Sunday, November 30, 2014

Female Writers who have changed Me

Image courtesy: Google

Being a voracious reader, I thought it wouldn't be fair till I dedicated an entire post to the list of Authors who have influenced my life ways more than one. These are writers I look up to. There are books written by them that I worship. Since I have a lot of favorite Authors belonging to both the sexes, today's post shall be on those female writers who have been a guiding light in the various stages of my life, starting right from childhood. Maybe later, I shall do a post on the male writers. 

So, here goes:

# Enid Blyton - Simply because my childhood would have been incomplete without her books. Malory Towers, St. Claires, the Famous Five, Secret seven, Five find-outers... I devoured her book by the dozen from my school library. 

# Judy Blume - For her book 'Are you there God? It's me, Margaret' alone that taught me like a million things during adolescence. If you have read the book, then you know what I'm talking about. I don't think I've read a better book when I was in school that explained the 'growing up' thing better than this one did. 

# J.K. Rowling - Do I need say more? I have literally grown up with Harry Potter. I read the series as and when a new installment came out. Which means Harry and friends were my companions through out my teenage years. I read it at the exact right time I was meant to and my teen self is thankful for that (It helped get me through some tough years).

# Cecilia Ahern - Though she is most popular for 'P.S. I love you' (which had me bawling my eyes out like a baby), there are a lot of great books by this author. Reading her is like reading a fairy tale. She weaves magic into some of her stories that makes you believe in them once more. Another personal favorite of mine is 'Love, Rosie' which is a story about two friends and how sometimes destiny plays a big role in your life. 

# Jane Green - Here is another writer who writes chick-lit that are feel good and fun to read. She writes about characters that you can connect with and like all books of this genre, you end up eating ice cream and reading it simultaneously. After reading 'Bookends', I'm determined to start a cosy book shop cum cafe somewhere down the lane. 

# Jackie Collins - It may not be great works of literary fiction, but the way she writes and the head strong heroines in her books will have you burning the midnight oil. Throw in Hollywood, sex, secrets and betrayals, you know that it would be hard to resist turning the pages. An instant bestseller, if there ever was one. The Santangelo series are simply addictive. 

# Sophie Kinsella - This is where I go to when I need a good laugh or some light reading. Her shopaholic series are addictive and Becky Bloomwood is a riot. For those of you who are not familiar with her work, she writes chick-lit that is doused with a great deal of humor that will have you chuckling in your seats. This is the book that you want to take for your honeymoon (I did!). 

# Nora Roberts - For the die hard romantic in me, provided I'm feeling all lovey-dovey. The number of books that she has written alone has me wondering about how her mind works. 

# Jhumpa Lahiri - Words fail me to describe this author's works. She makes even the most deary situations into beautiful stories. A true inspiration, if there ever was one. Lahiri may not have written books by the dozen, but the few ones that she has written are worth their weight in gold. Be it short stories or novels, the ease at which she writes about loneliness, marriage, death are simply enviable. I highly recommend 'Interpreter of Maladies' and 'Unaccustomed Earth', both collection of short stories if you haven't already read it, that is. She is someone who keeps inspiring me to push the boundaries and be a better writer. 

# Anita Nair - When it comes to writing about the various genres, none does it more successfully than Nair. From contemporary fiction to thrillers to historical fiction, she has written it all. Her book 'Ladies Coupe' alone, is like a bible to me. Each time I read it, I learn something new. 'The Better Man' is a brilliant debut and I want to re-read it again, simply because it is totally worth it. 

# Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni - The myriad of human emotions are so complex. Yet each one intriguing. And she explores and dwells into it with such an intensity that leaves you shaken at times. 'Sister of my heart', 'Palace of illusions' are some of my favorites by this author. For those of you who are not familiar with 'Palace of illusions', Divakaruni tells Draupadi's story from her point of view of the Mahabarata. 

# Jaishree Misra- She writes with an ease and characters that are so familiar that it's almost like reading what goes on next door. With strong characters and story lines that are believable, I chanced upon her books some years back and have been a fan ever since. And when I realized I got signed copies after ordering few of her books online, I was over the moon. My personal favorites are 'Ancient Promises' and 'Afterwards'. 

# Kamala Das - I had written a whole post about her during UBC. But this list would have been incomplete had I not included her name. I have picked up couple of her books in Malayalam that I plan on reading by next year. What can I say? I'm smitten. For someone who avoided reading her mother tongue like the plague (nothing to be proud of, I know), now that's saying something. And why I don't like to read Malayalam? Long story! But I'm determined to give it a try for Kamala Das. That's how much I love her! And her poetry? Simply amazing. 

# Elizabeth Gilbert - I have read only one book by her (many years back) - 'Eat Pray Love'. Though I liked reading it then, if I were to read it now, I would probably love it. I have been following her Facebook page for quite some time now and each day the positive messages that she shares are inspiring. Do follow her for your daily dose of inspiration. 

Those are some of my favorite female authors. Have I left out anyone? I hope not. I have a lot more books on my 'to-read list' and this list shall be expanding and updated later on as I finish with them. So, tell me, who are your favorite female writers? You know, the kind that changed you or the ground-shifted-beneath-your feet kind of writing? I would love to hear them. Do recommend your personal favorites if you feel that I'm missing out on something big in life. 

A Cleaner India

Image source: Indiblogger

If you have been on a long train journey across India, you would be familiar with the sights in rural villages. I did take one such journey many years back and the some of the scenes were so vivid that I still remember it with shocking clarity. However, it is sad a state of affairs to notice that things have not improved much since. 

Maybe the story is a little different in cities. But if I were to visit a public toilet, I would still think twice. Yes, the condition of toilets in bus stops, train stations and other common places where the masses frequent are still in a very sorry state. I'm talking about the ladies toilet here, as I know there are a lot of men who prefer the open air to do their business. 

It's humiliating that in a country like India which protests against public displays of affection, relieving your body of its needs in an open space is considered perfectly normal. Bus stops have an overpowering stink attached to them in my memory. Isn't it high time that we did something about our country?

Another memory that is lodged in my mind is a famous beach which I visited many years back. Rotten oranges, pen caps, food waste and other unmentionables were found floating around in the murky waters of what would otherwise have been a nice beach. Tourist spots are often found to be in a sad state in India. 

What is shocking is that in other countries, tourist spots are often the most cleanliest of places. Yes, because their citizens and Government both work hand in hand to ensure that tourists are tempted to visit these place over and again. Maybe we can take a page out of their book when it comes to our tourist spots and country in general. I'm not claiming that all the countries are following this approach but the ones that do, always seem to be prospering in their tourist revenue and also in ensuring that people do not wrinkle their noses or turn their faces while visiting. 

Disposing of waste right on road sides despite there being a waste bin is another problem that's common nowadays. Even while travelling, it's a common sight to see paper cups, plastic bottles, used tissue paper and other waste being trashed outside right through the windows. I have even seen cigarette butts disposed of the same way, which is not only littering the environment, but also harmful to the other vehicles and passengers travelling on the same road. 

But what can we do to help? Cleanliness, I believe, starts right from our home. Think twice before you dispose of waste outside. Is this how we would behave where we in the proximity and comfort of our homes? Isn't our country too our first home? Yes, there are always going to be people who mock what you believe in, but it is time to rise above all those taunts. 

Raise your voice. Don't be a silent spectator. There's a voice inside all of us, one that belongs to a clear conscience. Let the voice be heard. It's true that while you may not be able to bring about a drastic change in a short time, it's always those little steps the beginning of a revolution. 

I applaud this initiative taken up by Strepsils in promoting a neater and cleaner India for all of us. #AbMontuBolega is a campaign that encourages us to listen to the Montu in all of us. And not just listen, but to act on it as well. Learn to say when to say NO. Let's join hands and work towards a Swach Bharat. 

Recycle waste where ever possible. Say NO to plastic. There are a lot of biodegradable substitutes that are available in the market, use them instead. Do not litter when there surely is a waste bin nearby. Yes, maybe that's what everyone around you is doing but you have a choice. A choice to make a difference. A choice to make India, a cleaner one. 

Join Strepsils on for their noble cause. Follow them Facebook and Twitter to show your support for the #AbMontuBolega campaign.

This post is written for Indiblogger in association with Strepsils #AbMontuBolega

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Seven-year Itch

Image courtesy: Google

It had started off as small bouts of irritation; a frown here, an exasperated sigh there. But before they knew it, the years of unhappiness and dissatisfaction with each other soon caught up to them. 

Seven years, that was what they had invested into the marriage, nurturing a relationship which was supposed to last forever. 

The tradition was the same on their anniversary night- red wine and candle lit dinner as Beethoven's Moonlight sonata played smoothly in the background. The divorce papers on the table fluttered lightly in the wind; that insatiable itch was soon going to be curbed. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review- The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

Picture: My Own

From the book coverOf all the family gatherings in her childhood, one stands out in Amina's memory. It is 1979, in Salem, India, when a visit to her grandmothers house escalates into an explosive encounter, pitching brother against brother, mother against son.

In its aftermath, Amina's father Thomas rushes his family back to their new home in America. And while at first it seems that the intercontinental flight has taken them out of harm's way, his decision sets off a chain of events that will forever haunt Thomas and his wife Kamala, their intellectually furious son, Akhil and the watchful young Amina.

Now, twenty years later, Amina receives a phone call from her mother. Thomas has been acting strangely and Kamala needs her daughter back. Amina returns to the New Mexico of her childhood, where her mother has always filled silences with food, only to discover that getting to the truth is not as easy as going home.

Confronted with Thomas's unwillingness to talk, Kamala's Born Again convictions and the suspicion that not everything is what it seems, Amina finds herself at the centre of a mystery so tangled that to make any headway, she has to excavate her family's painful past. And in doing so she must lay her own ghosts to rest.

My take: I picked up this book after reading the raving reviews it has been getting. And I'm glad that I did because, this is a gem of a book. I'd read a few articles and interviews with the author previously and her writing has been compared to that of Jhumpa Lahiri. As I started reading, I felt the same too. Immigrant Indians who are living in America, tackling issues such as marriage, loneliness and death are themes which Lahiri tackles with ease.

Mira Jacob has however, brought her own distinct style in giving voice to Amina, the protagonist. They say not to judge a book by its cover. But I say, please do judge this book by its cover. The story is equally, if not more beautiful than the cover. Considering the fact that it took the author ten years to write this book, it should come as no surprise that the book is quite a lengthy read at five hundred odd pages. 

The story moves at a fast pace alternating between the past and the present. We are introduced to a few characters in the beginning like Thomas's mother, his brother- Sunil and his son- Itty. Though they do not have a long place in the book, their presence can be felt right till the end. 

The character that intrigued me most was Akhil- Amina's teenage brother who has a huge impact on her even beyond his death. When a family emergency calls Amina back home to Albuquerque, she has no other option but to go back home to a concerned mother and an anxious father. 

In a country like America, which makes you yearn for home even after years of living there, your friends slowly turn into family. And that is how the Kurians and the Ramakrishnans and the Eapens turn to each other for comfort in times of distress. 

The book goes on to show us how decisions that we took even when we were in our childhood comes back to haunt us later on. Amina is an interesting character in herself, with her dark skin and being constantly criticized by her grandmother and her passion for photography from a young age. She too, has a lot of ghosts to face back home; like her father. Trauma affects us in different ways and the healing process for some maybe time consuming. Others, like Thomas's seldom do. 

I loved the book a lot but for the fact that it felt a bit slow and dragging towards the end. Unless you account for a few hiccups in the second half, the book was nothing but perfect. Due to this very reason, I'm refraining myself from giving it a five stars. 

The book is a brilliant example of the "show, don't tell" technique; be it in the sights or the smells of childhood or nostalgia, the book has it all. Giving 'The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing' a four stars on five. This is one debut novel you don't want to miss. I know for sure that I'm already looking forward to the next one by the author. A highly recommended read!

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Healthy Childhood

Image source: Working World

I love kids, or more precisely, the warm bundles of pure goodness, otherwise known as babies! They remind me of all the good things with the world. Be it their innocence or simply unadulterated joy in the small things in life; many a time we can take a lesson or two from them. I love spending my time with them and it's a great stress buster too! Your worries disappear automatically in those few minutes that you get to spend with them. 

Children are fragile and sensitive beings; due to this very reason, it is important to ensure that they remain healthy at all times. Their immune system may not be as strong as ours. Of course, falling down is often a part of growing up. But when it comes to their health, compromises should not be made. All parents go the extra mile when it comes to the health of their children.

As they say, prevention is better than cure. It is always better to take care and avoid the illness rather than treating a sick child. Once a child falls sick, then the entire house goes to sleep. However, due to the lifestyle that we are now thriving in, in today's times, it is not unusual.

With a working pair of parents and the onset of nuclear families, children are often left to fend for themselves. It hurts me to see most of the children that I know are spending their time glued on to the television sets and hardly ever step out to play or meet other kids.

Eating healthy is also important for children, which means more vegetables and fruits, rather than the easy way out through junk food. Yes, it can be difficult in getting a child to eat those things which we often neglect ourselves. However, it is absolutely necessary to limit those pizza times and crispy chicken cravings. 

Most of my fond childhood memories are associated with playing hide and seek, running around outside, climbing trees and cycling as I grew older. It is sad that the children I know today are denied some of the greatest pleasures of childhood while growing up. Even the tiny tots are experts in handling mobile phones and iPads. Reading books seems to be unheard of. Parents reading to their children seems to be even more rare.

It is disturbing to note the number of children who start wearing spectacles due to short sight from a very young age itself. Though it is necessary for both parents to work and be the breadwinners of the family, when it comes to both the physical and mental health of the children, they should take time out from their hectic schedules to make sure that their child is healthy and happy. 

There maybe people who may not share my views. Maybe I'm just old fashioned. But no matter how they may argue, I feel children are missing out on a major part of their childhood if they don't have an opportunity playing under the sun, getting their knees scraped or having the joy of running their fingers through the sand. Children- they make the world a better place to be in; let's make theirs a healthier one. 

This post is written for Indiblogger in association with  Dabur Chyawanprash

P.S. That adorable sweetheart in the photo? She stole my heart :)

Your Words can Make a Difference- Feed A Child

I request you to take a couple of minutes to watch this video before reading my post. It's heart wrenching to watch the journey of a little boy to a plate of food. Yes, it seems impossible to believe that almost everyday, millions of children are forced to choose between hunger and education. 

In a country like India which boasts of metropolitan cities and growing opportunities for its citizens, it is equally disturbing to take note of the statistics of the number of children who are forced to give up education at a very young age itself. But what can we do to help? Even if you can provide for one square meal in the life of a child, it can be considered a blessing. 

Which is why when I saw this initiative- 'Blog to feed a Child' by BlogAdda, I did not think twice. A lot of my fellow bloggers have been blogging about this and hats off to each and every person who have taken the initiative to write about this heart felt topic. Yes, YOU can make a difference.

A huge applause to BlogAdda in taking up this noble cause along with Akshaya Patra. For every blog post that you write, BlogAdda will sponsor meals for an Akshaya Patra beneficiary for an entire year. Be the CHANGE. Let your words make a difference to the world. Help a child. 

I know of a lot of homes where food goes to waste almost daily. I'm a person who hates to waste food. It is disturbing to see the amount of food that we waste, even involuntarily, when a lot of children in villages are forced to forgo even primary education in order to help out their families for just the basic necessities like food. 

There are a lot of Government aided schools back home in my state Kerala, that I know of, where children who can't afford to pay are provided free lunch. It is sad to note that a lot of these kids are sent to schools by their parents just so that they do not go to sleep on an empty stomach. 

I'm urging you to contribute for this in the little ways you can. It can go a long way in eliminating Classroom Hunger. Your words have the power. Write about it. Let others know. Take a few minutes out of your schedule to write a blog post. Make a difference, or even better, be the difference. Let us join hands and help in making the future a little brighter at least for a handful of the children out there. Be the REVOLUTION

I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda.

P.S. Please click here if you would like to participate. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just a Touch

Image source: Indiblogger
It was just another day in their life. Nothing extraordinary, nothing out of the blue. This was how she had lived for the past twenty years. Naina knew better than to believe in fairy tales. She was too old for that stuff anyway. Fairy tales was what she believed in before she grew up. Somewhere along the way, she had lost faith in them.

Here she was, at forty, mother of two amazing girls and wife of one of the hotshot corporate lawyers in the country. Wasn't she supposed to be happy, content in the least? Why then did she feel like she was walking through a dull dream, almost everyday? What do you call this heart wrenching feeling even when nothing was physically wrong?

Was it when Rishabh, her husband started seeing through her? Or was it the day she quit her full time job as a copywriter to focus on her girls? Now that they were growing up, Naina was left with more time on her hands than she could manage. The same time that sometimes drove her a little crazy.

"You would be ready at eight for the dinner party tonight, right?" Rishabh's voice broke her from her reverie.

"If that's what you want..." Her voice was lifeless. 

And maybe it was the look she had in her eyes, or maybe it was the clinging desperation that he held on to, that their marriage was holding long and steady, but what they had forgotten over the years was that like any relationship, marriage too needed work. Nurturing. But something in her voice that day stopped him. 

He came close to her and held her face in his hands. She had grown old. There were traces of the woman that he had fell in love with- in between the grey streaks that now speckled her hair, in the smile that was now rare, in the crinkles of her tired eyes. 

He kissed her forehead. There were worry lines where her skin was once firm and glowing. Her hands hinted at the beginning of wrinkles. She had forgotten to take care of her own self, she had been busy in making sure that the girls and him were taken care of, almost all her life.

Was it gratitude that he saw her in her eyes then? He hoped not. This was not how it was supposed to be. How could he have allowed his marriage to deteriorate? It had happened eventually, bit by bit, until there was hardly any left to grasp. Like a monster that slowly creeps into a beautiful dream quickly turning it into a nightmare, it had made its subtle presence into their life slowly, but steadily. 

He was not expecting a miracle overnight. It would require work from both their sides. Her skin was calloused and rough as he ran his fingers over them. She deserved better than this. A better life, a happier life and more importantly, a life for the both of them together. As he held his wife in his hands that night and looked into her dark eyes, he was sure he saw a glimpse of that woman he had fallen in love with twenty years back. 

This post is written for Indiblogger in association with Parachute Advanced Body Lotion #BringBackTheTouch. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Beautiful Mess

Image courtesy: Google

Let it be, my Darling
I love your imperfections
Running around
With your hair all over the place

Let it be, my Darling
You are who you are
And that's what makes you special
That mischievous twinkle in your eye

Let it be, my Darling
Those mistakes you made
Have transformed you into 
Who you are today, a better human being.

Let it be, my Darling
Quit the need to balance
Don't forget to live
Amidst the chaos 

Let it be, my Darling
I chose you for who you are
Stop trying so hard
And embrace the beautiful mess you are...

P.S. This post was inspired by this article. The advice that the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, offers all the women out there is simply priceless. 

P.P.S. Do watch the video too!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

End of a Journey

Image courtesy: Magpie Tales

Life as a blur of colors
Rushing past my windows
Those faces inside cars
A mirage of emotions

The street lights stand tall
Guarding like angels
Twinkling their eyes
As I sigh...

The tunnel lies dark
Open wide, the mouth of a beast
Daring me to enter
An enduring test of time

I lose all control as the car skid
The smell of burning tyres
Fill my nostrils
Pungent and strong

The end is near
So painfully close
White lights blind me
And then, everything is still...

This post is written for Magpie Tales- Mag 246 for the above photo prompt. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dreams to Dust

Image Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It was the land of dreams, of passion, of hearts that got stomped on mercilessly by stilettos. It was Hollywood, where the impossible happened. Then why was there still a nagging doubt somewhere at the back of her head?

Just a job to support till she landed her first big break, that's what she told herself as she took the job at the strip club.

But ten years later, she stifled a laugh at the star struck eyes on young girls she once saw in her own mirror. Dreams to dust, she muttered and got ready for another long night. 

This drabble is written for Friday Fictioneers- 14th November for the above photo prompt. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Perfect Life

Image courtesy: Google

She had always looked at me in envy; at my perfect life, my successful career, my immaculate clothes. It was never this way, we were the best of friends growing up. 

But the green eyed monster, once it rears its ugly head, is often difficult to get rid of. 

Uncomfortable silence now nestles between us. But what she doesn't know is that behind my seemingly perfect life is a trail of unhappiness, behind my high paying career is a tale of betrayal and the figure hugging clothes that adorn my body hide the scars that are a permanent infliction. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

A poet named Nanditha

Image courtesy: Google

Last month as I was in India shopping for books, I came to know about this poet called Nanditha. When I came to know more about her, I was intrigued. Nanditha K.S. (1969-1999) was a poet the world came to know about only after her death. Her life and death still remains a mystery to her family, friends and the world. 

Nanditha was a lecturer who was teaching students in a college in a small town in Kerala. The night she died, she had informed her mother that she would be getting a phone call. She had insisted that she would be attending it herself. However, her parents has no knowledge about whether this call came through. They never heard that telephone ring for which she waiting for. That night as her mother woke up sometime around midnight, she was shocked to find that her daughter had committed suicide by hanging herself from the terrace. Nanditha had committed suicide by hanging herself on the end of a saree. 

It is after her death that her parents found a series of poems that she had written down in her diaries. Absolutely beautiful and brilliant, her friends and family felt that it had to be published. I'm so glad that they took that decision and I got to read her collection of poems. Each one haunting and melancholic, reflecting the inner demons that were torturing the young poet. 

They spoke of love, pain, death, an unbearable sadness... Her life and death shall probably always remain a mystery. But you can't help but wonder, whom was she expecting that late night phone call from? What was the reason that finally drove her to end her own life? Never once had she taken any initiative to get any of her poems published when she was alive. Nobody knew of the poet that was alive in her. 

She wrote because that was the only way she could face her inner demons. That was probably the solace she sought for. Did death fascinate her as much as she wrote about? 

I'm not going to label this as a book review. I don't think it would be fair to the book or to the poet if I were to judge it. And so, that was how I read it. This was her life. Her fate that she decided for herself. My only sadness was that I couldn't read more of her poems. Written in both Malayalam and English, each poem written during certain periods of her life, right from 1985-1998, speaks volumes about the mind that it was born to. 

Quoting a few of my favorite poems by Nanditha here. This post would be incomplete without it. 

What is that crack on the face?
A burrow?
Rather a sneaky trench.
You call it a smile?!
I know 
That is amiability.
But why don't your eyes keep quiet?
Discipline them
Or they get out of control
Why not tear them out?
Throw them on the rocks
So that they would never sprout.
They are to die with this century.                                                                                  -1992

This is one of my favorites from the entire collection:

My mirror has gone made.
It throws weird images at me. 
In the past
It was sensible. 
Once an angel 
Once a witch
But always
One image at a time.
There are silent screams
Thrown at my feet
Like empty oyster shells.
Once I caught
A pretty wine glass
Before it caught my eye.
There were faded violets.
Today I was shocked.
It was an egg
Fidgeting in blood
Like a fish out of water.
I swear, It contracted
Like a heart.
Gory, terrifying
It spit out a sperm
And died.

An empty red plastic bag
I tremble...
Before I collapse
I throw my mad mirror 
Out through the window
Down to the streets.
I killed it.                                                                                                       - 18 August 1993

This book deserves a five star rating and no less. It is not simply another book, but a life. Do buy it and read if you can. My heart felt thanks to Fatima Chechi who had recommended this book to me. The words that Nanditha has written are bound to stay in your heart for a long, long time...

Edit- Since some of you wanted to know where you could buy a copy of the book, here is the link (I checked Amazon but unfortunately, it was not in stock) -

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Table for Three

Image copyright: Melanie Greenwood

It was a table meant for three. And this was where we always sat. Little Riya, her and me; the perfect family. We would either spend time talking to each other or simply drinking in the sights of a world that was stirring awake on a Sunday morning. That was the routine.
"Would you like to order, Sir?" The gentle voice of the waitress broke my reverie.
I looked across the table. Two empty chairs. The sound of laughter was missing. Their absence made its presence more than ever as my eyes skipped over the familiar menu, its contents now blurred.

This post is written for Friday Fictioneers- 31st October for the above photo prompt. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Nostalgic November

Image courtesy: Google

I have been slacking in my writing and the Voice inside my head has been nagging me non-stop about it. Of course, I can always give excuses or I could shut the hell up and focus on why I haven't been able to do things my way. So yes, I have decided to write more, post more and of course, read more. 

November is a perfect month for many reasons. It gives you the perfect climate. It's pleasant with the subtle hint of hovering winter. In fact, winter's almost here and I just love the cold breeze on my face when I step out. November also calls for a few drizzles which is always a welcome release in a scorching desert. 

So yes, I'm all ready to face November. Fingers crossed, just hoping that it's better than October, which was not so kind. So November, please be good. I have a lot of things to be done this month. Having to prepare for an exam which I have to take in December. Yes, it's a struggle to sit and study when there's nothing more I would like than sit and read and read. But I guess one has to do what has to be done. And choices are not always easy to make.

Also, I have turned into a vegetarian for couple of months at least. I plan on staying a vegetarian for a longer period, just hoping that my resolve doesn't weaken in the meanwhile! Being a hard core carnivore and an ardent egg lover, you can imagine how difficult that feat would be for me. Hmmm, let's focus on the number of chickens that I would be saving. Making the world a better place and all the drama. So, Amen to that. 

Like a few of you had pointed out, the blog title and description were not legible enough. A kind fellow blogger and friend took pity and helped me in setting the right tone that was needed for my header and did a great job. Thanks a bunch, Leo :) Now I know where to run to the next time I face a technical glitch ;)

So, that's it from my end. Shall try and post more often. I so need this in my life. It's strange, the days I go by without writing now results in me feeling all restless and fidgety. So, this is what following your passion feels like :) That rush of happy hormones, the feeling of having the tips of your fingers tingle, that moment when the voices in your head demands to be heard. Today, as I sit and write this, I feel like I have finally arrived. 

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