Monday, December 16, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - A Review

Though it's been a while since I finished the book. The feeling that you get after having just read the book has faded, but before it gets completely wiped out, I want to put down what I felt about the book.

You know as a kid, the secrets that you shared just with yourself, the stories that were just for your mind, the dreams that only you could see, this book reminds you of that. The feeling of safety and security, that your dreams give you, that the voices in your head give you, how it is sometimes greater than that given by the people around you.

Simply written, this book gets over before you know it. You know, when you like a book so much, that you find it ending sooner than you wanted it to. The book gifts you illusions. You swim in fantasy. You live with the boy. You run along with the boy, away from the demons, towards that safety. You wish that darkness would end. You shiver in the rain, shudder with the thunder. And then you wake up. The world's bright and clean again. You are safe. You are content. You know you are being looked after.

Neil Gaiman has this wonderful flair. A way with words that makes them utterly beautiful to read. And then ponder. One of my favourites by him:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Things I can't do anymore*

1. Listen to cassettes

2. Fit into school uniform

3. Give a written exam

4. Carry snacks from outside into theaters

5. Take naps on weekdays

Images from pinterest.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What I have learnt in my 20s

The title says it all. Someday my kids (and their kids) will read this. Get inspired. And have the best 20s ever.

Oh well, scratch that. I'd be happy if they survive happily enough.

What inspired me to write this, apart from the fact that I am in my 20s were the sad, depressing lists of "what to do in your 20s", "what not to do in your 20s", blah blah blog posts that have been making the rounds on the internet. Okay, I get it, you made mistakes. You were dissatisfied about how your 20s turned out to be. But dolling out advice like meet 4 good people, change 2 jobs, have 3 mentors, THAT is just sad.

Here I share a list of what I have learnt/am still learning in my 20s. You are free to learn from it. Free to disregard. Free to disregard and come back later and say, you were so right! And you are free to help me extend it.

1. Travel. Travel often. Don't wait for college to get over. Don't wait for holidays. Don't wait to get your entire group of friends together. Travel wherever possible. Near. Far. With two friends or ten. 

2. Enjoy college. Really enjoy. Fall in love. Make friends. Be good to your friends. They'll be with you for life. Ensure that they have good stories to share with your children.

3. Don't regret choosing whatever course you end up doing. In the long run, it's the experience and education that matters. Not the qualification.

4. Begin saving up early. It's a habit that takes ages to develop. The sooner you start off, the richer you'll be.

5. Learn when to say no and when to say yes. If it's an adventure, say YES. If its something, you'll have to take to your grave without sharing, say NO.

6. Be good to your parents. Talk to them often. Call them up often. Share what you feel. They might not always understand. But they'll be glad that you shared.

7. Don't get a tattoo too early. Wait out the urge. Wait until you have the perfect design. Believe me, it will take time.

8. Live in a hostel. Live with roommates. Live away from home. It teaches you a lot. You learn to appreciate your home and your family. You learn from the new people you live with. You learn to adjust. You learn to change. You learn to try new things. 

9. Don't give up on someone if they don't agree to your reasoning/philosophy/outlook. Even your closest of friends will have opinions that differ from yours. Differences don't make people wrong, they just make them different. 

10. Avoid judging people at every step. They all have had a different upbringing. They all have had a different battle to fight. Behind every behavior is a reason. Try to find that reason.

11. Don't be embarrassed about your parents. Or grandparents. Add them on facebook if they send you a request. Appreciate if they comment/like your photos. Little things about you make them proud. It may not be a big deal for you. But it is for them. 

12. Read. Read often. Experiment with all kinds of genres. Start working on your personal library. Avoid ebooks. They don't smell good enough. 

13. Learn to enjoy your own company. Head out alone. Go shopping. Go for movies. Go for coffee. You have no idea, how handy this practice can be.

14. When something looks/seems too good to be true, more often than not, it is actually too good to be true.

15. Age is never ever proportional to maturity. You can find a mature soul in a 15 year old. You can also find a juvenile in a 35 year old.

Note: All pictures are from and do NOT belong to me.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


When do you stop giggling?
When do you stop dozing off with a smile?
When do you stop acting like a child?
When do you stop being elated?
When do you stop loving surprises?
When do you stop hoping?
When do you stop dreaming?
When do you stop living in the moment?
When do you stop trusting?

When do you start complaining?
When do you start being paranoid?
When do you start dreading the morning after?
When do you start loathing?
When do you start tolerating?
When do you start surrendering?
When do you start giving in?
When do you start giving up?

There is a thin line. A very thin line between when we start and when we stop.

Monday, July 8, 2013


It will be big and scary.
It will be real and thrilling.

It will cut old ties.
It will build new connections.

It will give bruises and scrapes.
It will heal old wounds.

It will fade old memories.
It will create new stories.

Images from: here

Saturday, June 15, 2013

And the Mountains Echoed

Something was amiss. Like one of the characters in the book, Pari who feels something was missing in life... I felt something was amiss in the story.

Khaled Housseini is a brilliant writer. He has a way of describing relationships, depicting people so vividly... with all their varied nuances. It makes you feel like you know the characters personally, it makes you feel what the characters feel. I had picked up the book, "And the Mountains Echoed" with as much conviction.

It had a lovely beginning, but somewhere along the middle, it got all got disarrayed. At times it made me feel like I was watching a poorly edited film, where it gets confusing to know which is the past and which is the present. In the book, there were certain characters who were not talked about in detail, while certain characters who weren't a actual part of the story were discussed at length, making me wonder why. But then again it's just my perspective that I share here.

As I finish this book, I miss that feeling of warmth, friendship and family that had enveloped me after his last two books. I was waiting for an echo, but even after the turning the last page, there was a lull.

Images from here and here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A little something...

They say you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. I say, reality is better than your dreams when you finally figure out what you love to do. And if at times work gives you sleepless nights, its worth the effort. 

As a kid I dreamt a thousand dreams. I wanted to be a hair stylist, a fashion designer, a dancer, a software programmer and what not. Today I am glad I am not any of one them. Life hasn't turned out the way I dreamt it would. And I couldn't be more glad.

p.s. A post after months. Phew. *dusts away the cobwebs* 

Image from here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Plan (A Story)

 “I have planned it for the 21st of next month; I think that’ll be enough time for you to prepare.” Imran said, ticking a few points in his planner.
“Okay, I am sure, I’ll be done with the arrangements and booking by then”, Aman nodded.
“All the best then”, Imran smiled, “I’ll be looking forward to see your work”.
“Thanks, it is going to be a wonderful experience working on this.”
“Thank you for your time.”
They stand up and shake hands. Aman takes a leave.

A few tables away, two ladies are sitting and talking:
“He assured me, he can arrange everything by 21st November.”
“That’s perfect, you’ll have enough time.”
“I hope so.”
“Don’t worry dear, it’s going to turn out perfect”, Ramya assured Zara.
“I hope it does”. She smiles nervously.
Ramya’s phone starts buzzing.
“Hey, I need to take this call. You order for me, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
Imran was nervous. For the first time in his life. He’d never planned something this big for someone so close to his heart. He just wanted it to work out. He took out his tab to check the next appointment, relieved to know that there was only one left for the day, he put it down and looked around the café. It appeared to be busier than usual. And then his eyes fell upon her. He could make out the eagerness in her eyes. It had always been easy for him to read people’s faces. But this face seemed a little different. It wasn’t that of a stranger. He knew how those eyes would look when angry. He knew how the lines would form on the forehead when she would think something serious. His eyes moved to her hands.  There wasn’t any ring on her finger. He felt he knew how those fingers would tap the table when anxious, and then…
She tapped her fingers on the table and scrolled through her cell with the other hand. Why had she started feeling uncomfortable all of a sudden? She looked up to glanced around. As her eyes fell on the table at the right, she met with two eyes staring right back at her. They each held the gaze for the same time and then looked away.
“Hey did you order for us?”, Ramya asked, hurrying up to the table.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, I got lost in my thoughts and forgot.”
“Okay, that’s fine. I’ll have to leave. Ash is caught up with work, so I will have to pick up Rehaan from school. I’m so sorry to cut it short”
“Hey, it’s okay, you don’t have to apologise.”
“Do you want me to drop you somewhere?”
"No, I think I’ll stay here and have a coffee before heading home.”
“Okay, I’ll call you tomorrow then.”
“Yea, Bbye,”

He went up to the counter and ordered himself a coffee. While waiting for the change, suddenly he smelled a familiar fragrance. It made him turn and look at the side. And there she was again. Talking away cheerfully with the cashier.
Without planning, he blurted out, “Can I join you?”
She is a bit taken aback, “I think so”.
They find a table and sit down.
After a few minutes of silence and coffee sips, he asks her, “I didn’t know you’d be here.”
“Neither did I”
“So what are your plans for the rest of the day?”
“I’m going to meet mom in the evening, and you?”
“Oh, I have a meeting in an hour”, he looks at his watch “and I better be leaving now”.
“Okay, I’ll see you tonight.”
Smiles, hugs and kisses. They leave. Separately.
Making sure he’s not in her sight anymore, he takes out his cell and dials a number. She hails a cab, open the door and gets inside. Takes out her cell and dials a number. 

“Guess what dude, I’m going to propose her!”

“Mom, I found you a son in law!”

Images are from here and here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Meme musings

 When bored, what better way to while time than answer random questions! :D

1. What do you think about your handwriting?
  • Looks good on sunny afternoons
  • Is as grave and gray as the rain clouds
  • Is seemingly fluid like music
  • Looks like it just came out of the grave 

 Looks good on sunny afternoons!
2. Will you ever try bungee jumping from any of these places?
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • The Leaning tower of Pisa
  • Mount Everest
  • Burj Khalifa
  • Grand Canyons
I'd fancy the Eiffel Tower.
3. Which of the following animals do you want to be in your next life?
  • Shark
  • Alligator
  • Saber Tooth tiger
  • T-Rex
  • Elephant
An elephant!

4. Which of the following professions attract you the most?
  • Bartender
  • Cruise ship commander
  • Navy Seal
  • NYPD forensic detective
  • Chef
  • Advertising Media professional
  • IRS executive
  • Lawyer
For all the stories they get to hear.

5. Do you believe in life after death?
  • Yes
  • No
Well it does sound fascinating!

Questions are taken from here.
Images are from here, here, here, here and here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The clock ticks.. the water drips.. the Earth rotates..


Ever wondered what would it be like if we never had to worry about the time of the hour? No clock or watch to measure the time. No fixed working hours. No one hurrying to reach on time. No one counting days. No one praying for more time. No one begging for time to pass. Everyone living in the moment, instead of planning the next.

There was indeed one such time... When the Earth was still a wonder and not one of the 8 planets. When the movement of the Sun and the Moon was a wonder and not Science. When people didn't have to take out time for their loved ones, because time didn't exist. 

Only people did. Life did. 

The Time Keeper is a revelation about how man started measuring time. It's a story of a sick man who wants more time. It's a story of a lovesick girl who wishes time would pass quickly. It's a story that teaches us that there is more to life than glancing at the clock every hour. There is more to life than counting days and counting age. There is more to learn, give, receive, accept, do and teach than we think there is.

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom is no less than his other books. It's a warm hug. It's a cool breeze. It makes you think. It makes you pause and experience life... Life which is beyond time. The life which was created even before the concept of time was established. 

Images taken from: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.



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