Book Review: The Mahabharata Murders - Arnab Ray

The Mahabharata Murders is a crime drama by Arnab Ray. What could provide a more coherent background for a crime scene than the Mahabharata, the famous Indian epic with all its fascination, but also with the many dark sides such as the dubious fratricidal machinations of Duryodhana on the shadowy world of the Pandavas?

No epic is so suitable for a crime story like the Mahabharata, where the battle of Kurukshetra fuels the interest of many Indians. It is not without reason that each chapter is initiated with the name of Draupadi, Sahadeva, Nakula, Arjuna, Bheema, and Yudhistira. The characters range from brilliant strategists to the ones who share a sense of arrogance and malignity.

Arnab's novel has its strengths in the almost sardonic reworking of the characters with a serial killer hunting for his prey in the streets of Kolkata. The characters move like chess figures, and even those who love the epic cannot free themselves from vanities.

The Mahabharata Murders is very vicious and the greatest pleasure is to guess the real characters hiding behind the figures.

The main theme is nothing is as it seems. In fact, the reality is often different, because everybody lives a small or big drama.

The skillful dramaturgy does one thing. Just when one thinks everything has been seen, Arnab delivers an unexpected volte, which makes the events appear in a different light. Stylistically the novel is captivating, that tickles the curiosity of the reader by pushing them to solve the puzzle themselves.

Written by alternating multiple events and reinforced by a well-constructed weave, the narrative quickly reaches the end. In the end, there is more to it than just being a few murders.

With great narrative talent, Arnab pushes forward an action that develops an irresistible pull and which does not wear over more than 250 pages. He tells a contemporary story and it is a remarkable idea of adopting this theme. This is once again an exciting book by the author. It is great fun to read his works.

Arnab's narrative keeps one in a spell. Driven by the question of how it goes on and who the murderer is, you cannot put it out of your hands until you have read the last chapter. But during the reading one does not remain in the realm of fiction. There is a reason behind everything. Arnab creates a scene with great proximity to reality.

Arnab is a master narrator who relies on his wits. He always succeeds in making the right tale. In doing so, he is an articulate artist. The author unfolds his story and shows that an epic like Mahabharata can also be a place for a gripping piece of literature.

What at first glance looks like a simple whodunit turns out to be a complex work with several levels. You always have to be on your guard as the tension never leaves. It is an extraordinary novel that at the same time have crime, romance, social drama and pure fiction. The book as a whole is striking, intense and overwhelming. It reads quickly because like every good thriller it respects you need to find out the guilty.

The Mahabharata Murders is thus a vivid portrait of a human reality from which we all try to escape, often with tragic outcomes. At the same time, it is one of the most beautiful thrillers of recent years and is recommended to those who usually do not read such novels.

The Mahabharata Murders - Arnab Ray

My Experience with Learning English Language

I've always been curious about languages since childhood. I was fascinated by the fact that people could communicate in so many different languages. I wondered what it would be like to learn any of them well. Living in a multilingual community helped me to understand that languages can be learned naturally.

My beginnings with English

My experience with English goes back to the 80s. In my case, I owe much of my passion for the English language to my high school teacher. She gave me the motivation to perfect each area of the language, which in the end would become the engine that would guide my life in the following years.

First contacts with regular English speakers

The determining moment of my relationship with English was the summer I spent in Shillong. Thanks to the efforts of my parents, I was able to experience an unforgettable experience by discovering the outside world and understanding that a knowledge of English can help conquer it.

From that moment on, studying and perfecting English was no longer something that served to pass exams. It became a vital necessity that I began to feed with all kinds of activities in English, such as reading, watching movies, and encounters with foreigners. As I got better, I felt a greater desire to go even further. At the same time, new personal and professional opportunities emerged to help me progress in the language.

If you want to learn English, you do not have to study English, but you have to 'Live' in English as much as you can. Of course, it is best to reside a season in an English-speaking area, but if that is not possible, there are endless ways to make English present in many areas of your life.

There are simple things like watching English movies, changing the language of your mobile, listening to English radio programs, conversations with English speakers on the internet. Today, all of this is within everyone's reach. We've never had it that easy.

Coming out of my comfort zone

Self-learning is fundamental, but in my case, I came to a point where it was difficult to advance much more without improving the theoretical basis. Therefore, I decided to enroll in the advanced courses which allowed me to acquire more skills in all areas, especially in vocabulary, new structures, and expressions. I bought several English grammar books and some vocabulary dictionaries.

As I became more and more familiar with English, I began to read entrepreneurship, psychology, or lifestyle books in that language. At the beginning, there were many words that I did not understand. Gradually I was assimilating the information and in this way, I understood more and more.

I admire an excellent native teacher whose unorthodox and motivational methods made learning a rewarding experience. In any case, if you want to improve your English, a quality course with native teachers can be helpful.

The result of all this process led me to an advanced knowledge of the language, but above all, it opened many doors for me personally and professionally. It is one of the personal achievements that I feel the proudest of, for the effort and for the enormous satisfaction of answering "Yes, I do" when someone asks me "Do you speak English?

My surprise came when my professor told me that they no longer had courses for my advanced level, but that, if I accepted, she would be delighted to have me counsel the present batch of new students.

Each time different students came to classes to practice English. Many of them entered the class grudgingly, as part of the compulsory nature of the program, but some others were enthusiastic about learning the language.

In general, each session consisted of discussing topics ranging from geography, personal relationships, travel, work, etc. Each one gave their point of view, while the rest of them waited for their companions to answer.

That's when I began to realize that there were students who, despite their lack of experience, threw themselves into the pool and spoke in English with confidence. Some of them paid attention to me. Others simply wanted to finish the university's English program because they cannot qualify without having passed all levels.

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The Truth About English Academies

Excited with the experience and determined to continue inspiring anyone who wanted to study English, I decided to look for a teacher's job. After offering my services at various academies, I was amazed by mass classrooms, old textbooks, teachers with minimal preparation or impossible promises such as learning English in a week.

Between one thing and another, I ended up entering an academy as a basic English teacher. The teaching material was a series of printable PDFs with lists of vocabulary, grammar points and small dialogues that introduce the student to the language. Basically, the student paid a high monthly fee to receive material that he could easily have found on the Internet and studied on his own. In fact, popular opinion had convinced them that if they wanted to learn English going to an academy was mandatory.

Going to an academy can be a good option when starting out. I always said to these students that if they want to advance in English and reach a level that they can feel proud of, they must study it on their own. You have to do more at home, read simple novels, listen to podcasts or chat with foreign friends.

A method for learning English that works

If you want to take the reins of your English learning, I recommend the following in each of the following stages. In the beginner phase, everything is new. The sounds seem very strange to you and you do not understand a single word. When faced with a text, the vocabulary is meaningless and the grammar seems to be completely different from your mother tongue.

At this stage, the brain, in addition to going through the process of absorbing large amounts of information, also needs time to get accustomed to new sounds, words and language structures. Set your personal goals. Commit to dedicate a few minutes a day to English. Put it in writing.

Find a good way to get started. The quality factor in the study of English is fundamental in the initial stages. For this reason, you must find a textbook that shows you the language progressively. A method of studying parallel texts in English and your mother tongue with associated audio is ideal. Take the text and read it. Listen to the audios and repeat them aloud.

Absorb every word. Play with the lesson. Ask yourself. Live the dialogue. Try to form your own phrases with what you have learned in each dialogue. Create your own dialogues. Slowly absorb the language. It is not about getting the perfect sentences. Complete it with stories for children, videos on YouTube and any type of material that provides you with basic grammatical structures and vocabulary.

The goal of this stage is to achieve a base in the language, with which you can communicate with a limited vocabulary, but broad enough to communicate your thoughts.

After a month or so, you should study more difficult textbooks. In addition, try to converse more in English. At this stage, many people are stuck forever. If you notice that you are stagnant, press a little and continue forward. Or change your strategy and do something else.

On many occasions, getting a teacher allows you to get out of that stalemate and gives you that push to the next level. Learn little by little and without pressure. Strive every day and be curious. Ask yourself questions and look for answers. Do not despair, everything will come. Be humble and face the fears. You are exposing yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Throw yourself into the void and build your own wings in free fall.

In the advanced stage, you can now use the language in real situations like reading novels, following podcasts and blogs or viewing TV series and movies. This allows you to increase your knowledge of the language without the need to use courses or books.

Motivation in the pure state

Thanks to my mastery of this language I can consume the best information worldwide, whether through blogs, e-books or videos on YouTube. I can watch English movies in original version without problems. I have friends from several countries with whom I communicate in English habitually. It has served me to be able to travel on multiple occasions to foreign lands and also to clear job and other interviews.

English has helped me to speak my own language better and to have a broader view of reality. It has allowed me to meet very interesting people. English is the communication tool of this century, and I dare to tell you without hesitation that if you do not know English you are at a disadvantage. If you do not know English you are a modern illiterate.

To end, learning English is not the end in itself, just a simple medium. It is a vehicle to get something more. English opens doors for you. It gives you possibilities and invites you to broaden your perception of events and life. Knowing English will change you forever. You will never be the same again after doing it and that, undoubtedly, is positive, since it implies personal growth.

The Colorful Ganesh Chaturthi Festival in Goa

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Goa was coming to an end like every year. I was on my way back and could hear the fireworks from afar. As I approached the beach I started to see small vans with the rear open with statues of Ganesha. I could see more people walking down the street carrying clay idols in their hands or small statues. I knew I was going to the right place.

If on the other hand, the puddles made the path complicated, the children had become a greater threat. Apparently, during this festival, the children enjoy lighting firecrackers and throw them near the passersby. So the only option is to wait until they explode or to accelerate as much as you can to avoid them.

Part of me cursed them but then I remembered that when I was a kid I used to throw water balloons during Holi from the roofs of my friends' houses. I understood that it's all part of the childhood and take my curses back.

Driving to the place all I could think about was that perhaps the celebration won't be as grand and elaborate as Mumbai. But suddenly I heard the majestic sound of the drums that took away the idea away from my head. When the road finally ended on the beach and the sound of the drums had become more and more intense I knew it was time to park the bike.

I looked for a small place to do it and when I put my foot out of it I felt it sinking completely into the mud. My foot had disappeared and the mud reached me above my ankle. I did not give much importance since all I wanted to do was to get to see the show. The noise and the energy of the drums called me. I wanted to be there as soon as possible.

I moved my foot carefully to avoid breaking my soles and headed for the place. The rest of the way was absolutely the same, that was a small swamp created by the rains. The first image I see upon arrival is a cargo van full of Ganesh statues of all sizes and colors. Many people around them were praying. I took a couple of photos and headed to where the drums were.

It was a small area of the beach. Authorities had placed lights to illuminate the area and a circle had formed. The circle was delimited by men with drums and within this person danced rhythmically to the roar of the drum. They were only men. Women watched from the outside. In the distance, a few meters from the area of the drums I could see fireworks of different colors, and my curiosity forced me to go.

Before arriving at the place where the fireworks came I met a crowd of people. They were all gathered there and they had formed two lines with a corridor between them. On one side were all the statues of Ganesh on a small altar. Behind them was the family that had brought them. On the other side, there were only spectators. At the beginning of these ranks, several children began to pass, stopping in each of the idols to take some petals from the collars of flowers that enveloped Ganesha.

There were easily over 100 statues of different sizes all placed in a straight line on the shore of the beach. They were illuminated in different ways, mostly with candles. Many families had mounted a more complicated light system and in others, only one child held a small lamp.

Some of the people who passed beside brought containers with food and deposited a small offering to one side of Ganesh, mainly coconut or fruits. When they had finished making the trip and they had enough food they began to distribute it in the hands of the assistants to eat it. I went through each statue and could find each with different colors and adornments.

The Colorful Ganesh Chaturthi Festival in Goa

After an hour or two in this ceremony of offerings and prayers began the roar. I did not know exactly what happened until I saw it. People were taking the statues and carrying them into the water. These clay statues after the celebration are taken to the water to leave them there.

Among the chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya, there was also the crying of some children who did not want to separate from the statues of Ganesh. The mother would comfort and separate the child while the father took the statue to the water.

According to custom, each year after the celebration people must buy another statue of Ganesh. This one must be of the same or greater size than the one of the previous year. It cannot be smaller. For this reason, some states are so large that it takes several people to load them up to the sea and put them in a fairly deep zone. And as always, my curiosity is such that I decided to follow the people in the water to observe this closely.

After a few minutes of immersing the statues into the water, the men return to the beach to pick up the table where the statue of Ganesh was kept and retire home. In less than 15 minutes, the beach got deserted, as if nothing had happened. I also went back to look for my motorcycle again, hoping that it had not been absorbed by the mud.

Returning to the hostel, I wanted to take a bath to remove the mud, sea water and anything else I could have been covered with. During my return, I just reflected on the diversity of customs in India, how different each one is and how lucky I was to live this festival.

India is a country of mixes, there are so many religions, customs and languages within the country that are intertwined one in the other in such a way that it looks like one, but it is not. Each region, city, and town has its own rituals and ideologies that coexist harmoniously. They say that every 100 km the language and customs changes. I certainly believe it.

India will teach you many things but what we should learn from this great country is tolerance in diversity and an example of how to live in peace amid the contrasts.

An Education for Personal and Social Evolution

An Education for Personal and Social Evolution
The pinnacle of principles of education is the awareness of the nobility of the human being. Everyone is capable of loving one another and showing virtues and talents. What can prevent these noble qualities from manifesting is the lack of adequate education.

The education of the individual

Our teachers educate us so that every human being can know their value and help advance a progressive society. Teachers are responsible both to acquire knowledge and to reach higher levels of knowledge and to educate the younger generation of the society. The values with which young people have educated shape the character of communities and guide the progress of entire generations.

Promoting a valid model of education for humanity is a global necessity, to which no nation can escape if it wants to build prosperity and a better future. It is imperative to consider education as one of the most urgent priorities if one wants to avoid the decline of humanity, caused by ignorance, and aim at what brings prosperity, independence and freedom to the individual, and consequently to the nation and mankind.

A holistic education

Education must treat both character and behavior as well as science and the arts. Good behavior and high morality are of the utmost importance because if knowledge is refined, acquiring knowledge can be very damaging. A person of great talent and who is very educated can easily develop pride, vanity, greed or arrogance if they have not developed certain qualities such as humility, wisdom, honesty, justice, and empathy, to name a few.

Our times clearly highlight the importance of holistic education that includes a material, human and spiritual side. Material education involves the development of the body. Education is about civilization and progress and has to do with governments, administration, charitable works, trades, arts and crafts, sciences, great inventions, and discoveries. Spiritual education consists in the acquisition of divine perfections and is the true education.

The spiritual nature develops with its help, which is the highest nature of the human being. Everywhere in the world, mothers at home, school teachers, professors in the university must teach these ideas to young people, from cradle to maturity.

Compulsory education

Education must not only be compulsory but also universal. The principle of the obligation to educate every child intellectually and spiritually must be applied in every country of the world. It is not advisable to allow a person to remain ignorant and incapable, for then he is nothing but a sterile tree. If there were no educators, all souls would remain wild, and if it were not for the master, the children would be ignorant creatures. Education should be compulsory and not voluntary.

Equal educational opportunities

The great potentialities of the age in which we live will become increasingly evident as the education of girls improves. Moreover, this recognition of equality between men and women and revaluation of women's role in society is an important factor for the true progress of modern society. When education is universally widespread in all schools, a perfect relationship will be established among members of the human race. And when all will receive the same kind of education, the bases of war and dispute can be eliminated.

The role of parents and the community

The role of parents in education is of utmost importance as they are the primary educators. They must impart spiritual education to their children, and above all build their character. This sacred duty, to educate children is not just their responsibility. The community must support them in its fulfillment.

Since education is a fundamental right, the community must strive to help families ensure the best education possible for each child and child. This is essential for their development and well-being, as it allows them to develop their potential and to cultivate skills that they will then be able to make available to society, living a full life at the service of others.

If the parents are able to cover the costs of such education, it is fine, otherwise, it is the community that must provide the means to educate them. The role of parents, teachers, and educators is not to dispense with knowledge and information as if they were filling an empty glass. They must facilitate a lifelong learning process to teach children to devote life to things of great importance and inspire them to undertake studies that benefit humankind.

Children and in general humanity are a rich mine of gems of inestimable value. These gems are the virtues and great potentials that education has to evolve and develop in every human being.

How to use Fashionable Diaper Bags in Traveling?

If you feel baby bags just can't be trendy then you haven't viewed the fashionable and contemporary designer baby diaper totes from companies like Fleurville, OiOi, Nest, DadGear, Diaper Dude, Kalencom, Amy Michelle or JJ Cole. You will find fashionable nappy bags that classy mothers will like to take with them.

Even though they appear a lot more like designer purses, these types of baby diaper bags happen to be practical, useful as well as extremely versatile. Several storage compartments hold all the baby's necessities nicely. Check out these three stylish diaper bags elaborated down below.

Juba Plus Charcoal Baby Bag

This extremely elegant baby bag offers several pockets, a sizable shoulder band, and a couple more compact straps for baby stroller connection. It's very flexible and it has a sporty style. Among the best backpack for travel, the baby bag backpack includes a very spacious inside which includes a mobile phone case. It has a fold away changing pad and covered container holder.

travel diaper bag backpack baby images

JJ Cole Mode Diaper Tote Bag

This particular trendy baby diaper tote bag by JJ Cole consists of 12 inside and outside storage compartments for organizing. Pocketbook, cellular phone, and keys may be kept in the exterior pouches. You are capable to carry the tote in about three ways. The actual bag includes two carrier straps, a cushioned shoulder strap that may be unattached. The bag is available on laminated canvas and it is easy to wash.

Skip Hop Duo Deluxe Baby Bag

This specific napkin bag may be the best accessory with regard to fashionable moms. It may be transformed rapidly from the baby bag to a stroller tote. Eleven storage compartments enable you to arrange all of your essentials. The side pouches can well carry containers as well as sippy cups.

There is a cell phone area as well as a zippered private pouch. The baby bag is waterproof and made from long-lasting poly-canvas which is easy for you to clean. Magnet closures hold the bag closed. A padded changing mat is sold with the tote. It’s available in different designs and sunglasses such as black, ocean stripe, ice blue, red, and apple green.

travel diaper bag backpack baby images

How are you meant to carry all this baby stuff, keep it organized and neat without looking like you're carrying Santa's sack of toys? Are you on the move with your young child or baby? Check out the diaper bag designs and elegant nappy change bags designed by Poppy Lou.

Some of the best nappy bags you will find out there have creative and unique designs, hard-wearing robust fabrics, strong clips, zips and straps that are designed for many years of use.

Some of the nappy bags you will find on the Poppy Lou website are the Coco Lou nappy bag, Messenger diaper bag, and Eureka Check designer nappy bag. Find the latest in Diaper Bags from Designer Diaper Bag to Designer Nappy Bag.

Hope to see you hanging out at Poppy Lou or perhaps look at the cool mama site. Check out the designer baby bags and designer nappy bags. Some people call them mothers' change bags.