Thursday, 12 March 2020

Book Review - Irrationally Passionate by Jason Kothari


Pages  - 243
Price  -  Rs 599/-  for hardcover  , kindle edition – Rs 255/-
Genre – Self Help, Autobiography, Motivational

About the Author - Jason Kothari

                                                  



Born in Hong Kong to middle class Gujarati parents, Jason had a tough childhood that included frequent uprootment   and moving around the globe and facing cultural shocks and racism.


Jason Kothari is a graduate of The Wharton School and has been hailed as a turnaround specialist ever since he saved his childhood favorite Superhero comic book company, Valiant Entertainment, from bankruptcy and gave it a new lease of life, while still being a college student and he later sold it for a whopping $100 million!

Jason proved to the world that his was not a fluke case by repeating his success story with Housing.com, FreeCharge and Snapdeal , all of them  collapsing businesses  that were revived by him.

He soon went on to be one of the top ten highest paid executives in the world while still being in his thirties. Currently, Kothari is on the Board of Directors of  Emaar India, a subsidiary of the company that developed the landmark Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
He now resides in Mumbai, India.

 About The Book - Irrationally Passionate 


This book is a highly intense and personal account of his journey from being a beaten down rebel kid to a widely acclaimed entrepreneur and turnaround specialist.

 The book has simple, easy to understand language, no difficult literary words or heavy quotes here, which sends across the author’s thoughts in a very lucid manner and I think that was intentional on the part of the author. Jason does not try to impress the reader with his Wharton degree or his accomplishments, but makes a sincere effort to share his story with the world and inspires others to chase their dreams. According to him, a lot of his strategy and skills developed not from what he learnt at Wharton but much earlier and from his personal experiences in life.

Autobiographies are tricky business to write when you are a celebrity. People can and do a google search on  you and already know about your story because of which there is no novelty factor in reading that  autobiography .So the trick lies in giving a new perspective or the inside story on the life events that made the man a legend and Jason succeeds at keeping the narrative interesting.
Jason Kothari succeeds in giving us a gritty and raw account of his life, struggles and challenges and how every adversity taught him a life skill and drove him to face his demons even more ferociously. He reveals how rediscovering spirituality through Jainism helped him kick his vices.

I took up this book almost expecting a Slumdog Millionaire kind of a story, but this is not really an unbelievable and magical rag to riches story. 

Jason seems to have far more privileges than what a common person is born with, so that kind of takes away from the stardust. But then again, we all have some disadvantages and some privileges in life and we all get opportunities; it is what we make of them that make us who we are. It is the tough decisions and the ability to take a rejection and bounce back, that makes you a force to reckon with.
Jason makes you believe, that it is important that you have a dream and when you have the dream, you just need to keep fighting and improvising for that dream to become a reality and that never say die attitude really is the key to entrepreneurial success .He succeeds in selling the theory that it pays to be irrationally passionate in life!

A book which will probably inspire many and certainly will be a bestseller.

I rate it a 4.5/5 

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Sula Late harvest Chenin Blanc 2017

                                              

Price - Rs 482/- plus taxes for 375 ml (this wine is only available in half bottles )

Sula vineyards were established in Nashik, Maharasthra in 1998 by Rajeev Samant and the Sula wines are one of the most popular wines in the Indian Wine Market.

The Grape - Chenin Blanc 


Chenin Blanc is a profoundly versatile white-wine grape variety that has been cultivated in France for nearly 1300 years. The high acidity levels of Chenin Blanc allow it to be vinified in a number of different styles:from sweetly voluptuous dessert wines to light sparkling wines and as full-bodied, still white wines.

Chenin Blanc is a very popular varietal commercially because, the vine bears its buds early and ripens late, the sugar content can vary a lot , thus the wine from this grape allows itself to be be crafted to any level of sweetness, ranging from bone-dry, crisp and sparkling styles to a downright sweet dessert wines.

                                                          

The Wine - Late Harvest Chenin Blanc Wine


Sula Late Harvest Chenin Blanc Wine happens to be India’s first ever Late Harvest Chenin Blanc !
Not only that but it has also won Indian Wine consumers choice awards 2012, 2013, and 2014.
It is available in half bottles of 375 ml only.

The Late harvest allows for lot of sugar in this grape and thus allowing for more ripe fruity notes.

Best served at 6-8 degrees C

Tasting Notes


Varietal - Chenin Blanc
Vintage - 2017
Colour - It has a rich golden colour
Nose  - Heady tropical aroma of juicy mangoes and sweet honey
Palate - Moderately dry , this white wine has a luscious full body and a honey like mouth feel. The taste is that of juicy  mangoes ,very ripe,tropical yellow fruits with a sparse acidity.
Finish  - It gives a moderate finish
Alcohol - 12.5 % v/v


        



Food pairing - This wine can be used as an appertif at the start of the meal and it will go very well with fruit and nut platters like cashews ,desserts, herb crusted goat cheeses, cakes, cookies and pies specially a  Lemon meringue pie.
Also goes well with vegetarian and vegan food too.
To make the most of this wine make sure that you serve it well chilled 6-8 degrees only.

Final Verdict 


I loved the heady tropical aroma and the full body with the slight sweetness but prefer little more acidity , so I rate it a 3.5/5.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Book Review - World Travel In a Low Budget

Price - Rs 220/-
Pages  - 126
Language - Available in English and Kannada
Genre - Travel Guide
Available on - Amazon.in and Notionpress

About The Author - Shrinidhi Hande


Shrinidhi Hande is an IT professional and has been travelling all over the world and writing blogs about travel at www.enidhi.net for quite a few years.His USP is a great sense of humour, practical tips and simple language.

About the Book -World Travel in a Low Budget


                                                 

World Travel or travelling to foreign countries seems like an intimidating task what with the various procedures including getting visa and health clearances and of course difference in food and culture and most important of all - the cost of travel.Most travel websites and tourist companies provide consolidated all inclusive packages that seem convenient but what if I told you that you can make that journey in half of that amount if you plan the journey on your own.This book helps you do that- plan your own journey while slashing your travel budget.

Shrindhi, through his own travels,breaks the myth that international travel is only for the super rich or corporate Honchos.




A common and and simple man himself, Shrinidhi, in this book goes on to add tips and tricks on saving money that may not have been shared before by other travelers.

The book ,in its clearly demarcated different chapters, gives information about how to get Visa , How to book cheap flights to your destination, tips about how to save money when eating out in a foreign country etc..He also shares how to stay safe and avoid risks while traveling or things that can land you into trouble while in a foreign land.

All the information here is first hand and genuine, I can say this as I have been  personally following his blogs and journeys closely.

Negatives of the Book


No glossy pictures - Pictures add to the experience and instill more confidence in a book.
I was expecting a country wise break up rather than a general guide , but on the positive side, the knowledge that Shrinidhi shares,is gleaned from his own experiences,so it is very truthful,practical and utilitarian.

Final Verdict  


This is a must read book if you are planning or even dreaming of an International trip , it is guaranteed to save you a lot of money on your travel.A book not only to be read but also to be kept as a referral guide.

I rate it a 5/5


Monday, 6 January 2020

Jacob's Creek Classic Chardonnay 2018

This was the third time I had tried this wine but the first time I am writing down a review.I find it on the bar menu of a lot of Indian restaurants.

The Brand 

Jacob's Creek is one of the most renowned wineries in Australia offering good quality wines with a contemporary flavour and bearing strong varietal expressions. Named after the creek which crosses the famous Barossa valley, this winery founded in 1976,has a 165 years old wine making tradition behind it.


                                                       
  


The Grape 

Chardonnay is the world's most famous white-wine grape and also one of the most widely planted grape.Though the grape from Burgundy and California is traditionally considered the best in quality, Chardonnay wines produced in Italy, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America are also getting a respectable following for their contemporary taste and easy palates. 


                                                      

Type: Barrel Aged white wine
Producer: Jacobs Creek
Wine region: Southern Australia (Australia)
Grape varieties: Chardonnay
Bottle:750 ml
Vintage :2018
Price : Rs 1200 approx.

Alcohol content: 12.5%
                                                       

Tasting Notes

                                                               

 

Colour: This Chardonnay has a bright clean Straw yellow colour

Nose - The aroma is decidedly Fruity with strong Melon and yellow stone fruits followed by toasty  notes at the end courtesy the ageing in Oak barrels.

Palate: On the palate this wine felt well rounded, Medium bodied and had a vibrant citrus and Melony taste , teases with its well pronounced acidity.Tastes best at 10-12 degree C.

Finish  - Medium

Food Pairing

I was at a Barbeque and I felt this wine paired well with white fish ,chicken,creamy pasta,salads with soft cheese ,white button mushrooms and smoked cottage cheese.

FINAL VERDICT 

The Jacob's Creek Classic Chardonnay is an affordable and easy drinking,well rounded ,medium bodied wine that can be paired very well with most Indian foods.

I score it a 3.8/5


Saturday, 4 January 2020

Book Review - How to be a Likeable Bigot

Price - Rs 299/- , Kindle version - Rs 188/-
Pages - 192
Genre - Humour ,Satire ,Essays
                                                                     

                                                       

Cover Design 

I love the Bright Sky Blue cover designed by Neelima P.Aryan which immediately gives a light hearted feel and sets the mood for some light reading.

About The Author 


Naomi Datta is a creative director , presenter and writer with a number of leading channels.She  has authored the thriller "The 6 P.M. Slot "which was well received.

What I loved about this Book


As the book's description goes - this book is a fresh and witty take on life today.In today's world of Social media and Selfies , where what you are and what you actually do is overshadowed by what you showcase to the world,this is a survival guide on how to score without really putting in too much effort.
The book is a compilation of 15 essays and a look at the titles is enough to make you laugh out loud
Here are the titles :
1.How to contribute nothing to Team meetings and not let anyone Catch on
2.How To make Your Resume work harder Than you
3. How to spend all your time on Social Media and yet give the illusion of productivity
4. How to be a gainfully employed freeloader etc. etc

My favourite one was "Mummy politics for the Dummy" where the author shares hacks to survive the Mummy Whats app groups. It struck a cord somewhere where as a Mom sometimes we feel inadequate when compared to the Creative Hipster mommies or the Alpha stay at home Moms  , the Yoga Moms who have it all .Naomi's humorous survival tips somehow even made sense in their non-sense !I also was in splits when reading '' How to contribute nothing to Team meetings and not let anyone Catch on ".

To be honest many of the hacks suggested are genuinely helpful tips and hacks .She also in a back handed way makes you feel that it is completely OK to be normal, moderate ,general ,non achiever - in short human !
This book will cater to all ages and sexes but I think more to to young adults in the age group 25-40 years.


What did not go well with this book


1. The language is difficult, in every page you might come across 2-5 words which may need looking up in the dictionary for normal folks like me.So I was quite happy that this book comes in a kindle version too where looking up difficult words is easy.
2.Though I loved the word play and the cutting wit , it becomes a bit too stretched at some places in "How to be  The Kangaroo Dad ".

FINAL VERDICT 


I loved and recommend this book , I am sure this is going to be an all time best seller and another feather in Naomi Datta's multi-faceted cap.