SHE

The hands of a working woman during lockdown.
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Have you ever woke up in the morning dreaming you will be served breakfast in the bed ? Have you ever woke up in the morning, fasting the previous day and you feel so week that you just pray to go God to send you an angel to prepare breakfast?

No matter what day it is, she works without a complain. One cannot define priority between household and office work because both are equally important. During lockdown, when the maids and cook are not available, I don’t know how many of you (woman) are oscillating between Kitchen and Laptop and, how many of you have made kitchen slab as office desk. I have been doing both. Each day is about struggling and learning. Some days household work require more attention, other day office. And days like this (Vatsavitri) when the family members are waiting for puja, you have equally important office work.

Shuffling | Struggling | Learning

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

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As the name suggest, the novel is about Amy Byler – a single mother, and a librarian. Her life revolves around her two children – Cori(15) and Joe(12). She is engrossed in providing her kids a better life and a good education. The plot twist happens when her husband, after a span of three years, decides to come in her life to spend the summer with the kids. Initially, she was a little reluctant but after speaking to the children she agreed.
Another turn in the plot is Amy signing for a librarian conference to be held in New York for a week. Her life changes from hereon. In New York, she attends the librarian conference and reunites with her old friend, Talia. Amy was always fascinated about Talia’s job. Talia when listens to Amy’s life, asks her to be a part of “Momspringa”. Amy becomes the face of Momspringa and slowly she learns to overcome her failed marriage. She is now more open to new kind of life, dating, meeting new people, and dressing up.
The best part of the novel was her transformation during “Momspringa” and the letters from her daughter. The novel gets a little slow for me when Amy returns to New York for Momspringa. But it again picks up the pace when she leaves things in between and comes back to her kids. .
I won’t say novel’s ending is predictable but its something that I wanted it to be since the time I started reading it.

My rating:

4/5

This post is in collaboration with @kitaabaurkoffee. Do follow this page for more book reviews.

Dearest George

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This is perhaps my second read this year. I am really upset I haven’t read any good book so far (I know its too early to comment that). There is a very famous proverb “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. But how often you don’t judge the book by its cover?? I was at a bookshop (Crossword) going through the books, shelf by shelf and I encountered a hardbound book wrapped in a plastic so that no one can see what’s written inside. The illustration on the book cover compelled me to buy it. Also, the name “Alicia Souza” was little familiar all thanks to Facebook. I have seen a few ads on Facebook about Alicia Souza. They sell nice stationary (I have not used it, but that’s how it looks like).

I was in a hurry to unwrap the book and start reading it. I sat in a coffee shop and started reading the book. This book is a light and quick read. One can finish the book in an hour or so. It’s Alicia’s gift to her husband who does not likes PDAs. The book is about an over expressive girl [wife] who is madly and deeply in love with a boy [husband]. It’s about their day to day life and their pets, a dog named Charles-Brown and a guinea pig named Henry Oats. The book is quite illustrative but lacks the context.

My rating:

2.5/5

Who Moved My Cheese?

“If you do not change, you can become extinct.”

This is a book by Dr Spencer Johnson, which talks about how to deal with the change in work and personal life. This book is short but an effective read. The story revolves around four characters Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw. Sniff and Scurry are mice where as, Hem and Haw are little people who consider themselves special and smart because they have brains.

The story takes an interesting turn when the cheese at a cheese station gets over and how the four characters deals with the change. The messages written by Haw on the wall are inspiring.

For some, this book may be just a story of these four characters but if you look closely it actually talks about the changes we see or sometimes overlook.

This is a self help book where the cheese represents the changes and four characters represents our way of coping with the changes.

Inspiring. Motivating. Self help.

My rating:

4.5/5

This post is in collaboration with @kitaabaurkoffee. Do follow this page for more book reviews.

Sita – Warrior of Mithilia

This book has been my slowest read thus far, it took me almost two months to finish. I was little skeptical to start this book as I am not a person who loves history. Regardless, I wanted to know about the character “Sita”, the Warrior. 

I have heard people say, that The Ram Chandra series should be read in order – Ram, Sita and Raavan. I would rather recommend that if you really want to know the depth of plot, you should actually start with The Shiva Trilogy and then jump to The Ram Chandra Series. I however, directly started with Sita. So lets begin with the review:

The book begins with a crucial juncture, Jatayu fighting for his life and Sita trying to save him from the Lankan army like a salient warrior from the bushes. 

The book gets really interesting as Sita comes to age. The stories of her Gurukul days, where, Sita slam-dunks a boy who lands in gurukul auralay (hospital), resulting in her getting trained in non-violence and impulse control training. And this only helps that now she, instead of hitting, shouted at the boy, which were enough to make him burst into tears. This made me laugh and I re-read it multiple times. 

I really liked the profound interactions that Sita had with her mother, Sunaina, a soul touching moment between a mother and her child. I felt that the life lessons taught by Sunaina(mother) are for everyone and not only Sita, especially the story about elephant. My personal favorite was the whispers Sunaina passed on to Sita “Society moves on, my child, Countries move on. Life moves on. As it should be.” 

The book slows down, when Sita starts her travel, to pursue training  to become “Vishnu”. But it again catches pace, when Ram enters her life in the swayamvar plotted by her, for her, how she tries to help Ram prepare for the swayamvar.  Ram being an ideal man, refuses to listen to Sita. 

The book also talks about, the various adventures of Ram and Sita, during their exile. It also brings in the famous festival of “Jalikattu”. 

The book ending is a real twisted tale of honesty and betrayal. I had to re-read the last page of the book to get over it.

My rating:

3.25/5

This post is in collaboration with @kitaabaurkoffee . Do follow this page for more book review.

A day in Seattle

I am in Seattle from the last few days and have been planning to visit some of the major attractions here. When I searched for “Places to visit in Seattle” the first few search results were the following:

  1. Pike Place Market
  2. The Great Gum Wall of Seattle
  3. Space Needle
  4. Chihuli Garden and glass

Since I didn’t have any company, I decided to be a solo traveller for a day. Trust me I have never roamed around places alone. I always wanted to do so but never did. Before starting my trip I downloaded Moovit app so that I get to know from where i can take which bus. One thing which i liked about the Moovit app is it shows bus stop ID as well along with the bus number. For a person like me, who was new to the place, it helped a lot.

Pike Place Market: This market was one of the few things I wanted to visit. They call it “Historical district” as one can find hundred years old shoops here. Roaming around in an unknown city all by myself was quite an experience.

The Great Gum Wall of Seattle: It looks colourful in pictures but trust me its smelly and gross. They had cleaned this wall for the first time in 20 years in November 2015. It happens to be one of the major attractions in Seattle. I thought i’ll have to search for this wall, but its at the entrance of Pike Place Market, yo ujust have to take left to the alley.

The Great Gum Wall of Seattle

Space Needle: The iconic Seattle’s landmark and tourist attraction center. It has a revolving glass floor 500 ft up in the air. I walked all the way from Ivar’s fish bar to the Space needle. It’s a good 30 mins walk (1.5 miles). The entry to the observation tower is not free. But you can get some discount if you are taking ticket for Space needle and Chihuly garden and glass together.

Chihuly Glass and Garden:
Named after Dale Chihuly, this place showcases his glass work but for some reason it was never in my list of places to visit. I guess i was underestimating the power of creativity. When I went inside, I was just mesmerized with the fact that everything was made up of glass. During my visit, various thoughts were crossing my head like, how can someone make such a beautiful thing out of glass, how many people would have been involved and how many days would have been spent on each detail. At the end of the tour, they showed a small documentary on how the glass chandeliers are made. I came and searched for all the videos related to glass blowing till my eyes started paining. Photos from Chihuly Glass and Ganden can be found on my instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/p/B2D_c0nl7U-/

After walking more than 10 kms, i was so tired that i wanted to take a cab back to the hotel. I got a mini heart-attack when i checked the cab fare, it was 40 $. I thought it would be a good idea to take the bus again. I had to walk a bit from Seattle space needle to catch the bus, also, there are no direct buses for Bellevue. One has to take bus till Kirkland and from there take a bus for Bellevue. Anyway, after walking for a while i found the bus stop. I got into one of the buses and I reached Kirkland. One thing which I learned from my bus journey was unlike India, there bus drivers don’t talk to the passengers while driving the bus. I wanted to confirm with the bus driver if it was the correct bus and he was listening but not answering. Later at a signal he told me he cannot talk while driving. But i was in the right bus.

Do you have any such travel story? Do share in the comment your experience.

World Photography Day

I know its a pretty late post for “World Photography Day”. Here I am, sharing my world with the world. Thanks to family and friends who have always inspired me. Special mention to these, Rajashree (whom i call Raja), Sobhana, Anitesh (who loves being called as Ani), Nishant (my childhood friend from Gujarat) and Anshul (whom I call PanDAY). Anshul has promised me to give his camera. This post is dedicated to the people who have inspired me for photography.

I have learned a lot from Raja, personally as well as professionally. Raja happens to be my ex colleague, now a very dear friend of mine. I remember when she bought her Nikon camera in the year 2014. She was so excited. Till that time I was happy with my phone and its camera. She was the one who explained me in and out of a camera. I was too naive in the field of photography, i still am. She introduced me to the world of .raw and Lightroom.

I met Sobhana through a common friend and we became friends. Sobhana’s into photography since 2013. We have done lots of photography activity together. We did our common friend’s pre wedding photoshoot in three stages, first in a park during evening time, second near a lake early morning and third at her home with fairy lights. We went on a trip to Kodaikanal. And we were just discussing about the photos and angles. We would click photo and show to each other, would discuss about the clicked photo and would go back to click again. We attended maternity photoshoot workshop together, which was a great learning.

Ani and Nishant are my school friends my Gujarat and Jharkhand. Ani was into IT but from the past few years he moved into full time wedding photography. He shares his stories from wedding photoshoots and also gives me ideas about photpgraphy. Nishant is in banking sector and lives in USA. He keeps asking me why you dont click so and so type of photos. He infact gifted me Canon 40 mm pancake lens and 85 mm prime lens.

Lastly, would like to mention about my family. My family inspires me a lot. They keep asking “Its been so long and we have not seen your clicks, where are you going next to take pictures.” 🙂

My kitchen story – Pure veg omellete

Blessed are those who know how to cook and have interest in cooking. I dont have any inerest in cooking. I don’t even feel like cooking. I am happy if i get food served infront of me without going to the kitchen.

I am on my business trip. And this time i have decied to cook rather than hopping restaurants. I try to cook something which requires less preparation + cooking time. I have been trying to cook anything and everything in microwave because it takes less time and attention.

One fine sunday i decided to prepare omellete with veggies. I wanted to have lots of veggies so i added spinach, carrot, cauliflower, tomatoes and potato. I prefer to have only two eggs a day. While chopping the veggies i did not realise that i am going to add only two eggs. Very happily i put all the chopped vegetables in the bowl and added two eggs. The eggs were not enough for the vegetables. I mixed the veggies and eggs nicely in a bowl. It was very clear I screwed my omellete but i was just going with the flow.

I poured the mixture in a plate and put it in oven for 10 mins. After 10 mins when i took it out from the oven, it felt like a vegetable cake. I could cut it in slices. But it was a good learning. Now whenever i put veggies in omellete, i double check the proportion.

My first ever microwave cooked omellete will always be memorable.

What’s your kitchen story?

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