Saturday, April 30, 2016

#335 : A Much Needed Helping Hand to Athletics : Gail (India) Limited's CSR initiative to strengthen the sport of athletics

Track and Field sports have always been a neglected area in the arena of sports in our country. Cricket, which garners more attention than any other sports attracts the young. Thanks to sensible initiatives by various people in the name of premier league games, now football, hockey and even badminton are steadily gaining players. But what of athletics? An aspiring Olympic athlete finds is insanely difficult to get a sponsor. Not everyone can really afford to train in world class facilities. This inadvertently leads to decline in people opting for this sporting form at all. 

To give this form of sport a much needed helping hand, one of India largest natural gas processing company - GAIL, has taken up a CSR initiative to strengthen the sport of athletics - an initiative which is truly laudable and welcome. 

GAIL (India) Limited has embarked on a grassroots athletics program GAIL-Indian Speedstar which is aimed at unearthing young talent across the length and breadth of India. GAIL (India) Limited and National Yuva Cooperative Society (NYCS), launched a grassroots athletics program GAIL Indian Speedstar on the 22nd of March, 2016 at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi.
National Yuva Cooperative Society has tied up with Anglian Medal Hunt Company as its Technical Partner for The GAIL Indian Speedstar project. The persisting, epoch-making attempt before - focused grassroots program aims to create a pool of athletes with knack which will possibly bring honor for India in track events at the highest echelon of sporting events - the Olympics 2020/2024.

The reason to launch this program is to identify, select and nurture the hidden talent in athletes. The targeted age group is 11 - 17 years in 100m, 200m and 800m track events across.
A panel of eminent sportspersons like P.T Usha, Rachita Mistry, AnuradhaBiswal& Kavita Raut have been appointed in the selection committee to support selections and guide coaching camps. As members of the selection committee their role would include creating the selection criteria or the GAIL-Indian Speedstar program, and developing the training plan and module for the selected athletes at the National Level.
Legendary athlete P.T. Usha launched the initiative alongside the organizers DrAshutoshKarnatak, Director (Projects), GAIL (India) Ltd, Rajesh Pande – President, National Yuva Cooperative Society Ltd (NYCS) and Maneesh Bahuguna- CEO, Anglian Medal Hunt Company.
District trials were conducted under the watchful eyes of coaches and selectors, appointed by the selection committee. The selection of the athletes was based on talent identification and selection criteria set by the selection committee.
Initiatory, in its first year, earlier this year with initial trials conducted at 55 districts across 10 states in which more than 25,000 children participated out of which 850 children made it to the State level 
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon. Minister of State (I/C) Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dutee Chand, AnuradhaBiswal and Purnima Hembram; selected ambitious young athletes from Bhubaneswar, Odisha. 14 children have qualified for the National level trials while Shri Dharmendra Pradhan ji, praised and motivated the selected candidates for National level trials Camp and Selection. 

The first State level camp and trial was organized on 27-28th of February in SawaiMaan Singh Stadium, Jaipur where 60 boys and girls participated out of which 4 have qualified for the next level. The state trials were held in Odisha (14 Selection), Delhi (28 Selection), Kerala (28 Selection) &Jharkhand(4 Selection)followed by Maharashtra and Gujarat in the last week  of April.  The shortlisted children from the State trials will then participate in the National camp and selection which is scheduled to be held in May 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. Shortlisted athletes from state trials will attend an intensive national level camp. At the conclusion of the coaching camp, final trials will be held. Winners will be selected based on the qualification criteria and their potential. The winners will be given extensive training throughout the year. The top 9 athletes will then be provided with a world class coaching for over a period of 5 years with an ultimate objective of one of these athletes to represent India at the Olympics.

For more information on Gail-Indian Speedstar please visit








Wednesday, April 27, 2016

#334 : 5 Must-Read Books for Harry Potter Fans

Harry Potter is one of the most popular book series ever written!

Its whimsical characters and magical adventures have captured the hearts of millions. If you’re a Potter Maniac, you probably think that no story can compare those of the mystifying Hogwarts and the boy with the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. But have you read these spellbinding masterpieces?

***Attention Harry Potter Lovers: In honor of J.K. Rowling being named the Top Followed Author on Reader’s Legacy in 2015 we’re holding a 1 week sale on ALL of her books. From April 25th-30th, 2016 any Rowling book is 20% off AND double the LitCoins will be loaded into your account just for purchasing. Click the link to check out this limited time offer!***

Like Harry Potter, this series comes in 7 installments and features a secret world full of wonders, its magical inhabitants, and the child-heroes who must save it from destruction.

A prequel to the famed “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, this delightful classic takes readers far from reality as it follows a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins on an unexpected and perilous quest to help his friends reclaim their home, which has been taken over by a gold-loving dragon.

Told in 3 parts, this is the story of Bilbo Baggins’s nephew Frodo who, with the help of some unlikely allies, must travel to the ends of the earth to destroy an ancient ring, before its evil power brings his world to ruin.

4) Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

This endearing story tells of an imaginative young girl who falls down a rabbit hole and finds herself in a world full of whimsical (and more-than- slightly backwards) characters, where nothing is practical and anything is possible. Alice and her topsy-turvy friends return in the sequel, Through the LookingGlass.

​5) The Inheritance Series (Eragon) by Christopher Paolini 

4 fantastic novels tell what happens when a farm boy named Eragon finds a mysterious dragon egg, it hatches, and his life is eternally changed as he becomes the last known Dragon Rider…and the primary target of a rising evil empire.
These are just some of the countless wonderful fantasy novels out there. By expanding your literary horizons you will gain a deeper love of reading, and acquire a tasteful appreciation for other authors/genres – even ones that may not be your favorite. Check out these books, or one of your own finding, and tell us what you think!

As an added perk of Reader’s Legacy’s Rowling celebration, we will be holding a special 20% off sale for each of her novels from April 25th to April 30th – 

The sale not only celebrates J.K. Rowling, but was also brings attention for a special grant program we have created in order to give away 1 million physical books in support of literacy programs! Spreading a love of books, and ending illiteracy around the world is 100% possible, and with the help of reader’s on the site, we believe will be one step closer to achieving that goal! Get in on this sale HERE.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

#333 : Yama by Kevin Missal : Review

GENRE: Fiction - Thriller


FORMAT: Paperback


HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from the writer in exchange of an honest review. Kalamos literary services facilitated the intros! Thanks to Anuj :)


Volatile Saint, Delusional Hero and an ambitious reporter – A time tested recipe for a perfect mystery thriller as far as writing in India is concerned. The west would take time to understand the concept of Yama – the god of justice and death, while we Indians wouldn’t have any trouble at all.  In fact, for some people, using that very name sends chills down the spine. This writer has capitalized well on that fact.

A man who claims to be Yama is on a killing spree in the name of serving justice. Of course, his victims are people are actually who have committed some crime or the other. That however, doesn’t give him the leeway to kill then. Iravan Rajpoot, the PI who is Ex-Army, gets entangled in these murders thanks to Yama who sends him periodic clues.Iravan already has his fair share of personal problems to deal with. With an ambitious reporter also in the play, Iravan breaks mountains to track the killer while handling his personal issues.

Logic is a vital element of this genre. The story did have minor logical loopholes, but that didn’t hamper the overall reading pleasure. For instance, in a particular chapter, Iravan, a person from northern part of the country watches a Tamil channel. Might not really sound like a big deal, but is still a loophole. The writing was good enough. The story at one point seemed a bit familiar to me. The torture methods of Yama and the name he gives for each punishment which is from Hindu Mythology was the primary reason behind this similarity. The Tamil movie, Anniyan (Aparichit in Hindi) also had a vigilante killer who served out Yama Styled punishments. However, the similarities stopped there. The story was a bit erratically paced with some parts being totally gripping while others a bit slow. The characterization was done perfectly and with a lot of conviction. The way the characters and the story jointly brought out the hypocrisy of our society was quite impressive.

MY SAY: An interesting read


PLOT: 3/5




AUTHOR LINKS : Goodreads

BOOK LINKS : Goodreads, Amazon

Friday, April 22, 2016

#332 : Accepted, Secured, Significant: Empowering, Igniting and Fulfilling your Purpose by Kemley Whiteside : Spotlight + Giveaway!


Book Description for Accepted, Secured, Significant:

This text is a spiritual and inspirational journey for those drawn away from their purpose by the circumstances of their lives. This book is dedicated to those told they would never amount to anything.
It is for those told they would be just like their mother or father, that they are idiots, mistakes, and failures. It is for the pushed aside and ignored. It is for those under shadow, and for those abused from childhood. It is for the molested, and the ones told that no one loves them and no one ever would. It is for the misled and mistreated. It is for the suicidal. It is for the victims of domestic violence and abusive relationships. It is for those in spiritual bondage, and those who don’t believe in themselves. It is for those suffering from cancer or other diseases. It is for the motherless, fatherless, jobless, and homeless. It is for the depressive and anxious, the lonely and isolated. This book is for the hopeless.
​To my brothers and sisters who need a way out: This book was written just for you. It is to polish your existence and your purpose on this earth.
This book was inspired and written by the Holy Spirit to assure you that, as a child of God, you no longer have to feel bound by labels and curses spoken over the course of your life. God wants to reinforce in your heart how valuable you are and how much you mean to Him. He wants you to know that through Him, you are Accepted, Secured, and Significant.

Buy the book:   Website


Author's Bio:
Kemley Whiteside is a native of the Republic of Panama, a survivor and overcomer. Kemley resides in the state of New Jersey with her husband and children.
She is ordained to help build by empowering, igniting, and fulfilling people into their purpose. She is a life-coach, mentor, inspiration, motivational speaker, and a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
She is the survivor of an anxiety disorder, depression, cancer, Lyme disease, domestic violence, and suicide. She is the survivor of physical, emotional, and mental abuse. These obstacles have strengthened her life and her purpose.
She is a woman birthing life to others by embracing them with confidence, and helping them achieve their calling. Kemley Whiteside earned her MA in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University, and her MBA in Project Management from Ashford University. She holds a BS in Information Technology from Phoenix University and has over fifteen certifications.Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Instagram 




Thursday, April 21, 2016

#331 : The Art of reading by Suresh C : Guest Post

Huh! When I first had this thrown in my face, I was incredulous. I mean, you just read, didn’t 
you? It was for the writing that needed the art, didn’t it? If he did not keep you engrossed, it was he who was failing in his art, right? But try explaining that simple thing to my friends.

“You claim to read, Suresh! But when they made you, they forgot to put in the art of reading in you.”

“What art of reading? I can read as well as anyone here? Why, I even understand some big
words and, as for the others, I can always look up Wikipedia.”

“If the next Harry Potter book was released simultaneously with the movie, would you still buy and read the book?”

“Once I see the movie why do I need the book? I know the story, right, and I do not need to 
imagine a Hermione Granger when I can see Emma Watson. No brainer, guys.”

I could have, and should have, bitten my tongue. Of course, I KNEW what answer would get
their approval but my tongue just HAS to speak before I stopped to think.

“THERE you go. For a true reader, the pleasure IS in exercising his imagination; for you it is a
goddamn chore.”

“Yup!” chimes in the other. “He just wants to go rushing from incident to incident. As long as the writer keeps the incidents exciting, he will not be bothered about the logic of the story. The sort of guy who is quite happy with the murderer being the butler, even if he is introduced in Chapter 29 just in time to be disclosed as the murderer in Chapter 30.”

“So, what’s wrong with liking it? It IS a twist, isn’t it?”

“Yes! Like asking you a multiple choice question and surprising you with an answer that is not in the choices.”

“To each his own, guys! He likes just hanging his brain out to dry, while reading. You guys like to read, noting the clues, and trying to put them together to find the murderer before he is disclosed; and taking pleasure if the author manages to surprise you, still.”

“Yeah! I just want to be entertained. What is the point in a book that exercises my brains? It seems too much like work.”

“Well, laddie, some people solve Sudoku, some solve crosswords and they think it is entertainment, too. Why do you assume that all entertainment has to avoid your stressing about whether you really do have a brain?”

“Come, now! He likes his entertainment to give his brain a holiday; I like it that way sometimes and intellectually engaging sometimes; you prefer it to engage your brain all the time. So, why quarrel about it?”

“So, Ok, fine. But what is the point of all those books about poverty and all that? I mean, you might as well read a sociology text. And those books that keep on and on about what a man thinks…nothing much happens in them. Whoever can get entertained reading them?”

“You keep supporting this guy? I am willing to grant that it is alright to be entertained without needing to engage the brain. But this…he thinks that if a book cannot be read with the brain in neutral gear, it is automatically boring.”

“Yeah! I’d say the main purpose of reading is to give a different view-point of the world; or give a window the way other people lead their lives; or give rise to self-questioning….

“Each of us seeks what he wants from reading, guys. Let us just accept that we are all differently wired. The only problem is that you all seem to be intent on proving that the way YOU are wired is the only right way to be; and that a book that does not hit the spot for you is not worth writing.”

For once, everyone, including me, was yelling at someone other than me. It was all his fault for not realizing that ‘My way is the only right way’ is not an idea exclusively restricted to reading!

Suresh's book is one no to be missed. Read more about it in my spotlight post. I've also had the pleasure of reading the book and conversing with the writer. Do check them out as well!


#330 : A Dog Eat Dog Food World By Suresh C : Spotlight

A Dog Eat Dog-Food World 

C. Suresh
A Fablery Publications 


A hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management, which explicitly denies resemblance to any actual history, and which will be horrified if some semblance be found. ‘A dog eat dog-food world’ is the story of a man who discovered that the path of life is strewn with treadmills and, if you get on one by mistake, you could keep running all your life to stay in the same place. The story of how just minding your own business can lead to unexpected consequences, guided by the ‘invisible hand’ of long dead economists. Anything you learn from the book – be it the basics of marketing management or a satirical view of Society – you do at your own risk.

The tale only dogs the doings of Spike Fortune who only sought to feed dogs and Jerry Fortune who, being fortuneless, gets dragged helter-skelter by his uncle Spike’s careening pursuit of commercial success; Spike’s rival Tom Rich, who is unwillingly dragged into upstaging Spike and tries to do it by teasing the palates of cats, helped by the bumbling efforts of his nephew, Jasper Rich who would rather be chasing girls than chasing cats.

Grab your Copy @


Fiction has been an addiction but the need to make a living took Suresh through Chemical Engineering and a PGDM at IIM-Bangalore and, from thence, to a long 16 year stint in the area of finance with specific expertise in fertilizer subsidies and a further two years as consulting expert in the same area. That, in his words, about sums up the boring part of his life, except for the people he was privileged to meet.

Otherwise, he can be described as a mess of contradictions – a bookworm but avid trekker; alone but never lonely; enjoys solitude but loves company; lazy but a perfectionist, the litany is endless. Trekking, which side-tracked him from the writing for which he quit his job, is a major passion and he does, at least, one trek in the Himalayas every year in addition to numerous local treks.

He reignited his passion for writing with a fairly popular blog The blog has been rated among the Top 5 humour blogs in India, twice in succession - in 2014 and 2015 - by BlogAdda, and has also been listed third among the Top Humour Blogs by Baggout.

He also has a short story published in a collection “Uff Ye Emotions” and has edited and written a novelette in an ebook anthology “Sirens spell danger”

Stalk him @


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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#329 : Extra Marital affairs from the perspective of a woman by SundariVenkatraman : Guest Post

Hi Shree Janani,

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog :D

Yeah, the 100-dollar question. 

Most of our society believes that it’s the man who has a libido while a woman has no sex drive. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong. 

For one thing, a woman thinks from the heart while a man thinks from the mind. In this scenario, a woman will not get involved in an extra-marital affair for the heck of it. But that doesn’t mean, she never will. There are always exceptions to this rule, of course. 

In An Autograph for Anjali, even the heroine accepts her husband Jayant’s affairs as the norm. That’s how much our society has brainwashed all of us that it’s perfectly alright for the guy while “shocking” if the gal does it.

Even Jayant is shocked when he finds out that his wife Anjali, may be seeing another man – 
Jayant, who has no qualms about sleeping with other women. This same guy is unable to keep Anjali happy in bed, for whatever reason. He thinks she’s cold, but he obviously never bothers to find out what the issue is, not during the 20 years of their marriage. 

It takes a Parth to give Anjali the love she craves. Once her heart opens up to him, she doesn’t feel guilty about taking the next step of having an affair with him. She’s not bothered that she’s still married to Jayant as she has already moved away from his bedroom, just one step short of getting out of his life. 

I think the society perceives us exactly how we judge ourselves. And Anjali decides to break the supposed rules of this society that leans more towards the male of the species.

Head here to know more about Sundari's book!


#328 : An Autograph for Anjali by Sundari Venkatraman : Spotlight!



Sundari Venkatraman


Jayant Mathur is found murdered in his bed, shot at point-blank range with his own revolver. Though she’s extremely disturbed by his death, Jayant’s wife Anjali is way more upset about something else. Who stands to gain by killing the multi-millionaire businessman?

Parth Bhardwaj is a friend and neighbour of the Mathurs. Parth is an author who goes by a pseudonym. He appears more than a friend to Anjali; while he’s also on good terms with her son Arjun who lives and studies in the UK. What role does he play in Anjali’s life? Jayant’s relatives are curious to know.

Jayant’s brother-in-law Rana is convinced that Parth and Anjali are the murderers. But Inspector Phadke has his own doubts about this theory. In comes Samrat, the private detective who appears as quiet as a mouse. Will he be able to find the murderer?

Will Anjali find happiness and peace?

Grab your copy @


In 2014, Sundari self-published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition); Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven (a collection of romantic short stories).

2015 brought yet another opportunity. Readomania came forward to traditionally publish this book - The Madras Affair - a mature romance set in Madras.

An Autograph for Anjali, a romance with a touch of suspense, is also a self-published novel. Going a step further, the author has published the paperback version through Notion Press.

Stalk her @


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