Review ~ ‘You Can Achieve More’

Reading books is not only my passion, but also my source to gather courage and fight with all the odds. Reading is a meditation which keeps me calm in tough situations of life and provides me with immense positive vibes. Shiv Khera’s ‘You Can Achieve More’ is such a source of positive energy. This book can provide right direction to those who are lost and also helps to identify the right path to follow.

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The interesting subtitle ‘Live by design, not by default’ itself is a clear indication of what the book has in it. This book has a lot of issues we face in our daily life, along with the ways to combat those in a calm manner. To ensure well-being of our physical health, we must improve the condition of our mental health as well. If the mind becomes restless, our physical condition can deteriorate at times. By following the principles, illustrated in this book, one can regain their confidence, optimism and positive energy. Those principles are-

  • A Win-Win Attitude
  • Life is Funny – Let’s Get Started
  • Gist of Life
  • The Wisdom Truth
  • Mind Your Mind
  • Invest in Yourself
  • Making of a Winner
  • Keep it Up
  • Valuations Change, Values Don’t
  • Choose Character
  • Integrity – A Way of Life
  • A Champ or A Cheat?
  • Finding Balance
  • Pride in Performance
  • Accidents Are No Accidents
  • Become Prosperity Conscious
  • Fire Within
  • Accountability
  • Take Ownership
  • Tame Your Time
  • Be Proactive – Make it Happen!
  • Make Decisions
  • Leave a Legacy

All the above mentioned principles are amazingly defined, in Shiv Khera style. One who is lost or full of negativity, after reading this book will turn into a confident, hopeful, driven and optimistic person, if he/she actually follows the ways mentioned. Personally, the action plan part of each chapter helped me a lot to overcome my stress and gave me hopes. This book is not for story book lovers, this book is for the ones who needs peace of mind and loads of motivation. ‘You Can Achieve More’ is no doubt the magnum opus of Shiv Khera. One can read it hundred times, and still feel as motivated as the first time after finishing it. This book has helped me to calm down and be more focused towards my goals. A perfect book to keep your wandering mind at one place. A gem of my book collection indeed. Go for it and you will gain deeper understanding regarding your existence. Do share your feedback after reading it.

love, phoenixX ❤

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Review ~ ‘Himalaya Facial Wipes’

Summer was never my favorite season. Blame it on the scorching heat, summer is my all-time enemy. Thanks to the excess moisture in the air of Kolkata, sweat becomes our middle name during summer. For working girls, the situation is much worse. Make-up becomes a distant dream because of the sweaty skin; pollution and heat take away the natural glow of skin, leaving it lifeless. Thus all the pretty faces remain hidden behind masks made of scarves and sunglasses for the entire summer. But not anymore! Himalaya has brought the perfect solution for us.

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Himalaya Facial Wipes is the most effective solution to this problem. Himalaya Facial Wipes removes dirt, oil as well as the layer of heaviest make-up from your skins without making the skin rough. Once you use it you can feel the freshness and coolness your skin is left with. Himalaya Facial Wipes can be effectively used to remove make-up, sweat, excess oil and dirt from the skin. Using it daily will cause no harm to the skin. Himalaya Facial Wipes are enriched with the goodness of natural ingredients, for added benefits. Most importantly it is free from alcohol, parabens and artificial colour. This is pocket-friendly as well, a pack of Himalaya Facial Wipes containing 25 extra soft wipes are priced Rs.100 only. Himalaya Facial Wipes successfully-

  • Removes impurities
  • Controls pimples
  • Purifies and tonnes skin
  • Removes make-up

Two amazing variants of Himalaya Facial Wipes are available in the market-

  1. Himalaya Purifying Neem Facial Wipes, enriched with goodness of neem and turmeric, keeps your skin protected as well as refreshed.
  2. Himalaya Moisturizing Aloe Vera Facial Wipes, loaded with goodness of aloe vera and fig, provides lasting moisturization along with the refreshment.

Thanks to this product of Himalaya, my summer is not a nightmare anymore. I am using the Purifying Neem Facial Wipes as I have a pimple-prone skin and ta-da! my skin feels amazing. Oiliness is controlled as well as the sweat, with Himalaya Facial Wipes. Bid adieu to sweat, say hello to refreshment.

love, phoenixX ❤

 

Review ~ ‘A Girl Like That’

I am always keen on exploring different genres of books. This time I was searching for something dark yet fascinating, haunting yet hopeful. And ‘A Girl Like That’ by Tanaz Bhathena is loaded with everything I was looking for. The writing is so shimmering and flawless that one cannot say this book is Tanaz’s debut novel. This novel is vivid and talks about teenage ambition, angst, rebellion.

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Things get complicated when sixteen years old half Hindu half Zoroastrian student of Qala Academy, Zarin Wadia, is found dead in a car accident along with her ‘friend’ eighteen years old Porus Dumasia on Al-Harameen Expressway in Jeddah.  Zarin Wadia was a bright student, debating aficionado, free-spirited and outspoken girl. She used to call herself troublemaker as she was orphaned at a tender age and had been living with her childless uncle and aunt. Zarin’s uncle adopted her and loved her immensely, whereas her aunt, despite of being her mother’s own sister, treated her badly. Being survived an abusive childhood Zarin had been a carefree girl, she craved for the love she used to read about in story books. Porus was a nice guy living in her neighborhood and also her ‘waving buddy’. Porus truly cared for Zarin despite of knowing her infamous doings with boys from her school. Porus and Zarin’s death is indeed mysterious, some other names came out like Mishal, Farhan, Abdullah, Bilal, Layla. Did they have any involvement in this death? or the accident was caused by reckless driving?

This novel deals with dark corners of society. How it tackles complicated issues of race, identity, religion and class. There are thousands of Zarin Wadia in this world who are becoming a victim every minute. Knowingly or unknowingly, teenagers are being involved in blackmailing, drugs, weed, rape and other heinous crimes. Kid catches father with younger maid so the father shuts his mouth with bundles of money – harsh reality. To hide their offensive actions, parents often end up spoiling their kids, which in long run fuels their inappropriate desires. We learnt about love, not the usual affectionate one which every mother has for her child, but the different kind of love which Khorshed had for her niece. This vivid and intricately woven story is something one cannot miss. Grab your copy of ‘A Girl Like That’ to satisfy your curious, adventure-loving, bibliophile nature. I hope you will enjoy reading it just as much as I did.

love, phoenixX ❤

Review ~ ‘Pinto Has An Idea’

The word ‘idea’ plays an important role in our lives. Whatever we do or whatever we think emerges from an idea only. People with more interesting ideas mostly end up becoming scientists or successful business person. I read a book recently which is about such a scientist and I found it really interesting. I understood the life of a scientist might seem boring or geeky but they go through a lot of adventures.

The story revolves around Rajat Srivastava aka ‘Pinto’ (notable – NOT Pintoo), a small town boy with big dreams. Before you think Pinto is a boy who wants to go to Mumbai and aspires to become a bollywood actor, let me tell you, NO! he doesn’t. Pinto wants to study hard and invent things which turns up to be helpful for common masses or can be used to take his country forward. Pinto was born to Ram and Rita Srivastava on April 1970. At the age of eight his efficiency in studies caught attention of the teachers. His first invention was corn kernel-removal machine which made him the hero of his village.  Pinto joined Gurukul Coaching Centre for JEE and stared living with his friends. But he restrained himself from eating out or watching movies frequently, he preferred to make more time to study. Pinto studied hard and managed to crack JEE entering IIT Kanpur. While preparing for JEE, Pinto met Lavanya in Gurukul Coaching Centre in Kanpur. Lavanya was like a breath of fresh air in Pinto’s life but Pinto didn’t understand her worth until he was 34 and a successful scientist of MIT. This shows that with right kind of love and support even an unromantic guy like Pinto can become love-struck. Pinto solved so many issues with his amazing inventions. Ghumantu technology helped to keep track of moving food vendors, this one I liked most. With his inventions Pinto soon achieved success and fame but in this process he started to lose his dearest possessions. He realized that fame & money are important but not as important as peace of mind.

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Rajeev Saxena did a brilliant job in his debut novel. This book has got right amount of laughter, love, sorrow, guilt and dedication. I came to know some unknown facts as well while reading this. For example, ‘Ghumantu’ is a nomadic tribe that never stays in one place, they keep moving around in search of food and shelter; ‘Tahiri’ is a type of vegetable biryani & many more. Also the most amusing thing I came across is Pinto chanting a mantra moments before JEE results which he refused to chant at first when an astrologer suggested. Overall this book is treat for book-lovers and I really enjoyed reading it. You should definitely add ‘Pinto Has An Idea’ by Rajeev Saxena in your book shelf. 🙂

I’m sharing the review given by film producer Boney Kapoor with which my thoughts have absolutely matched ~

“A strong plot full of emotions, love, pragmatism and very importantly, humour. The author has touched a genre which doesn’t exist in traditional publishing in India. A must read, you shouldn’t miss it.”

love, phoenixX ❤

 

 

Recipe ~ Eastern Paneer Butter Masala

 

Cooking has always been my passion. I like to experiment with new innovative dishes or prefer cooking for my family rather than ordering it from restaurants during happy occasions. My friend lives alone in Chennai & her cooking skills are okay-okay. She keeps asking me for easy & quick veg recipes. After doing a bit research I came across Eastern Condiments. They offer a wide range of various masalas which caught my eye. Before suggesting this to my friend I wanted to taste it by myself & I did so. So here I am sharing Eastern Paneer Butter Masala recipe. Hope you find it helpful 🙂

 

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Ingredients of Masala :

Onion, Cashew, Milk Powder, Tomato, Salt, Chilli, Coriander, Sugar, Garlic, Turmeric, Fenugreek Leaves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove, Nutmeg.

Required items :

  1. Eastern Paneer Butter Masala (Entire pack of 40 g)
  2. Tomato puree – 150 g ( 3 medium sized)
  3. Paneer – 200 g
  4. Milk – 1 cup

Method :

  1. Mix the entire pack of spice mix with 1 cup of milk & make a fine paste.
  2.  Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pan.
  3. Add tomato puree and fry for 2-3 mins.
  4. Add spice mix paste and cook for 2-3 mins.
  5. Add paneer cubes and half cup warm water.
  6. Simmer for 3-4 mins.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

 

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This is really easy to make and tastes awesome. I have also tried some of their other masalas and my most favourite one is Eastern Brinjal Rice Masala. I would really love to have more but availability of Eastern masalas in Kolkata is very low & I really hope the condition will improve in coming years so that I can have loads of Brinjal rice sitting in my hometown. 🙂

Love, phoenixX ❤

 

Review ~ ‘A House For Mr Misra’

Winter and exams make the worst combination ever. And to make the situation even more dreadful, I have been blessed with early morning shift. I thought what’s the point of stressing over something when we can’t change it? So I decided to read a book with light subject and good humor & someone suggested me ‘A House for Mr Misra’ by Jaishree Misra. “This book better help me calm down”, I told my myself. And truly, this book has done justice to my expectations.

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The book revolves around the narrator and her husband Mr. M who returned to their motherland after living in London for so many years. Mr. M was excited to see his dream of having a beach house coming true while his wife was struggling hard to adjust with her husband’s decision. Mr. M bought a broken down yellow house on the outskirts of Trivandrum from a fish broker and dreamt of transforming it into a beautiful beach house. While describing the plot narrator said, “..the plot was right next to a sandy beach, albeit strewn at the moment with dried seaweed and all manner of human detritus from solitary rubber chappals to empty Sprite bottles. And the Laccadive sea (the romantic name dredged up by Mr. M when I paled at the sound of Indian Ocean) lay sparkling less than fifty yards away.” During some more inspection it was found that the house had electricity connection but no water connection, and to make things worse the house was in a legal dispute! Not only the dispute, there were problems lined up for Misra duo; which included getting permission for construction, dealing with a corrupt builder, managing stubborn workers, understanding CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone), threat calls, poisonous snakes etc. But nothing could break the spirit of Mr. M who was adamant to build his dream house by the sea.

I never went to Kerala but this book gave me a vivid idea of the place. The Misra couple had their own problems related to the house construction, still the narrator provided a bunch of information about Malayali way of life. The book also throws limelight to some facts about Trivandrum like lack of proper garbage disposal system and the story behind it, Kudumbashree scheme started in 1998 to generate employment & education opportunities for poor women, Nokku Kooli – a right claimed all local head-load workers’ unions to unload any material being delivered on their patch, frequent strikes & processions which made the capital festooned with flags. In the book the author has used humor in a good way, I didn’t get a overdose of it still I enjoyed with my favourite part being the conversation between the man in TMC’s A&E Dept. and the narrator. 😀

No complications, simple daily life problems expressed with the perfect amount of humor, be it overly packed up public transport, unhygienic bed sheet in hospital or clueless waiter in restaurants. Nice book to lighten up your head. Go through this one and you won’t be disappointed. Do share your thoughts in comments section. 🙂

Love, phoenixX ❤

Review ~ ‘Murder in Paharganj’

Crime thrillers have always enticed me. Reading a crime thriller makes me forget everything. My hand refuses to let go of the book and my inner self keeps telling me to finish it as soon as possible to resume my normal routine. Solving puzzles, unraveling mysteries, exploring restricted places – Oh how I wish to become a private investigator. 😦 Although in this book a crime reporter is seen investigating a murder case, which is the prime reason I went for this particular book as I wanted to know how a reporter functions and deals with all the troubles thrown at him when he turns into a detective.

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Sherry Bing, a white Israeli woman, is found dead in Le Yogi Deluxe Hotel on a cold January morning by the night receptionist Raju Arora. Terrified, Raju calls up his friend and also a crime reporter Vicks Menon. Vicks has just lost his job for his alcoholism and is looking for a breaking news to get it back. He finds nothing suspicious except for a bus ticket from Udaipur to Delhi for one person. Vicks decides to go to the root of this case as he sees this as a chance to get his job back and also win back his love Tonya. As Vicks digs deeper, he gets to know this case is way more than just a foreigner being murdered on Indian soil. The murderer wanted to extract some important thing from Sherry. But what? While chasing the prime suspect of the murder, Vicks becomes the scapegoat with Delhi police and Israeli Embassy both on his tail. Vicks keeps updating his boss of his previous company who in turn sends him money to go on with his investigation. Vicks seeks Tonya’s help to untangle the mystery and to get a clear profile of the murderer. The prime suspect keeps fleeing from city to city and Vicks keeps following him inspite of knowing the high possibility of him being killed. He finds groundbreaking truth related to Iran-Israel rivalry. For Vicks Menon there is no turning back, he wants to finish the chase which he started once. Will he get any further help? Will he be able to catch the murderer? Will he get back Tonya? All the answers lie in the book. 😉

I loved the way author Kulpreet Yadav kept the story amazing but putting in the right amount of spices. It deals with sensitive topics related to chemical weapons and innocent people held as prisoners. While innocent lives are lost in a blink, the masterminds remain untouched. This fast-paced thriller will keep you glued to it’s pages unless you find all the answers you seek. I really enjoyed reading it and wouldn’t mind reading it all over again. Definitely not a one-time-read type of book to me. If you love thrillers this book is an absolute treat for you. Do read it and share your views in comments section below. 🙂

Love, phoenixX ❤