Category Archives: Books

The Night Train at Deoli and Other Stories by Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond's Stories

Book: The Night Train at Deoli and Other Stories

Author: Ruskin Bond

Pages: 245

Price: Rs. 299

Publications: Penguin Books

Plot: A collection of 30 short stories by Ruskin Bond, this book present the tales of love and longingness. The succinct and basic recitals depicting very candid and sincere incidences of life. If read without giving any thought one might feel that the story was actually an unconventional, quotidian incident, but if given a little thought one may realize that all the stories are full of emotions. Emotions of love, longing, and yearning.

The craving, the hankering, we all face in our lives, and the urge for something be it youth, childhood, past days, or towards any person, is what Ruskin Bond has delineated irresistibly in these stories.

My views: As a child, I have read many of the stories by Ruskin Bond. So when I saw this book it reminded me of my school days and to relish those good old days I instantly bought this book.

Though these are not children stories but when I was reading these stories I realized that I have read some of them in my English Course books. At that time the experience of reading these stories was very different. The lack of understanding of such deep emotions made me think that these are unremarkable and unexceptional incidences turned into a story. For my young mind, it was difficult to understand these complex emotions.

But this time when I read it, the experience was altogether different. I would say I understood the meaning of these ‘mere incidences’ now.

Stories with characters which are so relatable, every story having a common emotion of craving and hunger but from a different point of views. The emotion is common but still the commotion it creates in mind is different every time, in every story.

Though there was this one story ‘Love is a sad Song’ which I didn’t like. I saw this story totally from a different perspective. To help you in understanding my point of view, let me summarize the story for you all.

The story is about a man who in his 30’s and he fell in love with a girl named Sushila who is 16 years old. The girl is his friend, Dinesh’s niece. Dinesh and he lived in the same house in Dehradoon. Sushila with her younger brother Sunil came to visit them, and this is the time when the narrator fell in love with Sushila. Sushila also reacted to it positively, they both get intimate in this time period. The narrator asked Sushila’s uncle for marriage but only after her schooling. Sushila and Sunil went back to Delhi. After few months narrator went to Delhi to meet Sushila and her family, their through Sunil he got to know that she has other boyfriends too from the time when they came back from narrator’s place. And then he left her.

A long story explained in short, but this is how I looked at the story. What I feel is that this is a story of child sexual abuse but only from perpetrator’s point of view. How can someone say that he/she loves a person and still do things which might affect their ‘LOVER’S’ body, their mind or in whole their life? Sushila was in her teens, the time when teenagers are most excited and curious about their bodies. The time when getting intimate with someone brings that thrill and fun. Instead of addressing this curiosity and inquisitiveness positively, one authoritative figure came in her life and showed that it is okay to get intimate at the age when they don’t even understand what actually does it mean. If we look at this from Sushila’s point of view then she is nowhere wrong in having multiple boyfriends, after all, she was given a message that it is totally fine to explore her body this way and not to tell others about it. The narrator said that he wanted to marry Sushila but I would say that marriage is not the veil to one’s action. One cannot use someone and say “I will marry him/her.”

According to me, it was not love, how can it be love when one of them is not even at the age where she can understand the meaning of love? How can it be love when the narrator did nothing for his lover’s growth when all he wanted was to marry her and ‘to take care of her’ or one can say make her dependent on him? This was not love, this was a meager attraction of a 30-year-old man towards a young 16-year-old girl. This was a sexual abuse. An abuse which not only affects the body but also the mind of the victim.

Overall I find other stories good except this one.

Recommendations: Read this book to truly understand the meaning of stories by Ruskin Bond. The stories full of emotions and sentiments

Ratings: 3/5

Book Cover


More of Calmer You: By Sonal Kalra

Peace at work….that’s all we need.

Book: More of a calmer you

Author: Sonal Kalra

Pages: 193

Price: Rs. 245

Publications: Wisdom Tree

Plot: Compendium of 57 articles, presented under different topics like:

  1. Calm-Sutra
  2. Relation-ships along
  3. Cubicle Chaos
  4. Mind it
  5. What the tech!
  6. Generation Trap
  7. I am me not Anna!
  8. Boast is the secret of my energy

Sonal Kalra in her charming and jocular style helps us to tackle everyday stress, be it complications in a relationship, work and colleagues related trouble, or problem with parents or extended family. Any daily life problem, from listening to a whiner or hearing taunts, or bigger problems like that of self-esteem. Name a problem and Sonal Kalra has a solution for it. To know more about these solutions log on to  and that too a cheesy one. 😉

But this is how the book is, okay… it’s not cheesy, but it’s humorous. Pleasurable to read and still succouring us to achieve more of calmer us.

My views: I have been a Sonal Kalra fan from a very long time. Waiting for Sunday HT City to read her columns and get disappointed whenever I see some other article there. I love her style, I love how in her fun-loving manner she manages to say deep and introspective things.

The book is simply written. Reading this book made me feels like as if the author is directly conversing with me. The book can be read anywhere and in any mood, it will manage to leave you smiling

With captivating characters like the imperturbable Pappu Singh, the incorrigible Chaddha Ji, and indefatigable Bubbly Aunty. More of Calmer You is like a perfect conversation with Sonal Kalra which makes our mood light and give simple yet doable suggestions to reduce stress from our lives.

Though while reading this book I realised that I am not a fan of collections of Newspaper columns or Blogs. When I read them weekly, I like the quirkiness and fun in it. But when I read a collection of it, the fun and quirkiness seem to be forced. So all I could say is that book is good in a way it is fun to read but at times this fun seems to be artificial and obligatory, and that made the book unstimulating for me.

Overall the book is just fine for me.

Recommendations: Want to read a simple, funny yet meaningful book? Go read this book.

Ratings: 3/5

Favourite Quotes:

  • The world has two kinds of people. Those who keep waiting for the right time to be happy, or those who…don’t postpone joy.
  • The biggest rule in the happiness formula is simple- abhi nahi to kabhi nahi.
  • There’s scope in this world for everyone to succeed. We only need to focus on the differences that set us apart rather than trying to be clones of each other in ‘cut-throat’ world.
  • Dear Cupid, next time, please strike both.
  • Be on a date with life and behave that your best is seen at any point by everyone. You never know who may fall in love with you.
  • Sometimes no words are needed.
  • Life’s too short to stay unhappy, my friend.

Best Reads Of 2016

Best reads of 2016

Hello Tangled fam,

With 2016 wrapped up we wish this coming year be full of amazing adventures, blue skies, dreams come true, happiness, laughter, joy and Love. We wish you all a very Happy New Year.

So at the end of 2016, we thought to look back and think about the best books we read in 2016. And here we present the list of Top 5 books of 2016.

1. The Road Less Traveled By M.Scott Peck.

The new Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth

The New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth, this book is the ultimate favorite of 2016.

Extracting from his professional experience of Psychotherapy Dr. M.Scott Peck recommends the way to a road which is less travelled, the path in which one face difficulties and sufferings of their life. But this way also leads us to better understanding of ourselves, a better understanding of life.

To know more about this book read our full book review of The Road Less Travelled.

2. Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte.

Whatever our souls are made of his and mine are the same

This book has to be my favorite novel of the year.  Full of passion, love, envy, betrayal and revenge this book is one of kind  I have ever read.

The epic story of the love of Heathcliff and Catherine, in which they both came together in a romance which destroyed them and all those around them.

So gothic and dark that I hated the characters but at the same time fell in love with all of them. Not only the book is grey but the emotions it evolves while reading it were also grey. I loved this book and would recommend every novel reader to read this book at least once.

Read our full book review here.

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

“I don’t have anything else to add. I just wanted to make sure I had the last word. I think I’ve earned that.”

Another dark novel, full of suspense, this book spellbound me from the beginning. It was arduous to keep this book aside, and I abruptly got enslaved in the Nick and Amy’s  world. The thrill and suspense that it created made me crave to read more.

“There are two sides to every story.” And here we read sides of Amy and Nick’s story of their marriage, an unsuccessful story of love and revenge I loved how the events unfold in the story.

Read our full book review here.

4. To Kill  A Mockingbird By Harper Lee.

To Kill A Mockingbird

An incident of racial discrimination witnessed and narrated by young Scout, this book is fun to read. The innocence of Scout, her curiosity add gaiety to the book which raises a serious issue with it.

Read more about this book here.

5. Jaya, An illustrated retelling of Mahabharata By Devdutt Pattanaik.

Jaya @Tangled_tourista

Retelling of the great Indian epic ‘Mahabharata’ this book explains the true meaning of Jaya and Vijaya. ‘Vijaya’ about which we usually see on television versions of Mahabharata and ‘Jaya’ the bonafide nub of Mahabharata. To all those who want to start reading about this great epic, the book can definitely prove to be a spiffing kickoff.

To know more about this book read our full book review here.

So this was our best reads of 2016, but don’t forget to tell us your best reads of 2016 down below in comments.

We would love to know about your favorites.

With Lots of Love.








The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho: Book Review

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Book: The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coelho

Pages: 161

Price: Rs. 299

Publications: Harper Collins Publishers

Plot: The Alchemist is a story of young boy Santiago, a shepherd, who became a shepherd because he yearns of traveling the world. A boy who followed his aspiration and became a shepherd, despite the education which could allow him to become a priest, despite the trepidation of his parents. He aspires to travel so he chose to travel.

One day he had a dream, he could not understand the meaning of this dream So he went to a gypsy woman who could interpret dreams. She told him that his destiny is calling him, and his fate is to go to the Pyramids, Egypt to get the treasure of his life. He was thinking about his dream and what woman has told him when he met a man who called himself ‘The King of Salem’. He emboldens him to follow his dream, his destiny.

And from there begins his voyage. He sold his sheep, left his home place, took many perils and traveled from Spain to North Africa and then to Egyptian deserts. In his expedition, he learned many things and with the help of his learnings, he finally got his treasure.

My views: To start with, this is a short story (only 166 pages). One can finish it in a few days only.

As for my views, I have heard a lot about this book and this actually raised my expectations. And I believe this is the reason why I didn’t like the book much. I found the book very basic, maybe because I have read many quotes from the book on the internet, and then there was this famous Shahrukh Khan dialogue from the movie ‘Om Shanti Om’ which says “Kehte hai agar kisi cheez ko Dil se chaho to poori kainat use tumse milaane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai. All this made the book very basic and I found nothing new in it, so I never had that ‘wow’ moment from the book.

Philosophy, magic, mystery, all this is acceptable for me. In fact, the book is an encouraging one, and galvanize reader to listen to their heart and follow their dreams.But as I said, despite all this, I didn’t find the book to be amazing.

Overall I found this book to be just fine.

Recommendations: If you want to get some encouragement to follow your dreams, to listen to your heart then this book is for you. I will definitely suggest this book to all those who feel little crestfallen in life because this book gives one very convincing reason to follow your dreams.

Ratings: 3.5/5

Favorite Quotes:

  • We all need to be aware of our personal calling.
  • What is personal calling? It is God’s blessing, it is the path that God chose for you here on Earth. Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend.
  • The Universe is conspiring in our favor.
  • Each man kills the thing he loves.
  • I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.
  • What’s the world’s greatest lie?  It is this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.
  • What is a person’s destiny? It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is.
  • There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.
  • The soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness. And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy.
  • And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
  • People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.
  • People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being. Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early too.
  • There was nothing to hold him back except himself.
  • God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.
  • Making a decision was only the beginning of things.
  • We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.
  • In alchemy, it’s called the Soul of the World. When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It’s always a positive force.
  • Life is the moment we’re living right now.
  • Go on in pursuit of your dream.
  • The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.
  • Wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.
  • You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love…the love that speaks the language of the World.
  • There is only one way to learn, it’s through action.
  • Listen to your heart. It knows all things because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there.
  • Fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
  • Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.
  • When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.

Wuthering Heights By Emile Bronte

Book: Wuthering Heights

Author: Emily Bronte

Pages: 300

Price: Rs. 150

Publications: Fingerprint Classics

Plot: ‘Wuthering Heights’ name of the house situated in Yorkshire, far away from the city, at heights where the Northern winds flow freely. In this house lives a family, ‘Earnshaws,’ Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw with their two little children, Hindley the elder son of the family and Catherine their loving daughter.

Once Mr. Earnshaw went to Liverpool, for some work. But when he came back from there he didn’t come back alone, with him came a young boy. Mr. Earnshaw found him on the streets and could not leave him there so he brought him to their house. They named him Heathcliff. All three children grew together. But things were not so smooth Hindley and Heathcliff never gelled up together, they hated each other. But this hatred could not resist blooming the love between Heathcliff and Catherine.

But Catherine did not want to marry him, she wanted to marry a man with whom she can get status, money, power, prestige. She wanted a prince charming not a gypsy boy like Heathcliff. Knowing this Heathcliffe went away. No one knew where he lived for years. And in the meantime, Catherine got married to a young man Edgar Linton.

They were happy in their lives, together with living a content life when Heathcliff came back to Yorkshire. Heathcliff and with him came the feeling of vengeance. At any cost, he wanted Catherine for this, he took terrible steps, which ruined all and by that, I mean literally “All”. In this story Heathcliff’s love for Catherine killed Catherine. Not only Heathcliff and Catherine, his hatred ruined each and every person related to them. Be it Hindley, Linton, Linton’s sister or their children. This revenge was not limited to only one generation, in this epic story of love, envy and betrayal Heathcliff’s revenge devastated the life of their children too.

My views: This book is full of passion, love, envy, betrayal, and revenge. Each and every character depicts their emotions so powerfully, that the reader will be forced to feel with them. Every character has their own gray side. There is no such character about which one can say, “Oh! This character is good and wise.” The book shows the dark side of each character.

I loved how it is written, so strongly with full of passion and emotions.

In the beginning, I didn’t find the book to be very interesting, as I don’t read such gothic novels. But I didn’t want to leave this book for this reason and so I kept on reading it. In fact, every page was a constant battle of ‘Do I still want to read it or should I leave it here.’ For me, the book became addictive after Catherine died. It became addictive for me after that. I hated the characters, but still loved them. It was so real because I think in real life everyone has that gray side, everyone is self-obsessed somewhere, somewhere every person is selfish. And this novel shows how this self-centeredness destroyed lives of many.

A very different kind of novel. I usually don’t read such books, but the passion with which this book is written made me fell in love with it. Overall, I would say that I made a correct decision to keep reading it.

Recommendations: If you can handle too much of darkness or really want to try a revengeful yet a passionately written novel, then go for this book. You will find it worth a reading.

Ratings: I really enjoyed reading this book, so 5/5.

And I thought that to make book posts more fun, from now onwards I will add some of my favorite Quotes from the book. So here they are:

Favourite Quotes:

  • He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of his and mine are the same.
  • Two words would comprehend my future- death and hell: existence, after losing her would be hell.
  • If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn’t love as much in eighty years as I could in a day.
  • The single pleasure I can imagine is to die, or to see him dead!
  • That is not my Heathcliff. I shall love mine; yet and take him with me: he’s in my soul.
  • I’m wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there: not seeing it dimly through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart: but really with it, and in it.
  • You loved me- then what right had you to leave me?
  • Because misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict woUld have parted us, you of your own will, did it.
  • I love my murderer- but yours! How can I?
  • Incomparably beyond and above us all! Whether still on earth or now in heaven, her spirit is at home with God!
  • I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!
  • People feel with their hearts: and Since he has destroyed mine, I have not power to feel for him: and I would not.
  • On only one condition can I hope to forgive him. It is, if I may take an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; for every wrench of agony return a wrench: reduce him to my level. But it is utterly impossible I can never be revenge, and therefore I cannot forgive him.
  • Oh, if God would but give me strength to strangle him in my last agony, I’d go to hell with joy.
  • Her anger was never furious; her love never fierce: it was deep and tender.
  • He’ll never let his friends be at ease, and he’ll never be at ease himself!
  • I’ll have her in my arms again! If she would be cold, I’ll think it is this north wind that chills me; and if she would be motionless, it is sleep.
  • You have left me so long to struggle against death alone, that I feel and see only death! I feel like death!
  • The more hurt she gets, the more venomous she grows.
  • My soul’s bliss kills my body but does not satisfy itself.
  • I have nearly attained my heaven, and that of others is altogether unvalued and uncoveted by me.

The Catcher In The Rye By J.D Salinger: Book Review

The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye

Book: The catcher in the Rye

Author: J.D Salinger

Pages: Rs. 399

Publications: Penguin India

Plot: Set in 1950’s, this book is about a teenage (a 16 years old) boy Holden Caulfield. Holden narrates his story in his own style, using language which teenagers usually use to show themselves cool, using words like ‘fucking’ and many other ‘abusive words’ ;-). He also has this habit of moving from one topic to another that too without completing the first one, the reason he gave to this is ‘I am not really in the mood.’ He tries his best to be cool, he attempts to get alcohol from clubs, to impress girls and many other things. In short, Holden represents a teenager perfectly.

So Holden studies in ‘Pencey’ school situated in Pennsylvania. He has failed in 4 out 5 subjects. Because of this reason he got expelled from school. But this is not the only school from which he has been expelled. He has been expelled from many schools earlier.

He has his last few days left in His school when his History teacher calls him to his house so that he can bid farewell to Holden and also tries his best to encourage Holden to study hard. Holden went there, but he was not in the mood to hear a lecture. So he made an excuse and ran away from there.

Back in the hostel, he was irritated by one of his classmate Ackley and then his roommate Stradlater, who went on a date with one of Holden’s friends whom Holden use to like. As Stradlater is a charmer he was not comfortable with him going on a date with Jane Gallagher. So he had a dispute with him. After this dispute, Holden decides to leave school at night only. He decided that he will not go to his house instead, he will stay in a hotel. As his parents still did not know about his expulsion.

So he takes a train and reaches New York. Next two days were strenuous for him, living alone in Hotel, having nothing to do, he spends his money on cabs, drinks, etc. He even called a prostitute, but he was so innocent that he wanted to talk to her first and later he was not in the mood.

Thoughts of suicide and a totally useless guy keep coming to his mind now and then.

Merely in two days he got broke and went back to his home, but not to stay there, but to meet his little sister Pheobe whom he adores a lot. There he met her and borrowed some money from her. Leaving his house he still did not know what he should do, and then he had an idea. He decided that he will go somewhere far and find a job, he will act like a deaf and dumb, so that he would not be forced to talk to any ‘stupid person’.

But He also decided to Meet Pheobe and say goodbye to her. He went to her school and met her. What happened next? Did he actually go away? No, I am not going to tell you that. Find it yourself if it interests you.

My views: I like how the Holden narrated his story. I actually felt like as if there is a teenage boy sitting in front of me and telling me his story. And while telling his story this teenage boy has assumed many things that ‘we know’ about, jumping from one topic to another one, because he is not in the mood to talk about it.

The book is really good, the way it is written all teenagers will find it very easy to relate to Holden.  A teenage boy who does not know what he wants to do in future, what are the things which actually interests him, and what he wants to do in life, all this is very vague for him.

But I guess this became a drawback of the book for me. As it was written from a teenage boy’s point of view I could not relate to it. At some point, I even felt like why am I reading random events of the narrator’s life. Maybe if I would have read this book in my teens I could have related to Holden. But at this point, I believe the timing was not perfect.

Though I would say that the book is really good, and if you have a teenage brother or sister who is depressed gift him/her this book. It will help them a lot. In the end, I would just remark that book is perfect for a teenager.

Recommendations: As said earlier, if you are a teenager go for this book.

Ratings: 3/5


The Road Less Travelled – M. Scott Peck : Book Review

let's start our journey, to the road which is less travlled
Let’s start our journey, to the road which is less travelled

Book: The Road Less Travelled

Author: M. Scott Peck

Pages: 300

Price: Rs. 399

Genre: Self Help

Publications: Arrow Books

Plot: The Road Less Travelled is a self help book. It gives one a sound, practical and doable advices on to build a happy life. The book talks about Psychology, Psychotherapy, Love, and Spiritual Growth.

The author of the book, M.Scott Peck was an American Psychiatrist and through his experiences with his clients, plus his personal experiences he shows us a path to the road which leads to spiritual growth and happy life but is less traveled.

So we’re not giving away too much about the book, I tried my best to give you a brief information about what the book is. So let’s start it.

The book has 4 sections:-

  1. Discipline
  2. Love
  3. Growth and Religion
  4. Grace

We will talk about each and every section, but briefly.

Section 1: Discipline

So the first thing author says is ‘Life is difficult’ and we have to accept this truth. Once we truly understand and accept it, then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. It is the whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning.

But instead of accepting it, we moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of our problems, our burdens, and our difficulties, as if life, in general, should be easy.

There are four tools author describes to solve life’s problems. These tools are:

  1. Delaying of Gratification
  2. Acceptance of responsibility
  3. Dedication of truth
  4. Balancing
  • Delaying Gratification

Delaying gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with.

This tool or process of scheduling is learned by most children quite early in life, sometimes as early as age five. For instance, occasionally a five-year-old child when playing a game with a companion take the first turn, so that the child might enjoy his or her turn later. But as we grow old, we tend to forget it.

  • Responsibility

We cannot solve life’s problems except by solving them.  For any problem, we have to accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it. We cannot solve a problem by saying “it’s not my problem.” We cannot solve a problem by hoping that someone else will solve it for us. I can solve a problem only when I say, “This is my problem and it’s up to me to solve it.” But many, so many, seek to avoid the pain of their problems by saying to themselves: “This problem was caused me by other people, or by social circumstances beyond my control, and therefore it is up to other people or society to solve this problem for me. It is not really my personal problem.”

  • Dedication to reality

The third tool of Discipline is a dedication to the truth. The more clearly we see the reality of the world, the better equipped we are to deal with the world.

Our view of reality is like a map with which we negotiate the terrain of life. If the map is true and accurate, we will generally know where we are, and if we have decided where we want to go will generally know how to get there.

While this is obvious, most people to a greater or lesser degree choose to ignore. They ignore it because our route to reality is not easy.

First of all, we are not born with maps, we have to make them, and the making requires effort. The more effort we make to appreciate and perceive reality, the larger and more accurate our maps will be. But many do not want to make this effort. Their maps are small and sketchy, their views of the world narrow and misleading. By the end of middle age most people have given up the effort. They feel certain that their maps are complete and correct.

The biggest problem of map making is that we have to continually revise them. The world itself is constantly changing. Glaciers come, glaciers go. Cultures come, cultures go.

What happens when one has striven long and hard to develop a working view of the world, a seemingly useful, workable map, and then is confronted with new information suggesting that the view is wrong and the map needs to be largely redrawn. The painful; effort required seems frightening. Rather than try to change the map, an individual may try to destroy the new reality.

Sadly, such a person may expend much more energy ultimately in defending an outmoded view of the world than would have been required to revise and correct it in the first place.

  • Balancing

Balancing is the fourth tool described by the author. Balancing is the discipline that gives us flexibility. Extraordinary flexibility is required for successful living in all spheres of activity.

Courageous people must continually push themselves to be completely honest, yet must also possess the capacity to withhold the whole truth appropriate. To be free people we must assume total responsibility for ourselves, but in doing so must possess the capacity to reject responsibility that is not truly ours. To be organized and efficient, to live wisely, we must daily delay gratification and keep an eye on the future, yet to live joyously, we must also possess the capacity, when it is not destructive, to live in the present and act spontaneously.

According to the author the essence of this discipline of balancing is ‘giving up’. He explained it with an example, ‘when he was 9 years old, and had just learnt how to ride a bike and was exploring his skills. While riding, he gathered up speed which he found ecstatic, but there came a problem. He noticed a sharp turn, but to up this ecstasy by the application of breaks seemed self-punishment. So he resolved to simultaneous retaining his speed and negotiating the corner, which resulted in badly scratched and bleeding and twisted new bike.’ He had lost his ‘balance’. He was unwilling to give up the ecstatic speed in the interest of maintaining balance.

So the author says that discipline has to be balanced.

Section II: Love

Author defines love as the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. Love does not happen by chance, it is an act of will- namely both an intention and action. Love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful. Before describing what love is, the author has explored the nature of love by examining what love is not.

So he says falling in love is a misconception. There are two problems with falling in love, one we do not fall in love with our children, parents, our friends. We fall in love only when we are consciously or unconsciously sexually motivated. The second problem is that the experience of falling in love is temporary. The feeling of ecstatic lovingness that characterizes the experience of falling in love always passes. The bloom of romance always fades.

Similarly, he describes other Misconceptions like a – myth of romantic love, self-sacrifice, love is not a feeling etc.

So if this is not love, what is love?

The author says that love is self-discipline; love is separateness. The genuine lover always perceives the beloved as someone who has a totally separate identity. Moreover, the genuine lover always respects and even encourages this separateness and the unique individuality of the beloved.

According to author love is not a dependency, in love, when one says that he/she cannot live without another, then it’s not love, this is parasitic relationship. In love two people can live without each other, but chooses to live with each other.

When we genuinely love we are extending ourselves, when we are extending our self we are growing. The more we love, the larger we become. Genuine love is Self – replenishing and selfish.

Section III: Growth and Religion

In the third section author says that everyone has a religion. We tend to think that religion must include a belief in God or some ritualistic practice, but according to the author this is not true. For author our religion is our worldview. The Author says that we accept everything, even religion without questioning, it’s like everything is second hand. He says

‘One of our problems is that very few of us have developed any distinctive personal life. Everything about us seems secondhand, even our emotions.’

For mental health and spiritual Growth, we must develop our own personal religion and not rely on that of our parents. We have to examine, distrust, experience, and discipline to have our own worldview.

Section IV: Grace

In section IV, author talks about unconsciousness. He says that our unconscious is much more intelligent than our consciousness.

He says that grace is a miracle with which everyone is blessed, but only a few of us actually notice and take advantage of it. It’s a serendipitous, a gift.

He explains the characteristics of grace, few of them are: it serves to nurture and its action is either incompletely understandable or totally obscure. The occurrence is frequent. Its origin is outside of human consciousness.

He says that it’s a miracle and path to this miracle is opposite to our natural tendency. It takes an effort to walk on this path of a miracle. It takes continuous courage to walk on this path and that is why it is very less traveled.

My views: Anyone who has basic knowledge of Psychology should read it. Anyone who doesn’t have basic knowledge of psychology should read it too. This is a book, which one does not read to pass the time. At times it is difficult to comprehend what the author wants to say. There will be times when you may feel like not reading it, but keep going, read this book. It will give you wisdom to understand life better.

The Author has made this book really interesting, one who does not know psychology can also understand easily, as the author has used very simple language, has given plenty of examples from his real life and his experiences of psychotherapy with clients. It is not any kind of ‘spiritual book’ which one may misunderstand, it is very practical. Everything author says can be applied in our lives, but yes, applying it needs effort.

I love this book and am very thankful to my teacher who recommended this book to me. And now, I recommend this book to each and every person who is willing to take efforts to make his/her life better.

And now I will end this long post with a quote from the book

“.Love is everywhere, I see it.

You are all that you can be, go on and be it.

Life is perfect, I believe it.

Come and play the game with me.”

Recommendations: Go read it.

Ratings: 5/5


The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank : Book Review

The Diary of a young girl Tangled Tourista
The Diary of a young girl

Book: The Diary Of A Young Girl

Author: Anne Frank

Pages: 427

Price: Rs. 350

Publications: Penguin Books India

Plot: Anne Frank was a young thirteen year old girl, who lived during the time period of second world war. She was born in Frankfurt, and her family moved to Amsterdam when she was four years  old.

On her thirteenth birthday, she got a diary from her parents as a birthday gift, and since then she started to confide in her diary, whom she named Kitty.

She wrote this diary for over two years. In the beginning, she wrote about her school life, her normal and usual teenage girl’s life. Describing her friends, her crush in school. Her favorite subjects and many other little things.

But in the time of war how can there be a life so unsurprising and normal?

Her sister Margot got a call up orders of the German Army. Anne’s family was frightened, but they had already anticipated the situation coming, so her father, Otto Frank has already prepared a place to hide, which Anne called The Secret Annexe.  In this Annexe they had food and all those things which they would need during hiding. They moved there with one more family, Vaan Daans, and Mr. Dussel a dentist. Of course they were helped by some friends outside who will bring everything which they would need from time to time.

Here in this annexe she wrote her diary entries. She wrote about how she felt left out in the house, how she often face nagging  from Vaan Daans and Mr. Dussel. She also wrote about her relationship with her mother, with whom she did not feel any emotional attachment. She adored her father, but never confided in him. In between she developed good friendship with Peter Van Daan, the  teenage son of Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan. Though her father was first reluctant about her friendship with him, but eventually he got used to it.

But the book is not only about this. In these two years, Anne gained maturity in her thoughts, she had questions about the war, about the condition which has occurred due to it, she questioned who made Jews different from others.

The young girl had dreams, dream to become a writer, dream to be not a regular home centered women, but a career oriented one.There were days when she was frustrated and just wanted to go outside, wanted to be unshackled, without giving any thought to consequences, she just wanted to be free.

Everyone in the house was optimistic about the war, they had hoped that it will end soon and they will live a normal peaceful life. During the end of the book, she was happy that the day will come soon when she will go outside and witness the beautiful nature.

The diary ended abruptly on August 1, 1944, the last entry of Anne’s diary.

I expected another diary entry, but there were none to read.

What happened to her, why the diary ended so abruptly? Did she get this opportunity to go out, to be a free bird?

What happened to her and her family after this was heartbreaking. Otto Frank was the only survivor, he got Anne’s diary from Miep, one of their helpers. And he decided to fulfill his daughter’s dream. He edited the diary and got it published.

Oh yes, she is a writer, but sadly she was not there to witness her dream come true.

My views: A classic, acclaimed by many, this book is one of the must read. The book depicts the situation of world war II, not having any political view, no facts, but a book written by an ordinary girl. There are sufferings, fear of death, hunger all that which ordinary people faced during that time.

The thought that she had dreams, which she did not even get a chance to make true, made me feel extremely bad about all those people living in that period of time.

I found it really astounding  and shocking that how a young girl made a comment, where she said that war is not just political. We all are responsible for it. Somewhere we human has this tendency to hurt others. I find this book a thought-provoking. In the end, I would say  would say that Anne Frank was an ordinary teenage girl, but yet so extraordinary with her thoughts.

Recommendations: I would recommend this book to all those who wants to jump in the history of world war II. To all those who not only want to learn about facts but want to know about ordinary people who faced it.

I believe that this is a book one should definitely read once.

Ratings: 4/5


To Kill A Mockingbird: Book Review

To Kill A Mockingbird
To Kill A Mockingbird

Book: To Kill A Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee

Price: Rs. 250

Pages: 309

Publications: Arrow Books

Plot: Set in the 1930s, in Maycomb a small town where every family knows other families. In this town lives a family, Atticus, a lawyer, a widower with his two children Jem (his son) and Scout (his daughter)  whom he raised with the help of a black caretaker Calpurnia.

The book outlines the time duration of 3 years and in these 3 years, though Maycomb does not face any big changes but Atticus’s family does. In the last year, narrated in the book, Jem and Scout found that their father is defending a Black man who is accused of raping and beating a young White woman.

Young children faced many troubles in the course of this case, but there was one thing which kept them going, their faith in their father.

But is Atticus being virtuous by defending a Black man? Is Tom (Black man) is really innocent? If yes, would he be able to prove that he is unblemished?

Well, I am not going to spill the beans ;-). You have to read it to find it out.

My Views: The best part about the book?

The fact that it is narrated by Scout, yes the youngest of the family. These young eyes describing her life in school, her neighbors, expounding how being a Tom boy has become a headache for women in her extended family. Acquiring maturity in three years, she and her brother Jem witness an incident of racial discrimination in their town. Their young minds questioning this reality and trying to make sense of it.

Scout’s curiosity, her innocence brings fun to the book. I laughed at reading her innocent yet sarcastic exposition in the book.

The book has raised the issue of racial discrimination. Set in 1930 this book brings to us not only the reality of that time but the reality of present time too. Where we still discriminate people on the basis of color, caste, class or be it a gender. A bitter truth of society brought in this book through the young eyes of Scout.

I loved the novel, hoisting a sober issue, but yet fun to read.

Recommendations: I will suggest this book to every novel reader. Definitely a book worth reading.

Ratings: 5/5


And The Mountains Echoed: Book Review

And The Mountains Echoed...
And The Mountains Echoed…

Book: And The Mountains Echoed

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Price: Rs. 599

Pages: 402

Publications: Bloomsbury India

Plot: 1952, Afghanistan, Abdullah lives with his younger sister, his father, step-mother and one younger step brother. But his sister, Pari is the only family he considers to have. More like a parent to her, Abdullah can do anything for her. Be it giving away his only pair of shoes for a yellow feather which she wanted to have.

But their fate was not meant to be together. As the events unfold, they both part away.’Sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand’ said his father.

But how could Abdullah agree to this? Pari was his only family, so he waited, to go out in the world, anywhere in the world in the search of his little sister, his angel.

Moved from Kabul to San Fransisco, now he has a family, a daughter named Pari and only one wish and desire.. to meet his sister.

Will he ever be able to meet his Pari?

My views: Khaled Hosseini has a rare thing, he writes so beautifully that one gets engaged in his stories. One of my favorite authors, I totally admire his writing style.

Again, this book is written very beautifully. It’s a long story and I won’t deny the fact that while reading this book I felt that it is outstretched. Outstretched in a way that the author describes the story of each and every character in the book. But the author proved me wrong, the ending of the book attaches all the strings together.

You need to be patient to read this book, as there are several stories within one. But I can assure you that you will be rewarded for this patience at the end. The ending is so beautiful, one of the best endings of all the books I have read till now. So beautifully expressed, so peaceful, it brought a smile on my face with tears in my eyes. And that not only once, but every time I think about it.

I liked the book, and I loved the ending.

Recommendations: I believe Khaled Hosseini is the one author whose all three books I can recommend blindly.

Ratings: 4/5