A lot has been written and discussed about manifesting your destiny. The concept of visualising your life the way you want it to be and thereby manifesting your destiny has gained trajectory in the recent years. Yes, the publication of the bestselling book, The Secret may have had a role to play. But, the truth is that a lot more people have taken to living more consciously than they did before and believing that they have a more active role to play in their lives.
Create your dream life now: A workbook and guide for manifesting your destiny written by Darren Marc and illustrated by Joan Coleman is a workbook that guides people in a step-by-step manner to manifest their destiny.
Section 1, Let’s Start Creating gently leads the reader into birthing their dream by talking about intentions and goals, and then moving on to creating vision boards, Since this is a workbook there is enough space to write down your goals. There is space to note down goals related to different aspects of life: Personal, health, family and romance, fun, career, finance and spirituality.
Section 2 concerns Daily Spiritual Practice. Goals have been set, but one needs to achieve them! This is where daily habits come in. This section illuminates some active meditations, affirmations and creative visualisations, that aid the process of fulfillment of the goals. The section on affirmations is also quite comprehensive, with a few good affirmations to incorporate in your daily practice.
The book also emphasizes on the role of meditation in manifesting your desires. It talks about white light meditation, mantra meditation, japa meditation and mindfulness medication with a brief introduction to these. On the same lines it talks about yoga. At first, I could not comprehend why meditation (or even yoga) should be an integral part of a workbook that talks about manifesting your destiny. However, the premise of the authors, as they explain here, is that meditation cultivates mindfulness that ultimately filters into daily life and enables the person to consciously choose thoughts and actions that support specific goals in life.
Once the reader understands these concepts, the reader is led to write down his or her morning and evening rituals, which obviously are based on the concepts explained so far. This is the action sheet that ensures that the reader puts into practice what he or she has learnt from the exercise. To supplement these rituals, there are also some well-defined health tips given, which will work along with the spiritual habits and rituals for more holistic development.
Section 3 contains the 12 Keys of Conscious Creation. These are philosophical concepts that have been defined ‘operationally’ in this book. Then, there is space to note down how exactly the reader will imbibe these concepts and make them a part of his or her life. For example, one of the key concepts of conscious creation is being in the present. The book defines what that means. Then, it nudges the reader to write down how he or she will be in the present at all times. This activity kind of orients the reader towards the ‘keys’ being expressed, and encourages the reader to imbibe these in his or her consciousness.
Section 4, A Little More Inspiration adds on some more practical tips, and then eases the reader to now start independently applying the concepts learnt in the book.
I like to think of this workbook as a medium of gentle handholding in the path of setting and achieving goals. It is also visually quite delightful. If you’re buying the e-book, you’ll need to print it out since the book requires participation from the reader in terms of writing and noting down some points as the reader reads along. It is a record book as well, which you can keep going to from time to time in the journey of manifesting your destiny.
Author: Darren Marc
Illustrator: Joan Coleman
Publisher: Health communications, Inc.
Klaus Ferlow, author of Neem – Nature’s Healing Gift To Humanity, is no stranger to the powerful potential of the neem tree. He is the founder of Ferlow Botanicals, Vancouver, B.C. and NEEM RESEARCH, West Vancouver, B.C, and has been involved in intensive research on this miraculous versatile medicinal neem tree for over 25 years. His company manufactures Ayurveda herbal personal neem care products with no harmful ingredients in Canada. His connections and collaborations with neem experts in India is also very strong.
In his book, Neem – Nature’s Healing Gift To Humanity he shares his personal story and experience with neem about the benefits and healing power of this tree.
Bookedforlife chats with him about the multitude of benefits that neem offers….
Your love affair with herbs has been rooted in your childhood where you had access to fields and forests. In your book you also mention that study of herbs was a part of the curriculum. Unfortunately, we don’t see that kind of access today. How can one change this scenario?
I grew up attending school from 1945 – 1955 and learning about the benefits and healing power of herbs. It was part of life and the education I received from my grandmother and my parents, especially from my mother. Knowledge about herbs and healing was passed on from generation to generation, and also while attending school. We are living now in an information age where the digital system offers educational value on what Mother Earth has to offer.
Whether herbs as a curriculum is available in schools, I am not sure. However, many colleges over the years are now offering holistic herbal medicine courses and huge public and commercial health shows are taken place. A growing number of the population at large seem to get the message and want to get back to basics and learn more about what Mother Earth has to offer, staying away from harmful prescription drugs.
I found the chapter on skin care quite interesting. The skin care regimens and products you prescribe are easy to follow and understand. However, when I contrast it with what many popular magazines say today, I find one difference. You do not talk about sunscreen. I personally feel that the conceptualization of sunscreen as indispensable under all circumstances (purported by popular media) seems questionable. I wanted to know your thoughts on the same.
From my personal experience and many tests, I can tell you that two of our herbal creams work wonders when it comes to preventing sunburns and they also work on severe skin problems and insect bites. But, we are not allowed to promote it to the consumer because the government supports the commercial sunscreens with SPF factors, some of which are loaded with harmful synthetic chemicals, which in fact do not work in most cases and are not effective and can create severe skin problems, even cancer!
You mention in the book that modern medicines geared towards symptom relief are about sickness while there is another approach about wellness. How can the common man bring balance the two, in this age of information overload where one often hears conflicting views?
I would say it is mis-information overload! It is a fact that big pharmacy companies have been able to influence (corrupt?) even governments. When people have absolute no knowledge about the benefits and healing power of herbs and herbal remedies it would not work for them because the body, mind and spirit have to go together as a belief system. However, experience shows that when people with health problems using prescription drugs arrive “at the end of the rope”, many of them switch over to herbs expecting a miracle cure over night…which of course does not work either. I have told people over and over again that herbs and herbal remedies work over time if you are patient, using them daily and believe that they might help you because the body is the best healer!!
What is the solution? Kids in kindergarten and in schools should have curriculum about the benefits and healing power not just for health problems, but also for using in their day to day life.
Your company has been manufacturing herb based products for many years now. Have you observed a change in consumer mind-set when it comes to using natural products? Any information you may want to highlight?
There is a continuing trend for consumers to be concerned about the potential side-effects of the many artificial and harmful synthetic chemical substances used in skin care products such as paraben preservatives, petrochemicals, toxins and so on. Increasingly consumers look for “green approved’ products that do not harm the skin and are also kind to the environment and society.
Raising trends of the use of natural, chemical-free ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products is observed among various manufacturers as well. The trend caters to the ever increasing demand for natural and organic (there is also a lot of cheating going on using the words “natural” and “organic”) products among consumers. The highest demand is in Asia-Pacific area, North America, Western Europe. Men increasingly are also demanding quality cosmetics without harmful ingredients and increasing the elderly population become a force for these products.
My understanding is that sustainable neem products have made major inroads with farmers around the globe but the powerful manufacturers of poisonous chemicals with their lobbyists will do everything to discredit the movement of natural products for the agriculture industry. But at the end I believe common sense will prevail.
Sadly, corporations are still able to find new customers with their “brainwashing advertising and promotion” because people don’t read the labels!
Today, the marketplace is flooded by products that claim to be ‘natural’. How can a consumer make the right choice? Any tips from your side?
Consumers these day have unlimited sources to educate themselves and to my knowledge the middle class income earners are becoming more and more aware to avoid any cosmetics, especially loaded with synthetic cheap fragrances than can cause many health problems. I think that if consumers read the ingredients on the labels of the products and they are unable to pronounce it…it’s a chemical and they need to avoid! They also should ask questions and if they can’t get a proper explanation which they understand they should not buy products. By not buying the products with harmful ingredients, consumers can force the manufacturer to change their formulas. Beware also of the use of the word “natural” which has basically no meaning and the word “organic” which means ingredients without toxic herbicide, pesticides spraying and pesticides fertilizers.
India has always been harnessing the benefits of Neem and the tree has a place in our collective consciousness as one offering much to us. But, as we get caught in the plethora of choices for personal care products, (especially with so many international brands to choose from), it may help to reflect on the fact that Nature’s Healing Gift To Humanity lies right in our backyard.
BOOKS BY KLAUS FERLOW
Title: Neem – Nature’s Healing Gift To Humanity
Author: Klaus Ferlow
The transformative power of fashion is well-known. Fashion is not frivolous anymore. It is, instead, a tool to express our very unique personalities. But, how can one harness the power of true style? Here are some books that have their unique practical take on how a woman can express herself at her fashionable best. Are you ready to look at some style files?
Brenda Kinsel plays your fashion Fairy Godmother in this book. It is a practical makeover guide. If you follow the book to the T here is what you will learn in just a month: how to identify your own style, tame your closet, shop for what you need, work on your hair and makeup…….and basically at the end of it all, bring out your inner diva!
Read it if: You want a step by step how to guide to bring out your inner diva.
This book comes from the makers of a popular TV show that focused on fashion. It basically answers the question- what to wear when and where? How do you dress for different occasions? How do you pack/ shop/ buy right ? Some of the topics such as “Cubicle Couture,” “Editing Your Closet,” and “Become Your Own Stylist” are also quite helpful.
Read it if: You want practical advice on dressing stylishly for a variety of occasions.
This book is filled with style secrets for real women with real bodies. Yes, let’s accept that the wonderful women we see on the ramp and on the screens may not reflect the larger part of the population. The book devotes a good amount of space to discussing different body types and what looks good on them. There are also plenty of tips and tricks on how to dress right for different occasions.
Read it if: You want some quick fashion hacks and tips especially on dressing right for your body type.
How can you stay chic and shop smart? Yes, shopping and staying stylish do go hand in hand, but that does not necessarily mean that you need to break the bank for staying fashionable! This book takes the reader through three questions: what do I have, what do I need and what do I want. Based on this contemplation, the reader will form her own style strategy. I love the way the book is peppered with fashion and style quotes, little bits of information about fashion in the past, and handy tips.
Read it if: You want tips on how to buy less, choose well and mix it up!
This is a book packed with style tips in a very comprehensive manner. I would say it is like an all-rounder when it comes to books on fashion. It covers all that one needs to know: what is style, what to wear for your body type, how to shop smart, what to wear when, how to use accessories and accents and so on. The highlighted tips on every page are also quite useful. There is also an Indian angle to the book and thus it takes into account unique situations and requirements of being fashionable in the context of a specific culture and locale.
Read it if: You want a compact and comprehensive introduction to elements of style
With these books you can open a new chapter in your style files and bring out your inner aesthetic with ease!
Bollywood is a part of the Indian psyche. It is firmly entrenched in our collective consciousness. However, in a country where collectors appreciate beautiful and unique things, Bollywood memorabilia used to be largely ignored. That is, until OSIAN, India’s pioneering Arts Institution and Auction House earnestly attempted to collect and preserve Indian and World cinematic heritage.
It all started with the landmark auction ‘The Historical Mela – ABC: Art, Book and Cinema’. This event pioneered a new and refreshing viewpoint- that of looking at film memorabilia with a collector’s eye. Two other auctions firmly strengthened the demand for Indian film memorabilia. Osian’s auction of Rare & Vintage Indian Film Memorabilia in September 2014 and consequently in June 2017 wooed collectors and film enthusiasts with priceless pieces of film history.
Film memorabilia can play a major role in the education of many subjects beyond film and media studies. Given the fact that Indian cinema itself is well over 100 years old, it provides crucial references from a historical point of view. “It is not very far away when the finest scholars and researchers will flock to India to understand the profound role the cinematic and related arts have played in developing culture and a thousand influences thereon. The auctions have facilitated this journey just like Film Festivals facilitate a film appreciation culture. One has to only see the growth of the Hollywood memorabilia market to understand the vast energies that get energized when the film fraternity, media and the public work in unity to respect one’s history, and hence one’s current creativity,” explains Founder Chairman, Neville Tuli.
The Greatest Indian Show on Earth is the catalogue pertaining to Osian’s auction of Rare & Vintage Indian Film Memorabilia. The two catalogues artfully present the rich and diverse treasure of Bollywood memorabilia that Osian has collected, salvaged, sourced and preserved over years.
The catalogues are works of art in themselves. Akin to a bespoke coffee table book they bring out the rare and precious moments and milestones of Indian cinema that would otherwise be lost. Flipping through the pages will take you down the Bollywood memory lane.
The enticing cover depicting Dilip Kumar & Meena Kumari in their famous embrace in Yahudi tempts the viewer to delve inside. One of the very first images in the catalogue is a painting by Arpana Caur. It depicts the famous song ‘Pyaar hua, Iqraar hua’ showcasing the legendary under the umbrella song scene of Raj Kapoor and Nargis from the film Shree 420. While nothing can beat holding the actual painting, viewing it in the catalogue is grand enough and sets the tone for a nostalgic journey. This catalogue is packed with such artfully done posters, prints and photographs.
It showcases some of the earliest films made by Prabhat Film Company. It then moves on to the Kapoors- India’s first family of films. Right from Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi and Randhir Kapoor to the Manish Malhotra costumes worn by Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor inspired art by artist-fan Nitin Utge, the catalogue depicts in finesse rare cinematic moments. It also features vintage and rare Bengali & Classical Music Cover Designs with inspiration drawn from artists such as Jamini Roy with Paritosh Sen actually designing record covers for Rabindra Sangeet and his plays.
The iconic images of superstars such as Dharmendra, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar, Raaj Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan among a host of others appear as one browses ahead. Of course, how can one forget the enigmatic leading ladies? Right from the gorgeous Madhubala, to Hema Malini (along with her brand campaigns), Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi, Aishwariya Rai and more, the beautiful belles of Bollywood make an appearance here. Pictures depicting international locations, information about collectibles, pictures of some veritable collectibles like show cards, tickets, rare music records and so on also add to the element of interest.
While the visual delight on browsing the catalogue is definitely a key feature, the nuggets of information that appears along with the artworks and photographs is also very interesting, and highly educative. These little bits of information and some rare stories make for some great trivia which will be of interest to anyone who loves Indian cinema.
This catalogue continues the enthralling depiction of Bollywood at its finest. This one is also quite informative, with a lot of text to complement the images and enhance understanding of Indian cinema. It starts with a depiction of the early years of Indian cinema- 1925 to the 1940s. Again, there is a focus on the Kapoors with a depiction of photographs, movie posters and artwork. There is a section on Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Helen and Amitabh Bachchan as film legends. Mughal-E-Azam, one of the greatest Indian films ever made, also gets a dedicated section. Besides the movie posters and photographs, it is interesting to see paintings on the same by M.F.Hussian. The catalogue also explores Satyajit Ray as a draughtsman and artist. These are but a few highlights.
In essence, both the catalogues provide a visual feast for anyone who loves Indian cinema. The explanatory text that accompanies the images, gives a context to them. It also presents vital information and trivia. These auction catalogues have helped increase awareness regarding the history of Indian cinema. This has also complemented other major platforms of Osian, such as the Library and Archives and the Osian’s-Cinefan film festival, which aims to nurture a cinematic culture rather than just being content with a love for cinema. India still truly lacks a great cinematic culture, despite having so much passion for cinema.
It may not be possible for all Bollywood lovers to obtain and own such a vast collection of Bollywood memorabilia. Osian’s auction catalogues which describe the collections that were up for auction, are quite relevant for a Bollywood enthusiast and collector. These catalogues provide a detailed glimpse into a rich treasure trove of pictures and informational nuggets about Bollywood. They constitute in themselves a rich compilation of Bollywood memorabilia.
Today, we see that the market for India’s film memorabilia has evolved considerably. However, it is a long journey ahead before we can call it a mature market. Osian’s auctions have placed Bollywood memorabilia at par with modern and contemporary fine art and rare books. This in itself is a fait accompli. The show will go on!
Note to readers: Many items of interest are documented on www.osianama.com. Anyone interested in Bollywood memorabilia, film memorabilia and publicity material pertaining to Indian and World Cinemas can contact:
Ms Attreyee Roy Chowdhury
Senior Vice President-Communications
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +91 22 6156 3108
India is known as the land of diversity. Delving into the storytelling traditions of India is expectedly a Herculean task! But, in Lore of the land: Storytelling traditions of India, Nalini Ramachandran takes up this challenging task.
Storytelling is one of the most basic cultural activities of any group of people. Storytelling can be through words, dance or music. It could be oral, written or enacted. This book is an introduction to the beautiful world of stories in India.
Story of storytelling
The book begins with an incident involving Mohini- a young girl who is born into a family of storytellers. Well, it would be more appropriate to say, a family of exceptional storytellers. But the story of Mohini begins with a failed performance, where she is not able to narrate a proper story. Disappointed, she decides to run away from home following this humiliating performance. As she sets off she encounters a book loving spirit, aptly named Katha, who takes her on a captivating journey through the world of stories.
Each chapter takes Mohini and Katha, the story loving ghost to a different part of India. They manage to cover the length and breadth of this gigantic country! They take their time, taking in the beauty of the place and its unique culture. They then delve into the storytelling traditions of that place- how these stories originated, how they changed over the years and what they are now.
Katha happily imparts all this information to Mohini in form of a story. Interspersed with this narrative are side boxes that outline facts about the traditions of the area. Most importantly, the actual age old lores that have been passed down generations are also narrated. Well, a story within a story…that’s always fun!
The book outlines 38 storytelling traditions of India in most of its states. It is also like a crash course in Indian traditions and rituals! After all, most storytelling traditions in India have roots in the agrarian lifestyles of people or are linked to mythology and religion. They are also closely interwoven with the art and music traditions of the state. Hence, a dive into the world of stories of a particular state reflects not only its stories but also its art, culture and music.
Storytelling traditions of India are not just about stories alone. They are also linked to art and craft traditions. Hence, when we read about the puppetry performances of Andhra Pradesh for instance, we learn also about the intricate puppets crafted from leather. In Arunachal Pradesh a local dance performed by a tribe captures traditional stories. Or, how Mithila and Madhubani forms of art are interwoven with storytelling traditions.
The book is quite detailed and comprehensive. However, reading it is never overwhelming because the information is broken into different headers and sidebars and also colour-coded. This makes the text easy to navigate.
To top it, there are lots of illustrations to complement the texts. The illustrations by Abhishek Choudhury bring out the story and the stories within the story in a very vibrant manner. The illustrations are apt for the story as well. For example, in the chapter describing the Madhubani traditions, one of the illustrations is depicted in the Madhubani style, thus adding authenticity to the story.
But, the most important theme that emerges from the book is the fact that stories can be told in many ways and that there is never a single story for a single thing. Mohini learns that different versions of stories exist and “people believe what suits them”.
When I think about this theme of the book, I recall a popular lecture by Novelist Chimamanda Adichie who spoke about the danger of a single story. It is with pride that I recognise that storytelling traditions of India have always incorporated multiple viewpoints.
As Katha puts it in the book:
“Why should there be only a single story about anything? “Katha asked. “There is always room for interpretation and imagination. A story can be told in a zillion ways!”.
There are many more storytelling traditions in India than have been described in the book. But, the book talks about key ones that people need to be aware of. Some of them flourish, but most of them are dying out. Maybe this beautiful storytelling attempt will open people’s eyes and ears to the wonderful world of stories that exists in our own country.
This is a book packed with information and stories, as well as stories within stories. It is a captivating and detailed introduction to the storytelling traditions of India. It has many legendary stories woven with stories of the origins of many myths and traditions. The book is written in a manner that appeals to young adults and adults. Anyone with an interest in stories and storytelling traditions in India will find the book to be a worthy addition to their library.
Author: Nalini Ramachandran
Illustrator: Abhishek Choudhury
Age group: Adults and Young adults
Classics are forever. Today, with quick books that kids can skim through and the limitless releases of easy-to-read stories, it seems that kids may be moving away from classics. Classics for children are significant.
Yes, classics do have endless accounts of long descriptions, words that have fallen out of fashion today, depiction of rural scenery, and so on. For children, the settings may feel dated. Some children today may not be able to relate to the world and the society described.
Despite all the superficial reasons, classics play a strong in shaping your child as a reader, a learner and a human being.
There are many reasons why you should read classics to children.
Some classic tips that will help you in getting your child read classics….
What are the titles one could pick up? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Yet, to start I would recommend the following stories. As children get familiar with these you can move to others.
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The war of the worlds by HG Wells
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
This is by no means exhaustive. It is not even the tip of the iceberg, but these are good starts for embarking on an exciting and never-ending adventure.
Do share your suggestions and experiences of classics for children in the comments section below!
This is a unique concept. We all know about the famed Japanese design aesthetic but this one stretches it to new limits.
The pod hotel concept does have roots in Japan, and this one injects a new vibrancy to it. As of now, there are three locations where Book and Bed is situated: Tokyo, Kyoto and Fukuoka.
The décor is one that any booklover would die for! The public areas are decorated (understandably) with books. So, there is a huge long bookshelf that almost spreads to the end. There are books suspended from the ceiling as well! Behind the bookshelf, lie the beds.
The hotel is based on the pod concept, and is hence quite reasonably priced. There are 52 beds with shared toilet and bathroom. Of course, there is free Wi-Fi.
With about 3200 books that cover a wide range of genres, there is more than enough to whet the appetite of guests here. The books have been selected by the popular book store SPBS. The collection has English books as well as Japanese ones.
For one, books are not sold here. Now imagine spending a night in a bookshop without getting to buy any of the books? That’s a pity! But, maybe access to a well-curated collection compensates for that. Still, if you’re itching to buy something, they do have a store where you can get book-themed products such as notebooks, bookmarks, totes, pyjamas and so on.
We associate books with comfort. However, they say, “There are no comfortable mattresses, fluffy pillows nor lightweight and warm down duvets,”. Even with the best books for company, we would love a little luxury!
It is probably best suited for backpackers who also happen to be bibliophiles. After all, there is nothing quite like a backpacking trip with a bookish indulgence, that enables you to connect with other book lovers from all over the world.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri comes up with yet another personal reflection, the previous one being “In Other Words”, a book that was written in Italian.
The Clothing of Books is a very quick and easy read, more like an essay. In fact, you can trace the genesis of the book to a talk that the author gave, rather, a keynote speech, for the ninth edition of the Festival degli Scrittori in Florence. She wrote it originally as an essay in Italian, and this was translated into English by her husband.
The book explores the author’s relationship with her own book covers, and her thoughts about the concept of book jackets.
“If the process of writing is a dream, the book cover represents the awakening. The news that a new cover is about to arrive elicits ambivalent emotions in me. On the one hand, I am moved because I have successfully brought a book to conclusion. On the other hand, I fret. I know that when the cover makes its appearance the book will be read. It will be criticized, analyzed, forgotten. Even though it exists to protect my words, the arrival of the cover, linking me to the public, makes me feel vulnerable”.
It highlights her own thoughts and views on the book jacket. But somehow, as I read the book, I feel a lot of points have been repeated, and some of them, which could have been discussed in detail, are just touched upon. She mentions the role of collaboration with the book jacket designer or the expectations people have of book covers.
One of the topics I found interesting is contained in the short chapter, The Naked Book. She discusses the role of hardcovers in the library. These books did not have pictures on the cover, or a blurb.
“They had anonymous quality, secretive. They gave nothing away in advance. To understand them, you had to read them”.
I do feel that there is scope for developing the thought. I hoped to read more of a treatise on the topic, because I believe that the theme of book covers does have a lot of potential. In that sense, I was slightly disappointed. However, the scope of the book is restricted to her personal views rather than an intensive examination of the theme of book jackets.
Penguin Random House India, 2017
Look at other books by the same author: