillar of strength, shouldering equal responsibilities at home. A doting mother of 2 boys ( Nabhanyu & Daksh Sahlot), life has given her various opportunities to explore and she seems to have taken the best of everything. From singing, and painting to acting, swimming, and basketball, she has been into various co-curricular activities from artistic ones to sports ones

However, currently, she enjoys sharing her blessings with fellow women by addressing women and parenting forums and helping women in her capacity and spreading message & about the importance of being happy & content



Kunal looked out the window of the spacecraft a black mass of darkness seemed to be overwhelming the environment outside. He gazed dully at it for a while before averting his eyes; after all, the journey wasn’t as pleasant as he’d imagined while on Earth But the decision to undertake the expedition from Earth to Mars was his own and he couldn’t blame anyone for that After the Mars Orbiter Mission, popularly known as Mangalyaan, was successfully launched by ISRO into the Mars orbit on September 24th, 2014, the scientists invited applications from healthy citizens to volunteer for the first-ever manned mission to Mars

“It’d take only 30 hours to reach the red planet.” A senior scientist had assured before the takeoff, dismissing the notion that it took 300 days to travel there

The ride seemed to be never-ending ever since he had boarded the spacecraft and gradually moved out of the Earth’s atmosphere.

He decided to sleep for a while to kill the time In his dreams was the news that occupied the newspapers, and TV channels the devaluation of the rupee, crime against women, theft, terrorism, increasing rate of unemployment, illiteracy The faces of humans being carried along with the floodwater horrified him to the core, and he woke up in cold perspiration, whimpering He considered himself fortunate that he’d left Earth, which was


no longer habitable, where humanity was on the verge of extinction, and to add to the turmoil, nature bestowed its catastrophic action in the form of floods, earthquakes, tsunami, and volcanic eruptions

that he had left the treacherous life on Earth, he looked forward to a new one on Mars How would the red planet be? So long he had heard stories about the planet but was about to discern it for himself The scientists had mentioned that he would spend a fortnight there collecting all the necessary specimens, then head back to Earth They were of the opinion that the atmosphere over there wasn’t suitable for human habitation Occasionally things that appeared something from a distance actually turned out to be completely different from what one perceived Letting out a loud guffaw, he felt comfort in imagining that if the atmosphere was suitable and found conducive, he wouldn’t return to Earth But his happiness was short-lived when suddenly a question started haunting him “What will I do over there?” While on Earth, the question never bothered him He was working as a janitor in a private firm Every day he went reluctantly to the office without any aim in life and returned home with the same disinterest in his family life. What was he doing after all? His parents and his wife insisted that he should consider taking up some other job to ensure that they lived comfortably and got rid of their daily struggle to make both ends meet. His one-year-old daughter was the only source of contentment in midst of the depressing atmosphere at home

He wished life was as simple as he had imagined as a little boy, visiting the terrace in the evenings when his father sat there in a peaceful pose. Pointing to the stars, his father would often ask, “Can you tell me which one is the pole star?”

Kunal would gaze at the multitude of stars with awe and admiration for the unknown creator of the universe Life seemed so blissful, pleasant at the time but now he hated his grown-up self, his duties, his liabilities everything that was a part of his existence.

On closing his eyes, the question came back to him again “Is there a possibility for a life form to exist on Mars?” The question met with a taut silence forced, unbearable. He put his palms on his ears to rid himself of the deadly silence Suddenly, he felt the urge to talk A human being could control his thirst

and hunger for a few hours, or perhaps days, but controlling the urge to speak was next to impossible.

It had been more than 30 hours since he’d departed and was still traveling. Wondering what was wrong, he felt like one who had been sentenced solitary confinement in a lifeless cell with a fading light of the cabin that would die a sudden death at any moment Fear seemed to engulf him and he felt numb Placing his eyes on the dark environment outside the spacecraft,it seemed like someone was knocking on the glass pane, at first slowly and then violently What was it? The scientists had warned him about asteroids and also taught how to monitor the direction of the spacecraft to avoid direct collision with them. But the asteroids wouldn’t be knocking on the glass pane They would simply break into the spacecraft He never imagined that there would be unforeseen trouble in space where there were not only planets and stars but something dark, eerie. It would have been far better if he had been at home instead of venturing into something as dangerous as that one But there was no point of return, and it was only a matter of few minutes after which he would be nowhere neither on Earth nor on Mars.

Capitulated to trepidation, he closed his eyes, wailing his hands to get hold of the handle of his chair, when the spacecraft jolted and he fell off his seat.

“Are you alright?” He heard a human voice near him

He opened his eyes to find himself on the floor of a local train There were anxious faces all around staring at him along with muffled whispers

A bearded man held him tightly with one hand, while in his other hand was a pocket transistor.

“Congratulations! Mangalyaan has successfully entered the Mars orbit…” A voice came from the radio.

“What’s the date today?” Kunal asked

“It’s September 24th…”

Bewildered, Kunal looked at him blankly for a while and then smiled He was down on Earth again, with


humility, a sense of belonging he never felt before It was the awakening that pain and sorrow were a part of life and no human soul could escape the sufferings and torments related to them Shrugging off the evasive explanations that had wearied him down earlier, he thought he believed in strong will and determination, with which one could start afresh, attain renewed existence, appreciate and enjoy the beauty and purpose of life Sensing the quiver of a peaceful happiness within him, he absorbedthe joy that lay in his surroundings, that only existed on Earth the brightness and warmth of the sun, moderated by the veil of atmosphere, that never failed to enrich the planet; thepresence of aweinspiring mountains; profoundly vast oceans; mysterious forests; fascinating rivers; spellbinding plants, trees, animals, birds; and above all, the comfort of being amongst the human beings Reassured, he had something to rejoice for in his life the blissthat he was still on Earth

Sreelekha Chatterjee’s short stories have been published in various national, and international magazines and journals like Indian Periodical, Femina, Indian Short Fiction, eFiction India, The Criterion, The Literary Voyage, World of Words, Writer’s Ezine, and Estuary, and have been included in numerous print and online anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul series (Westland Ltd, India), Wisdom of Our Mothers (Familia Books, USA), and several others. She lives in New Delhi, India.

You can connect with her on Facebook at facebook com/sreelekha chatterjee 1/,

Twitter -@sreelekha001, and Instagram @sreelekha2023



The Art of First Impressions: How Book Covers Influence Sales and Reader Perceptions



hen it comes to books, the old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" is easier said than done The book cover is often the first thing a potential reader sees, and it can have a significant impact on both sales and reader perceptions.

Designing a Striking Cover

Research has shown that a well-designed book cover can increase sales by as much as 50% A striking cover can catch a reader's eye and entice them to pick up the book and read the synopsis In order to create a cover that stands out, designers use a combination of typography, color, and imagery to create a visual representation of the book's content and themes.

The Role of Genre in Cover Design

The design of a book cover can also play an important role in signaling to readers the genre of the book. Covers for romance novels often feature soft colors, flowing typography, and romantic imagery, while covers for horror novels tend to be darker, with bold typography and eerie images. These visual cues help readers quickly identify the type of book they're looking for and can impact their decision to buy

Conveying Themes and Messages through Covers

Beyond signaling genre, book covers can also convey important themes and messages A book about environmentalism might feature an image of a forest or an endangered animal, while a book about social justice might have a cover featuring diverse faces or a protest scene. These visual cues give readers a sense of the book's content and can help attract readers who are interested in these topics

Iconic Covers and Literary Culture

In some cases, book covers can become iconic and play a role in shaping literary culture The cover of "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, featuring a simple but striking image of a tree with a shadowy figure underneath, is now instantly recognizable and closely associated with the book The cover has become a symbol

of the novel's themes of racism and justice and has had a lasting impact on literary culture.

The Complexities of Cover Design

Despite the power of book covers, designing a cover can be a complex process. Different readers have different preferences when it comes to cover design, and there can be tension between creating an aesthetically pleasing cover and one that accurately represents the book's content. In some cases, covers may even misrepresent the book's content, leading to confusion or disappointment for readers

Balancing Aesthetics and Accuracy

The key to designing a successful book cover is to strike a balance between aesthetics and accuracy A good cover should be visually appealing and eye-catching, but it should also accurately represent the book's content and themes. A designer who understands the book's audience and its themes is better able to create a cover that resonates with readers

The Future of Book Covers

As the publishing industry evolves, so too will the role of book covers Digital books, for example, may require different cover designs than physical books, while new technologies like augmented reality may offer new opportunities for cover design. Despite these changes, however, one thing is certain: the power of book covers to impact sales and reader perceptions will remain a key consideration for publishers and designers

Conclusion: The Lasting Impact of Book Covers

In the end, book covers are more than just pretty pictures - they are a critical component of a book's marketing and can have a lasting impact on reader perceptions. A well-designed cover can increase sales, convey important themes and messages, and even become an iconic symbol of literary culture As such, publishers and designers will continue to invest in creating covers that capture the essence of their books and appeal to readers


How Women Work by Aarti Kelshikar India That is Progressive by Dilip Kumar Jha

Welcome to the "Modern World" where business, entrepreneurship, and thought leadership is beyond the geo-fencing boundaries and gender mainstreaming. As the world is hoping towards a positive changeover with healthy and demanding business needs, women play a significant role in this stride.

When it comes to the global market, the lion's share mostly comes from the Pan-Asian Continents and proves the strong contender base exclusively by the women leaders and entrepreneurs. On those lines, I am here with "Aarti Kelshikar's book- How women work: Fitting In and Standing Out in Asia" and what it offers to the readers This book is a detailed narration of successful women with the addition of leadership acumen blended with the respective cultural insights spread across all the Pan-Asia regions Due to the regional despair, it is quite evident a unified leadership approach is no longer a solution Aarti talks in detail about many of those use cases and helps compile her vast knowledge to provide a fool-proof guide to women's leadership success. She also explains perspectives, observations, and hypotheses supporting the orchestration. In this 12-chapter split-up, the author talks about the women-centric aspects like "Fitting In and Standing Out" and many more. If you are the one who is looking to read, understand, and be "Leadership Ready" material, particularly region independent boss, and looking out for some selfhelp, this book is the one for you Though this is centric on women's leadership and the Pan-Asian region, this book helped me in understanding many unexplored areas and a fathomless grasp of knowledge shared by the author

Not to miss mentioning the detailed summary at end of the chapters. In addition, the "Ramnika Sehrawat" cover design is quite alluring which further added extra charisma to the book.

India has come a far way post independence As citizens, we have been subjected to several rules, regulations, policies, and we have been a part of India’s growth as an independent nation both, directly and indirectly Dilip Kumar Jha, through his book India That is Progressive

shares his insights as to what the future for the largest economy of the world entails in the 21st century as we pave our way in the ongoing technological revolution including AI followed by other challenges. The book comprises 9 chapters along with the introduction and each chapter is carefully thought about and broken down into the existing as well as upcoming possible challenges that we are bound to face. The book talks about how the elements of patriotism, nationalism, and fascism can shape the present and future citizens of the country. It also emphasizes how the education system plays a significant role in shaping the future of the nation Politically speaking, the author enlists the problems with the current parliament system and how terrorism is a threat to our two most significant achievements –secularism and democracy The author also focuses on the participation of young people (age 25-40) in the parliament in a youth dominant country Other factors like the challenges like fake news and misinformation that is spreading all across social media, changes in the education system, and how 2020, the year of the pandemic came as an eye opener explained and several questions have been raised by the author. One thing that is not touched upon in the book which I was hoping to read is the rising unemployment in the country and the solution in the present modern world and the near future.

Overall, India That is Progressive is a comprehensive book that comprises the keen observations of the author. The author has asked relevant questions that every citizen should ask rather than keeping mum about them. A recommended book for all citizens!

(Reviewed by Saurabh Chawla)

(Reviewed by Kiran Adharapuram)


Can The Mind Be Quiet

The book "Can The Mind Be Quiet?: Living, Learning, and Meditation" was authored by Jiddu Krishnamurti, a renowned spiritual teacher and scholar. It explores the essence of life, self-inquiry, and happiness through the perspectives of spiritual seekers worldwide.

The book comprises 60 sections, each with a unique name such as "Solitude Means Freedom," "All Seeking is from Emptiness and Fear," and "Life is an Extraordinarily Beautiful Movement " Krishnamurti did not advocate for any particular philosophy or religion but rather addressed common issues in daily life, such as the challenges of living in a violent and chaotic modern society He believed that the mind is like a child engrossed in play, wholly absorbed by the object of interest However, when the object is destroyed or taken away, the child cries To attain a quiet mind, Krishnamurti emphasized the importance of selfawareness, self-inquiry, and meditation. Readers have praised the book for its clear structure and ease of reading. It serves as a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring the nature of the mind and achieving inner peace through meditation and selfinquiry. The novel focuses on themes such as being consumed by one's work, the nature of love and anonymity, and the structure of the mind It is written in an enigmatic and poetic style, with each section providing ample food for thought, perhaps as a daily practice Readers are captivated by the author's insightful writing and find the book to be a valuable tool for living a more fulfilling life

Overall, "Can The Mind Be Quiet?: Living, Learning, and Meditation" is an inspiring read that addresses essential topics related to the human experience and the nature of the mind.

Coorg Stories and Essays

The book "Coorg Stories and Essays" by C P Belliappa offers a unique perspective on life and culture in Coorg, a region in the Indian state of Karnataka. Belliappa, a Coorg native, draws on his personal experiences to provide a detailed portrayal of the

district's people, creatures, and customs The book includes a variety of historical tales, folklore, and stories enriched by vivid illustrations. The author also covers various topics, including Coorg's past, agriculture, festivals, dances, attire, and literary heritage. Throughout the book, Belliappa's deep love for Coorg is evident in his beautiful writing. In addition to "Coorg Stories and Essays," Belliappa has also written "Victoria Gowramma: The Lost Princess of Coorg," a fascinating novel that explores the story of Veeraraje Veerarajendra and his daughter Gowramma, the earliest Indian royals to reside in Victorian England The book provides a detailed account of their motivations and challenges while living in England Belliappa's use of unpublished information makes this a must-read for anyone interested in Indian history or Victorian England

Overall, "Coorg Stories and Essays" is an excellent book that provides an in-depth look at Coorg's culture, history, and customs. Belliappa's writing is informative and engaging, making it a fantastic read for anyone interested in learning more about this beautiful region of India.


Guruji: Life and Spirituality

Haunted Places Of India by

"Guruji: Life and


is a book by Dr Chhabilendra Roul, a former Secretary to the Government of India and an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) The book delves into the teachings and life of Nirmal Singh Maharaj, also known as Guruji, a Mahapurush and a

spiritual leader. Guruji was born in Dugri, a small town in Punjab, and he became a spiritual leader with a large following through constant meditation and his strong principles. The book covers Guruji's miracles and interactions with non-believers, who later became his most trusted disciples. It also explores the divinity of Guruji and the reasons behind it, and how it helped others within the congregation. Some chapters provide insight into Guruji's spiritual principles and practices, which readers can incorporate into their daily lives to achieve inner peace and fulfillment As one of Guruji's closest followers, Dr Roul presents some of Guruji's most private thoughts and ideas in the book He emphasizes the significance of prayer, love, and listening to Shabads, Sachi Banis, and Gurbani from the Guru Granth Sahib The book also highlights the importance of understanding God resides within oneself and serving others. By cultivating true devotion, seeking the company of the highest truth, and considering the idol as conscious and aware, one can achieve peace and fulfillment in life, according to Guruji's teachings. Guruji's sayings point to the Advaita monism of the Vedanta, which is the essence of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita The ultimate goal is to realize and constantly communicate with the Param Brahman through oneself

Guruji believed God resides in everybody, and the individual is atman - the liberation or mukti of the atman from illusion. This freedom is called Jivamukti, the realization that God is within you.

Haunted places are unique, with each location's history and eerie atmosphere. The book delves into the spread of fear in groups surrounding a specific location, often rooted in tragic historical events that reveal the darker aspects of human nature "Haunted Places of India"

is a fascinating exploration of some of India's most notorious and spooky locations From ancient forts and step-wells to modern-day buildings and beaches, the author delves into the legends, myths, and ghost stories surrounding these places, offering readers a glimpse into the supernatural side of India. One of the book's strengths is its comprehensive coverage of different regions and types of haunted places in India. The author has collected legends, facts, and oral tales from various sources to provide a holistic view of each location. Readers will find historical context and cultural insights that help them understand the significance of these locations and the beliefs that surround them The writing style is engaging and immersive, with vivid descriptions that transport readers to these haunted places The author has a talent for creating an eerie atmosphere that keeps readers on edge The book is accompanied by photographs that help bring these locations to life, making the experience even more captivating The book may not meet the academic standards of some readers as the author heavily relies on popular myths and legends, lacking historical or factual evidence. Yet, the book primarily aims to entertain readers interested in the cultural significance of haunted places in India.

Overall, "Haunted Places of India" is an excellent book that will appeal to anyone interested in exploring the supernatural side of India. The author's visits to some sites and collection of oral tales from various sources make this a unique and fascinating read. The book is perfect for armchair travelers who want to experience the thrill of visiting haunted places without leaving their homes.


Made in India: 75 Years of Business & Enterprise by

Amitabh Kant's "Made in India" comprehensively explores India's economic progress and prowess over the last 75 years The book provides a multi-faceted survey of India's business heritage and culture, tracing the country's development from the colonial period to the

present. Kant draws on his extensive experience in government and industry to provide a deep and nuanced analysis of India's business landscape. Throughout the book, Kant highlights the success stories that have made India a power to reckon with, discussing key policies and initiatives promoting industrial development in the country He also showcases the growing presence of Indian businesses in international markets The book is wellresearched, thought-provoking, and provides valuable insights into India's economic growth and development One of the book's strengths is its ability to showcase the complex interplay of historical, political, and economic factors that have shaped India's business landscape. Kant provides a detailed account of the challenges and opportunities that have arisen over the years, highlighting the resilience and ingenuity of Indian entrepreneurs and the government's support in driving economic growth. "Made in India" is written in a sharp, well-researched, and deftly crafted style, making it an exciting read for entrepreneurs, students, and policymakers interested in understanding India's business landscape

"Made in India" is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of India's business and enterprise sector. The author's call for domestic insurance companies and pension funds to invest in startups is a testament to his commitment to promoting India's economic growth and development.

RBI Governors by Gokul Rathi

Gokul Rathi authored the book "RBI Governors: Monetary Policy Czars (1935-2021)", which chronicles the history of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and its governors from its inception in 1935 to the present day The book highlights that most RBI governors came from the IAS/ICS

cadres, the financial industry, or well-known academics, with Mr. K R Puri being the exception during his term from 1975 to 1977. During Mr. Puri's term, he approved the loan file of Maruti Udyog, controlled by the Prime Minister's son, without consulting his peers at the RBI, causing controversy The book also notes that after the inflation rate surpassed 7%, the RBI raised the repo rate by 40 basis points and the CRR by 50 basis points in an offcycle move The RBI had been urging the government to reduce duties on petroleum products, which the government eventually did Since its establishment in 1935, the RBI has played a vital role in shaping India's economy Its governors have implemented policies to contain inflation, stabilize the economy, and modernize the financial system. The RBI governors have significantly impacted India's economic growth and continue to play an essential role in the country's economic management. The book provides an indepth look at the distinguished individuals who have served as the head of the RBI, from experienced British managers to current technocrats, highlighting their efforts to change the RBI's systems and processes Sir C D Deshmukh was the first Indian governor of the RBI During his tenure, he supervised India's partition and the division of assets and obligations between India and Pakistan The governor of the RBI is a part of the National Security Council's Strategic Policy Group, led by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval

"RBI Governors: Monetary Policy Czars (19352021)" is a comprehensive book that captures the vital role played by the RBI governors in shaping India's economy.



Vishnu Sharma's Panchatantra is a compilation of ancient Indian fables passed down through oral tradition and later transcribed in Sanskrit. Originally meant as a tool for educating young princes, the collection has since become a beloved literary work for all ages

The Panchatantra is divided into five parts, or "tantras," each exploring a distinct theme through various stories. The first tantra teaches the importance of selecting friends carefully, while the second examines the ramifications of impulsive behaviour. The third focuses on true love and loyalty, the fourth stresses wise governance, and the final tantra tackles diplomacy and war. The fables feature animal characters displaying human-like traits and confronting ethical quandaries, imparting moral and ethical lessons through their allegorical nature For example, the story of the lion and the mouse underscores the importance of kindness to all, regardless of size or status The Panchatantra has been translated into numerous languages and remains a well-known literary work around the globe Its timeless themes and lessons account for its enduring popularity Retelling the Panchatantra is vital as it preserves India's cultural heritage and traditions, ensuring that these stories are not lost. Additionally, these stories offer essential ethical and moral lessons for people of all ages and backgrounds, and their symbolic nature allows for deeper comprehension. Moreover, the Panchatantra has significantly influenced world literature, particularly fables and fairy tales. Retelling the stories helps trace these literary traditions' origins and development. Overall, retelling the Panchatantra is important for preserving cultural heritage, teaching important moral and ethical lessons, and understanding the influence of this work on world literature Although often regarded as children's literature in modern times, the Panchatantra is a timeless work of wisdom suitable for all ages Its tales are rich with insight, witty aphorisms, and lessons about life

The World We Have by Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Buddhist teacher, has authored "The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology," which offers a compelling and vivid depiction of the planet's future It portrays a world that is rapidly

overheating due to the depletion of fossil fuels, ravaged by overconsumption, and threatened by unsustainable population growth The author expertly maps the path forward, highlighting the belief and strength needed to stay on it. Throughout the book, Thich Nhat Hanh expertly interprets and explains the Five Mindfulness Trainings, which is essential to achieving genuine change in our global ecological predicament. He emphasizes that interbeing links us all to the Earth's elements, such as soil, air, water, and sun, connecting us to the planet's brothers and sisters He asserts that our food choices, transportation methods, and the ongoing destruction of natural resources lead us toward "the end of our civilization " One of the book's highlights is the introduction of "The Five Awarenesses Exercise," which educates us on the importance of recognizing the fragility of life on Earth and taking meaningful action to address our global ecological challenges The author reminds us to avoid reacting in anger towards those we see as villains since only shared understanding and compassion can liberate us. The book concludes with "Mindful Living Practices," which includes eight gathas. The book's central message is that we must cultivate collective awareness to navigate the Earth's terrain carefully. The author likens us to sleepwalkers unaware of our actions or destinations. We have created a system that we cannot control, and it holds us captive Thich Nhat Hanh offers a set of guiding principles for a new ecospirituality of a mindful life, calling on us to take responsibility for the planet and make decisions that will result in genuine change

Meena Arora Nayak's retelling of the ancient text is a lucid, fluid, and captivating interpretation that retains the essence of its magnificence.

"The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology" is an optimistic book that presents a clear vision of the path ahead and the courage needed to stay on it.


Transforming the Steel Frame: Promise and Paradox of Civil Service Reform by Vinod Rai

"Transforming the Steel Frame: Promise and Paradox of Civil Service Reform" is a literary masterpiece edited by Vinod Rai, an illustrious former Comptroller and Auditor General of India who has held various esteemed positions in the Indian government. Rai is renowned for his

pivotal role in exposing the notorious 2G spectrum scam, which resulted in the cancellation of 122 telecom licenses and the apprehension of numerous high-profile individuals Furthermore, he has authored "Not Just an Accountant: The Diary of the Nation's Conscience Keeper," a memoir that recounts his tenure as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India The book examines the contemporary roles and responsibilities of the bureaucracy, analyses past reform attempts, and outlines a forward-thinking vision of the future. It is a curated collection of essays by accomplished authors, including bureaucrats, academics, and journalists. The book endeavors to explore the multifaceted nature of the Indian bureaucracy, which represents the ultimate career aspiration for numerous Indians who undertake the UPSC examination to join the 'steel frame.' However, it is also an institution riddled with tales of corruption and bureaucratic red tape, engendering apprehension and dread in the minds of citizens By illuminating the promises and paradoxes of civil service reform, the book aims to provide valuable insights into how the bureaucracy can be transformed to serve the citizens of India more effectively

In essence, "Transforming the Steel Frame: Promise and Paradox of Civil Service Reform" by Vinod Rai provides a comprehensive and critical analysis of the bureaucracy in India, which is characterized by contradictory forces.

Pradeep Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director of Axis My India and India's leading psephologist, has authored a new book entitled "Who Gets Elected: How and Why"

The book aims to demystify the complex Indian election processes and explain how voters decide

based on their needs and desires. Gupta draws on his years of experience conducting exit polls and interacting with voters and politicians to provide insight into the importance of understanding voter psychology in election forecasting. The book covers various topics related to winning elections, including campaign strategies, voter behavior, and the role of media and technology in elections It also delves into the challenges of maintaining power after winning an election and the importance of delivering on campaign promises Gupta's successful exit poll analyses, which have predicted 59 of 63 exit polls since 2013, reflect his rewarding efforts in understanding voter psychology The book will likely appeal to individuals interested in Indian politics, including political analysts, journalists, researchers, and political science students and professors. The book is written in an accessible manner, making it suitable for a general audience interested in Indian politics and elections. Gupta's experience conducting exit polls and interacting with voters and politicians helped him recognize how voters make decisions based on whom they believe will best fit their needs and desires.

The book reflects his rewarding efforts in understanding voter psychology using a wellrecognized election forecasting model. The book is published by Rupa Publishers.

(Reviewed by Swapna Peri)

Unframed by Rahaab Allana

Lessons from a Mango Tree

The mangoes in my mango tree attract my attention peepingthrough my window gleefully knowing very well that in a few days I will pluck them and make a pickle of them

Every day they grow a little more alluring

A better version of themselves So, when the time comes they are ready for me to relish them having lived a full life on the tree.

Why can’t I who love my mango pickle to be done well strive

as the mangoes have done and better myself so I can be a giver of joy to this torn world I grudge living in?

Vidya Shankar, a widely published poet and writer, an English Language teacher, a 'book' in the Human Library, author of two poetry books, and editor of four anthologies, loves experimenting with free verse writing techniques and exploring Japanese poetry forms. She finds meaning in her life through yoga and mandalas.


Painting Nightmares Pink

A twigging patch,an unknown gnaw, Looming large in the pitch dark night, The pillows and creased satin, Drawing patterns of the remnants

Fading slowly with the day’s dawn.

Sweaty hands,tangled hair,thrashing to and fro

Caught between a sombre warning or total ignore

The morning dust somewhat calm

My aching forehead gets a balm

The wet gloom of the night past

Seeps through my mind like a recalcitrant branch

Spreading and spreading like a rolling map

Yet the meaning faded in its expert folds

A bright halo,a hallowed screech,a pointed finger,asking to leave,

A friend or foe is hard to guess

In the inky dark of the moonless haze, Arcane words reverberate my mind

Horror dreams are opposite in real life

Still the nagging gnaw lingering in the mind

Like a spider’s web regurgitating fright

My forehead burns,ears ache

It’s just a cold and not the night,

Still the fright so vivid and vain, The story fades darkening the pain

And my feverish mind tries to think

Was that a simple illusion or an ominous warn

The sunny mornings turn out misty,

Mind reeling,bending and forwarding, the horrid feel just inching past,yet hard to tell what it was

But the faith in me stands tall

And paints my dreams with the colors of fall.

My name is Neelakshi Banerjee. Recently I have developed a budding interest to delve through the subtle beauty of art and articulate my imagination with the help of words Music holds a pivotal place in my life Though am an engineer by profession I believe both science and arts are equally imperative to make this world a more beautiful place.



This Monthis very painful and disappointing month for you Aries. You might have a breakup with your partner, and you are very hurt Just release your pain and you will feel better. It is an excellent time to cry and release emotional pain


This Month, Taurus, It’s a month of creativity and new relationship Singles might find someone special and spend a romantic evening with them Also, if you are struggling in a relationship, just talk to each other and sort out differences.


This month, Gemini you will be ambitious and very passionate about your dream

As a natural born leader, you have a clear vision in your mind and together with your team, you will work towards fulfilling the dream


This Month, Leo, you are determined and courageous to fulfil your goals You have a strong will power to achieve your dream. It indicates focused on your work and ready to face any challenges in life


This month, Virgo, you need to put extra efforts in your workplace to get success and appreciation from your superior It also suggests learning new skills to improve it and master it to get success.


This Month, Libra you might get the clarity about something which you were struggling to find solution for long. It also suggests some surgery might happen for someone so stay healthy.


This month, Cancer is an excellent month to start something new which will help you to grow financially Finances will be stable, and you might get an opportunity to grow financially


This month, Scorpio, it’s time to enjoy your success with your friends and have a great party time. It also indicates getting support on project from your colleagues and friends



This month, Sagittarians, you are juggling between your personal and professional life where it is difficult to manage both It also indicates, pay attention to your cashflow and prepare a budget to have a balance in your finances


This Month, Capricorns, your inner calling awakening your life purpose and advising you that you can do much more than what you are currently doing

I am Himani Goyal, By profession, I am an HR Manager working in Banglore. Reading is my hobby which led me to write reviews for my readers I have read and reviewed numerous books so far I am also a practicing Tarot consultant and would be sharing daily, weekly, monthly horoscopes for you all here.


This Month Aquarians, it is the new beginning and new financial opportunities coming your way. It is the start of your new project Also, It’s the time to manifest personal goals and dreams


This month, Pisces You are very ambitious and have an urge to fulfil your dream and passion. You have a clear vision and look for possibilities to fulfil your dreams It also indicates, your interest in Spiritual journey.


International Booker Prize 2023 Shortlist

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