Transition of Thoughts

Weaving thoughts into words

Tag: Life and all that Jazz

Mediocrity has become our standard! Do we care?

The dictionary defines “Mediocrity” as something ordinary, par for the course or inferior in quality to something else. But then isn’t mediocrity a word created only by humanity? When we are taught at school during our early years, we are taught about excellence and failure. There is no middle ground for words like “Decent”, “Ok”, “Fine” etc. But then when we humans grow up, mediocrity percolates every part of our lives. Though what is considered as mediocre by some, would be considered as excellence by others.

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Book Review – Another Chance


Another Chance is Ahmed Faiyaz’s second writing venture after his bestseller “Love Life and All that Jazz”. This book has come out pretty close on heels to his previous book.

From the prologue itself you realise that this book can be right away made into a Bollywood flick. And that point is affirmed as one gets engrossed in the book. The story moves forward from where Love, Life and All that Jazz ended with the friends just out of college. Here it’s about how the protagonists are able to maintain a consistent work – life balance as well as give time to their loved ones.

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Meetup with Ahmed Faiyaz – Writer of Love, Life and All that Jazz & SIBM Pune alumnus!

Ahmed Faiyaz is at the far left. This pic is from one of the earlier book launches and not of the event which I attended

For the uninitiated Ahmed Faiyaz is the writer of Love, Life and All that Jazz, a fairly recent novel about 6 friends and how their lives change after college. I had reviewed this book in one of my earlier blog posts (http://bit.ly/9LvqlS). It is a really easy and sweet read about friends and the best part about it is the fact that it doesn’t include any of the usual sex, intimacy and things like that.

I must admit that I did pick his book because he is an alumnus of SIBM Pune. The fact that someone after doing CA and MBA would get into writing excited me a lot. And I myself being an avid blogger, twitter addict and aspiring novelist, I was really interested to meet him. So when the opportunity came along, I grabbed it with both hands. A week back he sent me a direct message on Twitter asking to attend a discussion on the book at Landmark, SGS Mall, Pune on 23rd July if possible.

Finally I did reach the venue on time. Interestingly, that was the first time I had been to Landmark in Pune ;). All the panelists in the discussion were personalities in their own way; Deepak D who became a children author at a pretty old age because he didn’t have his heart in his job, Abhijit who was in the same batch as Ahmed and followed his dream of becoming a musician, Sahil who has become an entrepreneur at the age of 21 itself with a restaurant called Yolkshire in Pune and being a part of Tossed Salad – Pune’s Lifestyle Portal and Ahmed itself.

The discussion started off with a few songs by Abhijit. Then it moved on to discussing Ahmed’s book. Things like how he came up with the idea of the book, about following one’s dreams, the biggest difficulty for a writer, which character he associates himself with etc were thrown at him by the different panelists and the small audience. Ahmed answered all the questions in a very affable and friendly manner which was the first thing I noticed about him when I met him. His way of communicating with the audience was as simple as his book.

On being asked as to how did get time to write a book despite having a very taxing Consulting Job with Dubai Health Authority (DHA), he replied that he used to take out nights and even weekends to write. That factor shows the determination in him to follow his dreams. He could as well have been happy with the amount he would be earning with DHA. Truthfully speaking I was surprised hearing his decision to get into writing full time. But I am sure he must have thought over it for a long long time before deciding it because it surely isn’t easy to leave a high paying job for something you don’t know whether it will succeed or not. One more thing I liked about him was the fact that he agreed to say that he relates to the main character of the book, Sameer. I doubt if many writers really tend to accept that. Instead they end up saying that it’s “A true story”. Now who really knows what’s true and what’s false?

All in all it was pleasing to talk to such a person. In India, it’s one thing to be allowed to follow your dreams and it’s another to really follow despite being allowed to follow. Whatever may be the end result of his books, Ahmed Faiyaz has aimed to be different and I surely believe he will create a legacy wherever he goes. It was awesome meeting you yaar.

Maan I really do look up to you especially for 2 reasons –

1. You are from SIBM Pune
2. Despite everything you followed your dreams of writing.

The best part of the evening!!! – As we were leaving, I asked him about when his next book is coming up. Instead he asked me, when’s my book releasing. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Book review – Love, Life and all that Jazz!

Love, Life and all that Jazz is Ahmed Faiyaz’s (Our esteemed alumunus from SIBM Pune = 2004 – 06 batch) first novel. The book is a journey of 4 friends (Tanveer, Tania, Sameer and Vikram) across 6 years from 2003-09. The novel does initially seem to be the run – of – the – mill kinds of novels which we find in our country today among young writers who think they are the next Chetan Bhagat in the making. But as it moves on, you do realise that this guy has a story to tell unlike many others of our generation.

Tania and Sameer have been in love for a long time. She is an interior decorator in Mumbai and both of them find it tough to balance their lives as Sameer goes to do MBA in UK and subsequently work there. Vikram is charming and affluent and a casanova kind of guy who can get a girl very easily but later goes on to do a lot more meaningful and constructive things in life. Tanveer is hardworking and ambitious and also insecure about his life and relationships as he has to cope up with a demanding job, a demeaning boss and the pressure of having to support his family. The rest of the book deals with how their lives intertwine with each other and they end up being the best of friends despite all the issues and problems they have.

Interestingly for a novel, this one is in 3rd person at many places. Initially it felt a bit weird but then it was sounding really good as I read it further. I am sure the story may not sound very appealing to a lot of people especially to the literary connoisseurs, but the fact is that as you read on, it does feel out of life. Thankfully and I guess I am saying this again, there isn’t much of sexual innuendo or sex scenes per se in this. Have always wondered what is the point of lacing a book with a lot of unecessary sex scenes! What I like most about the book is its freshness and the story about friends and how each of them cope up with their issues but still stand by each other and end up at the same place after 6 years from where they started. Yes, the story takes place over 6 years!

If you want a sweet and simple read without any frills, go for this book! I read this book in 4 hours non – stop. One thing is for sure all of you would be able to relate to it at some point or the other!

Rating – 3/5

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