My Fascination Towards Ramcharitmanas


It all started during my degree college days when I had “Sunderkaand” as a compulsory book for Hindi First Language paper. The book which was given to us was an excerpt from the epic poem “Ramcharitmanas” by Goswami Tulsidas.

Here are some of the facts that really attracted me to go beyond the syllabus and start exploring the beauty of Ramcharitmanas:

  1. The poem was composed by one of the world’s greatest poet in Hindi i.e. Goswami Tulsidas in 16th Century.
  2. The book “Ramcharitmanas” is considered to be one of the finest pieces of literature in Hindi.
  3. During the composition of the book, the poet came across a million hurdles. But Tulsidas was relentless to complete the whole book.
  4. Little do people know, that Tulsidas wrote this during the reign of King Akbar and also he existed in the era of William Shakespeare.
  5. The way the whole poem is written is something which is worth reading at least once in a lifetime.
  6. The endless descriptions and personifications and the usage of words literally makes one fall in love with Awadhi and Hindi.

I then started hunting for the big book of Ramcharitmanas by Gita Press and every time on Flipkart and Amazon, this book was out of stock.

Finally, after years of search, I caught hold of the thick print and hard paperback edition of Ramcharitmanas by Gita Press at Ragigudda Hanuman Temple, JP Nagar, Bangalore.

With an amazing offer which was there for the book, I took this and that’s how my journey with Ramcharitmanas started.

Each line and each paragraph or quartet carries such beautiful message for mankind. One should go ahead and start reading it in order to experience the bliss of Ramcharitmanas.

Beginners Guide Before Buying Amazon Kindle


If the above picture resonates the story of your life then…. welcome!

You are not alone! And here is Amazon Kindle for your rescue.

Amazon Kindle – is a device which is perfectly crafted for readers across all ages. It currently has three models.

  1. Amazon Kindle Basic
  2. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
  3. Amazon Kindle Oasis

Before we delve into each of the  models which I explored during the last few weeks, let me first show you what a Kindle can do for you.

Exactly,

  1. You can carry it anywhere and read under all conditions.
  2. It’s sleek and handy. Doesn’t strain your hands.
  3. Waterproof (Only Kindle Oasis)
  4. Glare-free (all models) and brilliant resolution. The basic kindle comes with 167ppi but the rest of the models do have a 300ppi resolution.
  5. Has the capacity to hold up to 1100+ books. Which means as you go above the basic Kindle device, you get to store more books. The Kindle Paperwhite has the capacity to hold more than 2000 books. The Oasis is really a jackpot if you are a voracious reader. It comes in two variants 8GB and 32 GB which means you get space to store more than 5000 books.
  6. Battery life is extremely good. Every person who reads books on smartphones has experienced how annoying it is to read while having the battery drain at an exponential rate. With Kindle, one full charge will guarantee you to read two full books (provided you turn off Wifi). Without Wifi, the battery lasts upto a week if you are reading continuously.
  7. You are bound to learn more words on the go. Thanks to the inbuilt dictionary which opens with just a slight tap on the word. Also, you will learn more about specific events associated with the context of the novel if you enable the X-Ray mode. The device also has capability to search Web and Wiki you the information related to a particular scene in the book. Quite useful if you are too much into facts and figures.

My first-hand encounter with Kindle came when my good friend Krishnan lent me the Kindle Oasis which is priced at 21,999 INR.

I must say my initial reaction was “21,999 INR for a small reading device?”

But, as he said, it was only after using it rigorously for 2.5 weeks, I could understand why the Oasis is priced so high.

Compared to the other model kindle devices, here is what I think makes Oasis a better choice:

  1. Its lighter than the other kindle models.
  2. The resolution is 300ppi (much like Kindle Paperwhite) but the screen is 7″. Which means it contains more words in each page than the other models.
  3. It comes with 8GB storage which means you can store a minimum of 5000 e-books in one go. (If that’s not enough then I don’t know what else satisfies your greed).
  4. While I was traveling there were times when I had kept the Oasis in the bag and it was pouring cats and dogs outside. In spite of that, there was no harm to the device as it was completely waterproof. The other two models do not have this feature. So you have to invest in a good waterproof cover.
  5. The two buttons towards your right, helps as an easy navigator to cruise through pages.
  1. It has multiple options to customize your device like you can opt for battery percentage indicator (which is not there in other two models. You need to manually go and see whether the light in the device has turned from amber to green). You can also choose the layout of the device.
  2. The best part about Oasis is the adaptive brightness. With the Kindle basic version, you cannot enjoy reading in the dark. With Paperwhite, you can read in the dark but the brightness is not adaptive. Which means at times you may feel the brightness is too much and other times you might feel the brightness is just not enough.
  3. The orientation is automatic and you need not manually change it every time. This feature is not there in the other two models.

The biggest turn off in Oasis is the cost. So should you really spend 21,999 INR for this?

You should if you….

  1. If you are a voracious reader who purchases more than 30 physical books every year, then yes. You should not mind setting aside 20 grand for this amazing device.
  2. If you were a voracious reader once upon a time who was reading more than 30 books a year and are now constantly travelling throughout the world. If you are someone who is not so great at taking good care of gadgets then this one serves the purpose well.
  3. The device is made of hard plastic which means the screen is not as delicate as Paperwhite or Basic Kindle.
  4. If you invest in the leather case for this device, you will really enjoy reading it even more. Because, the surface of the kindle oasis is smooth as silk and has the tendency to slip off your hand.

Other than that, if you can adjust without the extra features then Basic version or Paperwhite are also a great deal for your money.

I have listed few pros and cons of both the models. You can check them out.

Pros of Basic Version:

  1. With Amazon running a starter pack offer, you tend to get a nice nupro cover worth Rs.999, Two Year Device Total Protection Plan (Rs.1,199) and special eBooks discount voucher (offering 50% off on all eBooks, up to maximum discount of Rs.1,000)
  2. If you are okay with the external LED light then you can close your eyes and go for it.
  3. The price is good deal.

Cons of Kindle Basic Version:

  1. No backlight which means your night reading is hampered.
  2. You either need to keep the lights turned on.
  3. Although the external light serves the purpose, but when I was travelling in train I found it very annoying with the idea of having a light always dangling on the Kindle.
  4. It becomes a messy affair over a period of time. And you would regret on your decision

Pros of Kindle Paperwhite:

  1. It has 300ppi resolution, better than the basic version which has 167ppi. If you think how does resolution matter, then go to your nearest electronics store and check both the versions out.
  2. Comes with backlight which makes your reading in night easier.

Cons of Kindle Paperwhite:

  1. The size is still 6″ and nothing better than the basic kindle except for the backlight.

My verdict:

I used to read a lot before I started motorcycling. Thanks to traffic in the city and my bus commute. I used to consume a lot of books. But after I started riding a two-wheeler, I seldom got any time to read apart from my daily bedtime reading.

I had tried reading from mobile phones as well and am proud to say that I managed to complete one full book of Steig Larsson’s Girl Who Kicked Hornet’s Nest in my Redmi Note 4, but the experience was too clumsy. More than the font or the screen size it was the annoying push notifications which used to frequently divert me away from the book. Kindle takes away all those distractions by making you stick to the book.

I could read books without much strain to my eyes. During my train journey, not even once I was distracted away from the device.  The glare free screen made the whole experience strain free even when I had to read it under the sun. During rains also, I was under great relief that the kindle was waterproof.

I have used Kindle during my bus commute as well. Since the device is light, it was easy to carry and read it as I was standing. Plus it made lot of people come towards me and ask what is this device all about….

I was happy to see people who are older than me, seeing the device and appreciating the many benefits of it.

One of the main things what I liked about Kindle device was that we can transfer our other pdf, .epub files to the device. This means, if you have any novel in .epub format, you can easily convert them to .mobi (kindle accepts only .mobi format files) using a software called Calibre and read it hassle-free. Inbuilt integration with Goodreads makes it easy to mark your reading progress and share it with your friends. Over the years I have downloaded more than 500 top e-books in .epub format. I was happy that with Calibre I could load it to my kindle and read them with ease.

So, if you are still thinking that every novel you read on Kindle should be purchased from Amazon, you are wrong. You have calibre at your rescue.

After having discussed the pros and cons of all three devices which one will I suggest for myself?

Will I buy an Oasis or Paperwhite or Basic Kindle? I am waiting for zero interest EMI offer to come up on Amazon so that I can buy Oasis. Oasis is designed perfectly for my hands and has perfect design aesthetics compared to other e-readers.

I feel it serves my purpose. Over the past few years, I have accumulated books worth 50,000 rupees all in physical format. After seeing Kindle, I feel so sorry for not having invested in a Kindle. In the future, I would buy even more books and hence I see Oasis being my go-to partner-in-crime.

While some people can argue that nothing can replace the charm of physical books, I say…. to hell with the emotions.

Because my primary focus is to read as many books as possible before I die. I don’t mind whether I read it as a paperback or read the same book on Kindle.

Thanks for reading!

I would end this review with another video of Kindle which celebrates the joy of reading on Kindle.

Quote Photo Courtesy: https://www.behance.net/Risarodil

5 Powerful Teachers Of My Life


Yesterday, Sep 5th, 2018 was Teacher’s Day! And while everyone was busy sending WhatsApp forwards to their favorite teachers, I returned back to my cozy, solitary place aka my blog to pen down the 5 powerful teachers who transformed my life (till now… Because life has myriad ways of introducing new teachers every year).

Dishonest People:

Yes, you read it right. There can be nothing as powerful as a person who chooses to abandon you when you need them the most. But, it is the same person who makes you feel strong. Dishonest people always propel you towards great success. So, the next time someone betrays you or fails you… don’t be upset. Instead, thank them and keep moving ahead. Because the best times are yet to come.

Failures:

A senior colleague of mine once told, “Success has many parents, but failure is always an orphan”. Failure defines what is it that you lack within you. Sometimes, it also fuels a burning desire in your heart to give your 100% to overcome the same failure again. JK Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before Harry Potter was finally accepted. Walt Disney was turned down more than 250 times before he got financing for Disneyland. The unsuccessful moments teach you a lot of things that success can never teach. Failure teaches you empathy, compassion, the courage to get up and face life again.

Death:

Everyone celebrates life. But how many of us learn from death?
Death may not give us happiness but it does teach us the meaning of life. Death teaches you to not take life for granted. It teaches the importance of time and value of love. Dead people suck, but at the same time leave us with tons of lessons to pass on to our posterity.

Yoga:

I used to be a very disturbed soul when I moved to Bangalore. It took me a lot of time to tune myself to the hustle and bustle of the fast life. And one of the best things that happened in my life was my introduction to Yoga. Yoga is very helpful and has a list of benefits. But the single most lesson that Yoga taught me was “To slow down and breathe and focus”. We all are taught to study, learn music, work harder and upskill ourselves in order to survive in the world. But how many of us are taught how to breathe? How many of us are taught to just sit in one place and focus on one thing at a time? Here is a small video which I am sure will bring lot of sense to why everyone should master the art of focusing on one thing at a time.

Motorcycling:

No other teacher can teach you the value of true friends as motorcycling can. You get to meet some of the nicest and unique personalities when you ride together. You also learn to easily blend with people across different cultures. Motorcycling has given me the opportunity to discover the true potential hidden inside me. I always thought I would be this, I would be that… but after a couple of solo rides, I now know who I am and what is it that I truly want to be. So, in a way, motorcycling brought a lot of clarity in my messy head. It brought a new perspective to the old me.

Having listed the above, it doesn’t mean that I did not learn anything from a  human teacher in my life. There are plenty of them. Some of them whom I met during my college days and some whom I met after I started my job. But, I will share those lessons in the coming posts.

Thank you for reading!

Let me know who were your favorite teachers in the comments section below. Would love to read them.