Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Forgotten Daughter

Image courtesy: Google

Alisha was the first born, the result of many sacred prayers. Though her mother was blessed with two more children, it was Alisha who was the apple of her eye. 

She was pampered and loved; but the day she chose to live with the man of her choice, she was deemed an outcast by the family. 

Seven years later, as her mother wept on her death bed, a gentle breeze brushed against her cheeks. She believed it was a final kiss from the forgotten daughter who was banished from her house, but never her heart. 

Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

Things to do while you are sick and a Guest post

Images courtesy: Google

I have been under the weather and had spent the past week simply doing nothing. In case you noticed, I have been MIA because my nose was leaking incessantly and my voice was a little more than a croak. Even writing seemed like too much of a effort to me. But how I missed it and you all!

 Being sick can turn out to be a lonely thing unless you have someone to pamper you left, right and center. Even that can get tiring because you can easily get irritable with all the aches and pains and sniffing. So, here are a list of things that I did when I fell sick. Since almost everyone I know has been suffering due to the change of climate, feel free to give your suggestions too.

1. Reading - Yeah, I caught up on a lot of reading while I was sick. Snuggle up in bed with a good book and catch up on reading those books that you have been meaning to read forever. Also, what better way to lift your spirits than by revisiting your old favorites? I read a Roald Dahl, a Jodi Picoult, an RK Narayan and many more. Find me here on Goodreads

2. Sleeping - Agree, this is a given when you are sick. But make sure that you get uninterrupted sleep. Turn off all those devices. Yeah, your phone, tablets and laptops. Switch off all the lights and go to sleep! It always helps of you have dark curtains, that way you don't get disturbed by the bright sunlight. Drinking cough syrup made me so groggy that I found it impossible to keep my eyes open and concentrate on what I was reading. 

3. Drink lots of chukku kaapi aka dry ginger coffee - This is a bit different from the normal coffee that you drink. This has to served piping hot and it is a blend of a lot of spices like pepper, ginger, jaggery etc. The spicy kick of pepper and the sweetness of jaggery makes it a worthwhile medicine for all your nasal congestion and sore throat problems. This is a miracle medicine, I tell you. I drank like lots and lots of it. The instant chukku kaapi is available in most supermarkets.

4. Catch up on your favorite TV shows - Take the time out and catch up on your favorite TV series. I did some back to back watching of How I Met your Mother, How to get away with Murder and Castle. How to get away with murder - highly recommended. I'm simply in love with the character played by Viola Davis- Annalise Keating. That show is a MUST watch! The only downside is that the first season just got over. So it kinda tests your patience unlike old TV series where you can watch a lot of seasons in one go. 

5. Enjoy getting pampered - Yeah, lastly, enjoy all the attention and bask in it :D You should be up and running on your feet in no time. So enjoy it while it lasts! This is the time when everyone around you pampers you. And this also the time when you get to pamper yourself. Not that you have to feel guilty about doing it any time, but still. 

So, yup! That was how I spent the past couple of weeks. And I'm feeling much better now :) Also, the graceful Gayu who blogs at Outside the Kitchen Window was kind enough to invite me over to her space and I penned a short story after ages! Writing it made me realize how much I missed writing fiction. You can read it here. Thanks to Gayu once again!

Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Flying High #BefikarUmarBhar

I have never made a bucket list though I keep making a mental note of things that I want to do. So, when I saw this contest on Indiblogger, I knew without a doubt that I have to participate. We all dream of doing things that make us happy. Yet, more often than not, we end up toiling for the better part of our lives and by the time we actually make the time and money for it, we are too old and weary to go ahead and fulfill those dreams. None of us wants to go to our graves with regret in our hearts, do we?

Anyway, before it gets too late, these are some of the things on my bucket list. Fingers crossed till they come true!

1. Skydiving - Living in a place like Dubai, this has been on my list for quite some time now. The pictures and videos that I have seen are amazing and the experiences shared by people who have already done this make it sound like once-in-a-lifetime encounter. So, yeah, I'm all for it! I do want to try this out and I'm gathering the courage and resources (money, what else) to take the plunge. 

2. Visiting New York - New York has been my dream destination for a long time. Or more precisely, ever since I became a fan of Sex and the City. What better place on earth than the one which has inspired some of my all time favorite movies like Notting Hill and You've got mail. I want to experience the grey skies and the winter hues. The snow that falls magically on trees for christmas. And yes, I want to sit in a cafe in New York and write!

3. Visiting "The Elephant House" - If you are a walking wikipedia on JK Rowling like me, then The Elephant House would be familiar to you. In case you are not familiar with the name, this is a quaint little cafe in Edinburgh where Rowling spent the early days of penning Harry Potter. The smell of coffee and the gentle buzz of customers while her kid lay sleeping, this woman wrote what would become a worldwide phenomenon. I do hope inspiration strikes for me there! The cafe overlooks Edinburgh Castle. All the more reason to visit Edinburgh and walk the streets that inspired Harry Potter. Harry Potter was, however, conceived while on a train journey that Rowling took. Just saying :)

4. Get a tattoo - A tattoo is something that becomes a part of your life forever. I have been meaning to get one but the thought of pin pricks have me chickening out. I do want to get a tattoo, of something worthwhile on me. I have not yet decided what it is, but I do know that I shall end up with one. 

5. Write a book - Last, but certainly not the least, I have the dream which all of us writers have. Write that book. One can always wish to be the next literary sensation that takes the world by storm (a girl can hope, can't she?) but simply seeing your words on paper and being appreciated by even a few people is sufficient enough for me. And well, who knows, you might end up being the next Rowling after all! 

This post is written for Indiblogger in association with IDBI Federal Lifesurance Whole Life - Befikar Umar Bhar

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Me and You

Image courtesy: Google

You are all I need,
All I could possibly ever want
I crave for the comfort of your hands
The warmth of your lips
To keep me company on a winter’s morning
Through the hazy fog
Flitting outside my kitchen window
I think I see a shape huddled over the bench
Is it you?

I see the confusion in your eyes
The pain in your sighs
Dwell not, my dearest
These hands crave for you
My lips hunger for your kiss
I am unclear, uncertain.
But know this:
You are me and I am you...

Book Review - A Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans

Image: My own

From the book cover: Laura Foster is a hopeless romantic. Her friends know it, her parents know it - even Laura acknowledges she lives either with her head in the clouds or buried in a romance novel. It's proved harmless enough, even if it hasn't delivered her a real-life dashing hero yet. But when her latest relationship ends in a disaster that costs her friendships, her job, and nearly her sanity, Laura swears off men and hopeless romantic fantasies for good. 

With her life in tatters around her, Laura agrees to go on vacation with her parents. After a few days of visiting craft shops and touring the stately homes of England, Laura is ready to tear her hair out. And then, while visiting grand Chartley Hall, she crosses paths with Nick, the sexy, rugged estate manager. She finds she shares more than a sense of humor with him - in fact, she starts to think she could fall for him. But is Nick all he seems? Or has Laura got it wrong again? Will she open her heart only to have it broken again?

My take: I love thick, fat books. Especially when the story is engrossing and keeps you guessing. But this one that I picked up partly due to the story line and partly because of the gorgeous cover, was a tad lagging. I liked the story, the characters but felt that the book could have been a good hundred pages shorter at the very least. 

The story can be called a modern twist to a fairy tale. Laura, the protagonist keeps getting into wrong relationships one after the other and meets the mysterious stranger, Nick, while on her vacation. 

The storyline as with all romance novels is predictable. I really liked the character of Mary, Laura's grandmother. The spunk and frank ways in which she addresses problems are hilarious. Another thing that I loved was the constant reference to Rebecca (or more precisely Mrs Danvers), one of my all time favorite novels. Go for this one if you are a hopeless romantic like me :) 

Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

An Ideal Valentine

Image Source: Indiblogger

Valentine's day was all about teddy bears, chocolates and flowers once upon a time. But not any more. With couples expressing their love for each other in innovative and creative ways, Valentine's day has gained popularity not just among lovers but friends and family as well. We all love getting gifts. But more often than not, the gifts that we end up with are not always what we want or need, unless the gift is from someone who knows you inside out.

What better way to celebrate this Valentine's day than by buying yourself a much deserved gift? Yes, you, my darling deserve to put your feet up, pour a glass of wine, order your favourite pizza with a layer of extra cheese and open the gift that you want. Whoever said that buying yourself gifts was tacky? A good pampering of yourself is what you need this Valentine's.

The Asus Zenfone can be your ideal valentine if you are looking forward to buying a new phone. Here are 5 reasons why the Asus Zenfone is my ideal valentine:

1. The beautiful covers - With a variety of colors to choose from, the covers are available in bright shades of red, yellow and blue. It is also available in white, if you are looking for something subtle. Personally, I love the red and yellow shades as simply seeing these cheery colours are a boost to my spirits every time I glance at my phone. 

2. Intel processor - With an Intel processor, you expect quick browsing on your phone. No matter whether your are simply checking your mail or your social media accounts or simply looking to updating your blog. I hate it when my phone hangs up during an emergency. With the Zenfone and its trusted processor I now know that I no longer have to be on the constant worry while commuting. 

3. High quality pictures - With pixel master, high grade images can be captured and stored conveniently. I love playing with images. The features on the Zenfone ensures that you can now edit and play around to your heart's desire. 

4. Dual sim - Having more than one sim and find it difficult to carry around two phones? Look no further. Dual sim is a feature that it is seldom available on smartphones and this feature alone scores major points in my book.

5. Beautiful accessories - Looking forward to spicing up your Zenfone? The bumper, for example, is a chic cover that allows you to slide your phone protecting it against bumps and knocks while you carry it around. The beautiful accessories that accompany this phone is guaranteed to make you fall in love. Yet again. 

Have a look at the below video that shows you why the Zenfone can be your ideal valentine.

This post is written for Indiblogger in association with Asus

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I had bought this book quite sometime back and finally picked it up last week. Contrary to the belief that read it before you see it, I read the book after I saw the movie which was around two years back. I do remember enjoying the movie and the book fairly lived up to the hype surrounding it.

The Hunger Games is the first book in the trilogy and narrates the story in the first person by its protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. This is a dystopian novel set in a nation called Panem where two contestants, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18, from 12 districts compete against each other in the Hunger Games each year. The games are deadly and only one survivor emerges as the winner. 

The story is basically a sci-fi novel as it happens somewhere in the future. This is young adult novel and reminded me a lot of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Now, that was one scary book. I felt the concept was inspired around the same story lines. A life where children turn into savages in a bid to outlive the others in a field where there are seldom any sort of rules other than staying alive. 

I felt that the book was an okay read. I enjoyed it in a lot of places, whereas felt my attention waning in some other places. I liked the characters of Katniss and Peeta, the other contestant from District 12. Gale's character was also quite interesting though he did not have much of a story in this book. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy and a lot more of my questions shall be answered there including the love triangle. I felt the book a bit too long for my liking. Or maybe I'm just getting too old for this kind of stuff. Either ways, read it if you are into sci-fi or YA novels. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Staying Connected

Image source: Indiblogger

We live in a time when everyone everywhere is busy. No matter be it your friends, family or colleagues, people hardly have the time to actually pick up the phone and talk to you for more than a couple of minutes. This is why chats are gaining popularity. 

In the age of smartphones, it is easy to stay connected with your loved one by a mere click of an icon. Almost all the phones nowadays have access to WiFi and internet. Quikr Nxt is an app that can be conveniently downloaded on your mobile phones and that helps you stay in touch while on the go. Let me give you three reasons why I prefer chat rather than a phone call:

Firstly, it allows me to swap photos and pictures instantly with a friend or family member. Reading a book that you love? Loving it so much that you can't wait to recommend it to your friend? The solution is simple. Click a picture of the book and send it across. It also saves a lot of time which otherwise would have been spent exchanging pleasantries over the phone. Exchanging photos are one of the best features of a chat as it helps to view photos of any function that you may not have been able to attend. This way you don't have to miss any of the fun! Sure, it doesn't help that you are far away from your friends at the time. But seeing the pictures first hand is definitely the next best thing. 

Secondly, a phone chat is much more cost saving than your average phone call rates. All you need is internet connectivity and you are good to go. No more fretting over the tiresome lengthy telephone bills that makes your heart flutter and results in your knees going weak. You can exchange all sorts of information, gossip and what not, with your chat apps. The privacy of private chats as well as group conversations are assured when you use your mobile apps. You can even exchange contact details of other people that you want rather than scurrying around searching for a pen and paper in case you need to jot it down. This way you don't have to worry about those scraps of paper getting lost magically from your pocket. Most information gets saved on your phone memory, depending upon your phone settings. 

Thirdly, these chats gets saved automatically and you can easily go back and refer to things that you may have missed during the conversation. Unless you hit the delete button, most phones have the option of the chats getting saved automatically. Forgot the date of a party or dinner? Fret not. Simply open your last conversation and make a note of the dates on your calender or to-do list. Making notes while on the go when you don't have a pen or paper helps you stay organized through the quirky apps we find these days. Visit Quikr today to know more about one such app called the Quikr Nxt. Explore and have fun. And more importantly, don't forget to stay connected!

This post is written for Indiblogger in association with Quikr

Also linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

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