Archive for November, 2013


And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.

                                                                                   —   Kurt Vonnegut

21 .. What an age for a boy ! All of a sudden, he will turn into a Man, responsibilities and expectations will increase, presentation of self will get utmost importance and first step of achieving dreams will touch the feet or be as near to be able to see with naked eye. But don’t you think there is more to this age?

It’s a time when all that you planned for your future gets a reality check. You realize nothing is butter and honey and there is perseverance and hard work required in all. Where you don’t know with whom you are competing and all those lessons of school to study your opponent goes waste because you never come to know who is going to battle you in the race of life. Where you realize that popularity and influence of your fathers, forefathers, uncles and friends of all the three will get you anywhere as easily  as making Maggi. Where you understand being nice and pleasing to everyone is so important and where it is difficult to judge who is talking shit behind your back. All those friends with whom you dreamt of ruling or at least being a celebrity in this world have disappeared soon after your farewell and graduation and inspirational and encouraging stories that you were always exposed to changes to stories of failure.

It’s a time when you realize that what will fetch you the goose that lays golden eggs was nothing but a facade created by people who themselves lie in order to safeguard their image and hide their self-defeating feeling. It’s a time when you realize that you have to sweat as much as your friend who celebrated all 5 years of college life unlike the sincerity that you kept. It’s that time when you realize that your job is not as expected by you and you won’t change your path for betterment for starting from scratch will scare your balls. It’s the time when you scroll through social networking websites, not to socialize but to check how much fun your friends are having. It’s that time when you will constantly compare yourself with your friends or your life with the life of your parents when they were young.

It’s that time when your heart gets broken and you wonder how can someone, whom you love so much do this to you.  It’s a time when you love one girl and then you fall in love with another girl. You feel sick because you are a good guy and you need to be serious on one. It’s a time when you would talk to yourself that you will have a better girl besides you in couple of years than the girl your friend has now and pacify yourself. Then again, you will feel sick of considering girl as a trophy and kicking love to backseat. Then you will get serious on love and go close to someone only to find that the lovee has already got someone in her life and you will fail as a lover once again. It’s that time when you will start looking at relationships in a different manner. One night stands or short hook ups and flings will make you feel tacky and you would seek long term or serious relationships. It’s that time when you will question if the person you have been with for such a long time is really worth it or it’s the time when you wonder if its too late to make a decision of getting done with.  It’s a time when suddenly you will see your age female friends declaring engagements or marriage and wonder how old you have become. It’s that time when you would halt for a second and look at a second year degree student and wonder how different you’ll look and then again sulk on how old you have become because they look as same as you.

It’s a time when your music taste will change. It’s a time when you will get frustrated of your own habit of procrastinating health and wellness of body, actually shape of physique. It’s that time when you will still lose on your promises to study as same as how you used to lose when you were a kid. It’s that time when all the lessons you learnt as a kid will be challenged and every day outside will make you feel that the world is going to dogs. It’s that time when you realize the world is selfish and all those friends you called best friends aren’t really that good and many of them that came and left your life were really good. You realize that someone you thought of it as a bitch is not really a bitch but then no one will do anything because everyone would be stuck in same doldrums as you.

It’s that time when you will laugh and cry in extremes. You will get scared or feel helpless or totally lonely. It’s that time when you will feel like running out of your house and hug that one person which matters most to you but then sleep with wet eyes that the person who is important to you, doesn’t feel the same for you. You question yourself if what you are doing is really worth it. You get more of such questions and have the same conversations with every friend time and again because you are in search of a conclusion which you won’t get because unknowingly everyone is suffering through the same phase.

You worry about the King Size Life, you always dreamt of. You start understanding the value for money and start wondering how would you build the foundation of coming phases of life. It’s that time when change is needed and when a change approaches, it scares you inside out and makes you cling to the past which has already flown away. It’s that time when you keep pondering over and try to clear this mess in your head. It’s the age where you have sudden intense fear of failure. It’s the age where everyday you will leave the house with basket full of expectations only to return home with all expectations unfulfilled followed by your lecture to yourself on ceasing to expect. It’s the age of 21 and somehow, somewhere, everyone of us is going through same emotions at some point or the other.

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

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And when you start feeling pointless for hoping a better and healthy tomorrow and when you make “Aakhri Alvida na ho” song from Shootout at Lokhandwala, your theme song – YOU ARE GOING MAD !!

I won’t make any sense in defining the title of this blog. However, there is a significance behind both the things – “Homecoming” and “Battle with the Ego”. Basically, these are those two emotions that I have strongly felt past few days. Let me talk about Homecoming.

How beautiful is to be back home! Past many days when I suffered at the hands of food poisoning and faced deteriorating health – time and again coupled with heavy weakness and stomach aches – the only place of solace, of calm, of feeling safe and of relief was home. Home where your mother would get so worried for you that you will need to calm her down before you could rest your body, home where your father will try to rise your spirits by motivation or scare the shit out of you by counting possibilities of hazards that could have happened, home where your elder sister will try to make those bimaaro wala khana italian or mexican using different recipes or by merely making khichdi tasty by adding oregano and Maggi Masala into it. Past one month, all my days started with me counting hours before I will be back home from work. Terrible month, seriously !

But it was not just about me. For the first time, I observed something that I failed to observe past two years since I am working. Diwali holidays were nearing and half of my colleagues were leaving city to meet their parents. The joy of getting to eat home food, the joy of getting to meet family, the joy of sleeping with your head on mom’s lap, the joy of sharing stories with your father, the joy of teasing your sister, the joy of playing with your brother, the joy of being at home. To see that joy in the eyes of your friends was something more special than having a Pizza.  Not only my own colleagues, I felt happy looking at families or a boy or a girl with heavy suitcases waiting for CST train at Andheri Station or seeing them running towards Mumbai Central Station with a haste of catching the train to visit their village home. It was always special looking at all of this. A feeling so difficult to explain.

Coming to Battle with the Ego. It has been over a month and I am still not well and so, here I have two small versions of my own self circling around my head, poking me with their decisions. One – the egotist – nagging me for being weak, or for my immunity not working, or for not getting well soon and would ask me to get up, go to work, go to meet friends, go out and forget about the illness. Probably listening to this egotist, I am still not fine – Rest needed. Second – the caring guy – who will ask me to sleep one more hour in the morning, almost making me late for work. Who would ask me to cancel plans of meeting friends at the pretext of getting more sleep. One who postponed my plans to start studies by a month by pacifying me everyday that I shall be able to study once I am well, so I need to take rest and get well fast. Probably listening to the caring guy has made me a lazy bum, such a lazy bum that even my immunity is feeling lazy to act and fight.

Anyways, a lot of randomness thrown up here. Its like I have puked in this blog post. Goodnight for now. I shall take my medicines and listen to “Aakhri Alvida na ho”.

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images


Manish Gupta will plant a deeper love in your heart for the English Language by bringing to you hundreds of new words making your vocabulary mesmerizing coupled with etymologies and interesting stories behind such many words through his book English Bites ! – The Fun Way To Improve Your English !

It took me about 40 days to finish this book of 334 pages. Honestly, the start is itself like this. For the first few pages, I went so slow at a rate of about 2 pages an hour. This was because, I used to halt to read the meaning of words written at the footnote out of curiosity; even the words I knew, I read out of the same feeling and eventually lost the track, got bored and shut the book. However, as soon as I progressed, I started getting the hang of his writing style and the book became more and more interesting. Such that, when it came to an end, I felt bad for I wanted more of it.

So, Manish Gupta takes about 20 years to write this book and at no point of the book, will you feel that hard work was not invested. He has gone about writing a story using many words which will be new to your vocabulary. He has given meanings of all those words as footnote so you won’t need to toggle dictionary while reading the book. He has listed down many anecdotes, mnemonics and examples for you to remember those words and feel the idiosyncrasies of this language. He has also elaborated on etymologies of so many words with illustrations and expansion that will make you wonder and re read and feel like calling someone and discussing it.

The plot of the story is how the protagonist, Mr. Manish Gupta, who was not so fluent with this language goes about learning and excelling the language. While learning the language, he develops a hobby of dwelling into the vagaries and idiosyncrasies of English Language. He starts of a story with his school days and quickly shifts to college days. From College Graduation to MBA and finally getting into a Banker’s Job and getting a residence at the posh locality of Mumbai – Bandra. My favorite part was when he gets into the etymology  of Coffee, Food and Medical Terms.

Coming to Cover Page – In my opinion, I did not like it at all. If I would have not received this book from the Author directly, I would have never picked it up from a Book Store. About the readability, fonts are of proper size and flow of the story is very nicely set up. The book that initially bores you to death will only stick to your mind from midway only to leave you wanting more when it ends.

I would surely recommend each one of you reading the review to read this book. It is a different genre, true – but will not disappoint you on content levels. Thank you Mr. Manish Gupta for sending me this book and giving me a chance to read such a beautiful book. This book is surely going to rest in my “Most Favorite Read” Shelf.

Maulik Doshi

Source: Google Images

 

SUMMARY

Name of the Book: English Bites ! My Fullproof English Learning Formula.

Author: Manish Gupta

Publishers: Penguin Books India (www.penguinbooksindia.com)

ISBN: 978-0-143-41900-6

Genre: Non Fiction

Ratings: 4.5/5 😀

About the Book

The Fun Way To Improve Your English .. Is the English language your biggest nightmare? It was Manish Gupta’s until he decided to cheat and beat the system. Today he is a smooth – talking banker and has written a unique English Learning Guide that is easy to read, super effective and hilarious. So, whether you’re a vernacular speaker, a GRE/GMAT/CAT/XAT/ aspirant or just a language nut, English Bites ! will expand your vocabulary and improve your verbal ability. It may even help you love the English Language a  little more.

About the Author

Manish Gupta is a banking professional. When not crunching numbers, he examines the vagaries and idiosyncrasies of the English language. He also likes trivia, traveling, adventure sports, delving into human psychology and giving professional discourses to colleagues, family and friends – practically anyone who can give him a patient hearing. An engineering graduate from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and an MBA from XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur, he lives in Mumbai with his wife Deepali, a medical professional and their daughters Tamanna and Prakriti.

You can reach Manish Gupta at mystruggleswithenglish@gmail.com.