Saturday, 30 September 2017

Book Review : Zero Debt

Name of the book: Zero Debt: Break the Debt Cycle and Reclaim Your Life
Author: Neeraj Deginal
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self Help
No. of Pages:  112 pages



Zero Debt – Break the Debt Cycle and Reclaim Your Life, is about the author’s ten-year long journey from going neck deep into debt to being absolutely debt-free. In this book you will learn:
1. How the author got into debt (circumstances)
2. How being in debt paralysed cognitive decision making
3. How even simple day to day life became complicated
4. The thought process applied by the author to analyse his situation rationally
5. Systematic steps taken by the author to become and stay debt-free and the dilemmas faced during execution
6. Further actions taken to simplify life and plan for a better life

REVIEW: When I received this book, I thought it must be boring and based on accounts and finances, which honestly I have least interest in! My father handles and advises me on money related matters, with me being clueless! This book exactly highlights how both the schools and families fail to impart any sort of financial education, and how as earning adults we have to pay the price for it. I could so relate to it after a few pages!

This book seeks to inspire the reader to become debt-free, which eventually leads them to total freedom - financial freedom, emotional freedom or freedom from stress. As the author states, this is based on his experiences and the problems he faced. The steps he took may not work for everyone, but he wants to inspire people to rethink their situations.

Zero Debt, Break the debt cycle and reclaim your life is wonderfully useful book by Neeraj Deginal. This is the real life story of a man who was crushed under endless EMIs. It narrates us how he was neck deep in debts and how he came out of it to become cent percent debt free. I am sure most of us, who bought a home to save tax, bought second home as an investment, purchased a car because it was on EMIs and are left with meagre salary after all the deductions, will be able to relate to him.

Neeraj in his book has precisely articulated on the various phases of life in relevance with the financial preparations required, backed up with real-world experiences connecting both parts of life. The book certainly highlights the Dos & Don'ts of the practical life with emphasis on planning for the future and making educated decisions on even small money matters.

The book is extremely well written. The language is simple, yet riveting. The editing is superb. The book is divided into several short chapters which make it super easy to read. The book is interspersed with wonderful quotes.

Another interesting fact about this book is that it is a copyright free book. Though the book is based on the personal experiences of the author, according to him the ideas are not original. The objective of this book is to offer help and hence the readers are free to copy or reprint any content from it. So cool, isn't it?!

His journey through and out of debt using a systematic approach has been inspiring. I have already started working on my personal finances based on Neeraj's insights. It is a great and practical addition to anyone's personal finance library, articulated to convey the real life experiences of a growing professional in the corporate.

It contains invaluable lessons for those who are starting off their career or in the mid life and definitely there are lot of takeaways that would help one incorporate in their life to become debt-free for good.

NEGATIVES : The writing style the author prefers often omits articles such as "the" or "a" or "of," has some odd comma and semicolon placement. It becomes distracting in few places. Some topics are covered in depth more than once.

OVERALL VERDICT: The tips offered are not unique, really. They are common enough to have been tried and tested. So the author is sharing useful information, without being preachy. Truly inspiring and how everything is related (money, health). Must read for some great financial awareness. If are struggling on the financial front, this book could be your ultimate saviour.

Rating : ****/5

Disclaimer: I received a copy of book in return for my honest review.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Blog Tour : Cover Reveal - Kalki

Oh my God, you guys! I am SO excited to post the cover reveal for Kevin Missal's "KALKI" *throws confetti* 

I am so excited for this grand cover reveal of KALKI, and can we just take a moment to appreciate the beautiful cover!

Thank you for stopping by, and thank you, Kevin, for letting me be a part of the cover reveal! 



That's all, folks! I hope you'll loved the cover just as much as I did and I hope you're are just as excited as me to read the book! Happy reading! 

Links :  
Amazon pre-order link: http://bit.ly/2wdkESn

Pustakmandi pre-order link: http://bit.ly/2xmbJBW


Author Interview : Kevin Missal

Hi, guys! I am hosting a blog tour for author Kevin Missal's Kalki.  As part of the tour, I did an interview with Kevin and today's post is completely dedicated to that. I will reveal the book cover in my next post, stay tuned for that. Now without much ado, let's get onto Kevin's interview. 


Amazon pre-order link: http://bit.ly/2wdkESn

Pustakmandi pre-order link: http://bit.ly/2xmbJBW

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 

Hi Kevin! Welcome to my blog! It’s a pleasure to have you here today and we hope you have a great time answering the questions we have for you. Here we go!

1.              Who are some authors in your genre that inspire you? What draws you to this genre?

One of the writers who have taught me (via Youtube) is Brandon Sanderson. He has these writing classes online where I learnt a lot about writing fantasy. The other is George RR Martin whose third person narration inspired me and how he structured each incident so personal to the characters.
          Whenever I think about what draws me to this genre, it’s partially the imagination, the sense of wonder, excitement, the idea of unknown. Fantasy plays around with a lot of genres like adventure, romance, thrill, mystery and I like this amalgamation.

2.             What sort of research did you do to write this book?

          Oh well my research is indirectly happening for four years. I am a History graduate and I learnt a lot about the Vedic Age. It always interested me. Then I began writing this book on Ashwatthama in modern times where Kalki plays a small part as a hero yet to born. The idea of Kalki kept growing in my mind and while I wrote an entire book on Ashwatthama which never ended up releasing, I got a ton of information about Kalki. Then I researched through Kalki Purana, Vishnu Purana, Bhavishya Purana and I learnt a lot.

3.             What are the upsides and downsides to being an author?

          The upside is you get to create a whole new world, get excited about events and characters. You are noticed and respected by your peers who think of you as literal. The downside is many people don’t realize young, amateur writers make pennies. Even older writers. Nowadays, publishing is like a business. It’s no more a creative endeavor. You write a book and that’s where your creativity ends. Then starts your management, finances and you are supposed to spend a ton of money to get people to notice you otherwise no one would care about it.

4.             How did you come up with the idea for your book?

          The idea was simple. I had just watched Bahubali and read Game of Thrones. And I was like “What will happen if both of them are mixed?” and voila! Kalki: the Avatar of Vishnu was created.

5.             What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?

          I don’t want them to hate the book out of religious reasons. I am a Christian and many Hindus won’t like a Christian boy writing on a Hindu God. Recently, in one of the teasers I published that got rave reviews, one person wrote why I am writing about a god who’s yet to come. I have clearly mentioned in my book that “Kalki: the Avatar of Vishnu” is a tribute to the popular culture like Mahabharata, Ramayana, Kalki Purana and taking such good influences from all of them. It’s to make a story that will appeal universally. Many didn’t know about Kalki but because of my book, people are revising their own knowledge. Kalki’s timeline, who’s yet to come is often muddled up. Aryabhatta had said Kaliyug would happen in 3102 BCE and like Aryabhatta there are so many other sources that don’t give you a correct date. For me, Kalki represents the goodness, the richness of religion and how a religious man is pitted against evil who he needs to kill and destroy. It’s classic good versus evil story.

6.             What does your writing space look like? (Show us a photo maybe.)

          You don’t want to see a photo. It’s my room, either in Chennai or in Delhi. It’s damp and dark and dingy.

7.          If your novel were being made into a movie, whom would you pick to play the lead roles?

          I based the character of “Kalki” on Ranveer Singh and the character of “Kali” on Irrfan Khan or Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

8.            What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?

          Seeing your book appreciated. There’s no greater feeling than this. It just fills your heart when people understand what you wanted to write and how you wrote, the subtle metaphors you added.

9.             What were some of the challenges you faced on the road to publication?

         Many. Rejections were so common in publication; I ended up building my own publishing house called “Kalamos Literary Services”.  It’s what they say. If they reject you, you build yourself and reject them.

10.         How do you think concepts such as Kindle, and e-books have changed the present or future of reading?

          I would say it has made it easier, feasible. But I never liked it. People do, so that’s fine.

11.          How long does it take you to write a book?

          This one took full month which is like longest for me. Most of the times, I finish it in two or three maximum.

12.         Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

          Kalki Hari is this all powerful boy who is yet to learn a lot of things. He remains in his protective village and he feels he’s bigger than everyone. He is arrogant and brash. He acts first, thinks second. What makes him special is though, that regardless of all these things I mentioned, he’s genuinely a nice person. He cares for his friends. He respects his parents. And he wants nothing but peace in this world.

13.         Tell us about the cover and title?

         The cover is made by Arthat Studio, the creator of “Sita: the Warrior of Mithila” cover. They have just worked their best and produced a stunning piece of art. The title is simple, understandable.

14.         What do you think of “trailers” for books?

        Oh, absolutely necessary. I just had a teaser currently and it is going viral. I am getting a huge response. But it should be live action trailer, with a lot of production budget behind it. Otherwise, animated trailers fall flat.

15.          What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

         I’ll be really practical and I would give an advice that most writers in this country don’t. Many established writers say “oh you should write with your heart, use this technique…” and blah, blah. They are bullshitting you. If you are an aspiring writer, you’ll eventually write well. Everyone does over a period of time. But during that time, start saving up. Build your budget for your book and when you have a lot of money, then publish because if you want to be a bestseller, you need to market it first like a bestseller.

16.         What would you say is the easiest and most difficult aspect of writing?

          You get distracted. You get bored writing the same story every day. It needs a lot of determination to write one book. I have this person in my friend list on Facebook who constantly updates about his latest books. He has written so many and hasn’t finished any which is sad. He’s a talented guy.

17. What books have influenced your life the most?

         I would say the books that actually inspired me were the ones I read when I just began reading. It was “Godfather” by Mario Puzo, “Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr.


         Thank you so much for spending time with us today, Kevin. We appreciate you taking the time out to answer our questions and we wish you lots of happiness and success in life. 

        Thank you, dear readers, for stopping by! 

Friday, 15 September 2017

My Way Of Being Healthy

 

P.S: This post is among the top 15 winner posts. That's my winner badge :)

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. - Joyce Meyer

We do not value health, until sickness comes. If one is healthy, he has hope, the one who has hope has everything for himself. Every man's sickness and ill health is his personal property, I believe, which means we are all responsible for our health and also for the cheer we spread around if we are in the pink of health!

As a child I was always blessed with good health. And so I kept my parents away from the pain of carrying me again and again to the paediatrician. On the other hand, my baby brother was just the opposite. He kept my parents on toes as they kept rushing him to doctors. The greatest wealth and happiness is indeed health and not pieces of gold.

Many children of India suffer from malnutrition. The cause is within us, but fortunately, the cure too is within us. Children with good health are the wealthiest. “Health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other.”  ~Joseph Addison. How true, isn't it?

For the babies : Nutrition for toddlers should be food that is pure and natural - not processed with additives. Toddlers enjoy finger food. They need a break from purees and cereals. Feed them fruits or green vegetable snacks. Give apple slices and carrot sticks when they have enough teeth and ability to chew them. Be sure that your kids are up to date on their immunizations. Babies need strong bones, healthy weight to stay alert and active. Choose a natural drink for them - water. Don't let them become the slaves of TV and computers, push them to play outdoors and please, please - feed them healthy snacks! Raise happy kids : Raise healthy kids!

Parents ~ let your child grow, let his imagination run wild, let him be healthy, mentally and physically, both! Do not script their lives. Make them eat their meals on time. It is too simple a strategy for happiness. Let them refuel their growing brains with regular meals and sound sleep. Apart from your unconditional love, striking a balance between eating and doing physical activity is important for them.

Balancing what you eat is the key to healthy lifestyle. Eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions and maintaining a healthy body weight is something that everyone desires. Healthy eating habits can help prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, and arthritis too.

When you eat a balanced diet containing whole grains, meats, low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables, your body has the necessary fuel to run it efficiently. A balanced diet boosts energy and enriches the body, thus making it strong enough to combat diseases. Crash diets mostly fail because they try to fool the body. Rapid weight loss promises are metabolically unsound and unsafe. When a person suddenly goes on a crash diet and restricts calories the body needs, the body actually starves. This threatens the nourishment level of the body. Never, never opt for crash diets.

I try and stick as far as possible to healthy home cooked food, even if it is simple daal, chawal and subzi! A void junk food as much as you can.

To boost my immunity I do have a spoon of Dabur Chyawanprash daily. It does not have any side effects and increases resistance power against diseases and common ailments like flu and cold.

I exercise, if not daily, thrice a week, so that my body is active. 

We all know that honey has many advantages. But rarely do we know, that it helps to lose weight effectively and in staying healthy? A Times Of India report quotes that you can drop a dress size by simply consuming 1 teaspoon of honey every night before going to bed. Simple, isn't it? Honey helps burn a lot of fat and increases stamina. During sleep, honey works its magic and burns fat. Magical, isn't it? I make sure I have a spoon of honey before going to bed every day.  I also give a healthy start to your day with a spoonful of Honey with a glass of warm water. The key to being healthy is a combination of healthy diet, honey and exercise!

Apart from that, my tips on staying healthy, in a nutshell are:

-Get enough sleep at night. By not allowing our body sufficient rest, the immune system will sputter, and as a result, not function at full capacity and become vulnerable to common illnesses. A healthy, deep sleep is important!

-Consume plenty of water. Water washes away toxins, allergens and wastes from our body. It keeps our immune system operating optimally while improving the way we feel, look and live.

-Exercise. An increase in blood flow associated with moderate exercise helps to circulate antibodies along with white blood cells necessary to fight infection more quickly. As a result, this provides our bodies with an early warning system to ward off potentially damaging germs. In addition, the increase in body temperature as a result of physical activity aids in inhibiting the growth of bacteria; thus allowing the body to fight infection more effectively. Exercise can be something as simple as brisk walking.

-Eat a healthy and well balanced diet. To strengthen your immune system, you need to first avoid the things that weaken it. Cut back on junk and fast food, however tasty it may seem. Stick to fresh fruits and veggies. It is very challenging in the world we live in to obtain sufficient nutrition with the foods available to us. They are over processed and void of many essential nutrients.
-Cut down the stress. Stress can be avoided by partaking in relaxation activities such as yoga, tai chi, meditative breathing and muscle relaxation.

-Stay Happy. Have a positive attitude. If you are always complaining, always negative and always expect that things are bad and only getting worse, you run the risk of compromising your immune system. Instead, think positive, live in the present moment and do not take things too seriously.

-No alcohol, drugs, coffee or smoking. It depletes the immune system and body of important nutrients and eventually damages your overall health.

-Increase your intake of antioxidants. Our Indian culture is famous for Ayurveda, herbs. Our generation needs to relive such boons of the past for us to be an immune nation.

-Personal hygiene. Keep your hands washed before preparing foods/eating/touching your face. Use hand sanitizers or use anti bacterial soaps.

Health is wealth, is an old adage! ‘Jaan hai toh jahaan hai’, ‘Sar salamat toh pagdi hazaar’, well say it in any language, they all mean the same, “Save your head first, your possessions should not be your priority. You can buy worldly things anytime later, but not health.”

However busy you are, always strive to be #ApneTareekeSeHealthy. Do any activity that keeps you active, eat healthy and drink lots of water, don't skip this part.

P.S: I am joining Saffola #ApneTareekeSeHealthy initiative and sharing my ways of being healthy in association with BlogAdda.