Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Resolutions 2015


Dear Diary,

Today is the last day of 2014, Looking back at my year, I'm amazed, literally. The year is filled with little and big moments, the highlight of which were winning the Book Challenge that I wrote about here and my sister's wedding.




Going through my Last year's resolutions, I realized with pride that I did manage to accomplish most of them. I can cook, I'm no Masterchef but I am able to create something decent and tasty. I participated in the A-Z Challenge but due to my awry schedule was unable to blog every month. Something I intend to work on this year.

Here are my New year resolution for 2015 :

1. Be a better person than last year. (This one is standard.)

2. Blog more often. I'm planning to include a new segment on Gratitude and might devote one day a week to it. Thankful Tuesdays or Thursdays. (Oprah's novel Things I know For Sure gave me this idea.)

3. Learn a new language or at least it's basics.

3. Make more friends.

4. Read more books.

5. Cook more often.

Hope you will make you resolutions and accomplish them by next year.

The Sunday Visitor.




Friday, 19 September 2014

About Teachers and Teaching


Dear Diary,

Firstly, I apologize for writing after such a long time. I have been very occupied lately with assignments and book reviews. I started reviewing books for this amazing blog called Writersmelon. You can check it out here

Having grown up in a family of teachers, I like asking professors and teachers why they started teaching. Some started  by chance and others by choice. Lucky for me they were some of the best professors, I could have ever asked for. I realized that we are all teachers in some way or the other. 

Allow me to explain.

For many people, teaching may not be their calling, nor the profession through which they earn a living but everyone is a teacher. You learn something from everyone you meet, and they learn something from you. I think that is what it all comes down to in the end.

This life is a process of learning and teaching and once we stop learning, we stop growing and evolving. Never shy away from sharing your life lessons with someone, it might help them someday, just as somebody's life lessons might have helped you at some time.

The Sunday Visitor.




Tuesday, 9 September 2014

60 Minutes - Book Review.


60 MINUTES

How do you spend 60 Minutes of your time?



One hour, sixty minutes, three thousand and six hundred seconds. Seems like a sufficiently long span of time, but an hour in the life of Agastya, a successful and ambitious CEO and the protagonist  in Upendra Namburi’s novel 60 Minutes shows just how precious time is in reality.

Dealing with a rivalry with a CEO from company, a woman scorned, a marriage in jeopardy, an addiction to the bourses and the impending launch of a product that can make or break his career, Agastya is racing against time and sixty minutes is all he has to save himself, his job and everything he holds dear.

The book does absolute justice to its title. The chapters keep the reader abreast with the time and the situation. The few lines on each new chapter provide an interesting perspective and give the reader a little hint of what to expect in the chapter. They blend well with the chapter thus enhancing the readers experience.

The author cleverly employs an engaging technique of back and forth narration, consequently helping the reader understand the predicament and motives of the characters better. The back story of the important characters like Maithili, Sailesh Rao and Agastya renders the book more interesting. It also gives the book it’s refreshing quality and helps the reader keep up with the story.

 The cover page of the book captures the essence of the plot. Set in a fast paced city like Mumbai, the two large digits display a shot of the bustling city life, encapsulating the spirit of the novel.

Sixty Minutes is an interesting, fast paced corporate drama which keeps you gripped till the end. The unexpected twists and turns, surprising revelations, secret past liaisons will keep you at the edge of your sofa and biting your finger nails. The author like a true marketing professional , doles out a little gyan here and there, to aid the reader with little or no knowledge of the bourse and marketing.

If you want to try something different by a desi author for a change, I highly recommend Upendra Namburi’s book Sixty Minutes. It has all the elements of a Bollywood masala movie : action, romance, suspense and a lot more. Don’t waste 60 seconds in thinking. Give 60 minutes a shot. You will not regret it. I give it a 4/5.

The Sunday Visitor.




Wednesday, 13 August 2014

MY REVIEW OF AND WE REMAINED...

AND WE REMAINED… - A REVIEW

Curiosity always gets the better of us in every situation. Our curiosity is piqued when something is left incomplete be it a story, a statement, a tidbit of news or information.

Asad Ali Junaid’s book caught my attention out of curiosity due to it’s unique title And We Remained… There is a sense of incompletion to it. Immediately questions start arising. Remained how, where and many others. One read of the novel and the title starts to make sense. The depth and meaning behind these words and their connection to the story make them the perfect choice for the title.

The story revolves around five friends, their experiences in college and those in the outside world. Set in the backdrop of a gradually changing India in the remaining few years of the 20th century and those of the 21st, it’s heartening to see that they manage to keep in touch and update each other of the happenings in their lives via email.

Their experiences are bound to remind the reader of their own college days : lounging with friends, college festivals, inedible hostel food, perpetually broke financial status, awkward encounters with the opposite sex  and relive them through these five protagonists. One of the protagonists echoes my sentiments when he says “ feels like a trip back to college.”

The back and forth style of narration through mails and Individual perspectives is pretty unique and fascinating to read. It provides a certain amount of credibility and authenticity to the narrative.

Asad Ali Junaid has wisely divided the book into two parts. The introductory quote on love is a small giveaway as to what the reader can expect in the subsequent pages, a story which thousands of Indians love to watch on the big screen and small screen. There are quite a few Bollywood and Hollywood reference which the reader can identify with and associate. The second quote by Harriet Beecher Stowe is very moving. I heartily commend Asad Ali Junaid on his choice of introductory quotes as they both are apt.


What I liked about the book was the multiplicity of relationships and emotions that the author explores : love, infatuation, bonding of friends to name a few. The book is pretty fast paced and very engaging. Asad Ali Junaid offers a resolution and does not keep the reader hanging. The book seems to have a happy ending although it’s not explicitly written. If you have a few hours to spare and need something interesting to read, then give And We Remained… a shot. I give it a 3/5.



P.S : The cover of the novel earned me a few raised brows.


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Musings of a soon to be 20 something old.

Dear Diary,

I have this habit. You can call it annoying but it’s something I developed as a kid and continued over the years. As a child anyone older to you by a good margin of 8-20 years is an ‘Adult.’ I was and still am curious about adults.

So whenever there is a birthday of one of the adults in my family I ask them, “So how does it feel getting a year older? Do you feel more adult like?” and their varying replies always fascinate me.

I will be 20 soon, no wait, tomorrow to be more precise and it will be unfair to exclude myself from this question. It feels great being a year older because I remember as a kid I was always excited at the prospect of becoming an adult, going out into the world, being independent.


It’s also a little daunting because in many ways I’m still a kid. I learn new things everyday and these experiences are slowly shaping up my personality as a whole. I don’t feel like an adult right now but I doubt its something that you feel immediately. It comes slowly and gradually.

Not so long ago 20 seemed like just another number but now that it’s a few hours away, it’s more than two digits. So while I'm passing through a phase of mixed emotions before the clock strikes 12, I'll keep telling myself 



The Sunday Visitor.

P.S : I'd love to know what you were thinking before your twentieth birthday, what were you feeling on your 20th birthday.


Sunday, 22 June 2014

For the love of Rewards,


Dear Diary,


It's been a while since I last wrote for Two Shoes Tuesday. As I found myself with some free time I decided to take up this week's Two ShoesTuesday prompt. I chose REWARD.

As kids, rewards have a lot of value in our lives. I remember my mum telling me, If I study diligently and pass my exams with good marks, my reward would be a Mcdonald's Happy Meal. The toy was of more interest to me than the meal in itself.

I believe rewards are an excellent way to motivate people to do something. It's a form of acknowledgement but when rewards become the sole purpose for a task the problem starts arising. 

Rewards do not necessarily have to be monetary or materialistic, the satisfaction that comes at accomplishing a task can be rewarding too, the joy of watching happiness on another person's face because of something you do is rewarding in itself and cannot be equated with money or gifts. A good remark at the end of an essay is a reward.


For me,

The Sunday Visitor.

Friday, 13 June 2014

May & June


Dear Diary,

Sorry for such a long gap, I was very occupied these past two months. I have been upto a lot of things. I managed to complete the challenge I was participating in. I read 24 books even before the year got over :)

I aced my Spanish Exam with 86% unfortunately I'm not doing another level as Spanish is really close to French and in all likelihood I will mix them both and invent a new language Spench or Franish :)

Here's what I have been doing and what I did :

I started reading a book in French 


I celebrated one of my closest friend's birthday.
Gang of Girls!

The last day of My French Class.


I won a Twitter Contest held by a fashion blogger and a dear friend.
Everyone needs to be pampered for a change!

I spent a week surrounded by the hills in a hill station

The Hills are alive!

The view from the building.

I also started a blog in French so do check it out Le Journal D'un Francophile


Gotta run,

The Sunday Visitor.


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Liebster Special


Dear Diary,

Yesterday, I was in for a surprise when I opened my mail and saw that Swathi Shenoy from Flightless Bird Thoughtful Wings nominated me for a Liebster. Thank You Swathi and I graciously accept :)


The Rules:

1. Link back and thank the blogger who nominated you in your post.
 2. List 11 facts about yourself.
 3. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
 4. Pick 5 - 10 new bloggers (must have less than 300 followers) to nominate.
 5. Ask them 11 new questions. Do not re-nominate the blogger who nominated you.
 6. Go to each blogger's site and inform them of their nomination.


 The 11 Facts about me :

1. I come from a family of teachers.
2.I love to read and can spend hours with a book.
3.I love history and my birthday happens to be an important date in History.
4.I am terrible at punctuations.
5.I’m a Cancerian and I love the monsoon.
6.I love the sea, beach and any place with a water body.
7.I cannot cook but I’m trying to change that.
8.I find it very hard to say No to people.
9.I like all colors but I particularly like blue and it’s shades.
10.I’m a Francophile and completely besotted with France.
11.I wish to travel the world one day.


Here are the questions asked and my answers :

1.    What is your favorite pastime, apart from reading novels?
I enjoy watching movies especially French movies and writing stories.

2.    If given a chance to go back and change one thing from your past, what it would be?
Go for an exchange programme to Belgium that my college had organized.

3.    Which is the first word that comes to your mind when asked to describe yourself?
Bookworm.


4.    What got you into blogging?
I wanted to be a columnist and realized that nobody would hire an amateur columnist and therefore started blogging as a means to express my thoughts and opinions.
 

5.    Which is that one thing that can change your foul mood and make you smile within an instant?
Chocolate. It always has that effect on me.

6.    Which in the memory/incident that you treasure the most?
My meeting with His Holiness The Dalai Lama is something I will treasure always.

7.    Ten years later from now, where do you see yourself?
I see myself as a Professor sitting before a class full of students and teaching.

8.    If given a chance to be invisible for a day, what will you do?
Dance on the road J


9.    Was there any major turning point in your life that made you who you are today? If so, then what is it?
There was no major turning point as of such but a serious bout of chicken pox a year back did render me a bit more thoughtful about many things I took for granted.

10. What do you think is the key to any successful relationship?
Communication and honesty together make for a successful relationship.

11. According to you, what is the definition of a good novel?
A novel is good if it is unputdownable and manages to make the reader feel a sense of loss at the end like Harry Potter.

My nominees are: 






My questions are :

1. If not for your current profession, you would have chosen.....?

2. What is the first thing that you see in people?

3.What superpower would  you like to possess?

4. If you had to invite three famous people (dead or alive) for dinner who would they be ?

5. Your favorite book / movie and why?

6. What is the one lesson that you wished you learnt earlier.

7. What is your favorite way to pass the time?

8. Five things on your bucket list.

9. Your favorite childhood memory.

10. A random fact about you.

11. Do you believe in rebirth? If yes, what would you like to be reborn as?


Once again Thank You Swathi & Congratulations to my nominees. 

The Sunday Visitor.











Awards

Dear Diary,

Awards are an excellent means to recognize people and their hard work. I’m extremely humbled and honored that Natasha from Points to Ponder  has nominated me for this:



The Versatile Blogger
 The Most Creative Blogger 
 Reader Appreciation Award 
 Most Influential Blogger 


The nominees have to acknowledge, share a few random facts about themselves and further nominate other bloggers.

Random Facts about me :

I’m a History junkie and my birthday has historical significance.

I’m a Literature student but extremely bad at punctuations.

I love cartoons and old Laurel & Hardy movies.

I love books and chocolate in equal measure

I can’t cook.

My nominees:



Medeia Sharif

The Little Princess

Word + Stuff

Let Beauty Be Your Constant Ideal

Make It A BeaYoutiful

Proactive Indian.


Heartiest Congratulations to all my nominees. Please accept my nomination and in return spread the blog love.


The Sunday Visitor.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Reflections on A-Z


Dear Diary,

A-Z  is over. While I’m delighted on completing the challenge, I’m a bit sad that I no longer have to think of any more recommendations.

It was a pleasure visiting various blogs, making new blogging friends, reading the comments on my blog posts and sharing my recommendations with everyone.
It amazes me how innumerable times in spite of our words clashing, the content differed and so did the perspectives of looking at it. I had a lot of fun sticking to a theme this year, for a change.

A virtual high five to every blogger out there, who successfully completed the challenge. It was a pleasure to blog the month of April and I look forward to the challenge next year too.

Until then...
Time to recharge my batteries.


The Sunday Visitor.

Snapshots for April


Dear Diary,

Here are a few insights into my life and what I did in the month of April :
Chased this little fella and did my work out!

Binged on Easter Egg.

Welcomed a heavenly visitor for a day.

Celebrated Easter.

Photographed Easter Eggs.


 The Sunday Visitor.

Z is for Zitella.


Dear Diary,

For Z,I recommend : Zitella.

Zitella is a word no longer used in English,  I wonder why? It's such a pretty word.  It means a young girl or a maiden.

All of us are zitellas in some way or the other because I believe that age is just a number. No matter how old you grow, there is still a zitella somewhere hidden inside of you.


My recommendation: Don’t let her go. Hold on to her because she is the one who will make you feel young at heart no matter what the mirror shows you. She will always show you the lighter side of things and make you laugh at your silly errors.


Be a Zitella always!

The Sunday Visitor

Monday, 28 April 2014

Y is for Yabber Away!!


Dear Diary,

For Y,I recommend : Yabber Away!!

Yabber means to chatter incessantly.

For this blog post my two lovely neighbors were the inspiration. One is a little girl of four and the other a boy of seven. They keep yabbering all day long, it’s cute but sometimes it gets pretty annoying too. 

I’m no saint and frankly I don’t have a lot of patience with children but these two are helping me change that.The ironic part though is that when these two are not around, the house is so silent and I start missing their yabbering, longing for them to come back soon.

Looking at these two I wonder, why people are so hell bent on making sense out of their lives, as kids our speech is often unclear and we tend to yabber a lot but still our parents understand us, our needs and our wants. Similarly our life may not make sense to us now but we will understand it sooner or later till then Yabber Away!!


Here’s a picture of us :

The Sunday Visitor.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Xenophile!


Dear Diary,

For X,I recommend : Xenophile.



Let me be frank and admit it, I’m a Xenophile. Xenophilia is described as love of foreigner while Xenophobia is a fear of them.  

Every place has it’s own share of visitors. While one can choose to grumble about them like I have noticed in some places, or accept them for who they are, because after all we are foreigners everywhere except in our homeland.

Why I call myself a Xenophile is because I love observing people, especially foreigners. I tend to strike conversations with them asking them how they are enjoying their stay, which places they have visited, recommend them some nice tourist spots in the city etc. In addition to it, learning a foreign language has helped me broaden my horizons and deepen my Xenophilia. (I may come across as creepy. But I’m harmless J)

That's me!



I’m curious about people, their cultures and lifestyles and often in my conversation with foreigners learn a lot about their country and them in the process. While I detested Geography in school, being a Xenophile has helped me improve my knowledge.

The Sunday Visitor

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Win some, lose some.

Dear Diary,

First off, I ask pardon for not writing yesterday, I was occupied with some work and by the time I finished it, it was too late to blog.

For W, I recommend: Win some, lose some.

This incident happened a month ago. While my friend and I were waiting for our sandwiches, a mother and son passed us. The son in a football jersey  was dejected with his head hanging low and a football in his hands while the mother was angry and kept berating him. They were returning from a football match which I assume the boy lost and therefore the bombarding. My friend affirmed my assumptions.

I was baffled by what I had witnessed. A walk down memory lane reminded me of how supportive my parents were when I lost a competition and how they encouraged me to try again without losing heart. Gone are the days when Participation is what mattered; now it’s winning.

That’s why I recommend ‘Win some, lose some.’

That does not mean to lose on purpose but merely not be disappointed. In life everyday is a battle. It’s impossible to win all of them. No single King in History was undefeated in his conquests. Win some battles and lose some because loss and failure can teach you a lot many things that success cannot. It’s necessary to have a taste of everything in life.



 The Sunday visitor


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