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Capturing Wildlife Moments in India

Title: Capturing Wildlife Moments in India
Author: Ashok Mahindra
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Genre: Non-Fiction

"Capturing Wildlife Moments in India" contains 120 photographs of animals and birds of India, photographed from visits to over 30 parks,sanctuaries and other locations. 
This book is being published by Oxford University Press(OUP) & Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS).The book will be available at most of the major retail outlets across India and also through online retail sites like Amazon, Flipkart etc.It will also be available for sale through the BNHS website and is priced at Rs.1450 

Good photography does not restrict itself in just capturing the moment but to capture a real moment and present it as beautifully and vividly as one’s imagination. Capturing Wildlife Moments in India by Ashok Mahindra is a prime example of such presentation.

This coffee-table book contains over 100 photos of animals - from Bengal Tiger to Lion-tailed Macaque, from Nilgai to Hoolock Gibbon and birds – from Black-capped Kingfisher to Painted Stork, from Blue Jay to Pallas’ Fish-eagle collected from over 30 locations of Assam, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and many other.

Along with animal’s common name, location and their importance in particular state all the photographs also captions IUCN status of the species. The equipments and photographic technology used is also mentioned along in some tricky photographs which is beyond my inept understanding but might be quite useful to budding photographers.

Apart from the photographs, the book also features wildlife hotspots, interest places to stay and details about concession packages for school visits; helping in expanding the tourism and thus the growth and preservation of wildlife. Author understands the concern that if nothing is done to preserve and defend the wildlife there will be a time when these animals can be seen only in such books. He has also pointed out what threats some species are facing and firmly believes that inspiring young adults of our country can make a great change in present scenario and give India’s wildlife a future. Overall it is a good book created for a greater cause. 

Photography, like every other art, should be unburdened with the concern of how much trouble the artist went through or what he/she is trying to say or even how the art looks like; all that matters is how it makes you feel. If you have affection towards wildlife or nature at its best, only then this book will be a justifiable recommendation for you. In this age where millions of pictures are available on the internet just a few clicks away and ebooks are making coffee-table books obsolete, such books acts only as a display artifact unless you are a passionate collector.


This post is a part of the book review program at Saevus Wildlife India in association with The Hemchand Mahindra Foundation for Capturing Wildlife Moments in India 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a free ebook copy of this book from the Saevus Wildlife India for reviewing purpose. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Best Lesson

Do you believe in The Butterfly Effect? Everything you do have a rippling effect on the universe in an unimaginable way? I am not sure about that. But I am sure about one thing, every person you meet, every conversation you have, always have an impact on your life. 

Professor Amey (I am not mentioning the last name intentionally) was my Biology teacher in higher secondary. Biology was never my one of the better subjects, still I scored 91% in my board exam because of him. (I scored 87 in English and 95 in Physics, just bragging.) 

How? Because of Amey sir. He is the most charismatic teacher I have ever encountered. The only reason why any student feels a lecture boring is because the subject is monotonous for the teacher; but Amey sir used to teach everything with so excitement, like he had discovered it for the first time, in the class itself. He had a voracious style of teaching which can grip attention of every student and to top it all off, he was gifted with a decent sense of humour (which is kind of hard to come by in the species of lecturers). 

I still remember the time when he was taking a class while his wife was in the hospital delivering their first child. Who does that? Who misses such an important personal moment? I definitely couldn't do that. That's the height of professionalism for me. 

I was in my first year of Engineering when I received a call from him. He said he wanted to meet me, so I went. I came to know he got laid of from the college due to some inner politics he wasn't keen to discuss. He was working part-time at some coaching classes. I asked him why he wanted to see me and he said, 'just to catch up'. I asked him why me and he said that he always reconnect with his old students whose contact info he has to get acquainted with their career choices and to guide them. This man was going through a big change in his life but he spared time just to know what's happening with hundreds of his past students? Again, who does that? 

I don't remember much of the conversion, it was 8 years ago and mostly consist of me babbling about my college, my interests and future prospects, while he listened patiently. But I do remember some of the things he said. 

These might not be his exact words but what I could recall best and translate: "Never underestimate yourself. People will undermine you on every chance they can get. Don't give them this chance. If you don't respect yourself, no one will and if you doubt yourself, everyone will. Remember, you'll never get what you deserve, you'll always get what you think you deserve. So dream bigger, aim higher, be greedy, there is nothing wrong about that until you are not hurting anyone. Set your standards way beyond your ability and give you hundred percent and then some, just to be sure, and everything will be perfect." 

He was one of the best in his field, struggling in life, still he said these words with such authority that I just sat in awe. I respected him a lot already but he just gave me a hundred more reasons.

That was the last time I saw him. I called him after my graduation. I came to know that he is working as a head of his faculty in one of the best colleges of city. He congratulated me and I congratulated him. It has been 4 years, I haven't get to talk to him since then, I might after finishing up this post. No matter how hard you try sometime it is just too easy to lose contact with people. Still their words always remain with you. Even now whenever I feel down and disappointed, I remember my encounter with my most favourite teacher and refill myself with the spark I had seen in his eyes that evening. 

Do not forget to #lookup https://housing.com for more avenues of dreaming big #together.

#StartANewLife with Change

The only constant thing in the universe is change. 

When someone asked Paulo Coelho what he wants written on his tombstone, he said, “He was alive when he died.” Isn’t everyone? What Coelho meant was most of the people spent their entire life surviving it… not living it. 

Take me, the writer of this post, for instance (an obvious choice). I get up every day to work the job I hate so that I can make money barely enough for my expenses and go to bed every night feeling tired for nothing and a mild resentment because I know tomorrow going to be the same as yesterday and nothing I do matters. But, that was me last year. Now something is changed. I am changed. 

Its true people never really changes, but we can grow, get matured enough to appreciate the life and understand the incomprehensible thought of morality and fragile nature of time. Almost every friend of mine and any acquaintance I got a chance to share my thoughts with would agree that one of the worse things one can do with life is make it monotonous. Maybe that’s why the word routine starts with the sound of rut. 

Even with all the dates passing by and so much new to explore, don’t we always feel like we are stuck at a place and can’t move forward. The reason behind this feeling is that our brain thrives on change. Something new always brings a prospect of opportunities and excitement. That doesn’t mean change is not scary. It is horrifying, but that’s what makes us feel alive. 

We all have responsibilities we can’t ignore; everyone has duties to fulfill, so we can’t take a long vacation to our dream holidays. But that don’t mean we can’t take out time for little things that makes us happy, little things that would make us appreciate our lives more, enrich our otherwise boring days and give us new dreams for nights. What is that thing for you? 

The thing that worked for me is art. I just made one promise to myself on my last birthday, that whether I ever save enough for my dream of travelling around the globe or not, I won’t push back anything on tomorrow thinking that ‘I’m not ready yet’ or ‘there will be time’. These excuses have wasted a couple of years of my life and I refuse to waste anymore. 

I read books; lots of books. I watch international shows and movies. I write. I have learned to play harmonica. I am learning Spanish. These little things which I do in the evening 7-10 have not only improved my everyday but also facilitate me with an optimistic attitude towards my profession. 

Life hardly works like movies, where you decide you want to change and everything is different. Change works gradually and as every traveler knows, the journey is the best part. 

Enjoy the work you do or find something else for your amusement, life is too short for living the days dreading. 

So now take your life into assessment, what do you want to change? What would you like different? And work for it as much as you can or as little as you can, but from Today, cause there really is no tomorrow. Start living your life today, create the world you want to live in and #StartANewLife

Do remember to check https://housing.com for more inspiration. 

Image credit: Mar-ka

Hope - An Essence

Many things are essential to live and survive in this world: food, health, protective shelter, clean air to breath. The other essential thing, the most underrated one, is hope. 
Merriam-Webster defines hope as ‘to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true’. Again one of those times when words feel inept.  

In the war of optimists, pessimists and neo-world realists, hope is an unfathomable force which inspires us to do great things, drive us to push our boundaries and perhaps the most important tool in the quest of achieving our dreams, even when everything is lost. 

It is always easy to find hope because it never really leaves us. It is visible in the stories of every successful person we know; it is hidden in books, movies, songs, paintings and all the art around us; it is scattered throughout the globe binding every human with moral zeitgeist. Like time, hope knows no discrimination of rich-poor, color, cast, creed or even intelligence.  

Then, why are there times when we are down? Why there are ‘failures’ after failures? Why depression causes over a million suicides every year? 
In times of letdown, if you are not finding hope, then you are looking at wrong places. 

The stories of our generations’ idols, whether it is Stephen Hawking - a living genius fighting with a dreadful disease, Malala - an ordinary girl struggling for her rights, Living legends like Shah Rukh Khan or innumerable sports icons that have battled their past to achieve greatness through their work, are awe-inspiring. But I like to find hope in small random places. This post is to share one such place with you. 

“I wanted to kill myself when I was 16.” This was a part of Graham Moore’s Oscar acceptance speech. 

On being honored with the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay of 2015 for The Imitation Game, Graham Moore exposed his heart and said he always considered himself weird and was depressed enough to attempt suicide in his teenage. This 33 year old son of two lawyers who divorced and then married two other lawyers had quite a challenging boyhood. From a mere technician working on Garnier shampoo’s ad to a bestselling novelist to Black List topper, he proved his worth against all odds. 

Moore got his hope from Alan Turing and as evident by his words, all he want is to forward that torch of optimism to others. His speech filled audience’s heart with exalting emotions and spread a wave of optimism through over 200 million viewers. 

If he can, then I can. If I can, then anyone can. With hope, the world is filled with optimism and everything is possible. So #LookUp at the sky and get ready for your flight. 

Do remember to check https://housing.com/lookup for more aspirations. 

Image credits: Hope art by BlueShining. Photo of Graham Moore © Oscar

Private India

Title: Private India
Author: Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Fiction

Private India is a race against time thriller to save thousands of lives, embarking on the trademark of James Patterson’s writing style with an Indian scenario by Ashwin Sanghi. 
The opening pages remind you of the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai and the plot thickens with every chapter creating an intriguing web of serial murders and terrorist plots. 

Santosh Wagh is a private investigator who runs a firm ‘Private India’, when he is not battling the alcohol. He and his team are hired to solve a series of ritualistic murders that gets complicated on an exponential rate. His quest to find the killer before it is too late and his deductions to unravel the mystery forms the whole stratagem of the book. 

I was very excited about this book, not only because of James Patterson’s name on the cover but also due to my high anticipation from the 4th book of Ashwin Sanghi, and it will be safe to say, I was not disappointed. James Patterson has involved with 8 books of Private series published so far: Private by Maxine Paetro, Private London by Mark Pearson, Private #1 Suspect by Maxine Paetro, Private Games by Mark Sullivan, Private Berlin by Mark Sullivan, Private L.A. by Mark Sullivan and Private Down Under by Michael White. Private India is not the best of the series, but could be easily placed in the top half. Without a doubt, the best from Ashwin Sanghi yet. 

There was a time when one of the rituals reminded me of the show ‘Castle’ and then the appearance of James Patterson on that show. I count it as a big pro of this novel. 

Author has very carefully knitted the sublime backdrop of Mumbai. The underworld, politics and religious intricacies forms a strong subtext in this otherwise another brick in gruesome-murders wall of whodunit. With a sea of movies and TV shows presenting bizarre display of dead bodies (What happened to make it vanish? Seems like no one is interested to hide it anymore, the message has become more important than the murder.), one would think that writing has lost its charm in this regard; this novel is one of those which prove it has not. 

There is only one drawback I found and it is not a minuscule one. The flow of the book is not steady. There are many times when I am grasping for the narration to slow down and many times I am bombarded with too much detail, uncalled for the progress of story. This mixture of paces diminishes the novel’s re-reading value. That said it’s a quick read anyway. 

Recommended for Patterson fanatic/ Private series fan and any casual reader of Crime/Mystery genre. 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Blogadda for reviewing purpose. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sufi Comics Rumi

Title: Sufi Comics Rumi 
Author: Mohammed Ali Vakil & others
Publisher: Sufi Studios
Genre: Graphic Novel | Spiritual 

Sufi Comics Rumi is a graphic novel comprising short stories inspired from poems of Mawlana Jalaladdin Muhammad Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Recreating time-honored illustrations, Persian translations and verses from Quran written in calligraphy, this book falls in the category of Aesop’s Fables and Panchatantra. 

The book contains a small introduction of Rumi followed by 11 stories: 

  • The Tattoo Artist
  • Keep Your Dragon in the Snow
  • True Consciousness
  • The Elephant 
  • Quarrel about Grapes 
  • The Trickster 
  • False Thinking 
  • Grief is Worth More than the Empire of this World 
  • The Serpent 
  • You are the Macrocosm 
  • Since you are I

A tale crafted with simple words and deep moral lessons works as a gemstone. Given the eye-catching aesthetics of the book with light reading, I highly recommend this book for bedtime stories. 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook free from the publisher for reviewing purpose. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Giveaway: The Time Machine

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

Chilling, prophetic and hugely influential, The Time Machine sees a Victorian scientist propel himself into the year 802,701 AD, where he is delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty and contentment in the form of the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man. But he soon realizes that they are simply remnants of a once-great culture - now weak and living in terror of the sinister Morlocks lurking in the deep tunnels, who threaten his very return home.

H.G. Wells defined much of modern science fiction with this 1895 tale of time travel, which questions humanity, society, and our place on Earth. 

Download Epub 

Source: Project Gutenberg

Disclaimer: All the books featured in Giveaway section are free from copyright and falls in public domain. It is completely legal for you to download, print, share or reproduce these books as you please. 


All the books mentioned here have been reviewed free of charge. If you want us to review your book then please contact us at dvnare@gmail.com

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