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Abhinav Agarwal's Profile

Customer Reviews: 343
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Abhinav Agarwal "AA" RSS Feed (Bangalore, India)
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LifeProof NÜÜD iPad Air 2 Waterproof Case - Retail Packaging - BLACK
LifeProof NÜÜD iPad Air 2 Waterproof Case - Retail Packaging - BLACK
Price: $96.48
14 used & new from $60.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Bulky, but effectivve, October 10, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This may well be overkill for some, and sine I do not take my ipad out in the rain or near swimming pools or into or near bathtubs, this is certainly a case of overkill. However, the value in encasing the tablet in something that can withstand being dunked in water for a few minutes is nothing to be sneezed at. I found the bulk and the heft a bit daunting, and which is why I don't use this case with my ipad.


The Gita For Children (IN)
The Gita For Children (IN)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, there is a need for one more book on the Gita. This one fits a particular niche quite well., September 9, 2015
Yes, there is a need for one more book on the Gita. This one fits a particular niche quite well.

On the one hand you have over-simplified adaptations of the Bhagavad Gita that throw in a sentence or two from the text but fail to either capture the essence or its substance, leaving the young reader none the wiser at the end. On the other hand you have scholarly translations with detailed commentaries that bring a life's worth of study to bear on the subject, are a joy to read, but are ipso-facto mostly out of reach of most children, unless assisted by an adult. Then there are books that seek to bridge this gap, like Swami Chinmayananda's "Gita For Children" - but even that is more a parent's reading companion than a book meant to be read by children.

Roopa Pai's book, "The Gita For Children", therefore fills a much-needed gap. It's a book written for children, makes even the difficult sections of the Gita accessible to children, and which patiently explores some of the knottier questions that arise when reading the profound work. Actual shlokas from Gita are also present - the most obvious ones are all there - but used sparingly.

Rather than do a shloka-by-shloka translation, followed by an exposition - which would have turned the book too voluminous and off-putting for its core audience - Roopa Pai takes a chapter-by-chapter approach, interspersing these with shlokas from the Gita and with her own takes and "lessons".

One of the knottiest problems for many readers of the Gita has been the whole concept of "dharma", especially when seen in the context of what is arguably the most famous shloka in the world - as Roopa writes: "If the Gita's philosophy were reduced to one shloka... it would be Shloka 47 of the second chapter of the Gita."

Making this understandable to adults is a challenge, and has been for millennia. Part of the blame must lie with faulty translations that conflate and equate "dharma" with "duty", or overly simplistic translations that make it sound like the doer should not "expect" or "worry" about the fruits of action. I want to reproduce some extracts from the book that talk to this shloka and the concept of "dharma":
"For instance, don't expect to top the class just because you studied really hard, or get disappointed when you don't. In fact, according to the Gita, performing an action (studying) because you want a certain result (to come first) is completely flawed action; the right way is to study simple because that is your work, your duty as a student. ...
The trick, really, is:
1. To never perform you action with an eye on their results...
2. To never neglect your duty...
3. To treat your work as your sacred duty..."

The examples used are such that children will relate to, and explained without rushing through, or into. I expect children reading, and nodding their heads as (hopefully) the import of the message sinks in.

Similarly, there are examples that children and young adults will relate to when she talks of the importance of discipline in the context of karma-yoga. In-between these in-betweens, she also manages to inject some food for thought for children (and hopefully, adults alike). Like, the concept of 10 avatars, and how the order of these avatars "actually holds the secret to the evolution of man."

Or when talking about seasons, she brings up a very interesting point, that "The Indian New Year is not 1 January, when everything is cold and asleep and dead, but somewhere between end-March and early April, at the beginning of spring, when the sun has chased away the last of the winter chill and new life is bursting out of everywhere. In other words, at a far more logical time to celebrate new beginnings than 1 January."

Pages from Roopa Pai's book
If one had to go digging for quibbles - and I can be quite a fastidious digger - then well, yes, at least one reviewer took offence at the "flippant" tone. I am not sure I would call the tone flippant, because the matter is covered with requisite seriousness. Second, you cannot adopt the dry tone of an academic tome and still expect children to be attracted to the book - it simply does not work that way. Some of the dialogue between Partha and Keshava is certainly presented in some instances as light banter, but much of the special bond of friendship between Nara and Narayana comes through nonetheless. What I would however call out as quite unnecessary is her succumbing to the occasional temptation to secularize the text! I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to spot those few instances!

Actually, an important question would, or should be: if this is a book for children, how can I -an adult, a middle-aged adult at at that - sit in judgment on the book's success or failure? Valid point, and this is my response.
First, I read the book, alone, on my own. Second, after having read the book - and liked it - I started reading it out to my children. It helped that they had a better than average knowledge of the Mahabharata; I didn't have to explain the context of the Gita, nor the characters, nor the ending, and so on. Having read half the book to them, I can say, judging from their responses and interest, that the book meets the expectations of its intended audience.

Therefore, parents - go forth and share this book with your children. Read it - with them, to them, without them - any which way. You cannot go wrong with the Gita! A lifetime may not be enough to appreciate fully the Gita, but the sooner one starts, the better!

(Roopa Pai is also a children's writer, and wrote the eight-book series, "Taranauts", so she knows a thing or two about writing for children!)

Disclosure: This review is based on a gift copy of the book.


AT-A-GLANCE Weekly / Monthly Planner / Appointment Book, Plan,Write,Remember, Academic Year, July 2015-June 2016, 7.5 x 10 Inch Page Size (70-7957-05)
AT-A-GLANCE Weekly / Monthly Planner / Appointment Book, Plan,Write,Remember, Academic Year, July 2015-June 2016, 7.5 x 10 Inch Page Size (70-7957-05)
Offered by Old South Sales
Price: $24.95

5.0 out of 5 stars The academic calendar makes it that much more useful!, June 27, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The planner is light and compact which makes it easy to carry. The cover is a durable leather and the set up of the planner allows for you to plan out your day hour by hour which is convenient because not many planners allow for you to plan out your hours and yet have it be an academic planner. They also allow for you to plan out your month with a monthly calendar. Overall, the planner is well organized and has a lot of room for notes and scheduling.


Lipton Liquid Iced Tea Mix, Lemon 2.43 oz
Lipton Liquid Iced Tea Mix, Lemon 2.43 oz
Price: $8.44
4 used & new from $7.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but you need to try out different serving sizes to get the flavour you want, June 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The suggested serving size causes the drink to be more of a diluted iced tea rather than the bottle of iced tea you expect to have. I always add about three drops to get the full flavor. Other than that the drink tastes like iced tea, although it would be nice if there were more lemon in the mix. Overall, I don't think this tastes quite different compared to other flavored drops.


Ancient India (Ancient Civilizations)
Ancient India (Ancient Civilizations)
by Rebecca Rowell
Edition: Library Binding
Price: $35.64
37 used & new from $18.94

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage, to put it mildly, June 12, 2015
How would you feel about a "scholar" and his/her book describing maths using only Roman numerals, or someone attempting to call his or her book a treatise on science and talking only about creationism and intelligent design?
Extend that analogy to India, and this book fits the bill. It is so bizarre in its conception of ancient India and timelines as to make you wonder whether deliberate effort went in to make the book so utterly, terribly wrong.

A book that titles itself "Ancient India" chooses to begin with Buddhism - a sect of Hinduism that grew 2500 years ago, yet somehow overlooks the two thousand years of history before that.

A book that in a moment of vivid imagination uses like "Vedic Hinduism" and "Brahminism" and conjures up a distinction between the two. The book is at its wits ends as to how to define the two, yet chooses to make a distinction between the two.

Given archaeological and literary evidence that the Vedas - considered the defining texts of the Hindus - were composed as early as 3000 BCE, it takes a feat of colossal ignorance for the author to date the "Vedic civilization" to 1700 BCE, and which, in her words, lasted "until 500 BCE." You have to read between the lines to understand that as per the author's understanding, Buddhism supplanted this "Vedic" civilization! The author finds it too small a point to mention that the Harappan civilization spanned an area of more that one million square kilometers, supported millions of inhabitants, and was spread over more than three thousand settlements along the Indus and now-dried Saraswati River - making it not only the oldest but also the largest ancient civilization, larger than the Egyptian, larger than the Mesopotamian, larger than any other.

Some light is shed on the dark hole of ignorance that the book is when you realize that the author has zero knowledge of geography or history. Instead, she "has a master’s degree in publishing and writing."

It is not fair to blame American children for their ignorance of world history when such awful books such as this are what they are subjected to.


Sharpie Permanent Markers, Ultra Fine Point, 5-Pack, Assorted 2015 Colors (1919848)
Sharpie Permanent Markers, Ultra Fine Point, 5-Pack, Assorted 2015 Colors (1919848)
Price: $4.99
4 used & new from $4.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Water resistant, great to use - would have preferred a blue or green though instead of two blues, June 11, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Sharpies are water resistant, as the package said they would be. The orange, blues, and violet are more vibrant than the average Sharpie, but the pink seems to be watered down and mellowed. The Sharpies themselves are smooth and glide along surfaces well. Since these come in a pack of five and are limited edition, it would be nice if instead of two shades of blue, there were a green marker or maybe a yellow marker. Overall, the Sharpies have great colors and are easy to use.


Case Logic TBC-413 Slim Action Camera Case (Black)
Case Logic TBC-413 Slim Action Camera Case (Black)
Offered by America's Distributor
Price: $21.03
15 used & new from $15.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Great compact case from Case Logic., May 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Case Logic has had great quality products, and this one is no exception. It is sized right and with the right pockets both inside and outside the case. Nice zippers which work smoothly. A handle outside makes is easy to carry and hold. Good padding, nice materials, nice feel.


Contigo Glacier Stainless Water Bottle, 20-Ounce, Monaco
Contigo Glacier Stainless Water Bottle, 20-Ounce, Monaco
Price: $16.99
6 used & new from $11.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy, slender and keeps water cold for a long time, May 11, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First off, I'm very pleased with the looks of this water bottle. It is very sturdy, tall, slender in size and fits well in the car's cup holder. The stainless steel body is BPA free. It is able to keep water cold for a very long time. I have used it a couple of times when I was out over the weekend for a baseball game. No hassle of water getting hot outdoors. The bottle has a wide opening which also makes it easy to clean. Overall its a good buy.


DII Wrinkle Resistant Wide Tablecloth, 70 x 84", Light Blue, Seats 6 to 8 People
DII Wrinkle Resistant Wide Tablecloth, 70 x 84", Light Blue, Seats 6 to 8 People
Price: $20.99
2 used & new from $12.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! Easy to clean, wash, wipe, and is stain and wrinkle-resistant, May 11, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is one nice table cloth. I used it outdoors. The polyester fabric is stain-resistant and wrinkle-free, and aso easy to wipe. We had a barbque and all the wine and food stains came out easily with a single wash. I will give this a wholehearted 5-stars for wonderful tablecloth.


Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver "A Smile Is The Prettiest Thing You Can Wear" Bracelet and Necklace Jewelry Set
Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver "A Smile Is The Prettiest Thing You Can Wear" Bracelet and Necklace Jewelry Set
Price: $15.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Comes with its own little gift box! Perfect for little girls and tweens., May 3, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a very pretty jewelry set. I love the tiny beaded chain. It gives off a lot of sparkle and light. I think little girls and tweens would really love wearing this set. The look and feel to this set gives off a very nice shine - like sterling silver. It comes in a little gift box to make it easy to wrap for gift-giving.


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