BOOK REVIEW: LOVE IS FOR LIFE & BEYOND

Book: Love is for Life & Beyond

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Author: Yashwant Kanodia

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Srishti Publishers

Number of pages: 212 pages

My Rating: 3/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The story is about Nikhil who has been friends with Shanaya since they were children. Shanaya confesses her feelings for him and Nikhil realises that he reciprocates them. They begin dating and everything seems to fine.

Nikhil is accepted in a college in Germany to do his master’s but nobly decides not to go as his mother has been diagnosed with cancer. He joins the family business instead. Apparently his mother makes a full recovery but no mention is made in the story again about Nikhil pursuing his further education.

Nikhil gets very busy with work and Shanaya appears to be extremely free as she has issues with Nikhil not spending enough time with her. These problems don’t stop them from having a very graphically depicted sexual encounter in which Nikhil extremely irresponsibly tells Shanaya that he is not carrying any protection to which Shanaya is equally irresponsible in assuring him that she will take the pill!

Despite this however, their problems continue and Nikhil discovers something about Shanaya that leads him to break up with her. A lot of melodrama takes place after the break up and Shanaya assures him that she will ‘prove’ her love for him in a couple of years.

Time passes and Nikhil is still unable to forget about Shanaya. Even though he meets Ridhima, he feels that he still loves Shanaya. Will he be able to forgive her and get back together with her?

Of course the question that arose to me while I was reading the book was that when Nikhil was so sure of his feelings for Shanaya, then why didn’t he just tell his family about her and make it official between them, especially as he was settled in the family business and she was an old friend of his? That would have taken care of the problem of him not being able to spend time with Shanaya.

I’m sure that the reader will have his or her own questions while reading the book.

BOOK REVIEW: FLUID

Book: Fluid

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Author: Ashish Jaiswal

Genre: Non-Fiction

Number of pages: 210 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: I received a review copy of Fluid from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The book begins on an interesting note with a few incidents based on different characters. The author uses these characters as an example to demonstrate how they are not ‘fluid’. He then goes on to explain his concept of being fluid.

The author has obviously extensively researched his facts before presenting them in the book. I was amazed to learn so many little known facts about various famous and historical personalities that have been narrated in the book.

So what is being fluid all about? Of course, the reader needs to read the book to find that out but if I am interpreting what the author means to say correctly, being fluid is all about not slotting oneself in a single category, but being multi vocational and knowledgeable in different fields.

There are many insights by the author about the rigidity of the educational system, in particular the divide between science and art.

The book and the concept put forward by the author is extremely interesting and thought provoking. I believe that everyone will definitely benefit from reading this book.

CHOCO’DALE IS DELICIOUS!

Marvellous! Amazing! Scrumptious! These are just a few of the adjectives that I have heard and I have myself used to describe Choco’dale’s creations.

One of Ahmedabad’s leading home baking brands, Choco’dale was started in February 2014 and has grown with leaps and strides since then. Every product of Choco’dale be it a cake, muffin, brownie, cakepop, theme based cookie or cupcake, bears Choco’dale’s stamp of individuality and creativity not to mention its impeccable taste! Today it’s time to meet the creative genius behind Choco’dale, Shruti Bhagat.

This soft-spoken and modest lady was a Fine Arts student who enjoyed sculpting. She has worked not only as a dress designer but as a web designer and a web developer, adapting her profession to meet the needs of her daughter.

Shruti, however, always enjoyed baking for her family and friends. Though she attended workshops to give her desserts a finished look, she never dreamed of taking it up as a profession!

But dissatisfaction with the products available in bakeries and encouragement from friends and family members led to Shruti starting with Choco’dale.

Shruti was very clear behind what motivated her to start her brand. She wanted to use the best and the most fresh ingredients for her products, the same ones she used for baking for her family and friends. She was determined to avoid using any extra preservatives and any premixes.

As a long standing customer of Choco’dale, I can also attest to the amazing variety of Choco’dale creations. I am continually amazed at Shruti’s imagination and her detailing in her desserts. In fact, I frequently joke to my husband that Choco’dale’s products are too good to eat! But at the same time, it is very difficult to control oneself from gorging on Choco’dale’s divine creations.

Choco’dale definitely specializes in theme-based cakes and desserts as Shruti is very conscious of aesthetic presentation. She also presents structural marvels like hanging, antigravity and rotating cakes.

Shruti gives credit to her family and friends for marketing her work and of course thanks her clients for their goodwill and the word of mouth publicity and praise that they have given her.

She has one request to all her clients past, present and future: that they should appreciate the time and effort put in by a home baker.

Shruti constantly tries to improve herself and keep herself updated. She attends workshops and even today spends considerable time online watching tutorials and doing R & D.

With this firm commitment to creativity, quality and taste one can be assured that Choco’dale is growing as a brand every day. I urge everyone who is reading this to not merely take my word for it but to sample a Choco’dale product right away.

For orders and inquiries Shruti Bhagat can be contacted on: 8128024448. Her varied and wonderful creations can be followed as Choco’dale on Facebook and as Chocodale_ on Instagram.

PRODUCT REVIEW: XAF’S BATH & BODY (SOAPS)

This is another review of Xafira Mendonsa’s hand crafted soaps. Today I am going to review two more of her soaps, both of which are extremely exotic.

The first soap that I have tried is Papaya. This soap is suitable for all skin types. Papaya is excellent for balancing the oiliness of the skin and is used to give a rejuvenated look to the skin. Moreover, this soap contains essential oils that keeps the skin tight! I found it to be a perfect summer soap!

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The second soap is extremely unique: charcoal and green tea! This soap bar absorbs odours, making it an ideal soap for someone who works outdoors or in a dusty and polluted environment. Activated charcoal is very helpful in washing away odour and green tea helps to rejuvenate skin cells and fight any inflammation. This soap helps to keep the skin clean, soft and moist. This soap is especially suitable to those having dry skin.

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The best part about these soaps is that they are free of artificial foaming agents (detergents), parabens, alcohol, petroleum and artificial preservatives.

I would definitely recommend these soaps to everyone. Though they are pricy, (each soap costs Rs. 250/), they are definitely long lasting and of excellent quality.

Xafira lives in Mumbai and can be contacted on 9821735666 or on 9967586929. She can be followed on her Instagram account Creativity with Taste. She is also available on Facebook as Xaf’s Bath and Body.

CHIQUE IS COOL!

“Chic” is a French word that means elegance and class.

Beauty, style, grace, elegance and class are just a few of the attributes that come to mind when one is viewing the creations of Chique Jewels.

Who is the creative genius behind this trendy and upcoming brand of jewellery?  It is none other than the gorgeous Rina Punater!

This lovely lady grew up in Mumbai and moved to Antwerp post marriage. Rina was always interested in jewellery and in fact dabbled in selling gold and diamond jewellery for a while. But the arrival of her daughters, and the joys and duties of motherhood prevented her from pursuing her passion temporarily.

However, once her daughters had passed the stage of being toddlers and no longer needed her fulltime care and attention, Rina once again found herself turning to one of her early loves, i.e. jewellery!

Interestingly, it was Rina’s brother who urged her to turn her dream into reality. This led to the birth of her brand Chique Jewels. Since its inception in May 2017, Chique Jewels, as a brand, has grown in leaps and strides.

What was Rina’s goal behind starting her own line of jewellery? In her own words, “I wanted to create classy, chic, elegant, affordable fashion jewellery that is at the same time easy to wear.”

Since Rina was so clear and focused on her goals, she never had a reason to look back. She is focused on making every product of Chique Jewels, be it earrings, necklaces, bracelets or broches, unique and stamped with her distinctive brand of elegance.

Rina beautifully balances her home and work responsibilities by working from home! This hardworking lady puts in several hours a day into her designs and the creation of her products. She also tries to put in some work over the weekend.

We all know that “charity begins from home,” but in Rina’s case, “help begins from home”. She gets her greatest support from her family. Her husband Romil Kothari, not only extends his full support but also gives his input on all of Rina’s designs. His guidance is extremely valuable to Rina as he himself is in the diamond business.

Rina’s daughters Ayesha and Tanisha are her biggest fans and motivators. While both of them help her with the packaging, sorting and inventory of her products, Ayesha assists Rina a lot by taking pictures of her various creations. In fact, Ayesha frequently reminds her mother to take the “pic of the day!” i.e. to post a picture of a Chique Jewels design on Instagram and Facebook. Ayesha also gives her approval and input on Rina’s jewellery designs.

Rina manages to skilfully use social media tools like Facebook and Instagram to market and sell her creations. She also sells her designs at private exhibitions. She had an exhibition in Mumbai in January that was extremely successful. She is planning another exhibition in Mumbai this April and is mulling over exhibiting her designs in Ahmedabad and in other Indian cities as well.

Though at the moment, Rina is content working from home, she envisions herself expanding her brand in the future. She has set herself some goals for the coming years, which include opening her own store.

Rina is extremely anxious that every product of hers be associated with class and style and she strives hard to ensure the same. She diligently maintains the quality of her brand, from the design to the finished product. At the same time, she tries her best to ensure that her pieces remain affordable. Rina feels that she has learned a lot from her own experiences. However, she genuinely welcomes the feedback given by her clients.

Who can be seen sporting a Chique Jewels design? Rina says that she does not envision any age group when she is visualising a design. Her jewellery is aimed at any woman who is modern, classy and trendy, whether she is 7 years young or 70 years old!

So for all you wonderful women out there, do treat yourself to a Chique Jewels product. Trust me, you are worth it!

Rina Punater can be reached via email on rina_punater@gmail.com. She is on Facebook and Instagram as rina_punater.