Saturday, January 29, 2011

55 Fiction: Inner Demons

She peered at the mirror through her calvin klein glasses. “Is this really me?” She thought. The demons inside her whispered "Look how fat you have become". She threw the unbitten apple into the trash bin and walked away in her high heels. She had no idea the way led to her own grave.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Letter to a Younger Me !

Hi girl,

You must be in the middle of another long cramming session. Yes, I know you are preparing very hard for all the engineering entrance exams you are going to give a year later.

I thought I would write a letter to you so that ten years down the line you can't tell me "No one told me so" :)

I know you have several goals etched in your mind and you are one ambitious being. You will achieve some of it and lose some of them, but never cease trying because that is one ability of yourself which you will be so proud of.

You will start earning, will be confused with all the money in the beginning, but will eventually come along.

You will meet a lot of people, travel to a whole lot of places and have awesome experiences.

You will have some bad experiences along the way, but that is how we play this game called 'Life'.

Your heart will be broken, but don't lose faith in love. If you do, how will you ever find your soul mate? And in the end you will find someone who truly loves you. It may take some years, but you know in the end, you are going to find your prince charming in a very shining armour :)

You will read many more books, will have your ideas questioned and your views about several things in life will take a 180 degree turn.

Your sister will remain your best friend. Period.

You will find many more friends. Many come and go and the ones whose remain, are your best friends. You will be amazed if I tell you, the majority of that group you already know.

You know that thing called 'cooking' which you never want to try, believe me, you will start loving it and appreciating it to a degree which you never imagined. On the other hand, Chocolate and Coffee - The two things which you are absolutely addicted to. You will slowly grow out of them.

But you will remain addicted to rain.

You will find a new flair for writing.

You will consider 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' the best book ever.

You will mess up, not once, but several times, over and over, but who doesn't? You will deal with it with so much strength that you will surprise yourself.

Always remember these words by Marilyn Monroe - "Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”

Looking at you now, I can hardly believe the extent to which you will be transformed in the next ten years. But you will do good girl.

With all the love,
An Older you.

P.S. No one told me all of this when I was ten years younger, but it is fine. There is so much more fun in learning it all by yourself ;)

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

First of all, I admit, this is 'supposed to' be a children's book and I am still wondering how I missed reading this book in my childhood. But better late than never is the principle I follow in my life :) Believe me, you will enjoy reading this book, no matter what age you belong to. After all, we all have a little child hiding somewhere inside all of us :)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of the funniest children's book I have ever read. Authored by Roadl Dahl, this book became a phenomenal success across the world when it was published way back in 1964. 1971 saw the release of movie version of the book starring Gene wilder, which was also proved consistently popular.

The basic premise of the story revolves around Charlie whose favourite thing in this world is 'Chocolate'. He lives with his parents and grand parents in a small wodden house on the edge of a great town. The family has a mere hand to mouth existence, but they are happy in their own world. The town also hosts the 'The Great Chocolate Factory' by Willy Wonka which produces the yummiest chocolates which are distributed all across the world. What happens inside the factory is not known to anybody in the town. Willy Wonka in an attempt to uphold his trade secret, has made sure that no human enters the big factory. Naturally, there is a huge amount of curiosity to know what actually goes inside that factory.

And then a one day comes when Willy Wonka announces that he has hidden five golden tickets in five chocolates. The kids who find those tickets will be given an entry into the chocolate factory and Mr. Wonka himself will give them a guided tour of the factory. Above all, they will be given a supply of chocolates which will last for a lifetime. This news spread like a wild-fire across the town and hilarious events follow. The extend to which people are ready to go to procure one golden ticket, how Charlie finds his golden ticket, the happenings inside the factory and the final decision by Willy Wonka forms the rest of the book.

The whole book is a fantasy store house. There are Chocolate Rooms, Chocolate Water Falls, Oompa - Loompas, Chocolate Rivers, Everlasting Gobstoppers, Hair Toffees, Great Gum Machine, Eatable Marshmallow Pillows, Lickable Wallpapers, Hot Ice Creams, Fizzy Lifting Drinks, Square Sweets that look Round and a numerous other things which will make you wish you were in the factory instead of Charlie. Another notable feature of the book is the kind of words Roadl Dahl has used to describe various things (I believe this is a common feature across all his books) - Scrumdiddlyumptious, whangdoodles, hornswogglers, snoozwangers - they quite add to the humour and magical quotient of the book. In between all the chocolate, fun and magic in Willy Wonka's world, the author tries to educate the children about the importance of discipline, respecting your elders and obeying them. It is all subtly put inside the book so that children can have a few insights into proper behaviour while they are enjoying reading this book.

Overall the book makes a very good read. It is a big chocolatey magical world out there. It is yummylicious. If you are not yet bitten by the 'Roadl Dahl bug', this is a good book to start.

This one is the first book I read for the Foodie Reading Challenge. I am glad I took the one with 'Chocolate' as the centrepiece for it :)

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Reading Challenges 2011

Keeping up with my NewYear Resolution to read more, I have decided to participate in a number of Reading Challenges this year. This is the first time I am participating in Reading Challenges and I found the concept very interesting. More than that, I wanted to set deadlines for myself so that I will stick to the habit and complete a set of books. Listed below are the reading challenges for this year.

1. What's in a Name

An interesting concept introduced by Beth - Between January 1 and December 31, 2011, read one book in each of the following categories (The books I have chosen is given right next to the category):

A book with a number in the title: 100 Years of Solitude, Gabreil Garcia Marques
A book with jewellery or a gem in the title: Garlic and Sapphires, Ruth Reichl
A book with a size in the title: All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot
A book with travel or movement in the title: To be Decided (Any Suggestions?)A book with evil in the title: Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie
A book with a life stage in the title: Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

2. 2011 Global Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Dorte. I am participating in the easy level in which I have to read one novel from each of these continents in the course of 2011:

Africa - No.1 Ladies Detective Agency
Asia - Midnight's Children
Australasia - Oscar and Lucinda, Peter Carey
Europe - 84 Charring Cross
North America - Garlic and Sapphires
South America (please include Central America where it is most convenient for you) - 100 Years of Solitude or Love in the time of cholera
The Seventh Continent (here you can either choose Antarctica or your own ´seventh´ setting, eg the sea, the space, a supernatural/paranormal world, history, the future – you name it) - Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, Jules Verne

3. Foodie's Reading Challenge (My favourite ;) Yummmmmmy!!!)

This challenge is hosted by Margot and I am aiming at the 'Epicurean' level of reading, i.e. 7 to 9 foodie books in the year 2011. Given below are the books I chose.

Garlic and Sapphires Ruth reichl
Tender at the bone - Ruth reichl
My life in France - Julia Child
The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking School - Kathleen Flinn
A Homemade Life - Molly Wiezenberg
The Sweet Life In Paris: Delicious Adventures In The World's Most Glorious - And Perplexing - City by David Lebovitz (Paperback - 03-2011)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

4. South Asian Challenge

This Challenge is hosted by S. Krishna and I am hoping to be a South Asian Explorer, i.e. reading five books by South Asian Authors or book about South Asia. The ones I have chosen are:

Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Sea of Poppies – Amitav Ghosh
The Palace of Illusions – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Immortals of Meluha - Amish Tripathi
Desirable Daughters - Bharati Mukherjee
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time - Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin

Do you have any suggestions in this category? I am looking for some books by South Asian authors set in some other country. Suggestions please ...

5. Haruki Murakami Challenge

I have been longing to read books by this author for a long time, so when the challenge came up, I jumped at it. I am aiming for a 'Hajime' position, i.e. to read atleast one book by the author. If it gets interesting, I will read more books by the author.

There are several other reading challenges that are doing rounds in the blogs, but with my schedule, I can only afford to participate in these. If I finish all of these books well on time, I may take up some more :)

Happy Reading and do let me know if you have any reading suggestions for the titles mentioned.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

NewYear, Tada :)

Yes, it is a Happy Happy New Year. There is so much of enthusiasm in the air, people are celebrating the commencement of yet another year (for many this means getting drunk and partying away), everyone is busy making NewYear resolutions (only to be broken within a month), everyone is grinning ear-to-ear and wishing each other a Happy New Year :)

Well, I couldn't help notice the fact that all the optimism in rubbing off on me too. I don't usually make NewYear resolutions. The first time I made them was way back in 2007 and didn't' bother much about it. But this year, I really want to make a list of things I want to do in a year's time and see how many did I achieve by end of the year. I am feeling a never before enthusiasm of welcoming a whole new year. So I decided to make the most of my enthusiasm and make a list of the things I want to do this year. So here they are ...

1) Learn French - I am so fascinated by the language that I am jealous of each and every person who is able to converse in that! Maybe the fascination is coming from all those things I am reading about baking with Paris being hailed as a 'mecca of baking' and books which are all authored by chefs coming from 'Le Courdon Bleu'. Well, I find the language quite romantic too, after all French glorified the whole art of kissing/romancing :)

2) Make an elaborate cake - Taking my new found passion in baking to another level, I want to make an elaborate cake, the kind you find in food magazines and food network for a special occasion. I am scouring the websites and cookbooks for the recipe of that first elaborate cake I am going to make. If you have any suggestions please let me know.

3) Read More - I am a person who loves deadlines, hence in order to make this resolution a reality, I am entering a whole lot of Reading Challenges in 2011. Read, Read, Read is the motto.

4) Write More a.k.a Blog More - Don't panic about making every blog post a perfect one, just write whatever comes to your mind.

5) Don't procrastinate - This is the most important resolution of the year for me. Whatever you want to do, just do it. If you want to talk to someone, pick up the phone and talk. Don't keep anything for a later point thinking you will find a better time to do it. There is no better time, just do it NOW.

6) Get my investments in order - Another important thing which I have to take control of.

7) Cook/Bake More - I love cooking and feeding people. With a foodie hubby, I think this won't be a difficult task. I want to try making macarons - considered quite a temperamental cookie.

So what is your NewYear resolution? Leave them in the comments section and we will take a stock of it at the end of the year, what say?

Suko is having an exciting giveway this NewYear. Do check it out in her blog. It's all about resolutions :D


Saturday, January 1, 2011

When the girl meets the boy ...

We both met at a picturesque B skul campus ...

The first year in the campus, they hardly spoke to each other, except for a few sentences ...

Second year, they became best friends ...

Third year, they realised they can't live without each other and decided to get married ...

Yes, we got married :D

(Guess this explains my absence from the blog and I promise (as always, sigh!!!) to post more often. Yes, it's a NewYear after all :))

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