Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Apologies, Forgiveness, Gratitude and Wishes…!!

  


In the past year, I may have uttered ice-cold words that must have pierced your hearts …many of my actions or thoughts may have jabbed you like toxic arrows… I may have done things I shouldn't have… I tonight, ask for forgiveness for not being at my best of behavior, at times, in 2013 – I am sorry. (Believe me it was all unintentional)

And I forgive them who have intentionally put me in a situation to not to trust them anymore. Don't break anyone's trust; it's earned, not gifted.

I am not only lucky but I am blessed. My parents, friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors, my readers everyone who is part of my life in some or the other way, even the existence with no life like my books, my pc, my cell, my desk, my house, the water I drink, the food I eat, the clothes I wear… etc. are just so divinely wonderful. I am full of gratitude for them. Thank you for being a part of my life. And I am also thankful to all those people and things who/that are on their way into my life in future.
   


Moreover now that we are about to be in a fresh year- 2014, I have loads of wishes for all of you. Have a wonderful, prosperous new year, full of love and health. Be good... be smart … be compassionate.

 ***HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! ***

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dove-licious Best Friends Forever!

The Beginning: They were eight year old girlwhen they first met. The shorter one was the new girl in the class with shy eyes and an unsure walk. The taller one smiled and slid at the corner of the wooden bench offering the new girl the seat beside her. The new girl smiled back and introduced herself while getting comfortable on the seat which was now going to be hers for the rest of the year. The names were exchanged and both were thrilled to know that they lived in the same area.
“Friends?” one asked, “Friends” the other said. The two eight year olds were unknown of the fact that and it was the beginning of a forever-soul mate friendship. 
The little girls were Namrota (yours truly) and Shruti.


Since that day, we are glued to each other. Inspiring, conspiring, laughing, crying, gossiping… together. We went to school together and the walk back to home meant savoring colorful ice-candies; experimenting different colors every day. Weekends for us were fun-filled with our mock tea parties, little picnic at the local parks and executing our plans to irritate her brothers.  


Class-room Angels: We always sat on the hind side of the classroom as we were amongst the taller pupils. That was a blessing for us. We kept ourselves active and entertained when teachers bored us with the text books and lessons. And an absence of a teacher was ticket to be the queens of the class-room. The black board used to turn into our beloved canvas, pages from the rough book converted into paper-planes, the writing tables became sitting tables. Yes, a walk to the Headmistress’s office followed every time we were caught. 

Bubble-gum Belles: One of our favorite angelic activities, as kids, was to keep blowing bubble gums at public places. The synchronized punctured noises of the ballooned gums were a melodious composition for us. Though, others always misjudged it as devilish activity. *sad face*  


First time Hostesses: We took up our first event management project; her brothers’ birthday party. The twins had turned 10 and we planned an extravagant party for the young guys. We shopped for the party supplies, organized the menu, ordered the most delicious twin cake. Of course bill was paid by Shruti's father, who took the oath of never handing over parties to us again without the supervision of an adult.

But did we have fun? Oh yeah, we did. The party was a super success.
And we still organize surprise birthday parties for the boys every year, which eventually is no longer a surprise.

Kitchen Debut: Sanjeev Kapoor was our kitchen-idol and we wanted to have our own cooking show someday. To rehearse our future show episodes, one fine Sunday we entered the kitchen for the first time to stir up some delicious dishes. Our debut, to everyone's surprise including us, was a box office Rs. 200 crore hit. Although the kitchen looked like an unattractive pantry-car.




Curls and Straights: Hers are curly locks, mine are straight tresses. And as we were too young to experiment with our hair, we were not allowed to use straighteners or curlers (not even safe rollers).
We tried our best to get our preferred results, with our own DIYs. I twirled my hair around my finger to get the curls and she stretched hers from root to tip to straighten them; none of which ever worked. Hence, we wished to exchange our manes. But gods had some other plans for us. He didn't listen to us until we were old enough to fashion our hair just the way we like, using all sorts of hair gadgets and products. 


Slumber Party with Teddy: Shruti and I had some of the best moments whenever we had our wonderful slumber parties. The fun lied when in frightening her with ghost stories. I never failed to tell a ghost story despite that she threatened me of severe consequences. Ergo, she always slept with her teddy to keep away the evil that presumably lived outside the window. And as I write this post, the teddy sits still in her cupboard, though bit severed at a few places and a scratched eye. 



Same Team: One of our loved outdoor sports was tennis and we both were terrible at it. We practiced it often to hone our skills to beat the neighborhood girls, but we played on the same side of the net as we couldn't play against each other. People laughed at us, but it meant the world to us and we stuck to it till we gave up on the sport itself. 


Living Room Ramp: The Oh-so beautiful Sushmita Sen walked the ramp and won the Ms. Universe contest. We both were mesmerized by her and wanted to walk like her, talk like her, look like her. So, Shruti's living room became our own stylish ramp and we made her brothers judges asking us questions and we mocked a fashion show followed by a beauty contest between just the two of us. The success of which led to future fashion shows that included other girls from our class.

Diva-liciously Us: We were fourteen and we knew we had to doll up ourselves like the beauties in the movies. Just kohl and lipsticks won't suffice. Again, our mothers were clear that college was our time for such treats and not school. Ergo, with we saved our pocket money and bought face-packs, face scrubs, toners and hair removal cream...we couldn't muster the courage of going for waxing. Saturdays were our days to pamper ourselves. And as her parents were out on job, her house used to be our beauty abode. Nowadays we exchange home-remedies to beautify ourselves. Mission is same, approach is different.

Wine-y Glasses: Invitation to our first teenage party hosted by our seniors from school, who were now in college was first of its kind. We both had turned 18 a few months back and were legally allowed to consume alcohol. She bonded well with wine, in fact it was love at first taste for her but, for me the drink and I couldn't get along well. However, to fit in it with the crowd which was guzzling down the fermented grape juice, Shruti poured a soft drink in my now empty wine glass. The camouflage worked wonders. Our relation with alcohol still remains the same, though I don't need to pretend anymore. 

Shoppers' Stop: College was our getaway for so many things we craved to do during school. One such activity was shopping by ourselves. Our first shopping experience together was at Fashion Street, and no other girls from our group had yet ventured there. It was a matter of pride for us. We talked about it to others as if we shopped at Versace or Gucci. Girls envied us for some time till they too shopped there.



Very Car-ing: After she failed the driving test for the second time, we had an idea to make her feel good; ye we both came up with it. She sat on the wheels of a fancy car, which, belonged to her neighbor's boyfriend, pretending she was driving it. The day was beautiful and Chowpatty beach looked nothing less than the Miami beach and Shruti didn't talk about her driving test for the next two weeks. 




Pouty Click: Our antics still continue till date and this is how we showed our love for the beauty-licious Dove Test that we took. Just couldn't resist from having a cheek to cheek moment.
  
Shruti and I 



That
s us for you guys, I, my Best Friend and our memories, and we are still to make new ones for us in coming years. I always thank my eight year old self for offering her the seat that day. 
*A Toast to our friendship*

This Post is written exclusively for the Dove Guessing Game With My Friend contest powered by Indiblogger.




**Note: Illustrations are borrowed from Inmagine.com and the last photo is my property and is copyrighted, using it in any way without my my knowledge is not permissble.**
Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Monday, December 9, 2013

Baby, I'm Back!

Image: Inmagine

I took a sabbatical from blogging not writing for a few weeks. Reason is unknown to me. I just didn't feel like feeding my Coffee Beans...ah! That makes me such a bad mother. To add to my badness I favored my personal journal, which had the fortune of receiving words from me on regular basis. I read religiously and indulged in Facebook-ing too. Watched several remarkable movies including "The Help".

And my baby, Coffee Beans sat quietly having occasional views by some readers and daily visits by me. Yes, I stopped over daily.  

I am sure my baby would forgive me because she knows how much I love her and that I can never abandon her for she is an integral part of me. I am so proud of her. My Coffee Beans has evolved from being a naïve blog to a more sophisticated one. Of course, she has a long way to go and there is so much to learn and absorb and create. The never ending learning process smiles and waits with her arms wide open welcoming us, like always.

Drum rolls… here we are to conquer the world of words, thoughts and readers.





Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tall Man Small Shadow by Vipin Behari Goyal; A Review

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers



Author      : Vipin Behari Goyal
Page
s        : 152
Price         : Rs. 240
Publishers : Cyberwit.net
Rating       : 3/5

Shadows we know are dependable creatures. Light is what they depend upon. They flicker, they skim, they behave in accordance with the manner the light falls upon its owner. Except the shadows of human souls that form or change in accord with their actions or thoughts is difficult for us to gauge. Or is it?

"What men call the shadow of the body is not the shadow of the body, but is the body of the soul."  -- Oscar Wild.


Tall Man Small Shadow, a short novel, has an unconventional theme by the debut author, Vipin Behari Goyal; a financial advi
sor by profession in Govt of Rajasthan. (The theme, here, garners an extra .5 from me) The plot showcases how every character is entwined with each other either through manipulation or coincidence.

The protagonist 
Salil falls for the shadow of his pretty neighbor Aalya, a PhD student. Aalya gets into a lesbian relationship with her guide, Seema who is childless and lonesome wife of an artist. Further the shadow uncovers many aspects of life and the book progresses. These and other characters, Aalya's parents and Seema's husband, struggle through their frenzied lives and in the end resolve for a harmonious life. But was is all coincidence or a well thought out plot? Tall Man Small Shadow is about how craftily the harmony is achieved.  

The writing is simple yet crisp but, at times marred by lack of proof reading. The narration flows gently with occasional babbles. What impairs your reading the most here is the use of multiple voices within one chapter, and it happen
s through out. Its a small novel more like a novella and can be read at one go. The cover of the book works well to grab one's attention. 

This could have made an exceptional read with stronger plot and characterizations along with good editing. Nevertheless, it ends up being a light read with philosophical tone and coincidences woven together.



This review is on request by the author. I thank him for choosing my blog as a platform for his book.



The Himalayan Revelation By Pankaj Misra; A Passage to Hampi and Leh.

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers



Author     : Pankaj Misra
Pages      : 316
Price       : Rs. 425
Publishers: Power Publishers
Rating     : 3/5


To blend history and fiction is tricky and to achieve a success out of it is even trickier. The Tales Pensieve listed The Himalayan Revelation and attracted by the book's historical-thriller theme, I immediately right clicked the mouse and chose the book to review. I wasn't disappointed; it’s a good read, one that I couldn't put down. Though I wish I could have said "extraordinary".

Debut author Pankaj Misra, knits a Historical-Thriller from the memories and research gathered from his exploration over the years.
Protagonists Gaurav and Natasha find themselves in a project to digitally recreate a historical site for the tourists. The research for the same takes them to Hampi. They discover that Hampi might be connected to Leh. The adventure ascends from there and many secrets lie before them ready to get revealed.

Nuances of the history could have been worked upon little more to emerge the reader into the tome.
For instance in the second chapter, “…Rama Raya to his credit, suspected that something fishy was going on around him, called a meeting of his generals.”
Here, what makes Rama Raya suspicious of anything odd, given that the later incidents show us a fierce war, is not clear. A few grammatical slips make their cameos which are passable given the ride is fun.

The maps that occasionally feature in the book add to the historical value of the novel. Misra's language is simple and quite good, and doesn't hinder the reading though, a few chapters present themselves as dissertation on history. It could have been more interesting if the past was described in literary style. And the thriller aspect was faint which makes The Himalayan Revelation more Historical than a Historical thriller.

However, a very good attempt by the debut author and I would recommend it if history interests you. 

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Lowland, An Experience To Savor; a Review

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

The Lowland.

  

Author    :  Jhumpa Lahiri
Page
s      : 340
Price       :  Rs. 499.
Publisher :  Random House India.
Rating     :  4.5/5
Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2013.


It's always a delight to read an author of repute like Lahiri. And with her second novel, The Lowland, the experience continues albeit in a different manner. Unlike her previous works, this one is more wordy and meandering at times. Nevertheless, it makes an intense plot, which, in its own beautiful pace, engulfs the reader through its exquisite language. Longlisted for the Year's The Man Booker Prize, the novel is a pure literature read. My favorite Lahiri reads are The Interpreter of Maladies and The Unaccustomed Earth followed by The Namesake, and how I hoped for The Lowland to escalate the ladder and sit on the top of the list, alas it does not.

In this tome Lahiri writes about the cruel life that's entwined by the past. The story revolves around two brothers, a political turmoil, a woman's love- her heartbreak and guilt, a couple in wrong marriage, a mother's abandoning of her child, a daughter's acceptance of reality. It's about a death that affects three lives and disperses an entire family. Like her preceding works, this too speaks of immigrants experiencing the living at a far remove. She diligently details the Naxalite movement of 1960's Calcutta and narrates gorgeously the life in Rhode Island.

It enhances the impact of being in wrong choices. Here I say "being", since making a choice coerces one to live it, unless one does something constructive to get out of it or correct it. In The Lowland, the characters choose to live their wrong choices for years. 
You might relate to the characters many times and might loathe them for their actions at other times.

The character sketching is impeccable albeit with a bit of sporadic drag in the narration. The nuances and the texture of the story builds an atmosphere that grips the reader's attention. The mundane elements showcased impart life to the settings and characters. Lahiri eschews the use of quotation marks for dialogues, a style that reminds of Cormac McCarthy, although, you do come across semi-colons and other punctuation, which are always absent in McCarthy's writings. 

Thi
s is a poignant novel that needs to be read at leisure absorbing each page, each word. It makes you sit up and think about the life you have lived and the one you are living. The Lowland is an absolutely recommended read.


This is a part of the Review Program By MySmartPrice/Books

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Surprise; Day of love!

My phone that was resting next to my pillow rang angrily at 1 AM. It flashed my best friend’s name who was in the other room with the guys. 

 “Meet me at the porch”, he said. And with that he hung up.

With sleepy eyes I looked around, the girls were lost in their slumber world. The trek had been tiresome. I got up with my body aching in places. Ran my fingers through my hair to discipline them, wore my glasses and went out in my slippers.

The porch light was on and he was standing there grinning sheepishly. I realized he looked adorable in his worn out pajamas. Before I could say anything, he reached out, held my hands and led me towards a bamboo chair. I sat down throwing dozens of questions at him.

“Close your eyes”, he said.

I narrowed my eyes to which, he made a puppy face, “Please”. With a giggle I complied. I heard a rustle.

  “Open your eyes”.

He was holding something rectangle draped in a glittering white gift wrapper with a cute pink bow at its base. My hunch told me, it was a book.

I grabbed and unwrapped the gift carefully, making sure I didn't tear it.

*Pride & Prejudice*

 “Happy Birthday”, he said. “A belated one”.

I looked up at him and saw him staring at me strangely. There was something different in his voice and his eyes. My own heartbeat spoke a different language.

 “This is my favorite book”, I whispered. My happiness knew no bound. It was a book I had never owned. As a kid I had its abridged copy. And for sometime I had planned to buy one for myself. I remember mentioning it to him once. But it was just a passing murmur. He remembered.

 I looked at the book and back at him. I didn't know what to say, what to do. Then I leaned and hugged him tightly and whispered a 'thank you'.
Breaking away from him, I looked at him again. I felt my smile faint as I saw his expressions speaking the different language which my heart had adapted. He was still holding me in his arms refusing to let go off me. Realization hit me that my arms refused to leave him too. The man in my arms was now more than my best friend.

 “I was yearning to see you smile like a child when you unwrap it. I had envisioned your face beaming while holding this book”, he said.

 “And did you envision my face while holding you?”

He chuckled and placed a loving kiss on my knuckles. “No sweety, it was a surprise”.

Biting my lower lips I looked at him knowing we found our day… our day of love. -Friendship would go beyond and turn into something so beautiful; who knew?
The rest of the morning we stayed there on the porch, talking, looking at each other, holding hands and basking in the glow of our new found love, until our friends woke up.

A year later we celebrated first anniversary of our day of love by tying the knot and exchanging Platinum bands. The bands now proudly shine on our ring fingers, representing our true and undying love for each other. Like the naturally white metal, our love is pure and pristine. Platinum does not fade or tarnish with time and that is what love is all about- Eternal.



This post is exclusively for Platinum Day of Love, powered by Indiblogger

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Croaking Froggy Princess- Voice lost& found!

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Courtesy: google
week ago, the morning saw me vaguely coughing. My health conscious side immediately kicked me for gulping down chilled nimboo-paani, which had become a ritual for me since mid Oct. In my defense, my motto of indulging in the tasty desi beverage was solely to beat the heat. But muaa nimboo-paani victimized my throat and by evening I was coughing like a pro. By night, an unwanted not-so-beautiful female frog camped around the base of my throat, making me croak whenever I wished to speak. And some of my close friends decided not to leave me alone and same pinched me the next day. *gets emotional*

My fear of loosing my voice, which happened to me a few years ago, took shape and the following day I couldn't speak. I remember how my dad and friends last time celebrated my muteness, *bachh gaye, isski bak-bak sunne nahi milegi*. However, this time they weren't that lucky and by evening my vocal cords healed itself to some extend and I was able to talk, albeit coughing.

  
Courtesy : google
To get my vocal cords and throat back on their feet (no they don't have legs, come on) before the end of the week, two tried and tested remedies along with the doc’s prescribed med made their way into my croaking life; the haldi-namak-honey wala hot water, haldi wala doodh and a lip smacking cough syrup. These along with many suggested home remedies by all my shubhchintaks (Such sweet souls, God Bless them) kept pouring in. Some even advised the much loved Rum, an idea I had to turn down cause, main madira nahi peeti ji. All along, wishing I had ten throats like Mr. Ravana to try all the interesting non-alcoholic remedies all at the same time. Soon an enlightening thought told me that it would have been such a pain in the wrong place to have ten soar throats, and eventually I gave up the wish. I stuck with the first three curing agents.

And did they work? Did the frog say good bye to me? Am I singing like Shreya Ghoshal? Whoa! Whoa! Hold on… gosh you ask too many question *rolls eyes*.
Well, yes they are working, although gingerly... the frog is bit stubborn, her three legs are out of my body and one is still weakly placed inside. Yes, she loves me… the virus loves me. I am so lovable. But unfortunately, I cannot live up to the Atithi Devobhava concept here, and my current prayers are mainly concentrating on farewell of these unwanted guests. Till then, I am counting my blessings; like my favorite cure happens to be the thick deep purplish anti-narcotic syrup which I am quaffing 4 times a day. It tempts me to guzzle down the entire bottle at one go. However, my sane self puts the leash on me every time I think of becoming a glutton. The other blessing is, I am not allowed to gorge on Diwali goodies to keep the soreness from aggravating, hence, keeping me away from piling on those extra kilos which is pretty normal every year during this season. (Okay okay…Shruti, I know I don’t put on much…stop rolling your eyes).
As for singing like Shreya Ghoshal- that phenomenon can't take place even when my throat is fit and healthy.

So, here I am nursing my vocal cords and writing about my throaty-adventure wishing to get well soon and scream… "I am Queen of the World". *fingers crossed*
And with that healthy wish…I the Froggy Princess wishes you a Grand Diwali and a Prosperous New Year! Be safe and enjoy. ;)

Friday, October 25, 2013

India Unlimited By Kulpreet Yadav: A Review.

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers


Image: google

Book: India Unlimited, Stories From A Nation Caught Between Hype & Hope
Author: Kulpreet Yadav.
Publisher: LiFi Publications.
Genre: Fiction/Short Stories.
Pages: 198.
Price:  Rs. 190.
Rating: 4 out of 5.

India Unlimited, an anthology of 31 short stories, seizes your senses with its simple yet potent writing. The stories capture the reader's attention and wakes up a hunger to read more. Yadav, who has been published in several National and International Literary Journals-the featured stories are part of this compilation, with his penchant for detailing, styles the little elements by lacing the words lavishly.

To give you a glimpse of the author’s crisp artistic use of words, here are a few excerpts from
“Faking It at The Conference” and “Samir in Rain”:

"The air-conditioned space I was locked in, along with about fifty others, tasted and smelt of words bouncing off the walls,rolling down gently here and there, before giving place to a just-arrived batch of fresh boring words."


"The sky was the last to give in to the urge, and it did with palpable vengeance, sending silvery cracks in the dissipating blue-black of the dusk."

The amalgamation of these short stories is a voyage that takes you to sundry sides of India, showcasing characters from a beggar to a wicked spiritual leader, from a spy to a man who talks to a fish, from a prostitute to an old lover. The diversity of these stories, the salient delineation of characters with the use of short sentences intermingled with lengthy ones along with simple still striking narration makes India Unlimited stay with the reader. Such diversity makes one wonder whether the stories are penned by the same author.

Picking favorites from such a collection is tricky, however, here are five of my prized ones:
  •  Not the Only Peanut Seller Who Hasn't Heard of Osama Bin Laden.
  •  The Family of Stars
  •  The City of Mirrors
  •  The Sahib and the Siesta
  •  The Fish and My Wedding 
With his keen annotations on daily life, Kulpreet Yadav presents a set of fictions to cherish. You will adore a character, detest another, love a story, and dislike another but India Unlimited will adroitly hang about with you and you will pick it up again for an unlimited passage of the both known and unknown India.


I thank Kulpreet Yadav for letting me an opportunity to read and review the compilation of his wonderful works, "India Unlimited"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Breezing Through Roads With Ambi Pur Vent Clip

Ambi Pur Mini Vent Clip Range

A suave paper bag arrived at my abode. A cute little clip filled with lavender fragrant liquid nestled inside the bag. It was the Ambi Pur Mini Vent Clip that was shipped to me for reviewing it.


The 2 ml mini clip, that promises (and delivers it) to do its delightful job for 30 days, is easy to activate and install in the car A/c ventilation grid. One of the great features of the clip is the fragrance control feature. One can adjust it from low to medium to high as per one's requirement. 

Once activated, the scent instead of gushing out with a strong and intense fragrance it fans out steadily with sweetness in its approach. Its no-leak technology helps in achieving this feat. Unlike other car fresheners, Ambi Pur Mini Vent Clip eliminates foul odors quickly while spreading its scent evenly, refreshing the car. Eventually one experiences a clean, fresh fragrance filled drive, even making you smile in the traffic jams.
Add caption
The one reaction I blurted out after my first trip with the Vent clip breezing its way in the car was..."Mood bana de".

Would I buy it? Recommend it? Definitely yes :)


This post is exclusively written for Escape Into Freshness, #FRESHNHAPPY Experience for Ambi Pur Mini Vent Clip, by Indiblogger.

Images: Google

Monday, September 30, 2013

Storme-D Into The Little Known Heaven; Dooars.



It was that time of the year, when sun with its strength compelled me and my friends to plan a vacation. Our motto was to look for a cold region and be miles away from the heat of Mumbai, however, the usual places we had been to or any place that was almost everyone’s favorite were certainly not in our list. The reason was simply to explore a new realm, perhaps a virgin land.

Our search finished on Dooars; not a virgin terrain but not much explored or heard of. Undoubtedly none of us had much of any idea of the place. Dooars or Duars are the floodplains and foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around Bhutan.

So, we set off for our journey to the beautiful cold valleys. We, total five of us, landed in Kolkata. Our plan was to take the roadways from there to Siliguri; the gateway to Duars. A SUV was our requirement for our exploration. Ergo, instead of the much preferred jeeps or maxi-taxis, we chose Tata Safari Storme, which we borrowed from my cousin to go to Siliguri. It was our plan to drive in the same vehicle to Dooars as it was perfect for our adventurous expedition to the valley, as TataSafarai Storme provides a host of accessories such as fog lamp, canopy, PND, alloy wheel etc., crafted for such thrilling journeys.

We made our way through NH31 to tourist lodges run by WB govt., which we had booked earlier. Taking in the scenic beauty of the tea gardens and the dense forest which lay on both sides of the highway till Dooars, our journey had already developed into a divinely thrilling experience.

Reaching the lodges, we made our plans for the next three days. Chapramari forests were our first destination. We rode our way towards the nature, in our now much beloved Tata Safari Storme. Our citicized bodies kept inhaling the pure air of the valley. Once, we reached we were in for a magnificent treat. The forest thrived in a mesmerizing assortment of flora and fauna. We were lucky to encounter two bisons, though, not lucky enough to say hello to our favorite Royal Bengal tiger.

Next day our host region, saw us at the Jaldapara Santuary, which has the immense uniformity of massive trees with array of orchids. The dense land ringed with chirping of birds and wild animals. It is a land of ecstasy for lovers of nature.


The third day, we went on to discover the local bazaar, the timber industries and the tea gardens; these are the main contributors to the economy of the region. It felt like the heaven had just come down for us with wonderful warm local people. The food, the valley, the land had given us a refreshing life we deserved.

Our three day vacation, however, was over within three blinks of eyes with a promise of many more visits to the place and yes, with our friendly companion Tata Safari Storme, which made our journey more adventurous and thrilling. 


***This post has been written exclusively for Tata Safari Storme-I am Explorer and Indiblogger. To discover more about the thrilling experience of Tata Safari Storme and its accessories, visit Tata Safari ***

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Beaten By Bhagath, by S.V. Divvaakar.

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

The Establishment, The Challenger.


Title            : Beaten By Bhagath! A Tale Of Two Writers.
Author       : S.V. Divvaakar.
Pages          : 191
Publisher  : Frog Books/ Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN          : 978-93-82473-03-9
Price           : India Rs. 125/-; Elsewhere US $5
My Rating : 3/5


"He was now the establishment, and I was the challenger."

Often we wish we could  take on the world with our passion and not with our 9-5 job. Many of us do follow the dream to make it a reality. Success, though, comes to not many.
"Beaten By Bhagath" is about a man's passion to make it big with his writing, albeit a result of his ego and encouraging line from his sexy lady boss, he wants to overthrow the big name K-10; a celebrity author and his friend. Its about the dramatic roller-coaster ride of a debutante writer and his book.

The Plot:
S.V. Divvaakar takes you on a journey of a man who wants to dethrone his ex-roommate, an old friend who is a star writer and has ventured into many facets of life, enjoying success everywhere. It gives you a glimpse of the path that one has to tread to publish one's debut book. It talks of changes that come by in life when a writer is determined to reach maximum of readers as soon as possible beating the reigning best selling author. The changes grill him, and brings out the worst of him. As you progress further with the story, you experience BB's passion...his challenges... his judgement... his realizations, along with fate of his debut book.
What exactly does a novice BB do? Does he find success? Do the friends meet? ...

The Characters: 
Not many main characters to talk about. Except BB rest make it in short sketches, including K-10. The main character BB is perfectly flawed. BB made me smile, there was a moment when he disgusted me, some of his decisions disappointed me, he made me want to lecture him on a few occasions. All in all, I enjoyed BB’s faults and flips. K-10 through BB's eyes introduces his intelligence, his determinations, his wisdom. I secretly wished to know K-10 more.

My Experience:
There were times I flowed with the lucid narration while other times I went against it. However, I wished hinglish didn't make its cameo; I am not much of a fan of it. I loved the candid take on the current variety of books that are in fad. Divvaakar aptly points the reason for the new generation writers opting for very plain conversational style. As we see K-10 declaring that he doesn't want to write books that people can read only with a dictionary by the side. He wants to connect, not to overwhelm.The little details that penetrated my mind through the chapters held my attention throughout.

Its a fine read with good insights on the publishing world. Grab your "Beaten by Bhagath" if you are toying with the idea of publishing your (debut) book, and even if you aren't, go ahead... pick your copy, it has a few lessons of life to learn as well.


-Namrota Mazumdar. 
tocoffeebeans@gmail.com ]


***This review has been written as a part of the Book Review Program for The Tales Pensieve***

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Shop The Future Way

With technology being part of our lives by now, there are no guesses for what lies in the future. Flying cars, space tourism (tours to other planets), real estate booming on moon, five dimensional television screens with images probably interacting with the audience et al could be our future. I wonder how something as important (for us) and commercial (for the companies) like shopping would transform into.

Let's not go too far into 3013-ish but hover around 2030. My fantasy tells me the year 2030 would host a multi-dimensioned shopping opportunities for both online and offline shoppers.


 
Flying Chinese Food Cart (Movie: Fifth Element)
Shopping malls with five dimensional themes with interactive computers to list the sections where to find what you are looking for. How wonderful it would be to just walk into a mega mall, and glide your fingers on the big screen that blinks at you to use it and find what would suit you, your loved ones or your home.Even as you know where to find your treasure, as you stride towards your destined shop, the display windows of other stores would lure you with their own 4-D screens. Here models would capture your senses displaying clothes, perfumes, gadgets, etc. which would also give you a trial opportunity right there showing your image so you would know how you would look like in them or with them. 

Online shopping portals like, ebay, would deliver your order on your door step on their flying carts. After you place your order on your multi-dimensional computer screens, where again the image would pop out before you giving you the options. Then magically (technologically) you would touch the screen below to put your image instead and see yourself wearing that red dress, or the hold the new multi-G android or just the new book you want to read.
Ah! future shopping would be so much fun, so much to look for. Hope it shapes sooner than 2030.

***This post is exclusively for The Future Of Shopping, by ebay through Indiblogger. 2030 is far, so if you want to check out ebay collection right away, visit: HERE***



[Image courtesy: Google]

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Yatra to Falls and Sand.

A short two days holiday was being planned by me and my friends, Shruti, Roopa and Shreya, I knew the best place to venture upon. A twin waterfalls at the island town of Shivasamudra, 139 kms from Bangalore.
Cauvery falling down in mirth.

Without any other second thoughts, we immediately booked our flights and hotel from Mumbai, through Yatra.com.
Our motto was to have a spontaneous trip; hence, we hired two scooties for our adventurous fun.

The roadway itself is one beautiful memorable ride to the falls, the landscapes, the greenery add to one’s experience and the rocky terrains of a near by town gives a fascinating touch to your journey as it’s the spot where, Gabbar and Samba made their characters and the movie Sholay, one of the best celluloid creations of all times. 
Sholay spot.
Once you reach your destination, you are in for a divine experience. The Cauvery River curves its way from the rocks and ravines only to get segmented into two luscious waterfalls; the Gaganachukii waterfalls.
The magnificent twins at Ganchukki
Carrying few snacks and bottles filled with water we made sure, we keep our body energized. We were led to the watch tower from where the Gananachukki falls can be witnessed perfectly. It was dream to be in the presence of such water-bodies dropping off from the mouth of the mountains, roaring their way down.

Interestingly the Cauvery splits itself and creates another fall called Barachukki which is to the south-west of Gaganachukki. And sadly, many people aren’t aware of the place or they find it tiring to way their journey few kilometers more, hence, the place is still a virgin, with only few tourists taking in the beauty of this waterfall, which, BTW, had my heart the instant I stepped in its lap.
  
Stoned steps
Several fleets of stone steps lead our way to the bottom to witness the magnificent waterfall. With several vendors selling puffed rice mixed with pea-nuts, tomatoes, diced cucumber (another variety of sookha bhel) and slices of cucumber with a dash of salt and red chilli powder. I was told once, that these help in fueling your body with the required energy to climb up and down such heights; guess these village people are more aware of such things than us city-dwellers.

Once reaching the ground a rocky base welcomes you with hoards of tress standing firmly and the water from fall flowing in its own terms along side.
The Barachukki Falls
We had our lunch here which we had packed *smarties-that-we-are* and shared it generously with the monkey friends around, with keeping in mind not to litter.

Many people dared to step in the current and splash water at each other but we refrained as we didn’t carry spare clothes, a point we mentally sketched for our next trip. We stepped forward towards the coracle rides, which the locals had their sweet and obvious name-Katori. Frankly, I prefer calling it that.
  
Towards Barachukki Falls in Katori.

Our Katori-man who got conscious and didn't smile for photo :-|
A gentle ever smiling man took us for the Katori ride which took us to the base of the fall. Captivating is the way they approach the waterfall, they have ropes tied at the base of the fall with another end lactched somewhere in the middle of the bank and the base.  He pulled the rope and there we were almost the base, they had reminded us the danger of the fall during monsoon, so, we had to be happy with the a-little-more-than-a-foot distance. But we did get quite drenched, so much so for no extra clothes.

The Katori-man pulling the rope.
On our way back to the bank he gave us a natural water-park experience, by swirling the Katori thrice, making us scream our heart out. With all the adrenaline rush at its best, my friend asked for another swirl and he was generous to oblige. No guesses I had my heart in my mouth. 
Screaming with joy we were back on the stairs with our journey back to Bangalore.

Next day, we headed our way towards Talakad, a desert like town, 133 km from Bangalore. Again on our scooties we rode towards our destination. Again, we had packed some sandwiches and wafers and ample of water in case our tummy growls at a place where food refuses to exist.

Once we reached, our souls swelled with admiration. The temples, once which were 30 in number, are now buried under the sand and gave me a feeling of being a part of ancient India. With loads of history and mythology attached to this sand filled destination, it a paradise.

Temples buried under layers of sand.

My next trip to this place in future is a definite YES; I would plan it with my future hubby for a short two day trip, and with wonderfully taken care by Yatra.com this would make my trip to these awesome-st places a journey to remember. 

***This travel post is written exclusively for Yatra.com  Creating Happy Travellers- Contest***

[Please Note: The images are property of the author, if you like any of the photo and want to use them, please take the permission.]

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Raising Lecherous Streets.

I was raised as a free human with no leash around my ankles. My parents never felt the need of a boy, for they wanted a child and not a bundle of particular gender in their arms. My hangouts weren't restricted, my studies never faced a halt and my decisions were never challenged on the basis of my sex, as discrimination of any sort does not exist in my family.

Having such humane surroundings in abundance the biased nature of the society was a culture shock to me, which till date shocks me with the same intensity. Irrespective of class, caste or creed, the society grants boys the liberty to feel superior to girls and in turn the latter crowd is made to believe in their foisted inferiority status.

In a jiffy a woman is conveniently blamed for the sexual assault she is subjected to.
Its time we recognize the fact that her shorts, minis, backless do not invite a rape, but, his lecherous intentions leads to the heinous crime.
Hanging out with guys does not make her less of a woman but his aim to defeat her freedom makes him less of a man.
She does not shame womanhood when she laughs at adult jokes but classifying her as an available sex-toy for her laughter at such jokes shames humanity.

Not acknowledging, that her friendly and free nature does not mean her body is available to anyone is a result of the imbalance that’s fed in the minds of the children. Yes, it is the upbringing which is making his mind sick. Today we see the rise in the pestilence called rape, in India; what are we raising here, a nation of sexual predators where no woman, even in a city like Mumbai, which once was the safest haven for women, wants to step out without a pepper spray? The streets are full with such leeches who throw lewd remarks and gestures at women, mentally undressing her, and numerous times the sheer guts make them grope the dignity of women.

I am advised by people to carry weapons and learn self defense. Never have I seen a boy being advised to treat a girl with respect.
Stringent laws and due punishments will be made, maybe even implemented, but, the rotting root needs fixing. We need a society which does not ask a woman to not to step out at night nor solicits her clothes.
We need a society that tells the men to treat women as humans, a society which doesn't blame the victim but punishes the culprit.


I am a woman and I want to breathe in life freely ... beautifully ... humanely.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Close to Nature with Blossoms and Breeze; Ambi Pur

The pretty white and pink 275 gm can freshly fetched from its package sat eagerly on our glass table enticing me with its name, "Blossoms and Breeze" to put it to use. The little 5.5 ml pack parked beside it with the same name wasn't far behind either. These were Ambi pur air effects and Ambi pur set n refresh (both blossoms and breeze) respectively. It was now no longer a reviewing task for me, it was about getting connected to the fragrances that rested inside geared up to mingle with the air.
Ambi Pur Air Effects-  Blossoms and Breeze
I first pick was the can first; the Ambi pur air effects- Blossoms and Breeze. I held it pulled the trigger back and as instructed and shown in the photos I sprayed the fragrance in my living room in a sweeping motion. The moment the aroma fanned out in the room I felt like I was transformed to a place with an unpolluted environment and natural springs all over. I was close to Mother Nature. It just made me feel alive with its subtle fresh scent and I realized it had eradicated malodors as well.


Ambi Pur Set n Refresh- blossoms and Breeze
Quickly striding towards the table I released the Ambi pur set n refresh- Blossoms and Breeze from its pack and set to my bed room. As instructed I activated it with its cartridge inside carrying the perfumed oil. Designed intelligently the product with its scented oil eliminates malodors continuously and releases a misty aroma in the room.
The similar feeling cam back to me, I closed my eyes and felt the fragrance swayed me to a meadow full of blossoms.

I had stumbled upon fresheners that were more than the other fresheners. Ambi pur had Fresheners that along with spreading Freshness it created happiness by snatching away the un-wanted odors that linger around home. 

***This write up is a review on Ambi pur air effects and Ambi pur set n refresh products for Ambi Pur #FreshNHappy contest. To get in touch with them click Here.***

[Images: Google]
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...