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The Calligrapher's Daughter- Part I

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Book Blurb:
“Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. When her traditional father seeks to marry her into an aristocratic family, her mother defies generations of obedient wives and instead sends Najin to serve in the King’s court as a companion to a young princess. But the King is soon assassinated, and the centuries-old dynastic culture comes to its end. Spanning thirty years, The Calligrapher’s Daughter is an exquisite novel about a country torn between ancient customs and modern possibilities, a family ultimately united by love, and a woman who never gives up her search for freedom.”
Thoughts (First 100 pages):
The title itself suggests that the story is of that daughter, whose identity is defined on the sole pretext of being her father’s daughter. She has no name. She wasn’t christened with one on the hundredth day of her birth, as the traditional Korean custom had it for the sons. There was no celebration, no festivities on the occasi…

Small Servings Of Wellness #BlogChatterEbooks

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New beginnings are tough. You suck at things a lot initially. It takes patience, persistence, and faith to keep going. During this phase, all you need is reassurances, inspiration, and motivation. Daily doses of them. This book ‘Small Servings Of Wellness’ by Vaishali Gandhi has been that daily dose of motivation for me when life is humbling me down and crossroads challenge me out of my comfort zone. After having left the hectic yet comfortable IT job after two years of joining, and starting preparations for competitive exams again was a tough change. And leading a life of a student, career aspirant yet again after two years is intimidating too. Every day when I attend the coaching classes I feel left behind by those fresh out of college, who grasp the concepts much faster than I am able to do. It is indeed humble beginning. A start from scratch. Level 1 yet again. But then, the faith that I gained from all around me, led me to practice it all step by step each day, and I can say, th…

White Noise

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Book Blurb:


“There is another city right under our city and it comes up only when you and I are together. Only you and I know about it and only you and I get to experience it. It keeps itself hidden from the rest of the world. And that is where I live.” He said.“And what happens when you’re not with me?” She asked.“I evaporate.” He smiled.

The Reading Experience:
There have been times when I have devoured a book solely because of its exquisite narrative. I have relished it word by word and the sheer joy of the experience is beyond me to express. This is yet another such book. The narrative is cerebral, mysterious, addictive, and poetic – complete with metaphors, similes, rhymes, and rhythms. I remember two novels by international writers that had overwhelmed me, wowed me, blew my mind by their magical narration- ‘The Debt of Tamar’ by Nicole Dweck, and ‘We were Liars’ by E.Lockhart. This particular book ‘White Noise’ by Shruti Upadhaya is comparable to these bestselling gems.


I prefer m…

#Urdu- A Sufi Celebration Of Life #BlogChatterEbookCarnival

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Book Blurb:

"This book is a Sufi celebration — a celebration of love, humanity, and values that seem to be losing their sheen.Simple, relatable and everyday life lessons are woven around equally simple and easy to use Urdu words that can easily become a part of the reader’s day to day lingo.And since Urdu is a language of the poets and a home for some of the finest poetry/couplets (ghazal, nazm, shayari and so on), these pieces are riddled with her most favorite pieces of Urdu poetry or shayaris, many of which formed the background score of her childhood that echoed with her mother’s favorite Jagjit Singh’s ghazals."

My Review:
I love untranslatable words. I dig up the internet for them- search nooks and corners of ScoopWhoop, ThoughtCatalog, and Instagram for these. I love the way these words conquer over my being as I get deeply immersed in their meaning. Never thought there were such words in Urdu as well, a language I have grown to love in recent years though Saayaris, Pa…

Eight Steps To Achieve Your Reading Goals

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Reading habits vary from person to person. Someone likes to read before going to bed while someone prefers reading the first thing in the morning. Someone reads fast, someone reads slowly taking his own sweet time. Someone prefers to listen to a novel being read aloud to him, rather than reading it himself. There are various reading challenges all over the internet- the Goodreads, Epicreads- varying on the basis of the number of books you are committing to read in a year, or the genre of books, or even color coded challenges based on the book covers. Read 101 Classics challenge, LGBT books, Banned Books, Poetry Books, translated books, etc. Weird ones, challenging and interesting ones. Here are a few steps on how you can achieve your reading goals if you tend to lag behind.
1.Choose a time-slot You need to be dedicated to reading every day. Choosing a particular time of the day to read can help a lot. It can be while traveling to or from your work or institute, in the morning hours, …

Call Of The Void #MondayMusings

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‘Call of the void’- a strange feeling when you think for a second about steering into oncoming traffic or jumping off a cliff for no reason—although you’d never do it. There is an expression in French for this-‘l’appel du vide’- an untranslatable expression, that loosely translates to ‘call of the void’. It is an instinctive urge to jump, let go, especially when one is close to the edge of a cliff or building. Insane desire of the unconscious mind. Perhaps just faulty messages that the brain sends when something is triggered. Yet it sends goosebumps when you realize what you were thinking a second ago. And no, it’s not suicidal. It’s just strange. Eerie.

And had it been more than just a second of thought, imagine the restraint that would have been required to rein the overpowering desire to unlock, open the door of the car and take the plunge. It’s overwhelming and draining. The urge to look straight into the mind’s lures—that particular vision of oneself rolling down the road and pu…

Aerogramme: Verses with a slice of life #BlogChatterEbook

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About the Book:

Aerogramme is a collection of the poems that have been read in poetry groups. Blame the group members if you find these ramblings nonsensical. Written in her journal, the poems are signposts along the journey called ‘everyday’. This is an attempt to recapture the thoughts over a period of the years she lived away from home yet moved closer to it.
My Review:

As the title suggests, it is a letter sent through air mail, snaps of life and jottings of memories. It is borne of nostalgia, from reminisces of the city the author lived in and other fond memories. I have been curious about what a poetry group must be like, a community that encourages and constantly gives you the much-needed feedback on your creative works. These verses took flight in Poetry Reading sessions in Secundrabad Poetry Club, that Nivedita was a part of. She recaptures time and events over the years through poetic verses, the only way to move closer to home while living away from it.
I am drawn to spoken …