Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Book review: Immortals of Meluha

Turned out to be a good read, but thankfully I did not have too many expectations to begin with.

I had heard a lot of positive reviews of this trilogy, and decided to pick it up when I found it in the Kindle ebook format. The author has done a pretty good job of "humanizing" Shiva, and seems to have set a decent stage for the next book, where I suspect the real action will begin (I haven't read that book yet).

The author also has an interesting take on the societies of the Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis. IMO, both societies do not fulfill the principles of a true Utopian "Ram Rajya", i.e. the Suryavanshi society is almost Dystopian, while the Chandravanshi society is almost anarchaic / chaotic. I use the word "almost" because in spite of the flaws in these societies, citizens of both appear to be highly contented, which is uncharacteristic of true Dystopian and Anarchaic societies. The author has presented the duality of these two societies in a fairly simplistic and easy-to-understand manner, which is quite commendable.

The book is fairly easy to read, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in an alternative take on Indian mythology. It might help readers knowing a bit about traditional Indian mythology in advance, to truly appreciate how the author deviates from it.

There are quite a few spelling errors in the book - not sure if that's there in the original print publication, or if it is true for the Kindle format. If not for this, I would've given it 4 stars.

Overall: I am looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy.

(Review also posted to Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/review/R3ICA3KUB60MWJ)

Friday, 19 April 2013

T-bar row self-challenge

In March last year, I attempted a T-bar row challenge in the gym.  The idea was to stack up all the weights that were available in my gym (40 kgs in all) and do 5 reps of a one-armed T-bar row.

Here's the video from that attempt:

I did complete the five reps on the left hand, albeit with a break (my palms got really sweaty).

Since that time, I've been through a big down-phase in my workout routine, and only in the last few months have I been slowly recovering my former strength.

So my challenge for next week is simple - to repeat the same workout, but with 10 reps for each hand.  This time around, I will be using wrist straps to eliminate the strain on my wrists and the pesky palm sweat.

I'm going to do this early next week, and have one of my gym buddies shoot a video of my attempt.  Will post the video, whether I succeed or fail.  Wish me luck!

[Update 25th April]  I still haven't been able to hit the gym this week... thanks to a training I've been attending.  But this challenge is still top priority - will update this space soon!

[Update: 30th April] Completed the challenge!! Shall post the video in a few days