Monday, June 06, 2011

BOOK REVIEW - Same kind of different as me

I reviewed this book for Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program. It is a non-fictional tale about 2 contrasting personalties and their unlikely friendship. The book employs dual narrative - one polished and educated and the other, rough and colourful.  It makes for an interesting read.

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

US trip...

Visited USA last week. Drove down to Florida from Chicago and visited disney theme parks... Had an awesome time. Some pictures from the trip...










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Thursday, June 03, 2010

BOOK REVIEW - Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life BY Bryan Curtis

I reviewed this book for Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program. The book provides a collection of quotes to inspire, motivate and inform people aspiring to be successful in their chosen professional field. The book can be covered cover-to-cover in a one time read but it will take a while to assimilate and put into practice the wisdom conveyed. It makes for a very interesting read. I personally would have preferred more quotations from people in the business arena as opposed to people from the political field. All in all, it is a book worth having in your book shelf and when consumed with doubt with respect to your career, turning over a few pages should help alleviate those doubts.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

BOOK REVIEW - PLAN B BY PETE WILSON

When I got a copy of "Plan B", I felt that the subject would not interest me as much and it turned out that way. The author is apparently a man of faith (he is a pastor in a church) and he is convinced that people who read the book will share his viewpoint (which obviously I did not). He offers no explanation as to why someone should share his belief. There are a lot of people who do share his belief system but reading the book only raises further questions than giving answers. I will conclude by saying that reading the book provided an underwhelming experience...

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

BOOK REVIEW - EVERYONE COMMUNICATES FEW CONNECT BY JOHN C. MAXWELL

"Everyone communicates, few connect" is aimed at anyone and everyone wishing to improve their communication skills and ensure that they can connect effectively with others. While the author draws on his personal experiences in a formal environment (such as his interactions with members from his church), the techniques he uses in his approach can easily apply to personal circumstances as well. He places emphasis on explaining the theory behind how to effectively communicate and supplements that information with how he has used them in real-life situations to gel with people from all walks of life.

The book is split into two sections. The first part concentrates on the five main connecting principles and the second part focuses on the five connecting practices, so readers can learn to communicate and connect effectively one-on-one and in a group. This is my first exposure to a book by John Maxwell and the book was a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson. The author employs an interesting narrative style and uses a first-person narrative throughout. At times, it does feel like he is tooting his own horns but for the most part, comes across as sincere as he can be. There is a lot of repetition in the ideas and content he conveys but I guess he uses this approach to ensure that his point comes across and stays with the reader long after having read the book. If you do get bored reading each chapter in detail, the author does a very good job of summarizing the contents of each chapter which provides a very good gist of what was covered in that chapter.

I did find myself agreeing a lot with his viewpoint on why people fail to connect. The techniques he advocates are very interesting and though definitely not easy to follow, I would like to try them out for myself.

On the whole, I would recommend this book for anyone wishing to improve their inter-personal skills.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book review - A century turns by William J. Bennett

"A century turns" provides a compelling and interesting summary of American political history from early 1990s leading up to 2009. While most of the events (especially international events) narrated are quite familiar and often tread upon topics, the author's take on the domestic happenings is quite detailed. Various events leading to the presidential elections are explained quite vividly and this was one part of the book that I found to be a little dry. Even though the author is stating his personal viewpoint, he steers clear of vilifying any of the political characters and where necessary, supports them.

The author succeeds in his role of informing us of the most important events taking place during the last 20 years and none of the facts are glossed over. Quite a bit of emphasis is placed on narrating the events as it is without letting his judgement cloud the topic. The author’s sofrt corner for Bush Sr. is evident in the first few chapters. What makes the content quite interesting is the fact that the author himself was involved with various governments in different capacities and is thus able to offer a unique perspective on a situation.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in getting their hands on a fun and invigorating book.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Movie review - Dostana (Hindi, 2008)

One line review

Funny Abhishek, gorgeous John, delicious Priyanka, wicked soundtrack, consistently funny tone and some nice visuals make this movie a treat to watch...

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Movie Review - Vaaranam Aayiram (Tamil, 2008)

One line review

Exceptional performance from Surya, decent sound track, awesome cinematography and slightly let down feeling from Gowtham Menon

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Google health

Google health is a new service offered by Google. It aims to provide a comprehensive web-based service where patients can store and manage all of their health related information in a secure electronic format and can share their medical information with their clinicians and pharmacies. All that is required to get started is a google account.

Anyone can build up their health profile by entering their health conditions, medications, allergies and lab results. Google has also teamed up with a number of health care units and pharmacies in the USA whereby patient medical reports can be imported and stored. Information is also available on various medical conditions and is made freely available to anyone. Users can also look up doctors and clinic details and have them saved in their profile and quick reference later.

This service is currently provided to users free of charge and the interface too is advert free. This is an excellent initiative by Google. There will be lots of murmurs as usual with regards to privacy and security. Google assures that the users will remain the custodians of data stored in their profile in spite of the data being stored on Google servers.

It will be interesting to see how this service evolves and is integrated into other country's health care set-up. At this point in time, it is primarily USA-centric but as with other services offered by Google, it won't be long before the service is offered in other countries too.

***Pictures courtesy Google Health

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Movie Review - Bachna Ae Haseeno (Hindi, 2008)

Bachna Ae Haseeno is promoted as a young yuppie film that promises good music, exotic locales and fun-filled moments. Does the movie deliver that???

Ranbir Kapoor is the heart and soul of the film. His character arc progresses from an 18 year old boy to a 30ish guy and he carries of his role with aplomb. I didn't watch Saawariya and hence had no pre-conceived notions about his acting ability and was pleasantly surprised with his assured performance.

The story is broken down into 3 segments during his growing up years where he gets to romance three beautiful ladies and how that shapes his perceptions as he gets older.

Minissha Lamba plays a small town girls who is taking a trip across Europe where she runs into Ranbir (DDLJ style). She is completely besotted with the Raj character from DDLJ and is pretty much living in a dream world. This portion of the movie makes a lot of reference to DDLJ and not all them come off well. Few years down the line, he gets into a live-in relationship with Bipasha Basu who is an aspiring dancer and quite modern in her outlook. That she is vulnerable too at the same time makes her a very believable character and her performance is quite engaging. The last act features Deepika Padukone playing a taxi-driving MBA student in Australia with a very independent streak and a strong mind. Her character isn't as well etched as the other two and her lack of expressions only adds to a damp performance.

A special mention needs to be made about Bipasha Basu's designer. She is absolutely stunning whenever she is on the screen and is quite an eye candy. She is especially delicious in the "Lucky Boy" song. All the songs have been well choreographed and the frequent usage of the yesteryear song "Bachna Ae Haseeno" just helps the story move along.

The movie is full of subtle humour and they helps in the pacing of the movie. While the second half is definitely over the top and dragging at places and could have one with some trimming, the cinematography is top-notch and the songs are well placed.

This movie is definitely a fun-filled outing!!!

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