Monday, December 29, 2014

Best Friend

I am Aashi. A 13 year-old girl. I live in a boarding school. I remember I was very upset when my parents announced that I was going to study in a boarding school. Over these years I have realised the importance of friends, especially best friend.

But what if your best friend lies to you? Secretly develops a competitive attitude and refuses to help?

Misha and I connected immediately and became best friends. Now, the entire school knows about our friendship.

That night I couldn't concentrate on my studies. I was looking at Misha, who was engrossed in finishing her homework. She looked at me once, smiled casually and resumed her studies.

The bell rang, and commotion replaced the silence.
"Let's go." Misha said and headed towards the door. I didn't move. She returned back. "What happened? It's dinner time. Let's go," She held my hand and almost dragged me.

In the dining hall, everyone chatted and laughed but I was feeling lost and restless. Had I done something that I was not supposed to do? Something wrong? My mind raced few hours back. Fifth period was Ryan Sir's General Knowledge class. He has a unique pattern of teaching. He conducts quiz every third day. He asks a question one by one until someone answers it correctly. He praises when someone answers correctly. Everyone tries hard to impress him.

"How long does it take for the light from the sun to reach the earth?" He asked. No one could answer. It was Misha's turn. She stood silent, looking down at the desk. Sir was clearly annoyed.

After the class, when we were heading the hostel, she said. "I was expecting that answer from you."

I knew it. That's why she was looking down at the desk. We often helped each other in such a condition by scribbling the answer in our notebooks when any of our friends were looking down at the desk.

"I didn't know the answer." I lied. She curled her lips in dismay. Actually, the next turn was mine and I wanted to impress Ryan Sir with my smart answer. But my turn didn't come. When Misha could not answer, Ryan sir answered the question for us, and curtly advised us to concentrate and study sincerely. I was utterly disappointed but later I felt thankful.

"What's wrong with you? Are you feeling okay? Misha shook me back to the present. I just nodded.

"She is looking lost today," Deepti commented.

Back in our room, while we were preparing to sleep, I called Misha. She came right away and sat next to me with a questioning yet relaxed glance. I was jealous of her relaxed mind. I couldn't carry that baggage any more.

"Today, I lied to you," I said. She frowned. "I knew the answer today. I didn't help you because...because I wanted to impress Ryan Sir," I vented out my restlessness. She looked utterly disappointed and sad. She said nothing. She switched off the light and went to sleep.

I kept thinking about it for a long time then slowly slipped into the slumber. Next morning, when I woke up she was not in the room. I was feeling ashamed, and thought that our friendship had lost its trust. It was perhaps over.

After a while, Misha rushed into the room and came straight to me. "Come, it's breakfast time," She held my hand as if nothing had happened.

"You are not angry with me?" I asked meekly.

She looked at me for a while then said, "I was but if someone feels disturbed and restless after telling a lie, it means that person is true at heart. And I could see that you were really disturbed," So thoughtful and insightful! I thought.

"Thank you and I am really sorry," I truly was!

"It's okay. I love your honesty!" She said and smiled.

That day, I realised that honesty and truth are priceless and bring so much relief.

Have a look at this Kinley video. It's nice.

This post is written for Indiblogger in association of Kinley (Purity in every drop)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Book Review: Fashionably Yours by Swati Sharma

Finished reading a book that starts with Christmas and ends with Christmas, so decided to post this review today. I am talking about “Fashionably yours” by Swati Sharma (Harlequin India)

Fashionably Yours is a one year journey of Maya Kapoor's life in diary form. Maya, who is a fashion writer in a fashion magazine Style but her dream is to write for her dream magazine Glamourous, hails from Shimla and lives in her dream city, Mumbai. Unfortunately, she finds herself at the same place where she was two years back.

Maya is a disorganized 25 years old girl who has never been in a relationship and searching for her Mr. Right. Her mother thinks she has ruined her life, but her father completely understands her. She doesn’t get along with her younger sister but has a sister like best friend. She has a rude rather cruel boss but deeply crushes on a devastatingly fashion photographer and finds herself totally unfit for him.

Overall, this is a modern tale of Maya’s winding life. Will she achieve her dream ever and what about her crush rather love? Read this book to find out!

The content is interesting. I particularly liked the humour. Situations are interesting and characters are nicely sketched. The male protagonist is a little incomprehensible but maybe it’s because to keep the suspense factor. The storyline is interesting and author manages to keep the reader interested. However, it goes plain a couple of times. The writing style is nice but there are several grammatical and writing errors which could have been avoided. For a diary form, sometimes, I missed the smoothness in the narration.

This book is definitely not for those who seek literary crispness. But, if you like to read a light ChickLit, you’ll find it interesting and enjoyable. For me it was an interesting, light and easy read.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

I got this review copy from the author. Thanks Swati!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Childhood Revisited!

There is an old stair that leads to a half built house. As I climbed up, I see a serene river, glinting in the aura of crimson evening. A faraway boat enhances the charm of mesmerizing vista. A sense of déjà vu hits me. Everything around looks so familiar!

 I look at a half built house and I proceed towards it. There is a compact room. A little girl with furling hairs is playing hopscotch. She is wearing a frilled frock but I can’t see her face as her back is towards me. Soon, another little girl joins her. It seems that I know this girl. Suddenly, a little boy arrives chuckling. He is the cousin of the second girl. Wait! How do I know that? I am bewildered. They start playing together jubilantly, neglecting me totally. I am eager to have a look at that first girl who was playing hopscotch.

A shrilling sound trembles the view. Suddenly, that girl, with furling hairs turns to look at me and smiles, leaving me utterly shocked. I recognise her instantly. It’s me!

I open my eyes to a glowing morning. I smile as I realize that I have just revisited my childhood in my dream.

I had is bizarre dream two nights back. Have you ever revisited your childhood in your dreams?

Sharing with: Three Word Wednesday
                        Theme Thursday

Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review: More Tears to Cry by Jean Sasson

The title, the cover and the theme of More Tears to Cry by bestselling author Jean Sasson attracted my interest. The author has told such stories before in the previous series of this book but the fourth one is my first read. And reading the latest book first did not affect the flow because the book starts with a detailed backdrop that gives a fair idea about the previous stories and experiences. And I really liked reading that.

More tears to cry is a unique collection of true stories about the lives of Saudi Arabian women. It has been told through the eyes of Princess Sultana. In these touching and revealing stories, author has intensely described the restrictions, struggles and challenges of Saudi Arabian women. And most surprising thing is that such conditions are irrespective of class. Princess Sultana narrates the inside stories of one of the richest yet conservative kingdoms. The person whom she marries, her siblings, her daughters, servants, her palace, many different people she meets, everything falls in these stories. 

It’s about love, concern, justice and different perspectives. Basically, this book dwells in varied lives of different women of Saudi Arabia. It’s about their efforts of finding their own suitable ways.

The narration is detailed and subtle, covering various emotions and thoughts. As they are true stories, they seem well researched. Sometimes shocking, sometimes inspiring and sometimes enlightening.

Writing style is neat and crisp, but sometimes the story seemed a little stretched and repetitive. I think, writing from different and suitable point of views would have been more interesting and apt.

Overall, it was a nice read that reveals, educates, jolts and moves emotionally. Recommended for women readers.

I received this book from the publisher Random House India for an honest review.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Book Review: Beyond Love! by Kiran Joshi

Beyond Forever…in Love! is a light romantic fiction by first time author Kiran Joshi (Pustak Mahal). I read some nice reviews and decided to read this book when the author approached me for the review.

Kamna is a physiotherapist, who eventually realizes that she is in a wrong profession and in a totally wrong relationship. Not sure about her career, she opts for an MBA and shifts to a different city, Mumbai. While she is enjoying her life and studies with her new friends, she meets her old and very handsome patient Varun and they gradually start floating in the ocean of love and excitement. 

When she thinks everything is going perfect, something happens and her life changes completely. One night and Varun is a changed man. Why? To get the answer, you'll have to read the book.

The start was funny. The author has tried to weave an interesting story with beautiful words, but I think the writing style is a little immature. I found a childlike excitement in the narration. There's a 'plastering the car with toilet paper' sequence which is very familiar. I have read the same sequence in some novel maybe in Almost Single (I don't remember exactly).

Frequent usage of 'blabbering' and 'hissed' was a little irritating. I mean, you can't write 'blabbered and hissed' in every normal dialogue. It is okay to write 'he/she said'.  There are two wrongly dated diary entries. The editor should have taken care of the grammatical and editing errors.

But the author has crafted the story well. The execution is nice that keeps you hooked. I would say, as a first time author, it's a decent attempt by Ms. Joshi. The book cover is nice. 

If you like reading easy and light fiction, this book can be a quick and interesting read for you, but it's not for those who seek literary crispness in a book.

I received this book from the author for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Movie Review: Khoobsurat (2014)

Image result for khoobsurat movie

Comparing new Khoobsurat with the old one is unfair. Although, the basic concept is similar, they are totally different, and the main difference is that Rekha’s Khoobsurat was a family drama and this one is a love story. One of the easiest love stories without any conflict.

Lively and spirited physiotherapist Dr. Mili Chakravarthy (Sonam kapoor) works with IPL, She comes to a palace to treat Raja Shekhar Singh Rathore (Aamir Raza Hussain). Ranisa (Ratna Pathak Shah) is a strict disciplinarian. Mili notices that no one laughs and speaks to each other in the palace, and this palatial khoobsurti lacks the beauty of life. Later, she comes to know about the actual reason of this silent sadness stretched in the palace and tries to change it.

Well, this film looks royal and beautiful but the script (Writing) is very weak and has some glitches. It lacks interesting and funny content. I think, while sketching the character of Mili, the writer forgot the big difference between “Being lively” and “Being uncultured”.

The film deserves an equally strong male protagonist but it suffers from “I-am-the-producer-and-my-daughter/sister-won’t-let-anyone-perform.” syndrome.  Sonam Kapoor looks nice but her effort is quite evident and her dialogue delivery seems fabricated.  

Fawad Khan, who plays Prince Vikram Singh Rathore, is very good looking and stylish but he must gain some weight to get back to Humsafar look. He is a wonderful actor. His expressions are natural and endearing. His voice is attractive and his dialogue delivery is excellent! Though, his character is not as strong as it deserves to be, he has done a decent job.  

Kirron Kher as Mili’s mother is humourous but loud. AamirRaza Hussain is a nice actor and Ratna Pathak Shah’s acting is very balanced.

In the final scene, Fawad Khan’s or basically a royal Prince’s sudden transformation into an outspoken Punjabi is very absurd (though he is brilliant in that scene).

So, overall, it was an average watch. I somehow liked it for fawad Khan and Ratna Pathak (She reminded me of Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai) and I think team Khoobsurat owes a big thank you to Fawad Khan and timely telecast of Zindagi Gulzar Hai and Behadd.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Flash Fiction: Life!

I open my eyes in pin drop silence stretched in a dim lit room. It feels like I have slept for eternity. A strange stench hit my nostril and I feel suffocated.

I look around. A boy aged about ten or eleven, is lying on the bed next to me. He looks at me and smiles. He is exceptionally thin.

A woman is sleeping on a cushioned bench near his bed, snoring gently. My eyes travel a little left. There is another bench on which another woman is sleeping. She looks familiar. Very familiar! Oh, she is my mother. Suddenly, I feel a sharp pain and I moan. My mother stirs slightly but then turns still. My eyes shift to my left wrist which is heavily bandaged.
Heck! I am in the hospital! Memory of last night and then three days back reel in fast backward motion.

Abhinav clinging to a half clothed girl. His furious reaction when confronted.  Those insulting and abusive remarks in front of many people. That bitter break-up. My painful ponderings for two days, and finally giving up. I remember a shriek before my mind plunged into silent darkness.

The pain is getting unbearable and I try to stifle my scream, not wanting to disturb my mother. Or I don’t have the courage to face her. But I fail miserably. My mother gets up and she looks utterly worried, but she doesn’t say anything to me. She is angry. She is sad. She calls the nurse. I feel weak with guilt. Was being alive so difficult? I think.

Next morning doctors come to visit me and say I can be discharged tomorrow. I look at my mother closely in morning light. Her eyes are red and swollen. She looks old and tired.
It’s night again. My mother serves me dinner. She is still not talking to me. It’s painful than anything else. I yearn for her scolding. But, I think I deserve her silence. How can I even think of suicide, ignoring my hard-working single mother and younger sister? I am feeling ashamed.

“Do you want to read this?” The boy next to my bed (his name is Amol) asks, as I lay aimlessly after having a scanty meal.

I take that book from him and try to engross myself in the book. At the same time I am mustering courage to say a sorry to my mother.

As the clock hits midnight, few people enter our ward, singing loudly. “Happy birthday to you….”

It’s a little weird for a hospital ward but I somehow like this liveliness.

After a while, he comes to me with a box full of chocolates. “It’s my birthday.” He says. I take a chocolate and wish him.

“What do you want as a birthday gift?” I ask affectionately, suddenly feeling rejuvenated.

“I want something badly, but I know you can’t give me that.” He says.

“What’s that?”


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Book Review: Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella


So, here's the new book in the famous Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella! It's called Shopaholic to the Stars

Rebecca aka Becky Brandon is dreaming big, well very big. She comes to LA with her husband Luke and daughter Minnie, for few days (though she doesn't want to return ever!). 

She wants to make new friends in Minnie's school but there she meets her old enemy, Alicia (aka Alicia bitch long legs) who is very popular among other moms. Her friendship mission is in danger.

She dreams to be friends with Hollywood star Sage Seymour (Hopes to have a coffee with her and she is almost there!) and wants to become a personal shopper and eventually her personal stylist.

How her desperate dreams and efforts land her (Or maybe her husband Luke) into conflict and trouble, this book tells all about that.

Well, I really like Sophie Kinsella books! I loved I’ve Got Your Number and really liked Twenties Girl. I almost finished these big fat books in two-three sittings, but, for me this book was not very smooth (As expected).

No doubt Sophie Kinsella makes me smile or even laugh. This book indeed has some humourous situations and funny moments. Becky's well being session in Golden Peace is really funny, but, I think the story is not strong enough to carry this big fat book entertainingly. Sometimes, I felt that the book book has been stretched with some very casual and prolonged situations and unnecessary dialogues.

I loved the cover! It's very apt.

The writing is as usual light and funny but it lacked the standard wit of Kinsella. It was a nice read but I was a little disappointed (I feel really bad while writing this). I feel this Shopaholic series should end now.

I got this book from Random House India for an unbiased review.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review: Mango Cheeks Metal Teeth by Aruna Nambiar

When I heard about this book, the title seemed really quirky. Then the setting. I have never been to Kerela, but this place inexplicably fascinates me. I read some really nice reviews, and I thought to give it a try when Writers Melon approached me for the review.

Mango Cheeks Metal Teeth is a light fiction by Aruna Nambiar (Westland Books). This book reminded me of those playful afternoons in vacations that we enjoyed in our childhood. Just kids, in the silence of afternoons, playing and sharing!

This story is about two different families. Their joys, connections, doubts and woes. The story mainly revolves around an eleven years old girl Geetha, who is excited to spend her summer vacation with her cousins. The book gives an account of the events, somehow life changing, in that much awaited vacation.

The writing is undoubtedly neat and crisp. It carries the events so realistically that it gives the story a certain kind of authenticity. There's a nice touch of humour and innocence that often brings a smile. Characters are well sketched. The book cover is interesting!

The book has the essence of Kerela but it could be a little difficult and confusing read for non-Keralites, as there is frequent usage of Malayali terms. Of course there's is a glossary (At the end of the book), but who would like to turn pages frequently to understand the meanings. It could have been written as footnotes. Moreover, there's a crowd of characters. Again, the book starts with family trees but again who wants to remember that family tree before reading a story. Personally, for me, it didn't work. It was very confusing and disturbing.

Overall, for me, it was a sweet and nice yet confusing read. It can be an interesting read if you like light fiction and yes, if you are familiar with Malayali terms.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Book Review: It's not my favourite by Rue

Finished reading "It's not my favorite" by Rue, first novel by the author and first book in the Lake Effect series. It's my favourite genre and some really nice reviews raised my interest.

It's not my favorite is a contemporary story about two sisters, Gwen and Rachel, entirely different from each other, who grew up under the piercing eyes of a preacher's wife who keeps saying "Well, it's not my favorite."

Gwen is an independent good, responsible girl, trying to find real happiness for her, and dreams of a handsome stranger. Rachel is outgoing extrovert girl who has a deep secret about her life that nobody knows.

This is a story about family bonds and secrets. It's about seeking love, independence and happiness.

The story line is nice and the characters are well sketched. But I think the execution of the story is a little slow. Conversations are too casual and sometimes I felt the dialogues were unnecessary and it could have been presented in narrative form. Frequent usage of regional slags were disturbing for me and I think it should be avoided in a book.

Writing is simple and neat. I liked the pictures on the back cover but the book cover is dull and I didn't understand the purpose of keeping such cover for a Chick Lit.

Overall, it can be an interesting read for those who like reading Chick Lit and light fiction.

Twitter Handle of the book

I received this book from the author for an honest review. Thanks Rue!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Blogging is bliss!

Image @ The Mag

This image pictures one of my dreams, exactly! (I dream a lot!) And I still remember that dream.

It depicts a wonderful land of stories, where myriads of emotions float. Writing stories are like painting. Painting vivid imagery with words. It reflects nature, that itself stores bundle of stories.

Okay, when we talk about reading and writing, we just cannot miss blogging. Sometimes I feel that blogging is like floating in dreams, playing in the galaxy of thoughts and imagination. It’s a string that connects and arranges a rendezvous. It is also about getting appreciation. Appreciation from fellow bloggers and writers.

Recently, Rudraprayaga nominated me for Sunshine Award. I extend my hearty thanks to her for this award and for reading me! I so like the name of this award.

Describe yourself in one word/phrase

It's me: Optimistically patient.

I’d like to share this award with:

Privy Trifles: For her sunshine hope
Arti Honrao: For her sunshine emotions
Corinne: For her sunshine Gyan
Saru: For her sunshine Poems
Jyoti: For her sunshine recipes

A big thank you to Arti Honrao (Author of four books) who nominated me for Liebster Award. Okay, I have to answer a few questions for her. So, here it goes:

What is writing to you?

Writing is actually a blissful embrace of serendipity and now it comes naturally to me.  It’s a wonderful mode of expression. Expression of my experience, observation and imagination.

Why Blogging?

Now I realize that blogging is bliss! A lovely journal that encloses my thoughts and imagination. And for this I'll have to thank my brother Nilabh verma (Author of mythological fiction Swayamvar) who literally dragged me to this wonderful world.

What does your blog mean to you?

My dearest friend!

If given a choice, what would you like to change about life now?

Sometimes, life doesn't give you the liberty to change or rectify things (It's not philosophy. I mean it) You just have to learn to be happy, accepting the imperfections.

Say something to someone you have always wanted to (Can be in a code without names)

"Please, declutter your mind and heart and fill them with pure niceness. You're old enough to behave with maturity and thoughtfulness."

Meaning of life to you in one word.

Challenge! (And I'm always ready to accept the challenges)

One lesson that life has taught you that you want everyone to know.

There's always a way. You just have to find that out. Be strong. Whimpering never helps.

One song that describes you perfectly.

Um...can't think of one right now :)

How would you like to be remembered?

A good human being who writes beautifully.

Words for me.

First of all, I really like the way you weave emotions in your writing. Keep writing. Be yourself. Stay happy ...always :)

Sharing @ The Mag

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Review: Lucifer's Lungi by Nitin Sawant

Considering the genre and number of pages, I immediately chose this book to read, when I got a mail from Nethra to review this book.

The book says, "Welcome to the madness of Lucifer's Lungi...where what you see is not what you get."

Lucifer's Lungi by Nitin Sawant (Novella, published by Fablery) is about an adventurous trip. The protagonist is an atheist who travels to a village to break the monotony of rushing city life. He meets some nice people and witnesses their different culture and traditions, but the journey turns out to be eccentrically jolting and somehow changes his vision.

First of all, size of the book surprised me. It's a tiny book with just 111 pages, so it can be a quick read. The writing style is neat and crisp that makes the narration smooth but it has some dull moments when the story lacks depth and loses the grip. Frequent use of some unfamiliar/(too) casual words somehow resists the flow. But, I must say that the author has crafted this story with conviction.

The book cover is nice but I found the title strange.

If you like the supernatural genre, and if you prefer quick reads, you can pick this tiny tale. I would say, it's a decent attempt by the author and the publisher as well.

I received this book from the publisher for an unbiased review. Thank you Nethra!