Monday, November 28, 2011

And why I never want...

Tapad se nahi saab, injection se darr lagta hai...
Life is not easy. So says my doctor. Not when he waves that injection at me. I have always been the healthy types, have been fed religiously on the most exquisite meals, never craved the junk food...well, other than the cheese on the Dominos pizza and perhaps that fried chicken at KFC but then its not my regular kind of food. I still love the gud ol' soft idlies by my mom (I have been having stones in the name of idlies ever since I moved but then that's another story). But then why, God why that injection needle has to get inside me! I have incidences of fainting seeing one too and people laughing but then they do not know how sensitive my heart is. 
I see blood taken by a nurse and the amount of blood almost makes me faint but then not to embarrass myself, I hold on. I guess marrying an officer you have to yourself brave (even if its just for show). Difficult not to feel when I see that needle going in. But (God Bless the nurse) it didn't really feel anything. 
I know.
So much of drama!
Now I go home happily away from needles for a while now. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 10 without him

The first day I saw him off, I slept in the most bizzare position on bed, my arms and legs all over the bed. ALL is MINE now. Second day I managed to get up late and eat breakfast of chips and bread and then chips again. The fat woman inside me wanting to be appeased with more fatty foods. The TV was on 24/7 and I lost interest in my help, shooing them off for my own luxury. The movies were getting interesting, yes I watch those made in the late 80's with all that saas bahu drama and just can't stop. I watch the horror ones too, sometimes they get too monotonous for me too. I have stopped getting scared from those evil faces too.

The excitement has given way to sad songs now. How can i ever forget you Jagjit Singh? You have only managed to pour more salt over my wounds though. I keep listening to 'Hum Tumhare nahi toh kya ghum hai', the drama queen inside me just lying around and feel bad for myself.

Time to get back to the old self again and start writing a little or at least read a little more than I am doing right now. Another week and more and then he will be home. I guess I can be my drama wife-y self again. I can't live the bachelor life all over again. Its just so weird. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Married To The Olive Green- The good, the bad and the ugly (a book review)

The Good: If you are a newly wed, coming from a civil background then this book with fairly help you. It will set you with what to expect and how to become a basic model Army wife. It has recopies for cocktails, a write up about how to entertain guests and even measurements of things if you want to cook for different number of crowds. Also a lengthy How-to-groom-yourself also makes an interesting read. How to address the officers and seniors could also help you become socially acceptable in the crowd in the beginning years.

The Bad: Its a book especially intended for Army wives in the Indian Army. No Airforce, no Navy, its only Army that has its hold firmly placed of a woman in the man's world. There are rules, rules, rules all over the book. Good thing it hasn't written how to use a washroom. Sadly disappointed with the analysis of how an Army wife should and should not do once she is married. The book is a huge but not so thick (in pages) with a supposed inspirational poem on the duties of an army wife.
It does have these photographs which makes me wonder how long ago this was written. Perhaps when India was still dealing with independence but still following the British traditions. A saree clad woman standing close to a man of importance. She looks quiet yet that smile never leaves her lips. I couldn't see the smile in her eyes.

The Ugly: I do not know what i expected of this book. It is more of a manual but with some interesting bits that spells out how a senior lady is supposed to behave with a junior wife. I should be saying senior OFFICER'S wife but i deliberately missed that part out. Officer is always out of the picture when ladies get together. The rank always stays put though. This is what the book spells out too. It is also a book of rules that  acts only on paper rather than in reality. I don't know for whom this book was written to impress.

I would definitely recommend another edition of this book with the changes that are taking place in the army today. And with wives coming from more modern and good families, they have a different outlook to being an army wife. Its an old wives tale (no use of proverbs here) but this is what the book is about. Its time for something new to be introduced. Its Anna Hazare's time after all.

Time away from husbands

Being an Army Wife is not really easy and with husbands away it is pretty much making this job a bit harder than it already is. Separation is perhaps the part of his job and slowly it's only a few years when you start getting used to it. Perhaps even start making plans as to what to do when I am all alone without the routine of  wife-ly duties. Lots of drama that goes in the background.
It starts with the usual question: "When are you coming back?" "Where are you going?" "Why you?" "Will you be very busy?" "Will get time to call?" followed by some vague answers that sometimes don't make sense.
The night he leaves feels like the end of the world. Inside you are literally begging him not to go but isn't this part of the deal when you become a wife of a man in uniform?
But then as you get used to living alone, books come out as you get time to read, watching those old movies, eating fried stuff more than you want to and keep the door closed more than you used to. Its like your own private world now and its difficult to handle it as your habits become very similar to your college days where mom and dad didn't know what you were up to. Calls from the husbands are infrequent and its hard to explain what you did all day long. The 'I love yous' and 'Miss yous' are frequent even if the calls are short. Makes me more eager to see him again. Perhaps I am in that stage in life where I enjoy being this wildly romantic soul where the world is always a better place if I am in his arms.
Marriage itself is a holiday for me, so a holiday from holiday becomes sinful than ever and too much of good thing is not really fun afterwards. So is separation another way of making us realize how important he is our lives? In a way a lady gets to enjoy the freedom and apart from being a wife gets to experience loneliness and ways to handle it. I have come to enjoy my loneliness. I enjoy my own time because the less I talk, the more I realize there are so many things in life I have done to regret nothing. One good thing did come out of all this thinking- I am glad I married him.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why my mom rocks- completely!

It is a known fact that a woman is the backbone of a family. And a woman who runs the house is the one that makes its a home. As a kid I didn't understand these facts. I had a working mom who managed home like a pro and whenever there was a hitch I wouldn't know of it. Moms are such great creatures that only the lucky ones get. But a Mom who are enterprising, perfectionist and a great friend is an added jewel in the house. I see some moms lying in front of the TV having no other thing in the world once their children are settled and this somehow unsettles me. Its as if they have lost their zest for life. They talk randomly about TV soaps and what character did what and it only makes me pity them because I see one shining example of a mother who has never stopped living. My mother is what one would call a woman of substance. She got married young and went on to complete her Masters in Education only to later open a school and dedicate her life to improving lives. Along side were her three daughters who were blossoming under her care. Of course a loving husband helps and I never remember feeling alone. She is also a great cook. Coming from a Bengali background she knew none of what my dad's Punjabi's family liked. Now she expert is in making South Indian, Chinese, Punjabi, Gujrati and so on. She always takes her life as a challenge and I am looking forward to see my mom grow everyday- as a person and as a great friend.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Husbands vs Bachelors

The transition from becoming a bachelor to a husband must be really so different for the men.

Bachelor: I am going to sleep all day long on Sunday!
Husband: I want aloo paranthas for breakfast today

Bachelor: I think I will chat with Nina, Meena, Tina at night
Husband: I think I am just going to sleep early. have to get up early tomorrow.

Bachelor: I need a new shirt. ASAP.
Husband: Wife's birthday's coming, need to buy her something.

Bachelor: I can pool in with the others to give a party to so and so.
Husband: We already spent on this month on buying ourselves a washing machine. The party can wait.

Bachelor: I am going home for chutti.
Husband: I wanna plan a huge vacation for both of us.

Bachelor: I think I will meet up with friends in chutti.
Husband: I would watch sports of all different kinds on TV

Bachelor: I dislike bhindi, gobi, aloo...
Husband: Yay! home cooked food tonight (even though its baigan bharta)

Bachelor: I really haven't kissed someone recently
Husband: Oh, the sex can wait!

Bachelor: I am waiting for someone special
Husband: I think I have had my share of special-ness when i see her shave her legs and floss her teeth.

Okay, jokes apart.

Husbands are this really special things. They have loads of patience and they love to be pampered and in turn pamper us. This makes a really good survival tactics to sustain a marriage of a lifetime.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What I learnt from Ms Sudha Murthy?

I am not really a fan of short stories. I think I started my portion of them back in college and ended up with being an avid fan of long and fat novels. Short stories just had no appeal to me. I remember having read the O Henry ones which I liked though it didn't really encourage me to pick up the others.

I came across Ms Murthy's book WISE AND OTHERWISE. I didn't touch the book for two days wanting to delay as much because I knew I was going to be bored to death.

How wrong I was!

I have become so prejudiced about this book that I just want everyone in my family to read it. Its not exactly an autobiography but there are incidents of Ms Murthy's life with various types of people, some happy and some sad but in all of them you learn to become a better human being of today. Unlike a novel it left me feeling good about myself because she talks about various people who have different backgrounds with different temperaments. Not all people we meet are perfect. But they leave a mark on you either making you feel happy or bitter.

What you do is take the best of the situation and be aware that sometimes you cannot change people even though your heart wants otherwise but you can make a difference in the lives of people though you cannot expect them to remember what you have done. You have to keep doing what you think best and be your best.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Feeling at home

Its still raining outside and I am all cozied up in my blankie thanking God than I have a home where I feel safe and happy. Its the same feeling every season. I like the summers (maybe coz I am a April baby) but then the sun gets too harsh on me in the afternoons, I love the autumn but then the leaves make such a mess around, I like the winters too because then I wouldn't have to spend my days in the air conditioner but I hate the nights. I just feel so frozen.
So the point of all this?
Yes, I am coming to it.
I have a beautiful home. Every part of it dear to me. I spend my time looking after it, sometimes I ignore it too. But its times like this when I realize how important a home to me. I sit on my jhoola and stare outside from the balcony, the water dripping down the trees and I waive at the people who are running away from the harsh droplets of rain. They all just want to get home.
I open my book and peek into it, the rain making a happy sound behind me. I wish I had a cup of tea in my hands now as I say this but alas I just sit and stare at the water outside, feeling safe in my own little haven I have made for myself.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dealing with difficult situations and people

Only you can make yourself unhappy.
People will try to make your life difficult, maybe they find happiness in hurting someone but as long as you hold it all together and think positive then you have the ball in your court. You have to remember that suffering is a part of life and if there is no suffering then you wouldn't enjoy the fruits of life.
No matter where you go you will meet people who dislike you, want to challenge you and perhaps even make you hate your life.
No excuses for that.
But if you cannot change the situation then encourage yourself to focus on your positive energies and keep that person out of your life and mind as much as possible. You can just keep a professional front that satisfies him but if it disturbs you to be around such a person then become your own person. Stand up for yourself and make sure that nothing that he does scares you off. You have the decision in your hands. I think its very easy to forget a person who holds a grudge against you because to be at peace, keep your mind open away from all the negativeness and cut off from them to create a happy environment around yourself. Listen to music of your choice, read a good book, watch a cheesy movie or just plan a vacation that you might take a little later maybe but do it now by going online and checking the websites. Happy thoughts create happy people.
Be that person and make your own life beautiful and worthwhile.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In Conversation with Mr A K Kundra, the President of SimplyGive Foundation, NGO

AK Kundra , an Educationist and Social Entrepreneur is the Founder at The City High School, Hyderabad. It's philosophy includes pace-based learning, utilizing community resources and issues as tools and context for education. He is the inspiration behind, to make this dream come true.
The School is a realization of his values and belief that investment in education is always for generations to come.
He is also the President at Care4 Autism Center & The Autism Friendly School, both centers of Excellence, in Hyderabad and gives his time equally to all his endeavors. His experience in running a NGO made him realise the financial constraints with which small NGOs in India work and sowed in him the seeds of providing support to them thru an online giving portal. Being tech-savvy, he wants to harness the power of the internet thru & , connecting large-hearted Donors to NGOs.
So lets us know a little about SimplyGive Foundation, the Fundraising division of CFA Society , an NPO, to work for the under- privileged in every sphere of life.

How does your organization differ from its competitors?
Our organisation differs in the sense that we reach the smallest NGO rather than cater to top NGO’s flush with funds. This is the major difference in our approach when compared to our competitor.

What are the company’s plans for future growth?
Our NPO plans to reach every NGO in rural India and ensure that they reach out to donors all over the world, thus making a difference in the lives of the under-privileged.

What problems is your organization facing?
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS TO REACH OUT TO THAT SINGLE VOLUNTEER NGO in villages, who has his Feet-in-the- Street, and help him fund his single-minded mission in making a difference at the grass-root level.

What do you like most about working here?
THE BEST THING ABOUT WORKING IN SIMPLYGIVE is that  positive things can be done for the community/society thru our reach and how we are harnessing the power of internet to bring donor support to the rural NGO.

How would you describe the corporate culture (or work environment) here?
The work culture here is simple : Make A Difference

What is the Organizations mission?
To harness the power of the internet to enable people to raise funds  for charities, easily and cost-effectively, particularly for charities working in the field of Child disability. They chose to help and support those working in the unique area to make these children independent and educated will mean a better world for them and their families living and struggling with disabilities.

What group benefits most?

How to you deliver your services?
TO MAKE THE NGOs come on the world map of Charity giving, harnessing the power of internet simultaneously bringing the donor reach out to his favored community working in causes close to his heart.

What is your source of fund raising?

How do you recruit volunteers?
From colleges, we make students understand how working for the community can make a difference in their lives too. Also, working in community for underprivileged will help enhance their cv, thus enabling them get better jobs.

For more details on SimplyGive Foundation, log on to its website: 

"Nostalgic Moments"

There are many things in my life that when I think about only makes me want to go back.

I was getting married in two months time and my dad decided to give me a travel experience to UK to show the other side of the world before I confined myself in the world of Army. I didn't know whether it was a bribe to change my mind. Dad being 'Dad'.


Perhaps one of the best times of my life was to be totally unaware of  culture of a different country. It certainly changed my perspective on looking at India as a developing country. I wonder when it would be at par with any country.

Manchester and London as a city were a very busy place. Its was perhaps the only place I found some activity going on. The other places that I stayed in i.e Preston, Lake District, Cambridge, Milton Kyenes and Buckingham were quiet in comparison.

UK is a flurry of activity. There is the daily chores that people do yet I felt like I was in a silent movie. There were no people honking on their fancy cars as I crossed the road. Even if I was slow. I enjoyed being slow here.

My dad had already traveled a lot here so he had some clue about the places around and the London Tour Bus we took and the enthusiasm among the other tourists was infectious. I had a gala time, taking pictures of the high street and spending some time at the National Museum and Trafalgar square. There were some locals chalk painting on the street and there was written, "Pay 1 pound to take pictures", I took some pictures without paying him and he actually smiled at me. Probably thinking what a cheapskate I was :).

The food was marvelous and I had my fill of fish and chips everywhere I went. I did miss the home cooked meals like a typical Indian but I compensated my greedy palates with some Kebabs made from a Pakistani stall.

I had always heard rumors about Cambridge University. There is certain thing called Cambridge University Press but no such thing as a university in itself. And Oxford was a street of universities. Again no such thing as Oxford University.

Oh, yea I did i mention I lost my way from Cambridge to Milton Kynes? Well it so happened I had to go shopping at the oddest hour. The mall was open and I thought the buses run all night long. But it was only till 8 and i came back to the bus station at 8 30 hoping to find a transport back to my hotel. I couldn't get any. The tube was ridiculously expensive and the only option was to take a cab. I spent 6000 bucks for an hour drive, my heart cried but i had to reach before my dad came to know what I had done. He was at the University meeting a few students of his and when I told him what  I had done he laughed out aloud.
uh ho- Not the reaction I was expecting.
Apparently he had missed his last bus too and had spent some unmentionable amount on a cab too.
Like father like daughter :)

Lake District, another heaven planted on earth with care by God I think. Preston being a small sleepy town with only University (UCLA) as a main focus and students as its main crowd, we hopped on a bus (courtesy from work) and since it was snowing so bad that morning, we had to delay our trip by a few hours. It was worth well the wait when we reached the place. We were welcomed to the sight of glowing sun and a ferry ride around the lake. Indescribable feeling of calm. All we had to do was jump on the ferry and take the sights in. It all kept pouring in me and I stood  by the railing watching the waters go by me. Something on a ferry always triggers happy pills in me. We also visited the underground reptile and fish aquarium though this being the end of our trip I didn’t have the heart to buy anything else. But the memories stays intact.

 The traditional dress for the Scottish 
 Our guide to the reptile museum. How fondly he looks at those disgusting creatures!
 Aimless wanderer 
 Diamonds at the lake
 The lighthouse 
Definitely planning to take more those ferry rides

We walked a lot, did some daughter-dad talks, discussed the history of UK- the evergreen Shakespeare and my favorite Jane Austen. Then while returning home I got a good feeling inside me. I still think I missed out on being someone else in life but my today is equally beautiful and fortunate.

Some great moments with dad....we are two restless souls who love travelling

Monday, September 5, 2011

Goa- every man's vacation

I have visited the same old shores of Goa and felt like a new person- rejuvenated, stress-free and useless. Yes, that how you should consider your time at Goa. The only useful thing you should be doing there is perhaps a little sightseeing and lots of eating. It's my second time in Goa and that was some ten years ago. So this was a whole new experience to me perhaps because I had someone to hold my hand and walk on the shores of the pristine white beaches.

 So I began my journey taking a bus from Hyderabad to Panjam. It was a round 12 hours drive and a little uncomfortable if you want a good nights sleep. We did reach our destination at last and there is something magical in the air of Goa- a laidback-ness, a calmness that no other place could give you. Dumping our backpack in the fauji guest room (which by the way is the best thing that can happen to you for a mere amount of 350 bucks). Not wasting time loitering in the room we headed straight to Calungate Beach taking the local bus from Panjam. Its great to interact with the locals as you go because to know Goa, you have to know the Goans. We tried the local adventure sports, which was a way big decision of my life. You see I consider my life very precious and I really wouldn't understand why people do this - i.e- para sailing, banana ride, para gliding, speed boat ride. Its just brutal truth that then we realize how much we want to be safe. My views changed as soon as I came back from an mind blowing (yes, Archana Puran Singh is not the only person who uses this word!) and fabulous feeling to come back to ground. The salty water still burning my eyes and spoiling my salivary glands. Later part of the day we tried prawn Goan curry. It tasted like heaven with white rice. The evening came too soon. And I couldn't feel tired, lying around the shacks with people taking care of you, i felt like a better human being and wanted. We did pick a few things from the Calungate market and its worth window shopping too.

 Our next destination was the Baga Beach. After the excitement of yesterday Baga was quiet family beach and we lazied around for sometimes, taking out time at the shops around. I even had the local girl braid my hair witha piece of string.

Anjuna beach, the much talked about and a favorites of the foreigners is slight over estimated place. No Indians are not given priority coz we are stingy people and like free stuff. Annyways the night was beautiful there where every shack was given an ethereal look. I wanted to go and spend time at each place. The food is not marvelous there though. so we took our culinary palates and headed towards the city.

 Tito's another favorite where we stretched our alcohol limits with all the free drinks you get. Also like a typical woman, i wanted my money's worth! We tried the X Sports Bar opposite to Titos that has some very interesting drinks, a pool table and a karoake. The owner of the bar was a localite and had some interesting stories to share about the rave parties. We sadly didn't have too much of time left to go to one (That's left for next time). We did take our feet out of the water enough to sight see the last day. The Dona Paula Beach, The Aguada Fort, the St Francis Church and the ferry ride, we did it all. Its fun to be a tourist in a place like this one. And the excitement you see around is infectious.

You really don't have to come home at night...Goa is alive 24/7

 Some tips:
 1. Always have loose clothing when getting into water
 2. Have a light wrap for the evenings
3. Be careful of the hawkers and carry minimum things at the beach
4. Its better to carry a water proof bag at the beach and zip it when you both want to try the waters
5. Buy your alcohol from the local shops to avoid excessive spending at the shacks
6. Try the local cuisine away from the beaches. They could be cheaper than what they provide there
7. Bargain if you are shopping, move on if they irritate you. You will find the same stuff everywhere.
8. do no spend more on a hotel if you plan to spend your day at the beach but do not go for sleazy hotels either.
9. try walking around the shops at night. Its simply delightful.
10. When trying alcohol, have enough to be aware of your surroundings. Or make sure the one who drives stays sober

Likability quotient. Do you have it in you?

Why is this restlessness to find more in life of what is already giving me immense happiness?
I have realized I do not need too many things to make me happy. A kind word and a kind thought is enough for now. And even if people hate me, think i am arrogant for thinking that I am the best, I take it in a stride. In true honesty I have realized that when people tag others as arrogant its just when they want to hide the flaws in their character.
If they blame the other person for being a under-performer then they are just being prejudiced and not open to new ideas. Because if you are open to new things and when you encourage another person to become a better person, you are in turn making changes in yourself and being more likable.
There isn't a magic formula to make people to like you. Its mostly how you treat them. Haven't you heard the saying again and again, "treat the person the way you want to be treated?" Here we go then, make sure that you give that person equal opportunity to prove himself. If you have something against him then ask yourself "why?"
I cannot say that there are evil people out there. Yes, there are some people who forget their standing and do not know how to live in a community. If you are rich, gorgeous and thin then life would be so perfect, right? But it isn't like that always. If you are rich, you could be fat, if you are thin, you could have the bank balance of a pauper. But then money and the things he possess does not make him the man of the world. One does not like someone for how many things he has got at home. A person is only likable if you give the other person priority of thought and a chance to prove your worth.
So if you want to be likable now, prove your worth equally, otherwise you are just living in an illusion of comfort and power. It doesn't give you much happiness nor friends in the end.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I had a dream

It was late and I was informed with a circular, "All ladies to attend an exam for tomorrow morning".
Exam! What exam?
The morning comes and I quickly wear my best sari and pack all my make up stuff. In goes my koel pencil, lip liners, lipsticks, compact powder, Blusher and so on.
I find myself in a examination hall and all ladies are dressed in their best garbs. It was just going to be a tough one. I see familiar faces looking confident as if they knew this exam was going to come any day.
I see the paper and here I see the mathematics paper in Hindi. Both the subjects I never excelled in!

I got up with a jolt. The feeling of failure sinking in as I try to make sense of what I had just dreamt. I have this habit of going online and finding a reason behind dreams and it always makes me feel restless if i do not know meaning to a few things in life.

Here is what I found from Google (god of all answers)

To dream that you are taking an exam, indicates that you are being put to the test or being scrutinized in some way. These dreams highlight some anxiety or agitation that you are experiencing in your waking life. 

I know I have the same feeling of anxiety as if life is going to end if 'this n that' does not happen but I have decided to cope. I know nothing is going to be put on a platter for me. I have to work hard to understand the nuances of human nature and be satisfied with today. Having said that I do not say that I have answers to all what is happening in the world because for me my own little world has taken a priority.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Awesome day when I went for a walk. Its awesome because I felt like the need to exercise and its awesome because I actually walked the walk. Also the sky looked b-eau-ti-ful. 
I missed my heavy duty camera but my blackberry did some pretty good job. Don't you think?

 My walking path
 The setting sun
 My way home (its pretty empty all the time)

 Loved the patterns 
 Its as if God is experimenting with his painting brushes
And so I say goodbye, 
When all I can see is tears in your eyes
and hopes so high

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Lost Symbol - A Book Review

Synopsis: As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object--artfully encoded with five symbols--is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

My Take: 

If you loved Da Vinci Code and Angles And Demons then i am sure The Lost Symbol must be your next buy of the month.

Dan Brown always manages to get a strong reaction from me. Being an avid romance reader he must be the first thriller writer that got me hooked to him. Series by series I hunt for his books like a hungry tiger looking for a bait. 
Speaking of baits, The Lost Symbol is a dynamic combination of malice, secrets, secret society and some very interesting facts (as claimed by the author himself) about freemasonry, a secret society of men who hold very prestigious place at Washington DC. 

The story begins with Robert Langdon being invited to Washington by Peter Solomon's assistant. Peter being a very close and respected friend of Robert, he rushed to find himself being duped into a conspiracy of something greater than what it seems. Symbols of freemasonry has to be interpreted and a pyramid had to be recovered from the very basement of the US capitol. 

In the background we find his sister Katherine Solomon who is a scientist in Neotic sciences is under the impression that her brother had been seeing a psychiatrist. 
Mal'akh is the main antogonist of the novel and it is only because of him that we are on our edges. His character has been portrayed so very well that we know him more than the other characters of the novel. His life and the changes he faces to become what he was is simply outstanding. You picture him as a huge, bald, monster who wants to obtain the ultimate power. Perhaps to be become God. Its would be unjust for me to tell you more about him because reading this book is well wroth the money spent.
Of course Dan Brown goes into details here revealing more about Freemasonry than perhaps he was given permission to. But then isn't he just famous of controversy? and book without controversy is just words in print, nothing else. And this book needs you attention as well. Its not a casual reading you would do one Sunday afternoon. 

I did find the end a bit prolonged because with the end of Mal'akh, the novel didn't hold the appeal any more. Of course there is the sense of adventure that becomes intense when so many loose their lives in saving the  secret of one lost word. To understand in detail I had to go online and do research myself or else it was just reading and forgetting the symbols and their meanings. The symbols were too for me to handle and I wish I had a symbologist to interpret Dan Brown's attempt to show off the deep research on the subject. 

The Lost Symbol is the book for you if you like mysticism of the secret societies and unveiling them actually has a different kind of excitement.

Rating: 5/5 (just because I am prejudiced about Dam Brown's extent of research)

Really Reality Bites: How to create believable characters?

One of the best days of my life is when I am all up with ideas about the plot, the characters and then (if I am very lucky) the climax.
How I make my characters?
It is very easy to create a make-believe person but to convince an audience about that person you have to make a personality to go with it. So, to begin with always think about your hero and the heroine with strong believable names that is easy to pronounce (not like those that is very difficult to remember) and make them have jobs, families and hang-ups like everyone else. Baby names websites are the best place to search for names. They also got this interesting description that could help you build a character as well.
They should have a place they come from and of course the place they were born too. They have hobbies, fears and tempers like everyone. So make a workable sheet for you. It doesn’t have to be long but long enough for you remember.
How to make a character?
Make a little biography of the protagonist and if you got the time, make a little background for the minor characters as well. So that you don’t forget why this exist.
I know it all sounds like a lot of work but if this isn’t there in that little notebook that you always carry around then you cannot simply come to writing the story. You will have your little uncertain passages and you simply cannot go back and refer all the time where the hero came from. Use colourful stick ups around the place you write and voila not even the “writers block” can stop you. Only you (your laziness) can.

Note: Also published on readersencalve authors portal

What goes inside Plot making?

Plot is perhaps the easiest part of writing a novel. All you got to do is to brain storm a few ideas, think about the story you want to pen down and then make a very basic flow chart of what you want to achieve in the end.

Ask yourself questions. This is not your school classroom where you are hesitant to ask. Here you are the boss, you are the student and you are the reader. So ask away.
  • What (is my novel about?)
  • Why ( am I writing this?)
  • When (are my characters going to find themselves?)
  • How (will I make the perfect ending?”

This way you make a list of questions and have it safely tucked away knowing that you always have a back-up.
Make sure you have who your main protagonist is and whether your novel is going to be in first point of view, second point of view or multiple POV.
After deciding on your characters, your story begins with deciding a genre. Do you want to write a romance, mystery, thriller? Once that’s decided, make sure that you have an interesting mix of reality into fiction. Since writing LOVE ME IN THE END, I have found that romance in real is very different from the one in the pages. You have to have two people in love who despite hating each other also want to be with each other. When you have the reasons all jot down on a list of paper it becomes easy for you to use their dislike for each other as conflict. Another important part of a plot of conflict but then I will explain that in detail later.

For example from Love Me In The End:
“Of course I want to marry!” she contradicted, “Just not you in particular”.
“And the reason could be?” Arman narrowed his eyes.
“I don’t like you”.
“Fine! I don’t like you either”, turning back to the other woman who was smiling almost maliciously, “And there is nothing better than to get rid of you”.

Also make sure that you have a sub-plot going on since it becomes monotonous for the reader to keep on thinking about the problems of the hero. The sub plot could be more on a lighter side, perhaps adding the hero’s flirty brother who makes sure that the heroine goes for a date with him to make the hero jealous in turn bringing a passionate response from both sides.

Making points also help

1.       Father making decision to get a groom of his choice
2.       Daughter hopes to change his mind
3.       Hero torn between his career and impending marriage
4.       Hero and heroine meet and here comes an explosive chemistry
5.       Father feels uncertain and decides to call off the match

These are some of the points I made for my novel. And you need to keep on making it till the end even if you decide to change your mind in the end. This is the magic of a pen and lots of paper around.
Be bold when writing a story because if you don’t believe in what you write, no one else will.

Note: Also published on the website of Readersenclave arthor's portal

Friday, August 26, 2011

Some crazy moments of life when you have just lot of time, a bottle of nail polish and your creativeness stretched to the limit of making use of your imagination.
Here are a few clips of nail art (my way)

Sunday, August 7, 2011


I twisted and turned
His grip was like vice
My shoulders ached
but secretly I loved this night

I had a premonition
I was going to feel this way
In his arms
In his bed
And this very moment

Our breaths mingling
and his tongue swirling
at the tip of my lips
and my heart aching

My hands made no noise
how could they?
when they felt so nice?
They slipped slyly on his back
and I slowly felt his soaring desire

We pushed each other
Hating yet wanting to be together
our touch just so natural
My eyes felt all but misty in this hot summer night

Why did I feel so lost 
In this man's arms?
It feels forbidden 
To feel so wanton

To make him mine
and me his, forever

So I twisted and turned
our breathing mingling again
His fingers doing the unthinkable
His lips on the nook of my neck

We lay together 
Feeling, making the most sweetest love ever...

"I stand Alone"

When I was a kid,
Life was the same,
I would get up and moan
think about school and groan.

College was the new trend,
where canteen and friends,
were my life.
I studied but not very hard,
all those nights were phone was my star

Caught up in a job,
I got used to my swirly chair and car
The friendly calls now all but business
I made my peace with everything
cause money became my life.

Loosing touch with people,
I once loved and cared,
I carried on with what i call life
making a whole new meaning out of this surprise

Such is my life
where money brings me happiness now
Friends have become so rare
I wait for no one to sit and share.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A book giveaway!!!

Hi guys I am feeling generous and this is a great opportunity for you to win a personally signed novel

To win you have to do just two things:

1) Visit the page and LIKE

2) Answer a simple question:

Would you marry the man your dad chooses for you? Why/Why not?

A winner will be chosen by me. Send your answers to

I will announce a winner by September 30th 2011

Tandoori Chicken - The Recipe for all those who love good food

I always thought cooking Mugalai is one of the most difficult things to do. Thankfully, I have got a very reliable oven that has lately become my best friend. We discuss recipes and help each other is making marvelous dishes.

So, it was another Saturday night. The evening was young and I had my culinary buds craving for something exotic. No, I don't believe in just cooking and get the thing done. I love food and if it doesn't look good or taste good (even if its my favorite) I don't usually have it. 

To cut a long story short, I tried TANDOORI CHICKEN and it did come out well that I almost did not have it. Just how beautiful it looked!


Like some I don't use a hell lot of ingredients. So, its actually simple :)


1 chicken (Cut the way you want it)
1 lemon
1 cup whisked curd
1 tble deghi mirch
1 tble garam masala
2 tsp olive oil
1 tble salt
1 small cup ginger/garlic paste
Red color (two drops mixed in milk)


Make two cuts on each chicken piece
Rub the lemon and ginger garlic paste all over the chicken pieces to make that weird smell go away.
Mix the curd, salt, red chilli powder, garam masala, olive oil, red color together and prepare the marinade.
Rub it all over the chicken.

IFB oven:

Preheat the oven for ten minutes
Baste the tray with melted butter
Lay the chicken pieces on the girll and place it on the tray
Put it in the oven and make it in the MIRCO-GIRLL mode for twenty minutes.

Note: For better results, do finish off the chicken by giving it a final touch on the stove.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


My experiments with my oven never ends and this happens every time me and my hubby have this clear idea of how much oil should we exactly use for a healthier 'us'.
So I wanted to have fries (as usual my craving never end) and he practically made me try the oven baked potatoes which I felt was an insult for the 'REAL' thing.
Surprisingly, it turned out all good. I didn't have to throw the contents in the bin. It was all retained and went right into my very hungry stomach.

Recipe: Potato Wedges

Ingredients: 1 potato (half boiled)
1 tsp salt
dried herbs

Process: Preheat the oven for five minutes. Make sure your potatoes are not soggy. Cut it into long stripes and toss it with salt and dried herbs. Put them on a girll and set the oven in 'micro-girll' for the next ten minutes (depends on how many potatoes you are using).
Voila! you have the fat-free, delicious fries look-alike

Sunday, July 31, 2011

One Sunday evening

A place so small yet so many interesting shots that I could never have got living in a city. I have an eventful evening with my dearest hubby taking me around in our car, soaking in the beautiful sites that really have no tourists coming for attractions. Yet I see the little mountains, the setting sun and fall in love with being alive... 

 The Road not taken
 "Yeh shaam mastani"
 We are coming back to this place for a picnic (SOON)

His flavorMine (coz I am a girl and
I end up loving pink)

Still his (I wish i cud get a bite)

The wilderness around
 Goodbye sun, I really wanna break up with you. See you in summers
Admiring (Like you girls never do it!) :D

Saturday, July 30, 2011

If fashion could make a breakthrough

Since the blazers have come into vogue, I have this urge to looks into my vintage wardrobe (that really means old clothes) and make a very own style statement.
I have the jeans, the navy blazer but where can get the figure please? 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fauji's house - Sequel

 These you always find in a Fauji's house (no they dont lie around for long)
 The new place with new setting (I just loved decorating this one)
Furniture courtesy MESS
The huge Guju Jhoola: A gift from my lovely parents who didn't have enough space to put this thing :)
Thats our wedding pic at the center of the wall
People say this is the initial pic that we always love (I dunno if the kids might occupy the space later)
Always my favorite space. My own little meditation.
Mandir: Kishangarh (Ajmer)
Yellow side table: carrying since got married :)

Samode Haveli - The Era forgotten

Not many living in the heart of Jaipur must have heard of Samode Haveli that is situated only 45 kilometers from the north of the city. 'Haveli' is an understatement because as the history goes this belonged to the zamindars of the state of Amber. 

As a visitor I got the privilege to see the inside of this marvelous structure. To be acknowledged do make a pre-booking to get a reservation. The haveli's royal pandit was our guide and he showed us the glasses room and the Durbar. The pieces of furniture so unique and the concept so well thought. 

There are the intricately handpainted pictures of Hindu Gods, some picturizing the mythology of when Lanka was made of pure gold.

  The darbar inside and all is hand painted
 The Puppet show organized for the visitors
  Inside of Samode

 Our dinner arrangements
the birthday girls

the view from outside

What you would love about this place its just beauty everywhere and serenity because very few people come here. If you are an history buff and love taking pictures then this is the place for you. I feel transported to this place as soon as I think about it and so lucky are those who lived here.

However since Feb 2011 there is entry fee both for the Samode Haveli and Bhag. But I did go in April for my birthday and except for the dinner and the complimentary cake we really didn't get to pay anything more. The dinner is not cheap either so either be loaded or carry your credit card. Somehow you wouldn't regret a penny!

 And it felt wonderful celebrating something here because the ambiance will get to you. Since me and my sis in law share a birth in the same month we had a double celebration. Well, the food is what you make of it. Its expensive and the portions are small. so don't go with the intention of eating full. You sure can take your special one here for a great evening date (because the lights are just simply amazing) or your family for a get together. It feels nice and cozy and a good time to share some history of your own.