Sunday, 22 November 2015

Eat Pray Love By Elizabeth Gilbert

I may be late for the party but in this case at least its better late than never. I just finished reading the book that changed Gilbert’s life and made her famous, Eat Pray Love. I had seen the film twice when it was released in 2010. I remember the exact year because it was the year when my life was changing. Anyways, film was good. And I know all the quotes from this book by heart even before reading the book. I never thought I will ever read this book. But I feel that there are some books those you read for entertainment and then there are some books that happen to you, to change you and your life.

Eat Pray love happened to me accidentally recently on a rainy day in England. I was waiting for few people in library when I spotted her (the book). I had nothing to do and wanted to appear busy therefore was just turning the pages. It wasn’t enough for me and felt the urgent need to appear more busy, action kind busy. I walked towards reservation counter to borrow it. That walk somewhat satisfied my need. I told myself I will return this book on my next visit. I have many other important books to finish, this one doesn’t deserve my time. But I was so wrong. 

Paulo Coehlo's Aleph has set a benchmark on my mind which I had read 3 years ago and I was hoping to find another such kind and that satisfaction I found again in Elizabeth Gilbert's words. So I learned that you might not find what you're looking for from the same author. The author can create that magic only once after that their masterpiece become their own competitor unfortunately. 

After I came back home, I was sure that I will return the book very next day. I opened the first page to read the quotes I already knew. I just wanted to underline those lines and wanted to share those quotes on Internet. BUT what I found ? How this works or 109th Bead. So beautifully Elizabeth had explained the concept behind 109th Bead in the first chapter. She explains the reason behind the title of her book Eat Pray Love and she also tell us the reason for number of chapters in this book. I couldn't take my eyes off from her words. You know you're reading a good book when you feel like author is talking to you one to one. I felt same while reading her book.

Elizabeth divorced her husband and found herself in another emotionally draining relationship with a 10 years younger guy called David. She realized after some time that she need to be her own hero and save herself. She decide to travel the world to re discover herself and to heal her broken heart. Her life take her to 3 three completely different places. The book is divided into 3 sections - Italy, India and Indonesia. Wherever she went she had this urge to learn something. In Italy, she learned to speak fluently. In India, She learned to let go and Indonesia taught her to love again!  

I love each and every sentence written by Elizabeth Gilbert.This book is entertaining, funny, emotional and soul touching. And I felt that it is the best way to write travelogue. Writing in such a fashion that reader will feel that they are reading the experience of their friend.Adding emotional and funny touch to it and writing about things that cannot find on Google. If only there was more travel books like this I would've already traveled the world through these books.  

Eat Pray Love will inspire you to do something about your life. It will inspire you to learn something and to be emotionally independent. If by chance you dive deep into the words and stay there for some days then you might stumble upon more deeper message for you. I cannot explain it to you. You have to feel those words yourself. 

This is one of the books where I feel that words are not enough to describe its beauty. I highly recommend this book to everyone even if you've already seen the movie. Before signing off  I just want to say Congratulations to meet you, Elizabeth Gilbert !!!

Have you read this book ? Did you like it or hate it ? Why ? And just for fun what is more important to you eat , pray or love ?

Monday, 16 November 2015

World Is Crying For Paris

Source: 1 

Instead of killing innocent people and building hatred all around the world, if they build hospitals for poor, give foods to homeless, education to children, equality to women, expose truth to public then they will get even without asking - "the power to rule the world". That's what they are after - "Power". It has nothing to do with Religion. Because there is only one Quran with the same message for love and peace for everyone. Then how they are getting the wrong message? Please rather than spending your money to kill, use it to nurture a life.

To the families of departed Angels - You did nothing to deserve this pain for lifetime. People will move on after sometime. Its not their fault, that's human nature. Eiffel tower and Paris would remain symbol of love no matter what but the horror and pain of Friday 13, 2015 will live with you forever. Though I've no words to ease your pain but I pray to God that May time flies for you because it is said that time heals everything. 

To the departed Angels - You didn't get the last chance to let your loved ones know that how much you love them. Know that they know it. They can hear your last whisper of love and care even without you getting chance to say it aloud to them. Rest In Peace. World is crying for you. Hope you're in better and beautiful place than earth.  

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Good And Not So Good Side Of Great Britain

Now that we have completed more than 6 months in UK, I felt that finally I am eligible to write my opinion about my stay here in one of the town of England. Last few months was like roller costar ride for me. One moment I was having amazing time with my friends in various southern parts of India and next moment I rejected a great job offer and jumped into plane with my hubby for a new home. And all that happened in just 1 day. 

The flight journey from India to Heathrow was emotional as well exciting . Emotional because we knew we won’t see our loved ones for a long time. This had never happened before to me. I had two options, to be miserable about it for rest of the months or to be happy with what I have. I had chosen the later, holding them always closed to my heart. A part of me will be forever there, no matter where I am.

Anyways, coming back to our journey, it was exciting too as we caught our connecting flight in 20 minutes. We ran like we were Usan Bolt almost shoving and pushing away poor passengers on the way. When we saw the security line we gave up the chances of reaching Heathrow that day but God only knows how we made it. If that wasn’t enough then we got Hollywood style welcome as soon as our plane landed at Heathrow.

Passengers were asked to remain seated and not to move an inch until allowed. Though my dear hubby assured that it was just a regular announcement just to maintain the order, but it sounded threatening to my ears. I was super excited to witness the drama which was going to unfold before me. Heathrow didn’t disappoint me there and soon we saw 2 real MET polices with real gun searching for a particular man. And the man was just seating 1 row before us. He was taken away by the police and we were scrutinized by many eyes of London cops as we marched towards immigration cue. Immigration was hassle free and took less than 2 minutes which I wasn’t expecting. I didn’t actually know what to expect as it was my first international flight.

After all this process when my husband’s office informed us that “Jesus” (Our driver’s name) will be waiting for us outside the airport, we knew that we will have a pleasant stay because Jesus Himself came to take us to our destination. He was a man with positive vibes and kind smile pasted on his face.

As soon as our car rolled into our destination my husband observed that it is small town that will be our home for some time. I don’t know why I couldn’t believe that something like town can exist in this country. I thought where I live in India which are actually metropolitan cities would be like town to people here. But I was wrong. So now I will write down about the things I like and didn’t like, expected or didn’t expect about UK.

I will start with the good things first.

Good things…

1)  I learned to study cloud and know the importance of sun. Sky gazing gives me immense happiness. I was so thrilled to see the sun shining at 9pm and painting the sky pink before saying good bye.
2)  I learned that no matter how old you’re, you can enjoy life. Old people are real inspiration. They’re not dependent on anyone and quite happy with what they’ve. Of course, they have problems too just like everyone but they do not blame their age for that. This is one of the important lesson that I’ll be taking back home.
3)  Everything is so well organized here.
4)  People are honest in their work field.
5)  Love fish & chips – national dish of Britain and pub foods specially burgers.
6)  I love the fact that most people here are dog lovers and dogs are almost treated like human. They can go to most of the places with their human family and always showcase their best behavior in public places.
7)  Learned to say “thank you” & “sorry” more often.
8)  I am madly in love with the library here. Being a book lover, I will miss library when I go back. We have everything in India but not library like this.
9)  Don’t have to wait here for hours in cues to get something done.
10)              Wonderful public parks. I love the greenery and sound of birds singing.

Not so good things:-

1)  I feel scared of drunken people or drug addicts on streets.
2)  I get this feeling sometimes that local people don’t like us just because we’re Asian.
3)  There is only one small shopping mall, one multiplex and few shopping option in town center. The town shuts down completely by 6 pm except very few shops like Morrison or Tesco.
4)  No buses on Sundays.
5)  I also feel that job opportunities are less here but I am not sure about that.
6)  Getting accommodation here is nightmare.

Well, that’s all for today! But no matter what, I am going to remember these days always. 

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Feminism - Have we got it wrong ?

Recently, it had dawned upon me that may be some of us got the definition of feminism all wrong. Yesterday, we were celebrating my husband's birthday. One of my female friend asked what was the menu for dinner in WATS app. It was completely a harmless question. I didn't smell feminism in the innocent question. By the way, my friend call herself a selfless, devoted FEMINIST. Later, in the group chat one of our male friend asked me that what we're doing on this special day. I told him that we're doing nothing much as the birthday boy is in office.

My feminist friend joined in and announced to everyone one that, "I AM COOKING SPECIAL DISHES TODAY." The feminist alarm started buzzing on my head. Without sensing the alarm, our male friends got too excited and started demanding pictures of the things i am cooking or have cooked ( By the way, I had cooked veg fried rice, dry chicken and traditional prawn curry and dessert ). Though I don't like cooking daily but I did it happily for my husband on his birthday. It was my decision. He neither demanded nor he was expecting it from me. So, just when our male friends were innocently making happy noises, she called them "male chauvinist." Also, she applauded me for COOKING.

I was aghast. Whats wrong, If I cooked on his birthday or brought flowers for him? Does that make me a submissive wife and my husband dominating ? Why our merry making friends were slammed as "Male Chauvinist". Wouldn't we scare them away, If we behave like this ? What the fuss is all about ? If this is about "MY CHOICE" being a female ? Then how does anyone knows that cooking on a special day for my husband is not my choice ? Why, we ourselves is connecting cooking with a female thing ? 

 This made me think that some of us is getting feminism horribly wrong. I am more for gender neutralization than feminism. Feminism is again creating inequality in my opinion. In the name of equality we are sometimes misbehaving with males and again creating further  inequality.

What does feminism means to you ? Have you seen someone harassing men in the name of feminism ? Please share your opinion. 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Girl On the Train By Paula Hawkins

Genre – Psychological  thriller 

Price - £12.99

Author – Paula Hawkins

Author’s Bio –
Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for 15 years before turning her hand to fiction.
Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The girl on the train is her best thriller. It is being published around the world and has been optioned for film by DreamWorks. ( Taken from the book). 

My reading journey - 
Recently, I had finished quite a few numbers of interesting thrillers like Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, The Ice Twins By S. K. Tremayne (aka Tom Knox) and now the girl on the train. All of them are selling like hot cakes in the market. I wanted to read the girl on the train for two reasons. First, because of its popularity. Readers are divided into two groups, one those hated the girl on the train and second group belong to those people who believe that it is the best thriller till now. Secondly, some readers are comparing it with Gone Girl which I had found quite interesting therefore, thought of give it a try.

Paula has successfully engaged its reader till the end . Story is presented by the three female characters Rachel, Anna and Megan in the chronological order. The idea of watching the houses from the train is something that we all can relate to and the story starts from here, Rachel observing houses from train and imagining their life.Her imagination is beautifully explained by the author making the readers more curious about the future of the story.  The suspense is lovable. It serves the purpose of a good thriller. 

Rachel is a drunkard and ex wife of Tom, who is the husband of Anna now. Rachel has completely messed up her life even before her divorce with Tom. She continues her drinking habits even after her divorce and can’t remember the things she had done while in drunk condition. She commutes daily to London on a train holding lots of secrets to herself and her roommate Cathy. Anna hates Rachel because she believes that Rachel is not leaving them alone. Megan lives just two blocks away from Rachel’s old house occupied by Anna now. One day Megan disappear suddenly and Rachel get herself involved in it willingly with the intention of helping Megan's husband Scott. 

This is where lots of people are finding similarity with “Gone Girl” I think. Because Megan suddenly disappears and she hasn’t used her cards or phone. But except disappearance of a wife there is no similarity with the Gone Girl. I found Paula Hawkins storytelling and presentation is also different from Gone Girl. Though I found a major discrepancy in the story which I am afraid If I reveal here then would spoil the fun for those who haven’t read it yet. So without elaborating it much, I would just say that how police could not trace a mobile phone with a sim card inside it? This is really weird to me and killed the fun for me in the end. 

If you can swallow that easily then you will enjoy reading this book. Paula has done great job as a debut writer. She writes simply and can very well hold reader’s attention till the end. No harm in reading it once. 

Did you like the girl on the train ? Or are you planning to read it ?

Friday, 31 July 2015

Dear Grumpy !

Dear Grumpy,

Tommorrow is our 2nd marriage anniversary.I'm publishing this today because we might be off to Bournemouth tommorrow early morning.Like last year, this year too my gift to you is this very letter you’re reading right now! I had promised to you write one letter every year for this occasion. That way, I think, you’ll collect 28 more, over the years, for sure. If you demand more, then that’s something for our beloved God to decide. But I think total 30 letters means 30 years of togetherness will be “enough of me” for you for this lifetime. 

Every year, like this predictable gift/letter, message will also remain same that “I love you”! Though I know there is no surprise in that (message) because I make sure to remind you that at least 5 times every day. Unless I am really mad at you (sometimes for no reason at all, I admit. Thanks to my over flowing female hormones). But I do not say “sorry” more often than I should. So, this is the time also to ask for forgiveness for the times I had hurt you. Sorry for the times, I had placed my “ego” instead of placing the word “sorry” between us. 

It was our dream to celebrate our anniversary somewhere abroad and we’re living that dream this year by God’s grace. I’ve many memories to cherish this year. 

I will remember the walk from our apartment to a nearby mall holding your hand on almost every weekend!

I will remember keeping my head on your shoulder while sleeping.

I will remember, you spending sleepless, anxious and excited days and typing in numerous mails for my job hunt. 

I will remember the day when you came back home from office suddenly leaving all your meetings with lots of foods just to celebrate the call for 2nd round of interview for Amazon.

I will remember you waiting outside the Amazon office for my interview, missing your crucial cricket match. 

I will remember your constant support in my journey to be something or someone!

I will remember our laugh, our cry, our fears, our broken dreams and our hopes. 

Various trips that we covered this year like Chennai, Ooty, swindon , Bristol , bath and Cardiff.( Most probably we're adding Bournemouth also).

I will remember the funny ball dance in our moon light filled bedroom in Swindon on a Spanish song!

I will remember the struggles we did after coming to Swindon and excitement as well to see a foreign land together with you! 

I will remember all the long walks to unknown roads and destinations.

Most of all I will remember how much we loved (or may be didn’t love each other for that matter) and how young we looked! 

My best memory of us from this year would be our last night in Bengaluru before leaving for Swindon. We sat together, holding hands before getting ready for the long journey ahead us. With a infectious smile on your lips and shining bright eyes you said, “ Shainee, Lets make it a best 8-9 months of our life.” Then we had spent all night at the international airport talking about our future , the unknowns in front of us in an unknown place until the dawn while watching the landing and taking off of the planes! It was a night to remember and cherish always!

Hope we remember this all the time especially on the tough days that we're ALWAYS on the same side. When you fall, I fall. When you rise, I rise! Happy 2nd year of togetherness to us!



Friday, 3 July 2015

The Time of my Life By Cecelia Ahern

After finishing, “The Wild Truth” By Carine McCandless I was looking for a light hearted book. Therefore, I started reading Cecelia Ahren’s, The Time of my Life. I had loved her,  " P.S I Love You"

Let me discuss the physical aspect of the book first. I must say that it’s a pretty girly looking book. It’s that kind of book which looks good on your book shelf or on the table beside your coffee mug. Actually, I am attracted to all her book cover. Sounds weird? Yes, actually I do give that much importance to book’s cover.  That’s the first thing I notice, in a book shop. It helps me to make decision sometimes. The book cover talks about their marketing strategy and target reader. In this book their target reader is girls/women of age group 18 to 35. Also,I know that there is lots of hard work involved in it. It’s not that they randomly decide something as their book cover. And I just try to acknowledge their hard work by writing about it in lengths and breaths. The cover image of Ahern’s, “The time of my Life” is related to the story. It’s a picture of paper coming out from an envelope. 

If I was Ahern , then I would have named it, celebration of truth or an accidental encounter with life or meeting my life etc as I feel that she wanted to keep this word “Life” in the title. 

So, it goes like this, Lucy Silchester has been avoiding her life since last two and the half years. Her life is as messy as her flat. She doesn’t allow anyone inside her flat except her cat which she is keeping illegally. She has job to pay her bills, which she doesn’t like. She was following the routine sincerely until she got a letter from her life.  And here comes the twist in the story. 

And the twist is – Life is a person! It has gender and Lucy’s life is a male. No, it’s not metaphorically calling someone she loves, her life. Her life is literally her life. Confused? I was too. It took me quite a number of pages to clear this confusion from my head. Once, you understand this concept and where this story is going, then the book feel comfortable between your hands with a coffee on your side.

Lucy doesn’t wants to meet her life, until she got herself entangled in her own web of lies which is affecting every sphere of Lucy’s life. Life comes to clean her life and to simplify it. 

Reading, “The Time of my Life”, was like watching a good romantic movie with your partner on weekend. The story is narrated in such a fashion that you will play images simultaneously  on your head while reading it. I am sure the story will soon be adopted by a Hollywood director, if not already. In the end, it has a message to give, which is: 

If you're looking for a cheesy, romantic book to accompany you on this weekend on your beach holiday then grab a copy!