Trip Me Baby, One More Time!

2019 has seen me through a lot of dilemmas and it’s perhaps a good time now to succumb to the realization that I’m bound to be a chronically broke person in life. How much I make may not have had much effect on me if it didn’t come with the gut-wrenching realization that I’m about to say No to another pre-planned trip. If you dream of traveling the world, and are always penniless or permission-less, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve had to start my year by refusing the biggest trip that was remotely possible in my imagination, and it looks like I’m about to end the year on similar lines.

How does it feel you ask?
It’s akin to an ache that you never knew existed! It begins discretely, like your regular mosquito bite – you acknowledge it, and you ignore. Only, it doesn’t like being ignored, and slowly, it grows into a scab that threatens to disturb your very peace of mind.

I may be able to bid adieu to a future trip well into the initial stages of planning it, oh wait. I don’t think its counted as planning if all you had to do was say yes and get on. The irony isn’t in bidding adieu. Goodbyes are pretty easy for me if I haven’t gotten attached to you, and chances are that unless you’re Katy Perry or Enrique Iglesias, what I’m doing tonight in my skin-tight jeans is really none of your business.

What I fear for is basically this: that journey which began without me, well, it threatens to suddenly develop into a one-track film reminiscent of a one-sided love affair, which doesn’t want to let go of me! And that’s where it all goes wrong.
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If you are a well wisher and have any love to spare, Oh Hogwash – I don’t believe it myself. Well, My Birthday has just come and gone, so do me a favor and wish me a future when I never have to say No to a trip. And I’ll wish the same for you! Deal?

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Long Distance Heart Break? Join The Club.

So yes. You grew up mostly alone, but dreaming big of the day when you’d have close friends to cherish your favorite areas with you. Well, friends came and went and you were hit with a big realization – if they connected with you at all, then something wasn’t right – forces wouldn’t let you be close to them at all. So there, the option of lounging about by the lakeside and gossiping your way on the street side were passe. They would always be states away from you and you just had to make peace with that.

Hell, you still had hope. You thought your prince charming would be the one to while away time with sweet nothings outside your favorite library, or help you pick up the latest releases at the crossword outside the old mall. No illusions there, your prince could be charming but getting him into the threshold of anything that doesn’t scream Videos is an impossible task altogether, and so you strike that off the list as well.

So what do you finally have is the question i.e if you have anything at all. Well apparently you have a promising better half who in the attempt to live in the same city as you chose to reside with the aces of his heart in a location as far from you, as Bangalore would allow. People can often go – Aww. He moved cities for you. Isn’t that the sweetest? I beg to differ.

If he moved cities for you, that’s great. But has he moved homes for you? That’s the real deal breaker cause if you’re new to the Bangalore real estate market, you’d be aware of some base facts. If you’re not residing within 5 km of each other, congratulations, you belong to the elite group of same city, long distance relationship dwellers. The rules are the same as any, whether you’re in Canada or Greece, you only meet once a blue moon, fight the rest, and keep hoping to press the fast forward or rewind button on life’s remote.

So am I among the elitist or am I the commoner? If you haven’t already guessed, perhaps you ought to stop following me already!

The Neverland that is Perfection

You read that right.

Perfection is underrated – or so I believe. In the world of digital and social validation, when you can get that so-called perfect food delivered from the many cafes clobbering each other up, it’s disappointing when you set out in search of something, and your goal falls short of your expectations.

The path to perfection is tedious, but what’s worse is expecting others to be perfect, and being a hypocrite about your own shortcomings. And you still find a way to justify that don’t you?

But this is a rant, and I’m allowed to express distaste instead of licking my own wounds.
If I had a dollar for every time and thing that people manage to screw up, I’d be a wealthy person assuming I didn’t spend it on stationery, earrings, bags, or food. Not that I’m saying I have an excess of these, but hello, an attire can only be perfect if the accessories are matching aren’t they?
Also, having enough of things doesn’t and cannot amount to choice overload!

Do you know what’s the most frustrating thing though?
Seeing your people struggle against the most silliest of problems. If only they’d listen to you – sound logical advice that’s a win-win for everybody. But no. What’s in their head, has and will always be the bible for some.
Or do they listen to their gut? But this is an abomination. How can you survive two seconds when your earphones are MIA! The distance between one’s gut and one’s mind has thus increased exponentially thanks to these new extensions dangling around the neck.

I quite appreciate how impatience and the quest to perfection go hand in hand. It’s a union that’s meant to be, man!

And that’s how you end up in the quagmire like this. Let the frustration build up, screw your nose, roll your eyes, and get on with your mundane doings. After all, even rants change nothing!

Somedays…

Somedays, I want to write.

I want to write about the many wonders of life that exist beyond my four walls –of the air-conditioned, monotonous office buildings.
I want to write about the struggles of the fruit-seller on the streets, or the bus driver’s mental state while navigating through the most crowded routes of Bangalore.
I want to write about the dreams and aspirations of the artist who sits next to me, his crafts waiting their turn as his mind is busy, engaged on the screen for hours together.
I want to write about my dreams – those that I’ve conquered and the many that are left unsaid and unknown – awaiting their chance in the shadows like specs of dust floating around – not knowing if they will keep wafting about or find a place to call its home.
I want to write about the freedom that the wind experiences – as it breezes across oceans and swarms through cities, gliding gleefully atop mountains, and plunging restlessly down into the valleys. I want to listen to its thrilling stories of people encountered, of animals fierce and friendly, of its rendezvous with trees, colorful flowers, and broken leaves, of billowing for hours on treacherous territory until it’s found its way to me – oh the stories untold!

Somedays, I want to write.

What I Regret Reading – After By Anna Todd

I’ve mentioned my fabulous app – the one for free, easy-to-read phone ebook app, haven’t I? So when I looked for something new, I was suggested Anna Todd’s ‘After’.

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I generally do not like reading the blurb-y synopsis behind novels, so I dived straight through. What can I say? It was the most wasteful 7 hours of my day, ever! I kept the pages turning because it wasn’t so hard on the eyes, but I think a few grey cells really died among those pages.

When I had to describe this book to my friend I called it a ‘Crossover between Twilight without the vampires, and Fifty shades minus the BDSM’.

Where do I start with what was wrong with this book? I may just have to alter the question to – What was even right in this tragic waste of words?!

Let me still give it a shot while I have some sanity left, eh?

The underlying theme is obviously one of a cliché – The good girl with everything working for her including good grades, a scholarship college admission, and a boy friend, who meets tattooed and pierced quintessential bad boy, and immediately they have the hots for each other though that is disguised as – yes, you guessed it hatred – an evident dislike for each other, which intensifies to sexual attraction in the most weird ways.

I don’t know how dumb the author must be and how stupid the readers for this book to have a series in itself! Besides the cesspit of toxicity that is immature attempts at relationships, underage drinking at frat houses, snobbish kids playing truth and dare, and ****ing around with every person in sight simply because you can , there really isn’t much else

Let’s just get into a few instances of melodrama. What say?

  • The kid with straight A-s joins a college which is about 3 hours from home, and of course, she needs to have a controlling Mom who insists on staying away from her daughter’s tattooed, goth-like roommate. Now I for one understand that that’s how Moms react. When I first met my Guitar Bud who went on to become among my favorite people on this planet, I could see the chagrin on my Mom’s face. Which tattooed guy has ever impressed mothers!? But our lovely lady here not only blows her mother’s concern off every instance but literally breaks ties with her to live with our cranky teenage throb who has serious need rehab level of issues.
  • Our Protagonist initially does not want to go to parties or drink alcohol. Cause good girls don’t do that! Needless to say, she does precisely that! Not once, twice, or thrice, but holy mother of God – every single time, even when she’s not invited !! And of course – she gets drunk, does the whole damsel in distress act and she’s rescued by Mr. Darcy himself – clearly no points for guessing!
  • Every story needs a friend zoned best friend – so we have the best boy to fit this typecast role, and of course, he happens to be the stepbrother of our (anti)hero. 
  • You have your usual sparks flying, can’t keep my hands to myself act, and have to keep making out in the most random places. Yes, we get it. But to show just how volatile this relationship is, the pair keeps having combustible arguments every 7th page – not kidding. (Okay, maintaining track on ebook pages is slightly tricky, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true!)
  • They are so horribly wrong for each other – they can see it. But it’s just misguided loyalties, hormonal imbalance, and sheer dumbness that have them coming at each other.
  • If you’re reading this book, or even glancing at it, which I took to doing when I realized it was too much crap, you can’t help but realize the value of good old Mills & Boons, Danielle Steele or Sandra Brown – Dear god, how could you ever despise these women! At least they had a tale to tell, and not fill pages with incoherent random words as fillers while the protagonists are actually doing is grind against each other.
  • The author’s language is just cringeworthy. Period.
  • And did I mention the name of this confused, ridiculous specimen of a boy? Hardin! Yeah, exactly. What’s a better name for a novel that’s just high on sex, and nothing but sex! It’s clear the author isn’t fooling anyone. It’s a trashy read through and through and will have you pulling your hair on frustration or make you want to slap the characters terribly. 

After enduring everything, your heart may actually collapse when you get to know this tragedy is only the first in the five-part book series of After!

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. HOW!?

INDEED, SOME GOODBYES ARE THE SWEETEST!

Old Post Alert

I found my old cellphone and several drafts of unpublished blogs. Here’s an attempt to revive some of those with a slight edit towards the end. 
Circa 2016

A few months down the line, there is probably a lot that I’m going to miss. Walking downhill all by myself and treating myself to coffee is probably going to top the list. I don’t want to look back and say why didn’t I do this more often? 

I want to do this everyday if I need to. Just to make sure that I did it when I could. 

There’s a dilemma in my head. About my career. It was probably always there but inexpressible. Now that the time for placements is here.. It’s resurfacing,  and in a big way. What’s the answer to that? Do I have the courage to follow through? Without knowing what is the destination, is the journey worth embarking upon? 

Circa 2019

It’s  been exactly two years now since I grabbed my accidental degree and I’m now on my third job after a few freelance gigs. 

Truth be told, I got placed in what was my dream company then, one of the world’s leading market research firms but life at my dream company wasn’t the stuff that dreams are made of. I was insanely Happy and proud of my achievements – lone girl from Bangalore, armed with an MBA in media, living in the city of dreams with my best friend, it was the stuff I had dreamed but not believed in. And life was good, or as good as it can be with plenty of working weekends and a work life that I didn’t enjoy, and with my loved ones far away. But I was exceedingly Happy at being away from home and couldn’t think of having it any other way. But you gotta believe in destiny right, and let it unravel its plans the way it’s meant to be. Despite more than a few pressing concerns, I made the shift home, for the love of my people. For I’d realized one thing, a place is only as good as its people. A lot has changed from then to now, my perspective to things is different and my reactions are far less emotional and more pragmatic, and that has made all the difference. 

As for whether the journey is worth embarking on, well the road is never monotonous and you’ve got to decide this for  yourself. 

Maybe it’s meant to be difficult and incomprehensible, enough to drive you nuts. But just hang in there bud, and keep faith. It gets better. Always! 🙂 

#WhatIRead: Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha is an unforgettable read that transports you to Japanese life during the second World War and offers a glimpse into the enigma that are the Geisha

Hello Folks!

If you’re a loyal reader, I wish you a hearty morning and hope your soul feels nourished like never before!

If you’ve come to this page for the first time, I certainly hope I’m interesting enough for you to keep returning! What can I say, one man’s catharsis can be another man’s entertainment? At least that’s what’s been driving me all these posts!

Today’s section of #WhatIRead focuses on Memoirs of a Geisha. This book was on my list for the longest time but I’d never gotten around reading it because all the paperbacks I found had really tiny font and you know how annoying it is… There’s two things I can’t stand in a book, tiny illegible font and those horrible pirated copies, which seem like fake paper. I’m not as staunchly against piracy though because I believe ebooks have revolutionised the game and fortunately, a lot of then are available for free! If you want to know where I do my free ebook reading, feel free to drop a msg. Always glad to have another member in the reading club 🙂

Memoirs of a Geisha had me stumped! I expected it to be a drab retelling of what the Geisha are given that it’s been penned by a man, Arthur Golden. (No bias against men writers but I just didn’t think they’d do so much justice to a female protagonist’s voice). I wasn’t prepared for a disturbing and thought provoking marathon that this book offers.

It started off splendidly – the deprecated and desolate tipsy hut overlooking a cliff, a tiny pond, Chiyo San’s overtly optimistic thoughts and her description of her parents… There was so much innocence there and then the story became progressively darker…

I won’t mince my words.. The journey takes you from curiosity, to disgust to desolation, and finally leaves you feeling sympathetic and helpless… And you’ll be hooked to it as a moth takes to flame… A definite page turner!

In the middle of the narrative, I got so involved that I had to know more.. Was it a real story? Who are these women? Are their lives really as intriguing as its been painted, or is it much worse!? I looked up tonnes of information and came to the conclusion that the fiction must be based on a majority of real life events and happenings, although the former Geisha who was interviewed declined a lot of things and even went on to sue the author. (Here’s a link if you’re curious about the lady in question: Mineko Iwasakiwhose life forms a large part of this book)

Did I mention that on the days when my eyes were too strained to read (given that work involves a whole lot of laptop screen staring), I found a YouTube play list of a fan curated audio book. That served the purpose too, and I absolutely adored the orator’s voice.

Without further ado, get on your reading glasses and dig into this soul stirring narrative!

Happy reading guys.

🙂

#WhatImReading: The Time Traveler’s Wife

This book has been on my wishlist for a really long time but somehow I’d never gotten the opportunity to read it. After finishing two intense books, Sister of My Heart and American Gods, I started the ebook version of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Reading this makes one fall in love with being in love. How can you not? It’s so simple an emotion and so entwined with life that maybe it’s easy to miss but you have to remember, it’s there!

I absolutely love how the plot weaves in and out of different time zones. And Henry? Oh well. If I had to put him up there in the list of fictional people I’ve fallen in love with, he’s right beside Taariq and Sirius. It doesn’t help that Henry is a librarian! If I had to redo my life again, might I not choose to be the purveyor, peruser and protector of books!?

I was inspired by my friend Nat, who I think keeps going back to The Time Traveler’s Wife, to pick this up and give it a read. I’ve still not finished with it. It’s a paradox. I want to read and I want it to never end…

I love how little Clare and big Henry meet. I Love the romance in the little things which so often we take for granted. It’s funny that it takes an external factor to remind you that all the details are in the little things.

It’s weird how I cannot give you a review of this book and I can just tell you to enjoy the feeling that it leaves you with. So few books have this power of making everything seem pleasant.

If you’re in love and need a reminder of those happy carefree moments, pick this up. If you’ve never been in love, pick this up to know it’s never ever too late. For Whatever it’s worth, need a good book to unwind? Pick this up already!

#WhatIRead – Cut Like Wound Review

After reading Anita Nair’s famous work ‘Ladies Coupe’, ‘Cut Like Wound’ is only my second tryst with her writing. I had no expectations from the book but had surmised from the title that it’s a mystery.

I finished this book in record time in comparison to my reading schedule because it was an epic page turner.

I love how Anita sketches her characters. She gives them enough flesh that they appear real as if you’ve known these people all your lives, like the neighbor who lives down the lane. You’re both smile buddies who don’t do much talking yet you seem to know almost everything there is to know about each other.

Cut Like Wound is set in Bangalore and the plot crisscrosses around North Bangalore. This novel introduces us to Bangalore’s previously famous fictional Inspector, Borei Gowda, who in his youth was known for his ‘saakath sense’ but is now a fat and grumpy inspectors who isn’t ailing well. The readers are treated to the protagonist’s personal and professional existence and one can almost feel the despondency as mid life crisis hits him where it hurts hard. A series of murders carried out in signatures style, a corrupt politician, and a whole lot of transvestites make this book a fascinating read. It‘s also got scope enough for a movie if you ask me.

There were a few places where I felt that the edit could be better yet otherwise, in keeping with the style, this is an interesting read!

#WhatIRead – The Sialkot Saga

Hi Folks,

Wish you all a happy Wednesday morning. Isn’t it sublime to know that you’re in the mid of another week and you can almost sniff the excitement of the weekend? Well, I’ve reached my workspace pretty early today thanks to the opposition’s call for a nation-wide Bandh. Man, I used to love being in school for all these unpredictable holidays… Anyway, it’s not too bad being grown up, you can get used to getting your salary. The trouble only strikes when you start evaluating your goals vs your money, and then shit gets real! 

I digress.

Here’s what you came for! 

So I recently finished Ashwin Sanghi’s ‘The Sialkot Saga’, and I couldn’t quite make up my mind over it. I definitely liked the read but there were plenty of loopholes so I’ll just treat it like a dose of Bollywood entertainment. 

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a. The name has barely anything to do with what transpires in the book… And the cover is definitely a giveaway of sorts if you know what I mean! (wink wink)

b. I have always looked at Ashwin Sanghi as The Indian Dan Brown but after reading this particular novel, I’m inclined to also refer to him as The Indian Jeffrey Archer. Need I say more? I bet you’ve already guessed the plotline!

c. I quite liked how he’s tried to sketch over the characters of the protagonist. It was a real page-turner, I won’t deny that but there was something missing – like a good soul. 

d. I absolutely loved how the author integrated almost ALL important events that occurred in Indian History post Independence. You’ll read about the political scenario of India right from Nehru’s times to the chaos of the Gandhi era, to Vajpayee’s unsuccessful stints. It’s not just politics, owing to the economic interests of a certain protagonist, there’s a whole lot of connection to India’s foreign policies, trade unions, et al.

e. It’s also interesting to note that the major terrorist attacks that happened have found mention in the book in one way or another. You’ve got to give the credits to the author, in between weaving from the past and the present, he’s certainly tried his best to keep the plot as real as possible. 

Final Verdict?

To be honest, you aren’t missing out much if you give this a skip but if you’re remotely interested in Indian history and politics, then it’s a good refresher and you may even spot out some erroneous gaps in the timeline! That said, every book deserves its due. So, pick up this, or pick up that, and stick to it! You’ll always be better off after reading! 

So long, then!

Adios, and Happy Reading! 🙂