Friday, July 18, 2014

Author Interview #2: Dr. Sandeep Huilgol and Santosh Avvannavar

A few months ago, a book called "Second Heart" was published. It was written in order to create awareness among the general public about a very important organ, the kidneys. Kidneys are referred to as the second heart of the human body and hence the name of the book. 

I had an opportunity to interview the authors of the book, Dr. Sandeep Huilgol and Santosh Avvannavar. I am sharing the interview below.
Santosh and Sandeep
1. First of all congratulations to both of you for your book “Second Heart”. What made you to write a book regarding kidneys?

Sandeep and Santosh: Thanks Natasha for your warm wishes. We are privileged to get a good review from you.

Sandeep: As far as your question is concerned, Kidneys diseases are very common but the awareness about this issue is very less among the general public. Most of the patients which we come across are because of neglect on the part of the patient and this comes out of lack of awareness. After seeing such patients I felt the need to do something to bring about awareness. And if you look at many other disease conditions like lets say HIV, common man knows about this a lot and this has been possible by repeated awareness campaigns. So we thought we will begin awareness campaign by doing our bit. What do you say Santosh?

Santosh: Thanks Natasha, the idea come over a cup of coffee while talking to Sandeep one evening. Although we didn't know have complete clarity to begin but were determined to work for the cause for kidney issues.


2. Are the stories in your book based on your patients and acquaintances?


Sandeep: Most of the stories are an inspiration from real patients although the fiction part is work of creativity by Santosh.

3. How did you both come together for the book?

Sandeep: Santosh will tell you more about it.

Santosh: Sandeep was my school junior at St.Anne's Lions High School. As I mentioned, idea happened over a cup of coffee. I had to visit his work place and talk to him on regular basis to get inputs for technical jargons and their meaning to put it in the right context.


4. Readers are definitely going to learn about issues regarding kidney ailments through your book. How are you making sure that more people are reading your book?

Santosh: This is a million dollar question! I hope there was sure recipe towards it. Home and friends are the best place to begin. Although we are making efforts writing to various doctors, pharma companies, continue to conduct book reading session at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune at moment. We are also doing seeding (free give away and competition) and participating in online forum of kidney related issues. We are also sending the production houses to see if someone is interested to pick to make a short movie or commercial movie. I see the last story 'Shalom' has a potential to make a movie, as it has all typical Bollywood potboiler. The book has started to appear in some local stores in Karnataka, hope to see it across other states as well.

5. What would you advise a regular person like me so that I give due importance to my kidneys?
Sandeep: Most important of this regular health check up, that is how you can get to know if you have kidney disease. Kidney diseases are very silent most of the times until you reach an end stage when you start getting the signs and symptoms of it.

Santosh: (smiles) read the book and you will get to know most of it.


6. Do you think a national campaign for kidney awareness among the general public will go a long way?

Sandeep: Definitely yes. Not only the general public, even the doctors are to be educated a lot. Since it is a specialty subject at undergraduate level in MBBS the knowledge acquired is very less. Even that has to be targeted. Santosh from common public point of view what do you say?. 

Santosh: I see analogy with HIV, couple of decades ago HIV was underfloor but over a period of time people have started to talk about it, accept the challenge and movies are made on this line to promote. I assume this is going to happen with Kidney issues as well in near future.


7. Are there any plans of similar projects?

Santosh: Yes, it's still at nascent stage. We hope to continue to have series on kidney topic.

8. Would you like to give any message to your readers?

Santosh: 'As much you love your heart, love your kidney the same way.' Both beats for same reason! That's make our book tagline, 'First Heart Beats for Love, Second Heart Beats for Life.'

Sandeep: First of all many thanks for our readers for your love, we have been able to reach at least a few. The target of reaching many is not possible by only a few interested. Every one whoever acquires knowledge should pass on to others and make them aware about it.


Thanks Natasha for the opportunity, and it was nice interacting with you! God bless.
I have already reviewed the book "Second Heart". It is a appreciable step towards creating awareness about such a important organ as the kidneys. I wish the authors all the best for this book and all their books to come. I would also like to thank them for answering my questions.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Book Review #14: Dear Wife, Your Husband is not a Superhero

Name: Dear Wife, Your Husband is not a Superhero
Author: Santosh Avvannavar, Jacob Monsy and Ruchita Kumar Shah
No. of Pages: 78
Genre: Fiction/Self-help
Publisher: Aravind Enterprise (www.a4dable.in)
Price: Rs. 80/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
“Weddings have logic, but Marriages have only emotions”

The book encompasses 14 different heart touching episodes with simple narration. These are partly based on true stories about individual experiences. A must book for people to turn ‘wedding’ into ‘successful marriage.’

About the author:

Santosh Avvannavar : Santosh started his career as a consultant and Soft Skills Trainer. He did his college education from NITK, Surathkal. He functioned as a researcher at University of Eindhoven, University of Twente and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was also the Placement President, while he was working at IISc, Bangalore. He has over 25 publications of mostly research documents that have found their place in National & International Journals. Also, he has done 16 conference papers and regularly functions as a writer of different articles for a national and worldwide daily paper.

He is an advisor for different organizations. Throughout his personal time he composes his thoughts on a website, namely www.amritafoundation.wordpress.com and ventures into fiction writing. He delivered seminars and training to more than 33,000 people in India and abroad over the span of 7 years.

WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE BOOK:
Cover: The cover spells humour.

Writing: Simple. But there are several grammatical and typographical errors.

Story: The book actually comprises of 14 situations, rather than stories. And at the end of each episode there is advice and counseling. Looking at the cover I was expecting humour with lessons.  The book is a kind of advisory for married couples but aimed primarily at wives. But I was wrong. I finished the book in one sitting and didn't really enjoy it.

I give "Dear Wife, Your Husband is not a Superhero" 2 stars on a scale of 5.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Review #13: Second Heart

Name: Second Heart
Author: Dr. Sandeep G. Huilgol & Santosh Avvannavar
No. of Pages: 78
Genre: Fiction/Short Stories
Publisher: Aravind India (www.a4dable.in)
Price: Rs. 80/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
The book encompasses five five different heart touching stories with simple narration to bring an awareness about the misconception about kidney (referred as Second Heart) issues among general public. These are partly based on true stories about individual experiences. The book attempts on non-technical handling of a technical issue through emotional stories.


About the author:
Dr. Sandeep Huilgol : Sandeep did his medical schooling from Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubli and he underwent his medical training at Mallya Hospital a leading super specialty hospital in Bengaluru. During his medical training, he developed a special interest in nephrology, which deals with kidney diseases. After having spent a year in the Nephrology department to complete his Masters at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom he returned back to India to undergo further training in Nephrology and transplantation at Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore.

He has published articles on kidney diseases in National daily and an international magazine apart from academic publications and presentations. He is also part of an initiative, a journal that is trying to create a platform for the resident to publish academic articles. During his Nephrology training, he has come across many patients with various problems other than medical that were more troublesome than kidney diseases. This prompted him to come up with an idea to create awareness among the general public about the matterand he has given several talks to achieve this objective with which he is not satisfied yet and aims to reach a larger audience in future.

Santosh Avvannavar : Santosh started his career as a consultant and Soft Skills Trainer. He did his college education from NITK, Surathkal. He functioned as a researcher at University of Eindhoven, University of Twente and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was also the Placement President, while he was working at IISc, Bangalore. He has over 25 publications of mostly research documents that have found their place in National & International Journals. Also, he has done 16 conference papers and regularly functions as a writer of different articles for a national and worldwide daily paper.

He is an advisor for different organizations. Throughout his personal time he composes his thoughts on a website, namely www.amritafoundation.wordpress.com and ventures into fiction writing. He delivered seminars and training to more than 33,000 people in India and abroad over the span of 7 years.

WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE BOOK:
Cover: The cover is an illustration of a heart and kidneys. The covers reveals that the book has something to do with the medical field.

Writing: Simple.

Story: The stories are woven around characters who suffer from some kind of kidney ailment. Each story ends with a doctor's note advising the reader about the kidney problems.
The book is written and published primarily as a creative way to generate awareness about the importance of kidneys and the issues concerned with kidney ailments. After reading it I learned what can affect kidneys in a negative way, what can be the symptoms of a kidney ailment and about issues regarding kidney donors. It is a quick read as it consists of just fives stories. The stories are plain and uncomplicated, written not for the purpose of literature but to create medical awareness among the general public.

I give "Second Heart" 3 stars on a scale of 5.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book Review #12: Unsung Songs

Name:Unsung Songs
Author: Khushi Jivan
No. of Pages: 96
Genre: Poetry/Lyric Poetry
Publisher: Virgin Leaf Books (An Imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.)
Price: Rs. 125/-
Published in: 2013

The blurb of the book says:

Khushi’s is not just a collection of poetic thoughts worded together; hers is the song of a little robin on your window, the cuckoo in her nest. Sweet, melancholic, longing, warming still the cockles of the heart… With a surreal sense to these expressions ‘unsung songs’ is a glimpse of her journey so far on the long road of soul-searching. Come feel serenaded by this bouquet of compositions, poetry born not from thoughts but feelings, not the mind but the heart.

About the author:
On her journey of self exploration Jivan Khushi stumbled upon her ability to receive poetry from a space she had just begun to experience in her meditations. Writing for her is a sacred phenomenon and one of the innumerable blessings she has encountered on her path so far. She lives in the lush green of Koregaon Park, Pune where she still continues to practice her meditations and when she is not working she loves to endlessly watch the sky, hear the cuckoos sing, witness the bird on its wings and waits for that moment that will leave her overwhelmed, awe struck and so helpless that she can do nothing but write.

WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE BOOK:
Cover: The cover of the book has a vintage look and is quite pretty.

Writing: Simple and lucid.

Poems:
The book is a collection of 68 poems. Actually it is 67 poems as one poem called "Moments" is printed twice. Some of the poems are quite nice while I found several others to be quite immature. There were others which were partly good and partly alright. The language and flow of the poems is simple and plain and not at all flowery and complicated. Few of the compositions which I liked are:
  • As Never Before: It talks about death.
  • Say It All: It talks about unspoken words.
  • Love
  • Yours and Mine
  • The Long Song: I liked the imagination of the poet about how the sea longs for the moon.
  • Tree: It talks about a tree which was planted to be used later.
  • With A Silent Heart
  • Miracles of a Rising Sun
On the whole, the poems are not extraordinary but quite decent.

I give "Unsung Songs" 3 stars on a scale of 5.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Book Review # 11: Metamorphing

Name: Metamorphing
Author: Kunal Pancholi
No. of Pages: 250
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Frog Books (An Imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 225/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:

28TH APRIL, 2000: Flight No. 9x4876 bound to Srinagar has crash landed into the Everest Base camp. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the flight mysteriously went off the radar for few minutes and missed its landing. All passengers are feared dead… except for three bodies that are yet to be recovered. 
8TH DECEMBER, 2050: This, without doubt is the most gruesome murder in recent times. Early this morning, an unidentified woman was found mutilated at the western gates of the abandoned Victoria Terminus Station in Mumbai. Authorities report her head was … well … semi-decapitated and she was drained of all her blood. The shocking part - the crime scene was devoid of any signs of blood spatter… 
ROHAN: He was shorter than the shortest girl in school; he had to be ahead in the game! 
RUDRA: A man without a past, coaxed into a murder investigation; will he ever grasp the true nature of the crime?
A thrilling tale about two men bound by an untraceable yet undeniable fate - One running away from his past, another unaware of his own.

About the author:
Kunal Pancholi graduated from SRCC Delhi in 2001. He completed his MBA from NMIMS Mumbai in 2006. Previously, in his professional career he has worked with banks, co-founded READO – an audio book publishing company and done a marketing stint with a film production company in Mumbai. Currently he heads marketing at a technology start-up. He lives in Chennai with his wife, parents, sister and grand-mom. Interact with him Email: kunal.pancholi@gmail.com Twitter: @kunalpancholi Website: www.kunalpancholi.com

WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE BOOK:
Cover: The cover is dark and foretells that the book is going to be about suspense, crime and thrill.

Writing: The language is easy and engaging.

Story: 
The story is narrated in two timelines alternatively. Rohan narrates it from the early 2000s and Rudra narrates in the year 2050. Rohan survives a plane crash but has no recollection of the previous five years. He narrates how his life takes on from there. Rudra is a mysterious man who has no recollection of his past. But the fates of Rohan and Rudra are on intertwined and unsual.

I enjoyed reading the book. The author has more or less kept the elements of suspense and mystery in the right portions. He has quite nicely led up to the climax of book where the suspense is revealed. He has succeeded to keep doses of mystery alive till the last page.  Although I guessed the connection between the two men well before the climax, I liked the way the author took forward the story. The only portion where I felt the story dragged slightly was the portion narrating Rohan's stage shows.

Overall the book is a cool read.

I give "Metamorphing" 4 stars on a scale of 5.