The Bestseller She Wrote – Book Review

 

It is the tale of Paperback king Aditya Kapoor’s life. His is a modern man’s fantasy. His literary stardom is
perfectly balanced by a loving wife and a spectacular career. With everything he touches turning to gold, Aditya is on a winning streak. On the other hand is Shreya Kaushik is a student with a heart full of
ambition. Young, beautiful, and reckless, Shreya speaks her mind and obsessively chases after what she wants. And what she wants is to be a bestselling author. What happens when their worlds collide? Is it
possible to love two people at the same time? Can real ambition come in the way of blind passion? Can trust once broken, be regained?

The blurb isn’t too exciting. And the title of the book almost gives the plot away. But then you want to read
the book because the author’s reputation of being the John Grisham of India precedes him. This was my
first book by the author, Ravi Subramanian, even though I had been recommended to pick up at least one of his works by some of my well read blogger friends. And so when the team at BlogAdda asked if I would be interested in reviewing this book, it had to be a Yes. 


The book to me pretty much seemed like a movie. A movie whose first half is been-there-seen(read)-that. All run of the mill stuff. A successful couple, a picture perfect family and a beautiful intelligent third cog in the wheel. And then, the second half which is replete with twists and turns and melodrama and action and the thrills. The second half is interesting and pacey and you can’t keep the book down until you have read it through.

What worked for me:

1) The twists and turns. Even though it was not impossible to guess the suspense, the author does manage to keep the reader hooked on.

2) A lot of insights into the literary world as the story involves a successful author and a debutante author. He actually talks about real life stuff like publishing houses, pricing and marketing a book.

What didn’t work for me:

1) He wrote a thriller and left clues all over the place. Even in some places where there is no significance. Like in Paris, the lady who first contracts Ebola is reading one of Aditya’s books. And while Aditya’s wife is totally fretting over her and trying to arrange help for her, she has her eyes on the book. In the end, it didn’t amount to anything. Maybe it was done to confuse the reader, but to me it felt like lose ends of a story.

2) A long drawn (and totally unnecessary) drama with Ebola. It could simply have been viral. The serious nature of the disease didn’t add anything to the story.

3) The hospital scene in which Aditya vents his feeling for his wife was too Bollywood-ish. I mean, c’mon, who does that in real life? And the doctor actually had the time to take out that CCTV footage to convince Aditya’s wife of his love!

4) A lot of stuff seemed to have been written so as to be picked up for an easy Bollywood adaptation. I really felt the story could have much more depth in it.

I was really confused about my feelings for this book. Even though it wasn’t mind blowing for me, it definitely wasn’t all that bad either. It’s one of those books which lie somewhere in the middle. And so, I would give it a 2.5 on 5.

These views are my own and may definitely differ from yours. If you like fast paced thrillers, do pick up the book.
 

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

20 days and Nioxin later…!

If you have been reading the blog, you might know that I had taken up the Nioxin 20 day challenge. Nioxin is a hair product that is aimed at people with thin and thinning hair. It has been known to stop further thinning of hair and even make the scalp a suitable environment for the growth of new hair. I had attended the launch of this product in India. You can read about it here.

And so, I came back home armed with the designated pack assigned to me, identified according to my hair type. The pack had three bottles – A shampoo, a conditioner and a scalp revitalizer. According to the instructions given to us by the Nioxin guys at the event, these products had to be used every day. Since Nioxin follows a skin care approach to hair, they said you need to wash and clean your scalp like your face, every day. First, shampoo your hair using the Nioxin cleanser shampoo. Then rinse your hair and apply the Nioxin conditioner. Now here’s a twist. Unlike most conditioners that are applied only to the length of the hair and not roots, Nioxin conditioner needs to be applied onto your scalp as well. Conditioning your scalp after a wash, like moisturizing your face after a wash, that’s the skin care approach they have been talking all along. Wash off the conditioner after 2-3 minutes and then gently towel dry your hair. Lastly, you need to apply the scalp revitalizer. It is actually a spray that you have to sparingly apply evenly to cover the entire head.

It was a challenge for somebody like me to use the product every day, since my mornings are rushed with trying to get ready for office and getting the little one ready for school. So effectively I ended up using the product on alternate days. Coming to the product, the shampoo has a nice pleasant smell. The good part about it is that you literally need to use a very small amount every time you shampoo. It lathers well and easily. The conditioner? Well, have you ever tried Menthos? The Nioxin conditioner feels like your scalp is having Menthos. It has a strong mint fragrance and is very very cool on the scalp. Like when you wah off the conditioner, it feels like you are pouring ice cold water on the head. Since it is really hot now, using the conditioner was a “cool” experience.

Let me tell you the change I felt after using Nioxin vs the other off-the-counter shampoos I have been using till date. Earlier, on the first day of hair wash, I would have really nice, clean and silky hair. By the second day it would start patting down on the head with a little oil. By the third day, the only hair style I could do was tying it up in a knot. But with Nioxin, even on the third day, the hair felt almost as clean and silky as the first day. Even though it is advised to be used every day for thicker hair, I observed that not following it a couple of times would do no harm either.

Now, I cannot verify the authenticity of this product by gauging hair growth. It is not possible to effectively know if I have really grown more hair during this 20-day period. But what I can tell you is that my head feels fuller. I don’t think my hair thickness has increased but I do feel that there is a spurt in the growth of new hair. I also feel much better with how my hair looks and feels now. The product (the three piece treatment) is a little steeply priced at Rs. 3000. But as I mentioned earlier, you literally use a very small quantity each time. So it may, as well, last you a long time. I am not sure if I will continue with this expensive treatment for my hair. But if you are really desperate and looking for a solution for thinning hair and are ready to shell out some big bucks, do try Nioxin. I didn’t use the product as religiously as told, and yet I can feel the change. I am sure and hope it will work for you if you give it a 100% chance.
These are my before and after pictures. You decide!
Before and After!

PS: This is purely my own opinion after using the product. It is not a sponsored review.

You can try and experience #NioxinNowIndia at your nearest salon. This activity is in association with BlogAdda.com

Product Review : Dabur Baby Massage Oil

And so, we are back with a product review. Dabur baby massage oil. I was quite an obvious choice for the review as I have a kid who falls into the maalish waali category. And so, last week I received three packs of Dabur baby massage oil from BlogAdda for review, as a part of the #FirstLove activity.

As soon as I opened the neatly done package and took out one bottle to generally have a deko, the little one neatly got hold of the other two, one in each hand, and ran away. And then, as is usual, she threw them on the floor as soon as I asked her to return them to me. For her it’s a game. But I think I had a minor heart attack. The two extra bottles needed to be given away. But lord bless the guys! Since it’s a baby oil, they must have figured that the babies can go for the bottles once in a while. So the non-glass/plastic bottles fell on the ground. And that’s that. Nothing happened. So even before the review started, a point had been scored. Make baby products baby-proof 🙂

Ever since the little one was born, we have been very particular about her massages. Everyday, half an hour. Our mothers and grandmothers have waxed eloquent about its benefits and the husband and I have been really sincere with the massage routine from the beginning. In the initial months, a massage helps relive the tensions in a baby’s muscles as they cannot move around on their own. I remember how every day during the massage she would fall off to easy sleep. We sometimes tried to do it at night to make her sleep too. I, for one, can personally vouch for the fact that a massage really helps growing babies. As the little one started growing older, we could see that her hands and legs were strong and she sat, eventually started crawling and walking, all in good time and pretty confidently.

 

Since the beginning, we have used mustard oil and desi ghee for her massage, as these oils help build the child’s muscles. We have also occasionally used Johnsons’ baby oil when we were travelling and didn’t have access to the above mentioned oils. There are some other alternatives like Olive oil, and Almond oil that are popular for baby massages. Dabur baby massage oil combines the goodness of both olives and almonds into this oil. The oil is clear, not very thick and has a pleasant smell to it. The packet cover and the bottle have a very cute and colorful design with a chubby elephant dancing and the text sprawled across in rainbow hues.

I have had a really difficult time massaging my little one ever since she learnt to crawl. Because that means she can run away during the massage. So this cute little cover came in quite handy to keep her occupied for a little while I quickly got to work. The oil has a sweet smell and is non-sticky. Of course, I cannot say how effectively the oil is helping my child grow as it is something that is dependent on a lot of factors. But the fact that a popular and age-old brand like Dabur is associated with it, it makes me want to believe in all the goodness mentioned here like being Parafins free and no artificial colours.

 

Some children do have extra sensitive skin. And if you have such a child at home, I would advise you to first do a skin test by applying the oil on a small patch of skin and wait for a couple of hours for any allergy to show up.

I am writing about Dabur Baby Massage Oil with the goodness of olive and almond for the #FirstLove activity atBlogAdda.

#NioxinNowInIndia Meet !

Last week I got a call from BlogAdda asking me if I was available for a Hair care product launch on the weekend. Since the husband had been away (again) for almost a month, I had been feeling rather miserable. The weather is too harsh outside  and being all alone with the naughty little one wasn’t
helping things. So, I just grabbed at the opportunity to go out and meet some grownups for a
change. And talk, instead of babble! 😛

Now I had been informed that #Nioxin was being launched in India and that it was a product that caters specifically to thinning hair, and the works. Now, if you have ever birthed a child, you would know how your hormones go crazy after delivery and you lose chunks of hair. So I was a potential candidate too for the launch. 

 

And so the event started with a presentation with the Nioxin guys on what really is the product all about. 
The very animated Amy talking us through!

Let me sum it up for you:

1) Nioxin is salon-only product, targeted mainly for thin and thinning hair.

2) It has been around for almost 25 years and is quite a household name in the Western countries.

3) It follows a skincare approach to hair. What that means is that the way you need to wash and moisturize your face every day, your scalp needs it too.

4) It is not an off-the-counter product that you can just use. They have broken down the treatment to six different scenarios which majorly cover all hair problems and conditions like Normal-to-thin
looking hair, Visibly thinning hair, fine hair, medium hair, natural hair or chemically treated hair.

5) Based on the above parameters, you can break down your problem and find out which out the 1 to 6 treatments is meant for you. 
This is how they break it down from 1 to 6!
I quite liked this approach, as, in real world, I believe that not a single product can work to its potential the myriad of unique problems we face. After the very animated presentation by Amy, we also asked a lot of questions to the in-house and famous hair-dresser Sebastian. It was quite impressive the way they handled the real hair issues of the ladies, rather than just promoting their own products.
Posing with Pallavi!

The best part of the day was, of course, the hair spa. Also, we did have a one-to-one consultation
with the guys which was quite good. I loved the way my hair looked at the end the spa. It definitely
felt more shiny and silky.

And while waiting for our respective turn for the spa, we just chatted around with the other bloggers. I had almost forgotten how it felt. I met the Indian Rapunzel, the girl with 5 feet long hair, Pallavi Chaturdevi at the do. After I was done fawning over her hair, I spoke to her and had a great time connecting with her. 

And now, I am back home with the treatment that was identified specifically for my hair. I will be 
trying it out over the next 20 days and be back with a review. Ideally my hair should feel thicker and more voluminous. I do hope it works. Because that would be a win-win for me. Until then, stay tuned.
This is how I had walked in – excited!
This is how I walked out – preening! The hair looks better, right?

You can try and experience #NioxinNowIndia at your nearest salon. This activity is in association with BlogAdda.com

Memories Of Motherhood!

Motherhood is something that defines your entire life after you become one. It is one of those journeys where there’s no turning back. Once a mother, always a mother! There are happy times, there are hard times and sometimes, really trying times. I think at some point, every mother has wished to leave behind the entire world for the child, and sometimes vice versa 😀 It often reminds me of Enrique Iglesias’ song “You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape my love”. This love which is illogical,  heart wrenching and totally unparalleled.

I am a quite a “new” mother as my darling daughter is only 17 months old yet. And so, almost all of her memories of her first year are still fresh in my mind. So when I read about the #MemoriesOfMotherhood activity, I knew I wanted to write about it. May be I’ll forget small little things which I do remember now.
Like how during my pregnancy, we kept speculating about the sex of the baby the entire time. And then, the day she was finally born after a grueling 16 hour labor, I just couldn’t wait to see her. I asked the doctor so many times about the baby and when would I be able to see him/her. She got really upset as she was busy stitching me up and the nurse was busy sponging the baby. But my perseverance won. She asked the nurse to show me the baby to shut me up. I don’t think I have ever before been so carefree (read shameless) about my conduct or manners. But that day was just something else. I can somehow still imagine myself in that tiny labor room, stretched out on the cold delivery table. 
And then, there was this time when she would give me a real tough time while nursing her. One day I looked at her, squarely in the eye and just held contact. I still remember her puny little face with round big eyes. May be she was startled. Or amused, I don’t know. But the trick worked. We would both stare at each other and nursing became a breeze on such days. I can never forget that face. I could never it click too, though!
Also, I think she can be awarded the title of “The coolest baby ever”, if ever there was one. We went on a Euro trip when she was 9 months old. And this smart little baby had so much fun. There was not a day when she cried or behaved cranky. She was ever jovial, always smiling and always saying Hi and Bye to people in the metro. We received so many compliments on having such a happy go lucky and beautiful daughter. I still feel so proud about those compliments. Feels childish, right? But that’s what children make you do – childish things 🙂
Thank you BioOil and BlogAdda for making me write this. One day when I would have forgotten, it would be such a treat to come back to this haven 🙂
I am sharing my #MemoriesOfMotherhood with Bio Oil and 

BlogAdda

. This Mother’s Day check out the 

Yummy Mummy calendar

 and  make a similar calendar of your own using the 

Bio Oil App

.