Sunday, March 18, 2018

Book Review- AQSON Level 1


There are few books which don't give it away till the last moment and this is the one. It is non formulaic writing which delves into the characters and very deeply. There are so many layers that as a reader, you would be spellbound. 

Aqson ( name derived from Aqua and Crimson) is a game played between God and Lucifer (a Satan) and revolves around a battle to determine future of the nature. They have their own "weapons" to play the game. From the political bout to become India’s Prime minister to the union fracas in the historical Kolkata, the book captures all.

The characters, especially Yuvrani is endearing and you can connect with her at so many levels. Another superbly sketched character is Toya, who is timid but dexterous too

Though is starts in Athens, but to bring out that Indo element with intersperses of the Greek mythology concoction. Sreejib works as a true craftsman to take us to Delhi and Kolkata introducing us to relatable characters albeit underlying fantasy.

The game for me wasn’t about the winner but whom will you support and that is where the beauty of the book lies. The book without much divulgence leaves you at crossroads as to where to go and which side to support. 

Part political, part mythological, the story is a thriller. Kudos to author for going with such an imaginative concept and using lucid language to unravel the story for a non-fantasy reader like me. Eagerly waiting to read Part 2. 

I don't want to divulge more for the fellow readers as that may act like spoilers but Aqson Level 1 is a fabulous read for all fantasy connoisseurs out here.

This book review is a part of The Readers Comsos Book Review Program and Blog Tours , for details log on to

Agastya International Foundation- Bosch CSR excursion

                        The young minds at the school

I happened to visit the quaint hilly town of Kuppam that lies precariously at the borders of three Indian states- Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. As a part of the rural immersion for the leadership program candidates at Bosch, we were to visit the acclaimed Agastya Foundation here. Though what seemed a sleepy place to spend two days at, ended with me being extremely connected to the place, the vision of the foundation and especially the people.

Meeting with the founder, Mr Raghavan

 Agastya foundation works in the upliftment of education sector in India. An NGO working towards education for the underprivileged, sounds familiar, isn't it. Yes. But that's where Agastya is different. It  is not just WHAT the kids learn, it is HOW they learn that separates it from the plethora of such institutions out there. We had an opportunity to interact with the founder, Ramaji Raghavan, who is an academician and a philanthropist. He told us why was Agastya conceived and why question storming is essential.

Sampling plantation at one of the schools in Kuppam

The pedagogy of Agastya (Ah, Aha, Haha) is implicitly engraved around the campus which is built to spark curiosity and make you wonder, WHY.

Ah- to spark curiosity in young minds, stimulation of mind
Aha- to make them ask questions like "How" was this done
Haha- enjoyment or the joy of learning...

These are the three pillars of Agastya vision of redefining education.

The auditorium

Agastya constitutes of a sprawling 170 acres of campus that is rich in biodiversity and also the learning tools. We visited multiple labs such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Robotics, Media, Art and Discovery. One common element in all the labs was the experiential learning they wanted to imbibe. Learning by Doing is the mantra. Hosting school children from classes 6-10, the foundation ensures that these impressionable minds touch and feel the things around them and learn the world up, close and personal.

In a country like India where rote learning is practised even at the most elite institutions, Agastya is challenging the odds and trying to build the art of reasoning amongst the GenZ.

The breathtaking campus

Apart from the education, the campus is breathtaking especially during the sunset time. We also had a chance to go for a nature walk around the campus to see the diverse flora.

The humility and the simplicity of the people and the passion they had for the cause was exemplary.

Udit Bhatia
Junior Managers Program