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Showing posts from 2021

The Miniaturist

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Petronella is a young bride who has dreamt of marriage - her life with a husband and many children. A life of wealth, comfort, devoid of any dearth. She arrives at her newly wedded husband’s home in Amsterdam of 1600s, where businesses have made the city rich. Johannes, the husband is a wealthy merchant mostly away on travels for business trips, and the house runs on Marin, the sister-in-law’s commands - taptly, the mistress of the house. She is stoic in her expressions, direct in her comments, almost unkind, secretive, and wears black all the time. Unmarried too, proudly so. Nella meets Otto, the black manservant of the house, who is too free to speak his mind in front of his masters, as Nella notes. And finally Cornelia, the maid who runs the kitchen, cleans the doors, fetches and mends things, and peeps through keyholes learning everyone’s dark secrets.  “Every woman is the architect of her own fortune.” Each of them has a dark secret which they intend to protect fiercely. And Nella

Mumbai Or Bangalore - which one would you choose?

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Parks of Bangalore "Bangalore is so full of trees,  and is rightly called The Garden City. You have greenery everywhere - accessible parks - Cubon Park, Lal Bagh, and even the widest roads have continuous canopy of trees. Can you find that anywhere in Mumbai. Even parks there is all about open gyms, walks and kids play - all except trees. Trees are just so rare there. It's all concrete. " - I say. "Mumbai has the sea. A big plus. Where would you find such a vast water body in Bangalore? There's not even a river nearby. Shivasamudram and some other falls are far away. Mumbai has the beach, the Marine Drive, the Gateway of India, the ports, the ships - no sight can compare that." - He defends. The Mumbai Skyline "Of course. But we would stay in Navi Mumbai, right? The sea is as far from there, as Shivasamudram is from here. So what's the difference! You just cannot make time to visit the sea everyday. Only in the weekends you can. Plus, homes there do

Mail to my Bestie - 20-04-2018

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  We had kulhad chai in Kolkata, Baba and me. Sanu Mamu  does not drink chai. Well I think he's not human. He doesn't drink anything- coffee, soft drinks, cola , sprite, maaza, hard drinks. Of course he is not  human. We all had dosa, and misti doi. I wanted to visit the south side of the city to the chinese colony to eat authentic Chinese momo and chinese dishes like noodles, fish cakes etc. But we didn't have time, and Baba was reluctant. So I didn't urge.  You know last since 2016 I had been booking tickets for Kolkata and cancelling. Twice. Once Arpita, Ipsa, Joyeeta and I had planned- but we cancelled due to a marriage ceremony we had in family. Next in 2017 we had booked- Saswati, me and Arpita- to go the next week of returning from Visakhapatnam, but canceled since Saswati had no holidays. And I was wondering ever since whether I was jinxed for Kolkata or vise versa. And now I get to go there, not to roam around, but with family. When returning I was feeling the

Mail to my Bestie 19-04-2018

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UPES Dehradun Hi, Back from Kolkata now. Reached Bhubaneswar 6 am in the morning. Then went to Khalikot to attend a thread ceremony. Now finally home. Writing just so things. About last three days. On Tuesday we went to Kolkata - Baba, me and Sanu Mamu- in the morning chair car. This was my first time traveling in a chair car, and I quite liked the sliding doors, the seats, the table-like structures in front of us where our food was served. Much like in flights. The six and half hour journey had three times eating (all veg)- breakfast (bread, butter, jam, frooti, cutlet with fried peas and potatoes) , soup(with bread sticks and pepper powder and butter) and lunch(rice, rumali roti, dal, aloo kofta curry, curd, pickle, and Amul Icecream). I really enjoyed this first time experience. I love eating in journeys. And Sanu Mamu and I chatted throughout the trip. Baba slept halfway. Then we read newspapers that were provided- The Telegraph and The Bussiness Standards. Sanu Mamu talked about h

The Reader

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  The Reader is a 2008 movie starring Kate Winslet. It is adapted from a German book with the same title. It is about an intimate relationship between a younger man and an older woman over several years. The first half is very detailed and very scintillating. But the second half is so full of pain, and longing. How far would you go to hide a secret? A secret that would bring embarrassment and humiliation. Hanna has a secret, she would rather confess murder she didn't commit and get imprisoned for life, than reveal it. And it is rather strange, that she choses to go to prison, than admit that she's an illiterate. As audience, you cannot understand her decision. You wonder is it that big a humiliation? Shame? Hanna is a character I couldn't really understand. I watched out for her, loved, hated, despised her, longed to know about her, along with Mikael, but wasn't able to understand her. There are many moments in this movie that overwhelmed me and touched deep. The trial

On Burnouts

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“We need to stop glamorizing overworking. The absence of sleep, good diet, exercise, relaxation, and time with friends and family isn’t something to be applauded. Too many people wear their burnout as a badge of honour. And it needs to change.” Get help when you think you require it. Do not try to be a super woman who can do it all. You do not have to multitask. Do not wait to take rest till you have a burnout.   Weeks back I had a bad lower back pain that persisted for over 5 days. It was too painful for me to do anything but bedrest. There was cleaning to be done, washing utensils and cooking, of which I managed only the cooking part and the rest husband did. I am no superwoman and I cannot do it all. It is high time I acknowledge that I need help for household chores, now that covid lockdown restrictions have been removed. I cannot hustle everything. So for 5 days I did slow stretching and yoga postures for lower back strengthening, minimal sitting, laid on my back for hours reading

84, Charring Cross Road

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Thanks to Instagram, I discovered this book. Or how else a book first published in 1971, can come to my hands. These days I make it a point to read a book end to end - appreciations for the book by newspaper columns, acknowledgements, contents, introduction, epilogue, end notes, indexes, appendix etc. whatever be it. This one is the most apt statement: "A 19th century book in a 20th century world. It will beguile an hour of your time and put you in tune with mankind." "As we get to know Helene, and through her, Frank and Nora Doel, and Cecily Farr and Megan Wells and the rest at 84 Charing Cross, we recognize that the books desired, located, sent and received are the happy vehicles for much else : conversation, friendship, affection, generosity, wit -- in other words, for all the best things life can share with us."  - from the Introduction by Anne Bancroft who played Helene's character in the movie. We book-lovers just love to indulge in books that talk about o

Midsommar - Macabre tale set in the land of the midnight sun

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The creepy trailer and the tag of it being a horror movie without actual ghosts lured me into watching it.  And there was Dani - the female protagonist around whose breakup journey the story revolves, who starred in Little Women. I like to watch movies by the actors that I had loved in one past movie. She is phenomenal in expressing the sheer grief and trauma that is an integral part of this movie.  But there should have been a disclaimer somewhere - watch at your own discretion and risk. It's not an easy movie. In one word - it's Macabre . Not exactly horror. It just affects you mentally. I won't really recommend it - but truth is curiosity got better of me and I watched it completely, and then watched 'ending explained' videos and real midsummer rituals in Nordic lands which are nothing like what is in this movie.  Dark thriller with brutal violence disguised as Scandinavian pagan culture traditions in the land of the midnight sun . The script has taken old folk

Let's Talk About Money by Monika Halan

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Personal finance is something each one of us has to deal with at some point of time. We cannot escape that need by the regular excuse - " finance is not for me ". We have to teach ourselves the basics of finance and the way to deal with the money we earn for the long term - investment, insurance, retirement corpus, etc. We are responsible for our own financial literacy. Furthermore, it is actually in the best interests of the financial market to keep us confused, make us think the jargons are just way to many to ride through. We need to work hard to educate ourselves so that we don't regret our choices later in life. The cost of being ignorant is way too much. Last week I read 'Let's Talk Money' by Monika Halan - a planned approach to investment, in the Indian context. She is a sane voice that makes finance accessible for beginners. Those without an academic or management background in finance, can start off their learning with this one. It's written in v

Books I Grew Up Reading

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I was watching  BoTCast - Books On Toast videos - I am loving those bookish conversations. I keep listening to them day in and day out - well, it's been just two days since I discovered their vlogs on Youtube.  Audio contents are awesome. I warmed up to podcasts on Spotify sometime in 2020 when the concept of lockdown was getting introduced slowly in various states. But I have forever loved listening. Radio storytimes with Neelesh Misra was a regular for me every evening 9 pm during college. With Clubhouse doing the rounds around every corner of the internet, though all of it feels like noise - or may be I am not introduced to the right content or 'hall'/'room' yet, audio is here to stay. Reading was time taking, so medium of video became popular - YouTube, now even video takes one to focus on the screen, so audio is back. The days of radio are perhaps back. We can multitask as audio content entertaining us.  I liked an episode of Books on Toast where they discuss

Listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear

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“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.” ―   James Clear,   Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones Taking tips from Book blogging community and bookstagram, I started listening to audiobooks whilst doing the household daily chores. With the lockdown still very much continuing and no house help, sweeping and mopping and washing and cleaning take hours every day. Hours that I either spend doing and reflecting on my thoughts, or just getting frustrated with the monotony of  it all. Listening to non-fiction while doing all these tasks, and even cooking gave me reason to look forward to mornings. I even listened

On Anonymity : Sarahah and Other

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Wrote the following piece sometime in 2017 when this app was doing the rounds. Sad that I didn't consider sinister messages and cyber crime or stalking or bullying aspect of it, which had made the news in a few months of it being popular. Any way, do leave your comments o the topic...  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sarahah In defence of Sarahah. Every thing on the internet has its use and misuse. But in these virtues and vices how Sarahah would fare, only time will tell. But I want to write a lot about why I am in love with this app.  It's not that previously we didn't have anonymous calls, text messages, facebook pings or even emails. Connecting with hidden identity is no way a new concept or thought. It was there in chat rooms of yesteryear, in romanticism of 'You Have Got Mail', in fake accounts of Orkut and Facebook of a prospective fan, unnamed letters from

A Letter To Someone on Everyday Tidbits of Life

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Hi there,  I don't really know whom I am writing this letter to, but hope it finds you in good health and best of your moods. I am from India, state Odisha. I live in Bhubaneswar, known as The Temple city. It has a string of centuries-old temples located in different areas and corners of the city, visited by townsfolk and devotees. These temples are frequented by pilgrims from far and wide. Among the most famous ones are The Lingaraj Temple, The RajaRani Temple, Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa (the Buddhist installation), ISKCON temple, and many more. Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves offer a glimpse into life ages ago. Bhubaneswar recently has been in the limelight for being chosen as India's first city to be converted into a planned smart city, in the first of its kind government initiative. It has also received an international award in the planning process. Enough about my city. It's my hometown, so I have a deep-seated love for it. Home sweet home. I live in a colony that ove

Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

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  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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