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  “I was never a book reader, just how we have acquired taste, reading became an accidental hobby when I used to travel for almost an hour in Mumbai locals”

– Kaushal Mahesh Gupta

In the last “Chat n Coffee” session of the year 2016 we have with us one of the top book reviewers in Goodreads and an eminent book blogger Kaushal Mahesh Gupta whose blog Errors and Kaushal has been home to many books both from newbie and renowned authors.

Today he is going to share with us his journey and tips as a book reviewer.

  • Tell us about yourself
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    Kaushal Mahesh Gupta

    I like to call myself a biodegradable human, who doesn’t believe in being pollution in some other human’s life. My bread & butter, when not on a diet, comes from being a digital marketing professional. I am an I.T graduate, like many others who followed the herd and like many others; I am a Cricket & Bollywood fan too.

  • What is your take on books/ movies/music? Any favorites?

I am of the opinion that every single book, every single movie and every single piece of music has something valuable that can add to our lives. They are not only a form of entertainment, but also a form of realization. A book can take you on a journey that you may never be able to be a part in your entire life. A movie can make you love and live the characters on screen, understand them and the humans, I never leave my logic and brain behind while watching a movie. Music, what do I tell! In my viewpoint they are best pill against a headache. It would be difficult to name only a few favourites, but biographies and autobiographies are my favourite in books, “Anurag Kashyap” is one of my favourite genres and I like every form of music, but I am trying to understand EDM.

  • Given a chance what one thing would you like to change in your life?

Nothing. If I would have had anything different in my life, maybe I would not have been answering this set of questions here. Whatever happens, happens for good. It’s only one life that we have, so we should live it the way it comes, unless one believes in reincarnation.

  • You have been reviewing books. What kind of books you usually love to read?

Yes, I am reviewing books actively for more than a year now, but I think I write more about the book instead of being a tough critic and getting into the nitty-gritty of the story. I prefer to read non-fiction, autobiographies and mythological fiction. Also, if you have a look at Errors And Kaushal, my book review blog, you will notice that I have read a lot of debut Indian authors and that’s because we should promote their work unlike popular authors who get backed by the publishing house in their marketing and advertisement efforts.

  • Indian book bloggers have made a very important presence in the publishing industry. Did you always wanted to be one of them?

    Yes, the book review bloggers are making the presence felt now and that’s all because of the ease of creating a blog/website and then reaching out to the blog readers. No, I never wanted to be a book blogger, it happened by chance when I first wrote about my experience of reading Raghu Ram’s debut Book, Raghu picked that up and shared with his followers and this kind of got me excited.

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P.S:  I was never a book reader, just how we have acquired taste, reading became an accidental hobby when I used to travel for almost an hour in Mumbai locals, and I had nothing to do.

  • What was your feeling when you were first approached by an author or publisher as a book reviewer?

When I was first approached by an author, I had written only about two books on my blog. I was amazed at this incident of being asked to write about a book by the author and also excited to receive the book directly from the author.

  • As a book reviewer, what are the things that you consider while writing a review ?

I personally believe that no story is a bad story, and should be read for a perspective on living the characters and their lives. I look at the overall attempt of the writer in keeping me engaged with the story at some level or the other. It is all about the narration and the choice of words for me, and if the book is with minimum predictability than the author has won the reader in me.

  • What is your opinion on rating a book on a scale of five?

Ideally, the book should not be rated because for us it’s just another book, but for the author it was almost everything. Today, with the kind of book review mechanism and portals that have come up, the ratings have become an integral part of the review system. I rate them only when it is mandatory on platforms like Goodreads or Amazon, but I don’t rate a book on my book review blog, Errors And Kaushal.

  • Reviewing a book is a very critical task since it helps a reader to decide whether to read the particular book or not. Many book lovers are nowadays turning into book reviewers. What message would you like to give them?

Yes, it’s a very critical task because it is almost the make or break for the book. My message to fellow book bloggers would be, “We should appreciate the story and writing more than the author or publication house it comes from as there are many self published authors who are writing great stuff but are away from the readers world because they don’t have enough marketing or advertising budgets. If possible, do help them in creating awareness about their debut books.”

  • With so many books publishing every day, what do you expect from an author or a publisher regarding reviewing books?

I expect them to be more organized and when I say more organized, what I mean is that they should handpick book bloggers who write more often about the genre of their book. They should be open to honest reviews and should not ask for a positive review right away, because the book goes out to the book blogger for free. Remember a book blogger also puts in equal efforts to read the book and then write about it so no unjust expectations like the review should be made live within 3 days, no negative comment, mandatory post on Amazon, etc… As most of the book bloggers themselves understand the importance of a review on Goodreads and E-Com sites.

  • And now in the end, how can the readers and others contact you.

I am just a tweet away; I can be reached at @gupta_kaushal. I am active on all social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Goodreads. The readers can connect with me via my Book Review Blog, Errors And Kaushal at guptakaushal.in.

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“Cooking was 1 thing I hated most. But I loved when my Mom used to bake our birthday cakes. ” – Aparna Nayak

In the “Chat n Coffee” session we have with us an avid reader, blogger, dotting mother to a special child and an awesome choco baker Aparna Nayak, the founder of

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Aparna Nayak

, a homemade chocolates and cake made to order.

Today Aparna is here to share with us her journey from a housewife to a home baker with Chocodisiac.

  • Tell us about yourself

I am a full time mother of a 12-year old special princess, part-time home baker and chocolatier, book reviewer and blogger. I love to cook and am a true foodie. I like to unwind day’s stress by listening to music or by reading a book or sometimes just curling up on a bean bag n watch some rom-com.

  • What gift would you prefer on your birthday?

Gift…hmmm….let me think…what gift a lady usually prefers??? I would prefer books, flowers from my loved one… baking goods, perfumes and/or trinkets which every women love…not necessary costly one… or may be on second thoughts I would prefer 1 day off on my birthday n go n bond with nature n get rejuvenated …. J

  • What is your take on books/ movies/music? Any favorites?

Books are woman’s best friends I believe… they don’t throw tantrum or demand attention….but do catch our attention… a good book is good stress buster… u can relax yourself when u had a bad day just settle down with a good book, your favourite hot cuppa in favourite cosy corner of your house n get immersed in the world of fantasy… i have nothing in particular but recently i liked Mrs. Funny bones, Devdutt Patnaik n Anand Neelkanthan’s mythology, The Palace of Illusions, Sumana khan’s Encounters and the revenge of Kaivalya, Kavita Kane’s Menaka’s Choice and Anupama Garg’s The Tantric curse.

 now-a-days movies n music have lost their charm except for some rare ones which did impact me in a strange way like Angry Indian Goddess, Pink, taare zameen par.

Present day music is just ….. no meaningful lyrics just senseless ones n some blaring hip hop background score which we get to hear during festivals n gets people dancing on it. I like to listen and unwind or start my day with some old music which peps up my mood and drives away day’s tiredness.

  • Given a chance what one thing would you like to change in your life?

Many things from my past from my childhood especially that 1 incident which changed my whole life..Not only mine but my whole family’s life.

  • You have been reviewing books? What kind of books you usually love to read?

Recently I have taken a love for reading mythologies but I like to read suspense, thrillers too n good romantic one too

  • You have started, Chocodisiac, a homemade chocolates and cake made to order. Did you always loved baking and cooking? What made you take the decision?

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    My family

Cooking was 1 thing I hated most. But I loved when my Mom used to bake our birthday cakes. That aroma which used waft in our house was just too tempting. After my daughter was born and had to go through a life threatening sickness at age of 8 months her doctor had advised her not give any outside food. But whenever on her birthdays we got shop cakes she used to fall sick and I always hated the aftertaste the cakes used to leave on my palette. Once when I went to attend my birthday party of my friend’s kid she gave me homemade chocolates. And that was like my stepping stone in world of homemade chocolates and cakes. I wanted to do something for myself as taking care of a differently abled girl is not an easy job for any mother. Luckily in July 2015 I attended a basic cake workshop wherein I learnt various icings and fillings. That gave me the necessary information and confidence to start something on my own from comforts of my house and that’s how Chocodisiac was born.

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My first order cake

  • Could you share some of your most popular cake recipes?

 

One of most relished and popular cake is Apple and oats cake which is super easy and yum too. It’s a Nita Mehta’s recipe.

 

Ingredients

 

½ tin milkmaid (200gms)

50 gms (1/2 cup) oats

15 almonds – crushed roughly

25 gms (1/4 cup) whole wheat flour (atta)

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon cinnamon (dalchini powder)

½ cup oil

1 teaspoon Vanilla essence (optional)

1 big red apple dekinned and finely chopped

2 tablespoon maida

 

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Apple and oats cake

Method

 

  • Grease well and line with paper 6-7’ cake tin of your desired shape.
  • Sieve wheat flour along with baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon powder.
  • Add oats and almonds.
  • Beat milkmaid well. Add essence and beat well.
  • Add oil and beat till well mixed.
  • Add flour mixture gradually and mix gently with wooden spoon.
  • Coat the chopped apple with the maida and fold it into the batter.
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared tin and bake it in preheated oven at 180’C for 40-45 min or till tester comes out clean

 

  • What do you take into account while taking any orders for Chocodisiac?

Many things… what the client likes/dislikes, if he/she is allergic to something… when do they want the delivery? Whether they want home delivery or they will pick up themselves so on and so forth.

  • How can it be used with books?

Hmm… I am not sure, as the recipes used by me are either adapted from some cook book or from some experts. Maybe, if you are planning some storyline on a baker or chef, then some recipes can be incorporated along with the plot.

  • What points should one keep in mind while ordering from a home baker/chocolatier?

People always complain about pricing… why are we costlier than the shop??? The reason is we make on order. We don’t buy ingredients in bulk as shops do. We use fine quality ingredients. Also if you observe shop cake usually has more of cream/filling than the sponge whereas we have a

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My first home made cake

balance of both. Shop cakes are prepared in bulk and are stale but we cater to your needs and start working on your cakes 1 or 2 day prior to day of delivery.  My daughter always use to fall sick after eating cream of the cakes from the shop but since I have started baking at home I give her cakes with cream without any fear as I know the quality of the ingredients used, no artificial colours or flavours used, so I am sure that my daughter is eating good quality product.

Also people should also consider that we are housewives turned baker. We have a family and their responsibilities to take care of. We have our kids to look after, kids and family members to be fed. It would be appreciative if the order is placed well in advance rather than in the eleventh hour. It actually gives us time to be more creative and give the special touch to such orders. Even though we love baking and it’s our passion but we invest our time, energy and also money so it would be awesome if someone respect that.

  • How can one contact you for the same?

One can contact me either by giving me a call on my mobile at 9320128433 or whatsapp me at same number or by emailing me at aparnanayak2008@gmail.com or by dropping a message on my fb page https://www.facebook.com/chocodisiac01

 

“I chose not to surrender but fight with leaving behind my footprints as an inspiration for others.” – Inderjit Kaur

 

Hello all! Today in our Blog Guest Post column, we have Inderjit Kaur, an author, motivator with a powerful voice of spreading positive words through her writingsA highly influential blogger and inspirational guide who with her tag line ‘Keep smiling, keep shining’, has brewed up with the original concept of living through her books of A living series. She shares with us about her recent book Kaleidoscope -Colours of Life, the third book under her under her ‘A Living Series’.

Inderjit Kaur

Your new book talks about inspiration of life. What inspired you to be an author?

What could be challenging then to change yourself and exactly that was the option that I chose.  I did suffer and survived 22 years of domestic violence headed with betrayal of relationship but I didn’t give up. I chose not to surrender but fight with leaving behind my footprints as an inspiration for others. When you reach a stage where the only option left is to release things clinging on you that are pausing your life, you feel enlightened and no longer a victim. You experience your mind is at ease even in difficult situations and this remarks you to a point of self-liberations. Simultaneously, you are blessed with more skill, mastering your potential and making yourself wiser every day culminating you to self-transformation that goes beyond transcendence.

I had originally thought to write a biography, but I felt there would not be enough information available to me. But inspirational words were jotted from core of my heart thus self-help and positive living books brewed up thus I was successful to create “A living series”- And now I’m pro to write only positive and inspirational ideas.

The colours of life pages the accounts of my own experiences, stories told by other people and the thoughts that I dwelled on while travelling through the times of my hardship and adversities, which just harnessed my true potential and discover the real me.

 

The third book in the Living Series is a Kaleidoscope to the life as the light it cast is more intense which witnesses to the most profound human experiences that I metaphor as Rainbow.

 

Hence the title  Kaleidoscope -Colours of Life.

KALEIDOSCOPE – COLOURS OF LIFE 
A LIVING SERIES: BOOK 3
BY
INDERJIT KAUR
 
 
Blurb
“Patience helps you endure all the troubles and issues that bother you. When you reach a stage, where the only remaining option is to release the things that are clinging on to you and pause your life, you feel enlightened and feel the positive impact of the change, and you no longer see yourself a victim of life. 
 
Kaleidoscope – Colours of Life is a of inspiring stories, suggestive poignant thoughts and ideologies that serve as a guide in every stage of life. Interlaced with threads of experiences of life and the lessons learnt from them, the book depicts seven inspiring stories weaved into the magnificent array of a rainbow. Charting the various shades of life, the book further highlights the ups and downs of each of the characters, who are embedded here as a metaphor for a rainbow, in the patio of a plethora of circumstances. 
 
By sharing wisdom, experiences and insights, Kaleidoscope – Colours of Life intends to deliver a message that will inspire and empower the readers to sense happiness and contentment, and help them to navigate life as a truly confident individual.”
 
 

Grab your copy @

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MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Inderjit Kaur is an author, motivator with a powerful voice of spreading positive words through her writings. A highly influential blogger and inspirational guide who with her tag line ‘Keep smiling, keep shining’, has brewed up with the original concept of living through her books of A living series.

 

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What Amitabh Bacchan had once asked his younger brother in the blockbuster bollywood movie “DEEWAR , “TERE PAS KYA HAI ” (What is that you have ??) seems to have passed on for ages. m

Lets take a glance at this humorous conversation below :

One Baby to another:

Mere pas huggies hai !                         Tere pas kya hai?

One Boy to another:

Mere pas Ben10 hai!                             Tere pas kya hai?

One Teenager to another:

Mere pas girlfriend hai!                        Tere pas kya hai?

21 year old guy to another:

Mere pas professional degree hai!        Ttere pas kya hai?

23 year old guy to another:

Mere pas 9k ka package hai!                  Tere pas kya hai?

28 year old guy to another:

Mere pas sundar biwi hai!                       Tere pas kya hai?

32 year old guy to another:

Mere pas Beta hai!                                  Tere pas kya hai?

39 year old guy to another:

Mere pas lifestyle hai!                             Tere pas kya hai?

42 year old man to another:

Mere pas property/bank balance hai!           Tere pas kya hai?

50years old man to another:

Mere pas fame hai, rutba hai, success hai!             

                                                                       Tere pas kya hai?

55 years old man to another:

Mere pas blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, hai!                 

                                                                        Tere pas kya hai?

58 year old man to another:

Mere pas grand children hai!                       Tere pas kya hai?

62 year old man to another:

Mere pas Pension hai!                                  Tere pas kya hai?

70 year old man to another:

Mere pas abhi bhi fit body and strong mind hai!     

                                                                           Tere pas kya hai?

75 years old man to another:

Mere pas long lonely life hai!                        Tere pas kya hai?

82 years old man to another:

Mere pas upper jane ka bulawa hai!                         Tere pas kya hai?

 

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Aur Apke pas??

Please  share your thoughts with me.

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It was a chilly January midnight in Delhi and I sat beside my dad wide awake. Helpless! He was trying hard to catch on his breathe and I could do nothing to help him rather than just sit and watch. The experience of that night still gives me goose bumps. He was tossing and turning in his bed to get some relief and I had no one to help me.

I was new in Delhi and lived independently. My work schedule left me no time to socialize. It had been two years since I came to chase my dreams here but the glitter and glamour of the metro took me nowhere. I might have changed overall as a person but when it came to personally know someone or have a 2:00a.m friend I was completely blank. My savings, my repute in my workplace or my skills were of no use to help my dad in this hour of need. I was desperately waiting for daybreak so that I could do something for him.

Dad had come to pay me a visit from our hometown and he did not confide me earlier that he actually was not well and wanted to consult a specialist here. I was quite glad to have him at my place where I stayed alone in a rented accommodation. We had a great time few days back but now I sat wondering why he not told me earlier or why I could not notice his problem before. It was fun to have him in the house. He would prepare the breakfast and when I came in the evenings he would serve me his special snacks. It felt like home again with his arrival.

But this morning when I left for office he had gone to the AIIMS hospital and spent the entire day waiting to meet the doctor who in turn did not bother to even listen to him for more than five minutes before handing him the prescription. Dad was very angry with the doctor’s behaviour and in turn he did not buy the prescribed medicine and returned home. When I came back in the evening he was looking very tired but I did not bother much. And in the midnight his trouble started and I had no clue what was it all about till I saw the prescription. Although I could not make out anything written on it but the date caught my attention. Dad was also not in a position to tell me anything. I felt so lonely sitting next to him watching his restlessness.

Finally it was daylight outside and dad fast asleep after a troubled night. I did not disturb him and tip toed outside. It was too early in the morning but I had to find help. I found one chemist shop in the market open by then. The owner was an old man himself. I showed him the prescription and asked about medicines. Till now I thought dad was having gastric problem and that was the cause of the trouble. The old man’s answer left me very disturbed when he said the medicines were related to heart. I asked him me to give me information about heart specialist here.

I made an appointment with the doctor and took dad when he woke up. The doctor conducted few tests and said dad’s condition was very serious and he needs to be admitted in hospital. Dad refused and went home. We had a heated argument regarding hospitalization but dad stick to his decision. I made another visit to the doctor and this time alone to ask if there was any other way. The doctor recommended complete bed rest and constant observation along with some medicines and diet.

I was confused by the time I reached home. Help was way too far and I had little confidence in my abilities to attend dad in this situation. Adamant that he was I knew he would rather go back to home town than get admitted in hospital here. There was no possibility that mom could come down here or dad could travel back. I did not know what to do. The doctor had said not to worry and just stick to what he had advised. I badly wanted to discuss my situation to someone who would help me out. Mom would not have helped me as she would fall back on me after hearing the situation. She was far more tensed than anybody else in the family. It was not right time to call my younger sister as she was taking her semester exams and would be disturbed hearing dad’s health.

So practically I was to handle to whole situation but I was not confident. The day passed out fine and dad felt fine after taking the medicines. However, after dinner he again felt restless but not like the previous night.  He was tossing and turning in his bed but his breathing was normal. I was sitting uptight beside him clutching the phone whether to call the doctor or not. But after about ten minutes he was snoring. Just when I was thinking of the long night ahead my phone rang. I was startled to see my aunt calling. She stayed in Mumbai and was quite close to dad. Usually she called up dad’s number but now she called on mine. I walked out of the room to answer the call.

“I hope I didn’t wake you up?” She asked

“No. Pishi.” I answered.

“How is Anu?” She shot back.

Her question was so straight that I wondered whether she knew about dad’s condition or not. She continued without waiting for my answer.

“Actually I was wondering to call him up since I heard he had come to your place. But I didn’t get time. He had mentioned to me that he would consult a doctor in Delhi. Has he done yet? ”

I told her the entire episode and she heard me without interfering. She, being his younger sister, knew dad more than me. So she did not advise on hospitalization. Instead her words were, “See dear. You know your dad does not listen to anyone. And as far as help is concern you know very well it is not possible for anyone to come down to you. You are old enough now and I believe you can handle all situations much better than anyone else. So be your own help and do what you think best for him. I have confidence in your decision and know he can come healthy out of it with you beside him.”

After tits and bits she hung up but her words kept ringing in my ears. Just talking to her I felt light at heart and her words boosted a new confidence in me. She injected the “belief in myself “with her words and there was no looking back from then on. I never questioned my abilities again.

We all must have encountered a situation like this in our life where someone’s words like our parents, friends, teachers, colleagues, boss or just someone we met at the bus stop or in the train must have build us or shattered us.  But then the same holds for our words too. So MIND YOUR WORDS as they can build someone or break someone.

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