Inscrutable Future

Monday, December 16, 2013

What to do 
when life turns upside down,
and all your dreams 
are crushed without a sound!

Hurting in pain,
You bleed inside your heart
but put on a mask
and flash a smile for a start!

Planned yourself a future, 
perfect to the T.
Now stares back the mirror,
all black and horridy.

What doesn't kill you,
makes you stronger every breath.
But sometimes, its a slow poison
which takes you further towards death!

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The Caretaker: Book Review

Saturday, November 30, 2013
Here's my sixth book in The First Read Author's Pledge : The Caretaker by A.X.Ahmad

Title : The Caretaker
Author : A.X. Ahmad
Genre: Fiction
Price [INR] : Rs 399 Buy THE CARETAKER from for Rs 219.(or Hardcover here)
Number of Pages : 294
Publisher : Minotaur
ISBN : 978-125001684-3

The Blurb:
Ranjit Singh, a former Indian Army Captain trying to escape a shameful past and working as a caretaker on Martha's Vineyard, moves his family into an empty Senator's home.  But one night, their idyll is shattered when mysterious armed men break into the house.  Forced to flee, Ranjit is pursued and hunted by unknown forces and becomes drawn into the Senator's shadowy world.  As the past and present collide, Ranjit must finally confront the hidden event that destroyed his Army career and forced him to leave India before it costs him his family as well.

The Story:
Ranjit Singh, an ex-Indian army officer, commanded an elite army squad at the Siachen glaciers during his time as a Captain. But that was years ago, before his Army career ended in dishonor, shattering his reputation. Due to the circumstances, he had to leave his homeland to end up living as a caretaker on the exclusive resort island of Martha’s Vineyard, looking after the vacation homes of the rich and powerful. One harsh winter, faced with no other choice, he secretly moves his family into the house of one of his clients, an African-American Senator. Here, his wife and daughter are happy, and he feels safe for the first time in ages. But Ranjit’s idyll is shattered when mysterious men break into the house and thus begins his chase to freedom for him and his family. His only ally is Anna, the Senator’s beautiful wife, who has secrets of her own. As his chase stirs up long forgotten events, the caretaker must finally face the one careless decision that ruined his life- and forced him to leave India. 

About the Author:
A. X. AHMAD was raised in India, educated at Vassar College and M.I.T., and has worked as an international architect. As Amin Ahmad, his short stories and essays on immigrant life have been published in The Missouri Review, The Harvard Review, The New England Review, Narrative Magazine and The Good Men Project. He was a finalist for Glimmertrain's Short Story Award, and has been listed in Best American Essays. He lives in Washington, D.C, where he teaches writing.

My Review:
The strongest point of the novel is the protagonist - Ranjit Singh. As Goodreads correctly describes, The Caretaker introduces a new hero for our times: an immigrant caught between two worlds and a man caught between two loves. The character Ahmad has described is a strong man who loves on his principles - got court-martialed but still he chose to support his friends and stand-by the truth. But as the story progresses, we see different sides of him and yet it is very easy to relate to him in each of his decisions and circumstances. Also, Ahmad has quite aptly described an illegal-immigrant family - their circumstances, their choices and the little things that make them happy. He has beautifully portrayed the life of an immigrant in another country. He captured the feeling of being an outsider, of missing one's home country, of being evaluated and labeled that many foreign nationals feel when they emigrate.

I must say this is a very-well written, page turning book and I enjoyed reading it thoroughly. With some twists coming through out and the plot moves along so quickly I found it was hard to put the book down. The beginning chapters made me glued to it that I didn't even want to skip a word  and with quotes from Gurbani added to the happy moments. Being a Bengali Muslim, he has formulated the character of a Sikh quite remarkably - with a lot of work being put in!

It is a suspense thriller but I would say its still a sad story - the protagonist has to face the toughest of circumstances all his life and never did he get happiness he deserved. The author could have given him tits and bits of happiness - maybe a little. Also, I couldn't connect with the two leading ladies - his wife and his love. His wife cribs a lot and doesn't trust me - EVER! If she was so unhappy, why did she ever come with him. She could have stayed with her family in India or at least her uncle in Boston. Also, she was too greedy for a girl from a very humble background. The other lady, Anna, seemed too confused as well - in terms of her personal life. Also, I found it bit dragging in the end with some prolonged scenes in the last few chapters, especially, those intimate moments between Ranjit and Anna, and wanting for more Tea - that too when his family is suffering in deportation - an honorable family man doesn't do that! Does he? He may have stopped loving his wife, but a father can do that when his daughter is in deportation doesn't seem realistic. 

To be honest, for me the book ended abruptly with no definite end to Ranjit Singh. Maybe it's a recipe for sequel. Let's wait and watch if a sequel comes! 

With all its ups and downs, for a debut novel, it seemed pretty good to me. It could have been better, but it isn't bad. I wouldn't recommend it as a must read, but if you pick it up, it wouldn't disappoint you. 

My rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars. 

 This book was sent to me by IndibloggerGet Published-Book Reviews.
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My First Liebster Award!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yay! I won! I won! Finally I got nominated for the Liebster Award! My first ever! Although I am not really sure why is it called nominated and not won? I mean if I am "nominated", how will I win now? :O So I am gonna flaunt it like I won it! :D :) 

My loving Bhabhi, Divya, nominated me for the Liebster award! See, it helps to have bloggers in the family - if no one else gives you the award, you can bribe your bhabhi to nominate you! :D

So here I am - all set to flaunt my first ever Liebster award! It's Legen-wait-for-it-daryyyyyyyyy!

  •  What is your favourite place and why?

I haven't really travelled much and my first ever abroad trip was a short visit to Birmingham, United Kingdom recently. The place is really beautiful and the trip was fun but it made me realize one thing- there's no place like home! I can never be as happy or content anywhere as I am at my home sweet home! And not to forget,  I can't get Mom's yummy food anywhere else!

  • What would be that one wild thing you intend to do in your lifetime?
Bungee jumping - without a thought! I have always always always wanted to try it once. I might get a heart attack while jumping actually, so i am just postponing it for now!

  • How do you define serenity? Illustrate with examples.
I define serenity as being calm and peaceful, just like the sea. It has huge waves and a whole lot of turbulence in it and yet, it manages to calm a turbid soul with such ease.

  • If you were to ask only one question to an alien, what would that be?
Did Jadoo reach back home safely?

  • Light shades or dark colours? Reasons?
The bright, crisp shades liberate happiness for me. Bright Yellow. Funky Red. Sea Blue. Fluorescent Green. Crisp Pink. I am already beaming with happiness.

  • What is your dream job?
My dream job is dreaming. :D To sleep and dream, that's all I wanna do! :P

  • Describe your favourite birthday experience.
I may sound very boring to you but I prefer a simple dinner with family to a big (surprise) party! Just everyone together fighting over the last piece of cake on a dinner table! ;)

  • Given a chance, what will you change about the planet earth?
I would definitely like to make it more greener with beautiful landscapes to be cherished.

  • What do you do when you have absolutely free time?
I am addicted to sitcoms and rom-coms. Among sitcoms, Friends has been my favourite till date, although nowadays, I am watching thriller series, Dexter.

  • What is it that you don’t like in someone?
This is a tough one. Ummm. I dislike lies and liars; hypocrisy; and petty behaviour.

Now comes the tough part. As per the following rules, I need to draft 10 questions of my own to be answered by the people I nominate!
  • Link back to the person's blog who has nominated you and convey thanks for giving the award.
  • Answer all the questions posted by the nominator.
  • Nominate 10 more bloggers whom you feel deserve of more subscribers; you pass the award on to them.
  • Create 10 questions for the nominees.
  • Contact the nominees and let them know that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award!

Following are the people whom I want to nominate for the Liebster Award (hopefully, their first as well!):
3. Nandini Deka -
4. Arumugam Easwar -
6. Bhavya Kaushik -
7. Jaideep Khanduja -
And your questions are:
  1. Describe yourself in less than 10 words.
  2. How did you pick your blog’s name?
  3. Which is the best book you've read recently.
  4. Which is your favourite childhood memory?
  5. Summers or Winters?
  6. What is your all-time favorite quote? (Mine is: If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done!)
  7. When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you do it?
  8. If you were on a deserted island, what 3 items would you want with you?
  9. If you had to get on stage, what would you like to perform - sing or dance?
  10. What’s your favorite post that you've written? (Link, please!)

Happy Blogging! :D
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Ram-Leela: Way to Fall in Love!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela - To be truly honest with you, I had no intention/curiosity to watch this movie but as my Bhaiya-Bhabhi were going, I tagged along. As you know about my past experiences with Ranveer Singh's movies, ever since Lootera I had planned on never watching his movies again. But fate had planned differently and thank god, it did.

Ram-leela, much contrasting to my expectations, turned out to be a real delight. Like all Sanjay Leela Bhansali movies, it was grand with large audiences in the background and big sets - the only difference this time being the colours present in them this time. :P It is a love story based loosely on the famous Shakespeare's novel "Romeo and Juliet". 

I never thought I'll ever be able to say this but Ranveer Singh acted well and better than Deepika Padukone (not that it was tough to beat Deepika in acting). But it is definitely tough to beat her in looks - she looks outstanding in the movie. And I didn't understand one thing - there was such a huge hype about Deepika being insecure about priyanka's item number in the movie - Really? :O I think that particular song was the worst song in the movie and so not required. I guess it was added just for the heck of adding an item number - although Priyanka looked hot in the song, she couldn't beat Deepika's dimpled smile which melts your heart in a second. But Sanjay Bhansali did a great job in getting the best out of Ranveer and Deepika!

The USP of the movie still lies in the songs. Some of its songs are so soothing that I can just sit in quiet and listen to them on a loop. My most favourite one is Lahu munh lag gaya. Apart from it are Tattad Tattad (better known as Ram ji ki chaal dekho) - if you are Ranveer's fan or a perfect abs fan, you can drool over him in this song!, Mohe rang laga de and Nagada sang dhol. Sanjay Bhansali has himself composed the songs of the movie which show the amount of love with which he has made the movie.

This is one of the very few movies which made me cry in a very long time! So, I would give this movie a rating of 4 on 5.

P.S. - The movie has adult content. So go to watch with family at your own risk!
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Smart Suraksha Tips!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Whenever I have to leave for a new place, my parents are always so concerned about my safety. Even in Delhi, when I am coming home late from work, my mom keeps calling me or whatsapping to inquire about my whereabouts! (yeah! She's pretty tech-savvy) But most of the parents have this concern for their daughters residing in Delhi - be they locals or from some other city! The police seems to be taking measures to provide safety, but we have to remain very alert ourselves!

So here are some handy tips for the safety of girls in Delhi city (with a lot of inputs from my Mom):

1. First and foremost, learn self-defence. Even very basic knowledge will help you as it will give you the confidence and you'll not panic as much as you might in the other case.

2. When leaving late from work, keep your family/friends informed of your location. This will help you a lot as there will be someone waiting for you and thus, they will know if you are late for any reason! Also, if you are taking a cab, text them the taxi number.

3. Whenever you are walking on the road, never be so engrossed in your phone as you'll be an easy target for someone to attack you! Always be very attentive while walking on the road.

4. Pepper Spray, chilly powder, anything that makes noise - these are some of the things you should always carry in your bag if you travel late at night or in secluded areas.

5. Don't be easy, fight for yourself. Experts advise that rapists and thieves want an easy target, so if you shout, hit them back, put up a fight - chances are someone might hear you and come to your rescue! Never comply with them under any circumstances - don't beg them to leave you, instead hit them as hard as you can and shout your lungs out!

6. Whenever you plan to go out late in the evening, plan how you will be getting back home. If possible, ask someone to pick you up or drop you back home. Its better than searching for a taxi late in the night.

7. Don't talk to strangers - not even when they look torn and miserable! The problem with girls is they sympathise a lot and there are a lot of people who are waiting out there to take advantage of that! An example of that is the poor lost child moving around with a piece of paper with his "apparent" address on it and asks you to drop him home!

8. If you get to your car in a parking lot and see a flat tire. Go back to the shop/mall/restaurant and ask for assistance. Don't approach your car alone because when you are trying to fix your tire alone, you are in a very vulnerable position. Also, if any guy/girl come to offer help, don't accept it. The security guard at the mall is much more responsible as he can be tracked later whereas a stranger cannot!

9. If a huge van is parked next to your car, get in from the passenger seat! And once you are in your car, don't waste time fiddling with your keys or texting on phone! Just lock the doors and move!

10. Install Smart Suraksha app! It is one such application for Android phones which at the touch of a single button sends your message of help to five pre-chosen contacts on your phone. Another great feature of this app being that along with your message, it also fetches and sends your location to the chosen contacts even if the GPS setting on your phone is switched off. This ensures that at all times you are reachable to your close ones and that your safety is ensured.

Stay Alert! Stay Safe!

I am sharing my Smart Suraksha Tips at in association with Smart Suraksha App.
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Freedom Calling Safety!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

She was beaming with happiness as it was the day she had been waiting for, for the last 3 months impatiently! Riya turned 18 today- an adult! She will now have her driving license (though she'll have to convince dad a thousand times before he lets her take the car alone anywhere), her bank account (no more child accounts), a voter i-card (whom to vote is a secondary issue) and most importantly FREEDOM! The thing she had been waiting for such a long time. 

She had been so jealous of her elder sister, Maya, for past four years. Maya used to narrate about her college, all the fun she had with her friends at the parties, her journey to Goa. Now mom will have to allow her for everything. She'll not have to ask for permission anymore as she wasn't a kid. yes, she'll be back home when all of her friends will. No more caging her up, she got wings today and she'll fly high!

To celebrate her birthday, her friends threw a "surprise party". It wasn't much of a surprise party as she had demanded it weeks in advance. She bought a new dress also for the occasion. The party was over soon but some of her friends planned to go on a long drive in the pleasant breeze of Delhi winter nights. Soon, they stopped at a place near a cool hangout joint to enjoy the view and the guys, Ram and Prasad brought out beer bottles. She had never tried one so she hesitated. Shilpa, her closest friend said, "But this is the time to enjoy life! Now you are an adult!" "Come on, don't be a baby Riya! lets have some fun", Prasad teased her. She is not a baby anymore, she thought, and she didn't wanna be an outcast either! She took the bottle and gulped down some in a hurry. It was bitter but she couldn't say it, no one else was. 

Soon, a bottle turned into two, then three. She was losing her inhibitions, she felt more free, more comfortable. She could do anything right now - she finally got her wings! She wanted the world to know it! She thought of Maya, how jealous she'll be when she hears about how much fun Riya had - she could imagine her jealous pitiful face. Her thoughts were perturbed by her phone ringing. The screen flashed Mom with a very pretty picture of her. She looked at her watch. It was past 10 - her deadline for getting home. She avoided the call, the phone kept on ringing several times. She danced to her ringtone. The freedom was taking its toll.

At 2, the car stopped outside her colony. The main gate was closed so she had to get down and walk her way home. The lane was secluded with dim light but she was walking to the beats of music playing in her head. Suddenly, a voice came from behind, "Hey chammak challo! Kahan chali?" She turned around and saw 4-5 guys walking towards her. She started walking faster, she was still away from her home. She tried calling her friends, but her hands were shivering badly. They started abusing from behind and kept on following her, she tried to run faster but she wasn't in her full senses and the road seemed to be never ending. Finally, they pulled her from behind - one of the guys grabbed her and the other one snatched her phone. The other one slapped her , she tried to shout but the voice didn't support her. She felt herself choking up - this was the end. Mom, dad and Maya's face started revolving in her mind - wish they could be here - right now!

Suddenly, as one of the guys started towards her, she heard loud noises - the voice of her friends. They saw her from a distance and started running towards her to save her. The watchman heard the noises and came to rescue. As so many people gathered, the creeps ran away. She was safe now! She couldn't believe it. She thought this was her end - of life or soul. Ram and Prasad dropped her home. Her parents were waiting at the doorstep - worried. As she saw her mom, she hugged her and started crying. Her mom took her to her room and tucked her in her bed and Maya sat there holding her hand till she went to sleep.

Prasad explained to her parents about what happened. After dropping her, they saw her purse in the car, so they came back to return it to her. Had they not come back, things would have been so different! Riya's world might have collided. They admitted it was their mistake - they shouldn't have made her drink and should have dropped her home on time. Riya also realised that freedom was fine till it was in limits. Her chase to freedom might have cost her her life today! She wasn't wrong just adamant and was being a rebel but against whom was she fighting? Her own family - who were trying to protect her from such an incident! If her friends wouldn't have come to return the purse, who knows what might have happened to her! They all were relieved that she was fine today - that's all that mattered.

But not everybody is that lucky - not everyone's friends might come back to return something! I wish She had Smart Suraksha with her then. She would have felt safe - she could have contacted someone and be assured they will come to rescue her. The Smart Suraksha App is an Android Application that aims at making the women feel safe. This App, at the press of a single button, sends your message of help to five pre-chosen contacts from your contact list. An additional feature of this app is that along with your message for help, it also sends across your location even if the GPS on your cellphone is switched off. I wish anyone in a similar situation will have Smart Suraksha so that what happened with Nirbhaya never gets repeated!

Few lines for Nirbhaya - "Khoob ladi mardani, wo to jhaasi wali raani thi"! RIP Nirbhaya!

I am participating in the Seeking Smart Suraksha contest at in association with Smart Suraksha App.
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Salman Defending Big Brats!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Well, after seeing Bigg Boss Season 7 for so many weeks, I have to admit Salman Khan has lost his status of being unbiased on the show and his place in my heart! :( 
He is of lately defending Armaan Kohli and Tanisha Mukherjee (not openly though). But there are many instances which I can quote when Salman favoured these big brats of rich families - maybe to defend their family name or maybe for personal friendship's sake.

  • The famous Andy-Armaan brawl where Armaan went to the lengths to calling Andy an eunuch. Well Andy's mistake: he "by mistake" replied to something as "tum hoge, tumhare baap hoge". I am not saying that Andy was correct in saying that, but he immediately realised that he made a mistake. However Armaan went on for a long time thoroughly abusing Andy.
      Salman Khan's reaction was to blame housemates that they didn't inform Armaan that Andy felt sorry about saying it. And had they conveyed that to Armaan, he would have cooled down and stopped reacting and abusing. Really? Sher k muh me haath daalne jaata kaun?

  • Last week's Vodafone caller of the week's question: When Armaan didn't save Anita Jee in the nominations and lied to her, then how could he blame Asif of lying about taking his name at the wishing wall?
       Salman again diverted the topic a bit to give Armaan some time to think. Soch le beta, ache se soch. Mere mazaak se thoda hint hi le le :P

  • This week Armaan-Asif clash during gym workout.
Salman advised Asif to walk away or follow Gandhiji's saying of offering a second cheek to slap. Please! I don't even need to explain my point! Please Sallu miya ek baar Armaan ko bhi to daant do na! :'(

  • When Pratyusha openly attacked Tanisha and Armaan in front of all housemates and Salman, she went about for so long with actual instances well prepared, only to get Salman making them watch a recap of 24! 
Well, now this one is more funny than anything else. Poor Pratyusha couldn't even understand (like always) where did her "topic of discussion" fly away! :D

P.S. This is all in good humour! I am a huge Salman Khan's fan and I would really love to see Armaan and Tanisha playing their own game instead of Salman fixing them up!
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Vanity Case Box Giveaway

Monday, October 14, 2013
Yayiiee! My first participation in a giveaway!

The Vanity Case Box has announced an international giveaway on the occasion of its first anniversary. The prizes include:

For the First winner:

  • Lilac square cube, gold leaves chain with complementary lilac cube earrings
  • Bourjois BB Lipgloss 
  • Imari Seduction Purse Concentre
  • L’oreal True Match Blush
  • Colorbar Pout Lip Pot (It’s a new packaging which comes with an inbuilt lip brush!)
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow “Bad to the Bronze”
  • Maybelline New York Color Show Nail Enamel
  • ELF Foundation brush

For the Second Winner:

  • MUA shimmer kisses bronzer
  • MUA Intense kisses lipgloss
  • Owl Earrings
  • Lotus Herbal Nail Paint
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Yummy Pancakes!

Friday, October 11, 2013
Here's a recipe for you to make yummy and delicious pancakes in less than 10 minutes! (Psst! They are healthy too!)

My Doodle recipe is a part of Easy Doodle Recipe contest at in association with
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Never Mind Yaar: Book Review

Friday, September 27, 2013
Never Mind Yaar! That's my philosophy too these days in life! However, this post is not regarding my life's philosophy, it's the title of my fifth book in the First Read Author's Pledge (here's a link of what it means!).

Title : Never Mind Yaar  
Author : K Mathur
Genre: Fiction
Price [INR] : Rs 350
Number of Pages : 214
Publisher : Southpac Publishers Ltd
ISBN : 978-0-473-17480-4

The Story:
When long time friends Binaifer Desai and Louella D’Costa meet Shalini Dayal at Gyan Shakti College, a true friendship that transcends cultural and religious backgrounds is born. Louella is a Christian, Binaifer, a Parsi and Shalini, a Hindu. The novel’s main plotline surrounds Shalini who has fallen for an impetuous student activist, Bhagu. Where does his desire to help the less fortunate lead him? The challenges are many – Shalini’s tradition bound family, the couple’s youth and inexperience and the travails of life in Mumbai, a city the girls love but know, is fraught with communal tension.

About the Author:
Born and brought up in Mumbai, K. Mathur lives with her family in New Zealand. Mathur showcases her unique perspective into her city’s psyche in Never Mind Yaar.

“I’ve always enjoyed my city except when violence has erupted between communities. On the whole people seem to get along fine. We are proud of our own community but accept that others are proud of theirs. The food we eat, the clothes we wear and the languages and dialects we converse in are diverse and most of us say vive la difference. But there’s a handful in every community who are extremely suspicious of those differences.”

“Why is secularism or a different way of doing things such a threat to these people? This issue has disturbed me since the 1980s when I witnessed communal riots in Mumbai. I felt compelled to talk about it in Never Mind Yaar. But first and foremost, the book is a love story and a story of friendship and fun between three young girls from different backgrounds – Hindu, Parsi and Christian – who meet at college.”

The Review:
 Whenever anybody says college, all I can think about is the unlimited fun in the care-free days when one steps out of a formal school life and into the world of the unknowns! Everyone, every thing and every setting seems new, they are provided a whole new platform to discover themselves and make their name to shine out there in beautiful colors. So as soon as I read that this book is about college life, I leaped and hopped at the opportunity to be able to finally lay my hands on it. But to tell you the truth, it didn't live up to my expectations as it couldn't bring back my nostalgic memories and "that" feeling of being the new one in the college.

It is a love story with a political angle (just like Ranjhaannaa) but the magic was a bit lacking. In my opinion, they author tried to put in too many variations of plot in a single book - there was cultural intermingling, a budding romance, and an upcoming political party. For me personally, it was too much to take in as it affected the pace of the book significantly. Also, being set up in Mumbai, it portrayed Mumbai to a large extent but it couldn't capture the essence of college life in the Bollywood city. 

The title has been played beautifully - it is the exact opposite of what the book shows! The 'Never Mind' psychology which almost all college students have is NOT present in the book. On the contrary, the students seemed pretty conscious about what was happening around them, for instance, the students rebelled against the lousy canteen food, and the lovebirds Shalini and Bhagu faced some trials and tribulations in their relationship but even they sorted the issues at hand.

If you want a light read about Mumbai and the college life, you may wanna take this up! (Although slightly overpriced at Rs 350 :P)

I would give this book a rating of 2.5 out of 5. 

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

She looked at him,
all dreamy eyed.
He shot a look,
oh! she could've died!

Just the new love glitters,
she disagreed.
She had her jitters,
and so she beamed.

Days months go by,
love doesn't fade.
When he held her hand,
she knew it stayed.

Counting the years
on her fingers, she said.
It's just been five,
five lifetimes, she prayed.

Happy anniversary my love,
you're worth the wait.
You are my treasure,
my hero, my fate!

He held her in his arms,
"I love you my babe
with you by my side,
there's nothing I can't take"

They say that love
fades away with time.
But I say it beams
as it ages like the wine.

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The Future of Online Shopping

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hey Earth Folks! This is going to be my last post from Earth since I am moving to Mars next week - September 17, 2030! As you all must be aware, Mars One launched an initiative to inhabit people on the red planet. Well well, I couldn't tell you this earlier as I wasn't allowed to! But long back in 2013, when Mars one launched the initiative I was one of the 20,000 people from India that enrolled for the initiative. As the program has been pretty successful and five batches of 6 people each have already established their homes at Mars, so next is my turn!

I am excited but pretty nervous at the same time! Yeah I know the authorities have made arrangements for the basic amenities - food, water, shelter but come on, a girl would be much more worried about the shopping than these stuff! :P Of course I can shop here yaar, but what will I do once I am at Mars! Even thinking about it gives me shivers! But thanks to eBay, half my worries have been taken care of.

Holo - I am thinking of buying him! So adorable! :*

Remember the time, when we used to go out to shop and couldn't trust the online sites because the clothes might not fit you and then you had to return them and get the altered version! Phew! Weird days, dunno how I survived back then! But nowadays, thanks to the cool holography technology hybridized with the shopping sites - I can see the life size 3D image of any object I want at the eBay site - popping right in front of my screen! Now  can stand right next to a sexy top and check if it fits me or not!

Just yesterday I bought a new dress - but the only problem was all the dresses which were of the right length were tighter at the waist (Don't you dare call me fat! :x) But however, after panicking for full two hours and comparing myself by twisting me waist standing next to the dress, I figured out a new feature I wasn't aware of! I could alter it right there just by pinching the holograph short at the knees and expanding right with my fingers at the waist (just like we zoom images in our smartphones!) I actually danced with joy after seeing this!

But that's still not the best part - the best feature is I can mix and match the accessories as well! No I am not talking about the necklace and bangles! I actually switched the bow on my dress in the holograph - wasn't properly pointed at the ends and also changed it from dull polka dots to the bright fluorescent yellow I am in love with these days! :D Just like Iron Man used to change his gadgets on his cool suits on his HUD (Heads Up Display)! Wow, eBay gave me superhero powers at my fingertips! I even checked the price of a similar dress by eBayCheck - I got it for 20% less than "The Vintorsa!" *dancing dancing dancing*

Being a Punjabi, I had the deep urge to flaunt this new convergence of awesome technologies in front of my Mars mates! So I am carrying the eBay 3-D printer with me to the Red Planet so that I can get the dress by 3-D printing within 20 minutes in front of all my new friends! :P I got the latest model of the 3D printer so I can even get it in the fabric of my choice. Cool, isn't it? I so wanna see the look on the face of my new friends when they see my dress being printed there in front of them! :D

This fictional post is a part of The Future of Shopping contest by eBay on IndiBlogger!
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Satyagraha - The Best of Performances!

Sunday, September 1, 2013
Satyagraha is defined by Wikipedia as an insistence ("aagraha") of truth ("satya"). It is a particular philosophy and practice within the broader overall category generally known as nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. Please don't be surprised at me writing these definitions - I really wanted to be sure what the word meant to be able to justify the name of the Ajay Devgan and Amitabh Bachchan starrer Prakash Jha's creation - Satyagraha.

This movie is meant to be seen for some of the best performances by some of the great actors!

The story-line is pretty straight forward in terms of fighting the government against the corruption and scams. It can be said to be loosely resembling the Anna-Kejriwaal scenario that was all over the media in the past. It is about the beliefs of an old man, Amitabh Bachchan, who wants to straighten the system for the help to others. Ajay Devgan, the torch bearer of the "jan aandolan", tries to bring the cause in limelight against all odds. His efforts have been portrayed very beautifully - paying college students for promotions to creating FB pages, and bringing fake support on first day to initiate the incoming people. Kareena Kapoor, an ABP News reporter is in their side along with Amrita Rao who plays Amitabh's daughter-in-law.

Amitabh Bachchan's screen presence as usual makes other actors disappear and stays in focus as long as he is in the scene. Ajay Devgan, who has gained a lot of weight, was an angry young man with strong beliefs - a lot like Gangaajal. Kareena looks so gorgeous even in such a non-glam role - makes me adore her even more! However, the two actors who won my heart with their performance are Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpayee. Manoj Bajpayee is the politician everybody is fighting against - yet I couldn't hate him even for a second. I loved one of his lines, " Har politician itni mehnet karta hai elections me taaki paanch saal k liye select hoe aur jee bhar k kama paye. Koi aam aadmi usse ye haq nhi cheen sakta." 

Arjun Rampal who played the part of a young budding politician looked so apt in the role as if it was real - it was one of his finest performances. He had his own unique charm and a strong personality - made me fall in love with him! I lost my heart to him as soon as he entered with a rifle in his hand - No he isn't a villain but even if he was, he would have made for the most handsome villain in the history of Bollywood! *blinded by love*

The songs are pretty catchy, like Janta rocks! and Satyagraha - title song. It also has a romantic number Saanwariya - Raske Bhare Thore Naina in which Kareena apparently declined giving any intimate shots. So the director placed a fake movie kiss to fool the audience! :P However, the title track won my heart, thus leaving the link with you.

I would rate this movie a 4.1 out of 5 stars! Do watch it for an awesome experience :D

P.S. The movie has one or two very violent scenes including a large amount of blood and stuff. Close your eyes then but don't miss the movie! :D

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His Scent

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sitting by the window with brewing coffee in a hand and half-read book in another, she looked out the window. The bright sunny afternoon had suddenly turned dark with flashes of lightning. "It's going to pour heavily today", she thought while tying her hair in a messy bun. Rain had always been close to her heart as its smell brought back the rarely visited scenes from her memory.

Rain played its charm today as well - her mind wandered to the day when she first saw him. He was drenched in rain from head to toe but still tried to protect his tightly held folder. His deep set eyes, the innocent look on his face but a mischievous smile, the familiarity it had, the charm he possessed and the warmth of his touch were still fresh in her mind since they had first collided. "Sorry", he said collecting his things which had fallen on the railway platform while she stood there mesmerized by his boyish charm. It felt as if she skipped a heartbeat. "Its alright", she tried to say but the words stuck to her lips.

He ran away to catch his train but his scent lingered on for long in her breath and his face in her memory. She moved on as well but time and again, the scent of the rains brought back his scent and that face again.

She could melt in that scent and never come out of her little cocoon of that moment on the platform. Suddenly a tap on the shoulder forced her out of that cocoon and brought her back to reality but that face remained- it just melted from her thoughts into reality. However, it looked a bit older, way older because that boyish charm had gone and the years left a mark there but his mischievous smile had retained. With the same charming smile he said, "Could I get a cup of tea darling?" She got up abruptly trying to hide her blush.  Even after 25 years of marriage, he could make her heart skip a beat!

This post is a part of Smelly to Smiley contest organised by Ambi Pur at IndiBlogger
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Chennai express: Review!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Being a die hard SRK fan, I never thought I could ever say this, but "This SRK movie was a one-time watch!". Yeah yeah, I know, its Shahrukh Khan after all but I have to say the truth. If you want to go watch the movie for the story or concept, you may easily skip this one but if you wanna go just for SRK, you are in for a delight! 'Coz he is back as Rahul with scenes and dialogues reminding you of DDLJ, Dil to Pagal Hai and a lot many SRK movies in the last decades. And surprisingly, he is looking much younger than he did in most of these movies! :P

But I have to say one thing - this movie isn't as bad as everyone is claiming these days - it doesn't stand up to an SRK movie but its a decent one. I may describe it as a perfect blend of Rohit Shetty and SRK's kinds of work - so its a mindless comedy with pieces of romance. The romance, however, was too deep and intense, even for Shahrukh. The surprise element was Deepika padukone - apart from her horribly fake accent! :P

As the Furobiker rightly mentioned, the scene in which Shahrukh carried Deepika on a 300-stair temples was too emotional and deep on so many levels. It was my fav scene in the whole movie. Also, the humor was well put - you know there's no logic but you will laugh uncontrollably. It was Shahrukh's best attempt at humor.

The movie has flaws as well - firstly, when the gundas threw the TT out of the train, then why did they carry Shahrukh with them till their village? They could have easily thrown him out as well along with his Rs 35000 Nokia phone :P The other problems is he tried to portray South-India till the T which is very good but it just becomes too tough sometimes for us to understand! Sub-titles and a bit more of Bollywood touch would have been very helpful!

The TRP of the movie lies in SRK, the Rajnikant song "thalaiva" also known as the Lungi song, a large portion of Tamil scenes, the beautiful locations and some of the songs. "One two three four - get on the dance floor" is such a catchy song and also the "Chennai aai aai aai aai Chennai Express" is already my ringtone :P However, the best one is "tera rasta choduu na".

I would give this movie a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

Here's a the sweet song for you. - Must Listen!

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The Perfect Road Trip!

Saturday, July 20, 2013
We all undertake a lot of trips in life- from the daily travelling between home and workplace to the short trips to friends and relatives, but everyone has one perfect trip in mind. The "one" they will go on one day - well to be honest, I have four of these "the one" :P

Yeah yeah I am a bit greedy, but well, I have my own idea of a perfect trip by each of the modes- so one I will go to my dreamland (by air), another is to take a cruise trip, the third and fourth are both road trips but the mode is different. The third is a bike trip to Ladakh (every one's dream I know) and the last is what I am gonna describe right here, right now!

The most important part of planning a trip - any guesses? The luggage, itinerary, clothing, food arrangement, accommodation? All wrong! The most important part of a trip is your company - and visit to even the most boring places can be fun if you have the right company - FRIENDS
Yeah we do look like this when there is
something to eat in front of us :P

Of course, convincing all of them to firstly take the trip is a major task in itself but what follows is even worse - The location! As all my friends are idiots just like me, so we all stuck on different places- yeah yeah everybody has a dream these days! PHEW! One wanted Jaipur, the other one wanted the golden quadrilateral (connecting all the metros), the third had a dream suddenly - and that too copied- the golden triangle! LOL! Where's the innovation in that? You just turned the quadrilateral into triangle, chor! 

Anyway, as adamant as I am, I convinced them for my trip idea- wait wait, before I tell you all about it, lets decide the mode we will use! Another discussion ensues! I had one in mind but no one agreed, don't know why! :( 

You tell me if you like the idea, I'll go with you then ;)

So, knowing how bad choice my friends have, I have decided I'll plan this perfect trip of mine all by myself! And obviously no one will follow what I decide but that's the fun, isn't it? So here's my plan: Delhi-Shimla-Kufri-Narkanda-Shimla-Chandigarh-Delhi during the winters because Shimla, Kufri and Narkanda are like heaven during the snowfall. See problem solved! :P Now the car: I would love to go in Range Rover (Already in love with it ;) )
See for yourself

Range Rover- The perfect car for Perfect Trip!

Now here's the itinerary: (with slide shows - so look carefully at the slide shows or you might miss some very beautiful views)

Day 1 : Delhi to Shimla via Murthal (GT road-366 km)

We will leave early morning on Day 1 from Delhi for Shimla but it has to be via Murthal! If you haven't tasted paranthas in Murthal dhaba, you are really missing out on a lot in life! After eating the yum 10-20 paranthas, we will proceed for our journey to Shimla. Our Range Rover will move on the GT Karnal Road like the butter on our paranthas! The total distance to Shimla is 370 km which will require approximately 6 hours in our beast. 

The scent of the nature intermingled with the Ambi Pur in our car will leave us elated and grasped in the moments of never-ending memories. I would love to try the toy-train ride for some distance. I tried it when I was a kid and I would definitely like to relive that joy again. After covering the long road-trip, clicking pictures, sleeping, fighting, we will reach Shimla just in time for our lunch.

Majorly there are 4 locations in Shimla that I would love to visit:
1. The Ridge: It is the heart of the city - this road runs east to west alongside the Mall Road, and joins to lakkar Bazaar - the woods craft market. Also it is beautifully decorated during the winters for Christmas and New year's eve. 

2. Christ's Church - It is the second oldest church in North India which lied on the Ridge Road. It was built in the neo-Gothic Style during Britisher's rule in India.

3. Jakhu Temple - It has a large idol of Hanuman ji which is situated at the height of 8000 feet

4. Viceregal lodge aka Rashtrapati Niwas - It was the house of British Viceroy of India. Now it has been converted to the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. It is so beautifully built that it deserves a visit however short possible!

After the sight-seeing for the day, we will go to sleep after a bonfire night with the series of made-up personal experiences with ghosts!

Day 2: Shimla-kufri-narkanda (NH 22, 65km) 

On our second day, after morning walk on the steep roads of Shimla and breakfast, we will leave for Kufri. Kufri has 3 attractions- 

1. Indira Tourist park

2. Zoological park

3. Mahasu peak

The first two have to be included for my professional knowledge (I am an environmentalist :P) after which comes fun time - the snowball game. We will almost kill each other with balls of snow, make a snowman, get lots of pictures clicked. It will be second most-fav part of the trip. Stop wondering about the most-fav part, I'll come to it in a little while. 

Anyway, we will have to leave early to reach Narkanda in time. It will require approximately an hour or so in our Range Rover. I am pretty sure after the tiring snow-fights, I'll fall asleep due to the soothing and pleasant scent of Ambi Pur in our car. :D *already dreaming*

Here comes my most-fav part- Narkanda has, apart from the silent and serene Agyaat Vaas, arrangements for Skiing. If you don't believe me, Google it - people go up to Narkanda specially for Skiing. As I have zero knowledge and experience in skiing, I am bound to become the laughing stock for my friends - but I so have to try it! So looking forward to it! *Jumping and dancing with joy*

After the tiresome day filled with snow and memories, we will drive back to Shimla, and take a midnight stroll on the Mall Road - Being a girl, I cannot return from a place without shopping yaar! Good night for today, see you tomorrow! :D

Day 3: Shimla-Chandigarh via Pinjore (SH 16 and NH 22, 124 km)
The drive from Shimla to Chandigarh isn't that long - it requires approx 2.5 hours or maybe lesser if we can leave early in the morning.As we will leave via Pinjore, a short stay at Pinjore Gardens is a must - they have terraced gardens with lots of fountains. Also they have Mughal style Shish Mahal (made from glasses), Rang Mahal (made from vibrant colors), etc.

Our next stop will be Chandigarh:

1. Rock Garden - Do I really have to describe the rock gardens for you? It is so famous for the sculptures it has which have been made from recycled ceramics. The other sculptures are all made from waste or recycled materials like bottles, pieces of glass, bangles, electrical waste (see in the slide show above). They were all made by Nek Chand. This place also has artificial waterfall - hot spot for photography! 

2. Sukhna Lake - It is an artificial lake built in Chandigarh and is mostly rain-fed. After snow-fights and skiing, a bit of boating would be like icing on cake, isn't it?

3. Open hand Monument - It is a sign of peace and reconciliation. It was built by Le Corbusier and shows hat it open to receive and give ideas - people believe he was depicting his own personality in it. 

4. Sec 17 Market - It has been made famous by Honey Singh songs. It has been so hyped that I have to visit it once and maybe I'll too get something great from it.

5. Leisure Valley - for lazy people like us to be captivated in its beauty and be lost. 

Day 4: Chandigarh to Delhi via Murthal (GT road, 260 km) 

Finally the day to come back home - watching the serene silent beauty of Narkanda Agyaat Vaas, snowfall, skiing, boating, rock garden - so much in a trip that too with friends - I bet it will be the most memorable trips of all time! And yes, how can I forget - my Murthal k Paranthe- on the way back too! :D

The post is a part of Ambipur Contest at IndiBlogger.
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Lootera - worst choice!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I have been dying to watch Raanjhanaa - the Kolaveri Di guy starrer :P Yes, everybody has been talking about how romantic the movie is, unrequited love! I wanna see Dhanush in a Banarasi role, the pretty Sonam Kapoor and the much talked about Abhay Deol! But as they say movie movie pe likha hai dekhne wale ka naam, I haven't been able to watch it till date! :'(

The last weekend I planned to watch it, I couldn't find a decent seat (excluding the first two rows and corner seats for obvious reasons) for both the days in any movie halls near my place. SO I ended up watching Fuk-Fuk-Fukreyyyy! Fukrey- the movie about the Delhiites as my non-Delhiites friends described it- was a good timepass. Obviously no major storyline but the acting of these new guys made up for it, pretty much. The highlight was a guy named Chucha - the best character in the movie! :D The movie is slow in the first half, but picks up the pace in second half and so fun!  

Talking of slow reminds of the worst two and a half hour spent in a movie hall - Lootera! The same happened this weekend and I decided to watch Lootera -  a decision I will regret for a mjority of my life! I am still in a state of shock! how could anyone make a movie like that! It was set up in the backdrop of 1950s, yet I can bet the people in those times would have been faster than the movie! The other problem I have is with the cast - Ranveer Singh looks like a DU dropout, not a sincere guy they "tried" to portray him in the movie. And Sonakshi - well I rather not get started on her. But in my opinion, choosing a better cast could have given the movie a better position than it is in right now!

I will not kill your "fun" by revealing any of the story, but I have to tell you the end is the worst part of the movie. You'll literally be surprised that it actually ended just like that! and yet it'll be the happiest time of the movie for you in the complete two and a half hours! :D

I cannot give the movie a rating of more than 1.5 out of 5 stars! A detailed review about the movie will be provided by The Furobiker very soon! :D

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My Stroke Of Luck: Alphabet to Author

Sunday, July 7, 2013
Life has been pretty busy these days - chilling! :P I have seen a lot of movies in the past few days, read a book and slept! - all in this weekend. And the day is still left! :D Well I will talk about the movies part later but here's my fourth book in First Read Authors Pledge - My Stroke with Luck. It's actually pretty interesting to read new authors as everyone has touched upon a different genre. This book talks about a man's emotional and physical journey from his stroke to his full recovery.

Buy My Stroke of Luck from

Now this is the first book where I cannot reveal much details about the story to you. In a jist, it's the story of a common man who like all of us ignore's the body's warning signs till they take over and leave us in the worst of conditions. This man suffers a stroke which affects his left part of the brain and thus the right body (arms, hands, legs). This also affects his mental abilities, his speech, his vocabulary - almost all the essential things in life. But his will power and determination leads him to a path of success.

He had so much will-power that he had to learn from the basics - alphabets, numbers, everything - and yet post stroke he has managed to write two books before this one! That surely deserves a standing applause! Hats off man! *Respect*

About the author:
Vijay Santhanam was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He is graduated from the University of Roorkee – now Indian Institute of technology (IIT), Roorkee – in 1986 and the IIM – Ahmedabad in 1988. His 21 years of corporate career included senior marketing roles with Procter and Gamble and BP. Having Planned for, and happily taken, early retirement from corporate life, Vijay is now able to pursue his passions more fully – writing, teaching, following sports and other interest. His published books include (co-authored with Shyam Balasubramanian). If Cricket is a Religion, Sachin is God in 2009 and The Business of Cricket: The story of Sports Marketing in India in 2011. Vijay is also a visiting professor at IIM-A and IIM-Lucknow. He is currently based in Singapore.

In my opinion, apart from his motivational journey, this book can also act as a rule-book for people who have suffered a stroke and their relatives. It not only talks about his success and failures during the course of recovery, it also emphasizes on how the patient felt at all times, what he expected of people and what he didn't. His wife, a strong character, very patiently and maturely handles his situation by supporting him yet not treating him like a child who cannot manage anything on his own. 

There are a lots of parts in the book which I really liked - like the time when he goes to his home on a one-day visit in between his therapies, his interaction with his son which didn't require much words but was still heart touching.

I would recommend people to read this book to know what will power id, and how effective it is. If this guy also spent his life cursing destiny and God and asking questions like Why Me, he wouldn't have achieved as much as he did in the past couple of years. He is leading a pretty much normal life now - which is remarkable in itself.

I would give this book a rating of 4 out of 5. In its own genre, it is pretty remarkable.

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

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