Naga Chokkanathan

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Once upon a time there was a king. He had a son who was nine years old. He was brimming with energy running all around the palace.

One day, the prince got ill. He couldn’t even get up from his bed.

A soldier came running to the king and said, “Your highness, the prince is not feeling well, he wishes to see you immediately.”

The king was deeply worried. He went running to his son’s chamber. People looked at the king and thought, “our emperor always used to summon others to his court. Now he is rushing to the prince himself. That’s the power of love.”

As the king saw his son, tears were rolling from his eyes. He asked the prince, “My son, what happened, how are you feeling now?”

The prince answered in a dull voice, “Father, I am feeling very weak. I hate these medicines your court physicians are giving. Please ask them to give me some sweets instead.”

As soon as the prince conveyed his wish, the king ordered his subordinates to bring the choicest sweets for his son.

People wanted to tell the king that it is not advisable to eat sweets when one is ill. But they were afraid of the king. So they brought many kinds of delicious sweets for their prince.

Seeing these, the prince’s mouth watered. He wanted to reach out and gobble those delicacies. But he couldn’t even lift a finger. Even when the king tried to feed sweets to him, he couldn’t enjoy them, because those sweets now tasted bitter due to his illness.

The king got very disappointed and went back to his court. He ordered to bring all wise men of his country there and asked them to find a cure for his son immediately.

Those men got to work and they prepared many kinds of medicines. But the prince rejected all of them saying they are bitter.

Far away from that palace lived a poor girl. Though exceptionally small, she was very intelligent. She heard about the prince’s illness and his rejection of all bitter medicines. She wondered how he will be cured if he refuses to drink medicines that are necessary to get him back to normalcy.

So, she thought of a plan. She started collecting all the things that she would need to make a medicine for the prince. She ground them into a powder.

Next day, she started her journey to the palace. When she reached there after hours of walking, gate keepers refused to let her in.

The girl begged to them, but they didn’t budge an inch.

The girl thought of an idea. She showed them a cake she brought from her village and told them she can make such yummy cakes for them if they let her in.

Gate keepers were tired after a long day of work. They saw that cake and agreed to let her inside if she would make five such cakes for them.

The girl got to work. She collected all the things required from nearby houses and stayed making her cake.

Soon the prince smelled the aroma of the cake and announced, “I want that cake immediately.”

Few soldiers ran down and asked the girl to give a cake for the prince. The girl was expecting this and she had added the medicine in the cake batter already. So she happily gave them the cake.

The Prince ate the cake and felt happy. He could see that he was getting better, thanks to the girl’s cake.

The king heard this and jumped with joy. He summoned his soldiers to bring the girl to his court and showered her with gifts.

The girl who made the magic cake that cured the prince thanked the king and told him politely, “your majesty. Since the prince was unwell, our entire nation was ailing. Now we all are happy and will prosper forever in your able administration. But please make sure all kids in our nation take the necessary vegetables, fruits and herbs every day to remain healthy always.”

(This post is written by Naga & Nangai as part of “Indi Blogger” Happy Hours contest sponsored by Dabur Chyawanprash. For more details on this, refer to


Ramayana is a simple, yet powerful story, retold many times in many cultures.

I remember reading in a research paper that there are three hundred versions of Ramayana. Yet, it is being retold on a regular basis. Even today, newer interpretations of the same story is presented as novels, short stories, dramas, paintings etc.

Shubha Vilas has started a new series titled “Ramayana: The Game of Life”. Book 1 of this series is titled “Rise of the Sun Prince”.

As the title suggests, Shubha Vilas has taken a new approach to retell the story of Rama. He focuses on the life lessons that we can learn from Ramayana. This is evident from the footnotes you see in almost every page. But guess what, these are not boring footnotes that you read in most research papers. Instead, they are the juicy portion of this book.

Book 1 focuses on the story of Rama’s birth, his journey with sage Viswamitra and his marriage with Sita. Author uses a simple style to narrate the base story, adding his interesting interpretations. Those who know Ramayana story may read this book very fast, but one can enjoy it only when the focus shifts to the discussions based on the story.

This book has an interesting appendix titled “24 qualities that make a true hero” (based on Valmiki’s Ramayana). Almost all those qualities are applicable to anyone who want to succeed in any field!

(Rise of the Sun Prince: Shubha Vilas: Jaico Publishing House: Rs 250)

Few months back, I read about Bitcoins. I tried to research about them and found only suspicious links. It seemed like a big fraud.

At the same time, many articles were suggesting this is going to change everything. It looked as if both sides are right.

When I started reading Ravi Subramanian’s “God Is A Gamer” novel, I was eager to know if he can solve my confusion about this Bitcoins concept. As a specialist of Banking themed novels, he has used Bitcoins as the central theme of this story.

This novel is not really a primer on Bitcoins. But Ravi Subramanian gives clear explanation about it using his characters. This makes it an interesting read for everything, whether they knew about Bitcoins or not.

Just like Ravi Subramanian’s other novels, “God is a gamer” starts in a city (New York) and then moves between Washington DC, Mumbai and Goa rapidly, with short, crisp chapters (most of them are just two pages long) conveying seemingly unrelated events, but all of them are very central to the story. He uses the standard thriller novel pattern, with a modern twist with the use of technology. He makes the reader move to the next chapter with eager expectations and the plot is strong enough to carry it throughout the novel.

I am amazed at the details he has provided about the world of Bitcoins and the thin line he maintains about what is real, what is imaginary and what is possible. To understand this, imagine electricity is just invented and many are yet to get it in their places. At that time, someone comes to your village and talks about electricity positively, but you are still afraid what will happen if you touch that wire. Ravi Subramanian creates a similar environment here. I am eager to know what is the reaction of Bitcoin enthusiasts to this work.

Of course, I am not talking about accuracy of details. But I want to know if this will make them act cautious when it comes to dealing with Bitcoins. It will be an interesting social experiement.

As far as the plot is concerned, it is good, though a bit dramatic in many places. But then, you need to expect it in a thriller. Ravi Subramanian doesn’t spend too much time in explaining his characters, instead letting the events and dialogues do the job. It gives an interesting reading experience as we are left to imagine many things about characters.

Ravi Subramanian’s dialogues are an impressive feature of his novels. Of course, there are usual cliche portions in some places. But most of it sounds accurate and practical. He ensures that characters convey what is required, yet ensuring the plot is not revealed early. It may sound obvious, but I really admire that in all great thriller writers, you need great control when you have so many pages and so many readers with you 🙂

On the production side, Penguin Books has brought this book with top quality. Recommended for anyone who likes thriller novels, you would enjoy this better if you understand (or want to understand) the banking domain!

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


We saw this strange shaped papaya and tried to describe it:

Me: ‘it looks like question mark!’

Nangai: ‘it looks like moon, crescent!’

Mangai: ‘it looks like a fat banana!’

Nangai: ‘if a giant sees this, he would say its an orange cashew nut!’

Haha, how true!!



I presented a session “Climbing, Swimming, Running & Few Random Thoughts” @ CRMIT’s 11th Anniversary Party today. Here are the slides, if you are interested.

Note: May not be self explanatory. But you will get the concept(s) for sure.


My daughter Nangai has a school project “Prepare your own newspaper”. She is discussing with her friend on a plan for this:

‘What color the newspaper should be?’


‘Girl, have you ever seen any news paper in pink color?’

‘So what? Ours will be the first’

‘What sections we would have?’

‘First, Politics’

‘Hei, don’t make it a grandpa newspaper. I want only kids stuff’

‘Next, Sports’



‘Only boys will read sports news’

‘Let them read’

‘I don’t want any boy to read our newspaper’

‘What next?’


‘Noooo. That will be boring, Let us include a page for Books!’

Now, I am very curious to know how this newspaper will be 🙂

N. Chokkan …
31 08 2014


“Autobiography of an American Swami” is the tagline for this heavy (literally and figuratively) book, which reminds you of a very famous self help book. However, this is a totally different kind of book where Radhanath Swami has described his spiritual journey in detail. It is so interesting, you can’t resist reading more about him online, even after reading a 340 page autobiography of him.

This author’s spiritual quest has started at a very young age. He began asking questions and studying various religions by going through their holy books, traveling, speaking to number of holy men. This journey took him to India, and he stayed in Himalaya, living as a simple Sadhu, roaming around the country meeting interesting people. He describes these discussions and experiences in a poetic language.

So, this book reads part memoir, part biography and part a philosophical manual. With all this complexity, you can read it really fast as the incidents are very interesting and there is not a dull moment anywhere. The questions raised by the author to various people and the understanding he gets from them (or from others, life experiences) gives us so much to think about!

(The Journey Home : Radhanath Swami : Jaico : Rs 250)



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Organization He works for / belongs to.

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