Oh my Dear Salesman,

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It was a dull boring afternoon and I was thinking of studying for my approaching MBA exam but my eyes were closing, just then I heard the doorbell ring. My mom who was at home with me rushed to open the door when my smart senses got active and I advised her look through the window first and then open. As expected it was a salesman, I suggested my mom not to open the door, but my mom who is very plain at heart wanted to at least tell him that no matter what he had bought we were not interested rather than keep him at the door step. He had come to sell nonstick pans, it was some exchange offer but we were not interested. He said thank you and moved on to his next customer, who was the aunty in my next door, but at that instant there was a power cut. He realized that the door bell had not rung and so he started to call her , “Excujee me Madam”, no that’s not a typo. His command on English was not very good. After a couple of calls aunty did not open the door, but to my surprise he kept calling her, and it was after the twenty first attempt that she opened the door and shooed him away. Sounds too rude right?

But it is the most common thing that you and me would have done. We view salesmen as thieves, messengers and everything but not a salesman. Of course we are not at fault to do so we are just being safe and cautious, since now and then we come across so many news items of housewife murdered, burglary by salesman and so on. But that particular day I really felt bad and touched by the dedication he showed towards his job. We work in air conditioned offices with everything at our reach, and we still crib and complain about the work we do and that how we are still slaves of people from onsite but think about these salesmen who know that hardly is anyone interested in buying the product but yet they fawn, beg at times of dire need so that you at least just look at their product since they have targets to meet lest which they would lose their jobs. Due to that they roam around in hot scorching sun, in rains across all apartments, sometimes shooed by people in appartments and most of the times by the watchmens. Their agony does not end here, they need to face the wrath of their bosses, the problems at home but still they don lose hope, they don miss a chance to market their product so that you atleast have a look at it. And the biggest irony is today most of us want to get a MBA degree from a reputed B school, and many of us even want to take “Marketing” as a subject, and we are proud of it because the companies that hire us are going to be global and hence we will market our products to the rich part of the world and the other big companies are our prospective customers and we will earn a lot.

I say a true test would be to become a salesman for a day and sell at least ten pieces of an item to different types of customers and get a very meager amount as our wage, that will test our true marketing skill, when we are able to convince at least a group of people that how good a product a is when they are 200 variants of the same product made by different companies. If it sounds so tough imagine the plight of the salesmen and salesgirls for whom it’s the bread and butter.

I know we should not trust strangers and be friendly with them without any reason but yes we don lose anything by politely telling that person, that you don wish to buy the item and don want to waste either of his or your time. Its for the sake of humanity after all we all are salesmen somewhere and we all sell our services in some way or the other.

Will Anita ever get married in this way too modern world where people don’t love anymore.

Title: Marrying Anita-A quest for love in New India                                                                        
Author: Anita Jain
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Genre: Travel,Love, Quest
Price-299
Rating: 4/5

You are a 30 odd woman and belong to a very conservative Jain family and for some unfortunate reasons you are not yet married. Every girl will relate to the pressure from family and from inside to find a husband, get married and have a happy family life she was under going then.

And for Anita life was even more difficult since was a brought up in northern California, had a western mindset but still her roots were Indian. She had been through fluctuating relationships, one night stands , true love, boozing and all but still she could not find a man she really wanted to marry and if she did it was too late by then. Her parents had always been supportive and had brought her up with  a lot of freedom and not instilling any conservative notions in her mind. She was a free bird. She had a lot of feathers in her cap-  Harvard Educated, a successful journalist in many countries being  some of them.  Looking at her profile it seems as though finding her a husband would not be a difficult task atleast in India.

Anita too thought the same and was tired of waiting her French, Russian or Italian boy friend to call her back. She believed that her India had people with true emotions and not just thirst for Sex. She too wanted to relieve her parents of the pain of having an unmarried daughter who had already crossed the so called suitable age. she too wanted a loving and sincere husband. There began her quest for love through arrange marraige.

With a lot of hopes in heart she came to India, but is highly disappointed to see that Gen X in her country has progressed way too forward under the western influence and all that men and women are looking for is, easy drinks, smokes and sex. Reminds of the movie Love Sex and Dhoka some how.

Anita meets a lot of men, younger and older, some straight, some gay through mutual friends and a lot through Matrimonial websites. But somehow things have changed but she is now hellbent on finding a Man for herself and will go to any extent for that. But choosing a husband is tougher than a choosing a dress to wear in a party where your crush is coming(trust me that too is difficult). Its for life long and Divorce is not a wishful decision. So should she hurry or sit back and wait for her stars to be in the right place? Will she find her husband in this new India? Will her book have an happy ending? Only her book will tell that. 🙂 :).. Grab a copy for that. 😀

A calendar too crowded but still time for all.. That’s her

Title: A Calendar Too Crowded.                                                                                                      
Editor: Sagarika Chakraborthy
Publisher: Niyogi Books Pvt. Ltd
Price INR 295
Rating: 3.5 on 5

Daughter’s day, Mother’s day, Women’s day and many other days are celebrated around the world to celebrate the fact of being a woman and the uncountable situations a woman is put through every moment in her life. Well Yes, A calendar too crowded is book by sagarika chakraborthy where she has listed down the special days dedicated to the fairer sex now WOMAN.She has given heart touching stories to relate to every single day she mentioned in her book. These stories might be fictitious or may be true but i found most of them easy to believe since i could see myself, or my mother or sister or my friend in those situations.

Just to give a little insight to the book i would like to mention about one story which really touched my heart and made me think, i dont very clearly remember the day the story symbolised but it was about a mother, or may be all our mothers. She has bluntly put across the harsh truths about the Sacrifices a mother makes, or may be after reading her book, they dont seem to me as sacrifices anymore but rather the biggest mistakes of her life. The mother right from the time she conceives she bears pain, when the child is born and old enough about ten years or so, good enough to take care of himself, since a 12 year old kid watches the dishes in many or your homes. But rather the mother assumes that he is still her small baby on her lap. Right from waking up three hours earlier before him to make his lunch, iron his clothes, give him a bath, feed him with breakfast, listen to his taunts, arguments with a pleasing on face to taking him to school, writing his notes, waiting to give his lunch, washing his dirty clothes, eating his leftovers and also finishing his homework to putting him to sleep and sleeping 3 hrs after him since she even has a husband whose needs have to be fulfilled. So in short ,a day in a mothers life is actually a day spent completely on her child and her life is LOST somewhere in between and what is her ROI on that. If fortunate she might have a own house or else she might have to spend her hardest days in a old age home without anybody’s support.

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After reading this respect for my mom has crossed all leaps and bounds and i have promised myself that no matter what i would stand by my mother. This story is just a piece of the delicious cake for readers who enjoy simple language and homely stories. Some stories are disturbing but awakening. Pick this book up if you really wish to know why one should look up to every woman in their life.

Best regards,

Madhu

The train affair ;). Episode I

Right from my childhood,train journeys have always been dear to me , be it “Chai –Kaafeee” , “Samosa, Vada, Puri” , the noisy chatter of the co passengers, all of it just adds to awesomeness of the journey. But one thing had changed from my childhood, since i had started travelling alone, I would see more co passengers giving stares and “not so friendly” looks at me. Initially things were uncomfortable to me but then I learnt to get used to it like other grils.

But the coin always has two sides, if you are getting a hint of what i am trying to arrive, just like I looked pretty to a few pair of eyes, some guys looked handsome to me too ;). And sometimes its just the way they spoke, that charmed me or it was plain looks.

It’s a story when I had aspirations of being a journalist or a reporter for The Hindu but all I ended up was being a Freelance writer, life is unfair, yes because though I had a degree from a premiere institute of Journalism, all I could manage was a job in FreeCons, a consultancy firm which gave ad reviews and also punch lines to a lot of popular brands on their website. They had hired me for creative wiring but I wanted to be heard. Though I was being heard but wanted it to be through my mouth, expressions and not a mere group of words on a website. But god had other plans and I had a stammering problem since my childhood and my mother was scared of any medical treatment, thinking my voice might get impacted more. So I never got a chance to speak I public.
Anyways I had gone to Gurgaon to attend a conference of big brands on their advertising theories, and FreeCons needed a review a.s.a.p. I needed to travel by train to Hyderabad and it was in the April month. My allowances did not let me afford an AC coach but I personally liked sleeper since I could peek out of the windows and get into my virtual world where I was speaking on the National TV on a burning issue. Well in the real world I was not talking but it was burning. I was too early to the station and was among the first to get into the train. The train seemed to be sending fire waves across to my face, I was just sipping my coke when he stepped on my feet and I shouted, and then realized his suitcase had crushed my feet. I did not even look at him and shouted “ Are you freaking BLIND”… and while I was telling that the coke in my mouth was kissing his face.
So eventually I was feeling guilty and I apologized but that creature did not even bother and just dragged his suitcase and kept it under the seat. He had a window seat and after locking his stuff he disappeared. When he came out of the rest room after washing his face, I really got a chance to look at those sharp features and his spiked hair and his dusky complexion. Yes he looked handsome. But now he was not even going to give me a second look, due to what had happened. May be after one’s break up one realizes that he/she is not the one anyone would like to go out with. And also every guy I saw I somehow felt he is exceptionally good looking. The train had started and my coach was full till then, there was another girl sitting diagonally to him and both of them passed glances on each other. My chances were even less than half then. But then I felt he was very rude to even deserve me. We all feel it about the other person when not given the due importance. The girl started a conversation with him after waiting long enough for him to start. I told you right he was rude and carried a big ego. Thanks to her I came to know he was working at an investment firm in Hyderabad and had come to Gurgaon to visit his parents.
I felt a little happy that may be I will get to see him again in Hyderabad. But eventually realized I was building castles about a guy I did not even know and looked more than good to have a girlfriend. All of us are in a relationship these days. At least most of us. I soon took out my book, my best company and plugged in my head phones and got immersed in the book.In no time I had slept on the book. By the time I woke up to my surprise he was looking at me and the moment we were eye in eye he immediately moved his gaze away confirming he was looking at me from quite some long. At least that gave me some peace that I was still good to look at.


The next morning I woke up by 5 unable to sleep anymore, twisting and turning on the sticky seat. Railways should cover up all their seats like the ac coaches. He was still asleep and he had changed into a bottle green t shirt and shorts. He still looked good but after admiring him for sometime I came back to reality. Soon I fell asleep again. And in no time it was 9:30 and the train had reached Hyderabad. I quickly took out my slippers and found a sticky note on it. I pulled it out and saw “SORRY  “ written on it, i turned it and saw “Karan” written on it. Probably his name.
When I got down at the station I was waiting to get a look at him and I saw him at a far off distance, I gave him a faint smile and could not see his reaction since I did not have my spects on. He walked away and the bottle green color got lost amidst different colors.

Image courtesy:http://www.smileecards.com/card/sticky-note-i-m-sorry

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Love,Friendship,Angst,Relationships,Longing….all captured so well in Urban Shots :)

Title: Urban Shots
Editor: Paritosh Uttam                                                                                                         

Publisher: Grey Oak- Westland
Price INR 145
Genre: Contemporary Indian Fiction/Short Stories
Rating: 3 on 5

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Lets say you get to choose between a bar of chocolate as a gift or a box packed with chocolates, which one would you pick? I would pick the box because it would be a lot of sweet surprises packed together. And if you too were going to pick the same as me, then Urban Shots would work very well for you. It has the very cute Kainaz on the cover page which confused me a little, i thought ,Is the book on her ? But no, turns out be she is just a writer and has contributed a amazing piece to the book.

It is a very thoughtful and beautiful collection of stories. Personally i am an ardent fan of love stories and keep on reading them. In fact i read this book too in my train journey to Chennai. And the best part is all the 28 stories are of 2-3 pages each so one can easily finish each one in 10 minutes.

But the only problem is writing a review for such a book because, if i choose one story and write about it, i would be doing injustice to the rest. So i thought i will pick my favorite, each from all the parts and mention about them.

My favourite from relationships would be “Hope comes in small packages” by Kainaz Motivala, its a  short tale of a woman who loses her baby and her world shatters, she herself creates a world where she sees only unhappiness and sorrow. Then one day she finds a pup and in some form or the other her world starts rebuilding and she realises that Happy moments actually come in small packages. Its all upto us to get over our sorrow and see the good part of Life.

“Love in a fast lane” is my pick from Love. Its something which all of us live in day in day out. Love is a pure and serene feeling, but today may be its diluted and couple of us dont find happiness in just one person, they either get bored or feel they need a change but they also don let their girl friend or boy friend go since they need a backup. But this story gives a practical take on this situation, when the partners who are being cheated decide to move on and enjoy their life as they like, Love you Manpreet.

Moving on is one story very close to my heart because i was in the shoes of the protagonist of the story “Saira” at a very young age in my life. You love a person with all your heart, you do everything for the other person and he just walks away and thinks only of his own self. Would you call him ignorant, indifferent or selfish, i guess indifferent because some person thinking that the other person is treating you so specially in his/ her life is only because they are friends is not something that i would buy. May be i am getting personal but i really like what Saira did and how she chose her happiness.

I have only one favorite in Angst and Longing is “Stick figures“. Its the most stupid act on the part of parents to punish their children for their personal problems, be economic or social. The little kid deserves attention becuase you brought him into this world and give him the power that he understands your problems. The last line of the story when Tarun places his hand on his mother to feel his sister and his mom shoos him away brought tears in my eyes.

Though the authors come from varied backgrounds,they have shown so much of consistency in their writings. They have a pleasant style of writing and the language they used is also simple.The narration style is awesome.Hats off to all the 13.

The phases of love, relationships and Friendship are captured very well and i guess everyone who would pick up the book would be able to relate atleast one of the characters. They all are different and just one among us be it Karishma’s or Zoya’s story, i was wondering why no one wrote inspired from true stories. I am now a big fan of Paritosh Uttam, for his stories really touched my heart.

Personally i did not enjoy much of Longing part of the book,may be because i could not relate to them or because the depth of those stories were beyond my understanding. I did not find them gripping.

All in all its a lovely book and it can be your best friend on along journey or day a home when you feel nostalgic. It can also be a nice gift to someone who enjoys fiction close to life. Thumbs up for the book and a bigger thumbs up to Blogadda for giving me such a nice combo of stories.

If you want to go ahead and grab a copy you can go to http://www.flipkart.com/urban-shots-9381626085/p/itmdyvf3n5rshkgd. I think Flip Kart is safe(from experience) and you get it for cheap.. Just to help. :).. You are the best judge anyways.

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