What makes up a good life? A great job, good home, loving family…and a healthy body and mind. Very often we tend to ignore the ‘health’ aspect, until we face a problem. This is when someone needs to step in. Someone, who can guide us in a holistic manner. Through the story of Amit Malhotra, a 35-year-old investment banker, life coach Jasmin Waldmann talks about this journey towards fitness, which we all mean to undertake, but very often don’t.
When fiction meets non-fiction
This is a self-help book that tells a story. This format makes it appealing to readers. Remember the age-old “Show…Don’t Tell” rule for writing? Well, through Amit’s story, the book shows how a healthy fulfilling future is indeed in our reach, without appearing to be preachy.
Amit Malhotra lives the proverbial good life. He has a great job and is doing financially well. He owns a house in one of the most envious neighbourhoods. He has a loving family comprising of his wife and two children. It is all perfect is it not? Not really. The young successful man loses a close friend and colleague to a fatal heart attack- right in the middle of a conference. This shocking incident forces him to look into his own life- and the drastic changes he needs to make in his diet, lifestyle and attitude if he does not want to meet the same fate.
A holistic look
Amit gets in touch with a life coach named Natalie Kofman. Then begins a journey that sets him on a path of holistic development that involves fitness training, life coaching, mindful eating and meditation.
One of the important concepts that this book brings out is the fact that good health is not just about reducing weight. Weight-loss is just one aspect of the entire package. It needs to be combined with a healthy illness-free body, good attitude, peaceful mind, nutritious food and attention to happiness in life and relationships.
The gradual change in Amit’s mind-set as he interacts with his life coach, mirrors the changes that one expects to see in oneself. At the end of each chapter, one gets a glimpse into Amit’s diary, where he notes down the key things he has learnt and his thoughts on the process of change. This mindfulness on Amit’s path, also expresses and shows the gradual change that he experiences on the path to personal transformation- not only in his weight and fitness, but also in his relationships with his family, team at work and above all, himself!
What’s in it for the reader?
As a reader of a self-help book, it is nice not being told what to do, but instead, through an example, being shown what to do. This is exactly what Jasmin Waldmann does. By following the path and journey of Amit, who in a sense reflects most of us today, readers can pick up cues as to the life changes that they can implement in their own lives.
The book also outlines the role of a life coach who has emerged in recent times as a professional who can help in holistic development of the individual. It glides through information about the Pilardio concept (a workout that combines Pilates and Cardio) and the JaWa Diet. Jasmin Waldmann is the inventor of Pilardio and the developer of the JaWa Diet.
Change Me by Jasmin Waldmann is a book that could be a good starting point for a series of small but effective changes in order to transform your mind and body.
Title: Change Me
Author: Jasmin Waldmann
Publisher: Jaico Books
Genre: Health, Self-Help
Bibek Debroy provides a very intellectual morning fix for many readers. His famed limericks (a humorous five-line poem with a rhyme scheme aabba) encapsulate current events in a short poetic burst. It leaves the readers with a smile and a different insight into what is happening in the world around us.
Penguin has compiled some of these limericks in book form. Bibek Debroy’s The Book of Limericks is a commentary on 2017. While the book is filled with brilliant limericks, the illustrations accompanying each limerick do complete justice to the experience of reading the book.
These witty verses are based on current events. In a few rhyming lines the limericks reflect social, political and economic themes and events.
For instance, we can all recollect an incident from last year, involving a politician getting abusive with airline crew. He puts it thus:
This MP is a crassy chopper,
Deft in wielding a dusty slipper,
He gave the crew several whacks.
Downgraded now to railway tracks,
How will he next flap his flipper?
Of the infamous board battles that marked last year, he says….
Why is an internal board battle
Grist for media prattle and tattle?
Is it because a backseat mentor
Remains a perpetual tormentor,
Treating a company like personal chattel?
Or the issue with China
The dragon breathes more fire
Threatening consequences dire,
With Bhutan in sight
It displays its might,
But there is nothing to make India perspire.
There are few limericks that transcend specific time bound current events. These are a general comment on societal trends, and not related to a specific political event.
After International Yoga Day
Don’t stow that may away.
A fetish once a year
Will make it appear
As no more than a symbolic sobriquet.
One which particularly moved me is:
At least once a year
Gandhiji is held dear.
Motions having been made
And due respect paid,
Life moves back to the usual gear.
Some of the limericks can be read with a new perspective, now that the year has gone by and situations have changed.
Is the rampaging bull
Covering our eyes with wool?
Does the tango with growth
Not do justice to both?
Does capital market lug more than real can pull?
In short, a great book for a different kind of reflection on the year gone past!
Though I’m no Bibek Debroy, here’s a little ode to the book, in limerick-style of course!
Digest the year past in poetic form
Minus sensationalism and storm
A souvenir of the year gone by…
Read and devour news differently…at least try!
Who knows what insights can be drawn?
While all his fans continue to relish his limericks that appear in the Mint newspaper, I’m sure the of 2018 will call for a new compilation for the year gone by in true Bibek Debroy style!
Title: The Book of Limericks
Author: Bibek Debroy
Illustrator: Sayan Mukherjee
Genre: Non-Fiction, Current Affairs
Spunky. Sassy. Straight from the heart. That’s exactly what one can expect from Shobhaa De’s writing. Seventy and to Hell with it, her latest book marks seven decades of De’s life. As she turns seventy her sharp analytical gaze turns inwards. She dissects, analyses, opines…starting off from the fact that she is now seventy, and what it means to her. De runs us through a gamut of topics and issues that have been an integral part of her life.
One of the basic and most honest premises in the book is that seventy is seventy. Unapologetically seventy. Shobhaa De makes no qualms about that. She does not try to sugar coat it by saying that seventy is the new fifty! Yes, we may have a romanticised view of age, but the body does not really respond that way. So, seventy it is. But, whoever said that seventy is not fun?
While the book is indeed all about Shobhaa De, nowhere does one feel that it is narcissistic. In fact, it is more of a conversation with readers. A friendly conversation where De sometimes evaluates her ‘take’ on life.
When De started writing she was known as a society writer. While her columns were always a tongue-in cheek look at the current socio-political scenario, her novels were a witty portrayal of the elite. However, her later works have been very personal. For instance, Speedpost was a collection of letters to her children. Shobhaa at Sixty, was also about age, but a little more external if one could say that! With her latest, she is at her reflective best.
A gamut of ideas
The book starts off with the idea of “space” and what it means to different people at different times. She takes on many different subjects including the social media jungle we find ourselves in, ageism, sexism, parenthood, relationships, politics and much more.
She shares her exasperation about social media when she says:
FB does not encourage the use of mirrors. It prefers filters. We all strive to present versions of our true selves, hoping to fool the rest. Since the pantomime is effortless and in most cases harmless, we carry on and on, our free hours consumed by an activity that is essentially hollow and futile.
Her opinions on parenthood have always been evidently strong and clear. For instance, she says:
I don’t understand the word ‘interfere’ when it comes to children. There is no such thing as ‘interference’. Either you are intimately involved in the minutiae of their lives or your children could be dead.
Amongst the different ideas that emerge from the book, what comes across most passionately is De’s love for the youth of today- her immense respect for the generation of today, and also a deep strong concern for rights of women. She has always been known to voice what she believed in and the book is no different. She is privy to, and empathizes with what she calls ‘the secret lives of women’ who constantly have to walk the tightrope. In fact she dedicates the book to “all female gladiators”.
What a waste that gigantic heap of ‘cant’s’ becomes over time. A futile and expensive waste of a woman’s best years- her best energies, talents, her most passionate feelings of love. If only women could discard all the ‘cant’s’ and embrace the ‘cans’.
In my opinion, Seventy and To Hell with it seems to be De’s most confessional work yet! De weaves in her unique perspective on life, with her witty and irreverent observations of the world around us. She uses interesting examples from our social and political scenario as well as anecdotes and instances from her vast circle of family and friends to illustrate many of her points. But perhaps at the end of it all, the underlying message that really hits the reader is that without the solid foundation of love, life does not have meaning!
Penguin Random House, 2017
We often associate the word etiquette with a certain kind of elitism. Many people think that etiquette rules apply to high-fliers of society and to certain exclusive formal situations. This could not be farther from the truth. Image consultant and grooming expert Rukshana Eisa redefines etiquette rules and applies them to our day to day lives in her new book, The Golden Code: Mastering the art of social success.
She establishes a case for following etiquette rules in regular life situations and not view good etiquette as something that is only restricted to certain business and social situations for a certain group of people. Having convinced us that etiquette rules and their application must just be second nature to us, Eisa moves on to identify these rules through three different areas- communication, personal grooming and entertaining.
Peter Drucker once said, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said,”. Eisa speaks about importance of body language. She talks about crucial aspects of business and social communication such as handshakes, exchanging business cards, respecting space, communicating in a job interview, writing a resume, conversation in a social set up- what and what not to say, telephone etiquette and so on. She also devotes an entire chapter to tricky social situations, including ones involving children with bad manners!
We live in a time where the Internet and social media are an integral part of our social lives. Quite aptly, Eisa incorporates topics such as email etiquette. Again, in keeping with the times she has tackled issues like gym and supermarket etiquette rules as well!
Beauty maybe skin deep, but no harm really enhancing it from outside as well as within right? This section covers the basics of skin care, makeup, eating well, dressing and accessorizing to bring out the best in you. I found this section to be quite useful and brimming with handy tips and tricks! Diet, skin care and fashion- this section breezes through what’s to know in these areas. Appearance is after all the basis of first impressions, more often than not. Hence, there is no running away from that!
How can you be a great host? And, how can you be the best guest? What are the etiquette rules you need to follow in social situations involving entertaining, be it at a home or in a restaurant or party hall? What are the specific rules to remember when it comes to fine dining? And, what do you do if you commit a faux-pax?
This section handles these questions and more with ease. A very useful part is the topic of tipping, which is indeed something that could get confusing. Eisa covers this area really well, outlining the tipping conventions not only in India but also in different countries of the world. For instance, it was interesting to see that not tipping in a restaurant in the US may be taken quite offensively, and tipping a waiter in Japan may be looked at with offense as well!
Eisa not only outlines the good etiquette rules, but also covers in detail what one could do in case one makes an etiquette blunder or in case someone else does. For example, in the section on handshakes she not only covers what a good handshake is but also talks about what you can do if someone makes a social blunder like holding your hand too long, giving you a bone crushing handshake and so on!
Easy and breezy
The book is a light and informative read. The language is very simple and direct. Apt illustrations and captions intersperse the text. Important points are highlighted not only though images by also through side boxes and captions.
Eisa has extensive experience in training a wide range of people in etiquette rules. What also makes the book interesting is that she weaves in many personal experiences from her interactions with people, in order to illustrate her point.
Eisa is clearly writing for an Indian audience and hence she incorporates many elements unique to Indian culture (example, namaste as a replacement for a handshake in some situations).
“Think about any question you’ve had regarding the how’s of human interaction and the answer is always the same. Etiquette. It is the bedrock of basic human behaviour and the key to a kinder, nicer world,” says Eisa. This is exactly what the book sets out to accomplish, in a simple easy-to-follow format. Read through it once and then use it as a go-to manual from time to time.
Well, the book clearly also establishes that etiquette rules! Why is it important to read this one? To put it in the words of Shweta Bachchan Nanda, who quotes in the preface, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression “.
Title: The Golden Code: Mastering the art of social success.
Author: Rukshana Eisa
Publisher: Jaico books
Family Businesses in India not only form a major quantum of our economy, but also have some unique characteristics. These make them different from other businesses. The spirit of entrepreneurship, a focus on family values, mindfulness of legacy and a tendency to do things differently and quite creatively are some of these. They also face their own unique set of challenges. The Inheritors by Sonu Bhasin takes a look at the dynamics of family businesses in India through a few unique case studies.
Bhasin uses storytelling as a tool to drive many important points about family businesses in India.
When a family business reaches a certain level it is pertinent to bring in professionals. Separation of the ownership from management is something that many family owned businesses have done and contemplated. However, this is fraught with questions and issues that need to be tackled. What kind of model works well here? The different business discussed in the book have all looked at professionals taking over the reins. However, they have followed different models to that effect. Example, at Berger Paints the profit sharing model is used. Other companies have different strategies that work for them.
The case studies give an insight into leadership in the context of family businesses. Traditionally, family businesses have had a strong patriarchal presence. Nepotism and adhocism are often the bane of family managed businesses. In one of the case studies the author makes the following comment:
In a family business, a clear line of leadership is an asset. Many fine businesses have failed due to the lack of an accepted patriarchy.
The book discusses the specific issues pertaining to leadership in the context of family businesses in India.
The importance of communication between the family stakeholders is vital to a family business. The stories draw out the manner in which different companies have achieved the same. Whether it is the family council system at Dabur or the family charter at Marico Industries, the book throws up interesting ways that families have figured out to keep channels of communication clean and open.
Family businesses have their share of family divisions as well. As a family grows over generations many dynamics change. Sometimes, it becomes important to divide businesses and go separate ways. Through the stories narrated here the readers will also get a glimpse into how families have handled these issues.
Do we see a hint of patriarchy in the Indian family business scenario? Is that changing now? Bhasin presents her cases as they are without commenting on what should or could be- but she does question and talk about the role women have played or are playing in the business concerned. This is an area that does require some deliberation. While women are shattering the glass ceiling in the professional domain and corporate arena, when it comes to family led businesses, a traditional mindset and cultural factors come into play.
She brings out diverse approaches followed by these business houses to the involvement of female family members in day to day running of family businesses right from the conservative approach to one where women are involved in day to day affairs of the firm and are an integral part of the firm. The firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas exemplifies the latter approach. Some other firms may choose to involve female family members in the business. Still others have doors open for whoever wants to enter in- be it the son or the daughters.
While being part of a legacy has its share of advantages, it could well be stressful for the younger generation who have to live up to expectations. The case studies also through light on how the different ‘Inheritors’ handle this aspect.
The different stories in the book talk about the growth, expansion and challenges faced by family businesses. We get a sense of how different businesses and their owners have navigated and negotiated their way through varied challenges over the years. Some of these challenges include decisions to professionalise the business, intricacies involved in the running of a family business, managing the interests of the family members in the context of a professionally run business and so on.
What I like about this book is the element of storytelling that makes the case studies quite interesting to read. For example, in the chapter on Motilal Oswal Group she talks about how she is feeling a bit cold due to the air conditioning in the group’s office and then moves on to narrate how Motilal Oswal did not know what a fan was in his village in Rajasthan, which used to be seeking hot in the summers.
There is a conclusion at the end of every case study where Bhasin ties up the points mentioned and also highlights the future challenges for the business.
The ethos of the book is clearly encapsulated in the words of Anand Mahindra, who says, in the foreword to the book, “I am sure that The Inheritors will provide insight and inspiration not only to members of family businesses but also to anyone who aspires tone an entrepreneur. Learning from someone else’s story is a very powerful incentive to fashion your own.” For those concerned with family businesses in India, this book is indeed a must-read!
The Inheritors by Sonu Bhasin, 2017
Published by Penguin Random House
Not many books look at the Indian banking system from a multiple lens. From Lehman to Demonetization by Tamal Bandyopadhyay is an attempt to chronicle the tumultuous financial period between two very significant events – the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, and the demonetization exercise in India in 2016. These events were crucial in their own right. The Lehman Brothers collapse led to a series of chain reactions that affected economies world over. Demonetization has also dominated most of the talk since the past year.
The book chronicles issues that have dominated these years, especially in context of Indian banking system. Quite expectedly, the author has given due coverage to exploring the rise in the debt of Indian banks.
“Some public sector banks have been driving down the slow lane to death, loaded with bad assets. Many of the loans that had been restructured following the Lehman collapse continued to haunt them but they were in a denial mode till Rajan drove the first-of-its-kind asset quality review(AQR) for these banks. When it came to exposing their bad loans, they had been doing a belly dance but the AQR forced them to do a striptease”
It also looks at other issues that plague the banking sector in India. At the same time, it studies the positive aspects of the Indian banking industry that shielded Indian economy from the Lehman crash. Right from the relative orthodoxy and conservative approach of the RBI, to the times when one could say that the RBI has become ‘more adventurous’, the book chronicles all.
Essays the way
Tamal has handpicked the essays in the book from his database of about 600 well researched stories that have appeared primarily in Mint, the popular business weekly, over the last decade. One of the advantages of this is that each story is crisp and comprehensive. Since these were published stories intended for the general reader, the language is simple and jargon free.
The benefits of hindsight
Tamal’s curatorial eye has looked at his decade long analysis and got it all together. The articles have a very analytical flavour and each group of articles is tied by a comprehensive introduction.
The second part of the book has essays and interviews of key individuals, men and women, who have played a role in the world of Indian finance and banking. The list includes regulators, commercial bankers, professionals, entrepreneurs, investment bankers and so on. Some of the names featured here are Deepak Parekh, K.V.Kamath, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chanda Kocchar, Aditya Puri, Shikha Sharma, Raghuram Rajan, U.K.Sinha and Viral Acharya, amongst others.
While a book that talks about the complexities and the myriad issues of the finance and banking system could be labelled as a concentrated read, this one is quite accessible to readers.
Based on his intense research and writing over the past decade Tamal uses the information in the book or turn soothsayer and also predict the scenario after a decade, which should also be quite interesting for readers.
By 2025, at least a few banks will consider themselves as technology companies and feel tempted to say, ‘We also do banking’.
Tamal recognises the aspect of diversity and polarisation in India and how this will play out in banking.
The challenge before us is to merge India and Bharat on the banking turf. Yes, only technology can achieve that, but it is too ambitious to expect that to happen by 2025.
The reader need not go through the entire book in a set order. He or she can refer to sections and aspects that they have specific interest in. It would be of interest to students and professionals, to get a picture of Indian economy and the Indian banking system from 2008 to 2016, against the backdrop of a challenging and changing global context.
In all, the book gives a detailed and deeply analytical picture of the analysis of the Indian banking system and a decade in banking that was very important worldwide.
From Lehman to Demonetization by Tamal Bandyopadhyay, 2017
Media lavishes much attention on those who have started and helmed successful business ventures. On the other end of the spectrum it also focuses on new and promising start-up founders who will hopefully steer their companies to glorious heights. The Consolidators by Prince Mathews Thomas talks to a unique group- the second generation entrepreneurs who have consolidated their family businesses and taken it to newer heights.
The Consolidators uses storytelling to show that being a second generation entrepreneur in the family business comes with its own set of challenges. Popular media may not glorify this group as much. However, as these case studies show, carrying a legacy on your shoulders and negotiating a challenging business scenario is no cakewalk.
While the author acknowledges that first time entrepreneurs deserve to be applauded, he points out why second generation entrepreneurs who then take that business forward are very important too. He says about this faction, “they might be born with a silver spoon, but they had to make sure they didn’t lose it”.
There are important lessons to be learnt from success stories of second generation entrepreneurs in family businesses. These lessons are interwoven in the stories described in the book.
The major theme that emerges here is that of scalability. In order to take the family business to dizzying heights, these second generation entrepreneurs have had the vision of scalability and the boldness to go in that direction. Reading these stories makes one aware of the precarious balance between security and opportunity that these entrepreneurs have successfully navigated.
The Consolidators presents seven case studies. However, what makes these compelling to read is that they are all written in form of stories. This is where Thomas’s skill as a storyteller truly shines forth. There are moments when one feels the tension and uncertainty of the businessman on the verge of turning around his father’s business or taking a risk with the clear awareness that if things went wrong there was no looking back. At the same time the reader can sense the exhilaration of a project well executed.
At the end of each story there are some bulleted lists of learnings. However, since each story is different there are some unique themes that emerge. On reading about Ajay Bijli and how he turned a simple family owned local cinema into PVR, one of India’s largest multiplex cinema chain, one gets the sense of how scalability can completely redefine a business. Abhishek Khaitan’s tale illustrates how the confluence of old and new views and the balance between legacy and new thoughts add on to direct a company into the future.
Mithun Chittilappilly’s story talks of how the second generation entrepreneur got in professionalism and new thoughts and systems in an old established business to expand it in an ever changing world. T.S. Kalyanaraman’s story again shows how a continuous penchant for risk taking pays off.
The case of Rituraj Sinha illustrates how a young entrepreneur can incorporate new thoughts and practices, with support and confidence of old employees. Vikas Oberoi illustrates how dreaming big creates wonders. Priya Paul took on the reins of the family business in midst of great personal tragedy, but emerged victorious and turned things around. Hers’ is a story of grit and determination.
The author also weaves into the narrative, instances and examples of how parent-child interactions ( father-son in all these cases except one, that of Priya Paul) during childhood or certain childhood experiences have worked towards building the outlook and personalities of these entrepreneurs. Yes, there is an element of childhood influences creeping in. Even as children, what they absorbed about the workings and culture of the business seems to have influenced them, and continues to do so.
The Consolidators touches upon a specific aspect of entrepreneurship. It talks about the role of second generation entrepreneurs set in the context of modern India. It will offer useful insights on the dynamics of family business from two points of view – the first and the second generation entrepreneur.
The Consolidators by Prince Mathews Thomas
Published by Penguin Random House, 2017
The book, as the name suggests, has 101 Haiku verses, carefully curated by the poet from his works. This is Raheja’s first attempt at Haiku, but his mastery over the form is quite apparent. Most of his poetry comes to him like a spontaneous burst of thought; flashes at unexpected times of the day and night, which can be lost if he does not record it at that moment. This explains why the words sound so natural and strike a chord in the reader’s heart.
Nature is undoubtedly one of the important themes around which he weaves his words. It is not only the beauty of nature that comes through, but also an innate wisdom that emanates through the lines. Mountains, seasons, fauna, animals, water bodies, islands, celestial bodies and hills and valleys- all these varied parts of nature find place in the Haiku.
Two of my favourite examples from the book…
A tree drops a leaf
Silently in a forest-
Trees don’t grieve lost leaves
Another Haiku I found particularly poignant…
Clouds empty themselves
Into seas pregnant with hope
One empties one fills
While the theme of nature is definitely important, Raheja uses the Haiku as a vehicle to comment on the current times, drawing upon themes that we all can identify with.
Take for example, the following:
Goldfish in a bowl
Opened a Facebook account
She loves the spotlight
These simple lines show so much- how social media platforms act as equalisers for expression irrespective of whether you are shy or outgoing in real life.
Some of the themes also deal with the journey of life.
take the road and find yourself….
it leads nowhere
and the following lines that echo a much-felt feeling…
I realised this
wasn’t where I wanted to be
when the road ended
Words which appear simple to understand are actually quite full of insight and meaning. The beautiful words have equally lovely illustrations to go with them. It is a book that you must read and re-read.
101 Haiku by Dinesh Raheja
Published by Om Books International
Navigating the complex world of start-ups requires a very different set of skills. Who would be more acquainted with this skill-set than those who have been there… done that? Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, a popular media-tech platform and T.N. Hari, adviser and mentor to numerous young entrepreneurs and start-ups, get together to provide a unique insight into the world of start-ups in the book Cut the Crap and Jargon: Lessons from the Start-up Trenches, published by Penguin.
A key aspect makes the book different from other books on management- it recognizes that sometimes hindsight analysis cannot give all solutions to prevent problems. Most books on management analyse big business giants who have either succeeded or failed. They then draw conclusions and generalise these. However, here the authors have followed a different approach. They question if such a strategy is actually useful for start-ups who have a completely different set of problems. Here is where the book actually scores.
It dives into the world of start-ups and looks for the smaller mistakes or smaller decisions that go on to have a larger impact in the journey of the start-up. This is what makes this specific book relevant for start-ups. The book caters to a global audience but there is also specific information tailored to the Indian scenario.
There are several assumptions that the book makes which works well in its handling of issues related to start-ups. For instance, the requirements of agility, necessity to pivot in some cases, constant work on a shoestring budget and so on.
For all of us interested in start-ups, the mad rush for funding and the sheer hype surrounding the funding scenario can be quite difficult to understand. One of the interesting chapters, The Funding Craze takes an unbiased look at this so called circus of funding and presents an informed picture of the scenario.
The insights on bootstrapping versus external funding are also very relevant. The book devotes substantial space to understanding the dynamics of funding and valuation of start-ups, often taking a dig at the hypes created in the process. It gives a realistic portrayal of the scenario in India as well as helpful tips to understanding this aspect.
A lot of examples make the reading very relatable. The authors use famous start-ups as examples to illustrate the case they make at different points in the book. The information is presented in a variety of ways- interviews with an expert in a particular domain, as a case study or simple narrative with examples aplenty. This makes it easier for the reader to navigate through.
Having the right team is most crucial for a start-up. The book provides an understanding into the process of hiring, leadership, communication with team members, giving feedback and well, even firing! Right from hiring correctly, scaling up after starting up, the changing role of founders as the organisation grows and key habits that entrepreneurs need to have, Cut the Crap and Jargon: Lessons from the Start-up trenches, is a guide those who are involved with start-ups.
Cut the Crap and Jargon: Lessons from the Start-up Trenches
Penguin Random House India (1 October 2017)
As children, all of us have indulged in colouring activities. Well, growing up and colouring books apparently did not go well together for many years, until recently when the market saw a surge in colouring books for adults. Suddenly a whole new world opened up. Adults found the therapeutic benefits of simple colour pencils and intricate drawings. Gods and Goddesses of India by Kanika Gupta adds to this exciting world of colouring books for adults.
Bangalore based illustrator, Kanika Gupta, has explored a very novel idea in the genre of colouring books for adults. This eye-catching therapeutic colouring book – Gods and Goddesses of India, captures the essence of deities worshipped in Hindu mythology.
Kanika Gupta’s expertise in doodling and detailing simply adds on to its beauty. Rest assured, getting your hands on this creative piece won’t just give you an insight into the oldest religion of the world, but the vibrant colours and mesmerizing patterns will help you connect with your divine self!
Detailing is my addiction! I can’t stop once I start drawing, so that’s a style that I have developed. The process was tricky, as it’s a little sensitive to go all imaginative with the Gods. I felt a little restricted at the same time. However, here there are no limitations as well. These Gods have 100 hands, 10 heads and so on, which makes drawing them a fun process! The process was first to shortlist the Gods, as there are so many and each is very interesting. I found shortlisting them the most challenging thing!
Hence, I took to a sequence, with Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. With Vishnu, I made the ‘Dashavtar’. Along with these three Gods were the corresponding Goddesses. I ended with Hanuman as he is said to be immortal, sort of depicting that creativity doesn’t die.
With a couple of references, I drew basic skeleton figures. Once stratified, the inking starts which gets tough to control. I had to tell myself stop the detailing and make it a little simpler for colouring!
I have always seen my mom write “Ram” as part of her meditation practice. This made me think: Why not do a colouring book on this theme? If you can write the Gods name, why can’t you colour his forms?
It’s nice to know a little about what you colouring!
They definitely heal a certain part in you. I run a colouring club on Sunday in a blissful park in Bangalore. people who come to colour there definately feel at ease and relaxed. You are so engrossed in making something beautiful , you are one pointed ..that is mediation
It’s sort of a compliment and a feedback- many have said the book is so pretty that we don’t feel like colouring it and spoiling it! What touched me was that an old client of mine has ordered books for her mother who is 70+ and her friends, and they have been colouring diligently with all the details!
I guess it’s the need. Anything that destresses is popular as in today’s world everyone is so stressed. A lot of people have been focusing on physical health which is good. But now, they do realize its time to give some attention to your mental health as well!
This colouring book for adults is Kanika Gupta’s second colouring book. Well, it’s never too late to experience the healing and creatively motivating effects of colouring.
Gods and Goddesses of India by Kanika Gupta
Published by Bloomsbury