#WhatIRead – Big Sexy Love

Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I started this book when I was looking for something light and funny, and I was quite taken by it! We all seem to have that one best friend who means the world to us! And mostly, we’ll go to any lengths for such a person – that’s what this book is about. How Olive Maudine Brewster embarks on an adventure of a lifetime to find her love and life’s true calling!

There were many swoon-worthy moments and I even laughed out loud in the beginning – some of the sequences are insane indeed! I like that she made it slightly unpredictable although experienced readers can see the emerging plotline from far away.

Enjoy this entertaining read over a casual weekend as you sip a cuppa and roll your eyes!
Happy Reading!



View all my reviews

#WhatIRead – The Paper Magician

More Like Heart-Throb Magician

It had been a long time since I felt that warm and fuzzy feeling generally associated to a crush. Must have taken me about thirty pages into the book to develop those butterfiles in the nether regions, if you know what I mean.

Emery Thane reminds you of cotton candies, parchment paper, caramel sauce, and all things pleasant! He’s got the most vivid green eyes, that are possibly more expressive than his entire face and words put together.

He smiles and his eyes light up. He frowns, and you know you’re in trouble. It’s mostly his personality, really. He’s the strong, steady boyfriend who’s enigmatic to another level! He goes out of the way to do things for you and to make you comfortable. Well, let me just say he’s a sweetheart!

Now I didn’t have this exact image while I was reading, but one hit on Google, and I think James popped up. And now, I can’t un-see the combination of Emery Thane in the book with James’ body.

BRB – I’m Drooling

Now that I’ve gotten my Emery Thane obsession out of the way, perhaps I should talk about the book. What worked for me, and what didn’t.

The book starts off with our protagonist – Ms Ceony Twill walking to a brooding, dark mansion that’s Thane’s house. Ceony had always nursed dreams of becoming a Smelter, but she was assigned Folding, as there weren’t as many Folders in the world as others.

So Ceony’s in a dark place, and even the façade of the magicians house doesn’t impress her for upon crossing the threshold of the gate, the house becomes a warm place replete with paper flowers, and a chirpy garden.

Unfortunately, she’s welcomed by a pile of bones, and that’s some fright. Imagine walking up to your relative’s house despite not wanting to go, and to top it off, you’re greeted by a skeleton that’s taller than you? Yikes.

Ceony walks in anyway with her ex-mentor and yells for Mr Thane – who she expects to be an old, eccentric person. Well, in walks our Handsome, and for a while, even she’s taken aback!

Emery stays up the night and makes Ceony a life-like dog that’s made of paper! Ceony cooks and helps out with housekeeping besides taking lessons from Emery until all of a sudden, he gets a telegram and disappears for days together. She’s got many questions, yet they go unanswered, for when Emery’s back, he does little to assuage her curiosity.

You think all’s going well in their routine, until there’s a boom in the hallways and a majestically beautiful woman comes by, blowing things apart. Well, she’s an excisioner! So basically, she dabbles in the Dark Arts of Blood! This intriguing woman reaches for Emery’s heart, literally pieces through his body, and takes it away, leaving him dying(I know you thought that he’d be dead too, who survives even a second without a heart?!). Ceony’s world has just gone topsy turvy but she has the presence of mind to go and make a temporary heart for Emery, courtesy all her lessons in folding, and study of human anatomy. Then come some experts who basically stand around and wait for him to die!

And now, you meet the ballsy Ceony who takes it up as her own responsibility to bring back Emery’s heart. Mind you, she’s still a fresher but look that gumption?

What follows is a bloody (literally – although not the violent kind) adventure across a glider, through a heart for a heart, and over some rocks, and back at Thane’s cottage. I won’t go into the details, else there won’t be much to read about. So, there you go!

Enjoy The Paper Magician as I have, and well, welcome the butterflies<3

#WhatIWatched – What If

To get over yesterday’s Monday Blues, and to deal with the monthly chronicling of pain in the uterus, I took an off from work and spent time sleeping and watching.

I finished the second season of Umbrella Academy and then moved to the Rom-Com, What If.

Daniel Radcliffe who plays Wallace looked to be in his element, if looking fidgety, uncomfortable, and confused are to be the benchmarks, he aced it. It was like seeing him re-live the awkward boy wizard once again, trying so hard to profess his love for Chantry, who’s very much his intellectual counterpart. They spend an insane amount of time talking shit, literally! You get to know a whole lot about poop that you may just end up clicking the forward button.

It’s a cute and predictable movie that relies on the cliché of falling for your best friend.

This movie didn’t leave much of an impact on me. I know I’ve got a soft corner for Dan, and that’s definitely why I clicked on this movie recommendation. I also kept thinking of how short he seems to be. I also learnt how to make Fools Gold. The actress Zoe does a decent job, and she’s cute too. But didn’t leave a lasting impact.

Let’s spend a moment talking about Chantry’s Boy Friend, Ben. Man is he threatened by Wallace? Well, what can you really say. If there’s no mental stimulation and connect, can you really sustain a relationship? Perhaps if you work doubly hard, and aren’t continents away!

All in all, don’t watch this movie if you want something new. But if you want to just while away some time, while reliving your childhood crush on Daniel Radcliffe, be my guest.

Adios, amigos!

Begin Again?

The Lockdown has got most of us hooked to the internet and I’m no exception.

When I’m not procrastinating, I’m usually scrolling on my phone. Today however felt a little different. I accidentally woke up early – at 6:30. Which let’s be honest, is my usual waking up time. Except, I generally just turn up the covers and try to dive right back into an unfinished dream. I’ve had a lot of those off late – I dreamt I was about to sip into an exciting cocktail, and there was something nagging me to wake up – I don’t know what that was, but I couldn’t go back and taste it ever. Ugh.

Anyway, today I woke up early and got to take my scooter out for a short spin. I’ve always been a D-Mart fan since my first encounter at Powai. And having to shop for them groceries in the lockdown is a privilege no less. So that was a beautiful start to my morning, and then there was fish for lunch. Sunday Sorted indeed!

I then watched ‘Begin Again’.

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Image source – http://www.mposter.com/begin-again-movie-poster.html

I’ve probably not watched too many Mark Ruffalo movies before. But I recently watched Shutter Island, and now this and I can’t stop raving about him!

Close friends know how face blind I am – I just can’t seem to recall faces or place them appropriately. So please excuse me for confessing that I didn’t recognize the main lead, although I’ve watched Pirates of The Carribean (If you were born in the nineties, who hasn’t – right?)

Begin Again is a delightful breath of fresh air. Music, rather making souldful music, is at the heart of it. And the premise is rather simple. You have the legen–wait-for-it-dary music heartthrob Adam Levine and the cast couldn’t be better. A simple script with beautiful performance, moments of tension when you’re rooting for them lovely peeps, and a warm glow after.

And whether or not you watch this movie. You have to listen to this beauty! Dive right into the depth of the song, and tell me what you think of.

Begin Again.

Will you?

Panchgani Pyaar

On the so-called most romantic day of the year, Boo and I decided to visit our bestie in Pune, so Valentine’s could be spent in the cozy and chill atmosphere of Panchgani, living up to the moniker.

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So that’s me and Boo at the airport! (Our first trip together, if I may add)

I was so disappointed to see the oily stains on the window. 

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Naturally, my inner Monica had to be channeled!

 

We landed in Pune at midnight and drove straight to Bee’s place, and after some midnight munchies, crashed int other night. 

We woke up, showered and dressed by 6 and were off to Wakad to begin the Great Valentine Adventure – The Bike Ride to Panchgani. We were to hire a cruise bike – an Avenger 220, and Bee was to borrow his friend’s Pulsar. As most trips go, they get onto a rough start and this one was no different. After Waiting, Eating, and Fighting and Letting go in that order, we began the much-awaited ride!

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We were finally psyched to be off!

 

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And when we hit the highway – Oh Sweet Jesus!

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The wide roads gave way to breath-taking, winding roads among the hills

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After multiple pit-stops, and a gut-clenching worry that I may have forgotten to book the Zostel, we stopped at an idyllic village scene for fresh sugarcane juice. It was so heartwarming to see this!

 

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We reached our destination – the Zostel around 12-ish and were amazed at the view!

The Panchgani Zostel was simply superb! The compactness of these container rooms and the view out of those mini balconies was so damn nice! Definitely worth a visit once-in-our-lifetime!

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And then we began doing what we came for – Sightseeing of course! Just look at this beaut.

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And this …

 

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And another one…

And then we reached so many viewpoints, where yours truly did her magic… 

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With some dogs

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And a Puppy!

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And posed for some horrible photographer who doesn’t know any symmetry.

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While I got an amazing and artistic picture for him. *BRB – I’m still crying*

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What pure bliss… I think this was Sydney Point – and I feel bad I don’t know why it’s called thus!

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My boyz at the tableland – Harrison’s Folly!

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And yes, we went to the famed ‘Mapro Gardens’ although it was too late to tour the garden.

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Did some touristy things like act surprised at seeing so many hues of flower babies.

Mapro is a huge strawberry farm that encourages visitors to go and pluck strawberries during the fruit season, but they’re mostly renowned cause of their range of jams, fruit syrups, and jelly-based chocolates but if the store at the premise is anything to go by, they’ve ventured into an exhaustive range of product lines right from dark chocolate, cocktail flavours, tea-flavour infusers, and the ubiquitous Gujrati Khakra! 

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Mapro is also famed for its club sandwich, a massive combination of vegetables and cheese which can easily leave 2 foodies stuffed! I, however, wasn’t such a fan! Ooh, and you ought to try the Strawberries with Fresh Cream if you love desserts.

After Mapro, we pretty much crashed and missed the night-walk organized by Zostel. I was so glad to know that it got canceled because no one showed up. 

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I sneaked out early next morning and basked in the light morning solitude.

 

 

 

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And it was so serene and nice.

As we woke up and rode around, yours truly was the navigator and might have missed a bunch of turnings, but guess what, it led us to a temple that Bee was looking forward to visit but we hadn’t factored it into our plans. So basically, the Divine does work in mysterious ways!

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Mandir Bohot Pehle Ban Gaya Tha

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The rest of Day 2 was spent Monkeying around at Arthur’s Seat

 

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And because it was Valentine’s, Boo clicked my pic with Bee!

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This was also the trip where remakes of ‘Pati Patni aur Woh’ could originate.

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And there’s a lot more of those…

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Bidding Farewell to our Container Home – the Zostel!

Day 3 had a rather interesting start. As we were having a cuppa chai after a sumptuous breakfast, a random stranger walked up to us and began to insist that we allow him to read our hands! After some convincing, the 3 of us gave in and got our so-called ‘future’ read. Never done that before, so that was a first!

So we bid goodbye to some terrefic memories and rode back through the amazing roads, stopping by for Sugarcane just as we had earlier.

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And that was that, folks! Hope you had a good read 🙂

 

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?

#WhatIRead – Pyjamas Are Forgiving

So, I just finished Twinkle Khanna’s third book.

I knew when I sat on the bus this morning that I’d treat this read as I do with chewing gums, and that’s pretty much what transpired. Two hours, one bus, and two cups of chai later, here I am, spilling the beans.

A breezy book with a relaxed pace that has little content to put you in a reminiscent mood, Pyjamas are Forgiving caters to a niche readership group which makes the book less enjoyable to others.
The writing is peppered with poignant thoughts about relationships, and you’ll cherish reading about the little nothings that you cannot brush off between couples. The inclusion of funny Punjabi aunties, the weird procedures at the Ayurvedic facility will have you in guffaws at some scenes, but the book mainly dives into the relationship between an estranged couple, who definitely haven’t moved on from their toxic past.

I love how Khanna makes it so easy to digest things. Perhaps, it also helps that you’re reading about so much the Vatta, Pitta, Kapha of Ayurvedic treatments and funny smelling medicines that it makes it easy to down this as a shot itself!

Although there’s so much going on in these pages, it still feels fairly insouciant.

My mom read about three pages and brushed the book aside – and told me its trash. Perhaps it’s one of those rare times that we actually agree on something.

Moral of the story: Pyjamas may be forgiving, but I swear I’ll pick my videsi jeans any day, every day!

Happy morning, you all and wish you a Terrific Tuesday!

 

#WhatIRead: Memoirs of a 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 – The House That BJ Built

Anuja Chauhan’s sequel to ‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’ reemphasizes the same thing through the entirety of this book:

‘I won’t sell. My jhuti won’t sell. Even my Ghosht won’t sell ‘.

Now you know exactly what the story is about – a love story set in the backdrop of an ancient house that’s got a complicated history. Throw in a handsome hunk with Bollywood connections complete with the hot bod and aqualine nose(My assumption of Chauhan’s nose fetish is confirmed for sure!), a righteous but arrogant voluptuous protagonist who keeps chamchamming her way through the storyline, and 4 annoying af cows, er, I mean aunts.

Bonita Singh ‘s name has many synonyms to upp the entertainment quotient. Bonus.. Bonu..Boner.. You see where it’s going?

It’s a fun read given some trademark Chauhan’s Hinglish, her ability to provide offbeat humour, some incredulous Bollywood-like Tamasha, and well-placed mush. (We’re sucklers for old school romance, aren’t we?)

The ending becomes somewhat of a drag and you can think of so many alternate scenarios that could have finished the plot a few pages early.

Nevertheless, if you’re in the mood for a light and entertaining read, do pick up this one and guffaw your way through it! 😂