Whistling Silence!

This post is not going to be a formal book review but is a collection of myriad emotions. A one of its kind ever, I am still in awe of the conceptualization and turning it into reality which no less than a wonder in itself. We often embark upon journeys keeping in view of our destination but tend to burn out owing to the obstacles on the way. This book is a perfect epitome of what dedication and perseverance actually appeal like.

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I could have never ever in my dreams wondered how a simple blog on a platform like Quora could be turned into a book one fine day. This book, Whistling Silence is the product of the vision, hard work and dedication put in order to have amateur poets published.

This anthology is a collection of poems by 47 amateur poets who hardly knew each other before but were united to stand for a single goal. The themes are myriad and enough to leave the reader in awe of the different ideas one can come up with.

When we often tend to think more or less on similar lines, this book made me think how important it is to look beyond the obvious. It made me trespass the invisible boundaries I restrained myself within. This opened up the box of thoughts that have encouraged me to take up writing on different aspects.

I just fell in love with the way the book has been brilliantly organized. From acknowledgments till the poems end, there is so much to purity within.

The official launch was on 21 May 2017 at Title Waves, Mumbai. Dr. Swati Lodha, an eminent personality in the field of art was the guest of honor.

I simply lack words to thank the entire Core Team in making this dream come true. I learnt how overcoming barriers, being resilient and focussing on the goal lead one to the path of success. This is just a beginning. There is more to this.

A definite read! 🙂

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The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership!

I found myself glued to this book in no time for this was based on one of my topics of interest – Leadership. To add on, nonfiction is something that appeals me faster than a work of fiction.

John Maxwell illustrates lucidly his observations about leadership over the years through ample of relatable instances. This helps the reader get connected with his writing intentions and carry on with the flow. The reader would be left with the view of how leadership is always more of an observable experience that makes way for the learning to happen. Some traits are inborn, some are developed over time and need.

Below is the way I summarize the takeaways from this thought-provoking book.

  • Rule # 1 – The Law of Effectiveness

The author conveys with the example of how McDonald’s rose to fame that leadership is about effectiveness. He says the more effective the leadership is, the more is the outcome and the success rate keeping dedication same.

  • Rule # 2 – The Law of Influence 

The author says one cannot lead if one cannot influence. That’s how the impact is felt around.

  • Rule # 3 – The Law of Process 

Leadership is a continuous process of learning and growth. It is the consistency that should drive an individual and the result(s) would show up eventually.

  • Rule # 4 – The Law of Navigation

Charting out the course in a planned manner helps in tackling with unforeseen circumstances. And, preparation is the key.

  • Rule # 5 – The Law of E F Hutton

When a true leader speaks, the world listens.

  • Rule # 6 – The Law of Solid Ground 

The foundation of leadership is trust that renders a solid ground.

  • Rule # 7 – The Law of Respect 

People respect and follow leaders who are stronger than they are.

  • Rule # 8 – The Law of Intuition 

True leaders evaluate with their inherent instincts and other intangible factors. They use this to solve real world problems.

  • Rule # 9 – The Law of Magnetism 

Leaders attract people with similar personalities.

  • Rule # 10 – The Law of Connection

Leaders tend to first connect with people through heart and then ask for the hand.

  • Rule # 11 – The Law of Inner Circle 

A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him/her. The strength of the people falling in the inner circle directly/indirectly impact the overall execution of the leader.

  • Rule # 12 – The Law of Empowerment 

Only secure leaders give power to others. Becoming dispensable makes a true leader indispensable. It’s the practice of uplifting others that show the real potential of a leader.

  • Rule # 13 – The Law of Reproduction 

It takes a leader to raise up a leader. It takes one to know one, show one, and grow one.

  • Rule # 14 – The Law of Buy-in 

People buy into the leader and then the vision.

  • Rule # 15 – The Law of Victory 

Leaders find a way for their team to win. Leaders who practice the Law of Victory believe that anything less than success is unacceptable. And they have no Plan B. That keeps them fighting.

  • Rule # 16 – The Law of Big Mo 

Momentum is a leader’s best friend. If your desire is to do great things with your organization, never overlook the power of momentum. It truly is the leader’s best friend. If you can develop it, you can do almost anything.

  • Rule # 17 – The Law of Priorities 

Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment. Prioritize based on what gets most of the work done.

  • Rule # 18 – The Law of Sacrifice 

A leader must give up to go up.

  • Rule # 19 – The Law of Timing 

When to lead is as important as what to do and where to go. Only the right action at the right time will bring success. Anything else exacts a high price.

  • Rule # 20 – The Law of Explosive Growth 

To add growth, lead followers. To multiply, lead leaders.

  • Rule # 21 – The Law of Legacy 

A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession. A leader’s lasting value will be measured by succession.

 Some of the lines from the book that caught my attention;

“Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible.” 

“When the right leader and the right timing come together, incredible things happen.” 

The concepts in the book are definitely worth trying out over and over. This is one of the most interesting reads I ever had on leadership. Worth reading all over!

The Road Less Taken!

I was reminded of the famous poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’ when I happened to get a glimpse of this book and wondered what would be so special about this book for the title had already caught my attention. And here, I am just done with this wonderful book by Dr. Scott Peck.

The most distinguishing factor about this non-fiction is the mindblowing way a Psychiatrist can so beautifully weave the pages of a book such as this. This book talks about the major facets of life while diving deep into explaining them out the way he gets to perceive through his practice of Psychiatry. There are lot many instances he puts on the paper to study human behavior and derive conclusions hidden therein. Ultimately, this book will somehow make us introspect the hidden persona we all carry within and make us think the way we tend to behave under different circumstances.

The writing is very simple, to the point, keeps the reader hooked to it and makes him/her look forward to the next section ahead.

Few of the lines from the book that particularly caught my attention;

“The feeling of being valuable-“I am a valuable person”-is essential to mental health and is a cornerstone of self-discipline.”

“Some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline, we can solve all problems.”

“Truth or reality is avoided when it is painful.”

“Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other.”

“It is true that love involves a change in the self, but this is an extension of the self rather than a sacrifice of the self.”

“Genuine love is a self-replenishing activity.”

“The essence of life is change, a panoply of growth and decay.”

“The highest forms of love are inevitably totally free choices and not acts of conformity.”

“One’s feelings are the source of one’s energy; they provide the horsepower, or slave power, that makes it possible for us to accomplish the tasks of living.”

A must-read book for sure for everyone from all age-groups.

On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft!

This is Stephen King’s first book I took up to dig into his thoughts about writing. The curious kid in me had somehow got hold of this pretty famous book.  

As I kick started, I found the book to follow a storyline, as against my expectation of being more of a self-help book. Stephen talks about his initial days, the struggles he has had and how he keeps up with his writings and publications while dealing with personal experiences. This section is more of a narrative piece that simply goes on.  

As I keenly awaited for the actual content to catch my attention, I see a separate section completely dedicated to ‘On Writing’. Ah! I get to feel this is the point I and may be fellow writers like me had been waiting for!   

And then there he is, hitting on the main pointers when it comes to the technicalities about writing. He elaborates about some pillars of writing with their usage, importance and building them up;  

  1. Vocabulary 
  2. Grammar 
  3. Parts of speech 
  4. Elements of style 

It’s such a pleasure to read about Stephen talking about how one should take up the discourse to writing. He gives away noteworthy pointers to the readers with ample instances.  

Stephen emphasizes a lot on mastering the fundamentals of writing by getting a good grip on them. And then he extends his argument to imply that it takes a great deal of hard work, persistence, nd dedication to reach up to the next level of being a writer. He then proceeds to stress on how important is reading towards writing. Stephen also sheds an ample amount of time in explaining about the importance of building characters and storytelling, which is his genre.  

Stephen, then elaborates more about drafting and proofreading. And towards the end, leaves the reader with his personal choice of recommended books.  

Few of my favorites lines from the book would include – 

“Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.”  

“Writing is seduction. Good talk is a part of seduction.” 

“But there is that matter of commitment, whether a book is good or bad, a failure or a success. Words have weight.”  

“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.”  

“The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing.”  

“The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.”  

“When you’re writing, you’re creating your own worlds.”  

“You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.”  

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”  

A definite worth-reading book for all those budding writers around! 🙂

Conversations With God! [Book One]

“Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals.
Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds lose, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.”

A series of three books, ‘Conversations With God’ is about self who has a lot of questions in mind about life and wishes the omnipresent ‘God’ answer them and help him/her understand the life better. It’s a dialogue between us and the God in a very interesting way. This is a book must for the souls who feel life is a lackluster. To someone who has lost all their hopes on life and is simply clueless about life, this awesome book has a lot to offer.

“Passion is the love of turning being into action. It fuels the engine of creation. It changes concepts to experience.
Passion is the fire that drives us to express who we really are. Never deny passion, for that is to deny who you are and who you truly want to be.”

Walsch weaves the conversation in such an interesting way that keeps a reader hooked and find so much depth and truth about life. Simple yet intriguing!

“The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery but a process of creation.
You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out who you are, seek to determine who you want to be.”

There are a lot of things the book talks about – hurdles in life, love, passion, pain, happiness and the like. In the end, we just get to see the positive aspect of each and everything that happens in life. This is meant to change the perspective of how we generally take things to be. We just evolve out of the entire negativity that we create in our minds and opens doors to a more fulfilling life ahead. Overall, a must read book in the lifetime for each one of us!

“Pain is a result of wrong thought. It’s an error in thinking.”

Of so many favorites lines from the book, the one mentioned below is my personal favorite.

“To live your life without expectation – without the need for specific results – that is freedom. That’s Godliness. That is how I live.”

Happy Reading!

The Art of Agile Development!

A newbie to the agile methodology introduced me to my very first book – The Art of Agile Development. Having had a few months of experience in the ‘agile’ environment, this book was a reading pleasure.

The book opens up to briefing about the agile methodology and lists out the inherent thinking behind this practice in the field of software development. Though the focus over the ‘Scrum’ type is almost nil, but the book doesn’t let you lose out on your grip even if you are a practitioner of the Scrum methodology. Most of the talks are described with the Extreme Programming [XP] perspective. But the simple language of the author makes it a lot easier for the reader to comprehend. The author gives insights about how exactly an agile environment operates, how do we fit in such an environment and what makes agile one of the best models of software development. The book further digs a bit into domain modeling, exhaustive testing and the like. It also talks with perspectives of the ‘Product Owner’, ‘Developer’, ‘Tester’ and the business angle(s).

A novice agile developer can easily relate to the concepts and thereby understand the agile functionality at a more granular level. The book isn’t exhaustive at all and aptly describes every bit of it. On the part of the reader, it takes a bit of consciousness and ability to read between the lines and understand the nuances conveyed therein.

Overall, a must read for all working on agile projects. It will help in better segregation of what exactly are the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” in an agile software development.

Happy Reading! 🙂

The Book Thief!

“Sometimes I imagined how everything looked above those clouds, knowing without question that the sun was blond, and the endless atmosphere was a giant blue eye.”

I am going to talk about a lovely book thief that I met few days back. The Book Thief is an interesting girl, Liesel Merminger, a native of Munich, Germany. As curiosity-arousing the title is, so is the book.

The Book Thief
The Book Thief

The book is set in the bygone era of the World Wars and the Nazis. And, there is Liesel who apparently had been given away to her foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, after having lost her brother. Amidst the chaos she goes through, an illiterate Liesel finds solace in books. This compels her to steal books for which there are absolutely no regrets about. She tries to hide this from everyone but one fine day, her father comes to know of her habit and helps her with reading and writing. Liesel loves it when Hans reads out the chapters from the books she stole in the midnight.

“But it’s hard to keep them warm when the souls still shiver.”

Then there are accounts of the ongoing rage between the Jews and the Nazis among which Liesel and her family have to bear the trauma of the events that follow. Towards the end, we see Liesel losing out even her foster parents in addition to the Jewish best friend she found in Max. This tragic end also states about her future whereabouts and ends on a very poignant note which goes as – 

“I am haunted by humans.”

A soul-stirring story with an awesome narration, flavoured by the German language at places that makes the read even more engaging.