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Showing posts from 2017

The Island by Victoria Hislop - Part I

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I have come across a book, ‘stumbled upon’ rather, or more aptly- 'the book happened’- ‘the book found me’, which makes me feel the tumultuous tsunami of emotions of the people who lived ages ago. These are the unaccounted tales, stories too overwhelming and sad to pass it on to generations as legends. Only time bears a testimony to the struggles, the tears, the fears, and the lives lost. At the core of the book is a disease- long feared, long prejudiced; its sufferers ostracized to the likes of rapid animals, outcast from society as ‘the unclean one’- leprosy.
The Book Blurb-
‘When she travels to Crete to unravel the mystery of her mother’s childhood, Alexis Fielding finds herself drawn to the tiny island of Spinalonga, once Greece’s main leper colony. Sophia Fielding has steadfastly refused to discuss her past, but by reawakening long-dormant memories in those familiar with local history, Alexis uncovers a powerful story of four proud generations linked by a tragedy in this fine …

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 …

Being a Part Of An Ebook Carnival #BlogchatterEbook

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I take on the baton of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival from Gayatri whose Ebook " Off Beats" is also a part of the mix.


About Gayatri's Ebook 
This book offers insights into how author through her own life drew a learning to travel and explore more. Her experiences helped us elevate her own living style. She hopes this book will inspire you to travel, as an individual as well as a couple, family since there is rarely a better way to learn more about the world and the wonderful creations of nature including the most intriguing ones – people.
“Do you wish to be a published author? Harbor a dream to build a legacy that lasts beyond you?” These were the lines that grabbed my attention sometime in March 2017 when the BlogChatter Writing Festival started off. It was a writing festival with monthly themes, where bloggers connected and collaborated with one another on learning about the various facets of a writer’s life. We got to know many first-hand experiences about the publishing …

Ruminations

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Some people have an uncanny knack of looking through you. You cannot hide your thoughts, the workings of your mind from them. Your innermost ruminations are known to them. Your deepest desires are seen by them clearly. They just need to have an eye contact and they can see you. The real you. You can't get away with pretense. You cannot disguise in front of them. You cannot be safe in your fake cocoon when they are around. You are being watched.

Are You Flowing With The Tide? #MondayMusings

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We fit ourselves in the new shoe. The feet adjust to contain themselves within its boundary through the pain of shoebites inthe first wear. Else, the shoe changes its shape according to our feet.
In a new surrounding, is it us who become attuned to the team, the workings of the group, the fraternity. Is it us who adjust our own frequency to match that of the people around us, or is it vice versa? Does the group get accustomed to us? Or is it both ways, each trying to match the others’ thought process, deciding factors, opinions, and views until all eventually fit in the samemould. Is this the science of belonging?
We attune our lives according to the natural frequency of our surroundings. Then we adjust to change. If we protest or fight against change- the workings of our peripheries- it hurts us.
We, humans, are similar to the musical instrument that needs tuning depending on who is playing it, for which type of music.
Do we make the patterns or do we fit into patterns ourselves? So do w…

Dark Brew : A dark humor

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Dark Brew is a film by Akash Goila, produced by Aashish Sachdeva, starring Vinay Pathak, Sheetal Thakur and Shibani Bedi. Akash is an Indie film and TV series Producer, Director and a renowned Public Speaker. He’s the founder of TalkWiz, a club that deals with Professional Speakers and their brand creation and marketing. He’s also associated with The Actor’s Studio, a recruitment agency for film, theater and television series.Akash is a visionary entrepreneur and film director who wishes to transform the short filmmaking scene by launching short theaters in India and transform the way filmmaking is done at grass root levels via his and Aashish Sachdeva's brand Filmeraa.
Vinay Pathak is a well-known actor in Indian television and movies. He has starred in many films like ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’, ‘Bheja Fry’, and ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’, etc. His career graph is a long one. In this film, he plays the pivotal character around whom the story revolves.
Sheetal Thakur began her acting career …

Why Biopics Are THE Thing Of Today #BOLLYGUPSHUP

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Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, the biopic on the life of the renowned athlete Milkha Singh, lovingly known as ‘The Flying Sikh’ went on to earn 100 crores. Paan Singh Tomar, the story of an athlete turned rebel, went on to win the Best Feature Film in the 60th National Film Awards. Mary Kom, the journey of a boxer to win the 2008 World Boxing Championship, won the title of The Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment at the 62nd National Film Awards. Shahid, the movie based on the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi who was assassinated in 2010 in Mumbai, went on to win the National Film Award For Best Actor and Best Director at the 61st National Film Awards. Dirty Picture, the biopic on the controversy-courting South Indian actress Silk Smitha garnered applauds from the audience and critics alike. Dangal, the biographical sports drama that portrays the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat who teaches his two daughters Babita Kumari and Geeta Phogat wrestling, who become Indi…

'Kafka On The Shore': A Spellbindingly Surreal Novel By Haruki Murakami

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Haruki Murakami uses seemingly irrelevant series of events and occurrences to weave a gripping plot in ‘Kafka on the Shore’. These events sometimes are the normal natural day to day happenings and sometimes they border on the metaphysical world of dreams, hypnosis, animal spirits and other pseudo-realities. What starts as a boring detailed interview, report or letter ends up being a mind-bending thrill. Then there comes showers of fish and leeches, encounters with a ghost or a living spirit and other weird happenings. It may sound like themes borrowed from urban legends but it’s perfectly natural in this universe.
Two parallel stories are narrated in alternate chapters – one is that of Kafka Tamura and other is that of Nakata.
Kafka Tamura is a runaway from home, seeking freedom and independence, and perhaps searching for his long-lost mother and sister or vaguely put wanting to meet them at least once. He steals as many things from home as he can and travels to Takamatsu on his fifte…

Trip to Vizag: Short Yet Sweet

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This is a long overdue post that I had been trying to write for the past few weeks, but something or the other always came in the way. So, here's a glimpse around our Trip to Vizag: Short Yet Sweet. Finally.

Three days in Vizag went by in a jiffy. Three of us had a gala time. It seemed we had never been out of touch. Even ten years later, we were the same 14-year-olds giggling and gossiping and worrying about life. We still were the same emotionally. Had the same perspectives about the world as before. Same philosophical mindset. Perhaps the internal clocks had stopped ticking after that age, and our souls are still fourteen years old.

When Vinny was leaving Keonjhar in Class 8, Sagarika had given her a letter dated April 7th 2007, along with a pouch full of chocolates. She had preserved that letter with care and we re-read the words together exactly 10 years later. Time flies. Happy yet tough realization. Vinny is getting married, and till now it seems such a far fetched idea. …

I left my soul in thy brine

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It isn't a common place thing with me to miss the ocean so very much. I was never even attached to it if I look back to last year or the year before that. I was the one who sat on the beach munching on roasted peanuts from the nearby stall while watching siblings playing in the water. I didn't really like going near the waves; I hated the after-effects- the sand sticking to the skin and the uncomfortable itchy feeling under the feet. I preferred the plain land over mountains and beaches any day. So, when I say I don't know what changed, I really don't know. It's inexplicable.

I love sitting by the sea-shore and chatting with friends for hours. I love the sound of the waves breaking on the shore, the feel of the wet sand under my feet, the view of the ebbing waves leaving the sea foam behind, and the mesmerizing sight of sunset on the horizon. And the sea breeze is like a healing touch for wounds I myself have the least idea about. This environ is magic, therapy an…