Friday, 5 September 2014

Randomness Personified :P

So, it has been almost two months since I have started a new phase in my life. And I am really loving this. Its a random post on what's happening around life. So finally I have lived through 2 months of MBA, which by the way is very big deal. Okay and right know I am in a super frustrated mode that's why here comes my first rant post :p

  • What's wrong with Chandigarh's mausam. I mean every year I use to crib that its raining here but not at my place but this time it is completely opposite!!! Yes Rain Gods have transferred their loyalty to my hometown. And that's what we call cheating :(
  • Why are people(okay girls!!) so overdressed here or am I turning into a grandma??
  • Does MBA only means loads of lectures,projects and endless assignments. Really from last two months I seem to be doing these things only. My social life has gone for a toss() and lets not talk about reading please!!
  • Why do people judge you on every single step you take??? If I don't wanna go party that doesn't mean I am boring, it just means that I don't feel like partying as simple as that!!!
  • I hate getting up in the morning these days and who will not if you are living on just 3 hours sleep every night. And my alarm clock is on the top of my hit list,sigh!!!
  • And still this 3 hour sleep seems luxury to our profs and they keep nazar lagaying to it by saying oh you young folks don't need to sleep more than 2 hours. And that is the case when we attend classes from 8 to 5 and then try to lessen ever increasing burden of assignments till wee hours of mornings.What are we robots??
  • Apart from all these things I have found something that I absolutely love.Punjab University has this huge library filled with loads of literature but sadly I don't get enough time to read nowadays :(

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Book Review: And The Mountains Echoed by Khaleed Hosseini

Title: And The Mountains Echoed
Author: Khaleed Hosseini
Genre: Adult Fiction   

Goodreads Blurb: 
In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. 

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

My Views: So this book has been on my To-Be Read list for a long time. I have read and loved the other two books by Khaleed Hosseini to an extent that I didn't wanted them to  end. And that's why I have expected same from this one too. But to be very frank I am disappointed. I don't know if the story line or the characters or the writing style but something was off. 

   This book follows the life of several people and keep skipping between them, for me that was quite annoying factor as it sometimes break the flow of story. Among various stories that this books depicts I loved story of Pari and Abdullah, especially the way their childhood is described. 

       I so wanted this entire book about them and their families only. I wanted to know more about how Abdullah cope up wit the sudden absence of her sister whom he loved so much. How little Pari lived and slowly slowly forgotten the memory of her brother.

Even though all the characters are well written but some of them seemed forced to me like Bashiri cousins, I mean dedicating a whole chapter for them didn't go down well with me. And that's why story somehow dragged in the middle.

May be I would have liked the book more if this was not coming from one of my favorite authors. May be I should have read this one without  comparing it to the greatness of previous ones.

Favourite Quotes:
  • “They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.” 
  • “It's a funny thing... but people mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really, what guides them is what they're afraid of. What they don't want.” 
  • “A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.” 
  • “All good things in life are fragile and easily lost” 
My Ratings: 3 out of 5.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Books I have read this year till now!!!

I can't believe we are already half way through the year. Why is this year flying so soon??This has been a really busy year till now and reading has certainly taken a back seat but still I managed to read some good books and hoping to read many more!!! 

Although I am way behind my Goodreads challenge(31 out of 75 books i.e 11 books behind) but still reading 30 books in 6 okay almost 7 months is huge for me. So I thought of compiling all my reading till now in a list. So here is the list:

  • Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (only classic that I've read this year till now)
  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaleed Housseini (review coming soon)
  • Handle with care by Jodi Picoult
  • If you could see me now by Cecelia Ahern
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows(Re read)
  • The Gift by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Illicit Happiness of Other People by Manju Joseph (review coming soon hopefully)
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince(Re read)
  • The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (Review Here)
  • The Book Of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern 
  • Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix(Re read)
  • The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Review pending from long time)
  • Truly Madly Deeply by Faraaz Kazi
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Re read)
  • Sita by Devdutt Patnaik
  • The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Review Here)
  • Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (Re read)
  • Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets (Re read)
  • The Night Train at Deoli by Ruskin Bond
  • Room by Emma Donoghue (Review Here)
  • Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (Re Read)
  • Thanks For The Memories by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Friends in Small Places by Ruskin Bond
  • The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  • My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • Last Man in the Tower by Arvind Adiga
  • Inferno by Dan Brown
  • Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
So these are the books that I have read this year till now. I hope to read much more in the remaining year :) :)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Living a new life!!!!!


So it has been fifteen whole days since I started my new college and a completely new life in hostel. And I will say just one thing its awesome. I am totally loving my classes, subjects and oh yes the mighty assignments and presentations. I know that its just starting and I am going to start cribbing about the same things soon but right now I enjoying being a student again.

Before coming here I was little skeptical about living in a hostel. As this is the first time I am living away from home I was like how am I going to manage. Being lived in a very protective environment in a small city whole my life it was even more difficult for me. But I must say that I adjusted pretty soon to this environment.

Another thing that was of my constant worry was that I hardly make new friends. I never had a large friend circle, just have 4-5 friends all my life. Its not like as if am introvert, just that I take some time to open up. But here I met some really nice people and gelled with them easily and voila!! I have some really nice friends. 

Talking about living in a hostel its not that bad as I have thought about. I am slowly getting accustomed to it. But still sometimes holding a bucket in a line feels weird and all these 'keedas' are making my life more difficult. But what is a life without some struggles na.

So that's why I am just taking life here as its comes and trying to enjoy it to the fullest. Okay time for assignments see you soon. 


Saturday, 5 July 2014

My First Award Yayyyy!!!!


Yipeee its time for celebrations.Yes I have been nominated for my first blogger award "The Leibster Award" by Satya from Locomente.


Thanks a lot Satya for considering me worthy of the award. Since I am relatively new to the blogging world, it came as a really sweet surprise. It really feels nice that somebody likes my amateur writing. I am really sorry for not being prompt as right now I am busy preparing for shifting in hostel.

Now about rules and regulations of the leibster award:

1. Thank the person who has nominated you and post a link of their blog on your blog.
2. Display the award on your blog- by including it in your post or displaying it using a widget.
3. Answer 11 questions about yourself provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 1000 followers.
6. Create a new list of questions for your nominees.
7. List these rules in your post.
8. After publishing it, inform the nominees that they are nominated for The Leibster Award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

So here are my answers:

1. Story behind your blog name?
As everyone knows by now that I am big Harry Potter fan and Wingardium Leviosa is associated with one of my favorite scenes.

2. Your favorite book and why?
Harry Potter series because its really magical.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaleed Housseini because it shows emotions beautifully.

3. Favorite color?
White for its simplicity and blue for its serenity.

4. As a child what you wanted to be when you grew up?
    Night sky and stars had always fascinated me and I wanted to be an astronaut.

5. Your dream holiday destination?
    Can I say Harry Potter Theme Park, London :P

6. Coke or Pepsi?
    Frooti anyday.

7. Facebook or Twitter?
    Reading :)

8. Your mother tongue?

9. Favorite Quote?
" It's our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Albus Dumbledore.

10. Your Birthday?
      11th July.

11. Favorite number and why?
    2 and I really don't know why.

11 random facts about myself:

1. I am a loner.
2. I don't make new friends easily.
3. I am really messy and unorganized.
4. I prefer reading over partying anyday.
5. I am a day dreamer.
6. I don't like chocolates much but love ice creams.
7. I prefer mom-made food over any exotic dishes.
8. I hate dogs and lizards.
9. I hate money-minded people.

10. I feel uncomfortable in over-cleaned spaces. I like cozy spaces.
11. I have left-feet and can't dance to save my life.

I nominate:
1. Ashna Banga
2. Pooja T
3. Shonazee
4. SrishTi
5. Srishti Grover

My Questions for nominees:

1. Your favorite book and why?
2. One movie/book that you can read/watch any number of times?
3. Your favorite comfort food?
4. Your favorite cartoon character?
5. Your one guilty pleasure?
6. One thing that you absolutely hate?
7. Why did you started blogging?
8. Your dream holiday destination?
9. One thing that you want to change in yourself?
10. Most embarrassing thing you ever did?
11. Your favorite quote?

If hope you guys have fun answering these questions :)

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Book Review: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Historical Fiction                                            

Goodreads Blurb: Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses...and then he confesses his darkest secret—he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who's committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And most of all—if Sage even considers his request—is it murder, or justice?

My Views: This book deals with not just one, but two big issues, holocaust and forgiveness. When you pick up such issues, sometimes it is difficult to balance them. Also writing historical fiction is not easy, but Jodi Picoult has woven a very compelling tale.  My knowledge about holocaust was really limited and while picking this book I was not sure what to expect from it. But the way Jodi Picoult has written this beautiful tale is really impressive. 

t is not easy to forgive even the simplest things, then how can you forgive someone who has done such a horrendous crime. Reading the story of Minka makes you feel nauseated, saddened and horrified at the same time. It is really hard to imagine that some people can be so ruthless. And the most saddening is the plight of survivors who live their whole life with those deep scars.

There are too many stories running, but they are so beautifully woven together that you never feel like putting the book down. There are times when I felt like 'no this has never happened in real' but there are survivors for telling the truth.

The only thing that I didn't like was the ending of the book. I think if you have read Jodi Picoult's book, then it comes as something expected. Yet the book is a must read.

 For me this book was a wonderful read,though painful at times, especially when the horrors of Holocaust were described  but still worth it. I will recommend it to others too. In my opinion it is a must read.

Favourite Quotes: 

  • History isn't about dates and places and wars. It's about the people who fill the spaces between them.
  • Good people are good people; religion has nothing to do with it. 
  • That's why we read fiction, isn't it? To remind us that whatever we suffer, we're not the only ones?
  • People have to experience things that terrify them. If they don't, how will they ever come to appreciate safety?

My Rating: 5 out of 5 a must read.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Things I learned from Harry Potter :)

If you are reading this then by now you know that I am a Harry Potter fan. No, the word 'fan' would be an understatement, I would say that I am literally Harry Potter obsessed. I have read the whole series by almost 75 times till now and I am currently re-reading it :P

Also, I have watched all movies numerous times. I know movies are not perfect when compared to books of the series, but movies give a face to all my favorite characters by which I can connect to them.
      Some of the best things about this series is that they gave me some of the best life lessons throughout my growing years. So here is a list of some of the things that I learned from Harry Potter:

1. It's perfectly okay to be different. The thing that is more important is to be yourself :)                                               

2. Rules are there to be broken. Okay, not always but most of the times!!!                           

3. Love is the most powerful magic.                       

4. Family always comes first :)                       

5. It's perfectly okay to miss exams. After all, they are just exams.                     

6. Friendship can pull you out of the darkest moments of your life.                             

7. There is no post on sundays           

8. It's nice to be curious about unknown things.                                               

9. There are things that are worse than getting killed may be getting expelled!!!                           

10. Sometimes friendship just strikes in a moment :)                                         

11. Sometimes all you need is a good laughter.                                               

12. Mom is always right.                        

13. Life without imagination is a dull place.                                                     

14. In the end, no career is worth sacrificing your family.                                   

15. Wherever you go, home will always remain home :)                                     

Anyway, the list is endless but that's it for now :). So be happy and                                              
Pics courtesy: GooglePinterest

Saturday, 7 June 2014

My summer love!!!

Okay, first thing first this heat is killing me, I mean literally every time I step out it feels like standing in the middle of a volcano (If I can still feel anything after that!!). But even if it feels like I will soon be drowning in my own sweat(yucks), I still love summers. Oh yes!! and the only reason for this is Watermelons.
      I am a fruity person (if something like that exists), I love almost every fruit, but there is a special place for watermelons. Mostly everyone in summers waits for mangoes but not me. It's not that I don't like mangoes I love them, but watermelon hold a special place in my heart. Every time I saw a roadside vendor selling them my eyes start shining. I can have watermelon three times a day. And that too without any regret of not doing any exercise and hogging too much.

When you come home after spending a whole day in scorching heat, eating a chilled watermelon is the best way to refresh yourself. These days I am enjoying these ruby red pieces to the fullest.
But this love affair was not always the case. There was a time I used to hate this delicacy just because I used to think that its really messy to eat with all those seeds spilling out from every piece. But then daddy dearest came to my rescue and shown me the perfect way to spit seeds in between teeth. I'm telling you this is the best way to enjoy watermelon but don't let your mom see the mess you create.

So what are you waiting for, go enjoy this little piece of heaven and let me enjoy mine.

            Happy Summers :)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Post Great Election Tamasha!!!


So here ends The Great Indian Election Circus and what a superb ending it is with lots of emotion drama celebrations and also disappointments. I guess everybody had expected the same results also. Finally, we can take a break from all these Modi and Rahul jokes. But what next, I mean what is going to change by the change in government.

Pic Courtesy: Google

Will the new government be able to change the sad plight of women in the country? Or be able to provide youngsters a secure future? Will soon to be prime minister be able to prevent corruption? Are problems like female foeticide and child abuse going to national issues or not? Or as always all these problems will be ignored royally.

May be I sound like a person who can't see any positivity in a situation, but I don't know what to expect from NaMo. India for the first has voted for a change and I really hope that changes happen. Wishing for a bright future of  India!!!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Book Review- The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri



Author: Jhumpa Lahiri               
Genre: Literary Fiction

Goodreads Blurb: Two brothers bound by tragedy; a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past; a country torn by revolution. A powerful new novel--set in both India and America--that explores the price of idealism and a love that can last long past death.

Growing up in Calcutta, born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead of them. It is the 1960s, and Udayan--charismatic and impulsive--finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty: he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother's political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.

But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family's home, he comes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind--including those seared in the heart of his brother's wife.

Suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland expands the range of one of our most dazzling storytellers, seamlessly interweaving the historical and the personal across generations and geographies. This masterly novel of fate and will, exile and return, is a tour de force and an instant classic.

My Views: This book has been on my 'To Be Read List' ever since its release. Being a fan of Jhumpa Lahiri's writing style, it is no wonder that I fell in love with the simple yet poetic language used by her. While the language used blown me away like always, it is the plot that has left me craving for more this time. I admire the way Lahiri looked at the Naxalite movement and didn't go more into the political details of the movement. It is a powerful story, but I think characters don't come across as powerfully as they should have.

This is a complex story which deals with two lives Gauri and Subhash joined by a common thread Udayan. The story deals with the aftereffects of a tragedy that strikes on Subhash and Gauri with the death of Udayan and how their lives change post that. It deals with how the relationship of Gauri and Subhash progressed from strangers to a couple and parents and again to strangers.

What I like most is the sibling relationship between Udayan and Subhash and also relationship if Subhash and Bela his daughter. But I don't know why I couldn't relate to the character of Gauri. Okay, she is a victim of tragedy and it can somehow justify her relation with Subhash  but that doesn't justify the way she takes her relationship with Bela. For me Gauri comes out as a rude, emotionless and selfish person who just can't get over with her fears.

Overall it is nice read a bit sad though, and to be frank, I am slightly disappointed with the end. I'd recommend this book for its depth and language.

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Isolation offered its own form of companionship” 
  • “And yet he had loved her. A Bookish girl heedless of her beauty, unconscious of her effect. She'd been prepared to live her life alone but from the moment he'd known her he'd needed her.” 
  • “With children the clock is reset. We forget what came before.”

My Ratings: 3.75 out of 5


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Banaras- Colors of India


Last month I got a chance to visit " Shiv Ki Nagari" Kashi. As I was there for only one day and have to attend GD-PI of FMS-BHU, but still I wanted to explore the city as much as I can. With just 6-7 hours in our hand, we (me and my dad) started exploring one of the oldest cities in the world.

Main Gate Of BHU

Varanasi or what locals say Banaras has many faces as a city. It is a colorful blend of religion, culture, spirituality, food and so many other things which symbolize India. Roaming in those narrow lanes, being a part of the chaos of the city made me feel real India.

Our first stop after leaving from BHU was Guru Ravidas Mandir, which is the birth place of Guru Ravidas ji. It is a small temple near BHU and it is said that Guru Ravidas used to live and do Bhakti at this place.

Guru Ravidas Mandir (that's my dad!!)

Our next destination was Kashi Vishvanath Temple and the first thing that I noticed that the whole place was swarming with devotees from all across India. Mobiles and cameras were not allowed in the temple premises. After an hour of jostling with the crowd we had our darshan and pooja. Another thing that I noticed there, the whole place was so dirty and walking barefoot in the temple for a non-religious person like me was a torture.

Main Gate of Kashi Vishvanath Mandir

Shop selling prasad near mandir

After that came the most exciting part of the whole trip The Boat Ride. After a lot of bargaining, we reserved a boat for one hour at the price of 150 per person. As we started our ride, boatmen went on with the stories and history of every ghat that we came across. Various activities were going on the ghats and it was a really captivating view.

Various Activities going on Ghats

Munshi Ghat

Such a Captivating view

Manikarnika Ghat

Tilted Shiv Mandir

Beautiful and Serene

As we had our train at 7 pm, we missed Ganga Aarti (may be some other time sad na!) and decided to roam around the market before going back.

Droolworthy Right!!

A Shop selling Brassware

Unfortunately, we were too short of time and missed many things, but I still experienced the essence of Banaras. In spite of its overcrowded temples, dirty lanes and weird traffic rules Banaras have this old world charm which didn't fail to amaze me. I wish I could spend some more time roaming in those narrow lanes and can feel real Banaras.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Book Review : ROOM By Emma Donoghue

Title: ROOM
Author: Emma Donoghue    
Genre: Literary Fiction


Goodreads Blurb:To a five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

My Views: I have heard a lot about this book and its plot and it sounded really disturbing to me. So I was not sure what to expect from this book. But from the very first page I was hooked to the book. The fact that the whole story is narrated by a five-year old makes it really different. 

The first half of the book revolves around the life of Jack and Ma and how they have created a whole world inside the room. Their daily life and the struggles for basic necessities like food, clothes and every other thing was really disturbing yet endearing. And then they escape that confinement and become free. But for little Jack it is not easy to digest the fact that they are not going back to Room which was his home till now.

 The second half of the book deals with the new life of Jack and Ma in the world. While Ma is coping up with post traumatic depression, Jack is trying to understand the place called world and how different it is from the life in Room. The book is such a compelling read that I can't put it down. But I am slightly disappointed with the end, I think its kind of abrupt. But I know that it was the most apt closure.
This is a story which will stay with you for a long time. Even with their dark and horrible circumstances, both Jack and Ma deal so beautifully with their lives. For me the whole story symbolizes hope, hope that some day everything will be alright.
    Beautiful and well paced, this a must read for everyone.

Favorite Quotes:

  • "In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time...I don't know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well...I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there's only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.”
  • If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.
  • Goodbye, Room." I wave up at Skylight. "Say goodbye," I tell Ma. "Goodbye, Room."
    Ma says it but on mute.
    I look back one more time. It's like a crater, a hole where something happened. Then we go out the door.
My Ratings: 4.75 out of 5


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