Friday, October 25, 2013

Fitness on the Go

Fitness on the Go
By Abhishek Sharma

Paperback, 313 pages
Published:  2013
Publisher:  Ebury Press
ISBN:  9788184001792 

Blurb: The anytime, anywhere workout fitness guide for busy people
·         Is your weight under control?
·         Can you climb a few flights of steps quickly without going out of breath?
·         Are you able to concentrate well in your work?
Looking slim isnt the only marker of being fit. Fitness means having stamina and strength, being able to do your everyday tasks better and being calm and focussed. Now celebrity fitness trainer Abhishek Sharma shows you the perfect exercise regime that:
·         Works on both body and mind drawing elements from yoga, martial arts, and athletic workouts
·         Can be done anywhere and without machines and includes a range of exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, skipping and cycling
·         Helps you achieve a focussed mind by teaching breathing and mind centring exercises
·         Is great for people on the move since the emphasis is on using your natural surroundings
·         Is boredom-free as it is utterly versatile and can be changed around constantly
·         Will make you more confident, fearless and is a great self-defence tool
Fun, challenging and flexible, Fitness on the Go has worked for celebrities such as Ranbir Kapoor, Akshay Khanna and Bollywoods fittest heroine, Deepika Padukone. Supplemented with photographs and celebrity secrets, it is the one stop solution for the modern warrior.

After reading plenty of fitness books in the past few months, I finally got my hands on Abhishek Sharma’s Fitness on the Go.  The title seemed quite interesting and with the comments by all the big shot people on the book, I thought to pick it up. I am glad I did.

Abhishek has written this book exclusively for people who have a tight schedule and always use it as an excuse to refrain from exercise on the pretext of not having enough time to join a health club, or a gym, or engage in any regular rigorous physical activity.

Abhishek in his book, unlike a few other books that I have read, doesn’t give us measures to stay fit which are just limited for to carry out by the elites. I liked this approach that the author, who has been training all the loaded and affluent people like Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor since ages, has tried to share his knowledge of fitness with the common man, which anyone can easily apply into their lives.

Though the book primarily is centred around workouts and exercises, it also stresses n various other activities and lifestyle changes. The exercises that have been very clearly and comprehensibly explicated in the book are not just the ones that’d help you reducing flab. Although reducing flab is a part of it, but the exercises simultaneously concentrate on strength, flexibility, stamina, balance, improving posture and meditation.

While many books surprisingly say that Yoga isn’t that great an approach to get fit, Abhishek Sharma lays his focus on the importance of Yoga in the said motive. Also, the book explains the importance and effect of the most underrated of exercises- breathing. It was quite interesting to know that breathing could do wonders to help people stay fit.

Moreover, the author is a great motivator. The motivation filled in the book to lose those extra kilos and stay fit is incredible.

The workout routine of the book seems totally injury free. There isn’t anything maniacal in the book like drawing your legs over your head. The postures, the workouts, each step of each exercise is brilliantly explained, with the additional aid of pictures. Squats, Cardio, Crunches or Yogasanas, the book has it all.

Incidentally, I tried a few aasanas for my backache and they worked like magic!

This book is totally worth the price. It saves up a lot of your time and energy. Not just in one way, but in plenty. If you are thinking of buying it, you definitely should. Thumbs up!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

55: A Novel

55: A Novel
By Chetan Chhatwal

Paperback, 256 pages
Published:  2012
Publisher:  Ebury Press
ISBN:  9788184001792 

 Blurb:  A witty and delightful coming-of-age story about college life
‘Tried to picture myself in a shady second-rate college and realized that even thinking about it was difficult.’
Arjun Singh is a typical South Delhi brat whose biggest worry is securing a much-coveted seat in one of the city’s top colleges. But his ambitious plans come to a screeching halt when he scores a paltry ‘55’ in English in the board exams. Unable to meet the cut-off, Arjun is forced to take admission in a neighbouring second-grade college. Between grappling with his identity as a Sikh and facing repeated misfortunes in love, Arjun’s only solace is his three best friends from school who have also ended up in the same dump. What will happen to his future now? Witty, naughty, and plain irreverent, 55 is a delightful, mad caper about growing up and surviving three tumultuous years in the hallowed corridors of Delhi University.

Arjun Singh is like any other ten plus two pass out in Delhi who wants an admission in the esteemed Delhi Universities top most colleges for his higher studies. Getting a messed up result in his twelfth grade board exams on his strongest subject- English, and unable to get through the process of re-evaluation, Arjun is unable to make it to the hot-shot colleges because of not meeting the cut-offs. But how bad  can the worst experiences of your life be if you have your best mates with you on each step? This is a tale of broken dreams, picking up the pieces and an everlasting friendship.
His worst nightmares come true when he is compelled by the ‘55’ on his report card to join a shady second- rate college of the University.

The cover of the book gets it nice points because it just sums up everything Arjun is. Sleepy-head, lazy, messy,  classy and cool. The merging colors, the turban, the yawn, the goggles and the messy graffiti of ‘55’ makes a perfect blend.

The thing that I best liked about the author was his wit. No matter how the story pulls off, the writing style of Chetan Chhatwal is absolutely awesome. He has tried to make a consistent use of humor throughout the book which totally worth an applause.
55 was the book I wanted to read just after I read its blurb. It seemed to be a gripping story showing the plight of the students who suffer because of the Boards of Education and the typical government system which runs them. I have known many people who have lost huge opportunities because of the errors or biases of the people sitting in those chairs at the Boards. I wanted to read something of them too. I wanted to feel connected. I was sure I would.

The book did show the plight of the students, however, I couldn’t feel connected. Not even a bit. I wish there was more mettle and substance to the book; it would have really been the book that its blurb claimed it to be. The main motive of my reading the book failed. I couldn’t relate to the book. Period.

55 more often than not seemed like a manual to becoming a Sikh guy, going to college. It explains the life of a Surd so much that it could very well be called a guide to becoming one. It irked me like anything. This was not what I wanted to read.

In the initial pages itself, it proves how gross a book can be.  It talked of shit and farts way too much right in the first chapters, quite literally, and made me want to gag. Maybe I should have guessed it by the WC’s shown at the end of each scene.
All that the book was, can be summed up like: It is four boys, one girl. Everyone wants to get laid. And Arjun is the protagonist in love with the girl, which is a one sided affair. There is no solid enough story to the book.

I cannot find a reason enough why anyone should read 55 at all. 
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