Categories
Book review

Three in a row – book review

I can proudly and quite unashamedly proclaim that I’m a sucker for chick-lit and romance (er, novels, that is).

A friend was leaving on vacation, and very sweetly offered me two of her novels, that I grabbed outright.

So first, I read ‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks. I was not expecting much more than a light and refreshing read, and I have to say it proved to be more than that. It was a typically quick read, replete with romance and emotions, suspense and drama. All in all, quite an enjoyable book. Leaves one wanting to either fall in love, or envelope someone special in a bear-hug, and never let go.

****Spoiler alert**** I wonder if this Bollywood movie was made AFTER or BEFORE the book was released?!!!

Rating: 3/5

Then I grabbed ‘A Walk to Remember‘. I was expecting to see the same amount of mush in this book, but very interestingly, I found a lot of humour instead. (Now, if I’m a sucker for romance, then I’m an even bigger sucker for humour :-)) The author does warn you in the prologue. He says, the book will first make you laugh, then cry. I wholly agree. You will have more than a few laughs in the first half of the book, and even the second half, despite being sad, is extremely sweet. The book reminds one of the innocence and freshness of youth 🙂

Rating: 3.5/5 (enjoyed the humour)

And yesterday, I happened to get another book from the library. I had reserved ‘Atlas Shrugged‘ after reading a FB message by Rakesh (and loads of comments from our usual comment monsters :lol:) and I THOUGHT I was going to collect this book, but happened to bring home ‘Dear John’ instead.

Now, I confess felt very slightly bored, at the beginning of the book. However, it rapidly picked up pace, and I found myself, wanting to finish it before the day ended. And I did 🙂 (Kind courtesy: Little brat who very sweetly decided to keep himself occupied with winding his microphone around his hands and legs!!!!)

The synopsis of the book certainly does not do justice to the plot. This is not the usual ‘love story’.

For one, the characters in the book have been etched so beautifully, that you feel their love, their anxiety and their pain. They are very real.

Secondly, it gives one a glimpse into the ugly face of War, and how troops deputed in war zones actually spend their life. One actually ponders about the futility of it all.

And third, the book is not just about the love between a man and a woman, but also about the delicate relationship between a father and son. I loved the way this was brought out, in a very subtle and tender way.

To me, the character that stands out the MOST, is one that is mentioned neither on the back-cover nor the website. It is that of the Father of the protagonist. He is a simple, good man, who lives his life exactly the same way each day, but is a terrible social misfit. The father suffers from autism, and the way he reaches out to his son, in his own unique manner, twists and wrings your heart!!

Every character is true to life, and in those couple of hours spent on reading the book, one actually understands WHY each character takes the decisions he/she does, and how it seems both logical yet sad.

You must read the book, to FEEL what this is about.

I loved it, and I think it has made me more understanding of how a developmental problem can affect the lives of the person and his/her family and loved ones.

A note of caution : .This is a heart-wrenching book. It left me incredibly sad and dejected, wondering why life cannot be more simple. So, please save this for a long weekend, where you can recover and bounce back to your happy self 🙂 before the week begins again.

Rating: 4/5 (Exquisite characterisation)

Something I found to be a common undercurrent in all three books, was the almost naive, but constant emphasis on ‘true and ever-lasting love‘ (assuming, there is such a thing!).

I also liked the fact that the author managed to keep the ‘hero’ and ‘heroine’ from not jumping into bed, at the drop of a hat (or anything else for that matter). I understand that can be quite a put-off for a Mills & Boon fan 😈 😆 but it made ‘love‘ seem more special. Old-fashioned, perhaps. But ‘sacred‘ nevertheless.

As for the language and quality of writing, I was not expecting much, being ‘romance’ and ‘chick-lit’ and all. And neither am I into reading ‘difficult’ books (aka, I can’t understand them 😛 I’d much rather read a simple easily understandable sentence, rather than a paragraph full of words that contain 4 or more syllables! 😆 So yes, the language was simple, engrossing, and made all the books an entertaining read.

I just happened to find this link on Youtube.

So, if any of you happen to be die-hard romantics, do grab a copy and a bunch of tissues.

Happy Sunday, folks.

Categories
Humour Incidents

Friday Fun – Look what I found! Day 12: Project 365

Guess what I found this morning, as I was de-cluttering? This!!!!!

This timeless, gorgeous piece of music by the once-upon-a-time-gorgeous Lucky Ali!! Click this link to listen to the song on Youtube.

I have many lovely memories associated with this song, and with the tape too, so this picture (supposed to be part of my Project 365), warranted a post on its own 🙂

Warning: Long, boring post ahead!

So, this particular song, ‘O Sanam’ is one of my most favourite EVER! It reminds me of freedom, of being carefree and incredibly stupid. But then, such is the beauty of youth, isn’t it? To do whatever you wish to do, without stopping to weigh the consequences!! And to just be exhilarated about nothing!

The first time I heard this song, was when I had joined the mandatory ‘Higher diploma in software engineering’ course at Aptech. Those were times when parents would be mortified if their child was not taking up a ‘campooter course’! And who were touchingly oblivious to the fact that their children who worked overtime stating ‘combined studies’ were busy generating business for the seedy ‘Valentine’s Day flower-vendors’ on the footpath 😉

Anyway, in the computer Lab (where ‘flirting‘ = ‘switching off a girl’s computer to piss her off!’ (Sigh!!)), a friend was evidently SHOCKED when the gang was discussing this song ‘O Sanam’ and I had no clue what it was!! So I went back home, got the song recorded at the local store. Yeah yeah, those were the days, when we used to jot down the names of ‘supposedly trendy’ songs and get it recorded at the local video store, because that was just way cheaper than buying an audio cassette!!! (And while the recording used to be pretty decent, we were also blessed with hearing the ‘recorder’s’ flowery language/cusses/etc. during the ‘in-between’ gaps between songs :-)) I digress again! So, I finally heard the song!! And, to a romantic like moi, that was a sheer piece of heaven!!!

Once I moved away from home, to do my MBA, my mum sent me money to buy myself a ‘walkman’. I dragged a friend along every seedy street in Pune, to find a good, but not too expensive walkman. And this is what I bought for an exorbitant Rs.1100 🙂 It even had a speaker and recorder (AND it still works, after an entire decade!!) We (my roomie, an extra illegal roomie and I – and when I say ‘illegal’ I only mean, this girl, Miss S, was ALWAYS in our room, despite not actually living there, so my landlady used to stare at her, with evident dislike, every time she came home!! And which we conveniently ignored :-)) have listened to many lovely songs on this walkman, and needless to say, O Sanam was one of them!

And the last (please don’t say ‘Phew!’ :-)) memory is that of roaming the streets of Mumbai, at 1 am, in a cab full of friends, that too at the expense of the company for which I worked 😈 I was working on a project, and when my work got over, a bunch of very close friends arrived, we piled into a Taxi, and simply roamed all around Mumbai.

We went up and down the beach, saw the Hiranandani apartments from afar, and gaped, in awe 🙂 I don’t think any of us even dreamed of owning something like that in our lifetime!!! We were ‘just out of B-school’ and we thought the world of ourselves! And yes, since I was ‘working beyond office hours‘, my noble friends ‘suggested’ I bill the cab fare (which was an enormous Rs.430 :lol:) to the organization, and I very sweetly obliged. I hope none of my ex-colleagues are reading this 😉 And oh yes, I missed telling you, that throughout the drive in the cab, we listened to this tape.

And O Sanam was etched in our memory forever!!

So there, folks. We finally come to the end of the post. Please, do me a favour. Before you shut the computer on my face 😉 do listen to the song. Here:

And, DO SHARE YOUR MEMORIES, with this song, if you would like to 🙂

Categories
55-er Short story

Sparkling eyes – 55 word fiction

Pick-up time. The children chattered excitedly, as rains lashed.

A little girl quietly waited for Nanny.

‘Sofia!’

She looked up, surprised. Her eyes sparkled.

She ran and hugged the woman.

The woman pushed her away.

‘I only came because its raining. Can’t come everyday Ok?’ she snapped.

‘Yes Mummy’ Sofia nodded.

The sparkle had disappeared.

PS: I actually witnessed this incident when I went to collect my son from school this evening (names have been changed.. rather, assumed). One moment, the little girl was so excited. The next moment, it was all gone. Like a balloon had been deflated.

I wonder how many times we behave like that Mother. Not realising that the absence of a smile, or a hug, can dampen the spirit of our beautiful precious children? Don’t mean to be preachy, but I do hope, we will more consciously try, to reciprocate the wonderful and endless love that our children shower on us….

Categories
365 Humour Incidents

Singh IS King – Project 365 – Day 4

Saw this name board at the open car park this afternoon!!!

Singh Certainly IS King 😉

Happy Weekend folks!!

Categories
55-er Short story Thought and Reason

A cup of tea – a set of 55-ers – fiction

KING This post is published as an entry for the KING AND QUEEN OF 55F CONTEST – The first ever unique, challenge for the coveted title in micro fiction category. To catch the crowning moments and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

Rules of the contest:

  • You have to write a set of three 55F.
  • The first two sets should be a story on its own.
  • The  two stories should  climax / conclude / inter-twine in the third set of 55F.
  • The story could be of any genre i.e, love, crime, mystery or thriller etc.

…………………………………………………………………………………………..


He lay sprawled in usual drunken stupor. She stared unseeingly at the tea boiling in the pan. Fifteen years of abuse flashed before her. Last night however, he had stooped too low.

‘Bloody pimp’, she swore, but smiled harshly.

She did not need him anymore! A cup of tea (and some poison, perhaps) would suffice.

…………………………………………………………………………………………….


pic courtesy: evanatasha00 dot blogspot dot com

Sunlight momentarily blinded her. She picked up her torn dupatta, wound it tightly around her bruised shoulders, and entered Amma’s kitchen.

Their eyes met. Cold, vacant, almost chilling.

The young girl lowered her gaze. Ashamed.

‘Go now. Wash yourself. Come fresh and clean, for tea’

‘Clean? I’ll never be clean again…’ hot tears rolled, unrestrained.

…………………………………………………………………………………………..


Laila scrubbed herself until her skin burned.

Beauty!’, father’s ‘friend’ had grunted as he ravaged her last night.

Amma had been livid. Until, she had seen the money.

Drink!!!

Trembling, Laila brought the scalding tea to her lips.

A bitter smile. A quick flick of the wrist.

Splash!’

The cup of tea had indeed sufficed!

Pic courtesy: Dailymail dot co dot uk

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Categories
365

Summery Sun – Project 365 – Day 3

Is it summer already???

 

 

Atleast the Duckies family seems to think so 🙂

Categories
365

Brrrreakfast – 365 project – day 2

The picture says it all 🙂

PS 1: My dearest and most adorable non-Chennai friends – Please oh puhleez don’t call this DO-SA. It is a DosaI 🙂 🙂 🙂

One of my best friends back in college used to say ‘DosA and Sambhurr’. Had she not been so dear to me, I could have killed her Every time she massacred the word DosaI by calling it a DosA. Its like me saying ‘Barota’ instead of ‘Parantha’ 😛

PS 2: Day 1 of Project 365 is right here, in case you wish to know what this project is about.

Categories
Thought and Reason

Introducing Project 365

Pliss to head over here.

Danke 🙂