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JUNE 2020

STORIZEN

POWER OF MINDFULNESS

Raageshwari Loomba Exclusive Feature on PAGE 8


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Cover Story Power of Mindfulness Raageshwari Loomba Swaroop

Brand Partners Bloomsbury India Fingerprint Publishing Hachette India HarperCollinsIndia

Book Reviews Swapna Peri Himani Gupta

Editors Pria Raiyani Saurabh Chawla

For Advertising, Contact us attalktous@storizen.com

Pan Macmillan India Penguin India Roli Books Rupa Publications Westland (An Amazon Company)

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WHAT'S INSIDE 7

EDITOR'S NOTE

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COVER STORY Power of Mindfulness Raageshwari Loomba - Pria

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HOT OFF THE PRESS

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- HarperCollins India

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Hilary Mantel’s MANTEL PIECES - HarperCollins India

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- Rupa Publications HOT OFF THE PRESS

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HOT OFF THE PRESS Blood and Laughter by Manjula Padmanabhan - Hachette India

An Extraordinary Life: A Biography of Manohar Parrikar

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HOT OFF THE PRESS THE DRY FASTING MIRACLE by Luke Coutinho - Penguin India

HOT OFF THE PRESS IN THE LAND OF THE LOVERS: A Punjab Qissa by Sakoon Singh

- Penguin India HOT OFF THE PRESS Narendra Modi’s LETTERS TO MOTHER

HOT OFF THE PRESS RUMI: A New Collection, translated and selected by Farrukh Dhondy

HOT OFF THE PRESS BOONS & CURSES : Legends of the Mythological Mother by Yugal Joshi - Rupa Publications

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- HarperCollins India

HOT OFF THE PRESS GETTING COMPETITIVE: A Practitioner’s Guide for India by R.C. Bhargava - HarperCollins India

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HOT OFF THE PRESS A BURNING by MEGHA MAJUMDAR - Penguin India

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE Nature - A beautiful path to wellness! - Mansi Mehta


WHAT'S INSIDE 40

STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE Under the starlit sky

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BOOK REVIEW The 7 am Chronicles by Indraneel Majumdar

- Sumana Bhattacharya

- Anupriya Chowdhary

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STORIZEN CONTRIBUTE Soul Aches

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Cricket 2.0: Inside the T20 Revolution by Tim Wigmore, Freddie Wilde

- Syed Basha

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BOOK REVIEW

- Swapna Peri

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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New Delhi Square by Jitendra Anand

BOOK REVIEW

- Swapna Peri

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STORIZEN POETRY Nature to the Rescue

- Swapna Peri

- Kavitha Yarlagaddaar BOOK REVIEW

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Minority Conundrum by Tanveer Fazal - Swapna Peri

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BOOK REVIEW

- Swapna Peri

The Perfect Wife by JP. Delaney

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BOOK REVIEW

STORIZEN POETRY SILVER LINING - Vidya Shankaral

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BOOK REVIEW The Vault of Vishnu by Ashwin Sanghi

STORIZEN POETRY Rediscovering my inner self - Sanjhee Gianchandani

- Swapna Peri 80

STORIZEN POETRY Nature At Its Best - Aparna Mukherjee

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STORIZEN POETRY The adding Flavours. - Nikesh Jain


To read Storizen on the web, visit storizen.com. Follow Storizen on Instagram @storizenmagazine.

BOOKMARKED Storizen May 2020

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from the editor

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calling all writers!

DO YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF STORIZEN FAMILY? You can also be a contributor. Mail us your entries at talktous@storizen.com. Your smart ideas and inputs help us create our informative issues.

walk in nature, walks the soul back home. Mary Davis's quote is my all time favorite whenever I think about how beautiful the nature is. During these times of the pandemic, I have realized how much I miss going out in the nature. In fact, nature is the only thing that can heal and restore. The theme for the month of June is "Nature heals and restores!" The best in you can be found out once a revelation is done of your inner self. This can be achieved successfully by practicing mindfulness. We are super delighted to feature actor, singer, TV personality and now, an author of "Building a Happy Family", Raageshwari Loomba in our June issue. Raageshwari talks about how mindfulness has helped her deal with toughest phases of her life and how you can do it too! Book Lovers, there is a good news for you all! Having built successful partnerships with the leading publishing houses in the country, we are super excited to be partnering with yet another - one of the biggest publications of the nation - Rupa Publications. Do check out the hot new releases. With deep grief, we pray for one of the greatest talent in the Bollywood industry, Sushant Singh Rajput's untimely demise. We offer deep condolences and may God give strength to the family. We have had received tons of love and hundreds of contributions and we love you all for your support. We seek your constant love which motivates us to grow and provide you with the best platform not only in the country but in the world! We have included seven book reviews in this issue, so no excuses of not having a book in your hands this weekend! Finally, before signing off, I would request everyone to keep yourselves updated about the Coronavirus Pandemic and please stay safe! Happy Reading! editor@storizen.com Saurabh Chawla, Editor in Chief


COVER STORY

POWER OF MINDFULNESS

RAAGESHWARI LOOMBA SWAROOP A Storizen Exclusive Feature Struggling with Bell's Palsy during the peak of her career, actor, singer and a TV personality, Raageshwari Loomba Swaroop is back with her book "Bulding a Happy Family". How mindfulness helped her getting her life on track, she shares her journey with us.

by Pria

Though the Pandemic has taken a toll on everybody's work life, physical meetings seem to be a distant dream now! This way, we are only left to do is take a video interview. Being in a pandemic situation, this is something that becomes a need of the hour. It's not that it's my first video interview, but still, a twitch in the hands and feet occurs. At about 1 PM, I start the video call waiting for our author, Raageshwari to join 8

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the call. Unknowingly, I was fixing my hair and watching my face in the camera to make sure I looked good. "Am I audible?" I scream on the top of my lungs as if I wanted to make my voice reach to London, only to realize that I was merely mumbling. Wanted to make sure that it works, I raised my mobile up trying to catch the signal and yes, a beautiful face clad in sparkling white dress pops on the screen. JUNE 2020


Our Inner world creates our outer world.


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"Yes, I can hear you. Can you hear me?" It was like a eureka moment and we both smiled. I nodded my head in affirmation and I was ready to start. Raageshwari is an actor, an award-winning singer and MTV VJ. At the peak of her career, she was struck with Bell’s palsy. She recovered with the help of yoga and mindfulness. Her mindfulness career includes her work with her guru Jack Canfield, an affirmation CD with the late Louise Hay, a Tibetan Rites documentary and performing at the Nobel Peace Centre. Raageshwari now lives in London and runs her mindfulness company, Unicorn World Events. She speaks at myriad organizations globally on the power of the mind and is a guest speaker at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. She is also hosting and curating London’s AIM literary festival for children.

It all began in her childhood It has been 20 years after she had recovered from her facial paralysis and she had begun writing in her journal and collecting notes. " The thought that transformed my life was ‘our inner world creates our outer world’. My own facial paralysis was proof of my inner turmoil. (I write about this in detail in my chapter ‘affirmations’ in ‘Building a Happy Family’). So I wanted this powerful philosophy which is now backed by science to reach people. I wanted to empower, liberate and strengthen people’s inner world and make them realize of its potential to hone a positive life," says Raageshwari. "My wonderful editor Roshini Dadlani at Penguin guided me and nurtured me magically to express myself through words. You see I’m used to speaking, hosting, and

My wonderful editor Roshini Dadlani at Penguin guided me and nurtured me magically to express myself through words.

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holding seminars but to write is another art in itself. But we both agreed and knew we want to write books that empower and bring the power back to the reader. The Guru lives within you - my aim is to spread the message to everyone." She was deeply influenced by the storytelling by her grandmother to start reading. She and her brother Rishabh were members of a local library and they exchanged books on a weekly basis." Reading Ramayana was so amazing I remember jumping with joy every time Hanuman Ji entered the scene. My father gifted me with beautiful books of Russian fairytales. I loved the beauty and innocence in them."

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On her childhood days, Raageshwari was a free child and used to have wanderlust. She would stay outdoors fearlessly till late at night and return back home. She recalls how much distress and trauma she has caused to her parents STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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at that time. "I had a photographic memory (or so I think) because I would remember the blocks and buildings very well for a 4year-old and find my way back home but the police would get to me first. Every shopkeeper knew me, every bus conductor, every local policeman; as the girl who wanders off. It was one such incident when I was found in a bus ready to take off with an unknown woman," she recalled. " It’s only now as a mother I can imagine the trauma my parents went through." Winning the battle It's been a journey and a gradual process as Raageshwari dealt with Bell's palsy.

Instead of being low and distressed. Raageshwari wants everybody to take the failures, setbacks as head-on and learn something out of it. "Obviously, this was not my thought 20 years ago when I had facial paralysis at the peak of my career," she exclaims. "Of course, I did feel I had lost it all, I did have fears, and severe lows. But my greatest support system was the love of my family especially the tenderness of my mother Veera. She took away all the mirrors of our home so that I could not see myself with my lopsided face. She put the mirrors back only after two years post my recovery. However, I want people who are alone to realize that the power is within you, even if

Reading Ramayana was so amazing I remember jumping with joy every time Hanuman Ji entered the scene. My father gifted me with beautiful books of Russian fairytales. I loved the beauty and innocence in them. 12

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you have family or not, you have to fight your own battles within first. So focus on your inner child, focus on building your inner strength, focus on telling yourself you are perfect the way you are." With all the Mindfulness-based work done with Jack Canfield, Late Louise Hay, and His Holiness Dalai Lama, she learned to be a student in life, observe it and live joyfully." This is called the ‘Growth Mindset’ which is vital for us to follow and I have explained it in detail in my book ‘Building a happy family.’" Bringing up the parent As a parent, Raageshwari follows the notion that it is about bringing up the parent and evolving oneself as a parent rather than bringing up a child. " We adults were also mindful and truly free when we were children but our ‘wellmeaning’ parents, teachers, and carers conditioned us with social beliefs on success and JUNE 2020

self-worth not dependent on the inner world but the outer world like ‘academic grades, status, careers, etc’" Being going in the right direction is important, " most of us adults are directionless today because we suddenly realize that the success definitions do not make sense. That self-worth actually has everything to do with your own inner self, Your true merit should not be dependent on social trappings of external forces." She quoted a recent study done by the Harvard University on the development of the child, "Today, Harvard University research by the Center on the Developing Child states, ‘A child’s experiences during the earliest years of life have a lasting impact on the architecture of the developing brain."

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She also opens up to the idea of being positive about one own self. She regularly wants her child and advises the parents to allow their children to learn to enjoy their own company. " Learn the art to encourage your own self, to motivate your own self, to pick up your own self when things are challenging or when life seems tough. If you teach yourself and your child this unique art, no challenge, no Failure, no crisis will shake you. As you have mastered the art to connect with your inner self," says Raageshwari. She also believes that the above exercises will help you become naturally resilient and less judgmental. She excitedly says, "A person naturally moves towards positivity, productivity, and creativity." As and when you become a parent, Raageshwari says, that you again become a student and your child becomes the teacher. "No 14

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teacher would have taught you what your child will teach you on a daily basis if you will allow yourself to listen and to observe. Be gentle with yourself, let go of egos, let go of comparisons, and let yourself enjoy the freedom and allow your child the same." She has also written this book with an aim. "This book is not just meant for a family with a mamma - papa and children, this book is also about any individual because we all have a family of children living within us. A child who is brave, or a child who is scared, a child who takes chances, or a child who needs nurturing. Different children - meaning different voices that come up during different experiences in our life. We have to heal and reparent them for our own good. The first book she wants her child to read ‘Incredible You’ by Wayne Dyer. "I took it very JUNE 2020

seriously that a babies’ brain makes hundred neural Connections per second. So I was Not just reading children’s books to her. I would read aloud my books and novels when I was pregnant; books on faith, books on spirituality, books on love like Marianne Williamson, Course in miracles, Ask and Thy shall receive, and then of course children’s books like Geeta for children, Snail and the Whale, ‘incredible you’ was her favorite for a long time but now it is a jungle book and she wants to be Mowgli. The power of being mindful Being positive and motivated is something that is needed. For Raageshwari, Mindfully doing things has helped her a lot and she regularly preaches the same. At this point, I am mindfully and thoroughly enjoying the virtual promotions of the book ‘building a happy family’. I am enjoying my STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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Mindfulness in Everything I am mindfully and thoroughly enjoying the virtual promotions of the book ‘Building a Happy Family.’


COVER STORY

Mindful sessions with my corporate clients and schools. and I am enjoying Mindful days with my soulmate Sudhanshu and my child Samaya during the lockdown. However, your ideas of a motion picture and a web series based on the book are making the neurons in my brain fire up !! so I am releasing it into the universe and let there be Miracles. I am ready." Raageshwari likes to take a stroll in a park, meditation, and cooking. So also loves painting and talking to children as it helps her to take a different look at life, the more easygoing, childlike manner. " Samaya tells me the most fascinating things. Life is fine if you tilt your face towards the Sunshine. Our sunshine is always within us!!" One of the best things she said was, "Be mindful to not be guilty of the past nor worry about the future."

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When I asked how, she smiled and replied, "I’m aware many of the people out there perhaps, have had troubled childhoods. If past wounds of your own childhood show up, re-parenting through mindfulness will help you greatly. A mindful way is to take your childhood picture and simply converse with it. Tell the picture what you most wanted to hear when you were little." I was speechless! Some of her favorite authors include Dr. Shashi Tharoor and Amish Tripathi, Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy, Tim Marshall, Yuval Noah Harari. Follow @storizenmagazine on Instagram Connect with us facebook.com/StorizenTV

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About Pria - Young mesmerizing freelance blogger, social enthusiast, an economics graduate from Jharkhand University with Master 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 multilinguistic. She has also written screenplays for YouTube series.

pria@storizen.com

(As told to Pria)

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HOTthe OFFpress Coming on 1st Octopber, 2020

Royal Bodies and Other Writing from the London Review of Books A collection of writing - essays, book reviews, memoir


HOTthe OFFpress

IN THE LAND OF THE LOVERS: A Punjab Qissa A masterfully woven fable that explores struggle, loss, longing and love with brilliant insight and luminous prose.


An Extraordinary Life: A Biography of Manohar Parrikar

An indefatigable and spirted politician, he chose to work until his last days, and left a mark wherever he went 22

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STORIZENEVENTS

Sadguru Patil - A popular byline in the Goa media, Sadguru Patil has been working for leading Marathi newspapers since 1995. He was chief reporter with Dainik Gomantak and is now the Bureau Chief with the Goa edition of Lokmat. He has extensively covered politics and all major political developments in Goa. For ten years now, Sadguru's incisive weekly political column ‘Saripaat’ has had an avid following.

ABOUT THE BOOK Over the last two decades, the exploits of one man, an IIT-Bombay alumnus, changed the way mainstream India looked at Goa and the political goingson in the country's smallest state. An Extraordinary Life traces the life and times of Manohar Parrikar through the informed voices of his relatives, friends, foes, bureaucrats and IIT contemporaries. The daily battles of a gifted individual are brought to the fore as he encounters love and vices. But more importantly, it showcases his rise in politics from the son of a grocery store owner in a nondescript town, a sanghachalak in

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Mapusa town, an Opposition MLA and leader, to a chief minister (on multiple occasions) and, finally, to a defence minister. Mayabhushan Nagvenkar - Known for his irreverence and occasional spells of unemployment, Mayabhushan Nagvenkar has been a journalist for nearly 22 years working out of Mumbai, Delhi and Goa. His bylines have appeared in Tehelka, Hindustan Times, The Asian Age, Associated Press, BBC, Firstpost, The Guardian, Daily Pioneer, Deccan Herald, Himal, Scroll, etc.

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HOTtheOFF press

As a young man, Narendra Modi had got into the habit of writing a letter to the Mother Goddess, whom he addressed as Jagat janani, every night before going to bed

But every few months, Modi would tear up the pages and consign them to a bonfire. The pages of one diary, dating back to 1986, survived, however. These are now available in English for the very first time as Letters to Mother, in a powerful translation by Bhawana Somaaya.


STORIZENEVENTS

As a young man, Narendra Modi had got into the habit of writing a letter to the Mother Goddess, whom he addressed as Jagat janani, every night before going to bed. The topics were varied: there were seething sorrows, fleeting joys, lingering memories. In Modi’s writings there was the enthusiasm of a youngster and the passion to usher in change.But every few months, Modi would tear up the pages and consign them to a bonfire. The pages of one diary, dating back to 1986, survived, however. These are now available in English for the very first time as Letters to Mother, in a powerful translation by Bhawana Somaaya.

October 2002, he took oath as the chief minister of Gujarat and continued in the post till 2014. He became prime minister of India on 26 May 2014 and was elected to a second term in May 2019. Bhawana Somaaya has been a film critic for almost forty years and has contributed columns to various publications. She has authored several books on cinema. She was conferred the Padma Shri in 2017. Letters to Mother is her seventeenth book.

Narendra Damodardas Modi was born in Vadnagar, a small town in north Gujarat, on 17 September 1950. At an early age he went to the Himalayas to search for the meaning of life. Deciding that his inner calling was not to renounce the world but to contribute to the well-being of his fellow humans, he returned home and then joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He was included in the Gujarat cadre of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1988. On 7 JUNE 2020

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HOTtheOFF press Three unforgettable characters in the wake of a catastrophe

The novel that’s got the whole world talking


STORIZENEVENTS

They seek to rise—to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies. One is Jivan, a Muslim girl from the slums accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. One is PT Sir, an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan’s fall. And the third is Lovely, an irresistible outcast who has the alibi that can set Jivan free—but at the cost of everything she holds dear. Taut, symphonic, propulsive and riveting from its opening lines, A Burning has the force of an epic while being so masterfully compressed it can be read in a single sitting. Majumdar writes with dazzling assurance at a breakneck pace on complex themes that read here as the components of a thriller: class, fate, corruption, justice and what it feels like to face profound obstacles and yet nurture big dreams in a country spinning toward extremism.

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Megha Majumdar was born and raised in Kolkata. She moved to the United States to attend college at Harvard University, where she was a Traub Scholar, followed by graduate school in social anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. She works as an associate editor at Catapult, and lives in New York City. A Burning is her first book. Follow her on Twitter @MeghaMaj and Instagram @megha.maj.

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RUMI: A New Collection Love, devotion, suffering and longing mysteriously co-exist in the poems of Jalal-ud-din Rumi.

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A mystic, scholar and poet, Jalal-ud-din Rumi (1207–1273) founded the Mawlawi Sufi order, a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam. He wrote the six-volume epic work, the Masnavi, known as the Persian 'Quran in verse’. Farrukh Dhondy is a writer, playwright, screenwriter and activist, who resides in the United Kingdom.

ABOUT THE BOOK Love, devotion, suffering and longing mysteriously co-exist in the poems of Jalal-ud-din Rumi. Composed almost eight centuries ago, the deep spirituality and buoyant wisdom of the poems are a source of inspiration to millions today. Farrukh Dhondy's translations not only offer a modern idiom to the poems, but also faithfully keep intact their religious context. With selections from Rumi’s masterpieces the Masnavi and Diwane-Shams, as well as his ghazals, this volume is a poetry lover’s treasuretrove.

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‘Translations from one language, culture and century to another pose the two questions of all relationships: Is the beauty of one reflected in the other and is the other faithful to the one. In this selection from the vast ocean of works of Jalal-ud-din Rumi I have attempted to convey both the allure and the message of his verses. It’s for the eye, ear and sensibility of the reader to judge.’ – Farrukh Dhondy

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HOTtheOFF press

Celebrity nutritionist Luke Coutinho's new book THE DRY FASTING MIRACLE

Fasting is designed to stimulate your mind, empower your body and nourish your soul


STORIZENEVENTS

In the olden days, people ate early because there was hardly any light after sunset. Their next meal would only be after sunrise. This practice spread to all religions as a discipline due to its health and spiritual benefits. Today, it is called the dry fasting dietthe most superior form of fasting and cleansing. Replicating it requires abstinence from all food and water for twelve or more hours.In this book, Luke Coutinho and Sheikh Abdul Aziz Nuaimi teach us how Dry Fasting can stimulate the body, help one find the right balance between the 'elimination phase' and the 'building phase', aid weight loss and avoid a number of diseases. The book is a comprehensive guide on beauty and general well-being and helps you discover the miracle of dry fasting and the route to a new you.

updated version of The Dry Fasting Miracle that I have co-authored with Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Ali Bin Rashed Al Nuaimi is backed by more research and evidence and we are hoping that the book changes the health of every person who reads it.’His Highness, Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Ali Bin Rashed Al Nuaimi, said, ‘Fasting is designed to stimulate your mind, empower your body and nourish your soul. It is an honour for me to co-author and share my reflections on The Dry Fasting Miracle with Luke Coutinho. In essence, this book is a miracle for humankind, as it has the ability to transform people into better, healthier versions of themselves. It teaches them to actually live, and not just survive.’

Commenting on the book, Luke Coutinho, a Holistic Lifestyle Coach said, ‘I advocate dry fasting and intermittent fasting for the body’s natural healing and regeneration and always will, because not only have I experienced its benefits myself, I have also seen my patients, clients and people all over the world experiencing its miracles. The new, revised and JUNE 2020

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HOTthe OFFpress A volume that brings together for the first time the collected fulllength plays of Onassis awardwinning playwright Manjula Padmanabhan.

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A neighbourhood that turns a blind eye to a recurring gruesome crime. A game show that puts the life of its contestants on the line.

MAY 2020


HOTthe OFFpress

Legends of the Mythological Mother She was the strongest among the women of her Age, never cried in public or private‌But, that evening even she had accepted defeat.


HOTthe OFFpress Releasing 30 June 2020

The Promise and the Reality For policymakers and general readers alike, this book brings promise to what has become a disappointing scenario.


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Nature - A Beautiful Path to Wellness! by Mansi Mehta

I've always been an admirer of nature and fancied trees, flowers, birds, and sunsets for as long as I can remember. Feeling the fresh air, hearing the birds singing, seeing the budding flowers, and watching the parade of clouds arouse my innermost feelings of happiness and peace. Given a chance, I can happily spend hours observing the sky colors, strolling beneath the beautiful trees, relishing the cold breeze, or listening to the sound of waves. Amidst these restrictive times, we all miss going out, be it on a trek, or hang out with friends. While on the other hand, nature has a different story to share. 36

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With more than a third of the world's population under lockdown, nature has gotten a chance of resurgence. While nature is rejoicing, humankind is suffering. Not only lockdown, but this pandemic also came with ample emotions like anxiety, fear, panic attacks, and whatnot. Like many people, I also started experiencing panic attacks ever since the lockdown began. Fear and anxiety gripped me so firmly JUNE 2020


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that getting up and leaving my bed every morning seemed like a challenge. I felt miserable. Somewhere in my heart, I knew that once this situation eases out, I'll be fine. But, I didn't want to be dependent on the external forces to make myself feel better. That is when I realized that I would have to take a stand for myself and do everything in my capacity or beyond to crush the emotional turmoil I was going through. Don't let the coronavirus stop you from enjoying nature.

fresh perspective on life and made me feel so grateful and appreciative of many things. The more I started spending time with nature, the more I began to feel the life within. I have become more mindful of what I see, what I hear, and what I think. Have you ever wondered why people choose to book hotels with a beautiful view? Have you ever wondered why we go out in fresh air to figure things out when stress takes a toll on our mind? Nature has the magic power to

They say when you are away from something, you tend to miss it the most. Being away from nature made me so vulnerable and lifeless that mood swings and exasperation became the new normal to me. That's when I realized the need to unlock myself and go out a little. I started going out for walks in my community, sitting in the open air, watching sunsets, and spending time with plants in my balcony. Strolling in the cold breeze soothed my senses like never before and brought back the balance much needed. Watching sunsets have given me a JUNE 2020

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heal our overall health and makes us feel connected to the environment. It plays a profound role in helping us heal our minds and bodies and cultivate holistic balance and growth. Even a short walk on the terrace does big wonders. Spending time with plants have more significant benefits; it boosts our intuitive ability and creative impulse. Nature heals our overall health and rejuvenates our spirit. I was recently introduced to meditation, and I decided to start meditating in the open air around plants and birds. Mystically, I found that there is a deeply spiritual side to connecting with nature that has helped provide me with a powerful sense of self. Now that I can't spend more time outdoors in parks or gardens, I have brought a touch of the outdoors inside my home. I have added more indoor plants in my home and started learning the art of propagating more plants. Do you think you need more reasons to go back to nature? Make a conscious decision today to walk barefoot on the grass, to add more plants in your life, and embrace nature like never before. 38

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Born and raised in Delhi, Mansi currently lives in San Francisco. She is fueled by her passion for understanding the nuances of cross-cultural public relations and marketing. She considers herself a ‘forever learner’ and always keen on learning new ways to work on ordinary things. Speaking of hobbies, home decor, gardening, and art are what keeps her sane. All the colors make her happy, but yellow is her favorite. She is “her people” person and cannot be an extrovert all the time. It takes special people who she can be herself with; otherwise, she is entirely a “quiet” person. She is still on her way to know herself better!

JUNE 2020


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Under The Starlit Sky by Sumana Bhattacharya

Photo by Shalva Gogichashvili

Remember Girish Karnad’s Cheluvi, a film where the protagonist Cheluvi (Sonali Kulkarni) had the magical ability to turn into a flowering tree from a beautiful girl (translation of Cheluvi) to a beautiful flowering tree. Cheluvi and her sister would sell those flowers for a living. The film ends with the agonizing image of the Cheluvi trapped in the tree trunk, neither a woman nor a tree, after the village kids mercilessly break the branches of the flowering tree. The film was aired on TV when I was in college. Cheluvi, beautiful retelling on a Kannada folk tale by Karnad, made quite an impression on me. To me, the film symbolized the magic on nature, the oneness of man with nature. Probably all of us have a flowering tree in us or mystery of the dark forest, the vastness of the sky or depth of the ocean. We need to nurture that little piece in us, be one with it. Only then can we feel connected to the universe. Those were the days when I felt closer to nature. Agartala was 40

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greener then, the bees and the butterflies in my little garden, the big pond before our house, lying down on the terrace every night to watch the night sky. Yes, I was completely enamoured by the inky blue night sky, the stars, the moons, the shooting starts. Alone in the terrace, dreaming, sometimes conversing with the starts, was my favourite time that I would look forward to, that I would steal from my days no matter what. I felt calm then, I felt one with the huge universe. I have enjoyed quiet walks in the starlit nights or soaked in the silence of the night in Central University campus in Hyderabad as well. A huge rocky campus, with some wilderness around, it had a lot to offer to nature lovers.

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Photo by Leon Rohrwild

After moving to Delhi, caught up with the daily struggles of busy city life, I unwittingly left nature behind. It would be days before I would even look up at the sky. Cooped up in the office till late, rushing back in the traffic at night, enjoying the solace of the night was a luxury that I couldn’t afford. Whenever I looked up at the sky the stars were either hidden by the smog or by the bright city light. My rendezvous with the starlit sky STORIZEN MAGAZINE

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was soon a distant memory that I would indulge in when I would go home for annual vacations. Lockdown, despite all its woes, brought me closer to nature again. When I step out in the balcony in the evening, Venus smiles at me in all her glory. The night air is cooler, the sky is clearer and bluer. Though I get only a slice of the night sky because of all the tall buildings around, though I miss the days’ when the sky would envelop me as I would sit quietly, still, it gives me a sense of oneness with the vast universe. Plants in my small balcony garden are greener, nine o’clock flowers bloom happily every morning, I can sometimes see a few sparrows around. In the evening, when the day meets the night, as I sit by my bedroom window enjoying a cup of coffee, I feel calm, I feel at peace despite all the turmoil around, even with all the uncertainties. As the soft darkness envelopes, I feel comfortable with my being. Nature is healing, somewhere deep within I feel healed. I feel confident we will come out of this crisis as better human beings, more one with nature, as we are meant to be. 42

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Sumana Bhattacharya is a PR practitioner by profession and a writer by passion. Her style is simple, she likes to write about things she feels deeply about.In her writings she sometimes draws from her experiences of having grown up in a small town, Agartala. She has recently started a blog The Retro Feeling, that stems from nostalgia longing or twinge of guilt for days gone by or left behind. She is an ardent reader of poetry, fiction and mythology. Sumana is a post graduate in English from Hyderabad Central University. She works for a PR agency and lives in Gurgaon.

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Soul

Aches by Syed Basha

I

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rrational ruminations about after life, when I am still alive… Urge to cry without unnoticed, when I am crying deep within… Being brave enough, when I am living on the pieces of courage left within… How can someone expect me to be their savior, when I’m finding my own…? Hanging around, just because I am supposed to… When you see and nothing is visible, are you blind? When you cannot quench the hunger after having eaten a bellyful, are you monster? When everything around seems normal but not within, are you insane? When you relate to a withered leaf, fallen on ground that is eventually be crushed by

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someone, are you deprived? Should I be DEAD, when I am still ALIVE? Is it just my corpse that I cater around to show off I am still in blood and flesh? What? What? What did I get for being normal, when nothing is not actually? How can I be happy, when nothing is permanent? How can one call himself master, when everyone is just a slave? My expression is never valued, so as my existence… Let me jump into the pond hoping I am filtered as a twig… No joy in living does not mean no pain in dying…

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I am just playing along the wind, hoping to see the brighter side… I am the last one to give up on myself. Alas, there is always a runout point for anyone’s self-will too... Ultimately, Even I am a specimen of the species that frightens and suffers for the false prestige… I am always happy for what I have, but always sad for what left me craving… Is it worthy to live comfortably? I rarely chose it… Seeing my woebegone, weary face, you’ll realize that I do not have a face… I am running short of words, so lemme put an end to this useless write-up, wondering if I’ve ever begun…

Why are you so anxious about a perfect ending, When nothing around is perfect? Just think, when you haven’t understood everything happened in life so far, then why do you care about this? I do not care when you are not dare enough to understand any of this! “When you cannot survive with the body aches, how can you expect someone to survive with soul aches.”

S. Syed Basha is an aspiring screen writer and director, who grew up near Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh. Upon completing his graduation, he gave up his job to pursue his passion towards film making. During college, Syed directed few shorts that received accolades from around.At present, Syed is working on scripts for future projects of renowned directors. Besides this, Syed is honing his skills by penning few thought provoking poems and prose. Syed's goal is to direct a feature film for a prestigious production house.

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A Brilliant Thriller by Swapna Peri


STORIZENREVIEW

The story travels from one point to another. The story is narrated from Theo's perspective. The story also oscillates between Theo and Alicia's sub-plots. This part of the story is very handled by the author. Being a debutant framing this kind of complex back story is appreciable. One of the JUNE 2020

points that will really stand as a highlight is the usage of Greek tragedy in the story. The Greek historical story of the woman who killed her husband Admetus pops up in the story when Theo finds some mystery that he can solve in Alicia's painting named Alcestis. This gives Theos a lead to get deeper into the mystery. He then strongly decides to himself that he will make her talk. As the story goes further, topics like unhealthy and unhappy childhood, abusive parents and relatives, etc., are addressed very humanly. Almost every character in the story had some hint of deception to them, a story of them, and lie they were carrying. Each of the stories is graver than others. The readers might find it difficult to guess who is truthful and who is making up a lie.

BOOK REVIEW

As per the plot and the story-line, this book is a psychological thriller and a story Alicia Berenson, a good artist, the wife of a renowned fashion photographer, Gabriel. The story starts with Alicia killing her husband for a reason that is unknown until the end of the story. She has never said a word after she killed her husband and thus she becomes mute for almost six years. It comes a shocking that she killed her husband because both were in love with each other so much and are married for 7 years. Even in the court, the trial, and the proceedings she doesn't open her mouth and utter a single word about what happened. This grabs a lot of attention from everywhere. Therefore, she is taken away from the media attention. Her silence pays her a great price and thus she then gets transferred to a mental medical facility called Grove because of her acute muted behavior.

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Book Title: Mysterious and elusive

Book Cover: The eeriness created is absolutely interesting.

Characters: The characters in the story are built up with little effusive nature with an interesting combo of conflictive nature.

Language Grammar:

&

The book has a very fine language with a rich vocabulary.

About the Author: Alex Michaelides is an author and screenwriter. His debut novel, The Silent Patient, was the #1 New York Times Bestseller of Hardcover Fiction in its first week and was the #2 most sold for 2019 on Amazon.com's list of Most Sold Books in fiction.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

My Final Verdict: Good work from a promising debut author.

Rating Book Title: 3/5 Book Cover: 3/5 Plot: 3/5 Characters: 3/5 Narration: 4/5 Language & Grammar: 4/5 Final Rating: 3/5

Swapna worked as SAP Consultant for 10 years in Major IT companies. Reading has always been her passion and occasional painting her hobby. She decided to quit her job, look after the family and pursue her hobby of reading and painting in a larger way. Thus, her big leap into book reviewing has paved a way and has been successful to date. Reading challenges interest her a lot and visiting book fairs is her favorite thing. She believes that there is no good back or bad book, but only books. Writing unbiased reviews is her strength and she is appreciated by fellow reviewers and readers for the same. An anthology of musings with her paintings is her pending dream!

@swapna.peri @sappy_dreamz_unlimited @swapna508

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STORIZEN REVIEW

Marry. Die. Repeat Abbie wakes in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there. The man by her side explains that he’s her husband. Can she trust him? Read the awesome thriller by JP Delaney

Photo by Luisa Brimble

by Swapna Peri

Around the world, in huge factories, most of the work is automated and customized machines or Robots are in usage. Similarly in many other fields. There are some restaurants in Asia, where Robots are the waiters. Gradually the human is being replaced by a machine and then a robot. Some movies depicted Humanoids that act until a certain percentage as Humans. But the recent female Robot, Sophia has wondered about the world. It was as good as a normal human being. If this is possible, there is no doubt the world will definitely shift towards these kinds of robots. The above was a small


STORIZENREVIEW

JP Delaney

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This is a spoiler-free statement because in the initial chapters the readers meet Abbie. Tim's wife. Here, Abbie is a Cobot. She is unaware of the fact and Tim who is a Software Giant to satiate his male chauvinism develops this Cobot. He wants his wife to be a submissive being. They have a kid named Danny. When she is told by Tim that she’s a “Cobot”, aka a humanlike machine whose presence “may suffice the loss of a loved one, providing solace, company and emotional support in the aftermath of a bereavement”. In other words, according to Tim, the real Abbie died and he missed her so much he built her again, as a robot, to fill the void his beloved wife left in his life.

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BOOK REVIEW

introduction to the story here in the book ' The Perfect Wife ' by JP Delaney where the female protagonist Abbie is a Cobot. Author Delaney explains that Companion Robot is what is a Cobot.


Book Title: Mysterious and Thrilling

Book Cover: Creates a sense of excitement for thereader.

Language & Grammar: Very fine language with all good and rich constructs are found in the story

Every theory is present at every point of the story making the story a perfect combination of many things.

Photo by Alexandra Gorn

Narration:


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

With a very dizzy and thrilling plotline, this book is much recommended for the readers who love such dystopian and sci-fi thrillers. My Final Verdict A perfect psychological and sci-fi thriller!

Rating Final Rating: 4/5

Get Your Copy Now

Swapna worked as SAP Consultant for 10 years in Major IT companies. Reading has always been her passion and occasional painting her hobby. She decided to quit her job, look after the family and pursue her hobby of reading and painting in a larger way. Thus, her big leap into book reviewing has paved a way and has been successful to date. Reading challenges interest her a lot and visiting book fairs is her favorite thing. She believes that there is no good back or bad book, but only books. Writing unbiased reviews is her strength and she is appreciated by fellow reviewers and readers for the same. An anthology of musings with her paintings is her pending dream!

@swapna.peri @sappy_dreamz_unlimited @swapna508

JUNE 2020

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What It Means To Be A Minority The second book in the Rethinking India Series by Swapna Peri

Majoritarian Upswing

The essays deal with educational attainments, employment prospects in a liberalized economy, possibilities of equal opportunity, violence of the state and vigilante groups, emerging questions of citizenship.

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Book Title:

A Must Read:

informative and educative

“Humans are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise, both will wither and die.�, I wish and pray that this book must be made a compulsory read to every young man and woman of the country irrespective of the religion they belong to understand what Humanity means.

Book Cover: Benzene structure that depicts the Indian community with one ring in white-colored that depicts the minority community. As the title suggests, this explanation can be inferred.


BOOK REVIEW

STORIZEN REVIEW

It is always a pleasure to state that ' I am blessed to be born in the city of pearls, Hyderabad'. Being a Hyderabadi every time has its own advantages. Be it the multi-cultural community or the very famous Hyderabadi Urdu. From the language to food, everything is special about Hyderabad. And the most important thing is ' Hyderabadi Biryani and Haleem '. Yes! The words Urdu, Haleem, mutton biryani, etc., point out to the Muslim Fraternity community. The reign of Nizams prior to Indian Independence has brought a greater pride to the people and their lives. I had to mention this because I have been associated with Muslim friends since my childhood. Though I could identify many differences in our lifestyles, mutual love and respect are what that tied us together. It was in the year 1991, during the riots in Ayodhya due to Babri Masjid attack, me being an 8 year old for the first time understood that there are religions. I being a Hindu, started my school 4 years back which is a Christian Missionary Convent and my neighbors and best friends were Muslims. I really hate to type this statement but to build up a narrative 56

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in this book's review, I had to. That incident and December 6th being declared a black day created a commotion in my tender mind. I then started to understand the real world. Quoting Dr. B.R.Ambedkar's saying, “Humans are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise, both will wither and die.�, I wish and pray that this book must be made a compulsory read to every young man and woman of the country irrespective of the religion they belong to understand what Humanity means.

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Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

My Final Verdict Very mindfully written book! Cheers!

Rating Book Title: 4/5 Book Cover: 4/5 Inside the book: 4/5 Narration: 4/5 Language & Grammar: 4/5 Final Rating: 4/5

Swapna worked as SAP Consultant for 10 years in Major IT companies. Reading has always been her passion and occasional painting her hobby. She decided to quit her job, look after the family and pursue her hobby of reading and painting in a larger way. Thus, her big leap into book reviewing has paved a way and has been successful to date. Reading challenges interest her a lot and visiting book fairs is her favorite thing. She believes that there is no good back or bad book, but only books. Writing unbiased reviews is her strength and she is appreciated by fellow reviewers and readers for the same. An anthology of musings with her paintings is her pending dream!

@swapna.peri @sappy_dreamz_unlimited @swapna508

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Another Awesome Book From The Greatest Storyteller Welcome back to the exciting and shadowy world of Ashwin Sanghi

by Swapna Peri Another awesome book from the greatest storyteller is what I call this book. The Vault of Vishnu though sounds religious or mythological, is the mythfiction with lots of history and facts in it at its best. Before reading this book, I have read all his previous works and The Krishna Key is what I have re-read at least 3 times. What stands unique is Ashwin's style of narrating fiction points added perfectly with the known facts. It would take a complete day if I start explaining how much his previous books have impressed me. Fun apart, this book delves into the most interesting concept of IndoChina relationship since ages to date at this wee hours pandemic.


STORIZENREVIEW

Ashwin Sanghi

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The end of the story was not up to my liking maybe because of the fact that I didn't want the story to be ended or the storyline lost its grip.

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BOOK REVIEW

The story starts with the incident at Doklam. The kind of fight the Indian soldiers experience from the Chinese brings many surprising questions. A young and dynamic woman, Paramjit Khurana aka Pam working at DRDO is summoned to understand and analyze the situation. Indian soldiers suspect a very mysterious or rather super human kind of force being used from the opposition. This makes the story start with an interesting twist. Pam's investigation starts with a Cambodian King who was actually a Pallava Prince, an old Chinese monk who travels to South India from China and a very old temple amidst the forest. The subsequent incidents create a maze with many loose ends and when they conjugate, the story becomes interesting.


Book Title: Interesting and mysterious

Book Cover: One has to co,pletely read the book to decipher the cover

Language & Grammar: Simple, elegant, and non-complex with rich vocabulary

Narration: Simple yet engaging.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

Overall, this is a fascinating tale of many things and I had a good experience reading this book.

My Final Verdict Historically Engaging

Rating Final Rating: 3/5

Get Your Copy Now

Swapna worked as SAP Consultant for 10 years in Major IT companies. Reading has always been her passion and occasional painting her hobby. She decided to quit her job, look after the family and pursue her hobby of reading and painting in a larger way. Thus, her big leap into book reviewing has paved a way and has been successful to date. Reading challenges interest her a lot and visiting book fairs is her favorite thing. She believes that there is no good back or bad book, but only books. Writing unbiased reviews is her strength and she is appreciated by fellow reviewers and readers for the same. An anthology of musings with her paintings is her pending dream!

@swapna.peri @sappy_dreamz_unlimited @swapna508

JUNE 2020

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The 7 AM Chronicles by Indraneel Majumdar

Our Love for

READING by Anupriya Chowdhary

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I realised that living a life of an ostrich is not worthwhile after all. There is indeed value in observing all that happens around you and ruse over it. Even if to make fun of it. It might just alleviate some burden of living.

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STORIZENREVIEW

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Every piece will beget you to take a moment’s pause before proceeding and reflect on the looking glass that you use to view this world and determine your thoughts and actions. For a person such as me, who wants to refrain from making an opinion statement about what goes on around me and just go about my life in a peaceful manner, this book turned out to be a strong jerk that set me thinking again. I realised that living a life of an ostrich is not worthwhile after all. There is indeed value in observing all that happens around you and ruse over it. Even if to make fun of it. It might just alleviate some burden of living.

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BOOK REVIEW

The title says this book is a collection of breezy satires. Well, they might be breezy while you are reading them, but the moment you reach the concluding line of each of the satires, you feel a ‘snowball hit you’ impact. Each of the satires makes you connect with something or the other you might have experienced in present or near-or-far-away past. The reflections make me long for a time in my childhood, that was much less complicated, and more fulfilling to the soul. The nuanced references made to the behaviors and instincts of an average Indian in any part of the country send ripples of laughter of the predictability of our own behavior and thoughts. Accounts of life in residential colonies of government set-ups, challenges and joys of life in small towns, of having those intruding neighbors in middle class communities, the tyranny of wives and of husbands too in every household – everything is relatable on one ground or another. And if there is anything that I don’t identify with, I am rest assured that it is something that my parents would connect with.

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BOOK TITLE: Catchy and Intriguing

BOOK COVER: Melancholic

NARRATION: The narration is simple with the author being successful in building up word pictures, making it possible of the reader to actually visualize the scene being talked about.

LANGUAGE & GRAMMAR: Language is simple that would suit the palette of an average reader. The focus is on ideas than on use of vibrant words.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

My Final Verdict A must read on your tea table/coffee table/study table or even the windowsill where you sit and enjoy your mornings in your tea cup’s company.

Rating Book Title: 4/5 Book Cover: 5/5 Inside the book: 4/5 Narration: 4/5 Language & Grammar: 4/5 Final Rating: 4.5/5

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Anupriya Chowdhary, an Engineer turned Human Resources professional, turned stay at home mother turned blogger turned author, she has now ventured out as a co-founder of a Waste Management start-up.She doles out loads of gyaan on parenting lifestyle trends, self improvement, relationship management and books through her blog https://www.mommyticnture.comShe likes to write stories around the complexities of lives of an average human being. Her books 'Because I Promised' and 'Unusual Equations' are available on Amazon.

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A, B and C's of T20 International Cricket

by Swapna Peri


Book Title: Apparent and self explanatory

Book Cover: creates certain magic and excitement

Narration An engaging and impressive narration with real-time facts and scenarios

Language Grammar:

&

Either the colloquial language or the Cricket language that is used in the book is very convenient to read and understand

About the Author: Tim Wigmore is a journalist for The Daily Telegraph, ESPNCricinfo, The New York Times and The Economist, specializing in cricket, sports analytics and the business of sport.


STORIZENREVIEW

youngsters a lot and no doubt the same format was adopted by the younger ones who play on streets. It would be absolutely inhuman on my part if I don't appreciate the amount of research and details study both Tim and Freddie have done in bringing out this book. Last but not the least, the forewords by Michael Vaughan and Harsha Bhogle, as well as exclusive interviews with figures including Jason Gillespie and Ricky Ponting, are perfectly the icing on the cake!

It was in the year 2003 again the initial matches of the T20 format have begun. Initially, it was not at all gaining support and was also criticized. Though it was not getting the required momentum, it rose to heights within no-time. There were questions all over right from a person choosing Cricket as his passion until he becomes a breed of the ' traditional players '. But once it gained a huge fan following, the 50 over matches were losing its viewers until favorite players from every team started playing both the formats. T20 was becoming famous amongst

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Click here to get your copy

JUNE 2020

BOOK REVIEW

As per my knowledge and whatever I have read, T20 Cricket matches were popular in the 1960s in England and then were called Evening League Matches. The game of cricket was more or less a middle-class man's game rather being a Gentleman's game. The game has gone with several module changes and ended up with a 50 over ODI. As time passed and the interest on the game was getting narrowed gradually, the T20 format match has again popped up.


Book Review

STORIZEN REVIEW

My Final Verdict: A, B and C's of International Cricket.

T20

Rating Book Title: 4/5 Book Cover: 4/5 Inside the book: 4/5 Narration: 4/5 Language & Grammar: 4/5 Final Rating: 4/5

Swapna worked as SAP Consultant for 10 years in Major IT companies. Reading has always been her passion and occasional painting her hobby. She decided to quit her job, look after the family and pursue her hobby of reading and painting in a larger way. Thus, her big leap into book reviewing has paved a way and has been successful to date. Reading challenges interest her a lot and visiting book fairs is her favorite thing. She believes that there is no good back or bad book, but only books. Writing unbiased reviews is her strength and she is appreciated by fellow reviewers and readers for the same. An anthology of musings with her paintings is her pending dream!

@swapna.peri @sappy_dreamz_unlimited @swapna508

JUNE 2020

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An Unmissable Thriller by Swapna Peri


STORIZENREVIEW

Personally, I loved the climax, because it is so realistic. I don't want to a story spoiler and hence I hide what the climax is! What to expect from the story? This story has the main center point as 'mystery' to its

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core. But it has more to offer than a normal drama and mystery. The book narrates a powerful story in a simple language and is filled with intense action, strong characters, highly unexpected twists, and underwhelming suspense. All in all, expect a book with a great writing style from the author. Though the author has penned many other books, this is the first one that I read.

BOOK REVIEW

My Thoughts: Reading a thriller and suspenseful story with drama has always been a cup of my tea. But due to the lockdown period unable to imagine while reading, my interest in nonfiction has increased. I must have read some 10 nonfiction books till the moment I received Jitendra Anand's wonderful mystery thriller, 'New Delhi Square '. I use the word wonderful because as a fan of Indian Author's works, I very much get connected to the names and places that the authors use. In this book, we travel with Vimal Mittal and his wife Varsha into the world of surprise, suspense, and twists. The story has all the shades of being a thriller movie. I say this because we see Vimal and Varsha, their love and married life, their social life, Vimal's professional life, vengeance, crime, betrayal, and patriotism. Author Jitendra has very finely combined all such humane emotions.

The story is about Vimal Mittal, who is an engineering graduate from MBM, Jodhpur lives in Mumbai with his wife Varsha and two children are given an opportunity to work with an unknown NDS or The New Delhi Square, at Connaught Place, Delhi. The company never hired resources from open sources. The process is always been a secret and is very less known to the outside world. Anything about the company, who works, where do they live, what do they work on etc., have always been concealed from the outside world. Such a company after vigorous research on Vimal 's resume and achievements offers a job with NDS. A doubt arises in both Varsha's and Vimal's mind. When Varsha seems

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to be quite furious, Vimal assures her that they will be alright and fight whatever might come. Here, the author has shown the beautiful relation of a Vimal and Varsha, the meaning of life partners, and as the head of the family his responsibility. From that day, the readers get to see a new, confident, and brave Varsha. Final Verdict: A definite and recommended read

Rating Final Rating: 3.8/5

Swapna worked as SAP Consultant for 10 years in Major IT companies. Reading has always been her passion and occasional painting her hobby. She decided to quit her job, look after the family and pursue her hobby of reading and painting in a larger way. Thus, her big leap into book reviewing has paved a way and has been successful to date. Reading challenges interest her a lot and visiting book fairs is her favorite thing. She believes that there is no good back or bad book, but only books. Writing unbiased reviews is her strength and she is appreciated by fellow reviewers and readers for the same. An anthology of musings with her paintings is her pending dream!

@swapna.peri @sappy_dreamz_unlimited @swapna508

JUNE 2020

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STORIZEN POETRY

Nature To The Rescue by Kavitha Yarlagadda Life came to a standstill it was a relief from the daily grind of hustle bustlea respite from the stress of morning rush and traffic jams. Seconds felt like hours, time and days of week didn’t make any sense, dressing down was the new fashionable thing to do. Kids were the happiest with no work and schoolletting their imagination go wild inventing new things to do and play. Parents had the toughest time stressed out with no help and the increasing demands from the family claustrophobic in their abode. That was when, restricted to their homes and with eons of time on their handspeople took notice ofnature surrounding them. Sitting in their backyard they made new friends with chirping birds the friendly dogscats butterflies and the swarm of bees on the tree. 74

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STORIZEN POETRY

The cool breeze and the swaying trees whispering sweet nothings were like a sweet oasis from the sweltering heat refreshing them. Nights were bliss with the sky spread out as a beautiful blanket and that intimate feeling from the glow of stars andmoonlight. They were on a path to healing from the stress and emotions of being locked in when they took solace in the lap of nature thrilled that nature heals and restores.

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Kavitha Yarlagadda is a Civil Engineer by profession, having worked in the field of Infrastructure projects for more then ten years, she joined her husband's Architectural and Interior Designing firm to help him. But her passion for writing since the past ten plus years made her take up writing. She published her first ebook of poetry collection 'Profound Thoughts' last year. Apart from being a contributing writer at a couple of online forums, she loves writing essays, poetry and short stories. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, gardening and listening to music. Apart from writing, her passion towards environment and her Facebook groups keep her occupied. She currently resides in Hyderabad and not a day goes by without writing.

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STORIZEN POETRY

Silver Lining by Vidya Shankar Palming my ears tightly to block The discordant sounds of harsh hatred With tears streaming down my cheeks in a flurry I exited the confines of my locked-down house And ran up the steps to the terrace An escape from the virulent verbal negativity Of malevolent and pernicious social communication That spread wilder than the prevalent pandemic did. The darkness of the terrace somehow was soothing (I had not turned on the outdoor lights when coming up) Lying down upon the rough terracotta-tiled floor I closed my eyes, the soothing darkness to intensify. A summer sea breeze from the Marina Caressed my hot skin and troubled mind— I found my breath, and inner silence. The cooling comfort kissed my eyes open And set them upon the sky— It was dark, surprisingly dark Though a full moon should have risen. ‘Are you, dear sky, reflecting The agonizing gloom of the earth below you?’ The sky answered not, but as I looked on A meditative energy enveloped me The darkness of the sky was not foreboding And the full moon had risen, happily sailing Across the sky, but hidden Obscured by dark stratocumulus clouds. I waited, patiently like a pupil Awaiting a glance, a word of wisdom From my guru. As if in response, I saw a brilliant lacing A silvery lining glistening the edges of a cloud—

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STORIZEN POETRY

Light was there, all through the darkness Light is there in spite of the darkness Light shows itself expelling the darkness When the desire to perceive it is ardent. Though a sombre tunnel I was in Devoid I was not of guiding light to take me through it A guiding light, the silver lining in the adversity I found only through inner meditative silence. No longer did I need to palm my ears tightly The discordant sounds to block No longer did I need to close my eyes shut The virulence of the world to expel The experience elevating my emotions To balanced acceptance, I went back To the world I belonged, strengthened with hope And the faith to discern the light My being resonating with mystical consciousness And the unifying sound OM!

Vidya Shankar is a poet, writer, motivational speaker, yoga enthusiast, English language teacher. An active member of poetry circles, her works have appeared in national and international literary platforms and anthologies. She is the recipient of literary awards and recognitions. Vidya Shankar’s first book of poems, The Flautist of Brindaranyam is a collaborative effort with her photographer husband, Shankar Ramakrishnan. Her second book of poems The Rise of Yogamaya is an effort to create awareness about mental health. She has also been on the editorial of three anthologies. A “book” with the Human Library, Chennai Chapter, Vidya Shankar uses the power of her words, both written and spoken, to create awareness about environmental issues, mental health, and the need to break the shackles of an outdated society.

@shanvidwinsalways @vidya.shankar.author

JUNE 2020

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Rediscovering My Inner Self by Sanjhee Gianchandani Drizzling drops, ceaseless rain washing not only the atmosphere, but also negating my pain I soak myself in the drops carelessly fiddling with my tresses pondering over life though in vain Drenching my clothes and my self Not a soul to view my catharsis I stand amidst the street of age along with ambition, anxiety, stress, and rage The green trees with their wet leaves the sodden road with flattened gravel and the ever-empowering smell of mud the emerging newness of the mundane Usher me to wait, beg me to think and force me to engage with the sky, the mass of clouds, the strength of thunder Occasional strokes of lightening, the rain gathers pace There is a pleasant darkness then begins an interrogation of my conviction and an upheaval of hitherto perception Chalking out a trajectory unexplored As the water gushes over my face awakening the child in me

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STORIZEN POETRY

An innocence takes over bringing with it happy memories And then a suddenness of tranquility The end of pitter-patter juxtaposed with the fruition of thought The quietude blankets me as I start walking on this journey back to the true me

JUNE 2020

Sanjhee Gianchandani holds a Masters’ degree in English from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi and a CELTA from the University of Cambridge. She has previously worked as an English language assessment specialist and currently works as an ELT editor in the K-8 space.

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Nature At Its Best by Aparna Mukherjee With worries all around The beauties of nature Will calm your mind and Will put your worries behind. The golden glow of the morning sun Imbues a wave of energy In our tired minds Take a pause for a moment To witness the pleasurable nature's views To Embrace the break of dawn. When nature waltzes On the tune of sea waves Gentle breeze caressess my skin While I indulge in The lovely nature's scene. Nature changes its color When the evening sky sets in Nature with all its vibrant hues As the dusk slowly pursues Which is indeed a rare view. Savor the pleasant views All around you The carefree voices of innocent kids Who are drowned in having fun Under the soothing setting sun.

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STORIZEN POETRY

No matter how busy you are Steal few moments From your busy days To delight in the beauty Which nature unfolds In various ways .

In a few words, Aparna defines a woman who beholds high aspirations and firmly believes in expanding her horizon. She holds a Master degree in English from Mumbai University. By profession, she is an online content writer and blogger who writes informative articles for various UK and US blogs and websites. Her poems got published in the digital Reflection Magazine and in the Indian literature website named Facestory's.com. She is a budding author too. Her first story on romantic theme got published in a book named "Memoirs Of Love". As a person, she is open-minded, downto-earth and amiable in nature. Her world revolves around creativity. She wishes to make her mark in the literary world, hoping to leave an indelible imprint on her readers' minds.

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The Adding Flavors by Nikesh Jain

It's the golden courtyard, When the sunshine Fall in the winter, Gives me hope. The extras have to leave For the good to come in, The deciduous trees, Enlightened me.

Nikesh Jain currently residing in Bangalore, is an International Business Management graduate from MIT-SOM College, Pune.

It's the maple leaf That taught me, Even fallen things, Are beautiful.

He says “If you don’t know where it ends, don’t run a race”. With young mind motivated and driven on business start-up “XROSS BUTTON™”, an apparel brand, he is passionate about his future.

The petrichor Made me realise, You need to mix into things, To create wonders.

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He feels the power of a pen and a book together is greater than anything else. He has an intense love for writing and reading, and put this out as a useful tool to inspire and motivate people around him.

JUNE 2020


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