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Showing posts from June, 2021

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

KDrama 'The Liar and His Beloved'

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The Plot A certain music band is a youth sensation. The young folks are crazy about their music, their album releases and concerts. Their albums are pre-ordered months before releasing in the country, their interviews scheduled days earlier to avoid availability issues. They are high on demand.  But there is another individual behind the great soulful music that the group renders its voices to- K- the faceless person who prefers to remain anonymous and far from the madding crowd. Only the company knows who he is, and his identity is kept confidential. The band is close to him, but he is the master of their fates. One fine day when K is struggling to come in terms with his heartbreak, walking along the road by the river bank, he stumbles upon a tune, the hint of a new song. He is transported to that suspension of consciousness, and lyrics come to him as he channels his ache into something beautiful. The pain becomes his muse and he creates soulful renditions in that moment. W

The Inugami Curse - A dramatic murder mystery that will keep you turning the pages!

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  The mighty patriarch of the Inugami clan passed away, and left behind a will and testament of his last wishes on how the estate and property should be distributed among his daughters, grand-daughters and grandsons. And this will is twisted beyond anyone's expectations and imagination - which would lead to a series of murders, elaborately staged ones with tricky messages. And all is a riddle till our detective Kosuke Kindaichi - solves it. The story is based in 1950s Japan, in a small village, in a rich sprawling household of the Inugamis. What adds to the charm is the Japanese culture in the tale - tatami mats rooms with sliding doors, chrysanthemum dolls and gardens, and a kimono wearing detective.  The novel is fast paced, presenting amazing dramatic twists and turns in every chapter. There are many characters, each with a unique past- an intriguing story of his own - even the deceased Sahei Inugami. He was the most successful businessman in entire Japan, who had managed to gro

Katla - A mystery series based on Icelandic folklores

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Last weekend I chanced upon Netflix's first Icelandic series released this month. The trailer was what hooked me in. Set in an intriguing yet beautiful landscape, a remote Icelandic village Vik, with the ocean on one side, a river nearby and an active volcano named 'Katla' on the other- the area a juxtaposition of black volcanic soil and white snow, this 8-episode series weaves together several mysterious happenings to form its creepy enigmatic narrative.  The volcano has been erupting for over an year making the place almost uninhabitable. Most of the residents have evacuated or permanently shifted to other places, except a team of volcanologists and scientists, rescue workers, essential service providers, and very few common folk who don't want to leave the place. The mysterious happenings start when a woman is discovered in the restricted area near the volcano- naked -the black mud covering her being entirely. She resembles a lady who used to live in the area 20 year

Confessions

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  Confessions by Kanae Minato, translated into English from Japanese by Stephen Snyder. I’m aware there is a movie of the same name, adapted from the book, released about ten plus years ago. I haven’t watched it, the trailer was very creepy. The book reads a bit like psychological thriller, a 6-part narrative, told from the perspectives of 5 major characters. Each of them is a monologue, and the story moves forward with few flashbacks through diary entries and after thoughts. It is a dark tale, some parts feel just crazy, with persisting mystery till the end. A three year old is found dead in the swimming pool in school premises. Investigation concludes it is an accident causing death by drowning, but the mother knows otherwise. She is a teacher in the school, and knows from the previous sequence of events, and a bit of investigating herself, that two teenagers among her own students are responsible for the death of her daughter. She resigns from her job but confronts the class on her

Sals of the Valley - A Memorial To Dehradun

  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Magic Moments (@books_under_my_pillow) Not just Sals - I visited the Sagwan trees, the Dhak trees, the grooves of Mango trees, and so many beauties of the land. This book is a must read. This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon .

His Dark Materials

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When it comes to fantasy, rewatching it years later can reveal more layers than it did when we first watched it as kids. As an adult I have watched the first season of ‘His Dark Materials’ and loved the socio religious tension ever present between the researchers and the Magisterium. It reminded me of the ‘blasphemy’ of several scientists and astronomers studying the mysteries of the universe centuries ago, who stood by their theories and scientific discoveries that the earth was round and that it revolved around the sun. In this fantasy series based on Philip Pullman's trilogies, the research around ‘Dust’ or ‘Dark Matter’ is much frowned upon by the Authority. This magnanimous religious body hides the truth about the presence of several parallel universes, and the story is about Lyra’s journey. Coming to think of it, every fantasy tale is about a journey that the central character takes, stepping away from his own comfort zone. Or escapes the daily circumstances and gets to expl

Food I cooked in May

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Khao Suey Yesterday we fried Vadas - fritters made out of rice and urad dal batter, mixed with chopped onions, chillies and coriander leaves. It was so yummy. Apart from some minor oil splashes in the mini wok, due to accidental presence of water in the ladle, there was no incident. And I fried a lot more vadas later in the night, soaked them in water, to make Dahi Vadas . Yum! I love this summer food. Reminds me of multiple summer vacations at home. Today morning I spluttered some mustard seeds and cumin with a dry red chilli and mixed it with dahi, chopped coriander leaves, and ground roasted cumin powder. The dahi vadas were mouth watering. And the sambar the day before - sour and spicy - loved it! Dahi Vada Just Vada Today I made Thai Green Curry . Of course procuring the Thai herbs was a challenge, so we decided to substitute with a ready-made ‘Thai Green Curry’ paste. Fried that in oil, put water and simmered, then in went the veggies - mushroom, tofu, carrots, capsicum, lots of

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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