Books every Indian should read in his early twenties

According to me, if you are in your early twenties and looking for some enlightening books, you must read following books. I strongly believe ten years from now, you will attribute a lot of your success to some of these books. Having read all of them and being influenced by every one of them, I call myself fortunate that I had a company of these great books when I needed them most. I have given online link of every book from where they can be purchased.
I hope you find them useful.
Best wishes.

Wings of Fire: An Autobiography 1st Edition – If you are an Indian, in your early twenties then you must read this book.
This book is an autobiographical novel that tells the  readers a story about unlocking their inner potential. APJ Abdul Kalam does a  great deal to throw light on his journey to igniting the fire within  himself. This book is divided into seven parts. This is then followed by an Orientation, which  contains a quote from the Atharva Veda. After that, the readers are  also enlightened on the incidents that made Kalam what he is today.

  • Unposted Letter – is a collection of short articles that contains deep and profound  reflections on many topics related to life, work, situations, and  attitudes. Each page contains ideas and concepts that can change your view on many things and make your life richer and more  enjoyable. A good read recommended for young readers.

 

  • Letters From a Father to His Daughter – These letters reflect on a variety of topics. Starting from  natural history, the beginning of the earth, and evolution to the varied races of the world, the genetic make-up, the  differences in communities, and races, how these races were formed, and  why people look different. Book also touches upon the topic of civilizations. It discusses the  ancient civilizations, the great cities of ancient times, the origin of  language and religion, the growth of mankind, and the changes in  religion and its current manifestations. Nehru also elaborately  discusses the history of India, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the  great kings of the past and their kingdoms.

 

 

  • Gitanjali – One of the greatest writers in modern India, Rabindranath Tagore became  the first Indian to be awarded the Nobel Prize, which he received for  his outstanding contribution to Literature. Known for his elegant prose  and magical poetry, Gitanjali captures the essence of Tagore’s poetic  spirit. The poetry of Tagore is soothing to the spirit of the  person who reads it. These poems look at the deepest and the most  spiritual aspects of life with a simplicity and grace that touch your  soul. They encourage you to look at the world around, in a fresh light,  and experience the beauty of creation.

 

Siddhartha – Siddhartha’ is a novel by Hermann Hesse which deals with  the spiritual journey of an Indian boy called Siddhartha during the time  of the Buddha. The book was written in German, in a simple, yet  powerful and lyrical style. It was first published in 1922, after Hesse  had spent some time in India in the 1910s. The story revolves  around a young man who leaves his home and family on a quest for the  Truth. Embarking on a journey that takes him from the austerities of  renunciation to the profligacy of wealth. That leads him through the  range of human experiences from hunger and want, to passion, pleasure,  pain, greed, yearning, boredom, love, despair and hope. A journey that  leads finally to the river, where he gains peace and eventually wisdom.  This is the story of Siddhartha as told by Nobel Laureate Hermann Hesse  in his most influential work.

Books that shaped my year: 2013

So 2013 is ending and it’s time we introspect and look back at the year. Many of us read the best books/movies/etc lists. So this time I decided to compile a list of books that shaped me in year 2013. These are books which have left a deep impact on me. In my constant strive of the self enhancement, these books have helped me to reach the next level of self evolution. So here is the list:

1. Daring Greatly.

This book is a great resource which helped me in accepting my imperfections. To embrace vulnerability and encouraged me to live the life wholeheartedly.It is written by Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown. After the great success of her ted talk The power of vulnerability she compiled her work in this book. I recommend it highly to those who are looking for more and better ways of Living.

2. Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

Susan Cain, author of Quiet is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant — and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people who live on our planet are introverts, notes Cain in her book. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society – from Chopin’s nocturnes to the invention of the personal computer to Gandhi’s transformative leadership. Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces, and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy, and happiness. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology and on prolific interviews, she also explains why introverts are capable of great love and great achievement, not in spite of their temperaments — but because of them.

Being born, raised and grown introvert, this book greatly helped me in overcoming inferiority complex that was born because of being labeled as Introvert.

3. Willpower : Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength

For years the old-fashioned, even Victorian, value of willpower has been disparaged by psychologists who argued that we’re largely driven by unconscious forces beyond our control. Here Roy Baumeister, one of the world’s most esteemed and influential psychologists, and journalist John Tierney, turn this notion on its head. They show us that willpower is like a muscle that can be strengthened with practice and improved over time. The latest laboratory work shows that self-control has a physical basis to it and so is dramatically affected by simple things such as eating and sleeping – to the extent that a life-changing decision may go in different directions depending on whether it’s made before or after lunch. You will discover how babies can be taught willpower, the joys of the to-don’t list, the success of Alcoholics Anonymous, the pointlessness of diets and the secrets to David Blaine’s stunts. There are also fascinating personal stories, from explorers, students, soldiers, ex-addicts and parents.

4. This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking

This Will Make You Smarter presents brilliant ideas to expand every mind. What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit? This is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to the world’s most influential thinkers. Their visionary answers flow from the frontiers of psychology, philosophy, economics, physics, sociology, and more. Surprising and enlightening, these insights will revolutionize the way you think about yourself and the world.

5. Swaraj by Arvind Kejriwal

Swaraj is a book published in English and Hindi by Arvind Kejriwal, a social activist-turned-politician. Kejriwal questions the present establishment of the democratic framework in India and proposes a way in which he thinks that the people, the opinion makers and the political establishment of India can achieve true Swaraj (self-rule). Book is available for free download here in English and here in Hindi.

In the quest of last victory: Book Review

In the quest of last victory

In the quest of last victory

In Quest of the Last Victory is an inspirational story of the Navin Gulia’s perseverance, fighting spirit and persistent efforts to achieve higher goals by stretching beyond what his physical abilities seemed to permit him. Despite complete paralysis of the body, Navin Gulia continued to have aspirations and made every effort to accomplish them. With a single-minded focus and determination, he turned his disability into a life-affirming force. He mastered chess, studied computer science, flew hang gliders and microlight aircraft, and went on to become the first Indian to drive non-stop to the highest motorable mountain pass in the world, the forbidding Marsimik La in Ladakh.With a lifetime of severe setbacks behind him and an impossibly steep mountain incline in front, Navin Gulia knew that if he failed this day life probable would never give him this chance again. The words he had always believed in rang in his ears:

Our body and mind have infinite ability, our ability never restricts us, our thoughts do. If we think we can, we can; if we think we cannot, we cannot.

This is a captivating tale of grit and determination that will inspire and motivate people of all ages.

About the Author
Navin Gulia, adventurer, writer, social worker and motivational speaker, holds a world record for being the first person to drive non-stop to Marsimik La, which at 18,632 feet is the highest mountain pass in the world. In 2007, he founded, and now runs, the Apni Duniya Apna Ashiyana Welfare Society, which works towards the interests of underprivileged children.

Gulia was honoured with the President’s National Role Model Award by Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2006. He has received several other awards and honours, including the Godfrey Phillips Mind of Steel Award (2010), Karmaveer Puraskar from iCongo (2009), Cavinkare Ability Mastery Award (2006), Chief of Army Staff Commendation (2005), The Times of India Global Indian for the Year (2005), Limca Book People of the Year (2005) and State Award for Adventure Sports (2004).

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Steve jobs and India

Steve jobs enjoys the privilege of being one of the greatest person who walked on this earth. Being an Indian, I always wanted to know about his views on India and Indian people. While reading steve job’s biography I got to know, many aspects of his life and I feel that his life is full of excitement and thrill. Being a perfectionist, out-of-the-box thinker, jobs always took the path less travelled. While being on his search of the inner-self at the age of 18-19 he came across the lecture of indian monk and got impressed by the philosophy of being present in in the present and he conceived the image of India as a land of spiritual reality. And he decided to save enough money to visit India and take the path of spiritual enlightment. So here are words of steve jobs himself of his thoughts about India. Real profound statements.

Coming back to America was, for me, much more of a cultural shock than going to India. The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world. Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work. Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic; it is learned and is the great achievement of Western civilization. In the villages of India, they never learned it. They learned something else, which is in some ways just as valuable but in other ways is not. That’s the power of intuition and experiential wisdom. Coming back after seven months in Indian villages, I saw the craziness of the Western world as well as its capacity for rational thought. If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.

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मी संस्कृत का शिकावं?

(हे शब्द माझे नाहीत.हे लिखाण माझी गुरु,  मार्गदर्शक, दिशादर्शक, मैत्रीण अंबुजा साळगावकर यांच्या कडून आलेल्या E-mail मधून त्यांच्या परवानगीने इथे प्रकाशित करत आहे.)

Rigveda (padapatha) manuscript in Devanagari, early 19th century source:wikimedia

मागच्या पिढीमध्ये पाली आणि अर्धमागधी पेक्षा संस्कृत शिकणं हे हुशार मुलांच्या प्रतिष्ठेचं लक्षण होतं. आजच्या पिढीमध्ये संस्कृत scoring subject  म्हणून घेतात.
मी संस्कृत का शिकते? किंबहुना संस्कृत का शिकावं असं मला वाटतं?

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तुझे आहे तुझपाशी

मित्रहो
असेच इतिहासाचे काही उल्लेख वाचतांना या एका इंग्रज अधिकाऱ्याची ओळख झाली. आर्थर वेलस्ली (Arthur Wellesley)
कोण होता हा आर्थर वेलस्ली?
हा माणूस ब्रिटीशांची शान होता. हा वेलस्ली इंग्रजांचा सर्वात चाणाक्ष सेनापती होता म्हणे. ब्रिटनचा पंतप्रधान म्हणून वेलस्ली याचे नाव प्रसिद्ध आहे.
याच वेलस्ली ने टिपू सुलतान चा पराभव केला होता. आणि शेवटी कुठल्याच सैनिकाची टिपू सुलतान च्या प्रेताजवळ जायची हिम्मत होत नव्हती तेव्हा स्वतः जाऊन टिपू सुलतान ची नाडी तपासून त्याला मृत घोषित केले होते.
याच वेलस्ली ने सर्वात शेवटी मराठ्यांचा आष्टी, जालना येथे पराभव करून, शेवटचा आणि सर्वात प्रबळ असा विरोध मोडून काढला होता.आष्टी येथील लढाई
असा हा वेलस्ली. आता कुणीतरी म्हणेल त्याचं आपल्याला कशाला कौतुक? अहो पण खरी गोष्ट पुढे आहे.
भारता मध्ये अनेक पराक्रम करून नंतर त्याने आपला मोर्चा युरोप मध्ये वळवला आणि पराभव ज्या माणसाच्या शब्दकोशातच नाही असा ज्याच्याविषयी म्हटलं जायचं ना त्या नेपोलियन ला त्याने हरवलं. फक्त हरवलंच नव्हतं तर कायमचं घरी बसवलं होतं. वेलस्ली ने जेव्हा स्वताचे आत्मचरित्र लिहायला दिले होते त्या मुलाखतीत त्याने नमूद केले आहे कि त्याने नेपोलियन ला हरवले पण त्याच्या कायमची लक्षात राहील ती लढाई होती मराठ्यांविरुद्ध. याच लढायीत तो म्हणतो कि अक्षरशः मृत्यू आला होता पण कुण्या रिचर्ड शार्प या सहकाऱ्याने जीव वाचवला म्हणून वाचला.

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