June 30, 2011

10 day challenge - Four books

As part of the 10 day challenge which I have taken up, here we are more than half way done. Today's challenge is to list Four books

If someone asked me to rattle off in an instant four of my favorite books, I think these would be it!

1. Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand
2. Choker Bali / A Grain of Sand by Rabindranath Tagore

10 day challenge - Five foods

I have my favorites, which I can have at any time of the day. 

They are as follows :)

2. Sweet corn and chicken soup
3. Spare ribs
4. Steamed momos
5. A mug of hot chocolate

What are yours? Anything similar?

June 29, 2011

10 day challenge - Five foods

I have my favorites, which I can have at any time of the day. 

They are as follows :)

1. Puttu and Kadala
2. Sweet corn and chicken soup
3. Spare ribs
4. Steamed momos
5. A mug of hot chocolate

What are yours? Anything similar?

June 28, 2011

10 day challenge - Six places

This has been my favourite from the beginning of this tag... was looking forward to this day alot. 

I have been traveling a lot in the past year, and I completely enjoy traveling. One of the things I want to do is drive to some place. I am a novice when it comes to driving though I like to believe that its becoming slightly better with time.

I am a beach person, lazing on beaches with a book to read and a swim in between is just something I can do for days. And not to forget the night time partying :) With both these things in perfect alignment is Goa... which I think has been by far my favourite holiday location till date! Been there twice, and can go back anytime! There are so many beaches to visit, and maybe next time I shall also go on the cultural route too.

In spite of all the travel, I have had a vacation/holiday on my mind. And these below are the six places I want to visit. 

Picking water spinach
Image Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mangodavid/24785743/
Passeig de Gracias, Barcelona
Image Courtesy - http://www.flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore/5237965835/

Image Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ferlomu/4777034030/
Image Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44199467@N00/260089086/
Image Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stefanomilan/5759891986/
If I really sit down to think of all the places I want to go to.. I think thats going to a huge list. I can even list it out for within India and outside also. :)

Looking at the rest of the days.. I think now the challenge is becoming simpler... :)

June 27, 2011

10 day challenge - Seven wants

Don't we all want a lot of things? I have so many things which I would love to have.. many of them things which I really do not need, and some others which would just make me go aaahhhhh :) Its all a balance between the logical mind and the emotional mind !

1. Again something linked to my loves, I want to have a beautiful home which I will be proud of. In fact a beautiful home, decorated to my tastes. A garden pruned and cared for and a small patio.

2. Someday, I want to have a pet dog. I have not really thought which breed, maybe a lhas apso, beagle or a cocker spaniel. I love big breeds like german shepherd and danes, but unless I have sufficient space, I do not think I would want to get a big breed.

3. As of now, I want to get back into shape, get into a good exercise regime, even if its not everyday. I am thinking swimming will be an easy option, and with results in the least amount of time. And to top it, I love to swim !

4. I want to go for the Literary fest in Jaipur some day.

5. I want to help cultivate a reading habit in T, so I hope to read to her rhymes, stories and other children's books from a young age.

6.  I want to visit a new place every year, which means I want to go for minimum one vacation to any place within or outside India.

7. I want to sponsor the education of a girl till whenever she wants to study. 

June 26, 2011

10 day challenge - Eight fears

I thought Nine Loves would be difficult, but I think listing my fears are more difficult. 

1. My biggest fear is losing someone I love so dearly… my parents, brother, B, best friends and now my baby girl, T. 

2. I do not mind dying even the next moment, but I fear being a vegetable and bed ridden. Or for that matter, I think I fear not being able to lead a normal life.

3. I fear for the safety of my girl. I have always wanted a daughter and bring her up to be a strong independent person, but deep within I have fears about the society and its treatment of women.

Apart from these I really do not have any other fears. There might be many things which might have me worried, but those are never the things which will always be at the back of my mind. 

I do not know whether its good or not to have too many fears, but thats how it is. 

June 25, 2011

Day 75 - Abbey Falls

10 day challenge - Nine Loves

This was a very difficult list. I had not really given great thought to what were those things which I loved, but by the time I reached Point 9 on the list below... I had a few more to list, and I had to choose between my loves :)

1. My first love is 'love' itself. I feel that is something which helps one to stand ground under any circumstance. If you do not have love in your heart, and if you do not feel loved, I think life can be very tough to live.

2. I love to watch and listen to rains even when they are downpours its all the more nice with the water spraying on your face.

3. I love animals, have been a dog lover all my life, had a cat (Whisky) for 2 years, a rabbit(Nelly) for 1 year and now hoping to get a hamster or an aquarium. 

4. I am a huge fan of shopping. I can spend a lot of time browsing through online catalogues or even weave my way through shops and pick up absolutely nothing at the end of it all.

5. I love footwear and this is one item for which  I think I do end up spending more than what I should be! And heels dominate my shoe rack, and I still think I do not have enough.

6. I love my height. I think this is a very funny thing to love, but its true. I get compliments for it, I am able to carry off many things solely because of my height.

7. I love colorful cushions. Cushions of varying sizes strewn around is what would be a lovely room for me.

8. I love to read though my quota of reading has been greatly reduced in the past years, and is slowly picking up now.

9. I love to travel, and planning trips. 6 years in Delhi had me traveling quite a bit to the North of India, and now 3 years in Bangalore have had me cover various places around. East of the country is where I have not at all ventured to.

June 24, 2011

10 day challenge - Ten Secrets

I have never done challenges, have been an avid reader of those who do the NaBloPoMo, but couldn't convince myself that I would be able to see it through. 

Today, I saw Preeti's blog and she was doing a 10 day challenge, so I thought why not. So, here we go, initiated into the challenge blogging line! One post every day and the posts will be as per the challenges listed in the picture below.

Ten Secrets

1. I am the kind who would strive to keep in touch, but when some of my friends did not have time I have carefully slunk off and now interact only with those who have the time. 

2. I am a huge fashion addict, though I am slightly timid to try all the hi- fashion out there.

3. How much ever I convince myself that I need a great wardrobe, I never can get myself to buy something over 2000 rupees (except saris), how much ever I try. 

4. I love gadgets, be it phones, laptops, tablets, mp3 players etc.

5. I do not think I can possibly pass a day without sending a sms.

6. I am a bowl of contradictions, love silence but I need to go out a party in a while.

7. I had a very bad college education experience, and a part of me believes that that was solely responsible in shaping me to be what I am today.

8. I am very vain, obsess greatly about my weight and looks. In fact, this was one of my greatest fears during pregnancy, would I be able to get back to shape?

9. Swimming is the only sport for which I will get up at 5 in the morning.

10. I strive to have a beautifully decorated house, but I know I need to go a long way in achieving it.

Bleed For Me by Michael Robotham

I picked up this book based on Kiran Manral's review on her blog. I have never heard of the author, and had never read any of his works, but the blurb and her review made it sound very interesting. 

The plot is set around the murder of a psychologist's daughter's best friend's father, and how the plot thickens, becomes murky and moves into encompassing jealousy, racism and blackmail. Its what I would term as main stream crime thriller, very well written, quick paced and well woven. The murderer's identity is held a suspense till the very end, and the unraveling of clues makes one guess , but guesses being very far from the truth. 

All in all, I would recommend this for a quick light read, which will have you turning pages and burning the midnight lamp.

Rating: 3/5

June 19, 2011

June 18, 2011

Day 72 - Lxora

These are the buds of the flower called Lxora. In Kerala these flowers are called 'thetti' and they come in red, orange and white. They appear in bunches and the bunch remains bloomed for 3-4 days at a stretch.

June 17, 2011

Day 71 - Pink

I had previously posted another pic of the white variety too. This is also used mainly in the puja rooms. I shall try to get a pic of the red variety, which is the most common kind.

Babycare - Online shopping

As a new mother, baby products are something which I have taken a keen interest to in the past month. And online shopping for non cloth items is something which I truly think is a great time saver. That led to my search for suitable online sites to order baby products from. I came across mainly three sites which are completely dedicated to baby, mom & child care products, which are


I did some research on product range, prices and also their locations. I would be ordering the things from Trivandrum, so I wanted something which would be closer, to avoid any shipping delays. Here is what I found out from the internet research and I should also add that I finally ordered my requirements from firstcry.com.


The website is well designed, no glitches and the range of products were immense. They have ongoing discounts on different sections and also the discounts were on fast moving items, and not on very expensive items alone. For example, I ordered diapers, and all their diapers were on 15% off. Baby wipes also had 6% off on the imported varieties. The delivery of the products took 4 days from the day of order and the products were in very good condition. They were packed in cardboard corrugated sheets n packed further in plastic wrap to prevent any damage due to moisture/rain etc.

Here again, the website is well done, and the deals are sorted out on the first page itself. The only difference was that here, they took care to sort out the shipping details against each item. And for most items, the shipping time was 1-2 days if the order is placed by 6 pm. And added to that shipping is free for all orders. 

But, if I compare the prices of some products which I bought from firstcry with the same here, I see that the there is a slight variation in the discounts, making firstcry cheaper. Another fact which I noticed was that the variety of products might be the same across both these sites, but the range of options within a product line was better at firstcry.com

This is a site which I came across during my search via mouthshut.com. I visited the site, and saw that they looked like a much more evolved website with a loyalty program etc. But, here I was not impressed with the product range they had to offer. Their products mainly comprised of toys, games and products for baby activity. General baby car items were limited in terms of products and brands.

All in all, I would give babyoye a shot as they claim to deliver in 1-2 days from order date, but firstcry still might win over if I am looking for something specific. 

Are there better options out there, which I have no clue about?

June 10, 2011

The End of Innocence by Moni Mohsin

The blurb caught my eye on a website, and I started looking for this book at the usual stores which I frequent, but none of them seemed to stock this title. Then I made up my mind to order it online and start reading it. The book arrived soon and I started it with great fervor. 

The book is set in the 1960s when the East and West Pakistan war was raging, with India getting dragged in between it. Bangladesh wanted freedom and to be declared as a country, Pakistan believed that was not to be, and India was taking sides with Bangladesh. The central characters of the story are all from an old aristocratic family in a small village in Pakistan, the servants of the family, the busy-bodies of the village and the story spans over a few months in their lives. I will not detail the plot here, but merely comment on the same. If you would like to read about the plot , here is the link. 

There are some ideologies which struck me quite openly as I was reading the book. Some I saw similarities with our present day scenarios, but some seemed very different and very much a part of the past British regime.

Women and their role in family and public life as seen in rural Pakistan and how the norms are set, to be followed by all. We also see how education might open our eyes to the world, but it is seldom that, what we try to bring about in the name of social up-liftment, works in our favor. It is seen as mere modernism which does not work in a village, which runs by its own rules. 

Honour and family name is seen to be highest accord and even human life comes only second fiddle to it. Any crime committed in the name of family honor is seen to be less/not punishable, and in most cases the families do not see it needed to punish the criminal. Rather it is seen that the families punish the one causing the tarnishing of family honor. 

As the title suggests, there is also a view of how the adult world and its complexities look like from a 8 year old girl's point of view. How she understands adult talk and the fears associated with it. We also see how she yearns to be a part of it, and not to be treated as a small baby. The relationship between her and her friend, their secrets and games. How her friend, being older, is thrown into the adult world, and the problem she faces trying to solve  them.

Overall, I would rate this very much a written version of many bollywood movies, with the plot having twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and ending with a grand finale. The writing style was very simple and it was a good attempt to see how the world is seen from a child's perspective. Its a very quick read and some of the country-side descriptions are very well written, which makes one feel them to be very real. I am not too sure whether this is a book I would be recommending to many, but certainly to those who like light-reads.