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Black white and the grays in between- Book Review

**********A little  Disclaimer *********

Gosh! it is tough to review a book written by a friend. There are two reasons why it’s tougher for me: The author Abhishek Hemrajani is not only my friend from ISB(batchmate)  but was also my colleague in Microsoft. I consider him an extremely smart dude, so the moment I knew he published a book, I knew I was picking it up.

The issue with reviewing a book written by someone you know is ,that it is hard to be completely unbiased. You either are too forgiving or too merciless because you go overboard with trying to be “unbiased”. It is like being a teacher’s Son…Teachers are either too caring or too strict so that other kids do not feel a bias .
I will try my best to not fall for both the pitfalls.

***Disclaimer Ends**

TLDR Version : Black white and the grays in between is a great book especially considering this is Abhishek’s first book. An easy read .

Should you buy the book?: Yes

PS: Review coming from someone who is not a fan of this genre of books

Longer version :

Overall I really liked the book. The plot is pacy  and there were not many instances where there were unnecessary explanations or forced words

The story line is tight with no loose ends or over the top melodrama. Many sensitive situations have been handled beautifully . I wanted to talk about some of the situations but it may give away the plot :). What I liked most about the characters was that they were very relatable, they were just like you and me.They mostly behaved the way they were expected to behave. You could see why they made the choices they made.

I was able to imagine every character and every scene vividly in my head and can happily say that the author did a great job here .

Another thing that struck me was the amount of research the author seemed to have done about the doctor’s profession . Dude, you know a lot 🙂

What I would have loved to see though is more stuff about Kanak’s father Keshav. I felt that his character needed to be developed further , I just expected a bit more . Same is the case with Ashar .Would have to loved to read a bit more about his and Rukhsar’s story .

Another  interesting part of the book were couplets at a couple of places. It is fairly tough to pull this off . Couplets are very difficult beasts to tame and can break the flow of the story or just add another beautiful dimension altogether  . The author chose to use them very judiciously  :+1 to that.

Overall it is a very well balanced book. Considering that it is Abhishek’s first book only , I can only imagine what the expectations from his next books would be. He has set high benchmarks for himself :).

Read my other book review 

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Book Reviews Reviews

ELON MUSK HOW THE BILLIONAIRE CEO OF SPACEX AND TESLA IS SHAPING OUR FUTURE- Book Review

DO NOT read this book before going to bed

DO NOT read this book if you are very happy with your career

DO NOT read this book if you are trying to relax

It is a good idea to read a book before going to bed but NOT if it is Elon Musk’s Biography. With most books you either expect to doze off mid-book  or finish the book and just sleep happy ,but NOT with this one.

This book will neither let you sleep easily nor give you the satisfaction of finishing a book , rather, it will force you to ask yourself , WTF are you doing with your life? It will kick you in your gut, make you feel energetic and wake you up as if you just drank 10 cups of coffee.

Let’s do some shit…you will shout

This is the man who is pretty much single-handedly trying to change the course of humanity. Many of his decisions do not make “business sense” but you know what? Musk Don’t Care

Many of his decisions do not make “business sense” but you know what?

Musk Don’t Care

Fossil fuels are bad…No problemo, musk has Electric car to the rescue with tesla , but how to charge those batteries? Well Solar city just reinvented how to store solar power …and if all that fails to save our earth , the man is planning to setup a colony on mars Via SpaceX.

This is not a childhood dream or an essay in school about “What do you want to do when you grow up”..This is real.

When most CEOs email their employees about goals, they speak about X users, Y revenue ..Musk talks about ..I want to secure Mars before I go public.

Ashlee Vance has also done a brilliant job in humanizing this godly figure of Elon Musk.

He is an imperfect Man, like all of us , trying to change the course of humanity by sheer, hard work , focus and an unimaginable appetite to take risks ….YOLO

 

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Book Reviews

Dark Space – Book review

Not the best science fiction book I have read but neither the worst.

Dark Space is  good attempt  . The story has potential , though a bit cliche .

Pros

The story sure is very racy in the latter half. The writing style is captivating enough with enough twists and turns.

I read this over a period of 2-3 days without feeling pressured to get over with it (I generally try to finish the book I start, even though they may be bad)

Some concepts about society and overall how humanity and other races collided are well presented. For example, the arch nemesis Sythians who have no territory to defend , hence were the most powerful  , kind of poetic .

The story sure has a lot of potential and the author more or less played on his strengths

Liked the Brondi character .He was just uni directional evil character but was well presented .

It is definitely a fun read and you would want to finish it .

 

Cons :

Sadly the book could not really bring any great scientific literature to the forefront or explain anything about the workings of the futuristic stuff being presented. Perhaps it was wrong on my part to have expected that.

The story is a bit dab in the beginning but quite racy in the latter half. The author spent way too much time explaining the surroundings  which did not seem to add much to the storyline or add an imagery.

Most characters were quite shallow

Way too many coincidences added unnecessarily. Seemed the author went a bit overboard to bring in forced twists. The plot twists in themselves were enough

Summary

The book has its moments but misses the mark when taken in totality . Worth a buy if you get a good deal.

Might be buying the next books in the series. Want to see where the story goes

 

Check out the list of Must Read books below

Book Recommendations

 

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philosophy

Writing is selfishness

The cursor on my writing app blinks thinking I will have something to say . Appear ,disappear,appear ,disappear , once per second ever so patient ever so diligent ever to expectant.

Why do we write anyways? Seems like a rhetorical question .

Because we love to write? Or something else.

Many people say that we write for ourselves and not others, it makes them happy,but then a lot of great writers claim to have died a bit with every book they wrote . Why write?
If life is nothing but a race towards the oblivion then what is the point.

Perhaps we all know that that oblivion awaits us and we want some part of us to be left behind. Something that will not die till there is conscience life that understands our language.

It seems like a fight against the inevitable, a fight to achieve permanence in some form. Human beings have always fought for that.
Many go out quietly but many kicking and screaming and spewing thoughts ideas that changed the world.
Many used their worldly successes to leave behind monuments and macbaras that still stand long after people even forgot who they were .
Is it some sort of urge to create something new, arrange the words in a fashion that perhaps is truly unique. Words that have been used together before but not in this order, not to express this feeling, not to evoke that response?

Do we write for us? We already know the story in some form in our heads, we already felt that emotion that sheer joy or pain , then why write and share?

Because we write for others, to make them feel the way we felt , to let them know our story, to linger on in some sense when we are gone . It is not for us , but us wanting to imprint them with our thoughts that drives this .

Writing and sharing then can I say is a form of selfishness?

Yup I am selfish too

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Book Reviews

Internet Space and Renewable energy – Elon Musk Bio-Partial Review

Reading the Biography of the most fascinating man on this planet right now : Elon Musk .

Two Amazing nuggets that stood out till now(yes still reading)

He initially thought of making video games but then realized it would not have much impact on the world, hence dropped the idea.Shows how he is driven by a simple thing: Impact

He spoke about pursuing big projects in all three areas he thought would change humanity : Space,internet and Renewable energy. Some people thought he was being insecure , but he was just being honest and we all know what he did after that

Makes for a fascinating read

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philosophy Reflections

Getting more clicks vs Solving a problem

Some random thoughts

We all want to be millionaires without doing much work ,and the fastest ,easiest and the one with lowest entry barrier way seems to be click baiting recycled content.

“You won’t believe what X did” , “This actor just cheated on his wife, click to know the name” ,”5 ways to XYZ”

But before you do that , think why?
Content Virality sites can do much more , help obscure content, help spread of ideas and initiate conversations on uncomfortable topics or just be click baits. The former needs more courage, the latter not so much , just be clear which one you are .

Think hard because in the long run you need to be OK using your intellect for whatever path you chose

This intellect part is something most people ignore.

Is there another problem you want to invest your brains in? Every second , every minute counts .

Also remember : Lower the entry barrier => Higher competition ==>Less chance of success. Nothing comes easy

The biggest issue is that some of the brightest minds are trying to figure out, how to get more clicks ~Some famous guy

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philosophy

What is motivation

I have been wondering, what is motivation and how do you get it?. There are many theories and many ways people tend to describe it

It is when you cannot sleep to achieve your goals

It is when you do not mind stressing out for a better tomorrow or sometimes just because

But then , why is that? Is motivation a result on your trials to fill in some gap? You want something because you need something and hence you are motivated to achieve it. Does it imply that not being motivated to do anything implies you are actually content ? This makes motivation seem like something you would have in a non-ideal state

And why does motivation sometimes strike you at weird times? Like in the middle of the night when you just wake up to write something , just because.When you become restless for no reason and sometimes when you feel all charged up by looking at the success of others.

The motivation you get by looking at success of others , is it even motivation or just a manifestation of your jealousy that your mind gives a positive spin to?Perhaps you think you are good person and do not get jealous of others but when that ugly demon crops its head, you mind puts a mask of motivation on it.

Bearing that in mind, should we even act on motivation that is motivated by success of others?

What is true motivation and how do you even get it? Does it just strike you , or you work hard enough till you are motivated to work harder?

Are you expecting me to answer this? Sorry, I am just as confused as you are

Goodnight

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India

Aamir Khan Controversy #AamirKhan

My feed facebook is filled with comments like

If Aamir Khan does not like India , he should go to pakistan rather than expressing his concern.

Sure

By That logic

  • If you do not like AAP, get the hell out of delhi but don’t criticize it.
  • You are concerned about corruption by Lalu…NEVER visit Bihar
  • Hate congress: Got help you, you should have left the country by now
  • And BJP: Well what are you doing here anyways?

LEAVE but do not express concern, do not raise your voice even when asked

But that is what we will not do . Why?
Because when you say ” Aamir Owes India so much” hidden in it somewhere your sentiment that
Aamir possibly is less Indian than you. He Owes you one…and you Owe..Nothing? Because you are an Indian.

Another logic: You made him rich by watching his movies. Ok but did you not realise that he is an entertainer and you exchanged entertainment with money. If I really had to stretch the argument, he gave you happiness in someway …you gave him money

He owes you nothing.

And he being alarmist?: Oh please , this is the least alarming statement made by a public figure, by this logic most of the hindu right wing people should be thrown out of india already…

The Aamir Khan’s detractors argument in a nutshell : If you are not happy with the state of the country you should leave,

Well that includes all politicians and all their supporters too no?

The surprising part is that he was specifically asked to answer a question ..what was he supposed to do? Lie to suite your comfort?

PS: Modi on an international stage said: Indians used to feel “Kahaan paida ho gaye” while congress was in power…No one asked, why did he not leave?

Congress somewhere:
So when people said corruption is rising in our country, we could have simply asked them to leave the country and labelled them as anti national…awesome, why did we not think of this. We would still be in power now

At Least watch the interview before criticizing

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India

“Respecting the Mandate”

BJP won general elections..when people criticized their leaders and track record, many people went on rant of “respect the mandate” ..stop criticizing them

The same people now criticizing Bihar for not choosing Modi.Whatever happened to “respecting the mandate”?

Nevertheless: Your views on someone should not depend on what public mandate they have received . Modi does not become Good because he was voted as PM,same is the case with Lalu. Lalu is still Lalu and that is not going to change…

Holding back criticism for “respecting the mandate” is a BS concept

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Science

Quantum Theory and Parallel Universes

One wild theory about Quantum Mechanics is :

An electron can exist in multiple states at the same time(Schrodingers cat) ,a photon takes every possible route between two points some less and some more probable(Double slit)…how is this happening?How can all states exist simultaneously?
This is also the key of quantum computing : Many processes can happen simultaneously

It could be a proof of Parallel universe, all these computations might be happening in parallel universes that quantum particles can traverse but we cannot

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