Kainaz Messman Harchandrai

1. The book certainly reveals many of your personal  experiences and also acts a guide for new entrepreneurs. We would like to know what was it that inspired you to write this book? Where did this all stem from?

KMH:I had been asked to write a recipe book many times but when I was approached to write about my journey and share what I had done and how we got to where we were, it gave me an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we had achieved, and the people who helped us get there.   Bringing our experiences and learnings together was a therapeutic process.  We have chronicled what we did and the things we got right, the mistakes we made and lessons learned, and it gave us an opportunity to thank the people who have helped build our business.  I hope the book also serves as an inspiration and is an honest depiction of what it takes to build a company.  

2. The book speaks about importance of teamwork and how essential it is for the success of any venture. What is your way building up a team and dealing with people and your employees?

KMH:I became a boss at the age of 24, I was unprepared for the role.  Over the years and on reflection, I recognised my own shortcomings and put a lot of effort into evolving into a better boss and inspiring my staff.  This did not come easily to me, I had to analyse where I was going wrong and I have worked hard to create a warm environment and build the cohesive teams that we have today.   I now understand better the backgrounds and challenges faced by our staff, and they understand me better too.  We communicate well, I am more empathetic and patient, when we face a problem we work together to find a solution.  

3. We are keen  to know, how as a person and an  entrepreneur do you deal with downfalls and what is your way of coming back stronger ?

KMH: I am sometimes asked what the most difficult phase of building my business was.  The truth is that every stage has been incredibly difficult, the problems change and perhaps get bigger and with greater consequences, but they never go away.  I have learned that the only way to deal with problems is head on.  We investigate, we try to understand the implications, we come up with possible solutions.  We do not wish our problems away, because we have tried and it does not work.  Grit, consistency, and the belief that this too will pass, has kept us looking ahead and moving forward.  It is the unwavering belief that any problem can be overcome is what keeps us motivated to keep working hard and focusing on the future.  

4. In the book you have also mentioned about “the ingredients to build a great business “
Is there any specific ” ingredient ” you swear by or has been very challenging for you personally.

KMH: For a business to be successful you need to get many things right.  Surrounding yourself with good, honest and dependable people is the foundation that a successful business is built on.  Focus on the product or service that you provide, no amount of packaging and branding can compensate for a product that does not bring your customers back.  Build at your own pace, do what you think is right, and be willing to work incredibly hard.  I wanted my book to be an honest account of what it really takes to build a business.  What may appear to be an overnight success usually has decades of study, sweat and tears behind it.  

5. Lastly what is that one advice you want to give to all those, specially  women who aspire to start  a new venture?

KMH: For anyone starting a business, try and find something you love, something you genuinely want to do.  Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint.  Figure out what motivates you, and link that to what you are delivering. Grow at your pace, don’t let others determine the trajectory of your company.  Work with good people and enjoy your journey.  

Book Review

Imaan went to Central Jail as an infant in his mother, Zahura Bibi’s arms. She was charged with her husband’s murder and dies in jail a few year later. Imaan has no relatives to take care of him and hence he stays in jail for twenty years. He is always fascinated by the outside world based on all the stories he heard from the fellow inmates.

Sometime later, his wish is fulfilled and he is released from the confines of the jail. Not knowing where to go and what to do, he ends up at Jadavpur Railway Station, becomes a ragpicker and is now craving to go back to the comfortable life in jail.

This is my first read by Manoranjan Byapari and I am bowled over by the raw account of life in the jail and the bosti near the Jadavpur Railway Station. The nuances of the contrast in life at both the places have been captured very well through various independent incidents.

The story does not move in a linear fashion, one connected event after another yet the reader can find a distinct connection amongst all the individual stories. There are a huge number of characters each with a different set of problems yet one common thing that binds them together – their daily grind to survival, described in a heart-wrenching manner.

The book has disturbing accounts of rape, murders, prostitution and the condition of the prostitutes. The dead body being exchanged for money, young girls being dragged in flesh trade, small gangs operating to rob people in trains, buses and crowded places were described in a brutally honest manner.

The book ends with Imaan sorting out the dilemma of going to jail or carrying on his life in the bosti. The part depicted how Imaan ultimately gets sucked into the way of life despite being oblivious to the outside world and happy in the safety of his shell in the jail.

I am glad that it was translated from Bengali to English so that it can reach the non-Bengali reading book lovers as well. The book is rich with the flavour of Bengal in terms of the language, life style of the people living in slums and their struggles. A hard-hitting book that I highly recommend !!

Book in focus: NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER

NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER by BETTY MAHMOODY

Betty and Moody come to Iran from the USA with Mahtob, their 4-year-old daughter to meet Moody’s family on a two-week vacation in August 1984. But just when they are supposed to board the flight back to the USA, Moody announces that they are staying in Iran for the rest of their lives. Betty and Mahtob are devastated to hear this and imagine their lives in diametrically opposite cultures to the one they belong. No amount of resistance from them melts Moody. Rather his rage is like never seen before.
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Betty recalls her married life of 8 years with him and the times when she saw signs that this was coming but she wanted to make this marriage work and not end up in another unsettling divorce.
Not Without My Daughter is an autobiographical account of Betty’s struggle and success to get back to the USA along with her daughter in February 1986. The 518 pages of this book throw light on the political, cultural, and educational scenario of Iran during those times and Betty and Mahtob’s constant struggle to escape the clutches of patriarchy.
The book is sure to stir myriads of emotions all through, ranging from anger and hatred for Moody and his countless family members, disgust and helplessness at the filthy conditions in which they live during their stay in Iran, determination to not leave Iran without her daughter, acceptance and hope when people help them in an unknown land and a way out of Iran surfaces through and finally ecstasy at the reunion with their family.
The book is an account of Betty’s grit and success to finally come back and brings out the message “Where there is Will, there is a Way”. She penned down the book to give hope to thousands of females like her who were stuck in Iran during those times.
After a long time, I came across a book that made me choose to read oversleeping. The book is descriptive considering it encompasses 1.5 years of Betty’s life but it could not have been written otherwise or else the reader would not really empathize with the hardships and obstacles that the mother-daughter duo faced.

Book in focus: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Interesting #titles and a #masala story

When women are free to talk about themselves; needs wants & desires, all manner of things start to emerge. Firstly, some eye-watering erotic stories, with some hilarious choice words to describe genitalia. The stories ignite other women to share their experiences & fantasies.

A book of sexy stories in English is shared with the windows and Nikki realizes that there is more to these women than she thought. Nikki is then put in a difficult position where she wants to liberate the women to express themselves but also learns she must keep them safe from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s “moral police.”

Book in focus: Bangladesh War

The riveting first-hand account of the Liberation War from Manash Ghosh.

Our destiny will change and we can see it as clear as daylight – A gathering storm over the head of Bangladesh as #muktijuddho was turning into a reality
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Many earth-shaking things are going to happen there in the coming months as mentioned by Manash Gosh in his article in #1971 when he was helmed as a small #cub reporter
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A riveting detail where # the author of the book was said by the editor IF ANYTHING UNFORTUNATE HAPPENS TO YOU, YOUR OFFICE WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE. IF THESE TERMS ARE ACCEPTABLE, GO AHEAD.
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Read this heart-wrenching journey of the #author popularly known as Manash da to have a deeper understanding of the Bangladeshi #liberation war from ground #zero
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Power must be handed over to the elected representatives of the people- Sheikh Mujbir Rahman

Book in focus :- LOOKING INWARD

You have no idea how beautiful life can be 🍀

It may have taken #kungfupanda or #lukeskywalker only a few hours to learn to look inward, find their true strength, and by doing so, become able to endure and even overcome the challenges they had to face, it may not be easy in reality.
You and I may need a little more than a few hours to master this art, but that doesn’t mean it is out of reach. And it is worth it, for everyone.
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The quality of our lives is greatly dependent on the quality of our state of mind, and yet we have never learned how this mind really works or how to manage it.
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True and lasting happiness can only be found within, it is never outside of you.
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Looking Inward by @swamipurnachaitanya is an #extraordinary guide for sailing through the ever-changing world 🌍
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There are numerous takeaways from the book But for us, the highlight of the book is it’s simple language, #wisdom sutras, and a simple exercise after every chapter.

Story Behind Kitabe Club

Reading a book “promotes better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.”

Women playing countless roles in their life, mostly come short of time for themselves, thus leading to stress. Many love to read but couldn’t do it due to one’s numerous commitments.
Research has shown that reading can reduce stress by as much as 68%, even more than listening to music or going for a walk.

We believe for every challenge and difficult we face we have a solution in the form of books