Posted in bookreview

Legends Over Generations

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Book : Legends over Generations
Author : Ashraf Haggag
Pages : 228
Price : 349/-
Publication : Blue Rose Publishers

Legends over Generations is a set of collective biographies of Legends we had from past to present times. Author talks about Legends according to the their self established fields. And these are divided in 4 parts :

> Human Rights
> Science
> Politics Over History
> Art & Literature

The chapters are evenly distributed, and properly aligned as giving first quiet a description of the field. Followed by life of some legends in that field, which includes their Early life & education , giving brief about what all they achieved in the field followed by their Legacy they left for us to follow.
I appreciate the author for keeping it well structured & not loading with extra information. As legends can have a lot to provide with them. Legend’s chapter started with their signature (well we can consider this book as signed book by Legends (**) ), and ended with great quotes by these great people.

However, this book reminded me more of my history lessons where we used to read about great people, learn about their life.

I loved most to read about Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Alexandar Graham Bell, Charles Dicken, Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare.
Also I would have loved to see more of Female Legends, who has done so much in the fields as differentiated by Author.

Also Conclusion;Key Features, gives us variety of traits for these Legends that we can apply in our daily life.

Quotes

Nobody can hurt me without my permission

– Mahatma Gandhi

Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons.

– Malala Yousafzai

Little science takes you away from God, but more of it takes you to Him.

– Louis Pasteur

Flee the country where a lone man holds all power: It is a nation of slaves.

– Simon Bolivar

When words fail, Music speaks.

– William Shakespeare

Final Note :

If you haven’t read any non-fiction, and want to try your hand on first ever non-fiction. I will surely recommend this, as this is light and informative. Gives you boost about people and motivate you too at the same time.


Cover: 3.5/5
Title: 3.5/5
Blurb: 3/5
Theme: 3/5
Story: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.3/5★

**Thank you publishers for providing the review copy, in return of an honest review.**

 

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Posted in My Words

~ A Little Reminder ~

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picture is taken from internet

And we often forget the spark of being self.
Be You-ng
Be-You-tiful

Our inner spark is what people see outside. No it’s not the face, it’s the glow on your face. The radiance pours out of you.
It’s only possible, when you are happy to be you.
It’s only possible, when you are content where you are.
It’s only possible, when you don’t see the flaws of people and only appreciate their uniqueness instead.

Let yourself live today like you have just started in the world.
Age doesn’t matter when you have your head and heart both into it.
Happiness is what will take you a long way, and Being You is what will make you happy forever.

This is just a reminder for you
To Be You ! 
To Be Happy ! 

Posted in bookreview

Saudade

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Book : Saudade
Author : Husna Mohammad
Pages : 149
Price : 250/-
Publication : The Write Place

I picked this book in crossword Mumbai, when I went to meet my booksta kid reader_Vidh .
And this was TOTALLY a Cover BUY at first. But then I read it’s blurb, and it was short stories. I knew it, this will be a great read. Because RECENTLY I love reading short stories compilation (yesh yesh, I have told this too many time)

Saudade : (n.) A deep emotional state of nostalgic longing.

And I clearly remember 2 of the stories gave me a nostalgic feel. Also other stories were written in old times I liked them too

The setting of all stories are in Kerala, and as Authoress herself is from same location. There was detailing for places, people. And I loved it.
The characters were special, short stories don’t have much time to grow their characters. But I LOVE when author in just few pages describe the aspects, the habit, and much more about the character and Husna has surely captured this very well in her stories.

Stories

Che Guevera’s Legacy
Is story of a 22-year-old boy Krishnan aka Kitu. Who believes in Che Guevera’s words and can do anything to bring justice to Che Guevera’s legacy of removing individualism.

The Calling
Is story of Mullah Masood, an Imam at mosque who got a higher calling for his life. I loved how the author has shown Aysha (Masood’s wife) thoughts of what happen to women behind the veil, how they feel and how they sometimes react that outside people can never think about

Beevitha
Is one of a kind supernatural/paranormal story of Beevitha (Beevi), how she found her child after 3 months with no memory of her.

The Commodore’s Daughter
story that touches your heart, how a daughter guards his fathers secret for her lifetime. Even though the thought of such can hurt someone badly, still she accepts it and keep with her and not letting anyone know about it.

The Inscrutable Case of a Lilac Saree
is another story with paranormal touch. The end left me in a state of fear, what alone people go under.

A Walk in the Rain
This one was one of my favorites, as this one had a poetic touch in it. The protagonist Naaz married to a man who kept her well, loved her, gave her everything a women wants yet she couldn’t love her back. Her heart belonged to something else, and then came a night and an old friend and the walk in the rain. Believe me this is not a love story.

The Dairy of an Insomniac
MY FAVORITE, as I could relate so much from this one. No not the heart-break, or anything. But a DAIRY, and an Insomniac well that’s me. Story of Ashiana who finally gets over insomnia after writing all her thoughts in dairy, and finds the beauty of life in the end.

The Empty Canvas
Story how an artist feel connected to a place, that when she is brought away from the place and lost people she loved. She goes into depression. And how once again, she finds the will to fill that Empty canvas with her thoughts. Another favorite.

My Name is Arif Mushtaq and I am Gay
This story is so gross in a way, and yet so touching in another way. A child, who doesn’t know about sexuality loses virginity to another 18 yrs old child/man. And then in future Arif marries a girl, just because she loved him too much. But will this unison be for long time ?

Writing

Each story takes you to different state of emotion, and some takes you under many emotions in one story. It’s commendable on author’s part that the roughness of characters are kept in it. Characters are flawed, and yet their stories will make you like them. The language is simple and no extra heavy words are put in to show off. As the stories are based on Kerala, the culture, places are well researched off.
The only thing that didn’t worked for me was Grammatical errors. The book need more editing.

Words that touched

That strange sense of being different stays with you. You long to be with people who are more like you. Similarities are what bonds humans than differences, Beevitha.

– that no matter how unconditional a love may seem between two people, there could still be instances in time when that love pales in significance before far more powerful forces of emotion, or perhaps temptation.

As children we see everything in hues of white, in harmonious balance. look deeper and there would be parallel narratives – A Pandora’s box just waiting to be opened.

So much has changed and yet everything remained the same.

Between the thin red line
Of words restrained and controlled
Where thoughts are veiled
And emotions guarded
Time lies witness to all that’s unsaid
Mired in the dichotomy of You

That a love as intense between two people who thought themselves to be unbreakable, could just vanish was simply another learning curve.

I guess that is what wounded souls do. They carefully annihilate the essence and self-worth of another, embedding seeds of their sinister darkness into them, so that with time, they create prototypes of themselves.

 

Final Note :

If you can ignore grammatical mistakes, like I did many-a-times. This book is perfect coffee-read on any evening and you should read if given a chance. Author Husna has tried so much to convey in these compilation of short stories.

 Rating: 4/5

Posted in bookreview

Stepping Stones Taking Towards the Goal

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Book : Stepping Stones Taking Towards the Goal
Author : Lubhna Dongre
Pages : 344
Price : 290/-
Publication : Notion Press

Book is written by a 16-year-old Author Lubna Dongre, who was 12 when the first thought of writing came into her mind. At 14 years old, she was successful in deciding that this is it. This is what she wanna do, to write for people. To motivate them, while she herself got motivated in writing the Book.

The book starts with recognition and praise for Lubhna from various known people. In whole book covers 10 Main topics, and author make sure to cover them line by line and with subtopics. In the book author talks about how a normal teenager she was, & had this idea of writing this book came to her in 12 at midnight.

She has covered the topics in P’s.
> Potential
Covering all about an individual. Before we start doing anything big, we have to start by thinking about ourself and evaluate what we want to do in life.
> Purpose
This cover’s the reason WHY am I doing this. What will I leave to this society once I am gone? what is purpose of me being here in this world?
> Programming
This one is the one I concerned the most ‘self-help’ related topic. This covers with the mentality of us for doing something. The positive or negative impact our purpose will make in the society and to us. How learning always affect what we do in life. And Learning here only doesn’t mean the education we take up on, it’s the self learning, experience that we go through that teaches us.
> Progress
After we have learnt how to program our mind towards our purpose with our potential, we need to keep looking at the progress we are making. Dream something, and make it happen. The progress should not be of selfish type, someone’s progress always affect others around. So be considerate when making progress, it’s not just you but the society should progress too.
> Plan
Planning is what we need to do make an actual progress. So make some ground rules to the road ahead, how you gonna manage the time for all the activities you gonna do in life, the resources and energy are equally important while planning
> Problems
It happens major time, that when we are on a path we are faced with problems. Before we learn to step on those stones and make our way towards our destination, these are the pebbles that make our walk more difficult. But don’t be afraid of it, keep walking towards the end and see the LIGHT.
> Persistence
We should have the passion, persistence and consistently keep moving towards the path. Problems will come, but we have to keep moving and never give up until the very end. Be persistent to what we have already started.
> Power
> Performance
> Pleasure/Peace
All these three chapter are about the power we put in to keep the persistence and reach out goal. How our performance gratitude to others who helped us in this journey. And in the end we all are forced to ask ourselves ‘what will be the last thing you do before dying? ‘

I would like to say, for an age this small I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to have for dinner. No clear path was defined when I was a teenager. Author Lubhna has surely made me realize that age doesn’t matter, if a person thinks he can do it. They can do it, everything else turns to be a Stepping Stones when we are clear about our destination.

The language used is good, and we can have many quotes take out from this book. How Author included her story leading herself to write this book is commendable. The thing that didn’t worked out for me was the length of book, its 344 pages big book. But around 150 pages are all about the author and influenced people emails, appreciations. They helped the author to write this book, so for sure they hold a very special place in author’s heart. But as a reader they were like starring in start and end of a movie. I have to be honest about this, the end emails I just skimmed over them.

Overall: 2.5/5

I would like to thanks Author for providing me the book in return of an honest feedback.
Read this book as part of femmeMarchFest, dedicated to read only women writers in March 2018.
Posted in bookreview

A Word Thrice Uttered

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Book : A Word Thrice Uttered
Author : Parveen Talha
Pages : 192
Price : 290/-
Publication : Niyogi Books

The collection of short stories, with a roller coaster of emotions.

Another amazing short story book, and the more I read short stories the move I am driven towards them. Due to their short length, giving out so much in the book. And I am totally impressed by the Author Parveen Talha, her backdrop of Lucknow for stories are so perfect and are believable. Book is an anthology for 16 heart melting stories.

The cover is totally relatable and is in many ways does justice to the stories

It is so difficult to choose a favorite, when each story covers such different emotions and give an eye on societies issues.

So I will be giving a line or two on each story

Stories

Thanks for Ditching Me
Is story of a girl, who doesn’t lose hope and waste time after getting ditched by the man who she loved. She make a successful life of herself, even after such a heart-break at a tender age.
What will she say when she sees the man after many years ?

Amma! Come back…
is story of a boy Ratan, whose mother sacrifices their relationship to give him a good future. While boy lives with his maternal aunt, he is down the line treated as inferior and worker at home. Will he ever return to his mother from this ?

A String of Bela Flowers
Is story of lovers who couldn’t travel in together but reach their destination at the very end.
What is the significance of flowers in this story ?

Centipede
shows how cities move ahead to cope up with generations. The traditions are changed as per the generation they are done in.

A Word Thrice Uttered
is story of a Kausar, who kept on struggling with her life. Since she was born, with a stepmother, she got married to a person who was less in status, and then a disabled son.
She took all the house cruelty done by her new husband and his sister just because she feared the word ‘Talaq’.
Will she forever remain in this unsatisfied marriage ?

Rustam
Sona And Tiger
These both stories capture not just human emotions, but the emotions the pet animal have towards their owners aka family or each other.
Who is Rustam ?
Who is Sona ?
and Who is Tiger ?

Gangaji is not far, Bappa…
is heartfelt story of a boy who is born in a poor family, and has to take responsibility of family in very early age. Even though the story’s title is dedicated to the love of Ram khilawan towards her grandmother (daddi). He want’s to fulfil her last wish.
The story touches the social issue of child labour and its disadvantages
What was Ram Khilawan’s Grandmothers last wish ?
Was he able to fulfil it ?

Let Me Have A Love Affair
the story revolves around Prashant, a movie buff, married when he was in class 10th, wanted to make an adventure like Hero’s in movie do. And so he did.
The story tittle and majorly revolves around the love and affair. But subtexting it I think it also covers the social ill for child marriages.

Trail And Punishment
Is a story that will leave you in such a positive state, that there are actually good people and every person gets what they deserve. There may be a delay and the trail period may be bigger but at the end they get Punishment.
Another story that dealt with child labor and human trafficking.

Where Did The Delicacies Come From
story of a family, who went from being rich to poor. The story is about Amma (Gausia’s Amma) who believed in Allah with all her heart, and her love for children. They all saw a miracle happen together.

Virginity lost…so what
is a story that is mostly based on present setup. Where we as human’s have entered a generation where loosing virginity isn’t a big deal
*For me believing in this kind of story is a bit difficult. Because I know how society still has an EYE on girl, if she comes home late at night, or share a home with male partner without marriage.
But here is to hoping that this taboo goes out of fashion, and women are treated same in case of Virgin – Non Virgin Men.

The Magic Wand
is a story that makes you believe in magic and how a person can make you feel just being present in the same room.
*I clearly remember this one made me smile at the way till the end. Because I could see something similar, something very similar to my life.*

Real Sacrifice
is story of a boy, who loved his pet Moti. A baby goat which his parents brought in home for sacrificing on bakreed in a year.
How he manages to speak up in front of his parents, and grandmother for not sacrificing the goat Moti.
What sacrifice did he had to make for this?

Panditayin
is story of a hindu women, who works as a servant to Nawab’s. And how the time takes turn, and her rightful owners get killed by his own family. Panditayin gives a promise to dying Begum Sahiba to protect the child born to her.
How Panditayin takes up the task to bring up the child on her own, while working in other people home.
Will hasan ever know about his story?
Will a hindu lady will do a justice to bring up a muslim man?

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
is story of Atique, a man who started his own business from scratch and was betrayed by a company who took goods from him.
This story brings out different dark sides of our society, like How big companies exploit small business for their profit.

Writing

Author Parveen Talha has capture Lucknow and it’s people so beautifully on paper. I loved each aspect of Lucknow that was set to imagine.
The depth of characters in such short stories are so difficult, yet applaud to the Author that she did it so aptly.
The language used is well versed, and the pace of stories are good. Except some, which I felt were bored in the middle having too much information.

Final Note :

YOU SHOULD READ THIS. THIS IS NOT JUST A NOVEL, THIS IS WHOLE OF LUCKNOW AND PEOPLE IN THEM. I Stronnnnnnnnnglyy want people to read this, and come face to face with the evil of society that the books talk about.

You can buy the book (ALREADY) : HERE

 Rating: 5/5

**I would like to thanks Niyogi Books for providing me the book in return of an honest review.**

 

Posted in bookreview

VANYA – Collection of stories and poems

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Book : VANYA
Author : Multiple Authors
Pages : 66
Price : 199/-
Publication : Artson Publishing House

Compilation of poetry & stories on theme grace, courage and strength of women.

Poetry are not very easy to read and understand. Some are simple, some are deep.
This book contains both in equal mixture.

The book is contains words from 23 writers who understand a woman in their own ways. Yet all the poetry and story can show case one common thing, the Courage woman has shown.

Poems

There are 21 poems by multiple writers. And I being one of them, are so amazed how we all think so differently and all have a unique way of writing. But the theme of book is not lost in any of the poem.
Apart from my own poems (2 poems are written by me), some of my favorites are (Rhapsody of a woman, a journey from childhood to adulthood, and SHE)

Poems having simple language, but the effects go in deep.

Stories

There are 9 stories in total written by multiple writers. While some stories gave me chills, because I was terrified when I read ‘The Night Not Less Than A Nightmare’ . It is the very first story, and I had to take time off after this one. Woman go under so much and we are thought to keep silent and be patient MORE.
Another story to mention is ‘The Men Of A Woman’, as the name suggest the story revolves around a lady and men in her life. A husband, a son, after marriage they are her life.
Last but not the least, ‘Colour’ showed how easily colour in a women’s life can be taken away. It’s sad that society and emotions of a woman never give justice to her life. And that’s exactly what is shown in this story.

Stories are written in a way, that show struggle of a woman in everyday life. The sacrifice, the fear, the little things that bring her happiness, all are spread across wonderfully in these 9 stories.

Final Note :

If you haven’t read any poetry, this one is perfect to start with. As it is simple, but it also has depth. If you like mini-short stories, well this one has 9 🙂
Go Grab it. 23 Author (including me) will be grateful to you.

Link To Buy : VANYA

 Overall: 5/5

Huge Thank to Artson Publishing House for trusting these budding authors, 
and giving them chance in this amazing collection.

This book was read for a readathon #femmeMarchFest
Posted in My Words

The Bean Bakers – An Anthology

>> What can keep you warm in this December winters ?
The Bean Bakers ❤

>> What is The Bean Bakers ?
It’s an e-book Anthology of many budding authors which Half Baked Beans is bringing out in December. Compiled & Edited by Megha Rao

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>> What to expect ?
Poems that will touch your heart, mind and soul. You will read words that will trance you in between humor, grief, love and many more emotions in one e-book.

>> When is it releasing ?
The e-book releases on 8th Dec 2017.

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This is what some of the poets/poetess from the Anthology have to say about The Bean Bakers

This is a compilation of human emotions drawn from the deepest reserves of imagination. Laced with satire, humor, grief and insurmountable love, these poems are what make you feel better on days when ‘the blues’ couldn’t get any bluer.
Meticulously crafted with passion and love by several poets, this is the first in a series.
– Rashmi

Be it your way to work or when you are tuckered out, they’ll surely keep you enamored!
-Justina

Sense the surge as these electrical, dramatic, and yet gentle words take you on a topsy-turvy ride.
– Apurva

Colors more than your blues, blanketed with emotions but you are sure to get your cure on the roller coaster journey of our words.
– Sakshi

A series of poems to lighten your blues, emotions weaved together, leading you to a beautiful world of words.
– Roohi

One can have literary experiences in these expressions of the authors, enlightening the deepest feelings of your heart.
– Manvi

Deftly deals with all possible human emotions and mood swings. Laced with satire, humor, grief and insurmountable love, these poems are what makes you feel better on any day that has turned blue. Meticulously crafted with passion by several poets, this is first in the series.
– Upasana

Layer of human emotions en-crafted with Love, Longing, equality, hope, rains and what not. Feel every emotion inch sunk into skin.
-Neha

Look out on 8th December for below faces, to reveal what their pen is worth off

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Thank You – 100 Followers

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(pic taken from google)

Thank you to each one of you, who follows me to make it 100 followers of my Blog.

My first blog post is dated April 2013, when I started this blog with a theme of bringing smile on everyone’s face whoever reads it. Hence the name ‘smileaturself.wordpress.com’.

In 2013 I used to post my writings, as it was a period when I was away from my home. And I had too much to express which came out in my poems. Then later, I got too much busy in my work so blog got quiet for a while for 2 years around.

I was back on my blog this year June, and then its quiet some times. I have started using my blog for my favorite pastime/passion to Read and Write ❤

I am always open to people who wanna connect, I love meeting new friends and talk about their reads.

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Happy Blogging everyone..

^_^ mpsn aka nehuu ^_^

Posted in Reviews

Whispering Flames : Bookish Candles

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Whispering flames, is the FIRST bookish candle store in India. (as far as I know) 😉
The candles are made with love by Afia Vasaiwala, a 17 year kid. And its INCREDIBLE, that she at this young age had discovered such a wide variety of scents. She started doing candles for just friends and family, and after successful product she started it shipping all over India.

As we all bibliophile knows how we love the scent of candles when reading and going into that aura but shipping and customs were always issue for Indian readers. Whispering Flames made this possible for every Indian bibliophile with a very nominal prices.

What more attract Bibliophile is that we get the scents of our FAVORITE FANDOM’S (YES, HP … and many more ACOTAR, SOC etc)
The sizes of candles ranges from 8oz to 4oz and are 100% Vegan candles.

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I recently bought special edition of Sun-signs special edition candles. I ordered one for me, VIRGO 😀 and it SMELLS GREAT Coffee scents… And other Aries, its JASMINE in scent (it’s for a friend but I KEEP SNIFFING it until I send it to her address 😛 )

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Recently Whispering Flames had their 6months anniversary. Do visit the Whispering Flames Website