Monday, 19 March 2018

April A2Z Blogging Challenge : Theme reveal 2018

April A2Z Blogging Challenge 2018 being the third year that I am participating and to tell you the truth this one challenge is so addictive.

I am a lazy personal blogger who likes to write stories - fiction to be specific. I do 26 posts in this month and maybe 6 other posts in the entire year. So since past two years April A2Z is like my yearly blog dose done in a month....haha. Of course, I am trying to change this, from this year by being more regular at blogging - Resolutions you see ;)

So after thinking on a theme for this year since past 6 months I decided to change it to something else on 10th March. Sounds silly but that's the way it's always been with me. I think something and do something else.

So the theme that I will now start working on is "Romantic Poetry". I am no big poet but I like to write rhyming lines and so this is the theme for the year 2018.

Some naughty,
some cute,
some funny
some a bit true
Do read on you can always use it to woo :)

Monday, 5 March 2018

Book Review : The Irony of Happy Muharram By - Syed Amjad Ali

The book - The irony of Happy Muharram, was sent to me for a review by the publishing house. Just going by the title I was intrigued as I perceived it to be a documentary revolving around Muharram and the perceptions people carry around the same. But the book explores more.

"Aap Muslim ho, lagta toh nahin, ek dum hamari tarah Hain".

Book Blurb - What does it mean to be an Indian Muslim in today's day and age? If you have ever wondered about the answer to this question then this is the book for you. Find the answer to all those questions you have always wanted to ask about Muslim marriages, divorce and many other issues; but be prepared for the fact that the average Indian muslim is just like everyone else. The main attempt of the book is to highlight, with the help of humour, that India is a huge country with many different communities and just as each community has its own customs and rituals so do Muslims but this does not in any way lessen any aspect of their Indian identity. A light hearted look at serious issues.

My View - The irony of Happy Muharram is a light hearted book. It talks about the life of a modern day Indian Muslim. India is an educated society and we go all about discrimination and racism but seldom realize how often we do it. The author quite subtly reveals the little things that happen on a daily basis which makes him realize the way people view Muslims.

The little anecdotes shared show how careless and at times insensitively we humans behave where things unknown to us are concerned. The author talks about the mystery surrounding Muslim living, marriage and divorce. He even illustrates how things and perceptions hurt them yet at the end they know that the doer never had any such intentions.

For me this book revealed how biased and insensitive I, tend to behave at times. We all talk about being liberal and broad minded yet carry some ingrained perceptions about sections of society. The book was informative on various stands and for me it did change a part of my view point.

I will rate it a 3.5 on 5 as I think it would have been great if it was more elaborative.

Still I'll definitely recommend every educated person to read and spread what the author had as a base feeling while penning this book. People let's be more human and sensitive of every culture and custom not just curious cats.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Book review : Buddha Volume 2 - The four encounters By - Osamu Tezuka

The first book that I picked up this year was - Buddha - Volume 1
- The Kapilavastu by Osamu Tezuka.
Luckily I got my hands on Buddha - Volume 2
- The four encounters by Osamu Tezuka too.

About the author -
Osamu Tezuka was a Japanese manga artist, cartoonist, animator, film producer,
medical doctor and activist. Born in Osaka Prefecture, his prolific output, pioneering
techniques, and innovative redefinitions of genres earned him such titles as
"the father of manga", "the godfather of manga" and "the god of manga."
Additionally, he is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney,
who served as a major inspiration during Tezuka's formative years. His legendary
output would spawn some of the most influential, successful, and well received manga
series including Astro Boy, Jungle Emperor Leo, Black Jack, and Phoenix, all of which
won several awards.

My view -
The first book was good and it took me by surprise because it was totally different from
my expectations. When I picked the second book I was a blank slate. I had nothing on
my mind and didn't get any ideas by the title - The four encounters either.

But this book surprised me more.

I will recommend this series to everyone not because it is laid out differently
or because it talks about Buddha but because you will relate with what is being
said or talked about.

We all know how Siddharth became Buddha but this book not just talks about
that but also about the turmoil that he goes through.

It is a story of a boy being asked to do something because-that is what he is supposed
to do, but it is not what he wants. And he doesn't know what he wants. Sounds familiar??
Yes, we all have Been there, Gone through this.

And this is why I recommend you to read it. Read it, I for one surely felt his pain.

I will rate it 4.5 out of 5.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Book Review : Buddha - Volume 1 - The Kapilavastu By - Osamu Tezuka

First month of the year has gone by and of the many resolutions I decided I'll read more.
Well “more” hasn't happened yet but yes reading has. The first book that I picked up
this year is - Buddha - Volume 1 - The Kapilavastu by Osamu Tezuka.

About the author -
Osamu Tezuka was a Japanese manga artist, cartoonist, animator, film producer,
medical doctor and activist. Born in Osaka Prefecture, his prolific output, pioneering
techniques, and innovative redefinitions of genres earned him such titles as
"the father of manga", "the godfather of manga" and "the god of manga."
Additionally, he is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who
served as a major inspiration during Tezuka's formative years. His legendary
output would spawn some of the most influential, successful, and well received
manga series including Astro Boy, Jungle Emperor Leo, Black Jack, and Phoenix,
all of which won several awards.

My view -
So, I saw the the book cover as shared by one of the group members from my city’s group
#kaffienatedkonversations, where we meet, read books, talk about them, exchange books,
exchange ideas and what not, the list of what all we do is kind of endless... I know the
group sounds WOW!! ..and it is :)

The cover intrigued me all because of Buddha. I am not one of his followers but to be calmer in life is what I seek and so I wanted to read him a bit. I got my hands on this book last year but didn't get to open it until this year.

I didn't ask anyone what it is all about or how it is and so when I opened it to read this was
what I saw -

I like to read but never comics and Manga! I didn't know of. This book was nothing of what
I expected. A light, different read from whatever you have ever read about Buddha.
The story in this book sketches the proceedings before Buddha's birth. It illustrates
the social society structure. The book is laid out in beautiful images depicting the exact
scenario which send one to that era.

I will rate it 3 out of 5.

The second book for the year that I will be reading is -
Buddha - Volume 2 - The four encounters
Stay tuned for the review and the number of days I'll be completing in ;)

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A cup of coffee

She sat there in the coffee shop sipping her coffee. It was not the first time she sat there alone. She was 22, working, divorced and living with her doting parents. She was passionate about her career and was a role model for many. Her personal life was not that successful yet she always had a smile on her face. An amicable person for whomever she met.

Today was yet another day she wanted to have coffee and talk to someone but amongst the 2340 friends on Facebook and 367 WhatsApp contacts she could find none to go out with.

The past few weeks had lessened her sheen. She was frustrated with the mundane life. Office started getting boring and the manipulations which she used to take lightly were now making her lose sleep.

She was independent and well brought up and that is how she took a good look at the phonebook and sent a few WhatsApp messages to meet up but no one was free. She took it all in stride and decided to take herself out for coffee again.

She chose a new cafe this time, ordered her coffee, took a table in the corner and took a book from her bag. But she was in no mood to read either. She couldn't bring herself to even open the book. She sat there looking around; the place was bustling with people, mostly youngsters. One of her hobbies, to observe people and lose herself in them was also not giving her peace today.

There was a lot of noise, in the cafe, and, even more in her head. She was tired of fighting her battles, she was tired of controlling her tears from her parents, she was tired of keeping a happy face, and she was tired of staying bold and carefree. She couldn't take it anymore, it seemed nothing was working and nothing will ever work. She had given enough trouble to her parents and maybe ending her life would be an end to all the drama and questions, she thought.

The counter displayed her token number and as she was getting her coffee to her table she saw another girl enter the cafe, alone. She was dressed in blue jeans and a black cotton kurta, a bag in one hand and the phone in another, her hair tied in a tight bun, a blank face and eyes low, somehow she felt a connection with her.

She got to her table with her coffee but couldn't help watching the other girl constantly. She was a mirror image of her. She too ordered her coffee and took a seat but not in a corner, amongst the crowd. She kept on staring at her and all the while the other girl was busy in her phone until the counter buzzed her token number.

She saw her taking her coffee to her table, sitting there contemplating and adding sugar to the coffee - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 cubes, kept on stirring the coffee and still didn't like the bitterness. She mustered some courage and decided to go and speak to her after all they both were alone and maybe lonely.

She - Hi, can I sit here.

The other girl (with a blank face) – Ahem! Yes. Do I know you?

She - No. I was just sitting alone and having my coffee and saw you so thought we can sit together and have coffee.

The other girl - I am sorry, but I am waiting for someone and he'll be here anytime now. I think you should have your coffee at another table or you won't find any with the crowd filling up.

She - Oh! I am sorry. It was just I thought you were alone like me, so we could chat up while we had our coffee. Trust me I am straight...hahaha....I am really sorry.

The other girl (Her expressions getting softer) - It's ok. I am sorry I didn't mean it; it was just that I have never met or spoken to a stranger. You can sit here while he comes.

She (smiles) - Thanks. And my work makes me talk to strangers on a daily basis. I am a journalist. What do you do?

The other girl - I am a software engineer. And by the way my name is Misha.

And that is how they started to talk and revealed one thing after another about themselves. It is rightly said when two women get together they are never out of things to talk. They chatted on and on and were finally halted by a call by Misha's mother about where she was.

As she saw her watch it had been two hours that they were talking. She casually asked about her friend who hadn't reached yet. Misha said, there was no friend coming in the first place, it was just that she was scared of her.

Misha opened up more and told her, she was very depressed today with the turn of events. She is tired of her struggles; she is either on an unimportant project or without any work. People wait for the month-end for salaries; she is petrified if she gets a pink slip. She has been living alone in the city since the past eight months and it gets lonelier by the day. She wants to end it all. She has even attempted suicide twice.

That was more than enough for her to open her heart out. They sat there for another hour talking. Finally the two decided, in this city, they are going to be the go-to-pals for each other for those sad days. No matter what they are never letting the “loneliness” term come in their lives again. They may or may not get time to speak to each other on a daily basis but it'll be a ritual to meet each other every Sunday in this cafe at 4 pm without fail.

And that is how "this" cafe witnessed two sad girls coming for a lonely cup of coffee, going back as happy support friends.

P.S.  Everybody is struggling and going through their own battles, it is just that their way to battle it out is different. It is very easy to slip away in one weak moment and end it all. The suicide rate is more than 8,00,000 people every year and 25 times of this, people attempt suicide. 10th September  2017 is the World Suicide Prevention Day – “Take a minute, change a life”.  All it takes is courage, to speak up and take help. People be open and accept without judging and the numbers will diminish.

My Alexa Rank on 1st September 2017 was 5,501,560. :(

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Book Review : Inside the heart of hope By Rishabh Puri

Title : Inside the heart of hope

Author : Rishabh Puri

Publisher : Srishti Publishers & Distributors

"The moon is high in the sky, as if mocking me. It's Cheshire cat grin is a reminder of all the smiles that I have missed. "

About The Author : 

Rishabh Puri is an Indian business investor and entrepreneur. He is the Executive Director of Global Sterling Products Ltd and heads enterprises in Nigeria, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, India, China, and Netherlands.


We’re all a little broken, and that’s okay.
Or is it? Rick has a medical condition that makes his life different from the rest. But unlike others around him, he sees this not as a curse, but as an opportunity to cherish life and all the bitter-sweet gifts it brings with it.

Amidst frequent visits to the doctor, multiple surgeries that risk his life being, and a life that meant surveillance all the time, Rick has to fight for himself each day. But he pulls through, thanks to his family and friend Jacob, who become his pillars of strength.

And then, at a time when he is least expecting it, and with someone he meets by accident – love happens. It’s a new feeling for his heart and he is scared to lose it.

Will Lisa really understand the goodness of his heart or just walk away?

Inside the Heart of Hope is a story of strong will, perseverance and optimism which will make you wonder if sky is really the limit.

My View

As I always say, I am a sucker for romance and also for Bollywood movies and this book, my love, is what I want to read more and more.

I never heard of the author when the book was send for review all I knew was it is a love story. I started reading it without any expectations and perceptions and 4 pages down I had a smile on my face.

It is easy to comprehend, the book is authors own life story and how he tackles his problems and grows. The narration is simple, entertaining and exciting. What I liked the most is Rick :)  Rick's attitude towards life is commendable. He has a life-threatening disease yet he is at ease. He is full of life and adds fun and humour to every tense situation without been insensitive or foolish.

One connects to the story easily. Though the story is not new if you are a bollywood fan but the narration never gets boring.

All in all a beautiful romantic book which kept me happy from beginning to the end and will keep you smiling too :)

The negatives -

........... Nah! for once ...none :)

Grab Your Copy :- Inside the heart of hope

P.S. The book was send for an honest review.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Book Review : If you never try you will never know : Ambition-Love-Destiny By Sahil Mehta

Title : If you never try you will never know

Author : Sahil Mehta

Publisher : Notion Press, Inc.

About The Author : Sahil Mehta was born and brought up in India and is currently in Seattle. If you never try, you will never know is his first book. Apart from writing he enjoys fitness related activities and listening to music.

Robin, who gets inspired by his mother to become a musician, is forced by his father to pursue the education needed to join their family business. This compels him to leave home at the age of eighteen to follow his dreams. In few months of independent living, his over-ambitious dreams turn into an obsession, which gets even more intense when he falls into a drug addiction, and mysteriously unleashes a new side to his life.

During this journey, he meets Aisha. They talk, play and fall in love. Her exquisite beauty defines the melody of his musical journey as they both fall deep in love with each other. But Robin's obsession with his dream and a struggling career become an obstacle in their relationship. Is their love strong enough to overcome complexities?

During these tumultuous times, Robin's flat mate Jordan begins to motivate him to follow his heart. Jordan becomes his philosopher and guru but not for very long-what makes Robin lose trust in him? Discover how he finds a spiritual path after being disheartened during his struggle to achieve success.

Amidst the ups and downs in his career, love and life, find out what destiny holds for Robin. Will he find success in music industry or will he end up joining his father's business? Experience a thrilling story that will inspire you to believe in your love and dreams.

My View
The story revovles around Robin, the main protagonist, his life and its twists and turns. I was drawn to the book as it is a love story but what held me along was his ambition, his passion. If you are the one who wants to live your dreams out then this is the book for you.

The way the author has described certain places it sets one's imagination free. It was beautiful and surreal to read the description. It is a nice light read and his story is an instant connect for ambitious people. So needless to say the best thing about this book for me was Robin's ambition indeed and what an apt title loved it totally, so motivating.

The negatives -
At certain points the story seems dragged. There are certain parts which may be cut short but overall a good read. I personally did'nt like the cover appeal.

I will rate a 3 out of 5 for the light read.