Saturday, January 30, 2016

Book Review: Jangshersingh.com by Vishal Bhatia

Title: Jangshersingh.com
Author: Vishal Bhatia
Publisher: Quixotic Options Pvt. Ltd.
Genre: Fiction
Date:  2015
Price: Rs.350
Pages: 238

The story begins with a very young Jangsher romancing in the picturesque backdrop of the lush green fields of Punjab with his first love, Reet. It gives him scars both outside and within, rather outside-in when her brothers beat him and take her away. Swish past this part we witness a budding champion on a tennis court making his opponent bleed, before he claims victory. Jangsher Singh, now the pride of his grandfather, the asset of his mother and the love of his girlfreind Sally; is the wild card entry from India into the Grand Slam held at Australia. 

On a parallel lane two Indian cousins Yug and Aman, get on a weekend getaway to watch the finals of the Grand Slam in a very expensive, borrowed Audi R8, aptly called "Flame". What they get into is a greater adventure as upon collision with a goon, on the way, they loose the car to him. On one hand the car which is to be returned to their owner, on another the goon wishes to extort money, creating a walk on a tightrope situation. However, being from a country where crisis drives innovation they make a plan to rescue them both. As always will their plans lead them to a greater action than the one they plan? 

When I picked up this book I thought it was the story of man hailing from India, with his own demons, past, trying to make it big in the world of sports. But right in the beginning, I was glued by the writing style which is very unique, surprisingly from a first time writer. If I can justify describing it, there is a zing to it much like what a story such as this would need; preventing it from being "just another book" and not sporting enough to get you interested in to the story and with a backdrop that is "tennis". The amalgamation of the language especially in the Aman-Yug -Gangster story with Jangsher facing the greatest world champions of grandslam makes a concoction that makes you ask "what next" through each chapter.

A lot of books that we read ask us many questions, some question our very own identity, however a few stories are a mirror that move so close as if to reflect our life, our demons and the way they influence our present. This book is sure to give you such moments. The best part about this book is a glamour free, garbage free, realistic picturization of the challenge as Jangsher moves from being considered as "just the wild card" to "he who must be feared, his demons were the ones within him and not the ones outside. They say some demons always stay and I am sure every reader reading this book will identify more with the person that is Jangshersingh than the player, for many times while facing tough times you would have gone through the same visions, phenomenons that he battles. Will he win over them? Over the current ones? Will he be a champion inside-out? Well go read the book for that.

The story in essence is entertaining, writing witty, engaging and insightful and the editing crisp making it simply difficult to put down. 

Jangshersigh.com by Vishal Bhatia a book for everyone. A must read for those who savor the variety in the style of the written word. Vishal Bhatia definitely a budding writer to watch out for. 

Rating: 4/5.

About The Author: Vishal Bhatia lives and writes in Mumbai, India, where he manages a small portfolio of funds and is running a start-up focused on men’s lifestyle products. In his previous life, he was an IT consultant at banks in San Francisco and Sydney.

JANGSHERSINGH.COM is his first novel. He is working on his second—A memoir—about his journey from heart failure to supreme fitness.
Grab a copy now!!! http://www.amazon.in/jangshersingh-com-Vishal-Bhatia-ebook/dp/B013UEMPTQhttp://www.amazon.in/jangshersingh-com-Vishal-Bhatia-ebook/dp/B013UEMPTQ

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Unseen Child of Afghanistan ...... My Inspiration from 2015 for Life

It was the month of May in Delhi. In the scorching heat, I was thinking whether or not to go check out the art display by NGO's that worked in different underdeveloped nation. I hadn't been out for almost a month as a recent failure in life had it. It seemed that life would never be the same again, I had lost complete faith in myself. Though I tried to motivate myself every small disappointment at work, even some negative comments by colleagues reminded me of only one fact "I had failed" in what I wanted for myself in life.  

 The lady from the agency who looked after the press called again to confirm if I was coming. Considering how much effort had been put up and the fact that she reminded me that most of them was by women, the feminist and the art-lover in me won the battle. I therefore decided to go. Sometimes the universe does conspire for you towards things you dont know will help you in the long run. Now that I think of that day, it conspired hugely to leave a lasting impression on my mind, one that will motivate me for life.

The exhibition was held at The Ashok. I reached the venue in the evening when it had become a little more cooler. The vendors/volunteers were at their respective stalls trying their best to talk to each person visiting their stall and as it was all handicraft, be it food, jewellery or art they explained how everything was made. That aided both publicity and sales. I loved most of the things there. The ambience of the place, full of light, colours and aroma uplifted the spirits of everyone. The energy of the place was vibrating like it had a life of its own.

While relishing all of it and felling better after days, I spotted a stall where a handsome young gentleman with a warm smile was welcoming everyone to look at art from Afghanistan. The land has fascinated me in Khaled Hosseini's writings. Its beauty in wilderness. The land which Babur longed, Humayun wanted India to be and Akbar tried replicating. It was a ric country once but like everything beautiful is scarred by the human race, this country is sadly now in ruins. My feet took me there and I went as if in trance. I started looking at all the creations in awee. It was on wood as well as on paper. Each of it had such vibrant colours that I was surprised. How a land that has been a victim of such serious war reflect such liveliness. The handsome Britisher understood my confusion from my expression I suppose and started talking.

I asked him if this was by people from Afghanistan currently living there? He smiled and nodded yes. My next question was asked by him, "Are your surprised with the use of such vibrant colours?" I was ashamed at first for thinking in that manner but he smiled calmly and told me that when he visited the country first he thought like me but working for their upliftment had taught him at the spirit in those people was as live as their colours and reflected in their creation. I was dumbfounded, speechless and stood there wondering. He then asked me to look at some paintings. I liked a few of them, which were rough but had truth, honesty and they spoke, as if they had a story. 

The most striking painting that day is something as clear as my own reflection. It was a regular day painted and there was a cricket ground. A group of boys were playing on ground and smiling and half the painting had black smoke receding and the sun trying to peep through. The batsman in the painting had one mechanical leg. I was told it was a ten year old who had painted it. He had lost the leg during a bombing incident and hence the batsman was so, but he hoped one day when the dark clouds of hatred would leave the land, the sun will shine and he will achieve his dream of playing cricket like before with his friends. I was in tears when I heard the story. The young man told me this was the story of most children there, their body parts are amputated, they beg for food , they do not know what would happen tomorrow but in the midst of all of this what comes out from them, their actions are as if they will live to see a normal day, free from all of this. Their spirit is undying and that makes them go on.

Unable to contain myself longer I thanked the gentleman and headed straight home. It was a very overwhelming experience for me. Here I was crying for loosing one thing that mattered, but for that child everything he had today may not be there another day. He understood this, as he lost his own leg, yet he thought he would get an artificial leg and play cricket. He had such positive spirit for a simple dream he wanted in his life and I here was crying when my life had no such threat. I could still restart and do things differently. Every resource was at my disposal and nobody was bombing my nation, there was no uncertainty that I might get killed in my sleep and no wake up to see another day.

The lesson learnt was "there is someone who has seen worse than you, yet smiles and hopes for a better tomorrow, why cant you then?"

Since that day I stopped sulking for all minor and some major disappointments, knowing that as long as I am alive I can do a lot to change my reality. The beginning of which is my attitude towards life and its situations and I choose to be that child who taught me at the end of the day if you love cricket, play it, no matter what and there will be a sunny day so never sulk, smile and be positive. A ten year old child in war torn country can and so can I.

Inspiration comes from the simplest human beings like us, for more inspiring stories log on to 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Educate Your Daughter Series: Part 2: The Lost Classroom


It was to be my wedding day,
like every girl I had dreamt of it,
a person to share thoughts love and life,
I donot say it was something I didnt know was coming,
it however came sooner than I thought,
I was just out of school and missed the classroom, the blackboard and even exams;
but I trusted my parents had thought the best for I was also their child.
As I sat before the holy fire that was lit to purify the bond,
the mantras being chanted to ward of all ill and slowly build relationships of love,
though it was the only the two of us who sat there to be united as one,
in a few moments many relationships were to be formed,
I was going to be a part of a another family now,
a part of my name to be changed, a part of my identity,
I raised my eyelids where the dreams lay, to see him,
he looked at his father instead who nodded a "no",
he got up on the next cue and they left,
without looking at me even once,
my father with his turban in his hands kept requesting, begging and pleading,
they didnt care for him, his respect, his emotions;
it seemed the holy chant of mantras, the holy fire and invocation to Gods was not all,
these bondages for the next seven lives were sealed by
paper notes printed by man,
I was not sure who was wrong?
my father for cutting my wings or the man who had wronged him,
neither had thought about me afterall,
I sat there longing for the lost classroom, my notebook and pen....

Educate Your Daughter Series: Part 1: The Wish Unfulfilled



I sometimes wish to be that person who was not worldly wise,
the girl whose world began through the lanes within her eyes,
the one who could dance to any tune anywhere,
the one who would do all she dares,
Without ever bothering to care,
the one who wishes to run faster than a man,
the one who would carry her own last name,
One whom parents would look upto,
Probably trade off their sons for,
I wish to be light like a butterfly,
My wings all coloured by my desires as I set my flight,
I wish to jump cities, countries, continents and planets,
I wish to be the pride of my people
But alas,
today I was stopped from going to school,
my brother is the preferred child,
and I am the burden that will suffer probably till I die,
For my wings are clipped and hands tied.