My Review on Sidney Sheldon’s “Master of the Game”


Hello guys, I’m back again with my review. It’s been quiet sometime since I posted a review. After reading Sidney Sheldon’s “Master of the Game” I really cannot wait for even a single day more to post the review. The book is called the masterpiece of Sidney Sheldon; a masterpiece novel by The Master himself. The heroine of the book truly lives up to the title “Master of the Game”. The book has so many twists and turns that it is unpredictable (for me it was unpredictable). The book is divided into different parts – Book One: Jamie, Book Two: Kate and David, Book Three: Kruger- Brent, Ltd, Book Four: Tony, Book Five: Eve and Alexandra and finally The Epilogue- Kate; and it covers four generations. Every part of the book is so interestingly carved that you feel like going on and on without a break. The character of Kate has been developed magnificently as The Master of the Game.
 The story begins with Kate celebrating her ninetieth birthday with her family. She talks to the ghosts of her father, his best friend Banda, mother, husband and a host of other people. We are then taken on a tour of flash backs beginning with the life of her father Jamie McGregor

‘Book One’ begins! Jamie belonged to a very poor family. He yearned for the well being of his family and he also dreamt of giving his siblings a very luxurious life. During those days people would travel miles together in search of diamond mines to get hold of diamonds. Jamie was no exception. He wanted to go too as he was sure that a few diamonds could surely change his life. He spills out his plan to his parents. At first they are not happy but, then Jamie somehow gets his way through and leaves in search of diamond mines. From then begins his struggle to survive. In the due course of his struggle he finds diamond mines and also digs out handsome amount of diamonds. But he is cheated and the entire diamonds are snatched away. The actual story, thus, begins with his fool proof plan to take revenge. He finally succeeds in doing so. He becomes rich as a result of his continuous hard work and starts the Kruger- Brent, Ltd.
The next part of the story is about Kate (Jamie’s daughter and Our Heroine) and David (Jamie’s Assistant at Kruger- Brent, Ltd). Kate’s father Jamie dies early after hearing the news of the death of his son. So Kate is brought up singly by her mother. From childhood she always made sure that at the end she gets what she desires. Unable to bear her tantrums anymore her mother puts her in a boarding school. She pleads with her mom against doing so; but in vain. She liked David a lot since childhood. She would always tell him that she would marry him when she grows up. Kate, being the only hope for Kruger- Brent, Ltd, her mother makes sure that she becomes capable to handle the company’s affairs. Kate is also keen on doing so. She grows up and so does her liking for David! She proposes marriage to him. He is not keen about it as she is very young. After a lot of twists and turns they marry! Both continue looking after the company and take it to heights. Her ambitions take new turns every now and then. She becomes power hungry. In the due course, when she is expecting their child, David passes away in a blast at the mines. Tony is born.
Next part of the book is about the Company “Kruger-Brent, Ltd”. She is left with Tony alone. As she is power hungry from before she goes to any extent to get her way out. She succeeds in every plan of hers. She takes her company to the heights she wanted it to be. This part of the book is precise and gives every detail and insights into how Kate manages her company.
The Book Four part deals with Tony. She wants her only son to get into the business after his studies. So she is always pressurizing the poor kid, to get her way out. He is sent to boarding. Almost every time, she makes sure that she is the decision maker in Tony’s life. He loves his mom; but at the same time he is fed up of her attitude. He has superb art running through his nerves. He decides to pursue painting as his career. Kate is shocked. Finally, he gets his way through and joins an academy for artists. Far away from home he lives a contented life. Kate lands there and is shocked to see her son’s marvelous paintings. But still she wants him back at Kruger-Brent, Ltd. When Tony thinks things are going pretty smoothly for him, he is humiliated by an art critic in newspapers. He is utterly disappointed about it and heads back home to Kate. Having no other option he enrolls himself in a business school (as per his mom’s wishes) and graduates. Kate finds her heir back in Kruger-Brent, Ltd. A series of events take place. His mom is constantly ruling his life and he deciphers the reason why he was humiliated by the critic and is heartbroken, when Kate decides to get him married. Interesting twists and turns happen and in the due course Tony marries the girl whom his mom has actually chosen for him. Tony’s wife gets pregnant and the doctor warns her against it as her life is at stake. But Kate wants a grandchild who will be the successor for the company. So she forces her to go ahead with it, Tony’s wife agrees! She dies in the course of giving birth to beautiful twins Eve and Alexandra!
Till now the story seems to be very nice with Kate’s brainy plans and the beautiful execution of the same. But in the Fifth part the real evil portion of the story begins. Kate, having recovered from the bullet injury (you need to read the book to know who is behind shooting her), is now back taking keen interest in the upbringing of her grandchildren; she dotes on them now as she foresees that either of them will take over Kruger- Brent from her. She sees one of them as her successor. When she sees the children grow she has a feeling that Eve is similar to her with a very strong character while Alexandra is a copy of her dad Tony, very sober and understanding. From a tender age Eve has a dislike for Alexandra as she feels that she is a hindrance for her at any time in the future. She hates Alexandra to the core and is always making schemes to kill her. All her schemes flop and Alexandra gets out of it somehow. Kate feels that Alexandra is too meek to take care of herself. She entrusts Eve to take good care of her sister and it seems like a blessing to Eve! Kate sends her grandchildren to boarding. Eve hates it. She is always doing tantrums. Alexandra is not aware of anything Eve does. At a point of time Kate realizes that Eve is too much to handle. The entire fifth part deals with how Eve fixes Alexandra everywhere and somehow gets through it. The grandmother realizes that she was wrong in judging Eve. When Kate gets to know about the miscellaneous misdeeds of Eve she disowns her and throws her out of the house. A series of events happen about which I will not reveal as it is the most thrilling part. The thrill can be felt only when you read it! The Book Five gives a striking message that a person cannot get away with his misdeeds till long; ultimately the good always wins over the evil.
The last part – The Epilogue is about Kate celebrating her ninetieth birthday. And then, comes an end to the series of flashbacks. The book gets back to where it actually began (A marvelous creation, I can say!)
What a book!!! I mean truly awesome. All Sidney Sheldon fans should give it a try. You will truly love it. After having read a few Sidney Sheldon books, I would like to mention that none of his books are similar. The plot of each book is completely surprising and thrilling. After reading it I’m pretty sure that you will go in search of all Sidney Sheldon books (that’s what I’m up to now).
A very big post indeed!! But I somehow could not stop writing…
Have a happy weekend and never stop reading! Those who have not started please start off and sail in the world of pleasure.
Cheers!!

Sweet Corn and Vegetable Soup – My Independence Day Experiment


Hello friends! Here I come once again this week. First of all wishing you all a very happy 67thIndependence Day! It feels so nice to be a part of this beautiful nation. So how have you all been celebrating the day? Pretty lot of activities, I suppose. As I had a day off today (I mean, it’s obvious to have a day off), I decided to experiment with cooking today. I wanted to do something simple (because I didn’t want to spend lot of time in the kitchen). After a lot of thought process in action, I decided to make a simple Sweet Corn Vegetable Soup. I searched for recipes on the net and as always finally came out with my version of it. I can safely say that the soup is my version because I don’t literally follow what’s given in the recipe. I make a note of the ingredients and add it as per my wish and desire. Sweet Corn with Vegetable Soup happens to be my all time favorite. But I never knew that it was simple to make. When I got to know it was very simple, I decided to give it a try.
To make things simpler for me, my mom had all the vegetables chopped and sweet corn boiled even before I thought which vegetables to add. So things were very simple for me. 
What you need
1 cup boiled sweet corn kernels
1 cup mixed vegetables boiled (any vegetable of your choice- carrot, cabbage, green peas and beans is what I chose)
5 cups vegetable stock
3-5 tablespoons of corn flour mixed in ¼ cup of the above mentioned vegetable stock (usage of corn flour depends on your choice of thickness of the soup)
1 tablespoon Nutralite Butter
2-3 tablespoons of powdered black pepper
Salt as per taste
Method
Take the vegetable stock and add the boiled sweet corn to it and cook for about 7 minutes. Then, add the boiled vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. To this add the corn flour mixture and salt and bring it to boil. Add butter and 1 tablespoon of powdered black pepper. Remove from flame; garnish it further with powdered pepper (if and only if you like your soup hot and spicy). Indulge yourself completely in its rich and delicious flavor.
One thing I noticed after boiling the vegetables is the choice of vegetables. Today being Independence Day I had Saffron, White and Green (Carrot, Cabbage, Green Peas and Beans) in soup! So I celebrated Independence Day in a unique way! Above all, I victimized all of them who came home today, which includes my uncle, cousin and obviously my mom and grand mom; but somehow my dad escaped from my clutches today…
The soup doesn’t require any special ingredient. All the ingredients are readily available at home! So why should you deprive yourself of the pleasure of indulging in this nutritious soup. Go ahead and give it a try.
Have a wonderful time…
Cheers!!

The Guiding Lights of My Life


Hello friends….. I’m here again with a new post. This week I’m posting something other than book reviews. This post is on demand!! My friend wanted me to write about My Role Models. My Space is running because of the valuable support of my friends; so how could I tell her No! I am more than happy if anybody gives me a suggestion regarding the topic as it saves my time of thinking! So here I am Akshatha with the topic you wanted me to write.
Denzel Washington has very rightly said – “I think a role model is a mentor- someone you see on a daily basis, and you learn from them”. 

It would be wrong on my part if I say that I have just one role model in these many years of my life. At every stage I’ve learnt innumerable things from ‘n’ number of people; some of whom I classify as My Role Models. This post is dedicated to all such lovely people who have been an integral part in the path of my life and success so far (looking forward for your unconditional support in the days to come as well). My success on this day stands credited with the contributions of three important people of my life; My Dad, My Mom and My Grand Mom. I owe all the three of them whatever I have achieved today in equal amounts. 
Speaking about my dad first: If at all I’m allowed to share my CA degree with anyone I would do it with my Dad alone and no one else, because nobody could have done anything more than what he has done to me. If I go on making a list of all sacrifices he has made for me I don’t think I can end this post. All the while when I was putting in my efforts to qualify as a CA he was always there to ensure that I have no discomfort of any kind. He always made things very comfortable and easy for me. CA is not an easy course as such; I have had my share of setbacks as well. But my dad was always there as a source of support. He is my Role Model and I will always look upon him as my First Hero.
Moving over to my mom: She has done every bit to make me what I am today. My mom was the person who would sit along with me in my preschool when I hesitated to go there. She has always been seconding my dad in supporting me. Whatever the situation, I always had her care and support. During my hectic exam days she would feed me so that I didn’t skip food in the course of my exam preparations. This went on I think till last year! Wow I mean! We are friends more than anything, so we share our set of fights and I keep throwing tantrums at her.
Over to my grand mom: I fall short of words to describe what she has done to me so far. Since when I was born she was the one who took care of me sacrificing her sleep. Even to this day, she feels happy and contended in doing my small jobs like filling my water bottle, getting me coffee and so on. One day, by chance if I do my small jobs myself she feels as if she has missed out on something. Even today if I go out with friends or even my mom, she gets really restless until I get back. Such is her love for me. Even to this day my day begins with my small tantrums on her.
Apart from these important people, I have a host of relatives (my aunts, uncles, and cousins), lecturers and friends who have always been a source of support. I have learnt so many things from so many people I have met so far, and I owe all of them a great deal.
It is very rightly said that without support from your family you cannot achieve anything however small it may be. I am thankful to all for their contributions however small it may be. If I have achieved anything today, it is just because of all your support. So keep supporting. I hope for the continued support from all those who are destined to be with me forever.
Above all, this blog would not have been possible without your support and encouragement guys!
Thanks for being there always. Looking forward for a long association!
Have a great week ahead.

Cheers!!!

Friendship for me is……….


Hello! I’m back very soon this time, isn’t it little surprising? All of you might wonder why I sometimes leave my blog all alone to sleep at peace and get busy and sometimes come so often that I myself don’t feel comfortable with the idea. Jokes apart, I just wanted to get here on Friendship Day and take some time off and thank all those who have been an integral part of my life so far. But could not make it!
 This post is dedicated to all my dear, lovely and crazy friends who have been my source of support and strength always and I’m sure you’ll be with me like this always. 
In every stage of our life we come across different people with different ideas and characteristics. Amongst the ‘n’ number of people, we find few of them who are just as mad as we are! They ultimately turn out to be our friends for life

There are misunderstandings, fights and what not. But still we somehow stay hooked on to each other without complaining. Friendship should always be unconditional. Those who care and those who are meant for you will somehow find their way in your life and stay forever. It has been rightly quoted by George Martin in this regard. He says, “Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever”.  The quote that very well goes down with my girls’ gang is the one by Rita Mae Brown – “The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from mental illness. Look at your three best friends. If they are okay, then it’s YOU”.
I must say am lucky enough to have such crazy and loving friends, who tolerate my nonsense day in and day out. They have been doing it from a few years. (Oh YES, I have to mention! I tolerate their nonsense as well). A true friend is someone who accepts you the way you are.
I’ve had the opportunity of making many friends in this journey of life so far, from preschool to high school; Pre University to graduation; and last but not the least in my professional journey as well. My profession has given me some of the most wonderful persons as friends for life. I treasure each and every moment of my life with friends so far with utter care. If you have good friends by you, what so ever difficult situation you are in, they will surely make you laugh. Friends are your extended family who surely standby you in any damn situation and share with you your joys and sorrows.
This was a small post of affection for all my darling friends who have been there always. I will as always be there for you as well!
Friendship for me is treasure, for sure!
Have a great week and see you all very soon!
Cheers!

My Review on ‘The Shadow of Your Smile’ by Mary Higgins Clark


Hey everybody! The weekend has just begun and how are things moving at your end? Pretty cool, I suppose. Don’t let go of the weekend easily as you’ll get one only after a week again! So have fun to the brim. Here, I am, back again with another review. This time it’s not a Sidney Sheldon book! I’ve chosen ‘The Shadow of Your Smile’ authored byMary Higgins Clark. I happened to read this book during my month long vacation at Hubli. I read this book accidentally; I mean, I was in Hubli on a holiday and wanted to make use of my free time constructively. I found this book in my cousin’s collections and just thought something is better than nothing and kicked off. A great book!
This book is not like the usual mystery novels I have read. If you are a first time Mary Higgins Clark reader you might hesitate to go for the book as the cover talks about an old lady and the secrets she has sheltered throughout her lifetime and so on. But folks, don’t go in for it. The book has much more than what it promises to show.
The story is about an old lady who holds the key to the entire story. She holds within herself a secret which she has been protecting since ages. The secret is related to one of her cousins (her close cousin sister). At this point of point, with her deteriorating health, she wants to reveal the secret to the person who is supposed to know about it. She stays alone in an apartment and her family doctor is the only person who visits her often to check on her health. Very seldom she would leave the house to visit her sister’s grave in a taxi. Simultaneously we are also introduced to another character, a lady doctor. We are given insights of both the old lady and the doctor together. There somehow happens to be a thread of connection between the two which we are introduced to later; this lady doctor happens to be the granddaughter of the old lady’s cousin. The story keeps going on till a stage when there is a sudden change in the track and mystery is introduced into it. From a normal routine kind of a story, the plot turns into a murder mystery, which leaves you completely hooked on to the book. There is no suspense regarding the person who murdered here. The murderer is revealed in the next few pages, but the way the plot is taken around till the end is what leaves you stunned. 
Initially, you happen to think that the old lady died of her old age. But, then you realize that it is a murder. The next question that pops is regarding the motive of the murder. But why could anyone ever think of killing a harmless old lady? The answer for the same is the secret she had been saving throughout her life.  The secret took her life away. What a costly secret! Just before the murder of the old lady, the lady doctor gets connected to the old lady through a taxi driver. This doctor now takes the plot in her hands and unveils the entire story. 
The book is somehow different. The first thing being, maybe, the way the story is handled; the next thing being obviously the plot. Mary Higgins Clark has the knack of presenting the story in a crisp way and also in a very interesting manner. You don’t get bored even for a while though it doesn’t thrill you as much.
 I haven’t written much about the plot because if I start writing am scared that I’ll reveal the entire plot as the plot is linked completely.
So guys why are you waiting if you’ll want to while away a lazy day then just pick it up and march ahead. I will get back tomorrow with something different. Till then, Have loads of fun!
Cheers!!!
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