Ten unusual combo of books that I love

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Books have been with me since I was in school. I still remember my English teacher once asked who all have read mills and boons by now, and almost all the girls of my class raised their hands. I felt so embarrassed that I started reading books from then on.
First came the mills and boons, then The Malory tower series, Hardy boys, Nancy Drew and there was never looking.

Books were with me when I was completely depressed in life and it showed me way. You must have heard the famous quote “Books are ones best friends” and I completely live by this line. Give me a book and a corner and you will not see me again until I am done reading it.

Amongst all the wonderful books that I have read so far, some have made a special place in my mind and heart. Some taught me a lot, changed me as a person, some just gave sheer pleasure of reading it. Here are the books that have remained with me ever since I laid on hands on them.

1: Atlas shrugged- Ayn Rand

When I first saw the book I thought I will never be able to complete it. It was a slow read indeed but very interesting. When the real intelligent entrepreneurs, engineers and great minds go on a strike, the world stops working! Fascinating right?

2: Fountain head- Ayn Rand
Oh this book contains one of my favourite quotes of all times.
” the question is not who will give me work, the question is who will stop me” – Ayn Rand. Everyone of us at least those who have read this book at some point of time want to become like Howard Roark. How with no college degree and money he manages to be one of the best architects is a very inspiring read.

3: Siddharth- Herman Hesse
It is about the journey of a young boy named Siddharth who leaves his home in search of enlightenment. He meets Gautama Buddha but realises that each individual seeks unique answers in life. So he leaves Buddha to search for wisdom alone. What follows is love, diversion and being enlightened at the end.
Caution: This is a unique book on spiritualism and may not be liked by all.

4: Harry Potter series -J.k.Rowling
Fantasy was not my thing until I read Harry Potter. My school and half of college days went by reading HP books more than my syllabus ones.

5: Stars shine down -Sidney Sheldon
This book taught me there is nothing that women can’t do. Theres no line of business or work where we can say ‘this is not for women’.

6: The namesake- Jhumpa Lahiri
How Mrs. Ganguly tries to stay connected with her roots in India while trying to settle and mingle in the crowds of New York is quite a read.

7: Kane and Abel- Jeffrey archer
This was the first book of Jeffrey archer I had read and he became of my favourite authors of all time ever since. This book is the story of two twin brothers, during WWII separated on birth only to meet later in their lives as enemies. Now that I am writing this, I realise this story can make a great Bollywood blockbuster;)

8: Love in the time of cholera- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I came to know about this book first while watching the movie ‘serendipity’.
I loved the movie so much that I wanted to read this book just because it was associated with the movie. A book buff friend of mine understood my urge and gifted me this book.

9: Collection of short stories – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Short stories by the same author again. This Russian author’s work creates magic. The myriad of emotions you go through while reading his stories is just insuperable. No stories are even remotely related.

10: The alchemist – Paulo coelho
Following your dreams and listening to your heart no matter what others say and think is what this book is all about. I have lost count of how many times I have read this book.
My favourite line from it is – “Maktub”, everything is written.

These are the books I have loved reading and can read again and again without getting bored.

Have you read any of these? Liked any?

By- S.R.Pateliya

Private India- Book review



Private India.jpg

This is the first time when an Indian author has collaborated with one of the world’s bestselling authors to write a book. James Patterson is known for his fast paced and highly dramatic fiction thriller. So, when you hear about such a book, either your expectations automatically goes sky-high or you shrug the book off thinking it as stupid publicity.

The book opens with a murder of a female Thai doctor in a hotel in India. The body is found in the bathroom with a yellow scarf around its neck, obviously used to strangle her.

Her hands tied with strings. A lotus and a fork attached to each one. And a Viking toy helmet to one of her toes.

Several murders happen in similar fashion, the yellow garrotte being common in all and the uncanny objects changing every time and you know there is a serial killer in loose.

Santosh Wagh, head of the Private India, a detective agency is the hero of the book with an encyclopaedic mind. A man with a troubled past and a drinking problem.
The character reminded me of Dr. House in the House series with a cane in hands and a limp in the walk. But I digress.

The Mumbai police has handed over this case to the detective agency. How Santosh 20140905-174006.jpgWagh and his team connect the dots and solve the mystery is all the book about.

The characters are pretty strong. You can actually visualise the whole team. But a subplot going in parallel with main case and the introduction of the God man, Nimboo baba (really? Nimboo baba?) and the don Munna Bhau, falls flat. It seemed that the two plots were forced together and none completed each other.

The touch of mythology is interesting though. The fast pace of the story (thanks to James Patterson) along with Ashwin Sanghi’s detailed narration is quite interesting to read. But was it necessary to add too many trivial details just to give the book an Indian touch? This is what I leave for you to decide.

For me the book was interesting but definitely not as I expected.

Please share your views if you have already read the book.

By- S R Pateliya

Twenty something- Is it difficult to make friends?

Is it just me or a problem for all,
To find a friend as dear and loved,
Like the ones you had in college,
Does making new friends get tougher by age?

Being content with my own beliefs,
Others’s never mattered to me,
The sense of irritation I face now,
With someone not like minded like me,
Is it just me or a problem for all?

A constant restlessness, a burning fire,
That goes off when the memories go live,
But sparks higher when the reality strikes,
May be I am the only one, may be not,
Only a twenty something can know for sure.


By-  Sweety Pateliya

Jalaram bappa temple- Where free food is actually free

Ever heard of a temple that doesn’t accept any offerings yet feeds thousands of people daily for free? Yes, I am talking about a temple in Gujarat but before getting to know about its details, you need to read the story of a small kid.

So here it goes…

Jalaram was a very kind kid and a devotee of lord Rama. He used to stay with his uncle and Work at his grocery shop. However, he was more interested in social working than attending to the business. He would give away rice, flour and a lot of other things to the needy.

One day a group of saints came to his shop and said they were hungry. The ever helpful Jalaram gave them some flour, jaggery and ghee. His neighbour saw this and ran to his uncle to show him how Jalaram was giving away stuff from his shop without his consent.

His uncle got very angry and went immediately to the shop to stop him. The saints were right there carrying the bottle of ghee and the bags of flour and jaggery. He asked Jalaram what was he doing? Out of fear Jalaram replied ” I gave this holy man some water and cowdung cakes”

Confused, his uncle checked the bags and really the ghee had turned into water and the flour and jaggery to the dung cakes”

Many miracles followed in his life after that. He used to pray for the sick and they would heal.
He had started a feeding centre named ‘sadavrat’ where any body could have meal for free. It is said that centre never ran out of food no matter how many people ate at a time.

He led his life serving others and became a saint himself. people started praying him and made a temple on his name which is the temple I mentioned earlier.

The temple has stopped accepting any offerings from the devotees since the year 2000. It’s been 14 years now and the temple has never run short of food even though everyday it is served twice a day as prasad. Thousands of people have it for free.
It is as if jalaram bappa himself is looking after it. Making sure not a single person goes out hungry from his place.

Even today we gujaratis believe, if we have a ceremony and the number of people turns out more than expected, just pray Him and request to handover food to the guests himself and there will be enough food for all.
I am not sure how much of this is true or where the money for the storage in the temple comes from? Do the offerings donated till the year 2000 is sufficient enough to last a lifetime or is it the miracle of Jalaram bappa again?
I do not know, but what I do know is, today, when the temples have become a source of income for many, a business for many pandits, there is one, in virpur gujarat that is saving lives by feeding people without any selfish motive or expecting anything in return.
It stands as a hope to the humanity and God. May be there is a God somewhere above us.



Ps: There is no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings in this post nor I am promoting any single religion or temple. It is just a post of information about a saint and temple that I believe in and want the world to know.

By- Sweety Pateliya

Finding pleasure in the small things- Five things that add zest to my life

When the routine gets same
And things are mundane,
I love to add some zest to life
To feel once again alive.

Yes, sometimes it becomes a necessity to take a break, and just be me. No role plays, no expectations to fulfill, no masks to wear… Just me with the people I love…

Whenever I feel this urge to leave everything and rejuvenate myself, I don’t necessarily have to go in for a theraupatic massage or get going on a holiday ( though they are always welcome;) ) .
I find immense pleasure in small things in life.
I have always been the kind of a person who loves A flower in my garden, a good book, rains and the smell that follows even a smile from a stranger……
They really make my day…

So if I were to choose 5 things/places that add zest to my life, they would be

1: Chai in a tea stall

What can be more relaxing than having a cup of tea on the road with your bestie..

2: An unplanned drive at the wee hours of night
“Oh, I am too tired. Had a hectic day”, you say and then you hear your hubby say
“Common, lets go on a drive.. I will let you select the music”( I always select the music)
Now doesn’t all the tiredness vanish away with just the idea of a long drive, windows open, cool breeze blowing on your face….

3: Party with friends

Music, friends, dance…. Now what? was I bored? Really?

4: By a flowing river, I sit down and relax

Some me time along a seaside or a lake, experiencing its placidity is an experience that is beyond words….

5: Chocolate cake


And the picture says for itself…

By- Sweety Pateliya

The irresistible chocolate- The choco lava cake

There is just one thing, the sight or sound of which can boost up any girl’s spirits. No matter what time of the day or night it is, CHOCOLATES are simply irresistible.
When I was in college, me and bestie spent more time in the Cafe Coffee Day with our chocolate truffles than attending lectures. We could tell by the look in the eyes of each other when we were upset about something and we usually ended up in the cafe and choco lava was our usual.

The crisp hot layer of the cake with the dark chocolate liquid oozing out of it would make our eyes gleam. We would first poke the cake and watch the thick chocolate spreading itself on the pastry. A spoonful of just the hot chocolate sauce and the moment it touched the lips we would forget everything and go on a dreamy state… Then we would attack the cake pouring lots of chocolate sauce on it and boy… Each bite transformed us to heaven. How smoothly it would glide on our tongue and melted like butter inside. The white almond flakes looked beautiful on the dark melted lava. It added colour to the otherwise monochromatic dish. The slight cruchiness it brought to each mouthful was what made this dish simply irresistible.
And when by mistake if I would get chocolate at the end of my mouth, I would lick it away without being a shy.

Now I am in my home town and choco lava cake is not readily available here. Hell we do not even have a cafe here. So I tried to make my own version of it. Mixed cocoa powder, flour ( maida), baking powder and soda. Added butter and condensed milk to it and whipped it. Until it fell smoothly. After licking major portion of the rich creamy batter, I poured it in the mould and added some grated chocolate on top of it. And baked it. When the batter rose, the chocolate melted and gathered in the middle. Only to ooze out when I poke it…

Food indeed affects our mood. Next time when you feel low, just grab a choco lava cake and believe me you will thank me later on…

This post is for food is beautiful contest sponsored by borosil in association with indiblogger
By- Sweety Pateliya

My father’s laugh



I have always loved the way my father laughs. A hearty laugh, mouth wide open, teeth shining and chest moving rhytmically with laughter.
He laughed when he talked about his adolescence, his friends, the pranks he played on the people around him.
Now he laughs less often. Only when a long forgotten incident comes up on his mind, he would smile, sometimes laugh, and share it with us. The cheerful laughter has taken a form of a closed smile. And now his chest moves the same way up and down, up and down but only when he takes the stairs or walks too fast.

The steady long steps that he used to take a few years ago are now careful and measured. No he is not too old, may be in his fifties, but the pain in his knees and legs is too arrogant to go away.

He is a man who inculcated in me the virtues of spiritualism. He is the man who had slapped me on my first mistake (I had bought bhel from the chanawala and forgoto didn’t pay). I was a rebel as a kid. And when I won’t listen to my elders, he would sit me down and knock some sense into my not so matured head.

He would stand all day out in sun, and look at his buildings get constructed block by block. He could have sat in air condition in his office, giving instructions but he chose to be on site. It gave him immense pleasure to just be there. He would walk throughout the site, giving orders, taking charge. He trusted the supervisor, but he was too much in love with the site to leave it on someone else’s hands.
Not much has changed now. Even today he goes there without fail, but most of the time he spends in his office. His mind and heart never leaves the field.

He loves to cook and when he feels like it, he would order everybody out of the kitchen, and prepare a delicious meal for us. He is a great cook. Better than my mom I would say.

When I was sick , like bed ridden sick for months, he would sit beside me all day. helping with the little exercises I was supposed to do. He would tie knots on his handkerchief for me to open them. An exercise for my fingers. He would deliberately tie them loose to boost up my morale. But when I could not do it, he would excuse himself to the bathroom to hide his weak side from me, again to keep me strong.

My father and I are not much of a talker. We speak less on phone. Though its only been 2 and half years, I am married and staying away from him, I feel like I have been away from him since so long. I miss everything about him.

When I go over to spend a few days at my place, we don’t spend much time together. We don’t sit and talk for long. But I have my spirits high throughout my stay there by his mere presence. And my mom says he laughs a lot more when I am around.

A sight which is so rare now, a sight which I have always loved.

By- Sweety Pateliya