Google+ Consumer Psyche: August 2015


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book review: Doppelgänger Short stories

If you like reading, you would love a good book with a good story. Wouldn’t you? How about 18 of them in one book? Well that is what these 18 stories with varied emotions, varied themes and interesting twists have in store for you. Doppelgänger: Short stories promises to be a great read.

Promising to keep you interested with its dexterity of characters that spring out to your side and explain their versions and share their life with you. It is interesting to say the least as some of the stories really touched me. The pain, emotions and the easily forgotten small incidents we all encounter in life are portrayed with flamboyance. Madhavi S Mahadevan has carefully strung 18 different unique pearls, sorry soul stirring stories, on a nerve and served it up to us in this book.

Doppelgänger, published by Alchemy Publishers, short stories explores the themes of isolation, anger, passion, inexplicable relationships, responsibilities, love, hatred and pure aggression among others and delves into looking at life as a roller coaster of events, small but significant, to change our perception about what normal life is. After all what is termed as a normal life? What goes on in the life of a normal individual? 

How often do we really care about the people who love us and care for us in the first place? Can you put a price tag on the love of a parent, sibling or the value of a relationship until you lose them? What can be the correct measure of passion or abuse? Hard to explain unless you get a close up chance to stare at the naked reality of truth and confront the hard blatant complexity of a double life or an extra marital affair and how these strange situations, characters come out and make bare their stories and life experiences with you. 

Overall the book is an excellent read and I love the selection set in modern India are highly recommend. To close here is a quote from the book.

"Rangi ko narangi kahen, banay doodh ko khoya
Chalti ko gaadi kahen, dekh Kabira roya"

Pick it up from Flipkart here.

Rating: 3.5/5
Verdict: Pick it up!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

I'm trading my sorrows

I'm trading my sorrows
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them down for the joy of the lord

I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying it down for the joy of the lord

We say yes lord yes lord yes yes lord
Yes lord yes lord yes yes lord
Yes lord yes lord yes yes lord amen

I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted but not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I am blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
That his joy's gonna be my strength
Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Del Monte Bachelor Pasta Salad

Here is an easy recipe to kick Cholesterol and stay healthy. Del Monte bachelor pasta salad. 

Though this cooking exercise is to star in the Blog your way to Italy contest, I chose to make it a simple recipe that you can make at home without straining yourself. So here we go.

Cooking time: 12-15 mins

  • Del Monte Pasta pack: 1 (We are using 1/4th of the pack to serve two)
  • Sweet corn: 50 grams
  • Zucchini: 50 grams (cut to size)
  • Carrot: 25 grams (cut to small cubes)
  • Sprouts: 25 grams (of your choice)
  • Lettuce: 1 leaf
  • Cheese: Mozzarella
  • Add any other peas, nuts, fresh cut vegetables like tomatoes, as ingredients.

 Steps for the recipe:
  1. Blanch and lightly boil the pasta to gain tenderness for about 8-10 minutes
  2. Cut carrot, zucchini to small cubes
  3. You may add any fruits or nuts if you have at home
  4. Once the pasta is boiled, strain off excess water and plate it
  5. Add the carrot and any other nuts or sprouts to taste here. We add them first to help the heat of the pasta helps them soften
  6. Add the sprouts, lettuce and herbs if you have any
  7. Add salt to taste and pepper to taste and toss the salad
  8. Add scrapes of Mozzarella cheese on top
  9. Add Del Monte chilli sauce and tomato sauce to taste

And serve hot with a fruit juice if possible.

As you can see this is probably the easiest pasta recipe and can be made easily in 15 minutes. As we have a lot of fresh vegetables, nuts and fruits in the recipe you are bound to enjoy a variety of flavours which would keep you interested and munching towards better health.

So go ahead and make your own recipe and add what your favorite flavours are to make it the salad of the day. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sujalāṃ suphalāṃ malayajaśītalām śasya śyāmalāṃ mātaram

Thank you soldiers, teachers, farmers, all the souls who worked hard and continue to make the great nation that we live in better everyday. Sujalāṃ suphalāṃ malayajaśītalām śasya śyāmalāṃ mātaram Happy Independence day!

Book Review: In Pursuit of a Lesser Offence

Someone said you should not judge a book on its cover or title or the review or the first page or the last page for that matter. I am not saying you should not. I do. Sometimes. But once in a while you are right. The book cover shows a thrown high heeled sandal, red in color, on a carpet. The book comes recommended by! Sujata Parashar whips up one more tale in her series about relationships, marriage, love and how things work. Let me tell you she is an expert in it.

The plot runs around Avinash Vyas and Sangeet Mishra who are just the opposite of each other in a serendipitous meet have their lives entwined as the whole world of their love and families crumble around them. They grow closer as things around take tumbles and this might seem to be yet another love story where the two prime characters in the story end up together. While this is partly true the narration keeps you engaged and glued to the story line with an unflinching interest.

The characters are woven well into the story with the ease of making a coffee. Yes, get a cup of coffee and get comfy on your sofa on an afternoon and immerse in to this lovable story and you will love that you did that. You would find Sangeet definitely among one of your friends and Avi could just be there too. With the growing rate of divorce among young men and woman, the story of Sangeet shows that divorce can be painful but you can grow out of it and love your life to the fullest when you are strong.

While looking at the modern rendition of a lovabale marriage and man-woman friendships, Sujata manages to show a warmth, calmness in introducing a different lens to look at the same feelings. This is a different kind of a story and I was amused at the way it kept me engaged. A modern story reflecting the changing sentiments and a refreshing one at that. In Pursuit of a Lesser Offence is a story of second chances and what is life without second chances.

You can pick up In Pursuit of a Lesser Offence on flipkart.

Rating: 2.5/5
Verdict: Pick up if you love a pleasant read.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Book Review: The Nidhi Kapoor Story

I love mysteries. Especially the ones involving a crime or murder. Won't we all? In this context if you have a special liking to a thriller of a story, The Nidhi Kapoor Story gives you just the one to match your intellect. It is intense, sensual, super fast and yep, get that coffee. Nidhi Kapoor is a famous, fictional, Bollywood actress. One day, she comes home to find her beloved pets dead in her study. Along with the mangled dead bodies of the pets, is a letter threatening Nidhi and her family. 

Scared for her life, she calls up the police for help. The case lands on the desk of ACP Prakash Mohile who is the most decorated policeman in Mumbai. A photo-journalist, Rujuta Singh is tailing Prakash for a story and inadvertently gets embroiled in the chase.

Unwarranted incidents start happening around Nidhi and with each incident, the attacks get more vicious and dangerous. While investigating, Prakash and Rujuta also discover a long tale of lies, deceit and murder in the past of the Kapoors - a tale that Kapoors want to keep hidden! However the investigating duo is convinced that the answers to the Nidhi Kapoor mystery are hidden somewhere in the past. 

The question thus is, can Prakash and Rujuta unearth the horror buried in the Kapoor household? Can they save Nidhi? 

Saurabh Garg weaves a tale of death, revenge, bollywood, beautiful women, alchohol, Mumbai rains, drives to the most scenic parts of Mumbai ourskirts, love, affection, trust, thrills, violence and good food. He lets you in to his web slowly and then holds you and your insecurities barely in the night warm humid breeze of the sea while you sweat but still stay on waiting for the end.

TNKS as it will be known can be your Ram Gopal Verma thriller with some class thrown in. Very few could guess the story in advance and it will be etched in your memory for its characters and the love of the narration. I would also recommend for the style of writing which is simple, direct and can make you feel you could have easily written it but the depth is amazing too. 

Racing against time and with a mission to save Nidhi, you wouldn't notice reading the 316 pages. You wouldn't regret picking it up too.

Rating: 3/5
Verdict: Pick up

Pick #Airtel4G, the fastest network yet!

One of the reasons I love staying abroad albeit for a short time is when I enjoy seamless Internet. Trust me when I say this but it is a pain to wait for the mail to download, video to buffer, google maps to load when you are in a rush. Half the time it takes all the patience in the world to wait while your query is being loaded on the screen before you. The dull moments you waste when you are waiting are irreplaceable and are sheer waste of time and energy. But unfortunately we don’t have the speed we need here yet and all the service providers I know claim 3G but provide horrible service and poor connectivity.  Everyone claims that their network is better and ask us to pay hefty sums for the 3G connection and don’t deliver. In such times, I use my dongle with the 4G Airtel  loaded on it and it is quite fast.

Bengaluru is one of the fastest growing IT hubs and is also one of the highest in terms of Internet users and connectivity shouldn’t be a problem. But the reality is not so. How much I would love to have a faster connection and use all that I want seamlessly and not worry about connectivity and lesser bill. Don’t we deserve a better connection, faster speed, better network and lesser bill? Hell yeah, we do! So what is the solution!

4G is the solution, at least in the current setting when we are dependent on 2G connections. I would love to have 4G in my phone just like I have the 4G connection from Airtel in my USB dongle. In fact today Airtel launched 4G nationally! Having #Airtel4G on your phone and laptop would help you stay connected even on the move to the fastest* connection around. 

Claiming to be the fastest Internet connection all around, they are ready to accept a challenge and accept to pay all your phone bills for the rest of your life in case they fail to prove their better speed. Their new website: takes you through all the offerings of the product. They even  have a special pricing on offer where they are sending you a 4G enabled sim card free of cost, that too home delivered and the bill would be the same as 3G! Isn’t that a great deal. 

So say good bye to your slow dull boring net connection and switch on to the fastest connection around. Welcome to the India of tomorrow!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Book Review: 50 things you did not know about China

Strange! That is the word that comes to my mind when I think of what all I have read when I picked up the book, "50 things you did not know about China". Sometimes we think we know most of the things about a place. We are not in the world where information is hidden in the form of directories and encyclopedias and yet it is humbling to know that we don't really know everything. This book by Alchemy Publishers tells you just that - facts about China.

Written by Brendan O’Reilly who is an authority on the topic having observed the local customs and traditions first hand while he taught English at Jiujiang University in China for three years makes it more interesting and authentic. Brendan’s work has been featured in various publications, including Asia Times, BBC Vietnamese, Business Insider, The Diplomat and China Outlook. Brendan is conversational and literate in Mandarin Chinese.

It is a pleasant read with a smooth flow and a matter of fact way of story telling. He manages to build up the facts into interesting tit bits which dispel your notion of knowing the details about the Middle Kingdom, their forbidden cities and things not to do in China as well as things to do in China. Several interesting stories are here in this little books, many facts from ancient China. Some strange, some bizarre and some downright shocking! 

Here are a few: A Chinese Muslim eunuch once kidnapped the king of Sri Lanka. The one-child policy only applies to a third of Chinese couples. China loans more money than the World Bank does. Four hundred million Chinese people can’t speak Chinese.  China will soon have more bullet trains than every other nation in the world – combined.

Though we could get most of the facts mentioned in the book on the Internet, the way the story is built up, narration, suspense and the excitement is what kept me reading the book. To be frank I believed in the contrary to some of the cool facts about China mentioned in the book or have had a misconception about their origin. Such small tit-bits of information woven into interesting stories that keep your interest high packed into a pocket sized book is a good read to have a peep into the customs and traditions of the Middle Kingdom. Definitely worth if considering you don't know most of the facts about 1/7th of the world population and our neighbour.

Whether you are checking for the top things to do in China or things not to do in china, you have it all in here. Pick it up today from flipkart here.

Rating: 3.5/5

Verdict: Pick up

Pic is from here.