Monday, December 21, 2015

The Bestseller She Wrote - Book Review



It is the tale of Paperback king Aditya Kapoor’s life. His is a modern man’s fantasy. His literary stardom is
perfectly balanced by a loving wife and a spectacular career. With everything he touches turning to gold, Aditya is on a winning streak. On the other hand is Shreya Kaushik is a student with a heart full of
ambition. Young, beautiful, and reckless, Shreya speaks her mind and obsessively chases after what she wants. And what she wants is to be a bestselling author. What happens when their worlds collide? Is it
possible to love two people at the same time? Can real ambition come in the way of blind passion? Can trust once broken, be regained?

The blurb isn’t too exciting. And the title of the book almost gives the plot away. But then you want to read
the book because the author’s reputation of being the John Grisham of India precedes him. This was my
first book by the author, Ravi Subramanian, even though I had been recommended to pick up at least one of his works by some of my well read blogger friends. And so when the team at BlogAdda asked if I would be interested in reviewing this book, it had to be a Yes. 

The book to me pretty much seemed like a movie. A movie whose first half is been-there-seen(read)-that. All run of the mill stuff. A successful couple, a picture perfect family and a beautiful intelligent third cog in the wheel. And then, the second half which is replete with twists and turns and melodrama and action and the thrills. The second half is interesting and pacey and you can’t keep the book down until you have read it through.

What worked for me:

1) The twists and turns. Even though it was not impossible to guess the suspense, the author does manage to keep the reader hooked on.

2) A lot of insights into the literary world as the story involves a successful author and a debutante author. He actually talks about real life stuff like publishing houses, pricing and marketing a book.

What didn’t work for me:

1) He wrote a thriller and left clues all over the place. Even in some places where there is no significance. Like in Paris, the lady who first contracts Ebola is reading one of Aditya’s books. And while Aditya’s wife is totally fretting over her and trying to arrange help for her, she has her eyes on the book. In the end, it didn’t amount to anything. Maybe it was done to confuse the reader, but to me it felt like lose ends of a story.

2) A long drawn (and totally unnecessary) drama with Ebola. It could simply have been viral. The serious nature of the disease didn't add anything to the story.

3) The hospital scene in which Aditya vents his feeling for his wife was too Bollywood-ish. I mean, c’mon, who does that in real life? And the doctor actually had the time to take out that CCTV footage to convince Aditya’s wife of his love!

4) A lot of stuff seemed to have been written so as to be picked up for an easy Bollywood adaptation. I really felt the story could have much more depth in it.

I was really confused about my feelings for this book. Even though it wasn’t mind blowing for me, it definitely wasn’t all that bad either. It’s one of those books which lie somewhere in the middle. And so, I would give it a 2.5 on 5.

These views are my own and may definitely differ from yours. If you like fast paced thrillers, do pick up the book.

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Friday, December 18, 2015

The comeback!

For the first time since its inception I have been away from the blog for so long. The usual reasons were that H was travelling on and off and I had to take care of the little one and office and the works. But the main reason was that there was/is too much noise on social media about everything. One person makes one comment and the whole country erupts into war. I mean, how one can call themselves intolerant when they don’t let someone voice their opinion. And so, I used the “Silence is golden” route for these past few months. I didn't want to be just "one more voice" in the melee. I didn't want to talk when no one was listening.

In the meanwhile, I read a lot of good books. Didn’t write any reviews. Hardly watched any movies. Moved into a new home. Our own home :-) Spent quite some time on the décor and shifting. And now that we have been in this house for almost 2 weeks, I feel settled. Coming back to the blog after almost 3 months feels new. But I did want to make the “comeback” before the year ended, because I really really like doing the year roundup blog post. It puts a lot of things into perspective and it is there that I can see what worked for me in this year and what needs to be taken more seriously. It is therapeutic as well as encouraging. So there.

Also, the little one celebrated her 2nd birthday this month. I don’t have enough words to tell you how naughty she is or how much she can talk. But given that her mother does the same, I can’t really complain right? I do regret not writing about her all these months because a months down the line I would have forgotten these precious little nuggets. So of course, I will write a separate post about her soon.

I have just finished reading “The Bestseller She Wrote” by Ravi Subramanian. Review coming up soon.
This old attic (blog) is finally getting dusted and getting ready for the festive season. Until then, stay tuned. Be good. Do good. Ciao.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bachpan ki Memories, Now and Then!

Experience is like a comb life gives when you are bald. I have that comb now. Of course, metaphorically. I have grown up and have a little one of my own. I have thoroughly enjoyed my childhood and never even knew it. Ironically, that’s the beauty of childhood and innocence. We grew up playing, studying, and fighting with siblings. The kind of childhood today’s children have is entirely different from ours. But I don’t think anyone is to blame here. It’s just that the times have changed, the people have changed, the society has changed. And like it or not, we have to incorporate all of this change into our lives. Consequently, our children’s childhood experiences are a lot different from ours. But if I had to choose one thing that they don’t do like ours, hmmm…!!!! :)

When we were young, there were none of the fast food joints like McDonalds or Pizza Hut or Dominos. So the weekends did mean some kind of special food, but almost always it was home cooked. I remember we went out like once a month to eat restaurant food. And after having it, my mother would invariably always say, “I could have cooked it better at half the price”. And cook well she did. There was no dish that was available in the market and we hadn’t eaten a healthier version of it at home. We ate burgers with breads and aloo patty made at home. We ate yummy south Indian dosas, idlis, sambhar and chutney. We also had the Guajarati dhoklas made at home. All of these with none of the artificial ingredients or preservatives present in the restaurant food. And the sometimes we had to eat the boring khichdi due to someone’s tummy upset, mother made sure it was accompanied with some yummy dal papad and pickles, of course, made at home.


Source: Google
And I remember we had a great time helping our mother make these at home. We would be assigned the task of laying down the raw diced potatoes on the terrace and would take turns watching them dry in the sun and not let the birds or mosquitoes have a taste of them before we did. The pickles would be seasonal. In the summers, enough raw mangoes were pickled to last the year. In the winters, we had yummy carrot, and cauliflower pickles put in ginger juice.



With the fad of burgers, subs and pizzas coming in, the authentic Indian tastes have given way to global palettes. As much as the kids these days hate eating the same food over and over, we mothers are no match for the mothers we had. I don’t think anyone of us is marginally closer to the multitasker that our mothers are. My daughter is one and a half years now, and I try to give her home cooked food all the time. But I am sure it will change over time when she starts going to school and the fast food fad catches up with her. But I really really hope and wish I can make her childhood and growing up years as interesting and healthy with home cooked food as mine was.

This post is being written for the #BachpanWithFlinto blogger contest.

Flintobox creates award-winning discovery boxes filled with fun exploratory activities and games for children in the age group of 3-7. If you wish to gift Flintobox to your child, niece/nephew, or friend’s child, use the exclusive coupon code WELCOME to avail Rs. 250/- off.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Friendship Special!

Hello. Welcome back. I was away. Again. Not something that I like, but something that I can't help either.

The husband has been travelling far too much for my liking. That left me with the little one, and a whole lot of more work. Plus the fact that she's been not keeping well for quite some time now :( We have visited numerous doctors, and finally we think we know what's wrong and we are taking steps to correct it. At this point, our whole focus is to really see her healthy. And so, the husband who had hardly been home for 10 days during the last 3 months finally came back last week. Since then, life is looking up. It's feeling like a non-stop party. The little one is super excited to wake up to both parents :-) And her health is half way better with daddy without any medicines. I really hope this phase stays longer.

I am so sad for not having done my birthday post this year. So I'll do a little recap here. Because it is Friendship's day today, and these very friends made my birthday so special.

Like last year, this year too, the husband was not supposed to be in town on my birthday. So I had booked tickets to travel to Ahmedabad (where he was stationed at the time). However, the little one fell ill at the last moment and I had to cancel my tickets. So apart from the loss of 5000 Rs, we also lost the entire special-birthday-meeting plan.And so I went to office (the little one was feeling better with the medicines) with no plans as this was a last minute change. But my awesome friends made sure that we went out for lunch. They also got me a cake and a card and wrote the sweetest messages. The evening was supposed to be a daily affair. I picked up S from the day care and went home. I was going about the usual housework when I got a call from colleagues cum friends who informed me they were coming over to celebrate my birthday. And so we had the second cake cutting of the day. We ate cake, sat around and indulged S who was really excited to have people in our house, other than her mum. They also got me one of the books that I have been wanting to read. you can imagine how euphoric I might have been! By the time they left, my sister called to inform me she had made some really nice dinner for the birthday. S and I reached their house when I got a call from another of my friends, who lives in the same society as us. She said she was coming over to wish me. She came home armed with delicious cupcakes. And so we had a third cake cutting of the day with my friend and S. The little one was really happy and majorly confused as to why we were singing the birthday song over and over that day. But she did enjoy all the attention and some cake. By the time I went to have my dinner, I was so stuffed with cake that I could hardly eat anything that the sister had made. I really felt bad and said as much.

My office friend, S and I

The cake cutting at lunch with friends :)

When S insisted she would feed me cake and my friend decided to capture this. Sweet, right?
You can imagine how loved and blessed I have must have felt that day. Lots of people called, messaged and watsapp'ed their wishes. But these people who really took the time out for my big day are so special. Not that I am really big on birthday celebrations. But because it made me realize how truly blessed I am to have so much love in my life. AND. The birthday celebrations weren't over yet. One of my friends (we go way back to college, and then together in out first company) called me and asked me what book I would like for my birthday. I told him that I hadn't read Steig Larsson's Millenium trilogy. So he could send me the first book, and I would order the rest if I liked it. The sweetheart that he is, he sent me the entire box set of 3 books. That's not all. He also sent me a sweet note which said "They say, very few women admit their age, and very few men act their age. But yo do both of it and with equal grace. I wish you a very Happy Birthday ~ although belated. Enjoy!" So much love, my heart could explode.

Really, thank you guys, to each one of you. You know who you are. You are loved and revered. You are in my wishes and blessings. Always!
This is for all my friends - Happy Friendship's Day! Now and always :)

PS: While I was away, I also won a contest. Yay! You can read about it here and here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

20 days and Nioxin later...!

If you have been reading the blog, you might know that I had taken up the Nioxin 20 day challenge. Nioxin is a hair product that is aimed at people with thin and thinning hair. It has been known to stop further thinning of hair and even make the scalp a suitable environment for the growth of new hair. I had attended the launch of this product in India. You can read about it here.

And so, I came back home armed with the designated pack assigned to me, identified according to my hair type. The pack had three bottles - A shampoo, a conditioner and a scalp revitalizer. According to the instructions given to us by the Nioxin guys at the event, these products had to be used every day. Since Nioxin follows a skin care approach to hair, they said you need to wash and clean your scalp like your face, every day. First, shampoo your hair using the Nioxin cleanser shampoo. Then rinse your hair and apply the Nioxin conditioner. Now here’s a twist. Unlike most conditioners that are applied only to the length of the hair and not roots, Nioxin conditioner needs to be applied onto your scalp as well. Conditioning your scalp after a wash, like moisturizing your face after a wash, that’s the skin care approach they have been talking all along. Wash off the conditioner after 2-3 minutes and then gently towel dry your hair. Lastly, you need to apply the scalp revitalizer. It is actually a spray that you have to sparingly apply evenly to cover the entire head.

It was a challenge for somebody like me to use the product every day, since my mornings are rushed with trying to get ready for office and getting the little one ready for school. So effectively I ended up using the product on alternate days. Coming to the product, the shampoo has a nice pleasant smell. The good part about it is that you literally need to use a very small amount every time you shampoo. It lathers well and easily. The conditioner? Well, have you ever tried Menthos? The Nioxin conditioner feels like your scalp is having Menthos. It has a strong mint fragrance and is very very cool on the scalp. Like when you wah off the conditioner, it feels like you are pouring ice cold water on the head. Since it is really hot now, using the conditioner was a “cool” experience.

Let me tell you the change I felt after using Nioxin vs the other off-the-counter shampoos I have been using till date. Earlier, on the first day of hair wash, I would have really nice, clean and silky hair. By the second day it would start patting down on the head with a little oil. By the third day, the only hair style I could do was tying it up in a knot. But with Nioxin, even on the third day, the hair felt almost as clean and silky as the first day. Even though it is advised to be used every day for thicker hair, I observed that not following it a couple of times would do no harm either.

Now, I cannot verify the authenticity of this product by gauging hair growth. It is not possible to effectively know if I have really grown more hair during this 20-day period. But what I can tell you is that my head feels fuller. I don’t think my hair thickness has increased but I do feel that there is a spurt in the growth of new hair. I also feel much better with how my hair looks and feels now. The product (the three piece treatment) is a little steeply priced at Rs. 3000. But as I mentioned earlier, you literally use a very small quantity each time. So it may, as well, last you a long time. I am not sure if I will continue with this expensive treatment for my hair. But if you are really desperate and looking for a solution for thinning hair and are ready to shell out some big bucks, do try Nioxin. I didn’t use the product as religiously as told, and yet I can feel the change. I am sure and hope it will work for you if you give it a 100% chance.
These are my before and after pictures. You decide!

Before and After!
PS: This is purely my own opinion after using the product. It is not a sponsored review.

You can try and experience #NioxinNowIndia at your nearest salon. This activity is in association with BlogAdda.com

Friday, June 19, 2015

One and a half years, twice the drama!

The little one is on a rampage these days. She has always been a hyperactive child, right from her days in the womb. But now, at 1.5 years, with feet and mind firm and always running, she is giving me the hiji bijis. I feel like the Terrible Twos have already started. Only 6 months too early.

Yesterday she gave me a full blown tantrum at the mall where we had gone to buy her a new pair of shoes. By the way, she threw her old shoes down from our 7th floor balcony and lost them is another story. At the mall, I also happened to like a dress for her. So I tried it on but it was a little too fitted for comfort. But apparently she had her heart set on it. She said she won't take it off. I tried coaxing and cajoling, which by the way hardly ever works. And then, I took it off amidst her protests. In the next instant, she was down on the floor, wearing  shorts and shoes and no t-shirt, crying with all the energy she could fathom from her reserves. Of course, all the people were staring at us. The truce was reached with the barter of a chocolate-y bourbon biscuit.

After we reached home, she did the same with the shoes. She just didn't want to part with them. I pried them open ONLY for her bath time. But hell hath fury! This little lady is not taking things lying down from mummy. Another full blown tantrum with lots of crying and red face was unleashed on mummy, and it subsided only when she was allowed to take a bath with her shoes on. And then had her dinner and milk and every other activity with her shoes on. She then went to sleep after talking to her shoes for quite some time, and also saying "bye" to it almost 500 times. I am traumatized, is to say the least.

The list of weird things she does is going up by the day and has me worried. Like for real.
The other day she was playing on the floor. And as usual, I had an eye on this mischief maker. Then I saw her pick up a grain of dust on her finger. She then put this finger in her nose and took a deep breath and snuffed it away. Putting everything in the mouth is too mainstream for her I guess!

I thought a lot about this and came up with a theory. I was sure she couldn't have seen this on TV. So I figured she is just a curious toddler who is exploring all the open spaces accessible to her little hands. And prove me right she did. A day later, she tried to snuff some fruit peel. Since it didn't oblige, she tried putting it inside her eyes. When that didn't happen too, she put it at the spot right where the eye meets the bridge of the nose. And then went around the house proudly showcasing her creativity. She also tried to stuff my tic-tac clips in her ears today!

She has also thrown the rolling pin (belan) and steel containers down from our seventh floor balcony. Thankfully, no one has been hurt yet. But mommy dear definitely got a nice hearing from the building guard who saw her doing this both times.

Am I sounding grumpy and cribbing all over the place? Because that's not the whole story. She is also growing up pretty and learning too many rhymes and songs and dance. She speaks non stop the whole time. And I have gone from "When will you speak?" stage to "Please baby, quiet for sometime" stage almost too soon. She loves reading her books more than ever and has even got a choice at which one she wants to read for the day. I am enjoying this stage as much as I can. The rest of the time, we have a screaming match. I ain't winning any, though! :-P

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Product Review : Dabur Baby Massage Oil

And so, we are back with a product review. Dabur baby massage oil. I was quite an obvious choice for the review as I have a kid who falls into the maalish waali category. And so, last week I received three packs of Dabur baby massage oil from BlogAdda for review, as a part of the #FirstLove activity.


As soon as I opened the neatly done package and took out one bottle to generally have a deko, the little one neatly got hold of the other two, one in each hand, and ran away. And then, as is usual, she threw them on the floor as soon as I asked her to return them to me. For her it’s a game. But I think I had a minor heart attack. The two extra bottles needed to be given away. But lord bless the guys! Since it’s a baby oil, they must have figured that the babies can go for the bottles once in a while. So the non-glass/plastic bottles fell on the ground. And that’s that. Nothing happened. So even before the review started, a point had been scored. Make baby products baby-proof :)

Ever since the little one was born, we have been very particular about her massages. Everyday, half an hour. Our mothers and grandmothers have waxed eloquent about its benefits and the husband and I have been really sincere with the massage routine from the beginning. In the initial months, a massage helps relive the tensions in a baby’s muscles as they cannot move around on their own. I remember how every day during the massage she would fall off to easy sleep. We sometimes tried to do it at night to make her sleep too. I, for one, can personally vouch for the fact that a massage really helps growing babies. As the little one started growing older, we could see that her hands and legs were strong and she sat, eventually started crawling and walking, all in good time and pretty confidently.

Since the beginning, we have used mustard oil and desi ghee for her massage, as these oils help build the child’s muscles. We have also occasionally used Johnsons’ baby oil when we were travelling and didn’t have access to the above mentioned oils. There are some other alternatives like Olive oil, and Almond oil that are popular for baby massages. Dabur baby massage oil combines the goodness of both olives and almonds into this oil. The oil is clear, not very thick and has a pleasant smell to it. The packet cover and the bottle have a very cute and colorful design with a chubby elephant dancing and the text sprawled across in rainbow hues.

I have had a really difficult time massaging my little one ever since she learnt to crawl. Because that means she can run away during the massage. So this cute little cover came in quite handy to keep her occupied for a little while I quickly got to work. The oil has a sweet smell and is non-sticky. Of course, I cannot say how effectively the oil is helping my child grow as it is something that is dependent on a lot of factors. But the fact that a popular and age-old brand like Dabur is associated with it, it makes me want to believe in all the goodness mentioned here like being Parafins free and no artificial colours.



Some children do have extra sensitive skin. And if you have such a child at home, I would advise you to first do a skin test by applying the oil on a small patch of skin and wait for a couple of hours for any allergy to show up.

I am writing about Dabur Baby Massage Oil with the goodness of olive and almond for the #FirstLove activity atBlogAdda.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The everyday Drama of Life!


The one reason that I have been away is because the husband is travelling again. And that means that I am just barely making it, day by day. The days are crazy without him. By the time I reach office, I feel I have been through a battle. That’s because right after I wake up, I prepare the little one’s bag for the day care. So clothes, diapers, breakfast, lunch, snacks, fruits and the rest of the universe it is. Take a bath and get ready. Then wake her up and begin the tantrums. Some days she wants to laze around on the bed. I have one eye on the clock and the other on her. Then very tactfully I have to coax her out of her stupor because if you have a toddler, you would know, a meltdown is not what you want at the beginning of your day. Follow it up with milk, brush your teeth, potty, bath and dressing up. Each task is as eventful as she can make it. And then a short car ride to the day care later, off she goes to spend her day playing. And off I go, to scramble and punch in my card and start my day with never ending work and boring meetings.

The evenings are no better. I pick her up on my way back home. She is so full of energy after having spent an eventful day with the kids and a nice 3 hour nap in the afternoon. The rest of the evening passes pretty much like the morning. I have an eye on the clock and the other on her. I am mentally counting the minutes to her bed time. You would know what I am saying if you have/ever had a hyper active toddler at home, plus a full time job and minus a husband :(

Anyhow, I digressed. A bit too much. The other reason that I haven’t been here is because I have been hooked onto this really cool show that airs on NatGeo called “Air Crash Investigation”.


 As the name suggests, they document air crashes around the world, investigate them and bring them to us in an hour long episode on how they painstakingly built an entire theory of something that happened half way to the moon. You have to see it believe its awesomeness. My husband says I am sadistic because I watch this show. Also because I have always had a phobia of flying, even before the low cost airlines came in and anyone and everyone around us was taking flights. As a child, I always took refuge in the fact that we would hardly ever need to fly. But now, of course the things have changed. I have flown quite frequently in the last few years. The husband is a frequent flier himself. And trust me, it doesn’t help to watch the show. Because I obsess too much about it. Every time I sit on a plane, I remember “that” episode where “so and so” happened. And all thanks to me, the husband has also developed a mild phobia of flying. But all said and done, the show is really awesome. 

The whole technology part on how every single move you take high up in the air has a digital counterpart on the earth is truly mind blowing. Also the way they construct an episode – firstly, how the accident unfolded (in detail), then how the investigation began, the roadblocks, and the clues that led them to the chain of events, is mind blowing. I know it’s a crash and I do feel sad, AND AFRAID! But the series is a must watch! And I'll tell you what! After watching way too many episodes and crashes and seeing “everything that can go wrong does go wrong”, I have actually lost some of my phobia. Darr ke aage sach mei jeet hai!

PS : Yesterday I finished all the episodes and all the seasons of the show. And hence the time to come up with this post. :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

#NioxinNowInIndia Meet !

Last week I got a call from BlogAdda asking me if I was available for a Hair care product launch on the weekend. Since the husband had been away (again) for almost a month, I had been feeling rather miserable. The weather is too harsh outside  and being all alone with the naughty little one wasn’t
helping things. So, I just grabbed at the opportunity to go out and meet some grownups for a
change. And talk, instead of babble! :P

Now I had been informed that #Nioxin was being launched in India and that it was a product that caters specifically to thinning hair, and the works. Now, if you have ever birthed a child, you would know how your hormones go crazy after delivery and you lose chunks of hair. So I was a potential candidate too for the launch. 



And so the event started with a presentation with the Nioxin guys on what really is the product all about. 
The very animated Amy talking us through!
Let me sum it up for you:

1) Nioxin is salon-only product, targeted mainly for thin and thinning hair.

2) It has been around for almost 25 years and is quite a household name in the Western countries.

3) It follows a skincare approach to hair. What that means is that the way you need to wash and moisturize your face every day, your scalp needs it too.

4) It is not an off-the-counter product that you can just use. They have broken down the treatment to six different scenarios which majorly cover all hair problems and conditions like Normal-to-thin
looking hair, Visibly thinning hair, fine hair, medium hair, natural hair or chemically treated hair.

5) Based on the above parameters, you can break down your problem and find out which out the 1 to 6 treatments is meant for you. 

This is how they break it down from 1 to 6!

I quite liked this approach, as, in real world, I believe that not a single product can work to its potential the myriad of unique problems we face. After the very animated presentation by Amy, we also asked a lot of questions to the in-house and famous hair-dresser Sebastian. It was quite impressive the way they handled the real hair issues of the ladies, rather than just promoting their own products.
Posing with Pallavi!

The best part of the day was, of course, the hair spa. Also, we did have a one-to-one consultation
with the guys which was quite good. I loved the way my hair looked at the end the spa. It definitely
felt more shiny and silky.

And while waiting for our respective turn for the spa, we just chatted around with the other bloggers. I had almost forgotten how it felt. I met the Indian Rapunzel, the girl with 5 feet long hair, Pallavi Chaturdevi at the do. After I was done fawning over her hair, I spoke to her and had a great time connecting with her. 






And now, I am back home with the treatment that was identified specifically for my hair. I will be 
trying it out over the next 20 days and be back with a review. Ideally my hair should feel thicker and more voluminous. I do hope it works. Because that would be a win-win for me. Until then, stay tuned.

This is how I had walked in - excited!
This is how I walked out - preening! The hair looks better, right?

You can try and experience #NioxinNowIndia at your nearest salon. This activity is in association with BlogAdda.com

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Movie Review - Bombay Velvet

This is a detailed review of the movie. If you plan on watching the movie, this might be a spoiler :)

I am just back from watching the universally declared flop “Bombay Velvet”, but let me tell you it Is hardly that! The movie stars Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar, Kay Kay menon and a slew of other famed actors. Mind it, actors. Not stars. And that’s where the difference lies, like in all Anurag Kashyap movies. I am a huge fan of AK’s style of movie making and you might say I am biased. And you might as well be true. But there is just something about his movies that makes me go WOW. Every.Single.Time. 



His canvas is huge. His art, abstract. Not everyone can understand or love a Picaaso. Now, can we? He is, just that. Brilliant at what he does. I just LOVE his narrative. The way he uses his actors. What he gets out of them. The plot is invincible. The star cast enviable. The music, hummable, likeable and something that adds a lot of drama to the movies. In places, it takes the story forward. Sometimes becomes the narrative.

Ranbir Kapoor plays a street fighter who has grown up as a small time goon. He hopes to make it big. He has played his part to perfection. Every scene just makes Johnny Balraj (Ranbir’s character) grow more on you. His madness is his perfection. The ironies in his character make him loveable. He is a merciless goon on one side, and a hopeless romeo on the other. He falls in love with panache, you cry when his heart breaks and you smile when he gets his act together.

I don’t like Anushka Sharma a lot, but trust AK to bring out the best from his actors. She doesn’t have too many dialogues in the movie. She emotes. And pretty well, at that. I wouldn’t say this was the best performance, but probably her best till date!

And what can I say about Karan Johar? He is a show stealer. My god! Can he act? Or can he? He is bloody brilliant, pretty much like AK’s vision. You can totally paint Kaizaad Khambata’s character through him – sophisticated, mean, and merciless and a manipulator to the T. I still can’t get over the images of the ever-affable, always breaking into a giggle Karan Johar to portray this mean and complex character perfectly. I think I enjoyed his character the most, partly because I couldn’t believe what a brilliant actor he is! I totally loved the scene where Johnny goes to Khambata and asks for his hissa. And during the course of conversation, he wants to break into a giggle but doesn’t want to show his vulnerable side to Johnny. The way he switches from being mean, red eyed to giggly and that red eyed merciless expression again, is a stealer.

And like always, trust AK to treat you to a lot if style with his imagination as a director. There is violence in the movie, but he makes it indispensable. He makes it stylish. There is this scene during the climax where Johnny breaks into the Bombay Velvet club holding two machine guns, one in each hand. And the way that scene unfolds in slow motion, the machine guns sounding “dhoom, dhoom, dhoom”, I just wanted to stand up and applaud this genius of a man. What brilliance and creativity. I think I can always go on and on about how Anurag Kashyap is the one of the most intelligent film makers who have such an inherent style of story telling. His brilliance shows in each scene. I also like the fact that he likes to do away with dialogues in many places and just let the acting and emotions take the story forward. He doesn’t tell you the story. He paints a picture and let your imagination and perspective to take over. One day, this man will walk the echelons of the film industry and gain the cult status of the likes of Guru Dutt or an Amitabh Bacchan.

The only point I thought where the film could have better is if it were a little crisp. But then again, AK’s style of narration is expansive, and the back story that he builds so huge that it might have been a bad idea to cut it short. We might have just lost the plot altogether. 

Also, Kay Kay Menon's role was miniscule and I felt he was thoroughly wasted. He is one actor who totally demands more screen time.

Altogether, a thumbs up for the movie from me.

My rating 4/5

*picture sourced from Google

Friday, May 15, 2015

Memories Of Motherhood!

Motherhood is something that defines your entire life after you become one. It is one of those journeys where there's no turning back. Once a mother, always a mother! There are happy times, there are hard times and sometimes, really trying times. I think at some point, every mother has wished to leave behind the entire world for the child, and sometimes vice versa :-D It often reminds me of Enrique Iglesias' song "You can run, you can hide, but you can't escape my love". This love which is illogical,  heart wrenching and totally unparalleled.

I am a quite a "new" mother as my darling daughter is only 17 months old yet. And so, almost all of her memories of her first year are still fresh in my mind. So when I read about the #MemoriesOfMotherhood activity, I knew I wanted to write about it. May be I'll forget small little things which I do remember now.

Like how during my pregnancy, we kept speculating about the sex of the baby the entire time. And then, the day she was finally born after a grueling 16 hour labor, I just couldn't wait to see her. I asked the doctor so many times about the baby and when would I be able to see him/her. She got really upset as she was busy stitching me up and the nurse was busy sponging the baby. But my perseverance won. She asked the nurse to show me the baby to shut me up. I don't think I have ever before been so carefree (read shameless) about my conduct or manners. But that day was just something else. I can somehow still imagine myself in that tiny labor room, stretched out on the cold delivery table. 

And then, there was this time when she would give me a real tough time while nursing her. One day I looked at her, squarely in the eye and just held contact. I still remember her puny little face with round big eyes. May be she was startled. Or amused, I don't know. But the trick worked. We would both stare at each other and nursing became a breeze on such days. I can never forget that face. I could never it click too, though!

Also, I think she can be awarded the title of "The coolest baby ever", if ever there was one. We went on a Euro trip when she was 9 months old. And this smart little baby had so much fun. There was not a day when she cried or behaved cranky. She was ever jovial, always smiling and always saying Hi and Bye to people in the metro. We received so many compliments on having such a happy go lucky and beautiful daughter. I still feel so proud about those compliments. Feels childish, right? But that's what children make you do - childish things :)

Thank you BioOil and BlogAdda for making me write this. One day when I would have forgotten, it would be such a treat to come back to this haven :)

I am sharing my #MemoriesOfMotherhood with Bio Oil and BlogAdda. This Mother’s Day check out the Yummy Mummy calendar and  make a similar calendar of your own using the Bio Oil App.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Real Life Heroes and their #WillOfSteel !

#WillOfSteel is an endeavour by JSW to honour the unsung heroes of India, people who have truly proven their mettle and have unbreakable determination. Be it in sports, health care, social service or even saving the environment. These are individuals whose willpower has changed the world.

We all, and myself included, go ga-ga over movie stars and praise them to the moon. We spend a lot of time reading about them, watching their videos, and spending our money on their films. But are they real "heroes"?
We come across so many real life heroes in our life, and yet we hardly ever mention them on social media or in our daily interaction. So when JSW came up with this idea to honor some of our real life heroes, I just knew I had to do this. These people are so inspiring that I just knew I had to write about them. If we want people in our society to lead by example, who else could be a better example?

You can find all the nominations by JSW here. You can also vote for them at the same link. For a change, this would be an award ceremony where everybody would already be a winner, right?

As far as I am concerned, I discovered my inspiration in the following people and voted for them.

1) Satender Sharma : Children are always closest to my heart. So when I read the story of this young boy, who had to deal with atrocities like sex trafficking, drug abuse and child labour, at the tender age of 13, I just felt helpless. I know scores of children go through this, and yet we do nothing. The network is so large, we don't know where to start. And look at this young boy! After being rescued by Salaam Baalak Trust, he is now a grown up man who instead of chasing success, has again gone back to the streets where he once lived. But this time, to make sure that no other kid goes through what he had to. I salute you Satender. This issue is closest to my heart. I wish I can work like you one day!

2) Vijayan : Travel is something that a lot of us are besotted with. As much as might we call ourselves travellers, in our heart, we really are tourists, aren't we? We try and book the best hotels with the best view. We visit all the famous monuments a place has to offer and then head back home satiated of having visited the said place. But this man is what classifies as a "traveller". He is a simple tea vendor. You can well imagine the kind of salary he would be earning. And yet, he has visited more number of countries than you and I have. He takes loans from the bank and then works doubly hard to repay it. Once he also sold tea in Zurich to be able to scour a return ticket home. Impressive, right? 

3) Pamela and Anil Malhotra : In this age of globalization, everyone of has a ton of views on why Global warming is happening. But almost none of us have any solution or the will to do anything about it. But Pamela and Anil went ahead and did what one couldn’t even imagine. They transformed 55 Acres Of Barren Land Into A 300 Acre Wildlife Sanctuary. Thanks to them the ecological condition of the area and rapidly improved over the last decade. For sure, “where there is a will, there is a way”!

4) Laxman Rao : Almost all the bloggers I have known till date nurture a dream of being a published author one day. But only a handful of them are. Some have written entire books, while a few have been published in Anthologies. But who would think a roadside tea seller in Delhi has over 20 books published in his name? I am, for one, bowled over by this information. This man has really inspired me to leave my procrastination behind and get writing with the pen. NOW!

5) Karibeeran Parameswaran & P Choodamani: For me, being a humanitarian always comes first. And this couple will always be at the top of my list. The 2004 tsunami literally washed their life away as they lost their 3 children in it. But not ones to lose hope, they rescued and sheltered many orphaned children. Today they are parents to 26 such children, making sure their future life will be brighter and better. I salute thee Karibeeran and Choodamani !

6) Tauseef Siddiqui : Dharavi, the largest slums in Mumbai, is also one of the largest in the world. Until now, it has most often been in the news for its poverty and squalor. But Tauseef along with his friend Fahim started Be the Local Tours to promote a never before explored section of Mumbai, Dharavi. A section of Mumbai that is written off as the underbelly, Tauseef shed light on the fascinating Eco system hidden within this slum and turned the image around into an international tourist attraction. Today because of his relentless efforts, Dharavi is looked at in a whole new light. Hats off to this young boy for his revolutionary idea and showing the world that India is not only a land of the poor and snake charmers. We also have the most hard working and intelligent people who are working hard to make it big in an emerging economy.

I’m voting for Satender Sharma’s, Vijayan’s, Pamela and Anil Malhotra’s, Laxman Rao’s, Karibeeran Parameswaran & P Choodamani’s, and Tauseef Siddiqui ‘s #WillOfSteel and blogging on BlogAdda to help him/her get felicitated and eventually enabled by JSW.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

We are growing up. FAST!

So I have been away, again!

And that's because I heard those three dreaded words from my maid "I am leaving"! Yes, I do see all of your heads shaking in been-there-done-that agreement. So our super cool maid cum nanny is going to her village and won't be back, possibly, for 2 months. Of course it set my pulse racing. How would we find a new maid so soon? Would she be reliable enough? Will she be able to take care of the ever-growing-naughty little S? Questions and dilemmas of a working mother loomed large.

A few interviews of prospective helps were taken. None managed to impress. The husband is in the midst of changing his jobs. More stress. What if the new maid runs away after the first few days? Like they are wont to do. We take the next logical, but difficult decision. S needs a day care now. It's professional and (God bless them) they won't run away! After all, I have to turn up for work every day too. We go to the best Day care school in our vicinity. They have no seats. They said they will "try their best"!

Crestfallen, we resume the search for a maid again. There are some who don't like us, and the others whom we can't seem to trust! In panic stricken mood, I call the day care again if their "best" has worked out for us. And hallelujah! One child who was supposed to leave the day care in May has had to prepone and is leaving this month itself. And by (happy) coincidence, little S starts her day care tomorrow, which is also our maid's last working day with us. God, you couldn't have been kinder.

Also, the husband starts his new job next week. Lots of beginnings in our household. None as special as the first day Little S will have tomorrow. I am, of course, excited and nervous. For both of us. It's our first day tomorrow. Wish us luck :)

When I told S that she would be going to "schoool" this week, she repeated after me "Zooo". Well, the girl is really down to earth and knows herself too well, no? :-)

Also, in the meantime, the 16 month old got potty trained (almost). A few accidents do happen every now and then. But she’s gotten the gist. We are mighty proud. Of ourselves of course :-P

Her latest fascination is catching mosquitoes, cockroaches and flies. She seems to be fascinated with them. But she also gets agitated when she isn’t able to catch one. The war cry when she’s launching herself in the battle is a must-see. It sends us rolling on the floor.

She has seen our maid’s mother keep her cellphone in her blouse. So she automatically thinks that her own mother does the same. So, without any warning, irrespective of wherever we are, she pries open my shirt/kurta/top and looks around for a phone. And yes, she has done this in public too. The never ending joys of motherhood! :-P
And so, in one of those moments of insanity, trying to protect my assets from becoming a public view, I ended up inventing this:
“Motherhood is when you decide to exchange your hour glass figure and fiercely guarded modesty for a lifetime of unlimited public faux pas and infinite love”! What say mommies?

Monday, March 23, 2015

A New Day, A New Life!

Eight years ago, I was at crossroads. I was in college and had cleared a top software company's interview. It required me to train in Mysore, and then eventually get placed in one of their corporate centers, none of which were in North India. Even though my parents were happy that I had landed a job before the college ended, they had their misgivings about sending me off so far. No one in the family had moved out for job, yet. It took a lot of convincing to get them to agree to it.

My new life was was a total contrast to my life at home until now. Our training hours were the usual 9-5, but the training and project work ensured we all worked late into the nights, and then had to be promptly back at 9 in the morning. And all this, without anyone waking me up in the morning, with a ready breakfast. Even though our schedules were crazy, they insisted on making us responsible. Sometimes, I did up get on time, get ready, head to the cafeteria for breakfast before making it to the training center. But a lot of times, I missed breakfast too. Weekends were slightly better. We caught up on sleep and assignments and occasionally went out to explore the city. Now as I look back, I realize how it was making us all grow into independent individuals, especially people like me who had hitherto been carefully kept under the parental wings. This little hatching was finally finding the wings to fly.

The training go over and I was placed in the Bangalore campus. The three years that I spent In Bangalore were, undoubtedly, the best years of my life. This idea to #StartANewLife, yet again, was the awesome-est thing. Ever. I lived an independent life. I worked hard in office, harder at the extra curricular activities. It was not all hunky dory though. Since there was no "helicopter parenting" now, I also made a complete mess of my eating habits like giving up on breakfast, milk and fruits. I fell ill, very ill. I had to undergo a 6 month homeopathy treatment. I also gained a lot of weight. But eventually, it all was for good measure. I ook up dancing to get rid of the weight, and made the most awesome friends ever. The years went by in a jiffy.

Three years later, I was at crossroads again. The then to-be-husband was in Delhi and I, in Bangalore. The wedding date had been fixed. Husband had had enough of Bangalore in less than 2 years. I had to relocate. #StartANewLife, yet again. The rest, as they say, is history. I shifted back to the coop, got married and settled down. Eventually became a mother.

And now? Waiting for a new start :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I am! We are!

I know I have written a lot about how motherhood has been the best thing to have happened to my life. And how my little one is the storehouse of a million sunshines that light life everyday. However, like good things, this one has a flip side too. And that is, the time H and I get to spend together. After she was born, we have hardly had any time to spend with each other. The days and nights melted into each other, blurry with a flurry of activities. And then, when she was only 4 months old, H had to travel to Germany for work. It took me a long time and a lot of effort to get both of ours' passport and visas done to be able to join him there. But I didn't have too many expectations of a different life there, as I was travelling with all-day-work i.e. my almost-9 month old hyperactive princess.

H and I are travel enthusiasts. But, of course, we hadn't traveled much after we came to know of the pregnancy. But to my delight, as soon as our travel dates got confirmed, H booked our flight tickets and made hotel reservations for our Euro trip. Something we had been planning for a long time. And so, even as I had not come over the initial euphoria of seeing him after so many months, he surprised me with the travel plan. I had never imagined our Euro trip would happen with our 9 month old. I was as happy as anxious It was going to be our first travel with the little one. How would we manage? We were first time parents, after all. And this was a new country. We had one week to settle in the new place before the vacation started. We settled in, all too soon. For nothing do they say "Home is where the heart is" I didn't feel like I was in a new place at all. And that first week was the best ever. I would spend the day, cooking and cleaning and playing, and in the evenings, went out to explore the city we lived in. It was pure bliss.

And then the trip happened. We had quite an eventful trip. I loved the croissants in Paris, and the hot-chocolate in Zurich. Berlin took us back in time to the First and the Second world wars. But I had the most amazing time in Amsterdam, Venice of the north. I think I found Amsterdam to be the coolest European city. Or maybe because it was summer when we visited. The hustle bustle at the central square was so inviting. We saw the most number of freak-worthy stuff there. No points for guessing it though ;-) The way the city transforms itself in the night is just mind blowing. If you are a directionally challenged like moi, you are most likely to find yourself at the exact spot you visited in the day, and not know it! But the best part about Amsterdam was being able to visit the Anne Frank house. I was finally able to see in person all that I had read in the book. The Secret annexe, Anne’s room, her pictures and all the other small things that she had described in her little diary. I had read the book while I was still in school, and now visiting the house while holding my 9 month old was quite an experience. When I had read the book, I was scared if I had to face a situation like that someday too. But while in the house, I think my heart just broke into a million pieces. I am so glad Anne’s mother died before her. I cannot imagine what a mother would have gone through to see her child suffer like that.


Our Amsterdam postcard

When we walked out of the house, the little one was peacefully asleep in the husband’s arms. We sat around one of the numerous river side cafes to grab a bite. I think I must have sent a thousand prayers for the happiness God has bestowed us with. I worried about not being able to spend time with the hubby and that he had to travel away from us. In hindsight, God was just setting a stage for our Euro trip. So we could make up for all the lost time in the best way possible. To be able to relive our past. And to be able to make some brand new memories. We were #together through it all, and that’s what matters the most, right?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Can you define Motherhood?

Before my daughter was born, I knew everything there was to know about a baby. You feed them, bathe them, and entertain them. After she was born, it dawned on me that I actually knew nothing. The day I was discharged from the hospital, the little one was handed over to me. While making an exit, I must have looked pretty normal. But in my head, I was freaking out. "How can they just allow me to walk out of here with a 3 day old baby?" "I hardly know what to do with her" "What if I drop her?" "What if I fail to understand what she wants" were some of the questions bombarding my brain.

After more than a year now, I can safely say, that it was the right thing to do. There is no book that can teach you an iota of what a baby teaches you in a day. And how much ever you learn, there is always room for learning something new every day. Sometimes this newness is exhilarating, which means she's learnt to say Mamma or taken the first step and sometimes maddening, like the newest word in her vocabulary becomes No. So NO it is for everything :(

Anyhow, the point I am trying to drive at is, motherhood is such a wild phenomenon that I cannot even begin to comprehend it. 

Read the complete post here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

He Fixed the Match, She Fixed him - Book review


Sneak from the cover

Shreya – I’m a highly qualified Delhi girl earning an enviable salary. My parents are having a tough time finding a suitable groom for me. However, recently they have a proposal from this very interesting guy from Mumbai. I almost get mesmerised when he starts talking to me. I think I like him very much.

Kunal – I’m owner of a textile company in Mumbai. My mom wants me to get married. Again. She has recently suggested a suitable girl from Delhi. What my mom doesn’t know is that I’ve already met Shreya before once in my life and I’ve been looking for her ever since. I have a vendetta to settle.





He fixed the match She fixed him is your typical Bollywood style love story, with a beautiful girl and a handsome boy who are at loggerheads with each other due to some reason. Here, the reason is their past which has some very filmy sequences. To avenge his past, Kunal gets married to Shreya but obviously, they hate each other and keep trying to outdo each other. Eventually, they realize they are not as bad as they try to be and fall in love. And live happily ever after ! <Smirk>

I mean, don't be disheartened. If you really like cheesy love stories, you should definitely pick it up. And I am not judging you at all. Just that it is not my type. I find the story and sequences all too clichéd. Even though the author has carved out the characters and their families in detail, the plot somehow does not have logic in a lot of places.

Like Shreya is shown to be this ambitious girl who is an MBA, works in a top notch firm earning a handsome salary, but literally marries a guy she has met just once, for 5 minutes. I mean, really? And then, just because it is necessary (for the plot) for Shreya to not see the Kunal’s face at the wedding, she is made to wear her pallu long enough to have covered her eyes during the pheras. And then she eventually uncovers the truth when she sees Kunal in her room on her wedding night. I mean, there is the stage, there is the jaimala, dinner and countless other ceremonies where the girl CAN have a look at the guy's face on the wedding day. Logic much?

The book moves at a high pace through the first half, and that's how it keeps you hooked. The second half loosens the pace and there is a lot of technical jargon especially in the sequences where Kunal and Shreya are shown working together. Although it does lend a realistic tone to the scene, I would have preferred this reality in other life's scenarios as well. The book just drags towards the end, with unnecessary twists to create excitement which end up dragging the story.

I found the book totally average and would rate it 2 on 5.

PS: These are totally my sentiments on the book. Please go ahead and pick a copy if you like this genre.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Boo-shelf !

For as long as I remember, I have always loved books. I have always wanted more of them. And when I grew up a little, I wanted to own a library. Slowly the dream shrunk to an affordable and manageable book shelf. School and college kept us busy through the years, but the passion for reading and penchant for books never dimmed.

Once I got married, I knew that it was finally possible for me to turn my dream into a reality. When the husband and I shifted to our own place, we started our book collection from scratch. Our collection uptil now lay safely in our homes as we didn't have a safer option right away. And later, we kept it that way. But over time, we kept reading and kept buying. But my ideal bookshelf was always at the back of my mind. And until then, we kept storing our books on our bedside tables. And later on, in shoe boxes and cartons.

We kept scouring furniture markets and online shops for our first ever book shelf. Of course, it had to be special. Finally, this year, we were able to zero in on a very old-school looking wooden bookshelf. It was something we both liked at the first go. And so it was bought.

I was so excited, I wanted to have a ribbon cutting ceremony for it. Lol. Well that never happened, but I did place little S's books first in the bookshelf and prayed to God she would read as much :)

I think I had the best time opening the dusty cartons, cleaning my books and placing them in the shelf. I also randomly opened my favorite books and read random pages from them. Such fun!



This is a picture of it. It occupies a place of pride in our hearts as well as our living room :)


PS: IF you read my last post, you would know that the title is not a spelling mistake :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Little Miss S!

I hate it when I realize I haven’t written about the little missy in a long time. I still remember the time I feared pregnancy like it was ebola or something. And now I have a daughter who is 14 months old. Phew! Mr. Time! You gotta stop running like Ussain Bolt.

I hate it that when she grows up, I will not have as many stories of hers to cherish because I didn’t write them down. That’s lame, right? A mother got to do what she got to do. The little missy is growing up fasshhtt. Thank you God! She is such a pretty child (touchwood!) and so so naughty. 

She loves to shout. Wow, right? Such a great thing for a hobby. She can easily compete with your latest fighter jets and what not.

She loves to sing. This is not a surprise as her mommy is a bathroom singer and daddy, an amateur singer. The funny part is she loves to sing even though she still babbles in her own language. But it’s a lot of fun to watch her sing. I think she has picked this up from the TV. She puckers up her face in deep concentration and then moves head from left to right as if she is doing a raag alaap.And do you know what her favorite song is? Humsafar! Yo, mommy’s favorite is her favorite as well! Until we grow up and rebel !

Like all toddlers, she can shake a mean bum to Yo Honey Singh! I can only hope her choice gets better as she grows up. Right now, she loves “Baby Doll” and “Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan”. She actually tries to copy the dance steps from TV. Imagine! 14 month old, so what!

She loves the kitchen as she can find her shastras there. Eveery evening, as I prepare her food, she walks in , opens the drawer, fishes out 2 chamchas (ladels) and starts to beat the mommy. Yo domestic violence!
When denied the authority of the said shastra, she proceeds to bite the gas pipe in retaliation. Badle ki aag, you see! I think she has inherited the filmy quotient from her melodramatic mother :P

She has recently started to say “chai” (tea). She goes to the kitchen drawer, retrieves the seiver, bites it and says chai! I think I’ll be forced to switch to coffee soon! She also calles “aaloo” (potato) as “laloo” and then smiles. I think she does it on purpose. Political satirist in the making? ;-)

She loves to listen to her rhymes. Any number of them, any number of times a day! No wonder on most days, I am humming Twinkle Twinkle and Humpty Dumpty under my breath. #NotGood

She calls us mumma and papa in the sweetest tone possible. She goes all soft and cutesy, cocks her head to a side, and says Mumma/Papa and gives a deep dimpled smile. I think I thank God countless times each day for this Heaven!

But the best of all is her love for books. As soon as I had gotten pregnant, I had worried about if my child would share my penchant for books. And I am so glad, she does. Her eyes instantly perk up at the sight of a new book. Her tireless feet halt only at the sight of a book. Although it is another matter that she finishes her book in under a minute. She stops at a page, sees the picture, copies whatever the animal/human in her book is doing, and turns the page. So one day, as I walked past her, sitting on the bed and reading, she looked up and put her finger on the mouth and said to me “chup”.She was aping the monkey from her "Boo" (that's what she calls her books)

May we always have more "Boo"s to read and our "Boo" shelf be overflowing! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Going forth, Happy Fourth!

Every year our wedding anniversary evokes different emotions in me. Which is weird? Or may be it is natural. In 2011, the year we got married, this date was waited for with a lot of excitement and anxiety. An year later, we couldn't believe we had spent a whole year together already, as man and wife. There were hardly any change in our relationship. And for what it's worth, it had only become better with the staying together part. By the second anniversary, things were more or less the same. We were working, and travelling.and pretty much living a life we had dreamt of, together.

But in the last 2 years, where we have carried and birthed a child and now parents to a 14 month old, we have changed. All our decisions are now centered around the precious little miss. I am no longer the one who is pampered silly by the husband. He is no longer the only one who makes my heart skip a beat.
We have started addressing each other as Mumma and Papa :-) But this is only the cute part of the change.

We have also become a little less patient with each other. We have become so much more opinionated. Our screaming matches have become more passionate. At heart, we are still the same people who want to live and love each other the way we did. But. Our priorities have changed a little bit. This one tiny creature in our life takes the cake for the change. She is so lively she fills our heart with pride. So is so naughty, she deprives us of all our energy, which basically makes us so cranky with each other. He thinks I love her more than him. I think he loves her more than me. We both know that's true. But we don't agree :-)

The first year as parents is the toughest, I think, in every which way. But we are learning. Things are already beginning to fall back in the same place. We are getting back to becoming the couple that we were, before we became parents (only). So this post is a toast to this new beginning. Happy fourth, my dear :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review : Ramanayana, The Game of Life


I have never been a fan of the mythological drama genre. SO even though the husband loved the Nagas series, I haven’t read it yet. But sometime back I read a book called the “Palace of Illusions” which dealt with the story of Mahabharata from Draupadi’s point of view. All my knowledge of Mahabharata hitherto had only been from the famous tele-series of the 90s by the same name. But the book had so much more to offer. And that is what got me hooked on. Last year I read Shubha Vilas’ Rise of the Sun Prince. Initially I found it a little slow. Maybe it had something to do with my expectation. I had expected it to be something of a story built around Ramayana, which it was, but in a “motivational speaker” kind of way. It starts with how the Ramayana came into being, about Valmiki and why he was chosen to write it. But with the amount of information that I never had, it had me hooked on in no time.

And when BlogAdda approached me to review the second part of this book, there was no way I was not doing it. The sequel to the book, Shattered Dreams, starts with king Dashratha fighting his inner demons. He decides to relinquish the throne and make his eldest son Rama the new king of Ayodhya. Thereafter starts the story of love, anxiety, betrayal and politics. It feels so much like an everyday story of any Indian household. I think we have the likes of Sumanthra, Kaikeyi, Kausalya, Lakshmana, and Bharatha in our families. The author goes through the stages from Rama’s abhisheka as a king to the time he is sent to the exile. Even though we read a lot of motivational and self healing books, there are various places where the author drives home a point in such a subtle way, using Ramayana and its characters as a backdrop that you would be left wondering how you didn’t figure it yourself. Pretty much like what the Bhagwad Gita preaches. That everything is right before our eyes. We just need to discover it through connecting better with our inner self.


What didn’t work for me in the first few pages of the book, became a strong point for me later. I loved the footnotes at the bottom of each page where the author shared wisdom and analogy about situations that are so similar with our regular life. That how all things that appear godly, have such simple humane traits behind them. And how, it is not the people who are gods, but their learning, manner and character that makes them so.

Let me quote some gems from the book:

- Diplomacy is an art that changes your body language drastically with no change in the language of the heart

- A fasted belly and a fattened ego sometimes reside in the same body!

- Love is not a passive monologue but an action packed movie that ends with pleasing the beloved.

- Damned by despair and buoyed by hope. Isn't that what life is about? Life is a combination of hope and despair. The one that dominates you, carves your personality.

I have had to read the book in a week in order to facilitate this review. But truth be told, this is one such which should be held longer, like a drink, stirred, and held in the mouth to taste it completely. So hold on to your drinks and enjoy :)

This review is a part of the biggest Book ReviewProgram for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The AIB Roast's Roast !


I smiled, I laughed, then I guffawed, then I went Hawww...and then I rolled some more with laughter. Before the AIB roast video had been released on YouTube, AIB had released a small trailer video to advertise that the real thing would be screened on YouTube on the 28th of the month. I eagerly waited for the day, put the little one to sleep and watched the entire thing in a go. A week later, mayhem of sorts has ensued on my FB timeline. Apparently, I have come to know I am no sanskari Indian girl !

Apart from the fact that every second guys out there, and mind you, all you sophisticated holding-white-collar jobs too, leer at girls on the road, calling out the choicest ma-behen ki gaalis and can go on to say "it’s all in fun, yaar"! But when actually somebody does it for fun, you have a problem?

There must be some reason why our national capital is called the Rape capital. I wish you could first do something about that too. Infact, wait a minute! Don’t even DO something yet. The next time there is a rape case, I will applaud you only if you
a) Don’t blame the girl
b) Don’t blame her clothes/time of day or night/choice of friends she was hanging out with
c) Don’t cover up for the accused saying "ladkon se galti ho jaati h"

There. I said it. Too un-sanskari,eh?

I completely understand when people say that we are hypocrites because we detest ma-behen ki gaalis but enjoy them when the Bollywood celebs used them on the Roast. First thing, they didn’t use it on any of us. There were two consenting adults there who knew they would be subjected to this and they agreed. There was an audience who again were consenting (I say this because they each paid 4K for the show).

Secondly, if you have a problem with the whole gaali business, irrespective of who it was used on, take this. The Roast was released on YouTube, not screened on National TV on prime time where your minor children could have watched it. You had an option to not watch it. Even if you did click on the link, it categorically mentioned that if "you are one of those who get offended, you should leave right now!" So you had to be consenting too to subject yourself to that humor. I think it is pretty much like the Porn site business. Everybody knows it's out there. There is discretion attached to watch those videos. Those who fancy the stuff, watch it. For those who don't, don't.

But no, you can sit in the Parliament and watch porn, but if somebody decides to have some fun by calling each other BC MC, you call it a porn show and threaten action. I also heard there were racist remarks (they called AIB member Ashish Shakya black) on the show. So, Even though you call the North East people immigrants, you call them chinki and you racially discriminate against them every.single.day, you are SO not racist. You are sanskari Indians. You’d rather do everything chupke-chupke, deny that porn or BC-MC exists, but will happily be a jerk or jerk off to anything that resembles a female anatomy. And yet, when Raghu Ram mentions a part of female anatomy in Hindi, you collectively go hawwwwwwwww.

Pretty much like the kindergarteners going “Shame shame puppy shame…”.

I can only say “Grow up!”


PS: A huge thumbs up to Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor for daring to take this up. To have the balls to be up there, and have every shred of dignity and that celebrated cloak of stardom shredded. And a special mention of the girls Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha and Alia Bhatt who got roasted just being in the audience and were very sporty about it all. What these guys did is what we need to do exactly - lighten up and laugh at our own selves for our eccentricities. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Review of NIFT Delhi


National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi is one of the most renowned fashion colleges in the country. It is considered as a leading institute in providing benchmark performance in the Fashion industry. A lot of the now famous Fashion fraternity owes their allegiance to this revered institute, as an alma mater. This institute that marked a turning point in the history of the Fashion world was established way back in 1986, and was well recognized by the Government of India, Ministry of Textile with the collaboration of FIT, New York. Did you know that NIFT was empowered by the Government of India in 2006 for granting its own degrees and other distinctions? Pretty cool, huh?

The institute provides a common platform for Fashion education, research as well as training. Most of the common people just associate Fashion with good clothes. But it is way deeper than that. Going by the number of Departments NIFT has, goes on to show how much knowledge and detail is first needed before creating anything fashionable. If you are planning to study at NIFT, you might deal with some or all of departments like Accessory Design, Textile Design, Fashion, Leather, Apparel etc. You can find more about the courses offered at NIFT at Collegedunia. And if that makes you think about a lot of study and heard work, be rest assured because NIFT is fully equipped with the latest collection of famous Designers’ books, visual resources, and design community. It is also, undoubtedly, the best place for getting all information possible about Indian Contemporary and International Fashion.

Do you know that NIFT is the originator member of “Founder of the World” fashion school which has 34 fashion houses in all over the world? Can you imagine the kind of exposure its students would get in exchange programs? It already boasts of collaboration with biggies like De Montfort University, UK, Mod Art International, France, Royal Academy of Arts, London and the likes. No wonder it has received the status of most desirable and fashionable institute by none other than the Parliament of India. Some of their world renowned alumni include designers Prabal Gurung, Rahesh Pratap, Manish Arora, Ritu Beri, Ashish Soni and J.J.Valaya


NIFT has many a fabulous achievements under its very fashionable belt. Studying at NIFT would be a dream for all you budding fashionistas out there, right? In that case, another good news is that NIFT also gives you scholarship if you do not have the means to pay the entire fees. (Check out the feestructure of NIFT)

So why wait? Get out those scissors and fabrics and don your creative hats and prepare yourself for a fashionable entry in the industry where, who knows, you would be dressing up the superstars of tomorrow!