Book Review: Mothering A Muslim by Nazia Erum

Product details

Hardcover: 248 pages

Publisher: Juggernaut (15 December 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 938622853X

ISBN-13: 978-9386228536

Package Dimensions: 20 x 13.2 x 3.2 cm

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What is this book all about?

Nazia Erum runs a fashion start-up, and is the mother of an adorable little girl. But from the day Myra was born, she found herself asking questions she didn’t have answers for. It began with her daughter’s name – should Nazia choose a traditional Islamic name or a more non-religious sounding one so that her daughter couldn’t be identified as a Muslim? Nazia was not the only modern middleclass Muslim asking this question. Soon she discovered that finding the right name for Myra was the least of her worries. Talking to over 100 children and their parents across 12 cities, what Nazia uncovers is deeply troubling. She heard stories of rampant bullying of Muslim children in many of the country’s top schools, of six-year-olds being hit by their classmates because of their faith, of religious segregation in classrooms and of anxious Muslim parents across the country who monitor their children’s dress, speech and actions to protect them. In Mothering a Muslim, she finally lifts the veil on this taboo subject, one that is spoken of only in whispers. Urgent, gripping and heartbreaking, this is essential reading for every Indian.

Review

This book has been a eye-opener for me. I am very shocked and surprised that the kids of the younger age are treated so badly and even the adults are not spared. Children who do not understand the harsh reality and the politics power play are dragged into the unnecessary stuff which has negative impact on them. We need to make sure that Muslim children should lead a happy and good life. Muslim mothers also should not be a victim of the same thing with their children. We need to make sure that the children should be inculcating  the right ideas. Bullying and Ragging is a serious issue. We also need to educate our children that everyone should be treated equally and should not be biased towards anyone. The author has done a commendable job in terms of writing and has explained what situations they go through.

Verdict

A very good book which is a must read. I personally recommend this book to all the parents and teachers of India, and really appreciate the work of the debut author.

Rating: 5*/5

PS: Thank you Juggernaut for this review copy.

Grab a copy from the link below:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/Mothering-Muslim-Nazia-Erum/dp/938622853X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519479830&sr=8-1&keywords=mothering+a+muslim

From Telecom to Baking,The exciting tale of Bhawana Kaka. The founder of Bakerz Kraft!

Bhawana Kaka is an MBA post graduate. She worked with Tata Docomo and quit after she was blessed with a cute little baby boy. Baking was her hobby and passion which started at home between family and friends which gave her an opportunity to experiment different bake recipes.

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1. How did you get started with baking? At what age did you bake your first cake?

I started my baking with Betty Crocker cake mixes when I was in college, which brings back some cherished memories.

Initially I used to bake to keep pampering my little one with little sweet goodies. I developed a passion for baking cakes about 5 years back when I was in Srilanka. A friend of mine used to bake special themed birthday cakes at home and I admired her work. The journey started from there with baking cupcakes, buns, truffle, doughnuts for my friends and family.

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2.How was your first baking experience?

Betty crocker cake premixes was a good to start with, but finally My first frosted cake experience came live in Nov 2015. I did my first proper frosted cake when we had moved  to Chennai from Srilanka in the year 2015.

It was a moist chocolate cake with a coverture chocolate ganache and pieces of chocolate KitKat surrounding the cake with lots of gems as toppings. This experience gave me the impetus to move ahead with baking as a passion.

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3. How did you learn baking?

I am a self-taught Baker. Thanks to the technology which gives us immense power to learn and experiment, one such tool is YouTube. I have learned a lot about baking, do’s and dont’s and what not. Later on, I joined various groups to explore more about baking.

4. When did you decide to become a professional baker and start your baking business? What was the inspiration behind the decision?

I am yet to work as a full fledged professional Baker. It is important to follow your passion beside being a full time Mom and I continued my baking at a slow pace. I loved the appreciation what  I received from my family and friends which gave me a boost to try out new bakes.

5. Please tell us about your baking company Bakerz Kraft.

I see the light at the end of this tunnel.  As of now I have a Facebook page from where I operate. You can visit me on www.facebook.com/bakerzkraft.

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6. What are some of the challenging cake ideas that you performed till date?

For a beginner like me, Every cake is a challenge as for every new cake I try to do better than previous one. Learning from each cake and using the experience for the next unique presentation while keeping the customer expectation in mind is a challenge. For me personally the biggest challenge was to set up a themed desert table for my son’s birthday party.

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7. What are some of the signature products of your company? Which one is your personal favorite?

We do lots of flavors, but my chocolate truffle (dark chocolate) is more in demand and people love it. Coming to my family personal favorite is blueberry cheese cake, it is unbelievably heaven.

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8. Being a baker, you must have had to overcome challenges. Please tell us about them.

From understanding the specific requirement to making a cake as demanded is the challenge for a home baker like me. Working with new flavors for the customers who trust us and give us free hand to work is also a challenge. The real challenge is to make unique quality cakes and sell in competition with the factory/bakery produced cakes.

9. Narrate some of your success stories.

The launch of Bakerzkraft page on Facebook to spread across my work was a personal success for me. It was a more of me coming into the baking world.

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10. What plans do you have to scale your business operations?

As of now no big plans. I try and work on small orders from friends, families and bake sales. I just bake and learn more in the process.

11. Your advice to those who wish to take up baking as a profession.

Baking as a profession is wonderful and stress relieving for me personally. People should definitely try their hands on it and never stop trying if you don’t get desired results. But if u seriously thinking to work as baker and you are passionate about it, you should learn the basics from a professional baker and then go ahead with your baking creativity.

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12. If you have had one wish.

There’s never an end to what one wishes for. One day I wish to make a life size cake.

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Bhawana Kaka: Founder of BakerzKraft

Facebook Link: www.facebook.com/bakerzkraft

Instagram Link: www.instagram.com/sonalibhagwani

 

 

 

 

 

From Media to Baking The motivating tale of Santula Shrivastava The founder of ‘I Dream of Cake’

 

Santula Shrivastava was in the media industry for 8 years before she ventured into baking. She has been supported by her parents and husband for her baking journey.

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  1. Hi Santula, welcome to the interview session of Annie’s Blog. To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself.

Hi! Thank you for the warm welcome. It’s such an honor for me to be featured in Annie’s Blog. I am Santula Shrivastava, Mother of 2 lovely kids and founder as well as cake artist of ‘I Dream of Cake’ where I bake homemade customized cakes. Prior to my career as a professional baker I had 8 years of experience in media.

2. How did you get started with baking? At what age did you bake your first cake?

My husband is a foodie with an unmistakable bias towards cakes and dessert. It was he who encouraged me to try my hand at baking. Little did I know back then that my fascination towards cakes would someday turn out to become my identity. I was 15 years old when I baked my first cake but that was a complete disaster.

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3. How was your first baking experience?

At the age of 15 during summer vacation I attempted to bake for the first time to surprise my family members. However it turned out to be a complete disaster. The output was a solid inedible stuff although it was disappointing but I didn’t lose hope.

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I have never had a full fledged baking course but yes it all started when I took introductory class from renowned home baker. I just watch lots of tutorials online, browse to get inspiration and practice more.

I am a perfectionist so I get down to the minutest detail of cake decorating until I am satisfied. But when I see the joy on my clients face specially kids it is worth all the pain and effort.

5. When did you decide to become a professional baker and start your baking business? What was the inspiration behind the decision?

I never had any plans of becoming a professional baker. I just continued baking and tried out ton of recipes and developed my very own recipes. I started off in mid 2016 to bake for friends and when I was confident about my work, I launched my Facebook page ‘I dream of cake’ from then on there is no looking back and with each passing day I seem to be getting deeper and deeper into it.

I am a person who needs constant creativity to keep me going. I love that no two days are the same and the feeling of waking up to do what I enjoy the most is just inspiring.

6. Please tell us about your baking company ‘I Dream of Cake’

It has been a dream come true for me. This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

I Dream of Cake is a home based bakery in Kolkata which I run single-handedly. At ‘I dream of cake’ I bake everything from scratch and I do not use any kind of preservatives etc. Ex: For orange flavor I use natural orange peel and for strawberry flavor I use strawberry fruit etc. It is all about making the best and quality cakes with the best ingredients.

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7. What are some of the challenging cake ideas that you performed till date?

I believe I am yet to get my most challenging order!! Some of interesting cakes I made are:

 

8: What are some of the signature products of your company? Which one is your personal favorite?

My signature flavors are:

Death by chocolate

Fudgy Brownie Cake

Neapolitan Cake

Eggless pineapple cake

I love theme cakes and that too specially for kids.It feels like I am reliving my own childhood. Every cake I do is my favorite because I connect with it in a very personal level.

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9. Being a baker, you must have had to overcome challenges. Please tell us about them.

According to me biggest challenge is the decoration and customization of the cake. It has to be visually good and that takes more effort.Another challenge is the weather in Kolkata that makes work messier with fondant.From my experience transporting a finished decorated cake is another big challenge in baking business.

While doing home baking, the funny thing is handling my kids who come between as testers.Thankfully I have super supportive husband.

10: Narrate some of your success stories.

In my couple of months journey as a home baker, I was fortunate and blessed to have clients who repeatedly come over and I consider this as my greatest success. There were 3 cakes which were bit tricky.

One was recreating a room into a cake. Client briefed me that the 19 year old birthday boy is fond of sports car, Jacqueline , gadgets , music and cake should reflect that. It was way too challenging for me to do but I was completely satisfied and extremely happy with the end result. I also got great review after they tasted the cake it was worth my effort.

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Another one was the last minute order of mermaid cake. The tricky and the most difficult part was the shell but I loved the way it turned out. I also got great review for the same.

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The last one was the farm animal theme cake…..it took me total 8 hours to make these cute characters.

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11.What plans do you have to scale your business operations?

First of all it’s more of a way of my life than business. It has been only couple of months since I have started and the growth has been encouraging since inception, orders has grown a lot and I hope to see this grow further. I am planning to organize workshops on cake decoration. Someday would love to have my very own cake boutique.

12. Your advice to those who wish to take up baking as a profession.

It is never too late to follow your passion. Keep trying new recipes and techniques.There is no short cut for cake decoration and keep asking people for honest feedback. Never give up! This is the motto what I follow in my life.

13. If you have had one wish.

I wish I could continue to strive my passion and travel around the world to learn different cake decoration techniques from experts. And yes, to be recognized as cake artist.

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Santula Shrivastava: Founder of I dream of cake by Santula.

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/idreamofcakebysantula

Book Review: Quarter of Life Crisis by Anshuk Attri

Product details

Paperback:304 pages

Publisher:Maple Press; First edition (1 April 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 819332482X

ISBN-13: 978-8193324820

Package Dimensions: 4 x 13.8 x 2 cm

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What is this book all about?

I am Prachur, a twenty-three year old guy from Shimla and I want to tell you my story. I don’t claim that my life is particularly worth reading, especially the first twenty one years. But things did become interesting by the time I came to finish my degree in engineering. At the time I was like every other guy of my age — pretentious and clueless about my future. I loathed the very idea of a mundane job. I felt that my lack of clarity about my future was my biggest problem. Imagine what I felt when I found out that Neera, my girlfriend, was pregnant! Quarter life Crisis is the story of my coming of age and my quest for happiness.

Review

The language was simple and easy to understand however the narration and the dialogue were confusing and I did not understand what the author wanted to convey. The cover of the book was not that great and appealing. The characters of Prachur, Neera and Innaya were portrayed well. The book was a bit boring and bit dragged. However the story was gripping and it kept me hooked till the end.

Verdict

If you like college romance then this book is the apt book for you. I would not recommend this book to anyone because it just made me feel like a regular story and nothing unique however it only kept me hooked till the end is because of the relationship status of Prachur and Neera.

Rating: 2*/5

PS: Thank you Pblishing for this copy.

Grab a copy from the link below:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/Quarter-Life-Crisis-Anshuk-Attri/dp/819332482X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1518938891&sr=8-3&keywords=quarter+of+life+crisis

 

Book Review: Key to My Soul by Probal Mazumder

Product details

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Maple Press (16 December 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 8193324803

ISBN-13: 978-8193324806

Package Dimensions: 20.6 x 14 x 1.6 cm

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What is this book all about?

When Siddharth, a lonely young man with a failed marriage gets a sudden phone-call from a mysterious person about his lost childhood lover, Hazel and learns that she is battling for life, he is shaken to the core. He also learns that she had left certain letters for him fifteen years back that never reached him. It disturbs him so much that he rushes to the hospital in his old hometown. There he discovers an eclipsed past buried in time that is riddled with dangerous surprises, trauma, twists of fate, sacrifices that exemplify true love and the real reasons for the tragic end of their childhood love story. But will Hazel ever open her eyes to see him.

Review

I have heard a lot about this book and that is when I decided to give it a shot. The language is easy to understand and the characters have been portrayed well.  The love story was unique and I personally enjoyed reading the letters and poems. This story also contains emotions, love. hatred, betrayal, pain , broken heart and many more. I also liked the love and serene  surrounding for Jamshedpur which was described so well. The only thing which I disliked is here I felt it was dragged initially unnecessarily.

Verdict

A good novel with a unique story line. If you are looking for a unique love story book this is one of the books which I would recommend to everyone.

Rating: 4*/5

PS: Thank you Pblishing for this copy.

Grab a copy from the link below:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/Key-My-Soul-Probal-Mazumdar/dp/8193324803/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518371439&sr=8-1&keywords=key+to+my+soul

Book Review: In search of Love by Piyushi Dhir

Product details

Paperback: 140 pages

Publisher: Maple Press (22 August 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 8193271122

ISBN-13: 978-8193271124

Package Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.8 x 1 cm

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What is this book all about?

Ayesha is a young travel-writer, who has been stumbling along in her search for love. Nursing a broken heart, she decides to visit her parents in Ahmedabad for a short reprieve. Even as she struggles to resign herself to a marriage ‘arranged’ by her parents, she runs into their neighbor’s attractive son. Parth is more than happy to spend time in his own company, in the comforts of his ‘resort’. His plan to take some time off before he plunges head long into his career lands him in front of a lovely girl. The pain in her eyes belies her warm smile and he finds himself irresistibly drawn to her. Yet he knows that this cannot end well, for any intimacy with her is forbidden. Fate plays a cruel trick with Ayesha when it ends her search for love in a cul-de-sac, a point of no return. Ayesha is distraught when she realizes that the one person she has finally fallen in love with, is not hers to be had. They part ways with memories that will return to haunt them and questions that will remain unanswered, until another tryst, seven years later on the other side of the world.

Review

I have been extremely busy at work and that leaves me hardly any time to do any reading. I wanted to read a short read as I have been lazing around the whole day and that is when I picked up this book. The language is easy to understand and the story is fast paced. I loved the choice of words that was used and also the poems which were written so well.  The siblings relationship and friendship has been described well. I also loved where the parents did not pressurize their daughter to get married and the characters were portrayed well which impressed me the most. The only thing which I did not like about this book is that where Parth is casual and starts calling Ayesha as baby and girl.

Verdict

Love, pain, relationships and emotions have been described so well. If you are looking for a short and good read This is one book which I can recommend to everyone.

Rating: 4*/5

PS: Thank you Pblishing for this copy.

Grab a copy from the link below:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/Search-Love-Piyushi-Dhir/dp/8193271122/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517761771&sr=1-1&keywords=In+search+of+love

Flipkart: https://www.flipkart.com/in-search-of-love/p/itmehs77tv4ydgyn?pid=9788193271124&srno=s_1_3&otracker=search&lid=LSTBOK97881932711241GZ3GN&fm=SEARCH&iid=8ab34695-09ad-4262-8327-40668e443d27.9788193271124.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page&ppn=Search%20Page&ssid=ojjqcvegqo0000001517761813140&qH=8b9ad1f6495639f4