Monday, 18 September 2017
Oh dear! Please tell me what happens to me?
When you look at me with those eyes conveying sweet notes of love…
When your smile spreads warmth across my soul, tickling a childlike grin across my face…
When you rest on my lap with closed eyes; your chest heaving rhythmically over my arms…
Oh dear! Please tell me what happens to me?
When you take me by surprise by lifting me up in the air…
When you hug me from behind and nuzzle on my ears…
When you look around mischievously before sending a flying kiss…
And dear, I often wonder…
Why are you so special and so loving?
Why are you so thoughtful and caring?
Why are you so unique?
I also wonder…
If I deserve your affection…
If I am worthy of your time…
If I am hurting you by my words or silence…
Well, silence around me is the only answer for all my questions;
Echoing the peaceful bliss I feel being near you…
Reminding the nonchalant camaraderie we share…
And of course, the insanity that binds us together…
Monday, 4 September 2017
Onam means flowers and feast…
It means togetherness also…
This morning when I was making the pookalam (flower carpet), I had a thought…
I was mixing so many different varieties and colors of flowers to make a pattern which would fill my heart with childlike delight… Isn’t this blaring difference yet the lovely way in which they blend as one entity the underlying charm of pookalam? Isn’t the geographical, linguistic, religious and cultural diversity topped with sense of humanity that transforms this earth into paradise? S,o why don’t we join our hands to celebrate humanity which includes compassion to all the living beings and the universe over anything? And of course, preserve nature and thereby, handover a better place to our successors?
Food for thought?
Happy Onam to all of you J
Friday, 1 September 2017
Monday, 28 August 2017
Somewhere in the middle of a journey
Which takes a lifetime to reach the final destination
You asked me to choose between you and me.
I looked back and saw several miles we had walked together.
There was love and laughter.
Some tears and pain too.
There were also some moments which made me smile.
Then I looked ahead…
The roads were longer and broader.
The sky was clear and the trees were greener.
There were pretty flowers too, their tiny petals blossoming with hope.
The newfound clarity made me smile too.
And therefore I made a choice…
I chose me instead of you.
Because you and your memories are there within me.
But, there is also a journey which needs to be continued…
Each step I take is towards uncertainty; yet towards destiny.
And we are similar, aren’t we?
You chose to be with yourself and so did I.
Nobody knows what life holds for us.
But I know it will be a pleasant surprise!
Friday, 25 August 2017
Saturday, 19 August 2017
Details of the Book
No. of Pages : 432 pages
ISBN : 9352644123 (ISBN13: 9789352644124)
Language : English
From the book blurb
Why do they call you Baaz?
It means falcon, he replies solemnly. Or bird of prey. Because I swoop down on the enemy planes just like a Baaz would.
Then he grins. The grey eyes sparkle.
It s also short for bastard.
1971. The USSR-backed India-Mukti Bahini alliance is on the brink of war against the America-aided Pakistani forces. As the Cold War threatens to turn red hot, handsome, laughing Ishaan Faujdaar, a farm boy from Chakkahera, Haryana, is elated to be in the IAF, flying the Gnat, a tiny fighter plane nicknamed Sabre Slayer for the devastation it has wrecked in the ranks of Pakistan s F-86 Sabre Squadrons.
Flanked by his buddies Raks, a MiG-21 Fighter, Maddy, a transport pilot who flies a Caribou, and fellow Gnatties Jana, Gana and Mana, Shaanu has nothing on his mind but glory and adventure until he encounters Tehmina Dadyseth, famed bathing beauty and sister of a dead fauji, who makes him question the very concept of nationalism and whose eyes fill with disillusioned scorn whenever people wax eloquent about patriotism and war...
Pulsating with love, laughter and courage, Baaz is Anuja Chauhan's tribute to our men in uniform.
Anuja Chauhan went to school in Meerut, Delhi and Australia. She has worked in advertising for over fourteen years and has created many popular ad campaigns, including 'Nothing Official About it', 'Yeh Dil Maange More' and 'Oye Bubbly' for brand Pepsi. She worked in the advertising agency, JWT India, for over 17 years, eventually becoming vice-president and executive creative director, before resigning in 2010 to pursue a full-time literary career.
She has written 4 novels, The Zoya Factor (2008), Battle For Bittora (2010), Those Pricey Thakur Girls (2013) and The House That BJ Built (2015).
What I think
First of all, the title is intriguing. It is sure to arouse the reader’s curiosity. Secondly, the book cover has this young IAF officer wearing cute uniform and aviator glasses against the backdrop of aircrafts. It gives away the plot of the books and rightly sets the floor!
Baaz is about Ishaan Faujdaar aka Baaz as he is fondly referred to by his course mates and batch mates of 1968. He is a flying officer who doesn’t know what fear means. As a character and protagonist we get to know him when he is as less as ten years old. Instantly, we fall in love. There is something very sweet and endearing about him. His thoughts are often progressive which we rarely get to see eve in the minds of today’s youth. And that’s it, he strikes a chord with the readers. Tehmina Dadyseth aka Tinka as a pacifist who believes that there is nothing good or fair war is a rebel and highly opinionated. Her straightforwardness and boldness will surely leave you awestruck. Raka’s shyness and Maddy’s quirkiness… fellow Gnatties Jana, Gana and Mana… ever enthusiastic, daring and challenging Mr. Carvalho… sassy and suave Kung Fei… Chimman’s selfishness, Sneha’s naivety, caring Juhi among many others are equally interesting and relatable.
As you could see, the book is loaded with interesting characters and all the credit goes to the author for painstakingly establishing them. Although the book is pretty heavy sided with as much as 430 pages, it is a delight to turn pages and go through the lives and minds of these characters. More so for being historically more or less accurate.
Also, the author has subtly hinted many relevant topics like women’s education/empowerment, dowry system, patriarchy, effect of war and other political stances on common man psychological influence of war on soldiers as well as their family, and so on. Baaz surely soars high on sky with these aspects!
How can I not talk about the sparkling chemistry between Baaz and Tinka? It is so pure and refreshing. Together they make us believe in the magic of love; their differences drawing them closer to each other and making them just two sides of the same coin.
In short, don’t miss this one!
If you do, you will never get to know the grey eyed boy from a village in Haryana who likes the dhook-dhook-dhooking of heart... Whose smile and charm will also make our heart do dhook-dhook-dhooking.
As the book claims, this indeed is a perfect tribute to the Fauji. This will surely make you sit back and think, change your perspectives and urge you to do some research on what happened back in 1971.
So what are you waiting for?
Time to fall in love with Baaz… Ishaan… And Anuja Chauhan, of course! Because when she writes, we read word by word and flip page after page!
4.75/5 (Well, I want to give a 5 on 5. But reducing the 0.25 for making readers sob uncontrollably. How could you, author? So mean!!!)
PS: Anuja Chauhan, keep writing! J You are awesome!!!!
PPS: In page no. 200, I am sure dear author/editor, you meant Tinka and not Tinak!!! It’s a small typo, but still – you know!
PPPS: Thanks to my cousin who introduced me to Anuja Chauhan several years before. Incidentally, I started reading Indian author books after reading Zoya Factor and Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone of course J J
Monday, 14 August 2017
Being bored is nothing new to me. My family says that as a child the only thing I used to constantly say is : "I am bored". Well, I can't blame anyone for that but me. I think I am a very restless person. I hate to stay idle. I have to be constantly engaged with one thing or the other. Well, most of us are like that.
But boredom goes to another level altogether when you are sick and on a sick leave for 10 days.
Disclaimer: Don't worry. I was down with viral fever and am almost alright now. So all is well guys :)
So, as I was saying, in the last 10 days of unwellness the graph of boredom has been showing an increasing trend. The peak of it reached 10 minutes before when I googled - "things to do when bored". To my astonishment and dismay, out of the 96 things they have suggested, unknowingly I have done around 50!!! Others I have not done mostly because if valid reasons like I don't have a pet, I am tired so can't clean, do yoga, etc.
For all of you wondering what I did, here goes the list:
- Sleep. Take rest. Revive your spirits and rejuvenate your soul.
- Delete all the unwanted pictures from the phone backup.
- Watch movies.
- Learn something new - I learnt graffiti, one dimensional drawing and basic caricature techniques.
- Doodled until it bored me.
- Listened to songs both new ones and the evergreen favorites.
- Watched TV like crazy.
- Read books - one book in one sitting (not bad, isn't it?)
- Spoke to friends on phone and whatsapp.
- Wrote some poems and micro-fictions for my blog.
- Downloaded some games apps (I hate playing games on mobile) and even played.
- Went through old pictures and relivdd those times.
- Did some quick facials.
- Updated my daily journal.
- Read a lot of random articles.
These are just a compilation of many things I could do with the fever and related tiredness. In these 10 days what I have understood is that being physically tired is still alright. With right medication and rest, everything would resume back to normalcy. But, being mentally bored is the worst punishment. The mental wellness being directly related to physical strength, take care of yourself. More so when the viruses are around; mosquitoes are flying around.
I repeat, take care :)
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Tuesday, 25 July 2017
R Madhavan, Vijay Sethupathi
Shraddha Srinath, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
P S Vinod
Sam C S
Y NOT Studios
July 21, 2017
2 Hours & 27 Minutes
The third film of the director duo Pushkar-Gayathri is loosely inspired by the Vikramathithan-Vethalam as hinted by the movie title - Vikram Vedha. Here, gangster Vedha (Vijay Sethupathi) always tells a story and ends it with a question to the encounter specialist Vikram (R Madhavan). Of course, needless to say, Vikram is in constant search to arrest Vedha and with gripping tales often evoking questions of what is good and bad, Vedha escapes from Vikram.
What makes Vikram Vedha engaging is the brilliant screenplay which is so inter-woven that it questions audiences’ intelligence. The director duo have ensured that no stones are unturned in their narration; there is a right balance of suspense, mystery, romance, sentiments and of course relationships. The dialogs are comical at times and thought-provoking at times. The relationship between Vikram and his lawyer wife Priya (Shraddha Srinath) is interestingly shown. In a way, that small track has realistically portrayed the modern husband-wife relationship in which both are independent people with strong opinions. So is the depiction of Varalaxmi’s character and her choices – it is progressive and refreshing. Cinematographer’s palette has blacks, whites and shades of grey which sums up the tone of subject addressed in the movie - no one is good or bad. Everything is driven by circumstances and depends on which side you stay. Sam’s background score elevates heroism projected onscreen. Yanji is such a breath of fresh air that it strikes a chord with the audience. Tasakku Tasakku is that typical kuthu song which will run in your head continuously. Editor Richard Kevin has done a commendable job in collating all the action sequences in a gripping manner. However, the movie could have been shorter by 15 minutes at least.
The backbone of Vikram Vedha is not only because it is a clear winner in most of the technical aspects, but also because of great performances. R Madhavan as no-nonsense encounter specialist Vikram is brilliant. Having said that the show stealer however is Vijay Sethupathi who awes us as Vedha. Of course, he gets more screen space and his character has more shades than that of Vikram. Having said that, Vijay Sethupathi’s ease with comedy, emotions or action makes Vedha such a lovable character although we know that he is a bad! Also have to mention that Shraddha and Varalaxmi have convincingly portrayed their roles, although their screen presence is limited. Prem as Vikram’s friend-colleague and also Kathir as Vedha’s brother have done a decent work.
Overall, Vikram Vedha is a delight to watch. It could have been a routine cop-gangster/good-bad movie. But, it is not. And that’s why the movie shines!!! Don’t miss it!!!
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Details of the Book
No. of Pages : 272 pages
ISBN : 1101874082 (ISBN13: 9781101874080)
Language : English
From the book blurb
The book Adultery portrays the story of an independent woman Linda, in her 30s, who has an almost perfect life; a content and stable marriage, a caring husband, sweet little kids and a rewarding journalism career. Through the regular everyday life, she starts to question the dullness and boredom of her passing days. She tends to be dissatisfied with her life, until she meets her high-school boyfriend, Jacob, who is a successful politician now.
With him, she revives the zeal and craze that were previously missing in her life. They get involved into an affair which she knows can lead her to difficult circumstance, yet, she finds the affair to be really exciting. With this transformation, she is standing at a life-altering turn of her life.
The book was originally written in Portuguese, Coelho’s native language. The English edition was published in August 2014.
Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes among others, have sold 150 million copies worldwide.
What I think
What is a perfect life? Caring spouse, loving children, challenging career and enough money to meet not only the basic necessities but also to indulge in some occasional luxury? Well, isn’t perfect life a very subjective term, considering the fact that grass is always greener on the other side? Well, don’t single men and women crave for a partner and committed people desire space? In a way, that’s the beauty of life and the root cause for most of the problems in life. Often, these problems may not even be real, but a mere byproduct of overthinking and needless to say, loneliness, After all, the worst form of loneliness is to be surrounded by people, yet feel like an isolated island with no one to talk to! Paulo Coelho’s Adultery deals with this very aspect of life. It dissects monotonous life into simple and smaller figments and explains how it can affect a person’s life.
As the book blurb rightly describes, Linda is a married woman with two kids. Her kids loves her. Her husband adores her. She enjoys cooking and taking care of the family. She likes her job. In short, for any onlooker her life is perfect – both personally and professionally. However, she feels void from within. She feels stressed and frustrated and craves for some adventure and fun; similar to the days when she was young and single. She tries recreating the lost spark and forces her to understand that the husband is none other than the person she had once loved so dearly. But she miserably fails at it until she meets her childhood sweetheart under professional set-up; and a clandestine affair follows. Although she is aware of the fact that such adultery could ruin not only her life but also the lives of her children and husband, she finds it difficult to resist. The rest of the book is about Linda’s journey of self-discovery in which she understands the basics of life.
As usual, Paulo Coelho’s words swims through our mind, reaches to our heart and touches our soul. The words flow with rehearsed ease and it is surely an assured page-turner. Most of the sentences convey truth and provokes thoughts. Linda becomes relatable. However, her husband emerges as the hero; not only a perfect gentleman but also a sweetheart!
Well, Adultery deals with a very sensitive topic which is often viewed as a taboo. But the author has handled it so aesthetically that it hints the reason for the same:
“What kills a relationship between two people is precisely the lack of challenge, the feeling that nothing is new anymore. We need to continue to be a surprise for each other.”
The above quote perfectly summarizes the feelings of Linda and several married people and also couples in long term relationships. As the years pass, people start taking each other for granted and fail to make small efforts to surprise one another. They tend to assume that it is not quite necessary to reiterate love for the better half. Adultery emphasizes that the heart has to stay young; no matter how old you are. It says that it is alright to share sweet nothings just like a teenager experiencing first love!
On the flip side, the book explores adultery only in the form of physical intimacy; it would have been remarkable if emotional adultery was also included.
In short, Adultery is the answer for many who try to understand what is wrong in their life or in their relationship!
Go for it!!!
Some words that stole my heart
© Beware when making a woman cry. God is counting her tears.
© We are the ones who create the messes in our heads. It does not come from outside.
© YOU don’t choose your life; it chooses you. There’s no point asking why life has reserved certain joys or griefs, you just accept them and carry on.
© When we release our dark side, it will completely overshadow the best in us.
© Buddhists say that a fixed smile, however false, lights up the soul.
And many more…
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Anyways, that is not the point I wanted to drive. In fact, I am not sure what I wanted to say. I am so-so lost because I am lost – in the journey called life, I assume.
Well, why am I saying all this? (I heard your little voice sighing – what am I saying?)
Am I depressed? (Lolzz… Only sane will be depressed. Crazy ones will always carry on with life - no matter what!).
Heartbroken? (I wish – at least would help letting the creative juices flow).
Okay, so what has suddenly happened to me? Why am I rambling like a retard? The answer is given below:
“When you are used to the kind of life of never getting anything you want, you stop knowing what it is you want.”
- Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Now, you might be wondering what the above quote is all about. Did I undergo any trauma? (Maybe YES). Anyways, have patience, my friend. I shall tell you everything in detail (Don’t worry, I shall restrict myself to 700 words!)
Basically, Amazon Prime Day sale was on yesterday. So, I wanted to buy something. Well, anything for that matter. I started looking for a mobile phone and got confused between iPhone 6s and Oneplus 5. So I convinced myself that my phone is working awesome and I don’t need one now.
So I moved on to the session on curtains, bedsheets and cushion covers. I really wanted one -badly to be more specific. I went through hundreds of them, shortlisted a few and then (my bad!) read reviews. I mean people are so negative these days. No one seems to be happy with the products (Is it just products?!). In the reviews they say that the product is not worth the money or the product they received didn’t resemble to what was displayed online. I felt so disheartened. Come on, I spent almost an hour in finalizing the product!!!
Anyways, I was on a mission. I didn’t want anything to stop me from shopping because Amazon Prime Day sale was on. When there is sales, I just feel like shopping! (Tell me I am not the only one, please) So I juggle my mind and try to find out that one thing without which my existence would almost become questionable.
Tada! Its books, I realize. How could I miss that? They are the oxygen to mind (remember – reading is to mind what exercise is to body). I mean anytime is a good time for a good book, isn’t it? So, I happily browsed through the books section. In less than two minutes, my heart bleeds because I realized that some of the books I had recently bought were sold at a discounted price. But, I didn’t give up. I am on a mission, remember? Finally, I stumble upon a section that says something like 100 books that needs to be read in one’s lifetime. Well, now that sounds exciting, right? I went through it and noticed that I have read a few of them (yay!). Some of them are already stacked in my bookshelf and has forever been in my to-read list. Honestly, that’s not an epiphany; yet it made me feel miserable. I tried to understand what could have gone wrong for being stuck within the constraints of my bookshelf. Maybe the book was boring. But, they are classics, reminds my stupid mind. Okay, I should have just been busy. I mean, come to think of it. Hasn’t it been a while since I have written something as meaningless and lame as this? The best thing about me is that I am awesome at self-evaluation. Setting aside self-boasting and the sadness of not reading enough books anymore, I moved on and browsed through the booklist. When a title interested me, I googled, checked the Goodreads rating and also read a few quotes. And, that’s when I stumbled upon the quote I have mentioned above.
Voila! Can there be anything more ironical than that quote?
For (my) easy reference, I repeat (of course, at the cost of being redundant and exceptionally boring):
“When you are used to the kind of life of never getting anything you want, you stop knowing what it is you want.”
I mean come to think of it. I don’t think I have ever got anything I wanted from my past experiences with online shopping. To begin with I am impatient to go through the never ending list of products under each category. And when I finally find one, the reviews are never encouraging. If I still pass through the first two hurdles, there would be other issues like additional delivery charges, delivery after almost a week and what not! Sometimes, if I still choose to wait and be ready to pay for the delivery, I receive damaged products or products that has no resemblance to what was displayed online (mind you, not always. But, such things have happened. I am not being negative or anything. Such things happens. It’s just that we should not become cynical. That’s the key takeaway if you ask me.)
Well, as far as the Amazon Prime Day sale was concerned, there was one for hurdle – I am not a Prime member. So none of the offers are applicable. Buhahaha!
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Ask me if I enjoy travelling and exploring new places, I would say world is my home. I don’t like to compare myself with those cool people who would have travelled more than I have and would have experienced the word “culture” beyond what I could think of. Because I don’t like comparison. My rule is simple – breaking my records and exceeding my expectations.
Do you know what I enjoy about travel? Apart from the initial fear of venturing into unknown, of course, is observing people and understanding their culture. Sometimes, I learn few words from the local language and try to include them in my day-to-day conversation. Needless to say, I love to click some breathtaking pictures and sometimes random ones.
Most of the times, I have travelled with myself and still enjoyed the company of the fellow travelers; most of them have been strangers though. Some have been old couples who still didn’t get bored of holding hands. Few others were young couple who didn’t shy away from some quick smooches and cute cuddles. Of course, there were young fathers who carried the child on their arms and young mothers feeding the infant. And there would be groups of people, presumably friends or couples, where the men carry backpacks with water and snacks. Ladies carry sleek handbags! Of course, there are girls only and boys only gangs who look pretty cool. These people would have come from different culture and backgrounds. But, wanderlust was common!
The more I observed the more I note that selfies are indeed a bad idea. It kills the joy of requesting a random fellow traveler, a complete stranger, to click your picture. They will be delighted to do that for you. And, you smile at the smiling face behind your camera lens!
As I mentioned in the beginning, all my travels start with panic. I feel like someone is choking me so much that I can’t breathe anymore. Regardless of whether I am idle or not, my mind continues to be a devil’s workshop. The creative part of me starts making up all the possible dangerous situations that I could face in an unknown land. On the top of it, I have always been told that world is not a safe place; certainly not for a solo woman traveler. Having said that, I shrug aside those dangerous and unsettling thoughts. I do a Shift+Ctrl+Delete and permanently erase them from my mind. Come on, I have faith in the goodness of humanity and have learnt to trust my instincts to sense danger. Sometimes, feeling positive matters the most, I tell myself – more than often. Chuck the fear. Trash it. Flush it and let it get missed with dirt and lose its essence. People are good. Believe me.
Think about it, there is nothing more fulfilling than exploring a new place! Fear should not kill the divine joy that only travel can give. The walls and lanes would have millions of stories to share with us. They demand nothing but our time and ears to listen to them. As I walk alongside some random people, I notice that excitement in their eyes binds us together – that twinkle in their eyes are familiar because they are similar to mine! Sometimes I think that the desire to explore the unknown and gather little memories is the only mission in my life. Some say that the journey is more important than the destination itself. I am not sure what they meant when they said that. But, I like to interpret the journey as life and the destination as death; death being the inevitable and the only truth. Death – the only friend who would never let us down. The distance between life and death is not much. Therefore, it is important to let our soul experience the vastness of the universe.
And hey! If you thought I have been only referring to the journey across the planet we live in; hang on. I also meant journey within oneself. And such travels are important too to retain our sanity and rebuild the lost faith. Yes, I said lost faith. Several factors like routine and predictable life, work, change and what not could break our heart. It could stress us and demotivate us. It makes us blame everyone around us and when there is no one, blame ourselves. So, it is imperative that we spend some time with ourselves; to understand us better. To become a better version of ourselves. Such trips to inner-self could become easier when we are away; possibly away from the familiarity and comfort zones. It not only takes us away from routine but also let us live a life we have always loved. Yes, it could be for short time. But that’s okay because the experience would last at least a lifetime. Every journey is unique. It gives us hope and makes us understand how small we are and how little we know.
Off late, I am a fan of this quote – “Not all who wander are lost”. So let’s wander in thoughts… across the mountains and waters... above the sea and land… Let us get lost only to be found by ourselves. There is nothing more exhilarating than self-revelation, I think!!!
So, happy journey folks!!! J
Friday, 30 June 2017
She hesitated a bit. Her mind was sending contradicting signals, further confusing her. But she chose to listen to her heart – a little fragment of herself which she always ignored.
First, she unblocked him in the Facebook. Then, she went through his timeline and noted that he looks the same – the same smile that always made her eyes smile. His unruly hair making him look more boyish than he was. It was his birthday and this was the gift she gave for herself. She was scrolling down his words and thoughts. She smiled when she noted silly spelling mistakes and jumbled letters. “He always does that”, said a happy voice within. The more she scrolled down the more she realized that he was looking at life at a macro level – economy, society, languages, borders, politics and what not. There was nothing personal which said he missed her. Or that he felt alone without her. Or something that could remind her of their days together. All his posts were distant and wider. She felt a little irritated. Is she the only one missing him day in and day out? In spite of a decade long separation, why she cannot fall asleep without thinking about him? Why does he still peep into her dreams regularly? And why do those dreams seem so real; as if he really pulled her closer and kissed her forehead. As if he spooned her that night until she fell asleep against the warmth of his breadth. She closed her eyes and heard his voice in her head. She opened them and felt his presence around. She was missing him. She imagined his fingers entwining with hers and his shoulders brushing hers. She relived those good old days in her head and jolted back from reverie. She was still smiling when she closed Facebook window.
Aren’t memories and dreams only hope to keep moving on in life, she wondered.