Friday, July 29, 2016 0 Comments

Book Review: The One That Got Away BM Day 15



Fondness, memories,
All these years, they meet again,
Discomfort creeps in.

There's some spark, that
Reignites the emotions.
Love is in the air?





This is the gist of the novel The One That Got Away by Priyanka Menon.

This book tells the story of Jai (Jairam Nair) and Shyamita (Bose), school best buddies, who meet after twelve years in the wedding of their friends, Geet and Karan.

And then, what happens? Well, I have said much in my haiku and for the rest of the things, you'll have to read the book.

The writing is good. The author has portrayed the characters nicely. The essence of love and friendship reflects. The discomfort between Jai and Shyamita is done skilfully, it seems natural. I liked the way Shyamita cared for Jai's mother and sister.

I just wanted to know more about Shyamita and Jai's life after the school and before this wedding. Especially Shyamita's life.  Also, frequent/loud usage of full names (Jairam Nair!) of the characters annoyed me at times.

The setting, being the big fat wedding throughout the book (almost) , was a little monotonous. But, the author has described the setting well. It creates a vivid imagery.

Overall, it was a nice quick read. If you enjoy reading about love and friendship, it would be an interesting read on a lazy afternoon or if you are traveling (I was travelling when I read this book! :). I did not like the cover. It could have been more interesting.

I won this book in a giveaway, and I loved the personal note by the author. Thank you!


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Thursday, July 28, 2016 2 Comments

The Power Of Going Slow. BM Day 14




You might have seen such a view if you have ever been to Himachal, Uttarakhand or any mountain area.

When I first saw this view for the first time, I grew thoughtful. I looked up and a small red temple at the top of the mountain caught my attention. How would I reach there? I knew I would but it gave me jitters. Our car moved ahead, reading several 'be careful, be safe' kind of boards. And, after some time, we crossed the temple. It was exciting. Enjoying the loveliness of nature. Vistas so mesmerizing that I skipped my beats.

This is the power of going slow. The roads, dangerous yet safely nestled in the arms of vast mountains (Deep valleys made me icky at times), are elevated gradually, and as we move, we don't even realize when, and how easily we reached there.

Can we reach there if we try to rush, trying to reach there on a whim? Trying to reach there at once?

I thought it's like achievement. Of course there are some people who get things easily but most of the times we need to struggle. Everything needs time. Achieving success demands patience.

When we rush, and try to achieve something immediately, there are chances we falter. Sometimes, we need to go slow. And, then, we won't even realize when we reached the zenith of success!


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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 5 Comments

A Feel Good Moment. Blog Marathon Day 13


Okay, I had planned something else for today, but then, THIS happened!



It's a feel good moment. So, I thought to share. 

Copies of  'We Will Meet Again...', my first book, have been dispatched to the stores. 

I am yet to hold my book in my hands and experience how it feels like. Waiting for my copies (And, reader's reviews)!


                     



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Tuesday, July 26, 2016 2 Comments

Book Review: Everyone Has A Story by Savi Sharma. BM Day 12





Everyone Has A Story by Savi Sharma was a self-published (By author herself) book, and it has got nice reviews. This book has been re-published by Westland Books and now it's rising on the charts.

Everyone Has A Story is about love, friendship, and discovering yourself.

Meera, an aspiring writer meets Vivaan, a bank manager who dreams to travel the world, in a cafe. Kabir, is the cafe manager who desires to open his own cafe. He loves Nisha. She loves him back but before they settle together, Kabir must achieve something in life. Meera loves Vivaan but hesitate to express. Vivaan too nurtures feeling for her but is unsure (maybe because of his past)

So, what lies in Vivaan's past? What is the destination of their relationship? What about Kabir's dreams and his relationship with Nisha? You need to read this book to find out the answers.

The author tells an interesting story in simple words, and this is the best thing about this book. It is quite fast-paced, engaging I'd say. But, I have some problems with the plot and execution.

This book is called as 'Inspirational Love Story. Well, I didn't find anything 'exceptionally' inspirational in the 'love' story but yes, there are so many inspiring quotes. At times they are nice but sometimes they are too much, and disrupt the flow of the story.

Characters are well crafted but the background seems half-baked. The main story revolves around Meera and Vivaan, told in a first person. They are so self-engrossed that they never think about their families as if they don't exist. Kabir is a manager but the way he provides the services, he seems like a waiter. Kabir deserves more focus but he ends up being a secondary character. Same goes with Nisha who has her own secrets. I liked the friendship part better than the love story.

My next problem was conflict. The story does have conflicts but the author doesn't give time to build it up. The tension doesn't get space it requires. The moment readers start worrying about any particular situation, the author unveils the secret right away. Vivaan's past has some potential but it I think it could have been handled in a better way, especially when Vivaan too has his point of view to express. It seemed rushed.

The chapters come with title names (nothing striking) plus a particular POV (sometimes Meera, sometimes Vivaan) but there is no order and that's confusing, sometimes.

Overall, for me, it was an easy nice read but it lacked the depth which was required for such a story. The writing is good but instead of focusing on the story and its flow, the author focuses on her own inspirational words. The book cover is nice but the previous (for self-published one) cover was better.

If you are looking for a light quick read, go grab it. If you like reading inspirational words, go grab it! You may like it if you like reading about friendship and love. As a first-time author Savi Sharma has done a nice job. Eager to know about her next book.

Thank you Westland Books for sending me a review copy for an honest review.


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Monday, July 25, 2016 3 Comments

Dealing with the Emotional Burden of Your Child. BM Day 11






There are several cases when children experience and stifle mental/emotional torture. It can be more painful because if they can't share their thoughts and agony. Why? Maybe because of fear or shame, or lack of friendliness in parents’ behavior. It is important to know what's going on in your child's mind. It is not just about their mental disturbance, but sometimes, it is related to the child's safety in schools or many such places where the child spends time, away from the parents.

It is true that nobody can understand your child better than you, but you need to keep a watchful eye for any striking change in your child’s behavior.

“Behaviour may vary from child to child,” says Ms. Abha Singh (M.Phil, NIMHANS), Consultant Child Psychologist, Confidence Clinic, Gurgaon. “They may turn into a recluse, or decline involvement in any activity. In some cases, children behave aggressively,” she continues.  “Parents should avoid blaming their children for every emotional/mental trouble they face in school, and adopt understanding approach,” Ms. Abha Singh suggests.

What could be the possible causes for child's mental trauma?

Abusive behavior of teachers or any other school staffs. 
Sexual harassment
Bullying
Academic pressure. Expecting them to be super-star kids.

A good relationship burgeons with good communication. If you notice any absurd behavior in your child, talk and share your concern with your child’s class teacher or even the principal or maybe your child's friend's parents, if needed. 

And, most importantly, talk to your child. Make sure you ask about his/her day in school every single day. Stay closely attached. Show your interest in your child’s friends. Talk to them when they visit. It’s not just about courtesy. You must know who your child’s friends are.

Psychological Tricks to make your child comfortable

Don’t pester him with your urgency. Give him some time, but watch him silently yet intently.

Keep your tone and approach friendly. Being strict is essential at times but in such cases being stern won’t help.

Spend some quality time together. Maybe a walk or gardening. Share your own childhood stories and tell him how you made some silly mistakes. It will encourage him to open up.

Don't disagree right away. Show that you agree with his thoughts and understand him completely. You can make him understand later.



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Sunday, July 24, 2016 14 Comments

The Smoke Is Rising. BM Day 10






Clicked these on my way to Gangotri


I watch the raindrops 
Sinking into the lush velvety grass
Swaying little flowers,
Thick mist that shrouds the mighty mountains

Heavy drops turn drizzles
Gentle breeze carries the whiff of nature
Takes the mist away, and the mighty mountain appears
Tall and powerful
Holding the vast sky
Embracing the twisted path safely in its arm
River flowing along furiously
Mounds of clouds
Breaking away, slowly
Look, the smoke is rising!







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Saturday, July 23, 2016 0 Comments

Book Review: Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben. BM Day 9





These days, I am keen on experimenting with different genres. Mythology (ThePalace Of Illusions) and Psychological Thriller (The Girl On The Train) came as wonderful surprises. And, here I have finished reading Fool Me Once, a psychological thriller by HarlanCoben (Penguin Books India), and what a gripping read it was!

Maya Stern, a soldier, has just buried her husband, Joe who had been brutally murdered and she witnessed it! She is left alone with her two year old daughter. Her friend Eileen gives her some solace and a nanny cam, a hidden camera to check on her daughter and her nanny when she is out for work.

For first few days everything seems okay but then, one day, one casual look at the recording and it hits Maya hard, terribly hard! Joe, Maya's dead husband, appears in the nanny cam playing with his daughter.

How could it be possible? Is she hallucinating because she hears nagging voices in her mind that won't let her sleep? Is that Joe’s ghost? Why would anyone kill Joe? Maya’s quest for truth leads her to various old dark secrets…

Fool Me Once is gripping, unputdownable read. The plot is multilayered yet it doesn’t confuse you.

The characters are sketched smartly. Maya Stern is strong and confident and her actions and dialogues reflect that. The author doesn't need to explain. I loved the character of Shane, Maya’s closest friend. He is adorable.

Dialogues are different from any other book, and I found them interesting, the way characters converse in this book. You have to be attentive to get the gist.

"As a soldier, you don't stand at attention because it looks nice. You stand at attention because, on some level, it either gives you strength or, just as important, makes you appear stronger to both your comrades and enemies."

I liked this quote. The cover is intriguing.

This book hooks you from the start, but it loses the grip when the conclusion dawns. I mean I didn’t get that, and this disappointed me. It didn't make any sense. Also, Maya’s feelings towards her daughter bothered me sometimes.


Overall, for me it was an engrossing read even though the conclusion left me confused and somehow frustrated! Recommended for those who like reading psychological thrillers. I would like to read Harlan Coben again. Any suggestions?

I got a review copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.


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Friday, July 22, 2016 4 Comments

Putting Things Right. BM Day 8






She was fiddling with her phone, her mind jumbled. She couldn't believe she did that. How could she? 

She got married last month. She was happy, excited and nervous. She wanted to share her happiness with her friends but forgot to invite one of her dearest friends, Ronny.

Should she call him? How would he react? He hadn’t called even once. Why would he? He must be angry. Volley of thoughts whirling in her mind.

She started typing on her phone. “How are you? Look, I’m sorry! Miss you. She texted him, finally.

No reply. Obviously.

I won’t give up. She thought and typed again. “Angry?” 

No response.

Her phone blared and flashed Ronny’s number. She picked up. “I’m not angry,” Ronny yelled even before she could say a hello, “I am disappointed. And, I am glad you miss me. I miss you too!” Ronny finished in the very familiar friendly, blended with mock anger, tone. He sounded just like before.

A wide smile appeared on her lips, and she could feel the heaviness of her heart ebbing away. I knew it! She thought.


Over-thinking disturbs. Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to put things right. People who know you, would understand you.





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Thursday, July 21, 2016 14 Comments

Time Cannot Heal Every Wound. BM Day 7


Okay, little bit of self-promotion today :)

My first book 'We Will Meet Again' is going to release on 31st July. It's a mature love story (okay, don't roll your eyes :)) If you like reading love stories, you will like it. It carries various shades of emotions. Light touch of humour and repartee.

You may click HERE to see the cover and blurb.

Leaving you with this quotation from my book. Tell me what do you think about it.


Yes, some memories haunt, and the impression they leave is so deep that they eventually become a scar. We all have our shares of agonies. But, life has its own rule. It tend to take you along and you simply have to oblige. In that case, learning to stay happy (and not whining) is a better option. Isn't it?


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P.S.: Poets United (A wonderful community for poets who blog) featured me this week. You can read my interview HERE. They are kind enough to share some of my watercolour paintings too. I know I am bad, still...




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Wednesday, July 20, 2016 3 Comments

Book Review: Secretly Yours. BM Day 6



The cover and the blurb of Secretly Yours are so intriguing (plus it has got some wonderful reviews) that I immediately added it to my reading list. When Writers Melon wrote in for a review, there was no reason to think twice.

I have finished reading this book, and I am disappointed. Why? I'll tell you. Let me tell you about the book first.

Secretly Yours by Vikrant Khanna tells the story of Sahil and his completely disarrayed life. His grandma holds him responsible for his parents' death, and Sahil, bearing this agony, doesn't find any charm in life. In his charm-less life, and at seventeen, Sahil does stuff like drinking, smoking, flirting with various girls...Okay, he writes and teaches music too.

Then, comes Anya, a mysterious girl, who likes spending time with Sahil but is unsure about this relationship, while Sahil has already fallen in love with her. When he starts thinking that life is not that bad, a terrible accident leaves him in a coma. When he wakes up he discovers his striking newly developed ability. He can read minds!

What now? What goes in the minds of people around him? Are they hiding anything? You will have to read this book to know the answers.

Okay, sounds interesting? Let me make it more interesting for you.This book also deals with serious issues like Suicide, Rape etc. Seems promising?  It does, for sure! Then, what is the problem?

The problem is the treatment of the subject and the execution of the story. It is painfully slow. The author thinks we readers are not intelligent enough to grasp the gist, so he explains every little thing. 100 odd pages and nothing substantial happens. The events in the books are as disarrayed as Sahil's life. Writing is repetitive and at some points it annoys.

The blurb at the back cover is misleading. Mind-reading, the main theme of my interest has little to do with the story. There are several murders that go on and on without a single thing/clue that may hold your interest. The book fails to focus on any intriguing theme that has been stuffed in the story, and it drags unnecessarily.

It was disappointing to spot some editing glitches in the book that comes from a publishing house like Penguin Random House.

The book cover is very attractive.

Overall, for me it was a big disappointment (Because my expectation was high). You may try this book if you don't have anything to do or any other book to read. Or you may find it interesting if you like reading about schools, friendship, crushes etc.





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Tuesday, July 19, 2016 4 Comments

What If...? Blog Marathon Day 5




Those nagging voices
Echo in my mind
Anxiety churns, and screams
What if...?

What if your dreams, just fulfilled, 
Turn out to be an illusion?
What if the hope you have nurtured
Shatters into million pieces?
What if your plans go awry?

What if...?

I shudder and call my inner voice.
What if, it responses, 
Your dreams turn into a beautiful reality?
If not, then, a sense of contentment would prevail.
You have tried, at least...


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P.S: I have been featured on Poets United, a wonderful community for poets. You can read my interview HERE





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Monday, July 18, 2016 11 Comments

Don't let your problems beat you. BM Day 4



I was thinking about writing something else, but then I saw this image. A thought that I strongly believe in. Not because these words are inspiring but I have personally experienced it!




For non-Hindi readers it says "No problem is that powerful that we tend to believe. Have you ever heard that darkness of night has prevented the Sun from rising?"

I think we are stronger than we think we are. Sometimes, our strength is quiescent. But, it rises like a phoenix when the circumstances demand.

You might feel helpless this moment but when you find no one around you to help, you eventually find a way. Because, there is always a way. You just have to find that out.

We are lazy people. We like it when people help us. We love it when we get our work done by someone else. But, being dependent on someone is the worst thing, I believe. Nothing can beat the feeling of being independent.

But, life is difficult. Sometimes, you need a helping hand. It's a terrible feeling when people who help you in adversity make you feel insignificant. They may show it from their behaviour that they have done something for you (of course, there are some lovely people who help you wholeheartedly). They make you feel that you were incapable of handling your problems alone. People mostly fail to realize that if we have asked for their help it means that we trust them. We find them close enough to ask them a favour. It doesn't mean that we can't manage without them.

You are strong, and can tackle your problems without any help. Try yourself. Don't let your problems beat you. Beat them!


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Sunday, July 17, 2016 2 Comments

Book Review: Myself Meena, IAS. BM Day 3




"There are two types of pain in this world: physical pain that merely hurts, and an internal aching pain that changes you totally."

I really liked this opening line of the book, Myself Meena, IAS by Dakshita Das

Myself Meena, IAS is about Meena, a lively carefree girl, living (and trying to fulfill)  his father's aspirations and dreams. Dream of becoming an IAS officer. 

She is confused and unsure, and then comes Venkat as her mentor, later her love interest. 

Would she be able to catch those dreams? What about her own aspirations? What is the destination of her relationship with Venkat?

You need to read this book to know the answers.

The story-line of Myself Meena is linear. It seems a blend of personal thoughts of a confused and frustrated soul, and some incidents, that lack striking elements, rushing in a definite order. I understand her frustration though. What can you expect when your dreams and aspirations are not your own? 

The book surely gets better in the second half. But, I think it could have been presented in a more interesting way.

Writing is good. I quite liked the conversations between Meena and Venkat. Characters of Meena's parents are portrayed well. 

What irked me the most was 'frequent' Hindi dialogues (with English translations in the brackets). I don't understand the purpose. The book cover is not appealing, and somehow irksome. 

For me, it was an average read. It could be interesting or maybe inspiring for IAS aspirants and students. But, if you love fiction with a little bit of drama and twists and turns, this book is not for you.

I got a review copy from Rupa Publications for an honest review.






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Saturday, July 16, 2016 17 Comments

If It's Not Unconditional, It's Not Love, BM Day 2




Love is a strong emotion but it's vulnerable as well. Love can get affected/tainted easily by other strong emotions like jealousy, anger, obsession.

Love needs some space to breathe, and when then space gets smothered, the essence of love starts dying, slowly. Beauty of love lies in respecting that space and helping each other grow.

It is natural to have a difference of opinion, even if you are in love. It is okay to get upset with each other. You should not hesitate to voice your own opinion just because you are in love with that person. But, the bond of understanding should be intact. Even if a certain condition irks you, it should not change your feelings/views for each other. It should not hamper the trust and support you nurture for each other. If your emotions change with different conditions, it's not love.

You can't un-love your loved one just because of a condition that didn't go well with you! You have to be brave enough to accept the flaws.You have to be brave enough to forgive. You have to be brave enough to say a sorry.

Conditions change the meaning of love. If it's not unconditional, it's not love.

Fight, disagree, get upset or angry but don't let it blur your sanity. Do not let these emotions paint your feelings. They should be like that thin film of dust. One blow, and the flurry of tainted emotions disappear, leaving your true feeling shinning like before.

But, the question is: Do people actually feel this way? Is it easy to deal with those conditions and think clearly without changing your emotions?


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Friday, July 15, 2016 12 Comments

Prejudice - Blog Marathon Day 1


So, I am writing my first post for Blogchatter Blog Marathon. It's called Daily Chatter. And, it's day one.

Will start this post with a thoughtful quotation.



"I am resigning from my job," one of my closest friends said. She worked as a lecturer in a college.

"Why?" was my instant response as she enjoyed her work immensely. Preparing for her classes, interacting with students and all that.

"Moving to a different city."

"Oh, that's okay," I said, not worrying a bit. "You can join some other college in that city."

"No, I can't do this!" she said. "That would be difficult in a big city. Different city. Different pattern." I could understand what she meant. But then, she said something that left me confused.

"Students would be smarter than me, there," she said.

How did she know that without even trying? Why this prejudice? After all they were still students, and she was an experienced teacher. It was even more confusing as my friend is very well qualified (NET qualified). She is dedicated and hardworking. She clearly underestimated herself.

However, I couldn't decide her career. So went on to join a big company in that 'different, big city' as a senior executive. I hope she truly enjoys her work.

But, it keeps me thinking. You think you are the smartest one in the group and you feel good about it. You hesitate to join people who are smarter than you. But, you don't realize that by doing this you restrict your growth. Your ability to perform better.

This feeling, that I am smart and know everything, hinders your development and your desire to learn. And, learning is a lifelong process. Isn't it?


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Saturday, July 2, 2016 9 Comments

Interested in Blog Marathon?



Hello Bloggers!

We are planning a Blog Marathon starting from 15th July to 31st July. Would you like to join?

Blog Marathon is a challenge (as you have to write a post every single day in this time frame), and certainly brings contentment if achieved successfully. You grow as a writer.

You can write anything. Fiction, poems, articles, book-reviews, pictures....you can choose photos, any particular word, quotations as your prompt. The choice is yours!

It is suggested to plan your posts in advance so that you don't end up writing anything for the sake of it.

Registration starts tonight @ Blogchatter

So, Think. Plan. Write. Connect!

Looking forward to your response.


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