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Listening to Aanchal Malhotra on Memories, Oral Histories, Objects, and the Need for Archiving

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I like listening to podcasts and discussions these days. There's something in the spoken word and being spoken to, that influences me, motivates me and delights me as well in equal measure. Owing to the current situation, many interviews and conversations around books have come up in the online platforms, be it Facebook lives or Instagram lives. And YouTube is serving as a great repository for these videos too. One such is Aanchal Malhotra's conversation here. She is the author of a non-fiction book "Remnants of a Separation" that deals with individual accounts of first generation migrants of the partition. She captures memories around a certain tangible object that the bearer carried with him during the migration, while leaving behind their home. The sub-continent was divided into three parts over the years, decades infact, and history in its ideal sense is not able to capture the diverse experiences of multitudes, the millions who were a part of the world's gre…

Movies on Murder Mysteries

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It doesn't seem engaging at first. Seems to have a rather slow start. Not moving fast enough. Not thrilling enough. But you sit through the first hour, registering the numerous characters in your head. Each of them seems to have had the reason to commit the murder. Most belong to the same family, that makes it certain that it is indeed an insider's job. You think it through yourself, as the police and detective does in the movie. You are being taken on a ride. But just as you try to decide to quit watching, something is revealed, piquing your interest. Then something else comes up, making you question your own deductions so far. Then you are hooked. Glued to the screen. It is thrilling, the second half. And the end seems satisfactory, explaining all the open ended questions you have had through the watch. That is an awesome amazing thriller for me.Since a few days, I have been hung up on thriller movies. Can't get enough of those. Starting from 'who-dunnit' flicks …

Sunday Scribbling

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I don't really know what has gotten into me these days. May be I really don't know what I want to do for creativity department anymore. Earlier, I used to watch the sitcoms people around me didn't even know about, I used to read books by authors they weren't that acquainted with, I introduced them to all such new exciting unventured arenas. I painted sometimes when others though talented couldn't spare time. There was so much bewilderment and wonderment in me then, which seems to have lessened, or just overshadowed by practicality. I haven't been overwhelmed to be compelled to write since I don't remember when. I have lost my touch. Of course I post here to practice it once again, in an attempt to bring it back, but who knows. 
I don't imagine that vividly again now. May be age has taken over. I don't day dream. I have to-do lists now, for that matter. And even blogs are becoming a thing of the past these days. Instagram posts with long captions have…

The Tipping Point

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Thanks to the lockdown and being at home, I have too much time to spare, and it gives me so much happiness to devout this time for all the things I love and care. Oh my, that rhymed! So, I have been reading to my heart’s fill, binge watching sitcoms – especially ones adapted from bestselling novels, and doing some experimental cooking, as in home who’s there to judge anyway. I have been seeking out non-fiction read that is simple in its description and interesting enough to grasp my wavering attention for a complete sitting. ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell is one such average length book, that had been sitting there in my bookshelf for years. I had bought this International Bestseller from a bookshop near a Museum in Bangalore. (I remember this as it was my first time exploring the city of Bangalore, then.) It talks about how little things can make a big difference, as the tagline reads. Now we have another term for it – ‘going viral’. How social behaviors, fashion trends, pra…

Regaining the Reading Habit through Kindle Unlimited

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At the very first glance and search through the Kindle Unlimited collection in amazon.in, it feels disappointing. But I discovered, through various online lists and some filtering, there are many interesting titles worth a read. I would now for the next few months be regularly reviewing some of these titles that I discover on the platform. (Hopefully!) The following are a few short mythological binge reads I devoured in a day. Each is around 30-50 pages, which you can easily complete reading in a single sitting. So, fret not, your investment in this platform would be worth it.
1. Bhoomija 


After reading Anand Neelakanthan's prequel to Baahubali, 'The Rise of Sivagami', I was a fan of his storytelling and narration. I had interacted with him in 2017 Blogchatter Writing Festival over the Twitter prime time chat, and I remember receiving this book then through the event. As bloggers and aspiring fiction writers, we have a lot to learn from his works. So, I browsed a few books o…

Bulbbul - A Review

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A Netflix Original, released on 24th June, Bulbbul is a different take on the subject of witches - 'chudail' as is called in India, narrating the tale from the perspective of the out-worldly being. It is India's very own 'revenant' tale - a person who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead.  The storytelling in the movie is quite gripping. The way it intertwines sweet memory and nostalgia of childhood, the grief and longing of missing someone, the beautiful colors and scenes of old world Bengali zamindar family of British Raj with the Gothic-like feel of spook and fable and a tale of revenge, is remarkable. The dialogues are no nonsense. There's this poetry piece or song - that is sung by two central characters in two different situations, rendering a totally different meaning to the words each of the times. There's a hint of metaphor and word play that seems naturally drawn into conversation. The entire movie is visually appealing - the red hues …

The Rise of Sivagami

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This is the first Anand Neelakanthan book in my ‘Read’ shelves in GoodReads now. I devoured the book, all in three days. Having watched the Bahubali movies, I was intrigued about the book. I had received this book with the author’s signature in 2018 May, as a gift token, from Blogchatter, for volunteering in their writing festival. Since then, didn’t really get a chance to read it. I returned home to Bhubaneswar last week, from Mumbai. So, during the self-imposed home quarantine I had awesome time reading this about 500 page kinda thriller. I would just sit in the balcony in the morning breeze (the weather here is really good these days, cloudy but it doesn’t rain) with my cup of black pepper chai and Marie biscuits and keep reading to my fill. Best time ever, since months.
Sivagami is 17 year old who has grown in her father’s friend’s home, after her father was given the capital punishment, in quite a brutal way, for treachery, when she was five. She is filled with unanswered questio…