Saturday, March 28, 2020

If you propose to speak...


“If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind” –Buddha




“Is It True? Is It Necessary? Is It Kind?

Oh! Stay, dear child, one moment stay,

Before a word you speak,

That can do harm in any way

To the poor, or to the weak;

And never say of any one

What you’d not have said of you,

Ere you ask yourself the question,

“Is the accusation true?”

And if ’tis true, for I suppose

You would not tell a lie;

Before the failings you expose

Of friend or enemy:

Yet even then be careful, very;

Pause and your words well weigh,

And ask ft it be necessary,

What you’re about to say.

And should it necessary be,

At least you deem it so,

Yet speak not unadvisedly

Of friend or even foe,

Till in your secret soul you seek

For some excuse to find;

And ere the thoughtless word you speak,

Ask yourself, “Is it kind?”

When you have ask’d these questions three—

True,—Necessary,—Kind,—

Ask’d them in all sincerity,

I think that you will find,

It is not hardship to obey

The command of our Blessed Lord,—

No ill of any man to say;

No, not a single word.

Poem by - Mary Ann Pietzker



Saturday, March 21, 2020

9 books that stayed with me. 9


  1. The Martian - Andy Weir


I had an aversion towards Sci-Fi books, I had read a few like ‘a wrinkle in time’, ‘ender’s game’, ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the galaxy’ - all of these are well-known books, however, I did not enjoy reading them. I picked up ‘The Martian’ with reluctance and I absolutely loved it, I realized I do enjoy Sci-Fi after all, only if chosen wisely  :). I am now open to reading sci-fi and the ones that really liked are - Replay, The Martian, Recursion and Dark matter. 

Some avid readers say they read anything and everything, well I don’t. Life is too short to read anything and everything also once we start reading and appreciating quality stuff like Ayn Rand and Richard Dawkins it is hard to read anything and everything.

Hope you enjoy reading these books.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

9 books that stayed with me. 8

8. Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella

Before I read this book I had never read the genre called chick-lit -  The genre often addresses issues of modern womanhood – from romantic relationships to female friendships to matters in the workplace – in humorous and lighthearted ways. Chick-lits became my guilty pleasure, however, I haven’t found a better writer in this genre than Sophie Kinsella. Sometimes I do hate the women characters in her books - who by chance meet millionaire bachelors and end up becoming rich and whatnot, but I still read all her books. Finding Audrey is one of my favorites. Fiona Gibson is another writer that I like in this genre.



Saturday, March 7, 2020

9 books that stayed with me. 7

7. The Inimitable Jeeves


My father had the entire set of P.G. Wodehouse books at home, I was too curious to read P.G. but had doubts if I will understand it, considering it is the British comedy. Sometimes without even trying something we unnecessarily feel that we won’t be able to do it. So anyway, before reading P.G. I watched the TV show ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ - it gave me an idea of the mannerism, style, lifestyle that the British at that point of time had. After watching the show I started reading P.G. and now I am a complete fan. He has written 100+ books and I want to read them ALL.

P.G. has filled my life with humor, I read at least ten pages of P.G. before going to bed, it relaxes my mind before sleeping. Life is so playful, silly, light and fun if we look at that side of it. If I ever write a book then my style would be largely influenced by P.G.

Some great books by P. G. are The code of Woosters, Right Ho Jeeves, Carry on Jeeves, Stiff upper Lip Jeeves, Joy in the morning, Aunts aren't gentlemen, How right you are Jeeves, Thank you Jeeves, Very Good Jeeves, Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, The mating season, Ring for Jeeves, Laughing gas, The girl in blue, Big Money, and many more.


Saturday, February 29, 2020

9 books that stayed with me. 6

6. Who moved my cheese - Spencer Johnson


This was the first book that I read in the self-help book category. I was then at a perfect age to read self-help books. When I look back at myself in my teens, I don’t resemble that person even a bit, I have grown up to be so different, part of it definitely is life experiences, people that I met and the self-help books that I read.

Self-help books give you different perspectives on the world around you and how you interact with people, your environment and yourself.  Most of the time, these books are a life's accumulation of knowledge by some pretty brilliant people. But don't take everything in the self-help books to be the ultimate truth. It is just another point of view, a way of thinking. You sure learn things from books but use the perspective you gain cumulatively along with your real-life experiences and experiences of others to shape your core values. It's those core values that will help you be a better person. Books are just one of the various tools, and an important one, in that process. Always stay open and keep learning. If you are an avid reader of self-help books balance your reading across different topics. E.g read about money but also read about the soul, read about productivity but also read about mindfulness. This will help you gain more from each book.

Who moved my cheese is the first book that I read in this genre and so it remains close to my heart. Some of my favorite self-help books are - The power of your subconscious mind, Power of positive thinking, Seven habits of highly effective people, Grow younger live longer, Rich dad poor dad, Tough times never last but tough people do, I am okay you are okay, Eat that frog, How to win friends and influence people, The four agreements, Grit: The power of passion and perseverance, Count your chickens before they hatch, The Happiness Project, Feeling Good, and my most favorite is Essentialism - the pursuit of less.



Saturday, February 22, 2020

9 books that stayed with me. 5


5. 5 point someone - Chetan Bhagat


Yes! A book by Chetan Bhagat is on my list! I am saying this guilt-free that I loved this book and that is why I kept reading all his next books - until 3 mistakes of my life - after that I gave up. But anyway, this book opened a new avenue of books for me - English books which were written by Indian writers. Then I read books by Jhumpa Lahiri, Arvind Aadiga, Amitav Ghosh, Abraham Verghese, Salman Rushdie, Sudha Murthy, Deepak Chopra, Anurag Mathur (I love his book The inscrutable Americans). I was blown away by the ‘Palace of illusion’ - the rendition of Mahabharata from a female perspective. ‘Palace of illusion’ emphasized the prominence of how every story is multidimensional and everyone’s point of view is equally valid and interesting, Palace of Illusion remains amongst the top five books that I have ever read.