Thursday, 2 March 2017

Photo a Day Month 2017

Accomplished what I thought would be impossible this year. 30 pictures in the month of February. I think it went relatively well. 
Photo a Day Month 2017- 30/30


 Hoot Hoot

 Bygone

 Temple structures

 Holy fire

 Village

 Pastures of green.

 Keep Calm and Bliss

 Cacti Spread

 Not in a park

 Shaniwar wada (fort)

 A walk

 Tunnels with forgotten stories

 Shaniwar wada

 Door

 At work

 Ganeshas on swings

 Chocolate on Toast

 What...?

 The Taj, Mumbai

 Gateway of India, Mumbai

 Sail 

 Filler

 Temple

 Celestial

 History drenched in dusk


  Decoding the grape

 Underwater

 Rainbow diluted in eyes

 Sunrise

Evening silhouettes.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Monday, 2 January 2017

Favorite books of 2016



2016 had been an exceptionally good year for books. I discovered (largely thanks to the Popsugar Reading Challenge) some amazing titles that left me reeling for weeks. I’ve compiled in a list of 9 my favorite books of 2016.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse


I would tout this title as the “books to read before you die”.  Few books change the way one sees the world, few books are powerful enough to turn your head upside down and throw you down a unique spiritual road. Siddhartha is one of those.  It is a seminal piece of work that will redefine wisdom as something that cannot be handed down by another but which needs to be discovered and experienced by oneself.


The Complete Maus (Maus #1-2) by Art Spiegelman


I began the book with only the knowledge that it was a Holocaust story but what I read went beyond that. It was a story within a story. The story of a strained father-son relationship running tandem with the father's recollection of his experience during the Holocaust. What sets it apart for me if the depiction of the Jews as mice and the Nazi as cats and the Poles as pigs. Somehow this makes it more powerful and believable. Maus is a book about relations, memories of the past, how those memories make you and affect you, it is a book of love, the will to live and keep fighting. It is a book bound to stay with you. This was one hell of a book to initiate me into graphic novels.

P.S. In 1992 it became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

"That seemed to be the nature of boons given to women - they were handed to us like presents we had not quite wanted."

The retelling of the epic tale of Mahabaratha from the point of view of Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandavas. It is less about the Kurukshetra War and more of the story of Panchali, a fiery woman with a wild heart, held back from the world by a male dominated society. She repeatedly questions the chauvinism and in her own means also tries to rise above it.
What is beautiful and sad about this narrative is the boundless love between Krishna and Panchali, the lack of the same acceptance from her own husbands. All my grandmother’s advice comes with a story and she always told me the story of Draupadi with the caution to never be hot headed, to not be arrogant and to think twice before you say anything. My grandmother liked to say, “if Draupadi only held back her words during the swayamvaram(a practice of choosing a husband, from among a list of suitors, by a girl of marriageable age), the great war could have well been avoided.”  
The Palace of Illusions is an argument to my grandmother’s idea of Draupadi. It dwells into the heart of a woman and what motivates her actions.


Lord of Flies by William Golding

I had goosebumps reading this book. It is the story of a group of English school boys who are stranded on a uninhabited island after a plane crash and their slow transformation to savagery as the recklessness of freedom and the wildness of nature takes over them. This is not a story for the faint of heart for it dwells on dark issues.The human nature is inherently corrupt and all it needs is a spark to let loose its barbarisms. When I got to the last page, my heart of hammering against my chest.That is how terrifying this book is.
Similarly was Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad which is also an allegory for the deprivation of human existence.  It deals with race, death and colonization.
The last book I read in 2016 was Animal Farm by George Orwell which is a satire on the Soviet Communist system and gave me strong Lord of Flies vibes. 



The Trial by Franz Kafka

 “Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, The Trial has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers.”
 Kafka’s The Trial is an allegory of the world we live in. It is a dark comedy revolving around the complexity of the legal process and bureaucracy and the common man’s perception of what is lying within the folds of the same. Of his acceptance of the absurd because he does not understand it. This is a haunting book bound to leave you with numerous questions.






Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides


“I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.”

Middlesex is a story of a hermaphrodite named Callie and her transformation from Callie to Cal. This book is a journey spanning over three generations of the Stephanides (Greek) family and how the incestuous behavior of his ancestors plant the genetic variation in Cal’s seed. The novel is epic in its details. The amount of research gone into it is immense for each sentence reveals a fact of not only the protagonist but also the general world. The book is a whopping 529 pages but at the end you will ask for more.


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal and this book only reinforced the view. She is funny, insane, and absolutely unstoppable. She reminds me to never cease being myself even though it is not the best thing to be in certain situation. 












Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

As a piece of fiction I immensely enjoyed it, the world of Japanese culture and the traditions of a Geisha were extremely fascinating. What I really loved about the book  (I was hesitant to trust the depiction of the culture itself as it was written by an American)was the story of the Chiyo. The story of her struggles in the Geisha world, and how she rose to become one of the most famed persons in her trade. The writing is beautiful and lyrical and you are with Chiyo all the way, that is what made me love this book. 




Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan
Sounds like a chick lit? Because it is. But I loved it. I loved the underlying themes, the language, the romance, the plot on the whole.  It will make you laugh, what better recipe than that and fine language for a good read?


List of Books of 2016


What book did you discover in 2016?

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Harry.






Harry when my brother first got him home.
Things happen and we don’t always welcome it. We do not understand why something happened at some date, why things had to be changed and something had to disappear. We do not understand fate. We do not understand death. Because death is a change we wish didn’t happen.  Death of someone close is death of a piece of our soul. We have no protection against this lose. We have no way to fight it.
Harry, my little brother, my pet cat died a couple of days back. He had been missing for a few days and I couldn’t find him even after searching for him. I had kept my fingers crossed for his return. And then they found him, dead.

Maybe it was not really Harry that died, maybe it was a different similar looking cat and Harry was going to turn up the same day. That was what I told myself. Until I realized he wasn’t coming back and I mourned him.

I miss Harry. He was my little person, my little cat who went round and round my feet until I picked him up and scratched his ears or rubbed his tummy. He had the most beautiful eyes. So full of pure trust in his family. The first time he climbed up a place he didn’t know a way down, he cried until I came and got him to ground. When he went missing once before and fell down a ditch, he cried out when he heard my voice whistling for him. He trusted us to find him. And I couldn’t find him this time. I wish I could tell him how sorry I am, now much Sansa his sister misses him.
The last picture I took of him.
People tell him he is in a better place. I hope that is true. That he is in a world where there is lot of cat food and many rats to chase. And that there is someone to reprimand him when he brings home a dead rat yet tell him how proud they are of him for having caught one. He will remember me then and not forget he had us. That he has a family that loves him.
Harry was my very favorite, and with these words I honor his memory. I love you, little Harry. Thank you for your meows. They will forever echo in my world.

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