Sunday, June 22, 2014

Finding Happiness...

We all want and chase happiness. But what is happiness? I think, happiness is a way of life. A positive way of life!

Some people are always unhappy, annoyed, or frustrated. Staying unhappy all the time doesn't do any good. It won't make you happy.You need to grab the little packets of happiness which life offers and you usually ignore.

I don't watch television much but I can watch "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara or Wake Up Sid every time I catch them running especially ZNMD. It makes me happy. It transports to a different world. It feels like life! Living your dreams. It fills me with liveliness.

It's a very small thing but makes me happy. So, find happiness and try to be happy! .

You can find happiness in:

Your children and in their innocent smile. In their lovely chatters.

Talking to your dear friend or someone who really cares for you.

In gardening. Watching your plants grow and bloom gives immense joy!

Discovering your hidden talent. Yes, you have it. Find it. Think what you like to do.

Health. Don't wait for others to take care of you. Take care of your health as health is happiness. You can never be happy if not healthy.

Some years back, I found a writer in me and now nothing can stop me. Recently, I dared to paint although I'm bad at this stage. But it very satisfying and somehow like meditation. Created a separate BLOG for my painting. So, you can start a blog and express your feeling without any inhibitions or apprehensions. Or paint, even if you're just a beginner.

Reading. Make a habit of reading. Reading some delightful stories is joyful!

Silence. Spare some time just for yourself. Life needs some space to breathe. Practice yoga. It's serene and satisfying. Or watch sunrise or sunset! Or go for a walk in peaceful hour. Greenery, gentle breeze, twittering birds. Ah! Just you and solitude...sometimes.

Learning. Learning is fun! See what do you want to learn.

Forgiving people for their little mistakes. Do not hold grudges for long. It makes your life stressful.

Doing something nice for your dear ones. Small acts of generosity and, then a smile/words of appreciation makes you feel better.

Life is full of ups and downs. It shows both rain and rainbow. Both tears and smiles. Life has it's own way and sometimes you can't change it. So, try to find happiness in little thing. Don't just choose to pick the shards of woes and misfortune. Sometimes, sadness is inevitable and normal. Try to overcome. If you try, you find tiny beads of happiness sprinkled here and there.

Am I preaching? Maybe. But it's true! Try it. Remember, whimpering never helps.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book - Review: Frankly Spooking by Sriramana Muliya

I participated in the giveaway contest conducted by The Readers Cosmos and Harper Collins India on Twitter, and I'm happy I won this book.

When I heard about Frankly Spooking, I really liked the title. I thought it was smart! But when I saw the cover, I found it a little dull and plain for a horror fiction. Then I read some nice reviews and I thought to read it, as horror/paranormal fiction is one of my favourite genre. They don't scare me, I don't mind but they have to be gripping. And I am impressed!

Frankly Spooking by Sriramana Muliya is a collection of 30 spooky stories. No, it's not a big fat book, because most of the stories are short. I liked it as it can make the read quick (Though, I was not very quick:)), however some stories are too short to create impact.

Stories are gripping and interesting and the best thing about the stories is its unpredictability and they are quite believable. The setting is so lifelike that you want to believe what's happening. You just want to read on.

Although, every story is interesting and engrossing, Directer's Cut, Sleeping Over It, Stuck in the Middle are my favourites. I also liked The Other Side, but it was a little dramatic in the end and I thought it could be a perfect plot for a serial or movie. Blogosphere was again very gripping just when it ended, I wanted some more. Team Player was very engrossing and..and made me sick! (And when I say this, it's a compliment for a writer who write spooky stories.)

The writing is very neat and light that makes the read smooth and easy. Most of the stories are experimental type, left open ended. I like such stories but sometimes they seemed abrupt.

Frankly speaking, Frankly Spooking didn't scare me but, I really enjoyed reading them! For me, it was a gripping and interesting read! Waiting for author's next book.

You can follow the author on Twitter for his daily Micro shocks!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review: The Smoke is Rising by Mahesh Rao

Yesterday, I finished reading The Smoke is Rising by Mahesh Rao (Random House India). It's his debut novel and has been shortlisted for many fiction awards. Few days after receiving this book, I had read his short story "The Agony of Leaves". The story is a little unconventional and I liked the treatment that makes it gripping.

This book is a little different, and that's why I picked it to read as I'm trying to explore new and different genre.

This book is set in Mysore. The city is gearing for a makeover with the construction of Heritage Land, Asia's largest theme park. Amid this excitement, three different women, Susheela (an elderly widowed woman, Uma, a mysterious house help and Mala, a normal married woman struggling with her husband's troubled behaviour), are busy with their different lives.

I read the review on DNA India where the review said that this book has an air of authenticity.... I totally agree with this thought. The writing is very original, capturing the minutest details of daily life of the main and minor characters in an interesting way and that creates a very real and vivid imagery.

The author has sketched the women characters and their feeling skillfully. The minor characters are also well defined. It reflects keen observation. The narration is light and neat with a slight touch of wry humour. The book cover is modern and suits the theme.

Overall, for me, it was a nice and different read!

I thank Random House India (Random reads) for sending me the review copy for an unbiased review!.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Is comparing Narendra Modi’s married life with Gautama Budhha’s an offence?

Yesterday, I was having a political discussion with someone, which turned into a debate.

“How could Narendra Modi NOT mention his wife all these years? How could he leave his wife in the lurch?” The girl, I was speaking with, said.

“There are lots of people who choose to get separated (For various reasons). I think, it’s better than living in a bad, sad or abusive marriage. Many bollywood celebrities have left their wives for other woman and remarried. I think it’s their private affair and it should not be taken as a national affair.” I said.

“No, no. If a man cannot take care of his family and wife, how could he take care of our country? If he doesn’t respect his wife, how could he talk about the respect and security of Indian women?” She countered.

“If a man gets separated or divorced, it doesn’t mean he disrespects women. There could be many internal reasons that we do not know. It’s not like Mr. Modi had tortured and left his wife in the lurch and indulged himself in a steamy affair or remarried. If you see closely, even Gautama Budhha did the same.” I said as an example.

“Aree, ye aap kahan ki baat kahan le jaa rahi hain. Ye to ekdum alag baat hai. (Oh, you’re going off-track. It’s quite different.).” She sounded taken aback and raised her voice a little.

I don’t understand how is it different.

The other day, I caught a serial called “Budhha”, running on the television, in which Siddhartha (As Gautam Budhha) returns home, many years after he left. Everyone seemed delighted and ran to greet him at the entrance of the palace. But, his wife Yashodhara was so angry and upset with him that she refused to greet him and said, “Wo bina bataaye mujhe chhor kar chale gaye the, ab agar unhen mujhse milna hai to wo yahan aakar milen.” (He left us without saying a word. Now, if he wants to meet me, he should come here to meet me.)

Sidhhartha’s mother said, “Ab use maaf kar do, Yashodhara. (Forgive him now.)”

I don’t know how authentic this serial is, but if you think from the point of view of a wife and (especially) a little son, it is unfair. If you bring a child in this world, your prime responsibility is to look after her/him.

When we think about “The Gautama Budhha”, this act of unfairness becomes “sacrifice”. And since Narendra Modi (He might have his own reasons to leave a family life. Fair or unfair) is a politician, and now our PM, we can easily make his act of unfairness (From the point of view of Yashoda Ben. Oh, see the similarity in name!) whirl around as a national issue and declare it an offence.

Here, I’m not advocating Mr. Narendra Modi or his decision regarding his marriage. I cannot think of demeaning the stature of Gautama Budhha. I’m just expressing my thoughts and I want to ask you:

How these two decisions are different from each other?
And is comparing Narendra Modi’s married life with Gautama Budhha’s an offence?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review: The Revenge of Kaivalya by Sumana Khan

Finished reading "The Revenge of Kaivalya", a supernatural thriller (Westland Books) by Sumana Khan. You can read some nice reviews HERE

First of all, I would like to thank Ms. Khan for sending the review copy as a gift, with lovely words written in a sweet little card!

Kencha, a tribal who roams around in the deep forest with ease but one fateful day dies under bizarre circumstances;

Neel, a young an who lives alone in a penthouse, finds his home reeking of burning flesh, one morning;

Newly married Shivaranjini, who is on vacation experiences devastating seizures after returning from the deep forest;

A woman in comma, suddenly wakes up and announces a death before her own death and just then Paramesha, a duty nurse commits suicide. But is it really suicide?

These sufferers and acts  of hatred have common connecting link. A shadowy woman. Kaivalya! But why Kaivalya is back to take revenge after centuries?

The vast story of this book tells all about these, with multiple points of view.

The plot seems well researched and intriguing. Situations are thrilling, but multiple sub-plots and melee of characters make the story a little scattered. The incidents are indeed engaging but the story has no surprise element. As the story progresses and takes a turn, we, the readers somehow know what has actually happened and how. For me, this is the biggest drawback of the story.

The writing style is detailed, skillful and clean. The book cover is very apt.

For me, it was an interesting yet a little disturbing read. It could be a thrilling and gripping read for those who like reading murder mysteries/supernatural thrillers.

This review is a part of Write Tribe Book Review Programme.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Whirlpool of untold stories

"There's no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." : Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

From the closet of life,
Or from the sack of my own imagination
I extract many untold stories
I stuff them in the diary of my mind
I bond with them deeply
Yet forget sometimes…
They shuffle and struggle
To get out
Like a caged bird
To be heard and shine
I grumble as I try to settle
The whirlpool of those untold stories
Lovely imageries dance
And I envisage them to take beautiful shapes
I try but they jumble and I fail, sometimes…
This misery is painless
True, there’s no greater agony
Than bearing untold stories inside you…

I have already mentioned in some of my posts that I’m an eternal thinker. My mind is always occupied with myriads of thoughts. I don't know if my mind is ever free of thoughts. I think, if I could give my thoughts and imagination perfect shape I could write hundred of stories and article but as I have said, I fail sometimes and it's very frustrating. 

See this video where Maya Angelou reads her poem 'Phenomenal Woman'

Read this beautiful poem @ Write Tribe 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Product Review: Sunsilk Natural Recharge shampoo & conditioner!

As a child, I knew only one shampoo and that was Sunsilk. Times have changed. Many different products have arrived and I tried them. It had been long since I used Sunsilk. When I got a chance to review this new product by Sunsilk, I said an instant Yes!

Indiblogger and Sunsilk sent me the product in such a beautiful packet that I didn't want to open it. But that meant buying it for review (As I didn't want to write a fake review without using it, of course) so, err, I decided to open it. :)

About the product:

The Sunsilk Natural Recharge is co-created by Jamal Hammadi and contains (As it claims) Ginseng root and oil (And also sunflower seed oil as I noticed in the ingredients). Ginseng, a very well known herb, has many health benefits. It is said to be good for hair growth also. The product says: "It nourishes hair from roots to tips for hair thicker, fuller and 5x stronger."

Also, it says that it's free from Parabens. Read this article to know what Parabens are and why should we avoid it.

Ingredients, attributes and usage directions are mentioned in the back side of the product. It says: "The shampoo works in two ways. It nourishes and revitalizes."

What I felt: 

I think it's a nice sweet smelling product. What I liked about the smell is that it's not very harsh and it does give the feeling of natural extracts.

A moderate amount of shampoo lathers well, giving a smooth feeling. It surely makes your hair bouncy after drying but it disappointed me a little in softness department. It makes your hair soft but loses the effect in three-four hours. The effect may vary with the type of hair I guess. Conditioner helps the knots to ease off as you comb your semi dry hair but it takes a generous amount for better application. 


I think it's reasonable. You'll have to pay Rs 132/ for 180 ml of shampoo and Rs 64/ for 80 ml of conditioner. 

You can use it till 36 months from packaging. 

Overall, I liked the product and it's after effect. 

Recently, my little friend (12 years old) visited me. I offered her to use this product. When I asked her "How was it?"

She said: "Achchha tha. Mast!" 

Need I say more? :)

This review is a part of Indiblogger Product Review Programme in association with Sunsilk.

Book-Review: Sita's Curse by Sreemoyee Piu Kundu

Finished "Sita's Curse" by Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, (Ex- Lifestyle Editor) (Hachette India).

Well, this was my first erotic novel. Initially, I thought it was a mythological book but the blurb claimed it to be a contemporary story about a married woman who finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage.

'So, this novel has a thoughtful story' I thought and decided to read.

Sita's Curse tells the story of Meera Patel, a Gujarati girl who shares deep and somehow eccentric bond with her twin brother Karthik. Later, she is married to a cruel man until one day she finally breaks free...

Well, for me, it is a difficult book to review and I'm still trying to choose appropriate words to review this book. The book does have a story but I didn't understand the idea of breaking free after 15 years of loveless marriage as Meera is sexually 'very' active since her early age (It's erotic. Mind it!) much before her marriage.

Marriage is not just about sex. It's about emotional bond, care and companionship. But this story entirely focuses on physical desires. I don't know if it is justified for an erotica but sex sequences are very-very frequent and filthy. One can cringe in disgust.

The story generates interest sometimes but basically it's murky. I kept searching some delightful moments but I couldn't find any, not even in Meera's childhood. There is no trace of innocence.

Narration of the story is otherwise nice but it's flooded with unnecessary ellipses and half sentences which make the flow disturbing and somehow annoying. Characters are nicely sketched but I don't understand the title 'Sita's Curse'  for this story.

Overall, for me, it was annoying, murky and depressing. It was disappointing considering the reviews it has got. I have realized that Erotica is NOT my genre and I'm not going to try it again. Maybe I was the wrong person to review this book as for me it was a difficult read.

This review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Programme. You can follow them on Twitter for interesting book updates and free books for review.