Sunday, February 23, 2014

Now, this is too much!!

This post is for the sweetness of Cadbury Five Star

This topic reminds me of a regular column in a famous Hindi magazine Sarita, "Mujhe Shikayat Hai", that used to be my first read if reading that magazine.

We are of course surrounded by many such people who bear some eccentric attributes that sometimes, create seriousness, though they might seem funny.

One night Mrs. Dutta saw the Puja (Worship) room open, plunged in pitch darkness. Her daughter Priya used to study in that little room and often slept there. Mrs Dutta went to the room to check on her daughter. As she entered the room, she stumbled upon a thing and it took her utmost balance to prevent herself from falling down. After recovering from the imbalance, she immediately switched on the light and saw that the 'thing' was Priya, lying on the ground, in front of the idols of deities in the Puja room.

Well, Priya is my childhood friend!

I knew she was very spiritual and religious. But sometimes, she was too much! Whenever I visited her, and saw her performing puja, I used to exhale in exasperation and think "Why I arrived at this time?" No, I'm not an atheist, but my friend used to spend a lot of time praying, and I knew I had to wait for long hours.

Once, while waiting for her, her mother sensed my exasperation and started chatting with me.

"Do you see that stripped paint on that wall?" She said pointing towards a small shelf adorned by little idol of Lord Krishna. There was a wide white spot on it's adjacent wall due to the removal of nice yellow paint.

"Do you know who did that?" She said and looked at my friend, who was still deeply engrossed in prayer.

Actually, Priya used to hit her head on the wall while praying to little Lord Krishna! And that regular bangs removed the paint. I couldn't help laughing.

She was so superstitious that she wore same dress throughout the exams. Okay, this is a bit common. How about this? She didn't eat chapatis before going for exam. Because, chapati was round and she feared that she would get a round (A zero) if she did that!!

She was a wonderful and hardworking student and scored great marks in exams but she used to say "My good marks are result of my prayers."

It's good to believe in God. To pray. To worship. But don't you think Priya's act was too much?
Okay, she might behave like a worship maniac, sometimes, but she is really sweet!

One of my far relative, a 'lean and withered' bhabhi, use to take bath every time she comes out of the toilet, suspecting some splash of dirty/flush water might have tainted her. She spends too much time in washing and cleaning, already washed and clean things, making the kitchen and house messy. She washes her hands unnecessarily, God knows how many times. In these frantic washing and cleaning process, she doesn't get time for her family, friends, guests and even for herself!

I badly wanted to tell her that "Please understand everything is clean now. Leave it. Spend some sweet moments with your family and take out some time for you at least!"

Then there are some omnipresent aunties, who doesn't mind coming out of a warm cozy blanket in chilly winter, just to check on the neighbour's fight to collect some gossips. Who puts her ultimate effort to extract minutest details of everyone's life.

"Why Mrs. Verma's daughter is not getting married even at 29?" "Why Mr. Sharma's married daughter is living with them?" "Why Ms. Shalini lives alone in that flat?" "Who comes to visit her quite often?" and so on...

Come on! How does it matter to you? Live and let live! Please allow people to tackle their problems their own way and give them some space to breathe. And how can you come out of a warm blanket in foggy winter just to watch a fight going on in your neighbourhood?

Many women, going through a bad marriage hesitate to take any concrete step for their life just because of our social structure. A society where extra-caring, over-bothering uncles and aunties live.

This not funny! This condition is really serious! Don't create such seriousness.

Declutter your mind. Give it some fresh air of happiness and peace.  Relish Cadbury Five Star and cherish sweetness, not seriousness, because seriousness is contagious.

This post is a part of Condition Serious Hai contest by Indiblogger, in association with Cadbury Five Star!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Book Review: The Other Side by Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee

Finished reading "The Other Side" by Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee. The book is an interesting collection of thirteen different paranormal/supernatural/ghost stories.

I have a keen interest in paranormal/supernatural fiction. They don't scare me but, if nicely crafted, they do entertain me. I remember, while chatting random things how often our conversation landed on Gothic 'so called' real life tales.

In 'The Other Side', stories are well crafted. It opens with an interesting forward by Mr. Faraaz Kaazi, though I didn't find the prelude very interesting (But yes, it ends on a chilling note).

Some stories are common and predictable, like the first story, "That Fateful Night" , where a doctor visits to treat an ailing old lady. 'Possession' which reminded me of "The Exorcist". And "The Mark of the Beast" where a newly wed couple meets with strange, deadly adventure on their honeymoon.

Story "Unfulfilled Desires" is more like an investigative story and "Dream Girl" evokes a feeling of filth.

"The Long Weekend", "Strangers in the Night" and "Red Bangles" are really unpredictable and  my favourites!!

"The Man Who Did Not Fear", "The Lady in the Pub", and "Mother's Love" are nice stories but I didn't find "The Muse Comes Calling" and "The Mystery Lake" very interesting.

Overall, it's a nice collection! Predictable or not predictable, the stories are well written and gripping! The narration creates spooky imagery. You just want to finish them.

For me, it was an interesting and engrossing read. I recommend this to every fiction lover especially who likes to read paranormal/supernatural/ghost stories.

I thank Mr. Faraaz Kazi who sent me this book for an unbiased review!

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book - Review: Falling by Emma Kavanagh

"Falling" a psychological murder mystery, is the debut work of Emma Kavanagh, a police psychologist herself!

First of all, I really liked the book cover and "A Town in Mourning, A Murder in Waiting" written over it!

I'm not fond of murder mysteries but the term 'psychology' interests me and that's why I picked this book to read.

The story starts with a plane crash, and Cecilia, the flight attendant,  is one of the survivors, who has left her husband and son without saying a goodbye.

Jim's missing daughter's body is found dead and Tom, Cecilia's husband, a detective constable investigates the case. On the other hand Freya's life may turn upside down when she discovers some secret about his father, who is now dead in the plane crash.

The book is written from the points of view of every key character of the story, making different, parallel yet interconnected stories run. It's a smart work by Emma Kavanagh as a debut author. The book is written crisply, conjoining the different characters and their shocking stories.

Although, I'm not a fan of murder mystery, I strongly recommend this book to those who like reading murder mystery, suspense or crime thrillers! This book can be an interesting and gripping read, that not only covers murders and investigations but some peculiar aspects of life!

You can connect with the author on Twitter

I thank Random House India (Random reads) for sending me a review copy for an honest review.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

For some peaceful moments

For some peaceful moments
I want to vanish, 
Behind a magical door,
which opens to an enchanting lake shore
Fringed with peaceful landscaped view
Oh, that colourful hue!
Where the aura is enveloped in sheer bliss
Where serenity greets me with tender kiss
Where silence cradles me in its warmth 
Where breeze hums a soothing lullaby, 
Under the limitless azure sky
Where golden sunshine plays hide and seek
Giving me some solace that I seek
Where I can drown myself
In the pool of interesting books, without any interruption!
Where I can have my share of fun
Where vivid colours of nature, fill me with refreshed zest
I so wish to curl up in this cozy nest, 
Giving my anxiety some rest
Sometimes, I yearn for that friendly solitude
Just, for some peaceful moments!

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Book - Review: Done With Men by Shuchi Kalra

Finished reading "Done With Men" by Shuchi Singh Kalra (Published by Indireads). Indireads publishes sweet novellas (E-book)

Done With Men revolves around Kairavi or Kay, a travel writer in a popular magazine. She is still mourning a bitter breakup/heartbreak when her best friend and roommate Baani comes up with an interesting vacation cum assignment offer.

Kay heads for Goa with Baani to overcome the aftereffect of latest breakup, deciding, resolutely, to stay away from men. Her determined thought of 'Not getting involved with men' is shaking as she finds herself strongly attracted to a very handsome young doctor Vivian.

What's the destination of this crush? Will she ever find true love?

You have to read the book to know the answers!

Done With Men is an interesting Romantic Comedy! Writing style of the author is very interesting, light, neat and crisp. As a debut author she has done a wonderful job! I so liked the wit and humour that it faintly reminded me of Sophie Kinsella books!! I loved the "Thought Bubble"!

Characters are nicely sketched. I really liked the character of Kay. She is bold yet innocent, loud but caring. The book cover is aptly designed for this story.

Highly recommended to those who love reading Chick Lit or Romance.

Really looking forward to Shuchi Kalra's next book. You can connect with the author on Twitter.

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

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

From a cluttered apartment to a beautiful home

Don't judge a home by
It's size, Love, peace, smiles and care
Make it beautiful

"So this is my, sorry, our small house." Varun, Shreya's ordinary looking husband said.

Shreya looked around to notice that the flat just started and finished. It was a 2BHK apartment where hall was just a middle sized room.

"Buying your own flat in a city like Dilhi is not a small thing."  Her grand ma said before marriage.

But this flat didn't look new.

"Actually..." Varun broke her train of thoughts. "I have lived in this apartment for five years. It's near from my office and the location is nice so I decided to bought this flat. And..." He paused for a moment. "My budget allowed this only." He said.

"No, it's nice!" Shreya said trying to make her husband feel easy.

The location was indeed nice. The flat was not spacious but airy. "But anyway, just like you can't judge a person from his looks, similarly, you should not judge a beauty of a house from it's size." Shreya told herself.

In the two and a half months of courtship (After engagement) and one and a half month of marriage, Shreya had realized that Varun was very patient, polite and well mannered person who valued and respected his relationship deeply.

Shreya noticed that the flat was cluttered and a fridge and an AC were the only assets. "I didn't do or buy anything because I thought you'll do it according to your choice. I surrender this house to you to make this a home. After all you're the princess of this tiny palace." Varun smiled.

"Does he read minds." Shreya thought. But Varun's affectionate words and warm behaviour felt really good. After they settled a bit, Varun excused himself for a very important meeting, leaving her alone to think "How to make this cluttered apartment a beautiful home"

Shreya decided that this flats needs a complete makeover. Her own creativity and Asian Paint Home Solutions will help her.

Light shade of paint makes your home look spacious. "White would be too plain." She thought and decided to go for lemon yellow. And it would be interesting to give the front wall of the living room a textured look.

After three days, just a nice paint by Asian Paints changed the look of her home. She bought bright coloured curtains and bedsheets to give the house a vibrant look!

She also bought two large mirrors as they create illusion of space! 

She bought a small yet comfortable and bouncy sofa cum bed set according to the size of her living room. She ordered a diwan for her bedroom so that she could store things in it's box.

She installed closets in the tiny kitchen and bathroom to make them clean and organised.

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Almost everything was done but a large shelf was looking at her agape. A door caouldn't be fitted on it as it would block the way to the balcony. So, she got a nice embroidered cloth stiched as a curtain to cover the shelf.

She also bought two tall and narrow hanging metal shelves to save some space.

Now, she was quite pleased with her effort to create a 'Tiny Palace". She could see praise and admiration in Varun's eyes, everyday he returned home, with some nice gifts for her.

Now, it was time to add some greenery. Shreya visited a nursery nearby and bought some small flower and ornamental leaf plants. She painted the pots with bright colours like red, blue and orange and added some coloured pebbles in them. She arranged them in the balcony and two tiny pots with sweet smelling flowers and leaves, were kept on the window of the kitchen and bathroom. A little tulsi plant was fixed on the wall of balcony.

Finally on the tenth day, she inhaled the refreshing fragrance of her new Home. It really looked nice!

A nice clock hanging on the clean coloured wall said it was 6 p.m. It was time to get ready for a romantic dinner date with her husband at....her "Tiny Palace" Today Varun was going to cook for her. A sweet and shy smile played on her lips.

This post is a part of Asian Paints and Ripple links The Beautiful Home Blogger Contest in association with Women's Web

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Cozy haven that tells a story

Beautiful cozy
Haven, where cadence of love
Peace and smiles flow

Every home tells a
Story, through sweet memories
Nestling in it’s warmth

Ah, Home! The word and the feeling of being at your own home are divine! No matter where you go, you attain ultimate peace when you return home. To your dear ones. A beautiful place where harmony smiles and mirth & melody resonate. It’s small or large doesn't matter.

Everyone envisions a dream home. Sometimes, for a middle class family home and dream home may vary.

My ideal home should be spacious, cozy and airy. I love this thought when golden streaks of sunshine filter through the wide window, making home bright, vibrant and warm. When the light curtains do waltz with mellow breeze!

A home should be modern with a traditional touch but not ornamental. It should look like a home not a grand hotel.

Drawing Room is not just your private space but it’s a place where visitors dwell and some of them may notice the minute details. So, it says about your life style and taste. I think it should be contemporary. For me the drawing room should have a stylish bookshelf to showcase my books! A beautiful painting adds class!

Always choose the furniture that suits your home. For a small home, sofa cum bed is a good idea that can be used when necessary.

 Bedrooms are comfort zones where your privacy breathe. It must be comfortable and cozy, decorated as per your choice. The way you like it.

For a small house, buying a Diwan is a wise option, so that things can be stored in it, giving some space to your home.

Children Room captures the activities of your children. It must be spacious, lively and colourful, embellished with pictures. Keep the design of study table plain and simple. It should be at a quiet corner so that kids can study and sleep peacefully.

For small homes, keeping a folding study table is a good idea. Don't keep anything in your kid's bedroom that's not safe.

These days, open kitchen is in fashion but I personally like the traditional separate kitchen. I feel it should be away from visitor's view, even when you welcome them at the Dining Area. It must have a window and how interesting to would be if it overlooks a beautiful greenery.

Everyone likes a full-fledged lawn garden but in the present times, most of the gardens have shrunk to the terraces and balconies. A big terrace garden with a swing sounds so nice and peaceful.

If the balcony is small, don’t stuff it with too many flower pots. It needs some space to breathe.

I like spacious bathrooms, with a flowerpot on the windowsill. A nice generous closet helps to keep it clean and organized. It should be sparkling clean and odour free as it, again, reflects your life style!

I remember, in my childhood, I loved the smell and look of freshly white washed home. It looked bright and spacious. I love the particular sequence of Wake up Sid,  when the heroine decorates her home. Those bright colours and the enthusiasm of decorating your own space!

Colours add beauty in life and home. If your home is small and cozy, go for light shades like lavender, lemon yellow, pale green etc. It makes the room look spacious. Asian Paints gives you a variety of colour options , Room Painting Ideas and Asian Paint Home Solutions.

Apart from colour shades, mirrors make your home look spacious.

And above all, the real beauty of home is it’s harmony. So, it’s very important to maintain the peace and harmony to make your home look really beautiful.

 Talking about Asian Paints, I would say they make some really nice advertisements! This one is my favourite!

This post is a part of Asian Paints and Ripple links The Beautiful Home Blogger Contest in association with Women's Web

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Book - Review: The Guardian Angels by Rohit Gore

Finished reading 'The Guardian Angels' by Rohit Gore (Grapevine Publishers).

I love reading contemporary romance fiction. And I like it even more when it has purity and innocence. For this book, I can say that it's a sweet, innocent and pure love story.

This story is about Adi Mehta and Radha Deodhar and their very special bond.

Adi is an introvert, son of a billionaire, while Radha, daughter of a social activist, is lively and energetic. But despite their different nature and background, they grow together, fall in love and protect each other whenever in trouble.

First of all, I would like to congratulate Mr. Gore for his beautiful and neat writing style.

The story line is nice and the book cover is very captivating. I didn't like the prologue but I liked the starting of first chapter especially the cute yet bossy entry of little Radha, when she comes to save a meek and timid boy (Adi) in trouble.

The Story flows well. Just initially, I found it a little slow. It is written in Adi's point of view and Radha's diary entries. Characters and situations are very well defined. I loved Radha's charcter and enjoyed reading her journal!

Overall, for me, it was a nice read. It's sweet and a bit different from those typical love stories we read generally. Highly recommended for those who like reading love stories!

This review is a part of Write Tribe Book Review Program. I received this copy from the author for an honest review. Thanks!