55 items found for ""
- War of Lanka
Author: The talented, Amish Tripathi Amish is one of my favourite authors, and I won't further indulge in why his books are my favourite, as I have written in my previous blogs in detail about his super talent of being an excellent storyteller. This blog is more about the story itself and it's characters. Ram is understandably the ‘perfect’ leader and king and husband and son and what not! He is idolised by everyone, including the villain himself! He probably was, that kind of an individual who by all means deserved all the attention, ultra respect, and admiration that he was getting from every possible direction, however To a reader like me, it just seemed like he was surrounded by a lot of ‘kiss-ass’ people. Like how could he not have even one hater, or atleast someone who perhaps thought out loud that there is just too much hype around this man for whatever reason! The idea of the perfect individual, in this case, king Ram, is not only ostentatious but also quite frankly over the top unbelievable. Despite Ram being the ‘hero’ of the book 4 of Ramchandra series, I found my own set of favourite characters as I drew closer to the grand finale. Characters who seemed real, sensible, away from any limelight, and to some extent believable. Here they are: Sursha: fiercely confident, extremely expressive, an equalist, hopeless romantic who didn’t shy away at all from making the first move when it came to expressing her romantic feelings for Hanuman. She was a bad bitch and I loved that about her. Arishtanemi: The silent lover of Sursha, despite knowing that her heart was for another man. And yet he avenged her death. That’s like an amalgamation of emotions and feelings and honestly, to an extent relatable. Shatrughan: Intelligent, away from limelight, Sensible about his weakness, very logical. Raavan: Conversationalist, intelligent, talks straight up, realist, reader, and philanderer and torturer too unfortunately, but that’s what made his character more believable. He had a fan following, but he also had a massive number of haters too, and that’s what made his character more believable! Vibhishan: Opportunist, honest to himself at-least, cockish, loved flattery, was very good in his craft. He was like a middle class businessman of today’s world, trying to save his life from the atrocities of the forced leadership while helping the winning team, and safeguarding his long term interests while doing so. The perfect selfish man! Not a bad thing though. Gajraj: Naive, docile, honest, sincere, practically a nobody. I like nobodies. I would give this piece of story telling a 7/10 rating!
- Last Man Standing
Author: Aravind Adiga The unescapable back story behind me reading this phenomenal piece of fiction… I read Adiga’s ‘White Tiger’ four years ago, and by the end of the first chapter, I knew I had to read him in the future! Although both these books have been published more than a decade before I even came to know about there existence, and I wasn’t even aware of Adiga’s greatness as a fiction writer when I stumbled upon ‘the white tiger’ in a roadside stall in Varkala, a cliff side beach about 35kms from Trivandrum. My book lover husband picked it up because it was too cheap to not buy it! It might have been stolen or may be not, the royalty might have gone to the author, or the roadside vendor kept the entire profit, but I am thankful of the conjunction for how else would I have stumbled upon this beautiful artist (yes, writing is an art)! Synopsis: I don’t want to spoil the plot of the story, and be a ‘buzzkill’, so I will just give like a little teaser here, and leave the rest for you to thoroughly enjoy! The story begins very nonchalantly, with ordinary characters, struggling with their everyday ordinary lives, until one day something happens and all of a sudden, all those typical middle class characters emerge as some dark souls capable of committing dark deeds for the sake of nothing and nothing but money alone; the very people who lived their entire lives suppressing their demons perhaps even completely unaware of its existence up until that day! Review: One of the finer examples of perhaps modern day fiction writers, Aravind Adiga, has weaved a beautiful fiction with ordinary people, and places alike. He portrays the real world problems suffered by his fictional characters, and somehow manages to twist the narrative into a completely surreal climax! I am in complete awe at his storytelling!! It could come under the ‘suspense’ genre, however a bit unconventional though. The pace of the story is relaxed, and the writer actually takes his time with the reader to not only introduce the fictional characters but also to understand them, their essence, and their individuality. As a reader, it is so satisfying to be a part of a reading experience as this! Adiga is an Indian author writing in English, so the read is relatively easy to understand, however I did have to look up for a word or two in the dictionary (which I secretly enjoy bdw, enriches my vocabulary :). If you are into fiction reading as much as I do, then you must read this author’s books, including obviously ‘The Last Man Standing’. I will wholeheartedly give this piece of fine art a 10/10! Go ahead and grab a piece by Aravind Adiga! Happy Reading!
- Think like Da Vinci
Author: Michael J Gelb A little backstory about how I got this ‘different’ book in my hands. The last time I read a self-help book was probably six years ago, I am guessing! In my late teens, I did read a lot of these books though. Robert Kiyosaki, Napoleon Hill, Brian Tracy, Dale Carnegie, Burke Hedges, Greg S Reid, Shiv Khera, Robin Sharma, were names I was familiar with even before I hit 20. I loved reading these kind of books back then. Mostly because, I lacked confidence, self esteem and always kind of compared myself to others, and reading these books somehow made me feel at ease with myself. Though the topics of the books were varied, but I still enjoyed reading them, and it instilled in me a kind of hope, that future will be better for me, because I am reading these books! Been a decade now since then and obviously circumstances have changed and so have my reading preferences. In fact I just wrote an article on why I don’t read self-help books much, anymore (https://www.thebookgully.com/post/i-have-had-enough-of-self-help-books). However, my husband (also loves reading books, non-fiction mostly), recommended me that I experience this book, and so here I am! About the book: The book definitely has ‘self help’ vibes. It is based on the principles that the great Leonardo Da Vinci lived his life on. And the author humbly tries to put those principles into simple words, and practices that can be applied in our daily lives. Intention of the book is sincere, because it just doesn’t spread out ‘motivational words’ but actually gives the reader a series of instructions, applications, experiments through out the book that actually leads to some self-reflection during the entire reading! So make sure, that you always have a pencil and preferably a note book with you whenever you are reading, unless you don’t mind scribbling all over the pages like me. The book comes with instructions that aims to deliver the message instead of like a fable like narration (for eg. Robin Sharma’s books). The book doesn’t necessarily have advice on how to be street smart or be emotionally intelligent, however it does take you on a step by step process on how to increase your ‘productivity’ and know your ‘senses’ better, and ‘perspectives on objects with relation to light’, and how to be ‘‘ambidextrous’, and ‘how to make the left and the right hemisphere of the brain work to equal strengths’ and a variety of such abstract ideas! It’s an interesting book in the non-fiction, self improvement genre, if you are into such kind of books. I would rate the book 6.5/10.
- I have had enough of Self-help books!!
So here how it is…. I am 32. I have always wanted to be a flight attendant from the time I figured that it could be as much of a legitimate career as being an engineer, a medical professional, an entrepreneur, a teacher, a banker or like any other career! And that was almost fourteen years ago! Once I became a flight attendant with a domestic airline, my next goal was to fly for an international airline. And eventually I cracked that too. Now, that I joined a billion dollar airline, I wanted to grow as fast as possible in the corporate ladder, while proving my worth as a valuable asset to the company through my managers. As easy as it did sound at that time, it got harder and harder as the years went by. I was about 20 when I started, and I was so positive that before I hit 30, I am gonna have that big promotion and get all that extra perks and travel in business class all over the freaking world, and what not! I assumed ten years of hard work, dedication, sincerity and my excellent job skills were enough to get me there. It took me those ten years and another two additional years to realize, that the corporate ladder worked in different ways! Much different than the one I was planning to take (hard work, dedication and all that jazz) to reach to the top (not the ultimate top obviously)! Long story short, even if I have one of the best jobs in the world, I still am nowhere close to the career goal that I targeted to achieve in all these years. Despite putting my one hundred percent every single day at work, and getting a decent amount of recognition from people who have experienced my service, my boss doesn’t really care about any of that! Bosses keep changing from time to time, but that doesn’t change anything either. So in essence I have come to the conclusion that professional growth is more of a company initiative rather than an individual’s ballgame. No amount of self help books were gonna help me in achieving that. I have also come to the realization, that I know and understand my limitations as an individual at work! Limitations like, I probably would never have the right contacts to push my position through to the top, or certain other nationalities will always be preferred than others, or I am not an ultra go getter who would sacrifice every fiber of their personal being to get to their goals no matter what! So no amount of ‘Self-help’ books can sell me any of that shit anymore! If I think that I can be a millionaire by reading a book that has been written by another millionaire, then I am completely fooling myself! Collaterals, factors, frailty, everything comes together to create the end result as much as hard work, contacts, skills, and luck do! So, instead of lamenting about my weaknesses and shortcomings and why I can’t be the next billionaire, and trying to crack the code by reading and researching the other billionaires, I have learnt to appreciate my life, professional and personal, as it is. Because no matter how much harder I try to be better at work, it would probably never be enough for my bosses! I would become miserable in the pursuit of the impossible! However, if I concentrate on the positives of my lives, both professional and personal, then I have no competition with others, but just acceptance and gratitude within myself. Instead of reading books on how to chase the next big thing, or how to become the next biggest seller, or how to be the top executive of a company, I read stories, novels, fictions, poems, and write one occasionally too. They provide me with the much, much needed escape from this hard hitting world that is so ever booming and expanding and is always on the chase for the next big thing! So, on the same note, how has your priorities changed through the course of life?
- Improving Communication Skills - a slightly different approach
When we say communication skills, it usually is presumed to be about its importance in our professional life! However, what we are as individuals with our family, friends, or other non-work relationships, weigh heavily on how we communicate in our professional lives too! For example, if I am an emotional person when it comes to decision making, or contributing opinions, in my personal life, I am most likely to behave the same way at a professional space too! So, what I am going to share in the next few paragraphs is how to be an effective communicator as an individual in life, in general! If you are still with me here, I am assuming 2 things: 1. You like to read good articles ;) 2. You genuinely want to improve your communication skills. For the former, subscribing to my blogsite is the answer, and for the latter, follow the below seven points sincerely, and continuously for as long as possible. Sincerely, because half-ass interest doesn’t yield to anything, and continuously because practice makes perfect! 1. Observe your communication skills closely. Note how you talk to people, how you talk to yourself even. Notice how you respond to opinions, suggestions, situations, feelings, or even absence of any. Be intricate in your observations about yourself, to the point of being uncomfortably aware of even your smallest flaws. You can’t correct something that you don’t know needs correction! 2. Observe how your input affects the output in a situation. Does it make it bad, or eases up the process or the output? Why and why? What could you have said, or behaved differently in order to alter the outcome? And why did you say or behaved in a particular way that you did? Your communication is a reflection of your core beliefs/values. For example, If being ‘submissive’ and ‘sacrificing’ is one of your core values, than standing up for yourself or raising your voice to be heard, might sound like a completely inappropriate thing to do during a conversation. Which could dramatically change the outcome, to what you might have wished for! Consequently further changing everything in the course of time, for you! Same examples could be drawn from official meetings, pitching for a startup investment, or even during a salary negotiation in an interview! The examples are many, but I guess you got my point! 3. Identify your weaknesses and Work on your strengths. If you are a social person, your strength most likely is the ability to strike up conversations, however short or long, with complete strangers! Your charisma, your confidence in yourself that what you have to offer is exactly what the ‘stranger’ is looking for, could be a game-changer. However, your weakness could be, not being able to ‘draw the line’ between what needs to be said, and what doesn’t! Too much talking, eventually leads to less listening, and that’s where mostly you will have lost the interest that you so quickly created with that person! ‘Too much talking’ also could lead to less credibility. Without credibility, any communication is useless. On the other hand, If you are an introvert your obvious weakness is fear of interaction. You prefer to keep social interactions as less as possible. Your strength could be listening. Cause, if you are not talking, you are probably listening! The fear of interaction could come from lack of self esteem, low confidence, fear of rejection, and overthinking, to name a few. An effective way to deal with the above is to indulge in self-talks. As unconventional it might sound, talking to self is a great way to boost self esteem and self confidence. Probably because the fear of rejection from others is subdued. Away from the crowds, the noises, the chatters, psychologically the mind perceives itself to be alone and hence safe, cocooned in its own company. Therefore , no fear of rejection. Practically it might seem or even feel a bit awkward at the beginning, but gradually these ‘self-talks’ would subconsciously grow confidence, and self-acceptance, which are primary in effectively communicating. Baby steps are important when it comes to inculcating useful changes. 4. Read a lot of books! There is just no way around it! Read whatever interests you. Reading improves vocabulary, which is like ‘tuning’ in communicating! It goes without saying that it also increases your knowledge, depending on what you read. It also, most definitely improves perspectives. It encourages thinking! It introduces to self-reflecting! These factors are gems, when it comes to communicating. There is a higher chances of people taking you seriously, if your talk is backed by knowledge, by facts, and that comes from a whole lot of reading! So, read, read, and read! 5. Make the hard move, and raise your hand to speak! Like the previous step, there is no going around it too! Trust me when I say this, that People aren’t magicians. You have to speak up to let them know what is going on inside your beautiful mind. Do not assume. If you don’t talk, they will never know! It’s as simple as that! Don’t worry about the perfect start or the perfect ending. Just start participating! 6. Never, ever, ever, interrupt. No matter how wrong you think they are talking , or how much of an urge you have got, to prove your point, just never ever ever interrupt. It’s uncourteous. You cannot possibly expect to make an effective argument or statement by interrupting someone else when they are talking. When in an urge to cut off someone else’s talking, pinch yourself, or take a slow deep breath, and remind yourself that you are a patient speaker, and you will speak your mind, respectfully, when the mic comes to you. And before you know it, you will develop this valuable virtue of patience, which needless to say is extremely important in effective communication. 7. Last, but certainly not the least, keep an open mind! People come from different backgrounds, culturally, economically, psychologically. What is normal to you, might not be the same for them, and vice versa! Having conversations, or even speaking to a group, or addressing a crowd, it is imperative to be respectful of each other’s differences. Improving communication skills is a life long process. Take it slow, but steady, as you progress through each day. Have immense patience with yourself, and take time off once in a while to celebrate how far you’ve come! Much love! Jay.
- Making Peace with the Present
We can’t change the past. No matter how sad, bad, terrible, heartbreaking, unfair, unfortunate it has been, there is just no way to go back to it physically and change any of the elements with the hope that it might change the present or the future! So what do we do? We move on! And how exactly do we do that? By understanding the nature of the situation and accepting the hard truth about it! In other words, by making peace with it. So all these self help gyaan about the unchangeable past, but what about the present? What about it? Is it all glittery, and perfect, without any disembelishment, no lingering pain, no compromises, no pressures, no hard decisions to be made, living the prefect dream, the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect family life? You know the answers. I know the answers. But why are you putting yourself in such conditions, if you aren’t happy with it? This is your present, and not your past! You have the power to change the elements here! You have the freedom to make your choices here and live a different future, so why won’t you?! Because you can’t always change circumstances, decisions, people, behaviors, exactly to the brim like how you would want it! Consequences are always multiple, and there is always the ‘give and take’ card that applies! The world will fall apart if every man and every woman kept changing their circumstances just because it wasn’t picture perfect! And the irony is not lost when I say this that their own world will fall apart too consequentially of multiple decisions, of fidgety mindset and the lack of compromising! On the risk of sounding mediocre, I would still say it that it is the compromises that have saved the world so far and will continue to do so! Over zealous ruin things, relationships, and the calmness that nurtures peace. The peace which is fundamental to living! So the next time, if you want to change the world because it’s causing tolerable inconvenience to you, take a step back, breath and let it all go. Sometimes, the only way to live in the present happily, is by understanding that not every small inconvenience needs to be addressed, as long as the bigger issues in life are taken care of. More often than not, to live happily in the present is all about making peace with the present, in all its imperfections, and complacencies. Here's to the imperfect present, and to making peace with it!
- The Guilt of Pleasures
I come from a lower middle class family from an extremely small town in the state of West Bengal. My family is Bengali, and by taking the risk of sounding stereotypical, I would say that most Bengalis are stringent individuals. Stringent in almost everything, with the exception of afternoon naps and Sunday lunch of course! To see a Bengali wealthy middle aged man riding a bicycle and wearing crumpled clothes is a common sight in most parts of West Bengal. Now coming back to my non wealthy, pay check to pay check living family. We never had enough of anything while growing up. My father was the only salaried person in a family of four. The salary was just enough to pay the rent for our 400sqft room, our school fees, and the once a year trip to Sundarbans to see my grandparents in the third class compartment of the Indian railways. All other expenses were pretty much carried forward to the next month’s credit and eventually in a never ending spiral of small debts that my mother and father struggled with, till me and my sister finished college. I was in such a rush to grow up and get a job that it felt like an eternity to finally turn 18 and be able to get a real paying job! I started off as a receptionist in a car dealership in my town, and they paid me Rupees 3500 a month, in lieu of 9 hours of sitting at the reception desk. I had a telephone, a table fan, and a notebook of potential customers who could afford an 8lakhs rupees car. The glass walls of the showroom made it quite hot inside and the fan provided some relief from that, in exchange of some humidity. I would spend 300 rupees monthly in the shared auto to commute between home and the dealership. Lunch was free though. My goal was to save 3000 rupees every month, which would give 36000 rupees at the end of one year, which was a hell lot of money for an 18 year old at that time! I lasted less than six months there. But I continued working nevertheless, with other small companies, and giving tuitions to school kids, after work to make some more extra income. All my school mates were either in engineering or medical schools, and it did suck at times thinking of the alternative life I could have had if only we had some more money. I have been working since I was 18, never taking a break from earning a livelihood, and perhaps that is why I always end up debating a hundred times in my head to decide the worth of even a spend as little as Rs10. While flying, I have had colleagues who would spend Rs 5000 just for the entry to a nightclub in Delhi, and I would ask myself that how could I spend an amount worth my father’s one month salary, for just a few hours of pleasure! The answer was always a loud and clear NO. I am in my early 30s now, and have been blessed with better times. I make a decent living and am able to support my parents in ways that I could not have imagined even ten years ago! And guess what, I still have the same debate in my head every single time I go out, I decide to spend, I decide to treat myself. And this is just the financial debate! I have debates in my head even when it comes to spending leisure time doing absolutely nothing! Like why am I sitting without doing anything! Like every hour of the day has to be filled with some work, some activity, productive or otherwise! Don’t even get me started on the idea of splurging in luxury shopping or foreign holidays in once in a blue moon! I don’t have to tell you that I have never done the former, and the few times I did do the latter, I have been extremely detailed in my expense planning and kept my guard on for any kind of impulse expense. Nope, not under my watch! If you have had an upbringing such as mine, you would probably relate to my monologue here. As I sit in this humungous food court in a giant mall in one of the many suburbs of Dubai, sipping my karak chai, doing absolutely nothing other than leisurely engaging with my thoughts, I couldn’t help but feel slightly guilty of being unproductive, which funnily in turn made me open my notes in my cellphone and start writing this monologue! On another note, I would like to know if it was your guilt ridden pleasure that led you to engage in reading this blog, or you are the evolved being that understands that pleasure is imperative to living, if not to surviving? I am curious! Yours Jay
- MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
Author: Nicholas Sparks The last time I read one of Nicholas Sparks’s books, I was barely 19. A disillusioned teenager, who believed in hopeless romance without most certainly understanding the practicalities involved in being one! Love letters, holding hands, walking by the beach, endless emotions, and the list could just go on and on! I mean who wouldn’t like the idea of a sincere, tender, passionate love with their soulmate, right! And that was me at 19! And that’s why I loved his two books then (the only two books I could lay my hands upon at that time). Turns out that being a 32 years old woman doesn’t change much, when it comes to love, romance and a relationship. Needless to say, I loved every single thing about ‘Message in a Bottle’! Can’t believe I actually read it for the first time, 31 years after it was first published in 1991!! I would not even go into the synopsis, because the book was made into a Hollywood movie during the late 90s, and the trailer is available in You Tube and IMDB. And I don’t think I need to even say that it’s a romance novel! Not the hot-steamy ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ kinds, but the warm, sweet, makes your heart smile and cry at the same time kind of a story! A few words of appreciation on Spark’s writing… He is a patient writer. He takes his time to build the plot, and then gradually increases the intensity of the story towards the middle, leading the readers to believe that the next stop is a fairy tale ending, but this is where he gets us!!!! Instead of giving in to the expectations of the reader at that point, he cleverly waddles into the smaller details of the story and makes it all look so realistic and remarkably relatable! This is where the reader’s mind shifts from the fairytale love story idea into a more realistic and personal experience, as if those sad things have happened to them as well! Just brilliant!! Sparks’s has the reader’s entire attention at this point, as he proceeds with his clever storytelling. He plays with the mind till the end, and ends the story with an ending the reader would probably not have expected or even wished for!! A bittersweet one! But that’s what the magic is all about!! I am mindfully infatuated with this great novelist’s work! And if you are a bookworm like me, and haven’t got yourself a book of Nicholas Sparks yet, then you are missing out one of the best reads in the fiction romance genre. Of course 10/10 for MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE !!! ...
- MOTHER WITHOUT A MASK
2023 so far has been kind of slow in terms of reading! Majorly because, I am trying to be a bit more organized with my limited days off. I am focusing on other things, writing being obviously one of them, spending more time in self care is another one! My manifestation of self-care has come down to the simplest things these days. For example, being content with the present, and dance every now and then in the rain! Rhetorically of course. Reading has become one of those acts of self care, instead of a relentless marathon. Now back to the book… The story is kind of a memoir of an English woman's experience of being a part of an Arab Sheikh’s family. Patricia Holtron is like a mother to the two sons of an Arab Sheikh who wanted his sons to study in London. Patricia’s husband and the Sheikh had business relations and through that Patricia is introduced to the two boys and takes this unprecedented almost life long role of like a mother to them. Through her eyes, she has painted a very detailed picture of how it was to be associated so closely to an Arab family, one of the prominent Sheikhs of Al Ain. She describes about her many trips from London to Al Ain in details, including the elaborate and beautiful hospitality of the Sheikh’s family. She dives into details about her role in the growing up of the two boys spread over a decade or so. She has given a closer view to the many details of an Arab household as big and influential as the Sheikh’s, including the Shekiha’s role in it. The Hareem, an assembly of only the females of the clan, is described beautifully and its imperative importance in the families. Holtron takes the reader through an entire journey of more than a decade, while sharing the smallest details of how intertwined their lives were with her own own. Family celebrations, marriages, relocations, even health crisis have been penned down to the smallest details by Holtron, giving the reader an extremely holistic perspective of the Arab Culture, more importantly, of that particular family’s traditions to the reader. The book has a very different body, compared to most of the memoirs that I have read so far. It could be like a travelogue may be, except that it’s majorly focused on her travels to the UAE. Even though the author shares uncountable stories of her experiences with different aspects of the Arab culture, it doesn’t feel as personal or as raw as how memoirs usually are. In fact that’s what makes them so real and beautiful and appealing. The writing feels a little bit biased as it captures majorly the good parts of her travel. It feels like a very rosy picture, and that’s a bit unreal for me! But also, perhaps it was indeed just as rosy as the author painted it. Perhaps that’s why it seems extremely unrelatable too, and a bit impersonal as well. Or, May be it’s just my reading interests that crave for brutally honest accounts of life stories, or travelogues, where the ugly part is given as much spot light as the good part! On the other hand, The writing is easy to understand. It is one of qualities of the native English writers that hugely appeals to me. I guess it does makes a difference when one’s story is written in the person’s first language, rather than someone like me who learnt the language as a second language. And, If I ever come across any fiction written by her, I would perhaps give it a read, and give myself a chance to change my mind about Holtron’s books. I would rate this memoir/travelogue 3.5/10.
- One Question Answered!
Why do I say things I don’t always mean? There is this constant struggle inside me with me, between who I am and who I wanna be. I don’t mean that I don’t like myself, on the contrary I love myself, in fact I adore myself. But the real question is do I adore myself with all my weaknesses and flaws or am I in love with the version of me that I think I am, flawless, superior, perfect? Being honest to myself, brings clarity about who I am, but why I am that I am, that question remains unanswered. Chennai is a big city, and by the looks of it, it looks inviting and beautiful too, not in the conventional way, like New York, or Singapore, or Tokyo, but in its own twisted ways. I would like to spend some more time in this city. May be some of my questions will be answered, who knows. Or maybe they won’t. But it won’t matter. Because places are meant to be experienced. And experiences make one grow. And city by city, town by town, lanes by roads, airports by stations, I would be growing, as I am now, as I finish my short date with Chennai and prepare to fly back to Dubai, my home for now. So, I came back to this mega city, to find answers to the same old question. I went out for long walks into the city. There was so much dust, pot holes, lack of footpaths, sweat, traffic, crowd, high risers, constructions, and a thousand things more, but my answers seemed to be nowhere. Before making it back to my comfortable layover room in a 4star hotel, I treated myself with a filter coffee (indigenous to this part of the country). Because why not? Small pleasures like this one often makes up for the lack of answers in life. The cool breeze felt good in the aftermath of sweat and heat. Back in my room, I changed into my fav outfit, my pajamas and I settled down in my favourite part of the hotel room, the oh so comfy bed! Scrolling between my personal photography and the ones in the social media, I came across this small bit of snippet from an Indian movie. The movie was almost a decade old, and I remembered watching it with a long-lost friend in my initial days in Dubai. The short was about the relationship that an adult has with her parents. The question was “why are you being a mother to your 70-year-old father?” To which the female replies, “after an age, it’s the responsibility of the daughter or son, to keep their older parents alive, because after an age, their will to live kind of stops (for Indian parents at least who sacrifice every fiber of their being to raise their kids)!” And that hit home! Even though I was far from finding the answer to the question that was softly haunting me for weeks now, I did stumble upon another answer of a question I often asked myself. Why did it feel like that I was baby-sitting my ageing parents all the time? And there was the answer! That was why! The saying, that travel answers many of life questions, is not false after all! They may be not the answers you might be looking for right now, but nevertheless they are the answers! Answers that might bring one, a step closer to knowing and understanding themselves a bit more! That, for me is fascinating! And to clarify here a bit more, travel doesn’t have to be expensive, or heavy, or far away. It could just might be as simple as taking a different route to home from college, or from work, or trying out a new place to eat, or pursuing that hobby more that requires your visit to the outsides more! Renouncing comfort zones do open up new possibilities, and these possibilities are often hideouts of those small little nudging answers whose absence don’t make the world stop, but whose presence makes the mind a bit more reassured of who it actually is! Until another answer!
- Never Have I Ever... wrote a review on a Netflix Series
The perks of living alone are many! Apart from having the whole bed to yourself, not having to have any routine, and no chores debate (where we talk for and against on who should do what chore and why), I got my hands on some good amount of free time! Believe it or not, spouses do keep each other busy, and when one is out on a visit to his ancestral home, I got myself hella time. So, if I wasn’t on duty, or cooking, or cleaning, or doing the laundry, I was snacking and chilling with Netflix! I binged watched so much in the past thirty days, that I can confidently say that one doesn’t necessarily need another human being to ‘Netflix and Chill’. This art of binge watching is equally delightful in the company of the self, in PJs, a few packets of Lays, and a comfy blankie. And while I was indulging in some ‘me-time’, by binge watching the shit out of Netflix, I playfully stumbled upon this warm, soft, entertaining piece of series called ‘Never Have I ever’. Now to be honest, I have seen the craze over this series a couple of years ago, and how it was making news for its popularity among the teens, especially perhaps Indian, and American, and how the cute charismatic lead Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was giving interviews in popular American talk shows about her playing the lead role in it, but I didn’t buy it! Especially after my disappointment about ‘Money Heist’. I actually learnt a valuable lesson, that Hype is not necessarily equal to good content. So, I had my reservations against this bouncy little teen series, that, until I watched the first episode, and then I got gleefully hooked onto it! I won’t give a synopsis here for obvious reason (the trailer is available in the IMDB, and Netflix app). There is a lot of Indianness in the series as it features an Indian-American family drama. If you like sitcoms, with just the right amount of Indian drama in it, but hate the monotony of Bollywood bullshit, then this series could be for you! The cast is an interesting mix of colours, age, and pretty good actors (except some, of course). Watch out for the lovely Poorna Jagannathan (from Delhi Belly). One of the creators is Mindy Kaling (from The Office), and if you have seen it, you know what I am talking about! I won’t bore you with my writing anymore here, and frankly won’t be surprised if you jump into checking out this entertaining American teen sitcom (I would be surprised if you don’t!). Happy Watching!
- Not a Happy New Year!
The word ‘happy’ is overrated! It has been used way too many times than it has been meant! Call me a ‘negative Nancy’, but a more practical form of adjective would be helpful, especially when the new year is not the ‘happy’ that everyone wished me for. Of course, not people’s fault if the first nine days of 2023 hasn’t been the ideal new year days! What is an ideal start to a new year anyway? Being with family, have dinners together, go for joy rides on weekends with them, if you are working then having them at home when you come back after a long day or a long night, if you fall sick then they are there to make you some hot porridge, or rub hot oil on your hair and feet. So, if you think absence of all the above things make for a miserable new year’s week, then you get me! Last year, this time, I was practically jobless! I had all the time in the world, I had my family around, I went for long drives with them, we had dinners outside, and picnics by the water. It was an absolute perfect start of the year 2022, except for the fact that I was desperate to get back into making money! This year the tables have turned completely! The only thing I have is my hollow, over glamorized job! I am back to the toxic corporate work environment which I fantasized leaving around two years ago! Guess human beings are greedy, and the grass always looks greener on the other side! To tell you all the truth, I have been sick this past couple of days, and turns out sickness makes you really depressed, especially if you are all alone while being sick! Negative energies swirl around you and in your head, and it takes double the amount of push from the mind to make an effort to get better, to feel better! After about four days of antibiotics, vapour rub, and take out soups, my dopamine levels have finally come back to its original strength, and are still working hard to multiply themselves! Also, I have realised, being depressed made me a mean person! Every small inconvenience made me lose my shit, and I had small breakdowns with my loved ones, which in retrospect was mean of me! The whole purpose of me writing this monologue was to share a tiny piece of my personal life with you, with the hope that it might be a bit relatable to you! And also, I guess, to make peace with the fact that its okay if the new year did not start happy, like I expected it to be. I got a long year ahead, and I am sure there are pockets of happiness spread throughout the year which will easily compensate for the crappy days! Yin and Yang!