Showing posts from August, 2023

‘The Other Bennet Sister’ by Janice Hadlow

  As the name suggests, it is a spin off from the Jane Austen world of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, the protagonist being Mary, the Bennet sister who got the least pages dedicated to her in the book. While Jane and Elizabeth were the stars in the original story, our author here imagines the world from Mary’s perspective. We get a glimpse of her childhood, the events of marriages and ball rooms from her eyes, her ambitions in life and her potential romantic encounters. Mary as a character is fully developed in this book, which is such a joy to read. Perfect Jane Austen vibes. Mary spends her days unnoticed, hidden from limelight, seldom receiving appreciation for her talent in piano or her scholarly pursuits. She lives a rather lonely existence. I identify my younger self – timid teenage self with Mary. Awkward and shy in social settings, may not really come across as the smart one with interesting conversations to offer in social gatherings. Dressing plain and unflattering clothes, so as n

Trip to Kochi and Alleppey

Day 1 We arrived at Ernakulam and took the metro to visit the church and roamed around a bit, the Kerala Museum and Modern Art Gallery, and some relatively slow sightseeing. Day 2 It's difficult to click a picture of the multiple lottery stalls here in Alleppey, from a running vehicle. But they are everywhere, every nook and corner, accompanied by old men in mundus (white dhoti worn like a lungi) sitting on plastic chairs and chatting the morning hours away. Lottery of 60k to be won at one stall. Like paan stalls in Odisha, these lottery stalls are everywhere. Also, all shopkeepers, auto drivers wear mundus, their traditional wear. Christian population here is substantial, there are churches too- big ones in almost every turn. We saw some 8-10 medium to huge churches on our way from Ernakulam to Alleppey via road, amidst the coconut trees in the backdrop. Beautiful white washed ones with ornate windows and a cross visible from the top. Our stay was at Palm Grove resort in Alleppey

The Lost Apothecary

Book Blurb: A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them - setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course. Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman. Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register. One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose - selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register. In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth weddin

A Past Year This Time

It is difficult to make sense of time passing when I am not writing the events down, jotting it somewhere, may be just in an attempt to blog relevantly again. Adulting is realizing badly that you won't have time to write unless you make time for it actively, consciously. And it had taken a backseat for me for the past few months - from September last year till now, to be precise.  September Cherry had come. We three had a lot of fun exploring Chikmagalur : peeking into the temples of Halebeedu enroute, drenching ourselves on the short trek to a peak, and frolicking alongside a beautiful lake surrounded by fog covered luscious green mountains. We went to high energy twisty adrenaline rushing rides in Wonderla, spent hours dipped in the pools, waves, the joyrides and the fun and excitement of being half submerged in water and having buckets and buckets being poured over, oh the thrill of it, was my very first experience, soon to become an addiction with water- pools, sea beach frolic

Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  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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