The 5 AM Club & Alibaba – reviews


This is a rapid review of a book named the 5 AM Club that I recently abandoned after tolerating for about three-fourths of its length. Now, I have no intention of finishing it.

I was never a fan of Robin Sharma to start with. I disliked his most famous one, “The monk who sold his Ferrari”. For the same reason, I was skeptical about this one as well. I blame my purchase on some of my overenthusiastic friends for having recommended it to me. Definitely not for me.

Those who are planning to buy it, please be informed:

  1. It’s written as fiction, a rather boring one. The author is a lousy fiction writer.
  2. The fiction is a multilogue between a few people from various walks of life. What irritated me the most is that these people regularly and continuously spitting out motivational quotes as if it’s some sort of rap battle. I did not buy this book for infinite list quotes.
  3. I yawned through a few chapters, then FOMO kicked in. Did the book cover the 5 AM topic? Is it yet to be discussed? or are they gonna discuss world affairs first? Now that I have suspended the book, this will remain a mystery to me.
  4. A few like-minded people suggested that I should finish the book with few tricks. One advised that I skip a few specific chapters and jump into particular ones directly. Another told me that I should read only the italicized paragraphs and only visit the pages with images and their description. But I can’t do any of those through audible. 😦

I do not recommend it. Please take the good reviews on the internet with a pinch of salt. In my opinion, it’s a dull, badly fictionalized book. That’s it.

Another book I just finished is Alibaba – the house that Jack Ma built. It’s a biography. The book narrates chronicles and adventures on how he reached the place where he is. What makes it more interesting is that the book runs Jack’s rise to wealth in parallel with the evolution of Chinese free-market economics and regression in social communism. A good read. Go for it if this is the kind of book interests you.

One of the exciting wisdoms he provides is about the approach of catching a rabbit. Suppose, if there are nine rabbits on the ground, and you wish to capture one -Just focus on one. These rabbits obviously will run, skip, change course and even might hide in a hole. You should try things differently and change the strategy and tactic but never change the rabbit you earmarked. Good stuff. On a lighter note, I would never want to catch a rabbit. They belong in meadows and leave them there. Don’t bring rabies home.

The lobster debate, Social Hierarchy and Jordan B Peterson


While reading the latest book I picked up, I came across this fascinating and fantastic trivia about lobsters’ behaviors. I assure you that you too will be surprised to learn about it. It is a very cool analogy and the correlation between the Human kingdom and Animal ones. This can be utilized to reason out a few characteristics such as male dominance, the effect of antidepressants and the social hierarchy, including even patriarchy. It goes like this:

  1. Like any animal kingdom species, lobsters get into disputes and fights to register male dominance. As usual, the battle is to determine who is the best suitable mate to carry the gene forward. As decided by binary results, the lobster that won the brawl will flex and get bigger physically, advertising his victory. The looser will shrink physically.
  2. Suppose you inject antidepressant, like serotonin, to the lost lobster. It stretches and gets bigger and ready to fight again. By the way, the same hormone work works on the human as well,
  3. An interesting point to note is that these neurochemical behaviors exist in the animal kingdom for 2.5 million years. i.e., Even before trees became into existence.
  4. A defeated human, such as with PTSD, will have the hippocampus shrink and the amygdala grow. A hippocampus can grow back with the help of anti-depressants. However, amygdala never grows back. Similarly, a defeated lobster will have its brain dissolved, and a new one grows back but not of the same one before.
  5. Basically, the argument is that the animal kingdom, including humans, organizes itself in the inevitably aligned social hierarchy, which is evolutionary and driven by neurologist chemical reactions. Not due to a political system such as capitalism. In other words, the human hierarchical organization in the political system has the evolutionary design to blame, not the other way around.
Photo by Roger Brown on Pexels.com

Apparently, this conclusion is based on a study on lobster, collective behaviors, social hierarchy etc. And the books where I picked up is “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos ” by Jordan B. Peterson. I will not be able to validate the theory as I am not qualified enough to do this. But he is a well-published author, Professor, clinical psychologist and public intellectual. I am gonna have to go with him this time.

Most rules of these books are controversial now, often unnecessarily. Jordan and his book are receiving end of American university students’ anger and social figures leaning left. Most noise comes from those who have not read it, instead of having their knowledge based on 140 characters of Twitter. Understandably the book is not an easy read. The technical terms, psychological reasoning etc., make it a laborious read. Unless you made up your mind to complete it, it is not gonna finish itself.

I recommend this to you if you are still interested, take it as a fresh perspective on the latest sets of social debates.

Yuval Noah Harari – Trilogy


Okay, it’s done. I’ve read all three books of Yuval Noah Harari, a self imposed challenge BTW I highly recommend that you read them, these books are gems of the books.. 

Unfortunately, my views and ratings seem to be in line with many critics on the Internet, have nothing more to add, it will be redundant. Also, I am quite late in the game, and hence mine is probably the millionth post on this topic.

Anyways, I have listed them in the order of my likings :

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
  2. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
  3. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Summary : 

  1. Highly recommended, you are missing out if you have not read them yet.
  2. You do not need to be an avid reader to pick those yet has profound Thought-provoking concepts. If you want your kid or loved ones to pick up the reading habit, then these are the right ones.
  3. Slightly leftist, but generally liberal.
  4. Straightforward read, and definitely not not laborious reading such as works of Christopher Hitchens 

If you want to turn a few pages before you decide to buy them, here you go :

Valentine’s day movies


I am not a fan of Valentine’s day; I have never celebrated and probably never will. But of course, I am not gonna undermine its need, or go to the extent of condemning it. It could use a better name, though. Regardless of the superficial purpose of such greeting card days, including Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, daughter days etc., it certainly helps the economy with its tiny spikes in the consumer market. Also, I believe it provides and small little purposes to otherwise monotonous days.

My idea of Valentine’s day is, to crash on the recliner, grab a beer, popcorn and watch that Hollywood or Bollywood has to offer this year around. Additionally, Sundays are not meant for intellectually taxing stuff. They are dedicated to comedies, romantic or otherwise.

I watched two. Surprisingly, they were genuinely nice ones, worth more than a lazy afternoon time pass. I recommend them to you to watch, they are streaming online.

By Source, Fair use, Link

“The map of tiny perfect things” is now streaming on Amazon prime video is a semi-sci-fi romcom. The skeletal theme is covered repeatedly in many movies before. Be it cute Bill Murray starring “Groundhog Day” or even Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt starrer dystopian the “Edge of Tomorrow”. A temporal anomaly created by singularity by a tiny perfect thing makes protagonists loop their day. He gets a bland non-eventful side of the loop while she receives a sad part of the circle. That is the all the spoilers, for now, please go watch it. Basically, a whole universe, including the parallel ones, conspires to create a perfect moment for them.

The second one is not technically themed movie, but Disney’s Hotstar advertising it only today. JoJo Rabbit, an Oscar-winning period drama, a comedy, war movie, and atypical love story. It is about a boy, a massive fan of the Adolf, borderline fanatic, owing to a generation of long propaganda. He derives his life direction of life from an imaginary Adolf, moral or otherwise. He eventually falls in age-inappropriate love with his someone the very propaganda demonizes. Please watch it, you would love every frame of it. This movie deserves more Academy awards than the only one it won.

[Book vs Movie]Calling Sehmat vs Raazi


Generally, I do not get involved in the business of comparing the movies against the Book based on. The primary reason for that is that I will have to read fiction for the comparison. And I hate reading fiction! Nevertheless, here is an attempt. This is more of a fictionalized biography rather than a novel, hence the exception 🙂

The movie in the discussion is Raazi starring Alia Bhat. She is a nepo-kid with reasonably good acting skills amongst a truckload among quintessentially bad actors and movie makers. For a change, the movie is loaded with decent actors; songs are brilliant with excellent lyrics. Its quite old movie by now and you would have seen it already. The book is based on “Calling Sehmat”, authored by Harinder Sikka penned on fictionalized biographical narration based on what he gathered from actual Sehmat.

On an overall and surface level, the movie captures the essence and sequence of events described in the Book. However, there are a few fundamental differences, which could be deliberate or creative. I will leave you to decide:

  1. The movie does not capture the first chapter of the Book. The chapter is an essential part of the storyline, but the film chooses to leave behind. The book takes its own time, deservedly, to define Sehmat, her love interest, passion, etc. The movie does not care about any of that.
  2. The movie Sehmat is a weak girl who flinches with the pistol backfire, the book’ Sehmat is a cold-blooded determined soldier who is willing to kill, lie, kidnap, and blackmail for her nation which was at war. The Book’s Sehmat does things as her conscious directs her, while the movie’s Sehmat does it as obligations to her Indian handlers.
  3. The movie ultimately leaves put last few chapters, which most probably is to avoid hurting sentiments of a rowdy family lived terrorizing a village in rural Punjab. Also, they probably do not want to show Sehmat owes her newfound sanity to a hermit.

Also read: Letting Meghna Gulzar direct Raazi was the biggest blunder, rues Calling Sehmat author Harinder Sikka