God Is A Gamer: Book Review

Friday, October 31, 2014
Title: God Is A Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Genre: Thriller/Fiction
Number of pages: 324
Publisher: Penguin Books India
ISBN-10: 0143421395
ISBN-13: 978-0143421399

The Blurb:

Aditya runs a gaming company that is struggling to break even. A banker slips off a highrise building, plunging to her death. The finance minister has made some promises that he is finding hard to keep. The LTTE has unleashed terror in America that sends the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai. Enter Varun, part time drug dealer and full time genius. He turns around the gaming company before disaster strikes. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into the shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal transactions—drugs, sex and money. God Is a Gamer culminates in a stunning climax where money means nothing, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

About the Author:
Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, has spent two decades working his way up the ladder of power in the amazingly exciting and adrenaline-pumping world of global banks in India. It is but natural that his stories are set against the backdrop of the financial services industry. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Dharini and daughter, Anusha. In 2008, his debut novel, If God Was a Banker, won the Golden Quill Readers' Choice Award. The Incredible Banker won him the Economist Crossword Book Award in 2012.

My Review:
Ever since I read "If God was a banker" in 2007, I have been a fan of Ravi Subramanian's writing style. With each passing year, he brought out a new book (except for 2009) and I became an even bigger fan. He has authored 7 books till now, my favourite being "If God was a banker" and "The Bankster (review here)". No, I do not belong to a banking/financial background and yet he explains the banking concepts with such ease to the readers that even I understood everything (well, almost :P ). Latest in this category is the virtual world of money, Bitcoins. He has done an extensive search on Bitcoins before introducing it to the readers with its intricacies and technicalities, which shows perfectly in the novel. Also it is the first Bitcoin thriller in history, so yay a win-win!

Regarding the story and plot, it is a bit slow in the start but gradually picks up pace. The plot thickens with twists and turns and with involvement of FBI, White House and the LTTE, it takes very interesting turns. It is definitely a great thriller and a page-turner. In some places, I could skip some pages as it got too elaborate but overall a good read.

Quite unordinary, I couldn't feel connected to any character in particular. Also, there were too many characters and too much happening altogether that it became difficult to keep track of everything. I had to revisit some pages to remember the role of each character in the book. Felt like a cat played with a knitting wool ball and obviously left everything intertwined with knots!

A good read but not one of his best!

My Rating: 3 out of 5.
Who will like it: Thriller lovers, banking lovers, game lovers.
Who will not like it: Everyone else :P

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!
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A Healthy Child Makes A Happy Home

Monday, October 27, 2014
A healthy child makes a happy home, and not only home, they make a happy nation! That triggered the memories of "nanhe munhe bache teri muththi me kya hai? Muththi me hai takdeer hamari!" (O Child! What do you hold in your hands? Our future!). That song defines pretty much summarises all of my childhood memories. :P

Childhood, the best time of life.
No worries of deadlines, no stress about responsibilities, no tensions, no drama. Pure fun. 
Being the youngest at home and a girl, I have been a chatterbox all my life. My mom says I started speaking way before the normal age and that was obviously not understandable. :P Yet, I spoke, whether anyone could listen, decipher, understand or not. You know, being the younger one with an elder bro has its own advantages, he protects you from all the scoldings and spoils you as well. So, the sentence I grew up listening to was, "Thodi der chup bhi ho ja!" (Be quiet for at least some time!) My parents seriously used to bet with me if I could stay mum for 15 mins or half hour. And even with a luscious offer of chocolates, I always lost. 

Apart from my above described characteristics, I had one major characteristic! I was always prone to diseases - be it because of changing weather, a viral infection, bacterial infection - I always got sick. If it was out in the market, of course I had it! :-& And yes, that brought about quite a lot of silence in my home! :( One time, amidst my all diseases, I caught really high fever. It was the first rain of the season and I, being a rain-o-maniac, got completely drenched. That resulted in my another encounter with diseases - high fever this time! My mom thought that it was one of my usual falling sick, but as the night grew, so did my fever. She started the medications and the desi home remedies, but to no vain. Soon, everybody at home started getting worried and as the doctor was also unreachable in the middle of the night, they had to wait till morning. They put cold water strips on my forehead all night in wait of the morning. I still remember that night - longest in my life! Their usually-happy faces had become long with worry and tiredness and my body was burning like on fire. In the morning they got me admitted to the hospital and for some days, all I saw was their worried faces. But soon, I recovered and came back home but I pledged to take care of myself for I couldn't see my family being so sad because of me.

But my family was still worried because of my lack of immunity to diseases. They tried a few "tried-and-tested" formulae but nothing works on my stubborn body. Then finally, my mom figured the best remedy for increasing my immunity - Dabur Chyawanprash. It worked wonders for me and soon, my immunity did improve. Now, I wasn't the first person to catch these germs and infections, or even tenth for that matter!

I was super healthy and super-fit to pester everyone at home again. Finally, I got my chance to make such mess and speak so much that I could hear the same sweet sentence "Thodi der chup bhi ho ja!" but with a lot of laughter these times! ;)

This post is a part of Dabur Chyawanprash contest at Indiblogger.

P.S.- Yes, the future of a nation lies in the hands of children. But also, the happiness and prosperity of the nation also lies in the hands of the children. But what's most important is how strong do we make them - mentally and physically. The values and the morals that we teach our children are going to change the way they see the world tomorrow. So let's teach them some wonderful things! :)
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The Scribbler's Orchard: Part 25

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Team Name: Scribbler's Orchard
Read the previous parts of the story here -  Part 1 | Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 |

Shekhar opened his eyes in a dark room with only the sun rays entering through the mihrab in the wall. As his eyes tried to accommodate to the darkness of the room, he felt that his hands and legs were tightly tied to the back of a chair which thus restricted any movement. Jennifer was tied on a chair lying unconscious next to him but Tara was nowhere to be seen. "Maybe she's still at the PM's office and is not even aware of his captivity", he thought to himself. He tried to look around to know where they were being held. It was a red sandstone room with pillars supporting the high ceiling with inscriptions on the pillars in Persian and Urdu. He started to figure out that it's a tomb when suddenly, the sound of qawwali from a nearby Dargah filled in the atmosphere. Jennifer disturbed his thought process and said, "Where are we?" "I think Humayun Tomb. Listen carefully, you can hear the qawwali from the Nizamuddin Dargah. I have been there before."

Listening to the noises, the door opened and a figure entered the room. Sudden light blinded Shekhar but the sight afterwards left him dumb as well. Two masked men entered the room and placed a chair in front of the figure. A well-built tall man dressed up in a white robe entered the room and sat across the two with his face still in dark. The person signalled the men to leave the room and sat down. "So where should we begin, Shekhar. I guess you have something which you shouldn't be having, right Jennifer?", asked the man. Jennifer blurted, "Who are you? What do you want?"
"Maybe Roohi will be able to tell you what do I want, Shekhar!"
"Where's my daughter?", shouted Shekhar, his face red with anger and tears hiding at the corner of the eyes.
"She's safe for now. You don't have to worry about her yet. Now tell me where are the photographs?"
"I need to see Roohi first."
Acharya signalled and his men brought Tara in the room, her hands tied behind her head. They pushed Tara down and she fell in front of Acharya's feet. Shekhar almost shouted in shock. He began thinking how did they get her as she was with the PM in a high security office when he last saw her. They might have done something to the PM as well. Something seemed so off to him regarding this. How!!
"For now, you only get to see her. And even that will not be for long. Either give me the photographs or watch her die!", pointing the gun towards her head.
"Why are you doing this? My baby and my wife! Why?"
"This is all for the greater good Shekhar. This mission is way above us and you both were never meant to be a part of this. But you got involved with Jennifer and the photographs. I had to take your daughter but you didn't stop. Maybe you don't love your daughter and your wife! Should I?", he said mocking to shoot Tara.
Jennifer saw an opportunity as the two were arguing and tried to pick up a old wooden block lying near her chair with her toes. Just as her toe touched the block, Acharya suddenly shot towards her foot. The bullet missed the target and hit the block instead. Jennifer squeaked in fear and Shekhar shouted, "What the hell are you doing? What is this stupidity? What mission?"
"Now you give me the photographs you have or I will have to endanger her life for now!", said Acharya pointing the gun towards Tara, "and I'll not miss this time!"
"Don't you dare! I need a laptop. I have uploaded them on my dropbox. Take all of it, you monster!"
Acharya signalled and one of the masked men brought a laptop to Shekhar. "Don't you dare play any games Shekhar. No more stupidity of yours!", but Shekhar had already thought of a plan and even he wouldn't miss this time. 


In an adjoining room, a large fire was set up. Acharya entered the room and, after performing some rituals, sat in front of the fire. A lady brought Roohi into the room and made her sit next to the Acharya. He asked her to fold her hands in front of the fire and pray to the God. "But there's no God here like the ones we have at home", argued Roohi. She was finally opening up with him for he was the only person who was being nice to her in so many days. He smiled at her innocence. "I have to teach you a lot sweety", keeping his hand gently on her head he said, "Fire is the only God, our true God" and handed her the fruit basket which she had been eyeing ever since she entered the room. He started chanting the mantras and explaining their meaning to her while she sat next to him, ignorant and protected. 

Behind them, lay the Ulema of Jama Masjid with his hands tied to a large pillar and cloth stuffed in his mouth, prepared for the sacrifice.

Read the next part of the story here

You can join our story here

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.
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