Saturday, December 29, 2012

Watch out for The Oath of Vayuputras

Renowned filmmaker Karan Johar, and Amish, the bestselling author of The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas, unveiled the cover of the much anticipated 3rd book of the Shiva Trilogy, The Oath of the Vayuputras
The concluding book of the Shiva Trilogy is set to be released in early March, 2013.
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Also gracing the occasion was Gautam Padmanabhan, CEO, Westland Ltd, the publishers of Amish’s books, and Rashmi Pusalkar, the designer of the cover of The Oath of the Vayuputras.
The Shiva Trilogy (comprising The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and the yet to be released The Oath of the Vayuputras) has been one of the most successful book series in the history of Indian publishing. It has sold almost a million copies within a short period of two-and-a-half years, with gross retail sales of approx Rs 22 crores. The books have been released across the Indian subcontinent in various languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Telugu.
The Shiva Trilogy is a compelling, fictional tale of a Tibetan tribal called Shiva, whose adventures nearly 4000 years ago, morphed into the mythical legends of the Hindu God Shiva.
Speaking on the occasion, Karan Johar said, ‘Amish’s books have always had a fantastical visual element to them and his book covers reflect that beautifully. They are rich in symbolism and meaning, while remaining stunning to look at.’

Amish added, ‘I think Rashmi, the designer, has done a superb job with the cover of The Oath of the Vayuputras. She has managed to bring in many symbolic elements seamlessly, while ensuring that this cover maintains the high standards of visual appeal that she set with the covers of my earlier books. I’m lucky to have her as the cover designer of my books.’

Mr. Gautam Padmanabhan – Chief Executive Officer, Westland Limited (Publishers of The Shiva Trilogy) – said, ‘Westland is delighted to be publishing Amish’s Shiva Trilogy. It mines our grand Indian heritage and makes our ancient philosophies and stories relatable to a whole new generation.’

About Amish:
Amish is a 1974-born, IIM (Kolkata)-educated, boring banker turned happy author. The success of his debut book, The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy), encouraged him to give up a fourteen-year-old career in financial services to focus on writing. He is passionate about history, mythology and philosophy, finding beauty and meaning in all world religions.
Amish lives in Mumbai with his wife Preeti and son Neel.

About The Immortals of Meluha: 
1900 BC. In what modern Indians mistakenly call the Indus Valley Civilisation. The inhabitants of that period called it the land of Meluha – a near perfect empire created many centuries earlier by Lord Ram, the greatest monarch that ever lived.
This once proud empire and its Suryavanshi rulers face severe perils as its primary river, the revered Saraswati, is slowly drying to extinction. Its people also face devastating terrorist attacks from the east, the land of the Chandravanshis. To make matters worse, the Chandravanshis appear to have allied with the Nagas, an ostracised and sinister race of deformed humans with astonishing martial skills.
The only hope for the Suryavanshis is an ancient legend: ‘When evil reaches epic proportions, when all seems lost, when it appears that your enemies have triumphed, a hero will emerge.’
Is the rough-hewn Tibetan immigrant, Shiva, really that hero? And does he want to be that hero at all? Drawn suddenly to his destiny, by duty as well as by love, will Shiva lead the Suryavanshi revenge and destroy evil?
This is the first book in a trilogy on Shiva, the simple man whose karma re-cast him as our Mahadev, the God of Gods.

About The Secret of the Nagas:
Today, He is a God. 4000 years ago, He was just a man. 
The hunt is on. The sinister Naga warrior has killed his friend Brahaspati and now stalks his wife Sati. Shiva, the Tibetan immigrant who is the prophesied destroyer of evil, will not rest till he finds his demonic adversary. His vengeance and the path to evil will lead him to the door of the Nagas, the serpent people. Of that he is certain.
The evidence of the malevolent rise of evil is everywhere. A kingdom is dying as it is held to ransom for a miracle drug. A crown prince is murdered. The Vasudevs – Shiva’s philosopher guides – betray his unquestioning faith as they take the aid of the dark side. Even the perfect empire, Meluha, is riddled with a terrible secret in Maika, the city of births. Unknown to Shiva, a master puppeteer is playing a grand game. In a journey that will take him across the length and breadth of ancient India, Shiva searches for the truth in a land of deadly mysteries – only to find that nothing is what it seems. 
Fierce battles will be fought. Surprising alliances will be forged. Unbelievable secrets will be revealed in this second book of the Shiva Trilogy, the sequel to the #1 national bestseller, The Immortals of Meluha.

Monday, December 10, 2012

CREDAI open letter to MPs: Realty reforms must in consumer interest

MUMBAI, December 10, 2012: Highly appreciating the smooth passage of the FDI retail proposal by Parliament, realtors apex body CREDAI has appealed to MPs from all parties to consider real estate reforms to protect the interests of consumers taking into account all stake holders, including the authorities.
“Though the government is moving in the right direction with bold reforms agenda,  much more can be achieved without any controversy and incurring additional cost just by focusing on the housing sector. Now is the time for speedily taking up the issues concerning real estate sector with the target of ensuring homes for all,” CREDAI national President Mr Lalit Kumar Jain said in an open letter to Members of Parliament.
CREDAI – Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India – has over 8,000 members through 18 member associations, pan-India.
Referring to the Land Acquisition and Real Estate Regulatory Bills which are likely  to be moved in the ongoing Parliament’s winter session, Mr Jain said the regulatory bill appears to be incomplete and even one-sided as it seeks to punish errant developers while ignoring the defaulting buyers and corrupt and procrastinating officials. The Land Acquisition bill may make housing costlier.
He pointed out that CREDAI has been relentlessly campaigning for all-round reforms specially Administrative, land, fiscal , Tax and Banking Reforms  that will boost GDP growth and ensure Transparency in clearances of housing projects, thus providing homes to all.
Other measures suggested by CREDAI include a single window system of clearances to eliminate human interface that breeds corruption and make funds available to both developers and buyers at affordable and reasonable rates of interest.
Punjab has already moved ahead with the single window system and Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are moving in that direction.
The comprehensive reforms and the regulator must also include provisions to punish officials who are either corrupt or just sit on files to draw a vicarious pleasure by inordinately delaying proposals from developers. For instance, the environment departments cause green terror by not approving proposals for months and years, he said.
Mr Jain also drew the attention of MPs to the ten-point action plan drawn up by CREDAI to rejuvenate the real estate sector, which he said will help the economy to grow at much faster rate since realty contributes to the growth of 200-plus other industries, including transport at every stage.
“Moreover, the honourable MPs are aware of the fact that real estate is highly capital and labour intensive which makes it the largest employer after agriculture,” he said.
On the oft-repeated demand for reducing the housing prices, he said: “We at CREDAI have already appealed to our member developers to consider reducing the prices to the extent possible.”
“No prudent businessman likes to sit on unsold stock and we too have several constraints as the cost of construction has been zooming with no signs of any control,” he said and urged MPs to look into this issue seriously.
“Everyone talks about mass and affordable housing and in fact the government has coined a slogan called Housing For All. All of us know that shelter is the most common necessity of a human being after food and water. But sadly, the powers that be have failed to address the issue apart from doing mere lip-service,” he argued.
With a vision to make India a housing surplus nation from being the housing shortage country, CREDAI has making the business environment congenial for growth. But the realty bill, in its current form and shape, stifles the honest developer and scares away new entrepreneurs from entering the sector, Mr Jain said and asked: “How can you expect the industry to grow if you discourage it at all stage of business?”
CREDAI also offered to brief groups of MPs, if they so desire, on all aspects to protect the interests of the home buyer. It is time that this business is respected in the interest of country. MPs should build required pressure on government to get respect to the business in the interest of the country and promote policies that encourage honest business and plug loopholes that lead to corruption, he said
“We developers have decided to say No to corruption and we sincerely hope the MPs will support us’” he added.