BOOK REVIEW : Naadu Kattiya Nayagan (The story of Lee-Kuan-Yew)

Author: Mukhil
Price: 60 INR
The title ‘Naadu Kattiya Nayagan’ means ‘The hero who built his country’ and it is all about Lee-Kuan-Yew who built Singapore from scratch. In 1960s Singapore was considered as a ‘Third world’ country and it had no address in the world arena. But in a matter of forty years Singapore has emerged one of the ‘Giants’ in the world and surpassed all its limitations. This remarkable ‘Nation building’ was achieved because of a single person’s vision and his consistent action towards that vision. That single person is no other than Lee-Kuan-Yew.
Basically Singapore was a part of Malaysia and became a separate country in 1959. During that time Lee-Kuan-Yew formed his People-Action-Party (PAP) and became the prime minister of Singapore. From then he ruled Singapore for close to four decades and completely transformed the country. Starting with good governance he went on achieving excellence in Economy, Education, and Tourism which made Singapore as a ‘developed’ country. This book explains the whole story of this ‘Journey towards excellence’ and it is truly mind blowing.

Singapore achieved this excellence not by magic but because of hard work. They don’t have any natural resources and even today they even import drinking water from Malaysia. Apart from this they also have diversified Chinese, Indian and Malay speaking people and bringing all of them under single umbrella is really a difficult task. Singapore has achieved all these things in a very short span of time and we Indians have loads of things to learn from them.

When I speak about Singapore people say ‘Na! Its so small country and it is not a big deal to achieve these things’. But I feel it is not the question of big or small but it is all about what we achieved. The psychology says ‘Emotions leads to actions and reasons leads to conclusions’. As long as we are not getting emotional towards our country, we simply end up giving reasons which will lead only to conclusions. When will we march ahead?

BOOK REVIEW : Five point someone

Title: Five point someone
Author: Chetan Bhagat
Price: 90 INR

This book is written by Chetan Bhagat about life in IITs. Three friends (Alok, Ryan and Hari) get into IIT and start thinking in wrong direction and get into all sorts of ‘funny’ things instead of focusing on studies. Finally they somehow land up in some or the other kind of jobs and starts their real lives. I normally read the non-fiction types of books and this is one of the fiction books I have read after a long long time. But I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because it took back to my college days, which is really the best four years in my life. Anyone who read this book would get the same experience of the movie ‘Dil-chahtha-hai’.

The most important point about this book is the author has maintained the IIT ‘Lingo’ throughout the book. Every college has its own set of ‘lingo’ which is spoken only inside the college and only people who have gone through this can enjoy the ‘College-specific’ lingo. Words like insti-roof (College main building roof), Seenu (Parata server), Fatso (College slang) which is very similar to a set of terminologies like ‘Out’ (A person who had boozed and gone out of control), ‘Kela’ (Which means you are screwed or deceived), Seenu, Maamu (Set of chai-walas inside the college), ‘Koops’ (College co-operative society) which was used during my college days. Another interesting point about this book is about the description of the three main characters. I can very well relate those characters to myself and some of my college friends which makes the book more interesting one to read.

It’s been five years since I finished my college and this book has really made me think and feel those wonderful days we had in college 🙂

BOOK REVIEW : Vandharghal Vendrargal

Title: Vandharghal Vendrargal (Tamizh) – They came they conquered
Author: Madhan
Price: 90 INR

This is one of the well written history books that I have read till now. Basically this book talks about the Mughal history and their invasion in India. Starting from Gajini (9 AD) to Bahadoor shah (Last mughal king) Muslims ruled India for close to 800 years. Author Madhan is a cartoonist and author and been writing in the ‘Anandha Vikatan’ (Famous tamizh weekly magazine) for long time. His sense of humor shows up in every chapter and it is the main reason that makes this history book more interesting.

Basically the Mughals belong to Afghanistan and Gajini was one of the first people to come to India and take away huge amount of wealth. This is followed by various sultans and then Mughal kings. He has explained the jahangir-noorjahan, shajahan-mumthaj love stories wonderfully. Inspite of hardcore fighters it is really interesting to know about the ‘Romantic’ side of these mughal kings. Apart from explaining Babar, Humayoon, Akbar, Jhahangir, Shajahaan, Aurangazeeb he also talks about brave Rajput kings like Pritviraj. In the later part he also had written about Shivaji and his ‘Gorilla’ wars against Aurangazeeb. The author explains how Indian kings were not united because of which these attacks happened and also tries to explain the reasons behind the same. But the sad part is about the amount of people and wealth that India lost during these years. If we would have retained that wealth we would have been far wealthy and better country in the World today.

BOOK REVIEW : Savarkar and Hindutva

Title: Savarkar and Hidhutva
Author: A.G.Noorani
ISBN: 8187496282

This book is about one of the controversial leaders in Indian history, Vinayak Damodhar Savarkar who is popularly known as ‘Veer Savarkar’ and the ‘Hidhutva’ ideology which was coined by him. This book also talks about Gandhiji’s assassination and Savarkar’s involvement with that. This book is written by A.G.Noorani who is a famous columnist in ‘Frontline’ magazine. Since the book contains very serious stuff the terminologies also pretty complex to understand.

In the year 1928 Savarkar coined the term ‘Hindutva’ which according to him the perfect political ideology for governing India. This ‘Hindutva’ is totally different from ‘Hinduism’. The Hinduism is all about the religious aspects which explains the principles, philosophies which is been existing for thousands of years. This has to do with what has mentioned in Vedas, Upanishads and various Hindu holy books. But ‘Hindutva’ is all about political ideology and Savarkar is the person who conceptualized this terminology. The Rastriya Swam Sevak Sangh (RSS) or popularly known as ‘Sangh parivar’ is created based on this ideology and Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) is the political face of the Sangh.

According to Savarkar the political ideology of any country should be based on the ‘Religious’ basis and the Hindu religion is the only way to unite the whole India as a single country. He puts forth ‘Hindustan’ is for Hindus and all other religions should be given next priority as 80% of Indians are Hindus. To put in another way Hidutva is all about ‘Religious Nationalism’. This is totally different and opposite to what Congress party’s ideology which is mainly based on ‘Geographic Nationalism’. According to Geographical Nationalism India is a country with certain geographical boundaries and whoever lives in the country should be treated in the same way irrespective of the religion they follow. In fact the whole Indian constitution is based on this ‘Secularism’ concept.

For each and every ideology in the world there is an opposite one (Example: Capitalism Vs Communism) and it is up to individuals to follow the ideology which suites to them. By reading this book I was able to understand more about the ‘Hindutva’ ideology and formed my own perceptions on Hidutva as well as Secularism.

BOOK REVIEW: Yoga and Pranayama for health

Author: Dr. P. D. Sharma
Price: INR 35

This is a simple book for learning Yoga and Pranayama. Yoga and Pranayama are very ancient but powerful techniques which were invented in India. The ‘Yogis’ who were living in the Himalayas are the originators of these techniques and it came across multiple generations. Today Yoga and Pranayama techniques are scientifically proved that they cure all diseases in a ‘Natural way’. Apart from curing the diseases it also prevents body from getting new diseases. By following these techniques it is believed that ancient Yogis lived for hundreds of years.

According to ‘Pathanjali Yoga Sutra’, yoga consists of eight-stages (Yama, Niyama, Asana, Prayanama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi).For normal human beings (like me) practicing various asanas would the best thing to follow. Performing asanas helps an individual to bring ‘Mind’ ‘Body’ and ‘Soul’ into control which is the unique advantage. Various techniques like Aerobics, Gym exercises focus only the ‘Body’ aspect.

Pranayama is all to do with breathing. Following various Pranayama techniques (Brasthika, Kabhalabathi, Naadi-shodhan, Brahmari) after performing asanas is proved to give profound benefits in human being’s life. These techniques can be followed by any age group but the important point is it needs to be practiced regularly to get its full benefits. In this book various asanas and pranayama techniques are given with diagrams and the diseases they cure. I have also heard about very aggressive yoga techniques by BSK Iyengar and Shivanandha Yoga which I am yet to explore. But to start with I found this book is very helpful.

BOOK REVIEW: Guide to Investing

Title : Guide to Investing
Author: Robert Kiosaki
ISBN: 0446677469

This book is written by ‘Rich dad poor dad’ famous author Robert Kiosaki. This is the third book in the series and mainly talks various aspects of Investing. Robert has his highly educated dad whom he calls as ‘Poor dad’. He calls him poor because all he did was worked for somebody and remained poor during his retirement time. Robert’s calls his friend’s dad as ‘Rich dad’ because rich dad built a huge amount of wealth by building businesses.

In the year 1974 Robert takes comes out of his marine-cop job in Vietnam and starts learning his investment lessons from his ‘Rich dad’. The book consists of three parts. The first part Robert discusses about four major elements of personal finance. They are ‘Income’, ‘Expenditure’, ‘Assets’ and ‘Liabilities’. He explains how rich people make their ‘Assets’ generate the ‘Income’ and how poor people spend their lifetime by paying up for the liabilities. In the second part Robert explains his ‘Cash-Flow-Quadrants’ in which he classifies people into Employees (E), Small Business Owners (S), Business Owners (B) and Investors (I). He clearly shows how people take the E path and remain poor and how his rich dad took the B path and built wealth. He also talks about personal financial statements, tax and other legal aspects.

In the third and most interesting part Robert talks about ‘Entrepreneurship’. He explains various aspects of building businesses. This section is excellent and inspired me a lot. Finally Robert concludes with stressing the importance of ‘Ultimate Investor’ where an individual builds a business and takes it into public. The first two parts are kind of repetitive and Robert tries to talk the same thing again and again. But I somehow feel in order to understand the ‘Financial-literacy’ this book is a must read mainly because it is simple at the same time makes the reader think a lot.

BOOK REVIEW : Success vs Joy

Title : Success Vs Joy
Author : Geet Sethi
Price : INR 95
This book is written by Geet Sethi the famous billiards player. This book is based on his thoughts and discussions with his friend Sunil Agarwal. Sethi started playing billiards when he was 13 year old and found playing billiards gave him extreme amount of ‘Joy’ than anything else. Till date he is playing the game and achieved great things in billiards. Sunil on the other hand was also interested in billiards but took a different path because of society compulsion and finished his MBA from IIM-Ahmadabad. He is a big leader in the corporate world now. He has achieved what the society calls as ‘Success’ but he is not having the ‘Joy’ feeling what Sethi felt by playing billiards. This leads to the main theme of the book: Which is important ‘Success’ or ‘Joy’?

According to Sethi ‘Success’ is doing things for other’s (Say society) sake whereas ‘Joy’ is doing things that individual’s inner self feels or in other words what an individual is passionate about. Throughout the book Sethi stresses upon following the activity which gives extreme amount of ‘Joy’ rather then doing something for what others perceive as ‘Success’. Most of us think that we need to be feel ‘Successful’ and they the ‘Joy’ part will follow and keep doing things which is not close to our hears in order to achieve ‘Success’ and never be happy in life. According to Sethi the reverse it true. By following the activity which is close to individual’s heart (In Sethi’s case its billiards) and doing it with extreme amount of ‘Joy’ the ‘Success’ will follow. He gives various examples from the sports world and explains this concept. The excellent point about this book is its very simple and easy to understand at the same time conveys an important message.

After reading multiple books on inspiration related topics I would rate this is one among the top. To read more book reviews please CLICK HERE.