Thursday, March 26, 2015

Love over Coffee

Image courtesy: Google

The smell of coffee lingers in the air
Voices in the background reminds her of 
Lives that moving ahead at a fast pace 
Not stopping, always in a rush to get somewhere

Yet, she waits in the cafe
Knowing that she may be greeted with disappointment
But she has faith in herself 
Firmly believing that dreams do come true

Some days she loses all hope
Other days she sips her coffee 
And maybe a blueberry muffin or two
All the while her eyes searching, not knowing 

Uncertainty grips her strong heart
She knows she is in this alone 
Day by day she stares at the blank page in front of her
Waiting for her muse to come by

Then on a Monday morning at her usual cafe
The fog lifted and things finally made sense
Characters were conceived and born
Word by word she wrote till she could no more...

Linking to Poetry Jam

Also, linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gearing up for A to Z challenge 2015

Image courtesy

I have signed up for the A to Z challenge for the month of April. This is going to be my first A to Z challenge. I had taken the Ultimate Blog Challenge & NaBloPoMo in July last year. So technically, this would be the second challenge in the blogosphere for me. I'm nervous and excited at the same time :) 

For those of you who are new to the concept of the A to Z challenge, this is a challenge where we have to write on a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet daily except Sundays (even we deserve a break!). So, you can see a minimum of 26 posts on all those blogs that are participating. There was even a spectacular theme reveal where the bloggers reveals what their theme was going to be. 

Being a newbie, I was a bit skeptical on the theme. So, I have just decided to go randomly. How far this would work, I don't know. But what I can tell you is this- you can expect to see a lot of action on this page next month. I shall be blogging more frequently and my posts shall be fiction, poetry or anything that catches my fancy. I want to explore more of those areas that I haven't previously. 

I also look forward to reading a lot of interesting posts this month. So feel free to drop me a line anytime. Wish me luck!

Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

Book Review - The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

It has been more than a month since I did a proper review on my blog. Though I have been reading a lot of books lately, the reviews I post are on Goodreads. So last night as I finished reading The Reader, I decided right away that this review must be up on my blog. So, here you go. 

From the book cover: For 15 year old Michael, a chance meeting with an older woman leads to far more than he ever imagined. Before long they embark on a passionate, clandestine love affair which leaves Michael both euphoric and confused. For Hanna is not all she seems.

Years later, as a law student observing a trial in Germany, Michael is shocked to find Hanna in the dock. The woman he loved is a war criminal. Much about her behavior during the trial does not make sense. Hanna must answer for a horrible crime, but she is desperately concealing an ever deeper secret...

My take: I had heard a lot about the movie and was curious to read the book first. In any case, I don't think I shall go and watch the movie now. No, not because the book was bad. It is an outstanding work, albeit a depressing one. 

When I started off reading it, I was expecting to see just another affair between a fifteen year old boy and a woman more than twice his age. There was nothing new there. But what caught my attention was the way the author has etched Hanna. She is passionate but closed at the same time, not revealing the person who she really is. And her fascination with books and literature was another thing that made me like her character a lot more.

The book is divided into three parts and is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, Michael. The first part deals with the affair that goes on between Hanna and him. The second part deals many years later during the trial and the third part shows the repercussions of the affair and the crime which Hanna was involved in. It also shows glimpses into Michael's life and how his affair with Hanna later on affects all the relationships in his life like a domino effect. 

Now, coming to the title, Hanna makes Michael read out loud to her, from Odyssey to War and Peace. And the bibliophile in me was delighted to come across titles that have already been quickly added on my to read list. Yes, I must confess that I have a lot of classics to revisit since school days. So, if you are a hard core bookworm like yours truly, do give this book a read. 

The book also deals with war and the effects of Holocaust, making it a grave read. The horrors of concentration camp, the plight of Jews, gas chambers are all mentioned in passing yet making a deep impact. I have not read much books on this other than the Diary of Anne Frank and this book is recommended if you would like to know more about that period. The original book was written in German and I read the translated version. I wish I could read the original books as opposed to its translated versions because personally, I feel a bit of the soul of the book gets lost in translation. 

I do not want to reveal more about the title and whether Hanna was guilty of the crime that she's accused of as it would spoil the book for you in case you are planning on reading it. At two hundred odd pages, the book was quite a short read and I finished it in a day. This is a tragic love story (spoiler alert!), so be prepared to have your heart broken towards the end. 

Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Happiness Project

So, one of my resolutions for this year has been maintaining a Happiness Jar. And I'm proud of the fact that I'm still at it! Yes, each day no matter how dull and sad some of them maybe, you need to write one tiny thing that you were happy or thankful for. If your day was all low, well then select the thing that made the day less bleak for you. It wasn't easy for me, but I'm doing it. And bit by bit, my jar is filling up along with the happiness factor that I'm experiencing in my life. I would definitely suggest the Happiness Jar for everyone. Not only is it worth your time and effort, but you can notice a subsequent increase in your positivity level while going through some of your old notes. I'm saving my reading for the end of the year. 

Anyway, what I noticed was when I started this project was that it was always the small things that brought me happiness. You don't really have to travel someplace new or experience a breath taking moment everyday. Happiness is in the smile of a loved one, finding a new book by your favorite author or in enjoying a slab of chocolate all by yourself. Here are some of the things that make me a very very happy person:

1. Reading - I cannot stress on the importance of reading in my life. No matter where I go or who I'm with, I always have a book in hand. Even a visit to the doctor has me carrying a book with me (I prefer it to the tattered copies of magazines in the waiting room). Reading helps me to see the world from another view. It helps me in understanding the human psyche better. In short, I cannot imagine a day without a book by my side!

2. Writing - Writing is a new found passion that I'm relishing bit by bit. Each day, I improve as a writer. Though I'm far from being called a disciplined writer, I hope to get there soon. Thanks to blogging and all the wonderful people that I have met in this journey and their constant encouragement, the writer in me is gaining confidence in what I conceive and create. Though still far from being labelled perfect, writing gives me a satisfaction like none other. 

3. Cooking - I have studied home science in school long back and loved cooking. I used to love whipping up small treats and desserts in my spare time. However, cooking became monotonous as the grown up life settled in. But to my pleasure, I recently rediscovered the joys of cooking. As a result of constantly eating out, my body began to suffer. I decided to cook those dishes at home that I crave. All those cooking experiments turned out quite successful and as a result of constant encouragement from my friends, I decided to create a food blog! Chocolates, sugar and all things nice was created a while back to post some of those recipes that I make. It is still a work in progress and I'm planning to write more over there. So, if you are foodie, do give me a visit there. I promise, the recipes will be super quick, easy to make and delicious to eat!

4. Going for long drives - Don't you just love those long drives without the hassles of traffic but just the person you love and beautiful music in the background? I do. Which is why I love going for these aimless drives with my guy. Sometimes, we rarely have a destination in mind, but like I always say, isn't the journey that's important?

5. Spending time with the tiny tots in my life - I just love kids. Spending time and playing with them makes sure that the kid in me is kept alive. Seeing such pure innocence in all its glory is a miracle in itself. Children never fail to amaze me, we can learn so much from these tiny ones who takes each day and instance as it comes. Be it my little nieces and nephews or the kids of my friends, I cherish those moments spend in their company. 

6. Catching up on TV shows - I have become a TV show junkie, thanks to the likes of Friends, Grey's Anatomy, Dexter and Castle. I love to watch these shows in the name of 'research'! Who am I kidding here? I'm addicted and it makes me happy. These shows are not just all drama and fun, but has also taught me a lot about life in general. Of course, it fuels my already over active imagination. So, that's just an added bonus. 

7. Travelling - I love to travel to new places. Eating exotic cuisines, discovering beautiful hideaways, buying small mementos to carry back home those memories. Though I haven't been able to do much travelling the past year, I certainly hope to do some this year. Well, even a weekend getaway would be perfect to rejuvenate your body and soul. Maybe it's because that I'm a voracious reader, I enjoy even those long flights that take hours and hours to reach. 

8. Eating good food - Being a die hard foodie, I love to eat and savor different recipes. Home cooked food by my Mom is a weakness that reminds me that not all is bad with the world. My Mom is an excellent cook and I love stuffing my face with all that she makes. Since I'm watching my waist line, I refrain from eating junk food nowadays. But if you offer me a plate of creamy pasta, I would probably have a hard time saying NO. 

9. Watching Oprah - Oprah Winfrey is a woman that I constantly look up to. Her shows are an inspiration. It is an instant pick-me-up whenever I'm lacking motivation. Oprah has just gone on to prove that nothing is impossible, as long as you put your heart in it. Her 'Super Soul Sunday' episodes are definitely food for the soul. Watch them if you haven't already. 

10. Shopping - Shopping is another weakness that I indulge in occasionally. Though the majority of my money is spent on hoarding books, I absolutely love my shoes and purses. What's a girl without some bling? I'm a huge fan of anything colourful, so my clothes and accessories often tend to reflect that. I have received a lot of flak for that, but I couldn't be less bothered. I will have a lifelong love affair with colours and life is so much more interesting in all those different shades. 

This post has been written for Coca-Cola India (

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Wedding Gown

Image courtesy: Google

It was the most exquisite gown that Mia had ever seen; made of the sheerest of nets, hand sewn with the palest of pearls on the hem. It was more than a dress, it was a dream; a wish that was waiting to come true. She ran her fingers over the delicate gown. After spending months of searching for the perfect gown, she had finally found it. This was to be her Baby! The one she would get married in. Nothing she had seen so far would come even a close second. 

This was going to be the gown that she would marry Thomas in. This was the gown that was going to be the envy of all her single friends. Though the price was a bit more than she had planned on spending for the gown, Mia didn't hesitate to pay the bill. This was after all, a once in a life time event. It was her wedding after all. And if she couldn't splurge on it now, then when would she?

The sales girl gave her a warm smile and wrapped it in tissue paper before putting it into the box. It was one of a kind and had to be handled just as carefully. With a broad smile on her face that reached her eyes, Mia went home where she stored it in the back of her closet. She was not ready to share the gown with anyone. Not even Thomas. Not yet. 

That evening, she took out a tub of her favorite Chocolate Mousse ice cream and sat down to watch her favorite movie of all time- 27 dresses. Of late, she has been hooked on to chick flicks that were centered around on weddings and brides and this has been her favorite one so far. She could watch the movie over and again and not get bored. 

Later that night, she fell asleep with a smile on her lips, dreaming of the gown and how perfect it all was. She dreamt of the look on Thomas's face as he would see her in it for the first time. Of how he he would sweep her in his arms and carry her away. Far, far away.

Six months later

As Mia got dressed for work that Monday morning, she was filled with dread. It was going to be her first day back at work after the incident, as she liked to call it. The engagement had broken off. Thomas was simply not in love with her. At least not enough in love to want to marry her, his exact words to be precise. 

She had expected to feel pain but strangely she felt nothing. It was almost as though she was watching it on screen like one of her movies. It was bizarre; this couldn't be happening to her. They had booked the venue together, even decided upon the three tiered wedding cake (red velvet) that they would cut as man and wife. And the gown. It was far too perfect. 

Wiping away the tears that now ran freely across her cheeks, she shook her head and took out the gown. Off-white. Strapless. Gleaming under the twinkling light. She could always give it away. It reminded her of painful memories. Those endless nights she had spent in bed crying her heart out. 

But Mia was not ready to get rid of it. Not yet. She reminded herself of what it was; just a dress. Nothing more; nothing less. Some people told her it was bad luck; to hold on to a past that has caused her so much hurt. She had however, grown past the stage of self-pity and superstition. Some day, she would fall in love in again. And maybe she would get married, eventually. Would she dare to wear the dress that had shattered her dreams to dust? Who knew. All she knew right then was that the dress symbolized just how far she had come today. It reminded her that not everything lasts forever. Not beauty. And certainly not perfection. With one last look at the dress, Mia shut the door of her closet and got out to face the world again. 

Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Being Together

Image Source: Indiblogger

Friendship is a strange thing. There are those days when you see your friends face to face on a daily basis. This is especially true when you are in school or college. But as you grow older, the visits starts diminishing. What was once termed a bond thicker than blood takes a back seat. Work, marriage, kids and everything else once it enters the equation changes everything. 

I have been blessed with a handful of friends who have stayed with me through thick and thin. Yes, our lives have changed. Irrevocably. We don't talk on a daily basis. We may meet only once in a year. But that hasn't changed our relationship one bit. True, we all have a different lives outside our friendship. More responsibilities. Some of my friends have already become mothers. That doesn't leave them with much free time on their hands. 

But when we do decide to meet, we make sure that we enjoy our quality time together. These are people who get me like no one else. I can go to them with the silliest of fears and they make me feel better instantly. There are times when I feel like no time has passed. Catching up with your old friends is also a wonderful stress buster. 

You can be who you are and not feel judged. These are the friends that are worth treasuring for a life time. There are days when I feel nostalgic for them. Wishing you can go back in time is not going to help. Instead, we make sure to catch up on each others' lives through social media platforms. Though nothing can replace the feeling of seeing them face to face and catching up over pizza and ice creams, I'm thankful that our relationship is still thriving. 

I don't have a large number of friends. I did; once. As the years went by, their number has started trickling down slowly until only a handful of them were left. Though I did make new friends as I moved on with my life, I know that my friends back home shall always have my back. No matter what. 

These were people I met in the weirdest of time and if you had told me back then that we would remain friends for a long time, I would have laughed in your face. We couldn't have been more different from each other. Yet, as time went by, there was an invisible bond formed between us. They made sure that we didn't fall into mistakes that we would regret later on in life. We gossipped, fell in love, had our hearts broken. But managed to come out through it all together. 

To them. You know who you are. Thank you for being you. And for letting me be. 

This post has been written for #together campaign hosted by

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Starting Fresh

On May 15, 2014, I made a life changing decision. I decided to finally quit my job and start over. I have been working in finance for almost six years and though I found the job enjoyable to an extent, it was not what I was cut out to do. I went into finance because it seemed like the obvious choice while I was doing my degree. I went with the majority of the crowd, I wanted to have a powerful career and mint in lots of money. And a career in finance seemed like a pretty safe choice. 

As much as I enjoyed the jobs I have been in, I had always felt there was something missing in my life. True, nobody had forced me into it. But there was this nagging suspicion somewhere in a corner of my mind that I was doing something wrong. When I got my first corporate job, I was overjoyed. I had a hefty package in addition to a lot of perks that came with the job. This joy was however, short lived. I found myself putting in around 10-12 hours a day in the job alone. Add to it horrendous traffic and the commute, I barely had time to get home and sleep, let alone read or relax. 

Caught in between the nasty office politics and colleagues from hell, I decided that enough was enough. My health was beginning to suffer, I was constantly cranky, taking it out on people I loved and my self esteem was beginning to deteriorate. I quit that job and found another one in a short while. Though it was much better than the previous one, the fact that something was missing continued to nag me. I was working at a job that I really did not care about. 

Sure, I enjoyed the exhaustion that greeted me towards the end of each day, the wonderful people that I worked with but I felt I was stagnating there. Of course, I enjoyed the financial freedom that came with it. But was it all really worth it? With nothing chalked out in front of me, I took the challenge of just figuring out what I want to do once I quit the job. I caught up on those books that I have been meaning to for years, I finally gave a voice to the stories that were running in my head, I took care of my body like never before. 

When I was stuck in a desk job, I always took the easy way out and abused my body with all the junk food that I could lay my hands on. I took to eating whenever I got tensed or depressed. This had starting showing on my alarmingly increasing waistline. Now that I finally had enough time to take care of myself, I started working out and eating healthy, even in the little ways that I could. The changes were amazing. After months of slogging off, the extra pounds started to melt away, albeit slowly. My blog and followers grew, slowly but steadily. 

Today if you ask me if I miss my job, I would say yes. I miss it on some days. I miss wearing my formal pants and shirts and working continuously for hours. I miss the challenge and exhaustion that I experienced each day. But frankly, I miss getting paid most of all! Would I ever think of working again? Yes, provided I find a job that suits my requirements. I want to continue writing. In no way am I prepared to sacrifice that.  

I'm also thinking of a change of careers. Like in all cases, it is not an easy one to make. I would like a career where I enjoy doing what I do, preferably to do with writing. But of course, the first question that you are faced with while attending any interview is the experiences that you have under your belt. Apparently, writing on your blog doesn't count, at least not much!

There were a lot of people rolling their eyes at me when I decided to quit. Who in their right minds would do that? I couldn't care less of what others did think. Not then and definitely not today. It's my life and I love to live it on my terms. Undoubtedly, it was one of the most  important and life changing decisions that I had to make in my life. One that I'm glad that I did before it was too late and I had grown bitter and resentful in life. Today, I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I had both good and bad things in store for me the past year. I have learnt lessons, made mistakes but I'm willing to get up and move forward.  

However, it longer matters. I'm thinking of writing a book. A novel which I'm still outlining in my head and the characters are kind of getting impatient waiting inside my head. I think I should take the plunge and actually do it. What say? In the meanwhile, if I find a job to suit me, I may go for it. Who really knows? Today, I'm broke (I really am!) but happily so. 

This post has been written for #StartANewLife campaign hosted by

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Silver Linings

My bookshelves :)

The past year has been a challenging one for me; both physically and mentally. But today, when I look back I realize that it has shaped me for the person that I am today. It is very difficult to search for a silver lining when all you can see are grey clouds looming over the horizon. But it's always there. You just have to look at the right place. Maybe it takes time. There may be days when you give up. Days when you feel the entire universe is conspiring against you, but it's there all the same. 

I was a person who hid my feelings in books. If I was faced with a situation that I didn't want to be confronted with, I tend to ignore it. I would lose myself in the world of reading. I would read, read and read till the distraction went away. I even hoped that a miracle would occur and it would disappear on its own. Yes, I guess I was an ostrich who buried her head in the sand. Somewhere along the journey, I guess I finally grew up and learned to face my fears. 

Ignoring a problem is not going to solve it. It stagnantes, slowly eroding away your being until it takes a turn for the worse. That was when I took to writing. Writing gave me a means of expressing myself. Giving a voice to all the thoughts that were there in my head, but scared to tell out loud. I was skeptical, initially. With time, I came to enjoy it, loving each and every moment that I spent in front of my laptop simply typing away. 

Writing made me who I am today. Even when I felt that there would be no one to listen, I wrote. I was surprised when people started writing in. A few could relate to what I wrote. I started gaining confidence, my writing voice had finally found a home. I penned stories that made me wonder of the what-ifs in life. Of lives that intrigued me. 

Yes, writing filled me with an optimism. I was 100% sure of what I was going to do for the rest of my life. When all else fails, this would be where I would always go back to. This was my home. My safe place. Of course, reading shall always be my first love. If not for the world of books, I would never even have thought of writing. It was my love for books that got me here. 

I'm a book hoarder. I have hundreds of books in my home. I treasure my collection. Dusting the shelves and flipping through the pages of books that I have read and are yet to read fills me with an immense joy. They are like a lot of my friends who have always had my back. Books may not always solve your problems. But they do help in making you look beyond it and to reflect on yourself. Books and bookshops definitely make my world a happier place; splashing around a lot of colours and making life more interesting, nurturing the person that I have become. 

The bibliophile in me shall continue to live for as long as I exist. The writer in me is taking baby steps to the world of writing. As for writing, it is a mystery that I'm trying to solve, a day at a time.

This post has been written for #lookup activity hosted by

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Last Dance

Image courtesy: The Book Club

It was going to be their last night together. They had decided that it would be best to part ways now to avoid the heartbreak that was inevitable later on. Anaisha took out the exquisite red gown that she had bought for the occasion. The soft net flared around her ankles; reminding her of the many fairy tales she had devoured as a little girl. But things just don't happen like that in real life, do they? It never was that uncomplicated. In life, things were not always in black and white. Sometimes, you have to open yourself to the existence of grey shades as well. 

She pulled back her hair and secured it at the nape of her neck; accentuating her dark eyes and high cheekbones. She gave a final look in the mirror and satisfied by the result she saw, went to open the door as the bell rang, announcing her visitor. There he stood; the man she fell in love with. The only man she thought that her heart would be capable of loving. It was the first time she was seeing him in a tux. The two day stubble gave him a sophisticated, mature look. But the twinkle in his eyes remained unchanged. 

"You look beautiful. I wish we could just cancel dinner and spend time here." 

His words got her blushing. But no, it had to be a clean break. There had to be no unresolved issues by the time they parted ways. 

The ride to the hotel where he had made dinner reservations was both short and long. It was torturous and toe curling at the same time. How on earth was she going to get a grip on herself if he kept nuzzling her bare shoulder and kept whispering sweet nothings in her ear?

As they reached the venue, he held the door open for her. He had arranged for a private dinner where they would not be subject to public scrutiny. The selection of wine was her favorite. It was details like these that had drawn her to him in the first place. He listened when she spoke; he knew that she had a weakness for red wine and cheese, he knew her favorite movies, he knew that she felt flowers were overrated and for this reason he had never, not once resorted to those cliched gestures of romance. In her eyes this made him all the more appealing. He may not be perfect, but he was good enough for her. 

As she was sipping her last glass of wine, he took her hand and swept her across the dance floor. He did things like this; throwing her off, catching her at a vulnerable moment and making her love him a tiny bit more each time. Spontaneous acts that took her breath away. As he held her close and danced, a slow seductive dance that had always ended in her bed on previous occasions in the past, she sighed and leaned in close to him. 

It was only when his mobile buzzed was she brought back to the stark reality. She knew that it was time to leave. He had a family to get back to. And back home, Anaisha knew that her daughter would be waiting up for her. As they parted reluctantly, they held on to this last shard of memory knowing that this too would get tarnished over time. 

Back home, as she tucked her five year old daughter in bed and read to her, Anaisha told her a story about a princess who knew better than to run away with a prince. A princess who was content with what she had in life and no prince could take that away from her. With that, Anaisha kissed her daughter good night. 

This story is written for the above photo prompt for The Book Club

Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

Just A Writer's Life

Image courtesy: Google

I write like nobody's business
To give birth to the stories I have in my head
The creative process is never too easy
There's a story behind every sentence

Characters conceived in the writer's mind
Take their own sweet time 
To tell their stories
Playing a game of hide and seek
With their creator

But it's the journey that matters
It always is; that sweet torture
Of not knowing what you may stumble upon
There is a trail of sweat and blood
Trickling from the writer's fingertips
Invisible to the naked eye

There are days when a blank page
Makes my head pound in frustration
Then there are days when the words just flow
Seamlessly, in an abandon...
But what matters in the end is 
That feeling of obscure joy upon completion. 
And that is what makes it all worthwhile!

Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Image courtesy: Google

I wear your old T-shirt as I sit here by the window. Watching, gazing as the world passes by; people wrapped up in their lives, going home to their loved ones. Your T-shirt is too big on me. It falls over my shoulders yet strangely, it gives me the warmth that my clothes don't. Maybe it's because it still smells of you. A bit of your sweat and love. 

But today it no longer offers me the solace that it did some time back. Is it because I can feel your smell fading from this piece of garment that I guard fiercely? With each passing day, it diminishes. Much like your memories. I want to tear my hair apart, scream out in agony. But still, the pain exists. A dull ache, ripping into my soul. 

I want to cry out loud, stop time, do something that would make me cling on those last shards of you that I carry around. I remember you wearing this T-shirt when you went out with your friends. It smelled of stale smoke and beer when you came back. I remember peeling it off your body as we made love that night. It lay discarded in a corner of our bed. 

This T-shirt reminds me of the good times and the bad. But above all, it reminds me of love. Why did you have to go and leave me in the dark? Maybe time heals all wounds. But right now I can't think past this pain. My apartment, no, our apartment is still a mess. It feels like too much of a bother to get up clean it. 

All I want to do is sit around and think of you. It's been few months, but I like to think that you are watching over me. Holding me close and wrapping me in your warmth. Outside, it's started to rain. I can see people scurrying about, anxious to get back home and make a cup of hot chocolate that they will get to share with their loved ones. I realize with a pang that I actually feel jealous of those people that I once despised. They have what I don't. All I ever wanted was you...

Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

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