Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book-Review: One & a half wife by Meghna Pant

Finished reading One & a half wife by Meghna Pant (Westland Books: I wonder why Westland has changed it's logo!!). It's her debut novel and her second book "Happy Birthday" collection of short stories has been released recently.

One & a half wife deals with relationships, bonds and emotions and says that change is inevitable. The story tells about Indian immigrants who desperately want to achieve American dreams. Do they always live their desired dreams?

Amara Malhotra is a very good (Shy, Thoughtful & Caring) Indian girl whose future has been declared by a punditji that she will be one & half wife (Sadly, I didn't understand the meaning, even after reading the whole book :( ). Her mother Radha (Biji) desperately prays to move America to fulfill her and Amara's American dreams and desires and finally one fine day, Amara's Dua mama opens the door of America for them.

After unexpected rejection from her dear cousin Riya and not so interesting teenage life, Amara enters a suffocating marriage which leads to a painful divorce or in biji's language die-force :)

Is this the end of life for Amara (as she thinks so)? Definitely not! Actually it's a new and beautiful start of her life, back in so called modern India, that is going to transform her life and persona.

How? Go grab the book and read. It's a wonderful book that you'll find hard to put down. It's a very well crafted story. There are well defined characters. And the author creates a lovely imagery through believable incidents and neat and crisp writing style.

There's an interesting touch of humour also. I always smiled when I envisioned Biji's temple face. And her English is really amusing!

I really liked the idea of starting and ending the book in same pattern but on a different note.

Overall, it was a fantastic read! I would say that every book lover especially women should read this book. Highly recommended!

Source: Personal Copy

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Linking @ The Tales Pensive

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Funny school days

School days were fun! No doubt about it. Many days back, I received a mail that said how funny school days could be. So, I thought to share this. I laughed like a crazy!!

Please open the image in new tab to see the larger image

Shared @ Write Tribe

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hidden truth

Tring...Tring, the phone rang.

"Hello."  Naina says.

"Happy marriage anniversary!" Meera is saying gleefully.

"Oh, thank you so much Meera!"

"So you've completed ten blissful years uh! You guys make a perfect couple. Congratulations! Be happy like this always." Meera says.  "Where's Vivek?" She asks.

Naina  hands the phone to her husband. He talks merrily for a minute then disconnects the call. They both look at each other for a brief moment. Then, 'the perfect couple', without wishing each other, head towards different directions.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

And BlogAdda picked this post as one of the WOW posts!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Some more colours!

Recently, I have tried three paintings. Well, all of them were (ahem) disasters! Then I have realized that as an absolute beginner, I should paint some simple easy pictures for some time and as at this stage it's slightly difficult for me to draw according to my own imagination so, lesson number two is: I need inspiration!

Here I'm sharing with you this painting that I made yesterday:

Learnt from YouTube video by Millind Mulick

I'm very bad at drawing human figures (Or faces). I find it very fascinating how painters give the effect of human figures by just sketching some lines and dots. I saw a picture on internet and tried to paint this. I'm happy with this painting. What do you say?

And this one:

This is simple but I like it!

So, for now I think I should stick to trees, boats, a simple house etc.....
Tips, suggestions and feedbacks are highly appreciated! 

Shared @ Write Tribe

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My name is Tarang.

Some years back one of my friends (Not friend actually, she was senior to me) invited me to  her wedding. I couldn't go so I called to wish her.

"Hello." A male voice greeted when I called.

"Can I talk to Vinita Di?" I asked.

"Who's this?"



"Tarang," I repeated.

"What kind of name..." He stopped midway, realizing what he was saying was perhaps rude but I knew what he was trying to say. "What kind of name is this!"

It happens all the time. People often ask my name twice. Sometimes, I have to tell the spelling when someone seems confused to hear my name. Some think it's Taran, or Tarun or even Karan! One of my students (He was six years old) used to call me Turang! It's quite amusing that some people even address me as "Mr. Sinha." in e-mails!

In my school or even in the large population of my college, I was the only girl named "Tarang." I didn't like my name when I was a kid because there was no "Tarang" other than me. I thought "Why I couldn't be 'Pooja' 'Neha' 'Sneha' or someone whose name was common. Now I like my name because it's uncommon.

Many people say that my name is nice, different. It feels nice. I've received some comments about my name even on my blog. Some people say it's 'nice', 'musical', 'lyrical' and 'different'. Thanks for the compliment!

Yes, my name is Tarang and I really like it!

Shared @ Write Tribe

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Time to enjoy life!

Heavy drops of rain
Invigorated the zest
Time to enjoy life!

It's raining here and the refreshing aura prompted me to write this. Sometimes we feel trapped in troubles and eventually stress that we forget to enjoy life. We keep thinking about our problems and ignore little packets of happiness. 

 Life is uncertain and few things are beyond our control. Sometimes we just have to learn to accept life as it comes. At the same time, even after many disheartening situations, we must learn to keep our hope and courage alive. There's always a way. We just have to find it.

Fight the hurdles (Yes you can!)! Try your best to do what you actually want to do. Learn new things! Add colours to your life. Find the little reasons to smile (You'll get many) and enjoy life!

Sharing with Haiku Heights
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Friday, July 19, 2013

My attempt at Water Colour painting!!

In my earlier posts, I've written about my growing interest in painting. I love water colour painting so tried it and I thought to share. As I'm an absolute beginner, I'm satisfied with my effort and I hope to improve!

What do you say?

Sharing with Write Tribe

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My drawings...

I had mentioned in my earlier post In love with colours that I'm really bad at drawing (Read the post to know how bad I am!) but inexplicably, I've developed a deep desire to learn painting. I made these and I thought to share with you. You may find it childish but for painting, I'm just a child. And I want to grow. Grow nicely.

So, what do you say? Can I learn to paint nicely?

Heat of anxiety

Just a glance at the question paper
Ears grew hot
Throat clogged
Felt the jaws aching
I wipe my dampened palms
Sitting in the examination hall
I realize, it’s the heat of anxiety

What if  you learn a lot with full dedication (At least you think so) but questions in the test paper seem alien to you? What if you find some questions dancing in front of your eyes which you ignored and thought they were not 'that' important? Moreover, time is running out and you see all your friends engrossed in writing...

Sometimes, it happens due to extreme nervousness. One of my relatives, a brilliant and dedicated student, returned after the paper and started crying. everyone was shocked. A student who studied well and had great knowledge couldn't write well in exams. He said "As I got the question paper, I started to feel as if I knew nothing."

Shared @ Poetry Jam
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Sunday, July 14, 2013

In love with colours!!

They enhance beauty
They reflect passion and verve
In love with colours!!

I love books! I love reading fiction since my childhood. I love reading contemporary women/romance fiction. There was a small library in my home. Shelves stacked with different genre of novels. Children were not allowed to read novels but I read many secretly.

Then some 4-5 years back, a special desire burgeoned. Desire to write! And it's growing day by day. That's why I love spending time on my blog!!

Recently, I have developed a deep desire to paint. I often visit some painting blogs and they leave me awestruck...every time!! But one question always disturbs me..."Am I good enough to paint beautifully?"

When I was in 11th Std. we were asked to draw a diagram in Physics. When I presented the diagram to my Physics teacher, he looked at the drawing for a long moment then looked at me and asked "Are you from Maths stream?"

"No sir, Biology." I replied.

"Don't they throw your practical file out of the lab?" He asked.

Well, they didn't because diagrams are integral part of Biology and I tried my level best but you can imagine the level of my drawing skill!!!

But the desire to paint skillfully is inexplicably growing deeper. So finally after long time of procrastination, I've decided to try and learn. I bought a drawing notebook, pencil, eraser, ruler sharpener and colours like an enthusiastic child. Well, for painting I'm just a child.

I have started learning & practicing. Suggestions are most welcome especially for Water Colours!!! I love Water color painting!!! I'm doing theek-thaak (As per my standards, I'm still bad okay) with pencil colours but when I use Water Colour it gets smudged and looks ugly. So, please any suggestion or tips regarding Water Colour (Regarding colour, brush or technique) Or even Pencil Colours) is highly appreciated!!

I hope I keep my desire and enthusiasm alive and one day I can show you some of my works!! :)

Shared @ Write Tribe
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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Showers of monsoon...

Showers of monsoon
Veiled the tears of agony
Shattered dreams prickle

          Poets United 
             Haiku My Heart

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Review: Rapture by Lauren Kate

Finished reading Rapture by Lauren Kate (448 pages). It's a fantasy novel, the concluding part of international bestsellers Fallen, Torment and Passion series.

The back cover says:

The sky is dark with wings...

And time is running out for Luce and Daniel.

In order to stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the Fall began. Only Luce can break the curse, and it is her choice alone that will decide all of their fates.

But as dark forces gather, great sacrifices will have to be made in this final, epic struggle...

In the fight for Luce, and for love, who will win?

Well, it's my first book by Lauren Kate and I liked the writing style but perhaps I made a wrong choice as it's the concluding part of Fallen series and I haven't read the previous ones. Also some characters have similar names which makes the read confusing.

But I really liked the prologue. It's beautifully written and it reflects the deep feelings of Daniel for Lucinda and how he wants to be with her always. Each chapter has interesting names like 'Starshot in the dust', 'A thousand kisses deep', 'Catch a falling star', The stars in their eyes (Epilogue)... The book cover is very captivating.

It reminded me of "Lost Girl" by Sangu Mandanna. It could be an interesting & thrilling read for those who like reading fantasy fiction and who have read the previous books of this series!!

I received this book from Random House India (Random Reads) for an honest review. Thanks!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Joyful path!

Savoring the flavor of freedom
I roam like a gypsy
Meeting various people
Learning various languages
Embracing various cultures!

Colourful views
Vibrant faces
I capture them in my heart
To cherish them always

A special face strikes the chord
Resembles someone
Close to my heart
The memories still tickle

Togetherness…not meant for me
No restrictions
No inhibitions
I experience a swift flight
As if hugging the limitless sky!

Hugging the limitless sky

Like a swaying kite
That goes high and high
But the string is in my control

The racing world
My restless mind
I seek solace in the beauty
Of mesmerizing dusk

My boundless journey will
Take a fresh start
With the first glimpse of dawn
Towards a destination…
That’s a joyful path itself!

For: The Mag

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lost love...

Image Link

Waves of time could not
Erase the memories, etched
On the sand of heart

Rashmi is tidying the dishevel closet when a tinkling sound attracts her attention. A rolling coin stirs the windmill of memories. Her hands search something in the closet and finally come out with a picture postcard. A sense of nostalgia takes her to the greenery of Panchgani, where she met her first love.

She remembers the last day of college trip. They sat on the table with the same postcard kept on the rim of a glass full of water, on which the same coin rested.

She never succeeded in that game. He would smile every time he managed to drop the coin in the glass striking the postcard with his fingers. Those enchanting, smiling eyes were distracting her and she felt a strong inexplicable bond of attraction.

"Can I keep this card and coin?" She asked.

"Why?" He asked rolling the coin on the table. His intent gaze made her uncomfortable.

"As a memory. Today is the last day and we will be departed." She said averting her glance.

His visage turned grim. "Sure."

A coughing sound breaks the silence of house. She never knew those seven days would be the best memories of her life. Rashmi rubs her fingers gently on the postcard and picks up the coin which is now resting on the floor lifelessly. She keeps them back carefully. She wonders how life could have been, had she accepted his proposal.

They exchanged phone numbers. She gave him the landline number of his uncle, hesitatingly, telling him not to call several times. She was not sure why had she given him the number in the first place?

He never called until that day. Her cousin said there was a call for her. Rashmi skipped several beats. It had to be him. She never gave that number to anyone. Perhaps she was waiting for this day.

As she entered her uncle's house, her aunt chided. "It seems that our house has become a PCO."

When she said a hello there was a girl that side. She was confused when a very familiar voice greeted her. It was him!

"Do you remember me ever, Rashmi?" He asked. She didn't know what to say. "I love you Rashmi..." He said abruptly and she could feel her ears grow red. "I really do. I tried to forget you. I thought it would be easy but I couldn't. Please meet me somewhere."

She could sense his truthfulness as he had called after one and a half year. Infatuation couldn't last this long. flood of emotion clogged her throat and tears threatened but she couldn't cry here.

"I'm sorry, I can't." She heard herself saying.

"Why?" He screamed. "I know you love me too. Don't you uh? Please Rashmi...marry me."

"Sorry. Don't call me again. Please." And she put the receiver back.

"Who was it?" Her aunt pried.

" friend. She is getting married. She called for the invitation." She lied.

"But you can't go."

"I won't." Rashmi said.

Not a single day had passed when she hadn't remembered him. But love was not meant for her. With weak steps she came back to the harsh reality. Her paralyzed mother was still sleeping oblivious of her strolling saliva.

Few days after she returned from the trip, her parents met with a serious accident. Her father died on the spot and mother became handicapped for life.

She was laden with responsibilities. She knew she couldn't expect much help. She shrugged off his memories thinking that it was mere a flow of emotion. But it was not just attraction. Ten calendars have flown remembering him. She has grown with his memories. Many times some wild thoughts tried to trap her but her thoughtfulness has won always.

"Rauzmi" Her mother calls, breaking the chain of her thoughts.

She rushes towards her mother's room. "Rauzmi...toalett." Her mother says in a voice that only Rashmi understands. She extends her hand in support.

"Now I'll feed you okay." Rashmi says to her mother as she takes her to the toilet. "My students will be arriving after a while." Today, again she spent her time embracing his memories.

My entry for Words: Write Tribe Contest # 1
             Shared @ : Haiku Heights
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                                Poets United

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book Review: The Homing Pigeons by Sid Bahri

Finished reading The Homing Pigeons by Sid Bahri (Shrishti Publishers)

"...a remarkable novel by a first time novelist of immense promise...often exquisitely rendered...exceptional achievement that deserves all the plaudits it is sure to garner" says Shashi Tharoor about this book!

I have read some really nice reviews and thus chose to read it. The story revolves around the complicated lives of Aditya and Radhika (Best friends since school days, never expressed the love for each other)

At the difficult time of recession, Aditya loses his job, living off his estranged wife and out of frustration he chooses alcohol as his companion. On a fateful night, floating in the pool of alcohol, he meets Divya. He never knew that she could upend his life in bizarrely different way.

Radhika, a wealthy widow who marries off her estranged step-daughter Meera, is glad and excited to have her freedom. But does she get the freedom she has yearned and imagined?

To know more about the story, you'll have to read the book and trust me you won't be disappointed.

For a first time author Sid Bahri has done an excellent job! I really liked the writing style. I liked the narration. Skillful swapping from one point of view to other makes the execution of the story smooth. The book is packed with many interesting & surprising twists and turns, that makes this unique story line quite unpredictable.

I don't want to point out any negatives but one thing I found really distracting that Radhika reminisces her childhood as a three & five year old, in a very synchronized manner. I could just recollect very few blurred images of my childhood as 'three' or five year old. I asked few people if they remember their childhood as three year old. The experience was same as mine.

Though I thought the end was very abrupt I liked the finishing lines by both the protagonists!

"For what are we but homing pigeons that have that innate, uncanny ability to find their mate, no matter where you leave them on the faces of this earth."

"A strong backbone differentiates humans from jellyfish"

Overall, this book, enclosed in a really nice cover is a very different, intense and interesting read! Those who like to read contemporary fiction...go for it! It's really different. Definitely looking forward to reading his next.

This (Unbiased) book review is a part of "The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program". To get free books log on to Thanks Nimi Vashi for giving me the opportunity to read such a nice book!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Five films I didn't want to see

It is said that expect the least and you may get the best! It happens all the time.

It's difficult to keep yourself away from expectations and sometimes they disappoint you miserably. And there are few things that happen to you unexpectedly and leave you pleasantly surprised. Well, here I'm talking about films. Films that I didn't want to watch but when I did, they became my favourites!

Chak De India:

"It's better than 'Lagaan'!" My cousin said one day.

"What rubbish!" Was my prompt reaction.

"Well, it's as good as Lagaan" He said.

As good as Lagaan? I couldn't believe it. I wondered what Sharukh Khan and those 16 (Unknown artists) female hockey players were going to do in a film? My cousin insisted and eventually I watched it and now I find myself watching this movie whenever it's coming on the television. Best performance by Shahrukh Khan!


"Have you seen Hera-Pheri?" My best friend asked.

"No." I wrinkled my nose as if she had asked one of the silliest question. I mean why would anyone watch a movie, starring Akshay Kumar (At that time) - Sunil Shetty.

"Go watch it! It's hilarious!" She said. I was not convinced yet I bought a CD and watched. And it was super hilarious!! I don't remember how many times I have seen that movie.

Hachi - A dog's tale

Richard Gere is one of my favourite actors but when I was browsing through his movie list I never wanted to watch Hachi. Once I caught it on Star Movies accidentally and could resist myself watching. It's a wonderful, touching emotional movie. Read my review HERE.

Jab We Met:

I don't know why but I didn't feel like watching this super hit movie. I thought it would be a random typical love story with some silly acts. But you see, I watch this movie (especially first half) every time I catch it on television. I enjoyed a super talkative Kareena Kapoor, for a change.  Her best performance so far, I think!

Khosla Ka Ghosla:

I mean what's this Khosla Ka Ghosla? I thought when I came to know about this movie. No star cast and all that. Just to kill my time, (One of the boring days you know) I sat to watch this movie and I didn't want to miss a single moment.

After watching this movie (And Bheja Fry!) I've realized that a low budget, downbeat movie could be the best ones.