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!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The dark anonymous clouds...

And we wondered, "Why"? as we stood together under the dark anonymous clouds...

Date: 02 July 2015
Day : Thusday
Time: 2:00 PM
Location : Swindon
Mood : Sad, loved, Uncertain....

And, the song of the day.....

 We keep this love in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
Times forever frozen still....

So you can keep me
Inside the pocket
Of your ripped jeans
Holdin' me closer
'Til our eyes meet
You won't ever be alone
Wait for me to come home

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Wild Truth By Carine McCandless

The Secrets that drove Chris McCandless into the wild

To be honest, I picked up The Wild Truth By Carine McCandless , thinking it is "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer. I was in hurry; I just noticed the name at the top right “Jon Krakauer” and grabbed it. I realized my mistake only after coming back home. So , it was like reading the second part of the book first.I haven't read or seen "Into the Wild" yet. But I think I have idea of whats it about. still forgive me for any mistake, if any. 

I really like the cover of "the wild truth". Its not misleading and if you read the book (or already read or seen into the wild) you understand the importance and meaning of the picture in the cover. The image of the "magic bus" 142, with the reflection of beautiful mountains of Alaska on its window is very thoughtful, emotional and creative. Reading, The Wild Truth was extremely painful for me. I felt emotionally exhausted, at times. Although my opinion might vary from that of author Carine , but I think I do understand her loss and pain.

Could it be possible that death of Chris McCandless and their dark family secrets are not related? Is it possible that he left for Alaska because he loved nature? That he was just looking for adventure? That he was just trying to discover his true self by being alone for sometime in the midst of the nature? From the book, we know that he tried to come back but couldn’t. He  just didn’t know how difficult this particular path could be and died accidentally? No doubt, he had a difficult childhood but I think he was someone who knew that from where you come is not important but what you become. And we all know from his journals and his life that he turned out human, a good human. 

In a letter, written to his sister, Claire, Chris Has said, “I am divorcing them (his parents)”. He was a brilliant student with a degree and promising future. If he really wanted to die, he would not have completed his education. He could’ve died easily, using other ways. He didn’t need to go to Alaska for that. 

May be Alaska was his love, his passion and his dream. His simple soul was aching for a life far away from the material complexities of the world. Like Chris wrote in his journal (in caps), “ HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED” and maybe he wanted to share his with the nature. I might be wrong but I don’t think he deliberately set off for Alaska to die because of his dark family secrets. I think he had left his past behind the day he started his journey under his new name "Alex".

Nevertheless, this book has brought up an important issue in front of us. Domestic violence and role of parents and its effect on their children. Chris and his sister Carine give us hope that all those who grow up in the difficult family doesn’t always turn into drug addicts. Some become Chris and Carine – a good soul and good parent. 

Taken from The Wild Truth