Book Review: How I braved Anu aunty and co-founded a million dollar company!

How I braved Anu aunty and co-founded a million dollar company

How I braved Anu aunty and co-founded a million dollar company…Awesome book!

I have been reading a spate of books this past week, but, none as interesting and inspiring as Varun Agarwal’s semi-autobiographical book “How I braved Anu Aunty and co-founded a million dollar company”.

Now, the first thing that attracted me to the book was ofcourse, the title and its impressive (yet imposing) cover picture of Anu aunty with her huge red bindi. It helped even more that I knew of Varun Agarwal before I bought the book, as his Youtube video has more than a million views.

Varun warns us at the outset, that he isn’t a writer, but, he writes better than a lot of so-called authors out there. I believe that he defies categorization. Maybe because he was speaking from his heart, about things that happened in his life, about dreams that he is truly passionate about.

If you are a person who is merely taking life as it comes, unsure of whether to follow dreams or just earning a few thousand rupees to keep the society happy..this book is for you. This book is all about believing in your dreams, just doing the things that you love to do, and the courage to believe and follow your dreams till the very last ounce of faith.

This book will make you laugh for the tortures that he undergoes at the hands of Anu aunty, that is so believable, it makes an instant connect. You will be floored by the author’s passion to follow his dream (starting an e-commerce company, Alma Mater) born in a pub, in an inebriated state (“All great business ideas are born when you are drunk”).

A note of caution: Read this book cautiously as it will surely make you think twice about the monotonous 9 to 5 job that you pursue…who knows you might end up quitting your job, and living your legend.

This book defies ratings, as it is a must-read, for anyone who wants to follow their dreams and for others who wish for a breezy read with a hot cup of coffee on a lazy sunday afternoon.

Varun Agarwal, thank you…for making me believe. In myself.

(Originally published on goodreads.com)

My little fort . . .

The moment I was born,

He caressed me in his arms,

Crying, kissing my tiny forehead,

Proclaiming to the world –

“Oh, my beautiful angel!”

He was my hero – and I didn’t look beyond.

My life was him, and his life was me.

 

He held my tiny fingers and led me to kindergarten,

He brushed my hair and sang me lullabies,

He made me toast and gave me baths,

He took me to church and brought me whatever I asked.

He was my hero – and I didn’t look beyond.

My life was him, and his life was me.

 

As the years fell away like the late winter dawn,

His caresses grew more loving, more caring.

It wasn’t kisses to my forehead anymore, but kisses to the cheek.

His embrace longer, like two bodies destined to meet.

The pinches to my hips, the cupping of my lips,

He still loved dressing me up,

But more so – he loved dressing me down.

He was my hero – and I didn’t look beyond.

My life was him, and his life was me.

 

His kisses to the cheeks spilt over to the lips now,

His caresses almost entirely to my bosom and nowhere beyond,

He hugged me from behind, and bit my neck, in jest, he said,

He made his fingers into little soldiers, and ran it through my thighs,

The fort is being attacked, take cover, he cries.

He tears the veils and pledges his soldiers to battle,

Take cover in that tiny hole, hide like a herd of cattle.

And, so the little soldiers took cover in the fort,

In my fort.

“You have the most beautiful fort in the world” he said.

That made me giggle.

He was my hero – and I didn’t look beyond.

My life was him, and his life was me.

 

He died when I was 10,

I was unconsolable;

I went for nights crying my heart to cinder,

I tried joining him – but, never to flames could I surrender.

So, I lived on – for him.

Twenty now, and I know just how,

My little fort wasn’t breached anymore,

In my voiceless silence, I cried,

My soul torn to shreds, my body left in tatters,

By the man I loved the most.

Once upon a time.

You don’t need to try . . . too hard.

You don't have to try . . . too hard

You don’t have to try . . . too hard

I’ve been a firm non-believer of make-up. Well, girls might be of the opinion that it tends to make you look good, if that’s the case . . . well, great! But, there’s another section (of men and women) who put on makeup only so that the society accepts them. So, here’s my question . . . why should we try too hard to look good…for others? Is all the makeup that you put on, the lipgloss, the rouge, the kajal, the mascara, the eyeliner, the fake eyelashes…for the society? To all the women who wear makeup, try too hard to impress and fall in line with the “standards” of the society, just know that . . . you are gorgeous even without it.

Women of today are amazingly beautiful as they are. Financially stable, articulate, well-read, passionate, intense and fantastic. Gone are the days of trying to make ends meet, gone are the days when you had to look after the kitchen at home and nothing else, gone are the days that you need to accept the bullshit that your boyfriend/husband gives you because its the social protocol. Today, women are achievers, astronauts, nobel prize winners, pulitzer awardees, CEOs and what not!

And, so there’s no need for you to dress up, doll up, and turn on your “sexy” because people can look at you, boys can cast glances at you and drool over your mini-skirt or your clear, acne-hidden skin. Beyond the artificial enhancements, the pain you go through to match every shoe to your dress, match every accessory to your shoes, match every lipstick to your accessory, be presentable. Just don’t try too hard. The society is just plain stupid. It will never stop criticizing.

I firmly believe, as do so many men and mothers out there. Girls are beautiful, just out of bed, no makeup, their hair crazily strewn, skin wrinkled, acnes, and rashes included.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t wear makeup. Simply be you. If you do wear make-up, wear it because you want to not because you feel like you have to.

You are beautiful as you are. Period.

Love me forever . . .

Grief

 

I saw her first in the holy month of Ramadan,

Veils covered her in whole;

But, I fell for her eyes – the twinkle, the innocence

Left me in a trance – I lost myself;

With every twirl of her eyebrows,

My heart skipped a beat – I was in love.

“Excuse me” she said,

A magical, silken voice . . . I gaped back at her;

I knew then…she was my future.

I wanted no one else.

And as the temple bell chimed, and the azaan read out,

I joined my palms, and she spread them apart – in prayer to the Gods.

She was the one. The only one.

We meandered  through life together,

Holding hands and whispering promises

In each other’s ears – we will stay forever together.

Main tumse pyaar karti hun – she said,

Ana he bik – I said,

Languages weren’t a barrier;

Religions weren’t a barrier;

We were in love. And nothing else mattered.

 

 

Beyond our interwined souls, trouble brewed,

But we knew nothing of it –

We made love to each other;

Our souls, our bodies – lost within one other.

Outrage reared its ugly head a while later,

The religious fanatics, weilded swords and sickles

And threatened us with death;

A hindu and a muslim together?

Yaaa Allah, hey bhagwan, never ever.

But, we knew – we were either both or nobody;

So, we ran, we ran and we ran.

We took shelter in dilapidated huts; we crossed states –

Everyday was a nightmare – everyday left like our last;

She conceived on the run – And, that kept us together;

Laughter and smiles forgotten – fears and dread and tears;

We wilted, we cracked, we shattered, but –

It was not two now – It was to be three;

And so we prayed our prayers to Allah and Shiva

And they heard our cry –

The fanatics caught up with us.

They were merciless.

They laughed…mirthless – They stared down upon us – remorseless

I cry and I plead and I beg,

Mrtyuh Muksee yam amritaah –

Save me from death, O Shiva!

Allah humma ha tad’arnee –

Save my child, O Allah.

I shielded her from them;

But, they struck me down – They kicked my balls and broke my nose;

and with one lightning moment – they sliced the sickle through her neck;

Allahu Akbar . . . they screamed

Om nama shivaya . . . they screamed

And then they left – sickle-less – The mirthless laughter still hanging in the air

Like the smell of dead souls;

“Behead us all” I screamed after them;

“Behead your gods too”.

There she lies – beheaded; like a goat after slaughter.

Her veins spliced – Blood smeared across the abode of the Gods;

Bismillah hir Rahman nir rahim

I cried, my tears split across the barren stretch of soul;

My heart withered – as I held her head in my hands,

Just her head – beautiful as ever.

Her body was lying inches away -

Gargling blood and intestines.

I held her beheaded body in my hands

And I cried and I cried and I cried;

I ran my fingers through her stomach;

The wails of my unborn baby can never be heard;

I felt a touch on my fingers – I made to move my hand away

And there – on her stomach – the imprint of a baby’s hand;

My baby’s hands.

Let you not be born into this world of demons, my little one;

One day, the world will be a better place for you;

And I promise – I will have you then. With her again.

And as a hindu or a muslim but never both;

I brandished the sickle they left behind –

And I cut my throat apart –

I’m coming to you my beloved;

Fill this void that tears my heart apart –

Tere Bin Khaali Aaja, Khali Pan Mein

Tere Bin Khaali Aaja, Khali Pan Mein

Blood Stains

Blood Stains

How will you hold your wife’s arms,

Wipe sweat from your face after a hard day’s work,

Cajol your infant to a dreamless sleep,

Or, hug your friend after years of untogetherness,

How will you eat your food in peace -

Aren’t your hands stained with blood?

 

How will you feed your five-year old –

Place flowers on your wife’s hair?

How will you embrace your father with love,

Or, touch the feet of your mother,

How will you raise your arms in prayer to the Lord –

Aren’t your hands stained with blood?

Death is the only way . . .

Eye of God

Who are you, God?

How do I reach you, if not by death?

I closed my eyes in prayer,

And God answered,

Death is the only way.

Death of ego, of possessiveness, of hatred,

Death of doubts, of vanity, of scheming,

Death of chaos, death of your identity, and everything else.

.

.

.
Death is the only way.

To an Eternity . . . In Love ♥

As the last leaf falls from the branches of time,
Drifting slowly, agonizingly, towards nothingness
A heart emptied of love; a soul dead from pain.
I wait in vain for a false dawn – unbecoming,
An unmanifest of emotions, of love.
The earth, moist and tender, caresses me in its embrace,
The rain reminding me of the drop of life left
Within the obscure walls of my heart,
Beating for a love that’s already come by and past
Far, far away. ♥

In Love with You . . . Always and Forever ♥

Love

Waiting an Eternity

Quiet my heart, cry your tears in seclusion.

Rejoice; for today the love of your life will be married.

“Be the best man at my wedding, Vishnu” you said, nonchalantly;

And that was the knife to my heart; I died.

 

Do you remember at all, my angel?

The years of love we shared together,

The dreams of togetherness beyond seven lifetimes,

The castles of unconditional love, the stories of eternity

Etched on the walls of our beating souls?

 

I still ache for you, my love.

I yearn for a glimpse of you – surreal;

Across the floor, I notice

My angel with her hubby, happy and content;

Dressed in a resplendent saree;

Your hair braided till your waist,

Your voice, divine and enchanting;

Your face, the little mole on your lips,

Your deep blue eyes, your heavenly smell;

You laugh, and you smile,

And he kisses you gently on your cheeks,

I feel my tears burn my soul to cinder;

And, I move, in haste, to wipe them away,

Lest you see them;

 

My soul is missing you much, my love.

I wish for a single whiff of your heavenly breath on me;

A single strand of your long, luscious hair to brush past my face once more;

The music that lulls my heart to tears;

The imprints of your kiss, the echo of your whispers of love;

Will survive within me – long after I pass.

Erase me from your heart, my love.

Never were you mine;

 

Come to me, oh beautiful death,

Embrace me in your heavenly arms;

Let my soul be stripped of life,

And my heart be filled with eternal love. 

To an Eternity . . . In Love. ♥

Eternal Love

Eternal Love

 

As the last leaf falls from the branches of time,
Drifting slowly, agonizingly, towards nothingness
A heart emptied of love; a soul dead from pain.
I wait in vain for a false dawn – unbecoming,
An unmanifest of emotions, of love.
The earth, moist and tender, caresses me in its embrace,
The rain reminding me of the drop of life left
Within the obscure walls of my heart,
Beating for a love that’s already come by and past. ♥